LIFT: Can you tell us a little about yourself, give us a little background? (Injuries, issues you have overcome, etc)
I come from an athletic background, growing up I was constantly doing something with sports. I started working out with weights as early as 8 or 9 years old, and faintly remember doing 500 decline situps a day for a period of time while being in 3rd grade.
During my elementary years is where I developed much of the discipline I have today that I use with weight training and powerlifting. As I got older I began seeing strongman competitions on t.v. more often and it always caught my eye as something I could do. I began training and competed in my first strongman contest when I was a freshman in high school. I got extremely big for that and eventually reached my peak weight of 290+ lbs following my sophomore year. I then decided to dial back my strength endeavors and pursue basketball more seriously for my last two years of high school. The endurance training aspect of basketball made me very small, and I ended up graduating high school at around 180lbs at nearly 6’3.
After high school I took up powerlifting seriously, and made very good gains. With in the year following high school I gained nearly 100-200lbs on major powerlifts. Since then I have been making slower gains and dealing with occasional injuries. I have had both my pecs torn, and deformed, so that can really hinder my bench training, and I have tore/pulled either hamstring 5 times. To overcome this I simply rehab it and put it in the back of my head. Thinking too much when performing heavy lifts following a hamstring tear can be an obstacle to get over but eventually I am able to overcome this each time.
LIFT: What are your other hobbies or interests?
I still enjoy basketball a lot. Try not to play too much as it really does not help with strength and is extremely catabolic.
LIFT: What made you decide to pursue powerlifting?
I’ve always trained around powerlifters and I like the weight class aspect of the sport. Also Being strong is very fun 🙂
LIFT: What does your training look like?
My training is constantly changing depending on when I have a meet coming or what is my current goal or purpose for training. I usually squat or deadlift heavy every Saturday with the Pro gym powerlifitng team, and that stays pretty consistent throughout the year.
LIFT: Are you planning to focus your training around deadlifts?
Yes and no. When I train my squat It only helps my deadlift really so i may not be getting as many deadlift days in when I gotta have heavy squat days too, but they really go hand and hand.
LIFT: What assistance exercises do you feel have the most carry over to deadlifts?
Depending of course where a persons weakness is, I think RDL’s, deficit pulls, and squats for reps to be great deadlift assistance exercises. I have done others as well such as seated rows, pullups and ham curls, but the first three seem to have the greatest effect.
LIFT: Do you do any other forms of exercise outside of the gym?
I do sled drags at home pretty often, I feel these are great for injury prevention and mobility. The more often the better really. Right now the cold kinda makes it suck though (Illinois winter).
LIFT: How do feel having a training partner(s) affects your lifting?
Having solid training partners only helps really, training at Pro gym with the Lilliebridges (Eric, Ernie Jr., Ernie Sr.) is a great environment, and now having Pete Rubish and George Leeman there more often. Hard not to get stronger with some of the best powerlifters in the country all going to the same gym.
LIFT: What is your mindset before approaching a new personal record?
I prefer to be hyped up as much as possible and be as confident as possible. I tell myself to make the lift look as easy as I can.
LIFT: What is your diet like?
My diet is really healthy. I don’t eat much junk food at all and have a slow enough metabolism that just eating more healthy carbs can put weight on me I don’t really need to go to crazy. Usually the week or two before a meet I will eat anything I want though and gain 10-20lbs.
LIFT: Do you feel there is a powerlifter that has influenced you and your training the most?
No I never have tried imitating anyone in any aspect of training. I understand that everyone is different, what works for one may not work at all for another.
LIFT: What are your most memorable moments thus far?
Getting an 800 deadlift in a meet was a great moment. The meet was kinda last minute, and I didn’t train for it, and went in and pulled 800 with some lbs in the tank too.
LIFT: What drives you as a lifter?
Making progress and being better than yesterday whether leaner or stronger or faster. Just my desire of getting better and being better in someway always drives me.
LIFT: What are your goals for the upcoming year?
My goals for the year are to squat over 750lbs and deadlift over 850lbs. My next meet will most likely be March 16th at Progym in Oswego IL.
LIFT: Is there anything you would like to see change in powerlifting?
The emphasis on being huge to the point of not taking care of yourself, or personal health is something I would like to seen change a little. I would like to see more leaner, and healthier powerlifters.
Chris Hickson’s 800lb Deadlift at 238lb 18y/o:
Chris’ Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/chrishickson
Chris’ Website: http://chrishickson.com/
Chris’ Facebook Fanpage: http://www.facebook.com/thechrishickson