This week at DeFranco’s…
Team North-Jersey vs. The World!!!
As many of you know, I’ve been utilizing strongman training methods with my athletes throughout my career. This is because strongman training produces big-time results in size, strength, conditioning and it also makes athletes tough as nails! Because my results have become well publicized over the past couple of years, more and more athletes have traveled to my facility to experience these results firsthand.
Words can’t describe how proud I am to have a facility that is now considered by many as THE premiere facility for reaching your athletic potential. This summer has been especially exciting for us because we have attracted more athletes from across the globe than ever before. At first, our “out-of-town” athletes were coming from the southern part of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York & Connecticut. But then they started coming from a little further…Maryland, Kansas, Ohio, Oregon and England – yes, England! We now have so many visitors coming to our facility that we are actually able to assemble a “World” team to compete against our local guys on strongman day! (And nothing brings out the best in athletes like a little COMPETITION!) This is what prompted me to recap last Saturday’s strongman training at my facility…it was truly a unique event for a small warehouse gym hidden away in a little industrial park in northern New Jersey.
So without any further ado, here’s a recap of what happened when Team North-Jersey faced The World in a “friendly” strongman competition…
Timed 600 lb. tire flip!
The rules to this event were simple…The team that flipped the tire 20X the fastest won the event. There were 10 athletes on each team. Basically, each athlete flipped the tire twice and we timed how long it took the entire team to complete 20 tire flips. This event was the best 2-out-of-3.
The biggest “question mark” for The World was the two newcomers from England - Craig & Dean Miller. These two brothers had just moved to New Jersey for a month’s stay in order to prepare for their upcoming rugby season. Although they were the two smallest competitors and this was their first day of strongman training at DeFranco’s, they did NOT disappoint! Here’s their portion of the tire flip…
Although The World won the 1st heat of the tire flip, Team North-Jersey beat them by in the 2nd & 3rd heat!
After one event…
Team North-Jersey = 1
The World = 0
Zig-Zag Farmer’s Walk Relay
The Farmer’s Walk Relay was performed with 192-pound torpedos in each hand! Once again, this event was a timed event. Members of each team would “walk” approximately 30 yards around cones with 192 pounds in each hand and then “pass” the torpedos onto their teammate. They kept going back and forth until each member went 2 times. We timed how long it took each team to complete the relay. This event was also the best 2-out-of-3. Here’s a clip of The World during the 1st heat…
The World won the 1st heat, but Team North-Jersey won the 2nd heat. It came down to the 3rd heat to decide this event! Team North-Jersey went 1st and completed their relay in 1-minute and 49-seconds. Then, it was time for The World to step up. Here’s the clip of their last 2 athletes finishing their run…
The World ends up beating Team North-Jersey by 2 SECONDS! They completed the event in 01:47 and now we are all tied up!
After 2 events…
Team North-Jersey = 1
The World = 1
Cambered Bar Zercher Walks!
This was a brand new event that we decided to experiment with… It is the brainchild of John Impallomeni. Apparently, this exercise popped into John’s head at 2am Saturday morning while he was bouncing at a bar. (Good thing no fights broke out at the bar that night…John was too busy thinkin’ bout this sick exercise, rather than payin’ attention to what the hell was goin’ on at the bar!!) Anyway, it turned out to be a good one! Basically, the athletes had to squat down and pick up a 250-pound cambered bar with a “Zercher” grip, walk 30-yards and then “hand it off” to their teammate. The athletes went back and forth until each team member went twice. Once again, the event was timed and it was best 2-out-of-3.
The World dominated this event with their superior teamwork and great transition from athlete to athlete. Here’s a clip from their 2nd heat. They are like a finely-oiled machine!!!
After 3 events…
Team North-Jersey = 1
The World = 2
Prowler/Backward Sled Medley
This event was simple, yet VERY demanding! Each athlete had to sprint 30 yards with the Prowler and then immediately drag a heavy sled backwards for 30 yards. Each athlete had to perform the medley 2X! This event was timed and the team that made it through the medley the fastest won the event!
Team North-Jersey had a definite advantage on this event as they have been tortured by the sled and the Prowler all summer! Their hard work during the first half of the summer paid off as they ended up dominating this event!
Here’s a quick clip of their impressive performance…
After 4 events…
Team North-Jersey = 2
The World = 2
*After completing all of the events, we had a TIE! We knew that we couldn’t end with a tie, so we had to do something; we had to go to sudden-death overtime! This meant only one thing…
After a long, grueling day, The World took home the title in our 1st ever International Strongman Competition!
After losing the competition, Team North-Jersey did exactly what you would expect from a bunch of guys from New Jersey…they cursed, they challenged The World to a fist fight, they made fun of the rugby players because their shorts were too short, but best of all…they said that they didn’t care that they lost because they are better-looking and they get hotter chicks! (Ahhh, there’s nothing like good sportsmanship!)
**If you thought that this competition was intense, wait until we post the highlights from our 4th Annual DeFranco’s Strongman Contest! This year’s contest is being held on Saturday, July 21st (after the DeFranco, Tate, Wendler Seminar) and I will post the highlights shortly after. You are going to be amazed at the level of strength & conditioning that the athletes this year are going to display! It is the strongest, most intense group of athletes that we’ve ever had! (We will be crowning a high school AND college champion this year.)
Who will be this year’s FREAK amongst freaks and take home this years prize…
The SAMSON Trophy!
July 21st can’t come fast enough!
Q: Before I ask my question I have to say I love your website and training program. I want to start it as soon as possible, but I have just one question: On the repitition upper body day, if 95 pounds is my 1 rep max on the bench press, what should I do?
If 95 pounds is the most you can bench press, there’s only one thing to do…contemplate suicide!! (Haha, just kidding!)
Seriously, you didn’t tell me your age so I don’t know how “bad” your max strength really is; but I think it’s safe to say that you definitely need to focus on getting STRONGER!
I don’t think that you should perform really high reps on your main lift on Rep Upper Body Day; instead, I suggest you perform 4-5 sets of 10-12 reps on your main lift. Flat or incline dumbbell presses should be your main exercise on this day and use the heaviest weight possible without compromising your form. (You can also perform push-up variations as your main exercise on this day. Wear a weighted vest when performing push-ups if possible.)
And don’t forget to EAT! And when you’re not eating, you should be thinking about what you’re going to be eating during your next meal!
Lift, eat, sleep, repeat!!!
Q: Joe – first I wanted to say that I love the addition of your YouTube videos!! It motivates the heck out of me to see your athletes training so hard!! My goal is to someday come train with you and your athletes. I do have a question about one of your new videos- the video of the athlete doing single leg squats with blue bands. I thought the bands were only supposed to be used to increase tension on max effort exercises? Am I wrong coach?? Thanks and keep being the best.
I do not follow any set “rules” of when I can or can’t use bands. We use bands on max-effort day to accommodate resistance and increase tension at the top of the lift; we use bands on dynamic-effort day to accelerate the eccentric portion of the lift and exploit the stretch-shortening cycle; we use bands for stretching; and we use bands for a ton of other exercises! As you can see, the bands are a great tool for MANY reasons!
The video that you’re referring to is of one of our hockey athletes performing single leg squats with the (strong) blue bands. This athlete is very strong off of one leg so we decided to experiment with the bands on single leg squats. Within 2 weeks, he worked himself up to the blue bands. Check it out…
By the way, this exercise is MUCH harder than he is making it look! But, I’m glad we decided to experiment with this lift…I think it’s going to be a great new tool to help our advanced athletes develop more unilateral strength & power!
Always learning & trying new things…
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