More Trouble Than I Am Worth: Chaos Is The Plan (T3hPwnisher Log)

That’s honestly not weird at all in the context we’re discussing. A lot of folks struggle with pulling from blocks, and those folks are NOT natural hingers.

Dan John has 4 quadrants he breaks people up into. For the upper body, some people are pushers and some are pullers. Some dudes can bench a Buick and can’t do 5 pull ups, and some dudes can knock out 20 pull ups and will never bench bodyweight. For lower body, you have squatters and you have hingers. The hingers are great at deadlifts and swings and the squatters squat. You combine the two, and have push/hingers, pull/squatters, pull/hingers, etc etc.

That was a long aside, but looking at your body: you strike me as a squatter. You have a LONG torso, and I imagine that comes with shorter legs in order for you to NOT be 7’ tall. This means you can keep an upright posture and not have to move very far when you squat. This also means, when you TRY to hinge, your torso is like a goddamn trebuchet, and at any moment you run the risk of launching a disc straight out of your spine at speeds faster than the speed of sound. So for you, pulling from blocks sucks, because it’s PURE hinge: you don’t even get a chance to employ any leg drive.

When you pull from a deficit, you are able to “squat” the deadlift up and play to your mechanical advantages. I imagine you probably deadlift better in weightlifting shoes than flat shoes for similar reasons.


I’m going to read this again tomorrow, but just wanted to thank you for such a thorough explanation, makes so much sense, never really thought about it in those terms but that explains my awful looking pull that’s essentially two parts, legs followed by a crappy half hinge! I think recognising this and giving myself permission to tbdl will help mentally and hopefully still help drive my deadlift up, but just approaching from a different perspective.

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Man, loved a lot of the musings in this post. Few thoughts

  • Jim seems to be a huge advocate for the trap bar. He uses the trap bar for training his football athletes now instead of a barbell, and he himself switched to trap bar instead of a barbell after his motorcycle accident. (Before he started his whole walrus deal). If there’s any modification that is definitely 531 approved, it’s switching to trap bar deadlift.
  • as a fellow hinger, I completely agree about the trap bar not necessarily carrying over to straight bar. BUT, I think the trap bar falls into a similar category as SSB of “brute strength” builder. It’s not about perfecting leverages and angles of pull to minimize work over distance, the trap bar is just a perfect ugly strength tool
  • I have never in my life slept comfortably on my back. Stomach sleeper all the way. I never really thought of this as a negative thing though, is there any reason you find back sleeping a beneficial indicator?

@alex_uk Always happy to chat dude, and glad you found it useful!

@atlas13 Appreciate you swinging by! No doubt Jim is in favor of the trap bar: he actually got me sold on it a while back when I was a doubter. Someone was asking him about the movement as a valid deadlift replacement/how it carried over, and he put it simple: “If someone stands up with a trap bar with 900lbs, that person is strong”. It was so simple but brilliant. Who cares if it’s a deadlift or not, who cares of it carries over to the deadlift or not: a 900lb trap bar lifter is a strong HUMAN. And fully agree with comparing it to the SSB there in that capacity. The lack of flex in the bar also helps make it pretty brutal. Regarding stomach sleeping, there’s a bit of research out there that speaks to the detriment of stomach sleeping as it relates to spinal health among a few other things. I actually spent a summer when I was a teenager TRYING to teach myself to sleep on my back and just couldn’t do it. But now it’s a preference for me. If nothing else, it makes sleeping on planes easier! Haha.

AM WORKOUT (0422 wake up via alarm)

5/3/1 BUILDING THE MONOLITH Week 3, Workout 5

GIANT SETS (Press-squat-chin)

Axle clean and strict press away

Buffalo Bar Squat

Weighted NG chins

GIANT SETS (press-shrug-BPA)

Axle clean and strict press away

Axle shrug against strong short bands

Band pull aparts

Buffalo Bar Squat widowmaker


3x10 standing ab wheel


Short walk w/dog


  • Typically, I’m pretty excited about this day, but this morning it was more “let’s just get through it” when I woke up. I don’t think it’s so much the training beating me up, but more life/work stuff. This week has been a long year. Still something to keep an eye on. I am quite excited for the weekend, especially since my Valkyrie is making me a turkey for the superbowl. Our local pizza spot is ALSO offering 100 wings for $110, and she has pitched to me the idea of taking them up on that offer. It’s supposed to be food for a party…but I can be a party of one! I don’t see this actually happening, but I love that she thinks it’s a valid idea.

  • I really tried to focus on the pop of the clean with the axle today. Weight was heavy enough that I couldn’t just manhandle it, and trying to do so would waste energy. Moved decently fast. I’m getting a little more athletic.

  • Squats are always so heavy on this day. A weighted I did for 5x5 on Monday becomes so heavy on Friday.

  • Moved up resistance on the shrugs and really felt it. Bands are just such a clutch move here.

  • Gave that widowmaker a real solid effort. I was delighted to make it to 50 reps: being able to maintain that Dan John “Mass Made Simple” standard under these circumstances is just awesome. Getting in those extra reps was a great grind. Once again, gun to the head, I could have gotten more: just a question of what is the value added.

  • Prioritizing ab work has been a great call through this. My abs are still popping through, and part of that is nutrition keeping me lean and part of it is just having some gigantic abs.

  • Penultimate week of the feast. Will ride this through next week, the famine but with rampage meals/carb ups. I was listening to a podcast this morning that kind of reinforced why I keep doing the Feast-Famine cycle vs going back to pure Apex Predator: in the instances that consumption of saturated fat IS a concern for cardiovascular health, it’s most likely beneficial that I engage in these regular 2 weeks of “drying out” from 4 weeks of gorging on high fat foods. I keep having to remind myself that the famine is about priming the body for the feast, and it also aids in recovering from it.

EDIT: Juggernaut looking pretty nuts here


Went out to Texas Roadhouse tonight, crushed a full rack of ribs and the leftovers of my wife and kid’s sirloin, but wanted to brag about my carnivore hack for the sides

Two bowls of hardboiled eggs from the salad.

Also, piedmontese was having a crazy sale, so now I have a 9lb brisket heading my way…so that’s awesome


I’m throwing a widowmaker into my next leg day now.

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@taylortooswift Outstanding! Hope it goes exactly how you want it to go.

Woke up at 0600, hung out with the Mrs for an hour before we made it downstairs, got in 50 push ups and 40 squats and the mrs made me an absolutely fantastic and anabolic breakfast, and then I got in this mat pull workout before taking the dog for a short walk and getting in some chores

(3) 13+5+4x405

A 1 rep PR at a longer ROM than last week. Yes: still in my pajamas. My warmup was 2 reps at 155 and 1 rep at 315. I love that I can do that. My left bicep DID feel like it was going to pop on the first 4 reps, which was weird, but clearly I lived to fight another day.

After chores, got home and managed a 2 mile walk w/80lb vest and 150 push ups

No matter what else happens, it’s a great day, and this is a fantastic comic panel. Go Colossus!


I’m just gonna brag. Last night, for dinner, I had a full rack of ribs at Texas Roadhouse. Tonight, for dinner, I had a half rack of ribs at our favorite local BBQ place. Tomorrow, my Valkyrie is making me a turkey for the superbowl. I have genuinely never been happier with how I am eating.


Got in 300 push ups through the day, about 80 squats, then did this workout of 10 KB swings and 10 burpees countdown to 1 with a 24kg bell

Big win was Superbowl food: my Valkyrie made me Turkey

I am blessed


AM WORKOUT (0425 wake up via alarm, slept through the first 3 minutes, stayed up late watching Super Bowl)

5/3/1 BUILDING THE MONOLITH Week 4, Workout 1

SUPETSET (press-squat)

Axle clean and strict press away
5x158 (continental)

Buffalo Bar Squat


Buffalo Bar Squat

Band Pull Apart

20 minute EMOM chins and dips

  • 5 chins
  • 10 dips


1x10 standing ab wheel w/10 second plank at end


Shorter walk w/dog (no vest)


  • I didn’t sleep terribly well over the weekend, and then crashed last night as a result of staying up later, having feasted earlier, and the poor sleep previously. My alarm had been going off for 3 minutes before I realized it. I have my phone set to vibrate and have it on my body, so that it doesn’t wake up the Mrs. Was running just slightly behind as a result, so not much extra work after the required work.

  • The press is really coming along. Nice to feel strong again.

  • Really focused on trying to speed up the squats. One of the issues of training so early in the morning with minimal warm up is how stiff I am, and the first rep of each set it just painfully slow, primarily because it is PAINFUL. My right hip/glute in particular feels some issues. But I find I am making things worse by slowing down the squat: this high bar and close stance approach fairs better when I allow the muscles to relax and explode. When I made an effort to do that through later reps and sets, I felt better and stronger. Just need to trust my body. Operating without a belt is still weird/foreign to me too, but all these limitations and restrictions have been good for keeping me honest and giving me new challenges.

  • As much as I’ve been trying to make the assistance work more “pumpy” to get the bodybuilding effect of it, this 20 minute EMOM approach kept me to my schedule. It had a conditioning hit to it as well.

  • On the topic of bodybuilding, I keep having this idea in my head that I want to try out some sort of HIT/DoggCrapp-esque approach in the near future. I like single set work and really pushing myself. But then I realize that I don’t really care for the goal of bodybuilding in terms of PHYSIQUE development. I like getting bigger: I don’t care about developing specific PARTS of muscles. But there’s also a strongman competition happening in my hometown on 20 Apr that I apparently have no interest in doing, because I haven’t signed up for it. I may just be done with that sport. And then I have a 10 mile run earlier in April and a Tang Soo Do tournament in the last week of the month. Lotta irons in the fire.

  • Left bicep is being pissy again, and considering it’s the one I partially tore, I should keep an eye on it.


I’d suggest adding in some paused goblet squats first up, good way to activate those niggling zones.

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That sounds like warming up, haha


Thankyou for being you mate. This made me smile way harder than it should have. Quality

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@simo74 Hell yeah brother! Despite Chaos being the plan, I am predictable, haha

AM WORKOUT (0420 wake up via alarm)

5/3/1 BUILDING THE MONOLITH Week 4, Workout 2 (out of order)

SUPERSET (pull-bench)

Low handle trap bar pulls

Axle bench press

KB rows

Poundstone curls
100xAxle (87 unbroken)


1x20 Standing ab wheel


  • Apparently I was moving slow through this. Took a while to get done.

  • I’ve got a long weekend coming up, with the Mrs and I having Friday off, so I’m compressing my training schedule to finish lifting on Thursday. This meant training Mon and Tues back to back. It was a bit rough coming into this, which may be why I moved slower. My left lat was a little touchy as well.

  • The pulls felt pretty strong. I’m pleased with where I am on those these days.

  • Rows continue to feel better each week. Definitely bitter medicine. I don’t care to do them, but I’m better for doing them.

  • No walk: had to get to work early. Tang Soo Do tonight though, so some extra activity ahead.

  • Physique is looking thicker these days. Feels like I’m returning to my previous form, which is nice, especially that I’ve gotten here with a much better approach.


AM WORKOUT (0420 Wake up via alarm)

5/3/1 BUILDING THE MONOLITH Week 4, Workout 3 (Conditioning)

75 KB swings w/24kg bell
2.1 mile walk w/80lb vest
30 rounds of 10 prisoner squats and 10 push ups within 21 minutes


Short walk w/dog


  • Once again, schedule is out of order this week, and I was deciding between Ninja Turtle or the walk, and the walk won out. It’s absolutely the right prescription for post deadlift/pre-widowmaker workouts. Very tonic, especially with the swings and bodyweight work thrown in. I dig how it’s around an hour of solid training but doesn’t beat the hell out of me, and being able to get outside and get some fresh air first thing in the morning is a great way to calibrate my morning, even if I don’t see a lick of sunshine.

  • Went a little heavier on the swings, and moved a little faster on the bodyweight work.

  • Tang Soo Do last night was enjoyable. More 1-step self-defense stuff. I get to work with the Valkyrie, and seeing her improve is awesome.

  • My left lat/tricep has been aching since Monday. Wonder if I aggravated the previous tear with some of those chins. I’ll see how it respond to weighted pulls tomorrow.

  • Still eating like a champ this week.


Yesterday I finally looked up Building the Monolith. Quite a program. The core is simple, but the accessory work is a lot. Impressed you’re able to juggle that with life and work.

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That’s the magic! Haha. Took me a while to really appreciate it. The core work there is just to “remember” how to be strong, but the assistance is where the Monolith gets built! And I appreciate that sentiment dude! It’s why I get up so early to train. If I don’t do it then, I won’t do it.

I’m REALLY liking lifting 3 days a week and being able to walk/condition on the other days. And as the weather improves, more opportunities will present. In turn, I’m feeling the Siren’s call to come back to DoggCrapp after about 12 years from my last run of it. But I also hear that fortitude training is similar. @TrainForPain and @davemccright I remember ya’ll have some experience with that. Any good cliff notes to share? I’m trying to keep to 60 minute workouts if possible: don’t know if that’s something viable.


I love your plan! I appreciate you thinking of me here. Fortitude is awesome! The fun part is, you have different set parameters on each training day. A day for heavy Progressive overload lifting, a day for lighter pump focused training (usually it’s heavy upper/pump lower one day and heavy lower/Upper Pump the next) and then a muscle round day which is basically this program’s equivalent to rest pause training. It’s very fun, easy to auto regulate and adjust things to fit your personal needs.

Here’s a video that the creator, Scott Stevenson has on the specifics of how to perform muscle rounds:


Appreciate the info and the video dude! Definitely gives me something to think on.

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Thanks for the callout!

I read the book, and it seemed like a very smart approach, but I never went with it because it employed this “zig-zag” approach that was basically a lot of supersets/ circuits. You’re meant to beat the logbook on these, and I felt like it would be hard to consistently set up the same stations in commercial gyms where I train.

It read to me like a blend between more traditional bodybuilding training and something a little more DC, so it should have been very appealing, but I just couldn’t get over that barrier (in my brain).

DC, on the other hand, calls to me consistently!