Chris Thacker: Athlete Spotlight

Name: Chris Thacker

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Hometown: Belleville, IL

Age: 37

Occupation: Jack of all trades, master of none 😉 Managing Partner, The Lab Gym

Hobbies: I’ve been known to tear apart a brand new motorcycle just to rebuild it. I probably spend too much time in the woods during deer season and powerlifting has completely changed me.

When did you start your fitness journey? 1990 (or so) I think I was 11 or 12. The first sport I couldn’t live without was football. I started squatting and power building to help me improve my sport. Football brought in wrestling and then college brought me rugby. All the while lifting was a matter of necessity not priority.

Why do you train? To quiet the demons!

What do you hope to accomplish with your training/fitness? I want a national medal. I grew up watching my younger brother compete in weightlifting on every possible level. I’ve always had great admiration for his dedication and his pursuit. I kick myself everyday for not jumping in with him when we were younger.

What do you think a healthy lifestyle has added to your life? 20-30 years…no joke. Heart disease is rampant on both sides of my family. Grandfathers passed at 54 and 46 due to this. My father was 43 when he had a 4X bypass. He is still around to talk about it, but I sure as hell don’t want that.

Nutrition philosophy? EAT! Eat like its your job! My meals are all protein centric with occasional sides of veggies, not balanced by any means. But my philosophy or advice would be to eat to fuel your gains.

And if you are serious about losing weight or performing better, see a dietitian. Cookie cutter diets are too general and no two people are alike.

Cheat food? Baked goods. Cookies or brownies, I will destroy them. My sons hides them from me. I cant leave out ice cream either…thanks Grandma.

Music or no music to train? I gotta have Slayer, Cannibale Corpse, Clutch, the list is rather long. My music has a big impact on me.

Injury setbacks? I have hurt myself countless times doing dumb things. Car accidents, 4 wheelers, contact sports, too much alcohol, again the list is long. My brother calls me Frank (enstien) because of the stitches and scars. For a long time injuries caused problems in my training. Last year I aggravated an old cervical disc injury that put me at odds with ever training again or competing. After taking it slow and better care of my mobility and stability, I am happy to say I am better than ever.

Biggest race/fitness accomplishments? Illinois State Men’s Open RAW 220# and 231# records in squat, bench, and total. Squat 572#, bench 363#, and total 1479# which was set at the USAPL American Open in 2014. My squat was the best in my weight class of 220#. I have hit better numbers in training on many given days but bringing it all together on one day is somewhat of a perfect storm.

Mantra? Work your ass off. Set goals, work towards them, even if you have bitten off too much. Finish the job.

Next race or fitness goal? April 25th the USAPL Illinois State Open. I was unsatisfied how my last meet went and I have some numbers to hit. I need 1500# total behind me and move on to 1600#. Specific goals Squat 625#, bench 400#, deadlift 600#.

Advice to beginners? Be patient and consistency. Consitent in all aspects from programming to your set up to # of training days a week. You can’t make up a missed workout. A bad workout is better than a missed one, but don’t mistake that for being half-assed about it. That will get you hurt.

One fun fact no one would guess about you! I was voted worst driver in high school!

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