Alright boys and girls, I am beyond excited to bring to you our next athlete in our spotlight series, Force Feeds. For those of you who don’t know I use to compete in the Highland Games back in the day. One of the very first interviews we did was with World Champ (now 2-time champ) Matt Vincent. Well for the past few years he has been going back and forth for world dominance with another good friend of mine Dan McKim. The past four World Titles in the Highland Games either sit with Matt or Dan. Both of these gentleman are exceptional athletes and some of the most explosive athletes I have ever seen, so I figured I’d show you all how the other half of the Highland Games Dynamic Duo does his thing, enjoy!
1.Thanks for chatting with us. Can you tell me a little bit about your sport/background? What were your first interests? How many sports did/have you participated in? How did you get to where you are now?
I grew up with two brothers and we all loved sports. We played everything from football and baseball to soccer and badminton; you know, the sports made for big guys. I threw shot put, discus and hammer in college where I was a DII NCAA All-American in the shot put. I had dreams of accomplishing a lot more than I did, as I think any thrower does.
2. What are some of your accolades you have collected to date?
2011 & 2013 Highland Games World Champion
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 US National Champion
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 US Open Champion
2011 & 2013 World Caber Champion
2012 & 2013 World Team Champion
Heavy Hammer World Record
Light Hammer World Record
Light Weight for Distance North American Record
3. How important do you believe food/nutrition is to being a better athlete? Any specific plans or ideologies you follow?
Through the last few years, I’ve grown to see its importance. For years I just figured I had to work harder and harder, not focusing on my nutrition. I look back now to the way I ate in college and in my first years post college and it’s time that I could have back. For me, it’s always been about how much I eat, and for a number of years I struggled with getting the right protein and caloric intake for the training I was doing. I’ve since corrected that, but it’s not easy. In my off-season, I’ll weigh 300-305 lbs., but it’s work. For me, in my sport, in this time of my life, I work to keep my weight and size up. Now, when my time draws to a close, I’ll cut weight down to a lighter me.
4. What does your supplement plan look like?
I’m not huge into supplements, but I take the regular stuff. Coffee, though, has become my pre-workout as my body was crashing doing pre-workouts. For years I’ve hated the taste of coffee, but I’ve grown to appreciate it. Post workout I do my protein, usually extra carbs (waxy maize starch is my favorite) and creatine. Other than that, I don’t do anything else. I should take more fish oil than I do (haven’t in a long time) and I was on a Zinc kick for a while, but I’m not really sure that did anything. For me the best results come in getting enough protein in my body through protein shakes and meat. Lots of meat.
5. What recovery techniques do you use if any? What have you found works best and what have you found useless/less effective?
In all honesty, aside from rolling my trigger points (for me it’s the scapula region and the butt) sleep is my best recovery. My wife and I have five boys ages seven and under, so I have a healthy dose of walks while they bike ride, wrestling, playing catch, and not sleeping. If I can get my sleep and eating in check, then my training goes incredibly better.
6. Walk us through a day in your life: what do you eat? When and how long do you train?
Man, good question. Wake up 4:30 a.m. or maybe 5:00 a.m., but for years I’ve been getting up at 4:30 or earlier. I nuke my pre-made breakfast of eggs and grits while my coffee brews. I eat my breakfast in my truck on the way to the gym. Once there, I have my quiet time (personal Bible study) and then lift for and hour and a half. From there I head to work. I’ll hit my snacks or “feeding times” at post-workout, 10:00 a.m., eat lunch about 12:30, snack at 3:00, dinner with the family about 5:30, and then usually another snack in the evening before bed. I play with the boys and put them to sleep at 8:00. From there I do the things I need to get done: website, social media, writing, house stuff, chill. I get to bed about 10:00 or 10:30 and usually wake up once or more with the boys. I’ve grown to live on less than the optimal amount of sleep for an athlete, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Now, during my season, I’ll also throw either during lunch or in the evening, so that makes my time that much more precious.
7. What’s the best piece of advice someone has ever given you in regards to training and getting stronger? Anything you would like pass on to someone trying to get where you are?
There are no shortcuts to reaching your goals. PEDs are so easily available to athletes today and it’s troubling to see not only how many strength athletes take them, but that they are so readily seen as acceptable solutions to getting to your goals quickly. It’s sad. My advice is that if you train hard, you’ll never be disappointed with what you’ve accomplished. To look back at the distance you’ve come and the sweat equity you’ve built in your training is a great and awarding place to be.
8. What is your favorite lift or body part to train? What is your least favorite lift or body part to train?
I love to press, especially bench press. This is largely because it has been my best lift for years. I love to train upper body and, conversely, find lower body movements more difficult for me. I’m a meathead at heart, so pounding out a few days of bench, curls, tris, and abs sounds good to me!
9. What is the most impressive feat of strength you have accomplished to date?
Sport wise, it has to be the two world records in the Scottish hammers and clearing 18 feet in the 56 lb. weight over bar, as only a few in history have done that, as well, including a few well-known names in the strength world: Zylstra, Kaz, to name a couple. Training wise, probably a 341 lb. hang snatch.
10. Plug time! What are some projects you are working on and is there anything you would like us to check out? Thanks for your time.
Please and honor to be here! I have a training manual out on Amazon. Behemoth: Power Training for Strength Athletes. I also have a fun book coming out before Christmas that is a compilation (including new episodes) of embarrassing and fun stories showing the life of a larger than average sized man. For that, and everything else that I outline from my training, competition schedule and updates, books, speaking, and life in general, you can follow me on FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram. Thanks for having me!