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  • 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

     

  • Real Barbell Juggling

    Atomic Athletic Great Black Swamp Olde Time Strongman Picnic DVD Set Atomic Athletic Great Black Swamp Olde Time Strongman Picnic DVD Set: With Barbell & Kettlebell Juggling, Sideshow Performances & Olympic Weightlifting

    Yes. You read that correctly.

    Just like super car companies that push the limits, there are some Atomic Athletic customers who push the limits. Merely lifting weights is not enough for these guys. They have to do it with style and flair. This is performance weightlifting at its best.

    Barbell juggling can be seen, filmed live at the Atomic Athletic Great Black Swamp Olde Time Strongman Picnic from 2009. Our headline performer was Andrew Durniat. You might have seen him in the Mighty Mitts contests at the Arnold Classic. Heck, when you juggle barbells and kettlebells, you WILL develop a strong grip.

    Here is the link: http://atomicathletic.com/store/index.php/olde-time-strongman-picnic-2009-dvd-set.html

    Of course, that is not the only thing you will see. It is a Double DVD Set. There are Strongman Contest Event Demos, the best Olympic Weightlifting Mini-Clinic you will ever watch and much, much more.

    Atomic Athletic DVDs will become REFERENCE Tools that you will watch, re-watch and refer to again and again. Sure, the Picnics are extreme...

    I'm not going to make excuses for showing off the extreme of strength sports. That's what they are. A lot of people throw around the word extreme and these Atomic Athletic events are extreme.

    BTW, we have FREE Shipping on this DVD right now.

    Learn from them and enjoy.

    All the best,

    Roger LaPointe
    “Today is a good day to lift.”

  • Old Time Strongman Gym

    retrostrenght-olde-time-strongman Get strong the old school way

    So, we were recently asked the following question, which we actually get quite a bit: “I want to build a traditional strongman gym in my basement. What do I really need?” Jason L., Dayton, OH.

    This seemingly easy question is really great. The best questions are the
    simplest. Of course, as someone who sells equipment, I would like to say that Jason needs everything, but that is not true. Obviously, the answer depends on a lot of different factors. The most important factor is determining Jason’s goals.

    Several gyms frequented by the old time strongmen are fairly well
    documented, so I will just list out the traditional equipment they would have
    had, as sort of a conglomeration. As you may have guessed, most gyms did not
    have all of these items, just like today’s gyms do not have “everything”.
    Future installments of this topic will have some modern equivalents for some of
    this equipment.

    Globe Barbells
    Globe Dumbbells
    Kettlebells
    Adjustable Kettlebells
    Indian Clubs 
    Ropes 
    Iron Boots
    Heavy Balls (medicine type and/or solid)

    So you say all this great, but you need some help in getting strong old school. Consider the following training aids to help you learn these techniques.
    Leg Development Course and DVD - Your legs will be so big, you'll have to wear a kilt...
    Train Like a Strongman DVD - Need we say more?
    Garage Gym Guide - The best ideas for outfitting your mancave
    Legendary Strength -  I'll even autograph it, if you ask
    Tendon and Ligament Strength DVD -one of the lost arts of the old time strongman

    And finally, what good is an old school gym without some great art, right. Check these out:

    Classic Training Hall Wall Chart Set Doesn't get much more old school than this
    Atomic Athletic Stone Sphere Instructional Chart Set, posters 1 & 2 Big, heavy. Rocks Rock!

    Remember, there's a reason why the old circus performers are still popular even today. It's because they knew how to get strong. Now, you can too!

  • Got Sciatica A Pain In Your Buttocks?

    The Lying Leg Swing is a great way for me to work on my sciatica. I get that pain and tingling primarily when I drive a lot.

    Pain in your buttocks? We say these things about bosses, in-laws and annoying sales calls during dinner, but when you've got an actual pain in your butt, it can really impact your quality of life.

    This is a real issue for many athletes, and there are a lot of forms of this. I am not talking about the pain in the buttocks that might come from a nagging boss, or similar situation....

    Common issues are glute pulls, cramps and sciatica. I can give you a million reasons for these issues. One of the most common reasons can be traced to problems with the piriformis.

    I know. I know about this because, like many people who have to be on the road selling, I am frequently in my car and dealing with the vibration and irritation associated with driving. Fortunately, I am a lifter with friends in the medical industry.

    Amazingly, some of the best ways of dealing with these problems are the simplest. Essentially, stretching and relaxation of irritated muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves. I solve my sciatica with the Iron Boot. The Iron Boot is essentially a dumbbell for your foot. Being on the bottom of the foot, instead of having the weight at your ankle, like one of those velcro type ankle weights, allows you to do a common exercise and really get to a small muscle just by changing the position of your foot during an exercise or stretch. Very cool stuff.

    You can find iron boots at this link. 

    iron_boots_sciatica Iron Boots can be a great way to help work out that sciatica pain

    This is nothing new.

    In fact, it is very old information. It is also cheap. You can do this at home. It is certainly recommended that you get the exact exercise and positioning you need from your doctor. However, here is the basic movement, straight from the Good Brothers. They owned the Good Barbell Company in the 1930s and 40s. This exercise actually comes from their wall chart “Good Advanced Abdominal Course of Progressive Exercises”. It is “Exercise 9 Lying leg Swing”:

    “With the boots attached to the feet, lie flat on the floor on the back with the legs straight, arms extended out to the sides. Begin the exercise swinging the left leg, from the prone position, up and to the right until it reaches the position shown or as close to the finger tips of the right hand as possible. (The arms are positioned straight out to the right and left, flat against the ground.) Return to starting position and swing the right leg in the opposite direction in the same manner. Repeat with left and right. Inhale when swinging the leg out to the side and exhale when moving to lying position. Perform from 6 to 12 times with either leg. Increase the weight slightly at times. For the midsection, hips, buttocks and legs. Do not ben the legs performing the exercise.”

    I love this exercise. I do it especially before traveling and after traveling. I will occasionally do it at rest stops during long trips, if weather permits.

    Some other products that may be helpful:
    Heavy Duty Iron Boot Straps Heavy Duty Iron Boot Straps

    Dumbbell Bars for Iron Boots & Kettlebell Handles These are great accessories to the Iron Boots

    Dumbbell Bars

  • Kettlebells, Padlocks or Dumbbells?

    Kettlebells, Padlocks or Dumbbells?

    by Roger LaPointe

    Kettlebells, Padlocks or Dumbbells?

    Group strength classes, personal trainers and garage gym clubs are all asking the same question about their one handed training. Which tool is best for the job?

    For this article, we will focus on one exercise, the one hand swing. 
    The traditional tool for the Shaolin Monks would be the stone padlock. 72 Consummate Arts Secrets of the Shaolin Temple has this to say about the Key-Stone Arts, "The appearance of the stone key is just like that of a copper key, with a spring and a shell but without a key hole. It is made of granite stone or green stone . The weight of the smaller one is about twenty catties and the bigger ones vary in weight from 60 to 70 catties." p. 31 It is reported at the beginning of the book that there are some translation errors, with the term "key" being a well known one. It should be "lock". I

    Shaolin Kung Fu Roger LaPointe practices kung fu learned from the Shaolin Monks

    n reference to a lock like you might lock up a chest or door.

    If versatility is the key, you have a couple of options. 
    Kettlebell Handles are one of the most versatile tools for your training. With the slip of a collar, you make your adjustable dumbbells into kettlebells. With a few more changes, you can change them into Farmers Walk Handles. The old fashioned "standard" plates, that fit the 1 inch diameter bars, are all you need to change the weight, making it unnecessary for an entire rack of kettlebells or dumbbells.

    This is perfection for the home gym or garage gym that is tight on space. Remember, if you are in the training business, square footage is money.

    Check out the adjustable Kettlebell Handles. Just hit this link

    Our hulking beast of a strongman at the right enjoys the thrill of his one hand snatches with an adjustable kettlebell handle. He then moves on to his farmers walk exercises. That is a powerful 1 - 2 combination for your entire body. 

    Adjustable Kettlebell Handles or Shot Loaded Kettlebells? 
    Solid kettlebells are commonly being imported from other countries for dirt cheap, making the solid kettlebell much more affordable. However, a full rack of solid kettlebells is still far more expensive than any adjustable kettlebell. Additionally, an entire rack of kettlebells is a space hog. These are some obvious problems with solid kettlebells.There are many very positive reasons to go with an adjustable kettlebell, beyond those practical gym owner type reasons to pass on solid kettlebells.Let's look at shot loaded kettlebells first. The shot itself is one good reason. Shot loaded were more than just practical tools for the old time strongmen. The shot itself is a shifting, live sort of thing that you have to control. You can try to resist the shot, like an opponent in the wrestling ring. You can also learn to move with the shot, creating that flowing grace you see in the movements of the greatest boxers and martial artists.

    Vic Boff's Bodybuilders Bible shows how to use adjustable Kettlebell Handles. 
    Vic's book is really all about functional training. It is almost entirely free weight based. The giant corporate fitness machine manufacturers have really messed up the strength training world. Vic used the term "bodybuilder" in such a broad sense that he even included full Olympic weightlifting in the book. 

    Grip training or full body training?
    There is a lot of argument out there about how to best do your grip training. Should you focus on your grip, or work your grip training into your full body routine? You really need to do both. 

    One Handed Swings and Two Handed Swings are each great exercises you can do to incorporate the entire body in your grip work, especially with the focus on the hamstring, hip and back development. This exercise will also develop coordination between the various muscle groups essential for jumping movements. 

    Swings are a great introductory strength training exercise for Martial Arts classes.
    Dynamic and explosive weight swings can also be done with the Iron Grip Plates . The 10 Pound Iron Grip Plates through the 100 Pound Iron Grip Plates have nice straight handles, which make them ideal for a variety of exercises, the Swing is one such exercise. I will use my Iron Grip Plates for One Handed Swings with one plate or two plates (one in each hand), as well as 2 Handed Swings.

    At the left, you can see me doing One Handed Swings with a 35 Pound Iron Grip Plate . The top photo shows the top of the movement, while the one underneath shows the other extreme of the movement.

    Iron Grip Plates for exercise research and development.
    Iron Grip Plates are a really excellent training tool. I particularly like them as an R & D tool for my training.

    Roger Demonstrates How to Develop Grip Strength with Grip Plates Roger Demonstrates How to Develop Grip Strength with Grip Plates

    I know that sounds like a strange concept, but when I get a new idea from my research, I have to try it out. The Iron Grip Plates are a wonderful tool because of their adaptable shape that has it's own weight. For example, I am working on some old French military exercises I found in a Georges Hebert book from 1917. The implements they are using have a similar shape to the Iron Grip Plates. Instead of having the tool copied, I am working on the

    Yet More Grip Strength! Yet More Grip Strength!

    exercises with the Iron Grip Plates , as the tool. A barbell is not even involved. Pretty cool.

    REMEMBER: A classic strongman needed to be good a lot of different strength feats. Your training tools need to be a versitile as possible. Farmers Walk Units are just one more thing you can do with your Kettlebell Handles. 

    Buy your Kettlebell Handles through this link.

    Or get strong with our Train Like a Strongman DVD here.

    Atomic Athletic
    500 Lehman Avenue, Suite 21
    Bowling Green, OH 43402
    www.atomicathletic.com

     

     

  • Atomic Athletic Bomb Proof Bulletin

    AARadioactive

    !!!COMING SOON!!!

  • Hello world!

    Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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