The Dungeon Gym had three cardio machines and the rest is weights and strength training equipment. That equipment line-up runs parallel to my training belief system. You go there to lift. Most of the crew there were getting into strongman training and that training, as I sadly peddled my knee back into use, rubbed off on me. As I progressed in PT, the notion of joining my new crew of friends in strongman became a thought and goal that propelled me along with my training.
After a year, I finally got the opportunity to achieve that goal. Last Saturday, I did my first strongman competition in Tampa, Florida, taking 6th in the Novice Division.
|Who need steroids when you eat these kind of sandwiches?|
Training for this show had it's ups and downs. One of the major downsides, naturally, was my lower body training. My knee PT was generally successful save for one issue: My left knee doesn't hyperextend like it supposed to. So, my lifting with my lower body was slighty uneven, my right legs moving faster and working more than the left. This eventually led to a carousel of lumbar disc irritation and issues an IT band tightness. Plus, any movement that forced a lot of hamstring activation would leave my bad knee sore for the next day or so. Long story made short: my heavy squat work was minimal for much of the summer and I zeroed out on the Hummer Tire squat.
|My friend, who was also competing, said it best: shake it off, it didn't happen. Move on!|
|I sprinted over to my lane. Bryan looked at me like I was nuts.|
|I wasn't too far behind him...|
That's when inexperience and nerve juice got the better of me. I exploded off the ground with the yoke, locking it out and steadying it with surprising ease. Unfortunately, I missed the down command and kept moving. I had to go back and do it.
|...Now I am|
|I missed one. Just not this one. The crowd went nuts!|
|"you're a fast little shit!" Bryan|
The last event I figured to be my strongest event: keg tossing over a 13' bar (Four Quarter-kegs. 20, 25, 30 and 35 lbs). What I didn't figure was how good everyone else would be. I threw just before Bryan, who I didn't realize was a Highland Games thrower. He one-handed his way through those fuckers in just over 21 seconds.
I drilled the hell out of the throws. I regularly did heavy T-handle swings, double Kettlebell swings, and throws with my Alpha Strong Sandbag (40 lbs). I got off to a very hot start, throwing the first three kegs 3-4' over the bar in around 18 seconds. However, inexperience got the better of me. As I was throwing, I stopped taking the two steps backwards to get into a good position to throw the keg. By the time I got to the 35 lbs, I was throwing too far away and my last keg bounced off the pole, forcing me to redo the throw and coming away with a 26 second finish time.
- I correctly surmised that a barbell hack squat was likely to be very similar to a car deadlift. As a result, the car went up pretty easily.
- Getting the farmers handles were initially a problem for me in training since I did so little heavy deadlifting due to my back. So, what I did do instead was practice lighter deficit deadlifts and deficit-deadlifts with chains. As a result, I was able to get the handles off the ground and do it reasonably quick.
- Despite some problems with the yoke in training, I mastered squatting underneath it and pressing as I drove upwards. This made my two yoke presses fast. I also correctly surmised that regular squat-pressing would aid in this.
- While my thumb screwed with my grip on the circus dumbbell press, I still nailed it. I'd been practicing this for over a year and this one implement in the medley finished the medley for 4 of the 10 competitors.
- Inexplicably, I didn't meet anyone who used swings to training for throwing kegs. Someone must have! Lots of the competitors needed start the keg at eye level in order to get the extra momentum to get the keg over the bar. After months of swinging 100-150 lbs of weights, I started most of my throws at my knees. Even that may have been unnecessary.
|I suppose I can only be so hard on myself. This picture is about 13 months old.|