Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Training - Legs

Last night - early evening cardio - 15, 40-yard sprints - neck, calf, ab work

Late evening - 40 minute steady state

Training tonight - Legs

Weight - 244

Hip and Ass Machine - 2 rounds @ 50 reps, Calf Press 2 sets, adductor machine 2 sets

Front Squats - 135 x 10,5  225 x 5,5  315 x 3,3  365x3, 385x1, 405x1

I am a terrible front squatter, so STFU

Leg Extensions - 5 sets up to 230 x 8
Adductor Machine - 4 sets up to 130 x 6
1 Legged Squats - 4 sets of 20 <-- fuck me running backwards

Notes - nice 80%er.  Legs were the most wobbly they have been in freakin years.  I could barely walk DOWN the steps.  I was worked.  I am a shit front squatter and I need to get my front squat into the 500 range.

Getting Jacked - Part 3 - The Lift-Run-Bang diet

With the strength crowd, lifting heavy weight is king.  And rightfully so.  But this series isn't just about getting stronger, it's about looking the part.  And there isn't a god damn thing wrong with wanting to look strong.  Let me repeat that.  LOOK strong.  Not look fat, or absent of any muscular development.

The only benefit of getting fatter in terms of lifting is to improve leverages for a lift.  That's it.  Period.  And if you aren't competing then who the fuck are you getting fat for?  Youtube?  Mom?  Who?  Chics don't care what you lift.  Your non-lifting buddy really doesn't give that much of a shit believe it or not.  You hitting crab poses in your catshit ridden basement after you benched 3 plates for the first time because you larded up is disgraceful.   Smash yourself in the junk with a Cricket bat.  

I suppose it gives your dad something to brag on you about.  But then he just looks like a toolbag going around talking about how big his sons arms are and what he benches in said basement.  Save dad some face and compete or get in a meet.

Even if Pudz did train in a catshit basement he'd still be more jacked than you.

Second, if you are a natural guy then doing the bulk/diet thing really isn't going to work for you like it does for guys using "supplements".  I've written about this before and it's just a fact of training life.  When a guy can use something that will hold on to lean mass even on a starvation diet, he has an edge a natural guy does not have. This is why most natural bodbuilders do not do the crazy offseason bulk thing, where guys using do.  Because the natural guys know it would take too damn long to diet down and get in shape, and the fact is they would eat through hard earned muscle after dieting that long.

I have talked about this MANY times, and notables such as Shelby Starnes and Lyle McDonald have talked and written about it at length.  Don't let the lard get out of control for mass gains.  After you get so fat, your body just becomes very good at getting FATTER.  And then you wake up one day and someone responds to your bragging of 3 plate benching in catshit basement with "You lift weights?"  

You need to put shit back into perspective.  

The Look of Power involves being lean -

If you don't compete, but want to look jacked then getting rid of worthless fat is pretty much a given.  This is not about getting into 4-5% bodyfat range because I don't really see a big need for that either, unless you're a competitive bodybuilder.

Not a fat guy

We're talking 8-10% here.  That's lean and athletic looking.  And the fact is, getting leaner will actually give you the appearance of being bigger, your body will function better.  But aside from that, when you think of guys that are mega yoked, I promise you they are pretty much always lean.

Juouko Ahola - lean and jacked

I've written extensively about how to go about this.  There are many ways but the first way is to come back to your diet and get shit in order.

Eating Template -

I've written about the shake diet.  This diet works really well for those who don't want to put a ton of thought into getting leaner.

But I am really a food guy, and that was always the drawback with the shake diet is that I prefer eating my food instead of drinking it.  Not to mention that there are limitations on vitamins and minerals on it.  But since it's a short run diet it isn't that big of a deal.

However I'm big on doing something for the long haul that I believe in, and know works.  This is why my training philosophy has been the same for so long, and why I am finally settling into a diet philosophy as well.

So what has happened over the last 5+ weeks or so is this.

I have grouped my carbs to be all low GI sources from breakfast to lunch, then on non lifting days I drop carbs off after lunch for the most part.

Perfect carbs

On lifting days I drop carbs off after my PWO shake.  None of carbs ever fit into the high GI scale so my blood sugar levels are stable everyday.  This is really the key to getting lean and not feeling like hammered shit most of the time.

Not to mention everyone knows my stance on carbs.  And that is, they are GOOD, if they are the right kind of carb at the right time.  You won't ever come across a guy sporting a shit ton of mass that got big eating low carb unless he's in the less than 1% of the population range of the elite.  Period.

I know some people love keto and low carbing and all that shit, but the fact is your BRAIN requires glucose and only in very rare circumstances will use re-use lactate as a fuel.  In other words, carbs are essential whether or not Paleo/Keto lovers want to admit it or not.  There are too many functions in the body that perform at an elite/optimum level on carbs to argue otherwise.

Something I have talked about before at length is the whole CNS burnout bullshit.  The fact is, it's related more to brain function in regards to BCAA's and a lack of glycogen in the body.  NOT doing a movement too often.  So basically, your feeling of "CNS burnout" has to do with your diet, not your training.

Another great read about this is here.  And here.

So with the science bullshit out of the way let's get to cracking on how a template to maintain strength as much as possible, while getting lean, should look, or how to eat to gain LEAN mass.

The Lift-Run-Bang Diet -

This diet is not new, but it is built around science god dammit.  And even though it's not new I'm going to name it since someone will ask about it later and I won't be sure which one they are talking about.  From here on out, this is probably going to be exactly how I eat all the time.  Because it fucking works.  I don't feel like shit, my strength levels have dropped only minimally since the meet, and my bodyfat is dropping at a nice clip (all the cardio I am doing is obviously playing a part here).

Early Evening Lifter Layout -

Breakfast - High Protein / Medium Carbs / Low Fat -

Insulin sensitivity is highest in the morning, so take advantage of this by including Oatmeal and lots of cinnamon.   Cinnamon is a bit of a power spice in that it kicks ass and takes names, and if you don't believe it read this.

Protein Sources - Egg Protein, Egg Whites, Turkey, Chicken, Lean Beef
Carb Sources - Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat
Fat Sources - Whole Egg, Oils, Natural fat in lean beef
Supplement Additions - Multi-vitamin, Cinnamon, Chromium Picolinate, Vanadyl Sulfate.  The last two supplements here are about controlling your insulin.

Lunch - High Protein / Medium Carbs / Low to Medium Fat -
Protein Sources - Chicken, Egg Whites and Whole Eggs, Lean Beef, Turkey, Fish, Whey or Egg
Carb Sources - Brown Rice, Yams or Sweet Taters, Veggies
Fat Sources - Whole Egg, Oils, Natural fat in lean beef

Afternoon Snack - High Protein / Medium Carb / Low to Medium Fat -
Protein Sources - Chicken, Egg Whites and Whole Eggs, Lean Beef, Turkey, Fish, Whey or Egg
Carb Sources - Brown Rice, Yams or Sweet Taters, Veggies 
Fat Sources - Whole Egg, Oils, Natural fat in lean beef

Pre-Workout - Medium Protein / Medium to High Carb / Low Fat -
Protein Sources - Cottage Cheese, Whey or Egg Protein
Carb Sources - Rye or Ezekiel Bread, Organic Jelly or Jam
Fat Sources - None other than naturally occurring

Workout Supps - BCAA

Post-Workout - High Protein / Medium Carb / Low to Medium Fat -
Protein Sources - Whey or Egg Protein, Milk (skim to whole), Egg Whites or Whole Egg
Carb Sources - Naturally occurring carbs in milk and foods
Fat Sources - Naturally occurring

Meal (Dinner) - High Protein / Low Carb / Medium to High Fat
Protein Sources - Chicken, Fisk, Turkey, Beef, Bison
Carb Sources - Veggies, Salads, - starches are optional once to twice a week for a back load
Fat Sources - Oils, Butter, Naturally occurring in higher fat meats (salmon, ribeye, etc)

Late Snack - Medium Protein / Low Carb / Medium to High Fat
Protein Sources - Whole Eggs, Cottage Cheese
Carb Sources - naturally occurring (no starches or veggies)
Fat Sources - Peanut Butter, Whole Eggs, Almond Butter, Nuts

Supplements at night - ZMA

I don't work for the Cooking network, so don't ask for a meal plan.  It shouldn't be hard to figure out how to setup a menu each day to make this diet work.

I know that someone will ask me "how would I implement this if I trained early morning?"


Meal 1 - Pre-workout
Meal 2 - Post-workout
Meal 3 - Breakfast
Meal 4 - Lunch
Meal 5- Snack
Meal 6 - Dinner
Meal 7 - Snack (optional)

Some key points of this diet - 

  • All low GI carbs - None of your carbs should ever come from high GI sources.  Even post workout.  Lots of guys talk about having a high GI carb post workout, but all I found that to do was make me hungry as shit in the evening.  And the truth is, I have never seen some kind of extra-ordinary results from using a low-medium GI source post workout and using a high one.  I have found that keeping my blood sugar levels keeps my appetite in check and my energy levels stable.  
  • Occasional carb-back loading - Starches are an option at dinner once to twice a week.  It's an option when you are feeling "flat" (muscles feel flat and you look soft essentially) and especially weak like that stupid ass "CNS burnout" people talk about.  That is when you should load up the evening meal with another low GI carb like wheat pasta or sweet potatoes.  The other caveat is, only use it on post-workout nights.  That way the majority of the carbs are shuttled into replinishing glycogen stores, similar to carb-back loading but without the retardedness.  Keep the fat intake medium on the nights you carb-back load.  And try to limit this to only twice a week.  More than that and you will throw the curve off.
  • Carb and Fat wave - Carbs start high in the morning, then slowly trickle down to near zero in the evening (except for a small carb load on lifting days).  As this happens fat intake trickles up.  This will keep your blood sugar stable so you aren't ravenous all day, and your energy should be solid.  The truth is, I rarely feel hungry on this diet like I have on others, yet the fat is coming off at a very solid clip.  If I do feel flat and like shit, I am not forced to keep carbs out.  In fact I welcome them for the evening backload.  And without fail I wake up the next day feeling full again (muscular wise) and feel better.  I also don't worry about things like not eating the chicken skin at night (that's my fat) or cutting off the fat on my ribeye.  I just tear away at it and eat my salad or veggies.  In a couple of hours I am slightly hungry and I have peanut butter and cottage cheese and then I'm off to bed.  So I stay satiated throughout the day usually.
  • For gaining - Eat more.  Do not deviate from the LRB diet template.  Simply learn how to eat bigger portions.  That's it.  Keep the template the same.  And for those that do need to get lean, learn what a fucking portion is (it's the size of your fist).  
  • For getting leaner - This is not difficult.  Mind your portions.  If you are too hungry all the time, increase the portions.  If you are fucking full you fatass, decrease them.  This is not hard.  You should feel satiated after a meal, not like you just left the all you can eat Chinese Buffet in Vegas.  When you dial it in you will know.  Then the fat will start to fall off at a steady clip, and you will be hungry only minimally and energy will be solid.
  • Protein Powder - I know everyone jacks it to whey, but I do not.  In fact I don't know that I will ever use whey again as my main powder.  Whey gets into the blood stream fast, yes.  However it also exits fast, and I found that a whey shake in the afternoon left me ravenous about an hour later.  When I switched over to a MRP like Met-Rx, which has a mix in it, I am sustained longer and I don't get so damn hungry.  I have switched out all the whey shit for egg now.  I also have ZERO stomach problems now.  With whey I would have gas and bloating quite a bit of the time and always felt like I had a blood sugar drop within an hour.  
  • Don't get so caught up in "good" fats - Using some mayo or butter or oil is just fine for fats.  Take some time to read both sides of the fence on saturated fats but in the end you'll find out it's not really a big deal to ingest them and there are plenty of benefits.  
In case you missed it, here is my LRB diet over the last 5 weeks, and it doesn't really deviate from this day to day.  

Breakfast - 
7 egg whites with 1 whole egg and turkey
1 cup of oatmeal

Lunch - 
8 ounces of grilled chicken
1 cup of brown rice
1.5 cups of broccoli 

Snack - 
Met-Rx or Egg/Milk protein powder

Pre-workout - 1-2 slices of rye with 2 TBS of organic jelly and 1 cup of cottage cheese

Post Workout - 2 cups of milk with Egg Powder 

Dinner -
8-10 ounces of sirloin
Large salad or mixed veggies or more broccoli 
optional - wheat pasta / wild rice / sweet potatoes 

Snack - 
1 cup of cottage cheese
1 TBS natural peanut butter

I didn't pull this menu out of my ass.  I was going to go on the shake diet but then actually decided to take my own advice and find a way to eat that I could live with day in and day out.

In the next installment I'm going to talk about the template I have been working on for a while and how it encompasses every aspect of my training philosophy and all the shit I've learned and dealt with over the last 2 decades.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Random music post

Some old KSE.  Numbered Days.  This song makes me want to split my head open on the tailgate of a rusted truck.  Especially the little breakdowns at 0:51 and 1:31.  Fuck god damn yes.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Training - Press

Bodyweight - 240 <- Yusss!

Seated Db Press - 35's x 30, 60's x 15,10, 100's x 17,9,7

Incline Press - 185x5,5  225 x 7,5

Side Laterals - giant set 20's x 25->30's x 15-> 40's x 5,  20's x 25->30's x 5

Ez Bar Lying Triceps - 65 x 15,12,10

notes - 80%er.  Real solid and my weight is coming off nice but the strength seems to be doing well still.

Weekly Q & A

Leave a name and question.  All topics are on the table.....

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Training and Conditioning

Did this yesterday

Afternoon -

Bodyweight - 244

Shrugs - 135 x 30, 225 x 20, 315 x 10, 405 x 10, 500x3,3,3 585x3,3,3 635x3,3,3 500x5,5,5

Db Rows (no straps) - 150 x 10,10

Leg Curls - 50 x 2 sets of 10

Incline Db Curls - 40's x 2 sets of 15

Notes - Felt like shit.  Not quite a -10% session but really damn close.  I kept doing the shrugs hoping I would "wake up" but too little carbs on this particular day and I slept in really late.  Feel like I never woke up.

Late evening - 45 minute steady state

I went out after and got pretty lit the fuck up drinking, which I have not done in quite a while, thus negating most of my cardio.  That's ok, you gotta live a little too.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Body composition changes since the meet and my diet/condtioning

Woke up this morning feeling pretty lean.  So I went downstairs and weighed.

235.7  before breakfast/coffee/water.

I am generally weighing 242-244 by the evenings.

That means since about a week after the meet I've gone from a high of 272 (bloated the day after the meet but generally walking around at 262-265) to 235-244 (morning to evening) now.  And I'm not done.  Right now the goal is to get as lean as possible and get into a top level of conditioning.  I have no idea what my weight will end up at but I feel good about my progress.

Just to add, there was no "supplement" change.  This has been nothing but diet and conditioning.  I've been trying to log all of my conditioning as much as possible so you can see how much I am doing.  I haven't had a cheat in in pretty much 5 or 6 weeks.  As soon as I cleaned up my diet after the meet I dropped 8-10 pounds very quickly.  So I went from 265ish to around 255-258 pretty quickly.  Since then it's been very steady.

The only difference is on a workout day I will have a slice or two of rye with organic jelly and another cup of cottage cheese.  After the workout I will have 2 scoops of of egg protein (will write about this in an upcoming article) in 2 cups of milk.  Also if I feel terribly flat during the week I will add in a nice serving of wheat pasta at dinner.  But that's about it.

I will be getting my bodyfat checked this week to get a ballpark figure of where I am at. 

I am smoother looking than any guess would be because for me, this is fairly low carb and I flatten out a lot.  Also, I've never been a chiseled ab guy, even when I'm gotten down to 205 @ 6% bodyfat.  I just don't have those deep etched abs like some guys do, even when they are at higher bodyfat levels.  

My guess is 225-229 (morning weight) will put my back in the 9-10% range, and in the evenings about the same weight I am now.  So 235 or so at 9-10%.  This is good progress for me over the past two years.  I used to have to get down to around 220-222 to get into the 10% range, so in the past two years I've put on a very solid 10 pounds or so.  This is very good progress for someone that has been in this game as long as I have, especially with some of the injuries I've had in that time as well.  

I haven't done anything fancy except be consistent with my diet and conditioning.  Which has been the following pretty much every day.........

Breakfast - 
7 egg whites with 1 whole egg and turkey
1 cup of oatmeal

Lunch - 
8 ounces of grilled chicken
1 cup of brown rice
1.5 cups of broccoli 

Snack - 
Met-Rx or protein powder

Pre-workout - 1-2 slices of rye with 2 TBS of organic jelly and 1 cup of cottage cheese

Dinner -
8-10 ounces of sirloin
Large salad or mixed veggies or more broccoli 

Snack - 
1 cup of cottage cheese
1 TBS natural peanut butter

This dials me in about perfect and does kind of a built in carb cycling approach.  I prefer to lose bodyfat more slowly than some because it has a muscle sparing effect.  My strength has dipped a little bit but not terribly.  I am still good for a 600+ beltless squat, 400+ bench, and 600+ pull.  

Another 3-4 weeks I will give an update.

Nutrient Breakdowns

Lifting Days - 

Carbohydrates 231 g
Protein 332 g
Fats 98 g
Saturated Fat 38 g

Non-Lifting Days -

Carbohydrates 163 g
Protein 265 g
Fats 86 g
Saturated Fat 32 g
Fiber 30 g

Friday, August 26, 2011

Congrats to Wendler and the new addition

I was in a sweaty heap of luxurious females from my harem last night when I heard my phone go off.

A text from Wendler.

Apparently a new 5/3/1 disciple was born around 11:36 P.M. and put up quite the fight.

The new guy is James and he weighed 5.31 pounds (ok that's a joke but wouldn't that have been ironic?).

Jim says everyone is doing terrific.  Great news.

I returned to my sweaty heap immediately afterwards and celebrated madly.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Training - Condition - Legs - Conditioning

Tuesday night - 25 40-yard sprints

Wednesday - Legs

Hip and Ass Machine
Calf Press

Squat - no belt no wraps - 135 x 10,5 225 x 5,  315x5, 405x5, 455x5, 500x3, 515x1, 405x5

Leg Ext - 4 sets of 10
Adductor - 2 sets of 10
1 Legged Squats - 1x20

4 hours later - 30 minute steady state walk with 4 sprints thrown in for good measure.

Notes - Tweaked the hammy a bit on Tuesday night and it was still a bit tender during squats so I just popped an easy single at 515 and called it a night there.  My hernia wasn't feeling too great by the time I did the 405 back off so I went right into my pre-hab work after that.

I've been racking my fucking brain since the meet to get everything all together for my training.  This is something I wrote about a while back but I didn't want to cover the whole thing until it was dialed in.  I wasn't going to implement it either until I had it on paper like I knew it should "feel" in the gym, which was another reason I was kind of jumping around a bit.  But I'm pretty sure I can go ahead and start tinkering around with it.  It's going to be pretty fucking awesome and it wraps all my philosophies and ideas and pre-hab and everything together.  But I'm NOT covering it now because I do have some kinks to work out and I also want to see how things go after hernia surgery (whenever that is).

Stay tuned....

Getting Jacked - Part 2 - Stress Management

In installment 1 we talked about the foundation layer for getting jacked and lifting bigger weights.  Testosterone.

Now I want to talk about the piece of shit known as cortisol and the whore of a mother that gives birth to him.  


Maybe I shouldn't call stress a whore.  After all, it's the stress of training that provides the stimulus we need to get larger and stronger, namely micro trauma at the cellular level.


But the whore I'm talking about is life stresses.  It's the shit that drives down your test levels, makes you feel like a bitch, kills training momentum, and halts progress.  

Stop giving a shit about every detail -

Everyone knows a worrier.  I mean one of those people who can't make a decision, worries about everything from the drive home to what they will eat that night to whether or not they have clean socks.  What do these people generally look like?  They are either frail or have that super dumpy look with muffin tops and sausage rolls.  Nasty.  

Muffin tops = NASTY!
These people are always worriers.  And their body shows the results of it.  What I often find is, these people generally have fewer problems than the average person.  It's just that they sweat every detail of their life so hard that everything is completely overblown to a degree that makes Tweak from South Park look like a fucking stoner.  

The second thing I notice about these types is that they generally eat the shit out of some carbs and sweets.  I know, I've trained these types.  And it's damn near impossible to get them to eat moderate carb or lower carb diets.  Which is what they need to get their insulin back in check.  And women are the worst because they are emotional eaters and will chew through a carrot cake or some cinnabuns like Sherman went through Atlanta.

Doesn't have shit to do with this article but is really cool.  I guess cool shit does reduce stress...

Obviously we're talking about getting jacked here and we'll touch on diet down the road, but keep this shit in mind.

These people swim in cortisol, and no amount of cardio, training, and diet will get them to the level they desire until they learn how to control the stress in their life.  

If you are one of these people, at some point you're going to have to ask yourself how important getting to get your stress under control if you want mo' betta training progress.

99 problems....

In Pumping Iron, Arnold talked about the fact that if he found out his car was stolen all he'd do is call his insurance agent and let him take care of it.  That he didn't care because he was too focused on the task at hand.  

You think Arnold was stressed out much?
Fact is, the MAJORITY of problems we worry about never come to fruition.  Think about that for a minute before you read on, and let it sink in.  

Most of the shit you sit around stressing over never becomes a problem.  Most of the shit you worry about that keeps you awake until 3 in the morning never becomes a major issue in your life.  How many times have you looked back after something happened and said "why was I so worried about that?"  More than you can count probably.  So why did you pour so much energy into worrying about it?  I could reference my worry chart from the first installment but you should have that down pat by now.  But real quickly, here it is again...

Do you have a problem? - yes - can you do something about it? - yes -> then don't worry

Do you have a problem? - yes - can you do something about it? - no -> then don't worry

Do you have a problem - no -> then don't worry

That's it.  Adopt that mentality and watch your problems not only seem to disappear, but your quality of life improve by leaps and bounds.  

Your woman, job, family, and finances are generally the primary root causes of stress.  My advice to you is to cut whatever it is out that you feasibly can, and march forward.  I had to cut some family out of my life many years ago because it was just too fucking much drama and bullshit.  People that keep family members in their life when they do nothing but suck their life away amaze me.  Just because someone is blood doesn't mean you should give them your blood.  Just like with friendships, or any relationships you have, if you are constantly working at it or its constantly causing you stress, find a way to cut it out.  You get one go around, don't spend it trying to fix someones mess that doesn't give a shit if it gets fixed or not.  At some point be smart enough to say "I gave it a fair shake" and walk away.  If you can't, go ahead and look forward to an early grave.  Sometimes cutting shit out IS taking the high road and doing the right thing.  People have to be able to help themselves sometimes, and want to change.  You can't actually change someone, and you can't kick ass in a grave.  

These stresses will zap your quality of life and training progress.  Managing stress in your daily life is paramount if you want to see sustained and steady progress in your training program.  

Being crazy in Paradise is easy...

Some of the things you can do to improve relaxation....

  • Don't listen to metal all day - There's a time to crush, kill, destroy and a time to enjoy the spoils of war.  You need to find some shit that helps you mellow a bit and calm the fuck down.  I personally like Buckethead for this.  If you listen to country at all, stop.  
This mode is cool, but you can't be in it 24/7
  • ZMA - Take it at night on an empty stomach.  It really does help with relaxing.  
  • Get a massage.  Just make sure it's a chic.  Some dude that looks like Eric Roberts from MASK rubbing on your back and ass will only add to stress in your life.  Unless you're into that kind of thing (not that there's anything wrong with that).
  • Have light days in the gym.  Training balls heavy out every session is a sure way to take a dive bomb into the training toilet.  You can still make a training day difficult by trying to beat rep PR's with certain weights.  It's a completely different kind of stress and will give a bit of mental alleviation from pounding low reps on the bar all the time.  
  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.  I can't emphasize this enough.  If you aren't sleeping you aren't recovering or resting.  Low levels of sleep = high levels of cortisol whether you can get by on limited sleep or not.  When my conditioning gets in top form, I wake up really early but do everything I can to get back to sleep because 5-6 hours will not cut it for top shelf training progress.  
  • Get a pet.  Esp a dog.  Yes at first it will suck if you house train, but once you get past that stage there are tons of benefits.
Freeing up life stress creates room for training stress.  Too much life stress combined with training stress is not going to lead to a more jacked you.  I'm not saying to disown your family or divorce your wife so you can get jacked either.  Unless they completely suck.  Which reminds me of a joke.

Why are ex-wives and tornadoes alike?

In the beginning there's a lot of sucking and blowing and then they take the house.

I'm saying you need to make decisions that limit the amount of stress in your life.  You can only load so much into the wagon before shit starts falling out.  Once your cortisol levels start overflowing from stress you can kiss any type of meaningful progress goodbye.

Manage your daily stress, and try to keep it at a minimum.  When it comes training time put your game face on and rage the fuck out.  Then once it's over, realize how important relaxing and recovering is.  

Monday, August 22, 2011

Training - Pressing

Bodyweight - 244

Press Behind the Neck - bar x 30, 135 x 15, 155 x 5, 185 x 5, 255 x 5,5,5

Close Grips - 225 x 8, 315 x 3, 335 x 3

Upright Rows - 66x15, 115x8, 135x8,8,8
V-Bar Pushdowns - warm up, 75x15,15,15

Notes - Was tired as shit but had a solid one.  Nothing spectacular but everything felt light and easy the way a good 80% session should feel.  I got my own shirt in, and I'm not just sayin this, but it looks damn cool.  I already had several comments on it (all good you fuckers).  Yes this is the more expensive one of the bunch but the poly/cotton is my fave shirt material because it feels awesome.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Getting Jacked - Part 1 - Testosterone

I've had too many months of writing about unnecessary wimpy bullshit.

Let's get back to the meat and potatoes of why all of us, yes every one of us continues to lift weights.

To move bigger iron and look like a fucking beast.

Testosterone -

Testosterone is the foundation of reaching beastdom.  There is no way around this.  If you don't have naturally high levels of test, your ceiling for beastdom is limited.  If you choose to go the synthetic route, your ceiling gets raised exponentially.

Not low on test, not watching chic flicks, not driving a fucking minivan
If you are worried about jail time/legalities and/or don't have a supplier, then the good news is OTC pro-hormones DO work.  The downside is, you need to find out which ones work and you need to be smart about dosage and how long you use it.

Let me state right off the bat, I don't give a fuck what any "board guru" tells you about orals, you do not run orals for more than 4 weeks.  After 4 weeks you get your blood work done, and if shit is cool, you can run a 4 week cycle again after 4 weeks being off orals.  During the time you use the PH, make sure you run Milk Thistle or some type of cycle assist supplement that is loaded with prostate and liver support.  My recommendation is Cycle Assist by Competitive Edge Labs.  You take 4 in the morning and 4 in the evening. That's it.

Do not use orals without it

I also recommend you do not exceed what the bottle tells you, no matter what said board guru tells you about "doubling the dose".  Jesus Christ people always overdo this shit.  The Chinese have used ephedrine for 1 trillion years but thanks to Korey Stringer and some high school fuckheads taking 27 times the recommended dose and dying, now ephedrine is the devil.  Do not explode your liver by being a complete fucktard and overdoing the dose.  The best PH I have used was h-drol by the same company that makes Cycle Assist.  I heard M-Drol was even better but never got a chance to find out.


If you choose to not go the illegal or legal route (and I am not endorsing either) then here are some ways you can increase testosterone naturally (but not completely scientifically proven) -

  • Eat lots of animals, dead or alive
  • Watch porn
  • Flirt with hot chics
  • Only date hot chics that makes your freakdar go off
  • Shoot big guns 
  • Root for the fucking bad guy in movies
  • Lift heavy shit
  • Wear more black
  • Trade in your minivan or clown car (Prius/Smart Car/Mini) for a gas guzzling, trim getting, muscle car or chopper/hard tail wtf ever.
  • Get a dog your home owners insurance doesn't approve of 
  • Play metal as often and as loud as possible
  • Watch as much fighting as possible, and learn how to fight
  • Stop giving a fuck about politics and the news
  • Quit worrying about every fucking thing in your life
Should be your problem solving motto

  • And biggest of all if getting jacked is your number one goal in life..........stay single
  • Read Jamie Lewis' blog Chaos and Pain , where he has covered all this exact shit much more technically/scientifically than I have here.
Like it or lump it, when you get hitched your test levels will drop.  This has been proven over and over again in scientific studies.  

If you want to Google for more you can, but it's cemented that once you get hitched the test levels are only going to plummet.  

Women want to find and keep a man.  That is how they are wired.  They will naturally drive your cortisol levels up, and test levels down.  Do you know what high cortisol levels do?  Makes you un-fucking-attractive.  

If a woman gets you, her job is to keep you, and she does this by making you more feminine.  Again, this isn't my opinion, this is scientific fact.  So if you don't want to put artificial substances in your body to combat the estrogen wave that comes from being hitched or with the same woman too long, stay single, bang chics, and you won't have a problem.  Otherwise, you know the solution.  

This is not an anti-woman rant.  I love my wife with every fiber of my being and she's the best thing that ever happened to me.  She's also stupid hot, lifts heavy weights, thinks chic flicks and minivans are for pussies, loves MMA and football, sends me dirty text messages, and is overall supremely awesome.  But she's a rarity.  

Men today are wimpier in regards to test than they were in the 1940's.  I personally blame the assholes who preach that men need to be in touch with their softer, gentler side, and prop up a "todays man" as some pussy in skinny legged jeans with a feaux hawk who couldn't protect what he owns or defend his woman if his life depended on it.  I mean do you see more Dan Henderson's or Adam Lambert's walking around these days?  Exactly.


...not a man

This is a "getting jacked fact sheet regarding testosterone" 101.  So if you're a single guy, and you really want to get as jacked as fucking possible right now, stay single.  If you already have a woman, look up the reports that show low test levels is linked to dying early.  Tell her if she loves you, she'll find the inner freak in her to avoid your early demise, stop watching chic flicks, trade in that god damn minivan for a 500 horsepower anything, buy you some guns for Christmas and tease you with promises of a threesome with her and her hot best friend.  Oh and then also add in either anabolics or a PH and the support supps.  

Like it or lump it, hormones are king when it comes to mass/strength/jacked potential.  You can train hard, eat right, and do everything you know you are supposed to do in order to get jacked and strong, and totally miss the boat because you don't have the physiological architecture to get the job done.  This is a sad fact of training.  

So how do you know? 

Get your blood work done.  I highly recommend it.  Tell your doctor that you want to know what your test levels are.  Top end naturally is 1200.  If you're running below 600 and you're in your 20's then shit aint good.  If you're running below 500 in your 40's, ditto and find some hormone replacement therapy as soon as possible.  

Over the next few weeks we're going to talk more about this, training, injuries, conditioning, and overall badassery/badassedness with zero bitchassness.  No more fuckin around.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Training - Shoulders and Arms

Machine Press - stack x 5 - hands facing position - stack x 5

Seated Laterals - 35's x 4 sets of 15

Upright Barbell Rows - 135 x 10,10,10

Incline Db Curls - 30's x 4 sets of 15

Overhead Extensions - can't remember weight - 2 sets of 10

Seated Reverse Grip Machine Press - stack x 35

Notes - Did this at a clients house because I was too busy the rest of the day to get in to the gym.  So I had her do her shoulder and arm session with me.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thoughts about life, crap, training, and stuff

I had to make a work trip out to St. Louis this week.  We were in St. Louis for 5 minutes when I saw a guy get out of his car at a red light, run up to the car two cars in front of him and punch the driver in the face.  On the way home my buddy walked into the bathroom of McDonalds to piss and opened the stall door but someone was in there.  "Shut the fucking door!" the guy yelled at him.  Then once we got back home, we watched a guy in a small BMW speed around a corner and completely wipe out in 3:30 traffic down town.  I don't know how he didn't hit someone but he ended up backwards in traffic.  I was waiting to get up beside this asshole to tell him to slow the fuck down before he killed someone, but he sped off again.  Fucking insane.  I blame it on weird karma from my work buddy.  I never have shit like this happen to me.

Doesn't handle as well as advertised.

My conditioning is really improving right now.  I ran 8 hills the other night (my hill is 90 yards BTW, I finally measured it) on tired legs and never got winded.  Man it feels good to finally be back in some semblance of "shape".  

My weight is down to 242-245ish.  Difference in my diet from gaining to losing?

Gaining - 
breakfast - 3 whole eggs, 4 egg whites with turkey and cheese.  1 cup of oatmeal with raisins and a banana.

lunch - 2 sweet potatoes, 8 ounces of chicken, broccoli 

snack - shake with peanut butter

pre-workout - 2 pieces of rye with 1 cup of cottage cheese
post workout - shake in milk with 1 cup of jasmine rice and raisins 

dinner - 8 ounces of steak, 2 red potatoes, veggies

snack - peanut butter and jelly sammich

Losing diet - 

Breakfast - 4 egg whites with turkey, 1 cup of oatmeal with raisins

Lunch - chicken, brown rice, broccoli 

Snack - Shake in water

pre-workout - 1 slice rye with 1 cup of cottage cheese
postworkout - meat and veggies

snack - MRP  or cottage cheese with peanut butter

As you can see I made some minor changes to make the big difference.  People get too caught up in making big changes and don't know how to properly manipulate small things to make a big difference.  

I think I have a hernia.  Well, I know I do but for the first time it's been hurting lately.  I've had the tiny knot in my stomach for a very long time, but I've never had any pain associated with it.  Oh well, let's possibly add hernia surgery to my impressive list of under the knife jobs.  I have a weird feeling a layoff would be good and that I'd only come back stronger.

I have added more shirts and hoodies and shit to the spreadshirt shop.  I am working on finding myself a new graphics design nerd.  So there will be some new shit coming soon.

A picture of Ashley Lawrence that should raise your test levels immediately.  If not, get checked to see if you are still alive.

Just two more weeks until Labor Day weekend and I feel some epicness type shit coming on.  Some awesome plans seem to be coming together.

Cell phones are pretty damn cool these days.  We made the trip to St. Louis using the cell phone to stream a constant metal station into the radio, for nav, and finding the steak house we wanted to eat at.  Now if assholes would just stop texting while they drive.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.  Do something worthy of a story on Monday.  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Training - Cardio - Back and Biceps

Bodyweight - 246

A.M. - 40 minutes on treadmill at 3.9 mph

P.M. Lifting

Shrugs - 135 x 30, 225 x 20, 315 x 10, 405 x 10, 500 x 8, 585 x 8

T-Bar Rows - 3 plates x 8, 4 plates x 8, 5 plates x 8, 6 plates x 8, 7 plates x 6

Chins - body x 5, +25 x 5, +50 x 5

Strive Curls (mid resistance) - 115 x 5

Notes - Started off ok but ran out of gas.  I was tired from travelling most of the day.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Blast from the past!

An old friend put this pic of me up on Facebook tonight.  That's what friends are for right? 

Fucker.  I was 15 here.  My main thing was drinkin (obviously), playing music, and driving without a license. 

Who knew this guy was in there?

I said all along I wasn't one of those guys that was 15 and already benching 300 and pulling 500.  Everything I have I've earned it the hardest fucking way possible.  

Monday, August 15, 2011

Training - Pressing stuff

Bodyweight - home scale said 242, gym scale said 247.  I'll just say 245.

Clean and press - bar x 30, 95 x 10, 135 x 5, 155 x 4, 185 x 3, 225 x 2, 245 x 1

Seated Db Press - 100's x 16, 8

Reverse Grip Bench - 135 x 10, 225 x 5, 275 x 5, 315 x 5
Close Grips - 225 x 15

Notes - Decent session.  I still hate standing press even though I know I'm made for it and could hit 315 in a few months at 240-250 if I just worked at it, but I just f'n hate em.  The 245 was easy and I haven't done this exercise in quite a while.  Oh well, I don't see it lasting.  LOL.

Thoughts about life, training, crap and stuff

So as you can see, shirts are up.  I had a guy I was talking to about some graphic design but I can't stand flakyness so I dropped that, and went with something vanilla for now (and vanilla is a staple ice cream flavor so it can't be that bad).  I am on the look out for a new graphic design guy/gal/martian so something new will be in the works soon.

Training - Alas, I am travelling several times over the next few weeks and have new clients with new schedules to train, so my own training has to take a bit of a down tune.  This isn't a bad thing as I have often found when I scale shit back I suddenly make progress.  Basically right now my main priority is to get in awesome condition, however I am not going to ignore all the things I need to do for prehab.  So what I will do is, scale training back to 3 times a week and have 1 whole day dedicated to prehab work.  So 2 hard training days, 1 day of prehab, and 2-3 days of conditioning.  This is very ideal right now.  This is how my setup will look for a while....

Monday - steady state or hard conditioning (depending on feel)
Tuesday - Pressing - clean and press/PBN/DB press - Incline/Reverse Grip Bench
Wednesday - steady state
Thursday - Squats and Deads (with an emphasis on front squats and deads for a while)
Friday - hard conditioning
Saturday - Pre-Hab work - leg ext, adductor, leg curl, cuff work, curls
Sunday - steady state or hard conditioning (depending on feel)

This looks really good to me right now with the schedule I have over the next few months.  I'm not going to destroy myself because I want the conditioning to be a priority for a bit.  Sometimes I fall back into the trap of wanting too much at a time, but then like a fat chic trying to eat healthy, I snap back out of it.

Movies - Slumdog Millionaire:  I watched this over the weekend.  A very powerful movie, well made, and a story that really pulls you in.  Freida Pinto is illegally hot too.  Wow.  I may go see Rise of the Planet of the Apes now just because she's in it.

Monkeys she's hot!

JCVD has been doing this Coors Light commercials.  I enjoy them.  Mmm, yeah.

MMA - From all appearances, it looks like Alistair Overeem's management will sit down with UFC soon to work out a contract.  I have said this all along, UFC will not let Overeem get away.  No way, no how.  Yes he's a household name, yes he sells tickets, and yes people are going to want to see him fight guys like Cain and JDS.  That's big money.  They lost out on the Fedor sweepstakes (which may have ended up working in Dana White's favor) and they won't let that happen this time.  Overeem is in his prime and people want to see him match up against the best heavyweights in UFC.  I wouldn't be surprised to see a deal done before the end of the year and Overeem in UFC very soon. Overeem will be thrown right into that Cain/JDS thing as soon as that happens, so don't expect a long wait for him in a PPV once the deal is done.

Expect to see the big man in UFC soon...

Big-15 and Strong-15 Program Notes - I want to reiterate a few things about the programs.  So anyone that bought them pay attention.

1.  The meat and potatoes of the big-15 are the back off set(s).  This is where you bust out reps and stimulate growth.  Do the weights look like at first?  Yes.  This is intentional.  When you run a 40 yard dash, a flying start is always faster than from a dead stop.  Training is no different.  If you start light, you give yourself a flying start towards hitting bigger weights down the road.  If you start off too heavy, you will stall faster, and if you continue to grind away for too long after that, you will get injured or lose ground.  This WILL happen.  Don't get caught up in the numbers the first few weeks.  By the end you will be hitting an over-warm up single with near your max easily, and then doing solid back offs.  Remember, look at the big picture, not early numbers out of the gate.

2.  On the strong-15 don't be stupid and program in numbers you have no chance of hitting.  Second, you don't need to train with maximal weights in order to be good to hit your maximally planned numbers.  I hit 605 in the gym going into my meet for my squat.  I was most definitely good for 640 that day barring the injury.  I probably hit more on close grips than needed in the gym (an easy 425) and was good for much more the day of the meet.  405 would have been plenty for 440.  You need to be able to destroy your planned weights, which is generally about 92% of those attempts.  If you do, you're good to go.  I will repeat it, you don't need to max out or hit maximal weights in order to be good for planned max attempts.  Your whole cycle should set you up for success.  This is talked about.  You should not be missing weights in the cycle.  Program smart.

Been downing the sudafed like a meth dealer.  I am not getting sick(er) right now.

Ran 25 40-yard sprints yesterday and it felt damn good.  I haven't done that much conditioning at one time since the meet.  I feel great this morning, and I find that the better my conditioning becomes the less sleep I need, and the more efficient my body becomes.  When I lose conditioning (like going into a meet) and gain weight, everything sucks except lifting weights.  When I am in shape everything feels great, even if I am not as strong.  This is fine.  I do not live my life around how much weight is on the bar.  There are bigger and better things to worry about and/or appreciate.  If you don't know what that feels like, spend the next 6-8 weeks getting into shape.  You'll thank me and yourself for it. 

Hope everyone has a total suck Monday.  Misery loves company.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


25 40-yard sprints.  Only rest was the 40 yard walk back.  Felt great.

Full Body with pre-hab work

So I had an e-mail this week referencing Wendler's article about full body training, and how one would implement the pre-hab work I wrote about into that kind of template.

This is not a difficult thing to do actually.

If you look at MadCow's old template you can see after the big 3 movements are done there are some other things scheduled to be done.  I actually found the work Glen laid out afterwards to be rewarding and productive.  So why couldn't pre-hab work just fit right in there instead?

It can!

Monday -
Squat - light
Deadlift - heavy
Bench - light

Since this is a deadlift day, an easy solution is just to throw in some leg and bicep curls.
Barbell Curls - 3 sets
Leg Curls - 3 sets

Wednesday - 
Squat - light or medium
Bench - heavy
Barbell Row - heavy

Since this is bench day, let's go ahead and work those pesky rotator cuffs and rear delts.

Front Raises - 3 sets
Rear Raises - 3 sets
External Rotation - 3 sets

Friday - 
Squat - heavy
Overhead Press - heavy
Chin/Barbell Row - heavy

Squat heavy day, so let's avoid those shitty adductor and quad strains that happen sometimes when squatting.
Leg Adductor Machine - 3 sets
Leg Extension - 3 sets

This pretty much covers everything from head to toe.  If your injury history dictates that you need to concentrate on something different than what I have outlined here, then do that.  But this list is pretty good and will cover the most common injuries.

Remember that consistency is the biggest factor in making sustained progress, and you can't be consistent if you are always injured.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Training - Legs

Bodyweight - 247

Fronts - 135 x 5,5,5  225 x 5,5,5 275x5, 315x5
Stiff Legs - 315x20

Notes - Got some kind of cold so I am not feeling well but I wanted to get a little something in.  Lots of fluids and resting for tomorrow.

Some e-mails/messages I have received....

Just a quick note really to say after running your strong15 for a full cycle I just PR'd on all 3 lifts with 200kg on both squat and deadlift and 136.5kg on the Bench. Thanks for putting pen to paper, the shit seems to work

All the best




I had sent you a PM a few months ago letting you know that the template you had given me (in response to a different PM) was going well, especially the bench.

You asked me to write it up, and I didn't. At the time we were in the middle of a complicated house move along with other stuff.

Well I just kept my head down and kept training around the template you provided. I backed some stuff off to keep my workouts short and dropped down most weeks to only 2x a week. I was content to hold on to my gains. But for my 36th birthday, after stringing together a great 6 weeks or so of training I hit a bodyweight-ish bench press, after just over 1.5 years of training.

A little background. I started weight training out of the blue in October of 2009. Basic linear progression. When I started I weighed 165 and I first benched 3x5x70. Obviously I was weak as a kitten. Also my levers for the bench really suck. I'm 5'11. My arms are 6'1". Skinny as hell of course.

In January 2010 I hurt the hell out of my shoulder benching 135 for the first time (I was so excited to have the big plates on there). So for the next couple of weeks I used my right arm to put my left hand into my jacket sleeve. Then I finally saw my doctor. Some kind of soft tissue damage, maybe tendonitis. I never bothered getting an MRI, I'm not going under the knife so it doesn't really matter.

Well, that was it for benching for me. I kept pressing, but w/out benching to compliment it my press just hovered between 95 and 115. Also my shoulder was fucked up.

So fast forward to mid-Jan 2011 when I PMed you asking for help. My low back, hips, and ass were beat to shit from heavy, heavy, heavy on 531. My shoulder was still all fucked up and I was just wasting my time only pressing the same old 95-120.

Well, I didn't give you any of this background and you shot me back a template with a bench day.

Well, I didn't want to be that guy, "Oh Paul, I can't do this because of my fucked up shoulder, whine whine whine... blah blah."

So I did some reading and talking to my internet training partner and we decided to sub in close grip floor presses, start light, and see what happened. We figured that my major problem is that my long arms put my elbows so far below the bench. Floor presses are legit, but they limit the ROM, so we figured that might work.

So that first week I floor pressed 5x120 and then a backoff of 15x100. And followed it with light DB sets. Incline and seated, and finally bench dips.

I woke up the next morning and my shoulder was sore... But ok. I stretched and foam rolled it hard and next week came around and I floor pressed again.

I Kept doing that and adding weight/reps until my basement flooded. Can't floor press in a puddle. Ok. What now? Fucking pin presses! Well that first night I pin pressed 150 which was a major fucking PR for me. But I could tell I only got it because I set the pins to high.

Ok. Basement was continually damp because we were in the start of what would be the 3rd wettest spring in Indiana history. I couldn't count on being able to floor press. About that time I saw some random video of EFS guys pressing off half of a foam roller. I read Tate's comments on it being much more like a regular bench press than using boards. Well, fine I'd do that.

So from March on I've been close grip pressing off a 3" half of a foam roller.

Ok. So lesson 1 limit the ROM a little bit and don't worry about being a pussy. I'm not getting on a platform anytime soon.

Lesson 2. DUMBBELLS! This, I think, is where you really saved my ass. Although I own a complete set of hex DBs from 5-50; I never used them. Why? I have no idea. But once I started using them in your template my shoulders started feeling a lot better. There's no doubt that pushing myself on the DBs fed right back into benching. Being able to press with the DBs in a natural movement that was pain free was amazing.

Anyways, my shoulder continues to hang there, I continue to get stronger. My arms and shoulders really thickened up over the last 6 months.

Thanks a lot Paul. I really appreciate your generosity with your training knowledge.



Thanks to both guys for the updates.  This kind of stuff is why I write on here and offer up any advice that may help.  

Friday, August 12, 2011

5 tips to improving your raw squat

1.  Have a plan

Do not aimlessly walk into the gym trying to max every time.  Have a plan that gets you to your destination.  Proper programming is the ultimate key to progression.  

2.  Build your plan around raw squatting

This seems obvious but it is not.  The conjugate method and terms like "CNS burnout" have kept guys from earning their stripes doing the an actual raw squat.  Box squats, zercher squats, safety bar squats, etc are all fine for SUPPLEMENTAL movements, but they should not be what you are basing your programming around.  If you squat raw you need to get strong doing the movement you are actually trying to get good at.  

3.  Do pre-hab work

Anyone that followed my training into the Nationals know I was able to stay healthy by doing a lot of adductor work, which had been a problem area for me.  Had I included leg extensions in as well, I believe that I finally hit the 650 beltless squat I have been chasing for a while now.  My recommendations for keeping your tissue healthy are the good girl and bad girl machines (adductor and abduction), leg extensions, lunges, stretching, and of course the good ol foam roller.

4.  Build bottom position strength

For the raw squatter this is paramount.  Most raw guys will miss a squat because they can't generate enough power out of the hole, then the lift stalls at mid-point.  If you build your bottom position strength your squat will jump.  The single best exercise for this is the pause squat.  The other great thing about the pause squat is that it will teach you to stay tight throughout the movement, and how to explode out of the bottom.  If also should reinforce good technique.  If your knees or hips hurt when you do pause squats, something is off.  More than likely you squat too fucking wide or/and don't squat deep enough.  If you look at the videos of my pause squat I sit all the way down, hams on calves.  This is a full squat.  And a full squat is what squatting is.  There is nothing uglier than a high raw squat.  Don't be that guy.  

5.  Be patient

Lifting is a marathon, not a sprint.  I think I squatted 500 for the first time something like 10 years ago.  So I've consistently put on around 15 pounds a year on my squat.  Some guys progress faster than others.  Your squat may move fast at times, and stall at others.  Just regroup and give it another run.  Rinse and repeat.  

This shit is not complicated.  All you really need to do is stay healthy and put in a lot of sweat in the squat rack.  It will eventually happen for you, I promise.  But you will have to earn it.  People avoid squats for a reason.  It's humbling and hard.  But in the end you will benefit from the effort.  

Remember, mediocre people are always satisfied with themselves.  Never be satisfied.  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Training - Chest shoulders tris

Bodyweight - 248

Strive Plate Loaded Incline (plates on all resistance levels) - 4 plates x 8,1, -> 1 plate off x 3

Seated Db Press - 100's x 11,3,2

Reverse Grip Bench - 225x6,3,3

Rope Overhead Extensions - 45 x 20

Notes - Started off feeling ok but then lost some gas.  I'm not documenting it but I am doing a ton of conditioning right now.  Usually 60-90 minutes most days.  Everything from hills to steady state.  My weight is leveling out and I feel good again, but I wouldn't mind taking me weight down to around 238-240 where I believe I will be pretty close to 9-10% bodyfat.  But I'm not going to do anything rash.  Just stayin the course.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Training - Back and Biceps

Bodyweight - 248

Strive Pulldowns (mid range resistance) - stack + 15 x 12,4,4

Deadlifts - 225 x 5, 315 x 3, 405 x 3, 500 x 5

Strive Curl (mid range resistance) - 50 x 12,4,3

Notes - Felt like ass.  But it's because I was up until 1 and then woke up at a 7.  I knew when I woke up this morning I would be getting dry humped by a rhino at the gym tonight.

Thoughts about life, crap, training, and stuff

I have been partying most weekends for the last several months.  Don't ask why, I'm not usually a party dude, but it's been fun.  I think I had my run of it for a while though as sitting at home this weekend and just watching the fights and eating dinner seemed awesome.  I think there is a ebb and flow to these things really.  You can't sit at home every weekend forever (I guess you can but that seems like the ultimate suck), and you can't party it up every weekend either (or you could, but that is going to catch up with you as well).  You should be able to have some balance in there.  Don't sit at home so much you're bored and don't realize it, and don't go out so much you feel guilty about neglecting other areas of your life.  Seems like balance always wins out in life.

I'm planning a trip back to Mississippi soon.  My aunt was diagnosed with cancer and I want to visit with her in case things go south.  But I also have a TON of family and friends there that I haven't seen in a while.  I made a status about this on FB and got flooded with messages from old friends who wanted to get together.  It's a good feeling to know all the people you grew up with and did crazy shit with still want to see you and hang.  I can also see myself getting in trouble with my old friends trying to relive our teenage years.  Oh the stories I could tell......

The last month+ has really been awesome.  I have eliminated the BS and negative people in my life, and it's amazing what really cutting that shit out will do for you.  Is it difficult at first?  Yes.  But stress is the taker of life and I would prefer to be around as long as possible for the four beautiful ladies in my life.  Whether its friends or family, if you have a leech it's best to cut it off, bleed for just a bit, but then heal permanently.  Then learn the lesson to stay out of the swamp and dark places where leeches live.

On the flip side of that, I've put in a lot more time when positive people and it has a similar dynamic.  It helps with your own positive thinking and mood.  You shed negative energy like water off a ducks back and move right along.

So right now it seems like a lot of guys are in "get in better shape mode".  It's amazing how much I've read that lately, here and on some boards.  This is not a difficult thing.  People just want it too fast.  Just a very simple way to get into shape without dying or getting overuse injuries are like so......

week 1 - steady state 3-4 times a week for 30 minutes.  Walk the same way if you are outside and try to increase the distance by a little bit each time in the same 30 minutes.  If you are on a threadmill (yuck) then just up the MPH a little bit each time.
week 2 - same as week 1 but add in a jog here and there during parts of the walk.  You don't have to do it very long, 10-15 seconds is fine.  Throw in 2 or 3 during the 30 minutes.
week 3 - 45 minutes, add in 4-5 jogs at a slightly faster clip.
week 4 - drop a steady state day and do hills or interval sprints.  Do not run all out.  Just a nice sprint.
week 5 - same as week 4 just increase the number of hills or interval sprints
week 6 - go to 1 steady state day and 2 days of hills or intervals.
week 7 - 2 steady state days 1 day of hills or intervals
week 8 - start going back and forth between weeks 6 and 7.  You should be in decent shape by now.  If you want to take it up a notch just keep bumping the number of hills or sprints.  When you can run 20 hills without any rest except the walk back down, you're in fucking shape.  No doubt about it.

I've had some questions about keeping strength when dieting.  This really isn't entirely possible unless you're using large doses and/or a noob.  If some guy tells you he lost a bunch of fat and kept his strength, then he just got less fat, but was still fat.  In other words, if you go from 25% to 19% yeah, you might not lose any strength.  If you go from 25% to 10%?  You're going to lose strength.  A calorie deficit will zap strength levels at some point.  That point has a lot of variables and factors.  I think I'm going to end up at around 10% at 235-238 this time around. Which means I did in fact gain about the 4-5 pounds of mass I trained for.  Great success!

If you want to minimize strength loss while dieting there is a way to do that however.  No different than the conditioning stuff, make changes slowly.

week 1 - Remove as many simple sugars as possible.  This means coke, candy, and shit like that.  Don't change anything else.  Make sure to eat 3 solid food meals and have 2 shakes at least.
week 2 - Eliminate carbs at the evening meal.
week 3 - same as the previous week
week 4 - same as week before but have a cheat meal on the last day of the week
week 5 - same as week 3
week 6 - reduce carbs from lunch as well, have a cheat meal on the last day of the week
week 7 - same as week 6
week 8 - no carbs at lunch no cheat meal

If you combined the eating a cardio plan together, you'd drop a lot of fat, be in shape, and feel awesome.  You only really run really low carbs for three weeks, and in two of those you get to carb back up.  These kinds of plans are not hard to lay out and they work good as gold.  Just be consistent and do what you're supposed to do.

A congrats to my bud Vince Urbank who took 4th at America's strongest man.  His first pro-comp.  Vince also has an invite to Andy Bolton's NOTLD challange.  Vince pulled 840 at 298 and has a gym pull of 881 I believe.  Should be fun to watch!

Football season is going to happen?  What?

This whole Rashad/Rampage/Bones thing is going to be epic.  Two big mouths in Rashad and Page, and what is supposed to be the Jesus of MMA at 205 in Bones.  I think that Page is going to give Jones more trouble than people think.  I see Jones winning but Page has a great chin and there is no quit in him.  I really would like to see a round robin of these fights.  The last time Page and Rashad fought Page had terrible ring rust and Rashad fought for points, which was pussy after the way he ran his mouth about how he was going to stand toe to toe with Page (we all knew he'd never do that because he'd get his ass whipped).  I guess we'll get the round robin if Jones wins and fights Rashad.  But I still want to see Rampage/Rashad 2 as well.  On a side note, Rashad's knee to Tito was brutal to watch but I am constantly telling at guys to do that when guys won't stand up to avoid the knee to the face.  You may see that knee to the chest start happening more now.

The guy in the blue trunks.  Glad he took that beating.  And glad that Dana White made it illegal to wear that kind of shit.  He also made a good point in talking about it, that he didn't blame the fighter, he blamed the people that work for him letting him step into the ring with that on.  A lot of people don't like Dana but he's obviously a smart business man and makes more good decisions than bad.

I hope everyone had a shit Monday!  There is no reason why you should be happy on Monday while everyone else thinks it sucks.