Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday night strength session: Back and Biceps

If you have the opportunity to lift in a gym by yourself, or maybe with just one other person... it is an unbeatable way to focus. Headphones in and the door locked behind me. I didn't have to rush to get anywhere, and had no one to go off on a tangent about any subject. Work done is below:


Lat pulldown
3x12---> warmup
5x 6

1-arm rows

t bar rows

straight bar pulldowns

barbell curl

supinated DB curl

1-arm preacher curls

i have tiny hamstrings
leg curl

face pulls

standing EZ bar curl

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Leg Day before the holidays

Got some new CDs for Christmas... working out to music helps me bust get to new levels.

Planned workout for today before I head to Louisville for a couple days then Georgetown.

Back squat
135 x12
185 x10
225 x8
275 x8
315 x3
365 x6
405 2x6

front squat
225 x8
265 2x8

275 3x12

leg ext and leg curl= as many as possible with stack on machine, superset 4 sets with no rest

say what you want but these guys have mastered their craft (sing'n and make'n the beat)...

shouldn't you? if you are going to train, train right

Saturday, December 19, 2009

One of the few...

I had some one limp up to me yesterday saying that she really hit her legs hard. She got pissed and decided to kill her legs. I would recommend more stretching, some type of post-workout supp or meal, BUT mostly to hit legs like that every time. You have to push through your pain threshold and sprint through your comfort zone to get results that make heads turn.

If you want to be mediocre or average at everything you are in the wrong hobby. I wouldn't want to work out with somebody settling for anything less than what they can achieve next.

You best believe when other people are watching tv, eating pie, dreading their upcoming weak attempt at a new years resolution, I am already in the gym working toward something great. hope you are too

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Project Hyperplasia: Results are in

So for the passed 14 days I have been wearing a 37.6lb weighted vest every waking moment. I recorded body weight, body fat percentage, and some circumference measurements-- shoulder, chest, waist at umbillicus, hips, thigh at 4 inches above proximal patella, thigh at 7 inches above proximal patella, and calf. You can see my pre-study measurements here.

Post-study measurements:
Body weight 233lbs
Bodyfat percent 18.1%
Shoulders 52in
Chest 47.5in
Waist 39in
Hips 46.75in
Thigh 4in above 22in
Thigh 7in above 26in
Calf 16in

Thanks to Jake Beggs for the measurements.

Body weight +5.6lbs
Bodyfat percent -0.3%
Shoulders -1in
Chest +0.5in
Waist -0.5in
Hips +0.25in
Thigh 4in above No change
Thigh 7in above No change
Calf No change

Obviously I am a little disappointed in no change in three categories.... well, pretty much no change at all aside from weight gain. I am encouraged that my weight went up almost 6lbs yet there was a slight decrease in body fat %. Call them what you want, the rest of the measurements were so close I am going to call them insignificant. With as much cramping as my calf muscles had nightly and how tight my quads were I was hoping for some type of increase, but you can't say I didn't try... wearing a 37.6lb vest (around 16% of my body weight) felt like enough weight to stimulate growth, but maybe the amount wasn't high enough.


  • I got more strange looks than usual
  • I am ridiculously slow with an extra 40lbs on my frame
  • I got some respect from people that didn't expect me to actually wear the vest that long
  • I got to show people that I am very interested in trying anything to find out more about fitness, exercise, and health
  • A 40lb denim vest is an excellent conversation starter
  • I was thirsty all of the time while wearing the vest. On average I took in around 200oz of fluid a day.
  • I didn't feel like I was increasing my caloric intake very much throughout the last two weeks
  • If you have bad posture, I wouldn't recommend trying this out. Adding weight to a poorly supported structure is going to cause injury
  • Wearing the vest made me stretch more after working out
  • I know I can deadlift more than 425 because I did a set of six while wearing the vest
  • I am curious to see what my weight does now that I magically lost 40 lbs
My body weight went up with little change in body fat percentage, my squat is up 20lbs, and I was able to take the study all the way through. I don't know what project is next yet, but I'm sure it going to be solid.

Please let me know any and all comments below

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Goose Bump Phenomena

You ever lift and a song comes on that literally gives you the goose bumps? It's like a jolt of energy that makes you feel like you can pick up any weight and toss it around for reps.

Or you feel like your caffeine "kicks in" and you throw the headphones in and go into another world?

I have termed this feeling as the goose bump lift. You are feeling good with any and all numbers, your program, and you laugh when you hear about the thought of some people hitting a plateau... plateau??? what is that?

Have you felt like this lately? I am all for pushing through the pain and working hard, but have you worked hard and felt euphoric simultaneously anytime recently? If day in and day out you limp through a workout, have the same ol' playlist of bon jovi and smashing pumpkins, realize you are talking more than working out... maybe it is time for a change in attitude. You are probably getting worse physically as well.

It's hard to get motivated to lose weight and/or increase strength when your workout becomes routine.

Yes, you should have a time slot for your workout in your day.
Yes, you should have a plan once you get to the gym.
BUT you should not let your workout become the same old thing week after week.

Some workout refreshers:
  1. Go at a different time so you can cut down on the idle talking that diminishes how much you get done in the gym
  2. Delete every song on your mp3 player and load a new play list. I like for new ideas of songs.
  3. Old workout partner more of a anchor than a motor? Find some one new that actually wants to go to the gym.

Strive for the goose bump lift.... if your body doesn't want to be in the gym, you probably won't go.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Project Hyperplasia: Day 6

For those of you who don't know anything about my current guinea pig experiment, you can catch up here. Basically, I am wearing a 37.6-ish lb weighted vest all day, every day for 14 straight days. I took some basic measurements and I really just want to see what happens. I have guesses, but nothing is better than actually doing it and documenting the results.

Here are some things I have noticed almost half-way through my experiment:
  1. I get a ton of weird looks... more than I did before at least. I need to get a black shirt with RESEARCH SUBJECT on the front.
  2. I have never been more tired before I go to bed at night...carrying around an extra 40 lbs is whoop'n me.
  3. Simple tasks- getting out of a car, picking weights up in the gym, showing clients exercises- are a lot more difficult to do since I have increased my torso's girth.
  4. I have gained some respect from my staff by doing what I say I am going to do. I don't think any of them believed I would actually wear this vest for two weeks. Sometimes talk is cheap, you gotta do something.
  5. I am thirsty ALL THE TIME while I have been doing this experiment. I am downing close to 225 oz a day of mostly water.
  6. Since I am using a weighted vest, my deadlift form has actually improved... now you may ask,"Wait, you are deadlifting wearing a 40lb vest so how has your form has improved?" The vest keeps me aware of when my hips rise before/faster than my shoulders because I feel the sandbags on my back lay against me. I hit 425 for my last set of 6 last Friday... no belt, no straps... just a weighted vest.

Let me know what you think or any questions or comments you have below.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Shoulders and Triceps

Barbell shoulder press
220x 6,6,4
210x 6

Cable lateral raises
50 2x10
55 1x10
Lying Incline Rear Raises
20's 3x10

Machine Shoulder Press
162.5 2x8
175 2x8

Straight Bar front raise
80 1x10
100 2x6
90 1x6

Isometric Cable Cross- video below- low quality, with phone
2x55lbs each for 20 seconds

Project Hyperplasia: Pre-study measurements

Measured at 9:30am pre-lift
Bodyweight: 227.4
Omron Body fat percentage: 18.4%
Circumference measurements
-Shoulders=53 in
-Chest= 47 in
-Umbillicus= 39.5 in
-Hips= 46.5 in
-Thigh 4 inches up from proximal patella= 22 in
-Thigh 7 inches up from proximal patella= 26 in
- Calf= 16 in

Throwing the weighted vest on. Thanks to Chance Cianciola for the measurements.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Project Hyperplasia

Hyperplasia of the skeletal muscle is the body's muscle fiber's satellite cells proliferating and splitting the muscle fibers to make new ones, thus adding to cross-sectional area and possible force production. Several studies were pulled together here. For the next two weeks I am going to wear a 37.6lb weighted vest (homemade with denim!) every waking second aside from the shower. I posted a picture of the vest below... it is a must see for sure. Thanks fo Alex Mitchell for the donation of the vest to the Underground Fitness Center. I will also post bodyweight, body fat %, and an assortment of circumference measurements. The measurements will have to wait until the morning!

I, of course, will not actually be able to measure or gauge whether hyperplasia actually occurs, because I would have to take a muscle biopsy (don't have the equipment) or kill myself and have all muscle fibers counted (not for that). On the muscle biopsy option, I would have to weight only one side of myself and since I err on the side of balanced strength, I am not going to do that either.

You know, something to do since I am bored. I'll let you know how it goes. Any comments or questions, throw them in the comment section.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Guidance without Crushing Dreams

A guy at my gym mentioned wanting help with a mass building program that he would start in a couple weeks. Of course, this is as close to ecstatic as I can get so I am pumped to write this program and help him along the way.

One huge problem: him and his lifting partner are going to need to leave their egos at the door. Their squat depth is beyond questionable. Any pressing movement is accompained by the one that isn't lifting grabbing the bar "but not helping" through an entire set of six reps. They were doing weighted pullups with assistance yesterday... you read right, they added weight to their body for pullups but then had their partner assist by lifting their feet... which takes the total weight lifted down. Why not just do pullups without extra weight???

In the attempt to get huge, these guys are going to have the same problem that a lot of guys have... too consumed with the poundage on the bar instead of moving a weight through a full range of motion to get the most muscular benefit possible. I have to bring this up before they begin on my program because when I write a program, I expect to see results.

However, if these guys keep half-repping workouts they are going to be left small, injured, and frustrated. I want to help them... getting stronger and adding on muscle mass is physiologically one of the most inspiring, rewarding things a person can do for themselves, but it has to be done right.

huge guy from
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