Weight Lifting, Weight Training, Bench Press & Bodybuilding
December 19, 2014
Interview With Strong Man Matt Smith

by Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF?
I'm 30 years old from Columbus, Ohio. I train at Westside Barbell and I work as a computer technician for Sarcom in the Columbus area.

WHAT ARE YOUR BEST LIFTS (any comments on your personal best)?
1008 squat, 677 bench, 850 deadlift, and 2502 total

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO BE THE BEST?
A competitive nature I guess. I played football in high school and liked that competitive feeling. When that all went away, powerlifting filled that void.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR TRAINING ROUTINE?
I pretty much follow the basic Westside routine. Sunday- 8x3 on bench, lockouts, extensions, lat work. Monday- Max effort lower body, glute/ham raises, abs, zercher deadlifts Wednesday- Max effort upper body, lockouts, extensions, lat work Friday- 5x2 on squat, 6x1 on deadlift, glute/ham raises, abs This is the basics of my workouts.

WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR HEAD BEFORE ATTEMPTING A HUGE WEIGHT?
Stay calm! Slow down. I like to visualize myself doing the weight in my head first. It allows me to concentrate on all the technical aspects of the lift. Technique is what determines whether or not the weight will feel heavy or light. I saw a quote that read, "The body achieves what the mind believes", and seeing is believing. So if you can visualize yourself doing the weight before you do it then you will get it.

HOW DO YOU PREPARE BEFORE A CONTEST?
The week before the meet I rest and stay away from the gym and make sure I eat. I make sure I get plenty of sleep and I eat a good dinner the night before. The day of the meet I try to eat a good breakfast to start out and just stay calm. The meet day is the time to have fun. It is the reward for weeks of hard work. Don't screw it up because of nerves.

WHAT DOES YOUR DIET CONSIST OF?
Well I must admit my diet hasn't always been that great. Being single for a long time meant that it was easier to eat fast food all the time instead of cooking. Now that I live with my girlfriend and her kids, I eat a lot better. I won't say I eat all that chicken and white rice shit, but I can say I eat a lot more home cooked meals now.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKES BEGINNERS MAKE?
I would have to say overtraining. I think beginners second guess themselves too much and do too much as a result. Listen to your body.

WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTORS FOR GETTING SUPER STRONG?
Training smart, rest and recovery, and nutrition

WHAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN AVERAGE JOE AND A CHAMPION?
Genetics, determination, priorities, and luck.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT IN YOUR STRONGMAN CAREER?
When I pulled 825 on my final deadlift at the 2001 IPA Nationals.

WHAT WAS THE MOST IMPRESSIVE, SQUAT, BENCH, DEADLIFT AND FEAT OF STRENGTH THAT YOU HAVE EVER SEEN?
I would have to say the most impressive was Chuck when he squatted 1025 @ 220. He had missed his first two attempts and had injured his knee in the process. Then on the third he came out and crushed 1025.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE CHANGE IN THE LIFTING WORLD?
My honest opinion is all the bitching people do. I like to watch drag racing. You have different classes Top fuel, funny car, pro stock, etc. You never see a pro stock driver bitching, "Well, if I used what a top fuel driver used I could go 4 sec in a quarter mile too." Powerlifting has many different classes for a reason. Variety. Lift how you like to lift whether it is raw, drug free, single ply, double ply, or whatever. Just support the other guy in his pursuit of bigger PR's.

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO TELL MONSTER MUSCLE READERS?
Thanks for the interview. Visit my website www.mattsmithonline.com

 

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