Derek Boyer

I went to the Australian Sport and Fitness Expo this past weekend, and it was glaringly unimpressive. Conventional fitness and nutrition information still maintains precedence, and the culture reflects that. Thankfully, Derek Boyer was present. Derek is a long-time strongman competitor, powerlifter, Guinness World Record holder, and actor. He’s even dabbled in some sumo wrestling and won the 2011 Oceania Open Championship as well as a multi-national powerlifting champion. A few years ago he was on Australian Gladiators, and he’s undefeated in every Australia’s Strongest Man since 1997. He’s qualified for the World’s Strongest man 8 times with his first appearance in 1996. Derek is THE strongman authority in Australia.

He put on a demonstration by lifting a V8 engine and carrying it around (see video below). Unfortunately, the weakling Aussie goobers standing around didn’t have an appreciation for this feat.

I chatted with Derek a bit after the demonstration. Recently he hasn’t focused on powerlifting, yet he deadlifted 370kg. However, another Aussie guy (the name escapes me) deadlifted 372.5. Derek has vowed to not only crush this number, but to deadlift 400kg by the end of the year. If I recall correctly, he deadlifted 360 or 365 last week in his second pulling session, and the first session he did 330 or 340 for a triple. Not too shabby, eh?

It was refreshing to chat with Derek in a sea of CrossFit, bodybuilding, and supplements. If you’d like to read more about Derek, as well as watch some impressive videos, then visit and check out for his weight loss program.


ANZAC Day is the Australian and Newzealand Army Corps day of of remembrance to their military personnel. It honors the military personnel who have served or given their lives to obtain or maintain freedom; an honorable holiday for any free country. To all of my Aussie mates: may your Two-Up be lucky and your Ode of Remembrance cherished.

Start Taking Your Life Seriously, Mate

When 70’s Big began, it was a stark contrast to several workout themes that were popular online. First, it was a detraction from the CrossFit/Zone and conventional fitness mentality that resulted in a man being a waif. Men are supposed to be burly and brawny. They shouldn’t be fat nor a willowy stalk, but instead own a stature of impressiveness. Secondly, our philosophy focused on achieving such a physique through the trials of strength training as opposed to aesthetic focused training. It’s easy to identify a lifter from the upper body boys that populate most fitness gyms; the lifter’s muscular structure carries broad traps, a bouldered back, and evenly tree-trunked legs.

There were other themes early on, like encouraging competition and opening the door to females to train, but the emphasis of the site started with extending one middle finger upward to the societal norm while the other fist powered skyward (or into another man’s face in slow motion). Our core group of guys that inspired the website trained hard and ate lots, yet we were all in our early twenties. The dietary intake the focuses on mass caloric intake isn’t something that can or should be sustained in the long term. It’s time to sort your fucking life out, mate.

I’ve adapted this phrase for use in the workshops in Australia. If someone acknowledges they aren’t using mobility appropriately, eating well, or doing something that would help their recovery, I’ll say, “Well, it’s time to start taking your life seriously, mate.” It’s most often used regarding dietary topics, since most guys aren’t putting much effort into what they eat.

If you agree with the above philosophy — that a strong, muscular, and athletic athletic man is most impressive — then ignoring food quality won’t get you there (or if it has, it won’t keep you there). Here are some topics that I’ve been developing with my mate Shannon that can help you start taking your dietary life more seriously.

Eat A Stronger Brekkie
Your first meal of the day will help tweak and control your hormones and therefore energy levels. If you don’t eat anything, then start eating a fat/protein rich meal. If you rely on whey protein, as I used to, then have some eggs or meat. The carb content doesn’t need to be extraordinary unless you’re training early in the morning. If you don’t have much time, then prepare an egg casserole or meat the night before. It also doesn’t take long to cook a few eggs that you can throw down the hatch along with some whey (with the point being that “meat + whey” is better than whey alone). Remember to get a quality fat source via eggs or oil (coconut or olive) — your afternoon energy level will thank you.

Eat A Variety
If you eat the same thing every day, then aim to vary up your food choices. We base everything in training on the stress/adaptation cycle; if you accept this, then it shouldn’t be absurd to think that your body won’t get adapted to a monotonous diet. The same goes for meat choices; if you only eat ground beef, try out another animal like lamb or pork. Get different cuts and see how many animals you can eat in a week. I’m less of a fan of turkey and chicken, but different protein sources will provide balance in a diet.

Also, if you eat the same types of meals every day, then see if you can vary them up. Always have a shake mid-morning and a solid meal at lunch? Occasionally switch them up. You’re probably not developing a food intolerance, but the variety will prevent it. Oh, and if you are eating “clean” and not having any change in your body composition (especially having an improvement at first), then you need to vary it yesterday.

The Carbohydrate Continuum
A lifter doesn’t actually need a lot of carbohydrates to function. Training for an hour or two is not enough to deplete muscle glycogen stores, despite what stupid-ass bodybuilding mags might claim. However, carbs are useful for spiking insulin, an anabolic hormone. However, the trainee needs to have a healthy sensitivity to insulin for this “spike” and anabolic effect to work. Trainees who do lots of high intensity conditioning and endurance athletes will need a larger carbohydrate intake (relative and absolute) given that they are tapping into that substrate source, but a lifter doesn’t require them to fuel their training (other than as maintenance and caloric content). Have carbs densely around the training session, yet getting them through vegetable sources throughout the day will help the sensitivity to insulin and also provide a lot of quality nutrients to help with systemic inflammation. Remember that “systemic inflammation” is exacerbated with crappy food and it will inhibit your recovery.

A Nice Stone Glass of…
Don’t like vegetables? Lamenting about not eating brownies every night? Can’t eat enough calories if it’s all clean food? Look, you aren’t Michael Phelps; the maximum effective range of an excuse is zero meters. This isn’t just about properly fueling your body to recover optimally about training, it’s also setting you up so you can train (and do dirty things to your wife) when you’re an old, yet jacked, geezer. Start taking your life seriously, mate.


If you have followed 70’s Big you’ll know that there is typically a post on every week day. Currently I’m in Australia hanging with some fantastic people, doing neat things, and eating good food. The frequency of posts will dip slightly as I’m gone, but I have some good content for you.

With that being said, I suggest that Americans from the U.S. make an effort to visit another country. Sydney is still has a similar culture and lifestyle, yet it has many unique traits. In countries like the U.S., Canada, the UK, and Australia, the governments function in a way that results in a free citizen. None of the governments are perfect, of course, and we can point to policy that limits our removes freedom, but generally speaking we are free to live how we want and are able to partake in luxury. Part of that luxury is that we are free of the worry of how to obtain or maintain freedom. We don’t have to care about the functioning of our government, foreign policy, or what else is going on the world because our respective governments won’t mess things up too much to force me to pay attention. Some of you may disagree, but the end result is that people only have to worry about themselves. This egotism is especially prevalent in American culture since it’s not as common to travel to other countries (I know people who have never left their own state, much less the border of the U.S.).

In the two trips I’ve been here, I’ve grown to have an appreciation of humanity. Sydney is interesting because the people that populate it are different. The proximity of Australia to Asia, the pacific Islands, and even the Middle East creates a different melting pot. However, it also seems that there are more Europeans that visit or live here, and a lot of folks here eventually travel abroad. My experience is that they seem a bit more “worldly” than people in the U.S., and I think that’s pretty cool.

I will say this: Australians are great fucking people. They have a good sense of humor, they’re not sensitive, and they are extremely generous. Hanging out with Australians in any setting is always a good time, and if you visit, make sure to try and make some friends (the other night, a bloke who doesn’t train that I was with was offered a cigarette, and he looked at me before saying defiantly, “No, we’re elite athletes.”). I’d like to thank and commend Tom Vale, Shannon Green, and Peter Upham for entertaining this unworthy American.

And fuck me drunk, son, the food is good here. That aforementioned melting pot with a large population means there are a plethora of places to eat. Yesterday I had octopus tentacles right before having lamb skewers (yes, it was a grilled version of this). They don’t have smoked meat and chili, but there’s some damn fine food here to make a trip worth it.

I would recommend that you make it to another country. I haven’t been to many, but I know I enjoy Australia quite a bit. Immersing yourself in another culture will make you appreciate the diversity in humanity, but it lets you appreciate the freedom you have in being able to safely experience it all. GLHF.

Football Template

A program is a program is a program is a program, right? Nah, that ain’t me. We know that programs aren’t created equal, but it’s not because one is necessarily better than another. It’s because one is better for an individual or group of similar individuals. This is one concept I teach when I travel to do 70’s Big Workshops along with providing the thought process behind programming.

Peter Upham of Shire Speed and Strength hosted a workshop again, and on Tuesday I was working with one of his athletes. Sean is a “gridiron” (AKA American football) player who is on an interesting training template. It’s a template that fits his available schedule and needs. Peter is unique in that he is the head coach of his gridiron team in addition to owning a gym that coaches many different types athletes. He likes to utilize the Olympic lifts for football players, and it is clearly paying off since Sean’s older brother, Blake, started at left tackle as a freshman at the University of Hawaii. (On a side note, I saw Blake lift last year, and he’s pretty impressive).

These athletes aren’t doing the full Olympic lifts to compete in the sport, but instead to improve their explosiveness and flexibility for football. In other words, they aren’t specialist. The program that Sean is on still has him low bar back squatting and benching along with two days of conditioning that prepare him for the sport. Watch the following video for a description of the program:

The first conditioning day is more focused on all out efforts with complete rest. The second day is more of a work capacity day, and as it gets closer to the season it emulates the intervals of a football game (resting 35 to 40 seconds between sprints up a sand hill, for example). Notice that the program is simple, trains the whole body, and accomplishes the goal of turning a young, lesser experienced fella into a powerful, strong football player. The only thing I suggested as an addition was some more posterior chain work (perhaps in the form of good mornings with the band around the neck — more on these later).

Programs don’t have to be complicated to do well. This is an example of one for a specific individual in a specific situation with specific goals, yet the program could be followed by general strength trainees with equal success.