10 Questions with John Strachan
Updated: Mar 5, 2021
10 questions is a blog series hosted by North Shore Barbell aimed at giving exposure to some of New Zealand's top powerlifters & coaches.
To many of us that started Powerlifting in the early-mid 2010s, John IS Auckland Powerlifting.
John is an extremely decorated lifter, having held many New Zealand records in the raw and equipped categories of powerlifting and represented New Zealand at a number of world championships.
As well as that, he is one of New Zealand's most experienced Powerlifting coaches and it's highly likely you'll find one of the many lifters he works with at any given NZPF competition.
Best lifts in competition:
242.5kg Squat / 165.5kg Bench / 287.5kg Deadlift | 695.5kg Total at 73.9kg
Visit Johns Open Powerlifting profile for more information on his lifting history.
Tell us a bit about yourself
Hey, my Name is John Strachan, I'm 32 years old and Live in Auckland, Auckland born and bred! I'm head coach at Getstrength Gym and that takes up the majority of my time. So much so that I've let my own training slip a little... But I'm on one of my many comebacks!
How did you start lifting weights, at what age and why?
I started specifically Powerlifting training in 2002 at the age of 14, I started training because I went and watched a few of my dads competitions and also was a huge Arnold Schwarzenegger fan so I wanted a gym membership for years before I got one.
John (Bottom left) pictured with the New Zealand Powerlifting team at the 2018 World Championships in Calgary, Canada.
What drew you to Powerlifting specifically?
As above, watching my dad (Kevin Strachan) compete was mainly what drew me to the sport, and also gave me a clear path to starting.
But I also wanted to be strong, even before I knew what strong really was.
Who or what are your biggest influences when it comes to lifting and anything related to it?
Of course, there are many world-class lifters that I look up to and respect. But this has to go to the trio of men who were there in my formative years, Kevin Strachan, Steve Thompson and (The behind the Getstrength brand) Steve King
It's very doubtful I'd be where I am today without the influence of those three men. I was very lucky to have them around!
What’s your best lifting memory or moment?
This is a tie, and funnily enough, both moments are from back to back comps, Worlds 2018 and Nationals a few months later, I can't choose between placing 4th at Worlds and going 9/9 to get 500 wilks at Nationals 2018 (when that was still good).
Both right up there!
What has been your biggest lifting fail?
Haha, This has to be my performance at Auckland's 2017... 4/9, only got my opener in the deadlift and it was about 10kg below what I pulled for 3 reps in the gym...
What’s the best gym you’ve ever been to and/or trained at?
Without a doubt, Getstrength Gym and North Shore Barbell.
Both amazing gyms that foster great communities, performance and most importantly have been massive for the growth of Powerlifting in Auckland.
Good kit too!
What are your top 3 songs to lift to?
What is your “guilty pleasure” exercise?
Does doing as many reps as possible on outdoor park gym equipment count?
A young John lifting equipped at the famed Powerhouse Gym in Wellington. Is equipped powerlifting the ultimate guilty pleasure?
Kiss, marry, kill - Squat, Bench & Deadlift and why?
Kiss - Squat:
I suck at them but I don't think I get as excited for Deadlift singles as I do for heavy squat singles.
Plus a heavy squat is just cool!
Marry - Deadlift:
This is the lift I'm probably best at.. I had to make a big 2nd to 3rd attempt jump to get 500 wilks and Deadlift was loyal.
Kill - Bench:
It's boring makes up the lowest percentage of your total.. Meh.
If you want to get in touch with John about his coaching services, you can contact him at email@example.com
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