Hi, I was shocked to see my e-mail to you end up in the WSM comment section. Thanks for replying. The SMA contest took place last week and to no surprise the Finn's did very well with Ahola and Juha winning. Hey is Juha the same guy that gave the bigger strongman a run for their money at the Helsinki GP? If so he must of lost (a little) weight to make the 210 and under class.
Although the Finn's are at the top of the class now I think the Americans just need a little more experience to challenge. We already have Phillipi and now Pfister shows that he can hang with the big boys. Veterans Harold Collins and Gary Mitchell are stable. And newcomers Ken Brown, Phil Makdesi, Ralph Williams, Whit Baskins and Bryan Neese seem to have a bright future. If for nothing else the U.S. has a bigger talent pool to pull from, but there needs to be a bigger prize money to entice the athletes. Hey. I'm looking forward to seeing your ranking list starting in '99, will it be a top 20, 50, 100? I e-mailed the U.K. website and Mr.Wright told me he wants to make a ranking list also, perhaps a list of  the U.K. competitors only. I think these lists will help the sport in promoting, sponsorship etc.
Patric K Marinko

(Juha has lost at least 10kg and we aren't sure about the ranking list yet. Hopefully it will have a good effect but it's mostly for fun)

02-08-98 My answer to Björn Morén, when he told me about B&K's summercamp 1998 in southern Sweden 

He had been in 

BM> Samuelsson's seminar about training. He trains like this: 
BM> 3-4 days/week, 1 hour each. 4 weeks gymtraining, then 
BM> one week WSM-specific training.  

Too little WSM-specific training, but then again, he lacks strength more than 
skill. Could be also too few gym hours when you think that endurance plays 
now a very big part in strongman competitions. Probably he's just trying to add  
muscle mass? 

Top competitors need much rest because of heavy workouts and big 
muscles, but usually they also eat better and sleep more than we do, 
so I think that at least when training for WSM, 4 gym workouts / week is needed. 
Those who recover exceptionally fast, or train to recover fast, or do more  
endurance training, from which one recovers faster, can take the fifth workout. 
Training splits has much to do with this. If Samuelsson trains many muscle 
groups at the same time, I can understand even three times / week. But I 
wouldn't say that's the way to do it. 

Marko Savolainen, who is a Finnish top bodybuilder, trains mostly two days  
in a row, then keeps one day off. And he wants only mass, not endurance.  
He's a bit against five days in a row -training for he ephasizes nerve recovery. 
But I think Jouko has proved that it also can work fine at least for WSM. I don't  
know his sports specific routines though (every other week strongman training). 

BM> No cardio until some weeks before competition.  
BM> Each exercise is performed like this: 

Sounds to me that also too little cardio if he doesn't do more strongman 
training, where he would get what's needed. Before Helsinki IFSA GP he 
would have needed at least  some cardio! 

BM> First he does a lot of single lifts, starting light and adding 
BM> weight all the time until he reaches his maximum one-rep. Then 
BM> he does the same thing with 3 rep sets. Then he does one pumpset 
BM> with moderate weight, about 30 reps. Then he changes exercise. 

Odd enough. But I have to still appreciate him for probably 
not using steroids. 

That idea of his is known to work but with far less sets. I think 
very few individuals have gone that far. 

BM> He is very much against drugs, and portraits himself as very 
BM> "clean" and off drugs. Maybe he has never done anabolic steroids, 
BM> I don't know. But not many of these guys are likely to have been 
BM> totally clean all their life. 

He might be clean really, who knows (or just gets more money 
from sponsors by saying that, huh am I negative today).  

By the way, have you followed the discussion around ando* products?  
In Finland most of these one-molecule-off-from-testosterone "supplements" 
have been classified as medicaments and already banned in sports, meaning at 
least that supplement companies aren't allowed to sell them any more. Even in  
USA, where the supplement market has been mostly uncontrolled, much has been  
happening lately to move these "natural supplements" to pharmacies. 

BM> Well, who cares, Magnus seems to be a very nice and calm guy. 
BM> But Svend told me: "You know Magnus is not very strong. You know 
BM> what makes him do so well in WSM? He is crazy!" 

Yep I have heard that before. And he really tries hard, have to give 
him that. You know what makes Jouko do so well in WSM? Maybe 
it's that he can already be analytic when he has done every event thousand  
times before in workouts - like crazy. 

BM> Magnus showed his strength by holding two chainsaws in each hand, 
BM> straight out from the body with straight arms (lateral raises) for 
BM> 60 secs. Then he lifted his car and walked for 20 meters. 
BM> Was fun to see.


Karlsens so KEWL - Chris 18.3.98 

Sami, This photo was sent to me from Svend & Nanna Karlsen. It was taken in 1992 during Svend's bodybuilding days and as you can see his abs looked fine back then when he was competing. Pretty cool photo huh? I want to emphasize here what extremely nice people the Karlsen's are because they didn't have to send me this photo or the absolutely awesome "Galaxy Fitness Center" t-shirt that I practically begged off them (I'm so bad) but they did and I so greatly appreciate it that words don't do it justice. And Svend is so very personable when you meet him that you can't keep from smiling. He's got a great bod too! I had to throw that in of course but I guess you don't see him the way I do:) You would like Nanna though I'm sure of it.


Jouko Still King! - Chris 18.3.98 

Sami, After reading your report on the Helsinki GP I just had to send you some of my thoughts since after all you did ask for them- lol. 

First of all I want to say that Jouko has, in my opinion, soundly defeated Magnus Ver Magnusson in this competition (74-61?). There is no room for excuses to be made. Sure Magnus has this shoulder thing and well so then we can also tell people about Jouko having had surgery on his forearm, it all evens out. I think there is definitely a new reigning king in the strength scene and its not Magnusson anymore. 

Is Magnus washed up? Not a chance. I think he's just playing it cool for now. This is actually better for him too since the spotlight is off him and probably also some pressure. It will be easier for him to keep his head straight and focused to concentrate on what he does best - WIN. 

Also you can expect that Svend Karlsen will be giving Ahola and Magnusson a few headaches. Svend was very impressive at WSM97 in all his events till he was injured. He's come in second place here so he's a force to be taken very seriously by all competitors. 

Still Jouko should take notice- Magnusson will be back with a vengeance. He's gonna want to silence the rumors that he's lost his edge and I predict he'll be back bigger, stronger, and hungrier than ever before in gearing up for WSM98 and his quest to win that fifth historic title. And he'll be channeling all his energies in one direction and that direction comes in the form of a dynamo named Jokke! 1998 is going to be a very good year in strength don't you think? 

PS: I wouldn't count Kiri out!


 Finland is a country of strong men. A year after year we have a top competitor to send to compete in the World's Strongest Man competition, and also some top powerlifters. What makes it possible in a small country like this? Is it the admiration of strength in our culture or maybe the inbreed genes? Could be, but also foreigners think it's probably the language: "Nyt tämä perkeleen tanko nousee saatanan nopeasti tai helvetti soikoon!". This sentence has spread surprisingly wide in the Internet. I'd rather not translate it but well it means something like 'Now this damn bar is going to rise quick like the Devil or there will be ringing in hell!" 

Swearing might not even be the best way to lift big weights (humiliation is?), but it does seem to help a lot :-) Sigmarsson used to swear in finnish - he clearly understood this source of power. Maybe this is just what Magnusson lacks? (I'm not too serious here, but somehow I had fun while listening to Sigmarsson.) 

Poor swedes - at least they don't get any help from their language. Besides, I can remember only two exceptions to the rule: Samuelsson (third in WSM '97) and Lars Noren, the official record holder in deadlift, powerlifting total of 1077kg. However, we all know that swedes are good singers! (And we finns sure aren't!) 

Sami - 19.3.98