Turkey Legs are whats for Dinner

If there’s any day of the week I look forward to its Leg day. Historically it’s always been my favorite but recently, with one of my biceps becoming bionic, I’ve really put a lot of work into my lower body while maintaining pristine form and not undoing months of spine rehab. I am now 10 weeks post op and I’m gaining confidence in the front rack position. To avoid any unwanted stress on the lumbar spine I keep the sets high, reps and rest low. This allows me to continue to get good total volume, focus on neuro-drive without the fatigue of high reps, good fitness, and maintain perfect form throughout work load.

Front Squat and Turkey Legs

My focus has been and will remain Strongman for the time being. With that being said, the squat movement I feel has the highest turn over for Strongman is the Front Squat. With its emphasis on thoracic strength, full range of motion, quad and glut drive it perfectly mimics some of our loading and carrying events. Aside from specialty bar squats, front squats has been a staple in my personal training cycles as well as Strongman programming at The Battle Axe Gym. In comparison to axel loaded squats the front squat  has less long term damage for my spine and in an already crushing sport like Strongman, I’ll take spine friendly movements wherever I can get them. As stated above, my focus is to slowly increase weight with emphasis on perfect form. This outlook forces me to hone in on technique, maximum bracing and neruo-drive. Every squat is performed like it is my last and with the utmost intensity. I also have to mention that I wear no socks with my weight lifting shoes to really grip the “ground” and short white shorts because breaking the internet with thirst traps is a side time gig for me.

Accessory Work and Current Limitations

My back feels amazing, my bicep is better every day but I can’t forget I’ve been competing in contact and strength sports for over 10 years. I’m not saying I’m old but papa bear is definitely acknowledging what 33 years of age feels like. I feel aches and pains like any seasoned athlete but it never salts my day as a deterrent, on the contrary, it motivates me to trouble shoot new ways to complete my workouts without pain or mental fatigue. I mention this to explain why you’ll see me doing body weight lunges instead weighted lunges, partial GHR’s instead of full range of motion and my constant emphasis on glut work. I am getting back into my work load slowly but surely but some aches and pains are coming with it. I have a small ache behind my knee that the GHR has pissed off so I am focusing on constant contraction without going all the way up, which triggers the hamstring pain. I GHR every other week and get some blood flow without causing further damage. My knees are also a little achey but that’s common for a 33 years old 245 pound man, so lunges I take lightly and do body weight lunge walks to get blood in my quads/gluts and get my Crossfit fitness up. My entire work load is below. Enjoy the white shorts, thirst traps, and the Miami Weather.

  • Front Squat 12×2 225#
  • GHR 6×5
  • BW lunge walk 5x100ft
  • Single leg RDL 4×8/8
  • Band Hammy Curls 3×30
  • Sled Monster Walks 4x100ft
  • Sled Drag 1x 1,500ft
  • Suite Case Carry 3×150/150ft
  • Stir the pot 1×75/75 turns
  • Dead Bugs 4×8/8

How I re-invented my training Gift of Injury

My post turkey leg workout protein Quattro Sea Salt Freakin’ Caramel


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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