Interview With Powerlifter Luke Edwards By Curt Dennis Jr. "The Brute" of IronBrutality.com - October 2010
Critical Bench: Hey, thanks for doing this interview, please introduce yourself.
Hi my name is Luke Edwards. I currently work at a treatment facility for troubled kids. My wife's name is Molly Edwards (Mo from elitefts). She is a personal trainer and studying to get her RN
Critical Bench: What are your Best PR's right now?
My PR's are:
Deadlift-810@242 and 815@275
Mo's PR's are
She did all that weighing 149.5. Missing weigh in's by a lb.
Critical Bench: How long have you been into powerlifting?
I have always thought powerlifting was really cool. I've always enjoyed lifting heavy weights. I have competing about 5 years now. Mo is the same way. Always lifting heavy and has been competing for a year now
Critical Bench: Tell us about your childhood and how you got into powerlifting?
We both had kind of a challenging child hood. I got into lifting to take my anger out on things. If it wasn't for this great sport, I'd be locked up somewhere. Mo just loves to compete in everything.
Critical Bench: Who did you look up to when you were coming up as a powerlifter?
Chuck Vogelpohl and Greg Panora. I am extremely fortunate to train with these two great lifters.
Critical Bench: What is the craziest thing you have ever seen at a powerlifting meet?
Last march Greg Panora was squatting and took 1060 out on a monolift. He was not set right and tipped all the way forward into a good morning position before spotters caught it. They pulled him up and he asked if the guys were alright? He then asked if that was an attempt, which the judge said no, so he stepped back took a breath and squatted 1060@242. I just couldn't believe it. The other would be when Vlad's attempted 1300 at WS and his knee went the wrong way and he dumped the bar, about killing us all who spotted him, plus himself.
Critical Bench: What would you say to a novice lifter or to a lifter who's just starting out in powerlifting?
Train with people who are stronger than you. It will push you that much more to be the best
Critical Bench: Do you have a favorite out of the three or is it all 3 lifts?
Mo's and mine are the same and that is the deadlift! Most people get tired by time deadlift rolls around, I get cranked. I love to deadlift.
Critical Bench: What are your goals and when is your next meet?
My main goal is 2500 @ 242. Also I want to be the top deadlifter at WS by coefficient.
Critical Bench: What are the challenges of coming up as a powerlifter?
For a lot of people its learning how to deal with injuries, and wanting big results right now ( I'm guilty of this one).
Critical Bench: 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.
At WS it doesn't matter what you weigh or what u look like. It's about who is the king of the mountain that day. So much intensity goes into powerlifting. You better learn to flip the switch and bring out the beast. If you can't, you're in the wrong sport.
Critical Bench: 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?
To get to next level a lifter needs to never miss a workout and always bring intensity. Powerlifters are different birds. For Mo and me we live and breathe the sport. All we talk about are ways to get better and stronger.
Critical Bench: How driven would people say you are about being a powerlifter? How does it affect you outside of the gym?
We are both very driven self motivated people. Outside of the gym I try to be as calm as possible. Normal people are already intimidated, so I try to be very friendly.
Critical Bench: How has powerlifting made you a stronger person away from the sport?
It makes me believe that all things are possible.
Critical Bench: Do you have any training partners? How has they helped? Tell us about WESTSIDE BARBELL.
I train with Greg Panora, AJ Roberts, Tony Bologne, Matt Smith, Shawn Nutter, Andy Huass, Travis Bell, Louie Simmons. It helps because there is always a push to be better. Westside is one of the most intense places I have ever been. You learn to push your body beyond your limits. It's not a place for the weak and timid.
Critical Bench: What are your workouts like? How are they setup? What training methodology do you follow?
Me sq or dead on Mon
Me bench on Weds
De sq on Fri
De bench on Sat
Always do aux work after, and train abs everyday
Critical Bench: What bench shirt do you use and why? Do you have any tips about how to get your bench shirt and use it to get the most of your lifting efforts?
I just switched to an ace after a shirt blow out. No tips yet, but I'm sure I will in near future. Always doing reps in my shirt improves form. That goes with all shirts that I have tried.
Critical Bench: What would you suggest to someone on how to get stronger on all 3 lifts?
Do the exercises that are hard for you, and the ones you don't like doing cause there too hard. Variety will help you in the assistance work, building on all the weak points that show when you miss a lift.
Critical Bench: What drives you as a lifter? What is your mindset like during training?
I want to be the best. My mindset is about beating everyone in gym that day.
Critical Bench: Was your training any different prior to your last meet?
I am throwing in different exercise this cycle to bring up weak body parts. You're only as strong as your weakest link
Critical Bench: Do you think using bench shirts/gear is cheating?
People think so and always talk about raw this or that. I know for a fact our guys are extremely strong raw. No I do not think its cheating. Swimmers use better gear to get faster, football players use gear to protect themselves. For the most part; power lifting gear protects you as well as allows you to lift more weight. Longevity in this sport is huge, you will never know how good you can be if you only last 2yrs. Therefore the gear and all the training methods and taking care of your injuries all comes into play with how great you will BE.
Critical Bench: What is your view on training in equipment and learning them?
You need to learn to use it. But you need to get strong raw too.
Critical Bench: 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?
Yes. Also I think nutrition and supplements play a big part in it too. This sport is always quick to remind you, there is always someone stronger than you. Get back in the gym and train even harder!
Critical Bench: Do you think the standards went up in the sport?
Yes I can remember when 2400 was a high total. Now guys are totaling 2800.
Critical Bench: What is your nutrition like now?
I eat 6 times a day. Three solids, three shakes. My wife and I eat very clean, having a cheat meal once or twice a week.
Critical Bench: What changes are you going to have to make to go to the next level?
Relax a little more before each attempt and remember to have fun and to realize that I/we are living the "dream".
Critical Bench: Is there anyone you would like to thank right now?
I would like to thank God for giving me ability to do what I do. My beautiful wife Molly for supporting me and giving me great advice. My mom, grandparents, and the guys at Westside for pushing me. Also a big thanks to Louie Simmons for letting me train in his gym and for keeping powerlifting alive for so many yrs.