Friday Distractions

Steve & Kelsey Compete in a Wife Carrying Contest

I just returned from a trip to Pennsylvania and was trying to think of a very brief yet entertaining blog to post before heading into SAPT for the day. What immediately came to mind was to share a snippet of something AWESOME that Kelsey and I got to participate in last weekend: A wife carrying contest. What are these weird and wild things I speak of, you ask?

Well, some good friends of ours are getting married, and, instead of holding a women-only bridal shower (which is typically done....I think...) as part of the pre-wedding festivities, the couple wanted to have a large group, co-ed get together. Since their goal is to move to Finland after they get married, they desired to host a Wife Carrying Contest in honor of the national game of Finland.

Needless to say, the event was hilarious, fun, and challenging all at the same time (more than one couple took a spill upon the man tripping and falling headfirst).

Annnnddd......Kelsey and I took the gold medal, so you can rest assured your SAPT coaches did you proud! (Kelsey wrote a post on training for a wife carrying contest HERE, if you're interested)

Fortunately, someone grabbed an action shot of us, so I have proof that I'm not making this entire contest up:


"Why are you carrying Kelsey upside down like that" is probably the question you are asking me. Well, there are typically four ways to carry the woman (piggyback, over-shoulder, fireman carry, and upside down), and since the upside down method is the one typically used by the national champions in Europe, I figured I'd be foolish not to carry Kelsey like that. Naturally.

Here are a few wife carrying contest rules:

  • The course has two dry obstacles and one water obstacle (typically a meter deep).
  • The minimum weight of the wife to be carried must be 108lbs. If the wife does not weigh this much, then she must wear a backpack/rucksack on her to make her weigh at least 108lbs.
  • The contestants only run the race two at a time (so you only have two couples running at once). The best time is then taken to determine the winner.
  • The winner receives the wife's weight in beer.
  • And, perhaps my favorite: The wife to be carried may be your own, the neighbor's, or "you may have found her farther afield", but she must be at least 17 years of age.

I'm heavily considering traveling to Maine (the North American wife carrying contest is held up there) to do this because, well, I don't think I really need to explain why this would be so epic.

Anyway, I'm done for now, hope you all have a great weekend.

Stuff to Read 3/29/12

21 Exercises For Injury Free Mass - by Bret Contreras

Here Bret makes a solid case for the fact that not all lifters are created equal, and that their exercise selection should reflect this. Yes, squatting is good for many of us, but what if you're beat up? What could you use in place of it to receive a similar strength, size, and hormonal response?

Don't get me wrong, I'm near dogmatic about the fact that a host of human issues - world hunger being one of them - could be solved with a healthy dose of squatting and deadlifting, but this article really resonated with me as sometimes we tend to "shove square pegs into round holes" in our training, instead of swallowing our pride and training SMART when the time/circumstance calls for it.

It's All About the HIPS: Kettlebell Swings! - by Kelsey Reed

Here Kelsey gives an awesome write-up on one of the most excellent booty-scultpin' exercises out there. She covers everything from learning the swing to how to implement it into your training.

Definitely a must read, as I can't tell you how many people have told me they've hurt their backs as a result of poor kettlebell swinging. Get those HIPS involved yo!!

A Strength and Conditioning Coach’s Take on Social Media - by Ryan Wood

Ryan Wood delivers a guest post on regarding the importance of social media for strength coaches and personal trainers. As Alwyn Cosgrove once told me at one of his small business coaching seminars that I attended, "You coaches and trainers may be great at training people, but suckwhen it comes to the marketing and business side of the equation."

Not to mention, for you strength coaches and trainers in the crowd looking for some advice on how to use social media, to your advantage and to its fullest potential, I HIGHLY recommend you keep up with what Lisa is doing with her new business over at Agility Social Cues. She REALLY knows her stuff when it comes to marketing, and is tossing out tons of free knowledge bombs over at her website on a weekly basis.

Not to mention, she walks the walk of picking up heavy things. Need I say more? Do yourself a favor and head over there.

.....That's it. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Random Friday 12/9/11

Here are some various links and videos you can use to entertain yourself until you break free of the office this afternoon... 1. First, in case you missed them, here the posts from earlier this week:

Chinup PRs and Newton's 2nd Law --> Here I discuss why focusing on the acceleration of the movement might just be the piece missing in your quest for strength. Also, you get to see my wife hit a +45lb chinup personal best, along with why F=ma helped her get there.

Elbow Pain? I've Got Your Fix --> Sarah does a great job discussing some causes-->solutions of the oh-so-pervasive elbow pain in our society of office workers and athletes alike.

Is Exercise Selection Really the Most Important Programming Variable? --> An understanding (or lack thereof) of this concept is definitely something that separates the men from the boys (or women from the girls, so to speak) when it comes to writing effective strength and conditioning programs.

My Attempt at Poetry --> If you're looking for some light Dr. Seuss-ish reading material, coach Romo wrote a fairly lengthy poem on an athlete achieving her first bodyweight pullup.

2. The Contreras Files, Volume 1

Some great stuff in here. Bret Contreras does a fantastic job taking research re: glute activation, hip hinging, bench pressing, you name it...and translating it in a way that makes it easy to understand for coaches and lifters alike. Check it out HERE.

3. Here is my awesome cat, Oops. As you can see, she is part polar bear, part tiger. The perfect crossbreed.

4. Wow. And I thought I was decent at pullups....

6. The more I use them, the more clear it becomes that people need to be doing Bulgarian Goat Belly Swings before they progress to anything else in the weight room. More on this later though.

Have a great weekend everyone.