For Chad Hammond, keeping fit and competing in power lifting events is a way of life.
The 45 year old school teacher at Portsmouth High School has been around weight training pretty much his entire life. His father competed in powerlifting and now his son is competing.
Hammond is currently ranked fourth in the world in his age and weight class. He will be putting his rank to the test Sunday, as he goes to Orlando, Fla., for the World PowerLifting Championship.
However, Hammond does not limit himself to his class. He competes in the open class at the event, putting him beside the best of the best.
The powerlifting event is a score of three events which include squat, bench press and dead lift. Currently, Hammond said he is lifting 930 pounds on squat, 644pounds on the bench press, and 725 pounds on dead lift. Although he did not say what his son, Jon Royster, can lift in these events, he did say they might be the strongest father-son combination in the world currently. “I can’t verify it, but we have to be close,” Hammond said.
He said getting your body prepared for such an event is all about training. He said not only in the gym, but getting the proper amount of sleep and watching what you put into your body are huge factors as well. “You have to fuel your body appropriately,” he said. “You are what you eat. It plays a huge part in your training.”
Hammond said he eats six times a day, which includes protein and red meat, eggs, potatoes, rice. He noted the diet he uses is not the “body builder diet.”
Hammond said he trains four days a week for about an hour and a half to two hours each training session. He uses the conjugate training method which is two max effort days and two dynamic days.
At this time he is currently ranked 36th all time in the sport and hopes to reach the top 10 before his age starts working against him. He said training is the key to longevity but the reality is someday age will catch up. He noted most lifters max out in the mid 30s and he is 10 years senior to that age bracket already. “It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon,” Hammond said of training to be a world class powerlifter. “Those who train the longest get to be the strongest.”
Hammond started competing in the early 90s and took a hiatus for 13 years. He said the time off has probably held his numbers down but has lengthened his career in the sport. “I know my time competing is drawing close to the end,” he said.
This past summer he competed in the nationals in Chicago, Ill., where he placed 2nd and set the national and world records in his weight class (220) and age class for bench and total. “At the end of the day, the total is all that matters,” he said.
He had been coaching several sports at PHS including being an assistant football coach, but said he gave up coaching to maximize his time with powerlifting. He said he misses the kids he has coached. “I love what I do.”
Hammond would like to see more people take up an interest in the sport of powerlifting, noting that his son Jon, who is finishing up an eight year Army career, has already opened Diamond Strength Training Facility in Rubyville. He said it is a huge step to take, saying the facility is the best in the area when it comes to strength training.
“It’s not for everybody,” Hammond said. “It takes a lot of sacrifice and a lot of commitment.”
Reach Mark Richard at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1927, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org