Monday, July 30, 2012

Suns Out Guns Out... and So is the Prejudice

So it's summer time and as the old saying goes, "Suns out guns out." This time of the year is great. Warm weather. Cold beer. Beautiful people all out and about enjoying themselves in the vitamin d rich sunlight. The time of year when it's acceptable to wear sleeveless shirts, khaki shorts, and flip flops.

That is... unless you're swole.

I've noticed that since I've come into my swolehood; manifesting physically what I had already felt emotionally about myself, that I can no longer feel comfortable wearing sleeveless shirts in public. I know what you're all saying.

"But GZCL! Love the swole you're in! Be proud of your swole!"

Trust me fellow swoldiers, I try. I really do try and feel comfortable while wearing tank tops around town but it just doesn't happen. Before my swoleness was fully realized I had no problem sporting around tank tops and other sleeveless varieties. Now that I'm swole it's a completely different story. Everywhere I go the judgement torments me. The hateful eyes of the weak privileged males staring at me with contempt as I try and go about my grocery shopping in peace. I can feel the penetrating stares of women as their feminine gaze meets mine and for a second their dreams are read as easily as a book.

Their dreams are disgusting. They are my nightmares.

Every time I feel courageous enough to venture into the wild sleevelessly the first human encounter always makes me regret the decision. I suppose I just can't handle the judgement.

"Look at this meathead trying to show off."

"I had bigger arms than that."

"He's not even that  big."

I hear all those things when I see the looks in strangers eyes and I cannot bear it any longer. I also have one thing to admit to all my readers, all my swole brothers and sisters, and to the future swole-citizens of the world.

I haven't even worn a tank top to the gym...


Yes, I know I seem like a strong individual. A person who can take the Swole Acceptance movement upon his developed shoulders and carry it into the spotlight for all to see our pain. But I cannot. I am but a man. A swole man. But still only a man who feels the judgement passed to him for simply wanting to be comfortable in the summer time.

Warm weather.

Cold beer.



Monday, July 16, 2012

Swole Log 3: On My Own Program.

So a few weeks back I posted Swole Log: Entry Two wherein I briefly described the program I have created which I have followed for the last three plus weeks; I'm currently through day one of the deload. This is a brief write up of my experiences with this program.

It's fucking awesome. Period.

Ok, I'll go into it a bit more. But in short... that sums it up. Assuming you like to lift heavy ass weights for the majority of your time in the gym. Here's a screenshot of my Excel file , if you would like to have a look at the more numerical details of how awesome it is reference to the first link I posted above.

As some of you know I had a mandatory seven week lifting hiatus where I was forced to do primarily running. This set me back a little in my squat and now I'm certain that I'm stronger now than I was then.

So what did I not like about it?

Easily the worst part about this was the fact that I never went above 360 pounds in my squat. Very discouraging. This is due to using a "training max" instead of my actual max or an estimated max. I figure it would be smart to go about this program in much the same way as Wendler suggests in 5/3/1; and it worked well.

Some Figures:

After being done with my hiatus I went on my modified 5/3/1 and on May 19 I squatted 360x4 then on June 16 I squatted 370x3. After three weeks on my own program I squatted 355x6 on July 14. I know what you're thinking.

"But GZCL, that's less weight than what you did two months before and only two lousy reps more."

And you'd be right, absolutely fucking right. However I would like to add that two months before when I squatted that 360x4 I didn't do the following immediately prior:  3x3 at 340 lb, then 4x2 at 345 lb, followed up by 5 singles at 355 with the last set being as many as possible... that very last set being when I got 355x6.

I dare say that I got stronger.

In fact, when I squatted that 360x4 my previous sets were 285x5 then to 325x3. If anything my endurance at percentages close to my 1RM has gotten much better; as well as my strength. Just for shits and giggles, a 635 lock out. 

But what about my bench and press?

Well I ended up tying my PR I had prior to "The Hiatus" of 180 lb on my shoulder press using my modified 5/3/1. I also failed a new PR attempt on it. I didn't come close to touching that on my own program but that's because I didn't try for a new PR... maybe next cycle. However with bench I ended up getting 255x4  on July 10th. Prior to that on June 12 I got 240x6. Again... did I get stronger?

Well, I'd like to say so considering all the weight I moved before I did that 255x4 as compared to the 240x6. Here's how it went: 3x3 at 240, 4x2 at 245, then 5x1 at 255 with the last being a rep out.

Yes. I got stronger on this program.

What else didn't I like? Well it might sound weird, but I honestly felt like I could do a lot more singles most of the time. That's why I added the rep out on Friday for my squats and at the last work set on week three for bench and press. But, this next cycle I'm going to rep out the last set each bench and press workout instead of just doing it for week three.

Honestly there were some Mondays and Wednesdays that I had to refrain from destroying myself in the gym knowing full well that I would have that opportunity come Friday with my rep outs.

Do I recommend it? Yes I do.

Am I biased? Yes I am.

Should you do this? Unless you're me... probably not. But if you choose to do so, please let me know. That way I can try talk you out of it if you're not ready.

If you do and if you get hurt it is your own damn fault. I'm not recommending this to anyone. I'm just showing all my readers what is possible.

Overtraining? Yeah... right. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Creatine: Prescription or poison for swole?

The news is out. 

The scientists have released their findings. 

The public has formed an opinion.

Congress has made a ruling.

Creatine is a gateway drug at best. At worst, a schedule three controlled substance. 

Surely some of us out there know what it is; a tool. That's all. Sure, can it be abused much the same as any drug? Of course. But then the argument can also be made that food itself should be a controlled substance since some of it clearly has addictive qualities.

I'm looking at you sugar. 

I once knew a man who was "addicted" to creatine. I put that in quotes because I'm still not too sure myself of how much I personally believe in creatine's supposed addictive qualities. We'll call this guy Hank. Hank was an average joe going to an average gym doing your average routine. He had gotten in pretty good shape in about six months of fairly consistant lifting. But one day things changed. 

A friend told him about creatine. Creatine monohydrate. 

Hank followed the loading protocols to the letter. His bench went up almost instantly. He found himself gaining almost two pounds a week. He was going to the gym more often; he loved being in there. He was always surrounded by women. Always wearing sleeveless shirts. Always on creatine.

That was three years ago. 

Hank is dead now. He died in a car accident on the way to the gym. Did creatine cause the accident? No. No it did not. But some would say that if it weren't for creatine Hank wouldn't have been going to the gym and he wouldn't have been hit by that low flying pesticide bi-plane tanker and exploded into flames screaming in agony. Vaporized in a chemical fire. 

But what creatine may have taken from him, his awesome life, it also granted him. If it weren't for creatine then maybe he wouldn't have been going to the gym that day. But then again maybe he wouldn't have been surrounded by women. Wouldn't be the same over-confident alpha male that he was. 

Wouldn't be the man women wanted to be with. 

Wouldn't be the man men want to be.

We all know the side effects of creatine. Massive pumps. Increase in size and strength. Decrease in body fat. Increase in confidence. Decrease in acne. Increase in sexual activity. Increase in salary. Increase in genital length and girth. 

But can we responsibly take this wonder drug to benefit us without killing us in return? Can we look at ourselves in the mirror and promise ourselves, and the rest of the Swole Acceptance community, that we will never abuse creatine again? I pray that we can, together, as a whole, make a covenant unto each other that we will no longer hurt our bodies, our minds, or anyone in our pursuit of strength by irresponsibly exploiting the qualities of creatine. 

I ask all of my readers to educate themselves on the risks and rewards of creatine use and to make a sound decision on whether or not to use it, and if you do, please do so in a controlled and prescribed manner; preferably supervised by a medical professional. 

Let us not have another die in a creatine related death. Whether or not it was the cause. People outside of the SAEH community have made their opinions on creatine clear; it is a drug. It is evil. 

I pray none of you contribute negative news against something that can benefit our swole so much.