Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Years!

Yeah I know it's early.  Still wanted to wish everyone a very safe and joyous ringing in of the new year.  I had a rough 2012, but I learned and grew so much from all of the struggles I survived, and mistakes that I made.

I plan on making 2013 as awesome as possible but anything can go wrong.  When it does, I will revert back to my code of being a man, a good man, and continue on.  I hope everyone fills their heart, mind, and spirit with all of the things they want to make them whole, better, and stronger.

You cannot be resurrected until you have first been destroyed.  If the last 365 days were a destruction of sorts for you, make the next 365 your ultimate resurrection.   

Everyone be safe.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Making 365 work

For everyone starting 365 next week, some tips to making things work.


In the first cycle, the first three weeks worry about the assistance work, and getting the volume in there. The main lifts should be fast and explosive. Take this time to work on getting tight, and technique. Not the fact that the weights feel "puny". They should.

2. Take it 1 cycle at a time.

I already have people telling me there are setting goals for the year. That is fine if you want to do that, however a better way to look at it is like this. If you destroy every cycle through the year, you're going to end up much further along than if you try to manipulate this cycle, based on what you want for the next cycle. So for the strength based cycle, EAT, and train for strength. There are phases where the fat comes off later. During those, don't sweat your top end strength. Take each phase one at a time, and use it for what it's programmed for.

3. Don't sweat the small details.

For those that train at home, if you don't have an incline, do standing press. If you can't do a certain movement, swap it out for a movement that is similar. Use the movements you feel most comfortable with, that also provide the best training economy if you can't use one that is listed.

4. Set modest goals

This time of year, everyone is going to be the Incredible Hulk or She-Hulk in three weeks. Let's clear the way for the truth here. That isn't going to happen. So simmer down, make modest goals for each cycle that can be reached and go after them. At the end of the year, adding up all of those small goals, will mean a shit ton of progress. Where before, you would make a very big goal and fall short because you didn't decide to achieve the little victories first.

I'm excited for this shit to kick off and have no doubt that if you follow these rules, you'll have an incredibly productive training year.

Strength, Life, Legacy back in stock at Amazon

Available here

Friday, December 28, 2012

New shirts coming!

Similar but NEW design.  And the new shirts are a really awesome poly/cotton that is much higher quality than the previous ones.  THESE ARE NOT IN YET!  I will make a new post when they are ready.......

If you want one go to the LRB Facebook page so I can jot you down for inventory count.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Some goodies I am playing with, and I don't mean your moms vagina.

Whenever I get a break like this, I think about training quite a bit, and I usually like to put those ideas out here so you guys can get a look see.

Some of the things I am continuing to do, but will evolve, are here.  

My split will change ever so slight.  It's still 3 days a week, but I've been tweaking some volume and intensities so I will show you what I'm doing here.  

Monday - Deadlift and back day

Pulls - doubles using the 24/45 method to a moderately easy double.  This is basically where you start at say, 225, do a double, then slap on 275 and do a double.  You then go to 315, 365, 405, 455, etc.  This is a great way to get in a lot of volume on your pulls, and build up enough accumulative fatigue that it sort of limits your "top" pull.  

And speaking of which, the top pull won't be much here.  I'm thinking a real top pull wouldn't be more than 585 or so.  However, I may not even go above 515-550.  Again, I'm going to be all about figuring out ways to up the volume with the lower intensities to really get work in.  

If I am feeling good, I will probably pull 3 sets of doubles, and then take off 90 pounds of whatever I was using there and go to elevated stiffs.  There I won't do volume, I will do an all out set of whatever I can get.  If I'm having a down night, I'll just bust off 2x5 or so.

If you think about the volume here you can get an idea of how much work this would be.

225x2,2,2,2 warm ups

Including warm ups, that's 13 sets of pulls.  Throw in 2 sets of stiffs after that, and it's 15 sets of deadlifting.  That's a LOT of volume for ANYONE (who the fuck keeps writing that I do low volume????).  

After that, I'll do some abs and I am getting serious about ab work.  Either ab wheel or decline sit ups with a plate behind the head.

So for the most part it will look like this.

Deadlifts - 25/45 method doubles
Elevated Stiffs - 1xamap, or 2x5
Abs - 3x20

Thursday - Squat and Legs

I've been warming up on leg days with a lot of volume (7-8 sets of 20-40) on leg extensions.  This will stay.  I like this and I like being able to pre-fatigue the quads before I start fronts.  Which is next.......

I am going to stay with fronts, mostly for three sets of 5, but I will start adding in the over warm up again since my quad seems to be doing ok.  Again, don't expect big lifts here.  However, after the fronts, whatever was used there, I will slap on 90 and hit a set of 10+ on regular squats, which I have not done in quite some time.

The front squats will not be heavy for a while.  The plan is to stay light for a long time, and really work the low percentages.  315 for 3x5 tops for a while.  No matter how easy it is.  I will work on moving that weight with more force over time, and not always loading the bar.  That will happen eventually, but not until I knock out 315 for sets of 5 where every rep feels very fast, and powerful.  

My figuring here is this, if I can eventually knock out 3 sets of 5 with 405 on fronts, and then go to 500, and rock out a set of 10, my squat is going to be kicking ass, yet I will never have had to load more than 500 on my back.  I may literally plan my meet cycle around this.  The only difference being is that might do 1x3 or 1x5 the last couple of weeks with the squat after the fronts.  But still, it would be no more than 550 for a triple at the most.

This comes back into play with my thinking of getting more out of less, in order to preserve recovery.  If my legs are taxed from the leg exts and fronts (which are "light") then 455-500 on squats is PLENTY enough to build lots of strength.  I just need to manipulate the volume.  But it will be a long while before I am doing 405 for 3 sets of 5 on fronts, so no need to rush it.

After that I would do some 1 legged work, or glute work and some 1 legged calves.

Leg Ext - 8x20-40
Fronts - 5,4,3,2,1, then 3x5 or 5x3
Squats - 2x5, or 1x10+
1 Legged Work - 1x20
1 Legged Calf - 100 reps

Saturday - Pressing

This is back to my standby of benching one week, and doing incline the next.  The difference now is, I don't do heavy inclines the second week.  I just do 225 for reps.  I want to be able to work up to 30+ (23 now) on 1 set, and 50+ over 3 sets.

On bench weeks I will do close grip.  One week I will do 5 sets of 3 @ 365 and the next time, I will do 315x3x8.  All of these reps are paused, so it makes it very difficult to get the reps in.  However, this is what builds that bottom position strength really well.  When I can get 315x3x8 with all reps paused (ALL REPS), I will move to 335x3x8 and 385x3x3.

I'm going to get back to doing press behind the neck work after my first press, so what I have in mind is this...


I also may alternate this with seated db press on some weeks.  The goal there for a while has been the 100's for 25.  I've been stuck at 20 for a little while.

Rear delts and a tricep movement to finish.  I have also gotten more serious about rear delt work as I really feel it helps getting tighter on the bench and a stronger base IF you do the rear delt work properly.

If my pec minor feels ok, I want to get some weighted dips back in and work up to 135x15-20.

Close Grips/Incline - 5,4,3,2,1,1,1 then 3x8, 5x3/225x3xamap for incline
PBN - 3xamap
Triceps - skullies 3x20 (light), dips 1xamap bodyweight or +135xamap
Rear Delts - 1x10-12

Some of this may change, however I just wanted to put it out there so you guys could get the idea about what I'm thinking.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thoughts about life, crap, training, and stuff - Post Christmas motivational flu edition

Well 2012 Christmas has come and gone, I hope everyone has gotten all of the double dosing of pies and cookies out of their system and are getting ready to reboot for some awesome training.  I am typing this with either the flu or an extremely bad cold, not sure which one but I do not feel worth a shit at all.  Last week, I had three bad workouts in a row, and told myself "I need to take a week off."  Then instead, I trained last Sunday and hit a rep PR on incline press, and then the bottom fell out.  I actually knew that I needed a break at the beginning of last week.  My mental yearning to train had waned quite a bit but I pushed through any (to three -10% sessions, of course).  

I'm not sure if I had three bad workouts in a row because I was already getting sick, or that my body needed rest and I continued to stress it, and that contributed.  It's possible it was both, but at this point it's hard to say.  I do find it funny that I KNEW last week, I needed to go ahead and take some down time, and now my body is forcing me to do so.

One of the lessons learned here for certain, is that three -10% sessions in a week is a call to just drop shit right there.  I mean, I have the whole grading system for a reason and that's why it is there.  To let you know if something is going wrong or right.  Well honestly, after two sessions that crappy with a couple of rest days between I should have known something was up.  Instead I plowed through, and now the body is giving me "forced rest".  That's fine, I'll take it.  I was going to anyway!  (ok I say that all the time then keep training).

More on motivation differences between men and women - 

So we're coming up on the new years, and of course lots of people will be flooding the gyms (not mine!) and taking up space doing stupid shit, and bragging about how this will be the year they go from fat/skinny/weak/out of shape whatevers to Thor/Hulk/Batman/Fitness model.......and then day 2 of working out rolls around and they start making excuses.

This is what will happen to the great majority of people who pile into gyms after the new years.  I talked to a trainer a few weeks ago and he was already dreading the early part of the year, and I said "just give it 6 weeks.  They'll all be gone".

"Weeks?  Try days.  I literally get some people that sign up for training, that come to one session and never come back."

One session!  Wow!

This is one reason why I tell people that motivation is bullshit.  Basically my premise is, you need to just make getting better a part of what you are regardless of external stimulus (posters, little sayings and mottos, etc).

Women are really worse about this than men.  Women REALLY like the motivation shit.  The sayings and posters and pics, etc.  Just check instagram how much of that shit women collect picture wise, in terms of motivational sayings, phrases, and pics.  Yes, some men do this as well, but I find it to be far less in terms of quantity.

Men are wired to be hunters.  Well, if they aren't hipsters or pussified pacifists.  Then they aren't men.  They just get to walk around with male parts and give the rest of  us a bad name.

Just to drive this point home, I will link to this study, and throw this quote at you from it.........

A new study suggests that to get the same work done, men often expend 70% more energy than women. So tell us — the exasperated wives, infuriated women colleagues, impatient female friends, irritated sisters — what we didn’t know already.

A study of mushroom gatherers by the National Autonomous University of Mexico, to be published in Evolution and Human Behaviour, shows how men spread out far and wide, tackling difficult terrain, vigorously sweating it out to collect the same amount of mushroom as the women did, pottering about effortlessly on easy ground.

Apparently men went looking for mushroom-dense patches, never mind how far or how difficult to reach, whereas women quietly collected mushrooms from patches which could be sparser but easier to reach and more frequently found. At the end of the day, the men and women had the same amount of mushrooms.

Basically, to summarize, women are better "wired" to be efficient with their work.  Their natural process is not to go balls out and tackle the hard work.  It's to work "smarter" not "harder".  In the weight room, this is needed as well in some ways, however because men are natural "hunters" it's easier for us to just adopt the attitude of "crush, kill, destroy" and roll with it.  That seems to resonate with us rather well, and translates over into our attitude about how we approach training.  So we don't need a lot of motivational posters or gimmicks, if you will, to train very hard.  

Women on the other hand, aren't really wired for crush, kill, destroy.  This is not to say that women are lazy.  Hardly.  That's too broad of a stroke to paint with, plus I don't want angry females picketing outside of my house that my balls need to be chopped off, or other such pleasant signs of love and nurturing.  Let me say, I've known tons of women that work their ass off and train hard as fuck.  However in comparison to the dudes I've known that do that, it's a small percentage.  

So for women, they need "reminders".  I still stand by my original theory however.  And everything I've ever seen supports it.  

Women have to summon what I call their "war horse".  They are going to start a new diet, or new program.  If there is a hiccup in there however, it all tends to go to shit.  If a woman breaks her diet, she doesn't usually say "ok, it was  bump in the road, back on the horse", she usually just says "well that's that, I fucked it all up now!" and goes into fetal position mode for a bit.  Then she has to start all over again.  I have seen this first hand, over and over and over again.  Women can and often fall off the wagon for long periods at a time.  Where a guy will have a planned cheat meal in his diet, will enjoy said cheat meal, then go right back to what he was doing.  Women can have serious trouble with doing this same thing.  

The issue, as I've always said, is that motivation sucks for keeping you on point.  Mainly, positive and negative versions.  Positive motivation from an external resource will often lose its luster, or will wane in power.  When that happens, people lose focus.  That's because they are being driven by something external.  It's no different than that toy you got as a kid, that was the most awesome fucking toy EVER.....until about day 9 when you barely notice it anymore.  That's human nature.  Things lose their luster as we become accustomed to them.  

Motivational sayings or pictures may give you a that short term boost, which can be good when you're really down or need a little extra for the day, but if you're constantly having to use them then it's very possible your attitude as a whole needs to be changed about training and what you want out of it.  

Negative motivation is also a very poor choice for "getting up" for something.  It's usually based around proving someone else wrong, or "I'll show them!"  

The issue here is, what if you fail?  Then were "they" right?

What if you do "win?"  What did you gain outside of showing them up?  Generally you never get the satisfaction you think you were going to.  They usually shrug and go "oh well."  It's not like you end up summoning a demon spirit to rip out their liver who then shits devil feces in the wound.  It's never as "awesome" as you envision it.

I offered up a different kind of motivational tactic to a friend of mine lately, who had been struggling to lose weight.  She said she was going to buy a pair of pants that were a certain size, when she hit a certain weight.  She was 1 pound away from that weight, and wanted my opinion on whether or not she should buy them.

"I think you should buy some pants you want to wear three months from now."


"And hang them up from your kitchen ceiling."  

She looked flabbergasted.  

"Why?" she asked me.  

"Because, it will irritate the shit out of you.  If you need a motivational tactic, then pick something that irritates you.  Don't hide the jeans away in the closet or hang them in your bedroom where no one will see them.  Put them someplace that makes company question why those jeans are there, and is an irritating reminder of what you are doing all of this for."  

So she did.  

Some people may say that an irritating motivational tool is negative.  I disagree.  Nothing is positive, negative, or irritating at all.  It's inanimate objects.  YOU get the decide what they mean to you.  To me, irritating is not negative, it's irritating.  However each person gets to decide what that really means. 

Basically, you need to find the tools that do work for you in terms of keeping you "on point".  I am no different.  I generally set small goals that I want to achieve and shoot for those over 6-7 weeks of training.  This is what I have found works well for me.  You may have to figure out something different, but even if you do, you need to learn how to let go of external devices at the constant source of "inspiration" and really grok how to be all about "getting better", all the time.  

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Ok so I lied....and a PR

I said I was gonna do my no-deload deload.  And I did.....for a little more than 24 hours.

Then I hit a PR while sick.......

Incline Press -

225x23.5, 13, 6 = 42 total reps over 3 sets.

Band Pull Aparts - 30,30
Empty Bar Curls - x25,25

Notes - As I noted, I was supposed to lay off, and I'm sick with some kind of minor cold, but I was kinda itching to train.  And I listen to my body, just like I listened yesterday and left the gym before I was done warming up.

IT paid off.  225x23.5 is a PR.  Really should have had 24.  Arg.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Training - Awfulness

Bodyweight - who gives a shit

Pressing - worse than catching a bad case of the AIDS.

That's three shit workouts this week.  You know what that means?  That means a no-deload, deload.  I'm taking some time off until I feel better.  I guess it arrived just in time for Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Another ridiculous success story

Dear Paul,

I wrote on your blog the other day, regarding buying your book and the improvements I've made since I came across your site. Again, I wouldn't normally write, because I'm a stranger on another continent, but I tested my maxes today after about 14 weeks of using your philosophies. Since I know you put your information out there free to benefit others with your experience I thought I'd write and thank you, and let you know the progress I have made since switching to a rep-based approach. Today was a 100% dream day, and probably represents the absolute max that I can lift. While the numbers are hardly remarkable, I have been a weight class athlete most of my life, having boxed seriously since I was 11, and never having been above 168lbs until I was 21 (now 23.5) @ 6'1. I'm now at 187lbs, and have not seen any noticeable increase in BF% since I stopped competing at boxing. Interestingly, I've only put on about 6 or 7lbs since I switched to your approach, which given the increase in strength I've experienced, I find surprising - especially since I've been eating noticeably more out of necessity. It's probably partly because I still spar twice a week and do at least 5/6 rounds everyday on the bags after I've lifted.

Squat - I actually train in my unheated garage, and have no squat rack, so I use a sandbag for front squats. When I was doing singles, 14 weeks ago, I had a SB front squat max of 190lbs. I hit an all time PR of 252lbs today.

DB bench - 14 weeks ago - singles with 80lb dumbells. Today - 232 on the barbell. Never even come close to 225 before. Didn't have a spotter either and felt I could probably have had a few more pounds pretty comfortably.

Deadlift - 14 weeks ago - singles and doubles with 340lbs. Today, Hit a tough, but solid 426lbs.

Military Press (cleaned to shoulders) - 14 weeks ago singles and doubles on 130lbs. Today - hit a massive 171lbs.

All my assistance lifts have also improved dramatically.

Just wanted to take the time to drop you a line and thank you for the quality of material you put out, and let you know how much it has benefited me.



Thursday, December 20, 2012

Training - Legs and 2K donated for Emilie Parker Fund

Bodyweight - 242

Leg Ext -

Fronts - 225x5,5,5,5,5

1 Legged Calves - 100 reps.

Notes - An awful lifting session, but a heart warming night.  MY readers pitched in and matched my 1K donation to the Emilie Parker fund.  I am humbled and appreciative beyond words.  I want to thank anyone who pitched in to help make this happen.  I feel blessed.  Thank you so very much.

Questions and answers, getting jacked, strong, and weight murder

What if I start off and don't get enough reps with the big-15 cycle?  

This one is pretty easy.  Just recalculate before the next workout and go from there.

Should I run the big-15 or strong-15? 

I am always confused when I get this question.  The big-15 should be used when you have a block of time that you want to dedicate to increasing muscle mass.  Will you get stronger?  Yes.  You also can't really take advantage of this cycle without a surplus of cals.  So make sure that is in place.  If you're a really skinny guy, just run it as long as you can.  Years?  Sure.  That's how I developed it.  It was developed through my own training, methods, and how I built my base of mass and strength.

The strong-15 is a peaking cycle.  Either for a meet, or just because you want to increase where you baseline or "everyday max" is.  Just remember to properly taper off AFTER the program.  If you do not, you will suffer that cliff fall off that I always warn everyone about with a peaking cycle.  Start back light after that, and ride the wave "down".  Because it will happen.

How do I figure out my "everyday max", in order to program with?  

Pretty easy really.  Take a "normal" feeling day, and work up to a single where you feel like 20 more pounds would definitely require some serious motivation.  Your everyday max, is something that requires some "internal gathering", if you will, but it's something you know you can hit almost regardless of how you are feeling.  This is your starting point for programming.  I would take 95% of that, and program with that.

"Paul, that's too low!"

Yeah yeah, I keep hearing that and I keep having guy after guy, and chic after chic, smash the fuck out of their previous bests.  It's amazing that all of the Russians that are strong as hell, RARELY go over 85% in their training.  Yet the constant mantra you see among American lifters is, "go heavy or go home".  Fine, I'll go home.  I lift in my basement anyway.

But seriously, you need to start getting your mind around the fact that you DON'T need to train above 90% to get strong.  I have no idea where this came from now, except geared lifting methodologies and guys who can't leave their ego at the door.  The 75-85% range offers you plenty of weight in order to get maximally strong.

I hate to talk about "bar speed" because I hate that fucking term now.  So I'm going to talk about "weight murder".

To give some preface before you read this, weight murder goes hand in hand with whether or not it's an 80% day, a +10 or -10 day.  This sort of rounds out the whole thing, doesn't it?  I will expound more on this after.

1st degree - Absolutely curb stomping and skull crushing a weight.

"Fuckin easy!" should be the phrase that enters your mind.

This is really what your goal is.  Moving the top level %'s of the weight in your cycle, with 1st degree weight murder.  If you never saw the fire hydrant scene in Irreversible, then it should look something like that.  Just destroyed to a degree that no one even wants to look at.

You may not always hit this with the top end intensities in your programming cycle.  However that is your goal.  You need to teach yourself to apply as much force as possible early in the cycle in order for that to carryover later.  So always try to crush the bar on the concentric portion of each rep to "learn" this.

Now, some people are natural grinders, and some people make everything look fast.  This is why I don't always like the "bar speed" method.  Something could look slow to the casual on looker, but feel stupid easy to you.  Everyone moves top end weights very differently.  With some people, if it goes, it's just going to look fast.  For others, every set on the way to their top weight looks hard as hell.

So this is an internal judgment for you.

2nd degree - 

"That looked strong!  You got a lot left in you!" would be a common phrase associated with 2nd degree weight murder.

It's very possible, if you program correctly, that you end up here most of the time at the end of your cycle.  You may not be destroying this weight in a 1st degree manner, but you pretty much owned it as hard as you can own it outside of a-bombing that shit.

This means a good 10 pounds or so can be added for the next cycle.  Which funny enough, should STILL be under your max.  Muwahahahaha!

3rd degree - You feel confident in the way you performed the set, or moved the weight.

This is still good, but it probably means that you're not ready to move up in terms of programming in a new max.  In other words, you may have programmed very solid, however the top level percentages didn't feel as strong as you would have liked them to.  This doesn't mean you did not have a very solid and successful training cycle.  You did.  It just means you may be be just right above the baseline.  You can imagine that 20 more pounds over this would be a bit of a grinder.

If you moved a top weight in the cycle with 1st degree, you're still ok but you may have programmed just slightly high.  Not a lot, but just slightly.

Now once you tie in weight murder with session grading, you can get a real good idea about how your programming has been going.

Ideally, this is what you'd like to see.......

80% session - 1st DWM - This means, you had just an average session (not good, not bad), but you had 1st degree weight murder.  This is the most ideal scenario.  This means the great majority of the time, you are crushing weights like Genghis Khan crushed trim.  This is quality programming (I'm not sure how much quality trim ol Genghis had, but from a quantity perspective it was off the charts).

"But Paul, if I'm crushing it on an "average day" doesn't that make it a +10% day."


If you're crushing your programmed weights, it means you programmed correctly, and the cycle should mostly be made up of 80% days, with 1st and 2nd degree weight murder days.

-10% session - 3rd DWM - If you have a completely shit day, you should still be able to commit 3rd DWM because you programmed correctly.  Now, it's possible late in the cycle, you could have a -10% day, and miss, or just feel like hammered shit.  That's ok, if the rest of the cycle was awesome.  Keep it all in perspective.

This is just a "fun" way to judge your training cycle and your programming.

Program low, PR high.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Emilie Parker fund

I have a link up on the right side of the page for a sweet angel.  LRB gave $1000 and I am asking all of you guys to pitch in what you can to match that.  We're about halfway there.  Help me out guys.

The info is tacked at the top of the LRB FB page.  Please donate and post in the thread to let me know how much.  I don't care if it's $5 or $10.

I don't know that I've ever asked you guys to help me out like this, but it would really mean a lot to me.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

LW Strongman Chase Karnes killing it with LRB programming

Sometime back, a strapping young lad (I don't know that I've ever used that in a sentence before so Chase, feel privileged) shot me a message telling me that he had put his wife on the strong-15 short cycle.  Out of that cycle she ended up with a 90 pound squat PR (yes, 90 pounds), and several other big PR's.

Obviously her results made Chase a believer, and he sent me an awesome write up about his last competition, using LRB philosophies and programming.  Chase has also been picked up as a new contributor at Elitefts.  So keep an eye out for his stuff there as well.  Many thanks to Chase for the fantastic write in.

Pay close attention to how he programmed and what he hit at his competition.  PAY ATTENTION!

I came across this website after hearing an interview with Paul on IronRadio. As I listened to the interview I found myself nodding in agreement with a lot of everything Paul had to say. I also like his outlook on training and life in general. When I find people with similar training philosophies, ideas and thoughts as myself I always read everything I can by them. Because no two people have the exact same ideas and I know they are someone I can definitely learn even more from. I came to this website and read up on everything I could. Soon after I purchased his “Philosophy of Training Programs” e-books and it wasn’t long after that when he released “Strength-Life-Legacy”. So of course I purchased this e-book as well and read it a couple of times while I was on vacation in Mexico. This book was full of awesome information and I couldn’t wait to experiment with some of Paul’s ideas in my own training. The problem was that I was 16 weeks out from NAS Strongman Nationals when I got home from vacation and had already written my training program to prepare for strongman nationals. And this wasn’t a time to try anything new.

So what did I do? I tested out the Strong-15 Short Cycle on my wife first and then some clients of mine after my wife had success with it. Everyone hit PRs and enjoyed the training cycle. As Nationals was approaching I noticed an upcoming strongman competition in December that was posted on the North American Strongman website that was a little different than a typical strongman competition. It was a push/pull strongman competition with a max log press and a max deadlift. (A typical strongman competition has 5-7 different events.)

I didn’t commit to it just yet, as I wanted to wait until Nationals was over because that was my focus. But I went ahead and programmed out a training cycle for it just incase. After Nationals was over and I had recovered for a few days I decided to send in my entry and check and begin training for it.

Most of my deadlift work is usually done raw throughout the year. I decided to do this whole cycle suited though because deadlift suits are allowed in strongman and my previous most recent PR was done suited back in May. 

The problem was I had exactly 5 weeks before the competition so I couldn’t do the program exactly as written. And the Strong-15 cycles are written for squat, bench press and deadlift. Not for the log press. I decided I would follow the Strong-15 cycle almost as written for the deadlift, but since I had 5 training weeks I wouldn’t have a full deload before testing. I also decided to use the bench press cycle as a log press cycle.

Another thing I did different was that I deadlifted twice a week during this training cycle using speed deadlifts during the week and pulling the Strong-15 Short cycle on Saturdays after log press.

I didn’t train any other strongman events during this time as I devoted my typical strongman event day to log press and deadlifts (and glute ham raises, ab wheel rollouts). I dropped the other events because I knew pulling twice a week was going to be taxing enough on the body and my CNS. Carrying 600-700 pound Super Yokes or loading 340 pound atlas stones or any other events would’ve just been too much.

I competed at Strongman Nationals on November 2nd & 3rd. I took off training completely until that following Saturday when I began my training block for this competition. 

With the Strong-15 Short Cycle you program your working sets based off the numbers you want to hit on your third attempt. I was conservative in the numbers I chose because I hadn’t touched a log since June or July and hadn’t pulled much in a suit since around then that either. Preparing for Nationals I didn’t touch a log because axle and circus dumbbell were the pressing events I needed to prepare for. I did most of my deadlift work raw and then suited up for the car deadlift or an occasional heavy single. But the car deadlift is completely different than a straight bar deadlift from the floor. So in other words I needed to get my groove back on the log and on pulling from the floor in a suit. And I didn’t know where my strength was on these lifts for sure. So I programmed for a third attempt of 340 on the log clean & press and for 660 on the deadlift. Both of which would be 10 pound PRs.

Week 1:



Log Clean & Press

255x1, 265x1, 280x1, 205x12


495x1, 515x1, 550x1, 405x3x3

Week 2:


Speed Deadlifts – 40% + 90 lbs Chain – 8x1 – r30s


Log Clean & Press

265x1, 280x1, 290x1, 220x12


515x1, 550x1, 560x1, 460x3x3

Week 3:


Speed Deadlifts – 45% + 90 lbs Chain – 7x1 – r30s


Log Clean & Press

280x1, 290x1, 300x1, 240x12

550x1, 560x1, 580x1, 495x3x2

Week 4:


Speed Deadlifts – 50% + 90 lbs Chain – 6x1 – r30s


Log Clean & Press

290x1, 300x1, 305x1, 255x9


560x1, 580x1, 595x1, 530x3x2

Week 5: (This is the week I made some minor changes.)


Speed Deadlifts – 55% Straight weight – 8x1 – r30s


*Log Clean & Press

300x1, 315x1


580x1, 595x1, 625x1

*The Strong-15 Short Cycle called for me to hit 300x1, 305x1, 315x1 and then as many reps as possible with 270. Since I was one week out I dropped the 305 press and the back off set. I hit 315 very easily and decided that would be my opener for the following Saturday – as I felt I could’ve easily hit it for a double that day. I dropped the back off set also, so I had less to recover from since I didn’t have the full week off like the cycle calls for. If I would have had the time I would’ve ran the cycle as written though.

**I hit all of the weights called for on the deadlift with the exception of 595 for a triple that was called for after the 625x1. This triple is an important part of the program as Paul says if you nail this you should be good for you third attempt. I dropped this though because I didn’t have the full week off to deload before the competition. And I knew 595 for a triple would be very taxing, but I also felt that I was good for it that day and would’ve pulled it if I had more time to deload. I killed 625 that day and decided on it to be my opener as well for the following week. I felt like I could’ve pulled it for a double that day if I had wanted, so I was confident in it as an opener. Again, if I would have had the time I would’ve ran this cycle as written also.

Accessory work during this training block was:

Log Clean & Press:

Incline Bench

Strict Overhead Press


Bench Press



Front Squats

Walking Lunges

Good Mornings

Glute Ham Raises

Ab Work

On log press I ended up hitting 315, 335 and missed an attempt at 355 trying to break the Lightweight 231 National record. Believe it or not my opener was enough for the win out of the 5 competitors in my class. I walked away with a 5 pound PR on the log. I had more than 335 “in the tank” as I think I was good for 340-345. But I didn’t want to jump too high on my second attempt since I was planning on attempting 355 for my third to try to break the record.

On the deadlift I went 3 for 3 hitting 625, 660 and 675. My second attempt was enough to secure the win here. This was a 25 pound deadlift PR.

Moral of the story – The Strong-15 Short Cycle works.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Training - Pulls

Bodyweight - 241

Deads -

4" Block Pulls -

Notes - Totally -10% session.  BUT, that's the great thing about programming low.  I can still hit everything I need to hit and call it a night.  Which is what I did.  Just tired as shit all day and in a rotten mood.

Emilie donation

Lift-Run-Bang donated $1000 to the Emilie Parker fund.  I am asking all of my readers and subscribers to throw in what you can, to match that.

Here is the Facebook page with all of the information.

If/when you throw in a donation, I don't care if it's $5 or $10, let me know on the LRB FB page.

Thoughts about life, crap, training, and stuff - Missing a masterpiece

Missing a masterpiece - 

Someone put a link to this story up on Facebook, and it's something I write about quite a bit here, but I've never actually seen a story or a test, where my philosophy about the things I've written were made so clear.

I'm going to give a high level overview about the story, however I want you to make sure to take time out to read it.

Here is the story.

The high level overview is that Joshua Bell, perhaps the finest violin player in the the entire world, played one of the most intricate pieces of music there is, and basically no one bothered to stop and listen.  Instead, they continued on with the daily grind, and missed out on basically a once in a lifetime moment.  Why?


Because they had to be at work.  Or had to be at breakfast, or whatever any other "thing" they deemed was far more important than taking a moment out, and enjoy something that was obviously very exceptional.  People become so engulfed and self absorbed in the grind that is life, that they can't/don't/won't see when a rare and exceptional moment is in front of them 95% of the time.

I always write about the journey we are on, and taking time out to enjoy the things that journey presents to us.  I think people read it, and they think it sounds good.  I don't think they end up applying it to their life most of the time, however.  I don't write about the things I do because they sound good.  I write about them as reminders to myself, to further enforce the the code I believe in.

Let me quickly run a test on you.

Everyone has lost someone they dearly loved.  Now, when you read that, who is the first person that enters your mind?  Who is it that you lost, that you dearly loved very much?

Now, what is the most important lesson you ever learned from that person?

Finally, do you think that you apply that lesson 100% of the time?

Probably not, right?  That's how caught up in "life" we can get sometimes.  That the most dearly loved person that we have ever lost, can cement in us a lesson that we don't even apply 100% of the time.

I actually can say that I have, and do, apply the lesson I learned from Marty 100% of the time.  That is, always let your closest friends know how much they mean to you, and that you love them.

The issue is, most people don't apply all of these great "sayings" and "mottos" to their life.  It generally takes a life changing event for someone to apply a lesson learned.  To grok that lesson.  And it's because they had no context before then, on how to apply it.  So when someone tells you, "takes chances, try new things, live an interesting life!" or "take time to stop and smell the roses", you may never REALLY apply those lessons until you have a life changing event.  Maybe you almost get killed, or maybe you were just one of the people that walked by the violin player and read about it later, and finally it resonated with you.  That you missed out on something special because "I was headed to work".  Well you missed out on LIFE because you were headed to work.

I have had many a day where I drove to work, and barely remember the drive in.  That's only 15 minutes, but how many minutes does it take to get into a car accident and be gone forever?  Seconds.  There's 900 seconds in 15 minutes.  That's a lot of chances to die.

This past week there was an awful shooting.  I know for certain, every one of those parents would give whatever they could give to have 3, 5, 10, 15 seconds back with their child just to put their arms around them one last time and say goodbye.  To kiss their cheek or caress their hair.  To see their warm and tender smile and face, one last time.



Whether it's your brother, sister, father, mother, or child there are many times they are playing the violin for us, a masterpiece, and we casually stroll on by because "life" has us more distracted.

You won't always have a second chance to hear that masterpiece played again.

It's hard to always remember to listen to the masterpiece because life so often deafens us to it.  Its sweet melody is drowned out by work, bills, jobs, school, training, and other trivial things that seem to roar so loudly to us, when it should be nothing more than a whisper in comparison.

Whatever you do today, if there are just two lessons to learn from what happened at Sandy Hook, and from reading this blog post, it is this.  Listen to the masterpiece that the people we love play daily in our life.  Take time to stop and enjoy it.  It may not be there for later when you "have time for it".

The second thing is this.  Remember the name of a child that lost their life, instead of talking about gun control or sensationalizing the awful person behind this tragedy.

Emilie Parker.  You will be missed.  Though I never knew you, I am sure you played a wonderful masterpiece for someone, somewhere, in the limited time you had here.

I wish everyone well on this Monday.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Training - Pressing

Bodyweight - 248 < another great carb up night last night

Pause Close Grips - all reps paused


Rear Delt Tittay Machine - 170x18
Incline Curls - 40's x 15,10
Rope Pushdowns - 3x10 @ 65

Notes - Felt solid.  Am loving the fasting on Saturday morning training after the carb up nights.  I've totally got this whole thing down now and I expect to be in sub 10% bodyfat within a few weeks.

Programmed the bench out perfectly.  When I can do 315 for 3 sets of 8 reps, all pause (which is hard as a bitch mind you), then I'll just recalculate.  But more than likely, it'll just be something like 335x3x8.

Next week will be incline for max reps with 225 again.  The week after that will be 365 for 3 sets of 3  all paused.  I'm going to show you guys how to implement this method this week.

Friday, December 14, 2012

LRB-365 is available


If you can't afford that, you can't afford to sleep, or oxygen.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Training - Legs......and eve of LRB/365

Bodyweight - 244

Leg Ext -

F'n ouch!

Front Squats -

1 Legged Squats -
with 40 extra pounds - 1x20 per leg.

Notes - Fellow warriors, nomadic lions, and alpha's almost time!  I'm excited as fuck!

If you have felt lost, and not sure how to program, and not sure what the fuck you should be doing with your training then starting tomorrow you will have a plan.

Also I've got quite a few shirts left, and I'm going to be giving them away over the next few weeks.  So "like" the Lift-Run-Bang Facebook page to get in on that action.

More wrong and brokeded programming.....

I'm going to answer this question in sections because it is long, and it is rife with all of the mistakes that so many of you make in programming.  Especially you noobs.  

I've poured over your e-book several times, and I'm somewhat at a loss for a couple questions. I'll include the backstory after the questions to help frame where I am in my progress. Long story short, I had my first power lifting competition at 40 years old in October 2012. It was a great learning experience, learning both what not to do for programming and some of what to do. In the process of getting ready for the meet the lift I was most confident in went backwards, and the lift I was least confident in started making strides. So I'm not sure what would be reasonably sane, yet challenging increases over the year.

In the e-book you gave an example for a "good" lifter who goes for a 10lb increase cycle to cycle. Would that be the same for bench and deadlift? or does it vary? The cycles are so long that a mistake would be very costly time-wise.

Answer - 

The cycles are long?  Compared to what?  Being in a POW camp?  It's 9 weeks.  A 3 week acclimation period based on low percentages of your opener, and then 6 weeks of peaking.  That's not long.  Guys used to do 12 and 16 week cycles.  

Second, if you program properly, you shouldn't be making mistakes.  A mistake being that you missed a lift, or failed.  That should NEVER happen in a properly programmed cycle.  If a mistake was made, then someone completely dropped the ball on all of the information I have presented about properly programming.  Namely, PROGRAM LIGHT.  

More on that in a minute......

The Strong-15 cycle is 11 weeks, 9 weeks of work, deload, and meet/test week. In the book, you made reference to testing at the end of each phase to see where you are. How does that work?
How do you set some reasonable goals a year in advance when you are still learning how you respond to training?My First Meet and Training Backstory.

I don't have a testing week for the new strong-15, where you hit X number of reps to make sure you are falling into ballpark range.  I felt like as the cycle wore on, those days might end up subtracting from the peaking part of the cycle because they were very taxing.  You want to walk into the meet feeling 100%.  Not beat down from training.  

Second, I don't really set year long goals.  I set phase goals.  Every 6 weeks has a goal.  If I am smart, I hit them.  If I am not, I don't.  It's really that simple.  The weights won't lie to you, and neither will your body.  I may have an idea of what I want to hit in a year, but generally I program small, and crush shit.

After a year and a half of training starting with just the bar and working up to some respectable numbers, I decided I wanted to test that in a real contest. I've done some video meets but the rules are pretty lax on that so it didn't really prepare me for the real thing. I was running Wendler 5/3/1 for a while and made some good progress. When I hit a 405lb squat, I was feeling my oats and thought "hey why don't I run Smolov and turn this into a 5 plate squat". Yeah. Stupid. Got through the loading phase and made a 445lb squat--about 2" too high. I repeated the 445lb squat, and maybe got to 1" too high. And then things fell apart shortly after that. The accumulation phase I was cranking out the reps, most of which were too high until the fateful day when I did 405 5x5 and my body told me it was enough. My squat strength went backwards with a vengeance, and I was 2 months away from competition.

Well you got it right, and you did what every noob does.  "Hey I got a decent lift, this special routine will really take me up a notch!"  The problem with those, is that it's not sustainable.  You end up right back at your baseline strength in a few weeks or months because the volume and intensity can't be kept up.  It's not a smart way to train, and not a smart thing to do unless you can time it up for a meet.  

Now the cool part here is, what happened after the 445 squat??? 

OMG you went backwards!!!!!  I think I've only written about this "falling off the cliff" about eleventy billion times. 

When you have a huge upswing in strength, there is a huge backswing after.  The body can't sustain that forward momentum without getting blown back a bit after the supercompensation curve.  

Are you guys reading this, and taking it in?  

Through that training stupidity I learned two valuable lessons:

When something is working, don't change it
If you don't hit depth you didn't make the liftI needed to rescue my squat, and train the bench and deadlift for the meet. A friend of mine told me about your short-cycle program, and I plugged in numbers thinking I would reclaim the 445lb squat, increase my bench by 5lbs, and keep my deadlift in front of my squat. I had time for a short break where I learned the paused squat, and some of the other assistance work I would be using. Too my horror, I could rep out squats for days in the 300lb range, but once I hit 400lbs I couldn't get out of the hole. I had to change my squat numbers with 2 weeks left of work in the short cycle and eat some humble pie.

Meanwhile my bench programming was going strong, and I was really surprised how well my bench responded to the Strong-15 style training. The deadlift was going well too, except I couldn't lift the last single of the cycle.

So you tried to "reclaim" a squat that was too high anyway, and one that came from a very advanced peaking cycle, that shot you backwards very quickly shortly after?  

Not smart.  

What should have happened there is, used the first few weeks and programmed the squat REALLY low, to allow the body to recover, and then you could have seen a decent rebound in the squat.  The dead was obviously still programmed too high if you missed a lift at the end of the cycle.  

The results?

I did 7 of 9
1100lb total first time out
385lb Squat (missed the opener due to nerves and losing my balance)
245lb Bench (missed the 3rd attempt, and a 79 year old veteran of the sport told me why--it wasn't the strength)
470lb Deadlift PR
No more stupid stuff or shortcuts.I was the only one in my weight class, so winning that doesn't really mean much. However, I did accomplish my first meet with an 1100lb total after only 1.5 years of training. I also learned that both the bench and deadlift seem to like the Strong-15 style training a bit better than the 5/3/1 style training. I also learned to not let the bar sink into your chest on a paused bench--just hold the bar in contact at the ready until you hear the "press" command. Thanks to Smooth for that.

Shortly after the meet I had surgery, and chose to do the Big-15 program when I was allowed to start training again. First heavy sessions were hard, but the second heavy sessions were just fine. Now, I'm in the process of trying to plan out my year of training and wanting to come up with reasonable numbers and progressing toward those numbers.

Plan 6 week cycles.  Not a year.  Congrats on the deadlift PR.  

Notice what happened with his squat there?  385.  So even though he programmed too high in the squat, he backed off JUST ENOUGH to allow the baseline to almost return.  If he had backed off even more, he probably hits 415 or so.  

Are you guys kind of getting a feel for this now?  No one is a special snowflake.  I see these same things happen over, and over, and over again.  

My goals are:

Reclaim the 445+ squat in competition where it means something
Turn my good-for-265 bench into a 300lb+ bench
530+ on the deadliftI think these goals are reasonable for a year's worth of training, maybe even conservative. However with the long cycles of the Strong-15 program, I might have to ditch the second meet I was thinking about including to reach them.

So everyone asks then, "how should I program?"  

Using your everyday max, or 90-95% of it.  CRUSH FUCKING WEIGHTS!  Do you guys feel me on this?  That means, when you pick a weight to program in for a max in your cycle it should be 90-95% of your EVERYDAY max.

You should be crushing shit like Godzilla in the middle of Tokyo on bathsalts every god damn week.  If you miss one week, your fault for letting your ego control your dick (or vag).  

I'm already working and actually DOING a new program designed around the strong-15 based even more on these principles and as you saw last week, a 405 front squat easily using no more than 225 and 275 in training.  Think about that.  That's 68% for my heaviest work sets.  

The other part that I've come to realize is, your bench, squat, and pull should not be programmed using the same method across the board.  I know this sounds obvious, but everyone does it.  They throw around percentages across the board for each.  This does NOT lend itself to optimal results.  I came to this conclusion looking at not only my own training, but the training of the best guys in the world for quite some time.  Even if they were genetically gifted for a lift, they always found the proper range for those lifts, that gave the greatest return on their investment.  

I've only started scratching the surface on this with 365.  I will be letting you guys know what I'm doing the more I test it and apply it.  I don't just come up with training programs that I pulled out of my ass but never used.  

BE SMART in your programming.  Crush weights and go into the top of the strength cycle confident and cocky about what you plan on hitting.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The darkness, burdens, and overcoming - 2012 version

Well it's 12/12/12......I'm writing this, so I'm obviously still alive and the world hasn't come to an end.  The Mayan's may have predicted today to be the end of the world but I guess they somehow didn't see the fucking Spanish coming, did they?  Yes, I know it's the 21st but I wanted so badly to use that joke today.

At first I wanted to write that 2012 was not a great year for me.  Anyone who knows me and is close to me, knows the struggles I have had this past year.  Not so much with myself, but dealing with the many struggles of those I hold closest to me.  It's been a very, very, trying year.

I try to "talk" candid when I write to you guys because, fact is, I know everyone is fighting a great battle in their life.  The many times this past year the blog was such a big outlet for me, because I do a lot of internalizing about shit I am going through.  So I "vent" through my writing very often, and very often I get an e-mail or message from someone that is also having a great battle, and they tell me that my words helped them somehow.  That is a very big blessing to me, to hear that my words were inspiring or gave them strength.  Because I've had days this past year, where I felt so low that I can remember sitting at a red light hoping that when it turns green, I will proceed through it, and an 18-wheeler will t-bone me at 100 miles an hour.

One thing all of my friends and loved ones will tell you about me is this.  I love and care about those closest to me, with everything I have.  So when I see them suffering, I suffer with them.  I grieve with them through it all.  There have been many I hold dearest to me this year, that have suffered much.  Sometimes carrying their burdens or problems, can get heavy.  I will never complain, but it doesn't mean it doesn't take it's toll either.

Someone told me earlier this week, "the worst thing about being the strongest, is that no one ever bothers to ask you if you're alright."

That almost put me in tears.

But here I sit writing this, and things are swell.  The best they have been all year, really.  One of the best things about surviving an emotional onslaught, is that you can really soak up the euphoria when the massacre subsides.  You can appreciate the joy for all it is worth, and bathe in the glow of it.  In a phase, you can really embrace happiness.

Who can understand what darkness is when all they have had is the light?  And who can appreciate that light, without ever having walked in darkness?

One of the things I wrote earlier in the year, as a reminder to myself that I got a lot of feedback from, was about keeping your integrity sound throughout the Tsunami shitwave we sometimes call life.  That it will subside, and after it does, how did you handle yourself?  Did you hold true to your code?  Did you have a lot of apologies to hand out?  Did you grow stronger from it, or did it weaken your resolve?  Did it make you better, or bitter?

We often try to justify our bitterness and anger because of things that have happened to us.  It makes so much sense to feel angry and betrayed when people lie to you, steal from you (theft can mean all sorts of things in this context), and betray you.  Surely, you have every right to be bitter and upset.  And you should be, right?

Or do you have all the control?  Do you get to decide how much energy you decide to invest in that?    

Of course you do.

Negative energy will take a tremendous toll on you.  Everyone knows this.  It will consume your life.  You will wake up in the morning, pissed off about what someone said or did, and you will feel justified in feeling that way.  You will find one of your "enablers" to complain to, so that you can feel even more justified in being a bitter bastard.  They will tell you that you were wronged, and that you should be pissed off.

"Fuck those assholes!!!"

Or, you can really be strong, and decide that you have all of the power.  You can let go of it.  That girl that cheated on you (or dude), that raise you didn't get, that review that wasn't so "fair", the shit someone said about you, that asshole that stole from you, or the people you know whose lifeblood stems from the wellspring of lies, backstabbing, and deceit.

When I wrote the lifer series, it was about all of that.  Embracing the power you have at your disposal right now.  It's worth more than any deadlift or bench you will ever hit.  Because lifting is not going to shape who you are.  I know lots of shitty people in lifting.  Lifting does nothing to humble people or make them better people, unless they use it as a tool in their life to do so.  But it can only be that.  Just a tool in the toolbox.  The most powerful force you posses, the strongest ability you have in your body already exists.  You just have to learn how to harness it.

In the Matrix (yes, I'm using a god damn Matrix reference here), Neo didn't believe in his abilities, or that he might have something very powerful inside of him.  He doubted everything he was told, even though it was all there.  He doubted so heavily, that he found himself getting his ass kicked by Ike Turner in a sparring match. It wasn't until he was put into a position where he had to act in regards to the people he cared about, that he summoned what was deep inside of him, and was able to use it.

Until you realize, or learn to apply the things that make you powerful, you will be weak.  Ike Turner will kick your ass.

So there I was, sitting at the red light, hoping for that 18-wheeler to come barreling through, then.....I snapped the fuck out of it, and stopped doubting how strong the warrior inside of me was.  I thought of all of the friends I've lost, the things I have survived that seldom know about.  I was reminded of the people that I love and care about, that were in my life......and they need me.  And I need them.

I looked both ways before proceed through the light when it turned green, and the Lion in me kicked my own ass.

"Fuck that attitude, and fuck that shit!  I have asses to kick, shit to write about, weights to lift, and necks to hug.  I have laughs to make and smiles to cause, and somewhere there is a porch I need to sit on when the hair that isn't on my head is gray, and I can reflect back on all of the battles I have fought and won.  I'll need an equally wrinkled hand to hold, and a good dog to pet.  I'll still need a friend who gives me shit me, but also takes shit in return.  I have a legacy to finish carving out!"

My reflection now, is that 2012 was one of the greatest years of my life.  I lost a great friend due to his own arrogance, but he was replaced by many who are even better, and have enriched my life in so many ways.  I lost three friends due to suicide, that makes me appreciate life more than ever, and realize that it's ok to reach out to someone when my burdens are heavy and say "can you help me carry this?"  

I have made amends with someone that used to be a good friend, that I felt wronged me.  He never had to apologize.  I simply forgave him.  Why?  Because I have that power, and I chose to exercise it.  It felt awesome to be able to let that go, and not have it eat away at me.  I have been able appreciate my parents more, through the eyes of a friend who lost one of his.  I have learned what it means to stand by a friend when it meant possibly ridicule and scorn, because of things that had nothing to do with me.  That it's always easy to be friends with someone when they are awesome, but so many people have no clue how to stand by them when the mob is lined up against them with stones their hands.

I have grown.  I am stronger and better in every way, because of the darkness.

That's winning, right there.

I have grown as a father and a husband so much, and learned just how much further I need to go in order to just be "good" in my own eyes.  I want to be the best in both of those regards.  I need that god damn #1 DAD shirt!  I have gained the best training partner I have ever had, and I get to watch her become more and more arrogant every week because of her "big muscles".  This is a blessing I never had before, and am thankful for everyday.  

I have grown in the weight room, and in my knowledge of the evolution of my training, and I can't wait to expound on more of that with you guys this year.  I want and hope that all of you are kicking more ass at the end of 2013 than you ever thought possible.    

Lift-Run-Bang isn't a program, or a "method".  It's a philosophy and a lifestyle.  The "BANG" is really about arriving and awaking at who you are, but more importantly who you want to be.  Your jacked and tan body should be the physical manifestation of your jacked and tan mind, spirit, and soul (can you tan your soul?).

Strong and fierce, but loyal, passionate, endearing, and even tender if need be.  You are ever dynamic and strong, but flexible and open.  Thus as it should be both in life, and in training.

To all of you who have been by my side this year to help me laugh, cry, and learn how to live......thank you.


For you non-competing types that still care about being jacked, lean, sexy, and as strong as you can be, 365 will be available by Friday.

Since it's the holiday season, and I've never been a salesman, I'm selling it for $10 until January 1st. 10-fuckin-dollars.

50 or so pages that outlines 2 diets (the original LRB diet, and my keto diet), 6 different blocks of training along with a spreadsheet for the whole year.

My only request from you, is if you get it, don't get it to have another piece of reading material. Apply it, so you can tell me how much ass you kicked at the end of 2013. That's the best thing I get out of all of this. So help me out in that regard, and you'll be helping yourself out more in the process.

Many blessings.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thoughts about life, crap, training, and stuff - Tuesday early edition

More on "new" method - 

So I've been "ranting" about the lighter percentage and reps stuff for a while.  I feel like it MIGHT be starting to sink in with some people at this point, seeing as how I outlined the Russian training programs, and the Mike Tuchscherer article pretty much drove it home.  I mean, it's hard to argue with that much evidence.

I'm going to be going into a lot of this over the next few months.  Not just going into it, but direct application, and I'll be writing about how to apply it.

The thing to know and understand is that, it's not a cookie cutter method.  I don't think a noob or an intermediate needs to follow the same theories as the advanced, or very advanced guy because their ability to do work, and the taxation of the workload itself, is far different.

Meet plans and training - 

So I found out yesterday that the USPF Nationals will be held in May, instead of July.  So that totally throws off my offseason plans.  I had intended to run carbnite until February 1st.  Now, I'm going to have to cut that back to January 1st I think.

I will just go to CBL at that point (Carb Backloading for those of you that haven't been paying attention).  I will start at 2 days a week and go from there.  I also won't be going crazy with the carbs as I've found I don't need to.

And speaking of Carbnite and Carb Backloading, I'm an affiliate with Kiefer now, so if you want to know how to run these protocols correctly, I recommend checking the links on the right side of the page, and buying his books.

As far as training goes.  I've got everything outlined and have kind of already been massaging it into place.

Saturday - Press
Press Day 1 
Close Grips - 5,4,3,2,1,1,1 3x3@85% or 3x8@77%  Since I bench every other week, these will get rotated.
Rear Delts - 1x10-15
Curls - 1x100
Ez Curl Triceps - 1x20-30

Press Day 2 
Incline - 225xAMAPx2
Rear Delts - 1x10-15
Curls - 1x50
Db Skulls - 2x20

Monday - Deadlifting 
Deadlifting Day 1
Elevated Stiffs - 2x5-10
Db Rows - 1x20-30
Abs - 2-3x20

Deadlifting Day 2
Deads @ cycle for doubles (I will outline this later)
Block pulls @ mid-shin - 1x4 @ 90 pounds more than programmed %
Chins - 2x8
Abs - 2-3x20

Thursday - Legs
Leg Ext - 7x20
Front Squats - 2-5x5 @ cycle (outlined later)
1 Legged Work - 2x10
Calves - 100 reps

There is no leg day 2 until I hear more back from my doc about the MRI.  Either way, the fronts have been going good, so I'm going to stick with them.

365 and Lifer Release - 

365 should be out this week.  It may be a day or so later than I anticipated because my graphics designer is such a perfectionist.

The bad news, is that the Lifer Series won't be done in time for the release.  It's too "involved".  She sent me the first 7 pages and well, it looks fucking awesome.  So awesome that I think I'm going to do it in paperback only, because I think that's the only thing that would do it justice.

A couple of snapshots........

I will probably be going back through it as well, and adding some stuff and probably even a chapter here or there.  Either way, I like the look of it so much I don't think an e-book would do it justice.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Training - Back

Bodyweight 240

Elevated Stiffs -

500x7 ties PR, but I wasn't in it for a tie.  Shit.

Db Rows - 140x25 (no straps)
Ab Wheel - 2x20

Notes - The one thing I hate about this diet, is that after about 4 reps man I really REALLY feel the gas tank dive.

I learned today that the USPF nationals are going to be in May.  MAY!  That totally fucks up my entire "offseason" plans.  So there will be some restructuring of what I am doing.  I will cut my carbnite a month short more than likely, and start backloading twice a week staring the first week of January.

I started my plan for lifting tonight until meet prep starts.  LOTS going into this program and I am going to lay it all out for you, and what meet prep will look like as well, including what I plan on hitting.

In the meantime....some stiffies.......500x10 is the goal here.  I was told that's boss, so that's the plan.

Thoughts about life, crap, training, and stuff - Monday "light" edition

It's been a while since I have been able to get one of these in, with traveling and doctors appointments and all sorts of shit going on.

I had the MRI on my leg last week.  Finally!  I haven't heard anything back yet, however let me bitch for just a minute about the miracle of "modern medicine".

First off, we really don't cure shit.  Cancer and AIDS are still sticking around, killing the fuck out of people.  I know someone will post a link to something we cured that kills 7 people a year but seriously, we don't cure shit.

So I go in to get this "open MRI" done, because a lot of people can't do the closed MRIs because of claustrophobia.  Oh yeah, I might be talking about myself when I say "a lot of people".  The MR machine looks like the god damn Star Trek Enterprise.  I lay under it, face just a couple of inches from the bottom of it, feet taped together and I can't move, while Slayer and Cannibal Corpse battle it out for worst repeated power chord.




I was told 45-minutes.  Two hours later, the length of time a LONG MOVIE runs, I was finally finished.  All for a leg.  A LEG!  Not a full body scan with happy ending by the nurse.  Just......a.......leg.

I don't understand how it is, we can send a rover to mars to test for water droplets, have aircraft that can fly insert-classified-speed-here that is completely undetectable by highly advanced radar, put railguns on battleships, have a satellite take an image of a mosquito's penis as he jacks it in the African jungle, etc so forth and so on, but we don't have something that can just scan my leg in like, 5 minutes.

We have sonogram machines now, that can show you the 3-D image of a baby inside the mothers womb, but I have to lay under the Enterprise for over two hours to get my leg scanned, while my extremities go numb to the point that I couldn't stand properly after it was done (both feet were completely asleep).

So now that it's done, I hope to hear something in the next week to let me know if they could spot anything wrong with my leg.  It's having more good days than bad at the moment, however I would love to eliminate the bad days all together.  Though smashing a 405 front squat with ease, I might add, felt pretty good since I haven't been able to squat heavy in forever.

Speaking of heavy, I made that post about my new training ideas and things I've been working on, and sure enough the "singles group" showed up to balk about it.

People have asked me for a while now "why were the guys from the 70's and 80's so much stronger than the guys now?" Because they trained for mass, and rep strength 90+% of the time. It's kinda like how you see all of the top raw guys now. They are jacked. Why? Because you can't bench 500 raw without some muscle mass. You can't squat 700+ raw without some wheels. Yet you see all sorts of big numbers come from guys in gear, that don't even look like they lift. This isn't a "gear vs raw" debate, because I don't care one way or the other. But if you're not getting stronger PERIOD, then your training isn't thought out very well. And too many guys now, spend all of their time trying to hit their maxes in the gym. Why? It serves no purpose. Period. Gym lifts DO NOT COUNT. If you're talking rep PR's, awesome. If you're talking personal PR's, awesome. But they don't go into a book, and training near max singles is for the most part, an ego tool.

Again, all old things become new. It's amazing to me how so many guys are doing soul searching in their training and all finding the same place to progress again. It's the same place guys found that worked 30 years ago. But you still have a large group of guys that want to balk at this, because they are fucking lazy. It's not hard to walk into the gym and pull some singles. I don't care what anyone says. That shit is infinitely easy compared to going in and doing rep work. If it wasn't, they would do the rep work. I mean, when a guy tells me "anything over 2 reps is cardio" I generally know he's fat, and weak.

Your training cycles should be made up of 5-20+ reps.  Anyone that tells you that getting a higher 20 rep max doesn't equal into a higher 1 rep max, is full of shit, and didn't work hard enough.  You just have to take the time to allow that strength to be applied.  Tons of strongmen do 20 rep squats, and they are far stronger than powerlifters.  One of the reasons that is, is because they live up and down the rep range.  Sure, they do heavy singles, however because strongmen have to do reps in a contest, or do an event that involves some conditioning as well, they can't just sit around and do some singles here or there.  They actually have to you know, get fucking stronger.  An 800 pound deadlift is considered the bees knees in powerlifting.  Yet in strongman, it's really the bare minimum for competing at a high level.  THE BARE MINIMUM!  Lots of strongmen can hit 500 benches, and then follow that up with 350-400 pound overhead presses.  In powerlifting, a 500 bench is the fucking balls.  And how many of those guys can do heavy overhead presses?  Few and far between, aside from T-Rex armed bench specialists who aren't strong to begin with (sorry, being a 1 lift wonder doesn't make you strong).  

I find it funny that so many people want to argue this, then tell me I am dogmatic.  ME?  I've done the "singles shit".  I use singles in my training.  However, they are not used for the purpose of building strength.  They are used to prime the body for the strength building work sets, and for testing strength.  It's generally them that don't want to venture outside of "you gotta do max singles to build top strength!"  

From an article from Poliquin's site about how the Russians structured their squat training.......

Using the 1RM percentage system, the Russians would organize their training into intensity zones, such as the following: 60-65 percent of 1RM, 70-75, 80-85, 90-95 and 95-100. The designers of the Russian Squat Program put most of their workouts in the 80-85 percent zone and said that “large and limit weights” should comprise only 16 percent of the total volume in squats.

Jesus jumped up on a cross!!!  

You mean the guys that have been kicking our ass in strength sports and powerlifting for a while now, didn't do fucking 90+% singles more than 16% of the time?!?!  Not possible.  I'm told by fat and weak asshats that I MUST do heavy singles in order to get stronger at doing heavy singles.  So all of those people, who run my programs, and listen closely, that only end up with a few weeks in the 90% range, and smash all of their previous PR's EASILY, are doing shit wrong?

I guess we'll just keep doing it wrong.

Since the Russians have had this figured out for a while, let's examine a little closer.

Smolov introductory cycle - 

165%x8x3, 70%x5, 75%x2x2, 80%x1
265%x8x3, 70%x5, 75%x2x2, 80%x1
370%x5x4, 75%x3, 80%x2x2, 90%x1

The best part is the notes PRECEDING this cycle......

Like every other program that works off percentages you have to plugin your one rep max in order to find the weight you should be using. Use your best raw squat or a projected max using this calculator. Whatever your max is you should subtract 10-15 pounds just to be on the safe side. Below are the first three days of the first week of Smolov.

So you're STILL not even using 90% in day 3, when it calls for 90%.

Here's the cycle.......

4RestRestwork up to a near max singlework up to a near max single

So, you spend how many workouts going over 90%?

None.  Zero.  Guess what you do?  You test that in week 4.

How the fuck is it, that people have used this cycle for such a long time, with such awesome results, and did not do heavy singles?  Oh guess what, there isn't a single workout of actual singles in the entire cycle!


Oh hey, since people will say "well yeah, but that's the Russians and they train multiple times a week, so they can use lower percentages."

Lamar Gant's bench routine.

week 1: 135x10, 190x12, 190x12, 190x12, 190x12, 190x12

week 2: 135x10, 200x12, 200x12, 200x12, 200x12, 200x12

week 3: 135x10, 210x12, 210x12, 210x12, 210x12, 210x12

week 4: warm-up then 240x6, 240x6, 240x6, 240x6

week 5: warm-up then 250x6, 250x6, 250x6, 250x6

week 6: warm-up then 260x6, 260x6, 260x6, 260x6

week 7: warm-up then 280x3, 280x3, 280x3

week 8: warm-up then 290x3, 290x3, 290x3

week 9: warm-up then 315x1, 315x1, 315x1, 315x1
Now what?

He did 1 week of singles before the meet, to TEST, where he was.  He spent the previous 8 weeks building strength with reps.  Once a week.  Using low percentages.

Ed Coan - "My cycle for the deadlift is 12 weeks. It consists of 3 weeks of 8 reps, 4 weeks of 5 reps, 4 weeks of 3 reps, and the week before the meet includes just a double at or around your opener. "

Really, Ed?  Well what the fuck do you know about training and hitting big lifts, Mr "I never miss a lift in training".

Hey wait, how on Earth would someone program, so that they never missed in a lift in a 12 week cycle?  Think about that.

Jim said a quote to me, that I laughed about because I couldn't believe he was serious.

"That's smart.  People should train for their opener."

Train for your opener.  Wait.......that's around 85% of your "goal" or should be.  No my gawd, I just slapped my head and said "I coulda had a V8!"

I'm going to beat this god damn horse for a while.  Not because I'm trying to win arguments or battles or because I'm being "dogmatic" (which is just fucking stupid to talk about with me, because I'm willing to try anything).  It's because this is where so many of us advanced guys find ourselves later, when guys had this all figured out years and years ago.  Shit the Russians have had it figured out for decades now.  You don't need to lift your near max weights, in order to get brutally strong.

So eventually YOU have to ask yourself, are you willing to drop your OWN dogmatic approach to training, be willing to leave your ego at the door, and look at the big picture?  That is, getting brutally strong but not always being able to "show it", i.e. maxing at the gym.  Not only that, are you willing to stop doing all of the stupid shit you've been doing, like fucking reverse banded chained safety squat bar deadlifts while standing on a decapitated midget?

What the fuck happened to strength training so much that people can't do it without just a bar and some plates?  I thought that's what strength training was.  A bar and some plates.  Apparently it's not.

My goal is to get bigger and stronger and jacked as fuck.  If that is not your goal, and you are fat, weak, and not jacked then keep doing what you are doing, and keep your mind closed.  Or believe the non-sense you've read from todays mondern age of "max singles" land that it's the best way to get strong....all the while we keep getting our asses handed to us by guys who DON'T train that way.

Also for the guys of "I did X lift" ok that's great.  There's some Russian that did that weighing 100 pounds less than you as his warm up, that never did a "max effort" day until he TESTED where he was.  Even then, it was SUB MAX.  Hence the term "near max single".

Singles should be in every cycle.  So don't mistake the message I am sending here.  It's how they should be used that matters.  

Build strength, don't demonstrate it.

I await all of the pissed off people who will show up about this.