Monday, March 30, 2015

Training March 27-30

Friday Mar 27

Pretty laid back and simple day.
Bench Press

Rear delt Flys 3 sets to failure

Saturday Mar 28
Session 1
My hip is feeling a couple degrees more range without pain.

Romanian Deadlifts (touch and go)
This actually had me pretty tired because it was around 2pm and I hadn't eaten much. I had been at the gym since 930 for the morning crossfit classes and then judging the crossfit open wods until about 1. My mind was pretty shot, and I was feeling very flat. So I went home and relaxed for a bit. 

Session 2 globo gym
16 touches 
4 chest supported rowing exercises...4 sets each in the 15-20 rep range

Sunday - OFF
I went to see @thestretchgirl today to see if she could help my hip...what a painful experience. I think good things will come of this as she has a solid knowledge base and is used to working with big immobile dudes. She's done lots of work on guys like Frank McGrath and Dorian in toronto...and does a lot with the TNT boys Iain Vallaire and Tony Searle.  
Between my RMT and Chiro, Physio, and Fascial stretching...if it can't get fixed im onto slitting goats throats in the middle of a star on the ground or whatever voodoo to get this hip back to normal. 

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Rogers network.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

March 25/2015

‎Training session 1 (morning) at a globo gym
16 Touches
4 exercises and 4 sets each
All rows machines at various angles in the 15 -20 rep range...focusing on full ROM especially in the scaps...and squeezing at the back for a second. 

* went to see my physio and had some needling done. The hip is slowly starting to feel better.

Training session 2 (evening) at Dynamo
Romanian deadlifts (touch and go)

*glutes are on fire

Friday, January 9, 2015


(a random unedited one time through post, bring on the grammar police because this one will suck…)

Given that we are 9 days stride into the new year, I thought that this quick question off of my instagram account would play well into my usual disdain for "New Year's Resoultions."
For those of you unfamiliar with my view of the NY res tradition…. an old tweet of mine..

Dear Everyone out there about to post their NY resolutions, If you were serious about it...you'd be doing it already. Sincerely,

On one of my pics on IG this question was posted today…
"I've been following your IG for a while now and you are definitely an inspiration for someone like me.  I need to get my ass in gear bro I wanna be in shape but am just too lazy any advice?  Where do I start?"

He starts off with some kind words which I must say "thank you" for.  But the next bit is very troublesome yet not abnormal (double negative yes) in terms of how people speak today.
Use of the word "NEED" (when it isn't)… and then an excuse "BUT I AM JUST TOO LAZY."
We hear this type of thing very frequently…people rationalizing their apathy towards something that they know may very likely impact their lives in a very positive way.  

Rationalizing NOT performing the actions that will cause the effect they claim to desire.   Hmmmm.

  …..It's fucking nonsense and every single one of us, including myself, does it to some capacity in our lives.

So I am going to offer a very simple answer that I did not come up with…but really makes sense, especially when dealing with the majority of people in todays culture who have an instant gratification mentality and cannot understand the need to endure short-term pains or sacrifices in order to gain long-term pleasure.  Yes, the present may hurt for now….but the pain of working the fields and planting the seeds will bear fruit tomorrow….and if you don't have the confidence in your actions to believe this…you will quit before you ever even get to find out whether you will have succeeded or failed…you'll never get to taste the damn fruit.

Only a man of low self-esteem loses sight of his purpose at the first sign of failure.

But what is his purpose?  

And THAT^^ is the most important question for any endeavour.  

Find a purpose for doing what it is you are doing.  Do not set a goal or say that you want to do something if you do not even know why you want to do it…. It doesn't have to be a deep meaning…  it could be something as simple as "Because I want money bitch!"   Why do you want money?  "So i can have a stronger sense of security and independence"..or "So I can buy that Gucci and get hoes." ..Baam!!  that wasn't so hard.  Now go grind away.

Before asking yourself any other questions, the first thing a person must answer is:  "WHY?" Why do I want to ____________(insert goal)_____?

Once the WHY is answered, the HOW, WHEN, WHO, WHAT's etc…  will be answered with much more clarity.

Everyone has things that they SHOULD do, or WANT to do…but really, until those SHOULD's become MUST's you're just half assing yourself and kidding yourself when you say you want or need something.  If you have a strong enough WHY, the actions needed to achieve the goal become MUSTs.  PERIOD.

Once you can associate all of the actions you must undertake to reach a desired goal with a purpose….you are a driven human being.  

And that my friends, is how one finds motivation….  and if you can't find the motivation to do something…it's simply not that important to you so stop sweating it and move on.

Happy Belated New Year Bitches!!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

RUM 8- Just a few blocks down the way

I haven't written in this badboy in a really long time but it seems to be generating a fair amount of hits still from google and instagram and what to... so here's a quick update on training.  I'm currently less than 2 months out from RUM 8.  Next on my plate after that will be the ANIMAL CAGE at the Arnold's and then the JUGGERNAUT invitational powerlifting meet in April.


I've been getting lot of work done addressing my long nagging knee injury that has been making my lifting miserable for the past few years.  I have a good chiro and an awesome RMT who's been grinding away at me…ironing out all of the many wrinkles(adhesions) up and down the chain surrounding my knee.  Things are getting much better.

For the first time in a looooooong I was able to squat without knee pain pushing me out of groove, dictating my technique and effort…

I was able to hit up 8 sets of 5 reps @500 with a decent amount of speed, a decent quality on reps(balance, control , etc), and very importantly, minimal knee pain.  I am still a little anxious when squatting and trying to avoid pain and not moving with perfect confidence, but things are probably the best they have been in quite a while.  If things hold up, my squat, which has been stagnant for the past few years because of these problems …  the squat should rise dramatically.  They say you are not fully over an injury until you stop thinking about it…  we'll see.  I am so used to being in pain that when I go to squat and DON'T feel pain…i am in shock.

I have been squatting low 700's for the past 3 years without really being able to train the squat properly.  Last year at RUM I was in agony all of the time.  I would have one good session and then not be able to squat for 2 weeks.  So we will see how things progress both for RUM 8 and more importantly for 2015.    

RUM 8 Prep on the squat….

I had to take a couple months off from squatting completely.  Getting back into it, around 12 weeks out, I decided to start with CAT squats around 400lbs and to add 25 lbs a week…400, 425, 450, 475…500 etc..  My last squat session before RUM8, if all things go well, will end at 650x5 for 1-3 sets hopefully.  Although this is not the most complicated progression…its what I felt was best given the cards i have been dealt…  simply master a new weight every week and slowly progress.  Although I would like to hit PR's…  squatting healthy is a WIN on its own.

Here's 4th set of 8.  500x5


Not too long ago while doing some filming in NJ for Animal I smoked 485 for a single with a legit paused (PR) and attempted 500.  500 felt light, came off the chest strong…but I lost it at the midpoint….  I really want that 500 and can taste it…  it will rise soon. If not at RUM, at the next...


I am doing my own variation of the Russian Power taper for RUM8.  This is my 3rd time running RUSSIAN POWER.  For the first accumulation phase I was planning on using chains and a stiff bar the whole way through.  I got sick and on my 4's day, was dehydrated and strained my hammy.  Should have taken the day off.
For the 5's, since I wasn't sure how my hammy would react, I ditched the chains and ditched the stiff bar….grabbed an Okie and lifted cautiously..


The last time I did Russian Power, I used 635 as my accumulation weight.  So this is only 5lbs more.  The last time I got 775 out of it but I don't think the taper was optimal.  This time I am going to alter the taper a little bit and hopefully I can get  a damn 800+ pull.  It has been eluding me for quite some time.

RUM 8 Just around the way….

220 or 242?  I am not 100% sure.  I have been waking up between 241 and 244 these days.  Getting down shouldn't be too difficult, I have time…  the only thing is that since I am trying to build my squat the way I am…being in a caloric deficit may not be optimal.  We will see…i'll just have to listen to my body.

For now, I'd just like to focus on lifting the heaviest weights possible at RUM..the weight class is secondary..

"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing."  -GSP

Sunday, December 1, 2013

SQUAT Practice and tempo selection for a China Cabinet

This is gonna be quick..rather than answer a Q on fb..might as well write in on here quickly where it'll be more accessible......if it sucks..shoot me..  I'm brutal at writing when I don't rush it or when I edit it...

Here's a video of a recent squat practice.  I hadn't squatted in a while because of an injured back from deadlifting(serratus posterior inferior) and my knee had been acting up again trying to do volume training in the 80% 1RM range so this day I worked up to a heavy single(675) to see how it would feel and then I did 1 downset(635x3) followed by 5 'practice sets of 500x5 sets of 3 reps performed at a 4:1:1 tempo.

Why was I doing the tempo squat and why was I using that particular tempo?  

Normally I like to do my explosive 25 minute "CAT Game" when I'm not lifting heavy but a couple factors said not to:

1) My back wasn't 100% yet so I didn't want any jerkiness at the bottom...GOing down slowly would eliminate this.
2) My knees have been acting up a bit since I did a lot of volume in the 80% range a couple weeks ago..so I'm not lifting heavy...and I cant lift too aggressively....what else can I do?  And how can I get better with light weights...the only real option is to treat it as a practice.

TEMPO   (Eccentric:Amortization:Concentric)

Normally(healthy), these phases are performed:

Eccentric: As fast as possible on the way down while still maintaining tension and technique
Amortization: ZERO, change directions as fast as possible without bouncing, and whilst maintain proper mechanics.
Concentric: Accelerate, aggressive, maximal effort...

Now...while squatting being a china cabinet pussy cat bitch...

ECCENTRIC:  How else to practice going down perfectly than to do it slowly so that you can pay attention to micro aspects of the lift.  I can pay attention to my posture(spinal alignment), torso angle, feel the tension in the quads and hamstrings, and pay more attention to where the weight is on my feet.  When going down very slowly you can make the adjustments easily....like driving slowly.  And you can feel the tension build.  3-5 seconds is what made most sense to me...3 seemed borderline short and 5 sounded miserable...  so 4.  This allows me to pay a lot of attention to my back issue by really focusing on perfect posture and amortization...  and it also allows me to keep weight on my entire foot a little better and tension in my hamstrings.

AMORTIZATION: I have noticed that with my squat sometimes I rely too heavily on my quads and don't necessarily pay attention to my hamstring tension.  Even though I maintain my pelvis at the bottom I often tend to 'bounce' out when it gets heavy or I get lazy.  The pause eliminates this.  The beauty with the pause squat is that the second you try to stand up, you immediately know whether or not you maintained tension everywhere...its instant feedback...you either stand up nicely or you body has to re-engage muscles to find tension and you tidal wave yourself to the top.  I don't train the pause very often but i definitely see value in it.  If I were doing straight pause squats I would be perfomring them at a normal decent pace and pausing for 2-3 seconds.  Since I am descending at a 4 count to practice control and tension building, a 2-3 second pause, might make me pass out...  I really just needed to address the things above which a 'full stop' or 1 count would address.

CONCENTRIC:  Unless bodybuilding, I can't think of a reason to not stand up as fast as possible.

Hope that helped...  I know its not scientific..but i'm working around bullshit injuries.

***  I have to mention that:
1)  This is not something I do often...
2)  IMO doing these too often can mess up your TIMING....and TIMING IS VERY IMPORTANT.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Signing- Jay Nera joins Animal

Check this out.  AND YES, I AM FUCKING PUMPED!!

If you didn't click on the link above this badass picture of yours truly...do it now!!

From now on this blog is going to be less of my day to day training(not that I've written in this lately anyway)...But when training picks up in the next few weeks as I prepare for Raw Unity Meet the nuts and bolts of my training will be found on the Animalpak site in the forum. 

Here it is Sisyphus is Smiling.

I also have a Q&A on the forum, Sophisticated Savagery, be sure to join the forum.

As for this blog, I will still be posting videos and thoughts and the occasional ranting....Basically, if i want to write about something and not worry about it's content breaching the rules of the forum... or offending people...it will be on here.  Hopefully i will find the time to write....and hopefully you 'll have the patience.

Friday, August 23, 2013


Note: I am not a fan of editing because it takes me too long...I keep changing shit...until it's perfect..but it's never perfect..so i don't edit because i'd never finish anything......deal with it.

In the past 24 hours I've had a handful of people ask me the exact same question about my off-season squatting.  



What I have been doing isn't necessarily because it's what I originally thought was the best thing to do in the off-season...it's more a result of being injured for the last 2 years and realizing that squatting above 85% all the fucking time has been wreaking havoc on my body.  

I knew I needed to ease off of the weights a little bit but my ego had a hard time letting go and the hardest part with not lifting heavy is that YOU GET SCARED YOU WILL LOSE YOUR GAINS!!  THIS IS NOT THE CASE.

RUM 5 - Sam Byrd squats 782@220 on his second attempt

Bromance.  Total homos.  Nothing wrong with it.
At RUM 5, I was injured but still competing even though I hadn't squatted or deadlifted for over a month going in.  I was questioning why I put my body through all of this heavy lifting...wondering if this addiction was healthy... anyway...Cutting weight in the sauna with Sam Byrd and Kade..and a guy who is awkwardly comfortable being naked trying to talk to us while he has a leg up and his balls are just hanging there... 
We bonded...Squats.

Sam discussed what he does for his squat training.  
"CAT, Compensatory Acceleration Training,by the great squatter Fred Hatfield."  
Sam's reasoning was very simple," I wanted to be the best squatter, so I did what the best squatter in the world did."   At this point, if you don't know who Fred Hatfield is, 



(no comment needed)

 Anyway, what Sam told me, other than that he is jealous of my beautiful mane, goes something like this (and I would also encourage you to read Squatting like you're the CEO.... off Chaos & Pain after this article.)

Basically, Sam does a 4 week build up.
Week 1 : 60% x5 x5sets
Week 2 : 60% x5, 70% x5 x3sets
Week 3 : 60% x5, 70% x5, 80% x3 x5sets
Week 4 : 85% or more for MAX REPS 

Points of focus:

  • Squat each rep as if it's a HEAVY single..aggressive, explosive, no grinds
  • Treat each rep as if it's your 1RM
  • The focus is on rate of acceleration
His reasoning can best be summed up here, courtesy of Chaos & Pain because it's easier to cut and paste than to think for myself or bother Sam while he's likely eating ice cream:
"I prefer this way because I like to do my rep max with about 80% and I like to feel it on my back a time or two before I have to max out my reps with it. Again, its a confidence thing. After all those weeks crushing weights confidence is pretty high. Ive performed hundreds of explosive powerful reps and not one single miss or grinder any where. By the time i get ready to max I'm ready to test the limits. Once I test, I reset my max and either begin again or change things up to add some variety- maybe a few weeks of chained singles the last 4 weeks before a meet."(Byrd)" 

Okay, the purpose of writing this on my blog was so that I wouldn't have to answer people one at a time...it's getting too long...

Basically, I modified what Sam, or Dr. Squat, because anything up around 80% or more HURT.  So I had to stay light.

I simply did the 60% 5x5 and gave myself 25 minutes.  Since, I have always squatted twice a week and couldn't front squat because that really hurt my quad and knee, I decided to do the 60% part of the cycle twice a week.
The next week it became 6 sets of 5, the next 7 sets, the next 8, and now I like to do anywhere from 8-10 sets in 25 minutes.  ( I don't use a belt except for 80% or above).

When I first tried this a year ago I was skeptical but I didn't have a choice...so I did it because I love squatting..period.  Once my injuries had healed up a bit I attempted a 1RM simply because I was lazy and didn't feel like getting the vicious back pump that doing 8 plus sets gives me.  I was able to perform a single with 715...at a time when my gym max was 720.  I BECAME A BELIEVER THAT THIS CONCEPT CAN HELP WITH MAINTENANCE OF A 1RM.

RECENTLY, AS IN LAST WEEKEND, I went for a heavy 1RM. Twice a week, I have been squatting with this 60% CAT modified style since RUM 6 last February... Only with 3 exceptions, I needed to take a photo for POWER magazine back in early May so I squatted 675(nice picture), I did a day where I squatted mixed but still with CAT principles(80%x3x2, 70%x4x4, 60%x5x2), and last Saturday...
Previous in the week I did 455x5x8sets on Tuesday AND Thursday.  I normally deadlift on Thursdays but I had strained one of my erectors the previous Thursday deadlifting 675 for sets of 5( PR sets!!)...so I squatted on Thursday to fill the void because I'm a crackhead when it comes to getting my iron fix..."the iron bug bit me"..but anyways..  IT'S SATURDAY AND MY LEGS ARE SORE FROM DOING 36000+LBS OF VOLUME SQUATTING...SO I LAZILY DECIDED TO SQUAT HEAVY...IF I DON'T DO WELL, I HAVE THE EXCUSE THAT I'M CAUTIOUS BECAUSE OF MY BACK, AND THAT I'VE ALREADY SQUATTED TWICE THIS WEEK...AND LOTS.

PUTTING AN END TO THIS NOVEL I SQUATTED 685 LIKE NOTHING, 705 FAIRLY WELL, AND ATTEMPTED AND FAILED 730 (oops caps lock off, I'm not retyping all that...  I only attempted 730 because i meant to try 720, did shitty math and accidentally put 725 on, didn't realize this until i did my belt up..so i grabbed 2.5's and threw them on the outside....shrugged my shoulders and thought, "Fuck it...go for a PR."     FAIL

I hope this helps.  
Random points:
  • Doing more sets in the same period of time is a good way to increase work capacity...BUT
  • Explode Explode Explode..Concentric>>BAR ACCELERATING
  • I am going to start doing less than 8 sets and focus more on intensity on the way up...COASTING IS FOR BITCHES...  WE DON'T WANT TO COAST THROUGH LIFE...NOR SHOULD WE COAST THROUGH SQUATS
  • My squat feels much better because I have ELIMINATED the cue knees out..and now my squat feels like it did 2 years ago....but that is a whole other hour of my time(or more) to write about
  • I have used CAT for bench and deadlift sessions and I like it.  I love down sets after deadlfiting.  I like using it in the bench to build volume.
  • I have potentially butchered what Sam Byrd and Dr. Squat use as their protocols... if so, I apologize guys, and if you'd like to add or edit anything or throw some links up for books or sites Mr. Hatfield, let me know and I'll gladly put them below.

ENDING IT WITH A RAW SQUATS COMPILATION....and I yes, I used this particular compilation because I am in it...SO WHAT.

For those of you who've checked out my blog because you're a Chaos and Pain follower:

Fuck..this took me over an hour and a half to write..and it was supposed to be saving me time.