Meet Cycle: Wk 9- Leg Assistance

Bike: 20 mins


Seated Calf Raises: 135x15x3

Machine Hip Abduction: 1×50

Machine Hip Adduction: 1×50

McGill Curl Ups: 2×5

Leg Raises: 2×15

45* Back Ext: 25x10x4

Seated Leg Curls: 2×25

Leg Curls: 2×25


– Just finishing up.


Meet Cycle: Wk 9- Bench Press (Opener-ish)

Warm Up


Paused Bench Press, wraps, belt: 275×1, 300x2x2

Paused Close Grip Bench Press, wraps: 265×3, 265×2

Paused Sling Shot Bench Press, wraps, belt: 335x2x2, 335×1 (foot slipped so didn’t go for 2)

30* Incline DB Bench Press, 2min rest: 100×7, 80×12

DB Skulls: 35×10, 25×15

EZ Bar Curls: 2×20

One Arm Inverse Cable Ext: 1×25

One Arm Inverse Cable Curls: 1×25

Plate Pinches: 25-5x30s x3


Rower: 10 mins

Bike: 10 mins


– Expected the worst today but was pleasantly surprised to still hit the numbers I was programmed to hit without any super grinding.

– I never bench heavy after squatting because I am just all around tight as shit plus my back was already bothering me but, other than being uncomfortable, it went up fine. Plus, my shoulder was bugging me a bit due to sleeping on the floor last night (baby had nightmares or something) but it didn’t hurt to lift.

– I am not very happy with my pause though… if this was a USAPL meet I would be concerned about it…

– Can’t complain about bench… just keeps chugging along feeling solid every week. Next week will be a bear though (310 or 315 for 2×2)

Meet Cycle: Wk 9- Squat (Opener?), Deadlift (kinda)

Warm Up


Squats, belt, wrist wraps: 335×1, 370×1, 380×1, 395×1

Conventional Deadlift, belt: up to 405×1 and stopped


– My body is a mess due to the holidays. Going out of town and sleeping on shit air mattresses, different beds, couches, hotels, next to a rolling infant, cold dry air, driving 40 hours in the last week… just a complete shit show.

– Felt like overweight, bloated, tired garbage. Had to squat today instead of benching because Sunday there is no staff and I deadlift when there is no staff. I will bench tomorrow.

– Squats were slow and my hip hurt. Last weeks 385 at a different gym was opener fast. Today’s 395, what I hoped to open weight, was “meh”

– Tried to deadlift, back was acting up due to all the driving (it has been awful the last two days) so I just killed it to live another day. I do not need a serious injury right now.

– Next time you hear me think about doing a meet around the holidays and when I am moving… find me and punch in my the face.

– I will finish my workout with the small stuff Tuesday.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Review



Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 90%– 7.5/10

Audience: 93%– 8.8/10

Shadow’s Rating: 4/10 — Slightly better than the first, just not my cup of tea. The fact that this has a 90% on RT is fucking laughable.

Mrs. Shadow’s Rating: 8/10- She though it was better than the first one as well.


Plot in a Nut Shell… Katniss pissed off a lot of people, important powerful people. And fights the power. REVOLUTION!!


Spoiler Free Thoughts…

– My wife wanted to see this. I wanted to see Desolation of Smaug. She never asks to see movies so she won lol.

– Right off the bat, this movie is better than the first one. More intense, ‘bigger,’ better special effects,  and a lot less shaky cam. Still doesn’t mean I like the movie, but it is better than the first one.

– I find Jennifer Lawrence acting very… wooden. I don’t really understand the appeal. There doesn’t seem to be anything special about her. In fact, most of the acting in this film is “meh.” And whoever plays Petya or however you spell his dumb name sucks.

– The cheesy announcer/host guy was my wife’s favorite part of the movie. And he was so over the top that it was funny.

– The movie is ridiculously predictable. They foreshadow things WAY to heavily, like the audience is a bunch of idiots or something.

– The actual Hunger Games is a small bit of the film. Most of it focuses on the uprising in the districts. So, it gives it a different feel than the first one. The actual Hunger Games is once again a disappointment for hardcore action guys like me, but at least there was no shaky cam.

– I guess I just don’t get what is so special about this movie. It’s plot, “the rich and powerful government and people piss on the poor and hold deathmatch fights to keep them entertained and in line” isn’t exactly original or breathtaking. And there is nothing visually that is like “OMG!!” and the acting isn’t “OMG” so… eh?


Spoilery Thoughts After the Jump…

Continue reading The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Review

Meet Cycle: Wk 8- Back

Warm Up


All 70s resy


DB Shrugs: 100x30x3

Chest Supported Rows: 3×8

Pull Up Variations: 3×7

Underhand Lat Pulldowns: 3×15

Machine Rows: 3×20

45* Back Ext: BWx15x5

Side Planks: 3x30s

Leg Raises: 2×15

Plate Pinches: 25-5x30cnt x3


Bike: 20mins


– Crappy sleep plus dry air plus cold plus crappy infant sleep is catching up with me.

Meet Cycle: Wk 8- Bench Press Assistance

Warm Up


Paused Floor Press, 90s rest: 235x5x3

Paused Speed Bench Press: 245x3x5 [6:45]

Feet Up Bench Press, 90s rest: 205x8x2

Side Raises: 3×20

Front Raise: 3×20

DB OH Ext: 3×15

Hammer Curls: 3×15


Bike: 10min

Rower: 10min


– I won’t be able to heavy bench here. To unrack, I have to either barely get them off the hooks or do an awkward pin press. Don’t think I can do this with 300 lbs.

Meet Cycle: Wk 8- Squats, Deadlifts

Warm Up


Squats, belt, wrist wraps: 350×1, 370×1, 385×1

Pause Squats, belt: 295x3x2

Conventional Deadlift, belt: 430×1, 455×1, 475×1, 385×3

Calf Raises: 2×25

Seated Leg Curls: 2×25

Leg Ext: 2×25

Paused Ab Wheel: 3×10

45* Back Ext: 10x12x3

Fat Grip DB Static Holds: 100x30s x2, 100x20s

– At another gym due to the holidays

– Felt strong today. I always feel stronger away from my normal gym. It is odd.

– Have videos but no WiFi so I don’t think I’ll get them up

Marvel Event- Infinity Review


Basic Plot: The Builders were coming to destroy Earth and were destroying other galaxies along the way. Avengers weren’t having any of that so they left Earth to join the Galactic Council to stop them. With no Avengers on Earth, Thanos decides it is a good time to invade Earth, to look for the Infinity Gems and to kill his last remaining son, Thane. The universe realizes once again that you don’t fuck with Earth 616.

Favorite Moment: Thor being a BOSS and killing the Builder to rally the troops.

Worst Moments: Star Brand. Captain Universe. Thane. = a bunch of plot devices to solve the problem.

Game Changing Moments: The Builders know about the Incursions. Black Bolt releasing the Terrigan Mist world wide creating tons of Inhumans. Black Bolt being weakened by the bomb and the fact he is basically on the run. Black Bolt telling Maximus and the Dog about the Illuminati. T’challa being banned from Wakanda due to hiding Namor. Black Swan released. Avengers are considered universe wide heroes. Ebony Maw has control of Thane basically. (whew, I think that is everything important)


It is about time Marvel produced an event that didn’t suck.

This event was pretty damn good. In fact, it is probably the best event I have read from Marvel in a good bit. Much better than the shit tastic Fear Itself and Avengers vs X-men that is for sure.

I think the thing that made it work was the fact it had a consistent narrative throughout. Avengers and New Avengers flowed into wonderfully and there wasn’t any disconnect issue to issue. The tie ins I read were great as well. Mighty Avengers looks like it is going to be one of my new favorite books. Thunderbolts continued its narrative but tied in the events perfectly and flawlessly.

Now it wasn’t perfect that was for sure. It was almost TOO big and would have been better off as two separate events– one with the builders in space and one with Thanos. The bad guys were so overpowered again that they needed plot devices to save the day essentially.

But all in all this was a huge success that changes the Marvel U AND there were NO shock deaths to draw attention to it lol. I highly recommend it.

Meet Cycle: Wk 8- Bench Press

Warm Up


Paused Bench Press, wraps, belt: 290x3x2

Paused Close Grip Bench Press, wraps: 255x3x2

Paused Sling Shot Bench Press, wraps, belt: 325x2x2, 335×2

30* DB Incline Bench Press, 2min rest: 90×12, 90×8

Tate Ext: 25x15x2 -ss- BB Inverse Curls: 55x12x2

One Arm Inverse Cable Ext: 1×25

Machine Flyes: 1×25


– Last set of triples. Drop to doubles the next two weeks.

– On the first set, for some weird reason, I let out all my air after unracking it. I have been practicing just taking a big breath and holding it (or trying to take in more air afterwards.. never exhaling) and it keeps me tighter. For some reason I exhaled lol. Made it a bit harder than it should have been but no harm down.

– Body feels good. Doing all 4 workouts in a row and taking two days off seemed to work. My elbow seems to have finally healed.

– So, I head out of town tomorrow evening to drive to Indiana. Goal is to make the whole 16 hour drive right through the night so most of it is done while the baby is sleeping. I may be too old to do that though lol. Used to be a breeze when I did it 4 years ago but now it is hard for me to stay awake.

– I hope to squat Monday. Hopefully, if things work out right, I may hit up a workout with Brandon Smitely who is one of the new Elitefts sponsored guys. He is from my home town and we went to the same high school. I think he is 2 years under me. But anyway, if the timing of things workouts out I will head over there for some squats and deads. If not, I will just go to anytime fitness in town and probably get kicked out for deadlifting.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review




Shadow’s Overall Rating: God Status— It is bigger, faster paced, and a step above The Unexpected Journey… it makes you wish the third installment would just come out tomorrow.

Shadow’s Theatrical Rating: God Status
Shadow’s Rewatchability Rating: God Status

Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 74%
Audience: 87%


The Plot in a Nut Shell… The Company heads towards the mountain and toward Smaug, and no one is happy about it, including elves, spiders, men, orcs, and of course, Smaug. Gandolf runs off to see what this Necromancer thing is all about.


Spoiler Free Thoughts…

– This movie is definitely “bigger” than the first Hobbit. Bigger action pieces, bigger enemies, more important moments, much faster paced. All in all slightly better than the first one.

– Once again, this movie is just beautiful. I want to go to New Zealand NOW!!

– For me, the order now goes Two Towers, Return of the King, Fellowship of the King, … , Desolation of Smaug, Unexpected Journey. I will say, with all they have left for the final movie, it could very well vault right up there next to Two Towers if it is handled right and they stay faithful to the book.

– Jackson has taken a lot of liberties with the book once again. And once again I don’t mind it. The Hobbit as a book is so superficial due to the fact it was made BEFORE LotR and the fact it is a kid’s book that Jackson went a lot deeper with the characters and such and basically had to add a bunch of shit lol. I have read the Hobbit 2-3 times and I barely recognized anything I saw on screen really. All the plot points were hit and all the big moments were hit (spiders, Thranduil, Beorn, barrels, Lake Town, Smaug) but it was much different than the book. Some things were done for movie purposes (such as the Smaug vs dwarves stuff and the addition of Legolas) but some stuff was added because it NEEDED to be added to connect this with LotR.

– There were some things that seemed a bit dragged out once again for whatever reason. The stuff in Lake Town took a bit too long. The Tauriel/Killi stuff was a bit long and didn’t seem important to the plot really (although I think it will tie in in the third film).

– I need to admit… I was wrong about Beorn. The picture first posted made him look like a small pussy. The camera tricks in the film made him seem HUGE like he should have been. BUT… he needed a lot more screen time in my opinion… especially considering how important he ends up being in the book. I didn’t really like the back story stuff they changed with him though.

– SMAUG! That was one of the greatest CGI creations ever made. Easily. The way it moved, what it looked like, how it talked… fantastic. Top notch. Needs to win some sort of award. And my god was that voice perfect.

– You really are starting to see the growth of Bilbo as a character. Not just his courage and all that jazz, but also that fact that the ring is starting to corrupt him.

– And the Smaug/Bilbo interaction was handled well and mostly true to the book. Not quite at the level of Gollum/Bilbo but quite intriguing for sure.

– You can see throughout the movie the ‘sickness’ that runs through Thorin’s bloodline start to take hold the closer they get to the mountain. Really subtle  but it is there and will pay off in movie 3.

– Legolas is official one of the most bad ass characters ever created. He MOWS through orcs like they are ants beneath his boots. He had a big role in this movie (mostly to kick ass) and I am curious how much he will be apart of the 3rd movie. His attitude change was cool, as he was acted much younger, much more brash, less wise, and much more arrogant with a heightened hate of dwarves. I guess you can gain a lot of wisdom in 50 years?

– Tauriel was a solid addition. Don’t hate it. Don’t love it. Just solid.

– Thranduil was an interesting character, especially when compared to the other “high” elves we are accustomed to seeing in Elrond, Galadriel, and Celeborn. Much more ruthless, much more of an ass, and not nearly as “wise acting” as the others.

– The stuff with Gandolf and Dol Guldur is all tease in this movie although we got some cool magic moments.

– Bard’s role was expanded (like everyone else) and I liked it. Nice, heavy forshadowing though but we are going to see Bard actually kick some ass soon.

– You can tell by the ending of this movie that there is no clear stopping point in the Hobbit to support three movies. The Lord of the Rings is three separate books… so there are three good stopping points to make three movies. Not so with the Hobbit so you get the ending that really isn’t an ending for this one. If someone did not read the book, it would be torture.


More thoughts full of spoilers after the jump… There will also be spoilers involving the book and what happens in the last part of the book. DO NOT CLICK IF YOU HAVE NEVER READ THE HOBBIT AND WANT TO BE COMPLETELY UNSPOILED!!!

Continue reading The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review