USAPL-NY would like to spotlight some of the stand-outs in the state. We will feature a new lifter each month, and ask them some random questions to get some insight into what makes them tick…..
This month’s featured lifter is Walker Bradshaw.
So a little about me, my name is Walker, I’m 25 years old and a 105KG raw powerlifter in the USAPL. I live in Head of the Harbor on Long Island, I just finished getting my degree in Applied Mathematics this past December and I just finished my first year competing in Powerlifting! It’s been a pretty awesome journey so far, in under a year I went from never having stepped foot on a platform to placing 2nd at the Arnold.
A little about Walker Bradshaw
Home City: Head of the Harbor,NY
Question and Answer time!!
USAPL-NY: What got you interested in Powerlifting?
WB: Well, I distinctively remember one day waking up, stepping on the scale after having not trained in months (I was a competitive rower back in the day) and thinking, “Oh sh*t.” For context, I was about 165-170lbs for rowing, and at the time had managed to get up to around 235lbs (a weight I would happily take on any given day now lol.) Fast forward a year or so, I had found a book by Tyler English that detailed macros, and work out routines. I used that to help get myself back down to around 170lbs, however, my training was still not geared towards powerlifting. Call me crazy, but somehow I was running 5 miles a day at a 6-6:15/mile pace as my “warm up” to lifting. One day, a friend of mine at the gym informed me that there was a sport where all you do is squat, bench, and deadlift, and no cardio. “You mean to tell me they give people medals for my three favorite exercises?” Thus began my interest in Powerlifting. I started off loosely following a poor interpretation of cube method, but because I focused more on weekly improvements rather than percentages, I actually made some solid progress. Not long after, friends of mine at the gym had signed up for a USAPL meet and encouraged me to finally compete.
USAPL-NY: Where was your first meet?
WB: My first meet was the USAPL Westchester Championships back in May 2016, I took first place totaling 740KG.
USAPL-NY: What have you learned since that first meet?
WB: Quite a bit. How to cut weight, better technique, etc, but above all, just to train every session with meet standards in mind. I think people are a little delusional when they squat high their entire meet prep thinking they will magically make it work come platform time. You’re going to have a much easier time competing if you slow everything down. Practice better walk outs, let the bar settle, hit depth. Pause your benches, even at the top, give yourself some time to envision the start command. Stuff like that has helped me more than anything, and I even find that I make more progress using lighter weight, but stricter standards.
USAPL-NY: What goals do you have for the future?
WB: My goal is always to just be better. It’s how I approach the platform and it’s how I approach my training. To be honest, I’m not even the biggest fan of competing. I’m always looking toward the future and pushing the numbers further. If I bench 365×8 this meet prep, I want to bench 385×8 next prep, and I am constantly looking forward to stuff like that. As far as platform finishes and number goals, I’d love to eventually win nationals or the Arnold and 2000+lb total at 105kg would be cool.
USAPL-NY: What is your favorite lift and why?
WB: My favorite lift changes like the weather. It just boils down to what’s feeling the best at the time. Right now that would be deadlifts. I’m really liking my technique right now, and the numbers are starting to explode.
USAPL-NY: What is your least favorite lift and why?
WB: Probably the bench press, only because I enjoy squatting more.
USAPL-NY: Do you follow a specific training program? And if you do what is it?
WB: I train under Chad Wesley Smith using block-styled undulating periodization. Say that five times fast. He sorts out all the fancy undulations, but in English, training intensity is always increasing, and every now and then I’m blessed with a deload.
USAPL-NY: Do you lift as part of a team? Who are they and how did you become part of that group?
WB: I lift as a Team Juggernaut athlete (through CWS.)
USAPL-NY: What advice would you give any new lifter young or old?
WB: Try and learn something, whether it be a new cue, or something an elite lifter you follow does, just something, anything, and try and incorporate it into your next training session. There are so many cues and things you need to do to execute a lift properly that it’s easy to become overwhelmed especially as a beginner. Pick one thing and practice it. When it becomes second nature, pick something else. Eventually, you’ll find that you’ve become quite good.
USAPL-NY: Tell us something about you that others in the PL world don’t know about you?
WB: I love to travel, explore new places, and I like things that go fast. I’ve raced around the Nurburgring in a 911 cup car, jumped off frozen waterfalls on skis, and zip lined through the jungles of Costa Rica. My girlfriend says I’m an adrenaline junkie, haha but it’s all for fun.