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4/16/2012 10:39:55 AM -
4/15 Strongman with Odd Haugen

I had the great opportunity on Sunday to venture up and train with legendary strongman competitor at his home in Thousand Oaks, CA. Thanks to Dan Harrison for setting this up for me.

Odd was really nice and extremely helpful. His driveway/garage houses a very impressive array of strongman implements, many of which are the exact same ones used in big contests, as well as tons of grip stuff and lifting equipment.

There was a group of 5 of us that trained on Sunday. Since I am competing this weekend, I didn't want to go to hard and really just came for technical tips and to get my first crack at the atlas stones since I have never touched one and will be doing a 410# stone over 54" bar for 60 seconds this Saturday.

1) Yoke/Farmers Medley-Kept it light and did 2x20yds with 660 Yoke and 265 each hand farmers.

2) Arm over Arm Pull-We used a very thick 2" rope (1 1/2" will be used this weekend) and I did 2 sets of about 50' with 550 pounds on the sled. The friction on his driveway and thickness of the rope was giving everyone a hard time here but I think it gave me a good opportunity to work on my starting technique and rhythm transitioning from pull to pull.

3) Atlas Stones-I have never tried an Atlas Stone before so I knew this would be a learning experience. I started out with a couple sets of 3 on a 265# stone just to get a feel for things and was very happy to find that I took to this quite naturally. I then went to a few reps with a 350# stone. This one went up pretty quick too. Finding the balance point was a little tricky for me in the initial pickup (plenty of SpiderTack solves that problem though) but once I get it to my lap it was very easy to get the stone to a 54" platform which is fairly high since I'm not particularly tall.

Odd and the other guys in the group seemed pretty impressed/entertained by my ability to pop the stone onto the platform. The power of my hip extension was causing the stone to have a moment of weightlessness as it floated onto the top of the platform. Hopefully I'll be able to produce a similar result with the 410# stone

I've been playing a constant stream of WSM contests on YouTube for the past week while I write programs/articles and do anything in the office and have realized that this contest I'm doing Saturday is SERIOUS. There are several really good athletes competing and the events are HEAVY. I'm excited but have to admit that I am a bit nervous which is a unique feeling for me going into any competition.

This will be a week filled with treatments, rest, lots of eating and as much positive visualization I can do.

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Chad Wesley Smith

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