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Oswego Businessman Gives Veterans A Lift

OSWEGO, NY – Bob Natoli has some sore, tired muscles. But, area veterans have a new ally.

Bob Natoli
Bob Natoli strains as he completes another 12 reps on the way to a world record.

Natoli broke the record of the existing Guinness World Fitness Record for Most Weight Lifted by Barbell Upright Row in One Hour. It was previously held by Ireland’s Eamonn Keane (40,752.5 pounds).

For the world record, Natoli raised a 40-pound bar for one hour. “And, as I lifted it, it grew to about 140 pounds,” he quipped later.

He performed, on average, 11 or 12 reps of the exercise, took a couple seconds rest in a chair next to the weight and then repeated the sequence for a solid hour. A crowd of more than three dozen family and friends looked on while a Guinness official monitored his every move.

Shortly into the attempt, Natoli quipped to the audience, “You thought this was going to be interesting, didn’t you?”

He kept a steady pace throughout the majority of the attempt; hitting a high of 15 reps and a low of 9 at one point.

With just a few minutes to go, Natoli said it wouldn’t have been so bad, “If I hadn’t dreamed last night that I was doing this.”

He kept up the light hearted banter with the audience throughout the hour – at one point taking a second to say “bless you” after one of the media sneezed.

As he neared the record, audience members clapped and shouted encouragements. The record fell with a couple minutes remaining in the hour and Natoli huffed and puffed his way to an even higher plateau.

Whoever attempts to take the record from him will need to lift more than 51,640 pounds.

“Beforehand you have that anticipation; you wonder how you’re going to do, you practice and practice but the real thing is the real thing. It only counts when it is in front of the adjudicator (judge),” he said following the lift.

The local entrepreneur, success coach and author of “True Vision 4 Success” said he stays in shape year round. About eight weeks ago, he started focusing solely on the upright row.

“I increased my time from 10 minutes to 20 to 30,” he explained. “It’s always my goal to do as much as I can. I won’t stop until the time is run out.”

This record was more difficult to earn than the previous one, he admitted.

It is his sixth Guinness World Fitness Record, and the third one in only nine months. He holds records for chin-ups (two times) in a minute, squat thrusts in a minute, most weight arm curled in an hour and most weight lifted by front dumbbell raises in an hour.

“This one was more difficult because there were a lot of muscles involved,” he said.

The wrist, forearm, biceps, neck and other muscles were all taxed during this record-breaking workout.

“You feel it all over,” he said.

“You train so long and then you say what is the purpose of my training other than to stay in shape and feel good, hopefully extend your life a couple of years, at least the good years  and so you put challenges out there. I love challenges,” he continued.

This record is dedicated to the needs of our veterans at the Syracuse VA Medical Center, he said, adding that he is personally donating $2,000 to the VA Voluntary Services.

“They do a lot for injured veterans. I admire the guys, in Afghanistan and Iraq … the amount of sacrifice these service personnel put forth and the sacrifice that their families go through it’s just unbelievable and I don’t think the average person understands that. So if we can shed a little light on that great,” he said.

VA Voluntary Service provides support to numerous programs and special areas of interest at the Syracuse VA Medical Center such as: nursing, recreation, the Community Care Center, Community Living Center, and much more.

Natoli encouraged everyone to donate a penny a pound for his effort to help the vets.

“Or just $10. If everybody gave just $10 to the Syracuse VA Medical Center, they’d be able to buy wheelchairs and TVs, things these guys really can’t afford and it would make life a lot easier for them,” he said.

What’s the next record he will seek to shatter?

“We are working on something,” he said surreptitiously.

“You beat it by a little bit,” Mike Janela, head of US records management for Guinness World Records, said with a laugh. “So, for my third time personally and sixth time overall, it is my pleasure to give you what this is all about.”

“This shouldn’t be too heavy to hold,” he said as he presented Natoli with the official plaque. “This record now belongs to you.”

Anyone wishing to donate to the cause can call the Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service at 315-425-4317.

True Vision 4 Success can be purchased from Amazon.com, at Barnes & Noble online or at www.truevision4success.comwhile supplies last.