R14D18 – Up The Reps And Treadmill Guy

Tuesday, 09/30/2014 43 DL up to 185 for reps
Wednesday, 10/01/2014 44 Bench and Dips at 135 for 200 reps
Thursday, 10/02/2014 45 PC and Psnatch at 95 for 100 reps


It’s not a surprise that I am enjoying the lighter weights and higher reps. It gives a great pump, you know you are not risking injury and the workout doesn’t make your head explode. That said, I am still sidelined somewhat with my calf. It has been 2 weeks and 2 days since I did it and I didn’t make the mistake of trying to stress it after only 10 days like last time. But now I am thinking that I need a way to get back into the cardio work without risking injury. I think the secret may be in walking. Just like when I actually do go for a “run” (and yes, I am using that term very loosely) I find that unless I walk for AT LEAST 5 minutes beforehand, I get the worst shin splints. I think the same should apply for Insanity, that I should be walking at least 5 minutes first. The great news is that after about a month of waiting, the treadmill guy is finally coming tomorrow to replace the motor in the treadmill. I am not sure when exactly it went out  but I am guessing it was around Sept 1st. The great news is that the weather is starting to close in a little, and walking outside is just too much of a pain with clothes and so on. Much better to walk in my underwear on the treadmill with bare feet watching The Inbetweeners or something equally as inane. It’s not before time either, since today the WOD officially is:

Metcon (Time)

3 Rounds For Time

800m run
50 Sit-ups
25 Deadlifts @ 135#/95#

Now I won’t be doing it obviously I have my 50 / 50 Power Clean and Power Snatch workout to do but if I want to get back to the published WODs I will have to get my leg back in to shape.

Yesterday, for the sake of detail was bench and close grip with dips.

Bench / Close Grip / Dips


For a total of 242 reps.

R11D40-43: Another Weekend Away Plus Back Stretches

This travelling is getting tedious and honestly I am losing my enthusiasm for hotel beds and pools. This weekend we were out in Peterborough where the best hotel room in the whole town was only $129. On Friday I rested and coached 3 hours but on Saturday before we left I managed to squeeze in a bench workout with barbell and dumbbell because my back was a little sore. It was destined to get worse as the days passed too. I benched up to 235lbs around 10 sets total with chasers of dumbbell presses and flies. Sunday after we returned I was going to do some Olympic lifting but again my back was a little tender and after I had finished my 5 sets of 5 deadlifts I decided to hop on the treadmill and ran a mile pretty much without stopping (although my pace was rather pedestrian). My ITB was tight and sore, and I have a feeling that stretching it is what is causing my back pain. I have to say here that I am a little confused at why this happens, I remember following the Supple Leopard in stretching my ITB and hips before my recent surgery and I remember having nothing but acute hip pain for months after moving into hip stretches. I was better for it relating to my back but my hips were in agony. Not only that, but after being laid up for a few days after surgery when I started walking again it was my hips that gave me the most pain. I have also noted that I don’t have any stretching instructions in this blog, at least not any that are easy to locate so I am going to try and put together a few of my favourite stretches, or maybe find where I have done it before and re-brand the page. Then Monday which was Family Day I once again opted to stay off my back and it was even more sore than before up into the mid right side feeling like a muscle pull more than anything. I did manage to get about 30 minutes of heavy bag work done with some direction from P90X3 MMX.

I am often asked about back pain, having had 2 back surgeries I am what you would consider to be experienced with it. The first thing I do is recommend stretching the ITB and hamstrings and hips in order to try and release whatever compression surrounds the area. How to do that? Do this:
This is one of the best for my back and hips. It does make loud cracking noises in my spine however and you should do it every day… you should do all of them every day really.

Very simple stretch to help loosen up the back and abdominals

Very good for tight hamstrings that can cause all kinds of back problems

More advanced for hips, this is actually quite hard if you are male

Another very good stretch for hips and sciatic problems. You should feel the stretch in the buttock and hip of the leg that is crossed over, in this case the left leg.

Very basic, can be done in conjunction with an arching motion every time you stand up

A little more difficult for some, and also hard to control but once you can do it, it is very effective.


Be careful with this if you have pinched nerves, but the leg in front takes the load off the spine somewhat.

Cat stretch, also can be alternated with seal stretch where from the starting position you drop your hips to the floor and keep your arms straight.

Swiss army knife stretch, very good for hips and back

Basic and similar to the front bend, but this is a standing version of the cat stretch / seal stretch.



RehabD2 – Bench is back

marge benchI benched 275 today which is my full operating weight!! I also was able to do some pullups without the crunching and searing pain in my shoulder so all in all things seem to be moving along. I did maybe 12 sets of bench with various weights from 135 to 275 and probably a total of 50 or so pullups in varying sets of 3-7. Certainly not impressive for a healthy person, but pretty epic for me! I was at physio which left me a little sore, but other than that I felt OK during the day.

Gym conditioning

60s per item, 2 min rest

box jumps or pushups
in and out
squats or military
walking lunge
jack and jill
frog jumps or burpees


lunge walk + squat 10 lines with 20lb collar
5 stairs with collar
5 double stairs with collar

R5D31 – The Stunning Revelation (and chest day)

fat davidI decided to do a short chest workout since I was pressed for time getting to coaching. Always looking for weird and bizarre ways to work out I came up with this:

5 reps, rest 10 seconds x 10 @ 135lbs
5 reps, rest 10 seconds x 7 @ 205lbs
3 reps, rest 10 seconds x 5 @ 255lbs

50 dips – Total workout time, under 20 minutes.

The bench was tough, I knew resting so little would reduce both my rep count and my weight so I was prepared to be both finished early and disappointed with the numbers. However, I managed 15 reps at 255lbs which is currently more than my body weight so I am learning to be satisfied. I am a little concerned over my triceps with all the KB work and how little work they seem to get even with the C&P so I will endeavor to get more tricep dips done on chest day.

We did weigh in 1 for Biggest Loser at work yesterday and I rolled in at 254.4. Granted, I had eaten breakfast(s) and had coffee and held off on the bathroom stop but still, it was pretty high. We have 3 months, and I would like to see 230 something. It’s pretty ambitious I know but if I can find a way to get there on the Paleo diet without really changing what I eat that much it will definitely solidify my belief in the system.

So what is the revelation?

I read a blog this morning about a guy who has lost a lot of weight and something struck me like a hammerblow to the face. he said “I like food. Actually, that’s not true. I love food.” and I stopped cold and thought to myself, “man, I used to say that all the time.”. In fact, I then thought of M over at NomNomPaleo who says on her front page “I love to eat. I think about food all the effing time. It borders on obsession.” and I realized that I used to be like that too but ever since I have given up grains, I haven’t felt that way about food. I would have considered myself a compulsive overeater it was that bad. I used to eat until I was physically uncomfortable, I was usually hungry, and if not hungry, bungry, hangry or sungry. For those who don’t know:
Bungry – Bored not hungry, but eating anyway.
Hangry – Angry not hungry, but eating anyway.
Sungry – Sad not hungry, but eating anyway.

Sound familiar to anyone? If so, you need to step away from whatever low fat snack you have in your hand, pretending that it is healthy because the bag says so and learn to kill your inner food demon. That demon feeds on grains and it won’t go away until you starve it to death. This may sound like an epic oversimplification but I am only living proof that it works. In a stark turnaround I am now able to look at my relationship with food as something completely different. It’s not a relationship any more. It is a one way street, and that is the way it should be. Anyone who says they have a relationship with food is already in trouble, and treating your addiction / obsession as a living thing is  not going to solve your problem. Your link to food should be one of objective observation and selection. In that way you can admire food, you can manipulate food, you can even love certain foods but they don’t control any aspect of your life. I don’t have a relationship with food, food is just food, it’s just stuff like engine oil or a bag of screws it doesn’t have any emotional effect on me any more. Now that doesn’t mean that when I had Virgil’s brisket in NYC last week I wasn’t close to tears, but that is a reaction, not an attraction.

It has been such a gradual process that I really didn’t realize how big of a change it was until today. I was thinking yesterday that I haven’t had any refined sugar since my parents were here in October of last year and how little I miss it. It seems incredible that I have stuck to what some people would think is a “tough diet” but in all honesty, this is the easiest lifestyle change I have ever made. Maybe it is because my “cravings” were usually for salty and meaty not sweet, maybe that is what helped me the most, but I would bet dollars to donuts that anyone can do exactly what I have.

Sorry grains, it was fun, but it’s over.

..and besides, Ricky Gervais says it’s not a disease

R5D9-10 – Cardiopocalypse

new hatBeing at home with the baby is a unique set of challenges in a lot of ways, not least of all when it comes to working out. I had to do my bench sets with the baby looking on with an even stranger look than when I did the RKC the other day. It is a little disturbing however I managed to get through the following:
15-15-15-15 @135
10-10-10-10 @ 185
7-7-7-7 @225
5-5-5-5 @ 275

The following day I had come to the realization that the baby will sleep 45 minutes. So I put her to bed, jumped on the treadmill and did 45 mins of cardio. I was insufferably bored. I though I hated cardio before, I should have done a Shaun T workout instead. I don’t know how far I went, in fact I don’t even care I hated it so much. I can’t wait for the spring to come so I can do some short sprints outside. As far as I can tell, cardio on a treadmill is nothing short of Chinese Water Torture. Never again, I have come to the end of my treadmill world, it’s over.

Why? Because running on a treadmill will not prepare you for ToughMudder!!

RKC Week 3 next!

R5D3 – Chest / Tri Old School Lifting

benchclothesIt was refreshing to be doing bench again, and much to my surprise I was able to top out easily at 275lbs which was almost a shock given how much weight I have lost and how long it has been since I benched last.

I took a similar approach that I have always used, a simple increasing set to my max but with set reps as follows:
14-12-12-12 @ 135 (50 rep / 6750 lb total)
10-10-10-10 @ 185 (40 rep / 7400 lb total )
9-7-7-7 @ 225 (30 rep / 6750 lb total)
5-5-5-5 @ 275 (20 rep / 5500 lb total)
10-10-10-10 @ 135 (40 rep close grip)

I have to admit I was quite pleased with myself but decided that I needed an extra 2 45lb plates in order to make my life easier. Looking back this may seem like a lot of reps or sets but only 16 sets, only 140 reps and a total weight of 26,400lbs. Considering I have topped out at over 100,000 lbs in the past doing 2 body parts, 26,400 seems reasonable at this point. I would like to get a 50,000 lb workout and just see what the reps and sets look like. Maybe once my weights get up a little higher that will be a good daily total. I just don’t want the reps to get too high, going over 15 reps on anything is borderline too high but since my body is used to it, I am not about to stop now. I was never a big fan of 1 – 3 rep sets during training and seemed to gain enough mass and strength without them.

As for the triceps, well, I am not about to fall back into the isolation training from my past. I figure that with the benching, the close grip finishing and the dips I do on other days, my triceps should get the work they need. If not, I will add an extra set or two to close grip since that is what makes my triceps grow the fastest.

Round 4 Day 16 – Gym Chest and Back

I resolved to make this a tough but fairly quick workout but mainly to make it repeatable. It turned out quite well, although I can’t remember how long it took and I think with time I may need to tack on some extra sets especially if I can find some heavier dumbbells to do some rowing. The fact is that with this workout my back is solely done with pull ups and although I am not completely happy with that I have no way of getting rows into my workout at the moment and with the light dumbbells that I have it’s pointless to do lawnmowers. So here is my Gym Chest and Back workout.

Bench and Pull ups

135×20 + 10 wide front
135×20 + 10 wide front
185×10 + 10 reverse grip
185×10 + 10 reverse grip
225×10 + 10 close grip
225×10 + 10 close grip
275×5 + 7 tuck pull ups
185×10 + 7 L sit pull ups

As you can see, there are only 8 sets here and typically I like to aim for 12 -15. next time around I will time the workout and see if I can add another 2 sets at the lower weights. As my strength comes back I may be able to add more 275 sets but I don’t think I will be going higher than that. I benched 375 before, I don’t think I need to have a 400lb bench in my list of achievements.

Round 2, Day 36 – Chest, Shoulders and Triceps and Home Bench


I am really happy with this workout now that I have substituted some of the weaker exercises with more bench work. When I bench I feel like I am really working. I have a hard time getting out of the gym rat mindset that unless you are throwing massive amounts of weights around then you really aren’t working. At least this way I get to stress my body, feed my desire to push 45lb plates around and still get a great varied workout.

The bench has been my partner for so many years. From being frustrated at my inability to push 2 plates right through to my bloodvessel busting 395lb singles we have come a long way together. My new partner is the chin up bar. Around a year ago I decided that my lifelong inability to do chin ups was finally going to be a thing of the past. I remember vividly not being able to do more than one chin up, and for a person who (yes I admit) thinks of themselves as pretty strong it was a real disappointment. After all, what kind of person can shoulder press and bench press well over their bodyweight and yet can’t do chin ups. It was an embarrassing secret. I committed to doing more pulldowns and to doing jump releases which are basically jumping up to full chin up and lowering yourself slowly. After much work I found that I was up to around 10 or so, something which I have to admit I always thought would be impossible. My introduction to P90X came shortly after that and since then my chin ups are where they probably should be, although not at Tony’s level, I can certainly hang with the other guys in the videos.

Maybe this is a hangover from the goal setting spiel from yesterday I am not sure. Either way, I find the bench to be a warm reminder of my many many years in the gym and the pull up bar as my hope for the future. I am missing the gym less and less but every so often it’s nice to reminisce with some heavy straight and close grip bench.