Category Archives: Health

80% Big Time and 20% Small Time

I’ve been catching up on my reading after a little time out. I have literally 300 articles and dozens of magazines to read dating back months on subjects ranging from health, website design, science, physics and computers. I’ve been playing catch up ever since the surgery, I’ll get there… one day. 

Man And Muscles

Man And Muscles

I just read an article which suggests the best split of muscle groups is 80% big muscles and 20% small muscles, which is not exactly headline news. What is interesting but again not surprising is of the X many people surveyed, the vast majority revealed they trained at almost exact opposites to this. With men focussing on their upper body, primarily their arms (tri/bi) and chest (pecs), and women focussing on their lower body, primarily their bums (glutes) and thighs (ab/ad-ductors/quads/hams). It also revealed the majority used isolation exercises rather than compound and multi-muscle exercises to this end. 

This is not new information, its always been a case of the majority going on the big compound moves like Deadlifts, Squats, Bench Press etc, which most often hit big muscles hard, followed by smaller muscles secondary and stabilisers tertiary. After this, you hit accessory/assistance moves such as for the bench press you may do Dips, Triceps Extensions and Flys which covers most muscles.

Totally made up numbers but I think before my surgery I had been hitting closer to 30% big moves / compounds, around 30%, accessory (which often included compound) moves, followed 40% isolation moves (bicep curls, leg extensions, etc), so it would appear I am in the wrong.

Since I’m starting from scratch after my shoulder surgery I’m going to consider this 80/20 split a little more and see how I get on.  I’m only just starting to introduce cable station / pod work, and the odd machine. My range of motion is still impinged from injury on the right and to a lesser extent on the left side.

The New Stuff

The magazine did add one interesting thing which I liked, and its a really good tip as far as I’m concerned.

It suggests where possible do movements standing up, do movements on one leg, do NOT sit down unless you absolutely have to. If you must sit down, as soon as you get your breath, get back up.

I like this little tip.

I try to walk off my rest periods and walk while getting my breath back. I call it “active recovery”, its often really “If I sit down, I may not be able to get back up”, but sometimes… just sometimes you need to sit down and regenerate. Top up with a little glucose, or pre/intra workout or even a Banana before getting back to it. Just don’t let yourself cool down too much or you’ll tighten up and struggle.

Man And Muscles image by Andrzej Pobiedziński.

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Rich Piana Has Died

Its a sad day for body building fans and the fitness industry as a whole. Its been reported and confirmed that Rich Piana of 5% Nutrition has died after a recent medical emergency. There are rumours of drug overdose and taking his own life but all are rumours and nothing is confirmed. 

Rich Piana at Body Power 2017

Rich Piana at Body Power 2017

In my previous post about Rich in a Chemically Induced Coma, I detailed how the man was absolutely dedicated to his fans. I witnessed this all first hand. Rich shone a light on the fitness industry be it good or bad. If you are not familiar with Rich Piana from 5% Nutrition, he’s the man who basically “enhanced” his already well built physique using Synthol, PMMA and various other local enhancing oils which are injected to the muscles to inflate them like a water balloon and produce his massive size.

There has long been questions of safety surrounding the vast majority of these oils being injected into the body. Others have accused users of these enhancing oils as being cheats and not real body builders so Rich has always been somewhat controversial.

This is why I’m not a big fan of Rich Piana’s methods and process, but that aside its a sad day for the health industry and his millions or 5%’ers around the globe.

I will certainly miss him at future events and hope his legacy is a good one, rest well Rich. 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Rich Piana In Chemically Induced Coma

Body Builder and 5% Nutrition founder Rich Piana has been placed into a chemically induced coma following a medical emergency. The 46 year old star were found unresponsive by medical staff after being called out to a potential overdose at his Florida home on Monday afternoon. 

Rich Piana at Body Power 2017

Rich Piana at Body Power 2017

Its not clear what the current situation is, or how Rich is but I do sincerely hope he makes a full recovery. While I’m not a huge fan of Rich Piana’s whole synthol and whatever-the-hell he injects or his persona but the man is a sound guy.

You can’t put a guy down who values his fans so much. I have seen the guy at multiple different shows, and he  always takes his time with each and every fan, talks to them, advises them, guides them and inspires them to be more. I have never seen him rush a fan, cut one off and lose his patience. Well apart from the slapbox incident, which was massively overplayed imo. 

What I have observed is many other stars give fans 30 seconds before rushing them off, many spend a few hours with the fans then they go hide in the green room. Anyone not in the queue at the time time just misses out. With Rich Piana, I have consistently seen him take 5-10 minutes with just 1 fan laughing and joking, taking his time. Rich has spent 10 hour days for 2-3 days in a row on his stand with a never ending queue of fans, only popping off his stand for short periods. 

When I took the above picture, Rich actually asked the next fan in the queue if he minded waiting for a few minutes while he did a quick press picture, then apologised to fan, then apologised to me for the wait. You can’t fault the guy, so hopefully he’ll recover and it will turn out to be a mistake or accident. 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Grenade Hydra-6 Chocolate Charge

Grenade Hydra 6

Grenade Hydra 6

In my ever growing pursuit to make the protein numbers up in my daily marco’s, I’m always swapping things, adding things and dropping things to make it all work. I have been having a Micellar and Iso/Hydro Whey mixture just before bed for ages to add a slow trickle of protein to feed the muscles while I sleep.

I mix Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Casein with either Optimum Nutrition Platinum Hydro Whey or Gold Standard Isolate Whey which were my go to products, but the results aren’t amazing. I have tried Extreme Milk Chocolate and Double Rich Chocolate and various others along with Chocolate Supreme Casein and the flavours as stand alone products are good, but when mixed they are not quite meshing together.

Think of it like mixing Heinz Beans with supermarket own, they won’t quite mix, its the same idea with the proteins.

I decided I needed a properly blended version with the same flavours adding to both by machine.

The Taste Test

I opted first up to try Grenade Hydra-6, its a 50/50 mixture of Micellar Casein Protein and Isolate Whey Protein.

I were a little surprised by the taste, it takes like, you know how you get chocolate cookies which are pale creamy in colour, and you get cookies which are dark chocolate coloured, they taste more like the darker colour cookies. I’m not talking about like Oreo cookies taste, but maybe that colour, its definitely a chocolate chip cookies taste. You can taste a few pops of different chocolates which are very nicely blended.

Its a little thicker than just Hydro Whey or Isolate Whey due to the casein, which is thicker and grittier normally, but the Whey smooths it out and makes a nice shake. The casein I think is a darker chocolate taste. Its really smooth without being blancmange like, some I have tried end up almost like a blancmangey-porridge and stodgey.

One of the points I really wanted to point it, I mix my shakes up in advance, and often they separate, and look lucky. The Grenade Hydra-6 doesn’t separate, least not in the 6-8 hours between my mixing and drinking. This means you could make up 2-4pt in a milk bottle and keep it in the fridge for a 24-36 hours to save having to wash your shaker constantly.

Authenticity

Grenade Plastic Seal

Grenade Plastic Seal

I bought this one from Amazon, and when buying from Amazon, I only buy directly from Amazon mostly because you’re dealing fully with Amazon and their A-Z Promise is rock solid. I however still always check authenticity and the date printed on products I buy.

Not that the dates are the be-all-and-end-all with protein powders. At a recently body building show, I were talking to a rep from a huge multi-national protein company and he were saying as long the powder is kept dry, sealed and stored at a constant temp away from sunlight it should be good for a year over expiry easy.

Either way I always check the plastic seal, Grenade, Optimum Nutrition (the 2 products here) both both a printed/branded plastic tamper-proof seal on the neck. This increases the seal but is also the first step to ensuring its not been tampered with or counterfeit.

Next, once you remove the seal (in ON’s case) or break the seal (in Grenades case) and unscrew the lid, you come across a hermetic sealed cardboard lid sealed to the bottle which ensures freshness and a further guarantee against having been tampered with or counterfeit.

Both the Plastic Seal and the Paper Lid are part of the authenticity, fake products virtually never have these touches, be sure to check. You will also notice the lid is also embossed or relief printed with the companies logo or name, and the print is crisp and clear.

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Strongest Of All Time #SOAT

Zydrunas Savickas and Bill Kaz Kazmaier

Zydrunas Savickas and Bill Kaz Kazmaier

I was listening to the Worlds Strongest Man PodCast (yeah I’m late) and they were talking about the Strongest Of All Time Strongmen, and only Eddie Hall pulled an old school strongman out of the mix (Louis Cyr) where as most others were concentrating mostly on WSM guys, which is an understandable mistake to make given the context. Brian Shaw refused to name a 3rd but gave mention to Mariusz Pudzianowski and some others, he was the only one to mention the dominator too. 

In short most people said Bill Kazmaier, Jon Pall Sigmarsson and Zydrunas Savickas. The latter is the more interesting one because these are his peers and they are name checking him, which is a huge thing. It would like like Jenson Button saying Lewis Hamilton is the best driver of all time. I was really surprised that they named an active strongman, but equally I loved that they did. 

Colin Bryce made some good points about why Brian Shaw may not be remembered for the monster that he is because he doesn’t really show off and doesn’t finish events if he doesn’t need the points. Basically he doesn’t play the crowd, he’s playing just for points and the win. I say for no reason because last years WSM 2016, there were a moment where Thor and Eddie agreed to end it on the deadlift and take equal first points. Eddie played the points because he has dislocated his fingers and we know he could have done more but he played tactics due to injury. Zydrunas on the other hand near enough threw away his win by going for a world record log press, and often shows off his brute strength. 

My Strongest Of All Time

I am aware there are guys moving nearly 4x their body weight, and Olympic lifters with amazing numbers but I’m sticking within the spirit of Strongman and the extremes of human performance 🙂

Arthur Saxon Bent Press

Arthur Saxon Bent Press

Author Saxon – Arthur Saxon were born nearly 100 years before Worlds Strongest Man even existed, he nearly envisioned the WSM TV Format and some of his world record breaking feats still stand today.

There were no steroids, no growth, no intimate muscle knowledge or training techniques, very little body building knowledge existed. Still his feats are impressive, even more so for a man his size.  

There were so little available knowledge that Arthur Saxon (and his brothers) wrote a huge amount of the available literature at the time on how to get fit, strong and healthy, how to build a better body and generally documenting physical culture.

Much of the 100 year old advice given in his books (which are copyright free now) is still relevant today and even being touted as “new ideas” by modern science. 

Arthur invented the Saxon Side Bend which is one of my favourite core and abdominal moves, he used to eat like a beast, drink like a fish and even went to war with a dapper moustache.

What A Man! 

Zydrunas Savickas at Body Power 2017

Zydrunas Savickas at Body Power 2017

Zydrunas “Big Z” Savickas – The greatest in a long line of Lithuanian strongmen, having just turned 40 years old and holding 4 Worlds Strongest Man titles (matching Brian Shaw), with only 1 man holding more titles (The Dominator). Big Z is obviously the king of current day strongmen with even many of his peers saying the same thing.

When others struggle with events at Worlds Strongest Man, you see Big Z thunder up, the ground shaking under his steps, the crowd wide eyed and he lifts the weight like it wasn’t even there an shows his peers hows its done and strolls away.

I have met Big Z a number of times at various events, a fairly quiet man, doesn’t catch all that you say due to the language barrier and noise at the events but a really really nice guy and quite funny too.

At Body Power 2017, Bill Kazmaier did the forearm flex for a photo and Big Z stood up and did the same and his forearms are HUGE and made Kaz’s look normal size so Kaz took a step closer to the camera and pushed Zydrunas back a little and just a little fooling around between 2 legends of strongman.

 

Bill Kazmaier at Body Power 2017

Bill Kazmaier at Body Power 2017

Bill “Kaz” Kazmaier – When it comes to one of the early days legends of strongman, its all about Bill Kazmaier, while Jon Pall may have been the showman it were Kaz who were the berserker powerhouse.

I will always remember his eyes bulging out like Jim Carreys Mask Character and him slapping himself in the face Rowdy Roddy Piper style getting the rage up. 

Much like Eddie Hall having broken the 500kg Deadlift Barrier for the World Record, Kaz were the first man to break the 400kg Deadlift barrier for the World Record.

The fact they have Bill doing the commentary for world strongest man is awesome for me, along with Magnus they add some informed colour in to it. They KNOW what they are they talking about and what it takes. 

I’ve also met Kaz a few times and he’s also a really nice guy, and gave me a little interview a few years ago. I did want to get an interview for my blog this year when I spoke to him but he were just so damned busy when I met him, maybe next time. 

The Feats

I haven’t really gone on too much about what they have done and what makes them the strongest because you guys can read my Arthur Saxon post and the other 2 guys are well wrote about online so I won’t cover them again. 

This concludes my strongest of all time strongmen #SOAT.

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Stanley “Stanless Steel” Pleskun

Stanless Steel Strongman Movie

Stanless Steel – Strongman Movie

Its been a while since I posted about Arthur “The Ironmaster” Saxon, but there are plenty of other guys who I admire. One other such man who I admire does simple but zany feats of strength. Many of these feats remind me of the old school strongmen, and absolutely of the early days of The Worlds Strongest Man when they was ripping phone books in half, bending iron bars on their heads, lifting huge amounts of money (coins) in boxes and more recently throwing washing machines.

The one which made Stanless Steel so famous, is that he’s believed to be the only man on the planet who can bend a Penny with his bare hands. Its not 100% clear where this penny is from, but either way the size, limited surface to get leverage and small grip space makes pretty much any penny bending impressive. UK penny’s are made from copper mostly, and US penny’s are made mostly from Zinc, and the EU Cent / UK Penny are made of Copper coated Steel. 

Zinc is softer than Copper and Steel, so the US Penny should be easier than the UK penny, but either way its impressive. I have tried with the UK 2p which is double the size so better leverage and still didn’t even make a mark on it, using pliers and my hand I could make a slight bend but no where near bending point.

Using 2 pairs of pliers is fairly easy, I would like to try with varying lengths of leverage. This would enable me to work up to the strength, certainly be a fun and interesting training tool, Pleskun achieves his leverage by using a towel. I assume this is to reduce the grease and sweat on his on fingers rather than enhance leverage. 

Stanley "Stanless Steel" Pleskun under a car tyre.

Stanley Pleskun Under a Pickup Truck

Some of the other feats are fun too, bending a kro-bar, a wheel brace and various other metal bars, a more interesting one would be where a 4×4 pick up truck drives over his body with the director of the Strongman Movie driving it. 

I haven’t watched the video yet, but along with Eddie Halls, CT Fletchers and various others they are on my play list, been watched or in the process of being watched. I’ve watched Eddie Halls, and I’m half way though CT Fletchers My Magnificent Obsession, I have Generation Iron 2 and Stanley Pleskun’s Strongman ready and waiting.  Its worth watching Generation Iron and Pumping Iron as well. 

As best I can ascertain the Strongman video isn’t a happy or fun story like Eddie Halls road to being the strongest. The movie is very much in the same vein as Mickey Rourkes The Wrestler, showing the dark underbelly or the sports-entertainment industry. The place there dreams are either dead or dying. It sounds like a really sort of sad movie, Stanley is just a guy who happens to be really strong and born in the wrong time, he should have been in PT Barnums Circus or the travelling freakshows of old. Perhaps he would have been a contender along with Sandow and Saxon on the strongman circuit.

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

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