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April 07, 2017

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Final Results of Q1

First things first: congratulations to all of our athletes for the tremendous effort they put forth in driving traffic to their pages! So without further adieu, the final and official results of the 1st quarter:

In the Crossfit division...

Our winners are Kawika Henderson with 474 points and Theo Dehoyos with 230 points!

-Kawika was born and raised in Honolulu, HI, and is the owner of Crossfit Golden TITAN: Athlete Engineering Center in Surprise, AZ. He is a formerNCAA Football player, and current IPL Powerlifting world champion, Elite CrossFit and Strongman competitor

-Theo is a CF Level 2 Trainer, and has trained athletes and Soldiers everywhere the Army has stationed him.  He is currently a current Army Soldier, and has been serving for 17 years now. 

In the Climbing division...

Our winner is Jonathon Davidson with a whopping 878 points!

-Jonathon currently lives in Claremont, New Hampshire. He spends his summers at Rumney rocks, Cathedral ledge, and hidden crags around New England. Climbing actively since 2014, he has overcome a major injury to his wrist, having to learn how to climb in a different way afterward. 

In the Highland Games division...

William Lee is our winner with 246 points!

-William is both a powerlifter and highland games athlete, who has been competing for over 10 years in both.  In 2016 alone he set 14 State records 6 National records and 8 World records. He holds10 state championships, 8 national championships, and 12 World championship titles. 

And In the Powerlifting division...

We have Kawika(once again) with 474 points, and William Lee with 246 points!

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 Now that Q2 is underway, we have decided to do things a bit different this time around.  Rather than just one athlete recieving a prize, we will be awarding first, second, and third place.  That means more prizes, more reasons to post, tag, and share your page, and more winners! We're excited, hope you all are as well!

April 05, 2017

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The story of Ian Lawler

When our athlete Ian Lawler reached out to us with his story, we felt compelled to share it.  He is such an amazing testament to the human body's ability to endure, in both body and spirit. Definitely worth a read!

 

His story begins as he started training MMA at the San Diego Fight club, under Charlie Kohler. While his time there was brief, he made impactful friendships with several men whom he still looks up to to this day. He then moved to Kentucky, finding a Jiu Jitsu gym to train at and eventually join a Carlson Gracie competition team.  His career was going exceptionally, with only one loss against an undefeated fighter(who later became a well known professional fighter). Ian's humility speaks through in his statment,

"I have no complaints losing that fight I was not the better fighter or the better man that night."

It takes a lot to admit in competition sports that you truly shouldn't have won a fight.
Soon after, he joined the US Navy, becoming a corpsman, moving on to fight with First Batillion Sixth Marine's regiment, training and fighting in the Marine fighting team during his service.  Throughout this time he had multiple injuries that required surgery, but none were major. 
On January 19th, 2012, however, his story took a dark turn when his bowels suddenly ruptured and he was sent into septic shock and subsequently, a coma.  While he has no recollection of this event, he learned that he woke up and became combative with the nursing staff, ultimately ripping out all of the tubes in his stomach.  Because of this, he was rushed into surgery to repair damages, but something went wrong and he woke up paralyzed from the waist down. In addition, all of his muscle tissue in his lower body was lost due to a lack of solid food for those several weeks. 
This would be a devestating blow to any athlete.
As the months went on, he required more surgeries, a reconstructive hip surgery on the right side, and a reconstructive shoulder surgery on the right side.  
"It truly seemed as though my nightmare was never going to end. I basically spent all of 2012 and 2013 in and out of the hospital, but I still managed to crawl my sorry ass onto the mats and teach all the Marine Corps fight team in Twentynine Palms California."

He continued to perservere despite all these setbacks, realizing at the end of 2013 that his pain had lessened and he could try working out.  He began slowly, working out when he could, but was able to build back to training every day, despite his chronic pain. The thought of making his dream of becoming a professional fighter a reality crept back into his mind. After speaking with his family, he decided to go for it. 

Soon enough, June of 2014, his professional debut, arrived. He prepared for what should be an easy fight, but his opponent faked him out and consequently knocked him out, the fight was declared TKO at 4 seconds of the first round.  Tears streamed down his face, him not willing to believe he had faught so hard to come back to his athletic career, only to have it end this way. 

He attempted to fight this same man again, but he did not show up. So instead, he faught one of his teammates, and proceeded to knock them out in 23 seconds(talk about a comeback!). With his confidence restored, he scheduled a fight two months later. His opponent did not show up, but he chose to fight another man at the match who had a record of one win to one loss like Ian did, but this man was a welterweight, while Ian was a lightweight. 

"Well I didn't get dressed up for nothing so I fought him and got a four minute and some change TKO win."

Since then he has developed Adversity Training Center, located in Kentucky. He currently stands at three to one in his own fighting.  Ian attributes his amazing recovery to his faith in God, since this experience living by the verse Psalm 55:22 "cast thy burden upon the lord and he shall sustain thee, for the lord never suffers the righteous to be moved."

And he just got back to a 300lb squat! His athlete page: https://www.primochalk.com/blogs/athletes/ian-lawler-somerset-ky#sthash.hcO4xRZJ.dpbs

 

 

April 02, 2017

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On Weightlifting and Body Image

Seeing as I will be talking to and sharing the stories of many other athletes, I found it necessary to share my own. Bare with me, because this is going to be a long one...

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This is me:

  

This, is also me:

 

In two of these images, I feel fat. I am constantly worried about my caloric intake, I want to take up less space. In the other two, I feel confident. I don't care if I gain a couple pounds or eat an unplanned donut, "it'll go to my quads" I always say.

Do I need to clarify which feelings went with which photos? I imagine not.

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During my final year of high school, I went through a profound mental change.  As I creeped toward adulthood, I felt increasingly insecure in my 'baby face,' I felt more like a child than a young woman.  I wanted the curves, I wanted the sex appeal, and I didn't feel like I had any of it.  This desire turned into an infatuation with the concept of an ideal waist to hip ratio that was spoken of in articles about Marilyn Monroe(whom I deemed the 'perfect' woman, the epitome of sex appeal). But instead of trying to build my glutes and legs to gain this ratio, I decided the solution was to lose weight.  

This, coupled with my perfectionist mentality, spiraled all the way out of control.  I ultimately found myself in a state where I would count and measure the calories of carrots, squash, even gum.  My weight dropped far below healthy for my height, and my family ultimately realized the problem and enrolled me in an outpatient program for Anorexia Nervosa. 

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Fast forward a year of having to sit down and eat meals prepared by my family that were twice as many calories as I would eat in a day, and I was restored to a "healthy" weight.  I was sent off to college with my family assuming it'd be fine, but I still struggled. My infatuation shifted from weight loss to gaining purely muscle mass(which is neither possible nor healthy to do), and my obsessive tendancies continued.  I put myself through HIIT, high rep bodybuilding, and made sure to always be moving in some way between sets.  Yet as I seemed to be reaching my goal, I still felt fat and like a failure if I went over my macro allotment for the day, or didn't reach them to a T. I would scroll Instagram and wonder why I didn't look like the 'fit girls' presented to me. 

 

Thankfully, in my Junior year I had an encounter that absolutely changed my life.  As I left the gym late in the evening, I had a trainer call me over.

"What are you doing with those shoes?" He asked(I was wearing Adidas Powerlifts).

"Oh I just have them for squats," I replied.

"Have you ever done Olympic Lifting?"

"No," I said, "but I always thought it looked fun."

"Come to the gym at 8AM this Saturday." He said.

So I did.  I walked into a room full of powerful women and men warming up with barbells, and in that moment I realized that this was where I belonged, this was home.

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Of course, it was not an overnight transformation. I still struggled, I still felt fat, but each time I felt that way I knew I had my teammates and coach to help me through it.  The weightlifting community helped normalize eating for me. It forced me out of my comfort zone each day that we would go out to eat after practice, or when someone brought donuts to training.  There was not a single mention of calories, and if there was it was spun positively to how that food will fuel the lifting we just did.

My focus shifted away from my looks to my performance. I felt free for the first time in 4 years, and as I reflect on the experience I realize so much of it was due to my coach's approach to my weight gain.  He never gave me a strict diet to follow, no 'good' or 'bad' foods, he just told me to eat; and as my weight increased so did my confidence. 

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There are a couple factors that really made this sport perfect for helping me grow, these being the focus on the individual and the inevitability of failed lifts. At a meet, I am never looking at the other lifters. I am focusing on myself and the barbell, on beating my own PRs. I also had to develop patience with myself, and an acceptance of imperfection.  Due to the technical nature of this sport you have to be okay with failing lifts you may have made 100 times before, because so many factors go into the movements.  These two factors altered the way I treated my body, as well.  I accepted that I didn't look like a fitness model, because I didn't need to. I finally felt valid and amazing in my own right, thanks to Weightlifting.  In this sport I have found peace with my body and true self-love that I never experienced before.  I know that as my training continues these feelings will only grow stronger, and I can't wait to see how much more I can grow. 

Pictured: my coach and I after I won best female lifter at a local meet. 

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If anyone reading this has or is currently struggling with body image or an eating disorder and would like somebody to talk to, my inbox is always open: keira@primoathletic.com.

March 30, 2017

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Eat, lift, eat, shower, eat, sleep, repeat. The life of William Lee

Our athlete William Lee, the winner in both powerlifting and Highland games divisions, sat down with us for a quick interview. Our biggest take away? To get as strong as him, you have to eat...a LOT! And you have to be dedicated as hell.

 

What does being a Primo ambassador mean to you?

For me it's about getting behind a product you truly believe in. I personally shy away from the ambassador style products as it's not the kind of person I am. If I like the product I use it, I won't just put my name with anything. Primo Chalk is some of the best out there so I use it. Also doesn't hurt that it's a Texas company and that means a lot to me as well.


How long have you been powerlifting?

I started lifting in high school but didn't start competing till 2003 while at Texas State University.


What got you into the sport?

Sports got me in to lifting to be bigger, stronger, and faster. Actual powerlifting was when I had a college football injury that gave me some time to think. A man by the name of Ed Cosner got me into the games. It was a good break from the powerlifting world.


Walk me through a day in the life of William.

A day in the life.. well no two days are the same really. I wake up, eat, go to work, eat, do some more work, eat, get ready for the gym, eat, lift, eat, shower, eat, sleep, repeat.

Most of my time is eating, training, or getting ready to do one of those two.

Can you recall the moment you set your first world record? How did it feel? What lift was it in?

 

I remember most of my American or World records. The first World record was a bench record and was a shock. It was a number I had not hit in training and in all honesty did not think it was going to happen, but when it did I was excited, it let me know my training was where it needed to be.


What is your go to post meet celebratory meal, if you have one?

Pre meet is always steak.

Post is whatever is around, typically burgers.

What is your #1 tip for someone wanting to start out in the sport? Any big do’s or don’ts?

#1 tip is do it for you. Have your own goals and don't worry about what others are doing, if you beat them great. As long as you are improving or reaching your goals then you are doing good.
Ask for help when you need it but seek help from someone who has actually accomplished something. There are a lot of people willing to help but even more who will give bad advice.
Have fun even if you fail, failing is part of the game so learn and move on.

What are your other passions besides powerlifting?

I have a thing for all real strength sports but am also really into shooting rifles and am on a competitive long range shooting team.
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Thanks for chatting with us William! We look forward to seeing many more records under your belt in the future.
March 29, 2017

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One sip of the Crossfit Kool-Aid and Theo Dehoyos was hooked!

We got the chance to chat with our athlete Theo about his life in and out of the gym, it was great to learn more about his background, training, and where he got the drive to embrace the suck of Crossfit!

 

A post shared by Theo De Hoyos (@cftheo9) on

 

What does being a Primo ambassador mean to you?

Being a Primo Ambassador means representing a brand that cares about the people that use their product. It means being proud to support a hardworking company like Primo Chalk because I'm a hardworking person myself. (Additionally I'm a native Texan, Dallas, so I'm happy to represent a Texas company)


How long have you been Crossfitting?

I started doing functional fitness training first in 2010 and then found CrossFit in 2011, so about 5 years now.


What got you into the sport?

After a deployment to Afghanistan a fellow Soldier was already doing CrossFit and functional fitness workouts and he invited me to join him. After some initial doubt I eventually drank the Kool-Aid and got hooked.


Walk me through a day in the life of Theo.

I wake up early and head to my local CrossFit gym, CrossFit Homestead, and either do the class WOD or my own training. I am a CrossFit Level 2 trainer and USAW Lv1 coach. I program for myself and for others through my own training program called Devast8 Training which can be found on the app Wodfollow. After training I head to work at Homestead Air Base where I am an Operations Sergeant for Special Operations Command South. And then I look forward to seeing my family after work.

In your bio you mention having been in the Army for 17 years, what inspired you to join?

I was a Paramedic before I enlisted and wanted a change in my career. I thought that there was no better way to serve our nation and it's people than to serve in our Armed Forces, and I've always wanted to serve. It was a privilege to get the opportunity to enlist in the Army.

What is the most interesting place you have been stationed? Why did you like it so much?

My first duty station I was stationed in South Korea for two years in the 2nd Infantry Division close to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone). I learned very quickly the importance of discipline due to the nature of the mission (North Korea was only a stone's throw away) and some great leadership. Winters were harsh and the mountainous landscape of Korea made the tour of duty challenging and memorable (think embrace the suck!). That tour helped shape the kind of Soldier and leader I am today and I'm very proud to have been there. Additionally, South Korea is full of beautiful mountains and rugged terrain.


What are your other passions besides Crossfit?

Family first, all things Army, and training my fellow Soldiers in functional fitness.

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Thank you for taking the time for this interview Theo! So happy to have you on the team :) 

 

March 27, 2017

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We talk life, climbing, and injury with Jonathon Davidson

Last week we got the chance to interview our Athlete Ambassador Jonathon Davidson; he has been our longstanding leader in the climbing division of this quarters competition, we were dying to learn more about his climbing journey and ESPECIALLY his recovery from a major wrist injury.  

What does being a Primo ambassador mean to you?


To me it means I have a company who believes in my goals for climbing all over the world, while supplying me with the best chalk offered today.
It means I have a whole company showing the world how there product has helped me reach the top of climbs and allowed me to climb hard day to day without down time due to ripped,dry, flaky hands.
I am the face of this company, and I will back them, just like they have me, and my dreams of being a professional climber.


How long have you been climbing?

Around 4 years. I started free climbing sometime in the summer of 2014


What got you into the sport?

I would see these rock faces on my hikes, and I got hired to climb trees for trimming in the North East. I was addicted, and rock walls were bigger than trees. 

Walk me through a day in the life of Jonathon.

I wake up with a protein shake, rice cake, and some finger boards on my way to the bathroom. Lol.
-I edit and work on videos and public/ social media while I drink my coffee.
I'm starting a 2 month training period so at 11am I'm heading to the climbing gym until 5pm.
I come home eat some dinner and enjoy my evenings with my girlfreind.
I live a normal life. I might be a little crazy and obsessed with climbing these beautiful walls.
I have family days, climbing days more than none, the only difference is I'm devoted to climbing instead of video games and other hobbies the average person does in there free time. Climbing is my life.


In your bio you mention a major fall that impacted your climbing progression, how did you cope with the recovery period, and how did you begin to train differently with your injury in mind?

Gnarly bruising from the fall!

My recovery was rough. It took months to regain movement in my fingers, and wrist. I shattered my wrist and broke my ulna and distal radius. I had emergency surgery ending with a titanium plate and 9 screws, 5 which hold my wrist together. I was in recovery for 18 months. I was on pain medication 7 1/2 months. All I could do was sit and walk around. I couldn't work, or climb, hiking was a big risk because of the chance of tripping and landing on my injury causing more damage. After 16 months a fusion was recommended due to my age and the pain level, I was 25 with arthritis, and a plate that slides against my tendons, cause discomfort. I refused and began rebuilding strength. 
I use a lot of different exercise tools and hand strengthen devices to help me maintain the level I new to climb. I pushed my limits and learned what I could still do after recovery.
I started climbing 5.5 to 5.8 working the strength back into my wrist while not putting to much strain and pain.
The most useful exercise was just buying a bag of climbing holds, and making homemade hangboards. I got a lot of crimp type holds and did pull ups on them. I can now do sets of pull ups on a vertical hang, and smaller sets on a underhand. You just have to work into it at your pace. I was told I was done climbing,  and here I am now climbing 5.10s and minor 5.11s. I have to wrap my wrist in climbing tape to keep swelling down but it's worth it. 

What essentials do you pack when going on a big climbing trip?


I carry:

     -a custom built med kit, containing items for trauma care, broken bones, rash's, friction burn, gashes or severe cuts,etc. I carry enough to control bleeding and make myself comfortable if a accident were to occur until I can get out to a hospital or rescue.
    -materials to stitch,bandage, and make a splint, along with standard pain medication. 
     -climbing gear for two. I do this so if a piece fails or I notice later on is worn past a safe margin, I have a second piece. I also do this in case someone else gets in a bad situation and there gear is compromised, I can be of assistance.
     -three belay devices, a figure 8, atc, and grigri 2.
     -a huge selection of slings as most climbers.  I also have two 70 meter ropes. One is 9.9mm and one is 10.2mm.
     -a pair of evolv climbing shoes.
     -a petzl rope bag, including my normal rack of quick draws, cams, nutz,biners,etc.
     -a bivy along with a hammock for emergencies and shelter if a injury occurs in the cold seasons.
Other than the things most carry I eat a lot of clif bars and red bull on my trips! I carry a camp stove for backpacking for warm food and coffee.
I carry two gopros, a hero and a session.

My setup is a little heavy but I love how I always have anything I need or want!


What are your other passions besides climbing?

I love hiking, I love that beauty you can't get anywhere else. I always pick the hardest routes up a mpunrain, and I never regret pushing myself to the top.
I love boating and swimming, you can get out on the right river and get that solitude you get in the mountains.
Deep down I'm a big computer need. I can do crazy things, I use to be into heavy computer gaming, owning computers over 2k. My climbing passion took over though.
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A huge thanks to Jonathon for taking the time for this interview, we look forward to getting to know all of our athletes in years to come!
January 05, 2017

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Primo Athlete Sponsorship Competition Update

Primo is starting a new Athlete Ambassador program called #primoathlete.

You can check out all the new Ambassador's we've already onboard at the #primoathlete page.

As part of this program, we'll be giving away cash prizes each quarter, to the top-ranked athlete in each sport.

Top Ambassador Pages

To level the playing field, our cash prize at the end of each quarter will be awarded based on which Ambassador gets the most unique views on their Athlete page.

Here's a snapshot of the top-performing pages since January 1st, 2017.

Most popular athlete pages 1-1-17 to 1-5-17

Rankings for Q1 2017.

Last updated January 5, 2017 @ 2:30pm

Compete to Win

To get more views of your athlete page, be sure to share it with your friends on social media, and mention Primo to your friends and fans.

To get an athlete page of your own, apply here. We're currently looking for more women athletes to join! Do you know any?

We'll be back to update this graph about once a week with current rankings. keep an eye out!

November 17, 2016

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Steve Gaspar on Route Setting and Climbing

I started traditional mountaineering when I was 11 years old, and it wasn't until I went to college in Boston that I began pushing my limits in the sport. I spent a lot of time in Vermont and New Hampshire in the White Mountains and the Presidential Range.

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September 11, 2016

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Scot Mendelson loves Primo

Name: 
Scot Mendelson
Usage: 
Power Lifting

Scot Mendelson is a world record holding Strong man. He is what I consider obscenely strong. In the world of powerlifting, grip is crucial. Scot emailed me today after using PrimoChalk in a workout. His exact words were...

"That is the most amazing chalk I've ever felt!!!"

Check out this video of him bench pressing more than 1000lbs!

Image: 
May 07, 2014

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2014 CSCCa Conference

The 2014 Collegiate Strength and Conditional Coaches association Conference is in full swing and Primo Chalk is excited to be here. There are over 900 coaches from schools and gyms across the country that descended upon Salt Lake City for the event. The 3 day gathering is chock-full of speakers, demonstrations, give-aways and networking events. 

If you notice that your favorite school's team is looking a little stronger next year, don't be surprised if Primo Chalk is involved!