View Full Version : My Amazing 2013 Cage Experience

03-05-13, 8:55 pm
Cage 2013

Pictures: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.705473089396.1073741826.28500920&type=1&l=9397afbd94

Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/smoothballerDW?feature=watch

Tuesday - Thursday

The work week from hell started where I drove up to Pittsburgh a day early on Tuesday because my bossís boss required me to and had to miss the Akron ABC at Body Builders Inc. So I was in Cleveland when the ABC was in Pittsburgh and in Pittsburgh when the ABC was in Akron. Oh well, shit happens. So I drove back from Pittsburgh to Cleveland bright and early Thursday morning and relaxed a little with the family for a few hours until my bro (freighttraindane) picked me and we headed down to Columbus. With hard rock music blaring we were fired up on the ride down. We checked in at the Red Roof Inn across the street from the Convention Center and hung out for awhile. We then headed over to Metro Fitness where we met up with the good bros from Chicago (Nix, Razor, Phil) and J-Dawg and got in a solid bench session. Hit 245 lbs for a single and got some good tips from Nix on where the bar should touch and staying tight at the bottom. After working out we hit up BDís Mongolian BBQ for copious amounts of food. We shut the place down and for some a few bowls to early. After we headed back to the room to get some rest but I have to admit I had trouble sleeping with all the excitement I knew was in store for the next day.


I had the privilege of being selected to be an intern at the 2013 Cage. So I got down to the Expo early and waited for The Chase Browning to come and grab me to help with the set-up. This year I was Aggression for a few minutes with his exhibitor badge, last year I was NaturalGuy. The Cage and Shop were very well setup before I got there so I helped out with the few minor things and waited for my assignment. They first told me I was going to bounce for The Shop line but at the last minute I got moved over to bounce for The Box. I was pumped. I was the floater last year so I had experience interning before and the other non-head interns didnít so they wanted someone with knowledge of how that area needed to be handled without instruction. When the doors opened up and the masses came running toward the Cage I handed out the VIP badges and made sure no one stole any full tubs from the lockers (which happened last year). We flew through the badges and got to see all my FORVM bros and gals that I hadnít seen in a year. The other benefit to that intern spot was you got to see the lifting events in The Cage. P Diesel and Higa Monster definitely set the tone for the day. The crowd was jacked up and it was an awesome competition with Higa hitting an amazing 20 reps with 525. I couldnít really hear the two bodybuilding seminars from where I was at because of the bitch doing jazzersize or some cardio kickboxing bullshit next to The Cage. It was awesome to see Gunz hit the 500 raw on bench. His form was so spot-on and technically sound. But the highlight of day one for me was seeing Brandon Lilly hit 755 lbs deadlift No Shirt, No Belt, No Problems. After the masses left we cleaned up the Cage for the next day and I headed back to the room. My bro and I then walked down to Beyond Limits which is a cool ass gym. It is exactly the type of gym I would want to work out at; strongman, powerlifting, bodybuilding; this place had it all. But the best part was being coached on the log press and Atlas Stones by Higa Monster. From there we hit up the joint I found for dinner called Rodizio. It is a Brazilian Steakhouse where you eat as much delicious cuts of meat that you can handle. The Garlic Seasoned Beef was well above the rest of the competition. Day 1 in the books.


I got into the Expo after it opened because there was no way I was going to wait in that long ass line. I walked around for a bit until I couldnít move anymore and headed to The Cage. I got there just in time to see Hoss hit the squat. He never ceases to amaze me. It was cool to see the look on his sonís face as he watched his Dad. It made me think about my son. Next up was The Ant and his ridiculous bodyweight to deadlift weight ratio. This always gives me the motivation to push past what I think my body can do. Spoto hitting the 700 bench easy was damn cool. The bar flew off his chest like it was 315 lbs. The up was Sam Byrd who does the impossible by hitting 645 lbs no hands at 30 lbs down from last year with far less training. Sam is one of a kind and so easy to talk to. To me the highlight event was watching the Lilliebridge family and Stan Efferding squat. The pure intensity of this event sent shivers down my spine. Watching Senior hit 800, Ernie hit 750, Stan hitting 875, and Junior hitting a crazy 906 lbs raw was something I will never forget. Finally I got to see Brent Willis hit 835 lbs Deadlift. I am trying to mimic his speed off the floor. He has a similar body type to me so I paid attention to his form. At 22 years old he is going to go far in this game. After the Expo I headed back to the room and met my wife who drove down Saturday evening. We relaxed a little and headed over to Metro for the National ABC. I definitely liked the way they did it this year. The shirts were sick and doing the shot of Rage all together in our new Animal shakers was damn cool. I hit up Nix and we headed over to the cable station for some Pull-Ups and Sexy Side Laterals. You know, perfect Tough Mudder training. From there we parted ways, I think he went and ran with the girls, and I hit up some other sexy exercises for the bis and tris. I observed some pretty cool coaching by the Pros as they worked peopleís forms and they hit PRís. Then we had the always delicious BBQ for post-workout. So Fucking Tasty!


I got up early and headed over to the Convention Center with my wife as she prepared to run the Arnold 5K. She runs this every year but I was especially proud of her this year as she is working to get back into racing again after having our first child. She kicked ass and came in well under what she thought she would and in 20 degree temperatures. We then walked around the Expo and it was surprisingly not busy except for the middle section where the ridiculous lines were at. I bought a set of new lifting straps and some Fat Gripz for my training. We spent some time in The Cage and The Shop and she headed home to get back to our son. I then grabbed a clutch spot in the Cage for Chad Wesley Smithís 700 lbs for reps. It was awesome to see Brandon Lilly come back after competing in the XPC and lifting in The Cage on Friday to MC for his Juggernaut buddy. Chad and Brandon are damn nice guys. Finally I got to see Freakshow hit his 1000 lbs squat. I have been a big fan of Marshall for some time and it was great to see his intensity first hand. His ďFuck CanítĒ taped to the monolift and written on his shoes really hit me hard because I realized how many times I said I canít or quit too early. Not anymore. And damn it was cool to see him drinking from his gas can. Bobby and Kathy really put on a great show and were awesome to talk to all weekend. Jesse Norris is a complete freak at age 19 pulling 775 lbs raw. To put that into perspective that is 20 lbs more than Lilly weighing 100 lbs less. Then was the perfect way to wrap up the weekend. The FORVM event is always a favorite of mine to bring everyone together. They handed out the Pak for 30 years of the best multi-vitamin pack there has ever been. Another awesome surprise was that all the Interns got a can of the new prototype to review so I canít wait to check that out. And the weekend concluded with Pros vs. Bros where I got to see all my friends from the FORVM compete along side their favorite Pros. But the highlight of the event was getting to spot for my bro (freighttraindane) as he hit 21 deep reps on the squat with 325 lbs. We went well beyond the closing of the Expo but no one said a word. As Animal was still repping them out people were breaking down their booths. Finally when the event was over we said our somber goodbyes and bid farewell until next year. It is always hard leaving because it is always a special weekend for me.


I want to that all the guys at Corporate for putting on what I consider the best Cage yet. I have been coming to the Expo for 6 years now and have been VIPing it in The Cage for 4 years. This was my 2nd year Interning and want to say a special Thank You for that. It is so amazing to give back to the company that has given me so much. Another favorite part of the weekend is talking with the Pros and seeing how much they are just as much fans of each other as we are of them. Where else do you get that kind of one on one contact with your idols? No where but The Cage. I will leave this by saying Thank You to everyone (Corporate, Pros, Bros, Gals) that made the weekend so special for me.

03-05-13, 9:59 pm
Pictures Link didn't work. Try this one.


03-05-13, 10:40 pm
Great seeing/training/eating with ya again bro! Hopefully we'll cross paths before next year, maybe when you're in town for the mudder.