T Nation

My Quest For Strength


Imagine all the pain and hurt you’ve ever felt and blame the barbell. Then grip and rip. I can just think about getting angry and i get angry if I’m not too careful. Infact writing this is making me angry lol. My favourite mantras are “Fuck this.” Or “I dont wanna be weak.” Or i just grunt and lift. Sometimes quiet too.


Personally I hate being scared. It is something that just makes me tick. So I take all the times I’ve felt scared/helpless and place it all on that barbell and get as angry as I can. I let myself know that if I fail the lift I’ve failed myself. It’s something about the combination of rage and fear that gets me to that point. Once I reach it I disregard anything around me that isn’t the barbell and go at it with all my rage.
Shit man sometimes I’m crying a bit before my huge PR sets. I save that for big PR’s outside of training because it beats me down so horribly.


Yo that takes alot out of you. I dont cry a bit but i get extremely angry. I call it rage mode. Sometimes during a set of squats i tell myself if i dont complete the set i will die (not rage mode just motivates me). It helps lol


Yeah man, feeling helpless is not fun. But I’ll have to give that a try man. You only live once, right?


Well, here’s a quick status update. Feeling some fatigue, but nothing too insane…hopefully that should be gone by tomorrow morning. Feeling a stomachache, but nothing too crazy. My energy is coming back little by little, and the nausea hasn’t come back so far! I’ve been eating like it’s my job for the last 5 days. Hoping I gained a few pounds back! I’m planning on testing a few things tomorrow, in this particular order.

  1. Deadlift, shooting for 340 x 7+

  2. Strict Press, shooting for 125 x 5+

  3. Grip Test! Shooting for 225 x 30+ sec. DOH.

  4. Optional: Zercher Deadlift, shooting for 275 (no belt).

That is all! I will be updating tomorrow with how this all goes.


Hey man, just a tip you might consider as you get your health in order…

Whenever I get myself in a bad way (badly injured, post surgery, etc), I tend to stop training the lifts I WAS training and pick new ones that are similar but not exact.

What this does is get me to STOP comparing old PRs and freaking out about them, and focus on setting new PRs with my new lifts.

It can even be something simple, like swapping from barbell to axle on bench and press, or you could go close grip on bench, sumo on deads or deficit, box squats, or high bar, or close stance, etc etc.

Might be something you do for your next training blocks.


@T3hPwnisher if things go south tomorrow, I am definitely going to consider doing that, haha. Thank you for the tip. I believe you mentioned doing that for yourself in one of your blog posts in 2015, when you screwed up your ACL. I would link it here for the other people that check my log to see what I’m talking about, but it might get taken down anyway. I also may have bitten the Clint Darden bullet. Good guy, even better YouTube videos. He may be coaching me in the near future!


Well, I ate 4500 calories of food today. Whoops. I forgot how good it is to stuff my face with food. If I didn’t lift and live an active lifestyle, I’d be fat. At any rate, I’m sitting at 172.5 with sweats on after a full day of eating. I’m also really not looking horrible.


I failed. Miserably. It is taking every fiber in my being to not just quit and walk away. I think the only thing I’m holding onto at this point is that once I get my health in order and gain some weight back that I’ll be stronger once again.

Also, I’m pretty sure my shotput coach is going to kick me off the team. Two people just joined. Both are better than I am! One, a younger, larger guy; is significantly better than me. I am bringing the team down with my inability to put up even halfway decent throws. I hate myself.

I don’t know how I keep going on.

Deadlift: 340 x 3 (third took about 9 seconds to lock out, I actually walked forward with the second one!)

Grip: 225 x 30 sec.
Press: 125 x 3


I think I’m going to switch up my goals, at least for the next few months.

By May 2:

BW: 185
405 on Axle Deadlift
225 Axle Push Press
405 on Denver Box Squats (a mile high and full of smoke!)

All done in sleeves and a belt.

By the end of 2019,

  • 475 Deadlift
  • 440 Squat
  • 175 Strict Press

will fall.



45 x 2 x 5
95 x 5
115 x 3
135 x 3
155 x 2
175 x 1 — badly misgrooved #2, missed the rep.
155 x 6 (done directly after the set, guy stripped 20 lbs. off the bar and I went).

Spoto Press

135 x 8
155 x 4 + 1
145 x 6 + 2

50 chin-ups
45 lb. x 4 x 20 Tricep Extension
135 x 10 Dimel DL
Ab Wheel 1 x 10

All up in an hour. I am starting to hate training. Not feeling well, but I have been eating damned close to 4000 calories per day for the last week. Very tired, a bit nauseous. Same shit, different day.


Well, the axle is here!


Well, I had a productive workout today. Came just shy of my old PR on free squats with box squats (I had another 2 reps left, but I lost my balance and said screw it). The box was 1/2 inch above parallel (I’d say it’s a pretty negligible height difference, especially because I’m now eliminating the stretch reflex). Followed that up with some heavy good mornings. All up in 45 minutes. Just have to do Dimel DL and abs later tonight. Still weighing in at a bit under 170.

Box Squat

45 x 2 x 5
135 x 5
185 x 3
225 x 3 (belt)
250 x 1
275 x 10 — satisfied with this for now!

Good Morning off Pins

135 x 5
185 x 3
225 x 3 (belt)
235 x 8
245 x 6
245 x 6
245 x 7

2 x 8 DOH Pull-ups
1 x 10 x 45 lb. Tricep Extension

Speed Deads

180 w/ doubled light band x 5 x 15 sec. between reps.

Dimel DL

185 x 20
205 x 20
215 x 20
225 x 20 (fuck that was hard).

Ab Wheel 4 x 10

@chris_ottawa any pointers based on what you see there? I know the box kept shooting back, I’ll have to remedy that problem by sticking a 35 lb. weight plate in the bottom of the box.

I think I should also raise the pins on GMs one number higher. They looked a little too much like partial squats.


I don’t do box squats at all so I don’t have a lot to say about your technique but your box has you squatting above parallel which probably isn’t a good thing. All I can say about box squats is that a few people claim to get a lot out of them while others say it does nothing for their raw squat but helps the deadlift. Unless you are going to compete in gear you shouldn’t make box squats your main squat variation.


It’s not the pin height, it’s too much weight on the bar and just doing them wrong
Focus on shifting your hips back, you can let your knees bend but they shouldn’t be going way forward like that. Also lower the weight. I was doing good mornings the other day with about 215 and that was after doing triples with 495.


Okay, thank you for the tips. I do realize that the box has me squatting to a hair above parallel. If I could find a box that was about an inch lower, I’d be good. Didn’t have much time to look this morning, unfortunately.

And, honestly, the goal of me box squatting is simply to help my deadlift/posterior chain. I know they’re not going to increase my raw squat, but I am hoping they’re going to increase the overall strength of my posterior chain/deadlift/yoke/stones (when I can get my hands on them) along with my overall explosivity.


If that’s what you are going for then don’t do sets of 10, do multiple sets of 2-3.


Alright, will do. Thanks.


Hey man look, I suck at pep talks, but remember:

I’ve been lifting weights since late 2015 and you’re still a good deal stronger than I am bEcAUsE i dOn’T WaNt tO gEt FAt


You gotta have a base to build from man. You can’t cut if you don’t have any muscle to show in the first place. Ever seen Ronnie Coleman in his offseason? Do that, but less extreme.


Hahahah yeah I’ve come to the same conclusion :joy:.

Stick in there mate, like Brett said, you’ll never know when you’ll get better, but when you do you’ll have been glad you stuck around.