MDLP: Training 8 weeks out

Headed into this week with a good approach. Having taken a few days off to let the body settle back into its place I quickly realized I was 8 weeks out. It is amazing how life can start to dull your senses. Like I had said before in previous writings, having pushed back my comp 4 weeks really set off my mental clock. Due to stressors and real life scenarios outside of my training, getting my mental game back was not an easy one. It is never easy is it? Nor should it be. It is a daily battle and I write about this often. I can either be overwhelmed by this daily fight or simply dive in and get my hands dirty.

With 8 weeks to go the outlook has shifted. Things in my life will now have to take a different order in importance. Sleep, food, training amongst a few other things need to take priority as all my vices and social scenarios will start to dull. Purchasing the tickets to Kentucky has made it very much a real endeavor and its been years since I travel for comp. My first priority is to stay healthy and move forward without sacrificing my long term goals. I am excited and anxious in the competitive way and I would be lying if I told you I did’t miss it. Traveling for a competition has a whole different level of physical and mental commitment.

Kentucky has similar events to the ones I was training for prior to changing up shows with some small changes in loading implements. I will be loading heavy stones for the first time in 3 years and it is definitely going to be a mental battle. Having tore my bicep on a stone and also the basic lack of practice leaves me challenging myself on every rep and every set. I was a damn good stone loader and I still consider myself formidable. The next few weeks will give me a chance to prove it to myself and keep rebuilding my mind and body.

Work Load:

  • Tuesday: Axel Deadlift Cluster 555# x 2, 1,1,1 with 10 sec rests
  • Saturday Events: Press medley (axel, log, d bell), Stone over bar (255# over 52 inches)

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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