1) My first real week using the "conjugate method".
For those of you that dont know, the Conjugate Method is a system used by Louie Simmons for all of his clients at Westside Barbell. In my opinion, based on results alone, it is the best powerlifting gym in America. Clients who can squat above 1000 pounds while weighing in at under 200 pounds? Yea I think I will use that method.
Louie Simmons is 64. I dont think he will need a retirement home anytime soon.
To give you an example of the Conjugate Method, the thinking behind it goes something like this: "In the early 1970s, the Dynamo Club in the former Soviet Union had 70 highly skilled Olympic lifters. They were introduced to a system of 20-45 special exercises that were grouped into 2-4 exercises per work-out and were rotated as often as necessary to make continuous progress They soon found out that as the squat, good morning, back raise, glute/ham raise, or special pulls got stronger, so did their Olympic lifts. When asked about the system, only one lifter was satisfied with the number of special lifts; the rest wanted more to choose from. And so the conjugate system was originated." (Taken from Westside-Barbell.com)
Starting last Monday, my week will typically look like this:
Monday-220.127.116.11.1.1.1 bench press or strict press(alternate)
Tuesday- 18.104.22.168.1.1 back or front squat(alternate), 22.214.171.124.1 DL
Thursday- 75% of my 1RM from monday, 3 reps every every minute for 8 mins, then weighted wide grip pullups, weighted dips, dumbell press/bench press 4x5, other accessory press exercises, 4 rds of 10 weight situps and 10 weighted K2E.
Friday-75% of my 1RM from tuesday, 3 reps every every minute for 8 mins, then OH lunges, glute-ham work, Romanian deadlift, barbell rows and accessory core work, because my core and my hams need work on them to increase my squat and deadlift. I can feel my weak right hamstring when the bar is about 3 inches below my knee on a deadlift.
*These all occur about 6 1/2 hours after a CF WOD. typically a MET-CON.
2) I received my "Ron Swanson" pyramid poster.
This poster is amazing and contains everything that matters in life. Things like deer protein, a thick and impenetrable torso, property rights, and avoiding skim milk.
Click here to see the full size poster in all its glory. I'm not asking. Do it.
Here it is hanging above my bar. I think it is somewhat crooked. Maybe that's why I always feel like Ron is watching me.
3) The F.N.G's
I started teach 3 new recruits the basics of Starting Strength (the best book for strength training beginners to read by Mark Rippetoe). While we undoubtedly have a very long way to go, the progress they have made so far this week deserves a tipping of the cap. Not one of them has had any experience lifting weights, but to go from flailing under an unloaded bar to having a beautiful front squat with high elbows, knees out, and hitting depth in only 7 days is something to be admired.
All 3 of them started off with the words that I never like hearing, "I don't want to get big, I just want to get toned". Of course there is no such thing as toning and firming, "only strong and weak". After explaining that "toning" means an increase on strength and muscle mass and a decrease of body fat, they did manage to say the magic words. They all said they wished to get stronger and they felt the needed a lifestyle change. Music to my ears. I am looking forward to seeing their big gains in the upcoming months.
4) My anti-paleo diet is really working out for me.
Like I stated in a previous post, I am no longer doing paleo. Here is a photo comparison of how I looked weighing 176 lbs at 6' 5" (right photo) and how I looked 2 months ago weighing 221 (left photo).
I have lost body fat since that last photo, I was on the tail-end of my GOMAD diet, and I have lost most of the water weight that came with it (I will post a more recent photo next time).
I am not concerned with having <5% bodyfat if it affects my lifts and since I stopped doing paleo, every single lift of mine has increased. I stopped dropping weight due to a lack of calories, I am blowing away my times on MET-CONS, usually placing in the top 5 at the gym, and I dont feel slowed down at all. I still rarely eat sugar, but I dont shy away from grain products, I just plan ahead when I am going to consume them, usually right after a workout when I need that glycogen.
Here is a beast that my wife and I conquered (she is also eating epic meal time, while gaining muscle and dropping sizes, women love that crap).
The Carnivore Supreme. Recommended by doctors everywhere.
In closing, here is your moment of zen. Please take note how his warrior cry at the end helps him get the weight up. So if grunting or yelling is discouraged at your gym, especially during heavy lifts, time to change gyms.