Interview With Slovakian Powerlifter Peter Mlynarcik Interviewed By Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com - August 2009
Critical Bench: Tell us about yourself.
My name is Peter Mlynarcik I come from Slovakia. I am 28 years old and I started power lifting at 23. I compete at 275 and 308 weight class. I was lifting at Metal Militia NY for two and half years together with Sebastian Burns, Bill Crawford, Jenny Burkey, Janet Faraone and many other great lifters. These days I'm living back in Slovakia training in my hometown of Lucenec with a group of great guys who help me prepare for meets. I'm married and expecting a firstborn baby boy in just about a few days - so there goes my main focus.
Critical Bench: What fed do you compete in and why?
I compete in WPC. It suits me best and has the best world lifters lifting in it right now.
Critical Bench: I heard you compete in Slovakia and set a country record there. What is it like living in Europe and setting a record there?
Lifting here in Slovakia is much different from the US. Here we don't have that much lifting equipment like reverse hypers, monolifts and all other fancy stuff. We have to rely more on the bar, weights and we just do the work needed. Another thing is that very few guys know the ins and outs of modern supportive equipment. It's getting better but you can still see it in domination of the dead lift over other lifts as far as big numbers go.
As far as my record it was a big deal in our country because it was the first (and so far only) bench over 300kg.
CRITICAL BENCH: How is competing in Europe different than the US?
There's much less meets to pick from so we have to plan our year out more carefully and focus on European/world championships.
CRITICAL BENCH: What is the Slovakian Metal Militia like? How does the Slovakian Metal Militia correlate with the Metal Militia from NY?
Just like in the US it's a group of guys that cooperate to get better in lifting and whose friendship goes beyond the walls of the gyms. I still get my training ideas from Sebastian Burns. He goes over most of my training videos and points out areas where to improve. It's not the same as lifting with them but it gets me through.
CRITICAL BENCH: What was it like competing with the Metal Militia in Slovakia and what was it like competing with the Metal Militia in NY?
Same team. They work behind the lifters at the meets so the guy on the platform can concentrate just on the lifting. You usually get better seats at the meets when around Bill Crawford though :)
Critical Bench: What are your best lifts and what are your short term and long term future goals?
My best lifts are 835 squat, 727 bench and 710 deadlift. I have focused on getting my bench better lately but hoping to get back into full meets soon especially after visiting Tampa Barbell in November. I got really hyped watching all the guys moving so much weight.
Critical Bench: Can you give us your powerlifting routine.
I follow MM bench routine as described by Sebastian Burns and use the same principals on other two lifts. It's basically doing all the assistance work raw and going fully geared for the full range. We don't add briefs, suit up, add straps on … none of that stuff. Just like benching you don't only put one sleeve of your shirt on.
Critical Bench: What is your training philosophy?
The main thing with my year round training is that I take time to rest which I learned in NY. Just take some time to heal up - as much as is needed - don't train over the injuries and you'll be able to lift longer overall.
Critical Bench: What drives you to train hard year round?
Just what I said it's not hard all year round. And really the part of the year that I rest gets me all psyched up to train harder the rest of the year.
Critical Bench: So far in your power lifting journey what has been your favorite, funniest, craziest, and most powerful moment?
The best lifting moment for me was walking into Adirondack Barbell. I was able to stay there for over two years, getting to know many lifters at the meets and the craziness after the meets. Who has experienced the atmosphere at the meets with Bill C on the mic and after meet parties knows what I'm talking about.
Critical Bench: Do you have any funny gym stories for us?
I guess just like anybody who's lifting getting crushed by some weight bench pressing and then spending long long seconds trying to roll it down. Well maybe not everybody's been there.
Critical Bench: What are your favorite things about the sport of power lifting?
That it's a team sport on one hand but then at the other end it's just you and the weight and at the platform you can't cheat yourself … the hours that you put into training show up there.
Critical Bench: What do you enjoy doing away from power lifting?
I enjoy the time with my family and friends, doing other sports and traveling. Doing other sports like playing basketball, skiing in winter and hiking in the mountains.
Critical Bench: What adversities have you had to overcome?
None so far. I am living a pretty happy life for which I'm thankful everyday.
Critical Bench: What makes you different from everyone else?
I don't think I'm any different. I'm just an ordinary guy trying to get by and living my life the best I can.
Critical Bench: Tell us about the gym you train at and what is it like?
It's a regular fitness club that gets turned to a gym by group of lifters after hours. We don't have that many weights - altogether about 500kg and just one olympic bar - so we have to train away from the regular people, so it's not just one guy using the whole gym at a time.
Critical Bench: What are your 5 biggest pointers for a bigger squat? Bench? and Deadlift?
Well I'll just say something about bench that works for me:
Do the boards raw
A lot of lockouts
Shirted - only full range
Setup is the key
Try to touch every time
Critical Bench: What is the best and worst advice you were ever told?
Everything pointed out by Sebastian was the best and worked every time. On the other hand a lot of times you get advice from great coaches who have a lot of credentials but who have never seen you lift or followed you longer time so I wouldn't take their advice too seriously. Same goes for the "Internet know it all" guys - especially youtube comments are sometimes beyond ridiculous.
Critical Bench: What makes you happy and what makes you tick?
I feel happy after a good workout session. When everyone around me is healthy and approaching their goals. And of course having a good meal, mainly a nice 1 lb. steak.
Critical Bench: How do you see the future of power lifting?
Realistically there will be only more federations because of the stupid arguments people have in this sport. Seems like the egos get in the way too much and people involved in making the decisions get sidetracked by their little quarrels rather then pushing the whole sport forward. I think there will be always 2-3 top federations worth competing in and hopefully there won't be any problems for regular lifters in transitions between them. Without strong push from a big sponsor there won't be just one place where all the best meet like it used to be with WPO.
Critical Bench: When you are all finished with power lifting how do you want to be remembered?
As a good friend.
Critical Bench: It has been a pleasure. In closing who would you like to thank?
I'd like to thank Tommy Fannon from Tampa Barbell for all his help, same goes for Sebastian Burns and I'd like to thank my family for supporting me in what I do.