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30 October 2009

**A Ride-A-Long with ChAoS and PAIN

I've gotten a wide array of questions from you guys, and a number of questions that bear strong resemblance to one another. There is one, however, that has continually cropped up with little or no variation in wording or substance- "what's your day actually like?" To be honest, I never thought this would in any way be interesting to anyone, so I have yet to answer it. We shall see if it's as boring as I think it is, or if it has any bearing whatsoever on your opinion of this training methodology. Quite frankly, I cannot envision a scenario wherein anyone would give a flying fuck, but here you go.

I'm not a professional personal trainer, have no kids, and don't have to be at work until 130 today, so there's really no good reason to get out of bed any earlier than 830. Frankly, I think getting up prior to the sun is fucking inhuman, and is pretty much the sole purview of people in the military and farmers. As I hate taking orders and only eat an appreciable amount of grain on my cheat days, I'm neither of those things, so I get out of bed whenever the fuck I want. Upon waking, I preheat the oven for my daily festival of wing goodness and fire up my computer. By this time, the oven's ready, so I season a large package of wings with Adobo seasoned salt and enough cayenne pepper that the wings are blood red. I don't cut up the wings, incidentally, as I eat the bones in the tip (yes, I literally eat the bones. If you ever saw me eat a fried chicken breast, you'd be astonished at how few bones were left at the end), and cutting up the wings is far more trouble than it's worth. When I eat them, I rip them into their composite parts as I go, and it's a hell of a lot less time consuming than cutting the fucking things up beforehand. If you're curious, I cook them 30 mins a side at 450. Most people would say they're overcooked. I say they're crispy, which is nice because soggy wings suck my ass.

That done, I check my email with a movie or Sportscenter on in the background, and then eat 5 of the wings I've cooked when they're ready. Once that's done, I usually read, answer more emails, do a bit of consulting work, or iron. Yep. Iron.

Two hours later, I eat five more wings, then down my Methyl Mass and head to the gym. After killing it for anywhere between 45 mins and an hour, I head to work and eat an Oh Yeah Almond Fudge Brownie bar on the way (that's on low carb days. on higher carb days, I'll eat a package of Tri-O-Plex Chocolate Chip Cookies).
While at work, I eat the majority of the remainder of my five lbs of wings, usually accompanied by one or two Monster Milks. I'm a huge fan of those things- 45g of protein, 1.5g of Kre-Alkylin, and deeeee-lish. Once I leave work, I'll usually head back to the gym to tan or dick around with something light, and then head home, where I'll eat more wings, bullshit around, and head to bed to get my nine hours of sleep.
That just happened.

That's about it. Nothing exceedingly cool, and certainly nothing Earth shattering. I've no idea why you guys wanted to know what my typical day is like, but that's it.

The following video is one of most of my work sets from yesterday's workouts, to let you know how I roll in the gym. Supersets of shrugs with 765 for 5 and 865 for 3-5, and triples and doubles with 315 on CGB and then singles with 325. After work I came back and did second 20 min workout, using 135 for 12 sets of triples on power clean and press.

video

WE are the hunters.

WE kill the weak so the strong survive.

You can't stop the New World. Your filthy society will never get rid of people like us. It's breeding them!

WE ARE THE FUTURE!


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Now playing: Back Of Tha Neck - 02-Internet thug
via FoxyTunes

27 October 2009

*Baddest Motherfuckers Ever #7- Paul Anderson

Have you ever felt like just digging a hole in your backyard, then building a squat stand over it and loading a thousand pounds on it, then standing in the hole and doing partials with it? Me neither. Paul Anderson, however, thought about a lot of crazy shit like that. Paul Anderson, if you don't know already, was an American Olympic weightlifter and strongman who was well known for his weird-ass training style and his penchant for shattering world records.

Paul's Stats:
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 330-360 lbs.

Paul's bests:
  • Standard clean and press (?): 402.5 lb (182.6 kg)
  • One arm overhead press: 300 lb (140 kg)
  • Parallel squat: 1,202 lb (545 kg), two reps
  • Backlift: 6270 lbs (2844 kg), (weight raised slightly off trestles)
  • Hip Lift: 4100 lbs.
  • Bench Press (Raw): 627 lb (284 kg)
  • Two Hand Overhead Press: 400 lbs. for 7 reps
  • Two Hand Overhead Press: 470
  • Jerk-Press (not sure if it was from the front or the back): 560 lbs.
Additionally, Paul was reported by Tommy Kono to have done a set of ten full squats, with no warmup, with 700 lbs., "so rapidly that it was as if free squats were performed"(PP 16), and shattered the world record in the strict press lifting IN THE RAIN, pressing 402 lbs in strict competition fashion over his head- 72 lbs more than the previous record. Ten years later, he broke the record again with 420. A few years later, he showed up at a Russian-American match as a special attraction (he had recently started pro wrestling), and PRESSED 425 FOR TWO REPS. Can you imagine strict pressing 425 for two reps? I sure as shit can't.

Anderson could have cited his unique training methods as the key to his success, but being an evangelical Christian, he gave all the credit to someone else. It's all well and good if you're religious, but if you're squatting 1200, chances are it was a combination of brutal fucking workouts, a little genetic luck, and a lot of eating, since the Catholic Church doesn't seem to be fielding the majority of the gold medalists in the Olympic Weightlifting.

I've already alluded to, and shown a picture of, one of his favorite training methods- squatting in a hole. He would occasionally put dirt back into the hole, and over time developed some badass squats, hitting 1200 deep.

Another wacky training method Anderson used was to set up two golf holes on his farm about 300 yards apart. He'd whack the ball down to the one hole, where he'd set up an outdoor rack with a bar loaded to 400. He'd do 3-5 reps in the overhead press with it, then whack the ball back to the other hole, where he'd set up a squat rack loaded to 800. He'd bang out 3-5 reps with that weight, then repeat, all afternoon. Yeah, that sounds pretty fucking awesome to me as well, save for the golfing. I'd rather do a set and get a bleach enema, then repeat. I truly despise golf. Anderson's typical workouts (according to Marty Gallagher in Purposeful Primitive) were 6 days a week and took 3-4 hours to complete.

T/TH/S
Full squat
2x10x600
1x2x825
1x2x845
1x2x900

Half Squat
1x2x1200

Quarter Squat
1x2x1800

Deadlift
4x6-8x650

M/W/F
Press Off Rack
1x6x300
1x2x400
1x2x390
1x2x370

Press Outs (from sticking point to lockout)
1x4x500

Press From Shoulders To Top Of Head
1x4x500

Push-Press off Rack
1x3x450

Bench Press
1x6-8x400-450
Nice ensemble. Singlet with black socks and dress shoes.

Anderson was also a big fan of day-long workouts, wherein he would rest up to 30 mins in between sets, sipping milk and bullshitting. He'd apparently drink a gallon or more of milk during the course of his workout.

So, there you have it. Another unconventional lifter in a world of bland, copycat bullshit. Guess who succeeds? It's not the douche doing bodypart workouts at your local Gold's- it's the guys who do weird shit, and A LOT OF IT, who make a name for themselves. Now, go do some reverse grip cleans and when some headband-rocking, heroin-chic, weak-as-you-little-sister-if-she-had-AIDS, personal trainer tells you you're doing cleans wrong, punch him in the mouth, roast him over an open fire, and invite anyone you know with a descended testicle to a barbecue.

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Now playing: Pantera - Mouth for War
via FoxyTunes

Bibliography:
Gallagher, Marty. The Purposeful Primitive. St. Paul: Dragon Door Publications, 2008. pp. 9-17.
Willoughby, David. The Super-Athletes. NY: AS Barnes and Company, 1970. pp 112-114.
"Paul Edward Anderson". Wikipedia.

25 October 2009

*How To Start Down the Path to Enlightenment

A new CnP mainstay- standing overhead broad presses.

A previous blog dealt with a programming method new jacks could use to get cracking on ChAoS and PAIN, but I, in my infinite advancement, completely forgot that there are people out there, wandering gyms, wondering how in the hell they'd determine their 1 rep max (1RM). Let's start there.

First, a word about the various charts and other assorted official looking nonsense you'll find on the Internet. Ignore them. They're idiotic, non-scientific claptrap produced for the simpletons who believe there is such a thing as an average person, and that they might be one of them. Or, may they burn in hell for their idiocy, if they believe they are a specific somatotype. Somatotyping is retarded, bunk science that doesn't even reach the level of validity that does phrenology or astrology. I literally have more faith in the conjurings of a Goth sorcerer in a BDSM club than I do in anything anyone says if they use the terms "ectomorph", "endomorph", or "mesomorph" with any degree of respect. To be frank, if you overhear or read anyone using these terms and they're not spitting them out like they're on the verge of projectile vomiting, you should hit them over the head with a tack hammer and leave them in the town square for wild dogs, because they're either retarded or deliberately trying to mislead soft-headed people who lack a library card.
I know it's a sledge hammer, fuckface.

Don't predict your 1RM. Fucking lift weights until you know what it is. If you're scared of lifting heavy, perhaps you should eat a frisbee and you'll feel better.
If you're not a bloody vagina, the following is what you should do:

If you're a rank beginner, with no training or very little training experience:
  1. Read this blog for entertainment and do some old-school training for a while.
  2. Buy a good training manual like Dinosaur Training, or search for a Reg Park, John Grimek, Steve Reeves, etc. routine. Don't ask anyone for one. Be vaguely useful and do some research, then pick a routine you like. If you cannot use google with any degree of proficiency, turn off your computer and drown yourself in a bowl of soup or a puddle. Failing that, eat a frisbee.
  3. After about 6 months of solid training, come back here and move to the next step.
If you're not a rank beginner, but have never maxed out:
  1. Punch yourself in the face to punish yourself for your odd behavior.
  2. Punch yourself in the testicles to jump-start testosterone production.
  3. Take 3 weeks out of your current routine and start maxing on at least on lift per day. Start with your typical work weight, and do a single. Add 10s and repeat. Continue to add weight until you fail. Your previous completed lift is your max. Congrats!
  4. During these three weights, max out as much as you want, on as many lifts as you want. I'd make them useful exercises in terms of real strength training, such as:
  • Deadlift
  • Power or full clean
  • Clean and Press
  • Standing OH press from the front and back, military and push/jerk style
  • Bench Press variations (stick to close, regular, and reverse, and avoid decline at all costs)
  • Front and back squat
  • any other shit you like, including unilateral stuff like one arm snatches, etc.
5. Do some three rep maxes as well on things like dips and pullups, just for shits and gigs.

At this point, you will have some idea of where your starting point is, and you'll know precisely how strong or weak you are in absolute terms. This is a good thing- you're becoming a man! Yay!
Everyone's excited.

Once you've completed the above steps, you may begin work on your next task- that of becoming a full-on, revolution-starting, baby-kicking, misogyny-spouting CnP Hooligan.

Show us what you've got.

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Now playing: Slipknot - People = Shit
via FoxyTunes

24 October 2009

*I Like To Break A Mental Sweat, Too.

ChAoS and PAIN isn't just a workout regimen. Nor is it just a programming style. It's a lifestyle, a way of life, and a desire, above all, to transcend the modern human condition. In order to achieve this goal, one must know what the fuck one is talking about. As such, it would stand to reason that you might want to read something. I'm well known amongst my friends and family to NEVER be without a book, and I would recommend to anyone not fully immersed in the Facebook/Twitter/Myspace mental midgetry that pervades modern society to do the same. To this end, I'll give you a list of books that I like for physical culture and nutrition to get you guys on the right track. I encourage you to read at least one or two of them, as they're seminal works in those two fields, in my opinion.

With no further ado, ranked in terms of total awesomeness:

Nutrition:
  1. Metabolic Man, by Charles Wharton - fascinating synopsis of a wide array of metabolic typing systems, from D'Amato's horrible commercial bullshit (Eat Right For Your Type), to the Ayurvedic method, and everything betwixt them.
  2. Better Than Steroids, by Warren Wiley- awesome bodybuilding dieting book that details the three hour cheat window, keto runs, and a variety of other fun shit.
  3. The Metabolic Typing Diet, by William Wolcott- the best of the best in terms of metabolic typing systems.
  4. Neanderthin, by Ray Audette- seminal work on Paleolithic dieting, and better than Cordain's mass market shit.
  5. Food is Your Best Medicine, by Henry Bieler- treating medical conditions with food. Interesting concept, and good overall read.
  6. Warrior Diet, by Ori Hofmekler- Ori's a fucking loon, but a badass loon.
Training:
  1. Dinosaur Training, by Brooks Kubik- incredible book about lifting like a man. Kubik's a decent writer, and definitely knows his shit. Not the best looking man on the planet, but a guy I'd drink with while mocking the pastel-colored polo-shirted weenies around us.
  2. The Purposeful Primitive, by Marty Gallagher- details a lot of programs by elite lifters like Anderson and Coan, in addition to mixing in some random esoteric spirituality, stories about hiking, and personal anecdotes.
  3. Science and Practice of Strength Training, by Vladimir Zatsiorsky- dry as shit, but it is the backbone of my training volume.
  4. Serious Strength Training, by Tudor Bompa- I've read this book several times and remember nothing of it but the author's name. As I read it years ago, though, and deemed it worth multiple reads, it has to be worth at least a casual browse.
  5. Power to the People, by Pavel Tsatsouline- I doubt Pavel and I would agree on much, given his kettlebell fetish, other than people should stop being pussies. That, however, is enough to recommend this book.
General Awesomeness (aka BUY THIS FUCKING BOOK)
  1. The Super-Athletes, by David Willoughby- anytime you want a reason to man up, this book can offer you 2,987,623,487,623,486 reasons why it'd be a good reason for you to have done so YESTERDAY.
This nerdy motherfucker, Lauren Cohen, is a USAPL ranked lifter, a competitive strongman, and a HARVARD PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS. Cowboy the fuck up already.

Now, go read something.

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Now playing: Anthrax - I'm The Man (Def Uncensored Version)
via FoxyTunes

22 October 2009

*So, You Want to Know My Arm Routine, Eh?

A tremendously blurry self portait of myself ironing and watching Anchorman.

I find it somewhat odd and hilarious that I get so many compliments on my arms. Personally, I feel like a modern-day Mike Katz, with arms too small for my torso, and everything overpowered by my legs. It's not as though I eschew most direct arm work out of some desire to not be a chest-and-bis douche at the gym- it's because I quite literally detest lifting chest and arms. I loathe it. I abhor it. It sucks.
In any event, you've asked, and I shall tell you the secret to my arms. Reverse grip curls and hammer curls for biceps, and close grip bench press and reverse grip bench press for my triceps. That's it. It's not rocket science.

Over the course of the last few months I've been using my "off" days to work arms, neck, calves, and abs, because my elbow hurt like shit when I'd do dips and my back is usually exhausted from cleans and deads and the like.


Thus, twice a week, I do the following:
Superset of reverse grip fat bar curls 10-12, with pushdowns. I had been doing overhead extensions and overhead press with the same bar in a tri-set previously, but I'm still rehabbing my tricep.

For you guys:
With a fat bar- this is critical for the forearms
Reverse Grip Curls

Overhead Extensions

Overhead Press


Walk to the water fountain, get a drink and repeat.

Do this for 15 mins, then do some abs and neck and go home.
That's it. There's nothing exciting about it. It's a way for me to get into the gym on an off day and have an innocuous workout that won't detract from my real lifting. Mostly, I do it for vascularity. I don't put any weight on the bar, and I do nothing fancy.

If I do anything else, it's:

Kettlebell, log, or dumbbell hammer curls

Pushdowns

Repeat.

This is how my arms were built, outside of brutally heavy compound movements. Earth shattering? Hardly. The arm work I do is like adding filigree to an already impressive, massive bronze sculpture, rather than creating the sculpture itself.
This arm was built long before some pencil-necked asshole invented Hercules Curls.

19 October 2009

*More on The Excellence of Paleolithic Man

A Cro-Magnon in our midst.


I promised to post this in the September entry entitled "Stemming the Tide of De-Evolution. If you missed it, check it out- it's the essence of brutality. In any event, here you go:

I know it's barely legible, but click on the picture and you should be good. If you want to check it out in full, go here. This should be ample evidence, however, that the modern grain-based diet is horseshit, however, and a diet fit for slaves, not masters. As such, eat more meat, and lift more weight, and look with disdain upon the pussies around you in the gym. They are the sheep, and we are the wolves.


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Now playing: Bring Me The Horizon - Pray For Plagues
via FoxyTunes

14 October 2009

Ask the Asshole #3


Charles Rigoulot pities the fool.
As I've gotten a lot of accolades from all of you hooligans, I figured I'd post an email wherein a guy's totally marking out to me as an opener, and a bit of a pat on the back for myself.

"By the way, since I've started taking trib/l-argenine, and focusing on heavy ass 1-3 rep sets, my fucking lifts have shot up like a god damn cannon. My push press is sitting at 230, up nearly 40 pounds in just over a month. I was stuck in the 190 area for awhile. Back squat working weight is back up to 385. (i also started box squatting, and I feel like I'm using all the right shit as far as muscles go now, and not going retarded when I'm in the pocket) I am still sitting steady at 200 lbs bodyweight, but I look pretty good and I'm getting stronger, really fast. Just wanted to say thanks again. You've probably been my biggest influence since Ive started lifting, aside from the other known guys like Derek Poundstone, or Mariusz, but those guys are like 6'+ tall, so its a little harder to relate to them."
Which is pretty awesome. I rule.

On to the questions:
Q- "Just started following your site and getting back to the type of lifting I like best. Thanks for the information and motivation. I have a small problem I was hoping you could help me with.

In May of 2006 I ripped my left Achilles tendon in half. Got it fixed by a great surgeon and it's doing fine. When I squat I can't get my left heel on the ground. Doc says the tendon is shorter and any length I get will have to come out of my calf. I've tried stretching it and the wife massages it every day but I'm still a little short. It doesn't seem to really effect me but I'm a little concerned about loading up to brutal 1 rep maximums. No problems dead lifting. The heel comes up when I reach for the bar but settles down fine when I take up the weight.

What do you think? Should I stop being a pussy and just go for it or is there another way to get some length back into that tendon? Any advice would be appreciated."

A- "If your heel is coming off the ground, there's a distinct possibility that your form is bad, especially given the fact that your achilles is fine during deadlifts. If you have someone who is not a total asshat whom you can ask, I'd hit them up for critques on your form. Another thing you can try is moving out your stance so that it's wide. If you deadlift conventional, that'll do the trick without any effort on your part. Check out vids of Westside lifters squatting- that'll show you a real wide stance."

His answer to that- "FIXED!
You called it Jamie. Form. I was too far forward and bowing my back. It pushed me forward and onto the ball of my left foot. My feet were too close together. I took your advice and widened my stance. I played with it a little until I found the right foot placement. I repped light with a buddy watching me to get my back straight and my hips in line. Instant success. My heel stayed on the floor through the lift."

Hell yeah. Shit Jamie, my doctor told me to forget squatting. He's a great surgeon but apparently knows dick all about lifting. Seriously, you've helped my get back into the rack when I thought I never would again.
You're a genius.
Eric S.
Salinas, California"

In case you didn't catch that, I'm a genius.
... and I'm starting to look like a mini Dave Tate.

Q- " Id prefer to have a strong OHP, but, the last time I tried to see what I could throw up, my pudgy ass tossed up a meager 295 x 2. Some time later, I attempted to do bench lockouts, with 315, and I couldn't even hold the shit locked out over my fucking head, to me that's a tad...weird. Considering my squat is at 400 now, I can lockout a fuckload more than 400, and I'm real stable and strong when I do. I was weak and extremely unstable holding that 315 locked out. Now, understanding most short guys are great pressers, I feel like I have the upper body nuts and bolts of a god damn toddler. You think this is a weak tendon/rotator issue? Anyhow I just wanted to see what you thought about it."

A- "Basically, man, you're just going to have to focus really heavily on singles. In my experience, heavy singles serve two purposes- they acclimatize you to heavy weights, so you stop fearing them, and they build great tendon and ligament strength. Give doing 15x1 a shot for a while, with your 2RM or 3RM, and see what happens."
Heavy. Singles.
Q- "Hey, I was wondering if there was a "cleaner" way to spike my energy levels, rather than eating that many calories. Im actually back up to 212 again, I was around 207. I have a hard time eating that many calories, then stopping. Not to mention its kind of expensive. What do you think? Maybe a box of banquet fried chicken or something mid week? Or something a bit more cleaner, but a caloric excess? I dont really know, what do you think?"

A- "You could try something cleaner if you wanted, but it pretty much defeats the purpose of the cheat window. It's really entirely up to you. As for having a hard time stopping, it takes nothing more than noting the exact minute you put a cheat food into your mouth, counting ahead three hours, and designating your stopping time. Fairly simple- if it doesn't get eaten in that three hours, it doesn't get eaten. Period. Give it to the dog, or your kid, or throw it out. Just get rid of it."

His Reply- "So like, every sunday and wednesday night, I eat around 20 dollars in McDonalds (because its cheap) and I have lost more fucking weight. I weight [sic] 203 now dude. You are a god damn genius. Thanks again jamie."

I fucking rule.

Q- "Hey man, I have a kind of off the wall question, but Im sure with your in depth knowledge of various supplements and your own dabbling in herbalism, you might be able to point me in the right direction. I have kind of noticed a drop in sexual libido lately and I was wondering if there were any old school herbalism type things I could take, that would increase libido like a motherfucker and/or promote testosterone production. I have did a little reading, and I already do all the natural methods. Eat fuckloads of almonds, heavy compound work, etc. You know how I lift, no need to explain. Anyhow, thanks again man."

A- I've blogged about this a bunch. Check out this and this for info on how to boost your test levels. Additionally, buy some Methyl Mass before they take it off the market. You will enjoy brutal, painful hardons and will get leaner and stronger. Best supplement I've ever tried, bar none.
“The greatest happiness is to vanquish your enemies, to chase them before you, to rob them of their wealth, to see those dear to them bathed in tears, and to use the bodies of their women as a nightshirt and support.”
- Genghis Khan


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Now playing: Warbringer - Scorched Earth
via FoxyTunes

13 October 2009

**ChAoS and PAIN'S List of People Who Can Get Fucked.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, and certainly has about as much to do with strength training and nutrition do with what sort of socks cats should wear in the summer. In any event, watch this short video and I shall commence my list thereafter.


So, without further adieu, ChAoS and PAIN's list of people who are in dire need of a stabbing:
Mike Quinn's pissed, too.
  • People who wear gloves in the gym- it's fucking gay. Now, don't get me wrong fuckers, there's nothing wrong with wanting to take a shot in the mouth, if that's what you're into, but there's gay, and then there's wearing fucking gloves in the gym. Alexander the Great was gay, and he probably cut more throats while he had a cock in the ear than most people ever get to cut in their entire lives. He was not, however, wearing a feather fucking boa or weightlifting gloves while he did so. Smooth, girlish hands are for women. Let's leave it that way, shall we?
  • People who wear belts while lifting any weight that would not require a forklift for spotting, or who wear a belt while doing the following: cable rows, bicep curls, or, fuck, anything that is not a HEAVY Olympic or powerlifting movement. Furthermore, if it's a nylon belt you've ever seen anyone at Gold's wear, you can get fucked twice, because it's a worthless piece of shit that serves as nothing more than a visual accessory announcing to the world that you intend to put on some gloves, and possibly be non-Alexander the Great gay in the locker room as a cool down after the workout.
  • People who don't realize that "a lot" is TWO FUCKING WORDS. Know how I know? BECAUSE I LEARNED IT IN THE FOURTH FUCKING GRADE. Shocking, right? Well, Bodyspace, get on the fucking ball and start posting at a 4th Grade level. Fuck my life, I hate 99.99% of the people on that disgrace to intellectualism.
  • People who are incapable of utilizing the proper they're/their/there in the course of general conversation, or you're/your, for that matter. See the above post- same thing. It's astonishing that anyone who cannot discern the difference can even turn on their computer.
  • Anyone who thinks that 12-15 reps on any lift will "get you ripped".
  • People who curl in the squat rack has been done to death. How about people who occupy any piece of equipment at any time doing bullshit, light weight, useless exercises that they saw in Men's Fitness?
  • Anyone who says like more than twice in a sentence, and more than three times in 5 minutes.
  • Anyone who watches any show with a Kardashian on it and is not filled with disgust and hatred for the entire human race. And their families, for that matter, because these are a special people whose genetic code needs to be removed from the collective pool forthwith.
Even if she violates any of the above rules, we could let this one slide.
  • Looking at the last three, pretty much every American female between the ages of 14 and 30.
That's pretty much it for today. When I become Overlord of the United States, I solemnly swear to liquidate anyone who is guilty of any of the above, so help me Norse Gods.

If there's anyone you guys wish to add, comment away.

Don't fuck with Chuck.


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Now playing: The Bad Luck 13 Riot Extravaganza - Stabbin' You Up
via FoxyTunes

08 October 2009

*There is Nothing New Under The Sun

I am consistently amused and somewhat disheartened by the propensity for people, especially in the strength training and community, to "create" programs and training styles that are simply repackaged versions of old training regimens. Of course, this hardly is a phenomenon limited to our esteemed brethren in iron, but rather is a ridiculous trait brandished unabashedly by shameless self promoters worldwide. The French, for instance, have the gall to claim that they invented modern democracy. A preposterous idea, for one, as democracy has existed for most of recorded human history, and was utilized by everyone from the Vikings to the Greeks to the medieval Japanese, but people persist in the faulty idea that the French in some way resurrected the idea for modern times, when it in fact never went away. But I digress.

An early proponent of democracy.
P90X is an immensely popular routine trumpeted on TV like it's heralding the second coming of Jesus, and bases its success on a concept called "muscle confusion". Really? I'm fairly certain one cannot confuse something that lacks a brain. As such, it's a stupid name for a concept. Semantics aside, it's not even a new concept- Joe Weider's been blathering about "Weider principle of muscle confusion", and as Joe Weider is the Thomas Edison of bodybuilding (i.e. he steals other people's ideas and makes them his own), I'd venture to guess that Weider heard it elsewhere as well. P90x is nothing new- it's what personal trainers have known for years: if you kick the everloving shit out of your client for an hour straight, forcing them to do active rest rather than sit around yapping, they'll get leaner. This is especially true if you put them on a tight diet and convince them that there's no way they can fail. Sound familiar? Yep. P90x, common sense mixed with pretty packaging and a Joe Weider aphorism thrown in on top for good measure.
P90x can make you look like this. Whee.

This brings us to the latest silliness of the Joe Weider/Frenchmen ilk. An article posted on T-Muscle recently detailed a trainer named Scott Abel's epiphany, and his utter scientific genius, in getting some douche to grow legs.

"I showed him how to do an extended set. When he notices a force decrement at around rep 8, I have him lock out and re-oxygenate. We repeat this process for every successive force decrement to the point where he's doing lock-out singles. So, even though he starts to fail at rep 8, he cranks out 22 reps for that set. And in the next set he gets 17 with the same weight. (Our goal was actually 5 sets)."

Does that sound in any way familiar to you? It sure as shit does to me, but that's because I've read more strength training books than anyone else I've ever met. What Abel did was use a fantastically absurd and arcane scientific jargon to describe PEARY RADER'S BREATHING SQUATS. Fuck me sideways, though, he made it sound pretty, didn't he? The great irony is that no one has apparently noticed this, in spite of the fact that super-vegan Mike Mahler took time out of his busy kettlebell filled days to write an article about Peary Rader's program less than a year ago. His article, however, mentioned nothing of force decrements, because even as impressed with himself as Mike Mahler is (and tip of the cap to him, he looks pretty brutal for a guy who eats like a field mouse), he's not so impressed with himself as to try to explain a simple training style as if it were quantum mechanics.

So, what's this tell us? There is definitely nothing new under the sun, and chances are, the best training regimens ever created were birthed from the minds of people who would neither care about the impact of a force decrement on their repeition scheme, and would would "re-oxygenate " WHEN THEY WERE OUT OF BREATH. Imagine.

A model posed for this sculpture in the 3rd Century AD, and I guarantee you he didn't give a flying fuck about his force decrements.

Now, go read a book on sandow.uk and tell me I'm wrong. Dismissed.

03 October 2009

**Baddest Motherfuckers Ever #6- Charles Bronson

Baddest Motherfuckers Ever #6: Charles Bronson

You might be thinking to yourself, "That looks nothing like the guy from Death Wish." Well, you're right. It doesn't. This is Charles Bronson, the person dubbed by the British press as "most violent prisoner in Britain". Now, that's a title worth having, fuckers.

Bronson, born Michael Peterson, is a former circus strongman turned shit-show of a criminal, but he's hilarious, violent, and strong enough to snap multiple pairs of handcuffs at the same time.
Crazy as a shithouse rat, but not without a sense of humor, Bronson, boasted: "I've had more hostages than Saddam Hussein." He was jailed for seven years in 1997 for taking hostage the three prisoners at top- security Belmarsh Prison, south London. During the incident in September 1996 Bronson, who was serving a 15-year sentence for possession of a firearm and hostage taking, tied up the prisoners and barricaded them in a cell with him for seven hours. He insisted his hostages call him "General" and told negotiators he would eat one of his victims unless his demands were met. At one stage, Bronson demanded one of the Iraqis hit him "very hard" over the head with a metal tray. Later, he threatened to eat one of them and demanded a helicopter to Cuba, two Uzi sub-machine guns, 5,000 rounds of ammunition, an axe, a cheese sandwich and ice cream.
He later told staff: "I'm going to start snapping necks - I'm the number-one hostage taker", and in court said he was "as guilty as Adolf Hitler".

  • In 1994, whilst holding a guard hostage at Woodhill Prison, he demanded an inflatable doll, a helicopter and a cup of tea as ransom.
  • Bronson had been known to bend cell doors with his bare hands and has been described as "probably the most disruptive inmate in the country".
  • In his latest siege, Bronson tied up prison teacher Phil Danielson with a rope and towed him round the jail for 44 hours.
  • Armed with two knives, he twice tried to harm himself during the siege. He hit himself over the head with a bottle and tore a washing machine filled with water from its socket in an attempt to electrocute himself.


Bronson has spent a total of just four months and nine days out of custody since 1974. He was released on 30 October 1988 and spent 69 days as a free man before being arrested for robbery, and then released again on 9 November 1992, spending 53 days as a free man before being arrested again, this time for conspiracy to rob.



In other words, this man is a bad motherfucker. He has a book about his workout routine, called Solitary Fitness, wherein he details his 2500+ pushup a day workouts in solitary confinement.

Good times.
Bibliography
  1. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/special-new-unit-for-britains-three-most-dangerous-prisoners-1114958.html
  2. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/646857.stm


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