Tuesday, May 30, 2017

5 Famous People Who Tackled “Murph” on Memorial Day

How Strongman Has Changed in the Past Year (and What’s on the Horizon)

As this month draws to a close, we celebrate my one year anniversary writing for BarBend! It’s exciting for me, and I hope in some way I have helped you become a better strongman through my (almost) weekly pieces. I have learned a few things myself; mostly that it’s difficult producing constant content when you are a coach first and a writer (can I use that term?) second. It started with my piece that tried to convince you to learn the jerk and has covered a lot of ground from there.

Much has happened since I started, and it is good news for the athletes and fans alike. Let’s take a look at what happened in such a short period:

  • A woman’s professional class was established and debuted at the Arnold. There are also more women competing in the sport than ever before with my estimates showing about 40% of return competitors being women.
  • After he broke the world record by 10% in the deadlift, a great documentary about Eddie Hall was released on Netflix. It is great exposure for our sport that regular people who may not have otherwise been exposed.
  • Openly gay athlete Rob Kearney competed in the World’s Strongest Man contest in Botswana. From what I’ve seen, read, and heard, he has seen nothing but support from the community, and this helps shine a positive light on strongman.
  • There are more live streams and ways to get information on the sport than ever before. The quality of them will soon rival that of the broadcast networks.
  • The 2017 WSM ended with Eddie Hall taking the title narrowly from Hafthor Bjornsson. Hall promised to retire after just one win, but I doubt this will be the case. Other athletes have complained that they were misjudged and the events were designed to favor the Brit. If he really wants to be seen as one of the best ever, he will have to defend his title.

With all these great thing happening, I can’t help but take some guesses as to where we are headed in the next year. With the freedom of not putting any money down, here are my best guesses for what is going to happen in the next 12 months for the sport.

  • While American women will continue to dominate most spots at international contests (Danni Schwalbe; Strongest Woman in the World, Liefa Ingalls; Arnold Pro, Kimberley Lawrence; North America’s Strongest Woman), England’s Donna Moore is and will be the woman to beat. After winning the Arnold Amateur look for her to have a sponsor foot the bill and get her at every possible contest that fits her schedule. She is leaner than last year and looking even stronger. This combined with her speed and athleticism makes her tough to beat.
  • Derek Poundstone was always a fan favorite, and the 36-year-old will be making a comeback this season. Despite plenty of injuries this man has plenty to prove and if he can stay healthy, he will again be tough to beat. His return most likely will be short, maybe a few years, but will be explosive, entertaining, and passionate. That’s everything you want in an athlete.
  • Exploring new contest formats is inevitable. To make the sport live broadcast friendly, head to head events that excite the crowd will be featured, and smaller match-ups that are faster paced and visually exciting.
  • I see Bjornsson making 2017 his year. He is now good enough to beat Shaw and we will be treated to major battles when they face each other in the next few months.

I have had the pleasure of working with some top-notch athletes and meeting hundreds of the top competitors from across the country and the world. It is the best part of the job and I am anxious to meet more new faces and see mind-blowing feats of strength.

While all of my articles are kept here, I will summarize my main points of the last year in a single sentence: To be a better strongman set reasonable goals and stick to a plan you are able to recover from while using great form and technique.

Now, let’s get started on year two of our journey together.

Editors note: This article is an op-ed. The views expressed herein are the authors and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author.

Featured image: Michele Wozniak

The post How Strongman Has Changed in the Past Year (and What’s on the Horizon) appeared first on BarBend.

Adidas Powerlift 3 Weightlifting Shoes Review

The Adidas Powerlift shoes are currently in their third generation and have steadily grown in popularity since their initial release. This shoe could be described as one of Adidas’s most well-known lifting shoes since the 08 AdiStars, and the AdiPowers, which came some time after the Powerlifts.

Adidas Powerlift shoes are popular for multiple reasons. First, they’re an inexpensive option for a lot of lifters, as even the latest Powerlift 3s start at $90.00. Second, they offer a lower heel, so often times lifters can make a smoother transition into a heeled shoe when lifting. Third, they have a single strap design and offer plenty of security for the recreational lifter.

[Want to find the best weightlifting shoe for you? Take our weightlifting shoe quiz to find out which brand and model you should try!]

How do the Adidas Powerlift 3s stack up against other hybrid models and Olympic lifting specific shoes?

How Much Do the Adidas Powerlift 3s Weigh?

The Adidas Powerlift 3s weigh around 15 oz, which make them a slightly lighter the Adidas AdiPowers and Leistung models.

Image courtesy of Amazon.com 

Personally, I feel as though this shoe is a great transition shoe for someone who might be newer to using lifters. In that respect, I feel likes this shoe’s weight is good for what it’s designed for. Someone who’s new to experimenting with lifting shoes will benefit from a lighter shoe, because it will feel similar to cross trainers, Chuck Taylors, or tennis shoes they may have been previously wearing.

A lighter shoe will also help prevent the slowing of foot turnover in various power movements, so an athlete will experience less of a “getting used” to them period. Additionally, if you’re someone in need of a hybrid shoe for CrossFit® style workouts, or functional fitness styled lifting, then this shoe’s weight is a good option.

Adidas Powerlift 3 Effective Heel Height

The effective heel height of the Adidas Powerlift 3s is .6 inches or 15 millimeters, which puts this model’s heel on the shorted end of lifters. 

Image courtesy of Amazon.com 

The typical traditional model lifters have an effective heel height of .75″, which works for a lot of athletes. The .75″ is often the best fit for most athletes looking to achieve aid in squat depth, and stability in lifts. One downfall to this heel’s height is that it may not be the best fit in hyrbrid style lifting, or powerlifting.

The Adidas Powerlift 3 heel’s are a lower .6″, which make them better suited for a few activities. First, a lower heel may be a better option for athletes doing CrossFit style workouts. A smaller heel will help limit the feeling of being pushed forward, and that can be beneficial when moving from power to strength movements. Second, the lower heel may be ideal for those low-bar squatting who like a lifter’s stability, but don’t need extra heel for achieving depth.

Heel Construction

Unlike most popular lifters, the Adidas Powerlift 3s have a high density EVA heel, which is a durable lightweight material used in multiple types of heeled shoes.

Image courtesy of Amazon.com 

Possibly the biggest downfall to the Adidas Powerlift 3 is the heel’s material. The high density EVA is durable and will last a while, but it’s not as resilient to abrasions like TPU. It’s comparable in weight to TPU, but lacks the rigidity TPU heel provides. The EVA compresses slightly, and when under extremely heavy loads a lifter may be turned off by this fact.

As mentioned above, another issue that comes with EVA is long-term durability. This heel is designed to last, but if you’re looking for a shoe that’s going to withstand multiple years of heavy lifting, then TPU will be a better option. The one positive to the EVA heel is cross-training. If you’re in need of a hybrid shoe with an elevated mostly stable heel, then the EVA serves its purpose very well.

Upper Shoe Material

Image courtesy of Amazon.com 

The Adidas Powerlift 3s upper shoe material was pretty standard to a normal cross-training shoe. This shoe has lightweight leather and breathable mesh enclosing them, so they breathe pretty well if you’re performing high-rep, or cardio-esque lifting movements (light weight cleans, squats, snatches, etc).

I thought this shoe was pretty flexible, even upon their first use. The toe box is open, so it flexes well. You can expect around a one week “breaking them in” period, which is pretty standard for lifters. The only downfall to the Powerlift’s shoe material is around the heel. Personally, I prefer a deeper, or more stable heel, so I thought the mesh towards the upper heel was a little too flexible, but that’s my personal bias.

Foot Straps

The Adidas Powerlift 3s offer a standard single strap design that’s near the top of the tongue. As the Powerlift generations have grown, so have their straps. The 3s have a little thicker strap compared to their previous models, which is a cool feature. Single straps are known for offering a little less security, so the extra effort to provide a wider strap is a nice touch.

Image courtesy of Amazon.com 

Another positive feature of the strap is there’s not excessive overlap if you pull them tight. The Nike Romaleos 2s always had strap hanging on the ground when pulled really tight, and the Powerlift 3s strap doesn’t come close. A downfall with the Powerlift’s single straps is the full foot security. You have laces and a wide upper strap at the top of the shoe to achieve full foot security.

Adidas Powerlift 3 Price

The star player of these shoe’s are their price. They start around $90.00, but can be found for less in multiple online locations, including Amazon. If you’re interested in a cost efficient shoe with an elevated stable heel, then I’d recommend looking into the Powerlift models. On the flip side, for serious lifters who need a high performance shoe for specific reasons that’s going to last, this may not be your best choice.

Image courtesy of Amazon.com 

Final Word

The Adidas Powerlift 3s are a hybrid lifting shoe that utilizes a high-density EVA heel to produce stability in workouts. They’re cost efficient, and can be a great choice for lifters looking for a lower .6″ heel, as opposed to the usual .75″. They offer moderate stability and kept the ankle secure in the bottom of the squat.

The area where this shoe falls short is its abilities to support the elite athlete due to its heel’s material. EVA heels are known for being a little more compressible, so TPU, or wood, may fair better under very heavy weight.

If you’re looking for a cost efficient lifter that provides a lightweight, secure feeling, then the Adidas Powerlift 3s could be a good option for you.

Feature image from Amazon.com 

The post Adidas Powerlift 3 Weightlifting Shoes Review appeared first on BarBend.

Ray Williams Matches World Record, 1,052-Pound Squat in Training

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Monday, May 22, 2017

14-Year Old Alayna Easterly Deadlifts 147.5kg (3.1 Times Her Bodyweight)

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CrossFit Games South Region Recap: Reed and Collins Hold On

The 2017 CrossFit Games South Regional has come and gone, and familiar faces are atop of the leaderboard. Tennil Reed and Logan Collins managed to hold on to their first place positions and punch their tickets to the 2017 Games.

After the first day, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet was off to a strong start with two first place finishes, but was sooner after edged out on the second day by Games veteran Tennil Reed. With Reed’s third and second place finishes in event five and six, she was able to finish at the top spot with a mere 10 points above Leblanc-Bazinet. These two competitors dominated the individual women’s competition as Reed finished with 560 points, and Leblanc-Bazinet 550.

4-time Games veteran Margeaux Alvarez moved up one spot to claim third, and finished 69 points behind Leblanc-Bazinet. Games hopeful Bethany Branham took fourth and punched her first ticket to the Games. Alexis Johnson (1-time Games veteran) took fifth and punched her second ticket.

The men’s individual competitors saw much less movement in the top five after the second day. Logan Collins dominated the number one spot the whole weekend and finished 52 points above second. Two-time Games veteran Travis Williams moved up from fourth to second, while Dakota Rager bumped down one spot to third.

Elijah “EZ” Muhammad moved down one spot to fourth, and Tommy Vinas punched his first ticket to the game, as he controlled the number five spot for a majority of the weekend.

In terms of injuries, the Southern Region finished the weekend relatively unscathed, compared to the Eastern Region.

We’ve embedded the South Individual Event 6 video below in this article.

The top 5 standings after Day 1 for Women, Men, and Teams are below:


1. Tennil Reed
2. Camille Leblanc-Bazinet
3. Margeaux Alvarez
4. Bethan Branham
5. Alexis Johnson


1. Logan Collins
2. Travis Williams
3. Dakota Rager
4. Elijah Muhammad
5. Tommy Vinas


1. Wasatch Brutes
2. Salt Lake City CF
3. Bigg Friends
4. CrossFit Omnia
5. Pillar CrossFit

Action concluded and wrapped up Sunday at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, Texas.

Feature image screenshot from CrossFit® YouTube channel. 

The post CrossFit Games South Region Recap: Reed and Collins Hold On appeared first on BarBend.

Elliott Hulse Talks Strongman, Active Meditation, and Bioenergetics

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

CrossFit Games East Region Recap: Fraser & Reason-Thibault Win, Davidsdottir Finishes Second

To no one’s surprise, Katrin Davidsdottir is headed back to the Reebok CrossFit Games. What may surprise fans is that the 2-time defending Games Champion didn’t win the East Region like many assumed she would.

Games veteran Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault finished first overall in the East, with Davidsdottir close behind in second place. Rounding out the Top 5 for the women were Games veterans Kari Pearce and Dani Horan, followed by Chelsey Hughes, who will make her first Games appearance as an individual.

On the men’s side, Mat Fraser dominated the weekend, winning four events and finishing in 2nd and 3rd place on the other two. 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games 3rd place finisher Patrick Vellner finished in second, with Tim Paulson finishing in third. Cody Mooney and Michael Palomba rounded out the Top 5.

The final Top 5 standings for Men, Women, and Teams are posted below. We’ve also embedded Individual Event 6 below in this article.


1. Mat Fraser
2. Patrick Vellner
3. Tim Paulson
4. Cody Mooney
5. Michael Palomba


1. Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault
2. Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir
3. Kari Pearce
4. Dani Horan
5. Chelsey Hughes


1. Team Back Bay
2. Team CrossFit Milford
3. Reebok CrossFit One
4. CrossFit Queens
5. Ocean States Finest

It was a weekend filled with excitement and heartbreak in Albany, New York, as numerous elite men suffered pec injuries on Event 2.

Longtime fan favorite Lucas Parker also withdrew from competition and posted the below update on his Facebook page to keep viewers updated on his situation.

Featured image: CrossFit® on YouTube

The post CrossFit Games East Region Recap: Fraser & Reason-Thibault Win, Davidsdottir Finishes Second appeared first on BarBend.

CrossFit Games South Region Day 2: Tennil Reed, Collins, and Leaderboard Changes

One day remains in the 2017 CrossFit® Games South Regional and it appears the leaderboard has had its fair share of shifts. Unlike the East Regional, the South’s men’s and women’s individual top fives have almost all changed.

After day one, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet was commanding the number one spot, but has since shifted to second, as Tennil Reed put on a stellar performance through events three and four. Reed’s first and third place finishes edged out the 2014 CrossFit Games Champ from her top spot, but can she maintain it through the final day?

[Currently, event five is underway for the individual competitors, read here to learn how to watch the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games Regionals!]

Below Reed and Leblanc-Bazinet fall three new faces in the top five from the first day. Third place is commanded by Games hopeful Bethany Branham, while fourth and fifth place are headed by 4-time Games veteran Margaux Alvarez and hopeful Brista Mayfield.

For the men, Logan Collins is still at the front of the pack, as his three and second place finishes through event three and four have helped push him 31 points above second. Below him falls Games veteran Dakota Rager (up one spot), Elijah Muhammad (up three spots), Travis Williams (down two spots), and Tommy Vinas (down one spot).

Thankfully the Southern Region has made it relatively unscathed thus far in terms of reported injuries. The Eastern Region has seen multiple injuries.

We’ve embedded the South Individual Event 4 video below in this article.

The top 5 standings after Day 1 for Women, Men, and Teams are below:


1. Tennil Reed
2. Camille Leblanc-Bazinet
3. Bethany Branham
4. Margeaux Alvarez
5 Brista Mayfield


1. Logan Collins
2. Dakota Rager
3. Elijah Muhammad
4. Travis Williams
5. Tommy Vinas


1. Wasatch Brutes
2. Bigg Friends
3. Salt Lake City CF
4. CrossFit Omnia
5. Pillar CrossFit

Coverage continues throughout the day at the Alama Dome in San Antonio, Texas.

Feature image screenshot from CrossFit® YouTube channel. 

The post CrossFit Games South Region Day 2: Tennil Reed, Collins, and Leaderboard Changes appeared first on BarBend.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

CrossFit Games East Region Day 2: Fraser Still Ahead, and Another Big Name Withdraws

With only one day to go in the East Region, familiar names top the leaderboard, though one defending CrossFit Games Champion is still fighting for a first place spot.

On the women’s side, Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault continues her impressive run and still sits in first, five points ahead of Katrin Davidsdottir. However, Davidsdottir finished in first on Events 3 and 4, one spot ahead of Reason-Thibault. With just a slim margin separating the Games veterans, it will be interesting to see who comes away on top after Sunday’s events.

On the men’s side, it’s still the Mat Fraser show, with the defending Games Champion showing virtually no signs of weakness as he leads over last year’s Games bronze medalist, Patrick Vellner. Regionals veteran Tim Paulson sits in third overall as he fights to punch his first ticket to the Reebok CrossFit Games.

In a disappointing development for longtime fans of the sport, multi-time CrossFit Games competitor Lucas Parker has withdrawn from the competition.

The top five standings after Day 2 for women, men, and teams are listed below. We’ve embedded footage from Individual Event 4 later in this article.


1. Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault
2. Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir
3. Kari Pearce
4. Dani Horan
5. Chelsey Hughes


1. Mathew Fraser
2. Patrick Vellner
3. Tim Paulson
4. Cody Mooney
5. Marquan Jones


1. Team CrossFit Milford
2. Team Back Bay
3. Reebok CrossFit one
4. CrossFit Queens
5. Pro1 Montreal

Featured image: CrossFit® on YouTube

The post CrossFit Games East Region Day 2: Fraser Still Ahead, and Another Big Name Withdraws appeared first on BarBend.

CrossFit® Games South Region Day 1: Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, Logan Collins, and More

Day 1 of the 2017 CrossFit® Games South Regional is in the books and we’re halfway through the second day. Unlike the East Regionals, athletes at the top of both the women and men’s individual South leaderboard were much less predictable. With the exception of Camille Leblanc-Bazinet commanding the number one women’s individual spot, there’s much more variance in the top fives.

After the first day, top spot Camille Leblanc-Bazinet finished first in both events with 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games 11th place finisher Tennil Reed following close behind. Jessica Aelvoet, Games hopeful, is close behind in third, and took second in the second event of the first day beating Reed by 1-second. Aelvoet was positioned in first in the 2017 Open for the South region.

[Currently, event three is underway for the individual competitors, read here to learn how to watch the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games Regionals!]

On the men’s side, veteran athletes Logan Collins, Travis Williams, and Dakota Rager are controlling the top three spots, while Tommy Vinas and Cooper Wise, Games hopefuls following closely behind. Other notable names from the CrossFit community that fall below the top five include Elijah Muhammed in sixth, and Jared Enderton in 13th.

Thankfully, we haven’t seen any reported injuries for the South Region, such as East Region’s top-ranked Alex Vigneault’s pec injury that came from practicing the ring-dips before event two.

We’ve embedded the South Individual Event 2 video below in this article.

The top 5 standings after Day 1 for Women, Men, and Teams are below:


1. Camille Leblanc-Bazinet
2. Tennil Reed
3. Jessiva Aelvoet
4. Alexis Johnson
5 Candice Wagner


1. Logan Collins
2. Travis Williams
3. Dakota Rager
4. Tommy Vinas
5. Cooper Wise


1. Wasatch Brutes
2. Bigg Friends
3. Salt Lake City CF
4. Pillar CrossFit
5. CrossFit Omnia

Coverage continues throughout Saturday and Sunday at the Alama Dome in San Antonio, Texas.

Feature image screenshot from CrossFit® YouTube channel. 

The post CrossFit® Games South Region Day 1: Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, Logan Collins, and More appeared first on BarBend.

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Friday, May 19, 2017

CrossFit Games East Region Day 1: Mat Fraser, Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault, and Injuries on the Ring Dips

Day 1 of the 2017 CrossFit Games East Regional finished with some familiar names on top of the leaderboard in Albany. 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games Champion Mat Fraser leads the men’s standings, and Games veteran Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault is at the top for the women, with 2-time defending Games champion Katrin Davidsdottir hot on her heals.

Reason-Thibault is off to an incredible start, winning the first two events in a stacked East Regional with some of the world’s top athletes. Davidsdottir finished 3rd on Event 1 and 2nd on Event 2, less than six seconds behind Reason-Thibault. Two-time CrossFit Games competitor Kari Pearce is sitting in third.

Event 2 for the day — a couplet of dumbbell snatches and ring dips — proved especially taxing on the men’s side. The day before competition, top-ranked Alex Vigneault injured his pec practicing the event. During the event itself, East Regional competitors Christian Harris, Chase Smith, Kyle Cant, and Corey Lunney appeared to injure their pec areas on the ring dips, which could lead to their withdrawal from the competition.

We’ve embedded the East Individual Event 2 video below in this article.

The top 5 standings after Day 1 for Women, Men, and Teams are below:


1. Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault
2. Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir
3. Kari Pearce
4. Dani Horan
5 Chelsey Hughes


1. Mathew Fraser
2. Patrick Vellner
3. Tim Paulson
4. Max Bragg
5. Austin Spencer


1. Team Back Bay
2. Team CrossFit Milford
3. Reebok CrossFit One
4. CrossFit Queens
5. Pro1Montreal

[Read here to learn how to watch the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games Regionals!]

Action resumes tomorrow and Sunday at the Times Union Center in Albany, New York.

Featured image: CrossFit® on YouTube

The post CrossFit Games East Region Day 1: Mat Fraser, Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault, and Injuries on the Ring Dips appeared first on BarBend.

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

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High Volume vs. Maximum Intensity: How to Choose?

There is a maxim in the coaching world; you can train long or you can train hard, but you can’t train both. There are strongman coaches in both camps, and I will attempt to show you the difference and help you pick the right style for your body and schedule. I will begin by clarifying what each style means.

Training for Volume

When an athlete trains for volume, they attempt to do as many sets and reps of an exercise or muscle group as they can in a training session. These sessions generally take a minimum of 90 minutes and can go on for two or three hours. An example of this type of session would be:

  • 10 sets of 3 rep squats
  • 10 sets of 10 stiff leg deadlifts
  • 10 sets of walking lunges
  • 3 sets of tire flips
  • Sled drag
  • Plyometric jumps

As the amount of sets and reps add up, the ability of the body to perform at its peak diminishes. By the end of a workout like this you will exhaust every muscle fiber in your lower body and barely be able to walk out the door. You can crawl out of the gym and declare, “EPIC leg session! Killed them!!!!!” It will take the full 72 hours for recovery and often the athlete will not do another leg session that week.

The principal behind this style of training operates on the notion of breaking down the entire muscle group and letting it build back up over time. Being in the gym for long hours, they get out their frustrations, love the feeling they get, and have all their bases covered when it comes to training a muscle group. Many bodybuilders follow this style of training as it can be effective for muscle building, especially in trainees who have increased recovery ability.

If you only have a few days during the week to train, but a good amount of time to train on those days, you may want to consider a high volume program.

Training for Intensity

Conversely, when an athlete trains for intensity, sessions will be brief and near a max all of the time. An athlete may only do a few work sets in a session but train every day, even multiple times per day. This idea (started by Eastern European coaches) focus on the body adapting to the work in a few hours and becoming wired to do exactly the same thing every day. After a brief warm up, a sample session may look like this:

Session A:

  • Squat 2×1
  • Jerk 2×3
  • Farmers walk 1x75ft.

Session B:

  • Good Morning 3×3
  • RDL 3×2
  • Box Jump 3×2

To understand this program completely, you would see a very similar day two, three, and so on. For a set period of time the athlete works on achieving a PR nearly every day. The athlete should never be exhausted after a session, but instead feel the effects of a few short heavy sets. The recovery time is cut to hours instead of days for this training. Your schedule must allow you to train every day, and multiple times per day is actually preferred.

What is the main difference in the simplest terms?

Recovery and optimizing your down time is at play here. Intensity plays off of the idea that a muscle is either recovering or tearing down. It is rarely ever at stasis. It does just enough to stimulate growth and then stimulation is reapplied as soon as recovery is repeated. Volume is more forgiving in what happens to a muscle. Allowing more recovery time to heal from greater damage, it seeks to do more at once. That is, volume digs a hole with a shovel and intensity digs with a spade.

If you have the time for multiple short sessions per week, it would be wise to go with intensity. The quality of all the reps will be better and you should make more significant long term gains. You also have an advantage of truly getting comfortable with max weights. This decreases the chance of misses.

Volume disciples can’t be in the gym every day. You would be so worn down that you never fully recover.  Often times, a Monday squatter with presses on Wednesday will be working off spongy legs yet, and lose a bit off their power in a press. Many times though, they do not have a choice. Hitting a low volume program just three days a week will not provide enough stimulation to provide consistent progress. Sometimes a mix of the two may work for you. A 12 week program of such can be found here.

Make sure the amount of work you do matches what your body and schedule can work with. Serious athletes often rearrange their work lives to make sure they can hit the gym daily. It comes down to priorities. No matter what style of training you pursue, make sure you use proper technique and work to the best of your ability.

Featured image: Michele Wozniak

The post High Volume vs. Maximum Intensity: How to Choose? appeared first on BarBend.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

How to Watch the 2017 CrossFit Regionals

What Brian Shaw’s 12,000-Calorie Diet Looks Like

“I should probably start out at the beginning by saying…This diet is to make me as strong as I possibly can be. I’m eating to be the strongest man on the planet,” says professional strongman Brian Shaw at the beginning of the video below. Translation: Don’t try this at home.

It’s not easy being the four-time World’s Strongest Man, and it’s even tougher eating to be maintain that status. Shaw mentions in the video below that eating is often the toughest part of his training because it’s a continual process. He enlists a nutritionist, so he gets to pick some of his favorite foods while also being provided meal recommendations.

He points out that his diet becomes especially difficult when he just isn’t hungry, which makes absolute sense when you consider how much 12,000+ calories a day really is. In Shaw’s words, “It’s a necessary evil, so to speak.

His first meal in the video entails his cereal of choice (Cinnamon Toast Crunch) and eight eggs, which equates to roughly 1,180 calories, 68 grams of fat, 74 grams of carbs, and 68 grams of protein.

Shaw’s Stats

  • Weight: Around 430 lbs
  • Height 6′ 8″

His second meal is consumed about an hour later and includes a protein shake containing whey, peanut butter, and granola bars. The nutrition breakdown of this meal comes out to 1,025 calories, 25 grams of fat, 92 grams of carbs, and 115 grams of protein. Within three hours of waking up, Shaw is around 2,300 calories, and that’s a typical morning for this athlete.

As the video progresses Shaw continues to breakdown his daily meals and what they entail. It’s absolutely insane, and I recommend watching it until the end (especially if you’re someone who fantasizes about having a reason to eat 12kcals a day).

[Does Shaw have this year’s World’s Strongest Man competition? Check out one of BarBend contributor Dane Curley’s rationale and prediction.]

This video got me curious — how much does 12,000 calories looks like other foods? In a week, Shaw is consuming 84,000 calories, which equals 28 weeks (196 days) worth of food if you were to consume 3,000 calories a day.  I crunched some numbers below, and if you’re hungry… I’m sorry for doing this to you.

1. 266 Oreos – 11,970 calories

Each package of regular Oreos has around 40 cookies in it (it had 45, but got reduced this year), so you could eat 6.6 FULL packages of Oreos.

2. 11 Pints of Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked – 11,880 calories

If you’re a fan of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream goodness, then you could eat eleven full pints of their tasty Half Baked with a caloric allowance of 12,000.

3. 92 3 oz. Grilled Chicken Breasts – 11,960 calories

Not many people would purposely consume 92 chicken breasts, but could you imagine? It would be physically impossible (I think) to stomach all that protein, at least without blending it.

4. 25 In-N-Out Cheeseburgers With Onion – 12,000 calories

Fans of the popular West Coast-based In-N-Out Burger rejoice, because with 12,000 calories you could slam 25 of their tasty cheeseburgers.

5. 40 slices of 14″ Hand Tossed Pepperoni Pizzas From Domino’s – 12,000 calories

I’m personally a homemade pizza fan, but for the sake of national recognition, you could consume 40 cheesy slices of 14″ pepperoni pizzas from Domino’s for 12,000 calories… that’s five entire pizzas.

6. 111 Boneless Wings From Buffalo Wild Wings – 11,610 calories

111 boneless wings (which isn’t that much) comes out to about 4.5 servings of B Dubs’s large boneless baskets. This one kind of made me sad, as I was reminded how high calorie wings are.

7. 387 Cups of Chopped Broccoli (1 cup is 31 cals) – 11,997 calories

For fun I wanted to see the volume of broccoli 12,000 calories was. It’s 387 cups of chopped broccoli. Could you imagine eating 387 of broccoli in one day? That’s 928 grams of fiber.

8. 16.5 lbs of Cooked Spaghetti – 11,814 calories

“Yeah, I’m carbing up for my arm workout tomorrow, it’s all about the glycogen replenishment.” “Dude, you’re eating 16.5 lbs of spaghetti in one sitting.” On a serious note, who has a bowl that big, you’d probably need a bathtub or a trough.

No matter how you crunch the numbers, it’s absolutely insane how much food 12,000 calories a day is, and that’s every day for Shaw.

That’s just a day in the life of the World’s Strongest Man.

Feature image screenshot from Supertraining06 YouTube Channel. 

The post What Brian Shaw’s 12,000-Calorie Diet Looks Like appeared first on BarBend.

Master of Muscle Beast Tape Review – Did It Stay On?

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Friday, May 12, 2017

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Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet Describes The Insane Pressure of the Reebok CrossFit® Games

A new documentary has landed on the CrossFit® YouTube channel, and while it’s entitled 17.03: Birds of Prey, there’s not much talk of this year’s squat-snatch and pull-up-laden 17.3 Open workout. Instead, it’s an intimate look at three of the sport’s top female athletes as they prepare for the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games.

They’re are all very different. First we visit Kari Pearce, the 5th fittest woman on Earth who is currently living in Garwood, New Jersey and training in New York City. Then we look at Jamie Greene, winner of the 2016 CrossFit Open, based in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The third athlete is Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet, winner of the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games who is living and training in Boulder, Colorado.

Three very different lives in very different cities, united by their thirst to be the Fittest Woman on Earth™. Watch it below.

There’s a lot to like about this video, and what might appeal the most to functional fitness fans is that you get not only a look at the personal lives of the athletes, but also the actual workouts they’re doing as they hone their skills to their peak.

Image via CrossFit® on YouTube

 There’s some real nitty gritty about diet, coaching, peaking, and fear of failure, but the most intimate part of the documentary is Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet talking about the pressures she has faced as the former Fittest Woman on Earth.

You start to have pressure to perform, and I mean everyone ranks you, right? So everything is about your rank, everything is about, ‘you’re worth this because you’re ranked that,’ or ‘you’re worth this because you have that.’

And you know all that is kind of B.S. I’m worth me because I’m me. And you kind of lose sight of that as things pile up, and you get nervous about losing your sponsor (…) is my career gonna be over if x, y, and z? But all of that shouldn’t have any effect on who you are because who you are is who you are. But going through that you lose a bit of yourself.

Every one of the ladies in this video has said they can win the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games. It looks like they’re all going to put up a heck of a fight.

Featured image via CrossFit® on YouTube.

The post Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet Describes The Insane Pressure of the Reebok CrossFit® Games appeared first on BarBend.

Watch Kenya’s First Female Olympic Weightlifter Train With Her Daughter

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

2017 CrossFit® Regionals Events 4, 5, and 6 Revealed, Still No Barbells

How to Watch the 2017 USA Weightlifting National Championships

Liao Hui Goes Way Over His Current World Records (In Training)

Three weeks ago, a video surfaced of 69kg Chinese weightlifter Liao Hui crushing some seriously heavy lifts. How heavy? The video features Hui hitting a 170kg snatch (4kg over his world record) and a 205kg clean & jerk (7kg over his world record).

Before getting too excited, there’s one caveat that comes with the video. No one seems to know when it was filmed. Yes, it was shared three weeks ago on YouTube, but there’s no description or comment that provides any direction on times of filming. It’s hard to accurately assess when Hui actually performed these lifts.

Regardless when the video was actually filmed, these are still lifts that are unofficially breaking Hui’s current world records. We’re speculating that these are clips from a few years ago, but again, it’s hard to tell with the limited info.

Hui is the current 69kg senior world record holder for the snatch, clean & jerk, and total. His current records stand with a 166kg snatch, 198kg clean & jerk, and a 359kg total. He’s set all of these records at World Championship competitions.

[Did you know the 2017 World Weightlifting Championships is coming to America this November? BarBend partner USA Weightlifting is hosting the world’s top weightlifters for 2017’s premiere international weightlifting competition. Help support the sport and reserve your spot by booking tickets today through USAW, and learn more about our partnership here.]

Back in December, a Chinese sports outlet reported that Hui was coming out of retirement and is going to begin training again in pursuit of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Then again, it’s still unclear if the Chinese weightlifting team will be allowed to attend this year’s World Championships. They were recently issued a 1-year ban from international competition, and that official ruling with dates has yet to be set.

Feature image screenshot from darara1 YouTube channel. 

The post Liao Hui Goes Way Over His Current World Records (In Training) appeared first on BarBend.

The 2017 USA Weightlifting National Championships Ultimate Preview

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Watch the 17.2 Documentary Starring Froning, Davidsdottir, Sigmundsdottir, and More

As the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games approach, we haven’t just been enjoying the coverage from the Reebok CrossFit Games’ Update Studio, hours of behind-the-scenes footage, the occasional comedy sketch, and even some pretty cool short films submitted to their video contest; CrossFit HQ has also been pumping out some very high quality CrossFit® documentaries.

This week, they released a free, 40-minute documentary that provides an incredible opportunity to watch the sport’s greatest athletes train together, particularly the female athletes. In Road to the Games 17.02: Cookeville Camp we see Katrin Davidsdottir, Sara Sigmundsdottir, Tia-Clair Toomey, Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet, and more of CrossFit’s greats — including Rich Froning — train together at CrossFit Mayhem as they tackle 17.2, the second workout of the CrossFit Open.

Image via CrossFit® on YouTube

It’s a lot of fun to see even the world’s best athletes talking about how much they themselves dread the CrossFit workouts. “Do the workout, they said,” says Froning in a mocking voice. “It’ll be fun, they said.”

We’ve got to say, one of the most entertaining aspects of the video is watching a gym full of some of the world’s most competitive athletes try to balance camaraderie and inclusiveness with their intense drive to be the best at their sport. The friendly-but-maybe-it’s-not-that-friendly trash talk between the athletes, particularly from Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet and Nick Paladino, is worth the click.

Afterwards, the CrossFit Mayhem team heads to Rich Froning’s place to attend Cookeville Camp, a grueling event that features a training seminar on aerobic capacity from running guru Chris Hinshaw (it’s a lot of fun to see all the top athletes fail at single unders) and a brutal teamwork exercise from Major Brian Chontosh, a CrossFit athlete and retired Marine. Chontosh’s drills take place in the middle of the forest and last all night, and the athletes are punished multiple times for failing to pass tasks.

You’ve seen CrossFit athletes in pain before, but not like this. Check it out.

Featured image via CrossFit® on YouTube.

The post Watch the 17.2 Documentary Starring Froning, Davidsdottir, Sigmundsdottir, and More appeared first on BarBend.

Important: There’s an Instagram of People Snatching Snack Food

Reichardt and Delacruz Win Medals at Junior Pan American Weightlifting Championships

Picking up where she left off in 2016, Hayley Reichardt has won the first medals for Team USA at the 2017 Junior Pan American Championships in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Reichardt, who represents the Garage Strength Weightlifting team, finishes her competition with a clean sweep of three silver medals after successfully lifted 72KG in the snatch and 90KG in the clean & jerk for a 162KG total in the 48KG category. Facing a do or die situation after two unsuccessful attempts in the clean & jerk, Reichardt was successful on her final attempt to stay in the competition and win a spot on the podium.

The 48KG Junior Pan American Medalists are:

Cinthya Sanmartin (Equator) – 171KG
Hayley Reichardt (USA) – 162KG
Dolorita Cotes (Dominican Republic) – 153KG

Video of Reichardt’s performance is embedded below:

At only 18 years old, the Reading, PA, native is no stranger to success in national and international competition. In October of 2016, Reichardt became the first American Woman to win a medal at the Youth World Championships, when she placed third overall in the competition. She is a three time medalist at the Junior National Championships, including first place at the 2016 competition. At the 2016 Senior National Championships, she won a silver medal behind Olympian Morghan King.  

Reichardt, left, on the podium; image courtesy of Steve Galvan

Also competing on Day 1, American record holder Jourdan Delacruz lifted in the 53KG category. She successfully lifted 81KG on her third attempt in the snatch to win a bronze medal and set a new Junior American record in the lift. She went on to lift 102KG in the clean & jerk to win a silver medal in the lift and again set a new Junior American record.

Her total of 183KG also won her a silver medal and earned a new Junior American Record. For the day, she won three medals and set three new Junior American Records.

On Thursday, Team USA will be looking to keep the momentum moving along as Jacob Horst of Garage Strength competes at 2PM CST in the 62KG category and Taylor Turner of Vero Beach Weightlifting competes 4PM CST in the 58KG category. Another Garage Strength athlete, Jordan Wissinger, finished the day for Team USA at 6PM CST in the men’s 69KG category.

The post Reichardt and Delacruz Win Medals at Junior Pan American Weightlifting Championships appeared first on BarBend.

Cable Pull Through – Exercises, Benefits, and Muscles Worked

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Best Knee Sleeves

Catching Up With Sopita Tanasan, Rio Gold Medalist and IWF Weightlifter of the Year

Everything changed for Sopita Tanasan in Rio de Janeiro.

While the then 21-year-old had been competing internationally in weightlifting for years — she had medaled at four World Weightlifting Championships, three Junior World Championships, and three Junior Asian Championships — Rio wasn’t just her first Olympics. It was her first time competing in the 48kg class.

The gamble paid off: she won Thailand’s first gold medal of the 2016 Summer Olympics with a 92kg (202.8lb) snatch and a 108kg (238lb) clean & jerk, totaling 200 kilograms (440.9 pounds) in a tight race with Indonesia’s Sri Wahyuni Agustiani. According to the Bangkok Postthe medal also earned her hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial rewards from the Thai private sector, and to top it off she won the IWF’s award for female weightlifter of the year.

Since then, Tanasan hasn’t done much media, but BarBend’s Thai correspondent Satanan Vechviboonsom recently caught up with her for her for a rare interview. (Note that Vechviboonsom translated this interview from Thai.)

BarBend: So, what have you been up to since you came home from Rio? 

Sopita Tanasan: Since I came back from Rio my life has remained pretty much the same, nothing special. I just constantly go to the gym and work hard on training. My friends and family were super proud of me when I got back, they’re really supportive people. Honestly, my hope was to to be a role model for all Thais, for everyone. I worked so hard for that medal — it was just wake up, eat, train, eat, rest, sleep, and repeat.

As a 48kg athlete, you lifted a total of 200kg at Rio, but your biggest competition total was as a 53kg athlete at the World Weightlifting Championships in 2015, when you snatched 95kg and clean & jerked 115kg. Do you have any plans to compete in that weight class again?

Definitely, yes. I’d like to, but it really depends on my coach and my team and what works well for them.

When you compare the two weight classes you’ve competed in, what are the biggest differences in how you train and recover?

Honestly, there weren’t a lot of big differences. I can change my body’s weight pretty easily, I can drop a few kilos and my training, rest, and recovery will remain consistent.

Image courtesy of Sopita Tanasan

Thailand’s national sport is Muay Thai — Thai kickboxing — and you come from a family of boxers, some of whom competed internationally. How did you make the decision to become a weightlifter?

I did want to be a female boxer but at that time, there weren’t any female boxing gyms in my village — in Sawi District in Southern Thailand — which was quite small. The main reason I started lifting is because I didn’t want to be bored at home doing nothing! (laughs) To be honest, my dad did not want me to leave home. He wanted me to stay at home and find a housekeeping job like the other girls in my area.

At that time, I was really unsure of myself, because I didn’t know what the outside world was like, but I was curious. One day I was watching the 2004 Olympics and I saw (weightlifter) Pawina Thongsuk win a gold medal for Thailand. I told myself, “I want to be like her.” That’s when I made the decision — it was a really big decision!

Back then, I didn’t know what the national team was, I only wished to be a role model for other people just like Pawina. So I started training, entered some youth competitions, and I joined the local team.

When I was about 15 or 16, I started earning money and I was able to support my family through weightlifting. I was really proud. I was even able to pay my own way through school.

Image courtesy of Sopita Tanasan

You were very calm on stage at Rio, and we noticed that you were meditating before you made your heaviest lift – is meditating before you lift a common routine for you?

Yes. Mentally, Rio was really hard. I had to use a lot of energy and concentration. On my first day there, I cried a lot because of all the pressure. To be honest, athletes are quite sensitive. It’s another reason a good coach is a must. But yes, I meditate every time before I go on stage.

What kind of meditation do you do? Do you count breaths, use a mantra, some other kind? 

I meditate approximately ten minutes every day after dinner. I use (the Buddhist practice of) Anapanasati, which involves focusing on my breathing patterns.

Do you have any other tips to keep calm and aware during a lift?

Just keep breathing, or try counting your breaths, that’s all. Nothing special.

Sopita Tanasan with her coach. Image via Sopita Tanasan on Facebook

What’s a piece of advice you would have for other young women who want to start weightlifting?

I want to give some advice to other female athletes: work hard, find motivation, and don’t give up no matter how hard things get. We can do it, there is nothing that we can’t do. You just need to set a goal. Nobody is born an expert, everyone starts from the same place. In the end, it’s all about practice. I really believe anyone can do it.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell your English-speaking fans?

I just want to thank all my fans around the world. I would love to answer everyone who writes to me online, but I can’t because of the language barrier. I wish I could learn every language so that I could reply to everyone. Until then, I just want to thank all my fans once again.

Featured image courtesy of Sopita Tanasan.

The post Catching Up With Sopita Tanasan, Rio Gold Medalist and IWF Weightlifter of the Year appeared first on BarBend.

USA Brings Home 54 Weightlifting Medals at the 2017 World Masters Games

Last weekend concluded the final day of the 2017 World Masters Games. This year marked the ninth games, and they were held in Auckland, New Zealand. The weightlifting event took place from April 22-29th. There wasn’t a lot of coverage on this event, but the USA’s Masters team performed exceptionally well in each age group and weight category.

If you didn’t know, the World Masters Game’s weightlifting competition also acts as the IWF’s Masters Weightlifting Championships. Athletes are required to follow the IWF’s guidelines and qualify with corresponding totals to their age and weight group.

Check out the final medal totals below from the week long event.

  • Total Medals: 54
  • Gold Medals: 18
  • Silver Medals: 19
  • Bronze Medals: 17

In addition to the medals, USA’s team also set multiple records in a variety of weight classes and age groups.

  • Masters Games Records: 55
  • World Records: 21

[If you’d like to see the full list of USA’s competitors and results from all eight days of competition, then check out this link.]

If you’re looking for a specific age group, competitor, or broken record, then check out the full schedule shared below.

Image courtesy of worldmastersgames2017.co.nz.

Below are a few highlights that have been shared thus far by the World Masters Games organization about athletes that were in attendance.

One of the many golds brought home by the USA was from 35 year old Kristi Brewer who won her 63kg weight class. She edged out fellow USA competitor Gwendolyn Sisto who finished with silver. Brewer ended up setting the 35-39 year old clean & jerk IWF world record, while silver medalist Sisto claimed the snatch world record.

One of the coolest aspects of the above video was that two of the three featured athletes started weightlifting less than two years ago. Thus proving, it’s never too late to start, or compete on a world stage for that matter.

The World Masters Game are often called the “Olympics” for older athletes. In terms of weightlifting, this competition is possibly the most prestigious for masters athletes, as it also functions as the IWF’s Masters Weightlifting Championships.

These games are great because they allow a lot of Masters athletes the chance to compete against athletes from across the world. Hopefully we continue to see more videos shared from the event as US competitors begin to arrive home.

Feature image screenshot from World Masters Games 2017 YouTube channel. 

The post USA Brings Home 54 Weightlifting Medals at the 2017 World Masters Games appeared first on BarBend.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

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What Are Your Thoughts on the Nike Romaleos 3 Freedom?

As we head into the spring and summer, it only seems fitting that Nike drop a new color scheme for the Nike Romaleos 3 geared towards representing the USA. We’re not sure if this was done in an attempt to be relevant with the Fourth of July, but it sure does seem convenient.

Since their release on January 21st, a lot of athletes have turned in their old lifters to pick up a new pair of Nike Romaleos 3s. Many athletes have been happy with the Nike Romaleos 3’s in-gym performance, but there have been a few durability concerns worth considering before buying (such as the tongue ripping).

[Read our full Nike Romaleos 3 review!]

Earlier in the year, I wrote an article on the coolest custom Nike Romaleos 3 color schemes we’ve seen thus far, which featured a ton of creative Romaleos 3 designs. Custom painted shoes are great, but they can be an added expense on top of an already fairly expensive shoe. This is why myself and many other lifters are pretty excited about the newly released Nike Romaleos 3 Freedom shoe because…’Merica. 

Image courtesy of Nike.com. 

This new shoe features patriotic colors, much like its “Freedom” name suggests. I am curious about the mid-foot though, would it have been cooler with white instead of gold? Either way, the shoe looks great, but the gold may turn off a few athlete due to its flashy nature.

Another cool aspect of the Freedom shoe is the attention to detail Nike put into it. It comes with shoelaces that also resemble the color scheme, which I thought was a nice subtle touch.

Image courtesy of Nike.com. 

This Freedom model still comes with a price tag of $200, so I’d recommend reading into what other’s have thought about this shoe before investing. Also, consider the characteristics that make this model different from others on the market to ensure it’s a good fit for you and your sport.

Regardless what lifting shoe you prefer, it’s pretty cool to see Nike attempt to be creative and represent the good ol’ USA.

Feature image from Nike.com. 

The post What Are Your Thoughts on the Nike Romaleos 3 Freedom? appeared first on BarBend.

James Hobart Explains Why He’s Not Competing in the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games

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