Friday, June 29, 2012

The Community

Nick at a comp, with Jon in black on the left

Being a part of the LBEB community means many things to many people. For some, it is a celebration of strong, powerful men and women. For some, it is a source of humor and escape from a mundane job, while for some it is the place for fellow elites to butt heads over the minutiae of form or technique.
Regardless of the differences in our sports, we all come to Lift Big Eat Big because it is a place where like-minded individuals are readily accepted into the ranks of a community that lives on the fringes of normal society.

Some individuals take this a step further, and make LBEB a central part of their lives.  I would like to share a story I received this week from Nicole, regarding the loss of one of the most devoted members of our community:

My husband, Nick Sheaffer, and his big brother, Jon, are more than just brothers.  They are best friends, co-workers, training partners.  They are one others “go-to”person. They work 10-12 hours a day with one another. Following work, they train in our little garage gym together. Then in the evening, they are on the phone discussing the day with each other. They are virtually inseparable.  They work in mobile home installation and demolition, but as a side job, Nick builds strength equipment. He started a little side gig called Sheaffer Strength. His focus is on Strongman equipment like Yokes, Farmers, Atlas Stones, Barbells, even things like deadlift jacks and car deadlifts.  Jon was his number one fan.

When they found Lift Big Eat Big on Facebook, they found their new mantra.  Everything became Lift Big Eat Big.  Their friends were sucked into the LBEB world as well. For Nick’s birthday at the end of May, I bought him 2 LBEB shirts and 2wristbands.  He had been ogling them for a while.  I figured 2 would be best because he’d wear them ragged.  I knew he’d be excited.  And excited hews.  He couldn’t wait to show them off to his brother. Jon, who couldn’t resist, decided to swipe one of the wristbands for himself.  He just slipped it on his wrist while at our house one day, and off he went with it.  Half-serious half-joking Nick kept saying he needed to get it back from Jon. Half-serious half-joking Jon would say he would give it back.  He really liked that wristband!
Two weeks later on Friday June 15th, Jon Sheaffer was tragically killed during a freak accident on their job site. He was only 38.  The home they were working on collapsed trapping Jon, and 2 of Nick’s best friends/co-workers (who are also LBEB followers). Trey Tatro was able to escape on his own.  Nick managed to use a backhoe to ram the house just enough for Aaron Golombeck to also get out, and for them to pull Jon out from underneath.  Paramedics arrived quickly, Jon and Trey were air lifted to the hospital and Aaron was sent by ambulance.  Jon died on the way there. 

Jon left behind a wife, Christy, and a now 3 week old baby girl, Gabriella. 
Jon and Nick were an amazing duo.  My husband, Nick, stands at 6 foot 4 about250 pounds, and his brother at 6 foot and about 280.  They were a very imposing pair of men.  However, they were also 2 of the kindest, warmest, funniest guys ever.  Any nice word ever said could be applied to those two.  Jon was a practical jokester as well, leaving a wake of laughter and memories everywhere he went.

Jon’s funeral was Saturday June 23rd in Pompano Beach, Florida.  It was the largest funeral service ever hosted by the funeral home.  The amount of love and kindness that Jon and Nick ever gave out, came back to them tri-fold that day.  You could see by the mass amount of people there what wonderful men Jon and Nick are. 

Nick on the truck, Jon on the right

Nick played a large part in the preparations of his brother’s funeral.  It was important to him that all the things Jon loved were present. Rather than huge over-priced flowers decorating the service, Nick brought in Jon’s weight equipment, right down to his deadlight suit, lifting shoes, and straps. There was even a bottle of his favorite Muscle Milk there.

Even more importantly, Nick decided to have Jon wear the matching LBEB wristband he loved so much, as well as the spare LBEB shirt he received for his birthday.  Now they each have one and every time Nick wears that shirt and that wristband (which he has yet to take off) he will feel close to the brother he loved so much. 

So In our house, Lift Big Eat Big will eternally be a part of our life.  I thought you would like to know, and I want to thank you for being another piece of the bond that held Nick and Jon so close together. 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Sheaffer family in their time of mourning, while we mourn the loss of our members.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Strong Spinal Erectors

Article written by Jay Stadtfeld for
As a site dedicated to making you big and strong, it should be obvious we here at Lift Big Eat Big like to move heavy objects – either for time, distance, or maybe just to pick it up and simply put it right back down. Training for your respective sport requires a lot of due diligence in the gym, the kitchen, and everywhere else you go. It should be obvious that in order to move heavy weight, you have to have strength in every part of your body. One of these parts happens to often be called your “core” by commercial gym goers. In an effort to put the kibosh on that term, I'm going to focus on a particular part of that region today: your erector spinae.  More commonly known as your “spinal erectors”.

The spinal erectors are made up of a group of muscles stemming from multiple insertion points in the body, and are mostly used for extension of the spine when standing or bending (think deadlift or squat). Without these muscles being developed, it's common to see someone arch like Quasimodo when pulling or squatting a substantial weight, which greatly increases the risk of injury.

The issue of not extending the spine properly during an exercise is prevalent in many new clients I've taken on over the years. This could be due to lack of exercise, working a 9-5 desk job, and not staying up on doing mobility. Perhaps even a clever combination of all three. The easiest way that I've seen to amend this issue is by doing exercises that increase work in their posterior chains, such as Romanian deadlifts, back extensions, and of course overhead pressing, squatting, and deadlifting.

All the movements above are actions of the spinal erectors.

As seen above, the musculature supporting the spine has a wide array of functions in terms of movement for the body. Figure 5 is largely what we aim to prevent in trainees movements through a combination of posterior chain movements. However, it can also be seen in many lifters whose bar path “gets away” from them, and in turn flexion of the lumbar region occurs. This position is particularly injurious to the trainee, and should be corrected almost immediately through cues, or perhaps just to simply drop the bar because at this point the lift is almost unsalvageable.

In closing, be certain to train the posterior chain and get it strong. RDL's, good mornings, glute ham raises, back extensions, and stay up on mobility After all, the spine is what permits you to do what you do best – pick up heavy shit and put it back down.

"ErectorSpinae." Erector Spinae. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 June 2012.             <>.