It could be fair to say that Viking Supplements interviews to-date have always focused on the big strength athletes, however you dont need to big to be strong. The interview below is a case in point. Todd Whiter is 18 years old and competes in the 60Kg class in the Drug-Free Powerlifting Federation. His Deadlift may not seem much at 160kg to a heavyweight strength athlete, but when you consider this is almost 3 times his bodyweight, and that he is only 18, it becomes very impressive.
Lets speak to this strong young man:
PB: How did you get into Powerlifting?
TW: Last year I read about the National Drug Free Powerlifting Championships, which were being held in Merimbula, so I went along to watch. I was interested in the Sport and spoke with Austin Morrison (the local trainer) at the event and he encouraged me to come along and do a few sessions of training with the team and I haven’t looked back. I trained 2 and 3 times per week for 9 months before I entered my first novice qualifier event and have now competed in the NSW State Championships and the National Championships.
PB: What is your biggest and proudest achievement to date?
My proudest achievement was my recent deadlift at the Drug Free Powerlifting National Championships where I broke the National Record for 18-19yr Male, 60kg class with an unassisted lift of 150kg. I was lifting really well that day and felt I still had more in me, so on my 4th lift I focussed and lifted and I broke my National record again with a lift of 160kg.
PB: What are your best lifts in competition?
TW: 160kg deadlift , 72.5kg bench press, 102.5kg squat, 335kg total
These are all National Records in the Drug Free Powerlifting 18-19yr Male, Unassisted class.
PB: What do you like the most about the sport?
TW: I like to set myself a goal and then work towards achieving that goal. It has given me a place to focus my thoughts and my energy and it amazes me what I can achieve with my body naturally. I know that I have a lot more potential in me and I am enjoying the journey that Drug Free Powerlifting is taking me on. I also enjoy the team spirit we have in our Association. Our training sessions are hard but fun and always conducted in a friendly atmosphere and we draw on each other’s strengths as needed. I find the training sessions are a good stress relief.
PB: What are your goals in powerlifting over the next year?
TW: I have set myself a goal to achieve the World Record in my class for the DeadLift – 180kg.
I plan to also squat 135kg and increase my bench press to 100kg.
PB: Where do you train?
TW: The Merimbula team trains with Austin Morrison in his private gym at his house. We have a Squat rack, Olympic weights, Bench Press, Barbells and Dumbbells.
PB: How many days a week do you train?
TW: We train 3 days per week in the gym, but I watch my diet carefully all the time.
Our trainer mixes up our training sessions focussing on the specific muscle groups we use with our three main lifts. Mondays we squat and Bench Press and Thursdays we Deadlift.
PB: Who has been the biggest driving force for you in Powerlifting?
The Merimbula team of Powerlifters make the training atmosphere so enjoyable that I look forward to our training sessions. I find their enthusiasm and their confidence in me, inspires me to push myself even harder. This increases my motivation to lift even more.
PB: Which strength athlete do you look up to the most and why?
TW: Matthias Steiner, the Austrian-German Olympic Gold Medal Weightlifter. He went through a really hard time personally, losing his first wife in a car accident and confronting his own health problems, he was able to channel all of this emotion into his training. Matthias had a lot of emotional and physical strength and when he lifted in the Beijing Summer Olympics his Personal Best lift by 8kg to take the Gold Medal was inspirational and I identified with him.
PB: What would you say to encourage more young people to get into the sport of powerlifting?
TW: Drug Free Powerlifting is a good sport to be involved in as it allows you to find your focus through the training required. There is a lot of personal goal setting and personal achievement in bettering your own weight lifts and if you have the dedication this will also include Lifting Records at State, National and World level. It is also a sport which opens up new friendships with like- minded people. Drug Free Powerlifting is always looking for new people to take up this sport, and it can be done at any age and in any weight class. Unlike other sports Drug Free Powerlifting does not require a large outlay in equipment.
PB: Thanks Todd.
Read our other strongman/powerlifters interviews: