While the crowds were waiting in line and fighting their neighbors for the last of this year’s must-have toy, I was busting my ass and getting stronger & better in the gym. I had the chance to test strength & mettle with the one and only Andy Shields and his brother Joel.

A quick word on Andy – Andy is a BADASS powerlifter. He owns a Top 50 ALL-TIME bench press in not 1, but 2 different weight classes! (both presses are over 700 pounds) That’s ALL-TIME. Anywhere. Anyone. Better than Arnold. Better than almost anyone you can name. Dude is a 100% Certified BEAST!

So when Andy asked if I was up for some Black Friday fun, you’re damn right I said yes!

We have all kinds of Strongman equipment in our gym, but the truth is, some of it can be a pain in the ass to drag out. So it’s always nice to have a big crew and a full training session devoted to this type brutality. Here’s what Andy’s evil mind conjured up…


Friday is generally my leg day, so I began as normally would – leg curls to get some blood in the hamstrings. I did about 8 sets of 10, counting the first 4 as warm up and the next 4 as work sets.

The we all did some light front squats(3-5 sets each), working up to 185 to get ready for the front-loaded lifting we were about to enjoy!

Stone Over Bar

Andy had some new stands for us to test out for loading the stones over a bar. Check out the video below – there are 2 height settings (high & higher!). The higher bar placement was at my face, and almost over their heads – very tough!

We did a few test reps, then using the stone weighing 170-190 pounds (not sure exactly) we did this:

[box title=”Stone Over Bar Challenge” color=”#333333″]60 Seconds On the Clock – As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP)[/box]

Round 1 was on the low bar and round 2 was on the high setting.

(Andy won easily, nearly doubling our reps on both the low bar and high bar settings!)

Overhead Press Medley

Next up – one of the truest tests of strength – overhead pressing!

We set up 5 stations using the log, keg, sandbag, homemade circus Dumbbell** (DB), and the 90 pound Atlas Stone.

**The “homemade circus DB was a 90# DB with a Fat Grip attached in round 1. In round 2, it became a 115# DB.

We did 1 “test” round of 1-2 reps at each station before getting competitive again! We did 2 round of the medley described below. On set 2, we upped the weight on the log, keg, and DB presses. And of course, each round included 5 cleans, as the weight doesn’t move itself from the ground to the pressing position!

[box title=”Overhead Press Medley” color=”#333333″]For time – Log Press x 5, Keg Press x 4, Sandbag Press x 3, 1-arm DB Press x 2, Stone Press x 1[/box]

(Winner of round 1 = ME! Andy took round 2 as his superhuman strength propelled him to lift a keg overhead that Joel and I could barely shoulder…BEAST!)

Not Black Friday – but is IS the keg (and human) in question!

Moving Medley

This was AWESOME! Easily my favorite part of the day…

6 objects. 3 on each side of the “course”. The objective was simple – the objects had to switch places in as little time as possible!

On side 1, we had a tire, some Fat Gripz farmer’s walks (90# DBs), and the Prowler with a 140# added.

On side 2, we had a 100# sandbag, a sled with 4 plates, and a keg weighing in at “A LOT” (the one Joel and I couldn’t get overhead!)

The length of the course was 5 tire flips.

(I took round 1, and again Andy won round 2.)

So now, you have an idea for 1 helluva total body training session – or 3 separate finishers for your next balls-to-the-wall finisher!

Quick note on competition – If you didn’t pick up on it yet, we got very competitive during this session and pushed each to work harder, faster, and lift heavier. That my friends is of the most UNDERRATED and UNDERVALUED aspects of a solid training environment. If you can, get a training partner that pushes you to be your best. If you can’t find a partner, find ways to push yourself – beat your own times, best your own records – anything that allows you to compete will accelerate your results!

Give these a shot, or modify them anyway you wish to make them work for what you have access to.

As always – post/share those comments below!

[media url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DP1Pnen6PsE&feature=plcp” width=”600″ height=”400″]

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