T-ransformation 2017: Flipcollar’s log

Hey y’all. I’ll post my starting pics soon. I’ll go ahead and use this space rather than my regular training log for the duration of this competition, since it seems like a handful of other guys are doing the same.

My stats to start off are mid 180’s bodyweight, 5’10. My lifts aren’t at their best right now, which I guess is a good thing for the purposes of this competition. Probably just under a 500 unwrapped squat, mid to high 500’s deadlift, mid 300’s bench press. My goal is to push all of my numbers to PR’s, which would amount to at least 560 squat, 630 deadlift, and 400 bench. I’d also like my bodyweight to reach 210+ at some point along this journey. There are various other strongman-related accomplishments I’m seeking, as I’ll be competing in at least 2 comps between now and May. The first could be as soon as February 25th, so I really need to get my shit together asap.


Will be following - are there many people doing this transformation thing who are looking to gain weight lol?

I might be the only one trying to gain significant weight. I imagine there are plenty of guys who want to spend a month or 2 bulking before they cut. There’s no reason for most of us to spend a full 5 or 6 months cutting. But I’m pretty sure I’m the leanest guy in the competition, and I shouldn’t need more than 10 weeks to get into actual contest condition, even if I bulk first…

So, a general update on how my training will be structured in the short term, what my goals are, and then a little bit of logging…

Yesterday I signed up for the Dallas Strongest Man show, which is on March 11. I plan to compete in the 200 lbs weight class, which means I have a ton of room to add bodyweight between now and then. The goal would be to be walking around at something over 200 lbs morning weight by that point. It’s really difficult for me to push my weight up that fast, but I’m pretty committed to it, so we’ll see what happens. Getting my weight up really helps me with my overhead pressing and my carries. Every Sunday between now and then I’ll be training at least a couple of the competition lifts.

The events are: 225 axle clean and press for reps, one clean, then press out.
conan’s wheel at 500 lbs.
Frame carry/sandbag medley, both 60 ft. frame is 475, sandbag is 200.
Wagon wheel 15" deadlift, max weight
seated arm over arm pull with something with friction (meaning not a car). weight TBD

So now, a run-down of the events, and my strengths and weaknesses:

I did the same axle clean and press last year in March. Did 8 reps I believe. I tried it on Sunday and got 5 easily, so I should be at 10+ by the competition. I should be competing for a top 3 in the event.

the conan’s wheel, at this weight, destroyed me in August. I dropped it well before I should have. I won’t make that mistake again. Last contest was the first time I’d touched a conan’s wheel. I know what I’m in for this time. I hate this event. You can’t fucking breathe with that thing sitting on you. But I’ll get it done. Hoping middle of the pack here, anything else would be fantastic.

carry medley: this is one of the more favorable medley’s for me that I’ve seen. The distance isn’t too long, and the frame weight is manageable for me. I’m much better at this than the last time I did farmer’s walks in competition. And the sandbag isn’t bad at all. I can almost run with that weight. Again, middle of the pack would be fine.

deadlift: I’ve never taken less than 1st in a deadlift event, and I plan to continue that tradition.

arm over arm pull: I don’t have much experience with this, but I believe I’m good at it. I have a strong back, and my technique is decent. My projection on this is also top 3.

I want to win this competition. There are no athletes in my division that scare me. I’m going to push myself harder for this show than I have for any previous show.

I’ll continue this in my next post, for ease of reading :slight_smile:


So, here is what I’ve done so far this year. Last week I made it to the gym 4 times, including my strongman Sunday training. Nothing really of note. I did some overhead pressing, some bench pressing, some squatting. Strongman Sunday wasn’t bad. As I mentioned, I got 5 reps on the clean and press, and had more in me. The next thing we did was zercher carries with a yoke. These were brutal. These are substantially harder than a conan’s wheel. The effective weight is more significant. Like, a 450 zercher on a free yoke feels heavier than a conan’s wheel at 500. we did a couple short runs and a very long run that destroyed me. I also played around with picking up a 200 lbs sandbag, and determined what I think will be the most efficient way for me to pick it up. I don’t plan on shouldering it at this point, even though I can. Unless of course I can find a time-efficient way to do it. I’m able to carry it in front of me high enough and comfortable enough that I think I can run as fast as if it were shouldered.

Last night I did some bench pressing and some machine rowing. Loaded a bunch of plates on a machine and did some sets of rows in the 10-15 rep range using a lot of body leverage, rather than strict, to simulate my event. Went well.

My bodyweight has been all over the place, but moving in the right direction. It has ranged from 182 to 198 in the last week and a half. A week and a half ago it was 182 when I woke up dehydrated after my flight back from Europe. Last night, I went to bed at 198. This morning I was 189.

A trick with loose bags is scooping them off the ground with a very aggressive row and catching it mid-air. Works very well, just remember to use the lats more than your biceps.

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Interesting. I’ll give that a shot next time I lift it. I’ll be stronger by the time I get to the competition, so I should be able to get more aggressive with it just because of that, and also with more experience. The way I did it on Sunday was basically starting with it creased in the middle, picking it and lapping it like a stone kind of, grabbing the bottom and standing up. I’d love to be able to one-motion the pick, that would save a couple or 3 seconds.

Squatted Wednesday. Nothing too interesting, worked up to 455 for a double. I’m a little weak on these right now, just from not doing them enough over the last couple months. I was at 500+ for a double a few months ago. I’ll get back there soon enough :slight_smile: Also did volume work at 315. Last week when I squatted I ended up with tremendous pain in my left hip. stayed with me a couple days. This time I got the pain again, but much less substantial. Hoping that means it’s not a big deal.

bodyweight 193 this morning

Strongman training on Sunday. Went well. worked up to a set of 3 on the axle at my contest weight (225). Not a good number if the show was tomorrow, but fotunately it’s not, and I feel very good about where I’m at right now. I can power clean the weight rather than continental, which saves a ton of time and energy. I should mention that I logged my last training session as having been contest weight on the axle, but it was actually 10 lbs under. I didn’t know the bar weight.

Also did the frame carry/sandbag medley in training. Did 2 30ft runs at the contest weight. Contest will actually be 60ft for each. Felt good about the transition to sandbag, the pick, and the carry. I can almost run with the sandbag, just need to make sure i maintain my balance and not lean forward too much and lose it. The frame is much slower than the sandbag, but it won’t be a real problem, since I’m already moving relatively well with it. An extra 10+ lbs of bodyweight will help.

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bench last night. worked up to a 325 single, some reps at 275, more reps at 225. then did some heavy rowing on a machine. Then smith machine OHP. nothing too exciting, and I was late to the gym so I just did as much as I could in a limited time.

What’s this? I have a training log?

Strongman Sunday was a good time. Did some axle deadlifts from the floor, I think I worked up to a 525 single, or something close to that. Then moved on to the axle for clean and press, and got annihilated. Couldn’t clean 215. Just a bad day. But I dropped it to 185 and started working on technique. just did sets of cleans without the press, 5 reps about once every minute for 5 or 6 sets. I was trying to basically clean it in one motion from the floor, rather than separating the movement into the initial pull and then the high pull. if that makes sense. Can’t wait to get at it again. After that, I did axle rack pulls and got to 575. Probably will open right about that in my competition.

Last night I squatted. Worked up to sets of 3 at 405. My squats sucks right now. but whatevs. you don’t squat in strongman. i’ll build it back up after this show.


Straps, or mixed grip?

I’m curious…if you’re not training for anything specific, is there any super-cool feeling that comes with pulling an axle vs. a regular bar?

straps, for sure lol. I have a really great grip, but I’m pretty sure I couldn’t hold over 500 without straps. Using the figure 8 style straps.

axle is hard as fuck. The biggest difference is zero whip (aside from the obvious thickness). I felt weak when 500 gave me hell, then realized the whip issue and felt better about it.

I doubt I would perform this lift if it wasn’t coming up in competition. Particularly since it’s not a grip trainer since you have to use straps to move a decent amount of weight.


Along with what flip wrote about the lack of flex, the larger diametee of the axle also puts the weight further out in front of you compared to a barbell. It is a more difficult position to pull from, and recuits more lower back in my experience.

The lack of rotating sleeves tends to further compound that. In general, it is just plain more brutal than pulling with a barbell.


Had never thought about this aspect before. Makes sense! I’m glad there is another reason these are so damn difficult.

I think you could. I don’t consider myself strong in the grip category and last week did 485x3 mixed grip on an axle. I’m thinking you would be able to work up to a 525lb mix grip no problem. But, if you can use straps in the comp, than that is probably a better way to train anyways!

yea i suppose I could be underestimating myself on that. But yea, straps are allowed. This was actually my first training session with my new straps so I did every set above 300 with the straps on to get a feel for them. It’s so weird having to put your thumb on the outside of the bar with the rest of your fingers. Those straps are strong as fuck.


Had a really strong training session Saturday at my strongman gym. I also had a bench session friday that was largely not memorable, so i’ll skip logging it. just saying it happened.

At strongman i worked with the axle cleans again. Had zero issue power cleaning my competition weight of 225. So I’m glad that’s back at least. Only got 4 reps before I let the weight fall forward and dropped it. But this is easily fixed. I have 4 weeks to work on my balance and leg drive.

Did some carries and tire flips. Performed well enough.

Stone of steel was the highlight of the day. I worked up to a 290 SOS and lifted it to a height that should clear 4 ft (didnt have a platform or bar, just doing the movement.) I believe that was a 10+ lbs PR with the SOS. Tried 315 next and just missed lapping it. Had the height just couldn’t pull it in. Really proud of that one. For some reason I’m really good with the SOS.

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Deadlifts last night. I almost never do dedicated deadlift sessions anymore, but I figure I should throw in a few leading up to this comp, since I feel like I really need to win the event. Worked up to a 56 single off the floor with a regular bar, then did rack pulls with an axle. 5x5 at 485 I believe. Still kinda figuring out my best leverages for the rack pull. Fortunately I think it’s kind of hard to fuck up. It seems to involve even less technique than a deadlift off the floor.

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I’m pretty sure I missed logging a bench press session sometime last week. Whatevs.

I was out of town this weekend, but I found a crossfit box that had axles, so I popped in and did some axle OHP training. Felt AMAZING. The clean felt like nothing at 225. Really pumped about how my training went. did a set of 5 at 215, 5 at 225, and then 4 more just the press, no clean. None of these sets were AMRAP. I’m thinking 10+ reps isn’t out of the question in a few weeks.