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30 June 2010

Baddest Motherfuckers Ever #16- Bruno Sammartino

Back in the day, if a guy was a wrestler, he was a bona-fide badass.  The sport, which grew out of what were essentially MMA fights with less striking and more wrestling (catch style), was filled with bad motherfuckers who ate big, lifted big, and lived big.

The guy who presided over what he perceived as wrestling's fall into the chemical years (of which Hulk Hogan's apparently the evil figurehead), was the great Bruno Sammartino, a man so beloved by Italians and wrestling fans that they stabbed a heel who turned on him, smashed his cars, and flipped over cabs he was in.

Bruno was an Italian immigrant who rolled over to the US due to WW2, and landed on the shores of our nation without a fucking word of English in his vocabulary, and a physique worthy of an Auschwitz beauty pageant.  As such, a Jewish kid (of all the odd fucking things) dragged him to the Y to get him yacked so he'd stop bleeding all over the kid's mom's carpet every time he went over to the house, since Sammartino was busy getting his ass kicked every five minutes.  A couple of years of brutal fucking training later, Sammartino was a badass wrestler who received a scholarship offer for wrestling from the University of Pittsburgh, and went on to win a bunch of lifting titles.  In Sammartino's words, he "became, I thought, a pretty good wrestler. And I became a pretty strong guy to where I started competing in both Olympic lifting and power lifting. I stated setting some records, first city records, then state records. In 1959 I set some power-lifting record. That's when I did my 565-pound bench press. I did a 715-pound squat and a 690-pound dead lift. By now I'm a big guy, about 265 pounds, 270." (Lee Benaka interview)  Additionally, Bruno, who was apparently obsessed to the point of fucking distraction with the bench, bench pressed 315lbs for 38 reps in his prime.  Not too fucking shabby, especially considering the fact that he was fanatically drug free, and he put up the 565 bench with a 2 second pause on his chest.(Critical Bench)   His workouts were fucking legendary, and weren't spurred by anything but Sammartino's imagination, his defiance against gravity, and his titanic brass balls.

He fueled his lengthy, brutal, and frequent workouts by eating his fucking ass off.  At 5'11" and 270, Bruno had to have been a big eater, and according to interviews, he'd routinely put away 24 lamb chops or four pounds of steak at one sitting and eat breakfasts of 12 eggs, a loaf of bread, a whole box of cereal, and two quarts of milk.(Post-Gazette)  Rippetoe would have been proud of his total unwillingness to approach the dinner table with anything but contempt for food, and to stuff as much whole food down his gullet as humanly possible.  Luckily, Sammartino wasn't overly concerned with showing up at competitions ripped to fucking shreds, and he was lifting 6 and wrestling 7 days a week, so he was training to a point where he'd likely have dropped dead of starvation eating any other way.

Think wrestlers don't get the fuck after it?  Think again.  Bruno, the hardass, Paul Bunyan motherfucker that he was, was always busy "doing amazing feats, such as picking up the 620-pound Haystacks Calhoun and dumping him so hard that the center of the ring caved in. Or doing push-ups with two men on his back."  (Post-Gazette)

So, "what was his program?", you might be asking.  From what I was able to glean from the spotty accounts online, and sifting through innumerable bullshit posts about his alleged routine, I determined that no one seems to know much, other than he trained a fucking lot.  Larry Zbysko, Sammartino's protege, still utilizes Sammartino's bench program with clients, and it consists of the following, 2-3 times a week:
-Flat Bench
--12 reps of 135
--8 reps of 185
--6 reps of 225
--4 reps of 275
--2 reps of 315
--1 rep of 365
---then a constant increase in weight until reaching a max. Current Max: 485 lb
--8-10 reps of 315
--6-8 reps of 315
--8-10 reps of 275
-Incline Bench
--3 sets of 8 reps of 245
-Upright Rows on Cables
--4 sets of 8-10 reps
-Biceps (various workouts)
--4 sets of 8-10 reps (one workout)
--4 sets of 8-10 reps (another workout)
(Source)

Given that Sammartino himself stated that he benched 2 or three times a week, I think it's safe to say that that pantywaist bullshit you see floating around the intarwebz masquerading as a Sammartino workout is a fucking sham.
When he was 70, this was his workout, which he did 3 times a week, in addition to running 7 miles a day:
LAT PULLDOWNS: 5 sets of 15 reps: 130 lbs
SHOULDER DUMBELL RAISES: 10 sets, 15 reps each arm, 40 lbs
BENCH PRESS: 7 sets of 8 reps: 150-250 lbs
DUMBELL BENCH PRESS: 5 sets of 10 reps: 100 lbs
CURLS: 10 sets of 10 reps each arm: 40 lbs
TRI-DUMBELL EXTENSIONS: 4 sets of 15 reps: 40 lbs
LEG EXTENSIONS: 5 sets of 20 reps: 125-160 lbs
CRUNCHES: 100
LEG RAISES: 75
LEG EXTENSIONS: 75
ALTERNATE LEG RAISES: 75
BICYCLE LEG EXERCISES
BENCH CRUNCHES: 100
(Vimeo)


So much for the frequent heavy workouts fucking up one's ability to lift when they're older, right?  According to an interview with Sammartino on youtube, this cave bear of a fucking man beat the shit out of several guys at once, with the Iron Sheik coming through with a key assist.  When he was 51, he knocked out a former Steelers running back with one punch, and then proceded to kick the shit out of 5 other guys with the help of the Iron Sheik.  Apparently, Sammartino was backstage in an off-limits area and suggested the football player and his friends roll out.  After the guy took a swing at Sammartino, Sammartino KTFO'd the guy and got jumped by the dude's friends, so the Sheik rolled in and they fucked up the lot of the pussies.

That's how motherfuckers from Sammartino's day rolled, and that shit was apparently not a shoot.  Thanks to Boni, who gave me a link to a ridiculously long interview to which I didn't have time to listen and couldn't find a reliable transcript.  I'm sure he'll add 11000 Sammartino facts to this, since he's a fucking Bruno mark, haha.

What'd we learn from this?  Well, you can be a high moralist and still be Benny Podda-esque in your approach to training, you can out-eat any volume of training known to man, and lifting retardedly heavy and beating the shit out of your body every day will not necessarily lead to one being a fat, whiny, weakling, as many would assert.

Time to put that assertion to the test, fuckers.

27 June 2010

There's a Bunch of Fucking Horseshit Floating Around...

but some of it's worse than the rest.  For once, I'll be concise and jump right into it.
 Off topic, but I couldn't find my pic with her, but this was the outfit.  Fucking retarded.

Food.
  • It's a pretty fucking important factor in training.  Just how important is it?  That's a matter for some debate.  A quick google search yielded this nugget, which seems to echo the Weider crowd's opinion on the matter - "According to International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB) Professional Figure athlete Rachel Cammon, as much as 80 percent of extreme hypertrophy, as seen in bodybuilding competitions, can be attributed to the athlete's diet."  Interesting.  So, this genius, and many others in the physical culture community, believe that nutrition is 75-80% (depending on the source) of what will ultimately lead to speed, strength, and good body composition.  That's fucking absurd.  You can have the most impeccable diet in history, but if you're sitting on the fucking couch all day long, you're still going to be weak and look like shit.  It's idiots like this fucking retard that get people quibbling over dietary intake and failing to apply the same assiduous attention to the gym, and they end up sucking at the end of the day.  This just in- the guys who sat for the sculptures in ancient Greece and Rome didn't have access to protein powders, NO Explode, or any of the other happy horseshit with which you see everyone hideously preoccupied these days.  Instead, they had heavy shit to pick up repeatedly, which they did.  Same goes for the Eastern European lifters of the last 50 years- Bulgarians got ripped to shreds smoking constantly and drinking like fish, and eating a traditional diet that's 2x less thanhttp://www.abvg.net/Foods/ that of other EU members, which is still far less than us.  Now, does that mean you should eat whatever the fuck you want and try to out-train your diet?  Unless you can devote 8 hours a day to training, I wouldn't recommend it.  It does mean, however, that no matter what some douche tells you in an article on T-Nation or Bodybuilding.com, diet is not the most important factor in building muscle, gaining strength, and getting lean.  You want to look like you lift, and be able to flip over small cars for a goof when you're hammered?  Then lift, and eat as cleanly as you can, when you can.
  • Remember that just because some marketing asshole says it's good for you, doesn't mean it is.  Thus, skip the Balance Bar and eat just about anything else.  I'd generally recommend beef jerky and some nuts, if you're in a pinch, but if the choice is a hamburger or not eating for 6 hours, EAT THE FUCKING HAMBURGER.  It's far easier to burn off a couple of calories than it is to regain muscle you lose in an impromptu fast because the food choices don't fit your metabolic type.  You're not the fucking Buddha, and this isn't a fucking sit-in, so cast aside any notions you might have about asceticism in the face of shitty food and make sure you get 40-70g of protein every couple of hours.


  • Chicken is not the only fucking protein source out there.  Pavel and I don't agree on much, but we agree on this.  I read a hilarious anecdote about him eating with a guy a few years ago, and the guy ordered chicken tacos, and Pavel got pissed. He glared at the guy and said "Eating chicken makes you weak." Then he went on to tell the guy that whole eggs are good for two reasons- they're excellent for helping you build muscle and strength and they keep chickens from being born.  Try eating beef- it's more nutrient dense, it tastes better, and it's what Milo of Croton would have recommended.
 Maybe the kettlebell's just a weapon for use on chicken-lovers.
  • Whey is a waste product of the dairy industry, and they've marketed the fuck out of it.  It's not magical, and it's not the best protein source.  It's not even fucking close.  Leave that bullshit to the idiots at GNC, and save your money for a blended protein, rather than blowing it on triple-ultra-heat-denautured-hydrolyzed whey.  I've been loving Gaspari's Myofusion recently, as it's an awesome blend and it tastes fucking awesome, but I've been a big fan of shit like Matrix 5.0 in the past.  Just make sure it's a blend, so you get a steady release of protein over time. 


 Leave the whey to Little Miss Muffet. 

24 June 2010

You Want To Get Toned? How About You Just Go And Get Fucked?

The next time you hear some bitch blabber on about toning (and by bitch I don't mean chick, I mean bitch, as this insidious term seems to have crept into the vernacular of both men and women who have no clue what they're talking about with lifting), you should educate the motherfucker. Now, as much as we'd all like to educate them at the point of a sword, it's instead time to employ your rapier-like intellects rather than tossing them off the nearest tall building. Thus, put aside your hate for a moment and gather round the fire, because I'm going to fill you in on a tidbit that will invariably be ignored, but will at least expand your knowledge base and fuel your hatred for humanity all that much more.

I think I've established fairly concretely the fact that your average human being is rocking an intellect that would embarrass a banana slug. Whether this is innate or learned is a matter for some debate, but the fact remains that the average human is woefully unprepared to embark upon a program of physical fitness, mainly because they have no fucking idea what they're doing, a set of concrete goals, an idea of how to accomplish their goals, or the willpower and intestinal fortitude necessary to complete a workout of any worth. As such, they're less prepared than the idiots who settled Jamestown, but instead of starving to death and dying from drinking brackish water, these idiots will eat their fucking faces off and then bellow loudly about the fact that they're genetically predisposed to resembling some sort of land-dwelling cetacean (interesting sidenote, whales actually descended from land-dwelling mammals and are closely related to ungulates like deer, hippos, and giraffes).

 
 Michelle Levesque.  I'm sure some lazy fatass has told her they don't want to get this lean.

These idiots will regularly blather on that they do not want to look like you, because you're too muscular/lean/awesome/etc, but they just want to get "toned". You can read into this anything you want- to me, it means they're lazy and expect that they lack the requisite willpower to reach a level of physical fitness commensurate with their actual goal, and will thus settle for some sort of ephemeral toning goal. After implicitly admitting their various character faults, they will ask you pointed questions about exercise, and as you all know, they will continue doing whatever dumbass shit it was that they were doing in the first place. At this point, you, like I, most likely want to toss them in the trunk of your car, drive them to the nearest crack den, drive around back, and chokeslam them into a pile of dirty AIDS needles and broken glass for wasting your time. Instead, however, try dropping the following bit of knowledge on them.
 
Would you count this as one or two in your bodycount?    

When people are talking about toning, they're referring to myogenic tone, also known as tonus.  This phenomenon's essentially a state of partial contraction of a muscle, and that includes both smooth and striated muscle(1)- you'll find a shitload of articles on Pubmed referring to the myogenic tone of the the vascular system, for instance.  So basically, once you've achieved tonus, you're constantly flexing a bit, unconsciously.  Tonic innervation, as it's called, is achieved in one of two ways- by improving neural efficiency and by stimulating fast twitch muscle fibers.  You know how you do that?  Of course you fucking do, as you read this blog, and I've done little more than beat you over the fucking head with it- you lift very heavy weights for low reps.  To rehash a bit, however, the former head coach of the Bulgarian Olympic Weightlifting team, Ivan Abadjiev, stated that "Consistent training with high intensity loadings can increase the density of nerve impulse that can be generated by the central nervous system. Over time this allows the athlete to recruit a greater percentage of their higher threshold muscle fibres and hence significantly improve power output. Additionally, there is evidence that Type IIa muscle fibres can actually be converted to the more powerful Type IIb fibre type. Abadjiev states that these adaptations are best achieved when loadings are near maximal."(2)  High reps, conversely, stimulate slow twitch muscle fibers (Type I).  These fibers, being less dense than high twitch fibers, will engorge with blood, giving anyone with a preponderance of them a pumped look when they lift.  They won't maintain that look, however, which is why you'll see guys like Triple H walking around on the street and think he's a biker who plays pickup basketball in his free time, whereas you'd see a powerlifter like Joe Ladnier looking almost exactly the same walking around the mall as he would in the gym.
Ladnier's the guy on the right.
Given the fact that muscle tonus is best increase by lifting heavy weights, it would stand to reason that the idiot who's asking your advice would get their disgusting fatbody off the elliptical, because no, it's not going to help them "ease into the gym".  It'll let them watch tv in a different locale and will justify that bowl of ice cream they're going to eat when they get home to celebrate the fact that they managed to get their fat ass into the gym in the first place. Therefore, in the form of a gentle reminder like a brick off the side of their head, remind these fucking idiots that their high rep, machine based workouts will have them looking almost the same as when they started, in addition to the fact that they'll be criminally weak, have odd strength deficits, and will still be a fat fuck because they went to the gym and sat down on a padded bench, which is nothing more than a change in locale from what they were doing to get fat in the first place.

Go heavy or go fucking kill yourself.
1.  http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/M/Muscles.html - "Even at rest, most of our skeletal muscles are in a state of partial contraction called tonus. Tonus is maintained by the activation of a few motor units at all times even in resting muscle. As one set of motor units relaxes, another set takes over."
2.  Ivan Abadjiev + the Bulgarian Weightlifting System. http://weightliftingexchange.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=438&Itemid=60

21 June 2010

An Exercise Got You Pussywhipped? Turn It Around! Whip Dat Exercise! BANG BANG BANG!

At some point or another, everyone hits the wall harder than the one Sarah Jessica Parker lit up face first at some point in her young life, only you'll do it in the gym.  Some lift will grind to a fucking halt, and possibly even backslide a bit, as you scramble for purchase on the muddy hill of strength training greatness.  It doesn't matter if you're Isaac, crashing face-first into a dumbbell rack while all of America mocks the living fuck out of you, or Mariusz Pudzianowski.  The shit happens to everyone.  The question, then, is what to do when that wall hits you... hopefully less catastrophically than the two aforementioned scenarios.
Against all odds, uglier than Sarah Jessica Parker.

So... what to do?  Take time off?  Keep at it?  As we all know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.   By the same token, abandoning the gym altogether is also a ridiculous concept, which is one of the main reasons why I initially found HIT to be absurd.  Therefore, that option is abandoned as absurd on its face- Da Vinci never produced a wondrous work of art or science as the direct result of taking long breaks from creating shit- the man was instead one of the most prolific inventors and artists of all time.  Likewise, your squat's not going to go through the roof due to long layoffs and abandonment of that exercise.  You don't win a war by surrendering... and all an armistice will get you is years of annoyance, just like it has in the Korean penninsula.  I recently discovered, though an unlikely, unusual, and frankly surprising bout of introspection, that my efforts to overcome a slump in the gym fall squarely in line with those I implement to overcome a creative block in drawing or writing.  As such, I thought I'd post some suggestions from about.com in re creative block to show you what I mean.
Da Vinci- polymath, evolutionary biologist, painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, paleontologist, cartographer, botanist, writer, and the first known person to utter the phrase "I pity tha fool."
  • "What I like to do is look at my portfolios of old paintings I did back when I had inspiration. I also look at any other artwork that I left off with, and try to put myself back where I was before I'd lost my inspiration. Sometimes, I'll go back to places I used to spend a lot of time at while painting, either someplace I painted at, or just someplace I frequented that might help me get my focus back." -- Chickymoc
  • "I cut out things in magazine, so I can have some guidance when I paint." -- Nonne3
  • "Grab a few canvases and gesso or basecoat a color of acrylic paint on them in preparation. Or take some turps, dip a rag or crushed-up paper towel in it and then in raw sienna or ochre or whatever, and create a toned canvas, in preparation of painting in oils. Just this simple action somehow makes you feel that you are 'in the groove' of painting, and who knows, you just might start touching that brush to canvas and be on your way!" -- Rosie"Reading helps but continuing to try is the best way of coming out of a creative slump." -- RPBaker
  • "Try a new style or medium." -- RPBaker
  • "Hang out with other artists and watch them work, until you find yourself painting (interacting) with them, too." -- Fairygold
The singer from DEP would probably eat the children of the mullets mentioned hereafter. 

Notice that none of these people suggested taking time off from what they're stalled on, and these are people whom most mullets in the gym would likely call pussies, and just about anyone on a message board would call gay.  You can take those suggestions, however, and apply them to lifting fairly easily, so that they read:

  • "I like to review past 1rms in a bunch of different lifts.  I'll also come up with lifts I used to love doing, but haven't done in a while.  Then, I start forcing myself to do both." -- Chickymoc
  • "I read a bodybuilding magazine, realize half of the oiled-up nutbags therein are far more jacked and strong than I, and resolve to stop sucking so fucking much." -- Nonne3
  • "Grab any barbells that happen to be preloaded and laying around, and lift them, with no fucking rhyme or reason whatsoever.  Just give them hell.  It might look fucking stupid, but it could get interesting, and amusing.  Additionally, it'll be fun to annoy all of the mullets by grabbing their pissant bench weight and hang cleaning and pressing it from the bench inbetween their sets" -- RPBaker
  • "Try a new lift or rep scheme." -- RPBaker
  • "Hang out with other lifters and watch them lift, until you find yourself lifting and interacting with them, too." -- Fairygold
Clearly, this is not fucking rocket science.  If you find yourself stalled in the gym, it's probably your own fucking fault.  I get emails all the time about guys whos squats have stalled, and they've been doing the same fucking set and rep scheme for the last year.  OF COURSE IT FUCKING STALLED OUT.  There's a reason this is called Chaos and Pain- there's nothing fucking chaotic about doing the same goddamn thing every time you enter the gym.  To the kid who emailed me that he does just that- STOP IT.  I mean, for fuck's sake, try this, which I've done a couple of times with a lifting partner and found it to be amusing:
All those hours playing Warhammer are about to pay off. 

Bring some dice to the gym.  If you've got umpteen-sided RPG dice, definitely bring one of them and a 6 sided die, or you can bring a couple regular run of the mill 6 siders- I don't care.  Bring two.  for each lift, roll 1 die to determine the order.  Assuming you have less than 5 lifts, just roll it a couple of times to get your first two lifts, and then arrange the rest arbitrarily... by alphabetical order or something.  Once you've got that done, do the following:
  • Roll one of the RPG dice or both regular ones.  Whatever number comes up will be your sets.  If you dislike the number, roll again.  You don't need to be a slave to the dice.
  • Roll one or both of the 6 siders to get your number of reps.
  • Repeat for each successive exercise.
If that's too convoluted for you, just pick a different set and rep scheme.  If you're doing 9x4, go to 15x1, or 6x5, or 10x3, or do a couple of sets of 100.  You can also modify the exercise.  Go from BTNs to OH Squat lockouts, or front press... go from back squat to front squat... from deadlifts to cleans... you get the idea.  Whatever you do, don't keep doing what you're doing, since it's obviously not working. Get fucking crazy, and make that shit happen... even if you have to wear a wolf mask while you lift to do so.

It worked for Benny Podda.
 


16 June 2010

The Government Doesn't Like You. In All Probablility, It Hates You.

The populist bullshit about the government being for us and by us is nothing but leftist claptrap. In truth, the government is nothing but a conglomeration of rich people who refuse to work for a living and who get rich off kickbacks and graft. As such, their recommendations, like the USRDA, are about as valid as a Star Wars nerd's claim that Jar Jar Binks added levity to the prequels. Carbs are cheap and plentiful, while protein is not. Our government has proven, ad infinitum, that they will skimp every fucking time on services and goods for the people, but line their fucking pockets while they do it.  Meanwhile, protein makes you mentally and physically strong, and strong people are hard to control. Plebes raised on gruel, however, are easy to control- they're weak and softheaded. This is why, in spite of the fact that Americans suffer from more chronic illnesses than any other people in the history of our species, people still respect the recommendations of the government when considering what to eat, what drugs to take, and what is "safe".


I'm here to tell you that if you're one of those people, you should jump back and punch yourself right in the fucking face.  The government NEVER has your best interests at heart. they have only the special interests in mind, because they're heartless, soulless, greedy motherfuckers who would love to see you dead, except that dead people don't pay taxes.


To wit:  

Modern man suffers an unprecedented amount of degenerative disease.  Two of the biggest lobbyist groups are healthcare and agribusiness.  Between the two of them, they have a vested interest in you accumulating massive amounts of degenerative diseases, which the healthcare industry can later profit from fixing.  If the recommendations the government provided, upon which things like school lunches are based (and which many Americans blindly follow as nutritional lemmings), were in any way healthy, our kids wouldn't be fat pieces of lazy shit, and our fucking teeth wouldn't be falling out.  Weston Price showed definitively, years ago, that the modern diet is at least in large part to blame for the massive number of cavities and other assorted dental problems from which modern Americans suffer.  He provided ample evidence his book to support his supposition, and as a dentist, he likely knew what he was fucking talking about.  It was his seminal work that gave rise, in large part, to the paleo dieting movement.  Does the government support his recommendations?  Hell no.  In spite of the fact that he's the only person who's made a compelling argument for the dramatic increase in dental caries over the last 200 years, in spite of the American obsession with dental health that borders on psychosis.  The government, in collusion with the ADA, blames everything from lead to a failure to floss, but not the carb-laden diet supported by agribusiness and the government.  Heavens, no!  It couldn't be that!  The teeth of paleolithic people stay in their fucking heads, and are strong enough to chew through plate steel.  Likewise, neither the government nor their lackeys can account for the exponential rise in degenerative diseases over the past 100 years, and tend to blame the problem on increased longevity, in spite of the fact that paleolithic cultures with similar life expectations don't suffer from cancer, bone degeneration, or any of the other horseshit plaguing our old people.  Maybe that's because no one in their society profits from their feebleness, as pharmaceutical and insurance companies do in our own.  Instead, their society profits from people so fucking hardcore that we have to look to their third world shitholes for evidence of elderly people who are hard as the nails through which they can bite,  like the 73-year-old Kenyan man who used his bare hands to tear out the tongue of a leopard that attacked him.


Same goes for obesity.  The government blames Big Macs and transfats.  Are they contributors?  Sure, but not on the scale that "healthy" foods like spaghetti are.  And why?  Because the government subsidizes the living shit out of agribusiness to provide cheap, inferior calories for the proles to consume before they can trudge to their miserable jobs, soft-headed, and accept whatever fate is forced upon their flabby bodies and minds.  It's long been known that cults like the Hare Krishnas and Scientologists, use a diet high in carbohydrates and low in protein in conjunction with sleep deprivation to aid in brainwashing their members.  An interesting parallel can be drawn between that and the US work ethic and diet, it seems.

Look at this wacky pile of nutritional horseshit.  
  • GO LEAN WITH PROTEIN?  How can you BE lean without it?  Want a catchy rhyme with which to replace that?  How about "Eat like motherfucking Hannibal- Out of meat? Become a cannibal".
  • This bullshit is easily 60-70% carbs. 
  • They fail to acknowledge that corn and potatoes are starches, rather than vegetables, for one.  The glycemic load for Corn Flakes is higher than it is for fucking CocoPops, for fuck's sake, and corn on the cob has a higher load than Wonder bread.
  • They pair beans with meats, which is fucking absurd.  Beans don't provide a protein about as complete as the combined personalities of those whores from the Hills, and shouldn't ever be directly compared with meat.  And don't even get me fucking started on soy.  Ah, well, fuck it- it ruins your metabolism, raises estrogen, lowers testosterone, and might just be generally toxic. (PUBMED)  I've posted about it ad naseum, but it still has me shot right out of a fucking cannon.  Guess what Scientologists make new "recruits" eat?  Beans and rice. 
  • 5 oz of 95% lean beef yields 39g protein.  That's it.  That's all the government recommends. 

Frankly, if you're not compelled at this point, you have all of the rationality and critical analysis skills of Nick Nolte.  Nevertheless, here's a couple of other things the government does for you on a daily basis to make you more docile, weaker, and generally more pathetic every day:
  • they poison your water, or refuse to filter out gonadotropic and psychotropic substances, and recommend you drink 8 glasses a day.  A 2008 study found "Antibiotics, anti-depressants, and estrogen" in our drinking water.  Additionally, "British research suggests that estrogen, the female sex hormone, is primarily responsible for deforming reproductive systems of fish, noting that blood plasma from male trout living below sewage treatment plants had the female egg protein vitellogenin. This finding would seem to be consistent with what U.S. researchers suspect has occurred downstream from treatment plants in Las Vegas and Minneapolis. Carp in these areas show the same effects as the British fish."
  • they openly poisoned alcohol during the prohibition, and killed 10,000+ people doing so.
  • pesticides are carcinogenic, yet the government promotes their use wholeheartedly.  The book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson details this thoroughly, giving "most of her attention to insecticides, herbicides and fungicides, since these are the most dangerous poisons. She shows the futility of relying on them or any new substitutes offered to counteract the swift evolution of immunity to chemical control shown by more and more insects and fungus diseases. She quotes an authority on cancer, Dr. W. C. Hueper of the National Cancer Institute, who has given “DDT the definite rating of a ‘chemical carcinogen’”--a cancer inducer. She notes that “storage of DDT [in the body] begins with the smallest conceivable intake of the chemical (which is present as residues on most foodstuffs) and continues until quite high levels are reached. The fatty storage depots act as biological magnifiers, so that an intake of as little as one-tenth of 1 part per million in the diet results in storage of about 10 to 15 parts per million, an increase of one hundredfold or more. * * *In animal experiments, 3 parts per million has been found to inhibit an essential enzyme in heart muscle; only 5 parts per million has brought about necrosis or disintegration of liver cells; only 2.5 parts per million of the closely related chemicals dieldrin and chlordane did the same.” Other modern insecticides are still more deadly. Nor did the discovery of their poisonous character “come by chance: insects were widely used [during World War II] to test chemicals as agents of death for man.” (NY Times)
Throw all of this in a blender, and what do you get?  Yeah, I know, I've already picked out my cabin in the woods, and am thinking of changing my name to Ted Kaczynsky Lewis, but the shit is justified.  The government actively attempts to subvert any attempt by its people to assert themselves, and does so by keeping you drugged, half-starved, and confused.  Thus, the next time you hear or read a recommendation by the government on the consumption of controlled substances, vitamins, supplements, or food, take a long look at what they've suggested and the reasons why.  Nine times out of ten, their recommendations will be outright lies, and their reasoning will be predicated entirely upon their ability to control the populace and line their pockets through kickbacks or taxation.  They can do this because the American people have no redress- the government is completely insulated from civil suits by the doctrine of sovereign immunity, and electing another politician simply puts the money in another professional liar's hands.  Two of the only respectable members of the government we've ever had didn't trust the government- Teddy Roosevelt and Jesse Ventura.  Jesse's moved to fucking Mexico because of the bullshit constantly coming out of Washington, and Teddy devoted his entire life to working against the establishment, when he wasn't busy boxing pro fighters or stabbing big game to death with a salad fork.  If they didn't trust the government, maybe you shouldn't either.

Listen to me! You have to consider the possibility that the government does not like you, never wanted you, and in all probability, it HATES you. It's not the worst thing that can happen. 
We don't NEED them! 
Fuck damnation, man! Fuck redemption! We're the government's unwanted children, SO BE IT!

 

11 June 2010

Ask the Asshole #7- Bring The Motherfucking Ruckus

Q: I've been reading the John Broz Q&A on the bodybuilding.com forums. He says that, ideally, one should squat to max everyday. This is because squatting is not too taxing on the CNS, and they use such large muscles. He says that squatting less actually makes you more prone to injury, since your muscles and tendons will be recovering at different rates. What's your take/experience with this?


Here's what I'm thinking about doing, with AM being very light and PM being very heavy.


AM: Bears-------------PM: Back Squats
AM: Back Squats---PM: Push/Pull
AM: Bears-------------PM: Front Squats
AM: Back Squats---PM: Push/Pull
AM: Bears-------------PM: Back Squats
AM: Back Squats---PM: Push/Pull


A: Usually, I find that squatting more than three times a week makes me cramp horribly around my knees. This is not knee pain- it's cramping in the muscles of my quads near their insertions, accompanied by a preponderance of small knots clustered around the tendons that anchor my quads.  A good way to test this is to squat as many times as you want for two weeks in a row.  Just fucking have at it.  Then, at the end of the two weeks, try to jump up and slap the ceiling or something.  When you 1) have a vertical leap worthy of a middle school girl playing for the special ed team, and 2) collapse to the fucking ground when your legs lock up upon landing and then roll around on the ground screaming for someone to put a bullet in your ear and end your misery, you'll know you squatted too often.


As for your routine, I HATE squatting in the morning, and I think it's dangerous to squat to max in the am, due to the fact that your spinal column isn't lubricated, and your discs could be drier than Paris Hilton's faux vagina.  That bitch's libido is faker than her face.  That aside, I'd stick to light front squats for your morning workouts, to avoid blowing out your spine and your o-ring, and then shitting your pants and being permanently banned from the gym and crippled.


Q: Hello Jamie I've got a question for you. I do martial arts and sessions are 3-4 times a week running about two hours each. The sessions can be pretty taxing, usually my heart is pumping pretty hard in an interval pattern. Due to the transitioning through various movements and rests etc. I am around 12-13% bf and eat paleo and want to get to about 8-9% bf. Would your keto diet be ok considering my training schedule and get me to what I want to be? Also would carbs from green veggies knock you out of keto? Thanks!


A: Duchaine believes they would. I'm not convinced, but I'd go without veggies during your first couple of keto runs.  Various pundits have proffered the idea that one would actually benefit greatly from switching to a ketogenic diet to aid endurance performance, a supposition that's supported by at least one study: HELGE, J├śRN W.; WULFF, BOLETTE; KIENS, BENTE, "Impact of a fat-rich diet on endurance in man: role of the dietary period." Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: March 1998 - Volume 30 - Issue 3 - pp 456-461.  In that study, they found that "time to exhaustion, when exercising at the same absolute workload, was similar in T-FAT and T-CHO at all tests and was significantly increased by 166% and 150% in T-FAT and T-CHO, respectively, after 4 wk."  Compelling, to be sure, but I'd suggest you dabble in a bit of the old quackery and determine your metabolic type before you throw yourself headlong into ketogenic dieting for endurance training.  I know that I keto dieted during my sophomore year of college while wrestling, and I had no problem with endurance, though I was fucking chugging that godawful Metaform Heat shit three times a day and narrowly avoided multiple heart attacks doing so.  Those old heads amongst you might remember it- Weider's knockoff of Met-Rx, in Chocolate Raspberry, smelling like a syphilitic whore's crotch and tasting like the same after she spent a week drinking Tijuanan water and eating Taco Bell, plus enough ephedrine to jumpstart a dead rhino into a suicide charge that'd make the Charge of the Light Horse look like a casual stroll through botanical gardens.  Brutal shit, that.  Alas... I find myself missing it.
Fucker had to get one thing right in his life... and now it's off the market.

Q: Jamie, do you have any history on the BTN push press? Is it indeed a Scandanavian/Euro Strongman lift? Or something that percolated in from discus/shotputters? Be curious to get some BTN lore.

A:  Unfortunately, I do not.  I fancy myself something of a scholar, if you hadn't noticed, but this isn't an exercise that I obtained by reading about it or seeing it done.  For me, this evolved naturally out of an exercise that I started doing for no reason whatsoever, and that was the eventual catalyst for the methodology I now espouse.  The exercise is one that is probably not unique to me, but I've never seen anyone else do- squat to BTN press.  Similar to a thruster, only from the back.  As such, they're not as fluid, but I move a hell of a lot more weight than a crossfitter on thrusters.  I drop into a deep squat, sit at the bottom for a beat or two, and then explode up, driving the back off my shoulders as I hit full extension.  I discovered that if I shortened my squat, I was able to press a hell of a lot more... which is how I came to start doing BTN push presses.  About six months later, I saw a video of Mariusz doing them, and started throwing a hell of a lot more weight on the bar and really going for fucking broke on them.  Seeing the strongest guy on the planet destroying your 1rm completely on an exercise you thought you'd invented is a sobering event- the realization that I wasn't an innovator, and that I got pwned at my favorite exercise was probably akin to Robert Downey Jr's realization that he had gotten so fucking hammered that he broke into his neighbor's house and passed out their kid's race car bed- it's not a good time.

Thus, my apologies, but I have no lore to impart. 

Q: Dear Mr Chaos & Pain,
thank you for the opportunity to pose questions. For the behind the neck push variations how does one get the bar back down without hurting ones neck ??? for light weights it is easy, but as we get heavy ???? thanks so much for your time and patience. i especially enjoy your colorful use of adjectives in your blog.
all the best


A:  For the record, I'm consistently impressed with the number of people who read this blog from non-English speaking countries.  Thank fuck for google translate, I suppose.  There is, however, one thing I find irksome with this message beyond the lack of capitalization, abandonment of apostrophes, and sentence fragments- the fucking multiple question marks.  Has the world simply thrown in the fucking towel?  Do you really think that a single question mark is insufficient to convey the fact that your statement is of an interrogative nature?  If so, allow me to allay your fears-
IT'S NOT. 

That stated, the BTN press is a tricky one- drop the bar too high and you end up with a brutal crick in your neck and a three day headache.  Drop it too low and you strain the shit out of your biceps and brachialis.  Thus, my suggestion is for you to drop it in the middle.  The only way to determine where that spot is is through trial and error, and greasing the holy living fuck out of the groove, Pavel style.  That means a lot of reps.  Not lots per set- lots of low rep sets.  Practice doesn't make perfect- perfect practice does, and you want to practice the same way you'll play, so keep the reps low and hammer away until you're comfortable with the exercise. 
"Neurogeeks never got around to telling iron heads that repetitive and reasonably intense stimulation of a motoneuron increases the strength of its synaptic connections and may even form new synapses. Translated in English it means that multiple repetitions of a bench press will ‘grease up’ this powerlift’s groove. More ‘juice’ will reach the muscle when you are benching your max. The muscle will contract harder and you will have a new PR to brag about. Four times powerlifting world record holder Dr. Judd Biasiotto set up a bench in his kitchen, got in the habit of hitting it every time he was in the area and put up a 319BP @ 132!"(Tsatsouline, Pavel.  "Grease the Groove for Strength"

Q: What are your recommendations for breakfast on Paleo when trying to gain weight. I'm as low on bodyfat as I want to go (5-7%). I have recently tried adding oatmeal (.5 cup dry) to my breakfast of 4 whole eggs, some meat, and olive oil. Your thoughts?


A:  Paleo's not the way you really want to go if you're attempting to pack on mass.  Yeah, it'll get you fucking lean, and it will keep you fucking lean, but strict paleo generally doesn't provide enough calories for you to gain much weight.  That's where the carb cycling comes in.  I've had a lot of success cycling days of no carbs, medium carbs, and higher carb/cheat meal days.  Doing so also cycles caloric intake, as I've found that caloric intake, when keeping fat and carbs inversely proportional, also keeps calories inversely proportional.  Thus, on low carb days, kcals are relatively high, as a gram of fat has 9 calories, as opposed to a gram of protein or carbs, which has 4.  Thus, cycling lowcarb-medcarb-highercarb is effectively a high calorie-low calorie-medium calorie cycle, and adding cheat meals adds to the metabolic fun.  

As I rarely eat breakfast foods (although I will make sausage biscuit sandwiches using lowfat Bisquik and Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage [to which you could also add egg and cheese, if you're so inclined] on the occasional cheat meal day), I wouldn't recommend my breakfast for most.  A typical breakfast for me consists of one of my proprietary low carb/high protein pizzas, wings, or a lb of 93% lean ground beef... i.e., the same thing I'd eat for any other meals.  I abandoned meal names long ago for a numerical feeding time system, and concurrently abandoned traditional meal foods.  Thus, asking me about breakfast food advice is akin to asking Tara Reid to help you with your homework in Quantum Mechanics.

I will, however, recommend that you keep your non-training days as close to no-carb as possible to facilitate lean mass gain and prevent lipogenesis. 


It's a fucking shame that stupidity is kryptonite for my cock.

Q: I was thinking about the post of baddest mother fuckers and how Grimek was still crushing shit when he was in his 70's. I was thinking about how i want to be when im old so i just wanted to know your opinion on it also because i respect your opinion. also i wanted to know your opinion on heavy long term weightlifting and joint health? keep up the good shit man its up to us to make a difference in this place called Earth....

A:  This brings up an interesting point.  As I'm sure you've already realized, people will blather on endlessly about how "this shit won't work once you turn 30/40/50."  I recently had a guy tell me that when I turned thirty, I was going to start having trouble getting out of bed, I'd be losing body parts like a fucking leper, and I would generally wish I was dead if I continued on lifting in this manner.  I didn't tell the guy I was 33, given that he was 29 and acting like he was older than Methusela, but that shit cracks me up.  Heavy partials have been definitiely proven to improve tendon and ligament strength.  My lower back's so fucking strong from constant singles with 90+ 1RM that it'd easily hand a small caliber gunshot.  I wake up in the morning and fucking piss excellence.

Thus, what will I be like when I'm 70?  Hopefully, fucking 30 year olds and mocking the fuck out of pussies in the bar who lift with gloves and fear everything under the sun, much like the most interesting man in the world from the Dos Equis commercials (my mom has a tattoo that reads "Son") would do.  There's far too much bullshit going on in the world, and like Jesse the motherfucking Body, I ain't got time to bleed.  Other than my elbow, which is fucked from wrestling (not powerlifting) and healed at a rate that blew my fucking orthopedist doctor's mind (bear in mind the man is a butcher and a hack, and I'd like to see him pureed and spread on a fucking Triscuit cracker for the mockery of medicine he applied to my injured limb), I have no joint problems.  I have a coworker who threw out his back SITTING DOWN IN A FUCKING DECK CHAIR who's my age... I think I'll be just fucking fine at 70, and so will you.  Just keep it fucking brutal. 

Q:  I've been chewing d-bol like they're fucking Flinstones vitamins and am scared I'm losing my hair.  Any ideas?

A:  Actually, yeah.  My dad's been bald since he was 19, and I'm hell-bent on not joining him in the land of the hairless.  As such, I use the following- Nizoral shampoo, Rogaine, and Proscar.  The first two are topical treatments, and the third is a generic Finasteride i get from inhousepharmacy.com.  Shit's keeping it solid on the hair front.  That's my recommendation, vain and ridiculous as it might seem.
He might be old, but he's a bad motherfucker. 
Oh, and take some fucking milk thistle, fucker.  

That's it for this iteration of ask the asshole.  There's a shitload more questions I need to answer, and you can rest assured that I'll do so on my time, but I'll do it, haha. 

08 June 2010

Ask the Asshole #6... Results Time

Let me start off by stating that there's no such thing as stupid questions... just stupid people.  If you've got questions, feel free to shoot me an email at chaos_and_pain@yahoo.com, and I'll answer them.  That stated, if you ask a particularly stupid question, I will mock you for it.


First off, I've never trained kids.  I don't like kids, don't know any kids, and pretty much studiously avoid children.  That said, this guy has pretty much got the fucking greatest endorsement of CnP of all time, and he uses it to train kids.  Plus, he's putting his kids to good use, which is a refreshing change from the general trend of a nationwide competition to produce the noisiest, fattest, dumbest asshole kid ever.


His email:
Those are my two sons in the pic with me. My oldest 15 has been spotting me since he was 7. The youngest spots his brother and holds my boards.



They both have their own lifting regimens. Me and my oldest boy decided to add CnP to our workouts about four months ago for wrestling season and stuck with it. It really helps with explosiveness! We pretty much do heavy singles/doubles mixed with 5/3/1 as a warm-up, just to track progress. The youngest does a circuit of 5x80lb deads-10 pull ups-15 burpees-20 feet elevated push ups, as fast as he can for 5 sets. They are gonna be beasts! 

You can see the two of them get down on YouTube wrestling. Check out 'lele messin' around again' I'm the big block coaching in the background. Think of them as a CnP teen lifting proteges. They fuck shit up! CnP is the shit.


A:  That shit is just fucking cool.  Does that seem like a recipe for disaster?  Yep, but the broken jaw when that bar slips out of his hands will make his mouth more chaotic.  And painful.


That email came in the spate of emails I got about doing the same lift everyday.  I got a gang of them, none of which called me an asshole because someone lost weight/died/got cancer of the AIDS/lost strength, or anything else negative. 
 Instead:

  •  5 day of traditional deadlift in a row and I hit a 20 lb. PR. Failed on that weight the day before, pulled it the next. Went from 405 to 425 (I'm a sumo puller, so this is way off my best pull of 475, but still). Feeling great and planning on pulling again today. Normally deadlift wrecks me, but I'm so used to it after only 5 days that I think I could keep this up for quite some time. I'll keep you in the loop as I hit more PR's.  
  • [Same guy, a day or two later] Funny story. Just did second session of the day. 435 went up EASY. Camera ran out of memory though, so I tried again. This time I pulled 445 and got it on video. So that's a 40 lb. total PR in 6 days of deadlifting. Haha.
  •  From CnP's wordiest adherent... you guys know and love him... 1. Doing bench press every day, at 5 sets of triples at 10 lbs. did not cause me to lose strength in BP. The previous week, I brought my 5 x 3 weight up to 235, but for the week I dropped it to 225 starting on the second day.

    2. Each day, I supersetted the BP with a squat or a deadlift, alternating the days (BP + squat on M, W, and F, BP + DL on T & Th). As you can see in my logs, supersetting the lifts, which “conventional wisdom” says “never do this!” did not impact either the BP or the other lift.

    3. Nearly every day I attempted a PR. Each time I came very close. On Friday (deep into the week) I hit a partial squat PR and blew my previous PR away by something like 20 or 30 lbs. I think. Clearly, this level of lifting did not demolish my body’s ability to push.

    4. All of this was done while eating 5 – 15 grams of carbs per day. ZERO supplements other than protein shakes (just whey, casein, egg, etc.), 3 fish oil caps a day, 3 glucosamine/MSM caps a day, and 1 Animal Pak a day. I stopped taking trib after a 6 week experiment ages ago (last time I took it was early February I think) so I am 100% natural, and then some. Remember, I do not even consume caffeine. As we can see, a lack of carbs did not hurt my ability to lift, even after 5 days and supplements were not needed for this either.

    5. I still had enough gas in the tank after 5 days of this to spend Saturday doing loading/spotting for ten hours at a PL meet; I had a light breakfast that day and 2 slices of pizza for lunch, and that was my only food between 8 AM and 8 PM. There was only 1 break, about 30 minutes halfway through. I had full mental acuity and body strength, no back pains/cramps, or any other ill effects other than being super hungry.

    6. After all of this Monday I came into the gym and blasted bench press again and managed to set a PR for triples… at 10 lbs. less than my 1RM. I think that is proof that training a lift every day for 5 days straight does not necessarily burn you out on that lift.

    DL PR attempt (failed on lockout) from the second day of the week and a 675 lb. partial squat PR from the 5th day of the week.
  • I squatted for 7 days. First 3 days I was sore but ok. Day 4 and I was hurting. I could barely walk. I decided to try massage and hobbling around the block to move the lactic acid out of my legs. On days 4 and 5 my weight was way off (but I still squatted). By day 6 I was feeling better and on day 7 I was squatting the same weight as day 1! I'll be going for a squat PR this week.
    I went for the PR on deadlift. I chose day 7 because I was feeling good. I made it, kinda. I pulled 495 for 2. Best I've done so far is 495 for a single.

    Thanks for the challenge Jamie. It was fun and I learned 3 things.
    I wasn't squatting enough before. Too much time on the bench press. That's changed now.
    I can do a lot more than I thought I could.
    Age doesn't mean shit. I'm damn near 51 and I've got a lot of room to grow and get better.
  • From the handstand pushups guy on chaosandpain.com, who's not had access to a gym, so he's just been lifting a fucking rock every day:  The results of lifting the rock for a week straight were nothing short of fucking amazing. Although the rock isn't getting any lighter, my work rate has increased massively and I gained a fuckton of strength. When I started it was a battle to pull it off the ground, by the end I was pulling it twice in a relatively short amount of time, and I just ripped it off the ground 3 times in about a 15 second span. I also have the lighter rock which I can shoulder fairly easily now, so I don't touch it except for gripping it any which way seems possible, cleaning it and then pressing it. The other parts of my training have consisted of dips and a lot of variations on the broad jump.

    Oh, and I've also been training for almost 20 days without stopping now, alternating between lifting the heavy rock and doing grip work and broad jumps, with the longest break from lifting the heavier rock having been 3 or 4 days.

     


Draw your own conclusions.  I'm not going to post all of the emails I received, because they all essentially state the same thing- the harder you push yourself, the better your body adapts.


Another email I got recently that was fairly fucking badass was the following:


Those were just two of the pics he sent, but the dude gained almost 4 lbs of LBM and lost 4% bodyfat in 6 weeks training  "balls to the wall 6 days a week with two workouts a day."  He also "dropped 3/4 of an inch off my waist, gained an inch and a half on my chest, and inch and a quarter on my arms, a quarter inch on my forearms, a half inch on my neck, and an inch on my quads. Overall I dropped from 12 to 8% body fat and lost 1 lb of body weight overall, 155 down to 152 lbs." My strength gains in my upper body have added 20 to 30 lbs on each lift, but my lower body lifts have stayed about the same, at least they haven't declined. I [attribute] the lack of progress in legs, to running 3 miles three days a week (the running is solely for the Army) and for the last month I have been training for a 25K Road March in 50 lbs of body armor and gear that will be taking place at the end of June. It averages over 100 degrees by 9 AM now so needless to say I sweat my ass off sitting in the tent all day long."  


His diet: 
  • 3500-4000 cals a day, using carb cycling style diet, because it's too hard to go keto with the food options at the chow hall. 
  • supplements with protein powder (monster milk). 
  • takes in 
  • between 300-350 grams of protein a day and cycles the carbs and fats depending on my workouts for the day. He finds himself stuffing himself every meal (7-8) to get this in, as the heat destroys his appetite.
The rest of his email: "Now I am completely satisfied with the strength gains, and I think that eventually when I get out of the desert I can get the strength increases in my lower body lifts, but I am on the hunt for some mass. I would love to see 170 at 7-8% BF. Any advice would be outstanding. I know I am going against a lot to gain in the desert, but I will not be satisfied with mediocre results. Do you have any more tips, on going for mass, I have read probably 99% of your stuff and applied as much as I can while in the sand box. Also, I read about the methyl mass, how do you feel about PHs in general and if so do you have any particular favorites or stack?"
A:  My best bodyweight gains have come in the last 6-8 months, in which I've utilized a very high calorie ketogenic diet punctuatedcarb carb up with a cheat meal on Friday night.  I'm leaning out somewhat slowly, but my bodyweight is basically the same, and after carbups I'm actually heavier than I was when I started to keto diet again.  For you, the cessation of all of that fucking running in the heat nonsense will be the key, I think.  


As for prohormones, I'm a moderate fan of them.  There's a lot of chaff from which you have to separate the wheat, but I love the Methyl Mass, and I recently heard of Rage RV8, which is the old Halodrol, Superdrol, and Trenbolone blended together.  Your liver will hate you, but if you double or triple the dose, I'm betting you'll gain a considerable amount of weight.  You won't however, likely pass a steroid test on that shit.  That's a stack in and of itself, but you could always use that with the MM preworkout, and then load the fuck up on liver support, haha.


So, there you have it.  Apparently, the Bulgarians weren't wrong- if you train more, be you old, a little kid, or a goofball lifting a rock in your yard while wearing clothes you stole from a kid at the public library, you will get fucking stronger.  


If anyone had shitty results, I haven't heard about it.  I ended up benching 385 with no lift and no spotter the Monday after benching 9 times in that week, which I'd not even done prior to my elbow surgery.  


More's not always better, but I'll continue to keep erring on that side, because the alternative is being fat, weak, AND lazy, rather than just fat and weak, haha.