Interview With Powerbuilder Bobby Myers As told to Powerlifting USA by Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com - October 2010
Critical Bench: Today we are here with powerlifter and bodybuilder, Bobby Myers. Bobby, tell us about yourself!
Hello, my name is Bobby Myers. I am 45 yrs old. Born in Niceville Florida on August 3, 1964, and have been a Florida resident my entire life. I have been married for 26 years to a wonderful woman, Carol Ann. We have a 25-year-old daughter, who graduated from the University of West Florida with a degree in education, and now teaches in Ocala Florida.
Critical Bench: You and your wife Carol Ann own a powerlifting gym. Tell us about it.
Carol Ann and I own a small private powerlifting/bodybuilding gym in Defuniak Springs, Florida. We only have 10 members, but most are elite powerlifters, and also cross over to bodybuilding, figure, and bikini.
Critical Bench: How did you get involved in powerlifting?
The main sport I participated in was hunting. Especially catch and release wild boar…. what a rush!
In the late 90's I watched an APA meet in Montgomery, Alabama. I was amazed at the huge numbers that these guys were putting up, and the gear was something I had never seen. I was very interested, and later was hooked. Little did I know my own numbers would far exceed anything I saw that day!
Critical Bench: You're sponsored by Shawn "Bud" Lyte. How do you like working with Shawn?
Bud is a very cool guy when you get to know him. He has a very unique outlook on what he would like to support in the sport. He and I have become very good friends. At times we both give and take from each other's opinions.
It is awesome being sponsored by Shawn; the one word that comes to mind is "GUARANTEED" Bud has done everything he has told me he would do. Bud has been very reliable. He has sponsored all of our powerlifting meets in one-way or another. He pays for all of my and Carol Ann's entry fee's, membership cards and a portion of our travel expenses. Up front!
I know some people say what's an entry fee? Well in this economy, it is money you don't have to take out of your own pocket. Bud has been very supportive of all our ventures, and it is very much appreciated.
Critical Bench: What is your favorite thing about being a powerlifter?
It has to be the camaraderie, seeing old friends from past events, making new friends, helping all that need help, and the high I get from pr's, especially the dead lift!
Critical Bench: What federations do you and Carol Ann compete in? What are your best lifts?
I/we have lifted in multiple federations. WABDL, APF, APC, APA, SPF. All are great, and we had a blast in all of them, but at this point in my life, I favor the APF & APA. I would love to do a USPF meet in the future! We both compete in the NPC for bodybuilding.
My best lifts to date are: Squat 915 - Titan Boss, Bench 585 - Inzer 2 ply EHPHD, Deadlift 765 - Titan Boss. All at 242lbs.
Directly related to our powerlifting is our bodybuilding! When we started powerlifting, we had no idea it would take us into bodybuilding. We are now both Elite powerlifters in two different weight classes, and also both national level bodybuilders. I don't know if this is true, but we have been told that we could be the only married couple in the country to reach this level in both sports together.
Critical Bench: What are your 5 tips for a bigger bench?
Well, being I am not a big bencher, this may not be the best subject for me. When I am training someone in the bench, these are what we work on and look at.
First and foremost is technique. Perfect technique will take you to new levels.
Second is Speed. Lifters of equal strength, but one move the weight faster. He will win 9 out of 10 times!
Strength, don't forget this and don't just rely on your shirt. Never be afraid to take that shirt off and do some raw work. It will definitely convert to a bigger equipped bench.
Here's where more lifters mess up than anything else. Picking the shirt for you. Most lifters see someone hit a huge bench. So they want one of those shirts. That doesn't mean that it is the shirt for you. Your shirt should be picked based on technique, and body type.
Don't over train. You need light weeks, and heavy weeks for a reason.
Critical Bench: What are your 5 biggest tips for a bigger squat?
I would say, the squat and bench are pretty much the same! These are the two lifts you can get the most out of powerlifting gear. The reason being, you can change your leverage points. Leverage points are everything. You simply change the mechanics of the lift!
Critical Bench: What are your 5 biggest tips for a bigger dead lift?
Pull reps, (usually not less than 6 reps) I rarely pull a single in training! Singles tend to beat you down.
We use no bands or chains. Just pull from the floor, and do rack pulls.
Form is critical, whether you pull sumo or conventional.
If it doesn't feel good, quit and go home! Don't push it. You should never miss a rep in training. You need to feel the Deadlift!
If you compete in gear, train in gear!
Critical Bench: Bobby, what is the best and worst advice you were ever told?
Best advice - We have had the pleasure of training with some of the best powerlifters in the southeast, and got lots of good advice. Joe Ladnier - Power Pit in Biloxi, Gary Frank - Hardcore Barbell in Baton Rouge, La; and last but not least, Jon Grove - North Georgia Barbell in Kennesaw, Ga.
Gary Frank of Hardcore Barbell once told me, "You have to feel the Deadlift" This is the truest statement I have ever heard.
Jon Grove of North Georgia Barbell told me "Once you get to a certain weight, it all feels heavy"Worst advice - Would have to be something I heard a guy tell my wife, Carol Ann. We were at a meet in South Carolina. She was warming up for the squat, when she was asked what kind of shoes she was wearing. Safe squat shoes. He then informed her how bad her shoes were, and that she should get a pair of Chuck Taylor's. At the end of the day Carol Ann had a 565 squat at 160. The gentleman in question squatted 500 in the 220 class.
Critical Bench: What is your advice for a young powerlifter just starting out in the sport and who wants to be the best bench presser in the world as quickly as possible?
Be careful, and take it slow. You need time for all your tendons to grow with your muscle. If you have the potential, you will get there, and can be the best for years, as long as you stay relatively injury free. Visualize it as long term, train hard, and be smart. Get the best help you can find for the lift you want to specialize in, and if you don't listen to anyone, "listen to your body" it will tell you when you've had enough!
Critical Bench: What do you like doing away from powerlifting and bodybuilding?
Away from powerlifting and bodybuilding life is easy. It is spending time with my wife Carol Ann and daughter Catrina. If no one believes anything I ever say, believe this. All the days you spend away from your family, you can't get back. Hunting was addictive to me. I missed a lot of time with family. For what, a hobby? When I look back, was it worth the adrenaline rush I experienced from catching the biggest boar I could find? Back then I thought so, but now I know beyond a doubt, it wasn't. Now it seems as if my daughter went from the day she was born to 25 in about a 5-year span. So spending time with my family, no matter what we are doing, fulfills my life!
Critical Bench: How do you want to be remembered?
As a great husband, a great father, a man that had honor, and integrity. A man that tried to do things right, and hopefully someday a 800 lb dead lifter…lol.
Critical Bench: Tell us about your diet and what supplements do you take? Do you cheat a lot?
Powerlifting I eat pretty clean, but can still enjoy some fast food on occasion. I like to keep my body fat under 10% year round. This helps with preparation for bodybuilding shows in the summer months.
Bodybuilding is a different story. I should own stock in Cooking Good…. lol. I eat so much chicken, turkey, and the occasional fish, green peas, and potatoes. By the time bodybuilding is over, I don't even want to smell a piece of chicken unless it's in a KFC bucket…lol.
Critical Bench: Tell us about your powerlifting routine and your bodybuilding workouts?
I change up my routine often. It drives clients, and friends that I train, crazy…lol. I train all of them with a bi weekly or tri weekly routines, for rest and recovery. I have found that if you keep your body guessing, you can get more consistent gains.
Now with my own training, I am partial to progressive overload, but I will drop to a rest week, and do rack pulls. I have been in this for a while, and had my share of injuries, so I know when my body needs a break.
EXAMPLE: In my dead lift. I usually start a training cycle with sets of 10, and make 30 lb increases weekly. Rarely dropping below 6 rep sets!
Week 1 - work up to 10 @ 525
Week 2 - 10 @ 555
Week 3 - 10 @ 585
Week 4 - 9 @ 615
Week 5 - tired so I rest
Week 6 - 6 @ 645
Week 7 - 4 @ 675
Week 8 - meet 1 @ 765
My bodybuilding training usually consists of sets of 20 in everything. I have recently found that the volume training carries over to powerlifting very well. Last year I put 40 lbs. on my best dead lift. This was directly due to the volume training I did for bodybuilding in 2009, which increased my base!
Critical Bench: What makes the difference between a good lifter and a champion?
This is easy, pure heart! Never give up, never surrender. Enjoy the pr for the moment, then on to the next goal! A champion rarely ever goes 9 for 9, because they are always lifting on the edge, and not afraid to take chances!
A true champion never picks a meet where he/she knows they can win. They love to compete in the battle of poundage, with other champions!
Critical Bench: How do you see the future of powerlifting?
I love powerlifting, but I don't like what it is becoming. Powerlifting needs a leader to step up and unite the sport. Some have tried with no success. There are so many interpretations of rules by individuals, when the rule books all say the same thing. I think powerlifting needs one officiating organization for all federations in the United States. That way everyone is judged the same. The categories are so diluted, and now the All Time Records are becoming just as diluted.
Currently recognized All Time Records are:
Multi-ply, Single ply, Raw with knee wraps, Raw without knee wraps, and Master All Time Records in 10-year increments.
In my opinion only: Geared should be geared, and anything with wraps or less should be raw, all raw lifts should be walk out only, and no age classes! Remember, this is just my opinion; everyone is entitled to their own.
Critical Bench: Do you think powerlifting should be an Olympic sport?
Definitely! We just need one governing body to lead the way. Who should that be? Who knows? No matter who it is, someone will get left out, get mad, and probably start another federation…. lol.
Critical Bench: So far in your powerlifting journey, list us your favorite moment, craziest, funniest, and moment that changed you the most!
Favorite moment - Seeing my wife Carol Ann win the 05 and 06 APF Senior Nationals!
Craziest - Watching Kara Bohigan bench 451 lbs at the APF Alabama meet, in a knee brace. Weighing a natural 153 lbs. No cutting weight!
Funniest - Watching a young lifter walk around an hour in a tight dead lift suit, straps up, in anticipation of getting on the platform. That still brings a smile to my face!
Moment that changed you the most - While training for the 06 APF Senior Nationals at NGBB. I totally detached the adductor longus muscle in my left thigh. That was a turning point in my training. It showed me that I wasn't invincible, and in my 40's I needed to train smarter. Of course that was just one of many serious injuries I endured over a 3 year span. Now I still train very hard, but I have learned to listen to my body!
Critical Bench: Critical Bench and PLUSA would like to congratulate you on all of your success and wish you all the best in future. It has been an honor interviewing you today. In closing what would you like to say and who you would like to thank?
I would like everyone to remember, with time and age comes experience. Powerlifting, bodybuilding or whatever your sport may be, just have fun, support and help each other, try not to bash. You only get one time around, so make it memorable!
Everyone is different, so you can't train everyone the same! When it comes to powerlifting gear, again, everyone is not the same. So look at technique, and body type to determine what kind of bench shirt or squat suit you need. Don't just buy this kind because you know someone who benches 800 in it!
I would like to thank my beautiful wife of 26 years (Carol Ann Myers). She is a very special woman, and I am very lucky to have her in my life! I love you babe. You are my inspiration to compete at this level. Thank you for being you!
I would also thank Shawn Lyte of BMF Sports in Chicago for sponsoring both of us. Shawn has put out a lot of money for our personal competitions (bodybuilding & powerlifting) not to mention sponsoring meets we promote. Shayne Baca of the Vitamin Shop in Biloxi, Mississippi. Russ Mesey of Max-Fit in Fort Walton Beach, Pace, Pensacola, Navarre Florida. Amanda & John Micka for always helping with everything, for being our friends. IFBB Pro bodybuilder Mike Horn and his wife Jan are always helping us at shows.
Asia & Cory Schroeder are awesome friends. Jon Grove and NGBB, our extended powerlifting family.
A special thank you to all of our Rock Solid Barbell (rsbb.webs.com) friends for their unwavering support of everyone at RSBB. Last but not least a very special thank you to Critical Bench for this great opportunity.