Interview With Powerlifter Garrett Griffin As published in Powerlifting USA by Curt Dennis Jr. "The Brute" of IronBrutality.com - October 2010
CriticalBench: Please Introduce Yourself.
My name is Garrett Griffin I'm 30 years old and work full time as a Biomedical Field Service Tech. I have a 3 year old son that means the world to me and he comes before anything in my life. I have been into lifting weights since about the age of 17. Got into bodybuilding at the age of 23 when someone told me I should give it a try, and now 7 years later I'm into Powerlifting. With a top ranked bench press 181/198 weight classes in a short time, Im looking to keep improving and go full power and be competitive by 2011.
CriticalBench: What are your Best PR's right now?
My PR as of now is 451.7 Raw bench press at 183lbs done at Raw Nationals (APA) 2010 and 475 gym lift at 191lbs.
CriticalBench: How long have you been into powerlifting?
I'm new to the Powerlifting world, a short 10 months!
CriticalBench: Tell us about your childhood and how you got into powerlifting?
Pretty much grew up playing all sports and was always into working out. I got into PL by competing in a local New Orleans bench press comp put on by BOAD apparel and walked away with 500 dollars in my pocket and owner of BOAD apparel telling me that I had something good and he would help me become a top lifter in PL!
CriticalBench: Who did you look up to when you were coming up as a powerlifter?
Sine I was always a bodybuilder and I've only been PL for 10 months, truthfully I didn't really look up to anyone. Now I look up to all Raw lifters on top of the game, because I want to be there!
CriticalBench: What would you say to a novice lifter or to a lifter who's just starting out in powerlifting?
I would probably tell them keep on pushing for your goals and with hard work you become a top lifter in a short time if you have the heart and drive (I'm a example of that).
CriticalBench: Do you have a favorite out of the three or is it all 3 lifts?
Since I have done Bench Press only my favorite is that, but I am currently working on my squat and dead lift to compete full power by end of 2010!
CriticalBench: What are your goals and when is your next meet?
My current goal is to better my Bench Press at every meet I do and to become a top lifter in full power by end of 2011!! Long term goal is to bench 500 Raw at under 200 pounds.
CriticalBench: What are the challenges of coming up as a powerlifter?
Really I'm still in the learning phase, but I would say to stay injury free and keep your drive going to keep making gains in what you do.
CriticalBench: Tell everyone here the difference between someone who wants to look "pretty" and someone who does what we do? The difference between a workout and a training session?
Well I guess someone that wants to look "pretty" will go to the gym and try and maintain what they have and go through the motions. What we do, a PL training session, is trying to outdo yourself every time we step in the gym and taking our lifts to new levels!
CriticalBench: What would you tell a powerlifter if they are trying to get to the next level in the sport? Do you believe that powerlifters' have a lifestyle of their own?
I would tell them to keep pushing the limits and get help from anyone around you that can help you reach your goals. I believe every person has a lifestyle of their own, no matter what sport you do. We all have different journeys in life, and all have jobs and personal life to juggle also. But I do believe it takes a special person to be on top their game in this sport!!
CriticalBench: How driven would people say you are about being a powerlifter? How does it affect you outside of the gym?
Oh I would say people around me would say that I am very driven in this sport. I try not to let anything effect me outside the gym, always gotta focus on work, my son, and then comes PL!
CriticalBench: How has powerlifting made you a stronger person away from the sport?
I think since I've been PL I feel like if I give 100% then anything I put my mind to, I can achieve that goal.
CriticalBench: Do you have any training partners? How has they helped? Tell us about them and who they are.
Currently my training partner in Jared Daigre, my sponsor who is the owner of BOAD apperal. He has help push me in so many ways and gotten me to believe in myself. He made me realize that he always believed in me, but now that I believe in myself things will just keep getting better!!
CriticalBench: What are your workouts like? How are they setup? What training methodology do you follow?
When training for a PL it's different from when not training for a show. During training for a PL meet, sets are heavy with reps staying pretty low. When not training for a meet, I usually train more like a bodybuilder.
CriticalBench: What do you think attributes to a big bench now and days?
Good question, lol. I would say to start with it's something you can always work on and get better at, but I also feel it's something you either have or don't!!!!
CriticalBench: What would you suggest to someone on how to get stronger on all 3 lifts?
Since I am still new to the sport and full power, I am currently still working on ways to better all my lifts. Just surround yourself with good people that you think have advice on how to make stronger.
CriticalBench: What drives you as a lifter? What is your mindset like during training?
Constant drive to keep getting better. I like to be relaxed, I don't usually need music or anything but a crowd of people around me watching me lift. When crowds or people are around, it makes me feel like I gotta do the lift or everyone will think less of me!! Sounds weird, but it's what makes me step up and lift big!
CriticalBench: Was your training any different prior to your last meet?
Training was a little bit different for my last meet. Since I am still new to PL, I'm constantly trying new things to see what works for me.
CriticalBench: Do you think using bench shirts/gear is cheating?
I will say that I am not a big fan of shirts/gear. What someone can do RAW is your true strength, what you can do with the latest new shirt isn't impressive to me at all. I don't think its cheating, it's part of the sport.
CriticalBench: What is your view on training in equipment and learning them?
You have to try new equipment to see how it works for you. I learn as I go, and use the equipment I have available to better myself in every way!
CriticalBench: What do you think is the reason for all the big numbers as of late like Kennelly's 1075 and Frankl's freakish total or Hoornstra's raw strength? Has strength training evolved?
All of those numbers are amazing, no matter when they were done. Strength training I believe has evolved over the years. One good reason is supplements of today are so advanced and have helped so many athletes achieve their goals in short periods of time. Everything today is so much more advanced than in the past.
CriticalBench: Do you think the standards went up in the sport?
Yes, people are expecting bigger and bigger lifts from the athletes of today!
CriticalBench: Coming from someone who used to do bodybuilding, what benefits do you see a powerlifter implementing ideas from bodybuilding?
That's a loaded question, but I think as a PL or bodybuilder both types can benefit from different types or training. I'm PL we can't always go super heavy and max lifts, I think it benefits by taking time to still do heavy weights but more reps and actually giving the muscles and joints a break from heavy heavy wear and tear on the body. The most important thing is trying new things and listening to your body, cause we are all different.
CriticalBench: What is your nutrition like now?
I have a pretty steady diet. I eat clean carbs, really high protein, and low fats! I do eat junk and fast food sometimes because of my really fast metabolism, sometimes I have trouble keep weight on.
CriticalBench: What changes are you going to have to make to go to the next level?
I will keep working hard and doing whatever it takes to keep getting to the top!
CriticalBench: Is there anyone you would like to thank right now?
I would like to thank my sponsor (BOAD apparel) Jared Daigre who got me started in PL and always knew I had something special. He drove me to new levels, and I'm just getting started!
CURT DENNIS & GARRETT GRIFFIN RAW BENCHING
Garrett GUNZ Bicep BlowOut
Garrett GUNZ Bicep BlowOut
Garrett GUNZ bench presses 451 at 183 lbs at APA Raw Nationals
Garrett GUNZ Griffin prepping for APA Raw Nationals 440 x 1 (181 class)