Cameron Mackenzie is an Aussie Powerlifter. We caught up with Cam to discuss how he got involved with the sport, his insane records, nutrition, and of course training.
So how does Powerlifting differ from Weightlifting?
Powerlifting is a sport where each athlete has three attempts at the squat, bench press and deadlift where the heaviest successful attempt of each lift gets combined into a total. The heaviest combined total in a specific weight class wins but a Wilks coefficient plugs your body weight and what you weigh into a formula and puts out a score so we can compare a 120kg male to a 55kg female.
Powerlifting is more of a static strength sport where we can move heavier weights slower while Olympic weightlifting is extremely explosive and they move their weight incredibly fast with both of their disciplines finishing overhead.
What drew you to the sport of Powerlifting?
I always knew I was strong, but never really knew how strong in comparison to others. So when I had the offer to train with experienced powerlifters at the age of 18 I never looked back. So I guess you could say it was an opportunity that drew me to it but it was my ability and the joy of lifting heavy shit that kept me in it.
You hold a lot of records, which one are you the proudest and why?
I would have to say my 363kg Junior World record deadlift. In 2014 I held the record at 340kg and it was beaten and increased to 362.5kg. It wasn’t until December of 2016 where I beat the record on my very last attempt as a Junior athlete (under 23 years old) because after that I would not have been eligible to break the record.
Can you give a brief overview of your powerlifting training for a week?
I train a little bit differently to a ‘normal’ powerlifter. I still try and incorporate my bodybuilding training into my powerlifting schedule because it was my first passion and I love and enjoy it so much. So for me I typically squat 2 times per week, bench 2-3 times per week and deadlift once. On each of those session I like to focus on 1-2 specific muscle groups in a bodybuilding fashion. Some would refer to this type of training as power building.
What’s your nutritional strategy? Can you give us a typical daily intake?
I like to consume 4-5 meals per day with a relatively even intake of protein per meal. I am a big believer in consistency long-term and for that to happen, what you are doing must be sustainable. To make my diet sustainable, I use the 80-20 rule where 80% of my diet is high quality whole foods that most people would commonly think are ‘healthy foods’ along with 20% of my diet where I get to eat WHATEVER I want. Now on some days this can be more whole foods, some junk food or something in between. Overall I’m consuming around 4500-5000 calories to maintain my bodyweight.
Any tips for readers who might like to give powerlifting a try?
The key piece of advice I give EVERYONE I speak to who asks about powerlifting is to just sign up for a comp as soon as you can and give it a go. The longer you um and ah about it, the longer you put off doing one of the best things you’ll ever do in a community that wants to see everyone that joins it succeed. I can truly say I’ve never seen a sport with such a strong sense of community as powerlifting.