During my first few months at the gym, Garey schooled me in the ways of strength. I learned how to press a log and axle under his guidance. As time went on, he was instrumental in preparing me for my first Strongman competition last year. A master of all things Pressing, I've taken innumerable lessons from watching Garey train the Bench, Log, Axle, Military Press, Circus Dumbbell, etc.
Garey likes to bust peoples' balls in the gym and isn't afraid of controversial topics of discussion. However, he also has a tremendous heart and is always willing to help out in any way he can. Oh, and did I mention he's grizzly bear strong?
I had the privilege of asking Garey some questions about life and training. Here's what he had to say:
Occupation?: Union Operating Engineer, operating cranes mostly.
What are some of your hobbies and interests?: Strongman & Training, R/C cars, Fishing, Gaming, Riding my quad (DS 650)
What inspired you to start lifting?: Seeing Arnold, Watching the film "Pumping Iron", and seeing World's Strongest Man competitions on TV.
Why has Poundstone Performance Training Center become your home gym?: I helped Derek build the gym. I had outgrown being at a commercial gym and I wanted to expand my training into strongman. I was looking for a gym that would push me further than I had been pushed before. I found what I was looking for.
You had a pretty serious back surgery a few years ago and it's incredible that you train at the level you do. Can you tell us a little about that and your recovery process?: Injured the back in July of 2000 at work. Bulged L4, L5 and herniated L5-S1. I was severely debilitated in the time it took to get surgery; over 8 years. I had surgery the day before Thanksgiving '08, was released after pushing myself hard and doing all the prescribed physical therapy from my doctor in April of '09. I entered a commercial gym at that point. To finish rehab and to get in shape. After about 6 months I was feeling better and at that point began to push my limits more and more. Although painful, the rewards of the gym were outweighing the pain. I was always a strength and size kind of guy. When my back had begun to allow that to happen, it was game on! At times I lose sight of the fact that I'm very lucky to be able to do anything after having as severe of an injury as I had.
What is one training-related goal you have for 2014?: My back and work are holding me back at the moment, which is holding up my goals for 2014. I already met a lifelong goal in 2014 which was getting my last lift into the "500lb Club"; my 500 bench. If that's all I get for this year, it'll still be a good year. If my back and work permit, I'd like to try to hit at least one Strongman show and possibly a Powerlifting meet.