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Sunday, March 5th, 2017
5:11 am - liftinings
May 1, 2015, my first PL meet:
I weighed 86.7kg and lifted a total of 550kg, for a Wilks coefficient of 358.11

March 4, 2017, my second meet:
I weighed 81.2kg and lifted a total of 580kg, for a Wilks coefficient of 377.64

So, in Freedom Units, I weighed ten pounds less and picked up 67 pounds more; there's some haziness on my part as to what my top deadlift was - i seem to have 581# stuck in my brain, but because that's 264kg, it's not a valid weight; I would have had to either go with 260, 262.5 or 265, any of which would be both a huge meet PR, and the more I think about it, the more I think I went with 265, but need to check the official meet paperwork (which I will need to do in order to file my state record application anyway).

weigh-in: 82.2kg / lift morning: 86kg

squat: 170kg
bench: 115kg
dead: 230kg*

squat: 187.5kg*
bench: 127.5kg*
dead: 250kg*

squat: 190kg*
bench: 130kg (no lift; couldn't get it all the way to lockout)
dead: 265kg*

These were all competition PRs for me (bench press +2.5kg, squat +2.5kg, deadlift +25kg), and that deadlift was a lifetime PR.

* = state record

The day's highlight, after going 8/9 (only missed my top bench attempt, which was 1.5lb over my projected max, at 286.6lb), was, of course, that deadlift (not shown: me nearly fainting after setting the bar down (breathe, you idiot!) and then celebrating after seeing I'd gotten the signal for a good lift.[1] ):

[1] after absolutely slaying my 2nd deadlift attempt, I may or may not have hugged my coach hard enough to feel her back pop (she set across-the-board PRs in all three lifts and her total on the day as well, and went 9/9) This entry was originally posted at http://digitaldiscipline.dreamwidth.org/1060296.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

current mood: satisfied

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Friday, March 3rd, 2017
3:54 pm - weight, weight, don't tell me

cutting weight via salt and water manipulation alone when one is predisposed to glycogen storage and elevated salt/sweating levels anyway is arduous as fuck, so i will be better at it next time.

that said, i managed to drop 15# in 14 hours and made my cut-off with half a pound to spare this morning. now it is time to eat and drink all the things, then fuck shit up on the platform tomorrow. This entry was originally posted at http://digitaldiscipline.dreamwidth.org/1059924.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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Sunday, February 26th, 2017
4:03 am

i was perusing the other competitors in my age group and weight class - one of whom is a very casual FB friend who had to drop out due to injury, unfortunately - so it’s literally going to be just me and one other guy. which is still one more direct competitor than i’m used to, officially - there’s a guy in my gym about the same size i am, but he’s one age group younger, so our rivalry is purely of the mutually encouraging and shit-talking variety (he’s younger, better-looking, and marginally stronger than i am, the handsome rat bastard :-D (also, the guy who got me into powerlifting is also younger and prettier than i am, because he’s a six-five viking with hair down to his ass, but he’s been dick-punched by injuries lately, but we made a gentleman’s wager as to which of us would deadlift 500# first; he beat me by two days, but I put five extra pounds on the bar, so we called it a draw))

that said, i’m still excited about competing, because he’s the current state record holder in the 181# weight class (whereas I set mine in the next one up (198#) in my previous meet), and, looking at those numbers, we’re probably pretty evenly matched.

if things go extraordinarily well for me on the last lift, i have an outside shot at the american record in the deadlift for my age/weight classification. even if that isn’t in the cards next weekend, my next goal is to get down to 165# and set the world record in may, if all goes according to plan; having re-re-visited that, it might be possible to do the 181# WR if my deadlift keeps progressing well.

now, if i could just address my sub-par bench press and squat…. This entry was originally posted at http://digitaldiscipline.dreamwidth.org/1059667.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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Sunday, February 19th, 2017
3:01 pm - 645#

This entry was originally posted at http://digitaldiscipline.dreamwidth.org/1059337.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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Wednesday, February 15th, 2017
6:39 am - Bench

(no fucking idea why it posted that random fucking thing when i put this up initially last night)

This entry was originally posted at http://digitaldiscipline.dreamwidth.org/1058873.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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6:17 am - Walk.


Reconsidering my choice for walk-out music at the upcoming meet (currently: Prong’s “Whose Fist is This Anyway?”) and… I’m stuck.

This is a possibility, but I’m open to suggestions that are not country (bluegrass is good running music, not so much for lifting).

This entry was originally posted at http://digitaldiscipline.dreamwidth.org/1058668.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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Monday, February 13th, 2017
5:25 am - compare and compete
despite shit sleep (<6 hrs every night since tuesday[1]) and hurty shins/calves (due to hockey kicking my ass saturday night), good stuff sunday, i guess.

515#, 2nd rep: https://www.instagram.com/p/BQaq5Phjg2B/ - this is ~90% of my PR, which means it will almost certainly be my opening weight on the platform in three weeks

635# banded pull: https://www.instagram.com/p/BQa1BX9DRgA/ - if i continue to compete at 181, i'll need to pull this without the bands to set the world record. 585# moved so easily that i had to re-count the plates to make sure i hadn't forgotten one.

fifteen pounds of water bloat from sunday-friday was annoying and stupid but not aesthetically hideous; makes for an interesting comparison shot with the userpic, which is ~30 lighter). now i need to figure out how to get the fucking weight off so i can compete at 181, much less 165 (i'm back down five of those pounds as my body stops freaking out, but, still, argh)

(in semi-related annoyance news, it looks like blue sky cancelled the order of the stuff i was expecting to arrive tomorrow, so i need to follow up with them to ask wtf; in the interim, my coach was able to pick it up and i'll be reimbursing her when it comes in)

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Wednesday, February 8th, 2017
6:11 am
https://youtu.be/DZldTRzOhNM - 5# below my lifetime PR, which was pre-shoulder surgery. butt came up on the 2nd, and the unrack was sketchy, but these felt... great? This entry was originally posted at http://digitaldiscipline.dreamwidth.org/1057834.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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6:08 am - stupid needle brainweasels

y helo dere anxiety dreams of unspecified provenance[1]:

  • cats keep escaping the house and occasionally getting hurt
  • phone battery dead and not recharging
  • can't find keys / my car


[1] i went to my neighborhood acupuncture clinic for the first time yesterday, and while the treatment itself was just dandy, the experience itself was just slightly out-of-round, from the chairside manner of the practitioner to being told on my way out that, despite turning my phone's volume all the way down, it had apparently gone off anyway, and i hadn't heard it (since i was apparently sound asleep), but someone else had :-(

This entry was originally posted at http://digitaldiscipline.dreamwidth.org/1057631.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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Saturday, February 4th, 2017
7:37 pm
This is just to say

I did not do
today's workout
as programmed

into which you had put
much thought
and expertise
and experience

forgive me,
i'll do the run tomorrow
it was so hard
and so long

- William Curlbros Williams
This entry was originally posted at http://digitaldiscipline.dreamwidth.org/1057360.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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Friday, February 3rd, 2017
4:35 pm - Pillowfort

For those folks who want to avoid tumblr, but want something similar, the beta kicked off today.

This entry was originally posted at http://digitaldiscipline.dreamwidth.org/1057169.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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Sunday, January 29th, 2017
7:42 pm - six

605# band-assisted deadlift this morning, despite feeling like hammered ass (the band provides, according to a couple of folks at the gym, between 80-100 pounds of assistance off the floor, but essentially none at the top)

This entry was originally posted at http://digitaldiscipline.dreamwidth.org/1056787.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

current mood: sore

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Wednesday, January 25th, 2017
7:17 pm - Note to Donald Trump: Be a Man
Originally posted by rudepundit at Note to Donald Trump: Be a Man


Hey, Donald Trump, President Trump, whatever the fuck you wanna be called,

I don't like you and I'm pretty sure you wouldn't like me, if you knew who I was. See, I want you to fail so spectacularly that you are tempted to resign or take your own life on live TV and video streaming. Anyone who has ever had to deal with a pissy elderly relative knows exactly what you are: a belligerent shithead bullying your way through your episodes of dementia.  You're just rich enough to be taken seriously with your mad ranting. And I don't give a fuck how much you suffer because of your mental decline. It won't be enough.

So I'm probably pretty goddamn low on the list of people who should be giving you advice, but here we are. You're the president and I'm one of your subjects...I mean, citizens, and you've talked about returning power to me, among everyone else. Maybe read this on your phone when you're sitting on the shitter, getting ready to pinch out a tight, angry, painful fiber-deprived loaf, before screaming out something idiotic for one of your ass-wipers to tweet.

Let me put this in the gendered language you love because it's so not politically correct:

Be a man.

'Cause right now, you're acting like a little, needy bitch, like a particularly well-pampered Pekingese that demands more petting and more treats. Be a man. A real man. One who doesn't require to be told endlessly that he's the best, the greatest, the biggest. One who isn't compelled to ask for affirmation from people who couldn't give less of a shit about things like the size of your inauguration crowd. I know it goes against your very being and how you've lived your entire stupid life. But give it a try.

You claim that you weren't making fun of reporter Serge Kovaleski's disability, that you were mocking him for "groveling." But you're the one who's groveling now. You're begging for everyone around you to buy into your lies and you despise it when reality intrudes on your well-wrought fantasy world. No matter how long you've done it, it makes you a pussy, a big, wet pussy just throbbing to get fingered and fucked, like all those that you claim you've grabbed, you walking virus.

A real man would have said, "Yeah, fine, I mocked the guy. I apologize and will try to do better." But someone in your life at some point, whether it was your despicable, racist father or your disgusting, verminous surrogate father, Roy Cohn, told you that men don't ever say they're sorry. Those people are wrong and dead. A real man mocks someone, admits it, and then either offers regret or says, "Come and get me."

After winning the election, all you could do was whine and lie. You didn't win the popular vote because of 3-5 million "illegal immigrants" fraudulently voting, as if anyone would go to the trouble of arranging the biggest fraud in history just to jack up the percentages in California. The media lied, you said, and you had an enormous crowd for your inauguration, even though photographs and anyone there who wasn't blind knew the truth. And you're "angry" about the size of the Women's March.

Jesus, look at how pathetic your bio is on the White House website: "Mr. Trump won the election on November 8 of 2016 in the largest electoral college landslide for a Republican in 28 years. He won over 2,600 counties nationwide, the most since President Reagan in 1984. Additionally, he won over 62 million votes in the popular vote, the highest all-time for a Republican nominee. He also won 306 electoral votes, the most for a Republican since George H.W. Bush in 1988. " Put aside the lie that your lower-third ranked winning percentage of the Electoral College is a mighty victory. Instead, look at that last line. There's been one Republican president since George H.W. Bush. So all you're saying is that you had a bigger electoral margin of victory than George W. Bush. You beat one guy out of dozens who beat you. And you're bragging about it? That's just sad and desperate, like "Look at the rabbits, Lennie" sad and desperate.

Now you're gonna have some great investigation into your delusion that there was fraud in the election (at least in the states that didn't vote for you, right?).  And while, yes, your band of merry assholes can't wait to get them some of those sweet, sweet restrictions on voting rights, you know that you're doing this only because you want to prove some fucking worthless point. If one vote in California turns out to be cast fraudulently, even if it was just an error, you will cackle and dance like you just found gold in the Sierra Madres, you dumb fuck.

The PC pundits will tell you to act like a grown-up. But you and me, we don't play like that. We tell it like it is. So be a man. Get over this popularity shit.

And don't worry. We can still talk about how much of a cunt you are.

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Wednesday, January 4th, 2017
2:19 pm - This is only a tedious test of the cross-posting system

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11:09 am - import/export
So, I'm taking the precaution of importing this mess to "digitaldiscipline" over at dreamwidth. Just in case.


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Sunday, January 1st, 2017
8:05 am

cavalorn knows what he did :-)

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Thursday, December 15th, 2016
6:50 am - i hunted the mammoth?
apparently, yesterday, this happened on the internet, too.


*stifled cackling*

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6:48 am - skwatz
so, the other max-weight tests were yesterday, with satisfying, PR-flavored results.

High-bar back squats managed to work up to 395# (which is 60# more than I had previously done on this move, IIRC), though my all-time best squat is 445# using a safety squat bar (Jenn thinks that much weight with that bar should put me in the vicinity of 500# once I un-fuck my mechanics, even without getting appreciably stronger, which is nice).

And front squats were even more surprising, netting a 50# improvement, to 275# (and a half-rep miss at 295#), though I had never tested my 1RM on this move before (225# x 6).

Here's a shot of Kurgan, who is still stupidly cute.

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Wednesday, December 14th, 2016
6:51 am - Testing one... testing one-one*...

Right at the upper end of the expected range, based on how this training cycle went, and just 15# below my all-time PR, which was done without the "competition pause" at the bottom.

Chasing three wheels (315#), might be in the cards for the March meet if all goes well. I'm nowhere near national or world record performance on this lift; that's about a hundred pounds above where I am this week.

Wednesday evening, my current bugaboo, the back squat, gets the same treatment.

* this week is testing my one-rep max (1RM), hence, not "testing one-two"

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Friday, December 9th, 2016
6:42 am - Targets Acquired
So, depending on which governing body my meet(s) are sanctioned by in 2017, there's a nontrivial bullseye on my radar:

The IPL world fucking record in the 165# Master's division (40-44) deadlift (both as part of the three-lift powerlifting thing[1], and as a standalone thing[2], though I'll need to figure out what the distinction is). I may need to find an IPL-sanctioned meet at which to compete to make one or both of these a reality.

The USPA's American records for full meet[3] and single-lift[4] are slightly higher, because there is a somewhat different weigh-in protocol, but they're also solidly in my sights. These are definitely the federation in which I am competing at the meet in March (though I am less certain if I'm going to do the May meet; I may recalibrate my lifting competition schedule based on how that shakes out).

At the "mock meet" on Sunday, my putative deadlift performance would have looked like this:
- 1st lift, 515# (good)
- 2nd lift, 545# (no lift)
- 3rd lift, 545# (good)
- 4th lift (allowed when going for a record), 565# (good*)

* good enough, per my coaches, for a gym lift, but I would need to hold it at lockout longer than I did to get "good lift" in competition, but their expert consensus is that the meet excitement would have made that a near-certainty.

[1] Currently @ 242.5kg (534#)
[2] Currently vacant, with a 232.5kg (513#) bar to entry
[3,4] Currently @ 250kg (551#)

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Thursday, October 27th, 2016
5:56 am - Dammit, Hardison.

“Right now, you're suffering under an enormous weight. We provide… leverage.”

Most of my kvetching and self-flagellation hasn’t made it to any public/semi-public blog posts (or anywhere outside of IMs and notes to my coach) because I don’t imagine it’s of much general interest, but, you know, it’s my space and I can unload shit that’s on my mind with relative impunity.

tl;dr - my back squat has gone to complete shit in the last couple of weeks because my left leg hurts a lot when I get under a moderately heavy* load.

I believe my response to being unable to lift for more than one rep at a time yesterday a weight I did for over a dozen six or so weeks ago was, “fuck me with a rusty minivan; I just want to scream and puke in frustration.”

The pain hasn’t responded to any of the therapies I’ve applied to it where it hurts (ie: my left thigh/butt): stretching, massage (self-administered and professional), a wide array of painkillers, muscle relaxants, NSAIDs, various liniments, TENS electrical stimulation, heat, and cold.

My clue light may have gone overnight - the line of discomfort is, to a rough approximation, very close to where a nonstop pain line showed up when I partially crushed one of my vertebrae and caused one of my lumbar discs to bulge two and a half years ago. And, hey, dumbfuck, notice how it only hurts if you move a particular way, or put over X pounds on your back at the very bottom of your range of motion? You don’t suppose that maybe, just maybe, you’re putting pressure on that in a way that pinches the nerve and makes it suck?

So, going forward, I will probably be revising my squat mechanics to, you know, stop doing that.

* in my case, this is about 1.5x bodyweight; for some people, that is, as the quote implies, an enormous weight. For others, it’s somewhere early in their warmup. For me, it’s about 65% of my PR, and about 70% of what my current working max ought to be, which is to say, it’s enough weight to pay attention to, but it shouldn’t be hard.

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Sunday, October 23rd, 2016
3:22 pm - enstrongening?
455x9 - https://youtu.be/l133YRFh1Tg (suggesting 1rm @ ~585, woot; a 10th would have crested 600 for a predicted 1RM, which is why I was hoping for it :-) SOON.)

have been dealing with a mystery issue in my left vastus lateralis with some aggrieved sartorius (which i always parse as the "sartorial muscle," meaning it's in charge of my fashion sense) for the last two and a half weeks, and it's manifested in positively shitty squatting and some weirdly acute pain when i move in particular ways. three 90 minute massages on consecutive weekends and what felt like something going 'poink' in a good way towards the end of today's workout has me feeling a bit optimistic, if rather tired after doing a lot of work in some gorgeous fucking weather.

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Friday, October 7th, 2016
6:48 pm
Once upon a workout dreary,
My squad rolled up, weak and weary,
After Jaeger bombs the night before.
Blearily, I recalled a honey,
Booty tight, thighs like money,
Wearing body paint and nothing more.
Beside the iron squat cage, curling,
Knuckles white around the knurling,
Black wings buff despite the feathers,
Bedecked with bling and other treasures,
A crow-like bro just knew the score.
“Skinny pins and triceps poppin’?
You dudes use gear but your gains are droppin’
Droppin’ like your lame Wilks score.
Get your ass beneath the squat bar or in my gym you won’t just snore.
Either bring it hard on leg day, or call yourselves lifters nevermore.”

in reaction to: http://evilsupplyco.tumblr.com/post/151488438014

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Friday, September 23rd, 2016
5:35 pm - Talking Like a Mammal
So, I was interviewed by Alex Bove of the Talk Like a Man Project.

Thus far, nobody has shown up to set their servers on fire, but it's still early.


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Friday, September 16th, 2016
3:44 pm - Throwing a T Party

This is not the kind of thing a lot of guys would want to admit or discuss in semi-public, which is all the more reason I’m doing so.

I was, in late 2011, feeling generally like the floor of a taxicab, I got a physical done, and discovered that I had what is colloquially known as “Low T.” In my case, it wasn’t merely low, it was about 50% of the threshold for the bottom of normal (180ng/dl), or, put another way, closer to “healthy teenage girl” than “healthy adult male.”

Consequently, I was put on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), and, today, I finally got the call from my physician’s office - I can back off on my dosage from 14 per week to 10, because I’ve had supra-normal (>1300ng/dl) readings at two consecutive quarterly checkups.

To what can I credit this?  Several things, all of which are interrelated, but some more directly and emphatically than others.

I eat less shit, and drink less booze. This is annoying and adult-y, but, yeah, feeding the machine and not doing things that directly and indirectly depress T production matter.

I am working on getting better quality sleep. This is for general wellness, but is crucial for hormone production and management - it allows your body to produce the good ones and handle the less-good ones (lookin’ real squarely at you, cortisol).

Both of these contribute to my strength training, which is both dependent upon, and supports, healthy T levels.

And lastly, I’ve been supplementing my prescribed medication with two things - Chaos & Pain’s “Legendary,” and 1stPhorm’s Primal Pack; the former, I’ve been using for a while, which helped bump my T levels from ~500ng/dl to ~800ng/dl, and the latter, which have provided the additional bump that my bloodwork showed today.

I understand and appreciate that a lot of folks view the supplement industry askance, having either been disillusioned or disappointed by it, but I can say with what feels like justified confidence that these products have worked, and worked well, for me.

So, yeah. Guys who talk about their happy bits letting them down in a capacity other than, “baby, i swear, it’s not usually like this” during an amorous encounter (for that, there’s Cialis, which, honestly, if taking it meant I’d suddenly come into possession of two wrought-iron claw-foot bathtubs? fuck yeah, i’d take it; i want one of those fucking bathtubs) is still something that isn’t typically done. I’m here to help dispel the stigma and hopefully spread some knowledge, even though over-35 dudes are pretty thin on the ground here on tumblr. *waves to mckitterick *

I don’t see why it’s anything to be ashamed of; “if you can’t make it yourself, store-bought is fine,” as the saying goes.

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Friday, September 9th, 2016
6:38 am - Kitten Foster Fail/Win

So, I will not be adopting all three of the Weights & Measures kittens out this weekend; Hectare has insinuated herself into the colony to a degree that I don't want to discard. She attempts to nurse from Kirk and drapes herself over Magellan like a neck pillow (which is no small feat, as he is historically the most hostile towards new arrivals of any of my herd). Furlong and Parsec are rambunctious and occasionally snugglesome, but Hecky/Hex/Heckle will actively seek out and submit to extended pettings, whereas the other two are much less overtly affectionate, at least with so many other feline companions (they may, in their new homes, take after Spawn & Nymph's brother, Grub (now "Kona Sligh Rafe"), and become human-centric when they're in their own future-humans' homes without other cat distractions.

This is a typical scene at the foot of the bed. (Clockwise from left: Magellan, Hectare, Kirk, and Spawn)

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Monday, August 15th, 2016
6:27 am - lifting feelz - part 3
So, this happened:

Coach: Rafe- Jenn's expressed an interest in working with you on your programming. I think it is an AWESOME idea, given the proximity to her. Interested?

Me: what's the next level of enthusiastic assent above "hell yes"? :-)

this is absolutely no reflection of any kind of dissatisfaction with the coaching and guidance and feedback I've gotten from Alex (and, though i may not be cognizant of it, whomever else has handled my programming during my tenure with CHP) - i'm going to be a client as long as my body holds up and y'all will have me on the roster, because y'all are fucking awesome. ... this might not make the best marketing copy. *laugh*

Coach: Done and done. :) Jenn! He's all yours, make him a monster.

Jenn asked me for some thoughts on my percieved weaknesses as she takes over my programming later this week/next week (she's got a big competition this weekend, so I am going to livestream it and probably shout at my laptop).

Weaknesses I'm aware of:
- Hamstrings (and glutes (?) (pulling, squatting) : I never feel them engage

- Thoracic tightness/weakness (squatting - forward lean / bench - scapular set & arch / dead - upper back set)

- Shoulders (?)

- My wrists are weak as fuck; they want to bend back on squats (as you've seen)

Weaknesses of which I am unaware:
- probably several :-)

Less technically? I think my bench is shit, my squat is terrible, and I only really feel moderately confident deadlifting, but i've been making my pulls based on lumbar strength rather than legs and technique. (i have a *tremendous* case of impostor syndrome, which is made more acute by getting more familiar with how truly strong folks are. comparing myself to others is a fool's errand, and I'm near my own PR levels and chasing records, but i still need to work on my calibration/validation matrix to recognize my progress and not lose sight of that, while remaining goal-oriented and not getting complacent. working on getting my head right in terms of that, in addition to cues and technique - getting to know you makes me feel almost like a newbie, and i am trying to use this to rekindle that kind of open enthusiasm; i am really optimistic about this, and alex's 'monster' comment was a real encouragement there, even for as small a thing as it was)

cardio has been as noted - 30 minutes after most lifting days (or the following morning if it runs too late); this is a challenge to me because i lift after work. two days of cardio-only at the moment - friday and saturday. i am good with an additional lifting day, since the change in intensity and volume, as it's been a good while since i've done a hypertrophy/powerbuilding split or something similar (I trained under josh bryant for a while before coming to chp).

I play ice hockey on saturday nights, through about the next 14 weeks (i am taking the spring season off to focus on the orlando meet)

Injury history:
- left clavicle broken, 1994
- left shoulder, arthroscopic repair of a torn labrum, re-anchored bicep tendon, removal of bone spurs, 9/14
- left tricep, slight tear/strain, no formal rehab, 2010
- partial L2/L3 disc compression, 2/14
- umbilical hernia, dx'd 2015, repaired 1/16
- left MCL, strained/incomplete tear 5/15 & 6/16

if there is anything else you can think of, email or fb or notes here - whatever is most convenient for you. i'm excited and want to live up to the high expectations i think we both have.

meet history:
- orlando europa, 5/15 (florida records in all three lifts and totals, 198, 40-44, raw)

upcoming meets / goals:
- us (maybe int'l) records, 181 or 165 @ orlando europa, 4/17 (definitely want to take DL @ 250kg+, maybe squat; possibly total; bench is nearly 100# over my current 1rm, so I don't know if that's feasible at this meet; maybe one later in the year? we can calibrate as we gauge my progress. it may never be mine)

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Sunday, August 14th, 2016
1:40 pm - stupid meatsuit tricks
just barfing this out so i can stop fucking dwelling on it and turn my attention to the positives from today's workout.

those of you who recall my profoundly visceral admiration response to Jenn R fainting on the platform during her meet rekindling my drive and desire to emulate that... it happened today. unfortunately, it happened about fifty pounds sooner than i was hoping it would, but i am going to lay the blame for that solidly on getting one of the worst nights' sleep in recent memory.

495# on the bar, struggled to break it off the ground for what felt like three or four very very long seconds, my ass got high, and i refused to give up on the pull. dragged it up my shins. got shaky hauling it past my knees, locked it out hard and fast, and promptly greyed the fuck out, twitching on the floor, unable to let go of the bar as a couple of other people at the gym switched from cheerleader to caretaker mode.

afterward, there were some good points:
- richard, the gym's co-owner: "the good news is, you would have gotten three white lights. the bad news is, you shit on my floor." (he was kidding about that second part, but I did glance down to check)
- fred "dr. squat" hatfield, first man to squat a thousand pounds: "that's a result of the valsalva manouever. don't hold your breath so long. let it out once you break off the floor - not all at once, but as you come up with it."
- jenn: "that was one motherfucker of a straight-legged deadlift, and i don't mean that in a bad way."

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Tuesday, August 9th, 2016
12:15 pm - uncharacteristically, i have just done a thing
despite outward appearances, tend towards inertia, so getting off my ass and engaging with the idea of doing something a little out of my comfort zone (that doesn’t directly involve putting a shitload of weight in my hands) is kind of a big deal.

i’m now officially a 1st Phorm independent sales rep. *nervous woo*

don’t worry, i’m not going to be a spam-caster, because nothing is more annoying than someone who used to be an actual person turning into some kind of ad-spewing asshole; i like their stuff and when i asked if they did athlete sponsorships, they said, “no, but how does recommending the ones you like sound?” to which i said, “as long as i don’t have to be some kind of woo-woo sales bro,” and they replied “ok.”

thus, if anyone is interested in checking out their stuff, the link to do so is 1stphorm.com/rbx - that’s my “i get paid if you buy stuff” custom url.

i’ll be more than happy to talk shop and make recommendations and tell you what my experiences with the ones i’ve tried have been (this is why i’m not good at pushy sales shit; i don’t really get hyped up, but will happily shoot the shit about stuff i enjoy)

so, yeah. i did a thing. now, if you’ll excuse me, even being this close to sales-dude mode has me wanting to go throw up.

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Monday, August 8th, 2016
6:28 am - continuing education, and the ironslinger's creed
TIL yesterday while lifting:

- I've been pronouncing the word "hypertrophy" incorrectly for several years (hy-PIR, not HY-pur, and the "o" in trophy is more clipped)
- the female gaze is alive and well, and not currently aimed in my direction all that much when there are much hotter (and shirtless) dudes doing cleaning work in the vicinity, but, hey, that's part of why i lift (also, large, beautiful, muscular young men have the ability to cause athletic women to spontaneously need to lose their shirts to a degree that invites wry amusement from slightly more mature athletic women)
- even great lifters deal with frustration, and i'm not confident enough in where i currently stand to offer much more than supportive noises and memes (when I related sharing the 'tiny potato' to CS, she, not-incorrectly, chided me for being "star-struck")
- brand-new deadlift bars** have very assertive knurling
- being trusted to spot someone strong is a really big vote of confidence

On the bookface, someone asked about a day in the life of a CHP coach* or athlete as far as nutrition, rest, and training are concerned... to which, of course, I had a wiseass response.

I do not sleep in my bed; he who sleeps in his bed has forgotten the face of his Father. I sleep with my mind.

I do not eat with my mouth; he who eats with his mouth has forgotten the face of his Father. I eat with my soul.

I do not lift with my body; he who lifts with is body has forgotten the face of his Father. I lift with my heart.

- Roland Deschain, Last Gunslinger of of Gilead (paraphrased)

* flatteringly, during my training session with Jenn this morning, Dawn (the co-owner of the gym) asked if I was on the company's coaching staff, which I took as high praise indeed; the previous evening, i had sent the owners a quick letter of inquiry/interest if they were looking for someone to help with the administrative overhead to let the coaches focus more on coaching.

(i also have an appointment today to speak with a rep from a supplement company whose products i find to be excellent on the subject of being on their team as far as an outside rep; rest assured, my sales skills are still as terrible as ever, so i won't be turning into a shill, but i've had good results from their stuff, and am really happy with how it tastes, so recommending it is easy.)

** the difference between a deadlift bar and a regular barbell is threefold: it's a little bit longer, a little bit thinner, and "whippier" or "bendier" to facilitate pulling the slack out of the bar before it leaves the floor (this is due to both the first two factors, as well as metallurgical differences that i am not informed enough to talk intelligently about, but would probably be interesting to someone like _project_mayhem if he ever had free time ;-) )

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Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016
6:30 am - lifting feelz - part 2
[on my training group’s fb page, one of the coaches asked us to recount our most memorable training day. i’m sharing it here because i think it went some interesting places]

Early on with Complete Human Performance, Alex had a lot of things programmed for me that I had never seen or heard of before, despite being a reader and forum lurker on a couple of well-known weightlifting sites for quite a while. You folks brought in so many new accessory lifts to help support my development and rehab (I had shoulder surgery literally two months after joining up for a pre-existing injury, and my programming hardly skipped a beat then, or during subsequent injuries and surgical rehab stints) that it was obvious to me, despite the half-dozen years I'd been lifting and the year I'd been an online client of a very strong and knowledgeable and accomplished coach/lifter, that this was some next-level shit.

I may yet delve through three years (!!!) worth of training logs to find the most onerous, sadistic, demanding, or ecstasy-inducing training sessions - which, until recently, would absolutely have been my plan of attack to answer your question. Right now, that's a trip down memory lane, supplemented by paging through a badly sweat-stained logbook. There have been sets taken to failure in many lifts at many weights. There have been runs where "stopped to barf" is in the recap notes. There are a couple of memorable lunge sessions where the only thing that kept me from weeping openly in public is that I couldn't spare the breath for it, and all my available fluids and electrolytes were being turned to sweat, so my tear ducts had to take a number.

Have there been non-training highlights? Absolutely. Winning my division and setting state records at my first powerlifting meet - which was also my introduction to how warm and friendly my fellow CHP athletes and trainees are - Paul and Derek - is always going to be a cherished memory. Joining the team for our distributed virtual assault on the Kinghthood of Sufferlandria fundraiser - and then still having enough gas in the tank to play in my rec league's ice hockey championship two hours later was an absolute blast. Trying my hand (feet? heart?) at an ultramarathon with Derek and Jonathan was one of the more entertainingly questionable decisions of my life.

All that being said, I have a much more recently-minted memory that stands out as my finest training day with CHP.

A couple of weeks ago, Jenn Rotsinger generously offered to mentor me during her own Sunday morning workout session a few days before she was announced as the newest member of CHP's coaching staff - she was simply helping out a fellow athlete and trainee. The selflessness and willingness to share her knowledge and expertise is absolutely in line with my experience with everyone else I've worked with here, but knowing the context of where this workout was in her training cycle - getting ready to compete in an event where, if all goes well, she'll be topping her own world records, *and still being this generous with her time and attention,* in addition to, frankly, prying the top of my head off to pour in a tremendous amount of invaluable feedback - nothing else I've done in my training comes within miles of touching that.

My numbers that day were, to me, a small disappointment, but that wasn't the point. I've been a better lifter, both objectively and subjectively, since that day. I've been more careful about how I eat, just based on a casual, off-hand remark she made during some talk about our future goals. That workout didn't just change me as a lifter, it has made me a better person.

So, to sum up, before I get any more maudlin on y'all - a huge thank you to everyone at CHP - both the coaching staff and my fellow athletes. Now, if you'll excuse me, I seem to be leaking some emotional electrolytes.

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Thursday, July 28th, 2016
8:35 am - In Defense of Insularity
Periodically, some wag will pen yet another epistle against how people curate their own echo chambers on social media - citing the unfriending or unfollowing of people with different views on the bookface, most commonly, or, for the less social-media savvy, decrying the splintering of cable news into slanted offerings.

The latter criticism, I agree with - news should be presented with as little inflection and as much context as possible, so that viewers and consumers can draw their own conclusions and perform their own analysis, not be spoon-fed some pre-digested opinion like so many baby birds gulping down gizzard emissions. (I say this, not as some kind of pure and unbiased scion of journalistic objectivity, by the way - I enjoy the occasional episode of The Daily Show, used to tune into Keith Olbermann’s “Countdown” for a nightly dose of righteous indignation and schadenfreude, would happily body-check anyone who gives Rachel Maddow a hard time, and who finds the Fox News Channel odious); I am subjected to eight or so hours of mercifully-muted CNN coverage on a monitor at my workplace, and it’s a case study in how not to provide depth and insight. My preferred information source is the ecru wallpaper of American broadcast journalism, NPR.

As to the former, I think that it misses the point - people are not, generally, on social media for the primary purpose of being news consumers, necessarily - many of us use it as an escape, a sanctuary, a half-step away from the nine million stressors and flavors of shit the world throws at us constantly; having boundaries and self-selected safe spaces is a self-defense mechanism, and nobody should be made to feel bad for having them.

People can, and should, have a place where comfortable agreeableness is the rule, rather than the exception.

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Wednesday, July 27th, 2016
6:08 am - the three-skwatz haderach

and here is me less-than-threeing (ie: <3) more than three reps:


super-encouraging note from Jenn: "Based upon the velocity of the bar, you had more in you."
me: "YAY. felt myself getting loose out of the hole and don't yet have the re-set routine down to get my tightness back, but that's very encouraging to hear; thank you!"

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Friday, July 22nd, 2016
10:41 am - the fight and the fridgings (weights and cats)
this may not make a lot of sense at the outset, but i promise it will all coalesce somewhat by the end. the concept/trope of "fridging" - that some unfortunate thing that happens to a female character to catalyze a male character's development as a response to manpain[tm] is very much awake, aware, and alive for me, and sort of comically on display on two fronts.

on the one hand, the deaths of a couple of my most-favored feral cats, whom i had hoped to bring into my household, are part of why i have gone out of my way to be a caretaker for so many. Drake (Magellan's sister) was struck by a car before my renovations in 2012 were complete, and tiny's first litter featured two super-assertively-friendly kittens, who were the unfortunate victims of a well-meaning neighbors to feed them milk because they were vocal and mobile and they succumbed to the improper ingestion of cow's milk before they were weaned.

i don't like seeing needless pain or suffering, especially if it is in my power to help prevent it. so there's that.

On the other hand, one of the things that has rekindled my lifting motivation of late is seeing what it looks like when someone fights for every rep, and trying to apply that to my own practice and training. it's easy to half-ass stuff, or not bring everything to bear on a rep, or whatever - this isn't news to folks who do martial arts, for instance, and it shouldn't be news to me, either - but, as a non-perfectionist, i chafe at the "perfect practice makes perfect" dictat as well; i am much more a zeno's paradox kind of guy, incrementally creeping towards a near-ideal. this is sub-optimal on two fronts - one, you're not going to hit your limits, and, tangentially, you get more out of a rep when you move the bar with speed rather than slowly; F=MA doesn't give a shit.

so, watching Jenn R miss that world record deadlift pull was literally seeing someone try to give 101% of what they have, committing absolutely everything to a lift (her training videos show the same kind of focus and intensity); i honestly am more inspired by the failed attempt at the absolute extreme of her capability, rather than yet another (impressive-as-fuck) successful pull. we've talked briefly about how to develop that and bring it to bear, which is one of many facets of my strength practice that i want to improve in order to achieve the goals i have recently set for myself. i've been putting this into practice this week, after my chance to train with her last weekend - i may not have made every lift this week, but i have sure as shit fought my best fight on every rep (though this still isn't happening every rep of every set, i've ground out some number-of-rep PRs by stomping into this relatively new psychological territory as I remind myself what it looks like when one of the best refuses to give up, and trying to emulate that in my own performance)

so, yeah, i am kind of embracing the trope that is so tiresome and problematic in our imagined fiction, because, for better or worse, "grizzled white cishet dude" is the current protagonist in my personal narrative.

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Monday, July 18th, 2016
10:55 am - lifting feelz
maybe other people get this kind of unmooring, furniture-moving emotional/intellectual shit from doing other types of activities; i'm not accustomed to having an emotional hangover from an arduous workout. so i went on a babblestream via chat with the coach.

me: i'm still going over a lot of what we covered in my head and mulling over a lot of things. i assume this level of introspection was kicked off by how comprehensively i need to revisit my fundamentals - not bad, but a very necessary reality check. :-) (so, you continue to kick my ass even while not actively kicking my ass)

her: Sore today?

me: not nearly as much as i was expecting. most of the discomfort is psychological. i'm going to be doing some light mobility work and those 5x5 hamstring breathing exercises during my breaks at the office. i was beaten flat all yesterday evening, though *laugh*

her: Good. We didn't do a lot of volume, so soreness shouldn't be bad. CNS had a wee bit of a shock, so I wouldn't expect you'd feel perky. You might feel fatigue, but not necessarily sore.

me: i think the combination of just working so long in the heat, and trying to focus a lot more than i am accustomed to took a toll. it's the thinky bits (which is what i assume other folks get out of doing endurance events or yoga/meditation) that are unexpectedly taking a lot of my attention. i knew, intellectually, that i would be excited to learn stuff from a technical standpoint, but it's the second-level motivations and goal evaluations that i'm trying to get a handle on. you're a hell of a role model. :-) (i have no idea if the other chp clients/trainees wander this far into the weeds *laughs*)

her: Thanks. ☺️ glad I could help

me: profoundly. and i hope to continue to benefit from your guidance, both directly and indirectly

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