This Blog is maintained and updated by Chris Mavromatis.
I started this blog because I have a lot to say about training (and nutrition/supplementation) for running, ultrarunning, weight training, bodybuilding, Strongman, steel bending and grip strength. I also look forward to having discussions through comments on my blogs so that I too can learn from the vast experience of those passionate about maintaining the truth about effective training and cutting through the nonsense that proliferates so much of the media and the fitness clubs. I look forward to having interviews with important people in their respective fields, book and equipment reviews and discussions about topics that I think matter. You will be following my goals and progress in many of the fields outlined above and through following I hope to enlighten and teach (as well as be entertaining). I am a decent (but certainly not great) athlete but a pretty good and very knowledgeable coach that has learned at times from some of the worlds best in their respective sports and I look forward to imparting much of my wisdom to you through this blog.
My background in these matters is somewhat unique.
I was instrumental in 1997 in bringing the sport of Strongman to the United States through my production company Mavrocat Productions, Inc. Through advertising and spreading the message (before there was Twitter!) I was able to get two former Worlds Strongest Men Magnus ver Magnusson and Bill Kazmaier to judge my main contest “The Strongest Man Alive Contest” in St. Louis, MO and brought another former Worlds Strongest Man Jouko Ahola to compete (and eventually win the Heavyweight division of the contest). Future Worlds Strongest Man Phil Pfister placed 2nd at my contest in his first international competition. Some of the top strength showmen in the world showed up to give demonstrations including hand strength legend John Brookfield. The show was seen in 105 countries through Fox Sports International.
I was lucky enough to work with other promoters in their home countries after my contest and learn from and train with the best.
Shown below is a picture of me (with much longer hair!) with one of my Mavrocks (the one shown being 600lbs). They were the first hand sculpted granite lifting stones in the U.S.
I was never a world class (or even national class) strength athlete but have learned so much from so many phenomenal legends that I feel compelled to share what I have learned.
Some of my personal bests in the gym (many years ago) were a 765lb squat, 315lb overhead press and 175lb curl. I am not lifting those weights now, but I was also 60lbs heavier then.
I was actually better at bending and tearing than strict weight lifting and really enjoy it. Some of my bests are tearing a deck and a half of cards in half, bending a blue and white Ironmind nail together, doing multiple reps with the Captains of Crush No 2 gripper and rolling many frying pans into metal burritos.
About early 2008, I got into running (initially to lose weight as many do) but became quite passionate about it and it is a part of my soul. I have raced from the distances 100m to a 12 Hour Ultramarathon (totaling 54.2 miles) and love the distances from 5K to 50 Miler. I am a pretty average runner but a pretty good coach in that I have taken my varied experience and applied it to writing schedules for many runners with success. Two years ago I transitioned into barefoot running and today perform about 70% of my runs barefoot. Much of my writing here will be about my running training and things I have learned about training, getting faster and injury prevention. I was hurt a lot before I went barefoot so I have a lot of experience in what not to do!
I am also a bit passionate about fine liquor and will be having periodic Scotch, Bourbon and other liquor reviews. I hope you find these at least entertaining if not informative as well.
Welcome to my blog and please feel to contribute ideas and analysis through comments.
If you have questions or requests please send them through a comment and I will email you back.
Thank you and best of luck in your training!!
Wow, I can’t believe I just stumbled across this site. I read your articles 10 years ago when I first started strongman. Great to see you’re still in the game!
Your comment made my day!
I will be writing more and more about the state of Strongman in the mid to late ’90s and doing my best to continue to produce training articles that provide a unique perspective. I look forward to continued feedback on my posts and will be re-introducing myself more thoroughly to the strength community soon. Also look for more interviews with some of the greats that can teach all of us.
It is very gratifying to know that those articles and contests had a posiitive impact that is still remembered. Please let me know if there is any specific topic that you might like to see in the future.
As a side note, I am in the process of working to get some of my contests mastered off so that they can be relived by those that are interested.
Long time no see – Great to see you back in action!
How cool to hear from you! I will never forget those contests in Finland. You helped to put on great shows then and have continued and helped built the sport to this day.
I have a feeling I will be contacting you in the not too distant future to come back out and report on one of your shows. And I am considering getting back in the business in the not too distant future.
It is good to be back in some capacity with a sport that I love. I look forward to contributing more and more in varied ways as time goes on to a sport that has given me so much.
How is Jouko and Juha?
I will email you soon on some specific questions.
Your replying made my day! Hope all is well and will be in touch.
Wow, I have to concur with the 1st reply. When I 1st got into strongman 10 years ago I based my training on your articles I found on http://www.deepsquatter.com. I still go back and re-read them from time to time. I’m glad I found this site. God Bless.
Thank you so much for this! It is really nice to hear from those that have benefited from those original posts.
That was an amazing time for Strongman in the US. And it has been such an amazing ride for the sport since then.
I am glad you found my site as well!
And I will be checking out your blog today.
Thanks so much for stopping by.
I just rediscovered your strongman articles on deepsquatter.com. There’s something that had me wondering when I read those a few years ago, and still does: you have lived and competed in Belgium. Being part of the current Belgian strongman scene (which still has a hard time gaining significance), I have never heard of you through those who have been involved in the sport for longer than I have. I am curious to know in which year you competed, and in which competitions (the first one I know of was Flanders’ Strongest Man of 2001).
Anyway, I just read your articles again (and enjoyed them). We do train the events differently, but it is always interesting and helpful to see things from a different perspective.
Hi Youri! Great to hear from a competitor from Belgium! I had lived in Antwerp.
Yes the contests that I competed in were in 93 and 94, and while I referred to them as “regional” they were really more a decent size group of competitors from Belgium, Holland and Denmark that came together and beat ourselves up all day in the name of Strongman. They were not sanctioned (I don’t think there really was an easy way to sanction them back then) or affiliated with any specific governing body. We just did our best to train together and then throw together some contests as well. Finding contests to compete in back then was quite a task.
They were really basic affairs mostly based around stones (carrying, pressing and lifting), log lifting and we would do these pulling events (with this weird harness we developed) and drag various objects across the dirt (it was brutal!).
We were trying things out because we didn’t have too much to go on. We were really learning (and learning so much) as we went.
Those were some really hard but fun contests. I never won (but got to be a pretty decent stone lifter) but I sure did have fun doing them.
I have often wondered what happened to some of those guys.. I have no idea.
I am happy that you enjoyed my articles! Yes training has changed over the last 20 years (a lot of that having to do with better access to quality implements and so many more becoming involved in the sport) but most of the basic tenets remain the same I think.
Dank u wel!
Thank you for checking out my blog and commenting. I am so glad I am able to reach readers even though I am so new to the blogging world. I am very interested to read more on your site. I have always been very interested in weight training and strength training to go along with my running. It is hard to get everything in though with work, two kids and taking care of my fam. It is a great balancing act. I am definitely going to look into your training program you referenced. I am always looking for training plans that fit well with my lifestyle. Thank you again!
I am glad you are here and look forward to reading your future (and past) posts!
You are definitely correct that probably the hardest thing is trying to fit all of the training that you want to do (and know is beneficial) in. Most weeks there is at least one workout that (for one reason or another) I either don’t complete or miss altogether. With the amount of different workouts that I put into my current plan for Across the Years it is very much a challenge (and can be very tiring).
Thanks so much for stopping by!!
Looking forward to reading your blogs.
Stumbled onto here when looking for reviews of Humapro products and liked your honest approach to reviewing that product. Have finished my 1st Ironman and looking to go further in the sport. As a newbie there are a lot of things I can do to improve and look forward to tapping into your years of wisdom.
Welcome! And thanks so much for the comment! I am very glad that you liked the review and found my site.
I hope that my previous posts hold some value for you and I think there are some interesting posts in the future. I do my best to try and present some useful stuff.
Thanks again and a big congrats on completing your first Ironman! That’s phenomenal!
I really enjoyed your Across The Years blog posts…are you still living in St. Louis? I am doing that race this year and would love to talk with you about it.
Hope to hear from you soon
Yes I am still currently in STL.
You will love the race!!
I will send you am email to the address you provided and we can start the conversation.
I am very glad that you liked the reports. I really wanted to get the reader the inside of what a race like that is like.