Daniele Sircana

Name: Daniele Sircana
Class: 1976
Height: 176cm
Weight: 102kg
Wrist: 21cm
Biceps: 51cm
Forearm: 41cm
Titles: 11 Senior National Titles, 1 Senior Absolute Title, 1 Senior Absolute Title at the Supermatch, a 5th place at the Senior Euro-pean Championship and a 7th place at the Senior World Championship, as well as a series of victories in competitions and minor tournaments both in the National and International fields!

Goodmorning guys, I’m Daniele Sircana athlete and National Training Manager of the SBFI.

My early years in sports goes from swimming to rowing, up to Armwrestling in a gym equipped with one of the very first competition tables.

Going back 30 years, the period of my debut in this discipline, training was much more essential than now.
The existence of some muscles was even ignored, also due to a lack of interest of medicine to a minor sports disciplines.
Over the time and increasing information, more and more specific equipment has gradually been born which has allowed a great leap forward from the level of pros and amateurs, but one thing must been said that how in reality the greater results was already obtainable with classic workouts, which certainly require more dedication, discipline and perseverance, but even if the specific workout with handles is very fun and stimulating, from my point of view it appears to be complementary to the major part of the work already done in the weight room and with table time!

I am proudly at the head of the Team Tyrsenoi, one of the most numerous and titled Tuscan teams, unbeaten in the national team championships from 2015 to 2022!

Time passes and currently I no longer have much time to devote to training, especially the commitment from a mental point of view is extremely taxing which is why I shifted towards fullbody circuit sessions lasting about 45 minutes each for 2/3 times a week, a solution I arrived at after years of experience and deep knowledge of my body, thanks to which I can still have appreciable benefits and gains thanks to my long past in traditional weightlifting.
The sessions at the table have therefore been reduced accordingly to avoid unnecessary injuries and excessively persistent inflammation!

A good training program always starts from the knowledge of the subject in front of you but if I had to give a general advice more or less valid for everyone, I would not hesitate to say to focus on a traditional cyclic block training with phases of adaptation, hypertrophy , general strength, specific strength and deloading about 4 times a week to obviously to be followed by a more specific preparation with dedicated handles and equipment, and above all, table!

Among the general strength exercises, my favorites are definitely the neutral grip weighted pull-ups, pulleys and one-arm rows.
In fact, these exercises allow excellent gains in strength in all the main districts useful for Armwrestling. Furthermore, as a good Hooker, I would top it all off with specific work on the pronator and obviously exercises for flexing the carpus and fingers (the so-called cupping ).
As for the Top Roll instead, I would shift the attention to the pronator (called active pronation) and work on the Back Pressure, also here without neglecting the work on the Cupping and Radial Deviation of the hand (the so-called Rising).

During my career I have been lucky enough to fight against countless opponents, giving me matches that I still carry in my heart, some of which I have even lost but which turn out to be among those I am closest to!
A special mention certainly goes to the victory at the 2003 National Team and the fight won in Switzerland against Gattoni who at the time was one of the absolute Top3 in France!

Another challenge that I carry in my heart, but this time for different reasons, is the one with Girard Pascal, an athlete I had already had the opportunity to cross over in the after pulls, who had always let me go to the pin so much that on the occasion of the 2006 Super Match I was extremely confident that I can beat him.
My confidence unfortunately didn’t last long and the match ended
with a resounding 5-0 defeat. The disappointment was really burning but from which I learned a great lesson and certainly a
bath of humility that I would have carried with me for a long time…

During such a long career, there was certainly no shortage of injuries even quite serious such as a tear in the right pectoral during
a series of strength tests..
On that occasion I managed to recover after 40 days of total stop from training and a long rehabilitation.
In recent years, however, I’ve had a problem with my right hand, certainly less serious than the previous one, but it really hurt me
putting a strain on my mental strength as even the doctors and dozens of consultations seemed unable to get an idea to heal from that! Finally, thanks above all to my capacity of self-analysis and in consultation with other athletes, I realized that the cause could be attributed to a muscular imbalance!
It took years and an endless series of trials, during which I was able to select a small group of specific exercises that they finally allowed me to restore full functionality and allow me to go back to training as before.
Again, training turned out to be the best cure, it cost me a lot in both physical and mental terms but which certainly gave me more experience both on my body and of how even small details if neglected can bring to a bad situations and phisical problems.

My biggest regret has always to never been up to a world podium, I have tried many times and even in the past when the possibilities were greater the strong emotional pressure I felt kept me away from the result, at the time the most of the mental coach I had available was some slap froma my teammate. Now I would be much more experienced from this point of view, but the level of the Senior category has risen a lot and for me, as I’ve aged, it becomes extremely difficult.
Maybe in the future I’ll try again in the most suitable categories for my age, although it will definitely not be the same!

Speaking instead of matches played by others, having to choose which one among the other I was most impressed in terms of entertainment and adrenaline it’s very difficult, but I definitely can’t not mention the fight between Genady Kvikvinia and Devon Larrat and obviously the last two matches of Ermes against Chaffee and Levan! I have seen many technicalities, strategies, etc. in this years, but the thing I love the most is when an athlete arrives as an underdog but then manages to take home the victory against all odds!
From a technical point of view, however, the match between Ongarbaev and Irakli is it was really impressive!

My absolute favorite athlete instead, and here unfortunately I will give the most obvious answer in the world, I nominate John Brzenk because he embodies for me what arm wrestling is, capable of using any technique perfectly and always putting himself in the game without ever backing off even when he had problems, correct and modest, polite and respectful, how could I not love him? Sportsmanship personified linked to incredible potential.

Speaking precisely of John Brzenk it is natural to also speak of genetics, which precisely in our sport like all the others at the top
levels, turns out to be very important, but the fact remains that also those who are not particularly gifted, with the right determination and training scheduling, can reach very good results!
As often happens, the first challenge we have to try to win is the one against ourselves in being able to improve ourselves month after month and year after year, this definitely represents a great victory that will subsequently trigger a virtuous circle
of motivation that will lead us to do better and better over time.
Obviously if our own path will be made by a person with better genetics, this one will definitely get more results though but a clarification must be made, in the arm wrestling the identification of right genetics is not so immediate, the parameters available are many, from the more visually immediate ones such as the structure, muscle sections and levers of our arms up to the muscular and tendon capacity to increase strength, or to have an incredible hand control, to the less evident ones such as the neuromuscular contraction capacity and the mental toghness so never give up because we all can have something in our genetics that can make us unique, just discover it and work on it, then no excuses and work your ass off!

I would have so many funny anecdotes to tell, especially during the travel abroad, but since I love those directly involved, I prefer to refrain from telling them! 😂

Another factor to consider is nutrition. In the past I’ve always followed a fairly strict diet, mostly low-carb and high-protein together with cardio to allow me to get into the lower categories. In the last few years instead, also thanks to a changed family situation, such as the birth of my children, I prioritized this and a manager more flexible regimens always with common sense but without the drastic restrictions of the past.

As far as the management of the nutrition near a competition, everything obviously depends on the category in which I decide to compete. In case I want to lose weight, I check my sodium intake and vegetables and the night before I cut the water and starting a light recharge of carbohydrates.
After weight in, I immediately replenish the water and mineral salts as to cancel the negative effects on the cut of liquids of the night before.

Staying on the subject of nutrition, I have no particular prediliction but the one I love the most for example is a nice steak with truffles or for dessert, Bronte pistachio ice cream!

In conclusion, I would like to say a few words about the new generations. People who approach this world for the first time or
in general to a new sporting reality, have the opposite problem of the people of my generation, that is the overabundance of information without that there is an upstream filter that allows you to discern the good ones from the less good ones.
So my advice is to avoid being self-taught because the risk of injury is really high!
I obviously suggest to approach a team and get help, train and try to learn as much as possible from those more experienced than you. At the beginning, try to do as much table as possible, become familiar with the setting and the various pulling techniques, make it your home and only then you can train specifically.
At the beginning do a lot of table and classic training, then increase the specificity as your experience increases but until the first REAL results on competition, work hard because in this sport you never stop learning!
Even me, after 30 years of competitions and teachings, I still have something to learn, so imagine if you can, after a short time, say you already know everything there is to know and to teach others… humility and hard work and you will be able to reach great results!
Have a good workout everyone!

Fabio Pantaleoni
Author

Fabio Pantaleoni

Founder of Omega Strength Obsession; Strength trainer Expert AIF; Raw Training Strength Specialist.

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