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Week #8, Day #1 – Officially 11 weeks out!

17 Mar

So, it’s official…



It’ll be the APF Senior Nationals from the 6th-8th. I’m so pumped. It’ll have been a full year since I have been on the platform for anything but taking photos, so I’m really pumped to compete again.

Mock meet coming up in 2 weeks, and then just prep work from there. Schwab has me progressing every week, so I have no doubt I will put up some better numbers this time around!

Was a bit rushed during today’s training, but had a good session nonetheless. It was supposed to be MUCH lower volume than this…but sometimes I don’t know when to quit on leg days. :/ Saved my ab work for tomorrow’s session.

Box Squats (parallel):

WU: 5 min. incline walking, x-band walks, glute bridges

bar x bunch








Leg Press:

(3 second descent, explode up)


360×10 (x2)


540×10 (x2)

Leg Curls:

(done till failure, with partial reps at end)

80×15 + 5 partials

80×10 + 5 partials (x3)

Leg Extensions:

I don’t remember what I did here. Just a lot of crazy strips sets and partial reps until I wanted to shoot myself in the head.

I’m Back!! – Week #7, Day #2

12 Mar

Fell off the face of the earth for a couple weeks because I have been absolutely SLAMMED at work, and there are lots of other things going on in the personal life. But I’ll be back to logging daily now. 🙂

I’m thrilled with my program. Brian has been a phenomenal help, and I’m progressing faster than ever. PR’s every week, and I’m feeling so much better physically. My back hasn’t been bugging me at all, and my hips are definitely improving slowly but surely. Still get some pain from wide-stance squats and sumo pulls, but nothing near what it used to be.

Bench Press:

bar x bunch

65 x 5

80 x 3

100 x 1

135 x 1 (3 board)

155 x 1 (3 board)

170 x 1 (3 board)

175 x 1 (3 board)

180 x 1 (3 board)

Floor Press:

115 x 5

120 x 5

125 x 5

Bar Front Raises:

20 x 10

30 x 8 (x2)

JM Press:

75 x 10

85 x 8

Training Session: Week #2, Day #4

16 Feb

Bench training from the other day. Was slightly higher volume today with some of the assistance exercises.

As for my incline presses…I’m actually supposed to do decline but I am a huge pussy, and have never been confident enough to do them ever, much less without a spotter. Working on it.



bar x bunch

65 x 3 x 3

85 x 2

105 x 1

115 x 1

125 x 7

130 x 6

135 x 6 (PR)

DB Incline Press

25’s x 10

30’s x 8

35’s x 8

40’s x 6

45’s x 6

DB Front Raises:

12.5’s x 12 (x3)

Chins (palms in)


Cable Tricep Pressdowns

65 x 12

75 x 12

85 x 12

Training: Week #2, Day #3

13 Feb


3 min. stair master, fast pace

Walking lunges (50 ft. x2)

X-band walks (monster mini; 20 steps per side)

Foam roll (low back, calves, hamstrings)

Full cleans (bar x 3 x 3)

Drop snatch (15 lb. bar x 8)

1.5″ Block Pulls:

135 x 5

175 x 1

205 x 1

235 x 1

255 x 1



Chins (neutral)


Med. Grip Pulldowns

70 x 12

80 x 12

90 x 10

Close Grip Cable Rows

80 x 12

90 x 12

100 x 10

Plate Pulls 

50 ft. x five rounds (back and forth)

Training: Week #2, Day #2

12 Feb

Missed the logging for Monday’s workout just because my work day was INSANE. Ended up training from 9:30am to 10:00pm, with a short break for my workout in between, and when I wasn’t training I was in meetings. Just silly busy.

But here’s yesterday’s bench training…fortunately I suck at math at the appropriate times, and made some accidental PR’s.


Band pull-apart’s (bunch)

Push-ups (x15)

Chin-ups (x5)

Ext/Int Rotations (5 lb. x15)


bar x bunch

65 x 3

85 x 1

105 x 1

115 x 1

135 x 1 (2 board)

160 x 3 (2 board)

165 x 2 x 2 (2 board)

NOTE: It was supposed to be 150×3 and 155×3. But because of some wrong plate loading, it was heavier. Means I am still on track!

Incline DB Press

(Note: was supposed to be decline but I am a pussy. This will be addressed at another time.)

25’s x 10

30’s x 12

35’s x 8

40’s x 8

DB Front Raises:

12.5’s x 3 x 12

Incline Tricep Extensions

(Note: elbows started hurting pretty fucking bad with these, so I kept them super light)

15’s x 2 x 10

Neutral-grip Chins


The Minimalist Method – Day #4, Week #1

9 Feb

Another long break from blogging. Life has thrown me all sorts of curve balls lately. On a good note, I started a new job, officially, as a personal trainer. I’m starting from scratch but things are already starting to pick up for me so I am looking forward to what the next couple of months are going to look like!
I have finally begun my training with the legendary Brian Schwab, as a sort of guinea pig for his new training program, “The Minimalist Method”.

Coming soon!! (Photo by yours truly)

Coming soon!! (Photo by yours truly)

This book is all about getting the most bang for your training buck, without over-training. It focuses on the fewest exercises and sets needed to produce great strength gains, while maximizing recovery and MINIMIZING injury!

So far I have been loving it. I just completed my first week and already hit a new bench PR. I am really excited to see how I progress over the next little while. I will be logging my workouts on here again consistently to help me stay on track.

Here’s my bench session from the other day:


Band pull-aparts (monster mini x 20)

Shoulder rotations (2×10)

Internal/External rotations

Push-ups (x15)


bar x bunch







130×7 (PR)

LOCK-OUTS (2.5″):



205×5 (x2)

CHIN-UPS (palms in):



10 lb. x12

15 lb. x15


60 lb. x12

70 lb. x12

80 lb. x10


What in the fuck?! Training update: 1/03/14

4 Jan

Wow, so the last few weeks have been crazonkulous.

I am behind on two blog posts that still need editing, and am also working on a guest post for Bret Contreras, which should all hopefully be coming together within the next week. Just been crazy busy, and even a lot of my training has been a bit rushed this week.

I am going to be starting my new program with Brian Schwab hopefully by the 10th of this month, so I’m excited for that! I have just been trying to keep up with my volume and getting some heavy work in as well. I am feeling good though, no tendon issues and form is running smoothly.

Back update: Feeling MUCH better, especially since I switched to sumo pulling. Only obstacle I am facing right now is a weak left hip, which tends to get a bit painful after heavy pulls since I’m not used to the form yet. But I am hoping that with my slow weight increases it will get used to it and the pain will lessen.

Oh, I’ve also cut the fish out of my diet again. Not going to go into a lengthy explanation of why for now, but just so it’s clear which route I’ve taken with my diet. I am happy with my decision.


Shoulder dislocations

Scapula pushups – 2×10

Chin-ups – 2×5

Floor Press:

bar x bunch







145×4 (PR)


Pause Bench:

95 x 3 x 10


Tricep Dips:



Chin-ups alternating with Pull-ups:



Bench Ab Raises SS w/Knucle Push-ups:

5x10x10 (see vid for exercise illustration)




Medicine ball slams – 20 lbs x until my arms couldn’t move anymore



The Strongmen Of Old: Lifting Inspiration

19 Dec


It seems that because there are so many more people involved in strength sports these days, what’s considered to be “strong” now is vastly different from what it used to be. Back in the day, you didn’t see women putting up big numbers, or guys just walking up and pulling 900 lbs. You witnessed pure, raw, out-of-this-world strength. People would pay to watch these guys lift heavy things over their head, and when Paul Anderson set the record in the overhead press, he was looked at as some sort of god. Even though several men today have pressed over 400 lbs. over their heads.

Unfortunately, we take strength for granted now. Someone pulls an 800 lb. deadlift and we think: “Yeah, that’s cool I guess.” I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been to meets and had the crowd just utterly silent before and after the performance of a world-record lift. It blows my mind. But somehow strength just isn’t as cool to us anymore as it used to be.

That sucks.

Some of my biggest inspirations are old-time powerlifters and strongmen. Think Louis Cyr, Arthur Saxon, Paul Anderson, William Boone, Bob Peoples, etc. Men who developed brutish strength from training outside and in their basement. I admire that kind of strength, and wonder if we will ever see it again. Though I believe it’s highly unlikely.

Hopefully some of this will be as inspiring to you as it is to me! Maybe I need to add in a few of these moves to my training regimen…hmm.





Lessons From Old Time Strongmen

Old Time Strongman Training

3 Feats of Strength


Now get out there and get stronger.

Training Session: 11/08/13 (Light Lower)

9 Nov

Back has really been feeling a lot better as of late, so I have been able to move up a bit with squats and deadlift-type movements. It leads me to believe it was just  very bad strain, but I am still not pushing it too much. Mostly form work today and just getting some extra time under the bar since it’s been awhile!

I have started playing around with a low-bar placement again for squats, and it seems to make me feel much better. I am assuming because my abs are still very weak, high bar squats tend to make my lower back hurt more because I can’t properly brace everything just yet. They tend to put more stress on my quads, low back, and abs…which are all quite weak areas for me. Low-bar seems like a good route until I can bring up all these weak areas to a point where they are not really hurting me.



Old Lady Warm-Up:

Stair-stepper – 5 mins (med intensity)

planks – 2 x 1 min.

X-band walks – 2 x bunch

Banded clam shells (lots)

Single-leg Hip Bridges – 1 x 15 per side

Banded squats (wrapped around knees, focusing on forcing the knees out through the whole movement)

Foam roll  (calves, mid-back, glutes) Foam



bar x bunch
















Natural GHR (feet wedged under squat rack)




Lying Leg Curls



Bad Girl Machine




Relentless Detroit 2013: Recap

5 Nov


I felt like this deserved a more in-depth description. It’s hard to find the words to describe this amazing weekend.

When we arrived on Friday, it was definitely a little overwhelming. Entering a room full of hundreds of people, including many well-known and respected lifters made me feel incredibly small. Thankfully there were people we knew there, who I stuck around the whole night (cause I’m a chicken). Despite how out-going I am when you meet me, this was my first real big meet, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. When Marshall Johnson walked past me I had a damn near heart attack.

The second day was definitely a lot easier to handle. If anyone knows me they know I have some anxiety issues in big crowds. But hiding behind my camera did help somewhat, haha. I got a lot of great shots that will be posted up over the next couple of days (bear with me here!)

It’s hard for me to describe the impact that this meet had on me emotionally though. This competition was so much more than just getting to meet and watch my “idols” doing their thing. It was an opportunity to help others by doing what we love, and physically seeing the result of all our efforts.

Marshall put it best in a video he posted today about what Relentless meant to him (watch at the end of this post). He said that he never thought that his talent would be used to benefit others…but it has. In such a huge way.

I resonate with that. Before I knew what Relentless was, I never really saw what we do as being able to be such a big help to other people. It wasn’t until I saw the children and their families walk into the room that I was hit hard with the realization that we DO have the ability to help others with our strength. I realized what all our donations were really going towards. I saw the look of excitement and happiness on these kids faces. It made me feel so honored and so blessed to have been able to help them and their families, and to help give them hope. It made me see that regardless of what bad things are happening in my life, there is always someone out there who is fighting a harder battle, and keeping their head up the whole time.

I want to be that strong. I feel like after having seen those kids fighting for their lives with a smile on their face, the least I can do is keep my head up high and not tap out. They aren’t quitters. I won’t be one either.

Regardless of any weight that was thrown up on Saturday, those kids and their parents were always the strongest ones in the room. I think most of us can only hope to be that strong-willed.

That being said. There were some awesome feats of strength I witnessed over the weekend. I watched Kathy Johnson squat over 500 lbs. Another woman (whose name I’m not sure) benched over 400 lbs.  I watched a 9-year old boy deadlift more than double his bodyweight. I watched Paul Carter tear his quad, only to get back up there and kill his bench with zero leg drive, and stiff-leg deadlift 600 lbs. I watched Marshall Johnson pull over 800 lbs, with every person in the room, including the children, up against the stage cheering him on. That is certainly a competition moment I will never forget.

It’s not often you see such camaraderie in sports. But powerlifting is one of the few where everyone supports the other person. It’s not about being better than someone else. It’s about being better than yourself. And this was the most selfless competition I have ever witnessed. Everything was for these kids.

Hearing the stats of the donations raised brought tears to my eyes. We raised a combined total of $137,000. Enough for each family to go home with $15,000 to use towards medical expenses, needs, and anything else they could possibly want. That is $107,000 more than this same meet brought in last year.

Thank you to everyone who helped with a donation. Everything was very much appreciated. Even if all you could give was a dollar…we wouldn’t have reached that total without you!!

Next stop…$300,000.

We may look hard on the outside, but we’re pretty soft on the inside. And our hugs are pretty killer.

Photo credit: Ashley Reed

Photo credit: Ashley Reed


Marshall’s full video “What Relentless Means to Me”: