Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Another day...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Goals for the next 12 months

Snatch: 105kg
C & J: 130kg
Back Squat: 200kg
Front Squat: 165kg

I realize these numbers are gonna be a lot of work to achieve but I'm willing and able to put in the work. I may even shave a racing stripe into my head like Pyrros Dimas. It may help....but likely not :(

No matter how much souvlaki I eat I'll never get here...

Current numbers stand at:
SN: 96kg (training)
CJ: 112kg (training)
B Squat: 175kg
F Squat: 140kg

SN: 90
CJ: 108

Monday, July 7, 2014

For Your Health

Dr Steve Brule

It goes without saying that sleep is vital for any athlete or in my case, pseudo-athlete. Part of my nighttime routine — aside from flexing in the mirror — is taking the supplement ZMA.

Um, what?
ZMA. What is it? How's it work? Does it even work? Will it give me Lu Xiaojun's marble sculpted back? 

The short answer to the most important of those questions is no. This is not that kind of "supplement" that will give you erector muscles the size of your forearms.

ZMA, aka Zinc monomethionine and aspartate and Magnesium Aspartate was the first product developed specifically to enhance recovery by improving sleep efficiency. ZMA promotes a deep and restful sleep by helping the body achieve deeper levels of REM sleep. Studies have shown that athletes (and likely the population at large) tend to be deficient in zinc, magnesium, and vitamin b6. ZMA — wouldn't you know it — provides all of that in three easy to swallow pills

ZMA was developed by Victor Conte** of the BALCO athlete doping fame. If you follow baseball this name will be very familiar — if you have no idea who he is here's a taste from his Wiki page:

He later founded the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative or BALCO, a sports nutrition center in Burlingame, California, which the United States Anti-Doping Agency says developed the banned steroid tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) with the help of bodybuilding chemist Patrick Arnold. Pursuant to a plea bargain struck with prosecutors, he entered guilty pleas in July 2005 to one count of conspiracy to distribute steroids and a second count of laundering a portion of a check, he was sentenced in October to spend four months in prison and another four on house arrest.

In December 2004, he participated in an interview with Martin Bashir on ABC's 20/20 program, where he admitted to running doping programs, which have broken Olympic records, as well as revealing that: "The whole history of the games is just full of corruption, cover-up, performance-enhancing drug use."

When do I take this?
ZMA is to be taken 30-60 minutes before bedtime. Also, it should not be taken with foods or supplements containing calcium because calcium inhibits the absorption of zinc.

So you're telling me it's magic?
From personal experience, I think ZMA works great. I feel like I get a long, deep sleep and I find that I don't wake up as often in the middle of the night as I usually would.

I like to cycle on and off of it. Usually I'll take it after a really hard training day and skip the next night or the night after that.

Sometimes, if I've had enough scoops of C4 during training, there's nothing in pill form that can put me to sleep. So I'd say just be conscious of all the red bull, C4, and everything else you take during training that might affect your rest that night.

Also be aware that you might have really strange dreams when on ZMA. Nothing traumatic, but weird. I had a detective Al Pacino come arrest me because I broke into a library. Didn't help my case when I started doing my Al Pacino impression to Al Pacino....

Lastly, don't be a dingus. Do your own research. I'm just here to take up space on the internet.



** Victor Conte was on the fantastic Joe Rogan Experience. Super interesting interview on performance enhancing drugs in sport. Worth a listen.
*** Get ZMA on the cheap from CanadianProtein!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The More You Know

Pro Tip*

Is your coach putting you through an inferno of hell squat program or is going full Ivan Abadjiev and breaking you down to the point where you can't move? If so, you may want need an ice bath.

There's a couple of schools of thought regarding ice baths. Some studies say it helps recovery, others say it doesn't.

Me, I like them. 20-25 mins in the tub leaves me feeling less shitty. Of course, the legs will still be aching from hellish squats and all that but it does feel pretty good. Once you get over the feeling of your toes burning in the first few minutes of course.

One of the things I like to do is take a couple of good sized tupperware containers — you can find some cheap ones at IKEA — fill them with water and throw them in the freezer. Once they're a frozen block, run the sides under some warm water to release the ice from the container and throw it in the tub. A block should last around 20 mins in the tub, keeping the water a somewhat consistent temperature. It's a nice option to going out and buying $3-4 bags of ice that seem to melt way too fast to keep a steady water temperature. It's cheap and cheerful, just like me, except for the cheerful part.

If shrinkage scares you, stop being such a pansy and just do it. According to something I read on the internet — I realize how vague that sentence is but stay with me here — the chinese believe that icing your nutsack helps to increase testosterone production. I tend to believe everything I read on the internet, and uh....have you seen Lu's erectors? Fuck yeah, give me an ice pack to sit on!

Another fringe benefit of ice baths, besides the supposed T production, is the idea of fat burning through thermogenesis.

Thermogenesis is the process of heat production in mammals. Cold thermogenesis is heat production stimulated by exposure to cold temperatures. Simplified, when your body is cold, it has to burn a lot of fat and calories in order to stay at 98.6° F (37.0°C) If you can get your body cold enough, it will burn fat faster than exercise and diet alone. I'm all about passivity in trying to achieve a six pack. Sit in water = six pack? Is there even a question I'm going to try it??

This is an interesting article about fat loss through cold water exposure:

If you're so inclined, you can do some more research on the benefits of ice baths. I'm just here to give ya a time and money saving tip if you do decide to sit in a tub of really, really ice cold ice water.

Personally, I love ice baths. I haven't been doing them as frequently as I like, but I'm going to make an effort to have one at least once a week, maybe twice a week if I can fit it in. You may get really shivery afterwards and not be able to feel your feet and you'll be thinking "what in the fuck have I done?!".... but that'll go away, I promise.

*Of course, by"pro tip" I mean the exact opposite. This is really for the majority of peeps who don't have access to a real metal ice tub and endless bags of ice like paid, sponsored athletes.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sundae Gains

Weighed in at 83.7kg this morning.

After a night of consuming a burrito almost as big as my cat, and eating a hot fudge sundae from a jalopy ice cream truck, I'm gonna take today as a win.

This past Saturdays thumb jamming is taking a toll on my sanity. Not being able to snatch, clean & jerk and do any kind of overhead pressing is leaving me feeling useless. I really fucking hope this swelling goes down and it's not a fracture. I'd be emotionally eating for the whole recovery if that's the case. Kebab koobideh all day everyday till I looked like this guy:

Hossein Rezazadeh being Hossein Rezazadeh

Getting back from another accessory day training session, I'm already fearful of tomorrow's front squat suicide program. Week two of this squat cycle and the weights just get heavier.

I hate my self doubt.

I need to release my inner Shankle and attack the barbell.

Look at this fuckin' beauty

Go all the way.

If you’re going to try,
go all the way.
otherwise, don’t even start.

this could mean losing girlfriends,
wives, relatives, jobs and
maybe your mind.

it could mean not eating for three or four days.
it could mean freezing on a
park bench.
it could mean jail,
it could mean derision,
it could mean mockery,
isolation is the gift,
all the others are a test
of your endurance,
of how much you really want to
do it.
and you’ll do it
despite rejection and the worst odds
and it will be better than
anything else
you can imagine.

if you’re going to try,
go all the way.
there is no other feeling like that.
you will be alone with the gods
and the nights will flame with fire.

you will ride life
straight to perfect laughter,
it's the only good fight there is.                                     
                                                – Charles Bukowski

If this doesn't give you chills... we can't be friends