Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cosplay: (God of War) Helios Head part 3

DragonCon 2012 is nigh, and my God of War 3 Helios prop head is all done! I'll have pictures up from the Con as soon as I can.

Please see the links below for the first 2 installments of this series:
Part 1
Part 2

Playing around with the lights before I added the hair

Profile view with wig added on

Added blood and dirt effects (just red and black paint) to the wig

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Your workouts are too damn long

What appeared when I googled 'too much shit.'
You've got a friend in me.

Consider this...after approximately an hour of strength training, the trade off between a testosterone and cortisol boost turns sour. There is no reason why you should not be able to finish everything you need to in less than an hour. If you are consistently training for marathon sessions, perhaps it is time to objectively look at your routine and reflect a bit.

- How much shit is throwaway?
- How much work is isolation?
- How many movements are there just because they are your favorites?

Try this on for a solution.
Every session uses 1-3 heavy compound movements (rep ranges from 1-5). Partition your volume however you like, and try to keep your rests brief (provided you can still complete your work with good form). If you have finished your prescribed 3 movements in 45-50 minutes, the next 10-15 minutes are free time. Do your favorite exercise, do isolation, or leave. Your free time is not supposed to test the limits of the human genome. You did the hard shit already, now do something that doesn't matter. I think you will find you appreciate your choices more than if you struggled to keep everything in a 2hr block.

As an example, below is the workout I did last Sunday.
Back squats super set with weighted chinups
BS 135x5, CU BWx8
BS 165x3, CU 25x3
BS 185x3, CU 50x1
BS 225x3, CU 75x4
BS 245x2, CU 75x3
BS 265x2, CU 75x3
BS 285x2, CU 75x3
BS 305x1, CU 75x3
BS 315x2, CU 75x3
BS 230x6, CU 75x3
BS 230x6, CU 75x2
BS 230x6

Next, I super setted glute ham raises with klokov presses
GHR BWx9, K Press 125x5
GHR BWx9, K Press 125x4
GHR BWx9, K Press 125x3
K Press 70x3x11

This took 55 minutes to complete. I did one set of rear delt raises cause I felt like it (I had 0 energy for anything else). This is among my higher volume workouts. I usually finish all of the heavy shit within 45-50min after which I throw in some curls or pushdowns. Simple as that.

Get stronger, then do the pussy shit.

Deadlift Special part Trou

My goal. Full bear mode.

Progress through the second cycle of my deadlift special program:

Sumo Deadlift: 445x1 --> 455x1
Back Squat 300x2 --> 315x2
Bench Press 235x1 --> 235x1, fucking bench press
Rack Pull/Shrug 450x3 --> 460x3
Dips 90x4 --> 100x4
Chinups 70x4 --> 75x4

This month was a bit disappointing, but I made gains despite a string of terrible workouts. My hands/grip have started to become my weakest link. I have started to file down my callouses so my hands do not bleed after every pull session. Honestly, I am happy with my deadlift progress as long as I am putting at least 10lbs a month to my max.

I am very happy with the way my squats have been going. My 'weakest' lift confidence wise now feels natural.

The bench press, as usual, can go fuck itself.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Try and Calibrate: Volume and Load

Volume and load right where it needs to be.

As I mentioned in the previous installment of try and calibrate, you should pick a lifting program/philosophy and stick to it. As long as you are making gains on the same program, you should not go ADD on your programming. Alas, we feel the need to change shit up, and that is where we get into trouble. The simple solution is to try the same movements in a different order, or slowly introduce 1 element to see if it fits.

Let me be clear, this is not an attempt at muscle confusion. The mere idea that muscles can be confused (which is broadcasted in happy letters in LA Fitness every 5 minutes on the treadmill screen) makes me wish I had a diabetes gun. When I am trying to level up, I am trying to do 2 things (and not always at the same time):

1. Increase volume
2. Increase load

I like to look at these progressive overload methods in different terms as well:

1. Punishment
2. Reward

If I fail to reach my goal one week, I punish myself by adding volume in some way until I am clear to increase the load.

For example,
Last week's squat top set and back off sets:

Although I reached my goal of 315x2, the second rep was an ugly grind. I was in no way ready to progress to 320x2. Because I failed to increase the load from one week to the next, I increased the volume this week as a punishment.

This week:
315x2 (solid)

Obviously this is a very slight change from last week, but it offers me the ability to move forward bit by bit without repeating the same workout. Because I hit every rep I wanted to hit, next week will look like this:


The load is increased on both ends, and the volume drops back down to normal.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Off Days and the Merits of the Turtle

Train like Goku and Krillin underneath Master Roshi.

Roshi: The reason one becomes strong is to win battles! Not to make girls say 'Ooooooh! You're so strong!' Studying to become strong will make you healthier in body and soul and will allow you to enjoy life more. But! If you or another is ever threatened by someone committing an injustice, you must strike them down in a single blow! Understand everything so far?

Goku: Not a bit.

Roshi: Basically, let's just train hard and enjoy our lives ok?

Be strong, be in shape.
Test yourself occasionally with competition and maximum efforts.
Remember there is always someone stronger, always someone better. This is not your motivation to push harder, this is the reality you strive to fight against.
A strong body is useless without a strong mind.

Roshi: Work well, study well, play well, eat well and sleep well! This is the way of Kamesen style!

Get stronger by the way of the Turtle Hermit.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Saiyan Nutrition: Attacking your Food

I have a very simple diet. On training days, I attack food like it owes me money. On rest days, I take my time to learn how to cook healthy meals consisting of meat and vegetables.

For training days, I like to channel the Saiyan way of eating in DBZ. They never look at what they are eating, they ingest fuel until they can't move anymore. They do not snack all day, they imbibe large infrequent meals. If your sense of modesty (let's face it, decency) prevents you from doing this, think of an activity you do during that day that allows you to eat compulsively. When you are compulsively eating, you are not paying attention to hunger or any signs that you are full. You are shoveling shit into your mouth like it's your last meal. For me, this means reading a book while holding/forking my meal in the other hand. If your meal requires cutting (i.e. steak), do all of your prep work before you start to chow down. If your plate consists of carbs, proteins/fats, attack the protein/fat before you even think of touching the carbs. Do you feel like a plate of chicken after a bowl of pasta? I think not.

Go after it. Get stronger.

Friday, August 10, 2012

More Piccolo and Gohan

Nothing new here, I just love this quote from DBZ.

“I still remember the first day I brought you here. You were small, helpless. You’ve changed so much since then. The harder things got. The more determined you became. The more dangers you faced, the stronger you grew as a warrior. I know I was hard on you, but it was for your own good. You’re like the son I never had. I’m proud of you.”

~Piccolo to Gohan

Master and Pupil

Their training complete for the day, Piccolo and Gohan sat by the roaring fire. Through swollen lips and bruised cheekbones, a smile swells onto Gohan's face.

"You know Mr. Piccolo, everyone says you are a bad person."

"Maybe they are right."

"But I don't think you are so bad. I think you are a really good person, you just put up a front for everyone. I was hoping after we beat the Saiyans, you could come to my birthday party..."

"Shut up and go to sleep runt! We have to train harder tomorrow."

Gohan jumped at the surge in anger from his master and quickly feigned sleep. Piccolo felt new rage well within his heart threatening to overtake him.

"I should kill him," he thought, "How dare he say those things about me."

Piccolo tried to kill the resting 4 year old. He tried to forget what he had heard. He tried to fight against the competing voices in his head.

But it was too late.

Piccolo had made a friend.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Saiyan World Problems

I helped my friend make a movie the other day (I just acted and assisted with some blocking/DP work). It's a deeply intellectual and emotional piece that addresses an age old question: Do Super Saiyans have a poker tell?

Cosplay: (God of War) Helios Head pt2

I've been working hard to get my Helios/Kratos costume ready for DragonCon 2012 :)
Both the head and costume come from the game God of War 3.

Please see the link below for the other installments of this prop:
Part 1
Part 3

Added a spray paint primer over the plastic mold. This allowed me to
get a base coat and still paint on top with acrylic paint. 

First run over the head with acrylic paint.

Added burnt eyes and bloody tears. It actually looks much better than this picture suggests...

Nick is wiring up headlamp lights to a battery pack.
It's good to know an electrical engineer.

More soldering pics. The headlamps are all connected to a single pack
of 3 triple A batteries. 

We took this video after Nick had hooked up the headlamps to a switch in the back of the head. Now I can charge up Helios' attack!