Monday Bacon: Eye Of The Tiger

This has always been one of my favorite Rocky scenes. It reinforces the need of an athlete to step it up when it’s time. It fits my competitive personality and also made poor Rock a little more human…after all, if the Rocky gets off track, it’s ok when I do. But when we’re looking a goal in the face, get your shit in gear.


We cannot keep pushing off hard work for the next session, the next block, the next contest, etc. The time is now. Whether your next event is in the next two weeks, or the next two months, get your head straight now. Make a plan. Execute it.

It’s one of the hardest things to coach at times, the Eye of the Tiger. You know, that intangible element we each bring to the mat/platform/trig/whatever. That extra 10% we can count on kicking in to give us a boost on our attempts. Taking those competition nerves and learning how to channel them to bring out the best in each event instead of letting it shut us down.

We see it all over the strength sports world. Numbers hit in training that feels light and solid suddenly have become the impossible on game day. As others are warming up and feeling the weight, we hang back, unsure of how this is going to go. Thinking in our head that it should be fine, hopefully, ya, it should hopefully be fine.

No. No! No! No! That is not the way we approach competition. Step up, no hanging back, bring it. ALL of it. Eye of the Tiger. Not only do you “got this”, you got this and anything else game day brings your way.

Last Friday, I woke up to an e-mail that started like this…


You have been selected to compete at the Arnold Classic Sports Festival 2014 Highland Games!!!

Lots of thoughts immediately ran through my head. Joy, thankfulness, relief, pride, nervousness, holy crap!, ya know, the usual. I knew I’d have to plan out my training and throwing to (hopefully) be able to hit big throws the first weekend in March. Uhhhh, but it’s snowing this winter in Wisconsin, how do I throw? Well jules, you’ll probably be throwing in cold and maybe snow at The Arnold, you’ll have plenty of practice. Yeah me. So we shall throw in the snow. (Very 300 eh?) Eye on the prize.

I’ve set up my training to come in a bit leaner, stronger, and with more throwing skills than I had this past season. I’ll do everything I can to remain healthy and injury free. Good food; good living; getting a sports massage from Jake down at The Brickyard at least once every 2 weeks; good sleep; stretching and training myself as hard as I possibly can. Eye of the Tiger. Whatever I can do now to find success down the line. Knowing I have plenty of time, but not wasting it. I’m focused, realistic. My eye is on this next week, the first of high volume training. But I know each week brings me closer to game day and I’m on it.

Eye of the Tiger…I haz it.

You’re gonna eat lightnin’ and you’re gonna crap thunder!


Training Log

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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