| Greta Schumacher
Cameron John McKenzie
Name: Cameron John McKenzie
Home: Fennell Bay
Gym: Max Bristow’s Garage
Weight class: 120kg/120kg+
|Personal Best Raw||Squat||Bench Press||Deadlift||Total|
|Personal Best Raw||Squat||Bench Press||Deadlift||Total|
- 120kg+ Raw World Record Deadlift (Junior)
- 120kg+ Raw Commonwealth, Oceania and Australian Deadlift Record (Open and Junior)
- 120kg+ Raw Commonwealth, Oceania and Australian Squat Record (Junior)
- 120kg+ Raw Commonwealth, Oceania and Australian Total Record (Junior)
- 120kg Raw Commonwealth, Oceania and Australian Squat Record (Junior)
- 120kg Raw Commonwealth, Oceania and Australian Deadlift Record (Junior)
- 120kg Raw Australian Deadlift Record (Open)
- 120kg Raw Australian Bench Record (Junior)
- 120kg+ Australian Squat Record (Junior and Open)
- 120kg+ Australian Deadlift Record (Junior and Open)
- 120kg+ Australian Total Record (Junior)
- 120kg Australian Squat Record (Junior and Open)
- 120kg Australian Deadlift Record (Junior and Open)
- 120kg Australian Total Record (Junior and Open)
- Current #1 Raw and #2 Equipped Male Powerlifter in Australia
- 2013 Raw Junior and Open Commonwealth Champion
- Best Ranked Junior Male Powerlifter in Australia 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015
- 2x Silver Medallist at the Raw World Championships (2013/2014)
- 2x Arnold Deadlift Competitor
- 2015 Raw and Equipped Open National Champion
- 6x Pacific Invitational Competitor
My favourite lift really depends on how each lift is feeling at the time. I often go through phases of love and hate for each lift, but I would have to say deadlift is my favourite lift.
Best powerlifting moment:
When I took out the #1 Ranking in the country on my home soil on my last deadlift (which was also a World Record) in front of my family and partner in the front row!
Worst powerlifting moment:
Going 3/9 at the Pacific Invitational at the Sydney Fitness expo, only managing to make my openers for each lift.
What got you into powerlifting and when?
I got into Powerlifting after being lucky enough to meet Richard Hojzan (one of Australia’s most elite Powerlifters for the last decade) at an open day for a local gym. I participated in a deadlift tutorial that was run by him after being involved in a CrossFit workout (please do not judge me). During this tutorial, I managed to deadlift 280kg at the tender age of 19, which managed to catch his attention. He was generous enough to invite me to come and train with him in his garage gym, where I competed at my first competition 8 weeks later (deadlifting an unofficial world record of 280kg in my first meet). After that meet, I was hooked and the rest is history.
How did you decide that you want to compete in Powerlifting?
For those who have not yet had the pleasure of attending a powerlifting competition, the experience is amazing. When I went to my first competition with Richard Hojzan, I was instantly embraced by the powerlifting community. I was surrounded by so many people who were so passionate about not only lifting heavy ass weight, but also about helping and supporting one another. People I had never met before were offering to assist me in any way necessary. This was a major factor in bringing me into the sport, having come from a very different environment in bodybuilding.
After the rush of the competition and the physical and mental challenges it presented to me, I instantly knew powerlifting was for me (plus I was pretty good at it).
How often and how long do you currently train?
No matter what time of the year it is, I train almost every day, but the length of my training sessions will vary throughout the year. I am currently in my off-season and I train for an hour per session, regardless of the lift. During my competition period, my session can take up to 2-2.5 hour depending on the lift.
What does your competition day look like?
I often wake up early the morning of the competition due to nerves and struggling to sleep. Because I am extremely nervous and worked up, I struggle to eat my normal size breakfast, so I just try and eat as much of it as I can without bringing it straight back up. After breakfast, I will generally double check my comp bag and that everything is packed and then chill out until it is time to make my way to the venue.
I hate getting to the venue too early as I usually expend too much emotional energy, so I usually plan to get there 15-20 minutes before weigh-in.
After weigh-in, I’ll segregate myself somewhere quiet and try to eat some more food without throwing up. I do this until it is time to start warming-up, then it is show time!
Following the competition, I generally like to hang around and chat to my fellow competitors, spectators and friends. If help is needed, I will spot and load for the following session or the next day, otherwise I will assist in packing up the venue.
How do you stay fuelled and energized during competitions?
I try to eat food that is high in carbohydrate and is easy to eat, which may vary from competition to competition. If I can get a combination of low and high GI carbs then I’m a happy boy! During a competition, I will make sure I am stocked up on NoDoze Plus, bananas, carbohydrate/electrolyte drinks and muesli bars.
What’s your favourite post comp food?
If I can get my hands on them, pork ribs! Otherwise, I will settle for a steak and chips or any traditional pub feed (given I’m from a town with a pub/club on every corner).
Who are your role models and why?
I have two main role models in the sport of powerlifting; Brad Gillingham and Max Bristow. I have been absolutely blessed to be greatly involved with both individuals, who both posses the same characteristics and attributes that I aspire to attain as I develop as a person and athlete.
Both men have a work ethic that is second to none and a relentless ability to train past what is humanly possible, which is what has inspired me to train the way I do today. It is what these men have managed to achieve on and off the platform that truly inspires me.
Max Bristow is the godfather of Australian powerlifting and a key member in linking Powerlifting Australia to ASADA to give the sport ASC recognition. He has set 20+ World Records, competed at numerous world championships and is still involved in running and coordinating competitions at the age of 71, which he has been doing for the last 50 years. It is his love and dedication to powerlifting and his generosity to everyone involved that truly inspires me and makes me want to be more and more like him every day.
Brad Gillingham was my first idol in powerlifting. I remember when I first began in the sport, I would sit on YouTube watching his highlight and training videos on repeat in utter disbelief. The thought of even meeting him in person became an instant dream of mine, let alone what would come in the near future. I remember after my world record and gold medal deadlift at the world championships in Suzdal, Russia, he walked up to me in the warm-up room as I was surrounded by my fellow Australian team members and said “Cam, that was the best deadlift I have ever seen! I don’t care about how much weight other people lift, your patience and perseverance is just amazing”. To clarify, the deadlift took approximately 13 full Mississippi seconds to complete. Only months later, he personally invited me to compete alongside him at the Invitation Only Pro Deadlift at the Arnold Sports Festival. Whilst competing with him at the Pro Deadlift, he really showed me the meaning of humility. He would take out the time to talk to anyone and everyone, assist anyone where ever he could help and was more supportive than anyone I have ever seen. The way that he handled himself was second to none, and has largely shaped the way I handle myself as an athlete and person.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start powerlifting?
Take it slow and don’t rush it. Powerlifting is a strength marathon, and those who start too fast or try to make a dash to the finish often won’t make it. Your success will come if you train smart, eat well and take your recovery very seriously. An athlete won’t be very useful in or out of competition if they continue to get injured or get injured for long periods of time.
What are your plans and goals for the future in powerlifting and generally?
I was going to keep this a secret, but what the hell! Next year I want to do the following: -Take out the best overall raw junior male Powerlifter in the world.
-Take out the raw total world records for the 120kg and 120kg+ weight classes.
-Be the first Australian in history to squat 400kg and total 1000kg drug-free.
As for my personal goals, I am to begin my career in strength and conditioning.