Interview With Weight Lifter Zach Beadle Interviewed by Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com - April 2008
It's Ben Tatar from Critical Bench and I'm here with my friend from High School, Zach Beadle. Zach won NY State powerlifting competitions back in High School. He went on to play football at Cornell and has competed in Strongman. Today he is competes in Weight Lifting. In fact he just competed in Weight Lifting at the 2008 Arnold.
CRITICAL BENCH: Zach, tell the Critical Bench readers about yourself!
ZB: I'm a 25 year old New York native who's been living in Columbus (OH) for the past 16 months.
CRITICAL BENCH: Zach, congratulations on making it to the 2008 Arnold as a competitor! What was it like competing in the Weight Lifting portion of the 2008 Arnold Competition?
ZB: I've been part of the Arnold for three years now, in '06 as a fan, in '07 as a volunteer, and in '08 as a competitor - and while the experience from each year were very different, they were all awesome.
As a competitor, your focus is narrowed from trying to take in the full scope of the Arnold to only the tiny sliver that is your event. I didn't get to spend as much time in the main expo hall, or watching different competitions as years prior - but being able to compete in front of a loud 'hometown' crowd filled with friends and family was very rewarding.
CRITICAL BENCH: Was it different competing at the Arnold in Olympic Weight Lifting compared to winning High School State Titles in powerlifting? Which experience was better?
ZB: The short answer to that question is "YES - because I haven't won anything at the Arnold yet, let alone a championship," but the real answer is that the Arnold is just so much bigger and better than anything I experienced in high school. It's very tough to compare the two.
CRITICAL BENCH: Zach, you have also been on two high school teams who went to the NY state championships in Class A football and then you went on to play College football at Cornell. How is your mindset different in weight lifting compared to a football game?
ZB: Footballs a team sport that's played over the course of 3+ hours - while weightlifting is an individual sport with only 6 attempts, lasting all of about 10 seconds of actual competition. I adjust my mindset accordingly.
CRITICAL BENCH: Zach, I remember you were trying to make the 1,000lbs club in High School. Making this club consisted of you having to squat 650lbs (glutes to your heels,) and power cleaning 350lbs. You literally had to gain close to 50lbs in both your squat and clean in a period of a month. In the process of doing this, you were also playing tennis! In my opinion, this is one of the most freakish stories that I have ever heard of in strength sports. How in the world did you gain 50lbs to your clean and squat while also playing tennis?
ZB: In high school i just followed the BFS program (Bigger, Faster, Stronger,) and it kept packing on the lbs. Tennis wasn't really a long term-endurance sport like track or x-country, so it didn't break my muscle down as much as people think - plus I was a serve and volley player, so my points never were long and drawn out baseline battles.
CRITICAL BENCH: That is still very cool that you could excel at both at the same time! You defy the generic Chinese logic of "When one tries to chase 2 rabbits, the rabbits escape", as you did well in both powerlifting and tennis! Most people can't do that! Zach, how does your family feel about your powerlifting success?
ZB: Both my mom and dad have been MORE than supportive of everything I've ever done athletically - and power/weightlifting is no different. They're great and a real big help at times.
CRITICAL BENCH: What is your advice for people who are afraid of the big weights? How would they overcome that fear so they one day can lift huge like you do?
ZB: Rome wasn't built in a day. The weights I'm using at the Arnold, I couldn't have done 6 months ago - and the weights I was using then i couldn't have done a year ago. It's a gradual process, one that takes time and hard work. There aren't any secrets - just keep training and you'll get there.
CRITICAL BENCH: What is the best and worst advice you were ever told?
ZB: HAHA, I dunno about the worst, but some of the best came from our high school football coach - John Irion. 1 - Adversity builds character, and 2 - It doesn't matter how you FEEL, has your body changed? Number 2 would always come up when I thought I was either too sore, or too tired to lift that day, and he would just look at me and say, "It doesn't matter how you FEEL - do you think you're body has changed so much you can't due that weight anymore?" The answer of course was always No, and I'd suck it up and get along with my workout.
Beadle is a Beast - 6'4 Weighing 260 LBS
CRITICAL BENCH: Zach, if you could be any animal what type of animal would you be?
ZB: A silver back gorilla. I saw a show on Discovery Channel that said they can grow up to 500 pounds, and eat 50 lbs of food a day because they need the energy to mate with every female in their pack at least once a day.
CRITICAL BENCH: Zach, Big Daddy, silver back gorilla monster machine, you are certainly starting to leave your mark in the sport of weight lifting! Zach, when your legacy is finished in the sport how do you want to be remembered?
ZB: I'm still working on doing something significant enough to be worth remembering. I'll work on my legacy once I get to that point.
CRITICAL BENCH: You are very humble. That is fore sure! What supplements do you take and are you a big believer in supplements? Or are you much more into eating a lot of protein and good food? Remember when you drank 20 sodas before we went to Monday Night RAW? hahaha..
ZB: I take Animal PAK everyday before i lift, and Animal Nitro immediately after i workout. I also take a Animal protein shake every morning around 9 and then another one when i go to bed. I think its important to do both - eat A LOT of good food, but also to properly supplement your body with some of the extras that it needs.
RAW was a great time.
CRITICAL BENCH: Zach, do you see yourself always being a power athlete and into strength sports in someway for the rest of your life?
ZB: I'll always be into strength athletics, be it powerlifting, weightlifting, or strongman in one way or another. I'm just trying to use the time I have while I'm still young enough to actually do them.
CRITICAL BENCH: Very cool Zach... Now let's go to the Titan Tron as I talk to Zach Beadle into great detail before he competes at the 2,008 Arnold Classic! This interview is CLASSIC, check it out!..
Interview With Beadle Before the 2008 Arnold Weight Lifting Event