Three Day Weekends? Good, or Evil?

I just got back from a three day weekend (thank you Memorial Day!). Man, that can get you so off course for everything...

Luckily I'm a bit ridiculous...My mom did some of my favorite outdoors cooking (can you say barbecue ribs?...) and I turned them down because I had hard boiled eggs for dinner (yumm, right?).

Ugh...

And, on top of that, while the rest of my family was outside playing around, enjoying each other's company.......

.....

I was lifting weights in my weight room....I was pushing for another "pump" in my forearms...

Yeah, it was still a good Memorial Day, in my own sad way...and now here I am, back at work...wondering why three day weekends even exist...because when they are over, how many of us are stuck thinking, "Man, I don't want to go to work this week at all..."?

Did deadlifts last night...

Okay, so one week after I did a pretty good job of hurting myself, I decided to do deadlifts again...and, well, it actually didn't end too bad. Yeah, I kind of aggrevated it by doing it, but I am not in any more pain, and if I keep feeling better like I have been I see myself being ready for a full assault next week.

I did play it safe, however! I didn't do as much as I did last week, I actually cut the weight in half. That, and rather than doing it with a bar, I did it with dumbbells.

It actually didn't hurt at all yesterday, and now it's only slightly sore, but nothing compared to what it felt like last week.

I need to stop hurting myself...

Motivational Video Of The Day 5/22/09

Victor Martinez.

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What works for me...? Could it work for you?

Okay, so I have been through tons of different workout routines, I've tried everything that I've thought might work or might be interesting.

Ever heard of Doggcrapp (or DC)? Yeah, well, if you haven't and you're anything like me, then stay ignorant of it. If you have, then you know just how intense and demanding it is. I stuck with it for a month and I was done, but what makes it hard to do something intense like that for me is the fact that I do my workouts in my very limited, small gym at my house. Just freeweights and a bench. No machines or anything fun like that to supplement my freeweight workouts....

Then, I tried this one little program that doesn't have a name (as far as I know)...and man was it crazy... I feel that it was most likely geared to those, well, on gear, and as I wasn't it did nothing but make me feel overly tired and in the end I think I actually got weaker after I did it. Basically, when broken down to its simplest form, this program was basically two weeks where you only get one day of rest, and the rest of the days you are working out basically twice a day. So here I was, getting up at 5 in the morning to do squats before getting ready for work, and then as soon as I got off of work I was back at it, all over again...Yeah, not fun... On top of that, doing sixty reps of deadlifts EACH DAY was oh so painful...

Now, as for the one thing that seemed to work best, and I have gone back to it, is the tried and true 5x5 workout routine. It's as cut and dry as it sounds, 5 set of 5 reps on each and every lift, and when you can do all 5 with good form, you increase your weight. That simple. I think that what made me stop doing it the last time that I was happened to be that I hit a brick-wall of a plateau, and I wasn't going up in weights in anything but squats... I was ready to call it quits with 5x5...but looking back, I was in the best shape during that time period, I made the best, most noticable gains back then, and I've definitely lost some of my definition since I've stopped doing 5x5s.

To each his own though, so try them all! Switch it up, but when you find something that works, stick with it, push yourself to overcome the hurdles that it throws at you...and yeah, change the lifts you are doing once in a while to shock your muscles.

Addicted? Ridiculous? Stupid? Dedicated?

I don't know, maybe I'm all of those...

Last week I hurt my back pretty bad doing deadlifts. I have been doing what I can to nurse it this week, but it still hurts. Well, it's that day again, and I'm going to do deadlifts again, knowing very well that my back isn't fully healed and that it still hurts to bend over certain ways...

Okay, you are probably thinking to yourself, "Man, what a freaking idiot." And you know what, I can't say I dont agree with you. Yeah, it's stupid, especially since your back is one of those things that you just don't want to screw with, because once it's messed up you are pretty well S.O.L. However, I've had such a boost in confidence and self worth since I got myself into shape that I don't want to lose what I've worked so hard for.

Back to one of my earlier posts...when I hit a hard patch last year, my whole world fell apart. And it did so for a long time...and since all of that has happened what I had worked so hard to acheive had slowly fallen apart. Well, I'm still paying for it, as I also took a whole month off from working out and had pretty well lost my "perfect" diet....

On one hand, it's deterring me; it's making it harder for me to want to keep at it, and on the other hand it makes me want to push myself that much harder. I look at the videos of the pros, and it gives me something to push for (well...as close to that as you can get naturally)...but since I've taken so many steps backwards, it makes me feel like I am failing, like I'm starting all over again...it makes me feel like I'm hopeless...

I don't want to lose it, but at the same time I almost feel like I already have...

*sigh* Back to the drawing board I suppose...

Motivational Video Of The Day 5/21/09

This is another legend, if you are a serious weightlifter you should know about him.

Dorian Yates..

Prepare to be inspired.
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The Importance of Form

I know that this blog isn't meant to be a personal account of thigns that happen to me in my lifting, but at the same time I guess this is a golden opportunity to share with everyone and maybe help someone else from ending up in pain like I am.

Last Thursday, while doing deadlifts, I was going along at my normal pace, and it was going just fine. Well, around the middle of set four, I started to get sloppy and my form was off. At that exact moment when I went back up for another rep, I felt something pull in my lower back, and felt a surge of pain that went from my legs down and my torso up...I almost dropped the weight then and there. I finished out the set, but then for the rest of that day I was in excruciating pain.

It's now Tuesday, and my back still hurts pretty bad...I hope it's nothing major, and I'm going to pretend that it will get better with time, but it still hurts, and it's making doing lots of things difficult/uncomfortable. Even sitting at my desk at work is painful...

So, try not to EVER give up form for speed or to try and jerk around higher weights then you are capable of lifting. In the end, all you are going to end up doing is hurting yourself which in turn hurts your potential gains.

Motivational Video Of The Day

Jay Cutler.

Just watch the video, hopefully when you get done you'll feel like hitting the weights double time.

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Creatine? To use or not to use...

There is much debate going on about the effectiveness of creatine. Some people believe that it's gods gift to muscle builders, others think it's a crock. I, honestly, think that it lies somewhere in the middle of these two, and I'll explain why.

Let's begin with why it could be a bit of a crock. If you've done much research on creatine, I'm sure you've seen that there are tons upon tons of different types of creatine on the market. There's CEE (Creatine Ethyl Ester), Creatine Monohydrate, amongst others that companies pin a name on and try to make it sound like it's the "Best, most effective form of creatine ever made, with lots and lots of thorough research." The sad truth, though, is that it tends to be lies and all that they really want is your money with little to no substantial results from their overpriced concoction. Also, a great deal of creatine powders have so little creatine in them that you really aren't reaping the benefits of creatine supplementation by using them. What this all boils down to is that your best bet is to stick with creatine monohydrate, it's creatine in its purest, most effective form. That, and you can buy it in bulk for extremely cheap, rather than spending $50 on some name brand sludge that has some trace amounts of creatine in it.

Higher Power Creatine 1000 grams - Only $36.95 at Bodybuilding.com!


As for the good things about it? It's known to help some (and I won't say all because not all people react well to all substances, just like there are some who wouldn't benefit from using steroids, it's all about the way your body is made up...its chemistry), while others don't really get any results. In most cases, however, studies have shown that creatine supplementation not only can make muscle mass larger (because of the way that creatine pushes water into the muscle cells..."hydrating" them), but creatine supplementation is also shown to give extra energy for lifting as well as helping the muscles recover after a hard lifting routine.

So, in the end, what it ends up boiling down to is...give it a try. If it works for you, then keep using it, it's not like it's an illegal substance, nor is it toxic to your body (unless you use ridiculously high amounts of it, ie in excess of 20g a day), and it has actually been proven to work in most test subjects. I use it (about 8g a day) and while there is no supernatural amount of change, I feel that it does its job, and that it keeps me going, so I will continue to use it.


FruitPunch CellMass, Exclusive Flavor

A bit of motivation for the day..

This man is one of my BIGGEST motivators...

If you are wanting to be huge, ripped, and muscular...then you are probably like me whereas seeing someone that already has that makes you want to push yourself much harder. Though, one thing that I will never do is steroids...I'm trying to not break any laws here...

Enjoy this video though!

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One of the hardest things...

It seems to me that one of the hardest things in this game is consistency...

You MUST be consistent in your diet, in progression, every step of the way requires consistency.

For example, I had my diet going perfectly for a good year straight. I was making good lean gains, and I was under 10% body fat. My abs were showing up nicely and I was cut and vascular and loving it. Then, when my life took a turn for the worst, so did my diet. It wasn't that I started eating bad, I started eating less! It was hard for me to stomach thousands of clean calories a day, and some days I only had one thing to eat all day. I was a mess and I was crashing...HARD...

So then, in a vain attempt at catching up, I started a very crappy diet of lots of protein bars and lots of other crap that looks good, but should only be eaten here and there and not all the time. I would end up replacing a whole meal with 2 or 3 Muscle Tech protein bars.

To make a long story short, I had lost all of my energy that I had to work out with, my motivation was slipping, and I've put on some very unwanted fat around the midsection. It's not that much, but it really hurts the ego when the coveted "V" shape is all but gone from your body after you've worked so hard to attain it.

Once you find something that works, stick with it! And if you are serious, don't let little things get in the way and mess it up for you...

The Best Proteins Available?

There are lots of choices out there for proteins. If you are looking for protein to gain muscle with then not all of them are worth your time.

See, people use protein supplements for different reasons. Some people are looking to put on mass while working out hard, others are looking to lose weight/fat and use protein to help as a catalyst. In this post I will go over proteins that I have used that work for me when it comes to wanting to build quality, lean muscle.

For starters, Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein is, hands down, the best quality whey protein I have ever used. It's got a very good nutritional profile, and the amount of protein per serving is above par (approximately 24 grams per scoop). Also, the BCAA profile is excellent. In a cost to serving ratio, again, ON Whey is a good choice, and if you shop around you can probably find it for somewhere around $45 for a 5 lb bucket. Yeah, I know, it sounds expensive, but if you are serious then it's definitely not a waste of your money, I can assure you. My favorite flavors would have to be the Mocha Cappucino and Extreme Chocolate.

Optimum 100% Whey Protein, 5 Lbs., Mocha Cappuccino

Click the image above to purchase Optimum Nutrition Mocha Cappuccino Whey Protein

Secondly, the brand that I started out skeptical about and have grown to love; All The Whey Protein Blend. This stuff is good! Not only does it taste good (mmm, chocolate peanut butter cup), but the price is amazing! Search around a bit and you can probably pick up a 5 lb bag of it for around $30 before shipping. This one comes with a pretty good BCAA profile, and it's not slacking when it comes to grams of protein per serving (22 grams per scoop). I think this one may become my staple as it is so affordable, and it has a great taste to boot. I must add, as with most protein powders, it tastes much better in milk (granted I can't drink milk so I put mine in rice milk) than water, but it's still palpable in water, so don't fret!

All The Whey Whey Protein Blend, 5 Lbs., Cup Cake Batter

Click the image above to purchase All The Whey Protein Blend

There are a few others, and I plan on writing some thorough reviews of all of them soon and posting them on here.

Begin your journey today.

I have struggled for years to figure out how to get in shape, failing on many occassions and wanting to give up so many times.

Finally, I've figured out how to sculpt my body to be the way that I want it, and how to gain muscle efficiently and lose fat fast. However, in the past two years, I have gathered an abundance of good information, tried many different techniques, and have managed to transform myself from flabby and out of shape to toned and trim.

It's not easy, but if you follow me I will post new information that I learn, as well as things that have worked for me. I will also use this blog to give advice on supplements that I have used that I feel have worked well.

I know, it's different for everyone, but hopefully we can work together and figure out what works for you too. Who knows, maybe you too could one day look up in the mirror and see that person that you've always wanted to see there that you never even knew existed.