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.

Warm-up:

Shoulder dislocations

Scapula pushups – 2×10

Chin-ups – 2×5

Floor Press:

bar x bunch

65×5

80×3

100×3

115×3

125×3

135×3

145×4 (PR)

 

Pause Bench:

95 x 3 x 10

 

Tricep Dips:

2×5

 

Chin-ups alternating with Pull-ups:

3×5

 

Bench Ab Raises SS w/Knucle Push-ups:

5x10x10 (see vid for exercise illustration)

 

 

CONDITIONING

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

 

 

The Strongmen Of Old: Lifting Inspiration

19 Dec

mahler43abig

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.

 

Videos:

 

Articles:

Lessons From Old Time Strongmen

Old Time Strongman Training

3 Feats of Strength

 

Now get out there and get stronger.

Training Session: 12/16/13 (Back)

16 Dec

Good training today. Starting to get a little more used to my early morning workouts.

I’m getting a little bit anxious about my meet coming up in April, but I will try not to fret over it. I still have a good 4 months, and though my back isn’t 100% yet it has definitely been getting better. Staying positive!!

 

Chin-Ups:

1×5 (palms in)

1×5 (hammer)

 

One-arm DB Row:

40×10

50×10

60x3x10

 

BB Row:

65×10

80×10

95x3x10

 

Close-Grip Lat Pulldown:

70×10

85×10

100×10

120×5, 100×5

100×10

 

Facepulls SS w/Straight-Arm Pulldown:

70 lbs x12, x12 (4 sets)

 

Quote of the day:

“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”

– Dalai Lama

Women vs. Women: When Will It End?

12 Dec

womenboxing-682_866328a

(NOTE: This post is a half re-post from a piece I wrote earlier this year in May. I just wanted to add in a few other things, and thought it was perfect timing, what with all the nonsense going on about the VS Fashion Show.)

And so begins another rant, prompted by stumbling upon day-to-day interactions between women on social media websites (not surprisingly). Distasteful ones, I might add.

What is it with women and wanting to put other women down?

Humans are comparative by nature. However, women are particularly insane in this regard.

One of the better comments I read on Facebook in regards to women’s aggression towards one another is worth a re-post:

“It is true that we evolved to where we are today from from physical creatures whose every action was meant to increase chances of survival, but as we evolve as a species we are able to reject our baser survival instincts which no longer serve a purpose. Evolution means change after all.”

– Jesse Bruni

The man hit the nail on the head. These instincts no longer serve a purpose outside of stroking our own ego. I’m truly sick of the snarky comments and catty attitudes – most of which are stemming from a severe lack of self-confidence and an overwhelming sense of inadequacy. When you cannot or will not source the problem, the easiest solution is taking it out on something or somebody else; in this case, other women.

“Real women have curves! Skinny women look like bags of bones.”

“I love my curves – shove it, you skinny bitches!”

“They all look like walking toothpics.”

“They all look so unhealthy.”

“Ew, are you kidding me? She’s so thin. I like having extra meat, I don’t want to look like a stick figure!”

Shut the fuck up.

Who would have thought these would be the first search options to pop up?

She looks beautiful and healthy to me!!

She looks beautiful and healthy to me!!

source

Every woman has said something like this. Either in relation to smaller women, or larger women. I am also guilty of this (hey, it would be wrong to say that I have never spoken negatively before) But all this kind of attitude does is boost your own ego, however temporarily, and makes you feel better by trying to make other people look worse than you.

This is terribly, terribly wrong. And selfish. And ironic. Seeing as by uplifting your curvy stature you are attempting to fight against negative outside influences (i.e. media pressure), yet your way of doing so is by doing precisely the same thing the media does, only reversed.

Stop to think about what you are actually saying when you define somebody as a “real” woman. What constitutes “real”?

Would you ever tell a woman who has had a double mastectomy that she is not a “real woman”? Would you ever tell a woman who could not have children that she was not a “real woman”?

No.

So why would you tell a slimmer woman that she is not a real woman?

Boobs are gone. Cancer = beat. Is she not a "real woman" anymore?

Boobs are gone. Cancer = beat. Is she not a “real woman” anymore?

You know what makes a woman “real”? Being born with a fucking vagina. If there is no penis between her legs when she is born, she is a real woman.

Well. With the exclusion of some rather complicated intersex conditions. But you get the point.

The point is: get over yourself.

Lawd have mercy.

Not everybody has the same genetic make-up. Some women are just naturally on the smaller side. This doesn’t make them any less of a woman. But it makes YOU less of a lady by trying to make her feel inadequate. Everyone has their own battles to fight. Why kick someone when they are already down?

No woman anywhere likes to be put down. Period. Fat, curvy, skinny, fit, what have you. No woman likes to be told that they are not a woman because they do not have certain attributes.

We always complain about the pressure of the media that we face on a daily basis. And I get it. Fashion magazines, music videos, celebrities, etc. all give off the impression that skinny is beautiful. The media tends to look down upon women of different weights and proportions, which is why a lot of women who have a little extra meat are fighting back.

But since when has encouraging other women to love and embrace their bodies been a case of telling other women that they are “twigs” and “not real women” ?

How can you honestly feel good about encouraging women to love themselves and embrace their shape if you are putting down others who have a different shape from yours?

Ridiculous.

Ridiculous.

“BUT CHRISTINE!” they say. “THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!”

I realize that some young girls may feel a little insecure if they do not look the same as the models. But truthfully, it’s really not these ladies’ fault that girls feel insecure. The women may be a trigger, but the trigger is not the cause. It is a very deep-rooted psychological issue that needs to be addressed through therapy and positive reinforcement – NOT through condemning women who are naturally thin. It is YOUR job as a parent, sister, aunt, whatever, to be a positive role model. It is YOUR job to raise your child with confidence and strength to the best of your ability. You should not have to demand that other women to stop doing what they do so that your children can feel better about themselves. You need to raise your children with the knowledge that they are beautiful, no matter what.

Don’t you think that women who are slimmer feel bad about their bodies sometimes? Don’t you think that they also need encouragement to love and embrace their bodies as well? How would it make you feel if you knew that the girl you called a “little boy” killed herself from all of the negativity she received in regards to her body shape, and from her low self-esteem?

Don’t act like that shit doesn’t happen.

What if it was YOUR little girl? What if you had a daughter who was genetically thin, who got picked on for her size? You might have a tough time explaining to her why you were so negative about other girls with the same body type. Would you allow others to mock her for her size, or would you stand up for her and let her know that she is beautiful?

Would you ever call your child “disgusting”?

Would you ever say to your child that she was “ugly”, and that she didn’t look like a woman because she was not shaped a certain way?

We need to be more positive. There is enough outside negativity as is without us adding more fuel to the fire. It’s not just about teaching curvy women to embrace their frames. It’s about teaching ALL women EVERYWHERE to accept and appreciate their bodies, and not down-talk themselves.

We need to encourage women to be HEALTHY and to be free of mental and physical self-inflicted abuse. Not send out negative vibes. The media does a good enough job at that already, and when you say these things to these other women, you are doing EXACTLY the same thing as the “fat-shaming” media that you hate oh-so-much.

You cannot encourage self-love through degradation of others.

So stop it with all this “real women have curves” bullshit. There is no reason to be enemies with someone because they are different. Learning to be supportive of others is  how you will find your own peace.

Spread love. Let go.

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all shapes and sizes

The Illusion of Definitive Answers

7 Dec

102-believe-nothing-no-matter-s

“….the Exalted One looked around over the silent company and said,

‘Well, ye disciples, I summon you to say whether you have any fault to find with me, whether in word or in deed.’

And when a favorite pupil exclaimed, ‘Such faith have I, Lord, that methinks there never was, nor will be, nor is now, any other greater or wiser than the Blessed One.’

The Buddha admonished:

“Of course, Sariputta, you have known all the Buddhas of the past.”

“No, Lord.”

”Well then, you know those of the future?”

“No, Lord.”

“Then at least you know me and have penetrated my mind thoroughly?”

“Not even that, Lord.”

“Then why, Sariputta, are your words so grand and bold?”

(**Note: The book “Buddhism” by Huston Smith has proven to be one of the best things I have picked up to read in quite some time. Everything resonates with me in so many different areas of my life. Admittedly, I am new to the study of Buddhism. But I am formulating my own answers and conclusions based on my perception of the teachings, and so far, have been learning quite a bit about myself. This is my take on the excerpt above.)

In this particular passage, Siddhartha explains to his young student that without fully knowing every Buddha of the past, future, and present, it is impossible to make so bold a statement as “There never was, nor ever will be, nor is now, anyone greater than thee.”

Because, well. Frankly, the claim has no base.

And like anything in life, without understanding your past, knowing your situation completely, or being able to predict the future, it is impossible to make assumptions about the present – especially ones that are so fatalistic or fixed in nature.

I think that very often, we come up with opinions on things without fully understanding them, whether out of excitement, anxiety, fear, or otherwise. The fact of the matter is that we do not know everything, and therefore must not assume that because something appears one way it is the only answer there ever will be.

Science is always changing. What was a supposed “proven” theory at one time has been debunked by nature years down the road. And whatever we think we know about the present world will inevitably change at some point as we broaden our knowledge. So while something may seem to be the answer at the time being, you should never settle on it as the end-all, be-all to everything.

There should always be a hunger for greater understanding.

Maybe at some point you have failed at something in life, and thought, “This is it. This is the end. Nothing will ever change, the situation will never get better, and I am stuck here forever.”

Not only is failure as temporary as you will allow it to be, accepting defeat without knowing what the future holds and without analyzing the situation makes little sense. Perhaps what you perceive as a failure is really not much of a failure at all. The experience could be preparing you for a future event, in which you will inevitably succeed. Will it have been such a failure then?

Think of your circumstances as the “Buddhas” that Siddhartha spoke of to his student. I will say it again: If you cannot fully grasp what has happened in the past, cannot predict the future, and have little idea what is going on presently, you have no grounds to make irrefutable claims.

Alternatively, sometimes events can be so positive that they cloud our vision, and we become somewhat blinded. Like when someone falls in love for the first time, and cannot see the faults in the person that they are with. During this time, that person is the most perfect person in the world. But this skewed perception can often lead to future resentment when imperfection is unavoidably discovered. It would be wise to avoid putting people or circumstances on a pedestal.

Whatever the situation, try to take a step back and think of things more rationally, not letting your adoration or negativity cloud your opinions. When you have learned to think calmly and sensibly, then you will find that people and events are more easily understood, and nothing becomes either the best thing, or the worst thing. Black and white is abolished, and the diversity of color is introduced.

Learn all you can, accept nothing at face value, and question everything.

Training Session: 12/2/13 (Back)

3 Dec

Today was alright. This is my “early morning” (8am) training session, which I am still getting used to. But it went well nevertheless, and at least I wasn’t hungover this time. O_O

Added one rep to each of my chin-up sets. I WILL have 10 by Christmas!!

 

Neutral-Grip Chins:

5×6

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA9M7DxseR0

 

Seated CG Rows:

35kg x10

42.5kg x10

50kg x 3×10

 

Facepulls SS w/Straight-Arm Pull-Downs:

30kg x 12 (FP) x10 (PD) (4 sets)

 

DB Rows:

45×12

50x3x10

 

 

Training Session – 11/27/13 (Light-ish Upper)

28 Nov

Wasn’t actually supposed to go heavier with floor presses today, but said fuck it because I wanted to get some decent weight in my hands since it’s been a little bit.

For those who don’t know, I am focusing mainly on hypertrophy until February, and I am going to be resting my back more. Going to try and avoid rack deads for now as well.

Floor Press:

bar x bunch

65×5

80×5

100×3

115×3

125×3

135×3

145×3 (PR)

DB Floor Press:

35’s x 4 x 10

Chin-ups (palms in):

3×5

 

Seated DB Shoulder Press:

25s x3x12

 

Super Set w/Front Raises and Cable Laterals:

10 lbs. x12x4 (per arm/exercise) (30 sec. rest between sets)

 

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