KRAKATOA: PowPowPunishment's Daily Ventures of Destruction

I’ve been verrrry gradually tampering calories down here and there the past week and a half. Started with making slightly less weightgainer in the mornings and reducing and finally cutting non-veggie carbs for my last meal of the day. Yesterday, however, was my first real day of notable change by going without any gainer or milk and my dinner was spaced further away from bedtime. Holy crap do I feel great today as a result. Slept the best I have in a long time, waking up only once to take a leak when a good night is waking up twice and a typical night is 3-5 times near the morning. And this is after drinking a small glass of coffee at 6:30pm.

Did 40 non-stop burpees this morning before work. Since this is my first Labor Day off in 10 years, I have beach plans this Saturday so I’m moving my power days around. Bench day will be this evening.


Felt beat after work and the last thing I felt like doing on a Friday night was training. That’s often when I have my best sessions. Perhaps the body knows that so it sends resistance signals to protect itself from harm. Nice try.

Block press
315 x 1
375 x 1
380 x 1

Bench press
275 x 8

Kroc rows
150 lb dumbbell x 21

Incline Close-grip bench
200 x 9, 9, 9 + drop-down to 135 x 7 + 12 pushups
Super-set with chin-ups
15, 15, 15, 20

380 is the heaviest weight I’ve ever successfully moved with my arms. The barbell feels lighter and lighter every session.

I also received a warning that due to copyright restrictions with the music the video may be muted in certain territories and countries such as North Korea and Iran. Please write to Kim Jong-Un and Ayatollah Khamanei to demand they reverse this decision.


450 x 8
350 x 20 + 20 kettlebell pullovers
250 x 25

Feel delirious after this and am actually not entirely sure if I did 450 for 10 or 8. I’ll go with the lower number.

Turned down offers at the office on Friday to indulge in drinks because I knew I’d want to drink at the beach the next day, which was a blast. The tide receded at sunset and I got to walk out in ankle deep water as San Francisco lit up in the background.

I was wearing a tanktop of Arnold smoking a stogie on the set of Commando under a sweatshirt of Ali jabbing the crap out of Sonny Liston and they were just random comfort clothes I grabbed without thinking. My wardrobe ain’t bad.


Was extremely strapped for time yesterday evening, which is anticipated during the week and all part of the plan. Forced me to do another no-rest session which is good for me.

Axle clean once and strict press: 120 x 5
Chin-ups: 5
10 rounds in 9:04

20 kettlebell strict presses with 50 lb bells, dropping and cleaning every 5 reps
Super-set with 10 chin-ups

Lateral raises: 15 lb kettlebells x 20

Had some visitors when the after-work gym crowd arrived.

Because I was feeling nauseous from that effort combined with eating a big pre-workout meal, I had a liquid dinner of a protein shake with a whole egg and egg whites added and a homemade smoothie (no orange juice as a solvent anymore, only whole fruits that were slightly thawed or microwaved with a little hot water added so they blend; the process looks nutty but it turns out an instant smoothie with no added sugar or juice).


510 x 2, 2
350 x 18

Almost lost control squatting 510x2. I had just squatted 510x2 before this, but felt unusually wobbly which prevented me from going down as far as I wanted so I tried another set. That comes from losing weight and having less belly fat to center me, throwing me off balance. This was hairy but I was ready to drop the bar behind me and bail out if I absolutely needed to.


Block press
315 x 1, 1
365 x 1
385 x 1
My confidence took a small hit yesterday with how wobbly I was on the squat due to my thinner waist, and without safety bars plus a sore back I was a little wary of upping the weight to 385 today from last week. I made the right call to ignore that - this was no problem. Most weight I’ve ever pressed.

Bench press
280 x 7

Close-grip axle incline bench press
200 x 8, 7, 7, 7 + drop-down to 165 x 7
165 x 8 + drop-down to 110 x 7

Super-set with seated reverse-hyper rows
3 plates x 10
4 plates x 12, 20, 12, 20

Poundstone curls: 100 reps


Yes Sir. Nice job

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If you need em, metal sawhorses might be a good idea. I’ve used these before and they work perfectly.

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That’s a good suggestion and set-up, but if I ever really feel the need for them (very rarely) I usually set-up my strongman kegs on either side of me. Ultimately I decided this time I can do without after testing 365 and seeing how that flew up.

I’ve never failed a block or board press but it’s gotta be a lot nicer than a normal bench press. You could comfortably rest with the weight on you before trying again since your shoulders aren’t being crushed. It’d effectively turn into a pin press.

And just for fun, here’s my rare bench press fail. Probably happened about 4 times in 20 years. It sucks because you get an adrenaline dump and there are usually some sore shoulders afterwards, but not a big deal at all and why I laugh when YouTube comments call me an idiot for not having safety bars.


Yesterday did some back rehab and then two 3-minute rounds on the heavy bag, followed by a 10 minute run and some shadowboxing.

Back pain has been a struggle lately, but still have lots of rehab ideas to try and getting a laptop to stand and do work at the office is paying off. Been getting into the habit of having a “pre-deadlift day” wherein I’ll do the reverse-hyper, some light speed deads with 200, kettlebell swings, the sled and hanging leg raises. Should add the McGill 3 to that list. Will see how deads today go, most likely sumo.

I’m getting the idea to expand that back rehab workout to at least three days a week, irrespective of my training program. I need a pain-free back for more than just deadlifting. Writing it out and setting the days is the move to make.


Up to 515 x 1
405x12 + 10 shrugs

Back felt tender but good enough to not do sumo. Building back up slowly. Made myself stop after 1.

Barbell shrugs
405 x 15

Leg curls super-set with leg extensions
8 plates x 25

  • These were getting kinda stupid with 10 plates for 50 reps so I made a point to resist the eccentric instead of getting helped by the momentum of the machine. Less impressive numbers on paper, better training stimulus.

Axle strict press
200 x 4
160 x 8
150 x 7
130 x 9
Super-set with chin-ups
4 x 15

Shoulder medley
Behind-the-neck press: 45
Lateral raises: 15s x 12
Band pull-aparts x 20

Triceps medley
Dips x 10
Swiss bar skullcrushers x 20
Band pressdowns x 12

100 poundstone curls

Any kind of cleaning from the floor would be a bad move with how my back is feeling. Pressed fairly gingerly as a result.

Found 2 praying mantises yesterday while lifting, each getting attacked by my cat. One of them came back today. I think she wanted to lift.

EDIT: Neglected to log 70 push-ups done in the morning before the press workout.


Bodyweight squats
200 In 14:03 minutes

Leg extensions
10 plates x 30, 30

Leg curls
10 plates x 3 x 30

20 hanging leg raises

Tweaked my back while sitting down today which necessitated this. Have never done this many bodyweight squats in my life before so improving on this will be good for me.


Block press
315 x 1
365 x 1
375 x 1
390 x 1 (PR)

Bench press
280 x 8

Incline bench press
200x 9, 8, 8 - drop-down to 185x4, 135x5
135 x 10 - immediately switch to decline dumbbell press with the 50s x 12

365 felt like an absolute TON and I wasn’t sure if I’d have to change course today so I did an unplanned set of 375 as a test increase, but I felt woken up by then and was on a different level. While there’s been a definite difference in how stable I feel while squatting, weight loss hasn’t slowed down my upper body progress yet.


Had some awful back pain yesterday and today. Several things may have triggered it but my mattress 100% made it worse. It’s a memory foam with different firmness levels on each side. Switching to the firmer side has moved things in the right direction today - still hurts like a motherfucker but I have more mobility and was able to put my socks on without as much struggle. I don’t permanently have the mattress on that setting because it made my shoulders achy awhile ago from side sleeping, but it’s definitely better for sleeping on my back.

Gonna go mattress browsing this weekend for a spring or hybrid model. I also have health insurance for the first time as an adult kicking in this October so I’m looking into spine specialists to get checked out.

Definitely can’t load anything on my back right now so I did 50 bodyweight squats before breakfast and work today. Plan on squeezing in a lot more after work alongside an upper-body session.


Workout from Thursday night:

10, 10
50 x 10
100 x 7, 7
50 x 12

Giant set with chin-ups
8, 10, 12, 12, 15, 15

Giant set with kettlebell goblet squats
50 x 10, 10, 10, 20, 20, 30

Back was too painful to press overhead, which means there’s a fantastic opportunity to do weighted dips instead.

Today, after a couple of days of flipping my mattress to the firm side, my back is feeling a lot better. Going to carefully do a barbell squat workout today. Plan is to get to 320 for 3 high-rep sets, but if I’m feeling great I’ll add more.

My diet is also become strict enough at this point that I’m making Saturday a carb-up day. Time to feast.


Sorry to hear that, hope a speedy recovery