Published in the Houston Chronicle - June 1998

Brawns and Brains:

McCullough sets World record in powerlifting


by Todd Hveem


 1999 WPA Masters World Record - 725 lbs

At first, second, and third glances, Tom McCullough - all 6-foot-1 and 277 pounds of him - can be quite intimitading.

But unlike some athletes, McCullough's brains actually match his brawn.

"Don't get me wrong," McCullough said. "I love powerlifting. Heck, I even teach weightlifting."

"But I also like to read and write," he added. "I especially like to write."

The 41-year-old McCullough makes his living as physical education teacher and offensive line coach for the Galena Park Independent School District.

But he earns respect from powerlifting, and challenges his mind by writing for such publications as Muscle and Fitness Magazine, Master Sport Magazine, Texas Coach Magazine and Powerlifting USA Magazine.

He is also an editor and writer for a popular on-line magazine called National Bodybuilding and Fitness. The web site can be reached by calling up

"I have a master's degree in kinesiology and human nutrition," McCullough said. "I am also a sports nutritionists." I write about all kinds of stuff dealing with bodybuilding and powerlifting."

"It takes up most of my spare time," he added. "But I love it. I am getting ready to start writing lots of stuff soon for Powerlifting USA Magazine."

When he isn't writing about the sport, the 41-year-old is demonstrating it.

McCullough recently set a World record of 715 pounds in the deadlift at the World Powerlifting Alliance, World Powerlifting Championships in Florence, South Carolina.

"I still haven't realized I did it," McCullough, who competed in the Masters 40-44 division of the 308-pound weight class. "I knew I could do it, but lifting that much in a meet vs. practice is a different deal."

McCullough, who has 19-inch biceps and a 53-inch chest, said his bestdeadlift going into the 15-man competition was 705.

"My opening lift was 25 pounds heavier than anybody in the whole meet," he said. "That had me worried a little bit, but then I ended up doing it (715). I was pretty happy.

McCullough said he started he started powerlifting about 18 years ago after John Inzer of Inzer Advance Designs, who is McCullough's sponsor, suggested he try the sport.

Inzer, who who was 17 at the time, today holds the 165-pound World record in the deadlift at 780 pounds, McCullough said.

"He is the biggest equipment maker in the sport," McCullough said of Inzer. "He has stayed very involved with the sport."

 McCullough said he enters about one event per year. He said he started lifting at 198 pounds. He then went to the 220, 242, and 275's before competing in the 308-pound division.

"On Monday I work squats, Wednesday the bench, and Friday the deadlift," he said. "I like the deadlift the best. That is what I am most competitive in."

"He said he plans to compete in powerlifting "as long as my body holds out."

"There was a man in his 70's who beat me out (in points) at this last meet," he said. "I would like to be still competing at that age. I didn't like to lose, but it was pretty cool getting beat by a 70-year-old."

Tom McCullough - Augusta, Ga



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