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 sporting events.

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 injuries.  

Just in the past few years, I have surrounded myself with the right people who have helped me have tremendous gains.

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 you?

The IPF 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.

In addition to the Bench Worlds, what upcoming meets do you plan to attend?

The only 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?

I 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.

At 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.

I 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.

My 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?

I work 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.

It also 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. 

Who 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 white lights.