This week started out nice and strong. Still loving the Elitefts American bar we got and decided to bling it out with some chain work on DE UPPER day. Since we had them out, we (my bodybuilding client, Benson and I) decided to keep the chains a theme. I love chain work! The American bar is also really great for those one-arm barbell carries I got the suggestion to do from Ed Coan. They still suck but I like the grip better on this bar.

The cambered bar was my bar of choice for DE LOWER this week because I tend to explode through the bar on speed work, instead of INTO the bar. The cambered bar laughs at me for trying to bounce it off my back like I do straight bars. This bar also allows me to grip it down low so I can avoid the scapular retraction which causes me a ton of pain.

We all have strengths and weaknesses in our physiques. I actually like these things about other people's bodies. It reveals our genetic codes. Perfect things freak me out too. Even teeth, I prefer to be slightly crooked. I've learned that anything that is perfect is fake and that's worse to me than being" flawed." One of Benson's weaknesses is his hamstrings. Now, nobody's hamstrings are strong enough so I was more than happy to hyper-focus a bit on hamstrings this training session. Both of my DYNAMIC days and speed work felt really awesome this week! Benson cried. It was great! It's very gratifying as a coach to bring a young man, less than half your age (21 years old) and almost 100 lbs heavier than you to his knees. Prior to bodybuilding, Benson's back round is high school wrestling. Anyone who knows about high school sports would probably agree with me that training for wrestling is one of the most demanding. I'm grateful I am able to challenge him even more than his high school wrestling coach.

As an athlete, I'm really enjoying training again. I missed the bodybuilding stuff. The pump, the drop sets, pushing beyond failure. Even the HIIT cardio has been a lot of fun. I'm eating more and still losing bodyweight. My body is hardening up. I feel much better. However, I did have another drop in weight down to 175lbs from 200lbs in two months. Up till now, I've been hitting PR's and having a lot of progress in all aspects of my training. Like I just said, "till now."

We had a bit of a hurricane down here in South Florida over the weekend into the beginning of the following week. The gym closed early so my training got messed up. I was able to take a decent three-day break between  DE and ME days and I was excited to kick some ass. But things didn't exactly go down that way.

My ME days this week did not go nearly as well as my DE days, unfortunately. I finally hit a wall. This is what happens right? Intense bodybuilding training, conditioning training, dieting, something eventually has to give. Those extra lbs this week definitely had a negative effect on my training.

ME bench this week was the reverse banded pin press. This was the first time I've tested these since I began shifting my focus towards both hypertrophy and powerlifting. At 200 lbs, I was able to PR with 315lbs. This week I hit 275, failed at a second attempt, went up to 295lbs thinking it was just a fluke, failed again. After a nice long break, I was able to put up 275lbs one more time and backed down. I was completely fried and couldn't even do any accessories afterward.

I'm switching from RAW to RAW CLASSIC. This means I need to learn how to squat in wraps. I see the benefit of using wraps. I have lofty goals that my aged knees would better handle with the added support. This was my third time wearing them and my first time self wrapping. I am using the Elitefts Patriot wraps. I definitely did a good job wrapping myself up because I couldn't move when they were on.  They are still very distracting to me. It's hard for me to concentrate on my cues and set up when they are on.

ME squat was a shit show.M y meet max is 425lbs. I'm trying to take larger jumps on maximum effort days to conserve energy. I worked my way up to 385bs and things were moving well. I put 415lbs on the bar. Here is where I failed this week as a coach. Like previously mentioned, Benson is only 21 years old. Other than me, his training experience was with his high school wrestling team. As I was setting up, I told him to "watch me." Now, when I've said this in the past, I was usually training with people that had a lot more experience than Benson. I assumed he knew that meant, spot me. The pins were on but set entirely too low. I almost actually took them off to get a better image of the video. Thank God I didn't remove them because I missed the box and went forward. One, that was too close to 100% and far too heavy for me to ask just one experienced person to spot. Two, he doesn't know how to spot yet. Three, I should have raised the pins. Four, I need to get adjusted to wraps before trying to hit 100% or more in them. Because I didn't do any of those things I ate shit in the worst way I ever have during a squat. I ended up doing a brutal 415lb good morning negative. If those pins weren't there, I'd probably be dead. But I'm not dead yet. Albeit, I'm extremely sore, I'm still alive. I apologized to Benson and explained my erroneous ways. We both learned a lot from this and I'll wager money, neither of us ever make these mistakes again.

After discussing this with my nutrition coach, Justin Harris I decided to cut back on the HIIT and ate six of the big fat Reese's peanut butter cups. This was my first "cheat" since we've been working together. I felt like crap in the morning between my gut and my devastating squat attempt. My priority is powerlifting as I have two meets coming up in November and February before I begin my prep for bodybuilding. Justin and I will continue to manipulate my nutrition to keep me fueled optimally so I can stay in shape and continue to get stronger. I'll continue to consult with Andrew Yerakadu from the Iron Bound Barbell club regarding my programming. As well as the amazing resources right here on

Thank you for following along!


SPEED BENCH with Elitefts American Bar, wide grip: plus chains  7x3, plus amrap






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FRIDAY: ME UPPER PIN PRESS: 1x1x100% 275lbs 1x1x100% 275lbs Fail 1x1x110% 295lbs Fail 1x1x100% 275lbs DROPSET: 1.)   80% 225lbs 2.)   65% 185lbs




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ME LOWER: LOW BOX SQUATS: (with @kabukistrengthlab squat bar which is 55lbs) 1.) 185lbs 2.) 225lbs 3.) 385lbs 4.) 415lbs




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