Sunday, September 14, 2014

I'll admit it openly: I am simply unable to comprehend how a person can live without abandon, undying passion and a relentless pursuit of goals. As human beings, I believe strongly that we were meant to strive for our absolute best emotionally, spiritually, intellectually and physically. I can not live my life any other way.

Since this is a training blog, I will limit this to the physical only.

1. Know who you are.
2. Pick a goal and commit to it.
3. Embrace discipline.
4. Face your weaknesses.
5. Keep what works. Drop what doesn't.

Reaching a training goal will take years, if not decades. If you do not have a strong sense of self, you will fall for every fad out there and give into every excuse to fail.

Pick ONE goal. Commit to your ONE goal. Mental and physical strength go hand-in-hand. You are personally responsible for your life. The weak-minded dodge responsibility and blame others (and outside events) for their failure(s). Grow as a human being; adversity is a gift which makes you a stronger and better person. You will be fighting to achieve this goal for decades. Be prepared to do so.

Discipline leads to a job well done, but requires that you do not stray from the path leading to your goal. Follow your plan no matter what. No excuses. Everyone encounters adversity. The strong and disciplined use adversity to steer them to their goals. The weak shrink away and use excuses to justify their failure(s). I've heard this called "pussification". (Great term.)

Be humble. You have a lot of weaknesses (everyone does). An athlete (or person, in general) should never overestimate him/herself. Personally, my physical weaknesses look like Mount Everest, but I still strive to climb to the top, step-by-step. I can see clearly how many athletes are ahead of me (far ahead of me). I accept the challenge. I will obsessively work on addressing my weaknesses and then construct a plan to conquer them.

Research the most efficient method(s) to reach your goal. Keep records. Track your progress. Do NOT fall into the trap of a routine. Routines are comfortable. Progress is highly, highly uncomfortable. Get used to being uncomfortable and constantly challenged.

9 a.m. UXF
500 Meter Row for Time = 1:50
15-12-9-6-3 +.25 Mile Run
28 kg KB Swings
10 kg Push-Presses
16 kg Goblet Squats (DEEP!)
10 kg KB Push-Presses

10:30 a.m.
10 sets of loaded pull-ups paired with 10 sets of DB-loaded walking lunges
5 sets of BB SLDLs paired with 12 sets of loaded pull-ups
7 sets of plyo-Bulgarians paired with 7 sets of single arm DB rows
5 sets of loaded lunge jumps paired with 5 sets of heavy reverse grip rows
8 sets of high rep leg extensions paired with 3 sets of heavy T-bar rows

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Work on what your body NEEDS, not what you LIKE.

It's time to dig deep and figure out what you really NEED to train, rather than merely what you LIKE to train. I know you've seen it: Everyone and their dog does biceps curls at the gym. Really? Will the easiest of exercises get you where you want and need to go as an athlete and competitor?

I know that I NEED to improve my squat. I train some variation of the squat 4 or 5 x week. So here we go:


SQUATS (really deep)
20 x body weight, 10 x 45 lbs., 10 x 65 lbs., 5 x 95 lbs., 5 x 95 lbs., 3 x 105 lbs., 3 x 105 lbs., 2 x 115 lbs., 2 x 115 lbs., 1 x 125 lbs., 1 x 135 lbs., 8 x 95 lbs., 9 x 95 lbs., 10 x 95 lbs, 11 x 95 lbs.

I supersetted this with the BENCH PRESS:

20 x 45 lbs., 18 x 65 lbs., 5 x 95 lbs., 5 x 95 lbs., 5 x 95 lbs., 5 x 95 lbs., 5 x 95 lbs., 5 x 100 lbs., 3 x 105 lbs., 3 x 105 lb.s, 2 x 110 lbs., 2 x 110 lbs., 1 x 115 lbs., 1 x 115 lbs.


BULGARIANS (really deep)
20 x body weight, 20 x body weight, 10 x 12.5 lb. DBs, 5 x 15 lb. DBs, 5 x 20 lb. DBs, 3 x 25 lb. DBs, 3 x 25 lb. DBs, 3 x 25 lb. DBs, 3 x 25 lb. DBs, 10 x plyometric version, 10 x plyometric version, 10 x plyometric version, 10 x plyometric version, 10 x plyometric version

I supersetted this with WIDE, REVERSE GRIP PULL-UPS:

15 x body weight, 15 x body weight, 5 x 25 lb. plate, 5 x 25 lb. plate, 5 x 25 lb. plate, 5 x 25 lb. plate, 4 x 25 lb. plate, 3 x 25 lb. plate, 3 x 25 lb. plate, 3 x 25 lb. plate,  2 x 35 lb. plate, 2 x 35 lb. plate, 2 x 35 lb. plate, 2 x 35 lb. plate, 2 x 35 lb. plate


100 deep squats
90 long-arm sit-ups
80 prone runners (each leg)
70 ice skaters (each side)
60 TRX rows
50 push-ups
I completed this with a time of 7:06.


30 dead lifts to high pulls - 28 kg KB
10 burpee box jumps - 28" box
30 KB swings - 24 kg KB
10 burpee box jumps - 28" box
30 plyo-push-ups
10 burpee box jumps - 28" box
30 lunges (each leg) - 55 lb. olympic bar
10 burpee box jumps - 28" box
30 bent-over rows - 18 kg KBs
10 burpee box jumps - 28" box
30 long-arm sit-ups
I completed this with a time of 10:37.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Insane Workout of The Day

Here's my insane workout of the day:

Wide, Reverse Grip Pull-ups with a 25 lb. Plate Attached to a Weightbelt supersetted with Squat Jumps with 55 lb. Olympic Bar on Back. I completed 20 sets in 1 hour. Just ask the members at NYSC, Princeton North!
1. 6x + 10x
2. 5x + 10x
3. 6x + 10x
4. 4x + 10x
5. 4x + 10x
6. 3x + 10x
7. 3x + 10x
8. 5x + 10x
9. 4x + 10x
10. 3x + 10x
11. 3x + 10x
12. 3x + 10x
13. 3x + 10x
14. 4x + 10x
15. 4x + 10x
16. 4x + 10x
17. 3x + 10x
18. 3x + 10x
19. 3x + 10x
20. 3x + 10x

Let's Get Serious About Training: 6 Rules to Get You There

If you view lifting weights as merely a "hobby (a.k.a. working out, exercising) and never seriously map out a plan (a.k.a. make the important switch from exercising to training), then your results will be mediocre at best.

This concept applies to all aspects of your life.

Your goal may be to start a business, write a series of articles, get a graduate degree or become an athlete. The more important a new venture is to your personal development, the harder you will fight ALL roadblocks.


Yes, it's that simple. No excuses. If you are scheduled to train. Do it. I really don't care if your dog just died. SHOW THE F UP!


Not hard, right? If you said you would do 15 sets of ass to grass squats. Shut up and do it. If you said you would increase your deadlift by 50 lbs., then figure out how to get there...or hire someone who CAN get you there.


OK, that's more challenging. Hard work will pay off, but the end results may take years. Believe in yourself and ability to plan, work hard, eat correctly, and the results will eventually come.


Successful people schedule every day tightly and carefully to ensure their goals are being accomplished. That's not to say that your life has to be totally boring in order to be successful, but a high level of structure is an absolute requirement.

You can't succeed in the gym if the rest of your life is chaotic (unstructured). Staying out late, missing meals, forgetting your gym bag, stressing out over trivia – these are all signs you will fail on your quest.


You must prepare your grocery shopping and meals in advance. You must prepare your training sessions in advance. You have a life, a job, a family. Plan in advance so you have no excuses to fail! The more structured and organized your life is, the easier your preparation will become.


Training is what you do, not who you are. Create a healthy degree of separation between yourself and your talents. Only then will you have the freedom to commit yourself fully to your craft. Do all this, and all that's left is to collect your accolades.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Simple Rules for A Lifter

For me, training is about strength, about moving weight, and correctly moving the human body.

Training is about being proud of an added repetition, an added plate on the bar, and/or an improved movement pattern. Training focuses more on a person's performance and less on how she looks in a new dress. This is a place where people eat to excel and not eat to savor (Sorry, Brian!), where trucks are pushed and sleds are pulled, where running isn't "cardio, it's part of training and if you're going to walk for your conditioning you better have something on your back or in your hands.

With that in mind, here's a list of some of my favorite lifting rules that I follow:

• Squats are walked out.

• Lift-offs are not given on the bench press.

• If you're going to overhead press, it will be done standing.

• No straps unless you are hurt.

• You don't debate about organic/non-organic.

• No need for music or training partners or "the right atmosphere" to train hard.

• You are humble enough to realize that you always need to improve... a lot!

• There are no 8-week plans, rather yearlong goals and decade long achievements.

• All you truly need is a rack, barbell, plates and some dumbbells.

• You realize stretching doesn't make you slow or non-explosive.

• You realize physical strength can develop mental and spiritual strength.

• You never fall for gimmicks; principles last forever.

Today's Training and Diet

It's one week out from Nationals. This is the time where every repetition really matters and every bite of food counts.

6:00 a.m. Clean, shower

7:00 a.m. MP Muscle gel, 1/2 cup oats with chia seeds, 6 almonds

7:40 a.m. Workout One
8 sets RDLs: Two warm-up sets (55 lbs. x 20 reps; 105 lbs. x 20 reps) and then 6 sets of 135lbs. x 5 reps supersetted with Wide Mt. Climber Pull-ups: 15x, 15x, 13x, 12x, 10x, 11x, 10x, 14x.

Split Bulgarians: 8 sets of 10-15 w/ pulsing and tempo changes supersetted with 8 sets of Wide Pull-ups: 10 reps each set.
Leg Press: 5 sets of 10 wide (90 lbs.); 4 sets of 20 (90 lbs.) supersetted with Chin-ups: 22, 18, 17, 15.
Calf Raises: 30, 30

8:45 a.m. Can of tuna, 1 apple

9:00 a.m. UXF with Stephanie (Summah's Mom)
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 DB Swing to Squat & Presses (25 lb. DB)
Walking Lunges
Rotational Squats
Walking Lunges
10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 Burpee Rows (35 lb. DBs)
30-minute cap on time
Push Stephanie on sled (whew!)
9:15 a.m. 6 egg whites, 1 sweet potato

10:00 a.m. Workout Two
Ring Pull-ups: 10 sets: 10-15 reps each set supersetted with Leg Extensions: 50 lbs. 20 reps
Chin-ups (Legs out): 4 sets supersetted with Leg Extensions - 50-100 reps
Leg Curls (seated): 5 sets high rep
Calf Raises (seated): 3 sets 30 reps
Wide, Neutral Grip Pull-ups: 3 sets 10 reps
Routine Practice

12:30 p.m. MP Muscle Gel, broccoli

12:35 p.m. Grocery Shopping, errands, clean house, make pizzas for Brian
4:00 p.m. 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese, 1/2 cup oats, chia seeds, 8 black berries, 6 almonds, cinnamon tea

5:00 p.m. work, email, blog, etc.

8:30 p.m. to bed!!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

This Is Who I Am

Training and competing are as much me as my flesh and bones.

To me, the weight room is not just a place to train for competition, but rather a temple, a church, a mosque of sorts – I have chosen to commit to grueling personal discipline and the continual challenge to improve myself: I strive to lift heavier weights, complete one more repetition...with better form, jump higher, run faster, add another pound of muscle mass, subtract another pound of body fat, and my reward?

More self-understanding, more humility.

By training, I learn great self-control and self-realization,which I apply to my life. Life is not always easy and may not always go the way I had planned, but my training has taught me that I have the strength to shape the outcome and to improve my life. I have learned to focus on my goals, design a detailed plan of action and complete whatever task I choose. I am responsible for my successes AND my failures. I am accountable for my actions.

Competitive training requires me to turn the eye inward and deepen my understanding of what I am trying to achieve. Training is the daily practice of focused concentration. This means I shut out all negative and/or extraneous thoughts and focus only on what I need to accomplish. No cell phones, no chit-chat, no excuses, no self-doubt.

As with any difficult challenge, there will be sacrifices, disappointments, anxieties and frustrations, and most likely injuries. But these trials continue to make me a stronger and more humble individual.

This is who I am.

Today's Training and Diet:

7 a.m. Wake Up, 1/2 liter water, fat burner, vitamin

Laundry and cleaning

8:00 a.m. MP Protein Gel (90 calories), 1/4 cup grits, 1/4 cup oats, 2 tbsp. chia seeds, 8 almonds, 8 raspberries, water (& Diet Mt. Dew)

9:00 a.m. UXF with Stephanie Martin (Summah's mom)

.5 Mile for time = 3:21

Minute Man (10 Minutes): every minute on the minute
1 push-up w/ 10 prone runners x 4
10 weighted squat jumps


KB Swings (20 kg)
Burpee Box Jumps (28" Box)
BOSU Get-ups (10 kg KB)
Run Fire Lane
Total Time = 13:14

10:00 a.m. 6 egg whites, 1 pear

Bulgarian Split Squats: 10 x body weight; 5 x 25 lbs.: 8 sets
Mt. Climber Pull-ups: 12,10, 10, 8, 10, 11

Bulgarian Split Squats (front foot on step - deeper!): 10 x body weight; 5 x 15 lbs.; 5 x 25 lbs.: 8 sets
Chin-ups: 18, 15, 13, 12, 12, 10

Leg Press: 30 x machine; 25 x 90 lbs.; 20 x 180 lbs.: 5 sets
Calf Raises (seated): 30, 28, 25, 25

Leg Extensions: 25 x 50 lbs.: 8 sets; 15 x 80 lbs.:2 sets
Ring Pull-ups: 10, 9, 9, 10, 10

12:30 p.m. 1 cup cottage cheese, 1 cucumber, 2 tbsp. salsa, 1/2 cup grits, 10 raspberries, 8 almonds

Run errands (Diet Mt. Dew)

3:30 p.m. MP Protein gel (90 calories)

Clean house, cook and Prep Files for Monday

6:30 p.m. Protein cake: UMP, 2 eggs, water, unsweetend cocoa

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Stop Sucking on Your Thumb and Get to Work

Look at yourself face-to-face in the mirror. Look closely, very closely.

Are you humble enough to admit that you do not work hard enough to reach your goals? Are you brave enough to confess that you are not adequately focused on those very goals? It's time to stop sucking on your thumb and crying about the goals you are failing to meet and finally do something:

Nobody (myself included) works as hard as they think they do. Even those who actually work hard can improve both effort and focus. Working hard isn't about grunting and groaning, nor is it about dropping dumbbells on the floor after exercise sets so you can appear hardcore. That sort of display is for a baby throwing a tantrum.

Working hard, with maximal effort, is about one thing and one thing only: FOCUS. The lifter who is focused has no need for such drama. This individual has the path to his/her goals well thought out and is completely focus on this path AND stays focused during each and every training session.

It's time to stop sucking your thumb and stop training like a baby.


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2013 (Another day off!)
7 a.m. 1/2 liter water and a fat burner

Do laundry, dishes, and cleaning

8:00 a.m. 6 egg whites, 1/2 cup oatmeal, 2 tbsp, chia seeds, 8 almonds, 1/4 cup raspberries

9:00 a.m. UXF with Stephanie (Summah's mom)

(1) run the fire lane
(2) 5 lateral burpee box jumps + run the fire lane
(3) 8 MB push-ups (each side) + 5 lateral burpee box jumps + run the fire lane
(4) 11 skier jumps each side + 8 MB push-ups (each side) + 5 lateral burpee box jumps + run the fire lane
(5) 14 DB swing and presses + 11 skier jumps each side + 8 MB push-ups (each side) + 5 lateral burpee box jumps + run the fire lane
(6) 17 long-leg sit-ups each side + 14 DB swing and presses + 11 skier jumps each side + 8 MB push-ups (each side) + 5 lateral burpee box jumps + run the fire lane
(7) 20 single-arm bent over rows + 17 long-leg sit-ups each side + 14 DB swing and presses + 11 skier jumps each side + 8 MB push-ups (each side) + 5 lateral burpee box jumps + run the fire lane
(8) 23 rope smashes + 20 single-arm bent over rows + 17 long-leg sit-ups each side + 14 DB swing and presses + 11 skier jumps each side + 8 MB push-ups (each side) + 5 lateral burpee box jumps + run the fire lane

10:10 a.m. 6 egg whites, 1 apple

10:40 a.m. Weight Training

Chin-ups: 17x; 15x; 12x; 10x; 10x; 10x; 8x; 7x; 6x supersetted with BB Biceps Curls: 20 x 35 lbs.; 15 x 45 lbs; 14 x 45 lbs.; 8 x 50 lbs.; 8 x 50 lbs.; 12 x 45 lbs.; 18 x 35 lbs.; 20 x 35 lbs.

DB Curls: 5 sets with 20 lb. DBs; minimal recovery between sets.

DB Skull Crusher and French Press Combo: 8 sets with mixed weights and drop sets.

12:20 p.m. 1 cup cottage cheese, 1 tbsp. salsa, 1 chopped cucumber, 1 small plum

1:30 p.m. Get Massage!

3-5 p.m. Clean and prepare files for work.

4:00 p.m. 6 egg whites, 2 cups broccoli, 1 cup cauliflower

Errands and cook with Brian

6:40 p.m. 6 egg whites, 2 cups broccoli, 1.5 cups butternut squash, 1/2 cup raspberries

Plan for tomorrow and relax