And I’m 120!

Two things. First…our hotel in Vilnius was attached to the Tennis center and Z’s gym. Most of us were on the 4th floor so stairs were out of the question. The mini sized elevators were, well, mini. Bigg and I fit and once we had a tiny eastern European man with us but he was smooshed to the door and it was kinda awkward. I commented right away that I’d like to see how many Strongman we could fit in this thing. Think clowns and a VW bug, YO!

2nd…by far two of my favorite new friendly Strongman in Vilnius were Alex Moonen the Dutchie and Rob Frampton the Brit. I’m finding I really like the Dutchie’s. They’re direct; and honest; but kind; kind of. They’re probably a little abrupt but I really respond to that. Go figure. Also, when I handed Alex Highland Games Minion and told him his story, he jumped right in…

Vilnius 064

The funny thing about Alex also is that when he has his beard, he and the Bigg guy look a lot alike in the face. In fact, one of the amateurs called Matt Alex when they saw him in the lobby our first night. Anyways, Alex is funny; and strong; and smart; and witty; and an awesome dude to hang out with. Rob Frampton proves that those Brits are just all around great people to befriend. He’s hard working and at the same time self deprecating to the point of hilarity. He has a sweet side that was similar to what I also noticed with Loz in Findlandia last spring. Somewhat soft spoken but ready to crack a joke at a moment’s notice. We basically kidnapped Rob for post event drinks with Marcel and Dutchie Strongman Simon Sulaiman (another awesome Dutchie of course.) It was chill but a great time. OH! Rob also does an amazing American accent that sounds like a combination of North Dakotan; nerd; and hilarious. We always knew where Rob was when he’d yell, “Hey Matt!!” from anywhere. It was awesome.

ANYWAYS! All of the above comes to this. When we arrived back to the hotel after Sunday’s competition, Bigg, me, Alex, and Rob crammed into the tiniest ever elevator including their gym bags. Tight fit. We tried to check the max load of the elevator but couldn’t read the writing. We started ticking off the weight load of our group. Bigg: 165kg; Rob: 160 (ish..don’t remember exactly); Alex: maybe 160ish, again, don’t remember exactly. We were quiet for about 5 seconds when I piped up and said, AND I’M 120! Rob didn’t bite at all but Alex gave me a side-eyed look with a face of near panic thinking…I don’t think she weighs 260 pounds but I don’t know what to say!!!! Poor Alex. Matt pshhhh’d and quickly said that of course I’m not 120 but I said, Well I’m big and strong! With relief, Alex said yes, strong for sure.  Poor Dutchie.

Big and Strong. I actually work really, really hard to be big and strong. Now I don’t want to be big and fluffy, but I do want to be big and strong. Cuz as the Lady GaGa says, I was born that way. I was talking yesterday with one of my clients. David is in his late 50’s, slight build, and keeps us healthy and strong with their Ono Hawaiian food. He weighs about 150 pounds and squatted 60kg yesterday for the first time. He’s awesome. Anyways. I remarked that the last time I weighed 150#??? Probably about 9th grade. Maybe. I know when I was 16 and got my first drivers license my weight on that was 175 (I didn’t know you could lie about that stuff back then.)

Now, I wasn’t a 10th grade fatty. I did ok. I could have done more conditioning but all we knew back then was running and that just wasn’t happening. So I’d run around the bases in softball but that was it. Point is, I was born big and strong. Now I’m stronger…and bigger. There are just some places that middle age puts some fluff. A better off season diet; high volume training, and kettlebells are taking care of that and what it doesn’t, well I’m not going to sweat it. All’s well. I do ok.

I’m obviously not 120…but big and strong? Yup. Born that way…taking advantage of it, YO!

Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.

Mae West

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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