Archive for the Athletes Category

“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

“If it Bleeds, we can Kill it.”

Posted in Athletes, Lifestyle on May 1, 2012 by Swole Patrol

If you’ve spent much time at all around the club you’ve no doubt heard that quote.  Or perhaps you’re more partial to an all time favorite of the pipe hitters crew.

This isn’t going to be a post about Predator the movie, all though that movie is one of the greatest movies ever made. This is going to be about a real American hero, a real life sexual tyrannosaurus, and a real life predator, Don “The Predator” Frye.

Don is an original American badass, a pioneer of MMA, and a pipe hitting, yard stomping, flag waving, booze drinking, kiss stealing, lady killing machine!  If that picture isn’t enough to convince you of his awesomeness maybe a shot from his collegiate days at Arizona State will change your mind.

You’ll notice the whisper of what was to become the most legendary mustache in all of sport.  Don Frye was my inspiration to always rock a “Battle Stache” when ever I entered a competition: grappling, mma fight, PipeHitters Classic.  The mustache can harness fighting spirit and when you wear it with pride a little piece of the Predator comes to bang with you.

Don Frye turned his success on the wrestling mat into a hall of fame career in the cage and the ring.  He was coached by Dan “The Beast” Severn, another man with a badass mustache, and followed him to the UFC.  He was a wrecking machine in the original days of the UFC: no weight class, no time limit, no rules, one night tournaments.  He won UFC 8, UCF Ultimate Ultimate 1996, and runner up at UFC 10 losing only to Mark Coleman.

After his run in the UFC Frye made his way to Japan to fight in Pride in front of a crowd that could fully appreciate his fighting spirit, winning and losing are mere formalities, the way in which you fight is more important.  Nobody fought like Don Frye, he was the first cross trained MMA fighter having a background in amateur wrestling, a black belt in Judo, and boxing.  So fearless was the Predator that he refused to tap out and accepted a kickboxing fight with the reigning world champion kickboxer.

No fight in Don Fry’s career summed up his attitude and fighting spirit more that his legendary battle with Yoshihiro Takayama, this clip might be the best 15 minutes of your day but if you just want some great fighting skip to 3:52:

That fight may have been the height of Frye’s career and most certainly made him a legend in Japan.  You’ll note the mustache took most of the shots from Takayama and allowed the Predator to walk right through them.  Think about that next time you’ve got a big date, meeting, competition, child birth, wedding, the mustache will see you through.

Posted By: Johnny


Posted in Athletes, Competition on April 26, 2012 by oldcountrystrong

Alright boys and girls in total cliche Coach Z fashion.

And Here we Go…..

The 2012 Crossfit Regional Season kicks off today. The last stop before the Crossfit Games will come for many athlete each week. Whats that mean? Time to start calling out names. Who is your favorites to win this weekend?


I don’t know about you but that makes me want to grab a beer and fuckin fire up ESPN 8 “The Ocho” (Click Here).

Two HUGE Regionals in one weekend, we got the stacked South East and our action Packed neighbors to the North, Canada West. (Click Here)

Now if your not familiar with either of these Regions or the not to be forgotten South Central Region here are some links to the these Regions final Open standings.

South East – Click Here

Canada West – Click Here

South Central – Click Here

Alright folks, time to put your money where your mouth is. Lets hear your picks. You dont have to pick from each Region if your unfamiliar with any of the athlete or simple don’t care. Also feel free to rant about any dark horses to watch out for or any Team your pulling for. We’ll have a white board here at the I/C mother gym filling up with peoples pick.

So who’s it gonna be….

Posted by: Z

“You Play BaseBall Like a Girl!!!”

Posted in Athletes on April 15, 2012 by oldcountrystrong

And I bet some of you boys are gonna wish you could kettle like one too after this article. Todays post is pretty short and sweet, but with the up coming Crossfit NorthWest Regionals and the beginning of Kettlebell season approaching I figured I’d keep everyone up to date on how things went down in the Western Zone of the Russian Kettlebell Sport Championships.

Allow me to introduce Alexandra Tsipluhina, new Womens Record holder for the 24KG Snatch in the Russian 68kg Weight Class.

I met Alexandra while I was in Russia she was one of the interpreters for the Training Camp I was attending. Little did I know what a badass she was. It wasn’t until I was back home in the States and was shown a video of her doing a set that I found out. The girl has some real grit.

Besides grit she has a very unique style. I know 10 minute snatch videos arent the funniest to watch but if you watch the first couple minutes and then go to the end of her set as well watch how her feet and legs move. Also her kettlebell toss at the end of her sets pretty sick. In the States we call dismissing the bell like that swagger.

The end result of her set is a amazing 142 snatches in 9 minutes and 30 seconds. Alexandra  is the student of legendary Coach Rudnev Sergey and does her Coach very proud in this set.

One other quick story about when I met Alexandra. The group was riding back from the gym on the bus one day. And if you’ve ever been in a moving vehicle in Russia its a bit all over the place. Anyways as we all held to rails and old leather handles from the ceiling, there was Alexandra free standing in the aisle. She wasnt simply standing there either. She was in a skirt suit and high heals. Imagine the seen of all this chaos going on and her standing perfectly still. Someone in the group asked her how it was she didnt need to use the rails while wearing her heals.

Her response was simple.
“My father taught me to brace against the air…”

Those Russian are on another level.

Posted by: Z

Is it a Bird, is it a Plane? No. It’s “Super Samoan!”

Posted in Athletes on April 12, 2012 by Swole Patrol

What’s that? You’ve never heard of “Super Samoan” Mark Hunt? Lend me your ears as I spin a yarn about a fighter’s fighter, a bull in a china shop, a 275lb wrecking ball of a man.

Straight from Wiki: is a New Zealand kickboxer and mixed martial artist of Samoan descent, currently living in Sydney, Australia. Hunt competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and is known for his raw strength, iron chin and knockout power. He is the winner of the 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix.[1] Hunt was the first to beat Wanderlei Silva after his 4 year undefeated winning streak in Pride Fighting Championship.

Iron chin is an understatement, the dude’s head is like a bucket of concrete.  He has actually survived 2 Cro Cop head kicks.  You’ve never heard of Cro Cop head kicks, the infamous “Right leg hospital, Left leg cemetery” head kicks?  Well Mark Hunt survived 2 from the left leg, one knocked him down for a second, the next one just shook the sweat off:

Maybe you prefer two Samoan bombers involved in a “fight in a phone booth” bout:

The first man to beat Wanderlei Silva after a 4 year unbeaten streak, attempting an atomic butt drop:

The man is a living Superhero, maybe the raddest living Superhero.  He always brings the fight and comes to bang.  His MMA career went through a rough patch during the final days of Pride and his first few fights in the UFC but he in in the midst of a revitalization of sorts with  3 wins in a row. Hardcore fight fans have been in love with Hunt for years but now everybody is jumping on the “Super Samoan” wagon.  With the current number one contender failing a drug test the MMA Underground and fans everywhere are pushing hard to get Hunt the title shot.

Is he the most logical replacement for the fight? No.

Would the UFC be better if he won the title? No.

Would he come in swinging bombs away? Willing to take 2 in order to give 1? Smiling like a boss while trying to rip somebody’s head off? Yes.

That is what makes him a great fighter and that is why Super Samoan should be in the next fight with JDS for the UFC Heavyweight Title. Now that you are a fan of Mark Hunt lets join the Army of Darkness and try to get him into that title fight:

Posted by: Johnny