WADE HANNA   6'3 260 lbs


“Prepping your Cave”

Okay, I think it is time to return to the prehistoric era of lifting.  Let us return to the primordial ooze of strength and look at a few suggestions on how to get set up for some serious Caveman training!  I took a little break from my venture to the dark side of strength training but, I have since moved my implements to my own home and can now play at my discretion.  This time around I am going to talk about some minor things you should consider and implement before doing this type of training.

      First of all, you have to ask yourself: are you are going to be able to handle the increased work load.  Make no mistake that if you get going with this kind of stuff you are going to be physically taxed.  It is tough work and at times even more rigorous than conventional weight training.  When you add in the aerobic component coupled with utilizing maximum strength you have just concocted a recipe for....you guessed it, PAIN!  Make sure you are going to be able to recover from the addition of this type of training in your workout scheme.  Add a little more rest time and up the food intake cuz’ you are going to need it.  Before you get started implementing this you want to formulate some basic plan of attack.  Spend a little time playing with some odd motions and see what kinds of things you feel comfortable with initially.  You are going to want to have a “stable” of motions you can pick from because you can't do 10-20 different things in one day...not and use much weight anyway.  So find some movements you like to start out then you can investigate more as you go.

      Implements!  This is the most difficult and the easiest part of Caveman stuff.  Not everyone has access to rocks and trees for implements. That is the hard part.  The easy part is it doesn't matter.  You can use anything that is awkward and heavy.  Engine blocks, barrels, big bags, partially filled half barrels (empty em’ first then re-fill with whatever <g>), sand bags, tires, and the list is endless.  You gotta’ get creative and when you start to look for this stuff you get assaulted with possibilities real quick.  You can do a million different types of motions with a million different types of implements if you get creative.  There is no right way and wrong way outside of this. If it is heavy and awkward then it is right.  If it doesn't get picked up, or moved, or whatever the desired effect, then that is wrong.  Don’t be limited by some preconceived idea that you can't do that.  If it taxes you then it is going to make you stronger. It just takes time to adapt.

       Ease into it!  I cannot emphasize this enough.  As I mentioned before this can get brutal and you will probably get nicked and scraped and lose skin but, you will get strong.  It just takes time to adapt to the increased work load and if you jump in feet first you are going to overtax your system and lose strength.  That is a definite “bad thing.”  I would suggest you take one day for a heavy lift type stuff, and then use a second day about 3-4 days following to do some type of lighter endurance type motions (i.e. dragging, walking with heavy bag, etc.).  Something that isn't going to be a supreme effort to do but, it will get your blood moving and it will require some (read: little) raw strength prolonged over a duration of time.  You want to get used to using your strength over some time (i.e. endurance but, done so under a heavier workload).  As you get accustomed to this along with your regular weight days then you can increase the amount of stuff you do and the weights you are using.  As you step up one day then leave the other as is.  Do your increases one day at a time and not  all at once.  Small and consistent gains will benefit you more than trying to get strong real fast.  You cant get strong real fast. It just takes time so get used to the fact.  Drugs can make your musculature strong but, eventually it will overburden your tendons and ligaments and then you get some serious type injuries.  You have to bring the whole kettle to a boil and not just a part of it to really get the benefits.  In other words, you gotta’ bring up everything together to get really strong and muscle isn’t the only component.

      Okay, there isn't a whole involved process to undergo.  You get your stuff, you get a plan, and then you eeeeeease it into your training.  You will get strong doing this, it won't take a real long time to start seeing carryover in the gym but, if you try to force it you will get hurt too.  So be sure to temper the enthusiasm with some common sense.  Next month I will have some pictures and a write up of my latest safari to the land of the Dino-men!  I am jacked about some of the stuff I have been trying and I need to do it a little more before I can give any kind of good feedback so bear with me.  In the meantime, I have a list of some basic motions in the archives in my first write-up of Dinosauria and it can maybe spark some ideas for individual regimens.  Just start rational and before you know it you will be lifting things that are very irrational! 

      As always feel free to e-mail me with any suggestions or questions.  I hope this has offered something informative and can help.  I really recommend trying this type of training as it is just plain fun!  There isn't anything like grunting and groaning and shouldering a tree!  It will get the neighbors attention but, you will have a blast doing it and the big bonus is...you get damn strong!!!  Til’ the next time good liftin’ and stay strong!!

Wade Hanna is a former High-School and Collegiate football player (Middle Linebacker and Nose guard) who was involved in Track & Field throwing events as well (Shot, Discus, Javelin).  After College he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he worked in Corrections.  A weightlifter since the age of 14 Wade is a recent addition to competitive Powerlifting.  Bitten by the competitive bug he competes in the #275 weight class with hopes of advancing to the #319.  Married and the father of one daughter Wade currently works for the Michigan Senate. 
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Reproduction of this article, in whole or part, for any purposed other than personal use is prohibited without written consent. Copyright 1998 Wade Hanna.