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.