November 30, 2011

The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.

Rant and Tip for November 30, 2011

Quote: "The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender." ~Vince Lombardi~

Vince Lombari has had many quotes over his career. I found this one and thought this is where I am now when it comes to my way of eating. I find it very hard to surrender to the waffle before a meet. Like the way I did the morning of the Gobbler Open. I had to bite the bullet and try something different for that morning. It was very difficult for me to surrender to it. As you change your lifestyle and work hard to be successful in your lifestyle change, you will find it harder and harder to surrender to any unwanted urges or cravings you encounter. Work hard and you will be successful.

Went it comes to exercise and you work hard to achieve your goals you will find as you go along it will be harder and harder to give up and the last repetition. When I was pushing 325-lbs at the Gobbler Open I hit a point where I started to stall. It was at this point I pushed harder, I was not going to surrender to the weight. I wanted it to go up. I needed it to go up. I would not surrender to the bar. When you strength train consistently you will find this will happen to you in you workouts. As you get stronger from your training and you find that you are able to do things you have not done in years, you will find it hard to surrender to the life you had before training. Whether you are a cardio aerobic type person or a strength training individual like myself you will not want to go back to you previous lifestyle. It is funny as a young adult or child you do not realize what a gift being fit is. You almost take it for granted and you allow yourself to eat anyway you want and you do not take in consideration the affects it could have on the rest of your life. As a mature adult we have experienced the side affects of an unhealthy lifestyle and for many of us it took that for us to pull ourselves together.

I did not end up doing squats yesterday. However I did work my legs. I did leg presses, leg extensions, leg curls and lunges. It was a good workout and I did work up a good sweat. I fully expect DOMS to kick in through out the day. Tomorrow I will work my core at lunch and in the evening it will be board presses in the bench shirt with some heavy weight. I need to train hard to be ready for the world meet in May 2012.

Through this blog I have raised about $100.00 towards the world meet. I have a long way to go but I will get there. Thank you to those who have made donations to help me get there.

Tip: Make your new lifestyle fun. If you do not enjoy the exercise you are currently doing mix it up and find something you enjoy. Now I do know some of you may think UGH I don’t enjoy any physical activity, this you will just have to overcome. You can do it and you will find something you enjoy. Maybe it is just a matter of going with someone you enjoy spending time with.

November 29, 2011

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

Rant and Tip for November 29, 2011

Quote: “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” Mahatma Ghandi

While some people may look at me and think that my strength came from my physical capacity, let’s ask ourselves where that physical capacity came from. I came from an indomitable will. Now while I have used the quote above and likened it to myself the real point to get across is that it takes willpower to succeed. Yes willpower! Willpower is something some people will tell you, that you have it or you do not. I think that it is a learned trait. You need to teach yourself to have willpower. It takes willpower to maintain a certain level of fitness and it takes willpower to obtain you dietary goals. Set yourself up with success by setting small willpower goals. I will be very honest with you in stating I do not like to run. I am not a huge fan long periods of cardio exercise. I get board easily. However when I am on a cardio cycle in my exercise I have to set small goals. If I am running outside I pick landmarks in front of me and push to get to that landmark, I then pick another landmark and push to that one. With in no time I have completed my 3-mile goal and I am done. You can do the same thing regardless of what your choice of exercise is. It may have looked like I had the willpower to finish the 3-miles but really I had the willpower to keep pushing a 100 yards at a time. HA HA I had you fooled.

Diet can be the same way. It is your will that will allow you to be successful. Your will is something you need to develop until the cravings go away. Once they are gone it gets easier to resist the sweets and foods that are not on your eating plan. I do not have a challenge anymore with cravings. Well at least I do not call them cravings. Don’t get me wrong there are days I will look at something and think to myself man that looks delicious. On those occasions it is not hard to resist anymore. Remember to keep track of your foods and when you hit a stall or plateau in your weight loss switch it up a little bit. Add some more fibrous carbohydrates and increase your fats a bit. If you are tracking your foods properly you will be able to zero in on the challenge.

Today I will be squatting. I will start with a new 5 X 5 workout. I will start with 270 and do 5 set of 5 and then next week bump it 10 pounds and do 5 sets of 5. When I hit the point I cannot get the 5th set of 5 out I will stay at that weight and continue to press through until I get all 5 sets of 5. Then I will bump up the weight again at 5-pound intervals. Let’s see how this goes for me.

Have a great workout!

Tip: When you first start squatting with dumbbells place a board on the ground and put the balls of your feet on it. Keeping your heal on the floor. This will help make sure your knees do not go over your toes and will improve your form.

November 28, 2011

Your truly lazy people are your hardest workers

Rant and Tip for November 28, 2011

Quote: “Your truly lazy people are your hardest workers” Jim Kipp

I know you are sitting there thinking has Jim lost his head. Try to follow me on this one. I am not talking about those people who are basically lazy. I mean the truly lazy person who is so lazy they do it right the first time so they do no have to do it again. The truly lazy person does not want to have to do something twice so they always do it right the first time with out any short cuts that will come back and haunt them. The laziest people work harder and do not cheat on diets or skip out on their exercise because they do not want the hard work of getting back on track. When I was a kid we had horses and in order to off set the cost of buying hay we would bring it in from the field for the local farmers. Well as I would look out in the field I would see 20 bales to bring in. I had a choice at that point do I make 10 trips or do I make 20. Well I took the lazy way out and carried one bale in each had. Yes I struggled with the bales, but I only had to make 10 trips instead of 20. Yes that was lazy of me. Even if others thought look at Jimbo, he is carrying 2 bales at a time instead of 1. We also burned wood to heat our home. When it came to bring in the wood to burn, I would load as much as I could possibly carry so I would not have to make as many trips to the woodpile. I know it sound kind of funny to think your laziest people can be your hardest workers, but you have to remember it is only the laziest of the lazy who are the hardest workers. Mildly lazy people always get themselves in trouble because they are too lazy to be lazy enough to get the job done.

Benching for me today and a good amount of ibuprofen. My shoulders are sore. I took the past 4 days off from lifting in an effort to let them heal. They really just ache and I find it hard to sleep. I have been tossing and turning a lot lately. I plan on going heavy today to get my body use to the load. On Wednesday or Thursday I plan on benching with the bench shirt and hope to have my body ready for some heavy weight. Something around 370 I really want to get past 400 pounds by May.

Getting back on track after a few days off from lifting can be tough to do. I will not have a problem with it as the gym is in the building I work in. This makes it very easy to get back on track for me. I do understand what some people have to go through to get back on track though. So try first of getting your gym clothes ready the night before. If your plan is to workout when you get up, try sleeping in the clothes you plan to workout in. I know it sounds a little odd but when you wake up you will not have the excuse not to go exercise because you have to get changed and dressed to get going. You are already half way there.

After a holiday some people will let the holiday be their excuse for getting off track. I do not have this challenge since I eat a low carb lifestyle. I enjoy all the vegetables with butter or cheeses sauces and also get to fill up on the turkey. I love the dark meat. I know though that some people like to eat a low fat diet and I can understand how that is difficult to follow. It seems everything on the table has a lot of fat. Including the dark meat I enjoy so much. I guess that, for me I made the right diet choice. I cannot imagine not getting to enjoy all the foods I do. I even had a small portion of potatoes. I did skip the stuffing all together and did not miss it. I was to full from the delicious meal my wife’s Aunt had prepared. It was a feast to behold and I truly enjoyed it. Every year I am asked to carve the turkey and this is a pleasure to do. I do not remember how I fell into this part of the tradition but am glad I did.
Tip: When going to someone else’s house for the holiday plan ahead. I know what my family is having so there is not too much I need to plan on at this point. However if you know are going to a home where the menu may not be friendly to your way of eating offer to bring a dish to share with everyone and you will be able to enjoy at least that dish. I also very much believe you will be successful in finding other items to eat on the table.

November 24, 2011

Assisted Living ???

I have a brother that is disabled due to a motorcycle accident. Fortunately Catholic Charities is a huge help for him. He is able to live in his own apartment and has assistance come in to help him. Knowing this recently a friend from New Jersey was discussing with me how saddened they were that they had to look into senior care for a family member. Now I know just like anyone that the ideal situation for any of us would be to have that senior family member stay at home with us. However the fact of the matter is that sometimes that just is not a possibility. I am curious what everyone’s thoughts are on New Jersey Senior Care. There are several types of facilities where the family member actually stays there. However New Jersey senior care is different as the care takes place in the patients own home. I cannot imagine what a relief that would be for the whole family. The patient gets to maintain a level of independence and the rest of the family can feel comfortable with the choices made. So if anyone has an opinion please let me know.

Thanksgiving Day

Had a great Thanksgiving day today and I hope you all did as well. It was very easy to eat on plan today as it is everyday. However on Thanksgiving day I have to say is the easiest day to eat well and stay on plan. I enjoyed many great vegetables as well as a lot of turkey. I personally enjoy the dark meat the most. I always carve the turkey on Thanksgiving day. Something I enjoy doing. I enjoy the whole tradition of carving the turkey and of course all the tasting that goes along with that. I can almost fill up on turkey during the carving process. LOL

I did not exercise today however I did play a little kick ball with my children . I guess that counts.

That is all for today my friends. Catch you all again tomorrow!


November 23, 2011

Food is an important part of a balanced diet.

Rant and Tip for November 23, 2011

Quote: Food is an important part of a balanced diet. Fran Lebowitz

Wow can it be put anymore simply than that? Really, you do need to eat to keep a balanced diet. I truly believe whole natural foods are the best way to maintain a fit body and an optimistic attitude in your life. I enjoy all kinds of vegetables and meats. I even enjoy a good potato or yam on occasion. What I do stay away from are processed foods and simple sugars. Funny though when you start reading labels you will find many processed foods contain sugar. Well it is sugar and or high levels of sodium in them, what a terrible combination that is. Not only does the extra simple carbohydrate help you retain some water and even give you a bloated feeling and the salt will even increase this. No wonder when people start eating whole natural foods their blood pressure will go down and the simple carbs they were eating yields to dietary fiber carbs that are much healthier for you. As your reduce the process foods in your diet you may find the malaise that you felt sometimes goes away. At least this is what happened to me. I have more energy for my workouts and feel fantastic.

Squats went well yesterday and I did not go heavy. I only did 4 sets of 10 at 225. Starting next week I will start my 5x5 cycle for strength. I am not going to focus on going real heavy as my main focus at this point is the IPF world meet in Plsen of the Czech Republic. Tonight we through the bench shirt on and I am hoping to start going heavier. Bring the weight all the way to the chest and pressing it out. Hoping to hit 360 or 370 in the shirt today as I want to start getting my central nervous system use to that kind of weight. Part of the challenge is going to be getting use to the heavier loads just being in my hands. This is my challenge in the squat as well. However, like I said my main focus right now it to get some big numbers out of this shirt. For many of you that follow some of the exercises I have here on my blog you will find that today is your chest day.
Incline dumbbell press - 4 sets 10
Flat dumbbell press - 4 sets 10
Decline barbell press - 4 sets 10
Dumbbell flies - 4 sets 10

At the end of today add in some tricep work. Since the tricep is already getting some work benching adding triceps on bench day will really blast them out.

Have a great workout!

Tip: When it comes to training know what your goals are. Are they to get larger muscles like bodybuilders, getting stronger like a powerlifter or are you exercising to get fit and feel better? Whatever the goal is stay focused and reach for the brass ring. Do not let you focus switch around and get off track. This happens to many of us. Including myself.

November 22, 2011

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” Friedrich Nietzsche

Rant and Tip for November 21, 2011

Quote: “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” Friedrich Nietzsche

How many times have you experienced a situation that just set you off or tried your patience. Or better yet had a workout that just seemed to fatigue you for the rest of the day. This just makes you stronger. Even when it comes to your diet, take a moment and think about this. As an over weight individual you probably were taking a short cut to a shorter life. If you can take control of you life, recognize your triggers and really focus on making the lifestyle changes that are necessary then you will be a stronger person when you are done. You will have be able to show others an inner you that although you deep down already knew was there, will come shining through to the surface. I have said this before I am always in awe of a person who is over weight and takes control of their lives to achieve goals that they have set for themselves.

Benching went well yesterday and I felt great. A little tired and maybe an little under fueled but felt pretty good. I kept my workout light and will go heavy next week. To get to the next level I need to start doing 315 for reps. I am going to start another 5x5 cycle and at the end of the cycle I will be benching 320 for a set of 5. During this training cycle I plan on using a pause at the bottom of the first rep and finish the rest with a touch and go. The touch and go should keep the pump in the chest for the entire set. After the 5x5 sets the thought is to get some support work done on the shoulders and triceps. The stronger the tricep the bigger the lift.

Diet is vitally important right now. I want to get stronger but not so much bigger that I cannot make the 163 lb weight class. I am good right now so it is a matter of just tweaking the diet here and there. Now for those of you not training to compete and are just looking to lose weight the most important thing to do is track everything you put in your mouth. When you do this you will see that maybe there is a little to much food being taken in. There are many free food trackers out there such as FitDay and FatSecret. Both are nice online apps and I think you can download an app to your iphone or other mobile devices.

Have a great workout!

Tip: With the holidays coming around many people panic about their diet and decide to abandon their diet all together. This is not something I suggest. Plan ahead

November 21, 2011

Train like you compete! Unknown

Rant and Tip For November 21, 2011

Quote: Train like you compete! Unknown   

OK back to training hard my friends and yes that does include my diet. For those of us that follow a low-carb lifestyle I have to say I am surprised at how that waffle over a week ago brought on cravings I have not had in a couple of years. I am now past the craving but also have learned another lesson. Low-Carb tortillas can be just as bad. I do not know if it was the flavor or just having the bread substance that was ultra moist that got to me but in one day I ate a whole package. I even made a peanut butter sandwich with it. (No added sugar in that peanut butter) Anyway I will stay away from them as well. I have had a few more friends ask me about my diet again and how much I exercise. They are always surprised that I only exercise and hour a day. However, when it comes to my diet they seem to feel they cannot give up the sugary sweets they crave. I try to explain to them to just take one day at a time and give it a good 2 to 3 weeks and their craving will go away. I am waiting to hear back from them.

Benching today again today. I am working on a new workout and hope to hit a new PR in the next month. Since I am pressing double my body weight not I am excited to get to the next goal. Hitting 335 with a pause then going up to 350 with that same pause. Hard work and dedication will get me there. While at the gum yesterday squatting and doing good morning I met a young kid about 23 years old. He was doing chin ups with a 45 pound plate. Not bad at all for a young kid, heck that is good for any age.  When I was done squatting and I was on the leg press machine he came over and asked me where I got my squat shoes. I told him and then we got talking about different lifts and powerlifting. He asked me what I bench and I told him how I did at the gobbler open. He stated he was benching but was not real strong at it. I told him based on his form I may be able to add 20 pounds to his bench just by tweaking his form. He said OK show me. We went over to the bench and with in 15 minutes I added 20 pounds to his bench. He was stoked and looking forward to hitting the bench again. Benching is a multi joint compound exercise. Done properly hit muscles from your lower body as well as your upper body. It is one of the big three exercises, Squat, Bench and Deadlift, if you only hit those three exercise three days a week you will put on muscle and get stronger. Of course you should add in supportive exercises as well but those three are the big boys of the gym exercises.

Have a great workout!

Tip: When squatting as a daily exercise and not so much to get ready for a meet make sure you are just breaking parallel with your squat. You do not need to go to the point you thighs rest on your calves and make sure you knees do not go over your toes.

Oh one more thing while I am thinking of it. Recently a friend from New Jersey was discussing with me how saddened they were that they had to look into senior care for a family member. Now I know just like anyone that the ideal situation for any of us would be to have that senior family member stay at home with us. However the fact of the matter is that sometimes that just is not a possibility. I am curious what everyone’s thoughts are on New Jersey senior care. There are several types of facilities where the family member actually stays there. However New Jersey senior care is different as the care takes place in the patients own home. I cannot imagine what a relief that would be for the whole family. The patient gets to maintain a level of independence and the rest of the family can feel comfortable with the choices made. So if anyone has an opinion please let me know.

November 20, 2011

Health and Skincare November 20,2011

Acne Light Treatment
Via: Tanda Skincare

(While doing a little research acne removal I found the Tanda website. They have a fountain of information there. I even thought I would include the above graphic as I found it very interesting.)

Good Morning, I have something a little different for you today. Since I like to blog about health and fitness I thought I would devote this Sunday to Skin care namely treatment for Acne. While at my age of 49 I do not have an issue with this. I do have soon to be teenagers that may have to deal with this situation. Cystic Acne is a common skin disease.  In teens, acne is usually caused by an increase of testosterone, which peoples both males, and females acquire during puberty. While Acne is most common amongst teenagers and will disappear or at least decrease greatly by the time we hit out twenties, it is not uncommon for people to still get acne into their forties. Acne will occur where hair follicles are most dense, such as the face, chest and for some people even there back.

A high glycemic load diet is associated with worsening acne. There is also an association between the consumption of milk and the rate and severity of acne. The evidence does not support other associations such as chocolate and salt. However, it is important to note the many times these foods do have a high glycemic load. So while chocolate it self does not cause acne, the glycemic spike from the sugar definitely is not going to help the condition either.

There are many different treatments for acne. First since I got a good amount of information from Tanda please visit their site and check out their acne light therapy. Benzoyl peroxide is still the most common form of treatment but that is by no means the only form of treatment. There are antibiotic treatments, as well as hormone treatment for females. I am not doctor nor to I play one on this blog, so check with your physician to see what will work best for you. Oh one more thing I did read that exercise will also help in keeping acne in check and this is due to the fact that exercise will increase blood flow increasing oxygen to the infected area helping it heal. It also reduces stress which can also force and acne outbreak.

Have a great workout!

Tip: Get your rest!

November 18, 2011

I think it's more important to be fit than to have a great body

Rant and Tip for November 18, 2011

Quote: I think it's more important to be fit so that you can be healthy and enjoy activities than it is to have a good body.  Rachel Blanchard

As I was trying to find a quote for the day I found the above quote. I think it is important to take note here that while I do get complimented on my physique it was not the main I had set for myself. When I first started my exercise regimen the goal was to just get fit. My goal was to get my triglycerides down to healthy levels and to be able to play with my children for as long as they wanted to play. I am not so sure I would be at the fitness level I am had it not been for my original goal. I also believe that being fit is not always about being extremely thin. I see many people who are very skinny who are not fit and healthy. They walk around thinking they look great but cannot run to the end of the driveway. These are the people who actually destroy your motivation with out you even realizing it. You see them in the mall eating poorly but what we do not see is that they probably are only having one meal a day and that when they eat it is not really enough to fuel the body. They are weak in comparison to others. They also tend to be what some people call skinny fat. They look skinny but have a higher fat percent than you would expect.

I have not been successful in finding a sponsor for the worlds next year. I will continue to try to find a company or gym to help me out with this goal. I am not finding this to be an easy proposition. One thing that was suggested to me was to organize a bench press competition at one of the local gyms. Give out awards at the meet per weight class and even age group. The proceeds to go to my world competition. I will have to check and see if this is a possibility. I would not be able to do this at Albany Strength as they currently hold meets for the USAPL.

In the near future I am going to change my training program around again. I need to really focus on training for the worlds. While I want to set the NYS record for a full power meet. I have to be realistic in my approach and focus on increasing my bench press. I want to get o hitting a raw bench of 360 and an equipped bench of at least 435. Some people have told me that you can get 100 lbs out of a bench shirt. Let’s see what I can get out of it.

My diet is getting back on track and the one thing I need to do differently is lower my protein intake just a bit. I need to be able to put on strength but not to much more muscle by May 23rd.  The weight class is 163 and while I made 161 for the last two meets I have to be careful to not put on so much muscle that I cannot make 163 next year. I was taking in 2 grams of protein per lean body mass which was about 300 grams give or take a few grams. I am going to lower that to about 1.5 grams per lean body mass and see how my body reacts to that. I have plenty of time to see if t affects my strength.

Have a great workout!

Tip: When planning out your meals for the day, yes I said plan, be sure to have 4 to 6 ounces of protein with each meal. Also a serving of healthy non root vegetables with your meal as well. Keep in mind that corn is a grain not a vegetable.

November 17, 2011

Albany’s Men in blue are top notch”

Rant and Tip for November 17, 2011

Jim Kipp and Marcus Morris
Quote: “Albany’s Men in blue are top notch” Jim Kipp

OK I know it really isn’t much of a quote by I want to thank the Albany Police department for doing such a great job. My wallet was stolen last night and they were able to recover it very quickly. Very nice job gentlemen!

Now back to our regularly scheduled program. I worked in my Katana Bench Shirt again last night. We did 2 and 3 board presses. Still working on getting the right stroke. By the end of the workout it all felt pretty smooth. Next week I think we will go heavy and see what we can get to touch the chest. The biggest thing about these shirts is how tight they are. It is amazing squeezing into these shirts. It takes a handler to actually pull the shirt up your arms. While he is pulling it reeks havoc on his fingertips. He has to grab the fabric of the shirt with out pinching the skin underneath and try to pull it up the extra half-inch or so. My shoulders feel pretty good today compared to the first 2 times I had the shirt on. I can definitely see me getting up to the 400 plus mark in this shirt.

Since I did not get to squat Tuesday I think I will hit squats today. I think box squats or pin squats will be the call of the day. I have to get a training log and start keeping track of everything I am doing. I am told it will help me identify sticking points and assist in breaking plateaus.

I am back to my usual diet routine but have to admit the dam cravings came back after one waffle and some toast on meet day. I find it interesting how that happens. I had to be the sugar and the quick digestion that gets to me. At work yesterday there was a pasta salad set out for anyone to have. It looked so tempting. I really had to hold myself back. Will power is a funny thing. We need to use it all the time. Whether in relation to food or not. We need to learn to apply our will power and stay focused on the goals at hand.

Have a great workout!

Tip: Proper form is vital in all lifting. Work on your form with lighter weights that way when you go heavy it is all second nature to your muscles. Now here is a video of poor deadlift form. The not so funny thing here is I know this guy and he usually has great form.

November 16, 2011

Gobbler Open and A couple Special Athletes.

Team OMG Founders
Rant and Tip for November 16, 2011

Quote: “Chuck, if you were a hell of a lot stronger, you’d have made that lift.” Marty Gallagher,

This quote is great. This is why we train so that whatever we attempt it will be easy for us. Let’s try to apply this to our everyday life as well. If we had stronger will power staying on our diet would be easier. If we strength train hard enough that bag of groceries will be a lot lighter. If we push our selves harder that half marathon will go by faster. You see it does not just apply to powerlifting. It can apply to everyday life.

Laura Monroe
I missed out on training yesterday and will make it up on Saturday. I had family things to take care of today. I really missed going to the gym today. I just love being there and hitting the weights. Tomorrow night I will start training in the shirt again. One day a week Raw to maintain my raw power and one day training in the shirt to learn to use the shirt to my advantage and hopefully bench over 400 maybe even 450. I am so looking forward to hitting some big numbers. I will do weighted core during the day around lunchtime and then working in the shirt in the evening. Going to need baby powder to get the thing up my arms. I think I will be doing board presses and incrementing the weight as we go. I will keep you updated.

Hmm let me see what else can I say about the meet last Saturday. Oh one thing I was very impressed with was the number of female lifters. It was great to see a large group of woman at the event. Let me also say to all those people who like to stereo type that we are not talking about muscle bound woman. I am talking just strong woman of all weight classes. You really need to check out an event someday and really admire the strength of these athletes. Lastly I want to make a special note of the Special Powerlifters. Just like you have the Special Olympics we have lifters who while dealing with their own challenges, are compelled to challenge the weights as well. They are just as dedicated as any other lifter at the event and I have to say I do not think any of them has gotten a red light and this is not because they are special. They just do not give in to mere steel. Congratulations to Chase Stewart and Emily Clarke!
Chase Stewart

Emily Clarke

Have a great workout!

Tip: If training for strength less reps with a  heavier weight is the way to go, while training to add on size you will want to have your reps between 10 and 15 per set.

November 15, 2011

Old age and treachery will beat youth and skill any time”

Rant and Tip for November 15, 2011

Quote: “Old age and treachery will beat youth and skill any time”  Proverbs

Good Morning, Team OMG is coming to the next NYS Championships March 2012 in Fayetteville NY. That is right you heard it here. Team O old M men G gray will be showing the youngsters how it is done. LOL At some of the meets I have been at there are teams put together and they compete for a team award. A few of my friends who, let’s just say are advanced in our years are putting together a team for such meets. Just because there is snow on the roof does not mean that there is not a fire in the furnace. This is going to be a lot of fun and we will do very well. Unlike most teams, we are not centrally located and we need to communicate and help each other over the Internet. This will be very interesting. As we get complete buy in from everyone and I have his or her permission I will list the team here.
Hunter, Wayne, Jim & Laura Delay

Let’s get back to talking about the Gobbler Open. Brian Espino did very well in the deadlift last Saturday and he even hit a PR on the bench. One of the things I enjoy at these events is the camaraderie. Every lifter is always there to help and encourage the other. Each lifter is different though and Brian is one of these guys who are like the eye of the hurricane. Quiet and deliberate but strong and unyielding. During his bench he was able to hit his new PR with encouragement from his friends. Would he have hit it without the encouragement, probably but we will never really know.

The deadlift competition saw many lifters, some as young as 11 years old. Several 100% Raw World Records fell that day one of which was for the women. Tierney Wallace set a world record. She pulled 350.5 lbs., a record for her weight class. Brian also pulled a new NYS Record and I have his lift here. He just started pulling sumo again and originally was not going to go for the record. Somehow he convinced himself to go for it. I guess it was because his first two attempts were completed so easily. Ray Linduski did something that took a lot of courage; he listened to his body. After his first deadlift he tweaked his back was obviously in a bit of pain. He chose not to lift the next 2 attempts and probably saved his back so he can return again stronger than ever. Great job to all the lifters.

Squats for me today. Not going heavy because my main focus is my bench right now. I want to ht 357 raw by June of next year. I know you are thinking “Jim you will hit that easy, you just put 22 pounds on your bench since September”. I wish it was that easy, as the weight get heavier and I get older gains come much harder. So I figure giving myself till June next year should be all the time I need to gain the strength I need.

Have a great workout!

Tip: Sleep is vital to muscle recuperation. I am suffering from lack of sleep today so I hope tonight to get to bed early and get a full 6 to 8 hours. You should

November 14, 2011

Gobbler Opener Results

Rant and Tip for November 14, 2011

Quote: “Put some weight on that bar” Liftoff spotter at Nationals

Good Morning, Well I did pretty well at the Gobbler Open. I bumped up my NYS Record for the 44-49 Masters Division and although I missed 325 on a technical the weight still went up. So in response to the lifter off guy at the USAPL Nationals, “I put some weight on the bar my friend.”

It was a well run meet and I want to say thanks to Hunter and Wayne Claypatch for doing a fine job. The venue was at the Best Western and was a small venue but that added to the excitement. Laura Delay and Tierney Wallace were on hand as judges and did a fine job. Even if they were watching my butt and foot to closely. LOL On my attempt at 325 lbs. at about ¾ through the lift you can see my right foot slide forward. I think that is when my butt came up. I did not notice it at the meet and trust the judges in their decision. The movement of my foot is very obvious. One of my goals this year was to bench twice my weight in a meet. I have achieved that in strength and now need to hit it with out the technical failures. I will get it next time. What a feeling though to complete the lift.

Lessons learned from this event and I have some positive and some negative. The first it my diet for the day of the meet. I have recently done a lot of reading on meet day diets. The first thing I did differently was to drink a ton of fluids. I down a lot of Gatorade the morning of the meet and only had 2 cups of coffee. Those of you that know me also know I like my coffee. Then for breakfast I did something way out of the norm for me. I had a waffle with syrup, some toast, a couple of scrambled eggs and only 2 sausage links all this about 3 hours before lifting. Now normally I would have had about 6 eggs, a lot of bacon and sausage and kept my carbs low. I would then have 2 protein bars with about 20 complex carbs in each bar. The reason for the change in diet is this. Proteins and Fat take longer to digest in the body. This is why a low carb high fat diet works so well. You are not hungry as often and you still have the fuel that your body needs. The only challenge with this on meet day is that the stomach like any other muscle needs blood to help digest all this food. Since the protein and fats take a longer time to digest the blood will not be available for you other muscles that will be need for the lifts. It seems to work very well for me and I had all the fuel I needed and the blood was able to fill the muscles sufficiently. Now for the negative, while I feel my lifts went well, I need to drive with my legs pressing down and through my hips all the way up my body. When I drive with my legs I need to also drive my butt down and transfer that energy into the lift. Now the other point I want to make here is something learned from a fellow lifter. He is a strong kid and as he continues he will be a force to reckon with. Your opening weight is very important and if you open to heavy it can destroy your confidence. My friend opened with a weight he has done before. However it was very heavy, when he missed it on his first attempt he totally lost hit psyche and it just destroyed him for the rest of the lifts. He has learned a valuable lesson and will open lighter next time.

Back to working out this week and I hope to be hitting some really big numbers. I will be working in a bench shirt for the next several weeks with raw days in the mix to try to maintain my raw strength. I think I will bench today but go light since I went heavy Saturday.

Keep tuned in tomorrow I will recap the rest of the event and give you a hint of things to come. I am still looking for sponsors for the World Meet in Plsen of the Czech Republic. If you know of anyone please let me know.

Have a great workout!

Tip: When planning your lifts try 20-pound jumps. If your goal were 340 for the day your first lift would be 300. Your second lift would be 320 and your third would be 340.

November 13, 2011

Double MY Weight Bench Press

Good morning everyone. I don't normally post on Sunday, however I wanted to let you know how I did at the meet Yesterday.
Had a great meet in Johnson City yesterday. Won the Gobbler Open and hit a Personal record in Bench press. Bumped up my NYS Record by over 10 lbs. Then went for twice my body weight. I weighed in at 161.8 and benched 325. I got the weight up with a pause at the bottom and then looked at the lights to see if I got three white lights. Alas it was not to be. My right foot slip forward and I got red lighted for it. You can see my foot move in the video. I will post it later. They also said my but lifted. I have to trust the judges on that. You cannot see it easily in the video. Still all in all I hit twice my weight but did not get to count the lift for the meet. They say one in a million people can bench twice their weight. I am so stoked to hit that number. In a sanctioned event.
I will post tomorrow with pictures and video and even some tips on what I did differently.
See you tomorrow.

November 10, 2011

"That is not you!, " Anyone who sees my before and after pictures!

Rant and Tip for November 10, 2011

Quote: "That is not you!, " Anyone who sees my before and after pictures!

Only two days till the Gobbler Open and my weight it perfect at 166.2. 165 will be easy for Friday afternoon. This will be an exciting event. I get to compete against a friend who has made some great strides in his bench and I will have to have my “A” game for this meet. The last pound I will take off in water weight. I can actually do this by just maintaining where I am and not drink any fluids after 5:00 tonight. I should weigh in at the most 163. Which is the weight I need for the world meet in May.

Actually a full day of rest as far as exercise goes unless I choose to change my brakes on my car tonight. I thought I heard some grinding last night and will need to fix them before I leave or rent a car for the trip. I may just rent a car as I can probably get something that gets better gas mileage. If I don’t do the brakes tonight then they have to wait till Sunday.

With a day of rest comes strict eating. Low carb and adequate protein and fat so as to keep my body out of a catabolic state. This is the reason I try to only run for 30 to 40 minutes when I do run. Running long periods of time will put the body in a catabolic state and being a powerlifter the last thing I need is to lose muscle because I am not eating enough.

Yesterday I found myself in a discussion with 4 new employees in the break room. We were discussing weight loss and diet. One of them basically said fat is bad for you and when I told them all the fat I eat they were dismayed. I gave them one of my cards that have a before and after photo on them. They could not believe the difference in the pictures. They kept saying no way. Then as we got talking the one girl said this sounds like Atkins and stated that people get sick on Atkins. I told her about my improvement in blood work on Atkins and also informed here that you can get sick on Atkins and we call it the Atkins flu. I explained that fat is stored in the body for fuel in case it is needed later. Then I explained that when those fats are stored they also store toxins. When you lose the fat and your body starts burning it for fuel you are also burning off those toxins. They get released back in the body and that is why you will feel sick. It is not really an Atkins WOE that is making you sick if is your body getting rid of the toxins that were stored. I also explained that Atkins gets a bad rap because people do not read the whole book and they do not get themselves to phase 4. Then of course I had to go through the phases. How do I get myself into these discussions? I guess it is just who I have become.

Have a great workout!

Tip: Do not believe all the myths out there regarding any diet. Get the books and read about them. Take the time to choose the correct eating plan for you!

November 9, 2011

Exercise should be regarded as tribute to the heart.

Rant and Tip for November 9, 2011

Quote: “Exercise should be regarded as tribute to the heart.” Gene Tunney

I do not much to add to this quote, I think that Gene put it very well. I guess the only thing to add is that it is a tribute to yourself not just your heart. You are taking into account that proper exercise is essential to your well being and you do in fact pay tribute to yourself.

My weight is at 167.2 today which is a good spot to me for a Wednesday before a meet. Normally I would be working back, shoulder or my second chest day today. I like to work with the bench shirt on Wednesdays when possible. However with the meet on Saturday it is still a week of rest. I will go to the gym and get some cardio in. I recently found that I have the same protein deficiency my mom had when she passed. It affects the respiratory system and I plan on keeping myself in top shape to make sure that I stay healthy. Cardio can only help with this situation.

It is an Alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency. The only treatment is an intravenous replacement therapy, which at this point is not necessary. This can lead to emphysema and or liver disease. Like I said I am going to maintain my physical activity so as help maintain my current health. It is not that I have any of the symptoms at this time it just showed up in some blood work I had done. This is a hereditary condition and many times goes miss-diagnosed. Funny sometime in my later years I could end up with a condition that is related to smoking and yet I am a non-smoker. I am advised, to stay avoid second hand smoke as well. There are extended family members that do smoke and this will be a challenge when visiting them. While I am not concerned about a shorter life span at the moment, it does raise some questions. We never know what curve ball that life is going to throw at us. Knowing what I know now I promise you I will not sweat the small stuff and I will not allow other people to make my life miserable either. We all have choices to make in life and I choose to be happy and healthy to the best of my ability.

Have a great workout!
Tip: Purge the bad things in your life and keep the good!

November 8, 2011

Rant and Tip for November 8, 2011

Quote: “Only those who risk going to far can possibly find out how far one can go.” - T.S. Eliot

I found this quote today and thought I would use it. Funny thing about this quote is I really do not have to say anything about it. It is self-explanatory. You will never know what you can achieve until you try. If you have been over weight for a long time and now want to make the changes necessary then do not give up. Apply yourself and risk the impossible. When the weight is gone and you are happy and healthy you will realize it was worth the risks. You may think what risk could their be. Well I will tell you this, when I changed my eating habits and chose a low carb lifestyle many people thought I was crazy. They ridiculed me telling me I didn’t know how to live, that I would just put the weight back on anyway. They also told me my cholesterol would go, as would my blood pressure. I am here to tell you that in time some people will get it. Others never will. I would say I know how to live better than they do now. I do not live to eat, I eat to live. Living to me is not gorging myself on obscene amounts of sweets or other simple carbohydrates. I do enjoy eating don’t get me wrong. I just enjoy eating vegetables and healthy meats.

I will be doing cardio again today and drinking a lot of water. I am still 3 pounds up in weight and need to lose at least one more pound before I choose to dehydrate on Thursday. 2 pounds of water weight will be easy to lose by Friday. I get to weigh in Friday night and as long as my daughter doesn’t have a lot of homework, I am looking forward to bringing her with me. This will be the first event that I get to bring a family member with me. I will be very pleased if she can make it.

As far as your exercise today you may want to get some cardio in as well. Remember to do your cardio after you strength training. You do not want to rob those muscles of the opportunity to grow and get stronger. Remember the more muscle you have the more calories you burn at a rested state.

Tip: Train don’t strain!

November 7, 2011

Living a healthy lifestyle will only deprive you of poor health, lethargy, and fat

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Rant and Tip for November 7, 2011

Quote: "Living a healthy lifestyle will only deprive you of poor health, lethargy, and fat." ~Jill Johnson~

Happy Monday everyone. Today is still a rest day as will be the rest of the week in my strength training regimen. I am hoping for some nice numbers this coming Saturday but we will see how the shoulders feel.  I will do some cardio today and make sure my diet is tight so I can make weight on Friday night. I received a phone call from a fellow competitor and I will be competing with him directly. He wanted to know if I would be in town Friday night so we could have dinner after weigh ins. He said to me we can be friends Friday night but game is on Saturday morning and I am the enemy. LOL I will welcome the challenge. He is a young buck 28 years my junior. I nice guy as are most of the people I meet at these power meets.

I was recently asked to write for the alumni newsletter for the High School that I wrestled for, it was honored to be asked. When I sat down to write many thoughts came to mind. One of which is how both wrestling and powerlifting are both individual sports where the responsibility of a win or a loss falls on the competitor. If you trained hard enough or not is going to on display for all to see. It struck me as I wrote about this, that we are all responsible for ourselves and our own actions. If you are overweight, you are the reason. If you are out of shape and unhealthy due to the lack of exercise again you are the only one to blame. If you want to make the changes necessary to achieve your goals grab the bull by the horns and do it.

Those of you who are not competing next Saturday, I assume will be working out today. Do me a favor and put a little extra into your workout today. Make me feel it. You know I will be chomping at the bit to be attacking the weights and hope you will hit them for me today and the rest of the week.

Have a great workout!

Tip: When you think you are done go for one more rep. Give that little extra in your workout and your body will reward you.

November 4, 2011

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.

Rant and Tip for November 4, 2011

Quote: “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” Thomas Jefferson

Good morning, Cyberland. I found this quote this morning and didn’t think to much of it but while I was searching for another one to use in today’s blog it kept coming back to me. I think this is because, if you are like me, you tend to dwell on the mistakes you have made in the past and not look to the future and what you can make of it. If you are have struggled with a weight loss issue or the fact that you just cannot get to a good workout routine, do not beat yourself up about it. Just plan a little better and look to the future and make it just what you want it to be. On a little side note here, when you do stress of something it releases more Cortisol into your system. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is released into the body as a result of stress and this hormone can make it difficult to lose weight. It will actually aid in a stall of weight loss. My point here is not to stress over mistakes made in the past look ahead at the great choices you will make next time.

My shoulders feel pretty good today but I have to say my bicep feels worse than it has in a very long time. I see the sports medicine doctor today and I am hoping she can suggest something other than physical therapy. While I think the PT helped some and I continue to do the exercises, I think something more is needed. We will see what she has to say today. Cardio will be the call of the day for me and definitely a reduction is fuel in the body so I can lose the 4 lbs. I need to lose for next Saturday I really want to lose the weight by Friday so I can weigh in on Friday night and enjoy a nice big meal the night before.

I recently read an article on what to eat the day of the meet. I need to make sure I am up and eating breakfast about 4 hours before I lift. This breakfast needs to consist of food that will digest fairly quickly. So proteins and fats will be limited and some healthy carbs will be the call. Mind you this is not to carb load it is to make sure the blood will be able to be used in the muscles and not in my stomach aiding in the digestion of food. You see fat and protein take longer to digest in the body and hence why when someone starts eating a low carb diet which is higher in fat they are not as hungry as often. You will often here someone who eats a low carb lifestyle say they just are not hungry when it is time to eat again.

Have a great workout!

Tip: Be sure to stretch before and after you exercise. I will be stretching today before I hit my cardio and I try to make sure I always stretch after. This gets the blood to flow into the muscle a little more efficiently and aids in muscle repair

November 3, 2011

Commit yourself to making the changes in your life that you want to make. Make it happen!

Rant and Tip for November 3, 2011

Quote: Commit yourself to making the changes in your life that you want to make. Make it happen!  

I am going to work legs tomorrow and then I am going to take the rest of the week and next week off. My shoulders are aching I really need to make sure they are well rested for the 12th of November. Right now I am not feeling real confident. I did go to the gym last night and followed my warm up routine and then went for an opening lift of 305. I am hoping it goes up faster on the 12th than it did last night. I did work shoulders earlier in the day and had done drop sets of 5 dumbbell shoulder presses. Starting with the 75lb dumbbells. It is funny the toughest part of the workout is getting the dumbbells up to the shoulders. I did them seated today on other, days I do them standing and that really hits my core as well. After doing the shoulder presses I did lateral raises and front raises. Of course these are done standing and I make sure to keep my core tight and in control. Lastly I did shrugs to hit the upper trapezius muscles, since the gym I was in today only has dumbbells up to 75lbs I used those for the shrugs. I am sure that is why the opener went up slow. However to be safe and make sure I am well rested, no upper body work until lifting time comes at the meet.

I had something rather interesting happen to me today, I checked out a gym close to work that has more of the equipment I need to reach my goals. It will be very convenient to go there on my lunch hour. I truly enjoy going to Albany Strength once a week but I really need something closer to my home and work. I try not to take to much time away form my kids to train and being able to hit it on my lunch and one-day a week at Albany Strength works out pretty well for me. Anyway as I was about to leave these to young guys came up to me to talk to me. The one had recognized me from meeting me sometime ago with a co-worker. He recognized me and proceeded to introduce me to his younger brother. He knew that I compete in power-lifting meets and wanted to know how I did at the National meet. It was a new experience for me to be recognized by someone for power lifting and fitness. Yes you all in cyber land only know me as this guy and many close friends at work know as well. This was a person who I had only met one other time and it was not during a meet of any kind. It was a nice feeling.

While I was on Facebook last night a friend from high school ask me for suggestions regarding losing weight around their mid-section. She stated she was going to have hip replacement. I suggested getting her diet right first and then when her doctors say she can workout to let me know. She proceeded to let me know her sister teaches Zumba. However that is in Boston. She stated she knew her diet needed to be addresses and then told me how her father had lost a lot of weight by cutting out sugar and snacks. He now eats a lot of veggies and healthy meats. HMMM sounds a lot like a low carb life style to me.

Tip: When performing seated military presses with a heavy weight, and I mean a weight you cannot curl. Try holding weight in your hands and place the weight with your thumbs up on your knees. Move the weight out to the edge of you knee and while lifting your knee quickly and with authority throw the weight up to your shoulders. Once you have the weight in place you will be able to complete your sets. I will create a video of this process for you in the near future.

November 2, 2011

“In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired.” ~Author Unknown

Rant and Tip for November 2, 2011

Quote: “In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired.”  ~Author Unknown

Now this is a quote I can understand and appreciate. I was sick and tired of being fat and living an unhealthy lifestyle. I didn’t want to continue taking medications for high blood pressure because I was too lazy to get back in to shape. I was sick and tired or being sick and tired. The changes I made were both positive for my health and liberating to my mind.

I had a conversation with a friend while working late last night and we talked about how we in the US are a community that uses food as a means of celebration. We live to eat instead of eating to live. It is an obsession we have. We truly are sweetaholics. For some reason we feel we need to have a sweet dessert after a healthy meal. There are tons of different recipes for cheesecake to be found, and even some that are low-carb. I often think to myself, if we learned to eat to live we would be so much better off as a nation. I have never seen a fat lion and I can only guess that he only eats to live. I am in no way knocking people that are creative with their menus and low carb dessert recipes; I commend you for having the talent to do so.

As far as exercise today I want to talk about the deltoid, also known as the shoulders. It seems as I look around the gyms I have gone to, that many guys will have the powerful chest and big arms but their shoulders are lacking. In doing some reading, specifically John Parrillo Performance Press magazine this seems to be an epidemic. In John’s magazine he states that the cause of this may actually be all the isolation machines to “help” us with shoulder development. I myself have never liked the machines. For me, and this may be just because of my height, they do not seem to provide the correct range of motion. Free weights are the way to go. When using dumbbells and or a barbell you are also using the stabilizing muscles for the overhead press and this is a great exercise to develop those deltoids. A machine has its motor-pathway frozen into place; the machine lifter simply pushes and pulls; whereas the barbell or dumbbell lifter must push, pull and control the side-to-side sway of the poundage as it travels from start to lockout. This extra effort needed to keep a weight from swaying causes muscle stabilizers to fire and makes free-weight pressing the choice of champions when it comes to building spectacular shoulders.

Have a great workout!

Tip: The Front Press with barbell: the normal grip is slightly wider than the shoulders. Widening the grip makes pressing more stressful but as leverage drops dramatically and poundage plummets, a point of diminishing muscular returns is reached. A strong man should be able to clean (pull from the ground to the shoulders) and press bodyweight for a single rep. The barbell front press can be taken out of a squat rack to eliminate the clean. Face the barbell, shoulder it, step back, lock out the legs and torso, lean back slightly and press close to the face.

November 1, 2011

Satellite for the Hubs

I thought I would let a guest blog this afternoon. Enjoy!

Satellite for the Hubs

Contribution by Prince Raymond

I got satellite for the Direct TV NFL Ticket but as it turns out all I’ve really been watching on it is reality tv. I’m a dude so that’s pretty embarrassing and if I were to ever tell my friends about the specific shows I watch I don’t think I’d ever hear the end of it. My favorite show on TV right now, embarrassingly, is “Most Eligible Dallas,” and it’s about all these 20-something single people in Texas cavorting around. Now, disclaimer, I’m originally from Dallas which is part of the reason I watch but if we’re being honest I don’t mind telling you I’ve gotten really caught up in their storylines. There are two people on there that are best friends but clearly want to be more so I just can’t wait to see how it all pans out and if they get together. I guess it sort of reminds me of my life but you know, I’m spending more time WATCHING these other people lead their lives than I am out living my own!

Exercise in comfort

Rant and Tip for November 1, 2011

Quote: Exercise is the elixir of life!

You may remember me talking about working out in scrubs some time back and how comfort is important to your workout. You need to have the ability to move in your clothing without restriction, unlike benching in a bench shirt, which is very restrictive. If you are not comfortable then you will not be consistent in your workouts. Remember why you are at the gym or even in you home gym, why you are there. You are there to get fit. No one says you have to be a fashion plate to workout. Besides you do plan on getting all sweaty right? Anyway I ordered my scrubs from They are comfortable and lightweight, as long as the gym is warm enough these things are great. I do not wear them when I am benching though. I prefer a tighter T-shirt when I bench or a tank top for that exercise. I am not sure why, again it is just a comfort thing. If you are interested in discount medical scrubs then you should check them out.

Exercise for the day:
Single Arm Rows 4 sets of 8
Wide grip lat pull downs - 4 sets 8
Seated rows - 4 sets 8
Close grip lat pull downs - 4 sets 8
Shrugs - 4 sets 8
Cable pull through 4 sets of 8

I will do these with the heaviest weight I can handle to get the reps out.

Have a great workout!

Tip: When doing the single arm rows be sure to keep your back flat and concentrate on pulling with the lats.