Category Archives: Health

Konstantine Janashia the Georgian Giant

Konstantine Janashia Known As The Georgian Bull

Konstantine Janashia Known As The Georgian Bull – Img by WSM

I posted way back in August that Konstantine Janashia aka the Georgian Giant or Georgian Bull if you listen to Colin Bryce is one to watch. Watching him perform were a little tarnished, not because of anything he did or his performance, but because there were so much spectacular new talent in this years Worlds Strongest Man.

It were bordering on biblical, with the 4 Horsemen riding in to town to challenge the old guard, upon the ashen horses rode Mateusz KielszkowskiGrzegorz Szymanski, Martins Licis and Konstantine Janashia.

Lots of new blood in Worlds Strongest Man this year, lots of potential and this experience will have given many a new set of goalposts and without raised them up. 

I’ve just re-watched it again, which makes it about the third time now. 

A Quick Round Up

In the 825lb Frame Carry event, Janashia destroyed Brian Shaw by a huge 6 seconds, and Hafthor Bjornsson, well you’d need the Hubble Space Telescope to see across the 30 seconds gap between them, only the above Kielszkowski who pretty much sprinted the 30 meter course 11 seconds faster than Brian Shaw. 

In the 100kg Circus Barbell, he beat Brian Shaw again, Brian looked to be struggling and I think Janashia still had 1 more rep but ran out of time, Shaw looked struggling to match him. 

In the deadlift, Konstantine matched Bjornsson at 420, with only Eddie Hall, Brian Shaw and JF Caron beating him by 25kg. That 25kg did make it a new world record but you can see thus far how Konstantine Janashia is making some pretty big waves for a WSM Débutante. 

In the 40 Tonne plane pull, he were just 40cm between Eddie Hall, and 85cm behind taking first place, and the Kettlebell Throw he scored just 5 seconds behind Eddie Hall to gain 5 over the bar.

Lastly in the Atlas Stones you saw him come unstuck, he were only just getting to the 4th Stone up while Eddie Hall had near completed all 5, Hafthor, Shaw and Eddie all completed the full 5 stones up to 210kg in the time it had taken Konstantine to do just 4.

The Stones is a big event based on technique, and skill to wield the strength, and he has shown he has the power, strength and speed, he just needs to hone his skills and nail that technique. You could see in this grand final that he were standing toe to toe and took a bit of a beasting but still he stood toe to toe.

Another Way

There were the odd event variance, where they used a Viking Press with Canoes, or Fingals Fingers for example, had ALL the competitors had the exact same -semi-final events, I think the Grand Final may have had 1 or 2 different faces.

It really could have gone another way if some of the shorter contenders had Fingals, or some the weaker endurance guys the car carry. If there weren’t an injury or two during the semi’s the finals would have looked different for sure, and if Big Z weren’t out I think the Podium would have certainly been different. 

Really looking forward to seeing Konstantine and the other 3 horsemen excelling, I just hope this event has given a sample of the good stuff and increased their hunger. I remember feeling this way when Savickas showed crazy strength potential, the same moment when as a kid I saw Kazmaier do the original Crazy Eyes and you could see the raw passion, the same as when Pudzianowski went full on Berzerker Rage and earned the name The Dominator, exciting times. 

 

Image from Worlds Strongest Man.

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

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. 

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

Eddie Halls Documentary Now on Netflix

Eddie Hall Body Power 2016

Eddie Hall Body Power 2016

I don’t do Netflix, but I do have NowTV and I’ve watched it maybe twice in the last 5 months. If I didn’t get an amazing deal on vouchers when buying a new TV (pretty much 2 yrs worth of movies, tv, kids and 9 week passes for sports for about £100 a year with 3 boxes. I have Amazon Prime and don’t really watch that other than binge watching the odd series.

I have however watched Eddie Halls Documentary and found it really quite interesting. I will warn you, every other word out of Eddie’s mouth is Fuck or some variation thereof. There are also some strong discussions about drug use too, so be aware of it in the case of your children watching. I know lots of children are fans of Eddie “The Beast” Hall.

Better to review the movie before watching it with you. 

The Bacon Beast

The man also loves bacon, in order to increase his calorie or protein intake he adds bacon to everything. I mean literally everything. Much of his system is reliant on his wife, its nice to see her preparing meals and supporting his quest to the worlds strongest. 

What I liked about this, is a bunch of guys openly talking about steroids and their use, no one denying it. I don’t believe Eddie contributed but others did. Many body builders and the likes deny steroid ab(use), because yeah that bulging abdomen and keg belly is all natural, because body builders and the strongmen of the past had those guts too. Hearing guys opening talk about it, is refreshing. I have spoken to many of these guys none of them directly deny it, they just use “swim” type language. 

SWIM stands for “Someone Who Isn’t Me” and is used on various forums to actively ask theoretical questions where 99/100 times you are talking about yourself. Someone who isn’t me uses X, Y and Z but wondering about taking A as well, do you think SWIM would be ok, stuff like that. 

Netflix and Strongman is the New Chill

If you have Netflix and are interested in Strongman and Strength Sports its well worth watching it. If you have a missus who is into strongman, then I’d say this movie is the successor to Netflix and Chill, its Netflix and Storngman with some chill later in the day. 

There is video footage of his Arnold Schwarzenegger “Classic” deadlift where Arnold is willing him to break the record. There are interviews with almost every name in the strongman world and many of the body building greats.

Its good to see Zydrunas Savickas actually talking, I’ve met the guy half dozen times and generally the language barrier means he says very few words and seems almost overwhelmed. Hard to not like the man, he seems very intelligent and is actually a political force in his home town all while being a gargantuan beast of a man. 

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

Nestle to Cut 40% of Sugar in Chocolate

Dark Brown Milk Chocolate

Dark Brown Milk Chocolate

If any women read my geekery or trash there would be a gasp of shear horror that chocolate is being tampered with. Nestle has made what they are calling a breakthrough which could dramatically reduce the amount of sugar in their products. As I said before I call this a chemical shitstorm

In a nutshell they have fiddled with the molecular structure of sugar, to make Sugar 2.0. The simple explanation is they make it dissolve quicker, which I assume make it hit you harder faster and makes you think there’s more sugar than there is. Think a chunk of rock salt, crunch it up with your teeth and salt city. Nestle claim it does not affect the taste at all. 

The problem is, that when when you fiddle with things like this, you don’t know how far reaching the consequences are. What seems ok short term, isn’t long term. Look at various drugs, they are doled out like tictacs, then a few years later they are withdrawn and banned because it goes horribly wrong. 

0-65% Sugar Per Bar

When you consider that Chocolate is about 45-65% sugar on average, it varies depending on brands and white, milk or dark, some of which is dairy sugar, but raw and pure chocolate can have virtually no sugar at all but most people would find it very bitter. Various companies have come up with tricks like using sea salt or chilli peppers in an attempt to reduce sugar and balance the bitterness, and some of them are good. 

What is not clear is, they say 40% sweeter, but don’t clarify if this is 40% less calories or physical mass. Which means we won’t know if they will need to add some other filler to regain the size or yet again reduce the size of the bar. We also don’t know if it will reduce the calorie content, I would guess it would. 

Dairy Milk 36g Bar   Berliner Doughnut (Waitrose)
  Current Style Sugar 2.0      Current Style Sugar 2.0 
Energy 191kcal 159kcal   Energy  461 421kcal
Fat 11g     Fat 21.1  
Protein 2.7g     Protein 8.4  
Carbs 20.5g     Carbs 59.3  
Sugar 20g 12g   Sugar 25.6 15.36

Looking at the potential above, which assumes it achieves 40% calorie reduction, 32 calories doesn’t seem alot, but its actually about 17% reduction overall in the Dairy Milk. I assume this Sugar molecule can be used in all manner of other goodies, so I applied it to the unhealthiest thing I’ve eaten in a long time.

The Halo Effect 

On the grande scheme of calories the difference isn’t all that impressive, but sugar impact, its impressive. Gets more impressive when applied to sugary drinks. 

I hadn’t heard it call the Halo Effect, but had heard the theory. The theory is that when someone is perceived as having been made healthy, people double up the amount. Fruit is the usual suspect, tell someone an Orange is healthy, I eat 10 of them and gram for gram of sugar they may as well have eaten a 4 pack of mars bars. 

Even Professor Julian Cooper form Nestle highlighted this problem when he said “This is good science. A lot of people have been look at sugar trying to reduce the amount.” he added that there is a risk that it would give Nestle Products the use the “adapted” sugar the hal0-effect which may lead people to believe they can eat more of it.

HE also went on about protecting the profit margins and nestles patents letting other companies in the idea blah, who cares. Make a fuss that since 2007 you (Nestle) have been reducing sugar (and product size) then in the next breath blurt out, its about the money. 

 

Chocolate Bar image courtesy of Kaboom.

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