Back in March I started my journey into powerlifting by competing in the NASA Kansas State Meet. I only found out about it 2 months prior to the meet but I went for it anyway. I ended up with a 957 total (341 Squat, 220 Bench, 396 DL) at a body weight of 200.
The following months I bought and followed the Juggernaut Training Manual from Elitefts.com. It’s a 16 week program that’s geared towards powerlifting. Chad wrote a hell of a book and the program is great. I really had to take a step back and evaluate where I really was with my lifting strength. I ended up finishing the program 4 weeks prior to the meet I competed in this last weekend.
Throughout the Jugg Method program I utilized a Modified Warrior Diet and was able to really grow into my body weight versus dropping a bunch of weight or gaining a bunch. My recovery was great, I got stronger, added muscle and didn’t move my body weight 1 pound. I didn’t weigh and measure any of my food so my macro’s were always changing. The one thing that stayed consistent was that my lifting days were higher carb, off days were very low carb, and my underfeeding meals were kept very small and spaced 3-4 hours apart.
The last 4 weeks prior to the meet I added creatine monohydrate to my workouts (5g pre/5g post) and just 5g on off days. As for my training the last few weeks I subbed some fat bar chain lockouts for military pressing. I didn’t work off of any percentages or anything I just went by feel. All of my sets were kept to 5 reps and under for the lockouts, squats, bench, and deadlift. To be honest I only deadlifted twice in those weeks because of a hectic travel schedule. The week prior to the meet I set my openers and did minimal assistance work, a little cardio, and rested. The Monday prior to the meet I did some easy benching and squatting and that was it.
The end result was a 991 total (347 squat, 231 bench, 413 deadlift). Those are 10-15# PR’s on each lift so I’m pretty happy. I’ll be doing another cycle of the Jugg Method this winter and possibly competing again in March.
There are two things that I did not mention that I believe helped greatly. The first is that I dropped caffeine two weeks prior to the meet. I was developing some cortisol and dependency issues that I needed to address. Aside from a little green and black tea I had zero caffeine. Needless to say what I was setting my openers that week they felt heavy as hell. To help get the ship back to an even keel when I dropped the caffeine I added in 500 mg of ALCAR first thing in the morning and before lunch for both weeks. In retrospect I should have went with a higher dose but even that low dose helped. If I had it to do over again I would have went for about 1-2 grams at each dose. The reason for the ALCAR is because it helps to balance out cortisol levels. If they are low and should be up (such as in the morning), ACLAR will bring them up. If they are high and need to come down (afternoon/evening) ALCAR will bring them down. Since it interacts with the brain and elevates acetyl choline production it can have a mild stimulatory effect so don’t take it right before bed.
The second thing I did was to add in a Neural Charge workout the 5 days prior to the meet. I picked up the Neural Charge stuff from Christian Thibaudeau over at T-Nation. To be honest I wasn’t a huge fan of the T-Nation in the past and I still make this recommendation with a few caveats. The content they’ve been putting out has been much better but it’s still loaded with ads for their BioTest products which I don’t believe to be bad products, just over priced. I have not, however, actually used any of their stuff so take what I say with a grain of salt. Now, the premise of the Neural Charge training is to excite and stimulate the nervous system early in the day, or at least preworkout, in order to enhance performance. The workouts are short and focus on explosive exercises like jumps, med ball throws, and med ball slams. This isn’t a workout you perform for tons of reps and work until you are worn out. Once your performance begins to decrease you either drop reps or drop the exercise. You should feel better at the end of the workout than you did at the beginning. Here are what my workouts looked like:
Elevated Plyo Push Ups x 5
Med Ball Slams x 5
Broad Jump x 5
I did a few rounds and dropped reps when I felt I couldn’t perform the next rep as well as the previous. Between these workouts, the extra rest, and the ALCAR I felt great Saturday morning.
Meet day I took this prior to warm ups for each lift:
5g Creatine Mono
Sipped on Sugar Free Monster
See you guys in 2012.
Has nothing to do with food.
My absolute favorite meals are the ones I get to have with close friends and family. I don’t really care whether it’s 100% paleo or not. As soon as Halloween is over people start putting up Christmas lights and buying Christmas presents and it makes me sick. Thanksgiving just kind of gets swept under the rug.
I personally don’t really like Christmas that much anymore. When I was younger it was great. Lot’s of presents and the WHOLE family got together. The presents were cool but it was more fun playing with my cousins and relatives that I rarely got to see. Now that I’m older and my family gets more spread out I just don’t care about the presents. What I miss is having the family together.
Remember that this next week at Thanksgiving. It’s not about the food, it’s about the people you get to share that food with.
As far as the update goes I’m going to be taking a break from blogging for a bit. I haven’t been real consistent anyway so until January I’m putting it completely on the back burner. I’ll also be cleaning up the site some and getting better quality links up so you have access to better information. So until 2012, lift heavy, eat smart, sleep a little more, and enjoy the time you get to spend with your friends and family.
I hate the E word. The E word has made us soft, weak, and lazy. I’m talking about the word “Easy”. Just typing it makes my nauseous. Does that mean that everything about fitness and weight loss is hard? Not by a long shot. But there is a huge difference between simple and easy. Easy rarely requires change, dedication, or execution. It also rarely gets you anywhere. Simple, on the other hand, usually requires change, dedication, and execution. It may be small progressive changes over time, but they’re there none the less. Next time some one pitches you an “easy” scheme just turn around and walk away. If it really was easy everyone would be doing it.
This blog post started out with the goal of highlighting the number 1 mistake people make when attempting to lose weight. The problem was that I couldn’t just pick one! So without any more preamble here are the top 3:
#1- Lack of Consistency
It’s very common for people to attempt to mix and match training programs and diets. They take the parts they like from several different sources and attempt to create their own hybrid program. If you are a skilled trainer you can get away with this but for those who aren’t you need to pick your path and stick to it. Even if you can’t jump in the deep end and go 100% with a diet or training program then you either need to pick something else or make a plan to work into that program 100%. You have one butt, you only get to ride one horse so pick a path and stick to it. Once you have your program chosen stick with it for 8-12 weeks so that you can truly see whether or not it actually works for you. Anything less than that 8 week mark and you won’t truly know since changing the body takes time.
#2- No Method of Progression
This is an issue for both training and nutrition. Many people will jump onto a low calorie diet along with a high intensity or high volume training program. This does not work in the long term because you have nowhere to go once progression stalls other than to eat less and train more. This will eventually burn you out and tank your metabolism which sends you right back to square one or worse because you then have to fix what you old planned messed up before you can get back to making progress. In general when starting a weight loss program you need to eat as much as possible and train as little as possible and still get results. Then when progress slows you can make adjustments to your diet or training to keep progress going.
#3- Trying to Train Past Poor Diet and Sleep
Weight loss is a multifaceted issue involving sleep, stress management, diet, and exercise. Just focusing on one area and excluding all the others will get you nowhere fast. As strange as it may sound, weight loss is about 90% diet, sleep, and stress management and 10% exercise. Exercise does not make your body burn fat, it makes your body burn calories. Whether those calories come from stored fat or not completely depends on how you are feeding and resting your body. Weight loss is a hormonal game. Food and sleep affect us on a hormonal level and if they aren’t in balance then weight loss comes to a screeching halt.
Taking small steps to fix these 3 problems will go a long way to getting you back on track!
It’s finally here and I’m freaking ECSTATIC about it! Driven Body Boot Camp is ready to roll on Monday, August 30th!
Now, what the hell is Driven Body Boot Camp?
Short answer is it’s Salinas Premier Weight Loss Boot Camp! When you join up you don’t just buy your way into a boot camp where someone screams at your for 2 hours a couple days per week. Here’s what you get with DBBC:
-Driven Training Systems Weight Loss Nutrition Manual
-Driven Training Systems Sleep & Stress Management Manifesto
-Free Fitness Evaluation and Assessment
-Monthly Weight Loss Support Group
-Continuous Nutrition Counseling
-A Fun, Challenging, and Positive Training Environment
-Monthly Tracking of Progress
-Success Barrier Evaluation and a Personalized Barrier Removal Plan
-30 Day No Questions Asked Money Back Guarantee
Here’s the problem with most other boot camps.
#1- No Periodization
Periodization is a big fancy word for having a plan. Most boot camp instructors just throw together random exercises and call it an effective workout. At DBBC we always come with a plan in order to maximize your results and decrease the amount of time you need to spend in the gym.
#2- Zero Nutritional Support
Most of the time if your instructor gives you nutrition advice it’s nothing more than eat frequently, drink water, and take fish oil. If you aren’t losing weight then the only answer is to eat less and train more. We work closely with our clients to develop a nutritional plan that they can sustain over the long term and get sustainable results! Developing healthy habits then building on those at the table, in the gym, and out of it is the first step in getting you where you want to be.
I’ve heard of boot camps that run up to 2 hours per session! When you figure in that 99.99999% of all boot camp workouts are built around high intensity interval training you get the perfect recipe for overtraining. Overtraining in the general sense is pushing your body beyond it’s ability to recover. Here is what happens in your body when you overtrain:
-Metabolism shuts down and you burn fewer calories
-Muscle recovery declines making you sore all the time
-Your body panics and starts hoarding calories so that you can actually GAIN fat despite your best efforts
-Motivation hits an all time low because not only are you not losing weight, your performance during the training session declines, and your nervous system (which plays a HUGE role in fat loss) shuts down
-When your nervous system shuts down you stop losing weight and lose muscle tone as well!
-Sleep quality declines so you don’t feel rested and have no energy
-Because of the poor sleep quality you crave carbs making your blood sugar bounce all over causing huge energy swings, makes you cranky and irritable, and effectively shutting down fat loss!
This ties back into #1 and having a plan. By having a plan and monitoring participants closely we prevent you from burning out and keep you on track to reaching your goals!
#4- Negative Training Environment
Who wants to be screamed at for two hours at a time by someone they don’t even know? You have enough stress to deal with without some random trainer jumping down your throat to do one more freakin squat! While we will do whatever we can to help motivate you we will never treat you like you are actually in a real life boot camp. We are ALWAYS 100% invested in you reaching your goals and maintaining those results. That means that we’ll be strict and give guidance where you need it, hold you accountable for showing up and working hard, and praise you when you reach each new goal.
Most boot camps run 4-5 weeks then take 3-4 weeks off. They absolutely must do this because usually by the end of boot camp their participants are so burned out that they have to take 3-4 weeks completely off before they feel like doing anything again! It’s a vicious cycle that is an perfect example of 1 step forward, 2 steps back. In some cases it’s more like 1 step forward, 3-4 steps back! Driven Body Boot Camp runs continuously 12 months out of the year. We can do this precisely because we don’t just beat you into the ground every time you step into the gym. If you want to reach your goals and maintain those results it takes CONSISTENCY.
Intensity is great but it’s not sustainable long term. I guarantee you can’t maintain very high intensity over 30-45 minutes let alone 1-2 hours! Attempting to do this multiple times a week for several weeks in a row will leave you burned out, overtrained, unmotivated and most likely back at square 1.
To find out more call Trey at (785) 443-1589 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you lift weights and haven’t heard of EliteFTS (www.elitefts.com) then you need to get out from under the rock you’ve been living under. It doesn’t matter if you are a recreational lifter who’s just looking to stay healthy, if you want to lose weight, if you want to build muscle or you are looking to just be as strong as possible you need to check out this site.
While they always have awesome products and resources on the site they have truly outdone themselves this time. The Vault is a 200 page resource manual about everything strength. Here’s how you get it:
Step 1: Go to www.elitefts.com
Step 2: Click the Strength Club link (Top right corner)
Step 3: Fill in your email address, first name and last name
Step 4: Click “Subscribe to List” and you’re done!
Don’t have the details in front of me but I hit all my reps on bench and deads last week. My back, however, wasn’t really agreeing with the deads. I was sore then I helped move my grandmother in-law move on Saturday and I was crazy stiff all weekend. Got into the chiropractor Monday and got it put back in but I’m not going to be squatting or deadlifting this week. The military pressing went great Monday night (hit 140 for 8 reps) then did some machine work for back then some random stuff for shoulders. I attempted to squat yesterday but I was still feeling my back a bit so I called it am just taking it easy. I’ll be sled dragging today and Friday and possibly Saturday in order to make up for it. I will be benching tomorrow and hopefully get some video. I’ll also have some updated pictures and measurements to post Saturday morning.
115 x 3
125 x 3
225 x 3
275 x 3
300 x 3
135 x 3
185 x 3
210 x 3
BW x 50
BW x 50
I need to build my own squat box because right now I’m just using a bench and it’s a little high. I get to actually lift at the old gym tomorrow night so it’s on like Donkey Kong for some deadlifts! Bench felt nice and smooth tonight which was a nice change of pace lol.
Deadlifts- Worked up to 405 x 1.
I was planning on doing more but I ran short on time because I was asked to work at the last minute.
Wide Grip Paused Bench Press-
185 x 5
185 x 4
175 x 4
Fat Bar Kroc Row-
90 x 10 each arm
90 x 10 each arm
135 x 12 each arm
Flat DB Press- 5 sec negative each rep
65 x 8
55 x 5, 3
DB Front Raise- Thumbs Up
10 x 10
25 x 10
25 x 10
50 total reps done throughout training session
I was pretty pissed that I didn’t press any better than I did but after thinking about it I can’t be to angry. First of all I only bench 225 at the meet. This was primarily because I’ve always benched with a fairly close grip and I have never trained with any type of pause. Last night I not only brought my grip out 4-5 inches, I also held a 2 second pause on my chest so I can’t really expect to be pressing well right now.
For the past couple years I’ve had some issues with my left shoulder whenever I bench press. It doesn’t matter if I’m using dumbbells or a bar either. It doesn’t hurt, but I just hit a point where my shoulder has no power and I end up having to flare my elbow way out to try and finish it with my triceps. This really jacks up my form and limits my progress. What started this all was I lost control of a dumbbell while I was incline pressing and I basically externally rotated my shoulder with a 90# dumbbell in my hand. I saw an ortho who said that I didn’t have any type of damage to the shoulder, I’ve just never really got back to where I was. I really think that I jacked up my front delt as well as the biceps tendon that wraps up over the shoulder. They’re not damaged, they’re just damn weak so I need to build those up before I’m going to get a good press. I may even play around with some reverse grip overhead pressing and some neutral grip overhead pressing to build that area up.