Dave Yarnell is a top historian in the powerlifting world. "Dave's Faves" blog includes historical events, experiences, anecdotes, and more.
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When Sheri Hartmann of the USPF contacted me recently to ask if I would like to participate in a new blog connected to the USPF History page called “The legacy of the USPF” On their website: USPFthelegend.com, I responded with no hesitation, “yes, absolutely!” After all, the first real 3 lift sanctioned meet I was ever in, back in the 80s, was a USPF meet. Back in those days, there were not the myriad of different lifting feds and organizations that there are these days, and the USPF was pretty much “the” federation. What I did not realize was that the USPF came out of the ADAU, which was the original powerlifting organization, tied to York Barbell, Bob Hoffman, etc. The USPF has been known for fair and consistent judging and well-run contests throughout its history and this continues to hold true. There are so many well- known lifters that have been loyal to the USPF and considered them as the gold standard of American lifting organizations that it would be a daunting task just to list them all, but among the heaviest of hitters on that list would be the man widely regarded as the GOAT of powerlifting; the man, the myth, the legend ED Coan. If you google Ed’s contests over the course of his career, it is easy to see that most of his contests were indeed USPF meets. Ed did have a couple of years when he competed with the APF at both the national and international levels, but then came back to the USPF because it was seen as the more legit federation, as discussed with Tony Fitton in this interview:
TF: 1988 saw your return to the USPF and IPF, winning Senior Nationals and Worlds respectively. What prompted this?
EC: Basically, I wanted to legitimize myself and lifting. A lot of lifters a few years ago accepted the standards and philosophies that prevailed then. It's changed and is different now; I wanted to compete and win under drug tested conditions, and I have and will continue to.
TF: I understand that there are opportunities with Joe Weider and "Muscle & Fitness" for you, that Joe is very impressed with you, and the two of you may sign some agreement for the future. Did this influence your decision to "legitimize" yourself?
EC: Somewhat, I guess. It certainly does no harm with Joe to be a drug free representative, but I wanted the challenge anyway. Drug testing is the way the sport has moved, and I want to be with all aspects of the sport. If you're in the public eye these days, I feel you have more credibility lifting under drug tested conditions, especially with the newcomers. Times change and you change with them; it's no big deal.
TF: It's been three years since you've lifted in the USPF Senior Nationals. Your last year, in fact, was when there were all the dissensions, and criticisms of the USPF. How did you find lifting the USPF again?
EC: I really enjoyed the USPF Seniors. I didn't especially like the platform; a rubbery substance overlaid it and you felt like you sank in. It made it hard to explode on the squat and deadlift, like you need to. The refereeing was strict and consistent, and that is good, though this first year back I felt imposed upon by the pressure of it, but that was just within me; now I can settle myself into whatever is required. I will reproduce my best lifts, and more next year, even, hopefully, on the bench press where you are not permitted a bench shirt. I went seven for nine on my attempts and set five IPF world records, never felt my groove on the squat because of the platform, lifted for the first time in a while without a bench shirt, and was conservative on the deadlift. As I said, just give me another year.
I just posted a video based on a July 87 Muscle and Fitness article on my YouTube channel. The article, and the video were titled: “Ed Coan, a saga of Strength” here is the link to the clip:
https://youtu.be/9VSxBQJKNa4; The article was penned by Mike Lambert, of PLUSA fame.
I hope to cover other great lifters that have been associated with the USPF over the years which should not be too difficult a task, going forward, and I would like to thank Sheri Hartmann for offering me this great opportunity.
Below is the contest list I mentioned about Ed…. His trophy room must be a warehouse.
Thanks for your time.
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