My First Strength Routine

I have been lifting weights for several years now, with various levels of equipment, dedication and success.Because I didn’t always have ideal equipment, I couldn’t always follow the routines I read as they were written, so for a long time I improvised based off what I had. I tried many routines that increased my strength, but none of them “clicked” as a strength training routine to me. Not one of them I felt drawn to return to. Things changed when I realized my college allowed students free access to their gym. I could take my strength training to the next level. I spent semester after semester exercising both at the college (with all the free weights) and in my backyard (with a more limited selection). I read many books, experimented with many exercises, modified many routines, and eventually I hit one of my favorite routines of all time. My very first “serious” strength routine. Ready for it? Here it is: Front Squat 3×5 (3 sets of 5 reps) Deadlift 3×5 Weighted Pullups 3×5 Weighted Dips 3×5 And that’s it! I followed this routine from October 30th to December 6th of 2012. My first entry looked like this: Front Squat 145lb 3×5 Deadlift 175lb 3×5 Pullups 20lb 3×5 (that means bodyweight plus 20lbs) Dips 45lb 3×5 (bodyweight plus 45lbs) I started at weights I knew I could lift fairly easily, to build momentum with my gains. Initially I could jump up weight quick, but after a couple weeks it was really … Continue reading

Century Specialization

Century: a hundred; anything consisting of a hundred parts That is the Noah Webster 1828 Dictionary definition for century, and the one I will be using. Century Specialization is using the number 100 to specialize in training a physical weakness. It can be used to bring up a lagging body part, or for training a weak movement. The goal is to reach 100 reps in one way or another, depending on movement and goal. I will visit two ways I personally have used century specialization, as I call it, to further my goals. First is for bodybuilding, muscle isolation specialization: For this you pick an isolation exercise that you can do for one large set of 100. I chose calf raises, since I wanted larger calves (one of few body parts not being worked by the heavy lifting I was doing). I performed a single set of a hundred 5-6 days a week for about four weeks, and noticed significant size increase in my calves. You can pick any exercise for this, just make sure you can do 100 straight reps. If you can’t do 100 reps, decrease either weight or range of motion. For calf raises, it is best to do them flat on the floor, or else you may not finish the set. Curls could also be used, by picking a light stick that can be curled 100 times. Or maybe a pressing movement by using a book. Any movement that hits a muscle lagging behind in size, … Continue reading

Inspiration Series Part 4: Master Chief

Inspirations may be drawn from anywhere. For me, this next one is drawn from fantasy. He has a history, has fought battles, and saved lives, yet isn’t real. He is an icon in modern culture, especially amongst gamers. That is the trailer for Halo 3, and it features the Chief. Master Chief is famous for being a brave, skilled and faceless hero who speaks few words. This image can be very inspiring. Let me give a brief summary of his back story. At a young age (around 6 years old) a boy known as John was selected by the military for testing of a top secret program called SPARTAN-II. He was replaced by a clone who would later die in an accident, to hid the kidnapping. John was chosen for his physical capabilities (a head taller than other kids and very strong) as well as his mind and luck. He was then assigned the name John-117, and trained by the military until he was 14, when he was given cybernetic implants to increase speed, strength and intelligence. At this age, he had the body of an 18 year old, and after the implants, was able to easily take on several ODSTs (think Navy Seals of today), killing three, in hand to hand combat. When he received his armor, he finally looked like the Master Chief we see today. As a matter of fact, his full face has never been revealed. This adds to the mystery and even awe of the … Continue reading

Winter is Coming: Experiments with the Cold

Science works by trial and experimentation. I have been doing just that with the cold. Instead of accepting what others say about it, I took things into my own hands. In short, I found using the cold has many benefits. I used to hate the cold, now I reluctantly enjoy it. I will cover a few subjects, each briefly. Some I may have already discussed before, others have never mentioned. Number 1: Sleeping in the Cold Every night (not counting stormy nights) I have been sleeping with the window open, regardless of how cold it gets. Over the past several weeks of doing this, along with a recent drop in temperature (tonight things got down to 33 degrees), I have observed many changes. Firstly, my sleep has improved. Something about cold, fresh air invigorates the body as you sleep. At night I would take very deep breaths and feel that coolness come in. Naturally, better sleep would improve the rest of my day. Waking up earlier, needing less sleep, being more productive, more energetic, etc. Second, I have found the cold air helps muscle soreness. One night, my arms were sore from exercising at the park and heavy lifting at the gym. Throughout the night, my left arm was right next to the open window, fully exposed to the cold. My right arm remained on the other side of my body, shielded from the cold. When I awoke, there was no more soreness in my left arm yet my right … Continue reading

Break the Addiction: Food

Is it actually possible to have an addiction to food? After all, we do need food to survive. If we don’t eat, we die; it’s as simple as that. Or is it? Now I’m not saying that if you stop eating you will become immortal, but eating won’t do that either. As a matter of fact, every person that comes in contact with food dies, so in the end it doesn’t really matter. Addiction to food is a problem very, very few people will admit even exists. I have found the moment I say I have broken my addiction to food someone replies as if I am trying to kill myself. Whenever I hear someone complain about missing a meal and I honestly, and seriously, tell them they need to break the addiction, they believe I am joking. The argument always is “you need food to survive. Don’t starve yourself!”. The worst is “Oh, but you need to eat. You’re already really skinny”. After they state their opinion, I sit back and watch them struggle to make sure they never miss a meal, even if the last one had all the nutrients and energy they need for the day. Or worse yet, I sit back and watch them think they “need to eat” so go buy some crap food and shove it down their gullet. Here is the honest truth: In most “civilized” or “first world” countries, such as the USA, we eat far, FAR more than we need to. … Continue reading

Inspiration Series Part 1: Elliott Hulse

We all need inspiration in our lives. Something to get us up in the morning, something to make us train hard, something that drives us. This is the first post of many in a series where I tell you about what inspires me. I encourage all of you to find inspiration somewhere, whether it’s a song, a person, a memory, doesn’t matter. As long as it inspires you. So today, I will talk about someone who inspires me in the health and fitness world, Elliott Hulse. In my previous post, I reviewed his Lean Hybrid Muscle Reloaded system. In that post, I also recommended it, and I only do that to systems I truly recommend. Especially from people who I highly respect, such as Elliott. He gives out lots of great information for free, wanting to help everyone become the strongest version of yourself. From reading his emails, watching his “Yo Elliott” question videos, and just looking at all the info he puts out to help others, he has inspired me to do the same. That’s why I started this blog! He encourages to do what you love, and if you can make money while you do it. It was his words that really pushed me, inspired me, to take the risk I’ve mentioned before, starting this site. And when it comes to training, seeing Elliott at his strongman competitions and training in his gym (lifting some pretty heavy weights like a boss) inspire me to train harder, as well … Continue reading

Why I Recommend Lean Hybrid Muscle (Reloaded)

First off, I must say that Elliott Hulse, one of the creators of this system, is probably one of my biggest inspirations and has lots of knowledge and experience in the fitness world. If my little review can get him a few more sales, it’s the least I could do for all the information he’s given me. He knows what he’s talking about, wouldn’t you say? Lean Hybrid Muscle Reloaded. The program that does a little bit of everything. That’s what hybrid means after all, right? This program is designed primarily for anyone with the goal of being athletic, functional, strong and good looking. Sounds like most everyone, doesn’t it? The idea behind this program is building what is referred to as “type III muscle fiber”, a hybrid that is both strong and has lots of endurance (which also burns fat). Getting yourself to that point isn’t easy, and I’ll be honest, I haven’t been able to push myself that hard yet, but listening to Elliott’s info has still done a lot nonetheless. This is a goal that is general enough to apply to lots of people. Have a healthy amount of muscle mass (as a natural bodybuilder should) while at the same time being as strong as you look (powerlifter and strongman). And one very important part, avoiding what Elliott calls “P.M.S.” or Puffy Muscle Syndrome. This is muscle seen from normal bodybuilders (natural and otherwise) or from anyone who follows the normal bodybuilding idea of bulking and cutting. … Continue reading

How To Build a Classic Physique, My Recommendation and Review

A short and simple paper back book. That’s what this product is physically. However, the information it holds is incredibly useful. Even on his site, Tried and True Fitness, The information Matt Marshall gives out for free is better then I hear from most anywhere else. When I paid for some of this information, it just got better. What is it I paid for? How to Build a Classic Physique. A very useful and simple book, with a focus on strength and health, while still looking good. Immediately after receiving this book, I read and reread it for about four hours straight. Maybe longer. It contains lots of good information that I was able to begin applying easily. My favorite part about this book is it’s emphasis on strength training. Personally, I don’t enjoy bodybuilding type training where you do high reps with short rests and pound the muscles to death. Instead, I prefer to lift a heavy weight a few times then take a long break. That’s the backbone of this book (was that a pun?). On a matter of preference alone, I really enjoy this book. It fits right along with the way I enjoy training. An average of three days a week, focus on strength training while gaining size. Lifting heavy weights. Full body workouts. Compound movements. I learned to love deadlifting after reading this book. Beyond just preference, How to Build a Classic Physique also delivers. At least if you do… The workouts are hard. They … Continue reading