Monday, 16 August 2010

World's Strongest Hands - leg 1 results

You can read the full break down, event by event and overall scores, HERE I came 2nd overall. Not to sniffy considering the Euros were just two weeks ago Saturday.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Products pretending to be steroids... grrr

Thanks to a hotly debated (inc by me) topic on RXMuscle I awoke this morning with an idea of what to write today... so he we are. To quote Peter Griffin / Family Guy 'things that grind my gears'.

Now just to clarify there are some products, Pro-Hormones, SARMS and products which MAY have anabolic or 'roid like' properties out there. Most are marketed as such. It might even be argued that the marketing of said items and how they are described is a reflection on the supplement industry. That by calling something 'Mega Anabolic RX 2000' you're allowing people to assume more than they should.

We're fortunate, at least in magazine marketing and adverts, here in the UK to not have too many of the US style over the top and very close to the wind in word choice type of adverts to contend with. You CAN still buy these kinds of products from reseller type companies who import US PH style products. However, in the US and US magazines page after page of them are filled with the near knuckle and, in my opinion, well past the knuckle adverts of these kind of products.

I'm not 'grrr'ing at that part of the market. At least not today. It's the section where a bottle, complete with, in their words, a legit holographic security sticker, also has a name like 'TrenX' or 'DeccaY'. Products even have images of cows (FinaH) and the like. Companies producing said products buy up domain names of sites which previously sold, if illegally, steroids. The same companies produce bottles with labels which offer a homage to the product they purport to be. From the same colours, font and layout.

They aren't even fake steroids, not that that's a good thing, but for all intents and purposes give the impression of being the real thing. Heavy use of words such as anabolic and steroid (for, in their words, search engine purposes) litter their pages. In some place on their page will be either a legal declaration (ok under FDA regs or the like) and a line which clearly, if in a small way, says 'our products do not contain steroids'. Yet you'll have searched for steroids, seen a site recommending site X as a seller of steroids and then, without checking the small print, thought you were on a naughty hush-hush site selling them (no I never got scammed). I could go on. The cash these freaks make is out of this world. Something which, at best, as DHEA or Tribulus in it is sold as a months supply for $200.00 (yes that's correct). Even with the money back in not satisfied guarantee offered the site rakes in the cash.

To use a Brit phrase - they are taking the fucking biscuit.

Friday, 23 October 2009

More Khan

Weider have already grabbed some in-shape gym shots. Check this out:

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Zack Khan DVD

It looks like this will be released after his next competition (next weekend) where he is expected to pick up a pro card. The teeny weeny snippets I saw on youtube... look good.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

So we arrive at what looks like a building that was finished just last week - it's that new looking. Chad has arranged for or put up himself a load of little signs pointing us grip nuts in the right direction. So that made it real easy to find. We walk out into what is the heart of the wellness centre - the gym. Clean doesn't cover how spotless it looks and there's a bunch of equipment I obviously wanna try. But before we even get into that I see some familiar faces.

First up, as mentioned before, is fellow Mashmonster tree climber Paul Knight who I hug and josh around with immediately. Having heard that he and some of the other lads had been in the bar I launch into 'and we was gonna buy a case over the phone and finish the job to (cue confused look as it's lost in translation) nobble you' LOL. More faces appear and more hands are shook, backs slapped and all round good natured ribbing takes place. I'm shown a small area where it's a teeny weeny bit more hard core. But, of course, we're far more interested in handling some of the toys we will be playing with for real later on. A little bit of experience teaches me to NOT REALLY TRY. So stuff is nudged, rolled or, in the case of grippers, given a baby squeeze to just before any biting point. But that's it. Shirts are handed out and the first of many (what seemed like loads) of Chad's family are met and I sign my first waiver (one for the event/Chad and one for St Mary's). We have a quick meet and greet and we're off.

Gripper time
I'd come with a plan, as usual, and for the most part stuck with it. This was very much the case with grippers. I saw Chad reach for the top one - the hard 4 - and thought I saw from across the room a close. But in fact he'd been a bit off. I don't get distracted with the idea of needing a big close and having played around briefly warming up stepped up and COC # closed a CoC 3.5. A little showmanship (I'd mentioned to some to 'sell it to the crowd and esp to Eddie on camera') meant not only did I do the deed for the ref but turned and said 'will that do you?' which garnered a 'hell yeah' from someone ha ha. I didn't pay too much attention to what else was being done because I still had the need to get the 4 down floating away at the back of my mind. So staying within the framework I'd set for myself I did the BBSE. It was about this time and checking with others and the big projector board that I pegged Chad has missed his opener but he still had some attempts left as did I (2). So it was time to step up a little more and so when I was due back on the platform I banged down the BBSE (Hard). I still wasn't sure what Chad would end up with so brought out the big gun. As I told others later I'd been off any closes of a 4 for about 5 weeks and so powered by caffeine I monstered the 4 (hard) to get a first place spot. Over the last few days I have since learnt it was the hardest calibrated 4 closed in competition to date - nice. There's only one time to do these sort of things and it's on the platform and when it matters. Luck was one my side as no one else managed to do the same. That meant, which was REAL NICE, I'd won the first event and was, for now, in the lead. GO RULE BRITANNIA.

2 Hand Pinch
As is always the case and indeed as I'd mentioned prior to leaving the Euro pinch can is and is sensitive to seasoning and humidity. so I wasn't too surprised to find it felt a little different to our very seasoned bit of kit here in Gloucester. I found myself advising a few to give it a light dusting of well rubbed in chalk and seeing how they got on. There were no great surprises as to who the top bunch were with Jedd, Chad and I in the mix and Rex coming up fast. Rex making 230lbs. I think all of the top three pulled 240lbs and from them Jedd and Chad equalled 245lbs. I had a lift spare and so once again made an attempt at 255lbs (the world record being 253lbs) but it sat there like an unmoving rock - not even a single mill of air. My first mistake of the day. Could I have equalled the 245 or perhaps done better with a 250 lift?? Hard to say now but what's done is done.

Ironmind's Apollons Axle
Ahh the dreaded axle. For a man that bitches about his o' so fragile glass like back this was always going to be one I could bomb on. I'd written out my usual event game plan thus: 1. 155KG/339LBS, 2. 170KG/374LBS, 3. 185KG/406LBS, 4. 200KG/441LBS. Others seemed to do the same warmups as I did then through what were my 2nd and some 3rd attempts then start with relatively high numbers. It would have been too, too easy to go off plan and play with the idea of following suit but as is often the case with me I went for the KISS approach. This meant Chad and I hung on in there with our 441's and Jedd + Aaron were sitting a spot beneath us at 379lbs. But, as we'd all suspected, kettlebell monster Andrew raised the bar higher from his 450+ record to a new PB and world (in grip competition) record 461lbs. He garnered a well deserved round of applause from all the attending athletes as well as the crowd.Me? I was happy with 1) getting my damned ass down as I knew the grip could take it and 2) felt (as is always the way) like I had 5 maybe 10 pounds in me on what was, again as per, my easiest and final lift. I should also offer thanks to the ref for some advice on my first lift as I went out of the groove. I'd set out with 440pounds or 200-kilos in mind and was 1lb out. Zer gut'.

Second boo-boo of the day for me. An event I could have won but brain freeze prevented me from doing so. I'd given the handle a little spin, sans weight, for feel and when asked what I thought the numbers could be said '260 or so'. As it happens more but anyways. I'd written out two sets of numbers (super spinning equalled low weight, slow spin mucho weight). I felt this handle was somewhere in between. For my third attempt I pulled what ended up being my final weight of 266lbs to Chad's (missed by me) 281lbs. I took a warm up with what may have been Chad's weight and no doubt may have put the cat among the pigeons with a successful lift. I then asked for a bigger 290 in plates (about 301 all in) and managed a few inches at best of pull. Tsk. If I'd taken 5 lbs more than the 281 I'd have won and it was, pun intended, within my grasp. No ones fault but my own.

If the axle was Andrews to win and always was in my mind then the medley was always Chads event for so many reasons. That said I was shocked and a little blown away when doing the rough numbers in my head because I was not expecting to see Andrew blow through them quite as well as he did. Chad's final score shows Andrew picked up one more object than I did (getting a 2nd to my third) but my confident 'second place easy' was a little shaken by his performance. The one lift I'd have liked to have made, being a nad off, was the Anvil as I did one of the best pulls on it on that day failing to just lock it out. I caned easily the three 25's that a bunch of the others had missed several times and pretty much had no problems with the blobs, pinching or thick bar objects . Another reason for not equalling Andrews performance was even though guys were calling out the time I literally was going too damned slow. I knew I'd huff and puff but wasn't going to get any faster. I avoided like the plague the hubs, the IM red 'nails' and the book tear and had said I thought I might hit 16 objects but managed 14. Chad hit 19 and just stood looking at the last shallow hub or the sky for the last 20 seconds on the clock seemingly huffing and puffing as much as I had.Final resultsWe took some time to fool around and I was handed two more CoC 4's post competition closing both. I was especially happy with the first as I did not use any chalk. Eddie, the camera man, did his post competition interviews which I took part in. Then it was prize time. As has been said elsewhere some of the items, esp for the lower places, were outstanding. Obviously the cash made up for this. Again, as above, my now glycogen deprived brain was not sure where I was... was it third or second? Once I heard Andrew was 3rd I KNEW I'd made second and had won the $600.00. I took my money and with a flourish bandied it about in front of the cameras and those gathered shouting (for effect) 'it's all about the Benjamin's baby!!'.We helped Chad move some of the usual rehab equipment back into place before heading over to his personal strength space for a cold brew and a burger. I came over all 'I'm done' in the Hummer getting the come down from a competition feeling so was not too shocked to bomb out at 250lbs in the post event 2" V-Bar event (a further $75.00 token being up for grabs). Much chewing of the fat and a little (check youtube) Inch dumbbell fooling around took place before it was back in the Hummer and home to the palatial mansion (oh yes ha ha) for the after-after party. The same crowd as before (Zach, etc) as well as, Ryan and Michelle and several young (too young) Southern Bell girl friends of Rex's sister (all in bikini's... man oh man!) were in attendance. For some reason the beer and the hot tub seemed to get those who'd been lifting's first attention easing the kinks out of our muscles. We may have also made something of the poll table room, several beers, some Jim Bean and some Sake shooters if memory serves me as we also chewed the fat and some pizza until about 1.30am.

Home again
A nice easy start and something of a lay in on the Sunday before those with a little ways to go started drifting off home with me joining them for my 4.35pm booking in time. I'd enjoyed my stay, winnings and esp the Hubbard families hospitality like never before. But for now the bed and seeing my cat back home was the focus of my attention and it was a case of head down, eyes pinned back open and please got no crying children on the plane (no such luck). I'm prety sure the return door to door, against the clock as it was, was on par with my 30 hour outward bound between sleep trip. It certainly felt like it.

I can take so much away from the trip. In competition a new PR on the axle and, so I am told, the best ever gripper close (hardest 4). I also enjoyed chewing the cud with the boys and have hopefully given a few a nudge towards some more progress with the US Hand Strength Association. But most of all was how well I was treated by everyone in the Hubbard household and I cannot thank them enough.
Chad woodall event - my take. Part 1
TravellingI guess it's a sign of impending age / doom - as I now officially approach geezerdom I get to moan and gripe about travelling. When you're younger leg room, sleep and food don't seem to matter quite so much. But, as us near geezers say 'when you're my age...' it all aches. So it 'ached' that my last sleep before arriving at Rex's place was Wednesday around 7pm. A 2am bus from central Gloucester taking some 4 hours or so to arrive at London Gatwick airport 'ached' too. Q class (cattle or also known as economy) ached too. I did enjoy a real good chin wag or chat with a US passenger who'd been on contract in Iraq. I also enjoyed eating as much of the near plastic airline food as they'd let me have but then got maybe 20 mins zees on that portion of flight and the two films (Clint's 'Grand Turino' was esp good).

Arriving for my second visit in the US I knew I'd have 'fun' with the so, so slow progress through visa and passport control but the edge of the snails pace entry was taken off by seeing big man Rex on the other side. The boy eats his greens and was an apparent 290+ when I got to shake the big old paw. Having made time to change up some sterling into dollars we then made our way to pick up the transport. BOOM! A big ass HUMMER. Oh yeah now we're rocking in style. Complete with the arm resting on the sill and the seat cranked back we cruised in style to Roswell where family Hubbard make their home.

Now I, like the rest of the guys arriving later and who Rex had kindly found some space for, were all of the mind that we'd be buddying up, making use of sofa space and the like. You know that you're, for all intents and purposes, invading some poor families home and trying hard not to eat them right out of it. I've ALWAYS enjoyed the catering, bed space and so on wherever I travelled but my previous experiences and expectations did not prepare me, nor those to come, for the sheer size, scale and just out and out good old fashioned Southern hospitality we got from Sissy (Rex's mom), Donny (step dad) and the rest of the clan. My jaw had to bolted in place to stop it dropping on stepping down and out of the Hummer but I still couldn't help the silly ass grin that grew on my face. It was real lifestyles of the rich and famous.

I was made to feel welcome the moment I arrived and more so later when Sissy and Donny had overheard me giving Rex my 'someone needs to up their game and get the US association a few more baby steps forward' (a speech given freely over the weekend to a few others also). They were very appreciative of my efforts at, as the 'youth' say of 'bigging Rex up'. My comments to Rex and co were of the 'Rex has gone from the guy prepared to argue with one and all (as a great debater (or master debater... say it quickly ha ha) to one now showing some of the leadership skills that could move the Yank game forward. That we all share the passion is by the by, we need a Barnum and Bailey kind of person to give it some of the old US style razzmatazz that's needed for media attention. For whatever reason, probably how well I was being looked after, relaxing in the jacuzzi or the very nice wine Donny was providing (Merlot??) I seemed to get a second wind and so rather than an early to bed approach I stayed up until around 1130 or so local time. Tomorrow was looking good.

Up a little late for me I found some oatmeal and was munching on down before Sissy pointed to the huge cast iron pot she had going on the stove of more of the same... oops... err pile it on. Some juice (or three) and back out on the loungers by the pool before easing out some of the aches, pains I usually have along with the kinks from the journey in the house gym (yes a gym in their basement too!). Once done it was dossing in the pool and chatting some more with Rex. As we did with some of the fellow Iron Brethren still to arrive we cast our net far and wide from media to personalities within the game. Indeed by late Sunday taking off back home my throat had been fried from all the talking, drinking and shouting to the point of soreness. Mercy for others ha ha.Being kept fed through the day with some of Sissy's sandwiches and Rex's protein drink I spent some more time back later in the gym working on the old back pains again before making sure I was about when Zach Coulter and Andrew Durniat arrived. They both had the same 'oh my gosh look at this' look on their faces and as I shook hands etc. I leant in and said 'it doesn't get better than this guys!!'. They'd driven some 650 miles (with Zach another 2 more hours after that) to get here with us which is about the same as Lands End to John O'Groats or the length of Great Britain. Us Iorn Freaks sure do love to travel don't we.

Sissy had prepared some Beef Tender Loin which she'd marinaded in some home recipe. I'm telling you know it was among the best beef I've ever had and the sweet potato, aspargus, green beans and sauce we had with it along with a locally brewed cold one just about topped the day off. Unlike those guys (Paul Knight and the gang) feeling a tad fragile following their night on the beers and (??) Crown Royal (whiskey??) on Friday Sissys fine food had us very well prepared for our efforts Saturday.

Indeed I was up with no help at all. My bathroom suite (yeah you heard ha ha) helped me be fresh for the day as did yet another readily prepared bowl of oatmeal. A shake just before we left, some vitamins I'd brought with me and my first coffee since the preceding Monday (I wanted the buzz to help me lift to be full on) and we were ready to go. It was back into the tank / Hummer and after a quick stop at the local gas station for some energy type drinks (Sissy having provided me with my usual banana, raisins and the like - again a great hostess) and we were off (as an aside I was wearing my Union Jack shirt for shits n giggles and overheard some guy in the gas station say 'he must be crazy with that on ha ha). Other than having to back up around when we passed our exit we had no problems finding the venue.

Game time