Pat Hall Interview

By:  Deepsquatter
Many of you recognize the name Pat Hall from the forums on GOHEAVY.COM. Pat took 5th place at this years USAPL Nationals in Denver - a placing he is looking to improve in 1999. With PRs in the squat and deadlift of over 700 pounds and a 500 lb. bench press, Pat is a threat to take the title if he can put together a good day.
Pat graciously agreed to share some of his secrets with us. 
Pat Strokes Another Big Bench - Courtesy Brackley Enterprises
For great video coverage of the 1998 USAPL National Championships Click on Pat's head!

Q: Can you give us some background info on yourself (age, education, occupation, funny middle name, etc.)?

I am 32 years young. I currently have my associates in sociology & my CFT through ISSA. I am currently employed as a firefighter and have a personal training business on the side.   My nickname at work is roadkill cause My helmet and coat fell off the truck at different times in one week.  My nickname with my clients is dungeon master cause they feel I enjoy torturing them ( I do).   :]  I am originally from Michigan got stationed in North Dakota in the USAF got out and stayed. [What was I thinking?!  BRRRR!!!!] 

Q: How did you get involved in powerlifting? 

I was lifting weights for football and the coach received an entry blank for the high school state powerlifting championships. He figured if anyone would be interested in it, it would be me.  The rules were on the entry so I practiced accordingly and showed up in a singlet, & 4" training belt took third.  I got my opening squat on my third attempt pretty scary, guess I didn't read the rules close enough.  I was hooked after that. There were three platforms and probably 200 kids.  This was run by Lloyd Coons. Youth powerlifting in Michiganwas huge because of him. 

Pat Can Also Pull - Courtesy Brackley Enterprises
Q: What are your best lifts? The ones you're most proud of? Titles you've held/won? 

1985 Michigan Teen Champion 198 ( I weighed 182), North Dakota State Champ several times at 198, & 220, 1994 USPF Military Championships 220 winner, 1995 USPF North American Championships 242 Class. 

Best Squats  530@181, 650@198, 720@220, 749@242, 
Best Bench   350@181, 425@198, 500@220 & 242
Best Deadlift 550@181, 640@198, 700@220,  750@242
Best Total     1410           1715        1880        1914
These lifts were done at a meet at one time or another.  I haven't hit my 500 in a full meet yet as far as bench goes. 

Q: What are your future goals in the sport? 

I want to win the nationals & worlds a few times.  I would also like to eventually get certified as a national and international judge. Do my part as a state chair to keep the sport about lifting not B.S. politics.

Q: What is your position on drug testing and steroid use in PL?

Do as much testing as we can afford.  The truth of the matter is that if someone is gonna cheat he will get away with it for a little while but he will eventually get caught, especially with OMT!  We always suspect the top dog because of our ego's.  I have always been under scrutiny on the state level.  Ask any meet director with testing I usually volunteer so as to leave no doubt.  I know questions were asked about the top lifters at nationals but I just would like to take the attitude that the testing procedure gonna keep everyone honest.  I ask myself when someone beats me is there something different I could have done to lift better and the answer is usually YES! 

Q: What do you think of the equipment issue today? 

I think it is here to stay because it does really offer protection against injury.  I believe my shoulders would be in tough shape without the shirt, and my hips are bothering me from not using equipment enough in the squat, granted it does give us a few pounds.  Do you think our masters program would be as strong without it?  I don't think so. 

Q: What about supplementation? What kind of diet and supplement regimen do you follow?

I try to keep a balanced diet so as to not go above 230 but I would be lying if I didn't say my main focus is usually protein from quality foods like beef, chicken, eggs, 1% milk and low fat yogurt.  So far I have had good results with Creatine no great secret there, HMB, a good multivitamin, extra Vitamin C, chromium 600-800 mcg when cutting weight, and vanadyl seems to help keep my muscles full of water which is what you want for the best leverage for heavy weights. 

But the real secret is pizza my favorite, and I usually drink whiskey not beer so much. HA HA! 
We used to tell people that we were using ALPO for the highest quality protein that's always fun when they ask what your taking!  HA HA!

Q: The main idea of the STRENGTH web site is training, would you mind outlining the type of training routine has gotten you to the 500 range in the bench? 

My main focus used to be the reverse pyramid and a light day which got me to 450 at 220 but I wanted 500 baaad!!!  So when Louie started with his theories I tried most of his ideas.  I would say 10x3 was a huge part of boosting my bench.  The trick with Louie's stuff is you have to be a savvy lifter who knows his body, which I do.  I think for anyone who hasn't won a state championship yet they should stick to basics. 

My heavy day might look like this:  Warm-up then heavy lockouts around 650@2"pin and 600@4"pin -  these are maxes.  Then I would do bench shrugs ala Jim Williams 3 sets of 5 reps with 500.  Then I would do regular shrugs with 725 for 3 sets of 5 reps or Seated pulley rows 3 sets of 8 with 300.  Seated behind the neck Military Press  275 for 3 reps is my best doing reverse pyramid 3,5,8 reps. Tricep extensions on the floor 215 for 3, 195 for 5, 165 for 8.  Some hammer curls 3 sets of 8 reps and weighted abs in the 10-20 rep range. 

Weeks 3&2 from contest I try out my shirt with my opener to get comfortable with the equipment, and I only do light stuff the Wednesday before a Saturday meet say 225 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps and other light stuff but nothing that would get me sore just a pump to get the blood in there and heal the muscles up. 

2nd Day bench looks like this:
Bench 295-315 for 10 sets of 3 short rest 30-60 seconds. regular shrugs with 725 for 3 sets of 5 reps or Seated pulley rows 3 sets of 8 with 300. Seated behind the neck Military Press 3 sets with my 5 rep weight, Tricep extensions on the floor 3 sets with my 5 rep weight,  Hammer curls 3 sets of 8 reps.  Ab work

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add? 

I have tried many routines you can't take any one routine wholesale Ken Leistner, Doug Daniels, and Louie Simmons all have contributed to my routines throught Powerlifting USA.  You have to find and tweak what works for you and run with it.   I like Louie's stuff it just evolves so much I can't keep up.  What I did learn is that changing your workouts can really help from time to time.  Ken Leistner taught me that just because a bodybuilder uses it doesn't mean it is taboo for the powerlifter.  And when my head gets really garbled up Doug Daniel's always brings me back to basics. 
As far as competing worry about what you are doing not what someone may or may not be cheating with because it is wasted energy since you can't control them. You can only control yourself.  I know cause I am as guilty as anyone of worrying about the wrong things.  Just remember hard work will get you everywhere and excuses get you no where.  So lift hard do "your" best and the rest will come out in the wash. 

Pat, thanks for the interview and I'll see you in St. Louis.


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