Martins Licis Dethrones Thor Bjornsson at World’s Strongest Man 2019

After four grueling days of monster truck pulls, yoke carries, and stone loads, the 2019 World’s Strongest Man has been crowned.

Martins Licis, a 28-year-old from the USA, won the Bradenton, FL event. Mateusz Kieliszkowski of Poland earned second place (and an unofficial first for having the hardest name to pronounce), and Hafthor Bjornsson (Iceland), who suffered a foot injury during Day One, took third.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Winners circle. #WSM 🏆

A post shared by The World’s Strongest Man (@theworldsstrongestman) on

Bjornsson, aka The Mountain, wasn’t the only competitor to suffer an injury. Great Britain’s Laurence Shahlaei and Iceland’s Sigfus Fossdal both tore their Achilles tendons and dropped out of the competition on Day One. Then, during a head-to-head 441-pound Atlas stone load for max reps on Day Three, American Robert Oberst tore his bicep, which you can see below.

For Licis, who placed second at the Arnold Strongman Classic in March, this is a monumental victory that has cemented him as a dominant competitor for years to come. For four-time World’s Strongest Man winner Brian Shaw, who placed sixth, this could be a sign of slowing down. After all, Shaw is 37, almost a decade older than Licis and seven years older than Bjornsson (who won WSM last year).

Here are the official placings, compliments of barbend.com.

1. Martins Licis (USA)

2. Mateusz Kieliszkowski (Poland)

3. Hafthor Bjornsson (Iceland)

4. Jean-François Caron (Canada)

5. Tom Stoltman (Great Britain)

6. Brian Shaw (USA)

7. Luke Stoltman (Great Britain)

8. Trey Mitchell (USA)

9. Adam Bishop (Great Britain)

10. Konstantine Janashia (Georgia)

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Russia’s Bizarre New ‘Booty Slapping’ Competition Promises It’s Really All About Lower-Body Strength

The Internet is catching on to a new slap-happy Russian competition in which female fitness enthusiasts take turns slapping each other’s butts. This booty-smacking match is officially titled the “Russian Female Slap Contest” and is apparently the female equivalent of the “Male Slap Contest,” which sees men go at one another slap-for-slap (to the face) until someone cries uncle. During the booty-centric variation of the competition, the women aim to knock their opponents off balance, according to Fox News.

Don’t believe us? You can watch highlights on YouTube here:

The event reportedly debuted for the first time this year at the Yashankin Cup bodybuilding competition. A spokesperson for the Generation Iron Network, who was in charge of media for the event, told Fox that all of the competitors work as fitness influencers and models, but that the slap contest was open to anyone who wanted to participate.

It hasn’t been reported what the booty-slap champ would actually win, but two women receive what appear to be gift bags in the video. One of them was model Anastasia Zolotaya, who boasts more than 475K followers on Instagram.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Факты обо мне, после прочтения которых, барабанная дробь, — ничего не произойдёт ⠀ •в школе я хотела быть писателем , в институте мечтала открыть свой спа-салон; в итоге у меня образование дизайнера и я фитнес-тренер)) ⠀ •я не делала пластику груди и она не сильно худеет на сушке. Оба факта абсолютная правда. И да, если у вас большое количество молочной железы у вас тоже грудь будет худеть меньше, чем у остальных. А пластику пока делать не планирую ⠀ •в школе я избивала мальчиков))) Ровно как и сама получала. Ровесники нормально давали сдачи , а вот мелких можно было позадирать. Вообще в школьное время я помню много интересных баталий, например была ситуация ,когда мы стали драться с девочкой рюкзаками , а у неё шов после аппендицита разошёлся… 😐 ⠀ •я 2 раза заводила YouTube канал, снимала ролики, но бросала. Хочу, но не могу работать без команды. И очень сложно, когда не можешь заглянуть в будущее и посмотреть, что из этого получится ⠀ •моя последние отношения завязались со слов «привет, как ты?»

A post shared by Я Настя Золотая 👋🏼 (@sportnastya) on

In the age of social media, we can only wonder what strange new fitness trend will go viral next. Until then, we can enjoy YouTube videos of Instagram influencers slapping each other on the rump—ya know, to show off their lower-body strength and stability.

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AEW to Offer Wrestlers Health Insurance, Chris Jericho Says


Chris Jericho

Bobby Bank / Getty

All Elite Wrestling will offer its wrestlers health insurance benefits, unlike the WWE, according to Chris Jericho in an appearance on “The World According to Jesse,” with Jesse “The Body” Ventura.

“AEW has health care and dental for the performers,” Y2J told the former wrestler and Minnesota governor. “You’re talking about a big sports team mentality instead of the every man for himself mentality the business had for years.”

Although the outcome of their matches might be scripted, many of the injuries wrestlers suffer are not. Performers have chipped teeth, been busted wide open and, in many cases, torn muscles or broken bones mid-match. The physicality demanded of them often comes at a great cost, in more ways than one.

For years, the WWE has come under fire for its treatment of Superstars, most recently by John Oliver in a 23-minute segment on Last Week Tonight. The WWE hires Superstars as exclusive independent contractors, meaning they can’t work for anyone else but they’re still not employees of the company.

Additionally, WWE doesn’t offer health insurance, though it does pay for surgeries if a Superstar gets injured while performing. Ventura asked Jericho if that would change in AEW, or “is it going to continue slave labor in wrestling?”

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Jericho, who will face Adam “Hangman” Page on Aug. 31 in a bout to crown the inaugural AEW World Heavyweight Champion, said he’s an employee of AEW, an aspect that attracted him to the company from the promotion he spent more than 18 years in.

“From a business standpoint, there was no choice,” he said. “AEW was better across the board, from the guarantee I was given, the contract I was given, the employee status, the healthcare.”

At first, it appeared the healthcare benefits would only be available to AEW in-ring talent who were also company executives, like Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks. In May, Rhodes said other wrestlers would receive similar benefits. “There are several wrestlers outside the [executive vice president] element that are going to receive benefits and health care,” Rhodes told Bleacher Report. “That’s a first for wrestling, and these are slow and steady steps and I’m super proud.”

AEW owner and President Tony Khan—who also owns the Jacksonville Jaguars and English soccer club Fulham FC— has also said he’s looking to have a lighter schedule than the WWE, thereby putting less strain on the wrestlers’ bodies.

Numerous WWE Superstars are looking to jump ship to AEW, per various websites, and Jericho believes the offer of healthcare benefits might be one reason for that. “There’s a lot more of that going on, and I think that’s going to continue to grow, which will force eventually WWE to follow suit, or else everybody will want to leave to come to AEW, which is already happening anyway,” he said.

You can see the full interview below (which starts at 14:25):

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Amanda Lawrence Sets 3 World Records, Wins IPF Worlds


Amanda Lawrence Wins 2019 IPF World Classic Powerlifting Championships

theipf / Instagram

American powerlifter Amanda Lawrence walked away from her first IPF World Classic Powerlifting Championships a very happy camper. The 84-kg lifter clinched a big win over fellow American Daniella Melo, and set three world records along the way. 

The pair’s face-off was incredibly hyped ahead of the competition, and boy, did they deliver. Their combined efforts reset all of the world records (squat, bench press, deadlift, and total weight lifted). Their totals ended up being the same, but the deciding factor was Lawrence’s slightly lower body weight—emphasis on slightly. Lawrence weighed in at 83.05kg (183.1 pounds), while Melo weighed in at 83.55kg (184.2 pounds), according to the official scoresheet.

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

WHAT A SESSION! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Amanda and Daniella reset all the world records, but it was Amanda who walked away with the gold medal overall on body weight. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Amanda’s lifts: Squat – 243kg/536lb WR 🥇 Bench – 117.5kg/259lb Deadlift – 252.5kg/556lb WR🥇 Total – 613kg/1351lb WR🥇 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Daniella’s lifts: Squat – 230kg/507lb 🥈 Bench – 137kg/302lb WR 🥇 Deadlift – 246kg/542lb 🥈 Total – 613kg/1351lb 🥈 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We’re so proud of them! Swipe for videos of the world record lifts. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #usapowerlifting #usapl #LIFTCLEAN #whyicompete #a7intl #a7 #sbd #titansupportsystems #rpstrength

A post shared by USA Powerlifting® (USAPL) (@usapowerlifting) on

 

Aside from the overall win, Lawrence set a squat world record with 536 pounds, a deadlift world record with 556 pounds, and set the record for most weight lifted overall with 1,351 pounds.

 

 

 

 

For Melo’s part, she absolutely crushed it on the bench, setting a new world record with a 302-pound lift.

 

 

She also totaled an incredible 1,351 pounds, but again, Lawrence took the record by virtue of her lower weight.

Both women did a solid job of representing the USA at the international competition, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for them. It surely won’t be the last time they compete, and there’s no doubt they’ll keep it exciting as they strive for more wins and world records.

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The Ultimate Workout for Wider, Stronger Shoulders

Dumbbell Front Raise Static Hold

Tauseef Asri / M+F Magazine

Olympic and professional athletes have them. So do bodybuilders, longshoremen, lumberjacks, and pretty much anyone we innately identify as a pillar of strength. In fact, of all the muscle groups, it is the one that most clearly distinguishes a longtime athlete from a guy who’s just figuring out the whole gym thing. It’s the deltoids, aka shoulders, and with a broad, meaty pair, you, too, can carry the mantle of being distinctly athletic.

The Routine

This routine should be done at a quick pace, with no more than 30 seconds of rest between sets. Because the deltoids are a fairly small muscle group and the shoulder joint is susceptible to injury, it’s best to keep the weight moderate and the reps generally on the high side, as in 10 to 20. The entire routine should take you no more than a half-hour to perform, and you should do it twice per week.

You’ll notice that every exercise in this routine is performed seated. There are two reasons for that: 1) Most shoulder exercises are conducive to body English; we tend to swing the dumbbells as we tire during lateral and front raises and excessively arch our backs during presses. 2) We expend more energy stabilizing through each rep of exercises in which we stand. By sitting, we can channel all our resources for the task at hand.

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How Tuzar Skipper Made His NFL Dreams a Reality


How Tuzar Skipper Made His NFL Dreams a Reality

Kyle Lieberman / M+F Magazine

Unlike with the Gronks and Mannings of the world, football wasn’t ingrained in Tuzar Skipper’s family tradition, but it’s clearly in his DNA. “It was something I wanted to do in high school,” Skipper says. “I didn’t have a football background, so I was just jumping right into it. It was one of those stories—you try it and it turns out you’re pretty good at it, so I just continued with it.”

It wasn’t long before his natural talent, coupled with his imposing 6’3″, 250-pound frame, had him turning heads at the University of Toledo, where he and his coaches began setting their sights on pro-level dreams. “I knew it was kind of far-fetched, but hey, might as well shoot for the stars,” Skipper says.

He credits much of his athletic development to the TEST Football Academy in Martinsville, NJ, and supplementing with CarnoSyn. “My goals were to get bigger, faster, and stronger. At TEST, they helped me do exactly that,” Skipper explains. “Kevin Dunn is the overseer of things there, and he’s just a scientist when it comes to building strength and conditioning. He helped me understand the science behind the sport.”

Dunn carefully prescreens TEST athletes to tailor training and nutrition programs that involve grueling schedules of six days a week with two sessions a day, plus he creates custom meal preps based on their weight and body-comp goals. Dunn also starts all his athletes on a supplementation program. “Supplements containing CarnoSyn and SR CarnoSyn beta-alanine have been our secret weapon,” Dunn says. “Beta-alanine is a lactic acid buffer, allowing athletes to push through barriers we never thought possible.”

The mentorship from TEST combined with CarnoSyn took Skipper’s strength and physique gains to new heights. “In just four months supplementing with CarnoSyn, I’ve definitely gotten stronger. I have a lot more energy, and I’m more fired up,” Skipper says. “I started at 19 reps for the 225-pound bench press, and now I’m at 31. I went in weighing 236 pounds, and now I’m at 250. Plus, the recovery is so much easier with CarnoSyn. It helps me get back to training the next day right where I left off.”

Skipper’s hard work and planning are paying off—in May, he signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers after attending the team’s three-day rookie minicamp.

Dunn sees Skipper as the model for what a program like TEST and proper supplementation can do for an athlete’s performance. “Tuzar is the perfect example of how we took an athlete already in great shape and pushed him through barriers and plateaus he never before achieved,” Dunn says.

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Athlete Spotlight: Lenda Murray, 8-Time Ms. Olympia Champion


Athlete Spotlight: Lenda Murray, 8-Time Ms. Olympia Champion

Sponsored Content

It’s an early spring morning. As I sit on my porch meditating and enjoying my view of Los Angeles, I contemplate the journey of my life. I reflect with gratitude on what a blessed life I’ve lived. Combing through the memories of my career in bodybuilding, I ponder many things: the questions people ask me about my eight Ms. Olympia titles, what inspired me to pursue a career in bodybuilding, and what life as a champion is like after the applause ends.

I was introduced to the world of women’s bodybuilding when I found a copy of Joe Weider’s Muscle & Fitness magazine on a high school bus. Curiously flipping from page to page, I came across a picture of Carla Dunlap, the reigning Ms. Olympia champion. I had never seen such incredible upper-body muscularity on a woman. Interested and intrigued, I found this type of strength in a woman to be attractive. At that time in the late 1970s, female bodybuilders had the level of muscularity that we see on figure competitors today. My ambitious nature encouraged me to think outside the box, and my curiosity peaked as I contemplated how I would look if I were to train with weights. Little did I know that fate would soon intervene to answer that question.

As a young lady growing up in Detroit, education and athletics were my top priorities. My main goal in life was to graduate from college, and my second goal was to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. In 1984, I graduated from Western Michigan University, accomplishing my first goal. And when I made the cut as one of 45 girls selected for the upcoming Dallas Cowboys season, it appeared I was well on my way to my second goal. However, due to a conflict of interest between the NFL and the USFL Michigan Panthers, I was told to return the following year. I was also told to lose weight before returning for the next NFL season. The problem, however, was that I was athletic, not overweight. A bodybuilding analogy would be that I had the muscle mass of a physique competitor, versus a bikini competitor.

I was disappointed to see the door closing on my dreams of professional cheerleading—but a new and marvelous adventure was about to begin for me. I decided to embrace the physique I was given and enter the world of women’s bodybuilding. After a few years competing in local contests, I turned pro in 1989. I also had the fortunate opportunity to be introduced to Joe Weider, the man whose magazine I found on that bus back in high school. I went on to win six consecutive Ms. Olympia titles. I then retired from the sport for five years to pursue business and entrepreneurial interests. But in 2002, at age 40, I returned to the competitive arena to compete for and win the Ms. Olympia title two more times, making me an eight-time Ms. Olympia title winner.

Retirement from competition has been good to me. I currently produce two IFBB Pro League Olympia-qualifier shows and three NPC National-qualifier shows, being held on July 13 in Norfolk, VA, August 17 in Detroit, MI, and an exciting addition just announced for April 2020 in Savannah, GA. The most rewarding part of being a contest promoter is sending pro athletes to the Olympia stage and pro female bodybuilders to the IFBB Professional League Wings of Strength Rising Phoenix World Championship. As the main sponsor of my events, Wings of Strength has helped make them all great successes. And for the first time in 2019, Wings of Strength is sponsoring the Olympia Weekend.

Currently, I’m the owner of Crystal Planet Nutrition, the spokeswoman for Wings of Strength, and a senior editor at Digital Muscle. I am excited about what the future holds for the women of bodybuilding, and I’m embracing all the wonderful opportunities the sport has given me.

Lenda Murray – Vital Stats

BORN: February 22, 1962; Detroit, Michigan
HEIGHT: 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
WEIGHT: Contest: 150–153 lb (68–69 kg); Off-season: 158–164 lb (72–74 kg)
PRO DEBUT: IFBB Ms. Olympia, 1990
BEST WIN: Ms. Olympia champion (heavyweight and overall), 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2002, and 2003

This content is sponsored by Wings of Strength.

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The Rock’s ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ Leg Workout Looks Like a Nightmare

The Rock and Jason Statham on the set of 'Hobbs & Shaw.'

Frank Masi/Universal Pictures

One of the most impressive aspects of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s fitness routine is that it’s all encompassing. He doesn’t stop after building crescent-moon bi’s or mountainous shoulders for those moneymaking, shirtless action scenes—he’s dedicated to building his body from head to toe, highlighted by a pair of legs that are more impressive than anything you’ll see in theaters this summer.

As always, the strategy from Team Rock is to value function and aesthetics equally; it doesn’t matter how great he looks if he doesn’t have the athleticism to back it all up, after all. And for August’s The Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Johnson’s core and lower-body workouts were a big part of getting the actor to perform the on-screen physicality the production required of him.

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“One major key with all of these scenes is making sure he’s not going to get himself injured, and that his body’s going to be capable of doing the scenes,” Dave Rienzi, Johnson’s trainer, told us. “So we’re really managing to make sure that all the muscles are firing properly, there are no muscle imbalances.”

“We do a lot of training for the core, we do a lot of training for the glutes,” he continued, “just to make sure that he has all of that stability, and all of that base strength there.”

To get a taste of the work The Rock put in to get ready for Hobbs & Shaw, check out one of his leg workouts.

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Get the July 2019 Issue of ‘Muscle & Fitness’ Now!


Get The July 2019 Issue of 'Muscle & Fitness'

Bruce Lee Enterprises, LLC

The July 2019 issue of Muscle & Fitness has all the workout and nutrition tips you need to keep that shredded beach bod all summer long. Plus, in our sprawling cover story, we explore the enduring pop culture legacy of Bruce Lee, one of the fitness industry’s most influential figures.

Lee’s physique impressed millions in the 1960s and ’70s—now his secrets to killer strength and overall fitness are finally revealed. Lee, who died of a cerebral edema 46 years ago, took workouts found in magazines like M&F and modified them to his needs. We dive deep into both Lee’s real-life fitness program, as well as Cinemax’s must-see action spectacle Warrior, which is based on Lee’s own ideas. 

The July issue stays hot with training advice from CrossFit star and former Fittest Woman on Earth Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, TEST Football Academy graduate Tuzar Skipper, and WWE superstar Natalya Neidhart.

Todd Abrams and IFBB Pro League competitor Brandan Fokken are trying to keep fathers everywhere fit with their new venture, DadBod Inc. And MusclePharm athlete Davey Fisher will walk you through his summer shred program with his workout and nutrition tips.

Now that you’ve got that beach bod, you’ll want to keep it while also have fun during the summer. To that end, we review beers that are high on flavor, but low on calories and carbs—so drink up. We’ve also got plenty of grilling tips for your next backyard bash.

And since Muscle & Fitness includes FLEX, you’ll also get the latest bodybuilding news, as well as even more workouts and nutrition tips. As Mr. Olympia rapidly approaches (have you bought your tickets yet?), four-time Sandow winner Jay Cutler discusses his role as the show’s honorary ambassador. You’ll also get the true story behind the controversial Arnold Classic 1990, where Shawn Ray had his title revoked following a failed drug test.

Whether you’re continuing the cut or beginning to bulk, we’ve got all the tips and tricks you need right here in Muscle & Fitness and FLEX.

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Hafthor Bjornsson Injured During World’s Strongest Man Day 1

Hafthor Bjornsson may have tied for first at Day One of the 2019 World’s Strongest Man competition, but it came at a cost for the returning champ. During the second event of the day, Bjornsson, known for playing “The Mountain” in Game of Thrones, tore his plantar fascia, the fibrous tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes.

The competition, which is taking place in Bradenton, FL, is broken up into five groups of five competitors. Yesterday, each group competed in a 70-foot monster truck pull and a farmer’s walk/yoke medley.

It was during the Giants Medley—which saw each competitor carry 378-pound farmer handles in each hand before transitioning to a 1,012-pound yoke carry followed by a 1,338-pound yoke carry—that Bjornsson suffered the injury. At the 1:33 mark in the video below, you can see him limping from the end of the farmer’s walk to the first yoke.

He struggled to move the yoke across the line and had to call it quits before the final yoke carry. In the end, American competitor Rob Kearney won the event in 34.06 seconds.

Even with the injury, Bjornsson is tied for first with 7 points. Still, it’s not as strong as a lead as Thor was probably hoping for. Now, Bjornsson will have to make up ground in the next two events, a max deadlift and overhead press for reps, which he plans on competing in, according to his Instagram.

 

Here are the current group leaders, according to Barbend.com.

Group 1: Hafthor Bjornsson (Iceland)–7 points

Group 2: Konstantine Janashia (Georgia)–8 points

Group 3: Martins Licis (USA)–9 points

Group 4: Mateusz Keiliszkowski (Poland)–10 points 

Group 5: Oleksii Novikov (Ukraine)–9 points

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Watch: Joe De Sena Destroys a Pair of Running Shoes to Prove Their Endurance


Watch: Insane Joe De Sena Destroys a Pair of Running Shoes to Prove their Endurance

YouTube Screenshot

This is a shoo-in for the craziest footwear promo we’ve ever seen. In a YouTube video, Spartan Race CEO and founder Joe De Sena recently pummeled a pair of his new running shoes to show off their durability—and man, can these things take some damage.

De Sena is the founder of the Spartan Race, a series of obstacle courses ranging from three miles to marathon-length distances (and sometimes beyond). Started in Vermont more than 10 years ago, the grueling event—which, depending on the level of difficulty, could see participants carry atlas stones, jump over walls, or crawl under barbed wire—is now held in more than 40 countries. 

Such a tough run requires strong shoes, and the best pair for the job appears to be the Spartan RD Pro by Craft, at least according to De Sena. But he wasn’t content with just saying that, he wanted to prove it, too.

To start, De Sena wears the shoes during a 50-mile run (light work) through “the worst trails in New England.” Although he destroyed his body, he claims, the shoes held up just fine. How else could he test the shoe’s endurance? How about by running them over with a Jeep. Check. And as if that wasn’t enough, he then crushes them with a backhoe and excavator.

Miraculously, the shoes don’t appear to tear during any of the tests De Sena puts them through—even after he submerges them in saltwater overnight and runs the 8-mile Boston Super Spartan in them the next day. De Sena is so confident in the quality of the shoes, he believes the ancient Spartans—yup, like the ones in 300—could’ve defeated the Persians had they worn them. 

We’re not so sure about that, but if you’re looking to put them to the test, it seems like De Sena is guaranteeing the shoes for a year.

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Advocacy Group Lodges Formal Discrimination Complaint Against USA Powerlifting


Barbell and Kettle-bell casting a shadow

Eric Nelson

Advocacy group Gender Justice has lodged a formal discrimination complaint against USA Powerlifting with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, Outsports reports.

The complaint is in protest of the USAPL’s January decision to ban transgender woman JayCee Cooper from competing in Minnesota’s State Bench Press Championships. After the ban, U.S. Rep. IIhan Omar (D-MN) wrote an open letter to the USAPL, urging it to follow in the footsteps of the International Olympic Committee, which allows transgender women to participate in competitions as long as their testosterone levels are at a certain level. Then, the Movement, a Minnesota powerlifting gym, openly protested the Minnesota State Championships by timing out their lifts.

On May 9, the USAPL had a national board of governors meeting where a proposed policy to allow transgender women to compete was heavily rejected by a 46-4 vote. Now, Gender Justice, a Minnesota-based non-profit that advocates for gender equality, has asserted that Cooper was illegally discriminated against in its complaint. Cooper released the following statement, published in the press release.

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE *** USA Powerlifting Charged With Gender Discrimination Under Minnesota Law *** (St. Paul, Minn.) In a new filing with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR), Gender Justice asserts that USA Powerlifting illegally discriminated against JayCee Cooper based on her gender identity. *** Cooper, an amateur powerlifter and transgender woman, was blocked by USA Powerlifting from competing in Minnesota’s State Bench Press Championship in January, 2019. Like other athletes, she worked to ensure that she met the stated policies for competition, and went above and beyond by addressing any potential questions about her gender identity, only to have USA Powerlifting respond with a new, retroactive blanket ban on transgender athletes. As the sport’s governing body for the United States, USA Powerlifting’s rigid policy effectively excludes Cooper – and athletes like her – from any meaningful competition. *** “As a powerlifter and a transgender person, I’m no stranger to a challenge,” says Cooper. “I’ve jumped through all the hoops, trying to meet USA Powerlifting’s arbitrary and subjective standards, just to have them respond with an outright ban on transgender women in competitions. At some point you have to say enough is enough. Trans rights are human rights. Trans athletes are supported in our right to compete by the International Olympic Committee, the International Powerlifting Federation’s Executive Committee, federal and Minnesota state law. USA Powerlifting’s blanket ban violates not just the law, but the very spirit of sports.” *** Today’s MDHR filing asserts that USA Powerlifting discriminated against Cooper in public accommodations on the basis of gender identity, in violation of the Minnesota Human Rights Act. On behalf of Cooper and others, Gender Justice is seeking protection from discrimination, and a clear, fair standard that allows trans athletes the opportunity to compete. *** More at www.genderjustice.us *** #whyicompete #sharetheplatform #sportisahumanright

A post shared by JayCee Cooper (@jayceeisalive) on

 

“As a powerlifter and a transgender person, I’m no stranger to a challenge,” says Cooper. “I’ve jumped through all the hoops, trying to meet USA Powerlifting’s arbitrary and subjective standards, just to have them respond with an outright ban on transgender women in competitions. At some point, you have to say enough is enough. Trans rights are human rights. Trans athletes are supported in our right to compete by the International Olympic Committee, the International Powerlifting Federation’s Executive Committee, federal and Minnesota state law. USA Powerlifting’s blanket ban violates not just the law, but the very spirit of sports.”  

In its statement, Gender Justice claims that USA Powerlifting violated the Minnesota Human Rights Acts, and are therefore taking action on Cooper’s behalf. 

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Interview: Martin Kove Talks ‘Cobra Kai,’ Working With Tarantino, and Crazy Schedules

The 1970s tough guy is still kicking ass in the streaming generation.

It’s good to be Martin Kove. Cobra Kai, his return to the Karate Kid franchise, is one of the best shows you can stream, and he also landed a part in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. We recently caught up with Kove to talk about his career, his insane schedule, and what’s next.

If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing?
There were no options. In the fourth grade, I realized that I like making people laugh, and I remember feeling really good inside. When I was 23, I took it seriously and moved to Manhattan. I used to go audition for plays at universities that I wasn’t even enrolled into. I’d get the part, and no one would even know that I didn’t go there.

What was it like to work in Quentin Tarantino’s new movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood [in theaters July 26]?
I had been bugging him for years to be a part of something. I love westerns so much, I wanted to be in Django Unchained or The Hateful Eight. But Quint knows what he wants. Then he offered me this small piece with [Leonardo] DiCaprio. Quentin is so much fun to work for. To give you a little sense: He finishes the day and says, “I think I’ve got it, but I want one more.” Then he turns around to his hundred-person crew and asks, “Why?” In unison, everybody screams, “Because we love to make movies!” You get a tingle up your spine—you’d do anything for this guy.

Do you watch your own work?
Yeah, and nine out of 10 times I don’t like it. I get picky. I remember Billy [Zabka, his Cobra Kai co-star] saying, “After this season is over, you’ll see that all the moments you weren’t comfortable with will look terrific.” And unquestionably, that’s happened to me.

Were you all-in to reprise your role as sensei Kreese in Cobra Kai?
I was on the fence. They asked me to come into Episode 10 and set up Season 2. I said that I’d do it, but I didn’t want to play the stoic tough guy—I wanted the character to have different colors, different textures. You have to trust the writers, because everything they conceived has really worked.

How did you get in shape to play Kreese?
I had to start working with a trainer, and we don’t go back to work [on Season 3] until Aug. 20. Once you’re there shooting, it’s labor. You’re working 12, 14 hours a day. You work hard.

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The 20-Minute Stair Workout to Get Shredded


Man Running Steps

Nikada / Getty

You don’t need to look further than your local park or high school track to get in a great cardio session. “Stair climbing is one of the most effective ways to work your lower body while burning fat,” says Ariane Hundt, founder of Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp in New York. Stair workouts will also boost VO2 max (the amount of oxygen your body uses during exercise) and increase your metabolism, she adds. Try this Hundt-approved workout.

To do it, find a staircase with three flights, or about 50 stairs. (Or just turn around at the top of a flight and repeat for the given time or steps.) End with a few minutes of stretches.

[RELATED1]

20-minute Stair Routine 

Warmup 

  • Squat: sets: 1, reps: 20
  • Stationary Lunge: sets: 1, reps: 15 per leg
  • Squat Jump: sets: 1, reps: 20
  • Reverse Lunge: sets: 1, reps: 20 per leg 
  • Curly Lunge: sets: 1 , reps: 20 per leg

On the Stairs

Round 1

  • Run up three flights at a moderate pace, taking one stair at a time. Jog back down. Hold 60-second wall squat. Rest 30 seconds.

Round 2

  • Run up three flights more quickly, two stairs at a time. Jog back down. Hold 60-second plank. Rest 30 seconds.

Round 3

  • Jump up three flights (with legs together and starting and landing in a squat), taking one or two stairs at once. Jog back down. At the bottom, do 20 pushups. Rest 30 seconds.

Grand Finale 

  • Repeat all three rounds but double the flights from three to six.
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Shawn Rhoden Already Looked Better at His Latest Guest Posing Appearance

If you follow bodybuilding, you’ve most likely heard about the controversial guest posing appearance that Shawn “Flexatron” Rhoden made at the 2019 Pittsburgh Pro in early May. The reigning Mr. Olympia showed up looking a little plumper than most spectators deemed acceptable for the guy who’s meant to represent the pinnacle of bodybuilding.

If you need a refresher, he hit the stage looking like this:

The consensus among industry experts and fellow pros, including our own Shawn Ray, was that Rhoden shouldn’t have hit the stage in the shape he was in. While most agreed that it’s Rhoden’s business how he spends his off-season, he can’t expect anyone to be thrilled when Mr. Olympia shows up to guest pose looking like an average dude. It didn’t help that some of the other guest posers—William Bonac, Roelly Winklaar, and Brandon Curry—weren’t too far removed from their 2019 Arnold Classic appearances, so they still looked great.

Rhoden responded to the criticism with an apology to fans, but also pointed out that when it comes to prepping for the Olympia, he knows what he’s doing. After all, he’s been bodybuilding for a long time, and has been a pro for a decade. He’s not the first pro to get “fat” in the off-season, and he won’t be the last.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Good morning, good afternoon and good evening now that I have your attention let’s get real for a min. My name is Shawn Rhoden most of you call me Flexatron and I am human just like you. Just like you i put my pants on one leg at a time. I’ve been skinny and yes I do get fat in the offseason. (See pictures above) I’ve never hide who I am, where I’m from and I what I do. So for you guys looking to get more like or views on your page here you go. Every year I try to add balance to my life after the Olympia and try to normal, give my body a break and live a little. But come September I always show up ready to compete with the best of the best in this sport and hold my own. So until you are able to walk a mile in my shoes and accomplish what I have done in the 10yrs I’ve been a IFBB PRO, continue to do what you do and sit behind your keyboard and write about me and or any other pro. We all can’t walk around with a 6 pack 24 /7 but come show time we show up. So to all my fellow pro out there continue to live a little and don’t be afraid to enjoy your offseason. And for YOU yes you continue to make your post if it make you feel better. See you in SEPTEMBER and judge me there also. #thebestisyettocome #shawnrhoden #flexatron #mrolympia #bodybuilding #smileandwave #human @mrolympiallc @ifbb_pro_league @olimp_born_in_the_gym @olimp_sport_nutrition @therealtechnician @stanimal9 @guycisternino

A post shared by Shawn Rhoden (@flexatronrhoden) on

 

He encouraged other pros to “live a little” in the off-season, and we can’t blame him—as any bodybuilder knows, getting into competition shape is a grueling process. Despite his response, many fans still seem to doubt his ability to prep for this year’s Olympia.

This past weekend, Rhoden guest posed at the NPC Bev Francis Atlantic States Championships, and he’s looking notably leaner than he did just a month ago. At 13 weeks out from the Olympia, he’s clearly on his way to ripped.

Here’s where “Flexatron” is currently at:

Can we see the proportions and striations that earned him a Sandow? Hard no. But is this an improvement from the Pittsburgh Pro? We think so. But no matter what anyone says, Rhoden has made it clear that he’s confident in his plan to get Olympia-ready.

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Oops: Turns Out You’ve Been Eating a Lot of Plastic


Plastic in a Recycling Bin

Cole Burston/Bloomberg / Getty

Bad news, clean eaters: You’ve all been cheating on your diets. Turns out, because lots of stuff is made out of plastic and recycling is just too damn hard to do, we’ve all been ingesting up to five grams of microplastics each week, according to the WWF (World Wildlife Fund). 

Scientists from the University of Newcastle in Australia reviewed 52 existing studies and estimated that through food, drinks, and even just breathing, we suck down about a credit card’s worth every seven days. The study listed water as the biggest offender, with a potential 1,769 plastic particles (in this particular case, microplastics under 1mm) coming from it per week. Shellfish, salt, and beer (ugh!) were also listed as main offenders. 

So what does sucking down a credit card’s worth of weekly microplastics—plastic particles under five millimeters in size—mean for our health stats? Though it’s not delicious and certainly not delicious, the jury is out regarding just how sick it’ll make us. In fact, the World Health Organization and the University of Newcastle in Australia are currently conducting studies to find out potential health impacts.

That being said, here’s some semi-good news: The scientists admitted that the study was built on a “limited set of evidence, and comes with limitations.” (Translation: they don’t really know if the number is five grams or not, but it’s in the ballpark.)

Now, here’s some more bad news: The report does note that microplastics can carry pollutants from the environment and contain toxins. So, the jury is still out either way.  

Point is, we hope you enjoy your dinner—with a side of fat-free microplastics, of course.

 

 

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The Pain-Free Chest Exercise Your Workout Needs


Dumbbell-Floor-Flye

Steve Smith / M+F Magazine

We have little doubt that you’ve done a set (or a hundred) of dumbbell flyes before and have probably heard of the floor press, too. Both are basic chest moves. The former is meant to stretch your muscle fibers and exhaust the pecs, while the latter move limits your range of motion so you can use heavier weight.

Well, trainer and owner of Iron House Designs, Jim Ryno, has gone ahead and combined the moves to bring you a unique variation of the flye—the one-arm floor chest flye.

You’ll be able to better focus on one side of your chest by doing the flye unilaterally, and lying on the floor will allow you to use a heavier bell for a greater muscular overload. (Also, it’ll spare your shoulder joint, since you won’t be able to extend the joint past the 90-degree mark, which can be dangerous.)

Give these a try with light weight before your workout to warm up your shoulders and chest, or end your training session with four sets of 10 reps each to finish off your chest.

How to Do the One-Arm Floor Chest Flye

  1. Lie down on the floor, legs bent and your feet on the floor, holding a dumbbell in one hand with the other arm extended out to your side.
  2. Extend the weighted arm up over your chest, then lower it down as you would during a dumbbell flye. Touch the back of your upper arm to the floor on every rep without letting it rest at the bottom.
  3. Maintain a slight bend in the elbow and keep the motion slow and controlled as you raise the dumbbell back up until it’s directly above your shoulder, arm straight.
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3 Ways to Incorporate Deadlifts Into Your Workouts


10 Deadlift Mistakes to Avoid

martin-dm / Getty

The deadlift is easily one of the most covered topics here at M&F, and rightfully so – this mass-maker builds functional and postural strength and triggers the release of muscle-building and fat-burning hormones like testosterone and growth hormone. Regardless of how you deadlift, the gains tend to come quickly.

The deadlift holds a dual distinction: it is arguably the best and yet most often misused exercise in the gym. With all of its variations in benefits it is a lift to build every program on, regardless of experience or skill level. But how exactly do you program it into your own workout for best results? Here are a few simple strategies to follow, along with a few sample workouts.

1. Start With It

Most of the time, and with very few exceptions, it pays to lead off your workout with deadlifts. That’s because you always want to do the most neural demanding exercises first and the deadlift is enormously taxing on your central nervous system (CNS). This sample workout leads off with the deadlift, allowing you to plow through it while you’re fresh, and focuses on the posterior chain.

Exercise

Sets

Reps        

Deadlift

4

6-8

Lying Hamstring Curl – Superset w/

4

8-10

Kettlebell Swing

4

12-15

Wide Stance Good Morning       

3

12-15

Calf Raise  

3

8-10

 

2. Stand Alone

A lot of fitness experts will challenge clients to perform the deadlift as part of a superset or a circuit, which tends to limit how much weight you can (and probably should) pull. Most of the time you should do the deadlift as a standalone exercise, working your way through all of your prescribed sets before moving on to another exercise. This is especially the case with newer lifters, who stand to gain more from the neural adaptations that the deadlift brings on. This lower-body workout pits man versus barbell for four heavy sets before finishing off your lower body with an array of other exercises.

Exercise

Sets

Reps        

Deadlift

4

6-8

Squat (Heels Elevated) Superset w/

4

8-10

Romanian Deadlift

4

8-10

Split Squat – Superset w/      

4

8-10 (each leg)

45-Degree Back Ext. with Band

4

8-10

Petersen Step-Up – Superset w/

48-10 (each leg)

Calf Raise

48-10

3. Superset It

Having established that it’s generally good practice to perform all of your working sets of the deadlift first (before moving on to other moves), it’s not out of the question to occasionally superset the deadlift with moves like the lying hamstring curl, chin-up, or knee dominant exercises like the walking lunge. The deadlift is a lower body, hip dominate exercise so these three exercises (as well as others) can be good complement exercises to perform in the context of a superset. 

Exercise

Sets

Reps        

Deadlift – Superset w/

4

6-8

Chinup

4

6-8

Front Squat – Superset w/

4

6-8

Dip     

4

6-8

Walking Lunge – Superset w/

4

8-10 (each leg)

Barbell Row

48-10 

Lying Hamstring Curl – Superset w/

4

8-10

Incline Dumbbell Press

46-8

Some tips to remember when it comes to picking things up and putting them down on deadlift day.

1. The deadlift always starts and ends from the floor. Allow the bar to come to a deliberate stop between reps.

2. At the start and finish position the shoulders should be slightly in front of the bar and (in most variations) the hips slightly higher than the knees.

 

Phil Gephart, MS, CSCS, is a certified personal trainer and owner of Newport Fit4Life in Newport Beach, Calif. A former professional basketball player, his CHEK & PICP certifications are recognized as the top in the world in the holistic, corrective exercise approach as well as preparing athletes for competition. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

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The 4-week Training Plan to Lose Fat and Get Toned

Woman Lifting Weights With Dumbbells

Mike Harrington / Getty

Trying to tighten and firm up all over?  With the help of trainer and nutritionist Kim Oddo—who has worked with some of the world’s top figure and bikini competitors—we’ll show you how to get your buff bod back in only four weeks with this comprehensive crash-course training program.

Coupled with a strategis nutrition plan, it’ll have your body sweating and (at times) your stomach grumbling, but in 28 days, you’ll surprise yourself when you see how far your figure has come.

The 4-week program is divided into a pair of 2-week chunks. Here are the weekly splits:

Weeks 1-2

DAY 1: Upper-body Circuit, Abs

DAY 2: Lower-body Circuit

DAY 3: Cardio, Abs

DAY 4: Upper-body Circuit, Abs

DAY 5: Lower-body Circuit

DAY 6: Cardio, Abs

DAY 7: Rest

Important Points

  • Use light weight and higher reps at the beginning of the workout to help enhance blood flow to muscles and burn more calories as you train. 
  • With each circuit, you’ll go heavier and use lower reps to stimulate your fast-twitch muscle fibers and keep your body in fat-burning mode after the workout is over. 
    • The reps for each movement are specified separated by commas in the workouts below.
  • Focus on compound movements to maximize the amount of work done in this short, full-body routine.
  • To keep your heart rate up, you’ll perform five minutes of cardio between each circuit at 70–75% maximum heart rate (MHR).
  • Use an average tempo like 2-1-2 (two seconds to lower the weight, one second pause, and two seconds to lift it) to ensure you perform each exercise properly.
  • Perform 45–60 minutes of cardio on your cardio days, working at 75% of your MHR.

Weeks 3-4

DAY 1: Upper-body Circuit, Abs

DAY 2: Lower-body Plyometrics Circuit

DAY 3: Cardio, Abs

DAY 4: Upper-body Plyometrics Circuit, Abs

DAY 5: Lower-body Circuit

DAY 6: Cardio, Abs

DAY 7: Rest

Important Points

  • Increase the amount of weight for both your upper- and lower-body circuits, and go heavier and use lower reps with each circuit.
  • After your body has acclimatized to faster-paced workouts, you’ll start plyometrics—exercises that are quick, powerful movements that help the muscles store energy for more explosive training.
  • Plyos give you a total cardio workout, so you won’t have to hit the treadmill afterward unless you feel you need to.
  • To keep your heart rate up and calories burning during the workout, you’ll perform five minutes of cardio between each circuit on the treadmill, StepMill, or elliptical at 70–75% of your MHR.
  • Make sure to warm up for a minimum of five minutes on the treadmill, StepMill, or elliptical before beginning your first circuit.
  • Perform 45–60 minutes of cardio on a treadmill, StepMill, or elliptical on your cardio days at 75% of your MHR.
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FDA Ordered to Return Five Truckloads of DMAA to Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals


FDA Ordered to Return Five Truckloads of DMAA to Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals

Witthaya Prasongsin

This week, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia, handed down a ruling that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must return $19 million worth of products containing DMAA (1,3-Dimethylamylamine) that the government agency seized from Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals back in October 2017. Though the sale of DMAA is still prohibited, the manner in which the FDA seized Hi-Tech’s property was declared unlawful by the court, leading to the return of what was originally five tractor-trailers worth of their products.

Hi-Tech’s CEO, Jared Wheat, called the FDA’s seizure of the ingredient, “an extreme act of overreach.” He continued, “This is not about mistakes. This is not about negligence. This is not about incompetence. This is about intentional wrongdoing.”

In a press release sent out by the company, Hi-Tech summed up its position by saying, “In short, the Government has not adequately explained its reasons for keeping Defendants’ property in a state of limbo for eighteen months.”

For more from Wheat, you can check out a video from Hi-Tech’s Instagram page below.

https://cdn.jwplayer.com/players/7rpT0Hdk-JGzcmSrv.js

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Shawn Ray Commends Andre Ferguson for Showing Restraint During Parking Lot Gym Brawl

The IFBB Hall of Famer gives advice to bodybuilders when facing potential confrontations in public.

Earlier this week, we reported that IFBB Pro League men’s physique competitor Andre Ferguson was in an altercation following a disagreement with a man at his local gym. Although no one was seriously harmed or faces legal action (as of now) following the brawl, Ferguson has been temporarily banned from the gym. We asked Shawn Ray his thoughts on the situation and whether or not anything like that has happened to him over the years.

[RELATED1]

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