James Townsend

Janurary 2016 - James Townsend

Please introduce yourself. Who are you? How old are you? Where were you born? Etc. Give the readers some background about yourself.

My name is James Townsend and I am 34 years old. I have been lifting since I was 12 years old. I was

born and raised in Brandon, Mississippi. I started lifting with football in the 7th grade and was immediately hooked. I did my first meet when I was 15 and have been a member of the USAPL since 1998. I was lucky enough to compete in college at Louisiana Tech University and to be apart of the rich history and environment of that program.

Do you compete equipped (squat suit, bench press shirt & deadlift suit) or unequipped (no suits) or both and what weight class(s) and divisions(s) do you compete in?

I compete equipped and I am currently in the 93 kg open class.

What was your last competition and how did you do?

My last competition was at USAPL Region 6 meet in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on December 12, 2015. I did well, I did the bench only division and went 3 for 3 and ended with a 205 kg bench.

When was your first competition?

My first Competition was in February of 1997. It was a high school regional meet in Mississippi.

How did you improve from your first competition to your most recent?

Well in that meet, I squatted 285, benched 265, and deadlifted 370, everything was raw back then.

What is your next competition?

2016 USAPL Bench Press Nationals

What do you plan on doing differently for that meet if anything?I will try to get the bench press shirt on more; I’m trying not to go more than 2 months without getting it own for a few weeks before the competition cycle starts 8-10 weeks out.

Where are you located in Georgia and where do you train at?

I live in Buford, GA but train in Johns Creek at GATA Barbell Club


What are your hobbies (other than powerlifting)?

Spending time with my wife, son, and dog. Watching movies and football.

Who is your role model and why?

Dr. Billy Jack Talton and Coach Matt Balis. Coach Talton coached me in college at Lat Tech and I worked for Coach Balis when I was a strength coach at the University of Virginia and Mississippi State. Both men were like father figures to me and pushed me to another level mentally and physically.

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

I am actually a pretty nice person.

Is there anything about powerlifting you would like to change or wish was different?

Yes, I wish there was a way to unify raw and equipped lifting back together. Over the last few years the 2 divisions have grown further apart, it would be nice to see them come together more on some level.

What is your occupation? Does it interfere with competing or visa versa?

I’m a strength and conditioning coach at GATA Training in Johns Creek, GA

Yes it definitely interferes with my progress as a powerliftfter because I work so much and am over the top committed to my profession, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

How did you get into powerlifting and how many years have you been competing?

Through football and I have been competing for 18 years

Are you involved in powerlifting in any way besides as a competitor?

Yes, I am currently the Head Coach for the USAPL Men’s and Women’s Open National Equipped Team. I have been involved with international powerlifting coaching for the last 13 years.

What are your biggest squat, bench press, deadlift and total numbers? And how do your best training numbers compare to your best competition numbers? My all time meet PRs regardless of bodyweight are: Squat 297.5 kg Bench 229 kg Deads 272.5 kg Total 772.5 kg

Training: Squat 635 lbs Bench 515 lbs Deads 590lbsx3

What advice would you give a new lifter just starting out?

Seek a coach and mentor in the sport immediately and be realistic with your approach and goals, make them achievable.

What are your short term goals now as a lifter?

To bench 210-215 kg at 93 kg at 2016 Bench Press Nationals

What are some long term goals you would like to achieve?

To make a masters world team once I turn 40 either with a 3-lift meet or a bench only meet.

Who is your favorite powerlifter of all time?

Ed Coan

Can you describe your training philosophy and/or a typical training session?

Undulating high frequency periodization

I lift 4 times a week on mon wed fri sat

Each day has 1-2 rounds of a bench or bench variation and 1-2 rounds of a squat or deads variation

What is your favorite lift, squat or bench press or deadlift or all three and why?

Bench because its always been my best lift but I really enjoy all 3

Who is the most impressive lifter you have competed against?

Competed against, probly Maxim Barkhatov from Russia at 2002 IPF Jr. Worlds

Do you have any rivals in powerlifting?

Not any more, I battled against Travis Werner in college which was a lot of fun.

If we're sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it's been for you, what would be the reason?

Top 3 finish at Bench Nats with 215 kg bench .

All of the lifters and teams I coach maximized their potential in 2016!!!!!!

Anything else you’d like to add?

I would like to thank everyone that has helped me along the way with training and advice from La Tech to Sherman Ledford at Quest and everyone in between !!!!!

View the Archives Monthly Lifter Spotlight Application