A blog by the Next Level  2013 Advancement Team.  

This blog provides the insight, in-jokes and inspiration of a team in action.  Each post is by a team member as their journey continues.  

In The Next Level, an "Advancement Team" is a team built of experienced athletes designed to "advance" the program.  The spring 2013 Advancement Team is comprised of eight men: Tom Keon, Phil Cohen, Stephen Cyr, Seth Carbonneau, Stephen Forgione. Phil Biondo, Yarza Winn and Chris Noonan.  

Each post represents only the views of it's poster, and is not intended as a reflection of the opinions, views or beliefs of any other teammate, the team as a whole or The Next Level.  

Follow these men as they make their marks on a small corner of history.


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Intro to Diet/Shopping Advice

On Season Diet and Shopping Advice

Status Update:

So I am two weeks out from the OCB Yankee classic. I am very excited about this show, it was my best placing last year, 2nd, and it was a great show overall. This year I am hoping to win my novice division and place in the top 5 of the open class. Thus far I am feeling great. My cardio is good. My diet has been strict, but I have been able to enjoy the food I eat and let loose when I need to. My strength has stayed constant and in some places even increased. I am on my deload week from 5/3/1 so I have just been having fun in the gym and throwing weights around for all kinds of rep ranges.

Advice on Diet and Shopping:

When the average person reads about a new diet there are two things they normally do: 1) they go through their fridge and pantry to clear out everything that doesn’t fit the new diet; 2) then they go shopping for new food to fill up the fridge. This is fine, everyone needs a little spring cleaning now and again, plus I’m sure I am not the only person who’s fridge becomes inexplicably filthy by the end of the month. However, the problem with this is two fold; 1) you end up buying a bunch of new food you haven’t tried before and don’t know if you like 2) and you spend a SHIT TON!!! more money on you groceries.

So what is the solution to this problem? Well there isn’t one, people are going to keep doing this until they realize there is a better way. As for the rest of you who are looking for a better way here is my opinion. First off you want to avoid crazy diets, no carbs, no fat, no meat, no fish, no grains, no gluten…the word “no” is presuming. People don’t stop and think about what completely stopping something means. Some of these foods you have been eating your whole life, others you haven’t, some you haven’t ever tired. Therefore, combining all these changes and trying to do a total 180°on your body and diet is not a fantastic idea. What you want is consistency, and a well-rounded diet. When I diet the major thing that I fluctuate my calories from a max of 7,000 calories in my off-season to around 1,700 in contest prep. During most of my diet my macronutrient breakdown for protein, carbs, and fat is around 40% protein, 40% carbs, 20% fat. That can change, but those are good starting base numbers.

So what this means is if you shop smart, stick to a regimented diet, and stay consistent, not only are you going to save money on shopping but you are going to see a lot better results then if you do some silly crash diet every month. What I am going to do is break down the major purchases I make every 2 weeks during my “on-season” diet to fit these macronutrient requirements.

PROTEIN: (chicken breasts, beef round, steak tips, canned tuna fish, rotisserie chicken) The chicken breast is just a protein staple, it is the leanest of the meats, but it is pricy running around $3-4 per pound. Then come steaks, whether steak tips or beef round, you want make sure the fat per 4oz of steak is around 9-10g. That way an 8oz steak comes out to about 20g of fat. I find steak best eaten after training, as your last meal and a little red meat treat for your day of clean eating. Steak is usually the most expensive meat, ranging from $2-5 per pound. Then comes my favorite, the rotisserie chicken. A lot of people are going to say there is way too much fat in rotisserie chicken, etc. but a little fat is good. Basically, I use these pre-cooked lifesavers as beef substitute during my diet as kind of a change of pace from beef. Usually, rotisserie chicken costs around $5 a container. Generally, one chicken seems to have about 24oz of meat on it. So that is roughly 3 meals for $5 dollars, not a bad deal. The last and cheapest thing is tuna fish. I use canned chuck light tuna from bumblebee. A good market will have these for a 5-for-$5 deal. I normally get about 10 cans. These are the cheapest protein source, but there is a lot of concern about the mercury. However, the studies I have read seem to tell conflicting stories, so I figure for the time being it is safe enough. If you notice I don’t have any eggs, I am not a big egg guy, they don’t sit well with me, but I will occasionally have some eggbeaters or egg whites in my oatmeal.

CARBOHYDRATES: (sweet potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal, whole-grain pasta, whole grain bread) Carbs are the cheapest thing to buy. Sweet potatoes are a great carb source, they are nice and sweet, and if you add a little BBQ sauce…. “LITTLE”… they are amazing. Also nice and quick to cook, just throw them in the microwave or oven. They are cheap and I usually get about 5-10 for 2 weeks, costing me around $10. Brown rice is also nice and cheap, about $1-2 a box. I like the minute rice, but it isn’t very good in terms of quality, it is just easy to make. Usually, you can find a sale on the big boxes of brown rice. You can use the rice to mix with chicken or have with steak or any of the other proteins. Oatmeal is a bodybuilding tradition at this point. Make it in the morning, mix it with protein, mix it with eggs or whatever the hell you want! They are also like the cheapest thing on the planet, a month worth of oats will cost you around $10. Pasta is something I like to treat myself to. The whole grain is to help increase the amount of fiber I get, and I will add a little tomato sauce with the pasta when I make it, which is just a little extra carb and veggie in the pasta dish. Pasta is also extremely inexpensive, costing around $1-2 a box. The bread is mostly for my tuna fish sandwich. These are great to take to work, good to eat cold, tasty as hell with a little BBQ sauce. I usually get some whole grain high fiber bread to keep my fiber up. A loaf of bread usually last me about a week, and two of these work out to around $4.

FAT: (peanut butter, olive oil, nuts, protein bars, etc.) These are all just basic fat additions. You can have these as snacks, with meals, added to meals, whatever. For me the thing I use the most is a protein bar. Revolution bars,, have a great macro nutrient breakdown with 6g of fat, 17g of carbs, and 20g of protein. Sometimes I will have some peanut butter, but mostly I get my fat from the red meat and the protein bars. I generally spend around $5-10 for the additional fat stuffs.

VEGGIES: (romaine heads, broccoli, strawberries/fruits) OH YOU THOUGHT I FORGOT!!! I try to eat around 3-5 large servings of veggies a day, during the entire year. Fruit and veggies help clean out your intestine, which in turn allows you to better absorb you food and most importantly protein. It is always essential to have veggies in your diet! I like romaine heads because they are cheap and you can make one salad out of eat head, which gives you a solid serving of veggies. I am all about the frozen bags of broccoli, I know everyone is going to say the fresh ones are so much better, but I just find the quickness of frozen veggies to be clutch. I will add broccoli to my low carb meals to fill me up, usually mixing them with chicken breast and a little BBQ sauce. As for fruits, Strawberries are my favorite in general. They are cheap, have great antioxidants, and you can add them to tasty salads. These veggies will help keep your fiber high and food absorption speed up. From studies around 20-40g of fiber is a good amount. I usually spend about $20 on veggies as a whole.

THE $$ BREAKDOWN: For protein I spend the most, around $40-50, around $20-25 on carbs, $15-20 on veggies, and $5-10 on fat. That means for two weeks of food, and this is on a mostly low calories diet, between 1,700-3,000 calories, I spend around $100-110 dollars. To some this may be a lot to spend, for others this may be common. Where you shop makes a big difference, as does the location of the supermarket. However, by sticking with these basic foods you are ensured a solid base for your diet, and a less expensive receipt at the register. Also any additions, like my favorite thing in the world BBQ sauce, hot sauce, or others seasonings are fine to use as long as they are used in moderation. It is fine to add a little flavor, but you don’t want the addition to substantially affect your macronutrient breakdown. One serving of whatever sauces you use is not going to kill you or ruin your diet.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Have fun with your diet. Experiment. Make the diet fit your personal needs, desires, etc. A diet may work for some, but not others. I don’t want this list to be an order of what to eat, instead it should give you some healthy foods that you can add to your own diet, and learn what works best for yourself.

Posted by:

Stephen Cyr

update for blog

So I nearly bought the farm today at the gym. It was that workout that I knew was coming when I started dieting, the one that just totally kills you. It was hams and grip day, starting with deadlifts, which I was set to do 450 for 3. I am around 194 now and I had only eaten about 600 calories during the day before hitting the gym around 2pm. So needless to say, I was fucking tired and very sore from my leg workout the day before. (also I already did a cardio circuit earlier today)

I knew there was no way I was gonna be able to use my regular deadlift form. So I knew I had to switch to sumo, which I never use. Somehow this form allowed me to pull 450 for 3, it was a struggle but I was able to blast through all 3 reps with minimum hitching.

The payoff to all this is that I am lifting almost as heavy as I was almost 40lb heavier! This is a huge deal because last time I was dieting my strength literally hit bottom, I could barely bench 225 for 1. The two main changes I have made in my workout/diet prep are; 1) I have been doing more circuit cardio, doing cardio in the a.m. long before working out that day, and doing less periods of cardio longer than 30 mins. 2) I have given myself a day in the middle of the week, generally Wednesday where I do a mini carb load. This consists of increasing my calories from around 1700 to 2200-2400. From doing this I have felt a lot more energized throughout the week, and feel far less week than last year.

This prep seems to be going very well. I am losing weight at a steady and consistent pace, my strength is still solid, and my mood is better because my dieting is a little more flexible. Also from what I can see my muscles look much fuller, my pumps are way better, and overall I seem to have put on a noticeable amount of muscle in the off season.

What excites me is not necessarily just the prep for the upcoming contests is going well, but the idea that if I can maintain my strength that after the contest once I begin bulking again, my strength is going to explode! (well at least that is the plan). If this training/diet plan continues to be as successful as it has been, I am very excited about competition and looking forward to trying to win the overall in my weight division.

Posted by: Stephen Cyr

Back in the Saddle Again...?!

posted by Stephen Cyr


After accomplishing what I set out to at the Maine strongman contest my training came to a halt. I took a week off from training following Maine, then it was a cold that came on, then a got a couple days in the next week, and I got sick again (gotta love when sick people sit next to you in class), and then I had finals for two weeks…and now I am here. I have put in a solid week of training and it feels great.

I’m back at the old Union (still trying to get out of my golds gym membership). Feels good to be back but it is tough. My strength has taken a solid hit, and I have lost close to 20lbs. Now the weight loss was intentional. I knew during finals I generally don’t eat much, so I figured I might as well get my diet going so I could at least keep eye on the bodybuilder ball.

It has been a tough couple months, some pretty big life changes have happened, a lot of business and time consumed, but now it is finally time to get back to doing what I love.


My first contest is gonna be the Yankee classic, July 20, 2013. That gives me exactly 59 days til contest time. I’m at 205 and am looking to be down to about 185-188 by the time of the contest, which is about a 2lb loss every week. I am going to do my best to take pictures every week so I can better document my progress this year.

This year my goal is definitely to win a novice class at any of the shows I do, with a secondary goal of having an epic posedown with my buddy Phil Biando for the overall novice title.

Also I really want the spring team to kill their contests. Everyone on the team has a ton of potential, and I want to see them kick ass at their first contests. I am hopefully I will be able to aid them in their contest prep, and if any of you are reading this and have questions feel free to send me a txt, facebook message, even a phone call (whatever those are). Steven Lee just shot me a message the other day, and it just got me pumped to diet and get into that mode again so keep it coming.


My major problem last years was peaking and getting my legs leaner. Hopefully the 798 stairs in my new apartment building will help in promoting shredded leg..and maybe gluts???

Also my peak always seems weak…? (yea it rhymes, what of it?) I seemed to go into a lot of contests last year looking worse than I did the week prior. After talking about it and doing some research, I believe that my body is better suited for a carb depleted state than carb loaded state. However, I think I am still searching for that sweet spot in between. What I am going to try to this year is do a less intense carb load the nights leading up to the contest, maybe add 50-100 grams more of carbs a day, but not go crazy like I did last year. Pounding carbs the night before seemed to get me kinda bloated, and also seemed to affect my skin tightness and ph balance.

Gym Hunting and Gym Finding: The Manhattan StrongMan Edition

Posted by Tom Keon

The Union Gym in Boston – home to both Tom Keon and at one point The Next Level – shown here in it's hey day.  Ironically, it currently looks only slightly less gritty than this.  And that is actually a VERY cool thing.

Even before I moved to New York City last October, I was worried about which gym I would end up at. My favorite gyms in the past were the independent ones I had managed to find (R.I.P. Metro Fitness of Wakefield, MA; how I miss you, BYMCU turned Union Gym, you neglected, wayward child of the Boston gym scene, and erstwhile Next Level home), and my perception—limited as it was—of New York City gyms was that you had to choose between Equinox, Crunch, NYSC, Planet Fitness, or some other overbearing chain.

Once I moved here and finally started to consider gyms seriously, I quickly learned that those chains were not the only ones around—plenty of independent gyms exist—and that some of those chains were actually perfectly nice in their own way. I’d never previously stepped foot in a Crunch, for example, but I was almost tempted to shell out the money for it after I took my first tour. Equinox is well out of my budget, so I never really considered it, and I don’t know if I could get used to such a clean gym anyway. NYSC is... fine, but there really aren’t any near my house. And Planet Fitness is what it is, but again, not near my apartment.

And that’s the other thing, I live in the East Village in Manhattan now, and much like wanting a grocery store within walking distance, I was determined to find a gym that was close by to cut down on any unnecessary gym-commuting time. There is one independent gym just two avenues west of me on the same street, but the small space made it seem like you’d be constantly bumping into other gym-goers. And if I were to move out of the East Village at any point in the near future (not planned, but certainly a possibility), this gym is not commute-worthy just to fulfill a membership contract.

I finally found a smaller, NYC-local chain that wasn’t too far away from the apartment and didn’t cost too much. It wasn’t independent, but it did lean toward the slightly-run-down, dirty-ish environment of a gym that I was accustomed to. The guys at the front desk were vaguely thuggish and the free personal training session available at the start of my membership more closely resembled a threat than an offer. Strangely, there was something comforting about it. I wasn’t ready for a long-term commitment with these guys, but I was willing to date a little bit, so I paid for a month-long membership.

Yep.  To someone who wants to train heavy in Manhattan, this looks about right . . . 

I really don’t know what made me keep looking, other than still holding out hope somewhere in my mind that there was something better. Long before I moved to New York, I had googled “New York City strongman” and came across just one gym in the city, Global Strongman Gym. It was on West 29th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues. Good to know, I thought, but I had a lot of other life logistics to deal with and didn’t put a whole lot of thought into it at the time. Frankly, I probably discounted it slightly (and naively) as a watered down “Manhattan version” of a strongman gym. That said, I can only claim insanity and a slough of other priorities (like finding employment) as my defense for not thinking about it again once I moved here.

StrongMan may not be for everyone, but Hans Pirman wants it to at least be AVAILABLE to everyone.

Fast-forwarding back to the future, about a month or so ago I decided to look into it again after visiting my new chain gym for a workout. I sent off an email to the owner, Hans Pirman, asking about the gym and how memberships worked there. I immediately got a response from Hans telling me about the membership options and encouraging me to come take a look at the gym anytime. I was intrigued and was there the next night to check it out.

My experience with strongman gyms is more limited than that of plenty of people, but I’d wager to say it’s more extensive than the general population’s. I went to see Global that first night and was ready to cancel my other chain-gym membership before I walked out the door. Here was a small, independent gym with, as far as I could tell, all the strongman stuff that I wanted, and an owner who was passionate about making sure that he had built and maintained a gym that would be welcoming to anyone and give anyone a chance to try strongman training. I’ve trained in strongman before and competed twice, but I’m by no means the largest guy and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still plagued to some degree by the “Am I going to be the scrawniest guy there trying to lift heavy stuff?” mental tick. So Hans’ philosophy instantly put me at ease. The other members have all been really friendly so far (being who I am, I probably fall on the side of the more seemingly standoffish of them, actually) and include women and men at various points on the goal spectrum of all-around fitness to competition level.

This is what a "good gym" is supposed to look like for those looking to lift heavy.  

Seeing the gym instantly made me forget about wanting a gym right by my house. Global is 25 street blocks north, and 9 avenue blocks west of where I currently live. Not necessarily far by Manhattan standards, but not exactly steps from my apartment either. It’s not really walking distance if I have other things to accomplish in my day. I usually bike it, but sometimes take the subway. Either way, Global is definitely a commute-worthy gym and its benefits make me not even think about the fact that I probably pass dozens of other closer gyms on my way there. Coming from someone who values proximity as much as I do, that’s saying something.

Seriously, the gym is a dream come true. It’s on the second floor of an office building in Chelsea, where you’d never expect to find it, and its footprint is the smallest (by far) of any serious gym I’ve ever worked out in. Nonetheless, Hans has managed to efficiently pack in an unbelievable amount of stuff. Stones? Yup. Conan’s Wheel? Yup. Tires? Yup. Kegs? Yup. Sand bags? Yup. Farmer’s? Yup. Yoke? Yup. Viking Press? Yup. Logs? Yup. Squat Rack? Yup. Deadlift platform? Yup. Treadmill and stationary bike? Yup. Lots of other standard, non-strongman-specific benches, machines and dumbbells, and a massage table? Yup. If you’ve ever been challenged by having to do a lot with a limited amount of space, it’s worth spending some time looking at all the stuff you can find here. And Hans runs it like a well-oiled machine at this point, so the "bumping into other members" issue really isn't one.

Hans has been in the business for years as a personal trainer, competitive bodybuilder, and strongman competitor. I asked him the other day how much of the equipment he had at the time that he opened the gym a few years ago, and he said probably 85%. He’d been slowly purchasing it over the years on Craigslist or elsewhere, and storing it away for when he was ready. He had a dream and had to make it happen, he said. When I said above that it was a dream come true, I meant it.

Hans gave me a first training session, on him, to familiarize myself with the gym, and I’ve subsequently done a number of additional sessions with him to get back on the wagon after several months off. I’ve left there multiple times never so happy to be bruised, scraped (results not necessarily typical), and ready to pass out. And having made some great gains. I look forward to training at Global for a long time to come, and possibly doing another competition in the near future.

So, all this is to say that if you come to New York City and need to squeeze in a workout, check out Global Strongman Gym ( You won’t be disappointed. And if I sound too much like a paid spokesperson, just ask fellow Next Level teammate Steve Cyr to corroborate my story. He prepped there for Central Maine Strongman 6 while he was in town a few weeks back.

Hans Pirman and Sven Karlsen.  With names like this, it's like an old SNL skit come to life . . . 

All this is also to say that if you think you can’t find something in New York City, it’s worth looking just a little harder before giving up. That’s not an earth-shattering realization, I admit, but my search for a gym was a good reminder of it. And yes, I instantly canceled the other membership.

This coming weekend, I’m participating in a 2-day strongman seminar at Global with Hans and World’s Strongest Man Svend Karlsen ( It should be intense. I’ll try to post about that soon.

Belt for Maximum VIKING POWER!!!!

Posted by: Stephen Cyr

While I was at Global Strongman in NYC, Hans recommended that I use a softer belt under my normal belt for better support. After using it at the competition I noticed such a huge difference in comfort, warmth, and stability. I mean would I have lifted the same amount, most likely, but belt this certainly helped improve my comfort level for the whole competition.

When you are uncertain about some lift, or weights, having a great belt gives you that extra confidence you need to just go for it, and know that it will help prevent injuries.

Now for the best part....THIS BELT COST $22 DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!! This is literally the cheapest piece of gear I have ever bought. It was money very well spent.

I bought the belt here, on Amazon; it's just a simple lumbar support by Mueller.

Basically, you use this belt under you leather belt, this way the belt doesn't cut into you or hurt, it gives you more flexibility because of this comfort, and it provides even more support because you are combining it with the regular belt.

Maine StrongMan 6: Event #3


Sunday April 30th saw a return of The Beast, when Chris Noonan, Steve Cyr, Ryan Aruck and Tyler Rabin all competed, along with their resource mentor and teammate Seth Carbonneau, at the Maine StrongMan 6 in Augusta, MA.

The guys were flying through their classes and none of them came even close to the time limit.  As always, Seth Carbonneau was 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."

Maine StrongMan 6: Event #2


Sunday April 30th saw a return of The Beast, when Chris Noonan, Steve Cyr, Ryan Aruck and Tyler Rabin all competed, along with their resource mentor and teammate Seth Carbonneau, at the Maine StrongMan 6 in Augusta, MA.

The second event of the day was the descending deadlift during 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 and Tyler, who both had to pull 450 lbs.  

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

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

Noonan and Steve-O 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 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.)

Maine StrongMan 6: Event #1

Sunday April 30th saw a return of The Beast, when Chris Noonan, Steve Cyr, Ryan Aruck and Tyler Rabin all competed, along with their resource mentor and teammate Seth Carbonneau, at the Maine StrongMan 6 in Augusta, MA.

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.

Watch the blog for updates as the Advancement Team competes tomorrow!

Watch the Advancement Team's team blog page tomorrow, Saturday the 30th of March 2013, for posts about The Next Level's showing at the annual Maine StrongMan 6 contest.


We have a team of four Next Level athletes competing, along with a few PhysiQademy friends and resources.  We'll try to post here any updates, photos and clips from the event, as close to real time as possible.

Seth Carbonneau (Advancement '13)returns to competition after healing a broken foot.  (He probably got it from kicking so much ass!)  He is the outstanding team leader in StrongMan and we're excited to see how he does.  He enters with a slight cold, but we're sure his performance will be stellar.

Chris Noonan's (The Beast, Advancement '13) second contest of the year, and he is hoping to continue his placing streak.  He has, as always, brushed up on his form and his focus for this event is astounding.

Steve Cyr (The BeastAdvancement '13) is has been prepping for this event since January, and his winter has seen a string of PR's - personal record after personal record fell before him on his way here.  He is playing the numbers game, trying to stay at the top of his novice heat.

Ryan Aruck (The Beast, Advancement '13) is a monster of a man, nearing 300 lbs, and all brute force.  He has been maxing out for several months, in anticipation for the outrageously heavy Heavyweight Class of competitors.  What this man can do is amazing.

Tyler Rabin (The Beast) is already a veteran even though one of the youngest at every competition.  He has already eclipsed his weights for this contest, and is going in as his usual bundle of fire and enthusiasm.

We're excited to share their work successes with you!  Check back often on Saturday March 30th!


The goal is to stay strong, build muscle and lose fat.  So, if the stuff you use to burn fat also assists in maintaining strength, well, you got a win-win.

Recently, the guys have begun doubling up athletic dynamic training with interval "fat-burning."  It looks like what most people think of as "CrossFit," but this is a shade different.  The goal is not to have the best time on a board, but rather to accomplish a medium range goal.

With the hundreds of dynamic moves these guys use – from power cleans to a good ol' fashioned jumprope – they create complexes, compression sets and "dispersals" as a team to push each other's fat burning while keeping their athletic and strength skills high.  This sort of exercise instead of traditional "cardio" (yawn! and yuck!) allows them to burn more fat, as well as get their metabolism higher so that they do not need to starve to get lean.  Meanwhile, they present healthier bodies in bodybuilding and maintain their endurance for strength contests longer into the "diet."

How to Tan for Bodybuilding

This is a step by step instruction that I wrote out for a friend in Florida who is doing a bodybuilding show by himself and has no one with him the day of the contest. Either way, this tells you how to tan prior to the contest, and at the contest if need be.

Posted by: Stephen Cyr

My Tan Plan (how to tan for a bodybuilding contest)

Step 1: Get the products

Pro Tan
Muscle Juice
Jan Tana Ultra One (just get the cheap one)

You don’t need to actually buy the products from these very sites; these links are merely meant to show you what I used.

Step 2: How Much to Buy

2-4 Pro-tan

1 Muscle Juice

1 Jan Tana-One (if you don’t wanna spend the money you can do without this)

Step 3: When to put what on

So like 2 -3 days out start put on your first coat of pro-tan. Do it outside! Or lay down a tarp. Wear socks over your toe nails, and wear rubber gloves. This will stain your nails. You are gonna put this on starting as early ads 3 days out from the show, with the last coat potentially being the morning of the show.

The day of the show you should put on the Jantana-one. This will go on the day of the contest, in the morning, prior to the show, same rules for this with socks and gloves and tarp.

The muscle juice goes on like 20-30 mins before you go on stage. Lube yourself up.

Step 4: How to put this stuff on:

The pro-tan is kinda confusing. Read the instructions. If the top part doesn’t work just rip it off and spray it like it was hair spray. I would put on like 3-5 coats of this if you want to avoid using the jantana-one.

Don’t spray your face til your last coat, your face skin sucks this shit up. So you wanna get someone, mom, dad, girlfriend, boyfriend, to spray your whole body with this for each coat. Don’t worry about the runs in the tanner, it will drip everywhere and they give you a little brush to fix the streaks. Don’t worry about that. Make sure the person (victim) who is tanning you wears gloves, otherwise they will hate you for their oompa loompa orange hands.

This should literally take 10 mins. You have that person fully spray you, then get in full sweats and chill. That is it!!! Seriously. If you do this 4-5 times you will be nice and dark and evenly colored. And it will be good enough for your first show.

As for the muscle juice, just rub that shit on like oil, like Arnoldzzzzz didzzz.

As for jantana-one if you wanna do this, it is like a foam that you rub all over yourself. Honestly, if your gonna be a lone just avoid this. However, if you have someone there, they are going to rub this all over you, face included. Then again, get into your sweats and chill.


• If you have questions ask people there.

• The reason the dream tan won’t work is because you need to put it on right at the contest. And then you cannot put any clothes on. If you can have someone do it for you that is fine, but if you are alone at the contest it would be kinda impossible from my understanding.


The poster for the event. Click here to go to the informational PDF.

The poster for the event.
Click here to go to the informational PDF.

On the last Saturday in March, the 30th, a pack of Next Level athletes and alumni will be in Augusta Maine for the Maine StrongMan 6.  

Seth Carbonneau (Advancement '13), Chris Noonan (The Beast, Advancement '13), Stephen Cyr (The Beast, Advancement '13), Tyler Rabin (The Beast), Phil Biondo (The Beast, Advancement '13), Ryan Aruck (The Beast) and Nick Cambi (Wolfpack) will all be entered in one of the Next Level network's largest presence at a strength event along with other friends and resources.

If you are in the area, take an afternoon in Maine and come see some amazing work! This is the first "big event" of our Next Level competitive season, and we expect it to be a tremendously kick-ass day!