Thursday, November 29, 2012

Training - Back

Weight - 242

V-Bar Lat Pulldowns -
warm up
stack x 10,7

Cybex Chest Supported Row -
stack x10,10,10,10,10

Tit Machine Rear Delts -

Upright Rows - bar x 100

Notes - Nothing more boring than to read a training entry with machines that you have no idea about what's good, bad, or strong.  Am I right?  I didn't feel like deadlifting at all tonight, so I wanted to get in some back and rear delt work.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

More on bands, chains, and weak point training

Good question on my Facebook page today.........

Paul have you ever used bands or chains? I'm not asking to then say "don't talk shit', I'm curious because I never really heard of them until recently and I always wondered why people went nuts for them when people have been getting big and strong without them for centuries...

My response -

I used chains for a little while, but as I've written many many times before I don't think chains or bands are really worth a damn for most raw guys. Dan Green wrote about this in the latest Juggernaut entry and it pretty much echoed all the things I have written before. For a raw guy you want to train bottom position strength. Lots of paused work, lots of "harder" movements like front squats, high bar squats, deficit deads, incline and shoulder work. Chains I could see being more beneficial than bands because you could load the chains to all come off the floor at the sticking point, however I personally also don't believe in "weak point training" i.e. doing work in certain positions because you get stuck there. You get stuck there because well, you're not strong enough to generate momentum to move the weight past that point. I've never seen anyone bench less using a two board than off the chest, yet lots of guys do 2 board bench because they fail at that position. They will stop failing at that position when they can generate enough force off the bottom to make it through the strength curve.

I see no purpose honestly for using bands if you're a raw guy. None. But some like it. To each his own.

Addendum to this - 

Dan wrote basically everything I have been writing for years.  If you're raw, bands and chains are pretty much a waste of your time.  If you want to be brutally strong raw, quads, back, lats, chest, and shoulders are where it's at, bodypart wise.  Lifting wise, you need to build bottom position strength.  To quote Dan in our convo "the bottom part is the hardest position to build so you might as well quit avoiding it".  I still haven't figured out why I see so many raw lifters doing equipped lifters shit.  Reverse banded this and banded that.  Why?  You need to work the BOTTOM of the fucking lift.  Not make it easier.  

I really blame the internet and bad information.  For years, powerlifting articles and shit were suited and written for and by geared lifters.  Yet you had all of these guys that did not train in gear, reading and spouting off geared lifting methodologies.  Guess what?  It didn't work.  For the one or two guys it did, the other 99% of us were left spinning our fucking wheels wondering "why doesn't this bullshit work?  I'm not strong!"  It's the same reason you still hear guys talking about lats in benching.  LATS IN BENCHING?!?!  PULL THE BAR DOWN TO ME?  WTF?!?!?  The bar will fall right into you, why do I need to pull it into me?  Ohhhh it's because that asswipe can't get 600 to touch his chest.  Ahhhhh makes sense now.  

Basically, this is all about using the right tool from the toolbox.  You wanna get stronger?

Get strong off the bottom - If a movement is harder in the bottom USE THAT.  The one movement that kind of differs here is the deadlift.  I find that mid-shin pulls make the deadlift the hardest.  Your mileage may vary in that regard, but if I pull something from mid-shin I can pull more from the floor.  Stop worrying about shit like board presses, bands, chains, and reverse band non-sense.  

Build your quads - this is for squatting and for speed off of the floor in the deadlift.  So guess what?  Do fucking leg press and front squats.  I don't care what you read about not needing quads for powerlifting, that stuff is idiotic bullshit.   This means getting off the box, and stop listening to people who tell you that box squatting is full of awesome.  It is not.  If you want a bigger squat and pull, quads will be a great friend to you.  

Build your back - The deadlift is a back movement.  The legs initiate the drive off of the floor, however from there your back does the brunt of the work.  The lats, especially the lower lats fire hard from the bottom as well.  So train your lats and rhomboids like your life depends on it.  

Build your chest and shoulders - This shit about triceps for benching.....what?  Shoulders and pecs dude.  Even if you're close grip.  Doing a shit ton of tricep work is for guys who bench with shirts that need lockout power.  Most guys don't miss a bench at lockout.  They miss it at the transition point.  So guess what?  Just get stronger.  

Build everything else with your support work - Biceps, triceps, calves, hams, abs, etc all should be what you use your support work to build.  You don't need to kill yourself here, unless those areas are REALLY that far behind.  If that's the case, make them a priority for a while.  

I been giving you guys a lot of solid nuggets lately.  And by nuggets I don't mean shit in the toilet bowl.  

365, My own plans, and some tips on mass gaining

Because you guys know I like to write all of this shit out (which is why I have a blog, and also write books).

365 should be completed by this weekend.  It started off as just an idea and then blossomed into this full, year long manual.

What can you expect?

A manual that takes you through the year for strength peaking blocks, conditioning blocks, strength acclimation, strength peaking, then mass gaining.  Basically, if you aren't competing but still want to be jacked and tan, be strong and be in shape, this is the manual for you.  Be prepared to walk around by the end of the year being leaner, stronger, and more muscular than you've ever been before and people asking you "WTF are you doing?"

I also have two diets in it.  The LRB diet and a keto version of it for more extreme fat loss, or guys who actually enjoy doing keto.  I hate writing about dieting however this seems to be a big interest so I threw it in there.

The real gold in the manual is the section of efficient training.  This is something I've spent most of this year brain storming about.  Something Wendler and I have talked about for months, and something I believe, if implemented properly, will be very key in making steady, long term progress.  I really don't think that most guys are going to grasp this concept initially, or how it's so important, but the advanced guys will get it....I think.  Not sure, yet.

Either way, it's not something I just pulled out of my ass, it's something I've seen in my own practice for the last couple of years that really started to jump out at me.  Of course, it's also something that Jim has been playing with and found great success using, so we have both been all over this idea.  I'm pretty excited about it.  Again, may not blow you the fuck away right out of the gate, but it's thinking about training at the opposite spectrum that most do, and I'm not sure why I haven't been programming my training like this even for my strength cycles.

Let's just say I've had it right all this time, but didn't see how right I had it.  It'll all make sense soon.

In the meantime, my own plans are to run carbnite for 12 weeks and see where I am at.  Right now, I am down to 240 from around 253 or so, and I feel and look much leaner.  Forever and 12 fucking days my goal has been to get to 242-245 VERY lean.  This is no small feat, and if I had to guess I am going to end up 232 or so in the kind of condition I want to be in.  Maybe even 228, which makes me cringe because I look anorexic at that weight (to me, anyway).

However the bigger picture is getting leaner, then eating back up.  I need to gain maybe 5 pounds of muscle in the next 8 months.  Not impossible, but not easy either since the next 8 weeks will still be on carbnite.  5 pounds of lean mass would mean 10-12 total pounds (water and glycogen, plus SOME fat).  So basically February 1st I will start doing the carb back loading twice a week.  Generally on nights I DO NOT train.  I feel that works best for me.  I generally have great workouts when I do that.  If I go to three carb loads three times a week I found, in the past, that it was too much for me and I gained fat.  So I will start at twice a week, then go from there.

The question might be to me "Why aren't you running the LRB diet?" and that's a fair one.  Mainly because I have eaten that way for years on end, and I just want to try something new and do it correctly.  I think I probably ate too many carbs and carb loaded too often the previous time I tried CBL.  So I'm giving it another whirl.

The LRB is as solid as it comes in terms of eating for both mass and getting lean.  It's basically the mountain dog diet, before I knew what the fuck a mountain dog diet was.  I feel good about that because I think that John Meadows is really f'n sharp, so the fact that his diet and mine look pretty much identical makes me feel pretty good.

My own mass building training is going to revolve around some new (well not new, just shit I haven't been doing in a while) concepts as well.  The staples of the routine will be, for quite some time, incline press (db and barbell variations), elevated stiffs, front squats, and press behind the neck.  My support work will be quite a bit of stuff, and a lot of bodybuilder type techniques will be throw in.  Drop sets, rest pause, slow negatives, etc.  All the stuff that REALLY gets you fucking big.  Not singles, not triples, that shit does NOT get you fucking big.  I don't care what some fat guy tells you.  You don't get massive on low reps.

I didn't pick those movements haphazardly.  Those three movements I picked for a reason.  They are great compound movements all by themselves, however they also build all of the musculature related to the three powerlifts very well, have good carryover for me, and they address some weak muscular areas that I have.  Those three movements will be hit for sets of medium to high reps.  Often times, not as heavy as you would think.  I have been tinkering with a volume/intensity approach where I do the good ol 1-2 sets to failure thing, and the next session where I get in a shit ton of volume with much lighter weights.  I haven't ironed all of this out yet because I want to wait and implement these things when I can eat carbs more often again.  So you see kids, carbs and reps drive mass and strength.  Fact.

I expect my strength to go into the shitter for a bit on this keto.  It sucks, but it's all part of the territory and the bigger plan.  Once the carbs start coming back in on a regular basis, the lifts will start to skyrocket and I can train more balls out.  For now, I'm just going to do the best I can to maintain and see where that gets me.  I still expect a good session now and again, just few and far between.

Before someone offers up "why don't you just hit singles like Jamie, blah blah blah" because that kind of training is not for me.  I'll leave it at that.  Jamie does what he does because it works for him, it is not for me.

For the majority of you, you should be seeing these same principles over and over again and it should be sinking in.  You need reps, you need carbs, you need to train your fucking balls off if you want to GROW.  This is not my "theory" or uncharted waters in terms of training discoveries.  It's also not a hunch.  It's a fact.  Heavy with high reps.  Not light with high reps, and not heavy with low reps for your big movements.  Heavy weight with high reps.  That's where the gold is.  Now heavy is always relative for everyone.  You just have to figure out if you need to check your ego in order to train "heavy" with high reps.

A couple of things I do, that all relate to that and how I developed my philosophies and programs.

  • I generally stick with a weight for a long time, and build more and more reps over time.  Once I really get into the mass gaining phases that will be 315 for incline (as usual), and 365 for close grips.  For db flat and incline, it will be the 140's.  I set goals for each of these and go after them hard.  This is what the entire big-15 philosophy is based around really.  At first, I programmed it so that you bumped the weight every couple of weeks.  However upon examination of what I had really been doing, I found that I tended to stay at the same weight for long periods of time until the reps really got up there.  It was over this time, that I also grew the most.  If you get stuck for a while, add an extra back off set at a lighter weight, or add in some intensity techniques like rest/pause or a strip set.  Not a bunch of shit at once, just pick a technique and try to get in more reps using it.  Eventually you will be doing a shit ton of reps with your selected weight.  
  • For dumbbell work, I have some fixed 140's.  That's why it's the 140's.  Which I think is a good weight anyway.  If you can db bench the 140's for 20 well hell, that's strong.  To me anyway.  So no need is trying to do shit like sets of 5 with dumbbells.  I think that's a big waste of energy to try to get something that heavy into position for just a few reps.  So my recommendation to you, if you decide to use some dumbbells is to settle on a certain weight, and try to pound those until you get your specific rep goal.  I have used this method forever, and it works.  My only suggestion is to sometimes back off for a few weeks, and do some lighter sets for slightly higher reps with more volume.  This tends to pay dividends down the road.    
  • I'm really going to attack a couple of areas that I have known I needed to go after for some time now, but because I hate it, I haven't.  Namely, front squats and shoulder work.  I hate doing shoulder work (overhead pressing) because it's boring as fuck, and I'm good at it.  I know the latter part of that sentence makes no sense, but I've always been more driven to get better at things I suck at, and get bored with shit I'm good at.  That's just my nature.  However, I am REALLY going to buckle down on the press behind the neck and seated db press and see what I can do with those.  For those that ask "why not standing presses or klokovs?"  Because I fucking hate the standing press more than Courtney Love hates sobriety, and Klokov's beat me up really badly.  Plus, as much fun as snatch grip presses are, I personally don't think they have the shoulder building ability of a press behind the neck or seated db press.  That's just going off of how they all feel to me.  When I do snatch grip presses, even for reps, I just keep kind of beat up all over.  When I do PBN and seated db press, my shoulders get scorched.  It doesn't mean I won't get a wild hair up my ass and do some Klokov presses now and then.  I'm sure I will.  I still want to hit 245+ but it's kind of a side note at this point.  That's a lot of writing about how much I hate overhead pressing, isn't it?  Front squats I don't REALLY hate.  At all.  I suck at them and they are uncomfortable as shit.  The quad is feeling a little better (I've written this before haven't I?) and I am scheduled to get an MRI soon, so hopefully I will know what the deal is after that.  In the meantime I will push the volume at no more than 275 or so for fronts.  Which makes me feel like a complete bitch, but it is what it is.  
None of this is new shit here.  You've read all of this from me before, but I still see so many guys confused about this.  Why?  Fucking why???!?!?!  You literally see me implementing it in my own training, yet have so many questions about what to do.  I'm not using witchcraft or trickery.  It's really as simple as I'm laying it out to you.  

Eat big, train heavy for high reps = growth.  You can go to some board and have mental masturbation arguments about this all day, but it's just a fact of training life.  No "easy" style of training is going to change your physical make up.  Shit that is hard to do will.  If it were easy, everyone would look awesome and be swole and jacked.  They aren't.  It's not easy.  If your training methodology for mass gaining isn't difficult, then it sucks.  Strength training and mass training aren't the same animals really.  There is a completely different mind set in the two.  Yes, there is some crossover.  However, when I'm training to get maximally strong I leave a lot in the tank, and peak.  When I am training for mass, I train my balls off in the medium rep range and eat a lot of food.  Why?  Because it works.  It's not rocket surgery.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Training - Press

Bodyweight -240

Incline Db Press -
60's x 15,10
100's x 8,6

140's x 10,6

Curls - wide grip 65x35, medium grip 65x35, close grip 65x35
Band Pushdowns - 100 total reps

Notes - A total -10% session.  I kicked the db's up and my left glute cramped badly for the whole set.  Everything felt awful and heavy and awfully heavy.  Total suck.  Oh well, it's part of it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Training - Legs

Bodyweight - 240

Leg Ext -

Front Squats -

Ab Wheel/1 Legged Calf Superset - 2x20 for each

Notes - Had a nap and a monster earlier.  The road trip really took a toll on me, but this workout was not too bad.  The quad had no pain, so I'm going to stick it out at 275 for a while and push the reps there.  Though I'm positive I will be tempted to go to 315 soon if the leg continues to feel good.  I will try to be smart here.......heh

Thoughts about life, crap, training, and stuff - Road trip edition

It was great to get home to Mississippi and see all of my family, however as the saying goes there's no place like home, and I'm glad to be back in the confines of my cave.

Since I'm running a keto diet/carbnite eating while I was traveling was not very difficult.  However, since for some reason this shit really interests people I will go over how I ate and what I did to stay on my diet.

It's a 12 hour drive home for me, and with three kids in the car I do not drive all the way through.  I generally stop about halfway and we stay for the night.  So I will give you a run down of my eating on the way there, while I was there, and on the way back.

Day 1 Driving - 
I ended up stopping at a Ruby Tuesday's.  They have a salad bar so I ate a big salad with lettuce, cucumbers, bacon, and sunflower seeds with just a little bit of ranch.

For my fat and protein I ordered the dry rub ribs (you don't want sauce) in a full rack, with a grilled chicken breast.  I also had the grilled zucchini as a side.

You are going to notice a pattern of doing this...that is, ordering the grilled chicken breast along with the fatty meat.  This is because generally the fatty meat is fattier than it is protein rich, so I always throw in a clean protein source with the fatty source to either even that out, or get in more protein.

I ate this meal pretty late in the evening, so once we got to our destination a few hours later I just took a shower and went to bed.

Day 2 - Driving 

The next morning I realized I didn't have any heavy cream for my coffee, so I ended up driving to (literally) 4 different truck stops to see if they had whipping cream (Tiff told me laughingly "no truck stop is going to have whipping cream, Paul!").  Of course they didn't, so I just had coffee with sweetener.

On the drive we stopped at a Stuckey's that was just north of Memphis on 55 south.  I opened the door to the bathroom and my first thought was that the Angel of Death had killed 72 people with a urine cyclone.  Let me tell you, the smell of piss and death was so strong that I literally stammered back when I opened that door.  I don't think this bathroom had been cleaned one single time since that store had opened, and I'm pretty positive it was opened by the wives of confederate soldiers.

As I exited the pisser, red faced from holding my breath as I pissed, I ventured over to a glass rack that contained some swords and knives.  Not just any ol swords and knives though.  They had knives that only a deranged serial killer could love.  For example......

should have purchased!

.....yes, they literally had the Cobra serial killer knife.  I was amazed.  So much so, that I almost bought it.  It was only $22.  More than that, I wish I had gotten a picture of this case because the other knives in it were just as ridiculous.

We stopped to eat lunch a few hours later.  This would be my first meal.  It was at a Western Sizzlin, and let me tell you what was ATROCIOUS.  It looked like the cleaning crew had been on strike for I dunno....they never had a cleaning crew.  If the service was a blowjob, it would have been from a gold star lesbian.

I had about 4 pieces of baked chicken with the skin on it (three dark meat, and one breast).  I also had another big salad.

I called my dad to tell him we would be there around 3 P.M. or so (this was around 12 I believe) and asked him if he had anything to cook.  My dad is a great cook, so he told me he'd have a roast ready for me with some green beans.  Perfect.

Upon arriving that was what I ate.  I also went to the store and got some heavy cream and ran by the GNC to pick u some ISO-100 since I had left my powder at home (you always leave something right?).

That evening Tiff and I went to Ruby Tuesday's (it was right by the hotel, I'm not in love with this place) and I did my same order from the previous evening.  Ribs and chicken breast.  I also had a shot of peach Vodka because I needed it from the drive and from being around 19 family members.  I love my family, but you know how it is.

The next morning, which was Thanksgiving day, I was able to finally have my coffee and cream so I had that all morning for the most part.  At lunch I did Turkey of course, with a mix of light and dark meat and lots of different veggies.  A few hours later I just repeated this meal.

That evening most of the food was gone, and it had gotten late.  It was Thanksgiving day so nothing was open except this one gas station.  So I grabbed some more almonds and some beef jerkey.  Tiff and I did a bodyweight leg workout in the hotel room then I downed three scoops of whey in water with some almonds and beef jerkey.  This meal was terrible and yucky as fuck.

1 carb load in 20 days
The next morning was the day we had reserved a banquet room in the hotel for both of our families to have Thanksgiving together (it was obviously booked for the day before).  So we got up early, and had coffee and went and found a gym.  Snap Fitness was the place, and they had a sign on the front door that said they opened at 11:30 that day, even though it was a 24/7 facility.  That means, 24/7 to members with a card.  So we knocked on the door and a dude let us in, even though that same sign reads "members do not let guests in for any reason".

Pretty awesome.

There was a sign in sheet at the front desk so I asked the rebel's name who let us in, and I wrote us in as his guest.  Hur hur hur.

The biggest db's they had were the 100's so I warmed up and hit those for a set of 25 on db bench, which could be a PR, however I don't always keep up with reps that high or weights that light anymore.  I probably just haven't ventured past the 20 rep mark with these as a default so consider it a PR via boredom.

At lunch I loaded up on white meat turkey and ham.  Three plates worth.  However this was to be my carb up day and the real prize was the lemon cake my dad had made for me, and I planned on eating half of it.  I also grabbed what was left of the coconut cream pie, and a slice of triple chocolate cake.

I waited around until 4 P.M. to get busy on that shit, and I went through it pretty easily.  Since I still had another cheat meal for the day, at around 8 P.M. I rode over to the store and did my usual ritual of eating copious amounts of M&M's.  I also threw in a cookies n cream bar.  Why, I have no clue.  It was atrocious.  I think my thinking of "lean protein with the fatty protein" crossed over into my carb loading thinking.

"Lots of dark chocolate, so get some white chocolate too".

That's all I can think.

The next morning I did my usual coffee with cream and then said good bye to everyone, which for me takes a long time because I love my family so much and I hug them for about 2 hours.  So I didn't get around to eating until around 2:30 or so.  So I got in a long fast, which is fine, and then we stopped at a Cracker Barrel, who just happens to have a low carb menu.  I ordered the ribeye with green beans and a salad.

That evening we stopped off at this town and I actually did not want to stop to eat, so I rolled through KFC and grabbed a big bucket of chicken for Tiff and the girls, which I ate ZERO of.  Mainly because they were out of the grilled chicken, and I mostly detest fried chicken.  Not to mention that a piece of extra crispy has a whopping 17 carbs in it.  Yes I know, I could have peeled off the skin.  Did you miss the part where I wrote that I mostly detest fried chicken?

So I had a shake and almonds.  No biggie, it did the job.  Later that evening I stopped at a Texas Roadhouse, got the girls some dessert and I did the ribs and chicken thing again (I realize now this seemed to be a very constant meal on this trip).  I had a salad as well, because you know, veggies are important.

I didn't eat again until the next morning, which was at a Bob Evan's at around 10:30 or so.  I did the Farmer's Market omelette with two pieces of sausage patties, then headed home.  I had planned on stopping once more to eat however about 90 miles out from the house we ended up stuck in a traffic jam where we didn't move for over an hour.  So by the time we got the car moving again, I did not feel like stopping and just wanted to get home.  When we arrived I ordered a full rack of Chili's dry rub ribs with (drum roll) a chicken breast.

So as you can see, I never deviated from my diet regardless of circumstance or situation.  I can't ever figure out for the life of me, why or how people fret over these things or can't decide if they will or won't train on vacation.

1.  There is always a way to train on vacation if you so desire.  I honestly can't stand the "I'm going on vacation, how will I train....blah blah blah"

I've been on lots of vacations, and never missed out on training because of it.  I generally just get it in and don't worry about a "program".  So I've never been able to figure out why I even get a fucking question about training on vacation.  Either you do, or you don't.  If you do, I've been all over the world, and there's a gym even in the smallest and shittiest of places.  If there isn't (I've never been to a town that didn't have one nearby somewhere!) you can do bodyweight work.  Why, that's really hard to figure out, isn't it?

Also, the guys fretting that they will lose strength while on vacation if they don't train, well you're retarded.  Unless your vacation is like a month and a half long.  Stop being OCD and either take that week off, or just enjoy doing something fun in the gym you find.  Training should always be fun anyway.  If you're someplace nice, get a pump and walk around on the beach for a while.  These are not difficult things to figure out, so these particular questions always make me go "errrr?".

2.  There's food everywhere!  My wife has to follow a very specific diet because of a medical condition and she never has any problems eating on the road or on vacation.  If you eat low fat, it's not hard to eat low fat.  If you are eating keto, you eat fat and protein.  That's not hard either.  So I also cannot figure out why people have questions about how to eat when they go on vacation either.  Either break your diet and just eat whatever, or stay on your diet and make choices about what to eat.  Again, this is not hard, and I'm also befuddled that people send me "vacation eating and training questions".

I will probably carb load this week instead of going the 10 days again twice (though I am thinking about it).  The reason I went 10 days the first time is because of the prep phase, and because I wanted to be able to eat carbs on Thanksgiving.  So I didn't want to eat carbs a few days before Thanksgiving.  So I just went 10 days twice.  No biggie.

Plan accordingly, or just wing it, and don't make a big deal of these things.  A week isn't going to set you back much, if any at all.  I was still able to enjoy my trip and do everything I wanted to do, while never getting off my diet and still got in two productive training sessions.  This stuff isn't complicated.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Training - Press and support work

Bodyweight - no idea, no scale

Db Bench Press -
40's x 20,20
60's x 20,20
100's x 25, 10

Rear Delt Machine -
4 x 15

Barbell Curls - 70 x 20,20,20,20
Tricep Rope Extensions - 4x30

Notes - No carbs for 10 days again now.  I just worked it this way because we're having a joint family Thanksgiving today.  We couldn't reserve the room for yesterday so we had to basically do the big Thanksgiving today, so around 4 P.M. I plan on inducing the biggest carb coma I've ever had.

Anyway, the session started off ok however on the second set of db press wow, I tanked fast.  I was expecting to get 15-18 there but the gas tank totally emptied on the first set.

I hope everyone had an awesome Turkey day feast yesterday and is avoiding Black Friday like the plague.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

1. Being above ground another day to enjoy this life

2. Being of (slightly) sound mind, and of healthy body

3. Good food to eat, and clean water to drink

4. The love of family and friends

5. Everything else that is just gravy, but I'm thankful for all of the extras too.

I hope all of my LRB family is having an awesome Thanksgiving and a great start to the Holiday season.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thoughts about life, crap, training, and stuff - Travel Edition

Well it took longer than usual to get halfway home because some asshat had a wreck on the interstate.  Yes I know, I hear the cries of "Paul, someone could have been hurt or killed!"  More often than not, I have no sympathy for people in wrecks on the interstate, especially in Missouri, because outside of Ohio, I've never seen people who drive so shitty.  So sympathy.

What is it about an accident that backs up traffic so long?  I mean, all four lanes were open, they were just on the side of the road but traffic was literally at a standstill for an hour.  People....scoot the fuck along.

Yes, I'm cranky, however I am staying at a Holiday Inn Express so I also feel smarter.  For those of you who follow my blog that have no idea what I'm talking about, go look up the Holiday Inn Express commercials.  Good stuff.

Super happy about shit drivers

I did train before I left.  I did 150 reps of curls with 65 over 5 or 6 sets and a bunch of band pushdowns.  I know, thrilling.

Ok so just a note to you guys who took cock biter at his word, he was called out by Brandon Cass, Dan Green, and Jamie Lewis.  That's three world record holders.  Cock biter can accuse me of name dropping all day long, but it doesn't mean shit because I know and talk to these guys.  I will be training with Brandon in the upcoming weeks (he's in KC) and Dan and I chat frequently.  Obviously, Wendler knows a little about me, and vice versa.  So accusing me of name dropping is pretty fucking stupid.  Calling me out on my lifts was pretty fucking stupid, and then there's the whole video taken down thing after it was obvious he used fake plates to try and "prove a point".  Folks, if you ever see a guy doing shit like easily besting world records in his basement while he makes "no big deal" faces, it's bullshit.  Jamie says he'll give cock biter $1000 if he can show up and out total him.  A grand.  Since cock biter was deadlifting "795" (he didn't even know how much it was in the description....seriously folks) and my and Jamie's goals are his warm ups, should be pretty easy to show up and grab a quick grand.  However, he doesn't plan on competing until "he can break Pacifico's record".  I won't be holding my breath on this happening, or cock biter competing any time soon.

However speaking of that whole incident, I'm fucking STOKED about the USPF nationals being back in Chicago, and once I get back to KC and get my MRI done to see what's going on with my leg/quad/hip, I will set my sights on that meet, and plan on smashing the living fuck out of 1800+ beltless.  Yes, I've said that for a year and a half, and I think it would have been in the cards back in March before the leg started fucking with me.  In fact, I'm not really concerned it's even there anymore.  The bench and dead are more than good for it, so once the quad is fixed it should be a done deal.  465 close grip and 725 are the goals there.  Hold me to my word, I'm fine with that.  

The 365 manual is almost done and I'm kinda sad that the deadline is approaching because the more I write on it, the more I want to add to it.  Some will be straight from the blog, like the LRB diet because I HATE writing about diets and shit so consider it just a revision.  However the training bits in it are NEW and not recycled.  It's some of the stuff that Jim and I have been talking about for some time.  I'm not going to say it's innovative because there isn't anything new under the sun, and after reading it initially you may go "that's it?" but to advanced lifters like Jim and myself, it's really been interesting and fascinating as hell.  For a lot of reasons.

Paperbacks are back in stock at Amazon, for those that keep asking.  I will also have some new shirts in soon and it's going to be a much better quality shirt.  I'm not just saying that.  It will be tri-blend shirt and they feel amazing.  I've been trying to duplicate the very original LRB death is winning...t-shirts I had from spreadshirt and I don't feel I've been able to do it justice for a while, but these are awesome.

Still doing carbnite.  I feel fine.  I'm really barely eating at this point and not too bad.  Weight is kind of hanging around 244ish even though I was down one day to 239-240.  I'm just rollin with it.

There's a pretty cool gym in the small town in Mississippi I am going to.  If it's still open (who knows?) I will try to get some vids.  I believe they have 200 pound dumbbells and shit.

I hope everyone is having an awesome early Holiday season.

Dieting during Thanksgiving week

An older article about training and eating during the week of Thanksgiving, especially if you are dieting.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Chaos and Bang Your Earballs - 44 mag edition

Not a lot of training talk but VERY entertaining.

Why Dimebag, Phil Collins, Led Zep, Black Sabbath, Lynard Skynard, and many others are vastly overrated.
Eric's record breaking squat.
Getting run over by your spouse for lack of voting
The Beetus awareness month
Gangnam Style...........


Training - Shoulders

Bodyweight - 242

Seated Press Behind The Neck -

Side Lateral/Bent Lateral Superset - 20's x 20/20, 20/20, 20/20, 20/20

Notes - Tired.  Just got it in.  

Can't squat, can't deadlift

Paul - 
Squats were the foundation of my workouts, both, literally and metaphorically. I've been dealing with lower back issues for 18 years and, recently, squats and deadlifts started to aggravate them more frequently, and then even degenerated to the point where doing the movements themselves were hurting (form was on-point).

After seeing a chiropractor, a doctor and getting an MRI, the census was that I needed to stop going both of these, along with any other movement that would put stress on the lower back & hips. I ignored their advice for 2 weeks and just tried going lighter, but all it did was cause pain and made me feel like a bitch. All hope has been crushed.

Is my life over? Am I destined to spend my existence as a pussy?

First off, being a pussy (metaphorically speaking, since some women get up in arms about that term being used that way) has nothing to do with squatting and deadlifting and more to do with how you live your life, carry yourself, and whether or not you stick to the code you've created for yourself as a man.

With that out of the way, if you don't plan on competing in powerlifting, then as far as I know, there isn't anyone at the gym with a gun that is going to force you to squat and pull.  At a very basic level, training, lifting, conditioning, etc should all be something that we enjoy doing.  If you're not enjoying training, then you're doing something very wrong, or maybe you're not cut out for what you're trying to do.  

If you cannot squat and pull, then you just have to start experimenting with movements you can do pain free. It's far more important to make sure you're still able to train, and be healthy and active when you're an old fart than doing shit your body does not want to let you do as a young man.  

If I were you I'd start experimenting and making a list of movements you can do pain free, that should allow for progressive overload, and make goals to start hitting with them.  If you can't lift big in the squat and dead, that's ok.  Your life isn't over.  Just reroute your training and plan your goals accordingly.  

Best of luck!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Training - Pulls with a PR

Bodyweight - 240

Pendlay Rows -

Elevated Stiff Legs -
500x7 PR


Db Rows - 140's x 10,10,10

Notes - Another PR (that makes 3?) in the last month, all the while cutting carbs completely out for the most part (the 1 day of back loading).  Down to 240 but still feel ok.  Probably could have done 500x8 but I always leave that one or two in the tank.

BTW just for reference since cock biter claims I can't pull 700...Dan Green's best on the elevated stiffs in this manner are 565x5 and another 800+ puller I knows best is 500x10 on these, fresh.  I pull with Phil Stevens sometimes (who has also pulled over 800), and Phil will tell you that he pulls the same as me, meaning more from the floor than mid-shin.  When I pulled 650 for the first time, my best midshin pull was 635.  I just missed 695 at Phil's from mid-shin a few weekends ago, so you do the math.  Afterwards I pulled 655 for an easy double.

I absolutely refuse to even load the bar to 700 because it has been probably my biggest goal ever in lifting, and the first time I do it, it will be IN A MEET after squats and benches.  Otherwise guess what?  IT DOESN'T COUNT.  Point is, I know I can pull over 700 however the first time I pull it, will be the first time I have tried pulling it, and it will be in a meet.  Again, that's been a big goal of mine for a long time, and the dead has always been my worst lift so going over 700 will be a big milestone for me.

Though it does remind me of when a bunch of douchers told me I couldn't incline 405 when I was constantly doing 315x10.  I did it.  However I also realized I changed my path and what I was doing in order to prove shit to other people.  I do not live that way.  I do shit according to my own goals, on my own time, and my own way.  As I wrote before, what someone else does has zero effect on my life.

Oh yeah, also for the people who said I don't do reps, as you can see, the last month+ has pretty much all been shit in the 8-15 rep range.  Bread and butter of strumpf and mass.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Training - Press

Bodyweight - 244

Still sick as shit.  Ugh.

Incline Press -
bar x 30,30

Front Raises - 25x100
Curls - bar x 100

Notes - Just feeling awful still.  335 felt like a million pounds.  I guess a million pounds for 3 sets of 3 makes me the Hulk?  Def not tonight.

Ed Coan's response on rows

Hey since someone proceeded to put up a video saying I was talking out of my ass about Coan doing strict rows......I asked him.


Dumbest argument ever, but a lot of guys are claiming that you did rows sloppy, and some guys wrote that you did heavy rows with very strict form. Could I get some insight on if you did both at various times or preferred one style of barbell rowing to the other?



From Ed.....

A little of both. I always felt that if I did them too strict, I only felt it in my arms from pulling with them too much. I pictured them like a rower in a boat. The movement stretches more and is a little safer. It worked for me!! Hope this answers your question. Take care, Eddy

So before I even asked Ed, my take was........."The thing that may be applied here is that Ed may have done strict rows before, and sloppy rows later, or sloppy rows before and strict rows later."

The other thing I learned about arguing is before you go telling someone they are "talking out of their ass" you better go to the source first.  

Ed did both.  

But I like this debate, and I'm going to put up a post later for guys who want to participate in the first LRB study about rows in relation to deadlift strumpf and/or the building of it.  That way we here at LRB don't become part of the mental masturbation crew, and actually try to find out what's the most effective shit we can do in our training. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Training....with the flu = not awesome

bodyweight -244
Flu intact.

Leg Ext -

Fronts/Db Shrugs - superset
135x10 / 140's x 20
185x5 / 140's x 20
225x5 / 140's x 20
225x5 / 140's x 20
225x5/ 140's x 20

Notes - Have the flu, or at minimum the black mamba cold of death.  Felt as awful as I have felt in some time.


Hey Paul,

Just wanted to say thank you for your book. I have been doing your LRB template. Didn't change much really except for the frequency. I do it in a 2 days on/1 day off/1 day on/1 day off/ manner, and so far have added 40lbs to my incline in 10 weeks. I have found from playing doc Brown that hitting everything every 5 days works better for me than every 7 days. I went from 245x3, to 285x3. All my other lifts have gone up too but that has been the most dramatic. Obviously, I had everything else in place, like nutrition/sleep/supplementation, but other than my training, nothing else really changed. Programming and being very conservative with my maxes helped tremendously.

Love your blog!

From me:  There is a part in there that is REALLLLY important.  I will let you try to figure out what that is.....Congrats to Jeremy on getting better and being smart.  The latter usually causing the former to happen.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Chaos and Bang Your Earballs - F the incline press edition

Discussed -

Why Jamie thinks the incline press is depressing
Killing burglars with an iron (as in ironing board, iron)
More controversy on the row
Jamie being salty for not being able to take tomorrow off to play Call of Duty

Thoughts about life, crap, training, and stuff - PC and JDub edition

This last week, Wendler and I have been in knowledge exchange mode a lot talking about some theories that we have.  As usual, Jim and I were thinking about the same shit at the same time.  I can't tell you how often this happens.  No one would believe it.  I was going to put up a music post last week, and as I was making it, I saw Jim's feed on Facebook that he had made one.  We do this shit constantly.  But this isn't a "Jim and Paul suck each other off constantly" bit.  So I will elaborate.

Sort of.

The area that we have been discussing has been one of the most interesting topics we've talked about in a while in regards to programming.  Yes, this is a teaser for it because Jim is writing about it in his new book and I'm covering it in the new 365 manual.  I don't know if it's something that's going to jump out at you, when you read it.  However it's something that he and I feel might be one of the biggest keys and factors to constant and sustained success in the weight room.  Lots to write on about it, so expect me to really blast about it after the manual.  It also really solidifies some thinking I've had about my own philosophies and principles for some time now.  Anyway, not to tease too long about it, and I don't want to steal Jim's thunder about it either so I'll cut it there.

Boy the Pendlay row post got some action this week.  I'm not sure why that movement is so controversial (if a fucking exercise can have controversy) but I believe it's because most guys refuse to leave their ego at the door in training.  They would rather do 405 pound rows with monkey fuck form that does shit all for moving their deadlift than use 185 or so and get the benefits from it.  Dan Green and I talked about that row for a bit, and Dan pulls well over 800 and he said he can't do more than 315 with it until he starts getting the hip movement into it as well.  Think about that for a minute.  My pull is low 700's and I use 275 for a triple at best.  Dan pulls well over 800 and can't do much more than 315 before he starts to cheat it.  So some guy with a 600 or 500 pull wants to talk shit about how much he can row?

I also read where someone said Ed Coan did cheat rows.  He did not.  He did very strict rows that you can see in his video, and Pendlay also talked about Ed doing very strict rows.  I'm not saying Ed NEVER raised his back any at all, but I've read over and over again that one of most impressive things about Ed, was his ability to row heavy as hell (over 500) without his back ever coming up from parallel.

So if Ed Coan, who is stronger than YOU, "only" used 500......well I'm not sure what justification you have for doing 400+ pound rows.  But it's your life, so do what makes you happy and brings you rainbows and unicorns.

Look people write about leaving your ego at the door all the time, but most do NOT DO IT.  I've written about this many times.  If a guy can deadlift 600 as a max, he wants to deadlift 600 every time he walks into the gym.  How many times have you read on a message board..."I pulled 600 last week, went in today and missed it.  Couldn't even get it to the knees."

Well duh, shit head.  I'm writing about this in the manual as well and why this shit is a big reason for lack of progressing.  It also ties in with the previous statement about what Wendler and I have been going over.  Are you in the gym to get stronger, bigger, and better or there to "show off" what you can do?  I still can't, for the life of me, figure out why guys max in the gym.  It makes no sense to me.  Even worse, guys taking maxes right before a meet.  I'm not sure if anyone watched the Backyard Meet of the Century, but there were a lot of misses, and I know some of those guys went too heavy in their meet prep.  You don't need to hit in training what your goal is at the meet, in order to be good for it.  I feel like this is a "lost art" of training that was a mainstay from the guys in the old school days.  Those guys didn't max out in training.  They knew that's what the meet/competition was for.  They used the gym to build muscle and strength.  Not their ego.

I'm not saying the guys that missed at that meet train with their ego, and I know it's very tempting to want to KNOW that you are capable of hitting a certain number at the meet, however once you get into grinders and max lifts, you only have so many of those in you over a certain period of time (generally 2 weeks on the front and back end of training).

Your programming is the most important part of your actual training plan, and this is something many trainees put very little thought into.  Then when they fail, they blame the routine or the "philosophy" or whatever, when hey, no one did your programming but you!  You have to own that.

Remember what you are in the gym for.  It's to build strength, not perform strength demonstrations.  Every time you need to get "outwardly psyched" for a set, think of your recovery gauge as taking a hit.  So that means, fewer ass kicking sessions right after this.  What I am getting at is, when you have a +10% session, expect a drop and some -10% sessions right after, or at the very least some very poor 80%ers.  This is the ebb and flow of training progress.  Something I have preached about for a long time, is to stack up tons and tons of 80%ers with as few -10%ers as possible, and training progress will be great.  A +10% session is always a bonus, but there is a pendulum swing with it, and you will have to pay the piper, i.e. some shitty workouts thereafter.

Short and sweet for a Monday, in which I am off work.  I know it was yesterday, but thanks to all the Vets for their time and service.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Training - Shoulders - Overhead PR

Bodyweight - 240

Press Behind the Neck -
bar x 30,30

225x12 PR

Side Laterals/Bent Lateral Superset - 20's x 20/20 x 20/20 (2 sets of 20 for each)
Db Shrugs - 140's x 15,15

Notes - Sweet session.  6th day of ultra low carbs but I had a great session.  Yesterday I felt the worst, but today I actually feel pretty good.  Nice to hit another pressing PR.  I've been capable of this plenty times before but today I decided to go ahead and go after it.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Post on Pendlays

Since all you nancy boys are complaining about the music being too loud.

  • Don't do shitty rows.  The whole point of the fucking row is to work your rhomboids and mid-back, with the lats to a lesser degree.  When you start using cheating and english you turn it into a mini-deadlift/shrug.  This is fine if you want to work the low back and traps....oh wait, that's what the fucking deadlift is for!  Use the row for what it is supposed to be used for.  
  • You don't need to use much weight to properly work the rhomboids and mid-back.  The row, regardless of what you have read or been told, is not a "power" or "strength" movement where a shit ton of weight has to be piled on for it to be effective.  I don't know of a single fucking event in strongman or powerlifting where they ask you to do a row for a single.  The truck pull would be closest and guess what, they have to do a lot of "reps" in that shit.  
  • If you think I'm wrong, try this.  Drop your hips lower and raise your chest and use some english/momentum to do the row.  Do your first set this way.  After that, keep your hips high and your torso parallel to the ground, arch your back hard on the pull and use no momentum.  Which one did you feel the entire midback contract hardest on?  That's the point.  Working the mid-back.  NOT your ego.  I can do rows with 405 if I want, just as shitty as you please.  It would serve zero purpose.  
  • When in doubt, go lighter.  
  • Notice the sweet arch I get on the pull.  This is key to getting a full contract in the back on a row, chin, or pulldown.  If the weight is too heavy, you won't be able to arch hard.  You will start raising your torso to either initiate or finish the movement.  Again, go lighter and work the actual back.  Not your ego.  
  • Back to the arch, this is another reason to stay light on the row.  If you are squatting and pulling heavy in the same week, and are being stupid about your weight on your rows, the low back just takes more of a beating.  When I am squatting and pulling heavy I actually prefer to go to a db row, or chest supported row.  The low back takes a long time to recover.  It's my belief that a fatigued low back is what causes a lot of guys to think they have that broscience bullshit of "CNS burnout".  The low back and hips are the REAL core of your body.  When it is fatigued (muscularly) you are going to notice a significant drop in strength on the big movements.  That area needs to recover.  The squat and pull provide plenty of stimulation for the erectors, so there's no need to pile on even more with heavy shit rows.  Truth is, you could throw a single plate on each side and do some sets of 20, getting plenty of work in for the back without killing the low back.  I know a 900 pound deadlifter who does this.  
  • Cliff notes for doing the row this way - 
    • Hips high
    • Pull with the elbows and squeeze the mid-back
    • Pull to around right below the chest.  
    • Once you stop feeling the contracting in the mid-back, and start throwing in body english reduce the weight.  You should always be able to squeeze everything together back there and feel a strong contraction.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Training - Back and a vid on rows

Bodyweight - 243

Pendlay Rows -

Stiff Legs -

Notes - Did a vid on how I do the pendlay rows.  Just to keep this shit in perspective, my pull is around 700 now, and 225 is about as heavy as I can go for 8 without starting to get the knee bend and hip bending action in.  I hate sloppy ass fucking rows like Courtney Love hates being sober.  So I don't really care what anyone says about how sloppy rows helped their shit.  Rowing is meant to build the rhomboids and mid-back.  Not be used as a power movement.

If you bitch about how loud the music is you're gay.

More recipes of food that tastes REALLY f'n good

Homemade Salsa:

3 Vine Ripe tomatoes

1/2 red onion

1/3 cup FRESH cilantro chopped

2 tbsp. FRESH lime juice

sea salt

black pepper

Chop tomatoes and onions very small, add lime juice, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir and enjoy!

Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken Breasts:

4 chicken breasts

1/3 cup chopped FRESH cilantro

1 lime squeezed

sea salt to taste

black pepper to taste

garlic powder to taste

2 tbsp. Olive Oil

Drizzle Olive Oil and lime on the chicken breasts. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper,garlic powder, and cilantro. Marinate for about 30 minutes. Grill indoors in a grill pan with some nonstick cooking spray or outside. Slice into strips and serve with a green salad.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

SLL Programming Combinations Part 2 - Squatting

Here comes the fun part of mixing and matching programs.  Lower body work.  Namely, for the squat and pull.

So first, let's talk about the squat.

You can get very creative with the programming here.  So let's just throw out some examples.

No need to go over the strength peaking phases.  That's what the strong-15 is for all by itself.  However, you can mix and match some of the cycles depending on goals, and if a lift is weak or needs to be brought up.

Squat Woes - 

For a guy whose squat is really lagging, and wants to squat twice a week there are a multitude of ways to go about this.

You can program both the big-15 and strong-15 cycles together, and simple do them both in the same week.

Day 1 - 
Squat - big-15 programmed light for reps with 50% set

Day 2 - 
Squat - strong-15 with pause squats

Someone will ask "so what should I plug in?"

Be honest about your "everyday max" (I am writing more about this in LRB/365) and program that in for phase 3 of the strong-15.  So if it's 500 you will program in 500 for phase 3, 465 for phase 2, and 425 for phase 1.

The big-15 is based around 85% and 73%.  So you can use that same everyday max as a good starting point.  That means an over warm-up to 425, and a rep set with 365.

The cycle runs 9 weeks.  My advice for you is to be smart and leave a LOT in the tank the first three weeks, which is the acclimation period anyway.  So you might want to just hit the 365 for a set of 8 and then 4 for the 50% set, and call it a day.  Add a rep or two every few weeks to either the top set or the 50% set so that you're busting out a high rep set pretty easy by the end of 9 weeks.  Just make sure for the first 3-4 weeks you leave a lot in the tank.

Listen, lots of guys still don't get this.  You do NOT have to bury yourself with perceived intensity or actual intensity (bar weight) in order to get stronger.  I hit a PR last night on db bench press after not doing them for many weeks, and when I did do them the last time it was just with the 100's for some high rep sets.  The Russians do all of that volume and frequency using very low percentages.  BE SMART!

Ideally here, what you want to do is just DESTROY every session for the whole 9 weeks, take a week off (or at 50%) then do a testing week up to a "max".  Or don't.  I don't like maxing in the gym and feel it serves almost no purpose other than ego boosting.  But if you don't compete, and want to say "I squatted X amount" then do what I just wrote.

I do not recommend deadlifting during this time, since this is a squat cycle with a lot of work.  Your dead should be just fine if you are doing lots of upperback work, and pushing the reps hard during the final 3-4 weeks.  All of the strong-15 workouts should be fast and explosive.  I cannot emphasize this enough.  If you start grinding, you are in trouble.  Every workout should feel "good".  Not like a burden.

If you are one of those headcases about deadlifting, then pull light every other week after the big-15 repetition day.  By light, I mean a triple with 60% of your max at best.    

Option 2 - 

The other option is to break up the strong-15 cycle into 2 days for the week, and just do the singles on one day, and the pause squats on the other.

This one is pretty straight forward.  I don't feel like I need write a "split" out to show this.  A great way to keep heavy deadlifts in this split is to just use the pause squat days as part of the warm up before deads.  Will work perfect.

Option 3 - I'm suicidal 

Option 3 is probably something you never thought of.  But that's ok, because I'm a thinking man and I thought of it for you.

Ok so yeah, it's a front squat but it's Klokov.  And he's fucking cool.

Option 3 is to take the strong-15 and squat three times a week.  So the entire cycle would be condensed into three weeks.

Now how to structure this is key.

Anytime you up the volume and frequency, you must take the bar load (intensity) into account.  If you're going to up the volume and frequency, the intensity must come down.  Otherwise, you will stall quickly, and burn right the fuck out.

Take your same "everyday max" and use 93% of that for phase 3.  So you will plug in 465 for phase 3, which means you will work up to a "measly" 435 over 3 weeks.  Hey wait, that's roughly 87% of your max.


So programming wise, you would program in 395, 435, and 465 for phases 1, 2, and 3 respectively.  Try to be as explosive as possible during these weeks.  If you want to test after three weeks, take a 50% week where you squat once, then test.  Easy enough.  

Closing - 

These combinations are more for guys who have really been struggling in the squat, and need to give it a lot of attention, especially option 1 and option 3.

After a few cycles of these you should see your squat really take some nice jumps.  When you are at a point where you feel like it's up to snuff, so to speak, drop back to once a week, or keep option 2 as your mainstay.  Your mileage may vary in terms of recovery and former injuries, so be mindful of that.  Most importantly, if you want these to work, PROGRAM smart.  Not egotistical.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Training - Press with a surprising PR

Bodyweight - 247

Db Bench -
30's x 30,30
60's x 15,10
100's x 8,6

140's x 14 PR
100's x 17

Front Raises - 25 x 100
Poundstone Curls - bar x 100

Notes - REALLY surprised to hit the 140x14 tonight.  Been wanting 15 for a while and 20 as my goal.  All of this while dieting pretty strict for 2 days now.

Priorities, Love, and Support

A man starts building a house for himself. He begins the project earnestly, with vigor and enthusiasm. He's meticulous in his work, taking care to mind every angle and measurement. He spends the majority of each day hammering, cutting, and sawing. He looks over his plans many times, envisioning what his work will look like when it is done. Regardless of rain, snow, or shine he never misses a day of work.

For months he works and labors, pouring all of his energy into trying to make his vision into a reality. But eventually he becomes discouraged that things are not happening fast enough, regardless of how hard he works. Eventually, his enthusiasm wanes, and he finds ways to talk himself out of working on his house. When he does show up, his effort is only a fraction of what it used to be. He no longer minds each angle and every measurement. He is sloppy and careless. The plans he used to look over with such enthusiasm, are now worn and tattered. The vision he used to become so excited about, is now nothing more than a blurry picture in his mind.

Eventually apathy wins, and he stops showing up at all.

Over time, the parts of the house he had built succumb to the elements and start to crumble. The once shiny fruits of his labor are now only a reflection of his absence and apathy. Eventually the walls crumble, and fall. Without his attention and desire, they can find no reason to stand.

Your entire life is a reflection of your priorities, and the level of effort you have for those priorities. When your passion for those priorities wane, so will your level of effort for them. When apathy takes over, the fruits of your labor will rot. Your walls will crumble and fall.

Training, romance, friendships, work, etc all require your passion and desire if you want them to function at the highest level. When your desire wanes, so will your work. Without work, nothing grows. Without growth, it will begin to die. If you love something and it is a priority in your life, you will constantly work for it because you can't live without it.

Thanks to my partner in crime for inspiring me to write this.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Training - Legs

Bodyweight - 249

Leg Extensions -

Front Squats -

1 Legged Calf - 100 total reps

Notes - This was much harder than it looks on paper.  My quads were like balloons by the time I got to the front squats.  I am just going to stay at 225 for a while because this can be done pain free for the most part.  I will just increase volume and/or reps.

Thoughts about life, crap, training, and stuff - Post Vegas Edition

Vegas was amazing.  It always is to me, though.  I actually DID attend the classes from my conference.  I have enough integrity not to be wasteful with my company's money, and I actually did want to find out what new technologies I could bring back to work with me, and talk about implementing.

There were a ton of conferences in town and it became very obvious to me that if you wanted to work around attractive women, you most definitely want to work in the medical field.  There was a dermatology conference going on and there were more gorgeous women than you could shake a stick at.  On the contrary, I saw nary a decent looking woman in any of my classes.  I work in IT.  Go figure.

With that said here's a run down of the highlights from Vegas.  Of course you won't get them all.  I also adhere to the saying, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.  And one of those nights most certainly applies here.

  • One of the hottest chics I've seen in a while came into the hotel gym while I was lifting there.  Her ass was beyond spectacular.  I don't see a lot of women that catch my eye, so just the mention of her should tell you how hot I thought she was.
  • The hotel gym was solid enough so that I was able to train and not constantly think "god damn, this place sucks."  100 pound bells, an actual bench with a bar, no squat rack but I didn't really expect one, nor was I going to squat this past week anyway.  
  • My diet this week was really strange.  I would eat breakfast after my first class, so around 10:30 a.m. and then I wouldn't eat again until later in the day.  Which was usually just a shake.  Then I'd have dinner at night around 7-8 and eat whatever I wanted.  This somehow ended up working out well enough so that I didn't get any fatter on vacation and some days I actually was a little tighter than usual. 
  • I hung out with the director for Hangover 3 until about 2 a.m. one night.  I didn't know who it was until the bar tender told me.  He had left by then.  Dammit!
  • Halloween in Vegas is amazing.  I will be going back next year during Halloween week for certain.  The weather is better, there aren't a bunch of snot nosed crying brats running around (why do people bring their kids to Vegas anyway?  It's an adult oriented town).  The entertainment is amazing, and you don't even need to step into a club to enjoy it.  There's plenty of shit running around the hotel.  Like....
    • Dudes in real transformers outfits.  I mean Bumblebee could actually break down into a car that ran.  That was amazing.  
    • A 12 foot tall Grim Reaper was in the clubs that week, or at least the two clubs I was in on those nights.  So was this 8 foot tall werewolf.  The best part about that was, they were both on the dance floor the whole time getting down.  
    • Upon seeing me in my tunic, I was attacked by 4 Asian women in the middle of the Casino.  They insisted on having their picture taken with me, both as a group and in one on one action.  Each of them proceeded to cop cheap feels on me and laugh in a very stereotypical Asian way about it.  I didn't complain though.  
    • I didn't see a single Bane the entire time, even though all three Halloween stores were sold out of that outfit.  I guess Batman beat his ass hard enough that he didn't feel like leaving the house on Halloween night.  
    • I hooked up with a couple that was also dressed up as Romans.  As we were standing in the middle of Caesars, a guy dressed as Jesus walked through and I yelled loudly "It's Jesus!!!  Kill em!"  Jesus then proceeded to run out of Caesars as fast as possible.  That was probably one of the funniest moments of my life.  

I start my "leg rehab" tonight, which will mainly consist of lots of leg extensions and front squats.  So my routine gets another revamping.  

Day 1 - 
Leg Ext - 6x20 to top set
Front Squats - 5x10
Calves - stairs

Day 2 - 
Db Incline/Db Bench - 2x8-15

Day 3 - 
Pendlay Rows - 6x8
Stiff Legs - 1x8-12
Leg Curls - 4x10 to top set

Day 4 - 
PBN - 6-8x8-12
Front Raises - 1x100
Side Laterals/Kirk Shrugs - 5x20

I will have an alternate deadlift day in there from time to time as well, where I pull a moderate single or triple from the floor, then a triple from blocks and then some reps.  I am also going to get back to actually working shoulders directly for a while.  Conditioning will be done 3-4 times a week.  My goal right now is to drop 15 pounds, down to around 236.  I'm about 251-252 right now, and this is the leanest I've ever been at this weight, so I am figuring that I will be awfully lean at 236 this time.  
I hate coming back to work from vacation.  Gotta be one of the most awful feelings there is.  Outside of a bullet to the chest, that is.  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

The red and blue pills....part 2

Outside of taking the red and blue pill question at face value, there was something else that came out of that discussion.  

The red and blue pill question was about as simple as it gets.  Yet there were still plenty of guys, who could not just answer "red" or "blue".  

"I'd take both."

"I would mix both."

"I wouldn't take either." What the fuck did you chime in for then?  Jesus Christ.........

"I would take the strong pill, and then diet."  Wasn't a fucking option!

"I'd do this, I would do that."

Let's rewind.  It was a very simple question that gave you two options.  Yet lots of people could not just answer it.  A woman's record holder in powerlifting sent me a message regarding the conversation, telling me........

The people replying to your post make even less sense than the post itself.

The skewed initial question aside, the obvious point is that you have to pick ONE.

 The biggest thing that stood out to me was that it was such a simple question, yet some people deliberated about it incessantly, or just changed to options that weren't even on the table.  It's not that hard of a question to answer really.  Not in my opinion anyway.  You've got two options.  Pick one.  No need to explain shit, and you don't have other options.  

It made me realize however, no wonder so many people can't either stay on a training program, or can't get on board with one, or just can't slave away on some basic principles for a long period of time.  I mean, it was two options.  TWO.  And some people had to still bastardize those two options, even though there really wasn't other options.

"Well I make my own options."

Get the fuck outta here.  

I'm not trying to throw people under the bus, I'm trying to help show you that often times your training is in a funk because you present yourself with options that shouldn't be there, or aren't there at all.  You create a larger paradigm about your training that you need to, or feel something "more" is warranted.  

It's not.  My last article was about that.  Training is so simple, yet we have a billion boards on the net packed with training talk and information and there is this mass confusion about what works and what doesn't.  

Really?  How did this happen?  

It's because so many people don't believe it can be that damn simple.  No one ever got it when Jim and I blasted the whole "weak point training" bullshit, and told folks "just get stronger."  

The question we often received back from that answer was even more absurd.

"What does that mean, just get stronger?"  

Really?  You don't know what that means?  It's not a trick question.  You can take it at face value.  Just get stronger.  Keep working.  Stop expecting results in 5 minutes, or even 5 weeks.  Stop trying to fix shit that isn't broken with such nonsense as weak point training or believing in bullshit like CNS burnout, and that it's the reason you aren't as strong as you want to be.  They aren't options to pick from, because they don't even fucking exist.  

Stop trying to base the effectiveness of a training model based on three weeks.  There's going to be times where you bust ass for 10 weeks and you may not see a huge improvement in something.  You can't add 50 pounds to your lifts a year.  It's not going to happen.  It doesn't have anything to do with options or the wrong routine, it has to do with the nature of training and the ebb and flow of your training life.  The longer you train, the closer you get to your genetic limit.  The closer you get to your genetic limit, the slower the rate of gains.  It's that simple.  

Second, stop trying to bastardize a knowledgeable and seasoned lifters well thought out program, because you think you know better.  Yes, I often tell people to ask for forgiveness rather than permission, but if you are running 5/3/1 or my program or WSB or whatever, run that shit as outlined for an extended period of time, then make ONE ADJUSTMENT that you think might help.  Not two, not five, not seventeen.  ONE.  And see what happens over a sufficient period of time.  

I don't want people to be robots, however I also see how just how ridiculous people can get about things that I see as being so simple.  I mean, option 1 or option 2.  

"I'll take option 3"

"It's not there."

"Option three."  

"It's not there."

Round and round and round and round..........

Training is simple.  Eating is simple.  Conditioning is simple.  

Stop making it more complicated than it is.  That, or just find someone to kick you in the nuts until you stop the nonsense.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Training - Pressing

Bodyweight - 251

Press Behind the Neck -

Front Raises - 25x100
Curls - machine 6x20

notes - Had an unusually good session on vacation.  I was tired as hell but threw down a diet rock star and ended up having a fairly spectacular session even though it took quite a while for me to get warm.

251 right now.  This is without a doubt the leanest I've ever been at this bodyweight.  I'm usually around 238 or so when I'm this lean.  And I'm eating carbs.  Who knew?