Marshall White is an amateur Strongman getting ready to make
big splash on the pro scene. He has no choice. He is trained
by the “Sequim Cyclone” Jesse Marunde. Other than
the fact that Marshall is a complete animal (and kind of a maniac)
who trains twice a day, doesn’t consider it a workout
unless there are heavy squats and pulls in it and throws a fit
on camera when his performance is below the high standards he
holds himself to we know very little about this months “Member
of the Month”. So, let’s get acquainted with (according
to his forum signature) “The coolest guy Jesse Marunde
Marshall, first off I want to say thank you for taking the
time away from training and eating to answer these questions.
What are your current stats (weight, height, age etc..)-
I am 23 yrs old about 6'3 275-285lbs depending
on how hard I am laying into the grassland beef.
How old where you when you got seriously into strength training
and what was your motivation to start?
I was 18 yrs old when I got serious. I
would say my motivation was my good friend Floyd Wilder he was
a man that knew what he was doing and was tough as nails. He
was the first one to tell me that being big and strong was a
good thing and then proceeded to show me how to squat heavy
and I was hooked.
Where you good at lifting and what were some of your lifts in
the first couple weeks in the gym?
I was decently strong starting out mainly from playing football
during school. I was a 375 squatter starting out and a 400lb
puller and of course I placed a lot of emphasis on bench so
I had a 330lb bench. Now of course I realize that I should have
been paying way more attention to overhead lifts than benching.
What are some of your best gym lifts?
I have cleaned 150kgs, hang power snatched
110kgs for a double, 700lb DL., and I LOVE Oly. style squatting
so I am good at that but I don't know what my max is. Jesse
thinks that I could easily hit 600 any day of the week. In my
mind I feel like I could do more.
How did you happen to come upon Strongman and what where some
of your first attempts at the events like? How much could you
log press, stones, tire etc when you first tried it?
Like most people I saw WSM on T.V. and
thought "Yeah that's what I want to do!" I sucked
on my first event attempts. Travis Ortmayer and I started training
together in I think 2001 I had gotten an 800lb tire from a job
site I was working on and we would flip that tire at my parents
house for like 3-4 sets of 9-12 flips. In the Texas heat that
was quite a workout. My first comp. was in Dennison,Tx. and
I took last place. I finished every event but the yoke and loaded
all the stones (180-300)
I know you guys train twice a day and do more squatting sessions
in a week then some of us care to do in a month. How do you
structure your workouts/life/diet to allow that to happen without
overtraining and burning out?
We don't really believe there is such
a thing as overtraining, so really all I do is make sure I get
lots of sleep and food. The crew I train with are some of the
greatest guys in the world so they are understanding if we have
to train earlier or later because of my job.
Speaking of diet, Jesse said you’ve lost a lot of weight
and gained a lot of strength simultaneously recently. What is
your overall diet like and what are some of your favorite supplements?
Yeah I am really pleased with my overall
performance/appearance lately. Being the "fat kid"
growing up I didn't believe it was possible to be lean and strong
at the same time until I moved up to Washington and saw everyone
I was training with doing it. Now my goal is to get leaner in
order to improve my athletic performance. My diet consists of
massive amounts of grassland beef with some chicken thrown in
every now and then and lots and lots of fruits and vegetables.
I like to eat natural foods so I buy organic or grow veggies
myself (or should I say my wife grows them). Lately I haven't
been eating sugar except for what is in milk. I eat 6-8 times
a day, as far as supplements go I stick with Met-Rx protein
and meal replacements and a multivitamin, and vitamin e (gotta
keep those stretch marks down). I believe there is no substitute
for massive amounts of whole, naturals foods so I try to stick
with that as much as possible.
do you feel is your best strongman event?
I would say yoke or stones.
Is that because you love it and worked the hardest at it or
you just naturally took to it?
It took me the longest time to stop being
afraid of lifting rocks. I swear stones have some kind of power
over people that makes them unliftable but if you look at them
as just another event you will dominate them. Yoke I was naturally
good at cause of my squatting ability.
What are some technical pointers you could give us about it?
As Ortmayer says "Dive Bomb Them"
don't think about them, don't give them any respect. Just rip
into them with total ferocity.
What is your worst event?
What steps are you taking to improve at it?
Well training with Jesse has taken my
pressing to a whole new level. He had me start from the beginning
and learn to press/jerk right. High reps instead of maxing all
the time, and really focusing on making the weight fly up. This
has allowed me to add about 50lbs on my log in 6 months.
What is the basic outline of your training week?
Basically every day is some sort of Oly
movement (cleans,snatches,clean pulls,snatch pulls, etc.) and
squats then we do accessory movements like deadlifts or incline
press. We train twice a day so sometimes these things get repeated
in the morning and afternoon. We train with a lot of volume,
lots of sets but with manageable weights, we try to avoid missing
any lifts. We are not powerlifters so we don't focus totally
on our 1RMs. Ever day we do one event such as sled,sandbag,stones
How often do you repeat an event?
As often as I can. The only way to get
better at an event is to do that event. I try to think of training
events as 'practice'. With this in mind, the more I do something
the more natural it feels and the better I get at it.
Do you stay with the same basic events every week or do you
rotate them in and out?
I keep a few of the basics in all the
time i.e. farmers,yoke,stones,log, but will add others as I
feel necessary or just to have fun.
When you are training for a specific set of events do you drop
everything and focus primarily on those or is it just business
No way we train in a way that at any given
point we can do a comp. anywhere with any events and it will
not be a problem. That is what strongman is about being ready
to dominate no matter what the event or situation. One of our
mottos is "If you claim you can lift something, you better
be able to do it right then, right there."
What do you feel is the most important lessons you’ve
learned about strongman and training in general over the years?
Since training with Jesse I have really
learned to WORK HARDER! You can always do a little more. Also
over the years I have learned that this sport is really fun
and I should treat it as such take it one step at a time and
always strive to get better.
What was it like when you first started training with Jesse?
Did you just jump right in or did you have to go easy and build
up to his level of effort slowly?
Are you kidding? I was dying for like
the first month. There was no "build up time" all
the other guys would have just laughed at me so I had to just
jump in and try to swim. One day after truck pulls the second
month I was here I honestly contemplated quitting strongman,
but then realized how much better I would be for not quitting
and now I wouldn't have it any other way. I endured alot of
discomfort those first few months... Somehow I made it through
and now I can handle the high volume much better.
What are the most important things you’ve learned since
training with Jesse and how has your training evolved since
you’ve started training with him?
More, more, more, always strive for more.
You can always get better. Jesse is by far the most dedicated
strongman I have ever met and this inspires me to be as such.
He encourages me to look at my life under a microscope and to
change anything that might be holding me back from making more
How much has your overall performance improved since training
with him? Give us some examples.
Well I don't throw up on truck pulls anymore.
Seriously though I was able to load a 315lb stone 15times in
a row the other day without a care and then take a 2 min break
and finish it with 7 more loads. When I first started training
with Jesse my best stone load was 305 for just one load (without
tacky). Previously I was just a "strong dude" now
I am much more of an athlete.
I believe you used to train in "The unit" in Texas
with Travis and those guys. How did the training differ between
the 2 groups?
I love the "unit" those guys
are great and intense as hell! I wouldn't say the training really
differs that much except for the amount of volume on the olympic
lifts that we do up here. Also up here we are a little more
"tight knit" because we all live really close to each
other so that lends itself to convenient training and things
of the like. Also we don't have Roger Ortmayer up here and let's
be honest that is a problem for us. Roger is one of the most
inspirational people I have ever met and I will always be in
debt to him for what he has done for me. I met Roger when I
was 18 yrs. old in a gym in Spring,Tx. I was amazed when Travis
said "Yeah this is my dad, we train together." He
has supported not only his own son all the way but me and the
rest of the unit as well, not to mention being one hell of a
strongman himself. Roger is always encouraging and will give
you the shirt off his back if he feels it will make you a better
strongman. Roger never makes excuses and he never takes excuses
he is famous for calling you a girl when you miss a lift you
should have made. I hope that when I am Roger's age I am still
going strong like him.
What are some other techniques you’ve come across over
the years that you feel are just a bit more effective than others
at busting through plateaus?
Balls to the Wall intensity, the 'Just
do it' mentality. Lifting is not that complicated, all it takes
is a love for the sport and 'knowing' without a doubt that you
can do it. You have to have a hunger for success that drives
you to move insane poundages.
What would you recommend for the average guy competing at the
amateur level that really wants to take his game to a whole
Do what I did, move to Washington hahahahaha.
Seriously though, find a good pro and train with them. I wouldn't
be where I am at without Ortmayer, Josh Thigpen, and Jesse.
Also, find a group of like minded amateurs that want it just
as bad as you do. Surround yourself with hard core dudes who
have what it takes mentally.
Are there certain gym lifts you feel carry over to strongman
more than others?
SQUATS (oly style) and all the other oly
lifts and of course tri-cep kickbacks and donkey calf raises.
What are some of your favorite set and rep schemes to go with
I really like to do high volume in terms
of more sets not necessarily reps. I also really enjoy 3x8 reps
on log clean and press with 2 mins rest in between. (Sarge had
me do this and if you like puking you'll love this). And my
absolute favorite is getting 2-3 guys together and farmers walking
100ft runs till someone quits.
How about a sample from your training journal?
Ok this is what I do on Wednesdays.
-Sled drags light to warm-up 100ft runs with like 2-300lbs
-Squats or good mornings keeping the weight pretty light but
reps high 15 rep range.
-Kettlebell circuit (too detailed to go into)
-Lots of ab work, reverse hypers and stretching
-Axel cleans- 5x3 working weight
is usually around 130-140 kgs.
-Every other week- Box Squat with bands-10x2-4 405 with blue
-Every other week- Rack Dl's with bands- 5x5- 405-495+doubled
-If we squatted then we do trap bar pulls (2x20-25 400-500)
if we deadlifted then we pull heavy with trap bar standing on
-Bent rows-3x8 275-315
-Stones-240lb stone 10 times to 64-72in. (getting the 10 reps
any way, but always one motioning it from ground to box)
-Glute ham raises-4x12
-Sand bag runs, sled drags, or sandbag squats till we want to
go home and crawl into the fetal position...
What are some of the most impressive thing’s you’ve
seen relating to strongman? You’ve got to have some great
stories considering the group you train with.
Well there was this time I was at Jesse's
house and walked in on him while he was wearing a dress....oops
better not tell that story! Seriously though, When I first met
Jesse it was at the Iron Bear Strongman Show in Port Townsend.
After everyone had gone on log press Jesse asked the crowd if
they would like to see what a pro can do. He then proceded to
load the log to 330lbs and bang out like 6 reps COMPLETELY COLD!
Absolutely no warm-up straight out of the crowd in a pair of
regular shorts and tennis shoes. Also Breck loading a 355lb
stone at 231lbs bodyweight. Sarge, anytime he steps in the weightroom.
Jake did a stone run (270-355) loaded all quickly then proceded
to drop them and load them in reverse order all with No Tacky!
Also Travis O. loading the 460 no tacky and lapping that 520.
What is the craziest/hardest workout you remember having?
Jesse and I were squatting one time and
he asked me when I felt like I was going to quit. I said "When
you do!" Always one to appreciate a challenge he smiled
and said "Okay let's do this!" Like 10 sets later
I was hurting and finally missed my last squat. Jesse walked
to the bar and did a final 2 reps to win. I was hurting for
like 3days, but of course we deadlifted the next day to forget
What are some of your short and long term goals?
Short term I would like to climb the amateur
ranks and earn my pro card. Long term I would obviously like
to win WSM contest and beat Jesse and Travis. Then WORLD DOMINATION!!!
Who do you feel was the best strongman of all time and why?
I would have to say that Marius has taken
this game to a whole new level, but it is still a toss up between
he and Zadrunas. But watch out cause this whole "Sequim
Crew" is coming up quick!
Is there anything you’d like to add that I haven’t
covered (perhaps a story giving insight into why you are “the
coolest guy Jesse knows?”)
So I'm out with Jesse one day and we are
walking his dog (Jack). A man walks up and kicks Jack. Wouldn't
you know it Jesse begans to cry like a 12 yr old school girl
after Breck had killed the man. I held him and rocked him and
soothed him with warm milk and hot towels. After it was all
over he looked at me with tears in those big dummy eyes of his
and said "Please don't tell anyone about this, if you promise
not to I will tell everyone you are the coolest guy I know from
here on out." Well, the rest is history. I would also like
to add that I have had the privelege to train with some of the
most intense, hardcore, hardest working men in the world and
Callie M., and I thank all of them for that. Also my beautiful
wife Rachel for being the coolest female on the face of this
planet. A good woman goes a long way in this game! I honestly
beleive that I couldn't do what I do without love and support
from my wife.
Thanks for taking the time to interview with us. You know everyone
in this forum will be watching and cheering you on the day you
stand on the podium in your first televised pro show! It’s
just a matter of time.