This past weekend Brandon Lilly, Swede Burns, and Greg Panora paid a visit to Gaglione Strength for the latest installment of their Reclaiming Real Strength Tour. It was an awesome event and I plan to recap it later in the week on The Bench Blog. We were definitely fortunate to have 3 world class lifters lending us their advice and stories from over 50 years combined experience in training and competing
Even more so than the advice at these types of seminars, I really value the stories these lifters have to share. I often feel I find more motivation and drive through the stories than anything. Stories have a way of sticking with you and inspiring you in special ways. Some of the stories shared this past weekend were about the competitive drive of some lifters which I want to gear this post towards
Many of the stories shared revolved around powerlifting great Chuck Vogelpohl, who's aggression and competitive drive in the sport is unmatched. Stories of Chuck will be passed around as long as powerlifting exists, his name is immortalized with the greats. Brandon Lilly shared many great stories of how Chuck always had to beat someone in a training session while at westside barbell
For accessories Chuck would pinch grip hang for time to improve his grip strength. One day Brandon Lilly was able to beat him in time with 1 minute 6 seconds. Chuck did not like this one bit and was determined to out hang Brandon. 45 seconds into it, Brandon said Chuck had already began convulsing while hanging in the air, shaking uncontrollably while his face turned dark red. He obviously was not going to be out done that day as he screamed for the time check. Once 1 minute 7 seconds in, he immediately let go and plummeted to the ground. The man could barely walk to his car, no exaggeration, but he was quick to shove it at Brandon
This wasn’t even a competitive lift but Chuck would not be beat. This says a lot about the greats, they will simply do whatever it takes to win and are always looking at the next competition. I have wrote about how competition brings out the best in us before, this type of mindset can push you beyond places you could ever imagine
Brandon had also mentioned that he never takes preworkout before lifts or gets hyped with music because when he goes to a meet he wont have to rely on those stimulants to hit his lifts. Instead he will be able to count on them when it mattered to get an extra boost. He saves the hype for the time it counts. Swede also chimed in how he can turn it on in an instant when he needs to lift, so much that he could start crying. These guys know how to get in the right mindset for a lift.
Swede mentioned how getting under the bar is like being in hell, but in his words he’s the “mother f***ing devil”. I love that quote. We all feel a little sense of fear of heavy weights we haven’t ever touched before, and it will feel like hell, but guess what… we’re the mother f***ing devil and nothing can stop us
Stories and shared experiences like these are what I value most in a good seminar and we got plenty of exactly that. I am very grateful those three paid the gym a visit and took the time to talk with us
Next time you feel timid getting under the weight or start to fear your competition, just remember what I just wrote. Pretend you’re the lunatic legend chuck vogelpohl and think of yourself as the mother f***ing devil and you’ll be alright
Check back this week for a full write up on the seminar!
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