I’ve been getting booked a lot lately, almost more than I can handle and that’s a great thing! I had set the goal this year of going from an up and coming strongman to an active professional and I’ve done that and then some. Judging from what I’ve seen of people’s reactions to the show they really enjoy themselves and are blown away by what they’ve seen.
I’ve been doing a lot of work with sports psychologist and motivational speaker Dr. Robert Gilbert on success and the mindset needed to achieve it. Being up there is very cool not just in the fact that I get to show what it is that I do to more and more people, but it also gives me a chance to learn how he motivates people.
btw I would recommend calling his success hotline. 973 743 4690. He leaves a motivational message on there everyday for the last 20 something years. Need motivation? Call him, need more? Watch me bend stuff
Last night’s show was a unique one indeed though.
I shared the stage with a talented tap dancer who happens to have only one leg.
Talk about seeing something unique!
There was also a really tall guy with an even taller powerful story which he shared.
Anyways long story short, the combination of all of us teaming together sure left the jaws on the floor. I get a special thrill from doing that. Hopefully my late mentor is watching what I’ve been doing lately because he would enjoy it.
“The last son of Krypton”
This coming Sunday from 8am to 11am I may have the most important strongman performance of my career. Not important because I am paying tribute to a history of strongmanism or anything like that and not because I am getting paid (I’m doing it at a loss actually) or because I am gaining a lot of exposure.
On Sunday November 10th I am performing at Purple Stride. It is a fundraiser meant help raise funds for the pancreatic cancer action network. Here is a startling fact.
Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. 94% of pancreatic cancer patients will die within five years of diagnosis – only 6% will survive more than five years. 74% of patients die within the first year of diagnosis.
That’s why this performance is so important. It gives me an opportunity to demonstrate the power of the human spirit. It is my hope that if I show people that the human spirit is stronger than steel, they will understand that it can be stronger than cancer. If just one person sees it, and it inspires them to fight to survive and they do, then maybe, just maybe it will inspire others as well.
Though I plan on being very entertaining and sharing what I do with a lot of people, it’s the message behind the might that is most important.
It’s what started my re-bar to ribbons project (where I take lengths of re-bar, bend it with my strength, trim it down, paint it up and give it to someone or their family to be the symbol of strength that they need to get through the battles ahead of them). The human spirit is strong if you believe it is strong.
Here’s the schedule as it will be.
Date: Sunday, November 10, 2013
Registration Opens: 8:00 a.m.
Opening Ceremonies: 9:00 a.m.
Run/Walk Begin: 9:30 a.m.
Closing Ceremonies: 10:30 a.m.
Mack Cali Business Campus
4 Campus Drive
Parsippany, NJ 07054
This place will know the power of the human spirit by the time I am done with it. It is stronger than steel, it is stronger than cancer. It is the strongest of them all.
Power, strength and health to you.
“The Last Son of Krypton” The final student of NJ’s Superman the late and great Greg Matonick
Recently it had come full circle for me as a strongman. I was honored by being asked to perform with the man that showed me the road of the strongman, to honor the man who taught me how to be a strongman. Let me take a couple steps back in case you are new to my blog and give you a brief history of how I came to be a strongman. Even though I claim I started training in it January of 2012 for strongmanism like the Iron Tamer David Whitley said…every decision I made throughout life led me to where I am now. Can’t really argue with that but the path wasn’t clear to me until the Association of Oldtime Barbell and Strongman dinner.
4 Years ago I walked into the AOBS dinner as a new fan that had no idea what I was in for as a guest. I met Slim and knew he was someone to be respected but I didn’t really know who he was or the things he had done. I learned about his epicness after I met him.
Slim gave me some wisdom. He said, and I remember it clear as day…just like you remember anything that’s life changing.
“Son, within you is a power equal to every single person in this room, even me.”
As I left the dinner, after watching Sonny Barry bend steel with his nose and watching Mike Bruce get steel bent across his throat, I was floored by everything I saw. Dennis Rogers bends a wrench and gives it to me as a “pen holder”.
Dave says to me…”What’d you think?”
I think I need to get stronger…and I buy a bunch of DVD’s…but what I really needed was a coach.
2 years later I happened to be seated next to NJ’s Superman Greg Matonick at the strongman dinner when he offered to teach me. At that time my marriage was dead on arrival and I didn’t know what the next step in my life was going to be and was in the middle of thinking about what the next step was for me when Greg interrupted my thoughts and brought clarity to the situation when he said “Would you like to learn the feats of strength and become a strongman?” Yes I would.
That was the next step in my journey, but I needed a guide and here he was…one of the only people in the world and I had this incredible opportunity to learn from someone who had spent 30 or so years immersed in this. This man had secrets and he wanted to share them with me.
I jumped at the opportunity and Greg was a great teacher while I was a hungry student. Unfortunately Greg passed away before he got to see me on the AOBS stage in person. I think about him quite often and know that from heaven he’s got the best seat in the house.
Since I was his last student, I got the name “The Last Son of Krypton”. A tribute to him.
But I was up there on the stage, and I knew he would be watching over me and I was honored to be able to perform up there, dedicating my performance to him, in the same building where I originally met him 2 years earlier and performing in front of the legends that we both hold in high regard.
I was emotional, and it took a lot of effort to hold the emotions in check so that I didn’t cry on stage. I was able to do so and was honored to be able to perform.
More strongman stuff coming soon.
Eric J. Moss
Professional Old-time Performing Strongman “The Last Son of Krypton”
Montclaire State University (private showing)
Purple Stride Nov 10th 8am-11am in Parsippany at the Mack Cali campus
So as you may or may not know I enjoy hanging out with some friends at a bar on Friday nights in a town not far from where my Personal Training Studio is. I have a few beers, sing a few karaoke tunes and just have a good time when doing it. In this bar the ones that I talk to know that I’m a strongman and some have even donated to my St. Jude fundraiser that I do for my birthday knowing that I bend steel to help raise money for sick kids.
Well not that long ago (and I won’t go heavily into details with this) I was out at the bar saying my hello’s to the karaoke dj and I bumped into someone I hadn’t seen in a pretty long time. Probably about a 7 years if I were to guess and we decided to catch up. He was visibly drunk slurring his speech and that sort of thing and things hadn’t gone very well for him which I was a bit bummed to hear. Long story short, alcohol had ruined some things in his life.
Now when I gave my story I told him about me being a strongman and showed him my strongman promo video to which he had a different reaction to what I was expecting.
So before even watching the entire thing, he asks me if I can bend a bottle cap backwards to which I reply “I’ve never done it but I probably could.” (the Man of Steel Sonny Barry who also learned from Greg, bends them with one hand) and goes and gets some from the bar. Shows me how to position my hands and I proceed to bend it the way he wanted me to, even switching my grip to finish it with 2 fingers. He goes and tells me I can’t bend a bottle cap (I just did) and that me rolling frying pans is bull shit and they are rubber and what have you and that I’m a fake (everything I do is legit, and I have people come up during my official performances to verify every feat I do) and even tries throwing the bottle caps in my buddies beer….trying to ruin a beer??? that’s the last straw.
So I pull him in closer so that people can’t hear what I’m going to say to attempt to minimize his embarrassment and I tell him “Dude, you’re acting like an asshole, knock it the fuck off”. To which he replies “I don’t care, I don’t give a shit” (He’d give a shit if the ‘fake’ strongman started slapping him around…my patience has limits while my strength does not… but I’m trying to prevent this from escalating) at this point the opening of my song comes on for karaoke and I get up to sing it and he walks out of the bar.
Now let’s look at this for a moment because there is a lesson or two in here for you.
When I was studying with Greg he said to me that strength stuff hits men at a very primal level and can damage egos and make people dislike you because of it. An example he used was when his assistant in his railing business severely disliked strongman Chris Schoecke.
And he disliked Chris because Chris isn’t a very big guy…but is a very strong guy (the steel that this guy bends is astounding). Now I’ve seen Chris perform and talked to him (nice guy btw) and know he’s about my size but bends some really crazy steel bars.
When I saw Chris bend that steel bar, and I talked to Greg I thought to myself “Well Greg taught him to do that, and he’s my size so if Greg taught him and he can teach me, then maybe with effort on my part I could do it also.” I was in awe of Chris’ talents (and to some extent I still am) and not threatened by him. That’s the better way of looking at it rather then trying to claim it’s bullshit because you can’t do it. There’s more of a lesson in here as well.
Obviously life wasn’t going so well for the one I bumped into in the bar. Not for nothing but currently my life is not too shabby and is in the process of getting even better which seemed to bother him. There’s going to be people like that in your own life whether you are trying to build a business or trying to take charge of your health. Instead of being happy for you and supporting you in whatever you do, they will try and hold you back and prevent you from living to your potential and chasing what makes you happy. It’s a shame really because I wonder how much potential was ruined because of it.
Watch for those people in your life…and if what you are doing sounds crazy (like bending steel with your nose) but it’s something you want to do, then go for it and don’t let anything stop you and don’t let anybody tell you any differently because there will be naysayers. There will ALWAYS be naysayers.
Arnold could never be an actor because his accent is too thick and his last name too hard to pronounce (btw I just looked up and saw my copy of Terminator 2 on BluRay) Yes that was what they told him…now whenever I hear the unpronounceable name “Schwarzenegger” in movie promos I get giddy.
Arnold’s approach when someone tells him that it’s never been done before is “Oh good I get to be the first then” then works his ass off till he gets what he wants…like a real life terminator.
As for my buddy, he came back in the bar and tried to kiss the bartender then shook my hand and left (I made sure he wasn’t driving). The bartender is a heterosexual male and was none too thrilled about it. Yup, my buddy was “that guy” True story.
Once again I apologize for my infrequency of blogging. I know I’ve got a message, and I know a handful of you read it but I’ve just been so busy with the opening of my new Personal Training Studio in Parsippany and my new squeeze (well relatively new…about 6 months actually) that it ends up on a long list of priorities and I don’t always have a muse when I sit in front of the computer. Anyways a lots been going on and I do have a lot to talk about but today someone else will be doing the talking as today is a guest post.
As you know I have a very different way of doing things than many out there within the fitness industry so when someone comes along that wants to write for my blog I usually turn them down. However I do give there writing a look to see if it’s congruent with what I want to talk about. So this guy Justin has a blog called Alpha Body Blog and asks me to put up a guest post and sends a link to his writing style. I’m already thinking that I’m going to have to shoot him down but low and behold…someone I agree with. It’s refreshing really. Anyways I also wrote for him which you can check out but here’s his post.
4 Forgotten Factors of Getting Stronger
A big problem most guys face when trying to build an athletic physique is a lack of strength.
In other words, most men are just too weak.
Another issue I often see is that many of the men who are strength training are still missing out on a lot more potential strength.
Even if your goal is to build muscle without regard for strength, if you want an athletic looking, muscular body strength training must come into the equation.
Why You Want to Be Strong
An increase in maximal strength will give your body a denser, more defined appearance. If you stick to only high-rep sets you’ll make your muscles more puffy-looking with low levels of strength.
In this article you’ll discover the most common mistakes that are stopping you from reaching your full strength potential – and what to do about them.
The result? You’ll have denser, harder muscles, a more athletic physique and you’ll even grow some more muscle size.
(I gained nearly 7lbs of muscle in only 21 days. See how by clicking here ==> www.21dayrapidmuscle.com )
Strength Mistake #1: Using Light Weights
The first mistake seems kind of obvious but it seems many guys are missing the point. I regularly see guys in the commercial gyms lifting loads for 10+ repetitions per set.
If you can lift something 10 times, it’s NOT ‘heavy’.
The ideal rep-range for most strength training is 8 reps and under per set. This is the only range in which you’ll stimulate the fast twitch muscle fibres which are responsible for the most growth and the dense appearance.
When you lift heavy weights in this range your muscles become partially contracted so they are ready to lift again in the future. This is what is known as a ‘toned’ appearance, which you don’t get from lifting light weights for more than 10 repetitions per set.
I think a large reason this problem still prevails so much is because of mis-information on the subject of ‘heavy weights’. For example, I was working out this week at a commercial gym, and was doing single-arm dumbbell rows with an 80lb dumbbell. I was performing around 3 – 8 reps per set.
One guy actually came up to me and asked why I was doing it. He said “Isn’t lifting that heavy dangerous?”
As a coach I often get caught up in my own bubble and forget that 99% of other guys still have such misguided beliefs about training. It was a bit of a wake-up call that inspired me to write this article to help you know the truth.
Strength Mistake #2: Avoiding the legs
For years this has been one of the most common mistakes about trainees and one of the biggest reasons most guys never gain the muscle they want.
And still most guys are burying their head in the sand to avoid the dreaded ‘leg day’.
(And no, treadmill running doesn’t count as ‘training the legs’).
I would recommend simply taking the leg exercise you hate the least and make sure you add a few sets into your routine every day. This will help you build the positive habit of training your legs (which are about 60% of your body mass, by the way).
Then, I’d recommend introducing sprints into your routine to really work the fast twitch fibres and give you some awesome leg power and core strength.
As another incentive, remember that strength training for the lower body releases a high amount of growth hormone into your body. This means that you can actually see increases in the size of your upper body muscles by including more leg work.
One last point to remember is that getting your legs stronger helps all your other lifts. Imagine, if your legs were 40% stronger than they are now, how much would your push press, Olympic lifts and sprints improve?
Strength Mistake #3: Too many isolation exercises
I don’t see nearly enough guys using the staple compound exercises that are proven to build the most muscle mass – deadlifts, squats, military presses and pull ups.
If you’ve read a single fitness magazine or decent website article in the last 5 years then I’m positive that you know that these are the exercise you need.
So, why aren’t you doing them yet?
It’s pretty obvious – because you know they are harder.
But when was anything (or anyone) easy worth having?
For some serious gains in strength and size immediately make at least 90% of your program based around compound lifts. You may fill in the last 10% with isolation exercises (although for most guys it’s still a waste of time).
The big compound lifts use your entire body’s muscle mass so that means you can naturally lift far higher loads. Think about it – a bicep curl with 50lbs is nowhere as effective as a pull up with your body.
Yet they are both the same movement – elbow flexion to stimulate the biceps…
If we take two guys, all being equal, and had the first guy perform nothing but pull ups for a year, and the other did nothing but biceps curls, which do you think would have the bigger arms after 12 months?
But beyond that, which would have the most muscle mass packed on all over their body?
If you said the first guy, then well done, you’ve been reading!
The first guy would also have far stronger arms than the guy who did just biceps curls. That means that the pull up guy can now (if he chose to) start performing biceps curls at a far higher load than the second man could.
In other words – the guy who does nothing but pull ups will be able to perform more effective biceps curls than the guy who does biceps curls directly and nothing else!
I hope this has helped you see the importance of big, compound exercises and lifting heavier weights.
Onto the last mistake (which even I missed for a number of years…)
Strength Mistake #4: No neural activation
This mistake is costing you a lot of strength potential. Neural activation isn’t really a new concept in the fitness industry but has only in recent years been applied effectively to strength training.
The most notable pioneers of neural activation training are Chad Waterbury & Christian Thibaudeau. For years, both coaches have advocated the rule of never going to failure on compound lifts, and avoiding grinding reps.
This is because the closer you get to failure on each set, the more your central nervous system is fatigued. Your central nervous system (CNS) is the ‘control hub’ that links all your nerve endings to the muscles in your body. A nerve ending has to generate energy to cause the muscle to contract.
Therefore the more fatigued the nerves become the less your muscles can contract, which causes you to lose strength and endurance on each subsequent repetition.
Strength training is really all about managing fatigue, not seeking fatigue.
What you’ll find once you apply this principle is that by managing your CNS and avoiding fatigue you’ll be able to train with more frequency. In most cases you’ll have no trouble training your full body with compound exercises 4-6 times per week.
This is traditionally how Olympic weight lifting athletes have trained. By performing short, but intense, sessions with high frequency this allows them to get the high volume required for muscle growth and neural efficiency, but without wearing them out.
To apply this principle into your training, simply terminate your set as soon as your rep speed slows.
Perform each repetition with explosive speed to activate more powerful muscle fibres.
You’ll find you’ll have less DOMS overall and can train with more frequency and more energy. Not only that but avoiding CNS fatigue actually increases your recovery rate as an added bonus.
So there you have it – use these strength training tips to unleash your potential. Get stronger, get a harder body, and look (and perform) more like a professional athlete.
Justin Devonshire is a Men’s Fitness & Conditioning Specialist. He is the author of the 21-Day Emergency Muscle Building Blueprint – a unique workout & diet plan he used to gain 6lbs of muscle in just 21 days.
Click Here for a FREE copy of this program.
I hope you enjoyed his post folks, and if you want to read the one I did for him click here.