By Shukin on 8/22/2012 Back to Articles
Aug 16 2012 Iron Sport Gym
Since I generally train alone, except for prowler days, I felt I needed someone to check my form and give me some pointers on my strongman events. With Higamonster being on the road and me having to work Washington state wasn't an option. I also had to get my car inspected in PA so I decided to call Steve Pulcinella of iron sport gym in Glenolden Pa and see if he was up for a training session. I headed up to Philly after work on Wednesday and dropped my car off and the key in the night box to be inspected in the morning, and spent the night at my folks on the sofa,(not the best place to sleep before or after a big workout). Everything went smooth with the car and I arrived at Iron Sport a few minutes early, Steve was sitting at the front desk waiting for me. We got right to business. I just did some shoulder warmups thinking Steve would run me through some kinda pre workout stretching like Higa did, I was wrong, I learned my lesson, next time arrive 45 mins early and foam roll and do the agile 8.
We jumped right into the 12" logpress. Steve said this is the hardest event for guys who switch over from other sports to strongman, guys with big benches get humbled when it comes to over head pressing. He guided me through proper technique and I pressed the empty log, I knew then that the trip was worth it. We progressively worked up in weight, but I missed the contest weight, this is my weakest event and some how Steve knew that when I walked in the door.
Next we moved on to the axle dead lift. We loaded up the bar, he advised me on the amount of chalk to use and as I was setting up to lift he said "if you don't get this I'm kicking you out, you can't come here and not be able to get one event", I don't know how serious he was but I knew I could do this, I can pull pretty well, no pun intended. We worked up to comp weight, actually a little higher and did 3 sets with it each time going up in reps 3,4 and 5 respectively. I felt good.
It was at this point that I asked him to level with me, to tell me the truth about this stuff, am I kidding myself? I said I know I don't have the right genetics to be a bodybuilder and I seam to pull real well but lack in bench for powerlifting. His response, "there is no such thing as bad genetics", I said well there are guys with that perfect 'V' taper and all, "oh", he said, "there are GREAT genetics", "usually guys like you with long legs and arms are good pullers", that is all he said on the subject.
Stones was next, he had me order some tacky before going and he advised me on how to apply it, i first taped my forearms with duck-tape and then applied the tacky. Holly shit what a difference tacky makes, it is fuckin messy but the grip you have is crazy! Again we worked up to competition weight, actually higher and I lifted it on to a platform that was higher than what will be used in the comp, each time Steve was yelling out little pointers, hand placement, foot placement, speed, etc.
Steve went and got some baby oil for me to use to remove the tacky and we talked about our next meeting, he was encouraging, "your dead and stones are good, we need to work on you pressing".
I brought my sand bags, the 190#-er and the 90#-er to use the scale there to make a 250# bag, Steve said it was cool, "just don't make a mess." I thought he would help me get the bags from the car to the scale and back but I was dead ass wrong, he sat quietly and ate his lunch. I was totally spent from the workout and trying to get these sandbags to the scale, I dropped the big on in the doorway, and struggled to pick it up, Steve looked over and said "what's wrong, you can't lift it?" I said I'm spent from the workout, he just went back to eating. I managed to get the bags to the scale and as I'm adding the weight to the 190#-er to make it 250# I'm starting to panic, thinking, how the hell am I going to get this to the car? So I stopped at 215# grabbed a guy who was walking by and asked if he would help me, thank god he said yes.
Thoughts on this experience, still sore, it's a day shy of a week later and I am still sore, granted I have been working out in the interim. The tricks he taught me were invaluable. I realized the importance of having someone with experience help you. I wish Higa was as close to me geographically as Pulcinella is. I am planning to go up there again next week, every 2 weeks till the comp.
Question I have is, how much can you add to your overhead press in 40 days and what kinda program do I need to do, Steve told me so much that I don't exactly remember everything....
As for video, I took the wrong battery with me, amateur mistake, unacceptable I know, sorry.
Had some chinease food on the way home, steamed dumplings Schezuan chicken and rice. Took my mother shopping, then her and my dad out for all-you-can eat sushi and sashimi, it has become our go to spot when i viset, they don't even ask anymore where we are going to eat......lol