Brad Gillingham

Posted on 08 Mar 2012 13:50



By Ashiem_Matthn

Brad is a 6'5 tall 320 lbs+ Powerlifter from Minnesota, USA who was inducted into the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) Hall of Fame in November 2006, and into the IPF North American Powerlifting Federation (NAPF) Hall of Fame earlier that same year. At the age of 45 and weighing in at about 330 lbs bodyweight, Brad competed in the 2012 Pro GNC Competition and set a record Deadlift of 837.7 lbs.

Some of Brad's Achievements

  • Inducted into the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) Hall of Fame in November 2006.
  • Inducted into the IPF North American Powerlifting Federation (NAPF) Hall of Fame 2006.
  • Brad was a USA Powerlifting (USAPL) Brother Bennett (Hall of Fame) Award recipient in 2003.
  • Brad was inducted into the Minnesota Chapter of the National Strength Coaches Association (NSCA) Hall of Fame in 2010.
  • Brad is a 5 time IPF World Championships winner.
  • Brad is also a 12 time USAPL National powerlifting champion.
  • He has won 28 Major Events and has set 12 IPF Masters World Records.

Brad's Lifting Achievements (for the number crazy)

  • Brad pulled a 400 kg (881) deadlift at the 2010 IPF World Championships in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
  • Brad had a 1057.5 kg (2331) Total at the 2008 IPF Masters World Championships in Palm Springs, California.
  • Brad set an IPF Open World Record in the new 120+ kg Class with a 395 kg (870) deadlift at the 2011 IPF Pacific Invitational in Melbourne, Australia on July 31, 2011.
  • Brad recently broke this record at the 2011 IPF World Championships in Pilsen, Czech Republic with a deadlift of 397.5 kg (876).


2012 Pro GNC Deadlift - Brad Gillingham 837 lbs Video


Brad Gillingham 881 at GNC IPF Pro Deadlift Contest 2009 Video



Brad's older brother Karl introduced him into Powerlifting in 1988. From that point, Brad has excelled in the sport and has many achievements under his belt. In an interview with Deep Squatter, Brad discusses his training. He likes to train 3 times a week with each day dedicated to one of the three (Squat, Bench and Deadlift) lifts. He does not use machines and prefers sticking to free weights for all his exercises. Additionally, he is a RAW lifter and does not train in any suit. Brad says:

I am from the old school…… Nothing comes easy…. If you don't move big weight in the gym you can't move big weight on the platform…. I am smart about getting adequate rest, and knowing my limits. Sometimes it’s smart to back off and avoid injury.

This is such a refreshing view from the regular extremes we come across in Powerlifting: either you keep training with sub-maximal weights by means percentage based routines OR you go all out week in and week out.

Regarding his training, I believe his views have changed over the years and now he has a percentage based waved loading 12 week peaking cycle which he uses to beat previous records. The cycle is split between two workouts per week; one being heavy and the other light. Believing in potentiation, there is a heavy single performed which is followed by work sets on the heavy day and the light workout has a Repetition Effort / Dynamic Effort look about it. The cycle is listed below:


Brad Gillingham Heavy and Light Days

Heavy Days Week Heavy Single Intensity Working Sets Intensity Working Sets x Reps
1 90.0% 80.0% 3 x 5
2 92.5% 82.5% 5 x 3
3 95.0% 85.0% 5 x 3
4 97.5% 87.5% 5 x 3
5 92.5% 82.5% 3 x 5
6 95.0% 85.0% 5 x 3
7 97.5% 87.5% 5 x 3
8 100.0% 90.0% 5 x 3
9 95.0% 82.5% 3 x 5
10 97.5% 85.0% 5 x 3
11 100.0% 87.5% 5 x 3
12 102.5% 90.0% 5 x 3
Light Day Week Working Sets Intensity Working Sets x Reps
1 65.0% 2 x 8
2 60.0% 8 x 2
3 67.5% 2 x 8
4 60.0% 8 x 2
5 70.0% 2 x 8
6 60.0% 8 x 2
7 72.5% 2 x 8
8 60.0% 8 x 2
9 75.0% 2 x 8
10 60.0% 8 x 2
11 77.5% 2 x 8
12 60.0% 8 x 2

Source: Maryland Powerlifting

Today, Brad runs Jackal's Gym with his brothers Karl and Wade, both professional strongmen. You can access Jackal's Gym out here. Brad is also active on his Facebook page: Brad Gillingham

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