This article is an intimately documented account of Dave's current love affair training agreement with JL Holdsworth. These records are taken directly from Dave's most personal, private letters with JL. For information on how this process all began, read Dave's log post, "JL Holdsworth is fixing my squat. 90 pounds PR after first session." 

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June 22, 2016

Dear JL,

Thanks again for the help today. As I told you, I wasn't going to go and try to squat something stupid. I gave you my word and stuck to it. Instead I did a max effort pulling session. As you know, I hate the deadlift and reaffirmed this tonight. I'm tapping this out as I catch my breath before hitting glute ham raises, pull down abs, and reverse hypers.

I pulled off blocks with the plates about five inches off the floor — mid shin for me. I've never pulled max against bands so I started with a stupid 45 pound bumper and one light band. Worked up to three light bands a side and did multiple sets of 3. Started working up and did max sets of 335x1, 355x1 and 365x1 all with the three light bands. How much at top? You already know my answer to that: it's 3 light bands at the top.

How much do they weigh? Um, not sure, I think the scale says around two pounds when we ship them out.

Who cares? It's band tension, and to me it was a fuck ton.

One fuck ton = 100 ass loads. Hope that helps.

How do I know this was max weight?

Well, I burst my spleen on set one. On set two my right ball blew out and is now somewhere under the belt squat machine.

max effort pull

That set was really fucking hard. I mean really, really hard.

Nothing hurt so I did another just to see if I could strain three singles over 90%. I did pull the next one, 365, and it took about one hour to lock out. May have been the longest pull of my life. This one sent my left ball flying across the gym, it bounced off the glute ham pad and is somewhere under the dumbbell rack.

Just wanted to let you know three max pulls over what had to be 90% and my back, neck, and body feels worked but not broken. I would have been happy to be able to just do one true maximal effort strain but three is crazy.

I'm now going to gather my balls and put them back in my sack and finish this session out.

Yours truly,


PS: deadlifts suck and bands make them suck even more.

PPS: I'm also seeing sled work. In my future because if I keep this shit up I'll need to bring up my aerobic base to help recovery. Not happy about that either.

PPPS: All the shit I really hated about training seems to be creeping back into my life.

PPPPS: Hey, after I found and dusted my balls off, they were much bigger than I thought. I had to wash them up as well as my sack. Now I've lost all the wrinkles I used to have on my ball sack and think I'll have to spend some time tomorrow contrasting the hot tub with sun bathing to bring the wrinkles back.

Thanks again, you're the best!

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June 24, 2016

Dear JL,

I'm so sorry, my love. I told you I would write back last night after I trained. I had every intention but then saw Louie on a live feed and...I had to watch it.

We never said we had an exclusive relationship so this really wasn't cheating, right?

After watching it I was kinda excited about doing reverse hypers again...kinda.

I did dynamic bench work last night — speed benches to the lay person. You know that shit where you lay down, grab the bar and go ump, ump, ump really fast (I ripped that line off Jim Wendler).
It was time for me to start my next three week wave so I had to change something up.

You know, keep the muscles guessing.

I decided to use bands. This would be a good test of our relationship because I've not used rubbers or latex since 2004. It just doesn't feel the same, you know what I mean?

I stopped using bands because they killed my shoulder. Chains feel great (actually better than just weight). Bands are just a nightmare so I figured what the hell. We are still in the bromance phase and everything's going so well.

I dropped my bar weight by the tension at the bottom of the bands, so instead of 195 with 3 chains per side I used 155 with double monster mini.

I did 5 sets of 3 and was "killing that shit" so for the last three sets I added three chain per side and DESTROYED that shit!

Leg drive felt really good and I was even able to fully grip the bar. I had to go thumbless so long ago I don't think Brandon Smitley was even born yet.

Here's the thing. Nothing hurt except my fucking abs and rib cage. You know why, but that's our little secret. The really cool thing is I realized after all my speed work that I never put my wrist wraps on. Never even thought of it. Are you kidding me?! My wrists normally kill with 95 pounds and now I forget to use them and and can't trust my own pain to remind me.

funnel cakes in LONDON

Funnel cakes are somewhere behind the orange and white construction signs

After pushing chains and bands with a bar and some weight I went onto extensions. This was my third week with the same movement and this week I got 4 sets of 10 with a couple reps in the tank on the last set. I will run these one more week and go for 5 sets of 12.

Next up, eccentric seated machine dips. The reason for this was to further fatigue my triceps for the next movement. I did around 5 sets of 3-4 reps with a 20-30 second-eccentric phase (no concentric at all).

This did want I wanted and blasted my triceps. This primed me for my "money move" — cross body triceps extensions. This movement blasts my lower triceps like nothing else. You know, that shit down by your elbow that locks shit out and make its impossible to wear the cheater elbow sleeves. I did one triple set, 20/10/5.

Huge skin splitting pump!

Seated side raises for 4 sets 20 and while I'm not sure I think my raises were higher than normal. Like, way higher than normal. There was some pain but I just cruised through that shit! Seriously I just adjusted and found a ROM that didn't hurt.

Finished with some blast strap rear delts superset with face pulls. I knocked these out like a BOSS. You would have been so proud of me.
I forgot to tell you I did drag the sled the other day, 3 trips of 50 steps and then my right calf cramped like a bitch.

"The outside of my right calf."

Interesting, isn't it?

Well, this made me a renowned expert on sled pulls and I jumped everyone's ass when I went in the gym to bench because they all "B like cheatin' sled dragging bitches."

I fixed that shit up.

I showed Sheena some of the shit you showed me and she was like, "What?" then smashed some weights.

Oh, that one thing for the hamstrings. I had her do it and blew her hams up. Just passing on bro.

Yours truly and 4ever.


PS: Found a dead mouse in the gym. Too small to grill so I just left it.

PPS: Was asked why there's no Zika Virus Carriers in the gym and answered because the bats eat them. They didn't believe me until the sun set and a couple started zapping around the gym.

PPPS: My foot slipped on one of my speed press sets but that's only because I think I might be getting TOO strong.

Time to eat some funnel cakes.