Larry Pacifico: Powerlifter and Businessman!

Larry Pacifico organized some historical, extremely successful events. These included the 1979 World Championship, broadcast nationwide by CBS, where Larry sold over 10,000 tickets. In the middle of the 70’s he built up the largest powerlifting equipment business next to the company ‘Marathon Distributing’. Larry gave hundreds of seminars and was a commentator for the big US media giants (CBS and NBC) worldwide!

Larry was then eleven years old, stood five feet tall and weighed 105 pounds. He continued to train off and on throughout high school, although his main energies in those years were spent on competitive sports – baseball, track and field and gymnastics. His father was an avid baseball fan and dreamed the father’s dream of having a son in the Big Leagues but, although a wonderful player, Larry realistically understood that at 5’6″ his chances of a major league career were limited. Thus Larry turned away from team sports and went to the lonely passion of individual competition.

Young Larry Pacifico powerlifting 70s

In April 1966 Larry had his first competitions. With about 75kg he reached 157.5kg in bench press, 192.5kg in the squat and 227.5kg in the deadlift. In April 1969 Larry set his first official world record in the 90kg class. He reached 760kg total (205-275-280).After 18 months of training he screwed it up to 797,5kg (205-300-292,5).
First World Championship in York in November 1971 Larry won the title in the 90kg category. Larry started the competition with a world record in bench press of 232,5kg. 282.5 kg in the squat followed by a 297.5 kg deadlift.

Larry had never planned to retire. He said this: 
“As long as I continue to improve I’ll continue to lift. In the past, particulary after the death of my father a few years ago, I seriously considered retiring and even at one point decided to retire but there was no real reason to quit. I plan to lift as much as I can for as long as I can.” -Larry

Larry Pacifico and the Steroids

Larry cites in his book that he didn’t use steroids until about 1973 which would mean that he did some of his best lifting, including his 2080lb total and 590lb bench press natty….that included a training best bench press of 610lb at 237lb in 1973. Larry said that he won his first four world championship titles without the use of steroids. At that point, he felt the gap between himself and his competition was closing. He also considered that perhaps much of his competition was using steroids, as well, and so felt no guilt about using them himself to win the remainder of his world championship victories.

He also made no secret of his involvement in the illegal sale of steroids. Larry was appropriately punished and regretted his actions later.
He admitted to spend as much as much $100-$200 per month on steroids, but he also purchased drugs in bulk for his friends, as much as $200,000 worth, bought illegally.

Larry: “When I had trouble getting them other friends got them. There were about 10 people involved. Since I sent some steroids through mail, a package or two either leaked or broke open. This led to the investigation. Also, a well known top lifter called the Feds and told them of my involvement. This person did this because I refused to do business with him.”

Larry’s first brush with the Law and Steroids came on October 10th, 1984. Federal agents entered his office armed with a search warrant. They checked his closets, his pants pockets, his financial records, even his shoes, but found no steroids.

Larry feels that he biggest problem with Steroids is the potential for psychological addiction. He called it “one of the worst things you can do and still think you are helping yourself.” The feeling of well being, of being big and strong, is addictive. Larry cites that steroids add 10% to a lifter’s total.

Larry and his 4 heart attacks
His last heart attack put him in the hospital and resulted in 10% heart damage, versus 3% of the earlier one heart attack. He stopped taking steroids for a while, but began losing his muscle size and power. He was going to be depressed and wanted to go back on them.

Larry’s father died suddenly at age 58 from a heart attack, and heart disease has shown up elsewhere in his family. In Larry’s primetime he consumed beer, pizza, 4-6lb of red meat a day, 15 eggs at breakfast, half a gallon of milk and a load of bread a day, 3 chickens for lunch -9000 calories a day vs. 4000 a day when he was off steroids. After a few years his chlosterol reading was up to 600(normal: 150).

Larry heard the warning siren and immediately changed his liftestyle. His diet consists of fish, chicken, fresh vegetables and fruits, and good supplements. He runds now, trying to get his cardiovascular system in good shape.

Present Time

Larry’s 73 years old now. He owns several very successful studios in Ohio. Powerlifting fans could see him as a referee at the Strongman competition on the occasion of the Arnold Classic. He has little to do with powerlifting. According to Larry Pacifico the many federations as well as the excessive use of support clothes have damaged the sport. Larry is used to training his son, Jimmy. He is quite strong in the exercises that his father mastered so masterfully over 40 years ago. Hats off to Larry Pacifico!

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