Weight Lifting, Weight Training, Bench Press & Bodybuilding
September 21, 2014
Interview With Powerlifter Billy Mimnaugh
by Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF?

My name is Billy Mimnaugh, I'm 39 years old and live in Norwalk CT with my wife Yvette and my son Jalen. I've been training for twenty two years and competing in bodybuilding and powerlifting for 16.

WHAT ARE YOUR BEST LIFTS?

My best lifts are at super heavy-942lb squat,606lb bench and a 788 deadlift for a 2303 total.At 308 they are 854,589,777,2210.

ANY COMMENTS ABOUT THE FIRST TIME BENCHING
135,225,315,405,500,600 etc?

I wasn't a natural at lifting. It took me two years to hit 225 and another two years to hit 315.400 came quicker and 500 was done quickly as well and 600 was done soon after. As I've gotten older and my body has matured, my strength has gone way up. I always had a kid's body for years and it's only just in the past few years that I'm starting to see some maturity in my body.

HOW IMPORTANT ARE TRAINING PARTNERS TO YOU?

I have the best training partners in the world. Ronny Dayton is an APF senior national champ with a 2253 total at 275 and is the most inspiring guy I have ever been around.Vinny Dizenzo is a 767 bencher at 275 and has hit 730 at 308 and a 710 at super and he has been a huge help in me trying to master the shirt. Joe Sylvia, the owner of my gym is a tremendous guy who thinks nothing of sacrificing his time and money to help all of lift huge numbers. Rob Tonnini and Joe Sylvia junior stay in the gym until I'm finished every Tuesday and Wed. despite the fact that both have to wake up at 3:00 in the morning. Training at Southside gym has been the greatest experiences of my lifting career. Those guys are the reason I have had any success in this sport.

Billy Mimnaugh WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME ONE OF THE GREATEST BENCHERS?

Well, I'm not one of the greatest benchers, but I do feel that I'm one of the most improved and have really done a lot with the genetics the Lord has given me.To me, consistency is the key to this sport. I never miss a workout, I always train heavy and I'm always trying to learn. In this sport, excuses like, "my arms are too long to bench or my hands are too small to deadlight" don't make it. You need to find a way, despite your limitations.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR TRAINING ROUTINE?

I've been a follower of the Westside program for a few years now, but recently have changed it up. I now do shoulders and triceps on Tuesday and do top end work[board press, rack lockouts etc].Friday I train pecs. I bench in my shirt, then do inclines, db inclines etc. It's more old fashioned but I'm really trying to learn the shirt. The most important thing in training is consistency. Don't miss workouts and believe anything is possible.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKES THAT BEGINNERS MAKE WHEN TRYING TO GET A BIGGER BENCH PRESS?

Kids always want to max out. They don't train to get stronger. The other thing is, many don't understand that its the triceps that are your bench and they don't train them hard enough or with enough volume. They pound their pecs and delts and triceps are an after thought, when, in fact it should be the other way around.

WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR BEGINNERS (Under 225 benchers) INTERMEDIATE (315) Advanced over 500?

Under 225,learn your groove. Have guys who know what they are doing to watch you. Don't develop bad neurological responses like flaring elbows or hitting the bar too high on the peck and train your triceps.

315 should start learning the shirt. I didn't use the shirt in training for years and never got much out of it. I wish now I would have taken the time to learn it and train for it. Start doing top end work to get your lockout up. Over 500 should be concentrating on top end work and really training in the shirt every week. If you can, try and get up to train with Bill Crawford. LEARN THE SHIRT.

powerlifter Bill Mimnaugh DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE ABOUT HOW TO CHOOSE A SHIRT,THE DIFFERENCES, IMPROVING THE ARCH etc?

I use a Frantz double denim, but I don't think it's the shirt, it's how you learn to use it. The most important aspect of benching is to keep your elbows in and push up on your abs. Arching, in my opinion, is overrated. I think its far more important to try and "sit up" on your upper back and drive your traps and rear delts into the bench. Arching kills my back for pulling.

WHAT MAKS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN AVERAGE LIFTER AND A CHAMPION?

Everyone thinks its genetics, but in my opinion its your mindset. Vinny Dizenzo and Ronny Dayton are perfect examples of this. Both guys were very average genetically. They trained their way to being champions feel I've done the same thing. I was a 150 lb bag of pooh when I started and just kept plugging away year after year and just kept believing I would get strong and be one of the better guys out there. It's your mind that's they key. If you can really believe it, you can achieve anything. At the same time, if you don't really believe it you will achieve exactly what you believe for.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR MOST MEMORABLE/CRAZIEST POWERLIFTING EXPERIENCES?

The day I hit 2303,I started screaming and cursing at a guy right on the platform. I was disqualified by Russ Barlow[the meet director]and thought to myself "I just threw away a 2303 total for being an ass. Later Russ had a change of heart and technically the rules state you must give a warning so he let the total stand. Another time, Ronny Dayton and a guy from our gym were walking into a meet. Ronny spits a huge luggie into his hand and slurps it up, the other guy, seeing this, immediately vomits, Ronny seeing that, pukes as well, the guy seeing Ronny puke, pukes again. It was the most disturbing thing I have ever seen and pretty much typifies the SOUTHSIDE attitude.

WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR HEAD BEFORE DESTROYING A HUGE WEIGHT?

I think of Chuck Vogelpohl and try and emulate how he approaches the bar. He is a guy that has no fear and just attacks the weight. I'm not a guy that is like that inside so I use him as an example and it normally pays off.

WHAT DOES YOUR DIET CONSIST OF?

Over this past year, my diet is something that I have totally revamped. I now eat like a bodybuilder. I take in between 350 and 450 grams of protein a day and alternate my carbs between high and moderate, my fat intake is extremely low. I never eat junk EVER! This has made a huge difference in my appearance and I've been able to stay very strong despite loosing close to thirty pounds. I feel diet is the most overlooked aspect of powerlifting.I basically eat,protein shakes from PROSPERITY NUTRITION, chicken, turkey, red meat, potatoes, bananas, apples and brown rice,oatmeal.Thats it.NOTHING ELSE.

WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE GOALS?

I'm doing the senior nationals in June and possibly the juniors in March. I would love to hit 2400 and squat 1000.If I stay healthy, I should be able to do both. I'm then going to take a year off of powerlifting and try and do a bodybuilding show in June 05.After that, I will be 42 so I might start doing Master meets and let the young guys have their meets to themselves.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR WHEN TRYING TO GET A BIGGER BENCH PRESS?

Triceps, triceps, triceps. Train them up really good and your bench will go up. There have been times when I've had peck injuries and couldn't bench but just trained my tris and I never lost a bit of strength.

COOL, GREAT ADVICE.EXCELLENT JOB- TIME FOR SOME FUN..LETS PLAY THE NAME GAME TELL ME WHAT COMES TO MIND..FIRST THE BENCHERS-

GLEN CHABOT-

Strongest raw bencher in the world. Terrible technique, couldn't use the shirt, just the freakiest strength guy of all time.

RYAN KENNELLY-

One of the best technicians around. Probably the most consistent guy in the history of benching.

Billy Mimnaugh JAMIE HARRIS-

A pioneer in using the shirt. Strong as hell and one of the coolest guys in the sport. People misjudge him but a great guy and good friend.

SCOTT MENDELSON-

Freakiest bencher out there.Built like a Silver Back Gorilla.Really not great with the shirt, just stronger than everyone else.

TED ARCIDI-

First over 700.One of my favorite builds in powerlifting history. His stomach was tremendous. Distended with abs on the end of them.

JAMES HENDERSON-

Strong guy and freaky big. His segment on Powerlifting video was the most entertaining thing I have seen in powerlifting.

GENE RYCHALK-

Unlimited potential was the first to bench over 100 and just a Super nice guy.

JESSE KELLUM-

Great and even more impressive than the others because he is squatting before he benches.

VINNY DIZENZO-

A guy who has trained his way to greatness, he leaves no stone unturned in regards to training, diet etc.

BILL CRAWFORD-

The most knowledgeable bencher ever. The master of the shirt and smartest guy in the game. but not as good looking as me.

SHAWN LATTIMER-

Best drug free guy ever on the bench. Another guy with an unlimited future, wouldn't be surprised to see him go well past 900.

LETS PLAY THE NAME GAME WITH BODYBUILDERS..

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

A god[small g]like figure. The whole sport of bodybuilding and powerlifting owes him a great debt of gratitude as he made us more accepted by the public, instead of being just seen as freaks. He is a guy that accomplished everything he ever put his mind to, despite people doubting him every step of the way. A huge hero of mine.

FRANK ZANE

I wasn't a huge fan of his type of physique, but I do admire the fact that he did everything he could with what God gave him. Incredibly bright and knew how to hold himself on stage to show his strengths and hide his weakness'. An all time great bodybuilder.

JAY CULTER

Money maker. I'm not sure he is really concerned with winning or making a lot of money. Saw his training tape and was very unimpressed. He never really pushed any huge weights. Smart dude, great entertainer but will NEVER beat Ronnie Coleman.

Ronnie Coleman RON COLEMAN

The greatest bodybuilder in the history of the sport and other than Chuck Vogelpohl,my biggest hero.His training tape is the single most inspiring thing I have ever seen and his physique is like something from another planet. I was ready to give up on this sport because of injuries and I was just going through the motions but after seeing his tape I rededicated myself to training and dieting and it was all because of him. NO ONE will be close to him for many years to come. If he ever decided to go back to powerlifting,there is no doubt his numbers would be unreal. A true legend and a HUGE hero of mine.

CHRIS CORMIER

Great potential, but is around during the Coleman era and therefore he will never be a MR OLYMPIA. One of the strongest bodybuilders in the sport but I wonder if he is still motivated to put it all together.

DAVE DRAPER

One of the best built "older" men I have ever seen. So much for the myth that once you get old your muscle turns to fat. Way ahead of his time and the epitome of the blonde haired blue eyed golden boy.

RICH GASPARI

The first guy I idolized as a new lifter. A guy with limited genetics but was like a pit bull in achieving his goals. Took ripped to a new dimension and was the first guy to really have the striated glutes and show them.

Thanks for the Interview!

 

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