T Nation

RUM 8 The Inside Scoop

Following will be my story of being a member of the staff working at RUM 8 on February 7 and 8 2015.

Cool cant wait…

I want to know if Dan Green puts his pants on one leg at a time…

edit: should’ve said singlet, more relevant lol

I showed up at 8 AM at the Wayne Sanborn Center in Deland and many of the lifters were not there yet though the lifting was to begin at 9 AM. Once the head staff of our group briefed us on handling the equipment and lifters I went in the lifters warm up room to see if I could get a couple of squats in before most lifters got there so I would be warmed up.
I only got one set of squats in using 135 pounds before I was kicked out so as not take up the competitors pre-lift lifting(It was pretty funny-they were like,“hey you get out’ a here.”) I got a kick out of being thrown out and became friends with some of them over it.

About 9:15 AM the lifting began. There were 8 of us there to load weights, spot, move equipment around, etc. So, I wasn’t always on the platform and spent a good amount of time doing utility things like announcing to the lifters in the warm-up area that the next flight of lifters was about to begin, cleaning of and re-racking weights that were misplaced on the platform, scrubbing the bar with a wire brush to clean off excess chalk, and moving equipment like the mono lift, the squat and bench, and providing support to other staff members. Then there were the times I changed rack heights for benching and squatting, changed bar weights and provided a spot for squats or a lift off for benches.

Both days of RUM 8 I worked just over 12 hours. On Sunday though it was more like 13 hours because we had to clean everything up after the meet before we left.

The lifters were amazing and the efforts were gigantic. Having a view from 3 feet away was an honor and privilege. Getting to have a conversation with lifters like Ellen Stein(lifting legend and still at it in her mid-60s), speaking with Ernie Sr and Ernie Lillebridge, Jay Nera, The Oak, Dan Green, and on and on was as much and more than I ever really thought I would have the chance to do. I loved every minute of this experience.

Oh, on Sunday I was able to get some lifting in the lifters warm-up room because we had a long break between flights. I was lifting while all these elite guys and gals sat around the room taking a break. Jordan Wong one of the great 220 lbs class lifters even gave me a spot for safety sake on a squat while Dan Green was watching only about 3 feet away. I did a raw with no belt squat of 405 and 495 lbs but I am sure that was like watching a laughable amateur hour to those guys.

The energy of the lifters was intense and electric. I wish the crowd watching would have made more noise and shown more support. The staff working the equipment and surrounding area was the main support of cheering and I really clapped and whooped it up for the lifters as much as possible. My voice was quite hoarse at the end of both days as a result of my enthusiasm. Highlights for me was seeing a lifter squat nearly 900 lbs with no knee wraps or sleeves. I had the chance to give this lifter lift offs on the bench and we spoke after the competition. He was a very humble man and had a great personality.

I want to thank the meet directors and especially the announcer/director Spero Tsontikidis for including me in this event and the chance to be on the staff. Hopefully, I will be there for years to come and perhaps competing there next year as well. I think RUM needs more support from the lifting world. RUM is the dream, the Superbowl of powerlifting, where any lifter that meets the elite total can lift from any federation. Where you can expect expert judging on depth of squats, pauses on the bench, and red lights for hitching on a deadlift-the way powerlifting is meant to happen. Onwards and Upwards.

punnyguy-Dan Green is a really cool down to earth person from my perspective. He seems to put his pants on like everyone else and was pretty laid back. That my seem odd to some but I think although there was a lot of intensity and testosterone coursing through the lifters they all for the most part were great people to be around.

Oh by the way I don’t have any pictures because I was too damn busy and I didn’t even bring my phone into the competition. I didn’t wan the distraction and I’m sure there will be tons of video and pictures on UT and powerlifting watch etc. If any one wonders I am the guy standing to the right of the platform near the back on many videos. It was my distinct privilege to root lifters on as they came to lift to congratulate them coming off the platform. I slapped many a great lifter on the shoulder, shook a hand, or bumped fists after a great lift.

A note to remark on is that there were absolutes amazing female lifters at RUM 8. I saw women lifting many times their bodyweight and setting world records. The women inspired awe as well as the men.

It sounds like you had a great time.

Crippler-There is no doubt it was a fantastic time.

GV, we had 3 guys there. They all praised the spotters and loaders.

Sounds like a helluva good time!

As one of the lifters, I wanted to thank you for all your help this weekend. Spotting and loading are among the most under appreciated jobs at powerlifting meets, and not only were you guys on point with loading and keeping lifters from getting hurt, but you did a great job cheering everyone on as well! Doing all that for 12+ hours a day isn’t easy, that’s for sure!

Thanks for sharing, GV. Sounds like it was a great experience for you. I find working meets to be really motivating as well as educational.

Thank you BigRedMachina for your compliment. I’m a powerlifter as were most of us on the staff so we wanted to make your day the best we could.
Hawkcapt-Your lifters were great and I enjoyed their excellent performance.
Thanks Snap. You know how fun it can be sharing the passion for iron with like minded individuals and being a part of their intensity.

Awesome right up GV!

Thanks Matty. There’s not much more to say except that in my opinion this meet couldn’t have been much better.

sounds like a Blast.

Ellen Stein is a bad ass- I used to train at a gym she trained in back in Brooklyn.