Transitioning to Strongman

Asylum day 27 - front photo (3)

Well, that escalated quickly.

I began my training back in mid-November (or “mow-vember” as I was sporting a SWEET thick beard that month) at around 225 pounds.  I’ve been as low as 218, and that was right after finishing Insanity: ASYLUM.  I still regard Asylum as the pinnacle of Beachbody programs, if you’ve got that type of physique and performance as your goal.  That’s me at 220 in the top left pic.  Today I’ve gained every pound back that I’ve lost in my history with Beachbody, but the scale doesn’t show the whole story.  Below are the 1rm (one-repetition of the lift) gains I’ve made since the middle of November.

  • Deadlift: from 275 to 415
  • Press: from 115 to 185
  • Push-Press: from ? to 230
  • Squat: from ? to 335

The “?’s” mean that I initially didn’t test my 1rm for those lifts.  My training has evolved as I figured out what I needed.  I knew my deadlift and grip were major weaknesses for the upcoming Strength Camp Challenge, as that competition has a deadlift medley.  I’ve probably over-trained for DL, at the expense of other movements, especially the squat.  I didn’t understand the back-squat and didn’t think it’d have much carry-over for my events.  Couldn’t have been more wrong.  I’ve got a customized version of a popular powerlifting program all ready for me to train in a well-balanced way after the competition.  It’ll include a deadlifting day, a bench press day, a squat day, and an event-training day.  I’ll train overhead press as a regular part of event-training day.

So what’s the takeaway?

Athletes come in all shapes and sizes.

They don’t all have super-low body fat.  Some of them don’t have big bulging muscles.  Their bodies are tailored for maximum performance in their chosen pursuits.  This is me at 260, preparing to throw tires, deadlift, press kegs, sprint while pushing a heavy sled, and more.  When I cut a bit, using P90X3 and some serious diet changes, I’ll likely be a much bigger dude than the first picture.  This is why understanding your goals is so critical.  Don’t eat and lift like me if you want to climb mountains.  You’d be an idiot.  Just like if I trained for my strongman competition using Insanity.

90-day transformations are cool and all, but think, plan, and TRAIN with the long-term in mind.

Think ahead, let your friendly neighborhood Beachbody coach (ahem… that’d be ME) know your goals, and let’s see how your diet and training needs to look.  One thing’s for sure – I know exactly how it feels to lose weight and how it feels to gain it.  They’re both tough.  Change is tough.  But the payoff at the end?  Yeah – that’s a good feeling.


  1. Keith Queen

    Great read. cool to see your progress pics and numbers. You had the epiphany that many never make it to – hope you are successful in leading others there. Best of luck in your competition. I am sure it will be life changing!

  2. Glenda Garwood

    You inspire me every single day! Thank you, son, for pushing the limits and for not being afraid to try new things. I’ll be cheering for you from GA the day you compete!

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