Introducing The Texas Connection: Competitior Updates & Strongman Tips!

Welcome to the first installment of ‘What's up in the South.’ We will find out who's doing what, where and when. Learn about top names; such as Stephen Frazier, Trish Warren, top reasons to powerlift, and more! Read on!

Welcome to the first installment of "What's up in the South." We will find out who's doing what, where and when.

arrow Stephen Frazier:

    A few weeks ago Pose Down Magazine worked with BIG Stephen Frazier on an upcoming back article. This guy walked into Metroflex Gym in Arlington Texas at a staggering 6'1", 285 lbs. D@mn this guy is big!!!

    Stephen recently placed 3rd at NPC Nationals in the super-heavyweight class. He is working hard to bring up a few weak points in his physique so next year in Atlanta so he can bring home that elusive pro card. If you want to catch more of the next BIG man from Texas, check out

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Stephen Frazier At The National Championships.
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arrow Jen Cook:

    After a comeback in the 2007 season IFBB Pro Figure Jen Cook has decided to concentrate on a new goal. I spoke with Jen who is/has been an NPC Texas judge for 6 years and most recently added to the list of national judges. She said, "I am finished with competition. I have a new goal now, I want to be a pro judge. I am working hard on that along with helping Texas become bigger and better.

    In 2008 Texas will have 15 shows and probably 16 or 17 in 2009." Along with all of these great amateur shows Texas will also host the Europa Super Show and the Houston Pro Show showcasing Figure, Fitness and Men's Bodybuilding. Catch us next month when we will have more details about theses two events.

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Jen Cook At The 2007 Atlantic City Pro.
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Check Out Jen's BodySpace Here!

arrow Dave Goodin:

    I spoke with the ultra successful Dave Goodin last week and he is up for another busy season. He is planning to do the Lone Star Classic the first week in June, then the Team Universe, followed up by Masters Nationals.

    On top of dieting for these shows Dave is also promoting the Texas Shredder Classic which has become a sanctioned NPC Regional Qualifier. Not only is it a regional qualifier but the open class winners also qualify for the Team Universe in New York City. The Shredder is a drug tested show and is going to be held on April 26th at the Texas School for the Deaf in Austin, Texas. For more information on the show you can check out

Dave Goodin Dave Goodin
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Dave Goodin.
Check Out Dave's BodySpace Here!

arrow Lance Johnson:

    Pose Down Magazines own Lance Johnson and I spoke the other day and I asked him what '08 held in store for him. He said, "I plan on returning to Pittsburgh in July for the 2008 Masters Nationals and winning my class, the overall and an IFBB pro card. I will come in bigger and fuller than in the past and not make the same mistake of getting too depleted and flat! Look out old-timers Mr. Big Stuff will be back with a vengeance!"

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Lance Johnson At The 2007 Texas State Championships.
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arrow Trish Warren:

    While speaking with IFBB Pro Fitness competitor Trish Warren the other day she had this to say. "I am very excited about the upcoming 2008 competition season. I am currently working hard to bring my routines up to match my physique. I always fall behind in the routine rounds and want to ensure this does not happen anymore.

    At this point I plan on competing in as many shows as my body will allow. The shows I have in mind are the NY Pro Fitness, Europa Super Show, Houston Pro Fitness, and maybe one other. As far as immediate plans, I am going to focus on helping Branch prepare for the Arnold! I look forward to a great year."

By Brian Dobson

Our own Brian Dobson, author of Raw Power, explains the "STRONGMAN TRAINING" in his monthly column for Pose Down Magazine. Next month we will highlight Brian's first power meet which was held on December 7, 2007. Brian did a great job with this event and all proceeds were donated to the Open Door Ministries Food Bank.

Strongman Training And The Deadlift
By Brian Dobson

The strongman training will enhance your lifting ability and allow you to put on more muscle. This will be functional muscle that will help you in actual athletic endeavors. Most commercial gyms do not have strongman training equipment so you will either improvise or join a gym like Metroflex where the equipment is already there.

I will go over some of the training apparatus for strongman and what it will affect in your muscular development and athletic ability.

1. Stones:

    At Metroflex we have stones from 178 lbs. on up to over 300 lbs.. There are many ways to lift them, some do high reps lifting them off the floor to shoulder height and back down almost like a power clean. Some do singles. The hardest thing about stones is you have to get your fingers around the base and it is a big plus to have great flexibility allowing a lower more explosive position.

    One of the great things about stones is it really strengthens the lower back and can boost the deadlift significantly. All the big stone lifters have awesome back thickness.

stones stones stones
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Video: Windows Media - MPEG

2. Farmers Walk:

    We have the actual handles but you can also just carry heavy dumbbells. You can do this for time, distance or both. This really develops the grip, forearms and traps. Also stabilizes the core. I have seen Josh Bryant literally run with 320 lbs. in each hand 50 yards and turn around and come back!

Carrying and Throwing
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Farmer's Walk.
Video: Windows Media - MPEG

3. Sled Drag:

    We have 3 different sleds at Metroflex and use them in a variety of ways with the main one tying the loop through a lifting belt and dragging it backwards 50-100 yards each way. I have dragged 405 pounds 100 yards and I promise it is an incredible quad burn and great cardio.

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Sled Drag.
Video: WMV - iPod Video

4. Thick Bar Training:

    The thick bar will make any exercise harder. It will also develop grip and forearm size. In strongman contests the thick bar is used for overhead press lifts.

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Overhead Press.
Video: Windows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

5. Vehicle Harness Pull:

    This will fry every bit of your body; we take pulling harnesses, attach it to a truck and anchor a long thick rope to a fencepost or another vehicle. Put the pulled truck in neutral and have some one steer. Lean into it and pull with the arms and push with the legs for about 50 yards one way.

Car Pull.

Two to three sets will fry your entire being. These are just a small sampling of strongman training that will put some variety into your muscle building routine, add functional strength and give variety to your cardio. Give it a try you might be a strongman champion one day.

The Deadlift
By Brian Dobson

To me nothing exemplifies true overall strength as the deadlift. Before Ronnie Coleman made it popular again in bodybuilding circles very few bodybuilding competitors performed this lift. Now in order to have a back of pro level consideration it is mandatory.

In the powerlifting world before the advent of super squat and bench suits most competitors had a deadlift that was comparable or surpassed their squat. At last years WABDL nationals in Dallas their were lifters who benched over 800 lbs. with their super bench shirts but the heaviest deadlift was 675 lbs.

The reason for this is they haven't figured a way to boost the deadlift with man made material outfits yet (but they are trying). There are suits for the deadlift but they don't give you the extreme boost you receive from the squat and bench shirts of today.

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Video: Windows Media - Real Player

Another reason I believe the deadlift is a much better test of true strength than the bench or squat - Most deadlift suits just give you a tight more secure feeling, which in turn gives more confidence and hopefully a bigger lift. Nothing gives your back that thick dense look better than the basic deadlift. Just look at Ronnie Coleman, Johnnie Jackson, Branch Warren, Jay Cutler, and Dorian Yates. They all have great backs that have gotten even more extreme from heavy deadlifting.

Once at 2 weeks out from the Olympia when I was working with Ronnie he pulled 805 lbs. for a triple after dieting for 10 weeks. That was a feat of strength. The deadlift is also a lift that will benefit the MMA fighter in giving him greater strength for takedowns and suplexes.

Anthony Schlegel former Ohio state middle linebacker now with the NY Jets credits the deadlift with helping him develop tremendous overall strength and developing toughness. He set deadlift world records in the WABDL back when he was a teenager that still stand today and pulled 675 lbs. in our last training session.

Needless to say he is a very tough athlete. So many avoid this lift saying they have a bad back when it will actually help strengthen that back when performed correctly.

So if your goal is to be a top level bodybuilder, MMA star, football standout, or just have a healthier stronger back and physique start incorporating the basic deadlift into that back routine.

LiftRite Episode #1
The Deadlift Part 1


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WMV (7.7 MB) - MPEG (56.8 MB) - Video iPod (11.1 MB)

Don't Be Scared,
Stay hardcore!

NPC Texas 2008 Schedule

  • March 29 - West Texas Championships - Andrew and Kathleen Zamora
  • April 19 - Ronnie Coleman Classic - Brian and Brandi Dobson
  • May 3 - Vickie Gates Classic - Vicki Gates
  • June 7 - Lone Star Classic - Prince Harrison
  • June 21 - South Texas Championships - Prince Fontenot
  • July 4-5 - John Sherman Pro - Khalid Tabari / John Sherman
  • July 12 - Branch Warren Classic - Brian & Brandi Dobson / Branch Warren
  • Aug 2 - Capital of Texas Championships - Cecil and Samantha Ballard
  • Aug 15-16 - Europa Supershow - Ed and Betty Pariso
  • Aug 30 - TX Muscle Classic - Sam / Prince Harrison
  • Sept 13 - Heart of Texas Championships - Prince Harrison
  • Oct 4 - Gold's Gym Classic - Raul Bracamontes
  • Nov 1 - Texas State Championships - Lee Thompson / Lee Labrada
  • Nov 8 - Lackland Classic - Steve Reichert

*Date for Gateway Classic still pending.

Until Next Time...

For more information on Texas Athletes go to

Michael Bell

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