Weight Lifting, Weight Training, Bench Press & Bodybuilding
June 24, 2024
Interview With Critical Bench Writer & Interviewer Ben Tatar
Interviewed by Mike Westerdal

Ben Tatar and a chick For those of you haven't heard of Ben Tatar you're about to meet an exciting character. Ben started helping Critical Bench as a contributing author many years ago. People have enjoyed his unique point of view because Ben stays true to what he believes and does not care what people think. If you've read any of his articles you'll quickly find that he is very passionate and intense. Powerlifters and strength athletes love this persona, while the general public doesn't always get it.

In addition to finishing school Ben is a writer for Iron Man Magazine and has been published in Monster Muscle.

His true talent seems to lie in his interviewing and reporting. He has covered events such as The Arnold Classic and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the Iron Game. For a full list of interviews visit this page: http://www.criticalbench.com/athlete-interviews.htm

Ben has also co-written an ebook called "50 Keys To A Bigger Bench Press". You can access a free copy using this link: http://www.criticalbench.com/samples/50-keys-Ben.pdf

Without any further delay we bring you a man that has been instrumental to the success of the Critical Bench Web site......our friend Mr. Ben Tatar!

1) Critical Bench: Ben, it's great to have you here with Critical Bench. You are usually the one doing the interviews but now we get to learn about the man who interviews. Ben, tell Critical Bench readers about yourself?

Ben Tatar Ben Tatar: I am a writer and reporter for www.criticalbench.com! I have written hundreds of articles for beginners to advanced lifters and I have interviewed many of the best bodybuilders, fitness models, powerlifters, World's Strongest Man Competitors, full contact fighters, WWE Wrestlers and pro athletes in the world. I have been published in Monster Muscle Magazine and Iron Man Magazine on numerous occasions. I have also been the athlete of the month for 3 different websites and I have been interviewed twice. I have experience in powerlifting, coaching, training Division 1 athletes and competing in strongman competitions. I have bench pressed double my body weight, squatted 3 times my body weight, reverse band bench pressed 3 times my body weight, bench-press rack- locked out 4 times my body weight, and deadlifted 3 times my body weight I have truly enjoyed being a writer and a reporter for critical bench over the years!

2) Critical Bench: Ben, how did you writing journey begin?

To quote Mike Witmer- "Years ago I met this young, crazy, iron hungry go getter at Truly Huge that remembered, and held onto every thought of mine! Ben's greatest strength is his heart, desire intelligence and maturity. I have done a ton of things, from wrestling to college football, and some of Ben's advice still sticks with me."- Mike Witmer

Ben Tatar: When I was younger I trained with specialized strength coaches and World Record holders but I really started learning the sport of powerlifting and strength sports when I started talking to Mike Witmer. Mike taught me a lot and then after I learned from Mike I became an expert in the industry and now here I am interviewing the best of the best at the biggest Events in the Iron Game.

I also remember meeting you online for the first time and sharing my ideas. I just read some of your stuff and I knew your stuff was like my thoughts so I emailed you, we talked and my writing journey took off!

3) Critical Bench: How does it feel to interview and speak with some of the biggest names in strength sports?

Ben Tatar: Everyone who I have interviewed has had a great story. I enjoy showcasing these stories. I like to look at everyone who I have interviewed as a leader who can perhaps get other individuals involved in strength sports or show them what it really takes to be the best they can be.

What also makes the interviews from Critical Bench so interesting is that every interview I have done has been original. No other place has the same interview as ours. The interviews are all like mini books where athletes discuss their lives and show the world how they became the best of the best in what they do! Most sites haven't interviewed the lifters, WWE wrestlers and athletes that I have and if they have interviewed some of the same people then they didn't ask them the same or even similar questions. We're original.

I always dreamed about interviewing the biggest names in strength sports and now my dream has become a reality. I love it! Memories are better than dreams!

4) Critical Bench: What have been your 15 Favorite Critical Bench or Weight Lifting Moments?

Ben Tatar: The Top 15 favorite Ben Tatar Critical Bench Moments:

15th place - The best athletes in strength sports accepted my offers to interview them. Over the past 6 years, I have interviewed hundreds of the greatest athletes and weight lifters in the world. What is really amazing is that 95% of the best lifters and athletes have wanted to be interviewed for Critical Bench.

14th place- I have had articles and interviews published in Iron Man Magazine every time I have submitted articles. Some people spend a life time trying to make it into magazines and I have made it into Iron Man Magazine every time I submitted.

13th place- One of my biggest high lights as a writer was when I was published in Monster Muscle Magazine. It was very exciting because I was this young kid writing articles in magazines for the strongest powerlifters in the world. The article that got published when I first made Monster Muscle was called "22 Steps To a Bigger Bench Press" and that article has been featured at over 50 different websites. Monster Muscle Magazine also offered me my own Power Column.

Ben Tatar and Mike Witmer

12th place- Writing for magazine gave me opportunities to write articles outside of the weight lifting world. I became an editor for a newspaper called the "Chelydra Snappy Views".

11th place- I take pride in my personal achievements. I made the 400lbs bench press club. http://www.criticalbench.com/400benchclub.htm

I became the saynotosteroids athlete of the month! http://saynotosteroids.com/feature.htm (click the yellow star.)

I also was chosen as the drug free athlete for "The Lift for Life Site"

I was qualified for a critical bench interview years back: http://www.criticalbench.com/Ben-Tatar.htm

Then I wrote the ebook with you and here I am doing an interview again five years later! It's a great honor to have been recognized by other big names and big websites in the world of strength sports.

10th place- I got lots of publicity including 500+ searches in the google search engine one month. That means 500+ people typed me up in google to look me up. Sometimes people approach me and know me, but I don't know them. There is definitely a publicity factor as I write for Critical Bench regularly as the Critical Bench website gets over a million hits per month.

9th place-- I completed 100+ interviews in a week! I should have made the Guinness Book of World Records for interviewing the most strength athletes on the planet in a week! If I can do 100 interviews in a week then what can't I do?

8th place--- I once wrote 50 articles in a week. After swamping your email address with articles, I guess I really like to write for Critical Bench. Hahahaha, I think I have swamped other online mags as well. too!

7th place-I have enjoyed meeting the best of the best. I got my picture taken with HHH, Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler, Gustavo Badell, and all the pro bodybuilders, athletes, playmates, WWE Wrestlers, fitness models and powerlifting friends from across the Country at the Arnold Expo! I also got my picture taken holding the Critical Bench shirt with Ronnie and Jay Cutler which will forever be on the Critical Bench homepage! The whole trip to Columbus Ohio was certainly at the top, and I made the cover of Flex for over 100,000 athletes to see. You can read my interview about the Arnold here: http://www.criticalbench.com /arnold-classic-2006.htm

6th place--- Meeting you (Mike Westerdal), the President of Critical Bench was a great moment. You and I were good friends by email for years and I never knew if we would meet but I'm glad we did.

Remember when our waitress asked us what we wanted to eat and I said "mussels". I then told her that we all had muscles and how much we could all bench press? My dad was there too. He has military pressed 230lbs before at the age of 50 and weighing in at 167lbs. We all had a lot of fun!!

5th place-Critical Bench has helped me grow as a person. I have no fear of anyone since I have talked to the biggest monsters, prettiest fitness models, craziest fighters, and scariest strongmen on the planet!

4th place- I give the best athlete's in the world publicity. It's clearly a dream of mine to make other people's dreams come true and give them the opportunity to promote all the great things that they have done!

3rd place - One of the highlights was when I first started working for Critical Bench. It was exciting because I never really shared my ideas with more than one person at a time and here I was becoming a so called "expert in the industry" to millions all of a sudden.

2nd place--- I have enjoyed the day-to-day amazements that Critical Bench brings to me. For example, Frank Shamrock calls my house. The next day I'm interviewing Barry Melrose at a party at his house, and the next day I get an email from Steve Holmen telling me that I am in Iron Man Magazine again.

1st place---- I have enjoyed taking part in the evolution of Critical Bench. This is something that I can feel proud about forever. Every time I interview a big name, more people visit Critical Bench and now Critical Bench is a mainstream site. We are one of the first huge and true bench press-strength sites ever!

I'm thankful for all of the memories. I'm sure that all of my great experiences will lead to many more great Critical Bench moments in the future!

5) Critical Bench: What makes Ben Tatar different than everyone else when it comes to working out?

Ben and Ronnie Coleman

To quote Mike Witmer: Although, I have known thousands of the best athletes in pro wrestling (as I have wrestled for WCW,) football, bodybuilding, strongman, and powerlifting, I would safely say, Ben Tatar is the most intense man I have ever known! I have been a very lucky man to be in the right place, at the right time to have witnessed the things I have and trained with the people I have trained with! Some people look at intensity and say, so and so is intense because he trains hard, and he is tough. However, to me, intensity means someone who doesn't quit. Someone who lives his/her life like it's their last day, and doesn't care what people think. Someone who puts 100% into EVERYTHING he/she does. Even if it's just digging a ditch, they hit it like a challenge! Someone who doesn't know fear of new challenges! Ben Tatar is all of this! Ben does everything as close to perfection as possible! He is a real go getter, with tons of passion, amazing energy and intensity. I respect Ben more than anyone I have ever trained with! He doesn't worry about genetics, bodyweight, he just goes out and kicks ass!! I use Ben Tatar as an inspiration to my football players all the time! Ben is the only person I know that can crank me up with typed words!" -Mike Witmer, raw powerlifting champion, strongman strongman champion, former pro wrestler, dominate football player and coach.

Ben Tatar: Most people go to the gym just so they can say they go to the gym or to socialize. For most people it's about impressing their friends and not getting fat after drinking booze. When I enter the gym I always want to do something that I have never done before. I want to amaze myself! I feel like a stunt man. Whether I'm doing lockout squats with 1000lbs for 100 reps as I collapse onto the floor, or 405lbs squats for 100 reps, I feel that adrenaline rush to just do something insane and to do something where I go home and say "Wow, how in the hell did I do that?" I love this mindset, and when I am an old man reflecting back on life I can always thank myself for all the risks that I have attempted and say "Yeah, Ben Tatar was a special person, he was a warrior who always put it all out there on the line and he took no prisoners, and always went no hold barred!" I really feel like that action hero!

Let me tell you a story about me training with a normal strong guy and what separates us apart: I went to the gym and I was doing bench press sets with 315lbs for 3 sets of 6 reps. I saw a guy training at a bench next to me who was maxing out at 315lbs for 1 rep who was a good football player. Well, after I did my 315 bench for sets of 6 and after he was done maxing with 315 for 1 rep on the bench press I decided to train with him. After our bench sets we did close grip bench presses with boards. Then we did weighted dips. As every set progressed I saw him get tired and the more tired he got the more it fired me up! As he is screaming with agony in his face, I do 50 reps of tricep pushdowns and then he had to do it! After our tricep sets we did weighted pull ups instantly without any rest and he was walking around the gym like a wounded animal! I was thinking "I LOVE THIS, I LOVE THIS!" I'm laughing in joy and he's laughing in pain like he doesn't know what has just hit him!

People around us are staring at us like they can't believe what they are seeing! They are seeing a freak show! In my mind though this is nothing, I am just getting started! It's then time for dips, I throw five 45lbs on my lap for some drop set dips and we would remove a 45lbs plate as we would fail. Finally, after a few more sets, I loaded 205lbs on the bench press and did a cool down rep! I said to my 315lbs bench press friend, okay, bench press 205lbs, and bam, he couldn't even get it off of his chest! He laughed like he couldn't believe what he just went through and then I just walked out of the gym and he didn't know what the heck had just happened to him!!

You see, I guess when people start feeling pain they slowly die out, when I feel pain, I get more pumped up and my eyes begin to glow and the more of a monster I become! I feed off of pain, it is fuel for me! People usually like to identify themselves as I'm hurt, or I'm not hurt, I'm okay or I'm not okay. With me its more like I'm not okay, I'm not- not okay, and I'm not hurt-I'm not- not hurt, I am just having fun! You can't attach yourself to a feeling, you just have to go beyond the human mind and become the natural animal that you are! To do this keep observing yourself without thinking about yourself; your animal instinct will take off and nothing can then stop it! It then becomes automatic!

Just train insane and your memories will be extremely motivating and inspiring! My motivation comes from memories, doing crazy feats of strength, and overcoming adversities.

6) Critical Bench: What is the most important thing to you health, looks, strength, or being tough?

Ben and Barry Melrose Ben Tatar: Health is more important to me than strength and looks. Without health I can't have strength or looks or anything for that matter! However, toughness is more important to me than health because with enough toughness you can be at peace even without health. I have an enlightened friend who had a stroke, who is in a wheel chair and he can't use his arms or legs anymore. He can't even use his senses and he has trouble articulating. Although he doesn't have health he is one of the most peaceful men in the world. He was tough enough to arise beyond his mind and become enlightened. There are people out there who are sick and dying but they are at peace because they have reached a higher state of being that goes beyond the mind. However, then there are millionaires who are good looking, physically strong and healthy who are miserable because they aren't tough.

7) Critical Bench: How did it feel when you were first published in Iron Man magazine?

Ben Tatar: It was great! It was great because not only did I get published in Iron Man Magazine but I got published in Iron Man interviewing the legend Dave Draper. The interview had a very positive reaction and nice things were in the "letters to the Editor section" in the next edition of Iron Man. I usually write for Iron Man's "Train to Gain" section when I submit.

When I got published in Iron Man Magazine I was in beautiful Palm Springs CA. I got to celebrate and I went nuts on my grandparent's golf course, pool and hot tub! What an experience!

8) Critical Bench: What are your best lifts currently? What lift are you the most proud of? And where do you want to be in 5 years from now physically?

Ben Tatar: I have performed a 710lbs reverse band press lockout and a 585lbs reverse band press at 181lbs which is huge because 5 years ago when I was interviewed I was still waiting to reverse band press 500lbs so my reverse band press has increased a lot. I first reverse band pressed 505 in the summer of 2004. However, last Spring I reverse band pressed 500lbs for sets of 10. I have floor pressed 455lbs at 175lbs body weight which totally surprised me and I floor pressed 365lbs for 10! I have bench pressed 225 for 30 reps at 180, and I have reverse band pressed 405 for 25 reps at 195. My best raw bench press was 415lbs and I benched 455 off a rack a few inches off of my chest at 215lbs (sort of like a 2 board press.) My best bench press at 170lbs was 365 for 2 reps! I have partial squatted 955 and I have done half squats with 675 for 10 before and 3/4 squats with 765 for sets of 10. My best behind the neck press is 315 for reps. (I can only do that on one incline press though.) My best deadlift is 555lbs with a near miss at 575lbs and I have done Dips with 5 45lbs plates attached for 6 and kneeling squats (squats on my knees) with 605 for 8.

A partial squat is almost like a bench press rack lockout. There are different degrees of partial squats.For example I usually take 675lbs off the squat rack (on my own, no help) and I bring the weight down a good 5 inches and squat off a rack and then I repeat for screaming reps. This type of squat is harder because I have to un rack the weight and go squat down 4 inches until I hit the pins and the stand up and rack the weight again. I usually perform 10 reps. I don't need a monolift to get 675lbs off the squat rack and I don't need 3 spotters, I'm fine by myself. If I get stuck I just rest the rack on top of the safety pins. (I can't squat 950lbs this way though.)

Then there is the squat where I did 950. This means that I had 10 45lbs plates on each side of the bar which makes 945 and then I would add 2.5s to the weight. I basically just take a really wide stance, get under the bar and lift the weight a few inches. So it's almost like a squat rack lockout. If I went a pin higher I could do over 1000lbs for reps but then it's more like a squat lockout than it is a squat.

The scariest feat of strength that I have ever performed was when I un-racked 710lbs at 177 off the bench press! This is what I did, I loaded the weight to 710lbs and I would put a rack about 2 inches over my chest. I would un-rack the weight (which was 710lbs in my hand) and bring the weight down until it crashed onto the pins just 2 inches above my chest! Phil G. who was the third best bencher in the world during the late 90s and who won the Bench for Cash competition told me that I had one of the greatest lockouts out of anyone that he has ever seen! This feat of strength was accomplished on May 13th, 2005.

For my future lifting goals, I want to floor press 600lbs, deadlift 700lbs and I want to deadlift 550lbs for 20 reps by the time I am 30. I want to achieve all of these lifts under 200lbs body weight. I also want to keep improving my athletic ability and conditioning as well.

In the near future I would like to have a video of me deadlifting 315lbs for 50 reps without stopping. I plan on video taping this feat and posting it on Critical Bench. This feat of strength will be the ultimate test of balls and heart and I "BigBenchBen the TatarMonster" will conquer it!

9) Critical Bench: Mike Witmer was right you are a very intense individual! What adversities have you had to overcome?

Ben Tatar: When I was very young I caught bacterial meningitis. I was in the hospital for 2 weeks, almost dead, and I was lucky to survive. I faced adversity that is worse than what 98% of the population will ever face and I was a fighter, and I'm very thankful to be alive to this day.

However, the meningitis wired me funny and allowed me to not feel pain like most people do. I remember when I was 6 and falling off of a 17 foot stair case. When I was falling I thought that I would die when I was in the air and I remember smashing my head on the floor and needing tons of stitches. I remember blood gushing right out of my head and pouring everywhere. I wasn't in shock or anything and the pain didn't phase me at all.

I faced adversities and started running when I was in first grade and in 3rd grade I was fast enough to set records. At the age of 9 and in 3rd grade I ran the 800 (2 laps around the track) in 3:01, a record that lasted for 13 years and 2:57 in training. That is a faster time then what most college athletes run. I was probably the most conditioned and athletic kid you would ever meet. Whether the sport was tennis, golf, basketball, football, swimming, or road races I was dominate and I think it was because I didn't feel pain.

It was almost like I had something really bad that turned into a blessing!

10) Critical Bench: What are your future writing and reporting goals?

Ben Tatar: In the future I would like to work as a broadcaster for ESPN! I won't forget when I interviewed Barry Melrose and he said "I think Mr. Ben Tatar is the next Bob Costa's in Sports Broadcasting in sports today"! I would like to be on ESPN and take ESPN to the next level.

In a general sense, I want to make workout videos, have a great family, always love life and continue to interview amazing people in the world of strength, bodybuilding, and athletic excellence world wide. I also plan on getting published in other magazines which I have been having frequent contact with recently. Most of all I just want to be happy being Ben.

11) Critical Bench: Let's get to know you better personally for a minute. I'm going to ask you 20 quick questions and tell me what comes to mind.

Ben Tatar: ok, let the games begin!!!

1- When did you first know you were strong?

When I was a kid I would pick up heavy adults and tree's in the woods and I box squatted 225lbs back when I weighed 90-98lbs. The first time I found out I was first strong as far as upper body power and in the gym is concerned was on Halloween night 1999. I locked out 315lbs for 10! It was funny because on all nights to discover that I was scary strong was Halloween.

2- What has been your scariest moment in weight lifting?

At the Arnold when I took an overdose of energy supplements without knowing it. I remember people holding my hand before I almost went unconscious. ALWAYS read the labels of supplements and other drugs before risking them.

3- What has been your most intense lifting moment?

When I dropped weights on my head doing skull crushers and had to be rushed to the hospital. It was the same week that my favorite pet and two best friends died so the injury was a nice distraction from the grieving process that I was going through.

4- What has been your favorite weight lifting moment?

Back when I reversed band pressed 505 at 168lbs. I was so excited my dad almost made t-shirts that said "Release the Monster." These shirts were going to be for football teams too. I was just so crazy back in those days! Today my best reverse band press at 170 is 550 but when I did 505 I was celebrating for days! I was really living off emotion!

5- What was your favorite article and interview that you have ever written?

My favorite article that I have written was the Mark Henry article which also made Iron Man Magazine. The most popular interview that I have done was Frank Shamrock's. Frank even had to take our interview off of his website because so many people were making comments about some of the stories he shared. This is what happened:

"Ben Tatar: Frank what was the craziest thing that you have experienced in a fight?

Frank Shamrock: Well, one time I was so dehydrated in a fight that my mouth was so dry and since my mouth was so dry, I had trouble breathing for 8 minutes. So I clinched in the stand up wrestling position and I actually licked the sweat off my opponent's shoulders and after I licked the sweat off my opponents shoulder, I recovered. Then I was able to kick his ass!!!"

People were talking about that for days, haha! They even have a joke made out from Frank's comment that can be read here: http://www.fightshop.tv/home/comic.asp?c_id=7

For my personal favorite interview experience was when I did a 100 question interview with Mike Wolfe! Mike Wolfe lost 5 nights of sleep because he had to keep up with my intensity! Haha! After that day Mike Wolfe a 400-450lbs powerlifter who likes to spend his free time at nudist colonies thought that I was the craziest mofo who he has ever met, and that is coming from a 400lb powerlifter nudist!

6- Who was the biggest jerk that you interviewed?

It had to be the ultimate warrior. He was answering all of my emails but wouldn't do the interview. The interview business taught me that who my hero's were as a kid and who I like in real life was a very different story.

He said "Warrior doesn't do interviews!"

Hahaha! That's the warrior's interview right there!

7- What interview will you remember the most?

When I interviewed Jamie Harris "Big Evil" on the phone! Jamie was an amazing bench presser and has a mind like no other! He was one of the best bench pressers during the 90s and now he does Elvis shows.

8- In 100 years from now what will the Bench Press World Records be?

There will be thousands of different World Record's by then I imagine. There will be virtual powerlifting online and you will probably be able to compete at critical bench online and in other realities. I think that in a hundred years powerlifting will be main-stream but only in virtual reality and in domains out of the physical world. The RAW bench press in the physical world will probably be 815lbs. That is why I love raw bench pressing so much because the rules and conditions will always remain the same.

Ben Tatar and Father Neil Tatar

9- Many people would agree that Ed Coan is the best powerlifter and Ronnie Coleman is the best bodybuilder ever. You met both, what was it like?

Ed Coan is just a very down to Earth, laid back and nice guy who happens to be stronger than the rest of us. Ronnie Coleman was funny! They are people like everyone else but they have excelled at their passions.

10-Do you feel like a different person now that you have achieved your goals compared to when you were just starting?

No, I am always Ben Tatar no matter what. A weight lifter and a writer is not what I am, I'm just a human being who happens to be weight lifting and who enjoys writing at this time. All of that will change. Writing and what I do are just expressions of my existence. However, I must say ever since I became a writer and a lifter I have been a lot happier and more stable. In the past I did the craziest things for a laugh and since I found my passion, I feel better and therefore I can create more positive energy in the world.

11- Who do you think is the best athlete ever and if you could interview any athlete who would it be?

A football player or a basketball player would utilize a lot more skill than a bicyclist or sprinter. I would say Jim Brown was the best athlete ever by the definition athlete for his time. I also give my props to Bo Jackson and Barry Sanders. If I could interview one athlete it would probably be Michael Jordan. I respect all athletes and people who have succeeded for different reasons.

12- Give me a Critical Bench secret?

You're the owner you alredy know all the secrets. Besides if it's a secret why would I share it with thousands of people?

13- What is the hardest part about interviewing?

Trying to decide who is legit to be interviewed. We are fussy and if we accept you to be interviewed you can think of yourself as a legend for your sport! Everyone we have interviewed has been super cool and is someone that the athletic and strength world wants to know about.

14- Does your family have good genetics for strength?

I think my family has good genetics. My younger brother Dan who is a year and a half younger than me was bench pressing 315lbs at 170lbs back when he was 21 and he was squatting 500-550 after only training for a year. My brother Dan was also a Division 1 athlete. What is amazing was that he was lifting that much as a hockey goalie and he roller blades 30 miles a day and runs almost 10 a day. He's very good in school and making a lot of money. He's a sick! I was bench pressing 415lbs when I was 23. My dad military pressed 230lbs at 50. I don't call it genetics, I call it testicular fortitude. Some people just play around others train smart and with attitude!

15- Do you still talk to the people you interview after you are done interviewing them?

Yes, I still contact the greats who I have interviewed. Everyone who I have interviewed will give me advice anytime and as badass and strong as they are they are all as nice and responsible and loyal as can be! Critical Bench has become the world of freaks now! Hahaha! I love all the freaks that I have interviewed

16- What is your advice for the rookie?

No advice. "People change when the fear of remaining the same becomes greater than the unknown." I figure we just gotta do what works for us and everything will then take care of itself. If everyone was strong what would a big lift mean?

17- If you could change one thing in powerlifting what would it be?

I'd like people to accept powerlifting as it is and try to be the best that they can be. Then powerlifting will change.

18- Fighters, Experts, Strongmen, Athletes, Bench Pressers, Bodybuilders, or Powerlifters which group of people were the best to interview?

Amazingly every group has been fantastic to interview and I take amazing memories from all different types of athletes! I am so grateful to have interviewed not just powerlifters, not just fighters, and not just bodybuilders but everyone! It really shows how much I love my job! I love it, I love it, and I love it! Thank you so much Mike!

19- Ben, list 10 things for me that you like to do during your free time?

1. Traveling and visiting my friends from across the Country.

2. Running up mountains in the morning, then swimming in my pool, followed by plyometrics and then meditating. I do this every morning from 7am-11am in the summer.

3. Going out for fancy dinners with my family

4. I enjoy recreation, amusement parks, casinos, concerts, cruises, I'm an adventurous go-getter.

5. Helping others whether it be rollerblading/running across the country for charity or inspiring my friends or people in need.

6. Going out on my boat 4 days a week. Wake boarding, Cliff Jumping, and partying in the Bay.

7. I'm very good at games that most people stink at like ping pong, video games, racquet ball, tennis, mini golf and in fact I won competitions.

8. I like every single sport in existence, there isn't a sport I dislike. I like anything as low key as playing golf to playing something as intense as football.

9. I have an insatiable curiosity about everything so I have many different friends who I discuss different things with. I enjoy talking to many different minds, a mind from Rainman's to a more ordinary mind. Right Brain/ Left Brain, I like seeing how mind's work.

10. Finally, I am always doing something new. However, as long as I'm happy then it doesn't matter what I'm doing because I'm having fun. Attitude is everything.

20- Give us 10 words of advice off the top of your head?

1. Have a goal, know what you want, know what you are getting yourself into and as Critical Bench says, "Never plant a seed of doubt in your mind." Along the way to success, keep in mind that success is a journey, not a destination, as we are never there. We are just redefining ourselves and goals. Enjoy the journey. The journey is the destination, and the journey is from within.

2. Make sure you surround yourself with good people, and be your own best friend along the way.

3. Turn a negative into a positive and the negative is no longer a negative but a positive.

4. If you can plant your feet on the ground when you wake up every morning then it's a good day.

5. If you make a mistake learn from it and let it go or you will keep making more mistakes.

6. Don't waste your energy on negative people. Hating is a waste of time! It's like being angry at fire because it burns. Take jealousy as flattery, a lesson or fuel for progress.

7. BE BRAVE! People fear circumstances that are out of their comfort zones because they think that circumstances that are out of their comfort zone will change them and that they will lose what they have and who they are. This isn't true. The truth is you never lose what you have, and you never lose who you are. You just develop insight and awareness and expand your wholeness. That makes you a better and stronger person in the end.

Carl Jung once said "The shadow (the parts of ourselves we don't know about or are willing to face) is 90% gold in essence. I agree it's easier to SIT then STRIVE. Strive, baby, strive!!! And you will see what I mean!

8. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about you. You can be the most popular person in the world, but if you are depressed when you are alone then you are in bad company.

9. Don't regret anything, only the act of regret itself. Move forward. See life backwards. Live in the moment, and always believe!

10. For Athlete's and Weight Lifters: To perform scary you have to think scary and try to be scary. You have to see yourself as a freak. Once you accept yourself as a freak, then you will become one and when you become one you will then perform like one!

Ben and Jay Cutler

Disclaimer- Don't give people these quick quotes when all people are pissed off, listen to them, but this is good to use for your personal motivation to be the best you can be.

12) Critical Bench: Is there anyone you would like to say?

I would like to thank Mike Westerdal for giving me the opportunity to be a reporter year's back. You will never know how much it has meant to me and my life! I want to thank my mom, dad, and brother for putting up with me when I would do crazier things in a day or in a week than what most people would do in a life time back when I was a kid! I want to thank all of my friends because I know I have a lot of people out there who care about me and support me no matter what! I love my friends and I will always be there for them too!! I would like to thank the Higher Power for giving me the opportunity to live life as Ben Tatar as living life as Ben Tatar has been an absolute blast! Finally, I would like to thank everyone who I have ever interviewed for helping Critical Bench evolve into the website it has become today!



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