My last training log was a couple of weeks ago. Everything was going according to plan. Speed sets getting speedier, Max numbers going up then POOF! Life happens. OMG! The world is coming to an end!! How can I possibly recover?? Everything is ruined! I'm a joke! I don't deserve this! WHY ME?!?!??! I would have had this perspective most of my bodybuilding career but now that I'm finally a grown-up I realize this mentality is nothing but a straight shot from "Anneville" to Shitsville.

Then I realized. Well, at least I know I pushed hard enough. Then I thought, maybe this is a good thing. The exact thing my body needed. My body knows I do not rest until I HAVE to. Maybe it knows better than me. As a rule of thumb, I do not train with a fever. It's not productive. You won't make any gains and you'll get sicker, longer. Another week out of training. Will I lose all of my gains?!? Of course not. The human body is a lot smarter than that. This rest has been wonderful. Not one thing hurts, except my throat and chest from coughing. All of my injuries are quiet. I hit all of my max effort goals before my trip. What benefit will worry give me right now? None. Hell, I am and should be grateful! I feel great! I'm about to compete in an awesome meet near home with tons of great competitors, new, veterans, young, old and everything in between. I know a lot of people who will be there. People I'm really looking forward to cheering on. These people will have my respect regardless of their numbers. I don't even know what numbers they have hit or are hoping to hit. Guess what? I don't care!!!!! I want to see that fire burning inside of them. I want to feel their energy as they put all they've got on the platform. I want to see the resilience in their failures to keep on trying. I'm looking forward to the sounds, smells and aggressive arousal in the air. I'm looking forward to hearing the scratchy voice of Rich Ficca getting the crowd all fired up. The lights. The chalk. The sweat, blood and tears.

I had mapped out my last 6 weeks of training ahead of time. Exercises, sets, reps, schedule, everything. "Failing to plan, is planning to fail. Things NEVER go according to plan." (Buddy Morris). I knew I would have traveling to do four weeks out. I knew this traveling would entail a big interruption to my training. I killed it before I left. I was beaten up enough from training the weeks prior to, that I knew the break would serve me well. I have a crazy schedule so sometimes I have to do things this way. I have to kill my training to the point of overdoing it when I know I'll be taking a forced break to get in all of the work I feel I need to do to accomplish my goals. To be honest, I love overtraining. I love the feeling of being completely wiped the fuck out only to dive back into another set to prove myself wrong about not being able to continue. I'm a product of super-compensation from after pushing beyond my limits and then the over-recovery that comes after. Early on in my bodybuilding career, I did Dorian Yates and even Mike Metzner's approach to destroy then recover. It caused a lot of injuries lol But it works. I love 3 hour plus sessions where I'm dripping in sweat and crawling out to my car. Why? Fuck if I know but it fulfills a part of me that nothing else in this world does. It comes with consequences.

The word "consequences" instills feelings of doing something that was wrong though. Something we regret. Upon returning from my trip, I was able to kill my last heavy deadlift session. The following day my throat was a bit itchy. By the end of the night, my sinuses and ears were completely congested and infected. Then, I was coughing. My faithful bronchitis paid me a visit as it always has every time I get a cold since I was small. This would be the sixth time I have gotten very sick at the end of meet prep. It appears if I push above 80% of my max for an extended period of time, my body goes through this shutdown. The difference this time was my perspective on it. Did my overtraining cause this? Was I facing the consequences of bad coaching, being my own coach? Did I do the wrong thing? Today I am three days out and still coughing, having migraines and a stuffed nose. I did not use any antibiotics. I may need to resort to them after the meet.

After my last heavy deadlift session, still very sick, I squeezed in speed work for all three lifts and took a 4-hour drive to train with my team: Iron Bound Barbell Club in Tampa, FL. There, I was able to practice my opening squat in wraps and hit a 270lb bench, which is only 5 lbs away from my current meet max. I managed to exceed my goals in training that I was hoping to hit on my third attempts for this meet.

I successfully managed to program and coach myself to be the best lifter I have ever been. I utilized the Conjugate Method and my bodybuilding/hypertrophy training to gain strength and put up numbers that exceeded my own expectations. I dropped 25 lbs during this prep and kept most of it off so I did all of this lighter than I have for any other meet.

My client Benson also benefited from following my meet prep training. He did everything I did. I planned his meal plan according to his training schedule. Training days have more carbs, to fuel training with less fat and protein. Non-training days have very little carbs and more protein to recover with fat to slow the absorption of those proteins. Preferred carbs were fruit and root vegetables. Benson gained 70 lbs in six months, drug-free. His current max lifts are:

Squat: 455lbs (with box)

Bench: 385lbs

Deadlift: 515lbs (sumo)

He is only 21 and has been with me for three years. It was a really wonderful experience having someone whom I coached, help me to prepare for battle. I don't know what I would have done without him. I'm very grateful and excited to see what the future has in store for him.

Here's our training log from the last two weeks: Let's see how it all goes!



10x3x50% 225lbs

LEG PRESS DROP SET (slow eccentric, plus calf raises 2:30 minutes total).

HYPER EXTENSIONS: From the thoracic spine up

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DE UPPER: SPEED BENCH: 10x3x50% plus AMRAP SET: 1x20x50% 135lbs SPEED DEADLIFT: 5x3x50% plus AMRAP SET: 1x15x50% 225lbs




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ME DEADS: 1x1x97.5% 425lbs 1x2x92.5% 405lbs 1x2x82.5% 365lbs 1x2x75% 315lbs




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Frequently I meet people and something inside me says, “oh there you are, I’ve been looking for you.” They have an energy about them that I’m drawn to. I can feel their spirit and it is kindred to my own. Strength comes in many forms and the people whom I’ve made these connections with have taught me so much about strength. On and off the platform. I feel very blessed and grateful. Thank you @ironboundbarbellclub especially @mollyery and Andrew and Roy for bringing in this old orphan off the street. I love you. Here are my last two heavy lifts before @thebattleaxegym The Throwdown BENCH: 1x1x97.5% 270lbs SQUAT: 1x1x95% 405lbs




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