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BodySpace Member Of The Month
May 2010: Armbender
Armbender, BodySpace user Will Sarty, competed in his first Arm Wrestling competition in 2000, and he was hooked! He has been training and competing for 10 years, and he hopes to earn a place on the podium at the World Championship Arm Wrestling competition in December of 2010.
Will is an invaluable member of the BodySpace community. He's an avid forum user and freely gives tons of training advice from his 10 years of experience with Arm Wrestling.
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Armbender Competed In His First Arm Wrestling
Competition In 2000, And He Was Hooked.
Check Out Armbender's BodySpace Profile Here.
Check Out Armbender's BodyBlog Here.
Check Out Armbender's Photo Gallery Here.
[ Q ] Where are you from, and how long have you been working out?
I am from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. I have been training with weights at the gym for 12 years and training for Arm Wrestling professionally for 10 years.
[ Q ] How long have you been visiting Bodybuilding.com and using BodySpace?
In January 2006 I found Bodybuilding.com when I was trying to get more information on supplements. I primarily stayed within that thread and ventured into the store part of the website for purchases.
I learned a lot of valuable information within that time but not until early 2007 did I start seeing an increase in my training when I joined the BodySpace group.
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I Found Bodybuilding.com When I Was Trying
To Get More Information On Supplements.
[ Q ] You mention in your BodySpace profile that you started Arm-Wrestling in high school. Did you know any people that were into arm wrestling at the time? How did you find out about competitions and when did you decide to compete in one?
My father is in the military so when we were first posted to Nova Scotia, we needed to have a well drilled for our house. The person that drilled our well, Perry Bruhm, happened to be the multi-national arm wrestling champion in Canada with a Silver Medal finishing at the Worlds.
He showed me a few tricks, which would allow me to win over kids in my school. He was my first real inspiration and motivation to train for this sport.
On July 23rd 2000, I entered my first competition. It was the Nova Scotia Provincial Championships. I had no clue what I was in for, or what kind of impact this sport would have on my life.
I was fortunate enough to place third but it was a huge eye opener for me as I always thought that this sport was strength dominant. I also thought I was strong for this sport. I was wrong on both counts.
[ Q ] What or whom do you think contributes most to your success, besides hard work? Do genetics play a big role in your opinion? Do you have any other family members that are also active in arm wrestling?
My family right now is a huge factor in my success. If I didn't have their support, I wouldn't be where I am today. As far as training, I was extremely lucky to train in a club with some of the most respected Arm Wrestlers in Canada and some in the World.
One of my training partners, Rick Pinkney, is the President of the Nova Scotia Arm wrestling Association. He himself has had many titles under his belt, along with a Silver Medal at the World Championships. His technical knowledge in this sport is known by all as being the best in the world.
I have the opportunity to learn from him and increase my ability to be a strong member of Team Canada. He has taken my training to an extremely high level.
Arm Wrestling has such a high camaraderie, that you feed off of everyone you compete with. When I win against someone, I will let that person know what I did to win and what he did wrong. This will allow them to be better prepared when we meet next and will also increase my training in the gym.
As far as tracking my progress and my training, I use BodySpace, hands down. It's a very well laid out and functional site.
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Arm Wrestling Has Such A High Camaraderie, That
You Feed Off Of Everyone You Compete With.
[ Q ] How did you prepare for your first arm wrestling competition? And how has this changed over time (diet, etc.)?
My first real competition was the North American Championships in Ontario, Canada. I wasn't sure what to expect but I knew the competition would be pretty strong. I didn't need to diet, as my walking around weight was 128lbs. I was competing in the 132lb weight class so I wanted to be as heavy as possible.
Early in my Arm Wrestling career, I wasn't sure how to get prepared for tournaments so I really just walked into it. As long as I made weight I was happy. Now after attending the Worlds, I have a little more knowledge on preparing.
As an example, when I was preparing for the World Championships in South Africa, my diet was very strict within 4 months of the competition because my weight was 136lbs and I was trying to compete in the 121lb weight category. I would study videos on the European Arm-Wrestlers, as I knew they would be the more dominant in the lighter classes.
My weight training was changed every week to ensure my strength was at its peak during the timeframe of the tournament. During our practices, we would develop our technique based on the European pullers as well, as they have very unique styles. All of this led me to a fourth place finish with a win against Ukraine who took the Bronze Medal.
[ Q ] Can you give us a detailed sample-workout of a normal week?
Monday - Arm-Wrestling & Video Training, COC Grippers #1
Tuesday - Off
Wednesday - Biceps/Triceps
- Barbell Curls
- Rope Pressdowns
- Hammer Curls
- Seated Tricep Press
- Standing Dumbell Curls
- EZ Bar Reverse Curls
Thursday - Arm-Wrestling & Video Training, COC Grippers #1
Friday - Off
Saturday - Hand, Wrist, & Forearm, COC Grippers #2
- Side Levers
- Front Levers
- Plate Wrist Curls
- Plate Pinch
- Wrist Curls
- Reverse Wrist Curls
- Rope Training
Sunday - Running And Rope Work
[ Q ] Since it seems that arm wrestling involves a lot of grip training, do you incorporate some kind of strongman training in your training regimen?
Grip training is a very important aspect of my training. I have my own unique hand and wrist workout, which I have tried to develop over the years to see what works best for my body type.
In Arm-Wrestling, I believe that your hand and wrist must be equally strong in order to use them to your advantage. I have to balance these during my workouts. Throughout the week I utilize my Captains of Crush (COC) Grippers in a specific routine along with lever lifts for my wrists.
For this I took a 3" PVC pipe and rigged it to hold plates. This allows me to get a wider grip, which really concentrates on my wrists. I incorporate the use of pulleys at the gym to mimic Arm-Wrestling. This allows me to adjust the tension on my wrists and lets me develop strength in the winning and the losing position.
I also do a lot of unique rope training for my hand and wrist strength. The rope has been such a benefit to my progress towards a Gold medal that it is now a staple in my training program.
[ Q ] Since you and a lot of your competitors are pretty ripped, how often do you get to deal with the stereotype of only big fat bikers making good arm wrestlers? And what do you say to those people that don't know much about the sport?
Arm-Wrestling in my opinion will always be wrapped around the stereotype of the whole bar scene Arm-Wrestler-Trucker. It's a shame but I think the movie Over The Top has given a negative aspect of our sport to the public. I felt that way when I started.
I thought Arm Wrestling was nothing but strength. I was so wrong it wasn't funny. This is a very technically, physically and mentally strenuous sport. It's hard to know what to say to the new people getting into the sport that will not deter them from competing again.
My first year of competition was met with many losses. I believe I won my first circuit tournament in the middle of my second year. Now I am one of the most dominating lightweights in Canada. I am a firm believer that "in order to win, you must first learn how to lose". You have to take your beatings in this sport and keep coming out.
[ Q ] It seems like you have gradually gained a lot of weight since the beginning of 2006. Was this a requirement for your arm wrestling career?
My walking around weight when I first started Arm-Wrestling in 2000 was 128lbs. I have gradually put weight on just from my weight training in the gym. I dropped my weight down to 121lbs for two tournaments and at the World Championships in South Africa I dropped down to 117lbs.
I have now proved at the National level that I am very dominating at my weight at 132lbs and also 143lbs. My goal right now is to maintain my weight of 121lbs for the World Championships in Las Vegas December 2010.
[ Q ] Your short-term goal is to be the best arm-wrestler you can be? Besides just doing the best you can do, what does this include? What titles do you hope to earn in the future?
I would like to bring my hand and wrist strength to a new level this year. Hand control is important for me in a match. If you can take the hand, you can take the arm. I am training right now for the World Championships in Las Vegas 2010. I will definitely qualify for this event and will earn my spot on the podium holding the Canadian flag for the first time.
[ Q ] What kind of comments do you get when you beat guys that are bigger than you?
Some people get pretty upset, but for the most part they want to understand how and why it is possible. Usually it is the people who don't train so we just have to explain that they need to come to practice more often. You can't expect to be a Champion if you don't train like one.
[ Q ] You took 1st place in your second competition; the National Championships in September 2003. How did it feel to place first in your second competition and at a national level?
It was amazing taking my first National Title. There was a feud between myself and another competitor in my weight class. When I first started pulling, he was the man to beat in my class. After I started getting good, I would always finish second to him at our Provincial Championships four years in a row with no win against him. His walking around weight was roughly 155lbs.
At Nationals, I was pulling in the 132lb class. My trainer came to me the night before the competition and gave me the news that he had made my class and he would be pulling against me. This really brought my morale down for the night.
The next day I went into it like I was going to win. I pulled off my first win against him in the third round. It was the match of my life with a 4-minute hook match. He went on to win on the B-side and we met in the finals where I beat him for the Title.
It was the most exciting day of my life knowing how hard I trained for that day and to come out as the Champion in front of my hometown and my family was a lifetime memory.
[ Q ] You mention that you teach a lot of other people about arm wrestling and share knowledge. Where do you do this?
We do this at our Halifax club. We train and coach anybody who is interested in competing or just to know more about the sport. I answer a lot of questions and posts on Bodybuilding.com also.
I get many comments and questions on the forum, which is great as most of the people commenting are teenagers. This group of people are going to be the future of our sport. I feel great when I can motivate someone into a competition because I know they will be hooked after their first win.
It is such a reward to see how you improve with your training with the wins you get in competition. Even when you lose it is rewarding because you know how close you are getting to beating that competitor and you bust your butt in the gym just to get that one win.
You need a lot of heart and dedication in this sport and it shows. I love seeing a great match that ends with both competitors exhausted to the point the cant even get off the table but find the energy to give each other a hug at the table congratulating each other on a great pull.
[ Q ] Anything you want to tell people that are just getting into the sport?
Get out and pull as many classes and tournaments as possible. Stamina is a great asset in this sport and you can win many more matches if your stamina is well developed. Don't be cocky! Its is perfectly all right to be confident but remember that anyone can be beaten on any given day. Train as hard as your body will allow. You are your body's expert, listen to it and don't over train.
Here is an article on everything you need to know about Arm-Wrestling:
And here is an in-depth look at my Hand, Wrist, and Forearm Training:
I would like to put a shout-out to my Sponsor - USPLabs who have helped me take my training and competition to the next level. Without them, I would not be able to train as often and as hard as I do for World class competitions.
BodySpace Admin, Customer Service at the Cyber Store, all BodySpace members, all Canadian members, and definitely my Training Team in Halifax. Thanks for everything!
Check Out Armbender's BodySpace Profile Here.
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