I have an interview up on Irongame.com, read it if you have time
Initial Interview, May 10th, 2006 – 650lb+ Raw Benching Powerhouse from Westside Barbell Club
What are your age, bodyweight and occupation?
I am 24, weigh 350lbs, and am a student at the moment but will be working as a personal trainer soon after I graduate this year.
What are your best lifts?
I best lift in a shirted meet is 750, but that was unsanctioned. My best shirted lift in an APF meet is 700. My best raw lift in a meet is 650 at NERB [New England Record Breakers, 2006 May 6th].
How long have you been lifting and where?
I have been lifting for 13 yrs now. I started out at the local rec center, then my highschool, then my college. Once I started to get serious about powerlifting I called Louie Simmons up and began training at Westside Barbell.
What style of training do you use?
Westside all the way!
What type of equipment do you use and how do you get the most out of it?
I suck at equipment right now, lol. I really couldn't tell you how to get the most out of it. I have used Inzer and Karens shirts before, both gave me great results (for the little bit of knowledge and experience I have with shirts). I plan on mastering shirts very soon with the help of Louie, George Halbert, and Mike Wolfe, all the shirt masters I work with at Westside.
Who are you?
I am a 24 yr old college student who is about to graduate, soon after that I will be moving to Merrilleville, IN. I plan on getting married to my wonderful girlfriend in the very near future, and hopefully starting a family sometime down the road. I am a very family oriented person, my family is very important to me and is one of the few things I would kill or die for. I am a pretty even tempered person with a very sarcastic sense of humor.
I came to love lifting by working out with my dad and brother, it was a great bonding experience. I also loved the fact that I could see myself getting stronger all of time. I have always been bigger and stronger than everyone else my age, and lifting was a good way of putting that extra size and strength to good use.
Where do you train?
I train at Westside Barbell with the best training partners and coaches in the world!
Who do you admire in the sport?
Simmons, Halbert, Wolfe, Fry, Boldt, Kennelly, Mendy, Dizenzo, Brandenburg, Lattimer, Byrd, and now Hoornstra. I also admire Kaz and Coan for all they have done in the sport and for the sport. They are truly two of the greatest powerlifters to ever lift.
Do you see any up-and-coming lifters you'd like to acknowledge?
Jeremy Hoornstra, he is an amazing lifter who will be coming into his own very soon, especially after his incredible performance at NERB. There is also a guy we call Drex at Westside, he just got his first 700lb bench and he is only getting stronger. He will be someone you will hear about in the near future.
How did you start lifting? Did anyone help you coming up?
My brother used to always beat on me, I knew I would never be bigger than him so I figured I would get stronger. I fell in love with lifting after that and just continued on lifting ever since. My dad (Roger Winters) was my first workout partner and coach, his is still one of my coaches and the biggest supporter of my lifting. Without his support I would not be anywhere close to where I am right now. I have also recieved a lot of help from my friend and workout partners I have had in college; Mike Miller, Andy Liszewski, Big john Eismann, Shaun Sanchez, and of course all of the guys at Westside. I have also had a lot of help from my friend Brendan Yoder, given me a lot of good advice, helped me to find meets in my area, and even hooked me up with a guest lifter spot in a local meet to help me prepare for NERB. My girlfriend Cheryl Miller has also helped me out a great deal, she makes sure I eat enough, rest enough, stay hydrated, and helps to keep me calm at meets (something I need to lift at my best).
What do you concentrate on most during your lifts?
I try to perform my lifts in a nice and controlled manner, I have a little bit of an arch, and tend to keep my elbows out (doesn't help, just a habit). During the lift I focus on holding my breath, watching the bar, and being explosive off my chest.
Please list your training numbers in common movements.
1 Board presses: 700; raw bench: 650 in meet, 675 in training; floor presses: 660; incline press:600
What is your training routine?
I train 4-5 days per week, whatever my school schedule will allow. My workouts aren't all that structured, I tend to know what body part I want to work and go in and do starting picking out exercises for them. I do stick with certain exercise each workout, but after I am done with that exercise I just pick and choose from there. The exercises I always keep for each body part are: Chest: some form of bench, Back: heavy rows, Shoulders: heavy presses, Tri's: skull crushers or tate presses. My workouts tend to last from 45mins to an hour. My training cycle is pretty much planned out by George Halbert, he is a master at this so I just listen to what he says.
What specific exercises do you believe have been effective in increasing your bench press?
For me it would be close grip bench, floor presses, shoulder presses, and heavy rows.For me it would be close grip bench, floor presses, shoulder presses, and heavy rows.
Have you ever stopped getting stronger on any of your lifts why and how did you start progressing again?
Not really, I always seem to be getting stronger, its just slower at times. I usually just change things up a bit if the gains start to slow.
What has gotten you to your current level?
Hard work, a love for what I do, and the immense support I get from my family and friends.
Have you ever had any injuries? How do you avoid them in training?
Unfortunately so, I have torn both my pec muscles and now I have bicep tendonitis. For the torn pecs I just had to rest and not bench for a long time, but for the bicep tendonitis all I did was implant 1-2 board presses where flat bench was and start using less weight for speed bench.
How do you feel about what you've accomplished so far and what are your goals?
Never satisfied. I won't be happy with what I do in a meet until it is better than what I have done in the gym, and even then I will expect more out of myself during my next gym workout. I really don't feel as if I will ever be strong enough to be pleased with what I have done.
How do you intend on continuing to progress?
Continuing to train with the Westside guys, Louie and George always have new tricks up their sleeves when it comes to training and getting stronger. I have never really felt like my progress has stalled since I have started to train there.
What do you recommend non-elite lifters should concentrate more on in training?
Overall strength, finding out what works best for you and doing that, proper nutrition and rest, and muscle balance in the chest, back, and shoulders...it helps a lot with avoiding injury.
Describe your nutritional plan.
I really don't have one at all, I am at the mercy of what the college union feeds to me. I try to maintain a high protein diet, but thats about it. The closer I get to meets the more fluids and protein I consume. My biggest problems at meets come from not being fully recovered and being dehydrated.
When and where is your next meet?
My next meet is in Chicago in August, after that I am coming back to North Manchester, IN to do a meet a friend of mine holds, and after that I am doing the Europa meet in Texas.
Anyone you would like to thank?
My entire family (especially my father, my biggest influence, support system, and fan), My girlfriend Cheryl for always being there for me, all my friends (especially Mike Miller for traveling all over the country to go to meets with me, and Brendan Yoder for all the help he has given to me), I would also like to thank all the guys I train with at Westside for all the help and giving me so much crap about my weak triceps that I got a mental complex about it, which made me work them a lot more. I would also like to Designer Supplements for giving me the best supplements on the market and for all the support they give me for my meets, going to the New England Record Breakers meet would have been impossible without them.