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Iron Master Nomination – Joe Mugovero


It has been too long since we have had an Iron Masters Nomination up on the site
, and I am just as much to blame as anyone else. The Iron Masters is something I started in 2010 in order to recognize the people over 40 years old who have been outstanding examples areas of strength and fitness. These men and women show that serious training for serious goals isn’t just for those in their teens and twenties, its a journey that lasts a lifetime!

Today, I have an Iron master that I have wanted to put up for a long while. It is Joe Mugovero from New London, CT. I first met Joe at Stronger Than All, a Strongman Contest in New Haven CT, in 2005, and he hasn’t stopped impressing me yet. The things that have impressed me the most since I first met him are his domination of two of the most widely recognized Grip Strength challenge implements, the Inch Dumbbell and the Blob, and his love for helping others enjoy strength training and fitness as well.

Today, I give you the most recent Iron Master, Joe Mugovero.

Joe Mugovero is a retired mailman with more than 41 years in the Post Office hails from New London, Ct. His early days had him competing in local fairs in the clean and jerk and then moved into powerlifting. One time 27 years ago he competed in a C&J contest on a Saturday and won the U.S bench press championships the next day as a sub-master.

Always attracted to strength in its many forms Joe tried bodybuilding, armwrestling, weightlifting, powerlifting, and some strongman. He considered himself a “jack of all trades, master of none“. After numerous injuries or lack of elite level ability Joe concentrated on the bench press and set numerous records in age group competition (40-55) all drug free. With more than 200 awards under his belt he permanently injured a disc in his neck which cut his left arm strength by 60%, days after setting yet another Ct. state record age of 52 with 445lbs.

It was only then that Joe turned to grip strength as a goal in it’s own right
. Most of his life his left arm was more powerful than his right. Now with some serious training this would reverse…

After reading Milo magazine about a person from England who trained to lift the Thomas Inch Dumbell, Joe at about 58 started his quest to master the beast. He has fully deadlifted the INCH 687 times, sometimes doing doubles and once a triple. Every lift was witnessed by one or more members of the Breakfastclub Gym. In 2005 and 2006 he won the Rolling Thunder Championships at the Massachusetts State Strongman, beating guys half his age.

Joe on the Table with Tim Bresnan. Joe didn’t beat him, but it was a good match, he says.

Big benches are long gone now but he recently did a 330lb raw bench which he says took more hard work than the 500(single ply shirt) when much younger. Now he levers hammers, toys with the BLOB, pinches plates and does some hub lifting. Farmer’s walks with 235 lbs and a 200lb Atlas stone for 12reps over a 52″ high bar just last week.

Joe warming up on the Atlas Stones. He owns 28 of them.

Joe has been the meet director in four local strongman contests. He won the 2012 sledgehammer event against all age groups this year at the “Bash at the Beach” at Ocean Beach Park in New London, Ct.

Joe recently table curled a 123-lb dumbbell for 12 reps and preacher curled a 90lb dumbbell for 15reps. He has beat every member of the Breakfastclub Gym who put his arm on the table.

Joe closing the #3 Gripper. Can’t wait to see him certify in the future!

The only goals Joe has not achieved is pinching 2-45’s(has done 3-25’s)and certifying on the NO 3 gripper. He recently pinched 35’s w/16.35lbs extra so maybe soon and did close the NO 3 once a year ago.

Joe was the A.P.A chairperson for Connecticut from 1990-1995. He has been the meet director for at least 90 contests in weightlifting, powerifting, bench only, grip strength and strongman. He runs and owns the Breakfastclub Gym in New London , Ct. A small semi-private gym where the chalk flies, lifters curse and move big weight.

His biggest claim is not his own lifts but encouraging and making available strongman/grip equipment to Southeastern Connecticut trainees who have excelled in their own right. Joe won’t be remembered as the strongest guy walking local streets but just may be remembered as an ambassador of Powerlifting/Strongman/Grip strength promotion to the general public.

DIESELS, as I finish off this post, I have a grin from ear to ear because I’ve finally gotten the chance to post this up. Joe and I email back and forth regularly and he is always updating me on his Inch Dumbbell Domination, and I can’t wait to get the next one!

Now, it’s time for you to send in your Iron Master nominations.

It can literally be anybody, from a Fitness or Strength celebrity, to someone in a small town nearby, to even a relative. If they have inspired you in your training or have done so with others, send them my way. I can’t wait to hear from you.

All the best in your training and have an awesome weekend!


P.S. I am traveling to Rhode Island tonight to meet up with Matt Ellis. I met him two weeks ago at a seminar and he is as passionate about helping people accomplish their goals as I am. I at breakfast with him one day and we hit it off right away, so we are going to be shooting a DVD together this weekend. If you are a “Thrower” or know someone who does, make sure you stay tuned.

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