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James Fuller: Squatting Deep and Asking Questions

I was able to talk to James Fuller and ask him some questions about is training. James has been on a relentless chase after the squat world record in the 165-pound weight class and has been taking his training to uncharted territories lately. It is not every day you get to talk to someone has mellow and down to each, even though he can rep your leg press max in squats.

How old are you, where are you from, and do you squat ass to grass?
I”m 29 and currently live in Spokane, WA. I squat to depth but not ass to grass since I’m not that flexible/mobile at the moment.

What areas of weight training do you train? And what is your best squat? Contest and gym PR?
I do a “power building” style of training where I focus on one of the big 3 movements with high weight and low reps. then do more of a bodybuilding style for the assistant/accessory lifts. Just recently started getting into strongman so ill be changing it up a little bit and adding some only stuff as well as strongman stuff in there. Current gym personal record is 585 at around 183ish pounds, and best meet lift to dates are 550 at 183lb (198 class) and a 529 at 165 class.

What’s with not ass to grass? Are you slacking on mobility? (Lol)
So imbalanced from doing only low bar for too long.

Well, dang James that’s a mighty Hugh squat to body weight ratio. Where do you train? Do you have a lifting team?
I do most of my training in my garage and by myself. Every once in a while, a friend will come over and lift with me but Ii wouldn’t consider that a “team”.

What got you into the “power building” and now the strong man game?
I’m super competitive and have a slight little man complex that makes me want to beat everyone. Plus since I no longer can compete in wrestling or sports I played as a kid. These 3 let me still do something that keeps me active and allows me to compete.

What does a normal leg day work out look like for you? In Powerlifting & Bodybuilding?
3×3-5×3 low bar back squats. 3-4×8-12 front squats. 3×5 stiff leg deadlifts finished with some walking lunges. If I’m at a real gym then I’ll usually finish off with some variation of ham curls and quads for 3-4x12ish.
As far as bodybuilding goes, if I’m in a prep then whatever my coach tells me to do (lol).

How long have you been powerlifting and Bodybuilding?
Technically my first powerlifting meet was back in 2004. But really got back into July of 2012. First bodybuilding show was September of 2014. First strongman show will be on December 12, 2015

So tomorrow (lol). What got you into Strong Man?
(Lol) yea, I always watched Worlds Strongest Man on the TV as a kid and thought it was cool. Kind of just got an invite on Facebook to go to a show and decided just to compete at it, instead of just watch it.

That’s bad ass! Good luck tomorrow! So what’s next for you? Any goals you have to hit?
Thanks. I have a PL meet on February 13th that I’m doing. Hoping to hit a 600-pound squat in the 165 raw with wraps class. Then after that, I go straight into prep for the empire (bodybuilding show) in April / May.

Over the past years, what are some changes that you have made in your lifting style / programs?
I’ve learned to be a lot smarter and not always try to max out every workout. Started adding more mobility work in at the end of my training and I’ll take a little longer on warm ups instead of rushing everything. Sometimes less is more when it comes to training.

You already have a massive squat in an official meet, what drives you to keep going higher?
Like I said, I’m competitive. There is always someone out there stronger than me so I use that for motivation. Plus I’m always constantly seeking improvement.

Do you have any advice for the younger lifters?
Have patience. Absorb as much knowledge as you can. Train smart and set aside your ego. Most importantly have fun. You should enjoy what you do. After all for most of us, its just a hobby and that should be something we look forward to doing each day.


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Founder of Fight Against Chicken Legs, part-time workout stuff, sometimes making websites look pretty, and saving the world #OneRepAtATime

  • Candace

    I want my but back. I had a nice but and don’t know how this happened but its gone.