Need Inspiration? – find a role model like mine

Some people are of the breed that settles for nothing less than constant improvement throughout their lives. They set goals and see them through no matter what it takes. Then, they set a new, more ambitious goal. These people lead others from the front, walk the talk, grab life by the horns, and stop at nothing to leave a mark in the short time they have.

I find one of the most motivational techniques is to find a good role model. It must be someone you identify with on a very personal level, someone that you naturally feel connected to. One such person in my life is my coach and mentor, Scott Sonnon. Here is a video of Scott in action, taming the dragon within:

Scott Sonnon – Bruiser Clubbell Swipes

Let me explain what you just saw. That was a 45 lb clubbell, the largest size you can buy, and it was being swiped with ONE ARM. In case you still don’t understand the magnitude of such a feat, perhaps I can relate something to you.

I’ve been an athlete my entire life, and have been lifting weights since I was 11 years old. I have some impressive feats of strength under my belt. Last year, I purchased a single 45 lb clubbell. At the time, I had been training with clubbells for a little over one year, and thought I was ready for some heavy two-handed work with the Bruiser.

When my package arrived, the delivery driver wouldn’t even carry the package to my door. Instead, he knocked and asked if I could come out to the truck for the package. I grinned because I knew exactly what had arrived that day. Handing the box to me, I realized why he didn’t want to carry it to the door, as all the weight was distinctly on one side of the box.

Once inside, I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I had ample trouble getting my new clubbell out of the box. I almost asked my wife for help, but after about 3 minutes I had it out and resting on the floor.

Picking it up with one hand was impossible – my grip strength was not adequate. Even using two hands was a challenge, and I could only hold onto it for a few seconds. Enough to waddle myself and shimmy the clubbell across the floor. I thought I had made a big mistake since I obviously couldn’t put this tool to use.

That was 9 months ago, and now both you and I can fully appreciate the feat of strength that you just witnessed. The swipe is a very sophisticated exercise, and the fact that Sonnon can swipe a 45 lb clubbell with one arm is outstanding – truly displaying the power of incremental progression in a strength training program.

I had the good pleasure of talking to Scott on the phone yesterday. We talked training and he told me that he is working towards a Trial by Fire with the 45 lb clubbells.

Trial by Fire with 45 lb clubbells
130 Double Clubbell Front Swipes – two clubbells swiped like in the above video
130 Single Arm Clubbell Mills in each direction
65 clockwise Hammer Swings, 65 counter-clockwise Hammer Swings

Oh, by the way, and you have to finish in under 60 minutes.

Being a clubbell athlete, performing a trial by fire with 45’s is like the ultimate challenge, that will only be attempted by a brave few souls. To date, I have only completed a Trial by Fire with 15 lb clubbells, coming in at 30 minutes, 50 seconds. One of my next training goals that I am slowly working towards is being able to do the Trial by Fire with the 45 lb clubbell – albeit using two-hands for each exercise.

The point I’m trying to make is that in the last 9 months I’ve gone from not being able to hold onto the bruiser, to thinking about completing a Trial by Fire. This wouldn’t have been possible without a good role model, which Scott has graciously embodied. Scott sets the bar very high for clubbell athletes, but I know that he is also a man who wants to be beaten. I think Scott would be honored for his own achievements to be surpassed by his students because he understands the commitment and sacrifice required to even come close to his success.

So, Scott. Keep doing what you have been for years, and get ready for another clubbell dragon because I don’t intend to slow down anytime soon.

Your Question of the Day is: who are your role models?

Be strong and be well.

To your health and success,

Fitness Professional and Clubbell Athlete

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