CrossFit Champ Justin Medeiros Flexes Powerlifting Prowess
Two-time CrossFit Games victor, Justin Medeiros, recently showcased his strength at his debut powerlifting meet in Meridian, ID. Taking a breather from CrossFit, Medeiros trained under the watchful eyes of coaches Adam Neifer and Jesse Bifano, alongside fellow lifter Dallas Hamm.
Medeiros first caught our attention at the 2020 CrossFit Games, where his fiery spirit and drive hinted at a future champion. Despite finishing third, it was clear he needed to up his pressing strength game. This led to a collaboration with Jesse Bifano, co-owner of Squamish Barbell, who helped Medeiros hone his skills remotely via Zoom and FaceTime.
Bifano, who opened Squamish Barbell in 2009, is a firm believer in the Conjugate Method. This powerlifting training system, developed in Russia in the 1970s and later enhanced by Westside Barbell’s Louie Simmons, involves structured training sessions focusing on maximum and dynamic effort. Bifano emphasizes the importance of speed and velocity in training, rather than the weight on the bar.
At the meet, Medeiros wowed spectators with a 511.5-pound squat, a 303-pound bench, and a 600-pound deadlift, securing second place in the 90kg weight class. Hamm, however, fell short of his goal weights and didn’t qualify for Nationals. Despite this, Hamm remains grateful for the opportunity to train under Bifano.
CrossFit founder Greg Glassman encourages athletes to “regularly learn and play new sports,” and Medeiros has done just that. While powerlifting isn’t a far cry from CrossFit, it presents unique challenges and requires a different mental and emotional preparation. Bifano believes this change of pace keeps athletes like Medeiros focused and fresh, and competing in different sports can have a significant carryover effect.
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