This interview was originally published on the 2nd of July, 2014.
Henry Thomason has set the Powerlifting world on fire over the last several years, with unbelievable poundages being
put up in the Squat with what looks like ease. Raw, Single Ply, and Multi Ply records have fallen by the wayside. I
messaged Henry several times through Facebook, and he always answered whatever question I had to ask thoroughly,
quickly, and to the point. When I mentioned I would like to send him an interview to fill out, he was only too willing
to answer any questions I had in mind. I hope you enjoy this interview.
T.B. – Firstly, thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview.
H.T. – Thank You, Mark
T.B. – For those of us who don’t know much about you, can we start off with some background info, like your age,
how you got started in powerlifting, athletic background, current profession, etc.
H.T. – I am 34 years old, I competed in High School & College Powerlifting, Football, & Track, & I am a Warehouse
T.B. – In your first comp, what were the weights you lifted?
H.T. – It was in 1997. My first High School Meet where I lifted 550 [squat], 305 [Bench], & 450 [Deadlift], all @
220 & raw.
T.B. – Was it “love at first sight” when you got involved in Powerlifting and you had no doubt you wanted to take it
as far as you could, or did this love for the sport develop over time?
H.T. – Mostly in high school , Texas is huge in powerlifting at the high school level
T.B. – When you got started, were you lucky enough to have a lot of people into Powerlifting who lived close to you,
or did you have to learn the ropes by trial and error?
H.T. – After highs school and college football I had no coaching. I was mainly trouble shooting by watching use
a video camera and went to a crazy about of meets to get help with my lifting.
T.B. – How long had you been training when you started hitting world records?
H.T. – I was Powerlifting 1996-2002, & 2007-now. I started hitting all time record in 2011 w/ 1058 single ply squat –
LA Fit Expo USPA/IPL .
T.B. – Can you please outline how you train, and has it changed much over the years?
H.T. – Mostly Westside Barbell Methods – I had to a change my training days for my work schedule.
T.B. – What do you think of the very popular training systems of the Russian super coach Boris Sheiko and the
American super coach Louie Simmons from Westside Barbell? I suppose you could add to that list Jim Wendler’s 5-3-
1, Brandon Lilly’s Cube method, Ed Coan’s methods, and any others you feel deserve mention.
H.T. – Whatever helps people get in the gym and train. If they can make some money doing it and also help people
reach there goals its great for the sport.
T.B. – How would you tweak your ideal training program for someone who can only train at most 3 – 4 days a week,
45 – 60 minutes each session, sometimes early in the morning, or sometimes late at night, and has a fulltime job /
family to look after?
H.T. – (1 day) Squat /Deadlift(ME) , (2 day) Bench (ME) (3day) Bench (DE) (ME & DE) keep your set no more than 5 sets x reps (2-3) add weight every time , change bars , bands , chains every
week , (DE) use 50% of your raw max work on your speed
T.B. – The great Russian Andrey Malanichev said in an interview recently, he only does Squat, Bench, Deadlift in his
training and runs 6 – 10 Kilometres a couple of times a week in his off season. What do you think about that?
H.T. – That’s greats if that type of training works for him, and he has a coach watching him all the time to correct his
T.B. – Do you think one can successfully mix and match parts of different training philosophies into one training
H.T. – Bench Training vs.. Squat /Deadlift Training – Yes.
T.B. – Is there one particular performance of yours that you are most proud of?
H.T. – Not Really. But every time when get to watch my high school kids I coach get on the platform its a special
T.B. – A change of pace now. The state of powerlifting has been quite fractured for some time now, especially in the
U.S.A., where there are dozens of federations. Would you like to see, and do you ever think Powerlifting will be in the
Olympics one day? If not, what do you think is holding it back?
H.T. – It would outstanding to have Powerlifting in the Olympics. Different feds are not the problem – its the “Money
and Ego” with the sport. If you can find a way to fix that it will happen sooner.
T.B. – You are known for out hitting massive Squats in different genres of Powerlifting, while making the Squat
“look” easy. Is it your goal to own the biggest squat in all genres at the same time?
H.T. – Yes, single ply 1102 and double ply 1300, and make legit, real squat depth … No BS calls!
T.B. – I hear you have had some injuries / health issues lately. How are all these issues, and when can we see you
back on the platform and in what genre of Powerlifting? Also, what drives you to compete?
H.T. – Blood Pressure issues, hamstring injuries, and dislocating a rib out for about year. I have a ton of support with
friends and family who won’t let me quit. And I can’t let my kids down.
T.B. – Looking back, what would you change in your training, if anything, to achieve even greater numbers??
H.T. – Not getting injured, and handling stress out side of the gym – that’s about it.
T.B. –Do you feel a responsibility to the people who do look upto you to help them out however you can, as Dave
Tate puts it “Live, Learn, & Pass on”, and if so, why is that?
H.T. – If they show up to the gym I can help, I can’t make you get under a bar, and for me its the same way about in
T.B. – In the 20+ years, and 70+ competitions I have been in, I have seen repeatedly how Powerlifters will help and
encourage each other, even the very lifters they are competing against on that same day! What is it that drives
competitors to support the person that could quite possibly keep them out of the medals, and do you think it is a
“Powerlifting only” thing?
H.T. – Its just the culture of the sport, if you don’t support each other, it will kill the sport.
T.B. – Nutrition – How important is nutrition for a Powerlifter and what did / does your nutrition look like? Are you
very particular with your own nutrition when competing?
H.T. – Health and recovery is key in the sport. Atlarge Nutrition is want use – / Protein / Fish Oil /Branched Chain
Amino Acids /Glutamine/ Creatine – once every day.
T.B. – I see so many younger guys taking all sorts of supplements, hundreds of dollars a month in some cases. How
important do you really think supplements are, and are they really needed if a lifter is getting a lot of good food, plenty
of sleep, & training his / her butt off?
H.T. – For most lifters just eat, lift, sleep and repeat, & add supplements on your training days (protein).
T.B. – What is the best advice you have ever received in regards to Powerlifting, why was it so valuable, and who
gave it to you?
H.T. – Have a goal, make a real plan, then work your ass off doing it …
T.B. – Do you think Powerlifters have gotten a lot stronger these days than the 60’s 70’ or 80’s, or is it just inflated
numbers due to extreme equipment used?
H.T. – Just a different type of lifting for each era of lifting, strong is strong.
T.B. – Who was the most influential person on your Powerlifting career and why was that?
H.T. – Sean Donegan – Founder Bad Attitude Gym, Showed me how to believe in myself and how to reach bigger
goals in life and in the sport.
T.B. – Would you like to plug your website or business?
H.T. – Titan Support Systems, Anderson Powerlifting, At large Nutrition, Proloc Collars, Dean Hill – Brightside
Consulting, Chuck McConnell- Nationals Rapid Response, Greg McCoy … Destination – Dallas Texas, Double
Muscle Gym, Kingdom Power Gym.
T.B. – Anyone you would like to thank?
H.T. – My family, friends, teammates, and all my kids, love you guys!!! SFW!!!