A blog featuring the competitive achievements of athletes from the Next Level and the PhysiQademy. It's our alumni, coaches and resource partners putting hteir experiences with our program into action and performing at their best.

STRONGMAN: Nick Cambi places fourth in the Arnold World StrongMan Competition

Master of the "Donkey Kick Circus Dumbell." 

Very little needs to be said other than congratulations and holy crap.  After years of dedicated hard work, Next Level alumni Nick Cambi (Wolfpack) places fourth among heavyweight competitors at the 2015 Arnold Sports Festival's World Strongman competition.

One of the most prestigious names in physique & strength sports competition, we are doubly proud and impressed because Nick accomplished this feat without the use of drug assistance.  He represents what staying the course and committing with passion can bring to a person.

One of the things we love the most about Nick is his sense of humor, which always prevents him from getting too mired and bogged down while he forges ahead.  And the video he compiled of his competitive highlights shows that love of laughing right alongside his love of lifting achievement.

Congratulations, Nick.  We're so glad "we knew ya when."  And were excited to see where you head next!

STRONGMAN: Congrats to Next Level Alumni competing in the StrongMan Nationals tomorrow!

We often remark: "the best results will not come for athletes while on a Next Level team, but afterward." While so many of our alumni athletes embody this look-to-what's-possible-next philosophy, some really shine in their accomplishments.

And this year we are wishing best of luck and godspeed to three such high-achievers who we're humbly flattered to have been connected with "way back when." Seems our alumni will be competing on the national stage at the StrongMan Nationals tomorrow (as of the time of this post).

Gina Melnik (The Drive(n), 2008), Ryan Aruck (The Beast, 2011), and Nick Cambi (Wolfpack, 2012) are all out in Reno, Nevada and prepping for their big day tomorrow.

Guys, the ranks of The Next Level — indeed, of the whole PhysiQulture Collaborative — are ecstatic for you! Just being there is an accomplishment in different ways for each of you (even though you perpetually make it seem easy!). We're humbled, honored and flattered to have been on any part of your remarkable paths!

Now go tear shit up! We're looking forward to hearing the highlights!

(Oh, and equal congrats and luck sent to some of our closer allies who will be there as well! (We're looking at you, Gina and Dawn, as well as a handful of other friends!) We know you'll smash it up!!!)


STRONGMAN: Next Level Alumni destroy Mass State StrongMan

Ryan Aruck and Stephen Cyr (from The Beast, 2011) along with Nick Cambi and Corey Bruckler (from Wolfpack, 2012) all entered the NAS Mass State StrongMan at Total Performance Sports in Everett. 

The guys are in great spirits and are in good standings. Updates coming after the last event. 

Ryan and Steve work on their tans. 

Ryan and Steve work on their tans. 

Large mammals were spotted. 

Large mammals were spotted. 

The face of intensity. 

The face of intensity. 

Steve tells the new guys where they can go to get muscles. 

Steve tells the new guys where they can go to get muscles. 

STRONGMAN: 2014 North Carolina StrongMan


Huge congratulations to Next Level alumni Nick Cambi, the "Large Mammal," (alumni from Wolfpack) for his win at the 2014 North Carolina StrongMan on February 15.  

Nick came in first place in the Men's Under 231 lb. class, his second win in a statewide event (Massachusetts being his first first). 

Nick compiled his usual highlight reel.

STRONGMAN: Maine StrongMan 6

The competitors at the 2013 Maine StrongMan 6

On Sunday April 30 2013, New England promoter Dana Geneseo once again held a favorite event of the local area strength community, the Maine StrongMan 6, held in Augusta, Maine.

The event had many Next Level alumni and supporters, including saw a return assembly of members of the legendary Next Level team The Beast.  Chris Noonan, Steve Cyr, Ryan Aruck and Tyler Rabin all competed, along with Next Level Resource  (and sometime teammate) Seth Carbonneau, and Gina Melnik (of The Drive(n) and co-founder of ally organization N.E.W.S., New England Women of Strength).



The first event was the press medley, which consisted of four lifts: an axle bar, a log, a keg and a circus dumbell.  All competitors had to execute two lifts with each implement, but could do them in any order, to allow them to mix and match towards their strongest talents.  As with so many events in StrongMan, they had 60 seconds to attempt completing the event.

At 150 lbs, the keg is almost as heavy as Tyler himself.  Now if only we can get him to learn the "drop form" . . . 

We think the socks alone gave Steve-O a few extra points. (Especially considering that, if you look closely, yes, that is blood; a scrape on that dude's shins from going full beast on the bar.)



The second event of the day was the descending deadlift under a 60-second time limit.  The bar begins 18" off the ground, and very time the bar is lifted a level is removed, causing the next lift start from a lower level than the previous.  

All the guys simply kicked ass in this event, with some heat firing up between Seth Carbonneau and Tyler Rabin, who both had to pull 450 lbs.  

Seth Carbonneau's remarkable form was literally the object lesson of the concept of "retrieval."  His ability to drop a little form and return to it for assistance made his lifts look not only effortless, but even poetic.  (As if the admiration didn't show by how many photos we took!) I'm bummed we couldn't find a video of it – it was the very epitome of skilled heavy lifting.

Ryan Aruck is clearly the King of Hitch Form, and pulled his 575 lbs. with all the fire he is known for.

Tyler Rabin's own hitch-form skills also came to his assistance as he snuck in one extra lift just before the time ran out.

Chris Noonan and Steve Cyr both set PR's on this event as well.  Noonan had never lifted 500 lbs. ever in his life – from ANY height – so even if he did not finish this event, he proved that strength is not always about sheer bulk.  Meanwhile, Steve-O proved that graduated practice makes perfect, as he was finally able to use his hip thrust to his full advantage.  Pulling 450 lbs. for consecutive reps was more weight than he has ever pulled over 60 seconds.  (Way to finally get that gigantic ass DOWN, Steve.)




The guys were flying through their classes and none of them came even close to the time limit.  As always, Seth Carbonneauwas in top form with his 500lb. load – so fast we didn't even get all the video!

Chris Noonan was struggling for much of the day until this point, but his stable core not only made up for lost time, but also saved him on a couple potential stumbles under the weight of his 600 lb. yoke.  Proof that keeping a stable midsection allows you to keep the weight up.  The guys were allowed as many drops as possible, but Noonan refused to use the privilege, instead favoring time.

Ryan Aruck has come a long way with the yoke, and getting under 800 lbs. with no drops is proof of his progress over the past year, when he would occasionally destabilize under less weight.

Both Tyler Rabin and Stephen Cyr moved 500 lbs. quickly, both gliding in to a sliding stop which shows how much momentum they were able to create.  The rules state that any part of the yolk can cross the line for the event to be considered "completed," so often competitors take advantage of this privilege by allowing the apparatus to slide forward just as they reach the line – a proven trick to ensure you "made it."



Even after the officials changed the weights of the Conan's Wheel event, it was still far too heavy for several competitors.  Some athletes were defeated at this event, barely able to make it through a full rotation.  However, our guys held their own and managed to move some heavy weight.

In the heavier men's classes the wheel was harnessed with a sled/swing contraption, onto which three to six kids were placed.  It was impossible to really know how much weight was on the wheel, but in some cases it looked to be around 700 lbs.! 


Our guys made the Atlas Stone Series look simple, with solid times, or at least solid efforts.  This is an event that many athletes can master based on form as much as brute strength, allowing some surprising lifts to be performed.   

While the yolk walks were the most exciting event of the day, the Atlas Stones always seem to have a "big payoff" for spectators, and this time was no different. 


The centerpiece of the whole event.

Seth Carbonneau
215lb stone to 60" platform
235lb stone to 65" platform
250lb stone to 52" platform
280lb stone to 48" platform
315lb stone to 44" platform

235lb stone up to 60" platform
250lb stone up to 56" platform
280lb stone up to 52" platform
315lb stone up to 48" platform
330lb stone up to 44" platform

Steve Cyr (Men's Novice)
180lb stone to 60" platform
215lb stone to 56" platform
235lb stone to 52" platform
250lb stone to 48" platform
280lb stone to 44" platform

235lb stone up to 60" platform
250lb stone up to 56" platform
280lb stone up to 52" platform
315lb stone up to 48" platform
330lb stone up to 44" platform


Stephen Cyr: 1st Place Men's Novice

Seth Carbonneau: 2nd Place Men's Under 176 lbs

Tyler Rabin: 1st Place Men's Under 176 lbs

Ryan Aruck: 2nd Place Men's Over-232 lbs