Thursday, June 30, 2011

Training - Deload

Bodyweight - 258

Close Grips -
225 x 10
315 x 5

Deadlift -
315 x 5 singles

Notes - That's it.  I feel run down, which is good.  I should have a nice rebound come meet time.  At least that's what I am hoping.

Weekly Q & A

Well the hard stuff is over, so let the bullshit begin.

Leave a name and question, or be forced to choose between cake or death!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thoughts about life, crap, training, and stuff

I have wiped the slate clean.  Rid of people who were negative, life sucking drains in my life.  Everyday it feels better.  I feel better.

I have no idea why people won't let go of family or friends who shorten their life span.  I learned to do this with people a long time ago, but haven't put it into effect enough lately.  But I'm good again.  I know that everyones breaking point is different, but it should be measured in months, not years.  Certainly not decades.  I know people who keep friends around that do nothing but take, take, take.  That's not a friendship.  A friendship, whether that be your spouse or your buddy, should be that compliments your life and theirs.  I'm not saying you don't endure bad times together.  You do.  That's exactly what friends are for.  To help prop you up when you are at your weakest.

However there comes a time when to cut ties, when all your friend does is drain you and create a constant negative in your life.  Put in the effort to help them get over whatever it is they need to get over, but at some point everyone has to help themselves.  If they aren't willing or can't do that, and it's a drain on your own life, they have to go.  And you have to be willing to let them go.  It doesn't make you an asshole.  It means you realize you have gone more than halfway, and they aren't willing to meet you the rest of the way.  I said MORE than halfway.  A good friend does go the extra mile, however that friendship should be reciprocated.  And in time of weakness the other person still have to take some steps to meet you.

When I realized I had gone about 3/4 of the way, and the last 1/4 wasn't going to happen by those other people, I knew I had to cut them out.  At that point, it wasn't hard anymore.  Because I could look at myself in the mirror and know that I gave as much as I should have given, and had no regrets.  I let one of the two know that if they ever wanted to really be my friend again, just call me and learn how to meet me halfway.

I am at peace.

Training wise I am also at peace.

I have managed to hit a 605 squat, 430 close grip bench, and 650 deadlift in the last 3 weeks.  Only one is a PR, however I exhaled last night after the 605 squat, knowing all the work was over and that outside of some nicks I am healthy.  My shoulders and elbows are a bit irritated, and my pec minors are as well.  However I think some rest will help fix those quite a bit and so will some anti inflammatories.  My right IT band is also slightly irritated but not enough that I was bothered in squatting.  I am still thinking about my attempts because I talked to Wendler last night and he's drilling me about going really conservative on my openers and second attempts.  I had some different thoughts in mind, but I respect what Jim has to say so we'll see.  I'm not a egotistical lifter and never have been, so I know I'll be smart about this.

I am friends with this female that was in Playboy (I'm not kidding and I'm not dropping her name).  I grew up with her in the small town I lived in.  Anyway, she asks shit like "who wants to mow my yard?" and like dudes show up with lawn mowers, ready to mow.  She asks who wants to take her out to Victoria Secret for shopping?  And dudes will show up and take her shopping.

Let me let you in on something right now fellas.  If you do that, you will not EVER get to hit it.  Fact.

Her and I had a laugh about it actually.  I said "you know that you don't respect any of those guys that bow down like that.  You're never going to bang any of those guys, even though they think they are getting in your good graces by doing that shit."

She laughed and said "you're right."  I know I'm right.  I had two sisters growing up and have been surrounded by women my whole life.  Guys don't get this shit, and I don't know why.  The guy that tells her "Uhhh, I'm not mowing your yard.  I'll loan you my mower, but you gotta do your own work." is the guy that has a better chance.  Because she'll respect him.  Guys are generally pretty pathetic when it comes to working with women.  Giving in to everything they ask and stomp around for is a sure way to make sure they never respect you.  And if a woman doesn't respect you, well you're just kind of her bitch.

My 4 year old has discovered He-Man.  So I've been watching it in the afternoons with her.  I love it because I laugh so much and she thinks it's so awesome.  I think the show was created by a bunch of gay dudes because every guy is totally jacked, and Prince Adam (wouldn't it have been awesome if they had named him Prince Albert?) wears a pink shirt and purple tights.  Man At Arms has a total pornstache, and every dude has tight crotched pants.  The one thing I laugh at, is that Prince Adam doesn't even change when he turns into He-Man.  He just has on less clothes.  But no one recognizes that it's Prince Adam.  And of course Adam is never around when He-Man is.  These cartoons are filled with idiots.  Better than that is just the random silliness of it all.  And even better, is that I get to spend that time with my 4 year old laughing and talking about it all.  The bestest!

If you didn't see that Pat Berry - Kongo fight, go watch it.  Un-flippin-real.

I still have not caught up on any movies.  If you've been reading here long enough you'll know that I go in cycles of watching a ton of shit for a while, then nothing for a while.  I have to let the queue build up with shit I want to see.  Right now nothing really excites me.

Not a ton to write on this week.  I just feel elated to be ready for the meet.  After the meet I am going to get my run on, do my shake diet for about 6 weeks, and lean back up to 240.  Can't wait.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Training - Squats

Bodyweight - 260 pounds

warm up - good girl and bad girl machines, hip and ass machine, calf press - 3 sets of each for 20

Squats - oly stance, no belt no wraps
135 x 10
225 x 5
315 x 4
405 x 3
475 x 2

530 x 1
565 x 1
605 x 1

Pause Squats - 405 x 3 sets of 5

Good Girl Machine - 3 sets of 10 heavy
Calf Press - stack x 15

Notes - The 605 was a mother fucking smoke show.  This was my final heavy session of the meet prep and it couldn't have gone any better.  605 moved like 315.  I think that 650 no belt no wraps is going to be very doable for this meet.  

But more importantly, I managed to get through the last many months injury free and I believe that made some nice adjustments along the way that helped with that.

  • resting when I needed to
  • working the shit out of the good girl machine.  I honestly believe that is a big reason why I have not strained an adductor again and why my squat has moved so well this cycle
  • not pushing singles for very long.  pushing medium weight for reps for many months I believe, helped to set me up for a nice run of heavier weights.  Mentally I felt good and my bodyweight rose very nice with the higher reps
  • shorter prep cycle.  I really only hit the heaviest weights for about 3 or maybe 4 weeks.  I also took 4-5 days off in that same period.  So something that became apparent to me was that if your take care of your foundation level of strength you don't need to push for a long period to get to max territory.  This is how it felt to me anyway.
I reached my first goal in a series of goals.  And that was to stay healthy in prep for this meet.  I have done that and feel mighty good about it.  I will do some heavy overheads Thursday and light bench with light pulls.  Arm work Saturday then next week if I do anything it will be super light.  

I'm ready.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

REAL dogmatism

I wanted to address the issue of dogmatism for a minute.

I've read some people say/write that I only believe that there is only one way to get strong.  I'm not sure where I wrote that.  Oh, maybe that's because I haven't.  Not only that, I've never believed that or endorsed that mode of thinking.  Isn't it funny how someones perception of a situation comes about when no evidence to support it actually exists?

All I've EVER written was, I have found some things that work for me, and that is an ever evolving process.  I have tried about every method under the sun in over 2 decades of doing this.  I have simply settled on philosophies that I feel work for me.  My injuries the past couple of years are also going to help further evolve how I approach training after this meet.

I am not dogmatic in any way, shape, or form when it comes to training.  If anyone ever took any time to read through questions about whether I think something will work, I always tell someone to try it and find out.  That's because the things that work for me really well, may not work for you as well, or they may work even better. Application is a big part of why and how things work, outside of your belief in that method.  It's no secret that I don't care for the WSB style of training for me.  However I know plenty of strong guys who make it work for them.  I don't care for high volume training.  But I know lots of strong guys that make that work for them.

I talk to guys fairly often that believe their way of training is superior.  PERIOD.  Not that it's superior for them, but superior compared to every training methodology out there.  And that if it didn't work for you, well you didn't do it right.  It can't be the fault of the program or method.  No fucking way.

There are many facets of why some training programs work and some don't, for individuals.

  • Belief factor - This is the main ingredient.  If you think you have discovered the holy grail of lifting programs and that this one is going to turn you into a bastard concoction of Kaz/Coan/Arnold then you will make progress.  This often breeds dogmatism from that users point of view because of the progress they make.  I mean they made progress right?  Has to be the greatest program ever, right?
  • Recovery ability - This is an individual thing and one persons ability to recover is obviously going to be very different than everyone else's.  This is one reason why some guys can train 5 days a week and progress and other guys only 3.  Some older guys even find that 2 work just as well.  Volume and frequency along with intensity (%) and perceived intensity play a part as well.  There are a lot of factors that go into this.  Each guy has to find where his threshold is.  In other words, doing enough work to stimulate gains in strength/size and also have enough time between for those gains to cement themselves.
  • Lifestyle - This is about diet, drugs, sleep, and all sorts of shit like that.  
One of the things that has obviously plagued me for the past couple of years has been injuries.  However I've gone for long stretches in the past without ever getting injured, all the while pushing as hard as I can.  One of the things I found during those times is that I did more movement likeness variation.  In other words, I didn't just push squats every workout.  One week I would push fronts, then the next week regular squats.  With pressing it was similar.  Two or three movements that I rotated through at the same time, to keep overuse and injuries from happening.  This is going to get incorporated into my training cycle after this meet.  

But even aside from that, any guy that pushes his training hard is going to eventually get injured.  This is a fact of training life.  High volume, low volume, WSB or 5/3/1 or anything.  Eventually you're going to push the envelope and at some point the envelope tears.  Sometimes you know why, other times you don't.  Either way, there isn't a foolproof way around this.  In the quest to get as big and as strong as possible at some point you're going to have to tread the dangerous waters.  Sometimes you escape unscathed, other times you're not as fortunate.  If a certain way of training got you that far, then changing around everything you did to get there because of an injury seems fairly stupid.  You dance with the girl that brought you.  If you don't get laid, it doesn't mean your process for making the date happen sucks.  It just means you fucked up on prom night to close the deal.  Refine something minor and get back to it.  Which is what I plan on doing.

Am I dogmatic about certain beliefs?  Of course.  Who isn't?  What are they?

1.  Consistency is the master ruler.  If you aren't consistent in your training, diet, recovery, etc no matter what, progress is going to be limited in comparison to what it could be.
2.  Injury is the #1 enemy of consistency.  
3.  Overload still rules.  It's always going to be about more weight on the bar or more reps with that weight.  In the end, that is how 99% of progress can be defined.

That's about it.  Wow, what a list!  All of those can be applied to every training ideology/methodology.  

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Training - Deadlift

Bodyweight - 259

Deads -
135 x 8
225 x 5
315 x 4
405 x 3
500 x 2

565 x 1
605 x 1
635 x 1
650 x 1 PR

Elevated Stiff Legs - 455 x 10

Shrugs - 585 x 10

Notes - Not a good one even with the PR.  650 was a grinder but I expected it to be.  I drank last night AND took my sleeping meds.  So I was pretty sluggish all morning, never felt like I got going.  I think this is the last heavy pull before the meet.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Training - Bench

Bodyweight - 259

Close Grip Bench -
bar x 40
135 x 20
225 x 5
315 x 4
365 x 3
405 x 2
430 x 1
365 x 6

Flat Flyes 2 x 20
Ez Curl - 115 x 20,20,20
Pushdowns and Overhead Ropes - 2 sets of each

Notes - Another kinda blah session.  Elbows starting to feel achy, my pec minor is hurting and I am getting tired.  I think tonight is going to be my last heavy pressing night before the meet.  Next week I will do something light like 315 x 10, then the week of the meet 225 x 10, and leave it at that.  The 430 was easy.  I'm good for 450, and that's really been the year long goal.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Training - Squats

bodyweight - 262

Warm up - good girl bad girl machines, hip and ass machine, calf press, leg curls.  2-3 sets of each for 12-20 reps

Squats - no belt or wraps, Oly style

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

520 x 1
555 x 1
585 x 1


Pause Squats - 405 x 5

Good Girl Machine - 3 x 8

Notes - Super f'n tired tonight.  Didn't get to sleep until late last night so I'm REALLY happy to get the 585 single in and it was not hard.  This is good.  This means on a bad day I'm still smoking 90% of 650.

Feeling good Billy Ray.

At war with a demon

The Demon of Fear 

Possibly the toughest thing about making progress in the lifters realm is overcoming fears.  In fact, that applies to almost everything we do.  From lifting to life and relationships.

For lifting, fear is almost always the demon that sits atop a perch, barking negativity at us.  Instilling the doubt in us that we are capable or able.

Fear is the demon that keeps the skinny guy from eating enough to gain mass, because he doesn't want to lose his abs.

The fear demon is the one that keeps the fat guy from getting in shape, because he fears that dip in strength.  

The fear demon is the one sitting atop the bent bar in the squat rack, telling you you can't squat that extra plate.

The demon of fear that keeps you from competing because you don't want to be embarrassed because your lifts don't measure up to your "peers".

The demon of fear stands at the foot of the gates and guards the village named Plateau.  He dares you to enter.  Few will.  The ones that do, most of them don't believe they can conquer him and overtake the village. So they proceed half heartedly.  And of course, they die a doubters death.

This demon is responsible for making guys say shit like "I want to get leaner and bigger and stronger".


You might as well say "I want to grow taller, and look just like Brad Pitt when I do."

It's these fears that cause guys to look all over for magical training routines, avoid hard work, put more weight on the bar, not compete, not eat more, not eat less, and care about all the wrong bullshit.

"Another plate....?"

Fear causes confusion.

"What the fuck do I do?  I don't want to exclude side laterals, my shoulders won't look like Jay Cutler's if I do that!"

They aren't going to anyway.

Fear causes misinformation to seem really true!

"All I have to do is fix all of these weak points and my lifts will jump right up.  That's been what has been holding me back.  Not the lack of weight gain or hard work."

No one wants to believe that you don't need to worry about weak points and assistance work that much.  Because it's easier to believe you suck because you just have too many weak points, and need to straighten them out.  Rather than work hard on the shit you're trying to be good at.

The Demon of Fear causes guys to become COC's.  Chronic Routine Changers.  They are in fear of not being on the hidden program that will produce "mad results".

You know these guys.

"I did 5/3/1 for 18 minutes, then MadCow for 7.5 days and even PC's strong15 program but I didn't get a pump or as jacked as I thought.  So I'm going to do bruh-wizard69's routine because he's more jack3d than anyone here.  16" pipes and a 320 bench."

4 days into that routine he'll find another routine that's even "better", and switch.

They never squat deep or squat at all either.  Of course because at 16 years old they already have bad knees from all of their Kumite/Blood Sport fights.


Overcoming fear is difficult.  Finding a way to overcome it generally requires looking at the bigger picture.  Fear is generally governed by short term expectations.

"If I compete people will laugh at my lifts!"

No they won't.  When I am at a meet I applaud everyone that is there competing and doing something they love.  I've never seen a single person get laughed at about their lifts, and if anything no one bothers to really check what other people are lifting unless it's some kind of world record.  Almost every guy there will give you nothing but support.  Competing will give you a reason to train, and it will get your training far more focused.  The big picture here is that you will have something to train for, and you will be rewarded with a great experience.  The small picture of fear is "people will laugh at me."  And fellow lifter, this is a lie.

"I don't want to lose my abs!"

This is the "I want to get big and stay lean" crowd.  You can do this to an extent.  But not like what they generally think about.  Which is blowing up to a whole new size level and maintaining their low bodyfat percentage.  This just isn't going to happen.  You are asking the body to do two different things.  If you want to grow to a new you, even a new lean you, you have to eat enough for growth.  You don't have to become a lard ass, but you probably aren't going to keep your abs either.  Just keep it at 15% bodyfat or less.  Taking off 5% down to 10% is not difficult at all.  The big picture here is a bigger, stronger, you.  The small picture of fear is just losing abs temporarily.  After a few weeks of dieting, they will be right back, and you'll have more muscle to go with it.  If you're 170 or so, just shut the fuck up and eat until you feel like dying.  No one gives a shit about 170 pound guys with abs.

"I can't squat that much!"

One night I had this client who was scared of squatting with a plate.  I knew she was capable because she was doing multiple sets of 10 with 115 easily.  I put a plate on and she looked at me like I was crazy.  I told her she would be fine, just get under there and do it.  She meekly walked into the rack and unracked the bar. She barely walked it out and did a pathetic squat with it and racked it.

"What the fuck was that?" I said.

"I don't know." she said.

"Look, you take the next 3 minutes out and get your shit straight.  When I come back you better be ready to squat that shit.  We clear?"

She nodded.

When I came back into the room she was focused and ready.  I could tell.

"Are you ready now?" I said.

"Yeah!" she said.

"Then get in there, and just fuckin do it!"

Who was more intense and fearless than Wandy?

She marched into the squat rack like a roided out gorilla, unracked it forcefully and sunk 5 deep reps with it, like there was no weight on the bar.

This was followed by a big celebration of course.

The Demon of Fear just got his ass whipped.

It wasn't a physical limitation that held her back from squatting it.  It was just the sight of two big ol plates on the bar.  After that day she did sets of 10 with 135 easily and often.  But overcoming that fear was paramount.

...duh, winning!

The fastest way to start winning, is to start overcoming your fears.  And overcoming your fears means looking at the big picture of training, and of course life as well.  Living in the moment can be a good thing, if you're in Vegas and have three hot women accompanying you back to their hotel room.

Living in the moment is usually a bad thing if you let a fear of change or failure keep you from accomplishing something bigger and better than the status quo.

Missing a lift in the grand scheme of things isn't a big deal.  Not taking a shot at it however, can keep you spinning your wheels for years and years because you never mustered up the courage to take on that challenge.  Learning from failures is often one of the best ways we learn things.  We really don't learn a whole lot when we are shitting peaches and walking on rainbows.  It's the internal battles and struggled we face that tell us about our character.

So are you going to let the demon of fear intimidate you, are or you going to storm the gates?

Your choice.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Thoughts about life, crap, training, and stuff

Don't ever forget this life lesson - There is no such thing as true friends, outside of your dog, and no one REALLY deserves a second chance.

This has been proven to me over and over and over again as far as relationships and friendships go.

No matter what, your best friend will sell you out over something.  This isn't cynicism winning, this is just factual.  Everyone has a breaking point, and when it is reached that friend will sell you out.  And you will sell them out.  True friendship, I believe, may be the rarest thing in the entire world.  You can be there in every way, shape, and form for someone for months on end and at the drop of a dime, they can turn on you.   For very little it seems too.  These are friends with very low thresholds for breaking.

"He was mean to me.  I'm not his friend anymore."

On the flip side of that, you will have friends who will go through fire for you too.  The ones that will show up when you are at your lowest, and stand by you through it, until you are good again.  These friends have breaking points too, however the threshold is much higher.

I personally believe these thresholds are governed by forgiveness.

Some people just can't let shit go.  No matter the circumstance.  They want to hold on and hold on and they never let anything go.  They want to wallow in self pity and remain fragile and weak.  They are like delicate flowers that wilt and die unless they are in a very CONTROLLED environment.  These people are the weak and meek, and they hide in corners crying like a bitch when times get tough and you need them.  Instead of standing up and thinking about what they can do to help you in a bad situation, all they think about is how that situation might effect them.  And if it does, they will never let it go.

They can't be counted on or depended on.  These people love their insecurities and love being the victim.  It's never anyone else's fault.  They never own a god damned thing.  And you can't make them own it.

You probably know someone like that.  I know I do.

They constantly have issues with everyone in their life.  But it's never their fault.  They can't look in the mirror and figure out, the one constant in all of their failed relationships IS THEM.  And will say they are justified in their feelings that they were wronged.  They aren't.  At some point if you care about someone, you let go of the anger and you move forward with them.  If you care about them, that is.  If you didn't really care, you'll cut ties and say fuck it, and find someone else to wilt on.

Now obviously there is a point where someone else is a burden on your life, and you have to cut ties because they are dragging you down into the abyss of shit.  I know this feeling all too well.  But generally that comes after many times of going through things with this person that helps define your relationship.  When you realize that things aren't going to change, and the relationship will be one of chaos and stress, let it go.  It's hard to do, but you must if you care about your own health and well being.  And even then, you can still agree shit went bad, and not hold resentments.  That is, if you are mature enough to do so.

Learning to weave through this intricate pattern of relationships and friendships is a part of life.  We all have to deal with it the way that makes sense to us.  It may not make sense to someone watching it from the outside, but it does to us.  And that doesn't mean what we are doing is the right thing either.  Shit, I've said over and over again, you can't make clear decisions about a situation when you have emotions involved.  It's not until after enough time has passed, and those feelings have subsided that you can look back and see things clearly. And then you often realize that the people that were watching it from the outside looking in, had it right.  And then you're like "well why didn't you fucking tell me?"

"We did.  You wouldn't listen."

I stole the line (and Wendler stole it from me) that you can lock your girlfriend and your dog in your trunk.  Come back in two hours and let them out and see which one is happy to see you.  They don't call him mans best friend for nothing.

Long story short, I saw both sides of this over the last week.  I had a close friend I had invested a lot of time and energy into helping get through some problems, and in the end I got shit all over for my troubles.  But another friend checked in on me that evening to see how I was doing, and ended up coming by and reminded me that I do have people that will reciprocate the caring.  And that pretty much made shit better on the spot and I ended up doing a bunch of happy claps like a retarded seal begging for a fish.

Truth is, I've been through the ringer with both people.  But in the end, one took a shit on me, used me, and didn't care about doing that, while the other one stood beside me.  Those things matter.

There is a saying that goes "if you can't stand by me at my worst, you don't deserve me at my best."

Truer words never spoken.

Mind your friends that have insecurity and jealousy issues.  If you don't think those attributes can be turned at you, you're living in a fucking fantasy world.  Be mindful of friends like that and how you handle them.  If you give them too much, in the end, they probably will end up shitting on you because their life is controlled by negative connotations with people and situations.

There, I feel better now.

For anyone who didn't see, I pulled an easy 620 this past weekend so I feel good that barring an injury the next two weeks, all of my 2nd attempts should be in the bag.  That's 635 squat (no belt/no wraps), 425 close grip bench, and 650 deadlift.  This would give me a very shitty 1710 total totally raw.  Depending on how the 2nd attempts go I will take a run at 1800.  If 635 is the smoke show on squats, I'll run at 650.  I don't see myself attempting more than 450 on bench even though I think I'm going to be good for a little more.  But you never know.  The dead I'm always worried about.  If 650 pulls easy I'm going to go ahead and try 700.  This would give me the 1800 I've been wanting.  It's not great compared to the top guys, but honestly, I compete to better myself and have a focus for my training.

After the Nationals, if I qualify for the Worlds I will do the Worlds in Palm Beach.  If I don't, I am done with competing I think.  In powerlifting anyway.  If I make it to the worlds, that will be it.  I like the training aspect but the fact is, it costs a bit to travel, I have three kids, and it's not my "life".  I know some guys live and breathe it. I don't.  I do enjoy it but it's not the be all end all of life for me.  I have no many other things I want to do before I get a lot older.  Getting a nice total under my belt is something I want to do, but I'm not going to feel like I missed out if it doesn't happen.  My life is bigger than numbers on a piece of paper.

Someone told me I should do bodybuilding.  Man I don't know about that.  The one thing I do appreciate about bodybuilders is their commitment to what they do.  Bodybuilding is a completely encompassing endeavor.  You have to be dieting or eating a certain way all the time, and you don't miss workouts or cardio sessions for any reason.  However as with powerlifting, I don't know if I want to commit myself to something that much.  Maybe something I do 1 time, to say I did it.  But that would be it.  Who knows.

My fight instructor blew out BOTH patella tendons this weekend and dislocated both knees.  Went and spent some time with him in the hospital yesterday and gave him a lot of shit about not stretching enough (it's an inside joke).  6 weeks with both legs in braces and then 6 months of total rehab.  I'm going to name him Lt. Dan in the meantime.

Ok I have had some questions about the percentages in the big15 and strong15 programs.  Guys, there are spreadsheets that come with both programs.  All you have to do is plug in your max where it's asking for your MAX, and it will layout the whole program for you based on your max.  This was supposed to take out the guesswork.

Second, I've been asked if you should add X amount of pounds after running the cycle for the second cycle.  Mainly for the big15 program.  You can, or you can just use the same programmed weights and try to beat all of those PR's again.  This is personally a fave of mine because I already have a baseline for what I want to beat again.  And the higher the reps with heavier reps, the bigger you're going to get.

The Werther's caramel filled hard candies are damn tasty.  I could eat about a million a day.

I will get around to seeing The Fighter this week but I'm pretty sure it's going to be like every other boxing movie ever.  Or for that fact, like every other sporting movie ever.  Here's how it goes......

Team/Dude/Chic is down on their luck or hasn't been winning.  Something happens to shake things up, like a new coach or terrorist attack.  Team/Dude/Chic is forced to deal with new circumstances but then breaks losing streak and eeks out a victory.  Team/Dude/Chic buys into new philosophy and then lays waste to the competition for a while.  Until the end, where they make you believe there is some doubt, but Team/Dude/Chic pulls it out (Friday Night Lights and the original Rocky being the exceptions here).

My guess is, that's what will happen, although I hear that Bale is fantastic in it.  So we'll see.

The blocked Netflix at work.  Fuckers.

Alistair looked like shit in that fight.  Josh Barnett looked solid.  This Strikeforce tourney is going to be very interesting over the next few months.  I'm excited.

I hope everyone had as great a weekend as I did.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Training - Deadlift

Bodyweight - 259  <- weird

Warm ups - good girl bad girl machines, calf press, seated leg curls - 3 rounds of about 15-20 per machine

Deadlifts -
135 x 20 stiff leg
225 x 5
315 x 4
405 x 3
500 x 2

545 x 1
585 x 1
620 x 1

Elevated Stiff Legs - 455 x 11 PR  coulda easily done 12 or 13.  Don't know why I didn't.

Shrugs - 585 x 6

Notes - Didn't expect to have a decent session this morning as I had a couple of drinks last night and yesterday, mentally/emotionally, was fairly draining.  I've had a rough week and my streak of giving people unworthy 2nd chances continues.  I'll talk more about this next week in the usual thoughts about post.

Feeling good about my pulls right now.  620 felt easy.  I'm good for 660-670ish I think right now.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fathers Day Weekend - Post a Story about your pops

We are coming up on Father's Day weekend.  I am going to post up a story about my dad and if anyone wants to join in, I'd love to hear em.  Doesn't have to be anything big.  Just a memory about dad.

One of my fave memories about dad was actually something he did that I hated very much at the time.

It was my first day of full pads football practice.  I was scared, like most other 4th graders their first day of practice in pads.  I was playing and hitting very tentatively, when dad stormed onto the practice field and yanked me off of it by the jersey.

"You better start hitting harder, or I'm going to take you home." he told me.

"Take me home then." I said, embarrassed by this bullshit.

Halfway home dad told me "I just want you to be the best you can be.  I just want you to play hard."

He continued talking but that's all I remember.  And before we were home he had talked himself out of not letting me play and turned around.

When we got back to the practice field I was fuming, and I proceeded to take it out on the other kids and myself, running into everyone has hard as I effing could.

For a lot of years him doing this made me mad as hell.  But later I appreciated him for it, because it made me pissed off, and I played far better pissed off.  Shocker, I know.

Anyway, Happy Early Fathers day to my pops.  I'm glad he's still around for me to tell him that.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Awesome funny video of the week

Training - Bench

Bodyweight - 260

Close Grip Bench -
bar x 40
135 x 15
225 x 5
275 x 4
315 x 3
365 x 2
405 x 1,1,1 all paused
365 x 5 all paused

Tit Machine - 2 sets
Pushdowns - 2 sets
Db Curls - 1 set 50's x 20

Notes - Solid session.  The speed on the 405 singles were unreal.  Like an empty bar.  However my left pec minor is feeling tight so I will probably only work up to 425 over the next two weeks to make sure my injury free streak stays intact.  The 365 x 5 wasn't close to failure.  I was probably good for 8 there.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Weekly Q & A.......

Remember - leave a name with your question.

321 go

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Training - Squats

Bodyweight - 262

Warm up - good girl bad girl, ass machine 2x50, calf press 2 x 20

Squats - no wraps, no belt Olympic stance

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

515 x 1
545 x 1
565 x 1

515 x 5
500 x 5

Pause Squats - 405 x 5

Good Girl Machine - 3 sets of 8-10

Notes - Solid session to start the final three weeks.  565 was just unreal easy.  Looking forward to 605 in two weeks.

Thoughts about life, crap, training, and stuff

I've been watching Game of Thrones and I must say it has been excellent and beyond my expectations.  If you haven't seen it give it a go.  You won't be sorry.  My wife also has the hots for Khal Drogo now as well.  She loves a man who will kill just because someone insulted his lady.

Also as it turns out, Sean Bean is a real mans man in real life too......

I bought a WD TV media server this past weekend.  This thing is awesome.  You just plug your thumb drive into it and you can play virtually any media on the TV.  So if you watch a lot of movies, like myself, this thing is gold.  It also does Netflix and Blockbuster on demand (streaming).  Without a doubt, the second best little box I know of.

Second best box I know of

I see why a lot of people disable comments from their youtube vids.  It doesn't take long for a insecure jealous stream of retards to show up and start posting irrelevant shit.  If you want to talk or criticize technique or form that's one thing, but to just go "hey you look stupid, hur hur hur" boggles my mind.  I think this still falls in the realms of what I call haters.  So I should obey my own rule and just appreciate the haters.  Because that's what haters do.

I'm looking forward to this meet regardless of what numbers I hit.  I've been able to avoid the injury bug for the last few months and that alone feels good.  I've also done a great job of listening to my body and resting when needed, and not getting all bent out of shape.  I have figured out that I need even less time to really peak for strength once I'm up against that max wall.  So the main thing now is seeing these last 3 weeks of training through, and then delivering on meet day.  1800 is my goal but anything over 1700 seems fine right now.  My 2nd attempts should be very doable so that will put me at around 1710 or so.  Again, just staying healthy has been my main goal the last few months.  If this goes well and I qualify for the worlds, then I'll think about something bigger.

I think the Junior Dos Santos/Cain fight is going to be pretty epic.  Both guys have great cardio, both guys are great on their feet, and as JDS showed against Carwin, his take down defense is very solid.  This is why Brock Lesnar would have never made it very far anyway.  The top guys all have great take down defense.  It just so happens the one guy that didn't, Mir, got his face bashed in.  I mean even Randy Couture, who was 220 pounds when they fought, never had a problem getting out from under Brock after it hit the ground.  I think that JDS wrestling ability cancels out Cain's wrestling take downs, so it's going to come back to who wins the stand up battle.  And I think that's too close to call.

Back to not sleeping so well.  I guess a couple of weeks is all the sleep Gods were going to afford me.  Once I get in to see the doctor about it I'll take a Lunesta horde to the sleep Gods lair and put a major league ass whupping on em.

I haven't done a Q&A in a while.  Look for one up tomorrow.

Brandon Lilly won't shut up about these Arnold Palmer drinks.  It's half ice tea and half lemonade and he's obsessed with em.  Now I feel like I am missing out because I have not had one and badly feel the need to locate one and try these supposedly tasty beverage.  When I do, I better shit a golden egg or something because it's been built up awfully big at this point.

It better be good Big B!

I will be in Chicago for quite a few days because I am making a mini vacation out of it, so if anyone has any recommendations for places to eat, things to see/do, please let me know.  I don't plan on doing a whole lot but I would like to get out to do some family friendly things with the girls.

My training will change around slightly the next 3 weeks.  I will be using one of the phases from the strong-15 template and I'll just plug in my second attempts and go from there.  Had I know I was going to do this meet for sure two months ago I would have run the whole template.  Again, I practice what I preach.  The only thing I may do is just deadlift for two weeks, then the third week do a lot of heavy back work like rows and shrugs, then not pull heavy again until meet day.  It's amazing what rest does for you sometimes, and that's what I will be counting on there.

I'm friends with the starting middle linebacker of an NFL team so I may hit him up in the next couple of weeks to see if he'd like to do a Q&A about training.  So for anyone who has questions that they would like answered regarding offseason and inseason training for NFL players let me know what you'd like answered.  I don't think he's busy with the lockout BS going on so it might be doable.

Ever notice the same people who read books then go see the movie of that book, are the same people who hate for someone to tell them spoilers?  WTF?  Think about it.

Why do women with muffin tops still wear tight shirts that are too short, with hip huggers?  Look, even dudes know when they are too fat and dress accordingly.  Bigger pants, untucked shirt.  Right?  Right.  But women will proudly sport their big muffin top.  I find this common amongst fat or overweight women I train, that lose weight, and think that because they lost 35-60 pounds that they are now fitness models and look just fine in short skirts/shorts and tight shirts.  I had one client who wore daisy dukes around pretty much a whole summer until I went off and told her to "burn those f'n shorts!"  I had another that for some reason, thought that tight shirts and low waisted pants was a good idea when her problem area was her waist.  Guys may have body dismorphia in terms of never feeling/looking big enough in the mirror to themselves, but fat women who lose weight most definitely suffer from a similar disease.  They lose weight and no longer see the fat girl in the mirror, but a toned and super tight fitness model with a rock hard body, and everyone needs to see it.  When in fact, they generally usually have about 30 more pounds they really need to drop.  I see this over and over and over again.

My weekend sucked, as usual.  I haven't had a lot of good days lately.  I won't get into it here, but I'll just say that you can be good to people for a long period, give them support and love when no one else would, and then they can turn on you for very little.  I mean VERY LITTLE.  People are generally selfish, and if you put yourself out there in a way to be taken advantage of, they most certainly will do that.  It should be obvious to you when someone you are trying to support has issues with everyone in their life, that maybe you're just going to be next in line.  But I have no regrets for trying to help a friend out during a time of need.  That's what friends are supposed to do, even if in the end said friend turns on you without any real cause.  That's life, we have to deal with it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

USPF RAW Nationals in Chicago

Well, I'm doing the USPF RAW Nationals in Chicago.  I have been keeping this under wraps for a while because I didn't want to end up saying I was going to do this meet, then tear something off, and have to back out.

But the train tickets are bought and hotel booked, so I'm at least going to be there.  So long as I can make it out of the next three weeks of training without sustaining a major injury I should be good to go.

Depending on how things go this is going to be how I plan things...

Squat -
opener - 570
2nd - 635
3rd - 650

Bench -
opener - 370
2nd - 415
3rd - depending on how 415 feels, something between 450 and 470

Deadlift -
Opener - 590
2nd - 650
3rd - 700

That's the early plan, but things could and probably will change.  These are all best case scenarios of course.  No need for planning for worse case.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Sometimes you get the sweet AFTER the sour....or

Ever have one of those days where, as soon as you roll out of bed,  you know this thing about to be totally fucked from the start?

Crick in the is that?  The dog shit on the carpet.'d I forget to get coffee filters...son of a.....where are all of the protein shakers at?........SHIT!

You get into work and it's just a continuation of the shit, literally, that you stepped into from out of your bed.  It's like that scene out of Office Space where he gets memo after memo that his TPS reports are due, and he's told, upon showing grumpiness about said bullshit, that "someone's got a case of the Mondays!"  

These times make it difficult to muster up the energy to create a positive environment.  For you and those unlucky bastards that happen to be around you and get to enjoy your negative energy.  

Everyone around you sucks, shit can't get done on time, everyone sucks, fuck that guy who cut me off in traffic if I ever see him again I'll crush his face into the front of his car, everyone sucks, suck it suck it suck it!!!!  

Have you ever been having one of these, and something positive happens that you can't deny, and the whole face of your day changes?  All of a sudden, you have some life and energy breathed into you.  You're knocking shit out at work with a smile on your face, and suddenly hey, things don't seem so bad.  

Or you fight off that positive energy and spend the rest of the day in that funk you woke up in.  You fall further into the shit sucking abyss and try to make sure you drag as many around you down as well.  

Sometimes we get so stuck on the sour in our life that we start to enjoy the taste of it.  It's better when we have the misery and negativity and the chicken little attitude.  We can get there can't we?  Where you know someone is about to take a shit on you and try to tell you its really candy.  We not only get there, but we can't wait for it to happen.  You know why?  So we can say "TOLD YOU SO!  I TOLD YOU I WOULD GET SHIT ON!  LOOK HOW RIGHT I AM!  HE SAYS ITS CANDY!!!!"

The thing we all need to be cognitive of when life hits the "on" button on a whup ass machine against us, is the little things that can turn that sour into sweet.  A little sweet to get you started can do the same thing that little sour can.  

I'm lucky.  I have a wife who can be tough and tender.  She knows when to tell me when to suck it up and quit being a little bitch, and when I just need some words of encouragement.  Not everyone is so lucky however.  But something will indeed present itself if you are looking for it the same way you are looking for that next bitch slap.  

The funny thing about all of this is that we tend to judge our day based on how it ends.  That same shitty day can end with something really great, and you will say "man what a great day".  Yet 10 hours prior to that you were ready to staple the guy in the cube next to you to death.  And that's a bad way to go.  

Or, you can have an awesome day and get a bit of bad news, and let it ruin that whole day.  You can let it wipe out an entire awesome day in seconds.  We've all had this.  It doesn't seem fair does it?  If you got that news at 7 a.m. then had the awesome day, you'd say "this was an awesome day."  Now you're saying how the day sucked ass.  Negativity is winning.

Training is no different.  

Just this past week, three shitty workouts in a row.  All in a row.  After my deadlift session turned out to be crap, I unloaded the bar and went home.  Did I have a sour attitude?  Nope.  I said to myself "I am a little overtrained right now, I need to rest for a few days."  I knew that since I was good for a triple with 605 just the previous week when I felt bad, that if 605 was heavy tonight, it wasn't about strength, but about rest.  So I am taking the next 4-5 days off and will have another 3 bad ass weeks of training before I run off to Chicago.  

It's a hard thing to be positive all the time, and personally I don't know if that's healthy either.  To me, everything in life has a good and bad scale.  It's up to you to weigh it.

For example, I was offered a job many years ago by a company and the pay was a nice increase over what I was making.  I loved where I was working, however I was slightly underpaid and the benefits weren't the greatest.  So I was swooned into this new position with a window and a raise and a bonus and all sorts of shit.  First day on the job I knew I screwed up.  I hated it right out of the gate.  Totally corporate America in every way, rat race, clock watching manager assholes who did not respect you or your life.  

I learned from that, that anytime something bigger and better is promised to you, that you better come to terms right then and there that you are about to take a bigger bite of a bullshit sandwich.  That's a fact.  You don't get all of these perks and phat money and a window without having a larger slice of the BS served to you hot and steamy style.  

So you have to weigh what it is that makes you happy.  For me, it's about working with people I like and doing a job I believe has merit.  I gave that up for money and benefits.  If I were someone who valued money and benefits more than a great work environment and projects I liked, then it'd be a good trade.  I'm not.

Again, training is no different.  More time in the gym also means a loss somewhere else.  No matter how you slice it.  Less time could mean a loss somewhere too.  Or a gain.  Again, you have to weigh these things and how they effect your and your happiness, you and your progress.

The main thing to remember is that 99% of the things we worry about, never come to fruition.  I have to tell myself that a lot, but it's one of the most true statements I've ever heard about life.  

So the next time you wake up to some dog shit and no coffee filters, remember to look for the sweets that day too, and not focus too hard on the sours.  

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Training - Deadlift

Bodyweight - 261

Deads -
135 x 15
225 x 5
315 x 4
405 x 3
500 x 2
605 x 1

Notes - -10% session.  Felt like shit.  Warm ups felt heavy.  Everything was off.  I walked right out after the 605.  That's basically 3 bad workouts in a row.  So I'm taking the rest of the week off and will regroup.  I only have a few weeks left to put it all together.

Lifter Profile - Q&A - Rachel Guy

So I featured Rachel Guy as my hot babe of the week this week and low and behold she wanted to do a Q&A!

Ok Rachel give me the basics. Name, age, and anything else you want to tell me about yourself.

Hi Paul, My name is Rachel Guy, I am a spring chicken at 27yrs old and I live in Sydney. I am originally from Wales in the UK and moved to Sydney in 2006 where i now work as a strength coach and physical therapist at an MMA club, Platinum Extreme. .

Rachel tell me about how you got started lifting weights and how long you've been at it now.

Rachel:  I started training in a gym at aged 13 around 3x/week but started lifting seriously with a purpose when i was 21. I realised i was way to soft and skinny before and to build curves i needed to be consistent and lift heavy weights. I now lift 3-4x/week and train MMA which is where i get my conditioning from. It is the hardest form of training i have ever done! You have to go to some pretty dark places! lol

People usually like to ask for routines, but I'm not big on that. Tell me about your training philosophy. How would you sum up what you think works and is productive in the gym.

Rachel:  I have a motto - "Anything over 5 reps is cardio!" If you are lifting for strength- LIFT HEAVY! If you are lifting for hypertrophy, TRASH the muscle group and FEEL the pump! If your training to improve your conditioning/fitness, it doesn’t matter what weight you use just keep doing it till your lungs burn and you feel sick and your mind plays games with you! These are very general rules. Every person is different. For me – “Anything over 5 reps is cardio!”

What has been the most difficult aspect of training, whether that be a bodypart to develop or strength on a particular movement.

Rachel:  I really struggle to improve my chin ups! I have worked all angles from varying training frequency, load, TUT, training the accessory lifts such as lower traps and rhomboids, directly training arms, forearms etc but i still plateau at 6 reps at best. I think it has now become a mental block too!

Ok so what aggravates you the most involved in the fitness and training industry. I mean what pisses you off more than anything else? Don't hold back. Let it all out.

Rachel:  Don't get me started on one of my 10 page rants! I will summarise the two things that piss me off the most!
1) Trainers and coaches who claim to have the "only" way of doing something and that everyone else is wrong! They make blanket statements which are black or white with absolutely no room for discussion.
2) Women who sulk that they cant get lean, make bullshit excuses and refuse to eat fat and lift heavy shit! Make some effort! If this stuff was easy everyone would be doing it!

What has been the single most rewarding thing you have accomplished regarding your training?

Rachel:  Having big glutes and a 6 pack! :)

Ok switch gears. Favorite vacation spot?

Rachel:  Tough call! Probably Dubai. The land of excess! Although I also love Marbella in Spain.

Favorite food, clean and dirty versions.

Rachel:  Favorite clean food - Salmon and veggies cooke in the oven
Not so clean food - i go to this Thai restaurant and they have THE BEST Organic slow cooked lamb Massaman curry. I wash that down with 3 scoops of their homemade creamy coconut ice cream. Also love my red wine!!

Favorite music?

Rachel:  Depends on my mood. It can be anything from cheesy 80's stuff to hard rock and metal when i am training.

If you could change any one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Rachel:  Not to be so excessive and be able to switch off! My brother once said "excess is success" - to this day, this is how i live. I am excessive in everything I do. Live life at 120mph! :)

What does your future hold? What are your long term plans personally and professionally?

Rachel:  Well, I have so many things on the cards right now its hard to know where to start!
Personally - Short term: Get out 8 reps chin ups by December; complete my level 2 Pro-Mai MMA grading; maintain off-season at 62-63kg with 10-11kg of body fat (measured by Dexa) & travel to LA and Miami this year for work and fun; look after my man and keep him happy.
Longer term - be a MILF and a hot wife! ;)

Professionally - Grow and consolidate our club Platinum Extreme and open another one; continue to keep learning from as many sources as possible; practice what i preach; launch my new online business which will be a trusted source for training and nutrition for women; launch 2 e-books and DVDs. There are SO many more exciting things on the cards but in two lines, that is the plan!

Finally thanks for being cool and doing this Q&A. Do you have a website or anything else you'd like to plug?

Rachel:  Your welcome! Thanks for having me on board! Sure, here is a list of where you can find me:
My Gym:


I told you Rachel was awesome and knew her shit.  One of the reasons I wanted to do this with her is because her training ideology is so similar to my own.  If you are in Sydney and are in need of a major ass kicking look Rachel up and sign up for some training.

A big thanks again to Rachel for being awesome and doing this.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Music post of the week

I love old Motley Crue.  Reminds me of being young, and it was their heaviest shit before they turned into spandex lipstick wearing cross dressers.  Too young to fall in love was probably my most favorite track off of Shout At The Devil.  This version is cool too because of the ridiculously hot chic at the 1:44 mark or so.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Training - Bench and shit

Bench -
bar x 50
135 x 20
185 x 5
225 x 4
315 x 3
365 x 2 paused
405 x 1 paused

315 x 15  pec and shoulder felt irritated so I stopped.  Had a few more in me.

Curls - 155 x 7

Db Curls - 50's x 20

Pushdowns - 85 x 20

Notes - shitty session.  There.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Training - Squats and Leg work

Bodyweight - 263 pounds  muwahahahaha

Hip and Ass Machine - 2 sets of 60

Good girl and bad girl machines - 2 sets of 20
Calf Press - 2x25

Squats - no belt no wraps

bar x 10
135 x 10
225 x 5
315 x 4
405 x 3
500 x 2
550 x 1
565 x 2

405 x 10

Good Girl Machine - 2 sets of 15
Leg Press - stack x 15

Notes - Felt something KIND of pop in my right adductor on the warm up sets.  This concerned me very much because this has been my problem area for a long time.  I sat around contemplating what to do, and said fuck it.  For some reason it's like my body gave a big fuck you to the adductor too, because it didn't bother me again any more after that.  This was incredibly weird.  The 565 double was light and fast.  I ate like shit all weekend and enjoyed that very much.

My hot babe of the week Rachel Guy is super awesome (even if she only has a British accent and not an Australian one) and will be doing a lifter profile for the blog soon.  This is very cool.

Thoughts about life, crap, training, and stuff

Ever notice in these street fight videos if a girlfriend of one of the guys in the fight is around, she's always in the middle of it?  This makes me want to show up just to kick her ass.  Because what she is doing is helping the other guy kick her mans ass.  Listen, to the women who do this....LET GROWN MEN FIGHT.  When you get involved what happens is, your guy tries not to hit you while the other guy is swinging away.  Thus you make it easier for the other guy to kick your guys ass.  If you want to help your man, back off then kick the guy in the nuts from the rear.  This helps.  Getting in between the two guys?  This makes you look like a f'n idiot and gets your mans ass handed to him.  Stop being an idiot.

I got trees growing out of my gutters.  I mean a real shrub bush growing out the top of them.  I pull up into the driveway the other day and it's so bad they catch my eye.  "Look at that.  Trees in the gutters.  Shit."  I know how nasty it's going to be when I get up there and start pulling that shit out.  But it's gotta be done.

Movies -

Red - Really fun movie.  Slightly over the top action flick with a good cast.  Humor and solid action.  Not too much of either to keep it just about perfect.  Predictable of course, but I wasn't expecting The Usual Suspects Either.

Black Swan - This was much better than I expected.  Portman was indeed awesome in it (and skinny as a rail).  Her and Mila Kunis are retardedly hot.  Especially Kunis.  I loved the french ballet director in it as well. At first you think he's going to be the 100% sleaze ball "just trying to nail the dancers" character that he's pegged for early.  But he doesn't quite fit that bill 100%.  He's clever and I appreciated his role.  Anyway, it's kind of like the ballet version of Fight Club if you will.  You'll see what I mean.

yes you are.....

I've been to a lot of concerts.  Slayer, Pantera multiple times, Metallica (pre-black album) many times, and other heavy acts.  I've been in a ton of mosh pits.  I've never had a single problem at any concert.  I go to see Buckethead this week and I about have to decapitate this fucking asshole.  The wife and I are sitting waiting on Buckethead to come on, and this guy is standing about 4 feet behind us.  This is in a fairly good sized bar mind you.  Not a big venue.  Anyway this guy is staring at my wife like he's jacking off in his mind.  I'm not a jealous guy, I always see dudes checking my woman out, and I'm cool.  All of us check out how women.  However when you start freaking my woman out because you're too creepy, then we have an issue.  I finally look at this douche and said "Do you need to take a fucking picture?"  I told this douche he was creeping out my wife and he apologized for it.  "Were you gonna fight me in here?" he says to me.  "I hadn't planned on it.  It wouldn't be much of a fight though." I say.  "Oh you'd just break me in half?" he says.  "Pretty much yeah."

I thought that was it.  So he leaves and goes down to the floor below us.  Then turns around and leans on the rail below and starts staring again.     "That's it." I say, and I start to proceed to the floor.  But his friend comes and grabs him and they leave.  Tiff is relieved because she "didn't want to have to bail me out of jail from a Buckethead show."  Of all shows I almost have to kill someone at a Buckethead concert.  I'll make sure and not go to a Celine Dion or Mariah Carey concert.  Mass murder could happen.

Maybe I should have expected potential violence at a concert where the main act is a guy with a Michael Myers mask!

If I can make it through the next 4 weeks uninjured I am fully convinced in every way that I have found the most perfect way for me to train for maximum gains.  A combination of using both my big15 and strong15 programs.  The last 10 weeks or so of training (or however long it has been) have been the most productive I've had in some time.  I've stayed relatively injury free, I've hit several PR's (mostly due to being injury free), and gained a lot of low fat mass.  I'm sitting near or at 260 right now on and off, and I've never been this lean at this weight.  I am still in my 36 pants with lots of room to spare, veins in my arms and legs and visible abs from top to bottom.  I will write about what I've done over this time, and how I programmed everything in the next 6 weeks or so.

Hot babe of the week.  Rachel Guy.  I like this chic.  She trains hard and knows her shit.  And Australian accents are sexy (on women I mean, dammit).

I would actually like to start doing some lifter/figure/bodybuilder profile type things, like mini interviews.  I need to create a format for it but I think it would be a cool idea.

I also am thinking of grabbing another writer to add some content.  Actually more than one.  A competitive strongman/powerlifter, a female who does fitness and strength sports, and possibly an MMA related guy.  I know enough people however finding someone that writes well is harder than you think.  You'd be surprised at how many people don't even know how to use "your" and "you're" correctly.  And that's third grade shit.

My deadlift is slowly inching towards 700.  I had 3 reps in me last week with 605 but felt pretty awful so just did the double.  So basically I need to get up to around 605x5 and 700, or something close to it, should be in the bag.  As Dave Ostlund told me however, it's mostly going to be a mental battle.  And I believe that.  Anytime you've been training to hit a long term goal the mental hurdle of getting it tends to be the biggest one of all.  After that you almost always tend to run away from that weight, at least I do.  Then I stall somewhere shortly after.  I have a feeling these brutal elevated stiff legs have been playing a part in it.  Now that my neck is starting to clear up (been hurting for weeks now) I can add my shrugs back in and I think that will finish everything off.  When I pull 700 I will write up exactly what happened over the last few months to get me there.  Since I am NOT a good deadlifter, this has been work and a lot of it.  As I have usually found, there have been two distinct phases that have moved my deadlift again.

Yesterday I ate very badly.  I mean in a good way.  I had some kind of ice cream from the mall.  It wasn't ice cream, but similar.  Then I had two Nestle chocolate chip walnut cookies.  After I got home I had peanut butter and jelly with a shake and three pieces of cheese cake.  This made me feel very satisfied.

Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Training - Chest and shoulders

Bodyweight - 255

Db Bench -
20's x 50
60's x 30
100's x 25

Side Laterals - 20's x 20,15,  25's x 15,12,12

Notes - Didn't train yesterday as I felt terrible so I listened to my body and took a rest.  Just got in some db bench and side laterals today as I'm still not 100% but I felt like I could train.  80%er so it was worth it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Training - Deadlift

Bodyweight - 255

Hip and Ass Machine - 2x50
Calf Press - stack x 30
Leg Curls - 2x10

Deadlifts -
135 x 15 stiff legged
225 x 5
315 x 4
405 x 3
500 x 2
565 x 1
605 x 2 video below

Elevated Stiff Legs - 455 x 10  video below

Shrugs - 585 x 8

Notes - Not 100% at ALL.  Took a shit like 7 times today (literally) thanks to two giant plates of stir fry last night.  I shoulda known better.  Then I was bloated and gassy all day.  Almost lost my lunch after the stiff legs.  I need to be hitting 15 reps on these bastards in the next few weeks.  I think that's possible on a good night, as is 605x5.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What's really important.......

I liked the article by Scott Yard on elitefts a lot.  Scott did the Warrior Dash a week out from a meet.  I love this attitude.  He didn't let something like a meet, something he puts a lot of sweat and effort into preparing for, deter him from doing something else he wanted to do.

He didn't close his life off.

I watched a documentary of some sorts a few years ago about Flex Wheeler.  If you don't remember Flex, he was a successful bodybuilder back in the 90's.  He had all the genetics in the world but Flex's work ethic was questioned at times.  As I watched this documentary I had trouble fathoming how.  The guy packed food around with him everywhere he went.  He couldn't take vacations, he couldn't do things we take for granted because of meals, training, and other shit to do with that lifestyle.

Yet Flex was knows as having a poor work ethic.  Even if he had a poor work ethic in the gym, that kind of dedication is fairly remarkable.

And it's also quite sad.

You get one go around in this one.  Just the one.  Whether you believe in reincarnation or Carnation Instant Breakfast, you still just get the ONE for this life.  I can't imagine missing out on experiences that I may never get a chance to have again, to lift some weights.

"Well Paul then you will never be as good as you can be."

My answer?

I'm ok with that.  You know why, because I don't want my legacy to be written around the time I spent in the gym.  Shit man, I'm lifting more often again now, but even less time in the gym than before.  At 36 now, I crave life and living it than living the iron.  I still love lifting, and fighting and lots of things like that, but it's not what drives me.  If someone told me I could compete and total the highest raw total ever, but my family couldn't share in it with me, or I could total less than I was capable of but they could I would take the latter everytime.  Because even when I suck my girls tell me how awesome I am.  No total can beat that.  Ever.

What's a life or its experiences without someone to share it with?

I'm not saying your experiences are empty if you can't share it with anyone.  There are definitely some things that you do or experience that feels meant for you, alone.  I grew up in the backwoods of Mississippi, and I spent plenty of days deep in the woods walking trails or fishing or hunting alone, and those are experiences that I don't think I could share with someone that they would appreciate.  Nor would I want to share those.  But that's the point as well.  I wouldn't want to give up those kind of things for things less important.

Likewise, I often find so many parallels in training and life.  I think that training can and is similar.  If you are in the gym, spend time doing things that are REALLY important.  In your programming, remember what is really important to get you where you want to be.  I mean, if you write your own programs ask yourself how important everything in that program or routine is.  If something takes away from the main goal in any way, just discard it.

Prioritizing things in life and training make things far easier than you probably imagined.  You ever notice when you can't make a decision about something, that you writhe around in turmoil?  Then when you make the decision you feel like a load of bricks has been removed from your chest?  This is simply because making something a priority provides you with direction.

No direction in life means you waste energy doing unproductive things.

No direction in training means you waste energy doing unproductive things.

Just ask yourself in both instances, what's really important?