27 November 2011

Hail To The King #3- This Is My Boomstick!

First, a couple of asides.
Aside One:  For the record, I don't consider the Zercher Squat to be a substitute for the deadlift.  This misconception has been repeated in a number of places, and it's wholly incorrect.  Were someone to press me on how I got my deadlift to the level it is without a year of direct training, I would posit that the poundage I'm able to move results from the fact that I train for overall, full-body strength.  My body is completely inured to moving heavy poundages, so the direction of the movement is really inconsequential.  Additionally, I've been training non-stop for 17 years.  As such, I know the movement and can do it in my sleep.  I find it to be counter-productive in the course of my regular training for these reasons, and because I find that my style of training, when applied to the deadlift, impedes training on other lifts on subsequent days due to the stress it puts on my body.  I've stated in a past blog that about ten years ago I embarked upon what amounts in retrospect to a program of suicidally insane deadlifting volumes, and since then have found that my upper and midback will protest for months like the hobos masquerading as Occupy protesters if I push it as hard as I would like.  Thus, I eschew the deadlift and focus on other shit.

If I had to pick a single greatest contributing factor behind my deadlift, it would be hate.  I quite literally hate the shit that the bar is defying my efforts to lift it.  In preparation to do battle with my insouciant opponent, I shrug a lot, as I've found that just handing those huge poundages for a portion of the same movement allows me to generate enough spite and contempt for lighter weights that I can will them aloft.  Additionally, I love shrugging, and because I enjoy it immensely, I shrug a lot.  I go stupidly heavy, pull from just above the knees, and have a hell of a lot of fun moving the weights and bending the everloving fuck out of every bar I use for them.  This enjoyment translates into massive efforts on what amount to a medley of high rack pulls, shrugs, and static holds, which in turn means my upper back, traps, and erectors find themselves inured to ultra-high volume and massive weights.  That volume is compounded, then, by my inclusion of Zercher Lifts in all their myriad forms, making my upper back an unstoppable juggernaut of thick muscle and brutal, unyielding strength.  Can I pull as much as Ed Coan?  Hell no, but I'm built more like a T-Rex than a chimp, and am thus not terribly well suited, from a bio-mechanical standpoint, to pulling.  Additionally, I've got hands so small they make carnies jealous, so it's a testament to the work I put in that I pull as much as I do.

For those of you who are skeptical about the efficacy of such an approach. allow me to explain the concept of training transfer.  There are three types of training transfer: positive, negative, and neutral.  It's actually fairly rare for the there to be anything other than positive transfer, and neutral or negative transfers are generally restricted to competitive walking and throwing events, respectively.(Bondarchuk 14-15)  I side with the generalist theory of training transfer, which posits that “It is possible to lay down a full value  foundation for future movements, ensure all-round harmonious development of the body, increase the general level of the body’s functional capabilities, create a rich fund  of differently formed movement skills and abilities, and form beginning  basic sports mastery.”  I train constantly for full-body strength, attempt to hit every possible angle, and develop strength across sports and exercises, which makes it possible for me to compete at a high level in strength sports even when I don't train the lifts I have to use in the meets.  Nearly anything you do in the gym, I think, can positively impact your other lifts provided the lift is properly applied.

An example of the prpoer application of just about everything there is on Earth.

With that out of the way, onto meet week.  The meet occurred on a Saturday, with weigh-ins occurring on Friday from 9AM to noon.  As such, I decided that I would likely benefit from sticking to my Apex Predator Diet routine Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Thus, I ate low-to-medium carb on Friday during the day, consuming a pound of 93% lean ground beef seasoned for tacos on low carb tortillas and protein shakes until my evening cheat meal, which consisted of chicken fingers to start, followed by meat lover’s pizza and about half a bag of Sun Chips.  Saturday I ate my typical Apex Predator Diet meals- protein shakes with a late meal of beef ribs.  Sunday consisted of Hooter’s wings for lunch, protein shakes, and more ribs.

During the two weeks up to the meet, I trained nonstop, compensating for my shoulder injury by focusing more on lower body movements and pulls.  My shoulder, though treated with a cortisone shot the week prior, prescription anti-inflammatories, and a topical ointment containing ketamine, sundry anti-inflammatories, and lidocaine, still annoyed me more than the Occupy Wall Street squatters piss off New York City cops.  It was just as persistent, remaining painful and obnoxious in spite of constant icing and TENS unit application, so I avoided benching with the exception of a light “test bench” the Friday of my last cheat meal.  During that lift, I hit my opener with ease for a couple of doubles and quit when the pain became pronounced.  Thereafter, I simply did a shitload of pushdowns and tried to fight off the urge to go back for another cortisone shot.

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday I trained as heavy as possible, focusing mainly on bottom position squats, bottom position Zerchers, and light military presses to keep my range of motion.  My last day of lifting was Tuesday, on which I did a light morning workout of arms and a variety of not-terribly heavy movements in the evening.  I realize that conventional wisdom dictates that one shouldn’t train the week leading up to the meet, but I think I’ve established that conventional wisdom can go fuck itself at this point.  I wanted to remain loose, ready, and keep my groove “greased”.  I’m of the opinion that due to the fact that I’m so conditioned to high volume, if I took an excessive amount of time off from lifting I would lose my edge.  As such, I stayed in the gym as long as possible.
Amusingly, I blew shit at zerchers when I first tried them in 2005.

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, I consumed as much water as I could per day, and cut out Diet Coke (an unspoken mainstay of my diet) to limit water retention.  I also removed salt completely from my diet Monday and Tuesday, in addition to red meat, eating nothing but protein shakes and chicken or pork seasoned with Mrs. Dash.  I did this due to the fact that sodium and the creatine in red meat cause you to retain 3 grams of water per gram consumed, and kept carbs out per the guidelines of my Apex Predator Diet.(Ferriss, “How to Lose”)  Wednesday, I consumed nothing but two liters of water and six protein shakes prior to 5 PM, and nothing whatsoever from that point until after I’d weighed in.

That night, I started rotating hot baths and saunas, and hit the hay after getting to 190.  The following morning, I awoke at 630, donned a makeshift sauna suit made of outdoor trash bags and duct tape, and and followed the suggestions I made in this blog series exactly.  It fucking worked- I weighed in at 181.6 (just barely made it), after cutting for 6 hours.  Incidentally, I wore the makeshift sauna suit on the drive to the weighin, which saved my ass- I got stuck in traffic and sweated off the last ounce or so.  For the remainder of the day I ate as much as I could without forcefeeding myself, rehydrated compulsively, and relaxed.

The day of the meet, I felt fucking amazing.  Upon waking, I weighed 199, and after eating a turkey hoagie and a soft pretzel on the way to the gym I weighed 202.  By the time the meet was over, I weighed 211.
Hyperhydrating works.

A word to the wise- if you hyperhydrate like that, you'll look fat.  I had my bodyfat checked the day before I left for Philly and was at 7%.  Clearly, holding 30 lbs of waterweight over your weigh-in weight's not going to have you looking ripped, but it'll have you strong.

In regards to the meet itself, the greatest challenge was staying interested.  I warmed up sparingly, quickly, and violently, just as I lift regularly.  I used triples for the first three warm-ups on squats (135, 225, 315) but switched to singles for 405 and 495.  My total warmup time took perhaps 5 minutes, and I was annoyed as shit and bored out of my mind by the time the rest of the lifters finished their elaborate, lengthy, and wholly unnecessary warm-ups.  Nevertheless, I kicked the fuck out of all my lifts and have since lamented not going heavier on my fourth attempt.  The bench was a disaster, but I simply acted like FEMA during the whole thing and close gripped my attempts to baby my shoulder, as the squat and deadlift are my bread-and-butter anyway.  For the deadlift, I did 4 reps in warm-ups- 225, 315, 405, and 495.  They all felt easy, and I was again forced to battle boredom until I got to lift.

Looking back, I have no regrets save that I should have gone heavier on my fourth attempts in the squat (I should have gone 635) and the deadlift (665).  Were I to offer any advice to anyone planning on entering a meet, it’d be cut weight hard and rehydrate harder, and for fuck’s sake bring a book to your meet.

Highly recommended, by the way.  Tore through this fucker in a couple of hours, and it was one of the best assassin novels I've ever read.

Nothing about that performance was genetics, unless I'm just genetically predisposed to winning.  This was about busting my fucking ass for years, doing my homework, and being a fucking competitor.  Awesome is forged, not in-born.  Unless, of course, your name is Jada Stevens.

This, by the way, is a shortened version of the installment I threw in the book.  The one in the book fleshes out training transfer and gives a couple of extra tips on dropping water.

25 November 2011

The Training Ebook Is Finally Complete

The book is done, and it's fucking awesome, if I do say so myself.  After a great deal of breaking my ass on this thing (it clocked in at 368 pages), I've got it done.  Before I continue with the link to purchase, here's a heartfelt appeal:
For the love of all that's good in the world, don't immediately upload this thing onto mediafire.  I'm not going to police the download sites, as I have better shit to do.  Before you send the thing to everyone you know, realize that I'm not coming begging with my hand out for cash to get to this meet- I broke my ass finishing this thing, giving you guys some new content, and providing you with what I consider to be a pretty fucking impressive resource for training knowledge.  Plus, I priced the thing so at least some of you would buy it instead of downloading it so that I'd have the cash to get you the shirts for which you've been clamoring.  Help me help you, fuckers.

That said, enjoy the book and use it to kill some weights.  For those of you who are for whatever reason terrified of Paypal, I'm getting a Google checkout option, but for whatever reason the code isn't generating for the checkout button and I'm too tired to keep fucking with it.  As such, you'll have to wait until I get that figured out.  As for the fuzzy foreigners who want to pay via bank transfer, email me to get that squared away.  You are, however, a massive pain in the ass for not just using Paypal.  If you have questions, problems, would like to explain your unreasonable stance on Paypal (I'm the one from whom they're taking money, not you)or want to bitch at me over something completely unrelated, hit me up here:  chaos_and_pain@yahoo.com.

Go here to auto-download the book with Paypal:  

23 November 2011

An Update On The Ebook And A Teaser

What I thought would be a relatively simple thing has turned out to be a goddamned Trial of Hercules.  Not in a bad way, however- just fucking difficult.  As it happens, I'm a more prolific in my writing than Dean Koontz, and that motherfucker churns out a shitty novel every 36 minutes.  The ebook has now become a series, due to the fact that the first installment, which is perhaps a quarter to a third of the blog and covers training.  
Assuming I stop getting distracted, or just up and move to Britain.

Lest you wonder what the point of getting them would be, I'm fairly certain that this is one of the most, if not the most heavily cited non-academic publication of all time, and it'd be a hell of a resource to fuel online arguments and training alike.  Additionally, I'm rewriting half to a quarter of the blogs, and the rest are getting heavy edits, in addition to being reordered in a way that would make sense to anyone with a modicum of respect for the Dewey Decimal System or categorization in general.  Expect it to go up for sale Thursday, and it's clocking in at about 350 pages, including 7 pages of citations.  It'll be an awesome resource for training information, battling ignorance on the web, in the street, and in the gym, and it'll help me get to the meet.  Plus, you can finally read the fucking things fully edited.

To give you a taste of what's in store, here's a teaser for the first book.  Subsequent ebooks will be Nutrition, Mental and Hormonal, and Assholishness and Badassery.

Thanks for the suggestions on edits.

Thanksgiving will definitely be a day to give thanks, because this thing will finally be done.

I've now got two new blogs in it, it's completely reordered, most of the blogs have been at least partly rewritten, and instead of being chaotic, the whole fucking thing makes a lot of sense when viewed as a whole.  You will appreciate the wait when you see it.

22 November 2011

Chaos and Bang #1

While you fuckers patiently await the release of the ebook and the conclusions to my Hail To The King and Predator Diet blogs (and your patience is appreciated), check out the first installment of a series of roundtable discussions I'm doing with Paul from Lift-Run-Bang.  This one covers what, in our respective opinions, constitutes strong.  While he initially agreed with Wendler on the subject, I used my immense powers of persuasion to bring him over to the dark side- that is, the lean guy opinion vs. the fat guy opinion.  Check it out here.

15 November 2011

There Were No Convenience Stores In The Paleolithic

There were no convenience stores in the Paleolithic, and for some reason people have taken that to mean that there's nothing on which to snack if you're eating paleo.  I find that to be bizarre, but I lack a carbohydrate fetish and have always despised Cheetos and Doritos.  That aside, there are nearly as many choices when it comes to snacking on a paleolithic diet as there are ways to mock that fat fuck from Superbad, Jonah Hill (although his Call of Duty trailer redeemed him very slightly).
The magic of CGI- Jonah Hill now has a jawline and far less in the way of jowels.  His wattle also appears to have been eliminated, though it might just be hiding in that shadow.

Whether or not the snacks are convenient, however, is entirely another matter.  Most paleo foods require a considerable amount of prep time, especially when they're high in protein.  Obviously, fruit, veggies, nuts and seeds are simple to eat, but the macros are entirely wrong for the kind of dieting I want to do.  Trying to replace food with that nonsense would be like going to a comedy show that was supposed to headline Andrew Dice Clay and finding Wayne Brady there instead.  That shit just won't fly.

Frankly, I think eating some beef jerky is pretty much the pinnacle of snacking, and buy a tremendous amount of the stuff from the Amish at the Farmer's Market every time I go home.  The Amish are pretty much dowdy wizards when it comes to cured and dried meats, and it's fun to flirt with the Amish broads enough to get a full-body blush in return.  When I'm not at home, though, I am either left to make it myself, or to buy it from a store.  Living in Alabama, otherwise known as Satan's Taint, it's far too hot and humid to run my oven with the door open for 10 hours.  As such, I'm left with the option of buying jerky at the store, which means I get a lot of food coloring, nitrates, nitrites, and possibly a dusting of MSG thrown in the for good measure, as a final gesture of "fuck you" from the Lovecraftian fish people working in Jack Link's factories.  

That is, I was left with that option until recently, when I was emailed by a reader who had an alternative to the aforementioned bullshit.  No cooking, no nitrates, and the shit is actually for a good cause.  Before you guys go thinking I've sold out, I offered to help this guy out because his entire company is a charity for kids in Camden.  He offered to give me a kickback, but I declined the hell out of that because his charity's for kids in Camden, and I'm neither that money motivated nor that fucking evil to take money out of their hands.  If you've never been to Camden, NJ, it's pretty much what Detroit looks like in the movie Robocop.  People who live there are faced with the option of selling crack, buying crack, robbing someone else for their crack, or trading crack for a gun so you can rob someone for their crack.  I'd say it's the worst place on Earth, except that I'm pretty certain sub-Saharan Africa is holding down that title pretty nicely.  As such, it's the worst place you could go without knowing for a certainty you'd come back with AIDS at the very least.  In any event, to fund a Crossfit club for future crack dealers, Steve invented Paleokits, which serve the dual purpose of providing paleo dieters with ready-to-eat snack options and getting future death row inmates in shape for the chair.  Here's a list of the shit I've tried that he offers with an unbiased review of the Paleokit offerings I've tried:

  • Grass-Fed Paleo Stix- These are probably my favorite of the paleo offerings, as they're basically healthy Slim Jims.  They could stand to be a bit spicier (couldn't everything?), but aside from that, they were awesome.  Additionally, they've got a good nutritional profile- 160 calories, 6g fat, 28g protein per package, which makes for a decent snack.  Frankly, two of these would make a better snack, but I highly doubt most paleo dieters share my feeling of not having eaten if I didn't get 50g of protein in a sitting.
  • Grass-Fed Just Jerky-  Again, I was a bit disappointed with the lack of seasoning, but as paleo's not supposed to be salt-heavy, it's understandable.  Damn good jerky though, low fat, and bereft of carbs, the way jerky should be.
  • Coconut Paleokit- To be frank, I assumed that the combination of beef jerky, coconut, and strawberries would go together like battery acid and donkeys, but it was quite honestly fucking amazing.  I love the holy hell out of coconut and strawberries, which I'm sure helped, but you'd be surprised at how good this was. As you'd imagine, it's a bit high in carbs for someone eating keto, but if you're not a ketogenic paleodieter, this paleokit is truly badass.
  • Original Paleokit-  This one was not up my alley.  I thought the macros on it sucked (24g fat, 22g impact carbs, 35g protein) and I despise cranberries.  As such, this one was my least favorite.  I had two of them, however, so I handed the second off to a coworker, who ate mine and asked me how to get more- he loved the thing, and told me it was awesome to eat while playing Call of Duty.  Amusingly, I had to explain to him what paleolithic dieting was to him, and he responded with "Doritos have double XP."  Clearly, dieting's not at the forefront of his mind, but taste is, and he loved these.
  • Paleo Crunch Cereal- Hey hippies!  Want paleo granola?  Here it is, and it tastes fucking amazing.  Not too sweet, good flavor, and better macros than could ever be expected out of granola.  Granted, I don't recall the last time I ate granola, but chicks in particular would probably love this to get over the hump on ditching carbs.  Surprisingly good.  Until I googled it, I had no idea that this stuff was cereal- I ate it dry and loved it.  It'd probably be amazing with Almond Milk, though.  Clearly, I didn't try the Cranberry, but another of my coworkers has been bugging me to get him more of it- he was a huge fan.
  • Paleo Crunch Bars (Original and Seasonal)-  These things are amazing, and a badass addition to a post-workout meal if you're angling for extra carbs.  If I ate carbs on the regular, I'd be putting kids in Camden through college with my purchases of these.
Paleo = good.

Thus endeth my good deed for the decade.  Buy this stuff, help out some kids whose lives truly suck, and get lean.  It's win-win.  Well, if you think helping people or eating paleo is winning.  I think I'm getting soft in my old age.  Buy the shit here: http://www.stevesoriginal.com/store and use the coupon code chaosandpain to get 10% off until November 22nd.  

If you give a shit about charities (I usually only donate to no-kill dog shelters and libraries, but made an exception to my rule of "Fuck Everyone" to help out these guys), check out Steve's wacky plan to make the ghetto suck less with Crossfit here.  Does it make sense?  No, but you can't fault the guy for trying to do something cool for a bunch of people most of the world avoids at all costs.
Maybe he's trying to save the ghetto with booty?  I fully support that plan.

11 November 2011

I Made The "News"

Thought I'd repost this from www.powerliftingwatch.com for you guys.  Sadly, my information on rankings was inaccurate- when they posted my ranking today, they also posted Jamie McDougal's 1603 total from three weeks ago.  As such, I am the aggregate king, but not the total king.  Alas.  In any event:

Jamie Lewis Hits 1600 Raw @ 181!

At the recent APA Power Frenzy held November 5th 2011, Jamie did something that no other US lifter has done since raw become popularized in the mid 90's! In fact, no one has done it since 1973 (that was the only year that wraps were not allowed and suits hadn't been invented). Jamie went 1600 with out wraps! Heck he didn't even wear a belt, just a pair of TK neoprene knee sleeves! He started out his day with a 605 3rd attempt squat but took 615 on a 4th for new APA record. He then went 355 in the bench and pulled 640 in the dead to officially total 1600. He also took a 4th attempt in the pull by yanking 655! His total aggregate for the day was 1625 for an APA record. However, for ranking purposes 1600 is his official total. He is now ranked #2 in the current raw rankings and his 615 squat is #1. His 655 pull is ranked #5
Sadly, Joanna Angel was not in attendance. 

09 November 2011

Hail To The King #2- First You Wanna Kill Me, Now You Wanna Kiss Me. Blow.

The Background
In the aftermath of last year's foray into powerlifting, I found myself more or less crippled.  My IT band in my right leg was insanely painful, I was burned out, and I was sick of training and researching.  As such, I started doing a bunch of useless bullshit in the gym, tried 5x5, and let my diet slip into what was for me complete shit.  In late December, however, I switched to a new gym and found myself reinvigorated if for no other reason than the fact that I was embarrassed to wear a sleeveless shirt in the gym.  I started doing the jump squats of which I've grown so fond to work on hip flexibility, started mixing it up more, and gradually ramped up my training frequency.

By April I was in full swing, but was still not taking my diet all that seriously.  I tightened it down gradually, and started dieting in earnest by June.  To give you some idea of what not taking my diet seriously was, I was eating 6 meals a day of no less than 40g of protein and medium carbs with medium fat.  In spite of the loose diet, I was still having two cheat meals a week.   I kept locking it down, switching first to a four day keto run, a medium carb Friday capped with a cheat meal, and a medium to high carb weekend, and then cutting out the carbs on the weekend.  Once or twice I had two cheat meals in a week, and I kept tinkering with what would become the Apex Predator Diet (which I'll finish detailing soon).  At this point, I was doing little more than squatting and overhead pressing.

The Workout
Fuck about in the gym for 15 minutes doing whatever struck my fancy.  Often, I did some one arm deadlifts (strapless) with 155 for sets of 5.
Zercher Squats 10-20 x 1-3 (working up to a couple of ME singles).  For whatever reason I love starting the week with Zerchers.  Did them both off the pins for a lockout and out of the rack for a "full" rep.
Military Press 5-8 x 5-1
Any auxiliary shit I felt like doing

Same as Monday or not at all.
Jump Squats 5-10 x 3-1 (working up to a couple of ME singles)
Partial squats from various heights ranging from bottom position to 1/4 squat lockouts.  Did them until I got bored.
Whatever else I felt like doing, including Pendlay rows for triples.  Usually 335x3 with straps, and a couple of times 365x1-2.
Light overhead pressing, often in the form of Viking presses, 3 plates on a side for sets of 5-8.

AM Only
Fucked about with arms for 20-30 mins.  Usually did some one arm deadlifts with 155 for sets of 5 as well.

More squatting of some kind.  Occasionally Squat to press.  More often front squat partials or more zerchers.
More OH pressing of some kind.  Usually heavy on this day, BTNPPs or push press from the front.
Sometimes did Incline reverse grips on this day for triples, doubles, and singles.

AM only
Benching happened on this day or not at all.  Usually triples, sometimes singles, occasionally did a death set or two.
Usually some light arm work consisting mostly or entirely of cables, and sometimes a shitload of Curl and Press.

Longest workout of the week.  Occasionally did two a days.  Trained everything of which I could think for 2-3 hours, and usually shrugged for an hour on this day.  I like rack pulling from my knees to shrug height, and usually worked up to 8-9 plates per side for 3-5 reps.  My last shrug workout I did 5 sets of 3 with 9 plates per side.
Usually did Incline reverse grips on this day for triples, doubles, and singles.

Off or something fairly light.

To all of this I added a lot of wrist curls, occasional cable crossovers, the occasional few 30 rep sets of pullups, some curl and presses, some machine squats, and the occasional high pull workout.  I didn't deadlift once, nor did I do a single set of dips.  The reason behind the deads is a combination of "I didn't feel like it" and the fact that I discussed it with Glenn Pendlay and we thought it'd be an amusing experiment.  It was.

What I learned, training-wise...
  • take everything everyone says with a grain of salt.  There's very little training advice I've gotten over the years that's worth a shit.  Had I not abandoned the deadlift altogether, I might not have realized I've no fucking need of it at all in my training.  I need to squat heavy and often and avoid getting caught up in what other people tell me I "should" do.  Likewise for the shrug- on any forum anywhere, mediocre lifters will decry the shrug as a worthless vanity lift.  They can all eat shit.
  • Squat lockouts are fucking amazing... if they're done in combination with full-range or extra-full range versions of the same lift.  That was my problem last year, and I full rectified it by learning from my previous mistakes.  That's an often overlooked and essential part of training- adapt and overcome.  If you do the same shit day in and day out like a mindless drone, you'll suck like every other Jersey Shore watching dickbag with an OK magazine on his coffeetable.
  • Zercher squats are the shit.  I credit those, in combination with Pendlay rows and shrugs for my deadlift.

Setbacks Encountered
The reason I mention these is because I get a shitload of emails about a variety of minor injuries.  People are constantly asking me what to do when training with them, and my answer is always the same- train around them.  That's what I do, and that's what any person with a scintilla of balls would do.  Sitting home on your ass will just turn you into one of the sorry motherfuckers on that godawful show Mike and Molly, and for anyone who's seen the commercials, Wilford Brimley's on his way to their house with a pair of six-guns loaded with mayonnaise bullets while riding a horse name Diabetus.

The moral of this section is that you should TRAIN AROUND INJURIES, goddamnit.  Quit yer bitchin' and man the fuck up.  To wit, here's an incomplete list of the setbacks I had from July 1st onward.
  • Exploding car shenanigans.  In early July I flipped my car while I was not wearing a setbelt.  It caught fire, and I had to punch out my driver's side window to get out.  In the process, I incurred a massive concussion, a shitload of cuts and scrapes, a ridiculously deep bruise on my left calf, and a huge high ankle sprain.  That killed a week of training for me, as it's really hard to lift while concussed (though I was back in the gym Monday, and I flipped the car Saturday), and forced me to cut out jump squats for the better part of 6 weeks because I was physically unable to perform them.  Also, this is the reason I didn't finish the blog on stone lifting, as Of Stones and Strength was in the car and was thus burned to a crisp.  To combat the lack of jump squats, I used machine squats while concussed, and then switched to top half partials and worked my way down as my range of motion improved
  • Constant pec/shoulder issues.  The reason behind my attempt at stretching was because I constantly had pec/shoulder knotting in my left pec.  That region always felt like a tear was imminent, so I did a lot of stretching and massage on the area, and then started using the TENS unit I got on my birthday.  The latter seemed to have the best effect, and I've been using it religiously all over my body for minor strains and sprains.
  • Minor tweak of my sartorius in my left leg.  This only affected me in the last two weeks of training.  It's slightly painful, but just kept me from getting super crazy in the two weeks leading up to the meet.
  • Strained lower abs.  I'm not even certain how I did this, but once you strain an ab, it takes forever to fully heal.  It still acts like a bitch from time to time.
  • Strained right bicep.  After a horrible day at work and a variety of other personal bullshit, I went into the gym and decided to go bananas on Pendlay rows.  I made them my punk bitch for the better part of 70 minutes, but once I threw on 405 for a singe my bicep loudly (audibly) told me to go fuck myself.  I iced and babied it for a a couple of weeks and it manned the fuck up.  By babied it, I mean I didn't do 120 lb hammer curls and 365 lb Pendlay rows for a while.  Instead, I did a hell of a lot more zerchers and really, really light curls to stretch it and get blood into the region so it healed faster.
  • Horribly strained right trap.  I honestly thought they were indestructible, but I managed to strain my right trap my doing shrug-and-holds with 9 plates on a side.  By this, I mean I did a triple with the weight and then held it as long as I could.  After three sets, my trap knotted up so badly I nearly passed out, and I couldn't turn my head for two days.  To fix it, I used a TENS unit, the Theracane, an ART massage, and ice.  I was shrugging again the following week, but I had a hell of a time doing anything trap related for about 8 days.  What finally fixed it was squat lockouts with 10 plates on a side- I literally crushed the knots out, and it felt fucking awesome.
Breaks Taken
Though this might come as a shock to you, there were two weeks between July and November wherein I didn't train more than 4 times in a week.  Of those, one of those weeks was a week wherein I did three days of light arm workouts and one day on which I did an hour of heavy front squatting followed by a BodyPump class.  BodyPump, incidentally, nearly killed me.  I'm no longer suited to high repetition anything.  The second of those two consisted of two days of zerchers, one light and one heavy, one day of incline reverse grip bench press and one day of fucking about on a variety of machines.  During those two weeks I relaxed my diet considerably, eating carbs every days and going out drinking a couple of times.

I found those two weeks to be a nice break, and while they weren't necessarily a deload, they were a nice slowdown.  Afterwards, I found my resolve strengthened both on dieting and exercise, and I was a fucking maniac in the gym.  Additionally. it allowed niggling injuries to heal a bit, which also helped get back at it harder.

In case you're curious, neither of these were planned as slowdowns, but happened as part of the natural course of life- I went on a couple of staycations and found that I wanted to do other things than lift the entire time, like sleep and fuck.

Had this been my staycation, it would have been more like "found that I wanted to do other things than lift the entire time, like fuck and fuck.  

In the final installment of this series, I'll detail the week of the meet, including my weight cut, which fucking sucked, what I did in the gym that week, and the meet itself.  If you guys want the final installment of the Predator Diet series first, let me know in the comments.

08 November 2011

APA Power Frenzy Video

Here's a vid of my 3rds and 4ths, made specially for the internet message board cocksuckers.

05 November 2011

Hail To The King, Baby- There's A New King At 181

... and his name at Jamie Lewis.  I haven't posted this week as I'd been cutting and traveling for the APA Power Frenzy at Iron Sport.  After a retardedly horrible cut to 181, I lifted raw (no belt, no wraps) and posted what will be the highest total of any 181 pounder who's currently lifting, and 2nd on the Powerliftingwatch.com all time list.
Miserable, exhausted, starving, and dehydrated at 186, three hours before weigh-in.

My attempts were:
Squat- 545, 585, 605, 615 (4th)
Bench- 335, 355, 375(missed)
Deadlift- 565, 605, 640, 655 (4th)
Total: 1600 on third attempts, and 1625 including the 4ths.

- Previously, WC Waldron was the #1 squatter with 606.
- Previously, Alex Tertisky was the #1 ranked Total with 1598.

The whole thing was streamed live online, so vids of my attempts will be forthcoming (set to "Suck My Dick" by DJ Valentino for the amusingly shittalking-prone internet powerlifting community).  Until I can get those, here's a random pic of me Steve Pulcinella posted on Facebook.

As for my prep, when I'm not exhausted I'll follow up with a basic synopsis of my training and diet, which boils down to "squat and overhead press 6 days a week.  Repeat."  I will mention that I've not deadlifted once since last year.  Instead, I squatted, shrugged, and overhead pressed.  Hence the ridiculous legs and traps.  

Can we all now agree Smolov and Sheiko aren't the end all be all?  That'd just be awesome.

Until that day, motherfuckers.  Go lift something heavy and stop staring at your computer.