Some of you may already know Daniele Pauli from his appearances on the YouTube Strength Wars series, in this article we get to know him a little better and, Daniele will share some golden tips to become a great Powerlifter.
Daniele (39) from Switzerland is currently the Swiss IPF pl champion (2017) with a total of 765kg (1683lbs) at a bodyweight of 106.2kg (234lbs). He competed in several competitions and the youtube Strength Wars series. He also coaches people and has made a complete guide to become a great Powerlifter on; www.liftyourfuturemax.com (over 40 videos & about to be released in English as well).
Daniele’s current best lifts are a 295kg/649lbs Squat, a 200kg/440lbs Bench and a 320kg/704lbs Deadlift.
Robert: How did you discover Powerlifting, and how long have you been powerlifting?
Daniele: As a former Sprinter i did a lot of heavy explosive strength workouts. In the year 2013 the former swiss powerlifting champion came to me in the gym while I was deadlifting and he asked me if I would compete in a powerlifting competition. That’s how it all started.
Robert: Tell us about your training and life philosophy, being a professional blacksmith and powerlifter.
Daniele: As a Blacksmith I shape different kinds of metal since I was 16 years old. At the same age I started my strength training, this means that steel started to shape my body as well. The stronger I became, the greater my range of possibilities of working with metal became. The more I could lift at work, the more I could shape heavy steel and the stronger I became in the gym. It was the best relationship that could have happened to me in my life.
My training style is self regulated. I make myself a goal and I start to work towards that goal. I never made big goals. Huge goals can be frustrating as self pressure starts to rise, if the progression is not working the way how someone wants. For me it doesn’t matter how long it takes to reach a certain performance in powerlifting, as long as I reach it without injuries or huge setbacks. If you workout for 24 years, you still need to be satisfied in the gym. This means you try different kind of techniques and adaption systems etc. The progression in powerlifting is very similar to the development of a steel product. You have different stages of procedures, if one is missed or not carefully worked out, the output is not satisfying in the end. Strength training gives me a lot of power in my job, and also a lot of knowledge which I can use as a coach. I still train normal people and also professional athletes besides my job as a blacksmith.
Robert: I saw you recently met with the infamous bodybuilder, Powerlifter and Squat Legend Tom Platz, could you tell us about this encounter?
Daniele: Tom Platz is a living inspiration. What impresses me the most is that his attitudes at the age of 62 is still the same. He is a healthy and powerful gentleman, this is for me by far the most valuable goal an athlete can have. Tom inspired me to train more intense again, doing these extra 5 reps in order to be more satisfied and more challenged. I have the IPF worlds in front of me, so I need the extra motivation in my training.
Robert: How was your experience with Strength wars, and what have you learned from it?
Daniele: Strength wars was and always will be one of the best events I could have been a part of. It has shown me how much I can grow over my self, over and over again. And to compete against such great athletes in Strength wars, inspired me to improve in every workout. To workout more intensive again, in order to show myself and the Strength wars fans, what I am capable of. I wouldn’t be the athlete which I am today without Strength wars. I am very thankful for that experience.
Robert: Have you had any serious injuries or accidents with powerlifting?
Daniele: As I started powerlifting after 19 years of strength training, I was very well prepaired for that journey. I always wanted to grow constantly but also in symbiosis with my current life, body and mind situation. That’s why I train self regulated and with focus on my velocity in my lifts.
Guided by this philosophy and physical requirements, I have never had any injuries from powerlifting nor any other sport.
Robert: What was your first training program, and which is your favorite?
Daniele: My first training program was from Andreas Bredenkamp. I was 18 years old at the time and I wanted to be an all-round strength athlete. So I did for example 3 sets of an exercise, the first set was with the rep range 4 -6, the second set was 12-15 and the third set was 20+ repetitions. This way I could improve my raw strength, my hypertrophy and also my strength endurance.
Robert: What Championships have you won/competed in?
Daniele: I own 3 IPF records in Switzerland, for Squats, Benchpress and Deadlifts. I won the swiss championships in Powerlifting last year, I became third in the Strength wars League. I competed in many championships with several first, second or third rankings. Worst place was 6th in the WPC Worlds in 2015 in Portugal.
Robert: Did you look up to someone in powerlifting and why this person?
Daniele: No I never had idols. I will look up to a powerlifter when he turns 70 and he still is able to lift huge numbers compared to his age. Then he can say he was successful and his plan worked out for a lifetime not just for a life period.
Robert: Finally, could you give us young birds some golden tips for this sport, being as experienced as you are.
Daniele: I see many many motivated young lifters around the world which makes me really happy. My recommendations to these youngsters are simple.
– Give yourself a weekly time budget for practicing it.
– Your training routine should be planned in the following order: Mood, technique, weights, equipment.
– This means, if you have a good mood and you can focus, your technique will be good, this means the chosen workout weight can be high, means you can use also equipment like knee wraps, belts or other equipment in order to lift even more weight on that day.
– The other way around can be very disappointing to you
– Make your toughts about your training in the gym but then put it aside when you are not in training.
– Be sure to be focussed during training, leave your cell phone in the bag or in the locker room.
– Make a video or a picture of your set but then put it away. Watching other lifting on social media, doesn’t make you stronger, It can put pressure on you especially between lifting sets.
– To put any training and any squat or deadlift etc. on instagram will be boring for your followers. Post your PR’s or new exercises, represent yourself as fascinating, innovative and successfull.
– To over-analyze your workout can be very frustrating. Your progression in technique needs time as well.
– You can take a 400kg deadflift as a goal, but when you already lift 380 kg.
– Make small goals, reachable goals. Goals that satisfy you in a reachable amount of time. Then you can close the chapter and open the next one and accomplish the next goal.
– Never forget where you started. You are stronger today than one year ago. Never forget that. Be proud of what you have achieved. But do not expect the world to feel the same for you.
– Plan your recovery. Build your whole Life as a lifter around your recovery. Only recovery can make you stronger.
– Prefer Food. Real Food. Cook your own food, day by day. A supplement can never give you the ingredients like healthy food can do. Never.
– Be careful which Boosters you take. Some of them are not allowed on IPF competitions for example. The WADA has a list of banned substances. Booster can have a negative effect on your sleep. This will affect your recovery, which then causes a tired mood. It can be a negative spiral.
– Give enough focus on injuries or pain. Your pain-system in your body lowers your performance, till the injury or the problem which causes pain is fixed. An ignored injury can end your career as a lifter. Forever.
– Choose your coach carefully. He should be an active or former powerlifter with a real track record which he can show you on an official powerlifting association website. You should be able to understand and comprehend his philosophy and his lifestyle and his way of coaching. In the end you have to lift the weight, not your coach. It’s your time, your money, your health, not his.
– If you are a drug-free lifter, follow coaching plans of drug-free lifters or institutions. It can be very frustrating to follow a workout plans which is made for drug enhanced lifters.
– Make lifting as a lifetime goal. I can promise you as an almost 40 year old lifter, that you will earn much more respect, compliments and support if you are doing it for a long term period. And the more you are into strength training, the more satisfaction you get.
– Practice other sports. If you take powerlifting real serious it can be very onesided. In order to keep your satisfaction in lifting heavy weights, practice an other sport, a teamsport for example. this will improve your teamspirit as well and also your social skills. If you practice another sport as a hobby, you will increase your satisfaction for powerlifting. This, I promise you.
Daniele’s coaching service & Powerlifting guide: www.liftyourfuturemax.com
Daniele’s Instagram: www.instagram.com/paulidaniele/
Daniele’s website: www.danielepauli.com/