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Posts posted by VeganEssentials

  1. We used to carry ON soy protein, but they had eventually changed it to use dairy-based flavorings, so we had to get rid of it.


    Not sure if they still use the same non-vegan flavorings now, but I'm sure ON can fill you in if you write or call them.

  2. Upper back and chest work tonight -


    Barbell rows with axle -

    1x20 @ empty 55 lb axle

    1x8 @ 145 lbs

    1x8 @ 195

    1x8 @ 245

    1x8 @ 250

    1x8 @ 255

    2x15 @ 195


    Barbell fat bench press -

    1x5 @ 135 lbs

    10x2 @ 190 lbs, just light speed work for this today


    Wide grip pull-ups -

    3x12 @ bodyweight (bloated 220 clothed today, candy binge last night was a bad choice...)


    1-arm dumbbell bench press -

    3x8 @ 95 lb dumbbell each arm


    Band pull-aparts with red band, 3x20 superset with bent over db rear delt raises, 3x20 @ 20 lb dbs.


    Close-grip incline bench with axle -

    3x2 @ 195 lbs, 5 second pause on chest for each rep

    1x15 @ 150 lbs


    That was it for today, deadlifts coming Tuesday!

  3. Quick leg and shoulder day today.


    Squats to parallel -

    1x5 @ empty bar

    1x5 @ 135 lbs

    1x5 @ 225

    1x3 @ 275

    8x3 @ 330

    All sets easy, just wanted to start easy after missing a few weeks for leg work.


    Axle clean and press (clean once, press all reps) -

    1x10 @ empty 55 lb axle

    1x3 @ 145 lbs

    1x3 @ 170

    4x5 @ 195

    3x10 @ 150

    All sets went well, happy with progress on these


    Safety squats to 12" box -

    3x10 @ 250 lbs

    I finally weighed the Elite FTS bar and it came in at 63 lbs, so I've actually been shorting myself by 18 lbs on all my sets up to now


    Did some light pause on chest close-grip incline benching with the axle for a bit more triceps work -

    6x6 @ 150 lbs, 2 second pause on chest each rep


    Lying leg curls -

    2x20 @ 100 lbs


    That was it, hot and tired by that time, hoping to get in tomorrow for some upper back work and event training!

  4. From what I've read, many people don't believe you actually need B12 because the body produces it naturally.


    Those people are sadly mistaken - unfortunately, there's a lot of junk science in the vegan movement that needs to be stamped out, and things like "We don't need to worry about B-12" are definitely at the top of the list. Takes years to get a deficiency, and once you have it, you might not be able to reverse all the damage, so taking a B-12 tablet once or twice a week for safety at a cost of about $0.50/month to insure against problems is much wiser than gambling with your long-term health. That is, unless you're drinking things like fortified soymilk regularly, but still, a little extra prevention isn't a bad thing.


    Also, I agree with jungleinthefrunk very much - up the fat and protein, because while some of the vegan diet "gurus" out there like to claim their way works well for everyone, that's never the case, and there are always exceptions to the rule. 80% carbs makes me feel sluggish and like death warmed over, I ate that way for years and kept wondering why I never had any energy, but a change to decrease carbs greatly and replace with more protein and healthy fat was the fix (not to mention, the fix as well to my added flab I put on while eating far too many carbohydrates for many years).


    Hope this helps!

  5. Sometimes knee clicks and pops are just a fact of life, hopefully that's the case. My knees sound like a bowl of Rice Krispies when I squat (no damage that has ever been found, no real injuries to them, they're just noisy as hell), so that may just be the way things are for you as well if you haven't had any injuries to them, but it never hurts to get checked out just to be safe.


    As a suggestion for getting heavy squat confidence as something to try when you're in between programs down the line, don't underestimate the power of heavy half squats as well as paused rock-bottom squats for working through weak points. I credit both with getting my to 500+ back in my prime - the overloaded 1/2 to 1/4 squats built great lockout power and gave much more confidence when using normal weights, and the rock-bottom paused squats made sure that I had built good explosive power out of the hole. Spend 3-5 seconds down there with the bar just an inch above the pins in case you can't get back up for any reason, heavy singles, doubles and triples can work wonders!

  6. Upper back work tonight, changed things up a little bit for fun -


    Axle rows -

    1x5 @ 145 lbs.

    1x5 @ 195

    1x12 @ 200

    1x12 @ 205

    1x12 @ 210

    1x12 @ 215

    1x12 @ 220

    1x20 @ 150

    Grip held up nicely with these, need to get my grip on the axle strong for power cleans, so I figure these will help out with that.


    Arm-over-arm rows, using rope tied to Prowler sled -

    1x20 (10 pulls each arm) @ 180 lbs. total weight

    1x20 @ 230

    1x20 @ 310

    1x20 @ 340

    1x20 @ 380

    Last set was tough, I was intentionally letting the sled stop on each pull vs. keeping momentum, but it was tough to get a good grip with 1 hand once that weight got close to 400!


    Face down on 20 degree incline bench strict DB rows -

    1x15 @ 70 lb. DBs

    1x15 @ 80

    1x15 @ 90, definitely tough on those

    Rowing with zero ability to use momentum is by far MUCH tougher than normal DB rows!


    Alternated those with Trap Bar shrugs (set Trap Bar on blocks so it was only about 8" deadlift to lockout before shrugging started) -

    1x25 @ 315 lbs.

    1x25 @ 365

    1x25 @ 405

    1x25 @ 455

    1x25 @ 315, done with 2 second squeeze at top of each rep


    Wrapped up with some circuits of upper back assistance work as follows:


    3 circuits done as


    Band pull-aparts with red band, 25 reps

    Dip shrugs with 45 lbs. added on, 30 reps

    Cable w/rope face pulls, 20 reps @ 150 lbs.

    DB bent over rear delt raises, 20 reps @ 20 lbs.


    That was plenty, still feeling fried from my lats to my neck, will finally get to squat and do some overhead pressing on Tuesday!

  7. Anybody can get a job.


    This. Is. True.


    You wouldn't believe how many jobs there are in my area that open up, the problem that most employers are reporting is that


    A) People applying that are below the age of 25 tend to have terrible social skills (raised on TV and internet, not taught how to look someone in the eye and speak clearly)




    B) People come in expecting to be treated like they're applying for CEO when they're applying for entry-level positions, which of course rubs employers the wrong way and puts you to the bottom of the candidates in a hurry.


    Before I go on, I do NOT recommend lying on an application. Employers can easily go back and check on W2s from taxes to find out if you're being honest or not, and is it REALLY worth throwing away opportunities just to try and bump yourself up one rung in the chain of command somewhere? Sure, that worked well about 20+ years ago, but these days, it's WAY too easy for employers to dig deep, and many of them will do just that. Better to simply be honest, let them know you've spent a lot of time at school, and that because of that factor you don't have a lot of work history. It'll get you further than being dishonest.


    There are many jobs out there, but let's face it, VERY few people get to live comfortably doing what they love, so you may have to put your feelings of "being above" something in your back pocket and take something that doesn't sound interesting at first (but, you may love it in the end - I worked in a China/Crystal/Flatware replacement service for 2 years and next to running my own business, it was my favorite job of all, though I hated the first month!) Sometimes great opportunity comes from putting yourself out there in a new situation, and again, you may just find that something which sounded boring and uninteresting ends up a job you look forward to going to every day, stranger things have happened.


    Again, a lot of what Emrys said is very true. We employers have interviewed hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of applicants over the course of time in our businesses, and we can ferret out when someone comes in thinking that the job isn't really good enough for them, that it may be "too demanding", that it doesn't give enough perks on day one, or something else that makes us think "If they REALLY don't care about getting the job, why the hell did they show up in the first place?!?" You have to act like you REALLY want it, and follow up on it - I had one place that I had to call for a month straight before they finally filled the position, I was just a hair shy of getting it, but they put me through the wringer for weeks on end as it paid $3.50/hour more than any other unskilled work out here, and in 1993, the difference between making $8.50 and $12.50 with benefits and lots of upward mobility potential was BIG for someone like me. But, if I hadn't kept persisting and letting them know I really, really wanted it, I guarantee I wouldn't have been in contention for nearly as long as I was. My wife has applied places in the past where she went through 3-4 interviews before they finally said "We gave it to someone else", and she had to fight back then to keep getting to the next step. I think things are a bit easier now because sadly, employers have had to drop their expectations considerably in light of new attitudes toward work where too many people seem to feel they're entitled to what they WANT when hired vs. what the job is WORTH, so as long as you make sure you're cleaned up (do NOT be like the meth heads that applied here once who came in looking like they'd just smoked up in their car prior to walking through my front door), practice answering questions enthusiastically, be prepared to talk yourself up WITHIN REASON (i.e. sound confident, but not boastful or above anything that they say the job may entail), be pleasant, and again, FOLLOW UP, of which I recommend checking back 3 days later, then a week later if you do not hear back from them, and again the following week if they do not say the position has been filled.


    I was a late bloomer for getting myself out in the working world - I have some "interesting" stories about how many jobs I walked off of as a surly 18-21 year old because I thought I was too good for them, only to realize that in the end, those were all I was qualified for at the time and I was just kidding myself about my belief in some sort of personal greatness that I possessed that made me feel like I was better than that stuff. NOTHING makes you more humble and teaches lessons like getting down in the trenches and getting your hands dirty doing something you never thought you'd do, even if it's for a few months, you'll definitely get something out of it.


    I certainly wish you the best of luck/success in getting out there and making the changes that will make you happier. Sometimes its easy to stick in a comfortable (but crappy) rut because it's what you know, but the good stuff out there in the unknown is always WAY better than the garbage you deal with that makes you feel bad. Just remember, the world ain't always going to be friendly, and you're going to have to resolve yourself that there will always be people who will nitpick veganism, what you wear, what you look like, what music you listen to, or something inane or beyond your control. Gotta learn to let it roll off you, because as one who used to take it all in and bottle it up until I was too depressed to get out of bed for a week straight, it's no way to live letting the world eat you alive bit by bit. Resolve to make yourself happy first and foremost, regardless of what support you have in others, and fight hard to find that happiness your own way. Best thing you'll ever do.

  8. Deadlifting and chest work today. Kept chest stuff light, still working on fixing that shoulder/lat imbalance where the right side cocks out and loses stability, just keeping things simple for a few more weeks without going too heavy.


    Barbell flat bench speed presses -

    1x2 @ 135 lbs.

    1x2 @ 185

    1x2 @ 225

    10x2 @ 190, all done as fast as possible

    5x3 @ 135, done fast enough to pitch the bar out of my hands for an inch or two every rep, had to keep a tight grip to keep it stable


    Deadlifts -

    1x5 @ 135 lbs.

    10x2 @ 225 (did these between the 10x2 bench sets, alternated one to the other, 30 seconds between sets)

    1x2 @ 275

    1x2 @ 315

    1x2 @ 365

    1x1 @ 405

    1x1 @ 425

    1x4 @ 445, wanted 5 but instead of doing touch-and-go, the first 3 reps were all dead stop reps with a second on the floor, which drains me fast when I go heavy as my first rep is always the toughest in a set when I go 95% or above my 1rm. Still, was good, first rep @ 445 was much easier than the single I did at 450 a while back, so a few weeks and we'll shoot for 465-470 for a new max goal, aiming for that 500 again by fall except to pull it at 210 or below, which will be 40 lbs. bodyweight under the last time I pulled 500. Eventually, a 2.5xbw pull is the goal, but I can handle it if I don't get there until the end of the year


    1-arm at a time flat DB bench press -

    1x10 @ 80 lb. DB each arm

    1x10 @ 85

    1x10 @ 90, had to do slight assist on last rep for each arm by touching side of DB to keep it stable

    1x15 @ 70


    Sumo deads to see how those felt after not doing them for a long time -

    5x2 @ 315 lbs.

    As with my regular deads, first rep always feels not-quite-perfect, then 2nd rep is spot on, but they felt decent just playing around with these again.


    Panora rope pressdowns -

    2x20 @ 110 lbs.


    That was it, came very close to making a goal that seemed like it wouldn't happen just a few short months ago. Weighed in at an all time low of 211.5 today, so things are still moving in the right direction as long as I'm getting stronger while the fat slowly comes off.


    Not sure yet if squatting or doing upper back and event work this weekend, one or the other will come next!

  9. Thanks for responding. I have to admit that i really only do want free stuff....and i dont even use most vegan products like vega. I just use sciavation xtend and olympian labs pea protein. i guess its not really realistic!!


    Never hurts to check with the companies whose items you use, you never know, perhaps they've been hoping for a vegan competitor to reach out, so I'd give it a shot regardless. Worst thing is you'll get the standard response of "Thank you for contacting us, but we currently don't have any sponsorships available" or something like that, but there's always that chance they might hook you up with something product-wise, best of luck with giving it a shot!

  10. I'm sure it's pretty much the same as it is for non-vegan bodybuilders/athletes in general. This means:


    1. You either get noticed from placing well consistently at shows and they come to you, or


    2. You put together a personal "kit" to showcase yourself and your accomplishments in the sport, featuring photos, training history, contest results, etc. to basically sell yourself as someone they'd want to have as a representation for your company


    That being said, I've heard quite a bit about what one can expect from being a "sponsored athlete" - many supplement companies will simply send you a reasonable amount of product, and in return, you'll be expected to be a brand ambassador for them by representing their company as much as possible, be it at shows, on message boards, by wearing their stuff all the time, etc. If you're REALLY accomplished, then you've got a crack at getting an actual check, but that seems to be reserved for those who are getting regular magazine coverage and/or have a big personal following online.


    It seems that what you'll be able to get for it will depend primarily on who the sponsoring company is and how far you've gone in the sport. As there are a LOT of bodybuilders out there, and a lot who look great and are hoping to score something free if possible, I'm assuming that companies are pretty damned fussy about who they will work with as far as sponsoring people.


    Best bet is, keep entering contests, keep building a personal "brand" around you, your training, diet, performance, etc. that develops a good following and keeps growing consistently, and see where it goes. Keep putting yourself out there entering contests and working to consistently place high against a viable pack of competitors to show to prospective sponsors that you're worth the investment. It's likely easier to get sponsored by a smaller company, particularly one that would be vegan-focused (not sure how tough it is with Vega, but you could try PlantFusion, Sun Warrior, NutriBiotic, MLO, NutraSumma or others who are not huge companies sponsoring tons of athletes), which might make it easier to be noticed and given a shot to prove yourself. Just remember, there's a good chance that most companies are approached with a request for sponsorship every day by someone new, so if you want to get a crack at being offered something, you have to stand out from the pack and make them WANT to have you associated with their company.


    And, most of all, make sure you're actually going for something that you WANT to use regularly. Companies can often smell it from a mile away when someone is just throwing their line out to everyone in hopes that they get a bite for something free, and usually, those people go to the bottom of the pile for consideration. Show the company/companies you're going after that you USE their products and that you BELIEVE their products have actually helped you succeed, and they'll notice you above those who are just saying "I want free stuff/free money, gimme something because I think I'm awesome!" Always put yourself in the company's shoes - what are THEY getting out of it by giving you something for free, and, are you the sort of person who has the look/personality they want to use as advertisment for their products? Remeber, nobody rieds for free, and in return, if you can't help that company's sales to increase for whatever you can do to promote them, they won't see any reason to give anything out without expecting a reasonable return on their investment.


    15 years involved in skateboarding (where everyone dreams of being sponsored and getting free stuff because it gets mighty expensive) prior to being involved in vegan products taught me a lot about how the sponsorship stuff goes in both industries, best of luck to anyone pursuing it because it doesn't seem to be easy unless you're at the top of your game!

  11. Lost a week of training due to travel, stress and too many late nights at the office, got back in the saddle again tonight and got my ass in the gym to continue where I left off, but opted for shoulders/upper back today for my 1st session back after a break -


    Weighted pull-ups -

    1x5 @ bodyweight (219 lbs. clothed)

    1x3 @ 45 lbs. added on

    1x3 @ 70 lbs. added on, 3 second deload with feet on floor between each rep

    1x3 @ 90 " "

    1x3 @ 95 " "

    1x3 @ 100

    1x3 @ 105, got eyes to top of bar level, but too tired by that time to get that last 2" ROM for a good pull

    1x10 @ 45 lbs. added, no feet on floor, all from dead hang

    1x15 @ bodyweight, all from dead hang

    Definitely feeling good with pull-ups, goal is to get a 120 lb. added pull-up this fall @ around 210 lbs. bodyweight, that would be quite nice


    Axle power clean and press (clean once, press all reps after clean) -

    1x5 @ 55 lb. empty axle

    1x5 @ 145 lbs.

    1x5 @ 165

    5x5 @ 190

    1x10, 1x8 @ 170

    Feeling better, didn't miss a single clean today, technique is improving for sure. Adding 5 lbs. for each of the next 2 sessions, once I get 200 for 5x5 easily enough, it'll be 3-4 weeks of high rep work with 180 for prep in case I do enter that contest in August, hoping to get 15 reps with it by that time


    1-arm row with wide white Elite FTS mini band connected to 2" thick Rolling Thunder revolving handle, strapped around 150 lb. dumbbell with about 30 degree forward torso lean. Was about 60 lbs. tension at start, about 120 lbs. at end of pull, focusing on a good lat squeeze while getting in some good grip work at the same time, did 3x20 each arm with these.


    Wrapped up shoulder work with 3x20 each arm for lean-away rubber cable w/handle lateral raises, one end tied to base of squat rack, probably 25 lbs. tension at top of lift on each rep.


    Did two quick circuits of bent over dumbbell rear delt raises for 2x20 @ 20 lb DBs alternated with 2x40 bodyweight hanging lat shrugs from the pull-up bar, and that was it. Totally fried after an hour, 85% humidity just doesn't do me any favors on nights like this.


    Rest tomorrow, will get that leg day in on Wednesday!

  12. Our big strongman event in Milwaukee was on Saturday (of course, I couldn't make it after looking forward to it all year), but it was pretty cool that former pro Sam McMahon who puts the contest on was able to get WSM winner Brian Shaw to come out for the contest and help run the events.


    The day before, everyone got a session in at our gym, where Brian deadlifted 905 lbs. for 2 reps because "nobody had pulled 900+ in our facility before", just so we could say it had been done under our roof



    This was also done after a set of 2 reps @ 855 lbs. that looked far too easy, the man truly is a giant and strong as hell.


    Hopefully some of that insane strength will rub off on me when I deadlift this weekend!

  13. Chest and upper back tonight.


    Barbell flat bench press -

    1x5 @ 135 lbs

    1x3 @ 185

    1x2 @ 225

    1x2 @ 230

    1x2 @ 235

    1x2 @ 240

    1x2 @ 245

    1x2 @ 250

    Just wasn't feeling great with benching, decided to change up at that point.


    Had been wanting to do a GVT style day with rows, tonight seemed like the time to try it out.

    1x5 @ 90 lb. Dumbbell

    10x10 @ 135 lb. Dumbbell each arm


    1-arm dumbbell bench presses -

    4x12 @ 80 lb dumbbell

    1x15 @ 70 " "

    Figured this will help work on my shoulder stability issues a bit.


    Two-handled cable row, done with 45 degree lean back, rowing to sternum -

    5x20 @ 110 each arm (220 lbs total)


    Wrapped up with three circuits of the following-

    Bent over dumbbell rear delt raises - 20 @ 20 lb dumbbells

    Horizontal banded bench machine - 20 with white heavy band and red mini band

    Face down on 30 degree incline bench dumbbell front raises - 20 @ 20 lb dumbbells


    Leg day coming up Tuesday, looking forward to it!

  14. Hey, MiniForklift!


    Thanks for the kind words. I've recently changed up from high volume deads to a more simple "work up to one heavy set" protocol which has kept me moving the weight up while dropping bodyweight, so far, so good, next week's shot is for 445x5, then a lighter deload week, and hopefully a new PR soon afterward. My one problem being that my max dead goes up slowly, so I have to be conservative, but I think that 465-470 should be possible then (those calculated max based on reps formulas don't really work with me, otherwise I'd be pulling 500+ by now). We shall see in early July!

  15. Quick lower back day today -


    Deadlifts -

    1x5 @ 135 lbs

    1x5 @ 225

    1x5 @ 275

    1x3 @ 315

    1x2 @ 365

    1x1 @ 405

    1x8 @ 430, thought about going for 10, but opted to stop when the goal was reached.


    Speed deadlifts -

    10x2 @ 315 lbs


    Barbell hip thrusts -

    1x10 @ 225 lbs

    3x10 @ 295


    Alternated hip thrusts with safety squat bar Hise shrugs -

    1x50 @ 225 lbs

    1x50 @ 315

    1x50 @ 405, not easy for this set!


    Did one set of stone loads, the 190 lb stone for reps in 60 seconds. Made 9 load to 48" platform with chalk only, goal is 12 in 60 seconds in case I end up registering for a contest in August that I'm considering that has a 180 lb sandbag over bar load for reps in 90 seconds. I figure that if I can hit 12 in 60 seconds, I should be good for 15+ in 90 seconds, which is the goal.


    Good deadlifting lately, looking forward to trying a new max in a month!

  16. Hey, Robert! Yeah, the Slingshot is pretty fun to throw on from time to time, definitely try one if you get the chance. If you make it this way, we'll meet up for sure, keep me posted about your travels this summer!


    Shoulders and upper back tonight -


    Axle power clean and press (used about 2" dip on start of each press, clean once then all reps)

    1x3 @ 145 lbs

    1x3 @ 155

    1x3 @ 165

    1x3 @ 175

    5x5 @ 185

    Missed the clean my first set, but got it right every one afterward. Decided that I want to have my axle cleans not suck, I did some extra clean sets for good measure -

    5x1 @ 185, clean once, drop, walk for 30 feet and back and repeat

    5x3 @ 165, same as above but 3 reps then walk


    Pull-ups -

    1x5 @ bodyweight (218 clothed today)

    1x3 @ 30 lbs added

    3x8 @ 70 lbs added, done as singles with 5 seconds deload between reps on first set, 8 seconds on second set, 10 seconds on third set.

    2x15 wide grip @ bodyweight, a bit of cheat off the toes on the last 3 reps on the 2nd set


    Rows using trap bar, tried an experiment with something different -

    1x5 @ 155 lbs.

    1x10 @ 205

    1x10 @ 225

    1x8 @ 245

    1x20 @ 155

    Felt good on lighter sets, but tough to keep torso bent as it got heavier, probably won't bother with these again, there's better stuff out there.


    Axle half-presses in the power rack, done standing, bar starting at top of head height -

    1x20 @ 195 lbs

    1x15 @ 215

    1x10 @ 235

    1x5 @ 255

    1x1 @ 285

    1x20 @ 145, pressing as fast as possible, take two breaths, and repeat


    Cable/rope handle face pulls -

    2x20 @ 140 lbs.


    Bent over dumbbell rear delt raises -

    2x15 @ 20 lb dbs


    Fried at this point, called it a day. Deadlifting and event work (probably farmers walks, tire and stones) on Friday!

  17. HI


    I have a friend who is a fitness competitor and she is in LOVE with two products...

    1. RESOLVE pre work out anabolic primer she uses this year round

    2.MX-LS7 v2 fat burner


    I did some research and found some negative side effects to the fat burner, but no reviews on the Resolve.


    I am interested in trying the Resolve and would like any advise on any other product like it you all would recommend

    I would also like a recommendation for a fat burner that does not come with a list of side effects.....


    THank u


    Pre-workout stuff tends to get me too agitated, don't use it because I'm already excited to get to lift, but as it goes, most pre-workout things I've come across or tried before have as many potential sides as any fat burners I've come across. But, you won't know until you try them as for how they'll work for you.


    For a fat burner without sides, it all depends - do you want one that works, or just one without potential negative side effects? Most anything that works as an effective fat burner that I've heard about tends to have potential for side effects, but if you want to go natural and effective, strong coffee or green tea tend to be the easiest route, but there's honestly no such thing as a fat burner that REALLY does any good unless your diet and training are in a good place. Considering that even potent fat burners like ephedrine/caffeine were found to raise metabolism by only 1-5% in studies, it isn't like there's anything that REALLY helps burn fat or tons of excess calories, but for some people, every bit helps. Personally, I'd not worry about fat burners until you were down to the last 10-15 lbs. to lose, as otherwise, you can probably do well enough by having a sensible lifting program and by eating well, because all it takes is one crappy snack or day of skipping training to undo any good that a fat burner will do for you!

  18. Took off from Tuesday through Saturday to get some rest prior to and post-surgery for my eye this past week, got back in tonight for chest and legs, but was a bit wiped out.


    Flat bench with axle -

    1x5 @ 145 lbs.

    1x3 @ 195

    1x2 @ 235

    1x2 @ 255

    Put on Slingshot to mess around with it a bit

    1x2 @ 285

    1x1 @ 300

    1x1 @ 305

    1x1 @ 310

    1x2 @ 285

    Took off Slingshot

    1x3 @ 235

    1x3 @ 240

    1x3 @ 245


    Squats to parallel -

    1x10 @ empty bar

    1x5 @ 135 lbs.

    1x3 @ 225

    1x2 @ 275

    1x2 @ 315

    1x1 @ 365

    1x1 @ 385

    5x2 @ 405, no big struggle on any rep, felt good for 3 on every set but sticking to the plan for now


    Flat DB bench, palms almost facing each other, turned out just slightly elbows tucked in -

    2x18 @ 75 lb. DBs


    Incline BB bench -

    2x12 @ 135 lbs, 5 seconds lowering, explode up fast


    Safety bar squats to about 3-4" below parallel -

    1x5 @ 225 lbs.

    1x5 @ 275

    1x5 @ 315

    1x5 @ 335

    1x5 @ 355

    Brought out box for squats, set it to 14" so it'd still be well below parallel, did 1x25 @ 225 to wrap up squatting (did 20, rack and sat on box for 15 seconds, did 5 more reps)


    Wrapped up with a circuit of 3 last lifts:


    Horizontal banded bench machine -

    2x20 w/ 3 random bands attached (thick white band, medium orange and small red), one set decline style, one set flat style hand position


    Done in two circuits alternating with


    Lying plate-loaded leg curls, 2x20 @ 120 lbs.


    Panora rope pressdowns, 2x20 @ 100 lbs.


    Completely wiped out at that point, called it a day, looking forward to upper back and event training on Tuesday!

  19. Well, I respectfully agree to disagree depending on what the definition of "functional" is (since different people have different opinions on the definition of the term).


    For me, I'm after overall strength. With around 18 years of training under my belt, I can safely say that nothing has ever given me the overall strength or carryover to other lifts/other activities. In fact, I was actually pretty weak overall when I was a leg press fanatic years ago despite being able to knock out 1000+ lbs. for sets of 8-10 any day of the week (not to mention, my first lower back issues were experienced when leg pressing, it's really unnatural for me as far as the feel since most machines are less than comfortable when I use them). There are quite a few contradictory experts who have noted that there is often great lower back strain for many people withe leg pressing - once your hips come up even a fraction of an inch, you're opening yourself to plenty of injury potential regardless, it's not truly any safer than a barbell squat when squats are done properly. This brings it back more to an exercise being safe/unsafe due primarily to HOW it is performed moreso than WHAT is being performed, as anything can cause injury if not done properly (I even strained my lower back about 15 years ago doing a set of EZ bar curls, proving that one second of carelessness in any lift can put you out for a bit).


    Of course, it always seems the majority of people who squat really have little idea of proper form, so they often end up injured due to poor technique and end up blaming the squat when it is much more fault of improper form (usually due to people's desire to stroke their ego and pile on more weight than they're capable of).


    It goes without saying, you CAN build good size without squats - plenty of people have done it, but suffice to say, the strongest (and almost as often, the fastest) people tend to squat as they find it more appropriate to reaching their overall goals. But sure, if someone just wants to build bigger quads and use machines, you can still get some big legs without ever squatting....but, squatting might just do more than leg pressing ever could, you don't know until you spend enough time under the bar!


    I'll cap it off with this - I've read training logs from many people who have squatted hard and heavy for decades on end, many of who have never suffered the problems noted in the video. Heck, one of the guys at our gym has squatted 500-650 lbs. (belt and wraps only, no squat suits) for over 2 decades, he's in his mid-50s now and is in better shape and stronger than the bulk of guys half his age and has told me that not once has he ever been injured squatting, but ask him about leg pressing and he'll give you an earful about what it did to his knees early on in his lifting career. I've read quite a few stories from long-time strength competitors and various athletes who almost ended their careers with machine-based injuries despite the claims some make that machines are inherently safer. Food for thought!

  20. I'm checking into a supposedly new DIY vegan yogurt kit, if it actually pans out to be 100% vegan, it might be the best way to go if you want to make your own and avoid sugar. I'll post back once I can confirm it (which means, once the manufacturer actually starts returing my calls!)

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