So Andrew tell us about the world records you broke in Antwerp.
In Antwerp was the WDFPF (World Drug Free Powerlifting Federation) Single Lift Championships. This was held from over 3 days, one day for the Squat, next day for the Bench Press and the last day for the Deadlift.
I was representing Ireland in the men’s teenager 3 (18-19) age category in the under 90kg weight division.
This was my first world championships and I was aiming to break my 3 personal bests.
I won the Deadlift with 257.5kg setting a new world record.
I came 2nd in the squat on body weight with 187.5kg, but I then had a go at the world record on my 4th attempt which I broke the world record. I lifted 191kg
The bench press I came 3rd. Wasn’t pleased with my bench.
So what made you start powerlifting?
Being injured turned a negative into a positive. I dislocated my shoulder at the Ulster Schools Under 19 Rugby Trial back in April 2012.
I had everything planned round making the team. Once I hurt it I was gutted. I huffed for days then I got back into the gym and did the rehab. I kept thinking what sport would I do now as it would have affected my PE A Level. I couldn’t do rugby as my shoulder would come out again.
At my local gym a couple of the trainers and some friends suggested either powerlifting or weightlifting. I had always enjoyed watching these events on TV as they were the proper sports in my eyes.
There was a local Push/Pull meet in October 2012 and I did it came 2nd. I loved it so much I based my whole PE coursework on Powerlifting and got full marks.
So not even a year on from stating powerlifting I am an Irish and European full power champion and a World Champion on the Deadlift and double World Record Holder in the Squat and Deadlift.
Things happen for a reason and I am glad to say now I got injured for the right reason.
How long did it take you to squat double your body weight.
I’m taking a rough guess at this one I don’t know the exact time frame but I’d say 4-6 months of proper squat training. Really the end of 2012 to March 2013 where I hit 177.5kg at the Irish Nationals. Now my squat is at 191kg and it felt easy at the Worlds. I know now how to improve my squat and it will keep going up. Looking to hit over 200kg in the next competition.
What advice would you give people who wanted to start powerlifting or start a strength program?
If you are looking to get into powerlifting ask someone at your local gym there is always a powerlifting lurking around the squat rack ha ha
Or head over to the IDFPA Facebook page/ website and there you will find your local/closest club. Come down to an event to see if you like it either to watch or to compete.
Watch plenty of videos on YouTube about the sport. A good one is Power Unlimited which talks about the history of the sport and what it has evolved to this day.
Remember Powerlifting isn’t a drug fuelled sport. There are elements in all sports that have drug takers and the IDFPA (Irish Drug Free Powerlifting Association) has a zero tolerance on the use of PED’s (Performance Enhancing Substances).
If you are looking to start a strength programme get a good personal trainer or coach. As they will install the correct form into you. No point you busting yourself if only to find out you are doing it wrong. Good form means good gains in strength and less chance if injury.
Good strength programmes which I like are the classic 5X5 and 8X2. Once you are lifting over twice your body weight in squat and Deadlift or near 1.5 times in the bench look for more specific programmes such as Smolov.
Remember there is no perfect programme some programmes may work for you others not. It’s down to you to experiment and see what works. Take risks in designing your training I do it all the time. I am trying new things out and thinking this may work may not.
I have just done a 5X5 for my deadlifts, Bench press did Smolov jnr and banded bench press, squats rotate the rep ranges every week 6X6, 7X5 and 10X3 then a speed box squat session all this over 6 weeks.
Next will be snatch grip deadlifts 7X4 off a deficit for speed, bench press Smolov jnr again (as I find I need volume to help my bench press), squats probably the same as before maybe with one or two changes in the rep ranges.
Like I said you have to decide for yourself what training will work for you. I need a heavy squat day and a speed day. Bench press I need volume for it to improve so smolov jnr programme is perfect and deadlifts around the 3-5 rep range I work well in just mess to alter the movement either by using a different grip or extending the range of motion.
Do you think you would have been as strong as you are now if you hadn’t decided to compete?
Definitely not as strong but still very athletic. I have always done a lot of sport at school being rugby, rowing, swimming and athletics. If I hadn’t of gotten injured playing rugby I may of never gotten into the ulster squad. No one knows but the sequence of events that unfolded I am pleased that i am involved in this great sport.
What is your next goal and what are you doing to achieve it?
Next goal is to win the World Powerlifting Championships in Glasgow November 2nd 2013. Looking to hit 600kg or close to it.
I am nearly halfway through my 17 week training programme for this competition and I am making good progress hitting a lot of new PB’s in most if not all my assistance exercises. Gives me lots of confidence leading up to this competition.
Jay Farrant CPT SET
The ABS Gym Personal Training Studio