Ali's first contest a huge success!

Click here to see the full coverage, picture galleries and routine video of Ali's amazing work at the 2014 OCB Spirit Of America Bodybuilding Competition in the Achiever's Blog.

Ali placed first out of seven competitors in the Man's Novice Tall class and third out of ten competitors in the Men's Open Tall.  This is a huge accomplishment for a beginner!

ATLAS: Coach XN, Steven, Ali, Sam and Alex.  (Chris & John couldn't map it.)

ATLAS: Coach XN, Steven, Ali, Sam and Alex.  (Chris & John couldn't map it.)

Chris does a "practice run" for his first strongman competition

Chris is one week away from his first ever strongman contest, the Hudson Valley Strongman.  Under the close eye of Team Guide Stephen, Chris did a run through of events (even though he had to approximate a couple of them) to see where he is standing.  His prep did not go as he had hoped (school priorities were intense for him this semester), but he is nonetheless looking solid!

Sandbag carry for about 53 seconds, in preparation of Hudson Valley strongman competition. Sandbag - 280lbs.
Chris' Yoke. Yoke - 500lbs. Run through in preparation of the Hudson Valley Strongman. Roughly 100ft.
Chris going for a max weight on frame deadlifts to prepare for the car deadlift at Hudson Valley strongman competition. Frame - 545lbs.
Chris running through the press medley in preparation of the Hudson Valley Strongman. Log - 200lbs. Axle - 200lbs. Dumbbell - 100lbs.

Thanks as always to Total Performance Sports for continuing to support beginner athletes like Chris, teams like Atlas, and all of the strength community with a truly unrivaled facility and pool of knowledge!

The team's first Stadium session

It's a Next Level tradition; a right of passage, if you will.  Into the cool evening a team goes, and together creates drills and workouts emphasizing dynamic ranges, power and – of course – conditioning and fat loss.

Atlas just attacked their first session, and even though it was only "basic content," the intensity was rough.  Sam hit it hard and conquered any doubt that he can become the next great bodybuilder/strongman.  Meanwhile, Ali, whose first contest fast approaches, began learning how to increase his fat burning.  

Special thanks to Phil "Bakuri" (Wolfpack) for being a Team guide for the session, and coming through for Alex!

Five weeks out for Ali

Ali's progress shots at five weeks out from his first bodybuilding competition.  The lines are coming in and he's in great conditioning for his goal of gaining experience in his first show in order to take what he learned into his second and third competitions.

The while team is getting excited for how he's coming along.

Steven Lee is made of dedication

SPOILER: He doesn't get it.

But that's not why these clips are important.  They are vital for another reason.

You see, Steven has never managed to complete this weight before. And while he is constantly adjusting and improving his form in order to eventually get it, in the end it is his dedication and refusal to give up will be what will make or break a conquest of the weight.

That is why these clips are important. Not as an example of perfect technique or amazing accomplishment.  But as proof of a key factor: not giving up.  

Being defeated is worse than a moment of failure.  And no matter how many times he fails, Steven will not be defeated.

It is this attitude that will eventually produce his victories.