Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Little Sen - Big Loz and the Gang

We recently welcomed new Blogger Jay "Ursus" Pateman to our team and heard his great Story. Then he went on to start his "Strength Icons" section on Lee Moran .. Most people enjoyed the read and look out for Jay`s next "Strength Icon" really soon ..

   Next i am proud to announce our next member to the VikingR team is Richard Sennewald or "Little Sen" to his friends .. Little Sen is actually training partners with Laurence Shahlaei and Big Loz was crowned Britains Strongest Man at the weekend.. I asked for Little Sen to give me a outline of how their gym worked and the charecters behind Big Loz, behind every champion there are good people ..

  "Little Sen"

I also asked Little Sen about his road into Strength Sports and what his abitions and experiances are ..

So here you go

Mark Clegg 

 New VikingR Team Member "Little Sen"

Age: 25
Height/Weight: 6’1 , 105kg
Trains at: Gloucester Strongman Gym and CityGym Worcester.

How I got into training:

I grew up as a bit of a fat-geeky kid, I played sports but was more interested in my SNES than running around… at about the age of 19 I realised I was pretty tubby… so I went onto ebay and bought an olympic bar and 180kilos of plates…

Being a bit of a geek, has been a blessing for me in my training, I realised from an early point that If I wanted to look good, I needed to lose weight , that meant using up alot of energy when I trained.

 I quickly concluded that the best way for me to use a lot of energy was to do the exercises that I could 
move the most weight in… because that uses more energy right?
So I started using my back and legs all the time, rowing, deadlifting, cleaning, sprinting, jumping anything that required me to really really try hard to move the weight over and over again…
I spent my first few years of training… not really knowing what I was doing in terms of a programme but without knowing it I was doing Tabata training, pyramid training and all-sorts in an effort to lose weight… and it worked.
Chicks started to look at me…

Then, from the ages of about 20-23, I had a long hiatus from really focusing on my training as I had to take up multiple jobs to get myself through my education – as I mentioned I am and always have been a geek, I am in-fact a Bioscientist…
I landed work in a few local gyms in the Plymouth area where I went to university but I used to get into frequent squabbles with the PT’s and Instructors… we had… conflicting views on training clients to say the least ;)

I hit up my first competition in April 2011; I jumped right into competing and entered a local open competition in the Midlands – I landed 6th out of 12 people and absolutely loved it!

How I got into Writing:

Since that time I spent in Plymouth; I’ve developed a passion for cutting through the bullshit that surrounds training that I was subject to on a daily basis and have written for a couple of nutrition companies and have been honoured to work alongside some of the UK’s leading sports Nutritionist as an advisor and guest blogger.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and befriending some great people in this sport such as current up and comer Sebastian Iwaniakand current WSM competitor Laurence Shahlaei, who I train with regularly now.
And now? I have the pleasure Joining the VikingR team; something I am really looking forward to being involved in. You could say, I am one rather content little geek.
What could be better for a huge nerd like me, than writing about, reading about and talking about strongman, Olympic lifting, competitions and gym equipment and clothing in my spare time!?

Not much… really… not much at all.

I look forward to writing for you all.



Welcome to the our Gym 

How did you choose the gym you train at? – Why I chose Gloucester’s Strongman Warehouse Gym.

Nestled somewhere in the centre of Gloucester, (conveniently just around the corner from the hospital) is one true Gem of a “gym” – the kind you rarely see anymore.
It doesn’t rake in a profit – in fact it barely survives, paid for by a small group of dedicated members who have kept it “open” for going on 6 years now, there are no floor staff – no papers and no water-coolers to relax by, this place doesn’t even have a name anymore, it’s just… “the gym in Gloucester” or sometimes, “The Whey” – named after the business that used to be ran from the unit it is situated in.

Each member carries a key and knows the combination to the outside lock, each member sweeps up the dust and cleans the plates away, because the kit belongs to them and is paid for by them.

The small compound in Gloucester is supported purely by its members love for all things strength related.

Why do I LOVE having a place I can call “my own”?

The atmosphere; the members here keep the gym open for the love of it.
There is no spare money floating around to spend on anything more than the absolute essentials; no frills – no distractions, no “multi-function selectorized, off-cam bi-axis uni-lateral”… whatever here… just cold dense stones and steel, waiting to be conquered, no one cares what your max lift is, no one cares how many reps you can perform…
If you asked the team what they wanted Santa to bring them for Christmas this year?... it’d probably be a glute-ham raise or a new axle.

It’s a tight knit group, we know each other’s max lifts and when to push each other… if you are slacking – we know… we know each other’s competition schedule… if you are not on target, we will put you back on target, we know each other’s supplement routines, hell we even know each other’s favourite sexual positions… I’ve rubbed tiger balm into places you wouldn’t even go on a third date....
We are the ultimate training partners and when we say “six at the yard” you bet we are going to be there at six.
We go to each other’s competitions, we grab food after training together, we ARE the best training partners you could ask for.
If you want to train at Gloucester, you’ve just got to want to train hard whatever your level.

Rubbing shoulders:
Such a simple gym has produced some great lifters over the last few years.
Our gym is home to a number of well-known characters in the strength sports scene, if you join us for a weekend session, it’s very likely you will see a plethora of the friendliest faces in the strength scene, below are just a few of our loyal members who you might bump into:

Sebastian Iwaniak; current Englands strongest man competitor (U105kg),
Seb, is one of THE best and most reliable training partners I have ever had, when he is not training like a beast, he is forcing me to train like a beast, we train Mondays/Tuesdays with conditioning work and movement events and on weekends we just do events training in the yard.

Laurence Shahlaei: Current WSM competitor.
I almost feel bad training with Loz; I can’t say I’d be impressed we had to swap over 150kilos of plates each set when deadlifting (but I have been reassured it’s not a problem
J ), but again Loz is one of the most encouraging and knowledgeable guys in the sport, a training session with Loz and Seb, is worth its weight in gold and I always feel very privileged to train with both of them.
Again; we usually train a Monday or Tuesday and a weekend session – when Loz’s busy schedule allows.


Nick Mckinless: Previous 105kg Britain’s strongest man champion.
Although I do not get the pleasure of training with Nick often – due to his busy schedule see Nick as Loz’s right-hand man; he has helped loz plenty over the years, from setting him on the right path with his training in the beginning, to working with him on current training and specialisation programmes.
From my brief time with Nick, he seems to be a serious no-shit kind of guy who trains possessed.
He is also a bloody nice bloke as well.

We also have many other well-known faces making occasional appearances, such as European Grip Champion Steve Gardener – who along with David Horne heavily influenced our collection of grip kit, Dave Whittington – 2011 England’s strongest man finalist and Kye Thomas… possibly more infamous than famous, but a top bloke none-the-less.

How a “private gym” has helped me improve:
Now, don’t get me wrong… I still train in “commercial gyms” – in fact I have “lucked out” recently in that my commercial gym in town – is getting strongman kit in over the next few weeks and opening a whole new section up… score!
I’ve trained in many a good commercial gym…
But honestly; I find it hard to tune-out and focus in a commercial gym, they can be rife with distractions, from “overheard bullshit” to people vibro-squatting your max for reps next to you using the worst technique and 5 neck-cushions, or to ignore the constant interruptions from… well meaning… but annoying patrons questioning everything you do.
I don’t have the time to explain why I don’t give a crap that a 3 count squeeze will help my Bi’s peak or, I’d feel it in my shoulders more if I used less weight and no leg drive on my overheads…
Also, I like to use chalk… lots and lots of chalk.
In “my gym”5 mins on the rower is not a warm-up, we know and fear “the stick” and we all know “what muscle that works”

Since joining a private gym – I have been able to do the Oh-so-simple things that we often cannot do, in a commercial gym…
I’ve improved my deadlift through varying block heights and the use of bands – I can now pull my old max without hitching and I am faster off the floor than ever.

I was introduced to Knee wraps, I can now handle over 60kilos more than I first could, and that is for reps, my yoke is better and my farmers is effortless…
Everything is better!

I am surrounded by experienced and friendly lifters who won’t bullshit you, and tell you “that is deep enough” or ignore that your knees are caving in on your squat, no one rides the bar shouting “all you! All you!”

I encourage people to take just one session a week in a private or warehouse style gym that has a crew of Olympic lifters or strongmen or power lifters training there and NOT be inspired, not to improve and not to have a damn good time training there too.



We have a whole host of other regular faces through the doors on weekends where the yard is a transformed into a place to socialise between heavy log presses or get your nose down and do prowler and yoke walk medleys until you puke.
Everyone is welcome on a Saturday, so get in-touch and pay us a visit!

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