Monday, March 31, 2008

Entry #598

ME lower

5 x 3     135, 225, 315, 365, 405 lbs.
3 x 1     455 lbs.
> Last set was the best, but these were no cakewalk. The 405x3 was actually easy, but I think it sapped more strength from me than I originally suspected. Also noteworthy was that I started in the squat cage because the deadlift corner was taken. When the occupiers left, I reracked the 365 I already had and set everything up again in the corner. Had to give my back a longer rest afterwards to ensure top performance.
After the next few weeks of squats, I intend to do either rack pulls or reverse band deadlifts, depending on what I have access to.

Overhead hyperextensions:
4 x 8     50 lbs.

Punch crunches:
4 x 12     My fists.
> Pain.

Bilateral dumbbell rows:
3 x 8     85 lb. dumbbells

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Entry #597

Was running late today. Didn't get to lift. The gym closes at 7 on the weekends. Am anxious to train.

Thinking about getting an iPod. Wouldn't use it for lifting, but on the long night walks to the store, where the only sounds are cars, it wouldn't be a distraction from anything. I don't care about music when training, though.

Job update, which is absolutely conducive to training: I answered an ad for "Medical Assistant for Ophthalmology Practice", with the only requirement being a year of college. Would be fun.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Entry #596

Walked to Whole Foods to pick up some whey. Did not eat exceptionally well today. Need to prepare meals further in advance. It's a full-time job, at this weight.

Deadlifting 455 tomorrow, and then switching to squats for the next three weeks. Next cycle, by the end of it, I'll reach a 500 lb. deadlift.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Entry #595

RE upper

x 5 (clapping)
x 10
x 20
35 lbs. x 15
35 lbs. x 12
35 lbs. x 10 

Tate presses:
4 x 8     50 lb. dumbbells

Cable pushdowns:
3 x 8

Weighted chin-ups:
2 x 8     45 lbs.
1 x 7     45 lbs.
1 x 6     45 lbs.

Dumbbell preacher curls:
3 x 8     40 lb. dumbbell

Went to bed late last night to get that seventh meal in. Woke up late, and only ate five times today, but two were weightgainer servings, and the rest had plenty of calories (raw eggs, peanut butter, milk, etc.).

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Entry #594

I was walking to class when I heard someone comment, "I have those shoes. Lakais." I didn't think he was talking to me, until he said, "I have those Lakais, dude. And your right shoelace is untied."
I stop and turn to him. "Who, me?"
"Yeah. Your shoelace."
I glance down at it. It's protruding out by about a centimeter. "What, this? You think I'm some kind of weakling?! HAH!" And I walk away with it untied, just to show him.
"What? WHAT?" he wonders aloud to his friend standing next to him.

I can tell it's dynamic effort day when I filibuster my entries. Oh, speaking of that, when I got to class and sat down in my preferred chair over in the corner, this girl comes and sits right next to me, even though there are a ton of empty ones, and goes, "You took my seat!"
I slowly turn to look at her. "Yeah, well, I had this one on the first day of class."
"I know, I'm joking," she laughs.
"If I'm dead by next Monday, you can have it."
"...what? And we don't have school next Monday."
"Yeah, the next Monday that we have class."
"Ohh. And wow, you're so violent!"
"Oh, is that a challenge? Well, maybe I WILL die by next Monday, and maybe I won't. It all depends on my mood. Got it?"
"Oh my gosh!"

That should be the last encounter I have of her. Job well done.

Now for the always boring (but ever so beneficial) DE session:

DE lower

Box squats:
10 x 2   225 lbs.
> Slowed the eccentric right before moment of impact to reduce spine compression. Back felt excellent.

Good mornings:
4 x 8     195 lbs.
> Deeper than last time. Weight felt light. Could probably move up to 205.

Unilateral full-contact twists:
4 x 8     80 lbs.

Neck crunches:
1 x 20   45 lbs.
2 x 12   70 lbs.

Didn't have any whey, so post-workout, I drank half a serving of weightgainer and a bottle of orange juice. Will have to pick some up tomorrow at Whole Foods.

20 minutes of stretching at night, followed by a meat pizza dinner and MST3K. 7 meals in all. Productive day.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Entry #593

Went on hike with George at Castle Rock. I braced for the worst, and it didn't deliver. These uphill sprints have payed off. I didn't once get out of breath or feel any threat of leg cramps. It was a walk in the park.

The worst thing that happened was that my Serious MASS leaked from my thermos and filled up my backpack. None of it was salvageable.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Entry #592

Close encounters of the personal trainer kind. My spot
got taken by one again when I was getting a drink from
the fountain. I couldn't have been gone for more than 30 seconds. She had her
clients do good-morning quarter squats right in front of my area. I guess they
didn't see the 320 pounds loaded up, because they'd also left
their towels, water bottles, and purses on the bench I had been using. Next time, I'll just pee on it and leave distinctive claw markings in the material to mark the territory, like a mountain lion. Nobody ever steals a mountain lion's bench, I bet.

ME upper

Bench press:
4 x 3     135, 185, 225, 275 lbs.
1 x
½    320 lbs.
3 x 1     320 lbs.
> Incredible. Couldn't make the lockout for the first attempt, but each set became subsequently easier. On the last, the weight went up like nothing. I chalk the first mishap up to a mere concentration failure. It's amazing how much a factor the brain plays in strength.

Overhead tricep extensions:
4 x 8     75 lbs. of plates
> Make sure the plates are completely behind the back. The first three sets were torturously difficult because I didn't have the harness completely clear, applying the weight disproportionately onto one arm.

Front raises:
3 x 16   45 lb. dumbbells
> Forearms were dead here from clutching the plates on the extensions. Felt like Hell. Excellent.

Cable rows:
4 x 8     150 lbs.
> Could barely grip the handle, at this point.

Hammer curls:
1 x 10   50 lb. dumb bells
2 x 12   50 lb. dumbbells
> Very light, even with the short rests. Should move up to the 60s.

Ate seven meals today. I plan on making it a habit.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Entry #591

Easter messed my schedule up. Today's session is now tomorrow's. Well, to show my gratitude, here's a poem:

The Easter Bunny's feet
Go hop, hop, hop,
While his big pink ears
Go flop, flop, flop.
Out comes Lance, armed and ready,
Chop chop chop with his machete.

George is in town. We went on an uphill trek to Lexington and back. My shins hurt from the deadlift scrapes I received, particularly when we had to hop a couple of fences, but it was a good walk. We had a long discussion on martial arts history. I forgot to show him an archive that Djimbe gave me of everything, years ago.

 He wanted to go hiking tomorrow, but I moved it up to Tuesday. Tomorrow is bench day, and there's Hell to pay.

Last hike ruled. We trudged up a mountain that was charred black from a fire, with ravens circling overhead. By the end of the six hours, my legs felt like they were impaled. However, this time, it'll be interesting to see how my uphill training factors in.

A new comparison shot -

I'll be candid with you. I mostly just wanted to show the badass Photoshop font I threw together. Look at that. If Satan were typing an essay, that's what he would use, for crying out loud.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Entry #590

Weighed 222 with clothes on. Something to note: I've not been on creatine for several months now.

Crowded as Hell today. Luckily, I got in before the mob, so they had to work around my loaded bar. A lot of people were standing around and chatting in the middle of what was already a small room, so I made sure to bang the iron down extra loud on deadlifts. I overheard one guy ask some girl, "Soooo, how's your sex life?" right before I smashed 445 pounds into the ground. I concur, barbell.

ME lower

5 x 3     135, 225, 275, 315, 365 lbs.
4 x 1     445 lbs.
> Zero struggle. Felt stronger on the last set than I did on the first.

Overhead hyperextensions:
4 x 8     45 lbs.
> "Overhead" designates holding the plate on my head, rather than in my arms. Drastic increase in difficulty from that.

Punch crunches:
4 x 12     My fists.
> Pain.

Bilateral dumbbell rows:
3 x 8     75 lb. dumbbells
> No 115's here. Using both arms forces much stricter form. Only about 45 seconds between each set.

I literally walked out of the gym feeling fresher and more nimble than I did walking in. I had a slight twinge of pain in my back, and I lifted with the intent of throwing extreme caution to the wind on deadlifts. By the end of the session, it was completely gone.

My postulation is that I'm lowering myself too quickly on box squats, in my arrogance. My glutes smack onto the platform and the spine compresses from the impact. I'll make it a point to be more controlled with them next DE day.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Entry #589

Used the heavy bag in the afternoon. Maintained a distance to avoid stuffing the jab. Practiced a combination I memorized from a boxing manual: 1-2-3-4-5-2-1

Went to the track at night and shadowboxed in the pull-up area. There were actually some runners on the track, so I didn't jump-rope.
Entry #588

Ran the hill again. Didn't tire as much as last week. I need to do these more often.

Afterwards, I went to the track and shadowboxed. Also fooled around on the pull-up bar. I'm trying to get to the point where I can hang upside down and do crunches, but I can't get my feet secure enough yet. Got an excellent stretch on my lats, though.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Entry #587

Came across Stanford at the gym today. No sparring. To pour salt on that wound, he greeted me with, "Hey Lance! Peace and love!"
"War, not love. This is a place of war."
"No, you have to love! I mean, you love exercising, don't you?"

I felt myself getting sick, so I strided over to do Tate presses while reciting,

"1, 2, 3, 4
Every night I pray for war
5, 6, 7, 8
Burn, kill, mutilate"

Great start.

RE upper

x 5
x 10
x 20
35 lbs. x 12
35 lbs. x 10
35 lbs. x 10
> First three sets were supposed to be warm-up, but they cut into my performance. Short rest times killed my arms. Huge pump in triceps.

Still, it cannot be denied: I can bench 315 with ease and rep out overhead presses with 90 lb. dumbbells for sets of 8, but I still suck at simple push-ups.

Tate presses:
4 x 8     50 lb. dumbbells

Cable pushdowns:
3 x 8

Weighted pull-ups:
1 x 8     45 lbs.
1 x 7     45 lbs.
1 x 6     45 lbs.
1 x 5     45 lbs.

Dumbbell preacher curls:
1 x 7     40 lb. dumbbell
1 x 6     40 lb. dumbbell
1 x 5     40 lb. dumbbell

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Entry #586

Did box squats today. Usual 10 sets of 2. I wasn't tensing my abdominals like I should have, and my back was stiff by the end of it, so I decided not to do any assist work for the day. As I walked out of the room, I thought, Well, this doesn't feel bad. I'm pretty sure I'd be able to do good mornings so I turned back, only to find my corner taken over by the personal trainer and his three clients bouncing balls on the wall. Incredible. I left it at that.

I'm at a quandary. I want a routine change so I can start bodybuilding, but I don't want to let go of the fast gains I'm making on Westside. Mentally, I'm bored as Hell from it, but it's more effective than ever.

I think I'll try to peak out for a bit longer.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Entry #585

I was getting ready to bench when a group of high schoolers walked over to the area next to me (that elevated portion of the floor where I deadlifted yesterday) and started doing cleans, although they didn't really know how. One of them (I believe he actually works at the front desk) then asked me, "Hey, aren't you Alex's brother?"
"No. I don't have any siblings. I killed them all."
"Yeah, I am."
"Weren't you, like, using four 45s on each end of the bar yesterday?"
"Yeah. I was doing 430. Those were deadlifts."

These guys need to raise their standards. There are skinny kids deadlifting 405 all over YouTube. When I'm at 600, then maybe I'll warrant praise.


ME upper

Bench press:
4 x 3     135, 185, 225, 275 lbs.
4 x 1     310, 315, 315, 315 lbs.
> First three of 310, 315, and 315 were incredibly easy. Excellent lat recruitment on the concentric. Could distinctly feel my back spread as my arms pushed up. Bar rose smoothly.
> By the last set, my triceps had a dull soreness running through them. The final was an ugly, uneven set. I almost fell off the side of the bench. Still, I got it up. Should have rested longer before it.

Overhead tricep extensions:
1 x 12   50 lbs. of plates
3 x 8     60, 75, 75 lbs. of plates
1 x 7     75 lbs. of plates
> Wanted to do something different from the usual skullcrushers. Had to experiment a bit. Two plates was too easy, but three was too cumbersome to grip, so I tied them together with a strap and held on to two of them while the third hung down at my back. On the last, I only held one while two dangled. Hell on my grip. I like this set-up.

Front raises:
2 x 16   45 lb. dumbbells
1 x 12   45 lb. dumbbells
> Could have done 16 on the last, but I was beginning to sway too much, bringing my back into the movement. Down, boy.

Cable rows:
4 x 8     150 lbs.
> Surprisingly heavy after the pulling motion of the front raisees, coupled with the short rest times (gym was about to close). My grip was even taxed by this.

Hammer curls:
1 x 10   50 lb. dumbbells
2 x 8     50 lb. dumbbells
> Wanted to use the 55s, but I had to rush to leave before closing time. Extremely short rests.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Entry #584

ME lower

5 x 3     135, 225, 275, 315, 365 lbs.
3 x 1     430 lbs.


The video is of the very last set.

Had no time to do auxiliary work. Gym was about to close.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Entry #583

Slowed down for shadowboxing today to work on form. Still have a tendency to stuff my punches. In getting caught up in hand speed, I haven't been fully extending my arms, at times.

Went to the track at night to jump-rope. There was a dance going on at the high school, but luckily, I couldn't hear the music on the far end.

I'm going to use the car money I was saving to buy a bike. Then, I'll just use that to get to the boxing gym.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Entry #582

Ran some hill sprints. Felt like vomitting afterwards. Good sign. Afterwards, I practiced the horse stance in my room. I can multi-task by training it and using the computer, although I have to make sure not to let my arms support any of my weight. Legs were dead, so I couldn't keep it long.

Also did work with both the Trainer and #1 grippers. Warming-up with the latter actually makes a difference in performance.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Entry #581

In the hour and a half of free time I have before class, I've been waiting in the campus library and reading The Old Man and the Sea, which is rivaled in being badass only by "He smashed his fist into her solar plexus" 1984 and the book which boasts a plot climax of Montag melting his boss with a flamethrower, Fahrenheit 451. In this one, the old man reminisces about the time he had a two-day arm wrestling match, with blood seeping out from each's fingernails and the referees having eight-hour shifts so the other could go to sleep. He also got pissed at a Portugese Man o' War and called it a "whore", just because he felt like it. Who hasn't, I ask. But I had to leave the library because I was laughing too loud.

DE upper

Speed bench:
10 x 3     185 lbs.
> Great drive. Have been utilizing some form reminders from Pavel's The Naked Warrior. It's about calisthenics, but the chapters on tension have great application to powerlifting. Tear the bar apart, keep shoulders tight but low (that was new to me; I've been shrugging them), curl toes into the floor, and kill all infidels.

Olympic bar skullcrushers:
1 x 8     135 lbs.
2 x 8     140 lbs.
> These rule. I have to clean the weight up, hold it in position while I scoot forward, and lie down with it, which disturbs the noodle kegs standing around and watching the television next to me. Finishing off, I sit-up with the weight on my chest, ramming it into the pins. It's the breakfast of champions.

Cable pressdowns:
4 x 8     150 lbs.
> These do not rule.

Weighted pull-ups:
1 x 8     45 lbs.
1 x 7     45 lbs.
2 x 5     45 lbs.

Bilateral dumbbell curls:
1 x 8     40 lb. dumbbells
1 x 5     40 lb. dumbbells
1 x 5     40 lb. dumbbells
> One rep better than last time. The muscles get so pumped at this point that it's extra resistance to push my forearm up into the engorged bicep. Maybe I can get them to explode. That would be an awesome PR.

Went to the track at night and did a shadowbox/jump-rope circuit. I figured out that I've been holding the rope too narrow, which is why I could never do any fancy cross-through tricks or anything. Also did some gymnastic stuff on the pull-up bars, but not without protest from my arms.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Entry #580

DE lower

Box squats:
9 x 2     225 lbs.
1 x 1     225 lbs.
Felt a twinge of pain in left knee on last set, so I stopped after that rep.

Romanian deadlifts:
3 x 8     275 lbs.
> Wow. Switching bars made all the difference. Held the weight in overhand grip with no problems.

Full-contact twists:
3 x 8     70 lbs.

Didn't have any dextrose, so I drank weightgainer post-workout.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Entry #579

I'm reading through The Naked Warrior,
and Pavel advocates one method of enforcing tension by having someone
hit and kick you before doing a contractive movement, like push-ups or

"Have a friend pound your muscles with his fists, the ridges of his hands, or his feet. He will be delighted."

Does anyone need a partner for this? I offer only for your benefit, of course.

to the track at night, but the gate was locked. Thought about jumping
it, but I decided there were other things I could do, so I walked back
and did hill sprints. My legs were already sore from Monday; after
three laps of these (jogging backwards on the way down), they were
dead. Cardio held up well. After that, I shadowboxed at the base of the

Next, I practiced holding the horse stance in my room.
After everything, I couldn't keep it for more than several seconds. I'm
going to keep at this. It's convenient to do, and it's difficult. With
weights for strength training and uphill sprints plus this for
endurance, my legs will be forged into solid blocks of iron. I don't
even mean that figuratively to merely describe improving their
musculature or anything, either. I'll literally convert their molecules
to the element Fe.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Entry #578

ME upper

Board press:
5 x 3     135, 185, 225, 275, 300 lbs.
1 x 1     335
1 x 1/2  335
> Couldn't make the second set. Got it up just above the top pins, but no lockout. Next week, there will be blood.

Close-grip bench press:
3 x 8     195 lbs.

Lat raises:
3 x 8     40 lb. dumbbells

Bent-over barbell rows:
2 x 8     165 lbs.
> Had to abandon this because my space got taken.

Bent-over dumbbell rows:
2 x 8     115 lb. dumbbells

EZ bar curls:
1 x 8     95 lbs.
1 x 5     95 lbs.
> Lowered the weight from 100 last time, and improved by 1 rep on the second set. Whoopie.

Stretched for 30 minutes at night.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Entry #577

Took a week off for a rest period. By "rest period", I mean shadowboxing, track training, and bag work.

ME lower

5 x 3     125, 225, 275, 315, 335 lbs.
4 x 1     365 lbs.
> First set of 365 was a bit of a struggle. Last 3 were easy. Mind over matter. Completely ATG.

Good mornings:
3 x 8     195 lbs.

Chop crunches:
4 x 8

I got kicked out of my philosophy class today. Considered it an accomplishment. Oh, and George came over yesterday because he was in town, but we didn't fight. He has an injured thumb. We didn't even see Rambo because no theater is playing it here. I think I'm going to move to a volcano.