Shane Hamman: I started by playing soccer from age 7 through 12. I then played football in 9th and 10th grades followed by wrestling in 12th grade. After high school I began training for powerlifting. I powerlifted from 1991-1996. In 1996 I saw weightlifting on TV during the Olympics and made the decision to switch.
JH: How does Olympic lifting compare to Powerlifting on a skill level?
SH: Weightlifting definitely has more technique involved. Taking the weight from the ground to over your head is just more difficult. I personally have had to work a lot harder to be a good weightlifter than I did in powerlifting. Don't get me wrong, powerlifting takes allot of skill, I'm just saying that there is more athleticism involved in weightlifting.
JH: Give us your best Powerlifting and Olympic Weightlifting numbers.
JH: What does your current training schedule look like? Do you perform any type of plyometrics? I have heard a great deal about your jumping ability.
SH: In the mornings I do squats, power snatch or clean + jerk, presses, and abs. Afternoon workouts consist of snatch and/or clean + jerk and pulls. Tuesdays and Saturdays I only workout in the afternoon, I usually do technique work and RDL's. I used to do allot of plyos but I don't anymore. I believe that it is mainly the explosive training that makes me as athletic as I am.
JH: How important is range of motion to be successful as an Olympic lifter?
SH: To be a top weightlifter you need allot of overall flexibility. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part you need to have a full range of motion.
JH: There has been a great deal of talk about you competing in Strongman events. Any truth to those statements?
Shane Hamman & I
SH: No. I have considered competing, but I am totally focusing on the Olympics.
JH: In speaking to you recently you told me a story about the first time you had ever squatted when you were in high school. Tell the readers about the 500lb squat.
SH: I was in off-season football my freshmen year when I squatted for the first time. I did 135, 225, 315, 405, 495. I was hitting the bars on the bottom of the squat racks but still squatted the weight up. Everybody was freaking and I really didn't know why. I didn't realize that I was that strong until I competed for the first time when I was 18 yrs old.
JH: Where do you see yourself in five years from now? In your opinion what are the most important attributes for an athlete to have if they wish to become a successful weightlifter?
SH: I see myself retired from competion, speaking to about 70 to 80 groups a year, and about 100lbs lighter. I believe to be a top lifter you have to enjoy it first. Train consistently and have other things in your life that you can do so you don't get burned out. But most of all develop a focus during competition that allows you to hit your PRs in competition and not in training.