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September 29, 2011

9*29*2011 CHICAGO

I RUN THIS CITY( well walk slowly anyway)
So I had to make a work trip up to Chicago and see some of my Customers in the Mid West.  Luckily My wife was able to take off of work and come with me.  It has been fun this year getting to travel a bit wife her and show her some of the cities I love.  Chicago is probably my favorite city at this point.  Every time I get a chance to head up there I always come home thinking about what it would take for me to move to there for a little while.  I figured it out and decided here are the couple things I need to happen.

Things needed to move to Chicago for a year.
1. Work has to agree that it cool.
       I understand I could just set fire to my shit here and bail but that's not exactly what I am looking for.
2.  Ash's boss would need to give her a year sabbatical. 
3. I need to find three people to rent my house while I am gone for about $500.00 each.
       Don't want to sell yet.
4.  Find an apartment in the area I want to live, Wicker park.
5.  Sell Ash's car.
6.  Buy fixie bikes.

all elastic clothes... like a boss
So if this all happens then I could maybe make this happen for a year.  It would be lots of fun and I have always wanted to experience living in a major city.  Chicago is my only choice of this.  I have been to NY, Philly, LA, SF, they are all ok well honestly NY sucks.  Last time I was there I got kicked out of CBGB's for having too much fun.  Well there is a bit more to that story than that, it involves Coach Gunna fucking dominating, Dant getting kicked in the face,  Dant smoking hand rolled cigs from a bum, Kevin punching shot glasses, stealing bagels, fighting a cabbie, talking our way into places to sleep every night with strangers and drinking out of a suitcase at 7:45am Monday on the subway.  That is a different story and will get told at a later date.  I will also need to start a Matt's legendary story series:check your morals at the door.  Back to Chicago.


We arrived on Fri about midnight after driving up.  Normally this drive is not that bad, but I had a meeting on the way up and a stop with friends for dinner in ST.  Louis.  Lunch was in Memphis at Interstate BBQ this place is fantastic.

Ash has never been through St. Louis so we got there and had a chance to check out the Arch.  I have been driving by this thing on the reg for a couple years now.  It is always really awesome to see.  Getting to go up close to it is something I haven't done since I trip with my parents when I was in High school.  That thing is big as shit and super rad.
If this arch truly represent America's expansion it should be
doubled and gold....ZING

We had dinner with Max (dude is a beast pulls something like 700 at 196 with belt only, side note fuck him, I can throw things far.) and his friend Erin.  She told us one of the most amazing stories I have ever heard.  It's not as good as the I am the Machine story but it is truly un-fucking-believable.  Just the quick once over is that her sister had a kid in the shower, cause she didn't know she was pregnant, then her fiance who she has know for less than 3 months came home from military service over seas to get married (he is babies daddy, he forced a paternity test), she has gained a bunch of weight due to the not knowing she was pregnant thing so her dress doesn't fit, this was fixed by weaving a curtain into it, ring bearer was a dog that ran away at the wedding with the ring, everyone got really drunk and couple is now getting a divorce all in less that a year.  I know that was a giant cluster fuck of a sentence but deal with it.  We ate pizza at this place called PI... get it... like pizza PI... it's clever.  Despite there attempt at cleverness the restaurant was delicious and really nice.

The rest of the drive was uneventful.  We did knock out some movies though.  We watched the following:
1. Blades of Glory-not the best Will Ferrel movie but I like his moronic overly confident asshole characters.
2. Burn After Reading- pretty solid shit get out of hand.
3. Bridesmaids- pretty funny as well the shitting in the sink moment was fantastic.

Serious Business 
Pecan Smoked Jap was great.
After arriving we crashed to get ready for Sat.  While I am in Chicago I always stay with BMFR you met this asshole from the bachelor party story.  Sat was awesome from word go.  We hit up Hot Doug's, this place has the best hot dog's anywhere.  They do some amazing stuff.  The menu has things like french Fries fried in Duck Fat.  These are currently winning the Matt Vincent's best french fries award.  We got a ton of stuff then spent about 30 in driving it into us.  If your in Chicago this place is a must and get there an hour early, cash only, and fri-sat for duck fat fries.

Ash and I spent the rest of Saturday cruising around the Wicker Park area doing some shopping and occasional coffee and beer drinking.  We later took a sweet nap then got our shit together to head to The Standard it is a LSU Alumni bar.  (Bars will decided to host alumni parties for teams with drink specials and show the games.)  This was fun seeing a bunch of drunk LSU dicks in Chicago.  Still amazes me that people can care that much about a sport they have never been good at and a team they never played for.  This was a lot of fun and actually ran into two of my former LSU track teammates.  What is odd is that none of us live in Chicago but all happened to be there at the same time.  It was great seeing Mallory and Brandon.  Post the game we made our way to the Twisted Spoke for "smut and eggs"  this is their amazing combination of 70's hardcore porn playing while they serve delicious brunch.  Perfect.  It also stressed out some of the gays that were partying with us.

It was Al's or Portillos.... Al's was higher rated and on MvsF
Portillos next time maybe it can redeem the Beef.
We slept in and fought hangovers for a good part of the day.  After two trips for coffee, drugs, brunch, and water we gave in and took a nap.  This helped out a ton so that we could make it to dinner.  I don't remember what we had so I guess it was not great.  Then we made our way to one of BMFR's roommates going away parties.  5 star is the name of the bar it has great low lighting, good music, good food, and room with a stripper pole.  The stripper pole in a regular bar will always be covered with fat dudes and chicks trying to be funny/sexy, they are neither.  This place has some turbo hipster drink and food specials.  We had some fun and decided to take the walk home it was a bit over a mile but the weather was nice so we went for it.  Oh I forgot before going out Ash and I went and got tattoo'd.  We both got our wedding anniversary date and I got some lines from a song on my other foot.  Getting my feet tattoo'd still sucks but it is now one step closer to done.
I flipped this pick for you.... boom..."flip you for real."

I had a morning meeting and made it back a bit after 11:00am.  We headed downtown to get some Beef's and do some exploring down Michigan Ave.  Beef's are like Chicago's Philly cheese steak.  They are OK, I guess, they are about the same as steaks in Philly or systems in RI.  Neither of these could wipe the ass of a Darrell's Special.

Hipster Hitler @ Third Reich fashions.
We did a bit of shopping, by we I mean Ash did and I got to pay for things.  I would have got stuff for me but Chicago's lack of clothes in anything over XL prevented it.  We marched(took the elevator to the 95th floor) our happy asses up to the top of the Hancock building and had a drink while enjoying the view.  Pretty sweet action up there however it is hot and service sucks but the view of the city is spectacular.  It is one floor lower than the observation deck at the Sears tower (never calling it Willis tower) and free with drink options.

no one made it FUCK YOU CHARITIES you get nothing.
Does this bean make me look FAT?
We then headed down to Millennium Park.  On the way there was a big crowd gathered at the edge of the river to see some dicks hit a golf ball from the terrace of the Trump tower to a floating green in the river.  No one made it but two guys hit the green then rolled off.  That's a pretty serious shot especially with the 25mph wind.  I don't think I could have done it from where I was watching witch was about 100ft away.  Millennium Park is sweet.  Then we took a nap.  Later thatn night we went and got taco's at a local little shop Flash Taco's then got some bad ass Fro-YO!

Bacon Blue Cheese Fries... staying anabolic
Better than your burgers
Not sure when she became a beer snob?
I had to work again in the Morning.  I returned to find my wife about 4 cups deep in coffee and ready to do work.  We went furniture shopping at West Elm and CB2.  I really like super modern design and these places do it really well and for a decent price.  I'm not paying 90$ for a stupid chrome pigeon, it doesn't even do anything.  We got a new rug, pillows for the couch, and other shit.  While we were on this side of town we went to Molly's Cupcakes.  This place is fucking boss, I like cupcakes cause I'm a fat fatty.  It was kinda strange cause we got to talking to the owner Mike and one of the counter girls.  They were super nice (helps running a business) and actually she was from Lafayette and knows some of the same people we do.  However she did inform us that she moved to Chicago a year and a half ago cause it is a hub for graphic designers.  (she currently works at a cupcake shop=ambition fail)    For lunch we headed to Kuma's Corner for burgers and metal.  I have eaten here before and I thought the burgers were pretty tits.  This time was no different also pretty solid selection of beers.  My burger was the YOB and her's was the ABSU they kick ass just like the bands they are named after.  Then we took a nap.

the YOB..... EFing D!
Later we went out and walked around the WP area again checking out shops and what not.  We ate dinner at This local place Native something or other  the food was good, but it is a vegan joint.  This makes me hate it a bit.  The waiters look like total pussies and have dumb shirts on and lack testosterone due to increased diet of soy and liberal arts degrees.

VEGAN SHIT!!!!! no homo
We hit the road home early and watched all of season one of Boardwalk Empire.  OMAR is still a fucking beast.   Nuccy Thompson ans Al Capone don't give a shit either.  This show is rad and I will definitely be watching season two.

We are home, back to work, and I am looking forward to starting my off season training next week.  I got my new lifting shoes in and my Powerfactor.  This weekend I am going to spend some time getting my garage together and cleaned up.

I want to bite my fingers for making
my wife take this of me... UGH!!!
I'm such a narcissistic prick.

She had butter cream icing up her nose for 2 hrs.  You're doing it wrong.

September 22, 2011

ARTICLE: Are You Training With a Purpose?

Does Your Training have a Purpose?
By Matt Vincent

Training with a purpose is something we should all be doing, but chances are most of you don’t.  I see people who just seem to be getting nowhere in their training.  Even when training logs of people who compete in various strength sports, you see a lack of focus on the end goal.  Many people think that simply getting stronger will improve their sports performance.  While it is true in most areas, that strength gains will bring about improvement in their specific sport.  If you are guys who simply go to the gym for general health or vanity (Dant looking at you) I’m not talking to you because I have no experience with this.  I guess just keep doing whatever you are doing.  However if you are training to compete in a sport then you need to have a plan.  This is the difference in making steady gains or just spinning your wheels.

Thinking about your training correctly is first on the list.  If you are doing training that is not improving your performance then stop.  As a thrower I will never be caught doing bicep curls or calf raises, this is a waste, I could be spending doing something like cleans or squats.  In fact all of your time in the gym should be looked at as GPP (General Physical Preparedness) for your sport.  What I mean by this is that there are no reasons that a guy in the NFL needs to speed a ton of time trying to master technique of Olympic weight lifting.  While hip, back, and leg strength is extremely important this can be accomplished without learning how to properly drop under the weight and catch in the bottom position of a clean. 

Being prepared for your sport isn’t as specific as you may think.  All the weight training you are doing is GPP and should be strengthening your major muscle groups.  Strength sports all require the same base of strong legs, back, hips, shoulders, arms, and core.  After realizing this you know that your major lifts should be the big lifts like squat, dead lift, bench, and overhead pressing.  These compound muscle lifts are the best for sports.  Compound movements are any lift that requires multi-joint movement and several muscle groups working together to accomplish.  There are no sports where you are going to do anything that is going to use just your biceps.  Accessory exercises should help build muscles that support the major areas and be more sport specific.  Conditioning with the prowler or box jump are good examples of this.  It may sound wrong to think that simply max strength is not the answer all the time.  I know that I can squat more when I weigh over 300lbs or more, but the sacrifice of mobility weakens my throwing performance.   It is all a balancing act of strength, speed, and power.  When all three areas are high, that is where you are going to be your best.   No one wants to be the biggest and strongest and the guy who can’t perform in competition.

Train with a purpose and train hard, but be smart as well.  Take some time and look more in-depth in to your training and ask yourself what you want to accomplish.  Life is really short and we all have a limited number of days to truly attack training, so don’t waste it.  If your training is as important to you as mine is to me then you will understand.  There is tons of info out there and all of this is supplemental as well.  No amount of magazines you read or articles on training are going to make you bigger, faster, or stronger.  Only the focused time you spend sweating and pushing yourself will.  Since the time is precious make sure you are using it effectively.

September 21, 2011

9*21*2011 IGHF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS....2nd place


We were picked up at the hotel and headed to the field at 2:30 so that we could start warming up and throw hammer at 4:00pm.  These two events would be contested as the 2011 World Hammer Championships.  I am pretty happy with the order of events the way worlds had them planned out.  

Order of Events:
Fri. 4:00pm
22lbs Hammer
16lbs Hammer

Open Stone 60'4"  Championship Record
So with the evening starting the hammers the weather was a bit chilly, low 50's windy and cloudy.  This made it tough to get warm and the tacky was a bit hard.  In addition to that it had rained for a day or so leading into the contest, so the ground was not ideal either.  But as they say the show must go on and everyone has to deal with the same disadvantages.  The Heavy Hammer is not one of my stronger events I knew that I was going to need a decent throw just to stay in the mix on this one.  I managed 105' which is a little more that 2 feet off my personal best.  I can't really complain when throwing near your best, just so happens my best at this event is still pretty bad.  I finished in 7th place.  There was a bit of drama due to Craig Sinclair of Scotland throwing a monster throw of 119' and then later in the round Mike Pockoski breaking the hammer.  When this happens and the hammer is exchanged for another you go on and restart the current round so that everyone gets the same amount of throws from the same implement.  This was a big throw and a PR for Sinclair but this is how it goes and is the only fair way to go about it.  

HWFD 45'8"
The light hammer went off rather drama free.  The ground was still giving fits to alot of the competitors and we ended up moving the trig every round for both events.  I threw much better with the light hammer.  I finished in 3rd place with a 135'6" throw, this is a PR by 1'6".  I am really happy this worked out the way it did.  Overall Mike was able to pull out the win over Dan Mckim in the Championships by 6" I think.  I need that Pockoski guy to teach me to throw hammers.

After this we went back tot he hotel and did some stretching and contrast work in the hot tub and pool.  This games I really upped my intake of MODERN BCAA from USPLabs and I feel it made a big difference in my recovery from day to day.  That and meat lovers Pizza that Ryan ate half of.  Just making sure I am getting in my lean proteins and fast burning carbs.

Sat. 10:00am
16lbs Open Stone
56Lbs Heavy Weight for Distance
56lbs Weight over bar (standing)

LWFD 85'10"
We got to the field and started in on stretching and getting prepared for the day.  The weather was great sunny with a light breeze at 65*.  Open Stone was the 1st event on day two and this is my favorite.  Open Stone has become a bit of a specialty for me this year.  I was able to win with a new PR and a throw of 60'4".  This is championship record and would have broken the damn Amateur World Record I have been chasing but I am a week late.  Either way I am ecstatic to get this monkey off of my back and finally break the 60' mark.  I will be definitely finding a Track meet to do during indoor season and see how that turns out.  I also fouled my first throw of 58'10" and my third throw of 61'1".  I see there is a bit more in the tank.  

Event two is the 56lbs Weight for Distance.  This has been a strong event this year for me but it is also a good one for everyone else at the top of the list.  Typically 40'+ is a good throw on any day. but that would have earned about 6th this weekend.  My first two throws were 41'+ and 42'10" these were right in the mix of everyone.  On my third I lined everything up and hit a 45'8" throw that also got me the event win and another PR.  

Braemar 46'10"
Caber, well caber has not been a strong event for me ever.  I am going to have to do lots of work on this during the off season.  However with a very difficult stick I pleased the gods and managed three turns and best of 11:50.  This throw got me 3rd place on count backs.  Dan Mckim finished in 1st with a 12:00 on his third throw.  I think he was sitting in 5th or 6th prior to this attempt.  Coming though in the clutch like this is the reason Dan is the top guy in the games right now in the world, unshakable.  This 3rd place finish is what really locked up the weekend for me.

The 56lbs Weight Over bar was our last event for the day.  I have been feeling good about this one.  The previous weekend in MN I threw the standing Amateur World Record of 17'10".  I had some trouble during the contest with trajectory and getting plenty of height but not getting it over the bar.  I had to scratch and claw to stay alive at 15' and then luckily hit 16' on my first throw.  When we went to 17' I had height on two out of the three attempts but not the aim.  I think I placed 4th or 5th.  A little disappointed in my effort here but it was done and time to move on.  I am now sitting 2nd overall with a close 3rd of Pockoski.

Post games:  it was subway for a bit of food and then contrast again.  That night we were all invited out the D'amante's house (they are the family that helps support the games and financially help everything keep going)
for a catered dinner with about 100 guests.  This was a great time and was fun and getting to meet alot of the people who help keep the games running is always nice so we can show them some gratitude for taking such good care of us.  Thanks again to all involved with the games and the excellent hospitality that you showed all of the athletes.
Sun. 12:00pm
20lbs Braemar 
28Lbs Light Weight for Distance
Challenge Caber
Loon Stones

Sunday was nice weather again and had a leisurely start to it.  We didn't begin throwing Braemar stone till 12:00pm.  Braemar is another pseudo shot put event.  This standing throw is another one that I have been doing well all year so I felt good about it here as well.  I threw a PR of 46'8" and finished 2nd.  1st place was won by Poland's Sebastian Wenta. Standing 6'7" and 340lbs he is a monster.  He is probably best know for finishing 2nd in 2007 World's Strongest Man competition.  He had a giant throw of 48'7" it was one of the most impressive things I have seen in a long time.  Typically anything over the 40' mark in this event is guaranteed 1st place and today 4th place was 44'6".  Truly some of the best throws in the world were taking place all day.

The last event of the regular competition was the 28lbs Weight for Distance.  I have been very consistent in this event for about 5 games now.  Again the group did not disappoint Sean Betz and I went back and fourth. At the end I bested him by an inch and a half.  Throwing 85'10" is a great throw for me and felt really good.  This was now my 3rd event win and secured me into 2nd place over all.

We did the challenge caber.  (same stick as the day before)  He is where the wheels came off.  I became my old self and shit the bed all over this one.  I did not manage a turn and looked even more pathetic.  So bad in fact that Pockoski is yelling "Where was this kid yesterday?"  I am just really happy I pulled out the good throws when they counted.  I finished last and was awarded no points or money and asked to stop embarrassing myself.

On to the last of the extra events was the legendary Loon Stones.  This is a pair of stones weighing 274lbs and the other weighting 231lbs.  They are extremely awkward and have different size rings on them and a chain connecting it to the stones.  Some of the strongest men in recent history have made attempts carrying it including Magnus Ver Magnusson and many others.  I was able to win and earn another $500 bucks. 
Infamous Loon Stones.....BRUTAL 
Thank You all for your sacrifices.
ALSO:  During the break from competition a mini stone trowing contest with a group of Veterans representing Wounded Warrior Project.  These young men and woman took time to come out and throw stones on the field with us and have a little contest.  I just personally want to say thanks to them again.  My Freedom is something that I know I often take for granted and you and the others like you are the reason that I have any freedoms.  I will never know what it is to sacrifice what you have fro something you believe in.  Thanks so much for what you have done.  If anyone here has the ability to donate please do.  For all of the Vets out there who were wounded or not, THANK YOU, sincerely from my family.
Throwing the stones

Overall I am really happy with the way it all played out.  I went and threw the best game of my life when it counted.  It is good to know that the training, throwing, and timing all came together like I wanted.  Getting to share the field with these guys is still pretty novel to me.  They are great but they are still the same guys who I spent the last couple of years trying to emulate from videos.  I am looking forward to a heavy and hard off-season I have most of it lined out already.  I am going to take a couple weeks off then start at it.  This week I am heading to Chicago for work and I am lucky enough for my lovely wife to be able to accompany me.  Chicago is one of my favorite cities and I am sure she is going to love it.

Thanks to everyone who has been there for me all year; Ash, Andy, Jim, Stevey P, The Godfather, Sorinex, EFS, Max, MAHK, Pegg, and all of the others that I get to talk training with.  You guys really help me more than you know.  Also thanks to my sponsors for keeping me looking fresh and throwing far.  They are listed to the right and have links please contact them if you need anything and mention you found them through me, might get you a discount.

All videos are from Heavy Athletic Nutrition and Pics from Chip and Joanne Dickie.

September 20, 2011

9*20*11 Traveling to Loon MTN NH

Last weekend I was invited to compete in the IHGF Professional World Championships at Loon Mtn. in NH.   I have never been to NH so this is a new state for me to knock of my list.  I think the only one I am missing now out of New England is Vermont.

View from hotel balcony
The trip was great.  I am still a bit tired so this is not going to be as exciting as it could be.  This area of New Hampshire is beautiful.  I always enjoy being in the mountains since it is such a drastic change of scenery from Louisiana.  Also any time I can escape and get to basque in cool fall weather early I take it.  The weather stayed between 40-70 the whole time.  There is no better throwing weather than sunny and 65 with a slight breeze.

My flights up were pretty standard nothing really new entertaining happened.  I did luck out and get a row by myself on the tiny plane to Charlotte and again on the flight to Boston.  This extra room and the ability to raise the arm rest so that I can spread my awfulness across numerous seats is always a plus.  I watched a couple movies on the way up,  "Attack the Block" and "Hanna".  Both of these were pretty good.  Check them out or don't it is you life.  I wonder if I find movies that I watch on planes or in my truck better than I should under other circumstances?  Perhaps cause they are free and entertaining me through an otherwise mundane day I enjoy them more.

My fresh whip....and chins
After arriving in Boston I waited for my car service to pick me up. (balling son!)  So my Driver picked Scott Rider(thrower from England, also bobsledder for in olympics) and myself in a leather decked out Expedition.  Really comfortable ride and I am sure that since this is my first Pro Games I am now spoiled.  It is about a 2.5hr ride to the mountains from Boston.

The hotel we are at is a mountain resort at the bottom of a ski area.  Really nice however kinda dated on amenities, things like old TV and no WIFI in the rooms. (not having wifi was weird, I could get wifi in the lobby but who the hell wants to hang out in the lobby?)   Any way the hot tub and pool were excellent for recovery.  Doing contrast and stretching everyday really made a big difference in my day to day recovery to throw well.

The contest happened.  I got 2nd.  Pretty pumped on this however it will get its own write up.
sitting on the slopes... smart!

We ate at all the local ski town stuff.  Gypsy Cafe where I had delicious lamb chops and mashed potatoes.  They also had some killer nachos for appetizers covered in steak and cheese.  Everything here was really good but pricey.  Something also a problem people in NH hate Air Conditioning.  This is total bullshit, I am heavy and fat and need cool air and preferably moving cool air blowing on me at all times other wise the never ending battle with swamp ass will be a devastating defeat.  There were a couple of pizza and sandwich shops that were OK.  However there sandwiches are pretty turbo due to hot pepper relish, all places in america should have this.  It takes normal sandwiches and makes them BADASS, like other sandwiches would totally have to hold it pocket and tie its shirt up in a knot exposing it's tender mid drift section while they paraded around the yard.  Even Subway has this and now I know there is something I am missing while I force subway down my throat 10 times a week.  UGH.

Appearance of my sagging chin...  face like Rocky Dennis.
After the contest we went and ate Thai food.  This place was totally sweet, good food and big servings.  Also getting to listen to Rusty tell a story about how he almost killed a legend in our sport with therapeutic bee stings was amazing.  Post dinner all stuffed to the gills we went to party and celebrate.  The club was amazing it was perfect lighting, hot chicks, and good drinks.  And by all those things I mean we went and got ice cream down the street at 7:30pm then went to bed.  The ice cream place has a challenge and so I decided to throw down the $18.00 for it and watch Rusty attack it.  He failed.... so sad was the day.  Ryan Vierra could have plowed through this 5pound container of ice cream and topping no problem.  I decided to call it and crash since I had an early pick up to go to the airport.

Coming home I was picked up by my town car(straight balling again.....)at 2:45am with one of the Maters Competitors and legend Mike Baab.  We laid back in the cut enjoying the leather and discussed all things training and sport.  This was better than sleeping I can do that when I am dead or most nights at 9:30 pm which ever comes first.  The flights home were rough from Boston to Houston 4hrs sucks being jammed against a window by another large human sitting in the middle.  This guy wasn't some circus fat monster just a normal sized guy and that amount of space just doesn't cut it.  So I watched "Sexy Beast", "FAST FIVE" and "Red State"  I'm sure you can all guess which of these was a steaming pile.  "Red State" is by far the best of the movies I watched this weekend.  It is an amazing film by Kevin Smith and the acting is excellent all the way through also brings up some interesting stuff.

Now I'm home and getting to hang out with my wife and start attacking work and the off season.I got to order some new toys for my training this off season so I am looking forward to getting my new lifting shoes and my Powerfactor.

peace out suckas..

September 12, 2011

9*12*11 Another AM world championships and final prep.

This past weekend I made a couple flights and headed north to MN to compete in the Amateur World Championships.  I know some of you will read this and say "wait I thought you already did that?"  The answer is yes.  However, there are multiple Amateur World Championships.  This one I did this weekend has been around for a number of years and has a field mostly of the top Americans with some Canadians and a young Scottish lad thrown in to boot.  I did this games last year and had a great time.  When I was invited back I knew this was going to be possibly my last shot to get to throw against the top American Amateurs.  I have not seen many of these guys since throwing with them in January in FL.  It was a great time getting to talk shit and laugh with this group, is as good as it gets.

I flew out of our shit airport in Baton Rouge.  This thing is small and has nothing to offer, but it is much closer than New Orleans and less people in it so that is a plus.  Air travel is something I typically try and avoid at all costs.  I hate it.  I hate everything about it.  I hate crowds of people, standing in line, touching strangers, dealing with the heard of mutants that they hire to be security, and most of all I hate being uncomfortable.  So I am never very excited about it.  This is why I drive everywhere I can.  After leaving the Baton Rouge airport in a shit tiny plane with very little AC. I made it to Memphis.

This guy designed the airport... probably an asshole.
Memphis airport sucks donkeys.  With its shitty beige brick walls and stupid music inlays in the floor it makes me want to fight the architects and bite my fingers.  There are cheap shitty reproduction restaurants of some of my favorites in Memphis.  Interstate BBQ is one example and  is possibly my favorite BBQ ever.  The airport version sucks.  After eating a really lousy cheese burger from back yard burger.  I made my way to my gate.  This flight however totally redeemed the day.  I had a full row in the back of the plane to myself.  During travel this go round I watched two movies.  "Limitless" I thought was good Ill give it a ranking of cool as finding a dollar in the pocket of pants you haven't worn in months.  The other movie was something a bit different "44 Inch Chest" This english joint (that's what spike lee says so I'm going with it.) about cheating wife and revenge.  Turned out to be a bit more artsy than I expected.  I give it early morning bangers and mash after one to many pints.

shitty burger and fries thanks memphis airport...
This is the way A BOSS would sit on jets... well this or 1st class
(side note: I sometimes wonder about things.  One of those things is what age or maturity will I eventually reach that if the option, to lay across three seats like a savage is available, will I decided to sit in my chair next to fat strangers.  I hope never.)

Just totaled elite for SHW.. pictured while at parallel for SPF.
Finally arriving in MN the weather is good and things maintained a pretty normal schedule.  Stop by the field, head to the hotel, get food, and then lay around watching TV passing in and out of naps.  I did to eat pizza that day and take home every ones leftovers and plow through them the rest of the day working on sweet carb comas.  There was a badass picture on the wall there of this monster fat guy.  It didn't have any info so I figured I could do my own commentary.

For whatever reason my head never felt really in the game.  Warm-ups felt really mechanical and sloppy.  At least I hopefully got this out of the way since next week I will need everything to be firing like a machine.  Well a chubby machine built to throw moderately heavy things slightly above avg distances.

things went well I won 6 of 8 events and managed a new world record in the 56lbs Weight for Height.  I threw 17'10" which is a Personal Record by 10".  This came out of no where, but I'm not complaining and Ill take it.

So moving forward I have one major game remaining in my season.  IHGF Professional World Championships at Loon Mountain in New Hampshire.  This is my first official Pro games so why not start with  one of the biggest most competitive ones there are.  This will 13 total athletes from various countries all over the world.  I am very excited about this opportunity to throw with these guys and it is going to be a shoot out all day long.  My goal for it is to finish in the top 5.


My sweet gear box.. still the consummate gear whore.
This week is going to be all recovery work.  I have Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday to get everything dialed in.  Everyday I will do a full warm-up and stretch along with mobility stuff.  I may take a couple throws on Tuesday but that will be it.  I will attend to any nagging injuries and address them the best I can.  There is no reason to kill myself this week training.  If it hasn't been done strength or technique wise by now it isn't going to happen.  With all that said I can already tell my head is thinking differently about this contest.  Not necessarily nervousness but a focused anxiousness.  I know what I am capable of and that is what I need to go and do across the board in all the events.  I can't afford to drop the ball at all and neither can anyone else.  I have always been better in big competitions than compared to training or smaller ones where nothing is on the line.


Other pics....
I hate signs with shitty puns on them...dummies

Perfect I was hoping to talk to doug about video games and yoga... Just give me my pumkin late hero...

Ground control to Major Tom?

I did come home to my wife kicking the shit out of some naps and a book she picked up for me.  I do love david bowie.  As I have been called by Bert Sorin (name dropper) the GlamAteur.. or the David Bowie of highland games.  That guy looked bad ass in Labyrinth and was effing Nicoli Tesla.   

September 08, 2011

ARTICLE: Making Changes

Making Changes
By Matt Vincent

                In my 14 years of training I have been through a lot of coaches; some better than others.  Almost all of them had something valuable that I learned and continue to use today.   Having the opportunity to learn hands on from different athletes, coaches, and experts is something that I do not take for granted.  The majority of people never leave their training group and rarely get any outside influence.  One thing that I have never understood is an athlete’s decision to stick with a training program that is not working for them or showing any progress.   

There are some basic elements to training that have been successful for me since I started training.  These basic philosophies will never change for me, and this was what I decided would be the most important lifts for me as well as what I was going to use as my indicators for improvement.  Other than this, I believe there is no one training style that will work for everyone.  After taking your basic principles of what you want to accomplish, everything else can be manipulated.  Adjustments can help you dial in what works the best for you to achieve your goals.  There will be times that your workout will have to change due to any number of things: time constraints, season, etc. 
           In stark contrast, I have witnessed athletes who have been relentlessly doing the exact same program for years without any gains.  I tend to notice this more with powerlifters than I do with strongman or throwing.  Part of this is due to strongman and throwing having such a variety of events which you need to be prepared.   Powerlifting only has three main events.  I know that there are now federations that do not have a squat and replace that with a curl in some cases.  This, however, is stupid and will not be given any consideration.  If you are competing under the guise of this, then you are doing it wrong anyway.   I have never understood the hardheaded approach to training wherein, “after a year of training a certain way did not get me the results that I was hoping to accomplish, why on earth I would continue down that path to further failure?”  With this type of a problem, an honest look at your training and weaknesses needs to be done.  Once these weaknesses are determined, addressing them is the next step. For example, if you are strong but have trouble hitting depth squatting due to mobility issues, then your flexibility needs to be addressed.  As often as you see that scenario, you also see the other, where guys go to the gym and change the program they are doing every two weeks.  These same fellows will complain that it didn’t work for them.  Well, of course it didn’t dummy.  Anytime that something new gets added to training you need at least six weeks of dedication to determine if that is working for you.

Get on a basic plan…whatever it is.  One of the basic programs I started with after college was the “west side for skinny bastard” program, which helped me build all of the basic fundamentals that I needed. Since then, I have experimented with variations of “5/3/1” and “Block Periodization”.   Through all of this, I have maintained my basic principles of what I hoped to accomplish.  I know for throwing I need strong legs, back, hips, shoulders, and arms, no matter what program. If these things are not being addressed then I will not get the results that I want.  Now, I had to examine my own lifting experience to determine what variables worked best for me.  Deciding how much conditioning, what volume of lifting, what percentages, volume of throwing, stretching, mobility, and bounding work combined together to achieve my goals the most efficiently has been where my main focus. 
            I still adhere to the basics (squat, bench, deadlift, and press) every week.  I need mobility and conditioning of some type every day.  Occasionally, I need to stop and look back to make sure I have not veered far from these basic plans. 

In conclusion, spend some time to determine what works best for you and stick with it only making micro adjustments to see if you can make improvements.  There is no such thing as a perfect program, but figuring out what is the most effective training method for you at that given time is crucial.  Lift hard and often.  With consistent training, comes (usually) bountiful gains. Poetic, ain’t it!?

one of these days I will finish all of this...

September 07, 2011

9*7*11 Training

So I got my head straight and decided to do my training.  I did not feel like it today or yesterday for that matter but, it needs to be done.  So after taking my pre-workout shake and loading some new music to the ipod it was time to do the little bit of lifting and throwing I have Rx'd.

Todays workout music is the newest LIL' WAYNE ALBUM, THE CARTER IV.... this album so far is super good but I do love me some WEEZY.  I'm straight hood.  "Real G's move in silence like Lasagna."  that shit don't even make sense.....and it doesn't have to.  "It gets the people going!"...Will Ferrell.

Anyways, sorry training was nothing spectacular tonight it went like this.

Warm-up: x 3
jump rope x 100 ( I want to be able to do rocky shit currently I jump rope like a stuffed bag of shit.)
pvc roll- back, quads, hip flexors, glute
jav stretch

Axl Press:
bar x 10 x 3
135 x 5 x 3
225 x 3 x 3
265 x 2 x 3

Throwing:(all done on concrete in throwing shoes)
Ostone: used 16lbs shot
standing throws x 5 best of 51'
fulls x 15 best of 58' (10 over 55')
fulls x 15 best of 86' (10 over 80')

All in all things are right where I want them to be.  I am going to take my last shot at breaking the Amateur Open Stone Record 60'3".  I have thrown 59'10" this year.  I am hoping everything feels right and I can make this happen.  Other than that I just want to have a solid performance across the board.  I can't afford to bail on an event next week at worlds so might as well get ready for it.

I am looking forward to sharing the field again and possibly for the last time, at least for a min, with some of the other top AM's.  This game was a lot of fun last year and super competitive, it actually came down to a three way tie for 1st with Wes Kiser, John O'neil, and myself heading into WOB.  I managed to pull it out and threw a PR of 16'7".  Needless to say I am very excited.

CA: Pleasanton Games Part 2:

So we started the day like any other competition day for me.  I don't really have much of a pregame ritual but there are certain things that usually help he get my head right.  In college I thought I needed way more prep time that I really do I guess this comes with maturity.

After getting up at about 5:30am (my sleep cycle never really switched to west coast time)  I took a shower, dominated a deuce,  and did some simple stretching.  After Ash got up we went down for breakfast.  This was a slightly better than typical hotel breakfast buffet.  I threw eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes, and veggies on to a plate and tried to reassemble a scramble.  A scramble is the breakfast at the small restaurant that we ate at while in Enumclaw, WA.  I feel like I'm chasing the dragon with this one.  After paying an outrageous $30+ bucks for this breakfast the wife and I pound some more coffee and follow some of the pro guys out to the field.  We managed to talk our way into free parking in the lot closest to the competition field.  I also found out this was a 2 day contest, this is something that I failed to pay attention to before.  OOPS.

We get on the field in time to check, stretch a bit, get gear on, and start warming up.  The weather is great somewhere in the high 60*s with a bit of sun.  I am feeling pretty good but my head is a bit off, for whatever reason.  4 warm-up throws and it is go time.

What an amazing looking group of people.

1st event: Open Stone 17.6lbs  54'2" 1st place
This stone never during warm ups, but what the hell now is the time to throw less thinking more balls.  1st attempt is a foul out the left side of the trig.  I am not getting over the left like I had been in practice so I am driving to far left.  2nd throw is 54' 2" this is enough to put me out front but with John Davis in the crowd I know I will probably need more than that. 3rd is also a foul.  I lucked out on this one as well, John did not hit one right either.  After the finish John and I talked a bit about what I need to do to throw it over them mountains.   Thanks John for the insight.

2nd event: HWFD 56lbs  44'1" 1st place
I am starting to try and get in a bit of a competition rhythm.  We start our warm-ups for this one I take about three of these.  This implement has an odd shaped handle, so I have to use my thumb condom to throw with.  Fat handles kick the shit out of my thumb.  1st throw fouled this throw as well.  I have not had this many fouls in a long time.  2nd attempt was around 41'  I figured this would be a solid throw but Robin Knebel is capable of throwing better than this.  So I was going to have to attack the last one.  3rd was nearly a foul but I managed to save it and then get the chance to restart.  I think I came back and got a solid throw to about 42'+.  I took one extra throw and finally got it together 44'+.  I was missing the low point in the back of the ring and having something to drive against.  If I don't do this I will travel to far with the weight to the left side and eventually no be able to finish the throw over the left side like I need.

3rd event: 16lbs hammer  131' 1st place
As of right now this is my weak spot.  If I am hoping to compete where I want to as  pro I need to be consistent over 135' and over 140' pretty regular.  So I have some stuff to work on for sure.  1st attempt, felt solid I think was 120'+ I don't remember exactly.  2nd attempt was a bit better around 128'.  3rd was my best at 131'.  There are some major things that I am doing wrong with this throw and some things that I need to be doing but I am not yet.

4th event: caber tiny thing 17' >100lbs ( I think) 4th
There is not much to say about this stick.  It was really small and kinda a crap shoot as far as placing goes.  I turned it 3 times and with a best of 11:45.  I think almost everyone turned it and with the track being off camber and really hard it is as much luck as skill to what is going to happen when it goes over.

5th event: WOB standing only knock off bar. 1st
The contest started at 12' I think I waited till 13' to come in.  Typically I would wait till 15' to come in but with the slope of the ground and a knock off bar I wanted to try and get a rhythm of where I wanted to be.  I managed to win and go 16'.  This has been an avg throw for me.  I took a couple of shots at 17 and slammed the bar a couple times, nothing was really close to going over.

This brought about the end of day 1.  Ash and I headed back to the hotel to clean up.  I went and got in the pool and tried to do some stretching and recovery work.  The water was nice and cool  not quite like an ice bath but since I am a little lady when it comes to ice baths, this was good enough.  Now that we are dressed we went to get some dinner at Outback.  Nothing like some good Australian food (Hopefully I can channel Matt Sandford and use some OZ power.) to get me right and put my heavy ass to sleep.  I ate 4 lbs of cheese fries, steak, and a potato.  I was a sleep by 9:00pm  yeah I fucking party. 

Same start as the day before up early, shower, then to food and coffee.  We decided to skip the expensive disappointment in the lobby.  Seriously they didn't even have a waffle machine what is this the 1800's.  We picked up some things for the day at target. Breakfast was brought to you by Starbucks and there delicious oatmeal. We got a blanket to lay around on, napping in the shade in CA is one of the greatest thing I remember about throwing on the west coast during college.  Then came warm-ups and stretching and on to 1st event.

1st event: Breamar 26lbs 39'1" 1st place new field record
This stone is a monster, it is like throwing a rough heavy bowling ball.  after spending sometime trying to make sure I can find a hand on it we get started.  1st throw, 37'+ . 2nd I tried to get down to a lower starting point but I am not strong enough to pull it off with this stone.  3rd was 38'4" so a couple inches off the field record. This field record was set in 1982 so 29 years it has held firm.  I took all three extras and on my last one I hit a 39'1" throw to break the record.  I hope my record stands just as long but, I seriously doubt it.  The upcoming talent is solid.

2nd event: LWFD 28lbs 85'10" 1st place new field record
I have been throwing the 28 really well lately so I expected some good stuff.  This implement was a tough one.  It has a fat handle and feel really dead in the hand.  Warm-ups never felt good or far.  1st felt bad and hung in the hand, it still went 82'+ to my surprise.  Other throws never really felt much better.  In extras I got one together the best I could and threw 85'10 on my last throw.  I broke a two year old record from Chad Gustin. (I know his throw was definitely sexier though)

3rd event: 22lbs hammer 107'6" 1st place PR
I am still trying to figure this one out.  My throws with the light hammer are not translating yet to the heavy.  Normally you can expect about a 20' drop in distance between the two, I have a 30'.  I started using a more dynamic start (ripped of Eric Frasure thanks buddy) and it felt good so I figured why not go for it.  My series went 103', 104', 107' I am happy with this a PR is a PR.  I am hopping that my big throw of about 115' will happen in two weeks.

This finished up the regular competition,  I won 7 of the 8 events.  This games was a lot of fun and the group of A's competing were great to throw with.  I will miss tossing with these dudes.  We now broke for lunch and headed back for two championship events the caber and wob again.

Caber:   I got lucky and pulled out the win on this one. We went with a bigger caber, 18' 119lbs. I "turned" the stick and went 9:00, 85*, and a fifer.  It was good enough to win that day and make some cash $40. Straight turning sticks cashing checks....

WOB:   This was almost a repeat of the day before.  I did come a bit closer to hitting 17' but no dice.  So another event win and another $40.  LIKE A BOSS....

All in all it was a great time.  It was very well run and I hope that I get the chance to come back and throw there again next year.  Here is the Video of the contest.  Enjoy.  Also notice my Bad Ass pink tights.

September 06, 2011

9*6*11 day one lower... training and throwing... NOW WITH VIDEO

Today I am a bit stiff still from the trip and competition.  However since there is only a small number of training days left before worlds I have to take advantage.  Also today it seems that Ash managed to fit the Bay Area's weather in her bag and brought it home with us.  So with the hi today in the low 80's I decided I would be doing myself and my training a disservice if I just sat on my ass all day.  Here's how it went.

Warm up- x 5
jump rope x 100
pvc roll
philly ball roll
eblow rehab
band good mornings

bar x 10 x 3
135 x 5 x 2
225 x 3 x 2
315 x 2 x 4

22 hammer x 2 (on the second throw the head shot off before the throw I think it was about to go almost 200'  My Fat like reflexes saved me from going down though.)
16 hammer x 12 best of 133'  (felt solid I like the dynamic start.  I am going to keep playing with it.)

I figured while the ground is soft following whatever this Lee storm was supposed to be, I will throw some hammers.  These are my weakest event that I can train.  (Caber is way worse but I don't have one and probably wont have one in the next two weeks.)   So may as well strike while I can and try to make some improvements so I don't get to embarrassed at worlds.

9*6*11 BACK FROM CA... part 1

So Ash and I got home last night around 8:00 pm.  I am still pretty tired and my low back feels like mashed up assholes.  We boarded our 1st flight in Sacramento at 9:25 and stayed on the same plane through stops in LA, and Denver finally getting to New Orleans at 6:45pm.  However the flights were pretty uneventful and we were able to spend most of the time in the bulkhead seats with the just the two of us on our row.  This makes for a huge difference in travel since I have room to stand up and stretch when I want to.  None of this is new to those of you who also travel regularly, so on to the trip.

Day 1:  Travel and being failed by friends bad choices in restaurants
I married up... part of my code
We got up and rolled out heading to New Orleans to catch our leaving flight at 10:00.  No big deal there.  My wife looks infinity more attractive than I do anyways and especially on days that I am setting up for long travel.  Personally I cant bring myself to wear anything but sweatpants/shorts and light t-shirts.  I am trying to fight the non stop war on swamp ass all day.  The two of us have not had the chance to travel together other than our honeymoon since we drove up the east coast two years ago.  She was a great travel companion, one of the best parts is that she goes about it the same as I do with minimal expectations and takes it as it comes.

SAN DIEGO--rough translation "A whales Vagina"
We arrived in Sacramento at near 4:00pm after a short layover in Whales Vagina (San Diego).  We sat and had an older latin couple tell us about there travels and what we needed to do while in San Francisco.  Old people are Honey Baddgers they just don't give a shit if you have headphones in and are not listening. They will keep talking and eventually awkward you into the conversations.  So out the airport, get bags, and onward to pick up the whip.  This trip we have the luxury of navigating the bay area in a Nissan Versa.  This car is the cheapest option and feel just like that.  However it is easy to park and help all of our shit.

Driving into San Francisco from Sacramento takes about 1hr and 30mins so we stopped and grabbed IN-N-OUT like fucking bosses and made our way into town.  We were fortunate that our GPS (Shelia- this is the name of our cunt GPS voice) rerouted us away from traffic and sent us over the Golden Gate Bridge.  This was fun and now after being in CA for an 1hr we have now checked out the Golden Gate Bridge and smashed some double doubles.  Pretty solid so far.  Arriving at our hotel (the Metro) in downtown SF was easy enough then parking was another thing.  Our room was quaint with a tv the size of my head, but who needs it.  We showered and cleaned up to meet some friends for dinner.

little of the old IN-OUT, IN-OUT

having some Double Vodkas and bangers and mash... you betcha.
Dinner was originally planned for Tiernan's Irish Pub,(here is the YELP page for it.  Yelp is good if you are new to traveling and have never used the internet before.) this place is down by Fisherman's Warf and my buddies Duncan and Jonathan have gone every year for awhile.  (no self-respecting Ultra-marine would eat or drink here.)  Well while still respecting my friends opinion on things, Ash and I arrive before them by about an hour.  This place is tourist central and currently has a mutant running/singing awful karaoke.  There are laser lights and shitty "Fridays" fake memorabilia stapled to all of the walls.  Now that both my wife and I are pissed and can't get drinks from the Pikey wait staff fast enough to combat the onslaught of awful on our senses.  We text our friends tell them them we hate them and we are heading somewhere better.  After about 15 seconds on my phone we found a much better destination called The Irish Bank, and it is awesome.  Great atmosphere (dark and outdoorsy) and waitresses that are trying to make a living.   After finally leaving here and catching another cab back to the hotel we finally pass out kinda drunk, thank you vodka.

Day 2: San Francisco Day

Coffee- CHECK
We woke up with a bit of a headache from all of the excitement the night before, then promptly made our way to get coffee and breakfast rations.  There is a small place up the road that my wife wanted to go to.  It is nothing special but the coffee was good and the food was aces.  This place is kinda a locals joint called Eddie's Cafe.  This place uses random coffee mugs as their mugs.  I got a sweet giants one while Ash's was hearts like cartoon boxers.  After filling our tanks with black gold we set out to explore the city.(also I got a parking ticket for not having my wheels turned to the curb on a hill better than 3% grade.  WTF!!! $50 great stupid local law bullshit.)

That bee next level pollinator... mother nature thanks you.
Since where we were staying was right next to Golden Gate Park we started there.  This place was beautiful and holds some different gardens.  Our first stop was the Botanical Garden, this place was super cool.  The exhibition that was on display was "Wicked Plants" (this is referring to that the plants sting or kill things, not that they are Bruin, Sox, or Celtic fans.)  Not much to say about it but plenty pictures.

Venus Fly Trap doing work...
These are cactus....BOOM!!!

I fight back.....

it's the beach dummy.
I eat a lot of carbs I mean Crabs . Well we know truth.
After that we headed over to the beach and gave it a good looking at.  The sand in CA sucks compared to FL and the water is cold.  But I guess it is the reason that San Francisco feels like the AC is always on and Home feels like the inner circle of hell.  There were a couple of sweet ass crabs on the beach, as well as rocks and what not.  We loaded back in the Versa and stopped for more coffee.  unbeknownst to us the restaurant we stopped at over looks the ruins of the Sutro Baths.  This was a giant ocean water filled bath house where dudes and chicks wearing dumb swimsuits could use water slides and swim laps.  Pretty sweet, so we gave further inspection finding a cave.

Ruins of bath House
used to be this... worst MTV spring break ever.

that's my boo.. I can see her aura.

I snuck around the barrier.... FUCKING REBEL
When we finished all of the wandering around the coasts we determined that we were hungry again and in fact it was time to find Mexican food.  We made our way to our previously decided lunch destination of Taco Shop at Underdogs.  This place has by far and way the best fucking fish tacos I have ever had, that mixed with a pint of Anchor Steam made for a fantastic lunch.  This place was great, good service, cold beer, delicious food, and good music playing.

Full table of TACOs....SMART
The Armory-Where dreams and girls with daddy issues go.
Now powered by the best tacos ever we made our way to Haight St.  There are a ton of vintage shops and other bullshit over there.  Lots of people and no clothes that fit fat people like me.  Ash found some stuff she wanted so that was cool.  Very touristy area, next time we come there will be no reason to stop here.  OH I forgot on the way we made a swing by The Armory in downtown.  This place has been used for all types of shit, but now currently is owned and operated by and they can make a great fuck picture.

After exhausting ourselves walking around at such great altitudes we decided it was time to head to Pleasanton and check in to the Hotel.  We ate some giant ass noodle bowls for dinner at a place completely getting ripped off the apple logo.

Get day one of competition in part 2.  Stay tuned it's a cliff hanger.
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