Lifter of the Month – Mark Bentley


1) What got you started in weight training?

It was 1983,I was 16, my father was in the army and he arranged for to use his regiments gym. I went for a run, which finished at the gym. I tentatively went in, and was met by an army PTI who showed me how to use all the stations on the big blue Universal multigym. The walls were covered in pictures of Arnold, Franco, Zane, Mentzer, all the guys from the 70s and early 80s. That’s how it started really. Well that and watching Kaz and Sigmarsson in Worlds Strongest Man.

2) What is your main motivation for getting ready for competition?

Being better than I have ever been before, i.e. PR’s for all my lifts.

3) Tell us about your best lifts at competition?

My best lifts in a push/pull meet are 135, 250. For full power raw with knee wraps they’re 205, 132.5, 242.5 for a 580 total, all at Masters 2 under 90Kg. Mark3

4) Who is your hero/heroin in the powerlifting world?

Dan Green, as we’re quite often mistaken for each other.
Every gym has somebody who can squat, bench and deadlift more than anybody else in the gym, but it’s a different ball game when you’re under the scrutiny of three judges and have to hit depth, pause, and you can’t use lifting straps. So to be honest, anybody who makes the decision to step out of the safe confines of the gym and onto the platform for the first time is a hero.

5) What are your main aims in powerlifting?

My main aims aren’t necessarily as a competitor myself. But rather as a coach, this past year I’ve had 8 people compete for the very first time. I would like to get more people competing, and those that have already competed, I’d like to help them increase their totals and PR’s.

As a competitor I’d like a 600Kg total and a 260Kg deadlift.Mark5

6) When you are getting ready to walk out on platform - what do you focus on?

Trying not to trip up, at the British I went out for my first squat, tripped over the platform and if it hadn’t been for the spotters I’d have head butted the bar.
Prior to this, I mentally rehearse the lift, even to the point of actually physically going through the movement and breathing patterns and focussing on my personal cues for the lifts.

7) What gets you through a really hard training session or gets you those last few reps when you don’t think you can do anymore?

It’s my training partner and fellow BPU lifter Mark Taylor. When I train we have a plan, weights, reps, sets etc, so I know what I need to do. As I usually go first when we train I have to make sure I hit the numbers otherwise I know Mark will.

8) Tell us about Mark - what is Mark really like?!

First and foremost, I’m a father and a husband. After that I’d like to think of myself as an educator, coach and motivator for the guys and girls in the gyms who wish to get stronger. Then I’d call myself a powerlifter, and a gym owner. Oh, yeh I’m also the Fat Old Bloke.Mark4

9) Who has been your stiffest competition and why?

Being fat and old, there aren’t many people in my class. So, I’m my own biggest critic and consequently my stiffest competition. So each time I compete, my goal is to increase each of my lifts, and in the main I have done so. That said, I do compare myself to the open class guys, and so long as I can remain competitive with them, then I’m happy. I also look at similar lifters at International level (at which I hope to lift soon) and strive to be competitive with them.

10) What are your plans for 2015?

I’ve a few more guys that I’m working with, that are toying with the idea of competing this year, so I’d like to see that happen.

For myself; to overcome back, shoulder, and groin problem, which are the rewards of age. After that, I want to lift at Steve Middleton’s meet in March, and then if I’m good enough the Europeans, British, and Worlds. Possibly another one of two meets.

I’d also like to host another push/pull meet in Frome, and quite possibly a bench only in Glastonbury.

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