Monthly Archives: July 2014

The WA Strongman National Qualifiers, Coventry Square

350 kilo Axle deadliftTHIS qualifier was pretty disappointing for me, I have to admit. I gave it all I had, and in spite of my experience I still took third place. The Heavyweight division boasted a half dozen athletes this year. I lost to Liam McIntyre, of Crossfit Armed, and a new heavyweight by the name of Rongo, who came out of nowhere to steal second. I know little about the young guy, other than he took 4th or 5th place in New Zealand’s Strongest Man earlier this year.

In the end, my score was damaged by my lack of conditioning. I almost blacked out, collapsed and lost control of my limbs for a couple of seconds during the final event – the 130 kilogram sack carry. It was a race for greatest distance travelled in 90 seconds, and while the sack carry and load has been one of my better events in the past, today it was my undoing. I fell after not even completing one 15 meter lap. I need to get my heart rate down.

My yoke was shit. I can’t say why, but it has not improved since last year, based on my scrutiny. Especially since in training it’s been going markedly better than it did on the day. But then I do have a nice, rigid, new yoke to train with.

This year

The axle clean-press was heavier than 110 kilos, but it made no difference on the day, as I was only able to press it once while my competitors both achieved several reps (Liam’s looked especially effortless).

And the rising bar Axle deadlift event also felt to me like it was misloaded. According to officials all weights were checked and no misloads occurred. My best lift on the day, a 350 kilogram axle dead, was most definitely a new record for me, but honestly didn’t feel that heavy. All the same… it’s a new PR, and it’s a significant one. I’m happy enough about this, and it assures me that repping 300 conventional in the near future is now that much more attainable. Once I’ve recovered from today, of course.

This was my best performance on the day. Shame about the shitty footage.

The Fat Gripz grip strength event will get a post of it’s own in due course. I’ve got a bunch of footage I need to piece together. It was also a successful part of the comp.

But the real highlight of this year’s qualifiers, for me, has to be the performance of a young lady called Ashleigh Hetaraka. Ashleigh is an LFL player who I met not even a month ago, at Genesis. She expressed an interest in training Strongman and I showed her some stuff with the yoke. Within a few attempts she was walking 195 kilos for 20 meters, no drops, and no belt. I was impressed, and she was eager to do more.

Ashleigh had just three weeks of training with me as her coach (and I’m no coach) saturday afternoons and weeknights where possible, while *also* training for the Legends Football League on Sundays. And it was during LFL practice that Ashleigh severely sprained her ankle, about two weeks before comp day.
10407958_10202471054634149_1929846659875471606_nAshleigh is committed. She’s galvanised, and she’s stupid. Stupid enough to not listen to her physio and her coach (that would be me, by the looks of things) when they tell her not to train on a busted ankle. She doesn’t care about the risks associated with moving heavy weight… she just wants to be a weapon. I am hoping that, over time, she will listen enough to become a smart weapon. I know she has a future in Strongwoman, IF she doesn’t permanently damage herself in the process.

She took third place in the women’s division and secured her spot in the State finals this year. Come October, with proper training (and fewer busted ankles) she will be a force in Strongwoman in the state.

As for me, I will be back at events training next Saturday, at Genesis Bentley.

The Night Before Qualifiers: Last Events

Have you ever let the weight of the world get you down so low that you start seeing the negative in everything? That’s where my head was at, earlier this evening. It’s truly staggering how a simple matter of perspective can send me into sociopathic meltdown. I had been feeling good about the comp all week, and then suddenly I was in a slump and everything seemed impossible. The following was written earlier in the week, when I was in a completely different mindset.

Weighing up the pros and cons going into this, another national qualifying round, I have to say; this feels like it’s going to be the best one so far. In previous years, leading up to comps at both state and national level, I’ve suffered injury and illness at the worst possible times. But this week I’m feeling fit and strong. I still have a resting heart rate of 90 or so beats per minute (not healthy, but not terrible) and I’m advised the conventional wisdom to remedy this is to go for a long jog.

My last events training session was not all that I wanted it to be. My heart rate was more like 115, despite eating heartily and hydrating well, I’d had an almost sleepless night, and it resulted in the high pulse and weakened state. All the same, I did what I could do.

I also managed to strain my right gluteus maximus under the yoke, courtesy a rushed warmup (I really need to learn this lesson for good one day), but it’s feeling pretty minor right now… I’ll have it needled just to be sure.

Other than these minor issues, I have no injuries, no illnesses, I’ve hit a couple of new PRs under the yoke and with my deadlift, and despite today’s high pulse rate, being fatigued and not on point due to a sleepless night, I’m generally feeling good about everything.

Yoke walk
135 kgs x 20 meters
235 kgs x 20 meters
335 kgs x 10 meters
395 kgs x 5 meters – pulse too high
435 kgs x 10 seconds static hold PR

Axle OHP (strict) warmup
50 ks x 5
70 kgs x 3
90 kgs x 1

Axle Power clean-press
100 kgs x 1
110 kgs x 1

Axle OHP (strict)
*20 rep sets*
50 kgs x 20 TPR
55 kgs x 20 TPR
60 kgs x 10

Pull Thursday: Last Lift Before Qualifiers

LAST WEEK I overdid it with the bent-over rows (well, more specifically, I over-extended re-racking the bar) and got a lumbar strain. This set me back a little bit (hence pulling this late in the week) but not enough to be worried. I’m definitely in good condition for next weekend. I will be doing some events this Saturday, and after that it’s just resting and eating till the qualifiers.

It felt good to hit it really hard tonight. But getting out of bed tomorrow may be a challenge. The amount of dicking around that goes into constructing the axle deadlift taxes my lower back a little prematurely, and when it came time for bent-over rows the pump was, again, ridiculous. So I dropped the barbell and moved to seated rows instead.

Once the comp is over and I don’t need to train Axle deads anymore, I’ll re-introduce the aspects of this template that I’ve missed in the last month.

70 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 5
170 kgs x 3
220 kgs x 1
260 kgs x 1
280 kgs x 3s x 2r PR

Deadlifts w/Axle
*18 inch height*
250 kgs x 3s x 3r PR

Overhand bent-over BB rows
100 kgs x 5 – back pump

Seated rows
114 kgs x 15, 15, 10

Squat + Thursday: Another Broken P.R.

EVERYTHING HURTS. But it’s good. The lower back got really pumped again tonight, but it was towards the end of my squatting. and I stuck with just the Rehband soft belt (and knee sleeves) for all sets. The Rehband is much better in this situation.

And I’m pleased to say that this is a legitimate, all new personal record for me. I’ve not performed this many reps with 200 before, and not with a straight bar (my previous best was a max effort set of 8 reps with cambered bar… a long time ago now). I’m really looking forward to working towards 250 once more…. and from there, hopefully 300 before too long. I’m way behind on this one (not as far behind as I am with my press, but close) and I need to get on with building more leg strength in order to further develop my deadlift, and everything else.

Squats w/Axle
20 kgs x 8
70 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 5
150 kgs x 3
180 kgs x 1
200 kgs x 3s x 3r PR

Leg press
260 kgs x 5
300 kgs x 5
330 kgs x 8 PR

Underhand BB bent over rows
100 kgs x 8
120 kgs x 8 TPR
130 kgs x 5 PR

*20 rep sets*
20 kgs x 20
22.5 kgs x 15

Press Wednesday: That’ll Do

ANOTHER good session, and for my press that’s rare. My forearms and shoulders all held together as I power-cleaned the competition weight for a double. I didn’t push it beyond that… but I feel pretty happy with this little achievement, mostly for the fact that nothing hurts now. This is another box I should be able to tick off on the day; Axle clean-press for reps: check. I have 75 seconds to do as many as possible, but I will likely play it safe and stop at 3.

The other events, I’m going to smash the shit out of.

OHP w/Axle (strict) warmup
20 kgs x 5
40 kgs x 5
60 kgs x 3
80 kgs x 1

Power-cleans w/Axle
100 kgs x 1
110 kgs x 2

70 kgs x 5
110 kgs x 3
130 kgs x 1
140 kgs x 5 PR

OHP w/Axle (strict)
*20 reps sets*
50 kgs x 20
55 kgs x 18 TPR

Triceps pushdowns
114 kgs x 20, 13, 8