Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Training when you start to get older? I get some questions about it. And the answer? It  depends.

If you played college athletics and it was a contact sport that you played, you most likely will have lingering injuries from those sports. If you powerlifted competitively or weightlifted competitvely, you are gonna be banged up some, so all training has to be adjusted accordingly. If you were not a competitive athlete, you can probably push hard and be fine. 

If you just took some karate lessons and then talked about it forever and never put yourself out there, you'll be fine. Train like crazy.

I have known people who will, not under any circumstances, change things around in their training, meaning that they must squat, bench and deadlift no matter what. Although those exercises are beneficial, you can do variations of those exercises and still get a whole lot out of them.

Here is the deal- you must train what you can train. Put your ego aside. At some point these surgeries become worse than the injury itself.

I broke my elbow in 1987. over time it became more and more stiff, The surgeon was so cocky before surgery, After? "Your elbow is the most screwed up thing that I have ever seen. ", he said.

Whatever. I knew going in to playing football that I'd probably end up messed up. Didn't care at all.
But it changes the way that you train. Let me state this clearly:If you never try to do anything different than the citizenry , you will never get hurt.

I train Division One wrestlers. They are all always sore and hurting. Zero complaints, zero grimaces, zero quitting. It's amazing.  They have been doing this stuff since they were so young that they just accept it. You can't be elite and be healthy. Think about it. Everyone that you know who did great things is messed up. I'm talking about heavy duty stuff. Everyone that you know that is an all america or something like that has crazy mental or physical trauma. I'm talking about football, mma, lacrosse, wrestling. Your body will never forgive you, but it was damn fun while it lasted and you were in the arena! Not sitting on the sidelines criticizing the amazing souls who ventured forward. Anyone who criticizes those that strive is a loser for sure. But I digress.

So train what is healthy, let the past go, realize your limitations. push when you can, kill negative thoughts, get rid of vampires who suck your life blood, realize that being strong comes in many ways, and train every day. Do something every single day even if it is doing 10 pushups when you wake up. that's nothing? Seventy a week, 280 a month. Better than not doing anything and starting Monday. Train when you can't, train when the days are short and the nights are long, train when your girl cheats on you, train when you can barely walk, train when the president is getting  slapped by a terrorist organization, train when there are surgeries or deaths. Train when you are so hungover that the last thing that you want to do is train. Realize that will, only WILL is what matters. Let go of the BS and train, walk in and train, wake up and TRAIN, go in the woods and train.

So the moral is this: Get it done every day, get it done because you are better than everyone else who just talks. Pull your hat down low, put on Slayer's latest and grab it and go.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Don't Say That/A Good Book/A Good Squat

With everyone getting so offended by every damn thing these days ( Recently, I went to my safe place when I was offended by someone calling me Sir. I felt like they were saying that I was old and I thought that was judgemental and then the girl at Barnes and Noble didn't ask If I had a membership card and I asked why? Don't I look like I can have a membership? Why, because I have camo on or I am a big guy?), I started to think back on stuff that was deemed offensive when I was a kid.

Growing up outside of Washington DC (I always wanted to be closer to Baltimore. They had the Colts), you realized real quick that there were things that you shouldn't say and certain things that you shouldn't ever do.. Like if you say or do IT , you get the oh, you shouldn't say/do THAT! This list was pretty short back then. 

Don't talk about some one's mother. That was a huge deal and people would fight at the drop of a hat over that one. Seriously. The first time I heard "your momma" jokes in New Jersey , I looked around for someone to get their ass kicked, but people laughed. I guess folks don't love their mother's anywhere but Maryland. People were very protective of their families in general. Lots of fights over an insult about a family member. In school or after school people would gather to see a good fight. Why are they fighting? Cause Bobby said Sam's Mom was fat. Ohhhhhh!

Don't make fun of other people's religion. Actually, I think that everyone I knew was a Jesus guy of some sort except Desta. She was a tiny little girl in my elementary school classes. She was Jewish, thus she became THE expert on everything Jewish. Like if the teacher was talking about Christmas(probably not allowed to mention Christmas in school these days), and then wanted to mention Hanukkah, she would start talking about some other differences and then she would say, "Isn't that right, Desta?" and she would confirm or deny. I don't remember anyone making fun of her. I think everyone judged each other "cool" or "uncool" , which even that, would be offensive to some people. Labeling and all. 

 Another one:You couldn't say anything when adults were talking. Hell, you never said anything to adults but hello and goodbye unless they asked you a question. My son had this kid over the house one day and this kid was full of himself, man. And the kid is talking to me like I am another 9 year old and he's giggling and being loud and going all over the place and thenI hear my son whisper to this kid...shhhh, my Dad doesn't like silliness....The kid had no idea what that even meant, he was oblivious on how to act at someone else's house. Probably because his parents bought him everything under the sun and told him that he was a unique snowflake and all that stuff. Got a trophy and a seat at the head of the table for taking out the trash one time. So I said screw it and went for a drive. Texted my wife to let me know when that spoiled brat is gone and the kid ain't been back since. I laugh when my dad describes a typical day when I was a kid- wake up, breakfast. School. Home. Sent outside to play. Come in when mom rings the bell. Homework. Shower . Family dinner. Ignored by parents, play with sister. Bed. Or you can add practice in there most of the year. 

When playing outside, you weren't allowed to yell SNAKE in the woods unless there was one, and don't get the cigarette all wet when you smoked it as a third grader (makes sixth graders furious).

Check this out- so true-

Read a great book the other day, Drinking in America, by Susan Cheever. This book tells us that many of the tremendous personalities of our country and many of the major events in the USA's history were influenced by alcohol. I mean, Americans drank and drank and drank. Workers for years were paid in beer, railroads were built by Irish workers who were woken up each morning by a shotgun blast and a shot of whiskey for breakfast. We had Presidents who got smashed and politicians in general who were always wasted. It's a very fun book to read. Check it out.

I have to laugh when people on the internet put down that Alabama running back for "only " squatting 500 in season. He doesn't lift weights for a living, he runs, he jumps , he practices, he takes a tremendous pounding. Could he have done it for a set of 5? Maybe if he leaned a whole bunch on rep 4 and 5 and then been sore for 2 days. Can't do it. Better off doing a single with 500 and leaving. Mentally knowing that 500 is always there for him, even inseason is a mental plus for he and his teammates for sure.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Crazy stuff going on in the world today. Sorta makes arguing or getting upset about losing a ballgame, or winning a ballgame, or a dinner date seem pretty inconsequential. I mean damn, really? This is what is going on in the world today? Shit is hard enough without having to worry about some dude blowing himself up for some idiotic reason and killing some kids. What the hell. Who would ever believe that that stuff is okay and justified? Messed up people, thats who. I mean damn, trying to raise kids and then thinking about what they will have to live with in the future is tough to take. 

I went to a Waterfowl festival today, my son entered a duck calling contest. I am walking around and visiting the duck call booths and the decoy booths, really great products. Bought a Hayes Bad Azz duck call. The owner of these calls was so friendly and helpful that I bought one for my son also. Great guy. 

In fact, in all the hours that I was there, I did not have one encounter with anyone that was rude, or unfriendly, or didn't nod when you walked by them on the street. Reminded me of Boiling Springs, NC.

 And there were guns everywhere and big ass dogs, but the whole time you felt totally safe. James was blowing his duck call (it is loud) under one of the tents because one of the older duck callers who mans a booth asked to hear James call, and people were telling him how good he was, just real down to earth folks. 

And I never have run into an asshole Waterfowler or even hunter for that matter or legal gun owner. Must be something about what they believe in, some values that these types of folks (who live by the times of sunrise and sunset and freeze to death to get a bird or two or sleep with a Lab curled at his feet or treats his shotgun like a newborn baby(and his Lab(s) too) or looks upon opening day as some type of national holiday or treasures the time bonding with good times in the goose blind), treasure deep in their guts. 

Salt of the earth people, the people that I really enjoy being around. There was a gun show there also. Thousands of guns. Not one problem at the gun show. And not a metal detector around and I didn't see a policeman the whole time that I was there. I have a feeling that if there was any problems at the festival that the people that were attending would take care of it with no issue or hesitation.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Let's Dance!

 I am turning over a new leaf. 

I am gonna start loving when players celebrate every tackle, when players make a first down and point, when they make a throat cutting gesture, when they dance between plays, when they point to the sky when they win but never when they lose, when they do that rocking back and forth thing before the game,  when a 50 year old head coach dances in the locker room, when the players have their hair halfway down to their asses, when coaches practice celebration dances in practice. I'm just gonna accept it and join in with the fun! Actually, except for Alabama(Saban seems to be hanging in there), I am not going to watch football  anymore.  Big deal, I know. But I have had enough of it. I am in the minority, I know . They are just showing emotion!  I am old, I am not with the crowd, I could give a crap what Ray Lewis says in his new book that you just know he didn't write, I hate Sportscenter because they focus on all the crap that has nothing to do with playing.   Everything that everybody thinks is so wonderful is what I despise and I am okay with it. Put me out to pasture. But I'll be damned if my kids ever act like Richard Simmons dancing to the oldies on a field. And the coaches, even if they don't like it, do not say a word. Why? because they are afraid that players won't want to come to their schools if they squash all that stuff. They are true cowards. Miami University in the 80's didn't win because they taunted other players or danced or got in trouble off the field. They won because of coaching and talent. Along the way, all of them created a way of acting that is shameful and is poor sportsmanship and is disgusting. I am sure that Gino Marchetti danced whenever he tackled someone. Actually he never did. Why? Maybe because he had been shot at in World War Two and he was a real man. Or maybe he would have rather quit than act like a fool. That's probably it. 

Baseball has some jerks too. That pitcher for Washington who pours chocolate on players. Would he still do it if the cameras weren't around? I bet that he wouldn't. It is such bad sportsmanship, but the lines have become so blurred because everybody does it, and nobody wants to say anything because they will be seen as some type of person who saps the joy out of the game.. As if playing and succeeding is not enough.  And if a player in basketball rubs chalk on his hands and claps them for some reason, isn't that a "me me me" attitude? Isn't that person, saying "I am better than everyone else?" If not, then everybody should do that crap, all the players, from the guy who never plays to the best player. Team sport. 

Baugh and Manning

Old fogey, I am. Need to be put out to pasture. Peyton Manning is cool. His career is ending though, and with that, the humble, real man is gone. You can put the face of Manning and  Clint Eastwood right next to each other in a Mt. Rushmore of real men.  That's not all- the NFL is done. The commissioner is , well I am not sure what he is all about. The fact that he lets players play after they beat the crap out of their girlfriends and wives and nothing happens seems strange. And did you see him when he was on stage at the Draft? He was jumping into the arms of the draft picks. How about a handshake? No, let me show that I can relate and show true emotion. What a fool. Jerry Jones is one of the all time biggest jerks too. If the player that he cares so much about was the worst player on the team, what would he do? Cut him and fast. The manufactured cheering of college game day, the signs, the painted faces, the punching yourself in the chest when you score even though the offensive line had perfect blocking so that you can celebrate all by yourself- all of it is wonderful.

Or maybe I will adapt! I will start off my celebration when I take out the trash, and when I catch a fish, I will do the electric slide, and when I start my car, I will really get excited, pouring Gatorade on my head.  Nah, I'm just going to turn the TV off. 

I am happier already.

Real Men of Football Hall of Fame
Earl Campbell
Sammy Baugh
Johnny U
Peyton Manning
Randy White
Russ Grimm
John Hannah
Joe Klecko
Jim Brown
Mike Webster
Bum Phillips
Tony Dungy
George Atkinson
Jack Tatum
Ken Stabler
Bob Brown

There are many more, but that's a good start. And it puts me in a good mood thinking about all of those guys.

Sunday, October 25, 2015


Pat Dolan is one of my assistant coaches. He started a few years back as a "bald faced boy'"and in a few short years has transformed himself. He has changed his body and his mind in an amazing fashion. He went from never really lifting weights before to (last weekend), competing in the USAPL Raw nationals where he hit personal records in his squat and deadlift. He has written a synopsis of his transformation. Enjoy.

I walk in the first day as an intern, ready to learn. I say that like there is a choice. I don’t know a damn thing about strength and conditioning, so all I have is room to learn. I’m an empty cup. Fill me up. Everyone else is trying to fill my cup with pisswater. College degree, commercial gym, physical therapy, sports research lab. Every single one offers big talk and a good drink, but all they have is pisswater. None have the truth, none have the experience in the trenches to know a real drink when they see one. I’m 6’5, 210lbs, and I need a taste of the truth, a taste of real training. Not just to advance my craft as an aspiring strength coach. I need to feel the thrill of challenging myself again. Pushing the edge, to test your conviction, to find the kind of man (or woman) that you are, and how hard you’ll work for what you want.

A few days at Penn tells a new story. Steel, Brindle, Tracy, Cristi. They lay it straight. Strength training is a fine whiskey. It has a hard bite that only some choose to endure, but it is a peerless drink that electrifies the mind and sets your soul ablaze.

I have no deep squat. I have no deadlift. I don’t even train with consistency. I need a path, I need to understand how.

Then the training starts. For 3 months, I learn basics. Squat: deep, ass to grass. Weight at the center of the feet, heels stay down. Deadlift: Set your back, weight in the heels. Don’t be a bitch, it’s gonna be hard, finish the damn lift. Grit through. It’s not that difficult, you just don’t know how to make yourself work yet. You’ll learn. Even as I struggle to adapt, learning more and more the commitment that strength training takes, the endless battle, my body strengthens. My conviction strengthens. A passion is building.

Steel the blacksmith intervenes. Submit the sword to the fire. If it is strong, it will temper and craft into a stronger, sharper blade. He assigns me the Hatfield 80 Day program. Readers will be familiar, as Steel praises the program highly, so I will leave off of that here. My results speak my regards for themselves. My squat and deadlift increase by almost 100lbs each (95/90). I think that is all that I need to say about that. Except that I want more. It was one of the most physically and mentally challenging experiences in my life, and I just want more.

I pursue new programs. Sheiko. Brindle loves Sheiko , and points me in that direction. The volume is immense. If you have a squat day that doesn’t hit 50+ reps, consider yourself lucky. I’m burning so much energy, stimulating so much muscle growth, I just lift, eat a couple thousand calories, and sleep the rest of the day. Almost like a kid again. Play, eat, sleep. If you get a break off work for a couple weeks, give it a try. Eat, lift, sleep. It’s almost idyllic. The passion grows.

                                           Pat getting it done
Steel customizes 2 or 3 programs for various competition cycles. Damn the high rep deadlifts. I got a trashcan in the weight room with my name on it, and it is my close personal friend when high rep deadlifts come along. Everyone tells me “What the hell are you puking for? Stop puking!” Trust me, throwing up isn’t really high on my list of priorities either. If you find a way to make it stop, I’ll be first in line to find out. It doesn’t matter though. Exhaustion, vomiting, struggle, pain. It is fleeting. It goes away in 5mins, 10 mins, even if it’s a day or two. It’s just a day or two. The strength, the confidence, the pride, the discipline, lasts beyond your reckoning. I remember the hardest workout to date. It was training for a powerlifting meet. 85% 10x2 bench press, 85% 20x2 DL. I was struggling massively with the bench press, as competition requires that you pause it for a duration on your chest. Big bump to the difficulty. A few prior lifts, I also struggle with the bench and ask Steel what to do. “Take more rest. Get it done. No missed reps.” Short and sweet. Not the workout. The workout was long and bittersweet. It took me an hour forty-five to finish the bench without missing any reps. Thenthe DL was another hour. In truth, Steel assigns some harder lifts than this. However, this is just plain mental endurance. I am already struggling to lift a regular amount, and the volume is significant here. Can you get back under the weight again? Even when you know it’s going to suck? Even when you know you will need to do it again after this? And after that and after that and after that? Yes. Yes, I can do it easily. I know it will make me stronger. It will build my resolve. It will build me as a person.

Two years, a powerlifting meet, a strongman competition, and 6–8 training cycles later, I stand 75lbs heavier (mostly muscle), over 200 lbs stronger in the squat and DL, bigger, stronger, more confident. I have developed a conviction in my training, in my opinions, in my actions, a strength of will. I can’t make any real analogies on how strength training is a drug, or even a whiskey, because that is not enough. It is a part of me. It is now a part of the way that I define myself, define my life and experiences. I am happier for it, I am stronger, I am better for it, and I am just getting started.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Right Now

I was talking to a friend of mine this morning about training and sustaining training. I have always had the belief that people find time to do what they want to do. One of my favorite stories in this regard was when my Father was a Professor at the University of Maryland. He faithfully played either tennis, basketball or badminton everyday at 12 noon. Spirited games, fun games. He loved teaching but I have a suspicion that noon time ball was something that he enjoyed even more.

Anyway, he would start calling in the morning to gather up other teachers to play that day. Sometimes he would appoint a graduate assistant as a "noon time organizer" to make the calls. Anyway, one time the Dean told him that he just didn't have time that day.  When this happened, Dad would go through a list of things that were really a waste of time to do when you could be exercising. His first two questions were always the following:

Are you gonna eat lunch today? Yes? Don't eat lunch. You will be okay.

Talking on the phone today non work related? Yes? Skip that for sure. 

Just those two things saved an hour and a half in his day. 

Now you can play.

When people tell me that they don't have the discipline to train, I always counter with

You brush your teeth every day, right? Yes? That takes discipline.

Yeah, but I have to brush my teeth.

Yeah, but you have to work out.

But it may be more than that, maybe folks don't know HOW to start. That's what my friend told me this morning. She is a 60 year old professor who I help with training a few times a week.  She gets it in, she's busy busy, she meets me early Sunday mornings. She doesn't want to get up, to come see me. Her job is nuts, super important in the big scheme of things(cancer stuff), but she comes in and gets it done.  And she says it is the best part of her week. It's a stress release

If you read any self help books, most of them have a common theme: Action is what matters. The first step, taking the step is what matters. Don't care what you do, but do something, right? No procrastination , no analysis , get moving.

What about with the weights? Confused by all the mumbo jumbo? Should you do Powerhouse, Golds, Crossfit, or something else out there? Train at home? Kettlebells?

The answer is just the same as the answer about diet; What will you do and keep doing? You know yourself, right? If you need to lose 30 pounds and you know that low carb is the easiest way for you to do it, that you have tried it before and you started stuffing Munchkins in your gourd after a few days because you just couldn't take it, then guess what? Not for you. Do a diet that takes a little longer but that you will stick with for the long term. 

Just like training. If the idea of a WOD terrifies you and you know that it aint gonna happen after a week, then don't do it.

If you love the idea of kettlebells at home early in the morning alone, right before the kids get up, then freaking do it. 

Sit down and ask yourself (be honest now, don't listen to another person and their opinions about what you should do), what is best for ME and my life? What will I do three times a week without fail? Or everyday with out fail? Or twice a week without fail?

And don't feel guilty about shortness of workouts. I never get this at all. Fifteen minutes of focused, concentrated effort is better that ninety minutes of looking in the mirror, adjusting you gloves(ugh) and talking about your date last night. If it takes you FIVE minutes but your training consisted of two all out sets of squats with a minute rest in between, its better than the BS that most people do in the gym, pumping and preening and never pushing themselves. Bunch of crap all of that is, makes me crazy. People actually feel guilty about not wasting time. 

You have plenty of options when it comes to weights. Some examples-

A little each day-this is a good one when your time is crunched. wake up, do 20 pushups, 3 sets of curls, 20 goblet squats and 3x10 kettle bell presses. Do it every day for a week. The next week? Perform 20 pushups, 3x10 lateral raises, 3x10 kettle bell swings. Switch it up every week, but get it in. That workout takes zero time. Take virtually no rest and kill it. And do it first thing in the morning, before your day starts to take over. Then you are done, you are free to face the day and all the crap that goes with it.

Three times full body- if you join a gym, pick one exercise per body part and perform 3x6-10 reps with each exercise. Example- 

Day 1
Legs- squats
chest - Db bench
Shoulders- press
Biceps- db curls
Back - deadlift
Triceps - extensions

Day 2
Legs- leg press
chest - Db incline
Shoulders- laterals
Biceps- machine curls
Back - bent rows
Triceps - dips

Day 3
Legs- step ups
chest - BB bench
Shoulders- Db upright rows
Biceps- BB  curls
Back - one arm rows
Triceps - pushups

And don't worry about what exercise you choose. Does it work you the body part that you are intending to work?? Great, do it. You don't have to squat every workout or bench or whatever. No damn rues. The objective is to get it done, not worry about little stuff that causes procrastination.

Bodyweight training- everyday training with this is best , I think. 

squat jumps

3x10 every day. Use your imagination. Go to a playground and do dips and chins. Lunge up a hill. 
Or do it in the damn bedroom. Doesn't matter.

Combo training-

This is great on a weekend. Go to a hill. Walk or run up it. Walk or run down. At the bottom, do 10 pushups. Up the hill again. Down the hill. Ten kettlebell swings. Something like that works great and accomplishes cardiovascular fitness and strength at the same time.

There are many more examples of training, and one will work for you, and you have the time and you will succeed because you must, you have to, it is important and you are better than you think you are and it is not too late. 

Right now , right freaking now, if you haven't done anything and you are gonna start on Monday,start right now. Do one thing- do 20 squats. Do 10 pushups, hell, do 5 pushups. Walk down the street and back. Right now, right now, no don't change clothes, no, don't look on Facebook, no, not just "one second", no, not in a few moments, right now, right now, right now.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Cristi's Deadlift Day

Cristi Bartlett is finishing up her training cycle for the USAPL Raw Nationals. Yesterday she worked up to 485 for 2 sets of 1 rep, and then did 445x5. Also she did 245 for 5 sets of 3 after her deadlift. Bent rows are killer for deadlift assistance. She has had a very productive training cycle, I will publish her training after her meet.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Adapt, The Bell Rung

I was on vacation in July and went to a great gym, The Firm, in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware to train. I did my workout and then noticed that they had one of those "BOB" punching bags that look like a man. Dude, I love that thing! Better than a heavy bag, good training tool. Bad news is that I ordered one and punched it every day, 7 days a week.

By doing it, I know that I screwed something up in my neck. Left arm numb. Two world renowned surgeons tell me that I bulged/herniated a disk in my neck. So what? MRI? Eventually. But the training was great. And guess what? It happens. You get banged up.

The only way that you won't have a surgery or ten is by sitting on the couch or never doing anything athletic.You are gonna get hurt.

 If you were an athlete, especially a decent one, especially one who played football, in the 80's or before and worth his/her weight in salt you pushed it and pushed it beyond what everyone says these days is right and you really don't expect anybody these days to understand. You break fingers and hands and get concussions and it was a badge of honor to get out there and play through it. Right? Hmmm. Back then it was right. Now, lots of safety measures. Better for the kids/players in the long run, no question. Thats the PC reaction to it all.

You see, I know that everything that happens to me injury wise is because of football. I played 14 years. I loved football more than life. We did drills where we were supposed to hit our heads together over and over again, "USE YOUR FACE" was the mantra that I always heard.  You sat on your knees across from a partner and when the coach said GO you shot out and hit your heads together. Over and over. I loved that drill. And it worked. Lead with your face and then lock out. You are more powerful like that, you can strike a blow that will decimate your opponent. In fact, I scouted for Arena Football a bunch of years back and we were scouting a major college team and the linebackers where catching blocks with their hands and they were getting pushed all over the place.The head coach of the Arena team said, "They need to lead with their heads". And he was right. Punish with the bowling ball on your head and then lock out. Works every time. Good for you? Of course not. Awful for you. You forget stuff and you can't find your car (Bill Romonowski) as you age. But it was the game.

You ever been hit by a dude who has a little more than you on that play? Or has the right angle? And his head hits you and you see a bunch of stars? If you played high school or college football you have felt it. And guess what? It feels good. You get a hit on your head and it makes you nuts. Bring it on! In fact my Father used to tell me to play like I have been hit in the head. You know, play like a wild man.You make a tackle and the back of your head hits the ground or you lead face first and you make a tackle and you get up and sod is stuck on your face mask and you are walking a little funny and the planetarium is sparkling in your head and it fires you up, man. I tackled Marion Butts multiple times in a bowl game. He probably took a few brain cells from my brain. But Marion Butts!

Bad for you? Of course it is bad for you. But I started playing football in 1976 and I don't remember a year  when I didn't get my bell rung a few times a season. Coaches encouraged it, and I don't blame them. It's what they went through also, and it was what was most effective. And it is hilarious that the NFL is legislating the game with the head hits. If you are an offensive or defensive lineman, you are hitting with your head multiple times each play. Not the big hit once in awhile, but every play. Legislate that and the game disappears. It isn't even brought up.

Damn, off on a tangent.

So anyway, my neck is messed up. So I searched for exercises that don't make me go numb. Db Bench? Nope. Safety squats? Nope. How about deadlifts? Feel good. Do tons of reps and sets with 315...sets of 10 and 20. Sore as hell and happy that I lifted. So you make due, you adapt. You do what you must do in order to keep training and to feel like you can contribute, that you aren't one of the masses with visors on and Big Mac's on their plates and a curl bar at their house that clothes hang on. You never want to be one of those guys who almost played football or lacrosse or wrestling. Or boxing. Or MMA. Risk in all. Chance of greatness in all. What am I saying? I am not saying a thing, just telling my story, just my story. Wouldn't change it for the world. I'll take the chance of old age and being crippled. Messed up? Maybe in some folk's minds. But if you ever played at a decently high level, you wouldn't change it for the world. Your mind set is /was different. I have a friend who goes through it. Head all messed up, multiple  concussions, depression, headaches. Ask him if he'd change anything and the answer is no. That is crazy to most of the population. And get it straight- it is bad for you, crazy, messed up, ludicrous. It's just different and tough for most to "get".

 I don't expect most folks to understand. It is a different mindset,  And that mindset, good or bad, is the reason for the separation from the "I wish I was" to the "I was."

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

It Is Amazing

What is new in your training?

Always interested in how people train. 

My assistant Stephen Brindle, of Believing' Stephen' Christian Rap Fame (The word is that I wouldn't have hired him if I knew about the rap thing. No comment. But he is a hell of a coach). 

Anyway, that boy has been on Sheiko forever. And he is consistent, man. He is dedicated. There he is, bench set up, squat rack set up, going back and forth, yelling that everything is "real light". And sometimes he has his buddy Tim with him, but most of the time, it is just Stephen.  All alone, happy to just be training.  He doesn't have a spot except on heavy benches. He doesn't care who watches him. He has a goal to be stronger and bigger and he loves to train, and you can see that he loves it.

Now, I expect that from him, I really do.  I have seen it from him.

But today, I was thinking, who does that, day after day, 500 pound squats, 600 pound deadlifts, day after day? Few and far between ( Disclaimer: I know your cousin/brother/sister/ uncle/ and YOU are stronger and more dedicated! But let's move on. And these are legit, only a belt, USAPL squats, not your gym lift).

And he slogs away. When I first met him, he was a scrawny 190 something dude. That was , I guess, 6 years a ago? Maybe 5. Anyway, now he is 225 pounds and he isn't fat. And he did it with some supreme dedication. I think that when I think of him, I think-no genetics, just hard work. The man gained 35 pounds in a few years. That's pretty good stuff. And you can do it too. He looks totally different now. And you can do it too. Yup.

Oh yeah- he gets in his protein, but he eats cheesesteaks and drinks milk and really just eats regular other than the protein.

So as I was pondering Stephen, I thought- Programs make some difference, but it is the DEDICATION that really matters. I know that you are smart enough to see that dedication is big and important, without the capitals. Bill Starr told me to stop doing that, capitalizing the big points. But I really want to tell you this- it is the dedication, the getting it done, day after day, no matter what! Sick kids, sick Uncle, sick cat. Take that time for yourself and train. And don't miss the training. Because - see the big ass picture here-you will put together years upon years of this dedication and you will be a totally different person, or should I say it this way- you will be the person that you wanted to be when you first picked up a barbell. 

And, really, what else is there? Come on. Lifting weights is the greatest thing ever. Being big and strong is amazing.  Even a little bit bigger and stronger is amazing, makes you feel like Thor or some other god. You walk out of the gym with a good pump, especially when you first start training and you can't believe how good all of this feels. Your arms are like balloons and your chest feels like Arnold's at the'74 Olympia.

And do not let anyone tell you that it isn't. Lifting weights being amazing , that is. And if they do tell you, if you are already in it, deep in it,  been bitten by the bug, the cliched' Iron Bug, you will not listen anyway. You are past all of that. You have it. And it is deep inside you 

And it just really feels right to be stronger. Man or woman. You look and feel different than normal people. 

All About Being a Lifer

What's a Lifer? Someone who isn't in to something for just a day, a month, a year...it's for life. Whether its training or your family or your job...it doesn't matter. You work at it, you build on it, you see the big picture . You don't miss workouts because it means something to you. You are like a Shakespearean actor- no matter what is going on in your life, you block it out when it's time to train. You walk into the weight room and all else disappears. Worry about it later.