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Marty Taupau lets his critics fuel his desire to succeed

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by castle eagle, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. castle eagle

    castle eagle Well-Known Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +1,032 /9
    MARTY Taupau isn’t deadlifting 260kg.

    No, the bloke is owning it.

    Breaking into a smile as, right now, with said barbell bending under the weight of a dozen blue plates, he holds it easily against those hulking, chalked thighs.

    Manly Sea Eagles player Marty Taupau loves lifting huge weights and defying the odds. Picture: Troy Snook

    And for at least four seconds, this is where it stays.

    Completely suspended until finally, and with conventional wisdom suggesting it now drops clanging to the floor, Taupau cackles ... and shrugs it.

    As if raising two Sam Kasianos and holding them an eternity isn’t enough, this Manly enforcer then completely embarrasses his favoured lift by shrugging both shoulder simultaneously, like: Really, that it?

    “But all that stuff, it’s just me being cheeky,’’ Taupau will say later, grinning.

    “Same thing out on the footy field. People are always calling me dirty, a grub, stuff like that.

    “But look at my face at the end of every scuffle ... I’m always laughing.”

    And why not?

    Built like a dreadlocked Roger Ramjet, Martin ‘Kapow’ Taupau is officially the strongest man in rugby league.

    And, no, this 26-year-old Colossus won’t hit his fame 310kg dead lift today.

    Nor will he use this private Tuesday session to reach other PBs, like his 195kg bench or 200kg squat.

    But know that only five days after playing South Sydney at Brookvale Oval, and a month since last deadlifting anything, Taupau will still max out at a staggering 280kg.

    And then, after a short break involving two shorter blacks — each one personally delivered by the gymnasium’s barista — he will then stand, chalk up and lift it again.

    Socks on his feet.

    Chalk on his thighs.

    But as for any special additions, like weightlifting wraps? Please.

    Taupau never even removes a white wristwatch from his arm.

    And all of this, we know, will be completely foreign to some of you.

    Especially those readers whose favoured gym is that bearded, yellow guy on the side of lawnmowing vans.

    “So let’s put it simply,’’ says Sebastian Oreb, Taupau’s private strength coach.

    “I’m a professional powerlifter. This is what I do for a living.

    “But even the dead lift numbers I put up, Marty matches them.”

    And it all starts here. At Base Gym, North Sydney.

    A private lifting paradise where metal clangs, Eminem blares and even the customised T-shirts read: Strong Mother F ... er.

    Owned and run by Oreb, Base is essentially the secret training base for a host of NRL heavyweights including Taupau, NSW Origin skipper Paul Gallen, even rising Manly star Jake Trbojevic.

    And it works.

    First brought here two years ago by Adam Blair, then a Wests Tigers teammate, Taupau wasn’t even the strongest player at his club, let alone the league.

    “I couldn’t believe it,’’ Oreb recalls. “Here was this beast of a guy, a massive human being, whose numbers simply didn’t stack up to how he looked.

    “I mean, Marty was deadlifting 190kg. That was it.

    “He’d tried 200, but couldn’t even get it off the ground.”

    And so, Oreb taught Taupau technique. Then focus.

    An education now transforming this Sea Eagles tough man everywhere.

    And if you don’t believe us, consider that when Taupau first walked onto the Base floor, he was weighing 116kg, struggling to make first grade and “playing only 40 minutes before being totally gassed”.

    But now?

    Well, apart from dropping six kilos and becoming a player who tears for the entire 80 minutes, Taupau is also a regular member of the New Zealand Test side.

    You know, the same one that keeps beating Australia.

    “So the whole idea that you can’t lift heavy and play well,” Oreb shrugs, “it’s a myth”.

    And to prove it, the coach lets you in on a little secret.

    “Remember when Marty blitzed Souths last year?” he grins. “Scored those two tries.

    “Well, that was Friday night. And only 48 hours earlier, he was here. Deadlifting 280kg.”

    All of which means Taupau isn’t simply breaking records, but convention.

    Indeed, for years, rugby league’s landscape has been littered with strongmen who lift big and play little.

    A wonderful picture story in January. Disappeared completely by May.

    And it’s for this same reason several NRL strength coaches will read this yarn today and snicker. Adamant no leaguie needs lift anywhere near what Taupau is tossing about.

    But want to know another little secret?

    “Heavy lifting, it works wonders for me,’’ the sculpted Aucklander insists.

    “I know there are critics, people who say ‘Oh, this training will make him too heavy. Too slow’.

    Manly Sea Eagles player Marty Taupau is arguably the strongest man in the game. Picture: Troy Snook

    “But I like defying the odds. That’s my fuel.”

    It is also why we’ve been let in.

    Why for the best part of two hours, League Central watches a Taupau strength session where, because our photographer needs variety, will also see him finish with a bench press of 160kg.

    But the deadlifting, it’s no joke. Warming up with five repetitions of 60kg, Taupau then slowly works up as Oreb continually adds blue plates.

    And between lifts, the leaguie sits. Breathes.

    Downing a protein drink, then those caffeine hits, while the coach rolls chalk onto his thighs.

    Yep, this is why Taupau is now among the most feared forwards in the game.

    And why that Strongest Man title, he quietly covets it.

    “I am proud of it, yeah,’’ the Kiwi international confesses. “Because that tag, I’ve only ever got it through hard work.”

    Better, he wants to keep it, too. Determined to maintain bragging rights over guys like Gal, Gold Coast prop Dave Hala and Roosters firebrand Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.

    “That banter about who is strongest, it’s what drives me,” Taupau continues. “I always want to be better than my opponents.

    “Better even than my last lift. Today, for example, we wanted a dead lift of 260. Instead, I went heavier.

    “Twice. It’s why for me, I really don’t see any limits.”

    • Like Like x 1
    • LittleSnake

      LittleSnake Member

      +53 /1
      God help the other 15 teams in this competition
    • SeaEagleRock8

      SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

      +10,538 /214
      Needs more control, but no doubt he is our forward big gun.

      • Funny Funny x 2
      • Pittwater Legend

        Pittwater Legend Well-Known Member

        +1,163 /34
        Has got to be the strongest player we've ever had and by some margin.

        Sounds like he is coming into the prime of his physical conditioning and I hope we get the most out of it.
        • Like Like x 1
        • Shoe1

          Shoe1 Well-Known Member

          +7,202 /105
          He's almost in tooves' league when it comes to bench pressing
        • Woodsie

          Woodsie played strong, done good.

          +9,508 /195
          pound for pound I'd back tooves.
          • Like Like x 1
          • qldeagle

            qldeagle Well-Known Member

            +1,230 /51
            Yeah as long as all this weight lifting relates to thigh pumping 20 metre runs along with 2nd phase passing.
            • Agree Agree x 1

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