We talked with Matt Ladewski in May, 2020.
👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
My name is Matt Ladewski, I am 43 years old and you probably already know me. You may not know me personally but I am famous.
One of my lifting videos has been featured on shows like Tosh.o, Bloopers, Riculousness and a few others. My pass out video is one of the most famous around. This was the one and only time it has happened in my 30 years of training:
I closed out my powerlifting career with an 800 pound deadlift. My focus now is on my career, my wife and four kids.
I still train a few times a week but with less intensity. Training is more for health and keeping some strength and muscle mass.
I still continue to coach and consult lifters as well as write my column for elitefts.com.
Now that I am training less for maximal strength I will be trying to move back toward the athlete I was when I played college football.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
I currently train twice a week. I stretch my normal weekly competition training over 14 days. With stress from work and little one, stretching things out allows me to recover with less than optimal sleep.
I train alone most of the time in my garage following a conjugate style of training. I love the freedom conjugate allows.
I am able to rotate in many of my most effective and favorite exercises. I love using weight releasers, board pressing, squats against heavy band tensions and all variations of the deadlift.
I also have a love hate relationship with the reverse hyper. I hate doing it but as it gets better my deadlift and squat improves.
I don’t do any traditional cardio currently. I love dragging a heavy sled, carrying med balls and will use a manual treadmill on occasion.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
After 30 years of training, it has become part of me. It is one of the things in my life that brings it balance.
Without training I seem to lose my flow. I also use my training to experiment and solve problems.
Some of this is expressed in my elitefts column but also in my e-books. My goal is to pass on the knowledge I worked so hard to find.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Since I have stopped competing, I am changing up some of my training. To be as strong as possible I gave up being the athlete I was when I was playing college football. So now I am working to get back to that.
I have added in more medicine ball work, jumping rope and a few other items to increase my general physical preparedness.
I want to be in the best shape I can with as little wear and tear on my body. I may still compete in some charity powerlifting meets but it will be a show for the kids and not my ego chasing numbers.
Aging and wear and tear are two things you can’t avoid. This is the biggest challenge I have faced. Years of sports and pushing my body to the limit has taken its toll.
I had knee surgery in 2013 and still have quite a bit of grinding and small amounts of swelling that never go away. I can only work around it so much.
Getting old sucks. Take advantage of your youth and know it won’t last forever.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
Sports, powerlifitng and life in general will beat you up. As aches and pains pop up, I try to manage them before they get out of control.
Trigger point therapy, flossing and acupuncture as just a few of the things I have used to stay on top of my aches and pains.
I try to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night but with a young child that doesn’t always go as planned. He is getting better and soon we should have a normal sleeping schedule.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
As I have gotten older nutrition has played a much bigger role. I wish I would have started paying attention when I was in my 20’s but I can’t change that now.
Currently, my diet is low carb, high fat and moderate protein. It is not a strict keto but it is that direction. I also try and fast 16 hours a day but that doesn’t always work out.
I have a half day at work and try to fast 20-24 hours on that day. So far this seems to be working well for my life and I just need to dial things in a little more.
Fasting can leave you with a few hunger pangs but over time it does get better. I finish my dinner between 8-9 pm and will fist until lunch the next day. Sleeping until 6 am will take out a big chunk of time.
Coffee and good hydration also helps with the hunger pangs. Keeping the carbs low also helps me with the hunger pangs.
When I am off from work my fast will usually be in the 13-15 hour range. We like breakfast at my house.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
My commute to work is 30-45 minutes most days so I spend time listening to podcasts or audiobooks.
Since Dave Tate and Louie Simmons have had a huge impact on me naturally the elitefts table talk and Westside Barbell podcasts would be on my subscription lists.
Training is about solving problems so having as many tools available to you is important. I don’t like having the answers so I do my best to find them when I have questions.
I wish I could nail down one piece of advice that was the best ever. Every piece was important even when it may have taken me five to six years before I understood.
One piece that came from my high school football coach and my friend Harry years later. When you cross the threshold your workout begins. There is nothing you can do about anything else outside of this field or four walls.
Focus on training when you are there to train and work things out with your significant other when you are with them. Make each minute count toward your goal at that location.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
The best advice I can give to new lifters would be to find a crew to train with.
Work to make the group as good as possible. Keep finding stronger people to train with and learn from. Travel to the strongest gyms around as often as possible.
You will learn more there in one workout than you will in weeks online reading. Hands on training is the fastest way to improve.
Most people want immediate results and that won’t happen. I was stuck at a 705 deadlift for over five years. Then I broke through and in 18 months added almost 100 pounds. Be patient.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
Currently, I am not taking on any programming clients to train. I am doing consultations for the squat, bench and deadlift with a reconsult after six to eight weeks of training.
I find it a much better way for me to manage my time and allow the lifter to learn for themselves after I point them in the right direction.
This also puts more responsibility on the trainee to take ownership of their journey.
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
My articles, Instagram and Facebook.