The MONSTER GARAGE GYM/MAROSCHER COACHING LOG is a weekly Coaching Log by MGG owner, 2-Time WPC World Powerlifting Champion, Eric Maroscher, and is geared to the new to intermediate powerlifter. LIVE, LEARN and PASS ON.
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THIS WEEK’S Monster Garage Gym/Maroscher Coaching Log: BE HUMBLED!
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This Week’s Coaching Log:
Dominating the weight in training is great. What leads up to that domination is the successful lifting of gradually and progressively heavier weights. Sometimes what it takes to make even more significant strength gains is to be flat out humbled by your training. Not stapled to the ground by weights that dominate you or that you miss only to blow out your CNS, but to be challenged by familiar movements presented in a new way that challenge your strength and humble you by their level of difficulty.
There aren’t a lot of things that easily impress me in the world of strength and power training. Having been around the powerlifting block since the late 1980’s I have been pretty fortunate to have trained with great lifters and on great equipment.
Even at my gym, the MONSTER GARAGE GYM, we are favored to have great equipment to train on, like our three monolifts, our belt squat, reverse hyper, and a host of other pieces and bars for our lifters to train on and with. That said, I can say without hesitation that one piece of equipment that we picked up along the way has in fact, easily impressed me. And this is a piece I want to share with you as it is simple and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and its use serves out a healthy dish of training humility, humble pie if you will.
Some pieces of equipment for the gym are complex and you can see the amazing engineering that went into them. You can see that these training items serve a very specific and singular purpose in the gym. Well, this is item is not one of those, not even close. It is not a complex array of balanced and counterbalanced widgets with specific angles, hinges and moving parts. The reality is, this training tool could have come from a gym in the 1950’s with its simplicity and basic design. It does not serve one master, it is not a one trick pony, but has literally dozens of training applications.
I am referring to the Elitefts El Gordo Fat Bar. For the sake of transparency, I am a member of Team Elitefts, but I am telling you about this bar, not as a member of Team Elitefts, but as a member of the powerlifting community and as a gym owner who takes great pride in providing my lifters with the tools needed to help them reach their lifting and competitive goals. So, that disclaimer out of the way, here is why this simple bar is so amazing, why it impresses me, and why, if you train at your home gym or at a gym that will let you store one of your bars there for you to use, you might want to seriously consider investing in this piece of training equipment.
The name of the bar is the El Gordo Fat Bar, el gordo translated from Spanish to English means FAT. And this bar is just that. It measures about 16.5 cm around. You will not be able to fit your mits around it and that is part of the point. With the grip being so huge and wide, this dynamic will change virtually every aspect of how you use this bar compared to traditional barbell. Another feature is the sheer weight. This bar is a massive 75LBS, but it feels even heavier. This bar is an ego breaker, so put your ego in the drawer where it belongs, prior to using this bar. You will be very much, humbled by this bar, and that is a very good thing for your training. Trust me when I say, you will need to go lighter with this bar than you think you will need to. Why? Well that brings me to the next point. Forget the mere fact that this bar is an additional 30LB heavier than a traditional barbell, the compounding factor is that the bar is really a hunk of solid metal. A traditional barbell that you can fit your entire hand around, perhaps even hook grip with, is thin and made in a way where there is some natural bend, or whip to it. Even a Mastodon bar, as thick as that bar is, has some give to it. The El Gordo has no bend, no whip, no give, no se dobla. So when you are deadlifting with this bar (which you can with or without straps) there is not that initial give which allows you build energy before the bar comes off the ground. With the El Gordo Fat Bar, your deadlift all comes off the ground at once and this is something your back will not be ready for. It is as awesome as it is brutal. Our Strongman athletes also use El Gordo for tire deadlift training. Along these lines, there are no rotating sleeves on this bar. You slide the plates onto the sleeves and that sleeve is as stationary as the rest of the bar as it is all one piece of metal. In other words, nothing on that bar moves, rotates, bends or budges.
Because of these unique and completely over the top features, every exercise you use a barbell for that you would now use this bar for becomes different. Like a squat with Rackable Cambered bar, it is still a squat but the mechanics are vastly altered, same goes for the El Gordo Fat Bar. A deadlift training session with this bar is nothing like a training session deadlift bar. Same for benching, for close grip benching, floor press, incline press, same with the over-head press, bent over rows, even barbell curls if you are so inclined.
The other aspect about this training tool that shouldn’t matter, but does is the cost. In a perfect world, we would be able to purchase every piece of equipment that we need and money would not be a variable, but the reality is there are also family and life priorities that go along with money. The good news is, this bar is surprisingly priced. Typically this bar runs around three hundred bucks. To me this bar at around three hundred bucks is like getting a good quality steak, eggs and a cup of coffee for $2.99. It is just a killer deal for what you get.
The MONSTER GARAGE GYM is a gym that has some of the strongest powerlifters on the powerlifting scene today and I can tell you that the El Gordo Fat Bar is in high demand and rotation at the gym with these lifters.
The point of this week's coaching log is this, if you are serious about training, and you are on a budget, this bar is a great investment because you can do so much with it and the price is very reasonable. If you are not on a budget, or are a gym owner that can afford this without blinking an eye, once you get one, you will get two as they will be used often by a wide variety of your lifters.
I have included a short video of some of our lifters including Barzeen Vaziri (937LB shirted bencher), Steve Brock (1,080LB squatter), Bill Lee (800LB puller), Steven Whitmer (competitive Strongman) and other competitive powerlifters and Strongman lifters at the M.G.G. training with this bar. In this specific video, they are using the El Gordo Fat Bar for regular deadlifts, lat emphasizing bands attached to the bench presses, deadlifting off blocks.
Bottom line…..this bar will make you feel like a Lilliputian and THIS BAR WILL HUMBLE YOU, and that is a very good thing for your training.
Wishing all of our weekly coaching log readers the best in your training and competitions. Ever Onward, Eric Maroscher, Owner: MONSTER GARAGE GYM
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