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First off, congratulations on your amazing performance at the Beast of the Metro East and hitting a PR raw total! Can you give everyone a quick recap of the event?
Nick: This is a great local meet held annually in the St. Louis area. There is basically one overall winner based on Wilkes formula. I ended the day with a 515 Wilkes by way of a 750 lb. squat, a 501 lb. bench, and a 766 lb. deadlift. The squat and the 2017 lb. total were both PRs.
You’ve said that this has been your best training cycle yet. What has been different about your training cycle this time around?
Nick: First off this was the first training cycle for the past several years where I didn’t have my right side hip and quad pain, which helped tremendously with my squat. I also have continued to work with Reactive Training Systems with my programming and I think we’re getting more dialed in each training cycle.
Looking back, is there anything that you would’ve changed about your training or on the actual day of the competition?
Nick: No, I really try to prepare for every competition to the best of my ability. This way there are no regrets or “what ifs”.
I know in the past you have primarily competed in equipped powerlifting, what made you decide to compete raw for this event?
Nick: I’ve been switching it up the past couple years and have competed mainly raw during this time. The majority of today’s meets are raw so in order to compete or have competition you almost have to compete raw. With that said, I’m throwing the gear back on for 2018 and plan on hitting some meets.
How does your training vary from equipped vs. raw?
Nick: In my opinion, equipped training is much more complex. You need good training partners you can rely on to help you with the equipment and the workouts are about an hour longer. When I’m training raw I can do almost any workout by myself and the training sessions are a lot quicker. As far as programming it’s pretty similar.
What’s next competition wise for you?
Nick: Next up is the 2018 Arnold Classic. I’ll be again competing in the USA Powerlifting Pro Deadlift.
Do you have any specific goals for the Arnold?
Nick: I’ve chased personal numbers the last several Arnold Classics (some unsuccessfully). This year I’m not going into the competition with a set number in mind but play the game and try to come out with the heaviest pull.
Having a full-time job how do you find the time to train and be so successful in the sport of powerlifting?
Nick: It’s all about time management and wanting to become stronger. When I set up my lifting schedule, I can almost map out the entire 8 to 12 weeks prior. This has always helped me make sure I get my workouts in with no setbacks. I obviously couldn’t do any of this without the help and support of my wife, Nicole. She’s been great and has always made sure I’m able to get everything done I need to.
In order to fuel your heavy training sessions, what type of nutrition plan do you follow?
Nick: I’ve honestly always struggled with the nutrition part of lifting, which has led me to wonder if I left pounds on the platform because of it. The only thing I’ve always kept constant over the years is a high protein intake. Now my goal is to get back into my old weight class (120kg), however I’m going the macro route and am trying to learn better nutrition habits along the way.
Do you use any supplements to aid your training?
Nick: I use several supplements religiously including HMB, BetaTOR, PEAK ATP, and several products from 1st Phorm. I am usually cutting weight going into meets and I’ve noticed my strength levels don’t dip, but actually stay the same or increase when I’m using HMB and BetaTOR. The effects of using both of these also include increased recovery, which is a huge addition to my training.
What’s the best advice you can give to some one that’s newer to powerlifting or someone looking to compete in a strength sport?
Nick: Strength is a journey. Don’t expect to become strong or great overnight. It takes years of being consistent, not missing workouts, setting goals and destroying them. Overtime you will decide how strong you become!
Thanks Nick for your time and we wish you the best of luck getting ready for the Arnold!