The primary time Robert Oberst rambled right into a strongman-oriented gymnasium, he knew right away what he was once born to do. Despite the fact that at 6 toes eight inches tall and nicely over 350 muscular kilos, he could have been the ultimate to comprehend what everybody round him already knew.
“A good friend of mine was once an beginner strongman who was once simply obsessive about the game,” Oberst recollects of that fateful day in 2012. “He saved begging me to come back check out it. So in spite of everything I did, and the primary time I ever touched the log, I broke the beginner global document for the log press.”
To make sure, the previous highschool, collegiate, and Area league soccer participant was once no stranger to weights. However unofficially cracking a global document the primary time he hoisted a log? That were given his consideration. Ahead of lengthy, he skilled his first strongman-contest thrashing.
“I were given my ass passed to me, however I had such a lot amusing,” Oberst chuckles. “I used to be hooked.”
What he wasn’t so excited by was once dropping.
“The competitor in me is not keen to suck at one thing,” he says. “Once I left that first contest, I began coaching exhausting and grew to become professional lower than six months later.”
Large, Robust Plans for 2018
5 years later, Oberst has solidified himself as a most sensible athlete within the professional strongman ranks. Strongman is a novel recreation that comes to now not most effective extensive energy, but in addition a heavy dose of staying power as competition carry, elevate, throw, and drag round all way of awkward, heavy gadgets for reps, time, and distance.
Oberst has competed within the Global’s Most powerful Guy contest since 2013, completing as excessive as 9th, whilst additionally profitable two professional displays and hanging within the most sensible six at 12 others, together with runner-up within the 2013 and 2014 The united states’s Most powerful Guy.
Lately, the 32-year-old is making ready for 2 large occasions. The primary is the Log Global Championships in London, England in April, 2018. Oberst’s purpose for that match is to wreck the arena log press document. He already owns the American document of 465 kilos, set on the 2015 Arnold Strongman Vintage Australia.
Subsequent up would be the 2018 Global’s Most powerful Guy, the place he is hoping to put within the most sensible 3.
“As a part of my preparation, I will coaching camp in Houston, Texas,” he says. “It’s going to be a pair months of simply that specialize in getting my head and my physique the place they wish to be to move available in the market and compete.”
Prioritize Power Over Dimension
Oberst has a multipronged plan of assault for those occasions, together with a coaching, diet, and supplementation routine that has, he says, helped him re-engineer his body and given him extra energy and effort than ever sooner than.
“About 3 years in the past, I made strongman festival my full-time task,” he says. “It is a large distinction. Now that I’ve my diet found out, I have dropped with regards to 80 kilos. I used to be about 440, however got here all the way down to 360, and now I think such a lot higher. I have accomplished two displays since attending to that new weight, and each had been the most efficient performances of my existence.”
His purpose now’s to solidify himself at that 360 degree, and ensure as a lot of his mass as imaginable is muscle.
“I don’t need any extra weight,” Oberst says. “Other folks considering strongman attempt to let you know that the heavier you’re, the extra aggressive you’ll be able to be. I purchased into that for a short while, but if I were given so heavy that I could not take 4 steps with out respiring exhausting, I knew it was once the mistaken means. It isn’t about being as heavy as imaginable. It is about being as sturdy as imaginable. There is a large distinction.”
Slicing Down…From 20,000 Energy a Day
To spearhead his transformation, Oberst radically modified his nutrition, slicing again from a peak of 20,000 energy in keeping with day—significantly—to “simply” five,000-6,000.
“I rely carbs precisely,” he says. “I paintings with a nutritionist who has given me an overly rigorous six-meals-per-day meal plan. 3 of the food are whey protein shakes with a banana. My large meal of the day is 10 oz. of rooster with a cup of rice within the afternoon. I will be able to even have 12 oz. of lean meat with some carbs for dinner. It isn’t flashy, however it works.”
His nutrition seems so much like what a body athlete would create.
“I determine with extraordinarily heavy weights and better staying power, however on the similar time I devour like a bodybuilder,” he says. “Once I first minimize down my energy, my physique was once screaming for pizza and all that high-calorie stuff. However as soon as my machine adjusted, the blank nutrition gave me extra energy and effort than I have ever felt.”
Oberst additionally takes quite a few dietary supplements along with his common whey protein, together with L-glutamine, BCAAs, a liver-cleansing complement, and a pre-workout.
Severe Power Thru…Top Reps?
Oberst’s whole-food and supplementation regimen supplies plentiful gas for his four-day-a-week coaching routine, which incorporates 3 days of conventional in-the-gym lifting, together with an upper-body day, a deadlift-focused day, and a squat-focused day. On this present day, he isn’t afraid to make use of bodybuilding rep levels of 12 or upper, and even bodybuilding actions like preacher curls or triceps push-downs.
Why? Neatly, strongman coaching does not simply hit large muscle tissue, it hits all muscle tissue—and all of the slow-twitch and fast-twitch fibers making up all the ones muscle tissue. A well-rounded means together with some natural hypertrophy paintings is essential.
On the other hand, this is the large distinction between what Oberst does and what the remainder of us do: He is additionally were given an epic six-hour strongman observe each and every week.
“Not like maximum strongmen, I do a variety of reps,” he says. “I paintings as much as a excellent weight over quite a few units for my major carry. When I rise up to about 80 p.c of my one-rep max, I will do 2-Three units there, then I will come backtrack for a couple of back-off units. I do a disgusting collection of reps.”
After all, that is 180-degrees clear of the everyday energy means of near-max units of singles, doubles, and triples.
“My soccer coaches taught me to do a variety of reps to will get the blood flowing,” he says. “Plus, the pump tightens the muscle and makes it larger, extra solid, and more potent.”
No, it isn’t how everybody else trains, however as he says, it is exhausting to argue with effects. He assists in keeping getting leaner, more potent, extra muscular, and making improvements to his staying power—a really perfect trajectory for any recreation.
“The whole lot has come in combination so briefly for me on account of the best way I teach. In the beginning, folks had been like, ‘Guy, it is ridiculous to do all the ones reps.’ Then a 12 months or two into it, everybody was once like, ‘Oh wow, inform me extra about what you might be doing.'”
Sunday Is Loopy-Weight A laugh-Day
On Sundays, all of the efforts of the former week culminate in precisely the environment you’ll consider. There is Oberst, surrounded through the equipment of his brute-force business, acting one match after every other for hours on finish. From the enduring atlas stones to the log press, farmer’s stroll, and each and every different more or less bone-cracking push, pull, and in-between, he does all of them.
“Doing this exercise as soon as per week makes the real contests appear simple compared,” he says. “I will run thru a complete display’s price of occasions: the set-up, the warm-ups, the occasions. I will additionally permit myself plentiful leisure occasions between units so I will be able to really feel recent once I in spite of everything contact the weights.”
Not like maximum strongmen, he additionally does aerobic during the week. No less than thrice per week, he’s going to do wind sprints or hike a few miles, do sprints up a hill, stretch for as much as 40 mins, then stroll again house once more.
Fortunate Quantity 8
The 8th of 10 kids, Oberst was once brief and obese as a kid. Between 10th and 11th grade, although, he grew seven inches whilst he operating at a summer time camp.
“I be mindful sitting up at evening in my tent simply rubbing my legs as a result of they harm so dangerous from the rising pains,” he recollects. “Once I got here house on the finish of the summer time, my mother simply began crying, ‘Oh God, what took place to my child?'”
It took a few 12 months for him to regulate to his new peak, however sooner or later Oberst shed his awkwardness and become a menacing two-way soccer participant. He was once named All-State as middle and nostril take on, no small feat within the aggressive environs of California highschool soccer.
He went directly to play soccer in faculty, grew to become professional with the now-defunct San Jose SaberCats of the Area Soccer League, then grew to become his attentions to strongman festival.
In this day and age, throughout strongmen contests, you’ll be able to in all probability in finding him off in his personal global sooner than an match, earphones in, bobbing his head to Eminem as he breathes slowly and deeply, together with his eyes targeted at the distance as contest turbulence swirls round him.
“It does not take a lot for me to get jacked up,” he admits. “For me, it is extra about seeking to stay myself calm. I do meditation workouts previously, then come respiring fireplace.”