Bad Horse

“I’m an easy thing to hurt yourself against.”

– Uisgebaugh, Blood and Iron (Elizabeth Bear)

I joke with an old friend (that is, a friend of long acquaintance, not one of advanced years. She is STILL twenty-nine, some-fucking-how) about being her “sexy nemesis,” because I don’t pull any rhetorical punches in our friendship, and gleefully fuck with her when I think she’s getting too complacent.

This is my standard modus operandi in many things; my younger, more pretentious self wrote a first-person essay from Satan’s POV about trafficking in doubt, for instance. Be that as it may, presenting a challenge, an obstacle, or a target is something I tend to do whether I mean to or not.

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Mocking the Stupid

Yes, this conversation has taken place at my house. The only reason it hasn't this morning is because... maybe my new keyboard is quieter than the old one.

Yes, this conversation has taken place at my house. The only reason it hasn't this morning is because my new keyboard is quieter than the old one.

Now, I could be coy, and play nice, and suggest that I understand the point of view espoused by Kent R. Rieske, B.Sc., and Bible Life Ministries.

But I won’t, because the man is simply a fucking idiot.

Actually, I don’t believe I’m stating that point strongly enough. However, I’m not going to resort to large fonts and blinking text and various other late-90’s hallmarks of Geocities’ personal pages. Just assume that there are flames, and blood, and skulls, and lots of animated .gifs clustered around the theme of “OH HELL NO.”

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Not quite getting the hang of a Thursday*

15/9/3+ Overhead Press

While being terribly, frustratingly busy at the office is good for taking a late lunch (and, even at 3pm, there were folks in the office gym, somewhat surprisingly), it didn’t make for a particularly thrilling workout  – half an hour on the fairly-evil “cross country” program on the Precor elliptical.

After work, there was one moment of respite – the softball game got rained out, so we didn’t have to get our asses handed to us by a team with no business being in our league. Thus, I could get in my OHP workout without compromising my already compromised performance.

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[WotD] Monday, June 28 – Squats

15/9/3+ : Squat Day (finally!)

Lunch was the usual mixed session of elliptical (22min), pullups (2×12), and stretching (OHS, front levers, and some leg curls/extensions on the machines).


Squats: 2×10 @ 45 / 1×10 @ 95 / 1×8 @ 115

Front Squat: 1×10 @ 45 (between the regulars @ 45)

Work Sets:

Squat: 3×5 @ 135 / 3×5 @ 165 / 3×5+5 @ 185

Man, it felt good to be doing this again.

Ten pounds a week should get me back to my pre-injury 265 by late August, if I can progress smoothly and steadily.

In other news, my review of Supplement-IT is up over at SG. I found it to be fairly excellent, though my partners in crime didn’t have as good results.

[WotD] Sunday, May 2

15/9/3+ Bench Press Day

The last of the new toys arrived – a pair of Fat Gripz. Since, as has been detailed previously (and repeatedly), my grip in particular and my forearms in general are the lagging weak points in a lot of my work, these seemed like a no-brainer when EliteFTS had them on sale last week.  I’m a lot more able to drop $30 on something I can slap on either bar, my dumbbells, or anything else than I am pony up for a full-on fat olympic bar (which, in my hierarchy of lifting stuff, is probably just behind a full lifting rack/cage). I’ll probably do a full review once I’ve had more opportunity to work with them, but, after two days’ use, they seem to deliver both improved forearm engagement and additional challenge to regular lifts (curls and bench press, thus far).


Bench Press: 1×10 @ 45 / 1×10 @ 95 / 1×8 @ 135 / 1×5 @ 155

Work Sets:

Bench Press: 3×5 @ 185 / 3×3+1 (+½, which landed on my lap) @ 205 (PR)


Squat: 1x10x10 @ 135 (one set of 10 after each set of bench)

One other undocumented benefit, at least when it comes to relatively heavy bench pressing, is that the firm rubber of the Gripz is more comfortable against the heel/palm of my hand than the naked bar.

And, oh yes, summer has arrived. 92°F in the garage at noon today.

“Perfect” Pushups

Perfect Pushup Handles

Helping Hand(le)s

It’s entertaining, to me, to see the enthusiasm of the FNG when it comes to attacking the pair of Perfect Pushup handles that inhabit the empty cubicle in our terrarium. I’m not sure if the combination of his guilt-tripping, combined with my encouragement/abuse, is what’s finally gotten the other dude here into banging out a couple sets a day, but, hey, whatever works. I like them because the internal rotation engages more of the upper pectorals, as well as the neutral hand position taking a lot of strain off my shoulders and wrists.

We haven’t been keeping up with this particular plan, but it’s been getting more frequent where somebody, or all three of us somebodies, will bang out a set, and then exhort the others to join in the fun. Right now the various folks are doing ~15 (CC), ~25 (FNG), and ~35 (me). We did just do the plan, based on yesterday’s 48 items, and it’s noticeably harder to do the longer set on them than it is conventionally.

Considering that I’ve been slacking on those for a while, other than my bench and OHP work, it’s probably no bad thing to be adding the volume. As I mentioned in another friend’s journal, I need to incorporate more ab/core work, so hanging leg raises, in addition to the ab wheel (which I can current get to about 12″ above the ground with my midsection now), is probably called for to cover that.

In other news, I still hate overhead presses

15/9/3+  Overhead Press Day

It was weigh-in day for my company’s weight-loss challenge, and while my team didn’t place in the money, all three of us lost a few pounds (I was down about nine, the other guys, being slightly bigger, lost a bit more). Maybe all of my bitching about the rampant inaccuracy of hand-held body fat resistance testers is starting to be heard – they clocked me at 18.9, 17.9 and 17.0 % this week (or something similar). Obviously, even if they’re skewing a couple percent high, I still have a little ways to go to get where I want to be.

For entertainment value, I weighed in both before and after doing an interval run of the 2.25 course at lunchtime; I sweated off about three pounds, but somehow went up in terms of reported body fat percentage. Yeahhhhh….

On the upside, going out quickly and doing light-post intervals for the first mile and a half put me on a very fast pace, such that, even walking a fair bit of the backstretch to loosen up a calf cramp, I still finished in 16:50, for a PR/CR.

Once home, it was time to lift.


Overhead Press: 1×10 @ 45 / 1×10 @ 65

Work Sets:

Overhead Press: 3×3 @ 95 / 3×3 @ 115 / 3×3 @ 120 / 1×12 @ 80


Pullups: 4×10

Speaking of workout supplements, threw in a boatload of freebie packets with my order of fish oil this time around. I haven’t bothered digging through all of them to see what’s what, but there seems to be a decent assortment of various powders to be mixed with water for pre-, peri-, or post-workout consumption. Guess I’ll be doing some research on those.

Today also saw the delivery of a weight belt from EliteFTS; they got some mis-ordered two-prong belts, which they were going to sell at a loss, so for the price, I thought it would be a decent investment. Going to take some breaking in (it’s very circular from shipping, and, thankfully, I’m much more of an oval in cross-section), and practice to unbuckle, because, damn, was it a struggle to get the second prong out.

Review: Under the Bar

Under the Bar – Twelve lessons of life from the world of powerlifting – Dave Tate (published by EliteFTS)

[this is the draft of a review tentatively solicited by Interesting Times Magazine, for their forthcoming 5th issue]

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Ikea for Metalheads

Yes, I'm the idiot in the upper left.

Other than the frowny face, I was the guy in the upper left corner when I brought it in from where the UPS dude dropped it off. Weighing in at 110#, I probably wasn't his favorite customer.

After a couple of weeks of anticipation, my new toy arrived yesterday. Knowing that was coming, and that I had a personal day that had to be used before the end of the month, today was the perfect opportunity to take the day off to put that sucker together. After, of course, cleaning some of the cruft out of the garage to make space and all.

90 minutes later, it was ready for action. Not bad, considering the assembly guide contains no written instructions whatsoever, and the salient portion consists of exactly two diagrams. It’s not rocket science, admittedly, but the PowerTec folks have a very well-engineered piece of equipment here. All you need is a couple of crescent wrenches.

So, how does it work in practice?

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Boot to the Dead

Today was the final session of boot camp, so the students got their exit exam as a way to gauge their progress.

Of course, since I got lost and couldn’t find it on the first day, I didn’t have any numbers to compare against. Conveniently enough, however, a couple of the metrics bear a passing resemblance to the Coworker Challenge.

12 minute run, 1 minute worth of pushups, 1 minute worth of situps

I managed:

  • 2600m (1.615 mi) (~7 min/mi – each 400m was done in about 1:45)
  • 50 pushups
  • 77 crunches (yeah, the shorter ROM made these a hell of a lot easier than the full situps in the CWC)

Not all that far off from what I’d expect to be able to do. I’d like to be a tad quicker in the running, but there’s going to be a timed mile fairly soon in my future, to include 1/10th, 1/4, and 1/2 mile splits (unfortunately, I need an assistant to do the timing, since my watch doesn’t do splits).