Friday 18 June 2010

Friday's fare thee well moment

Here are the latest installments from my series of interviews where I talk to Pat Mendes, who is training to become Olympic champion. He discusses the physical and mental process of his journey and hopefully you will enjoy watching it.

When people discuss Pat, the issue of steroids is raised every time and what is not realised, is just how much time, effort and dedication have gone into his training. Pat has put everything in his life on hold for the last two and a half years in order to become a world champion. Everything that we take for granted in life such as going out with friends whenever we want, college, romance and even the feeling of vitality every day-- these things are not applicable to Pat. He has dedicated his life one hundred percent to achieving his goals. There is no luck in this equation; every fibre of his being is invested in becoming Olympic champion. Can people like us relate to this? No. Pat's progress is one of the major reasons that people assume he is taking drugs, as is his lack of competing in a tested competition in the last year and a bit. As I said before, it is not my job to explain his and John's decisions and quite frankly, it is none of my business either.

Aside from the fact that Pat is simply a really nice guy, the main reason I conducted these interviews with John's lifters and the equally hard working lifters in California Strength, is so that we can change our perspective on what is possible. Glenn Pendlay and John Broz have dedicated a major part of their lives to the sport as have the lifters I trained with. They are professional lifters, but their mindset is different and Pat's is almost even more intense again.

I will be away for the next few days on a non weightlifting holiday. I can't remember the last time I went without a week of training, but I will rest up and enjoy it. I will be back the night before the Leinster Open on June 26th and I am really looking forward to competing and enjoying myself. When I come back I shall finish off my series of interviews with a John Broz four part finale.

Some of you may know already that I am starting up an athletic performance centre and weightlifting club in Bray. It is going to be called East Coast Barbell and it is around 20-30 minutes from Dublin, depending on what time of day one is travelling at. We shall be opening up around the beginning of July, so my summer shall be dedicated to training as hard as I can and turning East Coast Barbell into one of the best training centres in the country.


Anonymous said...

We should have an East Coast Barbell Vs TeamWoking Vs SquatHouse Club annual competition :D


PS I'll check out the video at home. I've been really enjoying them man!

Anonymous said...

I'm really not qualified to shine Pat's shoes but reading your post an old Charlie Francis quote came to mind. "When people say they don't need drugs because they train hard they are stating a contradiction(sic). It is the drugs that ALLOW you to train hard"

That said, if Pat IS on gear it wouldn't change my opinion of him in the slightest. There are only a handful of men who have ever snatched 200+ and it is doubtful that ANY were clean!


Shane said...

Enjoying the interviews Barry. Keep em comin.

Hope East Coast Barbell works out well for you and Sami.

Talk soon,


Erik Blekeberg said...

Awesome work Barry. One day you will have people visiting your gym and doing interviews with you. Sorry I missed you coming out to Average Broz. The Donnie Shankle interview is the best.

He is the Moses of weightlifting.

Trevor Coen said...

Great news on East Coast Barbell!!

Anonymous said...

Great videos!

One question for future interviews -- what recovery methods, if any, do people at the elite level use?

I've heard of people outside the US who train every day in demanding sports like Brazillian Jiu Jitsu using post-workout ice baths to allow them to train hard, drug free. I've also hear of European weightlifters using ice baths, which can be something as simple as filling a large barrel with ice cold water & ice cubes and getting in for a few minutes. I'm not a medical researcher, so I don't know if they're less or equally as effective at speeding up recovery (vs. anabolics).

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