Interview With APC Pro Strongman Eric Todd Interviewed by Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com - February 2008
1) CRITICAL BENCH: Critical Bench is here with hardcore strongman competitor Eric Todd! Eric is old school and is as tough as nails. Eric, before we get started, what is your height, weight and what are your greatest feats of strength in strongman competitions?
Hi. I am 5'11" 230-245, depending on when you
ask me. My best lifts would probably be doing a 1000#
yoke for 30', lifting a 440# stone to 42", 320 log press.
2) CRITICAL BENCH: Tell us in detail about your
charity strongman event coming up in March 08!
The meet coming up on March 8th is Missouri's
Strongest Man: The Gus Lohman Memorial V. It is a NAS
sanctioned event where the top 3 in every division
qualify for Nationals. We have raised over $4500
doing this meet in the last 4 years with our biggest
year being @2000 last year. We hope to do even better
this year. All proceeds for this contest go to Camp
Quality, a camp for children with terminal cancer. I
was a companion for a camper once and did a strongman
Demo there another year. It is remarkable the work
they do there for the kids. These are kids who have
too many worried and hardships for their age, but for
that week they are allowed to be kids, and get to do
some things that they might have never been able to do
This contest is named in memory of my late
grandfather, Gus Lohman. He was a farmer who
epitomized what being a strongman is all about. HE
would lift objects no one else could lift, break
horses no one else could break, and was undefeated in
wrestling matches even going against guys bigger than
he was. When he was 60, he was diagnosed with cancer
and told he had 6 months to live. Being a true
strongman, he continued farming and living for over 20
3) CRITICAL BENCH: What you are doing is extremely inspirational. Eric, what made you choose strongman
over powerlifting and bodybuilding?
Well, the pale, flabby, scarred, ugly look doesn't win
too many trophies in bodybuilding. That and I am far
too shy to pose in my underwear in front of God and
country. I chose strongman over powerlifting because
I was always much better at functional type strength
than gym lifting. However, I do occasionally lift in
a NASA powerlifting meet with my dad to help keep me
4) CRITICAL BENCH: Hahaha, I hear ya! What are your 5 favorite things
about being a strongman competitor?
1-The incredible camaraderie. At my first couple
strongman meets where I was just testing the water, I
saw how guys were cheering for the guys they were
competing against. I decided it was something that I
wanted to be a part of. I have made most of my best
friends through the sport. You know, guys that would
help you hide a body.LOL
2-Being able to do stuff that most people cannot do.
You know, most people don't believe that we can do this
3-I absolutely love the training. A bad day can
quickly turn good with a good workout.
4-The competitions. I have a hard time not competing
in every competition that comes along because they are
so much fun. Sometimes I have to make myself stay out
just to focus on training, but it is hard. You also
get to travel and see a lot of different places, meet
a lot of different people.
5- I have always needed something to excel in. When
I was a kid through college, it was wrestling. after
my wrestling career was over, I struggled a little,
because I didn't know what to do next. I am not a dumb
individual, and I do enjoy success on another level
besides physical, but nothing has fulfilled my desire
to succeed like succeeding in something physical.
5) CRITICAL BENCH: Great response. What are your 5 favorite
6) CRITICAL BENCH: Give us your strongman routine!
I currently do an upper body day on Monday, which
includes a heavy strict press usually (sometimes
substituted for by a push press) a bench variation, a
row or pullup, a curl variation, and a speed type
press. Wednesdays are lower with a Oly lift, a DL
variation, a squat variation(heavy) a different squat
variation (higher reps), and axillary. Saturdays are
events with the guys. We usually pick 4-5 events and
train them pretty hard. I also hit AM workouts 5 days
a week, which consist of cardio, grip work, and light
events for speed.
7) CRITICAL BENCH: What competitions have you
competed in and how did you do?
I have competed in far too many to name all, but
here are the most notable ones:
Nationals 2002-1st place 275# class
Nationals 2004-2nd Place 231# class
Kansas City Pro/AM 2005-2nd place 231
Monsters of the Midwest2005-1st place 231(won my pro
Battle of the Badass 2005-1st place 231
Cantral USA 2005-2nd place 231
Nationals 2005-7th 231
Monsters of the Mall-2007-2nd 231
Nationals 2007 7th 231
I have done something like 25 contests total. Won
some, lost some, but sure have enjoyed the ride!
8) CRITICAL BENCH: What would you like to tell the
future generation of strongman what to do when they train and what not to do?
Find a good training group. Nothing pushes you more
than like-minded people with similar goals. Focus on
quality of training over quantity. And just like
anything else, never think you know too much to learn
9) CRITICAL BENCH: Give us your most hardcore and funny strongman story!
One of the most hardcore things I have ever seen was a
group from KCSTRONGMAN.com (Tim Nassen, Dave Craft, DJ
Satterfield, and Booby Bounds) competing in Masters
nationals on a Saturday in St Louis, then traveling 7
hours that night to MacPherson, KS to compete in the
strongman meet there the next day. Mind you, most
people 20-30 years old would not recover enough (or be
that hard core) to do back to back days (particularly
with one having the pressure of a national meet).
Mind you these guys are all 40+ years old. Also,
everything my grandpa did. The toughest guy I have
ever been associated with.
10) CRITICAL BENCH: Away from strongman training what do you enjoy doing?
I like fishing, frog hunting, working to keep up
11) CRITICAL BENCH: What is your advice for someone
who wants to become the next world's strongest man?
Take your time. Don't be in a rush. I see so many
young guys out there with all the potential in the
world who take everything they can get their hands on
to try to get there too fast. BE patient. Also,
listen to those people who have been around. Just
because something is working OK for you now (when you
are young, a lot of things work) doesn't mean there
isn't a much better way of getting it done.
12) CRITICAL BENCH: What are the adversities that you had to overcome?
I had a sever disc herniation in 2006. It has been a
long road back, and though I am constantly hitting PRs
(finally), I am still struggling with my deadlift due
13) CRITICAL BENCH: What are your future goals?
I would like to represent the USA in Worlds Strongest
Little Man (105K). But ultimately I want to be around
the game for as long as I can be. I would like to
continue helping the sport grow, and keep competing at
a high level for as long as I can. I can't imagine
what I would be doing if I didn't have strongman.
CRITICAL BENCH: Eric, thanks for your time and for your hardcore interview. What a journey you have had. Keep up the good work with strongman, inspiring the world with your charity work and God Bless!