Tag Archives: Peter Phillips

OTSM in Australia

by Al Myers

The TOP THREE at the Australian International Old Time Strongman Challenge (left to right): Denny Habecker (3rd), John Mahon (1st), and Graham Saxton (2nd).

The TOP THREE at the Australian International Old Time Strongman Challenge (left to right): Denny Habecker (3rd), John Mahon (1st), and Graham Saxton (2nd).

When I was in Australia for the IAWA Gold Cup, meet promoter John Mahon hosted the very first International Old Time Strongman Challenge following the meet.  I was very excited to see this – as OTSM was started in the USAWA 5 years ago and now other countries in IAWA are getting interested in it.  The founding concept of OTSM is to bridge strongman with All Round Weightlifting by contesting lifts/movements that were favorites of famous Old Time Strongmen and contest them by following the basic format of a weightlifting meet instead of a strongman competition. This means having lifts that can be loaded with the weight of the lifter’s choosing, and allowing 3 attempts to accomplish a max. Also as part of these OTSM lifts rule infractions in the rulebook are a minimum and a lifter is on a 1 minute clock to perform a legal lift.

This was a truly international OTSM challenge. Lifters from Australia, England and the USA took part.  The challenge had a good variety of lifts with the Anderson Squat, the Apollon’s Lift, and the People’s Deadlift being the events contested.  The venue was outside on the lawn of the Belmont Club.  It was a beautiful sunny day for the competition which added to the enjoyment of lifting. Very rarely do you get a chance to lift outside.  It’s a special moment when that does happen.

Steve Gardner was appointed the head official and I assumed the role of timekeeper.  The Anderson Squat was the first event.  John had perfect stands for this event which allowed the plates to be rested on elevated stands.  Graham “Big Red” Saxton took control early with a big 260 KG Anderson Squat! John Mahon put up the biggest Anderson Squat with a 300 KG.  For the Apollon’s Lift, Peter Phillips had made up a beautiful set of replica Apollon’s Wheels for the event.  This made this OTSM event even more authentic! Denny Habecker “Steinborned” the axle to achieve a very fine lift of 56 KG’s. Newcomer Alex Biason performed a very solid 81 kilograms in the Apollon’s Lift.  The People’s Deadlift was very exciting.  I knew beforehand several of the lifter’s would be very close in poundage and it would be a showdown for top lift. Indeed it turned out that way.  Alex hit 215 KG followed by Graham at 225.  John and Peter finished off tied with 250 KG each.

Peter Phillips performing an Apollon's Lift on a set of replica Apollon's Wheels he had made specifically for this event.

Peter Phillips performing an Apollon’s Lift on a set of replica Apollon’s Wheels he had made specifically for this event.

When all the dust settled, John Mahon came out as the overall champion, followed by Graham Saxton in second, and the USAWA OTSM reigning champion Denny Habecker in third.  I was very pleased to see  all participating countries represented in the top three in the inaugural international Old Time Strongman Challenge.  An award was given to the lifter with the top total poundage, and that also went to John with a 656 total.

I was so impressed with this event following the Gold Cup that I plan to  host the second international OTSM Challenge following the Gold Cup next year during my promotion.


2015 International OTSM Challenge
November 29th, 2015
Belmont Sports and Recreational Club
Perth, Australia

Meet Promoter: John Mahon

Head Official: Steve Gardner

Scorekeeper: Sharni Clifford

Lifts: Anderson Squat, Apollon’s Lift, People’s Deadlift

Lifter Age BWT SQ Apo DL TOT PTS
John Mahon 32 115.8 300 106 250 656 515.1
Graham Saxton 53 121.0 260 71 225 556 486.9
Denny Habecker 73 89.9 160 56 172.5 388.5 467.4
Alex Biason 48 118.2 230 81 215 526 445.6
Peter Phillips 62 104.5 120 66 250 436 443.8


Gold Cup

by Al Myers

Group picture from the 2015 IAWA Gold Cup in Perth, Western Australia.

Group picture from the 2015 IAWA Gold Cup in Perth, Western Australia.

I’m finally back home and adjusting to the time changes from my recent trip to Perth, Australia competing in the IAWA Gold Cup.  It’s a long ways to travel – but was well worth it as I had an outstanding time there.  Trips like this one creates memories far beyond the meet experience.  I was very fortunate on this meet trip that my wife Leslie and daughter Molly traveled with me. It was the FARTHEST they have ever flown before!  Now for some “reflections” on the 2015 IAWA Gold Cup.

First of all, meet promoter John Mahon did a phenomenal job.  He had carefully planned a three day event for the lifters. The first day consisting of the Gold Cup, the second day consisting of a Heavy Events competition, and the final day consisting of the very first ever international Old Time Strongman Challenge.  I will elaborate more on a later date on the OTSM and Heavy Events events in a blog, as today I want to stay focused on the Gold Cup.  John had a tremendous support group from his fellow Australian All Rounders to put on this event.  I know from my meet promotions that you can’t do it all by yourself – and how important it is to have help from others.  Peter Phillips really “stepped up” to help John.  Peter is a true warrior with the iron and besides being a great lifter, is a great person.  Peter competed ALL THREE DAYS, helped set up and tear down each day, hosted all of us at his house one night for an unbelievable Australian Barbie, took a day to join us for a tour of the farming country, loaded and officiated, and even celebrated his birthday amongst the weekend’s festivities!  Sam Trew has been a very involved lifter in IAWA events these past few years and worked hard “behind the scenes” setting up the competion venues.  Robin Lukosius kept everything organized and on schedule, as well as taking lots of pictures of the events (THANKS Robin for the photos!).  Others Australians very involved in this event were Anne Whitehead and the legendary John Patterson (I plan to do a story later on John).  I was glad to see other Australian lifters like Hercules Perryman, Bill Kappel,  Monica Cook, and others I’m sure I’m forgetting to mention.  The overall hospitality shown by the Australians was superb and way beyond expectations.

Injuries kept several out of the Gold Cup, but the lifting was outstanding. This was a true international event with the USAWA and the IAWA(UK) being in attendance with lifters competing.  My daughter Molly was the youngest lifter and performed great with her lifting. I was actually more nervous when she was on the platform than myself. She set new records in the Clean and Push Press with 55K, and then set the heaviest women’s Front Squat on the books with a 92.5K.  USAWA President Denny Habecker picked a difficult Gold Cup lift with the 2-Bar Deadlift, and after getting some balance issues out of the way in his warmups, lifted a solid 145K.   Veteran English lifter Steve Gardner again showed his strength with his fingers, lifting a big 100 KG in the Middle Fingers Straddle. Steve was busy all day with lifting and announcing the competition.  Karen Gardner looked really on good form with a big Continental Clean.  Graham Saxton rounded out the English crew, and showcased his pulling strength with a big dumbbell deadlift.  I got to spend alot of time over the week with Graham as we were all sharing a rental on a beach house.  Graham probably got more sun exposure than he has for years and kept getting redder as the week progressed.  By the end of our stay we were referring to him as BIG RED!

Peter Phillips breaking the oldest IAWA record on the books in the Feet in the Air Bench Press.  He broke a record held by Howard Prechtel which was set in 1989.

Peter Phillips breaking the oldest IAWA record on the books of all the lifters in the Feet in the Air Bench Press. He broke a record held by Howard Prechtel which was set in 1989.

Besides the Howard Prechtel Award, the Australians awarded a couple of special awards which I thought added a special local flare.  Peter Phillips won the Award for breaking the oldest IAWA record on the books with his fine 122.5K Bench Press with feet in air. This record breaking performance broke a mark previous held by a 1989 record of the late Howard Prechtel’s! The Gold Cup was the “brainchild” of Howard’s – and it gives me pleasure to see us recognize his memory every year with it. Records are meant to be broken – and I have always said if it means something to someone to break one of your records that even makes your record even more noteworthy. I’m sure Howard would have liked to see Peter take down this old record of his.   Also – a Wilf Chapman Award was given to the lifter who broke a record by the greatest percentage.  I knew Wilf when he was alive, and he was a dynamic personality.  I found this award to be fitting in his honor, as he was always complaining about the IAWA correction formulas!  The award went to Sam Trew with his record setting performance in the Left Hand Hacklift.

The Gold Cup concluded with a very fine banquet at the Belmont Recreational Center.  Much thanks and appreciation goes to those who prepared this fine meal. Great lifting – great food – great drink – great conversations – the true essence of the IAWA!


The Most Sexy Bald Men in IAWA


Just when you think the USAWA website has stooped to a new “all time low”, I try to take things a little deeper.  Thus today’s story. You know – our organization is loaded with bald lifters.  Several of these All-Round muscle-men got chrome-domes that radiate sexy.  It is a proven fact that baldness is a sign of vitality and virility (I think I read that in Mens Health…).   I have been known to shave my head for a big meet every now and then – just to give myself that extra BOOST of testosterone that comes from having a sweaty shiny crown!!!   I think is about time that these bald guys get a little recognition, so I conducted a survey of the MOST SEXY BALD MEN in IAWA.  Of course, I couldn’t make this decision by myself  so I assimilated a panel of women to make this big decision so it’s totally impartial on my part.  I collected pictures of all the good looking bald guys in IAWA and presented them to the panel to make a ranking.  I’m only going to reveal the TOP FIVE, but there were over 20 pictures entered.  Just in case you wondered – only lifters that have competed in the IAWA Gold Cup or the IAWA Worlds within the past 3 years were entered.  I’m keeping the identities of this panel a secret – as I don’t want them to get any complaints personally for not being picked,  or worse yet, words of passion  from a bald headed romeo.

Let the countdown begin to NUMBER ONE!!!

5.  Graham Saxton, ENGLAND

Graham Saxton

This burly built muscle bound man oozes sexyness from his shiny noggin.  I want to mention that Graham wasn’t always bald (I have pictures of him sporting a full head of hair and a beard!), but that was before he became handsome.  

4.  John Gardner, ENGLAND

John Gardner

I was somewhat surprised with Big John making the top five.   However, as one of the panelist remarked, “he looks like a big teddy bear to me”. Another lady said she would just love to rub his head, as she was sure it would bring her good luck.

3.  Chad Ullom, UNITED STATES

Chad Ullom

Chad was the only American to make the top five.  Comments from the panel ranged from, “he looks like a crazy man”, to “I bet he knows how to have fun”. 

2.  Andy Tomlin, SCOTLAND

Andy Tomlin

I expected Andy to make it to the top of this competition.  Andy has the perfect bald head – it’s perfectly shaped and it looks like he doesn’t even have to shave it!!  It’s always glossy.  I suspect that he waxes it. 

1.  Peter Phillips, AUSTRALIA

Peter Phillips

Peter didn’t just win the voting majority of the panel for top spot, he had TWICE as many votes as anyone else!  That makes Peter the SEXIEST BALD MAN IN IAWA.   I know Peter – and from what he has told me he is also quite the romantic.  When in Perth last year, he took several of us to this peaceful little stream outside of the city.  It was a beautiful quiet spot.  Peter told me, “this is the place I like to bring  a Sheila and enjoy a nice bottle of wine.”  I just know his perfected bald head probably helps out the romance.

CONGRATS to all bald men in IAWA!!! This is your day!!!!

COMING SOON FROM THE DINO MAN – the men in IAWA with the best hair!!

Steve Sherwood – the new WORLD CHAMP

by Al Myers

Steve Sherwood (left) receiving the OVERALL BEST LIFTER AWARD from meet director Peter Phillips (right). IAWA President Steve Gardner is in the center.

Last month at the IAWA World Championships in Perth, Australia a new World Champ was crowned.  The new champion, Steve Sherwood, is very deserving of this title.  Steve is an amazing lifter, and he sure doesn’t look his age.  He is listed at 60 years of age, but physically he doesn’t look a day over 35!  Steve hails from Hull, England and has been lifting his entire life.  Recently at the 2011 Gold Cup held in Burton, England Steve was inducted into the IAWA(UK) Hall of Fame.  I was honored to be able to be in attendance at this event.  Steve has a great all round lifting resume – but surprisingly this is his FIRST TIME being crowned the Best Overall Lifter at the World Championships.  He was third overall in 2010 in Glasgow, and third overall at the 1994 Championships in Burton.  Before that, he was second overall in the 1993 World Championships in Walpole, MA and 5th overall at the World’s in Twickenham, England.  You will notice that there has been a “break in the action” for Steve of several years of World Competition, but he has returned to the platform with the same success as when he left.   He has been close so many times to winning the overall, so I congratulate him on finally achieving this highest yearly honor in the IAWA.  The way he lifted in Australia I predict it won’t be the last of overall victories for him.  I really thought at the time that  his margin of victory (872 pts to my 793 pts for second place) might be the largest of All-Time in the IAWA World Championships, but after doing some research on this, I see that it is the THIRD largest margin of victory.  In 2008, Rick Meldon won by a margin of 85 points, and in 1995 Bob Hirsh won by a margin of 122 points.

On top of all Steve’s success as a lifter, he is one of the most modest guys I have ever met and a true sportsman. He is the perfect example of what a CHAMPION should be like. Congratulations Steve!

Australian All-Round Website

by Al Myers

ARWLWA President Peter Phillips was the Overall Best Lifter at the 2007 IAWA World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Recently the All-Round Weightlifting of Western Australia has launched a new website.   It has their up to date schedule, meet results, photos and even some preliminary details of the 2011 World All-Round Weightlifting Championships, which they will be hosting on November 19th and 20th, 2011 in Perth.

Website for All-Round Weightlifting Western Australia Incorporated

The current officers of the ARWLWA are:

President:  Peter Phillips

Secretary:  Justine Martin

Vice President:  Samuel Trew

Treasurer:  Robin Lukosius

Registrar:  Samuel Trew