Much of the response to the Eleiko USA retrospective that I’ve penned to date has come from younger lifters. I’m including anyone under the age of forty and from this younger generation of media-saturated lifters, their primary observation, question, and source of amazement is that they believe “everyone trained the same” or close to it in “my day.” The truth is that in the 1960’s in powerlifting’s early years, there would be one individual or small group of trainees who had a major influence on the training of others in a particular town, city, state, or region. Their “style” or approach to training would very much be “the way” it was done and comparisons of methodology throughout the country did demonstrate a relatively limited approach to increasing the squat, bench press, and deadlift. This should not be viewed as a negative comment because it’s actually positive!
When this series of articles began more than a year and a half ago, its purpose was to give ardent powerlifters information with an historical bent, and focus upon the development of powerlifting equipment through the growth of the sport. As Titan Support Systems continues to distribute Eleiko barbells, plates, and collars, the initial intent remains the same. However, the articles have ranged far and wide much to the satisfaction of most readers and will at some point, even wander into what should properly be termed “powerlifting attire.” I am of course referring to lifting suits, shirts, and wraps, items that younger lifters might surprisingly now learn did not exist until the late 1970’s. In a rare find, note below the circa early 1980’s photo, as hazy as it might be, of Titan Support Systems founder Pete Alaniz and myself. Often assumed to be brothers or cousins despite the minimal resemblance between us, Pete and I have been friends for decades. Note that Pete is far better looking and obviously more intelligent but that I carry a little more muscle within the same weight class!
One of the enjoyable aspects of writing this series of articles for Pete Alaniz and Titan Support Systems is the feedback and correspondence generated from lifters I have not seen nor heard from in decades. My inauspicious career in strength related competition, one limited to and marked by a few local titles and a lot of enthusiastic participation in close to one hundred contests over a twenty-five-plus year period, allowed for contact with many individuals. My monthly column in Powerlifting USA Magazine and numerous articles that appeared there and in all of the major muscle building publications from 1969 through the present day, always kept me “in touch” with what was going on. Yet, some of the men and women who have been taken with this current series of articles have brought back even more memories.
As usual, there was plenty of feedback from the previous installment of this series of articles. Superb and highly respected Brooklyn-based lifter Pat Susco noted some of his early recollections in our e mail exchange:
Pat Suscoo writes:
“another masterpiece!… I remember using a “Corbin-Gentry” chest supported seated row in the first gym I ever trained at (after Vito`s basement of course) …Community Health Club in Queens”
If there was a consistent factor to odd lifting and powerlifting in the early to mid-1960’s, it was inconsistency. Even the equipment, as I’ve noted in our previous installments, varied from contest to contest and one could never be certain that the announced weight on the bar was in fact, close to the actual weight. Many know Pete Alaniz as “the Titan guy” and perhaps now, “the Eleiko guy” but few will recall that Pete was a competitive lifter. Coming from Corpus Christi, Texas he was, as expected, directly linked to the two biggest names from the region, names that old timers will recognize as being among the best in the sport. Paul Barbee is considered by most to be the “Father Of Powerlifting” in that part of Texas, a gentleman who started the careers of dozens of high level lifters. Rick Gaugler was among the best in his class through a good part of the 1980′s and Pete knew both, trained with both, and was influenced by both. Thus Pete’s history in powerlifting does not go back nearly as far as mine because he’s quite a bit younger but he has plenty of history under his belt.
The Alaniz family are true American pioneers in the field of innovating and manufacturing Powerlifting and Strength products.Since 1981, they have played a leading role in the development of equipment and the growth of the sport through sponsorships and contributions. Pete Alaniz was awarded the prestigious Brother Bennett award from the USAPL in 2006. ×
Since 1981, Titan Support Systems Inc has been leading the charge in innovation and craftsmanship of Powerlifting and Strength products.
Each product we innovate undergoes a lengthy research and development process.
We have a dedicated team of product engineers and our products are tried and tested by leading strength athletes across the globe.×
Our belts, singlets, wraps and equipped gear are proudly manufactured in the United States.
In spite of the pressures of globalism resulting in mass importation of low cost and poor quality imports from Pakistan, our brand has remained firm in it's commitment to manufacturing quality products in our home state of Texas.
Our products enshrine the true values of the American heartland - handwork, dedication, commitment and pride in work.
Titan Support Systems Inc is the embodiment of the American dream, which is only made possible due to the loyalty of our customers.×
We proudly boast the largest range of IPF Approved products.
As the first adopter of the "IPF Approved" accreditation scheme, we remain committed to approving all of our products that fall within IPF regulations.