The Next Step

The Next Step

-Matthew Cavalier  

This past weekend the Atlas Strength Shop and a few of its members, including myself,  found themselves at the Battle on the Bayou right outside of New Orleans. It was a great competition with a lot to take notice of. Competition was tight down to the last event. I was able to accomplish all of the goals I had set for myself going into the competition. I was able to deadlift 500 pounds in a competition, didn’t zero any events and basically PRed every event that day. As usual, my best event was the overhead axle clean and press. I was able to complete seven reps; I’m pretty proud of that. Deadlifting 500 pounds was a pretty substantial roadblock that is now gone. Now maybe I can actually put up some respectable numbers in competition. I can definitely say that I am improving as a competitor and maybe even closing the gap between myself and some of the more experienced athletes. I have a long way to go before I can think about making the podium, but I made a ton of progress over the last year. For now, the competitive season for me is over. Next, I will be helping with the third annual Rougarou Classic on November 19th. I made some big strides over the last year, and I’m looking forward to building on that. Since I started taking competitions more seriously, my training has improved tremendously. I’m a smarter and stronger athlete now than I ever was before, and I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do in the future.


With the competitive season over for now, my goal is to get back to building my base. It’s time to get away from some of the strongman specific movements and get familiar with the barbell again. The plan is to push the primary four barbell exercises, the deadlift, back squat, bench press and overhead press. I spent this past week figuring out what my training percentages will look like going forward. Now that that is taken care of, I can start training again. The goal is to really push the volume. Start off each session with the barbell exercise then follow it up with high intensity and high effort volume training with accessories based around the primary exercise. Instead of sets of three and five reps, I’m going to be pushing into the teens to really force muscular fatigue. With this, I will be able to really build and expand on the base that I have right now in preparation for the next competitive season. I spent a lot of time over the last several months training in the low rep ranges with specific strongman exercises for the sake of competition. Now, I want to open up the program and have a lot of variety from session to session. Instead of focusing on just five or six exercises throughout a week of training, I’m going to be doing a lot of different exercises to fill in the gap and become more well rounded. I’m going to be attacking my training like this for the next few months, and hopefully the reward will be worth the work.

This week’s article is going to be pretty short. I haven’t had the mental bandwidth to really do this blog justice lately, but I’m hoping to change that very soon. I have some good ideas for the History of Strength series, and I will have more content to help you young lifters and competitors out there. If you want to try your hand at strongman, come check out Strongman Saturday at the Atlas Strength Shop every Saturday at 10:00 a.m. unless specified otherwise.


If you are within driving distance of Baton Rouge and need a place to train for your next strongman competition, powerlifting meet or weightlifting meet, check out the Atlas Strength shop for all of your training needs. Send an email to for your next visit. You can also check out our apparel line and programming options on our website. Be sure to like our Facebook page, here, and follow us on Instagram, here. Do you need a high quality energy supplement that won’t leave you with that crashing feeling? Check out veteran owned and use promo code ATLASSTRENGTH at checkout to get 20% off of your order. If you’re like me, and you like to bite down while lifting, you need to protect your teeth. Check out Impact Mouthguards and their custom molded mouth guards. Use promo code ATLASSTRENGTHSHOP at checkout to get 10% off of your order.  But wait? What if you have a glorious Beard?  Check out and use Promo Code “ATLASSTRENGTH” to save 15% on all o your beard care!!

On November 19, 2022, the Atlas Strength Shop will be hosting its third annual strongman competition, the Rougarou Classic. If you  are interested in competing, check out the event page on