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

The post Sohrab Moradi (94kg, Iran) Sets New World Record Weightlifting Total appeared first on BarBend.

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.

WEIGHT CLASSES

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.

AGE CATEGORIES

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).

BENCH ONLY

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.

Watch Eddie Hall Go Head to Head With a Pro Boxer

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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.

WWE.com 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

Single-Spotter

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.

Side-Spotting

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.

Spotting

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 Amazon.com and Rogue Fitness.com. 

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 Amazon.com. 

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 roguefitness.com. 

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 

Security

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 roguefitness.com. 

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 Amazon.com. 

Price

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 roguefitness.com. 

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 Amazon.com and Rogue Fitness.com. 

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

Monday, September 11, 2017

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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.

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Watch Nathan Damron and Clarence Kennedy’s Epic Squat Battle

Very strong YouTube personalities John “Jujimufu” Call and Clarence “Harry Squatter” Kennedy have been collaborating this week, and the result is some of the funniest weightlifting content we’ve seen in a long time.

Kennedy, who resides in the Irish village of Tralee, has been traveling North America for over a month now, lifting heavy weights and collaborating with internet personalities as a wandering web-based weightlifter is wont to do.

About a month ago, he visited Toronto to participate in a a lift-off with California Strength’s Spencer Moorman. Now he’s stateside. And Jujimufu has found him.

Trying their callused hands at truck-pulling. Image via Jujimufu on Youtube.

We wanted to highlight this pretty great video of the two strength athletes attending Travis Mash’s second annual Strength Spectacular in Mocksville, North Carolina. The event featured a USAW-sanctioned weightlifting meet, a level 1 NAS-sanctioned strongman competition, and a raw powerlifting meet. Call describes it as “like a cross between a tailgate, a strength meet, and an expo.”

[For more Clarence Kennedy, check out our interview with him on periodization, veganism, and reddit fans here!]

Kennedy and Call tried their hand at some good old-fashioned truck pulling, which you can see in the image above, but in our opinion the real highlight was a surprise pause squat battle between Kennedy, who weighs roughly 98 kilograms, and the -94kg Nathan Damron. The action starts at about 14:20 in the clip below.

Kennedy’s final squat was 600 pounds, while Damron’s was 615 pounds, but it’s worth noting that Kennedy was pausing considerably longer than Damron. But of course, pause squats aren’t competition lifts, and this meet wasn’t sanctioned by anybody — it was just good, heavy, fun.

Other highlights from the meet include Call maxing out his two-finger deadlifts and a very Jujimufu set of three 500-pound deadlifts that included a backflip on each rep. (They start at 11:40.)

Afterward, Kennedy is subjected to a revealing Q&A while submerged in a very uncomfortable-looking ice bath, which is worth watching if you’ve ever wondered what he thinks of the “freaky” comments he gets on his videos.

Also well worth a watch: this second clip of Kennedy and Jujimufu working out with capes, ammonia, and horse masks. If nothing else, the scene of the two navigating the wilds of Wal-Mart at 17:30 had us in stitches.

Apparently, they’ll have a third collaboration coming out later this week. If you’ve been entertained thus far, keep an eye out.

Featured image via Jujimufu on YouTube.

The post Watch Nathan Damron and Clarence Kennedy’s Epic Squat Battle appeared first on BarBend.

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

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Annie Thorisdottir Breaks One-Minute Barbell Thruster World Record

Eight-time CrossFit® Games veteran Annie Thorisdottir made an appearance on NBC’s Today Show on September 4th, 2017. She joined the show’s hosts in New York City’s iconic TODAY plaza to attempt the Guinness World Record for the most weight lifted in a one-minute barbell thruster.

For this record, the goal is to complete as many barbell thrusters within one minute to lift the max accumulated weight possible. Apparently, the previous was record was a mere 1,212 lbs, which equated to about 15 thrusters with 85 lbs on the bar.

So was Thorisdottir able to complete more than 15 barbell thrusts in a minute? Check it out below.

To no surprise, if you guessed that Thorisdottir was able to hit more than 15, then you’re absolutely right. She blew the record away with 36 thrusters in a minute, which earned her a total accumulated weight of 2,805 lbs.

When it comes to world records, Thorisdottir is no rookie. Back in February 2017, she set two other records when Reebok held their global world record breaking campaign. Her other records include:

  • Most weight lifted in one minute barbell snatch.
  • Most weight lifted in one minute barbell clean & jerk.

This third world record will be added to Thorisdottir’s impressive resume of athletic feats. She’s won the Reebok CrossFit Games twice (2011 & 2012), competed 8-times (finishing third in 2017), is a competitive weightlifter athlete, and now holds multiple world records.

[Check out the other Guinness World Records that were broken back in February during Reebok’s record breaking campaign.] 

Thorisdottir’s new record is the second Guinness World Record to be broken by a CrossFit athlete in the last few days. 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games champion Tia-Clair Toomey recently broke the max chin-ups in a minute record on live TV.

Toomey performed this feat on Sideliners, which is an Australian comedy sport talk show. She finished with 31 chin-ups, which barely edged out the previous record of 30.

Now we have to wonder, do CrossFit athletes cumulatively hold more Guinness World Records than any other form of strength athlete?

Feature image screenshot from News TV YouTube channel. 

The post Annie Thorisdottir Breaks One-Minute Barbell Thruster World Record appeared first on BarBend.

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