I had a friend in South Carolina who was forever saying "Daddy got it" in response to virtually anything- be it a request to move a desk across the room or an enticement to try to knock out Mike Tyson, this burly motherfucker would simply clap his hands together, utter his magic phrase, and have the fuck at it. More often than not, he was able to do whatever it was that he was trying. It might have been the d-bol he'd eaten for breakfast, the fact that he was ginormous, his positive mindset, or a combination of all three, but he rarely lost a physical battle. He'd ask me what an article in Flex magazine said though it was sitting right in front of him, but his limited intellect still managed to get him a 450 raw bench at a ridiculously lean 225 because he wouldn't back down from anything.
No amount of positive thinking would unfuck you in the ring with Tyson in his prime.
That mindset's tremendously useful 99 times out of 100. Every now and again, though, you'll bite off more than you can chew- for Dustin, it meant that he decided to fight 8 guys armed with rebar and knives simultaneously... which proved to be about four too many, but he had some awesome scars to show for his efforts. In my case, it was dedication to a program of singles that would make a Bulgarian shit himself in astonishment (the Bulgarians, according to Zatsiorsky, only train with weights over 90% of their 1RM 7% of the time- most of their lifting is between 80% and 90% of their 1RM). No matter how shitty I felt, I'd sidle up to the bar, remind myself that "daddy got it", and have at it.
Injuries? Go fuck yourself. Injuries happen to other people.
Shitty lifting days? Haha. I heard about that shit on Bodyspace.
More injuries? Must be a lack of intestinal fortitude.As such, I got to the point where I'd do near max singles on every single lift I attempted, six days a week. I even attempted a max single on the Bear one morning, for shits and giggles. Why? Because "daddy got it". Awesome as that was, and as awe-inspiring as it was to other people, who routinely commented that I was the craziest and strongest guy they'd ever seen, it had its drawbacks.
Namely, I ended up fighting my own version of 8 armed guys. I got four of them, but the other four whooped my fucking ass. Do I consider this overtraining? Possibly. I trained with 90+% of my 1RM on every major lift 6 days a week for more than two months. Even if it wasn't overtraining, it certainly was fucking stupid, and defied the very name I've given my training style- it wasn't terribly chaotic, although it was definitely extremely fucking painful. Irrespective of whether or not it was overtraining, it certainly shot a massive hole in the idea that the average person could overtrain on a 4 day a week program. It took at least 10 weeks of 8-11 free weight workouts a week with ridiculous loading protocols, at least half of which was done while I was on a strict cutting diet, to hit a point where I could be construed as "overtrained".
I accidentally found a pic of a chick with more thigh vascularity than I. Guess I'm squatting tonight.
I don't mention this to make some case that I'm superman, or as an example of what anyone else should do. Frankly, I was in enough pain over the weekend that I don't advise following that sort of a loading protocol. A few things I did notice that I'd like to pass along:
- The One Lift A Day program I outlined recently is a good changeup, but nothing you should do every day with 90%1RM or greater. Injuries seemed to come fast and frequently with that, but for some reason, I felt compelled to continue with it. I did see decent gains with it, but it took it's toll over time.
- Tanning seems to reduce a lot of my cramping. I mentioned here that I used it for warmups, and when I stopped, I seemed to get far more cramping and soreness. I was forced to stop tanning about three months ago, since my gym owner let a homeless guy move into the room with the tanning bed (I shit you not).
- This is a good recovery drink if used on an empty stomach 2-3 times a day: 1tsp glutamine, 1 tsp leucine, 1 tsp creatine mixed in 20 oz of water with Crystal Light. I'd take that with 1.5 g of Vitamin C, and it definitely helped cut the soreness down, and totally eliminated joint pain in my fucked elbow.
- Though I don't advocate spending a shitload of time with foam rolling and the like in the gym (it wastes valuable gym time), rolling out knots is definitely something to consider while you're watching Anchorman for the 300th time. The two tennis balls I've got knotted inside a sock are my best friends right now, having crushed out most of the 11 million knots populating my spinal erectors and lower traps, and my Theracane took care of most of the rest.
- Having shit form on cleans is fine, so long as you do a lot of massage on your upper forearms and brachialis. If you don't, you're going to regret it.
- If you're going keto (i.e. eating no veggies at all), you better be taking either a super multi like Animal Pak, ISS's Pak, or Beverly's PakGNC's Multi Men is not going to fucking cut it.
- Doing a program that consists of little more than 6-10 hours a week of singles on heavy compound movements is perhaps unwise if done for long periods of time. Don't fall into the trap on constantly doing the exact same lift for a festival of singles for an hour or more- mix it up. Festivals are fun, and singles fucking rule, but man cannot subsist on festivals of singles alone- man might die.
- Come to the realization that if you're training balls-out 6 days a week, not every workout is going to be a gem- at least 2 of those workouts will either be throwaways or basically going through the motions. When you get to the point that an overwhelming majority of your workouts are brutal, unpleasant, and leave you with a sense that you just imitated a monkey fucking a football, it's time to rethink what you're doing.
Life's only a learning process if you actually learn something, so take the time to look critically at what you're doing every now and again, assess your results, and see that you can change. "Daddy got it" only if daddy can grab the fucking weight and move it without getting lightheaded from the immense amount of pain he's in- as such, you should probably not train to that point. Much as it's hard to gauge your proximity to extreme drunkenness when you're pounding shots and even harder to stop doing them once you're there, it's pretty fucking hard to pump the breaks after you've gotten to the point of no return with mild injuries. You figure you can train through them, but they eventually pin you to the ground like you're Ash in Army of Darkness, and then one of the little motherfuckers jumps down your throat and tears you to pieces from the inside out. A little prevention like the kinds I outlined above can go a long way, so make sure you hop to it when you see the signs...
and as always, Shop Smart. Shop S-Mart.