27 January 2013

Close Only Counts In Horseshoes And Hand Grenades- Jamie Lewis Goes 1615 At 168.5 lbs

As the saying goes, "close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades", and that adage has never held truer than this weekend, when I went 615-355-645 after failing to make 165 by three pounds.  Had I been able to drop the last three, I would have smashed the shit out of both the squat record (600) and total record (1565) at 165.  Unfortunately for me, however, I couldn't make weight in time and thus just posted another first ranked total at 181... after only training for a month and having dropped 15 lbs with walking pneumonia.  With that lead-in, you can't not be interested in the backstory, right?

The Backstory
At the beginning of December, I developed a minor fever that I thought I fought off within a weekend, though I was racked with tons of random cramping in my legs and back that left me unable to lift or fuck for a couple of days.  That Sunday, I had my first brutal sweat during the night, after which I thought I was done being sick, as that's usually the longest an illness will last in my life.  

I was wrong.

If you eat wings prepared by a 19 year old mother of two whose kids have pneumonia after doing a Crossfit workout, these horrible little motherfuckers will likely take up residence in your lungs and ruin your life.

Over the next three weeks I got progressively sicker, and when I finally went to the doctor I felt moderately better than I had, and discovered I had a fever of 103.  That was the best I'd felt in days, and only went to the doctor because I was coughing so hard I'd vomit up anything I had in my stomach.  As such, I'd not eaten anything in days, and had barely been able to hold down liquids.  When I finally stopped being feverish and coughing my ass off, it was January 2nd, and I was 173 lbs.  I had lifted only three times in the previous three weeks, and had spent every waking moment I wasn't at work in bed, sleeping 13-15 hours a day.

My story is this sad.

Getting back into the gym was a bitch.  The only two decent workouts had in December were an overhead pressing workout in which I tied my PR at 355 in the behind the neck push press, and another in which I did jump squats with sets of 2 to 3 for about an hour with 455.  In between sets, I'd poke my head out the back door and cough hysterically, puke a couple of times, then return to the squat rack.  I'm not going to say I'm harder than Charlie Bronson for my efforts to stay in the gym while feverish to the point of delirium, but I would have felt like a badass if I hadn't felt like I was getting ready to dig my own grave.  I started back with a back workout that left me so sore and tight I couldn't train the following day, and I realized I'd have to add back my volume gradually, which of course made me angrier than one of the member of the Westboro Baptist Church who got duped into attending a gay Satanist Convention in a gimp suit.  Compounding matters was the fact that fatty foods, or foods high in calories made me feel awful, and I basically subsisted for two weeks on 93% lean hamburger patties in brown gravy and Quest protein bars.  It was only in the last week before the meet that I actually had any decent workouts, wherein I doubled 335 on bench and 585 on squat.  My upper back continued cramping horribly, so I only managed to get in about 18 workouts prior to the meet, which for me is nothing.

Unfortunately, this was not where my weight cut transpired.

In spite of the fact that I was a cripple, half-starved, and barely trained (for me), I still managed to put on a considerable amount of weight.  Carb-depleted and in the midst of my water load for the meet on Wednesday night prior to what was supposed to be a Sunday meet, I weighed in at a paltry 188.  Thus, I would have to drop 23 pounds by Sunday morning... or so I thought.  That night at about midnight I received a text telling me that they might move the meet to Saturday, which was confirmed at about 6 AM.  That killed my water load and had me start my water drop early, in addition to compressing my travel timeline and removing an extra day of lifting, as I lift up to 48 hours from the meet.  I had three protein shakes and some Powerade, then quit drinking and took a hot bath while waiting to pick up my girlfriend from the train station at 1:45 AM.  Asleep by about 2:30 AM, I awoke at 6 AM and hit the road for Myrtle Beach.  After 3 hours of blasting the heat, I arrived at the weigh in site at 178.  

The meet hotel was pimped.

The Cut
Over the next 7 hours, I spent every waking moment in either the hot tub or the sauna, desperately trying to get to 165 without the aid of an actual hot bath.  A hot tub, I discovered, is unsuited to the task of a real weight cut, because just as people can't stand hot wings that are actually hot, they can't abide a hot tub that is either.  When I weighed in at 2:45 I was horrified to discover that I was still three pounds over... a weight I could have cut with a hot bath and another couple of hours, but I'd have risked dying in a fiery car accident from passing out on the drive to and from the hotel, and would have fucked my recomposition.  Deciding discretion is the better form of valor and that my Wilks could not be fucked with, I threw in the towel on the cut and headed to a pizza place nearby to begin my recomp.

At 188 on Wednesday.

Halfway through the cut.

Right before weigh in at 2:45.  Can't say I didn't try.  I look like I'm fucking dying.

By 10 PM I was 180.

This is what I looked like the morning after the meet- fucking awesome at 190.

The Meet
The meet actually went slightly better than I expected by not as well as I had hoped.  Had I made weight  I would have been a little more conservative on my third attempts in the deadlift and the bench, but as it stood I decided to go for PRs rather than a bigger total.  For those of you about to talk shit on my squat number, I only squatted heavy twice in the last two months and Monolifts actually terrify me.  Ridiculous, I know, but I'm used to squatting in squat racks that are bolted into the floor and don't jiggle and sway when I'm locking the bar into my back.  When I start a squat in the mono I always feel like I'm going to fall on my fucking face.  Walking it out wouldn't help, either, since the fucking thing is still swaying in the breeze like the Haitian flag in a hurricane while the Haitians are staging another revolt while I'm trying to set up.  As promised, here are vids of my lifts.

For the squat, I had intended to go 585-615-635, and then take a fourth if I'd made weight.  As I didn't make weight and my head was fucked from the Monolift, my form looked like shit on my second (which looks decent to me) and then I just retook 615 for my third 

Bench went great on my first two attempts (325-355), so I decided to hit a PR (385) and got stapled on my third.

Deadlift is always a crapshoot, because I never train it, so I had no idea what to choose for my attempts.  My upper and mid-back, which have been bothering my since I spent a month coughing on my deathbed, proved to be my undoing.  I went 605-645-680 in an attempt to hit a PR and missed it.

I looked fucking ridiculous the day after that meet- glycogen supercompensation is the shit.

All in all, it certainly could have gone worse, but I wish it had gone better. There were some really exceptional lifters in that meet, as well, like a 22 year old college kid who totalled 1860 at 220, after only doing one warmup on squat.  He only did a single warmup set because they decided to put the pros in the first flight, which none of us anticipated.  I got to the venue at 8 for an 8:30 start and was horrified to discover that I was in the first flight, because I suck at squatting early in the day and hadn't yet eaten breakfast.  Violating my own rule of keeping warmups to a bare minimum, I did five warmup singles in the ricketiest rack I've ever used, which nearly tipped over on me on the last warmup.

Nate assures me that not everyone from Mississippi is a retarded, fat hillbilly, but the jury's still out on that one- I don't believe he's actually from that state.

Mississippi actually did me one better- he awoke to a text at 8:15 telling him our flight started in 15 minutes, and got to the venue in time to do a single with 495 before walking out for a 660 opener.  [Edit] The dude's name is Nate Davis, and he's about to be the most insane 220 lber ever.  His wrapped total at that meet puts him at 5th on the All-Time list for that weight class, which is sick considering he's 22.  Fun fact- Nate squatted 365 the first time he ever tried the lift... at age 13.  Might as well not even bother with that class if you're a 220 lber and your name's not Jay Nera or Dan Green.

Hannah Johnson could beat your ass and would giggle while doing it.

I hung out with Hannah Johnson, an EFS lifter who manages to be hot as hell while strong as shit.  She's also hilarious, and the girlfriend and I really enjoyed hanging out with her at and after the meet- she probably cheered louder for every competitor than anyone else at that meet, which was awesome.

Additionally, I met Joe Ladnier, who was on the cover of the first Powerlifting USA I ever bought, and is the guy who really drove it home for me that you could be ripped and strong.  He was an incredibly nice guy, if oddly shy, and it was cool as hell to meet him.

The meet ran well, the promoters were cool as shit, and I had a damn good time given my somewhat lackluster performance.  Ah well- I can always fuck shit up at RUM.

24 January 2013

Dude, So and So Got SO Fucking Jacked For That Movie: Hugh Jackman

In previous installments of this series, we've covered guys like Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, and Chris Hemsworth, who were all athletes prior to getting into acting.  This gave them a base from which they could draw in order to pack on mass, since they were all reasonably well built guys to start.  None of their pronounced weight gains were easy, of course, as it's about as easy to pack on 20 lbs of fat free mass in few months as it is for a Biggest Loser contestant to resist diving into a box of stale doughnuts they see in the trash.  Their transformations were, however, likely far easier than they would be for, say, a musical theater actor who's been tasked with playing a fantastically muscular, pissed off, hirsute superhero that pretty much every guy who's ever read comics fucking loves.  As I've stated before, I'm not all that happy with the fact that a 6'3", 210 lb actor is playing a role for a character who's noted for being a full foot shorter at the same weight, but there's really only been one guy in history who could have played him, and his heyday is long past. Franco Columbo would have been physically would have been physically perfect for playing Wolverine, but he recently turned 71 and would have looked pretty fucking ridiculous playing a man who never ages, especially since Franco at 71 is a far cry from Franco at 40.  Syvester Stallone, Franco is unfortunately not- apparently only Dave Draper and Sly can look phenomenal into their twilight years.

Having failed to secure a time machine to snag Franco off the stage of the 1981 Olympia, the director of X-Men decided to do the next best thing- he'd have an Australian musical theater actor with no sports experience or visible musculature to play a jacked, shaggy, cantankerous dwarf from Canada. Though I cannot imagine how one would make that logical leap in their minds, director Bryan Singer decided to cast a skinny Aussie, rather than attempt to feed Tom Cruise steroids and GH for a year and chain him to a squat rack, which probably would have been most directors' initial idea.  Nevertheless, Singer pulled a reverse Jack Reacher (in which 5'6" Cruise plays a 6'5", 250 lb., blond haired, blue eyed terror of a former Army MP)

Uh... Wolverine?

Shockingly, Jackman, whose background prior to X-Men pretty much consisted of the musical Oklahoma, managed to pull off playing Wolverine.  When he first hit the screen as such, he weighed about 180 lbs, somewhat heavier than his natural bodyweight, but a far cry from the nearly 300 lbs of rip he probably should have weighed.  He went on to get leaner and put on 30 more pounds, a transformation that might be described as Kafkaesque if you simply look at Jackman in Oklahoma and then his current incarnation in The Wolverine, but his physique is actually the product of over a decade of lifting.  As such, if you're looking for a quick fix workout for how Jackman got big and lean, you're shit out of luck- it doesn't exist.  Instead, this is a story of one man's journey from being a slightly built member of the musical theater to a growling, jacked badass who now gets considered for any and all action movie roles.

The X-Men of my youth had far more of the above than the slow-paced teen drama the movies represented.

Though most of us would likely rather put the horrid X-Men movie series out of our minds, given that they basically took a massive steaming shit on our childhoods, Jackman initially started working out for his role as Wolverine in 1999, when hewas initially cast as the superhero.  Interestingly, all I could find in reference to Jackman's initial workout were mentions in US Weekly and People magazine of yoga as the source of Jackman's physique.  This would explain why Jackman wore a leather costume throughout the X-Men rather than his trademark yellow and blue or brown and tan bodysuits, I suppose, but doesn't tell the entire story.

Though Jackman was hitting the gym for the first two X-Men movies, his physique wasn't really much about which to write home about, and his workouts therefore wouldn't be all that interesting anyway.  He apparently began with far less intense workouts than he currently uses, focusing just on gaining some bulk, as his physique prior to the X-Men series could only have been described as "fucking skinny".  For those of you weeping and wailing like Honey Boo-Boo after she's been denied her fifth slice of cake for the day while lamenting your self-described status as a "hard gainer", get your fucking chin up.  Jackman's personal trainer, who's been with him since Jackman initially entered Hollywood, said Jackman was so skinny when they first started training together that his nickname around the gym was "Chicken Legs", and that he considers Jackman's physique his greatest accomplishment if for no other reason than Jackman essentially started with no muscle and just keeps getting more jacked as he gets older (Get Ripped).

Here, you can see his progression from the first to the third installment in the series:
X-Men.  He's looking like he's seen the inside of a gym and a chicken breast or two.

X2.  Dialing it in a bit.

X3- Finally starting to look a little like Wolverine.

Jackman really started lifting when preparing for the Brett Ratner travesty that was X-Men: The Last Stand.  Perhaps in an effort to undo the havoc that Ratner was preparing to wreck on the franchise, Jackman hit the gym extra hard for the film, packing on a considerable amount of mass, and it was at that point that he first benched 315 and leg pressed 1000 lbs.  According to Jackman, he wasn't really mentally prepared to physically push himself like that and "pretty much shat [himself]" in the process of achieving the latter (Zimmerman). At that point, Jackman was lifting for an hour and a half a day (60 minutes of lifting preceded by a ten minute warmup and ended by 20 minutes of cardio), five days a week, listening to a lot of metal, and bumping up his calories by a thousand per day to get bigger.  He hit 190 lbs, which is not terrifically huge for a guy who's 6'3", but seems pretty fucking big for Jackman, by alternating three week periods of heavy weights with longer rests, the a period of lighter weights with short rests, and then a period of fast, explosive lifting.  By doing this, Jackman was able to stay lean and put on size incrementally.  According to Jackman, pretty much all he did was free weights, and focused heavily on "bench-press variations, barbell lunges, light squats, and leg presses, among other staples" (Zimmerman).

Interestingly, Jackman achieved this physique with a mentality that runs entirely contrary to most of what you see on the internet and discussed in gyms- he never set any hard-and-fast goals.  I've mentioned the utility of doing this before (that public goal-setting is a recipe for disaster), but it's always nice to see a person with a similar take on matters.  Jackman saw performing certain actions, rather than hitting certain numbers, as the events that marked his success.  As such, he saw the fact that he screamed at his spotter to get the fuck away from the bar, rather than asking for help when struggling with his 315 bench, as his real milestone.
"That's Jackman's primary driver: Instead of setting goals, seek defining moments. Those are the real tests, because you have to be willing to fail in a pressure situation in front of other people. "That fear holds all of us back," Jackman says. "And that's the toughest thing about aging. With age, you see people fail more. You see yourself fail more. How do you keep that fearlessness of a kid? You keep going" (Zimmerman).  
Not the look of a man who requires a spotter.

Jackman clearly has his shit together more than your average gym member, and is capable of pushing himself simply because he knows that if you're not progressing, you're regressing.
"I don't set goals in life," he says. "In this country, people are all about goal setting. And I concede, to a point, how it can help you get going. But we limit ourselves with goals. We have far more ability than we give ourselves credit for. You see that in people under pressure. How does someone run a 100-meter race at the Olympics? When it's once every 4 years, with everything they've done leading to that? It can't just be adrenaline." Then he nods and smiles. "Maybe it's just the mind getting out of the way" (Zimmerman)

By the time X-Men Origins: Wolverine rolled around in 2009, Jackman had already been hitting the gym for ten years.  Granted, he'd been doing it with varying intensity, as Kate and Leopold didn't really require him to stomp around saddled with 20 lbs of extra muscle, but he knew his way around the gym at this point.  According to one of his interviews, Jackman trains year round in preparation for future physical roles like Wolverine, but if he doesn't have to transform into the adamantium-boned mutant berserker, he lets his diet slip a little- as an Aussie, the man needs beer in his life or he'll wither away and die.  Frankly, I think that's one of the most important things to bear in mind when you see him step onscreen this month- he's been getting paid to lift for 13 years and he's done it consistently over that period.  Few people ever accomplish that sort of feat, and even fewer diet hard enough to make their consistency noticeable to the random passer by.  

Jackman likely never hears the words "Do you even lift?" on the beach, unless he's walking past some heavyweight "powerlifters" who are flabbily hitting on the chicks around them.  Yes, "flabbily" is a word- I just invented it.

To ensure he wouldn't skip workouts due to his prolific movie-making schedule, Jackman's been dragging his happy ass out of bed at 4AM to train for years, making sure he gets his lift in prior to filming.  That way, Jackman has no excuses- there are no skipped workouts, no gaps in his routine, and no justifications for failure- there's just a steady physical progression through a time of his life wherein most people cultivate a beer belly and lose whatever muscle mass they managed to accrue throughout their youth.  It's this that has probably contributed most to his constant improvement, as you could hardly do anything but get bigger, stronger, and leaner if you've been training and dieting consistently for a decade.  His physique didn't just appear in a few short weeks, and it wasn't the product of a single workout- it's the product of consistent and brutal workouts designed to make him fucking awesome.

By the time the above picture was taken, Jackman was benching 315 for reps, and he'd changed his workout again so that it was separated into two six-week periods over five months of intense training.  Jackman kept this program for The Wolverine, getting even bigger and more ripped so that he's now 210 lbs of shred.

No one said he was fucking huge, but the simpering bitches on messageboards yammering on about the fact that he isn't that big are guaranteed to be less muscular, fatter, and likely weaker than Jackman.

In the first phase, Jackman just lifts as much weight as he can, maxing frequently and going bananas trying to hit bigger numbers.  He generally hits an exercise with a pyramid rep scheme, going to failure on the last rep of each set (Jones, Wolverine).  Additionally, Jackman supersets compound exercises with an isolation exercise on every set in an effort to increase the total workload performed in a given period of time, and to get as lean and defined as possible.  For instance, he supersets bench press with flies, or deadlifts with pullups, even when he's trying to set PRs (Get Ripped).  His set/rep scheme looks like this in phase one:

Set 1: 8 reps (120 secs rest) 
Set 2: 6 reps (120 secs rest) 
Set 3: 4 reps (120 secs rest) 
Bonus set: 1 rep max with a spotter 

The second phase of Jackman's routine is a tempo phase, in which Jackman focuses on the negative portion of each movement.  He performs a three or four second negative, then explodes into the concentric portion, which he completes as quickly as possible.  This is a higher rep phase in which he drops his rest periods in an effort to burn off fat like he's a fireman burning a stack of encyclopedias in Fahrenheit 451 (Ibid).  As before, Jackman supersets big movements with isolation movements, jamming as much volume into every 60 minute workout as he can.  His rep scheme, then, looked like this:

Set 1: 10-14 reps (60 secs rest) 
Set 2: 10-14 reps (60 secs rest) 
Set 3: 10-14 reps (60 secs rest) 
Set 4: 10-14 reps (60 secs rest)

Just as he did for his previous films, Jackman trained five days a week for The Wolverine with a typical bodypart split, utilized very short, ultra intense interval training he described as "the worst 7 minutes of your life" (Jones, MH interviews) for cardio- which I assume means he does three seven minute bursts of intense cardio, as his cardio sessions last 20 minutes- and added a bootcamp workout on Fridays to speed fat loss even more (Moore).  Saturdays were reserved for a "fun" workout, in which he'd play tennis, box, or do whatever other physical activity he wanted (Ibid).  That, coupled with the intensity he brought to the role and the gym, helped him attain a physique of which most only dream.

Jackman's diet for The Wolverine actually arose out of advice from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (Humphreys), a man who clearly knows how to dial in his diet.  I suppose in an homage to The Rock's upcoming bodybuilding flick, the diet he recommended was pretty much standard bodybuilder rations- lean meats (Jackman's killed "more chickens than [he] cares to count" (Ibid)), vegetables, and low glycemic carbs- every two to three hours.  Though I thought it was simply the fare of pauper children in Dickens' novels, Jackman ate porridge in the mornings.  As it turns out, however, porridge is just oatmeal- sadly making this seemingly exotic (to Americans) food just more standard bodybuilder food.  During lunch he'd eat either brown rice or yams, and would cut out carbs after 3PM.  According to Jackman, cutting out carbs by three will lead to a weight loss of 10 lbs in the first month, which seems incredibly ambitious to me but may include water weight (Jones, Nutrition).  He varied his caloric range between 6,000 during the bulking phase and 3,500 during his cutting phase, but keeps his protein at a minimum of 1.3g per pound of bodyweight.  Finally, he does his best to remain lean throughout both phases "so peak condition is a workout tweak, not a total overhaul. 'It’s hard to build up from scratch,' says Jackman. 'Staying in the ballpark makes it a lot easier.'"(Jones, Wolverine).  That's advice worth following, because most people who go through distinct bulking and cutting phases seem to gradually get fatter over time, as they're unwilling to put in the work necessary to really lean out after their bulk phase.

Thus, we have the transformation of a musical theater actor whose nickname 20 years ago was "chicken legs" into a 43 year old, 210 lb, ripped and vascular dude who benches 315 for reps and about whom your girlfriend, wife, or boyfriend likely fantasizes frequently.  Just as the other actors I've profiled, Jackman's routine is nothing particularly Earth-shattering, but it drives home the point for the umpteenth time that your routine is not nearly as important as the effort you put into it, provided your diet is tighter than a non-Catholic ten year old boy's butthole and your training volume is fairly high.  The reason you don't look as good as Jackman isn't drugs, his schedule, or any of the other excuses you'd like to ascribe your failure to- it's because you're not trying hard enough.

Get after it, motherfuckers.  Wolverine said so.

Bullman, Brian.  Hugh Jackman Builds Mass.   Bodybuilding.com.  20 Feb 2009.  Web.  22 Jan 2013.  http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/hugh_jackman_6_day_workout.htm

Exclusive Hugh Jackman Wolverine Workout: Get Ripped like Hugh Jackman.  Men's Fitness.  Web.  23 Jan 2013.  http://www.mensfitness.co.uk/exercise/celebrity_bodies/2112/exclusive_hugh_jackman_wolverine_workout.html

Hugh Jackman: Actor.  People Magazine.  14 May 2001.  Web.  22 Jan 2013.  http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20134364,00.html

Humphreys, David.   Here’s a 22-Minute-Long Q & A With Hugh Jackman and Director James Mangold.  MovieTime.  30 Oct 2012.  Web.  23 Jan 2013.  http://blogs.movietimetv.ca/heres-a-22-minute-long-q-a-with-hugh-jackman-and-director-james-mangold/

Jones, Dan.  Hugh Jackman's Nutrition and Mentality Tips.  Men's Health UK.  2012.  Web.  23 Jan 2013.  http://www.menshealth.co.uk/food-nutrition/muscle-foods/hugh-jackman-nutrition

Jones, Dan.  Hugh Jackman's Wolverine Workout.  Men's Health UK.  2012.  Web.  23 Jan 2013.  http://www.menshealth.co.uk/building-muscle/get-big/hugh-jackman-wolverine-workout

Jones, Dan.  MH Interview: Hugh Jackman.  Men's Health UK. 2012.  Web.  23 Jan 2013.  http://www.menshealth.co.uk/living/men/hugh-jackman-interview

Lee, Janet.  How The Stars Shape Up.  US Weekly.  1 May 2001.  Web. 22 Jan 2013.  http://www.geocities.com/hollywood/4616/us0501a.html

Moore, Rusty.  Hugh Jackman's Wolverine Workout Plan.  Squiddoo.  Web.  22 Jan 2013.  http://www.squidoo.com/hugh-jackman-workout

Zimmerman, Mike.  Hugh Jackman's Wolverine Workout.  Men's Health.  16 May 2006.  Web.  22 Jan 2013.   http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/hugh-jackmans-workout-plan#ixzz2Iiq2Y29g

Zimmerman, Mike.  The Hugh Jackman Workout: The X-Factor.  Men's Health.  2006.  Web.  23 Jan 2013.  http://www.menshealth.com/celebrity-fitness/hugh-jackman-workout

New Shirts! Old Shirts! Pre-orders Available!

After I finish up destroying shit in the SPF meet in Myrtle Beach this weekend (there will be video), I'll be putting in an order for a bunch of shirts.  Given that I've got some new designs and plan to reorder some old designs, I need some help figuring out how many to order.  As such, I'm offering pre-orders at a reduced rate until Sunday night, then switching to full price and ordering on Monday.  The shirts will take about ten days to get to me, and I'll then ship them out to you guys- priority for US orders and just first class for International orders.  the new designs are pimp, too.  Check these out:

Harder than You Crew
These are going to be printed on dark grey heavyweight Hanes tagless shirts.  They'll have the new CnP knucks design on the front, and "Harder Than You Crew" on the back.

PR or ER
Due to the legal challenge from that dickbag cyclist who quits in 9/10 of his races, we switched the design up a bit.  These will be printed on black  heavyweight Hanes tagless shirts with the a two color redux of the old Chaos and Pain, with the badass new design of PR or .44 Magnum on the back.

Reorders On Existing Designs
Chaos And Pain Competition Shirt
I'm reordering these in both black with white lettering and dark grey with light grey lettering.  They'll both be printed on Hanes tagless shirts, since I found those to be more comfortable than the cotton-poly blend the grey ones had been printed on previously.  The front shows the CnP Eagle and the back reads "Wir machen euch kaputt [We will break you]" in the official Chaos and Pain font (you're welcome, motherfuckers).

Due to the fact that I've been getting pissy emails for months about te fact that the Hooligan shirts are out of stock in most sizes, I'm re-ordering them  If you want to bust a pre-order on these, they'll be $15.  Otherwise, they're going up to $20 because they'll now be two sided.  Same design on the front, with the new Chaosandpain.com .44 magnum design on the back.  White on black for these.

Click the button below to pre-order shirts and save yourself some loot!  All pre-orders are $15, and the prices go up to $20 on Monday!

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22 January 2013

Another Music Post? Yup. Suck It Up. [I edited this today because it was a bit of a mess]

One of the new shirt designs.

Of late, I've been breaking my ass getting new merch together, training for this weekend's SPF meet (of which I will be getting some badass video of my debut at 165 lbs and should be putting up some ridiculous numbers) writing a new ebook called Prepare For War, a text on competition prep and cutting (and will be out before the end of the month), retooling Issuance of Insanity to include the last two years of blogs (which should be out this week), and writing what's become an extremely lengthy blog about how Hugh Jackman got jacked as hell for "The Wolverine" (which will be out this week).  While doing so, I've been downloading shitloads of music to entertain me while I sit and write for hours, then massage the cramps out of my right palm, which is a bastard due to all of the typing.  As such, I thought I'd take a sec and give you guys the highlights, since I know you love my music posts about as much as the people of San Francisco love AIDS and homophobic comments.  Frankly, I'm amused by the comments I get, which range from the unwitty to the downright fucking retarded.  Thus, flame away.  In an effort to placate the more musically retarded amongst you, I'm even including rap, which I think goes with lifting about as well as motor oil goes with fried chicken, but I suppose Tookie Williams couldn't have been all wrong, as he was jacked as fuck.

PCP + Afrosheen = 20" arms.

We might as well begin with the rap, as Tookie would have wanted it that way.  I'll say I'm hardly a modern rap afficianado, as i think the vast majority of the autotuned bullshit you hear today should result in a bunch of people getting sent to the fucking camps and turned into soap, but that's me.  As such, I'll hit you with the shit I've heard lately that I enjoy.

E-40.  If you're unfamiliar with E-40, you're fucking up.  This dude's been making rap longer than some of your have been alive, and has one of the most interesting deliveries of anyone in the rap game.  He's put out some decent shit of late, like Function, which is a badass posse cut.  I've always liked posse cuts, and used to rock the fuck out of Tribe Called Quest's "Scenario" back in the day, which was Busta Rhyme's first song.

While that song is tits, my ultimate favorite song by E-40 has got to be "Do Ya Head Like This", which is a cut off of 40's best (in my opinion) album, "My Ghetto Report Card".

I can understand if that shit isn't to your liking- you may well need something a little harder than that to get the blood flowing for the gym, in which case I can offer you.

La Coka Nostra. A group of which you'd likely never heard, but you should have. I features Ill Bill, most of House of Pain, and Slaine from Special Teamz. Frankly, I don't love all of their shit, but they bust out the occasionally gem like "Get Outta My Way" and this song, which has the hardest beat of all time:

All of the buzz these days is about A$ap, and I can listen to about one and a half of his songs before I fall the fuck asleep.  Like I said, I'm no modern rap conisseur.  As such, I'll move onto that of which I am- hardcore and metal.


No Zodiac.  I think I've posted about these guys before, because of the song "Posi Holocaust", which is pretty much the toughest song of all time.  If you look back, I'm pretty sure I even linked the demo for that shit, but here's a refresher on the song:

That song was so tough it brings a tear to Clint Eastwood's eye, but No Zodiac was unsatisfied and decided to do what they do best- destroy everything you know.  They just released their first full-length, "Population Control", which I highly recommend you buy.  If you're reticent to spend money on bile-filled, hatemongering music, maybe the masterpiece of animosity will help change your mind:


Still not enough?  How about kicking homeless people in the face in their official video?  This fucking song is so hard that they should play it in Viagra commercials.

Harm's Way.  Like No Zodiac, these guys are also from Chicago, and whatever they're putting in the water there is pissing people off.  Their album "Isolation" is the best recorded of their shit and the most pissed off- think Integrity in a blender with a bit of Crowbar and some Hatebreed.  Tough as nails, and the singer's fucking huge, which is always a plus.

I Am Revenge.  The Germans, ever eager to overtake America with the hardest beatdown hardcore they can, brought the fucking ruckus with their full-length, "Pit Justice".  This is without a doubt one of the best produced beatdown albums of all time, has hard as fuck lyrics, and stuff breakdowns into every nook and cranny they can find.  Meanwhile, they layer in a bit of melody, just to keep you on your toes.  Literally every one of their songs touches on the topic of kicking someone's fucking teeth down their throat.  Lest you worry, all of the lyrics are in English, so your hard-earned prostitution money won't be wasted on badass lyrics you cannot understand.

Beast.  You can download this band's album for free, so I linked the Mediafire to save you fuckers the hassle of having to hunt it down.  I never thought anything that came out of France could be this fucking tough, but they literally start an epic circle part with "GO SUCK A DICK", pepper their songs with a liberal sprinkling of Rick Ta Life-style "Blech!"s, and pack as many breakdowns as humanly possible into their songs overlaid with lyrics like "BREAK YOUR FUCKING FACE."  You're moshing.

Overpain.  I have no idea how I stumbled across this band, and it took me two weeks to lay hands on their album, which seems to be impossible to purchase online.  It's title "Underrated-Overhated" pretty much says it all- this is old school toughguy hardcore, and it fucking rules.  I was unaware that Greece had either tough guys or hardcore, but apparently they have both, because this shit fucking slams.

Reign Supreme.  These guys keep getting fucking better.  I've got their first two albums, and while the first didn't knock my socks off, the second gets heavy rotation on my mp3 player in the gym.  Their new shit, however, sounds fucking ridiculous.  Circlepits, two steps, and breakdowns, the way Hatebreed intended when they invented this genre of hardcore.  The new album doesn't drop until March 19th, but it's worth it to pick up their last album to tide you over until you can kick someone's teeth in to the new shit.

I know a lot of you don't like deathcore, and I don't fucking care.  This is for the three of you out there who are desperately looking for the ultimate album for your "shoot up the movie theater full of people who watch those shitty housewives shows" playlist.  By the way, I realize that I support non-elementary-school-related shootings because at least half of the fuckers who catch a bullet like reality TV.  The rest are acceptable collateral damage, and you can't make an omlette without breaking a few eggs.  Before you get your panties in a twist, the recent school shooting is not part of my well-wishes for random shootings- elementary schoolers are hopefully too young to watch reality TV nonsense.  Frankly, I'd prefer to just see some jackbooted thugs beat the shit out of random people rather than shooting them, but pussies are gonna puss, I suppose.

IAMTHESHOTGUN.  Do you like breakdowns?  Do you like somewhat intelligible deathcore vocals?  Do you like blast beats?  If screamed yes to all three of those questions, welcome to your new favorite band.

A Memoria Brooded.  I practically fell the fuck out of my chair when I heard this album.  It's crazy heavy, expertly mixed, and the breakdowns kick you in the fucking gut like a mule whose been injected with a myostatin inhibitor.  Enjoy resisting the urge to break your own shit listening to this album.

Endworld.  Who wouldn't love a song that begins with "You are a scum slut"?  These guys bring the fucking mosh- think a heavier, non-whiney Emmure.  They get a little overexcited about their atmospheric guitar noodling at times for my taste, but there's no way you could not appreciate the crushing heaviness of this shit.  Get "Juggernaut", ASAP.

Dubstep/Metal Mashups
These have become popular lately, and I find them to be good car music, because I have a badass sub in my car.  In any event, here are two bands workth downloading for a change of pace if you like dubstep or metal.

Asking Alexandria.  I would generally not sully myself by suggesting anyone listen to a HotTopicCore band, but frankly, their "Stepped Up And Scratched" Album fucking slaps.  Big Chocolate, the death metal singer turned dubstep DJ made famous by STUFFYOUWILLHATE remixed the holy fuck out of "Closure", and I defy anyone to tell me they don't think this song is the unadulterated balls.

Comissioner.  As I continue to jock the fuck out of Big Chocolate, you'll need to check this shit out, if just out of curiosity.  It reminds me of Brutal Truth thrown into a blender with Skrillex and Agoraphobic Nosebleed.  I could do without the tinny, shitbox snare sound, but it's still hard as nails.  When was the last time you heard someone scratching a fucking record in a death metal song?  Exactly.  Snag this.

Betraying the Martyr.  Frankly, I had no idea where to put this.  I downloaded it for the girlfriend, but find myself occasionally listening to it.  This is your basic crabcore, only with a Mushroomhead-style two singer setup and a bit more in the way of keyboards.  By that description, it seems like you'd be wishing you were deaf rather than having to sit through this, but their breakdowns are pretty fucking hard, the clean vocals are tolerable, and it's a remarkable change of pace from the shit to which I normally listen, as no one's plotting the death of every man, woman, and child on Earth in it, and it's (after looking it up) actually French,Christian deathcore... making it wholly unlike anything in my music collection.  If nothing else, it's something you can listen to with your grilfriend in the car without catching too much shit.  Luckily, my girl's favorite band is Whitechapel, so i can listen to whatever I want, but as you're not me, you'll likely have to settle for this.

And if you stuck with it in spite of hating all of the music I posted, your music taste is shit, but here's some tits to shut you up.