Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I have nothing funny to say today.

I have nothing clever or funny to say so instead make fun of this picture. I think that's 270#.

Yesterday I C&J'd 270# for a PR (and 260# WITHOUT A PRESSOUT.) Glad my jerk is finally making progress again. MORE EXCITINGLY for me, I cleaned 300#. And it wasn't very hard. Seriously I went kind of ape shit when I made that lift. Today was crap, I was just beat. Power snatched 165#, power cleaned 225#. Tried to front squat but it wasn't happening. It's okay, I don't hate myself right now because I'm still excited about my 300# clean.

But then again, Donny Shankle snatches more than I front squat.

It's fine.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Nathan has a "Troll Me" sign on his forehead at all times.

Last night Nathan and I sat down to dinner at Chili's and within 3 seconds our waitress was trolling him. It was real good. She asked if she could get us some drinks, and Nathan said "Could I get a glass of water, please?"

To which she said "Nope."


I finished my food a lot faster than Nathan (since I am the fastest eater in the world and Nathan is the slowest eater in the world,) so our waitress (HER NAME WAS KAYLA) asked if I'd like her to bring my dessert. I said no, I'd wait for Nathan, it should be about a half hour.

15 minutes later, she walked by, looked at Nathan's still thoroughly unfinished plate, LAUGHED, and walked away.

I loved every second of this.

P.S. Nathan didn't finish his dessert, he currently weighs 166#, I'm real fucking pissed about this.

Yesterday morning I snatched 80 and C&J'd 90 for some singles. In the afternoon I snatched 95 and C&J'd 121, for a PR. Only by 1kg, but it's 5kg more than I've C&J'd since early September. I'll take it. I think moving the bar into my fingertips for the jerk was a good idea. I see progress forthcoming.

Today I squatted 405#x2. I wanted the triple, but the second rep was a true grinder, took about 5 seconds from bottom of the hole to top. I'm still happy with it, it's a PR and I've never squatted over 400# for reps before. I also power snatch + snatched from knee 170#x3. I was hoping to do power snatch + power snatch from knee, but I ended up catching the second rep of every set in the hole. I'll take it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sunfish are stupid.

Firstly, this:

So, last night, I was at a table full of sunfish. No really. The Sunfish Face is a face originally implemented by Justin of 70's Big. He and Brent were here visiting, and they went to the aquarium. Justin encountered the giant sunfish, determined that it was retarded (it is,) and proceeded to make this face (Brent shown here):

Done properly, the Sunfish Face is accompanied by leaning slowly and aimlessly in one direction, tucking your arms close to your sides, and flicking your hands like useless little flippers.

I use this face whenever someone says something very stupid, obvious, or completely over my head. Since most things fall into one of these categories, I pretty much look like this all the time. Anyway, two of my good friends are in town for the Holidays, and last night we went to a coffeeshop. I told them about the Sunfish Face. We all began making it at different points during the conversation, but then, something so profoundly stupid happened (I don't remember what it was, but we were surrounded by hippies so it probably had to do with Occupying something) that we all made the Sunfish Face AT THE SAME TIME. Please understand, there were four people at this table, and only one of them (me) is retarded. One has a masters degree, one is about to finish his PhD, and one was a mechanical engineering student at Carnegie Melon, but he dropped out because he got fucking bored.

And there we were.

Just four sunfish drifting along in the sea of the world.

Aimless. Helpless


Flippers flicking pointlessly against the current.

So anyway yesterday was mostly crap for training, I snatched 185#, snatch high pull + hang snatched 195#, clean & jerked 225# for 3 singles, cleaned 245# and tweaked my knee pretty good. I racked 265# but didn't stand up, it didn't hurt much on the squat but the pull hurt and threw me off. I wrapped up my knees and tried to squat but the knee was feeling "funny" so I called it. I iced it and it's a little tender this morning but doesn't seem too bad. I'm change my jerk grip to less of a grip for a while...I tried it last night and it felt weird but I was definitely not inclined to press the bar, which is a huge problem for me. I'm hoping if I train it out of my fingers for a while it'll become natural and I'll actually be able to do a split jerk like a person who looks like they know how to do a split jerk.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I've been scraping ice off my windshield in the morning even though I live on the California coast.

Yeah I know it's only cold by Californian standards but get fucked I'm a Californian kthxbai.

Yesterday my friend, who is a bald headed Canadian fuck, trolled me in the most vicious, personalized way I've ever experienced. I'm both real angry and real impressed. First off, let me tell you that he is 5'7", 163, ripped as fuck, deadlifts 655# or something like that, has a really hot wife who deadlifts like 300# and still cooks dinner for him even though she could probably kick his ass. So this dude is trolling me merely by existing.


He owns a gym, and his gym shares the locker room with a really nice hotel. So he gets to use their hot tub and stuff. So he starts telling me that he met this really hot blonde chick about my age in the hot tub. And I'm like, great thanks bro, good to be reminded that I have no social life.

But he keeps going, because he is a fucking asshole.

He tells me he thinks she's my type. I remind him that she is in Canada.

He says she's a track athlete, seriously dedicated, doesn't really drink or party, etc. I remind him that she is in Canada.

He tells me he is probably going to see her again in the hot tub tomorrow. I REMIND HIM THAT SHE IS IN CANADA.

He tells me that he will tell her I'm not interested. At which point my brain goes "wait, is he actually trying to set me up with this girl?"

I remind him that she is in Canada...


He says.

Oh shit, I thought I told you...she's from the West Coast...Salinas, I think?



For about two fucking seconds. Then I remember that my friend knows where I live, and probably googled towns near it.


I hate Canada.

Anyway, yesterday I power snatched 175# for two singles, but caught the first one in the hole. Power cleaned 225# for a single, and took two attempts at 240# but caught them both in the hole. This is a new problem for me, normally when I power snatch/power clean I don't get under at all. I guess this is what happens when you start to get decent at the lifts, so I won't complain. I also front squatted 360# for a relatively easy 5# PR. I'll take it I guess.

Oh, and my friend the Bald Headed Canadian Fuck (BHCF) is trying to take credit for that PR.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Oh yeah, I have a blog.

I guess I've been lifting weights and stuff.

I snatched 102kg on Friday, for a 7kg PR, it's alright. I took about 20 maximal or near maximal attempts in total that workout, it's fine I don't need my traps to be functional anyway. Also I took $20 of Jon North's money because he bet me I couldn't make 102. Oh yeah, I train at Cal Strength on Fridays now, so that's pretty cool. It's a pleasant reminder that I am a pretty worthless weightlifter.

The next morning I squatted 400#x3, I'd been trying and failing to do a double for the last few weeks. 15# PR triple while cutting weight okay I guess.

Oh yeah, I'm cutting to 85kg. Only about 10kg more to go.

Did my first meet a few weeks ago, I went 80/112 as a very light 105 (95.3) I suck.

Yesterday I snatch + hang snatched 185# for 3 sets, clean & jerk + jerk 215# for 2 sets, and squatted 400#x1. It's good to know I can now snatch 185# like I used to snatch 175#, i.e. it's my "I will make this every day" weight, and it's good to know I can squat 405# even when I feel like shit and have a tension headache.

In other news, I still have the worst split jerk in the world.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Bite your lip, baby
I wanna wonder
What you're thinking
Tell me with your fingertips

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I do too much cardio.

Here are some things I am forced to do on a daily basis which I believe are far too similar to cardio.

1. Coaching. Do you know how much walking you have to do in order to effectively coach a large group of people spread out across 2400 square feet? Seriously folks, that's a lot of calories burned. The alternative, of course, is to just sit in the middle of the room and yell, but that takes a lot of air, so it's really not much better.

2. Getting out of bed quickly. My alarm isn't near my bed (so that I don't repeatedly hit the snooze button,) and in order to shut up it's horrendous noise I have to walk across the room. I hate the noise so much that I get of bed pretty damned fast. Definitely cardio-esque.

3. Cleaning. There is a lot of movement involved in sweeping, vacuuming, washing dishes, etc. I'm pretty sure it's catabolic.

4. Dealing with Nathan. Because it requires a LOT of yelling.

5. Eating quickly. Sometimes I have to shovel down a meal between classes. I'm moving that fork FAST, people, and not for just one rep.

6. Giving a fuck. As hard as I try not to, I find myself, at least once a day, giving a fuck about something. This can lead to elevated heartrate, moving quickly, and a distinct lack of getting hypertrophic. I'm taking lessons on Not Giving A Fuck from Brent to help me deal with this.

Let's talk about something awesome. Specifically, Ben kicking ass at Nationals last weekend. Observe:

Training yesterday was meh. Snatched 15x1 on :90 and managed to make 175 3 times, but missed it 4 times. Tried to squat but I'm thrashed. Gonna throttle back this week and come back strong on Monday.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

...why is there a pug at the bar?

Let me tell you some funny things.

Last night Mariah and I went to a bar with a few friends. Mariah and I are cooler than you, so instead of drinking, we decided to eat ice cream, which we brought ourselves. I had Häagen Dazs chocolate chip cookie dough. Mariah had some Ben & Jerry's. The flavor doesn't really matter since Ben & Jerry's is CLEARLY inferior to Häagen Dazs. Also there was a pug at the bar. Mariah was really freaked out by this. We had the following conversation:

Mariah: Why the FUCK is there a pug at the bar?!
Me: Give me three good reasons there shouldn't be a pug at the bar.
Mariah: ONE it's a dog...TWO this is a people bar...THREE this is a vulgar environment...WHAT THE FUCK IS IT DOING HERE?! I think it's drinking beer. Out of a cup. It has foam on it's little snout.

Later Mariah told me "Before you know it, I'll be T. Colin Campbell with a pug at a bar, and I'll be like...feeding it breadsticks."

Mind you, Mariah was sober.

Also, I have some new aviator sunglasses, and they make Nathan very nervous. Seriously. He has trouble looking at me when I wear them. At one point I looked at him with a serious face and said "Sir" and he FREAKED OUT and goes "please...please don't do that Jacob."

Mind you, Nathan was sober.

Anyway, this was a better training week. Managed to snatch 195 yesterday, and C&J 245 and the jerk didn't hurt my knees. Cleaned 265 pretty easy too. Then squatted 385. My lower back was pretty shot and I was tired from snatch and C&J...think I have 405 fresh. I suppose I'll take it rather than leave it.

P.S. Before you ask, we brought the spoons for the ice cream too, from my house.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Per Aspera Ad Astra

No one tells you about hands.

I suppose it may be mentioned in passing, and it should probably seem obvious that in a sport that requires regularly lifting a roughened steel bar that weighs several hundred pounds, your hands will take a beating. But no one tells an aspiring weightlifter "By the way, there are going to be days when you think your palms are going to rip off like a worn out Band-Aid."

No one talks about how, some days, getting out of bed or into your car will seem like a chore, or about the frustration of missing the same weight, which might be 20kg under your PR, over and over and over again.

You're never going to hear about the days you need to spend 45 minutes warming up just so that your shoulders don't hurt like hell at the bottom of the snatch. You won't hear about being too tired to sleep, or being hungry no matter how much you eat, or how sometimes you don't want to eat at all.

No one will say "the ice doesn't help that much," or "you can only take so much ibuprofen," or "if you want to be good at this, you're going to have to beat yourself into the ground for weeks, months, years on end, and sometimes, when every voice in your body and your brain is telling you 'no, no, no!' you're going to have to listen to the stupid little voice in your stupid stubborn heart saying "YES, GOD DAMMIT, PICK IT UP AGAIN.' "

In short, no one is going to tell you "this is going to fucking hurt."

But you'll find out. I am in the process of doing so. It fucking hurts. In a new and different way than anything I've experienced before.

And it's important in a way nothing I've done before has been. Because I can tell that it's going to work. I can feel myself getting better, even as I seem to get worse. I ache from head to toe, and though some of my lifts aren't at PR level right now, they're still getting better. That's important, because there's a lesson in it.

The days when you want to quit, when your hands feel like they're going to fall off, when your knees and your shoulders ache, when the bar just feels too damn heavy from your first warm-up, when you're out of ibuprofen and the ice isn't cold anymore...those days, when you decide to listen to the stupid little voice in your stupid stubborn heart, and pick the bar up one more time, those days are opportunities to decide your fate. Anyone can do it on an easy day. Only those who do it when it hurts can become champions. And I'm not just talking about weightlifting. Every great runner's road has, at some point, felt too long, every writer's ink seems to have run dry, every singer's voice grown hoarse. And yet the Badwater is run every year, and great works of literature are written, and beautiful songs are sung, and heavy bars are lifted. Of course it's not easy. To hell with easy. Easy never got anyone anything other than mediocrity and maybe comfort. But comfort is complacency and I'm not interested in that. I'll take the pain and the exhaustion and the challenge. I'll get up tomorrow and ache and want anything other than to lift that bar again, and I will lift that bar again, and again, and again, and again, until the weights I lift today are warm-ups, and I've got my own fucking Wikipedia entry.

Nothing can stop me.

Per Aspera Ad Astra

Cleans - 285 for a 20# PR. 245x2x2
DB press - 80# DBs x3x3
Pullups/Chins: 12, 10, 10, 10 alternating grip each set

Snatch - 15x1 on :90, up to 175. Missed one rep with 145 and one with 175. No squats, knees hurt pretty bad after the cleans yesterday.

Monday, July 11, 2011

This post has been written a thousand times...

...but apparently the message isn't getting through, so here we go again.

This morning I dropped Brent off at the airbus station. Obviously I'm going to miss him, because he's hilarious, so I was in the mood to Troll. I went to a coffee shop that I haven't been to in a while, but where the baristas know me. I lucked out: one of my clients had borrowed my copy of "Starting Strength" and, knowing that I go to this place pretty regularly, he left it there for me to pick up as he's leaving the country for a while.

Now, these girls at the coffeeshop are fairly used to my crap, but I was on fire today. As I was leaving, I half jokingly offered to leave "Starting Strength" for them to read. This is pretty standard for me...I regularly try to convince them to come train at my gym. Upon reading the cover of the book, one of the girls said "Basic barbell training? I like looking like a woman, not a man."

Jesus, this again? Really?

Plenty of people who are much smarter than me have written a lot of material on why women should lift weights for health. I'm not going to do that here (but I will remind you that long, slow distance cardio increases the body's efficiency at storing bodyfat.) So instead I'm going to go with this: stick girl is not hot. I am in no way attracted to this:

Sometimes I see a girl who looks like this and I wonder "what are those things sticking out of her acetabulums?" before I realize that those are what she's using in place of legs. How the hell does she get around? Who's going to carry her to safety when the Zombie Apocalypse comes?

Ladies, so we're clear, this is what legs are supposed to look like:

I'm mostly preaching to the choir here. The females who read this blog aren't going to disagree with me, and the males who read this blog aren't reading anymore because they're staring at the above picture (I'm having trouble concentrating on writing now, as a matter of fact.) So if you know someone who needs to hear this, send it to them. Girls should lift. It makes you look better. It makes you more useful. It most certainly does not make you look like a man.

I'll leave you with this thought, ladies: I don't think it's cute or sexy when you need me to carry a fucking case of water from the car because it's just too damn heavy. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to go coach two ladies who understand the utility of being STRONG.
Snatched 15x1 on :90. 5x135 (missed 3rd rep,) 5x145, 5x155
Squat 345x3x5 (high bar, no belt)

Snatch to max - 165

FYI resting 2 hours between heavy sessions IS NOT ENOUGH.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

If I could take a minute to not be an asshole...

The 70's Big Lifting Workshop is legit. We hosted one at CrossFit Monterey yesterday. Justin has one of the best eyes for movement I've seen, and his cuing is concise, effective, and usually funny. He does a great job of altering the seminar on the spot based on the needs and wants of the participants. It's a steal at $150. If there's one in your area, GO.

I want to talk to you guys about a place that's very important to me. It's where I go when I'm happy or when I'm sad, when I want to celebrate or when I need something to get me through the day, when I need support, inspiration, or the fortitude to get through my second heavy session of the day.

I'm talking, of course, about Papa Chevo's taqueria.

No seriously you guys. I've probably eaten there once a day for the last week. I've gone there twice in a day before. You you can a big delicious burrito for five bucks. My go-to is a carne asada burrito with just cheese and guacamole, and a carne asada quesadilla, just meat and cheese. But of course, once in a while, I go jumbo:

Brent just told me he would not mind eating there again today, even though we've been there every day for the last four days. That's some fucking endorsement coming from a guy who pretty much hates everything.

Listen, seriously, go there okay. It'll make your life better. Ask Nathan.
Gonna start incorporating some timed sets into my training. On double days, I'll snatch timed sets in the AM (light) and go for a max in the PM. When I squat will depend on my schedule that day.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

This One's For You

Two knots
Tangled together
Through twilight
And midnight
Coming undone


Nothing of note except that I managed an 245# clean entirely on rage. I was exhausted, everything hurt, and I felt off as shit. So I turned up Electric Frankenstein really loud and decided that I was just going to rip the bar off the floor. That seemed to work.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Guess I should fucking post something.

The last week has been shitty as fuck training. Shitty as fuck. But I can't really complain because in the last few weeks I've got some squatting back (365x3 high bar, unbelted,) pressed 200x3 unbelted, and snatched a 20# PR (205#.)

Last week someone told me I couldn't qualify for Nationals in 2012. Fuck that.

I'm going to stay up late while Justin and Brent play Starcraft 2, and smoke a bunch of cigarettes. I think this will help me lift more tomorrow. It's science.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I have no title for this post.

Things are pretty awesome. Went to the Midtown Classic weightlifting meet on Saturday. Both of my lifters (Nathan and Shareef) did very well...Shareef snatched a PR but missed on a technicality, and all of Nathan's lifts were meet PRs.

I have a new gym. It is coming together. It is basically the shit.

Snatch up to 175 for a few singles

Snatch up to 155 for some singles
Front squat 185x3x2
RDL 135x10x3

Snatch up to 155 for 2 singles
Squat 245x3x5

Front squats and cleans will come back much more slowly than snatches and squats...the sharp knee angle makes front squats pretty painful. All in due time, I suppose. For now my training plan is to snatch a lot, squat a lot, run hills as soon as possible, and do some other stuff like rows, chins, etc when I feel like it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'm back. Kind of.

Hi. This is my friend Ben, being a FUCKING MAN:

I couldn't bring myself to give a shit about blogging while not training. Now I'm back to training...kind of. I snatched a couple of times last week and things were getting better, so I'm doing a little more this week.

Snatched up to 3 singles with 165. This has been the best the knees have felt so far, and I did it without knee sleeves. PR?
Dumbbell Rows (standing, pulled from floor) - 190x10x3 (each side)

Squat 225x3x5. Hurt a little bit during the lift, but between and after were all fine. These were done high bar, again without knee sleeves (I have a new tattoo on my calf and don't want to have the neoprene all up in it's grill.)
RDL 135x10x3

I'm planning on resting tomorrow, snatching and doing some kind of upper body pull again on Thursday, and front squats and RDLs on Friday.

Going to a meet in Sacramento this Saturday. I have two lifters competing, and am looking forward to seeing some friends, Ben included, kick major ass.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Maybe I'll write something later. I feel like I should, but I don't really have anything to write about.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"On" Days

Coaching the (loosely formed but rapidly growing) weightlifting team at CrossFit Monterey is the best and worst thing I do all day.

I am going crazy not training. Coaching and watching the team makes me miss it all that much more. When I'm cheering them on, I literally have this explosive energy running through me...I saw a video of me yelling at Nathan while he was going for a new 3RM squat the other day, and I'm stomping the fucking ground as hard as I can, like it's the only way I can exert some force against a Goddamned barbell. Frustrating doesn't cover it.

But then again, you can have "on" days with coaching just as you can with training, and I think I did today. Bailee hit a PR clean (110#) and Shareef hit a PR snatch (175#.) These didn't have a lot to do with my coaching: Bailee C&J'd 100# the other day and it was clear she had more on the clean, so she came in and crushed it. Shareef is a freak of nature, I don't know what to say about him. I don't know who else just shows up and PRs their snatch by 15#.

Nathan, on the other hand, didn't PR, but in one session we 1) found something we needed to fix, 2) found the cue necessary to fix it (in my experience it usually takes 2-3 sessions after finding the problem to determine a cue that works optimally to correct it,) and 3) developed a new ramp-up protocol that I think is going to get him much more consistent at 90%+ weights. I'm pretty sure the only reason he didn't PR today is because he was tired by the time we got there, but he still hit 5# under his PR snatch, and the rep he did at 10# below was probably the best rep I've ever seen out of him.

Overall, I can't complain.

I still want to lift some fucking weight though.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Blueprint

It was a rough couple of days, but I've been listening to HOV all day, and my Swag is on high.

This is what I'm going to be doing as of June 6, whether my knees are better or not.

Snatch to 1-2 misses, drop to 80% of best and work back up
Clean & jerk heavy single, 10-15 reps of volume with 85-90%
Squat 5x5 high bar

Snatch, whatever I feel like
Press/Push Press, 15ish reps of volume
Barbell Rows, for the Yammage

Clean & Jerk heavy single, volume whatever
Front Squat 3x5
Weighted Chins, for the Yokeage

Snatch to max
C&J to max
Squat 3RM, 2RM, or 1RM high bar

I will do GPP as well: plyos on Monday and Thursday (before training, probably in the AM,) sprint intervals/hills on Tuesday and Saturday (after training whenever possible.)

4 days a week, three movements a day, HEAVY FUCKING DUTY EVERY DAMN TIME.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Slept 3 hours last night. Didn't have time to mobilize today. Too tired to ice or write a poem. Got an adjustment. Shutting down now.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Middleground? Nah.

One of the most important aspects of training is that it is one of the few things in life where absolutes exist.

In most things you do, there will never be a true black-and-white answer. I've never found anything outside of a barbell where there was a straight up yes or no.

Did you make the lift? Yes or no?

Yesterday one of my athletes, a weightlifter who does no conditioning, agreed to do a Prowler workout. He told me I couldn't make him puke. Silly boy. Less than halfway through, he was ready to give up. He looked at me and said "You win, okay? You beat me."

I got in his face and told him it wasn't about beating him. I told him that whether this was his sport or not, quitting was quitting. If he quit on the Prowler, he would quit when it counted – on the barbell.

He finished what he started.

Afterwards he told me he was mad at himself. At first I thought it was because he expected his conditioning to be better (he was a wrestler and football player in high school.) He told me it wasn't that – he was mad because he almost quit.

He almost quit.

Welcome to black-and-white. Welcome to a complete lack of middleground. Welcome to there-is-no-such-thing-as-almost.

He may have almost quit. But he didn't quit. It's a yes or no question.

He didn't puke, either.

Tattoo Girl

Hey there tattoo girl
Innocence and ink
I like the way you sink
Into my skin
Fill me with color
And sound
The blues and belief
Fire and cool relief
From the bite marks
You left on me
But don't worry
Tattoo girl
I like the way
Your needle stings


Had an adjustment from Dr.Aaron Gaily at Gonstead Family Chiropractic in Monterey. I am highly skeptical of chiropractors in general – Doc Gaily is the real deal. Check him out.

Got a "massage" from People-Mechanic Rob Fontecchio. Rob is the best People-Mechanic there is, but he sucks at "technology," and so doesn't have a "website," so I can't "link" him.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How is it only Tuesday?

Fuck. I am tired.

Rolled TFL, quads, glutes for 3 minutes each, gastrocs for 2 minutes each, back + thoracic extensions for 3 minutes, lats for 2 minutes each. Couch stretch PNF 6 sets, hamstring PNF on box 6 sets, glute grind with distraction 2 minutes per side, Pigeon on 30" high box 2 minutes per side. Stretching my pecs and lats doesn't seem to get anywhere...need to figure that out. Am now icing knees.

No poem today. Too much work to do.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Day 1

When your spirit sings
My ears perk up
Straining to catch
Every note
Of your ringing laughter
A song to remind me
To never settle
For less
Than exactly what
I once believed
What I now know


Why train?

For the last 8 years, training – be it CrossFit, lifting, or martial arts – has been the glue that has held my life together. Depressed? Train. Angry? Train. Stuck in a rut? Train. Heartbroken? Train. Hard training is an atmosphere of potential failure, but those failures were always so much less consequential than failures outside of the gym, and so much more controllable, that they seemed like a break. I wasn't too worried about the last girl to hurt my little feelings when I had a heavy bar on my back, or a nasty hill in front of me.

So, now what? Four weeks without glue. A month without controllable failure to distract me from the potential consequences of serious failures, real life failures. Scared? Shitless. But let's not forget what fear is.

I'm not completely sure I believe that everything happens for a reason. But if it does, I think my body has broken down like this to tell me a few things:

1) I'm young enough to recover from this if I start now. START NOW.

2) It's been a few years since I've been competitive. And the fact is, if you're not a little bit competitive, you're probably never going to realize your full potential. It's pretty Goddamned unlikely that I'm ever going to the Olympics, but if I don't try, then I'm just being a pussy. The fire has been relit. No one is safe. I WANNA BEAT 'EM.

If this time off doesn't work...well shit, I don't know. I'm okay with hurting all the time, but only if it's the "I'm training like a mother fucker to be the Goddamned best at something" kind of hurt. Not the "I'm an old man" kind of hurt. So keep your damn fingers crossed, will ya?


Underestimated how much time I'd need to get through everything. I rolled everything but my pecs – I remembered today why I don't do it often...it's because I get nothing out of it. Will have to figure something out here. PNFed hip flexors/quads, hamstrings, and did elevated Pigeon stretch for 2:00 per side. I will ensure that I give myself more time tomorrow.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Oh look, a poem.

There are nights
When my heart howls
And my soul catches fire
Licked by flames
The sun left behind
And nothing can quiet me
Save water offered from palms
Cupped to form half a world
And I, with half a sky
On my shoulders
Take a drink
And wait


Putting out fires.

Alright, it's time to admit it: my body fucking hurts.

Every time I press my left shoulder flares up, and it's gotten to the point where I can't really mobilize it properly because it causes weird pain throughout the lateral shoulder capsule. If I try to squat, Olympic lift, push press, or walk up fucking stairs my knees scream. Sometimes they hurt like hell when I get out of my car. My back aches every morning when I wake up.

I'm twenty-two. Somethings not right.

I've tried a lot of different things in a lot of different combinations. Mobility has been a constant. I've tried icing, resting, doing only certain movement variations, etc...all of them work, to a point, but nothing seems permanent. I think it's time to do something that really, really scares me. Something I haven't done in a long time.

I'm going to rest. Completely. For a month.

Until June 6th 2011, I am not going to train.

I am terrified. I'm scared of losing all my strength. I'm scared of getting fat. I'm scared of not doing the thing which has been the glue holding my life together for the past 8 years. But I'm going to do it. At the time which I would normally train, this is what will be going down.

Myofascial Release

1. Tensor Fasciae Latae, 2-3 minutes per side
2. Quads, 2-3 minutes per side
3. Glute/high hamstrings, 2-3 minutes per side
4. Gastrocs, 2-3 minutes per side
5. Spinal erectors/rhomboids/all that other stuff in there/thoracic extensions, 3 minutes
6. Lats, 2 minutes per side
7. Pecs, 2 minutes per side


1. Hip flexor PNF, 6 sets per side of 5 second contraction/10 second stretch
2. Hamstring PNF, 6 sets per side of 5 second contraction/10 second stretch
3. Glute grind with distraction, 2-3 minutes per side
4. Elevated Pigeon stretch 2-3 minutes per side
5. Overhead lat stretch PNF, 6 sets per side of 5 second contraction/10 second stretch
6. Pitcher stretch PNF, 6 sets per side of 5 second contraction/10 second stretch

Mobility WOD

2 per day, one upper body, one lower body



If this doesn't work, then I don't know what comes next. Sometime in this month I'm going to try and get a PT appointment with Kelly up at San Francisco CrossFit. It's worth my time and money.

Oh, and since I won't be able to use training as an outlet: I'm going to write. A lot. About training, about life. I'll even write poetry.

Yeah, I fucking write poetry. I'm pretty good at it sometimes. Big deal, wanna fight about it?

Look, it's late. Here's a poem I wrote a while back. Goodnight.

I believed in answers
Now even questions elude me
And you have nothing to say
Words slip through my lips
Like water through clenched fists
Tight as I may grip
They're gone
And there is nothing you or I can do to save them
So I bare my bones to the fire
Having long since learned
That the heat may burn me
But it will never return me
To the ashes from whence we came
I am no phoenix
To be reborn in glory
I am it's shadow
To be forgotten in the brightness
Of my own blinding light

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Hoping and Knowing.

You have two choices: you can hope, or you can know. I knew the weight was going up, and I wasn't letting the universe tell me otherwise.Bold

In the wise words of Ben Claridad: Boom.


Obviously I pressed 225x1.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Things worth spending money on.

Some things are worth spending money on. Like these Rehband sleeves. SERIOUSLY, they are, to quote my friend, "amazeballs." I got mine today and trained in them for the first time. It was like training with a tube of magic and awesomeness around my thigh.

Another thing worth spending money on is "The Texas Method E-Book," by my good friend Justin Lascek of 70's Big (a website you should be reading if you're not already.) Justin does a great job of detailing proper variation of volume and intensity for optimal strength programming, and the reader will gain (I think more importantly) the ability to think more clearly and organically about programming. Buy it, for serious.


Snatch - worked up to some singles with 145

Power clean & jerk - worked up to singles with 185

YES: these weights are ludicrously light. But it was as far as I was willing to go with the knee. I experienced some residual pain (I think from the jerk more than the snatch,) but it was fairly minor. I can't complain too much...things might be getting better. Now icing like hell and about to eat a lot of steak and cauliflower.

Lastly: this.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


I have the words "No Guts, No Glory" tattooed on my right forearm. Cheesy, I know. But cliches are only cliche because they're so often true.

I've lived with fear forever. I'm not unique. To a large degree, fear is a deciding factor in most of our lives. And like with most things, I think a lot of things about fear are misunderstood.

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear." –Ambrose Redmoon

For a long time I have talked about facing fears down, but I recently realized something important. It's not about looking fear in the eye and beating it down. What you need to do is take fear by the hand, and embrace it as an indicator of value. Understand this: if you're not scared, it's probably not important. Ask yourself this: if I'm not scared of this, is it worth my time and effort?

If you're not a little bit scared to train, are you training hard enough? If you're not a little bit scared to compete, do you care enough? If you're not a little bit scared of how much you love someone, do you really love them as much as you think?

Are you scared?


Tuesday, May 03, 2011


My friend Ben recently put up a post in which he talked about lifting with Swag. Swag is important in lifting and in life, so I want to talk about it.

First of all, what is Swag? I define Swag as being both very confident and very positive. You've got to be aware and proud of your capabilities, without being a dick about it, and also be supportive and encouraging of those around you, whether they are Olympians or noobs.

Example of Swag:

Bro 1: Sweet lift, Bromosabe.
Bro 2: Thanks Brofessor! You're looking pretty swole yourself today.
Bro 1: Thanks Bro Pecci! It's awesome catchin' a pump with you!

Confident, positive, encouraging. Swagadocious.

Example of NOT Swag:

Bro 1: Sweet lift, Bromosabe.
Bro 2: Yeah, I know. I'm the fucking shit and everyone should know it.

Arrogant does not = confident, and there is no positivity from Bro 1 towards Bro 2. No Swag going on here.

Another example of NOT Swag:

Bro 1: Sweet lift, Bromosabe.
Bro 2: No it wasn't, I suck at lifting and life. I should be executed by firing squad.

In this scenario, Bro 2 is either fishing for compliments or refusing to be confident. And when you're not confident about yourself, no one takes you seriously when you're confident about them. Definitely a Swagless situation.


Bench Press

This was EZPZ. Bench is definitely my weakest lift though. A bit strange since press is probably my strongest lift. I bench with a fairly narrow grip.

Weighted Chins

Think I had an extra rep there, gave up on it mentally.

Weighted Dips

A little harder than expected, I haven't done these in a while.

Overall, caught a sweet pump.

Monday, May 02, 2011


I'm angry and I like it.

Today I failed my last deadlift set, 475x2. I missed the lockout on the second rep by about 2 inches. And I got mad. I was muttering under my breath. I wanted to kick the bar. I wanted to stomp back like a pissed off pitbull and rip that mother fucker off the ground for THREE, right then and there.

I haven't got angry about missing a lift like that in a long time. The fire is coming back. I got through my workout way faster than normal today. I had trouble making myself rest as much as I needed to between sets, to the point where I actually had to use my watch to make sure I took enough time.

I was also smart. A few years ago, when I got angry like this, I would have attempted the set again and again and again until I couldn't even make the single, or I got hurt. Today that didn't even occur to me. I just thought about what I could do next week to make sure I get it (incidentally, I will soon write a post about how to make small changes in programming to lengthen the success of a progression.)

But I'm mad about that miss, and I like it.


475x1, missed 2nd rep at very end of lockout

Barbell Rows (strict)

Overhead Weighted Situps

Between sets of situps, I spent one minute in my Paleo Chair.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


I'm stuck. It's driving me crazy.

Over the last few months, I haven't been training. I've been working out. I've been doing whatever my body can handle. No real goals because I couldn't reasonably set them. I couldn't do some of my favorite things: squat, clean, power snatch, running (the really short, really fast kind.)

In a way it's good, because it's reignited a spark. I was okay with just working out, until it got to the point where I really couldn't do that anymore. Now I want to TRAIN. I want to COMPETE. I want to bring a little fire. I'd like to try my hand at seriously training the Olympic lifts, and competing. But who knows when the knees will be better? I'm trying. Keep your fingers crossed.


Unfortunately, didn't make it to Midtown today. But I have been eating a whole lot, so at least I've got that going for me.

Friday, April 29, 2011

This again?

I am tremendously good at ignoring this blog for upwards of a year at a time.

This time, I have been told to put it to use, by my friend Ben Claridad. Ben is large and menacing, so I figured I should do it.

Right now, I'm in Davis, CA, visiting for the weekend. This is what's going on in my life that is relevant:

1) My knees hurt. They have hurt for quite a while. Months. Squatting is the worst. I've tried taking time off from it, box squatting and mobilizing like crazy...everything works, but only a little. My next plan is to deadlift and do upperbody work and no conditioning, while doing very light box squats and mobilizing a lot. If I'm not good to go by May 15th, it's MRI time, and then it may be surgery time. I sure hope not.

Actually, that's pretty much all that's relevant right now. I can't decide what to do with my training until I know what's going on with my knees. For now, I'm just spinning my wheels. Tomorrow I'm going to go to Midtown Strength & Conditioning in Sacramento, take some Vitamin I, and hit the lifts - snatch and clean & jerk. This is a stupid idea, but I want to. Time off starts Sunday.



I was feeling good and after the third rep of my last set, I decided to keep going. 5 is a rep PR by one. I'll take that, since I did 4x3 first.

Weighted Chins