Programming, Thoughts, Training, Update

One Week To Go! / Looking Ahead

Well I have one week left to go in my 6 Week Program. I have been controlling my diet well and it has been going quite well! I’ll be posting my results next weekend, but I can say, looking at the numbers, that my lifts and rep ranges have gone steadily up across all my primary lifts.

This is hugely encouraging, as I’ve managed to shed about 15 lbs in the process. I’m very happy with how things have come together, and I’m excited about my future progress.

Looking ahead now, I’ve been happy with my progress, but I also feel like I went a little easy on myself. I know, deep down, that my body is capable of much more than I usually push it to achieve.

To that end, I’m going to be reprogramming next weekend. I am continuing a total-body program, aimed at increasing my general strength. I’ve been looking in to Linear Progression programs as explained by Brian Alsruhe. My brother has been using his program and really enjoys it, and I think that it will be what I’m looking for.

Here is the video, if you’re interested. He lays out the basics of the program, and how it benefits his training. It sounds a little daunting, but I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’ll put my program together this week, and let you know how it goes!

Keep checking back for the wrap-up of my first 6 weeks, and train hard!

Feel free to message me any questions, or leave them in the comments below.


The Bear.

Thoughts, Training

Keeping Positive

Had a long day, exhausted from work, but staying positive! Two really solid workouts this weekend. Managed to pull 405 lbs deadlifting for a pair of doubles, no straps or chalk. Also managed 4 reps of 135 lbs strict overhead press. I felt like i had a fifth in me, but I lost my air at the bottom of the fourth and bottomed out.

Considering both those weights used to be my one rep max for those lifts, respectively, It’s very encouraging to see progress on this scale, small as it is.


The Bear


Analyzing Your Workout for Self-Improvement

So there was a recent incident at my gym that involved a membership being revoked for “excessive nudity” and signs posted at the entrances and all around that members had been complaining of “excessive posing, nudity and photography.”

“Finally!” I thought. Here is a perfect example of negative gym culture being taken down a peg. Besides being obnoxious, and wasting your time as well as everyone else’s…well I guess there’s not much more to it then that.

But the incident got me thinking.

How focused am I on my training, rather than the appearance of my training?

My Patented Ugly Sweater Workout routine certainly helps keep my focused, but is it enough? How much time do I spend looking in the mirror, trying to see my own muscles bulge, or catch the cute girl looking my way? We all do it, I know. But here’s where I had a brainstorm.

My new rule of thumb for a workout analysis goes something like this:

Were you training like Rocky Balboa at the beginning of Rocky 3? Or were you training like Rocky Balboa at the end of Rocky 3?

I know, I know. It’s not the strongest film in the franchise, but I challenge you to find anyone who doesn’t understand the concept of a Rocky-style training montage. But I digress.

At the beginning of Rocky 3, when he is first challenged by Clubber Lang, Rocky has gone soft, fighting easy opponents, and doesn’t take his training too seriously. The press is in there with him, bombarding him with questions. He takes breaks to pose for photos, and smooch pretty ladies. There’s no fire, no urgency, no intent. It’s all a show.

Compare that to after his defeat, when Apollo begins training him. There’s intensity, desire, and will behind every action. There’s no fancy equipment or press box.Training is just training.

Now say what you will about the Rocky movies (except don’t actually, BECAUSE THEY’RE AMAZING) but at the end of the day, I think this lengthy metaphor holds true.

Are you in the gym to train? Or are you there to look good training?


The Quest for 500 (Part Two)

To meet my goal of a 500 lb deadlift by christmas, I’ve had to change my approach to training. For the next four months I will be moving away from my full-body program to a more focused one, centered on the deadlift.

I will deadlift one day a week, with another day devoted to leg accessory training, and 2 days devoted to overhead training. For the next 3 months, I will be doing low-medium weights and training for reps, rather than attempting to max out any of my lifts.

The workout program I have built works on the deadlift as a whole, with emphasis on my weak points, in this case, my lockout. To build strength above the knees I’ve added hip thrusters, rack pulls and upper back work to my deadlift routine, and I now alternate between conventional and sumo stance to better train my hamstrings.

September, October and November will be hard training months, with some few breaks (my partner and I’s two-year anniversary next weekend, for one) and the first few weeks of December will be for recovery. Midway through December I will prepare for a heavy lifting day and attempt a 500 lb deadlift.

I feel optimistic about my odds of success. My training is going well and I m seeing improvement in my technique already.

The added benefit of this new program is the additional high-rep/low-weight overhead training will help me build up the base muscularity to help my weakest lift: the log press.

Send some deadlift inspiration my way!

Training, Update

The Quest for 500

So I’ve been thinking about a lot of things lately.

How tired I feel, how frustrated, how far I have left to go, is it even worth it?

I’ve had really bad training sessions and come close to hitting rock bottom in my motivation.

But I keep coming back.

I work 8.5 hours a day in a sawmill and I still hit the gym 4-5 times a week for my training sessions.

I have no gear besides straps and chalk, and I work out in walmart sweatshirts and Chucks. I love it. I love the weights, the iron. I love the sweat and the grind and the burn and that incomparable feeling of breaking a PR.

My first meet whetted my appetite for the sport, and left me hungrier than ever to compete. I love this sport and I want to give my all at it. I’ve never met a more welcoming and encouraging group of athletes in my life. I felt truly honoured to be welcomed into the sport.

But I still wonder sometimes if I have what it takes. I wonder if I have the determination to push my body to its limits, to keep a strict diet and discipline my sleep, training, and recreation. I am full of doubt.

So I’m making a promise to myself. My Christmas present to myself and my followers will be a 500 lb deadlift.

To me, the 500 lb deadlift is an almost mythological lift. When I first started, it seemed impossible, and Eddie Hall’s world records godlike. But now I’m closer than ever to the 500 mark, and I’m starting to think that I can do this. I’m starting to believe.

So if I can do this, if I can make this happen, then I will truly believe that I can be a strongman. That I have what it takes. Because no matter what I hear, no matter what encouragement I receive, I still doubt. This will be my quest to purge that doubt.

Thanks for following, all of you. Your support means the world to me.


The Bear.

New PR, Training

New PR!

Had a truly terrible workout last week, and it had been gnawing at me all week. Felt good today, and went in feeling optimistic.

Started with some high rep rack pulls to work on my weak deadlift lockouts, then decided to try out a little bench press. I’ve been trying to work on my tricep power lately, one of my weaker points.

Long story short, I ended up breaking my benchpress PR twice, going for 250, then making a clean 275. Might have had a few pounds more, but I felt like that was enough. Finished off with some heavy negatives. Absolutely crushing, but the workout was fantastic. Feeling good  today. Time to celebrate with bacon pizza.

Training, Update

Changing Up the Routine

So my recovery time hasn’t been where I’d like it to be, so I’ve decided to change up my 8-Day Workout Routine to let myself recovery better in the relatively short time between my squat and deadlift days.

I’d fallen into something of a trap. Always watching the bigger guys in the gym, watching world class strongmen online, and feeling more and more that the ground I have to make up is insurmountable. It’s been frustrating, despite my steady progress.

So feeling the need to catch up, I’d been trying the go heavy on my squat and deadlifts every day, and the strain has been slowly tearing me down and doing nothing but leaving me all the more tired and frustrated.

So I’ve taken some time, and enforced some discipline into my routine. Now, I’ll be alternating my squat and deadlift days. For example, if I go heavy the first week on squats, then I’ll spend my deadlift day doing accessory work. I feel like this will allow my body to recover more fully between my heaviest days, squat and deadlift, which have the double pain whammy of being the heaviest lifts in my repertoire, as well as hitting almost the exact same muscles.

Hopefully this will see me able to attack my wokrouts with a little more energy, and keep up my intensity. Trying the stay motivated is hard, but I feel like I can keep a positive mindset.

Bear Power!