Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Training log and 2 awesome success stories......

I haven't updated my training log the last few days -

Sunday - Squats

High Bar -

315 x 8 sets of 5

Notes - Quad is still very tender.  So I'm taking it very easy.

Monday - Press

Incline Press -

275x20, 9, 7 = 36

Hammer Row - 4 plates per side x 6,6  2 plates per side x 12,12
Upright Rows - 110x8,8,8

Notes - Working towards 50 reps over the three sets on incline.  The 405 double was stupid easy.

Success story #1 - 

I wanted to write to you about my meet on Saturday at the IPA Nationals in York, PA. I decided in
early September after being a reader of your blog over the past 2 years that I would finally fully
implement your Strong 15 program. I plugged in 10lb PR’s for each lift for Phase 3. (415 Squat, 275
Bench, 545 Dead) Prior to all of this, I’ve been in 2 meets. One in July 2012 where I totaled 1125 and
one in December 2012 where I totaled 1170.

Over the first half of 2013 I ran Sheiko based programs, but was plugging in maxes that were well over
my actual max. Additionally, I was using a belt for nearly all of my working squat and deadlift
training. Eventually, I beat myself into the ground and set myself up for injury. Ironically, I injured
my left lat when I was doing beltless squat training in May. The injury happened because I was out of
town for work and didn’t bring my belt. When I went to squat that night of the injury, I just took 30lbs
off my normal training weight and figured that would be good to squat beltless. I was wrong! I took a
week off from the gym after that injury.

When I started training after that injury, I decided to back the weight off a TON and I did 100%
beltless training. I started extremely low in weight and basically did 5x5 and 6x6 all summer adding
2.5-5lbs every session. By the time August rolled around, my beltless 5x5 squat was up to 335, which
was better than any of my previous belted squat work. As with any type of linear programming,
eventually you come to a halt and have to reset or back-off.

At that point in time, I decided I wanted to compete again and eyed up the IPA National
Championships in York, PA. When I decided to do the meet in September, I was 11 weeks away from
the meet date and the Strong 15 fit in perfectly with that timeframe. A couple key takeaways from
the 9 weeks of training: I didn’t institute using a belt until about week 7 of my training. I only did
about a half dozen singles with the belt on deads and squat through the whole program. All of my
back-off work was done without a belt. I only missed ONE lift the whole 9 weeks. It was the very last
week for deads training. I was training very late at night after a stressful and long day at work. On the
final back off set of 1x3, I only managed 2 reps as the 3rd rep only got halfway up. I loved the AMAP
work for bench. My final AMAP bench set was 235x7 paused, which I thought guaranteed my 275 3rd

I decided to cut to 198. Really the only reason I cut to 198 was because the 198’s and under all lifted
on Saturday. The 220’s and up lifted on Sunday. I had some previous family obligations so it didn’t
work out for me to lift on Sunday. After reading about your weight cut for Relentless, I had some
trepidation, but I still decided to move forth with my cut. The previous Sunday I was 216. On Monday
I started my water loading and carb/sodium cut. On Friday morning, I woke up at 530 am at 203.6.
Over the course of the next 3 hours, I hot bathed and steamed off the remaining 5.6lbs. When I got
to the meet site at 10am, my initial weigh-in was 198.5, putting me .25 over. The lady weighing me in
told me to go pee and spit out as much as I could. I maybe got a couple dribbles of pee out and I was
trying to spit whatever saliva was left in my mouth. 15 minutes later, I weighed in at 198.1.

After the weigh-in, it was a food smorgasbord all day. BBQ, Pho, candy, Hawaiian Punch, Mike & Ike’s,
tons of water, quesadilla’s. I went to bed at 214. I woke up the next morning and had a half of an egg
omelet at the hotel and a bunch of coffee and water. Off to the meet I went.

In regards to the meet, I have to say it was run pretty darn well. The venue was the USA weightlifting
hall of fame in York, PA. The Challiet’s run the IPA and run the meet and I give them a ton of credit.
Great venue, nice warm-up area, the hall of fame was really cool, a nice seating area for eating and
relaxing between flights, and a cool retail store run by York Barbell.

When I started warming up, I felt a ton of gas on my insides. Part of the problem with a 17lb weight
cut is that the recomp forces you to eat a ton of food which my body wasn’t prepared for. The entire
day of the meet my stomach was hurting. I must have taken about 10 dumps. Although it didn’t
affect my lifting, it wasn’t exactly comfortable.

The IPA doesn’t have distinctions between wraps and no wraps. I still decided not to wear wraps, but
I did wear my Rehband knee sleeves. (I don’t think sleeves add any poundage to your total, but they
are good for health) I’m not sure if I’m ever going to be a knee wrap guy. It just seems like a lot of
hassle. I’m not going to knock anyone else for wearing them, but they just ain’t for me.
Squats felt good during warm-ups. My opener of 355 was a smoke show so I went ahead and called
for my planned second at 385 which was also fast. I called 415 for the 3rd and that was also fast.

I probably left a good 10lbs on the platform on squat. I credit all of the paused squats in Strong 15 for
giving me a 40lb meet PR that day. It was also a 10lb PR over my best gym squat, which doesn’t
necessarily matter. If you’re curious, my assistance lifts during the 9 week training cycle was a lot of
high bar squats and leg presses. I used the 350 method most of the time. After squats, I was on cloud
9. I could have left the meet at that point and still have been happy, but I knew I still had work to do.
60 lifters were going that day and they had 3 flights. So I had about 3 hours of waiting until I went for
bench. My back started wrenching up during that time. When I was doing my bench warm-ups,
whenever I got into a good arch starting position, my back was killing me. I decided to go with a
milder arch than usual because of that. 235 went up fast on my first attempt, 255 also was good. I
called 275 for my 3rd.

I was pretty nervous about that attempt as I’ve missed 275 a couple times when I attempted it over the last year. I figured with a 235x7 paused bench in training, that 275 would be in the bag this time. Unfortunately, I misgrooved the lift. The bar landed about 2 inches lower on my
body than I normally like and I only got the weight halfway up. I also probably should have taken the hand-off that was offered, but for some reason I felt like I needed to be a man and unrack it myself.

The weight cut could also be part of the reason that I missed 275. Regardless, I think that I could get 275 under optimal conditions in the future.

Over the next few hours, I did a lot of foam rolling for my lower back, which seemed to help the
wrenching feeling. I also did a lot of bitching and moaning to my girlfriend about how long the meet
was. She was nice enough to hear me out! 60 lifters is a lot, but I also understand that it was a big
venue and the IPA had a lot to pay for, so it was probably an unnecessary evil to have that many

I started warming up for deads around 5pm. I believe my first lift was at 530pm. 465 was an absolute
smokeshow. Some of the other lifters said I could have cleaned it with the type of speed I had. 505
was also fast. I was nervous about calling 545 because of my missed lift on the last week of deadlift
training. I decided to call 540 because that was a 5lb PR. The lift was good and I had decent speed
with it. I didn’t shake through the lift like a lot of the other lifters did on their 3rd

I probably left about 15lbs on the platform with that lift. I think I underestimated how many pounds a
whippy bar can add to your deadlift. I will forward you the video I have for that lift.
Anyway, I was 8/9 for the day and ended up with a 1210 total which gave me a 40lb meet PR. Also
PR’ed 2 of my lifts. I want to thank you so much for your blog and the Strong 15 program. The
submaximal training is great for confidence and recovery. The paused squats and AMAP work for
bench are amazing. All of my beltless training gave me a ton of confidence when I finally decided to
put a belt back on. The 350 method is an awesome protocol for assistance that also saves me a ton of
time, which is great for a business professional like me.

I’m looking forward to your base building manual when it comes out today. I plan on doing some
base building throughout the remainder of November and first half of December. I’m then going to
start another round of Strong 15 in mid-December in preparation for IPA States in early March. The
only changes I plan on making in the next round of Strong 15 are doing deficit deads as my back off
work and doing more DB rows in the first two phases of the training for assistance.

-- Bryan Schaeffer

Success Story #2 - 

Hey Paul, hope alls well. Just felt the need to drop a line on you and say I just finished my second cycle of your strong 15, I got good results from running the first cycle stock, as-is, other than a lack of deadlift progress. The second cycle I repeated the bench day, minus the back off set, on saturdays, and upped the volume of the pulls. My first cycle ended with a 27.5 lb meet pr in bench, 35 lbs in squat, and 5 lbs in deadlift.

My second cycle ended with a 15 lb squat pr, a 20 lb bench pr, and a 25 lb deadlift pr. Granted my squat and bench sucked ass to begin with, but either way, I moved from an 1092.5 raw and wrapless total at 165 to 1220 in 18 weeks with only a handful of reps above 90%

If it weren't for LRB I'd still be moving a sub 500 dead and sub 400 squat. You totally changed the way I looked at training

-- Colton Lynn

Monday, November 25, 2013

The attribute of the strong

All of us are born into the world, essentially, with a clean slate.  Unbeknownst to us at that time, and whether we like it or not, there will be people, environments, and experiences that occur that take that clean slate, and make it dirty.

Childhood isn't something, in a perfect world, that should be "endured".  It shouldn't be something we have to persevere through.  It should be something we get to look back on and marvel at.  Recollect a time in our life when our world was mostly care free, stress free, and beautiful.

As kid....as a young person, the "matter" that makes us up, is still very soft.  Pliable.  It is still waiting to be molded.  We are the clay, and life is the potter.  Life can sometimes hand us very wicked potters, and shape us into things that are twisted, cruel, misshapen, and dysfunctional.

The fact is, most of the problems we face as adults are handled by us in a way that was molded in us when we were very young.  The inability to trust, the inability to be honest.  Our love or hate for something can often be traced back to the days of being in the hands of the potters.

Often times when an adult had been an "only child", they often need to be spoiled, pampered, and catered to.  They often lack the ability to be selfless because it wasn't learned at a young age.  

For others, it's the inability to let go of things they feel wronged by.  And it magnifies and manifests itself into the grown up version of the kid that felt betrayed, and wronged.

"My dad wouldn't let me eat all the chocolate I wanted."

..........says the kid, who grew up into a fat adult.  Never able to shed that daddy complex of being neglected.  Said fat adult never fully wanted to take responsibility for their own choices.  Their own wants.  They held onto what "daddy did to me", instead of growing into someone that understood that at some point, they are an adult responsible for their own choices.

Now they are obese, and bitter because they are and because they let someone else give them a "hang up" that "caused" them to make such poor choices.

"My dad spoiled my brother, and let him blow out my birthday candles because he threw a fit about it." 

....says the kid, who grew up into the hate harboring adult.  Never developing the ability to let go of feeling wronged, regardless of how significant, or insignificant.  Destroying relationships with bitterness, anger, jealousy, and resentment.  No matter how big or small the wrongdoing is, it's met with 100% of hate and venom.

Some experiences or events are far more impacting than that.  Abuse of various kinds can and do tend to scar forever, and twist peoples souls and inside into a sort of ugliness that often times cannot be undone.

But outside of those truly horrible experiences that need professional help to overcome, most of us still lack the ability to let go of our childhood hang ups, and we end up carrying them with us....well, forever.  That is, unless we become very cognizant of them, and through severe introspection or other more meaningful experiences, grow into something stronger, and better.

In other words, if our parents broke our trust, we finally meet someone one day that proves to us through words and actions, that trusting is indeed an ok choice to make.

Or we find a way to understand that it's ok to let go of the demons that plagued us in our youth, and that the only way to be resurrected into something greater is to actually do so.

As we do grow and become adults, we alone are responsible for our choices, and decisions.  One of the biggest problems I see we do as adults is that we constantly justify our shitty behavior, or that we react back harshly to being hurt by the people we love.

The two seem to go hand in hand.  Someone we care about does something, or says something awful to us, and suddenly we feel very justified in returning our own nice neatly wrapped bundle of hate and malice.  Usually far surpassing what it was they presented us with in the first place.  It's not good enough to just talk like adults, or make rational decisions.  What we really must do, is try our very best to pull the insides out of that person, through their mouth and asshole simultaneously, until they writhe and hurt and "feel our pain".

You ever have a buddy hit you in the arm, and it hurt?  In order to show him how hard he hit you, and how much pain he inflicted on you, you really hit him back about 7,549 times harder...because "that's how much it hurt."

Emotionally, we do the same thing when someone we care about hurts us.  We need to hit them back much harder than they hit us.  Because we need to show them, you know, how much they hurt us.  When in fact, we really just inflame the situation, and add more things that will need to be overcome after the drama dies down and cooler heads prevail (if that happens).

As adults, we are shaped by our experiences as kids....in our youth.  However, most of us become emotionally and mentally mature enough to know we have the ability to let go of the things we feel we've been wronged about.  To let go of the awful experiences that misshapen our soul.  It's not always easy, it's not always clear on how to do it.  But forgiving and understand that we have all the power in the matter through choice can be a powerful start.

After all, we all lift weights because we desire to be strong.  Well, forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.  The weak can never forgive.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Base Building for my offseason

Now that the manual is done, and there are no meets on the horizon for a while, I feel a lot of stress off and I can get back to delivering a bit more content here.

So the obvious issue that I need to address for the offseason are the quad/leg injuries I've been having during competition.

I want to cover some really, really dumb fucking shit I've read about theories on why this may be happening. Or mainly, just one.

"Paul doesn't believe in training heavy so then he gets into a meet and has to go heavy and he tears something."

It's hard for me to believe that someone wrote this, that claims they have read my writings or ideas about training.

Before Relentless, I squatted 585 for an easy double, no belt.  A week before that I did 555 for an easy triple.

Before Nationals I squatted 595 for an easy single, no belt.  A week before that I did 545 for an easy triple.

So I'm not sure where the idea comes from that I don't believe or do any heavy training.  I mean, I have a youtube channel that video logs most of my top sets, so basically this is nonsense based on nothing more than taking a few pieces of information here and there completely out of context.

The Base Building methodology is based around sub max training, bar speed, and volume.  This has been detailed very well in the new manual.  All of the principles behind it are sound, have been proven by tons of elite level strength athletes, and stood the test of time.

My peaking programs do in fact require one to train heavy, but for a shorter period of time.

If I had to attribute my last two meet injuries to anything, it would be......

1.  Massive weight cuts
2.  Lack of quad strength/mass

The #2 there has been the hardest for me to swallow.  Because my legs are in fact, more than 30".  However, if I am going to be honest with myself, it's because my adductors are so damn big.  My actual quads need a TON of work.  I have thought this for a while and just not given it the attention it deserves.  My thoughts about this was cemented when my diet guru Michael Israetel told me "Paul, you have the upperbody, shoulders, and back of a guy that's near 300 pounds.  The quads?  Well, not so much."

Burn.  I needed aloe vera for that burn.

But the fact is, the hardest shit to hear is often what you NEED to hear the most.  And for me, that means hey, my quads are well behind where they need to be.

The Zenith -

If you did not purchase the Base Building Manual, well then, kill yourself.

If you don't want to kill yourself, and do in fact want to live and become bigger and stronger, then purchase it and read about the Zenith split.


My offseason split is going to be a modified version of the Zenith.  It will use the same principles that created that split, but with a little more emphasis on quad building.

Here is how I plan on laying this long offseason out -

Week 1 - 

Day 1 - Bench 
Bench - BB Phase I with fatigue singles
Hammer Bench/Db Incline - 2x6, 2x12
Hammer Pulldowns - 2x6, 2x12

Day 2 - Squat/Deadlift
High Bar Squat - BB Phase I
Deadlift - BB Phase III
Hacks - 1x8-15 - big-15 method

Day 3 - Incline
Incline - 350 method
Tricep Extensions - 4x20
Curls - 1x100

Week 2 - 

Day 1 - Front Squat
Fronts - BB Phase III with fatigue singles
Barbell Rows - 3x8
Leg Curls - 4x20

Day 2 - Press
Press Behind the Neck - 1x8-15 50% set - big-15 method
Dip Machine - 4x20
Curls - 1x100

Day 3 - Squat
Low Bar Pause Squats - BB Phase II with fatigue singles
Barbell Rows - 3x8
Leg Curls - 4x20

Week 3 - 

Day 1 - Bench
Bench Press - BB Phase I with fatigue singles
Hammer Pulldowns - 2x6, 2x12
Tricep Extensions - 4x20
Curls - 1x100

Day 2 - Squat/Pull
Squat - BB Phase II Tapered Version
Deadlift - BB Phase III
Leg Press - 10x10

Day 3 - Back
Chins - 50 total reps
Cable Rows - 4x25
Shrugs - 5x20
Db Rows - 1x20-30
V-Grip Pulldowns - 2x6, 2x12

Notes - LOTS of leg and back volume.  Listen, that is where your bread and butter is for getting massive, and moving big weights.  And I am going to spend a great deal of my time hammering the fuck out of those areas before I make a decision to compete again.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Solving a madman's puzzle - How I helped Pete Rubish increase his bench

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away there was this chump who did really heavy deadlifting in his basement in front of the washer and dryer, all the while screaming "EASY!" and "I KILL IT!" as he pulled everything from 135 to 700.  That'd be Pete Rubish.  

Seriously, Pete when you were pulling over 700 you were screaming "EASY!" at 315....well duh it's easy....anyway.....

I met this joker for the first time in Chicago at the Juggernaut seminar, however before that we had communicated online about how ridiculous his training was, and how he needed to find some structure.  

Pete loved to essentially max out.  On everything.  All the time.  Pete's squat and pull, and his take no prisoners intensity fueled his early training progress and helped him rise to very high strength levels at a rapid pace (his great leverages for pulling probably had something to do with that as well).  But Pete lacked structure and often found himself taking 1 step forward, and 2 steps back.  And his bench was well, how shall I put this....well it sucked nuts.  

Pete was pulling over 700, but benching anywhere from 315 to 335.  I've said for some time that to me, strength isn't about singular demonstration of one lift that you are genetically built for.  

Strength, to me, is about being strong across multiple avenues.  Ed Coan isn't considered the greatest powerlifter of all time just because he pulled 900 at 220.  He's considered the best because he was strong on everything.  He could do press behind the neck with 400 pounds, benched mid 500's, pulled over 900, and squatted a grand.  He was strong on anything and everything he did.  Same for Kaz, and the same for any of the other "greats".  Yes, most of those guys had a lift that was a little more superior than the others however, they were all strong in every facet of moving weights.  

Pete was constantly underachieving in his meets because he was terrible at picking attempts, and because his bench sucked.  

So when we were in Chicago and had a chance to train together, it became obvious to me why Pete was struggling with his bench.  

Weak Shoulders - 

In Chicago Pete and I trained together, and we agreed to do one thing I wanted to do and then one thing he wanted to do.  So we did press behind the neck to start.  

Pete's shoulder strength was some of the worst I'd seen for a guy that was as strong as he was in everything else.  I mean he had the shoulder strength of a 10 year boy on estrogen treatments.  He maxed out at 185 for a HARD single on overhead work.  I mean, it was a true max.  So I knew right then, that Pete needed to really focus on bringing his overhead strength up.  I personally do not get any carryover on my bench from increasing my overhead press, however I believe I am an anomaly in that area.  Most guys will get carryover from increasing their overhead press to their bench.  

The other part of the "shoulders" that gets overlooked however, are the rear delts.  The "base" that everyone talks about in benching is really the upperback and that is made up of essentially the traps and rear delts.  Pete was weak in his rear delts, so his stability on the bench was indeed lacking.  

Weak Arms - 

After overhead work, Pete and I did some tricep work.  Again, his tricep strength was so lacking it was hard for me to fathom that he had ever lifted weights at all.  I knew this would need to be fixed as well.  

Poor bar path and grip choice - 

I did a standing push test on Pete to determine where was actually strongest.  Basically, he would shove against my hands.  Once we found where he could shove me with the most power, we determined his grip width.  It was closer than he had expected.  This did not surprise me, as most guys do in fact bench far too wide, then wonder why their pecs are always getting pec strains or tears and why their bench strength is hit and miss.  It's because benching wide isn't generally the area where most guys can generate the greatest amount of power.  

I know there are lots of great benchers that bench wide, but believe it or not, wide benching generally favors guys BUILT for benching.  Guys NOT built for benching (most of us, believe it or not), can generate more power with a closer grip than we expect.  You don't have to go as close as I do (15" or so, however I am changing that up) but it's generally a little closer than you're probably benching now, unless you have already remedied this.  

Actual programming, inclines, and paused work - 

Pete did what a lot of guys do in regards to the bench that make very little progress.  And that is, max out with singles or lower reps, and rarely incorporate rep work or paused benching.  Show me a guy that struggles on bench or has been struggling and I'll generally show you a guy that maxes out on it too much, or uses singles too much.  

Rep work is king in terms of building your bench.  Not singles, not doubles.  Triples are ok in doses.  However 5's and 8's really build the bench.  If you look at all of the big benchers of the past, they all did TONS of rep work.

Reps build your bench.  Especially if those rep sets are paused.  

Here's a little hint.  Your touch and go bench doesn't mean shit if you're a powerlifter.  I have no idea why people even do it.  Touch and go anything doesn't build paused anything.  It just doesn't translate.  If you have to pause in competition then why are you training your bench with touch and go reps?  I don't get it.  The same can be said for your deadlift too in case you didn't know.  Deadstop reps make shit much harder, and that's a good thing.  

The other thing I would include would be the addition of the 350 method on the incline press.  I'm not going to try and explain why this method works so well for improving the bench, but I've used it myself and on everyone I've trained and without fail it increases the bench.  If I had to venture into why it works so well, it would just be something as simple as the fact that the volume really does wonders for hypertrophy in the pecs and triceps.  

So for the people who hate incline, if you have a shit bench, maybe you should get with the program.  I have yet to meet someone that legit trained to increase their incline strength that did not get carryover to their bench.  

Base Building and principles - 

I had Pete doing a tremendous amount of volume early on.  All paused work, all sub-max, and then heavier work on his overheads (usually sets of 5-8) and trying to beat his 350 weight for inclines (he was damn proud when he finally beat 50 reps with 225).  

Pete benched and inclined on day 1, and then did overheads and lots of rear delt work later in the week.  

As Pete broke his 350 records and got stronger on overhead work, his bench moved.  He stuck with all the paused work, and his bench rose from the low and mid 300's to eventually hitting a paused 415 months later.  Yes Pete gained weight during this process, however when he was benching in the mid 300's before he was at a similar weight.  So the weight gain was the main factor.

Over the course of these months, Pete kept some of the things he liked, and discarded some of the things he didn't.  He eventually replaced out inclines for weighted dips, but kept his overhead work in and got stronger there on a steady basis.  

This is what everyone will have to do throughout their training life in order to make progress.  You start with a staple, then make a change here or there, to see what happens.  You don't make huge wholesale changes when things go into the shitter.  If you plan your training around solid principles and theories, then you shouldn't have to rearrange everything in order to move up again.  You make small changes, to see how they affect your training, and go from there.  

Most movements will eventually get tapped out in terms of effectiveness at building the main lift.  When Pete felt like inclines were no longer serving him as well, he replaced them.  He then concentrated on dips, but kept military in.  This is solid, and a reason why Pete's bench continued to rise.  

I don't take full credit for Pete's massive progress on bench, however I take credit for helping to get him moving in the right direction and giving him some principles to build around.  This is why a training philosophy far outweighs "routines".  Routines are just that.  Routines.  Principles and ideologies BUILD the routine.  Not the other way around.  

I'm ridiculously proud of Pete, and I know he has room to grow yet still.  I can see a 450 bench coming from Pete in the next two years.  Something that just a year ago, didn't seem possible.  However what Pete will realize is, going from 400 to 450 will mean a new learning curve as well.  Just as getting from 350 to 415 required one.  

Hopefully, he will listen to 50% of what I tell him at least 82% of the time.  I think that's about how it all worked out over the last few months, and he did "ok".  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A tid bit on Base Building.......

One of the things I really tried to emphasize in BB is that you're not going to train ONE WAY forever, nor will you train one way to reach all of your goals.

It's not that "everything works" either. I hate that fucking saying. Everything DOES NOT work. It's about finding what works optimally to reach whatever goals you are trying to get checked off on.

The problem I have seen for years now, is the lack of ability from most guys to be introspective enough to know when they need change.

"My bench hasn't moved in 2 years."

Without fail, every time I've gotten this comment, that guy has failed to get bigger. Yet he's still doing heavy singles or doubles on his bench.

You have to GROW. You have to gain muscular SIZE in order to raise your strength ceiling. This is not even a debate, nor is it open for discussion. Most guys that fail to make serious progress in terms of weight on the bar or with rep PR's fail to do so because they have not addressed one of the principles of Base Building.

Muscular / Technical / Peaking

Each of these things BUILDS on the other. You want to get bigger? You must eat more, and move more weight. If your bench hasn't moved in two fucking years, and you're still 200 pounds, then you need to build a bigger muscular base. If you think "bodybuilding is gay" then enjoy not making progress because of your idealistic dogmatism.

Throughout your training life you will need to switch gears in order to get over hurdles. Often times guys don't ask the right questions, so they don't get the right answers. Training for strength isn't always what you need in order to get over a strength plateau. Training for size isn't always what you need in order to peak your maximum strength out.

I have reiterated this so many times that I finally realized that's what I wanted Base Building to encompass. And I didn't want to over inundate the reader with so much info that he left more confused than when he arrived.

It's simple. And it's in there.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Base Building Manual is available.

You've been waiting for it your whole life!  And it's finally here!

Ok so that's really overstating it, but I it has taken a long time to get this thing together.

I ended up OVERWRITING it, and eventually had the idea (and a novel one) to reduce the content a bit to mostly just the training and programming because well, you know, it's a training manual.



Training - Off season Base Building Press

Bodyweight 270

Bench Press - modified my grip and bar path a bit

bar x 20,20


315x8,8,8,8 all paused
365x1 fast

Wide Grip Bench - 225x8,8

Hammer Strength Pulldowns - 4 PPS x 6,6 - 2 PPS x 12,12

Upright rows and rope tricep extensions - 4 sets of each

Notes - First workout in a designed template by RP but using a lot of my base building percentage work.

I have altered my bench press a bit.  I have widened the grip to be exactly where my incline is.  So it's a bit wider, but still looks close compared to most regular benches.

I will be spending this offseason working on my quads a LOT.  They are obviously my weak link and I am bound and determined to bring them up.  A LOT.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thoughts about life, crap, training, and stuff - UPA weekend, mass gain, weight cutting edition

This past weekend I drove up to potentially bench and pull at the UPA Power weekend in Iowa.  Nevermind the fact that I tore my quad two weeks ago, I did in fact pull 635 x 3 from a deficit a little more than a week ago, so I figured "what the hell, I can go bench 400 and pull 700 and hang out with my buddies."  Seemed like a solid plan at that time.

On the drive up however, my leg got achier and achier and my overall feeling of well being deteriorated pretty rapidly.  By the time I woke up Saturday morning I had a splitting headache and felt like I had bean beaten half to death by a meth and hate fueled Snuffaluffagus.  Nevertheless, I decided I would still go give it a shot.

I took a token squat of 170 then sat around for the next 459 hours waiting to warm up for bench.  By the time my flight was warming up I knew something was not right.  My body ached and my head was pounding to the tune of a drum that not even 16 ibuprofen could quiet (that's not embellishing either.  I had taken 16 by that point).

On bench warm ups, I knew something was very off when I could barely unrack 275 and press it without pain and weakness.  I texted my best buddy Pegg and told him of my concern.  He texted back two words that rang with truth.

"Stop.  Now."

I knew what he was telling me was right, but like most guys that compete in powerlifting or really any sport, my mentality was to push through anything.  To give my right leg if I had to in order to compete.  The problem was, I had already given my right leg two weeks prior in Detroit.

"Do you want to be rehabbing a pec AND a quad at the same time?  Shut it down." he told me.

So with a heavy and reluctant heart, I did.  It was the hardest...and smartest, decision I had ever made in regards to a meet or competition.

You see, there are definitely times when you have to get fucking stupid, and despite all odds, finish by destroying through whatever obstacles have been put in your way.  You must will yourself to overcome the pain and the feeling of being defeated, and embrace everything you have left to give and empty yourself out.

And there are times when you need to weigh up the odds, and options, and say "there's nothing to win here today by doing that."  And that's what I came to the conclusion of.  That if I tore a pec or a hamstring that there was nothing to win.  Not with myself, not with anything or anyone else.  I needed to, for once, be smart and shut it down and go back to the drawing board so I can set myself up for bigger and better things down the road.  It won't be the last meet I ever do, so what did I have to gain?  Just another injury.

With all of that said, I did enjoy helping my little brother Pete Rubish.  I've said for a long time that Pete had it in him to total big, if he'd just quit being stupid.  Well, this time I was there to make sure of that.  Though he was still stubborn Pete listened to me for 95% of the day, let me call his numbers, and he ended up going 8 for 9 with a 1851 total, and hit about 1,239 PR's.

And you know what?  They count now.  They are in the books.  Not on youtube, and not because some stupid bitch on his Facebook wanted to jack off to his lifting videos.  Pete got his best day ON THE BOOKS.  And I am humbled to have been a part of helping to make that happen.  Now to just keep his head on straight so he doesn't keep doing stupid shit in the future.  I think Pete could total 2K no wraps in the next couple of years if IF IF he doesn't get stupid in training.  So...that's a big IF.

My other buddy Ernie Lilliebridge Jr, went 1900+ at 220, which is ridiculous.  I've said for a long time that Ernie Jr. is the most underappreciated dude in all of powerlifting and I think he proved that very well this weekend.  His brother broke the all time world record for the squat....twice.  In wraps of course.  He did 925 in a day he could have done 950.  I know big E was pissed about his last pull that didn't get passed but he still had a great day and a great meet, and I know he'll eventually calm down and realize that.

My other buddy Swede Burns went 1800 with a severe upper respiratory infection.  Was really proud of how he gutted through that.

Oh and Dan Green broke the 242 total record...again.  Ho hum.

My plans -

After this past weekend I decided I need to do what the Base Building Book is all about.  Get back to growing and setting up the next layer of a foundation in terms of mass, so that I can grow into the 275's effectively.  I'm not a 242 anymore, and all of this weight cutting I believe, has been a big part of why my training and meet results have been so hit and miss.  During training, I get strong when I'm not worried about my weight, and eat.  Not junk mind you, I just let myself eat more.  Then when I have to dial it back, food wise, for the meet I feel a bit of that "umpf" come off.  The weight cut then tends to effectively kill that "umpf" and I feel like shit.

I'm not saying you can't weight cut and break records and be strong and all that jazz.  I'm just saying it hasn't bode well for me to the point.  Cutting 30 pounds for relentless, I feel, set my up for my injury.  So I'm just not going to worry about that anymore, get back to breaking rep PR's, doing 50% sets, and building as much lean tissue as possible.

As Wendler told me after the meet "stop getting in your own way."  Well that's the plan.  I will be detailing more of what I am going to be doing later this week.

I hope everyone is having a dog shit Monday!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Base Building Manual Chapter Outline.........

Chapter 1 - Building your own masterpiece

Chapter 2 - Training Definitions

Chapter 3 - You cannot lose your way, until you have first found it.

Chapter 4 - Compensatory acceleration training (CAT) and Coasting -

Chapter 5 - Working efficiently –

Chapter 6 - What Base Building Is Not -

Chapter 7 - S.A.I.D Principle -

Chapter 8 - High level overview of training phases - Why you will need each one:

Chapter 9 - Rating training sessions

chapter 10 - Dealing with +10% and -10% sessions

Chapter 11 - EDM - The Everyday Max – What base building is programmed around.

chapter 12 - Momentum - Getting it in your training and keeping it as long as possible, by not falling off the cliff

Chapter 13 - The sliding scale of intensity and volume - Prilepin’s Table

Chapter 14 - Back work and the barbell row - The true big #4

Chapter 15 - Base Building Models - I, II, III

chapter 16 - Base Building Bench Press Models

chapter 17 - Base Building Squat Models

Chapter 18 - Base Building Dead Lift Models

Chapter 19 - Becoming a better scientist and knowing what phase you should transition into

Chapter 20 - Fatigue Singles

Cahpter 21 - Three components that are key to making progress – Deloading, Tapering, Waving

Chapter 22 - Beginner Base Building

Chapter 23 - Base Building Splits

Chapter 24 - The mental side of training

Chapter 25 - Why testing in the gym can be your biggest enemy

Chapter 26 - Never quit…never give up

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sale for the rest of the week!

fanpage2.2.jpg Visit the LRB store from 11/11/13 until 11/18/13  http://store.lift-run-bang.com/ 

$10.00 off any purchase of $75.00or more.

Use coupn Code DG63WW89L




Saturday, November 9, 2013

Training - Squats and pulls with a PR....yes a PR

Bodyweight - 265

Squats -
315 x 8 sets of 5

Deficit Deadlifts -


635x3 PR

Notes - Quad felt like it was going to explode on second and third reps but somehow it held together.  Happy to get this milestone out of the way.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Offseason Training - Base Building - Pressing and Back

Bodyweight - 270

Incline -


Tit Machine - 3x8

Row Machine - stack 4 sets of 15
Hammer Row - up to 675x10

Notes - OMG, the first day of training after a meet is awful.  Everything hurts.  Work capacity is shit.  I won't call it a -10% session but it was pretty full of suck.

Quad tear bruise day 2

I'm not a heavy "bruiser".  Even when I tore my bicep tendons I had very little bruising down my arm from it.
So this should at least give some indication of the severity of this tear.....

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Relentless recap - Part 2

After a full nights sleep I woke Saturday morning, ready to rock and roll.  In fact, my sleep was so full that I realized that it was 8 o'clock, and that I was already supposed to be at Kirby Church for the rules meeting.


Well, powerlifting meets never start on time.  And the truth is, the way that I lift tends to fall under "legal" for every fed out there.  So I generally don't need it.  

The last two sentences could fall under "things I tell myself to feel better for waking up late to the rules meeting."  

I texted Furry and asked him if he was on his way.  

"Pullin up".

Oh, nice.  He woke up late too.  Now I feel even better and less like a loser than before because Furry overslept and was late as well.  

I grabbed my box of pancakes left from the previous morning, threw them in the microwave and grabbed all of my shit.  

Furry and I did make a stop at the store where I grabbed some 5 hour energies, bananas, gatorades, tater chips, advil, poptarts, and a few other things I can't remember.  I knew there would be catering at the meet, however I do like me some snacks in between meals.  

Furry and myself

We arrived at the Church/meet site, and hauled our shit in.  Because Justin in a geared lifter, he had much more shit than I, a man who doesn't even use a belt, had to haul in.  As I surveyed all the shit he would be wearing to compete in, I wondered to myself if he would be fighting Robocop after or JUST doing a powerlifting meet.  

Once inside, we sat our bags in a room that contained at least 1 million other bags.  I literally have not seen that many bags at a meet ever.  Someone even had an Eason bag that was so large you could have fit Jabba the Hutt AND half-naked Princess Leia in it.  

I have no idea why anyone would need a bag that fucking big at a powerlifitng meet.  Not even a geared lifter.  How much shit does one need?  I mean even the medium raw people (belts and knee wraps) shouldn't need a huge bag.  Some knee wraps, wrist wraps, and a belt.  Does this require the largest Samsonite bag available?  

There were 172 flights at this meet.  So I knew it would be a long day.  It wasn't long after Fartbox showed up that we started our warm ups for squats.  At Nationals a few months before, I felt like shit from the word go that day.  The entire day all I could think about was crawling back into bed.  I was tired, weak, and felt like shit.  

But on this morning, I felt like a god damn beast.  I felt strong, full, and ready to go.  My warm ups echoed this sentiment to me as well, as I moved 315, 365, 405, and 515 with such speed and force that the bar flew off my back.  Every warm up felt like 135.  At 405 I checked twice to see if someone had taken some plates off.  Kevin Smith reiterated to me that my warm ups looked ridiculous, and that I looked strong as hell.  

Kevin, Me, Fartbox, and John

Finally....it was going to be my day.  

I called 570 for my opener.  Because I was late, I didn't have a rack height in.  However the guy that was in our warm up group had gone right before me, and we were similar in height.  So I just told the crew at the front to keep it at his rack height.  Which was "17-in".  

I hit the platform, kissed my forearm, walked my weight out, and blew through the 570 like an empty bar.  No sticking point, no grind.  Felt perfect.  Just like a warm up should.  I walked over to the table and called for 620.  

When it was my turn again, I repeated the same as before.  Kissed my forearm, got under the weight, and unracked it.  

When I unracked the 620, internally, a smile manifested itself inside of me.  It felt as light as anything over 600 has ever felt on my back.  During the walk out, I thought to myself "....I may take 660 on my third."  It felt THAT light.  Just like every other weight had felt.  It was a great feeling.  

I got set, took my breath, and hit to hole.  As I drove out of the hole, I felt a slight twinge in my right quad....and nano seconds after that, I felt what I could only describe as a bomb going off in my leg.  The entire lateral side of my right leg felt like it just exploded.  

I stayed with the bar instead of dumping it (because I hate when I see that shit), and helped the spotters do their job.  I leaned forward on the bar once it was racked, then tried to walk off.  

No dice.  

I couldn't put my leg down.  The pain was debilitating.  Someone started helping me off the platform before Rob Luyando came over to assist them.  They sat me down in a chair.  An action that made me feel like someone was ripping my thigh off.  I don't remember all of the events that happened right after that.  I remember being overcome by nausea, and thinking "I'm about to throw up all over the fucking place."  I remember this surge of heat radiating throughout my body, as if I had been suddenly transported to the desert.  I remember Pam coming to check on me, and me snatching her water without warning and dumping it all over my head.  

There was a massage therapist on site and she and Rob wrapped a band around my leg very tightly.  This felt so awful that my friend nausea returned immediately, and tried to start making his way out of my stomach, but I was able to contain him via some deep breathing.  After a while they removed the band and asked me if I could walk.  

"I don't know."  I said.  

They helped me to my feet and I hobbled down the long hallway, and into the back of the church near the warm up area, where a couch was.  

I plopped down on said couch, which is ultimately where I would end up spending the majority of my day.  You would think that I would have been overcome by disappointment and grief, which would indeed come later, however the pain was so severe all I could think about at the time was "I wonder if anyone has any vicodin?"  

Not much time had passed when someone associated with the meet came and asked me if I was ok, and if I was "done"....out of the meet.  

"No." I said.  "I'm going to bench and pull.  I'm going to finish."  

"You sure?" they said.

"Yeah."  I said.  

I wasn't about to quit.  I wasn't about to not finish this meet.  We were there because Relentless was about bringing awareness to children battling terminal illnesses, and raising money to support their families.  I'm going to bow out of this because of a torn quad?  Oh hell no.  

Not only that, before I left home I drew three circles on my forearm.  I had each of my girls put the first letter of their first name in a circle.  It would be the first time I would be competing without them, but I wanted them to know that they would still be with me in my heart.  So before I made my attempts, I would kiss my forearm, or hold it over my heart.  I wanted my girls to know, there's no quit in dad.  

In the warm up area, getting up and down off the bench was the most difficult task in regards to benching.  I couldn't leg drive, but I could still bring my leg back in order to get "some" tightness.  I didn't want to be completely laxed on the bench.  So I dealt with some of the pain, then uncorked my foot as fast as possible after I was done pressing.  This was not a delightful experience.  Rob Luyando found a knee wrap and wrapped my leg for me to keep some pressure on it.  

The weights themselves felt light in my hands.  However with leg drive they didn't have the same degree of force coming off my chest as usual.  I knew I could still open at 390 on bench regardless of that and just go from there.  

I hit the 390, then called for 420, which I felt would still be fairly easy.  And it was.  

I then called for 440.  I knew it would be iffy without the leg drive.  I had come there knowing that 450 was in the bag, and that 465 might even be possible if everything was lining up just right.  I was in the opposite of that "lining up right" scenario, but I figured 440 would still go.  

I took the 440 down, felt light on the descent so I knew I probably had this one in the bag.  Then right after the press, I sort of "forgot myself" and went to initiate leg drive.  A pain shot up my leg and through my back and spine like a hot knife.  The weight stalled as I lost all concentration at that point, and the spotters took it.  

I hobbled over to the hallway, and plopped down in a chair.  The pain was so intense up my leg and back that I couldn't find a comfortable position to be in.  It was at that point that the disappointment started to sink in, and combined with the pain I found myself sobbing.  Not afraid to admit it at all.  I had come there to compete and to get some long desired ghosts put to rest, and not only did I get injured (again) but injured to a degree that was causing me more physical pain than I had ever had from any injury.  That's including two torn biceps, a torn hamstring, a permanently dislocated shoulder, and a myriad of other things that can and do occur over 25 years of lifting.  

At that point, Kevin Smith came over to me and said a lot of things that really helped me to regain my focus and I pushed all of the feelings of misery out of my head.  

After all, I still had to pull.  

I would be pulling stiff legged of course.  In the warm up room, just getting down to the bar was the hardest part.  I could only bend my knees just a little bit, but that's about all I bend them when I pull stiff legged anyway.  Still, every rep hurt like a mother fucker.  The first pull wouldn't feel so bad, but then if I did a second rep, the pain was terrible.  

Luckily, in the warm up room Brandon Lilly cracked jokes and added a lot of levity to the environment and the heaviness of my heart really appreciated that at the time. 

I needed to change my opener because it was still set at 615.  The plan was to go 615-660-705, however that obviously was not happening today.  So I asked Fartbox if he'd go let them know to change my opener to 550.  He said he would.  

I worked up to 515 in the warm up room, and it did not feel ok.  Still, I figured if I couldn't pull god damn 550 stiff legged then like a horse with a broken leg, I should just be taken out back and shot dead.  

When it was time to pull first attempts they went right past 550 without calling my name.  I was confused.  I walked over to Donnie Thompson who was the MC and asked him if they got the change in my opener.  

"We didn't get it." he said.  


"Do you want to just go during second attempts?" he said.  

"Yeah, that's fine.  550."  I said.  

Fartbox told them, I'm sure.  However in the chaos of a big meet sometimes these things do get lost in the shuffle.  

No biggie.  I'd just pull 550 on my second, then 600 on my third.  

"So you're still pulling?" Furry asked me in the hallway.

"Yeah" I said.  "I'm going to go out there and pull 600 stiff legged style."

Furry burst into laughter.  

"That's awesome!"  

Before I went to pull, Brandon leaned in to me and said "go out there and pull something good for those three beautiful little ladies you got back home."  

Fuck Brandon Lilly.  I swear to God, I was already having a hard enough time holding shit together and he says that?  In all seriousness, it was one of the best things anyone could have said to me.  

I went out and pulled 550 with little trouble, then called for the 600.  

When my time came up, I gave my girls a kiss, set up with as little knee bend as I could, and destroyed it.  

I had finished.

My total was a measly 1590.  Obviously well under the 1800 I had planned.  However, I left with a sense of accomplishment about a meet I had never had before..  After all, finding out how you deal with adversity tells you a lot more about yourself than how you deal with all the cards being lined up in a row.  Most people can handle that fairly well.  However lots of people fold under adversity or struggles.  That or they bemoan their situation or whine about judging or the short end of the stick they got.  

More important than all of that, Relentless raised 140K+ dollars to go towards the families we were all there to support.  Last year, they raised 33K, I believe.  That's a hell of a jump.  

Relentless is a really, really special thing.  I don't know that I would want to do ever be part of another meet right now for the simple fact that in comparison, it is going to fall short.  It's also really put my goals and "numbers" back into perspective.  Something I started realizing the night before the meet when I made that video about "Sacrificing".  

The 1590 I gave to Relentless is worth FAR more than any total I've ever put up before because it came via adversity like I had never known in a meet, and it came via a great cause, surrounded by so many great people.  

In closing I would like to thank some of those people - Pam Bosko, Tommy Westoff, JJ, Marshall Johnson, Rob Luyando, Chad Dresden, Kevin Smith, Justin Graalfs, Brandon Lilly, Christine Marie, and a whole shit slew of other folks that made the weekend worth remembering.  If I left you out, it's not because I don't love you.  It's just because I don't feel like typing anymore.  

Also, no more weight cutting.  275's from here on out. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Relentless recap - Part 1

Well meet weekend is over, so you know what that means.

It means I have a recap to write up, and that I'm injured.

I'd love to say that's a joke, however at Relentless I sustained what is probably the most painful injury I've ever had in my 25 years of lifting.  I don't know the extent of it, or if I will need surgery but I can tell you from a pain standpoint, it was easily the most painful injury I've ever had.

Before we get to all of that though, I want to recap most of the weekend because it was indeed an incredible weekend, with a lot of incredible people.

I had to weigh in Friday morning, so Thursday was a pretty miserable day.  My weight came down to a certain point and then just stopped.  I had been conversing with Pam the whole time and she was having the same issue,as she was cutting for the 148's.

When you're trying to make weight the only thing you can think about is stepping on that scale and getting that shit done and over with.  So that night I barely slept.  I think I literally slept for one hour.  I am not embellishing in regards to that statement either.

One hour.  From like, four to five.

I got up and got back in my make shift steam room, which essentially was my shower on the whole time turned up to "11", with 11 being "scalding ass hot."

I would go in there and sit down with a towel over me trying to sweat as much as possible and also trying to attain as many third degree burns as my skin would allow me to before telling my brain to revolt.

My weight was stuck at 245, and no matter how many of these trips I made, or how much brown piss I expelled from my body, the scale just kept flashing "245" at me.  Pam texted me that she was going to go get on the exercise bike and I thought that didn't sound like a bad idea, and would give me a break from the torture chamber for a while.  So I limped out to the exercise room and rode the ol stationary bike for 20 minutes, and I started sweating pretty well.  I did a few more steam rooms and finally the scale dipped.


It was around this time that I received a text from Marshall "Freakshow" Johnson that he was outside the hotel in a minivan, waiting on me.

"Well" I thought..."It is what it is.  Maybe the scale will be light."

I mixed up my concoction of whey and gatorade and took a jaunt to the van.  Inside it I found many big bearded men....and Marshall Johnson....with some kids.

After a drive through the shithole that is wherever we were, we finally arrived at Detriot Barbell.  If there's a more dungeon like gym in all of Michigan, then I don't want to see it.  DBB is as gritty as you can get.  I mean grit.  If there were four homicides inside the place before we got there I'm not sure I would have noticed.

Everyone was in line for weigh ins and I suppose the nerves of the weigh in finally caught up with me as my hands trembled and I became very weak in the knees.  And I don't mean "Jessica Beil just walked by" weak in the knees.  I mean weak as in, I haven't had water in almost 40 hours, weak.

When it was my turn to weigh in all I could picture in my head was weighing in at what the scale said back at the room.


.......and then feeling like all of work was for nothing.

The scale was behind a door.  So basically you walked into the hallway, shut the door, and the guy read the scale from the other side.  So you didn't get to see what you weighed.  He just told you through the door.

I stepped on the scale.  "Be still, Paul." JJ told me.

"Ok you can get off now."

"What'd it say?" I said, nervously.

But he didn't answer.

"What'd it say?!?!?!"


I finished dressing and walked out of the hallway.  JJ was gone.

"Where's JJ?" I said aloud to no one in particular.

JJ finally reappeared.

"What did I weigh?"

JJ looked down at the paper and made a few marks on it.

"You're in the 275's right, Paul?"


He looked up at me and laughed.


It took a minute to sink in, and then all I could do was exhale and smile.  Marshall laughed at me and asked me if I was going to drink that "strange concoction you have in that jug."

"I am now." I said.

I think I finished it in two chugs.  After hanging out for a while, me, Marshall, Justin Graalfs, Pam Bosko, and Chad Dresden all decided to go eat.  I had been looking forward to having pancakes all week and it was time to now scarf down the heavenly sugar cakes.

As we got ready to head out, 277 pound Graalf's pulled up in his rent a car, rolled down the window, and gave a "what's up?"

This would be his rent a car........

 ....a Mazda2.

It's hard for me to explain in words how small this car is in person.  And just how ridiculous Justin looked sitting inside of it.

Which is why Marshall and I got in it with him.

Unfortunately we did not get a picture of that, as it would have been worth eleventy billion words.

Unfortunately #2 is that after a recomp, my appetite is usually not great.  It feels like I want to eat, but then when the meal comes, I can't get more than a few bites in before I have to sort of force more food down.  So I managed to eat less than the women sitting at or around our table.

Ultimately, I felt like a total wimp for eating less than Calista Flockhart on a day of fasting.  I managed two whole pancakes before tapping out.

After my dinosaur sized breakfast we all piled in various vehicles and headed back to "a" hotel (not mine, just "a" hotel) and sat around the lobby bullshitting and what not.  It wasn't too long before I actually started feeling hungry again and me, Justin, and Chad -- who I will now refer to as "fartbox" because that's all he did all day and all weekend -- walked over to a gas station to grab some shit to munch on for a while.  In said gas station Justin discovered a pack of "Night Bullet", which is apparently a male sexual enhancer, and as you might expect we made quite the spectacle of ourselves making jokes about "Night Bullet".

Justin also cannot stand up from a chair without breathing so hard he sounds like he's been doing Rocky IV style training montage workouts.  I mean just standing up from a chair.  Chad eventually nicknamed him "furry" due to his beard.

Furry said he wanted to go get some pasta, and said he knew of a place to go.  So Fartbox and I waited for him to pull around the front of the hotel so we could go to this place and eat.  But he never pulled around.  Twenty minutes later I get a text from Furry and he asks if we are coming to eat.  Apparently he took off with someone else and just expected us to show up any minute........which is essentially what happened.

We ended up eating at this fairly swanky Italian joint with Rob Luyando and Shawn Frankl.  Shawn ended up benching that night at the bench only portion of Relentless and hit 540 raw weighing 218.  Even better is that Shawn said at the table while we were eating "yeah I'm gonna bench.  I will open at 450 and go from there.  I trained three weeks for it, so we'll see."

Trained three weeks for it.  Did 540 at 218.

No you can't have his bench program, and even if you did it won't help you.  Stop being stupid.  Shawn is a freak and unless you plan on somehow getting his DNA you're not going to reproduce those numbers.  Let me also add that Rob is as good of a guy as you will meet, and has a huge heart and I can't take my hat off to him enough for how much support he gave me on meet day.  But more on that later.

After we finished eating, Furry, myself, and Fartbox ran some errands we had to take care of before the meet and then decided on this Sushi joint for the evening.  Furry went there the night before, and said they had this roll called the "Playboy" that was unreal good and that we had to get it.

When it came time to order, Justin told our waitress he wanted two of those Playboy rolls.

"But....it's really big." she said.

"I know.  I want two." Furry said.

"But it's like this...." she said, holding her hands about a foot apart.

"I know.  Want two!" Furry said.

"Have you seen it?  It's so long.  So big."

These comments started making me wonder if we were ordering sushi or if there was a sex shop in the back.

"I know.  I was here last night." Furry said.  "I want two."

I had to give Justin credit, because he was totally calm every time he repeated himself.  I mean he never raised his voice or became irritated at all.  It was kind of like that scene out of Dude Where's My Car where the woman keeps going "annnddd dennnnn...." except this woman just kept saying "so huge....so big".

I feel dirty now.

Anyway, after much coaxing (this story keeps getting worse and worse to write) Justin finally convinced her that she should bring him two of these rolls.  I too wanted two of them.  Fartbox just ordered one and we all still ordered an entree.

After both Justin AND Chad took a shit at the restaurant, we departed for the evening with full stomachs and carb comas creeping in.

I usually worry about my sleep the night before a meet, being a lifetime insomniac and all, however on this night, fell into a quick slumber and never woke the entire night.  Such nights are few and far between for me. 9 straight hours of deep sleep may have only happened to me as many times as I've been come onto by a Playboy model.  So that's once, that I can remember.

I weighed 264 upon waking.  So I basically gained 23 pounds in a day.  Not a bad recomp I must say.  Mainly do to Mike Israetel (check the link for Renaissance Periodization) and his plan (the same one he has Dan Green use, btw).

Now it was time to go lift................all that in part 2.