Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Openings for 10 week max muscle program.

Ok I am taking clients for the next round of the Maximum Muscle Mass program.
It's 10 weeks and $275.
If want to get in on this round email me at
If you are overly fat, there is a plan for that (obviously, if you've looked at the before and after pics).
Serious mother fuckers only.
This round will start on the 6th of April.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Training - Legs

Bodyweight - 245

Leg Curls - 5 sets of 12 using 3/4 of the stack.  5 second negatives.
Standing Calf - stack x 14, 10
Sumo Leg Press - 5 plates x 3 sets of 15, 7 plates x 2 sets of 8
Hack Squats - 315 x 10, 405 x 10, 500 x 8
Stiff Legs - 315 x 8,8

Notes - Ouch.

10 week Maximum Muscle Mass - Another before and after

1 pound difference in the before and after.  223 to 222.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Myths, fallacies, and flat out bullshit

Almost every day I sift through an assortment of "information" (if you want to call it that) of training "gems" (and by gems I mean polished turds) and "wisdom" (and by wisdom I mean shit that makes me want to slap myself in the nutsack) doled out by people who apparently think they are doing people a favor by enlightening them.

This article is profanity laced.  So if profanity makes your pussy hurt, get out now.

Just go heavy - 

This has probably become one of my most hated mottos in lifting.

"When in doubt, just go heavy."

"Go heavy or go home."

"Some hardcore bullshit on a shirt about grinding."

The fact is, going heavy should comprise the LEAST amount of your training time for the year.  The LEAST.

Your low rep work like doubles, triples and such, should be fast.  Not grinding.

Your rep work, support work, bodybuilding, etc should all be in rep ranges that automatically mean you're using a fairly low percentage of your one rep max.

I once read a really simple peaking approach by Andy Bolton, who I think knows a lot about intelligent program design, and he basically summed up 6 weeks like this.

Week 1 - Light
Week 2 - Light
Week 3 - Medium
Week 4 - Medium
Week 5 - Heavy
Week 6 - Heavy

This looks smart to me.  Intelligent.  I have no idea what "heavy all the time" is supposed to look like, in regards to programming.   Maybe it looks like this.....

Week 1 - heavy
Week 2 - epically heavy
Week 3 - brutally heavy
Week 4 - homicidally heavy
Week 5 - makes ethic cleansing look like easter at Grandma's house HEAVY

The best way to grind your progress to a halt is to push weights onto the bar too quickly.  The best way to get bogged down mentally and physically is to "load the bar" every training session.  There's something to be said in regards to staying fresh, and feeling good and the impact that has on stringing together many weeks and months of productive training.

Using absolutes in training is usually a terrible idea (see how I avoided using an absolute right there?).  So if the answer is "just" go heavy, it's bullshit.  Going heavy is only a small piece of the training puzzle.

Cardio - 

Why so much fretting over it?  I see people debate whether you need to do HIIT or that steady state is worthless, or now that of all things, cardio will make you fat.  All those decades, bodybuilders did cardio only to step onstage fat.  When generally it was the ones that didn't do enough cardio (and clen) that stepped onstage fat.  And I know some of those.

To quote my diet guy Trevor Kashey on this matter, and something I've reiterated myself multiple times, from a muscular development standpoint, you can and probably will max out your genetic potential in 5-10 years naturally, with just proper training and nutrition.  If you don't stay natural, well, there's all sorts of possibilities and they vary from person to person based on the laws of individuality.

But let's cut through some bullshit here.

If you think you're going to lose gains or muscle mass because you did 30 minutes worth of cardio a few times a week, then you are a candidate for those suffering from extreme mental poverty.

It is true that if you just stop training all together that muscle loss will occur fairly rapidly.  However it doesn't take a lot of training to simply maintain what you have built.  The fear of muscle loss across the spectrum of the lifting community boggles my fucking mind.  People have all sorts of panic now over losing gains if they miss a workout or two, or miss a meal or go for a fucking hike for a few hours.

"Went for a hike bro.  All gains lost!"

Cardio isn't going to strip you of all of your mass.  Unless most of that mass is you know, FAT MASS.

It will help get you in better shape, help you drop some fat, and unless you're just going overboard with it, it's not going to rob you of all the precious muscle you built.  Especially if you keep it at a low enough intensity.  You know, like that same degree of intensity you just walk around casually at? Yeah, you're not going to suddenly find muscle falling off of you if you do cardio at that kind of pace.  Especially if you're not natural.

And so long as you're training even moderately hard and giving your body a reason to retain muscle mass, it's pretty much fucking impossible to just "lose muscle."  unless your diet is totally devoid of any adequate amount of protein or so low in calories not even a hamster could go a few rotations on a wheel.  So yeah, eat some protein, do some cardio, keep training.  You aren't going to suddenly wake up and find all of your muscle gone from some fucking cardio.

If anything, getting in better shape will help your work capacity tremendously and generally that means you can do more work in the gym in less time, and that actually means the ability to provide more stimulus to spark the growth process.  From there, it's rest and food.  But cardio isn't the fucking devil or even your ex-wife/husband.  It's not even a shitty one night stand.

It's not going to strip you of all your muscle and the constant fear of muscle loss in the training community is at a paranoid level and completely overstated.  Stop freaking the fuck out about it.

A big reason why so many guys think they lose muscle when they actually do cardio and diet properly is because (and I've said this before) most guys think they aren't as fat as they actually are.  The 15% dude is usually 20% or more.  So he always thinks he can just drop 25 pounds and be lean.  Then of course it doesn't happen.  So if he continues he usually has to end up losing a lot of fat, and complains he lost muscle in the process because now he's a "shell" of his former self.  When in all reality he was just too fat to begin with.

So do some cardio and train and stop fucking worrying about it.  If you plan on doing a bodybuilding show, and want to show up fat as fuck, then by all means avoid cardio all together.  Mission will be accomplished.

Natural vs Enhanced Frequency - 

There's been this ongoing trend, especially in the natural "community" to bench, squat, deadlift, etc multiple times a week.  Calling it the "natural community" makes me feel like "nattys" are similar to the Amish.  Except instead of going without electricity, they go without "sauce".  And just like the Amish, many of them need to broadcast their abstinence of "good things" quite often.  Like we care.

Juicers (no, not the people who mix up fruits and veggies in a highly powdered blender), apparently recover faster, can train more, train harder, run faster, swim farther, fuck harder and for longer (that part is really true), tan easier, cook tastier meals, free fall from the sky at greater velocity, shoot guns with more accuracy, and build faster drag cars than people suffering in the "natty community".

So if enhanced guys can recover faster, train harder, and more often, then why aren't they taking advantage of that by benching 10,087 times a week, squatting 392,302 times a week and pulling 12,304 times a week?

I keep reading that this is what natural guys must do in order to maximize their potential.  So they have to train more, because they recover less easily.


I'm confusing myself.

Lemme try this again.

The enhanced guy = recovers faster, so he can train less often and still make those sweet gainz.

Natural guy = recovers slower than enhanced man, must train more often because....he recovers order to make those sweet gainz.

"Paul, the enhanced guy can not train at all and gain muscle.  It's been shown in studies."

Oh I know.  I know so many fucking jacked roided out guys that do nothing at all in the way of gym time.  They just sit on their couch and blast tren and mast and test all day everyday, and get jacked as fuck.  Never lift a weight at all.

Now THAT most excellent sire, is truly cheating.

Unfortunately, it really doesn't work that way.  Regardless of what some study reported.

Both guys have to train in a way that suits their recovery ability.  Just because you get "on" doesn't mean you suddenly have super recovery powers.  If that were the case, then all the guys "on" would just train more, as the pundits constantly point out, and they would progress at such a rapid speed that people would accuse them of being on steroids.


Ok, nevermind.

I've literally heard every single side of this debate and it always sounds like people talking in circles to me.

So let's clear the air here a little bit.

Natural guys don't have to train the lifts more often.  Some guys may need to, and some may not.  It really all depends on how they respond to such frequency.  There is no magic in benching multiple times a week for everyone.  Same for squatting, and same for deadlifting.

When/if you get on or are on, the same rule applies.

I don't write programs and ask if the guy is a member of the natural Amish community, or a dirty fucking steroid user.  I just program him based off of the information he gives me, and we roll with it from there, and adjust based on what I'm seeing.  Sometimes you take things away, and sometimes you add.  It's all based on his own personal progression.

My own personal experience is that the systematic recovery of sauce is a bit overstated.  I think the localized muscle recovery process is sped up quite significantly.  However, as noted in my article about overtraining, there are many other factors that involve recovery that I don't believe anabolics play as much of a significant role in.  I know, some bookworm will link a study, but I am speaking from my own personal experience, and the experience of other dudes I've talked to about this.  None of them told me that their training frequency increased once they got on the sauce.  I do believe that anabolics make you more "training sensitive", i.e. your body grows better/more efficiently but again, I believe that is mostly do to increases muscle protein synthesis and that does not address the systematic issue of recovery.  So yes, I do understand "why" a guy on the sauce can train with less frequency, and still make sweet ass gainz.

However what I am getting at then is this....

If training the lifts more often each week is what works for the Amish, then why don't guys on the sauce do it, since they recovery better, and going by this particular anecdote, would make even better gains?

For some reason it just doesn't work that way for everyone now does it?


And this is why you can't always rely on a god damn study.

Conclusion - 

Anytime something goes against the grain of everything we have seen anecdotally, I question it until I can either rule it out, or until I understand it.

Lots of articles are nothing more than click bait to get people in an uproar (much like this I'm just kidding....but seriously maybe it I'm just kidding....but maybe...) and it often works.

The fact is, regardless of what science finds, we do IN FACT, already know what works.  At this point, studies and science are really just filling in some small details.  Many times, about things that in the big picture, largely unimportant.

This doesn't keep me from reading most of it, as I do want to know and understand these things to the best of my ability.  However it also keeps me from buying into a lot of bullshit, or even being able to say that regardless of what the study reported, or what some internet guru wrote (no I'm not a guru, so stop) is complete bullshit as well.


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Friday, March 20, 2015

10 week maximum muscle mass - fat loss

Another one of the guys that did the 10 week Maximum Muscle Mass program.
This was an example of a guy that needed to drop some fat on the program. He went from 240 to 223, but hit PR's in every single movement.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The chemical and social castration of the modern male

If you take a few minutes out to use the Google machine to search around, it won't take you long to find arguments and discussions about the current emasculation problem with males in today's society.

Before you...the teal driving minivan, hipster loving, Notebook watching asshole decides to stop reading, this isn't "that" kind of article.

Well, not wholly.  Because the fact is, your predicament may not be entirely your fault.  It may not be entirely your fault that you are emasculated or act like a basic bitch.  

Personally, I think it's hard to deny that there is a decline in masculinity in today's male.  I mean, physiologically speaking, it's not even an argument.  Men today have lower testosterone on average, regardless of age, than they did 20 years.  By a pretty significant margin.  

Two studies done both showed that men these days have significantly less testosterone now.

One study was done in the US, and the other on Danish men.  In both cases it was found that the average male had about 22% less testosterone now than men did, at that SAME AGE back in the 80's.

Even further....

The normal range of testosterone is reported as 350- 1200ng/dl. Studies in the 1940's showed the average testosterone level to be at 700 ng/dl, 300 ng/dl higher than for men today. In the past, a drop in testosterone levels to 250 ng/dl was rarely reported before men were 80 years of age. Yet today, it is not an uncommon value for middle aged men!

Testosterone levels are highest in the early twenties. The decrease in serum levels is now occurring at an even earlier age. Up to 50% of all men at 40 now have testosterone levels below what was considered the normal range of 450 ng/dl.

What is alarming from some of the studies, if you read more in depth, is that there doesn't appear to be a lifestyle factor involved.  The rate of obesity is a bit higher now at most ages than was in the 80's but the percentage of things like smokers, etc isn't overly disproportionate.

So just to be clear here, in case you didn't know, testosterone is the hormone secreted by the male testes, and in women, by the ovaries but to far lesser extent.  It is the primary male sex hormone.

Let that sink in for a bit.  That last sentence.

Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone.  The more testosterone you have, the more masculine you are.  The less you have, the less masculine you behave/act/are.  Essentially.

This isn't a social ideology this is fucking biology.  You know, science?

So it should be clear that males with higher levels of testosterone would or should have different behavior characteristics, and physical characteristics of males with low testosterone.

Again, this is science, so let's approach this from an area that cannot be argued.

Traits of males with higher testosterone levels:

Tend to be bigger risk takers
More muscle mass with leaner physiques
Larger foreheads
More defined and square jaw
Larger noses
More like to engage in competition
Higher sex drive and more sexually adventurous
Deeper voice
Possibly receding hairline
Higher degree of bodyhair

Looks manly

Of course, not all of these things mean you have high test levels.  It could just mean you look like a troglodyte and have low morals.  But still, they tend to be markers for men with higher test levels.  Oh and apparently women are attracted to troglodyte looking males more often as well.

Traits of males with lower testosterone levels:

No interest or low interest in banging it out
Lower degree of lean muscle mass
Poor body composition (man tits, skinny fat, stick arms)
Erectile dysfunction
More feminine and rounder, "softer" face
Less likely to engage in conflict, more passive nature
More like to get prostate cancer and die while not wanting to have sex and do awesome shit while looking chubby, unathletic, and sexually unappealing.

Not so much

So let's face it, if your test levels are low, you are going to both look different and act different in comparison to a guy with high test levels.

I don't think it helps that men these days already struggle to maintain healthy levels of testosterone and are then told to embrace their feminine qualities and ideals.  Men embracing feminism/femininity is like Christians embracing Satanism.  It makes no sense at all.  If you're a male, embrace your masculinity.  That is, unless you have low test and don't feel very masculine.  Then yes, of course embrace feminism so those of us with high testosterone levels can laugh and make fun of you.  It's quality entertainment for us.

I've caught shit about writing about masculinity before but honestly, I really don't care.  There IS a problem in regards to men being less masculine.  I mean, it wasn't me wearing some tin foil hat, studies have proven men are less masculine now (have less testosterone) than they were 20, 30, 40+ years ago.

Not only that, traits associated with masculinity are now seen as evil, outdated, horrible, horrific, unwanted, and neanderthalesque. That is unless a woman embraces them.  Then she's empowered, self assured, confident, and strong minded.

Men who have those traits are seen as bullies or self centered assholes.

But before I get off on a social tangent about all of this (and I will if I don't stop here), the most discerning aspect about looking through all of this is that there doesn't seem to be any single conclusion as to why men have less testosterone now.  There's quite a bit of conjecture, but nothing concrete as to why it is happening.

I don't think it's just a social bombardment of accepting feminine traits by males.  I mean, you can't fight biology.  A male with high test levels isn't likely to be very open to accepting feminine traits and qualities.  It will go against what his biological wiring is telling him.

So the focus should be on what is causing test levels to drop in the modern male.

Some of the things I found.......


Estrogen and estrogen-like compounds enter water rivers, steams and reservoirs from many sources and remain there even after passing through water treatment plants. About 80% of 139 U.S. rivers are contaminated with trace estrogen compounds. Naturally occurring estrogen compounds come from livestock urine and feces, and from human excretions which also contain contraceptives and hormone replacement medications.


Even bottled water is commonly found to contain estrogenic compounds because the plastic bottles we drink from are made with polyethylene terephthalate.  

From a study I found.....

Using an optimized sample preparation strategy, we furthermore present data on the estrogenic activity of bottled water from France, Germany, and Italy: eleven of the 18 analyzed water samples (61.1%) induced a significant estrogenic response

The type of plastic bottle didn't matter.  It's about the process used in plants to make these bottles, and then these compounds leaking into the water as they sit on the shelves or are waiting to be distributed.
So what is the solution here?

Getting a water filtration system for your home.  Stop drinking tap water and bottled water.


If you actually take some time to read labels it shouldn't take you long to figure out that soy is in almost everything.  Soy lecithin especially.

The effects of soy raising estrogen levels are thoroughly documented.

I don't even know where to start in regards to linking all the studies shown that soy is one of the most fucked up things you can ingest.

The problem is, with most studies, there's always a study that tries to contradict the other study.  But there's just too much evidence that shows that soy does in fact raise estrogen levels.  Even if a study says it's "minor", I don't want it.  I don't.  And if you're not taking artificial testosterone or are on HRT, then you should be avoiding it like the fucking plague.


I was so happy when I started researching this and kept finding that beer raises estrogen levels.  You can't imagine how happy that made me because I hate beer, and think it's the alcoholic choice for every average "bro".  Not only that, I think it tastes like rocky mountain panther piss.

The choice drink for average bros and women

Beer is made from hops.  In fact, they brag about this all the fucking time on beer commercials.

"Made from the finest hops."

Hops is loaded down with plant estrogens called phytoestrogens.  And it's really packing a punch with the amount of estradiol in it.

Estradiol increases sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG).

SHBG is the hormone that binds to your testosterone, deactivating it and making it useless for building muscle and burning fat.   In essence, SHGB inhibits the functions that testosterone provides for the body.

So if you're a man and want some nice man tits, a big gut, low test levels, want to raise estrogen levels and be more feminine, then by all means drink lots of beer.  


Cortisol and testosterone are generally in a battle.  When cortisol gets raised, then testosterone gets lowered, and vice versa.

Stress raises cortisol.  All forms of stress actually.  And I don't think I have to put on my Captain Obvious costume to drop the knowledge bomb of "we live in a rat race, highly stressful society now."

I worked in IT as a computer engineer for 15 years and for the most part, hated all 15 years of it.  Mostly because as a production support guy, I was on call 24/7, had to meet constant deadlines, had asshole clients, asshole bosses, yearly reviews, daily reviews, monthly reviews, new solutions to implement, blah blah blah.  

Yes, it was stressful.  

I worked for a medical software company for two years and it was the worst two years of my 15 years in IT.  There wasn't a week that went by that I didn't work 50 hours that week, and my bosses were idiots and completely incompetent and made work infinitely harder than it needed to be most of the time.  Even worse, they really had no idea what I did and were promoted through the ranks based on their "management ability" which really is just code for "asshole achievement unlocked."  

People there were fired on the regular for things that weren't even their fault.  Eventually, it happened to me as well.  This was managements solution every time we had systems go down and weren't back up at an "acceptable time" by clients.  

Well, computers aren't people.  And sometimes there are bugs, and glitches, and bad code that cause the system to go down, and stay down until a patch or software update can be implemented.  And it can often take a while to diagnose these issues and find out what the real issue is.  

I worked with a lot of smart people and I was really good at my job but long downtimes couldn't always be avoided.  This didn't matter.  Someone was going to go on the chopping block because then the manager could always go back to the client and say "we're sorry for your inconvenience.  But that person has been let go of since then."  

This was their way of, instead of educating the client, saving face by shifting the blame to someone.

I'm getting way off track here, but the point is, if you work in an environment where you are in constant fear of losing your job every single day is going to put your stress meter in the red.  And the fact is, there are lots of people in that position.

Then they leave their job and often go home to a significant other that they are unhappy with, or is unhappy with them.  And they argue and fight, and the stress continues.  

Day in and day out, this is life for a lot of men.  And over time, their cortisol levels remain too high, and their test levels take a dive.  


Unfortunately it's also been proven that getting married and having kids lowers a man's test levels.

Just holding a baby can make a man's test levels drop.  I'm not trolling.

A man's testosterone levels drop significantly when he holds an infant. Even holding a baby doll can decrease levels of the male virility hormone.

As the study shows, this should make sense to you.  Lower test levels give a higher likely hood of a man staying home and helping to tend to the kids.  He's less likely to wander if he has lower test levels which as noted, increase sex drive, risk taking, and many other forms of debauchery.  

The study also noted that the guys that were less likely to go out on a "dudes night" or spend the weekend with friends golfing or hanging out with the boys, and would rather spend more time with the spouse, constantly had lower testosterone levels.

As to be expected, when men get divorced their test levels rocket back up.  I mean, everyone knows that dude or chick that gets divorced, gets back in shape, acts totally different in their new "single life" than they did when married.  It's just biology.  They need to find a new mate so the body "turns itself back on again" in order to help in that process.

Women literally suck the man right out of us.  I'm not going to win any points with that, but again, it's hard to argue with science.  I'm not making shit up here.  

This is also why so many of us know "that guy" that talks about how he loves to spend all his free time with his woman, and won't ever make time for friends anymore.  Once a man's test levels lower, she starts to easily dominate him.  Again, I think most guys either know or knew some friend like this.  If you don't, then you're that guy.  

Now take a married guy with a super stressful job, add in the water they are drinking, and drinking beer every weekend, and that get together where they eat shit loaded down with soy, and what the hell do you think his estrogen levels and testosterone levels are going to look like?

And that's the key here.  I don't think it's any one particular thing.  I think it's myriad of factors that contribute to the steady decline of testosterone in men.  


There's probably a lot in here that will rub people the wrong way and as usual, I don't care.  I can only look at the facts and what's in front of me and write about it.  You can make all sorts of excuses as to why you don't agree but facts are facts.  Science is science.

Masculinity and the traits that manifest itself from masculine men are usually easily identifiable.

It's not that certain things make men more masculine, it's that men with more testosterone tend to gravitate towards being more masculine because, you know, they have more of the masculine hormone?

So the guy you know that won't leave the house because he has to sit at home with the wife every weekend to wash her poodle and go to Bed, Bath, and Beyond with her, well it's not entirely his fault that he's become so emasculated and that she has his balls in her purse.

It's also unfortunate for women because I do believe that women do prefer more masculine men because they generally represent a better breeding partner.

It all comes back to biology and that can't really be argued.

This doesn't mean that lifting weights makes you manly, because I know a lot of pretty emasculated males that train and lift weights.  I don't think there's anything you can do, per say, to be more manly.  I think that masculinity gets defined for the most part, by how our body is functioning.

And to close on that, having low testosterone levels has a tremendous amount of health problems and complications that come with it.

Heart disease
Prostate cancer
Higher rates of obesity
Metabolic syndrome

All of these are bad, in case you didn't know.

Fact is, get your testosterone levels checked.  Regardless of your age.  Because throughout your life you will need a baseline to see how quickly they are declining and if you need to get on hormone replacement therapy.  It's not just about being more manly, it's about living a life of higher quality and better health.

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10 week maximum muscle mass results

I will be posting some of the results from clients who were in the 10 week maximum muscle mass program.

This guy went from 179 to 192 in the 10 weeks with virtually no addition of bodyfat.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Training - Chest and biceps

Bodyweight - 247

Close Grip Bench -
bar x 20,20
135 x 15
225 x 5
275 x 4
315 x 3
365 x 2 sets of 8

Incline Db Press - 100's x 3 sets of 20
Flat Flyes - 40's x 3 sets of 15

Seated Alternate Curl - 40's x 20
Incline Db Curls - 30's x 20
1 Arm Machine Curl - 50 x 20

Notes - Felt pretty good here.  Weight is way down, which is good but strenght isn't awful.   Holding up ok.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Ask and you shall receive...but it isn't free

This past week, I saw where a guy posted up some progress pics in regards to his fat loss diet.  The coach he had been using had obviously done a great job working with this guy, as his results were exceptional.

He later posted that he had received several messages from people, as to what his diet looked like, and if they could have a copy of it.

So, he paid a coach for his diet, his coach gave him personal attention and detail in regards to said diet, and other people wanted know...for free.

This irritates the living shit out of me.  

How would you like it, if you were a carpenter, and someone messaged you and asked you to come fix up some new cabinets for their know...for free? 

Sounds pretty outrageous doesn't it?

What if you were a mechanic that owned a small garage, and someone shot you an e-mail asking if you would come and take time out of your day to look at their transmission and see what is wrong with know....for free?  

Some people will do that.  But most places have a charge for that because time is money.  And the time they take out to look at your shit, can mean money lost because it's time they divert away from paying customers.  

This has become very common in the fitness industry.  People think that it's perfectly ok to run around asking for advice, diets, training programs, books, etc for free, from people who make a living providing those services.

I still can't figure out how to get my head around the fact that people often justify this by saying shit like "when did someone corner the market on a training program?"

They didn't.  You're paying for a service.  And if it's from an expert or professional, you should EXPECT to pay for it.  

A while back Charles Poliquin was doing some of John Meadow's mountain dog training under John's tutelage.  When he wrote about the great results he got from it, people publicly asked to see what the training program was.  

If just now, in your mind, you don't see a problem with that, then you really need to find a fire hydrant, jump up as high as you can, and slam your face into it.  

I'm being dramatic because it's a very irritating subject for me.  I have heard and lived this story many, many times.  

John does this for a living.  So basically people are asking to see a personal program he created for a paying client....for free.  

Again, if you see nothing wrong with this, find a fire hydrant and get to work.

When I started working with  IFBB Pro Fred Smalls, Fred started making incredible gains in mass and strength.  Of course it didn't take long before people asked outright, what his training program was.  You know, exactly what it was.  

Freddie pays me for training.  So do the dozens and dozens of other clients I have.  Is it fair to them for me to just give you their training program, when they had to pay money they earned for it?  

Is it fair for professionals to answer question after question to you, for free, when other people have to pay for that exact service? 

Again, if you don't see a problem with people doing that, go find that fire hydrant.  

I still answer a question here and there because I do want to be helpful.  But I have found there are a few kinds of people in the world in regards to when you open that door, and what they will do with that small opening.

One question becomes two questions.  And two becomes four.  Four becomes nineteen.  

If you're smart, you checked out long before then.  I've literally had guys message or email me a question, I answer it, then get 5 questions back in return.  You know, in numerical order.  



Of course, I'm not answering that, and he or she shouldn't expect me to.  I don't know why they would.  Maybe because I answered the first one?  I don't know.  Maybe because they are a "just let me stick the tip in" kind of guy and thinks that will work on me.  Again, I'm not sure.

Then there's the weekly guy.  If you answer one or two for him or her, they seem content.  For about a week.  And then they hit you up with one or two again.  Then a week later, one or two again.  Then again, and again, and again, and again.  

Think about a client who paid that only asks one or two questions a week.  Again, is answering all of these each week for free, FAIR to the paying client?  I don't think it is.  But maybe I'm an asshole.

Ok, that's fine.  I'm an asshole.  But for other reasons.  I'm right in regards to my stance here.  

Even worse, is when you are kind enough to take time out of your day to answer someone, and then you see them asking this same question a week later to someone else.  Of course, we know these people as askholes.  

They ask you a question, then either do what they want to do anyway, or just ask someone else.  When my buddy Jason Pegg was with elitefts he had a guy that kept asking him the same question over and over again, never content with the answer Pegg gave.  Finally, Pegg simply answered "just tell me what you want me to say and I will write that down."  

I've had people want to do a Skype or online chat session (mind out of the gutter here) for free.  This has happened on numerous occasions.  

Yes, let me take time out of my day with my kids, from my business, from running errands, cooking, and doing normal day to day shit, so I can sit down with you for over an hour to answer all of your questions.  You know....for free.  

A service is a service.  You'd never expect to walk into a single business that provides a service and ask them to offer that service for free.  Why?  Because it's devoid of all rational thought and logic?  

Yes.  It's that!

The fact is, you should have enough respect for other people's time to ASK what they charge before you go ASKING them to provide them a service.  Isn't that what you do when you pick up the phone to call a place that provides a service?

"Yessir, I need my washer and dryer looked at.  Do you guys provide that service?"

"Yes we do."

"Ok what about pricing?"

Seems like a normal conservation doesn't it?

"Yessir, I need my washer and dryer looked at.  Do you guys provide that service?"

"Yes we do.  It's $100 to come out and look at it then it's X amount for parts and labor."

"Ohhhhhh, I didn't know you charged money for this.  My bad.  Thank you, sorry for wasting your time."

Doesn't seem like a normal conversation does it?  

Even prostitutes require you to pay them!  They will give you pricing for all of their services!  As soon as you pull up they will rattle off what each service costs, or how much you need to pay for X amount of time.  

We're talking about hooking here, folks.  HOOKING.  You don't expect to drive up to a hooker, and ask what she offers up for free.  I bet you can't even get a stick of that trident she's chewing on for free.  I bet you can't!  

Yet this particular conversation goes on all the time on the net (not the prostitute one).  I've heard countless of stories from guys that do very well as coaches and have plenty of my own.  The fact is, we shouldn't even have these stories.  I mean, maybe one or two here or there but I bet if I went down to Goodyear and asked how many times a week someone comes in and asks for free tires, they would said "uhhhh, never?"

I'm not saying you should expect to pay for asking a single and easily answered question.  I'm saying if you have a list of questions, ask what the person would charge for an online chat session.  Believe it nor not, sometimes you will catch them in a good mood and will say "just hit me up man, I can answer real quick."  

Why?  Because they appreciate the fact that you showed enough respect for their time and what they do, that they helped you out for free for being courteous.  

If you're a numerical order dude, or a weekly question asker, or an askhole, please understand that services cost money.  If you don't want to pay, that's perfectly cool.  Just don't ask for someone's time without expecting to give up a few bucks.  


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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Training - Back work

Bodyweight - 249 pounds

So I haven't been doing these lately (or in a fucking while) so I'm going to try and get back to them.

Today -

Parallel Grip Pulldowns - 4 sets, up to the stack x 6 reps
Hammer Strength Rows - 4 plates x 4 sets of 15
Meadows Shrugs - 4 sets of 12 @ 100
Tit Machine Rear Delts - 3 sets of 20

Notes - So my split is really old school right now.  It's very bodybuilderish....

Day 1 - Chest - Biceps
Incline or Flat Bench - up to 2 top sets of 4-8
Flat or Incline Db Press - 4 sets of 15
Incline or Flat Flyes - 3 sets of 12
3 Bicep Movements - 1 set of 20 per movement.  These will change each week.

Day 2 - Legs
Seated Leg Curls - 3 sets of 15 with 5 second eccentrics
Calf Raises - 3 sets of 12
Sumo Leg Press - 4-5 sets of 12 paused at the bottom
Pause Squats - 2 sets of 4-6
Good Mornings - 4 sets of 12

Day 3 - off

Day 4 - Back
As you see above

Day 5 - Shoulders and Triceps
PBN - 3 sets of 8
Side Laterals - giant set
Front Raises - 1x100
Triceps - 5 movements for 1 set of 20 per movement

I am going to run more of a bodybuilderish split for a while just for fun/change/whatever.  It still addresses the weaknesses I have to work on and there is a reason for every movement.

I'm sort of burned out on "training movements" at the moment and as I've noted many times before, training has to stay fun or stagnation will set in.  Because this is "new" (well, not new but it's been years since I trained this way) enthusiasm is high right now and 4 days a week doesn't feel bad at all.

Monday, March 9, 2015

5 brutal truths about lifting and life

For the most part, life really isn't full of surprises.  If you talk to someone who has lived long enough, and experienced enough, they are going to open your eyes to that revelation.  The problem with most people is that they generally have to learn through their own experience, rather than learn from the experience of others.

I believe it is this way because people often hope for an outcome that is different than what is clearly right in front of them.  And sometimes it does work out.  But more often than not, what is unfolding right in front of you is reality.  And sometimes reality sucks.

1.  What you are right now, probably isn't good enough, so just be honest about it.

Plenty of people lack enough self awareness to be introspective to understand that the reason why they often come up lacking in areas of their life they think they should be excelling in, is because they just aren't good enough yet.

That job promotion you haven't gotten?  If your boss isn't a total asshole and doing it to spite you, then there is probably a reason why you haven't gotten it.  I was in a job for 8 years where I won awards and got big raises for the work I did.  But I never got the promotion I thought I deserved.  I fumed about it for years.  The reason I got awards and big raises is because the areas I was being rewarded for, I kicked ass in.  However there were other areas I was lacking in that didn't make me look like an ideal candidate for the promotion.

The truth is, I sort of knew that.  But I focused so heavily on the areas I excelled in felt that they were enough to warrant the promotion, that I never really improved on the areas I sucked in.

In bodybuilding I have read a million times where someone felt they got robbed, when it was obvious to the rest of the people watching that they were "off" conditioning wise, or that their weak areas still hadn't been addressed enough to call for a higher placing.

In powerlifting I rarely read where a guy says he missed an attempt because he just wasn't strong enough.  It's always "I got forward" or "misgrooved it" or "the handoff was shitty".  Yeah, but if you were just flat out fucking strong enough that shit wouldn't matter.  Perhaps you misgrooved it because you weren't strong enough to maintain the proper position to execute the lift.  I guess you never thought about that?

Everyone has room for improvement.  If you're honest enough with yourself then you'll know where you're lacking, and most likely, why.  If you're not willing to be honest with yourself then how will you ever make the changes you need to make in order to improve?

2.  The statistical odds of you being great are incredibly slim 

This past weekend at the Arnold I ran into my share of people who had been trying to turn pro for a long time but hadn't.  Of course there were a myriad of reasons why that hadn't happened but if you want honesty, then the most obvious reason is because you're probably not a genetic outlier.

Genetic outliers exist in every realm of life.  Business, sports, whatever.  There's only one Warren Buffet, but there are millions of dudes that do day trading and play the stock market thinking they have this shit figured out, all the while driving a seven year old Ford Focus and living week to week.

There are dudes and chicks that will stay in the iron game for a long time that never reach the pinnacle of what their respective sport has to offer.  There are only so many Mr. Olympias and there are only so many guys that are ever going to hold world records.  Last time I checked, companies only had one CEO.

People often end up in superior positions in their endeavors because they generally have something that separates them from everyone else that you can't "train" for.  

And that's what generally separates the outliers from everyone else.  The things they are born with that you just don't have.  This doesn't mean that over time, if you hang in there long enough, that you can't accomplish some incredible things.  But there is always going to be a set distance between you and the outliers (if you aren't one) that is going to exist.

This is why I hate that saying "champions are made, not born."

This isn't true if the statement is left at that.  Only 3-4% of high school football players get a chance to play college football.  From there, only about 7% of guys that play college football will even get drafted.  And lots of those guys never see opening day.  Yet I've met tons of guys that swore they should have played in the NFL.

Has limited application

Champions are born, then made.  The raw materials to become elite or become a champion generally has to be there from the start.  Again, this doesn't mean you can't go on to accomplish some great things, but they are always going to be limited by genetic ability whether it be mental or physical.  This is a hard truth that some people refuse to swallow because they think they can outwork genetic limitations.  And that is just not possible.  Especially if the genetic outlier is willing to work just as hard.  Then you're just never going to be as good as him or her.  It's a brutal truth, but that's life and that's competition.

3.  There's often a high risk factor that comes with attaining something great

Another brutal truth about people who find or attain greatness is that they are often willing to do shit people just aren't willing to do in order to see that come to fruition.

There are people out there that are willing to shave off years of their life and health in order to find success in the athletic world.  If you are an outlier, and they are too, but they are willing to risk their health in order to gain that 3% you are not, then they are going to beat you.

It comes back to how bad you really want something, and how much you are willing to give up in order to attain it.  As I've written many times before, everything in life that gives you something will take something else away.  I've had people argue this principle with me before but I've never seen it violated.  Not once.

At the same time, I don't think you can lived scared.  That's a great way to make sure that nothing great happens to you either.  Hope is not a strategy for success.  If you want something magnificent in your life, then you better be willing to put your balls out there for it.  This is something that was reiterated to me lately by a good friend.  Anything worth having is generally going to require both work, and risk.

Yes it's true you can get burned from risk.  You can lose everything or get your heart broken or fuck your life up completely (doesn't sound so good now does it?), but you could also find something great on the other side of all that risk.  In fact, I don't know of any other way to attain something great without risking something at some point along the way.

No one ever wins at the worlds series of poker without taking a risk on a few hands.  Playing life scared is a sure fire way to make sure you never "win" something big.  This all really comes back to your comfort level, and your previous experiences with risk.  If you've been burned over and over again you may believe that that's all life has in store for you and you may become conditioned to recoil as soon as you feel you're outside of your comfort zone.  Or you may summon up the courage to say "fuck it" one more time and find that it was the "one more time" that made all the difference.

4.  Your goals are probably going to take longer to attain than you are willing to be patient for

At the beginning of every year gyms are flooded with people who really believe this is going to be their year of change.  Physical change, I mean.

Six weeks later it's generally the same people in the gym that were there the rest of the year.

The fact is, most things you really want to accomplish take far more time than you realize.  Breaking old habits is hard, and they often creep back in and don't creep back out without a tremendous amount of effort and time.  There usually has to be something dramatic that happens in someone's life before a paradigm shift happens that alters the path they had been on.

Most people that find the gym or fitness or whatever, often have a story about how they had just had enough of what their life looked and felt like physically, so that they never wanted to be in that position again.  The reason some people don't have that paradigm shift is because they don't hate their current situation enough for that shift to take place, or for that shift to cement itself into habit.

You know what is not a terrible idea?  Take whatever time frame you have for your goals right now, and double them.  That 6 week body?  Try 12 weeks.  That 12 week body?  Try 24.  This doesn't mean you fucking sloth through this shit.  It just means you commit to a longer plan because more often than not, it's going to take longer.  The best way to become discouraged is to set yourself up for failure from the very start.

I have clients tell me their goals from the start and I'm brutally honest with them about their aspirations.  If you just benched 300 for the first time last month, and you tell me your goal is to bench 350 in the next three months I'm going to tell you that's probably not possible.  I could be "that guy" and rub your belly and pat your bottom and tell you how awesome you are, and that "you can do whatever you put your mind to" but the fact is, the body is probably not willing to put 50 pounds on your bench press in three months, so stop being a special snowflake clown.

You can't undo a lifetime of fucking your body up in a few weeks, or even a few months more than likely.  If you just spent the last 20 years creating shitty habits then expect a lengthy period to undo both the damage done by those habits, and the time to create new habits.

5.  Failure is inevitable 

Some people just quit at the first sign of failure.  They get to a sticking point, and just say "fuck it".

Some people aren't willing to fight for things.  For various reasons.  Whether they believe it's not worth it (sometimes it's not), or because they aren't good enough (sometimes you aren't), or because well shit, it's just too fucking hard to overcome this particular loss.

But the fact is, failure is a part of lifting and life and cannot be avoided.

What matters the most is, how you handle failure, what you learn from it, and what you do with it.

If you let failing destroy you, then you may not get back up from it and thus, yes you failed.  You failed because you refused to get the fuck back up.  Not because something didn't work.  Not because something wasn't perfect.  Not everything works.  Not everything is going to be perfect.  And you have to find a way to understand that that is ok if you do want to succeed.

The path to success is often littered with failures of various kinds.  They serve a purpose, no different than success does.

Success leaves us clues as to what does work.

Failure leaves us clues as to what doesn't.

Fulfilling your own personal greatness means experiencing both, then deciding what you will do with them.  People don't always handle success very well either.  I've had guys tell me that their training was going awesome, and that they were going to make changes.  This makes zero sense.  If something is working for you, milk it until it doesn't.  If something is not working for you, change it to see if those changes bring forth positive results.  If they don't, change it again.  And again.  And again.

Or don't.

And "don't" is what failure REALLY looks like.  It's the inability to be willing to keep making changes until you find success again.

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