Monday, October 31, 2011

Training - Heavy Press

Bodyweight - 238

Seated Press Behind the Neck -
bar x 30
135 x 10, 5
155 x 5
185 x 10,10

Close Grip Bench -
135 x 10
225 x 5
275 x 3
315 x 2
355 x 1
315 x 8

Upright Rows - 65 x 20,20,20  115 x 20,20

Notes - After the no-deload deload, I have backed off of everything and am resetting a bit.  I probably should have reset the close grips more but the 355 was like speed bench, so maybe it was ok.

Strong Supplement Shop

If you notice, there is a new banner on the right for Strong Supplement Shop.  Really great turn around time on my orders with these guys and they have about every pro-hormone on the market, including a lot of stuff that has been discontinued.

I get ZERO monies from doing this.  I just liked their service and thought I'd exchange some site traffic with them.

So if you are in need of some PH's or whatever else, try them out.

Thoughts about life, crap, training, and stuff

Movies -

Trainsformers 3 - Jesus Christ this movie is still playing.  I'm serious, I didn't know this movie was like 150+ minutes and I put it on late.  Shia Labeouf was great in this.  Very funny and entertaining and probably the only character in the movie that wasn't completely wooden.  But there came a point, somewhere about 19 hours into this thing, that the survival rate just got straight the fuck out of hand.  I mean giant robots with weapons from the devil's asshole can take over the whole planet, but can't kill like 9 assholes running around Chicago?  It was just fucking absurd.

But I will say, Optimus Prime showing up at the end wrecking Decepticon mother fuckers was bad ass as hell, and worth the watch alone.  It's only about a minute clip but is there anything sweeter than when the good guy is pissed off all to shit and decides everyone is just going to fucking die?  Yeah, it was one of those scenes.

I still have the new X-Men sitting on my shelf to watch.

I think I may do another meet at some point but this time at 242, because this is the strongest I've ever been at this weight and the best I have felt.  I feel confident that I have gotten most of the kinks worked out and I think that 1750-1775 could be very doable at 242 beltless.  My guess is something like a 635-640 squat and 440 close grip bench.  The dead is obviously the key here.  But I've got some idea about that as well.   I am going to put together some block deadlift programming that I believe will be key.  I've been playing with the block and power rack pulls for a couple of months again now, and some as usual things are really beginning to jump out at me about how you can program this thing for direct gains to floor, and know where you are at.  More to come on that down the road.

Halloween weekend was fun.  I dressed up as a Roman soldier and the wife went as a Greek Goddess.  Also brought along my best bro Steve, and those two proceeded to get tanked while I played DD.  All in all, a good time with several good friends.  And is there anything funnier than watching a bar pack in full of people in ridiculous costumes?  Ate copious amounts of food (all healthy shit) and drank water.  Woke up yesterday feeling much better than the wife.

Season 2 of The Walking Dead has been nothing short of spectacular.  Already I have enjoyed it more than season 1.  Just seems......better.  I don't know why, but it does.  There, that's my take on it.

Dexter has been good as well, but not quite as great as the last few seasons in my opinion.  James Edward Almos to me, isn't a guy that is going to overly intrigue you.  Or he doesn't me anyway.  It's been hard for me to hate anyone this particular season, and I prefer it when I have someone to hate on during a show, so I look forward to them getting their upcommance.  Just getting feeling the rage this season.  Oh well.  It's still a fantastic show.  Just not as good as seasons past.  At least so far.

I did not buy that UFC card and shame on anyone that did.  Card looked bad on paper, heard it was just as bad.  I mean Crocop still gets a fight, and BJ Penn has been a has been for a while now.  If he fought Frankie Edgar 100 times he'd lose 105 of those.  GSP is still going to walk through Diaz.  I'm far more exciting for the Junior/Cain showdown in November.  That is going to be f'n epic.

I am addicted to those damn power pak puddings by MHP.  I break out the Jif Natural PB and then eat it together.  This has replaced my cottage cheese and peanut butter late night snack.


Hope everyone is having a GOOD Monday, bitches.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Perfect squat form.........

Also notice the head position, since I know people who argue with the head down position.  I still don't know why people talk about looking up or driving the head back in a squat.  It's still a pet peeve of mine when people are talking about squatting.  Anyway, before I get on a rant and lose all train of thought, great picture....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Training - Heavy Back

Bodyweight - 237

Rack Pulls mid-shin - 135 x 10, 225 x 5, 315 x 3, 405 x 3, 500 x 1, 585 x 1, 650 x 1, 605 x 3
Deadlifts from floor - 405 x 1,1,1  500 x 1,1,1  Just testing speed
Hammer Shrugs - 8 plates x 10,10
Low Cable Rows - 5 sets of 15
Db Curls - 40's x 5 sets of 15

Notes - Felt like shit.  Sucked nuts.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Improving Chins

Chins are what I'd call that second tier of movements.

Squat, bench, dead, overhead.........chins, rows, dips, etc.

Chins develop the lats, upper back, grip, forearms, and biceps.  Solid all around upperbody pulling movement.

At 265 pounds I've done 85 pounds for 5 reps and 100 pounds for 3 reps.  I've done 75 x 5 for multiple sets of 5 at 240 pounds and 20 reps on tons of occasions at 240+.  These were full range chins, not that half range shit you see a lot of guys doing where their head is 6 inches from getting to the bar.

I personally prefer doing v-bar chins.  They are easier on my shoulders, and I feel like I get more mid-back into the mix.  Chins CAN be hard on the shoulders, so use a grip that causes you the least amount of pain in that regard.  Let me repeat this, USE THE CHIN GRIP THAT IS MOST PAIN FREE FOR YOU.

If you want to use a lot of different grips, widths, and all that jazz, that's cool too.

Some high level overview points about chins to really improve chin strength -

  • Chins seem to respond a lot like big lifts, in that if you improve your lower rep strength on them, then ability to rep bodyweight gets easier.  
  • There is nothing wrong with doing a ton of sets of 5 with bodyweight only.  I used this tactic a LOT, then would have a heavy chin day every third week or so with great results.  
  • Throwing in lat pulldowns every so often and giving the chins a break helped as well.
  • Using a 5x5 periodization scheme was good for me too.  I hit my best (100x3) that way.  I just used a calculator and spreadsheet and worked in the numbers over the course of 8 weeks or so and hit a nice PR.  And that was at 265 and I gained weight over the course of that period.  So the whole "I gained weight and couldn't chin" thing is kinda out.  Just keep chinning.  
  • I never got more out of chinning multiple times a week than once a week.  Your mileage may vary but that's how it was for me.  I have chinned 3-5 X a week before, and I never noticed anything better from that than chinning once a week.  
  • On the flip side, my wife improved her chins like crazy by hitting em everyday for months.  So again, there is always the other side of the coin.
  • My take on the two above scenarios is this.  The stronger you are, the more recover you need.  Tiff could only do three chins and then worked her way up to doing 10.  Obviously I could do more than 3.  
  • Don't be afraid to use that anti-gravity machine to get reps in.  
  • No, I don't have that spreadsheet anymore for when I did the 5x5 calculations.  
Anyway, improve your chin strength.  Why?  Because it's fucking manly that's why.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Conditioning levels....

Sorry for the gay cell phone pic but I said I'd get a pic up in a month of where I was conditioning wise.

My weight is actually up a little bit from a month ago when I was down to 232.  I will get a clearer pic but this was taken last night at 237-238 pounds..........

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

BigLifter goes 9/9 and elite at 165

Bigs sent his write up about the meet to me.  I want to say, 9 for 9.....that is how you fucking do it.  Train for success!  Not this "if you didn't mis a lift you didn't go heavy enough" bullshit.  1300 @ 165 raw and drug free is a hell of an accomplishment.  Big congrats.


Overall went 9/9 totaling 1300 in the 165's, raw/drug-free/all that jazz:

Squat - Just felt on from the first warmup. Previous meets, I would always cut the depth close and usually draw one red light on the last attempt.  This time, all whites and I credit the pause squats in getting more confident in the hole.  I'm beyond convinced that doing box squats kept my squat from progressing for a long time and was about the most retarded thing a raw squatter can do (practice relaxing in the bottom; not too brilliant in retrospect).  465lbs. on the final lift

Bench - Always been a shitty bencher, but at least progress is happening again.  This was a weird one, because my last attempt flew up the easiest.  Not sure if I got tighter, more fired up, hit the pause right at the sweet spot, or what happened.  Left some on the platform, but finished out 295lbs.

Deadlift - Tore this one up.  And again, I have to thank the inclusion of the backoff sets during training, in helping me to gut out that last attempt.  Always would be gassed after the 2nd, but Saturday I finally got it right.  Pulled a 3rd attempt 540lbs. nice and clean. 
Looking back, those backoff sets were just the ticket to kick this whole thing in high gear.  I used to do the typical shit you see everyone do; work to up to a 1-3RM weight and call it a day.  But that was like getting 10 feet away from the finish line and never crossing.  Thx again. 


Weekly Q & A

Leave a name and question!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Training - Light Press

Bodyweight - 237

Seated Db Press - up to 110's x 10
Incline Press - 315 x 2, 225 x 10
Upright Rows - 65 x 4 sets of 20
Tricep Sissy Machine - 4 sets of 15

Notes - Total -10% session.  Like being force fed Mr. Snuffleupagus shit.  It's not that it all felt "heavy" just that nothing would fire.  Totally out of gas.  I blame that fucking retarded ass sled session from yesterday on it.  Will try to get a solid 9 hours tonight.

LRB Template with the Strong-15

So if you are going to do a meet, and want to run the LRB template to do it, we can talk about how I'd do that.

The assistance work can stay the same/play with it whatever.

My recommendation is to run a Monday, Wednesday, Saturday schedule.  That way you have two days off between squats and pulls.  Or you can do it like the template says and Squat on Monday, bench on Tuesday or Wednesday and then pull that Saturday.

Either way, if you wanted to use the LRB template with the strong-15 this is how I would personally set it up.

Week 1 - 

Day 1 - Bench with heavy assistance
Bench - cycle
PBN - heavy - 2x5
Side Laterals - 5x15-20
Pushdowns - 5x15-20

Day 2 - Squats with heavy assistance
Squats - cycle
Pause Squats - cycle
Hacks - 4 x 8-10
Leg Ext - 4x20

Day 3 - Deads with light assisatnce
Deadlift - cycle
Shrugs - 4x20-30
Leg Curls - 4x20
Curls - 4x20

So as you can see, you line up all the assistance stuff in the same "heavy heavy light" system as you do in the normal LRB template.  The only thing that changes in the first big movement.

Week 2 - 

Day 1 - Bench with light assistance
Bench - cycle
Seated Db Press or Machine Press - 3 x 15-20
Upright Rows - 4 x 20
Overhead Rope Extensions - 4 x 15-20

Day 2 - Squats with light assistance
Squats - cycle
Pause Squats - cycle
Adductor Machine - 4 x 20
Abductor Machine - 4 x 20

Day 3 - Deads with heavy assistance
Deadlifts - cycle
T-bar or Barbell Rows - 5 x 8 to top heavy set of 8
Good Mornings - 4 x 5 medium weight
Curls - 4 x 10

Notes - None of the assistance work is carved in stone.  Just be cognitive of what you are using, and why you are using it.

My other recommendation honestly, is to drop the majority of the assistance work for the last phase of the strong-15.  Pare things back to the squats, pause squats, deads, bench, and curls (yes the curls god dammit!).  After that you need to get an idea of the things that might be helping you the most.  So your assistance work needs to be tailored for YOU.  Not me, or someone else.

Don't neglect conditioning during this phase.  Pare it back to walking, but get that in 3 times a week minimum.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Training - Conditioning

So my fight instructor decided he wanted to push the sled today.

We ended up pushing the sled for a fucking hour, and my legs were so numb I couldn't fucking stand for about 20 minutes.

This is what we did -

no weight on sled 80 yards x 3
2 45's - 80 yards x 3
4 45's - 80 yards x 3
2 45's sled pull (low handles) for 40 yards, then 40 yard sprint
4 45's sled pull for 80 yards
6 45-pound plates 80 yards x 1

Then we did 80 yards for 4 sets of sled rowing with cleans, 4 total plates.  Then finished it with a superman with 4 45's x 80 yards.

Fuck that asshole with a porcupine dildo.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Training - Light Back

Bodyweight - 237

Speed Deads - 315 x 5 sets of 3

Hammer Shrugs - 315 x 30,20,15,15

Leg Curls - 80 x 4 sets of 20

Db Curls - 30's x 4 sets of 20

Notes - Nice little session.  Took a while to get moving and warmed up but after I did I felt good.  80%er.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Problems Posting?

I've gotten a few e-mails saying people couldn't comment on posts.  It may be a problem with the blogger software or something that has been cached.  Try a new browser or clear out your internet cache.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

LRB no-deload deload time

So I haven't trained this week other than conditioning.  I am doing my no-deload deload.  In other words, I am not lifting right now.  I have been going at it pretty hard for a while and I am starting to feel a little beat up, and mentally not looking forward to my lifting.  I know that's when it is time to take a break.  My IT bands are screaming right now.

Some of the things I was able to do over the last couple of months in terms of progress....

Got in shape again.  Bodyweight is usually between 235 and 240 now and I'm pretty lean.  Back in 34 pants.
I need to be at 240 but even leaner.

Front Squat - 405 x 1 and 365 x 5
This needs to be 455 x 1 and 405 x 5 so I will keep working towards that.

Squatted 565 beltless easily.
Need to be hitting 585-605 here easily

Just missed a 700 block pull below the knees.
Need to block pull 725

Did 245 x 3 on press behind the neck (not to failure)
Need to be at 275x5 here

Db Overhead Pressed the 100's x 17, 120's x 10 and the 110's x 12
Need to be at 110 x 20 here.

So as you can see, I am not taking some shots in the dark, I have some very specific goals in mind.  Over the next training cycle(s).  My assistance work is paying off as other than a little overuse in my IT bands (which I think is from all the conditioning I have been doing actually) I feel damn healthy.  My changes have been very positive in every way.

My next training cycle I won't change a lot.  I will use my light leg day to do more glute work, as I think my glutes could be stronger and more developed.  So I will be focusing on that a bit.  Other than that I think most of it will look the same.

Week 1 -

Day 1 - Heavy Press
Close Grips
Upright Rows
Dip Machine

Day 2 - Heavy Legs
Hacks or Leg Press
Leg Ext

Day 3 - Light Back
Speed Pulls/GM's
Leg Curls

Week 2 -

Day 1 - Light Pressing
Seated Db Press
Incline Press
Side Laterals
Rope Extensions

Day 2 - Light Legs
Pause Squats/Fronts
Glute Machine
Barbell Hip Thrusts
Adductor/Abductor Machine

Day 3 - Heavy Back
Block Pulls
Heavy Rows

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Early Beginnings and Rob Bascue

I wrote this a while back and never had a chance to share.  Rob wanted me to write this up for his site but he wanted a more condensed version.  However everyone here knows I'm a wordy mother fucker, so I refused. LOL  But I still wanted to put this up and give Rob the props he deserves.


The paths that life presents to us are many.  Some walks along these chosen paths will be trivial, and some will be life changing.  For better or for worse, the paths that we choose will mold and shape who we become, and how we see the world and the people around us.  

In the summer of 1989 I would make a decision to walk a path that would forever change my life.  

A year before, my very best friend who was like a brother to me had been killed in a motorcycle accident, and my parents had divorced.  My father and I never had a close relationship so when my mother left him, I departed with her.  I now found myself living in a small two bedroom apartment with my very pregnant sister, a mother who was trying to finish nursing school, and another sister whose life was fairly nomadic.  I spent my days sitting in a tiny bedroom playing Nintendo, watching movies, and smoking cigarettes.  My existence seemed pointless and hollow.  I never contemplated suicide, but I often wondered if I had any purpose for being on this planet.  A black cloud of depression hung over my head constantly, and any attempt to fight it seemed futile.  I felt like I had no way out.

One day at the store I picked up a martial arts magazine and thumbed through it while waiting on my mother to finish grocery shopping.  I had taken martial arts for several years before and had an interest in doing it again.  Inside that magazine I came across an interview with a young guy teaching Ninjutsu, named Rob Bascue.  At the end of the article his phone number and address were given.  He was in Albany, Oregon.  You don't have to be a geographical wizard to probably know that Oregon and Mississippi are a couple of miles apart.  Nevertheless I bought the magazine and called the number when I got back to my sisters apartment.  

Rob Bascue

Over the next couple of weeks Rob and I talked and figured out how we could work things out for me to come out there and train.  I would stay at his parents home and rent out a bedroom and train there in the basement studio.  For money, I would pawn my double bass Yamaha drumset.  This would buy the Greyhound bus ticket and give me the cash that would take me from north Mississippi to Albany, Orgeon.  Four days of riding across the country at a mere 14 years old, all by myself.  

On the surface this seems like a dumb idea to anyone on the outside looking in.  But for me it just made sense.  Even if were only temporal, I would be leaving behind a life of depression that was eating away at me.  For a while I could focus on something else.  For a while, I could be someone else.  

Selling my parents on this idea took some time but after they talked with Rob for a few weeks everyone got on board with the plan.  I did my 4 days on the Greyhound and arrived a very crusty, but happy, citizen at the bus stop in Albany.  Rob's brother Ron was waiting on me and drove me to my temporary summer home with Rob and his folks.  

I don't recollect the first time I actually met Rob, but that is probably due to the fact that all I could think about was getting a shower when I arrived.  I do remember being teased about my very long hair and my deep southern drawl.  

I arrived on a Sunday.  And training started bright and early the next morning.  Rob informed me that we would be going to the gym to lift weights.  I had done a little lifting while playing football but nothing serious for sure.  Rob shoved some orange juice in my face and said "let's go."

Rob had a Toyota truck that had been lifted several inches and it was quite difficult for me to climb into.  Little did I know this difficulty would increase 10 fold over the next couple of days.  We hit the gym and Rob told me we would be training chest.  He motioned me over to the flat bench where I had difficulty pressing the empty bar.  At roughly 110 pounds I was hardly the epitome of strength, even compared to my contemporaries.  We did set after set of flat bench press and then we moved over to the incline press where we repeated this same behavior.  We did several more exercises after that and I was exhausted.  Chain smoking 14 year olds that play Nintendo all day don't have the kind of strength and endurance you'd think they have.  No, I was in fact in very poor physical shape.  

Standing in a pool of my own sweat, I was informed by Rob that we would go eat lunch.  


We met his girlfriend out for lunch and much to my displeasure I was informed that after lunch we would be heading right back into the gym to do something called "back".  It was just day 1, and things were already full of suck.

We returned to the gym to do a whole host of exercises for "back".  After that we returned home for me to get my butt handed to me the rest of the day.  Rob put me in every class, from the raw beginners to the most advanced.  He made me spar against him and well, pretty much everyone who came into class.  Beat down after beat ensued.  Chain smoking 14 year olds that play Nintendo all day don't fight as well as you'd think they could.  My previous years of martial arts training did not serve me well.  

I crashed out early and awoke the next morning to the sound of Rob's voice telling me to get up, that we had to go to the gym.  I tried to get up, but I found out that I was completely paralyzed.  I literally could not move anything.  My body felt as if it had been hit by a convoy of 18-wheelers.  Rob's mother eventually came up and helped me out of the bed.  I ran a hot bath and somehow managed to get down into it and soak for a while.  My break was short lived and Rob was soon yelling from outside the bathroom door to hurry up.

As we exited the house, I spied his Toyota truck and knew that getting into that thing was going to be awfully painful.  And you can't imagine how right I was.  I groaned and whined as I climbed into this stupidly high truck and wondered why on Earth he needed such a vehicle.  Rob would only shake his head and laugh at me.

At the gym we would do legs.  Squats, and all kinds of other squats and leg presses were done and I hated them all.  Just like the day before, we left for lunch, only to return.  This time it was to do arms.  And just like the day before, we returned home where I participated in every class.  I got my butt handed to me over and over again.  Except this time the butt handed to me was incredibly sore.  Getting hit throughout the entire body by kendo sticks when you are that sore is a pain that is hard to describe.  So is getting kicked, and punched, and thrown around on a viciously sore body.  

Was I really paying money to do this? 

This pattern repeated itself for the couple of months.  But soon, my constant soreness dissipated, my reflexes improved, and after a while I was no longer getting my butt handed to me all the time.  Now it was only like 95% of the time.  

One day in the kitchen Rob's mother remarked at how fast I had improved, then got into a fighting stance to tell me she could still take me.  I flexed my arm playfully at her and for the first time in my life, I actually saw a muscle.  But this time, it was on MY body.

This might not seem like much to the average guy, but for me it was exhilarating.  The work I had been putting in had actually manifested itself in a way that was visible to the eye.  It was tangible.  I could see it, I could demonstrate it.  This gave me a sense of joy I had never felt before.  I was hooked.  Much like I had been hooked on cigs and Nintendo, I was now hooked on lifting and training.  And the harder, the better.

Summer ended and I left Oregon and returned home.  My nomadic sister remarked at how big I had gotten.  More importantly, my attitude was different.  Everyone commented on it.  No longer did I sit in my tiny room smoking all day and playing video games living under a dark shadow.  I got up and ran each morning, did push ups, dips, sit-ups, and worked on my Ninjutsu.  My mother graduated nursing school and we moved into a home.  In a storage shed there I found an old bench and two 25 pound dumbbells.  I would call Rob and ask him what exercises I should do and he would tell me, and explain to me how to do them.  Rob always made time for me even though he was busy growing his school.  

Years went by and Rob and I eventually lost touch, but I never quit training.  And because training became my focus, it helped me in my life in regards to good decision making even in my youth.  I had quit smoking, and never got into drugs or drinking because I knew they would negatively impact my training.  Becoming as big and as strong as possible was my obsession now, and anything that would negatively impact that would not be allowed in my life.  My confidence soared as I got bigger and stronger and improved in my martial arts.  That dark cloud that I had known for so long had been swept away, and I looked forward to new challenges in every aspect of my life.  I felt like there was nothing I couldn't accomplish if it was something I really wanted to achieve. 

My parents would later remarry, and we moved to Louisiana.  There I was able to join a real gym and would meet the love of my life and the most wonderful woman in the world.  16 years and three kids later we are still like newly weds.  And if not for my lifting and training, I never even score a date with this beautiful woman.  She only agreed to meet me through a mutual friend because he told her I was a bodybuilder (even though I am a powerlifter!).  And once we did start dating, one of the things that endeared her to me was how grounded I was.  I didn't like living in the bars or partying every weekend.  I trained hard and spent time with my family and watched movies on the weekends.  We went out to eat and went shopping and really got to know each other.  This may seem dull or boring to some, but it gave me the love of my life and a foundation of quality that most people never find in a relationship.  That's worth more than any high you're ever going to get off of drugs, I can promise you that.  Without training, I am not that person.  I have no idea where or what I would have been, but it would have cost me more dearly than I could have ever imagined.

I watched my nomadic sister destroy herself in a life of drugs, alcohol, and crime.  I saw many many friends do the same.  I saw more friends lose their lives over the years, many which could have been avoided if only they had made better decisions.  

I reflect back on my decision to go across the country and stay with Rob as possibly the single most important decision I have ever made.  It truly turned out to be one of those life altering paths.  And I am grateful everyday of my life for it. 

It takes a special person to be willing to take in a very troubled 14 year old kid, show him some tough love, and help him turn his life around forever.  There are a lot of things that people can give you in life, but few people will ever give you anything that you can be eternally grateful to them for.  

So when I found a certain Ron Bascue on Facebook I contacted him, and he gave me Rob's number and told me how much Rob would love to hear from me.  It's a pretty awesome feeling to be able to call up the person who helped change your life, 21 years later, and tell them just how much what they did meant to you, and how thankful and appreciative you are for the lessons learned from them.  But that's exactly what I was able to do.  It was just as awesome to hear how blown away Rob was.

I also bet it's be a great feeling to know that at least once in your life you changed someones ability to more often than not, choose the right path, rather than the wrong ones.  And that's what Rob gave to me.  I will always be indebted to him for that, and my hope is that I can give that same gift to someone one day, or have, and years later can hear about it the same way Rob heard about it from me.

Thank you Rob!

To give Rob a plug, his site is

Monday, October 17, 2011

Philosophical Question of the Week

I think I'm going to start these up because I always have these types of discussions with people.

You have to pick an option.  It is an a vacuum so no "what if" or "can I" stuff.

Option A - You get the spend the next year with the person of your dreams.  It will be the most awesome year of your life.  You will travel to the coolest places and see things you may never see again.  The sex will be the best you've ever had and you will never tire of it or that person.  However after a year, it will be over.  They will vanish and you will never see them again.

Option B - You can choose a person to spend the rest of your life with.  They will be dependable and reliable, safe and trustworthy.  They will always have a steady income and always "be there".  However, the relationship will be lukewarm in terms of passion and excitement.  

Pick an option and EXPLAIN why.

Thoughts about life, crap, training, and stuff

People will always disappoint you.  Always.  Expect it.

"Everything happens for a reason."  What a bullshit fucking saying.  That's the shit people say to you when they have no way to explain how things got all fucked up.  It's the most meaningless saying ever!  You can use it for virtually ANY situation and it works!

"My car has a flat tire."

"Everything happens for a reason."

"I got cancer and died."

"Everything happens for a reason."

"The milk I got from the store is sour."

"Everything happens for a god damn reason."

Bullshit!  Sometimes people just fuck shit up for no reason.  Sometimes things are practically perfect, and someone has to be an asshole and cause problems for no god damn reason.  I know people like this.  I know people who can't be happy, and their "everything happens for a reason" is their destructive attitude and behavior

If your girlfriend uses her relationship status on Facebook to let you know you're broke up, and you take her back later they should cut your balls off.  You are not a man.  You do not deserve the set of hangers you were born with.

My IT bands are in pretty rough shape.  I have been lazy about foam rolling and NOW I'm being forced to because when I wake in the morning they are stiffer than my buddy is.  I hate when I neglect something in training that I usually do and end up having to make amends for it.

Movies -

Real Steel - Took the whole family to see this.  It was really good.  The girls thought it was the best movie they had ever seen.  Obviously it's not quite the best movie I have ever seen, but it was very good and the wife liked it a lot more than she thought she would.  I liked the ending because it actually took a slightly different turn than I expected.  I won't spoil it for ya, but go check it out.

I went Halloween shopping yesterday with the family after the movie and they picked out their outfits in like 5 minutes.  I however, being the diva that I am, took about an hour and 15 minutes.  We have several costume parties to go to and I want my shit to be awesome.  I ended up going with a Roman Soldier but I'm lukewarm about it.  I know, if that's the worst thing in my life right now, things are going pretty good.

I have been buying those MHP protein puddings and I love em.  I eat em with peanut butter at night sometimes instead of cottage cheese.  I know, there is soy in there.  That little bit of soy isn't going to cause problems.  I mean really.

Funny conversation about movies this week at my work.  Time travel.  It's the ultimate cop out for not having to explain shit.  Once time travel is introduced into a movie, ANYTHING goes.  What I mean is, when I watch a movie I have kind of a reality bubble I put that movie in.  I know I have to suspend reality but the movie kind of creates a reality bubble within the context of the movie.  If you burst that bubble in the middle or the end of the movie, you will lose me (and usually the audience) because it all feels fake and contrived.

When you insert time travel, it's the ultimate "I don't have to create a reality bubble" copout.  This doesn't mean I don't like movies that have time travel in then.  But some movies use time travel as a way explain away everything.  In other words, there doesn't have to be an explanation for anything.  You can just make shit up based around the time travel.

I think the conversation was far more entertaining in person than I can explain on my blog.

I got blitzed Saturday night.  I haven't gotten that wasted in a LONG time.  Oh well, I kinda needed it after dealing with some shitty people over the past two weeks.  I'm good with it now though and as usual, it feels good to move on and cut that chapter out.

I hope everyone got blitzed and cried like bitches this weekend.  Welcome to Monday.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Training - Back - Heavy

Bodyweight - 240

Below the knee Block Pulls -
225 x 5,5
315 x 5
405 x 3
500 x 1
550 x 1
585 x 1
635 x 1
675 x 1
700 x M

Hammer Rows -
1,2,3,4,5 plates per side x 8 reps

Hammer Shrugs - 1,2,3,4,5,6 plates per side x 10 reps
Good Mornings - 225 x 5 sets of 5
Some stupid curl machine - 4 sets of 20

Notes - Felt like a zombie in the gym, which is weird because I got to bed early last night knowing it would be heavy back day but I was still tired as shit.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Training - Legs - Light

Bodyweight - 241 WTF?

Front Squats -
135 x 10,5
225 x 5
275 x 3
315 x 3
365 x 5

Leg Ext - 5 sets of 20
Good Girl Machine - 4 sets of 20
1 legged squats - 2 sets of 20
Calf Press - 4 sets of 20

Notes - REALLY solid 80%.  I felt like shit but had a good one, if that makes any sense.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Getting Jacked - Part 8 - Summarizing

So let's put this whole thing/series into perspective shall we?

Chemically -

Raise your test levels - Do this by making social changes or chemical changes.  Both are conscious choices and decisions you have to make.  If you want to stay natural, then you need to decide what it is you need to cut out of your life.

Lower Cortisone - Partying, external stress, and bullshit have to go.  The longer you stay single the better.  And I mean single as in no girlfriends either.  Sleep and quality food have to make up your life for a while.

If you decide to go the "better living through chemistry" route, then be smart about it.  Always make less mean more, and don't do shit haphazardly.

Conditioning -

Get in shape.  Do steady state for 30-45 in the morning, and do some intervals a few times a week.  There is no reason why you can't make this happen.  If you're a fat, out of shape slob just do the steady state until you feel/see the adipose dropping off.  Then SLOWLY add in some hills/sprints/whatever.

Diet -

Low glycemic carbs for the most part only.  Sweet potatoes, oatmeal, brown rice, Ezekiel bread, etc should make up the bulk of your carb consumption.

Low fat early in the day with higher carbs, then higher far in the evenings with low/no carbs.  This means lots of meat and veggies and that's about it.  Post-workout a shake in milk is just fine.

Training -

Get stronger on the big lifts in the 1-5 rep range and focus on a progression plan.

Get your hypertrophy work from assistance stuff on the heavy days where the reps are a medium but still going heavy.

Use the light days to get a ton of reps in for injury prevention and recovery.

Look at assistance work as a way to get bigger muscularly and for injury prevention.  "Weak point training" is bullshit.  You're always going to have "weak points".  The time you spend shoring one up, another one would just take its place anyway.  Stop chasing your tail after weak points and just concentrate on getting big, strong, and as injury proof as possible.

This covers every god damn thing you need in training as far as I am concerned.  If you are going into a meet, see my strong-15 plan.  But training in the above manner will keep you healthy going into meet prep and should keep you healthy.

Deloads -

Fuck a deload.  You are in the gym to get better, not warm up and leave.  If you are burnt, take time off until you feel "hungry" again.  Then get right back on it.

Intangibles -

Set goals.  Short term and long term.  Conquer them.  Don't let anything stand in your way.  But be realistic as well.  Don't say "I'm going to deadlift 500x20 in 6 months" when you just did "400x15".  You are being an idiot.  Write down 400x20 for 6 weeks.  If you get there before 6 weeks, do 425x15 or what the fuck ever.  Making your goals attainable will keep you focused.  Especially when you have a set back.  And you WILL have a setback at some point.

Be specific about your goals.  Looking "jacked" is really not specific.  The whole point of this series to focus on the functions that create your form.  You don't train to look a certain way, your training produces that look.  So the point is, if you focus on getting strong and being in shape you will LOOK like you want to look.  But you need to be specific about what numbers you think you need to hit, and you need to have conditioning goals to meet as well.  Don't set sail on a ship with no destination or plan on how to get there.

Don't fret every god damn detail.  If I say 5 sets of 20 but you feel like shit and do 4 sets of 10 because you are dog assed tired, that's fine.  The template isn't that specific.  One of the things the template does is allow for variation for what you need.  Not just for a specific time period but for that day.  What if I want to use that glute machine in the corner?  Shit, I'll go use it instead of doing leg curls.  This keeps training fun, and the fact is training should be challenging AND fun.  No two ways about it.

Be patient.

Kick ass.

Death is winning.

Do something.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Training - Pressing Light Day

Bodyweight - 239

Seated Db Press -
40's x 20
50's x 15
80's x 5, 3
110's x 12, 6

Incline Press -
135 x 5
185 x 4
225 x 3
275 x 2
315 x 3
275 x 8

Upright Rows - 65 x 20,20  75 x 20,20  110 x 15, 115 x 15
Tricep Dip Machine - 230 x 20, 15  170 x 15,12

Notes - Really nice 80%er.  No PR's obviously but energy was good and felt strong.

In-Season Training For Sports

So obviously football and rugby season is here and some of the questions I've been getting asked is about training during the season.

So let's talk about how I believe training should be scheduled during the season.

Strength Maintenance 

So the bottom line is, you're not going to get stronger during the season.  Period.

If some guy does, then his piss test would burn a hole in the proverbial piss cup.

Everyone knows why Lattimer got stronger during the season...

I'm not saying its impossible to hit a bench PR on curls or some shit during the season, but for the most part you're not going to get stronger.  The main issues during the season is to do your best at maintaining the strength you built in the offseason, keep you healthy, and keep you mobile.

Exercise Selection

During the season proper exercise selection is key and I say this because I believe that using dumbbells and machines when possible are a great option during the season.  Especially dumbbells.  During the season your body gets beat to shit.  Your hands and elbows and knees all hurt, along with all the various muscle areas that are hurt/injured.  With dumbbells, you can row and press and allow your hands and joints to move in paths that is easier on the joints, and gives a more "free" range of motion.  When you use a barbell movement you get more "locked in" to the bar path and the ROM is more limited than with dumbbells.  This is more difficult on the joints.  If you don't think so, get an injured wrist or elbow and stick with barbell movements and see how much trouble they give you.

So when possible, switch over to dumbbell movements and possibly machine movements to give the joints a break during the in-season part of training.  Of course, you still need to squat and pull in my opinion, however if you are a chronic knee-hurt guy and leg pressing feels better, there is nothing wrong with dropping squats in season and using leg press as your stable for lower body work for a while.  Just make sure that in the offseason squats are made the cornerstone of lower body work again.

Now to be clear, I'm not saying to exclude barbell movements.  I'm only saying if it "hurts" to do a certain barbell movement, drop it for a dumbbell or machine version if possible.  There is no glory in adding even more pain and misery to the season.  You should be getting enough of that on game day.


This is perhaps the most important part of training in-season in my opinion.  As we've already covered, strength maintenance is the real key during the in-season portion of training.  You're going to be tired and feeling like shit for the most part of the season.  Taxing yourself even more is a fruitless endaevour.

Your biggest/heaviest workout of the week should come the day after game day.  This way you compact in all  your hard shit into a smaller time frame, and increase your recovery window.  If you have a game, then train hard the day after the game, then again a few days later, you're just asking your body to do things it's not going to be willing to do during the season.  And second, why the fuck would you be benching or squatting heavy during the middle of the week when you play a game in a few days?

So let's focus on the heavy session of the week....

Day 1 - Heavy

Legs - Squats/Leg Press - 5,4,3,2,1,1,1 - 1x3
Start off with squats or leg press.  You can even vary these week to week if you want to.  Remember, the key here is strength maintenance.  Work up to a "nice" clean single and a nice back off triple with about 20% less than the top single.

Pressing - Incline Press/Bench Press - 5,4,3,2,1,1,1 - 1x8
Again I suggest rotating these two movements week to week.  I personally think the incline has better application to football but everyone loves to bench.  If the bench causes pain, do dumbbell.  Again, there is nothing wrong with movement rotation here to avoid injuries.

Power Cleans - 5,4,3,2,1,1,1,1,1
Work up to a "top" snappy single here as well.  If you want to alternate with the hang version that's fine too.

Db Curls - 4 sets of 10 medium
Front Raises - 4x15 light
External Rotation - 4x15 light

 That's the "heavy" day down and done.  The singles could vary by a lot depending on how you are feeling after game day or with any injuries you may have.  Just get the work in and don't sweat numbers at this time.

Day 2 - Light

This day should happen 2 or 3 days after the heavy day.  Getting more blood into the muscle groups and recovery is what this day is all about.

Leg Extensions - 4 sets of 20-30
Light here with a nice controlled tempo.  I'm not a superslow guy obviously or anything like that, but this is supposed to be about getting blood into the quads and through the tendons.  Not jerking a weight stack around.
Lunges - 4 sets of 10 - This is mainly for mobility.  Get a solid good step and stretch everything in the lowerbody out.
Machine or Db Overhead Press - 4 sets of 10-12
Pulldowns/Cable Rows/Face Pulls - 4 sets of 10-20
Rope Pushdowns - 4 sets of 15
Reverse Curls - 3 sets of 15

This whole session should go fast and furious.  Weight on the bar isn't important on this day.  Getting blood moving and recovery is what we are after.  After this session you should feel better than you did before you went in.

Game Over man, game over!

When the season is over, take a physical and mental break until the "hunger" returns (and for you offensive linemen I'm not talking about Waffle House type hunger).  When it does get back in the gym with a plan to get bigger, leaner, faster, stronger, etc.  This is where you make the biggest strides in getting better for the season.  But during the season you don't want your hard work falling to the wayside.  So pour your energy into the one big session a week, then get some recovery on, and be ready for game day.

Bill Paxton doesn't have a clue as how to train in-season........

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Training - Light Back and Biceps

Bodyweight - 239

Good Mornings -
135 x 10
225 x 6 sets of 5

Hammer Shrugs -
3 plates per side x 30,20,20,15,15

Chins - 5 x 5 bodyweight only

Some Curl Machine - 4 sets of 20

Notes - Got 2 hours of sleep last night.  Had to help a buddy out for a while.  Tried to get a nap but no dice.  So I went in and got it done anyway.  An 80%er but barely.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thoughts about life, training, crap and stuff

The last couple of weeks have been filled with some moments of bliss, sadness, confusion, joy, and angst.  Such is life sometimes, and these times test our mettle, patience, and reveal who we are and what kind of integrity we are made of.  Thus the saying "hard times don't build character, they reveal it."  I've dealt with the loss of a good friend, cancer surgery for my father, and emotional pendulum swings from people I love and hold dear to my heart.  In my younger years, I would have a lot of anxiety and frustration because you feel so helpless in these situations.  And a lack of control gives birth to fear, and fear gives birth to anger.  But no longer.  Do I still feel frustrated?  You bet.  But I do a better job of keeping my emotions under control than I used to.

It is still difficult however, when you deal with someone you love or care very much about that has trouble seeing the forrest because of the trees.  I don't know that there is anything more frustrating than talking to someone and trying to explain something you KNOW to be true, but they can't accept it because in their mind they have fears that cloud logic.  It is their reality, but it's not really reality at all.  It's like being scared of the boogey man in the blackness.  Your mom or dad can reassure you that he's not under the bed, but it doesn't matter.  The fear still grips at your heart and paralyzes you.  You can't sleep, you can't relax.  All you can do is pull the covers up over your head and pray you live through the night.  Then the morning comes, and you realize all the fears were unfounded.

This is a microcosm of how some people live life.  With the covers pulled up high over their head, unable to breathe, unable to relax and think about the comforts of their bed or hear the whispering of the crickets outside, or drumming of the rain on the roof.  They are so obsessed about their fears that those fears become reality because they WANT them to.  It's all they can think about.  Then life passes them by, and one day they wake up realizing all of the things they missed out on because they were afraid of something that was never REALLY real.

The most frustrating part of this is being the mom/dad and trying to convince said person that they need to let go of these fears and just live for the good things that are already presented to them.  As my status this week on Facebook read...

"Time spent worrying about what you CAN or CAN'T have, is time lost appreciating what you DO have."

No matter how many ways you phrase this or give examples, some people refuse to let go of their fears.  I don't know if it's a self punishment thing, being stubborn, or a combination of the two.  

I once worked with a guy that I fixed up on a blind date with my wife's friend.  

I told him she was a man eater.  And that she would try to bust his fucking balls the whole date.  Not to let her.  Don't let her dictate the evening.  She will try, and if she wins, she will get bored and lose interest in you. I told him this shit all fucking week.  But the date came, and she made him change the eating plans, the movie plans, and the post movie plans.  A week later she shrugged him off after the second date and was done.  

"I fucking told you not to do that."

"I know but I thought I was appeasing her and doing the right thing by being nice."

God damn, this still infuriates me to this day.  I spent the whole week talking to this retarded asshole, telling him EXACTLY what was going to happen if he didn't man the fuck up, and not let her railroad his ass.  He did not listen, and the outcome was exactly what I told him it would be.  

I hate when I can see the outcome for people, and spend energy telling them this will happen because I've seen it over and over again, and they think they are unique.  They think they are special.  

"You can't tell me that.  You don't know my future."

Maybe not, but I can get ballpark 9 out of 10 times.  I'm a damn fine judge of character too, and if I've seen a behavior 10,000000 times, I am going to bet that the odds of it repeating itself on 10,000,001 are pretty solid.  But stubborn people always want to go out and learn the fucking hard way. 

"The difference in the fool and wise man is, the fool learns from his own mistakes while the wise man learns from everyone else's."

This is one of my favorite sayings because it's so true.  No one REALLY asks for advice when they encounter trouble.  What they do is seek affirmation that what they WANT to be true, really is.  This is why people seek out close friends and want them to justify what they think.  Not what they NEED to hear.  Because most close friends just tell them what they want to hear.  

I am guilty of this as well, as we all are.  Thankfully I do have a very good friend who no matter what, tells me what I NEED to hear and not what I WANT to hear.  And I ALWAYS take his advice and do what he suggest.  His advice has never failed me, and I am thankful for his friendship and guidance.  

Sometimes the toughest road is the right one, and sometimes it's the wrong one.  And there isn't always one way that wins over the other.  Sometimes logic is right, and sometimes letting things just flow is right.  You can't really always know.  But having solid council that is not emotionally attached to the situation and doesn't always tell you what you want to hear is a good place to start.  Shit, telling a complete stranger is sometimes better than asking your friend or friends because they are emotionally involved in your life as well.  They may think they know what is best for you based on the relationship you have with them, but the fact is unless they are capable of being impartial, steer clear of those mother fuckers for advice.

Training is going good.  

Keep your chin down bitches, otherwise you will get knocked the fuck out.  

Training - Heavy Legs

Bodyweight - 237

Beltless Squats -
135 x 10
225 x 5
315 x 4
405 x 3
455 x 2
500 x 1
525 x 1
555 x 1

Hammer Strength Hacks -
2 plates per side x 8
3 pps x 8
4 pps x 8
5 pps x 4

Leg Ext - 4 sets of 20 (heavy)
1 legged squats - 2 x 20

Notes - Was really tired.  Bad night of sleep and a lot of personal stress this week.  Still an 80%er.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Training - Heavy Press

Bodyweight - 237

Press Behind the Neck -
bar x 30
135 x 10
175 x 5
225 x 3
245 x 3
225 x 5
185 x 5

Close Grip Bench -
135 x 10
225 x 5
275 x 4
315 x 3
335 x 1
365 x 1
315 x 6

Upright Rows/Overhead Triceps - 6 sets of 15

Notes - 80%er.  Got a bit sidetracked by a guy that spotted on me on bench that happened to share a bunch of mutual friends, as it turned out.  Wazzup Chris.

Anyway, solid session but nothing spectacular.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Getting Jacked - Part 7 - The LRB no-deload "deload"

Anyone who has read my blog long enough or enough of my articles knows I am not a fan of planned deloads.  They don't make sense to me and never have.  Yes I understand that some people do like them and do well with them, however I don't and I don't plan in deloads with my training.

Generally guys plan a deload after 3 weeks of training.  This, kind of like peri-workout nutrition, is supposed to be based in "science" however like peri-workout nutrition, I've never seen anything that merits worrying about it as much as most people do.  This comes back to science vs anecdotal evidence.  So far as lifting goes, I generally put more stock into anecdotal evidence than scientific studies when it comes to these types of things because over time you get a big enough sample to see things for what they really are.  

So the theory is, deload after three weeks of training to avoid "overtraining" or burnout or hitting a rut, whatever.  The deload is supposed to "save you" a bit if you will.  I personally think guys should be thinking about how to stack as many 80% graded training sessions in a row for as long as possible until you'd rather get raped by Mr. Snuffleupagus in a deserted hotel in Beirut than go to the gym.  

Let me also say that I'm not saying downtime isn't required in a lifting program/template.  It is.  However planning downtime doesn't make sense to me.  I've gone 3 and 4 months before with solid steady progress training my ass off, without taking a day off.  I didn't take a day off because training was always progressing and I felt like training hard.

That last sentence is the real key in my opinion.  Knowing when to take time off for me, comes very easy.  When I dread going into the gym for more than two sessions in a row, that's it.  I take time off until MENTALLY I am craving the weights.  Until I feel like I am jumping out of my skin to get back in.  I need to feel "hungry" again.

In my youth I rarely remember taking time off.  This is because the recovery is very high for young dudes.  You aren't pushing a ton of weight and your cells are regenerating at a much faster clip, natural test levels are at all time highs, growth hormone is abundant, and you can eat like a fucking killer whale.  This makes for a great time to train high-everything (volume, intensity, frequency, whatever).  One of the reasons I made good progress in my young years is because I didn't do deloads or do a lot of routine jumping.  I was limited to what I had in my home for a long time and when I did join a gym I can remember doing the same shit for many years on end (leg press, squats, stiff legs, bench, incline, dip, pbn, chins, rows) and just trying to constantly add reps to X weight, then bump the weight.  This was my staple for a long time along with back off sets.  And it worked.  I took time off when I got sick, but I never had planned deloads.  When I started lifting at 14 I was 113 pounds.  4 years later I was 220 pounds.  If I deloaded every month like people talk about that would have been 12 weeks of solid training that I missed out on a year.  That's 3 months, a whole summer.

Fuck that noise.

The other thing about deloading that messed with me was taking weight off the bar.  Did I get weaker over a week?  No.  Did I mentally "deload"?  Yes.  For me I need momentum going forward with weight on the bar, and I sort of "relax" when I remove plates from the bar.  I've had other guys tell me this exact same thing so it's not just me.

"What about when you hit a rut for a while but still feel good about training, Paul?"

I just drop the weights back a bit (but not light, might you) and ramp back up.  That's pretty much it.  And it works.

So am I telling you to train with wreckless abandon and go all out without ever planning time off?  Not completely.  Every 6-8 weeks give yourself a check as to where you are physically, mentally, and progressively.  If you are still hungry to be in the gym and your body feels good, stay at it.  If your weights have stalled, back up and get another run and go.

If you feel good mentally but your body is beat up, see if you just need to rehab some shit, apply some ice and back off what makes you hurt for a while.  Yes, that means changing a movement if it causing pain, but you still feel hungry to train.

If mentally you feel beat down and dread the gym, get the fuck out of there.  How long?  Until you feel HUNGRY to be back in.  Then decide what your course of action will be, what it is you are trying to accomplish, and attack that shit like a fireball of awesome.

That's pretty much it.  I don't overthink things, I just let my mind and body tell me what to do as far as this goes.  I feel like it has served me pretty well.  

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Training - Heavy Back

Bodyweight -235

Below the knee Rack pulls -
135 x 10
225 x 5
315 x 4
405 x 3
500 x 1
550 x 1
585 x 1
635 x 1
675 x 1

Hammer Rows -
1 pps x 8
2 pps x 8
3 pps x 8
4 pps x 8
5 pps x 8
6 pps x 8

Hammer Shrugs -
225 x 30
315 x 20,20,20
405 x 20

Barbell Curls - 65 x 20,20,20  55 x 20,10,10

Notes - Great session.  A solid 80%er after the last rack pull.  I was feeling a bit sluggish but got going after that rack pull.  I have some nasty cold still with drainage and a cough.  When it clears I expect some big weights to start getting moved.