Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dissecting Strength: Q and A with Chad Aichs

I met Chad Aichs at the Sac Valley Highland Games a few years back.  He probably doesn't remember me, but he seemed like a cool cat and was very nice to all of us B level throwers.  I looked him up on the internet and found out that this man has to be the strongest individual I have ever met in person.  So I stalked...I mean found him on Facebook and befriended him.  He agreed to answer some questions through email.  A BIG THANKS TO A BIG MAN!  I really appreciate your time and effort in this questionairre Chad.

Here it is, the very FIRST "Dissecting Strength Q and A" segment with special guest Chad Aichs.

WSS:  How long have you been involved in powerlifting and highland games, and how did you get started?

CA:  I did my first powerlifting competition in 1997.  It was a bench only and I ended up raw benching 410 which got me second place.  The whole thing was on short notice and friends had to talk me into it but I had a blast.  Do to some moves and new jobs I didn’t start powerlifting serious until 1999.  I thought I could be pretty good at it and I had such a great time at my first meet so I decided to get serious and see what I could do.  I like to think I have done pretty well so far! Ha ha

As for highland games I can’t really the year I first did a competition, I am thinking 2007 or 2008.  I was visiting a friend on the east coast that is a really good masters thrower and he ask if I wanted to go practice with him.  I had a blast and beat him in a few events so I decided to find a competition to see what I could do.  I didn’t know all of the techniques and still hadn’t done some of the events but the games are really welcoming to new comers.  Luckily for me I was able to get by on my strength and did pretty good.  I haven’t really had the time to dedicate to it like I do powerlifting so I am not throwing at a pro level.  I have had the opportunity to watch and interview some of the pro’s though and they are totally amazing.  They are so athletic and explosive it’s just amazing to watch them do their thing.  I someday hope to be able to focus on it more to see what I could do.
WSS:  What are your best powerlifting numbers?

CA:  My best competition numbers are 1173 squat, 821 bench, 755 deadlift, and a 2733 total.  I did do a 1221 squat but didn’t quit hit depth so it wasn’t legal.  I also had my bench going really good and hit a 935 two board but while hitting my 900 opener a few weeks before the competition I tore my tricep really bad.  That is healed up now but still trying to get that strength back in it.

WSS:  How does your training regimen differ from training for powerlifting meets or training for highland games events?

CA:  Well I am unfortunately blessed with terrible sleep and terrible recover.  That plays a huge role in any of my training.  Even when I am full on powerlifting I have to watch how often I train.  When I train for the highland games recovery becomes an even bigger factor because I am trying to throw a few days a week on top of my gym time.  You really have to get that time in throwing and working on the technique.  You can be strong as hell but if you’re not hitting the right positions the power won’t transfer into the throw.   So I will end up doing fewer days in the gym.  You also have to take into consideration max effort vs speed work.  Yeah you may be able to squat a grand but does that transfer into throwing a 56lbs weight?  Answer, not so much. It is much more important to work your explosive or speed strength.  So I will back off max effort work all together or I will cut it to a 5 rep max instead of a full 1 rep max like usual.

WSS:  What's new on your website?

CA:  Well I hate to say it but not much right now.  It’s been hard to keep it current with everything going on in life.  I do have some new ideas I want to get working on for my site like more videos and a blog.  There is already a lot of cool stuff on it if you haven’t already checked it out and I will be trying to update it soon.

WSS: What's next on the calander for Reno's best powerlifter?

CA:  I don’t have anything on the calendar for certain right now.  I have decided to take some time to get a few nagging injuries finally taken care of.  My hip has been my biggest issue and has been really bothering me since my first 800lb squat many years ago.  I haven’t really had much time to let it heal with all the big meets I was doing.  Even in pain I still managed to put up some big numbers so I always just dealt with it.  Now I want to get it healed up or at least figured out.  Yeah I managed my best numbers being in pain from it but I wonder what I could do if I got it healed.  It has been a real big limiting factor for my deadlift.  I have also had a couple rough years with muscle tears.  I had that big tear in my tricep and tore my pec three times.  Those are pretty much healed but I need to build strength back up in them.

What tips or tricks do you have to share with those who are new to the sport of powerlifting and/or highland games?

The biggest trick of all and the one most people seem to ignore is technique, technique, technique!!!!!  I was able to beat many guys that were actually stronger then me because I am a very good technician.  Let’s put it this way; you can see a guy hunch over, round his back, let his butt up first, and he squats 600lbs.  He grinds it out and you think, wow he just did total max squat right there.  Not me! I think wow he has the strength right now to be a 700 or maybe even 800lbs squatter.  Then I think why the hell doesn’t this guy get his technique right?  He is strong and I am sure bust his ass in the gym but he is not lifting the weight he is capable of.  Isn’t the name of the game to lift the most weight you can?  Why would you want to squat 600lbs when you can squat 700?  Why not learn the right technique, understand the muscle groups being used, use the biggest strongest muscle groups for the lift, be safer, and be able to understand and fix your weak points.  Why not lift the absolute maximum you can, isn’t that why we train?

The same principles go for highland games too.  I am a perfect example of that.  I can lift more than any of the pro highland games thrower, but do you know who kicks whose ass in the highland games?  They destroy me!  Why, because they are more explosive and because they have perfect technique.  They use the momentum and hit the right positions to get all their strength into the throw.  They make it look effortless and they throw farrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!

So take the time to learn the technique of what sport you want to do.  I know sometimes it’s hard to check your ego and use less weight to learn it but it will pay off big time!  Nowadays there is so much information out there, utilize it.  Find guys that know what they are doing and listen to them, learn from them.  Strength sports are not just about brawn.  To be successful you need to use your brain too!   


-Favorite lift?     The Bench Press because its the easiest! ha ha Squat is probably my best.  I like the fear factor in both.  Deadlift is my least favorite, if you get in trouble you just drop it! ha ha

-Favorite highland games event?  The hammers.  I just love the power you can feel in your hips when you get it right.

-Favorite thing to do in your spare time?  Tie between Karate, photography, and riding my quad.

-Favorite cheat meal? LMAO there all cheat meals i am a powerlifter! ha ha

-All-time favorite supplement?  Any Cytosport product but all time is Muscle Milk.  Taste amazing and works amazing!

-Favorite type of music to get you jacked for competition?  Old school punk music.  training logs Chad Aichs

ChadAichs on twitter

chadaichs channel on youtube

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