Always Moving

I’ve had kind of an up-and-down week. I’ve had great days and great workouts, but I’ve also been feeling a little down…always on days I’m not lifting.

Now, this tells me something. It tells me that lifting improves my mood. This isn’t surprising in the least. It’s probably pretty normal. If I lift, I feel like I’ve accomplished something and perhaps triggered some endorphins to release. Who knows.

But here’s the problem with that fact.

Starting Strength calls for a three day per week lifting schedule if you do it by the book. While I’m generally a fan of the program, there are problems that I’ve recognized even beyond my previous review. At this point, I’ve been doing it for three months, and I’m seeing some lifts lag behind a bit while others do incredibly well.

Further, the lack of anything in between is problematic for me considering what I’m seeing regarding my mood.

So, with that in mind, I’ve decided I may need to reevaluate a few things. Continue reading “Always Moving”

Advertisements

Breakthroughs

Do you ever have that moment where something that kicked your butt the last time you encountered it gets shattered all to hell and back the next time you run into it?

Well, that happened to me earlier today, and it’s awesome.

Let me back up a bit. A little over a month ago, I hit a deadlift attempt for five reps but could only do four. I just didn’t have a fifth rep in me. I know, I tried.

It was right before I what Starting Strength calls a reset. Basically, you take some weight off the bar and work back up. In theory, this will let you shatter through the previous wall. It makes sense, at least for a novice lifter.

I hit the deadlift wall, then an overhead press wall, so it was time for a reset.

Today, I had to attempt the same weight I failed on a month ago. Guess what?

I kicked it in the balls. Continue reading “Breakthroughs”

The Challenges Of Training Outside

I love training outside. You get a little fresh air, some Vitamin D, and you’re doing something most people never really bother with when it comes to weight training.

Further, if weight training alone builds mental toughness, training in the heat and cold has got to build it even better, right?

The thing is, it also introduces challenges that have to be accounted for or else you could find it causing you serious problems. Continue reading “The Challenges Of Training Outside”

Review Of Rogue Ohio Power Bar And Echo Bumper Plates

In the process of putting together a home gym, I didn’t want to buy everything from Titan. In hindsight, that was probably for the best. My issues with Titan are still a factor, but that wasn’t the only issue. Another was that because Titan is out of stock on things so often, buying bumper plates from them, at least as a set, wasn’t really an option. You can’t buy what they won’t sell.

Plus, I hadn’t heard good things about Titan’s bars, so I decided to not play around and turned to Rogue.

I picked up the Rogue Ohio Power Bar (45 lbs model) first, then later picked up a 260 lbs set of bumper plates.

So, let’s get into my thoughts. Continue reading “Review Of Rogue Ohio Power Bar And Echo Bumper Plates”

Timidity Under The Bar

I’ve got a confession to make. It’s going to become a theme as the week rolls on, I suspect. No, I haven’t been lying to you or anything. Nothing of the sort. But there are things I did a pretty good job of lying to myself about. Especially when it comes to strength training.

You see, despite weeks doing nothing but barbell training, I’m still a little timid under a bar.

To understand why, I need to take you way back. The year, I believe, was 1989. I was 16-years-old and had just gotten the go-ahead from my folks to start lifting weights at the school’s weight room. It was open to all students, but it was really a football thing. I wasn’t on the team, but we were a small school so I knew everyone.

I was the small, kind of geeky kid in school, so I’m sure there were some thoughts about what the hell I was doing there when I showed up. I kind of recognized that I had stepped into the lion’s mouth, so to speak. Most of the guys who I saw as tormentors were in that room, and they were going to see just how weak I was.

Well, it seems someone thought it would be hilarious to pressure me into trying to bench my bodyweight my first time in the weight room. Now, at the time that was just 135 lbs, but when you’re arms are about as strong as overcooked spaghetti, that’s plenty.

My first attempt went about as well as you would expect. It was lifted off of me and I felt stupid. However, I didn’t want to be beaten, either. That’s probably how I was talked into trying it again.

Now, you need to understand something about that time. I knew nothing of how to bench. This was the years before YouTube or Amazon, so it was difficult finding information. Knowledge was often passed by other people in the weight room and contained about as much BS as your average load of natural fertilizer.

One thing I didn’t know anything about was form, and I had my arms running right next to my body. No arms at anything approaching an angle, and I had my grip about right for a close-grip bench press, but not an actual bench.

All of this contributed to what happened next.

The weight was lifted off the rack and moved over my chest…only to see my arms lose the ability to hold the weight right at the elbow joint. The weight crashed down on my face.

Yes, really. Continue reading “Timidity Under The Bar”

First Impressions Of Titan Yoke And Bench

Now that I’m back in the gym and can tell that I’m not revisiting past injuries, I decided it was time to revisit my home gym setup. The reason was simple. There are times when I want to workout but can’t really leave the house to lift.

That meant I needed a setup here, and I needed one that would fit what I was already doing.

After doing a bit of research while working around schedules to hit the commercial gym, I settled on a couple of items to start with rebuilding the gym.

I looked to Titan Fitness to see what they had to offer, and while they have similar products to industry giant Rogue–which makes sense considering Titan has basically ripped off Rogue’s designs–but have them at roughly half the cost.

Yeah, it was a no-brainer.

I selected two items to start with from them, the Titan T-3 Yoke and their 1,000 lbs capacity bench.

Pardon the mess. It’s been a hell of a weekend.

Here are my initial thoughts on both products. Continue reading “First Impressions Of Titan Yoke And Bench”

8-Week ‘Starting Strength’ Program Review

One of the recurring themes here at By Spear And Axe has always been the subject of strength. Yes, I’m kind of obsessed with the idea of it. Part of the reason for that is that for so much of my life, I didn’t have any. I was the proverbial 98-pound weakling growing up (though I weighed less than 98 lbs for much of that time).

As a result, I dealt with some variations of what I can only describe as hell because of it. I lacked the strength to do anything about it and, frankly, my requests for help in learning how to fight were rebuffed by my parents. I was kind of hosed.

However, as soon as I could get into a weight room, I did. The allure of iron was strong, and I spent a lot of time in the gym.

I didn’t have a damn clue what I was doing, but I spent a lot of time in the gym. I only wish someone back then had given me a copy of Mark Rippetoe’s book, “Starting Strength.” Continue reading “8-Week ‘Starting Strength’ Program Review”