By Al Myers
I have known Peter Phillips from Australia for many years. We have competed with each other many times in IAWA world competitions, with the first being at the 2007 IAWA World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand. At that World Championships we had an epic battle on the platform. Peter lifted unbelievable, winning the overall best lifter award. I was behind him in second place in the overall standings which I felt great about, as he lifted like superman.
Peter has been a major leader, contributer, and competitor in the ARWLWA, centered out of the Belmont Club in Perth, Australia. Peter has been involved with all round weightlifting for many years, both with the “old group” and the new generation of all rounders in Perth. He’s currently serving as President of the ARWLWA. He’s also a major leader in IAWA – serving as a past meet promoter, IAWA Vice President representing Australia, and serving on the IAWA Technical Committee. He’s competed in many IAWA Championship events through the years, with overseas trips to England, Scotland, New Zealand, and the USA.
However, on his trip to the USA to take part in the 2016 World Championships, Art’s Birthday Bash, and the Gold Cup, I got to know him much better than ever before. At Lebanon we both stayed at the same hotel and we went out to eat several times together (along with having a few beers!), and at the Gold Cup Peter stayed at my house. We really got to know each other “off the platform” during this hectic month of IAWA competitions. In getting equipment ready for the Gold Cup I don’t know what I would have done without his assistance. He helped me get everything ready, loaded on the trailer, set up at the meet, and even unloading everything once I got it back to the gym! Plus his insight as a meet promoter helped me identify things that was needed for the meet. While he was here I introduced him to a few country past-times of mine – fishing, shooting trap, riding 4-wheelers, and a relaxing afternoon drive in one of our native grass pastures enjoying the peace and quiet of nature.
After the Gold Cup we had time to catch a few workouts in together at the Dino Gym. Our training styles and training philosophies are very similiar. We spent alot of time discussing training, specifically how it applies to all round weightlifting. Peter is a great training partner – but the logistics of living 10,500 miles apart will hinder our training together! I introduced him to the Neck Lift, as well as doing some harness lifting. Peter’s a natural at this type of lifting. I have a challenge lift at the Dino Gym which consists of a two huge train wheels connected with a heavy bar. The preset loaded weight of this challenge is 1500 pounds (actually a few pounds more, I rounded down). These train wheels sit by the front door of the Dino Gym and most people just look at them as they come into the gym. Only a few have actually lifted them throughout the years. After getting done with a harness lifting session I challenged Peter to take them on. Of course Peter is not one to back down from a challenge! Now I want to mention that these Train Wheels are very tippy, and it’s more difficult than lifting on a regular heavy bar. Peter lifted them with ease. I even had him do it a second time so I could get a good picture!
We had such a good time I hated to see him leave. I know we will be lifelong friends.