As some of you may know, since my last training update for USS Nationals, I did a contest in CT called CT's Strongest Man. I wanted to update you on how that went and how my training has gone since. At this point, I am less than one month away from Nationals.
As I mentioned in my previous update, I did not train specifically for that contest. I did it to increase my experience and to get more comfortable with the events and strongman competitions in general. Unfortunately, I was battling illness the week before and the day of the contest so I did not feel at my best. Overall, I did OK. I ended up placing 5th out of 9 in my weight class. The top 2 guys were top national competitors and one, if not both of them, had done the amateur Arnold Classic. This was by far the best field I ever went against in a contest.
Not training for the specific events in this contest definitely hurt me in the first event, the dumbbell press.The dumbbell press was a 180 lbs giant dumbbell that we had to get from the floor to our shoulder, then press overhead. I did not manage a single rep. I could not get the dumbbell into the proper position to press from. Getting the dumbbell up on your trap and keeping your elbow high is really important for this event. I just couldn't seem to get it into position and I got a 0 on the first event -- not a great start.
The second event was max deadlift from 13". I had only trained this a few times, since USS Nationals in June actually has this event (although with an axle bar). I opened very conservatively at 565 lbs. My second attempt was a very easy 605 lbs and for my 3rd I went for a small PR of 645 lbs. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy I lifted it. I finished 5th. Other guys in my weight class got up to mid to high 700 lbs and the winner pulled 800 lbs! Strong guys!
The third event was the farmer's walk. Originally, it was supposed to be 300 lbs per hand for 60 feet. But, being that this was a field of experienced competitors they decided to bump the weight up to 335 lbs per hand. I was a little thrown off by that because 335 lbs ties my all time PR. When it came time to lift the implement, I made the mistake of starting to walk before I had fully locked out the lift and I dropped the farmer's handles. That upset me because it was the first time I have ever dropped farmer's. After picking them back up, I quickly made my way to the finish line and finished 5th on this event.
The fourth event was a 100 ft 300 lbs keg carry. I didn't practice this either in training and I felt that I was much slower than expected. For me, a sandbag is easier to carry than a keg. I carried the keg with no drops for a time of 21.08 and 4th place.
Finally, the last event was the most iconic event in strongman, the Atlas Stones. This was another case of bumping the weight up last minute due to a strong field. The contest organizers decided to use 345 lbs instead of the originally planned 325 lbs. The heaviest stone I have ever loaded for one rep is 354. So, when I got the 345 lbs stone for 4 reps I was quite happy with my performance. That, again, put me in 5th place for that event and 5th overall in the contest. Here's the footage below:
It was a decent day considering the circumstances, and the competition motivated me to work hard to get to the next level. Speaking of working hard, my training is going well.
I have less than 4 weeks to Nationals and I am really trying to make sure I can get my strength up as much as possible. Right now I have not used the contest weight on the overhead, deadlift or stones. I am comfortable with the farmer's walk and sandbag, but I need to continue to work hard on the other events so that I can set personal bests come June 24th.
Thanks for reading and I will send another update out soon. Stay tuned!
House Of Muscle