2015 Arnold World Championships

Thank you All Emotions always run high after contests like Arnold or the National Championships.  All these athletes who trained for so long just for the opportunity to get to this contest and leaving everything they have out there.  Watching the excitement of the competitors who make it to-day 2, the heart-break of coming up just short, the disappointment of a single mistake taking the fleeting chance away.  I have been there for all of those, and I can relate to emotions that they all went through.  As always before I get to the show recap there are some things I need to say.  I never feel I show how appreciative I really am for everyone who is there for me.  I hope I am wrong, but this is something I just feel like I fail at.

The amount of support, the messages I received, the amount of people telling me they were behind me or they believe in me is always overwhelming.  I am so blessed for all of you.  There is no way I could have done this without all of you.  I hope you all know how much you all mean to me.  I wouldn’t feel right if I don’t single a few people out who I probably don’t tell this stuff enough.

I don’t think there is any question I need to start with my #1 fan, that would be my sister Shawn (who has brought on Jon and Taylor for the ride as well).  Thank you for believing in me, fighting for me, defending me from any haters.  Thank you for making me feel this is all worth it when it gets hard to believe that.  Thank you for always being there, I can’t thank you enough for that.  Your excitement is contagious and if it wasn’t for you no one would know what goes on at these shows and I know all those people are equally as thankful for you.   My Mom, Dad, and Step Dad.  Even though my mom thinks I am going to die every time I lift something that weighs over 25 lbs she is still there to support me every chance she can.  I love that you all still come to my sporting events after all these years.  It is a bit more than that.  Thank you for always believing in me, never giving up on me, no matter how many times I had to start over before I figured out who I was and what I wanted to do.   Without all of you this would have never happened because I wouldn’t have even been able to get started.  I know I wasn’t the perfect son (though thank god I have evolved into the perfect one) and probably never deserved all the chances I have been given but I sure am very grateful you gave me those chances.   My Partner in Crime.  Big Trev and Regina.  I am glad friendship doesn’t cost anything because there is no way I could afford you guys.  You guys are always there.  In 35 years I can count on one hand how many people I can truly call friends that I can trust 100% of the time, and know would be there for me in any situation.  You guys have 2 of those slots.   Tracy.  Success in this sport is all about numbers.  But the number that counts is not what place you come in.  It is the amount of people who you positively influence, inspire, and motivate.  This makes you the world champion.  I have never met anyone who has a more positive effect on everyone they encounter than you do.  This is so easy to see for everyone.  What people don’t see is how much fire and fight you have as a competitor.  I am so proud of you for how well you did.  You are not even close to reaching your potential and that stage and that title is going to be yours many times over.  Thank you for letting me be me and not the man you probably wish I was a lot of the time.  I love you and this journey was so much better with you on my side.   Kim, Rachel, and Andrew.  My newest members of the untouchable squad.  People ask me where I get my motivation from, and I always answer honestly.  I train my motivation.  As a crew this was our most successful year, and as far as new members go you three have had the best rookie seasons I have ever seen.  National Records, Contest wins, etc.  I don’t think even you three know this, so I may as well just put it out there.  What you three have accomplished at your respective ages, is not even possible.  Trust me I ran some tests, its science, and no one can explain it.  And you have made it look like childs play.  I am excited to be on your side as all three of you make your way to the top.

To all my clients, everyone who has followed me, shown support, and been on the side of me or my team.  Thank you all so much.  What you all do does not go unnoticed, and I appreciate everything more than all of you will ever know.

that was the important part.  Here is a quick recap of the little World Championships I completed in
Unlike most two-day contests, the World championships does not guarantee you will get to do the events on day 2.  More events = Good for Quint.  Not the case here.  I had four events to make the second day and give me a chance. 1. Circus Dumbell-Not worried about this one, very good event for me that I won last year.  2.  Deadlift Medley-Not worried here, I am good at picking heavy things up and I knew I would continue to do so.  As I told everyone I would live and die by the two moving events 3.  The farmer and 4. The yoke walk.  Not my strengths. New Set up for 2015 had additional weight classes.  This means fewer people qualify for each weight class, and you are damn sure everyone in your weight class is going to be the best of the best of the best.  In my weight class alone we had competitors from Finland, Norway, England, Ukraine, Canada, USA and that is  only the competitors I know off the top of my head.

Day 1: Circus dumbbell for Reps (150 lbs):  I was going in with a goal of 8.  They switched the DB we were using to a 12 inch globe.  I have never used a dumbbell this large.  I had a little trouble finding the balance which resulted in a final number of 6 (would have been seven but I missed one rep).  Good enough for 2nd place good start and playing out as I expected. Yoke Walk for 120 feet with a turn 600 lbs: My Achilles heel.  I worked hard to improve my yoke walk speed.  It paid off.  I destroyed everyone in my heat and ended up with a 6th place finish.  My highest finish of all time in a big contest. Farmer walk (60 foot straight shot):  This was supposed to be 260 lbs per hand.  In warm ups, I knew something wasn’t right.  But I took off at a decent pace and made it to about 15 feet to the finish when I dropped the handles.  I quickly picked them up and finished.  I was disappointed in myself and in my head I saw my day 2 vanishing.  I was shocked to see that my time held up for a 5th place finish and I even gained a place in the standings.  I would find out later that the reason things didn’t feel right in warm ups was the handles we used were powder coated (they were not supposed to be) which made them slippery but also weighed over 20lbs more than was announced.  So almost everyone had at least one drop and most had several if they were even able to finish. Deadlift Medley:  500 lb barbell x 2, 500 lb Axle for time:  My goal was 10 total.  I also held my destiny in my hands.  I hit the Barbell easy and managed 6 on the Axle for a total of 8.  Little short of my goal, but still enough to finish the day in 3rd place.

Day 2: Max Log:  This was my third time at the World Championships and every year I told everyone if I get on the log I would set a record.  I kept my promise.  305 lb press New National and World Record.  Oh it was also good enough for the event win. Power Stairs:  Up to this point I did everything I was supposed to do.  I went into the last event with a chance to win.  I was sitting in second place and I would need to beat the guy in first and have one guy finish in between the two of us.  While I put up a good time in the stairs I was no match for the rest of my group and finished in 4th place. Overall finishing 3rd in the world.  Had so much fun and was happy with my performance overall.  A video of my event is shown here:

2015 Arnold World Championships

Training Specials Starting Early

As those of you who have been to the new location have noticed from 4-7 Things can get pretty hectic.  For most people this is the ideal time to train after they get off work.  What about training for those who work odd hours or those who prefer to train during non peak hours?  These specials for 2015 are for you, and I am starting them a month early.

While space lasts anyone looking for training before 3 P.M. or after 7:00 P.M will get 25% of training and training packages.

Contact me to reserve a spot for this special while space is available.

New Diet Manual A No BS Guide To Nutrition

Fueling the Modern Athlete

Over the last two years Dave and I have been working on several manuals to help athletes and non athletes alike on their journey to a better and healthier lifestyle.  The first is ready to be published.  We have developed a diet manual that we have had our athletes use with great success.  Which is why it has taken us this long to put the book out. We felt it need to be tested because even though we knew it would work we wanted to be able to tell you that this is an excellent method to use. The manual includes healthy choices, sample diet plans, a way to evaluate how to measure your own personal nutrient needs, diet and exercise tips, myth busters and much more.  We are taking pre-orders for the introductory price of $25.  This is a limited time offer so if you are interested send a message to Quint Zambon (Contact Page here on the site, Faceboook-make sure it is a private message, or cell phone) to arrange payment and shipment of manual.

This is not a diet plan.  As we tell most of you, diet plans are not the way to go.  Focusing on the correct foods is what you all want to be doing.  With this manual you will be able to come up with your own plan that will optimize your results.  We realize the 99% of the population is not going to eat clean, we know there are things you like to eat and things you don’t.  This manual will allow you to do all of that while not inhibiting lean muscle growth.

 

Don’t Be Fooled By These Popular Ads

If you are on Facebook, open a fitness magazine, or own anything that can connect to the internet than you have no doubt seen these pictures (above) and the ads that accompany them , which are showing up more often than ever.  These ads make claims to these movie stars ridiculous and fast transformations.  Like: (enter name)  lost 9 lbs of fat and gained 23 lb of muscle in 5 weeks.  This has led to an abnormal amount of questions being thrown my way about these supplements, the actual transformations, the validity of everything that is claimed, and whether or not you should be taking the supplements advertised.

Lets start with the supplements that are behind the claims.  I read into several of these articles and found that the pictures shown above as well as several others are used as marketing for several different supplements by several different companies.  So right off the bat this seems about as legit as Joan Rivers face.  Almost of all of the products being endorsed are ‘Testosterone’ boosters or anything labeled as ‘Natures Steroid’, which is really the same thing as a testosterone booster.  Test boosters are highly debated as to their effectiveness and safety.  While some seem to me more effective than others, there are many claims that these don’t work at all while there are also some that are reviewed positively.  Based on my research it seems some of the supplements will naturally raise test levels to some degree, but not too significant of an amount, and certainly not even close to be able to aid in transformation of muslce gain and fat loss like many of these ads say.

My recomendation:  Stay away.  Most of my clients/those of you reading this,  fall in an age range of 15-24, which means your test, and all your hormone levels are already going crazy and on the rise.  If you want to take advantage of that eat right and train smart, you will see significant gains.  I don’t recommend these to anyone else for two reasons:  1.  They are just simply not that effective.  If they were even half as effective as these ads claim them to be, then everyone on the planet would be using them and we would all look like fitness models.  2.  Even the ones that may raise your test levels a little bit don’t come without side effects.  These include: acne, skin reactions, sleep apnea, difficulty and other urinary problems, gynecomastia (male enlarged breasts), and many others.  The risk/reward ratio just doesn’t seem worth it.

Nothing you can buy legally can lead to the changes that these ads are claiming.  Nothing.

So if the stars are not using the said products, how do I explain the pictures?  Yes, the body transformations in these pictures are impressive to say the least.  But are they real?  I think to some extent, yes.   I am sure they have some truth behind them, and in some cases they be 100% true as far as the pictures go.  But did this happen or 5 or 6 or even 12 weeks?  Not a chance.  First lets consider the source.  These are very wealthy and very famous individuals.  Their appearance can be the difference in being cast for a role, or not.  To insure they have all means necessary to look the way they they need to, they surround themselves with top trainers and top nutritionists to ensure their bodies get the optimal amount of nutrients and exercise to look thier best.  So making changes are going to be a little more convenient for them than the rest of us.  Second of all, their are illegal substances that can be bought to bring about changes like those shown.  Media continues to show us week in and week out just how many celebrities partake in such activities.  I am not saying those pictured here use them, but many of the body builders you see in such ads or magazines certainly do.   Finally, with the use of photo shop or other similar programs it is not difficult for the publishers of these pictures to make the ‘after’ pictures look extremely good, and the ‘before’ pictures look abnormally bad.  So do not be fooled by the pictures either, they are also a form or false advertising.

Transforming your body is not only possible but not as difficult as many people think, if you are willing to put in the work and have patience, transformations take time, thier are no shortcuts (legally).  Even in that case, manipulating pictures does make the selling point that much easier.  Let me show you just how easy it is to do these things.

Lets start with some photos that are 100% unchanged.  The two pictures below were taken a little over two years apart.  Nothing has been done to either of these pictures.  You can see my body has changed, and I would say for the better.

On the Left was late 2011 and on the right a little later in 2013

Now lets manipulate a photo.  For those who know me, you already know I am just about the least computer savvy person on the planet.  I have never used photo shop or any program like it.  I have no idea how to use it, and really don’t know how to change a picture in general.  However with the use of a handy and free app, I was able to do what is shown below.  The pictures are the same, and no changes to size, or shape of any muscles has been done.  But the app does change some of the brightness, shadows, etc. (all on its own) and it looks like I have gained muscle and look leaner in the photo on the right, when in reality they are exactly the same.

This is done with minimal technology and even less ability.  So Imagine how much more extreme the changes could have been had an expert been working on it.

So Please don’t be fooled by these outlandish advertisements and claims.  Train smart, use caution, and use common sense.  There is no replacement for hard work.

2014 North American Strongman National Championships

Well another chapter in the books.  While I sit in limbo and wait to see if I will get the invite to the World Championships, I have a hard time saying that this year went as planned but I can’t really say it didn’t go as planed either.  But Before we get into the boring contest stuff, lets talk about a couple of very cool things about this contest and why being a part of it is something that the competitors are going to be glad they didn’t miss.

-This was the biggest strongman contest/gathering of competitors/event of all time.  Not just with the North American Strongman, not just in the United States but anywhere in the world for the entire history of the sport.  Over 200 competitors at one venue all with the same goal in mind.

-While this is tied into what I just mentioned above, this contest was the largest gathering of women competitors of all time.  What makes this even more impressive is the heavyweight women class was not included, they competed two weeks prior with the masters class and the light weight men’s pros at their own National Championships in Las Vegas.  So this shows you just how impressive the numbers were and how much this sport is growing and evolving at a seemingly expediential rate.

-This was the first Contest that had North American Strongman and the WWE partnership featured.  While this is not exactly something that gets me excited, or affects me too much it will offer opportunities for Strongmen and Women to use their size and strength at different avenues.

So on to the recap.  The trip did not get off to a smooth start and we (My Dad and I) found out that Chicago was canceling flights left and right for Thursday and ours happened to be one of them.  We couldn’t get a flight out of Chicago but they were able to get us out of Milwaukee at a comparable time, so we changed our plans.  I left the house with about 10 lbs even to lose, right on or a little ahead of schedule.  We made the flight and I added a layer of clothing to start the sweating process.  After about a 3.5 hour flight we had a short layover in LAX, which if you have never been to LAX after 5 minutes of people watching will make you realize the decisions you made in life were not nearly as bad as you think they were.  We took the short flight to Reno, and got to the hotel.  Tracy was already checked in and waiting for me with a borrowed scale.  Hopped on and was already down to 180.5.  Way lower than I expected and was great news.  That scale, we thought we had for the night, was taken back from us. It is tough to monitor your weight without a scale.  So the only thing I really changed was I stopped cutting right then and decided I would cut the rest in the morning when I would be able to monitor me.  The next morning I made weight, about an hour later than I wanted,  and spent the rest of day getting fat again and rehydrating.

Now for my loyal fans I didn’t post as much stuff on social media to keep you all updated on my training or talk about Nationals as much as I normally do.  This was for a combination of many reasons. Last year I went to Nationals feeling like I as 23 and indestructible.  Healthy and ready.  This past year, I took some extra time off after Words in March to let my body heal from a brutal 2013 season.  I was dealing with shoulder issues on and off and from shoulder to shoulder pretty much all year. I was also involved in a potential move of our gym and with all of that, throw some home improvements and I just didn’t have a whole lot of time to keep everyone up to date.  Furthermore, this years Nationals was a little harder for me to get excited about.  When events came out in became apparent this was not going to be a “real” strongman contest.  Typical large shows like these have events that really test you, often times there will be an event that more than 1/2 the competitors zero, it has medleys that half the field won’t finish.  It tests static strength with heavy weight.  This show in Reno, didn’t have any of that.  While the weights may look heavy for the common man I  realized this was going to be a strongman contest based on speed more than anything.  I am not sure why the huge change, but whatever it was we all had to deal with it.  There really wasn’t anything I would consider a heavy event and while none of it was geared toward any of my usual strengths I was determined to do the best I could.

Day 1 of the show:

Event 1:  Press Medley:  200 lb keg, 250 keg, and a 125 DB for reps

Pressing is always a strong event for me.  Even though I was not able to train my pressing like I normally do because of my continuous shoulder issues and problems, and I wasn’t able to press very heavy or as often as I usually I was still pretty confident going into this event.  I knew I would not be able to put numbers like I normally do when my shoulders are 100% I had a goal of 8 and I felt that would be good enough for  top 3.  The  keg was easy and fast.  I cleaned the Axle easy but the press goes slower than I expected, and this has to do with me rushing and not centering myself on the bar.  Didn’t really hurt me I may have lost a second or two.  The dumbbell went ok.  I was able to press it 7 times but was not given credit for one of them for not holding the lockout.  Which I agreed with judgment after watching the video (though I will say far more suspect reps were counted with other judges).  Finished in 4th for the event and off to a good start.

Event 2: Yoke Walk  600 lbs for 60 feet

The Yoke is not my best event.  Moving the weight is not the issue, but moving quickly tends to get me.  I worked on my yoke speed a lot this year as I knew it would be featured this year.  My goal was to finish in the top 10.  I was not able to crack the 10 and finished in 12th.  The good news is, I did get faster and put up a good time for me, I also realized I can get better on the yoke still.  Always learning always getting better.  Next year this will be one of my best events.

Event 3:  Carry Medley  250 keg for 250 feet, 250 lb farmers walk, 300 lb duck walk

Medley’s are not my favorite thing in the world.  This particular one wasn’t long enough that I could use my strength advantages to pace myself and wasn’t quite short enough I could go all out on.  Mentally I had gotten past the press with minimum pain to beat up shoulders and the only event I wasn’t super confident in (yoke) was behind me.  It was time to start the rise to the top. Get out there and kill this medley.  I went out and did what I knew how to do.  I felt like I moved quickly and when I checked the clock it was 31 seconds which made me not only the current leader but personally an almost 5 second P.R.  Doesn’t matter where I finished at this point, you break a PR by that much you leave the field happy.  It didn’t hold up completely but I ended up in third and feeling great going into the car deadlift.

Event 4:  Car Deadlift

(Pic Above)

We were told the car would be heavy, I have no idea why as I could think of 700 words to describe the car and not one of them would be heavy.  This is almost to be expected at the National Level.  In 2012 about 50% of the field zeroed the car.  In 2013 that number grew to 75%. The car deadlift is historically the event that separates the men from the boys at the National Championships.  What resulted this year was almost embarrassing, and had no business being at a contest this large.  The car weight was lighter than you usually find in a level 1 Local contest.  I really believed this would be the event I would separate from the field. Heavy car Deadlifts have turned into my best event and this year no suits were allowed (in 2013 no one pulled more reps than I did who did not wear a suit) I hit 17 reps in the minute.  This was good enough for 7th place behind 4 20′s, a 19, and an 18.  This raised my level of frustration which saw 10 competitors or more pull at least 15 reps.  When an event requires an up and a down call from a judge than has this many people pulling that many reps, the difference between 15 and 20 reps is usually the judge.  I finished in 7th place and rounded out a pretty good first day in 5th place.

Day 2:

Wheel Barrow Run 1475 lbs

 

Again this was a disappointing event.  With the car being as light as it was I was really hoping the wheel barrow would be a heavy one.  Again last year the Wheelbarrow event say many competitors not finish.  Not this year. I believe all but one competitor finished the run and most people finished very quickly.  I had a good run and won my heat but my time was only good enough for 11th place in an event that saw 1/2 second mean the difference of 8 pts (and saw when you have three hand timers you need heavier weight to really eliminate the human error from effecting people’s placing and this brought about my fear of having hand timing have some profound effects on finishes).  But that is another story on its own.  The finish hurt me but not horribly so.  I dropped to 6th place with one event to go.  The top 4 go to the Arnold so I knew a good run with Event 5 was my only chance in getting in the World Championships.

Keg Carry and Load 200, 230, 250 over a 52 inch bar

Only one thing to do here and it was leave it all out there.  At the whistle I went at the kegs hard and fast and gave it my all.  When all was said and done I did end up with the win in the event at a little over 11 seconds.

When the dust settled I missed fourth place by 2.5 pts and finished in 5th place.  While disappointed that I didn’t get my invite to the worlds just yet and will have to wait to see if I get one of the late invites going out, I was also very happy with this finish for a number of reasons.  First of all finishing 5th in the country is noting to be ashamed of and is still a very high finish at the national level.  On a personal level, I entered a high level contest that covered 6 events over two days.  None of the events would be what I consider my good or best events.  I was forced to work on my weaknesses and change my training style and I went against the best in the Nation and finished high among the elite. I found a new side to my competition-self and now know that there is no kind of contest that I can’t win.

Full Video:  2014 North American Strongman National Finals

 

 

 

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