Archive for the Athletes Category

“Break Records…”

Posted in Athletes on October 21, 2012 by oldcountrystrong

A Picture is worth a thousand words…













Or in this case Seven Hundred and Twelve reps, thats right our girl Crushed it. Words can’t really produce how I feel right now so I’ll leave it for another day.

Below is a thank you Roo posted this morning on Facebook thanking everyone for their support.

“First off, I can’t thank everyone enough for all of the support I/The Club had for this weekends event. It was so overwhelming every time I’d get on here and see all of the support. I can’t tell you how many times I teared up/cried because it meant so much to me that I had such a great community behind me! I really can’t thank everyone enough for all of the support they showed. Zach I can’t thank you enough for pushing me and being the best coach a girl could ask for and the best friend someone could ask for! Huge thanks to Old Country Iron Club for always supporting me in whatever I’m doing! Oregon Crossfit CoachesCrossFit North VancouverOrange Kettlebell ClubCrossFit Affiliate Community,Yakima CrossFit thank you guys so much for the support! I’m truly blessed to be part of such a great community! Thank you all so much! Also a HUGE thanks to Skylar Pond at Excellence Chiropractic for always fixing my broken body and keeping me moving, as well as also being an awesome training partner/teammate! And of course big thanks to everyone atExcellence Health and Fitness for allowing us to use your facility for such a great event! Again I can’t thank everyone enough, and I know I’m forgetting people so I’m sorry if that is you! Oh haha of course I couldnt have done it without my family!!! Love you guys and thank you so much!!! I know I keep saying it but I really couldn’t have done it without such an AMAZING support crew!!!!!!!!! ♥”

Well said girl, if you missed the weekends event I/C athlete Jacob Stone was on site taking picture and put this picture video together from Saturday. Thanks my friend.

Posted by: Z

“I see a Red Door…”

Posted in Athletes on October 18, 2012 by oldcountrystrong

We are on our final Count down to this weekends One Hour Long Cycle Charity Event.

Over 40+ members of the I/C will be taking part in Relays as we support one or our own in her quest to break a Record. Countless hours of Training have been place into a very important time span of 60 minutes on Saturday.

We come together it’s what we do. Show everyone who we are.

Paint it Black… 













Posted by: Z

“Three Horns don’t play with Long Necks…”

Posted in Articles, Athletes on October 11, 2012 by oldcountrystrong

You don’t know Brenden?

B is the I/C’s youngest Comp Team member. He’s also had his fair share of cool nicknames since he started up with the Club.

The Kid.
Our little Member..
The GentleMan Kid…

I mean the list could go on and on and then one just stuck the other day. 

Now before I jump the Shark so to say and drop the name lets get to the root of why I even decided to post about this today. You see on our Training Log we have a day of friendly banter called Topic Thursday. It’s usually a subject, training or movies you know some kinda bullshit to talk about. Then sometimes it’s a funny picture.

Well today I made the mistake of posting a picture of “The People’s Champion” Skylar Pond. Well no one has anything bad to say about “The People’s Champion” Skylar Pond so the board was pretty blank.

And then this afternoon I received a message that had to do with Skylar’s pic but was directed at B (nothin better then Creative shit talk). It was from Jim (Gym as we know him in the Club, nicknames are key), and Jim is quite the wordsmith. Being from New York when Jim decided to engage in verbal jousting he’s hard to one up. In fact with B having no knowledge of Jim knowing his new nickname he strolled up to him Wednesday and was met with the following statement.

“So I heard your leading a field trip to the Great Beyond…”

That was the set up for the picture he sent me today, the man is on fire folks.













Wait, you hadn’t heard? The Kids new NickName is LittleFoot….

Posted by: Z

“How Bad do you want to be Successful…”

Posted in Athletes, Lifestyle, Nutrition on October 7, 2012 by oldcountrystrong

Well I had originally had a Mad Mule article in mind for today but ended up having something else to jaw about.

As I mentioned I’ve been amazingly busy lately. Running the I/C Training Log, handling online clients, Teaching Kettlebell courses (had our 1st of 5 upcoming yesterday), Coaching at weekend competitions and even getting to compete in one myself.

What has “suffered” because of this?

Nothing really, well nothing that I really realize (foreshadowing). I always choose to put work first. I feel that hard work is a gift of mine.

Don’t need an intense social life. Don’t need fancy things. Don’t need much of anything that isn’t in line with my goals. And my goals are my own, no one else needs to understand them. I work 7 days a week and I choose to do so. I choose to because as I said I have goals. I also have other people depending on me to meet their goals.

I’m sure everyones has seen this video before.

Man do I think about that speech a lot. I think about how hard it is to achieve what you really want in life and the trails and tribulations that come with it.

Goals are set for reasons. Dreams are dreams for reasons. If shit was easy everyone would alway get exactly what they wanted. Everyone wants to get to the mountain top but no body wants to walk the journey to get there. Cause its hard and sometimes its very lonely.

“What has “suffered” because of this?”

Remember I said that earlier in this article. Well a lot has. A lot has suffered and been sacrificed for me to try and stay on my path. Maybe thats not a good thing.

I’m a worker. I’ll work. I’ll work before eating, before sleeping before taking care of myself.

Now I see something suffering. If I have a talent to work hard I shouldn’t abuse it. I shouldn’t expect to work from 5:45 in the morning til 1 oclock in the after noon NOT eat and have a successful training session an hour later. And what do I do after that training session? I start my evening work schedule that goes sometimes past 8pm without eating again. Getting by on coffee and muscle milk samples is just bad living when your not only trying to Coach athletes but lead by example.

I’m up late every night working on the week days and even later on the weekends. My sleep bank is at an all time low and thats saying a lot for even me (my family has a history of insomnia). If someone was receiving coaching advice from me and working like this I would have stepped in awhile ago. I would have told them they needed to get some shit sorted out.

But, am I on the path to achieve my goals.


All of them.


Are people Depending on me for ALL of them.


It’s quite the double edge sword sometimes and it’s one I have choose to use. Trying to find the balancing act as of late has really started to weigh on me. Coaching couldn’t be going better, everyone one who I coach is right where I want them in their current period of training. My own personally training is turning out great results as well. But I’ve walked this line before and I’m flirting with wearing myself thin.

The biggest thing is I spotted it early. I usually don’t, I actually worked myself into pneumonia last year and then had to keep the ship on course during the whole thing. It was not a fun experience.

So how do you work like you want to breath but avoid a total burnout.


I always tell myself I’m to busy for this or that. I dont have time for things. I like to make the exuse that I dont have enough minutes in the day to just get a hold of my own Chaos sometimes.

If you want to realize your goals you have to do the things that will make them happen. The video I have posted below sparked this whole post today. It’s about a day in the life of professional bodybuilder Kai Greene. I first saw this blazed with the word Discipline over on OPT’s site. It’s probably one of the best pieces I’ve watched in sometime. If you want to be a hater on bodybuilding then find a different blog to read. Kai’s approach to his training and discipline in his day to day life if pretty inspiring.

After having watched the series I took a lot in personally. I need to find the time in my life for more structure. Yes, I have a steel discipline when it come to work. I always have, I always will. I’m on a course I plan to follow.

But the discipline to take care of myself is something I need to address. Some day the other foot will drop if I continue to burn the candle at both ends. If I want to be both the Coach and Athlete I desire to be then I need to refine the discipline I have to march all day and apply it to other areas of my life.

Todays word is Discipline folks, there is time in the day if you make it.

Posted by: Z

“Y’know, sometimes Charity really Hurts…”

Posted in Athletes on September 30, 2012 by oldcountrystrong

It started out over a year ago.

Roo achieved her Master of Sport ranking in the 20kg Long Cycle at last Novembers IKFF Nationals in Detroit. It was Roo’s second outing in Kettlebell Sport and she reached the Highest Rank she could with with her Bell weight.

What do you do next?

Well the next logical Idea would be to go for her MSIC (Master of Sport International Class) which is the absolute highest rank you could achieve. Roo had a talk with Big John Buckley after that Competition that would change her whole train of thought as to her next goal. You see Roo is an awesome Kettlebeller, but she isn’t solely a Kettlebell Athlete. No she also quite the established Crossfit athlete.

John’s advice to her was very different than simply, “go up a Bell weight and get that Rank.”

No he told her since she didnt train Kettles all that often it wouldnt be smart for her to get after a heavier bell without diverting more of her training to kettles. And since Roo trains so diversely what he said was simply:

“Just get really good with your weight and break a record.” (Well it wasn’t quite that. But it was something along those lines, we were all in full Stage 5 at that point at the hotel bar he pretty much said get really good with your Bell and Fuck shit up.)

So Roo went through a whole Crossfit season training business as usual. Then during this last Season I received a book. The book was from my Coach Jeff Martone. He had written a Kettlebell manual and wanted me to write a review for it. While reading it I came across a write up on Kettlebell marathon Sport that mentioned a lifter I had met from Australia while I was in Russia the year before. It listed a world record she had set in the one hour kettlebell Jerk.

The Bell weighed 35 pounds and she had jerked it 546 times in an hour.

Well now I thought…

Lighter Bell, maybe not exactly what John was talking about, but I figured why not.

“Hey Roo wanna try and Break a World Record?”

And now here we are it’s been a long road.

Let’s go to the Marathon Championships to Break it… Wait they’re in Italy

Let’s Hold a One Hour Charity Event in Seattle to Break it… Wait our Friends Orange Kettlebell Club already do a one hour event (Big Johns Crew)

Let’s uhhhhh… Shit let me ask John if it’s cool if we do something similar. 

What’s this? You guys would like to hold your Annual One Hour Long Cycle fundraiser in Seattle? Fucking Sweeeeet, you would like help planning it? Even better. Hey, Let’s have a Relay option this year so people new to Long Cycle (Kettlebell Clean and Jerk if your on the site please try and keep up) can participate too. As you can tell you guys are getting the fast forward model of this particular project.


We are holding the Orange KettleBell Club One Hour Long Cycle charity event this year in Seattle. We will have a Relay Option and Our VERY own Marissa “Roo” Luchau will be taking a run at the One Hour Kettlebell Jerk World Record.

We have assembled at least 1o Relay Teams for the Event comprising of 3 to 5 people and countless other individuals will be showing to support that day.

So how do you Register?

You don’t, you simply donate at least 25 Dollars to the cause and show up to lift. Since this is the first year we are organizing Teams for the event we are keeping it nice and simple for everyone. You don’t have to create an account to donate. Just simply click on the below link.

Team Marissa

That link will take you to the “Team Marissa” fundraiser page. This is where we are collecting all of the Relay Team Donations. Simply donate 25 Dollars if you will be competing on a Relay then send me a confirmation email at

Let’s show everyone how the I/C can unite for a cause guys. Lets show everyone when one of ours is going swinging for the fences we stand with her.

Lets show everyone we are Old Country and we are Game…

Posted by: Z

“I like telling people my Weight in Kilos and How Much I can lift in Pounds…”

Posted in Athletes on July 10, 2012 by oldcountrystrong

With all this talk of getting back to I/C Basics…

Does anyone Remember this Stout Hoss?

Yeah those are 32kgs and there isnt any hip swing on those See-Saws. 

Posted by: Z

“Ooooohhhhh You DIDNT Know….”

Posted in Athletes on June 28, 2012 by oldcountrystrong

This ones for all the SonnenManics out in the World as he gears up to Defend the “People ChampionShip” against Anderson Silva Next weekend.

Posted By: Z


“This week, each one of you has a Homework Assignment….”

Posted in Athletes on June 10, 2012 by oldcountrystrong

Figured we’d switch it up a little today on Old Country. I came across this article during the weekend and figured I’d put it up for everyone.

If you dont know who Triple H is I feel sorry for you. For those that do, CLICK HERE for a interesting look into his training.

Feel Free to post your thoughts to comment.

Posted by: Z

“We are the Jamaican bobsled team”

Posted in Articles, Athletes on May 15, 2012 by fiman61

Z and I were bantering to and fro the other day on an important topic, what sports were we going train my kids to partake in? The usual choices got thrown out but than Z got an epiphany and said it was clear as day. Z said he was going to turn them into shit brickhouses of pushing strength and speed, he was going to turn them into the engines for a living NASCAR. I looked at him perplexed and than he put it on me, Bobsledding.

Most normal folks only interaction with bobsledding was watching “Cool Runnings“. You haven’t seen “Cool Runnings“? It was a Disney movie for Christ’s sake! Anyway, in the movie John Candy creates the famous Jamacian bobsled team. His character’s premise was Jamaica had the best sprinters in the world, he could take some of that talen and transform them into a contender for Olympic Gold. Rasta and cold jokes aside, the rational behind the premise of the movie is totally true. How do I know? Because the good ole U.S.A. has been doing it for years.

Let’s dig into the requirements for a bobsled race. My family is not much of winter sports buffs so I do not have the right experience to discuss the skills needed to battle the inherent danger in riding in a metal sled at speeds in the 150 mph range in a concrete tunnnel filled with ice and possible death which makes up the majority of the race. But, every story has a beginning and the race starts with “the push”, something easier to discuss.

A couple of facts to chew on when considering the push. An empty 2 man sled weighs around 463 lbs, a 4 man sled around 860lbs. You have to push your bobsled around 50m, jump into it on the fly, all while trying not to fall on your ass because of the ice. You do have grooves in the ice so you don’t have to worry too much about steering the thing. Basically, any of y’all who do not like the prowler would probably not like the first part of the bobsled race.

With the push being an important aspect, bobsledding has traditionally seen athletes cross over from track and field to try their luck out. Well America likes to think outside the box. You need strong, explosive fast, athletes over a short distance and time to team up with a driver with nerves of steel. Now where we could find such athletes?

That is winning 4 man bobsled team from the 2010 Winter Olympics. They are some big ole boys. The pushers include a decathlete from Univeristy of Florida, a HS football star who decided to serve his country in the Air Force, and a starting linebacker at Nebraska. Their stats, 6’2″ 216, 6’2″ 235, 6’1 220 and I am not sure if they are carrying a lot of unnecssary weight (the driver Steve Holcomb carries a little more but since he is the guy who keeps everyone alive he’s cool). Big, fast, powerful human beings, as Z claimed, literally a human engine. And how do these men train. Curt Tomasevicz puts it in eloquent Midwest terms:

“To break it down even further, our lifting workouts are probably 80% lower body work. My two favorite words are “squats” and “cleans”. These two lifts make a bobsledder. Some of our workouts in the past few years have included up to 180 repetitions of squats. A wise strength coach once said that “Squats can cure cancer.” Maybe that’s a meat-head comment, but that is the type of mindset we must have to endure the grueling offseason workouts. I’ve been known to lose my lunch a few times throughout the summer due to the training exertion. I love being in the weight room testing my body’s limits every day. I may not be one of the fastest guys on the team, but I take pride in being one of the strongest”

And these men where not the first, countless other power athletes have become U.S. pushers including a certain Heisman trophy winner who does a bit of everything. I guess this is just another example that it pays to be squat and clean heavy and often. Who knows, maybe in 15 years you will see a Filer boy/girl being the human NOS button for a bobsled on NBC.

Posted by Nickay.

“If you can Beat that last bit out of them… They ain’t Fighters at all…”

Posted in Articles, Athletes on May 8, 2012 by oldcountrystrong

The title of this post is so true to what I get the honor to talk about today.

There are a hundred different ways I could start out what I have to say. I’ve thought about them all and started to write and delete most of them more times than I can count. I’m very good at my job and I also supposedly have a talent for writing (though I do need an editor), so I figured this writeup would be easy but it has me somewhat at a lost for words. This is usually not the case for me, talking is a large part of my job and talking shit is another gift that comes naturally to me. When I write it out like that, I feel this post should already be half done but it hasn’t even started.

Maybe that’s half the problem with what I want to talk about today. I only get to write about it once, and life long goals achieved are hard to write about. But here I go…

I’m a Coach/Trainer by trade, I love my job. I got into almost 6 years ago when I was living at a Fire Station as a Resident Firefighter. At the time I had been on a course to become a firefighter most of my life. While I was there started to help out some of the other guys and one of the girls in getting ready for fitness tests and what not.

It started that simple, I slowly found something I cared about more and I’d change the path I was on. But I wouldn’t change paths right away it’d take some time. During that transitional period, I had my first Real “Help Me” training case. I wasn’t officially a Coach or Trainer or whatever it is you want to call it yet but someone was asking me for some real help in achieving a goal.

Her Name was Annie and she had been in the same class as me. She had received an offer through the Seattle Fire Department and was more then likely going to get hired. The Seattle Fire Departments Drill School is notoriously hard. And if you can’t cut it things are simple, you’re fired.

She needed to get ready for Drill School and asked me for it. I’m not gonna go in depth on how we got her ready because that not whats important to the story.

What is important is that out of the four women that started that drill school, Anne was the ONLY one to graduate. What’s even MORE important is what happened after she graduated.

She’d be the last female candidate to achieve that goal.

Now I feel like we have set the stage for our story. My work with Anne convinced me that I was good at what I did. I changed my goals and began a career as a trainer later transitioning into Crossfit and now into my more current role as a Strength and Conditioning Coach. I run a gym in West Seattle and this is where our story begins to tie together.

One day I walked into the gym and was told, “Hey some new girl joined, said she was a firefighter or wanted to be a firefighter or something like that. Said she knew you.”

I racked my brain when I heard it but couldn’t come up with who it could be. I had become somewhat known for training firefighter candidates and figured it was someone who knew of me and not someone who Knew me personally. But the next week when she came back in I looked at her sideways and I recognized her. Her name was Amina and I had met her through one of the guys in Annie’s SFD class, small world. Anyways she wasn’t looking to get any kind of special training she was already a career firefighter and just needed a gym to workout at.

Amina and I became pretty fast friends and even roommates for a while. One thing I knew about Amina was she wanted to be a firefighter, and she was. But she wasn’t with the Department she had made a promise to herself when she was young that she’d be with. She had told herself she was going to be a Seattle Firefighter. During the time Amina was at the gym we had two guys come and go who got hired with SFD. Then another Testing cycle came up with SFD and Amina told me she was going to take it.

I didn’t think to0 much about it at the time. But she kept moving further and further in the process. Until one day she sent me the text.

“I got Hired.”

What she’d ask me next caught me off guard.

“I need your help to get ready”

As I took in the whole Obi-Wan theme of the conversation, I respond the way I do to anyone looking to accomplish a goal.

“Gonna have to put in the work then.”

We both knew what we were undertaking. As I mentioned earlier in the post the last female candidate to complete Seattle Drill School was someone I trained. But that didn’t mean there weren’t other candidates in between Annie and Amina. No in fact it had been 5 years, 4 recruit classes and 11 other female candidates since a woman had finished Seattle’s Academy. Considering I was batting a thousand so far getting people though Drill School, I PROMISED Amina I’d have her ready.

We went to work.

Now Amina is no slouch, and this wasn’t her first rodeo. She was already a firefighter. Which also ment she would have to leave her career with one Department to take a shot at completing the SFD Drill School. She was gonna follow her dream and I couldn’t tell you how much I respected her for that. But  just cause you have a dream doesn’t mean it’s gonna happen. She was gonna have to earn it. Five Years and eleven other candidate had failed, the pressure was on.

It would have been easy to have her follow a program I was writing for one of her male counterparts that was also attending the Academy as well but I had a special Hell set up for Amina. You see as I said I made a promise, and I was gonna keep it.

I told her straight.

You’re Strong, but you’re not strong enough. We’re gonna get you Stronger and BIGGER. You know what happens when you tell most girls that your goal is to actually MAKE them BULKY, yeah they usually either A) Cry or B) Tell you to get fucked. She didnt do either she just nodded her head. I let her  know we were gonna build a suit of armour around her using squats, deadlifts, shrugs and a shit load of food.

I also told her, “I know I told you we don’t do curls, but guess what? Your gonna start doing curls, LOTS OF THEM.”

She loved it, lifting and eating how awesome was that? Well then the day came where it was time to start hardening her mind.

You’re Tough, but I need you tougher. I need you to forget that your legs are burning, that your backs sore. I need you to take that fucking inhaler of yours and crush it under your boot, cause you don’t need it anymore. I had trained Amina for a couple years, I knew what she could do and what she didn’t think she could do. My goal was to honestly make her cry once a week. I always told her I needed more, that she needed to show me more then she was giving. I did this even when inside I was prouder of her then anyone in the room.

I never let up on her. And you know what, she never cried, she never complained. She didn’t bitch when I’d send her a morning lift session only to check her phone later that day and see that I wanted her to row 7 1ks after dinner. It never ended. I’d find sandbags bigger then her and tell her I needed them off the ground and to her shoudler 10 times before she had to sprint around the block then smash a tire with a sledge hammer.

She never quit on me. I pushed her well passed her comfort zone, I tried to beat the fighter out of her but I never could.

She tackled her fears and she pushed passed level of exhaustion she didn’t know she had. She was ready and she walked into that Academy ready. Her whole time during Drill School she never complained to me. Never let the work load or the long days beat her down. She put her head down and marched. And when the day came that she was facing an obstacle in the way of her dream she texted me.

“I have to pass that fucking dummy test Saturday.”

If you think dragging a near 200 pound dummy up a stairwell in full gear doesn’t sound bad your dead fucking wrong. But thats not what I told her. I told her the same thing I told her while she was training for Academy.

“You have to. You dont have a choice. Grab that fucking dummy pull it into your body and fight through burning legs and arms and get that fucker up and out.”

When she texted me that Saturday that she had done just that I knew she was set, I knew she could do anything else they through at her.

Amina finished out the rest of the Seattle Fire Departments notorious Drill School. She is the only women in five years to do this. She earned it and tonight she is graduating.

I am so very Proud of you girl, you took a life long goal and made it a reality. It was not a easy path for you and you earned this. I’m glad I got to have a small part on this long road of yours. Congratulations, and enjoy your new career with the city of Seattle.

I have yet to have a male or female fail under my watch, still batting a thousand.

Posted by: Z