Deload Week

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I’m taking it easy this week.  I beat myself up pretty well this last training cycle and I have a few bumps and bruises that I’m getting healed up.

Mondays Training:

Box Squat (Full Pause on Box)
235 x 5, 5

RDL (Full Pause on Floor)
185 x 8, 8, 8

Hammer Curl (slow and in control)
45 x 10, 10, 10

My left bicep got strained a bit at the meet and both squats and RDL’s bothered it. Oddly enough the hammer curls didn’t bother it.

Tuesdays Training:

Inverted Rows
Pistol Box Squats
Split Squats
Alligator Crawls

I didn’t keep track of reps or sets. Took me about 45 to do this one.

Exercise 2 Try

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I had originally planned to try and do one E2T article per month but it kinda dropped off my radar for awhile.  I’m going to TRY to do these more often but don’t hold me to it.

The Cossack Squat


This has been one of my  go-to movements more hip mobility for the past several months.  Start with just your bodyweight then work up a little at a time.  If you don’t have chains or a weight vest you can hold a dumbbell like you would during a goblet squat.

Start with a really wide stance, the further out the easier it is.  Drop your hips then set down to one side.  The foot on the side you are squatting to needs to stay completely flat on the floor.  The foot on the other side is going to point towards the ceiling.  In order to get good depth you’re going to need to have just a little bit of forward lean and really try to stick your butt down by the heel of the foot your squatting on.

Add this movement in anywhere in your workout that you can.  Once you get good at them it’s a great warm up movement as well as a great off day mobility movement to keep you moving well.

Dum, dum, dum!

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The openers are set!  My first meet is this Saturday and right now I’m working on manipulating my weight little to get to the 198 class.  I have a few pounds to go but I should get there.

Bench- 225 (102 kg)
Squat- 315 (143 kg)
Deads- 400 (181 kg)

I benched and hit some upper body work last night but no heavy lifting today.  I got out and pulled the sled around some.  I’ll drag the sled again here tomorrow and Thursday but take Friday off.

4 Money Movement$

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This exercise not included...

As much as I would live it if every gym had a Prowler, farmer bars, or sandbags it’s just not going to happen. For those of you who want to make some big changes to your body with common gym equipment here are 4 movements to try if you haven’t already.

Goblet Squats

Barbell squats are great but what if you don’t know what you are doing and don’t have anyone to teach you how to do them right? Enter the goblet squat. Once you have the dumbbell or kettlebell in place it becomes very hard to screw up. Here’s a video of Smitty from the Diesel Crew showing you how to do it.

Single Arm DB Press (Decline/Flat/Incline/Overhead)

This is a very underused movement variation for any and all dumbbell movements.  The uneven loading really makes you stabilize your entire body throughout the movement, even if you are laying on a bench.  It will limit the amount of weight you use so don’t try using your normal weights.

Band Pull Aparts

This one is a little mundane but it’s worth adding.  Everyone has different weaknesses but 90% of people have a weak posterior chain.  This is a simple exercise you can throw in at the beginning or end of each session to help out your upper back strength, shoulder health, and posture without killing your recovery.  If your gym doesn’t have any bands or tubing you can substitute face pulls on the cable tower.

Trap Bar Deadlifts

I kicked around several different exercises for this last one but I decided to with trap bar deads because it’s a HUGE bang-for-your-buck.  Trap bar deadlifts can have a profound effect on changing your body and they are far less technical then standard deadlifts.  They’re great for your entire posterior chain, power production, and building strength.  If, for some crazy reason, you don’t have a trap bar in your gym you can substitute dumbbell deadlifts.  If you can’t maintain proper form with the dumbbells on the floor you can set them on some aerobic steps and pull from there.  Just don’t cheat and put them up so high that it’s a 4 inch pull.  While rep work is great with this movement, don’t be afraid to go heavy for lower reps (3-5 reps).

Cavo Profundus

Taubes vs. Oz

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A couple weeks ago author Gary Taubes went on the Dr. Oz show to debate proper diet.  Before I go any further, you need to read Taubes “Good Calories, Bad Calories”.  It’s a great book (I’m only about 100 pages into it and it’s excellent) on why the whole diet-heart hypothesis is crap and why cholesterol doesn’t really mean jack.

Basically the Oz show tried to make Taubes look like a hack.  I won’t go into a ton of detail because I have a link to the actual show and then Tuabes response on the Livin La Vida Low Carb Man show.  Taubes was also on Oz’s radio show several months prior to the taping of the Dr. Oz TV show and it was a much better interview.

Radio Show Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMUGUZ3EEEo

Radio Show Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sbw_8vRvbg0

TV Show: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/man-who-thinks-everything-dr-oz-says-wrong-pt-1

Taubes Response Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQKH3sqjcDU

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/user/livinlowcarbman#p/u/1/l1StzKkyqNA

Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBHPUhi25CA

Tired & Wired

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Do you drink coffee every morning?

Do you HAVE to have your coffee before you can wake up in the morning?

How many cups of joe or energy drinks do you need just to get through your day?

On top of all THAT, do you have to have some caffeine/1,3 dimethylamylamine/PEA laden preworkout drink in order to train?

Personally, I don’t want how well I do something to be completely dependent on whether I’ve had my NO-Xplode or not. I’ve talked to far to many people who blame crappy results (from their crappy nutrition and training) in the gym on whatever supplement they are taking at the time. Even worse are these geniuses that take 2-3 times the recommended dose on stim heavy supplements because “It just isn’t working like it used to.”

It’s time someone pulled their head out and realized that there is a point of diminished returns with supplements in general, but especially with stimulants. The chronic use of caffeine and other stims can literally make your CNS dependent on them in order to function. When that happens your strength levels will drop off, you’ll be incredibly insulin resistant, and when you aren’t loaded with stims your energy levels will suck in ways you can’t imagine. On top of that it will throw all your adrenal hormones out of wack and mess with your sleep. All this leads to a vicious cycle where your take a ton of stims to get through the day and to train. Then your sleep patterns get jacked up leaving you tired and un-recovered. To combat that you take even more stims and so on. If you are on this path then it’s time to get back on the right track.

For one, you need to drop all the stims immediately. This can leave you in a daze that can make you feel like hell. To combat this you can use a couple grams of ALCAR or L-Tyrosine throughout the day. A dose of 1-2 grams, once or twice a day will help a lot.

The second thing you need to do is back off the heavy or intense training for a week or so. Take your reps a little higher, keep the weights lighter, and give your body time to reset itself.

Third, is SLEEP. Sleep is by far the most underrated aspect of performance and recovery out there today. The basics of getting quality sleep are pretty simple. The room should be pitch black. Sleep for at least 8 hours. No TV or computer time for at least 1 hour or more before bed. Try to eat as far away from when you are laying down to sleep as you can. Sleep is the great equalizer and reset button for the body. We spend anywhere from 12-18 hours per day beating ourselves up and only giving our bodies about 6 hours per night of piss poor quality sleep to recover from it. I don’t care of your goal is strength, weight loss, general health, or whatever. Sleep MUST be optimized to get where you want to go.

If we manage out supplement intake and take them as we should they can be an amazing for our performance. When we rely on them to do everything for us, they’ll turn around and bite us in the ass quickly.

Deadlift Day 3

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Sumo Deadlift-
No Belt
225 x 1
275 x 2
295 x 1
305 x 1
Add Belt
365 x 1
405 x 1
415 x 1
425 x miss
425 x 1

Oly Squat-
135 x 8
185 x 4, 4

Hammer Curl-
55 x 8
65 x 8
75 x 6, 6

Fat Bar Pullup-
BW x 10, 10, 10

Felt pretty damn good tonight. Gonna rest up a bit this weekend, maybe run a couple hills and deload like hell next week lol.

Bench Training Day 3

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Bench Press-
190 x 5
215 x 2
240 x 0

Paused Close Grip Bench Press-
135 x 8, 8, 6

Paused Wide Grip Bench Press-
135 x 5, 5, 5

DB Rows-
120 x 10, 7

Defranco Shoulder Tri-Set-
35 lb plate, 25 lb dumbbells x 2

The wide grip and close grip sets were alternated. Also on the wide grip presses I brought the bar down about a 1/2 inch below my sternum so that it involved a ton of shoulder strength. Everything I picked up tonight just felt heavy as hell. I should have smoked 240 instead of only getting it 2 inches off my chest and the dumbbell rows should have been for a couple sets of 20. No excuses though. I didn’t perform like I should have and that’s that.

Spot Reduction 2.0

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I’ve always believed that spot reduction was a giant scam.  Since weight loss is systemic (meaning that your body will pull from any available energy source, not just a specific area) it’s always been my experience that with fat loss, your arms and legs will lose fat first and your midsection last.  However, I read a couple articles recently about applicable ways to achieve the mythical spot reduction.

Article #1- Spot Reduction Revisited by Tim Ferris

Article #2- Spot Reduction is Real by Lonnie Lowery

If you have the money then the product that Tim recommends could be a viable solution.  If not, then the method that Dr. Lowery is prescribing is definitely worth a shot.  Personally, however, I just don’t like crunches.  There isn’t anything special about the crunches he is using.  It’s just a way to elevate the blood flow to your abs to increase fat burning in that area.  I would actually prefer you used something like the ab wheel, planks, pallof presses, or the turkish get up to name a few.  Anything that stresses your abs and increases blood flow will work just fine.

Now keep in mind, these are NOT magical fixes.  You are not going to have as six pack if your legs and but still jiggle with every single step you take.  You can’t each whatever the hell you feel like, half ass it in the gym, and count on these two strategies to get you lean.  These are only ways to enhance what you are already doing so proceed with an open mind and don’t be afraid to experiment.

Deadlift Training Day 2

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Sumo Deads-
270 x 5
320 x 5
355 x 5

Close Stance Oly Squat-
135 x 2 sets x 10

BB Rollouts-
3 x 10

Had a decent night on Friday. I’m gonna miss my squat training tonight but I’ll get in some heavy swings and hill runs today. It’ll be nice to have a couple more days off to rest my CNS. I really need that deload I have coming up!