Friday, May 7, 2010

Random thoughts about training, life, crap, and stuff

Will be using a little bit different format for this from now on.  Just like the title reads, random thoughts........

  • In less than a week we got to Vegas for vacation.  We haven't had a vacation in two years and it's amazing how fast time gets away from you when you have a "life" going on with kids and work and lifting and everything else.  One thing I like to do on vacation is have NO PLANS.  We get there, and that's it.  A blank piece of paper.  I use vacation to actually relax and unwind.  I can't stand going on vacation with someone who has an itinerary.  Life forces me into an itinerary.  The last thing I want vacation to do is tell me I have to be somewhere at a certain time so I can "see something" or someone.  I generally sit out at the beach pool and go to sleep.  Then go eat, then go back to the room and go to sleep.  Then repeat a similar pattern the whole week.  It may sound boring to some, but when I get back from vacation I feel like a new man.  
  • Kansas sucks for weather.  You get like 2 weeks of spring where it's not raining.  Then summer is hot and humid as hell.  Fall is ok for about 17 minutes, then it rains and the rain stops, and it's like 9 below for 4 months.  If you like seasons, you'll love Kansas.  If you hate sucky weather, you'll hate it.  
  • I've been sick this week but still got training in and believe it or not had a couple of nice sessions.  I am really beginning to think there is something to this whole "training in a relaxed state" thing.  I did the 100's x 22 on flat bench and 90's x 15 (I think) overhead sick on 900-1100 calories a day without much thought.  I did this just as a "gotta get something in" afterthought.  
  • I really finally realize that my lower back is the real issue holding back my deadlift.  Nothing in training really screamed this out to me, I just realized that my abs and low back aren't getting as much out of squats and deads alone as they used to.  It's time to really put in some time strengthening both of those areas to get ready for the meet in August.  I am going to make an effort to get my abs, obliques, and low back as strong as possible in that time and I believe I will see the rewards in my squat and dead for it.  The center of your power starts in that area, and while just squats and deads have gotten me by for a long time now I believe to move them up another level will require a little bit of special work.  There is a low back machine at the gym and I am going to see if I can get up to moving the whole stack for reps easily.  For abs I will be doing two exercises to start each training session (except on squat and dead day).  I think generally we tend to gravitate towards things that are comfortable in our training and avoid the things that cause us to feel weak and provide discomfort.  I need to shake that shit off and get busy with this.
  • Sometimes you just gotta let go of shit.  Without the ability to do that you only drive yourself crazy and others around you crazy too.  Whether that's a job thing or a personal life thing, at some point in your life you reach a juncture where if you don't let go of things that can no longer be changed you will spiral downwards.  Into what?  I dunno, but it can't be anything good.  
  • If my elbows didn't hurt I would have benched 475+ by now.  Is elbow surgery replacement available yet?  
  • Women in their 30's are CRAZY!  That's all I will say.  I know why, but it's still shocking to hear the things I hear from them sometimes.  
  • After not traveling more than 1 time a year for years on end generally, this year I am going to Vegas twice (more than likely), California once, and Ohio once.  I'm going to feel like I'm back in the military!
  • Tiff is having a garage sell and it never amazes me the shit you collect over the years and the shit people will buy from you.  I laughed to myself as I watch them outside the window, wondering if someone would buy some hardened cow turds if I sat some out on a table.  I think it makes good fertilizer so I think I know the answer to this.  
  • People defend training styles on the net like they are defending their countries freedom.  If you say that you aren't a fan of X or Y training, people go ape shit!  Like you are the Taliban and they will reign down a Godly firestorm on your ass for saying that.  It's just lifting weights.  It's ok to agree to disagree.  
  • 35 is ok.  I hated waking up 35 but it's not been too bad so far.  I am dreading 40 though.  I think at 35 I can still NOT be that creepy old guy if I am flirty (and I usually am just by nature).  At some point I have to stop though, and I think 40 is where it has to end.  I have no choice.  It has to end at 40.  So I have to get in as much now as I can!  
  • I tried decline skull crushers the other night hoping they would not hurt my elbows.........and they did.  It makes me sad that I can't do skullies anymore.  They were my favorite tricep exercise for years and years.  But I fully believe they are the reason my elbows hurt most of the time now.  I used to laugh at "older" lifters that told me to avoid them.  Now I think at how wise they are and how stupid I was.  But that's the way of the fool.  Learn from your own mistakes instead of everyone else's.  
  • The longer I go without having pulled 700 the more weak and wimpy I feel.  I vow to deadlift 700 in the next 12 months.  Someone remind me every so often please.  The only good thing is when I pull 700 I should be squatting 700 too and that is pretty good for 250 raw I think.  Of course, when I get there I will frown because I'm not doing 800.  I just know it.  I think sometimes reaching goals is the least rewarding thing because you always feel like there is another level you want to be at.  Remind me of why Alexander wept..........
  • I can't wait to get back to fighting after this meet is over.  I've had a long enough hiatus and I look forward to knocking the living shit out of my Russian friend Vitaly over and over again and getting stabbed in the stomach...............twice. (true story)
  • The longer I diet again, the less I want to really eat.  At first it's the worst thing in the world but then after a long while you just don't care to eat much.  I understand how Jim is in this state now.  I could eat 2 or 3 times all day, and have very little, and feel just fine.  Of course when winter rolls around all of that changes but for now, it feels good again.  
  • I hate having to constantly plan my training templates around the injuries I have but I suspect this is the case with every 20+ year lifter.  
  • Everyone remember to call your mom this weekend.  It's mothers day.  Even if you aren't close with your mom or have a good relationship with her, she still gave birth to you.  
  • Thanks for reading.  :)


  1. what about skullies with a wider grip.....and i mean wider..shoulder wide

  2. Haven't tried that. I'm always up for trying something out. I will give it a shot and let you know.

  3. Good stuff here. Your training templates and raw SQ articles have helped me square some things away having transitioned from multi-ply to raw lifting within the last year.
    I also seem to need plenty of low back and ab assistance work. Does this template look reasonable:
    Week 1
    SQ: up to heavy triple, back off set of pause SQ
    45 deg back raise (5 sets of 10, increasing weight when possible)
    heavy abs (sit-ups, ab wheel, obliques, etc..)

    Week 2:
    Pause SQ: up to easy to moderate triple
    DL: up to heavy 1-3 reps
    45 deg back raise: 2 sets of 10
    heavy abs


  4. Looks real good sean. The only thing I'd change is instead of doing the hyper every time, do a romanian or stiff legged deadlift on the heavy deadlift day as a back off. So after you work up to your heavy 1-3 on deads, take some weight off for a good set of romanians/sldl.

  5. Paul,

    Can elaborate a little on the whole 'training in a relaxed state' thing? Thanks.

  6. Basically pick a weight you need zero psyche for as your working set. So instead of constantly working yourself up mentally to get ready to start the set, you pick weights that you need zero psyche for, but still provide enough of a load to work you. Then don't work into a grind. Get your reps in and feel "good" when the set is over.

    This has been working well for me in a "cruise" state and I think it's going to carry over well into my meet prep. Because I feel fresh but at the same time, I think my foundation level of strength may be a big higher. So my bench has moved from 315x10 to 315x12 without really trying. Just going in and getting the reps in without much thought. Hit 500x8 in the dead with little effort just by pulling weights I felt comfortable with.

    It takes a little practice but I think it can definitely help you peak for a meet without overtraining too early.

  7. Paul-

    In regards to the deadlift, consider switching to sumo for a bit like we discussed before. I think it will help you a lot.

    Check out some stuff by Tom Eiseman. He has some good vids up on his deadlift technique. It is ugly and looks like it wouldn't work at all, but I tried it Friday and was amazed at how much more pop and speed I had. It's worth a shot.

    Good luck. No doubt you have the strength for a 700 in you already. It is just about maximizing leverages.


  8. Rick I am definitely going to do the sump switch to see what carry over it gives me to conventional but I will have to wait until after August. If I am going to experiment with something I like to have some playing room and I will only have 9 weeks of real training with a two week deload before the meet. And I'd really like to at least hit 650 then. Which is still quite pathetic but it's where I'm at.