Strength Bites: Brandon Lilly November 18 2014 1 Comment
Brandon Lilly is the man behind the Cube Method, and is one of the world's top elite powerlifters. He has achieved a raw total of over 2200 pounds, and will be stepping on to the world platform later this week at the GPA Worlds in Sydney, Australia.
Despite what he says, his recovery from his squatting injury in January earlier this year is nothing short of miraculous. On his left side, he tore his quad and patella tendons, his ACL, MCL and his meniscus. He also broke his kneecap. On his right side, he tore his quad and patella tendons and partially tore his meniscus and small hamstring. While mere mortals may just be learning how to walk again, Brandon is already squatting and deadlifting weights that we still dream of, and planning his return to powerlifting at GPA Worlds.
Ferocity caught up with him to learn how his recovery has been going.
Cheryl: Can you share more about how your recovery is going and what has helped the most?
Brandon: The main thing is positive energy, and positive people around you. When I was injured I realized how many people I catered to that really didn't matter, sometimes at the expense of my true friends, and family. I adjusted my focus, shut some people out, pulled others closer, and set out on a plan to get better.
There is nothing easy about the surgeries I endured, but there is also nothing miraculous about my recovery. I had one of the best surgeons in the country, and to be put back together correctly is the first step. From there with all the pieces in the proper place, it was just allowing everything to "heal" to the point that I could set out on my recovery path. I explored natural supplements, prescription medications, peptides, and PRP injections to further the healing, and at this point lifting was not my focus, walking was. Once I had my plan, my course of action, I took my first step. Literally.
Cheryl: That's incredible. It must have been such a struggle going from squatting hundreds of pounds to learning how to walk again. What helped you to keep your focus and drive?
Brandon: My son. He's 7 now, and as impractical as the sport of powerlifting is, and the selfishness of it, it was only worsened when I felt like I may never get to do things with him. That was by far the most motivating aspect for my recovery. The other side was wanting to show people the kind of individual I am. My brain can tolerate the fact that I may never squat a PR again, but I never wanted to be a guy that lifted the most weight, I wanted to be respected as someone who made the most of the circumstances I was dealt. That's really all life is about is making the most of every single day.
Cheryl: I think you have definitely shown everyone that you definitely made the most of the circumstances, particularly in the past year. We've all been very much inspired by you. Can you share some of the most important lessons you've learnt from lifting and how you apply it now?
Brandon: My personality is like a bull. I set a goal, and I do whatever it takes to achieve. Straightforward. Since the injury I've really learned to listen to warning signs my body gives me, and I push when it feels good to push, and I am more reserved when I feel I should be reserved. My issue for a while was that I set goals for GPA Worlds. The goals were just numbers I believe I can achieve, rather than numbers that made sense based on my training, so I fell into the trap of overdoing it and my legs would stay sore for days on end. Then I realized GPA Worlds is not my swan song. I will compete after this meet so I'm better suited to lift to my abilities and take what the day allows. Ironically enough the more reserved approach has probably allowed me to advance more quickly than had I been full steam ahead the entire time.
Cheryl: Thank you Brandon, and all the best at GPA Worlds!