The Bear

One of my favorite competition pictures of Bigg is from Lapland two years ago deadlifting the Iceman Bear.  I found a story from a couple of years back on IronMind that when Champions League promoter Ilkka Kinnunen announced to the athletes that they would be lifting the National animal, some of the guys were a bit concerned about whether or not the bear was in a cage and just how close they would be to it’s mouth.

Bigg said that Dutch Pro Jarno Hams had a lot of fun with that one, trying to scare the guys as much as possible until they figured out it was stuffed. There was a cute quote from Misha Koklyaev that “when the bear shouts, it will give me extra energy to lift.” I asked Bigg about that. He said that Misha got pretty sick at this competition and that by the time the rules meeting was over, Misha was already downing Vodka to feel better. When he invited Bigg to come drink with him, of course he did. Who’s going to say no to drinking Vodka at eight in the morning on the Arctic Circle with Misha Koklyaev? Not my guy, for sure!

OH! Bigg also said that after the bear deadlift, we get to eat Reindeer stew and potatoes. Awesome.

Have a great day.

“If you’re playing a poker game and you look around the table and can’t tell who the sucker is, it’s you.”

Paul Newman

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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