Archive for February, 2011

“I didn’t come to Roll, I came to Bang!”

Posted in Athletes, Competition on February 27, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

This Sunday is a special night in the Filer family, its Oscar night. And to pass the time before the telecast, I decided to sit down have a glass of chocolate milk and watch the NFL combine. During this moment of sloth, Z called me to see if I had any ideas for a post. We both agreed on an inspirational post and I went back to my NFL fix. And of all a sudden they flashed from RBs to the bench press test. I smiled after watching what transpired and I told Z the post was getting changed because you know why…

“Sometimes the Universe provides, Z”

Stephen Paea is from Oregon State University and boy am I glad to see him no longer wrecking the Huskies offensive line. Stephen tore his menicsus in the Senior Bowl practices this year and he was not sure if he was going to come to the combine  and work out or wait his knee to heal and show his skills off at the OSU pro day. Stephen decided to not come and weigh in and do interviews, he decided to come kick ass and take names. While I don’t like to give Beavers too much credit too often, I got two words, GET SOME!

Posted by Nickay

“You can Be my Wingman any Day…”

Posted in Guerrilla Lifting on February 22, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

“At least I know half way in I’ll have finished my first marathon.”

That’s what my PAL Scotty said to me when he was getting ready for the White River 50 mile Ultra Marathon. Scotty is the Club’s go to guy for running advice. He’s currently out furthering his career with the USMC, so needless to say we miss the little fucker. Don’t let a sub 7 Helen, 28 rounds of Cindy, or the fact that he’s a level two Endurance Coach fool ya. Scotty is a guerilla. It’s why we get along so well, don’t believe me…

I can’t tell you how many times Scotty has gotten me to man up in my training. Scotty was the one that got me back on track for sectionals last year. We’ve sprinted hills and cried out “SPARTA” more times than I can remember on the prowler. He is one of the best training partners I’ve ever had, but more than anything Scotty is my Pal.

Posted by: Z

“It takes brass balls to sell real estate”

Posted in Articles on February 20, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

Recently we have been discussing animals and their Old Country symbolism. The Old Country Strong mascot is the gorilla, strong and prone to fight T-Rexs while defending Naomi Watts. The bull has also been provided as another “power animal”, again strong and with a massive yoke. But I feel that we are doing ourselves a disservice. Like the proud people who first lived here in the Pacific Northwest, why chose one animal when rather we could have a totem consisting of several animals to represent Old Country Strong and the attributes we strive to embody. So far we have focused on strength but that is not enough sometimes, no sometimes you need that set of brass balls to look that ugly mug in the face and say “Go ahead take your best shot, I can take it”. And with that I present to you the Honey Badger.

Now many of you are saying, what the hell is a Honey Badger? I myself spent many a day  as a young lad reading National Geographic and more nights watching Nature specials with my family and I never heard of this animal until recently. How I never heard shocks me. The Honey Badger does not know fear, it literally was named by the Guiness Book of World Records as the Most Fearless Animal on the planet. Don’t believe me, sometimes pictures or a sweet ass video clip tells more than words could ever do.

These things are 30 pounds of badassery. You see how this  oversized skunk looking critter roams the savannah, with a little jog. How can you get away with that while lions and hyenas and cheetahs out there? Because no one else wants to mess with them.

Oh there’s a lion, get the HELL OUT MY FACE!!!

Oh there is a cobra in that tree, you know how I feel about cobras, FUCK COBRAS!!! That tree ain’t going to save you.

My favorite though is the final confrontation. The Honey Badger decided to not only punk a puff adder for it’s dinner but when that was not enough decided to eat the fracking snake. And after being pumped full of venom which would kill any normal creature the badger rises from the grave and does what??? Continue to eat the snake that had almost just killed it! I mean how do you kill this guy? Not with spears or arrows, their hide is too thick. You need a club to bludgeon them to death or a rifle. Other wise that Honey Badger is gonna look you straight in the eyes and tell you to GFY!!!

Posted by: Nickay

“Them bulls don’t really wanna hurt ya, they just wanna buck ya off and get on with their business.”

Posted in Articles on February 17, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

I’m not quite sure what spurred the thought, but one day Z and I were talking and I asked him what other animal could be used as an Old Country mascot. He was speechless because of course there is nothing better than a Gorilla, I mean the club already has established Silverbacks  and there are constantly gorillas throwing hay on the platforms, so why wasn’t I content with just a Gorilla? To be honest I think I wanted something that wasn’t on every other strength site I came across so I was on a mission to find another animal that to me was Old Country Strong.

Ok so maybe the answer is obvious, and for those of you who know me probably saw this one coming, but it didn’t hit me until a couple of weeks ago when I was home alone on a Sunday night. The country girl comes out in me from time to time (hence the name 8 seconds) and I was watching PBR on Versus, and no Blake that doesn’t stand for Pabst Blue Ribbon, this girls PBR is the Professional Bull Riding circuit. So I’m watching bull rider after bull rider get bucked off and all of the sudden I switched my view from the cowboys getting bucked off to the beasts that were doing the bucking. That was is it, this was the beast I had been searching for. Okay Roo, get the point right? Sure you guys probably think I chose a Bull because I grew up rodeoing, although I do admit some bias feelings, let us take a look at the professional bucking bull wins my vote for the next Old Country Strong animal.

Ok I could bore you and go in to a bunch of physics, but I don’t think that is all necessary if you watched the video and look at these pictures. The most impressive part about these animals is that they are professional athletes and unlike human professional athletes or even their animal counterparts (rodeo horses, racing dogs, race horses etc…) bucking bulls don’t train hours on end. Once proven to be worthy of the title “Bucking Bull” when the bulls aren’t on the road competing they are kept out in the pastures of their owners ranch and stay in shape by roaming around and chasing cows. That’s it; these bulls are capable of such athletic feats and they don’t do much to be able to do so.

Just a Little Bit About the Sport

How is a bull scored? The bull is scored based on his performance and how difficult he is to ride. A judge will look for the combination of speed , power, drop in the front and kick in the back end (how vertical the bull can get), directions changed and body rolls (when a bull is in the air and he either kicks his hind feet or all four feet to the side).

How is a bull discovered? Genetics is huge in the world of bull riding so a lot of times the best bulls come from the best of the past. A bull must however prove himself as a young buck in the bucking shoots of his owner before giving the chance to move on to the arena. Typically taking place around 2 years of age the young bulls will be loaded into shoots with a contraption on their back that will release and fall off when the bull has bucked hard enough, if the bull even shows the desire to buck that is. This then teaches the bull that if they buck hard enough the nuisance on their back will shortly fall off. Once a bull has proven himself with this method he’ll usually have to prove himself with amateur riders that use these bulls in hopes to get themselves better for the big stage that they are aspiring to. If the bull makes the cut here he’ll typically move on to smaller rodeos and maybe even someday be a part of the Professional Bull Riding Circuit.

How Much Does a Professional Bull Make? A bull can make his contractor up to $4,000 per out (each time a bull is ridden). If a bull wins the coveted title of Bull of the Year the bull may win anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000.

Let’s take a closer look at one particular bull

Bushwacker: Current #1 Bull in the PBR


Weight: 1500lbs

Born: 2005

Buckoff Percent: 100%

Average Buckoff Time: 2.83 seconds

Overall, not that it’s up for debate my vote for something that is Old Country that isn’t a human or a gorilla is a professional bucking bull. Based purely on his athletic ability, a mix of strength, agility, power and speed I believe a bucking bull is hard to beat as far as something, I think we all would consider, as Old Country Strong.

Posted by: Roo

“I do Two things, Drive Trucks and Break Arms…”

Posted in Guerrilla Lifting on February 15, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

How do the boys at Crossfit North Vancouver get down on Caliber workouts when they don’t have a Prowler?

Get Some…

Posted by: Z

“If you Can’t Squat to Johnny Cash you ain’t Shit…”

Posted in Articles on February 13, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

Sometimes going to something as simple as a Social D concert can remind  you why you work as hard as you do. Hearing  them sing “Ring of Fire” makes every thing right in the world.

What’s your favorite Cash Song…

Posted by: Z

Memoires of a Silverback: My time at OCBC

Posted in Articles on February 10, 2011 by Swole Patrol

“Hey fucker.”

I can remember the day I walked into the gym and uttered those words to Zach nearly 2 years ago. I was coming in to start working out after an extended break from exercising, I had previously trained with Z at another location and liked him enough to sign up for more. I didn’t know that I would find a best friend, a family away from home, a safe haven for mind, body, and spirit, and start a new chapter in my life that has been unforgettable.

With Z’s training and help from everybody I’ve done things in the gym I never thought possible:
Squatted over 500 lbs
Front squatted 425, nearly my college back squat max
Cleaned 300 lbs
Benched over 350 lbs
Pressed 225 lbs over head
Climbed a rope again
Worked until I nearly passed out and puked

Those are all the physical things I’ve done, but the magic of this group isn’t in the physical, its in the people. I’ve blown out my knee and come back stronger than before, I’ve had pain in my personal life and leaned heavily on members of the club, I’ve had professional set back and embarrassment and had club members pick me back up. No matter what happened the club never wavered in showing me unconditional acceptance. People should be so lucky to have a group of folks like that.

I’d say I wasn’t complete when I first came here, through shared misery in the gym and shared joy outside the gym, I think I have healed from what was ailing me. I found something I was missing since I left college athletics behind. I found people who don’t judge, who genuinely want the best from each other, I found what I consider to be love. I love this club, I love the people, and I love what we stand for.

I’ll be pursuing other athletic avenues but I’m sure I’ll see everybody from time to time, I know we’ll share some drinks and Tom Foolery. Friends are a reflection of character and with you as my friends my character must be strong as an oak. Mainly I want to say thank you, thank you for helping me when I couldn’t fully help myself.

Next time your under the bar or pushing a weight and you feel yourself going down, there is gonna be a little Silverback on your shoulder yelling in your ear “get up! You son of a bitch, cause Johnny loves ya.” I’m off to a different jungle now, but I’ll throw some OCBC hay when I get there.

Posted by: Johnny


Posted in Guerrilla Lifting on February 8, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

“The Rat Pack”

Whose the man up in this piece? There isn’t one. The Club isn’t about one person. But who comes up with these crazy idea’s and schemes? It can’t just be one man behind the curtain like OZ can it? No.

In the Gorilla community a troop is run by a Silverback. One chest slappy, hay throwen, bad mother. Heavy is the head that lies the crown. So how does one deal? He builds pack to stand with him. If your familiar with Old Country then your familiar with Chest Slappen Guerillas. But at the head there isn’t one person. Theres a pack.

Gorilla Pit: What It Means to Be a Silverback

Posted By: Z

“The Riddle of Steel: KettleBell Pressing”

Posted in Articles on February 6, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

I spent this weekend visiting John from GreySkull S&C on the East Coast. While I was there I was lucky enough to sit in on one of John’s “GreySkull Methods Seminars” that he was holding at his gym. Squat, deadlift, bench, power clean, program design, Bony’s new cook book, and pressing were all game to be asked about and thoroughly discussed.

So as I’m flying home I was wondering what I was going to write about for Old Country today. Then it hit me. The press. But not just the strict barbell press, or the version of it they do at GreySkull (which is pretty sick). No, I’m talking about the ketttlebell and the muscle recruitment that goes with pressing one correctly.

Now I wrote a long “Coach’s Tip” about this in the comment section of the OCS Training Log for my athletes last Cycle. I also told them at some point I’d flesh it all out a bit (earmuffs). So as we find ourselves 1 week into another Cycle full of pressing I’ll revisit “contract and relax.”

It seems so simple doesn’t it? Cannon ball with handle. Take cannon ball with handle from the ground to the rack position resting comfortably (at least I think so) on your arm and torso. Then what do you do? Press your arm over head. Easy enough. A chimp could do this without learning proper form. Well know what,  chimps are strong as shit. Last I checked there aren’t any chimps at the Bronx Zoo checking Old Country, I could be wrong, so this applies to you.

So what happens when you start getting stuck on your KB press?

Lets take form out of the picture here. You’re not turning out too soon. You’re not laying back. You’re doing everything right. The bell should be over head, right? Why are you sticking in workouts and what can you do to help fix it? The knowledge I’m gonna drop on you applies to all KB pressing. Be it single PR bell presses, press ladders, or the grip busting complexes full of pressing that we see in CC.

It’s really simple for the most part. Muscle recruitment. Contract as much muscle as possible during a lift, such as the kettlebell press and you will see success.

But you’re tight in your press, right? You got a firm grip on the bell, your shoulder is tense and ready to press, you aren’t all loose in your trunk. Good right? Wrong. Being firm, tense, and not loose aren’t good enough (earmuffs).

How do you engage your whole body in the press? Squeeze your butt and legs together, pull your ribs down, power breathe. Power breathe? Breathe out with a tight TSISSSS sound. You should feel your body tightening from your trunk out. Why power breathe? Because you engage more muscle and hence have more muscle recruited to apply force to the bell.

Having trouble with grip failing while initiating such a tight grip during complex or clean and press ladders?

“Open hands at the top!”

I tell this to my athletes on all kettlebell movements on snatch, press, clean, push press, jerk… doesn’t matter.
I don’t want you beginning the press with open hands. When I spot on the bench I squeeze the bencher’s  hands around the bar right before I lift the bar off the uprights for them.

Because it causes you to squeeze the bar. This allow you to engage more muscle and bench more.

Do you see where I’m going with this?
If you’re pressing an object with your arm you have to hold it with your hand. To get through the sticking point (the position where you guys want to come up on your toes in the press or make that awful pig squeal sound) squeeze the shit out of the bell in your hand!

Now this is where contract and relax comes in as far as it goes with complexes and other workouts.
Yes you have officially squeezed your way through the sticking point and now have the bell over head. Now open your hands.

You all know what a grip buster complexes and high rep kettlebell workouts are. This is why you open at the top or in the rack position while resting. You relax and allow yourself to take the tension out of your grips.

So on review.

Start the press with a firm grip.

Death grip the shit out of that bell when you hit the sticking point.

When you feel you’re past the sticking point or the bell is locked out over head: Open your hands. RELAX.

Keep the hands open on the descent if you like. Or just have a loose grip on the bell. But make sure you maintain a straight neutral wrist while gripping.

Break the sticking point, save the forearms, contract and relax.

Posted by: Z

“Come on let’s get serious!!!”

Posted in Articles on February 3, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

There are many different purposes behind posts on this site. Some are meant to educate, some to inspire, some to congratulate, and occasionally to rant. But with a tough week of lifting almost over I decided to go with another approach, comedy because I know funny. And what better way than to examine which action star has the best (or possibly worse) hair.

In this corner we have the Muscles from Brussels, Jean Claude Van Damme (“JCVD”). While more known for wearing his pants too high in the beginning of his career than having long flowing locks, JCVD turned the table in the mid 90’s with his awe inspiring mullet. Whether it be a Cajun badass in Hard Target or time traveling badass in Timecop, JCVD greasy mullet makes it hard to turn away from the screen.

The challenger, acclaimed over actor Nicolas Cage. While a little more diverse in his acting accolades than JCVD, Nic Cage has made his fair share of action movies and his hair has been memorable in more than a few of them. Who can forget his portrayal of Jesus on steroids in Con Air, a Vegas magician who see into the future in Next, a hitman reconsidering his morales in Bangkok Dangerous, or whatever badass he is supposed to be in the soon to be released Drive Angry.





His hair is so legendary, it has been memorialized with music.

Who do you have in this hair throwdown?

Posted by Nickay