“The harder, the better” was Tom Platz motto, if somebody asked me to describe the word intensity I would tell them to go look up a video of Tom Platz leg workout on YouTube. The Golden Eagle as he was known in Bodybuilding circles during the 80′s, even by today’s standards would impress almost anyone […]
How long have you been into your sport? >
How did you get started? >
Believe it or not my first sport was karate. I wanted to start karate after watching Van Damme in Kickboxer and Bloodsport. I trained with the Fairfield Karate Club, under Cedric Wellington, Mike 'Tubo' Mainwaring and the Welsh Bushi Kai. Don't let the name Tubo fool you, Mike is probably one of the strongest men I have ever met and he has never lifted a weight in his life. We would go to karate exhibitions and all the kids would break wood on him, he would also break tiles with his fists and head. I had many good role models growing up and it was a fantastic time being in that environment. I’m very happy that I learned karate when I was young. A lot of people think that it's useless in fighting & self defence, but they’re wrong. I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t done it, I wouldn’t be at this level of competition today. Karate made me a lot stronger and gave me confidence, it made me flexible and athletic from a young age, it also instilled a certain tenacity in me that made me believe that working hard and never quitting was the way to go. Later on It was my grandfather that encouraged me to run to help my karate, when I started comprehensive school I run for West Glamorgan and Wales. I needed to get stronger legs to help my running, to become stronger and faster. My grandfather was a National Weightlifting Champion in his day and he took me to train with a local Commonwealth Games competitor and Powerlifting champion, Mike Brown. Mike was a well respected Strongman, Powerlifter and Olympic weightlifting champion and well known within the local community for working some of the late night clubs as a doorman. I had heard many stories of Mike bending coach bolts and ripping up telephone directories, even breaking the one handed snatch record of 120kg. A beast of a man at over 130kg's and 6ft 2, he was also a very good arm wrestler and competed in Britain's Strongest Man in the 80's. It was Mike and my Grandfather that instilled the confidence in my early on, that made me feel a bit special in the gym. I competed in my first Powerlifting contest in 1998, it was the Welsh Powerlifting Championships. I weighed 181 pound and Deadlifted 551, to break the Welsh National record, I was immediately hooked.
why do you train? >
Training for me has been a big part of my life from a young age, it's more of a lifestyle than a hobbie. People say to me all the time you must sacrifice a lot to do what you do, it must take a lot of dedication and hard work, but to be honest I really enjoy training and I dont find it hard because I like what I'm doing. Some people like to go on holiday to relax and do nothing, training relaxes me, I always train. Despite the fact I'm a powerlifter, I still like to look good and I would be lying if I said I would be happy enough if I lost my abs. I'm also a big fan of cardiovascular training and being fit in general, as the old saying goes, "you look good, you feel good and if you feel good you do good".
what motivates you? >
What motivates me is very difficult to explain, it comes from something inside me and it burns more and more everyday. For me it doesn't go away, I want to be the best at something I love to do and improve even if it's by very small amounts day by day, week by week, year by year. I compete because it's what I love to do. Somebody once asked me, if you won the lottery tomorrow would you quit powerlifting, I answered simply, no. I don't do the lottery for a start, my motivation is not for money or fame but a desire to say I was the best at least once, a truth to myself. For me a thousand people could say I'm the best, he or she is the best, but you cant hide from what you know is the truth. I'm motivated by the reality that somebody somewhere is training harder than me and doing things I don't want to do, eating the right foods, travelling to get the best training and with the right people. People like that are a great fear to me, it's like competing against myself, I like to think I'm motivated in all areas to be the best and whatever it takes to achieve that dream.
What are your goals? >
First and foremost my main goal is to live a long, healthy and happy life with my family. I like to set realistic goals for training and competing, my main goal is to win the 198 pound division, at the World Powerlifting Championships, then defend the title for as long as I can. I would also like to break the all time total record at 198, without lifting suits. My other goal is to break the 800 pound barrier on the Deadlift, with a conventional stance and no belt or lifting equipment.
What are your core principles behind your approach to this sport? >
For me my family are a big support to my competing and training, without them I would not be able to compete as consistently as I do. I try to keep a balance of training hard and being consistent, along with spending time and relaxing with my friends and family. I truly believe that nothing comes easy in life and you should work hard for what you want, this is what builds true character and determination. I try to keep my training fun but effective at the same time, I'm not scared to break out of the mould and try new things to get fitter and stronger for powerlifting. I sometimes look to athletes from other sports for motivation in my own sport, inspiration is very important for us to grow and improve. Training wise for me, my training is based around the three big power lifts squat, bench and deadlift. I try to be creative with my training but I keep it as basic as possible and stick with what works for me, I'm forever working weak points in my lifts, it's a challenge that I enjoy.
what advice would you give someone? >
I would say dont be afraid of losing, be afraid of not learning from losing. Even great champions have lost somewhere along the way, it's how you deal with losing, it can be your best friend or your worst enemy. In 2002 I went to Helsinki, Finland for the junior world championships, thinking I was the best thing since slice bread and my poop didn't stink. I had a rude awakening when I took bronze, being edged out by two stronger and more experienced Finnish lifters was a valuable lesson I learned early on. You should also never under estimate your competitors and give them the respect you would expect yourself. I have made many friends from competing in the UK and abroad, some are still competing others are not, we are still great friends today and share a common bond that we once had that rivalry, that is brought back in a glance or a stare in an instant, even many years after competing. Powerlifting is won or lost in the build up to contest as much as on the platform. you should train sensible but train very hard, put the work in or you will be in for a great shock if you expect miracles on the day of lifting, all you will be doing is setting yourself to fall under a mountain of pressure (pardon the pun). Competing is a serious business, that being said, it's very important to have fun and enjoy what you do, work out your routines for eating and training months ahead and write it down. There is nothing more enjoyable than the feeling that your training cycle went well and you got that personal best. It gives you a massive boost of confidence and feeling of self accomplishment. Whenever anybody mentions athletes and keeping your feet firmly on the ground, my mind always thinks of the relationship between Flex Lewis & Neil Hill and how they have survived and done so well in the sport of bodybuilding. A wise and good friend once told me, be yourself and work hard, the rest will take care of itself. It's an important lesson to realise who you are, where you have come from and what your about. Don't forget your friends and family, they are the ones that will be there for you whether you win or lose. It's important to keep a healthy balance and even more important to enjoy life outside of competing as well as every aspect of doing what you do. I like to think I have many hobbies outside of powerlifting, washing dishes is not one of them. Martial arts is also another passion of mine and a great stress reliever, it doesn't matter what you do, be happy.
Sample Off-Season Diet >
Meal 1: porridge oats, blueberries and 2 scoops of MyoFusion Elite Protein Series
Sample Off-Season Training >
Sample Contest Diet >
In the last 6 weeks before competition my diet alters and becomes much cleaner, so that I remain just over my weight class of 198 pound. Powerlifters require more carbohydrates than the typical Bodybuilding diet, it’s very similar to an off season Bodybuilders diet, with a twist.
Meal 1: Porridge oats, blueberries,with 2 scoops of Myofusion, apple or banana. Anavite
Sample Contest Training >
6 weeks from a contest I usually drop all assistance exercises, or isolation exercises, and focus on the major four lifts. Squat, Bench Press, Over Head Press and Deadlift. I train Squats and Deadlifts as heavy as possible without a belt to keep my core very strong, usually adding a belt for the last few sets.
Thurs: Over Head Press, any variation, Jerk’s from front or behind head, Push Press, Strict Press.