3 Day Volume Training

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This is a workout I put together for a friend of mine who was only able to train 3 days per week.   He is someone I would consider to have moderate to advanced experience with training.  In my opinion a Push/Pull/Legs split is extremely effect.  I think this is an approach anyone with at least a years experience in the gym will be able to handle.  This is a plan for hypertrophy.  As always, diet is incredibly important.  Periworkout nutrition is also key for recovery from these workouts.

PUSH DAY 1

  1. Incline DB Press – warm up 2 sets of 15 then I want you to do 3-4 sets of 8 reps, increasing weight until you can no longer get 8 reps.  Then I want you do do a double dropset on the last set dropping the weight 15-20% each time.
  2. Decline Hammer Press or Decline DB – 4 sets in the following manner 10,8,6,6. Last set I want a double rest pause.  So after your 6 (which should be very difficult) you will rest take about 10-15 breaths then bang out as many as you can with the same weight.  Then repeat that process one more time
  3. Incline Flyes with manual resistance – 3 sets http://youtu.be/AjJ8U7wObTw On these take a weight that you can do perfectly for about 10 and just do 10 normal flyes. Straighten your arms out at the top and you will feel an unbelievable flex and pump (from the last exercise) in your chest. Then drop the weight and do 5-6 reps where your partner pushes you down and you resist hard. It is important that your partner only push down ½ way, do not keep pushing all the way down into the stretched position or you will get injured
  4. Ladder Push up with Cambered Bar – 3 sets https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpwPJ1QtqcU
  5. Side DB Raises – 6 sets of 10

Superset

  1. Bent over DB rears delts – 6 sets of 10
  2. BB Shrugs – 4 sets of 12-15. I want you to do each set as the following way.  The bar in front of you for 12-15 reps then put the bar behind you and another  10 reps.  That is one set
  3. French Press – 4 x 10 last set double drop set
  4. Dips – 3 sets to failure

PULL DAY 1

  1. T-bar Rows – 2 warm up sets of 15. Then 4 worksets of 8.  Last set dropset of 3
  2. Wide Grip pulldowns facing away – 4 sets 12,10,8,8 Last set double drop set These are done facing away so your knees are not under the pads, so you will not be able to do more than your body weight and stay seated.
  3. Rack Pulls – 4 sets using heavyweight 10,8,5,5 . Make sure to keep good form with these as to avoid injury.  Start out with bar around knee level with all the weight is starting on the glutes and pull the weight off the bar keeping back straight until you are in full standing position.  Use this to build density and thickness
  4. Seated Machine Pullovers – 4 sets of 10-12. I want you to really focus on the contraction and use a 3 second position and really squeeze at the bottom of the movement.  Then a true 3 second negative.  You may have to do less weight to achieve this tempo, but really focus on making the tempo.
  5. Pinwheel curls – 5 sets of 8. I want only a 45 second rest between sets.  Once again really focus on the contraction at the top and a slow 3 second negative  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgSEnXug25s Don’t use the tempo this guy is using or the momentum, but just wanted you to see what they were in case you didn’t
  6. Incline DB Curls – 3 x 8 Last set double dropset.  Once again really focus on the contraction at the top and a slow 3 second negative

LEGS

  1. RDL’s – 2 sets warm up with 15 reps. Then 3 sets of 10.  Really warm up your hamstring with this and on the last set try to hit some good weight with reps and keep form perfect
  2. Split Squats – 4 sets of 8
  3. Squats – 5 sets 12,10,8,6,6 Keep good form and make sure your knee is good and warmed up. I would prefer you to foam roll your quads before you start this workout to help with any issues you may have.
  4. Leg extension -4 x15 Last set double drop set, pump out as many as you can even if you are only getting half reps. I want you to really burn out here and push as much as you can to really get the blood pump and get all the growth factors and nutrients in your quads
  5. Standing Calf raise – 4 x 12

SuperSet

  1. Standing One legged Bodyweight calf raises – 4×12

If you’re looking for a challenging and effective hypertrophy program this is one I would suggest.  Hit me up if you have any questions.  I would love to hear your results from my program.

The Snowplow Metaphor that Became a Reality

This weekend I went to Baltimore to meet up with some friends at a Belgian Beer-fest.  On Saturday evening I decided to drive back home to Philly when I saw snow starting to come fall. The weather reports were calling for some heavy accumulation and I didn’t want to be stuck.  It was Valentines day and I hadn’t booked a hotel for the night.  To make matters worse we were hanging out about a mile away from where my ex was currently living.  It had the makings me of getting horribly drunk and doing something asinine so I left.

As I started my trek home quickly realized I was driving directly into the storm.  The snow was coming down hard.  The wind was violently whipping snow all around which made conditions much worse. During certain points of the drive it was almost a complete white out.  Visibility was barely three feet in front of me.  Driving over 35 mph wasn’t an option.

Being from the North East you learn to become accustomed to driving in winter storm.   Even though I’m normally a pretty shitty driver, I’d say my snow driving game is pretty strong. But, This was one of the worst storms I had ever driven in.  About half way through I arrived at a bend in the road where traffic had come to a stand still.  The road was so icy that people were spinning out of control and careening off the side of the road.  Keeping control of my car became very difficult.  I was going 5 mph and when I had to hit the breaks my car would slide out of the lane.  Several times I came very close to bumping into other cars that were sliding all over the road with me.

With my steering wheel clenched my focus became on just getting past this small stretch of road safely.  I could see cars 1/2 mile in front of me driving safely.  It took the better part of 5 minutes to go 1000 feet.  At that point I could hear the horn blasting from the truck behind me.  The obnoxious sound aggravated me to no extent.  I was swearing and freaking out behind the wheel because of this asshole behind me.  Couldn’t he understand I was struggling like every other car on the road to make it through this section safely.  His horn continued to blast!  I couldn’t take it anymore.  I lost it.  I started to slide off the side of the road so I decided to just make it to the shoulder so this fucking guy could pass.

As I pulled to the side of the road I rolled my window down, stuck my arm out the car and flipped the trucker off.  I was screaming every horrible combination of curse words at this guy and praying for his demise.  Once the truck started passing me I realized why he was beeping and trying to get me to move over.  The truck was a fucking SNOWPLOW!  He wasn’t being an asshole.  He was trying to help me.  Once I let him in front of me I drove back onto the road and it was smooth sailing for the next 10 miles while I followed him.

I was so caught up in my own struggle to get out of the icy conditions I didn’t even bother to take a good look at the truck behind me.  Instantly assuming he was just a typical asshole on the road trying to get home faster. I didn’t stop to realize he was honking his horn to get me to move over so he could clear the path for my journey home.  I allowed my current situation to consume me and make me blind to the fact that there could be help out there in these dangerous conditions.

This story really happened to me February 14, 2015.  This situation was like a giant metaphor for my life kicking me in the balls and saying HELLO!  I become so entrenched in the bullshit that is pulling my life down that I don’t see that there is an easier way.  My impatience, shortsightedness, and inability to see the big picture causes me to make poor choices.  I can’t see past my current situation and the fact that it is only temporary.  I am only concerned with how it is affecting me at that point in time.  All I want to do is get out of whatever I’m feeling or dealing with as quickly as possible because it is just too much for me to bear.

The ride home sucked. It was treacherous and scary at times.  I couldn’t see 5 feet in front of me or control my car at times.  What is normally an hour and forty-five minute drive took the better part of 5 hours.  This type of journey is on par with how I have lived my life.  I don’t take the time to evaluate situations, see what is unfolding and navigate them correctly.

I have lived my life this way for as long as I can remember.  My tendency is to ignore signs that are telling me to stop or slow down.  The ironic part of that is I have “SLOW DOWN” tattooed across my knuckles as a reminder to myself.  Something better is ahead of me if I’m patient, do the hard work and take the right actions.  I don’t take the signs from God, the universe, friends or a real fucking snow plow that they are trying to get my attention for a reason.  That they are trying to show me there is an easier path for me to drive on.  That there is a better life or way of living if I am willing to slow down, put my ego aside and allow them to show me their plan.

 

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Fuck You and Your Knife

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13 years ago my friend Sober Joe and I were walking down the street at my Alma Matter. The bar had closed and we were going back to his house.  Out of nowhere a girl ran out of her house wearing nothing but a blood stained bra and underwear.  This seemed a bit odd, even for that college town.  She was crying and babbling about how some Townies jumped her boyfriend in the alley.

We followed her back to see what had gone down.  About 15 college kids were standing around talking a bunch of shit.  Some had some weapons, like bottles and one had some sort of stick.  I don’t know what the fuck he thought he was going to do with a stick?

They explained what happened and how their friend was beaten up pretty badly.  “Townies jumped him bro,” they shouted.  As with most college towns their is always some Outsiders type struggle between Townies and College kids.

Joe and I decided to get involved in something we had nothing to do with us and lead the charge to go look for these guys.  We found them a block away.  There were 8-10 of them.  We had double their numbers, but I knew damn well 75% of the college kids would never get involved.

My buddy Joe instantly got into an argument with one of the Townies.  Back and forth they started talking a bunch of shit.  Joe was known for running his mouth so what proceeded escalated very quickly.

The one Townie had a knife in his waistband.  He flashed it to us during the exchange of words.   Kind of like the scene from Boyz N the hood, but much less serious.  I took one look at him and said “fuck you and your knife.”  Smart, right?

Joe dropped his six-pack and charged at the guy he was arguing with.  They started fighting. Then a couple more people joined in on the melee.

I saw the guy with the knife pull it out and charge towards Joe.  As fast as I could, I grabbed the guy and threw him against a telephone pole, knocking his knife out of his hands.  He fell to the ground and I got on top of him, punching him repeatedly.

I felt one of his friends grab me and pull me off of him.  We started wrestling until I was able to hip toss him off of me.  I know, I know… I’m making myself sound like a ninja warrior.  I’m really not that tough.  This is just how it went down.

When I turned back around to the fight, the guy who had the knife swung at me wildly.  His arm went around me and hit me in the back.  I punched him square in the jaw and knocked him down.  As he fell, I saw the blade of the knife pass inches from my face.

All of the sudden the fight just kind of ended.  The adrenaline was pumping.  Everyone was staring at me.  I could tell by their faces something was wrong.  Then I heard a girl say “your back.”

I reached around to my back with my right hand, just inside my shoulder blade.  I felt nothing but wet.  When I pulled my hand back around it was covered in blood.  I looked over towards the guy who stabbed me as he and his friends were running away.  I clearly remember him yelling out “fuck you, I got kids to feed; I told you I’d stab you.”  I have no idea what his children had to do with stabbing me, but he definitely one upped me.

The fact that I had been stabbed started to set in.  I could feel the blood running down my back and legs.  I started to panic.  I decided my best course of action was to run down the street like an asshole, trying to find a ride to the hospital.  I ran into a guy we called Powder. He barely knew me, but when he saw me bleeding he offered to give me a ride.  I jumped into his car and we rushed to the hospital.

I walked into the emergency room yelling “hey I got stabbed can someone help me.”  The nurses saw all the blood and quickly took me back to a room.  They cut off all my clothes and laid me down naked on a cold steel table.

I was super nervous, naked, cold and embarrassed by my exposed shrunken penis.  I made jokes and flirted with the nurses.  I asked them if they liked my ass and promised them I was grower not a show-er.  I was scared, jokes are how I cope.

The Doctor wasn’t pleased with my behavior.  He told I was acting inappropriately and I needed to watch my language.  He went as far as to say that if I didn’t stop he wasn’t going to help me.  Being me at  23 years old I replied  “you have to help me, you took the Hippocratic Oath.”  He liked that even less.

The medical team made sure my lung wasn’t punctured and stitched me up.  The nurses allowed Joe and some friends to come back and visit me.  One of my friends was going through this “gay phase” in his life.  He kept trying to kiss me while I was doped up and defenseless in my hospital bed.  It made the night that much more awkward and uncomfortable.

Joe was crying and kept apologizing.  I was high as shit from the meds they gave me.  All I wanted to do was sleep.  The nurses told everyone they needed to leave.  Joe refused and started to cause a little scene.  I asked them to let him stay so it would defuse the situation and I could finally get to rest.

When the nurses left Joe sat down in a chair and fell asleep instantly.  I on the other hand couldn’t sleep for more than a couple minutes at at time.  Not because I was in pain or uncomfortable, but because Joe snored so loud, all night long.  It was like trying to sleep next to a buzzsaw.

To wrap this story up, Joe pissed himself while sleeping in the hospital and I was released the next day.  Explaining this to my mother was a fun time.  But at least I have street cred now.

 

The Little Asian from Craigslist

I was living in San Diego.    My girlfriend at the time (lets call her RT) lived on the East Coast.  Once a month she would come out to visit. Her and I had a really fucked up dysfunctional relationship. However, In some respects it was a whole lot of fun.  At that point in our relationship sex with hookers, trolling Craigslist for threesomes and doing weird shit like blumpkins were the norm for RT and I.  Also, this may come as a shocker, but I was REALLY REALLY fucked up on drugs.

Every time RT came out to visit we would look for girls that we could bring home to party with.  If we didn’t find someone at the bar, or I couldn’t convince a stripper from my favorite club to come home with us we would hit the internet.  Most times this would devolve into the two of us calling escorts until we reached one that actually would show up at that time of night.  Sometimes what showed up was horrifying.  But that didn’t ever stop us.

On this specific visit My best Friend Erik came out with RT.  Literally 3 hours from the time the plane landed he and I ended up in handcuffs.  We had a little altercation with a couple guys at a bar in Pacific Beach.  That set the tone for their visit.

Before they came out RT and I posted an ad on Craigslist looking for a girl who was interested in a threesome.  A tiny Asian girl (lets call her LA) replied to the ad.  She sent pictures of herself and a description of what she was into.  We set up a time to meet at her place.  She told me to bring my best friend a long as well.

The three of us went over to LA’s apartment.  When we arrived she had laid out a fruit and cheese plate for us and paired it with some wine.  This blew my fucking mind for some reason.  We made small talk and decided to hit the hot tub in her complex.  LA quickly sat on Erik’s lap and started jerking him off and kissing him.  RT and I were a little disappointed because we wanted her for ourselves.

When we went back into her apartment, RT went and changed back into her clothes.  LA stopped RT and asked her why she was putting clothes on.  At this point LA went full on turbo.  She pulled my pants down and starting blowing me in front of RT and Erik.  Having been in the water my dick looked rather pitiful from the shrinkage.  I didn’t let that stop the show.  We took a couple of steps from the living room into her bedroom.  RT and LA started taking off each others clothes and feeling each other up.  Erik was standing in doorway watching.  That was a bit awkward and creepy because we never saw each other naked before.

I was fucking RT from behind while she was going down on LA.  At this point LA invited Erik into the room and she started blowing him.  It was rather uncomfortable seeing my best friends dick and his fuck faces.  Finally LA decided she wanted me to fuck her while she went down on RT.

When we switched position things came to a crashing halt.  Erik took a sideline view at this point.  When LA noticed this she pulled her face up from RT’s pussy, looked at Erik and said “put your dick in her mouth and suck on her tits!”  He had a look of horrified confusion on his face that I will never forget.  Erik looked at me as if asking what to do.  I threw my hands up and gave him a face of “hey whatever you want to do.”  He looked at RT, immediately got very flustered and muttered “uhhhhhh we have more of  high five type of relationship” then he ran out of the room.

After Erik left; LA, RT and I really stepped up our game.  It turned into a full on hardcore threesome that would make Bonnie Rotten blush.  Candidly, It was amazing.  LA was just as nasty as RT and I combined.  There was nothing she wasn’t down for.  The whole ordeal was full of sweat, spit and bodily fluids.   It was almost like Gilbert Gottfried’s version of the the aristocrats.

When we finally finished LA looked at us and said “I feel bad for Erik, should I go out and see if he wants to fuck me?”  I was pretty certain he would say no after knowing what went down.  She asked him anyway and he passed.

We were starting to get dressed and ready to leave.  Then LA had one last request.  She wanted to take pictures of our tattoos.  Apparently that is one of her other hobbies/fetishes.  Im not going to lie,  for some reason having her catalog our tattoos seemed like the strangest part of the night.  She took some photos and we went about our way back to my house.

Fuck My Funk – How I Came out of my Slump

Coming out of mental and emotion tailspin is never easy.  At times I allow myself to spiral out of control very quickly.  I get lost and am not sure how to turn things around.   The last 2-3 months I have gone through this pretty badly.   During this period I’ve been experimenting with actions and ideas that are turning my attitude, mindset and ultimately my life around.  Theses are the things that are working for me.

Motivational videos – I wake up and the first thing I do is watch a video on my phone.  I try to find something to watch the night before so I have it ready for when I wake up.  Sometimes I’m really feeling one video that’s working and Ill listen to it a couple mornings in a row.  Lately I will listen to these videos several times a day.  It gets me through the gym, work and whatever else I’m doing.

Exercise – Within an hour or waking up I head to the gym.  I like to get it out of the way first thing so I can spend the rest of my day focusing on other tasks.  Exercising gets the endorphins going in my body and helps me let off some steam.  Some times my friend will drag me with her to Hot Yoga.  Recently I started doing sprints with my dog after the gym.  We walk a block and then run a block.  Its cold as shit out in Philly and Im really out of shape from a cardio standpoint. But, it forces me out of my exercise comfort zone and all I can think about is just trying to breath and keep up with her.  She loves running so it allows me to connect with her more as well.

Write – For me its cathartic.  I get to take all the shit that’s eating me up inside and put it on paper and see it for what its really worth.  Writing has allowed me to take an outside perspective on my internal feelings.  I can better evaluate whats going on with me and weed out the real problems from the bullshit

Force myself to do things I’m fearful of – Doing things that take me out of my comfort zone helps me build confidence.  It enables me to face my fears and learn to trust in myself.  I become more cognizant of that fact my fears live only in my head.  The consequences for taking these little risks are never as bad as I imagined.  I learn that I am able to handle rejection and failure and keep moving forward towards my goals.

For example; Sunday I was at the gym and a really cute, fit girl came in and started working out near me.  I wanted to strike up a conversation with her, but my game is pretty weak.  I was afraid to speak to her, so I decided I was not going to leave until I did.  I had already finished up my workout.  I was forced to do exercises I don’t normally do until I built up the courage to go over, introduce myself and talk to her.  It took me about 25-30 minutes of doing ab exercises that I hate, to finally go up and start the conversation.  She was nice, nothing bad happened.  She didn’t run away screaming “stranger danger”.   Ultimately, she wasn’t really feeling me and I didn’t get her number, but the outcome didn’t matter as much to me.   I just needed to do it for me.  I needed to show myself that I have courage to do what I fear.

Ask myself the question “how does this serve you” – This is a concept I learned in rehab.  Whenever I have negative thoughts or want to take negative actions I ask myself that question.  The majority of the time, just saying these five words will instantly stop me from following down the negative path I am heading.  It takes the power away from the negative thoughts and allows me to refocus my energy and attention.

Pray –  I know this will make some people cringe.  I’m not religious.  I don’t practice nor am I here to proselytize a certain religion.  I’m not even really sure I know who my God is.  What I do feel is that something greater than myself is out there.  Every night before bed I get down on my knees and talk to God.  I give thanks for the days events and I ask for the strength to work on my character flaws and defects.

Sometimes I ask for a reprieve from whatever is bothering me at the time.  I feel there is a certain sense of humbleness and humility in asking God, the universe or whoever for help when I am struggling.  For me it helps right-size me.  I do believe in the saying “A prayer without action is powerless.”  If I don’t do the work things will never get better.

Laugh – The power of laughter is something I lost touch with until recently.  Statistics say that the average child laughs about 300 times a day.  While the average adult only laughs 5 times daily!  Somewhere along the way I lost my sense of of how important it is to laugh.  I need to fill my life with things that make me smile, laugh and feel good.  Laughter helps me deal with my problems and not take things to seriously.  Lately when I need a laugh I go to YouTube and look up Dave Chappelles old stand up.  No matter how many times I’ve watched it I’m laughing my ass of seconds.

Give back – Going out of my way to do for others is 100% foolproof way for me to get out of my own head.  Whether its having a conversation about whats going on in their life or helping them build towards a goal its always effective.  If I am truly engaged in what they are doing or saying I don’t have the capacity to worry about whats going on with me.  Its a nice break at times from myself.

I train a friend of mine at the gym three times a week.  She is a HUGE pain in the ass.  She whines and complains the whole damn time.  I often wonder why I put myself through the aggravation.  Then I realize there are so many reason why this is good for me.  It’s great practice for me to be creative with my problem solving skills.  It gives me insight into the perspective of people who may not be as driven as I am.  People who want results, but don’t really want to put in the work.  It forces me to look at aspects of my life where I fall into that category.  There are so many benefits that better my life from helping someone else better their’s.