The following is the transcript of a text conversation I had in the warm up room at the 2015 IPF World Bench Press Championships. Sometimes the hardest thing is just waiting to lift. By this stage I had weighed in and was sitting around until the 120kg class finished their session. The warm up room was a one minute walk from the on deck area but the energy in the room was still electric. Training to stay calm and not burn up all my energy with nerves was hard to do so I welcomed the message from back home. I was talking to Rob Murrell, an Australian 120kg powerlifter and owner of Barbarian Strength and Conditioning in Rockingham, WA. In this contest prep I had done all my heaviest sessions in his gym.
Rob Murrell Time to go to work bud. This is your bread and butter.
Rob Murrell Warm ups soon?
Nathan Baxter When the 120s are done.
Rob Murrell Sweet. Feeling good buddy.
Nathan Baxter Nerves are the worst waiting like this. Warm ups will help. Get the shirt on and feel even better. Nail 340 and I’ll feel great.
340kg was my planned opening attempt that I submitted an hour earlier at weigh in.
Rob Murrell 340 is the perfect opener. I’ve seen you do it plenty of times before. You know you can nail it. Use those nerves, they will help you. You got this mate. This is what you do.
Nathan Baxter Yeah man I got this. Step by step. Tick all the boxes. 340 is just another step along the path.
Rob Murrell That’s it mate. Tick the boxes, check them of the list. It’s just a procedure, you have done it plenty of times before. You know what to do.
Rob Murrell Time to do your thing champ. Bring it home strong buddy.
Nathan Baxter In the warm up room now. Staked out my bench with Jona and Ryan. Vibe is strong. Liking the energy.
Jona Leo, 2013 World Bench Press Champion and Ryan Carrillo, 2013 World Junior Bench Press Champion are my Team Titan team mates who I often travel with. Being the sole Aussie at the championships every year isn’t easy so I have formed strong bonds with both of these USA lifters. The importance of having a good team around a lifter can’t be overstated. Team USA and Team Great Britain have always looked after me well and this day was no different.
Rob Murrell Excellent. First box on the list ticked.
Nathan Baxter I’m going with no socks and shoes untied just like in the gym.
Back in Perth I rarely wear shoes during the day and when it comes time to train I simply slip on my Olympic lifting shoes with laces untied and go to work. I began to ask myself “Why should today be any different?” The challenge I always find is to calm my nerves to make comp day just like training at home, so no socks and laces undone it was. Took 5 Recov Bipeptides.
Rob Murrell I love it. Just like home.
Nathan Baxter 70kg done. So good to have a barbell in my hands!
My last heavy session was eight days ago and then I did two light sessions during the week. Not lifting heavy is hard and the morning before lifting seemed to drag on so to finally start warming up felt great. On the bench, doing what I know how to do best was the best way to calm to pre competition jitters
Rob Murrell Nice. Same as the gym mate. Lightweight buddy.
Nathan Baxter Openers are posted. Opening equal 5th.
Rob Murrell Great. Nail it and tick that off the list.
Nathan Baxter 120×3 feeling the energy now.
Rob Murrell Easy mate. Just keep going through the list. You know what you are doing. Enjoy the energy, let it fuel you.
Nathan Baxter 150×3 tick. Wrist wraps on next.
Rob Murrell Yeah nice. I’ve got the feed up ready to rock, scoresheet looks great. I can almost feel the energy myself.
The meet was being broadcast live over the internet.
Nathan Baxter 180 done. Feeling good. Raw warm ups never feel that great but these do. Slowing down and giving you these updates is helping.
It really was! One of the best things for any athlete is to stay in the moment. Unfortunately it’s also one of the hardest things to do. Having good Wi-Fi connection and something to do between warm up attempts helped slow me down and not get caught up in the excitement of the day.
Rob Murrell Good buddy. You have worked hard for this. It should feel great. Phone is in my hands. Whatever you need bud I’m here.
Nathan Baxter Shirts on.
Rob Murrell Time to go to work. You know what to do. You’ve done this before.
Took 5 Recov Bipeptides washed down with some Coke. I know Coke isn’t the best but at times like this I like the sugar and instant energy.
Nathan Baxter 315×1 to 2b so damn fast.
So this means I took 315kg as a partial rep. I use this weight as a way to set myself and get the equipment all dialled in. Quite often it doesn’t feel too good but today it felt awesome.
Rob Murrell It’s going to fly off your chest. It will be fast. Lock out strong.
Rob Murrell You know what you’re doing. You’ve done this before.
Nathan Baxter 330 to 1 board done. I’m ready.
Took 5 more Recov Bipeptides and headed down to the on deck area. Start of warm up to now was about 50 minutes. Everything felt great and I knew I was in for a big day out. Energy was good, no aches, no pain just the feeling of being completely ready.
Rob Murrell Yeah buddy it’s time to do your thing. Have fun.
Rob Murrell Take your time and set yourself. You have done this before.
Rob Murrell Yeah buddy. Nailed it!
Rob Murrell Proud of you bud. Nailed that PR and a new Oceania record!!!!
Competition complete. Nailed a 340kg bench press on my second attempt and then went for 352.5kg attempting to squeeze into the bronze medal position. A small technical error tripped me up so despite getting the weight off my chest and up to lockout I was denied the attempt. Strength wasn’t the issue, just a little sloppy with the form! I don’t mind this as I know I will take this weight next time out and smash it. I was pleased that I was in the battle and gave it my all. 340kg counted as a new Commonwealth, Oceania and Australian record and gave me 6th place (on a count back as two of us had the same lift) which is my best showing at a World Championship.
All in all a pretty good day out. Now it’s time to start preparing for World’s 2016! With the support of No Days Off I am certain I will be in the best shape of my life.
I woke up this morning in a good mood because #coach_kyle said I’m allowed to train today. I started work at 5.30am, trained a few clients, went back home… had a recovery nap, trained a few more clients…12 noon was training time! Kyle hooked me up with a killer isolation training program, it looked brutal on paper & it lived up to its expectation & was brutal in reality. The whole session took 1.5 hours & my only rest was 30 seconds between sets. So it was high intensity isolation weight lifting… love it! I did approximately 217897325 reps adjusting the weight constantly (lots of drop sets) on the leg extension & leg curl. Kick backs, dumbbell shoulder press, face pulls, lat pull downs, 45 degree lat pulldowns, incline dumbbell fly’s were also part of the program. My body is pumped! My muscles are filled out again (I didn’t lose my gains!), I feel lactic like I just did a massive endurance CrossFit workout, my quads & shoulders are back, I’m sweaty, I’m hungry & I’m feeling amazing. I constantly checked up on my little wounds to make sure they were all nice & clean, I had no belly pain & no nausea. I popped 3 Recov Bipeptide tablets before & after the session. I then met up with two of my CrossFit team mates Jayne & Ryan at our local favourite place for post workout food (Soulpress). We talked strategies for this competition & recovery. I still feel 100% part of my team <3 Now I’m off for another recovery nana nap before I head back into the gym to punish my night time clients 😛 Today has been a good day! * Below is my other little home for the next 2-4 weeks… for all of the gains!
For the past year, I’ve been training anywhere from 2.5 hours – 4 hours 6 days a week in the CrossFit Comp group at Moorabbin. It has become my whole world really. I’ve ditched the weekend drinks, I’ve ditched late nights & processed foods (unless it’s cheat day 😉 ) & I’ve prioritised my training before ANYTHING. I can 100% call myself a very disciplined person. There’s a small group of us at Moorabbin who have put our lives on hold to give everything we have to becoming the BEST team we can possibly be to make it to Regionals this coming May. Every February, the CrossFit Open starts. It runs for 5 weeks & every Friday a new workout gets announced – so it’s all very secret until then. You can’t plan or prepare for it… you just hope your coach has programmed your training right for the past year so that you can complete all the movements and get through the workout. Once you complete the workout (it needs to be judged by an official judge & sometimes even video recorded if you are trying to make Regionals), you submit your score & you get ranked against your club, your state, your country, your region (for us Aussies it’s Australia, New Zealand & South East Asia) & the world. The top 30 individual athletes and the top 20 teams (3 men, 3 women + 2 reserves) in the Region, go to Regionals in Wollongong. Our Moorabbin Comp Group have been training our butts off to get a team in this year. Everyone has stepped up in every way possible. We are best mates, we are supportive & we manage to have fun even when training breaks us down. I am in peak condition at the moment, I’m stronger & fitter than I have ever been in my life – thanks to my coach Kyle Frankenfeld.
Three weeks ago, I had excruciating pain in my abdominals. It was in the middle of the night that I woke up, unable to lay straight or fall back asleep, I figured it’s either really really bad period pain, i’ve torn my abdominals or I’ve got gastro. It lasted about 48 hours and I pushed through training – then it just disappeared! I went to the doctors & he said just keep an eye on it and come back if it happens again. I got through another two weeks of training and the pain came back. I went to the doctors, did some blood & urine tests then went in for an ultrasound where they discovered I had a slight rupture in my appendix & sent me in to have a CT scan. From there they confirmed my appendix was quadruple the size it should be, I had a slight rupture but luckily the fluid was contained! From there I went straight to emergency & spent the next 4 days in hospital which was the worst 4 days in my life so far! I was admitted on Thursday & the CrossFit Open started on Friday… are you f*cking kidding me!??? If anyone has some sort of magical remedy for bad luck… please share it with me… this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. My surgery kept getting cancelled and pushed back as my pain threshold is high & I didn’t complain of pain like everyone else was. Every hour that went by I was thinking… my trainings gone to waste, I’m losing too much weight (as I was fasting), I need to move etc etc. It was torture being confined to a small space & not getting any answers. I run my own business & had to keep cancelling on my clients… I was losing money & losing my mind in there! Finally after spending 2 nights in hospital, crying every single day not knowing what was happening, on the third morning I went in for surgery. I was so relieved something was happening… all I could think was I need this f*cking appendix out so I can recover & get back into training! I don’t want to let my team down. A simple surgery was a little complicated due to the fact that I have very little body fat. My organs were all squished together & they had a little trouble finding my appendix – It was hiding behind my bowel. A one hour operation turned into a three hour operation & when I finally woke up… I almost had a little break down again because I was so relieved! (Either that or I was just being a big baby). After surgery I had my family & team mates come visit me, it was great! I FINALLY got to eat! I inhaled the food & asked for more. I think hospitals need to accommodate a little more for athletes – going from eating every 2 hours no nothing was not good for my body. I was determined to start moving that day, so I had a little sleep & managed to do some hospital laps with the bf! It felt so good to be not laying down! The next day I woke up feeling positive… I got up, I put on a bra (that was a big step lol), I brushed my teeth & went to the toilet all by myself, did a few hospital laps, said g’day to the nurses, packed my bags because I WAS GOING HOME NO MATTER WHAT!!! An hour later I was discharged! Waaaa hooooo! You couldn’t get me out quicker! I went straight from the hospital to the gym to go cheer on my team mates who were doing the first workout. I felt so good to be home. Now I’m focussed on getting better ASAP so I can possibly do workout 4 or 5 or both! So I spoke to Arron from NDO & I’m upping my recov to 9 tablets a day to help this body heal! It’s been just over 24 hours since surgery, I’m walking around & other than having a tight buddha belly… I’m feeling alright! I have been told to stay away from CrossFit for roughly 4 weeks (depending on healing time), I’m allowed to do isolation work but no more than 10kg and no engaging my core. – Challenge accepted! I’m not taking any pain killers because I want to feel how my body is recovering. Tomorrow I’m starting some old school bodybuilding thanks to my coach Kyle. Evolve 247 will be hosting me for the next 4 weeks. I’m hoping this might actually be a blessing and maybe 4 weeks of training differently will make me stronger. That’s my plan anyway. Lets see how Recov and alternative training helps appendicitis recovery! I’ve attached some photo’s of my swollen belly, excuse the fake tan that the tape has ripped off!
After Team NDO saw the 2016 FIBO Fair in Germany, I dropped Brigidene off at Frankfurt Airport and met my friend, Jason Martin who arrived to be the NDO Camera man/Assistant for the week. We decided hiring a car was the better option to get ourselves north to Forde, Norway to see NDO athlete Jürgen Spieß compete in the 2016 European Championships.
The company had been involved in Jürgen’s progress for just over a year and he is very much a company favorite or certainly becoming one. I had spent time with him previous and we have always had fun and got along very well. This is partly why I wanted to be there to support him in his efforts as this was not just a usual EU champs for him, as he needed to lift a 385kg total to qualify for Rio 2016, his third Olympics. We were lucky enough to catch him the day before, he was nervous, but feeling good. He seemed ready.
On the day, he Snatched well and going in to the Clean & Jerk he needed 213kg more to make the 385kg requirement to qualify for the Rio Olympics. Jurgen opened with 206kg and smashed it to bits. No problem. He then went straight to 213kg for his 2nd lift. He struggled out of the clean and looked like he spent a lot of energy during the first part of the movement. He then jerked and just didn’t lock out his arms and dropped it. This now meant he had about 1 minute to re-compose and follow himself and come out to lift a weight that just got the better of him. In true dramatic fashion, he returned to the platform and lifted 213kg as though the previous attempt had never happened. Tears and jubilation ensued as the realization hit that he would be attending his 3rd Olympic Games. We were ecstatic and I was so proud as a sponsor. I really understand now as a sponsor/supporter the real fulfilment and great feeling you experience when an athlete you are involved with has success and you are a part of the support team in them producing that result or performance. As an athlete I always questioned why coaches and support staff even did it, especially if they were an ex-athlete. But now I know.
Days later I caught up with the man of the moment for a quick interview in his home town of Heidelberg. Here is how it went aswell as the EU Champs performance.
Every four years, a few months prior to the greatest sporting event known to man, The Olympic Games, it is not widely known exactly how equipment, arena’s, surface’s are tested in some of the sports being competed there. In 2016 the Games are to be held in Rio Di Janeiro, Brazil, and after much scrutiny from media about the readiness of stadiums in recent times, the eyes of the world and relevant organisations and federations alike would be transfixed on the South American tourist hub to get a sneak preview of what awaits as the Road to Rio takes a penultimate turn and heads for the finish line.
There is no better way to test out the Olympic Weightlifting arena than to have a competition. Not all countries send an athlete to this preview comp but it certainly is equally as beneficial for the athlete as it for the organisers, as this gives the athlete a chance to acclimatise to different conditions. This certainly was the case with German 105+ contender Almir Velagic, making the voyage to Rio with coach Oliver Caruso, ever watchful by his side.
After the Columbian team dominated the lower weight class’s, claiming six of the divisions, Team NDO’s Almir Velagic produced a career best Clean and Jerk of 241kg to take the Gold and defeating the hometown favourite Reis from Brasil.
This personal record(PR)caps off a string of career best performances in the last 12 mths for ‘The Lion Of Heidelberg’. A career best Snatch at the EU championships last April and PR’s across the board at the IWF World Championships in Houston in November has raised eye-brows of those in the sport who believe Velagic’s age is against him. Breaking into the 240kg+ Clean and Jerk club and a taste of Gold just months out from what will be his third Olympics, confidence is high in the German camp and also with Team No Days Off as the Marquee athlete and team captain , Almir Velagic’s Road to Rio has been perfect.. and if you know German Weightlifting… its all about Perfection.
Recently, No Days Off Supplements’ Director, Arron Crawford caught up with ‘The Lion’ in his home town of Heidelberg,Germany. This is how it went..
By Brigidene O’Shaughnessy IFBB Figure/Physique Athlete
It was an absolute privilege to attend FIBO as an employee and athlete of NoDaysOff Supplements. The trip was a major success with opportunities to grow through new partnerships and exposure to the very best sports supplements and equipment currently on the market.
So what is FIBO?
*The largest health fitness and lifestyle exhibition and convention in Europe *An industry trade show boasting over 130 000 sqmetres of exhibition space *Over 100 countries involved and approximately 725 exhibitors
* Has literally everything you can conceivably think of that relates to the fitness industry *Is an opportunity to view bodybuilding, crossfit, strongman/woman competitions *The place to get amazing deals on big brand clothing, footwear and equipment *The centre of innovation, great new concepts and scientific breakthroughs in health
The expo was over 4days which was needed to get through the all the exhibition halls and the many thousands in attendance each day.
During the event we met with Patrick Carbo from our parent company Recov Bipeptides, Rob Daeman from Stacker2Europe, Dennis Kohlruss-Giants Live competitor and WSM, Alexej Prochorow-105kg+ competitor for the German Olympic Weightligting team. There was also a chance meeting with Tony Doherty-Arnold ClassicAustralian Promoter which was awesome!
After FIBO it was on to Sittard, just over the German border in the Netherlands to tour the Stacker2Europe factory and meet with Rob and the crew. After trying some of the amazing new products which are coming onto the market later this year we were treated to a night in the nearby picturesque village of Mastricht. The following day involved many connecting trains back to Frankfurt and then straight home to Perth.
Highlights: Seeing the beautiful city of Cologne, trying authentic German food, smelling the pastries every day, training in different gyms and getting training tips from MD Arron Crawford.
Lowlights: Losing my phone on Day 1 of the expo-thankfully it was handed back on the last day, getting locked in a disabled toilet (don’t even ask) and smashing my IPad!!
It was the working trip of a lifetime and I would sincerely like to thank Arron Crawford and the team at NDO Supps for the opportunity to both work for the organisation and represent it as an athlete. Cannot wait to see what the future holds for NDOSupps.
Olympic legend in Melbourne to give seminars on weightlifting and his remarkable life and living with diabetes
And for Queensland…
Olympic legend in Queensland to give seminars on weightlifting and his remarkable life and living with diabetes
Olympic Weightlifting Gold medalist legend Matthias Steiner is heading to Melbourne and Queensland to give seminars in weightlifting and to share his remarkable story about overcoming adversity, nutrition and living with diabetes.
The Austrian-German weightlifter won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics shortly after the tragic death of his wife and held a photo of her on the podium during the medal presentation.
In one of the most emotional moments in Olympic history, Steiner won gold in the men’s 105kg+ category with his last attempt at the clean and jerk by lifting 258kg – 10kg more than he had ever lifted previously
Steiner was in training for the Games when Susann was killed in a tragic car accident in 2007.
“I had to make a decision, whether to just stop or to carry on weightlifting,” Steiner said
“I realised that even if I stopped, what had happened was not going to change. It’s going to stay with me for the rest of my life.”
Having overcome many obstacles in his life, the 32-year-old will share his experiences and knowledge at seminars for beginners, intermediate and advanced weightlifters in Melbourne and Queensland from August 14-25 at the following locations;
14th Crossfit Merciless
15th Crossfit Dexterity
16th Crossfit Diamond Valley
17th Crossfit Box Hill
18th Crossfit Box Hill
19th Crossfit Rosebud
20th Crossfit Pakenham
25th Australian Strength Performance
22nd Reebok Crossfit Gold Coast
23rd Crossfit Bounce
As a teenager, Steiner was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes but he was able to successfully manage condition and diet despite the demands of weightlifting.
Steiner’s father Friedrich was a 20-time IWF Masters World Weightlifting champion and trained him for a time but didn’t think his son had what it took to be a successful weightlifter. Instead, Matthias Steiner went on to be four-time Austrian National Champion, win gold at the 2008 Olympics, compete at the 2004 and 2012 Olympic Games, win silver in the world championships and silver and bronze in the European championships.
Steiner was 2008 German Sportsperson of the year and is currently competing on the German production of TV’s Dancing with the Stars as well as Diabetes prevention advocate in Germany.
He was convinced to come to Australia by No Days Off Supplements Director and Founder Arron Crawford, who recently traveled to Germany to meet him.
“This is an incredible opportunity for weightlifters to learn from an Olympic gold medalist,” Arron said. “After my own hardships and adversity in sport and life, I thought there would be no better role model for weightlifters, athletes, diabetics or anyone who is enduring tough times.”
Just moments ago Olympic Gold Medalist and German Hero was with Arron Crawford, CEO of No Days Off Supplements and when asked to tour Australia on behalf on NDO , Matthias answered YES. Here is the video, taken at the Hotel Savoy, Cologne, Germany.
Inge Steiner, NDO’s Arron Crawford and Matthias Steiner
As many off you may be aware, Arron Crawford is currently in Europe on his way to FIBO Cologne 2015. On his way there he has called into Stacker2 Europe HQ in the Netherlands to meet and greet the team there, to take a tour of the facilities, and to consolidate our relationship as No Days Off Supplements is introducing the Stacker2 Europe rage into Australia as their exclusive distributor.
While at HQ, Arron sampled some of their great new flavours and conducted a short interview for us on the other side of the world.