Reflections on 2016 and Plans for 2017

Reflections on 2016:

As I look back at 2016 I’m quite proud of finishing top 3 of every game I competed in and top 10 (7th) in the world for highland games.  I managed to throw shot put, weight throw and super weight throw in one track meet where I came in dead last except for shot put where I came in next to last.  To be fair I had NEVER thrown either weight throws in competition and I learned them the week before the meet.  I hadn’t thrown shot put in competition since the Jr. Olympics back in 1989 (yeah, I’m old).

From a highland games perspective I was consistent all year long and managed a weight over bar PR of 16′!  I also had 2 HUGE weight for distance PRs of 42′ 4″ with the HWFD and  62′ 7″ for LWFD.  All three of these PRs  came VERY early in the season (the first 2 games) and I spent the rest of the year chasing them.   Braemar and Open Stone have been annoying me as I have worked them both VERY hard.  I’m clearing 40′ in practice on the OS but haven’t put that together in a game.  I still struggle immensely with finding “handles” on the various stones.  There are a few games that use my “Sweet 16” open stone that weighs 16.2lbs and is also my practice stone and I STILL haven’t PR‘ed even using my own stone!

Hammers.  Hammers have been the bane of my existence since starting highland games.  During my second season I set the PRs that still stand at the end of this my 4th season of highland games.  During the end of my 3rd season  my hammers took a dip for the worse and starting out this season went totally to shit.  After a lot of practice with my friend and 4 time world champion Mike Dickens my hammers have slowly started to come back.  I believe part of my issue is mobility.  To date I have cut 20lbs and now my mobility has increased to the point where I can really move with the weight.  Totally cold I took one throw at the FOG Games where I was judging and landed 4′ off of my PR from 2 years ago.  Go me!

What’s in store for 2017?

I will be taking a major step back in 2017 and working on becoming more explosive and generally fit.  I’m taking the entire year off from highland games with the exception of announcing at Kerr County Celtic Festival and running the Baton Rouge Highland Games.  Buzz word for 2017 will be “conditioning“.  I’m also going to tackle 2 – 3 track meets (discus/shot only) and 1 or 2 Obstacle Course Races.  That’s right, I will NOT be competing in highland games in 2017!  I also intend to compete as a lightweight master in 1 or 2 strongman competitions.


  • Cut down to < 200lbs (You read that right, my goal is to become a light weight)
  • Perfect my hammer form
  • break 40′ on shot put in a meet


For the 4th quarter of 2016 I have switched to a ketogenic diet.  The ketogenic diet approach is great for me because of the fact that I am a diet controlled Type II Diabetic.  Cutting down to < 200lbs is key to managing the arthritis in my hips, knees and feet from my time in the military.  I was also born with femoral anteversion (out turned feet) and had my feet broken and braced to correct the deformity.  This has caused foot problems for me across my entire life.  By cutting down under 200 I should be able to see a huge reduction in pain/inflammation across the board.  When I started the ketogenic approach I was 271 and now I’m roughly 250.  By June of 2017 I should be near or under 200lbs, at least that’s the goal.  Mainly I just eat meat and veggies.  I keep my protein mid-range, saturated fat high and fiber high.


My training is going to remain throw-centric in terms of the training goals.  Mainly I’ll do a dynamic warmup + main movement + accessory.  For the working sets I’m doing triples concentrating on clean form, negative resistance and explosive positive movement.

I’m doing a 4 day split:

  • Sunday: Pulls
  • Monday: Squats
  • Tuesday: HIIT
  • Wednesday: Presses
  • Thursday: HIIT
  • Friday: Double up on a weak movement  (ex. Squats)

For Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri I’ll use throwing drills and actual throws as accessories.  The HIIT is meant to help with leaning out and also with conditioning.  I will likely alternate HIIT and actual running to help prepare for OCR.  I will also add stone loading and carrying to the mix at some point to help prep for strongman.

Administrative Side of Sports:

Over the past 4 years I have become entrenched in the administrative side of sports and it has left little time for training and family.  In 2017 I’m pulling out of all administrative functions and concentrating on family and training.  Although I deeply enjoy organizing and running events I really need to make my family my priority.

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