Monday, January 31, 2011

Chaos and Pain

It took until last week to realize I'm fucking tired of 5/3/1. I can feel myself walking through workouts and not feeling any stronger because of it. Although I have made some improvements on my bench and overhead press, I have no more use for an upper/lower split (or any split for that matter). I need something difficult. I need something brutal. I need Chaos and Pain.

Chaos and Pain is a blog written by Jamie Lewis, and emphasizes a lifestyle filled with lifting heavy shit. He abhors any talk of naturals vs gearheads, and insists that you can do any fucking thing you want (the Bulgarian Olympic weightlifting team is most often sited as a group of humans who have adapted to train like animals without worrying about overtraining).

I'm starting out with this routine, and seeing how it feels (so far, God damned fantastic). All exercises adhere to the following rep ranges unless otherwise noted.

Rep Ranges
Week1: 85% 1RM, 10x3, 1-2min rest
Week2: 90% 1RM, 12x2, 1-1.5min rest
Week3: 95% 1RM, 15x1, 1min rest

Back Squat
DB Bench
Hammer Curl (3x8)

Clean/Press (clean once, press/push press for reps)

Bench Press
Front Squat
Weighted Chinup*
Partial Squat* (singles only)

Good Morning
Behind the Neck Push Press

I'm still playing with what works and what doesn't, and I expect this format to change quite a bit over the next week or so (it is a far cry from Jamie's sample template, but his whole deal is that you do what you feel like as long as it's heavy).

Jamie Lewis kicking ass

Be brutal. Get stronger.

Edit 1/2013: I come back to this template 2 years later and shake my head. Although my philosophy has not changed dramatically, my approach certainly has (especially in the way I look at different lifts). Live and learn I guess.

Also, I feel like an ass for giving any sort of shit to 5/3/1. I was impatient and a little bit of a bitch. Really, 5/3/1 is the first time I attempted anything truly structured in the gym. Although I have no desire to follow the bread crumbs, the program put me on the right path to what I needed.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

NO Shotgun: A Voyage Wrapped in Tums and Pepto

I found an old pre-workout supplement, NO Shotgun, sitting in a deep cubbard of my apartment. Apparently, hiding it from myself was not an effective deterrent to old and forgotten memories of usage, so I said fuck it and poured myself a scoop.

NO Shotgun features 2 potent effects on your body
- a crack like go-get'em hyper active attitude
- explosive nitric oxide poop

Both of these help with lifting (especially if you are hung over), but not in the way it should.

Now, there should be no doubts before a heavy deadlift. You should be completely focused on visualizing the pull. NO Shotgun takes your mind where it needs to be, but only because your brain is screaming to your sphincter in rough baritone 'hoooolllldddd, holllllddddddd' lest you unleash your undigested soul through your anus in a moment of iron and passion.
Make no mistake, explosive supplements make for violent rushes to the bathroom, and it's awful for everyone (and that means you).
It's the kind of poop that spawns unearthly comic book onomatopoeia like 'Gorsh!' and 'Puuulag?'
My NO Shotgun shit causes disturbances in the force
At least 9 children have died in 3rd world countries from drinking water contaminated by my afterbirth
It will give you the power of a Titan, then shame you 30min later.

Captain Slippy Colon in a Jar
Stay away. Get stronger.

It's awful for everyone, and that means you.

Movies pt1: Gauntlet

In our spare time, my friends and I make short films. I don't often get to discuss what I liked/hated about each one, or what it actually took to put them together. This string of articles will likely be a 'why the fuck not' section more than anything else. 


The goal of this film was to enter the Klondike Bar Challenge to find a creative way to get a ping pong ball into a solo cup. A lot of confusion and quick effort was put into getting this done (we were already close to the deadline by the time we started), but it got submitted on time. Disqualified a full 5 minutes later.

Nick wrote this film while we were under the influence. I got so excited, I immediately called Nate (guy running the Gauntlet) and asked him if he would mind being pelted by hundreds of ping pong balls for no money. Of course, he was down. I ordered something around 670 ping pong balls, all of which were thrown down a hill after I donated them to my fratnerity. Nothing like literally having my money thrown down a hill...

Nate's costume was hurriedly constructed out of cardboard, solo cups, and duct tape (he wore tight fitting underarmor underneath). Most of the balls were thrown or heaved by the people who showed up. The vacuum/money shot was devised by more than a few of my frat brothers. They experimented with different extensions to the vacuum until something like 150 balls could be shoved inside. Greg turned on the vacuum and cupped the entrance with his hand so the balls were ready to fire out the moment he pulled away. The 'flying' shot was of Nate riding on my back as we inched forward.

Lessons Learned
- don't leave your construction shit in the background (shot with Greg blowing his load)
- whenever you miss out on free shots, you end up having to enlarge a shot to get what you need (destroys quality)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Haikus from Dirty pt1

Raw sweaty iron
is food for my calluses.
Tough men have tough hands

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I, Kratos

Kratos is not a bodybuilder, he is a warrior
He has never done a curl, or seen what a tricep pulldown looks like

Kratos sprints, climbs, fucks, and kills
I want to be Kratos

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Ice Gym

For the past 2 days, my car has been locked in a sheet of ice. Shame on you Atlanta for not buying copious amounts of equipment necessary for clearing the roads when it snows. We would need it at least once every 20yrs. Cmon...

I would normally put a hold on my training because all of the gyms are closed, but that's kind of retarded. I rediscovered 2 exercises that I've ignored for too long.

1. Burpees
If you have never tried a burpee before, you probably don't know what it feels like to be truly exhausted and helpless. To perform...
   a. Squat down from a standing position
   b. Kick your legs out so you are in a pushup position
   c. Do a pushup
   d. Retract your legs until you are in a squat position again
   e. Do a squat jump, land standing up
Try 3-5 sets of 10 and work from there

2. Random Fratty Shit
In college, we used to pass the time by racing office chairs, breaking into abandoned buildings, and just general urban adventuring. It seemed like a good idea to drag my worn couch out of my house and sled it down hills.

Piedmont Park at 12am. We will miss you dear couch.

Go outside and play douchbag. Get stronger.

28 days later. Go Atlanta.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Level Up Two Steps at a Time

I have been doing heavy single lifts after my usual 5/3/1 workout in an attempt to push up my 1RM. For weeks, I have been hitting 3 solid squat singles at 300, but have yet to re-hit my all time best of 305 for 1.

What happened here? The next step up from 300 to 305 is only about a 1% increase in weight, and yet it feels like a mountain has been added to my back. I remember I used to feel the same way about 300, until one random day I hit 305. All of a sudden, 300 wasn't shit anymore. Once you have climbed up to a new pedestal, everything underneath is cake.

I've found that this has applied to more than just strength training in my life. While playing trumpet, I would always practice to hit a note higher than the one I needed to play live. If I only struggled to hit the note I needed to play, I would only be reinforcing the wall set at that note (not to mention it would sound like used shit).

It's clear what I need to do. I don't need to 'make it' to 305, I need to fuck up 310. The rest is downhill.

Slow and steady wins the race, but the hare fucks the prom queen. Get stronger.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Why Get Stronger?

Just cause it's awesome? Next.
I end every one of my posts with Get Stronger for a reason.

Many people (see: most) work out because they want to look good naked. And...I have 0 problem with that. The issue with ONLY working out for aesthetic purposes is that it will never be enough. You will never feel skinny enough, muscular enough, or pretty enough to please yourself. Although you may know this in the back of your head, denial is a powerful slut.

Well why the fuck doesn't this work?
Surely you can see yourself changing as you train, but to focus on the aesthetic is also to focus on how people view you. It's no longer an approval of yourself, but external validation is also needed in order to feel...'perfect.' Once you have placed the value of looks in someone else's hands, you have failed to spend your time on yourself.

Do beautiful women and high self esteem typically go together? I didn't think so. This is not always the case, but I've seen far more beautiful women and men that are pleased with their bodies who worked to get stronger than worked to get naked.

Work for yourself, getting naked will take care of itself.

I'd fuck me. Get stronger.