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Everything posted by VeganEssentials

  1. I'm always happy to help in any way! As for material, I'm trying to think of who we work with who uses synthetics that would be ideal for this. I would first try contacting Robin Webb at Vegetarian Shoes even though he's in the UK as he probably has numerous materials sources to choose from. In the US, I don't have much good in the way of sources other than Eric at http://www.veganerotica.com since they source some good durable microfibre for their belts and other...ummm...stuff they make. Hopefully one of these people can help you out better for materials, and I'll keep thinking about other people who might have good info on this!
  2. I think it's already been posted elsewhere in another thread, but I'll be there keeping everyone well-supplied with vegan snacks all weekend long!
  3. Hey, Robert! We definitely need to train at the hotel a few times - I always feel the need to get at least one or two sessions in even though I'm totally wiped out at the end of the day from being behind our tables. Nevertheless, we'll have to put it to the weights while we're there! Today was leg day, and finally I feel like I'm coming to life again after the last back injury. Starting to get back to about 90% of where I was, hit the squats with everything I had today. Squats, Rehband knee sleeves only 1x5 @ empty bar 1x5 @ 135 1x5 @ 225 2x3 @ 315 2,2,3,3,3,3,4 @ 425 for 20 reps total over all sets I think I'd gotten to this rep scheme with about 440 or so before getting hurt, shouldn't be more than another 6 weeks before I'm back to full capacity again. 1/3 squats (about 14" ROM) 2x8, 1x10 @ 605 First 2 sets were 3 dead stop reps at bottom on pins then 5 quick reps tapping the pins at bottom. Last set was all just tapping the pins at bottom, no stopping else I'd have never gotten back up again. I haven't felt like puking from a leg session in ages, and oddly enough, it feels good to feel sick all over again. Going to start deadlifting again on Thursday, just light doubles with something like 405 to get used to pulling again and test the lower back to make sure it's good to go!
  4. I haven't heard anything about HMB in probably 8-10 years since it was shunned as being a bunk supplement by the bodybuilding community ages ago. It was heavily touted back in the mid 90s as the "great new thing" for muscle building, but when the results failed to live up to the expectations it pretty much disappeared. I haven't heard anything about it since that time, but I suppose that some companies now may be trying to revive it again.
  5. Haven't posted in ages for my log, about time I get back on it again! Quick back workout today - Barbell rows - 1x8 @ 135 1x5 @ 225 1x12 @ 250 1x10 @ 275 - had to take a 10 second rest after 7, finished the last 3 off after that Barbell shrugs - 1x10 @ 225 1x10 @ 315 1x10 @ 365 1x8 @ 405 - wanted to go heavier, just felt too wiped out today 1x100 @ 135 Yep, 100 reps with a light weight just for the fun of it. Did 50 reps, stopped to take 3 deep breaths, did 50 more to finish off. I'm aiming to eventually get this many with 225 (done 1x50 but that's it so far), and I wanted to see how long it'd take for the final goal. Tiring stuff, that's for sure! Pulldowns - 2x18 @ 165 - Tired and grip was fading fast after the shrugs so that's all I could muster Still having fun with some higher rep stuff while I ease my back into heavier lifting, though this will change over the next few weeks as I get back into doing more deadlifting and heavy squats again.
  6. The breaks seem like they'd be nice, but honestly, I usually spend my 15-30 minutes between events hunched over feeling like I'm about to puke, so they don't really do me a whole lot of good for feeling refreshed for the next event! Maybe it's just nature's way of saying that my cardio abilities suck and I need to work harder in that area.
  7. Yeah, I second staying away from lateral raises if you have any sort of shoulder issues. My right shoulder pops when I do them unless I have my elbow bent at a nearly 90 degree angle, and it just feels downright uncomfortable when the popping occurrs. Any size I have on my shoulders was made from overhead pressing, both dumbbell and barbell, and even a little bit of machine pressing work (if you can find one of the rare ones that aren't too bad such as the Hammer Strength machines.) Shoulders are one of those silly smaller muscle groups that like abs, some people have great ones right off the start and others have to work hard to develop size in them, and I know I'm in the "hard work" group on that one. Just keep pressing overhead and it'll come in time!
  8. I've always loved working DB clean and press - never had any injuries or imbalances from doing them, and they'll clearly show you if you need to balance your shoulder strength out. Haven't done them in a long time because, honestly, if I push press them I don't have a gym nearby that has dumbbells that go heavy enough to make it anything other than an endurance session. Still, lots of fun to do - just be sure to hit both sides to keep things even!
  9. I've tried one of those gadgets before for forearm work (saw an opened one in a sporting goods store), and I can honestly say that it'd be fun for about one workout but that's about it. The resistance settings are nowhere near high enough to keep progressing for long to get stronger, so it'd be better to just do some barbell wrist curls (either seated or standing) as you'll do the same movement but can adjust the weight much better.
  10. Inspired by Sensless, I decided to snap a few pics this evening to show my current physical state in hopes that I'll get some new shots in a few months that will look even better. Right now I'm weighing in around the mid 270s, aiming to keep my weight stable but swap a few lbs. of fat for more muscle. We'll see what happens as I get back to heavy lifting again now that my back is 95% better! http://www.veganessentials.com/images/Poser.jpg
  11. Honestly, from that image it doesn't appear that the person pictured really has very much muscle mass on him but rather is just extremely lean. For example, his chest, upper back and shoulders do not have much size or shape to them that would denote much in the way of weight training, if any. From what I've heard many MMA people don't put a lot of focus on weight training, and for a build like that you could probably get it with a combination of bodyweight exercises, some moderate weight training and a diet to lean out and show more definition through reduction of bodyfat. Since I don't train to look like he does, perhaps someone else can shed more light on what they've done, but a physique like this should be well within anyone's grasp as long as they learn how to diet down and drop bodyfat levels enough to have that sort of appearance.
  12. Yes, I think taking it at a young age will probably be a point to avoid since most people will grow and get stronger like crazy right up through their early 20s with nothing more than a solid diet and sensible training. At 15, you'd probably still have managed to do a great deal of progress even without the creatine, but the added benefit can be a spoiler for later on when the reality of the difficulties of getting the same results will settle in. I for one wish the days of adding 30 lbs. to a lift in 6 weeks was still an easy thing to accomplish - never fun looking back and realizing that just as I started to get fair strength my body was already fighting against me as I headed into my 30s. Oh well, providing I don't fall to pieces I can only hope to one day be one of those guys in their 50s squatting double bodyweight.
  13. If cramping is an issue, I'd also recommend a creatine/glutamine/taurine supplement as taurine is added to reduce muscle cramps. I personally don't think that there's much wrong with taking creatine at any point even if someone is a relatively new lifter (I wouldn't waste my time, though, without at least 6 months of training experience), but I wouldn't bother to use it constantly, rather for a few months on, take a few off and repeat. Comparing it to equipment like a bench shirt or steroids is kind of tough since it isn't an artificial aid such as a shirt/suit and it isn't anywhere NEAR the potency of steroids (though, like testosterone, is naturally produced in the body). I've seen people taking steroids go up 25 lbs. in 8 weeks and have their strength increase by 25-30% as well, but there's no way that creatine can even come close as far as taking your body's potential so far so fast due to its limitations. That, and the unwanted effects of using illegal substances aren't there as well, making it a much safer option as an aid for progress. Yes, it can help some, but for most you'll gain a few lbs. of water and some muscular endurance (which can certainly assist in your workouts in the quest for size and strength), but honestly, it isn't a miracle worker and I don't know anyone whose entire lifting "career" (term used loosely) was drastically changed by it to where it can be credited with the bulk of their progress. Honestly, I think creatine is rather overhyped, but if it helps, I say go for it since you could certainly do a lot worse.
  14. No doubt about it, I'll be there for sure! We've got 4 tables of stuff to sell, so you'll see me, Courtney and my parents (free labor!) working our area for the entire weekend. We'll have a ton of stuff there, but if you want anything in particular that you absolutely MUST have, let me know ahead of time so I can be sure to bring it with! Ryan
  15. Continuing week 2 of back injury rehab training - Overhead strict presses - 1x5 @ empty bar 1x8 @ 135 1x3 @ 175 1x3 @ 205 1x3 @ 210 1x3 @ 215 1x3 @ 220 1x1 @ 235 - PR for strict pressing 1x19 @ 135 - wanted 20, on the last rep I stopped cold about 8" from lockout, triceps just flat out quit on me and wouldn't let the rep finish. Still, better than the 15 I managed last time I went for high reps on 135. Goal is to push the total to 1x20 @ 175 sometime in September. Pulldowns - don't aggravate the lower back, so did 2x15 @ 190 Seated v-bar rows - no pain in the back, did 2x20 @ 145 with these Won't be tackling any deadlifts or barbell rows for around 2 more weeks to continue the back rehab, will know the extent of the damage once I see the specialist in the first week of July. If by any chance I did herniate a disc, I may bite and invest in a reverse hyper machine for rehab work and blow about 2 years' budget of lifting-related expense in doing so. If it can help me get back to normal it'll be well worth it, so we'll see where I stand once I hear the diagnosis on the 6th!
  16. That does look even greasier than the vegan options we get in Milwaukee, where food is either healthy or it is deep fried! The Grease group is a valuable part of the food pyramid. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise
  17. Good work! I wish I still had the drive to keep grip training regularly, but after a week or so I just keep forgetting about it.
  18. Exactly. What's funny is that while it's being said that raw meets will not be the standard, it doesn't help that Inzer apparently snubbed the guys putting together the NERB even though they wanted Inzer to have their wrist wraps and singlets available for the meet to promote their products. I mean, just because they didn't allow the main staples of what an equipment company makes they decide to avoid involvement even though it's a quality PL event? Like I said before, people follow the money, and if equipment companies (the only real major providers of financial support to PL events other than supplement companies) won't support meets that allow only some of their items, how is it expected that popularity of raw events will grow?
  19. Actually, the analogies aren't exactly perfect. A different material in a hockey stick won't make someone hit the puck harder (perhaps better accuracy, but it doesn't affect the strength of the person wielding the stick), and with shoes vs. barefoot is not exactly perfect as well. Like I said, I don't have a problem with equipped powerlifting, but let's call it like it is - people like to put up bigger numbers, and PL gear makes up for weak spots in a lift's ROM by helping the lifter through them. The lifter may be able to move the full weight raw through part of the lift, but I've never heard of an equipped lifter who maxes with his gear at the same level he could do without it. This isn't to say that it makes the person any less strong, but it means that they can move more weight through their sticking points than they could naturally through a "helping hand" when getting the bar off the chest, when getting out of the hole in a squat, etc., which is FAR different from the analogies listed above. It's the equivalent in running of having the wind at your back and a downhill stretch at the time when you're struggling the most or for hockey having a groove in the ice that better sends the puck in the direction you want it to go with less chance for being inaccurate. Example - Gene Rychlak has benched, what, 1008 lbs. as of this time? Now, Gene is said to be able to bench something like 710 raw, which is amazing to say it mildly, and he can probably lockout 6-10" ROM with just about 1000 lbs. raw as well. However, there's that space between touching the chest and lockout that Gene can't move 1000 lbs. back up under his own strength, and that's where the shirt comes into play. If it was a matter of just having "better equipment" it'd help him move the bar more efficiently through a ROM he can already do (say, knocking his time under tension from chest to lockout from 4.5 seconds down to 3.8 seconds, as the shoes in the running scenario may do), but it is helping him to accomplish something that his own strength cannot perform without an artificial aid to get him through this sticking point. That's where the standard PL analogies fall short because they just don't have an equivalent in other sports that really can be compared against it accurately. Again, not knocking PL'ers strength, abilities or choice of lifting format in any way, but like has been said before, it's an entirely different sport from standard lifting without equipment. Just like Greco-Roman wrestling and WWF wrestling are 2 separate beasts and fast-pitch softball and baseball are similar but not equal in how they're performed, powerlifting and raw lifting are not the same. I won't say that one is better than the other, just that there's enough difference in how they're both performed and judged to make them very, very tough to compare on an equal plane. Whether you're an equipped PL'er or just having fun trying the lifts out once in a while to see where you stand, it's all in good fun and for your benefit, so let's just enjoy what we do and try to get along regardless of preference!
  20. World class Raw PL'ers? Let's see - Bill Kazmaier, Doug Furnas, Jim Williams, and David Shaw all totaled Elite or just a hair below lifting raw or with nothing more than a belt and wraps for their full array of support gear - this isn't to say that they didn't lift with shirts or suits at some points, but they were all super-strong without the gear. Anyone who knows about PL history knows the massive numbers put up by most of these guys (Furnas who hit an easy 848 squat at 220 wearing nothing but a swimsuit and a pair of sneakers while tanning prior to a PL competition), so they're all world-class whether they were raw or not. There's a lot of world-class guys out there both from the past generation (as the names I've mentioned) as well as the new generation, but these days, people follow the money, which is the main reason that equipped PL is the rule for most standards. Take out the money that Inzer and other equipment manus pour into the game and I think we'd see raw lifting have a huge resurgence, but that's a whole different story in and of itself I have nothing against equipped lifting - if someone wants to toss on gear to boost their lifts in an equipped meet it's all good, but it's all apples to oranges vs. how 99% of most people lift. You can't compare numers of two people hitting the same weight at the same size if one is suited and one is not because you don't know how much the gear is giving them. That's what makes putting both numbers in a table a tough thing - it's like saying "Who's faster?" when one person is on a bicycle and one's on a motorcycle - even if they make the same time in the end, there's still a big diffence as to how the end result is acheived and most people who don't know about PL gear don't understand the difference. Toss in the difference that some PL federations will pass a mile-high squat with 3 white lights while someone like the IPF will require everything to be extra-deep to be a valid lift and you get into a whole new mess on top of that. Again, without someone knowing about the difference between what it means to do the powerlifts and be a powerlifter it can get confusing. It's not a contest, but still, they're two totally different things, which is why I think that a few people feel the need for separation. But, if it doesn't happen, so be it - I won't lose any sleep over it.
  21. Name: Ryan Wilson Gender: Male Weight: 270 Bench: 315 Squat: 525 Deadlift: 545 The bench was done either in March or April after years of no benching other than an occasional set of close-grip benches for triceps work. I hate benching, and after that 315 I probably won't do a conventional bench until 2007, maybe longer The squat was done either late January or early February, only wearing a pair of knee warmers (no belt, wraps, or anything else), did 500x3 around 2 weeks beforehand, aiming to break 575 by year's end without any support gear. Deadlift was from some time ago, roughly 1.5 years back, weighing in around 252. Could probably only muster around 500-515 right now if I maxed out. Haven't worked it in a long time, but that'll change soon. I made a farmer's handle deadlift of 570 lbs. last weekend, so once I get the back stronger again I'll be sure to push my DL harder. All lifts done after being vegan for 4 years or longer!
  22. Longest training sessions would be the weekend strongman event practices that can go from 3-5 hours, but that's usually because there's 4-10 people sharing the same piece of equipment and there's plenty of talking to keep things moving at a slower pace. Throw in the factor that everyone starts drinking beer near the end of the session and it takes even longer!
  23. I thought that I was going to be out of lifting for at least a week or two with the back being re-injured, but today I found that I was about 75% better once I started moving around so I popped ibuprofen like it was going out of style and decided that a light day in the gym would be good. Didn't decide on it until around 9 PM so I had a short time to get some work in, but it was still a good day, much better than sitting around waiting to feel well enough to lift heavy again. Strict overhead presses - 1x10 @ empty bar 1x10 @ 135 1x10 @ 155 1x8 @ 175 1x6 @ 155 1x6 @ 135 I'd wanted to get 10s all the way around, but that was asking a lot. I've never done more than 6 with 185, so expecting 10 with only 10 lbs. less and not much practice strict pressing lately was a bit much. The last 2 sets dropping the weight were tough because my triceps were fried - when 135 hurts by the 3rd rep, things go downhill in a hurry. Still, some higher rep stuff (for me, anyway) and work on strict pressing makes for good times. Light shrugs next, being my most neglected lift - 3x25 @ 225 Last set I did 5s with varting grips - shoulder width, midway between shoulders and snatch grip, snatch grip and back in again. My traps suck for shrugging - they can support well enough for deadlifts and such, but I could be the worst shrugger out there, so this was a much needed kick in the arse. Back extension machine - 3x20 @ full stack, varying the height of the back pad Tested the waters on the back for this, didn't have an ounce of pain on any of the sets. What I found hurts is weight bearing down straight on my spine that inflames the sprain (I find I sit at an angle in my seat while driving or at work and tense my ass and abs unintentionally to ease the pain), but extensions didn't bother it a bit. If I feel better next week, maybe some high-rep GMs for 3x20 @ 225 or something of that sort will get the rehab moving well. Cable side shrugs - 2x20 @ full stack plus 20 lbs. added on 45 minutes later I felt like a new man, pain-free and all, so I headed out and figured that a week or two of light training will be a good aid in recovery. Might get to lift Thursday or Friday (will be busy the next few days), will do some light back and chest work when I get the chance, may do some light event stuff this weekend for log work and light stones for reps.
  24. Event training today, but ended up getting hurt early on - Started with farmer's deadlifts (no walking), did the following 195 per hand x 3 " " x 4 Bumped up to a PR weight of 285 lbs. per hand, made it with relative ease, could have probably gotten about 300 per hand. Held for about 10 seconds just to keep it up for a bit. Rested a few minutes, went back to try and rep the 285 lb. handles a few times, felt my injury in my back return as I broke the handles off the ground, now I'm hurting pretty well again. Still, played with the 260 stone tacky-free and did a set of 2 loads to 54", then 4 loads, then 5 lifts to lap in quick succession and I figured it was time to call it a day. A week of easy lifting will get me back to feeling good again, but it sucks to know that I can wind up re-spraining my back so easily. Gotta find a way to keep it from happening too often. Anyway, no training until Tuesday, will have a light back/overhead day at that point, steering clear of deadlift movements for another 2 weeks to heal up.
  25. Back on the plan again, last weekend's contest has given me a new sense of purpose for lifting again, so I decided to test the old legs last night to see how they're holding up on squats and find where I was at for my maxes - Warmed up first with 4 sets of various lifts with a light 135, doing 1x4 power snatches, 1x5 overhead squats, 1x5 front squats and 1x5 jerks behind the neck. Then it was into the rack to hit the real squat workout! Front squats - 1x5 @ 225 1x2 @ 275 1x1 @ 315 These felt easier than they used to, didn't get the urge to toss the bar forward, so that was a pleasant surprise. Back squats, medium stance - 1x5 @ 225 1x3 @ 315 1x2 @ 405 1x1 @ 455 1x1 @ 475 1x1 @ 500 Had to fight for the 500 a bit, but it worked out and now I know my strength is still close to where it was before my back was reinjured in April. May have been good for 510, but probably no more than that, still down from the PR of 525 around late January but not too far off. 1/3 squats - 1x3 @ 585 1x3 @ 655 Back was getting a little tender since I haven't had much weight on my shoulders in some weeks, so I cut it short for squats at that point. Still, found that maxes were all at where I'd hoped they'd be, now it's time to get back to getting stronger again instead of spinning my wheels as I've done for the past few months!
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