MDLP: Strongman De-Load

De load event day went as planned. I was focused on moving the log and farmers at a light weight with perfect form. Joints are still adjusting to consistent strongman training and I can feel the training wheels slowly coming off. I have my old training partner,Fernando, back in the mix on Sundays and it feels good to lift to an old comrade. It also helps that he is a heavy weight and being motivated by trying to catch up to his press is something I miss. Sunday mornings remain hot as hell but the energy is all I feed off of.

With the Strongman games being a potential comp in December or a very heavy Florida State championship, I have begun to increase my back hygiene movements and “exercise daily”. The specifics are something I plan on going into detail on a future write up very soon. My point is to not only cut off ego accessory work and movements but also add exercises I have started to neglect due to over sight. It is not easy programming for oneself and it can easily become a list full of things you want to do rather than things you should do. After re-reading Gift of Injury, I realized some holes I had in my game plan and I went back to the drawing board. Trust me when I tell you, a true spine recovery is by far the hardest and most humbling experience I have ever had as an athlete and it continues to put me in my place. Excited to get this next phase of my journey in order but also weary not to drown in my ego as I start to recovery some of my former strength.

Event Training:

  • Log Press (out of rack) 3×2, 2×3 all sets at 255# to prepare for sets of 5
  • Farmers Carry 3 x 50/50ft with hold at end
  • Single Leg RDL 4×10/10
  • Suit Case Carry 3×150/150ft
  • Concept 2 Bike x 10 mins

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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