Monday, December 31, 2007

Entry #548

Started in the afternoon with two five-minute, hard rounds on the heavy bag.

Stretched for thirty minutes a number of hours later.

Went to the track at about 7:30 PM and ran two miles, sprinting the last straightaway. I'll do three next time. I wasn't breathing hard in the least from this. Followed that up with shadowboxing before walking home. There, I ate a quick meal of two raw eggs, some peanuts, orange juice, and milk. Not exactly a gourmet meal, but it had everything I needed. Played Super Castlevania for SNES while I waited for that to settle in, and then did more shadowboxing in front of the mirror.

Roll the shoulder and project into a straight line. Some weird waverings before I got warmed-up.

Rear hand didn't drop. I've rectified this completely, by this point.

Hook - shoulder precedes the arm. Weight transfers to rear leg, although I've been doing this more forcefully.

Useful combos:

Where 1 = jab, 2 = cross, and so on for lead and rear hook (*singular* hook for lead only, although thrown from the rear may work as a looping throw - it'd pretty much have to be a stroke of luck for something that wide to connect in any but the most perfect openings on that side) and uppercuts.

Using those to approach combinations more deliberately and with intent, rather than just improvising and throwing stuff together. I'll be recording them from now on.

I'm thinking about doing one traditional jogging session like the above once a month, increasing the distance by half a mile successively until I'm up to 15. That way, I won't suffer any drawbacks in strength. I'll still maintain conditioning through interval cardio, of course.

Was talking to an old AIM contact, and he asked if I want to do an all-night training session tonight, if he drove down here from San Francisco. Eventually decided on meeting up tomorrow at the track, so we won't have to work in the dark. He's smaller, at 5'7 and 140, but it'll be a good opportunity to spar, regardless. I was thinking I shouldn't in-fight against him with the peek-a-boo, but stay away so I can't outmuscle him, but that then gives me the reach advantage. Since it's just sparring, we can experiment with whatever. We used to exchange shadowboxing videos and critique one another's clips, and he's quite good (and experienced). I'm going to call George tomorrow to invite him to it, but I don't see him coming, if I were to predict that.

Also, I ordered a digital camera to have before the throwdown on January 19th. There will be blood.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Entry #547

Speed bench:
8 x 3     185 lbs.
> Adopted a wider grip. I've been holding the bar too narrowly.

4 x 8     50 lb. dumbbells

Cable pressdowns:
4 x 8     150 lbs.
> Good pump. I still think this is a wussy exercise, though. And 150 lbs. (the entire stack) here is about equal to 80 lbs. on the machine at the old gym.

Weighted chin-ups:
4 x 8     35 lbs.
> No difficulty. Up to 45 lbs. next week.

Hammer curls:
2 x 8     40 lb. dumbbells
1 x 6     40 lb. dumbbells
> No alternation here. Each arm got 8 (and 6) full, strict reps.

Stretching for thirty minutes every night.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Entry #546

DE lower-body

Box squats:
10 x 2   225 lbs.
> Sat down for about three seconds on the platform before driving back up. Felt like a vacation.

Pronated grip Romanian deadlifts:
3 x 8     265 lbs.
> The overhand grip was a struggle by the last set, but I held through. Once I get to an even 275, I'll probably stick to that for a number of weeks to let my holding ability catch up. The weight itself otherwise feels pretty light, even for a high-rep assistance lift. Zero struggle on my back. Can't wait to test my standard deadlift.

Full-contact twists:
4 x 8     55 lbs.
> Lowered the weight to focus on form.

Hise shrugs:
3 x 10   225 lbs.

I was weaving and shadowboxing under the barbell between sets of Hise shrugs and I smashed my head into all 225 lbs. of it. My brain felt like it was about to explode (which would have ruled), but I ignored it pretty easily. I can't wait to test my recuperative abilities in the ring. The last time I got hit hard was when I fought Julian. I like to think that I won't ever get K.O.'d as a pro, like George Chuvalo (never knocked down, let alone out, even against opponents like Frazier, Foreman, and Ali) and Muhammad Ali (knocked down three separate times in 20 years, and immediately got up after each), but I'm sure that everyone thinks that of themselves, regardless of what will actually ensue.

George's mom commented that I look skinnier, probably intended as a compliment. I need to eat more. In actuality, I've gained weight and am at an even 200 lbs.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Entry #545

Walked to the track at night and did more shadowboxing drills. I'd do one round in slow-motion to focus on form, and proceed it with the same principles applied with speed. Made a significant difference in weight disposition. It's easy to gloss over the intricacies of that, normally. Slowing it down allowed more exaggeration of foot placement and transfer of power.

Cycled this in and out with jump-roping. It was fantastic how empty everywhere was because of Christmas. I kept raising my hand and shouting "WAAAR!"

Monday, December 24, 2007

Entry #544

Walked to the gym to use their bag, but it was closed for Christmas Eve, so I spent the next hour shadowboxing at the track. Had also brought my jump-rope, but I spent a lot of time being particular about little nuances in form, and the session went by too quickly. Good emphasis on head movement.
Entry #543

I've began putting together the preliminary design of my website:

As the antithesis to, say, T-Nation, I want the layout simple and straightforward. Content will be the focus, not flash. I favor the light text on black layout because it's easier on the eyes, especially at night, but I might change that. I also have a larger-than-average computer monitor, so I have to check on different screens if everything is the right size.

It's not going to have forums or anything like that. The success of that would depend on community, and I want to lean away from that. My approach is that even if I were the only person to ever visit this, it would be worth putting up for the references. It's essentially an oversized FAQ, backed by gathered links and sources.

No ads. If FreeWebs adds any, I'll find a new host.

Still have a lot of info to compile for articles.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Entry #542

Speed push-press:
4 x 3     145 lbs.
Clean and press:
3 x 3     145 lbs.
> Switched around for the sake of it.

Tate presses:
4 x 8     45 lb. dumbbells

Cable extensions:
3 x 8     150 lbs.

Weighted pull-ups:
2 x 8     35 lbs.
1 x 6     35 lbs.
1 x 4     35 lbs.
> Short rests to finish before closing time, hence the discrepancy.

Dumbbell curls:
1 x 12   35 lb. dumbbells.
1 x 6     35 lb. dumbbells.
> I had about 30 seconds between these two sets. Get to the gym earlier.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Entry #541

DE lower-body

Box squats:
10 x 2   225 lbs.
> Warmed up by doing bodyweight squats on the low stool (one plate lower than regular range). Made all the difference.  First set was as fast as the tenth. Hip flexor and psoas flexibility is essential.

3 x 8     45 lbs.
> Back was feeling stiff, so I opted for these less strenuous alternatives to good mornings.

Full-contact twists:
4 x 8     70 lbs.

Neck crunches:
3 x 8     45 lbs.

Gripper #1:
3 x 5

George was over yesterday, but we didn't spar.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Entry #540

A few hours later. My sternum is better, so it seems like it was a short-term thing. I can move my arms ably, so training won't be affected, other than today's session being cut short. Still hurts to breathe deep, but not nearly as much as before.

Shame. Dips are my most successful assistance work for tris, except for maybe close-grip bench.
Entry #539

Benched 275, and then stupidly did weighted dips, even though my sternum still hurt from last week. Thought I could get by with leaning back and relieving pressure off of my chest, but that didn't work. Now, I can hardly breathe or move my arms to any substantial degree.

On a quick note, I met an old middle school acquaintance who's into powerlifting comps now. Exchanged numbers for further follow-up.

My dad came into my room and asked me what would happen if he attacked me now, in my injured, defenseless state. I promptly slid out a katana from the shelf next to me and welcomed him to try.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Entry #538

Good mornings:
5 x 3     95, 135, 155, 185, 195 lbs.
4 x 1     210 lbs.

Romanian deadlifts:
3 x 8     255 lbs.

Janda sit-ups:
3 x 8

Bent-over dumbbell rows:
4 x 8     100 lb. dumbbells

Practiced some shadowboxing later in the evening.

Dead tired. If I didn't have to eat, I would be long asleep by now.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Entry #537

Hit the bag, raised Hell, etc.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Entry #536

Speed push-press:
8 x 3     135 lbs.
> Warm-up more. Shoulders hurt at the beginning.

Tate press:
4 x 8     40 lb. dumbbells

Cable pushdowns:
4 x 8     150 lbs.

Weighted pull-ups:
1 x 8     35 lbs.
1 x 7     35 lbs.
1 x 6     35 lbs.
1 x 5     35 lbs.

Dumbbell curls:
1 x 12   35 lb. dumbbells
1 x 10   35 lb. dumbbells
1 x 8     35 lb. dumbbells

Ever since those weighted dips, my sternum has been hurting again. I need to get to the root of this.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Entry #535

Box squats:
10 x 2   225 lbs.
> First set hurt. Extreme depth. Warm-up more next time. My hip flexors payed for this. Speed was excellent in the later sets.

Good mornings:
3 x 8     155 lbs.

Full-contact twists:
4 x 10   70 lbs.
> Was a challenge to diminish leg drive here.

Neck crunches:
3 x 10   45 lbs.
> Feh, I need to find a better contraption. The rope wasn't staying put.

Gripper #1:
3 x 5

I was supposed to be moving next month, but my roommate, whom I've known since middle school, is cause for concern. When I point out that neither of us have steady jobs yet (although I'm going to Ace this week for an application), his response is, "We'll figure something out." Doesn't cut it for me. If it pulls through, there'll be some good training opportunities, since we'll be sharing a car.

Also, George expressed interest in sparring. It's about time.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Entry #534

Bench press:
4 x 3     135, 185, 225, 245 lbs.
3 x 1     265 lbs.

Weighted dips:
3 x 8     70 lbs.

Tricep pressdowns:
3 x 8     Entire stack

Bent-over dumbbell flyes:
3 x 12   40 lb. dumbbells

Seated cable rows:
4 x 10   Entire stack

Barbell curls:
1 x 8     V 95 lbs.
1 x 7
1 x 4    

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Entry #533

Ate like a savage today, and it's only going to go up from here. Began loading on creatine.

Good mornings:
65 x 3
115 x 3
135 x 3
155 x 3
185 x 3
205 x 1
205 x 1
205 x 1
205 x 1
> First time maxing out on this, and I was paying heed to my back. Pinching back the shoulders made a difference.

Romanian deadlifts:
245 x 8
245 x 8 
245 x 8
> Kept my head turned towards the mirror. Form was flawless.

Jandas sit-ups:
x 8
x 8
x 8
x 4
> This simple set-up was the most taxing ab movement I've ever done./

Lying dumbbell rows:
150 x 8
150 x 8
150 x 8
150 x 8

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Entry #532

To recap: Sunday, I woke up with excruciating back pain. However, it was within my upper-back muscles, not my spine, so it wasn't a continuation of previous issues. I had had a pretty violent dream (fighting demons from Hell again; won't they ever learn?) the night before, and I probably wrenched a muscle from moving in my sleep. I could barely raise my arms, at first.

Monday, the pain persisted in the morning, but by the afternoon, I felt completely fine, so I lifted.

Squats (ATG):
295 x 5
295 x 4
295 x 4
295 x 3
295 x 2

So it went up, but stamina remains a problem. Moreover, I failed under only 225 lbs. on bench press. First three reps were easy, and then my arms just collapsed on the fourth. A guy ran over to help, and I snarled, "Get away" out of anger. He backed off, but kept his eye on me. I could see that he had good intentions, so I joked, "I'm gonna get this rep even if it kills me!"  I lay there for several minutes with the bar on my chest, waiting for my strength to return. However, keeping that amount in that position demanded a fair share of deltoid flexibility, and I couldn't really recover like that. I rolled the bar onto the bench's safety mechanisms, which were about a centimeter over my neck, so my head was trapped. I had to roll under and onto the floor so I could rerack. Even if there were no safety contraptions, though, I would have just tilted the whole thing onto one side, like I've done before.

I start bulking tomorrow. My losses have gotten out of hand.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Entry #531

Although the volume is far less than Monday, this is the most difficult day of squats because of everything else in the week preceding this session.

Quads were sore, but no cramps.

135 x 5
185 x 5
225 x 5
275 x 5
295 x 3
> Could not come up for the fourth rep. Failing on squats is nothing. I'll never need a spotter again. As if I even use one.
Warming-up with Muay Thai knees before squats is prime.

Incline bench press:
195 x 4
195 x 5
195 x 4
195 x 4
195 x 3
> Light weight, awkward movement. Haven't done this lift in years. I used to do 205 for 6, but not for a full ROM. The bar touched my chest on every rep here. Sticking point is definitely at the very bottom. Maybe I'll try something new and do a bench variation for that span only, later. Then again, I could probably just incorporate a lot of partials in the bodybuilding routine I'll be doing when I bulk.

Seated cable rows:
5 x 5     Entire stack

Cable tricep pressdowns:
3 x 8     Entire stack

Janda sit-ups:
2 x 5
> Finally have the perfect set-up to nail the movement. Set an Olympic bar low in the power rack, wrap the tampon around it (finally, a use for it!), and feel the pain. Simply repping up is easy; slow, contractive, deliberate reps are elusive.

Grip Trainer:
5 x 5     5 second holds on second to last set, 10 second holds on last set
> Use the #1 next time.

Hit the bag bare-knuckle at night. Drilled Muay Thai stance with arms more overhead and weight on back foot. Mixed in kicks and knees. First two knuckles took the damage, which is good.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Entry #530

Bag work in the afternoon. Three five minute rounds.

Went to the track at night and ran a little over two miles in the rain, circuited with jumproping and shadowboxing afterwards.

All my supplements arrived today. I'm not going to use them until I bulk, which will be in January.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Entry #529

Snatch-grip front squats (ATG):
3x5     135 lbs.
2x5     155 lbs.
> Balance wasn't an issue, like I thought it would be. What's difficult is holding the bar up. I'm basically doing a static military press hold. On the last set, I went in with the intent of pulling the bar into my chest instead of holding it up, but that didn't work without it slipping down. I suppose comfort isn't the point of it.

Military press:
3x5     155 lbs.
1x4     155 lbs.
1x3     155 lbs.
> The prior movement had some affect here.

Deadlift form practice:
1x3     45 lbs.
2x5     65 lbs.
1x1     330 lbs.
1x2     330 lbs.
> I used the mirror to scrutinize. My back isn't rounded, but it's definitely not as arched as it should be with the heavy loads. I'll practice these everyday, from now on.

Weighted pull-ups:
3x5     35 lbs.

Some kid came up to me between one of my sets and asked me to what benefit is there of me training in a sweatshirt. I told him it makes me uncomfortable. He just gave me a blank stare. Amusing.
Also, we got on the subject of boxing, and he expressed interest in doing it, and asked me for the address to Dreamland gym. I should have exchanged contact info in the interest of a future sparring partner, since George and Jeff are MIA.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Entry #528

On Friday, my quadriceps cramped up after just one set of warm-up squats. I barely managed 275 for one rep before reracking.

Today, the same circumstance arose, except that this session didn't entail building up sets, so instead of only one final, heavy set, there were five. I felt my quads tighten up after the first rep of 285, but rather than stop there, I willed out five ATG reps, albeit shaky ones. The weight felt light and I had exceptional drive from the bottom position, but the pain inhibited stabilization. I did another set, and got 5. On the third, only 3 before I reracked. It's extraordinary the difference that mental capacity makes, evident by Friday and today.

As for the cramps, I can't pinpoint a particular reason. I'll spend tomorrow stretching and walking to keep blood flowing in the region.

I've been coming short of these squat sessions lately, but the first thought to pass through my mind when walking away is, "I can't wait to try that again" (probably moreso now because such a trivial obstacle hindered my performance).

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Entry #527

Today profited in its mistrials.

My bench press has plummeted. A few months ago, I was putting up 285 for a comfortable three. Today, I barely got 255 for two. The circumstances were interesting in the build-up, so, to analyze:

3 x 135
3 x 185
3 x 225
1.5 x 245
3 x 245
1 x 255
2 x 255

On that fourth set, I failed midway up at only 245. Interestingly enough, it was because of imbalance, more than anything. My left arm shot up while my right barely moved.

After reracking, I went for a walk around the facility, coordinating my mind to the form. When I returned, the same weight rose up for three easily. 255 was just a reiteration of that. The same balance quandaries persisted.

In retrospect, I could have done 255 for a triple if I made another attempt, but I left at that point. There were bigger plans on mind.

Reasons for strength decline:
> Lingering consequences of injury may hamper ability to achieve traction.
> Abstaining from resistance training for a week on a calorie deficit lead to combined effects.
> Transition between routine templates coincided in such a way that bench assist work, designated to be done the ensuing period, gave way to a benching structure that did not consociate cohesively with what came prior.

All plausible. The second is intriguing, because the opposite seemingly holds true while bulking. How long have I been eating so little? Even well before August. I maintained that without lifting for two months, when Bally closed down.

Last cut failed because of inconsistencies in diet and training. This time, the shortcomings were not out of neglect. "Failure" in this is not in regards to dropping bodyfat, which does not come difficult, but in increasing force output abilities while doing so. Woe to the ectomorph.

I'm going to begin bulking very soon. My order for weightgainers, whey, ZMA, and creatine checked in at $160. Supplement prices are going up. I'm thankful for my school's ineptitude and the surge of cash refunds I routinely get, but this is still expensive.

The foreseeable future: resume the 5x5 on Friday for two weeks to finish cutting, and then revert to the singles template, which has by far given me the most drastic gains, but was not feasible while cutting.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Entry #526

I've nearly regained full spine composure.

I return to the gym tomorrow, one week after the incident. Due to circumstances, I'm reverting back to Westside.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Entry #525

I said it the last time I was rendered immobile from a wrenched back and was healed the next day, but I'm amazed at my recovery abilities. Yesterday morning, I was completely unable to walk without hobbling along the walls and other obstacles I could pull myself forward with. Turning in bed was a three-minute process. I could not move my head down to eat properly. The pain was worse than every other back injury I've had combined.

Today, I walked uphill at a decent, albeit somewhat stiff, pace to George's house, and back again. Just a few minutes ago, I shadowboxed around the house, bobbing and weaving, and moving around on my toes.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Entry #524

My condition has improved. Pain persists, but I can walk without a gait, now. My feet still have to shuffle a bit, though. Last night was torturous. Unlike previous back mishaps, no possible position offered refuge. It felt refreshing to be under relentless discomfort.

Did some shadowboxing today. It was completely arm-punching, as I couldn't bend or twist my torso. I also did sissy squats, which entail squatting on tip-toes to isolate the quadriceps. Those were feasible because they lack any degree of leaning back.

I expect to resume next week where I left off, but this time, I plan on getting to the gym bright and early to ensure that it's empty, and doing deadlifts next to the mirror in the cycle room to evaluate my form.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Entry #523

I was deadliftring 335 for five, and on the fifth set, I felt my back snap. I instantly dropped the weight and struggled to stand. I know I was rounding it on that last rep. From there, I had to stagger home in the dark, which took thirty minutes over the usual five. I nearly passed out several times. I can't type well because my hands are shaky and it hurts to sit.

"Now they will learn of fear, these mewing babies who thought they could destroy me." -Kain

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Entry #522

I did squats yesterday under poor circumstances. I didn't eat enough prior, and my blood sugar was notably low. I felt my leg shaking just from standing, at one point (right before the session). I managed 295 for 5 reps, and after that, struggled with 2. Redemption will be sweet.

Also, I tossed out Adobe Acrobat and am now using the much more readable Foxit Reader. I have a ton of training books to catch up on.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Entry #521

I walked to the gym and did some stretches in the ab room. The place was practically empty. Afterwards, I did some easy rounds on the stupid standing bag, and then practiced kip-ups before walking back.

My dad and I went to visit his brother and family. It was difficult to tell jokes that everyone understood because I was the only one who didn't speak Farsi, but I managed anyways. For example, my dad, acting as translator, asked me what would happen if his brother fought me. I leaned over and blew air at him, as if that's all it would take. It felt weird eating with people at a dinner table, though. Anyways, I gave my cousins my Gamecube and all 30+ games. 'Till next time, Resident Evil 4.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Entry #520

I'm owed an $85.00 refund from an incorrect payment charge by my school. With the money, I ordered:

War As I Knew It by General Patton
On Boxing by Joyce Carol Oates
Jack Dempsey: The Manassa Mauler by Randy Roberts
Science and Practice of Strength Training by Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky

Practical Programming for Strength Training by Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore
Supertraining by Mel Siff

Brain food.

I abstained from training today, and tomorrow will likely follow suit. Monday must be met with full potential. Whether soreness is as much a factor this week as it was the last will be interesting to note. The reason for so much emphasis towards Monday is to ensure at least one day of the week consisting of maximum applied effort. Wednesday and Friday can coexist with cardiovascular and fight training endeavors to whatever degree in performance is sacrificed, with the goal being to diminish the effect of ongoing fatigue week by week while increasing lift numbers.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Entry #519

I walked into the gym deceptively comfortable. Within the first few sets, the toll of doing identical compound movements three times a week surfaced in my performance.

Squats (ATG):
4 X 5     45, 135, 185, 225 lbs.
1 X 4     275 lbs.
> The load felt light, but after just a few reps of 135, my quads began to feel like knives had been stuck through them. 275 didn't feel very different from 185, but I fatigued quickly. The fourth rep was the closest I've ever come to failing at the bottom.

Incline bench:
2 X 5       185 lbs.
> Intentionally light.
As soon as I got up to throw away my empty water bottle, lo and behold, the personal trainer struck again! He instantly seized the open bench, and had his client spot him for partial reps of 185. Needless to say, I got as far away from there as possible.

Incline dumbbell press:
2 X 5       75 lbs.
> Way too light, but my triceps were sore.

One-armed cable rows:
 5 X 8     Entire stack
> It was supposed to be 5 X 5. Oops.

Cable pulldowns:
3 X 8     130 lbs.

Cable crunches:
2 X 8     Entire stack

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Entry #518

Another close encounter of the personal trainer kind. I can't count high enough to recall every instance when one of the Atheletic Club's minions have brought their client right in front of the power rack opening to throw a rubber ball at the wall. There's somebody doing this literally everyday I'm in the weightroom. Why is this exercise so popular, and why do people pay for it? I'm concerned for the bigger picture and the nonsense that these quacks charge for more than my inconvenience. When I'm champion of the world, free power racks for all.

Box squats:
5 X 5     245 lbs.
> Child's play, even with sore quads from Monday, but the weight is supposed to be 20% lighter today. This was done on the deep set-up, again. I'm going to measure it next time for the sake of record, but it looks to be about 6-8 inches high.
It was my original intent to do front squats, but the form didn't feel right, so I opted for the above until I practice some more. As if box squats are ever the last resort.

Military press:
5 X 5     145 lbs.
> Push and pause, push and pause. I kept it segmented to avoid the push-press tendency.

5 X 5     325 lbs.
> Lift fast.
Again: lift. Fast.
The first set proved difficult. Two people were talking up a storm as they were doing bicep curls, and I resisted the eccentric contraction out of politeness. I'm actually impressed at how slowly and quietly I set the load down for five reps. There was none of that afterwards, and the movement became much, much easier from then on. What's more, the clanging drove them off. The iron is on my side; don't resist it.

Weighted pull-ups:
5 X 5     35 lbs.
> My bag is ripped open from all of the weighted movements I've been using it for, so I had to improvise with a makeshift weight belt. It's a suede rope, probably intended for something I would not approve of, but it held up after being tied into a knot around my waist and through a 35. Since the bar is high, the plate would smack me in the nether regions everytime I jumped up for a set. It was a battle of attrition.

Hammer curls:
3 X 8     45 lbs.
> Strict. Use the 50s next time.

And I walked to the track at night, again. I alternated between sprints, jump-rope, and shadowboxing. It rules to have that much open space to myself. Unfortunately, it was getting close to 10:30, so I didn't stay as long as last night, but just walking under the dark had worth.

Currently watching: James Braddock vs. Joe Louis, 1937

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Entry #517

I could feel the onset of crippling leg soreness beginning to instigate, but I would have nothing of it. I gave them no break today, and they're feeling better from it. That's not your mom's healing; that's man healing. Or manealing. It's healing that will kill you.

First for today was bagwork in the early afternoon. My shoulders felt tender, but warming-up made them prime after a few minutes. I didn't do any repetitive jab drills this time, but I was emphasizing towards two combos.

Jab - jab - right cross - left hook.
Jab - right - left - left hook.

Ever since switching from southpaw to conventional, I've been favouring the left. It used to be that I was equally comfortable in both, but now, southpaw feels awkward. There's no practicality in being multilateral for that, but it's irksome that a physical feat has diminished, no matter the degree of its worth/practicality.

Guard was also tighter. It's nothing airtight, but my elbows were much more perpendicular to the ground.

A few hours later, I shadowboxed in front of a mirror before one of my dinners. It was a Joe Frazier session; I started out slow, and began to "smoke" as time wore on. Good speed and explosiveness, but watch the elbows, again.

Finally, at night, I walked to the track for more shadowboxing. Awesome explosiveness here. I combined about twenty minutes of this with some sprints across the track before walking home. All these box squats have gone Patton in slapping up my hip flexors for being wimps. They didn't feel stiff or limiting at all during the sprints.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Entry #516

Olympic squat (ATG/barefoot/sans knee wraps):
5 X 5     285 lbs.
> The first set posed difficulty, and I nearly fell forward on the second because of lax balance. Once I felt more warmed-up, the third, fourth, and fifth felt like nothing. In particular, I concentrated on driving downward with the sides of my soles.

Bench press:
5 X 5     235 lbs.
> Same situation as above. I barely made the last rep on the second set, so I took off my sweatshirt for better traction on the bench (which I've been doing for squats between each set, and will continue hereafter for benching). It made a definite difference in my shoulder blades staying withdrawn in one spot. Comparatively, the third set was easy.

JS row:
5 X 5     165 lbs.

Tate press:
2 X 8     40 lb. dumbbells

Weighted crunches:
2 X 12   50 lbs. of plates

Crush Trainer:
5 X 5     5 second timed holds on second to last set, 10 seconds on last set
> This isn't providing enough of a challenge. Onward to #1 next time.

The problems I faced in the first two sets of each respective lift tell me that I need to warm-up more extensively. I walk to and from the gym, so my attitude towards warming up my legs has been neglectful, to say the least. More thorough effort in that obviously needs to be made; because this set-up doesn't enforce a build-up, extra measures need to be exercised of my own accord, if anything.

I'm taking 30 minutes each night to stretch. Also, I did my usual walk to Whole Foods and back for the weekly cottage cheese mission. No known casualties.

Calorie intake is high (and clean), but I continue to lose weight with all the cardio I've been doing. Here's a shot where I'm not doing a stomach vacuum, unlike the last set:

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Entry #515

I've given up on the scale. I tried an electronic one the gym had, and it read 190.3. From there, I walked over to the manual one and came in at 201.

Also, In my haste yesterday, I forgot to note that I tried a free NO supp sample I had laying around in my cabinet that came with a purchase a while ago. I tried it out. There was zero difference in my performance, but I have to say, it tasted awesome. Not good enough to spend $45 on, of course.

On with it: I abhor training legs only once a week. The instant I dropped DE for legs, my squat plummeted. Today, I put up 305 for 2 ATG reps, as opposed to 4 last Wednesday. It doesn't make much sense to me to do all of this bodybuilding junk, like leg presses, on a cut, anyways. Still, I was really digging the change to higher reps, so I'm switching over to this:

Olympic Squats 5x5 (same weight)
Benching 5x5 (flat, close grip or regular)(same weight)
JS Rows 5x5 (same weight)
Accessory (low volume triceps and abs)

Olympic Squats 5x5 (reduced 15-20% from Monday) or Front Squats 5x5
Standing Military Press 5x5 (same weight)
Deadlifts 5x5 (same weight) (if you pull 2.5x bodyweight do 3x5)
Pull ups 5x5 (use weight if you need it)
Accessory (biceps and abs)

Olympic Squats 5x5 (working up each set)
Benching 5x5 (flat or incline)(same weight)
Rows 5x5 (same weight)
Accessory (low volume triceps and abs)

It keeps the repetition range higher than my usual 3, so it would still constitute a shift in policy. I'll still archive the "Super Strength" program for later use while bulking. At least it brought me back to doing dips.

The foreseeable plan is thus:
Train the above.
Return to previous Westside program.
Begin bulking with a full-fledged bodybuilding routine.
Use the Westside singles template.

The intent is to create as stark a contrast in rep ranges as possible. First, for the main lifts, is 5, then 3, then 8-12, and then 1. Actually, I'd like to do the singles routine now, but it's just not plausible on a calorie deficit for me.

It's time for war.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Entry #514

Bench press (warm-up):
1 X 10   65 lbs.
1 X 6     95 lbs.
1 X 3     135 lbs.

Bench press:
3 X 6     225 lbs.

Close-grip bench press:
1 X 8     185 lbs.

Wide-grip bench press:
1 X 6     185 lbs.

Incline dumbbell press:
3 X 5     90 lb. dumbbells

Dips/weighted dips:
1 X 10   Bodyweight
1 X 8     45 lbs.
1 X 7     70 lbs.
> Thus ensued in my head upon being capable of doing dips:

I no longer have any pain in my breastplate on these.

Dumbbell flyes:
2 X 8     50 lb. dumbbells

Dumbbell skull-crushers:
2 X 5     50 lb. dumbbells

Triceps pressdown:
2 X 8     130 lbs.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Entry #513

My back felt like a board while trying to hit the bag today. I can actually identify it as muscle soreness this time, though.

Here's a video, the latter half being actual bag training:

My night run messed up my diet schedule. I only have time for five meals today, but it's okay. I ran two miles and walked home.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Entry #512

This felt like Hell.

Deadlift (warm-up):
1 X 10   45 lbs.
1 X 6     115 lbs.
1 X 3     135 lbs.

Narrow-stance deadlift:
1 X 6     315 lbs.
2 X 4     315 lbs.
> My legs were shaky from the puny foundation. My feet were practically touching each other here.

Wide-stance deadlift:
1 X 8     265 lbs.
1 X 5     265 lbs.

Romanian box deadlift:
2 X 6     245 lbs.
> Here, my shoes actually were pressed together because I had to use a tiny stool in lieu of a box.

Seated cable row:
2 X 8     Entire stack (160 lbs.)
> This was ridiculous. Either I've become the Hulk on this movement since I last did 120 lbs. at Pinnacle, or the machine is retarded. I asked some random afro guy to lean on the stack, but it still felt like nothing. For the next set, I just did it one-handed, which didn't provide as big a stretch. Next time, I'll grab a little kid and have it stand on the whole thing. Hope I can find a fat one.

Bent-over barbell row:
1 X 6     155 lbs.
1 X 10   135 lbs.
> My posterior was shaking from trying to maintain stabilization after all of the above. It feels like something I can become accustomed to.

2 X 6
> All of the weighted pull-ups I've been doing went out the window. My back was blasted.

Barbell curl:
2 X 6     95 lbs.

Seated dumbbell curl:
2 X 6     40 lb. dumbbells

Later, at night, I walked to the track to jump-rope and drill some shadowboxing when I remembered that I didn't have any cottage cheese to eat before bed, so I ran to Whole Foods instead, right before they closed. I also picked up a $7.99 can of tuna. It'd better cook me bacon and eggs for breakfast, at that price. Even the cashier girl was surprised about it. She asked me, "Have you bought this before?"
"Yes. It was disgusting."
"Haha. Why do you eat it, then?"
This completely puzzled me. I thought for a bit, and then remarked, "Because I have to." Way to rub in your richy rich prices. I barely had enough change to give to the charity collector outside this time.

UPDATE: I just ate the tuna. It sucked.
Entry #511

The following is the unedited version of the routine I'll be starting today, ripped from Muscle and Fitness. Xanga didn't copy over the HTML structure from Wordpad, so it's pretty jumbled. It entails a lot of volume and some movements I'm less than ecstatic about. I intend on making some adjustments as I go, such as nixing one group of leg curls for good mornings.

            Weeks 1-4    Weeks 5-8
Exercise        Sets    Reps**    Sets    Reps
Bench Press        3*    10,6,3    3*    10, 6, 3
Bench Press        3    6    3    3+
Close-grip bench press    1    8    1    4+
Wide-Grip Bench Press    1    8    1    4+
Incline Dumbbell Press    3    8    3    4+
Dip^            3    10    3    5+
Pec-Deck/Cable Flye    2    10    2    7++
Skull-Crusher        2    10    2    7++
Triceps Presdown    2    12    2    8++

* These are warm-up sets done with light weights, pyramiding up in weight each set. Don't go to muscle failure, even if you can do more reps.
** After your warm-up sets, choose a weight that allows you to complete only the number of reps listed. If you can do more reps with good form on your own, add more weight on your next set.
+ Add about 25% more weight than you used on this exercise during weeks 1-4 to reach the target rep listed.
^ If you can perform 12 reps, do weighted dips.
++ Add about 15% more weight than you used on this exercise during weeks 1-4 to reach the target rep listed.

>> Rest 4-5 minutes between sets on the bench press and 3-4 minutes on the close- and wide-grip press. Rest 2-3 minutes between sets on all other exercises.
>> Close- and wide-grip bench presses are done in addition to regular-width presses to build maximum strength around the shoulder joint. Even subtle differences in hand placement can significantly change where stress is focused.
>> No shoulder movements are done during this workout because your front delts get blasted. Dedicated shoulder work will resume after this eight-week cycle is over.

            Weeks 1-4    Weeks 5-8
Exercise        Sets    Reps**    Sets    Reps
Squat            3*    10,6,3    3*    10, 6, 3
Deep Squat        3    6    3    3+
Narrow-Stance Squat    2    8    2    4+
Wide-Stance Squat    2    8    2    4+
Lying Leg Curl (heavy)    4    8    4    4+
Leg Press        3    12    3    6+
Lying Leg Curl (light)^    2    10    2    7++
Standing Calf Raise    2    10    2    7++
Seated Calf Raise    2    12    2    8++

* These are warm-up sets done with light weights, pyramiding up in weight each set. Don't go to muscle failure, even if you can do more reps.
** After your warm-up sets, choose a weight that allows you to complete only the number of reps listed. If you can do more reps with good form on your own, add more weight on your next set.
+ Add about 25% more weight than you used on this exercise during weeks 1-4 to reach the target rep listed.
^ Use lighter weight than on the previous set of leg curls.
++ Add about 15% more weight than you used on this exercise during weeks 1-4 to reach the target rep listed.

>> Rest 4-5 minutes between sets of deep squats and 3-4 minutes on narrow- and wide-stance squats. Rest 2-3 minutes between sets of all other exercises.
>> Narrow- and wide-stance squats are done in addition to deep squats to focus on all-around thigh strength. Placing your feet closer together hits the outer sweep of the quads while a wider stance works the adductors harder.
>> You perform leg curls twice during the workout because hamstring strength is vital to lifting big in both the squat and the deadlift.

            Weeks 1-4    Weeks 5-8
Exercise        Sets    Reps**    Sets    Reps
Deadlift            3*    10,6,3    3*    10, 6, 3
Narrow-Stance Deadlift^    3    6    3    3+
Wide-Stance Deadlift^    2    8    2    4+
Romanian Box Deadlift#    2    8    2    4+
Seated Cable Row    2    8    2    4+
Bent-Over Barbell Row    2    10    2    5+
Lat Pulldown         2    10    2    7++
Standing Barbell Curl    2    10    2    7++
Seated Dumbbell Curl    2    12    2    8++

* These are warm-up sets done with light weights, pyramiding up in weight each set. Don't go to muscle failure, even if you can do more reps.
** After your warm-up sets, choose a weight that allows you to complete only the number of reps listed. If you can do more reps with good form on your own, add more weight on your next set.
+ Add about 25% more weight than you used on this exercise during weeks 1-4 to reach the target rep listed.
^ Alternate order and set-rep scheme of narrow- and wide-stance deadlifts each workout.
# This is a Romanian deadlift performed standing on a 6-inch box to allow an extended stretch.
++ Add about 15% more weight than you used on this exercise during weeks 1-4 to reach the target rep listed.

>> Rest 4-5 minutes between sets of the narrow- and wide-stance deadlift (whichever you do first in your routine) and five minutes on the other deadlift movements. Rest 2-3 minutes between sets of all other exercises.
>> You do narrow- and wide-stance deadlifts in addition to regular deadlifts for two reasons. First, even subtle changes in foot and hand placement make a big difference in where your back picks up the initial stress of the lift. Second, your legs (hamstrings in particular) are worked differently when your feet are close together as opposed to when they're set wide apart.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Entry #510

No training. I mostly spent the day typing up routines and playing Morrowind. I'm going crazy at this point from sitting so much, but it's just pent-up energy to fuel tomorrow. I managed to dig out three worthwhile programs from my Muscle and Fitness infestation: Scott Mendelson's "Big Bench", "ECO", and some generic powerlifting template with a ton of volume, but has given me great gains in the past, which I attribute to the wide/narrow variations of the main compounds. "ECO" encorporates plyometrics for warm-ups, which actually seemed to make a profound difference while I was on it. And Scott Mendelson needs no validation. Between these and the 5x5's, I have a good selection.

I also received "POWER" in the mail yesterday. It doesn't have any example routines, unfortunately.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Entry #509

I was particularly worn out from pre-lifting training today, and I barely put up 265 for a single rep on bench press. Even if I had been at a full capacity, however, I doubt that I could have done it for more than a triple. I've plateaued in this regard.

I've been on this routine for a little more than a year. Gains have been excellent, but now it's time for a change.

On another note, here's a short clip. This is not a typical bag session. I'm just moving around to warm-up, paying no heed to form. I have an actual bag at home, not a standing one like this flimsy thing. The one advantage this has over my home set-up is that there's space to actually move around. In my yard, it's crammed under the patio.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Entry #508

I spent most of today doing bag training. Also, I got a good walk early in the morning.

Here is a brief update on the cut. For the sake of consistency, I used the same location as the last set, but will opt for flatter lighting next time, when I'm done doing this. Good thing I don't bodybuild - I have no triceps at all, and haven't done curls for more than a year.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Entry #507

Squats (ATG/barefoot):
4 X 5     135, 185, 225, 275 lbs.
2 X 4     295, 305 lbs.
> Thank you, box squats.

Dumbbell lunges:
3 X 8     80 lb. dumbbells

Romanian deadlifts:
3 X 8     245 lbs.

Weighted crunches:
5 X 12   50 lbs. of plates

Crush Trainer:
5 X 5     5 second timed holds on second to last set, 10 second timed holds on last set

Hand pats:
> I pet a kitty while walking home.

I ran out of whey, so I used 10 egg whites and 1 egg yolk instead. It was morbid.

At night, I walked to the track to drill some boxing and use the jump-rope, but the gate was locked.

Also, I applied for a part-time job at "Sports Gallery", a sports memorabilia place. I noticed that their boxing page on their website had a lot of misinformation on it, and I noted in my resume that I sent to them under "Qualifications", "Particular enthusiasm in the sport of boxing and the history behind much of its memorabilia. For example, from a scan of the boxing section on the Sports Gallery website, I can tell you that Muhammad Ali did not hold the heavyweight title 'off and on for almost 25 years'; from his first win over Liston in 1964 to his retirement in 1979 after regaining the title a third time from Leon Spinks in 1978 (before his ill-advised comeback in the '80s), the reigning span was actually about 15 years." Yeah, that was snobby, but someone has to tell them. Apparently, they like spunk because I'm now due in for an interview on Friday morning. I looked over their staff section, and not one person is into boxing; everyone there likes hockey, football, basketball, and baseball (and all of the above). They need me more than I need them.

Anyways, if that goes through, bulking will be a lot easier.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Entry #506

I trained like Hell yesterday, but didn't feel like recording. Sometimes, I don't want to ruin the purity of a good session by analyzing; everything just worked, and that's that. In brief, I worked the heavy bag in increments throughout the entire day, and then skipped rope at the track.


Speed bench:
8 X 3     185 lbs.
> Warm-up better next time. I'm starting out too slow, creating a drastic discrepancy between performance at the start versus the end.

Barbell skullcrushers:
3 X 8    135 lbs.

Weighted chin-ups:
4 X 8     25 lbs.
1 X 6     25 lbs.
> These drained my grip. The bar is set high, so I have to jump and latch on, which causes my weight-filled bag to flop and down. I had to switch to a different location on set 4 because a personal trainer and his client came in front of me. They were throwing a ball at the ceiling and catching it. That was after I was working in with someone else doing that exact exercise. Must be a bug going around.
Anyways, I had to do them over at the cable station, holding onto a thick, padded set of handles that were spaced way far apart. As I started, somebody asked me, "What are you training for?" I grunted out "boxing" while in surprise at the retarded form I had to go with. I still managed 8, though.

Barbell shrugs (strict):
1 X 1     365 lbs.
1 X 2     365 lbs.
1 X 4     365 lbs.
> My hands weren't shot by any means, but there was noticeable lack of crushing ability after the chin-ups, made evident by the fact that with each set allowing me time to recover, my reps doubled.

At night, I was hitting the bag again when an earthquake struck. I almost lost my footing in the middle of a good combination I had going. It was only a 5.6, apparently, but I reacted because I thought my bag station was about to collapse from my blows.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Entry #505

In stark contrast to last week, today was the best dynamic effort session I've ever done.

Box squats (barefoot):
10 X 2     225 lbs.
> The first three sets were done with the low stool and two plates. Thereafter, I removed a plate for the depth that killed my knee last time.
The mechanics of this movement are always maintained in my mind, but never before has the relax agonist contract aspect been at this level. My reflex on the platform could not have been more proficient. I exploded out from the bottom on each set, with no hit in performance. I wore knee wraps out of caution, which do also aid the actual lift to an extent, but I've used them in the past and performance was no different then anyways. My hip-flexors are slightly sore from the extreme depth, but that's priming up my flexibility.
Moreover, I was reading a Westside article on box squats, and it noted, in listing the benefits of the lift:

"John Stafford sat on a 6 inch box; he is 6 feet tall, 285 pounds."

I'm 6 feet tall and 205 lbs, and the height of my set-up was not much more than 6 inches, if not that actual quantity, even. It'd be interesting to measure the actual amount next time. And, on that note, the fact that I'm squatting better at 205 than I was at 235 is unprecedented, even if it was a light day.

Good mornings:
5 X 8     155 lbs.
> Much more complete ROM than last instance at this weight.

Weighted cable crunches:
5 X 12   Entire stack
> I actually looked at the number this time. The full amount is 140 lbs.

Crush Trainer:
3 X 15   5 second holds on last set

Nighttime, I walked to the school track so I could deduce an actual distance for my run. I ran two miles quite easily, sprinting on the last straightaway. As I was running in the blackness, it crossed my mind that I should lower my hood so I can use peripheral vision to keep alert for enemies, but I decided that that would be giving me too unfair of an advantage, so I kept it up. Afterwards, I worked the jump-rope for a little bit before walking back.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Entry #504

The early afternoon was spent with form practice, primarily kicks. I was reserving my energy for the iron.

I weighed in at 205 lbs. today. I've down-cycled off of creatine, so water retention is a factor here.

Floor press:
5 X 3     135, 185, 225, 255, 275 lbs.
1 X 1     295 lbs.
No real improvement here. Time to switch.

Incline dumbbell press:
2 X 8     95 lb. dumbbells
1 X 6     95 lb. dumbbells

Bent-over dumbbell rows:
5 X 10   100 lb. dumbbells

Seated lateral raises:
3 X 8     30 lb. dumbbells

Abdominal circuit

Later at night, I drove to Whole Foods to pick up some cottage cheese and cod liver oil. It has to be intentional that there's a Taco Bell across the street.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Entry #503

The last few days have been composed of bag work. I eat, sleep, and breathe the heavy bag. The other day, I woke up and found myself punching the wall. Wednesday's session was cut short because of a problematic knee. I only reached 185 on squats. The rest of the day left me deprived.

Tonight, however, I ran another four lapper, and then an extra distance over to the bridge and back. It felt like nothing. I talked to myself the entire way, and it's way fun in keeping me from being bored. It was about an hour and a half ago at 10:00 PM, long after the football game ended, so there were no pedestrians hidden in the dark to run into. My legs gave no trouble. Afterwards, I shuffled and shadowboxed.

Moreover, my shoulders have been tender from all of these 80/95 lb.+ overhead/incline dumbbell presses, but running makes them feel prime. I'll make it a habit to warm-up with a light jog before practicing boxing fundamentals.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Entry #502

Speed bench:
8 X 3     185 lbs.

Barbell skullcrushers:
3 X 8    135 lbs.

Weighted chin-ups:
3 X 8     20 lbs.
2 X 6     20 lbs.

Barbell shrugs (strict):
1 X 6     365 lbs.
1 X 10   365 lbs.
1 X 6     365 lbs.
> Extremely sporadic performance. My sweaty palms killed the consistency. Wash and dry the hands next time, if I'm going to keep training in a sweatshirt.

Also, I placed an order for "Power: A Scientific Approach". I wanted to get "Beyond Glory" with it, but I didn't have enough within my budget. Books are too expensive. Thus ensues priorities.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Entry #501

I worked on the bag in the afternoon. More emphasis was put on the jab.

Box squats (barefoot):
8 X 2     225 lbs.
> At set 5, I removed a plate off the stool for the lowest box squats I've ever done. After set 8, I squatted down to sit and felt pain running from the side of my right knee down to my shin. I left it at that.
What a wuss.

Good mornings:
5 X 8     145 lbs.

Weighted ab circuit

Crush Trainer:
5 X 5, with 5 second timed holds on the last rep of the second to last set and 10 seconds on the last rep of the last set.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Entry #500

I'm down to 208 lbs. (while on creatine).

Floor press:
5 X 3     135, 185, 225, 255, 275 lbs.
1 X 2     285 lbs.
> As I thought, it was a matter of form. There are still nuances to get used to, but considering I barely managed 275 for a single last week, this was compensation. I'll be back and beyond at 315 soon.

Incline dumbbell press:
3 X 8     95 lb. dumbbells
> Much better ROM here than last week.

Bent-over dumbbell rows:
5 X 10   100 lb. dumbbells

Seated lateral raises:
3 X 6     30 lb. dumbbells

Abdominal circuit

Friday, October 19, 2007

Entry #499

I ran another four laps to LGHS and back on another crowded football night. Some noisy highschool kids were walking around in the dark and waving glow-sticks, and I heard one say, "Look, someone's coming." I changed course to run right into their path and shout, "I'm the champ, get your last look!" before dodging at the last second. I also ran backwards at one point, and did the usual sprint over the bridge on the last lap. Fooling around took out a lot of the monotony. I enjoy distance running in general, but when it's dark and crowded, I have to be extra precarious to obstacles, so I can't relax and retreat into myself the way I like to do.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Entry #498

I couldn't find my jab today. My right is still faster than my left (since I started out southpaw), even though I'm now more comfortable with a righty stance (which entails a left jab). I slowed myself down on the bag and focused on mechanics. What ensued: I kept myself extremely compact, almost in peek-a-boo, pushed with my hips to rotate my left side towards the bag, shot out my arm, and retracted. All of a sudden, it clicked in. Dissecting my form like that was invaluable.

To drill them further, I took off the gloves and shadowboxed in front of a mirror, placing emphasis on keeping a straight line with the jab to remove any semblance of "cat pawing". It's something that occurs from laziness during shadowboxing, without the commitment of maintaining a level plane with a punch that has no physical target to land upon.

I'm undeniably limited without a gym and faces to beat up, but all in due time.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Entry #497

4 X 5     135, 185, 225, 275 lbs.
1 X 4     285 lbs.
> The bar was set unevenly on the last set, so I chose reracking early over falling over, as funny as it would have been to land on the dude standing behind me.

3 X 8     80 lb. dumbbells

Romanian deadlifts:
4 X 8     225 lbs.

Weighted crunches:
3 X 12   50 lbs. of plates

Grip work

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Entry #496

This is by far the most crowded day of the week when I lift. If it weren't for the fact that everybody is there to do plyometrics and machines, it would have been unusable today. The only areas that were free were both power racks, the pull-up bar, and some bench press benches.

It's actually a good deal, when given some thought. It can be likened to symbiosis in nature, or mutual relationships between parasites and hosts. For example, mycorrhizae are a type of fungus that live
with the roots of many plants.
The fungus helps the plant by facilitating water and nutrient absorption from
the surrounding soil, helping the plant to tolerate extreme conditions such as
drought and high soil acidity, and protecting it from some harmful pathogens. In
return, the fungus gets an ample food supply and a safe refuge from harmful
soil conditions.
With that, the rest of the gym inhabitants are the fungi, and they provide me with ample space and equipment to train where I need to. I return the favor by avoiding the preacher curl machine and the like (although I couldn't use the standing bag to warm-up because somebody was playing hopscotch through a rope ladder layed on the floor).

Speed bench:
8 X 3     185 lbs.
> The fastest I've ever been on this. Before, I hadn't been drawing in my elbows like I should have. The barbell was exploding up so that at one point, I actually reracked it on top of the two columns where the pins protrude out of by accident. On a sharp calorie deficit, this is a new precedent for me.

Barbell skullcrushers:
2 X 8    135 lbs.
1 X 6    135 lbs.
> The wuss squad was talking it up by the dumbbells, so I just used an Olympic bar on a bench press bench, facing the opposite direction. I had to power clean the weight up to get in position, which posed no problem. Getting out of it, I used to curl the load back up onto the pins, but now I just sit-up while keeping it in power clean position. Very easy.

Weighted chin-ups:
2 X 8     10 lbs.
1 X 8     15 lbs.
1 X 6     15 lbs.
1 X 5     15 lbs.

Barbell shrugs:
2 X 10   325 lbs.
2 X 10   335 lbs.
> Stupidly easy. My grip was ironclad.

Bag work

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Entry #495

Box squats (barefoot):
10 X 2     225 lbs.
> Used a lower stool, with two plates stacked on.

Good mornings:
5 X 8     135 lbs.
I was a tad sloppy with 155, so I'm going through the motions again.

Weighted cable crunches:
5 X 12     Entire stack

Crush Trainer:
5 X 5, with 5 second timed holds on the last rep of the second to last set and 10 seconds on the last rep of the last set.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Entry #494

Floor press:
3 X 3     135, 185, 225 lbs.
2 X 1     275 lbs.
> Holy horseflies, Batman! My form was completely off on this. It's most certainly an issue of coordination over strength because I had a much easier time with these same numbers on bench press. I changed position and made subtle nuances in my set-up between every set, but none felt right. Just a few months ago, I was putting up 315 for 3.
Another setback to conquer. Excellent. Wait in line, chump.

Incline dumbbell press:
3 X 8     90 lb. dumbbells

Bent-over dumbbell rows:
3 X 10   100 lb. dumbbells

Seated lateral raises:
2 X 6     30 lb. dumbbells
> I was running low on time at this point.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Entry #493

> Four laps to LGHS and back.
> Laps in the pool.
> Shadowboxing.
> Uphill sprints, jogging backwards on the way down.

It was also raining. That ruled.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Entry #492

Today was a break day, which means bag work. My back has been getting less and less stiff after every deadlift day, but it was still a hindrance. I also went on a walk, which is only notable in that my back felt much more nimble afterwards.

Just out of curiosity, I looked up a favorite book of mine, POWER by Dr. Hatfield, and they have it for cheap on Amazon. I stumbled upon it a few years ago in high school, in the library. I used to wolf down my lunch and run to the library to read it and The Boxing Encyclopedia for the rest of the period. It will be a valuable training asset.

This doesn't really correlate with any training, but I've also been reading The Devil and Sonny Liston. I used to only know Liston as the "big ugly bear" that a young Muhammad Ali beat twice, but he was a monster in the '50s. He destroyed Floyd Patterson in one round to claim the heavyweight title, and then repeated that first-round knockout in defending his title for the rematch. Genetically, he was born to fight: he was "only" 6' tall, but his reach dwarfed Ali's, despite Ali being 6'3. And he was completely jacked, muscle-wise, for that era. Reportedly, he also had the largest fists in heavyweight history, with solid bricks 15 inches around. Nobody is even certain when he was actually born. He died in 1970 under mysterious circumstances; some allege to murder by the mob he was associated with. Despite his lonely, difficult life and his stone-faced scowl that won fights before he even threw a punch and warranted his nickname "The Executioner", he was said to be very appreciative and jovial to fans and children. A very interesting, however tragic, read.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Entry #491

I was dancing and shadowboxing between sets of deadlifts to loosen my back up when a girl approached me and said, "Um, hey."
I roared, "HEY" (I was short of breath).
"So...are you a wrestler?"
"No. Would-be boxer."
"Boxer? Wow..."
I pointed to her noodle arms and asked, "You a bodybuilder?"
"Hah, no! I play soccer."
I never would have fathomed. At that point, my rest time was up. Hopefully, she's inspired to go and watch Pumping Iron.

5 X 5     135, 185, 225, 275 lbs.
1 X 3     315 lbs.
1 X 4     315 lbs.
1 X 3     315 lbs.
> Performance fluctuated a bit. Hwahahaha. I have just the remedy for this lift next week. A combination of deeper box squats (which directly influence both deads and squats, according to a Westside article) and heavy power shrugs to forge my grip back to where it used to be will prime me up. It must be said, to go from straining with 275 as a main lift two weeks ago to using it as an easy warm-up today is a noteworthy mark of improvement.
I have to wonder how much a training session like Tuesday's has affect on this, though. Clean and jerks wear out my back (not in an unexpected and/or detrimental way), and shrugs with 115 lb. dumbbells does a number on my hands. My callouses burned like lava today.

4 X 8      80 lb. dumbbells
> My grip failed after the last rep of the last set, but at least I completed it. An improvement over last week.

Good mornings:
3 X 8     155 lbs.

Weighted crunches:
5 X 12   50 lbs. of plates stacked on chest

Crush trainer:
5 X 5     5 second timed holds on second to last set, 10 seconds on last

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Entry #490

Some women were occupying my warm-up room with exercise bikes. I couldn't do anything with the bag today.

Clean and jerk:
6 X 3     135 lbs.
> Pull up more on the first portion of the movement. I consciously kept this in mind, and it made all the difference.

4 X 8     55 lb. dumbbells

Weighted pull-ups:
2 X 8     10 lbs.
3 X 5     10 lbs.
> I do these with a plate in a bag wrapped over my neck, and when I took it off too fast the first time, I smacked myself in the brow with it quite hard. I wish to keep the mental image of that alive for years to come, hence recording this.

Dumbbell shrugs:
3 X 12   115 lb. dumbbells
> It was my intent to go heavier, but apparently, 115 is the biggest dumbbell they have.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Entry #489

I was reading some older entries, and I thought this was interesting. From October 17, 2005:

"Deadlifted 315lbs for 5 reps. Felt strong, maybe could have done more,
but I want to be safe going into a weight I've never done before. Back
injuries are the worst. Deadlift seems to be my best lift since I seem
to adapt to new weight relatively fast compared to bench and squat. I
expect to break 400lbs in no time."

I'm almost at that exact same place now, two years later. There will be Hell to pay.

I'm gaining more stamina on the heavy bag. I savaged through a seven minute round in the afternoon. Head movement and bobbing was exceptionally quick today. It's ironic that I lack a camera in the period when I'm improving the most.

I must make sure to warm-up with more shadowboxing. My left shoulder started feeling tender from all of the shovel-hooks, which I have been blasting with great proficiency. I'm crouching down and getting excellent traction in shooting back up with it. The same applies for uppercuts.

At night, another cardio circuit:

> Four laps to LGHS and back.
> Laps in the pool.
> Shadowboxing.
> Uphill sprints, jogging backwards on the way down.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Entry #488

Bag-work (with gloves, this time)

Box squats (barefoot):
10 X 2     225 lbs.
> I was much more explosive at about set five and upwards. Everything just clicked in. I felt like I had retrieved my old snap back.

Romanian deadlifts:
5 X 8     175 lbs.
> The same as above. I was like a machine on this. The weight isn't exceptionally high to begin with, but it was much easier this week with 20 lbs. more on the bar than last.

Weighted Janda sit-ups:
3 X 8     10 lb. plate
> Very awkward. To compensate for the lack of a partner, I set a loaded barbell up behind the sides of the power rack to prevent it from rolling forward, and then lay on the ground with my calves in front, using that to pull myself up. It was jerky and my feet kept moving out of place. I'll keep working on this.

Crush Trainer:
5 X 5, with 5 second timed holds on the last rep of the last set.

I renounced pizza tonight for bland tuna and brown rice. It's time to get serious. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a meal anyways. When I'm bulking, I hate all food. When I'm cutting, I deny the food that I want. Except for maybe beef jerky. I'll have to get some of that.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Entry #487

Today should not have happened. First, the gym closes at 7:00 on weekends. I realized at 5:00 that I had run out of whey, and my ride to the store didn't work out, so I just walked to Whole Foods and back to get some. With an hour left, I ran to the gym, where I finished a lifting session that I normally take a good two hours to complete in only forty-five minutes while winded and hungry. What's more, I did better than last week.

Bench press:
1 X 15   45 lbs.
3 X 3     135, 185, 225 lbs.
1 X 2     265 lbs.
> Rest times spanned about a minute.

Overhead dumbbell press:
1 X 8     80 lb. dumbbells
1 X 5     80 lb. dumbbells
1 X 6     60 lb. dumbbells
> Focus on kicking up each leg individually for the set-up. I keep falling short on one side because of inadequate height.

Bent-over rows:
5 X 10    155 lbs.

Front raises:
3 X 12    25 lb. plates
> Killed the forearms.

Abdominal circuit

Walked home, as always. I also discovered a bunch of boxing equipment stashed away in a cabinet in one of the rooms. There were various gloves, mitts, chest-protectors, and even the ever elusive weight-belts. I've struck gold.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Entry #486

I did a cardio circuit tonight.

> Three laps to LGHS and back.
> Laps in the freezing pool.
> Sprints up and down Agony Hill.
> Bare-knuckle rounds on the heavy bag.

It was a noisy run. There was a football game going on tonight at the high school. Everytime I heard the crowd roar, I pretended that they were cheering for me as heavyweight champion.

I'm losing weight fast, but I'm also getting stronger, and that's all I care about.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Entry #485

I felt like a zombie hitting the heavy bag today. My back was stiff, so I couldn't bob and weave as quickly as I would like, and my shoulders were sore. I trained at a slightly slower, more deliberate pace to work more on form.

Tonight, I went to the track. Somebody was locking it up, but he said I could use it for thirty more minutes. I alternated between jumping rope and shadowboxing.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Entry #484


6 X 5     135, 185, 225, 295, 295, 295 lbs.
> It was my intent to keep working with 275, but really, weight in this range just isn't that challenging.

3 X 8      75 lb. dumbbells
1 X 7      75 lb. dumbbells
> My grip failed on the last rep of the last set. I've always done lunges after squats, not deadlifts.

Good mornings:
3 X 8     145 lbs.
> Everytime I do these, that dude from Tekken who says "GOOD MORNING"  at the start-up screen pops up in my head. This is important enough to type out.

Weighted cable crunches:
5 X 12     Entire stack
> No idea what the number was. I just set it as heavy as it could go.

Crush trainer:
5 X 5
> Timed holds on the last set.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Entry #483

Clean and jerk:
5 X 3     145 lbs.

1 X 8     50 lb. dumbbells
3 X 8     55 lb. dumbbells

4 X 8    
1 X 5
> I lost it on the last set. I'm just going to go ahead and train with weights on this next time. My results here have been rather stagnant the last few months, not to mention consistently shoddy. Sometimes I'll blow through them, and other times I'll burn out early.

Dumbbell shrugs:
3 X 10   115 lb. dumbbells

Ran home.

This was the first time in years that I've appeared in public with a short-sleeve shirt, much less trained in one at all. I didn't like it. Bring the sweatshirt next time.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Entry #482

I ran another trio to LGHS and back. It was much easier today. Next time, I'll try for four. No bag-work, in order to give my cut-up hands a break, but I did do some shadowboxing.

Also, I picked up an issue of Black Belt magazine, and it's like Muscle and Fitness for martial arts. Between advertisements promoting top-secret fighting styles conceived by "Lieutenant X" for sale and articles with gems like "strength and speed are usually in direct opposition...most really strong guys aren't fast", and...actually I've lost the desire to complete this sentence.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Entry #481

I cut my knuckles hitting the bag again. It was from a scrape, not repeated pounding like in the circumstances of the picture.

Box squats (barefoot):
8 X 3     225 lbs.

Romanian deadlifts:
5 X 8     165 lbs.

Weighted crunches:
5 X 12   50 lbs. of plates
> Each rep held for three seconds.

Crush Trainer:
5 X 5

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Entry #480

I was dancing around and hitting the bag at the gym today when a bunch of little kids ran in the room and started yelling "ROCKY!" behind me. I was going to scold them, but then I thought that they might actually be calling me Rocky Marciano instead of Sylvester Stallone Rocky (they weren't, but I'll give them the meak benefit of the doubt so they look good). One of them, who couldn't have been more than three years old, ran up and started hitting it when I was taking a breather. I showed him how to punch it properly, and to keep his free hand up when he hits. I even did the Ali shuffle for him, which is normally top-secret. He's a lucky boy. When I was his age, I was punching at air in a karate class.

That was the warm-up.

Bench press:
2 X 15   45 lbs.
4 X 3     135, 185, 225, 255 lbs.
1 X 2     265 lbs.
> Still short of the mark, but a substantial improvement over last week - 20 lbs., to be precise (and technically, more, when considering the extra set). I'm going to blast through this.

Overhead dumbbell press:
1 X 15   15 lb. dumbbells
1 X 8     80 lb. dumbbells
1 X 5     80 lb. dumbbells
> I slipped in the set-up on the last set. I keep the dumbbells on my knees and then kick up to raise them above me, but I wasn't paying attention and didn't use the momentum properly, so I had to practically curl the thing up. Affected performance.

Bent-over rows:
2 X 10   165, 165 lbs.
1 X 5     165 lbs.
1 X 8     135 lbs.
> Completely burned out on this. I'll just start at 155 next time.

Front raises:
3 X 16   25 lb. plates
> Killed the forearms.

Abdominal circuit

It was a little frustrating being challenged by weights I've conquered before, especially on bench press, but moreso than that, I like the challenge and the meaning of redemption. I remember a more drastic rut I was in when I had dropped from 185 lbs. to 170 a few years back and lost a significant amount of strength. In retrospect, these circumstances are worth it. For what I lost then, I gained patience and an ironclad mind. The body does what the mind tells it, not vice-versa.

Final note: started loading on creatine today.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Entry #479

I did a lot of bagwork yesterday and today, and my arms felt like lead. I don't know what was wrong, but I wasn't exploding out like I could before. The hits were hard - I've made significant improvements in learning to throw my bodyweight behind blows - but they were slower than usual, without much snap. It's probably DOMS from jumping into such intense lifting after an amount of time off, but I'll keep working this.

I'm actively cutting weight now. I've decided that I won't mind dropping down to even 190 if I can keep, and indeed, improve upon, my strength. Then, I can bulk back up to 230 and beyond with everything I've gained. The problem is that I lose weight so quickly that when I actually try to cut, I overshoot by 10 lbs. or so. I'm going to eat clean, but big  in order to keep as minimal a calorie deficit (double negative) as possible.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Entry #478

6 X 5     135, 185, 225, 275, 275, 275 lbs.
> Far away from my old number of 405, but this is still a milestone. It was easy, too. I'll stick with this for another two weeks, and then switch to 315.

1 X 8     60 lb. dumbbells
2 X 8     75 lb. dumbbells

Good mornings:
3 X 8     135 lbs.

Weighted crunches:
5 X 12   50 lbs. of plates

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Entry #477

I began in the afternoon with hitting the heavy bag. I've still no access to my camera. My legs are sore enough that I had difficulty getting good traction, so my hooks didn't have quite as much power leaned into them as usual. The bag stand didn't even tip over today. I'll get him next time.

Clean and jerk:
6 X 3     135 lbs.
> Do not let the back waver under pressure. Keep tight. More from laxity than any actual fatigue.

4 X 8     50 lb. dumbbells
> Mild tendonitis feeling on the first set. Warm-up more.

5 X 8    

Dumbbell shrugs:
1 X 10   95 lb. dumbbells
1 X 12   115 lb. dumbbells
1 X 12   95 lb. dumbbells
> A girl and her dad came right in front of me and started doing endless sets of lat raises while chatting. They were blocking the big 115's, and I was about to leave anyways, so I just went back to the 95's, rather than ask them to move and then attemp to stomp past and through the tiny space back to my spot with 115 lbs. in each hand. Neither weight posed much challenge.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Entry #476

This is yesterday's recording:

Box squats:
5 X 3     245 lbs.
> I'll hand it to them, there're a nice set of sturdy stools varying in height next to the rack that serve this purpose perfectly. It's much less cumbersome than stacking plates.

Romanian deadlifts:
5 X 8     155 lbs.
> Intentionally light. My back was too stiff to allow a full ROM, and I had to bend my knees slightly more than need be.

Weighted crunches:
5 X 12   50 lbs. of plates
> Each rep held for three seconds.

CoC Trainer:
5 X 5
> Held the last rep of the last set for five seconds. Easy, but I'll continue to work with this for a few more weeks. My hands are usually sore from all the bagwork I do.


Today, I did another three-lapper to LGHS and back. My sweatshirt had just come out of the dryer, so it was scorching hot in it, and combined with the fact that it was warmer today than of recent weather circumstances and my legs felt like lead from the squats yesterday, it was one of the hardest runs I've been on. I did not waver, though.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Entry #475

I'm down to 212. I've lost more than 20 lbs. That's not of much concern to me; I can bulk back up at my own choosing. What matters is strength.

Bench press:
2 X 15   45 lbs.
3 X 3     135, 185, 225 lbs.
1 X 2     245 lbs.
> This is the only lift that suffered, and suffer it did. Still, I'm not convinced it's from losing gains just yet. As I foresaw last entry, I was still sore coming into the session, and perhaps more importantly, there's much about the movement to become accustomed to once again. In any case, this number won't stay like that for long.

Overhead dumbbell press:
1 X 15   15 lb. dumbbells
1 X 10   45 lb. dumbbells
1 X 5     80 lb. dumbbells

Bent-over rows:
5 X 10   65, 135, 155, 155, 155 lbs.
> This dumb gym has two giant plates that look like 45's, but are actually hollow, plastic 10 pounders. It's funny to use them and add an entire wheel onto the bar for basically nothing.

Front raises:
3 X 12   25 lb. plates
> Substituting weight plates for dumbbells kills the forearms. I like it.

Abdominal circuit

Friday, September 21, 2007

Entry #474

I couldn't film anything today because my camera is MIA. Someone else must have it.

Today was painfully easy, which is saying something because I did three laps to LGHS and back again. I desperately want to go out and train right now, but it's late and I need to sleep for the next day. At least it's in anticipation of more training. My arms are still sore from Tuesday, so I may not be able to bench as much as I intend to tomorrow. 

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Entry #473

My triceps are still sore from Tuesday, but I fought through it and prevailed in bag training today. I'm going to start filming my performance from tomorrow again. The last series of videos I recorded was of great benefit to me.

I'm forcing myself through longer rounds, and it's working. I don't even bother timing them, but I will tomorrow for the sake of record. All I did was punch until my side felt like it was about to explode. I gritted my teeth and kept working. Immediately after I finished, I ripped off my gloves and jogged over to Agony Hill, where I sprinted up to the top and ran back home.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Entry #472

Iron, at last.

It's an extremely disorganized gym. There's no one theme for each room, except for the cardio area. Free weights are mixed with the machines. There are two power-racks, which I prefer over squat-racks, but one of them is a wobbling piece of weakling. During hise shrugs, I reracked only 155 lbs., and the loose supports slipped out, crashing everything into the ground (which isn't rubberized in that room, unlike the entire facility of my previous gym). The other one looks sturdy enough, at least. And there is a punching bag, albeit a tiny, flimsy stand-mounted one.

There's also barely any space to walk. If the place were any more crowded, it would be unusable.

Everything was light for today's session.

Bag warm-up

Military press:
5 X 5
135 lbs.

4 X 8
50 lb. dumbbells

5 X 5

Hammer curls:
2 X 8
55 lb. dumbbells

Hise shrugs:
2 X 15

I prefer my old option, but this has what I need, and that's all I care about. And, luckily, they don't play any music.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Entry #471

I've finally applied for a membership at the Athletic Club. From the second tour, it looks like it has everything I need. Even better, barely anyone uses it. Of all the times I've been here, I've seen only one person in the free-weight rooms.

Closing time was within minutes, so I wasn't able to train there tonight. By the schedule I've concocted so far, my next session will be on Tuesday. They don't have any speed or punching bags, like the old gym, so there's little incentive in going tomorrow, other than the fact that membership is expensive enough that I want to get as much out of it as possible. I may drop by and shoot some hoops or something.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Entry #470

On a brief note, on the verge of succumbing to sleep (just kidding -- I succumb to nothing; I'll choose when I want to), I ran three laps to LGHS today, as opposed to my usual, and quite tiresome, two. My conditioning is exploding rapidly.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Entry #469

I've concluded that it would be in the best interest of my schedule to move two of my lifting days on the weekend in order to avoid conflicts. I'll begin ME day this Saturday.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Entry #468

I've mostly been indulging my mind with reading in preparation for tomorrow. I intend to continue my routine where I left off.

And as I renew my driver's license, gaining me regular transportation to Dreamland Boxing Gym, I'm organizing what my schedule will consist of next semester. I had everything typed out to post, but I made enough adjustments to the point that I still have much to work on. It will be packed, regardless. Structuring this requires long-term strategy.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Entry #467

I've obtained access to a free day pass at the LG Athletic Club through confidential and highly illegal means (read: they have a printable coupon on their website). This looks to be more apt for my situation. If I do sign with them, there's no contract involved, so I can switch gyms at any point if I find a cheaper solution.

I went for a run to the video store and back. It felt like nothing. Just a few months prior, I couldn't even make it halfway without my ankles dying, and that was at a lower weight.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Entry #466

Today, I went to Anastasia with the intent of lifting. I was told that it opens in a month. Apparently, many others bought into their date (the latest of several), because there was a receptionist actually waiting outside at the gate to inform people, as they stepped out of their vehicles in the parking lot, that it's not open.

Forget this.

I wonder how much power I've lost from these buffoons. It won't matter, in the end.

Training on the heavy bag is bringing newfound intensity, and I'm tiring on it extremely fast. I'll keep this up until I can cruise at this level. The standing bag made for a good warm-up.

One last note: I forfeited a good job opportunity as a journalist for a website because I refused to advertise for them, which goes against my principles. Why would I recommend something to others that I hardly know anything about? I applied for another job at a local sporting goods store, but I received an email infoming me that they have no openings, and that they're even over-stocked in terms of workers. For some reason, the manager wants to meet me. Hopefully, he'll rip off his cleanly-pressed suit, jump over the store counter, and engage me in fatal combat without warning. I plan on stopping by after I pay another visit to the athletic club by the high school.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Entry #465

George and I walked over to Vasona and spent the evening/night smashing dead tree trunks in half over at the dam. I ran to and from his house both ways, and my level of cardio is the best it's ever been.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Entry #464

Conditioning continues. I'm working up to three laps to the school and back. I'm up to two and a half. I smashed my elbow onto a chair edge earlier today, and it affected shadowboxing slightly, but I was eventually able to work through it fully.

I'm brushing off some rust from having not driven to anywhere in a long time, not only because I lack a car at the moment, but also since almost everything that I need is within walking-distance, which I prefer to go by when I have the choice between my legs and a car. My driving instructor asked me if I weightlifted, and we spent the entire lesson with him asking questions about training and boxing. He was never into boxing before, but I insisted to him that he missed out. He was born in the '40s, so I asked him if he knew about relevant champions from around that era. We went down the line, and he wasn't very familiar with Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, or Sugar Ray Robinson, but when I asked "Muhammad Ali?", he instantly replied, "Oh yeah, of course" and we had some fights to talk about. I promised that I'd print out Beyond Bodybuilding for him on Tuesday.

Then I told him that I was going to be champion of the world someday and that he's contributing to it by helping me drive to the boxing gym.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Entry #463

Anastasia Gym's opening has been delayed until September 3. Their only hint at the pricing is that it will "definitely be under $100". I don't know who this Anastasia thinks she is, but I'm going to power-clean her through the roof.

I plan to do workout #2 from until the third, do eight weeks of powerlifting with my current program, and then switch to a bodybuilding routine for six weeks.

This past month has consisted of running and bagwork, daily. Now that I have my camera back, I can film my performance for self-critique. Today was a lesson in proper-form: have it. I keep relaxing with my hands the longer I hit, and eventually my wrists start bending. Bare-knuckle work would force off my reliance of hand-wraps; I automatically put stricter attention into doing that. They'd work for a warm-up.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Entry #462

I've returned.

Tomorrow, the new gym opens. I haven't lifted for a number of weeks now, but I've been training daily. I don't believe that I could have lost any strength, but if I did, it's of no concern. I'll simply gain it back.

One new picture:

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Entry #461

I no longer have regular access to the internet. This log has come to an indefinite halt.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Entry #460

George and I went on a four-hour hike. Unfortunately, we didn't get attacked by mountain lions, but we did trek through a section of the mountain that was completely charred black from a fire with ravens passing overhead. We also came across a huge, battle-scarred wolf spider with two legs missing because limbs are for weaklings. Anyways, I'm probably going to die from inhaling dangerous carcinogens, which is a measure of true strength.

The agonizing training I've been inflicting upon myself paid off. Near the end, my legs were stricken with two painful cramps. It felt like knives were stabbed into my flesh, which would rule if I actually had the satisfaction of seeing that. Since I did not, the deal was cheapened, and as my eyes rose up after checking to see if I was impaled, I was faced with a monstrous uphill slope that seemed to expand for miles. That's because it did. I decided to continue until my muscles were physically incapable of supporting my body up, so I stomped forward through the cramps. The pain was great, and my legs spasmed at times, but I didn't slow down at all the entire way.

Fighting George:

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Entry #459

George and I dropped by the "Athletic Club" (they changed the name) yesterday. I knew the deskman from high school: Nick. He refereed the beach fight that George and I had at Santa Cruz. As I walked in, his female assistant came up to the counter for formalities. Before she could speak, I held up my hand in interruption, and then solemnly grunted, "Weights." Nick stepped forward and nodded grimly, and then told me to follow. As we walked overhead, my eyes glazed over at the basketball court, the ab room, the machines...and then, in the last square, unused in the far corner, stood the power rack in all its glory. Human skulls littered its forefront, forming a metaphoric pedestal for permissive access. Rivers of molten lava crackled and simmered around it. Woe to the unbalanced. I whipped out my hand in front of my guide to signal the halt. He glanced down at my object of interest and shakily murmured, "Y-yes, the free weights...I don't know a whole lot about weightlifting, but they're pretty heavy, as you can see, and-" I held up my hand for silence again, and then voiced my approval. We walked back to the entrance. George spoke nothing, knowing better than to interrupt the grave procedure. The girl breathed a deep sigh of relief in seeing her compatriot return safely. Our work was finished.*

*Anecdote slightly dramatized.

Anyways, the membership pricing is rather steep. I'm going to hold out until the 20th, when the replacement gym for the old facility opens, so that I can compare options. The new one is called "Anastasia". I can only surmise that evil Soviet businessmen are in charge now. That would bode excellent for the atmosphere. In any case, I'm going to make due with work-outs.

I did a double-run to the high school today in the 95 degrees heat, and it was vastly easier than before. Last month, I had trouble with just one, but today, I felt like I could have done a third go (but opted not to out of mercy for my ankles, which are improving in their own right, but through steady, careful progress). Afterwards, I was able to hit the heavy bag significantly for the first time in weeks. With hundreds of pounts of weight anchoring the bag stand down, in addition to the bag itself, the entire contraption still tips over with a solid hook. I'll have to get creative with stabilizers.

I'm placing a recent favorite here so I don't have to trudge through YouTube to watch it when I'm bored waiting for torrents to download.