Saturday, December 28, 2013

Baby Got Trap

Not relevant to the article. Just one of the top rated google image results to 'baby got trap'

I'm hardly alone on this, but upper traps are my favorite God damned muscle. They are fun to train, they look amazing (on men and women*)-

*A few weeks before I left Atlanta, I saw a metal show with a female guitar/vocal lead. She had curly hair, long dark legs, JEW nose, and strong sloped upper traps. I think I fell slightly in love. My friend asked me what I was staring at. 'Dem...dem traps man.' We don't talk anymore.

- they have real world functionality, and (this is especially nice if you are coming off of an injury) they grow like weeds with the right stimulus. BRIDGE TIME.

The Right Stimulus
If there is a body part, there is an unnatural amount of internet bitching over what works over what definitively doesn't.

@Fam1LYGyeLvar82: Hey brahs and bros, just lettin you know that high rep DB Shrugs are the only thing that traps respond to. Anything else is an exercise in loser faggitronics. Fact.

@GreeSeChamp!: My brother's friend is huge (benches in the low 800's) and he says behind the neck carlson shrugs are the only thing that worked for him. Fag kill yourself.

Thrilling? Hardly (even if this type of conversation blazed the path to such gems as Dreamer Bulk). Let's move along into our next section.

Movements I Have Used That Work
Clean Variations: Hang Cleans/Cleans/Powercleans/High Pulls
- Incredibly easy to learn and execute without a coach. Experience and frequency will be your guide
- Hit the entire body (side delts on high pulls, bonus)
- Allow you to work an explosive pull variation without excessive fatigue

- Very easy to cheat at higher weights. Part of my disc injury a few years back was from pulling heavy with shitty form. Retarded.

Loading Parameters:
- I generally keep these variations to 1-5 reps. Anything over this starts to look like Gary Busey. Ugly. They look ugly.

Barbell Shrugs
- Whether done from a sumo or conventional stance, these are pretty hard to fuck up.
- Combines a rack pull with a shrug. Easy extra pulling volume.
- Weightlifter, powerlifter, want to look awesome in sweaters? Shrugs. Shrugs 4 life.

- If you do the power version of these (using momentum, which I highly recommend), do not overextend your hips or knees or you may open yourself up for injury.

Loading Parameters:
- High or low reps work fine here. I've had great results with a few sets of 'as many as possible' as well as many sets of 3's and 5's. Pick one or mix it up.
- I currently prefer low sets/high reps because it allows me to combine shrugs with another heavy pull (i.e. High Pulls followed by Shrugs). Low reps/high sets with a higher weight usually ends up becoming it's own day.

Deadlifts: Sumo and Conventional
- Work your traps isometrically
- Stronger traps will also equal a stronger pull
- Case in point: powerlifters/weightlifters/strongmen all have giant traps. They deadlift, so should you.

Partial Deadlifts: Sumo and Conventional Rack Pulls/Static Holds
- Work the same muscles as a deadlift at a supramaximal load
- Wonderful movement for 'feeling' stronger. You will feel like you are carved out of stone the day after partial pulls

- By no means mimics an actual deadlift movement patter. Unless you pull below the knee, this will likely not carry to your pull from the floor
- Take care of the callouses on your hands or expect to have them ripped off

Loading Parameters:
- Same as shrugs (low reps/high sets or high reps/low sets).
- If pulling from the knee or above, this allows you to strengthen your entire mid/upper back by pulling with weights at or above your max deadlift

Pressing Overhead: Behind the Neck Push Press/Overhead Press
- Easy to perform with high frequency
- Work the entire body via leg drive, abdominal stabilization, creating a lat shelf, and the pressing power from the traps/shoulders/triceps

- I've injured my neck 5 times pressing overhead. Awesome movement, I suck balls at it.
- Injury potential from pressing behind the neck (although personally I've had nothing but great experiences with pressing behind the neck)

Loading Parameters:
- I prefer lower reps (<=5/set) with pressing overhead. This goes double for behind the neck push press.
- For behind the neck push press only: Get the bar overhead as fast as possible, lower under control using your triceps/traps/shoulders. If you are not used to lowering the bar slowly, you will find that you will need to initially lower the weight before it feels natural. A slower eccentric will assist in building muscle and greatly reduce the potential for injury (the bar's destination is easier to set, higher weights will not feel like they are crushing you on the descent).

Movements I Have Not Used (but the weightlifting population loves)
Snatch Grip Pulls: Snatch Deadlift/Hang Snatch/Snatch/Power Snatch/Snatch High Pull/Rack Snatch
I have 0 experience with Snatch pulls beyond the occasional snatch grip deadlift or power snatch. It's a shame really. Decades ago, weightlifters used to compete (and win) in Mr. Olympia contests. The back development of a weightlifter can be highly correlated to the amount of pulls they do, but specifically their snatch (or wider grip) variations.

I'm just gonna leave these sources here...
Ben Bruno: Rack Snatch Pull
TNation: Snatch High Pull
Bill Starr: Widen Your Wingspan

Anything Strongman: 
Stone loading, yoke walks, farmers walks. Doesn't matter, good for traps.

Dumbbell Shrugs (seated or standing):
I can't give less than 2 shits about DB Shrugs. They have done nothing for me, but there are a metric shit-ton of strong people who have mile high traps in part from DB Shrugs (when treated entirely as an assistance movement).

Kirk Shrugs:
This is kind of like a mini hang clean grip high pull which pauses at the navel before releasing downwards. I have used these before, but not with any type of weight that has induced a strength/size gain.

Loading Parameters (Not Upper Trap Specific)
There is never any solidified set x rep structure that will guarantee results. Part of this is because we are all bio mechanically snowflakes, and variety is a spice everyone should try (lookin at you Texas). That is the God damned answer. The bulk of your work may be done as singles, doubles, triples,  5's, 20's, whatever, but at least some facet of your training should include a different rep range for the same muscle group.

This does NOT, however, mean that you have to do the same movement pattern to train the same muscle. I.E. Just because low rep deadlifts are the centerpiece of my training session does not mean I have to do 10rep backoff sets in order to train the same muscles at a higher rep range (I'm not shitting on backoff sets here, just indicating they are not the only option available). This is specifically what accessory work exists for. Accessory lifts build the main lift either by strengthening and/or inducing hypertrophy to the same working muscles as your main movement.

The point!
When choosing an exercise and corresponding loading parameter, look at how far you can potentially progress with a given weight x reps. For example, DB Shrugs would be a poor exercise choice for low reps because it is easy to max out the weight you can use (even if you intensify the movement through static holds, isometric contractions, and slow eccentrics).

That's it fuckers. I'm gonna inject some frog tech and play Settlers of Catan over a glass of gin.
Get stronger.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Grruu Sauc: J-Park Gif

I feel like I'm about to crack today. Deadlifts await me if I can get through the miles of bullshit in my wake. All the while, this gif is making me laugh like a mo-fo.

Gif files are always kind struck me funny...

Me: Hey guy, you want to watch a short film I made? It took me 2 months, hundreds of dollars, and sweat you will never see or want to see!

Guy: Eh, no thanks.

Me: Ok, well hows about a 5 second silent film on repeat?

Guy: Fuck yeah!

The future is weird...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Video Game Bodyweight Training

Why the fuck is Wolverine doing cardio?

Last night I revitalized one of my favorite training methods for the methodically lazy asshole. While playing video games (non-online), create a trigger that periodically forces you to do one set of a bodyweight movement.

Exercises to Use
My most commonly used exercise is the clapping pushup. This way, I can keep my reps relatively low (I range from 10-25 reps per set depending on how I feel), but also not feel like I am drained from a large amount of volume for future weight training workouts.

Feel free to experiment with whatever bodyweight exercise you like. Examples are...
- Squats (this may not work because of how many reps you can burn out)
- Jumping Squats
- Pistols
- Pushups (and all variations)
- Pullups (and all variations)

How to Implement
First off, stand up while you play video games. If you sit down or lie down, you are more likely to stay that way. Again, any time a certain trigger occurs, do an exercise for as many reps as you can.

Trigger Examples
- With any RPG, when any character in your party gains a level. In Kingdom hearts, this trigger was pulled every 7-10 minutes.
- In short action games, when you finish a level. In Contra 3, this trigger was pulled every 7-10 minutes.
- In sports games, when a quarter ends
Blah blah blah

Create a trigger so the intervals are spaced apart by a few minutes. This methodology is NOT a training session. It is a way to get in light extra work without cutting into your recovery time.

Get stronger

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Charlie the Choo Choo

Comic credit goes to

The following is blatantly ripped off from Stephen King's "The Waste Lands." After reading a few paragraphs of the original story, I fell asleep and dreamt of my own version. Thanks Brain.

Charlie the Choo Choo
Bob Brooks was an engineer for The Mid-World Railway Company, on the St. Louis to Topeka run. Engineer Bob was the best trainman The Mid-World Railway Company ever had, and Charlie was the best train!

Charlie was a 402 Big Boy Steam Locomotive, and Engineer Bob was the only man who had ever been allowed to sit in his peak-seat and pull the whistle.Everyone knew the WHOOO-HOOOOO of Charlie's whistle, and whenever they heard it echoing across the flat Kansas countryside, they said, "There goes Charlie and Engineer Bob, the fastest team between St. Louis and Topeka!"

Boys and girls ran into their yards to watch Charlie and Engineer Bob go by. Engineer Bob would smile and wave.The children would smile and wave back.

Engineer Bob had a special secret. He was the only one who knew. Charlie the Choo Choo was really, really alive. One day while they were making the run between Topeka and St. Louis, Engineer Bob heard singing, very soft and low.

"Who is in the cab with me?" Engineer Bob said sternly.
"Don't worry," said a small gruff voice. "It is only I."
"Who's I," Engineer Bob asked. He spoke in his biggest, sternest voice, because he still thought someone was playing a joke on him.
"Charlie," said the small, gruff voice.
"Hardy har-har!" said Engineer Bob. "Trains can't talk! I may not know much, but I know that! If you're Charlie, I suppose you can blow your own whistle!"
"Of course," said the small, gruff voice, and just then the whistle made its big noise, rolling out across the Missouri plains: WHOOO-HOOOOOO!
"Goodness!" said Engineer Bob. "It really is you!"
"I told you," said Charlie the Choo Choo.
"How come I never knew you were alive before?" asked Engineer Bob. "Why didn't you ever talk to me before?"
"I'm going to murder you Bob," growled Charlie in a low, gruff voice. "When they find your shriveled body, they will lose sleep wondering how long you stayed awake before the steam and ash melted in your throat."
A small WHOO HOOO laced with malice rung through the conductor's car. Steam and exhaust battled their way into each and ever car where Charlie felt feet stomp a romping round his floors. Before the crescendo of screams started to die, Charlie derailed his bodies from the bridge tracks above to plummet into the ravine below.
There was a terrible silence
Then a terrible crash
Then nothing but the low, gruff voice of a broken machine.

Don't ask me silly questions,
I won't play silly games.
I'm just a simple choo-choo train
And I'll always be the same.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Dragoncon 2013: photo dump

Finally have some downtime to drop down my DragonCon 2013 photos! Enjoy!

If you get punched by Molotov, you're gonna have a bad time

Scary fucking Mr Popo

Afro Samurai


Alchemists wear sneakers. Respect.

Ryan and I around 3am with the speaker from one of the anime panels

Raiders of the lost booze


The best dad of all time

My favorite random cosplay group

Big Daddy

Winners of the Venture costume contest


Have yet to see a Nell that wasn't hot as shit

Me get blood bended

Just blue myself

I would do her, and her and her, set fire to her, do her...

Would fuck her, and her, set her on fire, fuck her...

So many Bobs Burgers cosplay

Monarch and King Gorilla 

Brock. Fucking. Sampson.


Bulma costumes were crazy popular this year


Carl from ATHF

Me hanging out with Keida

Ryan choking out some dude

Chrono Trigger post puberty

FF7 Cid

Clever Girl

Clicker from The Last of Us

Cock worship

Shea and me in the Venture Bros costume contest

Dante from DMC

Best DBZ group costume evar

Venture Bros Dollar Lincoln

Dr. McNinja

Dr. O and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch as Rocky

El Fuerte Ult Combo 1

Envy from FMA

Evangelion. Aska putting on full bitch face.

Me, Ryan, and Wolfwood

Female Broly. Every year she racks up mad reddit karma for these costumes.

Femme. Fucking. Brock. Sampson.

Dragoncon was awesome until the fire nation attacked

Great Saiyaman. And crack. Lots of crack.

Hank Co

Me. Headbanging in a wig.

So much cocillycocaine neighbor

A way better HIM than I did last year

God damn son. Didn't realize I know both of these girls until I was checking my photos later.

The Grand Inquisitor. Had his sister spotting him at all times.

Amazing Isaac (Dead Space)

Honey I shrunk the juggernaut bitch

Naaaaa na na naa naa na naaa na na na naa naa na duguda dugada dugada dugada

The government uses cosplay to keep an eye on us

Has a backpack full of booze


Gettin sexy in the hotel room

Ran into a friend I hadn't seen in 10yrs working security

The best my Drogo-Monarch is gonna get

More cock worship

Akuma murder death kill

Back built by deadlifts

3some yes


This guy ended up being my cartooning instructor in FL. He does an awesome Pliskin voice.


Tim Burton's Joker

Every Tina = hotness

You wanna get high?