Andy Bolton is ones of the worlds strongest men. With an opener like that, how can you follow it?
Some of Andy Bolton’s biggest achievements are placing first in the WPC World Powerlifting Championships in 2000, 2001 and 2008, being the first man to deadlift 1000 lbs, along with competing at the Arnold Strongman classic.
We were recently able to sit down and have an interview with Andy, talking about his workouts, nutrition and how get involved in powerlifting.
Hi Andy, big thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview. In a sentence sum up Andy Bolton.
He is dedicated, hard working & will do whatever it takes to win. At any cost.
Now right off the bat we want to address your deadlift, and chasing Benedikt Magnuson to beat his record. How does having a solid goal like this affect not just your time in the gym, but your entire frame of mind and life style?
Haha, every time I do a Deadlift workout, its Benny I think of. Thinking about him and his achievements make me train harder. I can push further. Its can, and it has, taken over my life.
You’ve placed very well over the years in the WPC. What is your crowning achievement in your career so far?
Its a tough call. It would have to be the 2007 WPO finals, where I was able to squat 550kg. I benched 305kg and hit a personal best of deadlifts at the time of 417kg on an opener to total 1272kg.
At the time, I helt the all time squat and deadlift total. I was also the first to hit a 1003 lb deadlift.
You won your first powerlifting competition at the age of 21.What age did you start training?
I started working out when I was 18 years old.
What attracted you to the gym?
I suppose it was the desire to get stronger. For some reason I wanted to get stronger, so I started to workout. I quickly got the bug and it all went from there.
What led to you wanting to pursue powerlifting as opposed to say bodybuilding?
I actually started my weightlifting career by competing in bodybuilding. It was ok, but I much preferred the strength side of training. I fell in with a group of powerlifter, who I remain good friends with and still train with as of today.
They got me started, and that’s what I pursued.
When you first started out who where some of the guy’s you looked to emulate?
I was a fan of the mega stars from seeing them compete on TV. Kaz Capes, Jon Paul, but in the back of my mind I wanted to be better than them. I was a clever, cocky kid. I wanted to be better than the guys I grew up watching.
What is your favourite cheat meal?
It has gotta be chocolate. I loved it back in the day. Now, however, my diet is a lot cleaner. To perform at this level, diet has to be in check. Its not just bodybuilders who have to watch their diet. In order to recover from heavy workouts, my diet needs to be bang on.
Talk us through a typical week of training, how many times a week do you train and what does your split look like?
At the moment my workout routine is as follows
Then back to it on the Monday.
What is your regular rep range for working out?
It depends. Anywhere from 3 sets, all the way up to 8 sets per exercise. It just depends.
Powerlifting, strongman and strength training obviously involves lifting heavy weight for low reps. Do you ever switch your training routine up to incorporate higher reps?
Yes. Its crucial to cover the muscle from all angles when working out. Low reps & high reps are important to my training. They help develop the muscle, gain strength and increase my endurance.
What are the core exercises that you feel are a necessity to carry out, in order to perform at your level.
For core, i find that planks are one of the best exercises. Squats, deadilfts and event training always indirectly work it. However to isolate the core, i’d go with planks.
How does your training differ now, compared to when you were first starting out?
To be honest, not a great deal. Its pretty similar to what it has always been. People over complicate things. Stick with what works and do keep doing it.
How does your diet look like? Do you stick to a set amount of carbs proteins and fats a day?
I am to eat protein every 2.5 hours. I also make sure to eat a lot of carbs after a workout to replenish glycogen and kick start recovery.
How important do you feel supplements are in powerlifting, or do prefer to rely on eating whole foods?
Im a firm believer that a diet should consist of foods primarily. Supplements are useful, and there are times when I feel like they are needed. However I try and base my entire diet around whole foods.
What is your current supplement stack?
At the moment I am using Phil Richards Nutrition supplements. I find them to be excellent quality, and they do exactly what they say. Like I mentioned in the last question though, my diet is more focused around food, rather than supplements.
What is your favourite supplement?
Conective formula, mixed with vitamin C & a fish oil. Its great for joint aches and pains in my old age haha.
If there was 1 piece of advice you’d give to a young guy starting out with powerlifting what would it be?
Learn corect form. I can’t stress this enough. No mater if you want to be a strong man, powerlifter, olympic lifter or bodybuilder. Learn to perform all exercises, especially the compound movements correctly. Don’t rush through your training, or lift too heavy. This will cause injury and set you back. If you’re injured you can’t train properly. If you cant train, you cant make progress.
Tell us about your powerlifting book available at Andybolton.org
There are a ton of books on there for people of all levels. Beginners, Intermediates, Advanced lifters. There is something for everyone to learn from.
What are your plans for the rest of 2014?
For the rest of this year its the Australia in November. I’ll be competing against Benny there, along with KK. 3 of all time greatest raw deadlifters competing together.
Is there any final words you’d like to say to your fans?
Train smart, and don’t give up trying to be the best you can be. You might never hold a world record, or win the Mr Olympia, but you should focus on bettering yourself, and being the best you. If anyone needs any help with their strength training or workouts, you can contact me at andyboltonstrength.org