Interview With Exceptional Bench Presser Jeremy Hines As told to CriticalBench.com by Curt Dennis Jr. "The Brute" of Planetrage.com - December 2008
JEREMY HINES...there is only one word that comes to mind when that name is mentioned...BEAST. He's pretty much in the shadows a lot and not many have heard of him. How about this? A 500 raw bench at the age of 20!! I don't think I've heard many that have that gift and being that strong that quickly! A 765 raw deadlift to go along with it and this kid isn't close to his potential and has yet to show the world what he's really made of! He trained out of his basement where a lot of freaks and monsters seem to. Who and What is this person, right? Well...read on below...
Critical Bench: Hey, thanks for doing this interview. Please introduce yourself.
Hi my name is Jeremy Hines. I am 6'2 and I am around 270 pounds! I am 22 years old and I am currently in college to become a PTA (physical therapist assistant) with hopes of becoming a physical therapist one day. I live with my fiancÚ Ashley and two year old daughter Jade! I have been lifting weights since age 11 and powerlifting/lifting weights in general is my favorite way to spend my time. There is nothing more satisfying to me than lifting!
Critical Bench: What are some of your PR's?
My best gym lifts are a raw touch and go bench of 560, 630 squat (belt only), and a 765 Deadlift. I have not competed for a year in a half, but I am looking forward to getting back into competition and putting up some big raw benches and totals! My best raw bench in a competition is 500 from June of 2007. I also benched 630 shirted at 19 years old weighing 235 in the APF. At 6'2 235 Lbs is skinny!!!! I believe that 630 shirted lift is still a teenage all time record for the 242's!
Critical Bench: How long have you been into powerlifting?
Wow ! I have been training the three powerlifts for about 6 years. I have been benching since age 11. I have been doing bench and deadlift competitions for the past fives years on and off. I really cannot wait to get back into competition!
Critical Bench: Tell us about your childhood and how you got into powerlifting?
My older brother Jesse got me into lifting. When I was around nine he would make fun of me for being small/weak! Occasionally I would lie on his bed and bench press 50 pounds for 1-2 half reps max bouncing the back of my arms off his springy mattress thinking I was pretty strong.....LOL! At age 11 I started to become fascinated with getting a bigger bench which ultimately led me throughout my teenage years with the goal of becoming as strong as possible. I probably missed out on a lot of teenage events because I chose to stay home so I could lift and eat. As a teen all I cared about was lifting weights!
When I started lifting at age 11 1/2 I was 5'1 and weighed 80 pounds with a huge bench pr of 55 pounds. When I turned 14 and started high school I was 5'7 and 110 ten pounds bodyweight with a max bench of 155. I was always small as a kid up until around 17-18 years old! I bench pressed my first 400 raw bench at age 17 at 6'2 195 pounds. At 6'2 I was skinny only weighing 195 pounds but had a pretty good bench! I benched my first 500 raw in the gym at 6'2 245 pounds at age 20!
Critical Bench: Who did you look up to when you were coming up as a powerlifter?
When I first started benching consistently around age 11 or 12 I looked up to my older brother Jesse because he was always stronger than me. I wanted to get strong to impress him! I also wanted to bench as much as he did! This drove me to train really hard as a kid!
In my later teen years I really looked up to Ryan Kennelly and Scot Mendelson. I really liked these guys because bench pressing was my favorite lift and these guys could put up big numbers both raw and shirted. To me this made them complete bench pressers. No matter what the rules were they could put up monster numbers! I also looked up to my younger brother Jordan while I have been an up and coming powerlifter because this kid is really dedicated and strong. My brother Jordan always pushed me to get better with fear of him catching me in strength! LOL!
Critical Bench: What would you say to a novice lifter or to a lifter who's just starting out in powerlifting?
To last in the sport of powerlifting you need consistency week in and week out over the years. You need to eat and train like there is no tomorrow! You have to constantly have you mind thinking about your training and eating! You have to eat, sleep, and live for this sport if you want to last. You need to train very smart to make gains and also to avoid overtraining.
Only my brother Jordan has lasted because he lives for powerlifting! I have had 10 plus guys come and go as training partners! Some of them lasted for years, but eventually they all quit. This is very disappointing, but it makes me understand to be a life long powerlifter you have to truly be a special breed! To last in this sport you have to live for this sport. It has to mean the world to you! If it's just a secondary part of your life it won't last for long. If you are a novice lifter who loves the sport just read all the information online and in powerlifting magazines you can. You can never learn enough to better yourself at this sport! Eat, sleep, and train with everything you got and maybe one day you will become one of the best!
Critical Bench: Do you have a favorite out of the three or is it all 3 lifts?
I like the bench the best out of the three lifts. Don't get me wrong I love all three lifts, but I have been benching from the get go and I love that lift more than any other lift. It has always been my life long goal to benchpress 600 raw! I am hoping one day to get there!
Jeremy Hines - 500 x 2 550 x 1 Raw
Some of my raw bench gym pr's are touch n go:
225 x 50
315 x 25
405 x 15
495 x 4
520 x 2
560 x 1
Critical Bench: What are the challenges of coming up as a powerlifter?
There are so many challenges to keep improving as a powerlifter. Injury is one challenge. I have had a pectoralis minor tear and a hernia! For some a couple injuries could make them shy away from the powerlifting game, but for me it made me more determined than ever to overcome the odds and come back stronger than ever. Injuries really made me evaluate my training and make the changes that were needed.
Also getting injured made me train smarter because pre injury I overtrained so much. Overtraining and doing to much is what led to my injuries in the first place! My advice to people is to listen to your body and don't over do it. By doing this you can really get strong and avoid injuries. Another challenge is to overcome sticking points and finding ways to keep surpassing your PR's! It is also a challenge to balance your everyday life (kids, working, and school) with becoming a better powerlifter! If you really love powerlifting you will find a way to improve through all the difficult times!
Critical Bench: Tell everyone here the difference between someone who wants to look "pretty" and someone who does what we do? The difference between a workout and a training session.
This question is easy! I work at a gym and the people who come in are the ones who want to look pretty! So let me explain why they come to the gym! They "workout"! Most people at the gym come in to do aerobics or lift light weights and do some cardio thinking they actually did something, although, their appearance never changes no matter how long they come to the gym! They pretend to workout and really the gym is just a place to have a social hour for them!
A training session is something powerlifters go through! There is a specific goal in mind when coming to the gym! There are specific weights we have planned to lift and we are going to try harder than ever to make sure this is accomplished. We think about the workout all day long while we are at work or in school or where ever we may be! We live for this and want it worse than anything. During our training session we are fighting and straining to get each and every rep we have planned. It is basically a war between us and the iron! "workout" in while we go through a vigorous training session! We need the iron to survive.
Critical Bench: What would you tell a powerlifter if they are trying to get to the next level in the sport? Do you believe that powerlifters' have a lifestyle of their own?
If you have want to get to the next level you really need to evaluate your life. You need to ask your self do I want to powerlift to be one of the best or do I want to powerlift as a hobby. If you answer to be one of the best then you are on the right track getting to the next level.
Powerlifters definitely have their own life style. I know this because of my own life style. I am so much different from other people. Other people just want to go to work, make money, go out, party, and enjoy the night life....ect! Working out to most people is just secondary to the things I just mentioned. For us powerlifters all that other stuff is great, but lifting is first and that other stuff is secondary. Most people think I am sick in the head probably because I would rather lift than go out with people and have a good time. I just enjoy lifting and base most of my life around it because lifting is what I love to do!
Critical Bench: How driven would people say you are about being a powerlifter? How does it affect you outside of the gym?
All the people I am close to know how driven I am as a powerlifter. My family and friends know I have been lifting for over half of my life and it means everything to me.
Outside of the gym it does not really affect me to much. I make sure I eat as much as I can and get plenty of sleep so my training will go well! Other than that I like to do normal things! I like spending time with the family, going out to eat, or just going out to do anything, I like going to school, and just having a good time! Like I said outside of the gym if I take care of my eating throughout the day I am open to do anything.
Critical Bench: Do you have any training partners? How have they helped?
Yeah, I am down to just one training partner now, my brother Jordan. This kid really loves lifting the way I do. Having some one into lifting the way I am really helps push me to the next level. Always having that person there when you are training is a great! It really sucks when you have training partners that are not reliable and who are only there half the time. Just being around my brother Jordan has pushed me to get stronger. That kid is constantly getting stronger and it puts pressure on me to get stronger also. It's a good pressure to have because it makes me train hard and eat a lot which results in my lifts improving!
Other major training partners I had were my cousin Greg and cousin Adam! A few years ago I would have described Greg similar to my brother Jordan being dedicated to powerlifting, but sadly enough he was lured into the dark side combine with an injury resulted in him quitting after lifting for five years straight!
My cousin Adam who trained with me for over three years straight recently moved to California! He was a great training partner and is pretty dedicated to his training! It really sucks to see him go! Damn you man! HAHA! I wish him the best though and hope he stays in the irongame and keeps improving! You could be the fourth one within our family to benchpress 405 raw and drug free!
Overall, good training partners help you stay dedicated and push you too your limits. They also bring the best out of you in the gym! It is also good to have a training partner so you have some one to give you lift offs on bench! HAHA!
Critical Bench: What are your workouts like? How are they setup? What training methodology do you follow?
All my training is raw and has been for along time. I use no more than a belt and wraps in training. This is just the way I enjoy lifting so this is how I lift. I may eventually get back into some gear in the future, but right now my focus is raw lifting!
I train four days a week.
Saturday is heavy bench day, Sunday is heavy squat and deadlift day, Tuesday is incline bench day, and Wednesday is leg/back assistance day.
I run 5 week progressive cycles for my lifting! I keep the cycles at only 5 weeks because I do not like doing 10 plus week cycles! Cycles that are really long start out so light I think it is almost pointless. So I just cut to the chase and only do 5 week cycles.
Jeremy Hines - Deadlifts 585 for 3 and 690
Also on each lifting day I have the main movements which were stated above followed by assistance work for that day. On bench days my assistance work would be some tricep, bicep, side/rear delt work, and rotator cuff movements for 2-3 sets each.
On squat and deadlift days /assistance leg and back days - for assistance I will hit sumo deads, hamstring curls, lunges, under hand chin ups, and double overhand strapless shrugs for 2-3 sets! I may not do every assistance exercise stated above, but those are usually the choices I pick from. Oh yeah, I will also throw some abs and calves in there too! Again if interested in how my detailed cycles are set up shoot me an email at liftheavy_22 at hotmail.com and I can send you the routine!
Critical Bench: What would you suggest to someone on how to get stronger on all 3 lifts?
First off you have to train all three lifts! Second I would say get on a good program and give it a legitimate chance to work. If it doesn't keep tweaking your training until you find what works for you. When you find what works for you stick with it! Also just as important as lifting you have to put dedication into you eating. You need to make sure you eat consistently each and everyday getting enough calories and protein to reach your goals!
Critical Bench: What drives you as a lifter?
Honestly? I have a sick obsession with lifting weights. I feel like if I were to not lift then I have nothing to set me apart from others. Lifting is what I do! Lifting is who I am! While I have seen many come and go in the powerlifting life style it will always remain a constant for me. I like being known as the big strong guy! I like the fact that I am dedicated to something because most people are dedicated to nothing! Dedication is truly a rare quality to find in any individual! I also just want to keep lifting heavier and heavier weights. This really drives me to train hard and get stronger!
Critical Bench: Was your training any different prior to your last meet?
Yeah definitely! For years up until a few months ago I trained random with no idea how heavy I was going to go each session. Now I have my training set up in 5 week progressive cycles peaking that last week of each cycle! If anyone wants to see what these cycles look like just send me an email at liftheavy_22 at hotmail.com. By cycling the weights I get overtrained a lot less and make pretty steady gains. I wish I would have been lifting like this for years because I have all my weights, sets, and reps planned out. This really gives me a goal to accomplish each workout having the whole five week cycle pre-written!
Critical Bench: Do you think using bench shirts/gear is cheating?
Well if some one uses a bench shirt and compares their shirted numbers to someone's raw numbers I guess you could say that is cheating. If you are a shirted bencher and are doing shirted meets that is not cheating because you are following the rules and playing fair. Some people say shirts are cheating! Cheating compared to what? All big time shirt users are up against other shirt users! Sounds like an even playing field to me! I am more into raw lifting for the time being, but I think being in both parts of the game (raw and equipped) is a challenge and I am interested in both. To be the best at both raw and equipped benching would really be an accomplishment!
Critical Bench: What is your view on training in equipment and learning them?
I would say it's quite a bit different and also similar in some ways to training raw. It is different because there are many different training methods for shirted lifting! You really have base your training off having a powerful lockout because when benching shirted you handle such heavy loads. To learn the shirt you definitely need to be using the shirt weekly while prepping for a meet so you can get the most out of it. My personal opinion you need to do 1 board or full range shirted work! This way you can be prepared to do your best in a shirted competition so you are use to doing full range of motion shirted presses. If all you do is train off high boards shirted you are definitely going to have some issues touching come meet day. You also need to do a lot of heavy lock out training whether it be raw boarded benches, rack lockouts, or tons of heavy shirt work to get the body use to the heavy loads!
Critical Bench: What do you think is the reason for all the big numbers as of late like Kennelly's 1075 and Frankl's freakish total or Hoornstra's raw strength? Has strength training evolved?
I would say training has evolved! These guys know exactly what they need to do to keep upping there world record numbers. They eat, sleep, and breathe powerlifting and will do whatever it takes to be the best!
Critical Bench: Do you think the standards went up in the sport?
Yeah I think standards have gone up! Everyone is striving to constantly get better and better. Geared and raw lift records are constantly getting broken! This is probably a result of higher standards. Lifters are doing anything possible to become better lifters. With numbers higher than ever now standards for being considered a good lifter have gone up. So get in the gym and lift your butt off so you can be considered one of the elite!
Critical Bench: What is your nutrition like?
Right now my nutrition is not the best. I try to eat as much as I can throughout the day. I try to get plenty of calories and protein to maintain or gain weight depending what the goal is at that time. Sometimes to meet these needs I will end up eating food that is probably not the healthiest choice! A lot of time people are not making gains with their lifting and think there is something wrong with their training, but really they just need to eat more and gain some weight. Any time I have hit a plateau I just upped my eating and gained weight. After the weight gain my strength sky rockets every time!
Critical Bench: What changes are you going to have to make to go to the next level?
To go to the next level I am going to have to up my food intake and gain some more weight. I am 6'2 and 270 pounds! At 6'2 I think I need to be at least a full 308 to reach my lifting potential! Being a full 308 I think that would really fill my frame out and give me potential to put up some huge lifts! I am also going to need to keep training hard and learn more about the sport and training to keep improving.
Critical Bench: Is there anyone you would like to thank right now?
I would like to thank my brother Jordan for always being my best training partner! He is so dedicated to lifting and it is fun to lift with some one who can really share the love for the iron I do. What better person to share that with than your brother? My brother is 19! This kid has a future 500 pound raw bench in him drug free! I would also like to thank my cousin Adam for really coming out of no where and training with me for well over three years. He came from being a skinny kid who could barely bench 135 to benching 320 raw! You have really come along way man, keep it up! I would also like to thank my fiance Ashley and two year old daughter Jade for supporting my lifting career. The have came out to the "weight shack" and have watched countless sessions of my training and are always there to support me! I have no sponsors at this time, but after I get back into the powerlifting scene I am looking to change that! I would also like to thank you and critical bench for doing this interview and helping to get my name out there! I am unknown for the time being! Just give me time and I will change that. Thank you critical bench!