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Q: First off, congrats on getting 2nd place at the UPA Raw Powerlifting Championships and for setting a new PR on your squat! What made you decide to switch gears a bit and do a powerlifting meet?
Spenser: That’s a great question. I like to switch gears to powerlifting for a few months out of the year mainly for a change of routine. Strongman training can be pretty draining mentally, and its nice to only focus on 3 movements during the strongman “offseason.” I’ve also wanted to have a 2,000 pound total for a while, so knowing that my strength numbers had improved over the past year, I wanted to test myself on the platform.
Q: Were you happy with your performance? What would you have done differently?
Spenser: I would say I’m pleased with my performance, but not necessarily happy. The goal going into the meet was a 2000 lb. total, and I finished with 1966 lbs. In retrospect, I probably took too big of a jump between my 1st and 2nd bench attempts (462 lbs. to 501 lbs.) but I knew that I was going to need a bench press in the 500 lb. range to reach my overall goal. I ended up missing my 2nd and 3rd bench attempts at 501 lbs. I wasn’t overly worried about my total at that point, because I was confident in my deadlift. I ended up with a 771 lb. deadlift, and missed 805 lbs. right above my knees, which NEVER happens to me in training. My last attempt at 805 would have put me at 2000 lbs. exactly. If I had it to do over again, I probably would have lowered my 2nd bench attempt and deadlifted something around 785-790 lbs. It’s all part of the experience though.
Q: How did you change up your training regimen to prep for this or did you stay consistent with your strongman training?
Spenser: I didn’t change very much actually. I still worked on strongman events on weekends, but with more of a speed and conditioning emphasis, essentially to keep some muscle memory. I didn’t want my strongman training to interfere with training the squat, bench press and deadlift. Now that I have switched back to more strongman oriented training, I can feel the benefits of essentially “deloading” on my event work. I feel much faster and more efficient.
Q: What kind of nutrition/supplementation do you follow leading into a competition?
Spenser: Leading into a competition, I make sure to capitalize on my recovery, and HMB and BetaTOR play a huge role in that. If I miss a day in that regimen, I can definitely feel a negative difference. I make sure to consume at least 60 grams of protein and 25 grams of fat per meal, in order to get enough calories to fuel my training. My carbs come mainly from Gatorade with my post training shake. I am definitely a creature of habit, and if I don’t follow the routine that I have set for myself, it definitely can throw off my mindset.
Q: Of the three powerlifts, which one is your favorite and why?
Spenser: My favorite of the 3 powerlifts is definitely the deadlift. I don’t know if there is a greater feeling in strength athletics than just picking something heavy up off the ground. It is probably the most brutal to train, just from the amount of wear and tear that can accumulate.
Q: Which lift is your nemesis and why?
Spenser: There’s a strong correlation between my abilities in strongman and in powerlifting. My pressing, either bench press or overhead are inconsistent, and that frustrates me! I try to blame it on long arms, but that’s just an excuse. I still struggle with technique with my bench from time to time, and the same goes for my log or axle pressing. These are definitely opportunities that I need to take advantage of in the future.
Q: I know you’re busy planning a wedding, which is exciting! Will you have any time to squeeze in some more competitions this year? If so, what events do you plan to compete in?
Spenser: Yes, it is very exciting! My fiancé Amber is extremely supportive, and has been awesome in planning the wedding. She knows that I can’t visualize anything, so I need to see pictures of everything! I plan on participating in America’s Strongest Man again for sure, and I have looked into a few competitions in the summer as well. I don’t have any nailed down yet, but there are several Pro-Am’s coming up in the next few months. I’ll be sure to keep you updated!
Thanks Spenser for your time and we wish you the best with upcoming competitions and nuptials!