Saturday, October 20, 2012

Tips and Tricks: High Pulls

I recently rediscovered one of the biggest bang for your buck movements. I have always been at my biggest and best when I include high pulls in my regular movement bucket. High pulls are similar to a power clean, except you do not catch the bar. Without having to worry about getting under the bar, you can focus on pulling with reckless abandon. As the weight gets heavier, your total height will obviously go down. Try to get each rep to nipple level or lower chest at the very least.

If starting from the ground, get your damn chest up and create tension in your lats, glutes, and hamstrings before beginning a rep. Return the bar to the ground as quickly as possible. Although catching the bar in the hang position will fry your forearms, it also increases the chance of jerking your lower back forward. Granted you will likely not be using enough weight to injure yourself (at most, I have used 270 for reps), it will cut your training short if your lower back gets prematurely fatigued.

This is not something you use for max effort. Repeated heavy efforts trump light/high reps or max singles. Translation: submaximal heavy reps for high sets. Get to it.

Surgeon General's Recommended Sets/Reps
I have used both 10x3 and 15x1 with great success. Whatever you choose, perform 1-2 quality reps at a weight above your working weight before you drill into your 10x3 or 15x1. This heavy primer set will make your working weight feel more manageable. This is useful considering the violent nature of the lift (you can attack set 1 with balls and vigor instead of settling into your groove on set 5).

DBZ Character to Channel: Recoome
Never go full retard...except on high pulls

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Vanity and The Value of Cocoon Mode

Obama cocoon mode

Vanity can be ugly. To a certain extent, we all lift weights to look better. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but I've found it can interfere with what is really important.

Why are you lifting weights?
To get bigger and stronger
To prevent injury now and in the future
To feel fucking awesome

As soon as I see myself getting bigger, it overwhelms me. Suddenly I'm not lean enough or big enough. My training suffers as my main motivators to continue are overshadowed by inconsequential insecurities. Fuck. That. Shit.

Enter cocoon mode. Something as simple as wearing a hoodie while you train suddenly leaves you with nothing to look at. There is just you and the bar.

Wrap up. Get stronger.

Tips and Tricks: Dumbbell Snatches

I'll be honest, this entry is less of a 'how-to' and more of a love note.

Dumbbell snatches are fucking awesome. Unlike barbell snatches, they take virtually (there are tiny nuances, but anyone can do them correctly within 5min of seeing it) 0 technique to perform. I've found they are best utilized for tonic or -10% (i.e. shittastic) training days, or as a maintenance tool while you are injured.

For tonic or shitty days
This is a movement you can do relatively heavy without any thought. I've found it does not matter much whether I am feeling strong or weak, I can still put up a decent amount of weight for highish volume. So on those days where everything sucks, consider DB Snatches.

When Injured
A pretty common question I see floating around is: my ____ is fucked and the doctor says I need to be a pussy for the rest of my life. Answer: dumbbell snatches. These have helped to rehab messed up elbows and knees (not to mention they keep my shoulders happy). I can perform them with my groin tweaked and a herniated disc in my back (from the hang position, no biggie). They are not as useful for gaining strength and size as they are maintaining it. While this does not seem like hot shit, when you are injured it is a boon.

Going along with the theme - work around your injuries - give DB Snatches a shot, you will not regret it.

If starting from the hang position
Slight bend in the knees
Tension in the hamstrings and glutes
Arch your lower back, you should feel an isometric contraction in your lats. Use this as a shelf to pull the weight along with shrugging your traps

From the ground
About the same, you just have more time to use your legs to drive Ye weight up

Surgeon Generals Prescribed Sets/Reps
I prefer high sets with low reps 10-15x3 with as little rest as possible in between sets. Keep in mind this is sets per arm, not total.
Once I hit the largest dumbbells in your gym, I am going to elongate my sets by doing 2 rep clusters (hang snatch + power snatch = 1 rep).

DBZ Character to Channel: Master Roshi
Time for tonic snatches

Time for hang snatches. Maintain that 139 power level duder.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Tips and Tricks: Dips

Chest goes forward as your descend.
Elbows go out and back, not straight back and down. This motion should mimic your bench press form.

Surgeon General's Recommended Set/Rep Range
No idea, still playing with this myself
I have seen great results from 8x3, but I usually hit a wall once I get to BW+100lbs

DBZ Character Channeled - Krillin. Destructo dip.
Never hits jack shit

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Southpark Gimp Fun

I was playing around with Gimp this afternoon (free Photoshop clone). While some aspects of the program are annoying, I was able to push together a quick project.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Shit Reddit Says

As a response to: What is your least favorite physical trait of the opposite sex?

Have you ever seen labia like pterodactyl midflight?
At the end of a long, Jack Daniel's soaked night,
You curled up with a lady whose face was so fair,
You'd never expect what she hid under there.
You slid under her skirt, and there, to your shock,
Was a sight quite appalling to your poor, desperate cock.
Not soft like a peach, but winged like a bat;
With a beak and a face like a naked mole rat.
You leapt to your feet with a bang and a clatter.
She sat up, and asked you what was the matter.
Try as you might, you just couldn't find words
To express the labia you would have preferred.
You just stumbled out silent, into the night,
Hoping to never again see pterodactyl midflight.

Monday, October 1, 2012

True Love

I got a call last night from one of my best friends. He let me know how wonderful his girlfriend was and how well they are doing together. He told me how great she makes him feel. He told me she makes him want to be a better man. Almost immediately, I thought of this and started photo-shopping it together.

Best 15 minutes I've ever spent giggling in a corner.