Interview With Powerlifter Wayne Stover Interviewed By Ben Tatar - April 2009
CRITICAL BENCH: Wayne, tell us about yourself?
I am 39 years old and I have been working out since I was 14 years old. I spend a lot of my time with my son and my friends. My working out is the most relaxing thing that I can do. Some people can't stand the soreness that you get after working out and that is what I love.
CRITICAL BENCH: What is your height and weight? What are your best lifts and what federation do you compete in?
My height is 6 ft and I am weighing in right at 185 pounds. Most people that I compete against are much shorter than I am. I look down at most people when we are getting ready to compete and we are going over the rules. I compete with (SPF) Southern Powerlifting Federation. Jesse Rodgers does a real good job running that federation. My best lifts are 460#'S on the dead lifting. I have a long ways to pick the weight up. My bench pressing is very different in some places. In the SPF you have to pause your benching, another place that I have competed at it was just a touch-n-go and I was able to put up 200#'S more with that. I also compete at fundraiser's for special causes.
CRITICAL BENCH: Do you shock a lot of guys? How do the 300lbs monsters respond to you when someone at 6'0, 181lbs is still loading the bar after they have maxed out?
That is a lot of fun. There are some big guys at the gym before with just a couple plates on the bar screaming and hitting each other. And then I quietly keep on putting on more and more plates and you can see them get quiet and watching in the corner of their eyes and get quiet. After I have maxed out, they always say "don't take this the wrong way - but I didn't believe that you could put up that much weight". Even sometimes my spotters say, "I just spotted you, and I still don't believe that you can put up that much weight."
CRITICAL BENCH: What separates Wayne from other lean guys who workout?
The most important thing is probably the dedication and love for working out that I have. I try to shock my body with different work outs. I try not to go heavy too often. I change my workout schedule around and sometimes take a week off. I don't even like taking a week away from lifting. I focus on triceps a lot and even more using bands from Elite Fitness. And I get plenty of rest.
CRITICAL BENCH: Give us your training routine. Also, what's your philosophy about training?
My training workout is mostly just flat bench pressing. I like to pyramid with the weight. I believe in using the chains and bands. I use a chamber bar and power press machine, that gives me a real good stretch on my peck muscles. I just do legs every 10 days. I do a day with just triceps, and then a day with shoulders and back every four days I workout 2 days on, then two days off. I believe the resting and recovering are very important. I took that a lot from George Halbert. He taught me how to even relax more and more and just have fun when I compete. He said if you don't, then there is no reason doing it.
CRITICAL BENCH: You have been training for 23 years. What keeps you going?
Every year I try to improve my work out by getting advice from the top lifters who know what works. It is fun going into a gym and not looking very big and putting up more weight than most people in the gym. I just joined a new gym and a new partner (Jason Smith) and I see my benching going up more and more. He knows how to make sure that I push myself hard and workout all my muscles along with running and staying in shape.
CRITICAL BENCH: What do you think are the 10 most important factors for a bigger bench or things people should think about when going for a bigger bench press?
That is a good question, here are a few things that I am still trying to master:
grip the bar tighter
squeeze my back tighter
come down slower with the weight
keep your elbows coming in towards your body more as the weight is coming down
hit lower on my chest
master one bench shirt
rest in between sets and take a long time before each set
shock my body more
train the same way as if you were competing
CRITICAL BENCH: You're from Ohio. How have guys like Lou Simmons, George Halbert, Jason Smith and Mike Wolfe to inspire you. What is that like?
Just meeting Louie and being there at his place working out is so different. You don't have to worry about taking your shirt off and putting on a bench shirt. Everyone at Westside wants to help you out. He is the god father of weight lifting. George Halbert just keeps a smile and has a fun time the entire time that he is there. It is great spotting Jason Smith and lifting so much weight off the rack when I give him a spot. Mike Wolf keeps in touch and gives me a lot of motivation. I want to say a special thanks to Shawn Lattimer for all the help that he has given me also. I know that he is going to be setting some new records at his next contest. If you ever want to read about these guys and see how they are doing, check out the PL USA magazine. They will be telling you about all the events coming up, the results, lifting tips, bench press shirts, and the newest ways to workout from Westside Barbell.
CRITICAL BENCH: This far into your career, what are some of your favorite, funniest, most hardcore and memorable moments?
My favorite time was when I have put over 500#'s (touch-n-go) and everyone there with me. The funniest time was just seeing the big smile on George Halberts face as he was putting up all the weight and having fun. That is the most memorable thing that I will every have is working out at the #1 gym in the United Sates "Westside Barbell."
CRITICAL BENCH: What are your future goals?
My goals are to help out others, my partner (Jason Smith), master my pause benching, have fun, and not to forget to say thanks to God for getting me where I am. I want to keep on competing at the Special Olympics event to raise money and help out at my next event with the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
CRITICAL BENCH: If you could be any type of animal what would you be?
I would be a bird, to just fly over everything and look at things from above. Sometimes when you're in the middle of things you don't really see what is going on around you.
CRITICAL BENCH: What is your favorite personality characteristic about yourself?
I just love to be around people and help out others.
CRITICAL BENCH: What is the most spontaneous thing you've ever done before?
One time I just took off with a girlfriend that I didn't even know that well and went to her niece's birthday party and had the best time of my life with no stress on us at all. She just needed someone with her as we saw her other three, yes three sisters.
CRITICAL BENCH: What message would you like to leave the lifting world?
Number one: Have fun!! Don't over train or shock your body. Always try to learn more and more. Louie will tell you that he is still learning better ways of doing things. Master one bench shirt and don't try to change to many things the day of the contest, wait until you are back home at the gym and then try it. When you go to compete know what you are going to do and see yourself doing it. You can't make changes while you are there.
CRITICAL BENCH: Wayne, it has been a lot of fun talking to you today. In closing who would you like to thank?
I have talked about Louie, George, Shawn, and others. But a special thanks to Brian Tunstall and Jason Smith. I'm also very proud of my son (Kyle) who enjoys working out with me also. He is a fine young man. Ken Anderson with Titan shirts and most of all APT Wrist Straps. Alan Thomas has put me on his web-site and that has given me even more motivation and drive than ever before to put up the weight and help out other lifters! A few other's that have given me a lot of motivation is Flex Lewis, Peter and Jessica Putnam, and Gunter Schlierkamp. THANKS, CRITICAL BENCH!