Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Everybody fails. It happens. At some point, everyone will fail a class, drop a touchdown pass, get dumped, get fired or fail in some other way.

Failure happens in the weight room, too. You miss reps. You can't lift a weight that felt easy last week. You get busy and end up missing a few weeks of training. But failure is not permanent, and you can always bounce back and move past failure. Here's a few things I do to bounce back after a failure:

1 - Think about why you failed. Don't dwell on the negative or wallow in self-pity, but spend a little time trying to think logically about why you failed and what you can do in the future to succeed.

2 - Stay positive. If you let something get under your skin, it can start a downward spiral. In the weight room, you can get preoccupied with thinking about your missed reps on one exercise instead of focusing on the next one, and then end up missing reps there, too. Keeping a positive mindset prevents one failure from turning into multiple failures!

3 - Immediately take one small step to ensure future success. It doesn't matter how small a step it is -- doing something immediately that will help you overcome this failure changes your mindset and gives you a huge psychological boost. If you get fired, this small step can be anything from getting a nice tie for your upcoming job interviews to signing up for a night class that will help you with skills you need in your career. If you miss reps, it can be anything from doing a few sets of an assistance exercise to finding a coach who can help you with your form.

If all else fails, walk away on your own terms. It may just not be your day. Maybe you slept poorly or are distracted by stress at work and you just can't seem to do anything in the weight room. If nothing is going well, then admit to yourself that it's not your day and deal with it accordingly. Change a heavy day to a light day if you're missing your weights, or just wrap it up and head home to try again tomorrow. Don't ram your metaphorical head into a metaphorical wall (or your real head into a real wall) over and over if it's obviously doing no good.

Remember: failures are going to happen, they're temporary, and they're a great way to learn and improve yourself even more.

Want evidence? Check out my craptastic squat workout below, then watch this blog as I blow past these numbers over the next few months...

Training 2-25-08

F x 285
F x 285
2 x 275
F x 285

3 x 155

Push Press
2 x 175

2 x 360

2 x 5 x 62.5
4 x 62.5

2 x 5 x 102.5
4 x 102.5

Comments: From here on out, to minimize guesswork, I'm going to focus on improving doubles until I stall on a few lifts, then switch to singles, then to triples, etc. No more skipping around. Squats kicked my butt. I actually got a double with 285 two weeks ago and was looking for a triple here, but couldn't even get one. Drat and Blast! There's Crossfit Total meet coming up that I want to participate in, so heavy Presses are in the mix for that. New PR on Deadlift! Missed reps on Chinups & Dips, but don't foresee problems getting them back next time.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

And now, a word from the experts

This post is about 3 days late, and anything I wrote right now would just be a slapped-together mockery of my already questionable standards for content on this blog. So, in the true spirit of the internet, I'll just steal other people's work and post it here, thus claiming credit by proximity. Brilliant!

Here are 3 videos that I officially designate as "good stuff:"

First, Mark Rippetoe explains the bench press. The bench press is kind of a polarizing exercise among the strength training folk: some believe it's the holy grail of upper body strength, while others think it's a complete waste of time. Mark offers a good explanation of the functional utility of the bench press, as well as its limitations.

The next two come from Nash Jocic, a guy I'd never heard of until I found two excellent clips of his on YouTube the other day. In the first, he explains why the "older generation" should lift weights. In the second, he explains why women should lift. I wholeheartedly agree with his points, and the fact that he has an Eastern European accent serves to solidify his credibility.

Training 2-23-08

3 x 3 x 240

3 x 3 x 125
Power Clean
3 x 2 x 150

12, 10, 10

Comments: Light squats felt hard last week, easy this week. Also I realized that I used too light of a weight on Power Clean last week. D'oh! Pullups are progressing nicely -- bump the 1st set up to 13 next time.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Why you should squat

Many people hate the squat. They're scared of it. It hurts. It's hard. They avoid it at all costs, with excuses like, "it hurts my knees," "I don't want to screw up my back" and "I like the leg press better."

But the truth is, you should squat. Are you old? Squat. Overweight? Squat. Young and still growing? Squat. Do you have bad knees? Squat. Unless you have some sort of terrible spinal condition that precludes any and all weight-bearing activities, you should be squatting in some way, shape or form.

The squat is often called the King of Exercises. This is because the squat develops strength throughout the entire body like no other exercise can. Squatting with a barbell on your back not only works your legs, but also your torso and upper body (shoulders, chest, back and arms). The muscles of your legs are the prime movers. The muscles of your torso must contract strongly to support your spine during the movement. The muscles of your upper body are used isometrically to keep the bar in position on your shoulders. This kind of large-scale muscle recruitment isn't achieved with any other exercise, with the possible exception of the deadlift.

Strength training causes your body to release testosterone and human growth hormone (among others), which help in building stronger muscle, bone and connective tissue. Generally speaking, the more muscle you use in an exercise, the more hormones are released by your body. Because the squat works so many muscles, it elicits a very high hormonal response, and thus is extremely useful in building total-body strength. If you don't squat and your bench press is stuck, try adding squats in to your routine!

There is no substitute for squatting. Leg extensions and leg curls don't even work your entire leg. Leg presses look similar to the squat at first glance, but completely remove the torso and upper body involvement, as well as minimizing the use of the hamstrings and glutes. These exercises also eliminate the flexibility and balance needed for and developed by the squat. Balancing a heavy object on your back teaches you to stabilize yourself in a way that can't be replicated on machines.

And, wonder of wonder, squats can actually help people with limited flexibility or joint problems. As briefly mentioned above, it takes a certain amount of flexibility to perform a full squat. People who are inflexible can become more flexible simply by squatting as well as they can, which will stretch out and strengthen your muscles. Flexibility and strength will quickly improve as squat form improves.

Often, people with "bad knees" or a "bad back" simply have weak knees or a weak back. These areas hurt because they don't have the muscle or ligament strength necessary to perform daily tasks (lifting, climbing stairs, etc.). Squats, correctly performed, strengthen both of these areas. Krista at Stumptous has an excellent explanation here.

Of course, the one caveat that goes with any exercise recommendation is that the exercise must be done with proper form. If you've never squatted before, start with an empty barbell and learn the technique before adding weight. There are plenty of online resources detailing proper squat form. Here's a quick rundown:

  • Start with the barbell securely positioned on your shoulders and kept in place by your hands, your back straight and your feet shoulder-width apart with toes pointed slightly out.
  • Sit back like you're descending into a chair behind you. Your back should remain straight and your knees should stay pointing out in the same direction as your toes as you sit back.
  • Descend until the line between your hip and knee is parallel to the floor or lower. This means that the TOP of your thigh should be parallel to the floor.
  • Push evenly through the heels of your feet to stand back up, being sure to raise your hips and your chest at the same rate. Raising your hips first and then your chest can lead to injury.
Squatting is hard, both mentally and physically. But make squats a staple of your routine and you'll reap the rewards.

Training 2-21-08

3 x 5 x 270
2 x 3 x 270
10 x 225

Push Press
4 x 155
2 x 5 x 155
2 x 4 x 155

5 x 115

Power Clean
5 x 3 x 170

3 x 5 x 52.5

3 x 5 x 100

Comments: Missed 4th rep on 4th set of Squats by just losing tension at the bottom. I think form is getting better, though (sitting back into the hole and using rebound in hams & glutes). And don't have Push Press down yet. Added sets on to make up for sucking on Squat & Push Press, which is ok to do occasionally, but don't let it develop into an excuse for missing reps. Power Clean tweaked my left hamstring again, but got through and it should be fine. Pullups were tough, but all legit deadhang to chin over bar. 100 pound Dips!

Monday, February 18, 2008

24 Hour Fitness - an object lession in crappy customer service.

What is it with the modern corporate gym and crappy customer service? A friend of mine recently joined 24 Hour Fitness and has had a less-than-spectacular experience there.

When she joined, my friend purchased a package of 10 personal training sessions. She was assigned a trainer without having the opportunity to talk to the available trainers and get a feel for who she'd like to work with. But the trainer she was assigned to was the head trainer for that club, which must be a good sign, right?

Wrong. The guy canceled one training session only a couple of hours beforehand (24 Hour Fitness' stated policy is that sessions must be canceled 24 hours or more in advance), and just flat didn't show up for 2 other sessions. When he did show up, he sometimes had a "trainee" with him, and the two would carry on off-topic and inappropriate conversations during the session.

The final straw came when my friend tried to schedule an appointment with the trainer. She was busy with work all week, but told the trainer she'd like an appointment for Friday. The trainer responded that he was available now. My friend responded that she wasn't available now, but was available Friday or over the weekend. She never heard back.

So, extremely frustrated, my friend decided to go to another 24 Hour Fitness location. The other location said they would honor her sessions, and set her up with an appointment for her next workout.

But the new trainer at the new location didn't show! So, now completely dissatisfied with 24 Hour Fitness, my friend decided to try to get her money back for her unused training sessions.

Now the real fun begins. My friend called the original location and explained the situation to the manager. The manager said he would look into the situation and call her back. The next day, nothing. Day after, nothing. My friend called back to check in, and the manager wasn't in the office. She left a message for the manager to call her back. Surprise, surprise, she didn't hear back.

Now my friend is really pissed. So, since phone calls obviously aren't working, she decides to send a letter. She calls the gym to ask for the manager's last name (to address the envelope) and the gym's mailing address (again, to address the envelope). But she's told that they can't give out the manager's last name, and when she asks for the mailing address, the person on the phone says "I can't give you that because you asked for something else first." Are you kidding me?!

So that's where the story stands right now. My friend has left yet another message for the manager, and if she doesn't hear soon she'll have to send a letter to 24 Hour Fitness' corporate headquarters, which is kind enough to list a mailing address online.

The whole situation is absolutely ridiculous. She paid for a service, the service was not provided (or if you want to be generous, it was provided in a completely unacceptable way), and now 24 Hour Fitness is basically doing everything possible to prevent her from even finding out what her options are to resolve the situation.

It's amazing to me that these places can be as successful as they are with such poor customer service. (And don't even get me started about the equipment available in your average corporate gym. That's a whole 'nother post.) One of my secret dreams has been to open my own gym (can it still be a secret dream if I write about it on the internet?), and stories like this make me think that it can't be too hard to compete with the huge gyms. All I'd have to do is make sure the front desk employees smile at people and the trainers show up on time, and I'll be light years ahead of the competition!

Has anybody else had a bad experience with a big brand-name gym? Or a great experience? I'd be interested to know if this complete lack of interest in the customer's satisfaction is mainly a local thing or if the malaise has spread across the nation.


1 x 295

Push Press
2 x 175

3 x 350

3 x 5 x 60

3 x 5 x 97.5

Comments: I have a tendency to go a bit straight down on Squats, letting my knees drift forward and decreasing the ability of my hamstrings and glutes to contribute. Fix it! I feel like I'm starting to get Push Press a bit better, specifically the transition from leg drive to shoulder drive. Deadlift was nice after my grip failed me last week. (Grippers are on the way, so that should help!) Accidentally moved up by 5 lbs instead of 2.5 on Chinups, but got all the reps. Dips a bit lopsided -- work on even grip and shoulders straight ahead.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Stop me before I curl again!

Ah, the bicep curl. According to my extremely un-scientific observation, it's probably single most commonly performed weight training exercise in America. The devotees of the curl have come up with dozens and dozens of variations on the basic barbell curl: ez bar curls, dumbbell curls, hammer curls, isolation curls, preacher curls, reverse curls... the list goes on and on.

The curls is so popular because many young men have the "Curls for girls" mentality. They think that building big biceps will make them look strong and attractive, and they think that curls will achieve this goal.

I won't debate the "big biceps" point. If you think that huge biceps and teensy weensy shoulders, chest, legs and back make you look great, then go for it. However, curls are not the best way to build biceps.

Why aren't curls the best bicep builders, you ask? Because they don't stimulate the bicep through its entire range of motion, they don't use heavy loads and they don't use the bicep in a functional way.

Range of Motion

The curl involves holding a weight your hands with your arms extended straight down, and then moving your forearm up until the weight comes to your shoulders. In a curl, the elbow is moved through the entire range of motion and the shoulder moves very little. This movement does not use the bicep to the fullest possible extent, since the bicep is involved in both elbow flexion and shoulder flexion (shoulder flexion is when you move your upper arm upwards and in front of you). For an exercise to work the bicep through its full range of motion, it should involve movement around both the elbow and the shoulder.

Heavy Loads

Most people can't handle much weight on curls. Even if someone does curl a lot of weight, that amount of weight is much less than that person could handle on other exercises that work the biceps. (see the list below!) In strength training, more weight lifted = more muscle built, so if we are to stimulate bicep growth, we need to use exercises with which we can use the biceps to move heavy loads.


The curl is also not a very functional exercise. A functional exercise is an exercise that is very similar to a real-life movement and helps to strengthen and/or improve that movement. Functional movements are the most useful for adding on muscle mass and strength. Deadlifting, for example, is an awful lot like picking up something heavy off of the ground. Outside of the gym, however, you will hardly ever perform a curling motion.

So, what are some bicep exercises that work the bicep through its entire range of motion, use heavy loads and are functional? I'm glad you asked!


Grab a pullup bar or other sturdy overhead support with a supine grip (palms towards you). Pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. Lower yourself until your arms are completely straight. Repeat.

With a chinup, you're using the bicep to flex both the elbow and the shoulder, you're moving your bodyweight (or more, if you add weights!), and your arms are doing exactly what they'd do if you had to climb up or over something.

Bent Over Barbell Row

Keeping your back straight and your knees slightly flexed, bend over at the waist and grab the bar on the floor in front of you. Grab the bar in an overhand grip and pull it straight up towards your Xiphoid Process (that spot right above your abs, at the bottom of the sternum).

Once again, you're moving both the elbow and shoulder joints, you're using a load much heavier than you would curl, and you're performing an action that looks a lot like picking something up off of the ground.

There are a couple of other exercises that are also very helpful in building the biceps, even though they don't involve all 3 aspects mentioned above (full range of motion, heavy loads, functionality):


With a bar at mid-shin level, place your feet slightly narrower than shoulder width apart with the middle of the foot directly under the bar. Keeping your back straight, bend at the knees and hips to grab the bar. Your shoulder blades should be directly over the bar and your back straight. Extend your knees until the bar is above them, and then extend at the hips until you are standing completely upright.

This exercise doesn't involve any movement around the elbows and very little around the shoulders, but it works your biceps isometrically under an extremely heavy load. And exercises don't get any more functional than a good heavy Deadlift.


Hold a bar on your front shoulder and chest, with your chest up and your elbows slightly in front of the bar. Press the bar directly over your head until your arms are fully extended, then return the bar to the starting position.

Yes, the press hits the triceps much harder than the biceps, but remember that the bicep is involved in shoulder flexion, which occurs rapidly in the early part of the press. Again, weights used on the press are much heavier than weights used for curls, and the Press works specifically on the shoulder flexion use of the biceps, which is usually the least-trained aspect of the bicep.

Sure, if you're big into bodybuilding, you'll need to do a few curls for that "pump." But if curls and curl variations are your only bicep exercises, your "guns" will always be more like Noisy Crickets.

For those of you who don't know what the Noisy Cricket is.

Training 2-16-08

3 x 3 x 240

3 x 3 x 125

Power Clean
3 x 2 x 135

12, 9, 9

Comments: A little stiff from sprints yesterday, especially in the left hamstring. Squats felt a bit tough for a light day -- apparently those suckers are hard no matter what. Did 80% of Push Press weight for strict Press, and it felt about right. I'm starting to really like Power Cleans. Aiming for 12, 10, 9 on Pullups next week.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Leave the gym a little crazier than when you arrived.

Most trainees think like Arnold. The bodybuilder/movie star/governor was famous for his exhausting workouts. He'd go to the gym, destroy himself for a couple of hours, then have to call a friend to pick him up because he was too weak to drive home.

That kind of work ethic and willingness to push yourself to the limit of your physical capabilities is admirable. But it's not the best way to train if you're looking to gain strength.

Want supporting evidence from a dead guy? Here's a quote from "Modern Weightlifting," written by British strongman Edward Aston in 1935 (read the full text here):
In training for a weight-lifting match it must be borne in mind that hard work does not necessarily mean success (...) therefore his work requires to be chosen with care, and only those exercises given him which will fit him for his contest, without over-taxing and drawing on his reserve energy.
Translated from the old-school, this means that your exercise selection and volume should be such that you don't run yourself down. Keep the volume low enough that you can fully recover between workouts. Don't clutter your workouts with frivolous exercises -- keep them short enough that you don't run yourself down. (But make sure they're intense enough to actually do some good!)

My personal marker for a workout that hits the sweet spot between too little work and too much work is when I feel more psyched up and crazy leaving the gym than I did going in.

It sounds a little weird, but some of you will know the feeling. When your volume and weight selection are right, when you've selected the right exercises, and when you push yourself as hard as you can on every rep, you leave the gym feeling stronger than when you went in. Of course, we all know that this isn't really the case -- you are always weaker immediately after exercise than before -- but that rush you get after finishing the last heavy rep of a good workout is one of the best feelings in the world.

Training 2-14-08

5 x 5 x 265

Push Press
2 x 5 x 155
3 x 4 x 155

Power Clean
5 x 3 x 165

3 x 5 x 50

3 x 5 x 95

Comments: The music in my gym SUCKS. It consists primarily of dance remixes of early-90's pop music. Squats felt much better today because I brought my iPod and cranked up my own music loud enough to drown out the crap. Push Press was disappointing, but I'm hoping it'll come up quickly as I get the movement down. Power Cleans felt really good. Pullups were a bit tough, but ok. Dips, as always, made me feel like a badass.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lucas Goes to Texas!

After Friday's post, I re-thought my approach to my strength training for the next couple of weeks. Per Andrew's advice, I'm ditching the timed sets idea and using my general conditioning workouts to work on my speed and power.

So what am I doing instead? I'll be using the Texas Method. Each week is basically one day of 5x5, one day of 3x3 with 90% of your 5x5 weight, and one day of heavy singles, doubles or triples.

This should be good for 2 reasons:

1 - The heavy 5x5 three times a week was starting to take a bit of a toll physically. The Texas Method should give me a bit more rest and leave me fresh enough to work hard on conditioning.

2 - Maybe I'm just a pansy, but I feel that stalling is close or has arrived for my 3 main lifts: Squat, Press and Deadlift. Texas Method should help maintain progress, albiet at a slower pace than plain ol' linear progress would.

So that's that. Today (Monday) was the first heavy workout, Thursdays will be 5x5 and Saturdays will be 3x3.

And I promise, this is the last post about my own personal workout choices for a while. On Thursday it's back to our regularly-scheduled program.

Training 2-11-08

3 x 275
2 x 285

Push Press
3 x 165

2 x 345

3 x 5 x 55

3 x 5 x 92.5

Comments: Finding weights for heavy triples. I was surprised how close the weights were to my 5x5 weights. Squats were ok, and I know I'll get stronger at Push Press as I get more practice with it. Leg and back strength weren't the problem on Deadlift; my grip gave out on the 3rd rep. Chinups were a close thing, but Dips felt strong and were a good note to end on.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

A question: timed sets & training for power

I'm in the midst of re-thinking my training program for 2 reasons:

1 - I've been on this program since November, and it's probably about time to mix things up a bit.

2 - I have an outside shot at being a contestant on American Gladiators (!), and if that happens, I want to be as physically prepared as possible.

I've already determined that I'm going to switch to lifting on Monday, Thursday and Saturday with conditioning work on Tuesday and Friday. What I'm thinking about now is keeping Monday and Thursday as high intensity, low volume strength days but switching Saturday to be a lower intensity, higher volume, power-based workout.

I think that timed sets might be appropriate for this power workout. I'd select a weight and amount of time for each exercise, then see how many reps I could get done with the weight in the alloted time. For example, instead of doing 5 sets of 5 reps, I'd do 4 sets of max reps in 30 seconds. I'd make progress by trying to beat my total reps from last time. Since Power = Work/Time, I'd be increasing my power output by keeping the time the same and increasing the number of reps performed from workout to workout.

So my question is this: has anybody out there had experience with timed sets? If you have advice on the best way to use them or other ideas on training for power as opposed to strength, I'd love to hear about it!

Training 2-9-08

I did sets of 10 on Squat and Press today, partially to switch things up and partially because I just wasn't really "feeling it" today.

4 x 10 x 205
4 x 205

4 x 10 x 95
9 x 95

Power Clean
5 x 3 x 160

3 x 5 x 52.5

2 x 5 x 92.5
4 x 92.5

Comments: Lack of sleep, eating like crap and stress have been screwing with my recovery lately. I went in planning to do 5x5 on Squat, but only got 2 of my first work set, so I switched to sets of 10 with less weight. They were tough! Press was supposed to be 5x10 anyway, since I'm now rotating between sets of 10, 5 and 3 as part of the Timed Total Tonnage approach. Power Cleans felt good -- I'm getting the whole jump thing down by concentrating on stomping my feet back down after the jump. Chinups were easy. Dips felt lopsided -- I need to finish the Egoscue Method and get to work fixing my posture.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Train Movements, Not Muscles

The human body is a complex machine. I'd go so far as to say that no one in the world really has a full understanding of how it works. So it's understandable that many people are confused when it comes to the best ways to exercise in order to improve the body.

One problem is that beginning lifters tend to think in terms of muscles instead of movements. They walk into the gym thinking that they need to build stronger triceps or quads or focus on some other specific muscle group. But that's not how your body works.

Your body works as a unit. No single muscle or muscle group works independently of the others, so it makes little sense to train a specific muscle or group independently.

Instead of focusing on muscles, training should focus on movements: pushing, pulling, squatting, etc. Training movements will exercise your body in the way that it works in real-life scenarios: as a complete unit working to exert force on an exterior object. This will lead to better strength gains and will actually prevent or correct many of the strength and physique imbalances that lifters typically try to fix by focusing on a specific muscle.

So what does that mean for your workout? It means forget the exercises that isolate one muscle (bicep curls, tricep pull-downs, etc.) and instead focus on the exercises that use a large number of muscles in a coordinated fashion (Squat, Deadlift, Press, etc.). These large-scaled coordinated exercises are called compound movements.

If you took two people whose muscles were capable of exactly equal amounts of force production, but one trained with isolation exercises while the other trained with compound movements, the person who used compound movements would be able to move more weight around in real-life scenarios.

Think of it this way: if you're trying to lift a couch (my favorite example!), it doesn't matter how strong your hamstrings, glutes, quads, back, shoulders and grip muscles are. What matters is how strong your Deadlift is. Why? Because the Deadlift is a coordinated movement involving all of the muscles that you'd use to pick up a couch. Not only does the Deadlift increase the strength of all the muscles used, but it also trains them to work together. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts!

Training 2-7-08

3 x 5 x 265
2 x 4 x 265

Bench Press
2 x 5 x 235
4 x 235
3 x 235
4 x 235

5 x 335

0 x 100
1 x 100
6 x 50

5 x 100

Comments: My past few workouts have been too slow. Today we were filming for my American Gladiators audition stuff, which slowed it down. But overall I need to work on keeping my focus and blowing through the work with intensity. Lost reps on Squats and Bench, losing reps on Deadlift feels close. Chinups and Dips were mainly to get video for AG.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

American Gladiators, Part Deux

So when we last left our hero (me!), he was going to try out to be a contestant on American Gladiators. Well, here's what happened:

On Saturday I arrived at the tryout location at 8:00 a.m., as instructed. I was the 172nd person in line. I got in the building to try out at 2:30 p.m., did 19 pullups on the pullup test (max pullups in 30 seconds), then did the 30 seconds of up-downs (burpees without the jump), an agility ladder drill and 10 shuttle runs.

While I was still out of breath from all that shuttling, they ushered me into the interview. I sat down across from a casting director who asked me questions about myself and why I wanted to be on the show. Afterwards, I realized that the main point of all those silly shuttle runs was to get me out of breath right before the interview, so they could see how I'd handle answering questions when tired and out of breath.

Anyway, the interview went well and they said they'd call me back. And they did! The very next day, I got a call asking me to go in for a second interview on Tuesday.

So this morning I went to the second interview. I sat in front of a camera and answered questions based on the application I'd filled out earlier. It went pretty well, and now they want me to make a 10 minute video of my life: me at work, me working out, me chilling at home with my psychopathic cat, etc.

So that's the story thus far. I'll be feverishly working to get my home video put together before Friday of this week, so wish me luck!

Training 2-4-08

5 x 5 x 260

4 x 145
4 x 3 x 145

Power Clean
4 x 3 x 160
2 x 160

Bent Over Row
5 x 5 x 175

Comments: Squat form a bit shady sometimes. Press was extremely frustrating. Had 2 attempts at last rep of Power Cleans, but missed both. Bent Over Row was the highlight of the workout!

I'll now be officially switching into "training for American Gladiators" mode, which means lifting Monday, Thursday and Saturday with general conditioning and "skill" work on Tuesday and Friday. I put quotes around "skill" work because it'll mainly be figuring out ways to practice for the silly stuff they do on the show. Should be entertaining!

Friday, February 1, 2008

American Gladiators

Last Tuesday, two of my roommates and I were sitting around watching TV and shooting the breeze. Long story short, they suggested that I should try out to be a contestant on American Gladiators, we did some research, and we found out that there's a tryout nearby on Saturday. That's tomorrow!

So today I cut my workout volume pretty substantially so that I could get in the gym and move heavy stuff around without wearing myself out before tomorrow's big tryout!

From what I understand, there'll be a max rep pullups in 30 seconds test, an agility drill course, and a 40 yard dash. I have trained specifically for none of these events, but the most important aspect of the "casting call" is probably the on-screen interview with the producers.

In any event, I'm excited and I'll let you know how it goes when I get back to computer-land, probably on Sunday. In the meantime, wish me luck!

Training 2-1-08

3 x 3 x 255

3 x 3 x 145

Power Clean
3 x 2 x 155

5 x 50

5 x 90

Comments: I went in thinking that cutting the volume meant this would be a breeze. The first set of Squats convinced me otherwise. Power Cleans felt a lot better than last time. Tried to be as explosive as possible on the Pullups and Dips, as a last-minute bit of preparation for tomorrow.