Day 15 - Light Day
"Daniel, You have a case of the dumbs."
That was the way I ended a phone call last night. I was talking to a good friend who has seen this circuit performed many times. He was checking in to gauge my progress. Every question he asked felt like climbing out of mental quick sand. It took me several seconds to form a single sentence. "Dude you are so slow." He kept saying. "You went way to hard. You are so F'd." He said while chuckling at my pain. This confirmed my fears. My future was looking very bleak.
Waking Heart rate: 105
Anabolic and catabolic hormones combining in a fugue of highs and lows turning me into a moody teenager. Am I going to start listening to Alanis Morissette again? Will all my notebooks be covered in artistic S's? When does this ride end? I want off...
My phone is going off. I look down to see the name Louie Simmons blasted across my home screen. This was the highlight of my day. We talked about getting strong. Getting strong is my favorite thing, like ever.
Now with enthusiasm for fuel, I am feeling Danimal again. I immediately start mapping out my next block of training. So excited to pick up something heavy.
Thought of the Day:
The song "Take me out to the Ballgame" is sung almost exclusively by people who are already at a ballgame.
Day 14 - Very Off
Ragnarok has put me in a home and Ben Stiller is my orderly. I'd type more but my hands are sore from quilting and my back hurts from landscaping duty. Till tomorrow...
Thought of the day:
If you punch yourself and it hurts, are you strong or weak?
Day 13 – Exposure 4
HRV Recommendation: Your condition has worsened and you are below baseline. Take it easy today.
Not the best way to start my day. I haven’t been this disappointed since the way The Huger Games ended. I just want to feel good again!
After dropping my wife off at work, I had a very real conversation with myself. I kept reflecting on how terrible the last exposure was and that this time EVERYTHING IS HEAVIER! How do I keep going up? this doesn't make sense.
Stop thinking like that. It is time to get jacked. You've got some gravity to overcome.
I arrived at Gold’s. It has been a long time since I have trained at commercial gym. Usually I try to find a powerlifting or olympic lifting gym, but I needed machines. I strapped on my work boots, punched the clock, and found my rack. There is a sign right in front of my face that reads: “No Chalk! No Dropping the Weights! No Grunting, Yelling, or Cheering!” My soul started to weep. Are those real rules? I thought a fairy died every time you said one of those things?
I did my warmup at 225 and people started staring. I quickly realized that I may be out of place here. I surveyed the room in fear that one of the trainers was going to stop me and explain that my butt to ankle squat will ruin my knees. I grabbed my headphones. I needed to block out all this nonsense around me.
My HR didn’t sky rocket during the warm up. I took this as a sign it was time to shift it into the next gear. I opened up my playlist and put the song Lydia on repeat. The lead singer’s voice was the only thing I could think of that has more pain in it than my trembling quads.
I went HAM! I obliterated Squats, RDLs, and Step Ups. The hardest part was not having a partner to help change the weights. I was out of breath from plate-change-cardio. It was like being the racecar and the pit crew. It made the rest breaks feel nonexistent.
Bench press. I came out of my secluded meathead world to try and find a bench. All of them in use. Of course they were. The worst thing was I don’t think any of them were even being used for bench press. I saw curls, reverse curls, skull crushers, and something on the decline that I can only describe as… Um, I have no words. I will let you decide what to call this.
There's No Time! I can't wait for a bench to open up. I scouted an incline available so I audibled. I kept the same weights that were prescribed for bench and somehow, I finished. I couldn’t believe it. Next I crushed lat pulldown like a champ when, wait, what’s this? A text from Tayler? .
Excellent! The perfect meme to motivate me for push press. Clutch timing by Tayler.
If you've been following my blog, you know that I get stupid after push press. Like arguing with Neil deGrasse Tyson that the world is flat kind of stupid. After my third set I started stumbling around trying to find a seated row machine. Out of the corner of my eye I caught some phones out. I most definitely ended up on snap chat.
Then, things got weird.
This John Malkovich looking dude started training next to me. I mean this is literally Teddy KGB from Rounders with 2 full sleeve tattoos and a nose ring. I’m waiting for this guy to tell me he can splash the pot whenever he pleases.
Teddy KGB notices my iPad system that is running the Superbeast, my timer, and my music. 1,000 questions ensue. C'mon bro this isn't a date! What is with all the questions? You have eyes. You can see that I am not in a place to chat.
This guy won’t let up. He persists on asking me intimate, candle lit, dinner questions. As am dying through my last 2 exercises, I have to ask this guy to chill out. His curiosity is ruining my pump. He finally nods and lets me finish what I started. Triceps and biceps are now toast.
SO HUNGRY! This is a new feeling. Usually I can’t make a complete sentence after an exposure let alone think about my next meal. I gotta eat. Like NOW!
I pound my shake, get home, open the fridge, and oh no... This will not be enough. Time to head to the store.
Thought of the Day:
You could never eat your weight in something because you would constantly be gaining weight as you ate.
Day 12 – Light Day
Resting heart was in the 80s again. I can really feel the accumulated stress of Ragnarok, however, the results are undeniable. I feel so much more dense – in a good way. For the longest time all I cared about was my squat 1rm. That led me to neglect so many other areas of training - aka the show muscles. Most days I would squat max, do some back of sets, and then polish my Olympic technique. That was all I had time for. Now, training is essentially 2 days a week and doesn’t take up too much time so I can get en9ough total body volume - show muscles included. I feel like progress is being made and I am barley spending any time in the gym Now, I feel like I spend too much time explaining to people why I look like I got hit by a pillow case full of dead batteries. This lift is just exhausting.
If you break it down, a Ragnarok exposure is only 9 minutes of actual work. 18 minutes a week and 1 hour and 12 minutes over the 4 week program. Tim Ferris wrote about a similiar minimal effective dose hypertrophy program in his book “The 4-Hour Body.” called “Occam’s Protocol” His program relies heavily on time under tension. (If you forgot what that is click here for quick refresh) where as Ragnarok is much more about metabolic duress. Occam’s Protocol has 2 workouts a week where you spend less than 30 minutes a week training. Oh and by the way, this is a bulking program. When I first read that chapter, I almost couldn’t believe it. I have been a person who has had pretty good success on high frequency training. I have had some hot streaks where I have squat maxed 20 days in a row. How could someone like me benefit from such low volume?
If only I had a crystal ball.
The last time I had performed the Ragnarok metabolic circuit, it took my bodyweight from 276 to 294. My final squat session was 315 x 10, 340, x 10, and 365 x 10. All on 1min20s intervals.
Looking back, that may have been the stimulus needed to get me over my training hump. I resumed high frequency training and did not plateau until I squatted over 600. This brings up many questions I have about high density / low frequency training. But I will save that rabbit hole for a day with a higher HRV score.
Anyway, today’s lift went great. I am truly embracing the light days. Unfortunately for tomorrow, Tayler and I will be in different parts of the country and that SUCKS! Training with a partner gives you a sense of urgency and a feeling of commitment to not let that other person down. Tomorrow's exposure will be a challenge.
Thought of the Day:
Pain is nature’s way of saying “DON’T DO THAT!” Painkillers are man’s way of saying “WATCH ME!”
Day 11 - Off
Today was bad. I am unsure if it was Ragnarok, the travel, or the dry Wisconsin air. LOWEST HRV score to date and a general feeling of meh...
At least while I was in Wisconsin SNL decided to do a nice parody of Fond du Lac. It is spot on.
Thought of the Day:
Asking for a water and some water is essentially the same thing. Asking for a coke and some coke is not.,
Day 10 - Off Day
I saw Deadpool again last night.. 32 thumbs up.
There is a part in the movie, relax no spoilers, where Wade Wilson obtains his super powers. This is always my favorite part of superhero origin stories because I so desperately want special abilities. My hope is that there is a Ragnarok exposure that turns me into a super-strengthened monster of a man. That being said, my current growing pains are making it harder to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I want you to picture an amazing day at the beach. Now turn the heat up 50 degrees and walk across the sand with no sandles. Yeah, burns doesn't it? That is how my muscles feel all the time. Scorched. Sometimes, to pile onto the perpetual DOMS, my muscles will start contracting for absolutely no reason. I have learned to just sit back and enjoy the show. Resisting just makes it worse.
My HRV score told me it was a good day to train hard. HA! Not a chance. I did my 15 minutes of cardio, my PRI correctives, and then stuffed my face with BroBrunch. You know you have officially become a regular when you walk into a place and the staff goes "Hey! Where your Bros at?" What a great way to start a BroBrunch. I felt pretty witty with all my comebacks during the meal too. Being a lyrical gangster hasn't been very common lately. Realizing this made me think a little bit more about my HRV score. In terms of training status, it has not been very agreeable to my body's status. Mental acuity, on the other hand, has been spot on. When HRV is high, my brain cranks out more juice than Jack LaLanne.
Maybe there is something to that. I have always been told I have an artist's brain. I can't just sit down and do something. I will ponder and shelve projects over and over. Then, seemly out of nowhere, I get these crazy influxes of creativity and finish things that have plagued me for what had felt like an eternity. I wonder if high HRV will start meaning high productivity. If that's the case, I would love to keep all my big projects for high HRV days. That would be sweet.
Tomorrow will be a light day. I am hoping for another high HRV score to put this productivity theory to the test.
Thought of the Day:
My imaginary friend has a real friend.
HRV time. I’m hoping for a PR. Fingers crossed.
HRV has decreased. Recommendation: go light toddy.
Can you go light on a workout named RAGNAROK? Nope… Oh well.
10am – Ragnarok O’Clock
Tayler and I give an analysis of how we felt prior to the training session. His joints and triceps hurt. My joints felt great! My muscles, not so much. We went through our general warmup, mental prep, fist bump, and started the clock.
I tore through squats and RDLs today like a diesel powered combine. It was awesome! Step ups were next. I Fracking hate step ups now. At this point in the lift your whole posterior chain is so tight each rep is worse than a terrible waxing experience..
Following that death sentence of step ups with bench press will make any glass look half empty. This was a new kind of burn. As I drive up each rep its as if hot liquid is being poured from the bar down into my chest. I had to overcome this annoying distraction. My mind drifted to some more Iron Poetry.
(Click here for some bench press motivation)
Lat pulldown on deck. This has to be my favorite part of Ragnarok. I can go real hard on this lift and not feel like death. I can do this all day!
Push press next. What jerk decided to put a total body movement mid lift? I can't feel my face. 1 set down and I forgot math again. Tayler did too. We ended up changing the weight more times than people have answers to this question.
What is 3-3x6+2?
For the record, the answer is -13. Can we please stop arguing about this on Facebook?
Sorry, stepping off of my soap box…
Seated row, triceps extensions, and barbell curls rounded of this lift nicely. Finished all sets and reps today. Ain’t nothing but a peanut!
Exposure 4... I'm coming for you!
Thought of the Day:
The saying "fake it till you make it" applies quite literally to falling asleep.
Day 8 – lift 5
Wow I feel great! I checked my HRV score. WHOOT! Highest it’s been since before I started this training cycle. I’m so amped to train. CAN’T WAIT! What to do with all this energy? I’m tweaking out worse than Shia Labeouf.
People have been asking me about creatine lately, so I will mention so stuff.
All too often I see articles blaming creatine for things that just are not true. These include kidney failure, liver failure, dehydration, serve cramping, and my personal favorite is when creatine is confused with an anabolic steroid. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness states creatine does not cause gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, liver, or kidney side effects of any kind. Got that? Correct creatine supplementation is safe. Period.
Couple of lifting groups have passed and I still have more energy than I know what to do with. It’s almost to the point of annoying myself. Tayler, however, is riding a much different train. “Man I slept so long and I am still so tired.” He said as I sat twitching at my desk. “Its ok! You have pulled me through some lifts… Now it is my turn. LET’S GO LIFT!”
Today was a light power day. We backed way off in weight do some advice from people that have seen this performed before. Boy am I glad I listened! A few sets in and my glutes and low back lit up like a Christmas tree. It felt good to move though. I am feeling much more confident about exposure 3.
Thought of the Day:
A pop tart without frosting is a pop tart without the top part.
Day 7 – Off Day
HRV once again… DO NOT TRAIN. This is crazy! My waking HR over the last few days has been 68, 72, 76, and 80. I hope that goes back down. I have to train tomorrow.
Other than the exponential heart rate increase, I feel really good today. First time in a week that I have felt mentally sharp as well. That left me to get some really good thinking in this morning.
As the Director of Strength and Conditioning the question I get asked by students most frequently is who should I be reading? My go to right now is Greg Nuckols. Coincidentally, right as I am starting this new work out, Greg drops this great article about hypertrophy.
(Click here to read it)
Hypertrophy is what got me started as a lifter. As long as I can remember I have wanted to turn into the Incredible Hulk. Iron was the answer. As I grew into a more scholarly role, it really seemed that research could not agree on the most effect way to grow muscle. I continued to ask more and more professionals, but kept getting different answers. I felt like a Spartan cheerleader trying to find Bobby Fischer.
Other than invoking a chromothripsis event, it seemed like turning into the hulk was never going to happen. Hulk Sad…
Then I got into the real meat and potatoes of my undergrad curriculum. My mentors really helped me shift my thinking towards a conceptual idea that works much better than the practical application we have today.
Practical application revolves around sets, reps, and percentages. In Greg’s closing remarks he states “there is quite a bit of variability in optimal loading zone and rep range person-to-person and lift-to-lift.” Which is so true. When we try to break down metabolic and mechanical factors that elicit hypertrophy, you could come up with endless prescriptions. It makes my head spin.
So what are these concepts that have helped me write better programs?
First, time under tension.
Second, metabolic stress.
*** The key variable is TIME
From a mechanical standpoint instead of thinking about 5 reps, start thinking about 15 seconds. Let me explain. For this example let’s say a rep takes 3 seconds. That means a set takes 15 seconds. 15 seconds is now your mechanical stress at a prescribe intensity. Now, what if we wanted to perform 3 reps instead of 5 at the same intensity but get the same stress. You would have to change your time under tension. So now instead of a rep taking 3 seconds it would take 5. This could be accomplished by having a 4 second lowering phase followed by a 1 second ascending phase.
Still with me?
Now we have to tackle metabolic stress. This is simple. Either make the set last longer, more time under tension, or manipulate the rest. The more you shorten the rest, the more you increase the metabolic stress.
Got it? Good.
Lastly, let’s put this into application. If I want to increase the mechanical stress of a lifter I would try to increase the load lifted or time under tension week to week and keep rest constant. This is what I would consider a more functional hypertrophy. If I was looking to get more of a structural response, think size, I would want to manipulate time under tension or rest, or both. Structural hypertrophy comes down to how much you can stress the system.
I have over simplified a very complex and important part of effective program design. That being said, I find this approach much easier to conceptualize rather than trying to argue the perfect set, rep, and percentage prescription.
To further expand your knowledge on hypertrophy and get an all-encompassing view, I strongly recommend (pun intended) Brad Schoenfeild’s review of hypertrophy.
That was a lot. Back to training tomorrow and hopefully a lot less thinking.
Thought of the day:
With enough capital, I could be Batman.
Day 6 – Off Day
I rolled over to get my HRV measurement. HRV recommendation… Do Not Train. If I wasn’t so tired I would smile. I have face DOMS. Too sore to smile. Back to bed.
I can’t remember the last time I went back to sleep. My wake schedule is so consistent that I don’t set an alarm anymore. Muscles stiff. Need to do something...
I decided on PRI Wall breathing and some of my favorite OLY stretches… Much Better.
I see Tayler as he is finishing up with a group of athletes. I am so pumped to tell him that even science (my HRV score) is letting me take an off day. “Why is peanut butter so good right now?” he interjected before I could say anything. I laughed so hard at his comment. He texted me the night before about the same thing. Little did he know I was eating peanut butter straight out of the jar while I read it. I replied with “I happen to know everything there is to know about peanut butter. I love peanut butter! I love it on pancakes, I love it on pizza! I love to take peanut butter and put a little bit in my hair when I've had a rough week. What do you think holds it up, slick?”
So I have clearly lost my mind and this workout causes some sort of a condition. A Ragnarok Flu, if you will. See the checklist below of symptoms .
1) Always hungry
2) Always sleepy
3) Always sore
4) Obsessed with a random food
5) Forgetful of simple things like math and how to use words good
6) Always hungry, sleepy, and sore
I began to ponder about other things this intense metabolic circuit may doing to my body. If I burned 1,000 calories during exercise, what was my after burn? EPOC, a fancy acronym for burning more calories after working out, has been calculated in many studies. I wonder what Ragnarok's EPOC was?
WARNING! What you are about to read is bad science. I am taking other people’s similar research and applying it to my situation merely to illustrate a point. I will perform actual techniques required to get precise measurements later. I am simply letting my imagination go wild.
My resting metabolic rate is 2,160 calories a day. This is based off of lean mass and does not account for activity or thermic effect of food. This provides me with a calorie burn of approximately 1.5 calories per minute. Now let’s look at my calorie burn at the end of my very last rep of Ragnarok. Based upon hear rate exertion, I am at about 25 calories per minute. Whoa…
If I were to over generalize other research that looked at similar resistance training circuits, I would have a 34%, 36%, and 42% drop off in my calorie after burn from my original 25 calories per minute at intervals 30min, 60min, and 90min post workout. This means that my additional calorie burn at those intervals would be 16.5, 16, and 14.5 calories per minute. Still way above my baseline 1.5 calories per minute. Additionally, I found that some protocols reported a RMR increase of about 10% the following day. This means that during my off day my RMR has become 2,376 and my afterburners are still going strong.
There is really something cool happening here. Even more so if you think about possible interactions with catecholamines, growth hormone, and igf-1. But I’ll save that for another post.
Thought of the Day:
Today I set a personal record in the number of days I have been alive.
Want to know more about EPOC? I would start here.
Day 5 – Exposure 2
Tayler and I are walking across campus to be guest lecturers for an undergraduate class. We are both nervous for 2 very different reasons. “I am freaking out because I have to talk in front of all these people and you can’t stop thinking about the lift.” He said while shuffling through his speaking notes. It was true. Public speaking is something I did a lot in undergrad and at this stage in the game it is not something I get nervous about. My mind is much more worried about getting Ragnarocked.
Against my better judgment, I put on DMX. I had a heart rate strap on for this lift, and sure enough, my heart rate went through the roof. After the first set of squats I felt all the accumulated soreness at once. Even my hair hurt. Is that even possible? “C’mon Danimal!” I said to myself. “FOCUS!”
After I corrected my train of thought, I took a left turn out of negative town and gave maximum effort. I focused on breathing and reciting my squat poem for motivation. Yeah, you read that right. I’m sophisticated. I write poetry. I write poetry like a boss.
(Check out the squat poem here)
After the third set of squats I was rocking a solid heart rate of 190 beats per minute. When I saw that, it made total sense why 212 was obtainable on exposure 1. Tayler threatened to take my phone away if I kept checking my heart rate. Probably for the best. Need to focus.
The rest of the lift was rough. The entire time I felt like a shaken up can of soda that was about to explode. But, I finished. It felt so good to hit every rep of every set. Upon completion of the work out I wanted to climb to the top of the weight and scream “FINNALY! The Danimal HAS COME BACK!” I wanted it to reverberate off of the walls just like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Nerd O’clock pm
I was excited to see what my data looked like from this exposure. Below is the reading I got from Polar and a tonnage chart comparing weight moved from exposure 1 to exposure 2.
I spent my entire lift in the red zone. INCREDIBLE! Calorically speaking, in less than 40 minutes I burnt approximately 1,000 calories. Additionally, I almost doubled my tonnage.
All in all, I did way more work, expended a ton of calories, and most importantly, I get to go up in weight on each exercise for exposure 3. To quote Mr. Cube “today was good day.”
Thought of the Day:
Ask someone out today to save 75% on all anniversary gifts.
Day 4 – Lift 3
Eat. Sleep. Repeat
Those have become the only hands I see on the clock. I am so hungry all the time. I was once told that the key to adding muscle is train till you’re hungry, eat till you’re sleepy, and sleep till you’re hungry. I am now the embodiment of that quote.
Today, after mass, Tayler and I had a light power day. Some hang cleans, some arm farm, and a couple correctives.
Time to eat.
Thought of the Day:
Is it called sand because it is in between Sea and Land?
Day 3 – Off Day
What time is it? My bones feel like lead and my muscles are stiffer than concrete. I had fallen asleep sitting upright. I lurked to my right and I clawed for my phone.
Yup… I do not think I am going to make it to the New Found Glory concert. I was so tired I fell asleep in the very spot I ate dinner. Unbelievable. Migrating to my actual bed.
I awoke from a Stephen King directed dream. Was this workout messing with my REM too? I had slept 10 hours total. That is double my standard night’s rest. Being the science minded person I am, I need to figure out what is all happening to my body.
I began this process with the usual planning I lay down before every training cycle. I identify my training split, body composition, and general meal plan. This cycle was different. What made my heart rate spike so high? Why did I sleep so much? More must be measured.
In addition to the things I mentioned previously, which I have tracked since high school, I will look at hear rate intra-workout, hear rate variability (measured each morning upon wakening), total water intake, daily bodyweight fluctuations, and mood. Definitely need to track mood. I am normally just enthusiastic about everything. Yesterday painted a much moodier and darker picture.
Morning regen session: 15 minutes of cardio in zone 3 and PRI.
I needed to move around a bit to get some semblance of my life together. I wore a heart rate monitor to make sure I did what I said what I was going to do.
As you can see I tried to keep the beginning of my workout in the green. The inflection that came after the 139 beats per minute is when an awesome song came on. I didn’t change speed or incline on the treadmill, I just got jacked. Perhaps I need to listen to calmer music when I lift. Sorry DMX, it is time for Orinoco Flow.
After cardio, I did some PRI correctives. As you can see at about minute 25 I was in the blue zone. Those sharp spikes afterwards are when I was focusing on breathing and contracting my muscles during the correctives - pretty cool huh?
(If you have no clue what PRI is, check this out.)
Here are some pictures of the correctives I did.
Done. What a great day! Tayler and I have started yelling “You rag-na-ROCK!” Followed by the other person yelling “I KNOW I DO!” Seems like a fitting way to end the lift.
Now it is time to BroBrunch. Because it is totally cool for 2 bros to go get brunch.
Thought of the Day:
Cells multiply by division.
Day 2 – Exposure 1
For those that know me, I often omit sleep. It is a real problem. That problem is compounded when you stack the first Ragnarok workout with zero sleep. Today was bad… I mean real bad.
My skin crawls. I am itchy. I can’t focus. All that is on my mind is my impending doom. I am stomping around my apartment listening to metal music and wondering how am I going to make it through this. I look at some pre-workout. Would that help? I immediately recall all the research about caffeine making you push yourself harder. Then I remember that I am an extremely excitable person that is already amped out of his mind. Physiologically speaking, caffeine is to Danimal as Mentos is to Coca-Cola.
No pre-workout... Off to the weight room.
Tayler looked stunned as I came flying into the weight room like The Ultimate Warrior.
“Dude I have never seen you like this before!” Grinning from ear to ear I replied with “that is because you have never seen me train with relentless enthusiasm.”
Warm up. CHECK! Crazy Rap playlist. CHECK! Okay, it’s go time.
Ragnarok begins with squats. My favorite exercise ruined by a rep count of more than 3. The element that makes Ragnarok so brutal is the poundage chart. Let me explain. Let’s say you complete all 10 reps at 100 pounds. Next set is 110. Successful again? Last set is 115. If you complete all sets and reps while maintaining that minuscule rest break, your auto-regulated 1 repetition maximum has increased. Therefore your next session your prescription is 105/110/120. Ain’t no rest for the wicked.
Back to training.
Squats went well, RDLs were fine, and step ups changed me. My back was so tight. My heat was pounding through my chest. What was going on? I didn’t remember it being this bad. I have no clue how my legs were moving. It literally felt like my erector spinae were creating hip extension. I think I broke anatomy. Thank god lat pulldowns where next. I could finally sit down.
I crushed lat pulldowns. The machine was shaking I was pulling so hard. Yes things were looking up. I knew I could make it. Bench press was next.
The Second set of bench press was like that scene from Kill Bill 2 when Uma Thurman’s Character gets buried alive and has to punch her way out.
I was pushing so hard, but all attempts were futile. I failed on my second set of bench. F-BOMB! I was so mad I couldn’t go up in weight. 3rd set was another failed attempt. My confidence is waning.
On to push press. After the second set I felt like I was turning green. However, not the Hulk green I desired. More like a sea sick greenhorn green. Upon realizing that my life was about to take a nasty turn, I proceeded to run the fastest 40 yard dash of my life. I made it to the restroom.
After my relentless enthusiasm finished coming out of my mouth, I cleaned up and looked into the mirror. It was like looking through a snow storm. I was so confused and fatigued. It was as though the world around me had been white washed. I grabbed my phone and checked my heart rate. 212. Whoa…
I stumble around the weight room and tried to finish my lift. I ended up doing barbell curls with different weights loaded on each side. I was in such a stupor that Tayler had to point to the plates I was supposed to load. Like I said previously, it got bad, real bad. I had zero motor control, forgot math, and forming simple sentences became a herculean task. I meant to tell Tayler that I was so tired I didn’t even want to drink my recovery shake. Here is what I actually said. “I don’t even want to drink post.” There you have it folks. Train crazy hard and you too can become Switowski from The Longest Yard.
The rest of my day can be described as having the lights on but nobody was home. It was rough. Tomorrow is a rest day. YAY!
Turn Green (I may want to reconsider this sign off),
Thought of the Day:
If you replace the W in When, What, and Where with the letter T, you answer all 3.
Day 1 – Lift 1
Today I begin the Husker. What is the Husker? Simply put, a nightmare of a workout.
The Husker is the brain child of Boyd Epley and Dr. William Kraemer. The workout's simple design has one prerogative – turn you into a fire hydrant of growth hormone. After years of playing Jekyll and Hyde with sets, reps, and percentages, the perfect elixir has been formulated. 1 minute and 20s to complete your set and rest, 3 sets of 10 reps of each exercise, 9 exercises, and 8 exposures over a 4 week period.
I have tackled this behemoth before. So why again? If it is that bad, why put myself through this agony? Am I a masochist? Ok maybe a little. I mean, what meatball isn’t?
The actual reason is my Graduate Assistant Tayler. Tayler wanted to add size. The Husker does that. Therefore Tayler must do the Husker. It is simple algebra. I watched him tackle the first exposure. Terrible flashbacks of my muscles filling with lactate and hydrogen anions chilled my spine. Empathy consumed me. No one should have to do this alone. No man should be left behind.
I can’t understate the importance of a great strength coach or a great training partner. We all have that voice that whispers “it is ok to go easy today.” As the weights get heavier, that voice gets louder. That’s where your partner in crime needs to kick that voice with his energy legs.
Lift 1 begins…
The first lift like a backhanded compliment. You are elated and then quickly demoralized. It’s explosive and fast. Then day 2 arrives and you crumble.
The hardest part of the lift is lunges. For some reason Tayler wanted to do walking lunges with a loaded barbell. I looked at him like that person that eats all the fortune cookies before you get a chance to open yours up and make it into some funny euphemism. What does that mean? It means I wanted to punch him in the head for not being considerate. I know what tomorrow will bring to my legs. Why would he want to do this? Oh well, his funeral.
The lift was great. Tayler and I are super pumped for the next exposure. In my mind I will become the Incredible Hulk. It feels only fitting that my closing statement from here on out should be turn green.
Side Note: From now on I will refer to this work out as Ragnarok. I am a Florida State Seminole. Calling my lift “The Husker” churns my stomach. I cannot do it. However, I feel it is important to pay respect to the brilliant strength coach’s before me. I am not messing with any elements of the workout. I am doing it precisely as it was originally designed.
Thought of the Day:
If we are not supposed to eat past 7, why is there a light in the fridge?