Interview with Bencher Jared Bachmeier As told to Powerlifting USA by Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com - August 2009
CRITICAL BENCH: CRITICAL BENCH: Jared, tell us about yourself:
JARED: I'm 28 years old, from Spokane, Washington. I moved to Reno for work at age 25. I have a great fiancée Holly, and the best little one you could ask for-Landon. He just turned two and will start lifting soon, he-he.
CRITICAL BENCH: How did you get started in powerlifting?
JARED: I've been lifting since my early teens-all through high school. As a freshman, I had the biggest bench in the school and I didn't even know what the heck i was doing. I was training in a gym after school when one day I talked to a guy who was mainly a deadlifter. He said that he was training for a meet-that really got me interested, so I started soon after. I had my first meet in 2003 and set the Washington State record with 405 @185.
CRITICAL BENCH: What is it like training with Chad Aichs?
JARED: Chad is probably the best training partner one could have. He has one of the highest totals ever-so he obviously knows his stuff. He doesn't sugar-coat anything either. When i do something wrong, believe me, I hear it from him and Eathan-and that's the way it should be. If you don't fix your faults or weaknesses you wont improve. Eathan, Scott, and the old man Larry also train with us---they all really know lifting and are all great lifters as well. I came down from Washington benching in the mid 500's and after a year or so I was putting up 700. After the second year I was closing in on 800. Having those guys as a crew gives me everything I need to improve and is all I could ask for.
CRITICAL BENCH: What federations do you compete in and why did you choose those ones?
JARED: I lift in mainly the APF, WPO and UPA. I will lift in pretty much anything multi-ply. All of my shirts are all 2 and 3 ply so that's what I am used to. I have no need or want to get a new single-ply shirt and start learning it. I started competing in WABDL but with all their shirt restrictions and ridiculous rules, I moved on. I want to lift where the "best of the best" lift and the rules will allow you to lift the absolute most weight my body will let me.
CRITICAL BENCH: How do you see the future of powerlifting?
JARED: That's a tough call. I know it's had its ups and downs over the years, but I'm fairly new to it, so I don't know what it was like 10-20 years ago. I know we definitely need to tighten up on the judging though. The bad calls and inconsistency are only going to hurt the sport. I think if we could tighten up on that and get rid of a few feds to increase the amount of competition one gets in a meet that would be a step in the right direction.
CRITICAL BENCH: What makes Jared different from everyone else?
JARED: I'm not sure if it is different or not, but I always put my family before myself and my lifting. My family always comes first-my lifting is right behind in a close second place. The other thing is that nothing is ever good enough for me. I can hit a huge PR but I still always want to find a way to better it and keep increasing my lifts. For me, there is no point in trying to compete at something if you don't do it to win. I think i can thank my dad for me being this way. He was always pushing me, wanting me to always be better than others and always win. He taught me, "If you don't win, fix it and make sure you do the next time around."
CRITICAL BENCH: What are your best lifts?
JARED: I have gone 705 @221 with several high 600's as openers. I have hit high 700's in the gym and have done low 800's off of a 2 board also. I need to get my act together and do what I am capable of in a meet. Cutting weight and lifting the next day is something I still need to work on. I am also starting to train for a full meet. I am slowly working on my squat and have pulled 600 in the gym.
CRITICAL BENCH: What are your future goals?
JARED: I want to have the highest bench ever at 220-right now that's 870. Anything else is just a step closer to it and time to keep working at it. I also want to go 2000 for a total in my first 3 lift meet @220.
CRITICAL BENCH: Talk about your training routine.
JARED: I usually train 2 times a week, with some recovery work at home the day after each lifting day. I bench with some heavy tri work and some back on Thursday. I train lower body, back and shoulders on Monday. Since I have started training for all 3 I am alternating my heavy days. So if I bench heavy that week I will go lighter on legs, and the next week do the opposite. I try and change my acc. work up every week.
CRITICAL BENCH: What is your training philosophy?
JARED: I like to train in my shirt and heavy every week-it took my body and cns about 3 months to be able to handle and keep up with that. I feel you need to handle and feel heavy weight in order to be able to lift it. I will take a deload week if I start feeling too run down. I try and work up to somewhat heavy raw before I put my shirt on every week in order to keep my raw strength there.
CRITICAL BENCH: What makes you happy? What makes you tick?
JARED: My family makes me happy. I can have a bad day at work but when I get home they make me feel better. Lifting makes me happy also. It keeps me driven and always wanting to better myself. It's also a good way to burn off stress or hard spots in life. I like fast cars too and have a 10-second mustang. I like cars with crazy audio systems. My car has 5000 watts and four 15" subs in it. That's what i do.
CRITICAL BENCH: So far in your powerlifting journey what has been your favorite, craziest, scariest, funniest and most powerful moment?
JARED: My favorite thing about lifting would be a toss up between taking the road trips with my family and getting my 705 bench in after being really sick that week. The scariest has to be something that happened when I was new to lifting. I took too long messing with my shirt after I had wrapped my wrists. I had 500 pounds on the bar at the meet and for some reason I dropped it onto my stomach when it was almost locked out. It ripped the skin off both thumbs-I'm surprised it didn't cut me in half. It makes me glad for all my ab work now. I thought I might get to see the white light that time, hehe. The funniest has to be when my son Landon-who is two-had one of Chad's shirts on that says, "Some day I am going to be huge." It was too big for him and he was running around entertaining everyone in the building. The most powerful moment would have to be my first push pull meet that I entered and won. It was the first time doing both. I didn't hit the numbers I wanted but I still won.
CRITICAL BENCH: Do you ever scare yourself with the weights you put up?
JARED: The bigger weights used to bother me a little-like when I would get up into the 800's in the gym it would scare me a little. Now that I am used to handling it, nothing really scares me anymore. I actually look forward to getting way up there and pushing myself. I have 3-4 crazy strong guys who I train with that spot me so if I ever need help, I know they will keep it from smashing me-they always do.
CRITICAL BENCH: What is the best advice you were ever told?
JARED: The best advice came from the crew that I have now and that is to not over train. I am way better off doing less, than too much.
CRITICAL BENCH: What are your 10 biggest dos for a bigger bench?
JARED: Do's for a bigger bench? First, like I said earlier, pick a shirt and stick with it-learn how to get as much out of it as possible. Second, train lats, lats, and more lats. They are vital for several parts of the lift. Third, hammer your triceps-lift heavy and push them. Use board presses to be able to handle more weight and get your tri's able to lock out what you want to bench. Fourth, your upper back needs to be strong-you need to be able to get set and be able to stay set under maximum weight.
Fifth, learn how to setup properly. Get as big of an arch that you can and train and learn how to stay that way through a full heavy lift. If you setup wrong and start from the wrong spot it's that much harder to finish in the right spot. Sixth, get a group, or even a guy or two to train with. Make sure they know what you should look like while benching properly and make sure they tell you if you do something wrong. If you don't know you are doing something wrong you won't ever be able to correct it. A good group of guys around you is key. Seventh, if you are a bench only guy, don't neglect your back and leg work. You need both of them-especially as you get higher and higher in weight. Learn how to use leg drive. You legs should be used for stability and to help drive the weight up after touching. Most guys don't use near enough leg drive because it's not easy. It takes a while to get the feel for it and get the timing down but it pays off huge in the end. Ninth, don't just train the same way every week-switch it up, weekly. Mix it up from full range to using 2 and 3 board work.
And lastly, if you train often in a shirt, don't totally forget about your raw bench. You want to keep your raw strength up there and work the top end of your bench for when you get in your shirt. Don't be afraid to load that bar up and try more weight than you know you can bench. It will help get your body and cns used to handling the heavy weights. You have to handle heavy weight if you plan on being able to bench that weight some day. Even if you can't press it back up, make sure you lower the weight and take it to the right place on the way down. If you are in the right place on the way down that puts you in a good spot to be able to press it back up when you are ready and able.
CRITICAL BENCH: What are your 5 biggest don'ts for a bigger bench?
JARED: Probably the biggest thing is just because you are benching don't forget other parts of your body-they are what help you get to a big bench. Don't neglect your legs. They are needed for stability and the all important leg drive. Don't forget your back and rear delts either. If your pecs are a lot stronger than your rear delts, that can lead to shoulder problems. And your back and lats too are some of the most important things for getting up high in your bench.
CRITICAL BENCH: What do you enjoy doing away from powerlifting?
JARED: I love spending time with my family. They help relieve stress and always put me in a good mood. I like to gamble. I have gotten really good at it and it helps pay the bills with the economy in the toilet. I also love to drive either of my two cars. One is a really fast car and the other has a huge stereo system. I am always on the go and busy almost every day, so it's nice to just kick back on a Sunday and do as little as I can. Even when I'm not in the gym lifting though, I often find myself thinking of ways to improve and make gains in the gym.
CRITICAL BENCH: Will powerlifting ever go mainstream? Do you want it to?
JARED: I highly doubt it will ever get mainstream, although it would be really cool if it did. For those of us who put so much time and effort into powerlifting, it would be nice to get something out of it. There are way too many feds and crap that goes on for it to make it happen though. It is possible but realistically, I don't see it happening anytime soon.
CRITICAL BENCH: In closing who would you like to thank?
JARED: I would like to thank my fiancée Holly for helping and putting up with me in the gym a lot. I would like to thank my crew at the gym too-Chad, Scott, Eathan, and Larry. Without I wouldn't be near as far as I am and wouldn't have the chance I do to keep putting up big numbers. And my parents too-I got great genes from them. I was strong when I was young even though I had no clue how to lift properly. They have always been there for me, pushing me and supporting me through everything.