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There’s another way
Another way, somehow

This is not the year in review I expected to be writing at this time last year. Last year I had just finished a year of powerbuilding and was dissatisfied with the results. I ended promising to try to push myself to my limits with some extreme programming. Then the same thing that happened to everything in 2020, happened to my weight lifting routine: COVID showed up. Nothing about this year was conducive to well laid plans, and my attempts at fitness were no different.

I thought about not even writing this. For the…


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In my slow descent in being a kettlebell guy, I’m here with a review of arguably the most commonly run kettlebell program on the planet: The Russian Kettlebell Challenge Rite of Passage. I am running the version described by kettlebell evangelist Pavel Tsatsouline in the Second Edition of his famous Enter the Kettlebell book.

While running Dan John’s 10,000 Kettlebell Swing Workout was good for me in terms of pushing myself to complete a challenge and dipping my toes in kettlebell work, this is the real deal. …


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A neat little thing, but I’d go for some traditional kettlebells if I could do it all over again. Read my mini-review of this Bowflex below.

It’s been a while. After sharing the suspension training program that I designed, well, I ran it for a while. Two months or so. But already a month in, I was facing the reality that suspension training, while having its good points (portability, easy to do, etc) was never going to be like pushing myself against some iron. So, a little over a month in I staked out many, many websites looking for an adjustable kettlebell. At the end of August, I found one for “only” $40 over MSRP. …


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Welcome to my first designed program. After years of reviewing other people’s programs, I’m here with something of my own. Suspension Training Push-Pull-Legs. If you’ve been following me, you may remember my reviews of Suspension Training in general and one of TRX’s programs for suspension training. After finding suspension training itself to be a good stop gap until gyms in my area are allowed to re-open on account of the covid-19 pandemic, but finding the programs packaged with the purchase of a TRX to be a little lacking, I decided to design something to fit my needs.

While I thought…


Back again after the two week program included with the purchase of any TRX system: TRX Total Strength. This review assumes you have at least some familiarity with suspension training, if you don’t, check out my general review of suspension training and then head on back here.

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My gym for the last month

Total Strength is one of a handful of what the TRX app calls “Training Programs.” These are essentially different included workouts with the app placed on days of the week and scheduled for you to do as if they are a program. …


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Let’s try something new.

Like most of us, I was forced out of the gym over (valid) concerns about covid-19. With less than 800 square feet to work with, a home gym was out of the question, no room for that. Ceilings are also low, so a pull-up bar not happening either. So, I turned to something I’ve never done before: suspension training. Relatively new, compared to lifting weights anyway, suspension training involves hanging some harnesses and then pulling, pushing against them.

That’s right, it’s calisthenics, folks. The workouts included with the purchase of a TRX (the original suspension training equipment makers) are high…


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I started my year of turning up the volume on my weight training with the notorious program from Jon Anderson called Deep Water (or DEEPWATER). Let me tell you: it delivered. Right from day 1 I started resting by laying down in the gym, sucking down as much oxygen as possible. My AppleWatch informed me that I’ve never burned that many calories in an workout ever after it was over. My legs had DOMS for days.

All of this is to say, Deep Water is not for the quick lunch workout. …


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I confess I had sins but I tried to fight the best I can

Welcome to my look back a year of “powerbuilding,” the portmanteau is a fairly popular trend right now in weight training, combining powerlifting with bodybuilding into one package. While powerbuilding might be new the idea of using some powerlifting movements to help with bodybuilding (and the opposite) is less so. …


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Right before going for that squat personal record

Closing out my year of powerbuilding with a return to (a variation of) the most popular review I’ve written: Boring But Big: Jim Wendler’s Boring But Big: Beefcake Training. (To see the rest of my year of powerbuilding, check out: Coolcicada’s PPL, P.H.A.T. and P.H.U.L.)

Some people may not be keen on calling BBB a powerbuilding program since it lacks isolation exercises and therefore isn’t typical in the body building department. But, BBB does what virtually every other powerbuilding program does: combines some high intensity, low rep work with low intensity, high volume work for a best of both worlds…


When you ask some folks what their best days at the gym were, you may get a day when a personal record was shattered or when they entered the 1,000 lbs club; some milestone like that. You will probably also hear some talk about when they met a future best friend or lifting partner. And some, I’m sure, will say they don’t have any days that stick out.

But, for me, the best days I have are the ones that absolutely suck.

Let me give you an example: this past week I took my son to the dentist and he…

Erik

Hi. I make movies and lift weights. I write about the latter here.

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