MEN WE WANT TO TRAIN WITH

MEN WE WANT TO TRAIN WITH: THE INTREPID ALEX GOLDBERG // FROM NATIONAL POWERLIFTING RECORDS TO STRONGMAN, THIS IS ONE GINGER WHO EMBRACES THE PAIN //
By Tracey Longo

It takes a big man to rock a kilt, but red-headed Alex Goldberg is neither shy nor retiring when it comes to fighting for records in not one but three strength sports. If donning a kilt adds some adrenalin, he’s down. Fresh off a big weightlifting personal record (PR) in February (a 280- pound clean and jerk), Goldberg is training for his next strongman competition and working toward a powerlifting total that qualifies him for The Arnold Amateur in 2014. He’s the only guy we know who writes “squat” raps that have women throwing their panties at him—in his mind at least (see below). It’s his humor and bold-faced strength at 220 pounds (and climbing) that we admire. There’s nothing this guy won’t do to add weight to the bar and that’s what strength sports are all about—heart.

NAME: Alex Goldberg

AGE: 26

WEIGHT/HEIGHT: 220 pounds at 5’10”

LOCATION: Parkville, Maryland

HIS SPORT: I compete in strongman, powerlifting and weightlifting. North American Strongman, USA Weightlifting, and the United States Powerlifting Association (USPA) for powerlifting.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN COMPETING? It will be two years in March since I did my first competition.

GYMS YOU TRAIN AT, LOCATIONS: Anywhere I can. I’ve gone Back To The Basics at my home gym, but I occasionally go to a gym called The Edge for strongman specific training. I’m planning to do some occasional training at Dumbarton now that I’m focusing more heavily on weightlifting. I also occasionally train in a garage that the owner (Jason Dayberry) likes to call “Canberras Iron Pit”

CLAIMS TO FAME: My last contest was the USPA Larry Garro Memorial @ 220- I placed first with a 1322 total and apparently broke the deadlift record for that federation (I pulled 617). The weekend before that I competed as a heavyweight in strongman because I wanted to lift the heavier stuff. I was just happy to actually beat quite a few of the strongmen in the 335 pounds-per-hand farmers walk (50 feet). I placed second at the Keystone USA Weightlifting competition in York, PA in the 231 class with what I look at now as horrific weightlifting form (I’d only had two months of practice). Before that I placed first at the “Alleghany Valley Strongman” contest in the below 231 class. The contest prior to that I made the terrible decision to try to cut to below 200 pounds for The Capital Classic Strongman. I don’t remember what I placed but it was bad, and I’m never doing that again!


PRS: (Proud Records)

  • At my last competition I hit a 462 back squat and a 617 deadlift.
  • My best competition axle, log, and barbell jerk are 290, and I just got a 300 pound clean and jerk in training.
  • My best competition snatch is 215 and my best training snatch is 225. I expect these weightlifting numbers to go up drastically once I stop doing heavy squat sessions before them (meaning I squat until my legs fall off)

Alex Goldberg 127kg/280# Clean and Jerk 2013 Baltimore Open

TYPICAL TRAINING SPLIT FOR THE WEEK DURING CONTEST PREP: That’s very dependent on the competition. I’ll usually work up to true maxes by the few weeks before powerlifting with minimal accessory work (I’ve already taken care of fixing issues with accessories during a higher volume phase) and this goes for anything that is a max event other than overhead in strongman.

For weightlifting and overhead maxes I prefer to accumulate lots of singles at 90-95% of what I plan to be my top attempt to “sure up” my timing with heavy weights.

Events for reps are simple — keep trying to get more reps with that weight! Do it until you pass out or die!

FAVORITE BODY PART TO TRAIN: ANYTHING THAT’S NOT A BENCH PRESS haha. But seriously I can’t pick one; I’ve fallen in love with the Olympic lifts so picking out a body part isn’t possible for me.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO GET INTO STRONGMAN: I’ve loved lifting weights ever since I started doing it in high school to get stronger for wrestling. When I was in college still trying to figure out a major I LOVED Anatomy and Physiology and became obsessed with what the human body is capable of. Along with deciding to major in Exercise Physiology I decided I wanted to push myself as far as I could.

GREATEST CHALLENGES AS A STRONGMAN (didn’t you tell me “trying not to die?” lol): Well the first challenge I had to overcome was actually breaking my leg in preparation for the first contest I wanted to do. I was training pretty hard and trying to decide whether to compete (hadn’t quite figured out if it would be powerlifting or weightlifting and I actually didn’t know about strongman yet). But when Dan Cenidoza who now owns the Baltimore Gym Art and Strength (http://www.artandstrength.com) mentioned it to me in passing, I went home and signed up immediately.

LESSON LEARNED THE HARD WAY (training or competition oriented): I’m NO GOOD below 200 pounds. I actually tried it twice and both times I did horribly.

I UNDERSTAND YOU WROTE A SQUAT RAP TO GET YOU REVVED FOR THE SQUAT RACK. CARE TO SHARE:

Well, that’s ONE thing that gets me revved up for big lifts, along with repeating Bane quotes from The Dark Knight Rises and playing that song by Nine Inch Nails from the 300 soundtrack (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnGEQHKgrBI), but it goes like this.

THE SQUAT RAP, By Alex Goldberg

"Patron on the rocks and I'm ready for some squats/The women come around every time I'm doin' squats/ Their panties hit the ground every time I do some squats/ So barbells in the air, everybody let's do squats/ squats, squats, squats, squats, squats, squats, squats."

You might notice, LMFAO, I kind of stole it from another Nine Inch Nails song and just changed a few lyrics.

BE HONEST. WHAT’S UNDER THE KILT ON COMPETITION DAY? If I ruin the mystery I ruin the whole point of wearing the kilt!

WHATS NEXT FOR YOU? My main goals right now competition-wise lie in making qualifying totals for both The Arnold Powerlifting and The American Open Weightlifting. As is a .380 Wilkes is what it takes to qualify for The Arnold (approx 85 more pounds on my total) which should be easily achievable by actually bench pressing throughout the year, which I’m making a priority for the next few months in addition to the Olympic lifts. The 630 total needed for the American Open is easily within reach, especially now that I’m honing in on the more technical aspects. I actually am going to start working with a weightlifting coach to tighten it up. I love being self taught, but it can only take you so far.

DO YOU USE A NUTRITION PLAN? I try to eat generally healthy, but I’m not insanely strict. Now that I’m trying to get my bodyweight up to 230ish, my plan is to eat everything in sight.

FAVORITE FOOD TO BULK WITH: Pizza!

PERSONAL: I am dating a wonderful woman named Andrea Stallman who likes to make terrifying noises when I compete (Editor’s note: She calls Alex “Home!” lol) I work for a company that staffs corporate fitness centers called Elevation Health Group – “Changing the world…one squat at a time” is what I say. One of my other passions has always been reading, and I take a particular interest in philosophy- prompting me to say “I like to lift big weights, then afterward…I lift big thoughts.” Which is of course an absolutely moronic thing to say.

AVAILABLE FOR: Personal Training. Check out www.alexgoldbergfitness.com to find out more or see competition/training videos. My youtube channel is http://www.youtube.com/user/Goldberg7290?feature=mhee

CONTACT ALEX: Email: Alex7290@gmail.com / Cell: 443-653-0699