T Nation

Rebirth of the Juggernaut: Brute Force and Ignorance

Nice blog update this week mate. Am I to assume you have seen some funky advice given again by someone maybe less than qualified to give said advice. On the rare cases that I stray from the few training logs that I read (your is obviously one of them) and hit upon a beginner question about building muscle or getting stronger or program advice, I am always surprised by a few common things. Now I don’t know why I say surprised because I keep seeing the same things, so it shouldn’t really surprise me, maybe I should say dumbfounded!!

  1. The amount of very young or inexperienced trainees asking questions about their progress so far, or if their proportions are good, or if they have any potential. Fk me every one of them hasn’t even built any foundation to even comment on. Go back in the gym do some hard work for a few years and then worry about it.
  2. The number of people who ask if a program is good or bad, or if they can add something extra when they haven’t even tried it. How the fk can anyone tell you if something works or where to add extra if you don’t even know the results of trying it in the first place.
  3. The number of other beginners that give advice including a full exercise list (I wont use the word program because they are definitely not programs) when they themselves have never run it or have little to no experience.
  4. And here is the best one, the number of people who ignore any good advice they receive and focus on quite possible the worst option they are given, or ignore everything and stay with their own ideas.

Back when I started training we had either big guys in the gym to ask or Flex magazine, no internet, no online coaches, no apps. We just trained and we tried new things for ourselves to see what worked. The programs or our progress may not have been optimal but even despite all the mistakes we did get stronger and we did build a little muscle, and we most definitely didn’t worry about whether our proportions were good when we weighed 160lbs!


@simo74 Dude, you nailed it. I go especially batty with point 4: people that come here (or anywhere) to “ask questions” when really they just want someone to confirm whatever it was they were going to do anyway. The vets will come out and offer great advice or probing questions, and some nobody with no accomplishments will say “Make sure you train all muscle groups 2x a week or you go catabolic” and Jonny questionasker goes “Thanks: just what I thought!” It’s why I don’t tend to offer any advice on the first go. I’ll ask A question, just to see if the dude is even invested in his own question. Something simple like “what’s your bodyweight”. SO many times I get nothing back. Dudes will just throw a question out to the ether and never return. So frustrating.

Definitely miss those old days. All we had was effort, and it was all we needed.


AM WORKOUT (0250 natural wakeup)


Power cleans 155 w/3:50 rest

Sets of 10 dips done between first 5 sets

Axle shrugs against light bands

Kroc rows 115

40 BW reverse hypers
50 band pull aparts
25 band pushdowns
20 standing ab wheel

Notes: Sleep was better than last night, but still a little on the rough side. First set of cleans was garbage, but after that I came alive. Focused on actually “catching” the bar with some knee bend vs launching it to my clavicle from a fully upright position. Still awful at the movement, but it gets my heart rate up and feels brutal enough, especially as I remain wrecked from deads and presses.

Sparring night tonight at Tang Soo Do. I’m excited. Been a LONG time. It’s no-contact point sparring, but whatever: it’ll at least get my heart rate up.

I legit feel like I gave myself the flu from deadlifts. Ribs/torso ache and I spent the first hour of work yesterday feeling like I was going to vomit.

Got in a 2.6 mile walk with the Mrs yesterday in the evening. Good to get in that low impact stuff.


Amen my friend. I remember the first proper gym I trained at. I was 22 years old and prior to that I had trained at home and a little at college when I wasn’t partying but never been a member in a gym. The gym was a small industrial type unit and was the only proper bodybuilding gym in my home town.

Typical place with 3 stationary bikes in a corner for cardio and everything else was weights. I reckon I trained there 4 days a week for 6 months before I spoke to anyone. One day I was squatting in the rack when 2 big bodybuilders who I saw every time I was there wanted to squat. I was ready to just get out of the way but they actually told me that 3 was a good number and to train with them. We did I don’t know how many sets of squats but I remember it being way more than I had ever done before. I just didn’t want to stop in front of these guys.

After squats Brett the bigger of the two said we were now going to do a giant strip set of leg press. I had no idea what that meant. The boys tell me to go first and ask me what weight I usually use. They load it up with a little more and I start. I hit failure pretty quickly and then the set starts. They take off 1 plate at a time and I go again, and again and again. Eventually It is empty and they make me keep going.

At the end they pretty much have to carry me out of the leg press and then I feel the puke coming. I hobble over to the open roller door over the loading dock at the back and stand there puking with my legs shaking for like 5 mins. The boys are laughing but then they get to work and do the same as me, albeit without the puke effect.

I became very good friends with those boy after that and often trained in with them when they needed a third or just when they wanted to show me something. I didn’t learn a lot about technique or programming from Gary and Brett but they sure as hell taught me about hard work.

Sorry mate that was a longer story than I thought. Lol


Don’t apologize at all: I loved it! It’s a shame that era is just plain gone. It’s never going to exist again. With instant access to information we lost an era where the information was CONTROLLED and owned only by those with the experience necessary to understand the nuance necessary in it’s application. You HAD to seek out “the big guy” at your gym to learn, and learn you did! I still remember the first time I saw Mike Tuchscherer at the gym: he was the biggest human I had ever seen in my life at the time. You just WANTED to learn from him. Now, kids have instant access to a 1000lb squatter and will ARGUE with him about the right way to train. It’s madness.


Yep definitely no way to close Pandora’s box now. How damn cool was it though to be in the presence of someone like that and just wonder how the hell did he get so damn big and strong. It’s like you can feel the power. I had that feeling first time I met Dorian Yates back in 1993 dude was so big it made me feel stronger just being in the same room. :joy:


100%! I gushed to my wife after that workout.

“He was BIG. Like, there’s big, and then there’s Mike!”

Got to actually chat with him after that, and he ended up being a guest lifter at my final powerlifting meet. Just a quality human. Too damn smart, haha.


Great job smoking those deadlifts, that would have been a session out of my nightmares.

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Thanks man! It definitely ranks in the top something of hard training sessions for me. Lots of little lies and self talk to get me through. Even started thinking about week 6 in the middle of it. Definitely going to take advantage of “take as long as you need” on the rest periods, haha. I think the first time I did it, I took 10 minutes between the first and second set, and that’ll definitely happen this time. Maybe even have a quick snack, haha.




Yup, haha. Still in full gear of course, in case one of of accidentally slips and actually makes some form of contact.

And above the waist targeting only, of course.

But you take what you can get.

I remember when I was doing karate as a kid (forget the specific brand) and I was nearing my black belt. Got to sparring age and was so excited. First day I got matched up with a kid much bigger than me, so instinct took over and I threw a legit roundhouse at him. The instructor stepped in, and basically told me that’s not how it’s done and that we’re to go through the kata and strikes result as a breakdown from those.

I lost all interest right then and there because at 13 I knew damn well that wasn’t how fights actually go.

Edit: now that I’m thinking of it, I might’ve been even younger, like 11 or 12.


Coming from a tippy-tap Tae Kwon Do background and transitioned into MMA style striking (calling it “Muay Thai” really isn’t proper), I got to both BE awakened AND be part of other peoples’ awakening that went through the same transition. The first time you eat a legit leg kick after years of feeling like a badass with light contact stuff is just an enlightening experience, haha.

Just kinda an interesting aside on the nutrition front, but I continue to demonstrate a propensity to “adapt” to foods by developing intolerances to them. I’ve swapped out walnuts for pecans, as I noticed that the instant I’d eat my walnuts I’d just feel awful. Switch has been good so far. I also have to force myself to eat almond butter less frequently. If I go too many days in a row including it with my evening meal, I start to see the signs of it. Had to cut out mushrooms and raw broccoli a while back. I’d no joke go carnivore if I didn’t have the little one to model heavior to, because this just gets stupid at one point.


I will say, kyokushin karate is a different animal. Those guys are hard mofos, and sparring with them is intense. They always bring the intensity to 11.


Why learn to evade when I can just make my body resistant to strikes?


Maxed-out Constitution score.


Just when I thought I couldn’t be a bigger fan of you…

And it gives me an excuse to post these two



Oh man, these had me in stitches.

I’m a huge D&D fan. My buddies and I used to play all the time back home. I was notorious for 1) brute-forcing all problems, and 2) always finding a way to multiclass with fighter, no matter the character I rolled up.


@T3hPwnisher @kdjohn I appreciate you guys showing us that geeks can still be strong, dangerous mother fuckers.


Dude, I remember this moment vividly. First MMA striking/kickboxing sparring match, I got hammered like 3 or so inches above my knee on my lead leg right on the IT band. At first, I thought, cool no big deal. Then a few seconds later my lead leg was on the ground for optics only, as it was not actually supporting body weight any longer haha.

@kdjohn I google’d my old school and they teach Uechi Ryu karate. Not really sure where that stands amongst the crowd, but I’d be all ears if you have any info!

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Although I go barbarian over fighter, haha.

@dagill2 What better way to nerd out than to become your DnD character, haha.

@mr.v3lv3t Baptism by fire indeed, haha. Things suddenly make a lot of sense at that moment.


30 thrusters w/135lbs

3:05 (new PR)

Notes: This just remains an awesome Grace-like WOD with a different focus. Sucks similar but different.

Also, RIP my GHR. The footplate snapped off it today during daily work. I might put it against a wall to see if that answers the mail, but maybe I’ll treat myself to a floor version. In the interim, I might settle on daily swings to keep the hamstrings trained, although that’s a different approach and it’s weighted.