MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Location: file:///C:/AF5C12D3/zAutobiographyBobStruass.htm Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" Autobiography


I was born Aug 20,1953= in New York City as the only child of Richard and Evelyn Strauss. We moved to Buffalo N.Y. when I was 5 and to Charlotte N.C. when I was 12. I had been an un-athletic child and then when I was 12 fell, damaging a knee permanently and suffered= a severe broken leg within a few months. Between ages 12 and 15 I was very sm= all, weak and un-athletic, often being teased in gym class by the other kids. Be= ing small for my age did not help either. Also I felt different from other kids= and was moody at times keeping this and poor self esteem and kept to my self. In the 1960 such illnesses as depression were rarely diagnosed or treated. What was interesting was that my third grade teacher noticed something and recommended that I take up a sport.

My earliest exposure to weightlifting was watching the 1964 Olympics on TV. how I wanted to be like that ! As a youth= I saw vitamin ads and wanted to be like those guys in the ads. I wanted to ta= ke vitamins or do something to get strong and athletic. My left knee was weak = and would pop out of socket too on occasions. Oh how I wanted to be like those musclemen. In gym class I was often humiliated by my lack of athleticism, b= ut found out that if I worked at something I could succeed.<= /p>

In 10th grade , that class I al= ways hated came to my rescue. In gym class there were two areas, one for lifting weights and one for jumping rope and we rotated between them. I was too "uncoordinated" to jump rope and did not rotate and stayed in lif= ting area. The barbells were arranged from the lightest to the heaviest. Coach W= att Burris had a nice routine for us which included some of the Olympic lifts. I soon went from the lightest to the heaviest and realized lifting weights was something I could do. I also wanted to get in shape for wrestling and this would help.

I had been asking my parents for weights f= or some time and finally on my 16th birthday my father took me to K-Mart and bought me a 110 lb set. We took it home and I put it all on and = to my horror I could hardly lift it off the ground. I knew what I had to do and then and put 45 lbs on the set and began working out in my back yard after school using Coach Burris' workout. Soon I was using 65 lbs. This was my 11= th grade year and soon the other kids were noticing a difference in me. I did = not try out for wrestling but would faithfully train in my back yard weather permitting and once lifted 11 days in a row. That winter I didn't train muc= h, but as the weather warmed I trained with renewed vigor. I weighed about 125= and began to lower my weight and solidify myself to about 120 so I could wrestl= e in a lower class or lift in the 123 lb class. My mom soon bought me more weigh= ts as I outgrew the 110 lb set. The last day of school of the 11th grade I came home and lifted 130 over my head , more than I weighed, and fe= lt good about myself.

That summer I lifted regularly and began training more exclusively on the Olympic lifts. My senior year of High Scho= ol started. Soon I could military press 140, snatch 115 and jerk 155 at 118 lb= s. In addition I could curl 130 and front squat 130 for 15 reps. I felt like a rock. I was ready to go out for wrestling, but my knee popped out of socket again and my wrestling hopes were gone. My father and I were talking and he said to me "why don't you become a weight lifter.?

Now I realized where I was headed. I looke= d in the Guiness book of World Records and saw that a 123 lb man Fernando Baez h= ad pressed 270 overhead and I was doping only 140! But that inspired me ! And = soon I saw a picture of Vasili Alexeyev lifting 500 overhead. Now I wanted to be= a weightlifter!!! I did go out for wrestling, but as a manager. It was here t= hat I met Coach Bruce Hardin the team coach, who to this day I consider my only true coach. I watched how the wrestlers trained and learned how to be an athlete by watching them. How hard they worked inspired me. I kept up my training and by the end of my senior year could military press 160, snatch = 130 and clean and jerk 175. In addition I could deadlift over 250 at 123lbs at = age 17 in a gym competition.

In the fall of 1971 I went to N.C. State University and hoped there would be a weightlifting team I could lift on, instead there was a club of about a half dozen people, with more interest in powerlifting. I joined and within a few weeks lifted in a power meet. I squatted 185, benched 145, and deadlifted 255 at 128 bwt. In the spring of 1972, I went to a meet in Warr= enton N.C. and met lifters like D= on Long, Red Swaim, R.L. Gurley, Byron Swain, Gene Neal, and Bobby Pugh. How I wanted to be one of that elite group! The first two years I found myself placing last most of the time, but I knew my days would come if I stuck to = it long enough and worked hard. In addition to lifting I helped find and train= new lifters. Due to the right circumstances, some of the best lifters of all ti= mes in NC were in our club as it grew. Ernest Morrison, John Holladay, LeBaron Carruthers, Bill Bellucci, Don Harris, Joe Destefano, John Strider, Robin Smith, Terry Stutts, and many more. At last I had a good team of lifters to= be part of and was getting good myself. My first love was Olympic Lifting, but= I competed more in powerlifting as there were a lot more meets. I had started= out with weak legs and now I was a good squatter and did 405 at 148 and 450 at = 165 without any of today's equipment. I won a few big meets eventually and fini= shed out those days by clean and jerking 300 at 161 bwt.

In 1977 Don Harris opened a gym for us in = Raleigh and those= of us who graduated and stuck around had a place to train. I decided it was time = to concentrate on powerlifting and gain weight. Bill Bellucci had always told = me I'd be best at 198 , so I started gaining. In 1976, I won the All-South at = 165 in Olympic Lifting, and won the All-South again in 1977 as a 181 powerlifte= r, and in 1979 squatted 595 for my first state record at a time when there was only one organization. In 1980 I got my first 600 squat and 400 bench on the same day at 209 bwt. I would now stay over 200 lbs. When the gym closed I bought some of the weights and kept lifting in a small gym of my own. The little guy inside me kept wanting to get bigger, so I moved into the 242 lb class. My lifts didnt go up too much , I did manage to squat 630 at 220. I = just liked the feeling of being big. When my father passed away in 1986, I moved back to Charlotte<= /st1:City> and resumed lifting in 1988 as a 242 and now added 275's In 1990 my depress= ion began to take it's toll and I gradually dropped out of lifting. That spring= I also began treatment for OCD ( obcessive -compulsive disorder) and major depression and received treatment and medication which I still take. I was = also advised to stop lifting by one of my doctors. I was 35 at the time and I fe= lt even though I had not completed my goals, I had done my time.

As I made it into my 40's, I thought littl= e of lifting. My hobby was High Power Model Rocketry. I was nationally known for= my Rockets and even appeared on a video by noted rocketeer and stuntman Ky Michaelson. I looked back on my lifting very infrequently but realized that= I had unfinished business. I had never coached a top champion lifter or had b= een one myself. One day after a rocket launch, I finally started talking about lifting again with a young rocketeer Nathan Desloge. He was interested in lifting and at 44 I was getting rather out of shape. My father had died prematurely due to circulatory problems and I did not want to go the same route. On my 45 th birthday we got a gym membership and started training. We soon entered a meet and I knew I was back. I coached Nathan to National and World Championships and he set records. I soon set AAU National and world records and obtained the title of World Champion. I must admit that title is more frequent these days, but as they say "if the shoe fits' wear it&q= uot; and I'll gladly wear it! Our big day was in 2001 just weeks after 911 , whe= n we flew to Puerto Rico and both won out div= isions at the AAU worlds at the same time. I felt my goals were being met. Since t= hen Nathan has left the sport , and I have continued to set records. The 242 and 275 lb classes give me the opportunity to bulk up and train down. My top performances include a raw squat of 535 at age 47 at 242 , 555 equipped at = 242 at 48, and a 400 bench with a shirt at 50.

The places I have had in the sport can bes= t be described as lifter, coach, official, and promoter. I best can be described as a stea= dy lifter during the 70's and 80's and a top masters lifter of the late 90's a= nd beyond. I best describe myself as having lifted in 8 weight classes, having gone from 132 to 275 (more than any other adult lifter) and being the only adult N.C. lifter who has successfully made the transition from a featherwe= ight to a heavyweight. I want to point this out to show that it is possible for = one to gain a significant amount of size and strength from this sport. Also I w= ant to point out that if there are any people who are either small of stature, weak, or unathletic or who have a need to prove themselves, this is the spo= rt. It is also the sport for those who wish to stay young as long as they possi= bly can.

Bob Strauss



Bob Strauss Best Performances

Best Lifts High School Years (Simulated Me= et Conditions)

Military Press 162.5 lbs @ 123

Snatch 132.5 lbs @ 123

Clean and Jerk 177.5 @ 123<= span style=3D'color:#003366'>

Bench Press 130 @ 123

Deadlift 270 @123

Straight bar Curl 130 @ 123=

Best Official Olympic Lifts :

205 Snatch 270 Clean and Jerk at 1= 48 ...1974

230 Snatch 300 Clean and Jerk at 165...1976 at 161 bwt

235 Snatch 305= Clean and Jerk at heavier bwt

Best Powerlifts:

Wt Class Squat Bench Press Deadlift Total

132 240 (1972) 165(1972) 320(1972) 725(1972)

148 405(1975) 240(1975) 425(1975) 1065(1975)

165 450(1976) 285(1976) 460(1974) 1185(1976)

181 520(1977) 335(1977) 490(1977) 1345(1977)

198 595(1979) 385(1979) 525(1978) 1445(1978)

220 630(1985) 400(1980) 530(1980) 1530(1980)

242 625(1982) 391(1982) 529(1982) 1530(1982)

275 570(1989) 400 (2003) 505(1989) 1445(1989)

Best Raw Lifts :

All bench presses prior to 1989 we= re done raw and squats 165 and down were done with only ace bands and no suits= .

Bench Press Raw performances ( all done in 3 lift meets)

165 @ 132 ... 240@ 148...... 285@ 165.....335@181......385@198

***400 at 205 bwt 1980***

Best Raw Squat 535 at age 47 and 2= 39 bwt 2001

Best Training sets :

Squat 555X5 done several times, 50= 5X10 at 260 bwt (1999)

460X10 raw (1999) and 405X20 (2002= age 49)

Bench 370X3 raw (1980) and 300X10 = done with pauses

Misc Best:

Barbell Curl 130 X 2 at 120 bwt (1970)<= /o:p>

Power snatch 210 (1975) @165 bwt

Power clean 275X5 (1977)

Standing Push press 295X 3 (1977)<= /span>

Clean and Press overhead 265 (1980= ) and 225X8 many occasions=

Standing Dumb= ell Press 70's X10 reps (2003)<= /span>

Flat Dumbell<= /span> bench on Stability ball 100's for 13 (2003)

12" box squat raw 455X3 (2002= )


Bob Strauss

Championships Won /Important meets/Records

1971 Sept Central Prison Invitational = First meet

185 Squat 145 Bench press 255 deadlift 585 total at 128lbs at age 18

1975 : Palmetto Open Powerlifting 148lb Div....First Pl.

405 Squat 230 Bench 425 Deadlift 1060 Total=

1975 N.C. State Olympic Lifting 165lb Div. First Pl.<= /st1:address>

210 Snatch 260 Clean and Jerk 470 = Total<= /span>

1975 National Collegiate Olympic championships 165lb Class 5th Place

226 Snatch and 286lb Clean and jer= k

1976 N.C. State Olympic Lifting 165lb Div. First.Pl

215 Snatch 300 Clean and Jerk 515 = total

1976 Winston Salem Region III First Pl 165lb Div

230 Snatch 290 Clean and Jerk 520 = Total<= /span>

1977 N.C. State Olympic Lifting 220 lb <= st1:address w:st=3D"on">Class First PL

235 Snatch 305= Clean and Jerk

1977 All South Po= werlifting Championships 181lb Class = First Pl

520 squat 335Bench press 490 lb deadlift. 1345 lb total

1979 March Set State Record Squat = of 595 in 198 lb div.

1980 Squatted 600 with 400 bench at 20= 9 bwt (no bench shirt)

1985 Highest Squat ever 630 at 215 bwt.

1998 Dec N.C.Powe= rlifting Championships

500 squat 315 Bench for N.C. Maste= rs Records 242lb class 45-49 Div

1999 May 550 Squat 335 Bench and 1350 = total at 242 State Records 242lb class 45-49 Div.

2000 Dec 530 Squat 315 Bench Press 515= deadlift Raw at 100% Raw World Championships first Pl= ace 242 lb Div.

2001 AAU World Championships Mayaguez Puerto-Rico

First Pl 275 lb Wt.Class 45-49 lb div.

505 Raw Squat 330 Bench and 1325 total World Records

2002 World Qualifier 555 squat 345 bench at 242 NC Records 45-49 div.

2002 AAU World Championships First Pl 242 lb Div 45-49 lb Div.

2003 400 lb Bench Press at Iron Boy Meet at age 50

2003 AAU. World Championships First Pl 275lb Class = 50-54 lb div.

501 Squat 376 = world Record Bench Press 463 deadlift.<= span style=3D'font-size:16.0pt;color:#003366'> All NC Record= s.


Meets Frequented:

Central Prison Inv. 1971,1972,1973= ,1975

High Point State Meet : 1973,1974, 1975, 1977,197= 9, 1980,1989

All-South : 1974, 1977, 1978, 1982

Southern Open: 1974, 1977

Hopewell Virginia<= /st1:State>: 1975, 1977

Winston-Salem Olympic 1973, 1974,1975 Twice, 1976 Twice, 1977

Lynchburg Va. 1977, 1978

Palmetto Open: 1975, 1976

Palmetto Open Bench 1979,1980<= /span>

Wilmington Open 1980,198= 1,1982

Charlotte ADFPA 1988, 1989<= span style=3D'color:#003366'>

Monroe AAU State Meet 1998, 1999, 2003

Elizabeth City<= /st1:PlaceName> 1999, 2000 Twice, 2001

Richmond AAU 2002, 2003

...and training for the next meet !!!!