Rag on the Mags #5 – Power: June/July 2010

Rag on the Mags #5 – Power: June/July 2010

‘Rag on the Mags’ is a feature in which we will to review the current crop of Muscle and Powerlifting publications as they come out each month (normally before they hit the newsstands).

The basic idea here is that we will present you with the CliffsNotes® of the pertinent info, allowing you to determine if it’s worthwhile for you to run a comb through your hair, head into civilization, and plunk down roughly six-bucks for the issue.

You can be assured that I have no agenda to give the thumbs up or down for a particular issue, I’ll just tell it how it is.

Power: June/July 2010

I was pretty excited to read the fifth issue of Andee and Mark Bell’s Power Magazine, the first one I have seen. While the issue seemed a bit light at 52-pages, I’m okay with that since the content is strong. Better to have fifty-two quality pages than 300 pages of fluff and filler.

The magazine definitely has a polished layout, with great photography and the type of writing sought out by modern powerlifters. With this being their first issue with broad newsstand distribution, I suspect this is entirely the reason that Powerlifter USA has finally stepped into the twenty-first century. Lambert had better continue his recent improvements, because sentimental loyalty will only carry him so far. Power is making a powerful statement (pardon the pun) and he may have to hope powerlifters will patronize TWO mags.

Russian beast Konstantins Konstantinovs graces the cover and we get a feature (pg 28) by Michele Cooger. The photos by Latvian photographer Alexander Trinitatov are professionally done while capturing of the essence of hardcore training. This was a great story but could use some editing. Some of the words seem poorly translated. Phrases like, “Genetically, I am tended to it” and, “strain my abdominal muscles” when tense may have been the better translation. Regardless, the story is great and I have no doubt that Konstantinovs now has hundreds of US fans, me among them.

The Russian Beast – Konstantins Konstantinovs

My favorite part of the article was Konstantinovs’ attitude about raw lifting:

Before a set of 426 kg (939 lb.), I made up my mind for this weight, and my belt was lying in front of me. A weak man inside me whispered, “Put it on, it will help you,” but another part of me said, “Lift it without a belt or lose and go home.” And I went out and lifted without a belt. Only those who can overcome their fear and their uncertainty can be a success.”

Needless to say, Konstantinovs is a lifter’s lifter; the kind of guy you want to go out and share a bottle of vodka with. His training is also unconventional. He trains deads twice in thirteen to sixteen days, varying the routine constantly. He does two to four types of deads each workout, at various heights, grips and forms (Romanian, off boxes, etc.); the volume is based on his energy levels. His second DL session is speed work incorporating bands. Assistance work includes hypers, reverse hypers, rows and chins. His squats workouts are five to eight sets of five in Olympic-style. The second session incorporates bands. He trains bench every other day (for about fifteen workouts a month). He uses a narrow grip for sets of five to ten and considers bench a “rest day” compared to the squat and DL sessions.

AtLarge Nutrition Sponsored Athlete, Donnie Thompson boasts a 2,905lb total

Zach Even-Esh tells us about “Strength through Adversity” (pg 16) an entertaining tale about a guy named curls that illustrates to us, in typical Underground Strength Coach style, the mental ingredient to functional strength. Behemoth Donnie Thompson shows us some sleight-of-band in “Trickery: Get out of Pain, and Train,” a great rehab article on using bands to repair minor training tweaks and dings. Thompson knows because you don’t get a 2905 total without racking up some damage. The concept is further examined by Hoss Cartwright and Jesse Burdick in “Don’t be Soft” (pg 22), a Q&A format discussion of how these two lifters handle injuries. All three of these men pass on some great info.

Matt Wenning talks about the basics of his training in “Three Methods to His Madness”

For a switch in focus, hot blonde powerlifter Abi Grove is featured in “This Chick Can Kick Your Ass, and You May like It” (pg 34). Nice way to realign the stereotype here. Dan Harrison writes “Strongman: Is It for You?” (pg 35). Harrison feels that extreme sport involving snow, waves, bikes or skateboard are for pussies. Try lifting a 400-pound granite ball to head height or sprinting with three-hundred pounds in each hand. He does a nice job giving an overview of what strongman competition and training is all about. Bench freak Rob Luyando tells us his techniques to increase lockout strength in the bench (pg 40). You may want to try some of his protocol.

Sure as hell has done wonders for him. Ex-Westside, current Lexen Xtreme member Matt Wenning talks about the basics of his training in “Three Methods to His Madness” (pg 43). Wenning is quickly becoming one of the most respected strength coaches out there as well as a top-ranked lifter.

Lastly, the issue wraps up with “Get to Know… Strongman Karl Gillingham” (pg 50). Karl is a likable and character-driven champion. From the impression I get from the Gillinghams, if everyone in Wisconsin is like them, then they probably don’t even need a prison system there.

Matt Wenning talks about the basics of his training in “Three Methods to His Madness”

To say, I was impressed with this issue of Power would be an understatement. I’m normally full of critique but my only request here if to keep doing more of the same. Hopefully, Power will grow from a 52-page bimonthly to a 116-plus page monthly mag but I hope they do not attempt that until they are certain there will be NO loss of content or quality.

I plan to order the four back issues immediately. Check this mag out. You’ll be glad you did!

Written by Steve Colescott

Discuss, comment or ask a question

If you have a comment, question or would like to discuss anything raised in this article, please do so in the following discussion thread on the Wannabebig Forums – Rag on the Mags #5 – Power: June/July 2010 discussion thread.

About Steve Colescott

Known as the Guerrilla Journalist, Steve Colescott has written over a hundred published articles for many major bodybuilding publications, including Peak Training Journal, the innovative and well-respected magazine in which he served as Publishing Editor.

He is currently a staff writer for WannaBeBig.com and has been a consultant to a number of top sports nutrition companies.

With his company, Colescott Metabolic Solutions, he has transformed the physiques of scores of average businesspeople, weekend athletes and housewives beyond their wildest expectations. Steve lives in Akron, Ohio and trains at the ultra-hardcore Body Builders Gym, an Ohio musclehead landmark.

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