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BarBend Newsletter

It’s Friday! We made it.

There are some new names and some household names returning to the competition floor this year — and that’s true for CrossFit, weightlifting, powerlifting, AND strongman.

But what if you never plan to take the stage as an elite athlete? For most people, fitness looks a bit different right now. Will it always look this way?

Here’s what you should know about strong people today, both at home and out in the world.



Big Ramy
Image: Elssbiay's Instagram

IFBB Pro League bodybuilder Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay is one of the biggest competitors in his sport, but has yet to qualify for the 2020 Mr. Olympia contest

Well, brace yourself.

He’s formally announced his return to the stage. “I need to confirm that to all my fans that I will be back onstage in October 11th, and I have been working hard for that. And I need to thank all of my fans for supporting and believing in me, and thanks for that.”

It’s gonna’ be one heck of a line up. 

If Big Ramy makes it to the Mr. Olympia contest, he would add his name to a lineup that is already being considered one of the deepest groups in the contest’s 55 year history. 




Samuel Kwant Family
Image: Sam Kwant

For CrossFit athlete Sam Kwant, fitness is a family affair. Kwant, who initially found CrossFit thanks to his mom, trains at his parent’s home gym. Every day, one of his six siblings will join him in his training in Mom and Dad’s family home gym. 

Kwant’s wife and son join him in the afternoon, when Kwant returns for round two of training. 

For Kwant, who has competed as an Individual since 18, this is the year he sees himself on that podium.

“No reason why I shouldn’t be on it.”




Apple Fitness Plus
Image: Apple Fitness+

With the launch of Apple’s new Fitness+ program, the potential prevalence of Peloton in a post-COVID world, and the rise of cool home fitness gadgets like Mirror and Tonal, has anyone asked: what are the studio fitness brands providing that we can’t get at home?

 Oh, that’s right, we did. 

Ben Garves, a multimedia content creator, elite fitness analyst, entrepreneur, and activist, spent some time on an OpEd asking questions as hard as your dream abs.

Will you ever need another gym in your life? Or will your at-home COVID fitness routine become enough?




please turn your images on

Image: Luis Mosquera Instagram

  • Till the wheels fall off…is what Larry Wheels probably told his side spotters when he incline pressed two 275 pound dumbbells. (WHAT?!)
  • Not your average Joe. Powerlifter Joe Sullivan set a new world record with his 822.3 pound squat in the 220 pound Raw class at the “The Showdown” powerlifting meet. 
  • Like prison, but not. Coss Marte, the founder of CONBODY, a prison fitness-style boot camp you can do in person or at home, shared how he used his experiences in prison, where he turned to fitness. (Get the tissues, man. We love this stuff!)
  • Four-time World’s Strongest Man Brian Shaw has his own home workout routine. He took a minute to flex that home gym flex.
  • Charlie Yeng pulls a 540 pound deadlift for six, for a PR that leaves him “unsatisfied.” Ummm, we’ll take it if you don’t want it. 
  • Luis Mosquera hang snatches 289 pounds from LITERAL wooden blocks.