I first met Jay a number of years ago now in a couple of strongman competitions in the lower ranks .. I do remember his incredibly large chest and upper body strength but even though he was a big massive guy he was incredibly well mannered and had tons of respect for his fellow competitors ... You could tell that he was a huge fan of Strongman as well as just a competitor ..
I`m really happy to welcome the big guy over as our "historian" for the blog and look out for his "Strength Icons" section coming real soon ..
I asked Jay first and foremost to give us his story and tell us what his path to strength as been like, So we can all better know the man behind the posts .
So without further delay i give you the Jay Pateman Story in his own words .. Much Love ......Mark Clegg
Jay nailing the famous "Millenium Dumbell" (105kg) in St Ives Strongest Man
Hi Mark ,
Here is the blog you asked me to do for VikingR .............i hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the cathartic journey into my past.
An incredible compilation the big guys RAW Strength
MY STRENGTH JOURNEY
I would like to first of all welcome you readers to the VikingR blog and introduce myself to those of you that dont know me, and explain my journey and my history in the world of 'lifting'.
I was born in 1979,raised on a steady diet of Saturday afternoon wrestling ,incredible Hulk and the ATeam .Superset that with the emergence of the WWF and you had, already ingrained on my DNA ,a path straight to the world of testosterone sweat and iron .
My path started like most young lifters did,with a 'York 6600 bench' a 'chest expander' a 'Bullworker' and 32.5kg of cold hard steel....well,plastic coated concrete anyway!
Flex magazines very own 'Brutal' Bertil Fox gave me the idea of a program for 'giant arms' and 'monster chest' and my Dads freezing garage in Leicester was my sanctuary that I spent many years training away religiously, untill Mum pulled me back into reality with the words..... " 5mins till your dinner !!" .
At 14 years old I met my hero Geoff Capes at a Strongman show in Spalding, he was short tempered and rude but signed my Weider belt so i was over the moon........ on that day I decided that I wanna be huge and powerfull like Capes......... but not quite so rude !
The only way to make an improvement soon, was to join the local council gym and train with the 'big guys' but I knew my miserly £2 per week pocket money wasnt going to do it , I needed a summer job fast. Luckily for me I got a job cutting 90 year old Mrs Windram's ,three - cat littered lawns, whilst she fed me stale cheese cobs and warm home made lemonade. It only took me about four hours and she gave me a staggering £5 per week ! This coupled with another job watching that the cars didnt get vandalised on the church car park during service ,bulked my overall weekly income to £12 .............I could finally train at the gym!!
My lifting consisted daily of machine bench press, cable curls, pullups and dips and I sometimes spent up to four hours a day repeating those exercises with the soul aim of having big muscles and impressing the pretty girls at school,little did i know they were more intrested in skinny long haired emo guys !
On the winter days that lawns didn't need cutting and I didn't have money (or couldn't sneak past the reception desk ) I devised a simple plan of training only pushups and dips in my bedroom. I became so adept at them at one stage,that I was doing 1200 pushups a day in 10 sets of 60 reps morning and night and could do 200 pushups in one go . This I think, may be the groundwork that built a big bench later in life.
My thirst for strength meant that I would challenge all comers at school to armwrestling and any other test of strength, and spent literally every penny on holiday with my family in Blackpool, on every 'arm champs' machine there was on the Golden mile attractions trying to get the top score. With my chest puffed out and arms pumped up I would stroll the beach like Arnold in Conan ,only I would keep my trackies on in case anyone saw my chicken legs ........who needs legs anyway???!!!
In my late teens i drifted away from the dedication I had to build my strength in persuit of hedonism and got lost for years in a haze of smoke, cheap ale and lynx deoderant, and all the time and hard work I had invested in my body went to waste and I started to look like the 'average' guys again.
A hazy few years passed untill I met a girl in 2002 at the age of 23, and suddenly a bit of balance came back into my life and I decided to get back doing what I used to enjoy so much and began training again. I was 11stone and 6lb .
We moved into a flat together and eventually married , and the spare room slowly became a gym where I began training relentlessly untill I was happy with the results of my physique brought on by training again .I started devouring books on anyone and anything strength related, and slowly it dawned on me that the only thing seperating me from the top strength athletes was nutrition . It hit me when I read an article by 1989 WSM Jamie Reeves saying " Strongman is 20% gym but the other 80% of the battle was the food " It dawned on me that I had been I eating like a girl !!!
From that day forward I began eating and eating, spending all my hard earned cash on food, and slowly but surely I put on muscle and size and my lifts began climbing up .
We moved house again less than 500yrds from a gym, and I went ballistic, I could train twice a day and I was also working in the house removals trade ,so basically I went to the gym from 6am till 8am, then lifted furniture all day then straight back to the gym from 4pm till 6pm and my appetite went through the roof. I could no longer fit in the standard work polo shirts and had to wear my own tops I was getting bigger and stronger and it felt great.
At this point I was putting on over a 1lb a month and a natural stone in weight per year . Having recently read an article on the great strongman Doug Hepburn and his overhead feats I decided that I too wish to have the strongest shoulders , and began training the standing military press ,and the pushpress and before long I was strict pressing 120kg and push pressing 140kg . I also started squatting for the first time in my life and my body took to it and my legs grew stronger and stronger every session .I tipped the scales at 18stone and felt powerfull , I genuinely started to believe that one day I maybe able to emulate the feats of strength that my heroes Rick 'Grizzly' Brown ,Glenn Ross and Reeves had once done .
Over the next two years and another two stone in bodyweight I decided to enter my first competition ,the local Leicester's strongest man, Although I got 4th place ,it was a baptism of fire and all very new to me, I had never flipped a tyre never mind done a farmers walk !!
After the competition I got back home, looked up somewhere to train for strongman, and found Jason Talbot's training facility near Melton........I was hooked ,I started training even harder than ever and competing in comps and really enjoyed the atmosphere and the crowd .
After two more years training specifically for strength my bench press finally hit 240kg and my squat 340kg and I could strict press 175kg , at a bodyweight of 24stone 6lb . I was now 'the guy' I wanted to be as a little lad ,and boy what a journey it was!!
I have never been a fan of moving events, more a 'feats of strength' guy rather than an allround strongman.So instead, this year I will be popping my cherry in powerlifting .
This year whilst taking advantage of my size and added bodyweight I have made it my quest to break the British bench press record in the GBPF. Also to achieve the British record dumbell press which I am currently a couple of kilos off doing.
So here we are today , I hope you enjoyed the story of my journey and how it brought me to where i am today and I hope it goes someway into understanding my 33year obsession with all aspects of strength and its history .Thanks to Mark and VikingR for allowing me to tell my story in this blog and I very much look forward to my role as "Strength Historian".
Cheers for your time ,
Jay 'Ursus' Pateman