Training Log: Upper Body

Conditioning: 

Jump Rope: around 400 total

Rehab:

Wall Pec Stretch

Lifting:

Pull Ups: 17+5+3

Push Ups: 48+15+10+7

Hammer Curls: 60x6x2

DB Skulls: 50x6x2

One Arm DB Preacher Curls: 25x15x2

One Arm Cable Ext: 25x15x2

– Decided just to keep my schedule regular and push my squat back to Thursday. So I will squat and do what I feel like based on how I feel Thursday. Depends on how tired I am.

29 Gallon Update #2

Some big changes to the tank for this update.

The old fish in the tank are acting as pretty good dithers or target fish. Basically, fish for the cichlids to chase so they leave each other alone. However, I had to kill the barb as it was nipping at my cichlids which is a big no-no. Unfortunately, barbs are notorious for nipping fins and bothering other fish unless they are in groups of at least six. Oh well, shit happens.

I also had one of my Julies die, mostly likely due to getting bullied to death. I knew better than to buy three, as it is almost always better to go with two or four or more. Live and learn, sometimes I can be stubborn.

Tank wise, I took out the huge Colosseum and added in a lot of driftwood. Usually, driftwood and African cichlids do not mix, as drift wood causes the tank pH to drop and soften and African’s love hard, alkaline water. But, all this driftwood is ancient and I really do not think it will effect the water chemistry at all. Plus, I needed some places for the cichlids to call home and it is all I have at this point as I don’t know where to get cheap rocks in Florida.

The line of spongebob crap is just to break up the sight line for the cichlids. If there is nothing to break the line of site, the dominant fish will just claim a bigger area. Everything it sees is “his” so you just arrange stuff so when it looks outside its “door” it doesn’t see the other fish and the other fish’s territory. Helps calm some of the chasing.

The helianthus has claimed the whole right side of the tank and is clearly the alpha of the tank. The leleupi is on the left side of the tank while the julies just wander from crevice to crevice. Recently, the chasing has calmed down a ton as the territories have been established and everyone has settled into their roles. Of course, right when they settled down, it is about time to move the tank again as I have to change rooms. Annoying.

When I move the tank, I will be removing the gravel and adding sand. The sand I got is Argonite sand, which is a white-ish sand that is perfect to keeping the water hard and alkaline, which is what African’s thrive in. I got a 30 pound bag for this tank. Sand is a pain in the ass to clean, and the best way to do it is to put it in a bucket, get a hose, and fill it with water and dump it out over and over again until the water is clear.

So, this post has been scheduled for a bit, so I thought I would leave you with a cliff hanger. At the moment the tank is moved. And this is what happens when you get sick of cleaning sand and just throw it in a tank. Fail.

To be continued… 

Training Log: Upper Body

Conditioning:

Jump Rope: 20 on, 10 off, 10x

Warm Up:

Wall Pec Stretch
Band Curls
Cable Ext
Band Pull Aparts

Lifting:

Floor Press: 135x ow

Hammer Chins: BW+40x5x5

Bench Press, wide: 135x8x3

DB Shoulder Press: 55×20, 55×12

One Arm Reverse Machine Flyes: 85x15x3

V-Bar Cable Ext: 50x15x3

Rehab:

RC Field Goals
DB External Rotation

– I had a seminar all day yesterday and couldn’t get to the gym.

– Shoulder hurt with the floor presses. I am running out of ideas for pressing movements.

Avengers vs X-men Match Ups: Just for Fun

Marvel has been releasing teaser posters for the upcoming Avengers vs X-men mega event. And while these match ups are not going to happen 100% (they are just teasers), I thought it would be cool to go over each one quickly and make a prediction on who I think would/should win. It is my blog I can do what I want. 
After the jump, because there are 2000000 pictures. 

– Hand to hand, I think these two are basically even. This all comes down to who hits who with their arrow or optic blast. Cyclop’s optic blast has been shown to level mountains in the past and destroy Sentinels and such. He is also a master of bouncing it off multiple walls to hit his target. Hawkeye is a dead-eye marksmen, but his arrows will pack less of a punch and could be destroyed in mid air unless he has some sort of Adamantium/Vibranium tipped arrows.
Verdict: Cyclops via incineration: He knocks all the arrows out of the air and unleashes on Hawkeye.
– This one is hard to call because Iceman’s powers fluctuate so frequently. At his best, he is nearly unstoppable with unlimited power and is believed to be essentially immortal. But that side of him comes out like twice a year. Spider-Man has his spider sense back AND is a kung-fu master now. 
Verdict: Spider-Man via KO. At this best, Iceman would destroy Spider-Man, but I that comes out so rarely that Spidey gets in close and kung-fu kicks him in the face. 
– Rogue’s only power is to mimic other powers through touch, which makes this impossible to call. It all depends on what mutant is around. Hell, she could get the regeneration powers of Wolverine, optic blasts from Cyclops, Emma Frost’s telepathy, Magneto powers, ect ect or she could get some puny shit  from some Morlock.
Verdict: n/a… this is impossible to call. Too many variables
– Beast is faster, more agile, and much smarter than Cage. Luke Cage is super strong and has impenetrable skin and has taken fighting lessons under Iron Fish. Beast will get a lot more hits in, but the problem is I don’t see how Beast hurts Cage. 
Verdict: Luke Cage via KO
– This fight is all kinds of weird, starting with the fact that Hulk isn’t even an Avenger right now and hasn’t been in ages. But anyway, Emma Frost’s only chance is to get inside Hulk’s head from a distance and hope to shut him down and possibly turn him back to Banner. The problem? For one, the Hulk isn’t with Banner at the moment and two, the Hulk’s mind is extremely hard to tamper with due to his multiple personalities and his rage. Emma has NOTHING to offer the Hulk physically as he has stood toe-to-toe with the strongest people in the MU. Her diamond form wouldn’t be able to withstand the Hulks power.
Verdict: Hulk via Hulk Smash. Emma is getting shattered. 
– This fight is all kinds of weird as well. They both have “charm” like powers, so I think that cancels out. Gambit is a much better hand-to-hand fighter and has been called one of the best by someone (can’t remember, maybe Sinister). He can also make himself faster and of course, throw shit that explodes. Spider-Women is no slouch her self as she can shoot shit too.. but it won’t be enough. Gambit is too fast and has too many weapons.
Verdict: Gambit via Bo staff to the face
– Hmmm, interesting as Archangel doesn’t even exist at the moment. Anyway though, I think Daredevil is too fast and acrobatic to get hit by AA arrows and I think that will enable him to get up close and kick some ass. He is much better hand to hand. 
Verdict: Daredevil via KO
– This one is easy to call. Anything Storm can do, the God of Thunder can do as well. But then add on that Thor is one of the most physically powerful beings in the MU and is virtually resistant to damage. Hell, just recently, Thor has defeated two of the Worthy at the same time (while the rest of Earth’s super heroes were getting smashed), killed the Serpent, and went toe-to-toe with the Silver Surfer in all his glory. 
Verdict: Thor by Mjolnir smash
– This seems 100% unfair on paper. Ironman against the master of magnetism? But from what I understand, Ironmans suit and body are some sort of weird metal thing that Magento can’t control. But what Magneto CAN control is every bit of metal in the area, to be used as a projectile or however he wants. Dude recently stop an earthquake but stabilizing the whole city. 
Verdict: Magneto via hitting Ironman with lots of metal
– Wolverine is the “best there is at what he does” and does it with his Adamantium claws, skeleton, and ridiculous healing factor. Oh, and he is a master at martial arts and has super hearing and smell. Captain America is definitely no slouch himself, and has a shield that can actually stop Adamantium. But how do you beat someone in a fight that is essentially unkillable? Especially when Logan can go into bezerker rage.
Verdict: Wolverine via Snikt! Cap will get more hits in, but it only takes one from Logan.
– Two tanks going at it but this one isn’t fair. Colossus vs. Thing alone would probably be a win for Colossus, but when you add the powers of the Juggernaut to Colossus this isn’t even fair. Not only does it make Colossus stronger and invulnerable to mental attacks, but it makes him enjoy the fight and feel the rage of the Cytorrak. Hell, he defeated a Worthy with these powers.
Verdict: Colossus via destruction
– This battle is a wash if Black Widow doesn’t have some sort of tech to keep Psylocke out of her head. Widow’s best attribute is being a master spy but this is hand-to-hand combat, not espionage. I think Psylocke wins no matter the scenario. She is head of Utopia’s security and a member of X-Force for a reason.
Verdict: Psylocke via mind crush or beat down

Training Log: Lower Body

Conditioning:

Treadmill: 0.3 miles, forget speed like 6:58 min/mile or something

Lifting:

Plank: 60s

Side Plank: 30s per side

Machine Hip Abduction: 160x15x3

Lat Pull Down: 200x5x3

– Back feels good but gave it a break so I can be fresh for the weekend. Plus, I have to go out of town all weekend for a seminar and I would rather not be in any pain. Just playing it safe, no reason to exacerbate anything over rows lol.

Internet People I Hate: Perfect Picture Dude

These guys just crack me up. It is like the dude, lifting version of myspace angles.

It is always someone who isn’t lean but wants to pretend they are. They usually have before and after shots when they were fat but now they are “lean.” They take pictures that take advantage of shadows to provide outlines for their “6 pack.” A lot of time it looks like they use picasso or photoshop to mess with the photo’s lighting. And frankly it works if you just glance at the picture, especially for avatars. At a quick glance, you see a decently ripped dude with detailed delts, traps, and abs and is kinda of jacked.

Until you take a step back and go, “wait a minute… dude has abs but not a single vein in site?” Then you see their waist is probably wide as shit and then notice the picture is weirdly dark and everything you see is shadows and illusions. Why didn’t they take a picture in the light? I mean shit, their before picture was nice and bright… did they lose power or what?

A lot of times these people are strength athletes that have been fat as fuck but now cut a little bit and think they are ready to step on stage. But, what they are really for is to post on internet boards bragging how getting fat as shit is the superior way to put on mass and then cut down later because it “worked” for them. So they post in every single dieting thread, whether it is for gaining mass or cutting down, posting their before and after pics and telling people what to do to be ripped and swole like them.

These people aren’t any better than muscle magazines posting before and after shots where everything is photoshopped so they can sell their supplements. It is just a different version of e-stats and typical, internet bullshit.

Fuck these people. I hate them.

Why Stretching Your Hamstrings Can Make Your Low Back Pain Worse

When people post “I hurt my back” on internet boards, the first thing anyone says is, “stretch your hamstrings, hip flexors, and do [insert some high rep lower back exercise].” The problem is that stretching your hamstrings can possibly make your back pain worse.

Now before you call me a retard, hear me out. But to do that, we are going to have to take a trip down Anatomy Ave. Because really, this is just basic anatomy and paying attention what attaches where.

Everyone knows that the hamstrings are responsible for flexion of the leg as it crosses the knee joint and inserts onto the tibia and fibula. (Leg = below the knee in anatomy terms by the way while above the knee is considered the thigh). And every lifter SHOULD know that it is also an extender of the hip as it crosses that joint as well and originates on the ischial tuberosity, which is why exercises such as SLDL’s and GM’s hit the hamstrings hard. Pictures speak louder than words in anatomy, so here is a picture…

Now let us look at the other side of the body, specifically the hip flexors. There are 3-ish main hip flexors, Psoas, Illiacus, and Rectus Femoris. But lets look at the Illiopsoas muscle thing as it is more important to this discussion. Illiospoas originates from the lumbar vertebral bodies and the illiac fossa of the hip and insterts into the upper part of the femur (in laymen terms). It is the primary hip flexor of the body. Another picture to help with the anatomy… 
Unfortunately for a lot of people, our hip flexors are too damn tight. A lot of this is due to the fact that people just sit down way too damn much. You sit down at school, work, driving, watching TV, talking to your friends, at the bar, ect. Hell, a lot of people sleep on their sides with their knees brought up in a fetal like position. Tight hip flexors are the main contributing factor to an anterior tilted pelvis, which we will touch on shortly. Keep that in your head though.
Lifters compound the problem even more. We do “ab” exercises such as weight decline sit ups and leg raises that hit the hip flexors extremely hard, contributing to them being tight. We also strengthen the hell out of our lower back, which contributes to this anterior tilted pelvis some more. We also squat, do leg presses, and other quad dominant exercises, which will strength Rectus Femoris, another hip flexor. All of this contributes to the anterior tilted pelvis issue.
So what is anterior pelvic tilt? It is exactly what is sounds like… the pelvis is tilted anteriorly instead of being in neutral. This is due to hypertonic/tight hip flexors and errectors and hypotonic/weak/stretched hamstrings, glutes, and abdominals. Pictures speak a hell of a lot louder than words in this case…
I want you to take a look at the lower back in those pictures. You should notice much more of an “arch” in the lower back in the picture to the left. That hyperlordosis is going to jam the facets into each other, leading to facet syndrome, which is one of the main causes of lower back pain. So, not only are you slowly throughout the day jamming your facets into each other, but as a lifter, you are probably doing shit like overhead presses, big arches while bench, swinging your back into curls, hyperextending your back extensions, overemphasising your lockout for deadliftings, ect… all of which is jamming your facets into each other and leading to bad facet syndrome.
So what the fuck does this have to do with the hamstrings? Let me try and make this somewhat simple.
Your body doesn’t like to be in pain. Pain is there to make you avoid things that will make your problem worse. So, if you have pain in your lower back due to your facets jamming into each other, your body is going to try to stop your facets from jamming into each other. Pretty simple. So what is the muscle that is going to try and stop your facets from jamming into each other?
Your Hamstrings.
Your hamstrings are connect to the posterior side of your pelvis. It is going to constantly be fighting your hip flexors to try and stay out of pain. Are they losing? Yes… hypotonic muscles are weak muscles and your hamstrings aren’t even the prime hip extensors in the body. But damn it, it doesn’t mean they aren’t going to try because your body doesn’t want to continue to hurt itself. This is why your hamstrings probably feel “tight” all they time. They aren’t tight, in fact they are stretched and lengthened if you have this posture. They feel tight because they are constantly contracting slightly trying to fight your hip flexors to get out of pain and they are sore.
So you have all this going on and what do you do? GO AND STRETCH YOUR HAMSTRINGS! Further lengthening them and not allowing them to fight your hip flexors which causes your pelvis to tilt even more, further jamming your facets…
and increasing your back pain instead of helping it. 

Training Log: Lower Body

Warm Up:

Foam Roller: Upper Back, Lower Back ITB, Adductors, Quads
Lacrosse Ball: Piriformis
Stretch: Hamstrings, Hip Flexors, Piriformis, Calves

Lifting:

BB Shrugs: 375x10x3

Squats, no belt: 365×1, 405×1

Step Ups, 7 steps: 35×10

– Body hurt going into the workout for whatever reason. Tried to do a normal workout but I noticed it wasn’t getting better and I wasn’t loosening up so I did my top squat set and basically stopped.

Live to fight another day. Workout wasn’t a total waste as I got 4 plates on my back again with no belt. Video below… I think my camera is breaking lol

Training Log: Upper Body

Warm Up:

Band Shoulder Traction
Wall Pec Stretch
Band Extensions
Band Curls
Band Pull Aparts

Lifting:

Dips: BW+135×3, BW+90x5x2

DB Shoulder Press: 55×15, 55×12

Hammer Chins: BW+37.5x5x5

One Arm Reverse Machine Flyes: 75x15x3

V-Handle Band Ext: old,dbled#1x25x2, old,dbled#1×15

Rehab:

Wall Pec Stretch
Lacrosse Ball: Pecs, Rhomboids
DB Field Goals
DB External Rotation

Conditioning:

BB Complex (RDL, Row, HC, PP, Sq): 75x10x3