I had a great idea earlier this year. A bunch of old-school metal bands were releasing new material whether it was just a track or a whole album. Lots of these groups have been broken up or not doing anything for quite some time so naturally the hype train would start gaining steam. Over the course of a few months I ended up with a list of 9 bands that I planned on turning into a long-winded explanation of why I was either impressed or disappointed. Like most projects I assign myself, I got busy with work and it was left unfinished. So I’ve decided to just do a few reviews of the two or three that I actually enjoyed and call it a day. I’m saving up my steam for my annual end of the year top 20 favorite tracks so don’t judge me for being a quitter.

Sleep-The Clarity.  Likability: 9/10.

I know this joke has probably been said probably by a hundred different people since this song came out, but it’s REALLY funny that these guys now have a song entitled “The Clarity” considering the rumors (legends rather) that in their heyday, the band blew ALL of their record deal money on weed. That being said, I was more than excited when Sleep dropped the new track this year after being split up (more or less) for over a decade. “Dopesmoker” was the album that really sparked my interest in the genre as I’m sure it did for a lot of people so the potential for a new album or at least some reunion tour dates had me as giddy as a big, brown, weightlifting schoolgirl. The track itself actually IS a lot clearer sounding than their previous recordings. Matt Pike’s tone isn’t so befuddled with fuzz and ganja smoke. The rhythm section drives the 10 minute opus forward at the pace of a stoner caravan lead by elephants with amplifiers strapped on their backs. In summation, buy yourself some Funyuns, crank this bad boy up and get glued to the couch as you see sounds and hear colors.

Pull.

November 28, 2014

This significance of this photo?

I'm wearing my PWA Championships 2007 meet T.  It might've fit me better when I first got it.

I’m wearing my PWA Championships 2007 meet T. It might’ve fit me better when I first got it.

I loled way too many times while making this.

New Home.

November 22, 2014

Accurately summarizes my life right now.

Accurately summarizes my life right now.

Throwing around ideas for a mural I can hang up in the new lifting area.  What should I paint?

Game: That Face.

November 20, 2014

Preface: if you are easily offended or experience heightened emotions while talking about diet, exercise or lifting weights, follow someone else’s blog.  This post contains humor.  

Coaching weightlifting does things to you.  It hardens your soul and turns your once pink, fluffy foundation that was once so full of life into cold granite.  Your objectivity will be rivaled only by the amount of difficulty you will find it to be impressed by anything.  You do your best to provide your lifters guidance through their learning and adaptation process, knowing full well that you experienced all of the same emotions and tendencies that they do.  Perhaps your new demeanor is pointed more at the memory of yourself than anyone else.  But sometimes you just can’t help but make . . .

that face.

Make no mistake, there is care and commitment to your progress in those eyes.  But there is also a quiet contempt and distain that can only be rivaled by your mother's glare when she found your stack of Playboy's hidden under your box spring.

Make no mistake, there is care and commitment to your progress in those eyes. But there is also a quiet contempt and distain that can only be rivaled by your mother’s glare when she found your stack of Playboy’s hidden under your box spring.

So here’s a game I made up.  It’s called “That Face” or “Coaches Face”  I haven’t decided which is catchier.  Feel free to play along in the comments section.  I may do more installments in the future.  This edition is dedicated (lovingly) to the new lifter (2 or less years).

When your new lifter:

1) Asks if he has time to use the restroom when he’s 3 attempts out.  

2) Sees youtube video.  Insists on switching to power or squat jerk.

3) reads “article.”  insists on “training like the Chinese.”

4) Complains that gym doesn’t have jerk blocks.  Best jerk is 275lbs.

5) Refuses to run team program.  Runs smolov.  Wonders why he misses 90%s. 

6) Pays obscene amount of money to watch a clearly geared lifter max out at seminar (this in itself is not necessarily negative).  Talks negatively about different lifter who is popped for PED use. (wat.)

7)  Doesn’t PR for 2 weeks.  Feels like he’s not making enough progress.

8) Refuses to do meet because he “isn’t competitive enough.”  

9) Insists on switching to split snatch because of femur length. (wat.)

10) Asks if you teach lifters to be “bangers” or “brushers.” (wat.)

That’s all I got for now.  I’ll post an edit if I think up a few more.

Only the Next Set.

November 18, 2014

The last set doesn’t matter.  The one before it didn’t matter.  Only the next set matters.

It pays to have a short memory.  Concentrate on the current task at hand only, regardless if you were successful or not on the last attempt.

It pays to have a short memory. Concentrate on the current task at hand, regardless if you were successful or not on the last attempt.

Meditate on that.

A New Era.

November 16, 2014

Today, Mark and the Team ST guys made their last trip to pick up their stuff from Midtown.  While I’m going to miss their presence, I am overwhelmed with joy for the new opportunities that the gym is now presented with.  The new usable space represents more than just 5 new lifting platforms, a comp bench, reverse hyper and a white board.  It represents how far both the gym and the team have come and a new beginning for our weightlifters and people looking to get stronger and fitter.  Here’s to new opportunities.  Here’s to a stronger community.  Here’s to Midtown S&C.

If you're a weightlifter in the area, come visit.  We've hosted large joint practices before and now have more space than ever.  Don't worry.  Jake is actually nicer than he looks.

If you’re a weightlifter in the area, hit me up and come visit. We’ve hosted large joint practices before and now have more space than ever. Don’t worry. Jake is actually nicer than he looks.

As much as I love any opportunity to pose like this, I think Cam won with the crowbar accessory.

As much as I love any opportunity to pose like this, I think Cam won with the crowbar accessory.

It’s free.  Well, you can donate if you want to.  I bought the record when I saw them last night so I did my part.

Download HERE.

These guys were GETTIN IT.  I think the drummer broke like 5 or 6 sticks within 25 minutes.

These guys were GETTIN IT. I think the drummer broke like 5 or 6 sticks within 25 minutes.

I didn’t bother to stay for the headliner, mostly because I had to max out today and I didn’t want to be up too late.  But man, did these guys get after it.  It’s contemporary doom bands like this that keep the genre fresh and relevant.  Were these guys to blow up, their sound would attract a large crossover audience.  Listen on full blast with the bass turned to 11 for maximum effect.

Pulling Blocks.

November 10, 2014

Check out these bad boys.

Don't lie.  You got block envy.

Don’t lie. You got block envy.

These are our new custom pulling blocks built by Rick Sr. from RE-Designworks.  I put in a special request for a larger landing surface (to avoid those epic dumps that happen when you drop a bar on a corner), variable pulling heights (two 5 inch segments) and an overbuilt interior frame to sustain the wear and tear of daily usage.

I don’t own my own space yet, but if I did I would certainly spend the money on some legit pulling blocks WAY before I would ever spend money on jerk blocks.  As a matter of fact, the team NEVER uses jerk blocks but we’ll pull off the blocks usually at least once every 4 weeks. In my opinion, jerk blocks are a waste of space, an eye sore and most importantly difficult to effectively implement into a team program.  I’d only spend the money on them if my space was a dedicated weightlifting facility instead of one that caters to general fitness AND Olympic style weightlifting.

Golden West 2014 Video.

November 7, 2014

You know things got weird when you bust out your Finding Forrester impression.