I Lift. Therefore, I Am.


Bench Intensity, Press Volume, and Scary Stories From the Globogym

Felt very tweaky today all over: both glutes, right elbow, and right lower back. None of them particularly bad, just enough to annoy. Left shoulder was also a bit more noticable than usual in it’s weakness. Overall felt a lot better than Monday, though, in terms of fatigue.

Bench Press
340x5, 365x2
 While technically only 10 lbs less than the most I’ve actually done for a set of 5, I’m so much weaker. This felt almost like a 5RM, whereas when I was doing 345 and 350x5, I had a bunch more in the tank. I didn’t rest long enough for the 365x2, and it was a 2RM at that point. Butt may have come up to get 2nd rep.

: First two sets were really hard. Got my head in the game, focused better, and the last three sets were much improved. After this past de-load week, I switched up which days I do press and bench volume vs intensity. I guess we’ll see if quad cramping from volume pressing on Thursdays makes Friday’s squats and pulls more difficult vs low back fatigue from volume benching on Thursdays.

Notes: Left shoulder bugged me during the first set, but only getting 12 after getting 13 last week motivated me, so I got 13 the next two sets, continuing my streak of adding at least 1 chin per week. Rested more than usual here, though.

Cable Row
220x8, 210x10
Notes: Felt much harder than usual/expected.

KB Clean and Press Ladder
24kg x 4,3,2,1 x 2 sets
Notes: Since I have been disallowed from lateral raises, did these. Basically it’s 1 clean + 4 presses, 1 clean + 3 presses, etc… for two sets. They were pretty easy, even after all the other work.

DB Curls
55x9, 50x8

Cable External Rotations

Stuff I saw at the gym today:
1. Douchebag takes up a rack (the one that happens to be my preferred rack) for ~30-40 minutes to do some bullshit routine involving bodyweight, a ViPR, a reebok core board, and one actual thing with the barbell in the rack. Loaded with 65 lbs. Luckily I had to bench first anyway, but I would have been pissed if I couldn’t get the rack because of him. Even coming to the gym at 2pm is no guarantee of getting what you want, which annoys me greatly.

2. Middle aged woman brings a pair 2.5 lb dumbbells halfway across the gym, to sit specifically on one of only two flat upright support benches in the whole place and do wrist curls. She leaves them on the bench when she’s done.

3. Guy loads 315 on the bar on the bench, does a few reps. Puts on 10 more for 325, does a double, fails the 3rd rep - didn’t ask for a spot, but luckily I was nearby, saw him, and bailed him out. He was wearing gloves and had the collars on both sides, so he’d have been screwed had I not seen him. How do you get that strong on the bench and not know basic bench press safety?

4. Guy comes it and starts squatting, does 135 and is actually below parallel so I notice. He’s in my preferred rack (I’m already done w rack work for the day so no big deal), which is the one (out of 3) that’s not in front of a mirror. But he has turned around so he has to back the weight back in after his sets, so he can squat while looking at a mirror, which is about 50 ft away across the width of the entire gym. By this time he’s half squatting 185.

5. Another guy comes in and starts squatting in the same rack. He is not as creative as previous guy. He doesn’t like that there’s no mirror, so when one of the mirrored racks opens up, he hauls ass over to it and moves there. Leaves his 225 on the bar, no attempt to put it away. Loads up 315 on the new bar and does 1/4 squats.

Fun times at the globo!

(Source: startingstrength.com)

Some fortuitous travel by two clients of mine allowed today’s training to happen. In addition to my regularly planned meals, I ate an extra double meat bowl at Chipotle and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s half baked froyo (I know, I know…) last night. I still almost overslept for my 8am client this morning, and felt like crap. Because my usual Tuesday lunch client was away, I had time to nap from 10-11am, make lunch and eat it, nap again from 12:30-1:30, and wake up feeling much better. Not 100% but able to get to the gym feeling like I could do volume day. And because another client is traveling, I didn’t start my evening set till 7pm instead of 6, leaving me time to do conditioning without hurrying it all up.

And that’s how my first squat volume PR in 10.5 months happened today. I’ll take it.

425x5x5 - PR for 5x5
 Pretty solid for the most part, and rest wasn’t excessive: went from 5 to 7 minutes over the sets. Felt pretty tired after the last set, but not totally beat down. I know I could have done this for a bit already, but I was very careful not to kill it with volume this time around, but the delayed gratification of a new volume PR (420x5x5 was late May, 2013) is still pretty nice.

I don’t usually post my volume work anymore, just film it for myself, but since this is a PR after 10.5 months, here it is above.

Power Clean
45x6, 95x3, 125x2, 155x2, 175x2, 195x2, 215x2, 235x1, 250x1
Clean Pull
295x2, 325x2, 345x2x2
Notes: Started cleans 10-12 minutes after squats and I was still tired. Oh well. Got 250, which is I think more than I’ve ever gotten at Equinox, and it was pretty fast and smooth. Clean pulls popped well today, I’ll probably go to 365 next time.

C2 Erg Intervals
30s Row / 90s Rest x 9
Paces: 1:52.6, 1:42.0, 1:36.1, 1:34.9, 1:34.3, 1:34.3, 1:32.0, 1:32.0, 1:27.7
Notes: I sandbagged the first 3-4 strokes of these, till #7, so my overall pace is lower even though my main rowing was reasonably fast. I was just beat.

I don’t usually post my volume work anymore, just film it for myself, but since this is a PR after 10.5 months, here it is above.


Pulled 545 for 8 reps today. Pretty proud of this one.

Legit strong.

Press Intensity, Bench Volume, other upper body stuff

Rough day today. Felt fine all weekend but woke up this morning feeling tired, fatigued all over but especially my shoulders and traps, and a big bump in my usual spring allergy situation. My numbers were only slightly behind my planned work, but I just felt weak, tired, and lethargic. One of the trainers at the gym who I’m friendly with even commented, asking what’s wrong with me today. Ah well, they can’t all be great days.

: Was supposed to be 220x5. When 135 felt heavy in warm-ups, I thought I might be in trouble. When 165 felt like 215, I knew I was. But I committed to taking 220 out anyway and doing my damnedest with it; failed the fourth rep, but that was actually better than I expected. Felt like I’d only get a double and got 3. Second set actually felt slightly better than the first.

Bench Press
315x5, 325x5x2, 315x5, 295x5
 Still some shoulder weakness; pretty sure I bridged my butt up for the last rep of set 2 at 325. But got some decent volume in. 

Weighted Chins
BW+45 x 5 x3
: These were hard. I just didn’t have my usual strength.

Hammer Strength Plate Load Row
180/side (4x45) x 11,11,12

Cable Tricep Rope

Cable External Rotations
Per the best DPT in the country’s recommendation

I’m disappointed a bit, but I think I did the absolute best I could in the circumstances. Eating a lot today (it’s a high carb day. And a high protein day. And a slightly higher than usual fat day, too.), and hoping to get a full night’s sleep and get recovered.

(Source: startingstrength.com)

Barbell Denim: Functional denim has arrived.

I haven’t been able to buy jeans that fit decently in many, many years. May give a try on these - check it out and share if you squat and deadlift and can’t find jeans that fit!!

What are your short-term & long-term goals? Hopes and dreams?

Wow shortmom, that’s a pretty huge question!  Let’s divide it up, shall we?

Short Term  (not in specific order)

1. Deadlift 700 lbs

2. Total 1655 in powerlifting in the 275 weight class, which is a Pro total in the Federation I compete in

3. Continue successfully building my business and putting aside $ every month to further my long term goal #2

Long Term 

1. Total 1800+ in powerlifting

2. Own my own Black Iron Gym 

3. Meet someone I’m crazy about, and have an awesome relationship with an awesome woman.  I realize that, unlike the things above, there’s no specific actionable items to achieve this one.  But I hope it happens.  I’ve been working so much lately, and not making much time for a social life.  I have very few opportunities to meet people.

EDIT/ADDITION: Regarding #3 - this is perhaps my one regret of never getting involved in any way with Crossfit.  Despite my differences in opinion WRT exercise selection, programming, and quality control with CFHQ, there are individually some great coaches and boxes out there.  And that’s where most of the women I’d probably be interested in, are.   But I’m at a point now where I probably couldn’t afford the pay cut I’d need to take to involve myself (in a non-owner capacity) in a crossfit gym, so I keep doing what I’m doing to further goal #2.

Today I deadlifted 560x5, hookgrip.  Here’s some proof.

Taking a page from thoughtsandsquats.  A pic of some lifting legends: Larry Pacifico, Joe Ladnier, and “Dr. Squat” Fred Hatfield

Taking a page from thoughtsandsquats.  A pic of some lifting legends: Larry Pacifico, Joe Ladnier, and “Dr. Squat” Fred Hatfield

Lotta funkiness going on today. My trap and shoulder were bugging me more than they have in at least a month - and that was all day, before even lifting.  And they bugged me quite a bit. I also used wrist wraps for the first time; I threw a pair in with a recent order from Rogue, since my wrists were unlocking in my heavy press sets sometimes. They’re not particularly stiff, but they’re fine for what I need them for right now. I didn’t try them on bench, but used them for the last warm-up and all work sets of the press today.

Bench Press
335x5, 355x2
 A lot of left shoulder/side weakness and some discomfort; again only showing up for work-sets. Warm-ups were fine, and I did some paused reps throughout the warm-up, which felt good. Disappointed, but right now my 5RM is probably not much more than I can do for 5x5 across because of the left shoulder issue. Dr. P will be taking a look at it this weekend.

Here’s a Double Meat shot of the 335x5. I used this angle because I thought it would show me a big difference between the two sides, but it’s pretty even. I can just feel the weakness oozing out of the left side during the last two reps.

190x5, 195x5, 197.5x5, 195x5, 190x5
 Shoulder bothered me some here, but it was more a feeling of general discomfort than a specific distracting pain. This is a 4.5 lb jump from last week, in terms of average weight per rep over the 5x5, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised they were significantly harder. The 5th rep at 197.5 was definitely slow. But no real grinds. Wrist wraps felt awkward at first, and I was awkward with putting them on, but by the end I liked them quite a bit.

Notes: Just added one rep to the first set

DB Bicep Curls
Notes: First set was definitely a PR in terms of doing these strict; rested two minutes and the second set was…less strict. Didn’t do any rows, because I’m reducing UB Pulling volume the day before my heavy pulling days.

DB Lateral Raises
Notes: Less reps than last week, but kept my arms straighter.

Random Stuff:  There were two strange things at the gym today. First was a dude bigger than me. At Chi-Chi Equinox, this is astoundingly rare; especially when someone is bigger in a non-fake-inflated-bodybuilder-muscles kinda of way. I’d guess he was 6’4” probably 275-285 but definitely leaner than I am. Broader shoulders. He was using 7 plates on the t-bar row and 3 plates on the bench when I walked in. After watching him a bit, I could see he didn’t really ‘train,’ as we define it, but he wasn’t loud and obnoxious in his bro-ness as most guys who look like him are, in my experience. He was doing 1/2 ROM with tons of momentum on the t-bar, and strapped in for his bench press, but despite that, he was clearly strong. He ended up doing 405 for a triple in the bench (all reps using only the middle ROM), and a whole bunch of assistancey stuff after that, but just seeing a guy who looked like that was cool. If he had more information and/or wanted to train correctly, I have no doubt he’d be much, much stronger than I am.

Second, there was a guy who looked almost exactly like Jordan Feigenbaum.  Except taller, way less gainzzzz, and with a full head of hair. Weird.

Apr 9

Human Barbie dolls


Let’s get right to it. This is a real photo of a real human being:

Human Barbie doll

It hasn’t been dramatically retouched or anything. Valeria Lukyanova has made herself into a human Barbie doll.

Her brand-new hair extensions, the color of Chardonnay, hang straight down, reaching her nonexistent hips….

Holy.  Fucking.  Shit.   Who are people???