So, after a brief hiatus, RAW Unity 5. Though I'd like to say the interlude was simply due to my waiting for the publishing of the photos and vids of the meet, it was due in very large part to me being a bit burned out and pissed off after the meet. Right after the meet ended, I had a startling revelation that I solemnly vow to never do again- I didn't listen to my own fucking advice. Let's roll it back to last year, when I wrote:
In a previous blog, I posted a quote from the seminal grindhouse film Planet Terror, in which a retardedly hot, pole-dancing, ass-kicking, peg-legged Rose McGowan stated that "goals become the thing you talk about, rather than the thing you do." That's a fairly accurate summation of my opinion of goals with regard to weightlifting (an life in general), and I thus view the myriad posted goals on Bodyspace and similar sites just as I do a wheezing, sweaty, pre-diabetic, allegedly human mass of fat cells with eyeballs purchasing a supersize meal at McDonalds with a Diet Coke- they're laughable and pathetic.
Were you to lack the experience I've had, you might be tempted to set those kinds of goals... especially when you're surrounded by monuments to mediocrity erected by people entirely bereft of pride all over the internet. If you allow these idiots, who've posted their unbelievably embarrassing numbers online in a multitude of places, to program your subconscious into believing that those number are what you're likely to reach, you're fucked. Their Facebox updates and forum signatures are the internet's equivalent of the Persian assault on the Greeks at Thermopylae. They're repetitive, toothless, and generally fucking sad, but the sheer weight of numbers can leave you well and truly fucked if you're unprepared to deal with them. Just as those hapless turbaned were driven onto the spear points of the Spartans by the swords of their officers and covered the Grecian landscape like locusts, so do the ambassadors of suck online. Thus, it's important that you look to more inspirational sources and leave those idiots to their discussion of which brand of sock/briefs/shoes/supplements might pus them to a 400 lb shitfest of a back squat. This is especially important at night, when the defenses your conscious mind erects to outside influence on your subconscience are at their weakest. (Van Fleet 54-55)"
What'd I fucking do? I told half the free world that I was going to break two world records. Not that I was going to attempt to do so, but that I was going to do it. As the meet drew closer, I started freaking the fuck out, since I realized that anything I did that didn't involve breaking those records would be viewed, at least by me, as an abject fucking failure. Three days out from the meet, I hit 585 for two to depth and decided that there was no way I was not going to do it. All I had to do was show up, make weight, and collect my money.
I was wrong.
I had my aims all muddled the fuck up- I started thinking about the destination, rather than the journey, and in doing so fucked up my motivations irrevocably. When doing something for material gain, you activate the nucleus accumbens in your brain. That's essentially the pleasure center in the brain, but it requires ever-increasing amounts of stimulation and is generally harder to activate than other parts. Doing something for fun, however, activates the posterior superior temporal sulcus, which is the part of the brain responsible for social interactions (also known as the altruism center), in addition to biological movement. They can't function at the same time, so you basically have to pick a goal and stick with it, and I picked incorrectly.(Brafman 140)
It also sucked that I went the way I did with my motivation and goals because after I'd set I was totally disgusted with setting three PRs (squat, bench, and total), rather than pleased with a not-too-fucking-embarrassing performance. Not only that, but it left me pissed for an entire week afterward, during which time I considered the entire effort wasted and briefly considered quitting competition entirely... which is fucking retarded.
The Meet Prep
My meet prep didn't really vary in any way from the previous meet, aside from the fact that I dropped incline reverse grips in favor of flat bench reverse grips. It worked like a charm, but I fucked the dog on the bench due to the same demon that plagued me throughout the meet- overfuckingconfidence. This, of course, shouldn't surprise anyone, given my philosophy of being a giant dick, going huge and strutting around like Little Lord Fontelroy. Confidence is good. Overconfidence is the fucking devil.
I continue to believe that the path to greatness on squats is beginning each squatting workout (minus zerchers) with jump squats. It's helped my explosiveness out of the bottom, improved my flexibility, and is fun as hell. Additionally, bottom-position squats really help your explosiveness out of the hole, although I apparently needed to pile a couple more mats under the bar. I thought I was working from parallel, but I was evidently about an inch high.
Insanely easy 629, but was a little high.
If you've read the unfinished Apex Predator Diet series, you know how I've been eating- meat on the bone, every day, and a shitload of protein shakes. The only thing that changed in the final few weeks was that I added a second daily meal of dry wings with salt and pepper about a month prior to the meet. Additionally, as I was losing my fucking mind about three weeks out from constant dieting, I had a second carb day on Saturdays. I started that day with biscuits and turkey sausage- 4 or 5 biscuits made with low-fat Bisquik and Jimmy Dean or Bob Evans (I prefer Bob Evans' but they're only available in the North) Turkey Sausage patties, with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray and dusted heavily with powdered red pepper. Thereafter, I'd eat Baked Ruffles, bowls from Chipotle consisting of naught but rice and double chicken. The rest of the time, it went like this:
8:30 AM: AM Workout
9AM: Shake 1- Muscle Infusion in water
11AM: Shake 2- Monster Milk in water
1 PM: Dry Wings- Liberally coat in salt and pepper
4 PM: Shake 3- Muscle Infusion in water
7 PM: Shake 4- Muscle Infusion in water
9:30-10:30PM: 2-3 lbs beef ribs with dry rub
11:30: Half a shake- Muscle Infusion in water
Overnight: Half a shake- Muscle Infusion in water
I was slightly lean at this meet.
Since I invariably get questions about it, here's how I prepare the ribs:
Dust one side with the following
Butt Rub- This stuff is a bit more savory, salty, and spicy than most other rubs.
Rib-It Rib Rub- I bought this stuff and like it, but it's a bit too mild. Mixed with the Butt Rub, it's awesome
Bake on 400 for 20 mins, turning once and dusting the upwards-facing side with the same blend.
Clearly, this diet is working- I'm hovering around 6% bodyfat and my lifts continue to rise. A note about that- I now believe that training without doing some sort of semi-strict dieting lends itself to diminished results, due to the fact that you're not as mindful about your lifestyle and are thus less focused in the gym. This might have to do with priming, as the stronger and better you look, the more primed you should be to perform up to your appearance. The opposite could also be true- if you look like a doughy pile of shit, you might be priming yourself to lift like one every time you look in the mirror. You'll act the way you're stereotype... it's science. Studies have shown that being positively stereotyped increases your performance, and being negatively stereotyped can result in poor health, loss of physical strength, cognition, eyesight, coordination, and can even shorten your life.(Langer 106-7, 166-168) Thus, you should look the way you want to fucking perform- awesome.
Making weight was considerably easier at this meet. I'd been walking around at around 196-7 at night, so when I started cutting salt and adding water, the weight fell right off. Additionally, because I'm so much leaner than I was, there's nothing but muscle glycogen and creatine holding onto my water. When I cut water, the weight dropped off precipitously. I used the same cutting protocol as in the last meet, although I used WAY more Kranker 2 and stopped eating 24 hours prior to weighin (I had 4 shakes before I stopped consuming anything). The label for Kranker 2 states you should use 1-2 3x a day- this time, I used 4 maybe 6 times on Friday, for a Saturday weighin. Thus, when I awoke on Saturday, I was only 4.5 lbs over. I grabbed my sauna suit and headed to Gold's Gym to sit in their sauna. Though Ferriss and others recommend steam, a 180 degree sauna will do just fine, especially if you're wearing a sauna suit. I would sit in the sauna for ten minutes and then walk laps around the indoor pool, since it was hot as balls in there as well. 2 hours later, I was at 180.62, exhausted, overheated, and fucking starving.
Gandhi 2... he's back, and he's pissed.
- "Conserve your energy, both physically and mentally, from the beginning." This isn't a bad idea. Fasting fucking blows. If you're cutting weight, walking's about as intense as you should make your efforts, so you don't overwork yourself in a state to which you're unaccustomed and fuck yourself up.
- "Cease to think of food while fasting." Impossible. ALL you think about while fasting is what your first meal is going to be. I had my meal planned within minutes of starting my fast. If you're used to eating 8 times a day, there's not fucking chance in hell you'll be able to resist thinking about food.
- "Drink as much cold water as you can." Not an option when trying to make weight.
- "Have a warm sponge bath daily." You know what sucks more than being hungry as shit? Being hot and hungry. Fuck all that.
- "Take an enemy regularly." I tried using a saline enema to make weight last time and found it did nothing more than make me hideously uncomfortable. Unless you're really into enemas, I wouldn't advise it. In case you're curious, Gandhi was REALLY into enemas, and would prolapse his own ass to wash his intestines in a bowl of water. He was an old school Goatse, I guess.
- "Sleep as much as possible in the open air." I assume he means "in a cool place". Cranking the AC feels good while sleeping.
- "Bathe in the morning air." ... and get arrested.
- "Think of anything else but the fast." Good luck with all of that. I buried myself in research and still found my mind wandering to the pit in my stomach. I found that driving took my mind off of fasting, so if you can, take a drive once you're on or close to your weight.
- "No matter from what motive you are fasting, during this precious time think of your Maker and of your reliance on him and his other creations and you will make discoveries you never dreamed of." Frankly, I thought all about how awesome I was and was busy being impressed with my ability to endure discomfort. Different strokes, I guess. No one makes me awesome but me. If you think there's a magical force making you awesome, channel that shit. Whatever it takes to make weight.
The Clusterfuck That Was The Meet
I pretty much fucked the dog from the giddy-up. I went too light on my squat opener, PR'd on my second, and missed the third because of depth, though it was my best-looking lift. Frankly, I should have just gone heavier and sunk into it more, but I was being a bitch after grinding my 617.2. Thus, I went 574, 617.2,
Yeah, I reverse gripped. And yeah, it was awesome.
- Focus on the journey, not the destination. If you get your balls all full for a climax that doesn't happen, you live in pain until the swelling subsides, and that fucking sucks.
- If the judges are being strict on squat depth, PAY FUCKING ATTENTION TO THAT and go deeper than you think you need to. I completely ignored the fact that I'd seen hours of red-lighted squats after seeing Saam Byrd's second get three whites, and figured I just had to go out and represent. Well, I'm not Sam Byrd, apparently, and I can go fuck myself. Go deeper than you need to.
- Cutting water weight gets easier when you're super lean. Thus, you should shoot for 4 weeks out from a bodybuilding competition-type condition if you want to have a relatively easy water cut.
- Don't buy into your own bullshit. Confidence is good. Ridiculous overconfidence is stupid, no matter how beastly you've been in the gym. Treat every attempt like it's going to be the hardest of your life.
- Rehbands don't have the "bounce" of TK's. I switched because my TK's ripped, but I'll be getting another pair for my next meet. I vastly prefer them.
- Fuck it- get 'em next time. There's really no fucking point in crying over spilled milk, though that didn't fucking stop me last week. Hate makes you strong, so I'm just going to turn that shit into something else and hate my way to victory in the next meet.
The deeds we do shall be the stuff of legends.
Much like this pic.Sources:
Brafman, Ori and Rom Brafman. Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior. Doubletree: New York 2008.
Langer, Ellen. Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility. New York: Ballantine, 2009.
Russell, Sharmen Apt. Hunger: An Unnatural History. New York: Basic Books, 2005.