February 2012 - Melton Harrell
Melton, Thank you for your time and best of luck in your upcoming powerlifting endeavors!
- Please introduce yourself. Who are you? How old are you?
I am Melton Harrell, and I turned 72 on January 7th.
- What are your hobbies (other than powerlifting)? Please give the readers an idea of what it’s like to be you.
My only hobbies are bodybuilding and powerlifting – I switch back and forth. The bodybuilding helps me avoid being overweight when I lift and the powerlifting helps with the foundation I need to make “show” muscles for bodybuilding.
- Where are you located in Georgia and where do you train at?
I live in Northeast Atlanta and train at Adrenaline Gym in Chamblee – near my home.
- What is your occupation?
I am in the Hotel business. We own and operate 9 hotels in Tennessee, North Carolina, Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana, so I am on the road a lot.
- Do you find that your occupation interferes with competing or visa versa?
Thankfully, there are a lot of competitions, so when I have to miss one I can just look to the next one.
- How many years have you been competing?
I did my first bench press competition in 2001. After trying several raw and some with a shirt, I moved into bodybuilding. I really love both, so now I go back and forth because it’s hard to be strong when you are lean and it’s hard to be lean when you need to be strong.
- How did you get into powerlifting?
I was a runner looking for a hobby where I could save my knees for old age. I don’t know how to hunt, fish or play golf, so I just fell into weight lifting.
- What are your biggest squat, bench press, deadlift and total numbers?
I did a 315 squat in the gym 2 days ago and expect to do better in my next competition. I am stuck at 215 on the bench and my best dead lift was 345, but I had something left in the tank when I did that one. I will soon get my first 900# while weighing around 184-186 and then drop down to under 181 and do it again.
- What titles, records and achievements did you accumulate in your powerlifting career?
Lots of pretty trophies and certificates, but the truth is that most of the time there is no competition in my group.
- Can you describe your training philosophy and/or a typical training session?
When I do a powerlifting workout, I warm up, work up to near max, work back down for volume and then finish with auxiliary moves to support the smaller muscle groups.
- Do you compete equipped (squat suit, bench press shirt & deadlift suit) or unequipped (no suits) or both?
- What weight class(s) and divisions(s) do you compete in?
198 and 181. I did a couple at 165 right after a bodybuilding contest, but I don’t plan to complete at 165 again.
- What is your favorite lift, squat or bench press or deadlift or all three?
Tie – squat and dead lift.
- Who do you think is the greatest lifter of all time?
I will answer that in 10 years and the answer will then be Melton Harrell.
- When was your last competition & how did it go?
I did a Christmas lift with George Herring. It was fun.
- Do you have any upcoming competitions? If so, when and where?
I have several on my calendar; whether I make each one will depend on my Grandchildren and my work.
- How do you prepare for an upcoming competition?
I lay off heavy weights for a couple of days and then carb up Friday evening and Saturday morning.
- Describe your nutritional intake for an upcoming competition?
Just carb up Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.
- Is there anything you will do differently to prepare for your next competition that is different from your last one?
- How many meets do you compete in each year?
I hope to do 6-8 per year when I am not bodybuilding.
- 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 am not qualified to give much advise. I learned the importance of having a good belt and I am trying to learn some benching techniques from some of the better lifters. I would recommend that everybody stay off the steroids and put good health first.
- How has powerlifting changed your life?
It has provided a healthy hobby that I enjoy.
- Do you stay in touch with lifters you compete against?
No, but I hope to find someone that is a close competitor so that we can correspond and maybe work together.
- Why did you decide to compete?
I fell into it because I didn’t have other hobbies.
- What is your #1 or most prestigious meet you ever competed at in your career?
Each one is the most prestigious at the time.
- Do you compete in any other strength sports such as Olympic lifting, strongman, highland games, etc?
No; I did a bit of running until it hurt my knee, and I do some bodybuilding competitions – that’s all.
- What is your favorite memory from any powerlifting competition or event?
Each event is the favorite until the next one comes along.
- Anyone you would like thank for helping you along the way in your Powerlifting career?
Yes; my wife tolerates my habit, my muscle shirts and my bragging.
- Anything else you would like to add?
And I Thank you. - Melton