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Powerswitch
03-16-11, 4:26 am
I tried posting my thread on the Animal Cage weekend and thought it went through. I wondered why it didn't show up after couple of days thinking it sank to the past with no hits. LOL!!! It must not have taken when I posted - I happen to share a PC with several other trainers here, so who knows. But here it is again, hope you enjoy:


Thursday afternoon, checking thru security is a mess (a mess like always because I always want my lifting belt on me and not in luggage) - why is it they always act like a lifting belt is a potential terrorist threat??? My first thought after getting thru airport security - point of no return now, it's time to turn the game on! Meeting Big Al at airport and hanging out at the grill and bar near our gate, talking about getting excited. Watching Big Al's head bob up and down as he listens patiently to another big dude cramped next to him on the airplane, talking his poor ear off the entire flight.

After checking in at hotel with Big Al, we rush to hook up with Dave Hoff for dinner Thursday night before he and the Westside Barbell crew left for their meet in TN the following morning. Hoff is a really cool guy, one of the strongest powerlifters in the world pound for pound, and as a great friend, he takes the time to have dinner with us before his long trip. Meeting Jimmy Pacifico, son of one of the greats, Larry Pacifico - Jimmy is another strong powerlifter to watch out for! Hoff recommended Spaghetti Warehouse and it was a great choice! At least we thought so for MOST of us. LOL! Big Al, Dave Hoff, Jimmy Pacifico, Jimmy's gal, myself and my wife - all enjoying a nice carbing up to kick off the weekend. Even though they already ate before and did the Dagwood Challenge, it was still nice of them to carb up with us and tempt us with desserts. I wonder why Big Al didn't order dessert after eyeballing Jimmy's gal's dessert the entire time?? I just wish our events had been coordinated so that we could all be together the entire weekend. I know for a fact Hoff would have enjoyed the Cage and the fans would have enjoyed him as well.

The fun thing about traveling with great friends is being able to coordinate being close together. When we checked in with Big Al at the hotel, we managed to get adjoining rooms. The other fun thing about being so close together, we get to experience things together that brings us "THAT MUCH" closer as friends, things we don't let down. LOL!!! So the following morning, we hear a knock at the adjoining door and Big Al asking if we were up yet and ready for breakfast. My wife had returned after picking up my training partner and his gal from their hotel, ready to hit breakfast and the expo floor. All of us in the hotel room, I don't remember the entire conversation that led to the following quote that I won't forget from Big Al, "I will never order manicotti there ever again, my ass has chapped lips now." This is where I advise to Big Al to always have wet wipes on hand and suddenly everyone made fun of him for the comment and me for having my trusty Pampers Kandoo wetwipes as I get them out of the bathroom for him to share. This is serious stuff, man! Something most powerlifters have and need to use because of the joys of being big, lifting heavy and having to deal with rough toilet tissue during travel - babywipes (or as we call it, asswipes) are essential! No laughing joke and I feel for my bro!

Friday morning at breakfast was interesting - seeing the Cafe dominated by Animal's everywhere, but here and there, a few spotted hyenas of orangey tanned bodybuilders. LOL! No offense, dudes, I understand what you have to go through to be up on stage. Tried it myself years ago and ruined it in the last few hours with a box of Cheez-its before stepping on stage. I have lots of respect for you guys and the discipline you have for your sport.

Seeing the cage on Friday and looking at the setup - even though the sight is familiar with only slight differences each time, it is still welcoming like wading through a huge crowd of strangers at an airport after a long trip and suddenly recognizing family waving their hands to welcome you home. Getting ready for the deadlift exhibition was almost like prepping for a heavy intense workout in our own gym but with the added intensity of Animals watching with anticipation. Enjoying the crowd amassing to the Cage. Getting hyped up. Warming up and finally getting into working sets. Feeling excitement and adrenalin pumping. Big Al pulling with us and making us feel at home without any fear of defeat or failure. Feeling accomplishment and watching Dave blow a gasket in his nose as he pulled through his sets. Me, I walk away with a chunk of my palm torn off from that Texas bar! Very small price to pay, but all worth it to hear the crowd cheering and all of my bros with me and behind me!!!

Friday night headed to dinner after workout at Metro. Jam packing 6 people into small rental car - 5 big lifters and 1 small chick into a Hyundai Elantra with a suspension that bitches like bad wheel on a shopping cart. More like packing 10 people because of size and listening to the suspension in the car scream at every turn or bump telling my wife to take it slow so as not to owe the rental agency later for blown struts and coils. LOL! During the entire ride(s) wondering whose hands are where in the backseat as we gave each other wet willies. Tumbling out of the car and seeing Dave's faceprint on the window with a little drool from when he tried to mouth out the words and ask who was touching his gal in the back. The dinner at House of Japan and meeting friends from Canada was great - wish Wycked was there, he would have felt at home with fellow Canadians.

Saturday morning at breakfast. This time, it wasn't just domination by Animal, it was a SEA OF RED in the Cafe!!!! WTF?????? Was this planned???? Can't be! I'm sure there are other companies and other athletes in the same hotel, but I can barely pick out the hyenas now! All I see are Animals!!!!!! I had butterflies considering I agreed to do bodyweight bench for reps with Sam and had no idea how that was going to go. We have both been through shoulder surgeries and are veteran powerlifters. Sam's another great friend from our powerlifting community where you never forget him once you meet him, regardless of where he has been in his lifting career. He has always been helpful to me, even from a distance, just another brother where you don't have to live with the guy or see him everyday, but if you were to meet him just a few days out of the year, you feel at home with him and how he treats and helps you. His advice to me in the past before my shoulder surgery with experience of his own before me has helped tremendously. He helped me couple years ago when I benched in th Cage before I blew out my shoulder and had surgery, he handed off to me and has been there at some of the most unusual, but I think "pre-ordained" times in my powerlifting career to give words of guidance and motivation.

The expo floor and Cage was totally packed that Saturday even after our exhibition and everything going on throughout the day, hard to list everything and remember all who came up to get autographs, pictures, and even conversations about lifting, nutrition, and personal goals. WOW!!! I had no idea some of the usual pro's of Animal have to deal with this day in and day out almost everywhere they go in some cases, let alone for just a weekend. No matter how many times I have gone through the Arnold weekend in the Animal Cage, it is still very overwhelming and so exciting, so different each time and I wish I had more spongy cells to be able to soak every fun part up.

Because of the expo floor being packed on Saturday, where did we stay???? You guessed it! In the Animal Cage!!!! Where we felt at home and didn't want to go anywhere else!!! My wife and I had friends from all over the country, Canada, several countries from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, a few provinces in China, and South Korea to come out and agree to meet us, to enjoy the Arnold experience - as I'm sure many pros, bros, and fans had as well. What is so cool is, many of our friends looked forward to and got to enjoy the Animal experience, knowing that's why we were there. They took time out of their events and schedules to make sure to come by the Animal Cage, not because of us, but because they respect the company and all the fans that make up the community. We had so many more asking how to get to the National ABC at the end of Saturday's expo because they came from areas where they weren't aware that their idols were going to be present at the National ABC at Metro Fitness that night. It was awesome helping to hook them up and or at least being a conduit of some sort. The workout at the ABC was more than awesome, it helped keep me on track for my meet in April. Thanks to Scott, Wade, my partner, and everyone who worked in with me. That night after the ABC at the bar with Higa, Tiny, Rob and Ed Coan was truly a wonderful and most fun nightcap!

Waking up to Sunday was one of those days where you dreaded the worst because you know it has to end and you don't want it to. As a powerlifter, I looked forward to watching Hoss squat to cap the weekend off and was sad that the weekend just flew by. But I had no idea that I would be afforded the opportunity to squat with my one of my idols after all was said and done. I could not refuse! One could not ask for more out of an entire weekend of hanging out with pros, friends, bros, and fans!!! I even wonder if anyone has been as lucky as me??? How many athletes have had the opportunity to pull, bench and squat in the Animal Cage, especially with idols and great friends, the entire weekend???? I don't know how this past Cage experience can be topped?!? I can only hope to meet everyone again before and hopefully again at next year's Cage if they'll have me again!!!

smoothballer
03-16-11, 8:52 am
It was great to meet you over the weekend Bobby. You're lifts over the weekend were incredibly impressive. Awesome recap of a fantastic weekend.

Madcat
03-16-11, 10:14 am
I enjoyed watching you peeling the skin off your hand after putting on liquid skin and it wouldnt even dry becausae of the size of the hole in your flesh from doing the deadlifts no straps or anything.

Sick man, and great post.

Phil800101
03-16-11, 12:12 pm
Awesome write-up Bobby! Your lifts were sick all weekend long (although I missed your squats on Sunday as I was working), great stuff. It was great seeing you and Kathy again, as always!

shortstack
03-16-11, 12:54 pm
Hey Bobby. Great write up and I'm so glad that you and Kathy are part of the animal family. You both bring alot of great knowledge and are wonderful people to talk to.

I'll post up pictures that I took of us and my daughter a little later. Wish Kath would have been around also to get in the pic but there is always next year.

If you two ever get back over around the Iowa area for any PL meets, hit me up and I'll come over and see you two.

Jeremy

Big D
03-16-11, 1:00 pm
great seein you again bobby.. was a pleasure as always liftin with you as well.

well be out to train, dont worry

Wycked
03-16-11, 1:57 pm
it was a pleasure really gettin to talk to u @ the cage not only r u a fuckin crazy strong individual u r one of the nicest people around. your passion for what u do comes through when u lift man its pure intensity. it was a pleasure watching u lift especially in the deadlift that shit was nuts bro!

J-Dawg
03-17-11, 5:14 pm
I really enjoyed reading your Arnold experience Bobby. I can just imagine how that car looked packed to the gills with 5 big powerlifters in it! LOL.

Ragin Asian
03-17-11, 8:07 pm
Posting for Powerswitch



It was great to meet you over the weekend Bobby. You're lifts over the weekend were incredibly impressive. Awesome recap of a fantastic weekend.

It was great meeting you too! Thank you for the props man! At my age, I'm just glad to be able to still put on a show and compete, even after all my injuries and surgeries. Feels really good to have folks count me in on events like these.



I enjoyed watching you peeling the skin off your hand after putting on liquid skin and it wouldnt even dry becausae of the size of the hole in your flesh from doing the deadlifts no straps or anything.

Sick man, and great post.

Thanks bro! Yeah, that hole in my palm actually finally closed up couple days ago. LOL!! Man that sucker hurt benching Saturday night. Hahaha! The disinfecting, neosporin and liquid skin regimen helped, but it seemed forever before it would heal over. :o)


Awesome write-up Bobby! Your lifts were sick all weekend long (although I missed your squats on Sunday as I was working), great stuff. It was great seeing you and Kathy again, as always!

Great seeing you again too !!! Always a pleasure to meet up with you and have some fun. You're always so helpful to us!


Hey Bobby. Great write up and I'm so glad that you and Kathy are part of the animal family. You both bring alot of great knowledge and are wonderful people to talk to.

I'll post up pictures that I took of us and my daughter a little later. Wish Kath would have been around also to get in the pic but there is always next year.

If you two ever get back over around the Iowa area for any PL meets, hit me up and I'll come over and see you two.

Jeremy

My wife ran around taking care of things that we couldn't get away to do so that we "her boys" could focus on lifting and having fun in the Cage. She's just like that, and although she missed some great stuff in the Cage, she still had a great time. If you don't have the pics available for the forum, phototag us on Facebook if you can so we can see them. We want to do another UPA meet out in Iowa, just not sure when - all depends on training and finances. But will definitely let you know and coordinate when we do!


great seein you again bobby.. was a pleasure as always liftin with you as well.

well be out to train, dont worry

Definitely! Need to get the crews together for some workouts! Kat and I have been talking about coordinating to have our crews train at Skiba's and vice versa when there aren't big meets around the corner. I'm glad you got your squatting in finally and very strong!! Dude, where in the world do you find the time to do curls like that???? I thought you weren't going to stop during that challenge!


it was a pleasure really gettin to talk to u @ the cage not only r u a fuckin crazy strong individual u r one of the nicest people around. your passion for what u do comes through when u lift man its pure intensity. it was a pleasure watching u lift especially in the deadlift that shit was nuts bro!

Thanks Wycked! That's a great compliment coming from a huge dude as yourself! It tickles me to hear that from someone who literally dwarfs me in size! Hopefully we can hook up again soon and get some fun in together.


I really enjoyed reading your Arnold experience Bobby. I can just imagine how that car looked packed to the gills with 5 big powerlifters in it! LOL.

The car ride is something we'll never forget, way too funny! You've been so helpful to us and as always, my wife and I enjoy getting opportunities to meet up and hang out with you!

alphagrrrrl
03-17-11, 9:17 pm
That car ride was crazy! The poor suspension on that thing got a major workout. I'm glad I got to sit up front with Kathy :)
You two are the best. It was great getting to hang with you guys! I hope we can all get together soon. Knoxville is only 11ish weeks away!

Big Al
03-17-11, 9:38 pm
My ass had a full recovery,if anyone cares.LOL
And we fucked that car up!! It had like 1500lbs in it.HAHAHA

alphagrrrrl
03-17-11, 9:44 pm
My ass had a full recovery,if anyone cares.LOL
And we fucked that car up!! It had like 1500lbs in it.HAHAHA

Glad your ass is feeling better, Al. We're gonna have to get you and Bobby sponsored by Kandoo!

That Hyndai Elantra had no idea what was in store. I'm sure it needed a major overhaul after that shit!

Ragin Asian
03-18-11, 1:39 am
That car ride was crazy! The poor suspension on that thing got a major workout. I'm glad I got to sit up front with Kathy :)
You two are the best. It was great getting to hang with you guys! I hope we can all get together soon. Knoxville is only 11ish weeks away!

I know! I can't wait!!! I want to do all three lifts, but will have to see how far I can take my squat - not exactly my best lift and my groin has an old injury that acts up every now and then. Let's just say I tried showing off some old breakdancing moves several years ago without stretching and after doing a successful split and James Brown imitation, my groin has decided to go on strike every time I load it up over 400lbs. LOL!!! If anything, I'll definitely do push/pull - just have to decide on whether it will be raw or equipped. I'd like to get my bench over 300 raw by then and do that for the meet. If not, I'll have to do something in the mid 400's on an equipped bench and break an old personal record.

We had an awesome time with you, you are such a great person and so cool to hang out with! You are mad strong and wished we lived closer so I could train with you! Definitely looking forward to TN in June - we'll tear it up together!


My ass had a full recovery,if anyone cares.LOL
And we fucked that car up!! It had like 1500lbs in it.HAHAHA

Awww, we DO care about the recovery. LOL!! Bobby was serious about making wetwipes a permanent travel companion. :o) That car on the way back to the airport was making noises like a sex-starved chick having her mouth covered. LOL!


Glad your ass is feeling better, Al. We're gonna have to get you and Bobby sponsored by Kandoo!

That Hyndai Elantra had no idea what was in store. I'm sure it needed a major overhaul after that shit!

That's what all our guys think too! Those two could get lifetime supplies of the wipes and never have to worry. LOL! We could just have Big Al pretend to be Bobby's father, put them on pics standing next to each other holding up the wetwipes travel packs - father and son committment to comfort. LOL!!! I know they're close in age, but tell me they don't look related when they're standing next to each other? Several times people have asked us if they're brothers or related somehow when they comment on how Bobby looks like a "mini-me" of Big Al. LMAO! Must be the glasses.

As far as the rental car - I tried to assuage Bobby's fears when turning it in by explaining to him that despite the sounds the car made consistently afterwards and on the ride back to the airport (5 folks, several of them being quite large, all with packed carryons, 3 huge suitcases, one large packed army duffle bag across the laps), that by the time they got to servicing it, they'd probably sell it to some used car dealer or to an auto repair shop that likes to have a car or two available for customers who need overnight repair. Because of the ominous sounds it made on the ride and my mind elsewhere on other fun thoughts of the weekend, I didn't realize I made the comment, "Don't worry sweety, the car runs fine and nobody will figure it out until some poor guy waiting on car repairs winds up with this 'moaner'." I wanted to say it was going to wind up being a "loaner". I have poor hearing due to my past occupation in the Army, so sometimes I can't even hear myself think before I speak. LOL!!!! He swears to this day I was making fun of him somehow, not sure why - was pretty sure I was only talking about the car. LMAO!!!! But now that I know it gets a reaction out of him for mentioning "moaner", I will find opportunities to plug it in somehow amongst friends. :o)

Aside from all that, as a good wife, I have taken good notes on our trip. So as the purveyor and "Go To" gopher on most of our trips when it comes to meets and events (I prefer to be referred to as the "Mother Hen"), I have duly noted that future trips involving rental vehicles will have to be Minivans, Vans or SUV's. I can't promise Hummers or anything extravagant, but I will do my best to ensure everyone's comfort and safety. At the very least, something capable of handling over 1500lbs in capacity and can still stay up with traffic on an interstate where the speed is 65mph at it's slowest. LOL!!!!!

Ragin Asian
03-18-11, 2:56 am
Knowing how Bobby, his brother, training partners, friends from Westside Barbell, Big Iron, and various other places can be when getting together for a meet - I may have to locate an "armored" SUV to drive everyone around in for the TN meet. LOL!!!! You get those boys together with all that adrenalin/combined testosterone and they like to have TOO much fun, if you know what I mean. :o)

deanna7272
03-22-11, 1:16 am
It was great seeing you guys again this year... I missed ya last year!!! It's always amazing to see the work that you've put in from year to year... Glad to see recovery is doing well and can't wait to see what's in the future for you guys... Hope to see you both again soon...

shortstack
04-01-11, 10:32 am
Hey Bobby, Here's the picture. Looks like Sam was trying to sneak into the picture..haha

http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg232/shortstack74/Arnold%202011/Arnold2011047.jpg [/url]