Caber

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RepublicJim
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Location: Republic, WA

Caber

Postby RepublicJim » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:35 pm

July 4th I finally tried out my beginner caber for the first time. Since I have 20 acres of mostly-wooded property, I can cut my own cabers of whatever size I want, whenever I feel like it. All I have to do is find one with an appropriate length that is roughly straight and a reasonable diameter, limb it, and let it dry for a while. Once I move up to a larger caber, or break my current one, I'll simply cut it up and use it for firewood.
For my first caber I went with a relatively small and light log, about 13'7" long and only 5" diameter at the butt. I rounded off the narrow end and smoothed it to make it a little easier on my hands, but left the bark on the rest of it since I don't expect to use this one long-term. Eventually when I have moved up to a larger, heavier caber that will challenge me for a long time, I will use a drawknife to de-bark and smooth it, then treat the whole thing with linseed oil. I will probably end up making two or three similar-sized ones so that I have a spare to use when I need to re-oil one.

The "pick" (taking it from a vertical position on the ground to holding in hands) is much more of a timing and balance issue than a brute strength move, although that would change a little with a much heavier caber. Even my relatively small and light caber was a challenge to hold vertically with over ten feet sticking up above my shoulder. The core stabilizer muscles play a big part in this. Tossing the caber requires the legs, core, traps, and arms to all work together in an explosive movement somewhat similar to a high pull. I mainly focused on pick and balance technique for this first session, and only tossed it five times. On three of those attempts I successfully turned the caber, which was incredibly satisfying. Later that evening my traps were aching, much like they do after performing a few sets of power cleans.

I think that in time the combination of full-body effort, balance, and explosive throwing will really increase my overall strength and athleticism. I plan to do a few sessions each month, hopefully with a larger caber by sometime in August. I'll be scouting my property for suitable trees soon. Look for updates (and possibly photos) as I progress...
pathfighter wrote:Keep at it. People may not listen to regular madmen, but they do listen to jacked madmen.




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Snaplight
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Re: Caber

Postby Snaplight » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:06 am

Interesting post ( at least to me... )

What sort of weight is the Caber?

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RepublicJim
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Location: Republic, WA

Re: Caber

Postby RepublicJim » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:13 pm

Snaplight wrote:What sort of weight is the Caber?


My beginning caber is only 42 pounds. That's absolutely puny by highland games standards, but then so am I! :mozilla_oops: I recently chopped down, limbed, and peeled my next one and have it drying in my garage. It is exactly 15' long and about 6 1/2" diameter at the butt, so will be significantly heavier than my current one. I won't know for sure what it weighs until it has spent a reasonable time drying and I take it back outside. Right now it's approximately a metric crapload (I'm estimating a little over 100 pounds based on how it felt moving it) since it was still alive when I dropped it. I'm hoping for somewhere in the 70-80 pound range by mid-September, but we'll see.

For what it's worth, at competitions they use cabers in the 18-20 foot range and waaay over 100 pounds. But, at over 50 years old, 5'9", and 185 pounds, it is safe to say that I'll never be tossing the caber with the big boys. I'll make do with my undersized beginner cabers and continue working on improving both my strength and technique. It really is fun and a great way to get outside and toss heavy stuff around.
pathfighter wrote:Keep at it. People may not listen to regular madmen, but they do listen to jacked madmen.

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RepublicJim
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Re: Caber

Postby RepublicJim » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:13 pm

Today I got my intermediate caber out of the garage to do a little sanding and shaping of the end, and I applied the first coat of oil. I still need to do more smoothing on the small end so that I can pick it up without tearing up my hands. While it was outside I weighed it. It is currently 78 pounds, so my estimate seems to be fairly accurate. It will likely lose a little more water weight, but that should be somewhat offset by oiling it and filling cracks with wood glue.

Below is a side-by-side comparison of my current beginner caber and my new one before I sanded and oiled, as seen from the smaller ends. The butt ends are lined up in order to show the difference in length and diameter. I think I will have to spend a fair amount of time just practicing the pick with the intermediate caber before I ever consider trying to toss it. More updates as I progress...

Image
pathfighter wrote:Keep at it. People may not listen to regular madmen, but they do listen to jacked madmen.

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Snaplight
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Re: Caber

Postby Snaplight » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:33 am

Thanks for the update Jim.

I'm not using cabers currently but am getting tempted by them and Shot putting.

What I am enjoying in a sick twisted way is Sleeper Carries - Grabbing a Full size railway sleeper , mounting it on one shoulder and walking with it. Really compresses the Breathing muscles and forces the spine and core to work at a crazy rate.

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RepublicJim
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Re: Caber

Postby RepublicJim » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:49 pm

So, here it is nearly mid-December already, and I have not reported on this for a while. Life got really busy, and then the days got short and snow hit. I have been splitting and hauling firewood, weatherproofing, and doing other "country living" and community activities, and have hardly had any opportunity to break out the big guy.

Sunday I tried working with the caber but I had to give it up because everything was icy and slippery and I nearly smacked my head with it. So far I still have not been able to turn the 15' unit, although I am close. I actually got the "pick" relatively easily but I still lack the timing and explosive strength to hoist it high enough to complete the rotation. Many more cleans and high pulls are in order...

On a positive note, after getting worn out working with the 15' caber I can do a "drop set" by switching to my little beginner caber. At that point it feels incredibly light in comparison. In fact, the first time I did that I picked it off the ground so fast that it lifted clear out of my hands and I had to catch it on the way down. That tells me I'm improving anyway. As mentioned before, when I first started the pick was a challenge with the little guy.

With a little over two weeks left I'm still holding out some small hope of achieving my goal of turning the 15' caber this year. I have three more caber workouts penciled in on my schedule, one of which should be during daylight hours. I figured out a way to brace the end of the caber while standing it upright (to prevent it from sliding away from me in the snow), and I'm going to try it while wearing gloves and YakTrax. Hopefully those things will allow me to really work on maximum force production and timing without so much concern of bashing my fool head in. I'll see how it goes and report back.
pathfighter wrote:Keep at it. People may not listen to regular madmen, but they do listen to jacked madmen.

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RepublicJim
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Location: Republic, WA

Re: Caber

Postby RepublicJim » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:52 pm

Snaplight wrote:What I am enjoying in a sick twisted way is Sleeper Carries - Grabbing a Full size railway sleeper , mounting it on one shoulder and walking with it. Really compresses the Breathing muscles and forces the spine and core to work at a crazy rate.

I had to Google that to make sure you were talking about what I thought you were. I know them as railroad ties. You're right, they do really compress you. I've carried a few around my property while working on projects and it is brutal. If you enjoy that you must be a masochist! :mozilla_laughing:
pathfighter wrote:Keep at it. People may not listen to regular madmen, but they do listen to jacked madmen.

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Snaplight
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Re: Caber

Postby Snaplight » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:03 am

RepublicJim wrote:
Snaplight wrote:What I am enjoying in a sick twisted way is Sleeper Carries - Grabbing a Full size railway sleeper , mounting it on one shoulder and walking with it. Really compresses the Breathing muscles and forces the spine and core to work at a crazy rate.

I had to Google that to make sure you were talking about what I thought you were. I know them as railroad ties. You're right, they do really compress you. I've carried a few around my property while working on projects and it is brutal. If you enjoy that you must be a masochist! :mozilla_laughing:



Ive found nothing else really hits the abs , obliques and spinae erectors as hard. The Traps also get an obvious pounding as they are attempting to stabilize the shoulder girdle from downward pressure.

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RepublicJim
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Location: Republic, WA

Re: Caber

Postby RepublicJim » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:24 pm

After a bunch of time away from the caber I finally had both the time and energy to spare on Father's Day. It was rather breezy, which made it very challenging to stabilize upright, but it was a good workout. I came ever so close to turning the caber on the throw, but still fell just short of vertical. It will happen soon! Right now I still need a good deal of practice on the "pick", so that's my main focus. As I get stronger and more consistent with that I will start really working on throw technique. The next several months I will also be doing more frequent sprints, throws, cleans, and other explosive movements. That should gradually make it a little easier to get the height necessary to turn that pig.

I have gotten in the habit of filming any challenging movement and reviewing my form between sets, in order to correct mistakes. The caber is no exception. One of my "picks" is viewable here https://youtu.be/XITP32HOKkI if you are curious what it looks like. Hopefully fairly soon I will have a good throw to post.
pathfighter wrote:Keep at it. People may not listen to regular madmen, but they do listen to jacked madmen.


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