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Strongman Podium Finish

Interview with Philippines Strongman Champion 2019 – Carlos Lanzona

By | Events, Interviews, motivation, Post Comp Write Up, Strongman, Uncategorized | No Comments

I’ve had the pleasure of working with the Strongman Federation of Philippines since it started in 2015 and have been involved with them as their advising Technical Director to help them grow the sport of Strongman in Philippines.

In this month’s article I have the utmost pleasure of sitting down with Carlos Lanzona from the Philippines. I’ve worked with him in his past two competitions (actually it was more like abuse). So a week after his incredible and stunning win at the Philippines Strongest Man and Woman 2019. Winning in the Men’s Open category and surpassing 3x Champion Ray Jefferson Querubin and talk about his amazing achievement!

Carlos introduce yourself to the readers and share a bit about yourself.

Hello! I’m Carlos Lanzona, I have been working as a professional cook since 18 years old. I’m currently 25 and I like going to punk gigs, riding a bicycle with my girl and playing Dota2 in my spare time. I also love lifting all heavy things too!


How does it feel to win Philippines Strongest Man 2019 and surpassing Ray Querubin 3x Champion?

Podium Finish
Carlos finishing 1st on Podium

It still is a surreal experience for me. I am still in shock!

I gave myself till 2022 to take a proper shot at that Men’s Open title and winning this year is dope! Surpassed is such a strong term, Ray is a tremendous athlete and a good friend, still someone to watch out for. I’m very sure he will come back and give me a lesson or two. The long arduous journey in truly dominating the national scene is still in progress. Put my head down, work hard grit and never quit.

What’s next for the 2019 Philippines Strongest Man?

Stop competing in Powerlifting and Weightlifting to focus on mastery. I tend to want to do everything and anything. But I need to learn how to focus on one thing at a time. Training on joint health and tendon strength for a few months. Addressing my static strength and try to catch up with the other contenders.

Priority is to stay healthy, stay in the game and outlast everyone. I don’t intend to be a one hit wonder or a flash in a pan (no pun intended). I plan to work hard and be in this sport for a long time.

My spirit animal is a cock roach, because it never dies. I am also helping friends with powerlifting training and am finding that I adore coaching.

I’ve also got an invite to compete in Asia Pacific Deadlift Championships 2020 and hopefully I am able to pull big numbers and finish on podium. Maybe I might be able to push Taufiq Strongman… Just maybe with some luck.

What’s your training programme like?


This year for PSM it has been four times a week twice a day. A good mix of conjugate method and common sense.  In the afternoons I do mostly barbell work, very short rest periods lots of warming up and ridiculous amounts of volume work like how my Uncle Taufiq trained me last year and almost never above 85%. This method has worked out for me pretty well. It’s actually common sense and when I feel like crap, I just focus on accessory work and go for walks.

When I get home from work around midnight from work. I do 100-150 reps of Glute Hamstring Raise variations, facepulls, IYTs, tricep pushdowns, shoulder rehab and maybe abs. All of these exercises are completed in under twenty minutes to keep conditioning up.

4-6 weeks out before the competition I start to touch implements but never heavy always for correcting footing, pickup and transitions for moving events and for 65-80% doubles on static events. Always doubles, I always have Uncle Taufiq in my head shouting at me… “DOUBLES! Doubles! CHIN DOWN!”

What are your weakest events? 

Pressing or anything overhead because I have past shoulder injuries from knocks and tears. I am currently trying to strengthen and overhead events still scare me at times. I also need to catch up on my deadlifts and maybe throwing.

 
Who are your inspirations or role models if any?

Jim Morrison, Sisyphus from Greek Myths, current World Strongest Man Martins Licis, definitely the amazingly awesome Rob Kearney, Patrick Lim and the whole of crew from Strong Stuff Training Hall and definitely Taufiq Strongman! 


What do you hope for the strongman scene in Philippines?

Moving forward with the Farmer’s Walk


I hope it continues being a no drama and fun filled healthy environment to grow and nurture athletes in. I’m proud to report that Strongman in the Philippines is under one banner and one family. Everyone is supportive, cheering and constantly encouraging each other! I hope it draws more and more crowds in each year and truly be a spectacle worth watching for people as time goes on.

It has been amazing to see foreign athletes competing I hope next time Open competitors come over too and show us what’s up, I welcome defeat every damn day. I think I’ve also learnt to accept that you either win or you learn when it comes to strongman.

️Thanks for your time Taufiq. Much appreciated. Good luck with your own training and competitions.

Follow Carlos on IG – @paomasalamaker.pjx

Thank you Carlos for your time. Once again congratulations on winning the title of Philippines Strongest Man 2019. If you ever are in Manila, make sure to visit Carlos at his restaurant. He cooks a pretty decent meal too and from what I heard anything with masala. In the meantime stay strong, train hard and be injury free!

Highland Games

Highland Games Adventure

By | Events, Highland Games, motivation, Post Comp Write Up, Strongman | 2 Comments

Why the Highland Games

It has been no secret that I have been prepping and training for the Highland Games in Scotland. Why does a strongman want to do a Highland Games? The answer to that is pretty obvious. The origins of strongman dates back to the Norse and Scottish culture dating back more than seven centuries. Where feats of strength are the norm in day to day life and at times survival.

The Highland Games itself especially the Heavy Events are probably or most likely the origins of the modern day contemporary strongman competitions. Now individuals who have not seen or tried any of the events in the Highland Games may come to a quick conclusion that “Hey, that looks pretty easy”. I can assure you that it is not. It was an eye-opening experience and definitely each throw, attempt or failure is a learning experience on how much I need to grow as an athlete.

The Highland Games in a Nutshell

Whether spectating or participating, The Highland Games are a unifying rite of passage for any Scots. Amidst the vast ocean of tartan, bagpipes and clans, sits a cultural event steeped in skill, tradition and community.

From the months of May through to September, society and communities across Scotland and other countries partakes in these games, which include the heavy events like the caber toss, stone put, throwing weights for distance or height and the Scottish hammer throw. Dancers of immense talent of various ages and genders move gracefully under the hypnotic tunes of the bagpipes. The pipe bands and march past is a cultural fixture at all Highland Games that summon harmonious and almost hypnotic melodies throughout the games.

It turns out that the Highland Games, like many moments in Scottish history, are laced with a healthy dose of ambiguity. Multiple sources mention King Malcolm III of Scotland. During the 11th century, proposed a foot race at the majestic summit of Craig Choinnich, which overlooks Braemar. The story goes that his motive was to uncover the fastest runner of the bunch, so that he could have a swift royal messenger! 

Many adhere to the thought that the Games originated as a type of war game or as a means of sifting through the ranks as a means of finding the best candidates in their field to serve the clan chieftains, both of which focus on strength, agility, and to some degree, entertainment. To stress the enduring nature of the Highland Games, rewind back to 1314 in Fife, where the Ceres Highland Games, the oldest free games out there started by Robert The Bruce, were conceived to commemorate and celebrate the victorious return to Ceres of the men who fought at Bannockburn in 1314.

At the end of the day, when it comes to the history of the Highland Games. The most important thing is the sporting element. For it is the sporting portion that has always been the star of this Scottish show.

Prepping for the Highland Games Events

My sole focus will be on the Heavy Events because I’m definitely not graceful enough to be part of the dancing bit of the Games.

There are a few events which are fixtures at most Highland Games like below.

Caber Toss – The caber is a large, tapered, wooden pole (like a telegraph pole) between 15 and 23 feet (5-7 metres) long and weighing between 5 and 11 stone (30-70kg). One of the most fearsome cabers of all is the 20ft (6m), 9.5 stone (60kg) Braemar caber, first tossed in 1951. The origins of this event is from woodsmen who were used to hauling trees.

Shot Put/Stone Put – Similar to the modern-day Olympic shot put, but normally featuring a smooth stone (or sometimes not). There are versions of the stone toss events, one that allows a run-up and more variation in technique, the other a standing put. Large smooth stones from a riverbed are used for putting.

Scottish Hammer Throw – Similar to the hammer throw as seen in modern-day track and field competitions. A round metal ball (weighing 16 or 22 lb. for men or 12 or 16 lb. for women) is attached to the end of a shaft about 4 feet in length. The throwing motion involves about two to three swings from stationary position. The hammer throw originated using a blacksmith’s hammer.

Weight for Distance – The weights are made of metal and have a handle attached either directly or by means of a chain. The implement is thrown using one hand only, but otherwise using any technique. Usually, a spinning technique is employed.

Weight over Bar – Athletes toss a 56-pound (4-stone) weight with an attached handle over a horizontal bar using only one hand.

Drumtocthy Highland Games

The Drumtocthy Games takes place in the grounds of Drumtochty Castle in Drumtochty Glen just two miles outside the picturesque village of Auchenblae. It’s known as the friendliest games in all of Scotland. And all You have to do is just turn and approach any of the grounds staff or officials and they will direct you where to go.

I selected this games because it was within my schedule of my stay while in Scotland. But what I did not know was that the Drumtocthy Highland Games was a sheer international display at the highest of levels of competition with athletes from Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland, US and Scotland. It escalated quickly turning out to be an international affair with world class Highland Games athletes whom have years of experience and numerous Highland games under their belt. It was very clear that I was a fish out of water especially after the first event which was the Hammer Throw.

But I have always adopted the philosophy of just competing and do my own thing while enjoying myself. With every throw the crowd cheered and clapped, you may not be the best thrower but one thing that I really appreciated was the crowd cheered and clapped for every single one who genuinely gave their best in every throw, every event and attempt.

I walked away from this games with some personal best of a really smooth hammer, heavy hammer and weight for distance throw in terms of technique. It also seems that I am the breaker of all equipment by damaging the equipment for weight over bar with the weight dropping on the equipment stand causing it to collapse to the bewilderment, laughter and cheers of the crowd. I was utterly embarrassed and I probably got the death stares from Bruce the Head Judge for the Heavies.

In the final event the Caber toss… It is still sad to say that I have not mastered or gotten this event yet. And I still have to work harder to get the technique down.

Ceres Highland Games

Being one of the oldest Highland Games since 1314 sanctioned by Robert the Bruce to commemorate and celebrate the victorious return to Ceres of the men who fought at Bannockburn in 1314. The only times that the Ceres Games didn’t happen was during the Act of Proconscription (1746-1782) and the years during World War I and II. The Ceres Games is one of the very few free games that you don’t have to pay an entrance fee to compete or to watch. All you have to do is show up walk up to any of the officials and they will direct you where you need to go.

The Ceres Highland Games featured different events from Drumtocthy. They don’t have a hammer because of the competition area is rather small when compared to Drumtocthy. Ceres Heavy Events featured Shot Put, Heavy Weight for Distance, Ceres Stane, Weight over Bar, Sheaf Toss, Caber for Distance and Caber for Accuracy. Some of the events that were different and rather interesting was the Ceres Stane, Sheaf Toss and Weight over Bar.

The Ceres Stane is a 100-110lbs (45-50kg) stone attached to a ring that only fitted three of my fingers and you have to throw is over a distance anyway or whatever way that you can. Each athlete is only given two throw. I chose to do a run up and throw. But I can definitely do better at this event.

The Sheaf Toss is a rather interesting because as my Scottish friends were telling me, this was a really traditional event that farm boys have to heave a 15kg to 20kg sheaf onto a cart which is about 10 feet high. And on the cart will be another farm hand to stack and arrange the sheaf. If the sheaf fell in a wrong position he would be the butt of the joke for the whole day. Of course this story is entirely anecdotal but it could probably be true. This was a pretty fun event though. You get three tries for each height and we started at 14 feet. I managed to chuck it over the bar on the third attempt to the cheers of the crowd.

The Weight over Bar is generally a crowd favourite, athletes will have to throw a 56lbs (25kg) weight over a height, three tries per height and then the bar rises again. Until you fail all three attempts on a set height. Then you are eliminated from the event. To put this event in perspective, it’s like throwing a 7-8 year old child over a double decker bus. But of course no children were harmed in this event. I managed to do personal best on this event with 13”, failed on the 14” height but I was pretty close. This event was not to my advantage because I don’t have the physical leverages but it just means that I have to train and work harder.

My Overall Thoughts on my Highland Games Adventure

Flying 18 hours, 3 flight changes, 1 week of acclimatisation and loads of driving later. I finished my first proper Highland Games adventure in Scotland. Was it worth it spending money, flying and travelling all this way to get beaten and get an education? I think equating money and time to this whole adventure is pointless. Because I’ve been wanting to do a proper Highland Games in Scotland and be part of the history! I am after all probably the only Singaporean or Asian crazy enough to compete in the Highland Games in Scotland.

I was truly humbled to be able to compete in both the most challenging games in Drumtochty with the best of the athletes from all over the world. And the most historical games Highland Games at Ceres. Brett Nicol (Dinnie Stones Judge) spoke to me that “You got a real proper education at the Drumtochty Games because of the calibre of the athletes and you did yourself proud! No shame in doing your best”.

I already knew that I know I’m not going to place well in a field of world class athletes like Kyle Randall, Lukas Wenta and Vladimir just to name a few. But I was pleased to learn and compete with the best! Because if you want to be up there, you got to compete with the best. If the opportunity is not given to you, you got to create your own chances. Take your licks, keep your head down, show up and do your best.

The highlight for me for this trip was having my name in the book of the Dinnie Stones which I would share in my next article when I actually get down to writing it. In the meantime train hard, train safe and always be brave to chase the impossible

Highland Games

Prepping for the Highland Games

By | Events, Highland Games, motivation, Strongman | No Comments

Highland Games in a nutshell

All around the world people participate or are spectators at Scottish Highland Games. Seen as a way of celebrating Scottish and Celtic culture it is one of Scotland’s biggest cultural exports. Features of the Games include competitions in piping and drumming, dancing, heavy athletics, as well all kinds entertainment and exhibits related to many aspects of Scottish and Gaelic culture.

They were also thought to have originally been events where the strongest and bravest soldiers in Scotland would be tested. These gatherings were not only about trials of strength. Musicians and dancers were encouraged to reveal their skill and talents and so be a great credit to the clan that they represented.

Now there are Highland Games held in many places throughout the world. Traditionally some events have become standard in these games such as the caber toss, stone put, Scottish hammer throw, weight throw, weight over the bar and sheaf toss. However, these gathering now have a whole variety of events, stalls, entertainments, pipes, dancing and all kinds of competitions

First Highland Games experience in Kuala Lumpur

I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to be able to compete the Highland Games in Kuala Lumpur, the hosts of the event invited me along to be part of the festivities. The Highland Games is definitely a gentlemen’s event with a high value placed on ethics, sport-manlike behaviour and camaraderie with your fellow Highland Games athletes.

Like for one… After you finished your throw, you are expected to place the implement at the starting point. After tossing the Caber, you are expected to bring back the Caber for the next athlete and raise it up for him. This was pretty amazing because it just solidifies the concept of camaraderie. 

I didn’t expect to do well at the Highland Games in Kuala Lumpur. It was pretty much a learn as you go. I’ve only thrown the shot put. I’ve never thrown the hammer, weight over bar, weight for distance or tossed a Caber. But I was pleasantly surprised that with every throw or event, I got better and better. Of course technique wise I was pretty terrible but I did hold my own with seasoned Highland Games athletes.

Highland Games Events

Caber Toss

Perhaps the signature event of the Highland Games is the caber toss, where competitors toss a 20-foot-long caber (a large log), which normally weighs around 150lb, as far as possible. The caber toss is also a good test of balance, as the athlete has to balance the caber in their hands and perform a run-up before they toss it. Athletes’ throws are also judged on their straightness; a perfect toss sees the small end of the caber facing away from the thrower, at a “12 o’clock” angle.

Hammer Throw

The hammer throw is also an Olympic event, although the hammer thrown in the Highland Games is quite different. It consists of a metal ball, which can weigh up to 22lbs, connected to a wooden handle. Also unlike in the Olympic Games, athletes are not allowed to spin while throwing the hammer. Instead, they stand with their back facing the field, and swing the hammer over their heads before they twist 180 degrees and launch it as far as they can. The athletes also wear special boots, with long blades fixed to the bottom, in order to make sure they stay fixed into that spot in the ground.

Hammer Throwing Practice

Stone Put

The stone put event is much like shotput, however, the athletes instead throw a stone, weighing around 18lb, picked from a nearby river. Competitors throw the stone from behind a board known as a trig, and have three attempts to launch it as far as possible.

Weight for Height

This event is a real test of brute strength and tests how high the athletes can throw a 56lb weight over a cross bar. The catch is that they may only throw it with one hand, from a standing position, with three attempts to throw the weight over the bar at that height. The bar continues to be raised, with the athletes having to launch the weight higher and higher, until it’s the last man standing. To put this event into perspective is the same thing as launching a 7 year old up and over a double decker bus! 

Weight over Height Throwing Practice
Photo by: Andrew Johnson @inspirational_athletes

Weight for Distance

There are actually two separate events, one using a light (28 lb for men and 14 lb for women) and the other a heavy (56 lb for men, 42 lb for masters men, and 28 lb for women) weight. The weights are made of metal and have a handle attached either directly or by means of a chain. The implement is thrown using one hand only, but otherwise using any technique. Usually a spinning technique is employed. The furthest throw wins.

Sheaf Toss

A bundle of straw (the sheaf) weighing 20 pounds (9.1 kg) for the men and 10 pounds (4.5 kg) for the women and wrapped in a burlap bag is tossed vertically with a pitchfork over a raised bar much like that used in pole vaulting. The progression and scoring of this event is similar to the Weight Over The Bar. This event scares me because I have no idea how to do this. Worst case scenario, I stab myself in the while tossing the sheaf. Maybe I should wear safety goggles for this event. 

How do I prep for something that I’ve never done before?

The truth is… Its almost impossible. Throwing to me came pretty naturally because my background as an athlete was Track and Field. I used to throw in my younger years representing my school and country. So some events came naturally to me like the shot put or stone throw because the movements were rather similar.

Basically the Highland Games in Kuala Lumpur was a warm up and I needed it make sure I knew what I getting myself into. As a result of that, I’ve fabricated my own throwing hammer, weight over bar and weight for distance. Just slowly building up my own arsenal of Highland Games equipment of course with the help and input from the guys I’ve competed with at the Highland Games in Kuala Lumpur. Now I do event training at least twice a week when my schedule allows it. I’ve even got my blades fabricated and I’ve attached them to my throwing boots already! #achievementunlocked

You just got to throw caution to the wind and just learn as you go. It’s my dream to actually compete in one of the most traditional feats of strengths that is the Highland Games. I’ve always adopted a philosophy that you either win or you learn. I’m definitely not able to be pushing for a top three finish but I’m definitely going to do my best and make every throw count. And I’m going to learn from the best in Scotland which is also my ancestral home.

I will be competing at the Drumtochty Highland Games on the 22nd June 2019. The following week at the Ceres Highland Games on the 29th June 2019. And of course I had to choose the games that is oldest and most historical games. Questionable Life Decisions right there! 

In the meantime stay injury free, stay strong and have a good month of fasting for my Muslim friends!

Gym Guys Try Strongman

By | Interviews, motivation, Strongman, Training Tips | No Comments

In this month’s video… I get to spend some time with the Gym Guys from Fit O’clock Jason and Don through strongman training. You got to see the whole video and have a good laugh!

Click on video below

Gym Guys Try Strongman


We did the log, axle deadlift and a classic strongman lift the Dinnie Stones. Initially both Jason and Don really struggled with the session because they were completed out of their comfort zone. And the weight was just a little much. Because these two have absolutely no idea what they were in for.

Training for hypertrophy (beautiful symmetrical musculature) and training for strength are similar but the differences are amount of weight, speed and volume that is being lifted.

But strength or being strong is something you earn and work really hard for it. It doesn’t happen overnight but with a lot of time, effort and a lot of work.

As cheesy or painful as the video looks… Jason and Don were really put through the paces and were really “used and abused” during the session. Jason led the challenges but Don put in a good fight with a strong finish with the Dinnie Stones lift (at a scalable lower weight).

Obviously someone had to lose the challenge and the punishment was terrible too. I made Jason do it as I didn’t want to hurt or break Don into half. (he was more than willing to do it).

I do give the both of them props and credit for doing something out of their comfort zone. While strongman does look scary to the normal every day Jane or Joe, everyone can do it. Because everyone starts from some where. Strength is never a weakness!

No humans, models or physique athletes were physically harmed in the making of this video.

In the meantime lift safe and stay injury free

Deadlift – The Bar Ain’t Bending

By | Chiropractic, Deadlift, motivation, Strongman, Training Tips | No Comments
The Bar Ain't Bending

The deadlift is the truest test of strength. It’s as simple as picking the weight up and putting it down. These are five points that I find to be most important for training your deadlifts.

Understanding The Mechanics of the Deadlift

Every individual, athletes or gym goer who does the deadlift are all different. Especially when it come to leverages and mechanics. Some athletes are natural born deadlifters with short legs, long arms and thick upper torso. Your deadlift stance can never be the same as Benni Magnusson or Eddie Hall but it can be adjusted to what will work for you. This can be resolved with tweaking or adjusting your starting position. How high or low your hips should be, your feet placement, hand placement, shoulders, chest and chin.

Here is the catch, from my own experience my deadlift style is constantly changing or evolving. It is also very dependent on the weight that is being lifted. The higher the weight on the bar, you will soon find out that what you have been using needs a slight tweak. Remember the smallest tweaks makes the most difference. I have to state that I am NO expert but I am still constantly learning from the best deadlifters in the world. Find a coach with experience, credentials and preferably not a $20 online coach with a generic template that he plagiarised from someone else

Cues, Cues, Cues

Every coach that you work with have their own specific set of Cues that make sure you practice. The ones I uses are Hips, Shoulders and Chin. These are the mental cues that I give myself

Hips
My hips or butt hover at parallel or slightly below parallel to the ground. The lower your hips the more hip and leg drive you will have.

Shoulders
This movement I tend to exaggerate a bit. It’s not so much a shoulder movement but it’s more of a pulling my scapulas together and then downwards to activate and lock in my upper back (lats, rhomboids, traps). If you also notice at this point. Your hips will dip a little lower.

Chin
Let’s face it, deadlifting is not the lift to make you feel or look pretty. I focus my gaze on something in front of me on the floor and tuck my chin in. This is just to make my lift more efficient and lessen the need for unnecessary movements. Once again this was the advice given to me by my Chiropractor who is an expert. The lesser lateral movement or shearing forces during the deadlift, the lesser chance of getting hurt.

Why you still suck at Deadlifting!

Let’s face it, if you go to a gym you are probably going to see some individuals attempting PRs every single training session. Firstly, you are not Larry Wheels or have the same lifestyle that he has. I’ve seen people who get hurt so often during training because listening to your coach or following the stated program is like a plague. Or maybe its opposite day everyday. When you get hurt, you tend to blame others. When you should be blaming yourself for your “ER or PR” mentality.

Your body is not designed to PR every training session. Every heavy training session that you have, put on a huge beating to your central nervous system (CNS). You need to learn how to regulate your training to give and allow enough time for your CNS to recover. Your muscles do the work and movement, your CNS is the one that controls your muscles to move all that weight. You can’t lift with your muscles alone you need both your muscles and CNS to work in sync. How do you know that your CNS is overworked. When you feel tired, lethargic or just have no mood to lift. Give yourself a day or two off from training to allow your CNS to recover.

Accessory Work and the 100 reps protocol

Doing deadlifts alone won’t improve your deadlifts. I’ve seen athletes who just do Squat, Bench and Deadlifts three to four times a week and expect different results. Doing three compound movements in a training session is demanding and strenuous. It also puts an incredible amount of stress on your CNS. You probably get better at the movement but the improvement will be rather scarce. You have to do accessory work. I dedicate one full training session a week for accessory work. Which means I train my back twice a week.

Volume days are incredibly long, tough and intense. Usually mine will look like this

Tuesday – Back Accessory Volume
– Seated Iso Metric Pull Downs (Hammer Strength)

20 reps x 5 sets
– Seated Pull Downs (Hammer Strength)
20 reps x 5 sets
– Dumbell Rows on Incline Bench (I usually superset this with the Hammer Strength movements)
10 reps x 10 sets
– Seated Rows
20 reps x 5 sets
– Shrugs pyramid (Smith Machine)
1 plate – 20 reps
2 plates – 20 reps
3 plates – 20 reps
2 plates – 20 reps
1 plate – 20 reps
(Thats 1 set… I do 2 sets)
– Face pulls
20 reps x 5 sets

Why 100 reps for all exercises? The real question is. Do you want to stand on podium or finish 4th with a difference of 5kg or 2.5kg. Nobody cares about how difficult or how sore you are. Nobody Cares, Work Harder!

Thursday
Deadlift (Volume/Speed/Max Effort)
Reverse Hypers
GHD
Face Pulls
Abs

Importance of Self-Regulation

Before you think that you can go balls to the walls and lift heavy every single day. You need to understand and accept that there will be some training days that are just terrible. These days you will feel tired, lousy or just not in the right frame of mind. Its important to acknowledge days like this and stop whatever you are doing, take off your gym shoes and head back home.

This probably caused by Your CNS being over worked, not enough sleep or stress from work/school. This concept of Self-regulation is important for longevity. You want to be doing this for a long time. The longer you stay in the sport injury free, the more achievements you will achieve.

I hope you find this article to be useful for your training. In the meantime train hard and stay injury free!

365kg (800lbs) in Static Monsters Loket, Czech Republic

2018 in Perspective

By | Deadlift, Food for thought, motivation, Strongman | No Comments

2018 has been quite a year in terms of my sporting achievements and personal goals. A lot of times we tend to be harsh on ourselves. For not doing more, for not being good enough or for not finishing the year with a trophy. We get all tunnel vision and tend to be fixated on the goal but we for get to take account the process of getting there. So here is my 2018 in perspective.

Setting a new Asia Pacific Deadlift Record

This competition wasn’t on the radar for 2018, but since I wasn’t the Event Director for the Asia Pacific Deadlift Championships 2018. I just decided to join for fun because all of my friends from around the region and Europe are flying down for the competition. And of course I always enjoyed lifting with one my good friend Jiri Tkadlcik. I ended the day with a new PB of 370kg on the deadlift. Surpassing my previous deadlift PB of 365kg when I was in Czech Republic. That was a good day!

Losing a major sponsor

This was probably one of the most painful experiences of any athlete where your sponsor of 5 years decided not to renew your contract. Many thoughts went through my head like “Should I flip the table now?” or “Should someone fly out of the window?” or even “If I go full on Mountain from the Game of Thrones would I go to prison?”. Well sadly all those answers lead to spending time in prison. I would be miserable in prison with 3 meals a day. 

So I kept it professional, cordial and thanked them for the opportunity for the past 5 years and moved on. After all, good things don’t last forever. Even protein powder has an expiry date. There is more to life than being a sponsored athlete. For the first ten years I managed fine and still won competitions and why does this have to be different. You just “Embrace the Suck” and keep moving forward.

Finishing 3rd on podium at the Static Monsters World Championships 2018

This was probably the highlight of my year… I bombed out badly at the qualifier in 2017 maybe from over preparing and being to rigid with my game plan. In strongman you either win or you learn! I definitely learnt my lesson. 

Displeased with my shoddy and terrible performance in 2017, by some stroke of luck I received a last minute invite to compete in the World Championships because some athlete before me withdrew either from injury or schedule clashed and I was next in line. Bought my tickets and booked my hotel at the Gold Coast.

They say Greatness is when Consistency, Hard Work and Opportunity comes together. I had only 6 weeks to prepare for this competition and I kept my expectations low because I was carrying a few niggling injuries and my overheads numbers haven’t been going up as planned. I will be going up against the best pressers in the world each averaging in excess of 160kg to 200kg overheads. Here I was with a peasant like 130kg log press.

I finished the log press last in the athlete ranking but I kept my head down because my deadlifts are my best lifts. I finished 3rd on the deadlift with a 405kg, breaking my own PB off 400kg and managed to finish 3rd overall in the Men’s Open category. Did I also mention I got to meet Santa?

Having the opportunity of working with a new sponsors

They say when one door closes, another will open. I didn’t actively seek out new sponsors because I wanted a cooling off period to get over the “pain” (insert weird snorting laugh).

But I really think as an individual and athlete I have been truly blessed with guardian angels watching over me because I had the amazing opportunity to be working with Essential Magnesium SG which has amazing magnesium cream products for my recovery needs. They don’t just carry one type of magnesium cream/oil but a huge range with each having a different purpose and time of the day. But my current favourite is Night Cream as it helps me to sleep better and I wake up with minimal soreness! Click on the link if you need to get one!

I’m also thankful to the team from Couz Nutri for taking a chance on me and signing me up as part of the team as a sponsored athlete. So far they have been extremely phenomenal in taking care of my supplementation needs. The quality and variety of the products that they carry is amazing!

They have also generously stepped up as the Official Supplement Sponsor for the upcoming Asia Pacific Deadlift Championships 2019 on the 9th March 2019 at Gym Rendezvous.

Moving Forward

Personally as an athlete, having an open mind and taking things into perspective is important. Where everything happens because it’s meant to happen. If you put the hard work in but don’t get the results you want. Maybe you should re-look at what are your weaknesses that need improving. Or maybe it’s not your time yet. We tend to be so fixated in our goals but forget to enjoy the process.

If you are ever at doubting yourself. “Why am I doing this?” or “Why am I even eating this again and again?”. Ask yourself a simple question… Would your future self be happy with you complaining? I’m guessing the answer is NO. I just tell myself… I like standing on podium! Knowing I’ve enjoyed the process and given my best!

Opportunity + Hard Work + Consistency = GREATNESS! Make sure you remember that!

In the meantime train hard and stay injury free. Definitely looking forward to an amazing 2019!

Kodiak 3Whey™ Triple Complex Protein

Kodiak 3Whey™ Triple Complex Protein – Product Review

By | Eating for performance, Nutrition, Strongman | No Comments

Kodiak 3Whey™ Triple Complex Protein – Product Review

I tend to be really upfront with supplementation that I use. And unlike paid product reviews, this is a 100% unpaid unsolicited product review. But I personally feel that this by far is a superior product in comparison to other Whey Protein Blends. Being a strength based athlete for more than 20 years. I have consumed a lot of protein shakes over the years!

So lets just dive into what matters most – The protein blend

3 grams Hydrolyzed Whey Peptides – This form of whey is predigested, which results in faster absorption and release of amino acids into the blood stream. This rapidly stimulates muscle protein synthesis when consumed after exercise. Absorption begins about 15 minutes after ingestion and is studied to continue for over an hour.

12.5 grams Whey Isolate – WPI is the isolated protein fraction from whey protein concentrate that is 90% pure protein—making it the purest protein source currently available. Absorption begins about 1 hour after ingestion and is studied to continue for up to 1.5 hours

10.5 grams Whey Concentrate – Concentrate contains 80 percent pure protein in addition to a small amount of fat, minerals, and lactose. Because it’s more complete, whey protein concentrate usually has more bioactive components and that add to concentrate’s benefit. Absorption begins about 1 hour after ingestion and is studied to continue for up to 3 hours.

(Above Information is taken from Kodiak Sports Nutrition and Couz- Nutri.com)

I appreciate the fact that Kodiak is 100% upfront of how much whey protein in each serving. The simple fact that it breaks down for you and gives you a breakdown of HWP, WPI and WPC is a stark difference in comparison other supplement companies with their “proprietary blends”.

Why are Protein Blends a better choice?

When you just consume a blend it gives your body a variety of proteins to ingest. I used to believe that WPI was the best form of protein because of it’s fast acting ingestion and if I feed my body protein after a training session, I will get most gains and recovery will be faster.

But lets face it, some of us don’t access to food after training because well we train in between work and supplements just work as an in between meals. I like the idea of meal prep but I don’t like eating reheated frozen food, that is just my preference.

So a Protein blend like Kodiak 3Whey™ Triple Complex Protein really works for because it keeps me satiated for at least 1 to 2 hours until I get back to my office or back home for a proper feed.

So Why is Kodiak 3Whey™ Triple Complex Protein a better protein?

There is a simple explanation for that. I consume about 4500 to 5300 calories a day, that includes supplements, food and a lot more food. On top of all that food I also supplement with psyllium husk powder and probiotics to aid in digestion of my macro/micro nutrients. You want all that food and supplements to be absorbed by your body and used to repair your muscles. Kodiak 3Whey™ Triple Complex Protein has Fibersol®-2 and Protease/Lactase to help with digestion and nutrient absorption.

Below is a brief description on Fibersol®-2 and Protease/Lactase

Fibersol®-2:
Fibersol-2 is a digestion-resistant maltodextrin soluble corn fiber that acts as a low-calorie bulking agent containing 90 percent dietary fiber. This patented form of fiber does not effect taste or viscosity and is completely digestion resistant. Fibersol-2 will also help aid in the digestion of the protein.

Protease/Lactase:
Protease and lactase help aid in food digestion and absorption. These ingredients (enzymes) may help those individuals who experience nausea, cramping, or bloating when consuming protein.

So why do you need Kodiak 3Whey™ Triple Complex Protein?

Because the good people from Kodiak Sport Nutrition  really SCORED big and a home run on the flavours! From Chocolate Brownie, Snicker Doodle and even Coconut FREAKING DELICIOUS Caramel! Ok I admit, I am not fussy about how my protein tastes because everything in Vanilla is good! Vanilla is a pretty safe flavour for most. And let’s be honest we only buy a certain protein because of the flavour.

But let me try my best to describe how my favourite flavour Coconut Caramel tastes like and this is just in cold water.

First you get a whiff and scent of sweet burnt caramel, none of that chemical taste or smoky scent. It’s just straight up caramel. When you drink it down, it’s then followed by a luxurious creamy texture of fluid, not too thick and not too thin (this is depending on how much water you use). Then you get this sweet lingering after taste of toasted coconut followed by a rather interesting texture. I started to wonder what is this texture in my mouth only to discover that its actually toasted desiccated coconut shavings.

Who would have thought of that, having proper toasted desiccated coconut shavings in a protein shake this was bloody brilliant idea and whoever that thought of this deserves a medal! So do you need this Kodiak 3Whey™ Triple Complex Protein. The answer is DEFINITELY a YES!!!

And you can get your Kodiak  Kodiak 3Whey™ Triple Complex Protein at Couz-Nutri. You are welcome!

 

Static Monsters SG 2018

Interview by Barbara Chng – Static Monsters Singapore

By | Static Monsters, Strongman | No Comments

With less than a month away to Static Monsters Singapore in partnership with Show of Strength.

Barbara and myself took the time off the talk about what you can expect. What is going to happen and how this is your chance to qualify for Static Monsters Singapore. Singapore finished strong this year with a 2 podium finishes. Barbara winning the Under 62kg Women’s as World Champion. Myself finishing third on podium at the Static Mosnters World Championships. Joe and Shazry also put in amazing performances in their own weight categories with new personals bests.

Team Asia was well represented with athletes from Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.  Did amazingly well with podium and top five finishes at the Static Monsters World Championships. How many athletes from our continent this year will qualify for the World Championships next year?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oKVc4ITPg4

Static Monsters is a world wide strongman competition on the same weekend of 27th and 28th of October 2018. There will be almost 40 Static Monsters competition worldwide in different countries from Asia, Europe, Australia, North and South America and even in the African continent. That is almost all the continents excepts the Arctic and Antarctica.

It is expected to have close to a thousand athletes worldwide and in eight to ten weight categories and classes. Come down and support our local strongman athletes as they earn their spot at the World Championships at Marina Bay Sands Exhibition and Conference Hall on the 27th of October 2018!

The Show of Strength is a multi-sport festival that includes Strongman, Bodybuilding, Crossfit, Arm Wrestling, Pole Dancing and other various sporting disciplines.

Tickets for audience are still available from Show of Strength

Deadlift

Interview with Coach Rich Thurman

By | Deadlift, Food for thought, Health Tips, Interviews, motivation, Tip Tuesdays, Training Tips | No Comments

I’ve known Coach Rich since way back in 2010. I think as an athlete I’ve been very blessed to have gotten to know, work with amazing people and coaches.That time he was more into strength and conditioning as a trainer. He still does coaching and training but his training methodology and philosophy has changed. Mainly by incorporating more natural movements and tools likes mace, club bells and everything else in between.

I had an amazing session with Rich as I take him through the paces of what I do for stability and on a rehab day. In this session we traded training philosophies and different training techniques.

One of the points that we talked about was the importance of showing up and doing your best at competitions. Instead of just achieving PBs at the gym because only lifts at competitions counts. What was interesting was when Coach Rich asked me what I did for a day job… Do catch that bit during the interview.

I really enjoyed this interview / training session because it was pretty chill but we also managed to put in the work. We do hope that you enjoy the

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