April 2011 - David Ricks

1.      
Please introduce yourself. Who are you? How old are you? Where are you from? What are your hobbies (other than powerlifting)? Please give the readers an idea of what it’s like to be you.   I am David Ricks and I will be 52 years old this summer.  I am originally from Barberton, Ohio.   My other hobbies besides powerlifting are photography and history.   I am currently the Director of General Services for Fulton County.  Prior to this current position I was the Public Works Director for Montgomery County, Ohio.  I have also completed a 22 year career as a naval Officer

2.       Where are you located in Georgia and where do you train at?  I live in Sandy Springs and train at the local LA Fitness, but also train at Quest when I get close to a major competition.

3.       What is something that most people don’t know about you?  I have been very involved with the Boy Scouts in the various places I have lived.

4.       What is your occupation?  See answer to number 1

5.       Do you find that your occupation interferes with competing or visa versa?  My job sometimes gets very demanding so I have to adjust my training days to accommodate.

6.       How many years have you been competing?  This is hard to believe that I have been doing this for close over 30 years.

7.       How did you get into powerlifting?   During my senior year at the U.S. Naval Academy I was invited to participate in their lifting club.

8.       What are your biggest squat, bench press, deadlift and total numbers?  I just hit some PR over the last couple of years.  My squat is 777, bench 501, deadlift 744, total 1963.   All at 198 bodyweight except for the deadlift which was done at 181

9.       What titles, records and achievements did you accumulate in your powerlifting career?  I have won over 15 National Titles and 5 I.P.F. Open World Championships.  Placed second at 7 other I.P.F. Open World Championships.   Won overall best lifter at the 2009, 2010, and 2011 Arnold Sport Festival Full Gear Powerlifting event.  Have set numerous national open and Master records and several Masters World records. 

1993 Navy Male Athlete of the Year

Member of the Summit County Ohio Sports Hall of Fame

Member of the Barberton Ohio Sports Hall of Fame

Member of the National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center

10.   Can you describe your training philosophy and/or a typical training session?  I try to keep my training very simple.  I deadlift on Monday, light bench with a lot of assistance work on Tues, light squat with a lot of assistance work on Wed, Heavy Bench on Thursday, and Heavy squat on Friday.   I adjust my top training weight on Monday, Thursday, and Friday depending upon where I am at in a strength cycle.  For my assistance work I keep it at high reps – 8 to 10 for upper body; 15 – 20 for lower body.   I believe if you push your assistance exercises you may start to over train your key power exercises.

11.   Do you compete equipped (squat suit, bench press shirt & deadlift suit) or unequipped (no suits) or both?  I primarily compete in equipped for all three lifts. 

12.   What weight class(s) and divisions(s) do you compete in?  Early in my career I was competed in 165 pound class then moved up to the 181 class and for the last several years I am in the 198 pound class.

13.   What is your favorite lift, squat or bench press or deadlift or all three?  I think the squat is my best lift

14.   Who is the most impressive lifter you have competed against?  Dan Austin.  We competed at the USPF Nationals in 1994.   I beat him in the squat and the bench press and had a 40 + lead going into the deadlift.  He won the meet by doing a World Record of 749 at 165.  It was very impressive.

15.   Who do you think is the greatest lifter of all time?  That is a very difficult question, because I have not seen all the top lifters compete.   I will narrow my response to USA Powerlifting lifters since I have more experience with that group.  My criteria are folks who have won national championships and I.P.F championships.   It is one thing to win at a national level but also to win at an international level where you have to compensate for travel and international judging shows tremendous effort.  Brad Gillingham - Inducted into the I.P.F hall of fame.   Still performs at an exceptional level as a master
Pricilla Ribic - Inducted into the I.P.F hall of fame.  The premier female powerlifting athlete.

16.   When was your last competition & how did it go?  I participated at the Arnold Sports Festival in the Brown Gym event.  I hit a WR squat of 777, bench 496, and 650 deadlift

17.   Do you have any upcoming competitions? If so, when and where?  I will be competing at the USAPL Masters Nationals at the end of April this year in Atlanta, GA.

18.   How do you prepare for an upcoming competition?  I look at how many training weeks I have and develop a training program to try to accomplish some goals.

19.   Describe your nutritional intake for an upcoming competition? You need to take as a minimum: multi-vitamin; aminos; glucosomine/Chondroitin/MSM (joints); pre workout supplement for energy; post workout Whey protein for muscle recovery.  Milk thistle (assist your kidneys to process the extra supplements)  Nice to have is:  B complex; C complex; omega 3 (heart)

20.   Is there anything you will do differently to you prepare for your next competition that is different from your last one?  I try to review any mistakes from my previous competition and adjust my training to correct those mistakes.

21.   How many meets do you compete in each year?  2 to 4

22.   Who is your greatest competitor/rival?  That is hard to say because I have lifted in several weight classes.  I do not focus on who is at the competition but just what goals I am trying to accomplish.

23.   What is your greatest memory from competing?  My greatest moment was winning my first World Title in 1991.   That was my first time competing at an I.P.F world championship.  I was in awe with the high level of competition.   I was just honored to just represent the U.S. team.   I quickly realized that being an I.P.F.  World Champion you are competing against the best of the best. 

24.   What advice & tips would you give to a powerlifter that is just beginning? If you are just beginning, what advice have you received from other lifters or coaches?  I would work very hard to focus on the proper technique of the squat, bench, and deadlift.    Your technique plays much a bigger factor as you try to increase in weight you are trying to lift.

25.   How has powerlifting changed your life?  I have been tremendously enriched by all the wonderful people who are involved in the sport.   Also, I have visited many places as a U.S.  National Team representative that I would have never done myself personally.

26.   Do you stay in touch with lifters you compete against? Yes

27.   Why did you decide to compete? I love the challenge of pushing my body to newer limits

28.   What is your #1 or most prestigious meet you ever competed at in your career? I was fortunate to participate in the 2009 World Games in Taiwan as a member of the US. National Team.  It was an awesome experience.

29.   Do you compete in any other strength sports such as Olympic lifting, strongman, highland games, etc? No

30.   What is your favorite memory from any powerlifting competition or event? See question #23

31.   Anyone you would like thank for helping you along the way in your Powerlifting career?  It is hard to list all the folks who have helped my along the way, but I want to give a special thanks to my wife who has been my bedrock of support no matter what I wanted to do.  The other special person is Pete Alaniz of Titan.  His company makes great powerlifting gear and Pete is such an ambassador to the sport.

32.   Anything else you would like to add?

Thank you for your time and best of luck in your upcoming powerlifting endeavors!