Brute's Strongman Meet Write-up
My first real meet, my first real write up. Last year I did a local meet, but this was my first with NAS. The difference in the level of difficulty is huge. It's also obvious I need more equipment to train for these things. A sled and a log are hopefully going to be acquired soon.
It was cold, windy, and with 40+ competitors, we had an hour or more between events. It was pretty much impossible to get warm for the event and stay warm, but there were only a few minor injuries, so we all counted that as a win. Now onto the events!
Event 1 - Semi Truck Pull
6 feet 10 inches
Ok, so it doesn't sound that impressive. I was honestly a little disappointed at first, but then everyone got stuck at the same place I did, between 6 and 7 feet. There's a tiny incline there and it killed the progress of most competitors. However, I moved a semi my first time in a harness. Win.
Event 2 - Log Press
180 pound log. 1 Rep
I won't lie, I thought the log was going to be easier. With a barbell, I'm good for at least 5 reps with 180 in a push press. Wasn't happening with this log. Cleaning that blasted thing was a whole new experience as well. The idea is elbows high, sit down with it, and roll it up your chest. Getting two different parts of my body to act in unison is not a strong point of mine, but after a few false starts I got it into pressing position. 180, no problem right? Wrong. The log is a log tougher to lock out. A few more attempts, a lock out, and I was done. There was no chance I was going to win this event and I was good for 2nd place with 1 rep as several others weren't about to clean or press it.
Event 3 - Sled Drag.
300 pound sled + Harley - 49.5 feet
Ok, dragging stuff. Not a big deal. Except when its heavy. This is where my poor conditioning really started to come into play. The course was originally supposed to be 50 feet, but was changed to 80. I made it 49.5 feet. I could have completed the course had it stayed at 50, but c'est la vie. At one point (obvious in the video) my calves cramped up and I lost the momentum I had built. That killed the rest of the drag, but I did manage to pull it further than a lot of people. There were also a few people that completed the course in under 30 seconds. Inhuman.
Event 4 - Tire Flip
500 pound tire 8 flips - 55 seconds
This one I was preppared for. I like flipping tires. The only downside was that since I was a novice, I got the 500 pound tire instead of the 600. Being 8 feet tall, I liked the 600 better as it was a lot higher and easier to get my chest into. While flipping, I felt like I was doing a better job of driving into the tire, but the video looks like I'm still deadlifting it too much. More work to be done. The result of that bad technique is some brutal DOMS in my biceps and I'm lucky I didn't tear one. At one point I had a lopsided shove and the tire bouced a lot, which hurt my time. Another thing to think about. Still, finally an event I won.
Event 5 - Car Deadlift
Car - 18" (supposedly) pick height, around 650 in the hands. 4 reps
Since I won the last event, I got to go last for this one. The best for reps in my class was 3, so I was happy to just hit 4 and call it a day. Damn thing was heavy. During the 3rd and 4th reps, it felt like my hamstrings were tearing. They're fine, but that was more encouragement to call it a day at 4. I will mention that there was a competitor in the 200 pound class that hit 21 reps. I'll also mention he was maybe 5'5" and the frame barely left the ground for him to lock out. One case where being enourmous didn't help.
This was my first real competition and it shows. Not so much in that I didn't kick everyone's hind ends, but in how foreign the events were to me. The only one I was ready for was the tire flip. The car deadlift was ridiculous. People with traditional deadlift maxes around 425-450 were hitting 7-9 reps with it. Technique and height. One I can work on, the other not as much. Going forward, I'll be focusing on 3 things.
1st, dropping some weight. I'm not looking to move down a weight class so much as just get down to a healthier weight for me. I want to compete in the heaviest class available because I don't believe in the pound for pound strength thing. Either you could move the semi or you couldn't. It was no respector of weight classes.
2nd, conditioning. There's no excuse for bad conditioning in strongman. Time to step it up.
3rd, brute strength. You might have thought I would focus on technique, but no. Technique is nice, but I want to be able to just pick the damn semi up and walk with it next time. Without the base level of strength necessary, all the tech in the world isn't going to do a damn thing. 500 squat, 650 deadlift, and 300 press are on my list.
Thanks to this community for the support, advice, and guidance I get. Escpecially, thank you to Steve for getting me started down a path that meant squatting instead of curling in the squat rack. My next competition I'll be stronger, wiser, and better dressed for the conditions. No promises of winning, but I'll blow my last performance out of the water.