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Twenty-Two Things I Learned During My Week With Adam Glass

I spent a fun and brutal week training with strongman Adam Glass up in Minot recently.  I learned a lot, including the fact that Minot has a store for dapper gents called “Sophisticated Man of Minot.”  That made my day.

Here, in no particular order, are a few of the zillion things I learned.  From a strength training perspective, I felt like the kid at the science fair when Einstein walks by and says, “Hey!  Come check out my lab!”

1. Bulldogs are awesome and they really snore

2. The flaw in any system is that it is a system

3. “A lack of personal excellence” is the greatest description of a bad haircut that I’ve ever heard

4. I am stronger than I thought I was.

5. I am weaker than I thought I was

6. You are stronger than you know

7. You are weaker than you know

8. Increase your strengths but focus on your weaknesses

9. There is no 100% accuracy when talking about the body

10. I know very little about the body

11. After having an injured shoulder for over a year, Adam fixed it in about 10 minutes.  Then right after that, I pressed more weight with that shoulder than I ever had…after a year off. It just took someone who knows how to coach

12. Having someone with Tourette’s film you leads to very shaky camerawork

13. I want an Xbox 360 (hint, my birthday’s coming up if you loyal readers want to pool your pennies)

14. Everyone needs at least one mentor

15. Don’t think that because you are working harder than anyone you know, that there is nobody working harder than you

16. Mudvayne is very good workout music

17. Most feats of strength involve as much pain tolerance as strength

18. Return Of The Kettlebell is my favorite workout protocol of all time

19. Most personal trainers have no idea what they’re doing

20. Most people don’t want to do what they need, they want to do what will make them look good.  But you don’t have to choose

21. Bending a horseshoe is really, really, really hard

22. Your limits are not what you think they are

I could go on all day.  The greatest thing is realizing that there are people who can deliver exactly what they say.  You could not come up with a physical goal that Adam couldn’t help you achieve–unless you said something like, “I want to spin a 500 lb Atlas Stone on one finger like a basketball.”

And even that might be possible if you were patient enough.

Adam has 6 open slots for online training in October.  If you have goals and are serious about meeting them, I can’t encourage you strongly enough to contact Adam and get going.

Time goes by regardless.  Might as well get strong while it’s zipping past.


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  • Rob September 22, 2009, 3:45 am

    Wow, that would be the most awesome thing, training with Adam. I’m considering going over for the ‘Grip and Rip’ 2010, Josh you might have just swayed me with this!
    Not only is Adam a great strongman he also sounds very witty and a philosopher somewhat

    • Josh Hanagarne September 22, 2009, 7:38 am

      Rob, I’m going to try and go to G&R as well. I’d love to meet you. Let’s make it happen.

  • Casey September 22, 2009, 8:36 am

    Wow, sounds like it was a great trip! Were you able to bend a horseshoe? At first I thought it novel this mix of philosophy and working out, but the more I think about it, I find it almost essential.

    Also, what made you want an XBox? If the loya readers here can afford one, I’ll be happy to game a bit with you!

  • Josh Hanagarne September 22, 2009, 8:58 am

    Casey, I couldn’t bend the horseshoe. We couldn’t find any baby ones, but I tried one of Adam’s slightly heavier shoes just to see how it works.

    As to the Xbox: There were a few afternoons when I had some time to myself and rather than doing something productive, I shot aliens and chopped up zombies.

  • Craig Brown September 22, 2009, 10:06 am

    That sounds like a good and productive trip! Best kind…

    An a ‘possibly related’ note, have you read the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius? I suggest the Long translation. I find that Book 4 in particular is a good read that relates the most to life and lifting.

  • Josh Hanagarne September 22, 2009, 10:31 am

    Craig, I’ve read it, but it’s been a while. That year where I was a Classic major was a long time ago. I’ll check it out. Thanks for the recommendation. I wish you could have been there. You would have eaten it up.

  • Ben Owens September 22, 2009, 11:31 am

    Sounds like an awesome trip, Josh. I still can’t believe you were able to press so much with a shoulder that hasn’t pressed more than 24kg in over a year. It’s amazing.

    Also, Xbox 360 is definately the way to go! Get one! Then convince Lindsey to let us get a good internet connection so we can play Xbox live together!

  • Rob September 22, 2009, 12:00 pm

    Likewise Josh, that would be even better, I need details first and then work out what I am to do!

  • IthacaJake September 22, 2009, 12:24 pm

    #9 Is absolutely true. I see it in my QinNa (the Chinese precursor to Jujitsu) practice quite frequently…For some people, some nerve striking techniques are substantially less effective, whereas when they are done to me I jump 5 feet backwards…

  • Craig Brown September 22, 2009, 2:21 pm

    Josh- your camera work was quite entertaining…I forgot about it and was watching somehting you shot over at Adams and it made me smile!

  • Jon Owens September 22, 2009, 2:28 pm

    Sounds like you had a great week Josh! I’ve enjoyed your “reports from the front” and really like your list today — especially #17.

  • Josh Hanagarne September 22, 2009, 2:42 pm

    Jon, sad but true. It doesn’t make you sore and achy. It just hurts! How’s the bending going?

  • The Mighty Kat September 22, 2009, 2:56 pm

    Great list. I still want more! More!

    • Josh Hanagarne September 22, 2009, 5:10 pm

      Kat, you might have to call me for that. I’m having a hard time trying to recreate any of it on the keyboard.

  • Daisy September 22, 2009, 5:38 pm

    #12 cracked me up. Remember, there’s a blind teenager in my house who also has Asperger’s and a mild tic disorder. Don’t hand this kid a video camera; it’ll make you dizzy to try to watch the results.

    • Josh Hanagarne September 22, 2009, 6:20 pm

      Daisy, I know just what you mean. Most of my camera work is like The Blair Witch Project during the running scenes.

  • Shane September 22, 2009, 6:00 pm

    I second that Mudvayne comment! What would we do without that type of music! Any photos?

    • Josh Hanagarne September 22, 2009, 6:19 pm

      Shane, I have a couple, but they’re not great. I look really, really petite next to Adam. We’ll see if my ego can work up to it.

  • Helen Hoefele September 22, 2009, 6:50 pm

    Interesting stuff. Would be curious to hear more about #2. And, “Yikes!”, about #19!

  • MichaelR September 23, 2009, 4:45 pm

    Hi Josh, I found your blog at Problogger and find your writing amusing and informative. Great looking but simople blog you got here Josh.

    Keep it up!


    • Josh Hanagarne September 23, 2009, 4:50 pm

      MichaelR— I appreciate it, friend. Stick around!

  • Jedd Johnson September 27, 2009, 6:36 pm

    Great report. He told me the other day that you had come out for a while. Adam knows his stuff. He has helped with a lot of things over the years. He never has a problem lending a hand.

    • Josh Hanagarne September 27, 2009, 6:44 pm

      Jedd, did he happen to mention that I was nearly in tears after doing 180 heavy clean and jerks? He didn’t? Oh, good!

  • Jedd Johnson September 27, 2009, 6:49 pm

    No he did not.

  • Mike T Nelson October 14, 2009, 8:33 am

    Great stuff Josh! Very wise words. Adam knows his stuff for sure and does awesome work!

    Rock on
    Mike T Nelson PhD(c)

  • rico August 21, 2010, 11:44 am

    What was adam able to do for your shoulder?

    • Josh Hanagarne August 21, 2010, 11:47 am

      He helped me find a movement that tested well. Then I just drilled that movement for a couple of minutes and voila! Pain issue gone. Doctors had spent a year scratching their heads and asking me if I was doing external band rotations as prescribed on their pamphlet.

      • rico August 21, 2010, 4:13 pm

        Oh cool I thought you were trying to do the same movement you had been trying in the past. Keep up the good work. Those physical drove me nuts when I had my shoulder sugery too.

  • Pim October 3, 2010, 7:46 am

    Horseshoe bending? Don’t you mean horseshoe straightening. XD