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  • Every Rep Counts

    Your body only has so many reps in it.  Make every one of them enjoyable.  I lift with antique equipment, home made equipment that was made using the same construction methods as old wrestlers from Bengal and some with water buffalo horn, as well as other "odd" things.  I also use some of the most highly advanced materials found in the aerospace industry, and other items in between.  I use what I use because it is the right thing for the job.

    I really enjoy it and what is going on in my mind during my training is partially driven by my surroundings and the people I train with.  I hope you enjoy each and every rep, just like I try to.

    All the best,

    Roger LaPointe

    "Today is a good day to lift."

  • Snow Day Workout

    Snow-day-lifting
    Snow Day Weightlifting

    Short bulletin:

    Wood County, OH is under a Level 3 Snow Emergency Travel Restriction, allowing ONLY emergency personnel to travel.

    This means that Atomic Athletic Offices are closed today, January 6, 2013. This means that the showroom, warehouse, shipping and phones will NOT be open.

    Home Gym Day

    Today is the perfect example of why you want a home gym. Growing up in Michigan, there was no such thing as a day with restricted travel, not so in Ohio. That means without special credentials, I will get a ticket if I drive my vehicle today. Therefore, I will be visiting the home gym for today's workout!

    As I will be doing a lot of snow shoveling, heavy squats and deadlifts are out. However, it is a perfect time for bodyweight squats, stretching and accessory work.

    1st Lots of Shoveling

    2nd Home Gym Visit
    Serious Stretching
    Padlock Clean & Press 3 x 10
    Kettlebell Swings (Light) 10
    Dumbbell Swing – Competition Style 3 x 3
    Dumbbell Bent Press (Technique Work for about 10 Min.)
    Bodyweight Squats 3 Sets of 25 (with extra stretching)
    Iron Boot Leg Extensions 2 x 15
    Iron Boot Leg Curls 2 x 15
    Iron Boot Bicycles 2 x 10
    Wrist Roller: 1 Set of 10 Reps Each – Frankenstein, Palms Up Curl Position, Hack Style
    Arm & Grip Massage & Stretch

    3rd Probably More Shoveling...

    See you tomorrow!

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

  • Vibrant Living Radio Show

    Glenn Brooks "Vibrant Living" Radio Show on U92.3 FM
    Glenn Brooks "Vibrant Living" Radio Show on U92.3 FM

    Atomic Athletic President Roger LaPointe will be on the radio!

    Check out U92.3 FM in the Bay Area of California today between 8-10 AM, west coast time.

    http://www.u923fm.com/app/view-profile/100060

    Roger will be speaking about Indian Club training and how to incorporate Indian Physical Culture into your western weightlifting program.

    Listen to it live and streaming on your computer with their iTunes or Android download, at the top right of their screen.

  • Reverse Hypers the Hard Way

    List off the great lifters of the early 20th century and Sig Klein is sure to crop up. As a lighter sig-klein-reverse-hyper-with-descriptionweightlifter, I love finding out about his records and how he trained. Most of his many records were set as a 148 pounder, in the days before the US took a team to the Olympics, so they tend to be in lifts that we might call odd lifts. As such, he had some innovative training ideas.

    Reverse Hypers the Hard Way
    Long before the days of Nautilus machines and the Reverse Hyper Machine, smart trainers and lifters realized that you had to train the low back as part of an entire posterior chain movement. While most lifters considered the concept and did things like stiff leg deadlifts, Sig Klein was thinking outside the box.

    Exercise No. 11
    “Lying on bench with weight tied or firmly held between the feet, raise weight with straight legs, as shown in illustration. Lower weight slowly to floor and repeat; inhale raising, exhale lowering. (For muscles on lower back.)”

    The photo above shows Klein holding a dumbbell with his feet to do the movement. This is the otherwise un-named “Exercise 11” from his “Klein Bells” course. This course was published in the days before the Iron Boot, the first patent for which was drawn up in 1939. I'm sure Klein would have used Iron Boots instead instead of a dumbbell, they are simply easier than tying a dumbbell on your feet.

    Iron Boots Connected by a Long Dumbbell Bar Iron Boots with Heavy Duty Straps connected with a Long Dumbbell Bar, Allen Collars, Heavy Duty Standard Collars and 50 Pounds of weight added.

    Having tried this, I highly recommend it, without the tying on part, just hold it. You won't be able to do nearly the amount of weight as with the Iron Boots, but that is OK. You will get some very interesting ankle and inner thigh work that you can't get any other way. Additionally, do this with the Iron Boots, both with the short bars in an isolateral movement and connected with the long bar. Look closely at the photo and you will see that Klein is using a bench that is simply covered with a draped cloth, clearly for aesthetic reasons. Make sure you have a good hold on the bench you are using.

    http://atomicathletic.com/store/index.php/iron-boots-course.html

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

  • Bob Hoffman Holiday Special

    As you may have guessed, the Bob Hoffman Holiday Special of books and other memorabilia sold out in less than 24 hours.  Which means that the item has been disabled on the site.   I am currently working on some variations of that package, for all of you who were interested.  I had no idea there would be this much interest.

    All the best,

    Roger LaPointe

    "Today is a good day to lift."

  • 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.

  • 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."

  • Real Men Do Grip Work by Maximum Bob Whelan

    Grimek-wrist-roller

    Here's a classic from Maximum Bob.
    Posted on NaturalStrength.com on December 1, 1999

    Reprinted with permission of The Iron Master

    All those (past and present) who are "one of us" do grip work -- period. Toners and buffers don't do grip work. In fact, they've never heard of it! In "Spa-Land" you will find every type of gadget, gimmick, or "miracle" supplement, but you won't find thick bars, weaver sticks, telegraph keys, steel suitcases, or even wrist rollers. Even the most "roid-pumped" freaks won't bother with grip work -- the cosmetic payback is too low for them. They are interested only in things that make them look good for the bar scene. Only the serious, dedicated, knowledgeable, proud, and few understand the importance of it. Grip work separates the men from the boys and the phonies from the true "men or iron." I believe that grip work should henceforth be known as the litmus test for membership in the Iron Game/Physical Culture Fraternity.

    Take a look at the guys you respect, the ones who have a passion for what they preach. Take, for example, Kim Wood, Dr. Ken, Vic Boff, Osmo Kiiha, and Randy Strossen, just to name a few -- they are all into grip work big time. (The late) Coach Bob Hise II (Mav- Rik), who is a walking Iron Game encyclopedia (and who began his competitive Olympic lifting career in 1929), states, "Everything starts with the hands. The first thing I do when I take on a new lifter is stress the importance of grip work. You will never get close to doing your best without it. You need strong hands for every lift -- even squatting."

    Our Iron Game heritage is filled with stories that feature the old-timers doing serious grip work. Take, for example, John Davis' clean of 308 with a 2" thick bar; Bob People's deadlift of 725-3/4 with both palms forward; Al Berger doing pinch grip chins from his 2x12 ceiling beams; Hermann Goerner's one-handed deadlift with 727-1/2 pounds; and Thomas Inch's one-handed deadlift of 172 pounds with a 2.47" inch thick handled dumbbell. Warren Lincoln Travis, with just his right middle finger, lifted over 600 pounds. Ask Vic Boff about the importance of grip work. He was a champion at the art of finger twisting, which was very popular years ago. John Grimek set the record in the weaver stick lift with 11 pounds with his right hand. Apollon's thick axle bar is still widely talked about today. Ian Bachelor could crush metal beercaps between his thumb and each of his four fingers.

    Guys who do grip work are tough and are proud to have strong, hard, thick, callused hands. Serious grip work builds mental toughness, too! Do an entire workout using just thick bars of at least 2" in diameter, and you'll see what I'm talking about. Could you imagine Steve Stanko worrying about his hands "getting too rough"! Stanko used to cut leather making lifting belts for Bob Hoffman at York. One day, the knife slipped, and he deeply cut the palm of his hand, putting the knife almost all the way through it. He had a big meet scheduled a few days later, and everyone thought it would be impossible for him even to compete. It was a bad cut and took many stitches. He not only competed, but he won, setting a new National Record in 1938. During the contest, according to Bob Hise, the stitches broke and his hand was bleeding profusely. To "plug it up" he used a handful of chalk, and with his grip at half strength, he still won! All that grip work paid off for Stanko. His toughness was typical of men of that era. It is a shame to see what has become of most "modern men." (Now they complain that their spray aftershave hurts!")

    If you train with the regular Olympic bar,(or the few good plate loaded machines), at least don't use wimpy supportive gear (i.e., straps, hooks, etc., and God forbid, gloves); you might as well be wearing a flashing sign that says "wimp!" Make your hands hold the bar; they are the weakest link in your muscular chain. You have to get them stronger. They will never get stronger if you use supportive gear. If you do not yet have any thick bars in your gym, I strongly recommend that you add them to your program. Your forearms and hands will be throbbing by the time the workout ends. In fact, you may not be able to do a whole workout with them right away. They are that tough! The wrist roller is also a must and can be easily made. Do it palms-up and palms down. Implement the telegraph key, weaver stick/lever bar, and plate loaded crusher into your program too. 

    You don't have to train to be another Rich Sorin or John Brookfield to reap tremendous benefits from doing grip work. Consistency is the key; an extra 10 minutes at the end of your workout, or even less if you use a thick bar, will reap tremendous benefits. If you can't hold the bar, you can't lift it! The biggest names in the Iron Game, past and present, put a primary importance on grip work. My friend, Bob Hise knew most of them. Remember his words, "Everything starts with the hands!"

    Whenever you are in the Washington DC area, look up Maximum Bob for the workout of your life. Be sure to try out sandbag alley.
    Click here to check out the latest news at Maximum Bob’s Natural Strength Training website.

    Check out some Atomic Athletic Exclusive products for developing your grip.

    Fingers of Steel  DVD & Booklet- The name says it all.

    Frightening Forearms DVD - Need we say more?

    Fingertip Handstands DVD - You won't beleive some of the things in this video.

    Garage Gym Guide - By Roger LaPointe

    Stone Padlock Training Package - This is old school all right...

    Atomic 25 Pound Granite Ball - Why settle for concrete when you can have timeless granite?!

  • Letting the (Chalk) Dust Clear

    You too can be as handsome as this fellow

    "No chalk allowed." How many readers have ever seen or heard this statement? It struck me this morning that while the fitness craze is accelerating beyond anything men like Hoffman or Weider could have guessed, the strength sports are in worse condition than any of us suspect.

    Sure, there are more books, videos, magazines and newsletters covering serious lifting than anyone has seen since York dropped Strength & Health Magazine. So how bad could it be?

    I was delivering an Atomic Ball to Bob Whelan when I mentioned the difficulty a buddy had in finding chalk in his area. Bob said, "Hey, don't tell me you carry chalk too! I need some!" Well, I knew I had hit a sore spot with Bob because he actually set down the giant smoked turkey sandwich that had been about twice its current size only moments ago. I had made an off hand comment and now I had Bob going. With his eyes bugging out, sweat on his forehead, and right in my face like a good drill sergeant, Bob goes off. As this could be read by impressionable youth, I will not repeat Bob's exact words, but believe me, they were colorful. The U.S. Armed Forces taught Bob well. Essentially, Bob has found it incredibly difficult finding chalk in Washington, DC, the Capitol of our country. So Bob Whelan and I talked about how it could be that pillars of the iron game could be having trouble finding chalk.

    old gym Can you imagine some of the old timers being told they couldn't use chalk?

    While more people are involved in fitness today, we have more and more corporate conglomerate, sterile fitness facilities. These are not gyms, at least not the classic kind we see in the old magazines. When the manager has more concern about a little bit of chalk dust on the pretty foam rubber grips, that cover his revolutionary new machines, than he does about the progress of his members training, then there is a problem.

    I have talked to many gym managers who know that if they get rid of the chalk, the big scary guys will go with it. Their reasoning is that the big scary guys scare away the paying customers, defined as women. However, the scary guys paid for their membership and some women are serious lifters. I know that in many cases the manager is simply wrong in their opinion that serious athletes scare off the "paying" customers. I have made it my business to sell serious strength equipment, and I know someone is buying.

    It may be that other members do not want the serious strength athletes in their club. Yet, it may surprise you and the gym owner that serious training and its results may catch on. The gym owner may even put in a good power rack, platform or bumper set. Don't laugh, I've seen it happen. There are potentially good commercial gyms out there. It is up to us to spread the word about training seriously and getting chalk back into gyms. If it is in gyms, the sporting goods stores will also carry it.

    I hope that, regardless the source of your chalk, every serious lifter takes his/her chalk, puts it in it's container and uses it at the gym. Don't make a mess. Lift with respect given to others. But use your chalk. Whether it is accurate or not, the gym managers have made chalk the symbol of the serious strength athlete. Go to the gym and train hard. Help start the chalk revolution.

    Want to create your own gym and free yourself from the tyranny of the commercia gym owner and start building strength like Hoffman and Grimek? Consider some of the following to get you started...

    Garage Gym Guide - Another Atomic Athletic exclusive

    Indian Clubs - no old school gym is finished without them

     

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