Back on the wagon.

music selection:  “Gimme Sympathy” — Metric

waist-line: 37.5 inches

I’ve missed a few workouts recently due to needing to work on some minor plumbing issues. My father “helped”, meaning a small job turned into three larger jobs.  I was able to get by spending under 200 dollars but I worked for less than minimum wage in the process.

I’m back in the saddle with lackluster workouts.  I’ve started carrying a full sized bath towel to the gym because the ‘sissy pads’ for the squat are never easy to find.  Strong Lifts 5×5 recommends lifting without the pads but I’m not in this game to come off as a “tough guy”.  I’m just trying to improve my body fat composition to something where I no longer carry a spare tire.

I continue to remind myself with every small success and especially with each setback that getting in shape is a lot like the process of achieving financial independence.  You build up lots of small wins.  You stick with it over a longish period of time when other people are giving up.  And you don’t stress over slow progress.  It is a marathon and not a sprint.

I want to increase my base strength a little further, especially on overhead press and bench press and then transition to the P.H.U.L. workout.  I think it would do me some good to mix in some muscle building sets to supplement pure strength building.  How do you make a muscle “strong” if it scarcely even exists?  It seems to me a mix of the two is really needed.

Mostly off topic but I’m going to the LSU/Rice game at Tiger stadium this Saturday.  Dad is a huge fan and he has never seen his team play at home.  The family and I finally found a game where you could get decently priced tickets. It is going to be cold (or at least cold to a Houstonian) so I just back from Academy to buy a decent coat.  I haven’t owned a coat in over a decade as layering up with light sweaters is usually enough for Houston winters.  What I couldn’t find was thermal underwear.  The only ones they had were some weird poly/spandex blend and not the old school waffle pattern fabric.  Wal-mart apparently doesn’t carry thermals at all.  I could probably order online but can’t realistically get shipping in time for the game.  If I’m late with Monday’s post, it is because my fingers are still frozen!

Devour your prey raptors!

Bro, do you even lift?

Never miss another opportunity to devour prey!

7 thoughts on “Bro, do you even lift?

  • November 14, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    Strength traning is neural at first, which explains the quick progression and lack of muscle growth. There is still growth, but it’s a slow process. Top athletes can increase their muscle mass by 30 grams per day and we’re not top athletes.

    Switching to hypertrophy training will give you bigger muscles for sure. This comes from enhanced energy storage though. This is short term change and that mass is going to disappear quickly if you stop training.

    I did hypertrophy this past year to try it out and I saw immediate growth. However, it all shrunk as fast if I skipped workouts for various reasons. I’m back to strength and it’s the same as before, except for enhanced range of motion. Lighter weights and 3 seconds to lower the weight are good for that.

    • November 15, 2018 at 12:43 am

      Thanks David. Wednesdays are the days where I learn from my audience instead of the other way around. I love it.

  • November 14, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    Hehe! The poly-spandex stuff is way better. The old school waffle pattern long johns were made of cotton, which IMO should never be worn in cold weather. White water rafters have a saying that “cotton kills” because if it gets wet it stays wet and gets ice cold. Wool, nylon, and polyester maintain some insulation value when wet instead of making you even colder, and they dry faster too. Hit the Goodwill and I bet you’ll find some snowbird’s obsolete ski jacket, or some wool dress slacks. If you have nylon dress socks they’ll do better than 3 layers of cotton.

  • November 14, 2018 at 10:46 pm

    You will never go wrong getting stronger. But sometimes a change of pace is good from a mental standpoint.

    Learning to squat without pads is the preferred method. You will notice better control over the bar and over the weight without layers separating you from the load on your back. Having said that, it is better to squat with a pad vs. not squatting at all. One helpful tip is to pull your shoulders and elbows back as you get under the bar. You want to be stay tight with your lats, arms (entire shoulder girdle) as if you are trying to bend the bar over your back. This should give you some extra muscular padding to have the bar on top of. Sorry if this is unclear, it is easier to do than to describe!

    Lastly, if you are still having form problems and LB pain with squats, learn to do goblet squats. Do a search for “Brent Contreras goblet squat”. This is a very good short video of a drill that will teach proper squatting position in a very efficient way. Start with a 20 or 30 pound dumbbell until you get the form dialed in. Once you’ve got it, you can go to a heavy DB and work your legs pretty well if you do 10-20 rep sets. A couple weeks practicing that will help your squat form a lot . This will probably be more helpful than anything else you can do in the weight room right now.

  • November 15, 2018 at 1:18 am

    If you “need” the sissy pad because of discomfort, you’re not positioning the bar correctly. It shouldn’t be resting on your (traps) muscles, but kind of ‘in between’ the traps and the rear delts. Kind of like how proper bicycle seats have your weight supported by your “sit” bones, not by your ass cheeks.

    • November 15, 2018 at 7:51 pm

      Right, I’ve read about that and I’ve watched some videos. I can’t seem to master the right technique. And these mysterious “back muscles” every swears are there as padding just don’t seem to exist for a “skinny-fat” guy like me. Maybe I need to do some rows and pull downs as side work. At any rate, I think I’m going to follow Richard’s advice and do the kettlebell squats for a while to improve form and range of motion. No pad needed for several weeks!


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