Hunter Poole Interview

May 2011 - Hunter Poole

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.

My name is Hunter Poole and I am 20 years old. I am from Thomasville, Georgia, currently attending Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia. As a college student, I spend most of my time studying and working out. Some of my hobbies are swimming, throwing shot put and discus, strongman activities, and watching movies.

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

I am currently in Statesboro Georgia. Last year I saw a need at Georgia Southern for a powerlifting team. I met with school officials and created a Georgia Southern powerliting team, Georgia Southern Barbell. I train with everyone on my team. I also lift with people who are not in my group. I want to learn how to lift heavier, and more efficiently.

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

I am from a military family, and lived in Japan for 4 years. I have moved around all my life until settling down in Georgia close to my relatives at the age of 9.

4. What is your occupation?

I am currently a full time student at Georgia Southern University, and seeking a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, as well as Chemistry.

5. Do you find that your occupation interferes with competing or visa versa?

No, as a college student and athlete, I always find time to compete no matter how busy my schedule is. I always find time to lift. Powerlifting is a priority for me.

6. How many years have you been competing?

I have been competing for 6 years; I started when I was 14 with my first sanctioned meet.

7. How did you get into powerlifting?

I started off at the YMCA, and they said I was too young to use the free weights, so I bought my own at 12. Once I ran out of weights I bought more, and updated my equipment accordingly. I have always lifted since, and have never taken a break.

8. What are your biggest squat, bench

press, deadlift and total numbers?

Raw: 556 Squat 440 Bench Press 672 Deadlift = Total 1668

I am looking forward to breaking 1800 at my next meet and 2000 while I am in the junior division.

9. What titles, records and achievements did you accumulate in your powerlifting career?

I hold two world records in WABDL, four American records in the USPF, and recently set 4 American records for USAPL 18-19 275+ last November.

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

I train 4 days a week, two upper days and two lower days. One day is for strength and one day is for speed with a lot of board presses on upper body and box squats on lower body. I work my abs everyday I train. I use many different bars, exercises; I also use a lot of bands and chain work as well. I always use some variation of the big 3 during training.

11. Do you compete equipped (squat suit, bench press shirt & deadlift suit) or unequipped (no suits) or both? I have competed equipped and unequipped, but I am currently competing unequipped in USAPL.

12. What weight class(s) and divisions(s) do you compete in? Junior/open

275, 308, SHW

13. What is your favorite lift, squat or bench press or deadlift or all three? My favorite lift is the deadlift, because it always goes up for me no matter what, I have never stalled on my deadlift I always increase meet to meet.

14. Who is the most impressive lifter you have competed against? Back in 2005 I saw Jeremy Hornstra bench press 630 raw, which was the most impressive lift I have seen in person to date.

15. Who do you think is the greatest lifter of all time? I think Andy Bolton is the most impressive lifter of all time to squat and deadlift over 1000, and nearly 1000 on bench press says, a lot.

16. When was your last competition & how did it go?

My last competition was South Carolina’s annual “Battle on the Border meet”. I set a Personal best on every lift with every opener, and some more. I was very pleased with my 1668 total. It could have easily been higher, but I decided to take a chance at the American records that were in my reach, and came very close. They will be mine at my next meet.

17. Do you have any upcoming competitions? If so, when and where?

I am competing at the North Florida USAPI meet in Tallahassee, Florida; thirty minutes from home in October where I am working to break a 1800 raw.

18. How do you prepare for an upcoming competition?

I lift heavy as possible and hard as possible year round, I start benching with a pause two weeks out. One week out I stop lifting heavy, and when I compete in SHW I eat as much as possible the week leading up to the meet.

19. Describe your nutritional intake for an upcoming competition?

I don’t get to crazy over nutritional intake, as I do just being in the

right mindset, focused, and getting my training in order before the meet. I do try to consume more carbs leading up to the meet, which

seems to help my lifts.

20. Is there anything you will do differently to you prepare for your next competition that is different from your last one? Only difference is I will be using more, and more weight. If I stop seeing increase in my lifts, I will look at why, because I write everything down, so that when I see increase and decreases, I can pinpoint the cause of it, and figure out what works best for me.

21. How many meets do you compete in each year? Two to Three

22. Who is your greatest competitor/rival? My greatest competitor is myself, or whoever holds the record I want to obtain. Every time I go to the gym I am competing with my old personal best to try, and beat each.

23. What is your greatest memory from competing? At my last meet, I realized I had done something special when I saw all my teammates smiling about how well they had performed, and knowing that I brought us all together into one team, and made this happen was awesome. We all have the same goal and that is to lift as much weight as possible, and improve every time we lift, and knowing we did that was something special. I am very proud of my teammates and the Georgia Southern Barbell. It is one of my greatest accomplishments.

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 tell them to be consistent, and do not over train. A lot of people think more is better, and over train. Don’t get me wrong I work very hard, but there is only so much volume a lifter can handle, and overtraining will put your lifts back, and leave you injured faster than anything.

25. How has powerlifting changed your life?

When I started lifting it changed my life forever. Working out is my time to let go of tension, and not worry about anything else except for lifting. It makes me feel awesome getting under heavy weight and burying it all the time. The challenges I have faced with lifting have made me very mentally tough, and confident in my ability.

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

Yes I contact them via Facebook, and phone. We give each other advice, and update each other on recent training, and give advice over emails.

27. Why did you decide to compete?

I found a love for weightlifting from an early age, and caught on quick, I really wanted to showcase my skills, and see where I stacked up against the best there was. Once I had success it took off from there. Lifting also improved my mood, and confidence. I have never been a big fan of high reps so I took a liking to powerlifting.

28. What is your #1 or most prestigious meet you ever competed at in your career?

USAPL’s Battle on the Border was the biggest meet I have been to so far, and had more lifters than any meet I have been in.

29. Do you compete in any other strength sports such as Olympic lifting, strongman, highland games, etc?

I do some strongman activities on the side. I love the farmer’s walk, yoke, and atlas stones. I think strongman is a completely different animal than powerlifting, but it has its place in training, and has some good carryover for me.

30. What is your favorite memory from any powerlifting competition or event?

Setting records, and watching all my hard work turn into the best I can be.

31. Anyone you would like thank for helping you along the way in your Powerlifting career?

I would like to thank my parents first and foremost for helping me obtain all the resources’ necessary for my success. If I didn’t have the parents I do in my life, things would have been much tougher; my parents have set me up for success. I would also like to thank my trainer John Fahey for teaching me how to train smart, and teaching me your training knowledge. I would also like to thank every member of Georgia Southern Barbell for their support: Nick Coker, Jacob Capra, and Tyler Redd for pushing me to a whole new level in the gym. Thanks to Nicole Wanco for supporting and encouraging me.

Anything else you would like to add?

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

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