Saturday, August 31, 2013

Training -- Sat 31/08/2013

Band Pull Apart/Rotator Cuff/Lower Traps


Bench Press


Board Press/Pull Up


Incline DBBP/Pull Up


Cable Row


Friday, August 30, 2013

Training -- Thur 29/08/2013

First day back after a little more than a week off sick. I wasn't feeling like putting a whole lot of effort in, not because of sickness but laziness.





Bench Press/Cable Row/Calf Raise


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Not a Single Training Session Was Given That Day

So, it's now been 7 days since I've trained. Last training session, I noticed I felt a little less warm than usual, but figured that's just the weather, and thought nothing of it. Well, I got home afterwards, logged it, felt fine for the rest of the day, then evening came, and it took 4 more days after that before I stepped out the front door again. You know how you get a cold (different from simply being cold), and it starts out inconspicuously then ramps up to peak awfulness, then dies down and withers away to nothing? This isn't that.

Instead, by the end of last Tuesday, I was sick enough that I couldn't go out in public without resembling The Simpsons' crazy cat lady (actually, my symptoms weren't overly severe, they just happened to be specifically targeted to make sure I couldn't possibly do anything socially acceptable), and then my body just stayed that way. It didn't ramp up, and it didn't die down. Come yesterday morning, when I realised I still wasn't healthy and ready to train, I decided to do the sensible thing that macho men don't do, and see a doctor. I'm on antibiotics now; hopefully by the time I've used up the pack I'll be back to full health. I haven't decided whether I'll train throughout the remainder of the week or not yet -- I'll have to use my wisdom as the week progresses. The antibiotics do seem to be having an effect, so that's a positive sign (or a complete coincidence).

In other news, it's that time of semester when assignments happen, and I'm not particularly fond of it. One of my units is entirely group assignments. We had an assignment due in yesterday. Technically we submitted it late, by a matter of seconds (assignment minder literally clocked out as we were handing the assignment to the guy at reception, so he had to put a note on the assignment, and I wound up sending an email to the lecturer explaining the situation -- she was very considerate and said she'd regard the assignment as having been submitted on time). For about 3 days leading up to submitting it, each of us, at varying points, felt like killing ourselves, each other, and/or the lecturer for giving us this assignment. In a couple weeks time we have to do a presentation from this assignment. I look forward to the murder-suicidy thoughts that are coming our way. I have another assignment that's due this coming Friday. I started on it Sunday evening, and am cautiously optimistic that I finished it this afternoon, having put in a total of about 5 hours work (4 hours of which was spent watching YouTube (actually not proscaniting) and on Facebook/forums (actually yes procrastinating)). There's so little murder-suicide in this assignment, that after the other one, it doesn't feel right. Ironically, after lunch I sent an email to the lecturer for this assignment asking for an extension due to illness -- if my optimism is rightly placed and I have actually finished it, then I guess I won't need that extension after all.

So far, this semester at uni hasn't been very motivating. Back when I was studying creative industries, I loved it. Over the last 12 months, I've loved my teaching units. I love my English units. Last semester, when I was studying health, I loved that, too. This semester, I'm a year ahead on teaching units, so I'm not doing one, and instead am using that slot to do a second science unit after changing majors from English/Health to Science/English (in that order because of reasons) -- ie I'm doing 2 science, 2 English and 0 teaching units this semester. One of the science units looks not at a specific field of science, but how science and technology affects society (and how society affects science and technology), which brings up all sorts of controversy and ethical queries and I love it! The other science unit is biology, and through it I'm rapidly realising that while being a qualified science teacher may make it easier to get a job, I probably should have stuck with English and Health. You see, it turns out that I love science so long as I don't have to do it (the same relationship I have with maths, which I'm actually quite good at, but hated doing it at school and would very likely hate even more at uni). When we weren't plotting each other's murder yesterday, the other guy in that painful group assignment identified that we're both science enthusiasts, not scientists, and therein lies the problem for me. As a teacher, this doesn't bode well, because there's very little worse for a student than a teacher who either isn't passionate about the subject, or is only passionate when they don't have to do it. I might have to change my majors again before next year (I will finish out these units, even though I've sincerely had more fun watching paint dry than I have doing biology).

With regards to maths, I had a fun time on Saturday night. A friend of mine who's doing Adult Tertiary Prep (basically Year 11 and 12 for people who aren't in Year 11 or 12) gave me a maths problem to solve. I didn't solve it the way he thinks I should have solved it, but, importantly, I did solve it in about 2 minutes. By contrast, he spent half an hour on the exact same problem in a test earlier last week. It's times like these that he thinks he's found proof that I should be a maths teacher. Thing is, it's times like these that I don't have to do maths.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Training -- Tue 20/08/2013

Band Pull Aparts/Rotator Cuff/Lower Traps


Bench Press


Board Press/L-Pull Up

9x62.5kg/6xBW -- Failed at lockout on attempted 10th rep. Silliness ensued in video.
5x62.5kg/6xBW -- Actually was just regular bench press. I figured it might be wiser to jack the safeties up as high as they'll go and bench off of them. Turns out my chest was still higher than the safeties.

Incline DBBP/L-Pull Up


Cable Row/Decline Sit Up/Side Bend


Monday, August 19, 2013

Training -- Mon 19/08/2013


3x10x95kg -- I should probably film myself at some point to figure out how bad my form is without a belt.

Quarter Anderson Squats

3x5x105kg -- That was a lot harder than expected. After a few weeks of these I'll have like 400 quadriceps.

RDL/Calf Raise


GHR/Calf Raise


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Training -- Sat 17/08/2013

SSG is doing paralympics today, which means no training there. So I went to my dad's gym, which is also my old gym, for a casual visit.

OHP/Pull Ups


Bench Press/Seated Row




Suitcase Walk



I had no intention of doing squats today, but then as I was stretching and foam rolling, I saw that they've put up a whiteboard, and on it people compete for most reps of squats with their bodyweight on their back (amongst other events), and if you beat the last person to get their name up there (with one of the trainers supervising to make sure it's legit), your name goes up on the board. So I had a little chat with the trainer on site, and then this happened...

28x73kg -- Note, they have a 90degree policy. You don't have to stop at 90 degrees, but that's their legal depth, rather than parallel, and I felt more like pissing off whoever had their name up there before me than adhering to my own standards, so these were all a bit shallow. The trainer only counted 26 reps, but he said he didn't disqualify any of my reps, so I take it he just miscounted (my mum, dad and I all counted 28 reps, he counted 26, I'm going to say 28 even though 26 is what's on the board -- point is, my name is on the board). There was also a rule that you couldn't recover for more than 3 sec at the top, so I'm curious (although not in least bit keen to find out) what would have happened if I'd rested longer. Quads and erectors felt this.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Training -- Thur 16/08/2013

High Bar Squat

3x10x80kg -- Good upper trap massage; no belt.

Low Bar Pause Squat




Rack Pull

2x5x120kg -- Peeled a nice dose of skin off my right thumb while I was at it. Not quite how I imagined this session would go. Band-aided up for SGDLs.

Snatch-Grip Deadlift

2x10x60kg -- These felt much better than anticipated. I'll need to film myself to make sure I'm not epically round-backing it. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I Love Slow Results

All around us, fitness marketing offers fast results. Some of the extravagant claims I've heard or read have been: gain 10lb of muscle in 2 weeks; and lose 1kg per day. Mmmm, wouldn't that be nice.

Of course, reality is, those results don't happen. If you want to gain 10lb of muscle, you're looking at 6-12 months of training as a beginner, and even longer if you're advanced. That's not what anyone wants to hear, but it's the truth. Just imagine if you could gain that much muscle in 2 weeks -- you'd make Ronnie Coleman look like a sissy within a year!

Likewise, if you lose 1kg per day, it's fairly safe to say that you're losing a lot of fat-free mass. Since I assume you want to lose that weight to be less fat, I hope you'll understand why losing fat-free mass is a waste at best, and detrimental at worst.

When you compare reality to the market-driven attitude of "I want it all, and I want it yesterday," reality looks quite disappointing. But you know, the funny thing is, when you pursue reality instead of a fantasy, you actually get quicker, better results. Yes, you just read that correctly: Ryan is claiming that the pursuit of slow (ie realistic) results will get you better results than the pursuit of quick fixes. There are a few reasons for this.

1) If you try gaining weight too quickly in the pursuit of muscle, you pile on excess fat. This requires more time cutting fat later on, during which you will likely stop gaining muscle or even lose muscle.

2) If you try losing weight too quickly in the pursuit of fat loss, you will lose more than just fat.

3) Combine points 1 and 2 together, and after 6 months of bulking and 6 months of cutting, you're right back where you started, more or less.

4) If you understand that results will come slowly, and you expect this to be the case, you'll actually appreciate the results that you get. The person who drops 20kg in 6 weeks, still looks crappy in their own eyes, and then quits and returns back to their pre-transformation lifestyle will gain back the weight lost, and will often gain back more. The person who expects it to take a year for them to lose 20kg is more likely to appreciate it when they get halfway there after 6 months and can do their belt one or two notches tighter. When they lose the full 20kg, instead of thinking "I'm getting nowhere; this is pointless," they'll think "wow, I actually did it! This is amazing!"

5) Fast results are what you pursue when you want the end product but don't want what it takes to get the end product. Slow results are what you pursue when you know that this is a journey and a lifestyle transformation, not just a change in what stares back at you in the mirror. If you dedicate 6 weeks to losing 20kg, it's usually with the intention of returning to normal behaviour afterwards (when your normal behaviour is what's made you need to lose 20kg in the first place). If you dedicate 52 weeks to losing 20kg, the activities involved in the process will become a habit and lifestyle by the time you've lost 5kg.

There are probably other factors to consider as well. But the point is, the person who is committed to getting slow results will actually get real results, and is more likely to maintain those results and/or move on further along their fitness journey, whereas the person who pursues fast results is more likely to get fake results and quit once disillusionment settles in.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Training -- Tue 13/08/13

Band Pull Apart/External Rotator Cuff/Lower Traps


Bench Press


6" Board Press


Incline DBBP


L-Pull Ups


Cable Row


EZ Curl/EZ Skullcrusher


Monday, August 12, 2013

Training -- Mon 12/08/2013

First day back to training. 'Twas the most epicest of epic sessions ever (also I'm amazed that no squiggly red line has appeared under "epicest"). So heavy, so much volume.


10xBW -- Was quite pleased to experience no pain.
3x10x90kg -- No belt, no pain. High cardiovascular overload.


8x70kg -- That is, I squatted down, came back up halfway, went back down, then came back up all the way as a single rep. I thought they might be a good addition to my program, but they really didn't feel very useful, and I'm pretty sure just doing 1.5-2x as many full reps would be more productive. Worth trying, though. Still pain-free :)



So, like I said, most epicest of epic sessions ever, full of huge weights and huge volume. In other words, I'm being sarcastic. It got my blood moving and didn't hurt anything, so I'll take it.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Competition That Wasn't

Well, actually it was, I just didn't compete in it.

Yesterday was Strength Sports Gym's first powerlifting meet, and it was one of the biggest Powerlifting Australia meets in years, if I heard correctly. I was around as a spectator for the first session, with it being a two-session meet and two-flights-per-session. Chyna began the meet with her first attempt (and I'm pretty sure this was the first lift of the meet, period, unless Tash got in just before her) with a national record. Because why wouldn't you set a new national record as your very first attempt of the day? She then proceeded to break her own record on the squat two more times. Another great highlight while I was there was a guy in my weight class (can't remember his name off-hand, but apparently he trains at SSG when I'm not around) who did bench-only, and opened with 150kg. Not very often you see someone benching more than double bodyweight, but he pulled it off, and got 160, too, in his second attempt. I can't remember how his third attempt went.

As for why I didn't compete, I woke up on Tuesday morning unable to move my right knee pain-free, and it took until Saturday morning to be able to move pain-free. Given the location and significance of the pain, being pain-free on the day wasn't good enough for me to be willing to attempt 1RM's, although I intend on being back in the gym training again tomorrow.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Training -- Mon 05/08/2013

Last session before comp. Was kind of a dud.


9x1x135kg -- Attempted a 10th single. Maybe I was too controlled on the way down causing an unintentional pause at the bottom, maybe I wasn't controlled enough causing my weight to shift...I don't know. All I know is that I thought about coming back up, but my body had a different plan in mind. I now know what it feels like to dump 135kg behind me.

Bench Press



2x1x145kg -- Was going to do 10x1, but then it all felt a lot harder than it ought to, and I didn't care. Probably a good thing that I decided to stop there: now's not the time to be working when my body says no, now's the time to be relaxing so that my body won't say no this Saturday.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Training -- Sat 03/08/2013



Bench Press


Log Press/Cable Row


L Pull Up


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Training -- Thur 01/08/2013

Front Squats


Box Squat



2x175kg -- 2.5kg less than best lift previous comp :)