Joseph Brown sent
this question to the Strength List
I was wondering
if you would consider telling us about your past competitive history.
Now that your on the eve of a 700 pound Bench Press, I think a lot
of would like to know where you started, how old you were, how you
and Big Chris replied
I started out weight training
when I was a kid - age 12. I was a short kid and I played
football.. I needed an edge because I would get the crap knocked
out of me.. So dad bought me a weight set.... I learned how to bench
press but I had no bench so what I would do is set the barbell on
the seat of a chair.. Then I would lay on the floor of my room put
my head under the chair and take the weight off the seat and bring it down
till my arms hit the floor (does this sound familiar to any
of you). I didn't really know about sets and reps i just would
increase weight when i thought it was too light...
The next season I started to workout with my friends.. I was still struggling
trying to get first string D tackle so i had to get bigger and stronger..
After a while I was out lifting all my friends.. I finally got
the position... The next season I was going to High School. In my
town we have one school from 7th to 12th grade... This was
cool cause now we had the school weight room to train in..
A couple of years go by and I think I was in 9th grade. This new
coach came to the school and he decided that we were all going to test
out I was around 16 at the time. I was about 5'3'' and maybe 190
lbs. Well I never squatted in my life till that day. The coach showed us
all how and so I ended up with 350 squat. Then it was on to the bench press.
I never went that heavy when I trained I only did sets of 10 back
then.. I ended up benching 365 but it was a touch and go no
pause.. Then we
deadlifted I deadlifted
350 and again I never deadlifted before .. My first
total LOL ....
The coach told me about this sport called powerlifting and
he thought i would be good at it... He gave me a magazine PLUSA
It had Ted Arcidi on the cover with the words 711 lbs.. and showed
me how to look up coming meets... I said ok and I entered one
in the summer before football started.. My first meet was when I
had just turned 17 . It was a bench meet.
I weighed in at 192 lbs.. I stared to see all these freaky guys walking
and I'm thinking what
the hell did I get myself into. I did a 315 opener and then went to 345
on my second got that.. Then went to 365 for my third I forgot to
pause but made the lift.. I took second place by formula to a kid named
Louie, Me and Louie have been friends ever since... He made that
365 that day and beat me. He never beat me again ......
I had the great opportunity to see this guy named Chris Confessore
he was going to be the guest lifter after all of us were done.. We
were all waiting for him .. He was ready to lift so here
i am watching this human fire hydrant stomp his
way to the platform... He
was the biggest short guy i ever seen.... That day
he weighed in at 181
He made his third attempt at 565.... That was over
triple his weight.. I was
in awe.. And right there I knew what I wanted to do. I was hooked..
The next few years I did one bench meet every year. Then I saw that
there was going to be a meet at a new gym called Iron Island.. So I entered
in it.. I had grown now and I was around 205 and 5'6''. I think i was 19..
I went to the meet and I bought one of these blast shirts out of the magazine..
I made a third attempt with
501 that day... After the meet I thought to myself that it
was time to learn how to squat and deadlift.. So I joined Iron Island
gym... These guys at the gym took me in and taught me all these
new things and how to squat and deadlift .. Dr. Ken wrote me a program
and it was great.. I really have to tell you it was so cool to be
amongst all these lifters that were there helping and giving their time..
Guys like Joey Almodovar and Frank DeMarco, Tom O'Riordan,
.. So I did my first meet at 220.. I squatted 445, benched
480 and deadlifted 420... I was finally a real powerlifter..
Over the next couple of years my total increased and at the 96 IPA nationals
I totaled 1830 at 242.. A month later we had a bench meet at Iron Island
and I set a new world record at 242 I benched 590. It was a junior world
record cause I was still 23 ... In 97 I hurt my shoulder ..
It set me back some time.. I almost tore my ac ligament in
my left shoulder.. I did a meet in Nov. of 97 I came back to total 1835
but missed with 600 in the bench.
In april of 98 I finally did my 600 bench... I started
to train for APF seniors .... I went there and did 675 squat 573
bench i missed with 606 and 645 dead ..
The next month i went back to Illinois to do national bench meet.. I Made
606 on my second attempt to win in the 242.. I went to do the WPC World
Bench Press meet In Austria. In training for the meet 3 weeks before
it i tore my supraspinatus. I went anyway I opened with 551 because
i had no idea how my shoulder was going to feel.. The bar barely
touched and it flew.. I went to 595 on second .. They gave me a 3 second
pause and my shoulder was just tearing up with the bar on my chest.. I
pressed it up locked it out and the head judge said rack it the spotters
took the bar so fast that they pulled me with it and my feet came up...
So i get 2 red lights even though the lift was over with the rack signal..
I tried to dispute the call but without Ernie there to back me up
i had no leg to stand on .... So i took it again on the third. As
it touched it ripped my shoulder up more so i just let them take it....
The closest guy to me was from Austria and he squeaked
out 560 on his third lift.... I usually open with 573 but since my
shoulder was giving me problems i opened lighter had i done
it in the first place the gold would've been mine...
The next meet was the 99 APF Nationals.. My last meet at 242... Urchick
rules this weight class in the APF... He's unbelievable. Id like
to see him and Coon go heads up one day... I took third place
with 705 squat 612 bench and 683 dead.. After i got off the platform Urchick
came up to me and shook my hand and said welcome to the 2000 club.
He's a great guy... That brings us to the present....
I just missed at
675 last weekend . I am
going to do the IPA bench Nationals in york on Nov. 21... I
will open at 610 then to
650 then to 680-700 then maybe a 4th ;) .... God willing.... Thanx
all for letting me tell my story..
NOTE: Chris recently GOT HIS 650 BENCH !
Want to discuss this
with other lifters?
Then click here:
Reproduction of this article, in whole or part,
for any purposed other than personal use is prohibited without written
consent. Copyright ©1999 Deepsquatter.com