Big Yoke Crossing

Drivers in the US often read warnings about driving safety and deer, particularly during the fall foliage season. Take deer, moose, and Strongman YOKE warnings seriously. Hitting deer, moose, or yoke with your car can kill you, cause serious injury, and smash up your vehicle.

Big Yoke Crossing

Big Yoke Crossing

Please note this legal disclaimer: this drawing is an artist’s conception; any similarities to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Devil Lift (Deadlift) Possession

Early in my lifting “career” I was obsessed with the bench press. It was the lift I trained the most diligently and, as a result, it is definitely my best lift (relative to the other powerlifts, namely the squat and deadlift). Most recently, which is to say, over the past two years, I have become possessed by the Deadlift Devil and can’t stop obsessing over what Owen Smith recently called the “Devil Lift.”

I am writing this Blog because I had a dream about the deadlift last evening … I’m dead serious (no pun intended); I am literally dreaming about the deadlift (no petting the cheetah this time) – perhaps I need to cut down on the post-midnight Tagalongs. Read more »

Unleashing my Inner Parent

Near miss with 500 RAW Bench

“In a perfect world, 99% of the music being made wouldn’t make you question humanity and 100% of the training programs would get you big and strong. That ain’t the case, though.

“Fortunately, there is a solution, and it’s not performing multiple sets of whatever cable Kegel exercise is being pushed as “The Answer.” Just a little hard, smart, basic work.

“It’s boring, I agree. Do you want to be entertained or get big and strong?”

- Jim Wendler

Let’s face it, chicks dig powerlifters much in the same way they dig scars. Most powerlifters have tons of scars too, so we’re batting 1000.

It’s a pain in the neck sometimes, what with all the powerlifting groupies always trying to tear our shirts off. In my own situation, I’ve tried to dissuade the groupies with pervasive coffee breath and by rarely showering, however these techniques have only succeed in propagating the very pheramones that catalyze the initial attraction. It’s a vicious cycle, my friends.

That said, there is another sect of society that thinks powerlifters are big, tough beasts to be feared. I’m here to tell you that although I would never recommend kicking sand in a powerlifters face, there are those of us that can be nice guys, gentle giants (at times), even.

Read more »

Explosive Prowler Pushes and Petting the Cheetah

Explosive Prowler Pushes and Petting the Cheetah

I had such a strange dream last night.

To be candid, I think my sleep has suffered tremendously since the Beast opened its big bloody maw back in January of 2010.

One minute I was in the Agility/Conditioning room in the facility (I’ve not come up with a more clever name for that room yet), with some of the athletes and Bogannam; we were drilling them with Explosive Prowler Pushes. One of the young athletes was pushing the Prowler so hard that it was traveling 50 feet and slamming into the overhead doors with a loud “Baaa Baaam.”

Then in a flash, I was alone in the side yard of my grandparents’ old home in Bridgeport, CT – alone except for a cheetah. Before we discuss the cheetah, I want to touch on a couple of things; one of which may have sent my mind into an ecstatic, dream-inducing spiral.

I received an email last evening from a High School Strength Coach in Connecticut. I don’t know this coach personally (yet). He coaches at a school about 20 miles away from Trumbull and the Fairfield County area.

This coach was suggesting that he’d done some research on Connecticut Strength and Conditioning facilities and from what he could ascertain, Beast was the best facility in the State – that’s a direct quote, “best in the state.” Super high praise for sure, but I feel fairly confident it’s warranted. I’m not without humility, but attaining this level of excellence was always part of the plan. We definitely want to be recognized as one of the top Athletic Training Facilities in the Country. Being average was never part of the Beast Business Model. Being remarkable was always of paramount importance.

Don’t misunderstand me; I know we have a ton of work to do and that there is plenty of room for improvement. We are not where we need to be yet, but at least we are moving in the right direction.

The coach’s email must have been running through my subconscious mind all night, eventually taking the form of the largest cheetah I’ve ever seen. But, before I elaborate on the cheetah (and whether or not I ultimately get mauled) let’s talk about Explosive Prowler Pushes.

Read more »

Hating the Haters

Perhaps it’s the anonymity of the internet, but there’s nothing like a popular blog post to cause vampires to crawl out from their castles and start looking for blood.

- Chris Guillebeau, Personal Development Writer


We don’t want to provide average services to average clients; our goal at Beast, it to provide exceptional services (training/programming/support) to exceptional clients (or average clients looking to become exceptional) – wow, that was a mouthful.

Look, the Strength & Conditioning “Game” is a niche business; and if you ultimately want to be the best in that business, which we do, your target clientele may be an even smaller niche. To date we’ve tried to grow the business organically; which is to say, we get a client (let’s say he or she falls from the sky), we attempt to do an awesome job for our client, and we hope that we’ve created a raving fan and that the word will travel. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. I would give the company a “D” in terms of prospecting, maintaining client lists, and general marketing. The good news is that when you start on the bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up.

We’re decent at using Social Media; Beast is fairly active on facebook, we have a YouTube Channel, with some pretty impressive videos (remember I’m biased – please subscribe to our channel), we Tweet on occasion (although we’ve initiated a “Daily Howl,” that made its debut on Twitter yesterday – 2/16/12); I try to Blog about interesting topics and provide insider observations regarding training athletes, running a warehouse gym, and competitive strongman/powerlifting. Recently, we’ve tried to be more of a presence on the Trumbull Patch, which is a local online news source.

So, we’re definitely “out there,” and the general word of mouth has been extremely impressive; I could beat my chest and tell you about all of the accolades “our” athletes have received, but that’s well-beyond the scope of this topic.

The interesting thing that happens, when you are “out there,” is that you inadvertently open yourself up for public critique and commentary. I don’t mind being critiqued; sometimes receiving an honest critique serves as the catalyst for getting better, so that’s not exactly what I’m talking about. I don’t have a fear of constructive criticism, however I don’t necessarily agree that these types of collaboration should be conducted in a public forum. Read more »