Our 3rd Annual College Strongman Competition lived up to the hype...BIG TIME!! It was as intense and competitive as we thought it would be!
After weeks of trash talking, speculation and hype, the most anticipated training day of the year finally arrived for our athletes…and it arrived in the form of 93-degree heat & humidity in ‘Dirty Jersey! But, it would take a lot more than the brutal weather to stop our athletes!
24 of the hardest-working college athletes in the country gathered on one field to see who would become the strongest athlete at one of the strongest training facilities in the country. This was the best summer of training we ever had and it showed in this competition. Our athletes were in prime condition & all of them were mentally tough as nails. We want to CONGRATULATE all of them on an incredible effort! Here’s how the event unfolded…
We started with 4 events...
#1) 550 lb. tire flip for time (5 flips in a row as fast as possible)
#2) Zig-Zag Farmers Walk for time (50 yards)
(155 lb. thick-handled torpedo in each hand)
#3) Conan’s Wheel - (3 rotations for time with 300 lbs.)
#4) Heavy Sled Pull (25 yards)
(Pull a 265 lb. sled that’s attached to a thick rope as fast as possible)
After the 1st 4 events, we narrowed the competition down to the TOP 5 competitors. Then, we had a "Keg Toss Off" with the TOP 5. From there we took the TOP 3 guys and finished with a nasty 80-yard sled dragging race (40 yards backward, 40 yards forward). After the sled drag, we crowned the winner.
#5 – Tom M.
#4 – Chris D.
#3 – Mike N.
#2 – Pete T.
This kid won the competition last year and he needs to be commended for his performance this year. You see, Pete had shoulder surgery this off-season and he was only healthy enough to do our strongman training ONE TIME this entire off-season. (Every other athlete in the competition trained with us all summer.) Despite this, Pete decided to compete anyway and he STILL almost won! (He was edged out for 1st place by only 2 points.) This kid is a true warrior and his hard work and mental toughness needs to be recognized…and we’re sure he’ll be back next year stronger than ever!
#1 – Greg D.
This kid was unable to compete last year so he was fired up to compete this year! Going into the event, we had him ranked 4th amongst the 24 competitors…and he was PISSED with our ranking! This son-of-a-bitch predicted that he was going to win and he backed up his talk BIGTIME by taking home the title!
2006 DeFranco’s Strongest Man
You are the strongest freak among freaks!
**Special thanks to John Otterstedt of www.rutgersfan.com for providing us with some kick-ass pictures from this event!
Q: Hi coach defranco,
I am a female athlete and I really want to get stronger but I don't want to look like a guy. I have heard a lot of great things about your training methods but I don’t want to look like the buff guys pictured on your website. What can I do differently to improve my strength but still look feminine? (BTW, I play basketball.)
A: I hate to be rude, but I’m not wasting my time answering this question AGAIN! I thought I put this topic to rest long ago. (I guess not.) Anyway, check out the following 2 links if you want some specific info that I provided in the past regarding females and strength training:
Is she too “masculine”?
Q: Hey coach DeFranco,
First of all, I want to thank you for the W4SB program. I've been lifting for about 2.5 years using western periodization with reasonable gains, but after trying conjugated periodization and the template that you use to train your athletes, I feel stronger than ever before. Floor presses and box squats are my new favorite exercises; and the fact that you're always doing different stuff and trying to break records makes it a lot more fun.
I do have a few questions about the program:
1 - Would you recommend doing RE instead of ME on the upper body lifting during the 5th and 6th week of the cycle? I think I've heard Louie Simmons talking about it on an old WSB tape...
2 - Which squat is more efficient for making an athlete faster: The hip/posterior chain-based squat that the westside guys use or the more quad-based "regular" squat?
3 - Should I use a deload week between cycles?
Keep doing what you do,
Thomas Copenhagen, Denmark
Thanks for the feedback on the program. It’s cool to know that I’m able to help someone in friggin’ DENMARK while I sit at my computer in New Jersey! I’m glad you’re seeing results and the variety of the program has you motivated! Now onto your questions…
1 – There are 2 factors that would determine if you should substitute ME (max-effort) work with RE (repetition) work during the 5th and 6th week. I do NOT recommend that you substitute your upper body ME workout with Rep work if your 2nd upper body workout is already a repetition day. If your 2nd upper body workout is a DE (dynamic-effort) workout, then YES, you can perform rep work in place of max-effort work every couple of weeks. Buddy Morris is a big advocate of deloading every 4 weeks from max-effort work with high rep dumbbell work. And if Buddy recommends something, it probably works!
Deloading every 4 weeks is NOT a permanent part of our template at my facility because we deal with a lot of younger, healthy athletes. They can handle a higher volume of work without overtraining, compared to older, more experienced athletes. With younger athletes, we incorporate a 1 to 2-week deload on an individual basis (when we feel they are getting burnt out and progress is slowing). The bottom line is to listen to your body and figure out what works best for you.
2 – NO one exercise is the best ALL of the time. I prefer box-squatting for athletes, but we incorporate “regular” squats in our program as well. Box-squatting develops the all-important posterior chain (spinal erectors, glutes, hamstrings). The posterior chain is the “engine” for a sprinter, so we box squat most of the time. Box-squatting is always coupled with a unilateral, quad-dominant exercise for full development & flexibility in the lower body.
3 – Yes, it is a good idea to deload between cycles. Once again, the exception would be a younger, less experienced athlete that can handle more training without getting burnt out.
Best of luck with your program.
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