By Jeramey Lowry on 11/24/2014 Back to Articles
Post 2,000 pound total Interview with Tee Cummins
Congratulations Tee on such a great accomplishment this past weekend, 810 lb squat and 2,000 lb Raw Total at 220 is beyond impressive.
These questions are going to be directed mainly towards your work ethic and recent meet.
How many days a week do you train and how do you manage to squat 8 days a week?
Haha, I’m currently training 7 days a week hitting each lift at least twice a week, sometimes three depending on the phase of the program. Squats are a big emphasis of the way I train because it is my strongest lift and will either make or break my total.
Do you do any mobility/stretching between workouts to make up for your high frequency preference of training?
In all honesty, I'm pretty lazy in terms of my own mobility and stretching regimen. Although I understand the importance of both and encourage my clients to do so, I really haven't done as much stretching or direct mobility work in the past year as I probably should have. I do however make it more of an emphasis as the meet gets closer.
What was your mindset going into this meet? What felt different to you? I knew just from watching your training, I felt like you were going to have a huge meet?
Well in the past year I've set some pretty huge goals for myself. At the beginning of the year I thought for sure an 800 squat would happen based off of how my training had been going. Surely enough it didn't and I continued to fail, meet after meet, big opportunity after another. (RUM7, The Animal Cage) I totally revamped and rethought the way I trained working with Dan Green over the summer. The level of intensity and effort put Into that guys training is nuts. However, it made me realize that I wasn't working as hard as I should have. After my meet during the summer, I had once again come up short on each of my goals and decided to start things over completely, and proved to myself I could do this. So beginning in August, I told myself that I would hit an 800lb Squat at 220 and that if everything else fell into place, 2000 would fall. So after the best training cycle of my life, I competed at the APA Ironfest on Nov 8 and once again, you guessed it, came up short on each of my goals. That's when I realized the majority of my failures had been a mental issue, not physical. I had put so much pressure on myself to do something that in reality, only mattered to me. So I had one more opportunity to accomplish my goal, and Instead of putting a ton of pressure on myself, I put things in perspective. I am a father, I have a beautiful daughter and as much as I want to become the greatest Powerlifter to ever live, that could never amount to what I really want and what matters. So with one more meet left, and in front of a "home crowd" and the gym I had been training at, I just had fun. I was extremely confident on the platform, and had more support than ever. I think everyone knew how much I had wanted this, and I really fed off of it the positive energy.
Which meant more to you, the 810lb competition squat or 2000lb total?
Honestly the 810 squat, as crazy as that sounds. In reality, knew I had to have a perfect day to total 2000 so there wasn't as much pressure but the 810 was the one I had been chasing all year. The one lift that had constantly haunted me so breaking that barrier meant a lot to me. I'm sure looking back, the 2000lb total will mean more because it is a huge milestone for any lifter to accomplish, but for now, getting that 800 out of the way feels good.
You are the youngest 220lb lifter to ever total 2000 raw with wraps, how does that make you feel? It certainly speaks volumes of your work ethic.
It definitely feels good. The 220 class is one of the most competitive classes in the sport so being able to add my name to an almost "undefined" record so to speak is a big deal to me. Having the feeling of being first to do something is great. I'm sure at some point, a 220 lifted will come along and total 2000 at an even younger age (probably Peyon Cox lol) and that will be good. It keeps things interesting.
What's next? What're your dream numbers? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Well I plan to compete again in January at a USPA meet in Hattiesburg, MS in the 242 class before dropping to 220 for Raw Unity 8 in February. My dream numbers are whatever is required to break the all time squat and total record in the 220 class. Chris Duffin and Dan Green seem to keep each of those increasing so I guess we will see. Honestly, I have no clue where I'll be in 5 years, things change. Hopefully at the top of the sport.
Why can't you manage to take a week off.. Or even a day? I saw you were benching the day after your 2000lb performance. What drives you, what is it that motivates you and is always pushing you to progress?
Man idk. I just love this sport, and I am extremely competitive. Knowing there are other lifters out there that are on another level entirely drives me to put in the work, everyday. I hate taking days off. In a way it almost seems obsessive, but I promise it's not. I've put things in perspective this past year and really have a balance I was looking for, but it hasn't changed my goal, or my drive.
How good does 2kTee sound to you knowing that you've totaled 2000+lbs in competition?
It sounds pretty cool actually.
Last question, how grateful are you for the support you have behind you? What does it feel like to compete knowing everyone is rooting for you? You are easily one of my favorite powerlifters along with many, many others who look up to you. You're truly hard not to like.
Man it feels great. I'm extremely grateful. I have had so much support this past year dealing with everything I have, it's unbelievable. I wouldn't have hit the squat or total I did without the support I've had leading up to the meet or from the other lifters, friends encouraging me the day of the meet. All the texts, Facebook messages, comments, etc, do not go unnoticed. I may not have a huge following, and rightfully so, I'm still within my first three years in the sport, but I think the people and followers I do have understand to an extent the amount of passion I have. It comes off as annoying to some people, and I can understand that too. But in the end "Passion trumps everything" -Dave Tate. So for anyone that gets that, thank you.