Lift Heavy Often. As In Every Day.
If you caught the South East Regional events this year, odds are you remember Elijah Muhammad. He was the one who absolutely dominated Event 5, 10 rounds of a 20’ legless rope climb and a 200’ sprint. A former training partner of the legend himself, Rich Froning, Elijah has been making a name for himself in the fitness world for some time now. And at the Granite Games, “EZ,” as he’s known by friends, brought his A-game, taking 4th overall in our hard-hitting Men’s Elite division. Get yourself caught up on his story, he’s going to be around for a while!
GG: First off, how did you get the nickname “EZ”?
EZ: I got the nickname from basketball. It was an old saying I would use while trash-talking and playing. I went up to the opposing team’s coach and said, “He is easy money, you keep him on me, you lose. EASY!” And next thing I knew, I was EZ. The name stuck. I’ve had many trash-talking moments.
GG: You have a motto about lifting: “Lift heavy often. As in every day.” Where did that come from?
EZ: So when I trained with Rich Froning, it was so valuable to learn from him. He’s the best training partner ever. That was an experience that will never be forgotten. As we trained, we lifted every day. As I learned more, we lifted heavy often as most people would say, but to me it was more like every day. And I saw the significance and value in pulling and pressing something heavy daily. Sooooo “Lift Heavy Often, As In Everyday” became my motto.
GG: It certainly seems to be working for you! Who brought you to Minnesota for the Granite Games?
EZ: Kill Cliff asked me to come and represent them. I am now Team Kill Cliff [golf clap]. I had nothing going on that weekend and I saw Mat was going and thought it would be good to compete against someone like him. And it didn’t hurt that the top 6 places also got paid. Sweet! I thought, ‘I can get in that top 6.’ LOL and also I wanted to go to Mall of America!
GG: Unbroken was your best event over the weekend. What did you think of it?
EZ: I think it was a very good workout and people often don’t realize how the element of making something unbroken can affect you mentally. But for me, that workout was fun.
GG: You mentioned to me at the end of the Granite Games weekend that your favorite workout was actually The Snatch Ladder, which you also did well in, taking 4th in the Elite division. Do you have a passion for Oly lifting?
EZ: Lift Heavy Often, As In Everyday. I love Olympic lifting and imitating things Olympic lifters do (different set ups, the way they slam bars, their approach). All of it has significance. It’s like that pre-game ritual. I really enjoy Oly lifting: the rush, the skill of it—the technical stuff!
GG: You certainly represented on The Snatch Ladder and Unbroken. But on the flip side, Sprint Relay was your lowest finish over the weekend. Were the deficit handstand push-ups a movement you haven’t worked much, or was it just the long weekend catching up to you?
EZ: Yes, that was my lowest event. But I recognize that handstand push-ups are something I need to work on in high reps. Deficits are something I do regularly, but just the handstand push-ups and moving that fast with that movement is something that needs to be touched up on. It was a great eye opener!
GG: You also said you’re pretty new to the Kill Cliff family. Did you have a chance to get to know the other KC-sponsored athletes over the weekend?
EZ: Yes I am new. I did find some time to get to know the athletes and they are all awesome in their own way. Also I got to learn more about the owner, which is always cool—having that chance to see where they came from and where the brand came from.
GG: How about the other athletes in your division? What did you think of the field of men you were up against?
EZ: They were absolutely solid athletes and respectable guys! I hit 295 on The Snatch Ladder, and there were guys out there pulling 305. I thought to myself it’s crazy how strong these guys are. The competition was like a Regional competition to me, and it was hosted and run really well. I enjoyed myself to the fullest.
GG: Any final impressions of Minnesota and the Granite Games experience?
EZ: Well, it was cold—I packed shorts & tees for the weekend! But seriously, the whole weekend was full of positive vibes, even at the airport. And I really enjoyed the programming. The WODs were challenging, but not deadly. You could keep moving and not be wrecked.