Rapper Action Bronson Trains With 2019 World’s Strongest Man Martins Licis

Licis helped Bronson "activate his exoskeleton."

2019 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) Champion Martins Licis is having a pretty action-packed year. He’s already pulled the famous monster truck “Grave Digger” and saved people 15 percent or more on car insurance in a Geico commercial — wherein he also pulled a garbage truck. Although he won’t be competing at the 2021 WSM contest — his second year in a row absent from that event since winning it — he is still training in the gym and got a pretty awesome training partner.

Rapper and chef Action Bronson (Ariyan Arslani) is training strongman as part of his weight loss journey. Thus far, he’s lost over 127 pounds. He’s also a big fan of the sport of strongman. Mr. Baklava has rapped about four- and five-time World’s Strongest Man winners, Žydrūnas Savickas and Mariusz Pudzianowski. In the music video for his song “Latin Grammys,” Bronson’s face is deep-faked onto the body of four-time WSM winner Magnus Ver Magnusson (1991, 1994-1996) during the 1995 WSM contest in Nassau, Bahamas. 

So, who better for Bronson to continue his fitness journey with than the strongman who knows how to zombie squat, bent press, and protest injustice? Check out Licis and Bronson train strongman together in the video below from Licis’s YouTube channel:

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Licis walked Bronson through a warm-up that focused on opening up the hips and shoulders using dumbells and resistance bands, primed the glutes with some glute bridges, and taught him a lifting cue akin to “spread the floor.”

…activate, get mobile, get stable, hit your workout.

After spending time on the upper body ergometer (arm bike) to warm up the delts, biceps, triceps, and get their heart rates up a bit, it was time to tackle the log lift.

Log Lifts

Once Bronson tried a few reps on the log with guidance on form from the WSM champ, he let Licis add some weight and step in. Aside from the flexible shorts, the first thing Bronson noticed about Licis during the log lifts was a bit more aesthetic:

He’s got mad striations in his f*ckin’ muscles.

Bronson lifted 88 kilograms (188 pounds) before feeling some discomfort in his left shoulder and dropping back down to a more manageable 65 kilograms (144 pounds). Licis spent his time reminding Bronson to maintain a tight upper back on the clean and press part of the log lift to generate more power and stability at the lockout. 


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A post shared by Martins Licis (@martinslicis)

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Back Squat

Before jumping right into sets of the back squat, it was clear Licis had a game plan for the workout. He made sure Bronson knew that the focus of these squats was “for mobility more than strength.” Here was their first set:

Five reps:

Bronson nodded in agreement with Licis. Once the WSM champ turned around in the squat rack, Bronson turned to the rest of the team and asked, “what does that mean?” He was quickly educated that “a concentric contraction is one in which the tension on a muscle increases as it shortens.” In terms of the squat, the eccentric is on the way down, and the concentric is standing back up.

As was the case with the log lifts, Licis shared form tips on the squat by pushing his hips back first and then following his knees. Bronson didn’t seem to fully interpret what Licis was saying:

“I’m tryin’ to activate my f*ckin’ exoskeleton,” says Bronson.

“I have no idea what that means, man,” replies Licis, “but it’s provocative.”

Even after the squat session, the wisdom of Licis kept flowing, “first, you gotta control the motion. When it’s perfected, then you can start exploding.”

Again Bronson — who worked up to 125 kilograms (275 pounds) — totally got it, “I need to focus on mobility in my squat. All my sexual libido comes from the squat.”


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Bronson and Licis finished the training session with some farmer’s carries — Bronson walked with between 230-240 pounds in each hand. The rapper attributed his improvements in strongman to the warm-up and mobility exercises. Licis gave a nod to Squat University, where Bronson could learn even more.

Bronson and Licis are both big personalities with great senses of humor. If it was this fun watching them train together, let’s hope Licis is invited for an episode of F*ck That’s Delicious.

Featured image: @martinslicis on Instagram