Tell me about yourself and your powerlifting history.
My name is Adam Mamola. I am 30 years
old, and live in Staunton, Virginia. I have a wife, Michelle and
two children, Ashley and a son Logan. I enjoy spending time with my
family on camping trips. I also like to fish and go to my kids
I began lifting weights in high school
for football and baseball. I weighed about 120 lbs, so I had to do
something to get bigger. In the 9th grade my brother,
Kevin convinced me to get into a local power lifting competition
between local high schools. I decided to give it a try and won
first place in the 123lb weight class. I have been hooked ever
since then and that was in 1994. My senior year I weighed about 150
and I squatted around 385lbs, bench 325-335lbs and dead lifted
480-490lbs. A year after graduating, I started my job at Coors
Brewing Company. I decided to concentrate on bench only, because I
was working a 12-hour rotating shift. Plus I really didnít like to
squat. Itís been a long slow and steady road since then, for me to
get to the point I am today. I have never really had any serious
Just in the past few years, I have
surrounded myself with the right people who have helped me have
Congratulations on being named to the IPF Bench World Team. Tell me
about that meet. Where and when is it? What does this meet mean to
Bench Worldís is basically the Super Bowl of Drug Free Bench Press
Competition. Itís a chance to compare you to the best of the best
in the World. It is a team that represents the USA. It will be
held in the Czech Republic in the city of Prague from June 25-28,
2008. It is the opportunity of a lifetime to compete against the
best of the best.
addition to the Bench Worlds, what upcoming meets do you plan to
one I have scheduled is the Bench Nationals in Charlotte, NC in Aug.
During the last couple of years, your bench has consistently been in
the low 500 range. What have you been doing differently in your
training to improve your bench to where it is now in the mid 500ís?
finally started lifting with my friend, Jake Heglar after the 2006
Nationals, when I bombed out with 465lbs. I had always lifted with
people who werenít as strong or competitive as me. Jake was on the
same strength level, within a few months he had me benching over
500lbs. It was always a competition every time we trained
together. Then two weeks after the NC state meet where he benched
518lbs, he was sitting along side the road on one of his custom
built motorcycles, that was having mechanical problems, waiting on a
ride to pick him up. He was hit by a 1-ton work van going 60mph.
He laid in a coma for almost a month and finally pulled through. I
was not going back to training by myself anymore, so that is when I
decided to get in touch with Bill Gillespie, the head strength coach
at Liberty University and one of the top drug free bench pressers of
all time. I have been traveling down there for about a year and a
half. Itís about and hour and a half one way but I have increased
my bench from the low fives to 551 lbs. And my numbers keep
climbing. The Titan Katana has also helped me get to this point
also; it is by far the best lifting shirt I have ever worn.
the Virginia Open, you benched 550 Lbs. The current U.S. National
record in the bench in your class is 551 Lbs. Tell me about your
strategy at the Battle on the Border and why you tied the record but
did not attempt to break the record.
compete against myself at the meets; my first goal is to get a good
lift in. Then to set a PR on my second attempt; then go big on the
last. At the VA open, I opened with 545 and then went 550 to break
the record. I got it and found out later the records hadnít been
updated and the record is actually held by Lance Kirchner at 556lbs.
At the Battle of the Border, my goal
was to figure a couple of shirts out. It was basically a tune up
meet for the Worlds. My first attempt was in an older shirt that
hadnít been used very much. I missed my opener so I put on my
Katana with 551 and was called for uneven lockout. I debated on
going to 557 but stayed at 551 to get a one-pound PR, which is
always my goal at competition.
Tell me about your partner and the obstacles that you have had to
overcome with his situation.
partner Jake is doing better now. He has begun to lift again. It
motivates me when he lifts with me. It also makes me think that we
should never take anything for granted. It is not a given, you have
to work for what you want. Always lift in training and competition
like itís your last time because you never know.
What do you do for a living and does it hinder your time in the gym?
at Coors Brewing Company in the Shenandoah Valley, VA. I work a
12-hour rotating shift. Yes it does hinder my time in the gym.
Sometimes I would like to be workout four times a week, but itís not
possible with my work schedule. I shove everything into 3 days and
it makes some my training sessions up to 3 hours long to get done
and all are at least 2 hours long.
affects your sleep pattern with the shift rotation, but I am not
complaining because it is what I choose to do. Itís a great place
to work and everyone is supportive of my lifting. Coors Shenandoah
is paying for my flight ticket and my hotel at the World Meet.
do you think is the best Bench Specialist today?
The two that come to mind to me that
are totally drug free are Mike Hara 560@165 and Dennis Cieri 633@
198. I think their numbers speak for themselves and they have been
putting big numbers up for a long time. There are many more great
bench specialist, but these two are the first that come to mind.
Where do you find your motivation or inspiration to push weight?
My motivation to
push big weight comes from myself. I am very competitive and itís
about the weights and me. Who will win? Iíve been doing this for
half my life and it still motivates me. Itís all about one on one
competition and against the weights. Itís in your hands to get