Weight Lifting, Weight Training, Bench Press & Bodybuilding
October 21, 2014
Interview With Damain Osgood

By Ben Tatar

1) Give us an introduction about yourself:

My name is Damian Osgood, I'm 21 y/o. I am a bench specialist and compete at 165 and 181lbs. I stand at 5'2" and I'm known as The Bench Press Machine! I have been powerlifting since '99 and train with Sgt Rock aka Brent Howard. I live in Wilton, Maine where I have a three-bedroom house. I work as a Security Officer at Franklin Memorial Hospital.

2) Give us a summary of all your bench press experiences and competitions from the beginning up until today:

I did my first powerlifting meet back in '99. I was very nervous and I packed then unpacked over and over to make sure I had all my gear. I did not talk for about two days, I tried to run the meet over and over in my head and get the game plan down. I had to watch what I ate for 24 hours before the meet to make sure that I would make the weight class, which was 123lbs! I was like this for three more meets, the last being the '01 APF Teen Nationals where I lifted in the 148lb Teens and Men's Open. I remember that I was so nervous that I was shaking while I was wrapping my Knees and by the time I got to the deadlift I was fine!

I then did the '01 WABDL World Championships in Reno, NV. I had a hard time getting ready for this meet because I had lost my Father to cancer on August 29th and only had a few months to get ready. This was my first meet that I flew to, so I was still nervous but my coach Brent Howard made me feel like I was lifting at home which really helped me out. In the spring I started training for the '02 APF Teen Nationals but during training I was hit by a Truck while I was walking so I was unable to do the meet. After this accident I was told that my back/hips were in rough shape and I would not be able to Squat or Deadlift anymore, so I focused on Benching.

On July 19th '03 I walked back onto the platform to lift at the '03 APA Maine State Iron Bash at the Beach. In preparation for the meet I had to cut weight to make the 165.25lb class, so I had to focus on my diet. When I stepped on the scales I was over by 1/2lb so I had to put on a trash bag and do jumping jacks to make weight! lol By the time I got on the platform I was a little tired, but gave it my all. I hit 405lbs on my 2nd attempt and went for 465lbs but when I went to press it got out to far over my face and it buckled and hit me in the face! I went back for a 4th attempt and I was an inch away from locking it out. After I cooled down I was having a hard time moving my left arm and it hurt very bad in the shoulder, so I went to the Doc's. They found that I had a small tear in the long head of my bicep tendon. So I had to rest for 8 weeks, where I trained off boards until I was able to bench off my chest. My next meet was the '03 WPA World Bench Press Championships, where I had to diet once again. I was not as nervous as I was in the past. This time I was very confident and I knew that all eyes were on me. I hit 465@165 and had more in the tank!

I then traveled to Los Vegas to lift in the '03 WABDL World Bench Press Championships. I had to buy a shirt from the Monster Muscle booth; I was lucky to find a shirt that fit great! While I was in Vegas, I had the flu and bronchitis, so I was very sick when I was lifting. I only benched 435@164 and I was very upset. I went home and started working with new ideas that Brent Howard and myself came up with. I then lifted in the '04 APA CT Open Bench Press Championships in late June. At this meet I was very relaxed and after making weight I just chilled out in the hotel room and ate like an Ox! I played cards half the night and chilled to some country music. When I got to the meet I was not nervous at all and felt like a Machine! At the meet I had a lot of people come up to me and ask if I was the kid opening with 480@165, and since everyone knew me, I had to perform like I had never done before. I started to warm up and the eyes were on me and once I hit my opener I knew it was game on! I ended the day with 515lbs.

My next meet was 2 weeks later '04 APA Maine Iron Bash Bench Press. At this meet I did not diet down but weighed in light weighing only 170lbs. I was very confident with what I had to do and just kept the feeling rolling from the past meet and hit 535lbs! My last meet was the '04 WPA World Bench Press Championships where I had a hard time with small injuries coming into this one and was not mentally with it. I only benched 500@165 and just missed 540lbs. I then decided to take the rest of the year off and not do a meet until the summer of '05, and here I am still training for the next one!

3) You have accomplished a lot and will go down as one of the best benchers of now and perhaps ever. Obviously you are just getting started. Over your website you stated goals like benching 650 at 181 and benching 700 at 198. What do you think it's going to take? And being only 21 could you possibly see yourself being the first 800+ bencher under 200lbs, benching 4x your weight?

Well thanks Ben for the kind words! It's going to take smart training, with heart & drive. My goals have changed a bit and I have unfinished biz left at 165lbs, but I could see myself hitting 800+ under 200lbs in my lifetime, but that is down the road for sure!

4) What got you started as a bench presser?

One day I was walking down the road and a Vehicle hit me across the upper left shoulder, the Vehicle was trailing 60mph. From that I went from being able to do three lift meets down to one-lift meets, so I chose to walk away from powerlifting and started Bodybuilding. Months later Sgt Rock aka Brent Howard said I should do bench meets and if I listened he would help show me the way to the top. Almost three years later we still train together and the road to the top is getting closer! So if it was not for Brent Howard I would have just walked away...

5) What is it about the bench press that you love so much?

Since it is the only lift I'm able to compete in, it just seemed to grow on me! The bench press has become my life and I put it before everything.

6) What are the adversities that you had to overcome?

Without a doubt it would have to be losing my Father to Cancer. He was an awesome Dad and I was very proud of him, as he was for me. I looked up to him so much and he was my best friend. He traveled a lot so I trained like an Ox so that the next time I got to see him he would be impressed, and he always noticed the gains I made. I love you Paw.

Second would be the Vehicle that hit me. I am unable to Squat, Deadlift, Jog, and do anything that puts downward pressure on my lower back. This has opened my eyes a lot on life and I still suffer from lower back and hip problems. I just look up to God and my Father and thank them that I was lucky enough to still be able to walk this earth.

7) Can you tell us about your routine?

My Bench routine is based on Three Heavy Movements, which Brent Howard and myself came up with while writing up our routines. We call it the "BIG 3", so right now I'm doing Heavy Shirt Bench, Raw Boards and Close Grips followed up by three light tricep exercises. For Back, it depends on how my hips and back feel, but normally we try to hit 20 sets of back including warm-ups. I do speed work later in the week for bench, which consist of 8 sets of 3. Then we hit 5 sets of triceps, shoulders and biceps. I do no leg training at this time because I need to keep the body weight in the mid 170's and training legs will make me go up in body weight.

8) What shirts do you prefer and what is your advice about bench shirts?

I only wear Inzer Bench shirts! Right now I am wearing an Open Back, Double Denim, Radical Cut, Grid Stitch shirt. I have also just started training with a Double Ply custom RageX and have had Kick Ass gains with this shirt, it is a must have! I will be wearing one in my up coming meets this year!

For advice I would say get a Inzer Bench Shirt, work with them and get a shirt the fits 110% and if you do I guarantee that you will not be able to find a shirt that comes close to the Inzer Shirt. For tips I would get two shirts one a little loose for light training and the other really tight for top work sets. You should pull your shirt down a little more every time you add weight to the bar, this will give you a little more pop off the chest. Also make sure you get a belt that is thin enough that you don't mess up your arch.

9) What have been your favorite powerlifting moments so far?

Making the 500lb Bench Club was a BIG step for me in powerlifting and has been a Major Highlight. I am also very proud of Benching Triple Body Weight at the age of 20 in two different weight classes.

10) What are your tips for the Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Bencher?

1. The Beginner Bencher: A beginner needs to focus on building a base and working on their form. They need to stick to the basic building blocks of benching and not worry about the advanced technique. They also need to know that they are not lifting for size, they are lifting for Power!

2. The Intermediate Bencher: An intermediate Bencher will start to add more speed work into their workouts. They need to start working in a bench shirt more often and train with boards as well. You also need to keep working on your technique and form.

3. The Advanced Bencher: Advanced Benchers should almost live in a Bench shirt. You should train off Boards in a bench shirt every few weeks so you get use to pushing heavier weight. You should have awesome technique by now but it is still good to focus on your technique and make little adjustment as you increase your max weights.

Over all you need to start out light and build a base this way, so you have something to build off from. I see a lot of kids jumping into advanced training methods and they have not maxed out their own strength. The Advanced movements are for lifters that have already maxed out their limits and need something to push the bar a little higher. Another thing I see is a lot of lifters doing sets after sets and after a few weeks they are overtrained and start to lose the gains that they have made or end up with injuries.

11) What is the toughest part about powerlifting for you?

It has been hard for me to stay Focused/Motivated year round. I find that in the off-season I tell myself to have fun with lifting but in the back off my head the Drive pushes me to push it just a little more.

As of this season it has been hard for me to get a hand off man for my up coming out of state meets. I have just started working with Jon Turner as my new hand off man for my meets so I'm hoping that I will be all set.

12) What is it like being the best Light Weight Jr. Bencher in the world?

I think that these types of things get over looked sometimes, but to me it keeps me pushing for more. I'm very proud that I am able to say that I'm the best Light Weight Jr. Bencher in the world. I know with time I will be the Overall Best Jr. Bencher which has been a Big Goal for me.

13) Who gave you the name "The Bench Press Machine"?

In the gym Brent Howard is always yelling out things to pump me up and after two+ years of this, I heard the words and I knew that I had to be "The BPM"!

14) Name 5 people in powerlifting that you have met and 5 people you have not met, that have inspired you and tell us why:

MET:

1 - Ryan Kennelly, he is an awesome lifter and gives support to his fans. Back in '01 at the WABDL Worlds in Reno I was in the warm-up room and Ryan was benching 535lbs Raw for 5 reps like he was speed benching and since then he has been a huge inspiration.

2 - Brent Howard, Brent is my best friend and my training partner. He has been there for me since I first walked though the doors of the local gym call Iron Side. He is very motivating and this has inspired me to keep pushing to become the best I can.

3 - Mike Danforth, Mike is another coach I had in the beginning of my powerlifting training. After a few years we went are ways but before we did he told Brent that I did not have the mentality to lift big numbers. Since then Brent and myself have used it to push my bench past his and break a bench record he has been trying to get for years! So thank you Mike for the Inspiration! LOL

4 - Tiny Meeker, Tiny is a funny bro and I always get a kick out of seeing him at meets. Tiny has unreal knowledge of Bench shirts and has Mastered The New RageX! Tiny has inspired me to learn more about shirts.

5 - Tony Petrino, Tony is a Maine lifter who lifts in the 308/SHW Masters. He has benched 625lbs at the age of 46 young and is still pushing for more ground. He has been backing me up for over a year now and has inspired me with how much heart he lifts with.

NOT MET:

1 - Joe Mazza! Joe has been a HUGE Inspiration/help to my Benching. He has given me great Advice and has always answered my Questions. Thanks Joe!

2 - Phil Harrington - Phil just Love's to lift and has Crazy Strength! Phil is a cool Bro and has inspired me with his Training.

3 - Jim Kilts - Jim has hit 665@181 and that in it self has inspired me!

4 - Gary Frank - Gary has pushed the limits of powerlifting to a New Level, this has inspired me to try to do the same for my Generation.

5 - James "Priest" Burdette - Priest is a Good Bro, he has inspired me to push harder to move the mark in benching. He benches a bit more them me and it has helped put drive into my workouts to not let him get to far ahead of me!

Damian Osgood 15) With everything you learned about benching such as the use of boards, technique, mind/heart, bands, lockout work, low reps, holding the weight, drugs, etc. Out of everything, in order what do you think are the 5 most important aspects that make's someone a good bencher?

Damn.... this is a good Question! A Great Bencher without a Doubt would have to start with Heart/Dedication. With Heart you will be able to work around plateaus and injuries in a positive way. Next would have to be Technique, without it you would not be able to make the gains to become a great bencher. Next would be a Good Routine, a Routine is key to help work around plateau's, to stay injury free and over the years assist you to the Next Level. Next is a Must, FOOD! You have to put the Cals. in your Body to Fuel the Muscles, so Diet is Big Help on increasing the Bench. Last out of 5 would be the words "Less is More" Don't think if you do more your going to be able to push more because I have found "Less is More" and will help you stay way from overtraining.

16) Tell us about the hardest workout you have ever been through?

I have done many Crazy Workouts thought out the past years BUT One stands out above the rest. When I started out being a Bench Specialist my bench was climbing fast but my lockout lock was not to the level I needed it to be at. Sgt Rock came up with a Crazy Overload workout, which was not 2 hours long or a pump from hell, it was just Heavy Ass Weight. I did my warm-ups and then hit 465lbs for my top Work set for the day then took my Bench shirt off and loaded the Bar to 500lbs. Sgt Rock handed out the Weight I had to hold it at lockout and say "light five times out load", and then I would have to do a 4 board press with it, THEN after that I had to do a Negative with it! All the people in the gym were going crazy and have talked about it for over a year!! Oh I was 18 y/o and weighed 165lbs!!

17) What do you think are the 5 freakiest/most impressive lifts ever?

1 - Benedikt Magnusson 903lb Deadlift @ SHW

2 - Nick Hatch 788lb Squat @ 148 - 19 years old

3 - Jim Kilts 665 Bench @ 181

4 - Brent Mikesell 1143 Squat @ SHW - Super Deep

5 - Gary Franks Total of 2805.4 @ SHW

18) What does your diet consist of?

I am trying to slowly clean up my diet and eat healthier and better Quality foods. Right now I am eating a high Carb. and Protein diet . For carbs. I like to eat pasta, rice and oatmeal and for Protein I like to eat steak and chicken. I have been taking N-Large and Up Your Mass Protein supplements to help increase the number of Protein grams I'm getting into my body, I try for 1 gram per-pound and am looking to increase it up to 2 grams over the next 3 months. I am also taking a New Product by VNS Nutritional Science called Jacked, it is a creatine supplement that has Really helped me with my strength gains which helped push me though my last lifting plateau. I have also gained five solid pounds from it, which I was very impressed with since I am a hard weight gainer. I also take Glucosamine and Chondroitin every morning along with Extra Strength Tylenol.

19) Where do you stand on steroids/supplements?

People fight over this non-stop. To me if someone wants to take steroids/supplements then let them, that's why we have different lifting federations. In Baseball people bitch about how so and so took Juice and hit more home runs... News Flash, people hit more home runs these days not because they might "Juice", it is the Advanced Trainers and the Advance Training Equipment that we now have. People have taken this steroid thing to far and now if someone make's any type of gains then people think "they must be juiced". People need to just let things rest and worry about themselves.

20) What do you usually do when you hit a plateau?

Cry! lol No, first I take a week off from all training, I look over my lifting log to see if maybe I have been over training and fix anything if needed. I know that we all hit Plateau's and I try to work though them as best/fast as I can.

Damian, what would you like to tell everyone reading your interview?

I have worked hard in Powerlifting and have had many down falls along the way and if something bad happens to you remember to keep your head up and think positive, you will/can work though it! I would like to thank everyone who has read this and I would like to thank my Mom and my family for all the help/support you have given me over years. I would like to thank Brent Howard, Heath Brockway, Sandy Burk, Kyle Wells, Jon Turner, Erik Gordon, Joe Mazza, Bill from VNS Nutritional Science, Ben Tatar of Critical Bench for this awesome interview and all the people that support me, I Thank You and God Bless.

Big Lift and Lift Big,
Damian Osgood
www.bpmosgood.com
BPM Style

 

New Damian Osgood Interview - April 2008

 

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