Monday, April 30, 2012

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

Ok so the intermittent fasting, is over.

I gave it two weeks.  I'll tell you why I have decided to drop it, and what I'm doing instead.

As the days went on, I found myself drinking more and more and more diet coke or diet whatever, in order to stave off hunger.  To the point to where my co-worker said to me last week "man, why are you drinking so many cokes?"

He sits beside me and notices everything so I knew it wasn't just me.  One day I had 6 diet cokes between 8:30 and 11:30.

I am absolutely fatigued by nighttime.  I mean, I'm in bed by 9:00 P.M. every night.  I actually don't know if this is a good thing or bad thing, but every entire afternoon and evening I'm already out of gas.

I also can't get used to the dry mouth.  I have dry mouth 24/7 no matter how much water I drink.  It could be from all the diet drinks, however on the weekends, those have been mostly cut out.

On the weekly training day, I do not train well eating all of those carbs before hand.  I do enjoy training fasted a lot, and the weekend training has been awesome.  But I have to get a weekday training session in and that one was terrible both times.  I felt like I was going to pass out (that evening fatigue).

I will be switching over the the Carb BackLoading protocol.  This seems to go hand in hand real well with what I was doing before, but with a little more structure.  It also spoke to what my instincts had commonly told me, but people told me not to do.  Eat a shit ton of food after I was done training, and even if it was junky, it didn't matter.

I actually think if I could have trained at 11:30 or so during the week, I probably would have remained on IF for a lot longer time.  But that in conjunction with all of the diet drinks I have been scarfing down like Pookie in a crack factory, makes me think my body is altering my eating/drinking behaviors in order to overcome the fast.  And I no likey.

So as everyone saw, I was at the Strength Guild this weekend doing deadlifts for reps.  My lumbars and traps are completely thrashed this morning.  And yesterday I napped for over 2 hours and then was still tired last night.  This is one of the reasons that I don't think that deadlifts are something to build a mass building routine around.  The dead is a movement that takes so much out of you, so doing it all out like that isn't something that is going to give back like it takes, on a regular basis.  It tends to move best based on singles, doubles, and triples.  And there's not a lot of time under tension with those kinds of reps, so I have begun to leave it out of my mass building templates, and focusing on rows, shrugs, and chins instead.  You know, basic back building.  However most guys want to still pull big, so it's a case of pulling every other week for a few singles or a triple, and that's about it.  That's also enough to at least maintain your pull, while building the mass base around it.

The 500x12 was a PR for me.  I've hit 10 many times, and honestly, I should have gotten 13 but I rushed it a little bit, and I also didn't get a big enough air which caused my mid-section to collapse a bit on the last rep.  So I'm not counting 13, but the strength was there for it, I just made a couple of technical errors.  The next time I head out to Topeka I plan on smashing 12 and hitting 15, at least putting a little pressure on Phil to do more.  500x20 is doable within the year I think.  As Wendler told me, if I can just maintain my bench, I'll be sitting on top of 500x20 and 315x20 within the year, giving me two of the WCS standards at around 240 pounds.  If I can clean 315, I also think in year that would be doable as well.  God damn this excites me.

Even more exciting to me is the progress Hannah is making.  She's aiming for 135x20 for our next visit, and I don't know if she can make that kind of progress between now and then, but I know her work ethic will get her closer to it.  Phil was blown away by how quick she could turn on that "switch" and go into beast mode to get after it.  I didn't want to be "that parent" and talk my kid up, because she's been like that since day 1 with me in the weight room, but it was very emotional for me to see her inspire people with how hard she works.  That's not an exception for her, that's the rule.  She's like that day in and day out in the weight room and she has been a great training partner.

So The Avenger's is already getting stupid good reviews.  I mean like, makes Ironman look shitty type reviews.  I am now at "piss my pants" excitement mode for this.

Jamie and I did CnBYE-3 last night.  I laughed for far too long about our conversation about "the beetus".  I also want to ahead of time, that in no way, shape, or form am I laughing AT people with the beetus, it's just that the word itself makes me laugh.  I have no idea why, but it does.

Since I am starting the carb backloading plan today, I have to do the 10 day prep period.  Just for an FYI I was 248 pounds this morning.  I won't even begin to tell you what I ate Saturday and Sunday.  Let's just put it like that.

I hope everyone has a shit Monday because that's how it's supposed to be.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Shirts are in!

Sizes right now are in large and X-large only.  The x-large runs a little big, so if you normally wear a XX (which you probably don't need to as much as you think you do) then you'll be fine with an XL.  $18 + S&H.

Phil's article from Strength Guild

Would like to thank Phil, who is an awesome fucking dude and so is his group and family BTW, for writing such kind words about me and Han.  No one gets to see the kid of effort she pours into her training so it was emotional for me to see others so inspired by her efforts, that she does in a daily basis in the gym.

The article is here.

Next time, Phil and Sam are going to eat my dust, though.  And Han has a new goal of 135x20 for our next challenge as well.

Looking forward to it.  I'm bringing the ribeyes.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Training at the Strength Guild with Phil Stevens

Went out to Topeka to train with uber sexy Phil Stevens and his awesome group of peeps at the Strength Guild.

We had a little contest of deadlift repping with 500.  I got 12, just failed on 13.  Sam got 13 and Phil got 15, with a couple left in the tank.

I went first so Sam and Phil can suck my nuts.  LOL

More importantly, Hannah got 10 reps with 135 on her deadlift.  Super proud of her and her progress.  That's 5 months of training at 13 years old and a buck-05.  She's going to have a pretty sweet little deadlift if she sticks with it.

I had a great time, and it was great meeting everyone there.  I plan on being Phil's period, and will return once a month.  Next time I will stay longer for Sushi.

Strength - Life - Legacy nearing completion.......

So I woke up this morning and starting looking over the book and's really close.

I think I have 1 or possibly 2 more chapters to write, I need to get a lot of pics done, and some citations inserted, but it's close.  Maybe a month out.

I'm pretty excited about this thing.  It's not just a training book, but also a lot of what I believe as far as a code for life goes.  Being a man, living with integrity, being strong in every way possible, and kicking as much ass as you can.

I will be laying out the chapters and sections here soon so everyone can get an idea of just how much information is going to be in this thing.  Basically, from a training standpoint, it can cover any question you might have from cradle to grave.

So be patient.  I promise to make it worth it.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Great "manthropology" article

Yeah it's from Salon, but I don't care.  The subject material is good, and very much echos what I wrote a while back concerning men becoming less manly, and more like house whipped bitches.  The shit was here herehere, and here. 

I do think it's funny when the "brainy" types show up to confirm what us cavemen have been saying for a while.  We're less strong today than our ancestors, and the popularization of the feminized man is a big reason for it.  One of the reasons, that I have written about, that I believe men have become more feminine is because they get bitched up by their women, and believe things like a good ol fist fight is barbaric or makes you a troglodyte.

If you get bitched up by your woman, or believe that fist fighting is neandrethal behavior,'re a pussy.  Getting bitched up by your woman is not fucking natural, and neither is thinking that physical conflict should be avoided at all costs.  In other words, sometimes you just gotta put your woman in her place and then punch out the asshole at the bar.

Anyway here is the article.  And yes, again, it's from Salon.  I mention it twice because I'm POSITIVE some vag will say "I think it's funny that Mr. hard ass talks about being a big tough man and then links an article to Salon."

I just 8-Miled you.  Now, go make your girl a sandwich.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Training - Upper Body #1

Bodyweight - 241

Db Bench -
40's x 30
80's x 20, 10
140's x 12

Chins - 7 sets of 5 bodyweight only

Clean and Press -
145 x 5
165 x 3
185 x 3
205 x 2
225 x 10.....again

Notes - Was dragging ass about halfway through the chins.  Just kinda ran out of gas.  Maybe it's the diet?  No idea but after that it was all downhill.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Just f'n train, just get f'n strong. Idiotic.

Boy the internet makes my head hurt sometimes.

Over the last three years I've written a ton on this blog about the lessons I've learned through over 2 decades of being under the bar.  I do so because I enjoy it.  Otherwise, I suppose you could make a case for me being clinically insane.

My entire paradigm regarding training is very simple.

Be strong, be in shape.

Strong....In shape

How ones goes about doing that, is entirely up to them.  Each person has to decide upon a training methodology that speaks to them and that they buy into.  Without a buy in on a training methodology by said trainee, results will always be less than optimal.

Notice that I write a "methodology" and not a "routine".  I have written thousands of routines in my life.  Tens of thousands more than likely.  In the end, one is really no better than the other without the belief that it will work.  More often than not, younger and less experienced lifters put too much belief into "routines", rather than a philosophy.

An ideology, or philosophy or set of rules about training is something that those routines are based around.  To sort of quote Thulsa Doom, it's the wellspring from which they (routines) flow.  Routines can come and go, but a training philosophy based on principles that were given birth from blood, callouses, sweat, and vomit will always produce results, and stand the test of time.

Probably could have created a sound training philosophy

I didn't create this paradigm all by my lonesome.  I learned it from guys like Coan, Kaz, Yates, Karwoski, Leistner, etc so forth and so on.  The synonymous ideas that I found in all of these mens training was easily recognizable.

Train hard
Be consistent 
Get stronger
Keep what works, throw out what doesn't 

Last week I read on a board where some 22 year old do-nothing fucktard said I was a "fucking idiot" because he didn't like the way I trained.  I'm no chest thumper, but said fucktard also cannot bench press what I overhead press.  Such is the internet and it's minions of loud mouthed do nothings that get free reign to spout off in such ways.  

More importantly though, I thought, what is it about the way I train that would make me an idiot?  The same things that made Coan or Karwoski idiots?  Because the evolution of my training and my training beliefs and philosophies are rooted in the principles that those guys lived and trained by.  Train your fucking balls off and do what needs to be done to get more weight on the bar.  If this training methodology makes me an idiot, then get me my dunce hat and sit me in the fucking corner.

I've read where other guys wrote that I'm dogmatic.  This also makes me tilt my head in confused dog fashion and go.....errrr?

WTF is you talking about?

I've trained using just about every method, split, routine, whatever that you can think of.  No different than giving intermittent fasting a try as I am doing now, I am always open to new ideas.  Instead of bantering about them on the net about how they will work or won't work, I actually DO.  This is because, as I wrote in my article about winning with anecdotal evidence, I don't give a fuck about scientific evidence regarding training and such bullshit.  My built in bullshit detector is pretty sharp at this point in my training life.  I will give something a go if it seems plausible, then give my own opinion about it in regards to how it worked for me afterwards.  This way, I have first hand experience rather than performing mental masturbation on the internet about why shit will or won't work.  Again, if trying something out makes me an idiot, sign me the fuck up for that roller coaster ride with no seat belts.

 Often times I will say, that my writing could convey a sense of dogmatism because I may not articulate a point as well as I could have.  If I say something sucks, 99% of the time, it means that I tried it and it sucked for me.  I know guys that say box squats helped their raw squat.  Few and far between yes, but I do know some.  I know some guys that say three board presses helped their bench.  Again, few and far between but I do know some.  They are generally the exception however, and I don't use exceptions to create rules.

You line up 100 hot women and give them the choice between dating a wealthy investment baker with an underwear model body or a fat guy that works down at the 7-11, and 99 of them will choose the investment baker.  Just because one of them chooses the fatty doesn't support your theory that hot women like fat 7-11 workers.  It just means there will always be exceptions.  Don't use exceptions as the basis for building a philosophy around.  It will fail the majority of the time.

Sorry fat guy, you're not getting any.....

Most people want to believe they are unique special snowflakes, but the fact is, we are all pretty similar.  This is why certain principles of strength training have stood the test of time, and people continue to use them to get better, and to get stronger.

Train hard
Be consistent
Get stronger  
Keep what works, throw out what doesn't 

The key for YOU, in that paradigm, is the last one.  You should eventually settle on some methods that work for you, and speak to your inner lifter, and they should become the foundation of your entire training methodology.  

The other ones are not negotiable.  I don't know anyone that got stronger without training hard and being consistent in what they did.  This means not changing routines every other week, or going from one training "system" to another month to month.  You can't give an educated opinion about a training method, without going to school on it.  And I don't know any schools that offer you a degree in a week or two that carry any sort of prestige.  

Where you get your learn on is up to you.  It's perfectly fine to adopt a training philosophy that comes from a more experienced lifter or strength athlete, then massage those ideas to fit who you are, and what your goals are.  My powerlifting training is very similar to that of Coan and Karwoski, however I learned after many tries, that 12 week peaking cycles were just too fucking long for me.  So I shortened them.  I took what worked, but then altered it a bit.  This is ok.  Just don't bastardize something until you give it a FAIR shot as it is written.  This drives me nuts.  

In the end, routines won't win.  Philosophies and methodologies will.  Over time if you don't develop one for yourself, you will flop about searching for the "next great routine" that will get you over that proverbial training hump you have been stuck at.  When it doesn't, you'll say the routine was shit, or that you "need to focus on weak points" and such shit.  When all along, it's been your inability to stick with what works and impatience that keeps you stuck in a training sludge.  In the meantime, I'll maintain my status as fucking idiot and slowly get better.    

Monday, April 23, 2012

Chaos and Bang Your Ears 2

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

Boy talk about a boring ass UFC card.  I about fell asleep, for real, during the Rashad vs Jones fight.  The only thing of note about the whole card was the Schaub knockout.  Otherwise, a very forgettable card.  Still not a fan of Jones, and my take on him that he has zero power was further cemented when after he hit Evans in the face with an elbow, he nailed him with a clean 1-2 right on the chin, and Rashad just looked at him.  Glad to see Hendo is going to get a shot.

Watched the new Mission Impossible movie over the weekend.  I enjoyed it, even though it did get a little "Die Hardish" on me, with the amount of abuse Cruise was able to take, and just get up and walk away like nothing had happened.  These things kind of irk me a little bit in movies, as I really prefer a little more realism when it comes to shit like that.  You can't go zip lining down a cable, fall onto a moving truck, then bounce off and land on concrete and get up and walk away, like you fell off of the neighbors trampoline.

Well the weekends are my big eating weekends for IF and I did some "cheating" yesterday.  I ate a whole lemon cake, a whole pan of Enchiladas, rice, and 4 bowls of chocolate peanut butter ice cream.  I repeated this throughout the day for the most part.  I cut off eating at 8 and fell asleep at 9.  I think I'm starting to get used to this.  I was heavier this morning (247) after being down to 237 a couple of days ago, but that's to be expected.  First week is in the books and I really like this way of eating.

We did the Chaos and Bang Your Ears podcast yesterday.  Ran about an hour and a half.  We didn't get around to all questions but I am going to try and go back through there and answer anything that we didn't go over.  Also, the podcast had a few burps, so we had to start and stop a few times, so feel free to overlook that if you please.

My pec minor and shoulder are really not doing well, so I will be doing lots of flyes and cuff work the next few weeks to get that back in order.  Because benching was going so well, I got kind of side tracked about what I needed to be doing to keep myself healthy, and ended up where I used to when I benched too much.  Shoulder and pec killing me.  It's the repping that generally gets me.  With singles I tend to be ok, but if I start repping on the bench, it'll bite me down the line.  With incline, I don't have this issue for the most part.  So I am going to rearrange things to do inclines, bench for singles, and snatch grip PBN as my staple movements, rotating each pressing day.  I plan on doing standing overheads after bench for reps, and seated db press after inclines.  That's the plan anyway.  We'll see how it goes starting this week.

This coming weekend I am going out to see my buddy Phil Stevens and we are going to have a deadlift for reps competition with 500.  He has another guy joining us as well.  Phil runs the Strength Guild and does Iron Radio and is an all around awesome guy.  He's also a great deadlifter so I expect to get my ass handed to me, but I will give it my best.

Short one.  It's Monday.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Training - Big workout Lowerbody

Speed Skater Squats -
at least 7 sets.......bodyweight x 10 for a ton, then with 80 pounds for a fuck ton sets of 10

High Bar Pause Squats -
strip set - 315x5 -> 225x5 paused

Calf Stairs - whole set of basement stairs for a set of 10 single leg on each step

Notes - The high bar pause squats don't hurt really sooooo, I am going to be doing this however I can't imagine I will go heavier than 365.  I also like fatiguing the quads before I get started so the pause squats are harder.

Pretty happy to find a winning combination for squats right now.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Training - Small workout

Bodyweight  - 237 <- dig it......

Upright Rows -
bar x 20
185x11-7 50% set

Incline Db Curls - 40's x 3 sets of 15
Ez Bar Pullovers - 65 x 3 sets of 20
Flyes - 20's x 5 sets of 20 (for pec minor rehab)

Notes - Felt great.  Shocked at how easy the upright rows with 185 were and they were strict.  Down 10 pounds from last week already.  Eating big as fuck tonight bitches.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Q&A for the Chaos and Bang PodCast this weekend

Ask em.........We will try to knock this out on Sunday and have it up for Monday morning.

Some of the topics we are going to cover......

The Pat Mendes thing
Why the 'Mericans suck at Olympic lifting
Powerlifting Records from the 70's and 80's
More on Crossfit
More on Intermittent Fasting
Cardio.....requirement or not?
Movies and Books
Shit we would and wouldn't do for $1000
Training and Diet Questions

Obviously we got a lot of shit to cover and may even have a guest, so we'll be taking the best questions.

Throw em out......

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Intermittent Fasting - Week 1 thoughts

I want to get this shit out there for guys who are thinking about doing it, and how each week goes.  I don't want to try and write it down later because you forget shit later.

  • I'm not actually a full week in, so suck it.
  • I'm about 5 days in.  
  • 5 days in and yesterday the morning hunger stopped bothering me.  My stomach would growl, but I'd have a diet coke or whatever and I'd be fine.  
  • I actually have enjoyed not eating in the morning.  Something I thought I'd never say until about two weeks ago.
  • I'm already leaner.  This is not in my head as my wife ran her hands across my stomach this morning, said "mmmmmmmmm" then attacked me.  This was pleasant.  
  • I get hungry, but I have noticed it doesn't bother me like it used to when I was eating more often.  
  • My weight has climbed a few pounds actually, as I was 248 last night.  
  • However my pants are much much looser around the waist.  
  • So those two things together are strange.  
  • I get full and keep trying to eat.  This was awful the first few days.  I would be full for a long time.  Now I eat and get full, eat some more.......and in a few hours I feel fine.  I read many places this would happen.  It's pretty cool how fast the body adapts to these things.  
  • I do feel lethargic in the evenings however.  Not like exhausted, but, and this is coming from a lifetime insomniac.......I have been falling asleep really easy the last couple of nights.  This has been awesome.  
  • Mentally I love the fact that I know, nothing is really off limits.  It's fucking strange, once you do this, you actually stop craving anything.  You can have it, but you're like "meh, gimme more steak."  I have a bad sweet tooth, so I thought I'd be destroying whole bakeries on post workout feasts, but it hasn't happened.  
  • I totally plan on doing that however.  I will eat a whole fucking lemon cake or 22 cookies if I want.  It'll happen.
  • I have, in the meantime, found an awesome addition to the PWO meal, and that's a pack of Met-RX in chocolate pudding with whip cream on top.  It's not junk, ok so the whip cream is, but I get an extra 40 grams of protein in addition to the meal without much "junk".
  • I have been slightly irritable this week, and have felt "off" a little.  I can tell.  My stomach has just felt weird at times.  Not bad, just weird.  
  • And I have had extra gas.  Farts that would kill a fucking silver back on meth.  This has also been pleasant.  Especially at night.  Where the wife can smell it.  She LOVES it.  All of this is totally true.  I know you believe me.  Especially about the wife loving it.  
  • I know it's early but I could see myself being on this diet for a while.  But it is early, I could hate it in 3-17 days.  Who knows.  So far, it's been a winner for me.  
  • Just for your edification here is how my eating looks on non training days and training days.  Let me make note that I train once during the week, and on Saturday and Sundays.  
  • I'm not getting crazy about macros and all of that shit.  Generally with a big diet change I just worry about getting the pieces in place in terms of schedules and meals/food, then adjust from there.  So I don't care if the macros are right on right now, I'm just trying to get ball park.  
Weekly Eating - 

Non-Training day - 
11:00-11:30 a.m. - meat and veggies - usually about 3-4 servings of protein and a ton  of veggies 
2-3 p.m. - Protein shake and 3-4 tablespoons of peanut butter or some almonds
7 p.m. - something similar to the 11 a.m. meal

Weekly Training Day - (training is at night)
11:00 - footlong roasted chicken sub from Subway on flatbread with lettuce, pickles, oilves, tomatoes, and ranch.  A cookie or two.
3 p.m. - Smoothie.  40 ounces of the almond mocha.  
5 p.m. - BCAA 10 grams
Train from 5:30 until 6:30
PWO meal - usually 4 servings of protein, huge amounts of carbs and veggies, then the protein pudding.  This can be something like 3-4 chicken breasts, a whole full plate of rice and broccoli.  Or it could be 15 ounces of steak with a couple of loaded baked potatoes and veggies.  Either way, I eat GOOD food and as much of it as I can in that sitting.  

Weekend Training - 

If I have a big party planned for Saturday night (I do this often) then it looks like the weekly training day routine.  If not............

12:00 - BCAA and then train
1:30 or so - PWO meal
4:30 - light meal
7:45 or so - light meal

Saturday and Sunday look like this so that way I can stuff face from whatever Tiff cooks for lunch.  She's Italian so the Sunday big meal was already a big staple.  Now it just fits right in with a purpose.  

That's the first 5 days.  I will make a post with adjustments or just how it goes.  

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

People that hold on to anger and resentment baffle me.  They really do.  Your'e pissed off at someone, so you sit around and wreck your own day with negative bullshit, and this does what exactly?  Seriously, what good did it do you?  I'm not saying that you can never be angry, but I think there has to be some balance there.  Someone said something about you or to you, that pissed you off.  Knee jerk reaction is that it makes you angry.  Sure, I get it.  But wasting a whole day or longer stewing over shit like that is ridiculous.  If someone killed your best friend I can see being mad about it for a day or two, but people need to keep this shit in perspective.  The only day you are ruining with this shit, is your own.  Remember, when you hold a grudge you're letting someone live rent free in your head.

Jones vs Evans this weekend.  I hate both of these guys, but for some reason I find myself leaning towards Rashad.  I think you saw some chinks in Jones armor against Machida and no one knows Jones better than Evans.  I think Evans wins this weekend.  And I'm saying, if I HAD to put money down it'd be on Evans.

I can see why a lot of guys who have done this IF diet cut their training back to just a couple of big lifts per session.  The one thing I notice is that I feel fine early then proceed to hit the wall pretty fast.  It is the first week and I understand that may change, but it's good that I've always been a bit of a lower volume guy.  Let me also say that I think this is a good diet for a guy wanting to shed fat or do the body recomposition as talked about, but this is most definitely not a diet to use to gain mass on for an intermediate or new guy.  Hell no.

Shirts should be in soon.  I'm only doing 2 sizes.  Large and X-Large.  If you claim you need a XX lose some weight fatty.  I can see an exception there for like 6'10" guys but I don't think there are too many of you walking around.

Jamie and I will be doing the podcasts every week for those that keep writing "you guys should do this every week."  Just pointing out the obvious here, that he and I have both talked about the fact that we have been planning on doing these weekly.  And let me also say for those sending in pron clips, make sure in the subject you address them to either me or Jamie.  I have no interest in vomit or hardcore pron.  I'm pretty sure whoever sends me a clip with that has a girl with a great butt in it is going to win.  Just tossing out hints there.

Sucks that I won't be in Iowa this weekend competing.  Not just because of the meet but because a lot of good friends will be there and I really dread that I will miss that time.  Always cherish the times you get to spend with good friends.  You never know when that will be the last time you are able to.

Friday is almost upon us.  It's possible my weekends of living like the king will be coming to an end, but we'll see bro.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chaos and Bang Your Earholes 1 is up.........

Most definitely NOT WORK SAFE, so listen with headphones on.


Training - Upperbody and trying to be Dmitry Klokov

Bodyweight - 244

Standing Press Behind the Neck -
225x1 most def a max
165x6-4 50% set

V-Bar Chins -
Bodyx16-6 50% set

Floor Press - pain x 10000

Reverse Grip Bench - 225x2 ouch

Push ups - bodyx50  this was ok

Notes - So I saw Dmitry do his standing PBN like these.  Super wide grip and strict.  Let me tell...........these are fucking hard.  I can usually rep 225 fairly easily behind the neck standing or seated.  225 was a true max. Dmitry did this for a triple fairly easy on the video I saw.  He's a god damn beast tho, and I am weak.  So I need to get stronger.

My pec minor is absolutely screaming at me right now.  TOO many fucking weeks of heavy benches without rotating in the light incline like I used to, to keep that at bay.  So now, I will need to see if I can just incline or possibly do reverse grip bench, which sometimes doesn't bother me but did tonight. So I just finished with a set of 50 push ups and called it a night.  I'm tired and fucking hungry.

My IF plan part 1

So you'll hear in the podcast that I'm going to try the LeanGains IF (intermittent fasting) diet for a while (I don't know what a while is, either).


I haven't done it, and I like to be able to talk about something through first hand experience rather than regurgitating what other people have written or said. With the meet off the books, this gives me something to sink my teeth in to (pun intended) for a while.

My training will change a bit. I will scale training back to 3 times a week, still using the ideas behind the new big-15 template. However here is what I will be doing based on the diet and the fact that I still can't squat heavy, which is making me crazy.

1 heavy upper body session (push pull) a week -
1 press - bench, incline, standing PBN
1 pull - chins, rows
2nd press - standing press, seated db press, floor press (maybe)

My pec minor is barking at me a little bit so I will see how it responds to the floor press tonight. As you can see I am emphasizing more overhead work again.

1 heavy lower body session a week -
Deadlift cycle - This is a little cycle I have written up that I am going to run while my leg is "healing?".....
week 1 - rack pulls below the knee - to top single
week 2 - 4" block pulls - to top single
week 3 - high rep light squats (if possible, no deads) - something brutal like 225xmax or if 315 doesn't hurt, as many sets of 10-20 as possible
week 4 - deadlifts from floor for reps (if possible)
week 5 - high rep light squat (if possible, no deads)
repeat cycle

After the staple movement for the day......
Lunges and Glutes or Hamstrings

I will also keep in 2 of the small workout days, however I will only eat big on one of those days.

Small workouts - 1 heavy and 1 light
upright rows
rear delts/triceps

On the heavy small session I will eat afterwards but not on the light one.

I can't really do my lower body 50% work, and can't squat heavy so a lot of this is going to be trial and error. I'll make notations about it as I go along. Right now, tons of lunges seem to be ok and so does all the glute work I can handle. While I can't squat I will focus on lunges, glutes, and trying to pull big from the blocks and rack. If I can pull for reps from the floor I without too much pain I will rotate that in via the cycle. If not, I'll just stay in the rack and on the blocks for a while.

We'll see bro.....

If I get a few weeks into this and fucking hate it, I will drop it and write about why I hated it. But I like to try things and give them a fair chance so I'm going to try and run this at least a few months to see what kind of changes I notice and how it effects my body composition and training.

I've read (and am still reading) a ton on it, but continuing to learn how to implement it correctly. I think the macros and calories for me personally, according to the calculators, are off a bit. I tend to maintain my 245 pounds or so at around 3200 calories a day. So on training days I'm only going to bump that to around 3500. On non training days I will take that down to 2600-2800 a day. I know a lot of guys shake their head at that, but I really don't have to eat a lot to maintain my weight. My guess is just 20+ years of training and eating has cemented my current foundation of muscle mass and bodyweight.


I would like to drop 10 pounds of bodyfat if possible. I'm sitting somewhere between 10-12% right now give or take, and 10 pounds would drop me squarely into that 8% or so range at 234 pounds or so. I shouldn't see a huge drop off in strength with just a 10 pound loss, and many guys have reported after the initial 10-14 day break in period that strength rebounds very well. So I will at LEAST make it through the first two weeks. I do have my wife doing it with me, and she can REALLY complain about diet changes so please bear with me.

Chaos and Bang Podcast 1 in the books

Jamie and I wrapped this up last night, and it's not what you think it's going to be.

The show segments were as follows.........roughly...........

1.  Q&A's from our blogs
2.  movies, gaming, books, and shit
3.  Training/diet vomit
4.  porn - our porn picks of the week
5.  Question of the week winner

We have a joint e-mail now for those who will need it (you'll see) and it's

Monday, April 16, 2012

Goal Setting Made Easy

Goal setting in weight training is akin to that of travel planning for an expensive vacation.

By that I mean, when you finally put something down on paper, you are generally pretty serious.  

I mean, I've never seen someone drop a few grand for a vacation and have no clue about when they needed to leave to get to the airport, with no clue about what gate they needed to go to, what time they would land, and how they would get to the hotel.  Even if you plan on driving a few hours away for just a quick weekend getaway, you tend to plan something in the way of your itinerary.  

But lots of lifters spend time and money on things related to lifting, with no itinerary.  They have no specific goals.  And when they do, they have no real plan on how to get there.  This is never more evident than when some young guy approaches me in the gym and asks me questions.  His questions usually tell me a bit about his mindset in regards to goal setting.  

Our conversations usually go something like this.....

Sweet necklace, brah

"Man, how'd you get your arms so big, yo?"

"Just got that way by getting stronger."

"Yeah, that's cool, yo.  I wanna get my arms bigga, knowhaI'msayin, I do like bench and then curl......(dazes off).....I work legs likes sometimes yo, but not a lot."  


"So you're a bodybuilder?"

"No.  I have done some powerlifting though."

"Oh right, right.  I feel ya, I feel ya.  So that's when you......?"

"Squat, bench, and deadlift."  

"That's right, that's right.  So, I want a bigger bench yo, knowhaI'msayin.  What should I do to bench more, yo?  I been stuck at 185 for a while now."

"Bench more.  Work on your bench technique."  

"What about my arms though?  I want big arms, knowhaI'msayin?"  

"I know what you're saying."

"Aiight yo, you cool."

First off, if you talk like this, fucking educate or kill yourself.  I'd rather someone use profanity like I do, and put together coherent sentences with lots of "fucks" and "shits" than "yo" and "knowwhaI'msayin".

Second, the issue with this tard is the same with most young lifting tards.  No fucking idea about why he is in the gym, and has no specific goals.

Saying "I want to bench more" or "I want big arms" is not a specific goal.  It's really more like a statement, or idea.  An idea can't become reality until you mold it into something tangible.

"I want to bench 275"

"I want 18" arms"

This is specific, and something you can actually measure.  When you put 2 plates and a 25 on each side of the bar, that's tangible.  When you wrap a tape around your arm and it reads 18", that's tangible.

Guys that aspire to get bigger and stronger often have vague goals, and their planning and mindset about achieving them are vague as well.  I mean, think about it.  How specific can you get when you really have no clue what you are after?

One of the ways my love of back off sets came about was, having goals related to weight or plates.

Just to give a hypothetical example, when dips didn't fuck my elbows and pecs up after a few weeks of doing them, I had rep goals for bodyweight, dips + 1 plate, dips + 2 plates, dips + 3 plates.  This makes goal setting easy because one of the things you could do, was take a shot at each one over the course of the month.

Week 1 - bodyweight for reps
Week 2 - +45 for reps
Week 3 - +90 for reps
Week 4 - +135 for reps
WEek 5 - back to bodyweight

This kept shit interesting and fun, and I knew a specific number I needed to hit every workout to beat the previous PR.

Use something like this for standard plates.  If you bench 315 write down rep goals for 135, 185, 225, 245, and 275.  You could easily do something as simple as write these weights down on a piece of paper, throw them into a hat and pull 2 out.  Now for the workout, do an over-warm up to a single, then a back off set with each of these for max reps.  Again, this keeps things fun and motivating.  And training should always be something you look forward to.  Not something you dread.

One of the best things about the big-15 template is that every week you have a very specific goal to beat, and now with the addition of the 50% sets, two goals to beat.  Over time constantly beating those rep goals, leads to the prize.  Being a viking stud muffin slayer of women and all things that are awesome.

"I want to get stronger" - 

How strong?

Name goals for everything.  Rep goals, 1 rep max goals, whatever.  Write them down.

Here, I will show you mine just to give you an example of my thinking......

Short Term -
Deadlift 675 off the 4 inch blocks (in a few weeks, this would be a PR)
Deadlift 725 from below the knee
Deadlift 500x15 in two weeks when I go out to the Strength Guild
Seated Press with the 100'sx25 (in a few weeks, this would be a PR)
Close Grip Bench 315x15 (in the next week)
Standing Press with 225x15 (in a few weeks)
Chin - 100x1 this week (just part of my normal cycling)
Get my leg healed by doing my rehab stuff, getting an MRI setup for it possibly
Tackle this new diet and give it a fair run (IF style diet)

Long term - 6 months give or take
Deadlift 725 from the 4 inch blocks
Deadlift 765 from below the knee
Deadlift 500x20
Seated Press with the 120's for 20
Close Grip Bench 315x20
Chin 100x5
Hope to be squatting without pain
Drop down to 233-235 while hitting these strength goals

"I want to get bigger?"

When size was my goal I planned out exactly what I was going to do, and what my goals were.

Bodyweight goal:
What I felt weightxrep would get me there:
Planned out my diet according to how much food I needed to eat:

Once these things are on paper, you can visualize much better what it is you need to do.  They aren't just foggy ideas in your head about where you want to get to.  They are specific ideas staring back at you.

Find tangible things you can add as goals.  What are the biggest dumbbells in your gym?  If you can't do much with them, find a movement you CAN do something with them with, and make a rep goal for them in that movement.  You don't think that if you could only do 5 reps with the 120's or 140's or whatever, in the db row, that if you built yourself to do them for 20 or 30 or whatever, that you'd be immensely bigger and stronger?  Of course you would.

Don't invest your time and money into training with zero idea of where the fuck you are going.  Plan your itinerary, and have a purpose for everything you do.  Then zero mental energy is wasted spinning your wheels.

I found this while looking for images..........

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Small Workout

Upright Rows -

Incline Db Curls - 40's x 3 sets of 15

Notes - First day of IF dieting.  Felt fine.  More on this in the podcast today........

Seems like the nazi form police have been showing up regarding my videos so I'm sure they will fap hard to this..........

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Training - Big workout #2 - Lower body #2

4" block deads -

Lunges - 5 sets of 20

notes - Shouldn't have lifted really.  Tired as fuck.  This week of insomnia has been one of the worst in a long time and this morning I was just dragging cat ass.  I also think I'm going to change this workout day to Sunday's.  I have generally felt more energetic on Sunday than Saturday recently.  So I'll give that a switch as well.

Jamie and I are going to talk about this tomorrow but I am going to make one change to my diet to include a fast.  I've already been doing that Sunday mornings, but I'm going to cut off food at 8 p.m. and not eat until 9 a.m.  That's literally the only change, but I have noticed that I tend to lose bodyfat at a more rapid clip when I fast on the weekends.

I expect a good argument about this tomorrow.............

Friday, April 13, 2012

Q&A for the Chaos and Bang PodCast

Jamie the Pagan and myself will be doing another podcast this weekend.  It's going to be a lot of off the cuff bullshit, not just training so throw in some questions you'd like for us to answer or take the piss from.  

We will do our best to make this entertaining, which probably means we will fail miserably.  

Thursday, April 12, 2012

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

I started the new template, and I cannot stop eating.  I refuse to starve myself when training everyday so it's looked something like this..........

Breakfast - 6 egg whites and 3 turkey sausage

Snack - 2 scoops of Dymatize

Lunch - 2 turkey burgers and 1 jar of sweet potatoes

Snack - 2 scoops of Dymatize or a smoothie

Meal - When I get home.....2 breakfast burritos with 6 total egg whites, cheese, and a slice of bacon on each

- Train -

Meal - usually a lean meat with veggies

Snack - Shake with a banana and peanut butter

For me, this is a LOT of food.  I am used to getting by on two meals and a few shakes.  I haven't listed it, but I was as heavy as 251 at one point.  This is with conditioning almost every day and training as well.  Right now, I can't seem to get enough sleep.  I fell asleep in my chair yesterday at work for about 10 minutes.  That's a first in 15 years.

I already dialed it back today.  Usual breakfast, a bar, a salad.  Will have a shake this afternoon then just dinner.

The new training manual is already at 120 pages and not sure where it's going to end, but I kind of have a feeling it's at about 75% or so.  I am shooting to get it finished in the next 6 weeks.

Ok now for movies mah fuckas!!!

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo -

I liked this movie quite a bit.  For some reason I also found Lisbeth really sexy and wanted to bang her like Daniel Craig was.  I don't know if she was supposed to be sexy, but I most definitely liked her and wanted to hit it.

The thing I did not like was, the pace at the end.  Spoilers below.....

So I really liked Daniel Craig's character.  He seemed like a guy with real integrity and some character.  So it seemed odd to me at the end, where he just kinda went back to the friends with benefits situation with Robin Wright (who looked like Skelator btw), and cast Lisbeth aside that easy.  However the real problem was that they didn't accurately portray the timeline there.  See, she was gone for 4-5 months according to the book or the European version.  In this version it seemed like a fucking week.  So it didn't add up to me.  After I found that out, it made more sense.  Also, in the European version of the film, he kept waiting on her to return, but eventually he moved on.  This makes more sense with his character to me.

Immortals -

My wife loved this movie for some reason, and I just thought it was ok.  The cartoonish feel kept me from getting engaged I think.  It wasn't a bad flick, but I think the IMDB rating of 6.6 or whatever, felt about right.  His speech at the end to rally the troops was also lame, and I didn't think was set up very well.  They go from running like Usain Bolt to get away to willing to run back into the fire in a matter of about 2 minutes because ol boy threw a few choice words at them.  Not buying it.  Worth a watch if you are bored but don't expect much.  The fight scenes early were good, I thought.  Oh and Freida Pinto is stupid hot.  I would totally bang her, even if she were full of deadly STD's.

Game of Thrones is back on as well.  This show is moving up as one of my faves of all time, I think. Dexter is starting to lose a bit of its luster because shit is starting to become a bit too "loose" for me.  In the first few seasons Dexter had Doakes after him the whole time.  Doakes knew that Dexter had shit below the surface.  Why?  Because he was a god damn detective.  It's funny that a whole room of detectives have no sense of Dexter not being 100% on the up and up.  Doakes being Dexter's adversary kept shit interesting.  I will say, with them opening up Deb now knowing, should make things interesting.  That's her brother, that she's also subconsciously in love with, who has saved her life many times, and he's a serial killer.  A good twist would be for Deb to work with Dexter to make shit happen.  But that she make a deal with him, that certain killers he help bring to justice to help her, and then they decide on what killers he can take out.  I should have been given a job at HBO god dammit.

Since my pec minor is acting up and my elbows are ok, my guess is I'll be going after some of those overhead pressing goals I have.  Here they are, give or take.

Clean and Press - 315 x 1 - If I could clean 300 I could press it right now.  So obviously I need to get better at cleans.  225x20.
Seated Db Press - 120's x 20  - I did the 100's last night for 20 after incline and rows.
Seated Press Behind the Neck - 250x10  I don't like going too low on reps for these.

I have no idea how any of these would correlate with each other.  It's just some things I want to hit.  I don't like push presses and I think jumping under the bar and calling it "putting weight overhead" is fucking gay as shit.  Pressing is putting weight over your head.  Jumping under it is something else.

I am picking conditioning back up quite a bit.  40 sprints 2 of the last 3 days.  Feeling better.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Training - Big Workout #1 Upperbody #2

Bodyweight - 244

Incline - 
bar x 40
135 x 10,5
185 x 5
225 x 4
275 x 3
315 x 2
365 x 1
315 x 9

Pec minor is not feeling very good.  So I skipped the 50% set tonight.  

Cable Rows - stack x 4 sets of 12

Seated Db Press - 100's x 20

Notes - Tired as fuck.  Got to the gym later than usual and had a bit of upset stomach too.  Need more sleep.......

In case you have not seen this........

Fucking hilarious........I think I've literally watched this 100 times the last 2 weeks.....

Monday, April 9, 2012

Training - 2 small workouts (last two days)

Sunday -
incline db curls - 6 sets of 10 w 40's
kickbacks - 6 sets of 20 w 40's

Today -
upright rows - 135x6sets of 10
reverse crunch abs - 4 sets of 20

Chaos and Bang 2 - Audio

Enjoy...........Do I really sound like Robert Downey Jr?????

Chaos and Bang 2........2

So Jamie and I did a follow up last night, and without giving another double dutch rudder, I'd like to say it turned out to be a really solid discussion.  And over the course of the conversation we had quite a few "aha" moments about training and eating.  Tons of good stuff.

Some of the shit we went over (off the top of my head)

RUM5 and shit he would have done things differently in training for that meet
How he changed his training after the meet
Injuries we have been dealing with
Going with instinct in both eating and training
Balancing training hard with training frequency and volume (this turned out some quality discussion)
How to get women with dark chocolate and fried chicken

Quite a bit of other stuff for a very interesting and colorful discussion.  Look for the audio up later today or tomorrow.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

More on 50% sets and finding balance......

I've written a ton about 50% sets in the past, but there still seems to be confusion about this technique (kinda like licking the alphabet, I suppose).

It's pretty simple.

After you run the over-warm up, go to failure, or close to it on your down set/working set and then rest 60 seconds, and go again.  On the second set, try to get half the number of reps you got on the first set, i.e. 50% of your first set.

For example, I would notate it like so........

285x15-6 50%

So I got 285x15 on my first set, rested 60, and got 6 on the second set.

I first read about this technique many years ago from Dr. Ken Leistner.  He used it in a bench specialization routine with great success for himself and a lot of the guys he trained.  I worked it in to my routines also with great success.

Years when I ran DoggCrapp training, I realized these two techniques were variations of the same animal, with slightly different spots.

In DC training, the point is to beat the logbooks total reps from the previous week.  With 50% sets you can do that as well, however you also have a goal for the day, that gets set after the first set ends.

Both techniques do a pretty unique thing in your training.

  • They up the ante a bit.  Dante used to write that if you failed to make progress on a movement after two consecutive workouts, you had to drop it.  So if you had a favorite movement, you risked having to drop it for something else if you weren't progressing.  With the 50% sets, you have a goal to beat as soon as the first set is over.  
  • Both put "pressure" on you during the set and workout.  This is a great performance tool.  Anytime you up the pressure, good things should happen in regards to lifting.  Most trainees don't put enough pressure on themselves to progress or improve without a stimulus to do so.  A competition, a training partner, something, anything.  Most of us need something tangible we can sink our teeth into, to take training up another level.  Simply adding in a goal for THAT workout can do that.  
Eventually DC training wore me out.  Mentally I just dreaded having to "get up" for set after set of rest/pause three times for almost every single movement.  With the 50% sets on the new big-15, I scaled it back to two big movements with the 50% technique on upperbody days, then 1 big movement without the 50% technique.  On lower body days it's just the 1 big movement, which is usually a squat or type of squat, and leg press is possible too, if you want to see Jesus without dying.  

So the big movements will get the 50% PIT (perceived intensity technique) for the most part, and the small movements will get lots of volume of sets and reps with short rest periods.  If you can't grow on this template, go take up underwater basket weaving.  

Finding Balance - 

A theme I am starting to see creep across the lifting landscape now, is something I have been harping on for a while.  

Finding balance across everything related to your training paradigm.  

Diet, training, conditioning.  

Everyone knows I wrote a somewhat tongue in cheek article about Paleo, but I don't have a problem with Paleo.  I have a problem with dogmatism and extremes.  I mean, you're not going to convince me that it's bad to eat a god damn potato that comes from the ground.  You're not.  If a caveman could grow it and eat it without dying, he'd do so.  I don't even want to get off on that tangent again!  

Anyway, something that has been going through my head more and more however, is just asking myself some basic questions when it comes to eating.  

"Will this help my performance?"

How about something even simpler......

"Is this healthy?"  

I know some people can say "that's a tricky question."  But let's cut through the bullshit.  It's not.  

Eating sirloin and sweet potatoes with a big salad?  Looks good.  Seems like that would help build muscle, and fuel performance and help recovery.

Eating half a gallon of ice cream?  Seems like it would taste really fucking awesome, but I can't in good conscience say it's healthy or would improve my performance.  

Seems to me, you can't go wrong with the following.......
  • Chicken, steak, turkey, fish, and buffalo.  
  • All veggies
  • All fruits
  • Potatoes 
  • Nuts
  • Nut butters
  • Quality protein powder
If your diet consisted of all of those things, and you never deviated from it, and you trained your fucking ass off, thinking about getting as strong as possible in medium to high rep ranges, you'd be about as big and jacked as you could get.  If you balanced in conditioning with it, you'd limit or lose bodyfat and feel fucking fantastic. 

None of this is scientific.  Again, it's common sense.  

Lift hard enough to stimulate growth 
Eat enough quality foods to aid in that process
Condition so that your ability to work hard isn't limited by being an out of shape fat ass

Be strong, be in shape.  


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Training - Big Workout #2 - Lower Body #1

Bodyweight - 240

Standing Calf -
stack x 3 sets of 12

Rack pulls below the knee -
225x3, 3
705x1 <- PR

Deadlifts - 500x3,3
Glute Bridges in Smith - 225x4sets of 20
Lunges - 3 sets of 20 bodyweight only

Notes - Fuck, just missed 725 from below the knee.  This would have been a massive PR.  It came off the pins, and usually for me when something comes off the pins I got it.  But it stalled out in the transition from the knee to lockout.  Oh well, felt good to pull over 700 from this position.

Last Two Small Workouts

Thursday -
db curls - 40's x 5sets of 15
rope pushdowns - 5 sets of 15

Friday -
upright rows - 115x5sets of 15
bent laterals - 30's x 5 sets of 15

Friday, April 6, 2012

Thoughts about life, crap, training and stuff and going after the WCS standards......

So as I noted in the training entry the other night, I had a very rude wake up call.

"You haven't been training very hard, Paul."

I think it some ways that was a tough pill to swallow.  Not because of pride, just because I got to where I am through brutally hard training, and have fallen a little bit on my laurels.  I have written about this several times, and how it slowly slithers into your training and mindset.  People will laugh, but things like 5x5 and volume on the big lifts and all sorts of other shit end up becoming excuses not to train balls out.

We trained with the first Big session on Wednesday night, and all day yesterday I was tired as hell, hungry as shit.  I ate a giant plate of roast and potatoes last night, then had a whole container of strawberries (more on this later).  I woke up in the middle of the night starving and had a shake and half a jar of peanut butter.

Point of all this is, I remember all these feelings all too well.  They were ignited by hard, heavy, intense, brutally hard training.  And I've been moseying around the weights for far too long now.

No more.

Until at least late in the year, I will be pushing the new big-15 program focusing on meeting the WCS standards.  Since I can't squat, and won't be able to for a while, that's out.  But I will be tackling everything else.

How do I feel about my chances?

Not sure.

Let's start where I am closest and go from there with likely % of making it.

Standing Press - 315x1 90%
If I could clean 300, I could overhead press it right now.  225x10 Wednesday was a bit of a joke and I could have easily done 13 or so reps I believe.  I could take it out of the rack, but watching someone clean the weight then press it, is far more boss to me than taking it out of the rack.  So my limiting factor here my just be the clean.  Which I vow to get better at.  My other issue here is elbow health.  Overhead pressing tends to beat my elbows up the most.  So we'll see.

Bench Press - 315x20 90%
13 reps Wednesday night, not feeling too great.  On a good night 15 or so I think.  17 is my best.  The difference in 17 and 20 is pretty significant though.  I feel like I have a solid shot here.

Deadlifts - 500x20 85%
My deadlift is higher than it's ever been right now.  Just missing a 650 double off the 4" blocks I know puts me at at least 675, but more than likely 690-700.  However after that the quad starting getting worse and playing a factor when I pulled.  Nothing worse than trying to pull and "feeling" to see if something is going to hurt.  I do know that my "speed" sets with 500-550 were the easiest and fastest they had ever been.  This is a big one for me.  I have no doubt that 500x20 would cement me well over 700.  Since I am worlds shittiest deadlifter and I can't squat right now, I am going to pour all of my energy into making this happen.  I think if I repped right now, 12 or 13 would be doable.  But I must get better.  Phil Stevens and I are going to go head to head on 500 for reps soon and he's a 750+ puller.  And I fucking hate losing.

Chins - 100x10 85%
My chins usually run up pretty fast.  I haven't chinned in a while and Wednesday night I did 75 for a stupid easy single, then 15 with bodyweight only.  Best is 100x3.

Dips - 200x10 70%
No clue.  I haven't dipped in forever.  Will dip next week and see how it feels.  Dips often aggravate my pec tendon, so if I do them it will be sparingly.  This limits my chance for success.

Curls - 185x10 40%
Not a lot of hope here because I hate curling and my template calls for lighter curls.  I will however, give some heavy curls for a set of 10 a shot on the little days of 6x10.

Squats - 500x20 0%
It's be hard to squat 500xanything right now with my hip/quad in the shape it's in.  However this may be a good thing as I will have a chance to really push the deadlift without also beating myself up on the squat.  It's very possible that my dead climbed like it did this past cycle because my squats were so light the whole time.

As far as eating goes, I'm not going to eat to "lose fat" or to "gain mass".  I'm going to eat for performance and to fuel my workouts and recovery.  I will still be doing conditioning several days a week.  Mainly a mixture of steady state several times then some interval work too.

I will only be doing two big sessions a week as I feel like that suits my recovery best.  So my split looks like, or will look something like this.........

Week 1 - 
Big Session 1 - Upperbody 1
Close Grips - 50% set
Chins - 50% set
Clean and Press - 1xmax reps w 225 or 245

Big Session 2 - Lowerbody 1
Calf Raises - 4x10
Leg Press - 6x20
Leg Curl - 4x20
1-Legged Squats - 4x20

Week 2 - 
Big Session 1 - Upperbody 2
Incline Press - 50% set
Rows - 4-6x8-20
Weighted Dips - 1x8-12

Big Session 2 - Lowerbody 2
Calf Raises - 4x10
Deadlifts - 50% set
Leg Ext - 4x20
Lunges - 4-6x20

If I could squat, I would honestly squat one week, and pull the next.  This kind of training on a per session basis gets to be a chore, and recovery, especially for someone with the amount of miles on them that I have, is very important.

Eating - 

So my fight coach has been on my ass about changing some things in my diet that he thinks will make even more of a difference.  Dropping all complex carbs, and getting all my carbs from fruits and vegetables with some potatoes thrown in now and again.  Hmmmmm, that sounds like fucking Paleo.  Fear not fellow readers, I am not doing Paleo.  However, I will try this for a while because the one thing I do like is that I can basically eat fruit until I die and not worry about weight gain like I have to with other carb sources.  So I'm always open to ideas and I'll give this one a try.

50% sets - 

I can't believe how many people are asking what these means.  I wrote about it in the PoTP's and have talked about them many times before.  But what the hey, let's do it again!

A 50% set means you go to failure, or close to it on your working set, then you rest for 60 seconds, and try to get half as many reps as you got on the first set.


300x10 on first 60 seconds
Shoot for at least 5 on the second set

That's it.

What are my goals?

To get as close to the standards as I possibly can.  To improve my conditioning.  Simply, to get better.

The book - 

It's coming!  I know lots of you are freaking out and thinking it's going to be like a year from now.  Maybe 6 weeks or so.  I am pouring as much into this thing as I can, as far as I what I feel is important from a cradle to grave aspect.

Know how to squat, bench, and pull properly.
The new strong-15 and big-15 templates and cycles.
The new block pull cycle
A pause squat cycle
Pre-hab and rehab at a blue collar level.
Training for old mother fuckers
Training for noobies and intermediates
A shit ton of training splits
A conditioning plan
Thoughts about being a better man
Bodypart specialization.  You guys saw what I did in short periods with trap and back specialization.  I am covering the whole body in this regard.

A lot of this is already written but I'm still writing, and fleshing it all out.  Be patient.  It will be well worth it.  Anytime someone has a question about training, I'd like for them to be able to open it up and find an answer, or some idea of an answer.  That has been my goal.

It's Friday, and I'm happy.  I got a solid nights sleep last night for the first time in a while, even if it was only 6 hours, I only woke up once.

I won't lie, dropping the meet has taken some stress off.  With mom's surgery and other things I've had going on, it was weighing on me.  Not because of the competition, but because of my leg and all the other shit around me.  It was just another stress, and eventually I decided it was a stress I could remove for now that would benefit me in the long run.  It was a very tough decision but I feel like now, it was the right now.  I have no doubt at all once my leg is good, 1800 no belt is in the fucking bag.

I hope all you bitches have a great weekend and do something worth talking about.  You get one go around.  Make it count for something.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Training - Big Session #1 - Upperbody

Bodyweight - 242

Close Grip Bench -
315x13-x3 50% set

V-Bar Chins -
body x tons of singles and doubles to get warm
bodyx15-x5 50% set

Clean and Press -

Notes - I won't lie........I have not been training this hard, and haven't trained this hard in a long time. I forgot what it's like to feel like every fiber has been torn apart and stimulated. This session took about 90 minutes because there were three of us, but we were toast after. And it feels pretty awesome.

BTW, I haven't done a clean and press in forever. That was 225x10 on a whim.

I have big plans for this template, and it has big plans for me.

Minor changes to spur on progress

If there is one constant the quest for bigger numbers or rep PR's or muscle mass, it's the ever present question of "what could I change to make things better?"

This question often causes more chaos than a room full of Charlie Sheen escorts on Ecstasy.

Guys will then scour the interwebs for every possible routine before they settle on something, and settle on something "because that dude is swole".  This is an excellent reason to pick a program.  Oh wait, it's fucking not.

The truth is, your lifting goodie bag already consists of all the movements you need to get as strong and as developed as you're ever going to get.

Squats - regular, front, safety bar
Deadlifts - regular, block, elevated, stiff legged
Chest Pressing - flat, incline, decline, db variations
Overhead Pressing - standing, seated, db and barbell variations
Support Work - chins, rows, curls, face pulls, various triceps

So that covers everything.  There's really no reason to venture out to find every exotic movement known to man in order to reach strength and development goals.

You don't need to make wholesales changes to a template or routine in order to get past plateaus.  Here are some of the things you can do to get past a sticking point once you become frustrated.........

Do bodybuilding - 

If you've been doing a ton of low rep work with higher rep work on the assistance, switch over to bodybuilding style workouts where you rep on every damn thing.  Do a bodypart split, and wear bright clown colored clothes.  Seriously, switching over to doing reps when you have been doing singles, doubles, and triples can be quite eye opening.  Most guys don't want to do this because they are lazy and out of shape.

Do powerlifting - 

If you have been doing higher rep work, switch gears and hit some singles, doubles, and triples for a while.

Drop a stubborn lift - 

If you love something, set it free.  If it comes back to you, kill it and eat it.  Ok I don't think it goes like that, but either way, sometimes when a lift is just being a pain in the ass the best thing to do is to drop it, and switch to a variation of it.  For example......

Deads - go to stiff legs
Bench - go to incline and overhead
Squat - go to front squats and hacks
Overhead Press - pick a new variation
Chins - go to heavy pulldowns

Drop the lift for 4-6 weeks then come back to it and start light again, and ramp back up.  Often times this will help you past a stubborn weight.

Fix bad technique - 

This generally helps a lift right away.  If you don't know how to fix bad technique, get a good coach.  Finding a good coach is usually the hard part.

Supercompensate that lift - 

Train a lift into the fucking ground over a two week span.  Train it three to four times a week for two weeks, then take a break for 8-10 days and come back and test it.

Change rep tempo - 

One thing guys don't use much when training for sheer muscle mass, is the negative portion of the rep.  The eccentric actually has more potential for growth than the concentric.  This is one reason Dante of DoggCrapp emphasized the negative portion so heavily in his training.  He had a great saying about this....paraphrased it was.........

"Think about getting the weight back up, just for the purpose of lowering it slowly again."

Best rep advice ever.

Explode as hard as possible on the positive, and use a controlled negative.  Yes, your lift will take a bit of a dive first, but it DOES come back.

Work harder - 

This one isn't as easy or as straight forward as you think.  For example, lots of guys doing 5x5 think they are working hard.  Then I have then take weight off and do a set of max reps in the squat and they writhe around on the floor for the next 20 minutes in agony.  Sometimes the key is just forcing the body to do shit it hasn't been doing.  Remember, you're trying to get the body to do something it doesn't really want to do.  Building huge amounts of strength and muscle mass is something it does slowly because it's not in the best interest of survival to do so.  Often times, you need to do shit that is just flat out puke bucket hard for a while to get where you want to be.  You have to get out of your comfort zone and work harder than you have ever worked before.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Training - Small workout #2

Upright Rows - 95x4x20
Bent Laterals - 20's x 4x20

That's it. Minimal rest between sets.

New big-15 templates

Because I'm a nice guy and I want everyone to benefit from all the years of my fucking up, here's the new big-15 templates and overall layout.  I will be writing more about it in the book, but I'm going to cover some of the templates and splits to be used and why.

Layout 1 - 3 big / 3 small

This is the main template I will implore most guys to use.

Basically, you have three big workouts with all of the multi-joint big movements, and ball busting sets.  For the big stuff you'll employ 50% sets and try to beat not only your previous weeks rep total, but that days 50% total.  This means that if you're having an off day and can't beat last weeks total reps, you can still try to beat the 50%.

And you will have three "small" workouts during the week that cover things like biceps, triceps, delts, traps, and abs.  These workouts will be high in volume, lighter in poundage with short rest periods.  For those that did the 65 pound barbell challenge, you get the idea.

There will be a rotation of workouts.  So on the 3 big/3small template you'll actually have 4 big workouts but they are split out over 7 total days.

Week 1
Day 1 - big 1 - upper #1
Day 2 - small 1 - bicep/triceps
Day 3 - big 2 - lower #1
Day 4 - small 2 - delts/traps
Day 5 - big 3 - upper #2
Day 6 - small 3 - biceps/triceps
Day 7 - off

Week 2
Day 1 - big 1 - lower #2
Day 2 - small 1 - delts/traps
Day 3 - big 2 - upper #1
Day 4 - small 2 - biceps/triceps
Day 5 - big 3 - lower #1 (from week 1)
Day 6 - small 3 - delt/traps

The other templates that will be outlined will be a 2 big/4 small and a 2 big/2 small.  These would look like so......

2 big / 4 small
Day 1 - small 1
Day 2 - small 2
Day 3 - big 1 - upperbody
Day 4 - small 3
Day 5 - small 4
Day 6 - big 2 - lowerbody
Day 7 - off

2 big / 2 small
Day 1 - big 1 - upperbody
Day 2 - small 1 - combine biceps/triceps/delt/traps
Day 3 - off
Day 4 - big 2 - lowerbody
Day 5 - small 2 - combine biceps/triceps/delt/traps
Day 6 - off
Day 7 - off

These templates will be designed to have you moving big ass weights through high reps.  Which is exactly what is needed for fast mass gain.  You will do high intensity with low volume on the big stuff, and high volume with lighter weights and short rest periods on the small stuff.  I go into great detail about the benefits of each and why this split will put mass on you faster than anything else you've probably tried.  I have used all of these various training ideas but never have really been able to piece them together.  The LRB template was the initial start of that, but I've been able to take this to a new level.

I'm still fine tuning all the little pieces but I'm excited to start this template myself and I have no doubt the results are going to be fucking phenomenal.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Training - Small workout #1

Barbell Curls - bar x 5 sets of 30, 95x2x10
Db SKulls - 7 sets of 20 with the 40's
Crunch - 3 sets of 25

Notes - This is part of the new big-15 which I believe is going to work un-fucking-real for building mass, and setting rep PR's. I'm going to be writing about it this week.


So I had to sit down and make a choice Saturday.

After hobbling in pain after squatting 365, I sat down and decided I would withdraw from this meet.  With everything I have going on personally in my life, and my leg in constant pain, I felt like it was the right decision.  It wasn't an easy decision to make because me and my daughter have been training in preparation for it for months now.

But my goal for a while has been to go 1800 beltless.  My bench is there, my deadlift is there, and the one lift I've always been able to count on isn't.  But that's life sometimes.  I don't see a need to go spend a bunch of money for travel, room, and food to go 1700 or what not.

So I talked to Bill Carpenter and asked if he would use my entry fee as credit towards another meet.  This would give me time to get the leg healthy, and boost my bench and dead even more.  It would also give me the chance to fly home and spend some time with my mom and dad in the next few weeks.  And that's something I really need to do.

Overall I feel like it's the right choice.  Hannah is also excited about training for muscle mass over the summer so she can go back to school looking jacked.

My goal is still the same as it was before the meet.  To become a bigger 242.  That means I need to lean up and add 5 pounds or so.  This will require some hard ass training.  I will be implementing my new mass template for this and I'm excited as hell about that.  I also plan on switching gears and hitting some big time rep PR's in the next couple of months.

This situation is kinda like sex with a chic not on birth control.  Sucks to have to pull out, but it's the right thing to do.  

Sunday, April 1, 2012

More inspiration..........

I got this e-mail the other day, and I wanted to share.  I really can't believe it when I get these kinds of e-mails because I see what I do as such a nothing.  So when I get them, I'm really blown away.

Dear Paul,

I´m sure you´re busy as hell and probably get a thousand e-mails form readers daily, but I wish you have the chance to read through this one.
I usually tend to keep stuff to myself, but I honestly feel the need to thank you.
My story starts on october 2010. I was 21 years old, sitting at a chubby 175, zero muscle mass and not a single care about it. Life was good, and I was happy.
Everything changed that month, tho. I lost a loved one, developed a severe depression and, all of sudden, life didn´t make sense anymore.
As a way to clear my mind, I decided I would go back to regular exercising and get in shape again.
It started well, I cleaned my diet and slowly started to run 3x a week. Phisically I was improving, but my mind was still fucked and getting worse.
Long story short, my depression was killing me. I started to run 10km a day for 6 days a week and was eating something like 1000kcal a day.
Not surprinsingly, I dropped to a malnourished and unhealthy 121 pounder at 5´10´´ in july 2011.
That same month, I completed a half marathon in 1h44min. Funny thing is I hated running. I only did it because I was afraid to regain weight.
One week after the half marathon, I was training in the treadmill and almost passed out. I was weak, sick and needed help.
That day, I decided I would turn my life around again.
I seeked medical aid, quit running and decided to go back to lifting weights, something I loved to do as a teenager.
As a compulsive reader, I started to research all I could on weighlifting. That was the time I came across your blog.
On August 2011 I was a little better, so I started `lifting´. I was doing the typical BB body part split you see on commercial gyms.
But as I dug deeper into your writings and learned about the compound lifts, I thought: Hey, that makes sense.
I slowly started to incorporate frequent squatting to my training. Then benching, chinning, deadlifting, OHPing...
Not surprinsingly, I was hearing crap from the `personal trainers´ at the gym, because the stuff I was doing was dangerous and I should just stick to cable flies and curls.
I didn´t trust them, tho. I trusted you.
So I didn´t care about all the crap I heard and all the laughs from the bros looking at me squatting the bar. I kept at it. I worked my ass off.
I was already disregarding isolation movements, but when I read your post from January 3rd I decided that 2012 was gonna be dedicated to smash the compounds and get as strong as I can.

Fast forward to today.
I´m sitting at a lean 158lbs, looking good and as healthy as possible.
People are complementing me daily, and life is awesome.
I´m currently squatting 240x3, deadlifting 355x3, benching 180x3 and OHPing 120x3.
The same bros that used to laugh at me now are coming to the squat rack to tell me I´m strong.

I can honestly say that your writings changed my life.
I can´t thank you enough for that.
Just make sure to remember that you are a role model to a lot of people, myself included.
Thank you for everything.