10 Questions with Team USA Weightlifter, Kendrick Farris

Added by Shannon Hovan on July 2, 2012.

Team USA weightlifter Kendrick Farris

As Team USA weightlifter Kendrick Farris prepares for his second Olympic Games, he says he is “training to win”.  But for him, even more than competing and claiming a medal, the journey is about faith, family and sharing his story with others.

1. What does your weekly lifting split look like with six weeks remaining before the Olympic Games?

“Training is 5 days a week. Three to five hours each session.”

2. Do you ever dedicate a workout to a specific a muscle group, or are compound movements [clean and jerk, deadlift] your main focus day in and day out?

“Yes.  We do a lot of different exercises: Bench press, squats.  We do a lot of different things.  We’re not just going in the gym and working only on competition lifts.”

3. It is easy to assume that the sport of weightlifting is all about power and physical strength, but how much of the sport is nutrition?

“I think it just depends on the person.  I just try to eat as clean as possible. I have teammates who eat whatever they want, to be honest.  I think it just depends on the individual because some people are more strict on their diet compared to myself.  When I say I eat “clean” I mean, protein, vegetables.  I don’t eat fried foods or any of that.  You’ve just got to find a balance between what you’re putting into your body and your mindset.  If you view your body as a machine or as a temple, then that is how you’re going to treat it.”

4. What is it that keeps you improving year after year?

“The goals that I set for myself.  Where do I want to be in life?  What do I want to have for my family?  When I think about my last name that is very important to me; leaving a legacy. I want people to hear my name and think positively about me.  I’m never satisfied with what I want to accomplish.  When I don’t feel like that anymore then I shouldn’t be here, you know, competing.”

5. Building off of the last question, you were on the Olympic Team in 2008; In your eyes, how is London 2012 different from Beijing 2008?  

“In 2008, I was really just happy to be apart of the team.  I didn’t make up in my mind that I wanted to win until I got there.  Because honestly, I wasn’t training to win.  I was training to just make the team.  Now it’s different.  I’m training to win.  And not just to win, but to connect with people and to share my story.  I’m a man of faith and family.  I would live to win, of course.  But, I’m proud of the work I’ve put in to achieve my goals, so winning would just be a plus.”

6. Is representing the US in the Olympic Games the highest accomplishment for an athlete?

“I think it’s an incredible feat for sure.  Not many people can say that they are an Olympian.  It’s definitely a notable feat.”

7. In your eyes, as a top competitor in your sport heading into London, is winning gold simply a goal, or is it the only option?

“Winning is a goal.  The goal, number one, is to inspire people and for people to connect with me so that they may start to believe in their dreams.  Whatever your talent is, be thankful that you have it.  You can achieve your dreams.”

8. Aside from competition, what are you most looking forward to in terms of the experience of being an Olympian?

“The opening ceremonies.  That’s something I’ll never forget.  I remember it took a long time to get in, and people were complaining it was hot and it was taking so long and I thought to myself, you know what, it is hot and this is taking long, but once we got in there I forgot about all of that.  Walking in is something I’ll never forget.”

9. Throughout your career, did the accomplishment of participating in the Olympic Games always seem attainable?

“Yea, I mean, when I was young I wanted to play football.  I loved the game.  What made up my mind to focus on weightlifting was when I realized that I could be great and I could make an Olympic Team.  But, I know that it’s not going to be the end of my story.  There is much more that I want to do.”

10. Is there a special camaraderie that exists between fellow Olympians?  If any member of Team USA were to win a medal, would it be as if you won it as well?

“It really does. I remember, at the Beijing Olympics there was a track and field event on.  I can’t remember which one. But, I remember getting to watch it on television from the [Olympic] village.  It was such an awesome feeling to see another US Team member win, because you know what they put in as a fellow competitor to even get there.  So, it’s great.”

Team USA weightlifter Kendrick Farris

We will continue our 2012 Team USA / London Olympics Interview Series all month leading up to the start of the Games. Find all the interviews and more Team USA coverage on the DoubleGSports.com Team USA page.