Saturday, December 31, 2011



It's time to see how my back feels with some heavy compressive forces on it.

Front Squat: 145x5, 235x3, 325x2
Back Squat: 415x2, 455x1, 505x1, 555x1, (add belt) 595x1, 645x1, 685x1, 700x1



***the 555 squat without a belt moved like a bodysquat but it hurt my lower back at the bottom.  At 595 with a belt on, there was zero pain.  My body, having normally being used to constantly lifting at a high intensity, high frequency, and relatively high volume, is not used to taking so much time off.  I felt very fired up today as my CNS was fresh.  Basically, how i would feel on COMPETITION DAY!!  Unfortunately, being 3 weeks out, the unplanned rebound effect may have happened too early and I hope that I can still manage to get more at the meet.  I am not sure how my back will handle the heavy sheering forces of deadlifting...and I might not find out until competition day.  I will play this one by ear.
700 x 1 is a gym PR.  It went up easily, although I did break my technique a bit, it still felt easy.  I would have liked to have done either more singles at 700 or even attempted 720....but I decided to stop being greedy and to just shut it down on a high note before the injury I am trying to recover from REALLY shows itself again.  I feel like I didn't even work out which I am not used to....I usually like feeling beat up and sore....but then again..I also highly disliked feeling disabled.  Not being able to sleep, put on your pants, or get in and out of your car .... (checking thesaurus) simply SUCKS!!  So I am happy with today.

I think that Joffrey's advice on the foam rolling, stretching, exercises, and the treatments he gave me truly helped out a very speedy recovery.  Thank you Joffrey.

***LEARNED- Simply eating clean and training with a high intensity is not enough.  Foam rolling vigourously and religiously, massaging, epsom salt bathing, stretching, and staying loose are going to become almost as important as lifting the weights itself.....  I've been foam rolling and stretching for about 1 hour twice a day(morning and pre bed) since the injury, quads haven't glided so nicely since my bobsleigh days....

Friday, December 30, 2011

T-LOG: FRIdec30

Two training sessions today due to time constraints.  I trained the second session after work because I felt that I simply didn't do enough.  It didn't feel as though I trained.

Session 1, 3:15pm - 4:00pm

Bench Press: 135x8. 185x5. 225x4, 275x3, 315x2, 365x2, 405x1, 425x1, 440x1, 455x1, 410x4, 410x4, 410x4

Session 2, 7pm-7:35pm

Bench Press: 135x5, 185x5, 225x3, 275x2, 315x2, 365x1, 405x1, 425x1, 440x1, 455x1, 410x4

**My usual opener in a contest in 440lbs.  So it feels good to know that this is not a problem for me even when my it hurting a little and I have to set up just a little looser.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

T-LOG: MONdec19-THURSdec29

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Bench press: 375+chains@60 x 4 x 6 sets

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Front Squat: 135x5, 225x3, 315x2 Back Squat: 405x2, 455x1, 495x1, 545x1, (add belt) 585x1, 625x1, 650 x 3 x 2 sets
* Although I never felt as though I wouldn't finish a rep, these were not extremely easy. I could feel myself being pushed out of position a lot and having to fight back into the groove.

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Bench Press: 405 x 3 x 5 sets, 325(paused)x 8 x 2 sets

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Fuck fuck fuck
Conventional DL: 670 x 1 x 3 sets... INJURY

* on 3rd set, the bar moved fast and easy, and my technique was never compromised yet once I put the weight down my lower back around L4-L5 felt off. Forcing a posterior tilt of the pelvis causes great pain. FUCK. This is not good.

I made an appointment w my friend and orthotherapist Joffrey Laurin. He found that my SI joint is dysfunctional on my right side, that my psoas and hip flexors are too short, and that I have tons of scar tissue build up EVERYWHERE. I have never had a massage before...makes sense(girlfriend massages don't count).
I spend so much time lifting...lifting at a high frequency, high volume, and high intensity...but I don't spend enough time helping my muscles recover.... So I need to make stretching, foam rolling, epsom salt bathing etc... A priority.

I am not sure about competing at RUM5 at this point as deadlifting an empty bar is painful and not possible.
Fuck fuck fuck fuck

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

**setting up the bench doesn't seem to hurt too much. This is a plus!! Just going to start light and work my way up in intensity so long as it doesn't hurt my back.

Bench Press: 315x14, 335x11, 355x8, 375x5, 395x3, 415x1, 325x 8 paused x 2 sets

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

** back is still extremely sore, going to try jumping without leaning forward at all so that zero shearing force, from even the weight of my upper body, is possible.

'42 box jump x 5
W reverse laterals 30's x 25
W '42 box jump x 5
W SWGChins x 35

* bit of a back pump from this, which may be a good thing. I haven't box jumped in a long time because of quad issues and the violence of the plyometric. All in all, my legs feel pretty good...
I went to see Joffrey again today. What a nice guy, Christmas Eve and he makes time to treat me because he wants me to do well.
A very painful session on the back, quads, glutes, and hammies and I am feeling much much better. He broke up a tons of scar tissue...I could listen to wonder my muscles weren't gliding. Thank you Joffrey.

Off to xmas eve dinner with the fam.

Sunday, December 25th, 2011
What exactly are we celebrating today?  Grinchin it hard with my sore back.  Stiffened up at family dinner last night and had to stretch, foam roll, and soak in epsom salt before bed.
A long day of spending time w family and standing and sitting....and tightening up. Lol. I love my family...great fam...but I was in a lot of pain.

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Bench Press: 405 x 3 x 6 sets

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

My back is still feeling screwy. Definitely not squatting. I have decided that if I cannot squat heavy by Saturday I will pull out of RUM5. There's no point in traveling to compete if I don't feel I can better my 3 lifts.

Box jumps: 6 sets of 10 reps on '42 box
** crazy pump in low back from these.

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Bench Press: 365 x 8,8,7,7,5
High rep bench caused my lower back to tighten up like crazy. Very sore and tight tonight. Trying to remain optimistic about RUM 5... But feeling a little of a skeptic. 

Kade was pulling 673 for doubles(4 doubles), and it was moving like it was 585...I think he'll pull 800... One more reason to not back out of RUM5. Fuuuuuuuuck.

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Woke up early to foam roll, stretch and get winter tires on car.
Thought I would give deadlifting a try...limiting myself to 65 percent my max.

Conventional Deadlift: 155x5, 245x5, 335x5, 425x3, 475x3, 500 x 3 x 10 sets.

* I had to really pay attention to each repetition making sure that I had minimal shearing force on my lower back. 500 moves very fast and easy...considering its 65% my max...that's how it should move.

As for RUM, I'll have to see how heavy weight feels on my back. On Saturday, I'm going to squat 680 for singles. If I'm successful, I've only lost a week of training...if not...its not worth the trip and the cost of the trip to compete at RUM.

Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Front Squat: 135x5, 225x3, 315x2
Back Squat: 405x2, 455x1, 495x1, 545x1, (add belt)585x1, 635x1, 665 x 1 x 6 sets
**Sets 2, 4, and 5 felt pretty decent even though they were not necessarily as fast as I would have liked.  Set 1 I lost my back, set 3 was tough, and set 6 I fell back hard at the bottom....which is still better than falling forward I guess.  All in all, not a bad day.  On Tuesday, I get to attempt a very challenging triple at 650.

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Bench press: 385x5x5 sets

Ring Pullaparts x25
w Single Arm Tricep Extensions 100lbsx 20 each 
w Cuban Cleans: 15's x 30
X 3 Rounds

Thursday, December 15, 2011



Conventional DL: 155x5, 245x4, 335x2, 425x1, 555x1, (add belt) 650 x 1 x 9 sets
**They were all fairly smooth technique wise, some slower than others but the technique is feeling good.  This weight is at a point at which I can still take it for granted....not really a good thing as my warm up was too casual.  Next weeks 670 pulls will be a better test at how consistent I can keep my pulls.

Inverted shrugs: 1 set of 160


Bench press: 345+chains@60x 6 x 4 sets

SA cable Tricep extensions: 90x 25 each arm
w Ring Pull Aparts: x25
w Cuban Cleans: 10's x 30
X 3 rounds


Agile 8

Front Squat: 135x5, 225x3, 315x2

Back Squat: 405x2, 455x1, 495x1, 545x1, (add belt) 585x1, 635 x 3 x 4
***First two sets felt nice and easy.  On the 3rd rep of the 3rd set I went onto my toes HARD...hence the swearing.  Wasn't sure if I should do another set...Did I go on my toes because I was taking the weight for granted or because I was getting weaker...  Decided to do a 4th set....verdict...EASY.  Had I not been getting over an injury I would have probably done a 5th and 6th set.  Good day.


Bench press: 365+chains@60x 4 x 6 sets

DB Press: 120s x 15 x 2 sets

SWGChins: x 35
w SA Tricep Extension: 90x 20 each arm
w Cuban Cleans: 10's x 35
X 3 Rounds

Sunday, December 11, 2011


****Not a lot of time until January 22..RUM V.  The left shoulder has been giving me some issues benching.  THe right quad, which has had many issues since May is finally starting to feel better. I have reset my deadlift loads to peak near close to the meet so the loads are light right now.  I cycled back my squat loads a few weeks ago after a 660 single, and am now back at practicing with 650.  THe bench will come along soon enough.  

"Never a day where my muscles didn't ache i have to make every muscle ache to relax." Vasily Alexeev 

Monday, December 5th, 2011

BP: 355+chains@60 x 4 x 6 sets
DB bench press: 120's x 15 x 2 sets

Handstand hold x 40 secs
w Chins x 35
X 3 sets

Tri cable extensions 90lbs x 20 each arm
w cuban cleans 10's x 35

Tuesday, december 6th, 2011

Front Squat: 135x5, 225x3, 315x2
BackSquat: 405x2, 455x1, 495x1, 545x1, (add belt) 585x1, 620x3x 4 sets
** Felt pretty decent.  The quad is starting to get better.

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Bench Press: 335+chains@60x 6 x 4 sets
DB press: 120's x 13 x 3 sets

Handstand Hold x 40's
wRing Chins x 30

Tricep cable extensions 90 x 25
w Ring Pull Aparts x 25
w Cuban Cleans 10's x 30

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Conventional DL: 155x5, 245x4, 335x3, 425x2, 555x1, (add belt) 630 x 1 x 12 sets
*all sets feeling nice and smooth.  I've done this for a set of 7 doing singles better feel like a nice smooth practice..

GHD Sit up: 20 x 2 sets

Inverted Shrugs: 1 set of 165

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Bench Press: 375 x 5 x5
DB Press: 120's x 15 x 2sets

SWGChins: x 40
w ring Pull aparts x 25

Tri cable extensions: 90 x 25 each arm
w cuban cleans: 10's x 30

***Shoulder is slowly starting to feel better.

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

Front Squat: 135x5, 225x3, 315x2
Back Squat: 405x2, 455x1, 495x1, 545x1, (add belt) 585x1, 625x1, 650 x 1 x 8 sets

*****I wasn't sure what this weight was going to feel like.  A few weeks ago I did one single with 660 that was VERY SLOW on the way down and up.  I had to go down slow because my quad was still scaring me.  Today, I took my warm up very seriously, doing every rep with proper focus....and by the time I got to 650...let's just say when the descent goes down without any pain and at a proper speed.....  I WAS FUCKING EXCITED KNOWING THAT I COULD PRETTY MUCH STAND UP HOWEVER I WANTED WITH IT.....  it is amazing how much technique plays a role.  The second I am not pushed out of my feels easy again....but a while back with poor technique even only 600 was feeling awkward and difficult.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Monday, November 28th, 2011

My shoulders are still bothering me a little bit so I am staying around or below my 80%

Bench Press: 345+chains@60 x 4 x 6 sets
DB Press: 120's x 13 x 3 sets

Handstand Holds x 40 secs
w SWGChins x 35
X 3 Rounds

Tri pressdowns to failure each arm
w Cuban Cleans until pump

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Rest the loads.

Agile 8

Front Squats: 135x5, 225x3, 315x2

Back Squat: 405x2, 455x1, 495x1, 545x1, (add belt) 585x1, 605 x 3 x 7 sets   *** the weight felt a little heavier than I would have liked.  They were moving nice and smoothly but I find myself expecting the weights to just float up because they a 'easy' for me, or far below my 1RM...this is a bad train of thought....TAKE NOTHING FOR GRANTED

100 walking lunges

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Shoulder still bugging a bit.  I have got to quit sleeping on my sides.

Bench Press: 325+chains@60 x 6 x 4 sets
DB Press: 120's x 15 x 2 sets

Handstand Holds x 40 secs
w SWGChins x 35
X 3 Rounds

Tri pressdowns to failure each arm
w Cuban Cleans until pump

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

I get to reset my deadlift(cycle back the intensity to peak for RUM5...lighter weights today) and really focus on my starting position and technique.  My hamstrings are feeling pretty tight from Tuesday's squats.

Agile 8
Conventional Deadlift: 245x5, 335x4, 425x2, 515x1, (add belt) 610 x 1 x 15 sets
***The sets very very good.  The weights were nice and light so I could really focus on getting lower and hitting the posterior when I want to.  I would have gone to 20 reps had time permitted me to do so.

GHD situps x 15
w Inverted C2B Rows x 30

Inverted Shrugs(rings): 1 set of 150

****My back is feeling really stiff.  I haven't done that many single piulls in a while.  Even though the weight is light it was still a decent amount of volume.

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Back is feeling very tight and hammies are lit.  It is actually a great feeling.

****Tomorrow Mat Lalonde is giving a seminar at our gym all day.  This poses many problems or obstacles for my squat session.  I do not want to squat during his seminar because I want to be able to grunt went I need to and smash weights without disrupting the seminar...and I really don't want to miss anything Mat has to say because he has a wealth of knowledge and I want to know all the little things.  
I could always squat before or after the seminar.....a) BEFORE would have to be at 6am because we are running an 8 am class before the seminar...and...b) AFTER would be around 4:30pm after sitting around all day at a seminar all day and being up earlier that day than my body is used to.... rhythm would be off.
So even though my body is feeling tight and beat up...I will train twice today.

Morning Session 11am
Bench Press: 365 x5 x 5 sets
DB Press: 120's x 12 x 2 sets

Ring Chins x 30
w Tricep Extensions 90 x 15 E A
w Cuban Cleans 10's to failure

NIGHT Session 7:30pm

Agile 8
Front Squats: 135x5, 225x3, 315x2
Back Squats: 405x2, 455x1, 495x1, 545x1, (add belt) 585x1, 635 x 1 x 10 sets

They were feeling fairly good.  My technique is feeling better.  The only thing was that my lower back was a little beat up from yesterday's deadlifts so everytime I unracked the weight I could feel that shitty lower back pump wanting to kick in.

All in all .....satisfied...2 days off to recoup.....  although I will likely do some muscle ups or at least chins tomorrow as I will be sitting all day.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

T-LOG: MONnov21-FRInov25

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Agile 8
Bench Press: 335x6(paused)x6  **going light and working paused because my shoulder is still bothering me and controlling it causes less pain.
DB Bench Press: 120's x 12 x 3 sets

Ring Chins x 30
w Handstand Holds x 40
X 3 sets

Tricep extensions x 2 sets failure

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Agile 8
Front Squat: 135x5, 225x3, 315x2
Back Sqaut: 405x2, 455x1, 495x1, 545x1, (add belt) 585x1, 610x1, 630 x 3 x 3 sets
***I wanted to do more sets because I felt I could and also the last time I did multiple triples with this weight I have done 4 sets...but my quad is/was still not 100% it was one of those leave the ego at the door moments....stop before you injure yourself being greedy.
100 walking lunges

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Agile 8
My shoulder is still bothering me.  Dmitri thinks that it's my bicep.  My bicep does a lot of the work that my front delt should be doing.  So keeping it light and controlled.
Bench Press: 315 x 7 paused x 5 sets
DB Press: 120's x 12 x 3 sets

SWGChins x 35
w Handstand holds x 40 secs

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

For the past 2 days I have been feeling very exhausted.  I think that the multiple triples with 630 might have tired my CNS  a little as I have not been squatting heavy a lot lately so my nervous system isn't as accustomed to it.  Regardless I am supposed to DL 705 lets see....

Conventional DL: 245x5, 335x4, 425x2, 515x1, 605x1, (add belt) 650x1, 705x1 * it went up with good technique but it was heavy.  Downset 635 x 5 full stops

Bent over rows: 275 x 20 x 2 sets
Bent over DB rows: 165 x 30 each arm
T-bar rows: 205+bands x 20 x 2 sets

Friday, November 25th, 2011

Feeling somewhat exhausted.  15 members of Crossfit O-Town will competing in a competition in Brockville tomorrow so my scheduled 660lbs for singles squat session is not looking to promising.  I am thinking of doing 2 sessions today morning/night as i will have to be in Brockville tomorrow morning by 8.  So unless I want to train at 4:30 am or at 7pm after coaching all day....

Agile 8
Bench Press: 135x8, 185x5, 225x4, 275x2, 315 x 10 paused x 3 sets
DB Press: 120's x 12 x 3 sets
Handstand Holds: 40s x 3 sets
Tricep Extensions x 3 sets to failure each arm

NIGHT SESSION 7:30 pm   ****  I am supposed to squat 660 this session.  I deadlifted very heavy yesterday and did a very difficult downset which is VERY taxing on the back.  With not even a full days rest it's not the best idea.  I am going to do a CAT squat session....  problem, I haven't squatted 660 or more since before May and I want to know how it feels.  The ego can be a problem at times.  My rule, if my quad or lower back hurt in the slightest on the way up to 660...stop.

Agile 8

Front Squat: 135x5, 225x3, 315x2
Back Squat: 405x2, 455x1, 495x1, 545x1, (add belt) 585x1, 635x1, 660 x 1
CAT Back Squat: 425 x 5 x 3 sets

I am glad I attempted to squat the 660 because it is good for the confidence.  My quad feeling fine.  I went down very slowly and cautiously and was still able to get it up.  I believe I would have been able to get 3-4 singles at that weight today.
425, after 660, feels like airsquats....a pretty extreme drop in weights for some post activation potentiation.  Almost laughable.

Since I will be taking tomorrow off to coach and cheer on my people, and I always take Sunday's off, I will have a nice chance to reset and rest my body and start feeling better again.  I am going to reset my training cycle to lower weights in the squat and DL so that I can time my peak for RUM 5.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The 11 Mottoes of the Strength Athlete : Respect to Choi Baedal aka Mas Oyama


The Way of Strength begins and ends with courtesy. Therefore, be properly and genuinely courteous at all times.


Following the Way of Strength is like scaling a cliff – continue upwards without rest. It demands absolute and unfaltering devotion to the task at hand.


Strive to seize the initiative in all things, all the time guarding against actions stemming from selfish animosity or thoughtlessness.


Even for the Powerlifter, the place of money cannot be ignored. Yet one should be careful never to become attached to it.


The Way of Strength is centered in posture. Strive to maintain correct posture at all times.


The Way of Strength begins with one thousand days and is mastered after ten thousand days of training.


In the Strength Arts, introspection begets wisdom. Always see contemplation on your actions as an opportunity to improve.


The nature and purpose of the Way of Strength is universal. All selfish desires should be roasted in the tempering fires of hard training.


The Strength Arts begin with a point and ends in a circle. Straight lines stem from this principle.


The true essence of the Way of Strength can only be realized through experience. Knowing this, learn never to fear its demands.


Always remember, in the Strength Arts, the rewards of a confident and grateful heart are truly abundant.

**** Reference to OMAYA MASUTATSU, founder of Kyokushin Karate. I obviously changed a few words to apply it to life and strength.  OSU!!

Some more of his lessons:

If you do not overcome your tendancy to give up easily, your life leads to nothing.

Reading good books implants good ideas in the mind, develops good aspirations, and leads to the cultivation of good friends.

In the martial arts, introspection begets wisdom. Always see contemplation on your actions as an opportunity to improve.

One living daily in The Way carries their head low and their eyes high; reserved in speech and possessing a kind heart, they steadfastly continue in their training efforts.

If someone asked me what a human being ought to devote the maximum of his life to, I would answer: training. Train more than you sleep.

No matter how strong the rival, the just will always win.

If you have confidence in your own words, aspirations, thoughts, and actions and do your very best, you will have no need to regret the outcome of what you do.

Human beings are capable of virtually limitless degradation; they are also capable of virtually limitless improvement and achievement. Success depends on goals and on diligence in pursuing them.

Behind each triumph are new peaks to be conquered

"Each of us has his cowardice. Each of us is afraid to lose, afraid to die. But hanging
back is the way to remain a coward for life. The Way to find courage is to seek it on
the field of conflict. And the sure way to victory is willingness to risk one's own life.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

T-LOG: MONnov14-SATnov19

Saturday, November 19th , 2011

Agile 8

Front squat: 135x5, 225x3, 315x2
Backsquat: 405x2. 455x1, 495x1, 545x1, (add belt) 585x1, 620x1, 645 x 1 x 5 sets

***I am very happy with today's session.  On my third single, I had one of the best squats I've had in months!!  Technique felt perfect.  This is such a wonderful feeling because usually my injured quad forces me away from my technique.
While preparing for CPF raw nationals back on April 30th 2011 I performed 640 x 1 x 10 sets.  Given that I am working with an injury and not pushing my sets as hard because I am trying to avoid doing too much(while still forcing adaptations)... I think I could have done 7-8 sets today but they would have been rough.  Now, for RUM V I just gotta add about 93 more lbs to bar.

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Agile 8

Floor press(full stop): 335 x 5 x 5 sets
DB bench press: 120's x 12 x 3 sets

Handstand Holds x 40 secs
w SWG Chins x 33
X 3 Rounds

Arms: tris and bis for 2 failure sets each

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Conventional DL(texas power bar): 245x5, 335x4, 425x1, 515x1, 605x1, (add belt) 685 x 1 x 3 sets
**3rd set was poor technique so stopped

DB Bent Over Rows: 165 x 30 each arm

T-Bar Rows: 205+thick purple bands x 20 x 3 sets

Inverted Shrugs: 1 set of 165

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Agile 8

Bench Press: 365 x 5 paused x 3 sets

Ring Chins x 30
w Handstand Holds x 40s
X 3 Rounds

Bi's & Tri's: 3 sets of each

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Agile 8

Front squat: 135x5, 225x3, 315x2
Backsquat: 405x2. 455x1, 495x1, 545x1, (add belt) 585x1, 615 x 3 x 4 sets

** I had a hard time walking away from this one.  I wanted to do around 6 sets...but my quad was starting to hurt....  

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Agile 8

Bench Press: 345 x 5 x 5paused

Ring Chins x 30
w Handstand Holds x 40s
X 3 rounds

Bi's and Tri's x 3 sets each

Monday, November 14, 2011


Two of my favourite sayings:

 1) Years ago, living in Tokyo, while I was: seeking my independence, reading as much as I could about training, philosophy, psych, and the as hard as I always have and discovering the qualities and virtues of people I admire and aspire to be like in shaping my own character.... I came across one of the most valuable sayings: "YOU ARE THE SUMMATION OF THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE MOST."  I believe it fully.  Whether the person was your childhood friend or even your favourite uncle...if they have more negative qualities that you despise and very little beneficial contributions to your character...eliminate.  And is someone fills your life with light, motivates you, and shows you how to be ambitous to your desires...keep em.  period.  Like choosing goals, choosing heroes, mentors, and even 'enemies' is equally as important.

This saying is from the HBO series THE WIRE and spoken by a character named Omar who was simply one of the most badass motherfuckers with the audacity or gall to rob the dealers on a regular basis.   The saying is self explanatory and I could not agree with it more fully.

I would rather be a gorilla with a couple hairs turning silver and constantly getting put in my place by the Silverback/Alpha...than a fucking  Chimp amongst baboons.  A pitbull amongst other pitbulls, rotties, dobes, german sheps, pres canerios, mastiffs, bulldogs etc....than a retriever amongst pomeranians and chihuahuas.
If I, one day, decided to take up MMA, I would seek out the baddest motherfuckers, who were bigger, faster, stronger, and technically the best...who no matter how hard I tried, I could never beat them....  because that is how one gets better....  any idiot could find a bunch of kids to kick the shit out of...but I'd need to learn how to NOT GET MY ASS KICKED.  "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger." Is the Neitzche quote at the beginning of the first movie I ever remember watching....CONAN.

Relating this to my present chosen discipline: POWERLIFTING.

I have 2 training partners. Willie Albert (181lbs) and Kade Weber(242lbs).  Willie and I squat well over triple bodyweight and Kade is close(he's 21 and hit 640 at his last meet, give him another month).  We all bench over double bodyweight.  And we all deadlift well over triple bodyweight: Me-744, Kade-750, and Willie-727  >> 4 times his bodyweight.

When I first started powerlifting, less than 3 years ago my squat was my best lift at 640lbs, my bench decent at 407 lbs, and my deadlift was my worst at 617lbs.  Training with a fucker I outweighed by 40 lbs and him pulling 683 at the time was very humbling. And then going to Russia and competing against Belyaev, I crossed an ocean and didn't even win a medal.  Belyaev showed me that whatever notion I had about limits on myself, whatever my standards were, needed to RAISE THE FUCK UP.

Focusing on powerlifting, my squat has since then continued to rise as I added 76 lbs over 2 years to my squat, 56 lbs to my bench, and 127 lbs to my deadlift!!  Train with one of the best deadlifters....your deadlift will go up.  I consider myself to be one of the best squatters and all of our squats go up.  Kade holds the WPC Junior World Record in the 242 class for, the SQUAT, DEADLIFT, AND TOTAL.  Is that any surprise?!?!?!  He trains with two of the best squatters and deadlifters in the country.  

Greg Doucette IS Canada's best bench presser...and his protege Scott Bernard...Junior World record in the...yup BENCH PRESS.  These are not coincidental.  Technique isn't the only thing that is contagious....attitude is.  Like the bulgarian weightlifting program...those who could handle it became champions, and those who who couldn't quit...and they were replaced by future champions.  

There are those who like being the big fish in a small pond...they are the same fish that shrivel once being exposed to the open waters.  There are big fish in big waters who never back down to anything...and in these waters there are also big fish seeking other big fish to test themselves against.

My very first powerlifting meet was at the Canadian Powerlifting Federations National Championships(Raw & Equipped).  I remember stepping on the scale at 231 lbs and Clint Harwood(800+lbs equipped bencher), saying, "231 right smack dab in the middle of two weight classes." to which I replied..."YUP."  I didn't care, I just wanted to post some numbers.  
But I remember hearing something despicable.  A friend whom I defriended for many reasons, (most to do with not wanting to surround myself with characteristics I do not wish to posses), was whining because a friend did not make his weight cut and they would be in the same weightclass.  This guy was whining because he wouldn't get a medal handed to him...  all I think is...."baby need a bottle?!"....BE A trying to get better we should be SEEKING OUT COMPETITION.

I remember wanting so badly to break the 700 lb squat.  It wasn't until I found out that SAM BYRD would be at RUM IV that I got nervous about not being able to squat enough to keep up with the competition.  I knew I needed to squat more to not let him pull too far away because our benches would be close and I'd need to out deadlift him.  He got injured and didn't post his best numbers....  But I posted a PR squat and a PR dead....

Although this sport is an intrinsic sport, a YOU vs YOU sport...the level of competition still plays a major role.  I will never understand people who go to small meets and win their trophy and then call themselves a doesn't make any sense to me nor should it.  To me it requires the person to either be extremely stupid/naive...or have a high capacity to 'doublethink' in order to say "I am a champion because I avoid facing any real competition." 

That is why I love the idea of what Jason Manenkoff, his uncle Gary Branfman, and Chris Pappillion are doing with Team Branfman.
Jason Manenkoff
Noriko Kariya
Chris Pappillion
Adam Hires 
Sam Byrd
Jay Nera
Shae Jones
Scott Smith
Garrett Griffin

A pack of large hungry wolves who aren't scared to go hard.  Every single dude in this picture will fight for that last piece of meat down to the bone of the carcass when it's feeding time.  One cannot take a feast for granted.  So we will all make each other step up our games....
As for the hot chick...we all lift better when there's hot chicks around. 

As a part of this team.....Now I know that every meet I go to, whether I compete in the 220's or the 242's that any squat less than 700 is unacceptable, any bench less than 450 is unacceptable, and any dead less than 700 is unacceptable...AND I'M TALKING ABOUT OPENERS.....YES OPENERS.

We all love animal stories: The Defeated Lion