.Tel Standardises Domain Use But Nukes Existing Sites

.tel Logo

.tel Logo

There is mini earth quake about to hit the .Tel world, Telnic (.Tel Registry) is removing the restrictions placed on how the .tel domains can be used. More importantly how they are hosted. Currently, all .Tel domain names must point towards a pseudo-website created on Telnic’s platform.

I say platform but its actually just data stored within DNS, so its limited, it has been enhanced since its launch, but its not quite complete.

An example would be Justin.Tel which is using a fairly advanced template. 

I have a few .TEL domains, mostly pronouns and not really keywords or usable names. The one I still use is Morley.TEL. I use it for my family and my own mobile phone email addresses since it originally included contact details on sub domains. steven.morley.tel / mother.morley.tel along with matching email addresses. I moved from the original registrar over to the current one and it wiped out the sites and I never bothered to rebuild. 

I didn’t rebuild because its not effective to use such names. Much like when I owned steve.co and morley.co, almost without exception everyone asks me if I mean morleyco.com or morley.co.uk or something else. I remember buying a 6-series Samsung TV to use for output when editing video in Adobe Premier. I gave the email to John Lewis for a purchase over the phone while stood outside Currys, and they listed it as morleytel.com on the invoice. Perfect example of what happens.

.Tel Game Changer

The .Tel game anger is due on 17th March 2017, at this point .Tel owners will be able to use their .tel domains just like any other domain by pointing to any hosting account, using normal pop/imap mail even google apps / wordpress if they so wish. 

Telnic are retaining the option for customers to create the standard and familiar contact pages instead of buying and using your own hosting. Its not all good news though, this massive overhaul means the current system is being resigned to the scrap heap and all existing sites will be erased from existence. 

There are going to be tools to export existing data and recreated it on the new platform, but its not going to be as flexible as the existing platform. The big change will be, the new system will not support sub-domains. Many people have built directory sites on .tel which suited it perfectly. Many of these used sub-domains RepairMen for example, which now face moving to a hosted platform to recreate the sites which will be a huge task. 

Its Not All Doom and Gloom

Its not all gloom for those people, the new platform will go live on 13th February allowing people a shade over a month to test the new platform, work out their next step or source and prepare hosting. Its not perfect but its a bonus and hopefully should be a smooth transition.It

Customer Support will now be provided by Telnic directly too, this is a big one. Its hard work getting support from your registrar on .Tels, most don’t have a clue. The only thing harder than help with .Tels is getting .uk support from GoDaddy. You near enough have to tell them UK really exists, its not like Narnia, and We’re an ally, member of Nato and a country with nearly 11 million domains registered.

Worlds Strongest Man 2016 – The Final

Brian Shaw WSM Trophy Courtesy of WSM.

I have just finished watching Worlds Strongest Man – The Final, I read dozens of reviews and watched various bits of phone video from the actual event a few months back closer to the time it actually happened. 

Nothing compares to watching how close it were, like in the 825lb frame carry, it were a tiny mistake between Szymanski finishing before Bjornsson, or seeing how close Bjornsson came to caving his own head in trying to catch the 24kg kettlebell in from 4m drop. 

I delayed this post a few days, but If you haven’t watched it all yet, Channel 5 has lots of Strongman stuff on demands go there before scrolling down as lots of SPOILERS here, also check out my other posts, Mark Felix Cross Fitter and Worlds Strongest Man back in August, or Eddie Halls Documentary on Netflix or my Christmas Post on Arthur Saxon who is the daddy of strongman. 

The Frame Carry

Eddie Hall didn’t fair well here, I assumed the earlier injury would set the tone but wasn’t the case. He revealed later on in the show that during the frame carry one of his dislocated fingers popped out again. It didn’t seem to have a heap of impact through the event other than obvious swelling.

Laurence Shahlaei overcame so many injuries to come back only to be taken out after a reasonable placement in the first event. This were the only Injury in the final, but about the 3-4 in the heats and final combined.

Frame Carry @ 825lbs (Event 1 of 6)
Event Placement Competitor Name Country Event Score Overall Standing
1 Mateusz Kielszkowski POL 17.69 Seconds 10 pts
2 Konstantine Janashia GEO 22.82 Seconds 9 pts
3 Brian Shaw USA 28.25 Seconds 8 pts
4 Martins Licis USA 41.29 Seconds 7 pts
5 Hafthor Bjornsson ISL 51.29 Seconds 6 pts
6 Grzegorz Szymanski POL 52.93 Seconds 5 pts
7 Laurence Shahlaei GBR 24.3 Meters 4 pts
8 Jean-François Caron CAN 21.1 Meters 3 pts
9 Matjaz Belsak POL 1.30 Meters 2 pts
10 Eddie Hall GBR 0.20 Meters 1 pts

 

The Circus Barbell

Brian Shaw looked as though he simply lost track of time, and may have had 1 more in the tank, Eddie were maxed out I think. Martins I believe should have hit 7 but he like Shaw were just out of time.

Much like the Axel later this event has been made all the harder. The Circus Barbell were a non-rotating barbell. If you have ever used a fixed bar, its so much harder once they start rotating, your wrists just aren’t powerful enough to fight the rotational force. 9/10 for me, its usually 1 side which gives way and recovery is near enough impossible for us normal-ish sized humans. 

Circus Barbell (Event 2 of 6)
Event Placement Competitor Name Country Event Score Overall Standing
=1 Eddie Hall GBR 8 Reps 10.5 pts
=1 Hafthor Bjornsson ISL 8 Reps 15.5 pts
=2 Konstantine Janashia GEO 7 Reps 16.5 pts
=2 Brian Shaw USA 7 Reps 15.5 pts
5 Martins Licis USA 6 Reps 13 pts
6 Mateusz Kielszkowski POL 5 Reps 15 pts
=7 Matjaz Belsak SLO 4 Reps 5.5 pts
=7 Jean-Francois Caron CAN 4 Reps 6.5 pts
9 Grzegorz Szymanski POL 2 Reps 7 pts
0 Laurence Shahlaei GBR 0 Reps Retired / Injured

 

The Deadlift

This were a fixed Axel style barbell, so much thicker and stronger than a regulation or gym barbell. There were a few of these minor changes which added a new dimension to some of the events. In the Axel Deadlift Brian Show has held the world record since 2013, that is until Eddie Hall destroyed it, only for Brian Shaw to match him immediately after.

The main difference between this type of bar and the normal bars is the thickness and rigidity. The former means your grip and poor Eddies fingers would be pushed to the limit. The Rigidity means there is much less flex in it, which doesn’t sound like a big deal. The result is, you’re taking the full load much lower/earlier in the lift at the hardest part.

It didn’t help that they added a platform to bring the bar to a more standard lifting height. This wouldn’t have helped Brian or Hafthor at all, and even Eddie at 6ft+ wouldn’t have been fun. After JF Caron matched the 2013 Record, the remaining men decided enough at 445kg, their hamstrings were suffering and to avoid injury and save some juice for the last few events they agreed to share the points. 

Deadlift (Event 3 of 6)
Event Placement Competitor Name Country Event Score Overall Standing
=1 Eddie Hall GBR 445 kg 20 pts
=1 Brian Shaw USA 445 kg 25 pts
3 Jean-Francois Caron CAN 435 kg 14.5 pts
=4 Hafthor Bjornsson ISL 420 kg 22 pts
=4 Konstantine Janashia GEO 420 kg 23 pts
=6 Matjaz Belsak SLO 400 kg 10 pts
=6 Martins Licis USA 400 kg 17.5 pts
=8 Mateusz Kielszkowski POL 375 kg 17.5 pts
=8 Grzegorz Szymanski POL 375 kg 9.5 pts
0 Laurence Shahlaei GBR 0 kg Retired / Injured

 

The Plane Pull

Over the years Worlds Strongest Man has pulled locomotive trains, boats, ships, cars, trucks, juggernauts and various planes. This time it were a C130 Hercules Jet cracking the scales at a mammoth 40 Metric Tonnes. 

During the heats, the Truck Pull event were a “mere” 18 Metric tonnes, this bad boy which is used normally to transport Rhinoceros and big game animals and possibly Zyndrunas Savickas 😉 were a beast. When you consider a 18 Tonne Truck would need about 350kg of force to get it moving, you can imagine the forces needed for a 40 tonne plane.

Brian Shaw near enough passed out in his harness and needed to be lowered to the ground. None of them made it the full 25m, I this this maybe the first time none of the competitors have actually finished a pull. this would be most galling for Bjornsson who were so very very close, but once that monster rolls to a stop, no one has the energy to get it moving a second time. 

Plane Pull C130 Hercules @ 40 Tonnes (Event 4 of 6)
Event Placement Competitor Name Country Event Score Overall Standing
1 Hafthor Bjornsson ISL 24.90m 32 pts
2 Brian Shaw USA 24.53m 34 pts
3 Eddie Hall GBR 24.45m 28 pts
4 Konstantine Janashia GEO 24.06m 30 pts
5 Matjaz Belsak SLO 23.55m 16 pts
6 Grzegorz Szymanski POL 23.35m 14.5 pts
7 Martins Licis USA 22.53m 21.5 pts
8 Mateusz Kielszkowski POL 22.14m 20.5 pts
9 Jean-Francois Caron CAN 21.73m 16.5 pts
10 Laurence Shahlaei GBR 0.00m Retired / Injured

 

The Kettlebell Throw

I had seen a little of this in camera phone footage, and read some reports and it were a tense moment when the 24-26kg kettlebell nearly fell on Hafthors head as he tried to catch it. Seeing it in full high definition is a “woah” woman, what on earth was the mountain thinking, ain’t most measter put out your caved in head back together here.

Such a shame that he missed that throw and knocked his stride, I believe he could have scored the full 10 pts and possibly put Shaw off his game with the manic behaviour and display of power to take the top spot.

Kettlebell Throw 20kg-30kg (Event 5 of 6)
Event Placement Competitor Name Country Event Score Overall Standing
1 Brian Shaw USA 6 Bells / 34.97 Seconds 44 pts
2 Hafthor Bjornsson ISL 6 Bells / 40.22 Seconds 41 pts
3 Jean-Francois Caron CAN 5 Bells / 31.88 Seconds 24.5 pts
4 Eddie Hall GBR 5 Bells / 56.92 Seconds 35 pts
5 Konstantine Janashia GEO 5 Bells / 59.50 Seconds 36 pts
6 Grzegorz Szymanski POL 4 Bells / 22.78 Seconds 19.5 pts
7 Mateusz Kielszkowski POL 4 Bells / 34.28 Seconds 24.5 pts
8 Matjaz Belsak SLO 3 Bells / 49.61 Seconds 19.0 pts
9 Martins Licis USA 0 Bells / 60.00 Seconds 21.5 pts
10 Laurence Shahlaei GBR 0 Bells / 0 Seconds Retired / Injured

 

The Atlas Stones

Much like the heats, the final event were The Stones. All 9 men showed good strength, but a few were let down by technique. I think Szymanski and Janashia will improve with time, and Kielszkowski may have to sacrifice some of that speed for a little more power. Licis did really well here, in Strongman terms he were weeks behind Eddie, but with honing his technique I see sub-30 seconds in his future. I can also see Atlas Stones in the fields of his farm where there used to be bales of hay.

It were a bit annoying as they didn’t show the times Bjornsson and Shaw achieved so I timed them myself 3 or 4 times and I went with the highest time. They were buckets ahead of the nearest competitor. 

Atlas Stones 210kg Max (Event 6 of 6)
Event Placement Competitor Name Country Event Score Final Placement
1 Hafthor Bjornsson ISL 5 Stones / 26.95 Seconds 51 pts
2 Brian Shaw USA 5 Stones / 27.83 Seconds 53 pts
3 Eddie Hall GBR 5 Stones / 29.68 Seconds 43 pts
4 Martins Licis USA 5 Stones / 34.80 Seconds 28.5 pts
5 Grzegorz Szymanski POL 4 Stones / 24.19 Seconds 25.5 pts
6 Jean-Francois Caron CAN 4 Stones / 29.79 Seconds 29.5 pts
7 Konstantine Janashia GEO 4 Stones / 29.92 Seconds 40 pts
8 Mateusz Kielszkowski POL 4 Stones / 32.38 Seconds 27.5 pts
9 Matjaz Belsak SLO 4 Stones / 37.12 Seconds 21 pts
10 Laurence Shahlaei GBR 0.00 Retired / Injured

 

The Final Standings

Seeing these final scores, the Kettlebell Toss could have been the game changer to knock Shaw down and give Bjornsson his first win. I get the feeling The Mountain will be less Viking and more Berzerker Warrior over this, and be playing it over and over in his head.

Had it gone Hafthors way, I think the most likely outcome would have been a draw, had Eddie pushed a 450-455 on the deadlift, and Hafthor not fowled up the kettlebells, this would have been a very different ending. 

Final Standings
Event Placement Competitor Name Country Final Score
1 Brian Shaw USA 53 pts
2 Hafthor Bjornsson ISL 51 pts
3 Eddie Hall GBR 43 pts
4 Konstantine Janashia GEO 40 pts
5 Jean-Francois Caron CAN 29.5 pts
6 Martins Licis USA 28.5 pts
7 Mateusz Kielszkowski POL 27.5 pts
8 Grzegorz Szymanski POL 25.5 pts
9 Matjaz Belsak SLO 21 pts
10 Laurence Shahlaei GBR 4 pts

 

Worlds Strongest Man 2017

Next year, if Janashia, Licis and trhe Polish Duo of Kielszkowski and Szymanski work on their technique and keep developing, 2017 will be an interesting year and the old guard of Shaw, Bjornsson, Zydrunas (assuming he returns) and Hall maybe in for a dust up. 

Exciting times ahead. 

Mark Felix Cross Fit and Worlds Strongest Man

Mark Felix Body Power 2014

Mark Felix Body Power 2014

When you think of CrossFit pretty much the last thing you would associate with it, would be Strongman. Personally I don’t think the 2 mesh well, while they are not exactly polar opposites they are not complimentary of each other at all. Earlier this year I heard about a World Class Strongman doing Cross Fit, I expected to lumbering beast clumsily throwing themselves about like the proverbial bull in a china shop.

I was tagged in a post on facebook and discovered it were none other than Mark Felix, yeah the 50 year old Blackburn based Plasterer. Yeah 50 years old, dudes clearly found the fountain of youth, along with Odd Haugen they are proving Arnies “Old but not Obsolete” is a solid point. He’s looking spectacular for an old man of 50.

A little later in the year I ran into Kaz (Bill Kazmaier) and got a quick 5 to 10 minute interview with him. After a little fanboi action, where I was telling him I enjoy his commentary and the colour he adds as a man who were there in the early days, competed with the legends of my childhood and broken records himself (deadlift world record holder at 400kg).

Bill Kazmaier at Body Power 2016

Bill Kazmaier at Body Power 2016

Once I were finished :P, I mentioned that a month of so earlier I’d heard of this CrossFitting Strongman and that I had found it were Mark Felix. Kaz seemed equally surprised that a strongman, yet alone Mark Felix were doing it. I suggested it would be interesting to see if the speed and explosive power Mark would gain would come at a cost, the cost being Strength. He were a little non-committal but I did kinda put him on the spot.

The mini-interview were published elsewhere so I can’t put too much about it here. 

Not longer afterwards, a few Days I think. I ran into Mark Felix, I only got a few minutes to talk to him due to other commitments I had. He seemed confident that CrossFit can sit alongside Strongman and it would not have a negative effect on Worlds Strongest Man in just a few months time.

Wayne Worthington at BodyPower CNP Challenge

Wayne Worthington at BodyPower

What I did get to witness were his phenomenal grip in action, CNP along with Glenn “The Daddy” Ross were doing a Grip Challenge, it were basically a pinch grip using a rotating bar handle which were thicker than a can of coke. Only 1-2 people had lifted the heaviest plate which I believe were 90kg.

Lots of people were hooking the bar to get the 50kg-75kg up, but Mark did it in true pinch form. Brutal!. I also noticed compared to 2012, and 2014 (above) where lost alot of mass, in 2016 he seemed to have toned up a lot, the power shelf (stomach) near enough completely gone, he were looking good.

I didn’t get a picture of him doing it, but I borrowed this picture of Wayne Worthington who I spoke to about the challenge at the time. I think the weights were 50-75-75kg, not many made it past the 50kg.

I’ve just watched his group on the Worlds Strongest Man 2o16 and you can see its clearly reduced his raw power and overall mass. Sure he were faster than most others, his endurance were crazy especially on the Hercules hold, I think he could have easily taken the world record had he been aware he were just 11 seconds away.  I say “just” 11 seconds like it doesn’t seem much but 11 seconds may as well be 11 days under these circumstances. 

X-Ray of Broken Leg

X-Ray of Broken Leg

I’d say when legend like Mark with best part of a year of CrossFit under his belt… erm kilt produces one of his weakest shows, I say weakest as he still performed well just lacking maximum power. I do think if he goes back to maximum effort and keeps the crossfit ticking he’ll get some major speed like the Polish Speedster Mateusz Kielszkowski.

Its time to concede that CrossFit and their methods are good for toning up, gaining speed and weight loss but I’d say this almost proves that CrossFit doesn’t make for a Strongman looking for maximum power. Not to mention almost everyone I know who does more than casual crossfit has major injuries and broken bones. 

What I did notice were a little interview with Martins Licis where he said he were a farmer and saw WSM going farming moves, and thought he could do that, hes a farmer. He reminded me of Mark Westaby who were a strongman in the late 2000s, his trademark were crushing apples and basically walked out of the farm in to the arena. 

Along with Konstantin Janashia, Mateusz Kielszkowski and Martins Licis we have some big talent coming through from 2016.  

I’m looking forward to watching all these of them, even knowing they didn’t win, the final is up later. 

X-Ray Image Courtesy of Tsu Nimh.

Happy New Year for 2017

WARNING: WALL OF TEXT

Well its a new year, as per usual I have no real resolutions nor plans to create any. The lifestyle changes I made last year which could be considered resolutions. They just happen to start with a new year, or a new month in the case of reducing my sugar intake (July-ish)) and increasing my cardiorespiratory fitness (April-ish). 

I’ve been thinking about what I would like to achieve in 2017, and decided that again no resolutions but more some lifestyle changes and objectives. I debated posting or rather sharing them here since its such a cliché to blog about them, and I’m not sure this blog is the place either.

1, Driving

Top of my list is finally sorting a driving license out. For someone who has owned multiple cars, many number plates and actually understands how a combustion engine works, I don’t actually drive. I’m hoping the fact I passed the theory test with a near perfect score of 49/50 on the Multiple Choice and 67/75 on the hazard perception, that it will be easy to learn the practical part. I have never had a single lesson and managed that. 

I’m so confident that I’ve already booked a practical test for less than a month away, and I still haven’t had a single driving lesson. I really should book some lessons, 2017 will be the year I pass. 

Confidence much.

2, Fun

I’ve been that busy sorting everything else out, I appear to have lost track of actually having fun in every sense of the term. I’m not quite sure how I shall interpret this, but I’m going to try work on it. 

I may actually try the whole date thing, so I have someone to Netflix and chill with. The only Netlix and chill I do, it more AmazonTV and chilled Wild Turkey and Ice Cubes. Amazon and Chill…ed Beverage as I call it.

I need to think of more fun things, not sure I remember how to do that. 

3, Health

Early on in the year I expect I’ll be having potentially major shoulder surgery will will knock out a large part of my health plans for the year. Mostly strength wise, certainly upper body work will be wiped out for many many months. During the rehabilitation I’ll be going back to basics, and hopefully correcting my bad form and enhancing my lifts. Over the years I’ve picked up bad habits “just get it up”, rather than maintain solid form. 

This also gives me an opportunity while working on my recovery and rehab unable to lift much, so I’ll be working on increasing my cardiorespiratory health. I’m going to work on hitting the 100km cycle ride this year (2017) as a target. Maybe aim for 100 miles next year, who knows. Keep the small achievable steps for now. Based on my current efforts that’s about 3 and 1/2 hours of riding with some short breaks added. 

4, Photography

I plan on making time in 2017 to actually do photo-shoots that I want to shoot. Its been a long time since I shot something I actually wanted. Around 5 yrs ago, I approached a friend of mine Beckie Armitt about doing a very dark and twisted Harley Quinn photoshoot. This is long before any dreams of suicide squad existed, had to be 2010 maybe 2011 and certainly before Halloween 2016 became Harleyween. It however got side tracked and things went another way, I recently mention it to her and she said “You should have explained more about what a Harley Quinn was” heh. I have loads of similar plans which could be unique. 

I’d also like to get back to shooting some stock images along side, in the fitness, health, and similar niches. I use about 200 pieces of stock a year, about half is free stock the rest paid for. I should be shooting my own again. 

5, Websites

I not too long ago (March) I consolidated all my blogging here into one blog. It still doesn’t feel right posting some things here, that goes for both private stuff and professional stuff. Some times code based posts feel wrong here, other times personal blogs feel out of place, as do rants and such so I’m curating and censoring myself, which can be sucky. I’m going to work on this. 

I am also changing my operating method, currently I have a few dozen website, I plan to cut this down to 2-3 bigger sites.

Bigger sites will take more work for less return in the short term but the long term potential and return is massively improved. 

The Summery

I don’t know what else to say here, were going to post a year summery but so much has been censored and removed from my blogging it will would look out of place. I also didnt’ get a complete year or blogging. I will post a summery next year, and see how my 5 points above pan out. 

A few days ago someone told me I need to message more when they don’t reply as they read messages when they are unable to reply then forget when they are free heheh, so I’m going to try to message people more without feeling stalker-ish or pushy. I figure this should be here too. 

P.S. I left this post without a picture or any pictures as I don’t really want any reading it 😛 

Russia Does The Hunger Games… For Real

Game2: Winter

Game2: Winter

Who doesn’t love a little Live Action Role Play or seeing hotties in CosPlay (Costume Play) Outfits but Russia in true Russian style going whole hog.

A Russian TV Network has launched or planning to launch a real-life version of the Hunger Games. Contestants or rather Tributes will have to live, umm Survive for nine months in Siberia from 1st July 2017 all the way through to 1st April 2017. Siberia isn’t a fun place in winter, with temperatures which routinely drop as low as -40c (-40f) yeah so low the numbers are equal in both Celsius and Fahrenheit. 

The Game Zone will be 900 hectares in size, with 2000 cameras, its not clear if there will be drones or other mobile cameras. 

Want To Participate?

There will be 20 Males and Female tributes taking part in the “Game2: Winter”, and pay 10 million roubles (£130,000) entrance fee.  

You’ll need to over 18 yrs old, and “Sane”, how on earth they will define sane I don’t know. I’m guessing it will be how one of my mates defines good dating material; 4 legs bad, 2 legs good to go. You’ll get some basic training from some seriously bad motorscooters. Spetznas Operatives, these are the Russian military version of the SAS or Navy Seals only clearly not all there in the head. 

Last Man Standing in Siberia

Last Man Standing

You’ll be allowed up to 100kg of luggage, which includes all the equipment you’re allowed to take. Tent, Knives, Rope, Clothing, everything, must be included in this 100kg. 

You’ll be issued with a satellite phone and capacity to charge said phone, there will be a “Get Me Out Of Here” beacon which you can use when you wanna get out of dodge, or rather Novosibirsk,  Siberia.

Oh yeah… You need to sign a release which says you accept anything can happen, including being maimed, beaten, raped or no longer needing oxygen, ending up brown bread, a bit of right said fred, kinda dead or anything else really.

The organiser and entrepreneur Yevgeny Pyatkovsky is quoted as saying “We will refuse any claim of participants even if they were to be killed or raped. We will have nothing to do with this. This will be spelled out in a document to be signed by the participant before the start of the show”.  

You are also reminded that you are still subject to the rule of law and can be arrested at any time for crimes. The organisers say “You must understand, that the police will come and take you away. We are on the territory of Russia, and obey the laws of the Russian Federation”.

On the upside, you’re not allowed guns or projectile weapons, but knives and melee weapons like baseball bats, machetes and knives are all good. 

Participants are allowed to work in teams, and there can be more than 1 winner.  If you win alone or with someone, the prize fund is 100,000,000 Roubles (£1,300,000) to the solo winner or split between the winners. 

The Hunger Games

Jennifer "Katniss" Lawrence Hunger Games Archer

Jennifer “Katniss” Lawrence Hunger Games Archer

Much like The Hunger Games viewers and sponsors are able to send gifts, resources and tools/food to their favourite participants.

Its not clear if the “Game Makers” will interfere much like in Hunger Games, but given the other similarities I can see there being some surprises and twists. 

On the subject of the Hunger Games, before the whole Fappening event I wasn’t much of a fan of J-Law. However the way she handled the whole nudes becoming public thing, opened my mind. If ever there were a role-model way of handling this and her reason for doing it in the first place, this is it.

If you missed the whole thing, it appears iCloud (and others) were hacked on a astronomical scale, 1,000s of people including 100s of celebrities had photos and videos stolen. All if the images appeared to be taken on their mobile phones, and many of the people appeared to have iPhones, 2+2=?.

Jennifer Lawrence did an interview for Vanity Fair she said had been tempted to write a statement about the fappening, and her exact words were “I started to write an apology, but I don’t have anything to say I’m sorry for. I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years. It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you.”. You gotta respect that, and since then I started to actively watch her films. 

Snow Survivor picture by Unsplash.

Arthur Saxon The Iron-Master

Arthur Saxon circ. 1905

Arthur Saxon circ. 1905

Its OFFICIALLY Christmas Day, well as of a few seconds ago its Christmas Day. So I’m posting about one of the men who inspires me to be stronger. 

Much is said of contemporary strongmen like Eddie Hall, Zydrunas Savickas, Brian Shaw, Hafthor Bjornsson and the legends of old such as Mariusz Pudzianowski, Bill Kazmaier and Jon Pall Sigmarsson. Half of those legends I have met through my press photography work and all really nice if not monster sized guys. All the top of the Worlds Strongest Man and Strongman World past, present and future.

However long before any of these men were born and possibly even before their grandparents were born were a man called Arthur Saxon, born 28th April 1878 and died 6th August 1921.

Arthur were known as “The Iron Master”, and along with his brothers were the Saxon Trio, he wrote some of the earliest literature about strongman. On a side note I believe all Arthurs written work is now free of copyright. They can be downloaded freely, but I suggest buying them in hardcopy for a few pounds each.

Development of Physical Power via Amazon.
Textb00k of Weight Lifting via Amazon
Being Strong (Writings of Strongmen of Old) via Amazon

Arthur Saxons Feats

This man were forged of iron and fire, no drugs, no steroids, no growth hormone and no gyms, just absolute strength, raw power, and pure determination… oh and a rather dapper moustache.

This man is reported as tossing 90kg (200lb) dumbbells overhead as if almost juggling with them, like it were an insignificant inflatable toy dumbbell. He could Bent Press (not bench) 168kg / 370lb overhead with a single arm, just to put that last lift into perspective in Worlds Strongest Man 2016, the Jumbo Dumbbell Press is a 115kg circus dumbbell.

Once while supporting over a dozen men and women with his legs (picture below) in Cambridge, the weight of himself at 200lbs, and the men/women along the frame resulted in the stage collapsing underneath the focus weight (think shoe in snow) injuring him quite badly.

With a good sense of humour, Arthur and his brothers used a lead-shot loaded dumbbell for a £250 prize challenge. All you had to do were lift up the dumbbell. The brothers left it on display at the entrance to their show 24/7 and watched as various local bodybuilders and strongmen lifted the weight. At each nights show Arthur lifted the weight with ease above his head numerous times and issued the nightly challenge.

Arthur Saxon Arms Length

Arthur Saxon Arms Length

Various strongmen and bodybuilders sauntered up on stage smirking with dreams of walking away with nearly a years wage in prize money, Yet none could lift it. What they didn’t know is, the Saxon boys had deloaded shot from the dumbbell reducing it to 150lbs during the days and reloaded it up to 300lbs at night which Arthur lifted with ease before they tried..

This is the one which shocked me, in Birmingham, UK he were challenged by Mr. McCann’s who were known for beating Eugen Sandow some years earlier.

McCann has a barbell at Gough Street Gym in Birmingham, weighing 100kg / 222 lbs, and two x 25kg / 56lb square weights (think weight plates). They told him no one had ever lifted even one of them with 1 hand (assumed pinch grip).

Saxon placed the 222lb barbell overhead with his right hand while holding both 56lb / 112lb in his left hand in a arms length rise position liking his arms in an L shape. You can see the arms length hold above with ring-weights (kettlebells), but do it with a pinch grip at 112lb / 50kg with a weight plate is insane.

Worlds Strongest Man

Considering Saxon were born nearly 100 years before Worlds Strongest Man were launched in 1977, I can almost credit Saxon with Worlds Strongest Mans inspiration, in one of his books he near enough describes WSM…

“I have broadminded enough views on this important question, i. e., “What is real strength?” Therefore, if a weight-lifting competition were held, I should like to see quite a number of lifts attempted, as is the method on the Continent, and to see each man go on with the lifting without too many opportunities for rest, so that we should not only ascertain who is possessed of greatest momentary strength but also who is possessed of enduring strength as well, and it is a combination of these two which makes real strength.”

That sounds a lot like the modern Worlds Strongest Man, doesn’t it ?

In my head, if Arthur were in WSM, I see him as being somewhat like hybrid of Jon Pall and Pudzianowski, only shouting “I am the Saxon Dominator”, a true showman and powerhouse.

Arthur Saxon vs Eugen Sandow

Arthur Saxon Bent Press

Arthur Saxon Bent Press

Just before the turn of the 20th century in Sheffield at the Grand Music Hall while performing with his brothers as the Saxon Trio, Arthur were bragging how he could out lift any man alive. This included Eugen Sandow who were the reigning king of strongman in England, and as fate would have it he happened to be in the audience that night.

Sandow came up on stage to put this rumour to rest once and for all, with every intention of showing Arthur up as a liar. The two titans of lifting went toe to toe with the goal of deciding who were the strongest man in the world.

They appeared fairly evenly matched until Sandow were unable to match Saxons bent press (right). He tried many times as the audience and Saxon brothers giggled and jeered, he were just unable to lift the weight over his head.

Sandow like a girlie-man went crying to the courts, and due to a misunderstanding by the judge, Sandow won the claim and were therefore Arthur were unable to claim he were the worlds strongest man. Everyone knows Sandow were a cry baby and thus Saxons record bent press still stands today getting on for a 100 years after his death.

Skipping Leg Day Brah

Saxon were an advocate of Physical Culture as he called it. He believed you had to train everything, and that were the key. He puts down injuries and broken athletes to under-developing all the muscles. Its interesting that critics back in his time used sporting injuries and wear and tear on an athletes body to decry sportsmen.

Saxon Dozen Man Leg Press

Saxon 16 Man Leg Press

I [don’t] consider a man a really strong man if he is in certain parts developed out of proportion to others. If a man has tremendous arms and chest and weak legs then he is only half a strong man.

If he should have strong legs and arms and weak lungs or a weak heart, then again he is by no means entitled to be called a strong man… Some day the inevitable breakdown will occur which will cause carping critics, always ready to attack physical culture, to point to such a broken-down athlete and say, “Here is proof of the harm done by physical culture and weight lifting.”. The cause really is that this man has not properly understood physical culture, and has developed one part at the expense of another.

This is still the case day, how often do you see guys with rounded shoulders from excessive chest work but neglected backs. How about guys with chicken legs and huge shoulders, or even those guys who use straps to lift less half their bodyweight.

Saxon vs Beer and Food

Arthur were nothing less than a beast both inside and outside the strongman world. There are stories of him and brothers cracking open a barrel of lager beer and running back and forth filling their jugs up between lifting sets. More often than not drinking the whole barrel in a single session.

150oz Steak at The Duck Inn

150oz Steak at The Duck Inn

One newspaper reported Saxon in order to impress a girl, he gripped a bottle of beer between his feet, grabbed a 113.4kg / 250lb barbell and lifted it into a bent press. Once in position he reached down with his other hand, and proceeded to drink his beer while holding the barbell above his head perfectly still.

It were also reported he would drink anywhere between 50 and a 100 bottles of a beer on an average night.

You don’t even want to know about his eating.

A typical main meal would be 4.5kg / 10lbs / 160oz of beef / mutton / meat with plates (plural) full of fruit, vegetables, cakes and cream. The picture to the left is of a 150oz steak challenge which The Duck Inn in Redditch, its 10 inches wide, 14 inches long, and 4 inches thick. Its bordering on a doorstep.

A typical breakfast would be 3lbs / 1.3kg of bacon, 2 dozen (24) eggs, 2lb / 1kg of porridge with honey and cream, that’s as well as another meal and 50-100 bottles of beer per day.

Makes Eddie Halls 10,000 kcal diet seem… erm small.

Its reported he trained excessively and extreme intensity 7 days per week. Its hard to believe with all that eating, drinking and intense training he gets time to sleep, but he stresses the importance of sleep too.

Arthur Saxon’s Legacy

Some of the most brutal and fun exercises were created and named by the Iron Master. I actually like a few of his moves. His moves have various names these days but originally they were named after him or by him. Many of these movements you won’t see in your every day gym, infact most people will look at you like your insane when you do these moves.

Saxon Press

This is essentially a 1 handed clean and jerk, Arthur used to do 112.2kg / 247.5lb with apparent ease.

Basically clean a heavy ass dumbbell up into place on your shoulder. You should brace the arm against the body and perhaps rest the elbow against the hip keeping your core and torso tight. Slightly dip your legs, explosively drive your legs up and steady the dumbbell. As the dumbbell reaches head height, dip your legs a little, drive the dumbbell overhead and snap upright to a standing position with the dumbbell overhead. Now gently lower the dumbbell down safely, use both hands if you need to. Safety first to avoid injury.

This builds excellent unilateral explosive and functional strength. Start light and work up.

Saxon Side Bend

Saxon Side Bend by Muscle and Fitness

Saxon Side Bend Photo by Muscle and Fitness

You see people all day long holding a dumbbell at their sides and leaning as if reaching deep in to their pocket and then return only to reach into the other pocket.

The Saxon Side Bend is performed ideally using dumbbells but you can use with barbells, medicine balls, weight plates to help building up. With dumbbells, stand with your feet at shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent. Raise the dumbbells overhead, arms slightly bent, palms facing forward and dumbbells as close to touching end to end as comfortable.

Keeping your core, torso and glutes braced with the dumbbells steady, slowly and under control bend or lean to one side as far as is comfortable. Don’t lean forward or backwards and keep your arms in line with your body don’t allow your arms to over lean. Then return to an upright position, repeat 6-8 reps per side.

This takes a blowtorch to your abs, core and obliques, better leaving this towards the end of you work out, and a few times per week. I often superset this with Pallof Press and Pallof Rotations for a killer core and mid-section work out from abs to spine.

The End of the Iron Master

Arthurs demise were a tragedy, after going to war and fighting in World War 1, he suffered from malnutrition, and a whole host of health related problems. This meant no matter how hard he tried to bring back he legendary strength he failed to produce due to those problems.

On 6th August 1921, at 43 years old, Arthur died from pneumonia, leaving only his Legacy behind.

To this day his Bent Press world record of 370lbs still stands, as does his “two hands anyhow” at 448lbs. The legends of his showmanship, humour, charisma and spectacular functional strength live on and continue to inspire many, myself included.

The Saxon Side Bend Photo is taken from Muscle and Fitness, they posted an article on this very move which is worth a read.

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