Interview With Bench Presser Lisa Miller ast told to CriticalBench.com by Ben Tatar - August 2007
1) CRITICAL BENCH: Critical Bench is here with Lisa Miller. Lisa is one of the strongest and most inspiring powerlifting women in the world. Lisa, tell us about yourself.
I'm from Justice Illinois, I'm a mother of 3. Outside of power lifting I'm a personal trainer in Illinois. I also do motivation Seminars at the schools, to let kids know they can be what they want as long as they put their minds to it. They don't need drugs to be a champion!
2) CRITICAL BENCH: Very nice! Lisa what are your best gym and competitive lifts? Where do you compete?
My best gym bench is 502lb. I compete in the APF and the WABDL and I use Karin's extreme shirts. I recently just hit 451.9lb at the APF Chicago Summer Bash.
3) CRITICAL BENCH: Congrats. How does it feel to be one of the strongest ladies in the world and out lift 99% of the men in the world?
It makes me feel strong and my hard work and training skills are paying off.
"Lisa Miller Benches 451 Pounds For Sixth Highest Bench Ever!"
4) CRITICAL BENCH: They sure are. Lisa, what are your future goals?
I want to bench press 600lb, I figure if a man can do it? So, can I.
5) CRITICAL BENCH: If any female can do it, it's you! What is it about power lifting that you love so much? And how did you become a power lifter?
Maybe it's the rush you get trying to break your own personal records. I actually didn't plan on being a big lifter and when I started actually competing in 2005 I knew nothing of equipment and how to use it. My personal records are climbing as I learn more and more on using different equipment. So plan on seeing bigger numbers.
6) CRITICAL BENCH: How many times can you bench press 225? What other crazy feats of strength have you done in the gym outside of bench pressing, squatting and dead lifting?
I can bench press 225 for 10 nice and slow reps. I have some mega shoulder power, I shoulder press as much as I bench. Sounds crazy but it's true.
7) CRITICAL BENCH: Tell us about the first time you've ever benched 135, 225, 315, 350, 405, and beyond?
When I first started weight lifting in 2002, I couldn't bench 60lbs! The only thing I wanted was to bench 135lbs in the gym. Then I got it! Next all I wanted was a 225lb bench and I got it (Creatine Serum and Pure cut amino's helped a lot). Everyone would come up to me and say man you're strong. So a friend mentioned to me that there was a power lifting event in the area a SLP meet in late 2003. So I went there and benched 225 raw. I took the record. I liked the feeling of accomplishment and the reactions I would get from being strong.
So I changed my lifting and started going extremely heavy increasing my bench, then in 2005 I had no clue how to work a shirt. I tried so many, the only one that would work for me was Karin's Extreme Shirts. As I learned how to work the shirt my bench was shooting. Then I started using a closed back and it really shot up.. I find her shirts beautiful. She knows her thing.. Now onto 500!
8) CRITICAL BENCH: How do people usually respond to you when you're so strong? And how do you respond to the different types of reactions?
I always get compliments. I never once got a negative reaction. From my experience men are amazed when a women can out bench them.. They will come up to me and congratulate me and introduce themselves, showering me with compliment's.. Feels good!
9) CRITICAL BENCH: Tell us about the competitions that you have been in and what the experiences were like?
I love the WABDL. It is a great federation. Big Beautiful trophies, well respected. Everyone is friendly and Gus is a great guy!
10) CRITICAL BENCH: How does it feel to come so far in 2 years of lifting? I mean you came further in 2 years of lifting than most women have from 15 years of training.
I never actually looked at it like that. It basically was learning how to work the shirt. I was always strong in the gym. If I only started lifting 10 years ago instead of two years ago, I could only imagine what my records would look like but I can't change the past only the future :) It's only a matter of time. I'm still climbing the ladder.
11) CRITICAL BENCH: Tell us about your training philosophy and your training routine.
My training routine is basically all raw heavy workouts. I do NO power lifting training, No bands, No Boards and No Equipment just pure power. Short sets of heavy weights. My philosophy in power lifting is, if the inner strength is strong, your outer strength will become strong with equipment. I think the key to my success in the bench comes from, heavy tricep lock outs raw and holding extreme weight on the bar raw for 20 seconds. This makes the bones, muscles and joints stronger as it prepares you for a heavy shirted bench.
12) CRITICAL BENCH: That is great advice! I like it. So what is your weight and biggest bench in the gym?
My biggest gym bench is 340lbs and I weigh 240.
13) CRITICAL BENCH: That's power, only 9 ladies in history have benched more than 300 raw in competition who train strictly for it and you're not just in the 3's but in the mid 3's! awesome! Anyways, what power lifters impress you the most in the game?
I'd have to say It's not the big shots that impress me. It's the beginners. When they first do their meets and get there records they are so excited and over whelmed with joy.
14) CRITICAL BENCH: Very interesting and inspiring answer. Was it hard for you to learn the shirt? Why do you like the Karin shirts more than the other shirts you've trained with in the past?
I use Karin's Shirts and have worked with Titans shirts. Well for some reason the Polys always give me a hard time. I'm still working with them for a perfect lift. I want all my lifts I'm not a bomber.
15) CRITICAL BENCH: How do you feel about the APF being replaced at the Arnold?
All I will say is go U.S.A.P.L! I think the U.S.A.P.L should be the ones going to the Arnold. The USAPL stands by their rules, they don't bend them for team members. The USAPL is a tested Fed, They stick by there rules, EXAMPLE: They don't change the rules last minute to make it more convenient for a friend lifter, If they think this person should win best lifter they win , even though the other persons coefficient number is higher. I would love to lift in the USAPL. I'm waiting on a closer meet to Illinois and preparing my 3 lifts for a great meet.
16) CRITICAL BENCH: Are there any funny stories you'd like to share?
Well in 2005 when I first starting working with a bench shirt. I went to the APF Seniors National and my husband was putting my shirt on backwards. Oh God. Thank God Iron Asylum gym was there, they ran over the for the rescue.
17) CRITICAL BENCH: That's funny. Lisa it's been an honor having you with us. You are instantly becoming a legend in the game in such a short period of time. We're sure you'll continue to grow with the sport. In closing is there anything you'd like to say?
I'd like to say Thank You to John Hudson (WABDL)and Dick Zenzen (APF) for very helpful and friendly advise that has helped me break that 400 marker. They both are great guys and very well respected.
"A TRUE CHAMPION IS MEASURED BY HOW MANY OTHERS HE OR SHE INSPIRES TO BECOME A CHAMPION!"