New PR, Training

New PR Today! Training Going Well

Hit a new Log Press PR today! My previous best log press was 155 lbs. Today, after warming up with some light yoke press, I managed to hit 160 lbs for a triple! This was a huge lift for me, since I’ve struggled to improve my log press for quite some time now.

I feel very encouraged, and it seems like my training is really paying off. Feeling stronger every week.

Here are my training reports for the week:

Tuesday Dec 20, 2016

DB Chest Press

  • 20 kg x 15
  • 26 kg x 12 (2)

DB Z-Press

  • 9 kg x 15, 12, 10

Z-Press, Barbell, Bench-Straddle

  • 40 kg x 8 (2)

Bench Press

  • 20 kg x 10
  • 40 kg x 8
  • 60 kg x 10
  • 70 kg x 5
  • 80 kg x 5
  • 90 kg x 3
  • 95 kg x 1
  • 90 kg x 3 (4)

Upright Barbell Rows

  • 30 kg x 15 (2)

Finished with Hammer Curls and a Shoulder Fly Dropset. I was feeling very worn out from my weekend event training, and it took me a long time to loosen up and find my rhythm. But in the end, I was able to hit 90 kg for four triples, and it felt quite easy. Hoping to build up to 100 kg triples soon. Spending more time on the basics this year, building up my strength foundation.

Thursday Dec 22, 2016

Low Bar Back Squats

  • 20 kg x 15
  • 40 kg x 12
  • 60 kg x 10
  • 70 kg x 5
  • 90 kg x 5
  • 100 kg x 5
  • 120 kg x 2
  • 125 kg x 1

High Bar Back Squats

  • 100 kg x 3
  • 110 kg x 3 (3)

Front Squats

  • 50 kg x 5
  • 70 kg x 3 (2)

Stiff Leg Deadlifts

  • 50 kg x 8 (3)

Plenty of volume on Thursday, really focusing on getting deep in my squats. My lower body power has always been a weak point for me, especially my squat. But it’s feeling a lot more solid now, and I’m hoping to hit a 150 kg squat soon.

Saturday Dec 24

Axle Deadlifts

  • 50 kg x 8
  • 70 kg x 8
  • 100 kg x 5
  • 110 kg x 3
  • 100 kg x 5

Yoke Walk, 20 m, drop and turn and halfway.

  • 94 kg x 1
  • 134 kg x 1
  • 174 kg x 1
  • 215 kg x 2
  • 174 kg x 2

Yoke Press

  • 54 kg x 5
  • 64 kg x 4 (3)

Log Push Press (Clean once)

  • 50 kg x 5
  • 60 kg x 3
  • 70 kg x 3

Incline Log Bench

  • 80 kg x 2
  • 70 kg x 5 (3)

Log Cleans

  • 90 kg x 1
  • 80 kg x 2

Today felt extremely good. Took a while to loosen everything up, but after the Axle Deadlifts everything felt light. The 70 kg triple on the Log was an enormous success, and it felt fairly easy. I will definitely be hitting my goal of a 100 kg log soon. That’s all for now, I’m feeling stronger every day, and I can’t wait for my next chance to compete.


The Bear.

Thoughts, Training

Weekly Training Update, December 17-18.

It’s been a good week for training. I had two solid upper body sessions at Contender Boxing Club during the week, and a great lower body and event day at Formosa Fitness on Saturday. Everything is feeling pretty good. And to top it all off, I found a new training partner, which will be a huge help.

I did some deadlifting on Saturday, since Formosa was running another certification class, and I could only use the open area for 3 quick sets of Farmers Walk. I was quite nervous about how my deadlift would be, since I haven’t actually deadlifted in nearly 4 months. But, while far from my all time best, I managed 150kg for a clean, beltless single. I’m quite happy with that, since I used to struggle quite a bit locking out anything heavier than 140 kg, and 150 went up smoothly. This means my lower body training, focusing on my glutes, is paying off. I have always suffered from a weak ass, and I’m really focusing on fixing that.

Here are my workout reports for the week:

Tuesday, December 13th

Bench Press

  • 40 kg x 15
  • 50 kg x 15
  • 60 kg x 15
  • 70 kg x 8
  • 80 kg x 8
  • 90 kg x 5
  • 95 kg x 3 (3)

Seated Z-Press (straddling bench, no back support)

  • 35 kg x 8
  • 40 kg x 8
  • 45 kg x 5
  • 50 kg x 5
  • 55 kg x 2.5 (very nearly a 3-rep PR!)

I finished this workout with a Pump Out, supersetting three variations of bicep curls, lat pulldowns, and chest and shoulder flys.

Thursday, December 15th – Upper Body


Incline Bench Press

  • 40 kg x 15
  • 50 kg x 15
  • 60 kg x 8
  • 50 kg x 8 (3)

Dumbbell 1-Arm Rows

  • 15 kg x 15
  • 18 kg x 15 (2)

Standing Military Press (Strict)

  • 30 kg x 15
  • 35 kg x 12
  • 30 kg x 12 (2) – Wide Grip
  • 30 kg x 8(2) – Narrow Grip

Upright Rows

  • 35 kg x 15 (2)

Close-Grip Bench Press

  • 30 kg x 15
  • 40 kg x 12
  • 40 kg x 8

Saturday, December 17

Straight Bar Deadlift

  • 50 kg x 10
  • 60 kg x 10
  • 95 kg x 8
  • 115 kg x 6
  • 132 kg x 3
  • 150 kg x 1
  • 140 kg x 3 (3)

Farmers Walk, 20m, Drop and Turn at Halfway

  • 47.5 kg x 2
  • 57.5 kg x 1
  • 77.5 kg x 1

High Bar Squat

  • 60 kg x 8
  • 80 kg x 5

Paused Front Squat

  • 60 kg x 3 (3)

Zercher Squat

  • 55 kg x 6
  • 75 kg x 3
  • 85 kg x 3

Log Press, Strict (Clean Once)

  • 30 kg log x 10
  • 50 kg x 5
  • 55 kg x 5
  • 60 kg x 3(2)

Log Clean

  • 70 kg x 3
  • 75 kg x 3
  • 80 kg x 2

Flat Log Bench Press

  • 80 kg x 5 (2)

When I tried to squat, my chest was still very tight from all the chest work during the week, and I couldn’t get comfortable under the bar, so I elected to move to Front and Zercher squats. Overall I’m quite happy with this weeks training. Now it’s time for a couple days rest, and I’ll be back at it on Tuesday.


The Bear.


New PR, Training

Starting Strongman Program: Week 3

Week 3 of my Starting Strongman Training Program draws to a close, and I enter my first de-load week. It’s shaping up to be a much-needed break from the intensity, as well as good timing for me to get settled into a new job.

So far this program has done an excellent job in challenging me to push myself, and my limits. It’s hit my weak points, particularly my abs, upper back, and glutes, quite hard. But I am enjoying myself immensely. The supersets of Hammer Curls, DB Shrugs and Tricep Pulldowns that finish my Thursday workouts always leave me with a terrific pump.

Last week called for a new 5RM on my overhead event. I hit 165×5 on the axle quite comfortably. My previous best was 155×1, since I did not have access to an axle before. My strength is slowly and steadily increasing, and the strength I’m building in my core and back make all my overhead pressing feel far more stable and secure. I can’t wait to see what I can do at the end of these 12 weeks.


The Bear

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.


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.


The Bear

Training, Update

Back on the Horse

Just finished a real burner of an overhead workout. Arms, shoulders and upper back. It feels nice to be hitting it hard again.

I was recently transferred to graveyard shift, and adjusting to the sleep schedule has meant 2 weeks of little or no exercise and generally feeling like trash. Finally into the swing of things, however, and I’m feeling better than ever.

500 lb deadlift is still a long way off, but I’m going to work hard and smart and see how far I can get.


The Bear.


Analyzing Your Workout for Self-Improvement

So there was a recent incident at my gym that involved a membership being revoked for “excessive nudity” and signs posted at the entrances and all around that members had been complaining of “excessive posing, nudity and photography.”

“Finally!” I thought. Here is a perfect example of negative gym culture being taken down a peg. Besides being obnoxious, and wasting your time as well as everyone else’s…well I guess there’s not much more to it then that.

But the incident got me thinking.

How focused am I on my training, rather than the appearance of my training?

My Patented Ugly Sweater Workout routine certainly helps keep my focused, but is it enough? How much time do I spend looking in the mirror, trying to see my own muscles bulge, or catch the cute girl looking my way? We all do it, I know. But here’s where I had a brainstorm.

My new rule of thumb for a workout analysis goes something like this:

Were you training like Rocky Balboa at the beginning of Rocky 3? Or were you training like Rocky Balboa at the end of Rocky 3?

I know, I know. It’s not the strongest film in the franchise, but I challenge you to find anyone who doesn’t understand the concept of a Rocky-style training montage. But I digress.

At the beginning of Rocky 3, when he is first challenged by Clubber Lang, Rocky has gone soft, fighting easy opponents, and doesn’t take his training too seriously. The press is in there with him, bombarding him with questions. He takes breaks to pose for photos, and smooch pretty ladies. There’s no fire, no urgency, no intent. It’s all a show.

Compare that to after his defeat, when Apollo begins training him. There’s intensity, desire, and will behind every action. There’s no fancy equipment or press box.Training is just training.

Now say what you will about the Rocky movies (except don’t actually, BECAUSE THEY’RE AMAZING) but at the end of the day, I think this lengthy metaphor holds true.

Are you in the gym to train? Or are you there to look good training?