Frank King growls at weightlifters on steroids. That's why he and his brother, Ed, have run the Ohio Powerlifting and Bench Press Championships since 1990: to promote drug-free weightlifting. "There are some extraordinary lifters out there that can lift a lot for their body weight," says King, who owns Kings Gym in Bedford Heights. "But you can tell by a person's looks when it doesn't seem right."
Before the squatting, bench-pressing, and dead-lifting begin, the brothers randomly test 10 percent of the 100 lifters in 10 weight classes -- from the lightweight 114 pounds to the super-heavyweight 275 pounds. A second competition is for bench-pressers only. "[National guidelines] have very strict rules, like moving your head, moving your feet," explains King. "Your ass has to be on the bench. It's kinda tough."
It can also be a boot camp for novices. "The guys get out there and get all psyched up and pound their heads and get kinda crazy," says King. "But some people bomb out at our meets. You don't want to embarrass yourself." The championships start at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at the Bedford Heights Recreation Center, 5615 Perkins Road in Bedford Heights. Admission is $8 to watch, $40 to compete; call 440-439-5464. -- Cris Glaser
Walk, Ride, Be Weary
Hikers and bikers meet the Challenge.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park's Extreme Challenge: Hike and Bike ain't for wimps. Just ask park ranger Pam Machuga, who leads the outing. "We've done this only once before," she says. "We started out in a rain-and-snow mix, and spirits were high. But the hills and weather wore on the most avid hikers." An added bump -- having to navigate bikes through hundreds of walk-a-thoners -- didn't help. Things should go a bit more smoothly Sunday, when folks will walk and pedal more than 15 miles. "Suffering together is a bonding experience," Machuga adds. Action starts at 8 a.m. at the park's Mill Street Trailhead in Peninsula. Admission is free; call 216-524-1497. -- Lucy McKernan