Anthony Harris Interview

By:  Deepsquatter


Hope everything is going well. First of all let me congratulate you on your Nationals win. Your lifting was impressive. I know you had an off day in the bench (well, an off day for you) but you came back and pulled very well.

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

My name is Anthony Harris, I'm 33 yrs young and I was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama. I now live in Kaneohe, Hawaii which is about 20 minutes outside Honolulu. I decided to live here after serving 9 yrs in the U.S. Army and I'm currently employed as a banquet porter for the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.

  Q: How did you get involved in powerlifting?
I started powerlifting in 1990 after I training with a few powerlifters who encouraged me to try a contest. So I did and I really enjoyed it, and here I am now still competing and loving every minute of it. 

 Q: What is your favorite lift? Least favorite?

I really don't have a favorite, since you need all three events to have a total. I don't do single lift meets, but I think the bench press is my weakness.

 Q: What are your best lifts? The ones you're most proud of? Titles you've held/won?

Well my best at 198 lb is a 760S 450 BP 738 DL 1929 T. Up until now at 220 lb my best 771S  468 BP  766 DL  1962T. 
I'm most proud of the 1998 USA Nationals with the close and exciting finish. I placed 2nd 1992 USPF Senior nationals (198),

1st 1994 ADFPA Lifetime Nationals (220)

3rd 1995 ADFPA Open Nationals (198)

1st 1996 AAU & USPF Senior Nationals (220)

5th 1996 IPF Worlds (220)

3rd 1997 USPF Senior Nationals (220)

BOMBED 1997 IPF Worlds

1st 1998 USAPL Open Nationals (220)

5 time Hawaii State Champ.

Tony's National Meet Record Squat - Courtesy Brackley Enterprises
For great video coverage of the 1998 USAPL National Championships Click on Tony's head!

 Q: What are your future goals in the sport? (personally, I'm hoping the words "242" are in there somewhere - just kidding)

Laugh. Hey you never know. But at present my goals are to squat and deadlift over 800 lbs and bench press 500 lbs at 220 and win an IPF World championship. 

 Q: I watched you warm up in Colorado and you are one of the most explosive lifters I've seen. I recall I took my last warm-up with 585.  I pulled my straps up and the weight went up nicely. You then took the same weight with no suit on and ripped it off the floor like a piece of
tissue paper. It was FAST!!  What do you do to build that kind of velocity into your lifting. Your
squats were about the same.

I do a lot of good mornings after squatting and deadlifting to really focus on my strengthening lower back, glutes and hamstrings.

 Q: Were you surprised to out pull Jim Morton? Before the meet, I figured you'd out squat him. I guessed you'd be close in the bench and it would come down to the pulls but I knew Morton had pulled 800 before. 

I was very surprised I out pulled James, because I knew he had pulled 800 lbs before and I knew he was capable of doing it again. At the same going into the meet ,I knew I had to out squat him and bench well ( which I did not ) to make up for his big deadlift. But everything worked out and I'm very happy with the win.

777 LBS - This is how far Tony Pulled It Before It Popped Loose. NEXT TIME! - Image  Courtesy Brackley Enterprises

 Q: What do you think of the equipment issue today? I keep hearing from SOME (not all or even many) RAW lifters that the guys lifting in gear are fakes etc. Personally, after watching the top guys in Colorado warm up and then watching the Raw Nationals the following weekend, I think the same guys would be winning, the totals would just be lower - mainly in the squat. 

I think its a matter of choice whether or not you want to lift raw or with equipment. Lifting in gear doesn't make you a fake. You still have to lift the weight, it's just that the equipment give you support to better move the weight and lessen your chance of injury. Or it could be that a  percentage (small %) of raw lifters never really trained in the equipment and learn to use it to their advantage or cannot put up the discomfort of putting it on and competing. I myself would not have a problem competing raw if knee wraps were allowed.

Q) Do you feel there is a safety factor added in with wraps etc.? 

Yes, there's a safety factor with wraps. They help stabilize and support wrist doing  bench press and especially the knees during those heavy squats.

 Q: What about supplementation? What kind of diet and supplement regimen  do you  follow? According to Greg Payne, Hawaii is the number one state in terms of SPAM consumption. I'm wondering if that is a factor in all the strong guys that come out of Hawaii. Spam and Poi??

I only use supplement 8-10 weeks prior to contest. The supplements I use are creavol atp ,creatine monohydrate, muscle maxx protein by Sportpharma. My diet is pretty basic. I eat whatever I want throughout the year and when I start my cycle I go to a 50/50 carb-protein usually 6 to 8 weeks out. Well, spam and poi is a really big part of the Hawaiian diet but for me ,I rarely eat the two. So I guess it just the training that keep me strong. 

 Q: What is your out of contest weight? DO you stay at or near 220 year  round?

I wish I could stay under 220 lbs and not have to worry about dropping weight. But you and I know that not going to happen. Well, this year my weight has been hanging 230-235.

Q: Who has influenced you in this sport? Helped you the most?

There have been a lot of lifters from all over who have influenced me and helped me in so many ways. It would be almost impossible to list them all and what they have done. So you know who you are and I'd like to thank you all very much.

 Q: Tony, the Strength Site is about training. Would you share some of your squat training ideas with the readers? You're closing in on that magic 800. I'm sure you've got got some serious squat knowledge!

Well, year round I do box squats at various heights from 10" to 16"  and always working speed ( thank you Louie Simmons ).I do a lot of good mornings and hyperextensions ( back raises ) for lower back, hamstrings and
glutes. Wide grip cable rows for upper back and rear delts. Calves and a lot of ABS heavy. I will cycle full squats for 6 weeks and 1 week rest prior to contest. Along with that you have to be physically and mentally ready  to train.

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

Yes. I would like to thank God for giving me the strength to compete and I would also like to thank the people who help sponsor me to the meets starting with William Hurley and BJ Whitman of the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, Tony Rutledge of Local 5 Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union, Peter Alaniz of Titan Support Systems, Peter Thorne of Inzer Advance Design, Odd Haugen of 24 hr Fitness, Debbie Ijima of R&D Enterprises, Sonny Ronolo of the Supplement Shop (Kaneohe ) and Mark Matsumoto of Kinesys Sport Pacific. And a special thanks
to my training partners Tony Leiato, Wannette Gaylord and Nolan. Strength through understanding, because knowledge is power. The more you know the stronger you can be. Last but not least Jason Burnell for giving me the opportunity to do this interview. Sorry it took so long.

Thank you Tony. It was worth the wait! See you in St. Louis.

(Thanks also to Phil And Kathy Andrews of Brackley Enterprises for the use of the images from The USAPL Nationals that accompany this interview. For info on video of the meet or images on CD please visit their web site)

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Reproduction of this article, in whole or part, for any purposed other than personal use is prohibited without written consent. Copyright 1998 Deepsquatter.