Incidentally, last night was absolutely legendary. We went to a viking themed party for Dave's birthday. Everyone went all out with the costume's and i'm sure there will be photos to come, there was hog roast and a manowar singalong. It was truly Valhalla.
|Rhod and I singing 'Dawn of Battle'|
Anyway, onto the main post. I had strongman event training this morning at 10am with a competitor who competes at the Welsh strongman. He lives just round the corner and as he's involved with organizing the events, he literally has all the kit: Logs, atlas stones, yoke, farmers walk handles as well as a mass of other stuff...
I heard of him online at the Sugden barbell forum. I managed to organize a training session and at the same time entered myself for the Welsh Strongman Novice competition. This is in March and is for first timers. The weights are lighter then the real comp but its 3 months before the main one. I can enter both and it'll be good warmup. Then, i'll sign up for the actual Welsh Strongman which is looking to be in May/June, where the weights will be significantly bigger. More on the events and weights closer to the time but here's the forum website.
Onto todays session which is looking to becoming a regular weekly thing now. We started off warming up with some tyre flips, a couple of singles, just to get the blood flowing. As we were outside, we were training in a number of layers, i had vest, rugby top and hoody on and a pile of food and drink with me as well as the training session was looking to be long (3 and half hours roughly). These kept me warm during the rest periods and jaffa cakes kept me happy for the 3 hours.
After the tyre flips we moved onto overhead press. We started with the light 50kg log for a couple of clean and presses moving onto a 95kg slab of concrete which was an interesting experience. We then moved onto a keg. We did all of these as a clean and press for a number of singles. This was all 'warm up' and we moved onto the big log after this starting on 80kg and going up 5kg each side. I managed a rep on 140kg and unfortunately failed on 150kg but it's definitely within reach. A big issue is cleaning the log up from the floor as its got such a massive diameter. It's literally a big hammer curl/ hip thrust and awkward as hell but hopefully technique is one thing that will come on in leaps and bounds over the weeks.
Just to mention, with a lot of the events, there is so much technique involved and they are so different from gym lifts that its totally unique compared to anything i've done before. This is true throughout and there's nothing that can prepare you for shoulder pressing a slab of concrete for example.
|This is a log press :)|
We moved onto the Yoke carry after this. This is an experience in itself and it throws all concepts of core training out of the window. We started on a 'light' 180kg and this was probably my worst run as walking with this weight and stabilizing the pendulum motion of it was totally new to me. After a wobble i did the full 15m stretch of drive way.
An interesting point as well was as we were training in a residential area we had to keep the noise relatively low so trying to carefully put the yoke down after a run was quite comical.
After the 180kg we went up 40kg a go to 220kg, 260kg, 300kg and up to 340kg. I managed to get the 340kg the full distance in two goes. Considering i've never had anything over 320kg on my shoulders before let alone walked with it, this was an experience in itself. And as i said before, the core training is insane. All of a sudden your abs and back feel like jelly and your wobbling down the drive as this yoke is swinging and swaying with a life of its own while you try to control it. We went up to 380kg and i did a couple of half squats. My 2nd rep was quite comfortable so we'll definitely give that a go walking next time.
Next was farmers walk. This was pretty standard, the only thing to say was that the knurling on the handles was ferocious so even with only 60kg in each arm, my hands were being torn apart. We worked up to a length on 120kg in each arm and i just finished short of the full distance (15 out of the full 20m) but as with all of the training today i wasnt looking to beast myself as i know myself i wasnt 100%. In addition to this the weights have a life of their own once you pick them up (thats 240kg in total) and they wobble and pendulum back and forth as you are walking so i'm sure as a first go with a totally new experience this will improve over time.
To finish we had a go on the atlas stones. I'd been looking forward to this and i really enjoyed it. We warmed up with an 85kg and 105kg stone. We then did singles on 115kg, 135kg and 155kg. I had a go on the 175kg stone but it wasnt happening today. There's only a 200kg stone above that and apparently no one is doing that at the mo so i was pleased with my performance. I also had my first experience with 'tacky' which is absolutely horrendous stuff but it really helps you stick to the stone.
With stones, there is an element of speed to each lift so up to the 135kg stone we were going for getting them up in one movement. The 155kg stone had to be rested on the lap and then lifted up but hopefully by the comp i'll be 'one motioning' the 155kg and then 'lapping' the 175kg. The 200kg stone can be a long (long long) term goal.
We did a bit on some grippers to finish and tidied everything up.
As i said the session lasted about 3 and a half hours but there was a lot of sorting equipment and rest time as every lift was a max effort. Overall i really enjoyed it, will be going back next weekend and really looking to improve massively over the next few months as my event technique gets better. In terms of other training i'll probably stick to my 3 gym sessions (A - deads, B - Press, C- Squats) but cycle them over 3 weeks so:
Week 1: Session A and B
Week 2: Session C and A
Week 3 Session B and C
Week 4: Start again.
|Graze from atlas stones and spots of leftover tacky everywhere.|
Overall, great day, looking forward to next week. Boom...