Interview With Strongman Pat Wilson As told to CriticalBench.com by Curt Dennis Jr. "The Brute" of IronBrutality.com- August 2010
CRITICAL BENCH: Hey, thanks for doing this interview, Please introduce yourself.
My name is Pat Wilson and I'm an amateur strongman competitor.
CRITICAL BENCH: What are your Best PR's right now?
My PR's as of now are a 495 bench press (touch n go), 685lb deadlift, 500lb front squat and 395lb overhead press.
CRITICAL BENCH: How long have you been into strongman?
4 years since I was 16.
CRITICAL BENCH: Tell us about your childhood and how you got into strongman?
I had a competitive childhood. Everyone I grew up with was involved in sports. I played basketball a lot as a kid and found weight training at an early age. I got my first bench press when I was 13. Once I got that, I started training with it a lot! I didn't know anything, I completely over trained. Then I finally upgraded to a commercial gym and that changed everything. I start training with Mike Witmer and Dave Beers. These were some of the strongest guys I have ever seen. Mike and Dave were my mentors and taught me a lot about powerlifting but mostly strongman. I was hooked and did my first show and did really well.
CRITICAL BENCH: Who did you look up to when you were coming up as a strongman?
Mariusz Pudzianowski and Ronnie Coleman.
CRITICAL BENCH: What is the craziest thing you have ever seen in strongman?
The craziest thing I saw was my training partner Elliot Hulse almost getting crushed by a 355lb log! He jumped back because the guy has natural athletic ability and killer instincts!
CRITICAL BENCH: What would you say to a novice lifter or to a lifter who's just starting out in strongman?
To a lifter just starting out I would say, take your time and find really good training partners that push you in your sport.
CRITICAL BENCH: Do you have a favorite out of the three or is it all 3 lifts?
I really love every lift! The squat, bench and the deadlift, but if I was to pick it would be the bench press.
CRITICAL BENCH: What are your goals and when is your next meet?
My goals are to become a professional strongman in both divisions, Lightweight and Heavyweight, and move on to the big stages such as the Arnold Class and WSM. My next meet is this weekend in Fort Pierce, FL.
CRITICAL BENCH: What are the challenges of coming up as a strongman?
The money! I spend so much money on food and supplements which is hard for a 20 year old college student. Good training partners are hard to come by as well.
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?
Well the difference is someone who wants to look "pretty" does more of a workout to just improve their beach body. Everybody wants that perfect beach body. What we do is much different. We train to be huge and strong and you have been extremely dedicated to your diet and training. It's a lifestyle! I'll put it this way my friend, who wants the beach body doesn't push himself and never wants to do squats because they are hard. He always wants another way to do things that are the easy way out. The strength community laughs at this.
CRITICAL BENCH: What would you tell someone if they are trying to get to the next level in the sport? Do you believe that strongmen have a lifestyle of their own?
To get to the next level I would say compete in every show you can and find a good group of training partners to train with on the weekends. Yes I believe strongmen have a lifestyle of their own. We not only have to be strong but conditioned and technical as well in our sport. It takes a lot of work.
CRITICAL BENCH: How driven would people say you are about being a strongman? How does it affect you outside of the gym?
People would say I'm really driven about my sport. I used to let it affect me before but now I have some wisdom and know how to deal with it. I always make sure I have balance in my life.
CRITICAL BENCH: How has strongman made you a stronger person away from the sport?
Strongman has taught me how to be dedicated and very humble. It has opened me to a clean healthy lifestyle.
CRITICAL BENCH: Do you have any training partners? How has they helped? Tell us about them and who they are.
Yes I have some good training partners. Although one has a torn bicep which sucks. Elliot Hulse and I started training together after he kicked my ass in Florida's strongest man. So we both started training for the Europa together and it has changed my training dramatically! Another good training partner that I have is my friend Bryan. He helps me with all my gym lifts and we really push ourselves in the gym.
CRITICAL BENCH: What are your workouts like? How are they setup? What training methodology do you follow? My workouts are like this.
Monday- Overhead press, shoulders, triceps and upper back work
Wednesday- Squat/Deadlift day, Legs.
Thursday- Bench press, Incline press, maybe some flys and core work.
Saturday- Events for strongman they switch up if I'm training for a specific show.
CRITICAL BENCH: What do you think attributes to a big bench now and days?
Shoulders, triceps and a strong back.
CRITICAL BENCH: What would you suggest to someone on how to get stronger on all 3 lifts?
I would suggest finding a powerlifting team and research Louie Simmons Westside Barbell training!
CRITICAL BENCH: What drives you as a lifter? What is your mindset like during training?
My parents drive me. My mother is ill and can't do much. She drives me to be the best I can be and also my father who I want to make proud in every way drives me. My mindset is I will never fail and I will overcome the obstacles in my life. I will make world records. I will train till I have to bleed. I will do whatever it takes to become stronger. That is my mindset. I go in the gym with killer instinct! Very very intense.
CRITICAL BENCH: Was your training any different prior to your last show?
Yes it always is changing.
CRITICAL BENCH: What is your view on training in equipment and learning them?
I have a lot of respect for a lot of lifters including the ones who use suits and shirts. I just don't like when they start telling people what only their suited and shirt numbers are. Suits help a lot and so do shirts without a doubt. Tell your raw numbers as well!!!
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?
Strength training has involved in a lot of ways. People in my time are going to break all the world records because we have more and more knowledge each year about training/diet etc.
CRITICAL BENCH: Do you think the standards went up in the sport?
Yes I remember first pressing a 300lb log and it was huge! Now guys are hitting 300 for reps.
CRITICAL BENCH: What is your nutrition like now?
I eat at least 1-2grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. I eat carbs in the morning and in the afternoon. Also before and after my workouts. Later in the day and at night I try to cut carbs out because I have to make weight.
CRITICAL BENCH: What changes are you going to have to make to go to the next level?
Don't screw up on the big stage of competition and make zero mistakes! It's only a matter of time.
CRITICAL BENCH: Is there anyone you would like to thank right now?
I want to thank God and my family for all the support they give me. Also all my training partners and friends who support me.
Pat Wilson (tire flip 945 lb) first time he flipped it!