Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thoughts about life, training, crap and stuff


Finally a weekend to get some in.  I managed to check in two at the house and then took the girls to see Captain America.

Here is a rundown -

Insidious - I heard from quite a few people that this was the scariest movie they had ever seen.  My guess is that these people sit around watching Elmo and Dora most of the time.  It's basically a cross between Poltergeist and The Exorcist, but without the scariness.  It became even less scary when Darth Maul finally made an appearance and the overly tanned woman from There's Something About Mary showed up to whip his ass.  This movie sucked, and I laughed.

13 Assassins -  This movie was the opposite of Insidious.  Meaning, it kicked ass and was awesome.  I heard so much good stuff about this flick I bought it without having seen it yet.  And I was not disappointed.  If you are too shallow for sub titled movies, don't watch it.  Otherwise, it's a smart action guys movie.

Captain America - I took the family to see Cap.  I enjoyed the movie and it was well done in all aspects.  However there was something left slightly wanting in it.  Can't put my finger on it.  Without giving too much away, I felt like the character development wasn't done as well as it could have been.  It started strong but then I felt like I never got to really know the Cap.  Chris Evan's became a little more rigid and sterile after he left the 90 pound weaklings body.  I'd put it a few notches below Thor, which I really liked a lot.

Training wise I am finally feeling normal again.  The week after the meet you feel like you've been brutalized by Seabass in that rest stop bathroom.  Glad to get some of the kinks worked out and feeling good again.  I am also doing conditioning and cardio like a madman right now, and that feels awesome.  I am going to take my weight back down to around 240 pounds.  I feel good at that weight.  That's a good "fighting weight" for me.  And yes I will be starting the shake diet soon to accomplish this.  It's only about 15 pounds from here so 6 weeks is about perfect.

Don't you love it when you're going to leave work in like 5 minutes and someone pops up to talk to you about work shit, and you know it's going to evolve into a long conversation that you can't get out of?  Fuck me running backwards, I hate that.

Well I've been waiting on the shoe to drop with high blood pressure and here it is.  No it's not what you think it's from, my mother and grandfather both had it.  My grandfather died of a stroke and my mother has had hypertension since her 30's.  I have managed to get around it but the last few months it's been creeping up and now I'm sometimes getting readings of shit like 165/110.  Before I get on Rx meds I'm going to drop more weight, clean up as much sodium from my diet as possible, and add in some herbs that have been shown to help and some CoQ10.

So the last many months have been incredibly difficult at times personally.  Anyone who has read here for a while knows I have dealt with some "friends" who turned out to be back handed and two faced.  I'm an incredibly honest person and the truth is that sets you up to be deceived.  Because you expect honesty from other people they same way you are giving it.  As I have cut those people out I have concentrate my time more on other things and other people, and what a change.  My fight instructor who blew out both knees, I've been helping him out a lot and he's incredibly appreciate of it.  Sometimes it's just about redirecting your energy and focus to wash away the negative bullshit in your life and find positive things.  One thing I have found is that surrounding yourself with other confident people is a big plus because generally they don't come with the insecurities and hang ups that dipshits and insecure/jealous people do.  Insecure and jealous people do nothing but bring negativity and drama because they always need someone to make them "feel" better in some way.  I can do that for my kids, but I don't feel like raising an adult.  Stuffs getting better.  Stuffs gettin better everyday.

Short and sweet this week.


  1. Kick his ass Sea Bass!!!

  2. 13 Assassins was awesome. I cannot think of a single movie that would not be much improved by the addition of some bulls on fire.

    Sorry to hear about your friends. About twice a month my father used to say, "Those friends thou hast and their adoption tried, grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel".

  3. I had to deal with genetic high bp as well. It's disappointing to think that you're going to be on this shit for the rest of your life, but now it's no different (other than it's cheaper than 99% of supplements) than taking vitamins and whatnot. Uncontrolled high bp can fuck you up, don't ignore it if you can't get it down. Congrats on the meet, by the way.

  4. Well I'm using some herbs and stuff right now to cope. Woke up this morning to 134/87 which is my lowest in months. Even if it doesn't stick it felt good.

    Thanks on the congrats.

  5. Am adding 13 Assassins to my film list! (Or my guy's film list, as he's in charge of that shit.)

    It's a bugger about the bp, but think how much worse things would look for you if you didn't train. And you know 135 over whatever is really pretty low!

    ps -- did you see transformers with the kids? Cool special effects but man was the story long and complicated! How kids are supposed to cope I don't know.

  6. Hey A - My BP was as high as 170/110 some days. Not good. And my diastolic has been over 100 for weeks. This is very bad.

    Haven't seen trasnformers yet. Not a big Michael Bay fan. I'm sure I'll watch it down the line tho.

  7. Ah that's tough news man. I guess something always catches up with us in the end though. At least you're on top of this.

    I have a bit of an 80s-child soft spot for Transformers from watching the cartoon as a kid. I really enjoyed the first film -- kinda tongue in cheek funny, great action, robots fighting! Some of that still in the second one, and great 3D effects. REALLY great graphics at times. But long boring love interest, something really confusing about the moon, some inexplicable Russians.. Wait for DVD and fast forward to the fights. That's my advice!

  8. Hey Paul, one other thing you may try for the high BP in addition to lowering your sodium intake is raising potassium intake. I'm pretty sure the higher intake of sodium isn't a problem, so much as the sodium:potassium ratio is (although that's probably moreso in people who don't have the genetic predisposition for it). Hope it all works out for you.

  9. A - I liked the first one as well. I have still yet to see the second one. I may get around to it but as I noted, not a Michael Bay fan.

    Brock - Thanks. I'm trying everything but I have an appt with the doc Monday.

  10. Hi Paul, the only thing i can say regarding your hypertension is to go for a conservative approach at first. I know you eat clean as it is, but once you get down to around 240 like you're aiming too, it should come down. Some feel steady state has a greater value than intense conditioning when it comes to these things.
    If you were here in the UK and going down the medical path, you would probably be looking at an Ace-inhibitor or B-blocker, (most likely the ACEi).

    It's good to see that you're taking this health issue seriously, as it is most definitely a silent killer if left untreated. It doesn't have any immediate effects on one's QOL but will eventually catch up.

    All the best

    Dr. Meathead

  11. I hated the first two Transformers but the third is probably the best (I know what you're thinking but my gf dragged me to this one). I honestly don't know if Bay is around for the acting scenes. The way some shots were set up, no decent director would sign off on. And I don't know anything about directing but some mistakes were glaring. Of course, like what was already said the action is top notch. Try to see it in 3D if you still can.

  12. Also Paul I have some training questions. I would've posted this in the Q&A thread but I felt like I missed my window.

    1. What's your take on reverse grip bench? Ive feel like I tried every idea (even yours of mimicking arm position during neutral grip dumbell press) and this feels like the only way I can flat bench without killing my shoulders. Of course I don't think you ever wrote about it so I may have answered my own question.

    2. My girl is overweight (in the low 200's) but she has recently decided to get her act together. So she is working out with me now, to save money and because with our jobs it gives us more time together. Of course motivation is a problem for her. Three sessions a week is like pulling teeth so I try to mix both weights and cardio in every workout. I have her doing a full body routine twice a week (squat, press, pull trying to keep the reps medium like 6-10) then maybe some arm stuff on another day. But every workout ends with a 15-20 minute moderately intense cardio session. Am I on the right track or do you (or anyone reading this) have any suggestions?

  13. Meathead - The steady state is exactly what I have been doing. 133/82 this morning. Things are slowly getting better.

    Robbie -

    1. Reverse grips - I liked em just fine. When my elbows got bad they didn't agree with me but they never gave my shoulders any issues.

    2. My wife has lifted on and off with me for 10+ years. She only lifted years ago because she knew she needed to. She didn't love it, thus her results were less than optimal, but still she had results. It wasn't until she decided to enjoy training that things took off for her. The thing that really helped in that way was she entered the Met-Rx challenge. It gave her something to actually train FOR. To show up for because she had to get pics done after. And she looked awesome. After that, training motivation was never an issue.

    I suggest you find something for her to train to "show up" for. This will help get her focused and motivated. It could be that Warrior Dash or a 5K or anything really. Just make her sign up, and do it with her as well. Best of luck!

    Robbie - I will check it out this weekend then and report back.

  14. Paul,

    I have to say thanks for all your diet and training advice. using your advice I am able to get my weight down to 199. This is the first time I have been under 200 bs. in about 6 years. Thanks man!

  15. Dave - This is awesome. I'm always thankful when anything I say helps someone in a positive way.

  16. Paul, it's funny, but I just found the "what constitutes strong" thread on t-nation. The funny thing is that following MarauderMeat's regular training log is how I found this website in the first place. Full circle!

    Anyway, I saw a post you made there about beginning with hill sprints, and easing into them. I wish I'd seen it a few weeks ago. Tell me if this sounds likely: I did hill sprints for the first time 2 weeks ago. I went all out on the ascents for 20 minutes. Totally destroyed myself. The following Wednesday was squat day. My back had felt tight all day, but I went for a 5 rep PR. This was already stupid because my back was tight, and I recently joined a new gym with more accurate, i.e. heavier, weights. As soon as I took the bar out of the rack, I felt something "give" in my low back. I couldn't even get dressed to go to work the next day, and my training went on the shelf for 4 days.

    Do you think it's possible that going all out on hills the first time out of the gate could have contributed to the vulnerability in my low back?

    P.S. The silver lining here, I hope, is that I've taken this opportunity to start a new program. My previous routine was just a one-week cycle trying to add weight/reps to the main lifts every week and rotating lifts every 3-4 weeks. The new routine has a 12-week structure that starts off with low %'s on the main lifts and works on increasing those over time while rotating accessories every 2-3 weeks. It also INCLUDES conditioning finishers, so I'm not even going to worry about hard-core off-day or post-gym conditioning until I see how that pans out.

  17. Nilster - Hard to say man. Anytime you start venturing into heavy territory you are taking risks.

    If you think it needs to be looked at, check in with a doc. If it heals up on its own, just check into hill running slowly. No reason to go balls out, and another thing I do is, I do hard conditioning the day AFTER leg day. Always. This way my legs get as much recovery time between sessions as possible.

  18. Thanks, Paul. I squatted again this week. The first week of the new program had all the work sets in the 70-80% range and I had no problems. Just focused on arching out of the rack and keeping everything tight above the waist. This workout included DB squat jumps, weighted back-raises, weighted twists, and ended with a 1-mile run. No problems with anything, so I don't think I'm damaged.

    Nevertheless, I think I'll take your note and avoid doing any off-program conditioning the day before legs just in case.

    Thanks again!