Nestled under the trees and surrounded by the droning of hundreds of bagpipes and the rat-a-tat of marching drums is how we found ourselves as the 2018 IHGF Canadian Stones of Strength got underway. With the backdrop of Lake Ontario visible between and sword fighting lessons going on across the park from us, we couldn’t be in a better position to compete while still being shaded by the trees.
It's a question that gets asked over and over again and cycles through the mind of every athlete.
Last week I was feeling pretty beat up and let down by my training not being as great as I had planned it to be.
To travel 2 hours each way for training on the previous weekend and feel beaten by nagging injuries impacting overall energy and motivation is a huge disappointment.
What if you can't find access to strongman implements in your area?
The stage has been set for the 2018 Canadian Hercules competition on July 28, which is a qualifier to the WNSF championship in Hungary.
Each year the top drug-free lifters in Canada vie for that qualifying spot to get to compete internationally with the best in the world.
The chain yoke is the pendulously evil, redheaded step-brother of the yoke.
Strongman will never make it as a mainstream sport, but here’s why I think that natural strongman and strongwoman competitions could help the sport to grow.
Many of you may already know this but I consider cold brew a critical component of a correctly crafted competition concoction.
Building greater strength and sports skill with meditation.
I was recently watching a video of a seminar Brian Shaw was holding and in it, he was talking about how he believes he still has untapped potential, even for him...
Questions include DOMS from competition, gym lifts that carry-over to strongman, IBS and digestive issues, and keto diets.
The process for deciding on specific competitions to attend in strongman and strength sports.
Some lifters like predictability. Strongmen expect the unexpected. Competing in Canada in the winter is tough and lots of improvisation often take place to deal with the weather conditions. This is the competition recap for Sons of Samson 2018.
The incessant whir of rows upon rows of treadmills.
People standing around chatting and taking selfies.
Where are the people actually putting in the work to achieve their goals in the gym?
Oh, there’s no way of beating that Kristoff, he was born with a barbell in his hand and could squat 500 as a kid in high school. His genetics are unbeatable.
How many times have you heard “the G word” thrown around as a reason why someone else is the best athlete around and unstoppable? Maybe you yourself have said that you can’t stand up to someone else’s genetic gifts?
Blaming your lack of a stake in the competition or attributing someone else’s success to genetics is a sham of out a cop-out.
It’s Monday evening and you are on your way to the gym to train. You’ve sort of planned out that you’re going to work on pressing but don’t exactly know what exercises you’ll be doing and might throw some curls in at the end for a pump, because why not?. Work was stressful today, you’re hungry, and you don’t really want to be training.
What’s wrong with this picture, besides EVERYTHING?
Seasonal strongman is an interesting part of the sport, as it affects different locales to varying degrees. Because strongman typically takes place outside, we rely heavily on the weather to permit us to compete. The southern states in the U.S., for example, can allow for competitions to take place year-round (also the organizations are much larger and can access more indoor venues), whereas here in Canada the strongman offseason is a much more pervasive reality.
After a competition, it can be tough to get yourself back on track, especially when it comes to the end of the season. Without an impending goal in place, a competition date looming overhead, the motivation to make progress can be lacking.
What follows are some strategies and considerations that you can take to keep you going strong and to make the most of the offseason.
Part of the masochistic badge of honour that comes from competing in strongman is the soreness that is a product of putting everything on the line to do your best during the competition. This past weekend was the Canadian Hercules competition, aka Canada’s Natural Strongest Man 2017 and to say I’m sore is putting it lightly. My body was already sore before I had left the field of battle that day! Each and every event was a physical and mental battle beyond anything I have faced before. to have the opportunity to compete at such a high level against great and humble athletes was amazing and everyone did all they could to show why they deserved to be there.
Injuries are a part of the sport of strongman. This post discusses some thoughts on the steps you can take to recover faster and push through the pain when you have to compete injured.
The venue for the Eastern Canada’s Natural Strongest Man 2017 competition was like something out of a strongman fairy tale. Set up on a grandstand by the water in Gananoque drew lots of attention our way, even though it was a rainy day, less than ideal for competing.
This past weekend was The Royal Cities Strongest Man competition for 2017. While my training has focused around the Eastern Canada's Natural Strongest Man competition that is now less than 2 weeks away, competing in this event had a couple of things going for it as to why I attended...
Part of the strategy and sport of strongman is the design of your training leading up to a competition when you know what events you will be facing. Since I have to plan out my attack for Eastern Canada's Natural Strongest Man anyway, I thought it would be helpful for newer athletes to see the breakdown of the process when you have a competition in your sights that you want to do well at and are striving to win.
One afternoon; thirteen events.
Having the good fortune to compete in a strongman competition in the winter in Canada is a rare treat indeed.
The Sons of Samson 2017 was a charity event run for Big Brothers and Big Sisters and took place in the mall in Brockville, Ontario. As it was meant to be a demonstration of the sport of strongman and the broad range of events we often compete in, we were subjected to the mentally gruelling and physically draining task of thirteen events. Admittedly, for the preservation of the mall floors and to make it a good show the implements we used were all pretty light. The challenge with light events is that everyone is going to perform well, so it becomes a matter of milliseconds who will come out on top for most events.
What did 2016 look like for you?
For me it came in like a lamb and out like a lion. I started out feeling hopelessly beaten by nagging injuries and lacklustre gym options and ended the year making incredible progress and proactively treating any pains that stood in my way.
Have a look back at highlights of competition, articles, and training in strongman this past year for me.
November is a time of transition for strongman in Canada, as the weather changes and the opportunities and venues available for competing drop like the falling leaves around us. Hence, most of us are forced into some sort of offseason.
For strongman in general, I believe that even if you have the ability to go somewhere to compete every month of the year, you should take some time at some point in the year to have an “offseason." Not only will this allow you to give your body some much needed R&R from the tremendous strain of our sport, but will also give you a chance to work on improving any lagging lifts and build additional muscle where it is most needed to strengthen your defenses against injury and breakdown next season. No matter if you look at it as the end of this season or the start of next season, let's take a look at what the options are and what you should do during the offseason to come back better than ever the next time you compete.
I love competition day. You get to reconnect and put everything on the line with some of the only people who “get” what it is that you do and why you do it. When the whistle blows and you start the event, nothing goes through your mind for the next 90 seconds or less. It’s nice to get the chance to look back and reflect on your performance in competition, because if you’re really in the zone you’ll have no clue of how you really performed.
I’m very grateful that my mom captures video of most of my competitions when she can make it there. I finally got the footage from Kingston’s Strongest Man 2016 off of her phone, as well as the Battle at Quinte team competition that just took place.