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.

"'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 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.


  1. I'm sorry about your leg bossman,I'm sure you're tired of hearing about it much less thinking about it. Get better soon!

  2. Best. Pre-meet. Recap. Ever. "So huge..."

  3. Sorry to hear about your quad - by the way awesome stiff legged pull.

    Curious - do you think the quad injury was anything to do with the weight cut?

  4. Is this the same quad that has given you problems in the past?

    1. Same one. I obviously have something else going on in that leg that I need to get fixed. However I also did a massive weight cut.

  5. Thanks for ruining the suspense of part 2 and the injury. Bad enough I have to wait longer to live vicariously through Paul but now its even more anti climatic.

    I was all ready to hear how he dislocated a testicle while some dude was helping him lace up his sneakers or something

    Seriously though, injuries suck. I'm not one to believe everything happens for a reason so all I do is just think that it sucks and hope you don't fall apart. Hope you feel better soon big fella and just keep telling yourself its about the journey and blah blah blah learning experience.

    Better luck next time.

  6. I seriously feel for you man. I can only imagine the frustration you must feel. I'm frustrated and I'm just some dude who reads your blog and buys your books. I know after all the training and focus falling short because of injury is more devastating to the spirit than to the body.

    Truth be told you have the testimonials from enough people to know that you make an impact far more reaching than on any record book.

    In that regard you can't lose. That's a pretty powerful consolation prize. Plus this gives you an opportunity to demonstrate some of the characteristics you wish to bestow on to your training partner.

    And I still think your pretty entertaining .

    Thanks for all you do and I look forward to the next part of the write up.


    1. I'm telling you man, I'm not disappointed. Just wait. :)

  7. Hi paul.

    Here is some un-solicited advice: After you make weight you need to get a light workout in after 2-3 meals are in you. So if you weigh in the morning @ 9 then at 3-5pm that day you should get a good sweat doing the same activity your going to participate in. Just real light and to get the blood flowing. Basically your muscles are sponges and you just took out 20lbs of water out of them and then go hammering with 100% intensity when they are not fully capable of doing so.

  8. Sounds like anxiety is keeping you from sleeping. I cannot shut off my mind 90% of the time either, I know how frustrating it is. What has the doc said about your your insomnia issue? What's your caffiene intake like