1. Let’s start with the vital stats; D.O.B., Height, Weight class, years lifting.
Born September 28, 1977. 6’4″, 300 pounds (308) class. I have been lifting for 9 years but powerlifting for 4 years.
2. Your first meet was in 2002. What class? How did you do?
I competed in the 2002 AAPF Southern States. I competed in a sing-let and a pair of aqua socks and no wraps. I had the best time of my life. I never knew powerlifting would be so much fun. I was a nervous wreck and the meet took all day long. I was under the assumption that we would be out of there by noon.
I took second place and totaled 1522 in the 308 class.My training partner, Charles Bailey, and I talked and joked for weeks about the exciting and comical events that occurred at the meet.
It almost seems like powerlifting was more fun my first few meets because there was absolutely no pressure to perform. We did what we could and we were pleased with any result.
3. What was your training like back then? Linear?, any conjugate?, etc. Please describe changes in weight, diet, supplements back then.
My training back in 2002 was mostly linear.
Charles and I would frequent various web sites to analyze different routines. We would try all types of long linear programs and we were seeing some decent gains. I guess I should have known we would not stick to long linear routines because we would rarely finish the routine before we were on to something else. At this point in time, as I have continued to do, my partner and I were reading every article and piece of information relating to powerlifting that we could get our hands on. I think that reading and researching others thoughts is one of the most important and most neglected parts of the sport; that is especially true with newer lifters. It is hard to break down what we think we know about lifting weights and absorb new concepts. My partner was able to break down and listen to other theories before I was. I guess I am a bit hard-headed but I came along after a while.
Like now, back then I would take 10 grams of creatine the night before workout days. I never really knew what benefit I was getting from creatine but I took it any way. I took it mostly because of the results that I had read of in various places. Of course I supplemented protein shakes all day long. Most days I get about 5 servings of 45 grams of protein in the form of a Myoplex or a couple scoops out of the bottle. That is on top of a whole bunch of food. I packed in food at every opportunity over the past 3 years and all that eating was not clean eating. You name it, I eat it. I always had a very difficult time keeping my weight on. That has been the story of my life. In 1996 I graduated high school at about 6’3″ and 210 pounds. I was a stick. Now I’m at least a branch but not quite a tree.
4. I notice from your recent logs that you keep the weights way up percentage-wise. The sessions seem very Spartan, how about assist lifts?
I do very little assistance exercise during my routines. The assistance exercises I do are rows after deadlifts; chest supported rows after bench; abs, side-bends and hip adduction after squats; recently I started doing military press on bench day. 95% of the focus is on the major exercise of the day; squat, bench and deadlift.
Do you ever do more than triples? (Please describe the changes you have made over the last few years and why they were necessary/chosen.)
I have had all my gains over the past few years (501 squat in 2002 to 950 in 2005) by training with high volume singles. Not singles in the sense of a max, but 8-10 relatively heavy singles during each workout. I can get away with this because the emphasis on a particular section of a movement is focused on separately while still working through a full range of motion. For example, I rotate from working the bottom section of an exercise (such as box squat with no accommodation) to the top of a movement (reverse bands with super-maximal weights). The other reason I can get away with going super heavy all the time is that I train very infrequently. I squat on a 3 on 1 off cycle, deadlift on a 2 on 1 off cycle and I bench every week. This totals only 8-9 workouts every 30 days. I have found this routine to be perfect for me and it keeps me constantly moving up without over-training.
5. What kind of equipment do you use?
As far as gym equipment is concerned; we train with nothing out of the ordinary. Most every workout is done in a power-rack. Yes, a power-rack. In spite of my contest 950 and my partners 1008 squat we do not train in a mono-lift. Our gym is not as conducive to powerlifting as others are but we manage. At least when meet time rolls around we have no trouble unracking the weight. Getting to a meet with a mono-lift is like being on a vacation in Squatsville.Between the two of us, Charles and I have literally had every piece of powerlifting gear that is in existence. Needless to say, being 6’4″ I have broken my fair share of gear. I guess the gear has to move a bit further when you are tall. Thank God for warranties on gear. My most recent meet I competed in a custom Ginny Phillips double canvas brief under a custom Titan Boss suit for the squat, a single ply Titan Fury bench shirt, and a Metal v-type deadlift suit. My shoe of choice to squat in is the Chuck Taylor old school Converse All Star.
6. How about diet/supplements these days?
Not much on the supplement side. No drugs, 10 grams of creatine the night before workouts and protein powder whenever I am awake.
7. Where do you train? Lifting Partner(s)?
I live in Atlantic Beach, FL. I train just down the road in Neptune beach at a gym by the name of Sportsplex. It is the only gym that I have ever lifted weights in. I train with another competitor by the name of Charles Bailey. Right now Charles has a total near 2300 and a whole bunch of 1000+ squats in competition. His first 1003 was with me at the GPC Worlds in 2004 where the judging was extremely difficult and tight. They were not giving anything away that day and he was the only lifter in the meet to crack that 1000 mark. Charles has been a huge influence on my training style. He introduced the use of accommodating resistance to me and he and I have made some phenomenal gains and had a bundle of fun along the way. He and I have been known to show up at meets together in places like Tampa, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Daytona. It has been nice to have a training partner that has also made very fast progress in the sport. We can now reflect together on the goals, aspirations and lifters along the way that now exist only in our rear-view mirror. Also, a policeman by the name of James Tannous has been a big help with some good spots and some motivation lately
I wish I could list all the people that I want to thank but the list is too long and some of them I do not even know.I wanted to take a second to thank all the people in the sport that make it a positive, encouraging, goal oriented experience. The people that understand that we all have something in common and act accordingly. The good people in the sport that took us aside when we were just starting out and gave us information about how to improve. The guys in the sport that show up to meets just to give help to other lifters. The guys in the sport that will help you wrap our knees even though they have never meet you before. The guys that are in the audience only watching but will stand up to give you a good lift off or to help pull your wraps off after a squat. The people in the sport that are self-centered, jealous, ego maniacs that only help the members of a certain circle and do everything in their power to discredit lifters that are better than them and make the sport something other than what it is meant to be; you know who you are, and I give NO thanks to you. You are a black eye on a beautiful sport.
Thanks Joe for giving me the opportunity to answer some questions and give some personal information relating to the sport which we all admire and respect.