Sunday, December 11, 2011

Putting my money where my mouth is......

So Saturday ended the 4 week yoke routine.

It's the initial phase for beefing up the areas involved in the deadlift.  Setting the "stage" if you will.

Did my plan work?

Well I'll let you be the judge.

This is me back in July at 252 or so pounds...........

And this is from this morning at 235 pounds..........

There is no trickery or flexing or anything going on here.  That's just 4 weeks of my hands hurting, and doing trap work 3-4 times a week.

Here are two more pics to illustrate the progress.

This pic is from Halloween, right after I got out of prison and full of "tats" (and if you can't laugh at this, go fuck yourself with a turnip).......I was around the same weight.  235 pounds or so.

And here is now at 235 pounds.........

Conditioning wise, I ate about 90000000000 calories in carbs last night, hence me being a little more smoothed out.

I also don't know why I look like someone just ate the last piece of chocolate cake in this pic, but I do.

And one more from the rearview, because everyone likes a rearview shot.........

Just contrast that to my above shot on the website page, and I think the difference should be obvious.

I had some variations within the program based on a given day.  But I'll reiterate here how most weeks looked.

Monday - 
Dynamic Deadlifts - up to a top triple for 2-3 sets, then regular shrugs to a top triple.  A back off set of dynamic shrugs, then a back off set of regular shrugs for 15-20 reps.
Ab and Calf Work

Tuesday -
Pressing and curls

Wednesday - 
Upright Rows - I found I liked doing something like strip sets here or something crazy, like the 65x50.  I did do some high volume too.  I really played this one by ear.
More Abs and Calves

Thursday - 
Squats and shit like that.

Saturday - 
Mid-shin Deadlifts with Shrugs - Basically I would do a mid-shin deadlift, then do shrugs with it for reps.
Usually I did lots of sets of 5 with 500 and 585, then sometimes with 635.  Then a back off set of 15-20 with 500.
Afterwards I would do more upright rows, usually with cables or something different.
After that I did arm work.

Notes - 

  • My neck stayed pretty jacked up after the first week, and I don't mean in a good way.  It hurts as I sit and write this.  I recommend being prepared to get some ART or deep tissue on it once a week.  I will do that this week.  
  • Your hands with take a fucking beating.  My callouses hurt like a mother fucker after week two.  Thankfully I am smart (ok so I'm not, but I was about this) and I filed those bitches down so that way a session was never killed because of a ripped callous and raw flesh.  
  • Get some good straps.  I went through a pair.  Jamie told me to get some straps from Spuds.  If I ever run this again, I will.    
  • The one thing that happens when you are hitting a bodypart this much, is that you REALLY get in tune with it.  I could make my traps work, or feel them work, on just about anything I did after the first two weeks.
  • I did this while continuing to diet, though my weight didn't change a lot in the last month.  I have been living off of whole eggs, protein shakes, red meat, and veggies.  Carbs have been VERY limited other than cheating once a week on Friday or Saturday night as a carb up.  This also proves what I said about improving some muscular areas on limited calories.  It can be done.  I do NOT believe it will work for overall muscle mass, but some small individual parts can be improved.  Overtime however, you could apply this to the whole body, adding bits of muscle here and there, without getting fat, and getting bigger.  You see where I'm going with this????  
The next stage will be shoring up the erectors and hamstrings while maintaining the work I have done for my traps.  I will go over all of that shit in the article, and talk about the plan for a big pull this year.    


  1. this is awesome paul, u look the same size just leaner with a bigger neck, wow

  2. That much development in only 4 weeks is pretty damn impressive. There is a huge difference in size from the picture of you at around 250 and the one at 235.

  3. Thanks Shawn. I hope to see similar improvements in the hams, back, and erectors over the next 6 weeks.

  4. Congrats on the traps Paul, and injury free.

    I have a question which doesn't pertain to your traps, but this is your most recent article so I'll ask her.

    I am a relative novice, maybe intermediate now, lifter. I think I have bad shoulders, can I still do dips? I hurt both of my rotator cuffs in the past year because of too much dipping and too much chinning. Both times I completely cut chinning and dipping from my routine and the shoulder healed up. I couldn't stay away from chins though and slowly started to work them back in. I have found that if I ditch my ego and do slower reps (which in turn leads to less reps per set) my shoulders can take it. I want to try to bring dips back, is there any advice (form, reps, weighted/bodyweight etc.) that you can share in order to save my shoulders?

    Much appreciated,

  5. Rob,

    Yeah, if you try dips and they hurt don't do em. You need to have a big picture view here. If you are a relative novice and you're already hurting, then you're doing something terribly wrong. Just as I did.

    But I would also recommend doing some front raises and good rotator cuff work to shore up those areas.

  6. Paul, you touched here on bringing up a body part in a deficit, and I've been meaning to ask you about that. 1) Can you remind us what article you discussed that in previously? Was it one of the LRB pieces? 2) Does that advice hold true for conditioning phases in general? Specifically, I'm hoping to run your UB cycles starting in late winter, and I'm wondering if I can use the conditioning phase as an opportunity to do something like that. I never do any single-muscle stuff except for triceps and abs. Thought it might be fun to bring up biceps or calves or something if it's feasible.

  7. I've actually talked about it several times. If it's just 1 bodypart I believe it can be brought up even in a calorie deficit. Again, my 4 weeks here proves this to be the case.

    whole body? obviously not. If you want to get bigger overall, you need a calorie surplus. But biceps or triceps? Sure, shouldn't be an issue.

  8. Pics of your tanning bed!

  9. Don't have one. I go to tan. And here in KC you better because it's like living in Alaska during the winter. Sun completely disappears.

  10. Paul you could be a bodybuilder from what I see, good genetics. Nice work on the yoke. I like your theory that 1 bodypart can be brought up even in a calorie deficit; you may become the new bodybuilding messiah :D.