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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

500 S&W Magnum

This is what happens when you visit coach Pendlay's parent's end up shooting an AK 47, snipper riffle, some other crazy machine gun, and last but not least, the most powerful hand gun in the world, a 500 S&W Magnum.  The lady you hear in the background is Coach's mom, and she was calling me out hardcore.  Lol  After the first shot I was shaken up, but then when the whole Pendlay family told me to shoot the cannon with one hand......well......let's just say my wrist still hurts to this day.  I had to post this because Coach was almost in tears today telling the whole team about how much of a wimp I was, so I defended myself with the only thing that truly made sense to me, "Do you even lift"?! 

Clint Eastwood 2016 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Garage University

Muddy protein shake full of exploding chunks of chalky powder hit your sleepy and confused face as you wake before sunset.  Most mornings, you are confused why you cut your dream world early for training.  Some days, you don't know why you train at all.  Some days, sleeping in sounds so nice.  Quiet as a mouse, almost as if your house was waking from a good night sleep as well, this cold morning needs life, and the sound of dripping coffee creates the first few sparks.  The background noise from the morning news makes you feel less home sick, even though it's been forever since you lived under your parent's roof.  Just the thought of how many polar bears must be roaming throughout your garage makes you grab your coffee early and begin chugging.  Hello world. Good morning training.  A scruffy face and a dirty white sweat suite only says one thing.... Gladiator.  A gladiator who will soon do something most people would run from, wouldn't imagine doing, would call you a freak and freak you are.  I'm not there with you, but I am.  I'm not there right now, but I have been.  Self motivation is a sport of its own, a beast that is hard to take down alone.  Lonely as fuck, beat to crap, and for some messed up reason, a single tear will drop for no apparent reason.  But let me ask you something, if that tear drops, will it make a splash?  When that PR goes down, will it make a noise?  Yes it will, yes it mother f'n will.

No teammates to push you, just the sound of the garage door opening and Klokov yelling through YouTube.  No coach to make sure you show up on time, but you are always 5 minutes early. Open your garage for cool air, because the air in this garage is sticky and heavy.  A heavy soul with heavy weights. Heavy thoughts weigh you down, only 'til you slam them fuckers down.  Standing outside on your driveway scares your neighbors, yes, yes it does.  You're that guy, you're the freak and you welcome it, if you don't you should.  I welcome it, we welcome it.  Tired of trying to fit in, tired of trying to become someone you're not, so now you do what the fuck you want to do, and pouring coffee over your head and smashing coffee cups at 6 am is what we love to do. Creating our own fight club on ourselves.  Training with Brad Pit can cause seruise wounds, but huge gains.   Dirty weights make for better weights.  Rusty bars make for more PR's, and Bob and Jill driving by in disgust means they must be late for their white sheep meeting.  I don't accept.  Do you people here me?  I will not! "I'm going to show you how great I am." "The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place, and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, and nobody is going to hit harder than life. It ain't about hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's HOW WINNING IS DONE!"  Let the rust from the bar harden your hands making your hook grip sharper than Hook himself.  You don't like me, good....I don't like you.  This is my gym, and your not welcome.  My rules, my program, my technique, my life.  Get your degree in sports science, ill get mine from the smell of fire wood pilled high like sand bags around my platform. Blood and dirt baby, blood and fucken dirt.

I train in a fancy gym, fully sponsored, paid, worked on, waited on....... I can't tell you how many times I miss and wish I could go back to being the garage warrior.  The rough tough son of a bitch that needs no one but heavy metal rock music, energy drinks, and a fucken bar.  Give me a bar and I'm a dog with a bone.  I don't want a pencil, I want a bar, I want happiness.  Our garage is dark, but we see fine, better yet we see better, better yet we like it dark because light makes us weak.  We like pain because pain makes us feel alive.  Weightlifting pain takes away some of the internal pain, pain where the demons live, pain that bangs against these black keys, pain I call, we call, the Dark Orchestra.  Turn up the music and keep training, never stop.  I salute you. You...... the garage lifter who slams bars when no one is watching.  I salute you, who completes your last few drop sets, the last rep, the last few squats.  You, the crazy son of a bitch who completes the full workout that you gave yourself!  I know how hard you train because I was there.  We are family, we came from the same class.  We come from the garage.  We live in the dark and eat dirt.  We come from the outcast university.  We come from F report cards and meth pipes.  We graduated from early morning and nasty protein shakes, and a world of pain and hell that only makes us appreciate peace and family even more.  So just know next time you see me training with my shiny bar and fancy weights, I truly truly envy you, wish I was training with you, and absolutely respect the shit out of you.  I salute you, I salute the garage lifter.

Attitude Nation Straps are finally out! Choose from many different colors and two different styles.  Its been a long time in the making to produce perfect straps, and we finally nailed it!  Made by SLAM BARS KILL PR's! 

Blood & Dirt 2016

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dynamic Start

Rock back then release.  Churn your body up and down 'til the butter is ready.  Become a seagull violently dropping down to snatch its prey.  Open your mouth wide to inhale strength and confidence, only to exhale all of your fears.  Yell so loud that your voice echoes back to the classroom you failed so badly.  Let everyone know before breaking the weight from the floor that you have already broken from the path you once walked upon.  Move before moving.  Move my friend, and never let anyone get in your way.  Gain speed to break through the wall of life.  Add momentum to your pull to pull off greatness in this sport.  Gain power in this life to shut the trolls up that stay hidden away in a cave full of super hero posters that they somehow can't figure out how to become.  Oh yes, I lift with massive energy and a massive heart.  So much anger it could kill an elephant.  So much passion it could make Juliet kill herself.  I write with a violin that speaks way more words than I could ever speak.  I listen to this song that Donny has sent me thinking of the only thing that really matters, "Move boy" -Shankle.  Good bye writer's block, hello dynamic start.  Cigarettes and coffee keep me writing, or better yet.... moving.  A "Move boy" will make you move, and that's exactly what these fingers full of salt water are doing.  Slam your bar full of bloody eyes and a sore soul.  I'm with you, we are with you.  I know why you are in sports, you can't hide.... you can lift but not hide.  

A cold turkey dynamic start works great for small violins that play throughout this Orchestra of weightlifting, but deeper battle wounds must find more ways to lift the heavy bar above head.  Attach horses to your stings and play on. This will create less heart ache, but many more hateful opinions, comments and a huge fan base of haters.  What kind of odd balle movement does your favorite lifter perform? And will you try the same?  Why is this very important subject never talked about?  Why are so many important details in this sport never talked about? Why are all the "Elite Professionals" staying hush hush?  There is so much more to this battle than technique and strength.  Moving before the bar breaks the floor can take you and drop you off in better positions throughout the journey of the pull.  If you feel you are getting out of position and the weight is redirecting you, then try a start that will fit to your liking.  

I have tried over a million dynamic starts. Many have worked and many have failed.  The ones that have worked, I always have felt could be even better. So I kept on changing them, always wanting to learn more about myself as a weightlifter and as a technician. I continued my work in the lab, working with myself and keeping an open mind to new ideas.  A changing sea is what it took to see the gold sand I now bath in today.  My start still slightly changes to this day, but not much. I stay close to my 166kg snatch aka home.  I recently clean and jerked a new PR at 195kg.  This is due to changing my dynamic start in the clean.  I was noticing that my dynamic start in the snatch wasn't carrying over well in the clean.  So the last few months, I have been working on a few ideas that have recently paid off.  The idea I have come across is what I will use to win Gold at Americans.  Seeing a dynamic start on video gives it no justice.  The creature lives within you and me, not for anyone to see or understand.  You may never understand my start, and I may never understand yours.  We can see and grasp the surface of a dynamic start, but the magic that lies within our body can never be detected, this is why there is no right way to complete a dynamic start.  This is why I am not writing on what I actually do, but more of what this kilo adding creature can do for us weightlifters when understood and fitted to each individual lifter.
Kilo Creature 2016

Ego Effect

Really Fun show today.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Plus: PR Clean & Jerk video below! 

Eagle Jerks  2016

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Garbage Thoughts

Taking the garbage out, with my eyes glued to the pavement, side to side I walk in silence as training hunches over my back like a monster monkey constantly bringing up the past. I'm not going to write bullshit, I just won't.  It's fucken freezing out here, and where the hell are all the damn people?  Just me I guess, just like that scary silence while you stand on the platform.  Eyes piercing through your soul like wolves about to set the dinner table.  Camera flashes like you're behind the fence at the zoo, but this morning nothing.... just another schmuck waving to the first person I see walking their five pound dog.  Peeing with one hand behind my head, itching and itching while the traffic jam thoughts turn my veins green, cutting off all circulation to my brain.  Face in the dirt while my eyes turn into a mud hole of no real direction.  Writer's block is what I speak of, a fucken curse that has entered my daily love affair with the Orchestra of pain and suffering.  I'm back now, I hope you have forgiven me for reposting some older blogs, blogs that I should add, are some of my favorite that I personally like to read over before training.  Some adding kilos, and some taking away.  Train is all I do, I swear.  It's like a pasta dish that never seems to have a bottom, just more pasta.  

My body hurts, and my mind pinches in pain like a small paper cut that lingers with you for days among days.  Here is the twist, my numbers are going up, and my training is through the roof right now.  I'm faster and stronger than I have ever been, more confident, more consistent, more experienced.  What does this so called great news mean?  Well I will tell yea, it means I'm fucked.  It means I'm stuck training for many more years beating myself up like a rodeo clown.  Don't get it confused now, I love it. I'll die doing this. I'm a gladiator that cannot be put down.  A freak that breaths chalk and spits out PR's.  Snap this gold medal off my neck and raise it high for all to see, now yell with everything you have until the judges throw you off stage.  I work too hard to leave the platform. I'll stand 'til they throw rocks and boo me off stage, an image that bounces back and forth in my head as I take the garbage out.  Side to side I walk in the dark cold nights, swearing I am seeing things in the trees.  I'm fast, but not fast enough to run from whatever the hell lays behind those woods that seem to be gaining closer and closer around my house.  

Bar path is back, just like visiting your home town you grew up in. Everything seems back not forward.  Back home the streets are filed with candy bars that me and my friends have stolen from our past years of mayhem.  Old drug dealers pass me in the streets while the Friday night lights shine over my late night outings full off familiar smells and memories.  For all those who doubted me and turned their backs on me, now look, can you see my back as I fly over the sky on my mongoose bird, collecting freedom keys that provide "do what I want and live how I want" gates piled behind vaults that open only with a password.

Hook grip is a must for any lifter, this is why I believe that taping your thumbs to keep them fresh is very important, no matter how big or small an athlete's hands are.  I thought about the importance of a hook grip while taking out the trash early yesterday morning...... I guess this blog is filled to the rafters with my garbage walking thoughts.  I am breaking down the walls of keyboard block, and typing anything that comes to mind, almost like entering training with a slight injury, don't think and hopefully your always confused body will forget such things even exist.  More coffee helps as well.  I want to add that I truly believe in tying your shoes as tight as possible and not leaving any room for wiggle aka lack of support.  I think this is why my calf has been in suffering lately, my Adidas don't lace as tight as I would like them to, leaving my ankle too much room.  I have corrected this problem by drilling another loop hole creating more support.  Plus I have started to tape the center of my shoes for even more support aka more athletic feeling.

Thank you Shankle, for the song you showed me for the writing of this all over the place garbage walk through blog. It has helped me break through the curse of writer's block.  I have so much to say, you would think this would never happen to me.  My next blog should be much more organized as I will type across from the Lion's den aka the lion killer himself...... Darth Vader the weightlifter.  Goodnight and it feels good to be back at the long table of tear drinking.  
The latest Team MDUSA video.  

Thank you CrossFit Florian for hosting the 20th Attitude Nation Cert!  It was great meeting you all, and congrats to all your gym's success.  Salute.  

A freak athlete, better kid, and an unbelievable superman pull! Andrew Jester was the first athlete I ever coached, and seeing him continue his success on the Cal Strength team puts a big smile on my face.  I miss you Andrew, and I'll be rooting you on when you compete in the Olympics!  TAKE NOTES PEOPLE! 

Last but not least, I don't know if you guys saw this video, but this is my very good friend and ex-teammate Jared Enderton imitating some lifters including myself.  it's too funny. 

USA 2016

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


The Song I Wrote This Blog To

The day is sunny, while the air is cold and crisp. The early morning orange glow has seeped through your blinds, covering your body with stripes of black. The weightlifters rise out of their bunks with stretching arms and achy backs. A warm shower hits your back as you bow your head towards your feet. Your eyes are wide open, as your mind races through the checklist of who you are, what you have accomplished, what you still need to accomplish, and flashing images of the hell coach will cast upon you once this quiet early morning comes to a close. You choose to drip dry as you brush your teeth bare naked, which goes against your usual routine of drying off thoroughly with a towel.  Your blood starts to pump though your body a little faster the more you wake. You throw up a bicep pose while the tooth brush takes a break to admire your strong muscles.  Fox news is in the background as you pour a bowl of cereal. The peaceful chatter and the sound of the cereal hitting the bowl could make a grown man cry from its simple beauty.

Quiet before the storm. Peace before war. Heaven before Hell. You gently rest your hand over the coffee maker's left cheek, while singing a random Christmas song to her. You are excited for Christmas even though it's only May.  You are excited for what she will give birth to in the next few minutes, and how happy it will make you feel inside once you have her in the palm of your hands. The coffee drips with rhythm, as each drop has its own personality and desires. You look up to see coach standing on your living room table, waving his hands in the air while his eyes are closed shut, and his head tilted back. The strings connected to his fingers are casting a web all over the house as you try to maneuver closer to him.  No, you can't touch him, for he is in a glass bottle. Coach is connected to everything this morning has had to offer you. The small little red dots all over your naked body are from the strings attached from coach to you. You are a puppet, and everything you think you have control over.....well, you don't.

When I watch our videos, another video is watching me. I then watch that video of me watching the first video, only to feel the presence of another video watching me watch the second video. Time and reality seem to be slipping away. The red eye has lit up the morning from orange to red, and my front door has turned from wood to a glass lens looking out into the gym.  My teammates wave me in from the other side as I stand there drinking my coffee, naked, and in complete peace. I have surrendered to the whys and how’s. I have let down my conscience and I now just dance when things don't make sense. This sport doesn't make sense, and how coach went from standing in my living room to playing the violin on the other side of the lens has confused me. I guess what all this means is that we must train. We must train no matter what. You know what I mean? It doesn't need to make sense to be understood. No matter what is happening in our lives we must train through it, by it, and right over the top of it.  When life doesn't add up, the training will.  Over time, all the training will pay off like a bank account you have been growing for years and years. At the end of the day, I guess the most confusing things in life are really the most simple. A peaceful morning is only peaceful because of the pain you and I endure during the day.  I feel that weightlifters appreciate down time more than anyone else. We are at war in the midst of the hardest sport in the world, so we must train.

Coach, coffee, and shower 2016

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Mondays training.  Getting my rhythm back.  Train+Adapt+Repeat=WIN

Today in training hitting a 160kg PR snatch from the medium blocks.  My calf is starting to get better, and this old race horse is starting to adapt back to the MR black beard way of training. Lets go mother truckers!!  Johnny Cash lifestyle, train everyday, aint got time for percentages, AC UP WINDOWS DOWN.  Salute   


Sunday, November 4, 2012


Coach is back, and Oh are we beat up.  I almost forgot how hard training is under Mr. Black Beard.  I almost forgot how dark this gym can become.  The sky turned red as he entered the gym, while the black birds circle our platforms just waiting to prey upon on any fallen weightlifter.  The black rain forest beard makes his eyes look much whiter than they really are.  Looking close....see, they have this yellow gloss that probably can tell many stories none of us will ever see or hear.  A hidden treasure chest lays deep behind his eyes, a chest with gold cob webs, skeletons that chase blue birds, and sandy hills that reach the sky and beyond.  Climb and keep climbing. I will climb with you coach, side by side to a land of impossible with people who are not waiting for our arrival.  A climb that leaves us with one foot still in the gym, and the other being eaten off by a childhood monster.  His unemotional face melts into liquid tar running down his leg like he just peed himself.  His droopy white eyes turn the black tar into an Oreo filled lake that runs across the gym and into my coffee.  For every sip I take, coach tells me to "make the lift".  I drink coffee all day because of this. I drink what coach says. I trust him more than this coffee I sometimes drop tears into.  The gym is now quiet, and the lifter's faces now whistle a new song, a jail bird song as the freedom we once knew is now gone forever..... or until coach leaves again that is.  Pain has re-entered my life, and frustration follows me wherever I seem to go.  A bomb shelter.... yes, this is what I need.  A mental mind I can escape, my own mind is the cause of the breeze that passes though the gym, not the window Shankle just opened.  I was doing just fine until coach's overwhelming presence shadowed the gym creating shaky legs and sewed shut mouths.  Who am I kidding though?  I wasn't doing fine while he was gone, yes I might have felt fine, but my lifts were gasping for air as I was suffocating them with a pillow.  I chose comfort over strength. I chose painless nights over pain filled nights.  I chose the devil in the red dress, and oh was she lovely.  But before I knew it my lovely flowers have turned black, my legs like fishing poles, and my confidence as weak as cotton.  The pain I left behind wasn't as painful as the pain I gained by leaving pain.  Weak pain is much worse than strong pain.  Coach brought me the one thing my training has been missing, and that is strength pain. Strength pain to gain gold medals.  My body has lost its adaptation to training, and for that I have been lost on the other side of Donny's key chains...... A land called the comfort zone.  I should have known that something was wrong when I actually entered training feeling good.  This is never good.  The day you feel good is the day you aren't training.  This is the day you are cheating yourself.  

Bad dreams while new weightlifters smile with PR's.  High fives between the rookies and coach..... where are my high fives?  Where is my good jobs?  I'm old news at the end of the gym picking berries for the garden of "easy to walk away from" I am growing.  Mr. Black Sheep that has been out casted by everyone in my life.  Fuck em all. I don't need anyone.  I'll train 'til my feet turn to dirt.  Not one meet, not one.  Thank you for this, and thank you for the abandonment you have shown me.  It's always been him over me, since day one.  Fatherless just added another one to the table as the other part of me dies away like the Vodka bottles I use to hug so tight.  Another man over this one.  I am tired of being second place, better yet, I am tired of being hurt from second only wishing I was your first.  Back and forth, back and forth I go growing up as a kid.  From one side of the moon to the other.  And this is my fault?  I am sorry I don't fit into your white picket fenced world.  Live behind your glass house, while I'll look in from my far away cave.  It's okay though. I'm starting to get used to this whole farewell family type trend that seems to haunt me.  Thanks for raising me.  I wish you could have just once seen me lift, just once.  

Thank you Niagara Weightlifting for hosting the 19th Attitude Nation Cert.  Canada is damn awesome and we had a tun of fun.  Please please stay in touch.  Salute.  

PR BACK SQUAT! As coach said, "It's about gosh dang time"!!  Lol  We have been going after this set of five for almost a year now.  

Stand up 2016

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Trap King

Yes, the traps activate.  Yes, they try so hard, and yes they are as worthless as tits on a bore. It's a sad story of how this came to be. A story that drew a tear to my eye, a story that will make any man grab his heart with pain.  But don't feel too bad, for once he was happy, once he stood proud, once he was King.
Chapter One

Once upon a time, in a far away land where the bar wasn't allowed to touch your body, the trap was king.  The trap ruled the weightlifting world with his big stick and his large high crown.  He never got tired of the attention, as a matter of fact, he took in every bit of it like it was Christmas morning.  They talked about him as a legend from coast to coast, as myths and stories began to pile up about his power and strength.  He was conquering world records.  He was winning Gold medals in the Olympics.  He was kicking ass on a daily basis.  Scholars wrote hundreds of books about his efficiency and power.  It was once recorded that he stood 15 feet tall, and could chop down the tallest tree with one swish of his sword. Athletes and coaches spent years trying to mimic his greatness.  Some felt and understood his beauty, and some fell short only to stare hopelessly at the podium.  Others tried to defeat him with different tactics and methods.  He was constantly challenged from others who envied his power.  But they fell short, and nothing seemed to please the King more than victory on the Platform and off. His way was the best way, the only way.  He knew it, and everyone else knew of his glory.  The traps could shrug any bar higher than the eyes could see.  He made weight disappear into the blue sky, only for the birds to enjoy.  The scarecrow some called the king, which fit him well, and explained the position he was always in.  Upright, straight, and elbows high as if the scarecrow was showing a young kid where the sun was.  The crowd went crazy, and the King grew an inch with every lift that was made.  The King was happy, and I am happy for him.

Years went by, decades passed almost with a blink of an eye.  He sat on his silk green thrown growing older and older while the sport grew old with him. They were two peas in a pod, they shared war stories together until the orange afternoon fell dark.  The King had no idea what was about to happen next.  The King was about to be turned upside down. 

"Siar we have a problem, come quick!"  "The Weightlifters are starting to make bar body contact!" "They are breaking the rules, they are going against you Siar!"  The king woke from his gold thrown in a panic, as his crown stumbled into his lap with frantic hands.  He tried everything in his power to stop this craziness, this reluctant rebellion.  But the lifters kept at it. The coaches scratched their heads and talked amongst each other with smiles and approval.  Once the lifters found this new way of throwing the barbell over their head, there was no stopping the ease and joy they got out if this new found relationship with the bar.  The sport was chattering with new ideas. The trees were swaying from the swift change in the air. A monster was being created, and the King was feeling its bite. The chatter from the towns people kept the king up at night, only to fall asleep with his pillow over his head.  Only to find his presence slowly dwindling.  The committee spoke, and the rule of no bar body contact was changed to bar body contact.  A shift in the sport that changed everything, including the King's masterful power over this great sport.  A rule that drew a single tear from the king's face that with ease and patience fell from his right eye and splattered onto his high golden crown. 

Chapter Two

The scarecrow was taken down from its high perch in the middle of the town, and replaced with an arched angel that struck such beauty and rhythm. An image that turned people's head to the side as the sun glazed over her bent body.  A sling shot type movement, a catapult machine the weightlifters turned into.  That same year a record of world records were shattered.  The weight went up, and fast.  The bar had much more color on each side.  The competition grew fierce, as weak lifters were now able to battle with strong lifters.  Mad scientists is what they were, the coaches that is.  Blue prints of how their athlete can move their body to lift more and more weight, even if they had weak legs.  Yes, strength building is always a must, but a new found creature was going to help build the athlete to new heights.  Their arms grew skinny as they hung like cables.  The traps grew smaller as they held less of a purpose.  The back grew bigger and stronger from staying over longer and longer.  The weightlifters moved faster, as their hips drew blood against the bar with a large amount of force and determination.  The weightlifter is now a machine of some sort, and there is no stopping what its capable of performing next.  Who knows, the Arched Angel may someday be replaced with another statue for the towns people to talk over. 

The King is still with us today, he is still a part of this great sport.  The King will never leave.  Every part of the body plays a part in this great fight.  All parts of the body belong and serve a purpose.  The athlete must not think, just do.  Letting the body perform such elegance and strength. "What foot do you step forward with in the jerk?"  A question that cannot be answered, a question that only the athlete must do without thinking, for then he or she will find out themselves.  In my opinion, this is how the bar body contact was born.  An athlete just moved, just lifted, and then found a comfort that worked in unusual ways compared to the norm back then.  The sport is always growing, and the King will live on forever.  He might now smile as big and bright as before.  The King may not stand 15 feet tall anymore, but he is still proud of what he created, and proud to see lifters achieve greatness to this day.  Long live the King, and welcome to the new and possible ideas of a weightlifter.

The King 2016