ADAM HAMDAM POWERLIFTER
In the underground world of teen powerlifting, there exists competitive athletes who have a passion for lifting big. These guys are ahead of their time by decades and the weight they throw around will motivate you to go just as hard. We were fortunate enough to meet one of these beasts and catch him for an interview while he’s prepping for his next contest. Check out the interview below!
Video: 520 lb Squat
Adam Hamdan is a 16-year-old competitive Powerlifter from Worcester, Massachusetts. Ever since he could remember he’s always been strong and aggressive. When he was in elementary school all the kids wanted to see how many push-ups and pull-ups he could do and occasionally he’d be challenged to an arm wrestling contest. He even remembers in 3rd grade we he was asked to draw a self-portrait of himself and he drew himself as a huge man with big round muscles and a thick neck. Of course all the kids laughed and the teacher asked him what he drew. His reply was “This is a self-portrait of what I will look like when I’m older.” Talk about being a visionary! Once he discovered the sport of Powerlifting in high school he immediately fell in love and knew this was exactly what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.
When he first got into powerlifting his max squat was 140 lbs, max deadlift was 225 lbs, and max bench was 90 lbs. His current lifts include a 500 lb squat, 430 lb deadlift, and 310 lb bench. The unbelievable part about it is he’s just 16 years old and weighs 190 lbs!
How did you get started in powerlifting and living a healthy lifestyle?
I started training for Powerlifting at the end of my freshman year of high school. I was 132lbs and the typical computer nerd. I stumbled upon some videos online and instantly fell in love. The chalk, the iron, the grunting, and the brute force. Powerlifting is such an ugly sport which is why I loved it so much. These men were lifting weight I couldn’t even fathom and I wanted to be just like them.
After that day I started eating food in class, carrying around a jug of water and doing whatever I could to put on some weight and get as strong as possible. Then sophomore year I entered my first competition. I was disqualified due to missing all my bench press attempts but it just fueled the fire to continue competing. January 20th, 2014 will be my 4th meet and I plan on hitting a 520 lb squat, a 290 lb paused bench, and a 430 lb deadlift.
What workout split/routine has helped you gain so much strength at a young age?
I started off on a “bro split” like most kids. Then a friend introduced me to “Stronglifts 5×5“, which is a beginner powerlifting program based around the squat. I did this program for about 8 months and combined with all the calories I was eating I grew big and my strength was shooting up incredibly. From there I started creating my own routine that I felt best worked for me. The progression of getting stronger every single day is addicting!
What motivates you to get better each day?
What motivates me to get better each day is there is another kid out there just like me, working his ass off. If I’m not progressing each day then my competition will surely pass me. So on those days when I feel tired or unmotivated, I tell myself that if I don’t get my lazy ass to the gym then that kid just got an advantage.
What does your diet consist of?
My diet is nothing fancy. If I had to list what my diet mainly consists of it would probably be meat, milk, and eggs. I keep my fats high to ensure my hormones are doing well and protein high for good recovery. I’m currently eating about 4000 calories each day.
What are some of your favorite exercises?
I would probably have to go with the big 3-bench, squat and deadlift. I learned to love these movements because my main priority as a powerlifter is to get as strong as possible in these lifts. For accessory movements I would have to say any variation of the bench, squat or deadlift is best. Some examples are the paused bench, front squats and deficit deadlifts.
What are your current plans and goals for the future?
My current goals and future goals are the same thing. Be one of the best powerlifters I can possibly be and help others along the way. If you want to make a name for yourself in a sport like I do then you have to help other people and give back to the sport.
Who are some of your favorite athletes in the fitness industry?
Some of my favorite athletes would have to be Dan Green, Eric Lilliebridge Jr., and Mark Bell. All my favorite athletes are powerlifters because this is really the only sport I follow. These are the people I want to be like. They have done so much for the sport of powerlifting and have inspired me the most to be the best I can be. I hope one day I’ll be lucky enough to train with them.
Do you take any supplements?
Currently I’m taking creatine, fish oil, and a multi-vitamin. I’ll have an occasional protein shake if I can’t get my hands on some food. Most supplements are bogus and I wouldn’t get too caught up in what to take. And yes I don’t take a pre-workout. I never have caffeine unless I really need it.
What advice would you give to someone who just started working out?
My advice would be to get scared and uncomfortable. Taking risks and stepping outside of your comfort zone is the only way you’ll ever know what you’re capable of. In my first competition I was so nervous of failing in front of a crowd. I knew that if I didn’t do it, then I would never amount to anything as an athlete, or even as a human being. My first competition I failed all 3 bench press attempts and was disqualified. I was so let down but I knew that I was born to compete and find out what I was capable of. It also helped me realize what I would need to work on for future competitions. So get off your lazy butt and do something risky!
Big thanks to all my friends and family for the support throughout these years!
Video: Bench Press Workout