Archive for January, 2011

“So Say We All”

Posted in Articles on January 30, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

Difficult times lay ahead, trying times. Many in our gym are gearing up for the Crossfit Games Qualifiers. With that comes a grueling strength and conditioning cycle designed specifically to prepare them for competition events. But because of the time the Qualifiers would begin, the Cycle begins today, only 3 weeks after the end of the previous strength cycle. A major concern arose in this decision; Would there be enough time to properly recover not only the body but more importantly the mind? The dedication that goes into a strenuous training cycle is taxing. Keeping your nutrition in check, rehabbing your aches and bruises, getting enough sleep, keeping your intensity up but not some much to ignore form and injure yourself, and these are just the training concerns. This doesn’t include your job and other issues we all run into. Would we be ready?

The title of this post comes from Battlestar Galatica. In the show it is the end to a Kobol prayer. But it is more than that, it is a mantra used by the survivors, a rallying cry used to meet their adversity head on. That together as one we can overcome these obstacles. That is the reason I chose it (besides being a huge BSG fan), it is a reminder that while there are difficult times ahead, the first step to overcoming them is forcing yourself to believe that they can be overcome.

Posted by: Nickay

“Are you Ready…”

Posted in Articles on January 27, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

The Old Country Bucket list got posted on Monday. But as it was brought to my attention only the mens weights were posted. And since I pride myself on making my girls into just as Mutants as the boys…

Old Country Strong Women

Squat 1.75x Bodyweight
200# Ground to Overhead
Bench Press 1.25x Bodyweight
100×3 Press
Secret Service Snatch Test 240+
Sub 8 minute 2K
Clean and Jerk 95# 30 times in sub 2 minutes
40 Dumbell rows right and left arm at 70 pounds
15 Chins

And how can a man or woman start down this path? By training to be hard. Training with Gravel in Your Guts. The 5th Edition of CC starts next week and here is a sneak peak of whats to come from an athlete that had to start early. If you’ve read the posts, here is a video of the misery being described.

Posted by: Z

“He’s worried! You cut him! You hurt him! You see? You see? He’s not a machine, he’s a man!”

Posted in Guerrilla Lifting on January 25, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

When Rocky Balboa traveled to Russia to bang it out with Soviet Super man Ivan Drago to avenge the death of friend and mentor Apollo Creed, he needed to be hard. You don’t get hard by taking it easy and enjoying creature comforts. No, you hoist rocks, and sprint fucking mountians, you chop wood until your hands bleed. This Guerrilla Lifting submission needs little lead in other then Emily is a badass.

And if Rocky and Emily didn’t show you gritty training then lets watch this favorite of mine from our main man Arden a competitive logging champion.

Posted by: Z


Posted in Uncategorized on January 25, 2011 by oldcountrystrong


“But in their Rage, the Gods forgot the Secret of Steel and left it on the Battlefield…”

Posted in Articles on January 23, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

The Riddle of Steel…

What is the riddle of steel? What is strength? What does it take to be Old Country Strong?

The question has been asked. What is the standard? We speak so much of the life style on Old Country. The joy of training. But what is the standard? What do those in Old Country Barbell strive for.

Today, that is not a story for another time…
Old Country Strong

Squat 2 x Bodyweight
Ground to over head 300 pounds
Bench 1.5x Bodyweight
press 200 pounds
Secert Service Snatch Test 240+
Sub 7 minute 2k Row
Clean and Jerk 135 30 times sub 2 minutes
40 Dumbell rows right and left arm at 100 pounds
Strength Villain Challenge #5

“Valor pleases you, Crom… so grant me one request. Grant me revenge! And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you!!!”

Posted by:Z

“For the love Of the Game…”

Posted in Articles on January 20, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

I hear it all the time…

“I needed this.”

“This made my day.”

“This is what I look forward to all day…”

Do you love it? Do you love the chalk? The Clanging of metal? The scream or tears that accomplishing a goal brings? When I was young and starting out I didn’t get it. 

Well I’m still young and sometimes I still don’t get it. I hear the metal, there isn’t an article of clothes I own that doesn’t have chalk on it. I share in everyone I trains joy. But what happens when the thing you love crushes you? We’ve all been there. Your outside life consumes the place where you can be yourself and just let go.

You train, you put in the work, today is your day or your week. But when you approach the bar your hands touch the metal and the demons creep in. I’ve written about it before. You harness it. You take the rage and things out of your control and put it into what you love to do.

But when you feel the weight those demons creep in and your warm up set feels like a million pounds. You blame your diet, work, girlfriend, husband, dog, car problems anything that isn’t what’s really distracting you.

1 missed rep

“Why did I drink this weekend, how come my boss doesn’t get it, why don’t people stay out of my business.”

2 missed reps

“It wasn’t suppose to be like this, I was gonna smash the old me today, I was going to take start over today. Fuck, why is this heavy I’ve done this for 20 before. Why are people looking at me. Stop looking at me, I know i shouldn’t be struggling.”

3 missed reps

“Why are they playing this music, why isn’t anyone taking this shit serious today? This it’s just a social club. This is bullshit. This isn’t how it was suppose to happen.”

4 missed reps

“Fuck this I’m just gonna grip it and rip it.”

5 missed reps

“Why is this bar so heavy. I hate this. This is stupid why would I put myself though this? I’m done. I’m just done with this, I could be watching football, hanging with my friends at the bar, doing anything but failing right now. ”

Sound familiar? I’ve seen it happen to the best of us. Work, family, the shit that is supposed to be the last thing on your mind….
Let me steal a line from gladiator, “There was a dream that was Rome.”

If your familiar with Old Country you may know it started so small. It wasn’t even Old Country then. It was West Seattle Barbell Club. There was five of us. And this is what we had to get away from the world. It was a safe place. It helped me deal with the hills and valleys of life. No matter what I had the Club. I had an hour or two a day where life stood still and nothing else mattered.

I brought it with me in my training. I wanted people to feel the same sense of family I felt with those four people. Screw your job and commitments lets lift, lets flip tires, and drag kettlebells up the driveway. When things are small it’s easy to deal with problems.

But when things grow. Problem grows. Bars grow heavy. What do you do when your problem outweigh  the bar. What happens when your gym, or Club, or simple hour you get to spend not thinking turns into what you think about all day? It’s not your safe place. You dread the bar. You dread the weight. You dread the struggle to overcome goals.

Most people don’t get it. Most never will. I don’t understand why some people do the things they do. Why would I buy that car? Why run that marathon? Why care what other think? Why let this person mentor you or look up to someone like you never have? Your strength gives other strength what are you doing Why put yourself out there? Why not take that chance? Why never take the risk?

Sometimes the iron fixes every thing. For some that’s the highlight of their day. Why do we do this? Why do we put ourselves through this? Why let someone yell at me? Be my Coach, but my trust in them and have them put it back in me. Is the risk worth it all? Does a pr or a silly Club mean that much?

It does to me. I battle demons at the bar all the time. Sometimes they weigh me down. I’m so proud of those that push through them and wish I could be them and help those that can’t.

Is it worth it to put that much into someone or believe in someone who much? Sometimes I really think it is. Sometimes I don’t know. But I know at the end of the day I’ll do it day in and out because of one thing. The Iron game keeps me sane. Even when nothing else in the world makes sense I can grab iron and make sense. I’ve learned to accept the demons. The good and the bad. When you battle through the rain, even though it’s actually the sky that’s falling.

It’s for the love of the Game. Sometimes it’s the only thing that makes sense.

Posted by: Z


Posted in Guerrilla Lifting on January 18, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

Nickay submitted this picture after in his own words, “I carried that God Damn Bell all over the God Damn San Jaun Islands…”







The 4th Edition Caliber Cycle has wrapped. Let’s see how the work these dedicated athletes put in paided off. 

Posted by: Z        

“So You think You’re a BadAss, Huh…”

Posted in Athletes on January 16, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

You squat, you press, you swing, you don’t move your legs on your chins. You drink whiskey without a chaser. Your neck barely fits in your shirts and you have forearms bigger then your friends’ biceps.
You think you’re a Badass…

Maybe you are, maybe you’re not. Clubber Lang was a BadAss, do you have what Clubber had? Maybe you do. But I guarantee when God made Bad Men, Vladamir Moseev was his first creation. If you don’t believe me, watch this for yourselves. Yes this whole video is in Russian, but the first 4 minutes will show you what a real badass is.

You still think you’re badass? You do all your kettlebell workouts with a 2 pood bell. Well Vlad does his snatches standing on broken glass. That make your feet hurt thinking about it, Nancy?

Posted by: Z

“At any Time you Can Ring that Bell…”

Posted in Guerrilla Lifting on January 11, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

We wrapped our last push on the 4th Edition of CC last week. In the end I saw a number athletes looking just like Rocky in his first fight with Apollo.
“I just want to got the distance…”

I told my athletes I did not expect all of them to be able to take the 6 weeks of mental and physical strain. I told that if they wanted at anytime they could Ring the Bell and that’d be that. Very few did rang that bell, those that stuck it out came into the Hell Week just trying to go the distance. Proud of you guys.


Lets not forget a number of our Road Warriors this Cycle. Derek and Betsy Porter weren’t going to let lack of kettlebells, dirty looks from staff, or the fact that they were in Oregon keep them from getting shit done.

This Guerrilla Lifting submission comes from them as they kept up with their workload this Cycle.

Get Some…







Posted by: Z 

“Get Off Me!!!”

Posted in Articles, Athletes on January 9, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

“The Hawks look less like Seattle’s white knights and more like the Old Miami Hurricanes,  modern day marauders. Definitely Old Country Strong.”

Nickay called Marshawn Lynch as Old Country Strong when we first picked him up. You can revisit the Article here “Beast Mode” or just watch this highlight from the Seahawks weekend playoff win.

Raw grown man strength, Get Some…

Posted by: Z