Greg Payne Interview

By:  Deepsquatter

Hawaii is known for producing some of the strongest powerlifters around and the subject of this interview is no exception.  Greg Payne is one of Hawaii's most active lifters, lifting several times a year in USAPL, AAU, USPF and APF meets. More often than not he winds up in the winners circle. I've gotten to watch Greg lift a few times and his deads and benches are impressive but his squats are always something to watch. I can't ever recall seeing Greg miss a lift......

Hello Greg,  Happy New Year! 

Q: Can you give us some background info on yourself?

Greg Payne born 9/16/65 in Hilo, Hawaii, age 33.  Graduated 1986 from the University of San Diego ( Dan Yourg is the asst. AD there and frequent GOHEAVY participant)  Current occupation, believe it or not, is breeding and of course selling exotic Goldfish.  Cool job or what?  Married 11 years ( or is it 40, can't tell anymore) to my wife Julie.   Just had a son Montgomery Edward born on 12/29/98, our first child.

Q: How did you get involved in powerlifting?

Started lifting in 82 just for something to do and havn stopped yet. Started power training in 88 aand competing since 90.  Entered my first sanctioned meet in 92 and got a serious reality check about the sport when Tony Leiato cleaned my clock.  He totaled 1995 to my whopping 1660.  At this point I had a decision to make.  Quit with my tail between my legs or get stronger.  Obviously I decided on the later.

Q: What is your favorite lift? Least favorite?

Most favorite, the squat.  Least favorite the bench.  I still can't figure out after all of these years how Leiato and the rest of the great Hawaii benchers do it!  Bit of trivia here folks.  Between the early to mid 80's.  Hawaii boys held all time world records in the bench in the 114 ( Chad Ikei 309 ), 132 ( Doug Ortiz 363 ), 148 ( Ed Morishima 446 ), 198 ( Julian Lee 600 ), 220 ( Julian Lee 606 ) simultaniously. Is this a bench state or what?

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

With gear: 848 squat, 545 bench, 744 deadlift,  2072 total all in competition.
RAW: 716 squat, 510 bench, 744 deadlift, 1934 total also done in competition.
I am most proud of the 848 squat. It was done with 3 national judges at the 1995 USPF North Americans.  Got 3 whites.  The 744 RAW deadlift. Have been Hawaii state champion every year in either the 308, 319 or SHW class since 93 in either APF, USPF or ADFPA/USAPL sanctioned meets. Took first and Best lifter at the 1995 USPF North Americans ( barely beating out Pat Hall for bestlifter).  First and best lifter at the 1997 AAU North Americans, RAW division. First and best lifter at the 1998 AAU Raw  Nationals.



 Q: What are your future goals in the sport? 

Still want to get 2100 with Gear and 2000 RAW.

Q:  What kind of support gear do you use in your meets that allow it.

Marathon Squat suit, Inzer bench shirt, Inzer Champion suit for the deadlift and Inzer Z wraps.

Q: You keep getting stronger. What keeps you motivated?

 Two people mostly.  Tony's Harris and Leiato.  These 2 guys just keep getting stronger year after year.  I just gotta keep up with them as best I can so as to not embarass myself when in their presences. Think about it, as small as the state of Hawaii is in population, especially Powerlifting population.  2 of our guys made the world team in 98.  And I have to lift in this state. I can hear you all laughing now.
More trivia:  Andrea Sortwell stated something like out of the 400 or so guys who qualified for Nationals in 98, only like 30 or 40 people ranked Elite.  Out of the 30-40 guys 5 of us live in Hawaii.  Tough state to lift in or what? 

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

No special diet.  I use Creatine, glutamine and a multi-vit. As for SPAM,  I have mentioned this before, Hawaii is the LARGEST consumer of spam in the world.
IT IS THE KEY TO POWERLIFTING SUCCESS.  That's all I have to say about that.

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

Am down to 279 now and will compete at 275 in 1999.  Weight will go between 270 and 285 depending where in my cycle I am. 

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

Mostly the 2 guys mentioned above.  Also Gus Rethwisch.  I first heard of Powerlifting because of the World record breakers meets he put on in Hawaii.  Those were some great meets.  If it where not for Harris and Gus, I would still be pulling 600 today.

Q: Greg, the Strength Site is about training. Would you share some of  your training ideas with the readers? I know you have experimented with > the 3X#3 system recently. How did that work out for you? 

Have had good success so far with the 3x3.  I follow it exactly as written no extras added in.  Did a meet 5 weeks ago after the first 8 week cycle. Totaled 2006,  odyweight 274.  First meet back at 275 since 92 when Leiato kicked my Butt.

(note: on 2-5-99 Greg hit a new PR total using the 3x3 - New updated total for Weight class: 275 weighed in 275 even  Total:  821-535-771-2127)

How does it compare to your regular training? 

Did Westside program for the last 3 years or so.  Worked well for me too. 
To me the 3x3 is a tough workout, especially week 4, but I find that I
don't get as many little nagging injuries using the 3x3 as when I was using
westside.  I do miss box squats and goodmornings however. 

 I noticed you seem to roll the bar before you pull? Why? 

It seems to get me into position better somtimes.  I don't always do it. Can't tell you why.

How do you pick your attempts, etc. 

 60 pounds lighter than my intended max in the squat, 20 pounds lighter in the bench and about 80 in the deadlift.  I don't go by triples in the gym or anything like that.  When I squatted the 848 I couldn't even triple 700.  When I could get 700 for 5 reps I couldn't squat 800.

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

I would like to thank you Jason and people like Tony Cardella, Scott Taylor and Brad Madvig for putting up such boards for those of us in the middle of the Pacific Ocean to get information as it happens.  In the past, by the time we got any powerlifting info it would be ancient history. 

Thanks Greg! See you on the platform!

Want to discuss this with other lifters?

Reproduction of this article, in whole or part, for any purposed other than personal use is prohibited without written consent. Copyright 1999 Deepsquatter.