Strongman Update: 405 DL and counting

Just a quick update: I’ll be traveling through the rest of the week, so I can’t count on much barbell time… Maybe a “hotel gym” and a pool if I’m lucky, so…

…I wanted to train HARD before I left.  Mission accomplished.

I spent some time doing sets of 5 working on low-bar squats, a new technique for me, but I’m such a newb when it comes to squatting heavy, it’s not hard to adjust.  My back is getting so big that tilting my elbows back on the squat makes a pretty big rear delt/trapezius cushion for the bar.  I LOVE squatting with my belt, btw (review forthcoming.)  I think my deadlift is finally getting respectably heavy, but (comparatively) my squat lags behind.  I’ve been reading Starting Strength and learning about Mark Rippedtoe’s training philosophy.  I believe this will be a big part of my upcoming training, post-contest.  The reason I bring it up is…

…Rippedtoe has the squat at the beginning of each and every workout for novice lifters.

I’m realizing the reason for this and the wisdom.  Every real-life athletic force-generating move begins with you grounded – even upper body pressing or pulling motions.  Strengthen the trunk and the branches can do their job, so to speak.  I’m thinking 6-12 months of Starting Strength 5×5 training would explode my strength to a whole new level.  I like that it’s simple and there are very few movements.  I can see how this style of training would carry over into every other athletic pursuit, ESPECIALLY the focus on squats.

photo 1 (5)NOW!  After squats and (overhead) presses, I hit deadlifts.  My plan was to simply do some deficit pulls – standing on bumper plates to make the pulling distance longer, with lighter weight.  I hit DL’s just two days prior, working up to a new PR of 385 – a 20+ increase from the week before!!!  I immediately realized I felt strong.  Like never-before strong.  I worked up slowly, through sets of 3, then doubles, then singles, finally arriving at 405.  That’s 20 lbs more than Monday’s workout.  In other news, 4 45-lb bumper plates looks super cool on a bar.

Like I mentioned before, these quick gains, setting PR’s every week… it won’t last.  But wow does it feel good to see these clear indicators of progress.  This is one of the best reasons to train with a focus on strength – you can look at the dumbbells or the bar and see the improvements.  In other styles of training, it may take weeks or months to begin to see the fruit of your labor.  The immediate feedback is very motivating.  My grip is stronger than it’s ever been (constantly incorporating the Fat Gripz) and my posterior chain is starting to learn how to pull and push very heavy things.


Last, but not least… I think my crazy training, including sprinting, pushing the family van with the kiddos in it, is beginning to rub off.  Both my son and daughter (4 and 2 yrs old, respectively) are “playing workout” lately by pushing each other in the non-functional Power Wheels.  Rock.  ON.

photo 2 (5)

Parting words, from my online bro, Eric Wagner:

“You know what they call the person who finishes last in a Strongman competition?  STRONG!!!”

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