Training – 09/08/2013

445×1@10 (hitched a bit, left grip was giving)

Romanian Deadlift

Working back up to some heavy deadlifts. These were beltless so probably some sort of PR. Then after words the DOMS inducer aka Romanian Deadlift

Did some prowler sprints afterwards which kicked my ass.

Sore hammies


Pendlay Rows









Close-Grip Bench


I think the RDLs on Tuesday fucked me over today. My hamstrings still had some residual soreness from Tuesday even though I made it a point to eat real well this week and do soft-tissue work on them. I’ve always thought I should be doing them because Justin Lascek of 70’s Big says they’re the bees knees but I’m not so sure that I need them. My hamstrings are pretty well developed muscle-wise.

Also, I didn’t eat a banana like I usually do before I train so not sure if that had some effect here. I wanted a triple as normal on squat but the first rep’s speed was slow such that I didn’t think I’d make the triple so I just stuck to singles. Maybe a triple will be in the cards for next week but more than likely it’ll be singles from here on out.

First single on Bench was a lot slower than it should be so I decided to stick to 3. I’ve been getting a lot more leg drive lately in Bench and I’ve pretty much accomplished by planting my feet as far back under the bench as they’ll go. It’s pretty cool to finally be able to feel force transferring through your feet into the ground.

Lower Good Upper… Not So Good…



430×3 (PR)


265×1 (PR) Failed, second single 





465x1x3 (PR)



This week went pretty well for lower body but not so hot for upper body. When I was warming up on Bench my last warmup single and subsequent workset single felt way harder than they should. I failed the second single and decided not to try again. I think I wasn’t recovered from Monday’s volume. Last time I switched to 3s on volume because I couldn’t finish the set otherwise (on Press) the same thing happened. What I’ll probably do next week is drop the volume 5 pounds and then try and hit all 5 singles next week.

Whether it was the lack of volume, or the cold, this week I got all three reps on Squat. Video:

I’ve realized that my Squat has gotten a bit sloppy as of late. Compare the squat to this one:

I’m getting into my knees. and this is bringing the bar path forward of midfoot and actually making the lift harder. I’m going to remedy this by shoving my knees out hard.

Deadlifts went pretty well despite not having trained them the week prior. Here’s one of the singles:

All aboard the PR train


Bench Press

255x1x5 (PR)

Close-Grip Bench Press




425×3 (PR)






455x1x3 (PR)



This was a really good week for training. Got PRs on Squats, Bench, and Deadlifts. Switched a few things up with my program this week. Moved to 5 singles across for Bench, 3 singles across for Deadlifts, and threw in Romanian Deadlifts after Conventional Deadlifts.

Video of the Squats:

Thoughts on the Texas Method Split Template

My old routine that I was on since the end of my Starting Strength days, continued into Texas Method, was laid out thusly:

Monday: Volume Squats, Volume Bench/Press
Tuesday: Accessory Day, RDLs, Chin-ups
Wednesday: Light Squat, Medium Press/Light Bench, curls etc.
Friday: Intensity Squats, Intensity Bench/Press, Deadlifts

I’ve now spent two weeks on a Texas Method Split Template. If you’re not familiar with the Split template you can read more about it in the Texas Method: Advanced by Justin Lascek (buy HERE, highly recommended). It looks like this:

Monday: Upper Volume, Bench/Press, accessory work
Tuesday: Lower Volume, Squat, accessory work

Thursday: Upper Intensity: Bench/Press
Friday: Lower Intensity, Squat and Deadlift

My program based on this template has looked like this:

Monday: Press 3×5, Bench 3×5, Pendlay Row 3×8
Tuesday: Back Squat 3×5, Front Squat 3×3, RDL 3×5

Thursday: Press 1×3, Bench 1×3, Curlz etc.
Friday: Back Squat 1×3, Deadlift 1×3

A few notes on my program: I’m currently attempting to increase both Press and Bench each week. This is an experiment of mine and is not really something Justin recommends for everyone. I also added Front Squats on Monday because I have a theory that I’m quad weak.

I’m really enjoying the Split template. It allows me to get in and out of the gym in an hour to an hour and a half (coupled with the decrease in volume) vs the old routine. The volume is the most time intensive part of the Texas Method and splitting this up between days really decreases the amount of gym time required.

Another aspect of the split routine is that it allows for more accessory work. After volume work is completed on monday and tuesday there’s room for several more exercises which I’ve filled with Front Squats, Pendlay Rows, and RDLs. The Accessory day in the old Template was setup to accommodate these kinds of exercises. The problem I had with it was that I was less motivated to drag my ass into the gym on Tuesdays since I wasn’t directly contributing to progress on the big lifts. Now everyday is either Volume/Intensity for a lift so I have no issues getting in to work.

The only disadvantage I can see to running this template is that you have less wiggle room as far as recovery is concerned. On the old template you had 3 days to recover from Volume day (includes the light day). Now on the Split template you only have 2. So if you have one night of really bad sleep/day of crappy eating it can have a bigger effect on the week’s progress vs when you might have had one extra day to fix things (See the update below for a clarification).

To review:


– Less time spent at the gym
– More time for accessory work
– More motivating since every day contributes to a lift’s progress


– Less time to recover (if you train on Friday instead of Saturday)

I’ll be staying on the split template for the foreseeable future.


Regarding the only disadvantage being recovery time, Justin chimed in,

Hey dude,

Note that Chris/Mike routinely do their Intensity Squat/DL day on Saturday. so they train Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. This gives them the extra day of rest (and the same as the old template).


I personally can’t train on Saturday’s since I lift at work and getting a membership at a second gym on Saturday’s would be too expensive. But if you can, absolutely do this.

Lacrosse ball to the…OH GOD IT HURTS











My Squats have felt kind of off recently and I think it might be due to my calve mobility. I’ve added about 30 more minutes of walking to my day after moving to my new place and my calves have gotten really tight. The past couple nights I’ve been attacking my calves from every angle, tacking and stretching, etc. AKA rolling around on the floor in a great deal of physical pain and anguish.

If you’re interested in seeing a dude who Squats a lot like I do (i.e. Rippetoe style, low-bar, looking down), but lifts weights that actually would impress some small chinese girls, check out Mike Tuchscherer’s blog. And while you’re there watch him Squat 705 for a double with just a belt in a YMCA:

Hot Damn















Bench Press







Took an entire week off traveling home and back and then moving. Here are the videos from my last Intensity day:

Coming back on Monday was pretty rough. I was going to do an ascending 5×5 but accidentally increased the weight by 10. Was pretty fatigued at 340 so I only did a triple. Same for 345. Hopefully that will be enough volume for friday in which I intend to Squat 400 for a triple again.

Moved into our new apartment in Cole Valley with my lovely girlfriend. Had a lot of days of poor nutrition (lack of calories), hydration, protein, and mobility. Strangely enough my shoulders were extremely mobile on Monday. I guess Pressing is what gets them so tight. Essentially the entirety of our apartment comes from ikea.

If you were into Battlestar Galactica when it was on and were always curious what the deal was with Kobol and the gods (like I was) there’s a free ebook series written by a self-proclaimed “dork” which attempts to fill in the missing pieces. I’d have to say the fact that I’m reading these also makes me a dork but that really shouldn’t be news to anyone. Check it out if you’re interested:

Also started reading the Star Trek novel series Destiny which is about the borg attempting to annihilate the Federation. Got through the first book. So far it’s good. Doesn’t make the dumb little mistakes some other Trek novels make. If you’re going to write Picard it damn well better sound like Picard.

“He’s Not Like You”

6/24/11 @ CrossFit Oakland













So there I am, in the gym, teaching a guy I know how to lift. I’m showing him the low-bar back squat while banging out my volume press sets. In between a set a personal trainer calls me over. I’ve seen this dude around. He’s fairly skinny and trains dudes with a fairly brotastic routine. He’s also told Ashley, my training partner, that she should breathe in on the way down and out on the way up during squats. This, if you’ve ever done heavy squats, you’ll know to be ludicrous. So obviously the dude’s never gotten under a heavy barbell in his life. There’s the setup.

He calls me over and asks if I’m certified. I say no and just explain that my friend asked me to teach him how to lift. He then goes on to explain that he’s “a certified personal trainer” what I’m doing “goes against everything he believes in”. That if he “squats that way he’s going to hurt himself”. And then he drops it… “He’s not like you”. I just fucking walk away at that point.

That is so fucking disrespectful and ignorant of the way the body works and it’s fucking pissing all over my hard work. He thinks just because I’m squatting and deadlifting in the neighborhood of 400 pounds that I’m somehow genetically gifted? Clearly he’s never heard the words “progressive overload” without thinking about the car insurance company. The guy’s gotta be butthurt that someone who’s bigger than him is teaching others in the same gym to get just as big. Clearly I’m just bigger because genetics. Fucking bro