Thursday, August 7, 2014


Early update this week.  I will be competing in Northern Nevada's Strongest Man on 9 Aug, and will post an update and video afterwards, but until then, enjoy the following.

-Autoerotic asphyxiation sounds less dirty when you call it “occlusion neck training.”

-When people emulate the greats, they tend to only emulate ONE aspect of that person.  “Dan Green does front squats, so I do front squats.”  It never crosses this persons’ mind that Dan Green is successful because he has EVERYTHING dialed in, not just front squats.  Diet, frequency, periodization, recovery, etc are all 100%.  When we talk about “optimal progress”, I wonder if you must be running optimally to make use of optimal methods.  Furthermore, if we are running sub-optimally, maybe we should instead emulate those whose lifestyle matches our more closely, and see how they have success.  It may be that certain methods actually produce BETTER results with a sub optimal lifestyle compare to using the best methods with an inferior product.  Kind of like how a tourniquet is awesome for stopping an egregious wound, but for a paper cut a bandaid works better.

-People who ask “when is the best time to workout” enjoy too much luxury.

-I have no idea where my IT band is.  If you held me at gunpoint and I had to point it out, I would get shot.

-I feel like ignorance of human anatomy results in fewer personal injuries.

-I feel like all the people that want powerlifting televised should find a way to make it interesting first.

-Bands are by far the best tool to pack in a travel bag to maximize your hotel workouts.  They can add resistance to the very light dumbbells in a hotel fitness room, and are great for push ups, good mornings, row, pull aparts, dislocations, hamstring curls, and just about anything else you can think of.

-Whenever I see someone use the terms “mirin” or “beastmode”, I know they aren’t strong.

Because time spent updating facebook about your workout is time spent NOT training

-Life on the internet: everyone weaker than me is a pussy, everyone stronger than me is a douchebag.

-I have to appreciate the irony that I started woring out to get healthy and lose weight and now I am injured, significantly heavier, and statistically prone to have a shorter lifespan.

-If given the opportunity between being stronger and being better, I always pick stronger.  Wouldn’t you?

-Whenever I hear someone say that marijuana is a good way to eat more on a bulk, I notice that person is never very big.

-Can we retire the term “permabulker” and other stupid fitness portmanteau?  Generally, our attempts to rapidly label something indicates an unwillingness to evaluate on a case by case basis, and in this instance, we forgot what the term “permanent” means.

-Someone once asked me if I follow the Paleo diet while I was drinking a diet coke.  We don’t even know what the words we use mean anymore.

No...just...just no

-I consider all of my food organic as long as it contains carbon.

-I never understood these people that blame their wrist size on their lack of results.  Talk about looking for excuses.  If you go looking for limitations, you will find them.

-The biggest issue I see with the deadlift is people trying to just stand up with the weight.  You can fix this by trying to fall backwards with it instead.

-I feel like the one thing I could do to improve all of my lifts is learn to hold my breath for longer.

-I can evaluate my RPE on deadlift day by how many blood vessesls I have broken in my upperback, chest, traps and face.

-I really want to do the ox lift, but I have no reason to.

-I remember when knee wraps were just something you wore because you were squatting heavy weight.  Now, it’s something to be ashamed of, because it’s not “really raw.”

-For f**k’s sake people, it’s “raw”, not “RAW”.  There is only 1 fed where it is all caps, and that’s because it’s an acronym for “Redeemed Among the World.”

-I notice that the people most concerned about what is “raw” tend to be those who don’t compete.

-With enough research, I can justify any action.

-I never understood how people hitched and ramped a deadlift until I started pulling 600lbs for reps.  Now, I wonder why everyone is so terrified of it.

-I am constantly amazed at how many ways there are to cheat that aren’t actually against the rules.

-I genuinely miss long distance running, but I don’t miss weighing 150lbs.

-Married people don’t need foam rollers.

-People that comment on the background music in a lifting video most likely aren’t strong.

-The notion of an internet “form check” is already silly, but the biggest issue is that self appointed experts only point out what is wrong with the form, never why it is happening.  It’s not a question of “constructive criticism versus hating”, it’s about criticism versus observation.  Anyone can see that someone’s back is rounding, telling that person it’s because their feet are too far apart is how we fix the problem.

-I constantly see the comment that 5/3/1 has “slow progression”, while Starting Strength has fast progression.  Programs don’t make progress, that’s up to the lifter. If I manage 8 reps of 240 on my 5s week, and then manage 8 reps of 260 on my 3s week, that’s 20lbs of progress in a week.  Everyone is too busy looking at the program on paper that they forget the human element.

-When supplement companies mention that in one of their studies they had a placebo control group, do you wonder if they snicker on the inside?

When the placebo and the supplement share the same active ingredients, it invalidates the study

-I own wrestling shoes and don’t wrestle.  I own rock climbing shoes and don’t rock climb.  I own running shoes and don’t run.  A strongman gear bag is like a Sphinx riddle.

-When I started training for my first strongman comp, I spend way more time and money at Home Depot than I did at any lifting place.

-Powerlifting gear companies taken themselves too seriously.  “Titan Centurion”, “Metal Viking”, “Inzer Leviathan”, it’s just comical.  I would be the first to buy a red squat suit with black polka dots called “The Ladybug.”  Metal at least took a step in the right direction with their fluorescent orange “Jack” line.

-Bodyfat percentage is such a worthless number.  No one believes anyone’s number, regardless of source, and everyone knows for a FACT what each percentage looks like.  A mirror and a little bit of honestly goes a long way.

-On the topic of mirrors, I haven’t had one in the gym in over 7 years, and my technique has improved greatly in that time.  Be real, the mirror isn’t for “checking form”, it’s for looking at yourself.  It can also really mess with your squat mechanics, so learn to look past the mirror.

-I once came up with a program where you trained the concentric of a movement on one day and the eccentric on another.  No idea if it would work, but the real question is, would it be considered full ROM training?

-Among all other lifting tomes, one must read “The Prince” to really understand how to make progress.

-What happens if you do reverse band work with chains?

"This should do the trick"

-I found that replacing my movements with harder variations (ie: replacing deads with deficit deads, replacing squats with safety squat bar squats) made me really good at lifting less weight.

-I haven’t done a good morning since I stopped training “Westside”.  They’re good movements too, I just haven’t needed them in my training.  That said, I find that a lot of peoples’ “chain suspended good mornings” look a lot like my chain suspended squats.

-On the topic of good mornings, try doing one at a commercial gym and time how long it takes someone to “correct” your squat form.

-The internet is rife with people mocking trainees in the gym performing perfectly legitimate lifts, just because they weren’t in “Starting Strength.”  Try doing a continental clean and watch it blow peoples’ minds.

-My nieces think I do Olympic lifting, my parents think I do Ironmans, my office thinks I do Tough Man, but above all, my wife thinks I’m hot.

-I find most peoples’ issues in the gym stem from passive aggressiveness.

-They call it a “drug test”, but they aren’t testing the drugs.  They’re testing the urine FOR drugs.  However, “Urine Tested Powerlifting Federation” sounds absolutely terrible.

The results of frequent drug testing

-I would be very interested in these statistics: Number of people running “Starting Strength” compared to number of people that read the book and the success rate of those who read the book versus those that did not.  Mainly because, from my observations, I have yet to see someone who did not read “Super Squats” succeed on the 20 Rep Squat program.

-On the above, I know a statistic that would sadden me: Number of people who bought “Starting Strength” versus those that pirated it.

-When Brandon Lily injured both of his knees, everyone wanted to know why it happened.  Multiple theories existed, ranging from overtraining, undertraining, bad form, etc.  I saw very few people considering the idea that it was the 700lbs on his back that caused the injury.

-I enjoy competing in strongman more than I do in powerlifting, but I enjoy training for powerlifting more than I do for strongman.


  1. 10/10, would read again. I laughed, I cried, and remembered that you're the reason my conventional stance looks like I'm about to do a military press. In fact, whenever someone asks me about it, I think I quote you directly and say "you can fix any DL issue by moving your feet in and your grip closer".

    1. I am glad you appreciated this. It was definitely the "late night sleep deprived" edition, haha. I am actually pretty amazed to hear about your deadlift stance, just because it hasn't really hit me yet that what I write here can impact people. I still see it as just me yelling at walls and going off on rants, but it's pretty cool to know that I can have an impact. I am also glad you've been able to benefit from what you've read here.

    2. Oh yeah I've been following this blog I think for about 3 years now and because I'm a natural sumo, I was very open to any advice on the conventional. You and another lifter are also the reason I do almost all of my lifts with straps and tried a cycle of touch and go.

      I used it at my last meet, hit a 50lb meet PR and I would guess had another 10-15lbs in me:

    3. That's awesome. I'm glad to have you following me so long, and happy to hear about your success.

      Congrats on the pull.