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Atomic Athletic Blog

  • Tai Chi Balls Getting Ready For Shipment

    Yes.  We do have two different types of finish on the Tai Chi Balls: Clear Coat and Wax.  This is a

    Tai Chi Balls Ready for Clear Coat
    Tai Chi Balls Ready for Clear Coat Polyurethane at Atomic Athletic.

    run that is going to be clear coated.  I love the clear coat finish.  It is very durable and makes the balls look great!

    Most of the clear coat polyurethaned Tai Chi Balls head off to classrooms.  They are very easy to clean... always a good thing.

  • 1932 Atlanta Police Department Gym

    Caption: “Here we see the barbell section of the Atlanta Police Department gym, under the personal, efficient, directorship of Edward Rosendahl, standing on the extreme right.  No wonder the Atlanta police force are strongly erect and vigorously alert.  They are an example which the police departments of other cities could copy with pride.  Instructor Rosendahl is the enthusiastic, aggressive type that accomplishes great things in body building training.  He also conducts two other schools in the city of Atlanta, Ga.”

    Equipment List: Based on Close Examination of Photo

    Old Time Strongman Gym Atlanta Police Department Gym: Circa 1932

    Adjustable Barbells
    Adjustable Dumbbells
    Adjustable Kettlebell Handles (Milo Bar Bell 1908 Tri-Plex Type): York improved on this design about 10 years later and we sell that type now. They are extremely versatile and are the preferred type to use for the competition type crucifix hold, found here: http://atomicathletic.com/store/index.php/kettlebell-handles-pair.html

    Globe Kettlebells (Milo Bar Bell Duplex Type)
    “Pro-Style” Barbells: Various Weights
    “Olympic” Plates – In a Rack
    Block Weights (I have some antique Toledo brand for sale here: http://atomicathletic.com/store/index.php/antique-toledo-block-weight-50-pounds.html

    Parallel Bars
    Wooden Seats/Benches
    Spring Steel “Crushers”
    Strands (Spring Type Chest Expanders)
    Barbells Racks
    Dumbbell Racks
    Plate Racks
    Tons of Plates
    Photos of Boxers, Wrestlers & other Strength Athletes

    Keep checking back, as I am doing an analysis of the equipment with related links, with the actual caption.

    All the best,
    Roger LaPointe
    “Today is a good day to lift.”

  • Brodie's Saloon & the Kennedy Lift

         "Steve Brodie, the man who took a chance, he jumped off the Brooklyn

    Chain Bar Heavy Lift Strongman Hip Lift with Train Wheels

    Bridge(so they say) had a saloon on the Bowery back in 1892 with a gym in the rear. This was not unusual. A lot of barrooms supported gyms. The author (York Barbell's Gord Venables) visited the Turnverein in Union City, New Jersey, in 1960 and it was back of the bar in a Swiss Restaurant.

         Bill Kennedy, a New York carpenter, performed nightly at Brodie's Saloon, lifting 1500 pounds in the straddle deadlift with handle and chain. The lifting feat became popular among strongmen of that era and it now bears his name - The Kennedy Lift." (Strength & Health, “Incredible Feats of Strength”, Venables, Oct-Nov 1974, p. 59

    Atomic Tip: Using the Hand & Thigh Bar with the Chain Lift Bar for a Kennedy Lift will allow you to go much heavier than a Jefferson Lift (barbell Straddle Deadlift), as you can “set” the bar in the partial movement. While you certainly can use bumper plates, cast iron 100's are far more dense. Make sure you use accurate ones, or at least weigh them so you can get the weight right from one end of the bar to the other. Obviously, you want the chain lift bar to have a balanced load, without loose wobbly collars.

  • More Than Sit-Ups

    Throwing out the Ab Work
    Let's make your training more interesting. First, we are going to throw out the half hour of ab work.

    Bent Pressing Bent Pressing

    Instead, we are going to start a training program aimed at learning the bent press. You may or may not like the bent press, or even get to the point where you are doing any really high weights, but the strength journey will be worth it. You will also get plenty of serious abdominal work.

    Today, we aren't even going to get into doing the bent press. We are going to go over some of the steps toward getting into it. Even if you are an experienced bent presser, breaking down the lift and working these related lifts will really help your max-out lift.

     

    http://atomicathletic.com/store/index.php/classic-core-training.html

    Go Into The Gym
    I was going to start this off with some history, equipment tips and other related items, but I know that you can't wait to get into the gym. So, print off this Atomic Athletic Bomb Proof Bulletin/BLOG posting, put on your sweats and take it straight to your garage gym. I will throw the background stuff into the instructions and the first workout.

    These are the 1st Lifts you will be working on:
    Goal Oriented Stretches
    One Hand Barbell Deadlift
    Leveraging a Barbell
    Over Head Squats: 2 Handed & 1 Handed
    Dumbbell Clean & Press
    Side Bends

    Set Up Your Equipment
    Standard Size Barbell, Weights & Collars
    Olympic Barbell, Weights & Collars
    Pair of Dumbbells
    Single Dumbbell, Weights & Collars
    Chunk of Rubber, or Rubber Flooring

    I know, it looks like there is some duplication there. You will also be modifying the weights you have these items loaded up to, during the workout. However, I believe the set-up is half the warm-up. Some of you have neat lifting areas with all this sort of thing easily accessible and some don't. There are some variations and substitutions possible as well. That will become obvious along the way.

    Workout

    1. Set up your equipment with starting weights.

    2. Stretch: Focus on your back, abs (I love the yoga cobra stretch), hamstrings, quads and full squat movement. A 5 Minute Warm-Up with Indian Clubs would also be really good for the entire shoulder girdle.
    3. Leveraging The Barbell: I recommend using the longest length standard size bar you have, loaded with the plates all the way at the ends of the bar. You will stand the bar on end, find the center point and “rock it” on to the shoulder. You can get really heavy with this, but if you have never done it before, certainly start light.
    5 Sets of 5
    4. One Hand Barbell Deadlift: Use a rotating Olympic Bar & Do both sides
    5 Sets of 3
    5. 1 Hand Overhead Squat 5 x 3
    6. 2 Hand Overhead Squat 5 x 3
    7. 2 Dumbbell Clean & Press 5 x 5
    8. Barbell Side Bends 3 x 10
    9. Stretch

    More will come in future articles.

    All the best,
    Roger LaPointe
    “Today is a good day to lift.”

  • 25 Pound Chrome Plates are Sold Out

    Yes.  The Special we had on 25 Pound Chrome Standard Size Plates is over.  That is why you cannot find that item on the web site.  When I sent out the Atomic Athletic Bomb Proof Bulletin reader notice, they flew out the door.  That was a discontinued product that needed to be cleared out, which means I can't get more of them.  Pay attention for more Discontinued/One-of-a-Kind/Collectible items...

    If you are reading this BLOG post, and you are NOT on the NEW Atomic Athletic Bomb Proof Bulletin e-mail list, but wish to be, the sign-up is on the front page of the site... here it a link: http://atomicathletic.com/store/index.php/ Go to the Lower Left of the screen.

  • Super-Heavy Dumbbell Bench Presses by David Shaw

    Some years ago, when I was stuck at a 440 pound Bench Press, I searched for exercises that would boost my power on the Bench Press. I noticed that for some, it was various triceps exercises, however no one had a one size fits all exercise. In my case, I did heavy dips with up to a 150 pound dumbbell attached to my waist, then my elbows began to hurt, skull crushers ended with the same result, so for me I had to look elsewhere for a compound movement that would work more than the triceps, but would engage the chest, shoulders (anterior) front deltoid, and the triceps without placing the elbows in a position that with added weight while performing exercises, caused pain.

     

    I settled on the Dumbbell Bench Press.  The only mention of these over the years was by Dr. Ken

    Dr. Ken Leistner Pressing Dr. Ken Leistner pressing a custom Shot Loading Globe Barbell from Atomic Athletic.

    Leistner, where he did them also, increasing his Bench Press. The only equipment needed is a good solid bench that will not tip over as you sit on the edge getting the dumbbells in place, and returning them to the floor, and some heavy fixed dumbbells, or bars used for dumbbells, that plates up to 20 or 25 pounds can be used on.

    http://atomicathletic.com/store/index.php/long-dumbbell-bar-collars.html

    When I mentioned Super-Heavy in the title, I worked up to 200 pound dumbbells in each hand for two reps. I trained by myself, so there was no luxury of a partner that handed the dumbbells to me. I would sit on the end of a solid bench, bend over, grab first the right dumbbell, and place it on my inner thigh, and then grab the second dumbbell, and do the same thing on the left side. Then, sit on the bench, tighten the dumbbells to my chest and with control, lay down on the bench. This is not a bodybuilding dumbbell bench press, so the palms of the hands need to face each other, and not out away from each other as in the bodybuilding movement. By holding the dumbbells palms facing each other, there is more of a stretch at the bottom, as the dumbbells come down to the sides of the chest. This converts to a powerful push off of the chest when doing Bench Presses.

    http://atomicathletic.com/store/index.php/limited-edition-brass-thick-dumbbell-handle.html

    I did these twice weekly, heavy on my heavy Bench press day, and moderate on my moderately

    David Shaw Powerlifter David Shaw Powerlifter

    heavy Bench Press day. Repetitions were for example. 90x5, 100x5, 110x5, 120x5,5, this would be on the heavy day. Moderately heavy would be 90x5, 100x5, 110x 5,5,5

     

    The important thing here is to find a rep range that works for you, and push toward heavier and heavier dumbbells. On this routine, my regular Bench Press went to 485 pounds in training, I then substituted Close –Grip Bench presses (able to use more weight) as my assistance movement, and went to 523 pounds in competition. One important fact not to be overlooked is, if you are increasing body-weight, expect some dramatic changes in your upper body. You may go up a size or two in shirt size. By doing this movement heavy, you will not be disappointed.

  • New Masters Lifting Writer

    “Rog, start sending me everything you can find with old guys lifting.” I don't get requests like that. I really don't get that sort of request from genuine icons of strength.

    David Shaw Powerlifter
    David Shaw Powerlifter

    Coming up will be, what I am hoping, is the first of many, many articles by a “new” master writer. No, I have not raised Bob Hoffman from the dead, although I am sure he is still clutching his pen, but this guy has done some great writing and a lot of serious lifting.

    http://atomicathletic.com/store/index.php/books-and-videos/strength-health-magazine-package-special.html

    I know, you are thinking that this will be some Olympic weightlifting guy that I have known for years.

    Wrong.

    This guy is from the world of powerlifting. He has set 5 world records. He has won the Nationals and been in the Guinness Book of World Records. While he did all the amazing things you can read about on the inter-webs, he was training alone in his garage and pushing his education through two Master's Degrees.

    Guess where he lifts today? In his garage.

    While he no longer competes, he still lifts. He could lift in a modern corporate facility, which he happens to manage for a major, large corporation, but he doesn't.

    I know you are wondering who he is. Well, it's David Shaw.

    Let me tell you one of the coolest things about David Shaw. It isn't his past records or tales from meets back in the day. Sure, those are interesting things, but not nearly so cool as the day called me up, with an urgency in his voice and asked for that info on old guys. I asked, “Why? You did more than the old guys.”

    http://atomicathletic.com/store/index.php/books-and-videos/usawa-2000-nationals-dvd.html

    “I'm sorry, you misunderstand me,” he very politely said. “I want to see what guys are actually lifting and breaking records at, who are 60, 70 or a 100 years old. This is what I am going to aim for.” So, Dave is building his list. Some of his information is old, like his reports on what Ed Zercher did. Some is very recent, like the footage and results from my 2012 Atomic Athletic Great Black Swamp Olde Time Strongman Picnic. So, as Dave gets older, he will be looking at what guys did, and are doing, at his current age, even if the guy he's competing against has been dead for 50 years. Dave is constantly adapting, changing and trying to improve on what has worked in the past, with some very definite goals in mind. That's really cool.

    Because of his attitude, I had to get him to write for me. This weekend you will have Dave's first article. It's a short piece on dumbbell benching. Don't worry, everyone will get something out it, regardless of your age. Dave writes from a position of ageless truth.

    All the best,
    Roger LaPointe
    “Today is a good day to lift.”

  • Garage Gym Dumbbell Construction

    Every lifter would love to have a full set of dumbbells in their garage. Regardless of what you consider a full set to be, workouts are simply smoother, faster and more efficient when you can pull

    DIY Pro-Style Dumbbells Building your own Pro-Style Dumbbells with SDH Handles & End Caps

    the exact weight dumbbell right off a rack. As an equipment supplier and dealer I have seen every type of dumbbell you can imagine at every price range.

    2 REASONS

    You are one of two types of individual if you are still reading this Bomb Proof Bulletin.

    Back Weighted Dumbbells: You might be the guy who wants to make up dumbbells that really can't be found in the configuration you want. Maybe you want to make pro-style dumbbells that are “Back Weighted” or otherwise built with some other strange configuration, like with 25 Pound Plates. There aren't any manufacturers who will do that for you, but you can build them yourself with a set of Pro-Style or SDH handles.

    Dumbbell Category: http://atomicathletic.com/store/index.php/dumbbells.html

    The Money Guy: Let's face it, if you are putting together a “set” of dumbbells, it will require

    DIY Pro-Dumbbell Set SDH Pro-Style Dumbbell Handle Set with Steel End Plates

    hundreds, if not thousands of pounds of weight. Heck, a pair of 100s adds up to 200 pounds. Cast iron is generally not free. So, until money starts growing on trees or you cash in that winning lottery ticket, this set of dumbbells is going to represent some greenbacks.

    Building your own set of dumbbells can be a labor of love, but a good way to start is by turning your Standard Size Plates into Pro-Style Dumbbells. To do that, you need to pick up SDH Dumbbell Handles. They come in a variety of styles, but the ones we sell at Atomic Athletic are fully lathe turned in Canada. That means they start off with a single solid chunk of steel and end up with a dumbbell handle. To my knowledge, all the ones you find from China have “press fit” inside collars. That's not good. While you don't ever want to drop your dumbbells, it can happen. A press fit collar will slide.

    http://atomicathletic.com/store/index.php/pro-style-dumbbell-handles-set-sdh-2-pair-with-chrome-steel-end-plates.html

    We also do our sets with a chromed steel counter-sunk end cap, instead of the washer you typically see on the end of many dumbbells. This is much nicer if you want to set your dumbbells on your thighs. You won't have that bolt protruding into your leg. I do not recommend rubberized end caps. The rubberized ones are basically the same size as our steel ones (different manufacturers vary somewhat), the issue most people don't think about is that the rubber surface is not structural, so your hard inner part is very small. That inner part is also frequently made of cast iron, instead of steel. That small piece of cast iron inside the rubber is thin and brittle.

    Basically, a lot of my customers have a variety of standard size (plates that fit a 1 inch diameter bar) plates sitting in the corner rusting away. Use those plates. Turn them into a dumbbell set. Some guys will also buy up plates at garage sales and used sporting goods stores. Believe me, I would like to sell you plates, but there is a cost to ship weight, in addition to the cost of the plates themselves. Don't forget that there are different size SDH Dumbbell Handles. Each size will hold a different number of plates, for example an SDH-1 goes from 5-20 pounds with the York Pro-Style Plates, while the SDH-2 holds from 25-40 pounds and so on. They only go up to SDH-8 size.

    http://atomicathletic.com/store/index.php/dumbbells/gym-dumbbells.html

    These are just some ideas. Enjoy building your dumbbell set!

    All the best,
    Roger LaPointe
    “Today is a good day to lift.”

  • Masters Dumbbell Techniques

    Here is a quick dumbbell tip for the masters age guys.  Trust me, I'm there with you.  This comes from genuine personal experience.

    Mix up your speeds with dumbbells.

    For example, within the same workout, do an “Explosive”, then a “Slow”, then

    Olympic dumbbell clean & jerk Olympic dumbbell clean & jerk

    a “Therapy” lift. You might also follow the “Slow” lift with an Explosive Barbell Lift, then do your Therapy lift.

    http://atomicathletic.com/store/index.php/adjustable-olympic-dumbbell-handle.html

    The Sequence
    2 Dumbbell Clean & Jerk 5 x 5
    Single Dumbbell Clean with 5 Presses (Right then Left)
    Dumbbell Preacher Curls 3 x 10 (Light Weight)

    For the Barbell Lift, I love to work in some fast Power Jerks 5 x 3

    Dumbbell Cleans can cramp up the biceps. Don't think of the curls as a bodybuilding exercise. Think of them as a recovery exercise. In fact, as an alternate, you might try one of the many variations on a curl bar. There are a million different curl bars out there and each one will hit you differently. I see too many guys tearing biceps while doing “strongman” type training. I don't think they are working the flexibility and full range of motion work with their arms.

    http://atomicathletic.com/store/index.php/collars-olympic-2-spin-locks-from-york-barbell-pair.html

    Especially as a Masters Age lifter, you need to be thinking about prepping for the next workout and doing everything you can to accelerate recovery.

    All the best,
    Roger LaPointe
    "Today is a good day to lift."

  • Man in the Arena by Teddy Roosevelt

     

    Heavyweight Boxer Billie Miske 1922
    Heavyweight Boxer Billie Miske lost to Jack Dempsey at Benton Harbor, MI in 1920. For the 3 round fight Dempsey won $55,000 and Miske $25,000.

    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

    President Theodore Roosevelt

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