This is an interview I did with Jared Enderton for WhyAmIUnhealthy before I switched domain names…
Today I had the pleasure of doing an interview with pro weightlifter and 2016 Olympic hopeful Jared Enderton!
Just in case you’re not already familiar with Jared, allow me to introduce him before we begin the interview.
Jared Enderton, a native of Graettinger, Iowa is a nationally ranked weightlifter in the United States. He has spent the last 2 years training in San Francisco, CA and Las Vegas, NV. Jared is now at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado training to try to qualify for the 2016 Olympics. Jared has been involved in athletics all his life. As a high school wrestler in Iowa he won a state title and also earned All-American honors as well as Academic All-American honors. Upon graduation Jared completed his B.A. in Exercise Science at the University of Northern Iowa.
Jared’s certifications include: B.A. in Exercise Science, American Council on Exercise (ACE), Crossfit Level 1 (CF-L1), and USA Weightlifting Sports Performance (USAW-L1). He also qualified for the 2011 World University Games in China. Jared has over 100 published articles relating to fitness and nutrition online to date.
He recently moved to Colorado Springs, CO to train at the Olympic Training Center! He will still be doing seminars and also keeping this website as up to date as possible!
Jared Enderton Interview Full Transcription
…HIF: So how long have you been lifting for?
JE: I started back in 6th grade but I don’t know if you’d call that training.
HIF: What is that, like pushups and jumping jacks or actually hittin’ some weights?
JE: Actually hitting some weights. My dad got me lifting pretty hard, pretty young but you know it was a lot of bench press stuff which my shoulders hate me for right now.
I didn’t really train seriously until after high school. Back then I won state, wresting in Iowa and got 3rd twice. But deiced I didn’t want to wrestle so it would’ve been 2007 to 2010 I did strongman.
Then from 2010 til now 2013 I’ve done weight lifting. So just about 6 years seriously of strength athletics.
HIF: That’s very cool man, how old are you?
JE: I’m 24.
HIF: Oh, you’re a youngster![I’m only 24 =)] So you haven’t even been in this as long as a bunch of the other guys that are in it right? When did you realize you were going to try and compete in weightlifting during the Olympics?
JE: It probably would have been only about 2 years ago. When I first started, it’s just kind of like when you pick up new sport its fun and exciting and then it wasn’t really until about 2 years ago where I thought, “hey you know I might actually be able to be good at this eventually” and started taking it more seriously.
So the day after I graduated college from the University of Northern Iowa I moved out to California to train. I moved to San Francisco to train for the 2012 games which I didn’t make but obviously I’m still trying to train through 2016.
HIF: So how does that work, can anybody just show up and try out or is this invite only?
JE: As far as training at the center?
HIF: For the center & the actual Olympics.
JE: Both are kinda different processes.
The center is usually invite only. It really all depends on your national standings and how you’ve been doing at national type meets. They take a lot of factors into account though. They have like a Polish coach now so he likes a lot of younger guys and he evaluates everything. Body structure, height, weight, how long you’ve been lifting, overall potential and those types of things. It’s an interview process really, and they have you go through different stages but it’s more or less if you’re good enough they’ll probably bring you on.
As for the Olympics it’s a full 4 year process. The first couple of years your just trying to position yourself to try and get close to 2016 with your national meets qualifying you for international meets. So there’s like 8 guys that go to international meets and out of those 8 you’ve got to be in the top 2 or 3 for pound for pound strength.
HIF: Wow, that’s intense man.
JE: It is, it is.
HIF: My recording was messed up in the beginning will you tell us the events that you’re striving to compete for in the Olympics?
JE: The events are the snatch and the clean and jerk. Just two lifts.
HIF: Very cool, so that’s it, the snatch and clean and jerk. So is that what you hit all year long? How does that preparation work for you?
JE: Yep, those are the only two lifts that they test. In training of course, you do squats, deadlifts, presses et cetera. I mean you do a lot of accessories for it but those are really the only 2 lifts you specialize in.
HIF: You said for the international meet you have to rank in the top 2 or 3 but what happens if you don’t, that’s it you’re gone? Or do you keep training with the team, how does that work?
JE: That really depends, I had a couple of really good buddies that were out here for a good 6-8 months at the training center and went and bombed out at a national event, meaning they just didn’t complete any of their lifts and had an off day. When they got back a few days later it was like Wednesday or Thursday and they were told they had until Sunday to be out of there.
HIF: No joke man, they’re taking this very, very seriously.
JE: Yea, they really do, especially if you’re like an older athlete. And by older I mean anything over 24-25 years old. They really give you a short window to prove yourself out here.
HIF: That’s no joke, it’d be my guess it has a bit to do with testosterone production?
JE: It’s more so the fact that they think if they have a younger guy he has more years of potential whereas with the older guys they are kinda set in there ways and they figure they’ve already reached their peak.
HIF: I can dig that in weird a cutthroat business sense haha
JE: haha yea, it’s good though, I like the pressure. I don’t complain about it at all.
HIF: Well it would seem that you’re doing pretty good, you’re still there, you’re being invited to events and trying to work your way into the house in Colorado right now.
How well must you be performing and at what point do they say, “hey come to the house, let’s do this?”
And at that point, what happens, do they just throw more trainers at you or what?
JE: The next step right now would be nationals in 9 weeks from yesterday and that’s going to be in Cincinnati Ohio. And that’s going to be the next huge meet for me.
The last couple of meet I haven’t done so well at so this one I’ve really been training hard for, trying to stay healthy. Really, that’s the big judgment day more or less. I’m going to obviously try and get on the podium, which is top 3 in my weight class. And if I do that, obviously you stay, no problem at all. But if you win it, then you’d be talking about getting a spot on campus at the Olympic training facility. So that’s definitely what I’m gunning for. I don’t want to show uup trying to get second or third
HIF: So you’re 9 weeks out, when did you start training for this event?
JE: About 15 or 16 weeks out.
HIF: What’s your current weight and where will you end up once we approach the competition? What’s your eating looking like. Really just give us an idea of what it’s like to live as an Olympic weightlifter.
JE: I’ve found that the diet requirements are very different so I’ll hit on that first.
When I did strongman you know, you wreck your body in a different way. I was doing tons of sets of you know 8 -10 on deadlifts, strongman events, benching and there’s just so many movements that have an eccentric phase the muscle soreness would be much more severe so I’ve always felt that protein was a little more important whereas it’s a little bit different with weightlifting –Olympic weightlifting that is. Because with the snatch and the clean and jerk you really don’t have an eccentric phase so you don’t get the same muscle soreness as you do with regular strength training, you have some of it but it’s more of central nervous system fatigue and mental type fatigue. It took me a long time to learn to eat a lot less when I’m training.
HIF: Do you still incorporate an eccentric phase with your training or do you think this may in some way hinder your progress?
JE: No, we still have other lifts that have it for sure you know, we squat almost every single day and I’ll do pulls like snatch and clean pulls. But 60%-70% of our work is all purely concentric of the explosive movements of the snatch and clean and jerk.
For me it was really about taking in less protein than what I was used to. With that being said, usually we train 3 times a day Monday Wednesday, Friday. So the first session is 8:00-8:30am. And that’s just kind of a warm up and stretching it’s not really even training.
HIF: Just getting the blood going
JE: Yea it’s just kind of like getting people up and moving for the day. The second session is from 10:30 to 12:30 and the last session is from 4 to 6.
It’s pretty serious. And the biggest thing too, I’m a big supplements guy of course but I also had to learn to take less supplements and less caffeine throughout the day because my energy fluctuations were just too much.
HIF: Yea, that’s a great point.
JE: Training that frequently it was impossible to try and live a normal life with those extreme spikes and falls in the energy.
HIF: So you said because you know there’s a little bit less of the eccentric phase but you still have a lot of that central nervous system fatigue… What do you do for that, just a quick nap between sessions and you’re good to go? Do you meditate or take a particular supplement to aid the CNS fatigue?
JE: Yea, that’s a great question. If you can nap, that’s going to be your number 1 best bet. I probably only nap half of the days that I’m able to nap, I don’t have a set time or anything I just try to get in whatever I can.
For me, it’s really all about hydration and just at the very least calming my mind between workouts.
It’s actually funny that you mention the meditation thing, I had a crossfitter tell me I should try it because I’d sleep better and I’ve actually been sleeping pretty well, so I might have to try that between sessions.
HIF: Oh man, that is awesome. I swear by mediation and highly recommend it. That makes me very happy to hear that your getting into that.
With your height, weight and training intensity how much water are you taking in daily?
JE: I’m 5’6 my weight class as of two weeks ago was 207 pounds but I’m actually dropping to 187 for the future. So my diet has been interesting trying to drop weight but increase strength at the same time.
HIF: Do you normally drop weight or is this going to be the lightest that you’ve ever competed?
JE: This is going to be the lightest that I’ve ever competed.
HIF: But that’s going to help you pound for pound, is that what you’re going for?
JE: Yes, absolutely. I have some extra fat on me and fat doesn’t contract so you might as well get it off ya.
HIF: haha definitely
JE: As far as water intake, I don’t track how much water I intake, I just know that my #1 goal is that I never allow my pee to be any tint of yellow at all.
HIF: What’s cool about that is the fact that you have to be more in tune with your body and pay attention to how you are feeling rather than going off set numbers, bottom line is, if you’re thirsty you’re basically already dehydrated.
HIF: What advice can you give to somebody that may just be graduating high school or college and who figures they like lifting weights, they watch the Olympics, I want to do what Jared Enderton does?
JE: My biggest piece of advice would be to just seek out people. People like yourself, who know about the strength game, people like me who have been around the block because I spent my first year training alone in my garage and coached myself. Then after a year I got offered to go move out with a team – free rent, free food and you kinda get the hook up after that. I completely built up myself for year but looking back at it if I would have just tried to seek more people out and got some more coaching and more direction I probably could have cut that time in half in terms of my development. I just didn’t know that much about the sport and I thought that I could figure it out on my own.
HIF: Sounds like networking is just as big in the pro weightlifting game as it is in any other business.
Are there events where people can go and seek out some direction and shake some hands? Or particular [types of] gyms that people may want to try and get affiliated with? I noticed you had some affiliations with California Strength.
JE: Yea, I was out there for 6 months, California Strength is a great resource. They have tons of resources, they really have every resource you need. Catalyst Athletics out in Cali was the same way.
HIF: What’s your favorite pre & post workout foods.
JE: My favorite food all together is sushi!
I really don’t have a go to pre workout food. I’ll typically just have a piece of fruit before my second workout of the day. I want to make sure that I have enough carbs and glycogen stored for my heavier lifts. And as far as post workout goes, I will just make sure I have plenty of protein and and some slow digesting carbs.
HIF: When you take protein, do you mix with milk?
JE: I do. For last month I haven’t because I pinching calories where I can. I’m a 2% milkfat type of guy. I know some of the Paleo guys aren’t into the dairy but I grew up with it and love milk and find it unnecessary to cut out of the diet.
HIF: I know there are a lot of banned supplements, are you still able to take something like creatine?
JE: Yea, the U.S. Anti Doping Association. What helps with that is I’m sponsored by Top Secret Nutrition and HMB so obviously I have pretty much all of their supplements.
I take their fish oil, CLA, L-Carnitine, multi vitamin, diet accelerator, protein, d-apartic acid, ZMA, I’ve got some vitamin d, amino energy, all of there pre workout stuff from optimum nutrition. I’ll take anything that isn’t banned that I think will give me even a quarter of a percentage of an edge.
HIF: And what are you liking right now as far as that edge?
JE: Right now, what I’ve really been high on is the HMB. That one for me is amazing for recovery when you take it with the protein. Really helps with protein synthesis.
I also really like from the Top Secret Nutrition brand is the Diet Accelerator. The reason why I like that one is that it has a multivitamin in it. It’s also got your CLA and some Arginine in there and a few other things.
HIF: So is most of that stuff synthesized or extracted?
JE: A lot of it is extracted. There is a lot of green tea extract in there, a lot of natural stuff too. The reason why I like Top Secret so much is that they are really trying to stay on the cutting edge with a lot of the stuff. You know, they have like Cambodia extract and really just trying to do things with a lot of their products that I find to be on the cutting edge in the market anyway. Obviously some of it is still in development.
HIF: What type of protein do you prefer?
JE: In the past I’ve taken a lot of whey isolate. Dymatize Iso 100 is what I currently have like half a jug left. For the most part I just stick 100% whey because really the only time I take protein is after my 2 later workouts. I’ll only do about a half scoop after my first session and a full serving after my later sessions.
HIF: I hear about some guys taking up to a gram and a half of protein per pound of bodyweight and think to myself “man, this guys kidneys must be sore.”
JE: I can imagine, when I was doing strongman, I was up to nearly 300 pounds and would sometime consume up to 500+ grams of protein per day.
HIF: That’s intense!
JE: Yea, it was like a gnarly amount. Now, people think I’m crazy, I weigh 200 but I don’t even think most days I meet 200 grams of protein per day. For some reason I have really cut back on the protein and haven’t really noticed a difference.
HIF: Fine tuning the machine brotha.
We really haven’t talked numbers yet and you’re a pretty strong dude, let’s give everybody an idea of what we’re talking about here. What will you be working with today.
JE: In about an hour I‘m going to do a demo at a cross-fit. And hopefully I’ll do 400lbs which is right at double bodyweight obviously.
All time best I’ve done is 429 lbs on the clean and jerk. As for the snatch I’ve done 345 lbs. I’ve high bar back squatted just about 600 in training going as low as you can. And these are really the three main markers that Olympic style weightlifters judge.
HIF: What do you do about those big-ass calices that we get.
JE: That’s a good question and it’s funny you ask me because I’m like the worst hand caretaker in the world. I always have ripped calices. My issue is that I never lotion my hands, ever. Maybe it’s an ego thing, I just don’t think I need to.
The biggest thing with the hand care once you do get them healthy is the prehab. Grab you pumice stone or even some finger nail clippers and get all of the dead skin off of there. You should really be doing this about 2-3 times a week. Even if it’s just a tiny piece of hanging skin that you’re taking off, it could be the difference between ripping a calice and not being able to grip a barbell for a week and not ripping a calice at all.
HIF: If you could offer any advice to somebody looking to get into this what would you suggest bring with them to the gym as far as gear and mindset are concerned?
JE: I would say bring patience. You’ve got to have a lot of patience if you want o be really good at weightlifting or strongman. It just takes time for your body to make drastic physical changes.
The basics necessities would be your protein, and some type of pre-workout to get you amped. If you’re diet is on point you wont need a multivitamin. In terms of a specific program it all depends on your exact goal. If you’re looking for an Olympic weightlifting program I’ve mentioned a bunch of gyms including my own website that do those kinds of programs.
I know you put out tons of articles and you have kind of your own muscle building tips, tricks and different books and stuff that you give out that are amazing. So there is a ton of different resources you can have but the biggest thing is have the patience (and discipline) to stick with your goal.
I find that people often come into the sport but find that there’s so much technique involved and get discouraged right away.
HIF: That’s great, spot on man. I often tell people to feel blessed and fortunate when challenges present themselves, as these are prime opportunities to grow.
I have one more question before we go, I have to know, do you engage in ay type of cardio with your training or is that a no-no?
JE: Haha, man that’s a good question. For me I actually have been doing some cardio. But 99% of Olympic weightlifters DO NOT.
And only because I’m really trying to drop the weight class am I doing some cardio. I’ve been through some phases; it’s been a process for me. Honestly, I’m still figuring it out. That’s why I love the strength game man, you can use yourself as your own experiment. I’ve done the whole bodybuilding thing, where I’m on a treadmill walking up a steep incline for a half hour to 45 minutes, I’ve done intervals for a few weeks and now I’m in a sprint phase, I’ve been doing uphill sprints. I’ve even done short cross-fit workouts. Ultimately I’ve just been trying to enjoy the cardio I’ve been doing in addition to my weightlifting workouts which has really only been about 3 or 4 times a week hard cardio.
HIF: Very cool, sounds like experience truly is the purest form of knowledge. I appreciate you coming out and doing this interview for us, we’re all definitely going to be keeping our eye out for you. We’ll include a bunch of the resources you’ve mentioned below the interview. Thanks a lot for coming out Jared.
JE: Thanks a lot for having me, keep doing what you’re doing, I love your website so I really appreciate you having me on.
HIF: Thanks a lot man, keep in touch.