Chris's Random Thoughts & Rants (B)Log

Hello. My name is Chris and I’m a fitness addict.

Hi, Chris.

Like many of you, I guess I’m here today because I have a problem. I train, like, every week. Several times if I’m being honest. I also… I also…

This is a safe space, Chris. It’s okay.

I also think about lifting weights a lot. And supplements. And health and longevity. And even nutrition. I’ve got it so bad that I even work for a website that specializes in all those things. I’m… I’m actually the CCO.

Support group gasps audibly.

I appreciate that this support group is available. I’ll use this community to talk about my random fitness thoughts, maybe even talk about my training.

Can’t you just write an article or something?

No, no, I just need to purge these aimless thoughts from my brain and get them out there. They’re not really article-worthy.

Support group sighs and shifts uncomfortably.

So, here we go…


Life So Far: A Summary

I was always a chubby kid. Not athletically gifted. At 15, I bought a cheap plastic weight set and joined a local gym to help me with the procurement of girls. I tore through libraries for bodybuilding books and read all the magazines. I read Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding until it fell apart and the library made me pay for it. I purchased terrible-tasting supplements from the GNC at the mall.

I got leaner, built a little muscle, and then quit because I procured a girlfriend.

By my senior year of high school I was fat. By my sophomore year of college I was diagnosed as obese. I was socially invisible. I was a shithead. The real me was buried under goo. I panicked.

I adopted a “program” of running and near-starvation. No T Nation back then to guide me. But I lost somewhere around 60-70 pounds. I’m not sure because I couldn’t bear to step on the scale at my fattest. No pics from that time either because I dodged cameras like Neo dodges bullets.

I was satisfied with just being “not fat” for a while. Life got better. But I was wrecked too. What little muscle I had had atrophied away. My metabolism was as shriveled as Joe Biden’s nutsack.

I racked up a couple of degrees, became a teacher, dusted off the training books, and started working out with the football players at the school. My obsession with lifting and nutrition was rekindled. I started writing programs and diets for friends. I coached powerlifting. I freelanced fitness articles. First article was about that newfangled stability ball training, written for a Japanese powerlifting magazine.

Somewhere in there, I discovered Muscle Media 2000 and TC Luoma and Charles Poliquin. I got “Poliquin Certified” with his first $100 course. Then Muscle Media started to suck (because TC left) and then the magazine went away.

I got my first home computer. I searched the internet for TC and Poliquin in 1998. Found a brand new website called Testosterone, which later became T Nation.

One day I blew my face off with truck stop ephedrine and went to work out. High as a kite, I came home and emailed this new website. TC himself answered (!) and I sent him an article, which he published. Soon after, I was assistant editor, even doing some ghostwriting for Poliquin. Now I’m CCO. Only took 24 years. DM me for career advice.

And now, here we are.

Today I did a full-body workout. I lifted some stuff up. I put that stuff down. I did that a few times


How-do-you-suggest-we-do-that GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

So I take it that the curls eventually got the gurls?


Oh so it was nonexistent


After a few tryouts. :smiley:


I look forward to the rants!

1 Like

Have access to one of these? Try this test:

:hot_face: Row 500 meters in under 2 minutes. That’s it.

Can’t do it? Work on your conditioning. Maybe stop being fat.

Can do it? Try it once a week and attempt to beat your previous time.

I got 1:48 on the first try. Went too hard in the first 300 meters and almost gassed out. Had to pause and suck some air. Also, I did it at the end of a metcon workout consisting of around 100 machine tire flips because, apparently, I’m insane.

I like fitness tests like this. A great athlete or specialist would have no problem. But the average person off the street would pass out or barf. Or both. And it’s pretty tough for the average gym-goer. I think sub-2-minutes is a good standard though, something to always be able to do at the drop of a hat.

Of course, you can become more efficient just by mastering your erg form, getting the transition from legs to arms just right, etc. It’s like a whole art form for some CrossFitter types.

I’ll try it again fresh later this week.

Typically, I lift 3 times per week, full body, then throw in a metcon/abs session on an off day or two.


Anyone else here a full-gown adult that still gets excited about stickers?

Just me? Ok.

(Told you this would be random.)

If you scratch 'n sniff these, they smell like steak and victory.


can yall include these in every purchase over X amount or something? I need to decorate.


I’m not sure what the plan is right now for the stickers. I think a few winners of our 25th Anniversary Giveaway will be getting one or two along with their backpacks.

1 Like

Okay, did the 500m rowing test again today while fresh: 1:44. Beat the first pre-fatigued test.

Here are some standards written by a T Nation contributor:

Well, this puts me in the “needs work” category. (We need a middle finger emoji.)

Still, I think sub-2:00 is a great standard for non-23-year-old athletes. Also, this chart is for under 50 and I’m over 50… somehow. Not sure how that happened.


I love the article that has the 2 minute rowing challenge you posted above. But I’m starting to have doubts about those standards… especially the huge discrepancy between males and females.

When I tested mine last week, I did it in 1:53 and that’s considered “very good” but you were several seconds faster than me, and your time falls in a “needs work” category?!

That just doesn’t seem right, and I don’t know why.

Also, the “heavyweights” beat the “lightweights.” Haven’t bothered to look up the details of that yet. Bigger people = stronger, longer, more powerful pulls? I take it that the heavyweights aren’t exactly fatties.

Okay, I’m getting it now. A bigger, more muscular body = a bigger, stronger pull.

So every time you do a row, the power of that pull should send your “boat” further.

So the chart makes sense to me now. Naturally a male is going to have a more powerful pull on every row, so that’s why there’s such a huge discrepancy between what’s considered good for a male and good for a female.

When I was in CF (another lifetime ago) one of the coaches said to treat every row on the rower like a high pull. You use a big leg drive, then pull with your back, and finally at the end use your arms a teeny bit. She’d have us pause at the top, and “rest” on the way down. It wasn’t a frantic sprint where you’re in constant motion, which is a bit different from other forms of cardio.

She had us thinking of it less as a cardio exercise and more as a power exercise. No wonder the bigger, more muscular people will dominate at it.

I also suspect taller people have a slight advantage on the rower.

1 Like

This would explain the trend a few years back where WSM competitors were all setting silly records on short distance ERG events.

1 Like

Yeah, yeah, but his form wasn’t pristine.


He almost tore that thing in half!

Awesome post!

1 Like

HA! That’s wild! Thank you for linking to these! :exploding_head:

1 Like

I call this the Super Bowl.

I have it once per day, usually as second breakfast. Typically, I wake up and have a Finibar with coffee, then Surge Workout Fuel if it’s a training day. Then I usually have this.

Here’s the idea: If I eat this one quick meal, every day, then pretty much every nutritional need I have is taken care of. The rest of the day can be chaos, but I’m way ahead of the nutrition game with the Super Bowl.

Basically I have two scoops of Metabolic Drive mixed into a small amount of water so I can eat it with a spoon. To that I add all the powdered supplements that are health-related or goal specific for me, then berries and walnuts.

Currently, my Super Bowl looks like this:

• 2 scoops Metabolic Drive

• Wild blueberries, frozen (keeps blood pressure in check + other health benefits)

• Walnuts (the healthiest nut… plus this benefit)

• 1 serving of Superfood (18 veggies and fruits I’d never be able eat in one day)

Pycnogenol or maritime pine bark extract (lots of health benefits, but let’s be honest: it gives you great boners)

• 1 serving sugar-free Metamucil (cholesterol control, appetite control)

• 1 serving collagen (joint health, fewer wrinkles). I like this brand.

• 3-5 grams creatine (brain and heart health + gains, bro)

Believe it or not, it tastes great to me and I look forward to it.

You can build your bowl however you like, based on your needs and goals.

NOTE: Now, some may worry that a couple of those ingredients may interfere with one another. Maybe a smidge. But I’m probably still getting 98% of the effect I’m after, even if that’s true. I know I wouldn’t be consistent taking all of these things if I separated them throughout the day. The Super Bowl solves that issue.


In the stock photo world, you always have to eat salad in the gym. These are the rules.

Also, look left. Always.

I have a love/hate relationship with the stock photo companies.

1 Like