Monday, July 15, 2013

The lost art of the Overhead Press

Check out my latest article on overhead pressing!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Using Isometrics to build strength in the Power Lifts

Check out my Article posted on!

Metabolic Diet and loosing weight.

Metabolic Diet, Carb Back loading The science behind carb back loading is the variations between Insulin and Growth Hormone. These two hormones act opposite of each other, once insulin raises growth hormone decreases. I like to think about insulin as your freak out hormone, once it gets released into your body it takes all available sustenance in your body and stores it (fat). Growth hormone feeds off fat and leans out your body, it also repairs all your bumps and bruises inside your body and makes you whole again. So you want high growth hormone and low insulin levels. Your body is used to using glycogen stores for energy (ATP), this is a product of our society and life in the 21st century. Your body knows how to use fat for energy it just prefers to use glycogen. To start the Metabolic Diet it is preferred to do a 12 day period of 30 or less grams of carbohydrates. This time period will shock your body into using fat for energy. It is important to finish your 12 days with a carb loading period of 2 days. This will restore your glycogen levels and give you a boost of energy. After your two days of carb loading go back to 30 grams or less for 5 days, this diet works best with a normal 5 day work schedule. Low carbs during the week and eat freely on the weekend. After your initial 12 days when you load up on carbs your body will have a “hard” feeling and the veins in your arms, hands and feet will bulge out; this is glycogen stores returning to your body. After a few weeks of this you’ll notice getting soft during your carb loading period, this should end your carb load. This feeling means your glycogen stores have been refilled and you will store the rest of the carbs you eat as fat. A sample day of low carbs looks like this: Wake Up: 2-3 Eggs, and meat source (bacon, sausage, ham)and coffee (no cream or sugar) Mid-Morning snack: Diet soda and beef sticks Lunch: Salad with meat and low carb dressing Mid-Afternoon snack: Water and a hand full or un-salted nut Dinner: Salad, low carb wrap (wrap, cheese, meat, lettuce, avocado) Feel free to substitute any meals with low carb meals from restaurants. Some quick and easy examples are a salad from Chipotle or an unwitch from Jimmie Johns. Lately it seems that any restaurant you go to has a salad or wrap option. Diet soda is an acceptable option as well, as for To keep yourself accountable with your low carb diet by keep a food log. Don’t concentrate on calories but keep track of your carbohydrates and do your best to keep them under 30 grams. This is not an easy diet. Carbs have become part of our life and comfort in America, however, use this as a test of your self control and discipline. When you stay strong doing this diet you will get a feeling of accomplishment knowing that you can deny yourself of something and still be able to function. Let me know your thoughts on twitter @TMillion82 or hit me up on Facebook! Reference:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Conjugate Method

So I've never trained at Westside, nor have I really hardcore followed the conjugate system but I understand it. I get the picture and I can understand the difference between the max effort method, the dynamic effort method and the repetition method. The problem I see is that people on the interwebz look at videos from westside and Elitefts and look for the best possible max effort movement for their style of lifting. Whether it's shirted bench, single ply squat or raw deadlifts.....Your not doing it right!!!

The conjugate method, especially the westside version of it, (No, westside did not invent it, Louie even says he didn't) is designed to work your weak points, the specific lifters weak points. These weak points are different for everyone and such max effort movements should be different for everyone. For instance, I have a weak lock out on my deadlifts, I can pull anything off the ground but locking it out stalls, max effort movements for me would include deadlifts with chains, rack pulls etc. A lot of people have weak pulls from the ground, max effort movements for them would include deficit pulls, good mornings etc.

Yes I am not blind enough to see there are many max effort movements that help the entire movement and improve on multiple weaknesses, but the point is to find YOUR weakness and improve that. Your only as strong as your sticking point!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Army Strength Athlete

There are multiple reasons multiple people join the Army, some join for benefits, some join to give their life meaning, and even some join just to get into shape. This was not the case when I joined the Army. I was a benefit guy that benefited more from the Army then just the school help. I joined when I was playing defensive line for the Minnesota State University, Mankato football team. I had been training for college football for as long as I can remember, knowing it would all lead up to one day playing in college. In college I was on a small enough scale (Army wise) that I could defiantly get away with both trying to get big and strong for football and still succeed in the Army’s physical training program.

The Army mandates that National Guard Soldiers take the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) once a year, twice while on active duty orders, such as deployments. The APFT consists of 2 minutes of pushups, 2 minutes of sit ups and a 2 mile run. There are standards based on the Soldiers age to determine if the Soldier passes or fails, each event is scored on a 100 point scale, 60 being just passing and 100 being a good pass, or “PT stud”. So if a Soldier scores 100 points in all three events he/she gets a score of 300, if a Soldier scores 60 points in all three events that Soldier gets a score of 180. If the Soldier drops below the standards of the PT test he/she is subject to remedial PT and possibly kicked out of the Army.

I have never been a 300 guy, I’ve scored well, 250+ but never a 300. I possess the upper body strength to max out the pushups, do real well in the sit ups but the run is always what gets me. Currently at my age (29) I have to run 2 miles in 17 minutes, this is not a problem but to get 100 points I have to run it in 13 min. Naturally I am closer to the 17 minute range than the 13 minute range, however, I have never failed a PT test.

You see when we are all born we are born with a specific percentage of muscle fibers. These fibers are broken down to fast and slow twitch fibers. There are nearly dozens of different types of muscle fibers but we all have a specific percentage of slow and a certain percentage of fast twitch, then comes the ever popular type IIb muscle fibers, these fibers are trainable. These fibers can switch to act as either fast twitch fibers or slow twitch fibers. As a former football player my IIb fibers have learned to act more as fast twitch fibers than slow twitch and thus my difficulties with the 2 mile run.

So when I got done playing football it was just a natural fit for me to merge into strength sports. I have competed in both powerlifting and strongman. I enjoy training and I don’t enjoy training without a goal. My inability to succeed in a 2 mile long slow run has made the PT test not as appetizing to me as others. Deadlifting 700 pounds however is appetizing to me, pressing a 330 pound log over my head is downright delicious. I enjoy strongman and hope to soon be awarded with a Pro Card from the ASC making me a professional strongman. However, I am still in the military and will continue to be in the military for a while.

Currently I’m deployed in Kuwait in support of Operation New Dawn and the draw down in Iraq, this is interesting because believe it or not they don’t get a lot of strength athletes that come around here. Although they do keep gym records, when I got here the deadlift gym record was 585, the squat record was 600 and the bench record still stands at 500. Within the first 6 weeks here I had re-set the records to 650 deadlift, and 725 squat, they don’t follow any powerlifting feds so the squat was a little high, but they counted it. Currently my weight is 275 lbs.

So with my upcoming goal of winning my Strongman Pro card and my everlasting thrust for strength you could imagine that I’m a little different looking than most Soldiers. Trying to get as strong as humanly possible all the while still being able to go for a 2 mile run in a passing time has stretched me both ways. The Army is attempting to fix the APFT to be more “combat like” however, that seems to be deadlocked. Not to mention the Crossfit community runs rampant around the military. My issues with crossfit can be saved for another post, however I have never figured out why they continue to ask if I want to crossfit….does it look like it?!?

When it comes down to you as a strength athlete in the military I have to run long distances. It may not be the best thing for my pursuit of strength but it is what it is, this is the life I have decided to live. That will not deter me from going into the weight room and lifting heavy. Today my training partner said to me that when I lift it’s like a spectator sport because everyone stops doing whatever they are doing and watches me squat 600+ pounds. Am I the ideal Soldier? Absolutely not. Should all Soldiers train like me? Absolutely not. Should there be some sort of mix between strength and endurance for military members? Absolutely! I think that is the biggest point people miss, they see me and they think I want everyone to look and lift like me, I don’t! There is nothing wrong with Soldiers getting cock strong though.

So in conclusion I have rambled quite a bit; however, if the reader can take anything from this realize that human beings aren’t cookie cuts. But if there is a standard it must be met, sometimes you just have to show off your athleticism and surprise some people!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tue, Wed

Haven't kept up on the log, I apologize


Push Press
Worked up to
150 kilos! - PR
Just missed 155 kilos, got it out of the grove
100 kilos 2x5 strict press

Close grip Cambered bar bench
worked up to 340x1
280 2x8

Then we did some crazy shoulder circuit that Dave dreamed up
a bunch of stuff x a lot

Hex bar DL (17" pick up) - to simulate a car DL
Worked up to 610
As many reps as possible in 60 seconds, 16 reps

Sandbag load on Rev Hyper machine
262 sand bag - 5,4,3,2,1

Called it a day after that, some good stuff

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thur, Fri, Sat, Mon

Haven't loaded anything in a while so here it goes

Axle Clean and Press
Worked up to 330 almost locked it out 3 times, finally just jerked it, PR for anything overhead, I should be able to push press 330 real soon

Yoke Walk
Up to 880 felt alright, not really fast but grinded it out

Stone over bar
Hit the 378 stone again, the tacky and stone didn't want to bond so it was tough

Bench Strip Set 275 down to 135

Shoulder circuit 2x12

Ran the rack with curls

Steady state running :(

Worked up to 140 kilo clean x 2, just missed the 3rd one

Worked up to 455x3 high bar olympic squats

Neutral grip BO Row
Up to 400x5

The whole no carb thing is really bogging me down, I'm sleeping well but just don't have a lot of energy, it is what it is