Interview With Bench Presser Edward G. Dudley-Robey, M.D. As told to CriticalBench.com by Ben Tatar - September 2007
CRITICAL BENCH: Welcome Edward, tell us about yourself.
I'm a 33 year old physician who has a happy home life with two dogs, four cats, big screen HDTV, and motorcycle.
CRITICAL BENCH: Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Three years ago, home became Bakersfield, California
CRITICAL BENCH: What exactly do you do? What motivated you to becoming a Doctor and how do you like being a doctor?
My road toward becoming a physician started early. During high school, I volunteered teaching Red Cross CPR classes, then upon joining the U.S. Army served in the medical corps. After an honorable discharge I worked up the ladder from nurse, to naturopathic physician, to graduation from medical school this last June.
Having the ability to help people is very rewarding. As for the future, if all goes as planned, I'll enter a residency program next June.
CRITICAL BENCH: What was it like winning a Bronze Medal in the bench press in the 181 pound class at the 2007 American Powerlifting Federation's Senior National Championships?
It was a dream come true. Not only to compete against the best in the world in Brad Heck, but to earn a chance to represent the United States in Russia, was the culmination of five years striving.
CRITICAL BENCH: What are your future goals both short-term and long?
In the short-term to win the WPC world championship, and be accepted by a good residency program. Long-term, perhaps to be a team physician. I feel that I can relate to athletes, a little better than most because I understand what it takes to compete.
CRITICAL BENCH: What are your best gym and meet lifts so far?
364 was my opener that I hit, and just missed 465 at the Senior Nationals. I had some serious equipment issues and was forced to borrow a bench shirt at the last minute. Rest assured that wont happen again. I hit 507 for a double in Januar the gym, the week before I was injured.
CRITICAL BENCH: Tell us about your diet and what supplements do you take?
Right now trying to cut a little bit of weight because at worlds when I compete in 165 pound class, so I am eating a higher protein moderate carb diet. I've cut out sodas and junk food. My intake of fruits, vegetables, and fiber is higher. As for supplements, I am big on the fundamentals. I use CeraSport as my electrolyte replacement drink, Animal Pack is my multivitamin, I like Muscle Milk and ABB drinks for proteins, Gakic pre-workout for endurance, and energy pill/fat burner and extra magnesium, potassium and coenzyme Q10.
CRITICAL BENCH: Give us your workout routine and training philosophy?
I workout twice a week, once on my own in Bakersfield as a speed day focusing on support work and explosion off the chest. The other day I train on max effort with my coach, James "Priest" Burdette of Ventura, who is a world champion in his own right. On my heavy days. I normally start with 135 on the bench then 225 then 315 for two sets all raw. After that I shirt up and go 405, 440-450 and finish with 495+.
My training philosophy would be work hard recover harder. It is important to go all-out when you're in the gym, but then, make sure you give your body adequate time to recover, because you don't get bigger or stronger in the gym. All strength gains that you make are done during the recovery process. During the workout you put micro fiber tears into the muscle which recover a little bigger and little stronger each time. If you don't support the recovery process, You won't make the gains you're looking for.
CRITICAL BENCH: How do you feel about competing in Russia and traveling over there?
The Russians are some of the best in the world when it comes to strength sports to going to their home court to compete means I really need to bring my A game. I've never been to Russia and am really looking forward to getting a chance to go against the best lifters from around the world.
As for the traveling, I'm not looking forward to it. It is around 20 hours flight time plus layovers, transfers, all of the other headaches that come with international travel. However, the chance to see Russia, will offset all of the hardships it takes to get there. Moscow is one the most historic cities in the world and this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
CRITICAL BENCH: Critical Bench wishes you the very best in Russia. What do you think are the 10 most important factors for a bigger bench or things people should think about when going for a bigger bench press?
Basics, basics, basics.
1. Consistency in training. (every week, rain or shine)
2. Good recovery program
3. Top-level coach (James "Priest" Burdette)
4. Realistic goal's (no one starts as the 500 pound bencher)
5. Good diet
6. Correct supplementation program for you (everyone is different)
7. Good equipment, in particular, wrist wraps and weight belt to prevent injury (I use APT)
8. Get treatment for injuries (don't just push though major injuries)
9. Warm up, and use liniment on the areas you're going to be working (I use flex power)
10. Maintain a positive can-do attitude some weeks are better than others but just keep on pushing.
CRITICAL BENCH: What's your favorite auxiliary exercise for the bench press?
Hammer curls or pin presses. Right now I am spending a lot of time on my lock-out.
CRITICAL BENCH: So far in your strength quest, what has been your favorite moment, funniest moment, most hardcore, and most memorable?
My favorite moment was winning the chance to represent United States of America in Russia this June at the APF senior nationals.
The funniest moment when I looked back at it must've been one I won the APF California State Championship earlier this year. It was my first major competition, I had a bad wrist, and was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I didn't even have a singlet, and three minutes before I got up on the platform had to borrow one from another lifter! I must have driven my old coach, Scot Mendelson, up a wall that day.
The most hard-core must've been when I was getting ready for that meet I was working a touch at 475 and tore my wrist up. My most memorable moment was the day I doubled 507. To become a member of the 500 club was a goal 4 1/2 years in the making.
CRITICAL BENCH: What was it like having Scot Mendelson as a coach?
Scot is a great lifter, and I am sure he will be on top again. He helped me get into the sport and learn many of the basics. My new coach James "Priest" Burdette and I are now building on that foundation, and hope to bring home a world championship to the USA in October!
CRITICAL BENCH: What magazines have you been in and what magazines will be next? How do you feel about all of your publications?
This year I've been in Powerlifting USA twice (page 8 this month), a few medical journals including The New Physician, July e-Newsletter - 762007 110739 AM, mentioned in Bakersfield Californian a couple of times (they have a planned feature article on me later this month), and now Critical Bench!
I been very lucky; the press been good to me. I'm hoping that with all this exposure I'm able to get some sponsors to help out with my lifting career.
CRITICAL BENCH: In closing who would you like to thank?
My coach James "Priest" Burdette, the Nemesis Powerlifting team, Charlene Riikonen, Alan Thomas of APT and my mother (Who would never forgive me if I didn't)
Update - AAFPF American Submaster Record Bench Press
Edward Giles Dudley-Robey, M.D. Will Be Representing The USA Powerlifting Team for the 2008 GPC World Championships in England