Feats of Strength

The 23rd annual Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) North American Strength Sports Championships will be held Friday-Sunday, April 9-11 at Harrah’s Laughlin.
AAU Strength Sports is the umbrella for AAU Drug Free Powerlifting, AAU Drug Free Weightlifting, AAU Drug Free Bodybuilding, AAU Drug Free Feats of Strength and Strongman and AAU Drug Free MAS Wrestling. Athletes who participate will undergo drug testing by a third party, the Center for Drug Free Sport, who tests for the NCAA, MLB, NFL and more.
AAU Strength Sport National Chairman and Hall of Fame athlete Martin Drake is the event director. Drake is also the AAU Mr. Universe Classic Bodybuilding Champion. AAU Arizona Strength Sports Chairman Mikel Meadows and Hall of Fame athlete Ray Anderson will be in charge of the FOS/Strongman. Meadows also will manage the MAS Wrestling.
There is a $10 per day spectator fee, which covers all contest events on that day. It also provides food and beverage discounts at Harrah’s Laughlin restaurants. Tickets can be purchased on eventbrite — look for AAU North American. The AAU and Harrah’s Laughlin are totally committed to the safety of all attendees, thus, all state, federal and local COVID-19 protocols will be strictly enforced.
Local teams lead by Meadows of Bullhead City and Jerry Homer of Kingman will engage in friendly battle with a large team from Lake Havasu, led by Matt Duthie, while Ray Anderson will be bringing 20 athletes from Murrieta, California.

AAU Powerlifting
Powerlifting originated in the AAU in 1964. It is comprised of three basic lifts — the squat, the bench press and the deadlift.
In the squat, the athlete essentially does a deep knee bend with the bar on his back and descends to below parallel before ascending. The depth and precision of a competitive squat is far more precise than a typical “gym squat.”
In the bench press, the athlete, while lying on his back on a bench, removes the bar and holds it at full lockout until given the command to start. Then he brings the bar to the chest and stops it until the referee issues the press command. He then presses it to a full lockout and waits for the rack command.
In the deadlift, the lifter picks the bar off the ground and stands erect. When they are in the proper position, the referee will give the down command.
Athletes have options to do all three (powerlifting) or single lifts (bench only, deadlift only) or the pushpull (bench & deadlift). Male and female athletes of all ages and weight classes will be competing.
Veteran competitor Jerry Homer, Sr. and his son, Jerry Homer bring their world champion talents down the hill to Laughlin from Kingman. Several of the greatest raw benchers in Drug Free history will be competing including Drake and Henry Fultz.
The lifting each day begins at 9 a.m. in the main Showroom.

AAU Weightlifting
Weightlifting is often referred to as Olympic lifting. It is comprised of two lifts. The snatch, where the athlete lifts the weight overhead in a single movement, and the clean and jerk, a compound movement with the bar finishing locked out overhead. Numerous AAU World champions and AAU World record holders are expected to compete, including Danny Henry, Don Walker, Craig Swanson and many more.
Lifting will be Saturday (9 a.m.) in the Harrah’s Laughlin’s main Showroom.

AAU Indoor Feats of Strength
These events are referred to as FOS. They are comprised of various indoor strength movements not covered by traditional powerlifting and weightlifting. They often include bench press for reps, deadlifts for reps, strict curls, axle bar deadlifts, and log presses.
The event is in the Showroom on Friday, April 9 (9 a.m.) and Saturday, April 10, prior to competing in outdoor events on Sunday (9 a.m.).

AAU Outdoor Strongman
These events, like the other sports, are open to males and females of all sizes and ages. The Strongman events will be held Sunday (9 a.m.) in the Rio Vista Amphitheater at Harrah’s. Tickets are available on eventbrite.

AAU MAS Strength Challenge
This sport is a strength and grip challenging event that originated in Russia. It is essentially a complicated two-person tug-of-war in a seated position. Athletes from all of the various disciplines are expected to compete.
MAS will be conducted Saturday afternoon in the ballroom at approximately 3:30 p.m.

Special Events
Come meet the athletes in the Showroom at 7 p.m. Friday to discuss training, nutrition and health. Many world champions are expected to assist. Open to all current AAU Members. AAU Memberships are $14 for youth 19 and under, and $24 for adults.
The Florida Grecco Art Gallery of Laughlin will be on hand all three days displaying several pieces of artwork. The art gallery is open daily in the Laughlin Outlet Center.
For more information, call Martin Drake at 310-953-5030.