17 December 2013

Baddest Motherfuckers Ever: Mas "Bare-Handed Slayer of Bulls" Oyama

You ever get so pissed off at a cow that you spend a couple of years in the woods beating inanimate objects to undeath, seething with rage that the fact that cows are just, you know, sitting there, chewing and pooping and mooing, living their lives without the slightest flicker of intelligence behind their big, wet, cow eyes, and then descend from the mountains and tear a swath trough the bovine community, knocking out ungulates like they raped your mom in a 7-11 while smiling at the security camera?


Me neither, but Mas Oyama did.

Well, at least, that's how the story goes.  In reality, Oyama just chopped the horn off a single pet ox one time after beating the confused animal for some time and the Japanophile press decided that Oyama was to become a fearless killer of horned, male ruminants.  Irrespective of how meaty-delicious animals Sosai Masutatsu Oyama killed barehanded in the name of his beloved karate, no one in their right mind will debate the fact that Mas Oyama was one bad motherfucker.

Born in Japanese-occupied Korea, which was an avowedly shitty place, Oyama was forced to move as a child to an even shittier place- what can only be described as hell on Earth, Japanese-occupied Manchuria.  Bear in mind that at this point Japanese soldiers raped anything that would hold still long enough to get their cocks into it in Manchuria during world war two, and the Japanese had a team of "doctors" in the same vein of medicine that the dude from Human Centipede was a "doctor" roaming the countryside in search of people on whom they could test theories that basically amounted to seeing how long it would take you to die if they sewed a dog's head into your groin in place of your cock.  After learning the rudiments of kempo from an itinerant worker who ostensibly hoped this would help a small boy retain the structural integrity of his anal sphincter, Oyama adopted the name "Oyama Masutatsu", which was a transliteration of an ancient Korean kingdom Oyama would knew would piss off the Japanese, and moved to Japan to piss off the Japanese even more.  From there, Oyama embarked upon what could only be described as a hate-fueled journey through Japan with only one goal- to shed as much Japanese blood as humanly possible with his bare hands.

So Nei Chu knew a thing or to about bringin' dat swole.

In Japan, Oyama started collecting black belts in every style of martial arts he could that no Knockout-obsessed gangbanger in the world would find himself with saggy pants if Oyama could help it.  After pulling down multiple-dan black belts in Okinawan and Shotokan karate, Oyama did the same in judo, studied boxing, and then happened upon another Korean ex-pat martial arts badass in the form of So Nei Chu.  A goju-ryu master, So Nei Chu was also a bit of a meathead, and began adding a great deal of strength training to the already stocky Oyama's training routine.  Under So Nei Chu, Oyama started focusing heavily on hojo undo, which are traditional Japanese kareteka strengthening exercises that include the use of barbells and more cinderblock lifting than you could possibly find in Marky Mark's Good Vibrations video.  Since I've already covered this and have not only never seen the implements but have never used them, check this shit out if you want a primer on hojo undo.

The really great man can only be produced through continuous heavy training.
-So Nei Chu

Yo!  It's about that time to bring forth the rhythm and the rhyme!

Discontented with his training and the fact that the people who fucked his people in the ear were now being fucked in the ear by gaijin, Oyama did what any sensible person would do and fled to the mountains.  There, he built a shack and proceded to train for 14 months in an effort to hone himself into the most brutal killing machine the world had ever seen, at least until the martial arts epic Gymkata was released.  After climbing the mountain on which the great unwashed asshole swordsman Mushashi penned The Book Of Five Rings,  Oyama proceded to build a shack in which he'd live for six months with one of his students and then another six months alone after his student peaced the fuck out (understandably) from stir-craziness.  Having spent a great deal of time building up his conditioning under So Nei Chu (who was also the financial backer for Oyama's homage to the Unibomber), Oyama spent twelve hours a day using trees as makiwara, riping the bark off trees with his fingers (a trick he learned from So Nei Chu, who learned it from the dude who invented their style), punching rocks, meditating under freezing waterfalls, channeling his inner Dean Karnazes for a shitload of trail running, and doing more stone and tree trunk lifting than a drunken Scot in the months before a Highland Games festival. Thus, when Oyama's funding ran out, he descended from the mountains a man with whom no part of nature wanted to fuck and handily destroyed the competition in an all-Japan karate competition.  Feeling like that simply wasn't enough awesome and filled with so much hatred for modern society that he even made Julius Evola wonder what the fuck had gotten up his ass, Oyama returned to the mountains for another 18 months of 12 hour a day training with no days off, because overtraining is fuck pussies and Oyama apparently gave less than zero fucks about Mark Rippetoe's eventual opinion on the matter.

Back in civilization, Oyama went back to doing what he did best- beating the brakes off everyone he could.  Before he founded his own school, Oyama was the assistant instructor at the home of goju-ryu with none other than Masahiko Kimura, legendary judoka who's one of the godfathers of modern mma.  Kimura and Oyama trained together constantly, and Oyama's physique was that much the better for it.  Kimura had by this point developed a pants-shittingly awesome practice we could all stand to adopt called "San-bai no Do-ryoku (Triple Effort)."  This method consisted of him just tripling the effort of his competition to ensure that he would never lose.  Having heard his opponents were training three hours a day, Kimura started training nine.  This, he believed, would turn him into a real life Ultron- he'd me insanely confident and virtually indestructible, as his mind and body would exist to do nothing other than to propel him onto victory.  Thus, this brutal lunatic would awake in the middle of the night to train, and lacking a hair shirt and a knotted whip, decided that as penance for a lackluster performance (after winning his first championship) he had to do 500 pushups, one kilometer of bunny hops and 500 karate strikes before hitting the hay.  At 5'6", 185 lbs, Kimura was pretty much unstoppable- he honed his throwing strength by practicing it on trees (ripping them out of the ground) and dragged Oyama through workouts like this:

Dem pecs.

Pushups or Hindu Push-ups- 1,000 
Bunny Hop- 1 km
Headstand- 3 x 3 Minutes
Judo Practice- 100 Throws
One-Arm Barbell Clean and Press- 15 Reps each side OR Bench Press- 3 Sets: 3, 2, and 1 Reps
Situps off Partner's Back or Decline Situps- 200 
Squats with Partner/Log/Barbell/Sandbag (150-200lbs)- 200 
Judo Practice- 100 Submissions
Shuto (Knife-hand Strikes)- 500
Judo Practice- 100 Entries
Judo Randori- "X" x 3 Minute Rounds
Practice Throws (particularly Uchi-mata) Against a Tree- 1 Hour
Additional Judo Practice- 1 Hour

According to a couple of sources, another influence on Oyama at this time was Japanese strongman Takemaru Wakaki.  Though I could not find much in the way of information on Wakaki, you can see he was a middleweight strongman and bridged the gap between the truly old schoolers (Saxon, Strongfort, Hackenschmidt, etc) and the Grimek era.  As such, the name of the game was volume, and Oyama's routines definitely reflected that.  Though he was about as reluctant to give a definitive program as the team for Half Life 2: Episode 3, here's what Oyama himself said he did on a daily basis in his seminal work, My Karate:

Running- 4km per day
Rope-skipping- 20 minutes per day
Dumbell shoulder press- 200 reps
Dips- 100 reps
Pushups (on knuckles)- 300 reps
Inclined push ups- 100 reps
Jumping side kick over 4 foot vaulting horse
Incline dumbell bench press- 200 reps
Bench Press (175 pounds)- 500 reps

Exercises requiring a partner:
Hitting bag with upper elbow and side of elbow- 200 times each
Practicing jumping kick with bag
Exercises for neck (with partner)
Leg exercise (squat with partner on back)
Back and Abdomen exercises with partner

Think it couldn't work?  Think again.  Oyama used this conditioning routine to found one of the first truly hybrid styles of the Far East, Kyokushinkaikan, a style in which you have to fight 100 guys in a row, bare knuckles, to achieve the highest belt status.  Oyama was the first to do so, and since then only 13 other people have managed to pull it off (and all of them went directly to the hospital, from what I understand).  Oyama is also alleged to have defeated over 270 opponents, and his one punch slaughter technique earned Oyama the nickname "The Godhand."  

If he hit you, you broke. If you blocked a rib punch, your arm was broken or dislocated. If you didn't block, your rib was broken.

I honestly don't know who was more excited in this pic, but I can tell you I am fully erect.

Thus, when it's not giving its best fighters rhabdo, Oyama's baby has given the world Bloodsport (Oyama invented the kumite), Street Fighters Ken and Ryu, Tekken's Jim Kazama, knockdown karate, K-1, Marius Pudzianowski (he's a European kyokushin champ), Dolph Lundgren (who was also a European kyokushin champ), just about every useful karate style ever, mixed martial arts (Oyama taught Kimura striking, and Kimura went on to beat Helio Gracie's ass in one of the first mma fights), and threw some big brass balls on the universe as a whole.  Thus, the next time you think you've done enough in training- think a-fucking again and find some way to do more.

Or imagine she will fuck you if you hit a 3.5x bodyweight raw squat.

Keaveney, Liam.  Mas Oyama.  Original link dead, but taken from British Karate Kyokushinkai
Magazine.  Excerpt from http://www.kyokushin4life.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6971&highlight=wakaki+takemaru&page=2

Kimura, Masahiko.  My Judo.  JudoInfo.  Web.  16 Dec 2013.  http://judoinfo.com/kimura2.htm

Mas Oyama.  Web.  17 Dec 2013.  http://www.mutekikyokushin.com/content_bio_masoyama.html

The Mas Oyama Workout.  Pierced Visions.  7 Jan 2010.  Web.  16 Dec 2013.

Ross, Steven.  Masahiko Kimura's Training.  Real Anime Training. 2 Apr 2013.  Web.  16 Dec 2013.  http://real-anime-training.blogspot.com/2013/04/judo-in-anime-and-manga-masahiko.html

Tsui, Dom.  Masahiko Kimua Training.  26 May 2011.  Web.  16 Dec 2013.  http://www.livestrong.com/article/455237-masahiko-kimura-training/

Young, Robert.  How Kyokushin Karate Master Kenji Yamaki Endured the 100-Man Kumite.  Black Belt.  25 Nov2013.  Web.  17 Dec 2013.  http://www.blackbeltmag.com/daily/traditional-martial-arts-training/kyokushin/how-kyukoshin-karate-master-kenji-yamaki-endured-the-100-man-kumite/

07 December 2013

In Death Ground, Fight- Part 2

Ground on which we can only be saved from destruction by fighting without delay, is death ground.  In death ground, fight. 
"Suppose an army invading hostile territory without the aid of local guides:—it falls into a fatal snare and is at the enemy's mercy. A ravine on the left, a mountain on the right, a pathway so perilous that the horses have to be roped together and the chariots carried in slings, no passage open in front, retreat cut off behind, no choice but to proceed in single file. Then, before there is time to range our soldiers in order of battle, the enemy is overwhelming strength suddenly appears on the scene. Advancing, we can nowhere take a breathing-space; retreating, we have no haven of refuge. We seek a pitched battle, but in vain; yet standing on the defensive, none of us has a moment's respite. If we simply maintain our ground, whole days and months will crawl by; the moment we make a move, we have to sustain the enemy's attacks on front and rear. The country is wild, destitute of water and plants; the army is lacking in the necessaries of life, the horses are jaded and the men worn-out, all the resources of strength and skill unavailing, the pass so narrow that a single man defending it can check the onset of ten thousand; all means of offense in the hands of the enemy, all points of vantage already forfeited by ourselves:—in this terrible plight, even though we had the most valiant soldiers and the keenest of weapons, how could they be employed with the slightest effect?"
You know what you do in this case?  Fucking ATTACK.  We've all been in this position in the gym- broken/torn whatevers/horrible illness/etc.  Something that not only cripples you physically but cripples you psychologically.  I've had it happen twice in the last year, first with walking pneumonia and then with the broken hand/torn bicep combo.  In both cases, it wasn't just the fact that I couldn't train the way I liked, but the fact that I'd been proven mortal by the universe at large.  Though that might seem preposterous to most people, if you think of yourself as mortal and consider your own mortality, you will never transcend mediocrity, never rise out of the muck, never crawl over the assembled, teeming,unwashed, blind, stinking masses to grab the brass ring.  Thus, a catastrophic setback initially freaks me the fuck out and throws me into whatever my best impression of "depressed" is.  I, however, have never allowed myself to get sad for all that long- like they said in the original Red Dawn, I "let it turn into something else".  Instead of getting sad, I get mad at myself for being a Fucking Awesome Guy and get insanely, ripshit angry.  I get angry at everything- the sun, the fact that a book I love has a shitty cover, the fact that my dog pointedly ignores certain command, pants (because fuck pants), my crippled body, everyone driving a car, EVERYTHING.  Then, I channel that energy into creativity.

Yes, creativity.  It might come as a great shock to everyone under 25 who's reading this, but the gym is the perfect place for you to express your creativity.  If you're not creative, you're going to be a shitty lifter, plain and simple.  Allow me to explain- in order to be a great lifter, you have got to get creative to overcome hurdles, train around injuries, get lean, fix weaknesses, and sculpt your body however you want it to look.  If you just do what you're told, you're going to suck- it's just that simple.  Lifting is not a science- it's an art.  For those of you who are going to expose your utter blindness to the truth and irrefutable ignorance, consider that just as science influences and supports art (the creation of colors and mediums, explaining why certain art appeals to the majority, etc), science also influences and supports lifting... but lifting cannot, will not, and never could be made into a science because there are too many independent variables involved in programming, exercise selection, and loading for anyone to accurately utilize science or math in their calculation.

Skeptical?  I have taken advice from people on a number of occasion, and it has always ended in disaster.  One time I didn't cum for almost a year because getting off would "hurt my gainz".  No only did my gainz suffer, but my dick developed schizophrenia and would not respond to normal commands when called into battle.  If I could have found the old fuck who gave me that advice, I'd have sent everyone in his family a fucking nailbomb.  Likewise for when my squat stalled and someone suggested that since Bill Kazmeier only did 10-12 reps in the off-season, I should too.  My squat literally dropped 50 lbs over three months and it took the better part of a year to make a five pound PR over my previous plateau weight.  People, as it turns out, know precisely fuck all about what will make you strong.

I'ma dig a ditch, bitch, and throw your ass in.

Speaking of knowing exactly fuckall, there is one major caveat to what I am suggesting- if you're under the age of 27 at this moment and happen to ever find yourself injured, you might as well quit lifting and eat a fucking bullet.  Not since Al Qaeda conquered the assembled unwashed and uneducated dirt merchants of Afghanistan has there been a less well-educated or more pompous, self-aggrandizing, entitled pack of dogmatic, uninteresting, dickless, brainless fucktards than the under-27 crowd of "powerlifters" fucking up any decent discourse on the subject of lifting on whatever public forum they currently choose.  So wedded to the idea that they have to adhere to a "program" lest they fail to achieve the baseline mediocrity for which they so desperately wish in order to impress the other saddie bitches yammering on about the program du jour, they're completely incapable of enacting a damage control system of "improvise, adapt, and overcome" to train around an injury.  Frankly, I've no idea how these assholes manage to get out of bed and get their fucking shoes on ("Thanks for tying them, mom!  I'll get it before I turn 30!  I promise!"), but that set of actions certainly stretches the limits of their autonomy to the breaking point.  They'd be more likely to transmogrify themselves into a rape monster in the form of winged bag of pulsating ectoplasm covered with turgid 10" cocks than they would be capable of determining a course by which they could train around an injury.

Hate those motherfuckers about this much.

If that offended you, good.  Anyone who defends that generation of lifters will join them in the fucking camps.  Lest you worry, we know your work capacity isn't going to allow for much slave labor, as your CNS allegedly has less balls than a geriatric AIDS patient covered in cancerous goiters.  Nope, we're just going to lead you fucking lemmings to the edge of a deep pit (dug with bulldozers, because again, you fuckers would fall down dead of exhaustion from digging a potted plant out of the ground) and shove you in, where you can lament the fact you never did a fucking pullup with all of the other assholes in your generation as you starve to death.

I always had the desire to inflict pain on others and to have others inflict pain on me. I always seemed to enjoy everything that hurt. The desire to inflict pain, that is all that is uppermost.
-Albert Fish

For the rest of you, what's important is that you get creative and tried new shit.  That is the only thing you can do when you get injured, because when you're facing a serious injury, improvisation is all you have.  Consider my latest clusterfuck- confronted with the issue of a torn bicep and broken bone in my right hand which still hurts like a fuck), I was reduced to unilateral pulls that did not involve my palm with my right hand, nothing with my left, and machine leg training.  As such, I simply started training legs as much as possible, alternating between machine squats and leg extensions/leg curls.  Then, on alternating days, I did explosive unilateral pulldowns, curls, one arm pullups, and triceps pressdowns.  Once I had surgery, I added in two non-unilateral movements that I basically invented myself- band crossovers with the bands on my biceps rather than in my hands (to remove the load from my bicep) and band rows with the bands over my triceps.  You might be thinking to yourself, "that's not gonna do shit", but you know what?  It's more than the average person does, and I was trying to keep my back as conditioned as humanly possible.

For anyone who wants a new goal, how about a triple bodyweight one arm dead?  Pete Cortese: 370 lbs. at 116 lbs.

As my arm healed, I started doing one arm deadlifts with the other arm to keep moving heavy weight, and at 5 weeks cautiously started squatting again, working up to a double with 585 in my first squat session in 7 weeks just fucking because.  That week I also started benching again, working with a wide grip to refrain from compressing my bicep too much, adding in a bunch of machine bench presses just to get my volume up.  I also added overhead presses, starting light and not going to lockout just to keep the strain and stretch off my bicep, and gradually (over a week and a half) worked to full lockout.  At the same time, I remained cognizant of the strain holding a bar at lockout on my bicep, so I simply put the bar as for over head as possible without retearing my bicep and dumped it.  Clearly, none of this should be Earth-shattering- it's just a combination of a bit of creativity and not being a fucking bitch.  Pursuant to the latter bit, I've perhaps taken nine days off in the last two months (I had surgery exactly two months ago)... so it seems your body and your CNS is capable of handling both recovery from surgery and heavy, frequent training without giving you cancer of the IDS provided you feed it plenty of food and remember to avoid being a bitch.

To most of you, that strikes you as a waste of time.  Leg extensions?  Band crossovers?  WHAT'S THE CARRYOVER, BRO?  The carryover is you're a fucking retard and your parents fucking hate you, bro.  Every time I'm asked what the carryover is from one exercise to another I want to burn the world and fuck on the ashes just a little bit more.  I want spray random passers-by with acid.  I want to grab a small child by the feet and beat an entire college campus to death with its corpse.  I want to breathe smoke.  You know why?  BECAUSE THE CARRYOVER IS THAT ANY TIME YOU MAKE YOURSELF STRONGER, YOU'RE FUCKING STRONGER.  Te aforementioned question is a tacit admission that 1) the questioner does not like lifting weights, and 2) knows precisely fuckall about strength training, 3) that person is beneath your contempt and should be treated as thought they just crawled bare-ass naked out of a public porta-potty with their mouth wide open and a baby doll stuffed up their ass.

If you think I am alone in acting in that manner, I am not.  The progenitor of the modern bodybuilding competition and basically the person you have to blame for the popularity of physical culture in the US, Bernarr MacFadden, was a harder motherfucker than you will probably ever be at age 12.  Having grown up in an environment wherein he was constantly being reminded that his death from tuberculosis was eminent and wherein his mom dropped dead of the same disease and his dad peace out when he was a baby, Bernarr decided to get hard.  Essentially an orphan and had no money to join a gym, so he did what he could- too poor to join a gym at age 12, he bought a set of dumbbells he used religiously every morning until he couldn't lift them, replacing them with heavier dumbbells when he needed a bigger challenge.  As if that weren't enough, he took nothing but physically demanding jobs, with the thought that desk jobs would lead him to his death... and he was still a tween.  

Harder Than You Crew circa 1900.

That's right, a twelve year old kid out-harded you.  He idolized the badass motherfuckers he saw coming out of mines and loathed the bitches he saw in banks, so he started carrying a lead ingot everywhere he went at age 15 so he wouldn't go soft as he worked for the company that eventually became Dunn and Bradstreet.  As he grew older and got more wealthy, his penchant for experimentation expanded, and he became a renowned wrestler and strongman weighting only about 150 lbs due to a fanatical, round the clock lifting program and in spite of a near vegetarian diet.  MacFadden wasn't busy worrying about carryover, his CNS, loading protocols for the squat versus the bench, what particular minute adjustment to his bench form he could agonize over, or any of the other stupid shit with which "lifters" find themselves preoccupied these days.  He made himself stronger so that he would be stronger, in spite of whatever bullshit life happened to throw in his way, be it poverty or pneumonia.

In summary, this shit couldn't be any easier.  You're backed into a corner by life, so you fight your way the fuck out and leave nothing alive.  Pretty fucking simple, frankly.  Everyone who's been worth a shit in the past has done it, and so will we, if we aspire to even being mere shadows of our much tougher forbears.  Time to stop making excuses and harden the fuck up people.  

Don't forget- we've got forums now, in case you assholes want to bitch about how I just touched your inner child in its no no place.

Adams, Mark.  Mr. America.  New York:  Harper Collins, 2009.
Gentle, David.  Some Amazing Feats of Grip Strength.  Bob Whelan.  Web.  7 Dec 2013.  http://www.bobwhelan.com/history/gripstrength.html
Sun Tzu's Art of War.  Web.  3 Nov 2013.  http://suntzusaid.com/book/11

29 November 2013

Killin' These Shots Like RIP, Part 2

Given the fact that the holidays are now upon us, it seems only right that I should rehash the benefits of alcohol consumption on the strength athlete, since everyone's going to be fucked-in-half drunk for the bulk of the next month.  As I posited previously, it's going to happen whether or not you believe it will have a positive impact on your gains, as extreme risk takers are prone to bouts of binge drinking.  Beyond that though, there are plenty of reasons why drinking's not the enemy to gainz in the way Jeff Foxworthy is an enemy to comedy you might still think it is.

Good strength athletes are, by and large, risk-taking attention seekers who live in a world where maintenance of the status quo is as unthinkable as running a 24 hour brothel and meth lab out of their parents' basement .  Compounding this is the all-American work-yourself-around-the-fucking-clock ethic, to which people who are extremely competitive are even more susceptible to driving themselves to the brink (or in my case, far enough past it I might start bottling my own urine soon) of insanity.  Psychologists have an explanation for why, then, people of our ilk like to get fucked-in-half drunk or high as shit on a semi-regular basis:
"[The elite] are expected to work hard year round. Even play is work – camp is for honing athletic skills, losing weight, learning to write or make movies – that is, almost anything but just plain fun. So no wonder that by the time they get to college, adolescents are anxious, depressed and stressed out.  How do they deal with these feelings? They work hard at what they see as relaxation – like binge drinking. Ask any of these youngsters, and they will tell you they are trying to get drunk because it’s the best way they know to have fun. They are working at playing the way  they have learned to work at living" (Barth).
Given that analysis, it stands to reason that people who kills the fucking weights 6 days a week, sometimes multiple times a day, might need the occasional evening of watching tentacle rape hentai with their underwear on their head while fucked up on vicodin and vodka.  It's not as though people who are constantly killing themselves at self-improvement would ratchet down the intensity whatsoever when they're trying to relax- it's not possible.  Being brutal is wired into the self-conscious just as not masturbating and white knighting chicks on internet message boards is wired into the psyche of every dude under the age of 27 who's at a bodyweight of 150 lbs or less.

Having established that it's natural, one might wonder what effect it might have on their gainz.  As I covered in the last installment, the effect on training, if training is the only factor at issue, is likely negligible. That's not to say it has no effect or a negative effect on the rest of you, however.  Studies have shown that "moderate drinkers have a more favorable self-perception of their health status than either abstainers or heavy drinkers"(Brodsky), "more experienced drinkers were more specifically focused on enhanced sexual and aggressive arousal"(Ibid), and that drinkers of vodka in particular become far more sociable (Darkes, Goldman).  If you're not getting how that translates to lifting, it means you're going to be more aggressive, happier, and leaner because you're getting laid, like yourself more, and generally be more awesome than you were before.  If you can't muddle through how that might help your lifting, you might just want to stop reading and throw yourself down a well.

Quad growth might suffer.

Ah, but you might have caught on that the greatest benefits of drinking come when you're a "moderate" drinker.  A cursory search of psychological journals puts "moderate" drinking at 2.5 to 5 drinks per day, depending on the source, which means you get between 17 and 35 drinks a week to remain moderate.  That's a hell of a lot of shots, in my book, and is the perfect segue to the crux of this post- getting fucked up post workout brings the gainz.  Scientists recently discovered, and I am not making this up, that consuming a drink containing grain alcohol (like Tucker Max's "Tucker Death Mix") raised both free and total testosterone for five hours post workout, whereas those who did not consume the frat boy rapist punch had their test levels fall below baseline.   Happily, the alcohol had no effect on cortisol or estradiol levels, so the dudes in the study were just floating in a sea of dying brain cells and testosterone-fueled awesomeness (Vingren).

How much is enough to get the nearly 100% boost in testosterone postworkout science has recorded?  It depends on your bodyweight.  For matters of convenience and exigency, I decided to make a little chart for you guys to give you the proper dosage to spike your test levels properly using the study's 1.09mg/kg bodyweight ratio organized by weight class, as this is after all an article aimed at serious lifters.  For the Oly guys and IPF/USAPL (/sadfaceissad) among you, these are the weight classes that existed before the IOC decided that you guys couldn't hang with the old school lifters.

How the fucking guys in the study made it home is a mystery- they sure as hell didn't drive, and if they did, they didn't live, because they slammed that shit in 10 minutes.  I can drink with the best of them, but I've never faced half a liter of vodka in ten minutes- that's some Decline of Western Civilization style drinking, and I'm not sure I can hang with the likes of 1980s hair metal bands.

Bring tha gainz.

In other words, here is your plan for the holidays- whenever you're planning to party, smash the fuck out of some weights, slam a shake, and then drink yourself into a coma.  According to science, you'll awaken with a steel hardon (and who doesn't get horny as fuck when hungover?), muscle gain, fat loss, and an appreciation for what Peter The Great's life must have been like before he died of a gangrenous bladder.

Dude literally made people take a shot every 15 minutes at his parties and would punch them in the face if they remained sober.

Alcohol equivalence.  Wikipedia.  Web.  29 Nov 2013.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_equivalence

Barth, FD.  Can’t Relax? Science Explains—and Helps Solve the Problem.  Psychology Today.  13 Jul 2013.  Web.  26 Nov 2013.  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-couch/201307/can-t-relax-science-explains-and-helps-solve-the-problem 

Brodsky, Archie.  S. Peele & M. Grant (Eds.).  Alcohol’s Role in a Broader Conception of Health and Well-being.  Alcohol and pleasure: A health perspective, Philadelphia: Brunner/Mazel, pp. 187-207. 

Darkes, J., & Goldman, M.S. (1993). Expectancy challenge and drinking reduction: Experimental evidence for a mediational process. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 61, 344-53. 

Drinking booze after workouts boosts testosterone.  Muscular Development.  Dec 2013.  198. 

Goldman, M.S., Brown, S.A., & Christiansen, B.A. (1987). Expectancy theory: Thinking about drinking. In H.T. Blane & K.E. Leonard (Eds.), Psychological theories of drinking and alcoholism (pp. 181-226). New York: Guilford. 

Ultimate Post-Workout Testosterone Booze: Hard Liquor Increases Late PWO Testosterone Levels by Almost 100%.  SuppVersity.  11 Mar 2013.  Web.  29 Nov 2013.  http://suppversity.blogspot.com/2013/03/ultimate-post-workout-testosterone.html 

Vingren JL, Hill DW, Buddhadev H, Duplanty A. Post-Resistance Exercise Ethanol Ingestion and Acute Testosterone Bioavailability. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013 Mar 6.

20 November 2013

In Death Ground, Fight. Part 1.

Sun Tzu, a long dead Chinaman with a penchant for murdering hookers and writing books to which still yuppies jack off, had a portion of his seminal work The Art of War in which he addressed the proper response to three basic situations in which one might find themselves:
"In difficult ground, press on; On hemmed-in ground, use subterfuge; In death ground, fight."
Though this might seem a bit cryptic, if yuppies can apply this to business, than those of us with the "meathead condition" certainly can apply it to our own lives.  Should you find yourself unable to do so, you're likely to be capable of counting only to potato.  In spite of that fact, I shall elucidate the meaning of my metaphor- one will find themselves encountering a number of setbacks in training, dieting, and competition, and all of those require slightly different responses.  Though it's easy to forget the value of setbacks and injuries, they are actually one of the few things that will keep you progressing forward rather than lapsing into complacency and whatever other training malaise with which you might find yourself afflicted.  Yes, that's correct- it is actually a good thing to plateau and get injured, all of the plaintive missives of the whiny bitches populating the interwebz notwithstanding.  If one never encounters setbacks, they will never find a way to overcome them.  Hilariously, the first impulse of most people is to consult with others to find a solution to their problem, as they're too fucking lazy and stupid to do it themselves.

This might be you.

It might surprise the assembled internet warriors that I never had a significant training injury until I broke a bone in my right hand and tore my left bicep in the Olympia last month.  That's right- I broke a bone in my right hand because I drove the bar so hard into the ground after pulling the easiest 606 in history and then tore my bicep on my second attempt with 675.  As to the former injury, there were parties at the Olympia to which I was trying to prove a point, and as I am not really a fan of the deadlift anyway, proved the efficacy of my ridiculous non-deadlifting training techniques by slamming the bar to the ground and walking away from it contemptuously.  What sucked about the injuries, however, moreso than the injuries themselves, was the fact that they crippled my upper body training for about a month and left me flailing about trying to determine just what in the fuck I should be doing to keep moving forward, as I'd had my sights set on a ~1800 total at RUM and was damned if I'd see that dream go entirely up in smoke just because I participated in a meet I shouldn't have.  This brought on a rather uncommon bit of introspection, and that led to the following missive on the incredible value of training setbacks.  In keeping with Sun Tzu, I've divided training setbacks into three distinct categories and will outline the strategies I've used to circumvent them.

Given that Chun Li is Chinese, one would think there'd be cosplay porn with a Chinese broad it in, but it's naught but Japanese and Americans.  That's almost as weird as the amount of 'shopping done to this pic.

Mountain forests, Or simply "forests", rugged steppes, marshes and fens—all country that is hard to traverse: this is difficult ground. 

Everyone has the occasional training setback.  It could be due to a chronic, nagging pain that you can't shake, weirdness in your personal life, midnight rape by closet golems, on any other of a thousand reasons.  These are without question the easiest of the three "fuck My Life" categories I've enumerated above to resolve, as it simply requires that you identify the culprit and destroy it.  Closet golems fucking up your colon nightly?  Burn your house down.  Significant other acting like an asshole all the time and stressing you out?  Kick that motherfucker off the top of a tall building.  Have a niggling "injury" hampering your training?  Get deep tissue massage.  If I had a nickel for every time someone came to me with an "injury" that was either immediately or almost immediately resolved by Rolfing, I'd have a bunch of nickels.

Goddamned closet golems.

I first stumbled upon this realization when I was trying to diagnose what I thought was a rotator cuff injury.  After a corstisone injection had the same effect on my pain that Kevin Smith has on the average female's vaginal humidity, I started poking around in my armpit to see if I could feel an issue.  What I discovered was a whole fucking pile of issues in the form of nested knots in my bicep, all of which proved extremely painful and difficult to root out, but were definitively the source of my pain.  Likewise, I discovered that my knee pain was caused by tight IT bands and/or weak hamstrings, and massage again came to the rescue for that.

If the owner of this crap squats over 315 I will eat my fucking laptop.

If there is nothing in your non-training life apparently fucking with your training, you either need to try something new in the gym or try harder.  The former bit would hopefully occur to most of you, but the latter bit is a concept completely lost on people under the age of 25.  It seems like everyone under 25 has grown up in an environment wherein just showing up means they get some kind of award, and whereas it was the high school kids who were the go-hards, back in the day, it's the old heads running circles around the kids with abacuses and notepads and Elite EFS gear and rumble rollers and PVC pipes and bands and bells and straps and every other retarded training accouterments one might wish for.  Half of these kids seem to think the key to a big bench is carrying 75 lbs of random lifting detritus into the gym in a bag bigger than they are.  Oh, and per-workout nutrition.  Instead, they just might want to look at the old guys and lift like they do- fucking HARD.

Ground which is reached through narrow gorges, and from which we can only retire by tortuous paths, so that a small number of the enemy would suffice to crush a large body of our men: this is hemmed in ground. 

When you're hemmed in, you're basically either suffering from moderate training injuries or long plateaus.  The former can be trained around, to an extent.  For instance, I tried to roll through an ankle bar years ago and managed to get myself an avulsion fracture of my right ankle in the process.  Docs gave me a low cast, and I promptly hobbled my ass into the gym and started squatting on it the following week.  This was not a walking cast- this was a regular, rounded cast.  I was going to be damned if I was going to see my squat drop simply because my ankle decided to fail me, and I continued lifting as usual.  Similar injuries would be broken fingers/toes, or pulled muscles in your extremities.  All of that can be trained and/or trained around.  What you want to avoid is making the injury worse with your training, which seems to be one of the only two options I see assholes on Facebook taking... either they continue training in the exact same manner that got them the injury and fuck themselves up worse of they just stop training.  One's stupid and the other is stupid and weak.  Try not to be either.


Instead of doing the same old shit or nothing whatsoever, forcibly drag yourself out of whatever box-named-after-a-dead-Russian you're in and fucking do different shit.  Look around your gym- there are thousands of pound of equipment at your disposal, and you can use ALL of it.  Stop being a pompous ass who thinks that his/her MASSIVE 315 squat affords you the right to talk shit about the bodybuilders hammering away on machines all day long.  I've seen those cats enter powerlifting meets, and the results are hilarious.  In a meet a couple of years ago I saw a 200 lb kid pull 700 in a meet, and it was the second time he'd done the fucking lift.  He was just really used to lifting really heavy shit at a variety of angles, and happened to have a some sort of superhuman monkey grip.  The second you lock yourself into a mindset is the second you consign yourself to failure.

No, dude, I'm telling you, bodybuilders are weak because there's no carryover... oh, fuck.

Same goes for a long plateau- you're doing the wrong shit.  Even the most perfectly designed program can fail miserably if you hate it, don't have the mindset to do it with the proper amount of vim and vigor, or you have to cut corners to make it work for you.  Time and time again I've seen lifters beat their faces on the wall like psychotic retards in an attempt to force a themselves to succeed on a program for which they're unsuited.  that's not you failing on a program, that's the fucking program failing you, because it wasn't designed for you.  The sooner everyone gets this fucking message the better, because the topic is literally going to give me a fucking ulcer at some point.  Cookie cutter programs are for cookie cutter people- leave them to the gingerbread men and women of the world and use your fucking brain to determine what's best for you.  And before the beginners of the world chime in with bullshit about how they're incapable of thinking for themselves, SHUT THE FUCK UP.  No one wants to hear that bitch made drivel, because it's fucking stupid.  There are Special Olympians who outlift you, and it's not like they've thought their way into beast mode- they just see a fucking weight and pick it up, put it down, and repeat.  This shit could not be more simple.

Still at a loss?  Frankly, I think getting past plateaus couldn't be more intuitive, but I am also a genius who's been training for more years than most of the people reading this have not been not not shitting their pants.  While you try to figure out that triple negative, I will related what Mel Siff suggests for ramping right the fuck over a plateau like you're a soccer mom in a Hummer texting about some inane television show while she's plowing down mailboxes on the way to pick up little Suzie from ballet practice.
  • Attempt to increase the number of repetitions with near maximal loads. This is one of my favorite methods, in fact, and I use it pretty much constantly.  To do this, you essentially focus on making your rep max for a certain rep max higher in reps, i.e. taking a 2 rep max to a 3 rep max.  That generally works wonders, and once you've increased by two reps, you can usually move 10-20 lbs more on your previous rep max.
  • Increase loads by unfamiliar increments. According to Siff, "sticking points often relate to the numerical value of the load that associates with one’s current 1RM. For example, if you are trying to increase your 1RM of 100kg via succession of sets of 80-90-95-100kg, the sequence could be changed to sets of 80-92.5-97.5-102.5kg."  In my experience, that sort of a sticking point is usually about as mental as it is physical, so either tricking yourself into lifting just above or just below the weight with kilos or pounds, depending on what's unfamiliar to you, having your lifting partner change the training weights on you without you noticing (a la Arnold with Franco back in the day), or just jumping right over your sticking point weight by five lbs and having a spotter handy to help you out if it ends up a catastrophe.
  • Add minimal weights increments near your attempts with your 1RM. Siff says, "Very light weights (0.5-1.0kg) will be virtually unnoticeable. You should simply continue to train as if the small increment was not there."  That's all well and good, but I've never found that microplates help for shit.  Maybe it's my impatience, and maybe it's just my desire to impose my will on the world, but I don't think involving microplates in your program does much more than indicate the possibility of a micropenis.
  • Alter or improve technique in problematic exercises.  Master trainer Siff thinks that plateaus are occasionally due to imperfect technique, and that the use of a coach or a self-conducted (read NOT A FUCKING FORM CHECK VIDEO) can lend itself to a solution.  Again, I've benefited not at all from the suggestions of other people when it comes to determining whether or not my form can be improved, because there are precious few people on the planet with the requisite experience and knowledge to provide such an analysis.  Most of the people who are happy to contribute form advice are either pompous beyond any reasonable understanding of how self-confidence is formed, or too stupid to understand they're talking our of their asses.  Either way, you're better off looking for weak spots on your own if you cannot find a competent coach.

My approach to plateaus has been somewhat different.  Instead of using microplates or sitting down with a bowl of popcorn to watch the fascinating evolution of my squat, I (surprise, surprise) black glass that plateau like it's a xenomorph-infested planet by doing the following:
  • Alter the exercise.  If I am stalled on the bench press, for instance, I will either alter the manner in which I conduct it altogether for a time, or I'll change the second day exercise altogether and change the rep range on the first.  I always do major lifts twice a week at a minimum, so I will either change my primary lift from a full back squat to a bottom position back squat, for instance, or change my supplementary second day from something like a front squat to a jump squat, then monkey with the rep range on the heavy first day slightly.  I'm not talking about going from singles to tens, I'm talking about going from singles to triples, or from triples to fives.
  • Alter the arrangement of your exercises.  This could be within a day or within a week.  Either way, you want to shift your priority to the very beginning of your training week to ensure you're at your freshest when you attempt it.  
  • Replace the stalled exercise with a similar exercise.  I've done this with both the bench and the squat to get them moving again.  In the former case I replaced it with reverse grip incline bench press, and with the latter I replaced it with the front squat, but kept all other parameters (loading, reps, etc) the same. 

Yeah, it really is that simple.  Up next, we'll have the death ground bit- what to do when the universe up and fucks you to bits and you have to train through injury and illness.  To all those of you who are going to ask me about hernias, please do me a favor and kill yourselves.

Siff, Mel.  Supertraining (6th Ed.). Denver: Supertraining Institute, 2003

16 November 2013

Random Awesome Shit- CnP LLC News, Books, and Music That'll Get You Banned From Westboro Baptist's Thanksgiving Festivities

When I was wrapping up the end of the last blog in this series, I knew I had left a bunch of shit out that I really wanted to get in, but figured I'd hold off a bit before hammering you guys with more of this stuff.  Alas, I can wait no longer, so here we go.  First of, I figured I'd fill you guys in on what is going on with Chaos and Pain LLC.  As most of you should already know, Cannibal Ferox and Inferno are both available for purchase over at www.chaosandpain.com.  We had innumerable problems with the Ferox, however, and so we've found an alternate vendor for production.  As such, we'r going to be launching two new products next month"
  1. Cannibal Genius.  Genius is a nootropic blend combining 40mg of noopept with a variety of other, complementary traditional nootropics and acacia rigidula for a bit of pep in your step.  Time to ditch your amphetamines, because I've got that shit chumped with this fomula.
  2. Cannibal Swole.  Swole is a no-stim pump product designed to be used along or in concert with Cannibal Ferox.  Frankly, I hate pump products, but I can guarantee this shit will give you a pump like you've never had before.  Go here and vote for which flavor you want us to make first!
With all of that corporate shit out of the way, here are a bunch of bands, books, and movies that are guaranteed to scare off any Jehovah's Witnesses that might come calling this holiday season.


Suicide Silence- The Black Crown
Though I liked their EP and one of Suicide Silence's songs off their first album (and I think everyone can agree that you really can't not dislike No Pity For A Coward), I found them to generally be somewhat uninspiring on the whole.  To make matters worse, their second album blew, and they supported it by touring Not so with their third album, which I just discovered simply because I wanted to see what all the hullabaloo was with replacing their original singer.  When MetalSucks gets excited enough to post a four second clip of the band jamming with their new singer, there has to be something to the band.  The Black Crown is that something.  Suicide Silence was, in my opinion, basically nu-metal repackaged as deathcore, but on this album they basically appear to have listened to Hatebreeed's Satisfaction is the Death of Desire, taken the hardcore sentiments therein, and slapped a thick, brutal layer of deathcore on top.  What you end up with is some of the best fucking lifting music I've found since Annotations of an Autopsy's last EP.  Not only that, but the album's diverse enough to suit whichever mood you might have when you're in the gym, be it the "fuck yeah I'm gonna lift some weights and fuck some sluts because I rule" or "I'm gonna smash every weight on Earth and burn this motherfucker to the ground when I'm done".  It makes about as much sense as Robin Thicke's continued existence to attempt to draw a comparison between Suicide Silence and Bulldoze, but SS is pretty much a repackaged Bulldoze for the new century- sometimes they bring the Beatdown and sometimes they remind you to Remember Who's Strong.  For the metal snobs among you, give it this song at least 25 seconds, and bear in mind (Crom help us) that it has a fucking guitar solo in it.

Last Ten Seconds Of Life- Know Your Exits and Invivo[Exvivo]

At some point in 2008 or 2009, I was the sole white person living in a ghetto as fuck apartment complex I moved into sight unseen.  Around that time, I picked up Last Ten Seconds Of Life, and that album blasting out of my apartment and the occasional shirtless foray into the parking lot brandishing two sets of knucks and one or two bashed out car windows were the only thing that kept the fucking crack-dealing shitbirds from "gaffling" each other in front of my fucking window.  As such, I practically shit my pants when I stumbled on their newest full length and EP, as they're both better than a K9 cop for getting gangbangers to scatter like roaches and make for an awesome soundtrack to a particularly hate-filled training session.  I don't think I need to sell this band any more that.  Beatdown deathcore so brutal it makes gangbangers pull up their fucking pants and pretend to read books.

Nails- Abandon All Life

Like most people (I assume, as I don't know all that many people), I go through very distinct phases with my music.  I'll go through a deathcore phase, a beatdown phase, a dubstep phase, and on occasion, a grindcore/powerviolence/old school hardcore phase.  You might find the latter category a bit odd, as few people would lump those three genres together, but it's my contention that what is now either characterized as grindcore or powerviolence is nothing more than the natural evolution of old school hardcore.  We're not talking early 90s hardcore- we're talking Bad Brains/Minor Threat/SS Decontrol style hardcore.  the kin of shit that was fast, angry, and technically proficient without being noodly.  All Nails did was add better distortion and make the shit way, way, way fucking meaner.  The result?  Fucking stab-your-mother-in-law-with-a-rusty-screwdriver-at-Christmas-dinner-for-her-awful-reindeer-sweater amazing.

Kublai Khan- Youth War
This is for those of you who appreciate my more unhoned tastes.  Kublai Khan's not a glass of red at the end of a long working day- it's a quadrupal shot of bum liquor at lunch you can't shake off.  It's the chick you fucked but didn't really think was hot who keeps coming back to ruin your other romantic entanglements because she's just that much of a dirty bitch and you can't keep your dick out of her.  In other words, Kublia Khan is all that is good in life, with none of the guilt.  If you like Thy Art Is Murder, you're going to love Kublai Khan more than chubby, pasty, middle aged white guys with mustaches like the feeling of the inside of a young boy's anus.

Madchild- Lawnmower Man

What?  Rap?  Why?  Well, I'll fucking tell you why.  Madchild is a former member of the group Swollen Members, he combines nerdcore and horrorcore rap, and his beats are fucking sick.  If you don't like either of those genres, you're likely a card carrying communist who only listens to patriotic marching music and old Propagandhi records... on vinyl, of course.  When you've got lyrics like this, you can only go wrong if you only take lefts when everywhere you have to go is on the right.

"Cocaine and steroids, I don't get paranoid
You are not a gangster, you're a fuckin errand boy
Werewolf, warlord, poet and a warrior
Mad Child king, Vancouver and Victoria
These kids forfeit against war orphans
I kill often, I fill coffins
Life's still awful, I will profit
Mad shine bright like light in a socket"

Books Of Which Baphomet Would Approve

Hogg by Samuel Delany
Though I highly doubt any of you will ever read this, I thought I'd put it on your radar only because this book was so fucked up it literally took me three years to finish it.  The protagonist, Hogg, is a contract rapist (yeah, people pay him and his gang to rape broads and dudes) who drags a 12 year old semi-sex-slave boy with him to participate in the festivities while he crosses the countryside raping, maiming, and killing a variety of people.  If nothing else, it's worth reading just because you can say you did afterwards.

Vampires Overhead by Alan Hyder
I admit it- I generally loathe vampire books. Anne Rice, Twilight, etc, are all garbage in my book. To wit, the idea of a ravenous, blood thirsty semi-cannibal as a sexy creature of the night is simply a ridiculous subject for a book and generally ludicrous idea overall. This novel, however, written by a guy who's basically an unknown pulp writer from the 30's and takes vampires in an entirely different direction. The vampires in this book are sort of alien fire bats descend upon an unsuspecting Earth in hordes, draining every drop of moisture from people while setting everything ablaze. As such, Vampires Overhead is really more post-apocalypse than vampire novel as the vampires are totally alien creatures. If you're looking for weak soft-core porn involving pasty faced Victorian-era Eastern Europeans, look elsewhere, but if you want a great account of a fanciful apocalypse, definitely give this a read.

Invasion by Eric L. Harry

It's been a few years since I've read any of Eric L. Harry, but back in the day this guy was the king of the intelligent World War III novel.  This was perhaps the best of the bunch, in which China invades the US by sea and we have to fight back to push those fuckers into the ocean.  the tech in the book is believable if not currently extant, and the characters keep the story flowing.  If you, like me, like a good WW3 yearn, this one will sate your appetite, as they're not really getting written much anymore.

Coming soon, more of the hormone series and a bit on how I have been training since my injury.  Keep it classy, motherfuckers.