Weight Lifting, Weight Training, Bench Press & Bodybuilding
June 23, 2024
Powerlifter Ken Ufford Interview
by Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com

Powerlifter Ken Ufford BT: Introduce yourself to the Critical Bench community.

KEN UFFORD: My name is Ken Ufford and I live in Overland Park Ks. I am married to my very patient wife Jean Marie and we have two boys one 4 and a half, and one 10 years old. I have worked as a Police Officer in OverlandPark for the past 14 years. I also work in two Middle schools as a School Resource Officer. I have been Powerlifting since 1980 and lifted in my first Teen Nationals back in 1981. I am now 38 years old. My best lifts in sanctioned meets are a 730 squat, a 562 bench and a 820 deadlift. My best total is 2060 and that was done in a USAPL meet in Oklahoma. I got my Elite as a Teenager back in 1984 after I won my third USPF Teen Nationals.

BT: How did you get into lifting?

KEN UFFORD: I got into lifting in High school. I was a swimmer believe it or not and wanted to play football. A buddy of mine went to a old school gym called Powerhouse gym in Merriam Ks. It was old school all the way. I met several powerlifters one by the name of Chris Bartlett. He began working with me and must have seen some talent in me. I became interested in Powerlifting and played a little more football but mostly stayed the course in Powerlifting. As a Teenager I won my last Teen Nationals with lifts of 644 squat, 501 bench no shirt, and a 705 deadlift. I was always a good puller even from the start. The bench I have been able to work on to get it up and the squat I am still trying to figure out.

BT: What is the funniest thing that you have ever seen in powerlifting?

KEN UFFORD:I have lots of stories down through the years from going to meets. One that comes to mind was at our USPF State meet back in the mid 80s. Back then they always had everyone weigh in nude. So here I am a Teenage lifter standing in this crowded dingy , men's room and we are all standing way to close. There was a Super heavy weight lifter out of Derby Kansas by the name of Roy Steinacher. He weighed about 425 and lifted a 900 plus squat a 650 bench in a tank top, and a 770 deadlift. He is standing in this line and is the only one wearing underwear! So some goofy guy speaks up real loud and says hey why is Roy wearing his underwear? My buddy who was a pretty funny guy turns around and says to the guy, I am not going to tell him to take them off are You. Needless to say Roy continued to weigh in the way he wanted too.

Ken Ufford

BT: Hahaha that is crazy! Hey, Explain your thought process before stepping under a very very scary weight?

KEN UFFORD: Before I attempt a big lift for me I have only one thing in my mind and that is "Lets get busy". I kind of after all these years go into a automatic train of thought that helps me get the weight. I like to talk to the weight and the crowd as I lift. I think lifting can get to be boring sometimes and I like watching lifters who are not only strong but keep the crowd motivated. Kasmier was great at that and made watching meets he was in a fun experience. He was a real showman as well as one of the strongest guys to have walked the earth. Bull Stewart was another lifter who comes to mind that was good at getting the crowd into it.

BT: What training routines do you follow?

KEN UFFORD: As far as what routine I follow I mostly follow Westside with some Metal Militia ideas on my bench and I follow a Westside routine a friend Donna Slaga wrote. I like it you just do max effort day until about 5 weeks out then you replace that with some singles on the pull up to 85 % of your max. I do the speed squat and speed bench like Westside. I used to call Louie Simmons in the early 90s when I first pulled a 800. He had some great ideas that helped me very much and he is a great guy.

Powerlifting Champ BT: What are the best words of advice that you were ever told?

KEN UFFORD: I think the most important tip is to remember when upping your lifts is to keep the form there other wise the lift will mean nothing if not done right. The next is commitment. I have lifted steadily the past 24 years and have seen many lifters come and go. The ones who stay the course and are patient are the ones who make it to the top of the game. Also balance is another thing that is very important. Powerlifting is great, but once I learned that there is a life outside of powerlifting I have been much happier ever since.

BT: Do you practice mental imagery? What keeps you motivated?

KEN UFFORD: I always look at the quote by Muhammed Ali: . It is posted on my gym wall in my basement. It reads, PREPARE TO WIN "The fight is won or lost, far away from witnesses. It is won behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights. This drives me.

BT: Ken it's been great interviewing you is there anything else you would like to say..

KEN UFFORD: The only thing I would like to tell the readers is Powerlifting is a great sport and will continue to be. Powerlifting has taught me patience and also helped me meet some very nice people through the years. It also helps in my job as a Police Officer some. I do not regret for a minute all the time and effort I have put into the sport over the years. I look forward to entering my first Masters Nationals this coming year and look forward to all the challenges that await me there. Just find a good coach to help you and remember this sport takes time. You will get a lot out of it but you have to put a bunch in it. I want to also say to remember that their is a life outside of the gym. This took years for me to realize but when I finally did I was able to enjoy life so much more. I also want to thank My Wife Jean Marie for putting up with me for all these years and allowing me to have Silver Backs gym at my house where I train. Thanks for the interview.


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