Weight Lifting, Weight Training, Bench Press & Bodybuilding
June 4, 2023

Interview With World's Strongest Man
LW Competitor Paul Vaillancourt

Interviewed By Ben Tatar - December 2008

Interview With World's Strongest Man LW Competitor Paul Vaillancourt
Strongman Elliott & Elliott Playing RB at St. Johns U

Critical Bench got to interview Ontario's World's Strongest Man LW competitor Paul Vaillancourt.

CRITICAL BENCH: Critical Bench is here with professional strongman Paul Vailliancourt. Paul, what is your height, weight and what competition are you competing in next?

I am 5'11" tall and I currently weigh about 238lbs. (I'm really lean and getting ready for the World LW championships that are supposed to be in Kiev Ukraine in January.

CRITICAL BENCH: What are your best lifts?

Squat 600 equipped (IPF) 500 raw, Dead lift 655, log press-310lbs, Axle press-300X2

CRITICAL BENCH: What made you choose strongman over bodybuilding and power lifting?

I actually started in Bodybuilding, and moved into strongman and power lifting at the same time. Strongman is a lot more fun and I can compete with my clothes on.

CRITICAL BENCH: Paul, what are your 5 favorite things about being a strongman competitor?

  1. I'm stronger than everybody in my entire town

  2. I can be a good strongman and still have a crappy bench press

  3. 5-8 events per comp is more fun than 3 lifts

  4. Atlas Stones

  5. Strongman has good carryover into everyday life.

Interview With World's Strongest Man LW Competitor Paul Vaillancourt

CRITICAL BENCH: What are your 5 favorite strongman events? And why?

  1. Stones- they are a lot of fun and a real crowd pleaser

  2. Car dead lift-because I kick butt at it

  3. Medleys- I almost always in great condition and like the dynamic work of the medley

  4. Farmer's or Frame Carry- for the same reason I like DL, I'm good at it and it helps my score

  5. Tire Flip- Everyone loves tire flipping. It's just macho

CRITICAL BENCH: Where do you train? Give us your strongman routine!

Every Saturday I train at a garage converted into a strongman gym, we have everything and if there is anything we need, I build it. We usually focus on one main event and go all out heavy and then pick 2-3 other events and perform them as accessory work. This week we did yoke walks and I worked up to 800 for 100', we then did some axle presses and I worked up to a heavy doubles, then we did some stone runs and finished with farmers holds and farmers dead lifts for reps

CRITICAL BENCH: Tell us about your diet and what are your favorite supplements?

I'm currently working with Shelby Starnes of www.troponinnutrition.com, he takes care of my diet. I eat very clean, but I eat a lot. Oats, yams, rice, chicken breast, lean steak, egg whites and Whey Fusion by the truck load. My favorite supplements are Whey Fusion by Neo-genixx, I love waxy maise, Beta Alanine, creatine, the usuall stuff. I use everything from www.Neo-genixx.com.

CRITICAL BENCH: What competitions have you competed in?

This summer has really been my break out season. I competed in the Ontario's Strongest Man Competition and finished second which qualified me for the Canadian Strength Athlete competition. (Canada's Stongest Man) that is airing in Canada on TSN right now (November). I also competed in the Canadian LW nationals which I won and earned a berth at the World LW championship. I also did a few regional shows leading into the start of the season.

CRITICAL BENCH: What would you like to tell the future generation of strongman competitors who are reading your interview?

Get involved with events right away. Being gym strong doesn't always carry over to events. Don't hesitate to compete. Find a competition and sign up. Get your feet wet right away. It's also a good way to make contacts with other strongmen and find training groups.

Paul @ Carp Fair Strongman 2007

CRITICAL BENCH: Give us your most hardcore and your funniest strongman story.

Most hardcore would probably have to be at this year's CSM. I got stapled by the truck squat (and got no lift) but I pushed as hard as I ever have and blew my nose out pretty good. And I never bleed.

Funniest thing is how many guys crap themselves when doing stones. So far it's never happened to me but it seems like the butt fluid flows when the stones are getting lifted.

CRITICAL BENCH: Tell us about the gyms you own and tell us about your site!

I'm kind of a geek when it comes to strength. I don't do much other than train and compete. I own 2 gyms, www.ultimatefitnessgyms.com so my life revolves around being at the gym and training. You can check out all my stuff on my website. I do all types of strongman and strength equipment as well as custom jobs too.

CRITICAL BENCH: What are the adversities that you had to overcome?

Nothing in particular. I'm short and small but that's no excuse. I've set up my life to accommodate becoming the best strongman I can be. My wife is very supportive.

CRITICAL BENCH: What are your future goals?

I would like to place in the top 8 at the Canadians within the next 2 years. I eventually want to stand on the podium. I want to be the next athlete from Ontario to stand on the national podium.

CRITICAL BENCH: Why should all men be strong?

Because if we aren't strong, then are we? I don't want to be pretty. Just strong!

CRITICAL BENCH: What makes Paul different from everyone else?

Interview With World's Strongest Man LW Competitor Paul Vaillancourt I love to train, I love to compete, I have given up everything else in my life to become the best. I'm on a mission and I'll stop at nothing to get to the top. My best asset is my mental game. I've been told by many fellow competitors that I have "psycho killer" mental attitude and always seem to pull a big performance when it matters most. I love pressure.

CRITICAL BENCH: What makes Paul happy and what makes Paul tick?

I really don't' know what makes me tick. I've always loved positive attention, so I guess I'm driven to be a crowd pleaser. Going to Pete's Garage on Saturday's to train makes me happy. I look forward to training there all week. I just want to be big and strong. (Doesn't every red blooded man want that?)

CRITICAL BENCH: What goes through your head before attempting a big lift?

I see white space, I tell myself that I'm the man and that I own that weight. Nothing can stop me.

CRITICAL BENCH: What drives you to be the best?

My own pride. I hate being second. I always want to be the top dog.

CRITICAL BENCH: What are you going to remember most about your strength journey?

The good times in the gym, the garage, the road trips to competitions and the many valuable lessons that can only be learned by pushing yourself and never being satisfied with mediocrity.

CRITICAL BENCH: It has been great talking to you today. In closing who would you like to thank?

I'd like to thank my wife Sarah, my family, my training crew Pete, Shane, Dave, Kapow, all the garage shitiots, Jim Wendler and Dave Tate at elitefts.com, Curd, Nathan D, Brian D, www.ontariostrongman.ca, neo-genixx.com. This list could go on forever as I try to take something positive away from everyone I meet. Many people have helped me and they know who they are. I'm terrible at shout-outs.

CRITICAL BENCH: Thanks Paul! It has been great talking to you and we can't wait to watch you kick more butt in strongman competitions ahead!



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