Thursday, March 31, 2011

More Zero Week Training

Weight - 229 pounds

Stiff Legs - 135x10, 225x10, 315x10, 405x5

Squats - 225x20

Clean and Press - barx10, 135x5, 155x5, 185x3, 205x1

Db Curls - 35's x 5 sets of 10
Rope Pushdowns - up to 65x12

Hammer Curls - 55's x 10
Rope Overhead Extensions - 50 x 3 sets of 10

Notes - Well tomorrow is the last day of under eating and this weekend I will start upping the food a little bit at a time.  I do have plans to go to LongBranch steakhouse Saturday night so I'm sure I'll pig out.

I always laugh at my overhead press.  I haven't overhead pressed consistently in a few years I think and 205x1 feels like no weight on the bar and I'm weak as shit overall from being detrained right now.  I know I could overhead press over 300 strict fairly easily if I really cared to, and I'm trying to care, but it's hard.  I do want to overhead press the 100 pound dumbbells for 20.  More than likely I'll be alternating those two movements week to week.

On my zero weeks there is no rhyme or reason for what I do.  I just do what I want to and have a good time.

Loss of Perspective - Overrated Training and Eating Methods

Ever notice when a good idea becomes popular and the next thing you know it's been mutated and mutilated to death?  Or it becomes the cornerstone of someones training at the expense of meaningful shit.  Here are some examples of this shit.....

1.  "Posterior Chain" Training

This shit was all the rage a few years ago.  Basically it just means training the back, lats, erectors, and hamstrings.  Wow, haven't bodybuilders, powerlifters, and strongmen been doing this shit for fucking decades now?  Oh I know, I'll slap a fancy term on it and make it seem new and exciting.  Even worse was the way the shit was approached.  It was better to do glute ham raises, good mornings, and some face pulls.  This was true "posterior chain training".

What a crock of shit.

Not special

Do you think that romanians as heavy as you can go for a brutal set of 10 or glute ham raises will do more for your "posterior chain"?  I have women that can knock out glute ham raises all day but can't do romanians with 500x10.  One is superior than the other.  You think face pulls will build a thicker stronger back than barbell rows with 400 pounds and t-bar rows with 7 plates?  I don't think so.  Good mornings are almost never done deep enough, with guys barely bending over and too much knee bend.

If you can do stiff legs with 500x10, chins with 100 pounds for 10, and do barbell rows with 400x10 strict you don't have posterior chain weakness issues.  It's that simple.  In other words, just be well rounded with the basics.

2.  HIT

Back many many years ago, HIT (high intensity training) was a legit training method.  I'm talking Mike Mentzer's early shit and how Dorian Yates was training.  Basically, 1-2 top all out ball busting sets on the big lifts, 3 times a week and a focus on getting as strong as possible.

False Advertising.  Mike didn't build his muscles in minutes.

Eventually HIT turned into a program ran by nancy boys who looked like 12 year olds with elevated estrogen levels.  Superslow reps, training once every 10 days, isolation movements all over the place.  I blame Mentzer and his followers for this because Mike lost all perspective on what he did, what worked, and got crazy.  But what do you expect from a guy who ran down the interstate naked with a bag of oranges?  That's actually pretty cool.

3.  Back work for a bigger bench

More shit that shouldn't have made any sense if people didn't follow certain peoples voice without questioning it.  Getting tight on the bench is important, but you could do lat and upperback work until the cows come home and not improve your bench.  Everyone knows that big bencher in the gym that only does bench, shoulder work, and tricep work and never does a damn ounce of back work.

You should be shooting for balance front to back in both development and strength, however concentrating on back work as one of the main aspects of improving your bench is like concentrating on calf work to improve your squat.  Yeah the calves are involved in the squat and do fire and work during it, but if someone told you to do lots of calf work to improve your squat you'd think they had gone coo-coo for coco puffs.  And they would have.

4.  Squat to get bigger arms

This one isn't a lot different than the back work for a bigger bench scenario.  Look, no one preaches about building up your base more than me.  But Olympic lifters squat until the cows come home, and virtually none of those guys upper bodies match their lower body development.  Remember this, your function creates your form.  You squat a lot, you'll have big legs.  You curl a lot, you'll have big biceps.  Duh!

Prolly makes your biceps bigger than squats somehow.

I think a lot of times when guys are trying to redirect young un's to the more important aspects of training they lose the ability to convey it properly.  Squatting and deadlifting should be staples, but so should dips, pressing, chins, rows, and curls.  Again, balance from day 1 should be emphasized.  Squatting will not make your biceps bigger just like rowing will not make your press go up.

5.  Weak point training

I've written enough about this nonsense to fill a book.  Search the blog.

6.  Low Carb Diets

Jesus H Satan this shit has gotten out of hand.  Carbs are a mass building cycles best damn friend.  And bodybuilders were getting ripped for decades eating carbs.  And I don't mean low carb either.  Look at a lot of the 70's and 80's cutting diets by those guys.  It's like high carb day for todays carb cycling junkies.  Now you got Paleo junkies avoiding the simple fact that our ancestors and "cavemen" ate the shit out of potatoes, and that people have been eating bread for thousands and thousands of fucking years.  But hey don't let the facts stand in the way.

And low carb makes you feel like shit anyway.

7.  Super High Protein Diets

Yeah, if I don't get in 400 grams of protein a day I can't grow.  Who comes up with this shit?  Oh that's right, it started years ago with supplement companies.  You needed to ingest enough powder to give yourself more gas than Exxon.  Got it.  I find it funny that Dave Tate got big as hell eating junk and something like 190 grams of protein a day.  You know why?  Because calories and carbs drive mass gains more than protein.  Anyone who ignores the anecdotal evidence behind this is short changing their potential progress.

Just need to drink 19 of these a day

8.  Super High Volume Training

I threw HIT under the bus, and like wise I'm throwing too much training volume under the bus.  I swear, some people think volume is the answer to every training problem known to man.  "Just do some more volume!"  Great answer asshat.  Way to really diagnose the real problem.  Yeah, sometimes you do need to do more, and sometimes you need to do less.  Too much training volume for too long WILL lead to overuse injuries eventually.  That's a fact.  I also believe it's somewhat of a lazy mans training method.  I will do 8 sets of this shit, rest 5-8 minutes between each one, and do 2 reps.  Wow fat man, don't strain a testicle training so fucking hard.  The high volume training guys are almost always fat guys because going all out requires a certain degree of conditioning.  So it's easier to do a set of 2,3,5 whatever and sit around for the next 5 minutes before you try it again.  High volume training can be hard as shit, especially if you limit your rest between sets. But if they were to do that, all of a sudden those 8 sets of become more like 3.  The guys I know that put high volume training to good use are generally bodybuilders, where they rest very little between sets.  And this works very well.

Maybe my real rant here is actually the time between sets of the high volume crew and not high volume itself.  Hmmmm....

I have a ton more but like Arthur Hoggett told Babe......that'll do.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

(Strange) Music post of the week

Totally weird ass cool song.

This video is a great example of why to avoid steroids

I'm glad Ben Affleck was able to show us just how dangerous anabolics can actually be in this video.  Your shoulder can in fact get possessed like Ash's hand from Evil Dead 2, if you use steroids.  You also might be inclined to put your orals in a Tums bottle, which is just disgraceful.    

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Training - Zero week

Ez Curls - 115 x 8,8

Squats - 315 x 5 sets of 5

Notes - This week is the warm up week so to speak.  Still not back to 100% on that left adductor.  Some sharp pain in there when I squat still.  I will squat the next few days, then pull first and front squat next week.  I hope by the next week the adductor is fully healed up.

Training Life Cycle - It doesn't matter what you're doing now!

The most common question that gets asked of an advanced guy that has achieved even a modicum of success in lifting is "what is your current training split?"  Or something like "how do you train now?"

I used to asked this question when I was younger as well.  It wasn't until I got older that I realized that the question I should have been asking was "what training brought about your best size/strength gains?" or "how did you train to get from an intermediate level to advanced?"  

In other words, you don't ask the 275 pound ripped guy with a 700 squat and 500 bench how he is training right now.  Ask him how he trained to get there.  If he tells you he was squatting 500 when he was 14 or benching 400 3 months after he started lifting, he probably won't have a lot to offer you in the way of meaningful advice if you are a guy that struggles in those areas.  

Sometimes the answer is that he's training the same way.  Sometimes it's quite different.  But what I have found to be most common is that (drum roll) these guys ate like crazy, and just concentrated on getting as strong as possible on the big lifts.  

For example, the training routines I supply in my manuals are the ones I found I made the biggest strides with as a pretty advanced guy.  Of course they were combined with a heavy food intake, but the splits and routines were no frills and no BS.  

Going into this mass phase I am going to give a different split a run and see how it works out.  Mainly because I have neglected a few phases of my training, and to shake things up a bit.  But I couldn't completely recommend this to anyone/everyone because not everyone has the same problems or needs I have at the moment in terms of training.  This is a lot like the guy I wrote about that can care about big arms because his base is big enough.  I do need to get bigger in order to increase my strength ceiling, but I'm at the stage where that means 5-7 pounds of lean mass, which equates about to about a 14-18 pound weight gain total (in a perfect world).  And even for that, I am going to have to train my balls off, sleep good every single night, avoid distractions, and be as focused as I've been in some time.  And even then, I could still fall short.  But I won't fall short because of effort.

But for intermediate guys or guys that have been stuck for a while, what I really recommend is to ask advanced guys what they did to get to where they are at.  Not what they are doing now.  This is one reason why in the manuals, I wrote about the most productive training methodologies I used to get me where I am now.  Not what I am doing at this moment (although the truth is, there really isn't much difference overall as my philosophy hasn't changed).  

For example, a lot of guys search high and low for a certain bodybuilders or powerlifters routine.  This really isn't going to tell you a lot, even if you take anabolics into account (which is a completely different subject).  But if a guy has gone through 7 or 8 different evolutions of what he needs to get to another level, it might be completely useless to you.  

In the past year, I know guys that have gone from training 4-5 days a week, to two days a week.  I know guys that have gone from 4 days a week, to 2 days a week, then to 3 days a week.  

I've known guys that went from high volume to HIT, and from HIT to high volume.  

It can be difficult to track down.  However what I have generally found is that when guys get to a new level, more times than not, they rode one horse for a long time and rode it to death, and were consistent in every aspect.  There's that word again.  Consistency.  

But if you were to think about a training timeline on a 1-10 scale with each number representing a change in methodologies or philosophies that lasted for a long while, it could look like this...


Obviously as a rank beginner, guys can be all over the place for a while (1-5).  Then as they learn a few things, get bigger and stronger they figure a few things out that work for them, and grind on them for a while (6-7).  

Soon frustration sets in and often times the advanced guy hops around again (7,8,9), looking for that holy grail that will take him to that next and final level.  Eventually he settles on something (usually the basics again), and rides it out again until he gets there (9-10), knowing that jumping around all over the place is never going to work.  A lesson that doesn't always take the first time around.

And this is why I say to avoid asking the question of what the advanced guy is doing right now.  Often times, he's in that 7-8-9 category searching for answers, just like you are.  If you can find someone who has reached a really high level of strength or development that has a lot of years in, what you will most often find is that to get there, he settled on some training habits and rode those for a long time again.  You'll also most likely find that if he wasn't a naturally big or strong guy and had to work for it, that he had another time where he made huge gains as he settled into a few habits as well.  

Slow and steady wins the race.  


Monday, March 28, 2011

Thoughts about life, training, crap and stuff

I'm doing this detox diet thing for the next several days.  I feel like shit.  It's basically all the vegetables you can eat.  I figured "what the hell, I'll try it."  Sometimes, shit looks good on paper, then once you get to the nut cuttin it isn't so pretty anymore.  This is how this is going right now.  I feel like I have the flu pretty much.  Achy, queasy, tired, lethargic, etc.  All normal symptoms of this kind of thing, but let me tell you it does not feel good at all.  I did lose 6 pounds the first day from water/glycogen loss.  Be interesting what my weight is by the end of the week.

So the first week of my training will be next week.  Nothing brutal or heavy, just going through the motions the first week, then the second week I'll really get after it.  I don't know that I've ever setup a training program that has quite this much activity involved in it.  I am really going to have to be on top of my sleep and resting the whole time.  I full expect my weight to jump up a bunch the first week just from adding carbs back into the diet, but I am not going to exceed 250 if I can help it.  In fact, I'd prefer not exceed 240 the first 6 weeks, but I don't know if that is realistic.

As far as lifting goals over the next 3 months, I just know of a few.  I'd like to deadlift 500x15, incline press 315x10, chin with 100 pounds x 6, squat 500x12, and do a clean and press with 315.  Not sure about the clean and press, but the others should be doable as they are only a few reps above my all time bests.  My best clean and strict press all time is 275x3.  I think I was probably capable of these lifts over a year or so ago, but as I noted in another article, I have been cruising a bit.  I've hovered around the same lifts now for a few years, and this is mainly because I haven't summoned up the testicular fortitude to really train my ass off again.  I've said before, you sometimes get caught in a rut and years can go by before you realize it.  I have also been beat up a ton over the past three years or so.  I plan on incorporating a lot of stretching post workout this time to try and avoid some of that as well.

I hate getting behind slow drivers in the morning.  I can't explain in words how irritated it makes me.  I mean the speed limit is already 35 and you're doing 20.  I also have a side road I take to work, and probably two days of the week I get behind some slow asshole that decides to use my side road as well.  Why are you taking a short cut if you drive so slow?  Some may say that they take the short cut because they do in fact drive slow, but in my twisted mind it makes no sense.  I see short cuts as something faster than normal drives find and use because they want to get where they are going.  Thus, the morning snail I get behind makes me even more irritated with this shit.

Ever wonder why these celebs work their asses off to get in great shape for a role, then do nothing to keep it?  Gerard Butler, Ed Norton, Kurt Russell, etc.  I already read the guy playing Thor lost 15 of the 20 pounds he gained for the role.  I'm sure that Chris Evans will perform a similar act now that Captain America is over.  And yes I do think that anabolics are involved in some of these cases.  Not that any of these guys are rivaling Arnold in his prime, but it's damn hard to gain 15-20 pounds and be LEANER in just a few months and do that naturally.  Then a lot of times these guys fade away back to nothing shortly after.  I just wonder why they don't try to keep that hard earned mass a little bit.

My elbow is feeling pretty good about 85% of the time.  I'm not sure how long this will last once I start training heavy again, but my hope is well, forever.

I went out to eat at Kona this weekend with the wife, her friend, and the mother in law.  She's staying with us for a few days (and yes it's fine, I get along with her really well).  Anyway I had their Hawiian ribeye and I can tell you it was incredible.  I also had three watermelon cosmopolitans, ate half my wife's hamburger, then finished it all off with a giant brownie that had two scoops of ice cream.  Maybe that's why this stupid veggie diet feels like hell?

No movies to report on yet.  Prolly next week.

Speaking of movies, why do they advertise a movie like 6 and 8 months out from the release date?  To build excitement?  I'd be more excited if I saw the trailer and could go see it the upcoming weekend.  Waiting 6 months?  Well that's how you end up with bad reviews.  A 6 month wait builds a lot of expectations.

Short and sweet today.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

More on my mass gaining phase...part II

My split for this mass gaining phase is going to be a bit different than the two that have been my staple for the past 6 years or so.

Usually I run either the 4 way or 3 way split that I outlined in my programs.  However this time around I will use a slightly different approach, but not a whole lot.

Shoulders and Traps - I haven't done a lot of direct shoulder work over the past few years.  I will be honest, I am a natural overhead presser and overhead pressing has always been easy for me.  A lot of guys love to do what they are really good at, but I've never been that guy.  I tend to get fixated on doing shit I'm not naturally good at, and get bored with things I am good at.  But I still want to get a 315+ strict standing overhead press.  I personally am more impressed by standing strict presses than other forms of putting a barbell over your head, like a split jerk or something.

So anyway, I am going to have a shoulder and trap day so I can really focus on some direct shoulder work for a while.  This will fall alongside my mantra of training movement patterns and not bodyparts for the most part however.  I will probably be doing two forms of overhead pressing like a clean and press, then a seated db press or a 1 arm standing db press.  For traps I will probably do a lot of heavy shrugs and then deviate from the movement pattern thing with some upright rows.  If I my elbow is tender I will switch to 1 press instead of two, and probably do some machines.

Arm day - I also plan on incorporating an arm day.  This is not really because I want bigger arms, but more for getting into the gym to do something, and then follow that up with conditioning.  Basically, an easy/fun day but also something that will burn some more calories and allow me to eat more without gaining extra fat.  What I am striving for with this, is to make my body a furnace.  I want to to burning through as many calories a week as possible.  That way, fat gain is kept to a minimum.  So even if I spill over on the calories a little bit, the fat gain should be minimized.

Squat and Deadlift day - This is the usual par for course.  However, what will probably happen is, that I will squat and block pull one week, then deadlift and front squat the next week.  This isn't unusual for me to do anyway.  I just haven't done this in a little while.

Chest and Back day - This used to be a staple of mine for years.  In fact I never deviated from it for a long time.  Incline press will be my staple for pressing, and as noted, I will probably not be flat barbell pressing during this time.  For back some good ol t-bar and barbell rows with heavy chins as usual.

So as you can see, from a movement pattern standpoint, all the same things are still in place.  Squats, deads, rows, presses, chins, etc.  The split will be slightly different.  Part of that is a mental break.  I have been doing the same two splits for about 6 years and I would like to concentrate on a few areas I haven't been paying a lot of attention to.

Since I will be lifting 4X a week this time, I will follow up at least three of the sessions with some hard conditioning.  Again, then some steady state on off days.  My mass phases now are not built around putting on as much overall as possible.  In my programs I talked about this for advanced guys.  Once a solid base is built, it's better to keep the bodyfat in check (10-15% range) and add quality over quantity.  5 pounds of lean mass means about a 14 pound gain or so for me.  Taking off 5 pounds of fat at that point won't be that difficult.  And because it's only 5 pounds, my chances of retaining all of that muscle are high because I won't have to lower cals very long.

It seems like a lot of work for 5 pounds.  And that's even if I can gain 5, however I refuse to ever get fat and out of shape again as it is flat out NOT worth it.  For anyone who tells you that you can't be in shape and be strong then they have neglected the entire strongman community, where this is a must.

This week I will still be cruising on training, and I will up my vegetable consumption greatly to aid in the final bit of fat loss.    

As I noted before, I am going to keep activity levels high throughout the week.  This way I can consume enough calories to grow without gaining too much extra fat.  These aren't the kinds of plans you can put in place for long extended phases.  But running it 6-8 weeks will work fine.  When I need a week off, I will lower cals by replacing all my starches with high amounts of veggies and do some light steady state work a few times a week.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Another Interview Coming...

Don't know when I will be able to post it up, as I'm waiting on the dude to finish his write up, but I have a darn good interview coming in the next week (?) or so to post up.

It will be worth the wait.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Some thoughts on my upcoming mass phase

So I will probably start my mass building phase in two weeks.  I have taken most of this week off and just done some steady state walking here and there.  I haven't been sleeping good still, and until I get several good nights sleep in a row I doubt I will feel worth a crap.

That's one area I am really going to be on top of during this mass phase.  Sleeping.  In bed each night by 9:30-10:00 at the latest.  Sleep, in my opinion, may be the most overlooked factor in mass gaining.  That is when most of your recovery is going on.  So when you cut yourself short on sleep, you're cutting your recovery short.

My diet is essentially going to be the one I have laid out here several times and in my manual.

Training wise I won't be barbell benching during this mass phase.  Mainly to give my elbow a bit of a break.  I will be doing flat db press, which doesn't place as much stress on my elbow.  I am hoping a few months away from barbell bench pressing will let my elbow heal even more.  I will try to work in dips, however we'll have to see how my elbow handles those.  I'd like to do +135x12 as a goal.

I am bringing back front squats and will be rotating in some speed skater db squats, lunges, and leg presses on some days.

You will see my reps go way up during this phase.  A lot of guys don't understand how to separate training for pure 1 rep max strength, and training for mass.  And they are not the same animals.

Second, getting fat is not quality mass gaining.  I've seen plenty of pics of guys flexing their before and after pics where they basically put on a lot of fat weight and then talk about how much mass they built.  I am not after this.  I am after quality gains at this point.  So calories should be just barely above maintenance level.  I am only looking to add 5 pounds of quality mass, if that's possible, over the next 3 months.

Some may scoff at that, but adding 5 pounds of lean mass is an incredibly difficult chore.  That really means that the scale is going to tell me it's more like a 12-14 pound gain.  5 pounds of lean mass, probably 5 pounds of fat gain (this is to be expected), then the extra glycogen and water that will come with that.

Bodyfat will be taken in the next week or so.  I expect it to be in the 9-10% range now that I'm down to 230.  My longtime goal has been to be at around 245 in that same bodyfat range.  My hope is that the added mass will raise my strength ceiling enough to let me hit some goals I have had for a raw total for a while now.

Time to quit cruising and get back to business gentlemen.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Random Post of the Week - Dock Ellis and the No-No

I'm not a baseball fan.  But this story is awesome.

Basically Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter on LSD.  Great story and not too lengthy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thoughts about life, training, crap and stuff

Have you ever been talking to someone, having a normal conversation and thought "what if I just punched them right in the grill right now?"  Why do we do that?

I don't know who recommended The Wire first, but it may end up going down as my most favorite show of all time.  The only thing is, I know that my favorite character gets killed and it pisses me off to no end.  Dammit.  But whoever it was that kept on me to see it, thank you very much!

I am looking forward to taking this week off.  I know that I've been at it too long without a break when I feel that way.  System was broken down, two injuries in a week.....that means layoff.  Pay attention to the signs.

Who strains a bicep BTW?  I know strongmen do sometimes, but seriously, who strains it doing chins besides my cursed ass?  I totally think it's antibiotics.  Everytime I've trained while taking em I get a pretty serious injury.  You'd think I'd stop after 2 but no, not me.  Not smart.


When I was a kid we used to do this game where you would tie empty milk jugs, oil quarts, and shit like that to a string.  Then we'd tie one end of it to a tree on one side of the road.  We would lay the jugs down on the side of the road, and walk the string across to the other side of the road and sit far off from the scene.  When a car would come we would pull that string and the jugs and shit would cross the road and stand up about 3 feet off the ground.  Man, I don't know that I've ever laughed so hard in my life as when we used to do that shit.  Never do this either.  It's dangerous.

When I was younger I smoked.  About 13 years old.  A neighbor taught me how to inhale and I went to my friends house to show him how to inhale as well.  We walked up to the store and bought two packs of Marlboro reds and went off to these mines to play "construction worker".  Every 5 minutes or so we'd "take a smoke break" and light up.  In about an hour we had smoked more than half a pack, and weren't feeling too good.

"I don't feel so good, Paul." Barry told me.

"Yeah me neither."

"Fuck man, let's go back to the house."

So we marched back to his house in the hot Mississippi sun, feeling like someone had kicked us in the gut.  Once we arrived I broke out the crackers and we started eating on them.  I remember thinking at the time that somehow crackers would cure our terrible nausea brought on by the nicotine overload.  Apparently it did work at the time because we didn't throw up.

I wasn't so lucky a few months later.

It was fourth of July and my dad dropped me off at the park to light fireworks with all the neighborhood kids.  I had brought a pack of Marlboro Light 100's and was showing off my black belt smoking skills to the amazement of all the other kids my age.  I was King Shit, smoking it up and throwing bottle rockets around.  After a while though, I realized that familiar feeling of smoking nausea coming on.  But it was more severe this time.  I began to feel very badly about myself and proceeded to walk home.  As I walked across this guys yard I noticed that the grass was wet, and I very much wanted to rub my face in the cool, wet grass because well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

So there I was, rubbing my face in this guys fucking yard.  I won't lie, it felt good and made the sickness subside (can someone tell me why a cold wet rag on your neck makes that happen when you get sick?) for a bit.  Then I heard a familiar voice......

"What the hell are you doing son?"

It was my dad.  There he was in that damn giant ass Oldsmobile, riding around looking for me.

"Nothing, just laying down for a bit."

"Well come get your ass in the car."

So I got in the car and upon entering the house I made my way yo the kitchen where I grabbed a big pot and headed to the bedroom.  I laid down on the bed and waited for the technecolor yawn to finally make an appearance, and oh how it did.  I threw up for quite some time.  Apparently nicotine in large doses when you aren't used to it is fairly harmful for the body.

I started smoking pretty heavily after that.  Heh.

We used to have BB gun wars when I was a kid.  Then guys started bringing pellet guns and rifles and c02 powered shit.  Damn those things hurt like hell.  We made a rule that you could only pump up the pellet gun with three pumps.  But without fail, the first time someone got shot, they'd get mad and you'd hear them in the woods somewhere, pumping away.  And you didn't want to be the mother fucker that got shot by that son of a bitch.  But someone would, and then someone would say they had overpumped, and then the fist fighting broke out.  God it was fun.

One day someone showed up with a .22 rifle, I shit you not.  I stopped going after that.

I met this guy one day while I was working on the farm.  We hit it off pretty well and he told me he was friends with this really good looking chic that he wanted to fix me up with.  I said hell no.  I was just a couple years removed from a long relationship and didn't want to date.  I was enjoying my solitude, playing music, lifting weights, and getting drunk periodically (every weekend).

But he insisted and called her.  She said no as well.  But then he told her I was a bodybuilder (everyone assumes that) and she said yes (obviously she was shallow).

So he picks me up to play chaperone for us and drives me to her house.  We pull into the long winding drive way and sitting on the tail gate of this small Toyota truck is this hot chic drinking a beer.

"Well, she's classy." I say in jest.

She hopped in and we cruised out to this local hole in the wall sports bar and decided to shoot some pool.  When I was younger I played in a lot of pool tournaments and was a halfway decent player.  So we go to play and she's just knocking the damn cue ball all over the table, not really hitting anything or doing much.  I'm taking it easy for the most part as I can tell that she really sucks.

So then she shoots the ball around and by happenstance, makes a ball.  She goes to take another shot and I ask what the hell she's doing.

"I made one." she said.

"You didn't mean to make that one."


"Well, that's a shit shot then.  It should be obvious as to which one you're trying to make." I say.

"That's not right."

"Yes it is."

So the argument goes on for a bit, and she puts up her bitch shield and I run the table.

"Game." I say, in a very "I own you" kinda way.

Needless to say the rest of the date wasn't the epitome of romance and things were not going too well.  We stopped at Sonic, where we both ordered tater tots as the side.  Well I eat fast, and so I ate the tater tots.  She goes to digging in the bag and says...

"Who ate my tater tots?"

You see, the good people of sonic only gave us 1 order of tater tots, and well, I ate those.  But to a woman, they were hers.  So now I'm an even bigger asshole.  We drop her off at home later and my buddy proceeds to tell me "Well that didn't go so well."

No shit Sherlock.  Batman fights with Joker.  Water is wet.  Women have secrets.

Anyway, three months later I head out to this sports bar with my friend Josh.  We arrive earlier than usual and there's not many people in the bar.  This chic I had worlds worst date with is one of the few people there, and upon seeing me she doesn't walk over and kick me in the balls and spit in my face.  She waves and gives me a hug.  I was taken aback by this as we had both spread word that we had a severe disdain for each other.  But she appeared genuine happy to see me that night.  We talked for a while and she asked me if I wanted to head next door where the dance club was.  I said sure.

On the way there she told me she had forgotten her smokes and would be back after we got them.  Well, I thought (for some reason) that she was trying to give me the slip.  So I found this other girl and left with her.

To my surprise, I received a phone call the next day from the day that had originally fixed us up.  He tells me she has invited us over to a bar-b-q at her house.  I say no.  He says yes, and that he'll pick me up at 8.  On the way there he tells me that we need to stop and buy something to bring.

"We need to bring food to the bar-b-q????"

We arrive and there are quite a few people there.  All milling around the fenced in in-ground pool.  At the end of the patio is worlds largest bar-b-q grill with two pieces of chicken on it.  You see, she made this shit up to have a reason to invite me over.  I was impressed by this.

A few hours later everyone left, because they were hungry, and we left to get something to eat as well.

Life is funny.  Sixteen years later I am still with that girl and have three kids with her.  And she's been the most wonderful person I've ever known, and is more loved than anyone in my life.  I still think back at how crazy it is to think as we drive down that driveway that I never knew the girl sitting on the tailgate of that truck would be the person I'd spend the rest of my life with.  Life is crazy as shit sometimes.

She still can't shoot pool worth shit.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Four Day and Six Day Splits

I'm big on training 3X a week and then doing conditioning 2-3 more times a week, however sometimes I have trained more days a week, often times with good results depending on how I setup the split, how much volume and PI I used on the movements.

There are definitely some benefits to training more often, like practice of movements, ability to bring up lagging muscle groups, and the ability to eat more and not gain as much fat because of the greater calorie expenditure.

So you see, I'm not a zealot.  I do embrace diversity.  But it has to make sense to me as well.

Splits for 4X a week -

There are a few ways to do this effectively.  If we are talking about maximum size I still like the 3 way split across 4 days of the week.  You simply use my current fave setup and add an extra day in.

Day 1 - Chest/Shoulders/Triceps

Day 2 - Legs

Day 3 - Back/Biceps

Day 4 - Chest/Shoulders/Triceps

Legs, Back/Biceps, Chest/Shoulder/Triceps, ete just keep repeating.

One thing you should do here is have two or three different workouts for the rotation.  So you would have....

C/S/T workout #1
Leg workout #1
Back/Biceps #1
C/S/T workout #2
Leg workout #2
Back/Bicep workout #2

A good thing about this split, is that you can just pick a couple of big movements, and then hit some conditioning for 10 minutes or so, and you're getting it all in 4X a week without overloading shit.

This is a good option.

One rule I like to stay with, but I do break it sometimes, is that I like to keep training sessions to no more than 3 big movements, and two lesser movements.  For example...

Leg Workout #1
Calf Press - lesser movement
Squats - big mvoement
SLDL - big movement
Shrugs - big movement
Abs - lesser

A lot of times I don't even include the lesser movements in the write up, I just do whatever I want to do or what I feel needs to be done.  Sometimes I don't do anything other than the two or three big movements slated for the session.  This keeps the workout "clean" and focused.  I don't want to have to think about doing 5 big movements in 1 session after I'm wiped out from squatting or pulling.  I'm ok with soldiering on with 1 or maybe 2 more after that, but any more than that and I find that I either cut my effort short on the initial movements, or don't have enough gas left for the latter ones.  Better to be a master of few, than "good" at everything.

Another way to do a 4 way split, is to ignore "arms" and just hit the big shit.

Day 1 -
Leg Press

Now after a big leg day, have an easier day...

Day 2 -
Standing Press
Side Laterals
Bent Laterals or Face Pulls

Don't want to press again the next day, so.....

Day 3 -
Deadlifts/T-bar Rows (alternate each week)

Day 4 -
Bench/Incline (alternate)
Db Incline/Db Flat (alternate)

This is an outstanding way to train and similar to my Ultimate Beastdom 4 day split.  You get some crossover too, as you will pull a few days after squatting, and press twice that week.  This is why you need to be mindful of volume and PI during these kinds of splits.  You may recover a little slower than if you had been training 3 days a week.

These splits are mainly for what I would call powerbuilding/mass work.  If we are talking training for 1 rep max strength, here are some options.

Day 1 - Heavy Squat/Light Pull

Day 2 - Heavy Bench and Triceps
Close Grip Bench

Day 3 - Heavy Pull/Light Squat
Squat - 60% of heavy day
Block Deadlifts

Day 4 - Light Bench/Heavy Shoulders
Bench - 60% of heavy day
PBN / Standing / Db Overhead Press
Side/Bent Latearls

Be mindful of the light workouts.  In other words, keep the light movements for the day light and crisp.  Otherwise, you can get overzealous and find yourself muddled down real fast.

Another thing to do here, is to give each day it's own day and then have the light bench session too with some arm work thrown in.

Day 1 - Squat
Pause Squat

Day 2 - Bench

Day 3 - Deadlift

Day 4 - Light Bench
Light Bench

This is very similar as to how Kirk Karwoski trained for the majority of his lifting career.  He was kinda strong.  Ed Coan favored a similar style split.  He was kinda strong too.

6 day a week splits -

Believe it or not, I was using a 6 day a week split when I went from 170 to 210 over the summer when I was 17.  I was eating like a ravenous lion, sleeping a ton, and training my ass off.

Here was the split I used at that time.

Day 1 - Legs and Calves
Day 2 - Chest, Back, Shoulders
Day 3 - Arms and Forearms

I did a lot of bodybuilding pre-exhaustion type work during this time, with circuit type stuff, leg ext/leg curl/squat then leg ext/leg cur/leg press.  Pretty much for each bodypart.  Pre-exhaustion with super slow negatives.  This hurt like a javelin to the taint.  But combined with tons of food and rest, it worked well.  I did this pretty much over the whole summer, or around 2.5 months.

If you are really adventurous and would like to try hitting bodyparts three times a week, give this a run...

Day 1 - Chest/Back/Shoulders
Day 2 - Legs/Arms

repeat 2 more times

Keep shit simple here.  Since you're hitting each bodypart 3 times, do 1 movement per bodyparts and that's it.  So each bodypart would actually get three different movements over the 6 days...

Chest/Back/Shoulders - #1
Incline Press
Press Behind Neck

Chest/Back/Shoulders - #2
Db Bench Press
T-Bar Rows
Side Laterals

Chest/Back/Shoulders - #3
Standing Press

Legs/Arms - #1
Barbell Curls

Legs/Arms - #2
Leg Press
Db Curls
French Press

Legs/Arms - #3
Hack Squats
Preacher Curls
Overhead Rope Extensions

If you were in a position to just rest, eat, and train this wouldn't be a bad option on a short term basis.  However if you are really pushing the poundages at some point it will become tough to recover from this kind of split.  If you're squatting 600 for reps on one day, and two days later doing hacks with 8 plates per side, that will eventually catch up with you.  But for 8 weeks or so, with a lot of food and rest, it can and will work.

Notes -

My staple has always been 3X a week but you can work in 4 and 6 day a week splits as well, just so long as you pay attention to your recovery, session grading, and rest and food intake.  Remember there is always an ebb and flow to training.  The more time you put in, the more energy that is required, and the more food and rest involved as well.  I may take a 4X a week split a run again in the future but I'm still contemplating it.

As with anything, your mileage may vary so if you try to run one, ask yourself why  you're running it, how long you will (6 weeks minimum), and what other factors in your life might come into play.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Training - Back and Biceps

Weight - 234

Cybex Machine Rows - stack x 5 sets of 10

Chins - bodyweight x 7, x 5 <-- something popped in my bicep here.

Seated Strive Press - 150x5 sets of 10

Notes - Well I've been on antibiotics for a couple of days and sure enough there goes my bicep.  Not a tear, mind you, just a strain.  I've never actually strained it to be honest, I've always just gone ahead and torn it off the bone.  With this terrible virus I have and two minor injuries I think a week off is in store.  After that I will do a light break in week, then go full bore into my mass building phase.

Sometimes your body is going to force you to rest.  I got the message this time.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thoughts about life, training, crap and stuff

I think some people have provable bad taste.

For example, if a movie comes out and it gets rave reviews across the board, and like 5 billion people vote on it at IMDB or whatever and everyone loves it, and you get this guy and he's like "oh that movie sucks".  Well that can be an opinion.

But then if you add in food and you know a great restaurant, that is considered the best of its kind and everyone you know loves the food, and it's packed all the time and he goes "oh that place sucks, I hate their food."

Then you factor in music, women, alcohol, cars, and vacation spots and he is always opposed to an overwhelming opinion that this shit is good, then I think it's safe to say this guy has scientifically proven bad taste.  I think you can do that.  Yes.  Don't tell me you can't.

Bad taste in men.  Scientific fact

I got two weeks left on this diet, and then I am going to switch into mass gaining mode.  That means LEAN mass gaining.  And for those that think my programs are just me thinking shit up you'll see I do EXACTLY what I wrote down in there.  Not sold you thought up routines or programs or philosophies.  In fact, I'm excited about bringing back in some PIT's to my training because it's been a while since I trained REALLY hard like that.  I've been coasting for a while, and I think in a lot of ways that is good, but I also think I'm fallen into my own "generic man" status for a little while now.  I have two very solid goals I want to accomplish in the next 12-16 months, and it's time to get crackin.  If you want to know them, it's 240-245 @ 10% or less bodyfat, 650 raw (no belt/no wraps) squat, 455 close grip bench, and a 700 deadlift.  That puts me over 1800.  I think the dead might be pushing it, but I am also beginning to figure that damn thing out too.  So what the hell, let's do this.

When I get sick, I keep on trucking, sometimes making shit worse.  This confuses the married females I know because they say, and I mean ALL of them, that when their guy gets sick he's the biggest baby in the world.  My wife makes note that she thinks the reason this is is because as males our mother babied us when we got sick, so we find comfort in that now.  Pretty interesting theory and it probably has some merit for some guys, just not me.  But I don't remember my mom babying me a whole lot either.  She was pretty stern with me most of the time, and really broke foot off in my ass when I wasn't treating my girl properly.  Thanks mom.

I watched Collateral again this week.  Man I love that movie.  The only thing I don't like, is the end.  I mean Vincent is Mozambique drilling everyone left and right, and in the end (spoilers) he can't win in a shoot out with a cab driver?  No excuses.  He lost in the shoot out with the cab driver, and its bullshit.  I wanted them to spin it so that Vincent killed the target, but spared the cabbie.  Maybe gave him some dough to start his limo company.  The they coulda done Collateral 2.  Awesome.

The good guy, dammit!

On the third season of The Wire.  Awesome show.  I still stand by the fact that I believe the first season sucked and was slow.  The second and third seasons are awesome.

I'm here to tell you, that the shit that people write or say in a public way/forum/site, isn't always the truth about what they believe.  Let me just say this, it makes reading some message boards interesting when some hard ass goes on and on about what he thinks he knows about some peoples opinions and peoples opinions in regards to training methodologies.  Damn, that's a hell of a run on sentence eh?

My four year old goes out to play the other day, then comes back in after a few minutes.
"I'm bored out there!"
"Well I will send Buster out with you.  He'll play."
"No!  I want a human to play with!"

A guy at work tells me yesterday, after I asked him how much weight he had lost, that it was 34 pounds in the last month.  He did this 500 calorie a day HCG Diet.  He sent me the PDF because I had to see it.  It worked for him.  The only thing I think about when I see weight loss using those kind of extreme measures is that it doesn't set you up for long term success because it doesn't teach long term habits (probably a redundant phase there).  I thought about giving it a go, not because I thought it was a good idea to lose fat, just to say I did it.  I'm fairly adventurous about that kind of shit and do like to test my tolerance levels.  Wisely, I talked myself out of it.  I am down to just a few shakes a day and 1 food meal, but that's my normal 2 week tapering period at the end of a dieting cycle.

A guy pops in my cube yesterday and says there is a rumor floating around about him.  That he used to be a cage fighter.  How the fuck would a rumor like that get started?  The shit people come up with sometimes.....

Speaking of cage fighting, Shogun is going to walk through Bones Jones.  Yeah yeah I know he's the big up and comer and all, but Shogun has fought tall guys before that used their reach better and were better boxers. I just don't think that Shogun is going to get caught with a spinning elbow or some shit ok?  I mean it's not like Jones wanted to stand and trade with Ryan Bader for peetes sake.  You think he wants to stand with Shogun?  Hell no.  And I think Shogun will be able to keep it standing.  Game over man, game over.  If I'm wrong some Bones Jones crotch rider will certainly show up to let me know about it, I'm sure.

"get ready bitch...."

Why would the most interesting man in the world drink a god damned beer?  Drink some mad dog 20/20.  That would make people ask questions.  And asking questions = interesting.

More interesting than any fucking beer

Was talking with this guy I know who runs marathons the other day and we got off on the Kenyans.  People are speculating that one of them is going to break the 2 hour mark for a full marathon at some point.  The is beyond freaking insane.  Robert Cheruiyot is the guy from Kenya that has won it four times, with a world record of 2 hours 5 minutes and fifty two seconds.  That's 26 miles averaging roughly 13 miles an hour.  13 miles an hour is the speed a lot of dudes can't get up to at all.  To me these things are just as amazing as Andy Bolton deadlifting a grand or 700 pound raw bench presses.  Maybe even more so because these guys are not "enhanced" (that I know of, I could be completely wrong about that).  

I swear to God everyone thinks they have Native American blood in them.  If the subject of heritage comes up in a conversation everyone I know says they have Cherokee or some shit in them.  And it's always some pale dude with blonde or red hair that looks like he should have a kilt or fucking lucky charms outfit on.  And it's never verified through genealogy either.  It's the same shit every time.  "Oh yeah man, I'm part Indian.  My grandmother told me that she had a sister who was married to this guy and his uncle fucked this woman who had a kid from another guy that was half Cherokee.  So that makes me at least like 3/4 Indian."  

I wish I had some kind of machine that you put your finger into, and tells you exactly what your heritage consists of.  So when this shit starts, I could whip it out, make em put their finger on it and then scream in their face how they have ZERO Native American in them.  

"My grandmother was full blooded Cherokee..."
I hate a service departments hours.  Why are their hours like 9-5 and Monday through Friday?  Does that make any sense at all?  Think about it.  You're at work.  You need shit to get done.  So you gotta take off of work for this.  Why don't they have hours like noon until 9 p.m.?  That way when you are off work you can go?  Minor rant.

Just two more weeks until I can EAT!!!!!!  ARG!  I'm sooooo hungry!

Everyone have a good weekend!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Training - Bench

Weight - 231 Dropped the peanut butter and two pounds came right off.  Damn.

Close Grip Bench -
135 x 15
225 x 5
315 x 4
335 x 3
365 x 2
385 x 1

Strive Chest Press -
half stack x 2 sets of 10-12 I think

Pushdowns - about 3 sets

Notes - Totally out of gas.  I replaced the peanut butter with 15-20 almonds, which cuts out about 300 total calories a day.  Also cut out a meal.  Plan on running this for maybe two weeks but I'm already  tired and depleted and feel like shit.  I mean the 385 close grip was prolly a max tonight.  1600 calories a day will do that however.  I can't wait to start eating again then that will be a repping weight again.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Great article at t-nation on bodyfat levels related to mass gain

Really solid article from Shelby Starnes on your bodyfat and mass gaining cycles.  I think a lot of what he says will sound very familiar if you read here often.


  • Don't bulk when you're fat (over 15%).
  • When you get over 15%, diet down to 10% or less and then start eating
  • You have to eat big to get big.
  • Don't rush it, getting big is a marathon not a sprint.  
  • Hold your new bodyweight for a long time so that it becomes a "set point" and somewhat normal for your body. 
This last point really hits home with me.  When I used to diet down to an acceptable level I'd almost always end up at like 200-205 pounds.  Well my highest "bulking" point generally took me to 245 during that time.  When I finally bulked up to 270-280 and stayed there for about 2 years, I dieted back down and ended up (at various times) between 225 and 235 (where I am now).  

I only need to gain maybe 7-10 more pounds of LEAN mass to be where I have been trying to get to for a decade now (242-245 at sub 10%).  So when I run my next gaining phase I will train my ass off, and be smart with my diet.  Not get stupid and eat 42 MacDonalds hamburgers a day (although I did enjoy that shit, I won't lie, and I spelled it MACDonalds on purpose BTW).  

For those that bought my programs, I will be running THAT diet, and following THAT training routine, or very close to it.  I'm actually looking very forward to getting back into a ballz out training mode for a while.  It's time to make some fucking progress.  I have some real goals in mind that I am going to hit in the next 18 months and it's time to start really working towards them.  

Anyway here's the article......

Weekly Q & A

Leave a name and question home girls.

Everyone getting their stuff?

I wanted to make sure that everyone is getting their programs.

There should be two manuals and two spreadsheets.  If anyone is having any issues let me know ASAP and I will get it fixed.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Some initial thoughts on the strong15 template for you guys

So biglifter brings up a good and honest question.

Basically that he understands the program, but wants to know if strength building is involved in the three phases.

Well hell yes it is.  That's the point of the program.

One thing that a lot of guys need to understand is that the peaking phase is roughly 11 weeks.  The 9 weeks of training, the off/deload week and then the meet.

One of the best things are this program is that it should completely force you to start light the first several weeks.

I can't emphasize enough to guys have important it is to start light, and get a running go at big PR's.  The single fastest way to stall and short circuit your strength progress is to start way too fucking heavy.  Your ego will kill progress every damn time.

The first phase workouts should allow you to leave the gym feeling good.  You should really feel like "I could do that again."  Especially on the squat and deadlift day(s).  Your back off sets should feel fast and powerful, you should feel better after you leave than when you walk in.

It's hard for a lot of guys to get into ego dropping mode.  I guess you just have to ask yourself, is it more important to hit big lifts in the gym or on the platform?

Even in the testing phase (the third week) you don't have to kill yourself in the first phase.


This is not mumbo fucking jumbo, I've worked this shit many times.  And everytime I started a cycle too heavy and grinded lifts too early, the sooner I stalled and/or went backwards.  Everytime I started a phase light and easy, I got stronger over a longer period, and hit some nice PR's.  You have to remember that

If you grind a few lifts in the THIRD phase, but still make them, that's ok and isn't unusual.  You need to grind a little bit before the meet, but not every week, and certainly not early.  Your back off sets should always feel "good".  I'm mainly talking about squats and deadlifts here.  Your bench singles should feel solid and good, but the back off should be taken until your eyes bleed, then you have the optional light day later in the week.  And when I say light, just get a nice little pump and call it a day.  That could mean 155x12-15 for a big (400+) bencher.  So take that into consideration.

You have to remember that 9 weeks of training is a good amount of time, and if you start too heavy early you'll stall out around week 4-6 and then shit starts grinding too hard, and you start missing lifts and you will go BACKWARDS.  Have momentum going into week 10 and 11.  When you take that opener they should all fly like there is no weight on the bar.  Then for that nice little PR the second attempt should feel fairly easy. This sets you up for the big PR on the third attempt.

The first phase everything should almost feel like speed work.  Especially the first couple of weeks.  If you're worried about progress, blow your nuts out in the testing weeks of phase two and three.  You'll know where you're at.  I tell you this, if you start too heavy, you'll be disappointed in the testing weeks of phase two and three for sure.

So understand the difference between training for a top single and building strength through momentum, and training for a top "gym maximum".

If you're smart, you'll be rewarded with the strength gains you are after.  If you're dumb, you'll end up that generic man that gets jack and shit done after jack left town.

Training - Squats and Deads

Weight - 237

Hip and Ass Machine - 2 sets of 60

Calf Press - stack x 20

Pause Squats -
135 x 10
225 x 5
315 x 3
405 x 3,3,3

Deadlifts -
225 x 5
315 x 3
405 x 3
475 x 5

Shrugs - 405 x 30

Leg Press - half stack 4 sets of 10

Notes - Well hard to grade this workout because I'm sick as hell and had the cold sweats and shakes the whole time.  Everything felt hard but that's what I'd expect.  I guess I'd still rate it an 80%er because it wasn't complete suck, I just felt like shit.

The programs and e-mail

Make sure you include the e-mail you want the programs to be sent to in the paypal info.  This way I know for sure that is where you want them sent.  Some of the e-mails that have come through paypal have bounces on me and I want to make sure everyone is getting their stuff.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Philosophy of Mass and Strength - big15 and strong15 are now available

Click the link at the top that reads "Philosophy of Training".

I look forward to answering your questions concerning the programs.

What is your "bang"?

"Do you compete?"


"In what?"

"Well a few things.  I compete in powerlifting."

"So you're a powerlifter."

"Not exactly.  I also train in fighting down with the Krav guys."

"So you're an MMA fighter?"


"But you train in MMA?"

"Yeah but that's not my main focus.  In fact I'm not training for fighting right now."

"Oh what are you training for?"

"Well, right now I need to get leaner so I'm doing a lot of conditioning, dieting a bit."

"Do you have some sort of competition coming up?"

"Just my usual."

"What's that?"

"Try to get better."


This was a recent conversation I had with this young man who stopped me as I was walking out of the gym.

I've known this for a while but I don't "love" anything but training anymore.  I like to powerlift and get stronger, but I'm not a powerlifter.  I don't live and breathe it.  I'm just as excited about getting stronger on chins and incline press as I am anything else.

I'm not a bodybuilder.  I don't want to diet for 14-16 weeks and get up on stage and smother salad dressing all over myself and flex.  I admire the grueling ass shit those guys have to do, but it's just not for me at all.  But I still want to look a bit like a bodybuilder to be honest.  I think there is a bit of a hidden bodybuilder in every guy that steps into a gym for a long enough time.

I am not training fighting right now because it beats me to shit and my elbow won't hold up at the moment.  I also want to total 1800 raw when I do a meet again, and personally if that happens I don't know if I will ever do another powerlifting meet.  I love to train in that fashion but it's not my "love".  For a long time martial arts was my love, but I'm not sure if it is anymore either.

Football was out years ago.  The last practice I had for an Arena team I woke up the next morning and could barely move my neck and instead of relishing that pain like I used to, it was a nuisance.  I knew I was done with that right then.

So what is your "bang"?  When I say bang I mean what is it that you are training for?  What drives you?

The fact is, most of us are generic men in that regard.  What I mean is, our goals are vague and generic and it all reality it looks like this.....

I want to look badass
Feel badass
Lift some badass weights

That's about it.

Those are generic goals, but in our own mind we know what they mean.  You can't explain to the next guy what you mean exactly when you say you want to look badass.  But generally speaking we mean we want to be in shape, be lean, look good nekkid, have our clothes fit good.

You can't always explain what you mean in words what it means to feel badass.  But it's probably something like be able to do a shit ton of hills and not feel winded, do an hours worth of 60 yard sprints and feel great when you're done, go trail hiking or canoeing or whatever for the whole day and kick ass doing it.

Lifting some badass weights is more tangible.  You can say "I want to squat, bench, deadlift, press X amount" and there it is.

Our "bang" is fairly generic but specific as well.  We aren't always training for something, but yet we are.  Sometimes we get off track in the vision of it, but we can get it back too if we find something more specific to latch onto.

There is nothing wrong with this.  Sure, it's always great to compete and put it on the line but you have to keep that into perspective as well.  I've trained my ass off for months for meets and pulled out last minute because of an injury or because of other issues.  If I can't show up and perform well I would rather not.  I've done it before and it felt like the biggest waste of time ever, and all I ended up to show for it was a badly blown out adductor.  Never again.  Fuck that.  Wasn't worth it.

The only bad part about being the generic man is, you can sometimes toil around in supreme mediocrity for a long time, and lose sight of how to get out of it.  I've done this too.  I kept on training, but had no real goal other than showing up.  Then I realized that years had gone by, and I hadn't progressed in anything.  I mean anything.  Wasn't any bigger, or leaner, or in better shape, or stronger.  Nothing.  No progress made in years.

What the hell?

When you wake up to these moments of clarity it can be a very sobering and depressing experience.  It's during those times that you might sometimes hear the phrase "are you still working out?"

God damn I hate that one.

It's phrased many different ways too.

"Did you stop working out?"

"Did you used to workout a lot?"

"You look skinny."

"You used to be real big and shit."

"Oh you workout?"

Now sometimes when you are in the midst of transition from fat guy to being in shape you can get these.  I don't sweat that.  It's all part of the game.  It's when you know nothing has changed and you get it.  That means somehow you have gone backwards and that's a shitty feeling.  When other people actually notice that you haven't gotten better.  You kick less ass than ever.  Is there a worse feeling than this?  I mean besides taking a javelin to the taint.  I think not.

Sometimes it's good to get ridiculed to snap you out of a funk.

And then you gotta turn shit on.  You have to define some of the generic man goals.  Get your waistline down to X size, get your bodyfat tested and then decide on what you will go for.

This just isn't about goal setting but getting your shit back together.  The guys who don't compete but still want to be awesome for awesomesake still need to train at times like a competition is on the line.

Write down (realistic) goals -
Write down (realistic) timeframes -
Study on the best way to accomplish written down (realistic goals -
Kick fucking ass -

This is it in a nutshell.  Training for the sake of training is fine if your goal is maintenance only.  If you have some real goals, what the fuck are you waiting for?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Training - Traps

Shrugs -
135 x 40
225 x 20
315 x 10 sets of 10, 60 seconds in between

Have a head cold now and feeling a bit beat up so I just did the ol GVT routine and hit the 10 sets of 10 with a light weight.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Getting serenaded by the Sexay Saxman...

Perceived Intensity and Intensity Waving

This is something I have been experimenting with for a while with good results so far.

I haven't gotten a complete handle on it yet but I will break a few facets of it down.

A lot of guys train around percentages and some guys train around PI (perceived intensity).

If you missed my definition of PI then basically it has nothing to do with your 1 rep max, and everything to do with effort.  I like classifications so low, medium, and high are all PI.  Low being a warm up set, medium would be a week of getting the reps in, and high is busting ass (that would vary on the movement as well).

This is just something that has come to me over the last few months of training yet I have been paying a lot of attention to it.

It started a while back when I talked about doing 5/3/1 with some built in hard weeks with built in "just get the reps in" weeks.  I ended up applying this across the board without really thinking about it.

For my week of incline pressing I have done some heavy weeks but in between there is usually a bench week, then a light week of incline pressing.  So like one week I would do 225 for reps.  Then bench heavy, then do a heavy incline session, then bench the next week, and incline light the next week.

For my chins, I would do a week of bodyweight only 5x5, then bodyweight 7x7, then a week of heavy pulldowns with high volume, then a high PI week weighted with 5-4-3-2-1 backoff, seeing what I could hit for a single then going for a PR on the back off.

My deadlift has responded to it, as I am now hitting 500x9-10 regularly, where 500x10 was my standing PR for a long time and 500x6-8 used to be the usual.

Because of my adductor injury I haven't been able to fully implement it on squats but I don't think it would be that difficult.

The dynamic I think I am dealing with here is the dynamic ebb and flow of what I call session grading (80-10-10) and coaxing of strength rather than demanding it, only asking your body to perform hard when you're having an upper level 80% day.

For example, today I did chins with 100x1.5 where I hit 100xnot-a-full-rep about a month-5 weeks ago.  This happened with only 1 other heavy day of chinning in there where I did 75x5.  The other days I was doing 5x5 with bodyweight, heavy high volume pulldowns and such.  On the days where I did the 100xalmost, 75x5, and 100x1.5 I felt really good.  These would be upper level 80% sessions.  Not quite +10% days but close.  The other days I was just getting some chins in, and feeling good.  So in other words, I matched my volume and PI to how my body felt on those days.

I haven't quite figured out the pattern yet, but it's starting to come to me.  It's not heavy/medium/light either because I don't quite see it lining out that way just yet.  It's more like a light/light/medium/heavy pattern.

I'll keep updating my ideas about this as more comes to me.

Training - Back and Biceps

Bodyweight - 238 <- cheat night last night in full effect

T-bar rows -
1 plate x 30
2p x 10
3p x 10
4p x 10
5p x 10
6p x 17 PR

V-bar chins -

body x 5
+25 x 5
+50 x 4
+75 x 3
+100 x 1.5

body x 18

Ez Curls - 115 x 12,8

Notes - 80%er.  Felt good after getting in extra food last night and got a decent night sleep on top of that.  Amazing how that works.  Set a PR on t-bar rows but believe it or not that set felt harder than the 6 plates x 16 two weeks ago.  Chins are creeping up slowly.  I should be back to tying my pr of 100x3 soon.  Still working towards one day hitting that elite 100x10.

I did do two sets of curls since everyone kept asking "why only 1 set of curls?"

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cheat meal tonight...

10 ounces of sirloin, 2 lobster tails with butter, heaping plate of wild rice, 1 sweet potato, 20 fried shrimp, and a big bowl of cookie dough ice cream.

I'm feeling good.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Training - Press

Weight - 233

Incline Press -
135 x 10
225 x 5
275 x 4
315 x 3
335 x 2
350 x 1
315 x 5

Tit Machine - 180 x 15

Upright Rows - 115 x 3 sets of 15
Overhead Rope Extensions - 45 x 3 sets of 20

Notes - 80%er.  Ran out of gas fast because I got to the gym about an hour later than usual and that's a long time for me without food.  I'm still using sissy weights but once I get lean enough (not much longer) and can start eating a little bit again I expect strength to come back in a big way.

Thoughts about life, training, crap and stuff

This organic shit is out of hand.  I bet you don't see this in other countries where they eat shit like cats and dogs.

"No I won't eat those cats.  Those aren't organic cats!  I'm certain they weren't fed strictly from Atlantic Salmon!"

Only if it's organic!

Ok don't ask how this came up.  I was driving into work one day and this song hit me out of the blue.  And I thought about how hilarious and fucking absurd (and disturbing) it is.......

Here is the video and the lyrics that I will comment on.

It was a rainy night when 
he came into sight
Standing by the road, no umbrella, 
no coat

Ok so she's traveling along, and sees a drifter.  Prolly looks like Wendler without teeth.  Big ugly ass beard, skoal in his mouth.  Doesn't even have a coat on.  So he's really bad off.

So I pulled up along side and 
I offered him a ride
He accepted with a smile 
so we drove for a while
I didn't ask him his name, 
this lonely boy in the rain
Fate tell me it's right, 
is this love at first sight

Love at first sight.......nuff said.

All I wanna do is make love to you
Say you will
You want me too
All I wanna do is make love to you
I've got lovin' arms to hold on to

So we found this hotel, 
it was a place I knew well


We made magic that night. 
Oh, he did everything right
He brought the woman out of me, 
so many times, easily

Well apparently our coatless drifter in the rain is actually Don Juan in disguise!  He knocks the bottom out of it all night long!

And in the morning when he woke all 
I left him was a note
I told him 
"I am the flower you are the seed"
We walked in the garden 
we planted a tree
Don't try to find me, 
please don't you dare
Just live in my memory, 
you'll always be there

How would he find you?  He doesn't have a car!  He's a drifter!

All I wanna do is make love to you
One night of love was all we knew
All I wanna do is make love to you
I've got lovin' arms to hold on to

Oh, oooh, we made love
Love like strangers
All night long
We made love

Then it happened one day,
we came round the same way
You can imagine his surprise
when he saw his own eyes
I said "please, please understand
I'm in love with another man
And what he couldn't give me
was the one little thing that you can"

So let me get this straight.  Chic has been with one guy all this time, but he couldn't give her kids.  So she's been banging drifters the whole time hoping that one could knock her up.  Not telling her guy this, and he's been hitting it after the drifters, or whoever.  NASTY!

Second, this guy is STILL A DRIFTER!  After all these years he's still out there!  Amazing!  And this is the father of her child!  I don't know which one of the two is more pathetic.

All I wanna do is make love to you
One night of love was all we knew
All I wanna do is make love to you
Say you will, you want me too

All night long
All night long
All night long
All night long

Tom Platz and bulking -

If you don't know who Tom Platz is, google him.  Tom was famous for his unreal training intensity and quad size.

Anyway here is what The Golden Eagle wrote was his offseason bulking diet......

MORNING (Prior to trainnin) : Two Pieces of whole grain toast with butter and jelly, juice or milk, coffee Supplements

Lunch : (After Workout) Three to six eggs, Hamburger patty, sliced tomatoes , juice, two pieces of bread

Snack : Cheese (quite abit ) and crackers a glass of milk

Dinner : Very large prime rib salad (with cottage cheese, nuts, ) Bread and butter Piece of pie of ice cream , coffee or milk

Snack : Evening Couple pints of ice cream or bag of nuts

Looks like just about any Joe Blow's diet.  And i caught shit for my dirty bulking diets?  And it was for skinny guys!  This was Tom's pro bodybuilding offseason bulk diet.  I guess he should have been told it didn't work! This is what I mean about this dieting shit out of hand.  If you wanna get big, eat a shit ton of food.  It's all up to you on how fat you want to get.  But guys who get big, eat big or went through period of eating big.  And it's not usually clean.  I address this in the book.

Tom you'll never get big eating like shit!  Chicken breasts and tuna asshole!  Paleo!  Keto!

Done with the first training book on building mass.  I am working on the second book/program for powerlifting.  The first book was only 31 pages.  I say "only" because I didn't include fluff or exercise descriptions.  I will however, include the raw squatting article I wrote a while back in the powerlifting program.  I find writing exercise descriptions boring and tedious and there are tons of videos and good write ups on how to do every exercise known to man.  I am pretty sure these will be available by Monday!

The table of contents for the mass book is below......

Philosophy of Training - 3

The Mentality of hard, heavy training – 4

Buy in - 4

Eating for Maximum Size – 5

Training for maximum size - 10

I need bigger arms syndrome - 12

Hard Training, Perceived Intensity, and Intensity - 13

Training Economy and Recovery -  14

Session Range/Grading – 80% +10% -10% - 15

Frequency – 18

Doc Brown the Lifter – 19

Train Movement Patterns, not Muscle Groups for overall mass – 20

Intensity Techniques - 21

PI vs Volume – 22

The meat and potatoes of my training – 5-4-3-2-1-back off   - 23

Deloads - 24

How to make this program work for you – 25

Conditioning – 26

The Routines – 27

Keys to making all of this shit work and Q&A – 30

Final Word – 31

Special Thanks - 32

I could have written more, but it's basically my philosophy of training (which is what its called by the way) and I didn't need to get overly wordy about lifting hard, lifting heavy, and lifting consistently to make shit happen.

I think that people are right when they say that women are difficult to deal with in terms of dieting because of the emotional connection they have with food.  This has been a battle I've had with every woman I have ever trained.  I flat out do not fucking get it.  If you are good on your diet, then are allowed a cheat, just do the cheat and get back on the horse.  Why do women sabotage the whole diet after a cheat?  It's fucking insane.  They are either fucking up their diet 6 ways till Sunday or are strict as shit.  You can't give them a cheat meal. They don't know how to deal with it.

Movies I seen this past week -


Sucked.  The ending was so anti climatic that it's hard to explain.

Angelina Jolie was also so skinny I kept trying to rub a cheeseburger on the TV screen to see if she would take a bite.

Yeah you're hot, but eat something!!!!

Tomorrow night Battle: Los Angeles comes out.  I want to go see this but I will wait. I never go see anything opening weekend.  No matter what.  I love the theater but I hate people in it usually.  I go there to enjoy a show.  Not listen to kids cry and watch them run and down the aisles or see people texting with their bright ass cell phones in the dark theater.  I also hate going into an R rated movie and seeing people bring little kids into this shit.  Yeah yeah, save me the horseshit about how it's their kid and all that.  There is a reason movies have ratings.  I believe you shouldn't subject small kids to things like a guy walking around with a giant penis out for two hours (Watchmen) or brutal killing and beheading and shit (Freddy vs Jason and don't ask why I was in the movies to see this).  Yeah it's your kid, but I just believe that kids should be spared from some shit like this.  It's hard for kids to separate fantasy from reality at times.  Trust me my 12 year old acted like a sissy for a week after watching Poltergeist.  Which was PG dammit.

I won't lie, I dread some of the "can I do" questions that will come with the release of the programs.  Not that I mind helping, obviously I don't.  But sometimes you just gotta ask for forgiveness rather than permission.

I'm still running the same diet for like 6 weeks now and my weight seems to be settling in at around 233.  I would still like to get a little leaner to be honest.  I'm feeling pretty small though.  I went to see a couple of buddies from Krav the other night and they both made me feel small.  That never happens.  I won't get off the course though.  My goal is and has been, a lean 242 for a while now.  I'm pretty close.  If I were 242 at my current leanness I'd be a happy man.  Then that 1800 raw total would be my last goal.  Maybe........

I really think the strong-15 program is going to be the shit and I'm really excited over it.  I don't say that because I wrote it (ok so partly) but because it has worked so well for me and other people I have put it on.

Screw the NFL.

Screw the anonymous troll that is too sackless to leave a name.  You know who you are.

Women are retardedly complicated.  Yes you are!

Charlie Sheen.  Nuff said.

I think it's bullshit that the Rebels blew up the Death Star and are cheered as heros.  What about all of the independent contractors that were working on that thing, that were not member of The Empire, and were just trying to feed their families?  Such horseshit.


It's Thursday.  That's like the caution light for green light Friday.