“Its only 110kg per hand….”
That’s all I could hear in my head “Its only 110kg per hand. Christ, that’s more than I weigh!“. The voice had started, but I knew I could shut him up.
I just took a breath, gripped the handles, picked them up and walked the 10m.
Now, that isn’t a lot to do on farmers walks. Hell, we have a guy in our crew that did 150kg per hand. But for me that was a huge weight. And I did it!
My road to strong has been a long one that is only now starting to take me towards my goal – be strong. The road began 12 years ago when my wife joined a local gym and asked me a long to keep her company. I was overweight, had just stopped smoking, liked a drink and could eat junk food for Scotland. But I went along, and fell in love with exercising.
At the beginning, I took part in every kind of fitness class that the gym had to offer – aerobics, spin, circuits etc. I loved it. My weight started to go down, my fitness started to go up and my interest in working in the fitness industry took hold. Our local college was my first port of call to do a basic course in health and fitness followed by a more in depth course after this first one was completed. This then led to a couple of recognised qualifications and my first job as a fitness instructor.
All through my time at college and at the gym I would do the usual kind of weight training that most people begin with – split routine, 2 body parts, lots of exercises, some cardio. Then around the end of 2004 I found Crossfit and became hooked. I would try and get people to come and train with me but no one was interested – so I had to travel to train with friends I had made on forums, travelling from Glasgow down to London, Manchester and Newcastle. I was a CrossFit junkie, I travelled to California to do the level 1 cert in the days before they offered it in the UK. I was the first in the UK to open up a dedicated CrossFit box and ran it for 2 years. I was following the main page workouts from www.crossfit.com and getting very, very fit but not very strong.
This addiciton to CrossFit lasted ’til around 3 years ago when I changed my training and got more into strength training by following the CrossFit Strength Bias system then Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1. These systems helped me to get stronger but I didn’t have anything to focus my training on. I don’t play any sports so I just train because I enjoy it.
At the beginning of last year I decided to enter a CrossFit/ Strongman competition at CrossFit Reading, UK which was organised by my good friend Chet Morjaria and his functional fitness website www.funckey.co.uk . My plan was to enter the over 90kg weight category and I did this with ease on a diet of cheesecake and Guinness, weighing in on the day at a whopping 106kg with a lovely power belly.
I had a fantastic time and managed to finish 3rd out of 6 heavyweights and loved the fact that I was lifting heavy stuff. We had 6 events – deadlift, 3 medleys , truck pull, log clean and press, but I only got to the semi final and didn’t get to do final medley. Being big was great, but I was a fat mess. That had to change. After getting back from the event and up ’til the end of 2010 I started to dabble in paleo eating and lost a chunk of my power belly.
At the start of 2011 I was lucky enough to have www.strengthshop.co.uk move to a warehouse just 5mins walk from my house and I had a chance to go down once a week to train with the guys there. Its not a gym but they have a fantastic set up in the warehouse where they were able to train most strongman events. As the months have gone by I have been really lucky in getting a job for the company and now I get a chance to train there all the time – and this has led me onto my road to strong.
I have another chance next week to prove myself at the grassroots Strongman competition I did last year as a big fat man, but this time I have been training hard, eating well and getting rid of the little voice in my head that doesn’t want me to lift heavy stuff. I’m heading to Cardiff, Wales for the www.ukstrengthandpower.com South West meet.
After this my next step will be to enter a novice strongman competition – but need to get a whole lot stronger.
My road to strong is a long one, but one I hope to share with you.