Ray Williams recently came out of nowhere squatting a mind blowing 905 pounds, completely raw! Amazingly, this was only his second competition! In this in-depth interview, Ray reminds us just how powerful simple training and consistency can be.
LIFT: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? What are your current best lifts?
I am 26 years old. I have two sons by the name of Tae’Sean Williams and Daniel Singleton, and a daughter SaRaya Williams. I am married to a wonderful Georgia woman named Reunda Williams. I coach football at Itawamba Community College in Fulton, Mississippi, and at the moment my best squat is 905 lbs, best bench is 525 lbs in the gym, best deadlift is 700 lbs.
LIFT: How long have you been training? And what made you just recently start competing?
I don’t know if you can call what I was doing training. I was just lifting weights, and one day my brother (William Burrell) calls me and tells me that he had competed in the Alabama State Championship. That got my wheels turning, so I switched my training from just lifting weights to a more powerlifting style of training. My daughter is my motivation, I feel like what a better way to honor her memory than to compete for her.
LIFT: How much did you squat when you first started squatting properly?
I was squatting easily in the 700’s when I started competition style squatting.
LIFT: How quickly did you progress through the weights?
I progress slowly, only because I am not a fan of just doing big weight all the time. I feel like the best way to do big weight is to master what you can do at the time. Yes, there are a lot of people who disagree with how I train, but at the same time what works for me, works for me. Lately, I have gotten some advice from people that has helped me in reaching my goal of a Raw 1,000 lbs squat.
LIFT: What kind of training styles have you used in the past, and how did you like them?
As I stated earlier I don’t call what I do training, I just go and workout. I don’t go to the gym with the mindset that I am going to work on my squat today. I just go in, and lift weights like I always have. This is fun to me right now, and I don’t want it to become a chore, so I just do what I have always been doing.
LIFT: Will you always be a Raw (unequipped) powerlifter?
Yes, I like the challenge of knowing that it’s just me and the weight.
LIFT: Have you ever had to overcome any chronic injuries?
Yes, right now I am still nursing a pectoral strain, and my hips and quads are always sore, but I have to get my work in.
LIFT: I’ll assume your favorite lift is the squat. Why do you love the squat so much?
To me squat and bench are the hardest two lifts, because the weight is on top of you. I look at it like, if I go down with it, I am going to give my all to see that I stand up with it.
LIFT: In your mind, what are the common traits of a great squatter? What does it take?
Honestly, I have no idea, because I have seen guys who were different in every way be good at squatting. But if I had to guess it’s just the will not to be beat by the weight. The guys who finds a way when the weight is just too heavy, and still get the set done.
LIFT: What’s the story on Reddit sending your gym a squat bar so you could fit more weights on the bar?
I have the bar, and the first time I maxed out with it we could only fit 885 on the bar, but we got it done.
LIFT: Your goal is to squat 1000 pounds at nationals this year, what comes next?
Breaking the world record of 1,025.
Ok, lets go over some in-depth squat questions…
LIFT: Do you ever deal with pains, such as knee pains from squatting such massive weights?
No, I have not experienced any knee pain at all (knocks on wood).
LIFT: Do you do any type of assistance work for your squat?
I just make sure I train the other major muscles groups such as abs, and my lower back, because if your core is weak you will bomb on squat.
LIFT: Do you use bands or chains during your training?
No, I would like to, but the gym I workout in does not have those amenities.
LIFT: How do you keep your squat constantly progressing, what do you do when you stall?
As I stated before, master what you can do now, then move on. The way I workout, I never really stall because I don’t progress until I have mastered the weight I am on.
LIFT: What do you feel the best stance is for a squat?
I really don’t have a certain stance. I just pick the weight up and go.
LIFT: What about bar position, have you played around with high bar and low bar?
I have been doing high bar squat since I stepped into the weight room. I don’t know any other way.
LIFT: Toes forward or out? Does it matter?
I have to point my toes out because that’s also how I walk; with my toes pointed out. Toes forward just feels weird to me, because my toes naturally point out.
Thanks Ray for taking the time do to this interview with us, and we wish you good luck on your journey to squatting 1000 pounds, and smashing the world record! We are looking forward to watching you at this years USAPL raw nationals in July!
If that wasn’t enough, and you want some more, check out another recent interview of Ray over at 70’S BIG!
Ray smashed a 905 pound squat at only his second meet in February of this year. It was red lighted since he didn’t wait for the rack command. He wanted to attempt 1000 pounds, but they ran out of plates.
Here he is hitting an easy and deep 860 pound record breaking squat.
And here is his idea of “playing around”. Squatting 855 pounds.
Be sure to subscribe to his youtube channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/DueceFatt22