HK Magazine Archive

The #LivePure Challenge #3: The Strongman Game

Senior Ed Adam White is going from fat to fit with a tailored wellness program with the Pure Group.

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 September, 2016, 2:43pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 5:27pm

I think I’ve found what works for me.

At my Pure Fitness gym there’s a whole floor dedicated to what’s called “strongman” training. Forget the fancy machines with their pulleys and cables: Here you pick up heavy stuff and move it around. Simple, if not always elegant. But man, is it addictive.

Read More: #MakeAdamFitAgain: HK Mag Staffer Is Undergoing a Total-body Makeover

Read More: The #LivePure Challenge #1: A Painful Start

Witness the deadlift: All you do is pick a barbell up from the floor. Your legs groan, your arms heave, and suddenly it snaps up to waist height.

Or the barbell squat: Stick the barbell on your back, squat down and up, and hope your quads don’t give out by rep number 10. 

Or the sled push, where you load weights onto a metal platform and push it back and forth along a carpeted track. The carpet provides resistance, the weights make it harder—and you can’t do two lengths before your heart is hammering at your ribs looking for a way out. 

It’s hard, yes. But there’s a genuine, visceral satisfaction to these kinds of exercises. A real sense of achievement. The knowledge that, using nothing but your body, you have hauled these objects off the ground, slammed this sled up and down the track. When I do it, I feel, ever so briefly, like I AM A MAN!

Of course, when I look around me I’m soon humbled. The room is full of people lifting twice, three times, four times what I weigh—men and women alike. But, I realize, they’re not judging. We all started from the same place. And they’re too busy to spend time laughing at my struggle.

"It’s hard, yes. But there’s a genuine, visceral satisfaction."

My PT, Felix, points out that these exercises go beyond just making you feel good. They’re also some of the best exercises I could be doing because they employ the whole body. I’m not just working on getting myself some sweet, sweet biceps—I’m forcing every muscle in my body to work for it.

Read More: The #LivePure Challenge #2: The Adjustment Bureau

And as I pull my heaviest deadlift yet, the fire of achievement runs through my blood. Today, I think to myself, I AM A MAN! 

Next to me, a woman a quarter my size with abs of what I assume are some kind of titanium alloy lifts twice what I just did. She doesn’t even break a sweat. 

Well, it was good while it lasted.

Next time: Yoga A-Go-Go