Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Ass Machine #2 - like a billion reps with the stack.  Got bored.  Need to find a new ass exercise.

Standing Strict Press - barx20, 135 x 5, 155 x 4, 175 x 3, 195 x 2, 225 x 1

I was fine with this.  This is the first heavy overhead work I've done since I tored the bicep 5.5 weeks ago.

High Bar GM's - 135 x 15, 225 x 3 sets of 10

Pipes - 6 sets of bi's and 6 sets of tri's, 15-20 reps each set.

Notes - Good session.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Music post of the week

This is new (duh) but Imma try to post up a song new, old, various genre whatever each week.  If it has a story with it I will write about it.

I played music (drums for 20+ years and sang for a good part of 5 years, yes I sing bitches) for a long time so my taste is far and wide.  I like everything from Elton John to Cannibal Corpse.  I don't like country or hip hop however for the most part so there is that.

Today is WASP, a song called My Tortured Eyes.  I love WASP and always have.  They can play shock rock or sweet ass ballads.  This song is fairly dark and brooding but I enjoy it very much....


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Training and Conditioning

Light Day -

Ass Machine #1 - stack x 30 reps

Squats - 135 x 5, 225 x 5, 315 x 5 sets of 5

Incline Press - 135 x 10, 185 x 10, 225 x 10 x 10

Low Cable Row/Wide Grip Lat Pulldown superset - light 3 sets of 20 reps on each

Conditioning - 12 sprints around the track

Wasted after this.

Random thoughts about training, life, crap, and stuff..........

Why does conventional marriage and dating fail so much in this country?  We have what, a 50% divorce rate?  Yet arranged marriages have something like a 90% success rate, and we find THAT shit strange?  We're F'd up aren't we?

Sticking to a diet that lets you eat a lot of fruit is easy.  It takes away all the cravings for bad carbs.  I swear it works, I've just never overloaded my diet with fruit before like this.  If you haven't, replace as much as your grains with fruit and see if you don't feel tons better and crave bad food less.  It works.

I think I may be on the verge of working out my greatest lifting template ever.  I've been messing with it for a few weeks now, training some clients on it, and it's freakin awesome.  I have a template for beginner, intermediate, and advanced lifters.  I'll put it up as soon as my arm heals and I can really go through it properly, but I'm already kind of using it.

Joke of the week - A pirate walks into a bar with a steering wheel on his crotch.  Bartender says "what's with the steering wheel"?  Pirate says "Arrrg.  It's drivin me nuts.........."

The media is going batshit crazy again over this ill/sick football team thing.  I have only caught bits and pieces but I knew it wouldn't be long before they would start blaming a supplement or some kind of PED.  For the life of me I can't figure out why the media has such a hard on against supplements and PEDs.  Supplements are here to stay, and so are PEDs.  Rather than fight it what the FDA and congress should do is get on the bandwagon to make sure supplements are top notch quality and that PEDs can be regulated to athletes in a way that helps them recover better.  We ask our baseball players to play 160+ games a year, our football players to play 16 games plus pre-season and training camp.  We expect them to be on the field and yet we take away the things that can make their life easier and sustain health longer.  It's ridiculous.

Obama - 1 and done.  Maybe the media and voters won't ever elect a guy based on the fact that he can give a good speech and fear of gas prices.  I don't care if a guy stutters and drools during his speeches if he's got the brains for the job.  This country needs to elect someone that can get us moving back in the right direction in 2012.  The job loss rate is astounding right now.  Funny enough I have read that during an economic depression that strip clubs make more money.  I guess boobs always make everything better.

Three flat tires in a month.  Something tells me I pissed someone off.

If you haven't made progress in a year, change something for the love of God.  Sometimes you have to break out of your comfort zone and do shit you don't like to do.  In fact, picking all the exercises you REALLY suck at and getting better at those isn't a bad idea.  So long as they aren't exercises like zercher squats and high pulls.  I think those are two of the most worthless exercises ever.  That's just me though.

So it looks like the whole "don't eat carbs and fat together" mantra is starting to get trashed.  I'm seeing more and more guys advocating that exact thing.  Where you eat your fats first then ingest the carbs.  The fat slows the absorption rate of the carbs thus lowering the GI rating.  This actually makes sense to me, and I've always hated super low carb diets when I've done them.  I'd rather eat more carbs and have to work harder on conditioning and in the weight room, than feel hungry and tired as hell all the time.  Screw that.  It's like doing cardio in the morning.  Why?  It's awful.  It's still about calories in vs out, so just do cardio when you feel best about doing it.  For me that's in the afternoon, generally after lifting.

I am now cemented in the belief that 90+% of low back pain in lifters is piriformis related.  Stretch that muscle as often as you can.

A new Conan is coming out in 2011.  Everyone was pretty upset with the Jason Momoa pick but I've seen pics of the filming and he really looks the part.  The truth is Conan wouldn't have looked like Arnold.  He would have been closer to something that Momoa is.  And facial wise Momoa actually looks closer to the artist work done of Conan.

If you're trying to lose fat, eating too little can be just as bad as cheating too often or not eating enough.  I have a client that has a problem eating everything I lay out.  If she has a week where she eats exactly what I say, it never fails that she will drop a couple of pounds.  If she skips meals or doesn't eat what I tell her she will stay stagnant or even gain weight sometimes.  This shit can be tricky but I think it's better to get your calorie deficit through lifting and conditioning than lowering calories to a point where you feel like shit most of the time.

I'm still working on the strength endurance article.  Keep your panties on.

Speaking of panties, what's better boy shorts or thong?  I mean on your lady not on you.........NTTAWWT /Seinfeld

And to close..................

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Glute work - 110 reps on #2 ass machine

Standing PBN - barx20, 65x20, 95x20, 135x20

High Bar GM's - 135 x 10, 185 x 10,10,10

Db Curls/Overhead Extensions - 5 sets of 12-20

New Raw Powerlifting Website and Board

My friend Phil Wylie sent me a link to a board and website he's running now for raw powerlifting.  Sign up on the board there.  There aren't a lot of guys there yet, but the guys that are are legit.



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weekly Q&A........



Glute work - 3 sets of 15 on ass machine

Squats - high bar no belt no wraps

135 x 10
225 x 5
315 x 4
405 x 3
425 x 2

All super easy, fast and light.

Bench Press (close grip) -
135 x 20

Superset - bent laterals/wide grip pulldowns - 2 sets of 20 each light

Going to start doing some direct glute work to see what happens.  I've never done it before and I wonder if doing some direct glute work will help my squat and dead a little bit.  This is the 5th week out from surgery and supposedly the most dangerous according to my PT.  Apparently after surgery the matrix of the fibers is very messy and tangled.  As the weeks go on they begin to lengthen out.  Around the 5th and 6th week the lengthening process is almost complete, however the fibers are fairly weak because they are in a "new" position.  So the chance for rupture is higher during the next two weeks.  So I will be careful this week and next week.  I have noticed more pain over the last couple of days where the previous couple of weeks I was fairly pain free.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Training and Conditioning

Standing Press Behind the Neck -

1-legged Calf Raises - 3x20

Ez Bar Curls - 35x20x20

Conditioning work - Sprint/Walk work for 35 minutes

Saturday, August 21, 2010


High Bar squats -

135 x 12
225 x 8

315 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 5, 5, 5

Supersetted with..........

Flat Db Bench Press -
40's x 10 sets of 20

Bent Laterals - 20's x 4 sets of 20

This session took forever and a day and I was D-O-N-E afterwards.

Out on the town

The last week and a half has kinda sucked.  Just had a lot of BS drama going on in my life and I hate drama.  So that has been eliminated now and last night the wife and I went out with a couple of great friends for dinner and drinks.  I haven't been able to kick back and relax in a while and it felt awesome to do.  Also I have been training the female of the couple who went with us, and she has lost over 20 pounds in the last two months and looks like a different person than before.

Either way, just wanted to give an ode to having great friends and good times.  That really is what life is all about.

My diet on doggcrapp

I had someone ask me a little about my time doing DC training on a board, and I thought I'd repost it here.

Pretty much did DC exactly like Dante lays it out. The main thing I did was big eating again (clean a good portion of the time but some junk in there to up the cals too). I kept cardio up pretty high, 45 minutes of steady state 3 times a week on off days, and drank a shit load of green tea. I did the program to the T and it worked awesome. I was ready mentally though. I don't know that I'd want to do that kind of thing again anytime soon. But it certainly got me over the rut I had been in for a long while. 

I was also living in Wichita during the week and coming home on the weekend so all week I just trained and ate and could focus on that. I still remember my diet at the time. 

5:30 or 6:00 - two scoops of protein powder in pineapple and orange juice 

8:00 - at work I would throw 4 egg whites and two whole eggs with cheese and turkey in it into the microwave and heat it up until cooked. Everyone complained every single morning for a year about this. I'd have two pieces of bread with natural peanut butter on it, a whole grapefruit, and a cup of oatmeal. 

10:30 - MacDonalds run. I would get 4-6 regular hamburgers. 

12:30 - Two chicken breasts with rice and veggies. 

3:30 - Pre-training - Oatmeal with protein powder 

5:00 - Training - gatorade with bcaa 

6:30 - Post Training - Usually my training partner and I would go to one of two Japanese places we liked and I'd get more some chicken and rice dish. 

8:30 - 9:00 - Usually another shake in milk. Sometimes I would have bought two things of the chicken and rice from the Japan place. 

The other thing was, I had no distractions so I was in bed by 9:30 almost every night. This was my diet pretty much for a solid year. After I got home full time I think it changed a little but not much. I think the diet, as usual, played the biggest part in growing again. Not that DC isn't a great size gaining program but anytime I think of times I got bigger or smaller the diet was the biggest difference.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


High Bar Good Mornings -
95 x 20
185 x 10 x 10 x 10  HAMS ARE WEAK

Standing Wide Grip Press Behind the Neck - 95 x 20 x 20 x 20

Got some kind of summer cold now.  Was sweating buckets the whole time.  By the end I was covered in sweat and very sexy looking.

Ultimate Beastdom - Training to get "what constitutes strong"...strong Part 2

The Conditioning Block -

Continuing down our line of building the ultimate beast, we have to talk about conditioning.  This is not about something you put on your hair after you shampoo it either.  

Being in awesome shape might be a better feeling than hitting a big PR.  When you can run hills as hard as you can until you get bored, and never tire.  That is a damn good feeling.  A few months ago I ran 40+ yard sprints for about an hour and could have gone on for another hour.  I never got tired or breathless.  It's an incredible feeling.  Your strength tends to not be top notch during this time, but you can knock out high rep sets of squats and be fully recovered in just a couple of minutes, rather than being put down for the day.  

Outside of feeling great, you look better, the nutrients you eat get shuttled through your system better, you recover faster, and have an ability to do a greater amount of work.  

So to cover the conditioning block we have to take two types of guys into account.  Lifters who are out of shape and need to build a decent level of conditioning, and lifters who already have that, but want to take it up a notch.  

The other factor is strength, or the maintenance of it.  There is a delicate balancing act here.  You don't want to run through several blocks of mass and strength training, only to lose a lot of that because you condition too much.  Lots of folks get overzealous in their quest to shed fat and get in shape and the next thing they know they have several overuse injuries, their strength is in the shitter, and they wonder where they went wrong.  Again, being slightly unbalanced is key.  What I mean by that is, each block is geared slightly towards one goal while the other maintains a certain status quo.  This is what you need to strive for when it comes to conditioning.  You want to improve your conditioning, but not at the expense of losing a significant degree of the strength you have built.  Some can or will be lost.  But it needs to fall in the realm of what you deem acceptable.  That will be different for everyone.  You will need to learn to adjust the template I give you to suit your own needs.  

Strength Maintenance -

During this phase lifting should be cut down to twice a week.  You can still make strength gains on a twice a week program.  If you don't think so ask Jim Wendler and Scott Yard who both train that way now, and have set PR's doing it.  Is it for everyone?  No.  It's all about where a guy is in his lifting life and what it is he's trying to accomplish.  I don't think that training twice a week is a great way to train for ultimate mass gain, but for pure strength it will work just fine.  From a strength maintenance perspective, it's very optimum in my opinion.  

There are a few ways you can do this.  For guys who are in the 400 bench, 550 squat, 600 deadlift range I advise squatting one week and deadlifting the next.  So if you trained squats on Saturday, you would deadlift the next Saturday.  On the other lifting day of the week do your pressing and pulling work.  So bench one week, overhead press the next, and get your rows, chins, and dips in.  

During strength maintenance said advanced guy would do 3 sets of doubles at 85% of your current max (don't overshoot it either ego maniac) for the big lifts for the first 3 weeks.  The last three weeks do 5 singles at 90% of your max.  After the big lift is done, do your assistance work fast and furious.  I personally don't care what it is to be honest.  You don't really need to spend that much time thinking about it.  If you want to do a curl and side laterals after bench, do it.  Just don't overdo it.  

Advanced lifter -

Week 1 - 
Day 1 - Pressing
Bench - 3x2 @ 85% for three weeks - 5x1 @ 90% the last three weeks

Day 2 - Squats
Squats - 3x2 @ 85% for three weeks - 5x1 @ 90% the last three weeks

Week 2 - 
Day 1 - Pressing
Overhead Work - 3x2 @ 88% for three weeks - 5x1 @ 92% the last three weeks

Day 2 - Deadlifts
Deadlift - 3x2 @ 88% for three weeks - 5x1 @ 92% the last three weeks

For a more novice guy, someone in the 200-315 bench range with a 365-405 squat and a 455-500 deadlift I would set it up like this, squatting and pulling every week.  With one deadlift session at 70% for a set of 5 then the next squat session at the same.  No assistance work to be done after squats and pulls.  

Week 1 - 
Day 1 - Pressing

Day 2 - Squats and Deadlifts 
Squat - 3x2 @ 88% for three weeks - 5x1 @ 92% the last three weeks
Deadlift - 1x5 @ 70%

Week 2 - 
Day 1 - Pressing
Overhead Work 

Day 2 - Squats and Deadlifts
Squat - 1x5 @ 70%
Deadlift - 3x2 @ 85% for three weeks - 5x1 @ 90% the last three weeks

They key during this time is to move those weights fast and keep overall volume low.  As I noted on assistance, pick something, do it fast and furious and be done with it.  It will be hard enough to keep your strength as is, so don't overtax yourself systemically in the gym.  You're going to be doing some hard conditioning during this block and that's the point of it.  Not to get bigger and stronger, but to try and keep your strength levels at a good base level while you improve your conditioning.  

Conditioning -

Since the whole point of this block is to increase and improve your conditioning level, this phase will involve doing so 4 days a week.  And we are going to make the conditioning very simple.  Simple doesn't mean easy, it just means simple.  Writing out a diet is simple, following it to the letter can be difficult.  Writing out this conditioning plan is simple, doing it can, and should be, difficult.  

Each of the conditioning tasks will take into account your current level of conditioning, or lack of.  
Day 1 - 1 mile
Walk it, run it, walk-sprint, whatever.  But you have to time it.  What can you do a mile in?  My suggestion is to start easy because you will need to beat your time each week for the next 6 weeks.  So if all you can do is walk it, just walk it.  But record your time.  If you can run it, I'd say to start easy.  You don't want overuse injuries from conditioning because they become a real pain in the ass to get rid of.  Usually involving time off to fully get rid of them.  So take it slow for your own sake, and peak out in week 6.

Day 2 - Sled Hammer on tire -
If you don't have these, go buy them.  You can get a used tire for cheap and sledge hammers aren't that much either.  You give your legs a break (although your hips will get a workout) and still get good conditioning work in.  Go hard for 30 seconds and rest for 10.  Repeat this until you feel worked.  Make note of how many 30 seconds rounds you did before you called it quits.  Try to beat this number each week.  This comes back to the honor system.  You can go easy and add rounds every week but never get the real benefit while lying to yourself.  Or you can go hard, but not crazy, and get better each week, knowing you're really putting in some work.  

Day 3 - Hills
Find a hill and run it.  How long should the hill be?  I suggest a minimum of 30 yards.  If the hill is forever long just run up to the same point each time and turn around. Again, run a number that you feel worked from, but not like you're having an asthma attack, and add on to that number each week.  Your walk back down should be the "rest' portion, however if you need to take longer do so.  Again, start with a number you know you can add on to for several weeks.  So the first week should NOT be incredibly difficult.    

Day 4 - Steady State - 45 minutes walk, swim, or bike
This is a recovery day and the pace should be solid.  Not easy, but not difficult either.  If you checked your heart rate it would be in that "fat burning zone" that you see on the treadmill according to your age.  That's the best way I can describe the effort involved here.  You should feel better after doing this than you did before you started it.  I always do anyway.  Take plenty of time to stretch after this and foam roll and do restoration work.  

Notes about this block -

The conditioning is a little more ambiguous because everyone has different levels of conditioning starting this block (duh!).  So I want everyone to be their own judge in regards as to what they can or can't handle early on.  If you push too hard early, bad things are sure to follow.  If you are smart, you will start at a comfortable pace and slowly add until you're looking  and feeling like a champ in week 6.  

Do be surprised if your strength goes south for a while, especially in the beginning or middle portion.  After a few weeks it will come back a bit.  Remember this is a conditioning block, not a strength building block.  The hope is maintenance, but if you can't that's ok.  It may just mean that your base level of strength isn't as high as you think it is.  Don't let this bother you.  I don't know how else to tell you that.  

Figure out your own schedule here.  You may want to do something 6 days a week, or do some of the conditioning after lifting, or whatever.  I don't know everyones schedule so just figure out how it works for you in that regard.  It's ok to mix and match these around.  Just take note that if you run hills on day, then the next day try to run that mile, your mile could suck ass.  And vice versa as well.  So if you want to stick the sledge hammer work in between the hills/mile run/steady state that works great too.  So an optional schedule would be like so.......

Day 1 - hills
Day 2 - sledge hammer
Day 3 - mile run
Day 4 - sledge hammer
Day 5 - steady state
Day 6 - sledge hammer

This doesn't mean you HAVE to do 6 days a week either, what I am pointing out here is if you start noticing an overuse injury (which you shouldn't if you are smart and start slow in the beginning) then go to this schedule and take more rest between days.  Or you can use this schedule right off the bat.  Again, use some of your own judgement about what looks/feels best and can work with your own schedule.  

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Training - Conditioning

Bench Press - close grip
135 x 20 x 20 x 20 x 20
185 x 20 x 20 x 20

These felt ok.

Manual Side Laterals - 3 x 30

Db Skulls - 20's x 20 x 20

Db Curls - 20's x 20 x 20

Cardio - 20 minutes steady state walking outside.  No dog fighting tonight...........

Only 3 and a half weeks since surgery and I'm feeling tons better already.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Training and Cardio

High Bar Squats - no belt no wraps

135 x 5
225 x 5
315 x 5
365 x 5
405 x 5
425 x 5

Pause Squats -
365 x 5
315 x 5 x 5

Hypers - body x 20 x 20

Cardio - 20 minutes steady state walking round the block.  Fought two dogs and won.  Left one of the two dead in the street.  The other refused to continue fighting after he saw me break his buddies leg off and beat him to death with it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


12 hills + 20 minutes steady state

Felt great this morning so kept running the hill till I thought it was enough.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Seated Machine Bench Press - 5 sets of 15

Seated Machine Overhead Press - 3 sets of 15

Side Laterals Machine - 2 sets of 20

Overhead Triceps - 5 sets of 15
Db Curls - 5 sets of 20

Friday, August 13, 2010


Tonight -

High bar squats -
250 (essentially my bodyweight) - x 20 x 20 x 20

That was it.  That was tougher than you'd think.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Pause Squats - high bar, no belt no wraps

135 x 5 x 5
225 x 5
275 x 5
315 x 5
365 x 5
405 x 3
365 x 5
315 x 5
275 x 5

Db Bench Press - 20's x 50 x 30, 40's x 20.  A little scared here.  Bicep felt somewhat tight on the 40's.

Manual Side Laterals - holding 10's + manual resistance from a hot chic with big cans - 3 sets of 20

Gotta get a pic I know I know................

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ultimate Beastdom - Training to get "what constitutes strong"...strong Part 1

A while back my buddy Jim Wendler linked up a quick piece I wrote up called "What Constitutes Strong" on his log at elitefts.  I knew there would be some backlash to this article.  I knew fat guys would complain about chins and dips and the high reps.  I knew weak small guys would complain about the weight being asked to be moved in the squat and deadlift (500 pounds) for reps (20 for each).  The excuses poured in from both sides.  

"Oh chins and dips are for small guys." 

Uh huh.

"Why are the reps so high?"  

Because we were talking about elite level repping strength?

"Why isn't it a certain weight for guys that only weigh X amount?  Like 315 for guys under 180, or 405 for guys 200?"  Because a million guys have squatted and deadlifted 315 and 405 for 20.  We wanted to establish a number that looked ridiculous, but possibly attainable.  And for those that think 500x20 is not attainable then this article is not for you.  I know of a guy that squatted 500x20 in bare feet.  It's doable.  For everyone?  Certainly not, but that's why we said it was ELITE level repping strength.  Not everyone , even Jim and I, will attain all of these lifts.  That is really the point actually.  Most lifters will never attain all of these at once.  That is the point thank you very much.

People asked why we picked 315 for a single on the strict standing press.  Because it looks good.  That's it.  Being able to stand and strictly press 315 overhead is rare for the majority of serious strength trainers.  For those who can point to a bunch of 400 pound strongmen that can do it I say fine, have em strap on the 100 pounds we ask for chin-ups and meet that challenge as well.  You see, there is always an equalizer in the exercises and sets and reps we picked.  Either way, anyone that can overhead press 315 is strong.  Once you can consistently put 300 pounds over your head from a standing position, and do it strict, you are a strong presser.  Period.  For the little guy who can sumo (abomination) deadlift 500x20, have him bench 315x20 and squat 500x20 and overhead the 315.  There is always an equalizer in this.  

The thing Jim and I both liked about setting these standards is we both had a picture of what the guy that could accomplish all of this might look like, and perform like, and how he would have to train to reach these standards.

- He would look the part.  

Taking the time to work up to these lifts over time would build an incredible amount of muscle mass.  When you factor in the next item, you have to believe he would also carry an athletic level of bodyfat.  I don't give a damn what anyone says, looking like you could run through brick walls and having the goods to go with it IS in fact the goal here.  In any sport or competition, your appearance initially will carry an intimidation factor with it.  You want to look strong AND be strong.  You want to be in shape AND look in shape.  The function creates the form.

- He would be in outstanding condition.  

You're not going to rep out sets of 20+ in the squat and dead without being in very good condition.  Being able to sprint, fight, screw, practice cannibalism, and compete at a high level at whatever is a great feeling and you can't do those things without good conditioning.

- He would limit the amount of crap he was doing that didn't matter.  

One phrase Jim and I both clung to when talking about all of this was from Doc Ken about getting brutally strong on squats, deadlifts, chins, dips, etc.  That phrase always made sense to both of us and really hit home in coming up with these standards.  Get brutally strong on the exercises that give the biggest bang for their buck, in a higher rep range and you'd be as developed as you were ever going to be. 

Approaching these goals -

So how would one go about approaching these goals, if we were far away from such lofty lifting?  

The first thing he would have to understand is time.  This isn't going to be a 12 week program, this is going to be your training life.  What I mean by that is, it will probably be a goal you would work towards forever.  And it's very possible you would never make it.  This isn't meant to be depressing.  If you fall short and end up squatting 450x20, and deadlifting 475x20, benching 275x20, etc you're still going to be big and strong as hell.  So even if you didn't reach the ultimate numbers, your journey will have rewarded you anyway.  And that's what training is all about.  The journey.

Block Training -

I'm not talking about block periodization here.  I'm about focusing on specific goals during specific blocks of time.  6 weeks is generally the length I settle on.  There are reasons for this.  

1.  It's a long enough period of time to get some real work and results in.  

2.  Bulking/conditioning/strength maximization done in blocks has an easier carryover than doing say, 6 months of hard conditioning then trying to recoup lost strength in that time.  You spend the next 6 months trying to gain that strength back, then lose a great deal of conditioning.  Round and round you go.

3.  Mentally, it's easier to push the envelope for 6 weeks, then focus on what to do next.  Planning out 6 months of training to me is awfully hard and unrealistic.  You get sick, injured, and life in general can get in the way of even the best laid plans.  If you have a bad week on a 6 week plan, just run a 7th week to make up for it.  And even if you have to start all over it's still just 6 weeks.  

So with that out there, let's talk about the different blocks of training you would need to rotate in at various times to reach Ultimate Beastdom.  There are three blocks I will talk about.  Hypertrophy and strength block.  The Conditioning Block.  The strength endurance block.  Each block runs 6 weeks.  

Today we'll go over the hypertrophy and strength block.

Hypertrophy and Strength block - 6 weeks

Who this block is for - 

Skinny guys needing to gain a lot of mass.  
Advanced guys that maintain a good or great level of conditioning but have been stagnant in strength and size gains.  

Who this block is NOT for -

Fat guys 
Guys that have been bulking for a while

This block is all about big eating, big lifting, pushing weight onto the bar and on the scale.  But within reason.  Because there are going to be strength endurance blocks, and conditioning blocks too.  If you turn into a major league fat ass over the course of a month and a half (I've done this, so it can be done) then a follow up conditioning block or strength endurance block is going to be harder than trying to take a shit on pain killers.  

Conditioning is going to be in the background during this block.  I constantly have to reference the fact that you cannot serve two masters.  You cannot get as big and as strong as possible while increasing your conditioning.  Not unless you're a complete novice.  One will take a backseat to the other eventually.  

So during this block, only 1 day of hard conditioning is done per week, and lifting is four days per week.  The hard conditioning will be done on the day you squat.  Steady state cardio should be done for 10 minutes after lifting or for 30 minutes on off days twice a week.   

For the big 4 (squat, deadlift, bench, and the overhead press of your desire) you will do a simple 5x5 rep scheme, to a "top" set of 5.  I say "top" set because the first two weeks there should be a lot of room to spare.  In fact the first week should be easy, the second week, moderate, then start adding some real weight on the 3rd week.  But ALWAYS leave one or two reps in the tank.  

After the core lift you will do two exercises that "help" that core lift.  These will be done for what's called a 50% set.  You pick a weight that you should hit failure around the 10-12th rep.  You will rest 1 minute and try to get half the number of reps you did on the first set.  So if you got 12, you will rest for 60 seconds and try to get 6.  You may never ever get 6, but that's the goal.  Still add weight each time you make 12 reps on the first set.  So if you get 14 reps, you will shoot for 7 and the next week you will add enough weight so that it brings you down to 10 again.  Keep pushing that first set until you're banging out 13-14 reps before you increase the weight again.  

If you go 3 sessions without progress on that first set, drop that movement in favor of something similar.  Since you're only running each block for 6 weeks this shouldn't happen very often.  But as soon as you do stall on a movement, swap it out.  Even if it's for the final week of the block only.  

The Training Week - 5x5 50%

Day 1 - Squats + calves, quads, and hams
Calf Raises - 3 sets of 15 to a top set
Squats - 5x5 to "top" set of squats.  If you need more than 5 sets, fine, but work up to a solid set of 5.  Reread the above part about what that set of 5 should feel like.

Leg Press - 50% set 
SLDL - 50% set
Hard Conditioning - 10 minutes worth of some type of interval training.  Just make sure you bust ass.  

Day 2 - Bench + neck, chest, and triceps
Neck - 3 sets of 20
Bench Press - 5x5
Incline Db Press - 50% set
Dips - 50% set

Day 3 - Off

Day 4 - Deadlifts + calves, traps, and lats
Calves - 3x15
Deadlifts - 5x5
Power Shrugs - 50% set
Chins/Pulldowns - 50% set

Day 5 - Off

Day 6 - Overhead Work + neck and shoulders
Neck - 3x20
PBN or Standing Press - 5x5
Upright Rows - 50% set
Side Laterals - 50% set

Day 7 - Off


Notes about how to work this training block -

For the 5x5 what I have found to work best is to figure out what you would like to REALISTICALLY hit for a set of 5 to end the block.  Then work back from there.  However, there is a catch.  What I generally find is that week 1 to week 2, there isn't much of a strength gain.  But week 2 to week 3 I always find a decent jump, and another big jump from week 3 to week 4.  I have noted this in my training logs over and over again through the years.  So if I wanted to hit 405x5 in the sixth week, this is how I would stagger the weeks...

Week 1 - 335x5 
Week 2 - 345x5 10 pound jump from week 1
Week 3 - 365x5 20 pounds jump from week 2
Week 4 - 385x5 20 pound jump from week 3
Week 5 - 395x5 10 pound jump from week 4
Week 6 - 405x5 10 pound jump from week 5

When you finish the block, take good notes and take notice of what weeks you felt the strongest.  This will help you to setup your own customized training cycle the next time you run this block.  And when you figure those things out that's when progress really begins to take off.  

On the exercises that follow the core movement, bust ass hard from week 1.  Make sure you pick something you hit 12+ reps with the first week.  So start light, but work hard.  Go to failure and don't fudge on that 1 minute rest between sets.    

There are no curls.  Chins work biceps just fine.  Your triceps get plenty of work with heavy pressing twice a week.  

This routine is slightly bodybuilderesque.  That's for a reason.  Bodybuilders are masters at training for size.  To increase your strength ceiling you will need to increase your size.  Bodybuilding works best for this.  You don't need to shave your body and pour salad dressing all over yourself and pose in order to embrace this style of training.    

Diet - 

I've written about big eating a million times.  If you are a really skinny guy (and I mean really skinny) then eat big.  Three big solid meals a day with my patent pending PBnJ's between meals.  Set your watch and eat every three hours without fail.  Remember this is just a 6 week block so go balls out on the eating as well.

Meal 1 - 
6-8 whole eggs any style
1 cup uncooked oatmeal with raisins 
Two pieces of toast with jelly
1 cup of milk

Meal 2 -
PBnJ with milk

Meal 3 -
Two tuna sandwiches (1 can per sandwich) with regular mayo
2 apples, 1 banana

Meal 4 - pre-training 
half cup (uncooked) oatmeal
1 bagel with peanut butter

Training - use gatorade mixed with BCAA powder

Meal 5 - Post Training
8 ounces of lean beef, chicken, pork
10 ounces if it's fish
2 large baked potatoes with butter
1 cup of grapes

Meal 6 - 
same as meal 2

On non-training days swap out the pre-training meal with the PBnJ meal.  

For guys who are in pretty good shape, and have a decent amount of size, simply eat less on non-training days.  Swap out the PBnJ meal with a cup and a half of low-fat cottage cheese with pineapple along with a handful of almonds.  Cut the baked potato down to only 1 at meal 5 as well.  

What to aim for -

3-5 pounds for an advanced guy, around 7-9 pounds for a skinny novice trainer.  This is lean mass I'm talking about here.  

"OMG Paul I'm going to bust hump for 3-7 pounds?"

Hell yes.  Because I care more about quality than quantity.  I can gain 30 pounds over the winter without thinking too much about it, but it's not quality weight.  I can bust ass for 3-5 real pounds of lean mass and still be around the same bodyfat level.  Or I can gain 30 pounds of fat on top of 5 pounds of lean mass, then lose 2 or 3 pounds of that lean mass on a long sucky ass diet plan.  Dave Tate talked about this recently on T-Mag.  Every time he would bulk up he would diet back down and be right about the same weight as what he started.  I have written about this terrible phenomenon many times, and every time I went through it I felt like stabbing myself in the taint with the claw side of a hammer for doing a shitty bulk again.  If you care about being the total package in terms of form and function, then think about quality rather than quantity.  If you run this block 3 times a year and gain 3-5 pounds each time, you're now 9-15 pounds heavier and LEAN.  And 10 pounds of quality lean mass will literally transform what you look like. 

Obviously there will be SOME fat gain, but the point of this block is to minimize that.  A 1-1 muscle to fat gain ratio is ideal.  So if you gain 3 solid pounds of lean mass, you've only got 3 pounds of fat to take off.  This can be done in a short time without a crazy diet and you get to keep your hard earned muscle.  So monitor the scale and your waistline, and even get your bodyfat checked every few weeks to see what's going on.  It's only 6 weeks so it shouldn't get out of hand no matter what.  If it does, scale the calories back to a deficit for 4 days, then slowly add them back in until weight gain resumes at a SLOW pace.

Part 2 will discuss the Conditioning Block.........

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Last night -

Squats -

225 x 10 x 5, 315 x 5 x 5, 365 x 5, 315 x 20

That's it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Training for the fat guy who breathes heavy sitting on the couch who wants to get in shape and be sexier

Since I have done a few articles on gaining mass and getting big, it's only fair that I send some love to the fat guys that want to get in shape and feel better about all of that mass that they (hopefully) gained from all the time they spent eating big and training as heavy as they could.

Let me say I am big on getting in shape.  Yes, you absolutely can get ripped and in LOOK in shape by walking for countless hours on the treadmill and eating small meals six times a day.  However, looking in shape and being in shape aren't the same thing.  Be strong and look strong, be in shape and look in shape.  Your function creates your form, if you will.  Second, I like for my programs to easy to institute into your life.  Some guys can't get in 6 or 7 meals a day regardless of what their goals are, and I am mindful of that.  So whether you are trying to gain or lose, eating should not be a difficult task to work into your schedule.  To steal a quote Wendler once told me, eat to live, don't live to eat.  

With that said, let's talk about a conditioning program a fat guy that breaths heavy sitting on the couch use to get into shape.

Conditioning -

If you're a fat guy that needs to get in shape, then your focus should really be on improving your conditioning each week.  In the plan below that means 4 days fo conditioning a week.  Your strength gains and mass gains will take a back seat for now.  You can't serve two masters.  So pushing back from the table while also placing an emphasis hard cardio should be first.  Conditioning of some sort 4 days a week should be your focus, while lifting 2 days a week.  Your lifting should focus on something that also compliments your conditioning as well.  We'll get to that.

You don't have to condition 4 separate days from your lifting.  You can do conditioning after lifting, then do conditioning two other days all by itself.  It really all depends on what you feel comfortable with or want to do. and what your schedule will allow.

Second, you should also bear in mind that you need to EASE into hard conditioning.  Sprints, hill sprints, prowler pushes, bag work, and sled pulling can be hard on the connective tissue and joints if you don't prepare properly.  Overuse injuries from conditioning work will come very fast because of the repetitive motion of it all, and they don't go away very quickly even when treated properly.  So start modestly and work your way up.  If you feel an overuse injury coming on like shin splints or constant aches in your heel and such, discontinue whatever it is you are doing that causes that pain, and find something to replace it with.  If you need to give your legs a break have heavy bag work in there for two of the four days.  Or swim for one of those days.  If you can't swim, this is a great opportunity to go learn how.

So for the guy looking to improve his conditioning this is a split he could use if he were doing conditioning 4 days a week -

8 week fat guy plan to stop breathing heavy sitting on the couch -

Week 1 -
day 1 - hill sprints x 3 (rest is walk back down)
day 2 - heavy bag work - 2 minute rounds x 3, 120 seconds rest between rounds
day 3 - prowler pushing - 40 yard pushes x 5, 2 minutes between
day 4 - 60 yard sprints @ 65% speed x 5, rest is walk the 60 yards back

Notes - If you don't have a prowler, use a sled.  If you don't have a sled push a car.  If you don't have a car walk around the neighborhood, and fight the toughest looking dog you see for a solid 5 minutes.  

Week 2 -
hill sprints x 4
heavy bag work - 2 minute rounds x 4, 90 seconds between
prowler pushing - same as week 1
60 yard sprints - same as week 1 but at 75% speed

Week 3 -
hill sprints x 5
heavy bag work - 2 minute rounds x 5, 120 seconds between
prowler pushing - 40 yard pushes x 6, 2 minutes between
60 yard sprints @ 65% speed x 8

Week 4 - cut conditioning in half for the week
hill sprints x 8
heavy bag work - 2 minute rounds x 6, 90 seconds between rounds

Week 5 -
Week 1 - hill sprints x 6
Week 2 - tire sledge hammering - use a 12 or 16 pound sledge hammer - alternate each side.  20 seconds of sledge hammering, then rest 10 seconds and go to the other side.  When you compete both sides, that is 1 set.  Repeat this 4 more times.
Week 3 - bag work - 2 minute rounds x 6, 60 seconds between
Week 4 - 60 yard sprints @ 75% speed x 10

Week 6 -
hill sprints x 8
tire sledge hammering - 20 seconds or work, 10 seconds rest x 6 rounds
bag work - 2 minute rounds x 8, 90 seconds between
60 yard sprints @ 65% speed x 12

Week 7 -
hill sprints x 10
tire sledge hammering - 8 rounds
bag work - 2 minute rounds x 8, 90 seconds between
60 yard sprints @ 75% speed x 12

Week 8 -
hill sprints x 12
tired sledge hammering - 10 rounds
bag work - 2 minute rounds x 10, 90 seconds between
60 yard sprints @ 75% speed x 15

And the end of these 8 weeks you should feel very good, should have lost weight (even if you didn't modify your diet) and not breath (as) heavy sitting on the couch.

A very easy maintenance plan from here on out would simply be to do the hill sprints and bag work or tire sledge hammering each week.  If you want to get into even better shape add a single unit of exercise to each for four more weeks.  So do 13 hill sprints the next week, 11 rounds of tire hammering, 11 rounds of bag work, and 16 sprints.  At the end of those 4 weeks, cut the conditioning back to twice in 1 week again (like you did in week 4), and assess what you want to do from there.

Strength Training -

While conditioning your strength will probably take a bit of a dive at first.  This is normal.  Do not fret this.  Remember you can't serve two masters.  If conditioning is the goal right now, then scale back lifting to twice a week, narrow your movements down to a select few and maximize your training economy.  The big 4 is always going to be the squat, deadlift, bench, and overhead press.

Because your strength will be going up and down quite a bit until your adapt to the conditioning training, you can either do singles with the big 4, working up to what you feel like on that day to keep strength gains intact as much as possible, or use a program like 5/3/1 and just get the minimum reps in for the day.  I also suggest splitting those up so that you train your squat 1 week, and your deadlift the next week.  Your bench 1 week, and your overhead press the next week.

Week 1 -
day 1 - bench press
day 2 - squat

Week 2 -
day 1 - overhead press
day 2 - deadlift

Circuits to supplement your conditioning work - 

Since our emphasis is conditioning let's also put that to work after we are done with our main lift.  On upperbody days you will do a circuit involving 2 pushing and 2 pulling movements and on lower body days you will do a circuit for quads, hamstrings, abs, and glutes.

Upperbody Circuit -
Push ups - 5,10,15,20,15,10,5
Chin Ups - 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1
Dips - 3,6,9,12,15,12,9,6,3
Barbell Rows @ 135 or 185 (185 for stronger guys) - 3,6,9,12,15,12,9,6,3

There are a couple of ways you can run this.  You can do the first round (5 push ups, 1 chin up, 3 dips, and 3 rows all in a row) then rest for 2 minutes, or you can go through the whole thing non-stop.  You can do a mix and match of both as well.  Do two rounds non-stop then rest for 2 minutes.  Either way, just make sure you push yourself and WORK.

Lower Body Circuit - 
Walking Lunges - 5,10,15,20,25,20,15,10,5
Db Stiff Legs - 8 reps same weight each circuit 
Ab Wheel - 3,6,9,12,15,12,9,6,3
Glute-Ham Raises or Hypers - 10-20 reps each circuit 

Don't be surprised if this circuit puts you down for a few days.  Especially if you have been used to doing low rep work.  Conditioning will be hard with sore ass legs, but man up and get it done.  Even if you are slow and it is painful.  

Eating Less Made (sort of) Easy -

Just like I can narrow down a solid bulking diet to some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I can narrow down a diet for the blue collar trainer for losing bodyfat.  Will it suck?  At first, yes.  Anytime you go into a calorie deficit the first few weeks are the most awful.  You will be hungry, and I will give some tips for getting around this too.  However there will be times where you're just going to be hungry and you'll have to deal with that for a little while.  Focus on your goals and hunker down.  If that doesn't work have a buddy kick you in the junk and you won't think about eating for a few hours.  I haven't tried this method yet, but if you decide to try it make sure and it get on youtube for verification.

A few things that I know will help -

Chew Gum
Drink diet 7-up or water with lemon
Drink green tea
Eat sugar-free fat-free jell-o as a snack

4 meals a day -

Narrow down your eating to 4 solid meals a day.  Multiply your current bodyweight x 10 and divide that by 4.  So if you're 250, you get 2500 calories a day.  That means 625 calories per meal.  You should be shooting for 40-50 grams of protein per meal, so 160-200 calories of each meal should be coming from that protein source.  I don't really care what you do with the rest of the calories to be honest.  Fat loss is still about calories in versus calories out.  This is dieting at a really simple and doable level for everyone.  

What I do recommend is to eat your protein source first, then eat your vegetables (as many as possibly BTW) and eat carbs last.  How you set the timing of this all up doesn't matter to me.  You could do a breakfast, lunch, dinner setting and put your "snack" or "fourth meal" anywhere you want.  On workout days I suggest putting your two biggest meals before and after the workout.  On hard conditioning days I suggest eating your biggest meals at breakfast and lunch.  

I also don't count calories when it comes to vegetables.  Eat as many as your heart desires.  Count calories on your protein, fat, and carbs.  Cut out all coke/pops, candy, cookies, salad dressings, and desserts.  Drink one gallon of water a day, minimum.  The "dieting" stuff is really that simple, and it works.  If you want a protein shake mix it in water.  Just be mindful of the calories in it as it still counts towards your daily total.  

Conclusion - 

If you're busting a 38+ in the pants then maybe it's time to cut away from that 10 year bulk you've been on and put in some time on the hill or behind the prowler.  Maybe it's time to stop shoveling down 12 big-macs or 17 pieces of fried chicken on a daily basis.  I understand the journey for mass and strength, but there comes a point where you have to wake up and realize that well, you're just a fat guy now.  If that's all you ever want to be, then by all means don't even wipe the grease off of the keyboard and continue on with what you're doing.  However if or when you decide that enough is enough, and you want to feel more awesome than you have felt in a while then give the program a run for 8-10 weeks and get into the best shape you've been in in a while.  When you hit conditioning maintenance mode you can rebuild your strength to its former levels or close to it, and you'll feel better than ever to boot.  And finally you'll be able to sit on the couch without someone asking you if you just got done jumping rope in the attic.

And even if you're not a real fat guy, but just want to get in better shape, the program still works for you.   

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Hise Shrugs - 225 x 10 x 12 x 12 x 12

Manual side laterals - 4 sets of 40

Curls - 5 pounders x 50 x 50

Db Skulls - 10's x 30 x 30

Monday, August 2, 2010


Db Floor Press -
Right arm -
warm up - 35 x 20
Was by myself so I couldn't have my wife hand me the 100 so I stuck with the 60 and did reps.
60 x 60 x 30
Right arm - 20 pounder x 50 x 50

Seated Side Laterals - 10's x 4 sets of 25

Db Floor Press - 60 x 30 left arm and 20 x 60 for right arm.

Weekly Q&A


Sunday, August 1, 2010


Squats high bar no belt no wraps - 135 x 10, 225 x 10, 315 x 10, 365 x 10

1 legged Calf - body x 3 sets of 15

Hills - 5 hills with 20 minutes steady state.

Nice little session.  Ran the 5 hills hard.  Things are getting better.