Weight Lifting, Weight Training, Bench Press & Bodybuilding
July 17, 2024

Ask The Pros Your Training Questions!
Meet The Sponsored Critical Bench Pro Athletes

Ask the Pros

CriticalBench.com is a free online weight lifting publication. We have been adding content to this site and been online since 1999. The purpose of the Web site is to provide other trainees like ourselves thousands of Web site pages containing useful and interesting weight lifting, exercise and fitness tips.

If you use the Google Site Search located at the bottom of every page, you'll likely find an article or web page to answer most questions.

However, we understand that some questions are better answered by a live person. It is impossible to handle all of the daily emails that the site receives. That's why our Critical Bench sponsored pro athletes have agreed to lend a helping hand on the Muscle Forum.

If you have a question that could use some professional help and you can't figure it out go ahead and enter the "Ask the Pros" forum. The athletes below will be more than happy to give you their two cents.

Meet our Team

View a short bio about each athlete below along with links to their sections of the site. CriticalBench.com would like to thank the entire team for all of their help and support in getting the Critical Bench name out there!

About Mike Schwanke - Pro Division Powerlifter

Ask the Pros - Pro Division Powerlifter Mike SchwankeEducation:

High School Diploma - McDowell High School, Marion NC 1996
Associates Degree - Electronic Systems Technologies, CCAF AL 2009

Fields of Expertise:

Personnel Training, Strength Coaching and Conditioning.

Professional Highlights:

  • Former All Time World Record Holder in the 220lbs class with a 2502lbs total.

  • Current APA World Record Holder in the 220lbs Open Class, 700lbs Bench and 800lbs Deadlift.

  • Current APF Florida State Record Holder in the 220lbs Open Class, 804.5lbs Deadlift and 2502lbs Total.

  • Two time Winner of the 220lbs Class, IPA PowerStation Pro/AM.

  • Nominated by Powerlifting Watch for All World Team as a Starter.

Personal Background:

I was born in Anaheim California then later relocated to Marion NC, were I spent the majority of my life. By the age of eighteen I had joined the U.S. Army and honorably served six years in the U.S. Corp of Engineers. Later getting out and then rejoining the Armed Forces by serving in the U.S. Air Force.

My exercise and injury rehabilitation knowledge is quite diverse and unique with my Military background. I also compliment my knowledge by applying strength explosiveness and cardio endurance training to my arsenal. I would like to say my training methods are very practical and have proven results.

Other Activities:

I enjoy anything related to History, Ancient Civilizations and Advanced Computer Science.

Mike Schwanke Related Pages

Ask Mike Your Training Question In The "Ask The Pros" Section At The Muscle Forum
Read The Mike Schwanke Interview as Published in Powerlifting USA.
Schwanke's Favorite Supplement: Jacked Up!

About Brian Carroll - Pro Division Powerlifter

Pro Division Powerlifter Brian Carroll

I'm Brian Carroll. I'm 26 and work as a massage therapist in Jacksonville, FL. I have been powerlifting since 2003 and my first lifts were in the 220 class and were 705, 424, 622 in the APF. Directly after that meet, I met up with Adam Driggers and started to train with him and Tony Garland. Shorty after, Team Samson was formed and I haven't looked back since. They are a huge part of why I have hit the lifts I have.

My best lifts are 1030 pound squat, 633 bench press, 755 deadlift totaling 2375 weighing 220 (6th AllTime). My best lifts at 242 are 1052, 733, 771 with a 2535 total (2nd AllTime). I have finished 2nd at the APF senior nationals three times and at the WPC Worlds two times (once tied for the win, but lost on bodyweight). I am striving to be the best and wont be satisfied until I am.

Brian Carroll Related Pages

Ask Brian Your Training Question In The "Ask The Pros" Section At The Muscle Forum
Interview With Brian Carroll of Team Samson As Published In Powerlifting USA Mag

About Steve Konopka - Pro Arena Football Player

bodybuilding tips Steve Konopka is currently a professional football player for the Philadelphia Soul Arena Football Team. He plays DE and OL measuring 6'5 at a weight of 290 lbs. He has acquired NFL experience with the New York Giants in 1999. Graduated from Central Connecticut State in 1998 with a degree in Exercise Science. Konopka is co-author of The Lean Mass Program and Critical Ripped Program. Kono was voted team lineman of the year for 2005.

Unfortunately Kono sat out the 2008 season due to an injury. We'll keep you posted.

"Kono" is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to supplements. He'll most likely know the answer to your question right off the top of his head, without having to look it up. If you have a question regarding supplements, stacks, or training feel free to visit "Kono's Corner" in the Muscle Forum to ask him a question. The best of his QnA forum are also archive on the Web site here.

About Chris Janek - Pro Arena Football Player / Powerlifter

Chris Janek - Powerlifter and Arena Football Player I am a part-time powerlifter and part-time Arena Football player. I am in my 9th season. This will be my 3rd stint with the Utah Blaze in Salt Lake City UT. I have also worked with many of the top strength coaches in the country, and for the last 8 years trained athletes and people from all walks of life. I was sponsored by Critical Bench last year for my first meet held in Tenn. I totaled elite at 308lb with a 2255 total.

Nothing to brag about but I'm hopeing to up my total this year nov 29th in Chat, Tenn at the SPF Record Breakers. I have lifted heavy ever since I was young and last year decided it was time to put some stats on paper. Right now i can only train for meets in gear for 4 and a half months a year, then 2 for football (still strength but no gear lots plyo's, agility drills, sprints, etc.). I feel that when my football days are over i'll be able to hang with the big boys. I'll be posting most of my lifts and as many videos as possible. Glad to be here

Chris Janek Related Pages

Aks Chris Your Question In The "Ask The Pros" Section Of The Muscle Forum
Chris Janek Interview
Janek Totals Elite At First Meet
Janek's Favorite Supplement: Betabolic
Janek Competes At 08 SPF Record Breakers - Squats a Grand

About Elliott Hulse - Strongman / Strength Coach

Strongman Competitor Elliott Hulse Elliott Hulse CSCS coaches strength and speed athletes to get super strong and fast in his 'bare-bones' training facility in St. Petersburg FL. Using the same high intensity programs and techniques that create world class athletes, Elliott has created the first and only TRUE no BS Men's Fitness Boot Camp. This is attended by "Regular Joe's" who are sick and tired of the boring, traditional fitness routines and are hungry for REAL Fitness results for REAL Men.

As an ex-Division 1AA football MVP and currently a competitive Strongman, Elliott uses his 'real world' experience and 'in the treches' knowledge to support you in unleashing your true strength, speed and fitness potential.

Elliott Hulse Related Pages

Aks Elliott Your Question In The "Ask The Pros" Section Of The Muscle Forum
Elliott Hulse Interview
Elliott Hulse's Author Page
Hulse's Favorite Supplement: Jacked Up
Elliott Is Author Of The Critical Gridiron Program

Kings Of bench Movie Video Film Clip




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