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.