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Posts posted by VeganEssentials

  1. Didn't get to train as planned so far, but am trying to make up for it tomorrow on Tuesday at all costs with a mega chest/legs/upper back session if I can squeeze it all in. Had to work until the sun came up last night, will probably be the same tonight, so all I can do is get enough done so that I can take off Tuesday night to hit the gym before leaving for Baltimore on Wed. morning. Fingers crossed I won't get screwed out of my planned training time tomorrow night!

  2. [...] all reps touching collarbone, none of that "lower only to the ears" garbage that lets people lift more than they are truly capable of




    Yeah, I've never really understood the notion of people shorting some of the most critical 6-8" of ROM in the movement. Most likely because it's a LOT harder to get a bar moving from touching your collarbone than it is from 1/3 of the way up when people are also getting more rebound from the stretch reflex on each rep as well


    I find that most people tend to be REALLY weak from the racked collar position even if they are halfway decent pressers, so it would do most folks a lot of good to spend some time working their weak points instead of stroking their egos by handling more weight or knocking out more reps with a shortened ROM. After all, you don't hear anyone prescribing that you cut your bench press reps a half foot before they touch your chest, why would shoulders be any different!

  3. I actually gained roughly 60 lbs. after going vegan, but that was over a 3-4 year stretch


    Didn't have any "detox" effect despite going from someone who ate meat at EVERY meal and pretty well zero vegetables before going vegan. Just kept the same weight for a little bit, then when I started training for powerlifting I gained a lot of weight, and another 30 lbs. when I got into strongman for a bit. If you eat enough, you won't lose any mass!

  4. Well weighing 360 pounds, like he did before all this, is not healthy, no matter how muscular you are. I had read an article somewhere about his diet being mostly carnivorous when he was that size and then his transition to vegetarianism consisted of lots of eggs, dairy, nuts, and vegetables. Its pretty difficult to stay away from heart disease when you were thay big for that long. Cancer is a little different as it's mostly genetic while onna vegan diet. A whole foods plant based vegan diet can help turn off cancer growth, to an extent in some people, but some are predisposed to it through other factors such as line of work, daily habits such as smoking, and even where you live. There is an article by Dr.

    Campbell about a study he did with smokers on vegan diets having nearly normal percentages of development of cancer with people on normal american diets who are non-smokers. Obviously the rates grow exponentially if you smoke and eat a SAD.


    I'm not saying it isn't possible that his diet had been an issue, but I tend to not want to like to say "He'd definitely have lived longer if he'd been vegan" because it's always an X factor, perhaps it could have helped, perhaps it was destined due to pre-existing conditions that one day, his heart wouldn't be able to keep going and that would be the end. But yes, being as large as he was, his system did have to work considerably harder than that of most people, and it's fairly obvious based on anyone who has seen MCD over the years, he was not "clean", and steriod use can have negative impact on the heart and may have been a contributing factor. Especially if he used consistently over the past few decades, since he's been a really, really big guy since I first saw him with a bit part in Player's Club back in the mid 90s.


    I'm just always reluctant to promote veganism (any type, raw or otherwise) as a guarantee of avoiding medical issues or being able to offer a 100% cure to anything since there are no guarantees, and I'm hesitant to claim that MCD could have been "saved" by it considering that other obvious issues may well have been the main contributing factors that may have taken his life regardless if he had been 100% vegan for a while. Of course, there's always a chance, but I prefer not to speculate too much on the death of another person as we simply can't know the whole story.


    Regardless, RIP big man - he will be missed

  5. No leg or chest work last week, missed a day, but will get back on that ASAP. Tonight was shoulders and lower back work instead -


    Standing strict overhead axle press -

    1x10 @ empty 55 lb. axle

    1x5 @ 145 lbs.

    1x3 @ 195

    1x3 @ 215

    1x2 @ 220

    1x1 @ 225

    1x1 @ 230

    1x1 @ 235

    1x1 @ 240

    Gave 245 a scare, but didn't lock it out fully. Dropped weight down -

    3x6 @ 195 lbs. to wrap it up


    Deadlifts -

    1x5 @ 135 lbs.

    1x5 @ 225

    1x3 @ 315

    5x5 @ 360, all reps fast and easy, felt like every set could have been an easy 8-10, but that's not the goal right now, gotta stay focused and keep myself in check.


    Seated strict barbell overhead press -

    2x12 @ 135 lbs., medium grip, all reps touching collarbone, none of that "lower only to the ears" garbage that lets people lift more than they are truly capable of I found that I can squeak out about 3-4 more reps when I cut them short, so no point in making life easier, time to get stronger.


    Good mornings with black thick bands on bar, no plates, tension around 50 lbs. at bottom, about 150 lbs. at finish -

    2x15 done fast for speed


    Reverse hyperextensions -

    2x25 @ 70 lbs., all reps squeezed with glutes and hams, no cheat


    Good quick session tonight, spending the day at the Bay View Bash strongman contest tomorrow to spectate and give a hand if they need any help, should be fun. Squats and benching on Sunday, one more session Tuesday, then it's off to Baltimore for the Natural Products Expo, so I'll be missing training from Wednesday through Saturday, but will be back on track the following Sunday!

  6. Well he was vegetarian and still ate huge amounts of dairy and eggs which consist of massive amounts of fat and cholesterol. I am sure this is what led to his heart attack. If he went vegan he would still be alive. I am certain of that.


    Unfortunately, that could never be proven - just as we have had vegans who gotten and/or died of various cancers and other ailments over the years, the diet simply does not provide any guarantee of being disease-proof for anyone.


    It's easy to speculate that his diet may have been his undoing, but then again, he might have only eaten a few eggs each week and little dairy, perhaps less than the average American, we just don't know, and without proof, it's not really fair to say that it was a guranteed factor in his demise. Lots of people out there who simply will have the bad luck of the draw, and for them, no diet can save them from the day that something will be their undoing, particularly if it's a lifelong congenital defect that went undetected until it was too late.

  7. Agreed on a lot of what Justin said. Definition is a combination of size and low bodyfat - typically, you won't see much for definition as a man unless you get bodyfat under 15%, and that's when things just START to come out, like the obvious "horseshoe" shape of the triceps, an outline of the general "ab" area, etc. Seeing real cuts, the start of veins, and all the stuff of a stage-ready bodybuilder won't come in until you're sub-10% bodyfat, so it may be a while before you really see much of that. And, for some of us, going from the mid-teens percentage to that magical 10% is where it gets tough, and becomes a slow process. You have to remember, once you get bodyfat low, your body will fight you more and more to hold on to what it has left, so prepare for more battle as your bf % drops and you start to see more definition. But, once you start to see it coming in, you'll likely be more motivated to keep on with it, it does get motivating.


    You note a lot of exercises, but to ask, are you doing ALL that in one workout? If you've been doing something like that for a while and haven't changed up much in months, then it may be time to find a more structured plan to work with for a bit. But, if it's a bad time to change up, you can keep doing what you're doing SO LONG AS you keep seeing slow-but-steady progress. If things have come to a halt, it's definitely time to change, as I've yet to hear of anyone's program no longer working, then one day magically kick-starting up again to success.


    Also to consider, the more you cram into one workout at a time, the more the things done after the first 45-60 minutes will see less in the way of results as you tire out. So, say you didn't get to the squats until you were halfway through and had already hit 3 body parts, you'd definitely have less going for you on legs by that time and wouldn't maximize your potential for workouts. Perhaps consider changing to something like a 3-day split each week where you can have a little more recovery time for your muscle groups if nothing else, something like


    Workout 1 - Legs, chest, triceps

    Squats, glute/ham raises (if you have access to a GHR at your gym) or leg curls, incline bench press, close grip bench press, and one assistance triceps movement if you want (though, the close grip with hands about 14-18" apart may just do enough for that)


    Workout 2 - Upper back, biceps, abs

    Barbell or dumbbell rows, pull-ups or pulldowns, rear delt flyes or cable face pulls, dumbbell hammer curls, whatever ab work you enjoy


    Workout 3 - Lower back, upper back assistance, shoulders

    Deadlifts, shrugs (barbell or dumbbell), barbell or dumbbell overhead presses (preferably done standing), then either a lower back assistance movement like hyperextensions (a reverse hyperextension is better, but unless you are at a powerlifting gym, you probably won't have access to one), or, one other shoulder movement like DB side raises if you want.


    Things don't have to be too complex - even just keeping a rep scheme of 10-12 on everything for now is fine if you're not strength-focused primarily, as the strength will come more with more attention to working some groups at a time instead of all at once. 2-4 warm-up sets before major lifts, 3-5 working sets on major compound lifts, 2-3 sets on minor lifts and ab work, and you can do something like this to devote more time to building each area without worrying about shorting your recovery too much with 3 full-body workouts in a 5 day stretch. Stick to the effective stuff first, don't worry much about isolation work for now, just get used to keeping on progressing and hammering out better focus on individual body parts while keeping the fat loss goal in mind. Like Justin said, the strength will come so long as you're still making progress, it's when you see your strength fading that you need to reconsider the approach as undereating and overtraining will be the two things that will cause you to backslide if left unchecked.


    Best of success with whatever you do, but just remember that nothing keeps working forever, every so often you need to experiment and change things up to ensure you keep moving forward!

  8. Upper back night tonight, too worn out for legs, will do those with chest on Wednesday.


    Swiss bar bent over rows -

    1x5 @ 135 lbs.

    1x5 @ 185

    4x10 @ 235 lbs. (2 sets slightly wider than torso, 2 sets slightly narrower than torso width)


    Pull-ups (234 lbs. clothed and with shoes tonight) -

    2x12 wide grip just beyond shoulder width

    1x12 medium grip


    T-bar rows with V handle and barbell wedged into corner -

    2x15 @ 200 lbs.


    Inverted rows with Swiss bar handle in power rack -

    2x25 @ bodyweight


    Wrapped up with 3x40 for dip shrugs, decided that it was time for my once-every-6-weeks day of some biceps work, threw in 2x15 EZ bar preacher curls @ 75 lbs. for good measure as I was shutting the facility down for the night.


    Feeling great lately, still stripping off the fat slowly (the first 3 months were great, past month has been only a pound or two, but still progress since I'm also still getting stronger), still working my way down to about 225 (I range from 228.5 to 231 any given morning) before I shift gears and start rebuilding the size again, this time eating CLEANLY and not using it as an excuse to get fat again.


    Not going to set any massive goals for myself for the coming months - holidays are creeping up fast, come late October I will no longer have much of a personal life (as usual) and will be pretty much living at work for 3 months straight, so it'll be all I can do this winter to keep things consistent, keep training at least 2-3 times per week, and not let my diet turn back to crap. I believe I may have finally built the discipline this time around to make it through the October-February "live to work" routine, but of course, we'll see how it goes in due time. Now, to get my squat and deadlift each well into the 400s again before that time rolls around in about 6-7 weeks!

  9. Some people are just sensitive to certain carbohydrate sources, myself included. I now only have fruit either immediately before or after training, as I typically keep carbohydrate content fairly low except on training days, and except near times I'll be lifting. I can't eat much for carbohydrate sources except when needed, otherwise, I'm bloated, sluggish, and feel less than good most days. Everyone is different, so it's always a personal issue to see how you fare, not everyone is going to respond to the same foods or macronutrient ratios the same way. There are people here who seem to thrive on fruit, some who can pound down plate after plate of pasta, etc., but some who are like myself who have to be VERY careful about carb sources and intake if we're out to try and reduce bodyfat.


    So far, I've managed a slow-and-steady drop of about 15 lbs. of pure fat in the course of 4 months without any cardio (save for about 4 nice walks I've taken in the past month), gotten considerably stronger, and without any real restriction on calories, doing only weight training and eating plenty to never be hungry with 3 good-sized meals and 2-3 snacks over the course of the day. It took a lot of experimentation to find what has been working for me, but if you try all logical approaches at some point, you'll know just what's going to work.


    If you're feeling headachey or cranky from lower carb intake, I'd suggest checking to see if you can locate any vegan glucose tablets at your local pharmacy. Some brands are vegan (though, most will have artificial colorings in them, they aren't totally natural), usually 1-2 tablets can help bring you back to life again without being carb-heavy to slow the fat loss effect of a lower carbohydrate diet. When I've done really low carb plans in the past (100g or less per day), I've relied on glucose tablets to get me through my workouts, usually taking 2 before training and sometimes 2 afterward along with a post-workout shake. That, or I'd make sure to eat a pear or banana before training if I was going to have a fruit-based carb source, that worked well for me, too, and helped keep me fueled and from crashing too quickly. Oatmeal worked well, too, for pre-workout energy without being too high in carbohydrates. It doesn't take a LOT of carbohydrates to stave off the bad feelings that come with reducing carbohydrates too far, and the first few days tend to be the toughest, but once you adapt, you may just feel better for it. I know now that I can't consume 50% or more of my calories from carbohydrates and feel remotely energetic or motivated (meals high in carbs just make me want to go to sleep many times), so I've learned to keep them at around 30-40% max for my intake and that seems to do fairly well on days that I'm training. I usually cut carbs considerably on my "off" days when I'm not at the gym, sometimes as low as 20-25% occasionally, it all depends on the day.


    Lower carb dieting isn't for everyone, but some of us do respond better to it when our bodies have decided that carbohydrates aren't always our friend!

  10. Lower back and overhead work last night -


    Deadlifts -

    1x5 @ 135 lbs.

    1x5 @ 225

    1x3 @ 275

    1x3 @ 315

    5x5 @ 350, all easy and fast, two more weeks until testing @ 370, then it's time to get working over 400 again!


    Standing strict overhead axle press -

    1x5 @ empty axle (55 lb.)

    1x5 @ 145 lbs.

    1x3 @ 195

    1x1 @ 205

    1x1 @ 215

    1x1 @ 225

    1x1 @ 235

    5x5 @ 200


    Pull-throughs, using orange band tied around support pillar w/ rope attached -



    Seated barbell shoulder press -

    2x8 @ 145 lbs.


    Reverse hyperextensions -

    3x20 @ 70 lbs.


    Threw in some trapezius stuff at the end for good measure, middle back is starting to get stronger but need to make sure upper back doesn't slack as well -


    Safety squat bar Hise shrugs -

    3x20 @ 325 lbs.


    DB shrugs lying face down on 45 degree angle bench -

    3x30 @ 85 lb. DBs


    Band pull-aparts -



    Called it a day, doing upper back and possibly legs on Monday!

  11. One more for "$25/month to have a gym membership and take care of yourself is cheap!"


    Seriously, though, if you think about where EVERY dime of your money goes over the course of a month, most people can easily find $25 that they throw out on a quick lunch here and there, a coffee or Clif bar on their way to work every day, "essential" video games that they stay glued to all night, a hobby they sink tons of money into but don't ponder how much it eats up for finances, etc.


    If you want what you say you want, $25/month to have a place that can help you reach your goals is actually pretty darned reasonable. You wouldn't say "I'd love to get my Masters in Organic Chemistry, but I feel bad about giving the university money every semester!" and just read what's available at the library instead in hopes you'd get the same results. Rather than looking at the gym as an expense to dread, consider it an investment in yourself for the future, particularly if that $25 is otherwise being spent on something that may be entertaining but is NOT helping you get closer to the end goal. Overall, $25/month is a small investment to make when it comes to fitness and being in better health!

  12. It's tough to switch the mixed grip hand positions from one way to another, it just makes me feel off balance and doesn't do much to keep my form solid.


    Hook grip is great, but it takes time to get your thumbs used to the pain level that comes with heavy weight. I hook gripped a 1-arm deadlift with 375 once, and I was sure my thumb was about ready to explode midway through the pull. It works, but expect to take about 5-10 sessions of deadlifting with it before you'll adapt to it, though athletic tape around the upper thumb joint can help a little. Also, with hook gripping, DON'T just let the weight of the bar fall on the thumb pad as you pull - part of alleviating the pain factor is to wrap your thumb around the bar first, then tuck it in deeper at an angle instead of straight, so that you can feel the bulk of the pressure in the middle of the thumb joint where it will cause the least discomfort. Again, takes some practice and getting used to (and yes, you'll often shred the skin at the base of the thumb pad, that's just how it goes), it's just a matter of time.


    Though, overall, if you're only deadlifting once per week and aren't using a mixed grip for anything else like shrugs and such, most people aren't going to have imbalance issues over the course of a few years of deadlifting. Lots of people have pulled mixed grip for decades and stay balanced, most of that comes from keeping ALL upper body in proper check, making sure not to neglect chest, shoulders, traps, lats, rear delts, rhomboids, etc. with all the other good stuff like heavy benching and rowing, overhead pressing, etc. More often is a general muscular imbalance that will cause problems vs. just using the mixed grip for deadlifts, so as long as you're maintaining everything else properly and don't feel like things are "off" on any of your lifts, you should be good to go.


    Chalk WILL make a difference, not always a huge amount (it doesn't magically add anything to grip strength), but ANY perspiration or oils on the hands will reduce the effectiveness of your grip and will reduce how well you can hold on. Chalk simply takes out the X factor of anything that could reduce how well you can hold on, so if your gym allows it, it's a good thing to keep handy.


    Otherwise, you can just work to incorporate extra grip work into your routine a few times per week. I always suggest it at the end of the workout, a few sets of static holds in the rack (basically, set the pins for a really short 1-3" deadlift, pull to lockout, and hold it for time). I loved doing 3 sets at the end of my upper back and deadlift days each week, load up your 1 rep max deadlift, and hold that sucker until it drops out of your hands. If getting the weight up gets tough, you can also use your thighs as a support to get the bar up a bit by pulling it back into your body vs. trying to do a normal short-ROM deadlift. You can build ANY type of grip this way, either mixed grip, double overhand or hook, do this twice weekly until you can hold your max DL for 30 seconds without any problem, then start adding weight. If that's too heavy and you want to build your double overhand grip, try something like 70-80% of your max until you can hold it for 30 seconds, then work toward 1 minute, add weight once you get to your goal.


    Definitely not rocket science in this, sometimes you can get ahead with things like grip by throwing precision programming out the window and just beating your body into submission with heavy weights. Once you get to where you can whistle your way through multiple sets of holds with 500+ lbs., you'll have a grip that won't fail you when you need it most

  13. Upper back and chest training last night -


    Swiss Bar bent over rows (bar with 3 sets of 30 degree angled handles instead of normal straight bar) -

    1x5 @ 135 lbs.

    1x5 @ 185

    1x5 @ 225

    3x5 @ 265

    1x8 @ 245

    1x12 @ 225

    1x20 @ 185


    Flat barbell bench -

    1x5 @ 135 lbs.

    1x5 @ 185

    1x3 @ 225

    1x2 @ 245

    1x1 @ 265

    1x1 @ 285

    1x1 @ 295, tough rep, barely made it tonight, not great for going heavy

    5x2 @ 265

    2x8 @ 225


    Weighted chins with Pit Shark (machine where you attach weight to a belt setup for weighted dips or chins, but keeps your body stable as it pulls downward with a slight angle without any swing of the added weight) -

    3x8 @ 70 lbs. added, first set not too bad, 2nd set got 5 and had to take a few seconds between each remaining rep, final set tough as hell, had to do about 5 seconds between each rep to get them in, the Pit Shark gives a whole new learning curve to pull-ups!


    Swiss Bar flat benching -

    1x20 @ 150 lbs. torso width angled grip

    1x20 @ 150 lbs. medium angled grip w/ hands about 12" apart, very tough!


    Blue monster band V-handle rows, band looped around support beam, tension about 100 lbs. at start, close to 180-200 lbs. at finish of pull



    That was it, deadlifting tomorrow to get back to my 5x5 style plan for those again!

  14. I'm sure you will, asparagus! Overhead strength, if nothing else, takes time and dedication more than I think most other parts do, unless you're some sort of freak who has naturally great shoulder strength (most of us do not have it so lucky!)


    Train them hard, train them heavy, high reps and low reps, dumbbell and barbell, partial ROM and full ROM....everything that makes you work hard with overhead pressing tends to pay off in the long run, just that the returns are usually slow and most people don't bother putting in the time needed to get there. And, don't forget those triceps and upper back, they play a part in having a strong overhead press almost as much as the shoulders themselves!

  15. 1. Any particular reason you don't want to take a week off maybe 3-4 times per year? If you're not training for something sport-related where you need to be "on" at all times or don't have a contest coming up, there's no real reason to NOT take a break at least a few times per year, it definitely does a body good. If you're not wanting to take a break because you think you'll either gain fat or lose muscle during that time, don't sweat it, nobody lost their hard work in a 5-7 day rest period unless they did EVERYTHING wrong during that time (such as, eating everything in sight if you're trying to stay lean, or, doing hours of cardio without enough food intake if you're trying to hold on to lean mass gains). It's good to take a break here and there, but if you can't manage a full week, then try for at least 3-4 days off at the end of a week's training cycle, that will at least give you a few extra days in there to rest up.


    2. If you WON'T take a break, then at LEAST take a week every season or so where you cut back on the weight used in training significantly, or, cut the time/distance/intensity on cardio work. So, if you normally hit the gym and did weight training for 75 minutes 3-4x/week, take a week where you only go perhaps twice and do a light full-body workout during those days instead of doing a more muscle group specific program again. If you do primarily endurance, instead of running, say, 10 miles 4 times/week, cut it to two days of a light 3-4 mile jog to put less stress on your body for a bit.


    If you decide to actually take a week off, just keep the protein high, eat clean, and you'll come back just fine after you're done There's no magic formula to "rest week" stuff, just that the magic is in actually getting the rest if you haven't taken a break in quite some time!

  16. Another occcasional update -


    Lower back/overhead press day -


    Deadlifts -

    1x5 @ 135 lbs.

    1x5 @ 225

    1x3 @ 275

    1x2 @ 315

    5x5 @ 340, all very fast and easy


    Overhead strict axle press -

    1x10 @ empty 55 lb. axle

    1x5 @ 145 lbs.

    1x3 @ 175

    1x2 @ 195

    1x2 @ 215

    5x2 @ 220


    Safety squat bar good mornings, moving to do them very light again after reading a recent Wendler article suggesting to not approach it like other heavy work -

    3x25 @ 135 lbs., using hips/glutes to shoot it up fast every rep


    Seated strict press, wide grip, touching collarbone in front every rep -

    3x10 @ 135 lbs.

    1x20 @ 95


    Reverse hyperextension machine -

    2x20 @ 90 lbs.

    1x25 @ 70 lbs.


    Called it a day, should be doing some upper back work again soon!

  17. Popping in for a quick log update -


    Still working to rebuild the squat and DL strength, last week was a good week for pulling, did 5x2 @ 375 followed by 2x10 @ 315, so I'm guessing that I'm good for 400 easily enough now, onward back to 500+ slow and steady. No rush, not expecting to get to 500+ until next spring, but it's nice to not feel like my lower back is going to snap in half as it did at the start of the year.


    Squats, have had to change up a bit as the deads are leaving me fairly fried, last week was 330, 335, 340, 345 and 350x5, now will be alternating light/heavy weeks with squats and deads to prevent my recovery from taking a nosedive. Last night, changed gears to safety squat bar work, did 250, 255, 260, 265, 270 and 275x10, hands on support beams in rack to allow rock-bottom depth and no tipping forward, upped to 3x5 @ 315 afterward and called it a day.


    Overhead strength is stil holding solid, managed a fairly easy 240 strict press with the axle last week, making it officially 10 lbs. over bodyweight without leg drive, which was a first. I think when I hit my PR strict press of 250, I weighed abotu 3 lbs. over that number, so it's nice to finally be able to strict press more than I weigh for once!


    Gym is still progressing nicely, they're FINALLY putting in our new bathroom this week so we don't have to walk down to another section of the warehouse in another unit as we've been doing all month so far. Got a TON of new equipment and plates in as well that we'll be setting up as soon as the bathroom is finished and we can paint the floors in that room. We managed to acquire 6 more lifting platforms, about 2500 lbs. more in bumper plates, about a half dozen more assorted benches and power racks, plus a few more Hammer Strength machines for good measure. Right now, the 2nd half of the facility looks like an iron scrapyard until we get it all put together and set up, hopefully in about a week it's going to be awesome on both sides of the facility, pics will come when it's finally done!

  18. Thanks, asparagus! It's coming along nicely, but still will be about 7-10 days before the other side is complete. We're setting up the center for group classes as one of our members wants to run cardio sessions in the afternoon/early evening, and the outside will house the 20+ machines we've accumulated plus all the strongman implements as well. It'll be awesome once completely done, I can't wait to see how things turn out when it's all in place.


    Quick leg/chest session tonight amid the 87 degree gym temps with 70% humidity (storm just a bit north of us is ramping the humidity rapidly tonight!)


    Squats, all 2" or more below parallel -

    1x5 @ 135 lbs.

    1x3 @ 185

    1x3 @ 225

    1x2 @ 275

    1x2 @ 315

    10x2 @ 330


    In between, I did my benching, regular bar this time instead of axle -

    1x5 @ 135 lbs.

    1x3 @ 185

    1x2 @ 225

    1x2 @ 245

    1x1 @ 265

    1x1 @ 285

    10x5 @ 225, alternating between grips of torso width, 3" wider than torso, and 6" wider than torso (each hand 6" out from original torso width position)


    Kept the pace up, just about 45-60 seconds rest between working sets, wrapped up with 2x25 reverse hypers with a light 50 lbs. and 2x25 close grip bench sets @ 135 lbs. to finish.


    Dumped some cold water over my head to keep from passing out afterward, called it a day.


    I'll likely be gone for some time from posting, got a lot on my plate these days that's dominating every free moment now as well as for the next 3 months, and stress is at an all-time high to make it even more grueling. Going to keep training as normal even if I don't log anything (getting in for my 11 PM sessions when able), but probably won't be frequenting this or any other sites online for a few months while I get some large projects complete and take care of what's most important these days to keep the distractions away. Best to everyone, hopefully I'll be back again in the fall or winter!

  19. Hey, Seasiren!


    Good to see you around again after all this time! Hope things are going a bit better for you physically these days, and that you'll be feeling even better in due time!


    No training the past few days since deadlifting, been finishing the last of our gym relocation to the new spot which has taken up most of my time. Then, planned on using a free pass to a local place tonight while we're still wrapping things up, turns out they changed their Sunday closing time from 11 PM to 8 PM, and of course, I got there at 9 on the mark No lifting until tomorrow, I suppose, but I'll make the most of it when I get back out after work.


    In the meantime, a few photos of the new place as it progresses toward being done!


    Main lifting area with squat racks:



    Most of the lower area, still in the works, but turf is almost fully in again and most of the racks set up:



    Top view from mezzanine, double doord shown open up to 2nd half of the facility:





    Dumbbell area under construction below Kirk's "office"



    And now, the other half:



    There's still some heavy machinery in here that SHOULD have been moved out prior to this weekend, but of course, no move goes as planned. So, we have to wait a few days for old tenant to get his gigantic cutting machines out and cleaned up, but that just gives us time to assemble the 15 or so pieces of equipment we need to put together to flush that room out once we're ready. There's more stuff that can't be seen, as that half of the facility is about 60' x 40' and as you can tell, this pic only shows about a third of the total space.


    We expect to be up and running by Wednesday night, so fingers crossed that all goes well between now and then with no more surprises. New photos to come after completion!

  20. That would mean remembering to resize it, Herc, and I'm awfully forgetful these days!


    Quick chest and lower back session in extreme again -


    Flat bench press with axle -

    1x5 @ 145 lbs.

    1x3 @ 195

    1x2 @ 235

    1x1 @ 265

    1x1 @ 285

    Put Slingshot on

    2x2 @ 305

    2x2 @ 310

    2x2 @ 315

    1x2 @ 320

    1x1 @ 325

    1x1 @ 330

    Took off Slingshot

    2x5 @ 250

    2x15 @ 200 (done as 12 reps, rack and rest 10 seconds, finish 3 reps)


    Deadlifts -

    1x5 @ 135 lbs.

    1x5 @ 225

    1x2 @ 315

    10x2 @ 345, all pulls comfortable and with good speed


    Barbell good mornings -

    2x15 to parallel@ 225 lbs.


    Glute/ham raises -

    2x25 @ bodyweight (233.5 this morning)


    Head started to throb at that point, started to overheat, called it a night before getting in reverse hypers.


    Should get upper back work in Friday before resuming gym equipment relocation that evening, maybe shoulders if my triceps feel up to it!

  21. Thanks, Mini Forklift!


    Missed logging some sessions this past week, had a light squat day (forgot the weights, no need to log now), deadlift day a few days later doing 10x2 @ 335 lbs. along with some glute/ham raises and reverse hypers. Upper back day was last Friday, weighted pull-ups (3x5 @ 90 lbs. added on, taking 5-10 seconds between each rep), 1-arm DB rows (3x15 each arm @ 150 lb. DB) and some machine pulldowns, keeping it simple. Wanted to train as normal last night, but only was able to muster the energy in the high humidity to complete a quick photo shoot for a rush ad we're working on, which will probably use a pic like this:




    Other shots were just using clothing posed with general lifting stuff, figure that an action shot is usually the best way to go


    Might find time to train this evening if it doesn't stay close to 100 degrees again after the sun goes down (about 97 right now, we'll see how the night ends up), otherwise it's training tomorrow!

  22. Nothing but a tool for the Politicians to get all the wackos in an uproar.


    Nevermind the fact that most of the wackos all shop at walmart for the low, low prices.


    Most of the people I know who shop at Wal-Mart are the ones who are being squeezed out of the middle class into being poorer with every year, and they're definitely not "wackos". Lots of good people out there who are barely making ends meet who have to choose between new items from cheap sources or shopping exclusively at thrift stores, and not everyone is a fan of second-hand goods for all their wearables. With a declining economy and fewer job options to make a solid living without a college education (and, fewer jobs now for those with degrees), it's not an easy thing to convince someone scraping by on $12/hour with kids at home to spend $25 on an American Apparel t-shirt and $60 on a pair of organic fair-trade cotton yoga pants


    Believe it or not there are great places to get good kids clothes that do not have to be purchased at Walmart.

    I buy lots from Yard Sales or this great place Thrift store called: "Unique Thrift"

    Unique Thrift is run by the Vietnam Vets & is just amazing.


    I do not shop at Walmart & avoid Target like the plague. Walmart & Target are unethical, they pay slave labor and destory endangered Forrests all for "Cheap Goods" & "Fast Profit"


    I'm not saying that there aren't other options, but where I live, it's Wal-Mart or thrift stores, and like I mentioned, there are many people who aren't always wanting to buy second-hand, or, don't have the same amount of free time and travel abilities to "shop around" as easily as others. The allure of Wal-Mart is simple to figure out - you can get your groceries, home goods, clothing and everything else in one place (and pay less for it than anywhere else), and when someone is struggling but wants new items, many times it's the only option they have available. I'm not saying Wal-Mart is good, but for a certain demographic of people in a specific financial range, it's their shop of choice because it gives them options that they don't find in their price range elsewhere.


    I just was trying to point out that it's not really reasonable to make inferences about someone being a "wacko" just because they're low on finances and choose to shop at the place that gives them the most for their dollar. The ethics we may have don't spread across the board to all others, many people either don't know about some of the practices of these stores or simply don't care because without such options, they only have less to choose from, which they view as bad. You have to also consider, if the majority of people aren't giving a hoot about what they eat because they're concerned with cost and convenience over health, is it REALLY reasonable to expect that they're going to be concerned with what Wal-Mart does to keep their prices as low as they do?

  23. Nothing but a tool for the Politicians to get all the wackos in an uproar.


    Nevermind the fact that most of the wackos all shop at walmart for the low, low prices.


    Most of the people I know who shop at Wal-Mart are the ones who are being squeezed out of the middle class into being poorer with every year, and they're definitely not "wackos". Lots of good people out there who are barely making ends meet who have to choose between new items from cheap sources or shopping exclusively at thrift stores, and not everyone is a fan of second-hand goods for all their wearables. With a declining economy and fewer job options to make a solid living without a college education (and, fewer jobs now for those with degrees), it's not an easy thing to convince someone scraping by on $12/hour with kids at home to spend $25 on an American Apparel t-shirt and $60 on a pair of organic fair-trade cotton yoga pants

  24. What is suprising to me is that the politicians are so surprised over this?! Where have they been the last 10 yrs?


    You've got to go back more than that - from people in the footwear and clothing industries I've spoken with over the years, most of them are still shaking their fists at Clinton for his work via NAFTA (pushing more garment manufacturing to Mexico and Central American nations) and giving China "Most Favored Trade" status that started the mad rush to move factories overseas during the early to mid 90s (which destroyed the market for US footwear manufacturing except for high-end product or Los Angeles / NYC sweatshop made items).


    I'm sure it goes back further than that with even more catalysts, but if I've heard one era that smaller US-based garment and footwear manufacturers have complained about, most of them would like to wipe the 90s era of "Get the hell out of the USA and you'll save a fortune!" right out of existence as that's when many of them started to suffer the most. Not the big companies, of course, as they're the ones that moved their manufacturing, but as the influx of cheaply made goods came rushing in during the 90s and early 2000s, it became really tough for them to compete, and their numbers have been shrinking ever since.

  25. I haven't checked much into Nitric Oxide products, but to ask, does it specifically list milk/lactose/etc. for ingredients, OR, does it say something on the labeling like "May contain traces of dairy"? There's a HUGE difference between the two, unfortunately, sometimes people get mixed up and think that the "May contain" means there's dairy in the item, when it's simply an allergen notice that's a legal butt-cover in case of anyone who may have a reaction from a trace particle that could potentially cross-contaminate. Since most companies can't afford to spend millions of dolllars to set up dedicated allergen-free production facilites (or, allergen-free wings to their existing facilities), most supplement companies will manufacture different items, vegan and non-vegan, on the same equipment, or that they'll have to do it in the same facility. This doesn't mean that the item made on the equipment contains dairy, but like anything else, there's always risk of a trace particle, either airborne or missed during cleaning between production runs, could get into a normally dairy-free product and be life-threatening to someone with severe allergies. You'd get FAR more cross-contamination of non-vegan particles if you eat out at restaurants that serve meat/dairy in other items they prepare on site. In this era of "I don't like what happened to me, I'm going to sue!", companies will list this on ANYTHING made in facilities where common allergens are handled, even if it's nowhere near the area where they're making the dairy-free items, just to be safe. I've spoken with many companies who contract their manufacturing out to others to produce their products, and even if there's dairy being used in making something on the other side of the processing plant, they'll still list "May contain traces of dairy" on the packaging as self-protection from lawsuits. Some companies stupidly shoot themselves in the foot by having terrible wording such as "Contains Milk" even when it should be the "May contain traces of" statement, I've seen that over the years on supplements that were actually vegan, but were worded in ways that made people think otherwise.


    Here's one thing to always consider - IF there's actual dairy as an ingredient, by law it MUST be listed in the formulation on ingredients. That's not to say that it will note if something unusual was extracted from dairy, but it isn't that a company could legally put a few drops of pure milk into a product and not list it for ingredients. The exception to this is that companies can be sneaky and use dairy flavor extracts when they state "Natural flavors", as this can contain just about anything, and needs to be verified prior to purchase to be safe. This is why it's important to contact companies directly and ALWAYS ask to speak with a chemist or product specialist, NOT a general customer service agent (as they tend to often be less than helpful and have canned replies to get you off the phone as quickly as possible, doing research for you is not something they look forward to). Sometimes, you might find that something you thought wasn't vegan actually is, just that the terribly ambiguous wording on the packaging made it look like it contained dairy when it was just that dairy is used in other products made under the same roof.

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