We are absolutely thrilled to congratulate Thomas Hardy on his incredible performance at Pro Raw 13, where he not only won the under 95kg weight class but also set a new Pro Raw record for the 95kg lifter category with a massive 355kg squat! Such a huge effort, we are stoked to see Tom achieve the goals he set for himself and showcase the results of his dedication and hard work. Tom's outstanding performance included the following lifts:
✅ 355kg Squat - New Pro Raw 95kg Lifter record
✅ 307.5kg Deadlift
✅ 205kg Bench
We received a few comments from readers about your training routine since our last catch-up. Could you walk us through your training regimen leading up to Pro Raw 13? How did you strike a balance between strength, technique, and recovery, all while maintaining your nutrition to compete in the U95 category?
"My coach Thomas Lilley and I engage in several months of training prior to a competition, typically around 9 months. We carefully choose which competition to participate in and then focus our efforts on that event. Our training regimen consists of various cycles such as conditioning, development, strength, and peaking. This approach, developed by Thomas, has not only helped me but also many others achieve great progress.
Every week, Thomas reviews my technique and training progress to determine what needs improvement and then makes necessary adjustments to my training and technique. I also consult with him once a week regarding my nutrition and recovery.
When preparing for the pro raw competition and cutting weight from 104 to 95, we started the process 9 months in advance to give my body time to adapt. Thanks to Thomas's nutrition program, the process was fairly straightforward.
The only adjustments we needed to make were to increase my recovery a few months before the competition due to minor injuries. I also receive massage treatments once a fortnight or sometimes once a week."
Did you encounter any specific challenges during the competition, and how did you tackle them?
"I weighed in at 93.2 which was a bit too light which kinda played on my mind a little bit. I did a very small water cut and still ate normally. But looking back I think was more a mind-over-matter thing cause I haven’t been that light since I was a teenager. I just remembered all those training sessions in my shed at home by myself going through hell to win this thing and I knew no matter what I was gonna leave it all out there."
Understanding you had to travel interstate for the event like many other athletes, how did you manage to stay focused and mentally prepared on in the lead-up and on the day?
"I don't change anything with my nutrition & also I like to distract myself by hanging out with my team & family, also tuning out watching a movie or listening to music. I’m very lucky to be surrounded by my team and my family. They know exactly how I am and know to keep me level-headed so I don’t overthink and get in my head too much."
Are there any particular training techniques you implemented in the lead-up to the competition that you believe contributed to your success at Pro Raw?
"Doing recovery sessions on my hips 3-5 times a week a few months out helped my confidence a lot and by doing that it allowed me to widen my Sumo which resulted in more strength & stability."
How do you deal with setbacks or plateaus in your training – did you have any this preparation? What advice can you give to fellow powerlifters facing similar challenges?
"Whenever I have a setback (I’ve had a few) I always assume the worst which is a bad way to handle it. However, as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to deal with them a lot better. The thing that gets me through is that Powerlifting is a marathon, not a sprint, there’s always gonna be another comp. Powerlifting isn't going anywhere, accept the setback and learn from it. Surround yourself with people who have your back and best interests at heart. Also, don’t go on social media and compare yourself to others - it's legit the worst thing you can do when you have a setback."
We know who they are but could you talk about the athletes who have inspired you on your powerlifting journey and explain why they are a source of inspiration for you?
"Matt Stenzel, Thomas Lilley, Dan Green, Will Crozier
Why do I idolise these guys? The way they are as human beings, and their lifting technique, they truly love this sport and have dedicated their lives to it. The big thing for me is through every setback they experience they always find a way to fight through it. Quitting is just not an option - you hear the stories of what they have put their bodies through just to get better and I find it truly inspiring. It was these guys that lit the fire in me to strive to be the best I can possibly be."