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Strength Central

Candid Interview with The Tenacious Greg Panora!

PanoraSQUAT2Greg Panora is a legendary powerlifter in the unlimited "equipment" division. He has trained at Westside Barbell Club and Lexen Extreme, and he holds the all-time world record total (2630lb) in the 242lb class. The following is a conversational interview between Greg and RX MUSCLE's Cory ‟Swede" Burns.


Press Release: 2011 Arnold Strongman Classic

DP2The Arnold Strongman Classic annually features the world’s top strongman professionals in a two-day competition to determine the world’s strongest man.

Two-time Arnold Strongman Classic champion Derek Poundstone of Waterbury, Conn., will return to defend his title again in 2011, and will again face six-time ASC champ Zydrunas Savickas of Lithuania. Poundstone defeated Savickas in 2010 after Savickas returned from a one-year hiatus, The mighty Lithuanian won the Arrnold Strongman six straight times between 2003 and 2008. He also won the World’s Strongest Man in 2009 and 2010 and is considered by many to be the greatest strongman of all time.


Super Training: How We Roll!


MarkandWestsideThe road paved by Louie Simmons and his elite lifters gives me confidence that his program works. Why do I feel it works? How about 20 800-lb. deadlifters! The Russians used to do a lot of testing on their weightlifters, and Lou adapted a lot of those principles. Now he has his own testing ground at Westside Barbell. Through science, math and lots of trial and error, Lou has come up with the "Westside Barbell Method." Time and time again this method has not just worked for Lou and his lifters, but for thousands of athletes all over the world. My gym, Super Training (ST), was started in 2006, and this is the method we have used from day one.


Ginger Vieira: The Power of Positive Intention

profile1“I’ve competed in three national power lifting competitions. During the year 2009, I set a total of 14 records in two drug-tested, amateur, national power lifting federations, and I hold the female record for the VT State Bench Press. I’ve dead lifted 300lbs, squatted 265lbs, and bench-pressed 190lbs.” GINGER VIEIRA

Pretty impressive right? What is even more noteworthy is that Ginger Vieira was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 13 and has achieved all this despite being dealt a somewhat daunting hand of cards in the game of life. Her story definitely reflects the strength of the human spirit when put to the test. However, Ginger’s life is not just about power lifting, she is actively engaged in helping others achieve their true potential in life too…but more of that later, first let’s get to learn a little bit more about Ginger…starting with the day her life changed forever…



Powerlifting Inspiration: The "Swede" Smell of Success!

RXHEADSHOTCan you smell what the Swede is cookin?

It's like this: You set a goal and -immediately- you should begin moving toward it. That is not to say you do not need a very specific goal and a well thought out plan, you certainly do. Both of these will evolve and develop as you go. However, there is always some action you can take right now, which will bring you closer to your goal, even if it's just taking a step in the general direction of your destination.


Hypoglycemia....The Low Blood Sugar Elephant in the Room

Food is energy, food is life.

With my strength athletes, one of the first things I encounter when placing a 350 pound strongman or powerlifter on a diet of less than a couple hundred grams of carbs to prep for a contest is joy, celebration, and a general feeling of good will towards me.

Ok, maybe I made that part up.


Diet of a Strength Athlete: The Mechanics of Dieting

tilapia-fillet-ck-xAs Dave has always been beyond generous with his willingness to share his knowledge with the bodybuilding world and his passion for the sport, I hope to take his precedent and share my thoughts with the strongman and powerlifting world. It is my hope that having additional resources available
to current and aspiring athletes will help the continued growth of these amazing sports well into the future.

In today’s strongman and powerlifting world, when it comes to  training/supplementation and all things relevant, the key to maximizing performance enhancement lies within 2 areas.


Gratitude from the Ortmayer Family

800px-Travis_Ortmayer_-_20080228Article Republished with Permission of Ashley Wirt from www.marunde-muscle.com

As many of you know, Travis Ortmayer suffered an injury to his ankle during the Max Log event of the World’s Strongest Man finals in South Africa. Travis took a nasty fall with a 375 pound log after his foot got caught between 2 mats on the platform. Travis was able to fight out the final day’s events and earn a 5th place finish, however the 19 hour flight from South Africa to Washington DC combined with the ankle injury put a substantial strain on his already fatigued body. Lucy and Travis decided it was best for their family to return home to Houston where Travis could receive medical care instead of competing at America’s Strongest man in Las Vegas, which was to start just 10 hours after arriving back in the United States. Travis was able to see a doctor on the Tuesday following his return home. A series of X-Rays, scans, and other tests revealed severe bone bruising, several sprained tendons and ligaments, and a dislocated Fibula. He began passive rehabilitation immediately.


Q & A with Pro Strongman Ryan Bracewell

10Q: What differences have you noticed between AM and Pro contests, regarding events?

A: The year and a half before I won my card I primarily did pro qualifiers and the weights are almost identical, but the level of competition is drastically higher in the pro contests (as you would expect). When you go to a pro qualifier all of the competitors are good, but usually there are 2-3 guys that are fighting it out for the win. At a pro level show the last place guy is better than the top 2-3 at the pro qualifier, so the margin for error becomes very small.





Strongman: The Modern Day “Superhero”

travis2My name is Nathan Payton, and I specialize in strength sports and performance enhancement through nutrition.

As Dave has graciously allowed me to be a part of the ‘collective’ here at RX Muscle, I wanted to begin by introducing myself and launching a series of articles on Strongman, the “Modern Day Superhero”.  Future articles will cover nutritional and supplement systems for the competitive strongman,
profiles of pro and top amateur strongmen around the globe, and training videos from top athletes.


The Hollywood Critique!

LouCostaThe Nickname "Hollywood" was lovingly given to me by a group of strongman nestled deep within the backwards Pennsylvania mountains sometime last year as we sweat our asses off during a routinely brutal strongman training day.  

My white sunglasses I donned that day and apparent Hollywood charisma  (Do I really have charisma?  Or are most people just brutally boring? idk) sparked the camo laden country music twangin' crew to award me such a moniker.


Women's Work: Europa Games Amazons Live Qualifier

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Brandon Smith: Businessman, Father, Athlete!


Brandon Smith – age 33, 5'9", 220 lbs. – is a resident of Dallas, Texas, and is the founder and CEO of Purus Labs and Formulife, Inc. He trains at Wylie Boxing Club, 24 Hour Fitness, and various places on the road. Let's learn more about this businessman, father, and athlete!Q: What got you started in lifting, and what were your first memorable lifts?

A: I was always fascinated by bodybuilding magazines, from an extremely young age, and dedicated myself to working out at the early age of 14. My most memorable lift, at least that I can recall, would probably be when I finally hit 405 on bench for a clean double. I can also remember 275 x 5 on power clean and my first raw 500# squat in college, while playing football.

Q: How did you discover weight training?

A: Through the magazines and traditional football workouts in high school.


The Strength Series, Interview #9: Will Dinwiddie!


Will Dinwiddie, age 33, is the owner and head strength and conditioning coach at Epic Fitness Solutions – http://www.epicfitnesssolutions.com – in Springfield, Oregon. Dinwiddie has been "actively competing since 2004 in bodybuilding, strongman, powerlifting, MAS wrestling, arm wrestling, and Highland games..." The 5'9" 230-pound athlete was an "Airborne Ranger in the U.S. Army from 1999-2002," and has "three years undergraduate work towards [his] human physiology major..." He is also "EMT-Basic certified." Let's learn more about this iron athlete and coach!

Q: How did you get introduced to the iron – by family, sports, friends, or your own interest?

A: I got introduced into lifting as an 88-pound bullied kid and wanted it to stop, so when I found a way to make myself stronger I spent all my time in the gym. Three to five hours a day 5+ days a week and that has been consistent since then.


A Call to Arms: Europa Games Giants Live Qualifier

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Orlando 2015



Words Over the Bar #2: Josh Goldthorp!

wotb2-jg250x166Josh Goldthorp, age 26, and weighing 270 lbs. at a height of 6'4" is a Nationally Ranked Heavy Events Athlete. He suffered a massive heart failure in 2008 at age 19 and wasn't sure if he'd ever be able to compete again. But with the encouragement of his friends and family, he was able to make a full recovery. As a result of his heart failure, he's been competing with a defibrillator in his chest ever since. Goldthorp went on to win the CSAF Amateur Championships in 2010 and made his debut as a professional athlete in 2012. Let's learn more about this Scottish Heavy Events Pro athlete!

Q: Where do you train?

A: Right now I'm training at BLM Barbell in Abbotsford, British Columbia. It's the kind of place where you can't find a mirror and chalk use is encouraged. It's definitely a place to get some real lifting done! I highly recommend it for anyone looking to get serious about their training.



Iron Interview #2: Tom Sroka!

tom-sroka-250x166Tom Sroka, age 27, is a resident of Fort Mill, South Carolina. The 6'0", 305-pound weightlifter trains at MuscleDriver USA in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Let's learn more about weightlifter Tom Sroka!

Q: How did you discover Olympic weightlifting events?

A: I got into weightlifting during high school. Instead of doing a regular PE class you had the option of taking a barbell class if you did a sport. I was always intrigued with trying to lift more weight than I did the day before and enjoyed the feeling of self-betterment. I then realized the benefits that training had on my sports performance and dove into training head-on, spending all my spare time in the gym.

As I went through college I was more enthused to be in the weight room training than out on the field participating in my sport. I was an All-American shot putter in college but spent more time lifting than throwing which is why I think the Head Athletic Trainer introduced me to Olympic Weightlifting.



Iron Interview #1 with: Ariel Stephens!

Ariel Stephens, 5'3" and 154 lbs., is a 24-year-old (celebrated her birthday August 15) Olympic weightlifter who competed at the National Championships in weightlifting held in Salt Lake City, Utah, July 18-20, 2014. Let's learn more about this Team MDUSA lifter!

ariel-250x166Q: What weight class do you compete in?

A: I train at 70-71kg and compete at 69kg.

Q: Where do you reside?

A: I'm currently in Seaside, California. However at the end of September, I will be making a cross country move to join Team MDUSA in South Carolina.

Q: Can you share any info regarding your training, degrees, and occupation?

A: I have a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Family Resources and a Certification in Spanish. I am also a certified nursing assistant, but am currently not working as one. After I graduated from college in 2012, I moved home to Sacramento, California and began working for a non-profit organization that was contracted with Child Protective Services.

I was a Case Manager for high risk families and provided community resources to alleviate family stressors. This was a rewarding, but extremely mentally demanding job.


Profiles in Power #8: Matt Wenning!

mw-slide250x166Matt Wenning, age 34, resides in Columbus, Ohio and has an impressive curriculum vitae which includes a bachelor's degree in exercise science, a master's degree in biomechanics, serving as a speaker for the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association, as well as participating on an advisory panel for the Pentagon for the U.S. Armed Forces. Let's learn more about powerlifter Matt Wenning!

Are you an only child or do you come from a big family?

I have 2 siblings and mother still living. Grandmother on my mom's side, I'm very close with. We take across the country motorcycle rides yearly to various destinations.

Where do you train?

I train in my own facility – Ludus Magnus Performance Center – where we have all kinds of athletes and general populations, as well as people rehabilitating current or past injuries.


Profiles in Power #7: Sammy Cohen!

sammy-250x166Sammy Cohen is a 21-year-old resident of Orlando, Florida. The 5'5" 140 lbs. Cohen is a finance major and trains at the University of Central Florida Recreation and Wellness Center. Let's learn more about this powerlifter and Figure competitor!

How did you get introduced to the iron?

I have always lived an active life, but when I came to college I stopped competing in gymnastics. And I knew I needed to do something to stay in shape, so I began going to the gym where I met my boyfriend at the time and he showed me how to work out and introduced me to the world of powerlifting.



Steven Whang: Bodybuilder, Engineer, Missionary

steven-slide-250x166As editor of Strength Central, it's my goal to promote the athletes who participate in the strength sports. I'm including Steven Whang - a bodybuilder - as an interview under "Strength Athletes" from the perspective of spiritual strength. What is the athlete's mindset? What does it take to achieve a fulfilling life? Many believe one component is spiritual health.

Dave traveled to Brazil to enjoy the serenity of medium and "psychic surgeon" João de Deus aka "John of God". Likewise, bodybuilder Steven Whang traveled to Kazakhstan where he helped people who have never lived in extravagance, doing God's/missionary work, building basketball courts, houses, schools, etc. for unfortunate children.

Let's learn more about Steven Whang, a 23-year-old all natural bodybuilder, engineer, and spiritual man three weeks out from the NPC New Jersey State Open Championships on August 16.


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