Thursday, June 23, 2011

Strong Woman Training

I have always admired power, and strength. To me, the human body in motion, performing amazing feats of strength is beautiful. Perhaps that is why I have taken so quickly to training for strong woman events. As many of you may already know, I have been honing the skill of overhead pressing, both barbells and people. Remember in the old days, maybe a few hundred years ago, you would see the old strongmen and women doing these one armed feats of strength with either barbells, dumbells, kettlebells, or people? The true hallmark of the strength of a man was how much weight he could put up overhead. And, still, to this day, it is still a good indication for several reasons. First of all, one must have the joint mobility in the shoulders and incredible upper back, trapezius, and shoulder strength, as well as very strong abdominals, and lower back muscles. The legs come into play, as in a push press, a fast, dynamic start allows the lifter to get more weight up effectively overhead. It can prove to be a dangerous lift, if one does not immediately stabilize the weight, whether it is a barbell or human, as the back could get misaligned. And, the wrists, hands and elbows must be both flexible and strong to handle the weight. As you can see, I have studied the movement and many great lifters, and look to hone my skill every time I go to the gym to train.

My most recent strength skill I am developing are working with the Atlas stones. Now, there are varying circumferences for both men and women in both competition and training. Most beginners and women will start with the 18" stone, which, are shown in this recent video. On my first attempt at lifting stones, I was able to lift the 195 lbs to 55", 235 lbs to 50", and the 280 lbs to 41". I felt as though they were natural to lift, and I enjoyed the learning process. I then attempted the 20" (typically the men's competition girth) 310 lb stone. I struggled to even move it off the ground initially. After a couple more tries, I was able to "lap it", meaning, set it into my lap, which is the hardest part of the movement. From there, it's all hip thrust in getting it to the desired platform. I was so happy to even move that stone! I have found it takes extremely deep concentration, technique, and some anger to conquer any stone. And, I also learned that you must respect any stone, whether it is 5 lbs or 500 pounds, your technique should always be consistent, and never assume that, just because a stone is lighter, it does not deserve to be respected. That is how injuries occur. So, getting it the proper mindset is of crucial importance. Oherwise, you should just quit and go home if you do not have "it" that day. There will be other days, and sometimes there is no sense in trying so hard you may harm yourself in the process.

For now, I find that strong woman training has put the passion back into my lifts. It has given me the focus, drive, and passion to get into the gym and push/pull heavy weight. The fact that I have always had an innate desire just to be strong, is an internal flame that will always burn inside of me.

Stay tuned for more videos of my feats of strength and gym clips! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

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