Beta

http://www.fitocracy.com/knowledge/rage-box-training-with-rafe-brox/

I am one of the pilot participants in Fitocracy’s online coaching program, so if you want to get my brains-on advice to whip your ass into shape in the tender, loving, and inexorably enabling way you’d expect from Yours Truly[1], they’re offering my services at a bargain introductory rate, with the beatings to commence on February 17th.

If you or someone you know is terrified in a good way of giving this a try, feel free. I won’t be crueler or kinder to friends, frienemies, or total strangers.

[1] Which is to say, if you say you want to accomplish something, I will not let you give up. I am a right fucking bastard like that.

Decisions

Since the TBT ( “total body training”) thing I’ve been noodling with for the first/last few weeks since I was cleared to lift is insufficiently structured to work for me; I’m getting my form back, but not making any kind of coherent progress. So, with that in mind, I’m poring through my training logs and previous programs to figure out what to hitch my wagon to.

Objectives:

Regain strength and size without undue risk of re-injuring my repaired shoulder. Improve conditioning.

Candidates:

  • My own push/pull/stand act (whether that’s my 15/9/3+ thing or a more TBT-style 3×20/15/8 rep system)
  • 5/3/1’s “Boring But Big” variant
  • Starting Strength / Stronglifts / similar 5×5
  • Smolov-style single-lift focus (probably squats, with a beginning 1RM of 335 to play it safe)

Suggestions from the readership are welcomed, with greater consideration given to documented, first-hand performance improvement by the advocate.

Objects in selfie may not be as buff as they apppear.

Objects in selfie may not be as buff as they apppear.

Project Samson

Because everything in the gym is better with ridiculous bets with friends….

Perro Grande mentioned that he’s not gonna shave his sad-ass excuse for a scraggly man-beard until he benches 315×5 (he can hit singles right now); I am considering a similar follicular detente as I make my push for a single or more at 275.

Similarly, we’re both foregoing haircuts until we squat 405.

Things may be getting hairy at the office come springtime; I’m really hoping to hit both of these before March (the bench is about 20# away, but I’m plateaued, and the squat is 70# more than I’ve ever done, but I did 325# 6×3 two weeks ago).

Hired Guns

Arthur Saxon performing a bent press.

Image via Wikipedia

Traditionally, I have turned to friends for mentoring and motivation (at least when the latter is not to be found in sufficient quantities internally). However, a couple of the generally-accepted bits of conventional wisdom when it comes to strength training is that, 1) you’re going to hit a plateau, 2) you need to be around people stronger than you, and 3) everything works for a while, but nothing works forever.

To mitigate all three of those things, and at the back-handed suggestion of the guy a mutual acquaintance and I call as “our Tall Friend,” I reached out to Josh Bryant, of JoshStrength.com.

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Valeria revisited

Who?

Her. Not the one up there.

Yeah.

Scaled to my weight (170-175#), the “Good” weights are like so:

Bench Press: 135

Pullups: 175 (with weight belt)

Deadlift: 245

EZ Curl: 65

Time (4/18/10): 7:13

Time (2/24/11): 5:06 No wonder it felt so much fucking harder this time – I did the deadlifts before the pullups by accident.

Video of this idiocy behind the cut.

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Squats need work

Gimme some sugar, baby.

I can’t in good conscience make any kind of self-aggrandizing remarks about being the “king” – especially with around. :-) However, at ‘s urging, I did try to do some “King” deadlifts. These are basically a one-legged variant, where the non-working leg kind of waves around behind you as if in an unsupported lunge; my form is, in a word, abysmal, but will hopefully suck less with practice and stretching.

I began with bodyweight, then +45 pounds, and finally +95 pounds. Obviously, my balance needs work and my hip flexibility is lacking, but I think they’re going to be interesting. Video here. (On a side note, I’m both pleased and kind of freaked out that my camera’s audio was good enough to catch the stereo’s music well enough for Youtube to identify and flag it.)

Following that, I moved on to conventional ones, and, for a taste of cinema verite, here’s the unedited entirety (note: this hardly makes for thrilling theater, and is currently being gnawed on processed by YouTube after uploading, if it doesn’t show up just yet) of that portion of my workout (doing heavy triples and doubles up to a 2RM, which was, gratifyingly, within 5% of where I was before I broke my hand in August).