Friday Jams

When a Hungarian tells you that he’s going to take you to his favorite Hungarian restaurant, your ears perk up. When that Hungarian turns out to be Hungary’s strongest Strongman where you KNOW he loves to eat, you KNOW you’re about to have an amazing meal.

Akos Nagy was so incredibly generous with he and his friend’s and son’s time while we were in Budapest that it was slightly overwhelming. Training, water park, sauna, tour guide, and dinner. Wow! He told us about this place and that there is a Gipsy band but only on certain nights. As we walked in, the three musicians front and center happily greeted Akos’ and proceeded to give us all an amazing, almost private concert.

The first serenade was an Elvis tune, Love Me Tender. I would love to show you the video I shot but it turns out I completely SUCK at shooting video and had my finger over the sound for everything I shot! I was so sad.  After that song, they played a Fiddler on the Roof tune, If I Were A Rich Man. Now, Fiddler has been my favorite musical since I was about 7. I dunno why. But I love it. Being in Budapest, with my new Husband, our new Hungarian friends, listening to an amazing trio of Hungarian musicians play music that has always meant so much to me and it was almost too much. I loved that Akos’ didn’t seem to mind that I teared up a bit and enjoyed the music.

After that, they played the song above, The Lark. It was amazing. As if there were a tiny bird sitting on his shoulder instead of a violin. The man playing the Dulcimer was so incredible I just couldn’t help but stare at the way his hands FLEW across the instrument. He later noticed how enthralled I was with his playing that he made me sit down next to him and played me my own tune! SO incredible!

Better musical friends

This entire night probably sums up our visit to Budapest. Amazing food, amazing music, amazing friends. Even with the others barely speaking English, we found enough commonality to have many laughs. Akos’ son, little Akos’ (what we called him) is a charming, adorable 10 year old who loves Lego’s and climbing on National statues, soooooo, kids are pretty much the same all over. OH! Here’s a question, why do European men sing their country’s folk songs and American men don’t? Look, these strong, deep voices singing it out is awesome. Take note ‘Merikans. I have video of that too. Heehee.

Oh ya, the food? It was the best I’ve ever had. And that was after a week of having “the best I’d ever had.” After being home for only 5 days, I’ve already dropped 8 of the pre-wedding and honeymoon pounds I gained from tweaking my diet (incorrectly, obviously) with a new training plan and going absolutely crazy on honeymoon. I feel better but ohhhhhhh, that food. Bigg is spending one last day there today and I told him he needs to go back there and eat the fish soup again. My god it’s good. If I lived there I’d happily weigh a million pounds. True story.

Our group

The entire experience has been absolutely incredible. I’ll bask a bit more in it all but then it’s time to get back to work. Games are gearing up and it’s time to get back into it. The house needs some work and it’s time to pay attention to it. Dogs are shedding all over so I have to go vacuum. Again. But they’re Hungarian dogs so it’s worth it. Heh.

My Hungarian brothers! I am here to rejoice with you. The several century-long dream of the people of the land now becomes true; land will belong to the one who cultivates it. Today, some one hundred years after our father Kossuth raised the flag of freedom fight high, the hard working people of the Hungarian soil march to re-conquer their homeland and take what is lawfully theirs.

Imre Nagy

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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