We had a few firsts last weekend at tosabarbell. With the help of Swede and Chris (since Bigg is a wing down and unable to work the heavy loads for a bit) we got the flooring and the platforms in. Look how happy Swede looks…

The day was slated for warm but rainy so I was very, very happy to see the sun. This would not have been as much fun in the rain. Things ran as smooth as humanly possible and I’m very thankful for that. The platforms were heavy but between the three of us (turned out 1-me + 1-Chris= 1-Swede) we got’er done. We even walked away with a bonus platform for Swede to take for his home set up.

I like how big the above picture makes the gym look. Heh. It’s a bit deceiving…we’ll be cozy in there. We were having so much fun, the guys decided to assemble the squat rack…

….which begs the question, how many Strongman does it take to hold a portion of a squat rack? And now for the lists of firsts:

1. First Pro Strongman visitor at tosabarbell: Sam McMahon

B) First gym dog: Butkus (Sam’s very sweet Rottie)

III First meal in tosabarbell: OKG Char Siu chicken and Kalua pork. Scrumptious!

We finished up with beers while talking Strongman story and it was perfect.

Huge Mahalo to Chris and Swede for all of their help, we couldn’t have done this without you and to Sam for showing up at the perfect time (when the floor and platforms were in and beers were being served;) and genuinely for his input which saved us on a couple of different items.

We’re hoping it’s only the first of many times these guys will be hanging (and training) at tosabarbell. Next up? Ginormous equipment order…stay tuned!

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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