Lessons From A Champion Powerlifter
Buddy McKee hasn’t followed a typical path. It’s been an exceptional path, covering multiple sports, various powerlifting records, NFL free-agent, competitive bodybuilder, full-contact karate (before MMA was in vogue), teacher, and coach. And if that weren’t enough, he even recorded a hit song he wrote and sang (#80 on the national charts many years ago). [For a more complete bio, scroll to the bottom of this article.]
Buddy is STRONG. His in-meet records are Squat – 810 lbs. Bench Press – 600 lbs. Deadlift – 622 lbs. And of course, in the gym he’s lifted even more.
He’s held various titles and records recently in the over 50 class. And, at the prime age of 54, he’s still competing and 2010 may hold a couple of new records for Buddy.
I talked with Buddy a couple weeks ago, and he was kind enough to let me record the call and share it with you!
The tool below lets you listen to streaming audio of the interview. LeanLifters will get the full MP3 download via email.
Some of the highlights:
– training for strength and power is different than training for bodybuilding
– age is not as big of a barrier as you might think
– deadlift like a squat
– tons more on the call
Also, Buddy has just opened his own small powerlifting gym and is looking for potential teammates for their powerlifting team. If you are in the Alabama area, and are interested, contact Buddy at firstname.lastname@example.org . [He’s in Rainbow City, about half way between Birmingham AL and Atlanta GA.]
Here’s more about Buddy, in his own words:
I started weight training at age 14 for football. I played from Jr. High (my 1st year weighing 125 and my present height of 5’10”) through High School, making All-County. I also played basketball, baseball and track & field (miler and discus thrower). I later played football at Jacksonville State University. I later was an NFL free-agent fullback invited to camp by Atlanta. And later played semi-pro football with the Alabama Raiders. I was a competitive bodybuilder for a stretch of 10 years. During that time I also boxed for a while and fought MMA (Full Contact Karate then) and started competing in powerlifting. I won the USPF Alabama State Powerlifting Championships in 1986 as a 242er at age 30. Then I stopped competing to return to college and finish my degree and started teaching and coaching football and basketball.
During this time out of competition I rekindled an old interest in music and started singing and songwriting, finally getting a contract with Sims Records in Nashville. The title song from my “Arms of Love” album went to # 80 on the national radio charts and was #1 at 3 stations and “Song of the Year” at the station in Johnson City, Tn.
I retired from singing about the time I returned to the bodybuilding stage in 2001 -2002 placing second in the NPC Coastal USA and NPC Southern Classic. I returned also to powerlifting as a masters (over 40) athlete while still competing in open class (all ages) divisions as well. The powerlifting comeback has been very successful and I’m still full steam ahead at almost 54. I’ve won 12 Masters World Championships and as high as 2nd in Open World competition. I’ve won several state and regional masters and open competitions as well. I have broken 16 Masters World Record and 18 American Records. My best meet lifts to date are: Squat – 810 lbs. Bench Press – 600 lbs. Deadlift – 622 lbs. Total 2006 lbs.
I am a sponsored athlete by Titan Support System Inc. of Texas. I am very active on several powerlifting websites answering questions and giving advice on training and powerlifting equipment, nutrition and technique. I am married to my wife Pam, who I met in the gym! We have 7 ‘grown children between us and 9 grandchildren with #10 arriving in January. We are about to put a private powerlifting training facility on our property to train and put together a competition team called ‘Monster Barbell’ and we are very excited about this. In my last 2 meets at age 53, I squatted 810 (#9 on the USA open rankings for the year) and bench pressed 529 lbs. (the biggest single ply press in over 50 history). The next month I competed in the raw division (no support gear) of the APF Georgia and broke the All-Time over 50 raw squat record with 650 lbs. and just missed 705. I also had the all-time >50 total record but the legendary Mike Bridges broke it a week later (I want it back!). I have been ranked #1 over 50 in the U.S. in 2005 – 2007 – 2008 in my weight class. My primary goal for the coming year is to win my 13th World Title at the WPC Worlds in Finland with the biggest lifts yet of my career.