Thursday, June 12, 2014


On Saturday I did the Mudcat Festival Strongman Contest again. Second Place this year. The guy who won came second last year and swore he was going to train his ass off and beat me this year. So good for him, I guess. If I'm going to lose to somebody it might as well be a guy 10 years younger than I am who devotes a year of his life to doing it. I dominated the lightweight division at the Mudcat for 13 years, maybe it's just his turn.

My wife couldn't come this year because she was working so I don't have a lot of pictures and videos to post like I usually do. My brother got some but he hasn't sent them to me yet so I haven't even seen them. I do have one video though and it's pretty much the only one that matters as far as this post is concerned anyway.

It's being a pain in the ass to upload. What the fuck?

Not my best performance ever but it's the same number of reps I got last year with, I believe, the same amount of weight. Thing is, I didn't even train the overhead press this year.

I had a back injury at work this winter which set me back a few months in training and I had a shoulder injury about a month ago that set me back again so "training" wasn't much at all this year. But a few months ago I made a friendly bet with my friend Johnny Grube that I would use pushups as my only upper body exercise leading up to the competition this year. He gave me a copy of his new book to read and I promised him I'd give him an honest review of it after the contest.

See, I'm not like other assholes online who skim through a book and then immediately post a positive review for their buddies. I'm all about results and any book about pushups is only as good as the results you achieve after you've read it.

As you can see, the book is entitled simply PUSHUPS and that's exactly what it's about. Johnny Grube has literally written the book on pushups. There are other ones out there, sure, but fuck them. They're not written by a guy with 14 world records, are they?

There are some typos and grammatical errors but they're easy to look past. Honestly, if you're the type to get hung up on that sort of thing, it's probably not just a coincidence that you also suck shit at pushups. I'll give you some free advice: Fuck off.

In cases like this it's the content that matters anyway and this one is as solid as you need it to be. Nothing complicated, no silly contortionist acts or circus bullshit. If you've been stuck hovering around 50 reps for a while you can get to 100 pretty easily within a few months following the guidelines Grube puts forth in this book. You'll also find a very commonsense approach to getting better at one arm pushups without any of the tricks and silliness I've seen elsewhere.

What I started to find during this experiment was that my shoulders started to adopt a different resting position than what one might get when regularly using the allegedly Russian high tension parlour tricks or slow motion nonsense that's currently popular for whatever reason. Not that it probably matters much but it was something I noticed. I also noticed my traps getting denser and becoming more involved whenever I would do pushups.

Coincidentally, the form Johnny Grube recommends for the basic pushup is the same as what all the fighters at McGrory's Boxing Club use here in Hamilton. Do your pushups this way for a while and you'll notice your punches get faster and crisper. I did. And my arms started to get a very solid feeling from the inside out, much like the type of strength your legs have just from the simple fact of them being used to support your weight for long periods of time. And on any occasion that you feel like doing some letter perfect form pushups, the best warmup for that I've found yet is 100 reps done explosive style like you'll read about in this book. It doesn't have to be 100 reps. It can be more or less than 100. But if you do as many as you can this way, your body suddenly has no choice but to use what's commonly thought of as "perfect form" if you hope to do anymore. Next thing you know, you're doing well over 100 reps in a set when you add it all together. And the concept is so simple I'm embarrassed I didn't think of it myself years ago.

There's more than just basic pushups covered in the book as well. And very possibly quite a few things you've never thought about trying before. You can get very strong doing a lot of pushups even if all you do is the basic two arm floor variety. It's all in how you attack them. It's almost a week ago that I put up more than my bodyweight over my head 11 times (I weighed 167 lbs that day) without even picking up a barbell most of the year and I wasn't fucking about with low rep "progressions," I was doing shitloads of pushups. As far as upper body strength is concerned I had no problems with any of the other events that day either. No more than I would have had if I'd been training with weights anyway. And pushups are cheaper and way more convenient.

Go to any weight room and have a look around at how many dipshits and geeks are crowding around the bench press stations. How many of them are strong? Truly strong? A very small percentage at best. Bench presses are a shitty exercise. Pushups are awesome. Anybody who can do 100 or more reps at a time is going to be unmistakably strong regardless of their size or build.

I don't actually know what Amazon is charging for this book. I got a signed copy for free because I'm way fucking cooler than you. But whatever it is, if you have any interest whatsoever in improving your ability to do quite possibly the best upper body exercise of all time and definitely one of the best overall exercises of all time, it's worth it. Get it, read it, use it or remain a nerd and a wannabe for the rest of your life. It's as simple as that.

If she reads that book before you do she'll be able to kick your ass. Put a bag on your head next time you shower.
You probably don't shower.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Best endorsement for a lifelong fitness regimen EVER

Solitary Fitness is one of my favourite fitness-themed books. And I've read quite a lot of them. It's one I find myself going back and rereading at least once or twice a year. It's densely packed with knowledge, Bronson has a very funny writing style and his methods are effective. Provided you never got bored with it, his system of diet and exercise and overall philosophy on healthy living is one that you could follow for literally the rest of your life. Well into your old age.

How do I know this? There's no reason at all to take my word for it. I'm a well established moron. I don't even publicly proclaim to fucking love science so what would I know? According to the Internet I can't even read or write. Well, last month Charles Bronson himself gave us all the proof we should need.

He wrote Solitary Fitness when he was 54 or 55 years old. To be in the kind of shape he was in at that time, at that age, was impressive in itself. But just recently at 61 years old he got pissed off about the outcome of a soccer game, smeared himself with butter and fought 12 prison guards. Twelve! How many guys in their 60s, even guys who still work out, will fight even one guy at a time, never mind 12? Sure, there are tough old guys out there. I know plenty of them. And with this being the Internet I'm sure anyone reading this knows twice as many of them as I do and they're all three times as tough.

This is a guy who, back when he wrote Solitary Fitness, claimed he hadn't been in a fight in about 10 years and he was very proud of that. And since then there had been a group actually protesting to get him freed from prison. Whatever; I knew he was never getting out and so did he.

I say good for him for fighting those guards. It sounds like they broke a few of his ribs but that sort of injury is to be expected when walking into a fight outnumbered. We're talking about 12 men, armed and armoured, most of them probably less than half his age. Obviously he knew he was going to lose but he didn't give a shit and I for one respect the Hell out him for that and I don't give a shit that he's a criminal either. My best friends growing up were criminals. So he likes to beat the shit out of bullies and child molesters. Let him do it!

Anyway, if a 61 year old man who hasn't been in a fight in the better part of two decades can decide out of the blue to have a go at 12 guys whose job it is to babysit a building full of guys just as crazy as he is, if not more so, over his favourite soccer team losing a game isn't proof enough that his fitness regime isn't solid as fuck, I don't know what is.

Charles Bronson is awesome. Every knew diddler that comes inside should have to spend an hour locked in a room with him. Maybe even once a week for the duration of their sentence. I can't even think of a better way to let this great man pay his debt to society.

It sounds like the Insane Clown Posse knows how to deal with kiddie pervs too.