Arden Cogar Jr.

Professional Competitor Bio

Nickname: Jamie
Location: West Hamlin, WV
Height: 5'11''
Weight: 118 kilos (I like telling people my weight in kilos and how much I can lift in pounds.)
Birthday: April 21, 1970
Job: Civil Defense Trial Attorney - Member at MacCorkle, Lavender & Sweeney, PLLC.
Athlete since: 1987
Training per week: "I try to weight train three times a week, but I practice Yoga, self myofascial release and Tai Chi daily. I have a coach, Randy Hauer, that keeps me from doing too much with my training as I've had a tendency to over-do things in the past."

How did you get involved in lumberjack sports?
I was exposed to timber sports through my family. My grandfather, Hans, and my great uncle, Earl, toiled in the forests of West Virginia during their youth and were both exposed to chopping and sawing the old fashioned way, through hand falling and hand bucking. They eventually made their way to the Rhododendron Festival in Webster Springs during the 1930s which hosted Appalachia's first organized wood chopping event. My father and four of my paternal uncles participated in timber sports for many years and they each passed it on to their sons and daughters. Currently, there are over 20 members of the Cogar Family who are active in some facet of timber sports, including my wife, Kristy, and my two young daughters, Kiara and Carmen.

When did you begin participating/competing in lumberjack sports and the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series?
I ran my first chain saw in competition at age 8. I chopped for the first time in competition at age 12. I started competing on the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series at age 17. 2012 will be my 25th year on the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series.

How do you train for the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series and other lumberjack competitions?
My training varies based on the time of year. When I'm "in season" (from May until September), my strength training is about "maintaining" or keeping as much strength as I've accumulated during the off season. To that end, I'll strength train 3 days a week and event train 4 days a week (alternating days) unless I have a contest on the weekend. If I have a contest, I'll weight train on Monday and Wednesday and event train on Tuesday and Thursday. When I'm "out of season" I strength train 4 to 5 days a week with at least one event training session intermingled.

I started lifting weights when I was 12. I competed in my first bench press contest when I was 14. I competed in my first three lift powerlifting contest when I was 17. I stopped power lifting when I realized my body couldn't continually handle the exposure to heavy weights. For the next 14 years, I "power body-builded" until I was introduced to Crossfit. Crossfit introduced me to "metabolic conditioning" workouts that made me fitter and tougher. Through Crossfit I fell in love with the Olympic lifts. Through that love for the Olympic lifts, I was introduced to my coach, Randy Hauer, who has completely revamped my entire training protocol.

I've turned my event training sessions into my metabolic conditioning workouts and my weight training is now speed and speed strength based. Training this way has allowed me to make more progress in the past two years - at age 40 and 41 - than I did the previous 20 years combined.

Moreover, this programming keeps me chomping at the bit to train harder and more frequently than I could in the past. Not the result I expected moving into the heart of middle age.

I love it. I'm looking forward to my 40s and I think the skies the limit with my performances on the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series.

Are you related to any current or former STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series competitors?
Current Competitors: first cousin, Paul Cogar; first cousin twice removed, Matthew Cogar. Former Competitors: first cousin, Bill Cogar; father, Arden Cogar Sr. My father made the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series Finals at the age of 60 during 1994. He qualified 4th overall and ended up placing 12th. I have made it my goal to make the TIMBERSPORTS Finals at the same age. So, for me, the best is yet to come.

Best/strongest STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series discipline:
Slowly but surely all my events are becoming strong as I can no longer segregate my weak events from my strong events. Some events I like training more than others -such as single buck, springboard and standing block - but that's because it take the most effort for me to perform. At this stage of my life, and given what I do for work, the "effort from training" is an absolute necessity in order for me to fit into my suits and maintain my sanity.

Any advice for the collegiate competitors?
Like any sport, the investment of time, energy, and effort is needed in order for success to occur. Success may be immediate initially. But continued success requires time, energy and effort. And even then, the performances may falter despite the best efforts. But do NOT let those stumbling blocks dissuade the long term effort needed for success. TIMBERSPORTS is a sport that can be performed productively and competitively well into advanced age. This is a long term project. TIMBERSPORTS is a lifetime project that is fun, healthy, and rewarding.

What pro athlete/celebrity would you like to see try one of the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series disciplines?
I believe Zach Snyder, the Director of "300", would love to do some single bucking or try any of the more manual events.

Honestly, I'd love to see any professional athlete try single bucking. It's sooooo humbling.

Name three songs on your training/working out playlist?
Disturbed - Down with the Sickness
Papa Roach - Last Resort
POD - Alive

Favorite TV Show:
I honestly don't watch much TV. When I do, it's whatever the kids are watching.

Favorite Sports Team:
West Virginia Mountaineers.

Proudest moment in your life so far:
My proudest moments have all come with milestones achieved by my daughters, Kiara and Carmen. Kiara is an excellent student who has taken a keen interest in TIMBERSPORTS. Carmen is a wonderful young women who, if and when she applies herself, will be exceptional at any endeavor. I am proud of my wife, Kristy, a Senior Network Engineer (fancy word for an IT or computer geek), for winning a world title during her fourth year of competition and being a member of the United States National Lumberjill Team.

To be frank, all my efforts, awards, and accolades pale in comparison to the achievements of others. I find great solitude and satisfaction in modesty for my own accomplishments while celebrating the accomplishments of others.

Anything else you'd like to share?
"I must admit, I look more like a bouncer than I do a lawyer. Even in a suit."

"Yes, I really am a lawyer."

"After a hard day at the office, nothing is more rewarding than going home, grabbing an axe, and beating the crap out of something that can't hit me back."

"They say age is just a number. But in TIMBERSPORTS it epitomizes wisdom and gall. I reckon I should have tons of both, but I just want to have fun. If I get too serious, come up and poke me. I need to laugh in order to perform well."

"I argue, speak and write for a living. I chop, saw, and hotsaw for fun."

"My father made the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series Finals at the age of 60 during 1994. He qualified 4th overall and ended up placing 12th. I have made it my goal to make the TIMBERSPORTS Finals at the same age. So, for me, the best is yet to come."