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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Strongman Training Week 1

Here is a short video of my first attempt at some event training in the gym. Farmers walks at 100kg weren't too bad but it's been a long time since I did any stone loading practice or axle work and consequently my technique was pretty rough and the weights were down.

Anyway, I'll post more videos of future sessions which will hopefully show some improvements!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Muscle Building and Strongman

One of the most common goals I'm asked about is gaining muscle mass and recently this topic has become very close to my heart.

As regular readers will know I've just entered a Strongman show in June and despite competing in the "Lightweight" category at 101kg and 179cm tall I'm a good 4kg under the weight limit for the class.

Now from weightlifting I can tell you that the last thing you want to do in a weigh category sport is train and compete so far under a weight limit for two reasons.

1. It's muscle mass that you are just giving away

2. Some other dude will train all year at 110kg and then squeeze himself down to 105 for the weigh in, rehydrate and effectively you'll be competing against a 110kg monster.

Therefore I'm aiming to add about 6-8 kg over the next few months so that I can be that guy that lives and trains at 108 - 110kg and then squeezes in under 105 for the comp.

What most people don't realise is that putting on QUALITY muscle mass for strength sports is not easy. You can't just eat crap all the time because you'll put on fat and once you've reached a certain level of muscle mass it becomes harder and harder to convince your body of the need for more. Furthermore while you could use bodybuilding techniques the type of muscle you put on is different to the type required for true strength sports.

So stay tuned and in furture posts I'll be sharing some of my strategies.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Pumping Iron

Yep, thats right, the Classic movie about Arnolds 1975 quest to win a 6th Mr Olympia.

I was watching it last night while I was doing some work and even though I'm not big on bodybuilding as a "sport" or even on training just for looks I have to say it's a pretty good movie for a few reasons.

1. It shows what bodybuilders looked like before the ridiculaous steroid freaks of the current era looked like. Was there steroid use in mid 70's bodybuilding, undoubtably but nothing like what you see now! The guys in Pumping Iron are big, muscular and lean but none of them look like they've dropped out of an Alien spaceship. These days bodybuilders present a completely unrealistic picture of what you can achieve in the gym, mostly because the magazines refuse to admit that these guys are all juiced up to the eyeballs! Kind of like airbrushed female models modern probodybuilders set unachieveable goals for guys and make everyone wonder why they can't be 110kg of ripped to shreds muscle!

2. The strength training in pumping iron is pretty basic. Over and over you see guys benching, rowing, squatting (deep squats too), pressing overhead and deadlifting. There are few fancy machines around. Big basic training like this should never have gone out of fashion!

3. In places Pumping Iron is just damn funny. Listening to a young Arnold talking about sex, commitment and playing mind games with other lifters is very interesting. It's no wonder the guy has had three very successful careers in bodybuilding, acting and politics. Love him or hate him the guys got ambition and balls.

I believe that there is a new edition of Pumping Iron out on DVD soon so I suggest getting together with some fellow muscleheads and watching it for a little motivation!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Whats New in 2009

Ok I hope everyone had a good break over Christmas. I had a bit of time off (thus no posts for over 4 weeks!) but got stuck into training and a few new projects as soon as the new year started.

So here is whats coming up in 2009.

#1 - I got a brand new video camera for Christmas and I'm getting the hang of the editing software so look out for heaps of new videos and DVDs. I've teamed up with Andrew Cattermole from CrossFit Sydney and we are now taking a half day each week to shoot videos of Olympic weightlifting, strongman training, CrossFit workouts, Kettlebells and heaps more. I've included my first new video here. This shows a few of the ways I warm up before my strength sessions. (excuse the music, it seemed like a good idea at 2am while I was editing it)

#2 - I've just launched the "Octogen Insider" system that gives people access to 6 full monthly programs for various goals updated monthly with new programs and exercises. This system combines most of the elements of our fully personalised programs at a fraction of the cost and we are offering a 30 day trial for just $1.

#3 - Last year was a complete write off for me in terms of serious training. A hernia operation, two bad chest infections and tons of travel made training hard and competing in anything impossible. This year however I've recovered and reprioritised and have just entered the NSW State Strongman show to be held on the 27th and 28th of June. Stongman is really taking off in Australia and I'll be helping wherever I can to promote the sport.

#4 - Also coming this year is the 2009 World Masters games. With 28 sports and more competitors than the Olympics it's going to be a huge event for Sydney and somehow I got "Volunteered" to run the Weightlifting Competition. 500 athletes and over 100 officials and volunteers for 8 days!

#5 - Other stuff. Over the next few weeks you'll hopefully see a switch to a new blog format plus a new kettlebell specific website coming soon.

#6 - As usual I'll be running workshops and instructor courses around Australia and there is also talk of a New Zealand workshop but i'll keep you posted.