March 30, 2011

No post today.


Snatch: worked up to 130.  Went back down to a hundo x3, 110 x2, 120 x1.

Clean and Jerk: 140.


Snatch: 135.

Clean and Jerk: 155.

290 total.

F. Squat: Worked up to a single at 190.

Heavy duty.

Big Snatch.

March 29, 2011

Yesterday, I said that art imitates life.  Here is a literal example of that.

Look familiar?

That’s Donny.

I happened to be facebookin’ it a couple weeks ago (I’ll do that from time to time to prove to myself that I still have friends) and after some time wasted, I saw the video of Donny snatching 165 posted on someone’s page.

I clicked on it.  Wow.  I clicked on it 5-7 more times.  You could almost feel his pain as he stood up out of the hole.  Now, I make my way down to Cal Strength from time to time and I see these guys throw around ridiculous weights all day, so it’s not so much the weight that made this video stand out.  It’s the drive.  It’s the certainty.  It’s overcoming adversity.

Now I’m not going to sit here and try to write a motivational piece of fluff to a bunch of strangers who probably need no motivation, especially about somebody else’s accomplishments.  That’s just not how I roll.  But I will say, that Donny exudes confidence, tenacity and heartiness in the face of adversity AND he happens to be one of the best weightlifters in the country.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Here’s the video.  I think I paused it at like 16 seconds to get that sketch.


Power snatches and cleans:  Keep it light.  Keep it right.

Party Boy.

March 28, 2011

Art imitates life.  So does weightlifting.  Example: Earlier this week, you and your buddies decided to go hit the dance floor at your nearest indie/electro dance party this Friday night.  Your training partners have since been subjected to you practicing your trademark “Wyatt Earp, mothafuckah!  Six shooters blazin’ towards the sky!” dance move for the past 3 days and are fast growing tired of you slow-mo shooting your imaginary pistols at them.  Friday night finally rolls around and you have just finished your obligatory pre-pump (accomplished remarkably fast, due to your knowledge of ancient Benbata techniques).  You throw on the V-neck whilst checking your image in the mirror.  And after seducing your mirror self with an intricate display of your six-shooter prowess, you’re out the door and on your way to your buddy’s house.  Wait.  Your buddy’s house?  I thought you were going to da’ club!

Right you are, friend.  We are going to da’ club.  But first, we gather at (insert bro’s name here) house to righteously pre-party, get a designated sober driver, and collectively kick in the front door of said club, six-shooters blazing.  This is my “plan” with weightlifting for the next couple weeks.

To clarify, there is a meet coming up on the 3rd in San Francisco.  This is the pre-party.  You go to said pre-party, get your feet wet, polish off the “ring rust” and boom . . . you are now ready to rage.  A week later, I head to Louisiana for Collegiates.  This is the real party.  Balls to the wall. Six-shooters blazing, PARTY.

The last meet I went to was the American Open and that was way back in December.  I did NOT do well (translation: I didn’t party hearty).  I went 2 for 6, only making my openers.  Training has been going well lately, but that is training.  Competition is something that must be practiced as well or you may find yourself missing weights that you know you’re good for and have made in practice many times before.  So I guess if you take anything from reading this . . .  it’s: Party hard.  Party often.

And speaking of parties . . .

LCD Soundsystem is playing their last show at Madison Square Garden in New York, April 2nd.  The show will be webcast live through  So if you find yourself Saturday night without a party to go to, open up your laptop, crack open a beer, and have a dance party with yourself and all of your friends on the internet.  You can even dance naked; something that would be frowned upon by all those squares living in the real world.


The workout today was a chore to say the least.  Went to abut 80% on both lifts.

Serious Face.

March 23, 2011

Alright, enough bullshitting.  Collegiates are coming up, so for the next couple weeks, I’ll be outlining my meet preparation and strategies.  I think that it will help to keep me accountable and will hopefully be helpful to you, the reader if you are just starting out, without a coach, without a clue, etc.  That being said, I’ve been lifting for a number of years and am basically coaching myself, so my meet preparation will look a bit differently than yours if you’re a novice lifter.  Just take note of the general changes I’m making and ask yourself how that could apply to your situation.

As I stated before, this week will for the most part be a “lighter” week.  That will mostly be pertaining to the volume as well as a couple of other changes.  During a usual practice session, I’ll take up my lifts to a single until I start missing and then go up and down in weights until I’m satisfied with my technique.  For this week and next week, I’ll be more organized with my routine.  Go up to a single once only, hit a weight, and then take about 30% off and do a few more singles.  This will decrease the wear and tear that my body takes and will raise the pressure of making attempts as well.

More focus will also be put into putting together a total for the day, instead of going as heavy as I can in both lifts.  This shift in focus will mirror my competition mindset more closely and will again raise the pressure in making attempts.  The “30kg. rule” will also be enforced.  This means that I’ll have to clean and jerk 30kg. (+,-5kg.) more than I snatch in a given session.  For instance, I snatched 120 (then took a few singles at 100) and then clean and jerked 150 this morning.  This again will get me more towards competition mode where putting together a total is the name of the game.

The last change in training will be of my organization between the AM and PM workouts.  Along with the 30kg. rule will be the 10kg. rule, which basically means that I’ll be aiming for 10kg. more in the afternoon than I do in the morning.  This will force me to keep a cool head and try to make all my lifts technically sound in the morning instead of going apeshit and missing needless weights.  The intensity is raised in the afternoon, when my technique is more solid and I’m more physiologically prepared to handle heavy weights.

As far as bodyweight is concerned, I stripped down and weighed myself after my AM workout; 232, right on the money.  This is comforting for two reasons: 1) because now I won’t have to worry too much about dieting down the night before lift day and 2) because that lets me know that I can basically eat as much as I want and not do any cardio and still maintain a decent bodyweight.  Fuck yeah.


After properly eating, ice cupping, wrapping in compression bandages, and resting after my 1st workout, I was beginning to feel more athletic coming into the gym this afternoon.  Smoked a 130 snatch, hit a few singles at a hundo and moved on.  Clean and jerks were feeling better as well, but (like and idiot) I decided to bump from 150 to 160 instead of taking a more strategic jump to 55 or 57.  I missed 60, bumped back down to hit a few singles and called it a day.  I ended the day with a meager 280kg. total, BUT 290 is around the corner, most likely Friday or Saturday.


March 22, 2011


Power snatch and clean: light weights for 2’s and 3’s, nothing exciting going on here.

On a side note, thrash metal is fun to listen to whilst writing blogs.  I recently bought Warbringer-War Without End.  Any other brutal suggestions?


Last night I took up my power snatches and power cleans as usual.  I felt like I was going to die after every snatch attempt. Needless to say, I didn’t get “Heavy Duty” with my snatches.

HOWEVER, I might have gotten a new power clean PR.

Here, take a look.  (Spoiler alert!  I miss the jerk.)

You see, I classify a lift as “power” if the thigh goes past parallel,  anything caught at parallel is good.  Feel free to disagree with me.  But in any case, by that definition, was this a power clean? Take another look.  Try to get over the fact that I’ve got amazing legs which may trick the eye into thinking I’m lower than I actually am.  They’re called hamstrings, fellas.  Get some.

(Obviously I have some emotional investment in this attempt and for some reason it made me feel like I should insult your hamstrings which I’ve never seen before.  My bad.)

I waited until Sunday night to update this and now I forgot what I did.
Nothing notable happened except that I missed 160 then threw a fit and power cleaned 100×10.

Saturday PM
Snatched 130. Cleaned 145.


March 16, 2011

No post yesterday because I was either at school, working, or working out until about 9PM. At about 9:30 I got home to write something and realized that I had no thoughts. None whatsoever.

Yesterday PM:
Power snatch: My knees felt like they were going to explode even when catching in the power position I took it to 110, then called it.
Power Clean & Jerk: I worked all the way up to 130 doing 2x clean, 1x jerk. The last time I did this (which was a few months ago) I only went up to 120. Soo . . . PR? Then took a swing and a miss at 140.

Here’s what my set at 130 looked like. (Just imagine this but with 1 less clean and 20kg more.)

Pretty sure that was 110. It’s hard to tell with those big bumper plates.

Today AM:
Snatch: I went x2’s today (1 from the ground, 1 from the hang). Got all the way up to 120. Took 3 tries at 130 but missed the 2nd one on all 3.

Clean and Jerk: 2x clean, 1x jerk. Went all the way up to 140 no problem. I would upload the video, but there’s already way too many videos of me on youtube, lifting mediocre weights (unless any of you actually want to see it). Took a few misses at 150 and decided it was time to take my break.

Then I ate:


Snatch: Hit 130. Swing and a miss at 140.

Clean and jerk: hit 150 (and it didn’t look half bad). Missed 60.

Squat: 190 for a single.

John Wayne

March 14, 2011

After another very fruitful and enlightening weekend at California Strength, I write to you now as a certified USAW Level 1 coach (well, hopefully. I receive my results in the mail in a week or so.) With more tools at my disposal than ever before, my confidence grows, even as my body feels like its disintegrating slowly. After I took my snatches up this weekend, a girl told me that I walk around like I just got off a horse and then began referring to me as “John Wayne.” If you could have seen the big scene I made this morning, insisting that someone wheelchair me over to the loaded bar so that I could take another attempt, I’m sure that most grown men would’ve shook their head. John Wayne I am not. However, my technique grows more and more consistent with each session. Once I get my muscles back, I’m sure that I’ll be able to put together a decent total for Collegiates. Excited. Tired. But very excited.


Snatch: Took it up to a nice and easy 130. No wheelchair required.
Clean & Jerk: 140. Miss at 150.

I’ll come back later today with cowboy hat tipped downward and 6 shooters loaded (figuratively. The only gun’s I’m actually licensed to carry are my forearms).


Snatch: easy 130. Miss at 137.

Clean and Jerk: Made 140. Missed 150. Decided to nut up and work up on doubles. 120, 130, 140. Then I made that 150.

Day Off.

March 10, 2011

I took a day off yesterday.  From everything.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  Instead of working out, I bought some new kicks, then I got some artwork done, then played Super Meat Boy for a few hours. Whachu’ know ’bout mental health day!?

Here’s a video for your entertainment.  More Supertraining stuff.  If you pay attention, you can see the top of my head through the window to the right.



-Bought kicks.

-Drew pretty pictures.


-Played Super Meat Boy.



-Power snatch: 100kg. for a few singles.

-Behind the neck jerks:  my left wrist was really bugging me, so I didn’t do any cleans.  Took some jerks up to 180kg. Easy Peasy.

-Finished up with some kettlebell clean and press.

Cardigan Sweater.

March 8, 2011

OK, so I’m not trying to get all cardigan sweater on you guys, but this IS a blog which is essentially an online journal, which essentially makes me kind of a weirdo, which essentially makes all of you just as weird for reading it.  So enjoy, weirdo.

I have said this on more than one occasion.  I am not weightlifting.  Weightlifting is only the primary avenue from which I express my physical nature.  And like it or not, there is going to come a time when weightlifting will no longer make me happy the way it used to.  Joints will ache, bones will grow brittle, and my body will no longer be able to perform the movement patterns (at least to the degree that I can now) that I’ve spent years practicing and having fun performing.  Weightlifting is always going to be a part of my life, just like art and music will be, but not necessarily the way that I imagined it years ago when I was young.

You see, whenever you begin an activity, and the activity becomes less an activity and more of a way of defining yourself, you start the process inherent in all such pursuits, the process of eventually being forced to define yourself by different parameters.  Back in high school, I carried with me a sketch pad and pencil and my guitar (I was in a sweet ass high-school cover band, King Flowers and the Funky Fresh).  Oh, and I also did dumbbell flys and tricep extensions like every day.  But the point is, I defined myself by all my pursuits.  To me, I was always going to play guitar and draw pictures and do 21’s in the squat rack.  Years passed and I got older and I eventually had to find different means of expression.

Here’s my point: I am never going to go around saying that I am “this, I am not that” because all that does is alienate one’s self.  Once you begin to separate yourself from others because they are participants in other life pursuits, you lose out on valuable information and possible friendships.  I don’t do Crossfit (or general strength and conditioning) or powerlifting because I simply seek a different adaptation.  Does that mean that these other like-minded groups have nothing to offer? Absolutely not.  In fact, I wish I had the time to pursue all of my other interests as intensely as I have pursued weightlifting.  But like I said earlier, there’s going to come a time when I’ll have to.

Donny Thompson and I were discussing this.

Just to give you a frame of reference, I’m pushing 240 and Donny makes me look like a fucking infant.


Snatch: hit 130 for 3 singles.

C&J: “onefidy”.  Missed the jerk.

Stretched and shoulder mobility: learned some interesting things about kettlebells that could assist in my rack position.  Oh and I also saw “Super D” squat like 12 hundo.