Tag Archives: powerlifting

Mark Bell at Barbell Brigade

Last weekend, through my reliable Instagram feed, I found out that Mark Bell would be doing a powerlifting seminar at Barbell Brigade. For those of you who don’t know, Mark Bell is very well-known in the world of strength training. He invents and patents products for training, makes one of the most popular podcasts, competed in powerlifting and professional wrestling, and appeared in the documentary that his brother made. (Bigger, Faster, Stronger)

Also, for those of you who don’t know, Barbell Brigade is a training facility in Los Angeles located a few blocks from Union Station. It is absolutely amazing and I will be doing a video there shortly so you will find out more. (200 lb dumbbells, sleds on turf, olympic platforms, monkey bars, freedom to do what you want, etc.)


I decided to go because it would be a great chance to see Mark present and check out the facility. It was inexpensive, so well worth my time if all went well. And it did… I even dragged Fit along with me. Now in all honesty, I’m happy with my squat, deadlift, and bench press, so my reason for attending wasn’t to get advice for myself. As a coach, I wanted to see how Mark presented to a large diverse crowd. There were all sorts of people there so I won’t even start to describe them. Nevertheless, he had experienced lifters demonstrate technique as he explained what they were doing and why they were doing it.


Typically, I find a few minor, or even major, points that I disagree with in other people’s clinics, but strangely enough… I was agreeing with nearly everything he said. It was actually a little creepy seeing someone else that you’ve never seen coach before explain topics in a similar way. (With the exception of some choice of words… I keep it PG, because I work with a lot of young athletes.)


So, that kept my attention and I particularly enjoyed how he answered most of the questions. Very open-minded to implementing various training practices while still staying true to core principles of powerlifting. Very relatable for the general populace and extremely entertaining. He had the crowd participating a lot and everyone was laughing a considerable amount. The group seemed comfortable during the “lecture” portion, which is important to creating an effective learning environment. 

Us taking a creeper selfie with Mark Bell in background

Us taking a creeper selfie with Mark Bell in background

Now, I wasn’t there strictly for business. I also wanted to ask Mark about the Slingshot, a product he developed that assists in the bench press. In 2011, I performed my best competitive bench press ever, and about one month later suffered a full SLAP tear of my labrum in my left shoulder. I decided to forego the only way to repair it, which is surgery and just deal with it. It took a while to get  strength back, but I’ve built the bench up to nearly 70% of what it used to be by developing other muscles in the shoulder girdle. I asked Mark what Slingshot model and size would work for me, someone with nearly a decade of proper bench press experience, and a torn labrum, and he told me to order an XL Reactive, the first stage of four different levels.

Fit posing with Silent Mike, Mark Bell's assistant

Fit posing with Silent Mike, Mark Bell’s assistant

I should be receiving it soon and will write a full review on it. In the review, I will talk about how the product works for someone with a serious injury and also the uses of the product. I am sure I will find a way to use it for my non-powerlifting athletes so stay tuned for that. All in all, it was a great experience and even though we had to leave nearly 2/3 of the way through, we left completely satisfied. Fit even enjoyed it more than she expected! As always…stay hungry and fit!

Intro to Power Bodybuilding

A few months ago, we tried introducing you to the Barstarzz, street workouts, and their body-weight exercises that can be performed in any neighborhood park. Ever since I saw that first Hannibal for King video in a New York City Subway, I was amazed by his relative strength and how he could manage his own weight so well. It was far more impressive than what most people can do in the gym, whether they are bodybuilders, powerlifters, crossfitters, triathletes, etc. Ever since that time, I’ve used their workouts a bit more in my own workouts to perform muscle ups (without kipping) and the human flag. It is a very practical strength.

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Now, it is time to take a whole new approach to staying in shape and introduce you to power bodybuilding and its founder, Mike O’Hearn. There is a good chance that you’ve seen him somewhere but just didn’t know who he is or what he does. I’m not going to tell you his whole life story or what I know of it because this is about power bodybuilding but there is a chance I’ll talk more about him in the future. We will be in Los Angeles next week so maybe I’ll go to The Mecca at 4 a.m. and see him there. Before we get started, I support power bodybuilding because I sort of it did it without knowing it was actually real. I almost never isolate abs, never hit the treadmill/bike/elliptical, and do tons of power lifts, so it was somewhat similar.

Here is my understanding of it and a brief introduction to power bodybuilding. As you might be able to tell, it is part bodybuilding and part power lifting. Essentially, through exercises from both worlds you maximize your strength while keeping a low body fat percentage and a physique that you enjoy looking at in the mirror. Mike, a 4 time NATURAL Mr Universe, does not “do cardio or abs.” I get a lot of questions about those two. “Cardio” is often used as a means of burning calories to burn fat. People prefer to do it on a treadmill, bike, or elliptical because it is easy to calculate the number of calories you burn. Many individuals also focus on isolating their core because they know you need to strengthen and build your abdominal muscles so once you burn the fat necessary, your “abs” become more visible.

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Power bodybuilding accomplishes both of these DURING your session lifting weights. In theory, if you are putting %100 percent into heavy squats, deadlifts, bench presses, shoulder presses, etc, you are burning massive amounts of calories. You could be more out of breath and have a higher heart rate than when you hit the treadmill. Also, you need to keep your whole CORE tight and engaged during these fairly complex lifts. You want a neutral back and tight core during many “power” lifts. Essentially, during a one hour power bodybuilding workout session you can accomplish multiple training goals, which makes this a very efficient way of training.

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Now, Mike didn’t get on the cover of hundreds of magazines without focusing on all his body parts. He is an expert in the industry with one of the most impressive lists of accomplishments. He also isolates his arms, lives an active overall lifestyle, and does everything he needs to be cover model ready. He does it all naturally as well. Find me someone else that has that impressive a physique and that much strength without using performance enhancing drugs. And for anyone that doubts him being natural, you should trust what good people say and also look at the development of his body. I would never want to look like a professional bodybuilder or even physique competitor in the professional ranks. Too much size, lack of function and also far too vascular. But that’s just me, I find Mike’s physique set on the frame of a taller guy to be more aesthetically appealing. These were my words, I have never even spoken to Mike, but this is how I explain power bodybuilding to anyone interested in taking a new approach to building strength and burning fat. In the end, check out some of the links below and consider following his advice to reach some of your goals. (Hopefully I get to meet him next week at Gold’s Venice! He’s also a huge dog lover and motivator! Mike O’Hearn and power bodybuilding are Hungry&Fit approved!)

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Mike’s website: http://www.mikeohearn.com/tag/power-bodybuilding/

Mike’s YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/mikeohearnvideos

Mike’s Instagram: http://instagram.com/mikeohearn


Sajah is a stud

Sajah is a stud