November Featured Athlete: Steve Mann

November Featured Athlete: Steve Mann

Nov 2, 2012

All About Steve Mann


Click Here For: Steve Mann Poster PDF


Hometown: Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania
Lives: Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania
Weight Class: 120 KG / 264

@ 120 KG /264 Body Weight
*Squat:*837.7 LB / 380 KG
*Bench Press:*633.8 LB / 287.5 KG
*Deadlift:*678 LB / 307.5 KG
*Total:*2127.5 LB / 965 KG

How Steve got into powerlifting, why he loves it, and what motivates him.

I began Powerlifting in the ninth grade, my High School had it’s own Powerlifting team and coach Claude Welcome. We didn’t have more than 20 lifters on the team but the quality was very high. I was not the best Powerlifter even at my high school. There was a guy ahead of me three years named Drew Young, who squatted over 500 pounds and bench over three hundred pounds at 17 years of age. I didn’t compete in an organizational powerlifting in High School, no ADFPA, AAU, USPF, etc. We had enough local and regional Powerlifting where it was $30 for an event, which included your t-shirt.

What does it mean for Steve to be DRUG-FREE?

When I started lifting competitively as a freshman in High School, I was blissfully ignorant to drugs.  I stayed that way for quite some time. Looking back there were athletes who trained at the gym, who had many telling signs, but again I was pretty naive to the whole thing. I was glad to keep that ignorance for quite some time. I played football, ran track and powerlifted, I did both pretty well and didn’t consider drugs.

Late in High School and in College I became more aware of performance enhancing drugs and pretty much decided that it wasn’t something I thought was necessary to compete. My personality is more of lifting with what God gave me and being Powerlifting is an amateur sport, putting things in my body to enhance my performance chemically, I just don’t see the value in it.

On several occasions I’ve been around athletes who have chosen a different routes with drugs. I believe for me being drug free is my route and I am proud of that. But in the same respect, I am not saying athletes who take performance enhancing drugs are bad people or anything like that. Of course if they enter into drug free / drug tested competition, I have a problem with their integrity, more then their use of drugs.

Steve’s Training Methods

My training is model has modified over the years, based on LIFE happening. Back in 2007 my wife and I decided we needed to get our family in a better position, we needed to change our family tree. We had a ton of school debt, credit card debt and car payments. We were not getting ahead. In 2007 we decided that was it for flying to Powerlifting events, until we became debt free. We had a 3 year old boy and new born girl and enough was enough.

I tell you that, so I can get to how and why I train like I do. During that period of time, we downsized our home and I took on an extra job. I became a newspaper delivery person in January of 2008. This required me to get up around 3:45 AM. This was our financial hammer, but it also changed the way I train. The first week the high was 9 degrees.  Six days a week I would finish that paper route at around 6 AM each day, luckily I live in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, where there is a gym called Brown’s Gym, which is open 24 hours and run by a Powerlifting family Jim and Janel Brown. Once I completed the newspaper, I would consistently hit my training starting at 6 AM. I delivered the papers until January 2011, during that period of time, I was able to maintain my training, while working at least two jobs. Also during that period of time we were able to begin the process to adopt a sibling brother and sisters through foster care.

Once back to just one job, I decided to maintain my AM training sessions. I actually have had to start them earlier, because where I had a 3 year old son back in 2007, now I have school age children in 2011. My training currently is 4 days a week, I train geared bench press on Monday, Deadlift on Tuesday, speed benching on Thursday and squats on Friday.  My average workout is about an hour and twenty minutes. As I go heavier, the training does go longer.

I don’t like to say there is one thing I do. I have a variety of things I use in my training. I have been doing this since 1990 so there is a variety of things I have done that work.

The basics of my bench. The basic training I do is 5 sets of 5 reps work sets. This is done at fast pace, short rest workouts. I don’t ever go to failure. During my gear and raw bench, I do also 9 sets of 3 reps on my raw workout day. This is something I have tried recently to keep up my speed and strength when working heavier in the shirt. Both the 5 sets of 5 and the 9 sets of 3 are worked with high speed, short rest intensity. No missing. On the gear work day, my focus is getting a heavier lockout to work. I work off two boards, one board and I work down to knee wraps, which is about a half board thickness, but allows me to feel the weight.

In the Squat, I train this lift one day a week. I mix up my lifts every 4-5 weeks. I mix in box squats, chain squats, box and chained squats, pause squat and regular no implement squats. After doing squats, I mix in accessories like box jumps or hack squats. My normal volume in the squat, will not have any work sets that go over 5 reps in a set. Early on in the cycle, I do 2-3 sets of 5 reps in my work sets. I focus a lot on the speed and setup.

In the Deadlift, I train this lift one day a week. My body is not optimal for deadlifting, as I am short armed, with a longer torso, some call it T-Rex body type. I work to improve my position in pull to reduce the distance, speed and position I start from, by working my knees out and my back straight. I have recently added band stretches to my pre work set activities, to improve my range of motion in my hips and groin area. I have found it useful to get ideas on stretches and different self rehab ideas from a web site called I train regular pulls, doing conventional stance and sumo stance. I have also done conventional and sumo stiff leg pulls this training cycle. I have done a lot more training recently in my deadlift suit, this was first to help me with a groin injury, but it ended up resulted in getting a lot better work in getting in the right position, with a suit that sometimes prevents you from getting in a good position. The rep volume is normally all less than 5 on the work sets. The last several years I have stopped doing reps in the conventional sense. I found doing a set of three really didn’t help simulate a meet pull. I have gone to doing all stops on my work set. So if I am doing a set of 3 reps, I do a rep, stop, stand and re-grip and pull.  On the heavier sets I even step back and reposition and grab. This I found has worked on my first rep explosiveness, which is more indicative of a competition pull, rather then doing 3 reps in a row.

Any inspirational or motivational words?

Below is a quote I like, if you have to net it down, the first paragraph would be what I would look at.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” Marianne Williamson

Here is a quote to go with my early morning workouts

“I’ve always figured out that there 24 hours a day. You sleep six hours and have 18 hours left. Now, I know there are some of you out there that say well, wait a minute, I sleep eight hours or nine hours. Well, then, just sleep faster, I would recommend.” Arnold Schwarzenegger

Steve’s Accomplishments

–  In High School I squatted over 560 pounds benched 300 pounds, deadlifted 500 at 181, ran a 4.7 in the 40 year dash and won 3 mini-trathlons during the same time frame.
–  Squatted 700 pounds in the USA Powerlifting Collegiate Nationals at age 22 @ 220 pound weight class and Collegiate National Champion
–  3 time Collegiate All American in Powerlifting
–  Placed 9th Place in the 1996 USPF Men’s Open Nationals as a 19 year old – Other competitors included Ed Coan, Dan Austin, Wade Hooper, Captain Kirk, etc
–  IPF Junior World Lifter place – 6th
–  2011 and 2012 Arnold Sports Festival Champion – 120 KG
–  Meet directed one of the largest USA Powerlifting events in it’s history at the 2011 USAPL Raw Nationals.
–  Restarted the Penn State Powerlifting Team in 1997 (1986 was the last year we could find it ran)
–  Qualified for my first Open World Championships in 2012 with a 2127 total at 36 years of age

In Closing

I love Powerlifting, I love what it does for me physically and mentally. It has been a big part of my life for more than 20 years now, but I feel it’s important to be more than a lifter.  I am a husband to my wife Jenny for the last 10 years, I am a father to 4 great kids Jacob who is 8, Kaylee who is 5, Zach who is 4 and Kaitlyn who is two. I am a logistics IT business data analyst to Geodis Supply Chain Optimisation. I walk a christian life in the gym, at work and at home. What does being a christian mean to me? it means I am flawed and I have made my share of mistakes and still do.  I believe God has plans for me, it could be Powerlifting, it could be fathering, it could be everything.

I’d like to thank my sponsors Titan Support Systems, Geodis Supply Chain Optimisation and SSP Nutrition.

To learn more about this athlete, visit Steve’s website 




FACEBOOK: Iron Authority Inc.

TWITTER: @IronAuthority




You assume certain risks inherent in exercise and nutrition programs provided by any of the content found on Iron Authority, INC informational content includes, but isn’t limited to body weight exercises, weight lifting, nutrition and high intensity cardiovascular exercise. You should not begin any exercise program if you are severely obese, or if you have any physical conditions that may make intense exercise or dieting hazardous unless you are medically guided by your physician. If you have physical or psychological issues which make exercise or weight loss dangerous, do not begin to attempt such activities.

Iron Authority, Inc does not have Doctors on staff, and the advice found on is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise or nutrition program. STAY SAFE!


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Please follow and like us:

© 2012-2018 IronAuthority All Rights Reserved

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Follow by Email