Saturday, January 20, 2018


- So the latest drama in strongman is that Roizo grip shirts have been banned from USS Nationals.  For those of you unfamiliar with what a gripshirt is, it's a t-shirt with a sticky design on the front that makes loading stones easier in strongman, since now the stone won't slide down your shirt.  Apparently the owner of the company has been taking people’s money and not delivering the product, so the chair of USS made it such that his gear was no longer allowed.  Basically an attempt to force his hand.  And people of course got upset and said “We just became powerlifting; now only certain companies are banned, just like the IPF”.  Newsflash; we became powerlifting once someone made a grip shirt.

- And on the above, people don’t seem to understand the power of the dollar.  It’s why the shirt ban happened in the first place; to take money away from the guy selling grip shirts.  And hey, guess what; you get to vote with your dollar too.  If you don’t like the USS decision, don’t compete in their contest.  What?!  Perish the thought.

- Let me rant even more; “It’s unfair; these shirts aren’t cheap!  Now I have to buy another.”  So here’s the thing; the Roizo one cost like $60, which yeah, isn’t cheap…but f**k me if you’re buying it you GOTTA have some extra cash laying around.  Look, I have a home gym that probably has like $4,000 in it at this point, and even I don’t have a damn grip shirt because I can’t justify the cost of it.  If I find an extra $60 laying around, it’s going to go to something else instead, because I’m going to get more out of my money that way.  If you’re at the point that you’ve bought a grip shirt, you either have such an excess of funds that it’s a drop in the bucket, you already OWN everything else you’ve ever needed to own so that money wasn’t going to go anywhere else, OR you made a poor financial decision to start with and should probably just get better instead of trying to fix the problem by throwing money at it.  Heck, I got a $5 Iron Maiden tanktop at Hot Topic that has a big graphic on it that is pretty sticky; try that.

Image result for Hot Topic meme
...that guy COULD possibly be a strongman competitor

- Naming exercises after lifters was cute until we started naming exercises after lifters that the lifters themselves never actually used.  The Z-press anyone?

- Bought and read Jon Anderson’s “Deep Water” book.  It’s only $10 for a kindle copy, and that’s about the right price.  A LOT of the book is basically the co-author hero worshipping Jon, but the routine in there looks solid, the diet is stupid easy to follow, and some of the stories of Jon’s training are pretty awesome. Well worth adding to your library.

- After buying an Airdyne, I have found my favorite use for it is to fill up the remainder of the minute on EMOM workouts with the airdyne.  Great “active rest” cardio.

- On the above, I’ve been coming up with some brutal EMOM workouts.  I’ve started combining events and conditioning by doing a circuit of 2-4 events, doing a new event each minute and airdyne in between.  Something like, stones for doubles on minute 1, powerstairs for triples minute 2, and sandbag carry for minute 3.  I’ll run it for a half hour and just be absolutely brutalized by the time it is done.

I speed up the video so you can't hear the dry heaving

- Still no complaints with my Titan products; once they arrive that is.  Definitely get your money’s worth, just have to be willing to go the extra mile when it comes to talking with the company.

- I am starting to think “skinny-fat” can’t be solved because it’s an unnatural state of being brought on by an unnatural state of living and eating.  Or perhaps that means the only solution is also an unnatural one?

- What a bizarre insult to say that someone bigger and stronger than you trains, lives and eats sub-optimally.  Isn’t this only an accusation of yourself for not investing enough effort?

- One of youtube’s suggested videos for me was some 700k viewed video from AlphaDestiny.  Who?

- And people will read the above and say to me “Well who the hell are you?”  I’m also no one.  That’s the point.  No one should listen to me when you can listen to a million more qualified people out there.  But I’ll say the difference between me and other nobodies is that I’m nobody for free.

Image result for joker never do it for free
Notice how these people get paid to make videos; not to lift?

- “I only have access to”, “I don’t have access to”, man, I had no idea so many people were posting online from prison.  Wait, that can’t be true, because inmates are supposed to be pretty jacked.

- Everyone is in a race to determine what can’t work, and so few seem interesting in figuring out what can.

- “Sumo is a natural pulling position; just look at strongman with stones” He genius, how the hell am I going to pick up a stone if my shins are in the way?  And notice how those same strongman competitors have their feet as closer together as they possibly can while allowing the stone between their feet?

- And no, that’s not a dig on sumo; that’s a dig on being stupid.  If you like sumo, quit justifying it and just do it.

- I immediately doubt anyone that tells me they can calculate training volume as a number.

Image result for revenge of the nerds ogre
Notice how THIS was the big strong dude in the movie?

- With everyone so concerned about overtraining, I’m surprised HIT hasn’t made a big comeback.  Probably because you still have to work hard with HIT.

- My time with 5/3/1 really seems to have laid down a solid foundation to tap into with more intense training.  I’ve since transitioned to some sort of bastard child of my own creation, and I’m seeing some crazy growth in short order.  However, my current training approach seems far less sustainable, while 5/3/1 felt like something that could be run indefinitely.  Being a little older has given me the maturity to appreciate both for what they are.

- The people who care the most about bodybuilding aren’t bodybuilders, about powerlifting aren’t powerlifters, about strongman aren’t strongman, and EVERY non-crossfitter seems to have an opinion on crossfit. 

- “I can’t figure out what to do for conditioning”, no, you can’t figure out a way to do it without it sucking.  Quit trying to outthink the pain and just go suffer it.


  1. "And people will read the above and say to me “Well who the hell are you?” I’m also no one. That’s the point. No one should listen to me when you can listen to a million more qualified people out there. But I’ll say the difference between me and other nobodies is that I’m nobody for free."

    Absolutely savage commentary, as usual. I enjoyed it thoroughly!

  2. As always i'm in favor of introducing a raw-nude federation to get past all the gear bullshit. Maybe im just mad because ive never gotten any benefit out of wrist wraps or a belt on anything but squats.

    You also forgot to mention that the biggest anti sumo advocates frequently lack the mobility to do it, same as ROM on bench. If they want to get the rules changed im all for it but minimizing rom within the rules is part of the game

    1. As long as the raw nude federation also makes technique illegal, you've got my vote.

      And really, anyone seriously preoccupied with how other people deadlift is probably just not very strong, haha.

  3. I can't imagine a grip shirt working better than a normal shirt with a load of bathroom sealant all over the front of it. You get to personalize it that way as well.

    1. Downside is you have to walk around the contest all day looking like you were on the receiving end of a very dark game of soggy biscuit.

    2. What's really funny is that a LOT of competitions require you to wear the competition shirt for all events. I'm curious what these people are planning to do when that day comes along.

  4. I used to lift Sumo part of the way through high school, when I plateaued on dead lift and switched to that style for more weight. And yeah, having limited equipment sucks. I had access to a 24/7 fitness gym that had no squat rack so I went to zercher squats, and later tried the Steinborn lift until almost throwing my back out with it.

    At that point, I should have just saved my money and gone into bodyweight work, but, in my mind, "that stuff didn't work". Yeah I definitely fell into a few of these over the years.

    1. I see a lot of folks made that switch when they hit a stall and it never quite clicked for me. I see the sumo and conventional deadlifts are 2 very different movements that, were it not for powerlifting, we'd never equate to being similar. They're both styles of picking weight off the floor, but in terms of training stimulus, I see differing effects.

  5. I always like a good thought salad post.

    Saw your conditioning workouts on your training log. Brutal stuff. And a great example of the sport training paradox we've discussed before. At a technical or physiological level, that stuff isn't improving your performance on strongman events. However, no doubt that that toughness and mental edge IS improving your performance in a contest. Like Jerry Rice catching bricks, or Walter Payton's hill sprints, or any number of other examples of successful athletes doing things that "shouldn't work" technically or physiologically. Gets to your point of obsessing over finding what doesn't work, too. I think that grey area is fascinating.

    Skinny fat...I'm with you, no clue what to do with it. "Cut" and go skeleton mode and hate everything? "Bulk" and get fat and then hate everything? Gradual recomp and never see progress? It's an even stranger phenomenon in women, IMO, because there are many who aspire to that look. In men at least it isn't desirable.

    "I want to compete in strongman but I don't have access to implements, the nearest strongman gym is 1.5 hours away" is my favorite /r/strongman newb shitpost. There's just so many things wrong with it and all of them mean the poster is 100% doomed to fail.

    Saw this recently and thought you'd enjoy re: beginner training. "Children who spend more than three-quarters of their time engaging in sedentary behaviour, such as watching TV and sitting at computers, have up to nine times poorer motor coordination than their more active peers."

    No doubt this makes up the Starting Strength core market demographic.


    1. Agree with you on dealing with skinny-fat. Although it's good I became more active before it got out of control, it's annoying seeing that band of fat around my waist despite an improving physique and overall strength gains.

      As Emevas says, it is an unnatural condition. It took years of being lazy to get myself like this so it may take years to get out of it.

      For the record, I'm going the bulk route - just focus on getting stronger and feeding myself to support that. Don't worry about that silly bit of fat around the waist for now.

    2. I know I can always count on your patronage for one of these posts Will, haha.

      The grey area of training is where I live. I feel like if my training makes sense, it means I screwed up, haha. I'm too dumb to be the one to do it, but I think there's a legitimate area of interest in evaluating the benefit of training under fatigue vs not, and how benefits relate. I feel like some of my best growth has occurred while lifting the least weight.

      For skinny fat, I really think the answer is to break away from the bulk/cut paradigm and go back to square one. "Hey, you got skinnyfat from years of a sedentary lifestyle? Time to develop an ACTIVE lifestyle. And then, once that is established, THEN we start exercising". Basically forcing people to have a childhood. It will go over poorly of course, since it takes forever, haha.

      And I'll be honest; whenever someone says they want to train strongman or do conditioning or whatever but they don't have access to XYZ, I don't even bother to reply. I figure anyone that starts out looking for assistance by stating exactly what they aren't willing to do isn't going to gel well with my advice.

      That is a crazy link. Amazing how significant the difference is. There is something to be said about getting that foundation in your youth.

    3. I don't blame you. People who want to do powerlifting or strongmen without the equipment are just making excuses.

      I mean, I made those excuses for years, before just deciding to actually give bodyweight exercises a go, in addition to running. Once I put some serious effort into it, beyond just a set of pushups here and there, I noticed my entire body just felt stronger overall. There's so much to it and it just required a slightly different paradigm.

    4. Maybe I'll really embarrass you and get some MythicalStrength shirts done up for the contest, elevate my fanboy status. I'll pull a Thor and hand them out to the crowd, get everyone to shout "Blood and Soil" no wait, I mean, "Brute Force and Ignorance" at you.

      I read a lot of sport research, and I have absolutely no clue how you'd set up a study to evaluate your specially insane style of training. Besides, it's not like you'd believe the results anyway. But yeah, every sport has that grey area where there are still intangible benefits despite a lack of supported tangible benefits. I think it's interesting but I don't know how to study it.

      Interestingly, some research that we did read last quarter was a qualitative Foucauldian analysis of 1500m running coaching and performance. Sorry if I've mentioned this before. Almost all the elite coaches and athletes they interviewed said that they could only expect 5-6 peak performances in an entire career (10+ years) and all commented on the athletes' perceived inability to "empty the tank" during a race. The discussion was about how an overly analytical and controlled (here's the Foucault) training environment was a possible cause of never allowing the athletes to learn the skill of performing in a chaotic and unpredictable environment.


    5. I remember you discussing that before, and nothing to apologize about because it's a fascinating topic that not a lot of people want to admit to. There is a lot of imperfection to account for.

    6. I'm thinking this will be the base of my t-shirt design. You good with that? Seems like everything you stand for, so...


    7. I am fairly certain I will burst into flames if I wear that, haha. However, part of me wants to wear it now for my next deadlift PR just to make the internet explode.

    8. It actually makes me feel nauseous to think that someone would spend money on that and wear it in public. Let alone the dildo who created it in the first place.

  6. Emevas,

    Long time reader. Huge fan of these posts and your general “work harder” philosophy.

    Thanks for what you do.


    1. Appreciate having you as a reader Will! Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Re reading this again and I just want to say, the entire thing about conditioning is on point. I have giant set my deadlift and bench work outs, super set my squat workouts, and each time I just want to leave the weights sitting out because I'm actually exhausted afterwards. Feels like getting some light conditioning in while doing it.

    For my conditioning work outs I do a circuit of swings, pushups, pullups, sit ups. Hit all the assistance exercises I was never really able to figure out where to put in my program and just look like I'm gonna die when doing it.

    It's not complicated . Hell, a crappy pair of running shoes is maybe $20 and the outdoor air is free. People can go run or Sprint if they truly have nothing. I know that's not quite conditioning but it's better than sitting around.