Learning to Scotty on: Being in a Warzone!

Let's get weird...
Let’s get weird…
So much has happened in my life that it’s difficult to retrace the steps that have led me to my current reality.  So I’ll start with something concrete, something easy and quantifiable and work backwards.
I’m currently deployed in a foreign country, a place I will not name. It’s a place where simple things like brushing you teeth are just a little… off.  No one tells you that you’ll be brushing your teeth with bottled water because of course you can’t drink the local water.  It’s the small and mundane idiosyncrasies that throw me for a loop most days.  The bulk of my day is almost exactly like home: physical training in the morning, breakfast, work, lunch, lifting, dinner, sleep, repeat.

 

I miss my family though.

 

My family has gotten complicated since I’ve last written.  It’s no longer a nuclear unit, but a fractured one.  Mrs. Skwaats is no longer my wife.  Little Skwaats still bind us as a family though.  We are loving parents and despite our personal differences, we strive to show a united front.  It’s especially hard out here, living the life of opposite time.  All is temporary however, and my little buddy and I will be reunited before long.

My new girlfriend has been a lifesaver out here. A bouy to a life I’ve temporarily left behind. A sounding board to keep me sane and a loving companion when I’m most in need. 

 

In lifting related news, I competed in my first powerlifting meet.  Not a lot of sanctioned events make it this far, but the format was similar.  3 attempts for the squat, then time restriction set the next attempts for bench and deadlift to only 2 each.  I went 6 for 7, missing only 320 lbs for bench.  I competed at 236 lbs, with a 1250 lbs total for a Wilks of 336.  My 470 lbs squat was a 15 lbs PR, my 305 lbs bench was a tie for my current PR and my 475 lbs deadlift was a 20 lbs PR.  All said and done, a fantastic first meet that sets the tone for the next 8 months of training.

 

I hated the results.

 

I hated getting beaten.

 

I’m not going to justify it; I wanted to win like I’ve never wanted anything before.  I’m not going to whine about the weight division being 205 lbs and up and the British gentleman that won outweighed me by perhaps 30 lbs.  While I’m happily surprised at just how much I managed to lift, I realized that I’ve been coasting for months now.  I’ve been weighed down by perfectly reasonable distractions and haven’t focused very well.

 

As I stare our into the emptiness that surrounds me, I realize that this isn’t true anymore.

 

Temporarily I am free.  I’m free to train all day, everyday.  I’m free to write, to create and to express.  I’m free in a way that would be impossible at home.  It’s impossible to be directly responsible for the day-to-day of the people that I care about the most.  We connect only when possible.  It’s hell on my new relationship and heart-breaking to watch Little Skwaats and be unable to be a parent for her.  The other side of the coin is that I have this short time in my life to focus completely on me.

 

That’s what I’ve started to do.

 

There are many things that I can and have been doing at the job I’m doing.  While maintaining vigilance is the first priority, push-ups and farmer’s carries with sand bags take up almost no time at all.  My fingers are numb by the end of the day, but I can feel my body strengthen.  

 

My training has intensified as well.  I’ll do a separate post about my exact programming but I’m lifting six days a week.  Some days it’s all I can do to crawl into bed.  Those are the days that I relish.  

 

So my lovelies.  I’m still working on videos, trying to work within the restrictions because of where I’m at.  Something will be coming soon, that I promise.  In the meantime, I can always write and write I shall.  I love you all and miss every one of you.  

 

Until next time, skwaat for me.

Work of the Day: Gummy Worm Bribes

Hey kids

So I’ve been working hard to think up ideas to fill the gaps when I’m in school because it’s going to get a little hectic. I’m writing pieces for the Learning How to Scotty tag on the page because those are more general knowledge posts. The Work of the Day posts are about my random thoughts and actual workouts so I can’t exactly forecast them out. I’m still going to get content out to you during the month that I’m in school, but it might be canned material and truncated in length.

Like yo mamma.

What?

Seriously though, thank you to whoever reads this blog. It means a lot knowing that I’m communicating with people. Even though it might not on the top 100 websites on the internet, you are all number 1 in my book.

Awwww.

I deadlifted today, because today is Monday and on Mondays we deadlift. Heavy week for the main movements, so I built up to a 405lbs maximum effort and dropped it back to 365lbs for 6 singles. It was pretty sweet because my daughter did not want to be let down so I bribed her with sour gummy worms. It worked out pretty well; one gummy worm, one set. Of course, filming with her around made it extra challenging which I enjoyed.

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It’s still your set, Dad

A good session indeed.

I used new deadlifting shoes today. They are Adidas wrestling shoes and I really enjoyed them. I know it’s blasphemy, but I liked them better than my Chucks. I think I found a worthwhile and just as cheap replacement.

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That’s pretty much all it was. Nothing too fancy pansy. Lift, lather, repeat.

I’ll see you later kiddos!

Work of the Day: Friday Complete

Listen…

Can you hear it?

It’s…

a

Friday.

Friday1

We made it everyone. It’s a Friday and there is nothing the week can do about it. My apologies to all those that start their week on Friday but I’m just so happy mine is over that it’s hard to care all that much.

I also managed to get all 8 scheduled workouts done this week.

Barely.

TheChild is going through pretty bad separation anxiety. It’s to the point where sometimes I can’t even put her down without a meltdown of Chernobyl proportions. Today happened to be one of those days and I happened to be home alone with her as TheWife was out running errands.

Pick me UP!!!
Pick me UP!!!

So we took a little walk.

We went to the park and she played and I gave her a piggyback ride and then she was calmer. Still a bit fussy in her playpen that I was able to put into the garage but calm enough for me to get a quick 5×8 at 175lbs of bench in.

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That may seem like a lot but between positioning the camera, calming her down and actually doing the work it flew by. Remember, my main lifts were all about volume this week and my accessories were heavy.

Next week it switches again.

So how do I feel after completing a full week of the new routine? Well, besides being sick from my lovely germ repository of a child, I feel pretty good! I’m sore which is to be expected, but not to the point of omgIcan’tmovethisreallyhurts. Just kind of… sore.

I’m looking forward to next week when I won’t be having to wear my gear for days on end and I’ll be starting school.

Which will probably screw up my schedule again.

I’m nothing if not flexible and resilient.

On that note, I’m going to finish Beerfest and enjoy some well earned bevvies.

Weekend love suckas.

Work of the Day: Something something something…

It looks like we are going to make it folks!

It’s day 3 of the workout week and I’m feeling just fine. Six workouts down, two more to go.  My sixth workout was skwaats and it was just lovely. My bar placement was good, my depth was deep and the 5×5 at 300lbs went on like butttah. Tomorrow I’ll be out doing medical coverage for an M4 range so, as per usual, no workout on Thursday.

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting at the breakfast bar to my new kitchen, writing later than usual and on a different laptop. As I struggle to put thoughts to electronic form, it occurs to me that this isn’t where I’m usually creative. I have a small writing desk that I type on my large laptop. This is where I do all my blog related work.

That’s why I’m talking about trying to be creative and not actually coming up with special or unique content.

You have to create your space. Writing, like many things in life, is about habit. Doing it at the same time, in the same space and with the same equipment. It sounds a lot like working out. It should sound like a lot of things in your life.

My other space
My other space

Success isn’t random. Success is a habit.

Brushing your teeth is a habit because you know the consequences of not doing so. Bad breath, cavities and the ever-present fear of your teeth falling out of your mouth. It’s strange that people don’t treat fitness the same way.

Get out and move for 20 minutes.

Just do something.

Insert witty ending here.

Bye!

Work of the Day: Grind

Sometimes, we grind.

I’d say most of my days are spent grinding. I go to work and that is the worst sense of the grind. When I put in the work at the gym or at home, it’s grinding out small gains. When I try to add content to the vlog or this very blog you’re reading…

it’s a grind.

I’ll be honest, I make zero dollars off all this content. In fact, I’ve put thousands up in upfront equipment. I don’t do it for the cash money (despite how nice that would be). I do it because I enjoy it. I’ve always been a grinder, making just enough for a pack of smokes and a night out. Enough to put gas in my car and have a little fun. I’d make big scores here and there, but mostly it’s

a grind.

I’m glad that I am in a situation where I am stable enough to make films and write blogs and still enjoy my life. I made a whole mess of excuses about why it wouldn’t work. Then one day, I decided that I was going to make it work. That seems to me the very definition of

grinding.

It was volume deadlift today, with TheWife getting after it with sets at 85lbs. I did a 5x 5 at 315lbs. Nothing fancy, just trying my best to be the best. I don’t want to sound so motivational that you’ll puke on the saccharine but get out there. Be the best you possible. Sometimes it’ll get you good things, sometimes it won’t but at least you’ll have tried.

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I’m going to hit the hay because I’m

ground down.

Night my lovelies.

Work of the Day: Skwaats and Splits

How was my day?

I spent the morning laying in the cold, wet dirt. I got yelled at, was exposed to loud cracking sounds and then had to walk a few miles carrying around 30 pounds of gear. On top of that, it started to rain.

I was at a range shooting my weapon so…

It was great!

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I don’t often get to do “Army stuff”. I like to use that name for all the stuff you see in the recruiting commercials. Most days I show up to work, do a little morning workout then go to an office. Or to a clinic. Or a giant parking lot (no, really!). I’m not repelling out of helicopters or low-crawling through mud like it would seem. I may work a little bit of a longer day than most, but at the end of that day, it’s still a job.

So it was a nice break to get out to the range and fire my weapon despite the cold and wet conditions. Of course, once I was done it was back to the office. And tonight it was back to the grind.

heavy ass

I know, the last time I tried to skwaat it was a disaster. I couldn’t find my groove, I was all out of position and I couldn’t lift for shit. Tonight was different. Despite being the 8th workout in 3 days, it felt really good. My wrists were stable with a minimum of bracing, I found the place on my back for optimum leverage and while nothing was moving incredibly quickly, it all went up.

That’s kind of the goal.

So since this is heavy week, I got up to 405lbs. and then did 5 singles at 90%, or 365lbs. That was all there was to it. I’m kind of digging this split work of the day because it allows a lot more flexibility for hanging out with the fam bam. I love lifting iron, but I love them more.

By a little bit, anyway.

This kid and her depth!  Skwaats like a boss.
This kid and her depth! Skwaats like a boss.

Tomorrow is an off day but there is a sweet ass vlog coming to your faces. It’s got a lot more lifting than the last one. I swearsies.

Keep you real you party animals.

Work of the Day: The Road Starts Here

The road to 1400 starts here.

I did some calculations today in my spare time. Normally, this would be a laughable endeavor as I am forever lost in the fog of numbers. But this is lifting math… the best kind of math. That, and I have a little app on my phone that does the calculations for me.

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I digress.

Wilks is a scoring system that takes your weight and sex and levels the playing field. This score takes your raw total of the bench, deadlift and skwaat and puts a coefficient onto it and BAM; you have a score that will be used to compare across weight class and between the sexes. I can lift more total weight than a 130lbs female (most of the time). I have more body mass than she does. It’s simple physics, or so I’m assured. You can read all about it here.

My Wilks is right around 300 for my bodyweight and personal record lifts. It’s an average score. I’m tired of being an average lifter. I’ve been cruising along for too long and it’s time to kick things up a gear. If I could, I’d play Eye of the Tiger and throw in a slow motion training montage.

Instead, I did deadlifts.

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I also went to the gym!

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So lunch time gives me just enough time to change, hit my accessory work, shower and change back while still leaving time to scarf down food. This is my plan from now on: gym 4 days a week, doing lower then upper on alternating days and then 4 days of powerlifting movements. But that’s 8 days! No, I have not learned the secret to time travel. I’ll be doing splits, accessories during the day at the gym and powerlifting at night. This gives me access to more equipment and gives me more time with my family. Powerlifting movements will remain my main focus. This will include a skwaat day, two bench days and a deadlift day. This is on top of my normal PT that happens every morning, regardless of how much I lift.

Whew.

The goal, as stated above, is to hit a 1400lbs total at 203lbs body weight. That will give me a Wilks over 400. I don’t have a specific timeline for this goal, nor do I have any plan besides a vague “lift heavy shit”. All I know is that the number will come one day and I’m going to show you all the steps that I’m taking.

Let’s get real.

Real strong. arnold-schwarzeneggers-8-best-training-principles-musclepharm-arnold-series-graphic-1

Work of the Day: Fail Friday

so_close____by_rober_raik-d4cly4b

I was almost there.

Despite the lack of sleep, the severe lack of post-work nap and a fairly persistent pain in my right hip, I tried to just get after it. It’s skwaat day, a day when I earn my name and move heavy things up and down. I wanted to go heavy like I’ve been going all week with deadlifting and bench.

I wanted to crush this workout.

Sigh.

Almost there.

It’s been a long week and I’m still obviously not back into a 100% groove with my lifting. While this week was much better than the previous month, today just had me dragging. Not even my sour gummy worms could do their magic and give me a boost.

I quit after barely unracking 405 and almost falling forward lifting 315.

Not exactly my proudest moments.

Tomorrow is a completely new day and I think I will spend it doing bro pumps. I’ll be at the gym for a ceremony at work and if I head in early I can get a pump. I don’t normally have access to all that equipment and it would be a crying shame if I didn’t take advantage. I’m also going to squeeze in another bench day as well. Who knows, maybe I’ll feel it tomorrow and just lift a few times throughout the day.

Ha!

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In any case, there really isn’t much to report. I’ve been getting good reviews from people who’ve watched my vlogs (not just TheWife who has to be nice). They say it’s nice to see a regular guy lifting, not one of the seven-foot tall golden gods that can already lift a million pounds.

I don’t remember which comedian said that those people have already won at the gym, but it’s the truth. We get it, you’re good at this. You can stop practicing.

Speaking of golden gods…

All hail.
All hail.

 

The Arnold is happening this weekend in Ohio and I’ll go ahead and say it now that if I’m able to, I want to go next year. It would be great if I went as a competitor, but if I go on my own or as a sponsored athlete that would be pretty sweet ass sweet too. I don’t know if it’s just the way I’m searching but I simply can’t find any events that are even in the state of Washington.

I’m ready to dip my toes in the water.

Just keep grinding it out.

See you folks on Monday!

Work of the Day: Ads are Coming

Of course I’m putting ads on things.

I want to get paid.

I love doing this, writing the blog and filming my life and working out.  But I’d be lying to you if it didn’t cost me money. My camera, my gym equipment and my time are all valuable. I put a lot of effort into all three and now that everything is kind of up and running, I’m ready to make a little back.

Will I ever sell out to sponsors?

You’re damn right I will.

I’m not going to sit here and be all high and mighty, can’t get at me when it comes to money. I’ll shill for your stuff if I think it’s half-way decent. At least I’ll be honest about it. There’s a lot of folks out there that tote crap that they would never in a million years use themselves. If I’m not using it, I’m not going to throw it in your face.

I’m having trouble getting everything to work because I’ve never done this before. It’s taking a little bit of time and it’s getting late and I had a big bench day today. I managed to hit 295 with the slingshot for 3 singles. On top of that, I hit 265 for a daily max and followed it up with 3 x 5 at 215. I didn’t have time to throw in a skwaat routine because between bathtime, bedtime, dinnertime and playtime there just isn’t enough

time.

See you all tomorrow with the vlog. It’s going to be a doozy.

Love you kids.