Starting Out In Powerlifting
lifters should understand- my thoughts-
This page displays some of Rich Peters' opinion's, ideas
and philosophy of the sport of Powerlifting and Strength Training that were
posted on various Forums, Web Sites and Magazine Articles.
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In Powerlifting 1.13.13
Monster Muscle Interview
Rich Peters' Powerlifting Resume
* Powerlifting Referee since 1976
USPF, IPF, AAU, USAPL and NASA- State, National and IPF Cat 2
* Head Coach of Team NASA (3 Champion
Teams) vs Team AAU '04
* Head Coach of Team NASA (2 Champion
Teams) vs Team AAU in '03
* NASA Coach of the Year 2003
* First Meet Director to allow Women to
compete with men
* First Meet Director to allow music during
*First Meet Director to allow and use a
Monolift in competition
*Designed the final design of the Monolift
- Hagerstown, MD
* First Meet Director to conduct BP & PL
* Created "Power Sports" lifting in
1996 - Copyrighted
* Founder of the first High School
* Head Coach of 3 IPF World Championship
Teams (Sweden, Norway & Luxembourg)
* Head Coach of IPF Jr. World Championship
Team (Sweden) World Champions
*Head Coach of IPF 2nd Place Jr. World
Team (Norway) World Runner-ups
* Head Coach of 4 IPF World Champion
*Head Coach of Team NASA Champions at
the AAU World Push/Pull Championships
* Coached Lifters to more than 30 IPF
* Coached more than 250 NASA National
* Head Coach of 4 Winning USA Teams in
* First USA Meet Director to conduct
meets in Russia
* 3 Time Strongest Man in Oklahoma
Winner at 213 lbs bwt (lightest man in comp)
* State Champion Powerlifter (Best
Training Lifts 804, 525, 733, 2060) @ 220 lbs
* Only Meet Director in history to Conduct 4
consecutive USPF Senior
* Has Promoted more than 1800+
Individual Powerlifting Meets in 38+ years - World Record
* Has personally witnessed nearly
1,000,000 Powerlifting Attempts
* Worlds Foremost Authority on Spotting
* Executive Committee Member of the USPF
for 4 years
* Served as USPF National Treasurer
* First Meet Director to bring Russian
Powerlifting Team to US to compete (Atlanta, GA. 1990)
Posted 2-2-08 NASA Forum
Topic: Rep Indicators & Attempt selections
Posted by Rich on February 2, 2008, 9:21 am, in reply to "Rich:
Rep indicators for max best"
For example you state:
350 lbs x 3 reps
350 lbs x 3 reps
350 lbs x 3 reps
This would equal a 450 lb - 500 lb Squat in a meet with a squat
I would ask, how do you know that? but I am not. I know it is from
experience. But in order to assist the young man, can you vouch for
one of the calculators out there?
My response to Nico's Question:
No I will NOT endorse ANY calculator because none are accurate
enough to risk your safety and/or your entire training cycle on. The
reason I won't is simple. People are different. Different bwt,
different mental strengths/hang ups, and different styles and
form/leverage. What each lifter must do is get a full training cycle
in using only the simple training I outline in my DVD's and simply
start at around 50# more than their sets of 3's if they are lifting
with equipment and are around 220 lbs bwt.
If the lifter is lifting unequipped he should start at or around the
3 sets of 3 wt in his first meet on the program. Base ALL further
attempts on the previous attempt. Always leave yourself plenty of
OPTIONS. In this sport your success will depend greatly on how many
options you leave for yourself. Start too heavy, you have eliminated
your options. Start lighter, your options are basically unlimited.
Miss an attempt and your options are virtually nil.
Remember, each lifter is unique. This is one thing that a lifter
will have to do in the beginning to set himself in. This ratio will
hold true for the entire length of his lifting career unless he
starts adding tons of assistance work or changing the reps and sets
of his workouts. Form and leverage will also have to remain of
utmost importance during all workouts.
If you will go back to the DVD you will hear me say that this is
based on a lifter around 220 lbs bwt. This number will go up or down
according to the lifters actual bwt. But form has a great deal to do
with these numbers. IF the lifter's form and leverage are correct,
he will do better than the lifter whose form is sloppy. I refer you
back to my statements about "options."
Remember what I say in all of my training DVDs, "Never substitute
form, leverage and technique for weight on the bar." The minute you
go against this basic rule you are headed for failure in the form of
negative calls by the referees, missed lifts, injuries.
Once the lifter has established his numbers through experience, he
will remain constant from now on if these numbers are adjusted for
increases in bwt and loss of bwt.
By the way, when you dl 700 what was your 3x3? 550?
When I did 733 my w.o. was 555x3 for one set. But my squat program
was as I describe in the DVD's. Intense. You do not have to train
the DL that hard IF your form is correct. This lift is the one lift
that is hugely dependent on leverage and form.
I go over this in detail during my live seminars. I explain to the
lifters how to do this according to their lifting style, leverage
(strengths and weaknesses), bodyweight and mental attitude.
What many lifters do not realize is that this sport involves much
more than simply equipment, sets and reps. It is amazing at how well
the majority of the lifters who attend my seminars do in meets after
they attend the live seminars. I have seen huge improvements in
lifters that also lift alone or in areas where the negative
influences are ever present.
In the average meet I conduct I see lifters wasting 50-150 lbs on
their deadlift and squat. This is caused by lack of form, leverage ,
etc. The worst frame of mind a lifter can get himself into is that
of the old adage "I got where I am by doing it this way." Eventually
that same lifter will stall out and when that happens injury is just
around the corner. When a lifter's lifts remain the same for a
period of time this is a true WARNING Sign that something is about
to give. That something is your body. Something is about to break if
you continue at the present rate, style and form. I have seen this
play out for years and the results are, sadly, almost always the
At nearly every meet I conduct I see so many lifters waste so much
talent because of poor skill levels.
If a lifter truly wants to improve, no matter what level he is at in
this sport, get my training DVDs and watch them intently. Watch them
over and over and listen to every word of them. If at all possible
attend one of my live seminars. Then go out and make your lifting
work for YOU. Identify your problems and correct them. If a lifter
is stubborn, hardheaded, don't believe in my philosophy, etc. they
shouldn't waste their money. If someone thinks I am full of crap
then nothing I say can help them. You must believe in your program.
I can say this with certainty, my programs have never been
responsible for anyone getting a severe injury or having to retire
because of injury. My theory works and it has worked well for over
With the pro series now a reality, and since these are unequipped
contests, form and leverage and my way of coaching will be essential
to lifters who want to maximize their performance.
Posted 8-22-05 NASA Open Forum
want to say that the things that I teach and preach
are not something that I simply dreamed up on my
own. On the contrary, I have had to learn
these things the hard
way like most all lifters have done.
Unfortunately, I went through what all of you are
/ have been
going through for YEARS, struggling, making excuses,
listening to well wishers and imagining what "could"
be. I was making excuses for my failures. I literally
lived the "would'a, could'a and should'a"
I finally got frustrated enough to start a career
in "learning, observing and questioning". I observed
everything about "every" lifter for YEARS, about 25
years now. I talked to, observed and questioned
every great lifter that I met or who lifted in my
meets, Pacifico, Anello, Crain, Thomas, McDonald,
Wright, Jacoby, Alexander, Coan and the list could
literally go on forever. Most of these great lifters
had at least
one attribute that I now preach, some two.
I then studied Anatomy and Kinesiology books. I
studied and learned about recovery time, muscle
attachments, leverage, tendon strength, ligaments,
etc. Then I began an extensive survey, which
continues today, of questioned every lifter I can
about their success or failure, on the platform, on meet day.
I question lifters about their programs leading up
to the meet, sets, reps, workouts and recovery time. I have
literally become a sponge, soaking up every bit of
information I could glean while developing stat's about
every situation, circumstance and body type. I also
workout all kinds of senario's involving lifters and
I believe every serious lifter should have his/her lifting analyzed by
an unbiased, independent, knowledgeable coach. This
takes guts, an open mind and a true desire to become
the BEST he/she can be. Some simply cannot stand to
be told they are not perfect. Unfortunately, these
lifters will never reach their true potential. How
do you know if you are a lifter like this? Easy, if
you feel that all of your missed lifts are a problem
caused by the Ref's, your equipment caused the
problem or someone else is to blame, you need to
take a few minutes to think about what you are
doing. After several years of failure on the
platform, regardless of your total, it should become
evident that the problem is YOU! Remember, when you
are trying to become the best you can become as a
lifter, you are only being judged/compared to
yourself. I have personally known lifters with world
record totals and lifts that were only lifting at
about 80% of their potential. But you can't tell
them anything. I always look at a lifter and ask
myself, "What CAN and SHOULD this lifter be doing?"
This is the KEY question in my mind when I view ANY
This all culminates into stats and percentages in
my mind and on paper. I have literally studied and
analyzed every lift I have seen in the past 25
years. This encompasses about 800,000 attempts over
the years. I can literally see every flaw in anyone's
lift, at anytime. I dare ANYONE to question me about
ANY lift and see if I don't see the flaws,
breakdowns and give an adequate evaluation of the
last lift and a prognosis for the next attempts. I
see things that most can't envision, imagine or
understand. Minor, small, minute flaws that send
bright red flags up to me in the breakdown of a lift
literally in their infant stages on the platform.
Flaws that will immediately become MAJOR flaws with
an increase of only 5-10 lbs. A minor head bob, a
small almost undetectable wobble in the bar at mid
thigh in the DL, a very minor mid press correction
in the bar path on the BP. All these things indicate
a breakdown in form, technique and MOST importantly
I have also studied long and hard about the
mental aspects of lifters. I can literally read a
lifter's bodily expressions before his attempts.
Success or failure is telegraphed through these
Talk about equipment all you want, rave about
equipment if you wish, promote workout routines to
your hearts content, but the bottom line in this
sport all boils down to leverage, technique and
THIS is what I have learned. NUMBERS don't lie.
Stats don't lie. Yes, there are exceptions to
everything, BUT the long term, solid percentages are
what I preach and teach. These things build success
long term. As in anything, such as the lottery, if
you bet long enough and invest enough, you will win
something. What most don't ask themselves is "Does
my investment earn enough of a reward for the amount
I have invested?". In almost 99% of cases, the
answer is NO.
Success breeds success. There is no replacement
for success in this sport. This breaks down into
mental success and physical success. You can't have
total success unless you have both of these working
I have actually had lifters tell me, after going
9 for 9, that they felt like they left something on
the platform. I let them know that IF you go 9 for 9
you MUST leave something on the platform. The only
way to not do this is to gamble on your lifts and
struggle with your attempts and hope and pray that
your lift is successful or is passed. They fail to
ask themselves, "Where will I be IF I miss a heavier
attempt?". In this sport you either leave some on
the platform or you leave it off your total. The
road of this sport is littered with the failed hopes
and dreams of lifters that lived by the philosophy
of "Would'a, Could'a and Should'a". I call these, pipe
The absolute best thing a lifter can do, in
preparation for his next training cycle/meet, is go
9 for 9 and "leave some on the platform" by going 9
for 9. WHY? Because it prepares you mentally for the
NEXT cycle. You're positive, ambitious and confident
in your next training cycle when you go 9 for 9. How
positive are you after going 3-9, 4-9 or even 5-9?
By missing an attempt in a meet, you have
automatically "capped" your lift mentally for your
next training cycle and the next meet. Capped that
lift and your mental attitude with failure. For your
next entire cycle you will be thinking of those
"failed" attempts. Remember, success builds success.
Positive is always better than negative, always.
When you miss attempts at your last meet, during
your entire next cycle, you are playing "catch up"
both mentally and physically. During training, you
are constantly saying and thinking, "That is the
lift I missed at the last meet". Is this good? I
think not. It is a negative and negative builds
negative. Remember, when dealing with your mind, if
you feed garbage into it, garbage is what comes out.
Positive builds positive.
When a lifter lies to himself about his form,
performance, technique and capabilities, he is only
lying to himself and the sad thing is, even he knows he is lying.
Article Published in the October Issue
of Monster Muscle Magazine
Interview October, 2005
Interview with Rich Peters for Behind The Lights
MM: Tell us about you: what you do for a living, your age, where you live.
Well, this is an easy one. I promote
Powerlifting Events. I have been doing meets for nearly 30 years now, since
1976. I have conducted, promoted roughly 1,200 events. I loaded in almost
900 of these. Keep in mind, this is 900 distinctly differnet events in
different locations. I have promoted meets for the ADFPA, NASA, USPF and APF
over the years.
I am 55 years of age and I have lived in
or around Norman, Oklahoma almost all my life.
MM: Tell us about your personal powerlifting career
and history. How did you get started in the sport?
Well, I started lifting in 1970 as a
suppliment to wrestling. I was wrestling for the Oklahoma City Athletic Club
in Oklahoma City. We wrestled several universities, military bases and in
I started competitive lifting around 1976. I
eventuall won the State Championships and then started competing in Strong
Man Events. I was fortunate enough to win the Oklahoma Strongest man contest
3 times. My best lifts at 213 lbs bwt were 1,400 lb half Squat, 960 lb
partial DL, 86 reps with 110 lbs on Curls, 27 reps with 265 lbs on the BP
(with pauses) and Dumb bell presses with 85 lb DB's for 27 Reps.
My best PL'ing lifts in the gym were 804
Squat, 525 BP and 755 DL. In meet best lifts were 733 Squat, 485 bp and 733
DL. I injured my knee severly in a job accident shortly afterwards and had
to have complete knee reconstruction. I did come back a year later and did
705 Squat, 485 BP and 677 DL. I injured my shoulder at this same meet when
the bar fell out of the bar craddle on the Bench and torn my shoulder up
I then decide to promote Drug Free Lifting to
give the new lifters and clean lifters an opportunity to enjoy the sport.
I served on the USPF Executive Committee
for 4 years as a menber and as the National Treasurer. No, the Treasurer
never handled any money, just assisted the President basically as a true
V-P. I enjoyed the Organization and some of the wonderful people in it.
MM: When did you form NASA (Natural Association of
Strength Athletes)? How was it then, compared to now?
I started NASA when I decided that the
Drug Free lifter truly needed a platform on with to compete. Something more
that just a "Division" in a meet. An Organization where the lifters,
regarless of their experience level, could enjoy the sport and earn awards
for thos accomplishments. NASA was formed in April of 1990.
MM: Tell is about your role in the Unified Nationals? What inspired you to
I simple think it is time that
Powerlifting, as a sport, get's it's act together. We are not going to
accomplish anything in the sports world with 30 different fragmented
"organizations" doing their own thing. We must unite under one set of rules,
one set of guidelines and one set of principles if we are to get the
attention of any world organization or assembly.
I made this very same proposal to the
USPF when I ran for President of that organization. I realized that there
was a major split between Drug Free lifters and non tested lifters. I
realized back then that it wouldnt be long until our sport would become even
more fragmented than it was at the time. It was an attempt then, as now, to
unify everyone as a sport. I simply made this proposal again last year but
the leadership and the timing was just right.
Everyone within this coalition is
"equal" in presence. No one has the upper hand, no one has more than one
vote...In other words, the politic's have been removed. Once the Politics
have been removed, what you have remaining are men that are interested in
the "SPORT". When we vote, we always vote for what is the best for the
Sport. We all must give and take. It's a matter of compromise. Everyone must
give up something to gain something. In the process we all gain unity.
This coalition is open for any
organization. They simply must agree to the terms of the coalition. There
are no "rulers" of the coalition. The Coalition IS the ruler and we must all
agree to make it work. This involves compromise. If an organization or group
of leaders are set on maintainly "control" over the sport or professing to
be "superior" to others, they will not like nor want to be a part of this
The one thing we all have in common is
that we love the sport and we want to see it grow. This is what we always go
back to when we question any issue at hand. Is it good for the SPORT?
Yes, it is my proposal, but that takes
back seat to the fact that all the leaders of the other organizations are
also equally responsible for this coalition becoming reality. I am merely a
member of that coalition.
Look for the Coalition to grow in the
future. If an organization would like to become a member, they merely have
to agree to the terms of the coalition, the current members must vote on
their admission and they MUST be represented at all of our National meets
with at least one full team of Drug Free (tested) lifters. You simply cannot
be a member and not be a contributor.
MM: We like your idea of "Genuine Powerlifting" where
lifters can only compete in wraps. Tell us more about it.
It is time that lifters be able to compete and afford to compete
with or without Equipment. Many new lifters simply do not want to spend
$300-$500 on equipment simply to find out if they like the sport. Many
lifters realize that they will never be able to BP 500-600 lbs, nor do they
This Unequipped Nationals, NASA's own "Genuine" Powerlifting
Nationals will offer these lifters the opportunity they have desired. We are
even starting NEW Amrican Records in specific Divisions for these lifters.
This will be the time for the Unequipped lifters to shine. We are truly
excited about this division and we are looking forward to the event.
MM: It is nice to see that NASA has a team that
competes in other federations such as the AAU. How did this come about?
Again, I wanted to show that there is cooperation and a desire
within the sport for Unification. It is one thing for a leader to go on a
Furm or through a newsletter and say they want Unification. But it is a
whole different matter for that leader to bring his lifters to another
organization's event and compete, as guests, on their turf, under their
rules, for the sake of Unification. Although to this point no other
organization has been willing to bring a team to any of our meets, we have
still make the effort and shown that NASA can and will compete with anyone
at any level.
Our current policy now is that require any organization that wants
to compete with us to first show up at our meet and compete with us. We will
then reciprocate as we did with the AAU. Unfortunately the AAU could not
organizae any teams to reciprocate for various reasons. That did not stop us
as we sent approximately 200 entries to 3 of their meets. We were
disappointed tin the AAU, but we haven't given up hope. They will be
represented at the Unified Nationals (US Powerlifting Championships) with a
team who will be coached by Ricky Crain. I have no doubts that Ricky will
have a very good AAU Team at the meet. The AAU has some very outstanding
lifters and once they become organized they will be a force to reckon with.
With Ricky, they have what has been missing, leadership. Bill Deporter,
Chairman of the AAU, is doing a great job also.
MM: There seems to be a resurgence of raw
powerlifting. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think equipment will
be allowed on the platform if powerlifting ever reaches Olympic status?
In my opinion, No, equipment will not be allowed on the platform if
this sport were to make it to the Olympic's. I think the cost of equipment
plus the lack of controls on equipment will make it prohibitive to some
countries and lifters. There is also the argument that all of this equipment
so severely inhances the performance of the lifter that it becomes a contest
of who can manipulate his equipment the most. This is NOT what the Olympic
Committee is looking to add to the Olympics.
I, personally, would like to see Wraps and Belt allowed. I do
believe we need equipment makers as sponsors. If we eliminated everything,
what reason would these makers have for supporting the sport. I also believe
that if we go back to simple Poly Materials that we can use this equipment
for a "safety" issue. I have found that after 30 years in this sport that if
a lifter is afraid of getting hurt, he should probably get out of sports all
MM: There are a few federations not competing in the
Unified Nationals. Care to comment?
I honestly think a few of these organizations are actually waiting
to see if this event happens. Let's face it, some in the past have tried
and coalition didn't happen. But this time it will happen. WHY? No one is
trying to gain the upper hand. Every member has given up something for the
Sport. In return we all gain by unifying the sport. Everyone is treated as
an equal and in the process all lifters will be treated as equals,
regardless of their organizational status.
I have already noticed that there is much less bickering on the
forums between the member coalition's members and those that are members.
Why? We are all now on the same team.
We are here when the other organizations decide they want to join.
We welcome them all as long as they remember one thing, we are a coalition
and what the coalition decides, we do as a coalition. No one is the Boss in
other words, we are a Team.
MM: You have spent considerable time
promoting powerlifting and built a federation from ground zero. What have
you learned over the years? Any advice you can give to other promoters?
Put in your dues, years are needed to become a quality meet
director. Never publicly belittle any lifter. Always respect other meet
directors and their efforts. Never book meets on top of other directors
intentionally. Never bad mouth a meet director on the forums or Internet if
you didn't have the nerve to speak to the meet director face to face first.
Never betray the confidence of the lifters. Never disclose, in detail, drug
testing information publically. This is a very classless act. Try your best
to work with other meet directors. Never go to any other meet director's
meet and try to recruit his personnel or his lifters. This is another
classless act. Never make excuses for a poor performance as a meet director.
Accept your responsibilities as a meet director and admit your mistakes. We
are all people and we all make mistakes and we all have bad days, as lifters
and as meet directors. And above all, the most important thing I can say
is, if you don't truly love this sport, you will never become a long term
meet director. There is not enough money to keep anyone doing meets in this
sport, you must love it to be successful. Lifters can see through a phony
MM: Through your personal experiences, do you have
any advice to offer beginner lifters? To seasoned lifters?
Yes. To Beginners-Be patient. The only true secret to this sport is
longevity. It takes years to get stronger, not weeks or even months. Stay
away from the advanced equipment at all costs. Learn to lift first. Staying
healthy is the other key to making it good in this sport. If you can avoid
injuries you will make 3 times the improvement that others will make.
Seasoned Lifters- Never forget where you came from. Never act as
though you are above the sport, you aren't. Just remember, without the sport
of PL'ing, most of todays stars would only be an average guy on the street.
All experienced and advanced lifters also need to remember this key point-
You are simply one injury away from being lost in yesterday's news. remember
that and live life with that thought always in mind. Enjoy the sport, make
friends and build relationships that will last past your lifting career.
Your records, lifting totals, etc. will be quickly forgotten in todays
world. But if you are a good person and a friend to thers, your
accomplishments and records will always be remembered, by everyone you made
an impression on. I would also remind all veterans to Get Involved in the
Sport! Give something back to the sport. The sport owes you NOTHING. As a
veteran and a star of the sport, you woe everything to the SPORT. Don't ever
forget this and you will always be remembered years after your competition
days are over.
MM: NASA has lots of great lifters. Is there anyone
we should keep our eye on?
Mike Ewoldsen (123), Joe Thompson (220), Casey Brown (148), Mark
Woodworth (165), Gary Riechert (165), Richard Kahle (308), Mike Adlemann (SHW),
Teale Adelmann(123), Tracy Tucker (132), Mary Hetzel (148), Heather Fry
(114), Heena Patel (114), Heather Hughes (132), Mike Romero (242), Bobby
Wilson (242), Mike Romero (242), Justin Ransbottom (272), Terry Perkins
(181), Cory Smith (IA), Gary Green (MD), Dale Rhoades (IA), Jason Murphy
(165) and the list goes on and on.
All of these lifters have great futures in the sport. Once we start
the Umbrella Meets they will only improve as most are tops in their classes
and all they need is true competiton to drive them upward.
MM: What are you future plans? What will you do to
further steer powerlifting in the right direction?
Well, first of all, I don't think any single person has the ability
to "steer" the sport anywhere. I think it will take a group effort to make
things happen. To accomplish any major changes in the sport all leaders need
to check their attitudes and hard headedness at the dorr and learn to
compromise. The key for this sport is to work together and that will be very
difficult since this entire sport is ego driven. The biggest obsticule in
this effort will be over coming all of the ego's.
I personally will continue to suppport the coalition as long as our
objectives are being reached. NASA nad myself are totally committed to the
success of the coalition. I hope my willingness to meet at the table and
talk will be an incentive for others to do the same. We will all benefit
from coalition within the sport. We must all get on the same page and then
work hard to make it all reality. I will do what I can to accomplish this.
MM: Anyone you would like to thank?
There are so many people to thank. I would first off like to thank
Monster Muscle for their time and effort to let me speak to an audience that
I normally do not reach. I would also like to thank Dave Jefferies (USPF),
Kieran Kidder (AAPF), Nick Busick and Bill DePorter (AAU) for their efforts
so far in getting the Unification effort off the ground.
As far as people that have supported me over the years I must not
forget Terry and Robbin Hedrick (TX), Earl Evatt (AZ), Greg & Susan Van
Hoose (WV), Danny Black (OK), Robert Shackleford (TX), Gary Scholl (OH),
Walt Sword (AZ), Eddie & Melissa Payne (NC), Bobby & Silvia Wilson (NC),
Stephanie Gibson (OH), Bo Casto (WV), John Inzer (Inzer Advanced Designs),
Tobey & Daryl Johnson (AR), Lindel & Mable Smith (IL), Jim McDermott (CO),
Mike & Teale Adelmann (NM), Neil Eddins (TX), Bob Cook (TX), Dale Rhoades
(IA) and hundreds of other outstanding people that have supported myself and
the principles of NASA Powerlifting.
Above all, I would like to thank my children for being a part of the
best sport in the world and allowing me to spend a lifetime doing what I
truly love. I would also like to thank God for the wonderful path he has
laid before me. The wonderful and lovely people he has placed in my path has
been a reward beyond immagination. I would also like to say THANK YOU to the
Sport for allowing me to be a small part of it.
Thanks to all the Powerlifters in America.