Friday, July 27, 2012

Injury Prevention

Three things
1. Take care of everything behind and on top of your body.
2. Foam roll if possible
3. Listen to your damn body, not your training book

1. Taking care of everything behind and on top of your body
Train your back, hamstrings, ass, traps, and shoulders like your life depends on it. When I feel things coming apart, it is usually because my glutes, hamstrings, and lats need some attention. Another reason to train these areas is they all support and form a strong body. GG.

2. Foam roll if possible
If it's sore, foam roll it
If it's chronic, foam roll it carefully
If it's injured, let it heal until you can foam roll it

3. Listen to your damn body, not your training book
I'll be honest, this is really hard to do. When you have a goal for the day and your body tells you to fuck off, your immediate reaction is to exude cult like dedication towards your notebook.

Mind: I HAVE to deadlift 385x8x3
Lower Back: Why? What I'm feeling is way beyond soreness. There is a 50/50 chance I break today if we follow our precious notebook. Do it Sunday.
Mind: The book says so. We will power through like we've done in the past.
Lower Back: Remember that time we HAD to deadlift 430x4 when I felt like shit? Remember how your girlfriend raped you when your herniated disc rendered you unable to move from the bed? Remember how you wanted to cum before you passed out from the pain? Is any of this registering you yid fuck?
Mind: Maybe we'll just press a bit.
Lower Back: Maybe we'll just press a bit.

This conversation went through my head today after my warmup set with 315x3. It felt terrible, as had the sets before them. I made the decision to hold the deadlift portion of my training until Sunday, losing nothing. If I had injured myself, I would have been out for another few months.

Let me be clear, sometimes you need to push hard through little pains (90% of the time, these nagging pains go away during your warmups). If something is a large concern to you, consider the risk of being out for months vs completing a daily task. You need to keep focused on the big picture if you want to minimize the time you spend away from training.

In short, be smart, but don't be a pussy. Get stronger.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Deadlift Special pt Deux

Now son, who took your bike?

So far, my push/pull/deadlift program is going quite well. Below are my current maxes after one month on the program (everything using a number greater than 1 for a rep count is a current working set value):

Sumo Deadlift: 415x1 --> 445x1
Back Squat 300x2
Front Squat 190x3 --> 205x3
Bench Press 235x1 --> 235x1, suck
Rack Pull/Shrug 405x3 --> 450x3, easy to increase
Dips 80x4 --> 90x4
Chinups 60x4 --> 70x4

Physical changes? I'm starting to look like Bane. Yes. Yes. Yes. I received a lot of unwanted attention last night from a lot of my old coworkers. None of it was derogatory (ooo, you got fucking huge man, you look like an MMA fighter, etc), but I just get embarrassed by that kind of shit. At least none of them asked me how much I bench press now. Never ask that fucking question.

I attribute most of my back size to different levels of stimulation of the same muscle fibers (this is total bro-science, deal with it). The combination of heavy (sumo deadlifts/rack pulls/shrugs), medium (weighted chin-ups), and light (seated rows).

The oly lifts I abandoned do not seem to have fallen at all. In fact, lifts that were difficult before (i.e. 200-225 power clean) fly up with 0 problem. I mostly attribute this to increased lat activation, size, and strength.

I've also noticed 3 heavy sessions is plenty in a week. The 'small sessions' Paul Carter referred to is just extra volume I'm not crazy about. I prefer to rest up and do some bodyweight work/sprints instead.

Until things slow down considerably, I am going to stay the course. If my deadlift progress full on stops, I will switch over to a similar squat/bench focused program (and work on maintaining my deadlift strength).

Monday, July 23, 2012

Star Wars Haiku's: Cloud City

Cause, I'm in a nerdy mood and I've already written one poem tonight...

Cloud City

City in the sky
Trust no one or pay the price
How far will you fall


A White Giant sighs. I am born into a hostile desert.
From the heat comes a gentle whisper.
This whisper becomes a wind, the wind a gale, the gale a prod towards a light in the sky
My Journey begins

Sweeping the sand dunes by the graves of my brothers
Find the will to fly, find the friends to soar, find the way to my salvation
I wish I could speak to my fallen brothers at each stone, when did you lose sight of your Journey? When did you want to die?

Into the pits I fall, eluding beasts of times past
Journey's light will show me where to go, other light will kill me where I stand
Will the beasts' light find me? Will its sharp grip come as a shock or a relief?

Frozen. There is nothing here but wind and death. The pyramid's light is close, but it is forever pushed beyond my reach
The White Giants laugh at me with icy breath pushing my feet into the wet rubble
This is where I fall. This is where I become another stone on the path.
I sink into the snowy path, and everything becomes warm again.
My eyes are open, but it doesn't matter anymore. There is nothing to see.

The White Giants find me worthy, my Journey admirable
They toss my broken body up the mountain
My Journey is over, the light within my reach
Did I win? Or did I do nothing at all?

Yamcha: Wins the Warmups, Sucks a Dick in Practice

Tough like an Irish Vagina

There has been a lot of love and hate circulating the internet lately about the merits of Yamcha as a Z warrior. The argument goes something like this:

Pro - Yamcha is consistently the strongest human alive in the Z series (evidence below)

  • The only Z fighter to defeat Goku outright in a head on battle
  • Yamcha defeats Recoome on King Kai's planet when Vegeta, Krillin, and Gohan could not scratch him
  • Yamcha almost single handedly overpowers Picolo during the Frieza saga 
  • Androids 19 and 20 mistaken Yamcha for Goku because of his high power level
  • Yamcha can defeat Tien and Krillin in Heaven during the Buu saga

Con - Yamcha loses every important battle where something is on the line
  • Defeated by Jackie Chun in the 1st martial arts world tournament
  • Defeated by Bandages the Mummy 
  • Defeated by Tien in the 2nd martial arts world tournament 
  • Defeated by Kami in the 3rd martial arts world tournament
  • Killed by a Saibaman in the Saiyan saga (only human to die in this fashion)
  • Defeated by a Cell Jr.
Let's go ahead and clear something up. There is some discrepancy over whether Krillin is stronger than Yamcha near the end of DBZ - 

Yamcha: Let's put it this way, I definitely wouldn't want to fight him* (*Krillin, in the 2nd to last DBZ world martial arts tournament).

- but there is a large gap where Yamcha fails and Krillin rules. Yamcha wins every non-essential battle he faces, but loses everything that actually matters. This is akin to getting the best score for the warm-ups or the practice in an athletic event, but losing the actual game. It does not matter that Yamcha is the strongest or not at any point of DB or DBZ, since he loses everything worth a damn. Is Nappa, Vegeta, Frieza, Cell, or Majin Buu impressed with your warmup? I think not. 

Suck a dick Yamcha. Get stronger (where it counts).

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Try and Calibrate

There are two terrible things you can do while trying to make gains on a strength/size program.
1. Constantly change your main exercises
2. Alter all elements of your training philosophy

We are ALL guilty of this, but we need to recognize the problem for what it is. If you do not follow a consistent and methodical process to reach your goals, you are wasting your time. Perhaps this is ok in your book (I'm looking at you there muscle confusion retards), but anyone looking to get bigger and stronger needs to stay the course unless something is seriously wrong.

I've reached a point where I can no longer read any fitness threads on reddit. They all offer the same questions:
Barbell bench vs Dumbbell Bench?
Leg Press vs Squats?
Which row is the best row?
Why is my leaky vagina so cold?

Dude, you are looking for an answer that does not exist. Generic programs (i.e. 5/3/1, Starting Strength, etc) exist because they feature time tested movements and rep ranges that will work for anyone. This does not mean that these are the best movements for you, nor should you venture to tell anyone which are the best movements/rep schemes for them.

If a movement seems interesting to you, try and add one on a -10% (i.e. shit-tastic) training day, or at the end of a regular training session. Notice I said add one, not 20. If you change 20 variables at once, 19 may be magic and one might be poison. If you are able to sort through the garbage by adding/editing one movement at a time, you will be able to note how this affects your training strength and progress. If this new movement inspires improvements over a month's time, calibrate and consider adding it as a staple in your routine.

An easy way to include this methodology in your routine without going nuts is by labeling one movement in each training day that does not change no matter what. This movement should allow you to work with heavy ass weights, and you shall not dare fuck with it.

For example, my current routine below details out which movements I consider vital vs open for calibration (labeled with CAL):


Day 1
Sumo Deadlift 8x3
Klokov Press 24-30 reps CAL
Seated Row 30-60 reps CAL

Day 2
Back Squat (work to a max double)
Back Squat 1x10
Front Squat 5x3
DB Bench 5x5 CAL
Chinup 8x3 CAL

Day 3
Dips 24-30 reps
Seated Row 30-60 reps CAL
Rack Pull/Shrugs 8x3, 1x10


Experiment and calibrate. Level up. Profit.
Get stronger.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


I've ranted about this before, but I need a reminder what my goals are every once in a while.

Whatever you do, whatever your passion, get stronger. The concept of getting stronger divorces you from the concept of outside influence or approval. The concept of getting stronger is its own reward.

It is ok to be unhappy sometimes. It is never ok to be negative about yourself or those who surround you. Negativity only breeds negativity, there is no end to an attempt to discover this tunnel. Surround yourself with friends, family, and thoughts that fight the negativity that festers inside of you. Remember, what would Satan do?

I'm da greatest (except for Goku, Gohan, Picollo, Vegeta, Tien, Roshi, Yamcha, Kami,
guns, cars, Yamcha, Chi-Chi, Chaotzu, more than 15 phone books)!
Still, positive thought.