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ASL Interview with Steve Pulcinella

An Interview with Mr. Pulcinella
Held on January 31, 1998

ASL: First could you share with us some statistical information such as your measurements, your best lifts (squat, bench, deadlift, total, Olympic press, clean and jerk, snatch, 56 pound weight toss for height, etc.)?

Steve: I am 6'1" and weigh 295 pounds my best lifts are: squat-755, bench-495, dead-725, power hang clean-405, power hang snatch-310 all in pounds. I throw the 56lb for height-17'6".

ASL: Would you care to share with American Strength Legends some biographical information about yourself?

Steve: I am 32 years old. I live just outside Philadelphia PA. I started lifting at about 13 years old. At first, I concentrated on gaining size and bodybuilding. Then, I powerlifted for 7 or 8 years. Then, I started doing strongman and highland games contests. I have been married for 10 years and I have 2 daughters.

ASL: Tell me about your gym. The entire concept fascinates me. How and why did you establish IronSport Gym?

Steve: I guess I always wanted to own my own gym. When I visited Dr. Ken Liestner's Iron Island gym in NY he sort of inspired me. So, my brother Joe and I pooled our money together and purchased some monstrous equipment and Iron Sport gym was born in August of 1995. Another difference in our gym is it is a 24 hr a day key club. So guys can come in anytime they want.

ASL: I must admit that I know little about the Scottish Highland Games except for the events I've tried (and I use that term loosely) with you, the ones seen on the WSM, and the stuff on the website. Would you care to tell me a little about it?

Steve: The Scottish Highland games are a very old tradition in Scotland and are fast becoming a highly competitive sport in many countries especially here in the US. It consists of 7 throwing events: the Stone put, the 56 pound weight for distance, the 28 pound for distance, the hammer toss, the caber toss, the sheaf toss and 56 pound for height. It's a sport for very big and strong men, but men of all sizes have done well, it's all about skill.

ASL: Could you tell me about your Scottish Highland Games experience?

Steve: I'm really not that experienced yet as far as our sport goes, but I'm just sort of gaining some international success. I started doing the games in 1994 as an amateur and turned pro in 1995. In the 1997 season I did about 15 games and I plan to add a couple more in 1998.

ASL: Have you ever been to Scotland? Do you plan on going?

Steve: No, never been there, but I have to sometime. Everybody wants to say they have tossed cabers in Scotland.

ASL: I have read that you are close to setting the record in the 56 pound weight toss for height. When is your next opportunity to go for it?

Steve: Being close to setting the record and setting the record are two different things, but I am in double secret training to break it this season. My first games this season will be in May and I'll go for it anytime I feel like I'm having a good day and the weight feels good to me. Remember the record is held by Ben Plucknet at 18'3" and I think Kaz and Manfred Hoeberl also claim to have done 18'3" so if I can break the record I would be in some awesome company.

ASL: Could you tell me about your WSM experience? If invited would you ever compete in the WSM again?

Steve: It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I just wish I could have done better because I really am better than what I showed there, but that's how it goes. I don't think, if I was invited again, I would go, because I'm really into the Highland Games now and it's a lot less punishing to train for than strongman contests.

ASL: Who were your heroes when you were growing up?

Steve: I always admired powerful people like football players when I was little. When I started lifting I kind of took to the guys who had impressive physiques like Doug Young, Kaz, Ken Patera, Pisarenko and Brian Derwin.

ASL: I know that you are a drug-free competitor and I admire your stance, but do you ever have second doubts?

Steve: I can honestly say that I have never considered juicing, not because I'm on some kind of high horse or I'm a health fanatic or something, but probably because It would be one more thing I would have to worry about. Every time I got sick or every time I get hurt, I would have to wondering, is it the drugs I've been taking? I don't like taking any kind of medicine even when I'm sick.

ASL: Have you ever thought of going back to powerlifting or trying to qualify for the Olympics?

Steve: No, I won't be going back to powerlifting, and I think people are fooling themselves thinking that powerlifting will be in the Olympics. I mean, they have been talking about getting rid of weightlifting from the Olympics for a couple years. What makes these people think that the IOC is going to put powerlifting in. By the way, I'm a much bigger fan of Olympic weightlifting than I am of powerlifting. I think they are the greatest athletes in the world.

ASL: Is there any special message that you would like to give to your many, many fans?

Steve: Jeez, I didn't know I had many, many fans...I would just say, feel free to come over and say "hi" if you see us at the games.

ASL: When I first met you, we had a conversation about ESPN's Extreme Games. I thought it was funny. Tell me again about how frustrated you are that the Highland Games don't get any coverage and parachute gliding, converted snow shovel racing, and the other made up sports get a lot.

Steve: It just seems kind of funny to me that with all the quality sports going on around the word each week (i.e. Highland Games, track and field, weightlifting and strongman contests) why does ESPN have to go out and invent these lame sports to show all the time? Extreme games my ass! Those guys in those sports are a bunch of humps, show some world class shot-putters and tell me that isn't extreme! Believe me, over in Europe they show a lot of strength sports on TV, but our country is so hung up on steroids that they are afraid to show it too much I guess.

ASL: Thanks a lot.

Steve: Thanks Justin.

Other Great Interviews with Mr. Pulcinella

Bill Henderson of the World's Strongest Man Site Interviews Pulcinella

BodyTech Fitness Science Interview with Steve Pulcinella