If you wish to discover ways to shoot a basketball, you need to get suggestions from Michael Jordan or LeBron James. If you wish to get stronger—particularly, if you wish to beef up your bench press—the person to ask is Julius Maddox.
The Kentucky native has set the world report within the uncooked bench press (that means that he uses no supportive equipment like a bench shirt) numerous times since 2019. His present report is 782 kilos, and he’s getting ready to take his third try at changing into the primary man to bench 800 kilos. Whereas others might imagine it would by no means occur, there isn’t a doubt in his thoughts that he’ll do it.
“Should you imagine in it with all of your soul, you gotta maintain combating for no matter it’s you’re keen on,” Maddox says.
He lives that mantra too. The 6’3”, 440-pound champion has come a good distance from his time in rehab to being one of the acknowledged individuals in energy sports activities. Males’s Well being spoke to Maddox about a number of the keys to success in the case of setting information, whether or not they’re the non-public variety or on the world stage.
This interview has been condensed and edited for readability.
What’s one thing that you simply think about the very best precedence that helps you put together for peak efficiency?
Getting sleep. I’ve to get satisfactory sleep, wherever from seven and a half to 9 hours of sleep each evening. I hardly ever take naps, both. One of many downsides is that I’m at all times on the go. I positively need to get sufficient relaxation, although. That’s in all probability the one for me.
Should you might return and inform your self as a newbie something, what would it not be?
I’d say the principle factor is to not focus solely… on weight as I ought to have approach. Method is all the pieces in the case of getting stronger. Oftentimes, approach is the rationale lifters miss.
I might additionally say don’t go off programming. Stick with your routine. When you may have a coach or particular program you’re working with, ensure you stick with that program.
What have been the hurdles you needed to take care of if you began coaching. How did you overcome them?
One for me was that once I first began coaching, I used to be in rehab. So I couldn’t come and go as I happy. I additionally had to make use of older gear, and it wasn’t even a industrial gymnasium. It was an older bench, older bar, older weights, and I used to be very restricted with what I might do. In the long run, I simply made essentially the most of it and did as many units and reps as I might. That was one.
One other was afterward. I needed to steadiness coaching with working two jobs. What I might do is rise up at six within the morning to go to the primary job. I’d get off at about 2:30, and that gave me an hour and a half to go work out. Then I’d go to my second job. If that didn’t work, then I might practice after the second job, which might be round 12 a.m. I’d practice, go to mattress, rise up at six, and do it once more.
Many individuals that get into some type of health have a mentor. Who have been a number of the individuals that you simply realized from as you have been progressing?
I’d need to say my coach, Josh Bryant. Right here’s the factor: once I was stepping into coaching, not many individuals knew concerning the bench press, particularly when it got here to approach. It’s very arduous, even these days, to seek out somebody that may give correct assist with approach. I’d ask individuals, and both they didn’t know or they’d some whacked out setup. In fact, I watched C.T. Fletcher, Leroy Walker, and all these guys, but it surely was for motivation. So far as somebody I might observe behind and be of their ranks, it needed to be Josh. Even then, it was on-line solely for a very long time. Earlier than individuals knew who I used to be, nobody was prepared to provide me the time of day. That really gave me a vendetta in a way as a result of no person wished to assist me advance or train me.
One other element of getting stronger is vitamin. There are individuals who imagine that powerlifters don’t take vitamin significantly. How essential is meals to what you do and the way you get better?
As we’re talking now, I’m not specializing in a particular meal plan. I do make it some extent to keep away from sugary drinks, I steer clear of fried meals, and the plain issues like that. At this stage, I do know what my physique wants and what it will probably tolerate. The principle issues that matter most to most individuals is consuming earlier than understanding, ensuring there’s loads of protein, which I do in fact. I get round 1.1 grams per pound of body weight.
When an enormous try is developing, I have to get the energy in. I nonetheless steer clear of what I stated earlier than, however now I’m getting the carbs up, and getting fuller. I need to be sure that I’m constructing and sustaining my mass.
What do you assume are crucial dietary supplements?
Protein for positive, glucosamine for the joints, you at all times need to have a multivitamin, and a pre-workout. I like Hyper Crush by MHP for that, however these are the 4 predominant ones. It actually doesn’t need to be difficult.
We talked about sleep earlier than, however exterior of that, what different types of restoration do you assume individuals ought to think about to maximise efficiency?
I feel it’s important to get deep tissue massages. Getting deep tissue massages might be the perfect factor you can do for your self, coaching or not. I get mine as soon as every week. Yeah, it’s an additional invoice, however so as to be optimum and carry out on the highest stage attainable, you gotta do what you gotta do to get that edge.
Spending the cash is the place lots of people need to cease quick in the case of attaining health objectives. How a lot emphasis do you are feeling somebody ought to place on investing in well being and efficiency?
It’s important. You merely have to contemplate what you worth extra. Should you’re seeking to advance in a sport, and you haven’t any household, no children, and also you’re simply working and saving cash, in the case of a aggressive sport, many of the cash goes to go in direction of that sport. Should you’re coaching for your self, you simply want to determine what your priorities are. It’s arduous to steadiness out going to the bars and spending a pair hundred bucks on the weekends and spending a pair hundred bucks on one thing like dietary supplements or massages. Every individual simply has to weigh it out.
A part of that spending for some individuals could also be in gear or equipment. What ought to individuals search for in the case of equipment like exercise sneakers, wraps, or a belt?
I prefer to put on objects that I’m comfy in. The sneakers need to be comfy, not essentially to be fairly, however I do prefer to match. If I don’t match in the case of what I’m carrying, I really feel bizarre. Decide if consolation or the best way you look issues extra, and go together with what’s going to provide help to.
Now in the event you’re speaking about somebody who desires to take it the place I’ve, I’m just about a strolling billboard. I’m not going to endorse a model I don’t like, but it surely additionally needs to be mutual. Now there are exceptions just like the jumpsuits I put on once I present as much as meets. The rationale I put on Adidas with these is as a result of they’re comfy. All the pieces for me is about consolation. Should you really feel comfy, in the event you look and feel nice, then you definitely’ll play nice.
You’re a specialist on the bench, however how do you practice the remainder of your physique?
All the pieces for me is targeted on serving to me with the bench. On the finish of the day, my coaching is about 70 p.c accent work, and 30 p.c of it’s predominant work, that means squat, deadlift, bench. And I do practice these as properly. Equipment for me are essential, although. Many individuals assume powerlifting is a lazy sport, however talking for me and other people I encompass myself with—we’re work horses. All the pieces we do, there’s a system behind it. There’s a motive we put each variation of each train into our program. We don’t simply have random stuff in there simply because the gymnasium bros do it. All the pieces does and may have a goal of serving to you attain your aim.
What’s the greatest mistake you see individuals make when making an attempt to bench heavy?
Ego. We dwell in a microwave era the place individuals need to shortcut the method. Getting stronger isn’t a course of that you simply need to rush. That is common. If you take shortcuts, you come up quick. The results of that could possibly be harm, burnout, a number of issues, however the principle factor it does is trigger harm. One other challenge is that they don’t have a routine to observe. That’s one other drawback that might result in massive errors.
When did the 800 pound uncooked bench grow to be your aim?
It was in Chicago in the summertime of 2019. It was me, Josh Bryant, Ed Coan, and another buddies sitting at a desk. Somebody requested if I ever considered making an attempt an 800 pound bench press. My preliminary thought was “I obtained to get to the world report first.” As soon as I obtained the world report, my first thought was “properly, we’re on the street to 800.”
My guess is it takes a powerful mindset and willpower to tackle the sort of weights you’ve lifted and tried. How do you put together your self mentally for the following massive try?
I do my finest to restrict the distractions. In fact, there are quite a lot of distractions in life, however I’m getting higher at it. The factor about what I do is that everybody has a pitch or provide for me to aim it at their occasion or gymnasium. I’ve come to seek out out that it isn’t definitely worth the danger once I’m not prepared. One thing like this you’ll be able to’t rush. So once I do set one thing up, I lock myself in.
What do you assume somebody can do to coach themselves mentally when going after an enormous aim?
The primary one, like I stated for myself, is to clear as many distractions as attainable. If one thing or somebody isn’t including worth to your life, then you could reevaluate that scenario. It’s limiting your psychological capability from giving your all. Finally, in the case of motivation, it simply needs to be one thing you place excessive worth in.
You’re going to need to be prepared to do no matter it takes to get there. Folks can’t make you eat the meals, go to the gymnasium, and do the work. You must discover that inside your self. If somebody studying that is pondering of motivation, exterior motivation helps, but it surely does have to return from inside so as to succeed. You simply need to ask your self day-after-day, “how unhealthy do I need it?”
Everybody fails at one level or one other. You’ve missed your final try at 800, and one time the bar was misloaded, which led to a miss. So you understand how to return again from adversity to thrive. What can individuals do to bounce again and get shifting ahead once more when confronted with adversity?
It’s a tricky query. I simply recommit and get going once more. I feel the principle factor for everybody is placing one foot in entrance of the opposite. Should you do this, you’ll slowly get that fireside lit. It’s powerful for positive. Even when it takes a month, it’s price it.
Are there any youthful lifters on the market that you simply’ve taken underneath your wing? If that’s the case, what do you search for when deciding to assist that individual?
There isn’t anybody particular proper now, however I at all times share recommendation when requested, in fact. There are individuals which have been with me since day one. One is a para powerlifter. He’s paralyzed from the waist down. I’m working with him to get again to a stage he was competing at. Apart from that, I positively do the perfect I can to answer to messages and reply questions.
Do you assume it’s finest to concentrate on one aim at a time or can individuals accomplish a number of functions reminiscent of dropping fats and getting stronger?
That’s a tough one as a result of I feel I do know folks that drop a pound or two every week, they usually get stronger too. It’s very arduous to do, although. Your meal plan needs to be dialed in, and only a few individuals can dial it in that exact approach to allow them to do this. It’s very uncommon to have the ability to do this. A few of it does rely on genetics as properly. I practice my predominant lifts like a powerlifter, however I do my accent work like a bodybuilder. So it’s mainly powerbuilding.
You’ve labored with coaches like Josh in your profession. What ought to learners search for when hiring a great coach or coach?
The individual ought to have expertise working with individuals which might be superior lifters if it’s powerlifting. Whether or not it’s that or one other sport, verify their observe report. See who they’ve labored with. That’s essential. The coach shouldn’t additionally shrink back from points or ghost you when issues begin to get difficult. Decide somebody that has expertise, credibility, and take the time to seek out out who that coach is. Should you’re going to provide her or him your cash, time, and energy, you need to know that they’re going to provide the finest bang on your hard-earned greenback.
Somebody studying this proper now could be dreaming of doing one thing massive such as you’ve achieved, whether or not it’s in powerlifting or one thing else. How can they keep optimistic and pushed if they’re surrounded by adverse individuals or circumstances?
That’s your aim and your ardour. Reinforce it to your self as typically as you’ll be able to. Don’t enable different individuals to set their limitations on the issues that you simply love in your life.
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