T Nation

Remembering Dave Pasanella

Here’s a name to mention when talking about all-time greats. Squatted 1030.7 in 1989, deadlifted 854 and totalled 2458 in the 275 lb weight class. Was reported to have gone as heavy as a 1125lb squat in training and 1045 X 3 (wearing an Inzer squat suit), benched 605 in a shirt (he apparently would warm up with 405), and deadlifted 850 X 5. Unfortunately he died in 1990 in a car crash, so we never got to see what he could have done at his best.
Definitely an impressive lifter, also had a great physique to boot.

!!dohhwnload unnamed (1)


I’m old enough to remember reading about him at the time. He was a beast! Anthony Clark was another behemoth of that era who is no longer with us. Also Ted Arcidi, the first guy to bench 700, if I remember correctly (and who fortunately is still around). These guys were real trailblazers, putting up numbers that would have been thought impossible for any human before.


Wasn’t Dave one of Louie’s first Westside prodigy’s?

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Man his leverages for the DL were fantastic. Look at the magazine cover. He has got ~8 inches between his crotch and the bar.

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I was a big fan of Anthony clark, His 700 lb+ reverse-grip benches were absolutely crazy.

Possible, but I’ve never heard that. From what I remember about him, he was not a proponent of Westside training. My recollection is that he advocated a pretty standard training regimen for aspiring powerlifters. In the squat for instance, he suggested steadily pounding away at sets of 5-7 reps in the style of squat that you would use in competition.

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Dave squatted 1045 (misload, it was supposed to be 1030). Got redlighted for depth.

wow… blast from the past. I had that issue of PL USA with him on the cover.

The amount of strength needed to even unrack that and not fold instantly is insane.

It’s really interesting that the powerlifters of the 70s and 80s really pushed so far toward what appears to be the limit of human potential. My understanding is that Ray Williams currently holds the raw squat record at 1080 lbs. That’s more than Pasanella put up, but not by a huge margin. On the other hand, if you compare Pasanella’s numbers to what people were squatting 30 years before his time, there is just no comparison. It seems the 70s and 80s were the decades when we found out just how strong a human body could become, and that we’ve been sort of tinkering with those limits since then. That’s one of the reasons I love to read about how these old-school guys trained. They were making history.

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Yeah, it really is. I wonder how much is possible for a human to lift. When numbers have stayed in the same range for 30-40 years (I think, I’m no PL expert), it makes you wonder if even more progress will, or can, be made.

Those legs were freaking monstrous


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Eh. I know a guy with bigger ones. He squatted 1200 back in college too.

I could be thinking of someone else