Craig Terry Interview

    Interviewed by: Wade Hanna

This month we get to here from one of my own home town guys (well, same state anyway <g>).  Craig Terry is another of the up and coming on the National level.  Anyone who has seen Craig in person will know right away the he is a puller...and then you see him pull and you get inspired because even though you see the build, the man can flat out pull!!  Officially he has pulled 765@198 and just this past July in Chicago Craig took a monster try at a National record of 783!!  Having seen Craig pull on a number of occasions I can tell you he was inches away from completing that lift...he has a spot right around his knees that seems to be his bane.  Once he clears that though...start clapping cuz' the lift is as good as done.  Keep your eyes and ears peeled though for his name, you are going to here a lot more from Craig Terry before he is done in this game...I promise. <g>

So, without further adieu lets here what Craig has to say.....

SO: Let's start with our obligatory biographical stuff...age, height, weight, occupation, etc.?

CT: I will be 36 on september 11.  I am a school psychologist.  I'm 5'6' tall and lift in the 198 pound class.  I train at Esther Tocco's Fitness Unlimited gym in Royal Oak, Michigan and the original Powerhouse in Highland Park.

SO: When did you start lifting and what got you into to it?  Also, what other sports were/are you active in before you started Powerlifting?

CT: Played basketball, sucked at the shot put but was a decent discus thrower.  Did a couple of teenage bodybuilding shows.  I've been powerlifting since 1984.  Former national champ Claude Handsor helped me a lot when I first started.

SO: Who do you think has helped you along the most?  What people/lifters have inspired you?

CT: I have great partners.  Tony Dicicco, Mike Lawrence, John Maddox, Mike Szudarek, Mark Ostrowski, Don Serpien,  and all the other guys at Fitness.  Will and Norm Dabish (founders of Powerhouse Gyms) have always been very supportive.  In the iron game, I love Arnold.  I admire the top clean guys.  The Benemeritos, Bob Wagner, David Ricks, Bull Stewart.
These guys have been doing great things drug free for a long time.  Coan is the greatest lfter ever.  I have met him a couple of times.  Great guy.  Down to earth.  If I was as great as he is, my ego would be the size of a house. Not him though.

SO: Had any major (or minor) injuries that have really affected your training at some point?

CT: I've only had minor inuries.  A little tendinitis.  A pinched sciatic nerve that chiropractic adjustments took care of.  A couple of years ago, I had a pulled quadricep, I think.  I have never needed surgery or anything.

SO: Where would you like to get to in terms of total or individual lift goals in say the next 5 years? 10 years?  More importantly though...when are we going to see Craig Terry pull 800+ (that is *4x* bodyweight in the DL
folks!)?  Just for the record...I see it in the next few years, just my opinion <g>.
CT: Oh, I GUARANTEE I'll pull eight.  First, I'll get that 785.  Gotta squat 700, bench over four.  I really believe I can total over 1900. Of course, I want to win the nationals.  I'll do it, too.

SO: I know everyone has just been waiting for this one <g>...can you give us a few details of what your Deadlift workouts look like?

CT: My deadlift routine is not fancy.  For me, it's all about the legs.  I do high bar squats before I pull.  If you want to see my DL routine, check out Powerlifting USA. I wrote a  Workout of the Month article.  It appeared last fall, I believe.  You gotta remember, I am really made to pull.  I could deadlift pretty well even if I never trained it.  Just like a guy with short arms and a big chest will always be a big bencher. The key is to target YOUR weaknesses.

SO: Have you ever tried to pull Sumo?  What are your thoughts on the two styles, pro's and con's?

CT: Sumo is not for me.  That style is for the guy who needs to cut the distance and/or maximize leg strength.  It utilizes legs about 75%, I think.  Conventional is maybe 50-60% back.  Better for a guy with long arms and a stronger back than legs (like me). I could probably manage a decent sumo pull, but I don't think I have ever done more than 600 using that style.

SO: How about some overall training thoughts on what you feel is a good approach to training for the total package?

CT: I think the main thing is to avoid overtraining.  You have to find out what works for you and stick to that.  There are a thousand different ways to train, singles, high reps, lots of assistance work, no assistance work, etc.  You will find champions who swear by vastly different strategies and schedules.  You have to find what fits your body and pschological makeup.    Good form is a must.  Listening to what your body is telling you is, too.  I recommend getting reliable, knowledgeable training partners.  Set realistic, attainable goals.  When you have reached them, set some bigger ones.  And don't give up.  We all
have setbacks.  Some of the greatest lifters in the world have been hurt or bombed out of meets.  If you can keep on pushing when times are hard, you'll have found that inner strength.

SO: You have a pretty distinctive build suited for deadlift so what, if anything, have you utilized to overcome some of the negatives this can bring to other lifts (particularly the BP) and also, to use it to your advantage?

CT: As I mentioned earlier, the ideal body to deadlift is a curse for benching.  I am working on speed and developing some huge pecs and triceps to make up for these orangutan arms of mine.

SO: What is the plan for your near future endeavors?  I pretty much think I know the answer to this one but, we ~will~ see you at Nationals again...right <g>?

CT: I'll hit the Michigan State Meet in November, and yup, the Nationals in the summer.

SO: If you had to put in order a few of the major components of training (i.e. diet, workout plan, recovery, mental, actual gym work, technique, and any others I may have missed) how would you rank them in importance and what factors about them set the order in your mind?

CT: Training is number one.  I know a guy who can "theory" you to death. Mitochondria this and slow twich fiber that.  I don't even know what the hell he's talking about half the time.  But the guy doesn't train. Better to do something even if it's wrong than to know everything and not practice anything. Recovery is two.  You will regress and maybe get injured without it.
Mental attitude is three.  You can't lift a weight you are afraid of. There are a bunch of tricks and techniques to build confidence.  That is an article in itself. Diet would be four.  You need good nutrition, but powerlifters can cheat more than bodybuilders can.

SO: Craig, I want to thank you so very much for this interview...I'll kind of open it up here for you to mention anything I may have missed and you wanted to speak about.

CT: My pleasure.  I have received help on my journey, and I am happy to help others.  I welcome emails from anyone who wants to write.  I have a lot of goals ahead of me. and I intend to reach them.  I wish everybody else luck in reaching theirs.  Lift clean.

SO: We wish you the very best of luck in the future and look forward to seeing you take those records for a ride the next time around!

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