Episode Eight: Martin Tye video transcript


Radzi: Martin Tye, the World's Strongest Disabled Man, a former lance corporal, he lost his ability to walk after a suicide bomber drove into his vehicle. He has a seated deadlift of 550 kilograms.


Radzi: Welcome to Making Gains in association with the University of Derby and Finnebrogue’s Naked Bacon, the biggest revolution to happen to British breakfast in a generation. Now today's guest on Making Gains is the 2018 World's Strongest Disabled Man, he is seated deadlifted 550kg, it is the unicorn beast Martin Tye. Welcome to Making Gains Sir.

Martin: Hey.

Radzi: First of all I can see a sort of Mr T type necklace hanging around your beard.  What’s that all about? I like it.

Maritn: Well it's my uh force hammer.

Radzi: Nice, nice, nice, nice,

Martin: Thanks my Viking roots,

Radz: Mate, you look like a pro-Viking to be fair. Um can we talk about that 550 kilo seated deadlift because that is, I mean it is mythical. How did you actually start training for that specific lift?

Martin: Uh so to be honest it kind of happened by accident. Um I went to my first Strongman competition, what was probably four or four and a bit years ago now and one of the events was seated deadlift. It's the first time they ever did it in the disabled Strongman No one was too sure how it was going to work and such like and at the time I think we were doing like 300 kilos for reps. Um the nearest bloke to me was about, I think he got about 14 and I pulled out about 27 and I was like well you know there's obviously something here and so that that's when I really started training for it and obviously you know being around Strongman and I saw Eddie Hall pull 500 and I was like I want some of that. Um you know I knew, I knew, I was there or there abouts around the 500 and it was about applying myself and getting the right training in, um and then luckily enough I got to pull 501 in front of Eddie and then I got to pull 550 in front of Eddie which was uh yeah it was pretty surreal.

Radzi: So when you actually aim for the 550, how do you actually taper or periodise your training or what's your approach to it?

Martin: Um so my training, I don't actually do an awful lot of deadlift training um you know, the the lift itself I like to work, I like to do big back sessions, um big heavy back sessions and plenty of them but you've also got to throw in all your other training because at the end of the day you know, it's not just that event, a competition. So you know it is about balancing, balancing your sessions and pinpointing which body parts you want to work more than others.

Radzi: And how many weeks out did you kind of have your main block of training to peak for that?

Martin: Uh so what I peaked probably about a week before I went out there, went on to some rest and recovery and very light work before I got out there and did some light work while I was out there as well, just you know to keep the body moving making sure all the joints are good. Last thing I want to do is tip up and put a world record big games in the in at the same time, I’ve got another you know it's only one part of the competition for me.

Radzi: I was speaking to, I mean this Making Gains podcast comes in association with the University of Derby, I was speaking to one of the guys there who work at strength and conditioning, when I explained to him what you do he said his first response was well your Lower back erectors must be as thick as ropes. I mean you're good almost, good morning the bar up what, what is the actual technique you have to see when you're looking at it?

Martin: So yeah it's quite a weird one and um I’m probably one of a few experts in it because no one else has done what I’ve done and so, so it is a little bit awkward and I’ve seen people call it wrong and I’ve seen you know that if it's not done correctly you know even to look at it it looks quite dangerous. Um so you know the slightest mistake on it you're gonna pull your back out so, so quick. Um but for me I kind of perfected it over low weights and repetition just going through the movement even if it's just a bar you know just to get out that position and movement right um so I’m not, I’m not loading my back up when I’m fully extended over, you know I really want to pull that bar in to get into that upright position as I can because that's the easiest then to, to pop the bar.

Radzi: If I was asked guys how to bench most people would know grip the bar, let's say grip it apart, engage your lats etc. What's the actual process for trying to do what you do even if it is a relatively light weight?

Martin: So uh pray. [Laughter] So yeah it's um it's all about engaging your core really you, you engaging your core and working the shoulders and so I can, I can leave a little bar up but that might not be called a good lift because my shoulders are still very low.

So as I’m coming forward as I’m moving back sorry with the bar I’m engaging my core my lower back popping up bringing the shoulders high to get the correct movement in.

Radzi: And how does it feel when you've got that amount of weight in your hands? I know obviously you're relatively accustomed to it but it may as you're holding it at the end especially when you think you're 501 you hold it and sort of look around but so you've got euphoria but at that moment there what's actually going through your forearms and your grip and everything?

Martin: I don't really know how to explain it to be honest. It's a bit of a weird one you know and I always kind of forget after the event how it felt. I think because the adrenaline and everything you know, you pumped up and you that much you focus on the event, yeah he's just an adrenaline rush but it, it, it is a lot of pressure but your body feels it when you're locked out and and that's if anything that's your rest time. Although you are holding the weight you're not doing it under any bend or anything like that so it's more of a natural but yeah it's, it's incredible, incredible pressure um but, but yeah.

Radzi: Is it scary because the stuff I’ve seen with your misses you, you're getting yourself strapped in and then your missus gives you the salt which I think is genius because a lot of guys will smell salts then put their wraps on but probably maybe 40 seconds has passed so yeah so is it did you rehearse that?

Martin: Yeah so, so basically I’ve got a lot of my movement from powerlifting really and you know before, before going to Strongman. I did the Invictus Games where, where I really focused on my powerlifting side of it. You know one of our coaches trains with the GB guys. I know a few of the GB guys as well and which, which gave me some pointers and stuff and it, it is a key thing you know I’ve seen so many people go up to the bar, sniff salts and then put wraps on and I’m like dude what are you doing? Like by the time you get to it let's folks have done nothing you, you want those salts just as close to you can lift yeah.

Radzi: And then when you actually stand up with it or you sit up with it that is one thing able-bodied deadlifting where you're extending your knees, you're you're moving all parts of your body, it's not on one area it must be pretty frightening lifting that off the ground almost waiting for that have I actually moved this or is it still stuck to the floor?

Martin:  Yeah it you know it, it is um and touch wood I’ve, I’ve never done too much of a bad lift so I’ve not made too many mistakes and of course I failed lifts everyone fails this um but the lists I’ve done have been correctly, so they've been as safe as I can make them. My issue is when I see other people lifting and not lifting correctly and they started bringing in seating deadlifts for other competitions now which hasn't, isn't governed properly. So not to say the competition is not good and probably the lift itself because no, no you know there's, there's nobody around to, to say what's a good lift or not apart from you know our two founders Magnus Ver Magnusson. You know at the end of the day here's the final say on what's a good lift and I see people posting videos where they are just throwing crazy weight on and you know when I look at it I’m cringy and I’m like oh my god, you know he's going to end up in in a lot of pain because of this.

Radzi: Okay and mate I’m pumped to say 550 isn't where it's ending for you you're going for the big excitement.

Martin: Yeah man, so so the biggest thing to come out of the Arnold really is when, when I was holding the bar and so I got it up I was holding it and I had a little moment to myself saying there's more in there and I was kind of gutted I didn't even do more yeah um hopefully winning time will be some big lists going up soon and.

Radzi: So how are you going to prepare for that? Are you going to aim for a particular event you're going to pull it out or you're just going to see how your body responds? What's the plan?

Martin:  So at the moment it's a little bit difficult because of Corona and all the restrictions so we're not too sure when events are going to be and even what the events will be. And they managed to do one in December World Strongest Man but it was a virtual one I  decided not to take part and risk myself you know. I’ve got a blasting due to my lungs which gives me a lot of respiratory problems so with corona and stuff it just wasn't worth me taking the risk. I had back surgery last year as well um so, so yeah hopefully um you know I  always aim to do the big list of the bigger competitions um but at the moment we're still waiting out to find exactly what is going to be. What and where, where we're going to be allowed to travel to.

Radzi: So I’d love to say you're the reigning world record holder but I think it was a month ago Tobias pulled 555. Did you know that was an attempt? Did you know that was going to be happening?

Martin: Yes oh yeah, yeah um so he's posted a lot of videos um of him, of him lifting and stuff. I knew that he was going to be close to it um so, so yeah.

Radzi: And then when he got it what did that do to you? Because for some people it makes them go because I mean Jonathan Edwards for example in the triple champ, I remember when I called Teddy Tamgho got so close to his world record that stood since 1995 the cameras pushed it on his face and Jonathan Edwards actually wiped the sweat off his brow and he went 25 years on and he still just wants that title. So how did you feel when it actually went or was it a case of right bit between the two 600 here we flipping go lads?

Martin: No I sat in the corner and cried for about two hours. Yeah you know um, I was it's not easy to let your record go but it's kind of out of your hand um uh and I do believe that it's going to make me train that a little bit harder in the gym to hit those bigger weights um you know I’ve got full confidence in me that I can go a hell of a lot heavier. Um so, so yeah if anything it's been a good thing and it will give me the kick but I need to, to push on.

Radzi: I met you at the UK Invictus Trials a couple of years ago now and the thing that I love most about being involved in events like that is the stories people have got to bring them to where they're at now and could you tell us what, what happened to you to ultimately change your life because I know you were a commander in a in a truck and then the unimaginable happened?

Martin: Yes I was in the British Army back in 2009 on the 18th of August. We were deployed out in Afghanistan to the capital Kabul and we're on a routine vehicle patrol and along with patrol um a suicide bomber drove into my vehicle and detonated himself, uh which you know wasn't, wasn't, wasn't my best day let's say.Um uh and yeah I was, I was in a bad way for a long time and weren't too sure if I was going to pull through or not. Um we got, got it I was in a coma for a while and, and yeah rehab was hard you know. It took me the best part three years to, to get to a place where I was physically and mentally okay with myself.

Radzi: If I, if I met you let's say 2008 what kind of guy would I be speaking to you? Were you as big as you are now? Wwere you a happy guy? What were you like?

Martin: 2008 yeah um, I was halfway up now, um weight-wise easy, um and yeah I was a happy guy but um I was uh a Jack the lad. I would say a bit of a know-it-all even though I didn't know it all. I just you know have a good game and if anything actually getting blown up I believe has made me a better person.

Radzi: Okay. Do you actually remember the moment that it happened or is it have you just been told that in retrospect?

Martin:  Yeah it is so it's crazy. I’ve got no recollection, recollection of what happened at all, but afterwards I was allowed to see the report and photos and I’ve you know strung together this kind of image in my head of what happened.

Radzi: How did you come to terms with that? Because it's obviously you're speaking about it in a very matter-of-fact way but I just can't imagine how difficult that is.

Martin: Yeah I’m not gonna, I won't lie to you it was hard. I lost an American sitting behind me, my driver broke his back and there was a lot more injuries as well outside of the convoy. So to start with you know I had diagnosed with PTSD. I had survivors’ guilt and I did I did struggle, struggle for a long time it was a it was a hard, it was a hard time back then to, to get my head around it and I’d say for the first couple years I didn't want to get my head around it, I didn't want to face it, I just wanted to be miserable and you know I was lucky that at the time of probably needing it the most I had a charity come along it's designed to give in injured servicemen adventure training and got me into sport and I think you know that that is what it has saved me and made me who I am today.

Radzi: So thank you for sharing that in terms of therapy, how often were you having that?

Martin: In terms of what sorry?

Radzi: In terms of so mental therapy, so in terms of trying to recover from the PTSD so just it's, it's one thing if you've suffered bereavement, it's one thing if you're going through about depression through life but what you went through is the most unthinkable thing and so I’m just curious to know what structure was put in place that's got you to where you are.

Martin: Yeah you know and so it was uh after my initial medical cares were looked at and I was deemed okay you get you get moved on  to a rehabilitation centre which was at the time Headley Court and that's when I started therapy they picked up pretty much straight away that something wasn't right um and I was doing quite intense therapy and I’d probably say it at least a couple times a week but I was doing seeing a psychiatrist, psychologist. I was doing relaxation therapy, you know there's a lot of things going on, um but for me this the therapy didn't really help that much to be honest. My issue was we I found myself walking away from these things feeling more wound up then in a positive light because the issue was that I couldn't remember so it doesn't matter how many people tell me that I would have done what I was trained to do, without me remembering I’m not going to remember so it was really hard to you know just get my head around that and it was sport you know, it was what that pulled me out of it you know that's genuinely one of the sides of sport that.

Radzi: I mean it I worked at the Paralympic Games, seeing yourself at the UK Invictus Trials you'd think on the face of it, seeing a man with no legs and one arm doing indoor rowing you think what, why is he doing that to himself. When they finish it mate it's just it, it actually it humbled me and it just and the thing that humbled me most of all was it made me think to myself you need to have a long hard look in the mirror because the stuff I complain about I thought I was ashamed of the stuff that goes through my head and these guys were there and the banter mate by the way, the banter was brutal going to be on the microphone say this to so and so that I can't I just can't say I’m going to lose my job.

Martin: Yeah it's um that's you know it's incredibly important part of the recovery I reckon banter is and um you know if I think the best thing you can do you know is take the mickey out of yourself and take mickey out of other people um as long as it's as long as it's okay with the other person, don't just bump into someone down the street and do it because it might not work so well but you know for us being, being a part of the military family um banter is just you know before were injured it was flying around it doesn't stop just because we were injured and if anything you know for someone to pull you up once or twice a day. Yeah it, it, it lifts you.

Radzi: Yeah it's the it's actually the side of the Invictus Games I seriously hope it goes ahead in whatever guys because it's meant to be in the Hague this year yeah and obviously we know what's going on with coronavirus but a part of me thinks well whole premise of keeping everyone safe is one thing but for the guys competing ,the guys and the girls competing it ultimately is something to aim for that's a thing that's going to help get people through months, weeks, years and so I think it's got to happen. It would it would be incredible if it did.

Martin: Yeah definitely I, I agree with you um I’ve been speaking to some of the Danish athletes recently and you know you know they're praying then it goes ahead and and I do because you know although I walked away with a load of medals that's not that wasn't my high point of the games. My high point was being there experiencing it and having that camaraderie ship and you know just doing it all as let's say normal.

Radzi:  Yeah mates yeah how much do you weigh by the way?

Martin: So uh at the moment I’m weighing about 137 kilos.

Radzi: And this is the man I’m talking to who was playing was it wheelchair basketball at 137 kilos.

Martin: Yeah, yeah I was very good over short distance. Endurance wasn't my thing and if you would have seen me after doing rowing Jesus I was a mess.

Radzi: You mentioned your lungs, how bad are your lungs?

Martin: Uh so well so basically um because we had an implosion inside the vehicle um there's hairline scarring it all down my lungs so the issue is that they don't actually fill to 100% anymore. I think the last time I checked we were quite good we were about 65 to 70 percent. They very well we inflate to and but yeah it does doing any sort of CV work it does it's a bit a little bit harder um but you find your way around it.

Radzi: And the metal work you've got in your knees does it does that mean you can push at all in the floor when you're doing a seated deadlift or is it purely just upper torso um well I probably could but I don't. You don't it's not needed in the seated deadlift any sort of leg drive in fact if you when I did the 550 because I was straining so much my legs came off the floor so they were dangling in the air. Yeah so so there's no there's no leg drive needed in that lift.

Radzi: Okay and in terms of your actual bone density, have you ever had it measured because if I were to try and see to deadlift 250 I think my vertebrae would just crumble.

Martin: I did actually a few years back and I can't remember what it was but the guy said he was like I’ve never seen this before. And the same with muscle mass as well because you know I’m strong man which means I’ve got a belly which isn't knee, doesn't mean you look strong and then when he did the muscle mass he was like bloody hell.

Radzi: Yeah but this is why 38 when you don't have that much muscle mass on your legs?

Martin: Yeah, yeah so my legs are pretty skinny, well compared to the rest of me they are,

Radzi:  Which means they're just like normal legs to be honest with you. [Laughter]

Radzi: In terms of you mentioned power lifting which in power, power lifting is bench press? What, what do you bench?

Martin: Uh so my PB at the moment is about 220 kilos. Um that was a that was a while back and it would have, I actually got offered a contract with GB and yeah um which I would have loved to take up. It would have mean I wouldn't be able to do other sports um which at that time you know I’m never gonna be uh a Para gold medallist. If you look at the guys in my classification that are doing it they're without being rude they look like footballs. you know we're talking very heavy set guys um and I, I just wasn't prepared to do that to my body. Um in fact the the world record guy suddenly passed away yeah, yeah passed away and and you know that wasn't something that I wanted to to do to myself and uh I had the opportunity to maybe go to a Paralympic games and and be maybe top ten or I had the opportunity to become the World's Strongest Disabled Man. um and for me you know the Disabled Strong Man was a bigger calling.

Radzi: So for you from the size of things it's, it's not about taking part ,it's not about putting on the GB vest it's about the win?

Martin:  Yeah everyone likes winning. I’m not gonna lie to you uh you know any man that goes to a competition says I won but I didn't enjoy it he's lying. Everyone does enjoy that but I also love you know going to competitions, seeing all your mates. Even though this is a non-military thing I do we've kind of got used to my banter somehow. Every so often I still get a strange look as if to say did he just say that.

Radzi: Yeah in in terms of the actual events that you do, so how do you kind of categorise the disability? Do you have amputees versus other disciplines? How does that work?

Martin: Right so bearing in mind Disabled Strongman is relatively new, it's been around about seven years um it got started off in  Iceland by a guy called Honor who, who founded it and at the time it was just one competition in Iceland that he put on for disabled guys around there. And then we managed to get Magnus ver Magnusson on board four times World's Strongest Man, which obviously elevated the sport a bit higher and we started doing other competitions around the world and so at the moment we've, we've just I think two years ago we just had a look at the class, classification system and we've just changed it to bring extra classes in now but at the moment it is in men standing class one, class two, seated class one, class two and the same for the females and we would like to go one step further and start but until we get the number of athletes in, obviously, it's not feasible to do that.

Radzi: And what events do you currently compete in?

Martin: So we do pretty much everything that you see the able bodied competing apart from obviously I don't do like the yolk or anything like that super yolk but we do atlas stones, axle press, um pools. I’ve got a world recording vehicle pulling um you know any, any sorry.

Radzi: What was the world record mate?

Martin: Uh so it was four, four trucks I think over 20 ton over 20 meters.

Radzi: Arm over arm or how's the pull?

Martin: Yeah, yeah literally just arm and core but that's where my, my rowing came in a bit to help because I had that core. Um yeah so so pretty much you know we'll, we'll do whatever the body do or we'll adapt it in some way that we can so they're loading races we do that with with special design wheelchairs with trays on the front and the stone, we do from barrel to barrel so yeah we try and include as many events as we can.

Radzi: And how is your body right now because you mentioned you had the back surgery last year which was I think like dealing with the fraying of the nerves?

Martin: Yeah, yeah so uh so yeah basically we just burnt all the nerve endings off in the base of my spine. I’ve got a lot of issues with pain and stuff. I didn't tell the surgeon that [Laughter] like fingers crossed it it's helping at the moment um if not it might have to go back for a decompression, which it's not the uh the nicest of procedures to have um.

Radzi: What is that?

Martin: A decompression of the plate and so it's one of your plates that's sticking out more we decompress it and put it back into place it's not, it yeah, it's quite painful procedure to have but hopefully at the moment that that's not needed.

Radzi: And would that um stop you from deadlifting if you had that done?

Martin: Uh it would for a while um the the issue I’ve got is some of my plates are corroding um because of the impact on the explosion um so if they ever corroded too much then they might have to put a rod in here or something and if that happens then I can't lift because I can't, I don't, I wouldn't have that movement and yeah.

Radzi: But person to live without of interest where clearly the surgeon and doctors have always saying this is Martin it's probably best if you don't try and lift half a ton and I imagine you're misses says the same thing but you're going no I will be doing exactly what I don't need to be doing.

Martin: Well what I do I, I sit there and I nod my head and I smile I’m thinking you've got no idea mate as soon as I’m done I’m going training um I, I’ve got better in the last couple of years. I’ve had a few injuries where I’ve tried to rush back into it and it's yeah it's made it harder rather than easier so I have I have learned to take a bit more time to heal my body.

Radzi: Your gym by the way The Unicorn Cave, uh it's, it's just it's so nice. How much does that cost you?

Martin: Um well I’m quite fortunate that the kit in there is um by a company called ATX who just happened to be the major sponsor for disabled strength but they also have a bit of a deal going on with me so I get, I get a very reduced rate when I’m buying kit from. So I would say the retail price of everything including the summer house in there is sitting about 20 at the moment. Well I’ve just put another order in as well. I’ve got um I’ve got nearly 800 kilos of plates coming.

Radzi: I tell you what I really envy it's the pulling apparatus you've got because in a lot of home gyms you'll have you can press but not a lot of peoplehave cables and if you do have a cable not able to properly load up you are it's really nice.

Martin: Yeah, yeah, yeah um you know it took me a long timeto find the kit I wanted and I quite often rush into things and then when it gets here go oh I could have got something better and this time I said I’m not going to do it um it was always on, it was always on the cards to get a home gym and before corona came along it was always what I wanted uh then we went into the first lockdown and I was, I was stuffed I had no gym nothing um so I pretty much just sat around and I lost what nearly two and a half stone in muscle. Yeah it was it wasn't the best and mentally it wasn't the best for me either and so then when we came out and I was like right I’m gonna get this  cracked, uh you know we, we got onto ATX you know, they tried to rush the equipment through which was another issue because everybody was buying equipment so everywhere was sold out of equipment um so but luckily enough you know the guys down the ATX did me a solid and the kit out to me um and yeah ever since then I’ve been training so.

Radzi: Awesome let's mention them so what's your kit include?

Martin: So so in there I’ve got a, I’ve got an ATX fury frame which basically is a smith bar uh it has two cables on either side uh which we've weighted and then it has lots of attachments so I can do log lift, bench press and then I’ve got dumbbells from five kilo to sixty kilo. I’ve got a log couple of bars you know a load of extensions and stuff a lot the handles and stuff and then yeah hopefully in the next few months when the new order comes out um there'll be some more equipment in there as well.

Radzi: But you're living the dream basically in that cave.

Martin: Yeah well I feel I feel very fortunate to be honest um you know I’ve seen what, what, what this disease has done not medically but to the guys that have been stuck at home and not being able to train and stuff like that you know um obviously corona has been horrible anyway but then to see the other side of it the mental, the mental side of it which is affecting people that you would never even think would have any mental hookups, um but just by being stuck I’m just I think as simple as the gym is closing it it's just yeah and I just feel very fortunate that I’ve got this at home and I can still train.

Radzi: It's good for you but it's um it's the gyms closing that I think is the biggest travesty because if you want to keep people healthy if you stop them from actually being active then they're going to get less healthy which means they're going to have to go to the NHS and for me it's it's the fact that I don't want to go for a run a run doesn't give me. My hit right here is the gym and it's even move the camaraderie to one side it's just you walk through the doors of a gym and I go ah you know that's my pub, that's my night club.

Martin: Yeah that is your zone I feel you all the way there. I’m exactly the same um and actually when, when they brought out the statistics on on corona with gyms and they closed them I was like but it's like .00 of people contracting in a gym I was like why would you even consider that surely they should stay open. Um you know and bearing in mind the age group that are in the gyms of tends to be the younger age groups anyway which you know it was just it baffled me and I think the government did quite a lot of mistakes on this to be honest, but we are where we are and and we've you know we've got to get on with it now um which is a shame for these people that are stuck in not being able to train.

Radzi: You mentioned you're 138 kilos at the moment which  it sounds compared to let's say the giant's live boys you'd say doesn't stand out when you physically meet you and see the thickness and the width of you, this is a large man I’m speaking to here. How do you feel when you lose a couple of kilos is? Does that get in your head because I find it quite interesting that a lot of the boys even when they're 160 kilos and I say ahhh mate you’re looking good they're like no I’m tiny, I’m tiny and they've lost four kilo. I think you are over double my body weight and you're calling yourself tiny, how do you feel then?

Martin: There's a lot of resentment in this house and around the world because I lose weight and I’m miserable everyone else is like how can you be miserable I wish I could lose weight and yeah it's hard you know, it's hard when you, when you know just doing something like brushing your teeth at night before you go to bed in front of the mirror and you start seeing your body and you're like you know I’ve put a lot of grind into getting where I, I want to be and now you're basically seeing it wear away and it's yeah it's, it's not it's not good.

Radzi: Yeah it's do you does your when do you feel most you? Is it when you're at your biggest, your most conditioned, you're at your strongest, when is that moment?

Martin: I’d like to think I shine when I’m at competition um and it brings out you know it brings all the different dynamic, dynamics together having people, where like-minded people where lifting heavy stuff. I love watching people's jaws and ever since I started going to the gym since I’ve been disabled it is I love it.  I go to a bar I start loading it up there's a couple of 16 year olds going are you sure do you want us to spot you and I’m like oh no I should be fine me I’m only warming up and I’ll jump on the bench and you can see him watching you thinking he's going to drop this and then you just like bang out 10 reps and their jaws just drop and that, tha,t that is that's amazing for me.

Radzi: So I feel like with yourself you're kind of let's see Geoff Capes to strongman in the 80s. In the UK your Tanni Grey-Thompson to disability sport, slash Paralympic sports in maybe the early noughties it feels like you're that guy who people are going to say why did you get involved in the sport, well because the unicorn be smart and tight feels like that's, that's what you are right now.

Martin: I have yeah you know I’ve been quite lucky in this sport and I’ve been received by the the outer community very well um in what I’m doing and what I do um you know I always say that you know I never got into the sport to aspire people to do it but since being in the sport I keep getting messages saying you know you're such an inspiration. I was talking about the danish guy in the Invictus team you know, he basically just he, he, he messaged me and said look you probably won't remember me because it came last um but I was  there at your first Invictus when you won and you're the main reason why I’m still doing it. Well I remembered him straight away, you know I, I remember 90% of the athletes um and you know just to have messages like that just it gives you a bit of a lift and it just gets you maybe when you're not having such a good day to hear something like that just gives you out that push and knowing that I’m also  doing that to the other person is, is an amazing feeling.

Radzi: How do you feel when you wake up in the morning? How is your body then from a pain stance?

Martin: Sore, so sleep, sleep isn't my favourite point which is quite an important point for the Strongman, most Strong Men go to bed in the daytime to get extra sleep in to help their body recover because of my PTSD I suffer with quite bad nightmares but I also when I’m laid up is when my body starts aching. So in the morning it takes me a little bit time to get going, you know I get up I start doing some movement work and stuff nothing too exciting and then I’ll break into it and then I go train. So yeah mornings can be quite tough sometimes.

Radzi: How much sleep do you get every day do you reckon?

Martin: So I’m I sound pretty good everywhere I’m gonna get about five hours, that's broken through that's, that's, that's, yeah it's broken sleep as well unfortunately. So um so I’m up you know normally up about four times for a wee in the night um I have a thing called  diabetes insipidus which has got nothing to do with diabetes. It's just called it. Basically it's your kidney doesn't um acknowledge you drinking so it always tells you you need to drink more um in fact it can be quite dangerous if I don't drink to the point he can actually kill you um so I drink a lot and I mean you know I can drink eight litres of water in a day plus cups of tea and stuff but then I have to drink throughout the night as well and which obviously the other side of that means I’m going through the toilet a lot, so I’m waking up all the bloody time but you know it is what it is I’m here and you know I enjoy what I do.

Radzi: What is it about military men so you ended it by saying it is what it is and all the military guys I’ve ever worked with an expression I now use is it's not ideal. I once spoke to a guy who told me about a story of a guy who while he was um he was skydiving opens his canopy basically goes into the side of a building breaks his ankle he still  hasn't landed yet and it's not ideal yeah but it's like you military guys you're the way you're taught to think is just you. just get on with it you just do it.

Martin: Yeah you know it's you've always got a look at the brighter  side you've always got to remember that there's somewhere in  someone in the world that has got it a lot worse than you and and rather around sitting around moping about it get up and do something and get on with your life because if you're not going to help yourself no one's going to do it for you and for me that rings true you know and it happened to me. I can't change it, it's not going away so let's just get on with it.

Radzi: Do you know um Gary White Commando Teddy Bear?

Martin: Yeah.

Radzi: What a man he is for example and he's exactly the same. I think he's softened as it were from he's obviously when he was serving but yeah same premise it's about looking inward with what you've got but it's that you can do it and not you can do it in an airy fairy snowflake way as in it's on you but you actually have the ability to pull yourself out of this.

Martin: All in are all out right no hot measures here.

Radzi: What is your mantra mate?

Martin: I don't know. No one's really asked me that um.

Radzi: Oh because part of the reason I say that is your there are so many aspects to your approach to life it's that like you say you wake up you're in agony but you get on with it. You can't sleep very well but it is what it is so you get on with it. Something unimaginable happened to me 12 years ago I’m dealing with it. I, I’ve got enormous regrets but I’m doing what I can do. I’m in a sport I’m trying to be the absolute best I can be and it's just yeah there's so much there I just wonder if kind of like when Ronnie Coleman used to say when he was competing today cutler um about to show these calibres how we train in Texas or whatever it might be if you've got something in your head a lot.

Martin: My son finds me shouting at him lightweight when we're in the gym sayings. Um yeah my youngest trains with me quite often um he's starting to really enjoy training um but, but as far as a month ago that I’ve just you know I just want to be as happy as I can be and, and go as far as I can go with whatever I do. Um you know there is no half of half measures with me but never has been I’m either all in on all out and that's just the way with the way I was cut.

Radzi: And what would 600 kilos mean to you?

Martin: It would mean I need to start thinking about a bloody heavy away. Um no it would it would mean a lot. I’m not too sure if it'll be my next lift, um my next lift might be a little bit under that um but I haven't really been able to train properly deadlift at the moment. I’ve only got about 470 kilos of plates at the moment.

Radzi: Oh I must be hard mate.

Martin: Um so so yeah um although I’ve been doing mass work with dead lifting and stuff top end stuff I don't really know where I’m at, at the moment to be able to say right my next lift will be 600.

Radzi: How close to your max do you get during your your prep for it ?

Martin: Pretty close um I remember this the first time I ever set a proper world record, I was so paranoid that I was going to flop the lift I made myself do it before the comp, like a week before the copper made myself do it, um and I know that's like not ideal. But it was like mentally it was getting to me, um you know the pressure was getting to me um and I was like I just need to make sure I’ve got this or I’ve just made the biggest mistake.

Radzi: So going into that there was actually nerves that wouldn't even happen?

Martin: Well so the first time I did my world record yeah and I think it was in Germany um and yeah I was so paranoid that I wasn't even gonna get the lift um I came I kind of came up with the weight and, and then soon as I said I started questioning myself which is the worst thing you could ever do and then I started running these scenarios in my head I was like this is not helping me um so I made myself do a check weight um but normally I would go I’d go pretty close. I need to know within within certainly within 50 kilos with inside about 50 kilos if if I’m  good with that and I can judge it off that lift.

Radzi: Because I think Eddie Hall I think he said the biggest weight he pulled for 500. He's going to make it up but it was it was less than 450 and that shocked me that really shocked me but for him he said he just he knows it's there he's just got to turn it on and if he didn't want to he didn't want to use it up in the gym as it were.

Martin: Yeah, yeah no I, I agree with that you know um since let's say I’ve matured within the deadlift. I now I’m now a believer that when I’m on the floor it is self belief and I’m so arrogant and stubborn. I cannot not make the lift and that's what I tell myself this is your lift it's got your name on it no one else is doing this just you um and you know I surround myself with these thoughts and go out there and you know it's I believe. It's, it's helped me lift what I’ve lifted so far and it'll carry on in the future.

Radzi: And how long how long do you think you'll stay in the sport for? Would it be 600 and done or is it is that just the next goal for you?

Martin: Um well my son's asking the same question and what I say to him is when my body tells me to stop I’ll stop um when I stop enjoying it I’ll stop but why I’m enjoying it and why I can do it I’m going to keep doing it.

Radzi: Well we want you to keep doing it for as long as you possibly can maybe after you get the 600 I’d love to chat to you on here again because it'll be nuts.

Martin: Yeah definitely yeah that'd be cool um yeah so let's hope that we get back to some sort of normality and we get some competitions done. Actually this year it's going to be a big year for me um so I don't know if you know but the Arnold Classic is coming to the UK in October. We've just had the funds up by Eddie Hall where we can have our a disabled competition so me and my partner are going to be organising it. So yeah we're, we're thrown around it's a bit, it's a bit of an awkward year to be doing it because obviously we're trying to get sponsors on and the year we've just started it's not very easy and so we, we started sending uh letters out potential sponsors and stuff to try and get people on board and we want to make this you know we, we're aiming to make this as good as theable-bodied events.

Radzi: Like just even saying that how cool is that? I mean my grandad lost his leg in the second world war and I remember when 2012 happened I thought I wish he was alive to have seen this because this this would have, this would have been uh incredible for him and to see the transition and the evolution of Disability Strongman mate that is awesome.

Martin: Yeah it is, it is you know and we we've I think we, we, we've sat back for long enough now. You know it, it almost surprised me last year at the Arnold's when I you know I’m quite privy I get to go and speak to the big names from the sport and um while most of them basically you're that dude that did that lift and if they can recognise who I am  and pay an interest I’m sure there's a whole heap of people out there which would love to see a disabled side of it um and that's what we're really doing at Power at the moment. You knowme doing these big lifts is not just for my own for me, it's not just for the world records it's to to get some attention into the sport so we can raise the profile and get it just as big as the able-bodied.

Radzi: I cannot wait to see it at the Arnold Classic UK that'll be a special event and I’ll see you then bud.

Martin: Yeah definitely yeah.

Radzi: Thank you Martin.

Martin: No worries.

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Episode Eight: Martin Tye video

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