Training with Terry Hollands (WSM)
That is me, training with Terry Hollands! Yes, I really did that!
It was awesome!
It was an absolute spur of the moment decision, he advertised 4 days of PT slots so I emailed and got the first one I chose! I didn’t give it much more thought than that, and a small part of me thought that the slots would be taken by the time I emailed! This of course led to me wondering what the heck I was getting myself into and why I make decisions like this on the spur of the moment…
However, I have always been the same and things generally work out for the best so it is unlikely that I will change now.
Anyway, back to this seemingly crazy training…
So last Monday morning, I set off in dense fog to find a gym in kent, I had no idea where I was going, but a combination of sat-nav and google maps allowed me to arrive 45 mins early… well, I panicked…
Being early gave me lots of time to sit in the car and worry about what I had got myself into and whether this whole thing was a good idea…
Of course it was!
When I was only about 10 mins early I went into the gym reception to be greeted by a lovely person who knew what I was there for and offered me a coffee and a seat! Coffee always helps so that was good!
So I sat a bit and tried not to worry about things.
Of course the moment Terry Hollands came out of the gym from training the person before me, everything was fine. He turned out to be a lovely person who wasn’t going to think I was ridiculous for wanting to do this strong woman thing. I didn’t really think he would, but, you know, paranoia and self doubt are things!
So after a few minutes chat about what I wanted to do, my upcoming comp and how I wanted to learn everything I could possibly need to know about strongman in the next hour, we headed into the gym…
We concentrated on Log Press and Atlas Stones partly because these did not involve going outside into the freezing kent fog, and partly because these are things that really benefit from learning techniques from people that know what they are doing. You tube videos, even from experts can only get you so far!
We started with the log press
We concentrated on the single movement press, which I think is also called the viper press. It is a little bit like a snatch, it goes from floor to an the knees to overhead without stopping in the front rack position as you would if you did the clean then press version. This is a brilliant thing if you can get the hang of it, it saves time and possibly energy, although I am not good enough at it yet for the energy to be significant.
It is a good technique and Terry gave me some really useful pointers, and made me repeat it quite a lot of times until it stuck in my head.
I only hit myself on the head with the log once too…
The next thing I learned was the atlas stones:
This was brilliant because atlas stones (along with truck pulling) is on of the most iconic strongman events and it is not something I currently have access to on my own.
In my upcoming comp, I have to do stones of 25, 35 and 45 kg, so to train I did 20, 30 and 40 kg, whats more, the platform I was using to put them on was set at the height used in worlds strongest man… I suspect (hope) the one in my comp won’t be that high, it was about my neck height…
Atlas stones are much harder than you might think… so much hamstring and glute involvement along with arms upper back, just about everything really. It is a sort of giant pickup-hug-hip hinge-plonk movement… or in my case with the heaviest one, pickup-hug-hip hinge-jam against the platform with all your bodyweight- push-roll movement.
I am sure there are more elegant / technical ways of describing that, but I don’t know them!
THe point is, however you want to describe it, it is hard, but I managed it and I was getting the hang of it by the end 😀 I did come away with bruises, but they were happy bruises!
Can you have happy bruises?
Well I am not sure but I had bruises, but I was happy.
I learned a lot and got to try things I wouldn’t have otherwise done. Plus I met and chatted to Terry Hollands, he is a really nice chap.