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Cillo Breaks PA Deadlift Record – Again!

Cillo Breaks PA Deadlift Record – Again!

Well, it happened again, sort of. Local legend Tom Cillo, strongman, supervisor of Williamsport Streets and Parks, and all-around nice guy, broke the PA State Deadlift Record again. Tom and I go way back to our training and powerlifting days at the YMCA and my gym, MAX Fitness, so when I heard he came out of retirement to compete as a Master Lifter, I reached out to get the details.

For those who don’t know, powerlifting allows three attempts of the squat, bench press, and deadlift. There are very specific criteria for each event, and approximately 20 organizations that promote powerlifting competitions to date. Relevant to this article, the deadlift is a simple, yet brutally difficult event that requires the lifter to pull a barbell from a “dead” position on the floor to a standing hold, then lowered back to the floor with control.

Dave: Tom, we both retired from powerlifting a long time ago. What made you want to come out of retirement?

Tom: As you well know, we competed together over 20 years ago, and for some reason, I felt the itch to come out of retirement and get back in the ring. I signed up for a meet in Philly back in March and was told it was a sanctioned IPA meet. (Sanctioning means that a competition meets certain requirements for the purposes of being official and setting records.) So, I went and set the state deadlift record for the 55 to 59 age group (220 lb. class) with a lift of 530 lbs., breaking the previous mark of 505. A few weeks later, I received an email stating my state record was not recognized because it was not a sanctioned meet.

So, after I decided that this news was a bunch of BS, I signed up for Pennsylvania states, which I knew was a sanctioned meet. I went there this past Sunday (Nov. 19th) to York Barbell and set the Pennsylvania State record at 540 pounds. Pennsylvania is one of the premier powerlifting states in the nation and where better to break records than the Mecca of powerlifting, York Barbell. After I set the state mark, I attempted to break the IPA world record of 580 pounds. I attempted a lift of 582 1/2 pounds and had it off the floor, but I just couldn’t quite finish the lift.

If I’m being honest, I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t get that world record. But I’m not short on confidence. I know there are certain areas I can work on, and there’s no doubt in my mind I have the ability to break that world record. And when I do get that record, all of Raider Nation is going to rejoice with me.

Dave: Speaking of Raider Nation (Die-hard fans of the Las Vegas Raider football team), since you brought it up, I am reminded of a story of you and former raider coach and owner Al Davis. Please, please, please tell this story to my readers.

Tom: Years ago, I went to the Pro Football Hall of Fame to see Howie Long get inducted. My favorite Raider of all time. This stretch limo pulls up, and Al Davis gets out. I couldn’t get near him, but later in the day, I saw a woman with a name tag on saying Carol Davis, and she looked really, really old. I didn’t know her but knew she must be related to Al, so I had my buddy turn his video recorder on. I go up and say, ‘Excuse me, are you Al Davis’s mother?’ Response? ‘No honey, I’m his wife.’ Open mouth, insert foot. The woman with her wanted to kill me.

Dave: Tom, you have and always will be a class act, even if you happen to occasionally insult the spouse of a sports legend. I have no doubt you will break the IPA World Deadlift record and I would very much like you to keep my readers and I posted.