Programming, Training, Update

New Training Program in Development

I sat down over the weekend after a long period of thought and wrote out a rough first draft of my new training routine. It’s a little ambitious, and I’m currently testing it to see how well-balanced and functional it is.

The program is based on a three week rotation, with two cycles of the heavier Week A, followed by one of the lighter, more hypertrophy and bodyweight-focused Week B. Due to the circumstances surrounding my access to training facilities, the program is based around basic gym equipment for general strength-building, with an event session to be rotated in every three weeks. This is not going to be an effective program for developing strongman techniques and event conditioning, but it is suited to my current needs.

Today is Day 2, Week A. Day 1 was a overall quite good, but requires some changes.

For anyone interested, once I have finished a three-week rotation and spent time editing and refining the program, I’ll be looking for people willing to help me test it. If you might be interested in testing my developmental program, or have any questions about training, please leave a comment below, message me on IG, or shoot me an email.

More to come.

Cheers,

The Bear.

Update

Finally Cooking Again!

I’ve been living in Taiwan since mid-October, and I finally caved and bought some basic kitchen equipment: hot plate, frying pan, etc. Up to this point, I have been eating out all the time. Food is very cheap here, so eating out wasn’t exactly breaking the bank, but I put on around 15 lbs in 3 months.

Cooking my own food again feels great. Not only did I miss cooking, but I now have significantly more control over the composition of my diet. Eating out all the time, it was impossible to get the protein I needed without a huge amount of carbs tacked on. Seriously, Taiwanese food is ideal for bulking – fried chicken everywhere, dumplings, noodles, rice with every meal. And everywhere you look you can find a street vendor selling these delicious snacks: a fried egg with your choice of toppings inside a fried green onion pancake. My favourite vendor makes me one with corn, cheese, and bacon in the egg. I dubbed it the Taiwanese Wisconsin. Still not exactly sure what that means, but it’s delicious.

Now that I have my hotplate, however, my meals have returned to much leaner fare: eggs, meat and vegetable fry-up, and the like. I’m hoping to shed some excess weight quickly. I would like to be back down to around 225-230 lbs, to be within an easy cut of competition weight.

That’s all for now! If you have any comments or feedback, leave  a message below. If you have any questions about life in Taiwan, or being an ESL Teacher or a strongman, please feel free to message me.

Cheers,

The Bear

Update

Down and Out for the Weekend

Came down with a nasty head cold and I’ve been down and out all weekend. No training for me. But I’m feeling on the mend, and should be back at it again tomorrow. In lieu of a training update, I thought I’d share some of the difficulties I’ve faced in adjusting to life in Taiwan.

The main problem has been the language barrier, which impacts my main concern for training: getting enough food. I don’t have a kitchen in my apartment, and eating out seems to be the norm here, but it’s very difficult to eat properly without being able to prepare my own meals. The biggest struggles I’ve encountered have been: 1. everything is sweetened, and 2. restaurant food and take-away is very sodium-rich.

Number one is a huge problem because getting enough protein is difficult enough when I can’t speak Chinese to order food, but is made doubly hard when every milk, yogurt and soy product is crammed with sugar or fortified with fiber. I’ve been slowly adjusting, have found some easy alternatives to my previous diet of home-cooked chicken and vegetables. I now rely more on skim and soy milk to provide the bulk of my non-meal protein. I wasn’t able to pack any of my supplements or equipment when I came here, and I’m now getting a much larger proportion of my daily protein from solid food, as opposed to protein shakes.

Number two is less of a problem, but still annoying. All the food is quite salty (for my own taste, anyway) and I’m drinking a lot more water as a result. But many buildings and areas of Taiwan have antiquated plumbing so while the water is clean, the old pipes make tap water non-potable. So any drinking water must be bought bottled, or else boiled. I have a small boiler pot and I keep my supply up, but it’s an extra hassle that can be quite frustrating at times. Drinking bottled water is not very expensive, but seems like a needless expense. Granted, coming from Kamloops, with one of the best water filtration plants in North America, I suppose I got spoiled.

That’s all for now, hope you’re all training hard. I’ll post more later this week. I found a small boxing gym near my house, and signed up for a gym membership. I’m now planning to do 2-3 sessions there during the week, for general strength, and then make the trip to Formosa for strongman training on the weekends.

Cheers,

The Bear.

Thoughts, Training, Update

Life Changes, Moving Forward

Sorry for the long absence. I had always meant to return to this blog, but life always seemed to get in the way. For those of you who stuck around, thanks!

In the intervening time, I never managed to finish the Starting Strongman 12-Week Program. After 5 weeks, I finally got a new job, and I moved to Taiwan!

So I am currently living abroad, and really enjoying it. Fortunately, thanks to Starting Strongman, I found a gym in my area that has TERRIFIC facilities. Yoke, Log, Farmer’s Walk Handles, the works. Everything  but tires and stones. Only downside is that it’s about an hour and a half travel time from my apartment. But so far I do weekly training sessions, on Saturday and either Sunday or Monday. I plan to continue this for the year that I’m here, with a heavy focus on training events. Since I have access to the event implements, I will be focusing on working with the equipment and developing my technique.

Cheers!

Thoughts, Training, Update

New Training Regimen; Looking Ahead

Since this summer is slowly winding down, and with two competitions under my belt, I find myself looking ahead to my future in this great sport. I have enjoyed myself immensely, met some amazing people, and challenged my preconceptions of what I am capable of achieving. I have a long way to go to get where I want to be, but I also have plenty of time to get there.

Looking ahead now means preparing for next season (as well as a competition or two I am thinking of doing in September). My own training schedule is hand-crafted and forged from my own experience. I have had trouble both sticking to it, and balancing all the elements I need in order to have a successful program.

So I have decided to let the experts at Starting Strongman guide me. This Monday, I am starting their 12-week basic strongman strength training program (available for free on their website). I am very excited, and the program, while simple, looks like it will give me everything I need to increase my overall strength, and target some of my weaker points.

I will do my very best to post training videos and updates weekly.

Cheers,

The Bear

Competition, Recovery, Thoughts, Training, Update

Stones and Strength Wrap-Up & Looking Ahead

I competed in Stones and Strength this past Saturday in Squamish. I had a terrific time and I was able to improve on some weak points and try out some new events. It was another last-place finish for me, but I learned quite a bit and I’m already looking forward to competing again.

There are a few contests in September that I’m considering entering, so that gives me plenty of time to prepare. Taking the time now to just put my head down and get my program back on track is what’s most important. I’m still enjoying my training, and I’m feeling stronger and fitter than I ever have.

I’m not sure where I’ll take this blog, since my Year of Power has technically ended. But as long as I love this sport and enjoy my training, I’ll try and keep this blog updated.

I’d love to hear and suggestions or comments. Thank you all for following me on my journey, and I hope we can move forward in strength together.

Cheers,

The Bear

Competition, New PR, Update

First Competition

Yesterday I competed in Kamloops Strongest Man, finishing 8th in my weight class. It was a tough field with a very strong lineup of athletes including my younger brother. Competition was close, with a three-way tie for 6th place, and a tie for 2nd place. I had a blast, despite the 35 degree heat, and I cannot wait for my next competition.

I can’t say I was 100% satisfied with my performance, as I’m not where I’d like to be with my training and strength. However, I gave it my all and I was in the mix for a couple events despite zeroing a few others. All in all it was a good day, and I am immensely proud of my younger brother Sam for his joint 6th place finish.

From here the plan is to work on my weak points, and continue to build up total body strength while keeping my body weight more or less constant. I would like to stay in the Light Heavyweight class for the time being, so I’m planning to maintain my body weight around 225 lbs. I’m still keen on finally nailing that 500 lb deadlift, and I hope to improve my overhead pressing as well.

Pictures and videos will be up soon, and for these and more check out my Instagram and the Event Page on Facebook. Plenty of footage of the day, and some awesome shots.

I’ll be back in the gym soon, but today it’s peanut butter and BCAAs while I try to remember how to walk around!

Cheers,

The Bear