Winter 2015 updates


Buckeye Barbell has gotten off to a fast start in 2015.  In the beginning of the year, several current and former club members went to Beyond Limits Training for an open house/PR day.


Club members Logan, Robert, John, Maria, Jenn, Suzanne plus big-man Tyreè at Beyond Limits Training


There, our treasurer Suzanne hit a 295×3 deadlift in prep for the Ohio Classic at the Arnold.

Also, our coach John Downing hit a 405 bench press, also in prep for the Arnold.

At the regular workouts, we’ve had many people come to learn proper technique on squat, bench, and deadlift.  Our club has grown by seven members already this semester.

Also, we’ve had five club members hit a 405 squat in just the last four days! Korey, Evan, David, Alex and Sam



In addition to the workouts, we’ve continued outreach to the Ohio powerlifting community.  We’ve gone to two HS powerlifting meets in the Springfield area to help spot, load and judge.


Club members David, Sam, Evan, Jenn, Norm, John, Korey, Alex and Albert after a high school meet.


Also, in the beginning of February, we hosted the Rec Sports Bench Press Clinic. Our coach, John Downing, led the clinic on bench form. The annual clinic is free and is open to all Ohio State students.


Club members Jenn, Pete, John and Maria, plus special guest Alex after the bench clinic.


Following that up, we hosted the annual Rec Sports Bench Press competition on February 22nd.  In addition to providing all of the judges, spotters and scorers, several club members also competed.

Here is Hannah benching 135:

And Brian benching 295:


Up next

This weekend, Logan, Maria, Suzanne and Chris are travelling to Allendale, MI for the USAPL “No Frills” competition.  Then, next Friday, John is lifting in the IPF raw challenge at the Arnold Sports Festival.  Then on Sunday March 8th, Suzanne and Pete are lifting in the Ohio Classic at the Arnold.  Also, many club members are acting as spotters/loaders for the IPF events throughout the entire weekend.  After the Arnold the club will be gearing up for the USAPL “Battle of the Great Lakes” meet in Cleveland on April 18th.  If you have any interest in competing at that meet with us, send the club an email.  The entry form and Facebook event for the Battle of the Great Lakes can be found under our “competition” tab.


As always, if you have any interest in participating in any of the events that we do, drop us an email at, or come to one of our workouts, which are on Sundays at noon at Jesse Owens South.

2014 USAPL Ohio State Meet


On Saturday, November 8th, Buckeye Barbell took a team of 12 competitors and 9 volunteers to the USAPL Ohio State Meet at Coffman YMCA in Dayton, Ohio. The team was coached by John Downing.

For the second consecutive year, Buckeye Barbell took first place in the team competition. In addition to the first place team award, Buckeye Barbell had many individual first and second place finishes, highlighted by Matt Guzik placing first among all male juniors and Sean Moser capturing first place in the men’s 198lb open division.  Alex McQuillen set a state record squat in the T3 division. View the full results here. 

Name Division Weight Squat Bench Deadlift Total
Suzanne Witt 165 Open 163 231 121 303 655
Binh Nguyen 132 Jr 131 265 176 220 661
Alex McQuillen 148 Teen 3 147 347 231 424 1003
Evan Byrne 165 Open 163 391 248 402 1040
Pete Fischer 181 Teen 3 176 407 270 534 1210
Matt Guzik 181 Jr 176 490 298 568 1356
Korey Kunze 181 Open 179 375 231 441 1047
Sean Moser 198 Jr 195 441 364 573 1377
Shawn Stickley 198 Jr 192 474 270 518 1262
Logan Awwiller 198 Open 190 370 265 446 1080
Abe Chevlen 220 Jr 201 391 259 480 1130
Jason Tiemeier SHW Open 306 518 325 579 1422


2014 USAPL Raw Nationals

Three club members, Matt Guzik, Hannah Ghindea and John Downing, traveled to Denver, CO this year for USAPL Raw Nationals. Matt was trying to qualify for the Raw Challenge at the Arnold (which requires a 425 Wilks) and came extremely close, just barely missing a deadlift that he had gotten before. Hannah was trying to place well in the 138 Junior division, but at the last minute ended up switching to the 158 weight class. Both Matt and Hannah ended up placing 5th in their respective divisions. John Downing was looking to contend for the Men’s 183 Open title but ended up placing 4th, although he totaled just 2.5 kg shy of the second place finisher and he improved his total substantially from his performance at the Arnold.

Name Division Weight Squat Bench Deadlift Total
Hannah Ghindea 158 Junior 151 237 143 347 728
Matt Guzik 183 Junior 170 480 298 540 1317
John Downing 183 Open 180 579 375 573 1528

full results

Here’s Matt’s video (I did not edit this visual masterpiece)

and here’s Hannah’s last deadlift

2014 Battle of the Great Lakes Meet

Sorry for the delay getting this out…

On April 12th, 2014 Buckeye Barbell competed at the USAPL Battle of the Great Lakes in Copley, Ohio. Buckeye Barbell sent eighteen lifters, seven of which were competing in their first powerlifting meet. Buckeye Barbell won the overall team award (which included beating Purdue) and had many first place individual finishes. Some highlights include Hannah Ghindea sweeping the Junior Ohio State records, Matt Guzik totaling over 1300 lbs and achieving a 400 Wilks and Pete Fischer deadlifting 485 at just 18 years old and 175 lbs bodyweight. Everyone’s results are shown in the table below and the full meet results can be found here (download).

Some of as the end with our team victory sword

Name Division Weight Squat Bench Deadlift Total
Hannah Ghindea 165 Jr 151 235 135 320 690
Suzanne Witt 165 Open 161 185 110 285 580
Dmitry Tumin 165 Open 162 430 215 490 1135
Robert O’Brien 165 Open 165 320 220 395 935
Pete Fischer 181 Teen 3 175 340 240 485 1065
Jim Elli 181 Teen 3 174 315 260 435 1010
Matt Guzik 181 Open 174 465 290 565 1320
Mike George 181 Open 179 415 265 490 1170
Evan Byrne 181 Open 172 375 250 410 1035
Korey Kunze 181 Open 174 335 220 375 930
Sean Moser 198 Jr 188 430 345 555 1330
Troy DeWitt 198 Open 197 320 275 445 1040
Abe Chevlen 220 Jr 200 390 265 465 1120
Jacob Lindley 220 Jr 200 360 280 430 1070
Logan Awwiller 220 Jr 204 355 265 445 1060
Tim Struve 220 Open 219 410 335 525 1270
AJ Dawes 242 Teen 3 236 525 300 500 1325
Jason Tiemeier SHW Open 292 455 305 565 1325

In addition to sending competitors, Buckeye Barbell also had multiple volunteers on hand. Corey Sayer, Andy Hingsbergen, Shawn Stickley, Rachel Tumin, Victora Liang and John Downing volunteered the entire day (which was about 7am-9pm) helping with handling lifters, managing warm ups, recording videos, etc, so big thanks to them.

Just some posing while the rest of us were stuffing our faces

Just some posing while the rest of us were stuffing our faces

The next big meet on the club’s radar is the USAPL Ohio State meet, sometime in the beginning of November, which is the qualifier for the push-pull meet at the Arnold. We’re looking to finally break the 20 lifter mark in terms of club participation, so make sure your training is going well and keep an eye out for more announcements regarding that.

Suzanne and Hannah

Suzanne and Hannah and… John

Raw Challenge and Ohio Invitational at the Arnold Sports Festival

This past weekend, we had seven club members compete in the USAPL events at the Arnold Sports Festival.

Starting Strength Pro Raw Challenge

Name Division Weight Squat Bench Deadlift Total
Victoria Liang 138 lb Jr 132 270 171 364 805
John Downing 183 lb Open 179 579 336 551 1466

Next Lifter Ohio Invitational

Name Division Weight Bench Deadlift Total
Laurie Gooden 165 Open 163 176 314 491
Matt Guzik 181 Open 172 270 535 805
Shawn Stickley 181 Jr and Open 178 276 529 805
Alex Cramer 198 Open 193 298 518 816
Tim Struve 220 Open 200 303 507 810

View the full results. 

We also supplied loaders and spotters for all of the USAPL events at the Arnold. These are Buckeye Barbell members spotting Mike Tuchscherer as he broke the IPF world records at 120 kg.

Requirements for volunteering at the Arnold include paying club dues, spotting/loading at a high school or intramural competition, and meet experience. In return, our volunteers received free admission to the expo, t-shirts, food, and a chance to watch world records being broken from just a few inches away.

USAPL No Frills Meet 02-22-2014

Name Division Weight Squat Bench Deadlift Total
Paul Erney 165 Raw Open 163 225 180 350 755
Dmitry Tumin 165 Raw Open 159 420 220 490 1130
Logan Awwiller 198 Raw Open 198 365 275 440 1080
A.J. Dawes 275 Raw Open 253 565 340 525 1430

The 2014 powerlifting season kicked off with four club members competing in USAPL Michigan‘s No Frills meet. The club lifters combined to make 34 of 36 attempts and break ten PRs. Up next, the club will be competing in the USAPL Battle of the Great Lakes on April 12 in Copley, OH. For a link to the entry form, please see our Competition page.

Full results coming soon.

The Road to the Arnold Sports Festival

This year, Buckeye Barbell will have seven members competing in USA Powerlifting events at the Arnold Sports Festival.

At the Raw Challenge on Friday from 8 am to 7 pm, we’ll have:

  • John C. Downing in the 83 kg open division and
  • Victoria Liang in the 63 kg junior division.

At the Ohio Classic on Sunday from noon to 3 pm, we’ll have

  • Laurie Gooden in the 63 kg open division,
  • Shawn Stickley in the 83 kg open and junior division,
  • Matt Guzik in the 83 kg open division,
  • Timothy J. Struve in the 93 kg open division, and
  • Alex Cramer in the 93 kg open division.

Here are some members’ thoughts and goals for the upcoming meet.

Tim Struve:

Despite previously competing in the 220 lb weight class, I am trying to cut to 198.

I think I can do it, but it’s difficult. My goals are to bench 360+ and to dead lift 550+ and I’ve been lifting four days per week consistently.

Shawn Stickley:

Training has been consistent but intense, and I have hit new PRs in the past few weeks. I started a new overtrain method with bands and other grueling workouts. It’s only been 9 months since I first competed in August and I have only been powerlifting since November of 2012. I’m excited to be competing one of the biggest stages in the country and I’m looking to hit a 300 lb bench and a 585-600 lb deadlift.

John Downing:

“No Citizen has a right to be an amateur In the matter of physical training….What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” – Socrates


My road to the Arnold seems to be an uphill battle. Training is training as always, but taking baby steps into my first full year of the adult world of work has thrown a wrench into everything. With that being said, I firmly believe in no excuses and though I have multiple priorities, my drive to get stronger has never been higher. I strive, as the quote says, to see what my body is capable of every day. Whether it is in the classroom or under the bar, I push myself to the extreme. Training for the Arnold has been a long process of adjusting numbers and training maxes. The greatest thing I have taken into consideration is the worth of volume and consistency. My last three cycles of my training program have worked off the same training max. I specifically did this in an attempt to hit higher volume and create a consistent platform of strength within my lifting until I am two weeks out from the Arnold. My goals are sky high going up against the best American 181. Who’s to say I cannot take him down? I will be opening in the kilo close equivalent to 550 on squat, 335 on bench, and 550 on deadlift giving me a nice 1435 total from just my openers and a planed finish around 1575. You do the math I will be making some pre-planned and strategic jumps. And as always no citizen has the right to be an amateur……


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