Arm wrestling's going big-time

Big-time tournaments can bring big-time money -- $10,000 and higher.

Big-time tournaments can bring big-time money -- $10,000 and higher.

The World Armwrestling League came out two years ago.

"It kind of defined the league for arm wrestlers, and took them out of the bars and whatnot and kind of brought them into a real circuit," said Joe Puleo of Gold's Gym in Whippany.

Puleo has been to national meets in Las Vegas, and he practices with other pros and enthusiasts at his gym. Gold’s Gym, on Mondays.

There's 250 pound Joe Yarosz, who's a heavyweight competitor.  But there's also Lainie Sleppin, a longtime bodybuilder who's caught the arm-wrestling bug.

"I need to focus on my technique and practicing, but I'm really enjoying it and learning a lot from these guys, and it's a really great group of people," Sleppin said.

Contests are organized into classes by weight, age, and which you armwrestle with.

Harry Silberman says he loves the camaraderie. 

"What's great for me is, here I am 65 years old and I'm here with these guys that are competing, sometimes for money, sometimes for medals," says Silberman, grunting through a workout.  "And with all that being each other’s' competitors, they give you tips. They help you out."

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