T Nation

Rebirth of the Juggernaut: Post Knee Reconstruction


No training, but I DID get some fasted blood lipids profile results today.

Total Cholesterol: 256
HDL: 86
LDL: 159
Triglycerides: 50

For those of you that don’t speak blood, an HDL of 40 is considered “Good” and Triglycerides below 150 are considered “low”. However, because of more than doubling my good cholesterol, my total count is high, and my LDL is in the high end of moderate. Basically, my blood is magic.

Woke up at 193.2.


Would you go so far as to say it’s… Tiger blood?


Magic blood must be powering those workouts when you get 3 hours sleep.


@mr.v3lv3t #winning Oh man, do I miss the Charlie Sheen meltdown. I gotta admit, I was in awe watching how much he had stopped caring at that point.

@biker I attribute it to being a dad, haha. Zombie mode is pretty much my life.

Slept in this morning, going to attempt a rare PM workout later today. Woke up at 193.0. Actually caught myself off guard seeing how lean I was in the AM. It’s a shame that walking around this lean feels awful and has me underperforming, but at least I know I have it in me if I need it. I’ve still got some vanity, and with a cruise coming up at the end of August, my gameplan is to slowly gain some weight up until my Jul competition and then re-accomplish this feat again.


It was truly impressive, 100% commitment to whatever it was that he was trying to achieve haha.



Buffalo Bar squats

250+lb sandbag bearhug and carry
5 rounds


Notes: Did this as a bit of a primer/test run for the Deep Water training. Few lessons learned. I warmed up with giant sets of squat-sandbag-dip, and that sandbag kicked my butt something fierce. Once I hit the worksets of the squats, I tried to mitigate the fatigue by transitioning from giantsets to supersets, and just going squat-sandbag-squat-dip, but the damage was done, and by set 5 my lowerback was so pumped I just didn’t have anything in me.

Going to develop some alternative COAs here. First thing is I’m going to use a training max rather than an actual max for the squat. This will drop working weight down to 240, which will be a little more manageable. In addition, I think I’m going to move those sandbag carries onto my press day and the reverse hypers onto this day. I know reverse hypers and squats sound like they’ll be the source of even more lowerback pump issues, but I think being able to control the loading will make this more viable. Third plan is to quit being so goddamn efficient and not get gassed in my warm-ups. I’m going to stick with light stuff like pull aparts and curls or maybe some ab work, and then save the heavy stuff for in between the worksets. I think it’s basically going to be a race to beat the fatigue before it sets in, and if I load it all at the end, I’ll manage.

Other thought would be to move the log cleans to the squat day and the reverse hypers to bench day. I feel like they’ll both suck either way.

I think some smart execution paired with some increased calories will make this work. If nothing else, it’s lit a fire under me to figure it out. This training was awful, I was basically melting in my garage, and I felt beat. It’s the challenge I need.

EDIT: Did want to celebrate the victory on the sandbag carries though. This is very close to comp weight, and I’m not even 2 months out. Props to @strongmanvinny2 for vouching for the sandbag to prep for a hussafel stone type event. I think a little more time with this will give me some mastery.


Yeah, gotta work with what you have, and in hindsight, knowing I had no husafell stone made me train the sandbag harder. Also it’s easier to breathe with a hus stone as opposed to a fat ass bag.


@strongmanvinny2 I’m excited to see the transfer first hand, but I know that if you have a good idea, it’s going to be equal parts crazy and effective. I never need to worry, haha.

Treadmill run w/24lb weight vest

Incline: 1
Speed: 7.0
Distance: 1.5 miles
Time: 12:52

Notes: Finally conquered this. Getting better at enduring the suck of it, but it still sucks. Run test is in 4 days, and then Murph the week after. I’m planning on starting the gradual weight gain right about now, because there’s no real way to put on weight quickly enough to negatively impact running, but simply getting more calories in should start helping my recovery.

Woke up at 193.4.




Axle Bench press

Pull ups

Band pull aparts


Axle strict press 123

Log cleans 200

Lateral raises 20

DB curls 40

Notes: Something of a trend currently, where my mainsets are ok but my event work is moving really well. Wanted more than 7 for that bench topset, but the log cleans moved smooth and strong, and I got through all my press sets. I’ll take the victories where I can. I’ll be deloading next week as part of a vacation, hitting Murph, and then coming back with some more calories.

Woke up at 193.8.



Texas deadlift bar deadlifts


Standing ab wheel

Front squats

REST PAUSE (12 deep breaths between sets)

Kelso shrugs 50

Notes: I have definitely reached my limit of pushing the training and the running and the weightloss all at the same time. That topset of 535 was way too much of a grinder for this part of a training cycle, and a weight I’ve moved for a ton of reps in the past. Just got a lot of accumulated fatigue. Salvaged the day with a bunch of dropsets and rest pausing, because I’m in no shape to move anything super heavy. Front squats were pretty cool though. Goal was 50 in as few sets as possible.

Woke up at 194.8. Had my normal cheat meal yesterday.



Stone of steel over bar (20)

Prowler loaded w/90lbs
5 rounds of 50’ high handles/50’ low handles with 30 seconds rest between rounds

Notes: With the calories up, I’m ready to start pushing the training again. SoS is really coming along. I’m learning a lot of those things people already know, but because I’m an oaf it takes me longer. Today, I really figured out how to squeeze the hell out of the stone with my upper body, squeezing the stone itself and squeezing it into my chest too. This gave me MUCH better control lifting the stone up, and I did a lot less of my usual “catch the stones with my biceps” technique I was doing previously. Since the only time I ever trained stones was in competition, it turns out I’ve been over-reliant on tacky, and was using that to “grab” the stone. Training without it now, I’m figuring out how to really use myself.

That prowler was good work. Legs are totally sore, and I wanted to use this to get some blood in it. The prowler will NOT move with low handles unless you get your body low as well. Kaz talked about how this was getting into the pain zone and people being unwilling to do it, and I get it now.

I took a photo to capture where I was when I started gaining weight. I’m pleased with my current body comp, and it’s good to know I can come back to it when I need to. Also was able to capture my stone hickey on my right pec, so that’s cool.


Looking great brother! I love watching the stone lifts, I need to try that out some time (but lighter, and much less intense haha). All the best man.


@furo Thanks dude! Stones are a solid movement to get going. Kaz said at a seminar that, if you get strong at stones, you’ll be strong at anything.

Wanted to take a quick moment to document a few dietary changes as I chase some bodyweight gains.

Portion sizes of protein have increased back to “satisfying” levels. Was basically walking away from meals feeling unfulfilled while losing fat. I’m not force feeding, but I’m allowing myself to eat what feels more “normal”.

I’m keeping pre-workout carb intake the same for now, but I’ve doubled the fruit in my post-workout meal. I’m trying very hard to not immediately start eating like an a-hole, so in my pursuit for more calories I’m trying to find ways to get them in while also getting in more nutrition. However, this ends up being a lot of fiber intake, so once I hit a stall here I’ll double up on the breakfast cereal for some fast easy carbs. Hey, at least it’s fortified with vitamins.

I’m completely burnt out on eating broccoli as my only lunchtime vegetable, and it takes 5 minutes to cook in the microwave, which sucks, so I’ve purchased cans of chopped spinach and sauerkraut. I got the spinach because it had Popeye on the label and he was one of my idols growing up, but also because it’s a good veggie with some fiber. Got the sauerkraut because I’ve heard good things about fermented food and gut health. Both can be eaten cold, which is a super positive, and I can just mix them into whatever meat I’m eating for lunch too.

Will follow this until it stops working. I’ve got a LOT of tools available to break plateaus, but I don’t want to employ them until I need them.


Saw your shoutout to Alpha while catching up on your blog this morning. Thought that was pretty rad. He really is an overwhelmingly positive force in the community, and the rate he’s putting quality content out the past couple months is astounding.

Have you ever put any thought into running one of his programs? They look brutal in all the right ways, seems right up your alley haha.


How heavy is that SoS unloaded and how do you load/ unload that thing? It seems very ‘space efficient’ to use this opposed to a battery of concrete stones.

The prowler is an awesome piece of equipment and very vertisile to use for different purposes. I wish I had one. Could use one last week for my trainings and am absolutely convinced that this makes you a better athlete and teaches you to push through pain.


@mr.v3lv3t I watched the Dark Horse video, and it looks pretty solid. Biggest issue I run into is that I only allow myself an hour in the morning to train, and I don’t think it’d be feasible to attempt that program in that time. Honestly, the biggest limiting factor I have is that I train in a 1 car garage that we park my wife’s new car in, so each workout I have to back her car out, set up the gym, do the workout, tear down the gym and re-park the car. When I was training in a 2 car garage, I could stage the workout the night before and have a lot more time to train. I should be moving next year, and we’re looking for a bigger garage, so hopefully that can come back.

@Koestrizer I honestly have no idea how much the stone weighs. It’s supposed to be like 135lbs empty, but it also includes metal spacers to take up slack, so those weigh something as well. It’s why I just track stone+weight, to keep things consistent. For loading and unloading, here is a video from the manufacturer. It’s honestly a REALLY cool concept.

It’s the perfect thing for a home gym type situation. However, you also want to baby it a bit more than a concrete stone, because if it gets a dent in it, it’ll REALLY suck, haha.

Prowler is also an amazing piece of equipment, totally agree. Perfect off season conditioning. Just hits everything, very low technique involved, quick set up, etc. You may be able to DIY one out of wood if you’re really wanting one. Lots of push sled designs to steal.



Log viper and press away
1x255-strict (lifetime PR)

Weighted NG chins 55

Band pull aparts


Log clean and push press 210

Reverse hyper 230

Hammer curls 45

Notes: That 255 is a massive victory. I took video that I’ll upload later, but looking at it, it didn’t look as awful as it felt. The clean is still sluggish, but I have enough energy, and I ended up pressing it strict instead of viper just because of how long it took, which means I should have even more in me when I get the technique figured out. Leg drive needs some work on the push presses, but that’s about standard for me. Cut out a round of work, since I have my fitness test this afternoon and wanted to leave a little in the tank.

I’m 10lbs away from comp weight, and that’s with a strict press, with 2 months to go. I’m feeling real good right about now.

Woke up at 197.4.


Wow this looks really great! Not only space efficient but also perfect for progressive overload. However a very quick google search didn’t show me European retailers and the price is really crazy!


Oh yeah, it’s a steep asking cost. My wife got it for me as a gift, since she’s incredibly amazing, haha. But that’s also why you want to protect it well, because replacement costs are a bit much.

Bartos is the only guy making it so far, and I’m sure he’s patented it, so might be hard to get anyone in Europe to start producing it. He’s selling out of Elitefts now, and I THINK they ship international, but can’t confirm.

If you have a gym group, you might see about all pitching in for one. Otherwise, concrete stones are still awesome.


Ah yeah, I totally get that. It’d be real tough to shave any time off that particular program.

Having the home gym has been a blessing 99% of the time, but those little quirks you have to abide by can really throw a wrench into things. For example, in my basement I can’t train the press with plates larger than 25’s or I can’t lockout the movement.

A giant garage is definitely on the wish list for down the road haha.


I SO miss my basement gym. Full floor space to myself, leave it however I want, room enough for carries, etc. However, after the basement kept flooding with sewage, I was a little less in love. And then I moved into houses without basements, and that solved all that.

But for sure, my “forever home” is going to have a garage just to lift in. I always make fun of my wife for parking her car in a gym.