January, 2014 | Critical Bench

Your Muscle & Strength Authority Site Since 1999

Can Eating so-called “Healthy Foods” Actually Hurt Me?

 

 

by Chris Wilson

Fat-free and Natural foods are healthy for you, right?

Doesn’t it make sense to eat foods with little or no fat to keep from gaining unwanted blubber around your middle? And if it says “natural” on the label it must be good for me…?

The words on a label can be extremely important in our decision making but FIRST you need to know what these terms actually mean, not what you think they mean. Becoming educated about what’s actually healthy versus what’s not is harder than you think!

We live in a world of multi-billion dollar marketing businesses and advertisers and everyone wants brand recognition. In the last decade it has gotten so competitive when it comes to selling healthy food alternatives. Why buy the regular version of these crackers when I can buy the ones next to them with reduced sodium and less fat…case closed, problem solved.

Nope, not really.

Sadly, we’ve been sold some seriously misleading information for several years now and educating the masses on what’s truly healthy is an Everest-like challenge! In short, much of what we think is fantastic for us, is really potentially harmful.

Companies want your business, period. If they can use sexy, popular terminology to make the sale, they are happy and unfortunately it’s at the expense of the consumer. Terms like ‘whole wheat’ and ‘gluten-free’ are everywhere nowadays because consumers have grown to like what they stand for regardless if they’ve been processed and chemically altered.

Whole wheat bread is still heavily refined and made with unbleached flour. More than half the vitamins and nutrients are stripped away during the refining process. Whole grain is a much better option because it still has all the fiber and contains the vitamins and minerals our bodies require but “100% whole wheat” is a very powerful phrase on food items in today’s marketplace.

Likewise, natural foods can still be chemically produced to enhance freshness and shelf life. But when our society sees “natural” we fall into the trap and convince ourselves, “It’s healthy for me, it’s natural.” Even organic foods can still be processed. Unless the label reads 100% Organic, it can be partially organic and get the stamp of approval from our USDA. It’s all about perception versus reality.

Let’s back up for a second, shall we…. I’m certainly not perfect, not even close. And I’m sure you aren’t either.

I eat foods that are processed, low-sugar, low sodium and so on. It’s just amazing how difficult it is to eat clean and avoid pesticides, harmful fertilizers, antibiotics and growth hormones. Honestly, it’s nearly impossible. Eating 100% Organic is not realistic for many of us all the time. It all comes down to moderation and smart decision making.

100% ORGANIC

That being said, I’ve adopted these key principles so I can stick to a realistic diet while aiming for optimal health:

Okay, not a popular conversation but I have to do some myth-busting here. Eat some fat. Remember, fat is good for you as long as it’s not trans-fat AND it comes from things like fish, nuts, some oils, some dairy, red meat, whole eggs and avocados. It helps your joints, gives you energy and is necessary in maintaining healthy skin, proper brain function and much more. It should also come from both plant and animal products. The man-made fats or chemically altered “Franken-fats” are the ones to avoid whenever possible.

Also, try to shop locally at multiple grocery stores and health food locations like Fresh Market, Whole Foods and Trader Joes to name a few. Visit the local farmer’s market for some of the best “seasonal” produce at super low prices. This allows for variety and freshness. Colorful foods are rich in vital nutrients, antioxidants and best of all, they aren’t processed!

Thirdly, spend most of your time eating REAL food and not “space” food. I like to entertain myself with funny names for things but if it sounds like an astronaut should be eating it in outer-space, how healthy is it on a daily basis? On occasion, it’s hard to avoid but if you can’t read the word because it has nine syllables, it probably isn’t fantastic for you.

Nutrition information

Lastly, try to go with food items that have fewer ingredients on the label. The less processed and chemically treated the better and that’s always reflected in the ingredients. Get good at reading the labels and understanding what you’re fueling your body with. If it will last for months and years, how detrimental to your health is that food item? Actually, the quicker the food spoils, the better it is for your body and your overall health!

It all comes down to educating yourself and reprogramming yourself to “enjoy” healthy, fresh, unaltered foods that provide the necessary macro and micro nutrients our bodies require to live long productive lives. Eating should be easy and not stressful. Make intelligent decisions and do some research to be sure you’re consuming quality foods that aren’t harmful. Treat the body like the temple that it is and in return it will carry you to new heights.

Related Articles:

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The #1 Most Harmful Food For Your Brain (Beware)

10 Keys to a World Record Bench Press

10 Keys to a World Record Bench Press

(Iron Man Magazine special feature February 2013.)

By Ben Tatar

During the past 15 years, I have interviewed thousands of the best bench pressers in the world. I also have locked out 755 lbs in the bench press. How would you like to bench press well over 1000 lbs?

Whether your goal is to set consistent personal records in the bench press or world records, follow these 10 tips for the biggest bench press possible.

 1) TECHNIQUE

zzzzzzwweeIf you want to hold a world record in the bench press, you can’t be bench pressing flat on your back like a gym rat. For example, when you bench press, squeeze your shoulder blades together.

That diminishes the stroke 3 inches.  If you fill yourself with air which shortens the stroke, you’ll bench more weight.  

Arching your back while keeping your butt on the bench and squeezing your thighs into the bench shortens the distance the bar must travel. Use leg drive, and push off the floor to activate the legs.

Widen your grip. Tuck your elbows in, bench to your lower chest and press the bar up in a straight line.

You’re then benching an insane weight less than 6 inches. If you want to bench press a world record, you’re going to want to move the weight as few inches as possible.

2) TRAINING FOR PERSONAL RECORDS

If the bencher wants a personal or a world record, the bencher shouldn’t look for a bench shirt right away. The bencher should do 1-2 heavy bench sets with low reps on chest day instead of 10-20 sets with average intensity. The bencher should get their back, triceps, shoulders, traps and everything else scary strong first.

This means have a chest/triceps day, a legs day, a speed bench and shoulders day and a back and traps day. Also, stop doing casual assistance bench exercises like regular dips with body weight and start doing drop set dips with 4, 25 lbs plates on your lap.

Do this exercise between 2 benches (with good form,) as a spotter removes the weight each time you fail. (More and heavier plates can be applied when strength increases.) The bencher should have everything strong to avoid injury before even thinking about using a bench press shirt.

3) THE SLINGSHOT

Before getting a bench shirt, get the SLINGSHOT by Mark Bell.  It lets people get their first taste of simple gear, and anybody can easily use it.

http://www.howmuchyabench.net/

4) BENCH PRESS SHIRT

The heaviest weights ever benched were with a bench press shirt. Most advanced lifters would advise the bencher to have a solid foundation of strength and have their technique down before using a shirt. If you’re just starting with a shirt, you should get the Rage from Inzer.

You will see fast gains immediately when using proper technique.  Another shirt option for the beginner would be a single ply shirt from OVERKILL. The more advanced bencher, who has a great arch and benches off their abs in a shirt, should get the Rage X from Inzer, the F6 from Titan or either the double ply or triple ply shirt from OVERKILL.  

Double ply is more forgiving for staying in the groove of the shirt. You will bench more with a triple ply if you can keep flawless technique (hard to do without years of practice.) Ryan Kennelly has the biggest world record bench press to date, and he used a Phenom shirt.

Rage shirt can be purchased- http://www.inzernet.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=rage

Advanced Rage X shirt can be purchased: http://www.inzernet.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=ragex

Phenom Shirts can be purchased: http://www.inzernet.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=05_PHENOM<

5) TRAINING FOR WORLD RECORDS

Bench press world record holders do exercises like: bench presses off boards, bench press lockouts inside a power rack, benching with bands or chains and bench pressing off the floor.  The bench press world record holders spend hours doing heavy low rep work with such exercises.

Boards can be bought:

http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?cid=293

Bands can be bought:

http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?m=PD&cid=495&pid=566

 6) USE ASSISTANCE BENCH PRESS EXERCISES BEYOND THE WORLD RECORD

Back in 2006, I was talking to bench press world record holder, Jay Fry. I said, “Jay you benched 650, would you try stepping under 900 lbs?” Jay replied, “I might get killed.” I suggested he try the bands, boards and a bench press shirt at the same time. Jay was brave enough to try my suggestion.

He benched 935 lbs with the shirt/bands/and boards. His confidence went through the roof, and when he tried 710 lbs at his body weight 181, it no longer felt heavy. He set a bench press world record.

Then in 2009, he continued to practice my suggestion. He then benched 750 lbs at 181 lbs. Nobody has even come close to benching his world record.

If you want to be a bench press world record holder, make sure you are bench pressing with a shirt, board and bands hooked to the top of a squat rack to achieve extra overload.  Everything will then feel light when it’s actually time to set the world record.

7) PEAKING AND DELOADING

The top world record bench pressers (with and without a shirt,) will spend 3 straight weeks training pedal to the metal, then they will make the 4th week easy. This is to avoid overtraining and plateaus. Finally, make sure you train your shoulders with active stretching, light band work and different rotator cuff movements throughout the week for shoulder maintenance work.

8) SPEED DAYS

During shoulder days, bench a weight 40% of your bench max for 8 sets of 2-3 reps fast. Use 30 second rests between sets. If a bencher can move the light and middle weights fast, he/she will have the explosion to blast through much heavier weights.

9) TEAM MATES/ENVIRONMENT

If you want to get on the fast track to a powerful bench press, you need to go to a bench press seminar or train with the best. The best bench pressers love helping others. If you need help finding hardcore gyms or the best lifters, email me at moc.liamgnull@retsnoMrataT

10) GETTING THE WORLD RECORD

If you want a world record, you’re going to need as much attitude and diligence as possible to get through the most menacing workouts. Getting a bench press world record is going to take time, so always keep a warrior mindset of no limits, but be patient and play it smart.

The world record holders are consistently attacking the weight and their goals with fury. The path to the ultimate bench press has been paved. How far you go now is all in your bench press warrior mind.

 

Increase Your Bench Press 50 lbs in 10 Weeks

Mind Over Madness: Train for Strength Not Stupidity

 

Mind Over Madness: Train for Strength Not Stupidity

Jason Klein, MS, PES, NS
Former Fitness Instructor, United States Navy
Author, Lean Body Revolution

Jason-Pushup-289x300He pretty much threw up his meal from yesterday!

My friend Brian was clearly one of those guys. A “mind over matter,” type of guy.

He was in the middle of a classic push/pull superset of incline dumbbell chest press with a close-grip cable pull down. But, way-to-heavy. No matter what it took, he was going to make it through that set.

Then came the big green monster.

I know you’ve witnessed this before. Way too much exertion for what will, in reality, translate to a rather small amount of gains. Perhaps the most common example you’ve seen are dudes pushing the weight up as fast as they possibly can and literally dropping the weight back down at twice the speed that it took them to lift it.

Talk about the worst-mistake-ever for gaining lean muscle.

See, it’s not about what you lift, it’s about how you lift. It’s also about why you lift.

Let’s talk about the big three variables that you’ll want to master if you want to gain lean, athletic muscle and lose fat.

The Big 3

#1 – True Volume:

You’ve heard volume defined as the overall amount of demand placed on a muscle. Well, chances are that you have a mis-understanding of how volume really works. In terms of increasing strength and physique, volume doesn’t mean lifting “heavy.” I want you to think of true volume as the overall amount of specific stress placed on the muscle.

The difference between volume and true volume is that true volume focuses on the quality of contraction while undergoing stress. So drop the weight if you want muscle growth, and save your joints in the process.

Real world scenario: The fitness model with more muscle definition from lifting at about 70% of his 1RM than he would from lifting at 90% of his 1RM. Talk about specific adaptation from an widely overlooked and under-utilized concept.

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#2 – True Tempo:

Never forget this: Time under tension. Sure, you’ve heard this one before as well. But why, then, do you continue to push the weight up for 1 count, then drop the weight down faster than it took you to lift it?*

It is important to understand that our muscles undergo the most tension during the downward phase of the lift. So, if there is any part of exercise that you want to focus on, it is the downward phase.

What tempo is best for muscle growth?

I find that a downward phase of 3-4 counts provides a sufficient amount of tear-down for maximal re-growth.

I’ll also add, that the downward phase of the exercise stimulates the production of growth hormone. Just another reason not to miss out on almost half of your lift.

*Tempo defined: (4-0-1) 4, stands for the counts to lower the weight. 0 stands for the counts taken at the bottom of the lift.  1 stands for the counts to lift the weight up.

#3 – True Intention:

Intention is a rather new discussion, but a veteran concept.

Try this exercise:

  1. Set up for a push-up.
  2. Now, on the downward phase, squeeze your hands towards each other, like your trying to move the floor.
  3. On the upward phase, do the exact opposite (push outward).
  4. Try 10 reps with intention.

collage (1)

Comment below, and give me some feedback on this. I want to know what you thought and felt. Is it harder?

Ok, so now you’ve got a real-world example of what real intention looks like. Isn’t it weird that you will experience more results if you actually actively focus on contracting the muscle on the downward phase, instead of just “lift?”

Start thinking, “lower.”

Now put these three concepts together. It’s like Captain Planet. “Form your variables combined, get gains.”

Ok, pathetic analogy, but you get the process.

Now go put it into action,

 

Jason

Author, Lean Body Revolution

The 15 Minute Body Method For Permanent
Lean Muscle & Advanced Fat Loss

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Interview With Powerlifting Champion Clay Brandenburg

By Ben Tatar

Big Clay is one of the biggest iron monsters whom the powerlifting world has ever seen. He was one of the first men in the planet to bench press 800lbs. Big Clay would later go on to bench press 932lbs. Let’s learn about this living iron powerlifting legend and see who he is as a monster and as a man.

CRITICAL BENCH: Clay, welcome to CRITICAL BENCH. How did you get started in powerlifting?

Big Clay: Bill Bushey and Tom Pearson got me into powerlifting back when I was 16. They were local powerlifters and they were the strongest guys in the gym. After six months of training, they signed me up for my first bench contest in Lima, Ohio.

I had planned on lifting in the 275lbs weight division of the meet, but I weighed 332 lololololol. Obviously, the gym scale was very wrong. I was extremely nervous that day. I threw up two times that morning. I would have bombed if it wasn’t for the coaching of Bill Bushey and Tom Pearson. Thanks, gentlemen.

CRITICAL BENCH: Clay, do you consider yourself to have good genetics? How strong were you in high school?

Big Clay: Yes, I would consider myself to have good genetics. I was benching 200 for reps in 8th grade. I benched 405×5 as a senior. My high school football coach, Scott Galeski was the first person to truly believe in me and my abilities. Thanks coach.

CRITICAL BENCH: I remember back in 1999, everyone was talking about Jamie Harris and Anthony Clark. (The two most dominant bench presser’s of the 90’s.) These men were talked about, and they were racing for the first ever 800lbs bench press mark.

Out of the blue, there was a man behind the scenes named BIG CLAY (one of the biggest lifters ever,) who almost locked out 800 plus, many times!  All of a sudden, you became a household name!!! Before you were a household name, did you ever realize that you could have been the first man to bench press 800lbs plus?

Big Clay: In 1992, I competed at the ADFPA Teenage national championships in Cleveland Ohio.  Anthony Clark was the guest lifter. He benched 500 for 10 that day and he became my hero! I wanted to lift like Anthony, and the journey began seven years later.

I was at the Arnold Classic as a spectator when a great friend Jim Adams looked at me and said I should be on that stage. One year later, I beat Anthony Clark at the 2000 WPC Worlds in Vegas. He became a great friend and mentor. Anthony introduced me to my first sponsor, John Inzer.

We did several guest lifts together. At that point, I realized I could compete with and beat the best in the world. My only true battle was with the iron. The battle was knowing 800lbs would be mine, and I eventually hit a 932lb bench in October of 2007.

CRITICAL BENCH: Tell the world how much you lift with dumbbells!

Big Clay: My best feat with dumbbells is 215lb dumbbells for 12 reps on incline. I have also done rows with 330 pound dumbbells for 10 reps and 215 pound dumbbells shoulder press for 8 reps. Dumbbells are a great tool for base training.

CRITICAL BENCH: Big Clay how did you get so huge and strong?

Big Clay: Well, I was a big kid. Although I have great genes for getting strong, I have the same genes for being fat. I started training early, like eighth grade. I have been surrounded by great training partners and mentors over the years. We do not miss workouts. The gym I trained at as a teenager, TNT gym was full of beast. We lived and breathed in beast mode.

CRITICAL BENCH: Big Clay, so far in your powerlifting journey what has been your FAVORITE MOMENT, CRAZIEST MOMENT and A MOMENT THAT CHANGED YOU THE MOST?

Big Clay: My favorite moment is a tossup between two. One was my first Arnold. What an amazing experience, that feeling on the big stage was incredible. I am so fortunate to have experienced it seven years in a row. The other was when I guest lifted with my hero Anthony Clark and Jamie Harris at the 2000 Mountaineer Cup!

Craziest moment was in 2004 at the WPO bench for cash in Orlando, Florida. We were lifting during Hurricane Gene. We only got two attempts because they were evacuating the city. Our room was flooding, signs and trees were flying everywhere. It was very crazy, and yes, I did win with a 815 bench :).

The moment that changed me the most was the opening of Detroit Barbell. After years of selfish training, I realized how awesome it was to create monsters.

CRITICAL BENCH: Speaking of Detroit Barbell, tell us about it! Does your gym have a creed, or do you have a message for lifters before they step into your gym?

Big Clay: Detroit barbell is FAMILY…Most people are afraid to come to the gym. They are afraid they aren’t strong enough or big enough. I will make this statement; if your passion is lifting, if you strive to be the very best you can be, then you belong at the Barbell. We have lifters at all levels. Our creed, You might be bigger, you might have more talent, BUT YOU WILL NEVER OUT WORK US…..HEART IS WHAT WE ARE..We Believe it…We live it.

CRITICAL BENCH: Everyone, check out Detroit Barbell http://www.detroitbarbell.net/ If you’re in the area and want to be hardcore, give it a try! Clay, tell us about your family!

Big Clay: Family life is awesome!! I married Shelly Pier. She is a lifter as well and very supportive of everything I do. I opened up a private training facility called, the Fitt Factory. So, between both gyms, I work a great deal of hours..Shelly is behind me 100%.

Shelly is super wife and super mom. It’s unbelievable what that woman can do, and she still maintains her own training and looks amazing…I am a very lucky man. On November 18th 2007, we had Mya Starlan Brandenburg. Mya is my world. She has influenced and changed my life in every way. Being a dad is the greatest thing in the world :) Watching her doing tire flips or pull ups at age four is way more rewarding than anything that I’ve done!!!

Schick-Brandenburg

CRITICAL BENCH: Clay, congratulations to you for your lifting and family life as well. Clay, what do you think are the 10 most important factors when it comes to upping one’s bench?

Big Clay: #1 consistent training,#2 proper tech,#3 strong upper back, heavy rows and weighted pull ups,#4 strong triceps, floor press, heavy dumbbells skull crushers,#5 strong chest, incline dumbbell press, heavy log press,#6 strong shoulders, strict overhead pressing, shoulder pin press,#7 heavy CNS training! Heavy board work partials.

#8 touching in training, you have to touch in training to excel in a meet. Boards are only a tool; they should not be used all the time. #9 great training partner with a good eye for technique! #10 a great coach…nothing like an outside voice to guide you to greatness :)

CRITICAL BENCH: Everyone, mark these tips down! What does Big Clay enjoy doing away from powerlifting?

Big Clay: I love spending time with my family. I love traveling, water parks, concerts, Michigan football games, Lions games, Tiger games or watching Beauty and the Beast 1000 times with my daughter. If I’m with my girls, I’m happy!!!

CRITICAL BENCH: What is your message for the Powerlifting world?

Big Clay: Hold yourself and your own lifts to a higher standard, and don’t worry about what everybody else is doing. Try to have balance in life. And last but not least, have fun! If you’re not enjoying it, then do something else.

CRITICAL BENCH: What is your advice for a young kid who would one day like to be a world champion bench presser?

Big Clay: Don’t listen to the doubters!!!! Hold to your dream, and BELIEVE !!!! Enjoy the process and believe anything is possible. The training is the best part.

CRITICAL BENCH: What makes your gym unique?

Big Clay: The family atmosphere, we all truly support and care about each other. The only thing better then believing in yourself is having 50 other people believing in you as well. Detroit Barbell is family

CRITICAL BENCH: Tell us about your diet. What are your favorite supplements?

Big Clay: I have tried everything over the last 20 years. What worked for me was a high protein mid carb diet with most the carbs before and after training and a big cheat meal once a week. When my daughter was born, I decided I needed to live a little longer, and at that point, the weight flew off.

I lost 120 pounds in six months and have kept it off for four years now. As for supplements, I drink two protein shakes a day with glutamine creatine mono before and after training, I drink bcaa’s all day in my water jug… super multivitamin pack and super enzymes before big meals. As for food, I eat two health meals a day and the rest is bars and shakes…Might not be the best plan, but it works for me and my life style.

CRITICAL BENCH: What motivates you to be the best lifter?

Big Clay: That inner fat kid still lives within. Beast Mode is only a few thoughts away. Business wise, just providing for my family and trying to help as many people as I can. I truly believe I have been given a gift. My passion is helping people achieve their dreams. It just happens to be my job. I am truly blessed.

CRITICAL BENCH: How has powerlifting changed you as a man?

Big Clay: Well, it taught me discipline. I partied a lot as a kid so I planned my biggest training days on the weekend so drinking wasn’t an option. My training was way too important to me to be ruined by alcohol. This method has helped me and hundreds of kids I have trained over the years.

Choosing between personal records and a hangover is a easy decision. The injuries really teach you a lot about yourself. It’s tough to go from benching 200 pound dumbbells to not being able to button your pants. Injuries build a lot of mental toughness that help you fight through life’s obstacles.

CRITICAL BENCH: How are you going to remember your powerlifting journey?

Big Clay: A fat kid who became a strong kid, who became the world champ, who became a husband, a father, a mentor, a friend, who lived it ,who tried it, who gave everything he had to everyone and everything in his life…Who not only taught himself to believe, but showed others how to believe in themselves. A person who truly believes in the work and the heart of an individual is all that matters.

CRITICAL BENCH: Tell us about being a coach and inspiring the lifters you lift.

Big Clay: Coaching is my passion!!! It is way more rewarding to teach then to do!!! It can be frustrating, but in the end, when they hit a personal record or break a world, or national record…that look on their face and that feeling inside your heart, is PRICELESS…You can’t buy those memories or moments.

I have coached talent and I have coached heart. Heart might not win in the beginning, but it always wins in the end. Usually talent drops off after a injury. In this sport, it doesn’t matter if you’re going to get injured. It’s a matter of when. Heart never gives up and never gives in.

Here’s a few lifters I have trained that have hearts ten times stronger than anybody: JJ Thomas, Tim Hensley, Shelly Brandenburg, Tom Westhoff, Eric Decaires, Jake Whately, RJ Yage, Rob Johnson, and Drew Stomberg.

CRITICAL BENCH: You were once over 415lbs of mass and you’re down to being a 310lbs powerlifter. What was it like being one of the biggest powerlifting freaks in the world? How does it feel to be over 100lbs lighter? How did you cut the weight?

Big Clay: I wouldn’t change anything. I lived my life over 400 pounds for 12 years. I have done things in training and on the platform that most people only dream about. I have had the pedal to the metal most my life. The only goal was to get bigger and stronger and win at all cost. I left no stone unturned.

During this process, I have suffered several injuries, six rotator tears and broke my heel in half. I have no cartilage in my back or knees and my stomach lining looks like Swiss cheese. I lived and loved every minute of it. My daughter saved my life when she was born, and the weight just fell off.

At 310, I can breathe and move. My strength is not what it used to be, but my brain is more powerful than ever!! I have made every mistake known to man in training. My mistakes and injuries have turned into knowledge and wisdom for hundreds of lifters that will not repeat that same path.

CRITICAL BENCH: Well, Big Clay what a powerlifting journey it has been! What a life you are living!! As we wrap up this interview, is there anything else that you would like to say?

Big Clay: First I would like to thank God for all the gifts He has given me!! Then I would like to thank my mom and dad. Without their love, support and their superior genes, none of this would be possible. I love you mom and dad. Thank you, coach Galeski for believing in me and my ability.Thank you coach, Bill Bushey and coach, Tom Pearson for taking the time to teach a kid how to be a good man and for getting me involved into competitive powerlifting.

Thank you, Steve Miller for beating me at everything. You are like the big brother I never had. Thank you, Jim Adams for believing in me more then I believed in myself. Your motivation and encouragement and all those long hours in the gym are very appreciated. Thank you, Bob McLaughlin for always being my best friend and keeping it real. You have always been a true friend. You have always been there for me, and your friendship means the world to me, thank you.

Anthony Clark, your inspiration motivated me to do things I only dreamed about. You will forever be my hero and live in my heart. Thank you, John Inzer. Your support over the years has been tremendous. You have never given up on me. I did everything I could to put Inzer advanced designs in positive light.

Thank you, John Zemmin for being the ultimate beast and pushing me to do things in training and on the platform that I never thought possible. Our competitive spirit and love for lifting has formed a brotherhood for the future of Detroit Barbell. You are my iron brother.

Thank you to all the men and women over the years that I have trained. All your effort, all your sweat and tears have been greatly appreciated. I am very proud of every one of you. Last but not least, thanks to my beautiful wife for supporting me on and off the platform.

I appreciate every moment that you have been in my life. Thank you, Mya Starlan Brandenburg for inspiring me to be a better man. There are so many to thank but these ones are near and dear to me.

Interview with 2013 Super Bowl Champion Brendon Ayanbadejo

Interviewed by:  Ben Tatar
(Iron Man Magazine featured. )

Brendon Ayanbadejo has just achieved every NFL great’s dream; he has won the Super Bowl with the 2013 Baltimore Ravens. Not only has Brendon won the Super Bowl, but he has been one of the best defensive outside linebackers and special team players in the NFL during the last decade. IM Magazine presents to you, Super Bowl champion Brendon Ayanbadejo

Ben Tatar: This is Ben Tatar, and today I’m here with 2013 Super Bowl Champion Brendon Ayanbadejo. Brendon, tell about us about your motivation, training and nutrition that has allowed you to be dominate in the NFL during the past decade?

Brendon Ayanbadejo: Training is a lifestyle for me. It’s something I do daily and up to 14 training sessions in a six day period. With extreme training, I have extreme nutritional needs. So along with building my body and conditioning my body, I keep myself limber through vinyasa yoga.

I also eat a completely natural diet which means no preservatives, hormones, antibiotics, hydrogenated oils or fake sugars. I also eat as much organically as much as possible. I have an extreme supplementation program which includes injectable aminos and supplements that are individually designed for my body’s deficiencies. The combination of these factors make my 36 actual age more like a 25 year old physical age.

Ben Tatar:  Brendon, you’re one of the strongest and most athletic men in the NFL when it comes to physical challenges. How do you combine your athletic training with your bodybuilding training to be so great at NFL athletic challenges while looking like a bodybuilding champ?

Brendon Ayanbadejo: I love body building. I’m a vain person. At 14, I started lifting weights. I noticed my frame picked up muscle and strength very quickly. However, being an athlete, I needed to be fast, explosive, big, strong, agile, and all these other things.

So I incorporated functional training into my regiment at a young age. I was lucky to have great trainers in Santa Cruz California where I grew up who were so amazingly far ahead of the curve. Luckily 18 years later, everyone is now doing what I learned at 18, and I’ve mastered it. Functional training, along with bodybuilding, not only looks great but works extremely well!

Ben Tatar: Your NFL journey has been complete as you are now a Super Bowl champion! After you’re finished playing in the NFL, what would you like to do in the fitness industry?

Brendon Ayanbadejo: I just might do a natural body building contest one day. But my true love is athletics. I love all sports. I aspire to be the athletic director at my alma mater, UCLA one day in the near future. I like to help student athletes have better lives, especially the ones that do not become pro athletes and that’s the vast majority of young men and women in the NCAA.

Ben Tatar: What are five of your favorite bodybuilding exercises? What are five of your favorite athletic exercises?


Brendon Ayanbadejo: My 5 favorite bodybuilding exercises are:

1. Bench press

2. Dumbbell curls

3. Squats

4. Pull ups

5. Dumbbell front raises for shoulder

My 5 favorite athletic exercises are:

1) pure running is #1

2)agility/speed ladder

3) jump rope

4) any movement using a rubber bland for resistance, curls, bench, tri extension and squat ( I usually do these movements until failure and do them with speed.)

5) prowlersled. (Can push it, pull it, walk it, run it, rehab on it. Very functional.)

Ben Tatar: How do you combine bodybuilding and athletic exercises into your routine?

Brendon Ayanbadejo: Once a week I speed bench and speed squat. There’s a machine hooked up to the barbell that lets you know if you are reacting fast enough. That’s a functional bodybuilding movement used to increase speed and strength. We typically do 10 sets of 3 with a minute recovery and often times we do not go above 185lbs. if you can hit it fast enough. On a body building day, we are well into the 300 lbs. realm for sets 6-10 reps and over 400 for squat.

Ben Tatar: I’m going to list a quick concept, tell us what came to mind when these moments happened:

Brendon Ayanbadejo: Let’s do this.

A) Your game winning interception against Tom Brady in your first NFL start at LB and when you beat the 2004 historic Patriots in that game –opportunity.

B)When your Chicago Bears beat Drew Brees and the New Orlean Saints in the 2007 NFC Championship game to go to the Super Bowl— It was amazing as we hosted the NFC Championship Trophy to the Chicago fans. Snow was falling to cap an incredible story.

C) You are part of one of the most dominate defenses in the history of the NFL, the Ravens defensive dynasty- Tradition.

D) Playing in many Pro Bowls—Fun in the sun. Blessed and honored

E) Winning the 2013 Super Bowl under the toughest conditions as you beat 1)Andrew Luck’s Colts 2) Peyton Manning’s Broncos in which many would call the greatest game ever played. 3) Then you beat the most talked about New England Patriots in New England, 4) Then you beat the incredible offense and defense of the SF 49ers in the Super Bowl—- The highlight of my career.

Ben Tatar: You have played for the Dolphins, Bears and Ravens. What was the best part of being a player, on and off the field, for each team?

Brendon Ayanbadejo: Best part, on the field, of being a Dolphin was playing with Zach Thomas, Jason Taylor and the legend Jr. Seau. Off the field, Miami, Florida is an amazingly beautiful place to live. I was born in Chicago, and Chicago is the most amazing city in the US. The Bears have amazing tradition.

The defense is monstrous, hence monsters of the midway. Urlacher and Briggs are both hall of famers. Baltimore might be the toughest football and city I have ever played for. It’s Blue Collar all the way.

The team owner is the best owner in football and Ozzie Newsome, our GM is a former player and great guy. Playing with Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, Ed Reed and Ray Lewis are all Hall of famers and the best football players I have ever played with.

Ben Tatar: What is your advice for younger athletes who would like to be as ripped, strong and as athletic as possible? Do you have any nutrition, recovery or motivational tips?

Brendon Ayanbadejo: I would say learn about food and more importantly, learn what foods affect your body. It’s different for everyone. Eat simple and natural. Lift, run, stretch, and do all sorts of training, yoga, swimming, biking, weights, rubber bands, kettlebells, etc.

For recovery take supplements. Learn about what keeps your body feeling good, ie hyaluronic acid, collagen, arginine, glutamine, zinc, magnesium, sodium bicarbonate. There’s too many to name.

Ben Tatar: What do you enjoy doing away from training and playing in the NFL? You seem to be living your dream beyond winning the Super Bowl.

Brendon Ayanbadejo: I love to learn. I’m in school at George Washington University Staremba doing my masters in business. It’s challenging and fulfilling. The number one priority in my life is my family and my kids. I love being a daddy. The kids keep me on my toes.

I have three French bulldogs that seem to run my life along with the kids. But I love it, or I wouldn’t have three lol.

Ben Tatar: Brendon it has been great interviewing you today. What a life you are living as an NFL All-star, bodybuilder, father and man. Congratulations on your big Super Bowl win! In closing, what message would you like to leave your fans?

Brendon Ayanbadejo: Without the fans there is no football. Without football, I don’t have such a powerful platform to help make the world a better place. Thank you for allowing me to voice my opinions and giving me a foundation to stand so tall.

EDITOR NOTE** Today Brendon is currently working as a analyst for Fox Sports 1 on Fox Football Daily. Ayanbadejo plans on continuing his advocacy in equal rights as a surrogate for the White House.  Ayanbadejo has also brought the Orangetheory Fitness franchise to Los Angeles County and the Bay Area (several locations coming soon) Lastly, Brendon was the Sports Illustrated sportsman of the year 2013.  Brendon Ayanbadejo fans can read and follow Brendon @brendon310 for both Twitter and Instagram. Brendon can also be followed on facebook:www.facebook.com/brendonayanbadejo

The Reason Most People FAIL at Eating Right

By Chris Wilson

Here we are only days into a brand new year offering hope and change.  Unfortunately, for most people who recently sold themselves on doing a “180” in their life, come February, it’s back to reality.

Why are Americans so willing to continually sell themselves on the idea of change and a new approach to life and within weeks resort to old habits?  Why are we (me included of course) determined to make January the beginning of greatness, of prosperity and fulfillment?  Is it because we all realize with every New Year that we get older and closer to the end?

Sorry, I’m not trying to be bleak but think about it for a moment.  We get a dose of reality with every birthday and as we age, we think about the changes we need to make in order to age gracefully.

What Might These Changes Be?

I think it’s safe to say that no one wants to suffer through illness and disease looking miserable  and old.  We want to feel good, look good but usually on our terms.  Sadly, those terms often include lose weight quick schemes, fad diets and lots of wasted money.

Sure, we all can lose 10-20 pounds in a month by sticking to a strict diet.  But who stays on that diet forever?  Very few, that’s who.  Eventually, we always go back to what’s easy and what makes us happiest.

Let me be the first one to tell you, diets will always let you down.  That’s my number one reason for people failing at finding true health.

Our society is driven by big business and food sells!  Eat this, don’t eat that….drink this, and never drink that.  What may work for a few weeks or even a few months will always let you down in the long run.  Moderation is completely understated and probably is the one truly realistic formula for success when it comes to nutrition and fat loss.

But moderation doesn’t sell books, DVDs or air-time.  We all know that one or two cookies probably won’t have much impact on our belly but who can control their overwhelming desire for 5-6?  I know during the holidays I lack all discipline and cannot avoid the 5 pound weight gain.  I know that to be fact.  So, if that’s the case, what am I doing the other 10 months out of the year to look and feel great?

I’m “moderating” how much of that junk goes into my body.  Fast food, sure I eat it…once per month.  Ice cream, sure I buy it and indulge in 3-4 bowls per month.  Those calories aren’t hurting me.  In actuality, they are helping me.

How can that be?  Easy.  By allowing myself to “temporarily” satisfy that powerful desire to eat high calorie, high fat, sugary food, I tame the beast.

Follow me here, I just love analogies.  If you have a dog that LOVES to run (and most dogs do…duh) it’s essential that you find time in the day to let that dog do its thing.  If the dog is kept inside and not allowed a reasonable amount of time to run, jump and play a little every day, that dog is miserable.  The dog becomes less of a dog and loses its sense of self.  That dog will never be content or happy.  In other words, the dog needs that time just like it needs breathe.

People operate similarly.  If we allow ourselves to enjoy “a cookie” or “scoop of ice cream” once in a while, two things happen:

  1. Bad food urge fulfilled
  2. Guilt meter goes up a notch

Number one is perfectly clear but let me clarify what I mean with number two.  Most of us seeking to be truly healthy have a way of getting down on ourselves when we cheat.  Without letting those feelings get out of control, they can actually help us stay focused and on task.

What About The Feeling of Guilt

The feeling of guilt over the small bowl of strawberry ice cream can be enough to catapult us through 3-4 days of nearly flawless eating habits.  That’s how we get from over-indulging to moderation.  That’s how we get from daily desserts and treats to “reward food” for being good boys and girls most of the time.

I understand this is not ground-breaking information here but it’s honest and it’s accurate.  If we do more to practice moderation and allow ourselves some cheats a few times per week, we can uncover the bodies we long for, lose that annoying 10 pounds and the most important part, do it for the rest of our lives.

Remember, diets don’t work.  Band aids don’t heal large wounds.  Buckets of water don’t put out an inferno.  What works is consistently keeping yourself in check when it comes to foods robbing you of true health.  If you can make the goals to look good and feel great BIGGER than the slice of pizza you reward yourself with, you’ve won!

If you like this article, you’ll want to read this too!

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And What to Do About It”

Break The Weight Loss Up and
Down Cycle Once and For All!

 

Get Enough Sleep Or Else…

 

by Sol Orwell of Examine.com

Getting enough sleep is absolutely vital to maintaining a high quality of life. Unfortunately, it takes time and commitment. If you don’t respect sleep, not only will you find yourself struggling in your daily life, but your gym performance and overall life expectancy will fall.

What happens when sleep is impaired?

Missing one night of sleep is not too bad. Physical performance is largely unaffected, and most parameters of mental health remain stable, apart from the occasional spike in afternoon fatigue. Most negative effects of sleep loss appear when sleep is poor every night, for a prolonged period of time.

Consistent poor sleep is associated with the following:

  • An altered hormonal profile (your leptin, testosterone, growth hormone and cortisol levels might change for the worse).
  • Reductions in muscle growth and increased fat gain over time.
  • Reduced cognitive potential, usually in regards to judgement and interpersonal interactions.
  • Reduced recovery rates.

Long-term adverse health effects include an increased risk for cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Considering that sleep was recently found to clear toxic compounds from the brain, it seems prudent to find time for bedtime.

How can I easily optimize sleep?

Making sure your sleeping habits are ideal are equal parts habit, environment, and supplements. If your sleeping habits and environment are not up to par, dedicate time to improving them before moving onto supplements.

Habits
Sleep in the same place every night. Your body will enjoy the familiarity and get more rest. Attempt to ease your mind before trying to fall asleep. It can help to externalize your worries by keeping a diary or to-do list, or meditating. The more relaxed your brain is, the better you will sleep.

Environment
During the early stages of sleep, your body can and will respond to changes in your environment, possibly leading you to waking up when you would’ve just preferred to stay asleep. A good sleep environment is one with very little noise and a stable, not-too-warm temperature. If your mattress likes to surprise you by poking you with springs in your sleep, consider a new mattress.

While getting ready for bed, try to limit your exposure to light. Excessive light will limit your body’s production of melatonin, which is essential for a good night’s sleep. Try to stay away from LED or fluorescent lights 30 minutes before bed, or download f.lux if you must be online immediately before bed.

Supplementation
Supplementation should be resorted to if managing your habits and environment doesn’t produce your desired quality of sleep. Melatonin is great for people that have trouble falling asleep, but are fine once actually snoozing.

Glycine can help if you have no issue falling asleep, but wake up too often. Lemon balm is a good way to reduce intrusive thoughts before bed. Keep in mind, melatonin is less effective during the day, while lemon balm makes a horrible pre-workout.

What can I do if I slept badly but need to function at peak capacity?

Whether you couldn’t sleep the night before your first powerlifting meet, or you had to stay up to finish an assignment, there are a few things you can do to ensure you function well the day after a terrible night.

Your first option is caffeine, though try your best to time it well. Since fatigue associated with poor sleep occurs in the early afternoon, taking caffeine between 9 and 10 a.m. will counteract that fatigue best. Too early, and you’ll need another dose at noon. Too late, and you’ll be impairing your ability to fall asleep when you need to.

Do your best to go to bed earlier the next night. This is known as recompensatory sleep, and while there are limits to it, try to catch up with an extra hour or two of sleep the day after you sleep poorly.

Creatine has also been found to preserve cognitive function during sports during instances of sleep deprivation.

 

All of the scientific research presented in the Supplement-Goals Reference Guide (over 2000 references) is human studies.  While they factor in animal studies and in vitro studies while building up their knowledge on topics, they do not include them in their conclusions.

Supplementation is interesting field. Some people rely too much on supplements while others totally dismiss them as useless.  This non-biased guide will help you decide for yourself.

I bought a copy for everyone on my staff to reference.

If You Have Questions About Supplements – Click Here as This Reference Guide Will Help.

 

 

Growing DANGERS of Pain Killers

Written by: Mike Westerdal

Nearly everyone who has lifted weights with any intensity has experienced exercise-induced muscle soreness and pain.

The Three Types of Pain Related to Weigh Lifting or Strenuous Exercise Include:

1) pain experienced during or immediately following exercise
2) delayed onset muscle soreness
3) pain induced by muscle cramps. Each is characterized by a different time course and different cause.

Pain that is felt during exercise is considered to result from a combination of factors including acids, ions, proteins, and hormones. Delayed onset muscle soreness develops 24-48 hours after lifting heavy weights or after strenuous exercise.

pain relief

A prolonged strength loss and a reduced range of motion generally accompany this type of soreness. Lastly, muscle cramps are involuntary temporary strong muscle contractions, which may cause a severe pain. Usually the onset is sudden while the cramp resolves spontaneously in a few seconds to minutes.

For a growing number of us, the solution to minimizing the discomfort of any of these three types of pains is to take a couple of over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers. Aspirin, acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the three main types of OTC pain relief products.

Most of us never think twice about this practice and in fact, it is becoming increasingly common for many men to consume OTC pain relievers after nearly every workout with some even taking them before they start to lift.

What Does The Evidence Suggest?

There is a growing body of evidence indicating that this practice is not only counterproductive, but also potentially dangerous and in some cases, even deadly. NSAIDS, acetaminophen and prescription painkillers are of particular concern.

For example, a number of experts and researchers have recently begun raising questions about whether or not taking NSAIDs inhibits the muscle growth (hypertrophy) that is the desired goal of our workouts. Emerging evidence suggests that NSAIDS may impair protein-synthesis, a crucial component of the muscle building process.

The muscle soreness that follows a strenuous workout is part of the body’s adaptive response to exercise—it happens for a reason. Some amount of inflammation may be important, and even necessary, to maximize the effectiveness of strength training.

By taking NSAIDs to suppress the inflammatory response you may be cancelling out some of the benefits that would otherwise be achieved by lifting weights.

We’ll start by looking at the basics of the role protein plays in muscle growth. First, protein is an essential building block of muscle tissue. Skeletal muscle increases in size when new contractile proteins are added to existing muscle cells.

Let’s Take a Look at a Recent Study on OTC Doses

A 2002 study published in the American Journal of Physiology Endocrinology and Metabolism found that OTC doses of both ibuprofen and acetaminophen suppressed the protein synthesis response in skeletal muscle after strength training exercises.

In this study, protein synthesis was tested in groups that took acetaminophen, ibuprophen or a placebo. Results showed that the placebo group had a 75 percent higher rate of protein synthesis than the groups taking NSAID painkillers.

Pills out of a Bottle

A number of additional studies have also examined the effects of NSAIDs on muscle growth. Like the 2002 research, these studies found that taking NSAIDs to relieve pain before or after weight training is counterproductive, because they inhibit protein synthesis, which in turn inhibits the growth of muscle.

For example, a 2006 study published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that injecting ibuprofen directly into muscles resulted in 50 percent less muscle growth. Given this, regular consumption of NSAIDs to relieve muscle pain and soreness could potentially erase hard fought for gains in muscle mass and increases in strength.

But that isn’t the only problem with NSAIDs—there is also the danger of adverse reactions when they are consumed in excessive quantities. Medical data shows that acetaminophen is one of the most common causes of poisoning in the world.

How Much is TOO Much?

Over time, consuming more than 4,000 milligrams of NSAIDs in a day, the maximum recommended dose, can cause problems with both the kidneys and the liver. And consuming more than 7,000 mg in a day can result in a severe overdose and cause symptoms such as coma and convulsions. Without rapid treatment, large overdoses of acetaminophen can result in liver failure and death.

Some people who experience chronic or recurring muscle pain must turn to prescription pain relievers to find relief. Unfortunately for some, they become addicted and sometimes overdose and die. In fact, prescription painkiller overdose deaths have increased 300% since 1999.

And regardless of whether you’re talking about OTC or prescription painkillers, excessive use of either can actually result in more frequent and more severe injuries. This can occur because painkillers can help alleviate the symptoms of the pain but not the cause.

Weight training with an injury with the soreness masked by pain relievers can lead to more serious and damaging problems. So while at some point nearly all of us will most likely need to take some sort of painkiller to alleviate weight training-related soreness, take them responsibly and only when necessary.

Otherwise, you run the risk of negating your gains, increasing the likelihood of injury, experiencing adverse reactions or even worse.

101 Superfoods to Fight Pain and Inflammation!

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Raging Inside Your Body That Can Go Undetected
for Months…EVEN Years!

Tiny Meeker Interview – 1st Man to Bench Press Over 1,100 LBS

 

Interview with World Record Holder Tiny Meeker (First man to bench press over 1,100lbs.)

Interviewed by CB reporter Ben Tatar

Tiny Meeker is the first and only man to bench press 1,100lbs. Tiny benched an astounding 11,02lbs and he gave 1,135lbs a ride. Tiny is also the World Record Holder for repping 600 lbs. for 14 reps. He benched 700 lbs. for 8 reps and 800 lbs. for 4 reps which is the most ever. Let’s meet the man with the biggest.

 

CB: Tiny you have set all kinds of bench press records. Which 5 were your favorite in order and why?

Tiny Meeker: My five favorites were as follows:

1) 1,102, I am finally satisfied with a lift. I will put my next top 5, but this meant the most to me. I am the first and only one to hit 1100.

2)  Was benching 800 and 900 in a single. Man, I was battling Bill Gillespie to be the first to bench 800. I was really worried he would get the 800 first. He would do a Meet and miss it. Then I would do one and miss. And then finally I got it.

3) 1077, I cannot lie. I cried! I was going to do 1100 there, but I was too overwhelmed, so I passed.

4) This one is kind of funny. Gus Rethwisch asked me after my second WABDL World Meet what my goal was in powerlifting. I told him I wanted to bench 700. He told me that I would never do it, because I only benched 606 in the last two years at Worlds. Man, did that make me mad. I actually had the flu the year he said that.

I didn’t even take my training serious back then. The next year I hit 657 and broke Ryan Kennelly’s record by two pounds. I then missed 700. The next two years I missed 700, but the next time I lifted in the WABDL, I hit 843!!! I told Gus, he was right. I never benched 700. I did 843!!

5) My first 600 and 700, not in the WABDL. My first 6 was 606 and I did it in the APA. What made it special was that I also did it in front of The Great Anthony Clark. It was also my first real World Record. It put my name in as a serious lifter. My first 700 was 705 in the APF.

Another special moment was with my training partner was Bill Lobins. Bill had to move away to take care of his mother who was ill. I promised him that I would bench 700 before he moved away. I opened with 683 good, then missed, 705. On my third lift I hit it. I had tears going down my face halfway up, because I knew I had it.

I jumped up on the bench and hugged Bill and told him, I told you I would do it!!! He said, you sure did!!!

CB: What are your future goals?

Tiny Meeker: I have some much unfinished business in the single-ply. I need to nail 1000!!! Right now I know I can do 1140 in a Multi-ply. I know 1100 was the ultimate goal, but I do believe I can bench 1200 very soon.

After that, I want to lose about 40 to 50 pounds and stay at 280 for sometime. Not sure if I want to drop down to 275, but time will tell.

 

 

 

CB: Back when you were in college did you always believe you would be a world record bench press holder?

Tiny Meeker: I love these questions, NO, during my first year I was working in Night clubs and living the night life.   I also was playing lots of basketball.

I was always in the weight room, but I had no idea that powerlifting existed after high school. I lifted in high school my sophomore and junior year, but my school dropped it my senior year.

I always loved to bench, but I was never really serious about my lifting until much later. When I was 22, I was benching 600 raw. I actually did it the first time in my old high school gym during the summer. At 28 I met a man named Bob Garza. He saw me benching over 500 in a Bally’s gym one day. He asked me if I wanted to powerlift.

The techniques I learned were way better when it comes to to bench. I used to flare my elbows, but not anymore. My benched dropped at first. A few months later I lifted in my first USPF Texas Meet. I took second. And that is when it all started again.

CB: How does it feel to have the biggest bench press ever?

Tiny Meeker: Very relieved. In 2010 I suffered a very bad shoulder injury. Thank GOD for GLC2000. Last December I was riding around in Vegas with my friend Hunter Hernandez. I was telling him 1047 was not a bad number. I really felt that I would never bench 1000 again.

I was good for 900, which is not a bad bench at all, but I didn’t think my shoulder would heal. After the WABDL Worlds I took a few weeks off and doubled up the dosage of my GLC2000. Within weeks the pain just stopped. A few months after that I benched 1077 in Corpus at the SPF Texas State.

Tiny Meekers Interview

CB: What is unique about your training partners and the equipment you use?

Tiny Meeker: They show up every Sunday!!!! Actually, they all want to be better and they are all great guys. I am truly blessed to have a great group of lifters such as Steven Kaufman, Mike Thomas, Keithyon Gunter, David Smith, Greg Brown, Harjit Kumar, Fateh Sihota, Bobby Leitz, and Chris Eason.

This is my team. We are all different in ages and weight classes, but we all want to be the best and help each other. As far as equipment goes, I have a very big hardcore gym which is about 13,000 sq ft.  I have the best bars and benches you can use which includes a kilo set, bands, chains, and much much more.

CB: How do you want to be remembered?

Tiny Meeker: I just want to be remembered as a lifter that had no fear. And a lifter that never thought he was better than anyone else. I never wanted to be treated different from anyone else and a lifter that loved to help others reach their goals.

I just wish there was one day that everyone would see me lift or watch my video and say that was good. I wish!!

CB: What shirt did you use to bench the 1102?

Tiny Meeker: Inzer Advance Designs SDP. The Phenom is the most incredible shirt ever made. I can touch 600 in the same shirt I bench 1102 in. Yes, it was a 3ply

CB: One might wonder why the best bench pressers use shirts. Any explanation?

Tiny Meeker: Safety! The number one reason we wear equipment. I have much respect for Spoto and Mendy, but lifting raw is the only way I ever suffered a injury lifting. I want to lift for a very long time. That might not happen, if I get hurt again. I will take my chances wearing equipment.

CB: So far in your bench journey, list us a FAVORITE MOMENT, FUNNY MOMENT, and a MOMENT that changed you the most.

Tiny Meeker: Favorite, lifting in Russia. The people were so good. I really felt like a RockStar.

Funny, when I benched 1047 at the Biggest Bench On The River, I jumped up and asked the spotter why wouldn’t you grab the weight. We were all laughing, because no one could hear the call. I then stopped and said, was the lift good and they said yes and we all cheered.

Okay, maybe that was corny, but I got a good laugh. Another one, was at the FIT EXPO. I hit my opener 887 and everyone back stage went running to change shirts.

Changed the most? Super-lifting! Made me a much better lifter. Taught me to hold big weight longer and move much faster.

Another major change for me was when my sponsor Randy Risher bought me my first 1000 pound weight set and supplied me with my first gym. My sponsor Brian Welker designing and making my first ever custom bench with me.

 

CB: What is your advice for a young lifter who would one day like to be benching 1000+

Tiny Meeker: Be patient. It took me 30 years. Learn perfect, yes perfect form first. That means everything is perfect. From the warm-up to the max out. Nothing changes. Put yourself around good people who all want to be there. And will always be honest to you as a lifter.

You will never do this on your own. Don’t be afraid to fail. Always be humble. Help others, because you are going to need help too.

CB: Tiny it was great interviewing you today. In closing is there anything else that you would like to say or anyone who you would like to thank?

Tiny Meeker: Last please let me thank, GOD my Lord Jesus Christ. My sponsors John Inzer and everyone at Inzer Advance Designs, Shawn Madere and GLC2000, Power Sugar, Dr. Nerenberg, My team, My Monster Gym team, Tony Saraceni for giving me the means to go after my ultimate dream.

My brother Jason Meeker, Bert Brocker and the Texan Live Team. Dr. Hillborn and Bob Garrett for fixing my body regularly. And any training partners I have had over all these years and anyone who ever helped put a shirt on me or liftoff for me. Also, a big thank you to Lifewave and Labrada Nutrition.

And finally, thank you Critical Bench for the interview.