Katie Hogan spent three days at the Arnold Classic Expo working in Mark Bell's booth, demonstrating the SlingShot alongside powerlifter Jesse Burdick, publicizing Power magazine, and being a CrossFit celebrity in the midst of thousands of bodybuilders and other strength athletes. Katie and I spent a few minutes in the crowded, busy booth chatting about the upcoming CrossFit Games, her Olympic weightlifting competition taking place the next day at the Arnold, what it was like to be at the Arnold, and how she was going to take on Annie and Lindsey and her other competitors.
This is our household yesterday, in anticipation of last night’s Open WOD 13.2 announcement and the face-off between Annie Thorisdottir and Lindsey Valenzuela:
After work, I pounded out a decent strength workout at the gym, very traditional, including the first use of my SlingShot for bench pressing. At home after walking Jack the dog, I cut up and sauteed a huge batch of vegetables: broccoli, asparagus, red pepper, capers, sundried tomatoes, garlic, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, sausage, kale. Cooked it all down slowly using grass-fed butter and coconut oil.
I peeled and sliced four big sweet potatoes, seasoned them using chili powder and macadamia nut oil, baked in the oven for a bit more than an hour. Made a big batch of white rice. Enjoyed some of the five pounds of bacon-covered meatloaf I prepared the day before!
But on my computer, on the kitchen counter, played the last couple of episodes of Mark Bell’s SupertrainingTV, the CrossFit Games Update show, and the first offering from Kelly Starrett and Brian McKenzie’s GeneticPotentialTV. Bell’s episodes vary in length, are homegrown, fun and informative. CrossFit Games Update show is vastly improved this year with hosts Maddy Curley and Pat Sherwood. Curley is a welcome addition. Starrett and McKenzie have hit a home run with GeneticPotentialTV; this first episode is 33 minutes long, filmed in CrossFit SanFrancisco, and it’s fascinating. More in a later writeup.
This is what I watched and listened to for a couple of hours, while preparing food, while Anne was at CrossFit Appleton working out. While the rest of the world listened to boring news hots drone on about nothing, or watched mindless “entertainment” on TV, I geeked out to CrossFit and strength training and nutrition and mobility!
A few minutes before 7:00 p.m. and the announcement and workout, I streamed the CrossFit Games site to our big screen via Apple TV, opened a bottle of red wine, and waited for Anne to rush in from CrossFit five minutes before the show began!
Oh yeah, because CrossFit wasn't displaying a clock on the screen, Anne used the stopwatch function on her iPhone to keep track of progress throughout the ten minute workout.
For dinner, in case you’re keeping score, we enjoyed vegetables and sweet potatoes warmed in a pan with bacon fat and coconut oil. Plenty of eggs on the side.
What did you do last night? Are we geeks?
At the Arnold Classic Expo I spent a few minutes with Mark Bell at his booth (not nearly enough time, this guy keeps popping up on my screen and he's fascinating, but Katie Hogan was also in his booth and I kept visiting with her!), and talked him out of a SlingShot. The device Mark invented helps those of us with shoulder issues perform a flat bench press, safely and hopefully pain-free.
I've a more comprehensive review coming out soon; a video was shot of me using the SlingShot yesterday, but the gym we used is so noisy you can see my lips flapping but can't hear much. I'll re-do is somewhere else. In the meantime, I need to scream as loudly as possible that the SlingShot is amazing, I love it.
Yesterday I benched 225#. Keep in mind I used to be a competitive powerlifter (yeah, a long time ago). 225# is no big deal, unless you've known me in the dozen or so years since I first ruptured my left rotator cuff, then this year tore my right cuff in two places. I've performed no more than a handful of light sets of flat bench with a barbell during this past decade or more.
With the SlingShot I'm repping pain-free, worked my way up from an empty bar to the 225#, and today, no ice, no inflammation or pain deep in the shoulder. Very impressive for an old gym-rat like myself.
I am going to chase Bell down and comprehensively interview him; listen to his great, rambling, entertaining work with Robb Wolf on the Paleo Solution Podcast this week, find a copy of his impressive Power magazine, buy yourself one of these wonderful SlingShot bands, and stay tuned for Mark Bell in Stuff I Like. He and I have both weighed over 300 pounds; Mark is down to 245 or so, I'm way down to 190, but somehow we look and perform differently! I need to find out why.
A blast from the past: my interview with Dorian Yates in Testosterone magazine. I spoke with Dorian in person at the Arnold Classic, after he'd retired. It's dated, but fun. He no longer owns the supplement company we talk about briefly. I enjoyed the time with a bodybuilder I admired.