Saturday, September 30, 2017

Marijuana and Lifting Weights: What the Science Suggests

Editor’s Note: This article is intended to provide an objective view behind using cannabis and lifting weights. We’re not endorsing the use or promoting marijuana’s use, especially since it’s still illegal in many countries globally and in many states across the U.S. Please abide by all local and federal laws, as well as the rules of any sporting bodies where you compete.

There are currently twenty nine states that have legalized marijuana, or cannabis use in some form, whether it be medically or recreationally. Of these twenty nine, eight states have legalized marijuana for recreational use. In 2016, it was reported that the number of adults who say they regularly use marijuana has doubled since 2013. Gallup News illustrated this stat in their 2016 survey that showed 13% of adults admitting to regular marijuana use.

The use of marijuana — or at least the discussion surrounding it — is becoming less of a taboo topic across the U.S. We’re seeing states become much more liberal with how they view the use of cannabis. In addition, we’re seeing more athletes admitting to anecdotally using marijuana to improve performance, support recovery, and even help consume their goal calories.

This got us thinking, does marijuana help in the way some athletes have purported? This article will dive into what cannabis actually is and how it effects the body, where it currently stands with the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA), and what science says about its use and lifting weights.

Background of Cannabis or Marijuana

What Is It?

Cannabis, also known as marijuana (among other names), is a psychoactive drug, which comes from the cannabis plant. There are three types of cannabis plants, which include: Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis. Each of these plants are grown and used for different purposes, which we won’t dive into for this article.

This psychoactive parts of cannabis variations produce both mental and physical effects on the body, often known as the feelings of being high or stoned. After the use of marijuana, many report feeling an altered perception, heightened mood, increased appetite, and sometimes a euphoric feeling. Remember, these will vary pending on the marijuana strand, and type.

Brief History of Cannabis

The cannabis plant originates from Central and South Asia, and its first use dates way before Western Society began using this psychoactive drug. To provide a brief history of cannabis, its first documented use was in 2727 B.C. with Chinese Emperor Shen Nung. Since then, there have been multiple accounts and suggestions of Egyptian mummies having cannabis fragments buried with them. In addition, some historians believe that the ancient drug ‘soma’ was actually cannabis as we know it today.

It wasn’t until the mid 1500’s when cannabis made its way to Western Society as the Spanish began to import hemp from Chile. Hemp is a variation of the cannabis sativa plant and is often used for commercial industrial purposes. At the time, hemp was used to create rope and fiber.

What Causes Marijuana’s Effects On the Body?

The feeling of being high or stoned, along with their secondary attributes mentioned above, can be contributed to a few different factors. Marijuana contains multiple active compounds, but one of the major compounds is what we know as THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol. This compound is the psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis, and what we’ve come to know as the ingredient to make us feel ‘high’.

Cannabinoids, in short, are chemical compounds that interact with our body’s cannabinoid receptors. These cannabinoid receptors are located throughout our body along the central nervous system, and are heavily located in the brain. Along with the receptors, come their respective ligands, which function as triggering molecules for protein binding. Together, these make the Endocannabinoid System. The Endocannabinoid System plays a role in our brain’s reward system that is linked to drug use. Additionally, this system is often linked to causing psychiatric disorders, but also improving them with carefully planned manipulation.

Long story short, THC plays a role in our body by interacting with our Endocannabinoid System and producing various effects (feeling high). It’s hard to provide a definitive description of what feeling high is. Different strands of marijuana will produce different effects on the body, along with nervous system responses varying. This is why research has difficulty providing a consistent description.

Another factor that can contribute to the “high” feeling that comes with cannabis use is dopamine. This neurotransmitter plays a role in our body’s reward system, which cannabis has been seen to influence to an extent. Cannabinoids have been suggested to increase dopamine concentrations in the body, and varies depending on strand and one’s nervous system. 

These are only two pieces of the puzzle of what marijuana does to the body. There are many other factors that have a role in this drug’s use and our body’s response, but for the most part, these two are among the most commonly known.

Suggested Side Effects

There have been many suggested side effects of both short-term and long-term cannabis use. Granted, keep in mind that like all side effects, they’re completely dependent on an individual, and may not ring true for every single person. A few of the short-term effects listed in the above literature are: Import short-term memory, altered judgement, and impaired motor functions. Some of the long-term potential effects include: Addiction, altering of the brain’s make-up, and a decrease in learning capabilities.

Marijuana and the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA)

If you compete in drug tested strength sports, then chances are you’re well aware of WADA and their policies. This is the organization that creates the standards for fair play rules, and coordinates guidelines for athlete’s and banned substance use.

In the recent past, WADA actually loosened up the threshold for cannabis use pre-competition. WADA changed the threshold of a positive cannabis tests from 15 nanograms per milliliter to 150ng/ml. These new limits are designed to only catch athletes who are using during the time of competition, and testing positive at this threshold would suggest that the athlete is a fairly heavy consumer.

Previously, the rules were more strict, as marijuana in many provinces is an illegal drug. But in recent years, as marijuana continues to become more legalized and remains linked to relatively few performance enhancing effects, it seems WADA decided to become a little more relaxed with their positive testing threshold.

Cannabis and Weight Lifting

Unfortunately, there haven’t been a ton of studies done on cannabis and its direct effects on exercise. This is partly due to how the drug is still listed as an illegal substance in many states, so funding and studies become increasingly more tough to perform. Although there have been a few studies that have provided some insight into cannabis/THC’s effects on sport performance.

Cannabis and Sport Performance

Many study have addressed that there hasn’t been enough research to claim any performance enhancing effects cannabis may have. In fact, of the few studies done, they usually result in slightly decreased performance, or no effect whatsoever. For example, this older study from 1986 looked at marijuana’s effects on subjects who performed maximal exercise testing to exhaustion on an ergocycle. Researchers had 12-healthy individuals split into two groups: Non-smoking, then a group that performed 10-minutes after smoking a marijuana cigarette.

Researchers found that the group who smoked the marijuana cigarette experienced a slight decrease in performance duration. The marijuana group had a cumulative performance time of 15-minute, while the non-smoking group had 16-minutes. But at peak performance, researchers found no significant differences between the VO2 (oxygen uptake), VCO2 (carbon dioxide output), heart rate, and VE (minute ventilation).

Possibly the best review published on the topic of cannabis and sports performance was released in September 2017. This review analyzed 15 studies published.

In terms of strength, one study from 1979 had six males ages 21-27 partake in a sub-maximal biking and grip strength test. They were split into two groups: THC and placebo. The authors found that there was no effect on a subject’s grip strength, but there was a slight decrease in peak work capacity.

Another study that looked at THC and strength was performed in 1968. This study looked at 16 males aged 21-44. They performed 6-10 minute bouts on the treadmill and finger ergograph (a tool to assess a muscle’s work output). The authors didn’t publish the finger ergograph’s results, but noted within their study that, “Weakness was clearly demonstrated on the finger ergograph”. 

The final study worth mentioning from the review followed 10-healthy males who were split into a control group and THC cigarette group. Subjects performed a bicycle ergometer test that started at 150 kg/min and increased by 150 kg/min on 5 min intervals until exhaustion. Researchers recorded multiple attributes including heart rate, VO2, VCO2, blood pressure, tidal volume, and a few other factors. The authors noted that the THC group all had their total work output decreased in comparison to the control group (who averaged 29.9-minutes), and one subject in the THC group became “stoned” and dropped out at 9.9 minutes.


Of the studies and reviews analyzed for this article, we couldn’t find one that conclusively suggested cannabis could be a performance enhancing drug. In fact, from what we analyzed, there was a consistent slight decrease in a subject’s total work output from the use of cannabis. Yet, it’s still nearly impossible to make any definitive claims on cannabis’s impacts on strength training and sport performance for a few reasons. 

First, all of the studies were slightly older, so their methods for conducting research may differ from what researchers may currently use. Second, all of the studies had VERY small populations, which could create a bias in their results. Thirdly, none of the studies compared cannabis use with strength training programs. Fourth and lastly, of the studies in the review, none of them looked at a prolonged use of cannabis and strength training. 

In Conclusion

The use of cannabis in 41 states is still listed as illegal for recreational use. For athletes who regularly partake in tested strength sports and use marijuana regularly, then they should take the WADA’s thresholds into special consideration. It’s difficult to definitely say what marijuana will do to strength training and sports performance due to limited research.

In the future, we hope to see more studies done on the impact of marijuana use on strength training.

The post Marijuana and Lifting Weights: What the Science Suggests appeared first on BarBend.

IWF Upholds One-Year Bans for China, Russia, Kazakhstan, and More

Can Sex Impact Your Lifting, Sports Performance, and Gains?

“Women weaken legs.” — Micky, from the original Rocky movie

The above quote comes from the original Rocky movie. I was watching it last night, and it got me thinking: Is Micky right? Could sex impact my gains? And I’m not talking from a long-term point of view, but from a case by case basis, aka closely before or after lifting.

We know that sex can improve one’s confidence, naturally boost testosterone, and improve quality of life. So is it possible that for sexual activity to negatively impact gym performance? Let’s think about the Olympics, and a news report by USA Today that came out last year that highlighted the 450,000 condoms delivered to the athlete’s village (consisting of 10,000+ athletes, aka 42 condoms a day per athlete).

These athletes are at the peak of their career, and in possibly the most elite setting of competition, yet there’s a clear indication that competing isn’t the only thing going on. This makes me wonder, can sex really be considered bad for athletic performance?

A Review of the Research

Abstinence and Testosterone

Before diving into studies that have looked at how sex can impact an athlete’s performance, I want to cover the idea of abstinence and performance (aka Micky’s quote). The theory behind abstaining from sex before sport can be linked to the logic of the slight testosterone increase that comes with abstinence.

The two studies highlighted below focus on the effects abstaining from sex has on the male population’s testosterone. 

One study from 2003 analyzed the relationship between masturbation induced ejaculation and serum testosterone in men. The authors had 28 volunteers abstain from sexual activity, and ejaculation for two periods of time. They noted that testosterone rose minimally from day two to day five, while hitting a peak of 145% at day seven. Following the seven day peak, the authors noted that testosterone didn’t increase any higher.

Then, a study from 2000 went a step further, and compared testosterone levels, along with endocrine responses over a 3-week abstinence period of masturbation-induced orgasm. Authors looked at multiple factors, which include: Adrenaline, noradrenaline, cortisol, prolactin, luteinizing hormone and testosterone concentrations. Authors reported that there were no changes in the endocrine responses, but there was a slight elevation of testosterone. 

But wait, it’s not that simple. Yes, these studies have suggested abstinence can increase testosterone levels slightly, but there’s no mention of other life factors at play. Plus, these studies don’t consider sports, lifting, and competition on one’s testosterone levels. They only look at relationship between abstaining from masturbation induced orgasm and testosterone levels/endocrine responses.

Sex and Sport

There have been a few studies that suggest sexual activity can influence sports performance for both men and women. In 2016, researchers performed a meta-analysis (research roundup) of the current research covering sex and sports. There are a few studies within the analysis that are more relevant to this article than others.

One of these studies comes from 1968 (very old), where study authors compared how sexual intercourse impacted their strength training in 14-healthy female athletes. They performed two different strength training sessions. One session was done the morning following a night of sexual intercourse, then the other session was six days after sexual intercourse. Authors noted no difference in strength levels or performance between the two sessions. 

Another study from 2000 analyzed how sexual intercourse impacted a cycle ergometer stress tests and concentration levels in elite male athletes. Fifteen elite male athletes consisting of eight team players, five endurance athletes, and two weightlifters volunteered. There were two testing days (one with sex, the other without), and athletes performed a cycle ergometer test, followed by a one hour exercise stress test matched with a rhythmic concentration beep test.

Athletes performed these tests two hours and ten hours following sexual activity. The authors noted that the only significant difference found between the testing days was after the 2-hour test on the sexual activity day. Athletes had a higher post-effort heart rate up to ten minutes following the test (at ten hours there was no difference). This led authors to suggest that sexual activity doesn’t have detrimental impacts on performance, but may influence recovery rates for exercise bouts quickly following sexual activity. 

Within the meta-analysis, researchers discuss the possible negatives that come with sexual activity and performance are more psychological. They discuss that some research indicated that sexual frustration provided athletes with an edge. Yet, other research indicated that sexual activity increases quality of life, which positive influence performance. In this scenario, it’s most going to come down to an individual, their sport, and mentality.

So Before Or After?

There’s limited research analyzing sexual activity in direct comparison with lifting, but we can draw a few tentative conclusions. And like most studies in this field of research, a lot is going to come down to an individual. If you find that sex drains you of concentration and energy before the gym, then it may be worth waiting until after. Conversely, if sex gives you energy, confidence, and improves the quality of your life, then it may be wise to do so before a lift.

Also, what you’re doing in the workout may play a role in this question. For example, if you’re doing a very heavy and intense workout, then you’ll have to gauge how sex impacts your energy and concentration levels. The goal should be to not have sex negatively impact performance.

Wrapping Up

Sexual activity pre- and post-lifting, or sport, will come down to the individual and how they respond to and view sex. From the research we reviewed, abstaining from orgasms may slightly increase testosterone, but there should also be the consideration of other life factors and stressors, which weren’t accounted for in the research. On that note, in most cases, sexual activity improves one’s quality of life and positively influence psychological aspects, which could also influence testosterone levels.

In reality, sex doesn’t appear to play a major role in performance in sport, or the gym independently by itself.

The post Can Sex Impact Your Lifting, Sports Performance, and Gains? appeared first on BarBend.

Daniella Melo Breaks Her Squat World Record In Training

Thursday, September 28, 2017

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Here’s How You Should Sit At Your Desk for Bigger Lifts

At BarBend, we’re constantly on the quest to improve our bodies, strength, and knowledge of strength sports. Unfortunately, much of what we do is spent sitting behind computers, so like many, we’re constantly experimenting with new ways to spend our work days without losing progress in the gym.

Sitting for long periods of time isn’t only unhealthy, but it can do a number on our posture. Poor posture can negatively impact an athlete’s performance in the gym in more ways than getting into proper positioning for compound movements. And not every company has the resources to give employees stand up desks, which makes maintaining healthy posture even tougher.

If you sit for long periods of time, and don’t have access to a stand up desk, then check out these seated posture tips below to better your desk ergonomics.

Health Posture Tips for Desk Workers

Eye Gaze and Space From Screen

The way we fixate our eyes can play a big part in our head’s position and posture. When a screen is lower than our line of vision, then we’re forced to arch and flex the neck, which can result in a craning neck position. A forward head posture can lead to neck pain, tight traps, and weak neck muscles. All of these can negatively impact an athlete’s performance.

  • Eye Gaze Path: Fixate your eyes on a screens that sit directly in front of your eyes, or at a slightly downward/upward position. This will decrease the time you spend looking down with a forward, or flexed neck posture.
  • Space Between the Screen: An easy way to gauge the appropriate distance between yourself and the computer screen is by extending your arm. This is often 20-30″ and will help you avoid eye strain and leaning forward to get closer to your screen.
  • 20-20-20 Rule: This rule requires you to stare at something away from your screen 20′ feet away for 20-seconds every 20-minutes. Research has suggested this to be a viable tactic to combat eye strain and asthenopia.
  • Screen Brightness: A screen should be adequately bright with ambient light, so your time spent squinting is reduced.
  • Try Palming: This is a method that requires you to turn away from your screen and place both of your palms over your eyes with the fingers crossed for a minute. Doing so is supposed to aid in eye strain.

Chair Position & Joint Angles

Your chair should have a few adjustments to support joint angles that won’t continually put you in compromising postures. For example, a chair shouldn’t be too high where the legs are hanging downward, or too low where the hips are overly flexed. There are a couple chair checkpoints and joint angles to perform to ensure you’re sitting in the best way possible.

  • Height: An adjustable chair can be a great way to alter heights slightly to avoid putting the hips in the same positioning for extended periods. Ideally, you want your thighs to sit parallel with the floor.
  • Arm Rests: Your arm rests should support the arms and create a 90 degree angle with the arms. If your chair doesn’t have arm rests, then position the arms so they’re laying at the height of the desk.
  • Back of the Chair: Stagger out times when you sit erect with tall posture using no support. For situations when you’re using the back of the chair, sit all the way back in the seat and ensure the lumbar curvature is supported.
  • Feet Flat: Maintain a flat foot posture on the ground, or angle them slightly up, while remaining flat.
  • Shoulders Back: Keep the shoulders relaxed and back, while thinking tall chest. Try to avoid tensing up or tightening the upper back for extended amounts of time.

Kinesiology Taping for Posture

Another easy way to promote good posture is with the light use of kinesiology tape. The easiest way to tape the body for better posture is by placing one piece over the scapulas. Doing this will provide the mind with a stimulus to pull the scapulas back and maintain an upright chest throughout the day, aka a healthy posture.

In Conclusion

Sometimes sitting for extended periods of time is inevitable, especially for those working sedentary jobs. Fortunately, there are ways to combat the negatives that come with sitting and poor postures. The above tips are only a few ways you can work with equipment at your desk to support proper posture.

The post Here’s How You Should Sit At Your Desk for Bigger Lifts appeared first on BarBend.

How a Blind CrossFit Coach Works Out

Brandon Tucker is a CrossFit® athlete and coach who doesn’t let the fact that he’s blind get in the way of a good workout.

This footage was taken at July’s Summer Partner Throwdown in Denham Springs. This was a fitness competition designed for two person teams, which made for a great environment for Tucker to crush his workout.

He was born with Usher syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that leads to not only vision loss but also hearing loss — he has about 77 percent hearing loss in both ears. In an interview with he said,

I never really felt like it held me back (…) In a weird way, it actually made me more competitive.

My family has always been competitive so I knew I would have to be a little bit better on my game than others who could see. I saw it as more of an exciting challenge than something that would hold me back.

Despite his disability, he became a successful entrepreneur in Louisiana, and when he encountered the sport of CrossFit in his late 30s, he said he was “hooked,” finding that it fed his competitive nature.

Before starting his own gym, CrossFit Feliciana, he attended CrossFit Geaux in Baton Rouge. His coach described how he taught Tucker to perform kipping pull-ups:

“Whenever he was on the kipping pull-up, having him put one hand on my chest, one hand on my lower back, feeling everything stay tight, the forward and back motion, cueing the pulling motion, and then when it came to the hip extension I cued him to think as if he was jumping on a box, so his knees would come up, he would shoot his feet down, and finally he would feel the sensation as if he was performing the pull-up.”

This week, CrossFit Feliciana announced that Tucker will be participating in a medical trial that may restore his vision. (Because of this he’s been forbidden to work out for the next three months, so he’s getting in a lot of WODs this week.)

But taking part in the trial is pricy. The first treatment costs $19,600, and if it’s successful there will be many more treatments to follow, so he’s raising funds with a Go Fund Me campaign. Check it out if it’s something you’d be interested in supporting.

Featured image via Marshall Courtney on YouTube.

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Nordic Lifting Gloves Review

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Did You Know Some People Are Allergic to Exercise?

Yeah, you read that title correctly. Some gym-goers (both male & female) at a rate of about 50 out of 100,000, actually have a legitimate excuse to be conscious of their exercise rates and abilities. Granted, it’s not exercise alone that they’re allergic to, but the act of exercise in addition with an allergen trigger.

In this case, exercise is a trigger that projects the body into an allergic reaction. The condition is called Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis, and it’s somewhat of an anomaly in the world of medicine. Anaphylaxis is a severe (sometimes life threatening) reaction to an allergen trigger that needs to be treated right away. These are cases when you hear about epinephrine pens (EpiPens) being used, or constantly held by those with allergies.

Allergists, doctors, and researchers are aware of the condition, but are still unsure of the exact biological mechanisms that cause the reactions. Researchers have known of this condition for over 35 years, and have made only some progress in figuring out what may stimulate the exercise induced reaction. What’s most strange about this form of allergic reaction is how the cases vary from person to person. This is why it’s so difficult for researchers to nail down exact mechanisms.

Researchers have said that roughly 30-50% of those who suffer from this condition find the reaction due to certain foods combined with exercise; others have had reactions caused by the combination of exercise and drugs like Aspirin. And there are even some women who have reactions when they’re in the peak of their menstrual cycle (possibly due to very high estrogen levels). To top it off, the intensity trigger of exercise varies from person to person. So while you have different triggers, you also have different activities/intensities to account for.

There have been a few theories made behind what may cause Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis: Increased blood flow pushing sensitive immune cells through the body, and gut bacteria changing behavior due to exercise. But these are only a couple theories, and it’s a difficult condition to test due to the varying conditions.

Fortunately, those who suffer from this condition usually find out right away, and medical professionals can help provide a clear cut game plan for combating the condition. It’s a rare, but pretty severe condition that should be taken seriously like any normal allergy, especially when you account for all factors involved.

The post Did You Know Some People Are Allergic to Exercise? appeared first on BarBend.

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Sohrab Moradi (94kg, Iran) Sets New World Record Weightlifting Total

It’s a record that’s stood for nearly 18 years, but now, the heaviest-ever total in the 94kg weight category belongs to Iranian weightlifter Sohrab Moradi.

The weightlifter snatched 185kg and clean & jerked 228kg to eclipse Kakhi Kakhiashvili’s World Record total from 1999. Moradi’s lifts took place in Turkmenistan at the 2017 Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games. His final results on the day were three successful snatches (176, 181, and 185kg) and two successful clean & jerks (missing his opener at 220 and then making lifts at 220 and 228kg).

Kakhiashvili’s snatch record at 188kg and Szymon Kolecki’s clean & jerk record at 232kg still stand. At the 2012 London Olympic Games, Kazakhstan’s Ilya Ilyin broke both the clean & jerk (233kg) and total (418kg) records, but his results were later annulled due to positive doping retests of his competition samples.

Moradi, the 2016 Rio Olympic Gold medalist in the men’s 94kg category, has been flirting with the class’ World Records for some time, going heavier than the official IWF marks in training and national competition.

After easily securing gold in Rio, many weightlifting fans thought it would only be a matter of time before Mordai made a run at the World Records. Watch his historic performance below.

Moradi’s performance comes just a day after his 29th birthday. In addition to his Olympic gold medal, Moradi is also a two-time Asian Champion (2009 and 2012, both in the 85kg weight class).

Featured image: wlift84 on YouTube

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Jill Coleman Talks Getting Strong Faster and Helping Women Love Heavy Weight

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Have You Seen Korean Weightlifter Lee Sang’s Drop-and-Catch Lifting Videos?

So You Wanna Be A Powerlifter? Registering for a Meet

In our last episode, we talked about equipment – defining the parameters of raw/classic and equipped powerlifting. Now that you’re in the know, and also have some information regarding federations from our first episode, we’re ready to choose a meet.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is find a meet you’re interested in. To do this, I’d recommend checking the websites to find your local federation (we listed websites for many of the major feds in our last blog post). Each federation will likely have ‘Open’ or local level meets that are open to all competitors. You’re also going to want to try to choose a meet that lines up with your ideal timeline for competition. Make sure to take things like vacation, major job stress, or major life events into consideration as all of these things will have an impact on your training.

Once you’re set on a meet, you’ll be faced with an entry form that will ask you a whole bunch of questions about your age, weight, and whether or not you’re equipped.


The weight classes in the IPF/CPU/USAPL are as follows:

Men – 59kg, 66kg, 74kg, 83kg, 93kg, 105kg, 120kg, 120kg+

Women – 47kg, 52kg, 57kg, 63kg, 72kg, 84kg, 84kg+

Other federations’ classes are similar, but will be listed on their entry forms – pay attention!

To compete in a given weight class, you must make weight at a weigh-in, meaning you weigh equal to or less than your category.  For example, to weigh in as a 105kg lifter, you must weigh between 93.01kg and 105.00kg, inclusively (all information taken from IPF technical rulebook).  

An important note from the author – don’t worry about cutting weight for your first meet! Dehydrating or aggressive dieting to make a specific weight class is something to worry about down the road when you’re chasing records and championships, until then – just come in weighing what you weigh, healthy, and well fed and watered.


The age categories in the IPF/CPU/USAPL are as follows:

Sub JR – 14-18
JR – 19-23
Open – 24-39
Master I – 40-49
Master II – 50-59
Master III – 60-69
Master IV – 70+

In the IPF, you change age categories January 1st of the year you hit the next threshold. For example, you are no longer a JR lifter as of January 1st the year you turn 24 (as per the IPF Rulebook).


One final thing worth mentioning is that some powerlifting meets will include a “Bench Press” portion of the meet. Only check this box if you’re looking to forgo squatting and deadlifting and compete in Bench Press Only. Sometimes this is ambiguously labeled as simply ‘Bench Press’, and people will check it thinking that if they don’t, then they can’t bench!

Hopefully that information will help you choose a meet and fill out your first meet registration without too much hassle. In our next episode, we’ll go over some programming basics and we’ll have a link to our free 9-week peaking program you can use for your powerlifting meet!

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

The post So You Wanna Be A Powerlifter? Registering for a Meet appeared first on BarBend.

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

NOBULL vs. Nike Metcon 3 vs. Reebok CrossFit Nano 7

Hafthor Bjornsson Says He’s Aiming for the Deadlift World Record In 2018

New Deadlift World Record: -57kg Joy Nnamani Deadlifts 200kg Without a Belt

Mojtaba Maleki Joins the 500kg Raw (With Wraps) Squat Club

Ken Patera Was the First American to Clean & Jerk 500 lbs

When you think Ken Patera, what comes to mind? For most, it’s probably a career spent in professional wrestling, but Patera built his strong athletic background through lifting and other sports. For example, did you know Patera competed in weightlifting at the summer 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany?

Granted, Patera’s stint at the Olympics was cut short due to bombing out on the snatch, but we’ll dive more into those details below. Possibly Patera’s biggest contribution to American weightlifting was becoming the first American to officially clean & jerk 500 lbs in competition. Check out the video below highlighting Patera somewhat easily cleaning, front squatting, then pressing 485 lbs.

We’re unsure of the original date for when this footage was shot, but we’re guessing it was either the late 60’s or early 70’s.

Patera’s Early Sport Life

Patera grew up in Portland, Oregon, and played multiple sports in his youth. His athletic career began as a track & field athlete performing the hurdles and high jump, but was cut short due to an ankle injury. This injury caused him to transition into shotput and discus throwing, which he began to excel at.

Outside of track & field, Patera played football and wrestled in the heavyweight class at 193 lbs until he graduated in 1961. Little did he know at the time, that this stint of wrestling would pay off when eventually making into professional wrestling.

How Patera Found Strength Sports

In the world of strength sports, Patera found himself captivated by strength and began is weightlifting career an an early age. Multiple sources have stated that Patera, at the age of nine, originally became interested in weightlifting thanks to watching Norbert “Norb” Schemansky compete in the Olympics on television.

Photo: Norbert Schemansky at the 1964 Tokyo, Olympics.

Schemansky (featured above) was a 4-time Olympic medalist, and was actually the first Olympic weightlifting athlete to accomplish this feat. Without knowing so, Schemansky would inspire Patera to embark on a rewarding weightlifting career for himself.

Strength Sport Career

When Patera was in his youth and teenage years, he didn’t have access to a wide variety of lifting equipment and gyms. In fact, growing up Patera only had a gym set at his home that maximally went up to 110 lbs, and would do all of his lifting on that. And at the age 15, it was said that Patera could clean & press the full 110 lbs with each hand.

After middle school, Patera gained access to more weights, presumably from his high school gym, and this is when his lifting truly took off. When he was 16, Patera was able to overhead press 220 lbs and bench press 285 lbs. To top it off, some have noted that he would roll the weight from his hips to his chest before finishing the bench press, not knowing that the bench was meant to be performed with supports.

After he left high school, Patera competed the shotput in college, and his career in lifting started to get more serious. It was around this same time he began working on his Olympic lifting more. He would eventually top Canadian Strongman Doug Hepburn’s clean & jerk record with a 374 lb lift.

In 1969, Patera would make a decision that would forever alter his lifting career. He began seriously competing in weightlifting and won his first Junior Weightlifting National Championship. From 1970-1971, Patera won four gold medals competing at 110kg+ in National Championships. In addition, in 1971 Patera would win a silver medal at the World Championships just behind weightlifting legend Vasily Alekseyev.

A few of Patera’s best ever lifts are listed below.

  • Snatch – 386.5 lb (175.3 kg)
  • Clean and jerk – 505.5 lb (229.3 kg)
  • Clean and press – 505.5 lb (229.3 kg)
  • Olympic three-lift total – 1,397.5 lb (633.9 kg)
  • Press from racks – 551 lb (250kg)

1972 Olympic Games

After his initial years of weightlifting success, Patera found himself at the 1972 Olympic Games held in Munich, Germany. Patera was expected to give Alekseyev a run for his money, and possibly seal a gold medal for the U.S. In fact, sources have quoted Alekseyev admitting that Patera at his peak was stronger than him, as proven by his unofficial 550 lb press off racks.

Unfortunately, shortly after the terrorist attacks struck the Munich Olympics – now known as the Munich Massacre – Patera ended up bombing out and missed his opening snatch three times. Some suggest that the delaying of the Games due to the attacks threw Patera off of his game by messing up his peaking cycle in his training.

Wrestling and World’s Strongest Man

Following the 1972 Olympics, Patera arrived home and began contemplating what his next move would be. After receiving multiple offers to wrestle professionally, Patera decided that would be his next career move. In 1973, Patera began professional wrestling as a “strongman”. Over the next four years, Patera would continue to build his name in the world of professional wrestling and earn the title of the “Most Hated Wrestler” in 1977.

Also in 1977, Patera competed in the World’s Strongest Man and took home third place with 34 points. Not bad for only competing once in his lifetime.

Patera would continue to wrestle and build a name for himself into the 1990’s. But it was around the year 1988 when Patera took a step out of the major limelight that came with his professional wrestling name. As he transitioned from wrestling, Patera began to start multiple businesses which included opening a gym, tanning salon, limousine business, and sports nutrition company. Years later in 2000, Patera would end up selling these businesses and began to work as a traveling salesman.

Where’s Patera Now?

The now 74 year old Patera continues to function as a salesman for a large industrial company in the Midwest. He’s frequently on the road working with clients, and does so to provide for his two daughters. did an interview with Patera few years ago, and he closed their talk with, “What I did in my lifetime, people would die for. I have nothing to regret and nothing to be upset about. I’m happy and I’m content.” We’d have to agree that Patera has lived an exceptional life in the world of strength sports and sports entertainment.

Feature image screenshot from The Worlds Strongest Man YouTube channel. 

The post Ken Patera Was the First American to Clean & Jerk 500 lbs appeared first on BarBend.

Renegade Row Alternatives

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Why Orhan Bilican’s World Record 430kg Squat Didn’t Count

Powerlifter Mark Bell Teaches Us How to Safely Spot the Squat, Bench, and Deadlift

The act of spotting is much more than helping a buddy complete their last rep on the bench. A spotter has a great amount of responsibility that’s tied to them at all times, and in some cases this responsibility gets taken for granted. This is most common in the newer lifters who may not understand how to spot, or even the importance of properly spotting.

This lack of knowledge isn’t anyone’s fault, but there’s probably never been a scenario when their spot was the only line stopping an injury from happening. Whether it’s the squat, bench, or deadlift, a spotter can be an extremely useful tool when it comes to an athlete’s safety.

In late August, Mark Bell at Super Training Gym posted a great video covering the topic of properly spotting each lift. He provided in-depth examples and explanations into each lifts, and it’s definitely worth a watch, even if you think you already know how to spot.

Image courtesy of supertraining06 YouTube video. 

Disclaimer: It’s always advisable to lift with a spotter. In addition, certain variants of lifts will call for different spotting methods, and additional spotters. 

If you find yourself rusty in spotting one type of lift, then don’t sweat it. Below we’ve outlined each lift with the most important takeaway points described in the video.

1. Squat


This is the most common type of spotting the squat you’ll see in the gym. It involves one strength athlete squatting, and another standing behind them ready to brace them in event of a failed lift.

  • Ensure there’s enough space between both lifters.
  • Use closed or open hands when preparing to brace (choose what’s most comfortable, but use closed when spotting women).
  • Arms extend under the squatter’s lats.
  • Even or staggered stance will work, and an athlete should choose what feels most natural to them to provide the most support.


This type of spotting is what you’ll see in powerlifting meets, and when a lifter is performing higher intensity loads. It involves at least two spotters, and is the most safe when it comes to the avoidance of getting trapped under the bar.

  • Stand close to the bar, while wrapping one arm underneath (avoid only using hands to catch the bar).
  • Follow the lifter, and use the bicep, or crease in the arm to catch a falling bar.
  • Back-spotter has the job of ensuring the bar doesn’t roll off the back.

Another crucial talking point Bell mentions is to keep your lifting area clean. Dumbbells and other pieces of equipment around the feet of spotters and squatter can lead to injury.

2. Bench

Hand Off

Anyone’s who’s spotted a heavy bench, or even performed a 1-RM with a spotter will understand the importance of the hand off. This is an extremely crucial point that will allow a lifter to set properly and execute the lift.

  • It’s ideal to hand off from an elevated platform, so if you lift at a globo gym, then you may need to put a few plates behind the bench for better leverage.
  • The spotter hands off the weight on the lifter’s count, and holds onto the bar until they’re sure the athlete has taken full control.


When you’re spotting behind the lifter, Bell provided some great pointers, along with what to do for side spotters.

  • Follow the athlete’s bar closely, but be sure to not bump or touch it.
  • If in competition, stand to the side for the judge, but be ready to act if the bar starts to descend.
  • Grab the weight with both hands when spotting and lifting off.
  • Spot with the bicep similar to the squat when a bench’s weight is more than the two side spotters can handle (Bell uses the example of spotting those in bench shirts).
  • Spot with the fingers locked and both hands under the bar for weight that’s maneuverable with two spotters.

3. Deadlift

Spotting & Clearing the Area

Bell explains that monitoring the area around a deadlift is just as important as spotting the lift itself. There’s always a chance that an athlete could pass out after a set, or heavy pull, so ensuring the area is clear can benefit a passing out athlete’s health.

[Why do some athletes pass out from heavy deadlifts? Read more here.]

In addition, Bell mentions that the spotter behind the deadlifter is there to catch a lifter in the event of them passing out. When an athlete passes out from a deadlift they will typically fall backwards.

No matter the lift, the goal should always be an athlete’s safety. It could be your friend, or a random person asking for assistance in the gym. Either way, a spotter has a great amount of responsibility for a lifter’s health and themselves.

Feature image screenshot from supertraining06 YouTube channel. 

The post Powerlifter Mark Bell Teaches Us How to Safely Spot the Squat, Bench, and Deadlift appeared first on BarBend.

Carola Garra Benches Over Twice Her Bodyweight for a Junior World Record (Bench and Total)

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Hafthor “The Mountain” Bjornsson Sets New Weight Over Bar World Record

Why Strongman Training Is Ideal for Building Football Players

I have made my living working with high school and college athletes for the last three decades. Parents will look to private coaches to specifically improve the skill sets of athletes to increase their playing time or help secure a scholarship for college. I am (continually) amazed when I discuss the strength and conditioning portion of their training with these young athletes. Somehow, it seems as if 20 years of scientific methodology escapes the coaches who are in charge of training these combat athletes. There are many aspects to molding a college (or professional) level athlete that should be examined individually but in a the scope of macro programming we are concerned with the two major concepts:

1. Conditioning: The development of the ATP-PC (up to 12 seconds of max effort)  and anaerobic system to deliver peak performance for entire duration of the game (typically 2 to 2.5 hours).

2. Resistance training: The process of using weight to develop muscle growth, power and strength. This is also necessary to help toughen the athlete and prevent athletes.

When I review an athlete’s current practices I often find there are many common mistakes made by coaches who are well meaning but have a lack of understanding of rep ranges, exercise selection, energy systems (aerobic vs. anaerobic), rest times and recovery techniques. Much of this information I have covered in previous articles in depth and will provide links for them here. This article is designed for those coaches to better understand the scope of how to apply them.

Problem One

Let us begin with the biggest, hugest, most inexcusable mistake that coaches make: aerobically running their athletes for a large portion of the practice.

“Well we started with a 20 (15, 10) minute run.” This may be considered a warm up, and while all athletes should be warm and sweaty it really does very little to help them and does more to impede proper performance. Why? Well the average play in a high school football game lasts about five seconds and total game play average about 11 minutes. Think about this for a minute. A game that takes place in the ATP-PC and  anaerobic states is going to receive very little benefit from a long run. It does increase the overall fitness of your athlete but it can be argued that doing a short energy state warmup can do the same.

Your athlete performs in the ATP-PC energy system (12 seconds or less of energy expenditure) with rest between plays averaging 20-25 seconds the anaerobic (60-90 seconds) system comes into play. With this in mind that the majority of your athletes (the entire defensive and offensive lines) only run on and off the field and not at all during regular play. Running power athletes in the aerobic state will convert muscle fibers that you want to be explosive and strong less so by asking them to convert to slow twitch fibers. This counterproductive move can lower performance, hinder weight (muscle) gain, and tire your athletes out for regular practice. This triple whammy can cost games and in my opinion, lead to injury. Remember a tired athlete will not be able to work hard in the gym. Always weight train before serious conditioning work. Always.

Solution One

The first move is limit the jogging the athletes do. You can remove it completely or keep it to a lap around the track. Now, it’s easy to just send the guys out to run while you hang and wait for them to be finished, but that is not why you took this job so let’s start a worthwhile warm up. After a 2 minute jog, get the team together and go through some bodyweight squats, push ups, dynamic jumps and anything else that eases the muscles in to the demands of a strength training workout. After everyone is ready to work get them in the weight room to prepare for actual strength training.

Problem two: Weight training that makes zero sense.

“What have you been doing in the gym” I asked.

“Upper and lower body split.”

“Max bench, squats, curls, dips, stuff like that.”

“We bench 10 sets starting with 10 reps and work down to one, then we squat or do arms.”

These are the common answers I get. Now I never expect a full recital of the work performed but just a few minutes in the rack will illustrate a large numbers of problem of what’s going on at the school.

  • High squats
  • Bounced benches with wide grips
  • No idea how to clean, jerk, high pull, or even snatch a kettlebell.
  • A large number of exercises performed in the bodybuilding rep range

Solution Two

Understand rep ranges and how to apply them. In this article I give full details on how to train for strength, power and size. In a nutshell:

  • 1-3 reps at 90% for strength
  • 3-6 reps at 80% for power (speed)
  • 8-15 reps for size and endurance

I recommend that almost all positions spend the bulk of their time is the strength and power ranges with only about 10% of work during the season coming in at the endurance scope. This is more to aid in recovery and maintain muscle mass. The offseason is a much better time to try and add mass. There is absolutely no reason to max lift these athletes at this point and singles at 100% should be skipped. Three days of the following exercises will work for most athletes and will give them time to recover for games:

  • High pull or power clean 3x a week
  • Jerk or bench press (better with dumbbells) 3x per week
  • Front and back squats 3x per week
  • Traditional or frame deadlift 1 time per week
  • Pullups and rows 3x per week
  • Good mornings, reverse hyper, kettlebell swing 1 to 2 times per week

These few basics will cover all muscle groups to make your athletes solid as a rock and strong as a bull. Isolation work like curls, triceps pushdowns, side raises, can be limited to 1 or 2 sets at the end of the session or skipped altogether.

Bonus Tip: Longer rest times will let your athletes get stronger. Shorter ones, will help their conditioning. Having a B session for linemen who do a 70% clean and jerk once every 30 seconds for 20 minutes will give them more gas than a long run ever could.

Problem Three: Cross country running and endless sprinting.

We already discussed the misuse of distance running running in the game and I can make a great argument to cut it completely. I am sure most coaches know better but don’t have a solution or one that isn’t much better. Typically kids will run long sprints in lieu of a bunch of distance, but this isn’t much better because we reviewed earlier that a play lasts about 5 to 6 seconds. 30 second sprints are rarely performed, if even in a game. So how do we fix this? I will present two solutions.

Solution One: Short sprints.

Have your athletes assemble and run quicker shorter sprints that will mimic play time. Sprint 10 seconds then walk for 20 and repeat for about 5 minutes (or the average time that crew spends on the field during a typical series of downs). This should be employed for receivers, running backs, safeties, linebackers, tight ends or any player that spends his their time chasing or being chased. If this group typically is on the field for 12 series of possessions that would be a good number sets to run this exercise.

Solution Two: Strongman conditioning and how to completely change your player’s ability.

The meat of this article is to get you as a coach to employ sled pushes and drags, sand bag, stone or keg carries and loads, and tire flips and back and forth pushes for your athletes.

The most underrated category of athlete in this country are middleweight strongmen. With a 231 pound cut off these specimens mirror the body types of sprinters. Lean, muscular, and explosive; a pro strongman will crush most NFL players at odd object lifting (and they should, it’s their specialty). But the contest should be much closer than it would be in real life. Strongman training most mimics the type of work and produces the results that most football players require; short term intense power. If you use these techniques with your high school students you will be creating a nearly unfair advantage over the competition.

1. Sled drags and pushes: Conditioning without much muscle damage that can strengthen the whole body and maximize anaerobic capacity is ideal and the solution is cheap and within everyone’s reach. A bull breakdown is here.

2. Front carries: It doesn’t matter what it is, from bag to block to stone. Pick it up and run and walk with it. Amazing endurance builder in the lower back, glutes and hamstrings, also will build toughness in your crew.

3. Tire Flipping: When done correctly, linemen will increase power and blow their opposition away with this exercise. It must be done right with the body pushed against the tire and the hips doing the work, not the biceps. Use a medium weight tire that is free from debris and moisture (wet tires are dangerous). This over sprinting and running will provide heavy pay back for you big eaters. These guys can also push the tire back and forth at each other to develop pushing opposing players away.


Other Considerations and Tips

  • Bench pressing with a log places the hands in a neutral grip and lowers the range of motion providing some shoulder protection. It also puts the hands in a position closer to what the athlete would do in a game. You can replace the bar completely or work back and forth.
  • Loading stones is one of the best exercises for any combat athlete. The dead weight on a person’s body and then manipulating it to pass a fixed height works the core and posterior chain like nothing else. Make sure you seek proper instruction if you chose to add them. 
  • Let your athletes recover. Never practice the AM after a late game. Sleep and food should be priority here. Use mid week for your hardest sessions and never train strongman the day before a game. Encourage a good nutritional program, 8 hours of rest , and some down time for team building. These kids aren’t Navy Seals and the season isn’t hell week. A balanced kid is happier and will play better.

I know much of this will be a total 180 from what you are doing currently but it will make a huge difference in how your athletes perform on the field. If you need expert advice hit me up on the Instagram @prostrongman. I’ve revamped team’s entire game plans and I can assist yours as well. Get your kids the quality skills they trust you to develop: make smart choices and choose strongman.

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

Images: Michele Wozniak

The post Why Strongman Training Is Ideal for Building Football Players appeared first on BarBend.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Kickboxing Powerlifter Alex Simon Squats 425kg and Wins All His Fights by Knockout

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Nike Romaleos 2 Vs. Nike Romaleos 3

There’s no denying that Nike has built a strong name for themselves in the strength world for their Nike Romaleos lifting shoes. The Nike Romaleos 2 were released around January 2012. After five years of feedback and responses to this shoe, Nike constructed the Romaleos 3, which were released in January 2017.

A lot of companies keep their shoe models eerily similar in construction, but Nike’s Romaleos are somewhat of an exception to the rule. Sure, they have a few key similarities such as heel height and material, but if you look closer, then you’ll notice there are far more differences than similarities between these models.

Image(s) courtesy of and Rogue 

In this article we’re going to objectively look at the Nike Romaleos 2 and 3 models and compare them in a variety of categories. Is one better than the other? That’s hard to say definitively, so we’ll break down each shoe’s specs individually.

[Interested in other athletes thoughts on the Nike Romaleos 3s? Read our full in-depth review on the Nike Romaleos 3.]

Shoe Weight

Nike Romaleos 2

A cool feature that comes with the Nike Romaleos 2s are the soft and hard insoles they come with. These insoles were constructed to give an athlete the option between their shoe’s feeling. There’s a softer “training” insole, and a stiffer “competition” insole. The softer insole gives this shoe a weight of around 17 oz, while the stiffer insole puts them around 19-20 oz.

Image courtesy of 

At the time of their release, the Romaleos 2s’ weight was a 25% reduction from the original 2008 Nike Romaleos. Regardless, compared to shoes now, a weight of 17 and 19-20 oz is slightly heavy, especially compared to the Nike Romaleos 3s.

[Curious about more models? Check out our best lifting shoe round-up to find the best shoe for your strength sport needs.]

Nike Romaleos 3

Similar to the Nike Romaleos 2, the 3s come with two soles, one being stiffer than the other. The lighter sole gives the Romaleos 3s a weight of 13 oz, while the stiffer sole comes out to 15 oz. This is a cool feature for an athlete who has a particular feeling they like when moving weight.

In addition, it’s a nice feature for the athlete who’s just starting to use lifters, as then the Romaleos 3s’ weight won’t be too much different than a regular tennis shoe. For this reason, we felt the Nike Romaleos 3 takes the edge due to the dual sole feature.

Winner: Nike Romaleos 3

Nike Romaleos 2 vs. Nike Romaleos 3 Effective Heel Height

Nike Romaleos 2

The Nike Romaleos 2s are equipped with a standard heel height of .75″. This heel height is standard for a lot of lifting shoes, and tends to be a good fit for most lifters. For athletes without specific anthropometric asks, then a .75″ heel will prove to be a versatile options for a variety of movements.

Image courtesy of 

Nike Romaleos 3

The Nike Romaleos 3s come with an effective heel height of .79″. This difference is so small to the norm of .75″, that they’re still often grouped in the .75″ heel category. A heel height of .79″ make them eerily similar to the previous Romaleos 2 model, and will offer similar effects on an athletes lifts.

Since both of these heels are very similar it’s tough to call a winner on heel height alone. For this reason, we’re giving them a tie in this category.

Winner: Tie 


Nike Romaleos 2

One of the defining characteristics that makes the Nike Romaleos 2 different than the 3s, and many other shoes is their foot security. They offer two straps, which cover the upper portion of the tongue, and a lower area on the foot above the toes. This provides a lifter with the ability to give themselves full foot security, although, some lifters weren’t fans of the strap overlap that came with full tightness of the Romaleos 2s.

[Take the guessing out of finding your perfect shoe. Take our weightlifting shoe quiz to find the best shoe based on your lifting needs.]

Nike Romaleos 3

For this model, Nike decided to drop the double straps for the Romaleos 3 and utilize a single mid-foot strap. The strap they use is slightly wider than normal lifting shoe straps, and provides ample security around the arch of the foot. In addition, Nike carefully curated this strap to avoid overlap that some lifters experienced in the Nike Romaleos 2s.

As mentioned above, the Nike Romaleos 3s offer a better fitting strap, but the Romaleos 2s provide a better feeling of total shoe security. If we compare these shoes in terms of pure security, and ignore strap overlap, then the Nike Romaleos 2s win.

Winner: Nike Romaleos 2

Image courtesy 

Lifting Shoe Durability

Nike Romaleos 2

The Nike Romaleos 2s are a slightly heavier shoe that are composed of a stiffer leather, nylon, and mesh mixture. Their heels are made out of TPU, which is a lightweight material known for its ability to resist abrasion and compression. In addition, Nike used their Power Bridge technology throughout the heel of the shoe.

Their soles are composed of a stiffer rubber-esque material, and have proven to be resistant to easily breaking, or morphing under pressure. To top it off, many lifters still utilize this shoe, and typically mention how it’s one of the most durable lifters they’ve tried.

[What else makes a great shoe? Check out our in-depth lifting shoe guide.]

Nike Romaleos 3

One downfall a few athletes have already experienced with this model is their durability. This shoe is much lighter than the Nike Romaleos 2s, so their construction is different. Two durable aspects of their construction involve Nike’s Flywire material and a TPU heel. These are parts of the shoe that athletes haven’t had many issues with.

The tongue is where the durability issues usually lie. This shoe is much lighter that its previous model, so their tongue isn’t as dense. In our Romaleos 3 review Jordan Weichers 63kg Cal Strength athlete mentioned, “There is a small tear in the tongue, so I have to make sure when I put them on that I grab in the center of the shoe’s tongue instead of on the side.” 

If we look at durability alone, then we have to award the Nike Romaleos 2s with the win. They’ve stood the test of time, and continue to prove to a be long lasting shoe.

Winner: Nike Romaleos 2 

Image courtesy 


Nike Romaleos 2

Another positive that comes with older shoes like the Nike Romaleos 2 is their price. Since they’ve been on the market for over five years, then you can typically find them for lower prices. On Amazon, prices vary, but on the lower end you can expect to pay around $140.00 for this shoe.

Yet, there’s a catch. Since it’s an older model, then there’s a good chance you won’t find the color scheme you desire. In addition, athletes with generic shoe sizes may also find it’s tough to find their perfect Nike Romaleos 2 model.

Nike Romaleos 3

You’re going to pay a little more for the Nike Romaleos 3s, which is to be expected since they’re the newest model. On Rogue Fitness this model ranges from $149.00 – $199.00, which varies pending on color scheme. Personally, I don’t think this price is too off putting, as their cheapest models are only $10.00 more than the five year old Nike Romaleos 2.

Additionally, the Nike Romaleos 3s have a ton of color schemes, and will more than likely have the shoe in stock you desire. I like that this model’s price can be comparable to the 2s and it’s a much newer version. For this reason, I think the Nike Romaleos 3s earn the win for price.

Winner: Nike Romaleos 3

Image courtesy 

Overall Winner: Nike Romaleos 3

This comparison was extremely close, and honestly, the Nike Romaleos 2 could easily be the top choice for multiple athletes. Each shoe offers similar asks when it comes to big deciding variables such as heel height and material, but differ when it comes to weight and foot security.

Personally, I like that the Nike Romaleos 3 weigh less and have a price comparable to the Nike Romaleos 2s. This boost in versatility earns them our top pick in this comparison.

Feature image(s) courtesy of and Rogue 

The post Nike Romaleos 2 Vs. Nike Romaleos 3 appeared first on BarBend.

Monday, September 11, 2017

How to Wear and Use a Lever Belt

This Is the Closest to a 4x Bodyweight Front Squat We’ve Ever Seen

This video isn’t new, but we leapt out of our chairs when it surfaced again online this weekend.

We’re talking about Ivan Ivanov, one of the greatest Bulgarian weightlifters of all time. When we first saw this video of a 210-kilogram (463-pound) front squat, we thought it was a quadruple bodyweight front squat — an absolutely unheard of feat.

But although Ivanov often competed in the (now defunct) -52kg weight class, we understand that at the time of filming he was competing in the -56kg class and, since this is out of competition, was probably a little heavier. So, you know, this is only something like a 3.75x bodyweight front squat. Still, it might be the closest to quadruple bodyweight we’ll ever see.

And he did it for two singles.

One of the most accomplished weightlifters ever, Ivanov won gold medals at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, four World Weightlifting Championships, and four European Championships. He lost his silver medal and was disqualified from the 2000 Sydney Olympics after testing positive for furosemide, a diuretic which is sometimes used to mask PEDs.

[That might be the heaviest front squat relative to bodyweight, but what about the heaviest front squat, period? Check out Jezza Uepa’s insane 400kg lift.]

Ivanov just barely missed out on our roundup of the only six people to have (officially) clean & jerked triple bodyweight.

He did a 155.5 kilogram clean & jerk at the 1991 World Weightlifting Championships in Donaueschingen, Germany. He was competing in the -52kg weight class, so that was only a 2.99x bodyweight clean & jerk. Which anyone can do, of course.

Unfortunately, very few of his lifts exist on YouTube (he was lifting in the days before smartphones, after all) but we did manage to find this clip of his gold medal-winning performance in the -52kg class at the 1992 Olympics. Annoyingly, the video skips during the snatch (at 1:27), so we just started it at his heaviest clean & jerk: 150kg (330.7lb), which he had to make to win gold.

Got any more favorite videos of Ivan Ivanov? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll add them in!

Featured image via etwade on YouTube.

The post This Is the Closest to a 4x Bodyweight Front Squat We’ve Ever Seen appeared first on BarBend.