MDLP: 2/6-2/11 training

Bloody shins and achey bones. If there was any simple line that could define a heavy deadlift for me it would be that. How one feels about that line is all based on perceptive. While one person counts the money in their bank account or collectable fine wine bottles or the newest rims for their car, I count how many scars and deadlifts have allowed me to dance with the devil one more time. Relax, I am not saying to not enjoy collecting things outside of the gym, I am merely expressing that my brain works differently. As the years pass by and strongman leaves its marks on me more and more I have had to change my perspective. What I once use to wear with a “look at me” childish nature has turned into a “this is just who I am” perspective. I am as proud and as ashamed of the some of the damage on my body and that is reality. That is not some sugar coated meme parading a broken back or torn up shin but merely the reality of my world and the bitter truth of it. A wolf doesn’t parade his scars to his pack as badge of honor instead, it is seen as a sign of experience and fighting forward. It is their job to fight against life, to survive, to rip apart what comes their way.. there is no bragging for doing what you are supposed to do. Those who brag about power have never kneeled low enough to pick it up and those who have never kneeled have never given their all.

I have had a series of great training sessions the last week . I had an incredible deadlift day as I hit a 610 Axel dead off of blocks for a double. Good rest, good food , and a strong outlook really made the difference. Ended the session with some keg over bar and a pain free finish. Later that week I would travel to Tampa where I made the best of my travel and hit a 405 squat and a 255 strict press. I haven’t done heavy static movements, outside of deads, in quite sometimes and it was reassuring that I could complete these without flaring up my back. I can feel my squat and strict press have gone down some but it is not something I cannot repair with some work. My prep is looking good so far with a slow and steady start of which I am pleased with. Too many times in the past I have started a little to aggressively but with my nutrition more on point with the help of my teammate and good friend Paul Oneid, I am seeing a big difference in performance. Curious what the next 8 weeks will bring and curiosity never killed the wolf, rhino, bear.

Work Load:

  • Axel block pull 610 x2
  • Squat single 405
  • Strict press 255 x2
  • Axel incline 3×2 250
  • D bell shoulder press 2×10/10 80#

Never Strat from The Way


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Michael “MDLP” De La Pava is currently a competitive Strongman and owner of The Battle Axe Gym. Born in Miami, Florida into a Colombian household, Michael finished his schooling by attending Penn State University where he graduated with a Degree in Psychology. Having his roots in martial arts, he would go on to compete in various sports as a Muay Thai fighter, Powerlifter, and rugby player before committing himself fully to Strongman. During this time, he opened Miami’s first Strongman gym, The Battle Axe, where he currently coaches athletes from various disciplines including powerlifting, MMA fighters, Strongman, officers of multiple authorities and enlisted and active military operators. Competing in Strongman for over 6 years has given Michael the opportunity to rank as high as 15th in the nation (105kg), won Florida’s Strongest man (1st in 2014 and 2nd in 2015 in the 105kg class), lift and load a 420 pound Atlas stone, log press 335, pull 700, and most importantly, share the competitive battlefield with some of the best in the game. During this journey, Michael suffered what some would consider a potentially career-ending spine injury. It was at this time that Brian and Michael would begin working together to not only rehab his spine, allowing him to return to Strongman but also develop a new Strongman training program revolving around the 10/20 philosophy. Strongman and coaching have given Michael the opportunity to travel around the nation and the world to train, coach and be coached, as well as share ideas with various leaders in the strength community. Michael’s experience and network in strongman brings a welcome connection with the ever-growing sport of Strongman to the 10/20 team and PRS family.

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