MDLP: Event Day 10/14/18

I find myself writing an epic battle story every week after hitting big numbers. By no means are these life time PR’s, although some are getting very close, but I certainly recognize them as the columns I am using to rebuild myself. If it was all physical, this would be a joke of a journey and I would have easily recuperated but since we all know the hardest thing about moving forward is mental, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I have a selective memory. Yup, I often find myself saying this in a laughing manner at the gym and using it to get out of trouble outside of the gym haha. All joking aside, it could be a valuable weapon.

I’ll continue this epic battle story I so easily and unexpectedly transitioned into by saying that if you are not picking up weights that scare you, this log may not be for you. You see, selective memory doesn’t mean you cant remember things, it is just that you choose when to do so. Let that marinate for a little bit. It isn’t that I walk up to a heavy log or yoke and suddenly forget what I used to lift, or the pain, the injuries and the back stories I have but rather, I choose to drown those out by focusing on the valuable memories I have that I use as fuel. The moment before these lifts I remind myself of my training, of the work I have put in, of those who support what I have been through and more importantly, powerful yet personal memories that I choose not to share with many people that are vivid mental images pre-lifts. These selected memories are the driving force drowning out all those sobering fears and anxieties that can lead us astray. Despite some of the more grounding memories being useful, right before a lift is not the time to remind yourself of the torn tendons, muscles , cracked bones and beat up spine you have but rather, all those positive outcomes, battles and wars you have overcome not only by yourself but with others. Be selective, purposeful and selective with not only your emotions but your memory. Think on this for the rest of the day.

There is Rage in this video and there is passion that I cannot control after the lift but all my attempts start the same. I exhale loudly, yell my mantras and then, the calm before the storm. There is what looks like an inner peace right before my lift but what I hope to achieve is a burning focus. There is only peace in the trenches of war when you know you can fight for your outcome. Sitting and being serenaded by the silence of nature is not where a man like me will find focus or the rage to destroy weight. That is me and that is what works for me, take that for what it is. 275 log strict press has never felt so good. Yoke holds are never easy but are a massive tool with whats going on in my life right now and the keg conditioning is cause I hate myself haha.   



  • log clean and strict press 1-1-1-1-1-3 (worked up to a heavy triple at 275# no pain)
  • yoke holds 3 x 10 secs (685, 735,735)
  • keg carry with run back 2 sets of 135 keg with 100ft run back  (4 trips is one set)

Never Stray 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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