Bepo Pedisić (17) from Croatia set some stunning records during his last meet.
He is currently sub junior champion in the Croatian 93kg sub-Junior class and he is only 17 years old. In this article Robert Latincic interviews Bepo on his Records, Life, Journey in Powerlifting and most importantly, his Squat!
Robert: Can you tell us a bit about yourself, how you started doing doing sports and eventually Powerlifting, and how long have you been powerlifting?
Bepo: My first encounter with sports was in the year of 2011. I started training in order to lose weight, because I’ve always been kind of chubby. I practiced karate for almost 5 and a half years, in which I had my rises and falls. As a competitor I was not the best because I lacked speed to perform the movements.
Changing to a go to a new school I made many new friends which went to the gym, in my opinion they looked really good, so in 2015 I decided to sign up myself and start ‘Building’ on my body. I trained by myself for a year and three months and I recorded a few videos of my max PR’s in the gym (of course, with bad form).
In November 2016 I encountered my good friend Josip Torić which suggested me to go to Powerlifting-Club Behemot in Zadar, and he said that these guys would fix my form (my friend told me with my current lifting form I will sooner or later leave me injured). Finally in February, this year I decided to go to Zadar and listen to the advice of coach Tomislav Ivandić.
Robert: Have you had any serious injuries with sports?
Bepo: In 2014 I was in full preparations for the national Karate contest. In a moment of unwariness I broke my collarbone and my preparations were ruined. I couldn’t walk by myself untill I had my surgery, which was in November 2014. My return to karate was only after 2 months with ‘wires in my body’.
Robert: Is the squat your favorite lift, and how was your squat when you just started out?
Bepo: My favorite lift is definately the squat, although I had a few painful moments with it. In the 15 months of training by myself I squatted only about three times, of which the first session was a disaster. I tested my squat, loaded up 120kg(264lbs) and did two reps after which the third rep was a miss.
I trained by myself there but, there was one guy who was watching me and laughed watching me miss the third rep. Another time I did 3 reps with the 120kg again and attempted a fourth, I tried pushing my elbows forward after which I fell down, on my ass. Finally when I went to the powerlifting club in Zadar, my squat was 150kg (330lbs), which was only 4 inches deep. I’m glad to say now at this point I lift 225kg (495lbs) like a feather.
Robert: What was your first training program, and which is your favorite?
Bepo: I never changed my training programs, my coach writes my programs which have always been similar. The only thing changing are the accessory exercises for the specific lift.
Robert: What is your squat setup like?
Bepo: My squat setup is classic. Before the walk-out to the platform, or regular squat I always listen to a song I like, after it hypes me up I grab the bar and rotate the barbell whilst pushing it forward softly in the rack.
After this I get under the bar and position it (Low-Bar) on my back. I walk out of the rack, place my feet in a medium position width, and wait for the judge’s signal to commence the lift. I tell myself ‘this is easy’ and after that I enjoy my time with the barbell on my back. My squat is Quad-dominant because my squat is relatively explosive, I quickly sink down and when I hit depth I move upwards as quickly as possible.
Robert: What Championship did you win this month?
Bepo: The event on 9 December was the Croatian National Championship in Powerlifting and Bench-Pressing. I only competed in the Powerlifting discipline, as a 93kg(205lbs) sub-junior. The competition was at a much higher level than my previous meet, I could say it is comparable to the European championship, but with way fewer competitors.
I got the first place in the sub-juniors in the 93kg weight class, with a 225kg(495lbs) squat which is a National Croatian record, a 120kg(265lbs) bench press and a 240kg(528lbs) Deadlift, besides this I also won the Croatian record for the highest Total in my class. This all has earned me a place to qualify for the European championship next year, and for this I will train hard so I can set some records there too!
Robert: How do you feel when you are going to a powerlifting meet?
Bepo: The day before and on the meet I am relatively calm, except for the warming up sets for the Squat. Then I am under some stress, but this passes quickly once I’m on the platform.
Robert: What are your future aspirations in Powerlifting?
Bepo: My goals for the future… For sure competing at the European championship in Lithuania next year, where I hope to set new records. This is my only goal for now, for which I will train even harder.
Robert: Who specifically do you admire most in powerlifting and why?
Bepo: The only two ‘idols’ I have in Powerlifting are Ray Williams and Krzysztof Wierzbicki. My reasons are simple, Ray because his perfect Squat and Wierzbicki because of his Deadlift. If you ask me ‘why no one else?’ this is my answer is because they are the ones that compete in IPF leagues that perform doping tests.
Robert: Finally, do you listen to music whilst training, and what kind of music if so?
Bepo: The music I generally listen to is usually always similar. In general I like Sabaton the most and sometimes a song from the band ‘Powerwolf’. Other music is fine too, if it has a good refrain.
Thanks to Bepo for the interview, follow him on Instagram (@bepopedisic) to watch his progress, we hope to see him next year at the European Championship in Lithuania!