Interview With 800 Pound Bench Presser Scott Yard by Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com
1) Critical Bench: Scott, it's great to have someone who has bench pressed more than 800lbs with us. So, tell us how you got into benching, where you work, your thoughts about work, and a general biography about yourself?
My name is Ronald Yard, but I go by Scott. I am 23 years old. I have a bachelor's degree in sociology, and I am currently a forensic social worker in the mental health field. I like my job but I would much rather have the old lady hit it big and be a stay at home dad(just kidding) I began lifting when I was around 11 or 12. My dad salvaged an old weight bench that a buddy of his was going to throw away. After that I was hooked.
2) Critical Bench: You have bench pressed 735lbs at 275lbs after one year of training! Then shortly after you bench pressed 735, you bench pressed 800 which is truly amazing! How did you get soo strong so fast?
I began doing meets in 2001, I did a few but wasn't too into it, the Organization I was lifting in just wasn't for me. I took a 3 year long lay off and decided to get back into the sport and did my first meet in March 05. Around that time I met a few guys and began to train at a new gym, CLUB NATURAL IN PA. Truthfully club natural got me to 735 and is still pushing me to 800 plus. Prior to training with them my best bench was 578. In a matter of months they had me doing 700 in the gym for reps. These guys really knew their shit. It also doesn't hurt when you wear the best bench shirts made by Karin Kline
3) Critical Bench: Being an 800lbs bencher yourself, what characteristics do you think that all 800lbs+ bench pressers share in common?
All 800lbs benchers are strong for one. Secondly I think it is just a love of the game. As you'll see nobody is making a career out of power lifting. I think the one thing we all have in common is a lot of intrinsic motivation. That desire to succeed for yourself, your family and your team mates. And I am sure we are all a bit cocky, but to move these weights you have to believe in your self.
4) Critical Bench: So you have bench pressed 800+ so instantly (an accomplishment that less than 30 men in this world have achieved out a population of 6.4 billion people that is growing by the nano second.) So, now that you have achieved an 800+ bench what are your future goals for this year? Also, what's your long term and life time bench press goal?
My immediate goal is do a full power meet and try to accomplish some things there. I am currently training for the IPA worlds. As far as my long time bench goals, they are pretty simple, stay injury free, and hit PR's. I think the worst thing a bencher can do is chase numbers, 800, 850, and 900 plus. You see lifters doing this all the time, and all you see is them bomb. Each meet as long as I get a 5lb pr I am happy, because you can't put a value on getting better, you either do or you don't. The big numbers will come eventually
5) Critical Bench: What training style do you train? Give us your training routine and supplementation/diet? Also, do you have a couple major pointers that you would like to share with the world so that they could become great benchers and not just settle for a mediocre bench max?
I like to be in competitive shape year round. We have learned that in order to bench big in a shirt your raw bench must be put on the back burner. All our work is levitated toward high end work with a lot of shirt work. We warm up raw to 90% or so then put on our shirts
Once we are warm we will either do a volume day or a shirted day. One heavy day might be a heavy triple, double and single. (Last week I did 750 for 3, 760 for 2, and 805 for 1). Our volume day is for technique and to keep our CNS in check. Volume day may consist of 5 sets of 2 with one weight usually 90% or so of our shirted work. This workout is to master touching with lighter weights and to perfect our groove. After shirt work we will hit high boards, usually a 5 board, here the goal for me is to hit around 90% of my shirt work off a raw 5 board for triples. Once the board work is done we will do raw reps. usually for me it may be a few sets of 10-12 with 405 or something to that effect. Our shirt cycles last 7 weeks, any longer and we feel beat up; in between those cycles we do mini raw cycles of 3-4 weeks or so. Here we will do a lot of raw work, and special exercises (west side type movements). As you see training is very simple, No need to complicate things. As far as diet, I don't really have one. I get all my supplements form don mullrany at insane nutrition and I just take what he sends me, (a very power lifter friendly company). I just try to stay below 275 and not become too much of a slob. The only tip I have is stick with a routine and be experimental. There are no secrets, just buckle down and spend your time in the gym, and the PR's will come. Just have to put into what you want out of it.
6) Critical Bench: What Powerlifting Federation do you train in? Who do you train with? What is the atmosphere like at the gym you train at?
I like to lift in the IPA and APF. Right now we have a great group of guys that we train with who all compete and support one another. Each person brings something different to the gym. My team is Steve Hartlaub masters world record holder 550 at 198, Nick sauble, James Orsleaze, tiny Ersnt, Aaron , and john Uttermelon. The atmosphere is primarily instructive. Everyone is constantly coaching and critiquing ones lift, it is a great place to train, we also have a keg always full for after the workout.
7) Critical Bench: Think back to 5 years ago. Were you a hardcore bench presser? Could you ever imagine back then that someday you would bench 800+ pounds? WELL IT HAS HAPPENED! How has the dream been going from an 18 year old teenager 5 years ago to one of the best benchers in the world today?
5 years ago I was in college benching 400 with a hangover. I didn't care about lifting or have the focus that I have now. Thinking how strong can a guy really get, I never thought I would be in the 800 club It's been pretty cool; I never take my self too seriously though. I love power lifting and have a great time doing it, but it's not my first priority in life, power lifting will come and go, and I think it's important to keep that in mind . Remember don't neglect family and friends for powerlifting. Love powerlifting, love what you do, but don't let powerlifting define you!
8) Critical Bench: Do you take time off during the year and have an off season? If so what do you like to do during the off season and away from the gym?
As far as an off-season, I don't really do one, and the reason is simple, there is always some dude working out when your not. I hate the thought off taking time off when some body is about to take a world record from you or knock you down in the rankings. I went from 3 rd all time to 5th in one day, And I wasn't too happy about that. As far as outside the gym, I am your average 23 year old I guess. I like to hang out, and drink mass quantities of cheap beer, nothing wrong with that
9) Critical Bench: Very interesting response. The Metal Militia has an off season so there body can recover from the intense loads and so that they can have more mental energy year round. So, the Metal Militia off season routine doesn't work well for you?
They can do a ton of volume day in and day out and respond
very well to it. My body is the opposite as I am more of a minimalist. I
only train 2, maybe 3 days max a week. I have found this to work best for
me. I will continue to do this until I stop progressing. I am a firm believer in that if it's not broken don't fix it. Due to the fact that I train significantly less, and my volume is much lower, the term layoff does not need to be in my vocabulary due to the fact that I don't do enough work toned one, LOL .
10) Critical Bench: What assistance exercises do you think are the most important when training for a bigger bench? And how should training vary from a 225lbs bench, to a 365lbs bencher, to an 800+ bencher?
I think what one has to realize is what you do to bench 300 isn't the same for 400, or 500 and especially 800. As you start out master the basics first, don't throw on a bench shirt when you can't even bench raw correctly. The biggest thing is to just take your time. Honestly you can probably improve doing just about anything if you do it right. Hard to say as far as assistance exercises, as everyone responds so differently. Find out what works for you and stick to the formula. The only thing I would definitely do is be sure to train all the appropriate muscles once a week. (Your delt, lats triceps and pecs) and hit the high boards hard every week.
11) Critical Bench: When your bench press career is all said and done how do you want people to remember you?
Honestly, just to be mentioned with some of the greats would be a honor, if anything I just want to be remembered as a good guy that hopefully helped somebody out or two and wasn't too full of himself
12) Critical Bench: Is there any message that you would like to give to the powerlifting world and anything else that you would like to say?
Yea just have fun, its only lifting weights. Just want to thank my new fiance for saying yes, and for scrubbing the stick um off my back each bench day (she hates that). I want to thank my family for being supportive. Definitely want to thank all my training partners for helping attain my goals and for not letting me be a pussy in the gym. Last but not least my sponsors who allow me to do what I do on a much comfortable level, please check these guys out at insanenutrition.com and karinsxtremepower.com