Sunday, January 18, 2015


-I haven’t got 8 hours of sleep in over 4 years.  That’s supposed to be important, right?

-Why is it en vogue for beginners to eat 5 thousand calories while training with the lowest volume possible?  We are so afraid of overtraining, but where is the fear of undertraining?

-On the above, the trend I constantly note whenever someone is unable to put on weight is a lack of conditioning in their program.  They always employ the same justification of not wanting to burn even MORE calories, but anyone who has performed some decent conditioning knows that your appetite is going to increase exponentially.  Whenever I want to lose weight, I do less work, whereas when I want to gain weight I do MORE work.

Of the two, which one looks like they are in the process of building muscle?

-A lot of people tell me that if I keep training the way I do, I won’t be able to keep it up when I get older.  F**k, I’m damn near 30 now, so these bad effects better catch up to me quick.  Right now, I could just retire and be stronger than a lot of those who said it was inevitable that I’d be crippled will ever be after a lifetime of “safe” training.

-What are these people who are striving to be injury free saving their bodies for exactly?  Do they know something I don’t?

-I found that I became a better lifter when I read fewer studies and more philosophy.

-Ignorance is strength.  It seems to me that the more people learn, the more problems they have.  The only people that seem to have anterior pelvic tilt are those who know what it is.

-If you refuse to use yourself as an example, you should not be an advocate for a method.

-Don’t we train to get stronger?  Then why are we so afraid of being put in a mechanically weak position (bad form)?  What is the point of all that strength otherwise?

-Clint Darden just hit a deadlift PR while on chemotherapy.  What was your excuse again?

-I feel like the novice class in strongman is encouraging more people to be weaker rather than to participate in the sport.  The sandbagging is pretty disgusting too.

"No, really, I swear, it's my first competition."

-I enjoy how polarizing a force George Leeman is.

-Competing has been the most beneficial thing I ever have done for my training career.

-In beginners, I note a love for training.  In veterans, I note a need for training.

-There is a direct relationship between a lack of success and a desire to tear down others.  The strong guys are always supportive, the failures are always destructive.

-Criticism from someone who is unsuccessful is equal to accolades from the successful.  You wouldn’t want someone who failed to approve of your training, as it surely means you are going in the wrong direction.

-Stay away from “beginner’s sections” on forums, as they are full of beginners advising beginners on how to not be beginners.

-Go to Home Depot, buy a 2” pipe cut to 7.5’ and use some duct tape to make collars.  Congratulations, you have an axle, it only cost $50, and it will be incredibly valuable for your training.  People waste more money on junky supplements.

-Weighting shoes are awesome.  However, I went over 10 years training with Chuck Taylors just fine.  But now that I have these shoes, I’m not looking back.

-My grandfather was a self-educated and successful real estate mogul, who would always ask the people with degrees “If you’re so dang smart, why aren’t you rich?”  It has been my guiding principle when viewing the advice of others.

-The reactive slingshot works better with dumbbells.  Or maybe I am just a terrible bencher.

-Getting a propane grill has improve the quality/quantity of my meals.  I love to cook now.

It all makes sense now

-It is a good thing I am married.  Otherwise, I would have the most amazing home gym and no money whatsoever.

-I observe a direct relationship between unwillingness to cook and lack of progress.

-I can either spend 20 minutes warming up to avoid injury or 2 seconds not giving a f**k about getting injured and spend the rest of that time lifting heavy stuff.

-There is always time and ways to train.  I saw a ton of people complain about gym closures this holiday season, while I was clean and pressing a sandbag in my in-laws basement.

-If you can lose all your gains in 1 week, you never had any.

-I notice that only beginners seems to use the terms “bulking” and “cutting”.

-Not doing things has never helped me heal.

-I have a “resting” heartrate in the low 50s after downing an energy drink.  I got asked at my last physical if I run a lot.  I laughed and laughed.

The only time I run is to get to the front of the line of one of these

-Holy f**k I drink way too much caffeine.  1 energy drink and about 6 diet sodas everyday.

-Been following Matt Kroczaleski’s bench program for 13 weeks now.  Works great.  If you are on the fence, do it.

-Temptation is not a thing.  You either want something bad enough to do what it takes or you don’t.  If the only way you can succeed is to be free of choice and forced into isolation, congratulations, you are a prisoner.

-As I read, I understand that I read for the joy of reading and the challenge of learning.  It is the discovery that compels me.  As I lift, I understand that I lift for the joy of BEING strong.  I receive no joy from the act of lifting, while at the same time, if I were simply given knowledge I would find that joyless as well.

-At my last contest, I observed an inverse relationship between time spent warming up and performance.  The top performers warmed up the least.

-New deadlift training protocol idea: ROM progression from 2 angles.  Each week alternate between mat pulls and top down deadlifts.  Start mat pulls at 7 mat height, start top down deadlifts down to a 3 mat.  Each week, remove one mat, until I am performing mat pulls off of a 5 mat and top down deadlifts down to the floor.  The weight on the top down is heavier than the mat pull, getting me used to handling heavier weights, while the mat pull gets me used to breaking the inertia.  Should be another 7 week cycle.


  1. Do you get a certain average amount of sleep per night?

    Love these stream of consciousness posts. The temptation bit is what I think about everytime someone asks how to motivate themselves for the gym.

    1. I get to bed with about 8 hours until I am supposed to be awake, but with 2 pugs and some other distractions in the house, I am up about every 2-3 hours doing some sort of damage control. Been this way ever since we got the second pug, she can't sleep through the night. I always heard how you needed "uninterrupted sleep", and I can't even imagine getting it.

      Glad you appreciate these. I like writing them whenever I can. And yeah, with New Years around, the idea about temptation is pretty prevalent.

  2. On that note it's also something I really felt this winter training outside in the rain. It kinda sucked to do rows right out there away from the roof and directly under the downpour (was supersetting so another workstation was already set-up under the patio). At no point did I have to "motivate" myself to do that, I simply wanted the results more than I cared about the inconvenience. It comes down to math.

    1. Worth noting is the complete lack of dramatics involved here. You didn't go on facebook and post a moody black and white photo of you lifting in the rain to show how hardcore you were, or quote Nietzsche about how you were becoming the overman or anything silly, you just did what needed doing. So many people want some sort of reward for doing what it takes to succeed, not realizing that the success IS the reward.

  3. Dig the random thoughts posts.

    1. Much thanks. They're fun to write.

  4. Sorry for the off-topic but you did mention the word "beginner", soooo.....

    Been massively impressed by you for a long time, as an athlete but even moreso as a thinker. The clarity, cohesiveness, thoroughness etc of your writing really distinguishes you from the online crowd of armchair strength trainers < /dickride>

    I've decided to use the beginner program you outlined on this blog because it makes so much damn sense as an improvement on the usual recommendations. I'm definitely at the "foundation of athleticism" phase, which I'm gritting my teeth and taking seriously. Are there any particular bodyweight routines/protocols you'd endorse for the absolute beginner to follow alongside sports and stuff to prep for abbreviated training as efficiently as possible? Or else any literature on the subject to figure that out for myself?

    Sorry to try and use you as my own personal AskJeeves, there's just SO much bullshit out there and I have a feeling you could save a guy like me a lot of time here as you already have in many other areas.

    1. The kind words are much appreciated. I am glad that you enjoy my writing, and appreciate having you as a reader.

      I don't think there are a lot of wrong ways to go about tackling the bodyweight work. Intensity, effort and consistency will be the primary factors to strive for, with programming being more of an after thought. If you want something structured, you could do something from, or SEALFIT, or even something like Insanity. I realize a lot of these programs are frowned upon in the land of the internet, but it should drive home the points of working hard, pushing yourself and developing some basic strength/coordination.

      During my own foundational phase, I had no real structure. Each night, before bed, I would do 1 set of push-ups, adding 1 rep more than I did the night before. I got up to 400 this way, which was pretty stupid, haha. I'd do something like 200 crunches too, and just grease the groove on chins with a doorway chin up bar. As long as you are pushing yourself, you should get the benefits.

      Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions. Good luck.

  5. Haha oh yeah, I have actually read some of those posts on your early training come to think of it.

    Fair enough re: programming, guess I'll take a look at some options and see what'll be easiest to really commit to.

    Thanks so much for the reply!

  6. "-I feel like the novice class in strongman is encouraging more people to be weaker rather than to participate in the sport."

    What do you mean by this?

    1. There used to not be a novice class, and you simply had to be strong enough to compete in the open division. Hell, there used to be no classes below 231, haha. With the novice class, I witness a lot of "1 and done" guys who show up because the weights are light, cherry pick a trophy, and then never come back because now they have to compete in the open division where the weights are heavier.