Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's a Celebration!!!!!

The month of March has been a good to me for a couple of reasons. It's a constant reminder of the good things in my life. I was born in March so every year I get to think about the positives of the past year and what's the outlook for the future.

My beautiful fiancée was born towards the beginning of March so it starts the month off on a good foot. She has always been there for me and is my #1 supporter. She might be the nicest person in the world but don't take my word ask somebody. Also she is sometimes the final say on some of the pics used on the site so she has a good eye.

My dog's birthday is in March and since she is the closest thing I have to a kid so I can't leave her off the list. Anyone that has a dog will tell you how important they are to your sanity. She is always there ready to go for my 5:45 a.m. walks around town. If you don't have a dog I'm sure Mr. Whiskers is close to the top of your list.

About a year ago I began writing on this website. I have had more people than I ever thought would show up to the site. Here's a couple of guys that have been consistently dropping by and hopefully learning something from my site. Each one has added to the discussion or even brought in something new. I have talked to these guys about training, what works for them and even helped make some equipment for them. If they weren't spread out across the country or busy they would definitely be welcome in my lifting group.


Danny Martel

B Mac


I have learned a lot about writing for the website. Writing a consistent, relevant, informative blog is harder than you think. You can be passionate about something but putting down your thoughts is pretty tough. Another challenging part to writing a blog is to come up with topics that are interesting to the reader. As I continue to write I plan to get better with the posts and reach out to more readers. If any readers have any suggestions drop a comment or message and let me hear what you think.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What To Do On Your Day Off Part 2

Days off away from the gym are a thing of beauty. In Part 1 of What To Do On Your Day Off we talked about 2 easy ways to remain active while your not playing with weight; Walking and Swimming. Keep in mind when putting together this list it had to be inexpensive, fun and easy to do. So lets come up with some more ideas that will keep you busy.

3.Play in an Intramural Sports League.

What have you been training for? Better aerobic condition? More stamina? Jump higher? Be more explosive? Push people around down low in the paint? Hopefully you have had a goal for your training. It can be to look good naked or be able to hang with your guys during a pick-up basketball game. Why not measure yourself against some other guys who are probably the same age as you? What better way to determine if you have been wasting your time in the gym and during your conditioning? Keep in mind with Intramural Sports League there is a risk of injury and the seasons last about 6 weeks. I have played in softball and flag football leagues. During those games I was able to hold my own and make some plays. Another good thing about playing Intramurals is it gives you an opportunity to let out some pent up aggression and stress through competition.

4.Ride a Bike

If it's good enough for Pee Wee, it's good for me. Put aside that Pee Wee's Big Adventure was my favorite growing up. Riding a bike is an excellent way to get moving and get rid of soreness after a heavy lower body session. Let's not forget you are outside and able to go longer distances either on a trail or the street. Also don't ride alone find someone to ride with you in case you wipe out.

5.Do Nothing (Except Eat and Sleep)

Sometimes doing nothing is always a good idea. I know you ADHD cats out there are squirming at the thought of inactivity whatever go pop a Ritalin. Just like my bro Zach Even-Esh says "Rest Days are the SHIZZZZ!" It doesn't get more anabolic than eating or sleeping and now you'll have time for both. Simple enough just make sure your room is cool, dark and all distractions have been turned off or better yet move them out of the room.

Hope you enjoyed the list of 5 good things that you can do when you don't have a barbell or dumbbell in your hand. Choose one of these and plan your off-days like your regular sessions.

Thanks for checking out Part 1 & 2 and if you have a Facebook Account login and post a comment on your favorite Off-Day activities. Let's add to the list!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What To Do On Your Day Off Part 1

Everything is going good and you are kicking a*% in the weight room, conditioning and diet. Lifting has been rising steadily because your training consists of a majority of compound exercises. Conditioning is intense and you notice that your sessions are taking less time or are getting easier to perform. Good thing you don't do just anything but selecting from these options or my personal favorite "30 for 30". In the diet department you have been spot on either with Carb Cycling or balanced diet of meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, protein shakes and occasional carbs. After all of that progress you have come to the end of your training cycle.

Now what do you do?

Hopefully there is a Deload in your program with some light barbell work, sandbags, sleds, bodyweight and some days off. Here are some ideas to get you out of the gym while still participating in active recovery.

1.Go for a walk with your dogs.

Walking is one of the best things to do on your day off because it is a low intensity activity so you give your body a break but your still doing more than sitting on the couch. Another reason it is a good idea to go for a walk is you get outside with fresh air and sunshine and a little extra Vitamin D never hurt anyone. Keep the walks between 30 min to an hour and make sure it isn't on a treadmill.

2.Go for a swim.

Who doesn't like to swim. If you can't, sorry this one isn't for you. Swimming on your day off is a great idea because it uses the entire body if not your sinking like a rock. Another benefit is the the water temperature can be therapeutic. My town has 2 rivers the Comal with has a water temp of about 73 degrees and the Guadalupe which is a bit cooler at 60 degrees. There have been times after hard Squat or Deadlift session that I have gone down to the river and just sat in there practically icing down the whole body. Not nearly as good as an ice bath but pretty close.

Check back for Part 2 and if you have a Facebook Account login and post a comment below on what you do outside of the gym.

Friday, March 11, 2011

March 2011 Deload Sessions


Here is how I wrapped up another Cycle of Wendler's 5/3/1.


  • Pull/Chin-Up Ladder 1,2,3,4,5 x 3 rounds
  • Hex Dead 5 x 5
  • Sled Drags 5 Plates
  • Sandbag Lunge 10 reps
  • Sandbag Squat 10 reps
  • KB Snatch 5 reps/each side
  • KB Swing 10 reps
Last 5 exercises were superset 4 rounds

  • Strap Scarecrows 3 x 15
  • Overhead Press 5 x 5
  • Farmer's Walk
  • KB Rows 10 reps
  • KB Cleans 5 reps
Last 3 exercises were superset 4 rounds

  • Strap Scarecrows 3 x 15
  • Strap Push-Ups 3 x 15
  • Front Squat 5 x 5
  • Sled Drags
  • Barbell Complex 10 Reps each Dead, Row, Clean, Press, Front Squat
Last 6 exercises were superset 3 rounds

As you can see deloading can be pretty fun for a couple of reasons:
  1. Training Sessions are shorter.
  2. You have the change to perform exercises that are different from your normal routine.
  3. Sometimes the Deload can show you movements you should add to your current training.
I also learned a couple of things from the completion of this current training cycle.

I need to shorten training sessions. Doing this will help aid in recovery and free up some time for other things. During training the 1st lift will continue to be either Bench, Squat, Deadlift, Overhead Press and subsequent lifts will be coupled or tripled to cut down on rest and training time. Another option can be a Heavy (1-5 reps), Medium (6-12 reps), Light (12-15+ reps).

HML Lower Body
  • Foam Roll/Warmup
  • Deadlift 5 x 5
  • Front Squat 4 x 10
  • KB Swing 3 x 20
  • Abs 3 x 20
  • Foam Roll/Cool Down

Another tweak to my training will be to cut back on the max reps. At one point during the last Hex Deadlift set I went 390 x 22 and worked up to a single of 550 lbs. and my brother went 380 x 17 and up to 550.

Fun? Hell yeah. (Depending on your definition of Fun). Smart? Probably not. That is a ton of volume and it would have been smarter to cut off after the final set before working up to heavy singles or get rid of the workset and just keep going to heavy single. I won't do this in the future because Squat was later in the week and did not fully recover for that session so numbers were lackluster. Lesson learned.

Last thing I learned is I need to condition more at the end of training. Not so much that I throw up, but enough to know the lungs are working. I walk every morning for 30 minutes and do some conditioning on off days like sled drags, hill sprints, and stadium stairs with a vest. I can also pull some ideas from Some Summer Conditioning Options. There is going to have to be a good balance though because i do not want conditioning adversely affect strength gains. Things are looking good as the weather gets warmer and we gain an extra hour of sunlight.

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