Friday, March 30, 2012

Thoughts about life, crap, training and stuff....

Jim had a great little saying up on his site from a Q&A he did.  Basically, training is for GO, not show.  He has a family to protect, so he trains accordingly.  I love little sayings like this, because they should always put things back into perspective.  Even if you do powerlifting meets or strongman, or train in your basement.....your training should always be to make you a badder mother fucker.  The motto's I constantly lean on are "Be in shape" and "your function should create your form".  Jim's saying here is just another reflection of that.  Train to be strong, do conditioning to be in shape, practice some form of self defense.

What the fuck do you think lift, run, bang really means?  Strength, conditioning, fighting........

By golly my leg is getting better!  I was able to do some movements today without a ton of pain!  Yippee!!!  First time in months.  Obviously Wendy knows her shit, and I'm very lucky to have her to lean on when I get into a situation I can't fix myself.  Which isn't often.  But I think I'm going to try and get some videos with her once a month to address any questions or concerns you guys might have.  When I do, I will give a heads up about it and you can send in any questions or videos about what you have going on.

Still won't be squatting 650 at the meet.  Oh well, I guess 1800 will have to come another day.  I'm not totally ruling it out.  It will come down to how I feel backstage warming up.  If 500 is flying off the handle with no pain, I may take 650 for a ride.  But we'll see.  It'll all come down to meet day and how much pain I'm in when I squat.

Summer is already upon us.  My allergies are already kicking my ass, and we've already had some 87 degree days.  I can only imagine the hell that is going to be unleashed on us this summer from the Devil's asshole.

So there was a place close to me that the wife and I used to visit.  A little lounge that was really classy with couches and awesome bartenders.....and they closed.  It's a shock to go to "your place" and realize it's been renamed and under new ownership.  They took this place, which was very upscale and classy, and turned it into a god damn sports bar.  Although I can't lie, their wings are the best I've EVER had.  I mean by a fair margin too.  And the bartender made me this red velvet cake martini that is now my new favorite drink.  In fact, I drank them out of cake vodka.  No  kidding.

The last couple of weeks has been unreal hard for me personally.  My mom had surgery and I had some other personal things going on, but I'm glad things have worked themselves out and shit is most definitely on the upswing.  I have had time to do a lot of introspection about things and I'm making some positive changes in my life, and it's rubbing off on friends as well.  Not only that, I've been able to help some other friends out that have been going through similar problems, and I think it's been beneficial to them as well.

I have in fact had a stomach bug.  I have spent the last few days shitting my brains out (I KNOW you wanted to know that).  So I'm going to take a few days off from training to try and recover.  I am not sweating it at all.  In fact, I'm a little crispy and could use a little rest.  I never sweat this stuff anymore, because I've been training long enough to know that a little extra rest has never hurt anyone.  In fact, you often come back stronger.

My wife wants to do a show after my meet, so I think she's going to end up talking me into doing a bodybuilding show to get ready for with her.  I may do this.  I'm on the fence about it right now, but I wouldn't mind doing a show for one of those "bucketlist" check off things.  I would still never call myself a bodybuilder, even if I did it, but that's just me.  I have never really viewed myself as a powerlifter either to be honest.  Just more of a strength athlete or athlete overall.  I wouldn't mind doing it, just to see if I could.  I've never gotten truly shredded so I'm interested in seeing how I would fare in the process.  My guess is I'd be around 210-215 in contest condition.

I'm stoked about all the movies coming out this summer.  Especially the Avengers.  I'm such a fucking nerd.

I'm going to watch the Girl with the dragon tattoo this weekend.  I hear good things.  I expect a movie boner. Anything less will be a disappointment.

I'm in the process of getting shirts done.  I can't wait for em!  I love the new design!

I got some mega million tickets.  If I win, I will never post here again.   Just kidding.  This would become my new full time job.  I've said all along,  I do this because it's my passion, not because I have anything to sell.  I'd still blog if a Zombie apocalypse happened.

Is it wrong that I WANT a Zombie apocalypse to happen?  I think it is, but it seems fucking exciting.

I hope all you dudes and gals have a great weekend, and thanks again for all the support and comments you guys have for me.  It really does make my day.

Do something worth talking about on Monday this weekend!


Thursday, March 29, 2012

MMA Blurb - UFC 145

I don't really understand what even started the beef between these two. I feel like Rashaad kind of got jealous, and that perhaps this entire ordeal between them could have been solved by one of them changing weight classes. I suppose leaving one of the best, if not the best, coach and camps in the MMA game, accomplishes the same thing. I'm not knocking Rashaads choice here. The change in camps may help him, but sometimes, bumping heads is inevitable, especially when two people are in contention for the same belt. 

I don't get why they couldn't just put their dukes up before. Marathon runners train together. Then guess what? They go race each other at the marathon. Rinse and repeat for lots of other sports, except for MMA of course, like it's bobsledding. I'm not saying Rashaad and Jones should have built bunk beds and re-enacted scenes from Rocky. Just don't make it so fucking dramatic. Brothers fight all the time.

I favor Jones in this match.


Rory MacDonald over Che Mills
Brendan Schaub over Ben Rothwell
Mark Hominick over Eddie Yagin
Michael McDonald over Miguel Torres
Stephen Thompson over Matt Brown
Efrain Escudero over Mac Danzig

A big part of me just wants to get this card over with so UFC 146 can come. I am interested in seeing Thompson fight again, and of course, the main event, but feel like some other matches need to step up, win the bonuses, and make this card worth it.


I am looking forward to Stephen Thompson, aka Wonderboy and favor him over his opponent Matt Brown. I want to see more of those kicks.

The heavy-weights for UFC 146 were surprised with a UA at a press conference in Nevada. Nevada ain't playing around.

James Toney made some disparaging remarks about Rampage and also some other shit you can't understand. His speaking, if it were written instead, would be non legible. He sounds like he is speaking in wingdings.

Movies about fighting, mma, or fighters, seem to be exploding in volume. I should try to drag Paul onto the bandwagon and film a weightlifting documentary.

Joe Rogan and Dana White are going to continue to yell at us.

A gallery of awkward MMA photos.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Training - Tugs

Bodyweight - 240

4 inch block deads - worked up to 635 and called it a night.

Been crapping my bowels out all afternoon. Should have just waited till tomorrow but I'm dumb. Well, actually, I wanted to pull when I felt bad to see what I would be capable of. Sometimes you need to know these things.

I may not pull next week if I am still feeling like shit. This was the second -10% session in a row.

Not good.

Q&A - SPPC Challenge Check in

April 1st is nearing us, and so that I avoid all of the April Fool's bullshit, anyone that had the sack to continue the 1 year challenge of Squat-Push-Pull-Condition is coming up on the 3 month mark.  Please check in and write about how things are going and any recommendations.

I've got the meet coming up in a few weeks, I'm beat to shit, my personal life has been in the shitter, I've got new shirts out, I'm still writing on the book.  So there are lots of stuff to ask about.

Leave a name or your question may not be taken seriously..........

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I would like to give a HUGE thanks to Jennifer Iron, my graphics design Warlord, for making a stupid good new design for the new shirts that will be affordable (finally).

Please "like" her fan page right here.......

and check out the new shirts!!!!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Training - Bench

Bodyweight - 240

Close Grips -

Felt like shit.  Total -10% session.  Think I strained my right front delt a bit too.

Incline - 225x20

Upright Rows - 95 x 5 sets of 12

Notes - See above.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Training - Squats and Interview with my PT

Bodyweight - 243

Leg Press - 6 plates per side x 4 sets of 20

Pause Squats - up to 455 x 5 singles, then 500 x 1

Not as much pain today. Still not pain free by any means, and 500 was not fast on the pause squats, but I feel like I'm making progress.

Lunges - 4 sets of 20

Here is the interview I did with my PT about what my injury is, and we're doing to fix it.

Part 1 and Part 2 -

Friday, March 23, 2012

The 65 pound barbell challenge

These things are fun.

Over the weekend or whenever you want, slap a 10 on each side of the barbell and try this out.

Do 6 sets of 12 reps of curls.  You can only rest 60 seconds between sets.  60 SECONDS.  No longer.

Keep the reps strict.

It's only 65 pounds for the love of God, don't turn it into cheat curls.  And don't shorten the ROM.  Full curls.  From the bottom to the top.  Again, it's only 65 pounds.

Report back to me how you did.  No bullshit.  I know it's the internet and people can make shit up, but show some stones and report back how you actually did, and what all you noticed.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Training - Deadlift

Bodyweight - 239

4" block pulls -
650x1 PR

650 is a PR at this block height so I figured what the fuck, I'll double it. But I've had a tremendously bad week, and gotten about 6 hours of sleep over the past 2 nights. I think on a good night the double is there.

Deadlifts - 550x3,3

Rehab Work for hip - 30 minutes

Notes - Stupid tired tonight. Mentally, emotionally, and physically drained. This has been a tough week. My mom is having heart surgery tomorrow and I have other things going on that have just drained me. I am satisfied to have pulled the PR on a week like this.

Winning with anecdotal evidence and common sense

If there is anything that drives me crazy about the net, it's the obsession over theories and microscopic nuances that matter so little in training, you'd never notice it if you could get you could just let go.

My knowledge base of training and dieting over the last 2 decades has been built mainly through trial and error, along with reading a lot of magazines, books, and watching videos.  When the internets first exploded I found lifting boards much like a lot of guys.  Everyone exchanged ideas and discussed theories and all the usual shit.  But I was surprised at how much shit I read from guys concerning how you HAD to do things.

I was once told, after telling guys that they didn't have to squat and deadlift to get big, that I was flat out wrong and I would be getting a phone call so I could get my shit straightened out.  

No joke.  

There were other things too that I've written about before.  I thought speed bench was the dumbest fucking thing I ever heard of.  I argued with people to the hilt about this.  Was told I was a moron, and didn't know shit about training.  Or was asked "how much do you bench?!!?!"  

Since then, the majority of geared guys have now dropped speed bench in favor of "the repetition method".  You know, where you just do some reps.  Why the fuck did it need a god damn fancy name?    

I had this same argument with guys about box squats.  It made no sense.  How was a lift that unloaded the entire lower body supposed to help a raw squat, which loads the bottom portion the hardest?  Two very opposite things.  Again, I was told I was stupid and obviously knew nothing about training theories and methodologies.  

Now guys that have made the switch from geared lifting to raw lifting have all confessed that the box squat is pretty much worthless for raw guys.     

No way?!?!  

Jeez, I'm soooo dreamy.  

This isn't a "look how smart Paul is" post.  Just a shout out to using anecdotal and common sense, to make good training decisions.  

Anecdotal and common sense training methods trump "scientific" bullshit to me.  

If you want someone to tell you some supplements, go read up on scientific training methods.  I've found that those two things often go hand in hand.  As soon as you start reading a "scientific training" article, before you know it, that article is telling you that you won't ever gain another ounce of muscle due to this new finding unless you buy their fucking supplement.  

Just to add to this, kind of randomly, a guy recently wrote about me that I replace "scientific knowledge with profanity".  

Fuck yeah I do.  

Cursing is manly and makes me look like a caveman.  Cavemen weren't scientists, thus they had nothing to sell.  And you can't trust a salesman, therefore you can indeed trust me.  

Now with that out of the way, let's cut through some bullshit for the day shall we?  I'll address some of the common arguments I read about, and some more shit I catch shit for, but won't budge on because well, I have a pretty awesome bullshit detector.  

  • Steady state vs HIIT - Guess what, they both work.  Who knew?  I believe from my experience that it's all in how you use them that makes them effective.  Bodybuilders have been doing steady state in the morning for decades to get ripped.  Guys have also used interval training to get ripped as well.  My thought about this is, if you're trying to get in bad ass shape, do interval work, but treat it like lifting.  In other words, make sure you're properly fueled.  Don't do it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.  I think that's a fine recipe for burning through muscle.  If that's your only option, have something before you do it.  Just keep it light.  The best method is to do steady state, which has TONS of benefits, 3-4 times a week and an interval session 1-2 times a week.  Unless your goal is to get into bad ass conditioning shape.  Then do 3 interval sessions a week and 2 steady state.  Point of all of this is, they both work.  Just pick the one you like and roll with it.
  • Low reps build strength, medium and high reps build mass - I really can't believe still discuss this. 1 rep max strength is built best through reps of 1-6, mass with reps of basically about 8-20.  I laugh when I hear guys talking about all the mass they built from triples and shit, where "bodybuilding didn't work for me."  Maybe if you actually learned how to work hard enough it would "work"?  

  • Peri-workout nutrition is overrated - Another sham by supplement companies.  You need all this shit to take before, during, and after your workout.  Here let me tell you that I've done every method of that and nothing beats food.  Last year I settled in on my cottage cheese and rye bread 2 hours before training, and that was the best thing I ever found for making sure my blood sugar and energy levels stayed good throughout the workout.  Lately all I've been doing is a cup of coffee for a kick.  After I train, I eat food.  Nothing has ever worked as good for me as just plain ol food after a workout.  The only caveat I will add to this is, I can tell a difference when I drink a good BCAA during my workout.  Other than that, I don't think shit matters.  I laugh when I hear guys talk about "make sure to use an isolate after your workout to ensure recovery."  Go get fisted GNC boy.  Figure out if you train better a little bit fasted (some do), or if you need a slight amount of food a couple of hours before you train.  Afterwards, just have a good meal with clean food.  Don't ask about fucking macro nutrient ratios on that meal either.  The point is, just eat.  It works.

  • High carb or High fat - This is another one that annoys me.  Bodybuilders used mostly low carb methods in the 70's to get lean, with higher fat ratios.  In the 80's, they switched to higher carb, low fat diets.  Guess what?  They both worked!  Oh the humanity!  Dorian Yates literally did calorie counting on a high carb diet to get lean as hell.  Don't think so?  In his Blood and Guts book he talked about how he would just drop his calories in the 4K range or so, and hold there, do more cardio and he'd lean up into contest shape.  Yes I'm aware that Dorian MAY have used a fat burning aid, but the point still stands.  If you don't like low carb diets, a higher carb/low fat diet will work for getting lean.  I don't give a god damn what any diet guru or anyone else says.  Guys have done it plenty of times.

  • High Intensity or High Volume - Again, both work.  In fact, I think you need both if you want to really have complete development.  But you can't go overboard on either.  If you are going to do some SHIT (super high intensity training) then you have to limit your volume.  If you're training high volume intensity must be more limited, unless you're just sticking to singles.  One way to combine these is to limit your volume on the big mass building lifts, along with some high intensity, and then go high volume on the small stuff.  This is exactly how the new big-15 mass building program is built.  I can't wait to start running it after this meet.  

  • Weak Point Training - This one is still my fave.  I still read countless of guys out there arguing this point.  If they are arguing it's generally because....
    • They don't know what I am talking about when I talk about weak point training being bullshit.  
    • They are stupid
The whole theory of weak point training comes from geared powerlifting.  The term "weak point training" generally refers to the strength curve from gear.  For each guy, gear works a little differently.  So guys have to things to figure out where the "weak point" in the movement is for them, based on that transition.  

Raw guys do not have "weak points" in this regard.  Before some message board guru pops in to put me "in my place", let me beat you to the punch.  You're wrong.  

When I talk about weak point training, I talk about it in terms of the movement.  For a raw guy, when he misses a lift 99% of the time he's going to miss it at the same spot.  This is not a "weak point".  This just means he's not strong enough to make the lift yet.  This is why I say "get stronger."  A more "scientific" way of putting this is, the lifter didn't generate enough force from the bottom portion of the lift, to move it through the transitional phase.  That's a fact.  This is why things like pause squats and pause bench are such great helpers for the lifts.  They build strength in the bottom position of the movement.  This again, is not weak point training.  I'm using the lift, to build the lift.  Adding in a pause does not change the lift.

Weak point training is not doing face pulls and rows and db benches and all sorts of shit like that.  That's just god damn training.  I've heard raw guys say "my lockout was weak so I did board presses."  This shit makes me laugh.  I've never seen a raw guy miss a bench at lockout ONE TIME in my life.  If you say you have, it only means you don't know what lockout is.  It's the last few inches of the press.  Raw guys don't miss there.  They miss at midpoint.  Once the bar clears midpoint, it's pretty much a 100% deal they will make the lift.

Lots of guys from the 70's and 80's never did anything besides the actual competition lifts.  Squat, dead, and bench.  And got brutally strong.  Let me break this news to you.  You're no special snowflake.  If your goal is to get as strong on the possible on the big 3, do the big three.  Sure, there is nothing wrong with throwing some shit in after.  I do it too.  But mainly for other reasons.  I keep rep work in because I want to get bigger, but other than that, I don't venture outside of the big 3 much anymore for when I am prepping for a meet.  Squat, pause squat, bench, incline, some curls (for my elbows), block deads, regular deads, stiff legged deadlifts.  

I don't need text books or scientific studies to prove to me what works.  In fact, often times those things end up running counter to what real life shows us over and over again.  Strength is not built in a test tube.  It's built under callouses and a loaded bar.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hip update

Saw my PT tonight.  Good news is that nothing appears to be torn.  Apparently my right glute is pretty dormant.  So my hip corkscrews from the right side in.  I shift when I go up and down.  It's a motor firing issue.  So I have to get that right glute to firing better when I squat.  I have no idea if I will be pain free for the meet, but I'm going to go ballz out on the therapy until then.

What's funny is, I had this strange feeling that it was a glute issue, with my glutes not firing correctly.  I guess it's time to get my ba-donka-donk on.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Training - Bench

Bodyweight - 239

Close Grips with pauses -
bar x 40
135 x 10

Blurgh.  Felt way off tonight.  405x3 should have been very doable but I just couldn't get everything feeling right.  Oh well.

Incline - 315x10  Fuck you 10 reps.

Db Curls/Db Skulls supersetted - 4 sets of 20 with 40's

Notes - Ok session.  I'm starting to feel a bit worn down.  Just a few more weeks to go.

Thoughts about life, crap, training and stuff....

Walking Dead Season 2 - One of the best seasons of any TV show I have ever watched.  That was how much I enjoyed it.  Lots of things that make me go "what the fuck?" though..........spoilers below if you haven't seen it and you're one of those "omg don't tell me" assclowns...
  • Everyone had to know Shane wanted Rick out of the picture.  I mean, let's get real.  Then they are surprised or "mad" at Rick when he offs Shane in order to save his own life?  Someone HAD to see this coming.  And his wife is mad why?  I'd tell that bitch to get bent.  She's pissed off that I killed a man that had every intention of killing me?  
  • Everyone has the virus.  I totally forgot about this from season 1.  Oh yeah, they're mad at Rick about that too.  I guess he should have told then that, but what difference does it make?  Darrell, the only smart guy in the group, is the only one who says anything that makes sense.  "He's does alright by me." in response to the closet lesbian saying they should all get away.  Get away to where, bitch?  
  • Herschal's line of "Christ said there would be a Resurrection of the dead......I just thought he had something different in mind." I lost it.  Great line.  
  • Semi anti-climatic for a season ender.  But still, the season overall was fantastic.  
My Physical Therapist is coming over this week to check me out.  She thinks I could have a tear, but needs to have me perform some mechanics first.  Either way, I'm doing the meet.  I can squat 550 any day of the week with the flu.  So if worse comes to worse I'll walk in and squat 550 then go for the 450 bench and 700 pull.  I think even with the pain I should be ok for 600.  Just depends on how severe it is.  

So on Saturday night me and the woman went out for St. Patties Day.  We have a spot near the house that has been "our spot" for a long time, but we have not been going out much the last many months and haven't been there.  So you can imagine we were pretty shocked upon arrival at our place, to see that it was no longer "our place".  It had been renamed and somewhat remodeled inside.  All new bar tenders and everything.  We still went inside, because we wanted to find out what happened.  Apparently the manager of the old place decided he was just done.  He closed down a couple of weeks ago and that was that.  We couldn't decide if we were going to stay or not, but we had some friends meeting us there so we hung out for a while.  We were hungry and the bar tender told us the chicken wings were awesome, so we ordered.  And she was right.   Best I've ever had.  And HUGE.  I ended up staying and drinking 9 red velvet cake martinis, which I think might be the best drink I've ever had.  We ended up having a great time, but it's still kind of sad to me because that place carried a lot of awesome memories for us with a lot of different people.  In some ways it almost feels like an old friend passed away.  Maybe I'm just sentimental.  

I have finished up the pre-hab/injury and mass building chapters of the book.  Boy this thing is going to be long, but packed full of about everything my pee brain has to offer and then some (is that possible?).  

After this meet I'm switching gears for a while regardless of the outcome.  I'm not going to write about it now, but I'll just say I have some goals I have had in mind for some time that I've never really gotten after.  I'm going to make it a priority.  

Manning to the Broncos.  Wow.  What an idiot.  If it were really about winning another SB he would have gone, you know, to a team that has a CHANCE at doing that.  The Broncos have no shot. 

I started back up steady state this morning and will be back on it every morning for a while.  With some schedule changes I've not been able to get it in and my weight has slowly been creeping up.  So it's time to keep things in check and make sure I keep the steady state in there.  

Not a ton to add today.  Allergies are already kicking my ass.  I also feel like I need more sleep now that the poundages are getting close to what I call "heavy" for me.  Need to dial in more sleep starting this week.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Training - Squats

Bodyweight - 235  cleaned up the diet again

Squats -

Still a lot of pain in my hip.  Was going to stay at 455 and rep, but there is still too much pain in there.

Pause Squats - 365 x 8 sets of 3

Lunges - 2x20

Notes - I didn't want to get stupid today.  The pause squats feel "ok".  I don't feel good technique wise because I'm favoring that leg and hip now.  Since the pause squats feel ok I will probably just stick with those until the meet and let the chips fall where they may.  That's all I can do for now.  It is what it is.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Darksidin'.........obsessions......Part 3 - The Big Empty

Everyone who picks up a weight, and keeps picking up weights, is trying to become something they currently are not.  

Let that sink in for a minute.  Try to grok it.  

To grok - to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. It means almost everything that we mean by religion, philosophy, and science—and it means as little to us (because of our Earthling assumptions) as color means to a blind man.

To grok something, is not just to know it, it's to understand it so much that it's part of who you are.  It's part of your soul and your energy.  You understand it as much as anything you will ever understand in your life.  

Let's get back to that, in a bit.

The fun house - 

If you've ever been in a fun house, you know they have all these different kinds of mirrors.  Some make you look short and stocky, or tall and skinny.  Some make you look all squiggly.  

Lots of people who train for a long time, especially bodybuilders and/or fitness competitors, end up living in one of these fun houses when it comes to their own perception of how they look.  

I've got a friend who is 300+ pounds lean at 5'8", and his wife told me they have gone to bodybuilding shows and ask her "am I as big as that guy?".

To which her response was "that guy is 198 pounds."  

I know fitness competitors that OBSESS over the smallest amount of "fat" (skin?) on their ass, or thigh.  Not just at competition time, but year round.  

I need more mass!

Your training life, just like your personal or professional life, is a journey.  Or let me say, it's supposed to be.  People are in such a hurry to arrive at their destination that they never enjoy the trip, or even bother to ask themselves, what happens when or if I arrive at that destination?  


Make a new goal?  

Obsess over fat on their big toe?  

Want another inch on your bicep?  What do you think happens when you add that inch?  Yeah, it's not all you thought it would be is it?  Now, you just need arms another inch bigger.  

People that spend a lot of time trying to develop their body, often don't see themselves as they really are.  They are stuck in the fun house.  Looking into mirrors where they are too fat, or too skinny.  

A few years ago a good friend of mine was in the gym training, and he was the leanest I'd ever seen him.  And the biggest maybe too.  He was getting ready to go on vacation for a week to Virginia Beach and wanted to look good.  

"You look awesome dude." I told him.  

He just kinda "meh'd" me.  

"No seriously, I've never seen you this lean.  You're definitely ready for that vacation."  

But I could tell he didn't think too much of himself at the time.  

Some years later he told me "I was looking back at old pictures the other day, and I pulled up those Beach pics.  I couldn't believe that was me.  I looked like that!  That was the best I ever looked."

"I told you that at the time."  

"I know man." he said "but the thing is, you never enjoy it when you're in it, because you don't see yourself for how you really are."

It was, without a doubt, the most poignant statement I'd ever heard in regards as to how people see themselves in this little sub-culture.  

You don't get to enjoy it while you're in it, because you never see yourself for how you really are.  

Never enough - 

I know all of this because I've lived it.  Well, not the fat on the ass part, that never concerned me that much.  

I remember thinking, when I was younger and around 150 pounds that if I was 175 I'd be a fucking powerhouse!  

"175, that's BIG!"  

When I got to 175, what do you think happened?  I found out that I wasn't Arnold.  I wasn't quite as uber jacked as I thought I'd be.

"205.  If I can get to 205 I will be fucking HYUUUGE!  That's over 200 pounds.  And anything over 2 bills is swole."  

205 came, and went.  And felt very much like 175 did.  

I wasn't impressed with myself.  I wasn't happy.  I was nowhere near as jacked as I thought I'd be.  

Then 225 and 240 came, so forth and so on.  Never happy.  I didn't look like I thought I would look.  I also remember feeling fat and terrible once I cracked 245 for the first time.  I was a bloated hippo carcass.  But not as sexy.  

At one point I was 280.  Fat and miserable.  Now in fairness to me, I got to 280 because the wife wanted me to gain sympathy weight with her, and my love for food put up very little of a fight.  Ok so no fight at all.  In fact that love pushed me with full force right into this exploration.  

I stayed at around 270-280 for a couple of years.  I wasn't strong at that weight either.  I know some think I would be, but my work capacity sucked.  I didn't train very hard really because I wasn't really training for anything in particular.  

I began to hate that fat weight eventually.  And as soon as the wife was ready to start dieting I was all in.  I got back down to 230 or so within a few months.  Felt better, started training harder again, and never desired to get fat again.  

It was also some time between that period and now, that I lost all desire trying to get super massive and huge and all of that.  I'm talking pro-bodybuilder size.  I became very content with who I was, physically.  I just wanted to be strong and in shape.  Thus, one of my mottos.  Be strong, be in shape.  

What happened eventually, is that I ended up looking like what I had wanted to look like, or close to it, without training specifically to look a certain way.  

Or maybe it's just that because I removed that inability to see myself for how I really am, that I realized I looked a certain way.  My guess is, it's the latter.  I quit obsessing over how big my arms or lats were, and just worried about kicking ass in the weight room, in conditioning, and in fighting.  Suddenly, I looked better than ever.  I don't think my body changed all that much really.  I think I moved out of the fun house.

Dark steppin - 

One of the biggest reasons that a lot of young guys use, is because they live in the fun house.  And their mind becomes consumed with becoming something they currently are not.  

The problem is, as I noted before, as they grow or change, they never really see themselves for what they are.  This is why you have 300 pound guys with abs talking about gaining size.  

It's really no different than athletes making 20 million dollars a year talking about feeding their families.  It's absurd to the rest of us, but when you're used to a certain lifestyle, it doesn't feel absurd.  You still gotta buy 10 lambo's AND groceries.  You need those lambo's.  

So you have these kids, or even adults, and they see themselves as weak and small.  And no matter how much their body changes, or how many people tell them how big they are, they never reach the destination.  One of the reasons I believe that is so, is because guys see other guys bigger than they are and then go right back into "I'm small and weak" mode.  

Women do the same thing when they see another chic in fabulous shape.  

"Her ass looks better than mine."  

There's quite a few competitive bodybuilders at the gym I train at, and the biggest of the bunch came up to me one day and told me he knew who I was.  I was flattered, but even more so when he told me he had told his wife he wished he had the mass I did.  I was shocked because to me, this guy was really jacked.  But in talking I learned I outweighed him by 20 pounds, at similar bodyfat levels.  

People involved in fitness, powerlifting, bodybuilding, get in a mindset of comparing themselves to others.  And then they seek out adoration or admiration of others to give them reinforcement that they are "ok".  

This is the mindset that leads most guys to the darkside early.  It's the mindset that causes average gym rats to run pro bodybuilder dosed cycles and do shit they have no business doing.  And eventually their whole life becomes "what cycle can I run next?"  

That's a sad existence.  What kind of journey is that?  What's the destination?  

To get bigger?  

We've covered that.  It will never be enough if you are caught in that fun house.  

To get leaner?  Same.  You'll never see yourself for how you really are.  

To get stronger?  You're always going to be chasing some number.  

For you, and no one else - 

The lesson I learned, that got me over all of these hang ups, was a simple one.  But let's back up.  I didn't learn it.  I grok'd it.  

It's part of my thinking and who I am.  

I don't care if I have the biggest arms or lats or whatever compared to someone else.  If every single soul was wiped off of the face of the Earth tomorrow, I would still lift.  Without a single person to "impress".  I am a "lifer" because I love to train.  Not because I want to impress someone.  

If you can't grok that, you will end up caught in that vicious cycle of never enjoying where you are at.  You must do the things you do, for yourself, and no one else, and you must enjoy the journey.  If you aren't enjoying the journey, then you either have no destination or will never reach a destination.  

When I think of that scenario, I picture someone driving really fast through all of these exciting places.  With tall buildings and amusement parks, hot women waving from the side walk, and big flashing signs.  All the food and drink you could ever want, but you pass it right up.  

The journey.  

Then I see them at the end, in the dessert.  Nothing around for miles and miles.  Blistering heat and a thundering silence.  Their lips are chapped, and skin burnt.  They have a cup in their hand, but it's bone dry.  They thirst so badly for water.  Something they can't have.  

This is their destination.  

A big empty nothing.  

If you aren't doing the things you are doing for the right reasons, then you will end up in that desert.  Bypassing all of the great things you could have experienced during your journey.  

It's ok to want to be something you are not.  We all lift and condition and diet because of that very reason.  But trying to become someone else, or trying to be something else because of someone else or what they think, is a destination full of nothing.  This is the cup from which you drink.  And it will remain empty until you change your destination.  

When I show up in April for my meet, I don't care what anyone else there lifts.  It doesn't matter to me.  I'm there for myself.  To test myself against me.  No one else matters.  If I give it my all, and still don't reach my goals.  I will be happy.  Because giving it my all, is all I can do.  It sounds like dime store psychology, but when you really learn how to grok that, all of the negative associations you have about yourself fade away.  Your fun house gets torn down.  And your dessert is replaced by white sands and an ocean, and hot women bringing you drinks with umbrella's in them.  Your cup is never dry, and you never thirst for anything.  

And that feels good man..............

You think this goat gives a shit about abs and 800 pound deadlifts?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Training - Tugs.....the whole f'n show.

Weight - 240

4" block pulls -
635x1 ties PR

Speed Pulls - 525x3,3

Elevated Stiff Legs - 405x10

Shrugs (w straps) - 315x40

Notes - Threw in a vid for everything I did.  Just in case anyone wondered, which I'm sure you didn't.

Was tired as hell, so this was good.  Tired as hell is how I generally feel when it's time to pull at the meet.  So being tired and pulling is a good thing.

635 moved easy.  Feeling good about my chances here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Thoughts about life, crap, training, and stuff

Jesus Christ, this time change has kicked my ass!  I feel like I've been on a 4 day bender.  Tired as fuck and sluggish as hell.  Why don't they just leave it the fuck alone?  I hate the winter change when it gets dark after lunch.  That shit is dumb.  This shit where you can get the party started at 9 P.M. and the sun is still out rocks.

I remember the summer I spent in Oregon, shit it doesn't get dark there in the summer until like 2 in the morning. I'm exaggerating, but it I remember it seeming even later than usual when dusk would hit.

Peyton Manning is a slut.

My leg is infinitely better.  I have been stretching my piriformis every half hour.  I figured a few things out.

My right quad is not firing just right.  Seems to be my vastus medialis.  I know this because I can flex my left one hard, and my right one, well, not so hard.  This was reinforced on the 1 leg leg-extension when I could barely get 15 reps with a weight I was repping easily with my left leg.  But the piriformis is the real culprit here.  So I've been after that puppy with a purpose.

However, I doubt I will squat more than 500 before this meet.  I'm going to go light this coming weekend, then I am going to stick with 500 or so and do 455xAMAP for three weeks in a row.  My goal is to hit 15+.  If I can get to 455x15-20 I feel like 650 will be doable.  It's not the best of plans but anything much over 500 right now gives me tremendous pain.  So I'm going to do what I can in terms of rest and squatting to give myself a good shot at the 650.  I want it really bad, and I'm pretty sure 455x15-20 will put me there.  When I was good for well over 600 I think my best then was 455x12.  455x20 is SURELY 650 for me.  So I'll shoot for 15, which I think is realistic, but if the 20 comes, so be it.  If 455 for reps hurts it, I will figure something else out.  I will be doing some walk outs each week with 650-675 to make sure I have that feeling of heavy weight on my back.

Working hard on the book.  Over 100 pages now.

I received a shirt from professional penis pumper Jim Wendler this week.  Jim needs no god damn plugs or advertisement from me, so this is just a big thanks to J-Dub for being a friend and all the supportive he's given me for several years now.  I also realized after I looked at this pic, how much my back and traps have grown since I had the pic at the top of the blog taken.  In case you haven't been paying attention, the last three+ months were all geared towards trap and back training.  I think it worked.  I'm doing a whole chapter on bodypart specialization in the book.  I have really figured this shit out, I think.  If you have a bodypart that sucks mosquito nuts, I can fix it.

Movies - 

So I've seen quite a few recently.

Drive - Boy o boy.  Someone recommended this to me.  Starts off strong, and man I thought it just did a tailspin once it got going.  Spoilers - So the guy is basically a psychopath it turns out.  Not to mention, the whole quiet, not talking very much thing eventually got annoying.  You never knew if he was going to answer or not.  Leaving the money in a parking lot at the end, I mean, it makes no sense.  He could have at least dropped it off with the girl.  Or taken it.  Anything.  Also, nothing with the race car.  I mean that story went nowhere.  They had so many avenues to take this film into, and didn't really choose any.  There were just a ton of frayed story lines that never went anywhere.

Anyway, I ended up being neutral on it overall.  I didn't hate it nor love, I didn't like it or dislike it.  It was one of those where I was entertained but I thought it really missed the mark at the same time.  Pretty hard to do, so I must say I was impressed.  It felt kinda artsy to me in some ways as well.

Moneyball - I really liked this flick.  You don't need to know much about baseball in order to enjoy it either.  Hell, you don't even need to like baseball in order to enjoy it.  Pitt did a great job in his role, and you have to admire the real Billy Beane for turning down what he did in order to try and build a winner.  That's an honorable thing.

My 5 year old says funnier shit than anyone I know.  The other day she walked into the hallway and stood there for a second, and randomly said "I hate being as tall as dad's butt."  She then walked into the living room and told my 13 year old "hey, that's awesome!" at whatever it was she was doing.  These random phrases come out quite often, and they are always comedy gold.

I'm watching all the episodes of Deadliest Warrior with my kids.  They love this show as much as I do.  See, just because you have girls doesn't mean they have to be all wimpy and shit.  My oldest will start fight training after this meet.

So I've added more real food back into my diet on training days.  I love sweet potatoes but I hate cooking them, and leaving in the fridge all week.  I dunno, they just get kinda nasty.  So what did I do?  Baby food.  It's just sweet potatoes.  $0.70 a jar and I put in a pack of splenda and it's great.  Here is how my diet looks on training days.

7:30 a.m.
Breakfast -
6 egg whites
3 pieces of turkey snausage
1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt (full fat)

9:30 a.m.
2 scoops of protein

11:30 or so
2 turkey burger patties
1-2 jars of baby food sweet potatoes

2 scoops of protein

1 scoop of Syntha-6 in coffee (pre workout)

workout - BCAA

postworkout -
I do not like shakes post workout.  Food makes me feel better.

10:00 P.M. or so
2 tbs crunchy natural PB
2 scoops of protein powder

On non-training days I just take out the turkey burgers and sweet potatoes and go with a shake.  So basically, my shake diet, with or without MRP I don't care.  I can eat very little and stay at 240 pounds now.  Cardio tends to affect my weight the most.  The more I do, the leaner I get.  I drop it off a little, and I gain weight.  So I'm lucky enough that I don't have to change my diet much year round, just do less cardio to gain and more to get leaner.  That has it's pluses and minuses.  These diets will also be in the book.

I'm not naming the book RELOADED anymore.  I found out Layne Norton used that name, so I'd rather not be gay.

This may piss some people off, but I don't care.  Strong isn't deadlifting 800 with a 380 bench.  Ok?  It's also not benching 500 with a 500 deadlift, or the inability to do 5 chin ups.  If you are a perfectly leveraged mutant for a lift, good for you.  But there are equalizers in the field of strength.  I see so many guys pulling 750-800 now that look like they have never picked up a fucking weight that it's crazy.  Super long monkey arms that limit your natural ROM in the pull doesn't make you strong.  Your sub 400 bench proves that.  Jamie and I talked a little about this in our discussion.  You need to be strong at almost anything.  Not just the powerlifts or specialize in some random shit.  It just annoys me when I see some t-rex barrel chested guy benching 500+ or some monkey armed dufus pulling 800+ when both suck at everything else.  That's not strong.  Jim and I wrote up "what constitutes strong" for a reason.  There are equalizers.  Can you bench, incline, squat, overhead, deadlift, etc all tremendous amounts of weight?  Or are you just leveraged really well for one?  If you are, that's not your fault and you're just taking advantage of your gift.  I just get annoyed at people talking about how strong some guy is that is totally built for 1 lift, and ignore the fact that he sucks total balls in everything else.  I generally don't give a shit about this stuff, but I guess I got my man-period right now.   I never usually give a shit about this stuff.  I think my leg hurting is making me a grumpy bitch.

It was 85 today.  We had a total of 1 1/8 inches of snow ALL WINTER.  The least ever I believe.  The least since I've lived here anyway.  I wore cargo shorts most of all winter.  The only bad thing is, summer is going to be spanked baboon ass brutal.  Not looking forward to that unless I'm in the Caribbean somewhere.

My fight coach and I will be doing a seminar for women's weight training and diet strategies next month.  It will be at the Krav Maga warehouse/studio.  I will have more information on this soon in case anyone in the area would be interested in attending.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Training - Bench

Bodyweight - 243 (always up on Monday after the weekend)

Close Grips -
bar x 40
135 x 10
185 x 5
225 x 4
275 x 3
315 x 2
345 x 1
365 x 1
385 x 3 all paused

Incline - 315 x 10
Upright Rows - 135 x 15
Superset - db curls/db skulls - 35's x 30/30

Notes - Solid 80%er which is good after the total shit squat workout this weekend.

Feeling good about my chances at 450 close grip.  385 still has good speed as a triple with the reps paused.


Darksidin’.......obsessions..........PART 2

“I could do that if I took roids too.....”

Ahhhh, the good ol “I’d be that strong if....” statement.  I call this the mating call of the Internet lifting loser.  He’d be world champ if he only used that guys cycle.  

Here is a wake up call to that.  No you fucking wouldn’t.  

No amount of gear will turn you into Stan Efferding or Chuck Vogelphol or Ed Coan or Arnold if you don’t have the genetics, ability to handle that much shit (later in this article) and testicular fortitude to get there or surpass them (and no one is surpassing Coan).  

These kinds of comments are usually muttered by some asshole on youtube “benching” 455, but won’t show up for a meet, and has no squat videos but claims he can squat 625 rock bottom.  

Or by some kid whose entire existence is strife with jealousy and bitterness because he can’t measure up to something he so badly wants to be.  His entire existence revolves around trying to take someone down a few pegs so he can convince himself that he measures up to them in the bizarro world that he lives in.  

You are living in a dream world if you think that you can just run a cycle and all of a sudden be something special.  It doesn’t work that way.  I know lots of guys on big cycles that I am stronger than, that even outweigh me.  This isn’t a put down on them, or me propping myself up.  The message I am getting at here is that you have no idea how you will respond to these drugs, and more times than not, the big picture is, while you do get bigger and stronger, you’re probably not going to become some world beater.  You need a base to start with.  

I liken it to guys who wear multi-ply gear that have no fucking raw strength.  If you can’t squat 400 raw at more than 200 pounds, then you have no god damn business being in multi-ply gear.  None.  And if you can’t squat 400 naturally, then you really have no business thinking about steroids.  A 400 raw squat isn’t a very difficult feat.  I’m not going to apologize if that hurts some delicate sensibilities.  

I'll even go a step further.

A 350 bench and 500 squat and pull is doable by virtually everyone that picks up weights for an extended period of time, that’s over 200 pounds, unless you’re like 6’6” or some shit.  These are good numbers for a raw guy, but they aren’t other worldly.  Put in a decade of solid training.  If you haven’t hit these kinds of numbers by then, maybe take up something else if your primary goal is to be a bad ass strength athlete.  

But if these are your goals, you don't need cycles to hit them. Just the fortitude to be consistent in your training and eating, and it will happen.
Get a therapist...........

If you have put in your time, and paid your dues and decide you’d like to venture to the darkside, you still have one more question to ask yourself.


If it’s because you compete, that’s fine.  At least that’s something.  Bodybuilder, powerlifter, highland games, whatever.  If you are competing at a strength sport then at least you have a reason is legitimate.  Your competition will be taking something.  You’re putting in your time and money to compete, so why not at least try to be competitive?  

If you have to turn to testosterone because you have legit hormone issues, like low test, then by all means do what you have to do.  

But if it’s to be the “big guy at the gym”?  Get a god damn therapist.  

I know assholes who take massive cycles to just go to bodybuilding shows and walk around so they can say they were the biggest guy in a certain square foot area, or in attendance.  

You don’t need steroids man, you need a massive amounts of psychological help.  

You are such a shell of a man, that you need to take years off of your life (let’s not kid ourselves here), go through tren cough, a swollen prostate, bacne that’d scare a pit bull off a maggot wagon, receding hairloss, tiny balls, nightsweats, anxiety, high blood pressure, elevated LDL’s, gyno, sleep apnea, erectile dysfunction, and all sorts of other shit, just so you can be “the big guy in the crowd”?

And you don’t think you have mental or emotional problems?

Get a fucking clue, Dick Tracy.  

Look, everyone that lifts wants to be something they are not.  Let’s clear that up.  So that no one thinks I’m just throwing people under the bus randomly, or saying I have no flaws.  I want to be bigger, stronger, leaner, etc.  But I’m not willing to do certain things to do that.  Mainly because I would have nothing to benefit from it, other than some warped sense of self satisfaction.  And my personal satisfaction doesn’t come from what I look like.  Could there be a more hollow existence?  I personally don’t know if something else beats that, but I think it’d have to be up there.  

This does not mean I don’t take pride in my appearance, or care how I look.  But I let my training dictate how I look.  My eating dictates how I look.  In other words, my function creates my form.  I train to be strong and be in shape.  This is what ends up creating what I look like.  I don’t train to look a certain way.  If I happen to look awesome, this is a great side effect.  

I’m also not shitting on bodybuilders here, because I admire the dedication it takes to do REAL competitive bodybuilding.  But don’t call yourself a bodybuilder if you don’t compete.  And don’t take bodybuilder cycles if you don’t compete either.  You’re a moron if you do.  Period.

The guy that balks at me writing this literally has no comeback for that either.  

“Who are you to call someone an idiot for training hard and taking gear?”

“Why are you taking gear?”

“To be bigger and stronger!”

“For what?”

“Just because....”

Please go eat a dozen poison dart frogs and please do not mate.  

“Just because” is not a legitimate ground from which to argue.  You’re the reason why sane people call us meatheads.  You have no legitimate reason for what you do other than, “just because”.  

“Just because” is akin to “everything happens for a reason” in that it’s another phrase people use when they don’t have a god damn intelligent answer to give.  

“Just because” is the shit you tell your kids when you have no reason for what you just told them to do.  

“Go clean your room?”


“Just because.”  

"Just because" is the answer a serial killer gives when someone asks him why he killed 47 people in the shed behind his house.  

They say "just because" because they know any reason they give, is ludicrous and absurd and cannot be justified with rational thought.
If you’re running mega-dosed cycles, and not competing in anything, just quit man.  Just get out of the game.  You’re a certified ass clown, and need serious emotional and psychological help.  

On the flip side....

Before I go too far in railing one side of the spectrum, I also want to point out the guys that run huge cycles, that do compete, that talk about how gifted they are, and how “not everyone can do this”, or how not everyone is as genetically gifted as them, or as pro-bodybuilders or whatever.  

Here is a little secret.  

One of the things that separates pro-bodybuilders from everyone else, is their ability to handle doses that most people can’t handle, and can do so for long periods of time.  Some guys will try to say this is a bullshit statement, but it’s been backed by guys that have retired from that sport.  

Those guys are not genetic freaks in the sense that, if they didn’t take shit they would still be huge and ripped.

Get the fuck out of here with that bullshit.  Are you kidding me?  

They always point to Ronnie Coleman and say “Ronnie was natural as a pro, and was 215 ripped”.

Before and after Cell-Tech

This is true.  And Ronnie IS a genetic freak in terms of bodybuilding.  But Dorian Yates was hardly the pinnacle of mass and strength before he picked up a weight.  And you have no idea when he started running shit, so no one can say “well he was natural” blah blah blah, because there is no way to tell.  

What I can tell you is that, the biggest natural bodybuilders in the world aren’t much more than 200 pounds in contest condition.  And again, it’s not like their natural status isn’t in question sometimes.  

If you don’t remember a guy by the name of Frank Sepe, he went from up and coming bodybuilder, to fitness dude.

He went from this........

to this..........

Hardly the epitome of jacked and powerful in the latter pic in comparison to the first.  Yes he still looks great, but there really is no comparison. And what Sepe is in the second pic is attainable by most guys willing to put in the work for a consistent period of time.

If you wanted to take the time to look around and find more examples like this, it wouldn’t be hard.  

People talk about “aesthetics” in bodybuilding and how you can’t train for that, and how you need this and that genetically.  Give me a fucking break.  Jay Cutler wins Mr. Olympia’s looking like a pregnant cow.  So did Ronnie Coleman.  That shit went out the windows YEARS ago.  

If you can handle enough shit, you have a chance at going pro, or at least high level amateur.  Yeah, you still have to train and eat, but 2-3 grams of shit a week all combined, will turn the smallest of shit genetic dudes into a monster eventually.  If he can handle all the sides that come with that much stuff.  And most guys can’t.  And this people, is REALLY the “genetic equalizer” in bodybuilding.  

That and the ability to pay for it all.  I mean you don’t think that some of these guys do “gay for pay” because they just enjoy that shit right?  If you’re taking 25-50 grand worth of shit a year, you’re taking a LOT of shit.  

Even in powerlifting, I know guys that haven’t improved in years.  Who have been lifting the same amount, or in some cases even regressed, over the last many years.  Their solution to these problems are “how much shit can I run in order to get over this hump?”  I don’t get it.  How about change some shit in your god damn training?  Eat better.  You’re already taking enough test for 10 grown men, a lack of hormones isn’t your fucking problem.  And stop telling people what a fucking genetic superman marvel you are since you do take so much shit.  

You should not run so much shit that you can train and eat however you want, and make gains.  Training and diet should still be at the forefront no matter what.  No matter how much shit you take, if you aren’t looking at your training and eating first to fix a problem, then your mindset is completely wrong.  

I read where some guys say “oh I’m getting on a cycle now, so I’m going to change my training.”


The whole “you recover so much faster on a cycle” is a mantra that should stop being repeated.  

Muscularly yes, you do.  But systematically rest and recovery are still a factor.  Apply the same training principles you learned as a natural guy to your now enhanced self, and reap the rewards.  

If you got a problem...

“So what would you suggest I do?”

Max out everything you have naturally.  

This isn’t about weight on the bar.  People aren’t getting this.  It’s about learning.  The lessons you learn naturally are worth more than the ones you will learn on gear.  If you stay natural, and you take your squat from 300 to 400, you learned.  If you take it from 400 to 500 you learned.  If you take it from 500 to 600 you learned.  You learned more than if you just hopped on the juice wagon and rode it up there.  

If you need HRT, get on it.  

If you decide you want more, use the least amount to get the most results.  And keep shit simple.

If you don’t want to go the route of illegal use, research the pro-hormone stuff and make an educated decision.  Make sure you take stuff to protect your liver, make sure you keep your cardio up, make sure you eat clean, and do all the things you would do if  you weren’t on a PH.  Also limit the PH use to three weeks.  Some people say four, but my opinion is just three.  I have found that orals tend to taper off after about three weeks.  So you end up using for an extra week with nothing extra to show for it.  

Research PCT (post cycle therapy) and figure out what you should do.  The fact is, just because you ran a low dose PH doesn’t mean you need a god damn PCT.  I swear to god every fucking noob that runs a pro-hormone sweats more over the PCT than anything else.

Above all, be smart.  If you’re doing something and your reason is “just because” and you don’t have a smart reason for doing it, the answer should be simple. Don't. Before you do ANYTHING, take a long time out to do research and think about the different ways it could affect your whole life. Not just the time you spend in the gym.