Friday, February 19, 2016


As much as people don’t like to hear it, the most significant factor that contributes toward getting bigger and stronger is simply time.  Yes, you need to bring intensity to your training sessions, and effort, and consistency, and some intelligent training is pretty cool too, but ultimately, you gotta do this for a while before you start getting results.  The longer you do it (assuming you have everything else figured out), the better your results.  This is why you simply CAN’T cram for an event.  Whether it be a strongman comp, powerlifting meet, bodybuilding show, beach vacation, high school reunion, mugshot, wedding, etc etc, you can’t try to compensate for a lack of time with an increase in all other variables.  It does not work.

Image result for horrible comb over
Also: you aren't going to grow all your hair back by then, just stop

We witness people attempting to cram for events all the time, even with methods that seem noble or genuine.  The question constantly arises of what to eat on contest day to “maximize performance”. What combination of macronutrients and timing is going to allow one to REALLY tap into their potential?  How should one eat to have the best day possible?  The truth is, nothing you put in your body the day of is going to do anything significant to improve your performance; all of that was supposed to happen in the training leading UP to the show.  Furthermore, eating completely different from how you were when you were training for the show is most likely going to jack up your digestion and cause you to crap yourself during an event, which is DEFINITELY going to have a negative impact on your performance.  Anyone stressing over “day of” factors is someone who simply did not do what it took to be able to crush the competition.  Mariusz Pudzianowski pulled his calf in the qualifiers for the 2008 WSM and STILL went on to win the damn thing because he had spent so much of his time training well for the event that NEGATIVE “day of” effects couldn’t get in his way.  Whoever shows up the strongest is going to win.

Going back a step, we witness this as well in regards to the week of the event.  People CONSTANTLY want to know how they should train the week of the show.  Tons of internet discussion is devoted to this topic, with everyone having some sort of Zen Jedi masterplan on the exact combination of sets, reps and percentages that are going to completely unlock someone’s hidden potential the day of the show.  Here is the reality; you cannot get stronger or better in one week, but you sure as hell can get injured and weaker as a result.  Strength and ability should’ve been built up in the training leading UP to the week before the show; if you’re not ready by then, you f**ked up your training and you’re not going to salvage it.  There is no cramming for the test here.

Image result for drug test
You'd have better luck cramming for this...or better success if you used the right drugs...I'm not sure where I'm going with this

It’s not about having a great workout, or the best week of training ever; it’s about stringing together a bunch of solid workouts over a LONG span of time.  This is something the people striving to shape up in 2 weeks don’t understand; you can’t compensate for time with intensity.  This is why we find attractive physiques attractive in the first place, because they are a representation of dedication and effort.  If all it took was 2 weeks of hardcore training to look great, EVERYONE would look great on vacation.  Instead, it’s the folks that are plugging away constantly over long stretches that have the results that are impressive, and those trying to cram for the exam look and perform terrible.

It was honestly my dad who inspired me to write this, based off something he observed at one of my strongman contests.  I finally had a chance to compete in my hometown, and it was the first time my parents got to watch me live versus on youtube. It really opened their eyes to the sport, and my dad noticed something.  Since I was with my family, I felt an obligation to entertain them, so between events I’d hang out with them, BS, tell stories, laugh and joke, and then I’d hear my name called, go do an event, then come back and hang out.  I ended up winning this show, placing first or second in most events.  When it was all over, my dad said “You know, while you were hanging out with us, I’d see guys pacing in corners, frothing at the mouth, yelling and screaming and getting psyched up, whereas you’d go from hanging out with us to winning the event and back.  You’ve been training for 15 years, and it was like those guys were trying to catch up to 15 years of training in a few minutes of cramming.”

Image result for Tim and Eric think about your dad

Yes, I paraphrased the above, but think about that; someone with no background in this sport was able to figure it out in one day.  No amount of psyching up will beat time, nor will the right diet the day of or the right week of training.  Remember the fable about the ant and the grasshopper: come winter time, one will thrive and the other will starve.


  1. I just wanted to mention I love your articles. They've really helped me keep training hard every day, and given me the drive to try some stuff that people would probably consider silly shit. Right now I'm doing a 5/3/1 for strongman variation where reverse banded deadlifts and slingshot bench are two of my main lifts...

    1. Thanks dude. I appreciate having you as a reader. hat sounds like a pretty crafty approach; definitely good for some overloading and handling some heavy weights. Let me know how it pans out. I am confident that with enough effort and consistency, you'll go far.

  2. Good stuff. Don't want to be that guy who has to lose 30 pounds in 4 weeks before a vacation.

    1. If it was that easy, there'd be no fat people, haha. Thanks for posting dude.

  3. great read as always. it would be cool if you had a facebook page we can follow to get updates when you post.

    1. That's not a bad idea, assuming I can figure out a facebook group, haha. I never really thought of this blog as big enough to warrant one, but it might be a nice side project.

      For your own situational awareness, I try to update this every week, usually over the weekend, but it does vary.

      Thanks for the idea!