Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Post Competition

I got 4th in my weight class. Due to the low amount of teens signed up I was put into the middle weight weight-class which did not really bother me. I did great in the yoke walk and farmer's carry. They felt both light and easy. I had to do a 475lb yoke and a 225lb/hand farmer's. I lagged in the axle press. My 3rd and final attempt for my max was 200. It would have been a PR, my best being 190lb. For atlas stone I had to do a 225;b stone for max reps in 60 seconds over a 53 inch bar. I had never done a stone that heavy so I was very excited when I got three reps. My friend and training partner, Zach, beat me. It is friendly competition. Overall it was an exciting and fun competition and it really showed my progress over the bast year.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Competition Preperation

My first strongman competition of this year is this Saturday, the 30th. My peaking phase of my training started 3 weeks ago. My peak consisted of low rep sets that is no lower than 75% of my max. The training felt good and me hitting those high numbers has helped my confidence. When I am not training conventionally, like squats, dead lifts, or bench, I am training strongman. So I have been hitting a lot of axle press, yoke holds, yoke walks, and atlas stones. I can tell a difference in my strength from working with John Calhoun at Calhoun Performance Center.  This week is my deload phase so my body is fully rested. I am doing 5x5 on the big lifts at 50% of my max. I am also eating more than I need so I know I am recovering. i have also been sleeping 9-10 hours a night and drinking a lot of water. I am ready for Saturday.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

DOMS, with many lifters, is a love-hate relationship. The sore muscles that inhibit basic everyday activities can be really annoying, but in your mind you know it was an effective workout. I have been on a journey on ways to alleviate the pain and quicken recovery. I have found that the day after when you are really sore, do very light weight on the muscles worked. So for legs, body weight squats help get blood flowing to the legs to speed up the process. Also a calorie and protein surplus will help the body recover the quickest. Then you can foam roll. While this is the most painful, it really works. I actually did this to my legs this morning and hopefully I will be fresh for tonight's workout. Foam rolling sucks but is very effective.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Where To Look?

Nowadays there is so much information on the internet about lifting, nutrition, how to lift, what's the best protein powder, it can be overwhelming. The best place to find true solid information is an actual person that is educated in exercise and nutrition, but not everyone has this luxury. The next best thing is YouTube. Many professionals have accounts on YouTube and publish very detailed content that is extremely helpful. Athletes like Brian Shaw, Mark Bell, and Chad Wesley Smith, who are some of the industries finest, all have YouTube channels that post videos and live seminars pertaining to lifting and nutrition. Also talking to a dietitian or strength coach would be a solid information source. This day in age it is almost impossible to remain uninformed on the basics. So if you are a beginner, the best thing to do is research online and ask questions. Veteran lifters are usually more than willing to share tips and give advice. The internet is free and there is tons of good content on it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

One Won't Hurt

I hear this all the time, "One won't hurt." Whether I am eating out with friends or with my family, I feel pressure to eat or drink something I do not want to. For instance I was with my friends this week and one of them had McDonald's and was full and wanted to get rid of the fries. She asked me if I wanted any and I said no thank you. She then teased me about how I only eat chicken and rice. While one cheat meal most likely would not affect me, I hate eating it. Fast food makes me feel like crap because it is literally poison. Also if I were to indulge in less than healthy food, it would set a precedent in my mind that one won't hurt and soon it would turn into more than one. So maybe one wouldn't do any damage, but I do not want to take the chance. In order to be the best, you have to act like the best.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Not Everyone Will Understand You

As you begin your training, there will be people in your life that do no understand your journey. People do not understand why you would give up your time and put effort into something like fitness or lifting. And with less free time or none at all, they will get upset with you because there is less time for them in your life. But this your dream and your cause so you cannot let others dictate it. There is the saying the family comes first and that is true, but after that, priorities are priorities. So when your friends wonder why you never stay out super late and how you do not eat certain food, they will question you and you have to be ready for that. I do not understand why people do the things they do. Why do people eat Wendy's? And drink pop like it is going out of style? I try to treat my body the best I can but I do not question those who do not. Bottom line, people will not understand your change in mentality unless they are experiencing it too.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Curbing Injury

When it comes to strongman, football, or any athletics, the worst thing that can happen is an injury. It is the most dreaded thing in sports. It hinders you useless and prevents you from getting better. In strongman, injuries seem to come more often than they go making it difficult to succeed. I have found that proper rest, diet, and recovery make aches and pains disappear. But if it seems to be more serious than that the best thing is to address it before it becomes career-ending. For example I was training this weekend and when my training partner Zach heard a loud and painful pop come from his knee, he stopped what he was doing and stretched it. This was smart of him due to the multiple surgeries he has had on his knees. I luckily have never had any serious injuries and I think that is due to my warm up. Before I lift any type of weight I take a proper warm up. I start with calestendics followed with a light amount of weight for whatever lift I want to perform. For some reason people know a days do not take warming up seriously and give me a hard time for doing so. But that doesn't bother me cause I know I am preventing pain and injury.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Arnold Strongman Classic

Over the weekend the Arnol Soorts Festival took place in Columbus. It is a huge sport festival which is mainly based on strength sports. I wish I could have gone but my weekend was just too busy and I would have missed out on training days I can't afford to miss. I know next year I'm defiantly going cause many of my favorite idols and celebrities are there meeting with fans and selling their products.  Also watching the strongmen compete kind of sparked an idea in my brain, "how cool would it be of that was me one day?" If I dedicate all of my effort to this,  I could get my pro card at least. That is my first long term goal. Then once I am there I will look for another challenge such as competing at the Arnold. So who knows, maybe I am the next Brian Shaw or Eddie Hall. But if that is to be me, I know I have a heck of a lot of work to do in the meantime.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Current goals

Basketball season is winding down and the ending of the season makes me think of where I want to go from here. These past weekends that I go to Barret's Gym in Terre Haute has allowed me to "re-fall-in-love" with strongman. And now realistically, I have to prioritize. Do I want to continue my basketball career knowing that I do not have the skill or want to go onto play in the next level, do I focus on football given I might be able to walk on in college? Or do I try to make a career out of strongman? Any goal is realistic if you have the work ethic and resources, I like to think I have both. Where does college fit into strongman training? In order to be a pro, the sport has to become before everything else as I have mentioned previously in a blog, I am not sure if I could put it before my health, family, and work. High school is a time to figure out what you want to do, and it is time for me to start getting my ducks in a row. Let's say I do get my pro card when I am 23-27, in order to live off of it I would have to win big competitions and get sponsors. It all sounds good but the sacrifices might outweigh the good. This is all good food for thought.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Weekend Training Sesh

This past weekend was a good one when it comes to training. Saturday I went to my trainer's home gym and hit some shoulders and triceps and back. I hit some over head press with the fat bar, it's a barbell but it is 2 inches in diameter. I then did incline fat bar press, bent over rows, close grip bench press, and tricep extensions. After that workout I was definitely  feeling it in my shoulders and upper chest. So I went home and ate a truck load of food so I would be ready for the next day. The next day my trainer and I went to Terre Haute to a strongman gym over there. I did yoke walk for the first time and worked up to 400 lbs for a 30 ft trip. Yoke walk is when you have a bar going across your back like a squat bar and it is connected to a large frame. I also did some farmer's walk at 170 lbs a hand. I worked on my axle clean and press and capped off the day with some atlas stones. It was a solid training session and I am looking forward to many more to come this spring.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Stuck in the Middle

Basketball season is winding down with only two more weeks of the season left. My original plan was to do MI-40x which is a bodybuilding program that is very intense. I want to do this to put on mass quickly, which is what the program is meant for. The new football coach is very keen on kids lifting with him as soon as their season is over. He uses Bigger Faster Stronger lifting program that is a basic strength program. It was written during the 80's when high school lifting first became a thing. It is a little out dated and poorly implicated in most cases because the people who are teaching it do not understand it. But you cannot go up to a coach and tell him he is doing in wrong, can you? But most people do see results with it because they are new to lifting, it then tends to plateau after 6 months. I want to get stronger and bigger with a program I know works, train for strongman, and stay on the coach's good side, but I cannot do them all. Decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Balancing School and Athletics

Every student athlete knows the struggle of getting home from a game at 9:30 and having to stay up for another hour to finish homework. Then you have practice tomorrow and you get to catch up on sleep after dragging through the school day. Coaches claim that academics come first, then athletics, but I have never seen this practiced. I manage to get homework and studying done due to my SOS hour which is very helpful. But I cannot complain that much, most teachers at PHS will give you some leeway if you explain to them your situation. I would say the pros outweigh the cons when being a student athlete. You gain life skills such as time management, confidence, and the ability to work with other people. The cons include late nights and early mornings, busy weekends, and a large amount of your time goes to practice. For basketball we practice six days a week averaging two hours per practice, but towards the end of the season we usually get out after and hour and a half. Bottom line, being in athletics or some sort of organization is a critical of high school and I recommend it for everyone.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

What it Takes To Be great

What does it take to be great? Amazing genetics, a good work ethic, the right knowledge, luck? Maybe a mixture of all. But from what I have learned in my research and from my real world experience, those who are best at whatever they do are those who stick with it. The best of the best do not take breaks. They put whatever their goal is and put it as their number one priority. This is why those who strive for greatness fall short. I do not blame them either. If you truly want to be the best a anything, it has to be your life. Let's use professional athletes as an example. When they are training they cannot go out with friends, eat whatever food they want, or skip a training session or they lose out. It can be said about CEO's of companies or people that make a lot of money. They are the on top, financially, but they miss out on family stuff, but that is what it takes to be great. So when you choose your goals and how far you want to go with it, you have to choose what you will give up to obtain it.
                                                                                                                 Peace, Mike    

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Upcoming Football Season

It has been recently announced that a new coach has been hired for the high school team. I met him the other day and he seems to be a straight shooter. One of the assistant basketball coaches, Rowdy Brown, used to have him as his football coach and told me how much he liked him. I introduced myself at the football meeting and I immediately could tell that he cared about his new position. On a side not, the former coach cared for the program, he was there year round in the weight room, and he never "skipped practices for other personal pursuits.'' Last season was not solely the coaches' fault, the players', or any one person specifically, an equal distribution of blame is at fault for the unsuccessful season. But last year was last year, everyone's focus should be on this fall. This new coach will bring a fresh feel to the program and I hope Paris football becomes something big. I hope my last season is a good one, and I know it will be. There will be new faces due to recruiting kids that have not played before, and from the upcoming freshman class.
                                                                                                        Peace, Mike

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

My First Competiton

My first strongman competition was last July in Strasburg, IL. I had only been specifically training for strongman for about 3 months. On Sundays, I would go to a gym in Terre Haute, Indiana in the mornings with my strongman trainer, John Calhoun, and my training partner, Zach Cox. The lead up to the competition was mostly trying to fit all the lifts that was going to be there into my schedule. 3 weeks before the contest was the first time I had ever picked up an Atlas Stone, and I had only done farmer's walk a handful of times prior to the contest. But it didn't matter, I had so much fun competing and it does not feel like you are going against the other contestants, but you are competing against the weight. Everyone cheers for each other and there is a very positive vibe being shared. This year Strasburg is a USS sanctioned event meaning it will even be more competitive and a larger crowd than last year. Last year there were three teens in my division, this year I am expecting at least 8-10.                                                                    
                                                                                                                          Peace, Mike
"It is easy to be beat with your hands in your pockets." -Unknown

Monday, January 11, 2016

Plan For the Offseason

My training for strongman peaks in the spring and summer because that is when I actually compete. Once that time is up though, I have to scale back my training for football and basketball. Especially for football given it is a high impact sport. And for basketball, the amount of running makes it hard to  extremely taxing lower body workouts and compete at practice. So I have to train smartly. I train on Mondays when practice is lighter because we have games on Tuesdays. Then I train on Wednesdays for the same reasons. To complete the week I train Saturdays after practice. During the week I get to the Rec at 530am and am home by 650. But basketball is over soon and I will scale my training back up. I am not sure how much strength I have gained this offseason but I know there is progress. I also use this time of year to work on fixing muscular imbalances and working on aesthetics because once season starts all my effort goes to actually getting better at strongman lifts.
                                                                                                                           Peace, Mike

'"Stay hungry. Stay healthy. Be a gentleman. Believe strongly in yourself and go beyond limitations.'' -Arnold

Friday, January 8, 2016

How I Got Started

2016 marks the 4th year that I have been strength training, my 6th year of playing football, and my 2nd year of  competing in Strongman competitions. Strength training, strongman, and football all compliment each other. I got into strongman when I was training for football with my trainer, Phil Doblestein. He has friends that were into the sport that I met and they got me started. I began playing football when I was in the 4th grade. My dad and brother both played so I followed the tradition and have enjoyed the sport immensely. My strength training career started in 8th grade when my brother took me to high school football conditioning during the summer. I fell in love with the sport and have consistently done it since a young age. Unfortunately my football career is coming to a close as this coming fall will be my last season unless I walk on when I go to college. But if this it, strongman will satisfy my need to compete in something.