Powerlifter JT Hall Interview by Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com
J.T. Hall is the N.A.SA. KY powerlifting chairman. He is one of the
strongest pound for pound benchers in the World and Hall is like the great
Mike MacDonald of the new era! He has competed in some of the most
prestigious shows like Bench America. Let's see what this strength icon had
BT: J.T. Can you tell us about yourself?
JT: I'm the N.A.S.A. KY Powerlifting Chairman and live in Lexington,Ky. My
web site: http://www.geocities.com/nasakentuckystatechairman/NASA.html I
have an A.A. & B.S. in Biology from the U. of Ky. I work @ U. of KY
K.T.R.D.C.(research lab) and work as personal trainer @ Lexington Athletic
Club. I am the #1 Drug-free Bench pressers in Kentucky. I compete in the
Bench press, curl & strongman competition. I sell my own drug-free bench
press video/DVD. I'm a member of the Omega Force and Solid Rock Christian
Strength Team. I only use I.A.D. equipment because it's the best in the
world! Check out the I.A.D. web site: http://www.inzernet.com/
BT: What are your best lifts and future goals..
JT: My best raw competition bench press is 452 and my best bench press with
single-ply denims 523 @ bodyweight of 215. I attempted 560 @ July 12 NASA
Bluegrass Open Championship, but the shirt split @ the bottom. My future
goal is to bench press a drug-free 600lbs @ body weight of 215 by 2005 using
only I.A.D. equipment.
BT: Being one of the strongest benchers in the world, what routine has
worked for you?
JT: The key routine is variation because you are always doing something
different in the gym and it's fun too. If a lifter does the same routine
everyday for months, he might reach a plateau. So, adding variation into
your routine can help you to continue to make strength gains in your
benchpress. Another important factor is mental/spiritual training. A lifter
should always visualize what he is going to do in the gym before he gets
there. The bible says" Greater is he is in yourself, than in the
outerworld". Your spirit is the ultimate strength and lifters must use it!
BT: Give us a bench routine that will make us stronger.
BT: Impressive- Along with that routine what do you eat?
JT: A lifter should take a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement, creatine, whey
protein, joint supplement, drink a lot of H20 and milk. Eat a lot of good
meat source, such as baked chicken or fish. I like to eat rice or pasta
with my chicken.
BT: What motivates you to be the best? What is your bench press message?
JT: I want to show every powerlifter in the world that you can bench press
600lbs without steroids. Also, that you don't need triple-ply or superman
bench shirt to bench 600lbs.
BT: How has powerlifting made you a better man?
JT: Powerlifting hasn't made me a better man it has only allowed me to lift
more. I am a better man from Jesus Christ.
BT: What would you like to see change in powerlifting?
JT: Records should be broken with the same standards. If a lifter bench
press 700lbs in a single-ply equipment with strict standards, then another
lifter can not break his record or take his ranking with a triple-ply bench
shirt with no strict standards. Their should be 2 sets all-time records &
ranking. One with drug-tested-regular/normal standards and another with non-
tested unnormal standards. I wish powerlifting magazines were not bias.
Certain federations always get their results quicker in the magazine or on
the cover of the magazines. Every major/sanctioned federation should be
treated equal and get equal coverage in the magazines. Gyms need more
powerlifting equipment instead of bodybuilding equipment. If an elite
powerlifter is endorsing a product or selling a routine, he should tell them
that he is taken steroids too. Don't lie about your true strength gains! The
truth shall set you free.
BT: How do you feel about drug testing?
JT: It's an extremely important because you don't want lifters to have an
unfair advantage over other lifters. So, I believe all lifters should be
drug-tested in drug-free federations.
BT: What is more important being a champion from within or winning the most
JT: A title doesn't make you a true champion. A true champion is always
looking to make Power lifting a better sport, always looking to give back to
Power lifting and always looking to help his fellow lifter.
BT: Do you believe in combing bodybuilding and powerlifting- Do you feel
they are much the same or very different?
JT: Powerlifting & Bodybuilding are two different sports. Powerlifting
focus mainly on power,strength, technique. Bodybuilding focus mainly on
size,mass & definition. I do believe Powerlifters can benefit from
implementing bodybuilding routines into their own training.
BT: What was your favorite bench press experience to date?
JT: When I bench press 500lbs for the first time @ 2002 July NASA BLUEGRASS
OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP @ Henderson,Ky. I jumped off the bench press & took off
running. I almost ran through the wall. My wife thought I was going to eat
the wall for dinner.
BT: Your favorite bench press assistance exercise is?
JT: My favorite is Pause 5-Board press with & without Bands, Pause Floor
press & Heavy Weighted dumbbell dips
BT: what do you think are the biggest mistake beginners make?
JT: 1). Beginners want microwave or overnight results. 2). Don't learn
proper technique/form of the bench press. 3). Don't read enough
book/material about increasing strength. 4) Increase recuperation can lead
to increase strength & size. 5) Trying to learn drug-free routines from
One of the most important factors for a bigger bench is time. It takes
time to get a big bench press. It took me several years to get a good drug-
free bench press. Another factor is developing the right program/routine
that works for you because everybody body is genetic different. Their are
several programs on the market, but you must find what works for you.
BT: J.T. you have a lot of training knowledge so lifters can contact you for
assistance questions. As we wrap up this interview, what would you like to
JT: If you have to take a pill for bench press strength, then what are you
going to do without it. Nothing beats training hard, but smart in the gym
for drug-free powerlifters. Also, increase your muscle strength, joints,
ligament and tendons without the bench press shirt. Don't use a bench press
shirt to increase your strength because you are setting yourself up for
major injuries. If powerlifters are looking for a great federation that
believes in real powerlifting check out www.nasa-sports.com or