Current Stats

Total weight lifted 2015: 3.6 M lbs
('14-6.5M, '13-6.6M, '12-8M, '11-5.2M)
Total cardio logged 2015: 22.0 hours
Current body weight 301 lbs, Height 6'8

Here's my lifting progress!



Friday, June 27, 2014

How to increase your bench!

Much like anything, variation is the key to increasing your bench.  There are a lot of workouts to choose from, and though you might not think of it, occasional overhead pressing will help your bench, and vice-versa.  I usually bench and overhead press, every week, lately, but never go heavy on both.  I also work in different angles, loads, progressions and elevations.  This week, I chose to stay flat, and do some full-range pressing, some 1 and 1/4 presses, which I may highlight another day, and varying heights on lockout.  Here is a short video to show a 1/2 lockout and what I call a top-end lockout: 

I was crazy sore today, so had to get a massage to work out the kinks.  Between Wednesday's deadlift, and yesterday's bench, my entire torso is shot, and I need to recover for tomorrow, so I'm eating and drinking a lot, today, but taking off on the supplements.

Yesterday, however, I took:
  1. Amino1 with glutamine and creatine
  2. VisionPlus multi
  3. Cell Tech
  4. Arnold Iron Whey
No EFA's yesterday as I had some salmon (and left-overs today).  I had close to 200 grams of protein, spread pretty evenly throughout the day.  I also stayed well-hydrated, and had to because I've had some holes in my sleeping, lately.

So with that, on to yesterday's workout:

Weight Reps
Warm-ups and stretch
1 and 1/4 bench 135 20
225 12
Lockout bench (1/2) 315 6
365 2
415 1
435 1
Lockout bench (top-end) 315 3
405 2
475 2
545 1
605 3
315 25
Full-range bench to burnout 135 50
Curls 35 20
50 12
25 40
Medicine ball floor press superset 150 25
50 25
Abs 60 80
Stretch and cool-down

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Not sure about you, but when traveling, it gets really hard to get a workout in!  I've been on the road for the past week for work, and all I could muster was some light work in the pool and some cardio.  That's why I haven't been updating the blog for the past week, as there was nothing to report.

Yesterday turned out to be a pretty bad work day, so when I got to lift, it was a nice break and gave me some motivation to throw the weight around.  I actually went for a 615 lb pull on the axle, but couldn't seem to get it past my knees.  I take solace in the fact that it did come up off the ground, especially since I was tight through my hamstrings due to a week of "inactivity".  Progress is slow and hard-fought, but it keeps coming!  6 months ago, that wouldn't have budged. 

I've decided to start highlighting some of the nutritional choices I'm making.  I'm not a nut about things, so focus mainly on protein and not eating too much junk.  Yesterday, I consumed about 190 grams of protein and took the following supplements:
  1. MusclePharm Glutamine
  2. MusclePharm Amino1
  3. Arnold Series Iron CRE3 (1-3 taken together)
  4. MusclePharm BCAA 3:1:2
  5. VisionPlus Eye Multi-Vitamin and Antioxidant
  6. Salmon Oil softgels (3 grams of oil)
  7. CoQ10 (4-7 taken together)
  8. Arnold Series Iron Whey - Chocolate (2 servings)
  9. Assault - Pineapple Mango

I had a blend of the glutamine, creatine and Amino1 to try to get hydrated before my lift (a few hours before).  I sipped the protein in the afternoon as I had a solid breakfast.  Lunch was two peanut butter and honey sandwiches, banana and yogurt, so I needed the shake.  As for Assault, I don't always take a pre-workout, but yesterday I needed it!  Dinner had a ton of milk and a good amount of turkey, so didn't need a second shake.

Around lunch I took the VisionPlus multi (which I actually manufacture), the BCAA, Salmon Oil and CoQ10.  I mix-up what I take at this time each day.  I cycle a few different multis, don't always do the BCAA, and use different Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs).  I'm a firm believer in variation while still targeting specific nutrition levels/standards.

Lifting is a key part of my efforts to get stronger, but equally important are sleeping enough (which I never do with 3 kids!), eating enough (and eating the right things), and drinking enough.  All 3 things are tough for me, but I do my best.  That said, as time allows, I'm going to try to incorporate a nutritional overview in my posts, if for nothing else than to be a good record for myself!

And here is yesterday's workout:
Weight Reps
Warm-ups and stretch
Deadlift axle 135 10
135 10
245 2
295 2
405 3
495 1
545 1
all attempts only 615 3
405 10
Axle rows 135 15
135 15
Band rows high 150 20
150 20
Band rows low 150 20
150 20
Stretch and cool-down

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Z-Press a.k.a. Savickas Press

I tried something new, tonight, that I've seen done, but never tried.  This taxes your back, and makes your legs work really hard to keep you from tipping over.  I don't think I could do much more weight than this, regardless of my ability to press, because remaining upright is almost impossible!  You'll see me wince a bit and pull my legs back because I nearly pulled my quads fighting gravity.  If you've never tried a Z-Press, or a Savickas Press, give this a go sometime:

Here is today's workout:

Weight Reps
Warm-ups and stretch
Shoulder band work 25 375
Savickas press 45 30
95 6
145 3
165 2
185 2
shoulder hurting, stopped 145 4
Incline/decline press superset 150 40
150 50
150 40
150 60
Triceps lockout medicine ball 150 15
150 15
Curls burn-out 40 44
Abs 60 90
Stretch and cool-down
5 min cardio

Monday, June 16, 2014

Axle deadlift

Brian is hurt and can't deadlift from the ground, so we pulled from the blocks, again, today.  We mixed it up with the axle to help him get ready for Master's Nationals.  I worked up to 605, and struggled a bit, but got it.  I then hit a back-off set of 10 reps on 405 and made 2 attempts at a double-overhand pull, but my grip was too fatigued from Saturday:

Not a bad day, overall.  I did the stuff after the deadlift fairly quickly to give the feel of doing some cardio.  Here is the workout:

Weight Reps
Warm-ups and stretch
Good mornings 115 10
115 10
Block pulls (axle) 225 6
225 6
335 4
445 2
555 1
605 1
with 2 double-overhand attempts 405 12
Rows DB 75 24
75 24
Curls 35 20
35 20
35 20
Abs 60 175
Stretch and cool-down

Tomorrow I'll be pressing, so check back!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Last two workouts

I'm super short on time, but I had a quick, but good, squat lift on Wednesday, and today was bench and grip.  We were going to deadlift, too, but ran out of time.  Here are the last two workouts:

Weight Reps
Warm-ups and stretch
Grip work 25 200
Rows 50 50
Squat 100 20
210 6
300 5
400 4
450 3
500 2
500 2
300 12
Curls 25 30
30 30
35 26
40 24
25 40
Abs 60 60
Stretch and cool-down
10 min cardio
Weight Reps
Warm-ups and stretch
Bench (bands) 100 10
190 6
260 4
310 3
Bench (reverse bands) 275 2
325 2
375 1
415 1
225 20
Rolling thunder (various weights)
Dips 300 20
300 20
300 20
Grip (axle hold cumulative) 205 100
CoC 100 200
Abs 60 150
Stretch and cool-down
min cardio

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

New Personal Record on Overhead Press

I'm bad at overhead pressing.  My overhead is about 65% of my bench and it should be closer to 75%.  I have shoulder impingement which makes the overhead motion painful at times, so I have to be careful when lifting.  When I stay up on my routine "rehab" work, I'm generally ok, but there is some ebb and flow to the pain.

Anyway, today turned out to be a very good lift.  I threw 270 lbs over my head.  It felt good, and perhaps if I hadn't done so much volume early on, I may have gone heavier.  By year-end, I'd really like to be pressing my body weight overhead, and I think that is a doable goal.

Here is a video of my top few sets (6-8 of 10), followed by today's workout:

Weight Reps
Warm-ups and stretch
Plyometrics 300 80
Standing overhead press 100 15
130 6
150 4
180 3
210 2
240 1
250 1
270 1
strict 150 8
strict 100 20
Triceps bands 75 20
75 20
75 10
Triceps DB burnout 30 50
Abs 60 100
Stretch and cool-down
5 min cardio

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Heavy back workout with full body

Today's focus was on back, but also turned into a catch-all for what I couldn't work in, otherwise, this week. 

Here is a quick video of a super heavy medicine ball being used like a stone for back work:

While the ball only weighs 150 lbs, it sits right on your upper abdomen/lower lungs, so you basically struggle to breathe the whole time which makes a lot of volume impossible.

Deadlift was good.  I hit 545 for a double and didn't struggle too much, so a good sign.  The true coup, today, though, was a record for me of 18 reps of deadlift on 315 lbs in 1 minute!  It took a few minutes to recover from that, but it felt good!

Without further ado, here is today's lift:

Weight Reps
Warm-ups and stretch
Shoulder rehab work 25 500
Curls DB 25 24
25 24
Deadlift  155 10
265 3
365 2
475 2
525 2
545 2
1 minute max reps 315 18
Barbell curls 100 10
100 10
100 8
Abs (weighted) 75 80
Medicine ball (half lifts) 150 8
150 12
Bent rows (volume) 100 25
100 25
Kettle bell swings 53 12
88 12
Step-ups 300 24
300 24
Calf raises 315 20
315 20
315 20
Abs 60 100
Burn-out curls 25 50
Stretch and cool-down