Friday, March 2, 2012

Training Update and Some Thoughts

Bench: 245x3, 220x3x3

Chins: 30 reps

TRX Pushups: 100 reps

Hang Clean and Jerk: 220x1x5

Gun Show

Dead Lift: 506x1, 440x1x6

I actually did some snatches before the clean and jerks on Wednesday.  I’m very out of practice with them.  I felt strong but very slow.  It goes to show that you get good at what you train.  I haven’t done them in a while so I’m not all that great at them right now.  My technique was good, just not fast and explosive.

Pressing movements are slowly and steadily coming up.  It’s going to take a while.  These have been my slowest moving lifts.  For someone who can squat 500 and dead lift 600 my pressing numbers are pretty sad.  I know that to get better at them I would really need to dial back the lower body training and put more focus into the upper body.  Just not real sure I really want to do that.

I had a client hit a dead lift PR the other day.  She pulled 216 lbs.  It was the first time she’d ever dead lifted anything over 200.  It was one of those small victory moments that stay with you for a long time.  It’s the reason why I love what I do.  When I first started working at NX Level I had more of an interest in strength training.  It has since grown into a passion.  In the beginning I thought it was fun but didn’t really put much effort into the pursuit of knowledge it takes to really be successful.  I was more than happy to just read exercises off of a sheet of paper and be on my way.  Now I take my self-study seriously and am constantly trying new things on myself and those that I work with, always trying to achieve better results.  Needless to say I’m very thankful with where I am in my career.

This weekend Amy and I are hosting some friends of hers.  I’m going to be grilling up some BBQ bacon cheeseburgers where the bacon is chopped up and mixed in with the burger meat.  I’ve never tried them like this before.  To say I’m excited would be an understatement. 

When it comes to musical tastes around the gym Lance and I are on the outside of what most people like.  Most in the gym are good with radio rock, modern rap/hip hop, or Top 40.  None of those really interest me.  I’m into punk rock and metal.  For some reason this music, whether it’s the loud guitars, screaming vocals, or just general awesomeness, causes people to make snide comments.  “Are there even words?”  “Why are they so angry?”  And so on. 

It reminds me of a time when Amy and I were at her parent’s house.  They had country music on in the house, and if you don’t know that I despise most country music you don’t know much about me.  I’ve had just about everyone say to me, “Just listen to the lyrics.”  The lyrics?  It’s usually the contrived, hackney, shitty lyrics that I can’t stand.  Not to mention the hypocrisy of multi-millionaires who apparently “live country”.  But that’s beside the point.  Amy mentioned to her mom that I don’t like country music.  Without missing a beat her mom turns to me and asks, “You don’t like that heavy-metal crap do you?”  My reply was simply, “Mrs. Bachler, I tell people ‘I don’t like country music,’ not, ‘I don’t like that country music crap.’”  We all had a good laugh after that.  My point is that different folks are into different strokes.  It would be a pretty boring place if we all liked the same watered down, formula driven, non-offensive, sophomoric music that populates the airwaves these days.  Sick burn.

A huge congratulations to my great friend Eric Ficek.  About a year and a half ago Eric weighed 385 pounds and had done zero exercise since high school football.  His only attempt at losing weight came during his freshman year of college when he went on an oranges and Everclear diet.  It did not lead to long term success.  After Lance and I ran the Warrior Dash Eric started exercising again.  He got into powerlifting and started cleaning up his diet.  About six months ago he was down to 340 but was essentially on cruise control. 

He mentioned that he’d like to lose some weight to compete in the 275 pound powerlifting class.  I offered up my knowledge and began writing weekly diet plans for him.  His initial goal was to get to 265 so he could have lots of room for the 275 class.  I thought he would be more awesome at the 242 class.  Well, last week he sent me this picture.

240.4 never looked so good.
It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice to lose 20 pounds let alone 100.  The thing about Eric is that there really isn’t anything special about his weight loss.  He did a big chunk of it through the holidays and got a little lose with things.  He didn’t bemoan his lack of fortitude; he just got right back on the wagon.  No one has the iron will to resist every single temptation that comes their way in a six month time span.  As a coach I wouldn’t expect nor would I want a client to resist every temptation.  You need to live a little too.  The hard part is to keep them very sporadic.  I’m talking weeks apart, not days.  So if Eric can lose 100 pounds and do a 180 on his physical status think about what you could do.

And now a little plug; if anyone is interested in online coaching send me an email at or just drop a line in the comments.  Whatever your goals are whether they are training or diet related there’s a good chance I can help you out.  But keep in mind, it isn’t free.

I went sans belt on all the dead lifts today.  All of them felt really good.  I even pulled one of the 440s with a double overhand grip (the hardest grip).  Without the belt I really feel the stress through my abdominal wall and obliques.  I think I’m going to keep the belt off for dead lifts for a while.  Hopefully when I put the belt back on my back and abs will be a lot stronger.

I don’t have anything against training with a belt.  I think younger lifters, and especially athletes, should try to go as far as possible without one though.  You could debate the topic of whether or not it’s cheating or safe for the other muscles and joints doing the work until you are blue in the face.  But the fact remains that you can lift more with it than without it. 

I couldn’t tell you the last time I went to a movie in a theater.  Wait, yes I can.  It was Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.  But the time before that was Due Date.  That came out well over a year ago.  I even have trouble sitting down at home to watch one.  I’d rather read or write or cuddle fight with Saxon.  Also, I might be getting AD- HEY A SQUIRELL!

I hope everyone has a great weekend and thanks for reading!

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