Just like many of you, it was love at first rep for me. I goofed around with weights once or twice in my early teens, but it wasn’t until I got my first gym membership that I really found something in strength training that no sport had ever done for me. To start, I was about as strong as the group of friends I got my gym membership with, but it was obvious right away that I had a certain unique edge when I hit the weights. My friends were more reserved than I, and when it was my turn to hop on the chest press machine, I attacked the weights as if it were something personal. Just when you thought I was done, I found the will to squeeze out an extra rep or two. It would annoy my teenage counter parts, but I paid them no mind. I enjoyed the thrill of fighting the weights, and after a few weeks it was obvious my hard work was paying off, as I progressed much faster than them. The formula was working, so I had no plans of changing my approach. [Read more…]
We all have those genetically weak body part body parts that leave us stumped and frustrated. In my case, it was my high calf insertions. Now before I go on, this isn’t going to be another tutorial on how you should be pausing at the bottom of your calf raises. [Read more…]
Blood flow restriction training, or BFR training, is an incredible tool, and while a bit more common nowadays it’s still very much misunderstood. A few years ago, I couldn’t use blood flow restriction training in a gym without continuous looks of concern or a crowd of people around me asking questions. These days, most people are a bit more familiar with this training modality, or at some point have seen their resident meathead use BFR. [Read more…]
I am going through a slump right now. I know I should be writing the second installment on blood flow restriction (BFR) training, but instead I am here, getting off track yet again.
Plus, I want the BFR piece to be a good one. I feel this training tool is way too often misunderstood, or not pulled from the arsenal when it is the perfect weapon of choice.
Instead, what I want to talk about is the recent training slump I am currently going through. I have been in such a rut that I even stopped uploading weekly updates to my “Bulking in The Year 3000” series. I am by no means panicking or concerned about the negative emotions surrounding my training though. I see strength training/bodybuilding as my first love, and I have been married to the “old ball and chain” for 19 years now. I imagine most actual real human relationships experience the same ups and downs. Take a couple that has been married for 40 years, I am sure at some point Martha temporarily fell out of love with George. It is no different for me, but I am still no less committed than the day I started.
“Between years 18-21 I couldn’t stand the old fool, and during this time I couldn’t see how I would ever regain the spark we had.” I feel like this is something you might hear Martha say, and right now I relate!
The truth is that in my 19 years of lifting, I have gone through a few phases where I fell out of love with my training. The difference is, back then, I would totally freak out when I felt this way. I still recall being 16 years old and being caught mid-daydream by my disapproving English teacher. My teacher sighed at me, the look in the teacher’s eyes showing they knew nothing could be done about a boy in love. Except my love was the weights. I remember visualizing myself kicking up the 75 lb dumbbells on my top set of incline presses later that day – the idea of that much power was intoxicating. Thus, I was white-knuckling my pen, and the blank look on my face showed I wasn’t paying attention to the lesson. I remember running home after training to get on the all the big message board forums to read everything I could on bodybuilding. I recall waking up excited nearly every morning because at some point, I knew I would get to train. It was like this for the longest time, my great love seemed to grab me and take hold. But eventually the mental droughts happen, and you find yourself in a slump. I’ve had quite a few memorable ones, but there is one that always comes to mind and really puts everything into perspective for me. [Read more…]
It’s been crazy to watch the change from “brick and mortar” shopping, to WiFi and mouse clicks. I purchased stock in Amazon a few years back, and what an excellent decision that was. But this goes beyond buying things online. Our industry, the fitness industry, has gone electronic as well. From the way we dispense information, to all the discount codes flashing across your screen. Oh, and Flex magazine is no longer around? When did that happen?
My current opinion on blood flow restriction training is as follows in the year 2018. I feel that it’s such a valuable tool that all strength athletes should be at least somewhat well versed on how to, and when to apply it. I can’t imagine many ambitious athletes who will not at some point find a reason to pull the BFR card. [Read more…]
There were many warnings along the way that what I was doing was wrong. I was always good about sacrificing what was needed in order to become a better bodybuilder. Hence, I went to a night club maybe once in my early 20’s, and partying in general was an infrequent treat. However, these were all sacrifices that made me happy, and I always found time for my closest friends. But, at this point I was turning down some get-togethers that didn’t involve late night outings. Post-work meet-ups with coworkers, grabbing lunch with friends, and other such occasions I was uncharacteristically avoiding. The show was over, but I avoided things I would otherwise have enjoyed because I really wanted to nail my reverse diet. [Read more…]
“I’m investing in my metabolism” I told myself, and I believed all of it would be worth it in the long run. At this point, I was eating about 3200 calories on average while weighing just 3-4lbs above my contest weight. Looking back, I would now go as far to say that at this point I looked better than I did during any point of my contest prep. I was eating 1,000 more calories than any leg of my diet, but really that was the only thing I had going for me. [Read more…]
I pride myself on being one of the more “stable” and “healthy” fitness personalities out there today. Because of this, it takes some looking away, on my part, to even share this with you guys. My primary incentive to share this is because it might help others currently dealing with a similar situation. At one point in time I was in a confused, unhealthy, and frightened place. Unfortunately, it didn’t have to be that way.
What I am referring to was a long time ago, 2008 to be exact. [Read more…]
First of all, I am glad that the whole idea of taking a diet-break mid-prep, is no longer a novel idea. It’s much easier to propose the idea of tackling a contest prep diet with pit stops along the way. If you have ever prepped, you know how it is. [Read more…]