PR’s and such…

The crew at CrossFit Barrington and I had a great afternoon on Saturday at a Train the Trainers Pulling camp. We walked through the easiest and most effective ways to teach and cue Deadlifts and Power Cleans. Everyone did a great job and latched on to the simple steps of coaching and moved right into quickly correcting issues that arise from less than optimum form. And of course, they were as entertaining as always.

One of the more entertaining characters is Craig. The last time I was at the gym, it quickly became clear that Craig is very strong. And a little nuts. Really, quite a good combination in the strength game. So when he came up to me at the end of 4+ hours of deadlifting and working the power clean and said, “I kinda feel like I should PR my squat since you’re here” I said, “hokay!”

Craig’s remnants of his November beard

We warmed him up, did one (slightly loose) squat at 440 and loaded the bar at 460. OH! I failed to grab a picture of his new ‘stache so I grabbed this one off his fb page. It was pretty cool. The video of the squat is there too. His 460 was much tighter than his last warm up and even he may have been a little surprised at how fast he got the bar up. PR! Had we been at a meet, 475 would have been his 3rd attempt. Pretty cool. In fact we’ll be looking for a meet to get him to this season…stay tuned. At 190#, he should do well in his first meet.

Special thanks to Brian and Leah, Chris and their trainers for a great afternoon and fun dinner. Anyone looking for an excellent mix of strength, strongman, and CrossFit with knowledgeable trainers/coaches in the Chicago area, I highly recommend CrossFit Barrington. We’ll be back in a couple of months for a Pressing camp. We’ll wait until Bigg can put up some big numbers with the log again. Heh.



Welcome Raelynn Sue to the world (here with much older and wiser cousin Addi.) Bigg’s sister had an original due date of Christmas but some drama here and there kept moving up the date. The doc’s were prepared to bust out baby today when she decided to take matters into her own hands and meet the world in the wee hours of Monday morning. Baby healthy, Mama healthy…all good. It’s been a while since I’ve had a brand new baby in my arms and it was pretty special. Baby smells, baby noises, and good health all around has all of us breathing a small sigh of relief, and a huge sigh of thanks.

As for tosabarbell? Equipment keeps trickling in, the 2 Man Crew is finishing up some details and we’re closer than ever at getting going. All in all, a pretty awesome weekend.

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.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s