Article written by Kevin Becker
“Ultimately, a man is challenged and bettered by facing any task that exceeds his current abilities. Some choose big stones. Others drive past or traverse such challenges…pity.”-Steve Jeck
This was my first time attempting to be well above my weight class and perform a hard water cut and rehydrate before a contest. I tried this because in my past experience when I was pushing percentages in a caloric deficit I had consistently got injured a few weeks out from my last three contests. I began my cut the two Wednesdays out from the show, my volume at this point had been dropped and I was healthy going into a contest for the first time in a long time. Less than 30g of carbs daily and most if not all of those came from almonds or nut butters. I was fatigued but motivated and sitting at the biggest I have ever been, 218lbs.
Wednesday before the show. At this point I had just transitioned to distilled water and no sodium from high sodium and regular drinking water, three gallons, boiled chicken. Thursday morning at 9am I had my last meal, 2oz boiled chicken 1tbps peanut butter and half a cup of coffee with magnesium citrate for dessert. After some rest and recovery I weigh myself at around 5pm, 218!!!! I ran to the gym I work at Destination and use a calibrated scale. 218. Sauna. After my second 15 minute bout and my second 20 minute bout I had finally made it to 205.3 in which I had called it a day and ready to wake up and be under. 5am I wake up at 204.8 my sodium levels jacked with an insane headache I could have cried, if I had any tears available. Back to the sauna for three 20 minute trips to hell. Made weight at 200.
Contest day: After some serious rehydration and eating I wake up day of the contest back at 219 visions still a little blurry but ready to compete. Pizza for breakfast. First event is duck walk 60’ down and back and I’m up first ready to set the pace. I trained with three hundred in hundred pound plates and a two piece implement, comp weight was 250 with a solid implement. Smoked it and got my first win. Up second was 16” deadlift. My game plan was to tie on this event for first and save my efforts for the rest of the contest since my pull has been a struggle lately. Me and Ben are left and he wants 605 so I tell him I’m going 625. Strongman is strategy like any other sport. He decides to go 625 and pulls a 60lb personal best, I follow with a successful third attempt to tie him at 625. Up next is log. I open where my competition ended with a 255lb viper. Next I jumped to 315 for a successful attempt and miss my third at 345, story of my life. Next is a 500lb frame and 200lb 225lb sandbag medley, 60 feet, 60 feet, 60 feet with sprints between. It was a lung burner and I barely snuck out a win a second ahead of second place. Last event was three attempts for the biggest stone. I open at 315 and hit an easy 350 for my second and the win. Seconds before my attempt at the 22” 380 stone Bryan Barrett a great friend and motivator who ran this amazing show stops me before I grab the stone and says, “Hey Becker, I loaded it last week”. I missed the load and Bryan wins again!
I want to thank Caroline, without you none of this would be possible. Destination Dallas/GASP Better Bodies and the staff for helping throughout the entire process. Lift Big Eat Big and their athletes for being a constant motivation and support network. PaPa Johns and their fast delivery. Lane Mains for saving my life. Bryan for running a great contest and being the motivation to me that you are. Rob Ifh and Mike Battaglino for my diet and programming. My training partners for always pushing me and everyone else involved. Thank you!