December 30, 2011

Who says you can’t teach and old dog new tricks

Rant and Tip for December 30, 2011

Quote: “Who says you can’t teach and old dog new tricks” Unknown

Well the end of the year is about to wrap up, and I for one have had an incredible year. I really want to know who said “ You can’t teach and old dog new tricks.” This old dog has tried something new and is excelling at it. I now am competing in Bench Press competitions and push pull events. I have done well in both and am excited to see what 2012 will hold for me. I will compete in at least 2 full power events. My friends you can teach an old dog new tricks.

The year started with a meet in January in Albany at Best Fitness. This was my very first competition in the realm of powerlifting. I saw a lot of good lifters there and was amazed at the size and strength of some of the bigger lifters. At this event I learned that for my weight class I was very competitive and strong enough to win for the weight class I entered. This prompted me to enter the USAPL federation and in February the ride began. I won that event for the Masters I division in the 75-kilogram weight class. I do not know to this day if this was a record in that federation in NYS because they do not keep raw records per division. The do keep them per division in the equipped lifts. That confuses me. Being a little disappointed that they do not keep raw records in that level of detail, Joined the 100% Raw Powerlifting Federation. This federation keeps records for all age divisions and weight classes. The record at that time for a 165-lb. male in the 44 to 49 age group was 259. I opened with a lift of 270lbs breaking the record with my first lift. Then on my second lift I put up 295. I missed my third lift when I lifted my head. At this point I was hooked and loving my new lifestyle. My next event was in June, the American Challenge, this was another 100% Raw event. This event is held Nation Wide at different venues at the same time. The lifts are compare and a National Champion is named. I won the National title for the 165-weight class with a lift of 297. Bumping my NYS record. In all actuality it was both a good and bad day for me. I was way to jacked for the event and missed two of my lifts because I did not wait for the press command on 2 of my lifts. This was a rookie mistake and one I will never make again.  However, with some help with some friends I entered the deadlift competition. Although I only had one good lift in the event I did pull 407 off the floor with ease. I would have had that lift had I not pulled it to fast or to high and lost my balance, the weight came back down for before the lock out and I was red lighted.
Next were the USAPL Nationals, at the time I sent in the entry form I only entered the Masters I division. I decided last minute to enter the open division the night before the event. I was glad I did. I won Nationals, which has put me on the IPF World Power Bench Press Team. While I still have a lot of money to raise for this event I am very excited to be going and will push hard to raise the money I need. The last event I competed in this year was in November. It was the Gobbler Open. One of my goals this year was to bench twice my weight. I did it at this event with a bench of 325. I had weighed in at 161.3-lb. Had not my foot moved which caused my butt to come up I would have had the lift. In any case I hit for my own knowledge with a pause. It has been a great year.

Throughout this year my diet has been consistent. I have had a few bumps and bleeps along the way, of course I have. After all no one is perfect. My point here is that although there maybe be mistakes made in diet or exercise, or even lifting during competitions there is always something to learn from the experience and you can and will do better next time. I have set some lofty goals for myself for 2012. I will set small goals along the way. I will achieve the goals I set and I will continue to eat properly and exercise with intensity to achieve them. You and I can both resolve to make 2012 the year of new achievements. Set your mind to making the changes you want and need to in life and you and I will get to where we want to be.

Have a great workout!

Have a very Happy New Year!

Tip: Enjoy bringing in the New Year, however please do not drink and drive. Drive sober, and safely and look out for the other guy on the road. He may not be as responsible as you are!

December 29, 2011

Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change

Rant and Tip for December 29, 2011

Quote: Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” – Jim Rohn

I find it funny lately that many of these quotes I find get me thinking about the changes I need to make. I hope they do the same for you. There are things in everyone’s life that they would like to see changed. However, we all tend to sit back and let the status quo run our lives. The negative things seem to become the norm for us. This is not necessarily a good thing. In my own life I have allowed some negative people to impact my life and not in a good way. I became the fat person you see in my before photos. I let the competitive athlete in me get drowned and pushed aside. I started to believe all the negative things this person was telling me about myself. I have started making the changes I needed to make to rebuild my confidence and now I am at a point where I will never turn back. Now you may not have the negative influences in your life that I have, however, you will not be able to make the changes in your life that are necessary until you choose to make those changes. You cannot sit back and wait for the changes to take place. Take the bull by the horns and do something about it. You are so worth it!!

Benching went very well yesterday. I concentrated on my form and made sure to keep my shoulders tight. After my 5x5 workout I chose to do some board presses. Using 335 lbs. I proceeded to do a set of 8 reps. It felt good and I felt strong. After the first set I went to a 1 board with 335 and just did one rep. After the flat benching was done a friend of mine who is recuperating from a shoulder injury was working with some lightweight. I chose to do some incline benching with this weight for high reps. I like to hit the fast twitch muscles whenever I can. It is always a good thing to shake up your workout to confuse the muscles. DOMS has set into my legs and I am pleased with the results from Tuesday’s workout. Lesson to you today is to make sure you make changes in your workout otherwise your muscles will not progress.

I was properly fueled for my workout and that is why it went as well as it did. I once had a trainer tell me to eat like a king at breakfast, a nobleman at lunch and a pauper at dinner. This works out pretty well for me because I workout I eat lunch and after I eat breakfast. Then of course there is the snack at mid morning that really gives me the fuel need for the workout.

Tip: If you are eating a low carbohydrate lifestyle you will need to fuel the body with healthy fats. You can get a good healthy fat source from an avocado. It is chuck full of Omega 3 fats and you can fix it many different ways. Personally, I like to just cut it in half and eat it with a spoon.

December 28, 2011

My Daughter

The Author of this post is Cheryl Martinez

My daughter recently graduated from college and is going to be starting her first real job as a nurse. She is starting out making enough money to buy her own house. I am so proud of her for finishing school and finding a job so quickly. She is such a grown up already. She says that she wants to live by herself for a little while and she might change her mind after a while. I would feel much better if she at least had a roommate, but I have to remember that she is an adult and can make her own decisions now. She did however, agree to having a security system installed in her new house. I searched Georgia ADT home security to find the systems that were available. She finally admitted to me that having a security system will make her feel more safe. It makes me feel more comfortable about her living alone too. Fortunately, if she ever needed anything, her house is only about ten minutes from our house. I can’t believe that she is so grown up.

True life is lived when tiny changes occur.

Rant and Tip for December 28, 2011

Quote: True life is lived when tiny changes occur. - Leo Tolstoy

We all strive to hit our goals whether it is a weight loss goal, an exercise goal or a career goal. These goals are best reached through tiny changes in our lifestyle. Sometimes the lifestyle changes are big though and at times we wonder if it s all worth the tiny changes that do occur. We must all remember that only through those tiny changes will we achieve our goals. Losing a pounds of fat, or adding a pounds to the bar. They both happen a little at a time. Enjoy the small changes and look forward to the big changes in your life.

Squats went well yesterday and I have to say I felt really tired last night. That is the thing when you work legs you will need the time to rest to let them recuperate. Today is a raw bench day and time to get heavy and serious and I assure you I will. I had a friend ask me last night how much time I spend in the gym. I told him I only spend about an hour a day in the gym working out. I would like to take an hour and a half to work out but I only have an hour mid day to hit the weights at this time. I think he thought that I spent more time in the gym than that. The thing is when your time is limited you have to make the best of it and for that hour I really hit the weights. I do not pay attention to nothing but the steel in my hands and the work ahead of me. Gym time is not the time to spend socializing; it is not the time to ogle the one of the other gym attendees. When you go to exercise whether it is at home or in the gym treat it like work. Work it for that hour or whatever time you have. Do not waste your time with chitchat that can occur later. As far as the hot girl or guy running on the treadmill, let them check you out instead. This is the time to work it and work it hard.

Part of my conversation with my friend last night was regarding our diet. First thing is we all have to remember we are all different. We have different metabolisms and what my carbohydrate level is may be to many for someone else. However the one thing that is consistent is the need to track you food. At least until you have a handle on portion size. When I first started tracking my food being an American I opted for cups for measuring. This really started to agitate me. I would try to put broccoli in a cup and the cup would be filled with voids as well. Did I really get a cup of broccoli. NO! I switched to using a scale and everything fell in to place from there. You can get a nice digital scale through Amazon or any Walmart or other department store. I prefer to measure by grams now but ounces will work for you as well. I guess the lesson of the day here is to track your food by weight not by measuring cups.

Tip: If you want to increase your bench press, here are two tips to assist you with that. First when setting up on the bench make sure you are creating a solid platform to push from. Get your should back and in tight. Imaging holding a quarter between you shoulder blades this will give you that good strong base. Next when you grab the bar do not be lazy about it. Grasp it firmly and with authority. Squeeze the bar. This also gives you a strong start point on your bench press.

December 27, 2011

The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself

Rant and Tip for December 27, 2011

The world meet is only 5 months away and I am still looking to raise the necessary funds to get there. If you have any suggestions please feel free to contact me and let me you. Thank you!

Quote “The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself.” Thales

Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed by a couple of local papers. One of these articles ran on Christmas Day. It was titled “Kipp discovers the athlete within him”. I received a few comments and emails from friends and family. One email came from a friend I have not seen in many years, from a time when I was a restaurant manager. He told me a tale I was very familiar with. A story about a man who had gotten out of shape and then went back to the gym and workout steady for 2 years. Somehow after that he started to find excuses to not go. He was working with a trainer and even made up excuses not to go see him. I hear and see this all the time. This is why the quote of the day is “The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself.” My friend lost his motivation. To stay motivated really is an internal process. I can give you all the quotes on the world, tell you how to exercise and lose the body fat, and even motivate you through words of encouragement. However, the true motivation will come when you get to know yourself. Sometimes you need to dig deep with in your own mind and determine what you need to focus on to stay motivated. I will continue to converse with my friend and work on helping him find that internal motivation. I hope that by coming here daily you can find your personal internal motivation as well.

I will be working my legs today. Since the legs are a large muscle group which include the glutes, I should be pretty wiped out at the end of my workout. I will be performing squats, leg presses, and leg curls today. I am also going to change me schedule for workouts next week. I have said in my blog that sometimes I need to train like I am at a meet, well in a meet the squat is the first event followed by the bench press and then the deadlift. It is time to do just that. I will do work squats in the beginning of the workout week, bench press in the middle followed by deadlifts at the end of the week.

With working the legs today I will also need to fuel the body appropriately. I need to eat a good amount of healthy calories and be careful not to under eat. When we do not eat enough of nutrient rich foods our bodies will start to conserve any fuel it can. It will retain the fat just to make sure it has a fuel source for later. Have you ever noticed after summer that you feel the need to eat a little more than you should? This is your body’s response to centuries of winters when food was not readily available. It used to be that our bodies would put on a layer of fat to help it make it through the long winters. We don’t really need to put on that layer of food storage anymore. However our mind keeps telling us we do. We need to train the brain and stop doing the 3-ounce curls to the mouth. You need to learn when your body is hungry and in need of fuel and not in want of fuel.

Tip: Take a moment today to find your motivation. Is it looking into the eyes of your children and realizing the greatest gift you can give them is a healthy parent, or is it just taking a picture of someone fit and putting it on your refrigerator. It could be something as simple as just reminding yourself that you are worth it. You may be the person who always does for everyone else and that gives you great joy and if it is again I say get yourself in shape and you will be able to do that even longer.

December 23, 2011

How soon 'not now' becomes 'never'

Rant and Tip for December 23, 2011

 Quote: “How soon 'not now' becomes 'never'.” Martin Luther

How true this is and that is why now is the time to make those changes!

It is another rainy day here in the northeast of North America. I would rather have the snow. I was just telling a friend I had to go write my blog and that I was not sure what to write about today and they suggested something about how to stay motivated when you have a string of days where the weather is gloomy. Motivation is a funny thing in that on a beautiful day the last thing you want is to be inside throwing weights around. Or when it is gloomy outside you just want to sit inside and curl up with a book or someone special and watch the fire.  For me it is kind of summed up in everything I write. From switching things up like some of the outdoor bootcamps I see people doing to setting big goals and setting the path to reach that goal with smaller stepping stone goals.  Also having that special someone in your life that shares in your quest to be fit can be motivational as well. If you don’t have that someone close to you, you are welcome to come here and comment, ask questions or just read the rantings of a mad man who is obsessed with his physical conditioning and hopes he can get you motivated to do so to.   Thank you Linda for putting this bug in my ear now all I will think about all day is how to motivate my workout partner who has been slacking all week. NO fault of his own but I don’t want him to fall back in to all routines.

Have a great workout!

Tip of the day:
We all have things that come up in life that will keep us from getting to the gym. Sometimes we are doing great and then the gym get closed for a week, or kids need to be taken to college, or even a business trip that is just not conducive to getting your workout in.  There is nothing wrong with taking a week off from your workouts. I do it the week before meet. What you need to do though is make sure you schedule the drop-dead date you will start back in. Stick to this like glue. It is too easy to let ourselves be lazy and procrastinate and just not get back to our healthy fit lifestyle. So Schedule it and stick to it.

December 22, 2011

Never admint that you are beaten and you won't be

Rant and Tip for August 9, 2012

Quote: "You're never beaten until you admit it." George Patten

Now while General Patton my never had the desire to hit the weights or not I do not know. He did however lead many a man to a successful battle. Sometimes that is exactly how we feel as we tackle our diets and our fitness regimen. It is a battle. If you have a lot of weight to lose still then it becomes an all out war. I believe that his words are absolutely true. If you admit that you cannot follow your chosen diet then you will fail. It truly is a mindset that you need to adapt that you will not admit defeat. You will not get beaten in your quest. I remember the last meet I did there was a point with I started to falter during a lift. I remember thinking there is no way in hell I was going to let that bar start a decent back down and I did not let it.

It seems many people want to get better abs. I know I have repeatedly told you that it is mostly diet that will get the abs to pop. If you do not lose the fat the abs will never show no matter how many crunches you do. With that said let’s talk a little about getting better abs. To get the most out of your ab-crunches you need to keep the muscles tight throughout the movement. You never want to let muscles relax during the motion. You want to keep them tight though the entire movement. You should not rest during a rep whether at the bottom or the top of the rep. Do not rest or bounce on the floor or bench. Be sure to exhale as you contract the abs on the upward movement. When you do exhale be sure to fully exhale as if someone has punched you in the stomach. Inhale as you lower your body on the way back down. Lastly you need to keep in mind the range of motion for an ab crunch is very short. A full sit-up or crunch brings in the hip flexors as well. So be sure to focus on crunching of just the abs. For an added benefit you can crunch to the left and the right and get the obliques involved.

I had a good training session yesterday benching raw. Then some board work from a 3 board. Well the equivalent of a 3 board that is. I have noticed that my raw strength has suffered a bit since training in a bench shirt and I really want to get that strength back. I was warned this would happen and my to my surprise it did. I want to figure out why this is and maybe it is just a matter of training both equally as hard.
What do you have planned for today regarding your diet and exercise?

Have a great workout!

Tip: If you are having problems with crunches or other ab exercises try this while sitting at your desk at work or at home. I know you at your desk right now. Tighten you abs as tight as you can and hold it for 30 seconds. Now release and do it again for a set of 10. At the end you should feel like you had just done several crunches without the pressure of sitting on the floor.

Please visit The Tribustolplus web site and give Tribustol a try.  As an affiliate the proceeds will help me get to the next big meet.

December 21, 2011

Rant and Tip for December 21, 2011

Quote: “Belief creates the actual fact.” William James

If you know in your heart it can and will become fact. I know I will somehow raise the money needed to get to Plzen, in the Czech Republic. I believe that I will reach new heights in my quest to improve in the three lifts. I believe I can and will stay the course for my way of eating for the rest of my life. All these things will become fact.  You need to believe in yourself if you are to be successful in the changes you want to make in your life. You need to believe you are worth those changes and no matter what anyone else says to you or implies about your new lifestyle you are worth it.

I have a friend she is actually in England and she once told me to envision my lifts in my head and imagine all the things that could go incorrectly. Then make those things get smaller and smaller in my minds eye until they are miniscule in thought. Then imagine the lift again only this time everything is perfect, my form, the path of the bar, my intensity and the bar completing the lift. Then make that image brighter and sharper in my mind’s eye. Make it happen in my mind. Believe that it will happen and it will become fact. I now do this the morning of a meet; I also have started righting down my goal weights everyday in a statement. Such as “ I will bench press 357 in June 2012”. Again I think this type of thought and behavior will only strengthen my resolve and also if you take on this approach you will give you the will and power to make your beliefs, actual facts.

Bench shirt benching tonight and I will be trying a new shirt tonight. This shirt is not as powerful as the Katana I have. It will help me nail down the stroke in the lift. The over all training is going very well and I am pleased with my progress. I was sick yesterday and was not able to workout, as I wanted to. So I will have to make up the session sometime this weekend. I will of course work my core today and get in about 30 minutes of intense cardio. My shoulders feel pretty good today and I am excited about tonight’s possibilities.

I have been playing with my diet a little and have allowed myself to put on a little fat, about 5-lbs worth. I have talked to a world champion regarding getting stronger and he made the suggestion as a way to ultimately get stronger. I will let you know how that works out. I really just increased my calories to very high levels and it is scary how quickly those 5 pounds came on. I can still see my abs and that amazes me. This just tells me I have put on more muscle.

For those of you in the Albany NY area keep an eye on the Times Union NewsPaper. Mark McGuire a columnist with the paper interviewed me a week or so ago and to me that his article will be in the paper on this Sunday. That is right Christmas day. So if you get the chance after you are done celebrating take the time to read it. I will be interested myself to see how he tells the story. I wanted to make sure I pointed out that it, “It does not matter how old you are, you can make the changes in your life and get healthy and fit.” We are not old dogs who cannot learn new tricks.

Have a great workout!

Tip:  If you want permanent results you need to make a permanent change. You need to pick a diet program with which you can live. This diet needs to be a full on approach to nutrition.  Don’t forget to exercise as well! To achieve a lean, healthy, physique requires exercise as well as a proper diet.

December 20, 2011

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps

Rant and Tip for December 20, 2011

Quote: “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” Confucius

The internet is a funny tool. When I search for quotes I usually come across the same sites over and over. Today I found a new site and this quote jumped out at me. If you feel you goal is unobtainable then maybe you do need to change your approach and not your goal. While losing your body fat can be a science it also contains many variables and you will need to adjust things as you progress on this journey. When you hit a plateau with muscle growth or weight loss it is time to change things up a bit.

For dieting it may be several things but you will need to keep track of what you are doing. You may need to increase your carbohydrates or maybe increase you healthy fats. Remember what I said yesterday though about the different types of carbs and if you do increase them make sure they are complex carbs or fibrous carbs you are ingesting. Also if you are exercising it may be an issue of not getting enough calories. This happens to many people who exercise regularly. They will make the comment I am exercising so much but I am not losing weight. In this case it is probably the calories. If you do not eat enough you are putting your body in starvation mode and the body wants to hold on to the fat it has in case you need it later.

Exercise is another area where you can hit plateaus and stalls in muscle gain. Being the efficient machine you body is it can get very use to an exercise routing. This is why it is important to change things up whether it is a new exercise of just increasing the reps of an exercise you are currently doing. You can also increase the poundage you are using and see how that may help you. I recently picked up a new book and in it there are some of the elite lifters and bodybuilders of the last few decades. I will be quoting this book as I continue to write myself.
The book is the “Purposeful Primitive”. Hopefully I will be able to share a lot more information with you that we can all use.

Have a great workout

Tip: 5 days left to Christmas and only 4 for shopping. Get out there and get some exercise in walking and shopping. I think during Christmas you can almost call this a cardiovascular event.

December 19, 2011

Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality that guarantees the others

Rant and Tip for December 19, 2011

Quote: Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality that guarantees the others. – Aristotle

It seems the more I look for inspirational quotes Aristotle pops up a lot. Thought I would rant a little about courage and in this case the courage to step out of your comfort zone into a new lifestyle that will help you live a long happy life. Have the courage to start something new in regards to exercise and have the courage to say NO to the processed simple carbohydrate foods that are just destroying you.

Too many bad or simple carbohydrates raise your triglycerides and make your blood thicker, this can put you at risk of heat disease. They also contribute to carb cravings and diabetes. Simple sugars include, sugar one, fruit and fruit juice. Fruit is sweet because it contains the sugars glucose and fructose. It is advisable to avoid simple sugars and refined carbs because they readily promote fat storage. To some extent they are converted to fat, however the big thing here is they cause a spike in insulin release from the pancreas and this blocks the use of fat as fuel. Since our goal is to lose the unwanted fat on our bodies it is important to avoid the simple/refined carbohydrates as much a possible. Examples of refined carbs are breads, pasta, and any of your precious goodies made with flour. Chips although made with a potato, which is a complex carb falls into this category because it is refined and fried in oil. Refined carbs digest so quickly that they cause the insulin spike I mentioned earlier and you body cannot burn those calories of fast enough. Now here is an important thing to remember.
Fibrous vegetables supply critical nutrients and slow the rate of release of glucose into the bloodstream this helps to moderate insulin levels. Good fibrous vegetables are Lettuce, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bean and not the canned kind; turnip greens, squash, zucchini, okra etc. Notice that here these are not root vegetables. They all have plenty of fiber and are rich in nutrients.

Do today is a bench day and after having the weekend off from lifting I always look forward to getting back in the gym. I am going to combine benching with my tricep work today since the triceps take a hit when benching anyway this way I can really hit them hard. Hopefully tear some muscle fibers and add some muscle. I train the tricep as both a bodybuilder would and a powerlifter. For instance in the cable push downs a bodybuilder will use very strict form and will not allow his elbows to move also have a more complete range of motion. A powerlifter will only allow the wrist to come parallel with the ground and when he presses the weight down will allow the elbows to move. I have been told many times I have pretty good triceps so I hope I am onto something in training both ways. As you train today remember to keep your form clean and keep in mind the type of training you are striving for.

Have a great workout!

Tip: Life is to short, take the time to smell the roses. You will not be able to smell the roses if you are winded all the time so do not forget to get some cardio in. Even if that cardio comes form high rep weight training. Yes I said it weight training done correctly can also be a cardio workout.

December 16, 2011

Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency

As some of you recall I have recently been made aware that I have the same condition that took my mother’s life some 30 years ago. Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is a condition that affects the lungs. It is made in the liver and it works to protect the lungs and liver. I recently found out a cousin of my from the same bloodline as my Mother passed away. My mother passed at the young age of 39. Adults with severe deficiency will develop emphysema, often before age 40. Smoking can increase the risk of emphysema. Other patients can have higher levels of AAT in their blood, and therefore have a less severe condition. I take good care of myself at this point in my life. I do not smoke but my mother and my cousin did. Smoking is a leading cause to many lung diseases. For the person with Alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency, smoking is a one way ticket to ending their life. Studies have even suggested that second hand smoke for this condition is just as bad. I try to avoid second hand smoke as much as I can. So please quit smoking

I know that quitting smoking is a very difficult thing to do. My mother struggled with it for a long time. She told me when I was 13 that she was never going to get better. She was always winded. She was not able to quit until she had to have a tracheotomy. The trach was used so we could suction out her lungs so she could breathe easier. I tell you this so maybe you can quit before it is to late

. I hope you read this post if you are a smoker and realize while I am not a smoker and never was I know how it can be to quit this addiction. My heart goes out to you. You can quit smoking though. I know you can.

Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach

Rant and Tip December 16, 2011

Quote: Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach. – Tony Robbins

I think this quote is perfect for changes being made in your lifestyle. You know I usually feel I have to take time to apply the quote I have chosen, today I do not think anything really needs to be said. “Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach. Doesn’t it really make a lot of sense? What else can be added? Well I guess I can say it is the flexibility in your daily lifestyle and the changes that you are committed to making and you will be successful.

Back work went really well. I was very pleased with my work out and am looking forward to some deadlifts today. I am hoping to nail down my form by March. With my bicep tendonitis the important part of the lift is going to be locking out my triceps so that my arms stay straight and tight. Last time the big thing I realized was that to be successful I needed to get into the right position and when I drove with my legs I had to thrust my hips into the lift. I am counting on increasing my last although unsuccessful 407-lb deadlift by at least 30 lbs. I think this is a conservative number and if all goes well 450 will be hit that day. After the deadlifts I will see how well I feel and do some supportive work on my shoulders. Now usually I would have done the deadlifts and then the rest of my back work the same day. However, since I am not going to go heavy today and just plan to get the form right I will be fine for the day.

I tried something yesterday to verify what I had thought for sometime. I ingested 164 oz of water. I got up this morning to a 2-lb loss. Now you know and have been told my many a person including myself that water is very important to your weight loss. It helps flush out your system and helps you realize when you are actually hungry and not just thirst. Now just as your body is very intelligent and is a machine like no other for some reason we as humans have a tough time realizing that sometimes we are just thirsty and not really hungry. There is no substitute for water. We all like to think that we need something with flavor. However, I find this is not actually the fact. I truly enjoy my water now. The challenge is making sure to drink it. For me to be successful in this challenge I need to keep some in arms reach at all times. As long as it is there I will drink it. Really I am this way with any fluid. If it is in front of me I will drink it. I was very successful with my water intake yesterday and I hope to be just as successful today.

Have a great workout!

Tip: Keep you water bottle full at all

December 15, 2011

“Only 10 more days to Christmas”

Rant and Tip for December 15, 2011

Quote: “Only 10 more days to Christmas” Everyone you run into today

Yes that is right only 10 more days till Christmas. This means Christmas parties, Christmas dinner and all the fixings that go along with it. The best present you can give yourself is to plan ahead for these events and enjoy. Stay on plan, continue to exercise, and you will be much happier with yourself after the holiday if you do.

Did my heavy core exercises yesterday and they went great. The cable chops hit my core nicely and I can even feel some DOMS in the lower back. FEELS GREAT!. Worked in the bench shirt last night and went very well I am starting to make the shirt work for me instead of the shirt working me over. The end of the workout had me benching 405 very easily mind you to a 3 board. I can easily see 405 going up with a touch to the chest. I should be able to build nicely onto that. Today I will be hitting my back with a lot of pulling exercises. Seated, and single arm rows, lat pull downs, pulling exercises that hit the upper, lower and middle trapezius muscles and finish with bent over rows. Tomorrow I want to feel DOMS in the rest of my back. With a large back you have a nice foundation for the bench and the thicker the back is the less distance you have to lower the weight. LOL every little bit helps.
You can follow the same back exercises for yourself if you like.

Diet is going well, I ate perfectly yesterday. Protein levels were just right not too much and not too little. I believe the perfect level of protein is 1.5 grams per lean body mass. That is the goal I am shooting for. The first step to achieving this goal is to have you body fat composition done. There are a few ways to do this. You can get a tape measure and find a website that lets you put in the calculations or you can have it done by a trainer with calipers. I like the caliper method best and think it is more accurate. However with this said the tape measure way will get you in the right range. Once you know your body fat percent you can subtract that from your total weight and you can calculate the amount of protein you need.

Have a great workout!

Tip: Plan Plan Plan I cannot say this enough for the holiday season. You are already writing a list for everything, just include your diet plan and your exercise schedule. You can do it!

December 14, 2011

There is one quality that one must possess to win

Rant and Tip for December 14, 2011

Quote: "There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it." Napoleon Hill

We are need to be definite in our purpose, we need to have that desire to possess that which we know we want. Our exercise goals need to be definite and purposeful as do our dietary needs. I definitely want to stay healthy and maintain a good physique. Of cause for me this all seems to go hand in hand and I believe this goes hand in hand for everyone. Be definite in your purpose. Cheating on your diet or passing on your exercise is not being definite in your purpose.

Training for me today will include weight core as do most Wednesday afternoons and then this evening will be working in the bench shirt. I am looking forward to getting the shirt on and feeling some heavy weight in my hands. I want to try to start pushing weight that I have never tried to press before. I want to tax the central nervous system and get it use to handling very heavy loads. My core exercises will consist of

 Weighted crunches
 Cable pull throughs
 Side bends
 Weighted Leg raises
 Kneeling cable crunches

Done correctly and with enough weight I should be able to get a great workout in. My workout partner has been laid up with a bum shoulder. It is something he has had for a very long time. He has had this even prior to working out with me. Many times during a workout I would have to pull his upper arm into the right position for the lift. He finally decided to see someone about it and is going through physical therapy now. Hopefully he will be back soon.
Some time ago I remember telling you that if you have a workout partner it may help with your motivation. I have to admit I seem to hit a little harder when I have a workout partner. Don’t get me wrong I still get to the gym and push myself, it just seems I get a little extra umph out of each set with a spotter/workout partner there.

My way of eating is right on track and I am working on just shedding about 5 pounds in body fat. This will put me at a nice place for the New York State Championships and then the World meet in May. I am already getting stoked about both events. For me at this point I am eating the right foods it s a matter of getting the amount down correctly to make sure I maintain muscle and shed the little fat I do have on my body. I am not a metabolicly gifted a human being. I do have to work at watching what I eat and how much of it I do eat. When I first started eating correctly my fat came off quickly compared to many of my friends on the Atkins boards. However now being as low as I am in body fat, the few pounds of fat I carry enjoys being right where it is. No big deal it will be gone in time for March.

Have a great workout!

Tip: Workout like you mean it. If your form of exercise is to walk, walk with a purpose, get the hart pumping. Push yourself no matter what your form of exercise is. You are so worth it, just ask yourself and the answer should be yes.

December 13, 2011

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better

Rant and Tip December 13, 2011

Quote: “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I was sitting with a friend at my son’s scout meeting and he found this quote. Thank you Brent. If we do not take the time to experiment through out our lives we will fall into ruts. These little ruts are filled with boredom and malaise. This is when we get into some bad habits as well. Bad eating habits and not taking the time to exercise and getting an all around poor attitude towards life. No matter what age you are if you take the time to experiment with something new you will find a new zest for life.

Benching went well yesterday although my shoulders are a little sore. I started another 16-week cycle that I downloaded from Dr. Fred Hatfield's website, affectionately known as Dr. Squat. This time I set my one rep max in the calculator as 330 for the Bench. At the end of the cycle the program has me hitting 330 for a set of 5. If I work it hard enough this should get me to the goals I have set for next year. I will download another program for my squat as well using 350 as my one rep max. I truly believe my one rep max is higher than this but want to be conservative in my squat to save my shoulders in the bench. Deadlifts will be set at 415 and work towards doing that for a set of 5. These programs seem to work well for me and it sets one week heavy and the next week lighter. Then the following week is set at a heavier weight than the previous heavy week. This aids in the muscle confusion. Now I do not stop at the 5x5 cycle for the day either. I do supportive exercises as well as long as time permits for that work out. On my benching days I add in incline dumbbell presses and flies. I really enjoy the flies.  On my squat days like today not only will I hit my squats but I will also hit the leg press machine after that along with some leg curls. Time permitting I will also get some leg extensions in.

My fuel for these workouts tends to increase. It will seem like I am eating almost non-stop before my workout and then the first half an hour after the workout. After that I will eat like a pauper. While I want to increase strength and add some more muscle mass I need to be careful not to push myself out of the 74 kg weight class for the IPF World Bench Press Meet in Plzen Czech Republic. I am really concerned about this and as long as I keep it in the forefront of my mind I will be on track. Although I am 6 months out from the meet I will continue to be strict with my diet. If I stay strict now I will not have a challenge as the meet gets close. Even through the rest of the holidays my diet will be on track. It will just take planning and discipline. It is not even will power at this point anymore. I know what and when to eat at this point and will do so.

Have a great workout!

Tip:  Take the time to experiment with different types of exercise. Find something you enjoy doing. Once you find it you will be able to make it your exercise passion.

December 12, 2011

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”

Rant and Tip for December 12, 2011

Quote: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” Franklin D. Roosevelt

President Roosevelt had it right. I doubt he thought any would use it in regards to diet and exercise but here we are. It seems to me that many people don’t establish a new way of life through healthy eating and exercise because they are afraid of change. Afraid thy may fail. This is a fear of fear itself. Let go of these fears, embrace the unknown and allow yourself to be the best you can be.

I often hear from and very often read about someone struggling with his or her diet. Especially when they do not take the time to learn the science behind the diet and or think they know what they are doing. Many diets do not teach you how to eat for the rest of you life. They give you a quick fix and help you lose 20 lbs. or so. Then it is back to they way you were eating before and you are baffled that you put the weight back on. The real key to losing weight for you life is learning how to address the foods that are your triggers. Foods that while they may taste delicious, are actually triggers to your body to store fat, or these foods encourage you to simply over eat. Pay attention to these triggers and stay away from them. They are your nemesis. I know what you’re thinking, “But I love my pasta”. Again I hear this a lot. My suggestion to this is take the time to get your weight under control and get to the body fat percentage you want to be at. Then as a special indulgence allow yourself to have a small dish as a side. Now let me tell you this about pasta and this is from my own experience, if is not the pasta you miss, it is the sauce or other substance that you put on it you miss. I learned after teaching myself what foods are my triggers that pasta and bread are just avenues for me to get to the sauce or other food they carry. I enjoy Alfredo sauce. Man I love the stuff, however I do not put it on pasta. I will put in on chicken or vegetables and for me it fills my craving.

Looking forward to working out today my body really needs to hit the bench. After my 5X5 workout with heavier weights I will hit the some lower weight for speed and fast twitch muscles. I will also be hitting the dumbbells for some heavy work. Something about having 110 pounds in each hand for dumbbell work just gets me jacked.

As far as your workout today be sure to change things a little bit today. Go heavy at first to get the most out of you strength training and then hit some lightweights to hit the fast twitch muscle. When hitting the fast twitch be sure to use a weight that is not to light that you throw your shoulder out. You want it heavy enough to feel it and yet light enough to put it up quickly.

Have a great workout!

Tip: When benching be sure to use an incline, decline and flat bench. This will hit all the pectoral muscles in the chest region.

December 9, 2011

“The difference between a goal and a dream is a deadline.”

Rant and Tip for December 9, 2011

Quote: “The difference between a goal and a dream is a deadline.” -Steve Smith

As I was looking for a quote today this one jumped out at me. I find it falls in line with our goal setting. The one thing I do want to say here is that as far as losing that unwanted body fat, make the deadline a soft deadline. We do not want to get all discouraged if we do not hit the goal by the deadline set. Losing body fat is a personal journey and losing the weight will not come off as fast as someone else. We are all different in this respect. Still set a goal deadline though, this will keep you honest in your efforts and it will also motivate you to the prize at the deadline. A new healthier you.

Core training went well yesterday and I am sore today. I will be working my back today. Really hitting my middle and lower trapezius muscles to avoid the imbalance that has caused the tendon pain I get in my right bicep. I always thought I had a strong back. In fact what I have is large lats, I still need to work on the other muscles of the back with the intensity that I work my bench press. I had an interview with a national magazine yesterday and the gentleman doing the interview happened to be a world powerlifting competitor. Marty Gallagher without knowing me personally made a suggestion to make sure I work my back. This made sense to time and also may explain why I am able to hit the numbers I do. I do have a large back. I have to tell you a story here. I was walking in front of a friend of mine at work. She is a real jokester and likes to bust ass when she sees an opportunity. Well any way I was wearing a shirt the fit me very well. It really showed the “V” shape of my back. From out of know where I hear her say “Holy crap your back is huge”.  It has actually taken me a while to realize I do have a gifted back. One of the trainers in the gym Russ Testo who is a well known body builder has told me on several occasions that he wished he had a back as big as mine.

Ok lets discuss diet a little and since I have some new readers and have not mentioned this in sometime let me get on the soap box. Your body burns 4 things for fuel, protein, fats, carbohydrates and alcohol. Now first thing to realize alcohol is a toxin and your body does not to share its space with this substance. It will burn the alcohol off first. This means any other fuel taken in at that time becomes stored in the body. Maybe that is where the beer belly comes from. Alcohol and carbs not a good mix. Some people like to say that carbohydrates are the preferred fuels of the body. I know Dr. Oz preaches this. Of course the body prefers it, it burns easily and it is stored as fat for fuel late. Now this is in my humble opinion but it seems to me when we take the easy way out this is when we get into trouble with our diets. Too many carbs become unwanted fat. Personally I prefer fat for fuel. Again in my humble opinion fat is a better fuel for the body. If you are burning fat you are not storing fat. Your brain is 60% fat. I think if it this way. If your brain is 60% fat as the medical field tells us, then why eat a low fat diet. If you eat low fat and that is what your brain consist of, then wouldn’t the brain tell your body to store any fat it does get in an effort to sustain itself? To me it makes sense that low fat diets make us keep the fat on our bodies in an effort to keep the brain functioning at maximum capacity. Again it is important for me to state I am not a medical professional and this is my opinion. I am not saying to stay away from carbs all together and not diet on this planet that is worth its weight in salt will. Even the Atkins diet will teach you how to eat the proper carbs for your diet. It is not a NO CARB diet like many people believe it to be. Get the book my friends

Have a great workout!

Tip: Leave the magazine on the coffee table. It might seem like a great way to keep yourself entertained during a workout, but if you can read captions in a gossip magazine, chances are you're not pushing yourself hard enough. If you're really into reading material, try downloading a podcast or listening to an audio book. (Courtesy of

December 8, 2011

One should eat to live, not live to eat. ~Cicero, Rhetoricorum LV

Rant and Tip for December 8, 2011

Quote: One should eat to live, not live to eat.  ~Cicero, Rhetoricorum LV

I have used this quote before but thought it was ideal to use it again. This is how I eat now. I eat to live. I know many people who live to eat. They want the elaborate meal with lots of processed foods and in many cases loaded down with simple sugars. For me the simple sugars are the killer. They are the simple carbohydrates that will process to quickly in my body and then my body cannot process the food fast enough. When this happens the extra glycogen is stored as fat.

Having made the world team I now have to eat to fuel my body. I am eating to live strong. I need to continue to eat properly and maintain a proper weight and the proper conditioning to be successful in the Czech Republic. 5 days a week I will hit the gym either concentrating on my form for the 3 powerlifting lifts or working supporting muscles for those lifts.

There is an old saying that it is all mind over matter. This applies to your age and working out as well. If in your mind you say it does not matter how old I am, it won't matter anymore.

I am going to hit my core today with some weighted exercises including my lower back. Your lower back is part of your core you know. Weight crunches, pull throughs, cable crunches, planks with a plate on my back and side bends, after that maybe a quick 20 minute cardio session.

Have a great workout!

Tip: Print down you workout for the day and make sure you are focused on completing it. Sometimes we get to the gym and think what am I going to do today. Simply write it and do it!

December 7, 2011

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.”

Rant and Tip for December 7, 2011

Quote: “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” Sir Edmund Hillary

From those who have conquered Mt Everest to those of us who conquer our weight challenges the one thing that stands true is we have to conquer ourselves first. Once we have conquered the reasons we have allowed ourselves to get to the point that we have to do something about our weight; the weight will come off. As you make your way through your new lifestyle change, it is important to take stock in yourself and make the changes needed in other areas of your life so you do not find yourself back to where you were. How many times have you or someone you know lost a lot of weight only to put it back on a few years down the road. I can only hypothesize that this is because while they addressed the issue of eating correctly they did not look internally and address any other issues in their life. I am far from perfect and have issues I try to deal with everyday. I try to access the challenges before me and learn new ways to cope with them.

Legs went well yesterday, I kept my squats tight and finished all my sets and then did some leg presses. For those of you following the exercise schedule I have laid out for you, you will be concentrating on the chest.

Incline dumbbell press - 4 sets 10
Flat dumbbell press - 4 sets 10
Decline barbell press - 4 sets 10
Dumbbell flies - 4 sets 10

Be sure to allow yourself 1 to 2 full minutes of rest. Some people like to say when your breathing returns to normal levels again. Which brings me to another issue, if you are not getting out of breath during your sets you may not be working hard enough. The whole purpose of exercise is to keep the body strong and improving your conditioning. If you are just starting our and I have mentioned this before, whether it is walking or any other exercise get to the point where you breathing will allow you to talk but with a little more effort. A labored breath is perfect.

As far as your diet I do want to mention today that like Sir Edmond Hilary conquered Mt Everest you can make the changes necessary to be successful. Now I am no student of climbing Mt Everest but I can say that with fair certainty that there were challenges along the way. I bet there were times when the thought came across everyone’s mind let’s just turn back. Well as history has told us they did not turn back and the rest is just that history. Your body fat will be history as well, just stick to plan.

Have a great workout!

Tip: When you feel like giving up call someone you can count on. Have them talk you down so that you do not eat that cupcake, or bagel. If you do not get the support at home or your current friends make a new one. Get the assistance from anyplace you can.

On another note, I have noticed many hits from countries outside of the United States and Canada. I am thrilled to have you as readers. If hope you all enjoy the blog. Please let me know how you came across it and feel free to share it with your friends.

Thank you for stopping by

December 6, 2011

The power of imagination makes us infinite. John Muir

Rant and Tip for December 6, 2011

Quote: The power of imagination makes us infinite.  John Muir

Let’s take John Muir’s quote and apply it to our everyday quest to getting healthy and fit. If you can take the time every day to imagine that you can change your eating habits forever than you will. If you can take the time to imagine hit new heights in your exercise regimen or just starting a new exercise regimen then you can and will achieve it. I have a couple of lofty goals myself. They involve some big numbers in the powerlifting. I spend just 5 minutes a day writing them down and when I write them down I do not write “I want to lift this much” instead I write “I will lift this much by June 2012. I want to make sure my mind body and soul is ready for the goals I set. Writing them down on paper and imagining it happening helps me get to the next level I want to achieve. You to can benefit from such a task. Take the 5 minutes each day and write down your goal. Write your long-term goal and then the short-term goal of the day.

I did not fuel my body properly yesterday and my lifts showed it. I need to remember eat like a king at breakfast, a nobleman at lunch and a pauper at dinner. If I do eat like a king at breakfast I will be able to fuel my workouts properly. I did grind out 275 for 5 reps even though I had planned 280 for 5. Next week 280 for 5 and I will get each set out. After the barbell benching was done it was time for dumbbell bench presses. I grabbed a couple of 100lb dumbbells and grinded a few sets of 10 out. Well attempted 3 sets of 10. First 10 went just fine solid and strong. The second 10 were a little more difficult to hit and the last set did not quite make it. I will get it next time.

So for breakfast today I will enjoy 4 eggs, some bacon and 6 oz of wild rice. I know some of you are thinking that wild rice is a carb and you are right. However like I have said many times I am able to have complex carbs and still maintain my desired weight. Notice though I am having it for breakfast and I do not have that many carbs at dinner. At dinnertime my carbs come from vegetables. Tonight I am thinking asparagus or broccoli. It is funny yesterday someone asked me if I get tired of eating this way, I responded by telling them my body has always wanted to eat this way and I just never listened. I remember as a kid loving spinach and not because I liked watching Popeye the Sailor. I just enjoyed it. I also would prefer a second serving of meat or in some cases a vegetable. However like most kids I enjoyed the sweets and would eat them as well, but when it came to sit down and eat it was the meat and vegetables that I remember enjoying.

Have a great workout!

Tip: I am going to fall back on the quote for today’s tip. Seriously take the time to imagine hitting your goals. Write them down and be positive in those writings. You will achieve the goal and you will

December 5, 2011

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Rant and Tip for December 5, 2011

Quote: There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”  The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

I recently read the book the Alchemist. I read it because my daughter was reading it and I wanted to be able to help her with it if she needed me. It really is a very good book and the underlying story about following your dreams is very good. I will not tell you anymore in case you choose to read it yourself. It also made me think about my own goals and taking the opportunities when they present themselves. The one thing you will also learn from the book is the obvious in that sometimes you need to see other new things to realize your real treasure was where you were in the beginning.

 I will be benching today and hitting the 5X5 followed by dumbbell and tricep work. I am going to put 280 on the bar for 5 sets of 5. As long as all the sets are completed I will jump 5 pounds for next week. Each rep I plan on hitting with a solid pause at the bottom to keep strong in all aspects of the lift. Each set I will make sure my shoulders are tight with my shoulder blades squeezed together. Like I am holding a quarter between them. My butt will not leave the bench during any of the reps and my feet will stay stationary. My legs will be tight with the drive of the weight pressing it up with authority with each rep. I hope to continue to add 5 pounds till I am hitting 320 for a set of 5 and then who knows from there. According to one rep max calculators if I can hit 320 for 5 I should be able to hit 360 for 1. I have found the ORM calculators to be pretty close when using only 5 reps. When you are hitting higher reps it loses some of it accuracy.

Diet was good this weekend maintaining where I am and will start cutting slowly in January. The NYS Championships are in March and I am hoping to fill some vacant records in that meet. I am also experimenting with a slight increase of complex carbs to see how my body handles them. I also will be picking up some MCT oil. I have mentioned this product in the past. It is a medium chain triglyceride oil that helps you keep your calories up with out adding fat to your body. The fats in this oil are dense and the body uses it for fuel yet has great difficulty storing the oil as body fat. You can order Captri Oil from This is the best one I have found. I will check Amazon today and see if they carry an MCT Oil.

Have a great Workout!

Tip: Plan you meals out for the week. Take chance out of the equation and make sure you are ready for each day. How many times have we said to ourselves that if I had only planned better I would not be eating this fast food junk? Get a pocket journal and right down the times of the day that you have the least will power and make sure you always have something on plan with you. This will help keep you on track.

December 2, 2011

"There's no next time. It's now or never."

Rant and tip for December 2, 2011

Quote: "There's no next time. It's now or never." Unknown

I chose this quote because I find it necessary to realize there is no next time. We get one shot at this life and we need to get it right this time. It is now or never. Now is for this lifetime. We do no know what the future may hold for us. We do not know what tomorrow will bring. I made a choice to change my eating habits so I could have a healthier life. I chose to work out the way I do so I could enjoy being healthier. One of the benefits that have come my way is the opportunity to go to the World Bench Press Competition. I may never get this opportunity again. However I do plan on training just as hard and maybe harder to make this a regular event in my life. I also do not know how long my body will allow me to continue working this hard and continue to make gains. I plan on making the gains for as long as I can. The time is now! I look forward to the future and know that as long as I continue to eat properly and maintain an active lifestyle I will be able to enjoy life. You to can be successful as long as you choose to start now and not think I will be able to do it next time.

Training went well yesterday, I worked my shoulders and biceps and will work my back and triceps today. I need to make sure I work all muscle groups every week. Besides the big three lifts I think it is important to work all the supportive muscles just as strenuously. I really want to hit my back hard today with some weighted pull-ups and will hold a dumbbell between my legs to do that. Since I do not have a belt that I can hang the weights from holding the dumbbell between my legs will just have to do, 50 pounds should be a good weight to work with. Then single-arm rows and seated rows, when I do the seated rows the cable machine doesn’t hold enough weight so I ask the person at the desk to stand on the rack for the added weight. This gives me a good workout.

People often ask me how I am able to maintain my diet while people around me eat anything and everything they want. I really just tell them I made a choice to eat this way and that is that. People at work know what my diet is like and I have to say they are all supportive. They are may not feel it is something they could do but are supportive and admire the willpower I display on a daily basis. However, like I have stated in a previous post that it is no longer willpower that is being displayed it is just my lifestyle. It was a choice I made because there is not NEXT TIME; IT IS NOW OR NEVER!

Have a great workout!

Tip: Don’t Break the Habit – The easiest way to keep things going is simply not to stop. Avoid long breaks in exercising or rebuilding the habit will take some effort. This may be advice a little too late for some people. But if you have an exercise habit going, don’t drop it at the first sign of trouble

December 1, 2011

“Skill and confidence are an unconquered army.” George Herbert

Rant and Tip for December 1, 2011

Quote: “Skill and confidence are an unconquered army.” George Herbert

Good Morning and welcome to the first day of December. Today’s quote is by George Herbert, he was a Welsh born English poet, orator and Anglican priest. Although this man does not to appear to be an athlete or even had a weight challenge he seemed to have a good handle on things. With this quote he tells us to reach into ourselves and find the skill and confidence needed to be that unconquered army. We all have this army within us. Sometimes though whether due to the way we are raise or just allowing ourselves to be victims of a toxic environment our confidence can be destroyed. When this happens we doubt ourselves and start some destructive habits. It is time for all of us to look within and move forward and build our confidence and look to hitting our small goals to reach our big goals. You can do it, you are worth it and when you reach that goal be a model person for all to admire and aspire to be like.

My diet is pretty good right now. I am still trying to find the right mix so as to only put on another 2 pounds or so of muscle so I can be sure to be able to make the 163-lb weight class for the world meet. I would like to maintain a daily weight of 167 so that dropping the 4-lbs before the meet is a matter of just reducing fluids the day before and then filling up on them again the next morning. The one thing I need to do is not obsess about the scale, if I do it will become to easy to fall into the mind set I need to eat less to get my weight down. The problem with this is putting your body into that catabolic state I have told you about before. We all know I cannot afford that. Really though neither can you. Why lose muscle when you can lose fat by making sure your calories are where they need to be through a healthy diet. Keep yourself on track and do not obsess on the scale. Take measurements and use that as a means for tracking.

Benching went well in the bench shirt last night. My stroke in the shirt is getting much better and we did go up to 385-lbs with some board presses. I am looking forward to handling 400-lbs. It amazes me to think that I will be pressing that weight in the next few months. The one thing I learned about the shirt is that there is a perfect zone in the shirt and if you do not hit that zone it does not load properly. If I bring the weight to far down on my chest I will miss the groove in the press and the weight will be harder to put up. I use to think that benching in a shirt was a form of cheating in the Bench Press lift. It isn’t, It is a totally different lift than a raw lift and both are due their respect. In my opinion, and this is just an opinion like the rest of my blog, The shirt helps you find out just how strong you are at the lock out of your lift. The biggest challenge many times is the load on your central nervous system. I need to remember that my central nervous system and joints come into the picture, and suffer a lot more from the abuse of weight training then my muscles. I am feeling that in my shoulders today. This is one thing I notice regularly from the bench shirt. I will be taking some ibuprofen later today and will be working my back and shoulders so I can squat on Friday.

Have a great workout!

Tip: When benching your set up is very important. When you set your shoulders on the bench squeeze your shoulders together like you are holding a coin between your shoulder blades. This gives you a stronger base to press from.