Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Comment that Started Swole Acceptance and SAEH

Warning: Many [TW] in this post.

So today I unfortunately revisited some old memories I had thought were forgotten. A user, in my community on reddit.com posted this link. This was the day SAEH and the Swole Acceptance movement was born. I kept it to myself for a long, long time.

Too many terrible memories... The time I flew cross country and my shoulders were smashed in on each side because they were "too big" for the confines of my seat. The time an old roommate lectured me for drinking raw eggs. Called me a meat head, said I was stupid and I was endangering my own life. The time I went to Outback Steakhouse and ordered an extra porterhouse which caused a look from our waitress like I was some disgusting blob of muscle.

The time I was waiting in line at the supermarket and a middle aged woman squeezed my arm.

All the times I was cat called walking down the street.

All the times I had to buy new clothes because they either shrank in the wash or I out grew them.

So many dollars and tears wasted on being swole.

Enough of this pity party. I love myself, I LOVE my swole, and I LOVE being swole. Nothing is more enjoyable than going to the gym, lifting some heavy weights, then retiring back to my house and devouring a six egg omelet, a protein shake, and maybe a half gallon of whole milk.

Being swole is beautiful. I am beautiful.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012: Swole-Log

Did some bench work, got 215x10 followed up by some light rows and other back work.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Swole Log: Entry One

Monday, May 28, 2012

Today was the first day, in the first week, of my second cycle doing the modified version of 5/3/1 I came up with a few months ago. Here's a screen shot of the excel file with the details of the program. The percentages, sets, and reps highlighted in yellow are the accessory work. These highlighted sets and reps are just more squats, bench presses, and overhead presses; with deadlifts being an exception. I hate deadlifting for a ton of reps. I left that blank so on some days I can just pull heavy singles or maybe squat some more, depending on how I feel that day. 

With the original version of 5/3/1 Wendler says that if you're having a bad day just do the work sets and get out of the gym. Well, that's not the same for this modified version, the highlighted accessory work is mandatory as well. Matter of fact, everything on that damn page is mandatory. What's optional is what isn't on the page, and trust me,  I do a bit of optional work after all that jackassery. Here is a link to my Fitocracy profile an example of extra jackassery.

This program seems to be working quite well. Although this is just the beginning of the second cycle through I must admit it is hard to judge and predict how my lifts will fare at the end of however many cycles I go through. One thing I have to keep in mind is "are you building strength or testing it?" I'm the kind of guy that falls into trying to get a new PR every time I step foot into the gym... can't really do that on this program. When week three day five comes around and I'm repping out 95% of my 1RM followed up by 10x3 at 85% of my 1RM it usually results in me being pretty damned smoked by the end of it. 

Also, as you may note, the de-load week is more intense and contains much more volume than the traditional 5/3/1 program. Not everyone understands that a de-load doesn't mean you get to pussyfoot about for a week generally sucking at all things other than watching Jersey Shore. There are a few ways to de-load, here they are:

Decrease volume. (Daily or weekly.)
Decrease frequency. (Number of sessions per week in the gym)
Decrease intensity. (Pounds on the bar.)
Decrease density. (Number of exercises per session.) 
Or, any combination of the four.

If I missed one or a few, let me know. 

Before going into a de-load you should ask yourself what it is you need a break from. Once you have that answer, you'll know what you need to back off of. Considering that this modified 5/3/1 of mine isn't that big on volume, for any of the lifts, I kept the volume roughly the same per workout and simply decreased the intensity for that week. I just finished up my first de-load week and I loved it; there's nothing really quite like squatting for sets of ten after a few weeks of doing five reps or less. I used to be a widowmaker fiend and this de-load gives me a taste of that sweet sweet masochism. 

Nothing too bad happened emotionally today. Thankfully no swole-hate was seen or felt... I fear that if I had these squats would have crushed me, both physically and emotionally. I feel safe within the walls of my gym, so much support and camaraderie with my fellow brothers and sisters-in-swole. The pain comes when I step outside, into the real world, where having swole and strength is out of fashion and "otter-mode" is in. 

People fear what they don't understand. 

People shouldn't fear swole. They should embrace it.  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Big 100 Colossal Judgement Day

In the first post of this blog I described to you the problem of swole-hate in our modern society and essentially stated that this blog is a solution of sorts to those brothers and sisters-in-swole who have suffered from our oppressive swole-shaming culture. It is both a solution and a coping mechanism. Maybe, just maybe, if this blog becomes popular enough it will catch the eye of someone who has the power to make changes. Perhaps a politician or a movie star... and they'll become vocal about the Swole Acceptance movement, and us swole folk will feel comfortable being us; comfortable in our own swole.

Like I said before, it doesn't matter how tall you are, you have the right to be swole. Don't let society tell you otherwise.

Moving along.

Today I had what I like to call "an event." I had just woken up and was making some morning coffee when I realized I was out of milk. So, very quickly, I threw on a shirt which must have shrank in the wash and headed out to my local grocery store. Once inside I could almost feel the piercing eyes upon my pectoralis major and instantly the weight of the world was on my trapezius. Quickly I walked to the dairy isle and grabbed a gallon of vitamin d whole milk. But on the way to the cashier something caught my eye.

It was a MetRx Big 100 Colossal bar; 400 calories and 31g of protein. Some call it a "meal replacement." I call it a side order of muscle fuel. I told myself no. I tried to fight the urge... but my will was weak, like my bench, and I ended up buying the "meal replacement" bar; knowing I would be judged for this purchase upon payment.

At the check out counter there was a middle aged woman hurriedly scanning and bagging other patrons groceries. Normal food like doughnuts, white bread, margarine, and marshmallow rice cakes. Nothing to take notice of. Nothing shocking enough to cause this cashier to look away from her counter as she worked. Soon it was my turn and judgement was upon me. She slid the gallon of whole milk across the counter and slightly rose her chin; attempting to peek out from behind her 1980's bangs to see this disgusting blob of swole. Yet she had little courage. But then she scanned the Big 100 Colossal... and like the end of a whip her head snapped up and her eyes, those penetrating eyes, looked deep into my myofibrillar hypertrophy and I saw that she concluded I was of lower intelligence and only worthy of her gawking, not any sort of greeting or passing words.

I paid the woman and left in near tears. Being swole is something I enjoy, but sometimes things like this happen and I feel pressured by society to change my muscle bound ways. Maybe I'll pick up jogging or cycling. Maybe I'll become a vegetarian or a vegan.

Maybe then I'll be accepted.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

An Introduction to Swole at Every Height

Welcome to Swole at Every Height.

This blog exists as a safe haven for all people who feel persecuted by our conformist society; which forcefully exerts social pressure among its population. Pressuring everyone to be a certain size. Well I'm here to tell you that regardless of how tall you are, you have the right to pursue gaining size and strength without suffering from bullying or negative criticism. Whether you're four or seven feet tall you should feel comfortable in your desires to expand horizontally since your genetic potential has limited you so unfairly vertically.

Just because you're 6'7" and 120 pounds soaking wet doesn't mean you are a star basketball player, or that you should become one. Similarly if you are 5'2" it doesn't mean you're great at getting things off the bottom shelves nor does it mean you'll be great at conquering most of Europe and lead an empire during the early 19th century. Your  height  was predetermined, not your career. Stop letting society force you into life choices based upon height. Along those same lines, with your height being predetermined, remember the amount of swole you have was not. Stop letting society tell you things like, "You're naturally skinny." Or, "Oh, you're just kind of naturally stocky." My personal favorite, "Your somatotype dictates your body composition."

Stop believing those lies. Your effort determines the amount of muscle you have or the physical strength you possess.

So go forth, and be swole at every height. Be fearless and confident in your quest to build a chest circumference greater than your height. Don't let anybody tell you that being swole at your size isn't healthy. They're ignorant and trying to shape you into what our modern culture dictates as "beautiful."

Do you know what is really beautiful? A person happily fulfilling their  dreams of maximum swole.

                                                Only toddler in the longterm goal of swole.

Post your personal stories in the comments section. This is a support community for anyone who have suffered from swole-hate.