Monthly Archives: December 2012

A look back and a look forward

This seems like as good a time as any to take a look at what I’ve accomplished this past year and what I’d like to accomplish next year.

My goals for this year were:

  • Squat 405 for reps DONE
  • Deadlift 405 for reps DONE
  • Bench 225 for reps DONE
  • Power Clean 225 for reps NOT DONE
  • Press bodyweight NOT DONE
  • Compete in powerlifting DONE
Here were my PRs:
Here are my goals for 2013:
  • Squat 500 pounds
  • Deadlift 500 pounds for reps
  • Bench 300 pounds
  • Press bodyweight for reps
  • Compete again and PR my total and all lifts

I’ll be sticking with my Texas Method Split Template and continuing to try and add 5 pounds per week. Here’s to a productive new year!

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The key to keeping your back flat = packing the lats?

Mike Tuchscherer commented on one of the Reactive Training Systems blogs and made an interesting suggestion:

Try to pack your lats down more at the start. The key to keeping your back straight isn’t trying to keep your back straight — it’s packing your lats down. It’s a flex of the lats that squeezes the bar in tight against your shins.

As someone who has had trouble keeping their back flat on the deadlift I can say this is an intriguing notion and something I’ll have to play with!


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5 ways to optimize your sleep for training

1. UV/Blue Light Blocking Goggles

Uvex S1933X Skyper Safety Eyewear, Black Frame, SCT-Orange UV Extreme Anti-Fog Lens

These goggles block blue light and UV light which destroys melatonin (the sleep hormone) stores. I put them on about an hour or two before I go to sleep. They don’t seem to help me fall asleep faster but I’ve noticed that my quality of sleep tends to be higher when I wear them. Yes, you’ll look like a tool when you wear them but if you’ve done a good job picking your significant other they’ll still sex you all the same.

2. F.lux

F.lux is a free application for your Mac, Windows, or Linux PC (an iPhone/iPad via jailbreak) which changes the color profile of your computer screen at night to match that of your lighting. It makes your computer screen a lot easier on the eyes and prevents you from being blinded by your screen if you check something late at night. Be prepared to get a lot of questions from others when they see your screen change colors.

3. Blackout Curtains

Solid Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtain 84″L- 1 Set-BLACK

Getting the room in which you sleep as dark as possible will make a big difference in your sleep quality. I’ve been using these blackout curtains for at least 6 months now.

4. Sleep Mask

Revolutionary, Patented SLEEP MASTER Sleep Mask

A sleep mask helps to keep out any extra light from hitting the eyes.

5. ZMA

Optimum Nutrition ZMA, 180 Capsules 180 Capsules

ZMA is touted as a “night-time recovery support”. It contains Zinc, Magnesium, and Vitamin B6. It’s purported to help with sleep but I can’t say I truly notice a difference. It can’t hurt as a lot of people are Magnesium deficient.

Let me know what’s worked for you!

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“Strength comes from support”





5 pounds less than my PR triple. Getting excited to move into new territory. Gym bro gave me props for that set lolz.

Switched to three triples for Deadlift intensity. Overall the reps are higher quality.

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“Strength comes from support” because it certainly doesn’t from those small-ass dumbbells.

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So I’ve definitely bent the only bar with a center knurl. Kind of hard to see in this pic. Actually isn’t a terrible thing as it fits real nice on the shoulders.

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The End of an Experiment



Bench Press


Ever since I switched to a Texas Method Split Template I’ve been running an experiment whereby I attempt to increase both my Bench and Press each week. On Tuesday I do a 3×5 for both Bench and Press Volume and on Thursdays I would do an intensity set for both Bench and Press. This worked well until my Press got into PR territory. I was able to do 180×2 last week. I then pushed my Press volume up to 160x5x3 and my Bench up to 205x3x5. My theory is that overall this was too much volume for my shoulders. It’s possible that if I had kept the Press volume where it’s at I’d be looking at a PR this week. I’m going to end this experiment at this point just because it’s a pain in the ass to have to not only balance Monday’s volume between intensity day but also balance it between another exercise using similar musculature. Maybe I’ll revisit this again at another time.

What I’m going to do next week is to go back to rotating the Press and Bench each week. I’ll start out just Benching next week and then give the Press a slight deload the week after. I’ll probably try to increase my Bench via 5 singles across from here on out but we’ll see how next Thursday goes.

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Speed Deadlifts


Speed deadlifts, on the minute for six minutes. Don’t really need to use a belt/mixed grip but I’m using these as practice for intensity deadlifts. Also testing a new setup to keep my lowback from rounding. Using 55% of a conservative estimated max of 450.



Volume Squats


3×5 is definitely harder than 5×3 (as if there were doubt). This was pretty brutal. Was set to do speed deadlifts afterward but my low back was way too smoked.