Name: Kurt Miller
Occupation: Personal Trainer
Occupation: Personal Trainer
Livin’ in: Richmond, VA
Vegan for: 4 years
So, you’re a power lifter. That’s something I’ve just started learning about, can you tell us a bit about the methodology? How did you get interested in power lifting?
Ah, well everything started I guess when I first started training Muay Thai in 2008. I played football, lacrosse, and I wrestled through my sophomore year of high school and my father has a Ph.D. in exercise physiology, so I've always been pretty educated on lifting. Hell, we even had a squat rack and bench in our garage growing up haha. But I would kickbox for 5-6 days a week and lift 2-3 days a week for a couple years. Since then I've always kind of been obsessed with functional strength exercise instead of bodybuidling and hypertrophy.
Probably around April of 2011 I was working with a friend of mine that competes in strongman meets, and I looked into, and then kind of got obsessed with powerlifting. (While SM and PL aren't the same thing at all, a lot of athletes compete in both, so one led to another bada boom bada bing.) Anyways, I started training with a basic western periodization of 5, 3, 1. After around 6 months I hit a hard plateau, almost more mental than physical, but seemed like I couldn't push anymore weight. Obviously with PL you compete in the 3 power lifts: bench press, squat, and deadlift. So I was basically killing myself lifting heavy and wasn't seeing anymore progress. After that I looked into the methods of Louie Simmons (Westside Barbell) and Mark Bell (Supertraining) and holy shit did everything change. I've been progressing like crazy. If you're interested in getting a lot stronger, especially in your powerlifts, google those dudes.
Let’s talk about that photo of you leg pressing 900 pounds. That’s uh, a lot of weight. Pray tell, what hath given thy such superior strength?
Haha, funny thing about that picture. 900 is an impressive amount of weight but that was at the end of a long workout. I had already done 5 sets of high box squats, 5 sets of front squats, and 5 sets of partial deadlifts. I'm guessing if I was fresh, and had knee wraps it would be 1250+
...woah. What does a week in the training of Kurt Miller look like?
I train 3 days on, one day off. Dynamic effort, Maximal effort, general physical prep (GPP), and then a day of rest. For example this is what I'm doing this week:
Monday - Max Effort Squat: 12x2 Cambered bar low box squat, 5x5 Good Mornings, 5x5 single leg press, and then ab work (planks, glute bridges, leg raises, quadriped exercises on stability balls.)
Tuesday: Dynamic Effort Bench Press: 10x3 Board press with bands, 5x5 Floor crushers, 5x5 Yates row, 3 sets Glen B shrugs, 5x5 Arnold press.
Wednesday: GPP: Swim half a mile, more core stability exercises, 20 minutes battling rope circuit, stairmaster for 20 minutes.
Then after my day of rest I would do dynamic squat, max bench, then GPP. Hope all that makes sense haha.
I know you’re about to start competing in powerlifting meets, what made you decided to do that?
I just want to see where I stand. I've been competitive since I was a little kid, and now that I don't compete anything I'm itching to get back to it haha.
Do you monitor your protein intake? What are your favorite proteins?
Definitely, even if I wasn't vegan I would haha. I try to take in AT LEAST 1g of protein for every kg I weigh (so at least 90 but it usually it hovers around 150) I love truenutrition's vegan protein optimizer, cause you can make it any flavor you want, and it digests super easy. Also it’s cheap as hell. Sun Warrior is also amazing, but I don't usually buy it unless there's a sale. I have a friend that works at the bodybuidling.com warehouse, so every once in a while I can get my hands on something new. Nitro fusion is also really cool.
(Hey Yo! Vegan readers, if you order from truenutrition.com, use code DBERN0812 for 5% off!)
Do you take supplements?
I do! I take joint supplements (Trader Joe's has vegan glucosamine!), a multivitamin, protein supps, and some sort of pre-workout. I have been taking Cellucor's C4 for a while and I really like it. The creatine nitrate in it doesn't really impress me but the NO precursors and beta-alanine are great. I just got some free samples of MusclePharm Assault, and ON's Amino Energy and I'm really excited to try them but I haven't yet.
Do you use any websites or apps to track your progress?
Not necessarily, I use evernote on my phone to keep track of my weights and workouts, and myfitnesspal to count calories, but nothing too special.
Well I work at a gym. A lot of the time I plan my workouts before/after work so its super convenient. Plus I like lifting. Some people see exercise as a chore to stay fit but it's meditative to me. It keeps me even.
Who are your top fitness inspirations?
My father, Louie Simmons, Ray Lewis, Nick Minetti, Jay Fry, Pyrros Dimas, and Shogun Rua.
The world is ending tomorrow. What’s for dinner tonight?
Everything in sight. Maybe Everlasting Life in DC.
Are you vegan for the animals, the environment, or your health?
It’s always been about the animals. Obviously all those are important but yeah.
The Vegan Straight Edge and the Richmond Straight Edge.