Your Monday Moment of Zen #24


Zen Quote of the Week

“What we know is not much. What we don’t know is enormous.” – Pierre Simon de Laplace (French Astronomer and Mathematician)

Preliminary (Cool!) Stuff


I’m super uber excited! You know that I’ve been working on the 2nd edition of my book. I think I’ll be ready to release that by the middle of March, maybe late March. That’s a bit later than I’d hoped, but still rad.

What you don’t know is …

I’ve been working on something I’ve only hinted at, and it’s something I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do. It’s something I’ll be releasing next week and I’m gonna tell you about it now:

One of the biggest problems that I hear from my readers – you – is that you …

  • don’t feel like you have enough consistent guidance in your training, 
  • are not sure what routines to use for what purposes, 
  • Ain’t  sure which programs will work for you, 
  • Don’t know which workout programs are the best for your goals,
  • Or which are worth trying at all!

There is a TON of information out there on the net.

Information OVERLOAD.

Yes, it’s great that there are lots of resources (like this blog) out there. But, how do you sift through it all, make sense of it, and settle down on an actionable plan? (Do this, do that …)

One option for a beginner is to get my book. That’s a GREAT start. But it’s only the first 12 weeks or so of your training.

What do you do after that?

Here’s some good ( … No, Great!) news for you:

I am constantly experimenting on my lifters. They are my guinea pigs. Every single month, I test out new routines on them, gather data, learn, keep what works, discard what doesn’t, and keep tweaking stuff in order to really dial in the rapid rate of progress my lifters are becoming known for.

And with all that information, I’m creating a monthly journal called The Samurai Strength Nation: A Monthly Journal for Weightlifters where I detail exactly …

  • the programs we used in that month, 
  • what worked, (maybe more importantly) 
  • what didn’t work, 
  • case studies, 
  • bonus material from upcoming book projects of mine, 
  • and …

The Best Part …

Your W.O.M. – Workout of the Month!

Every month, after I analyze everything we did, I’ll synthesize that down for you into a workout program that you can put into action right here, right now. It is the program I’d have my lifters do if I could do it over again.

Think about that for a second.

You’re actually getting a  BETTER deal than the lifters, because you are benefiting from hindsight! The members of PDX are the first to test things out, so they also have to suffer through some stuff that just flat out doesn’t work. But, you’ll KNOW what didn’t work and can stick to what did.

What’s so exciting to me about this idea is that it allows us to have a bridge between the exercise scientist on the one end, and the brute practitioner on the other.

It’s taking seriously the idea of the Coach AS Scientist, a melding of the two. Yes, you lose a bit of deep scientific accuracy, but you gain a ton of practicality and actionable information. We need scientists, and we need practitioners. They each have mega-important roles to play.

But there is clearly a need for something in the middle. A way for YOU to be sure that the routine you’re about to do this next month actually makes sense.

And because my own lifters are primarily made up of people exactly like you and me – you know, real people, adults, with jobs, and kids – then the information is HIGHLY targeted and relevant to your needs.

The Nation Journal is a way for me to help you out in a BIG way without it breaking the bank on your end.

What I’m going to do is release this next week for a particularly low opening price (it’s actually going always be low priced, this is just even lower).

But, if you are a member of my email newsletter list, then you’ll get an additional 15% off of the already ridiculously low opening. (If you ARE already a member of my list, you’re cool. However, if you aren’t yet, sign up. Don’t worry, I’ll remind you again!)

OK … I need to stop blabbing about this. Clearly I’m very enthusiastic about this stuff! On with the show …



This Week in the World of Weightlifting

Michael Hartman and Nick Horton have started a new Vidcast Series called Weightlifting Academy with the expressed goal of inspiring 10,000 new people to get involved in weightlifting in the year 2012. We very much need your help in this, and we’ll let you know exactly how you’ll be able to help us as time goes on.

Olympic weightlifting is such cool stuff it would be a cryin’ shame not to evangelize to the people about it! Here’s our handsome faces with eyebrows raised – ‘cause we’re sophisticated like that!

Peter Curcio and Nick Horton’s third episode of their High Octane Body Podcast is out today. This time we discuss the Diseases of Affluence: How our 1-Night-Stand relationship with food is kicking our bootays.

Cal Strength Lifters in their last competition before nationals.

Brandon and I will be at nationals this year for Brandon’s first ever time there. He’s only 1 1/2 years into his training, so his goal is just to have a great time and learn the ropes. But, we’re both really excited to see all the best lifters in the country do their thing, and watch the Olympic trials.

And YES, I will be documenting a bunch of it and putting stuff up here and on the Youtube channel while I’m there. So make sure you stay up to date!

Part 3 of Squat Mobility by K-Star!

Bret Contreras on the 25 Steps to Become a Fitness Guru.

If you choose to go this route, you will not be taken seriously by your peers, as any coach with an appreciation for science will be able to pick you apart. But you will develop one hell of a following.

To be honest, I’ve committed at least 8 of these acts myself. Most of my esteemed colleagues are guilty of several of them as well. The trick is to not commit every single one of them, to have integrity, and to balance marketing and self-promotion with good information and valuable products.

Of those things on his list, I found these rather funny:

11. See Things in Black and White – Gurus don’t see things in shades of gray. Things are either black, or they are white. There is no in-between.

12. Don’t Train Many People – If you train a bunch of folks you might realize that your claims aren’t legit, and this is not good for your confidence. It doesn’t matter if you’re right; all that matters is whether you appear right. Training people takes precious time away that could be spent on marketing endeavors.

16. Don’t Reply on Social Media – Take the time to create a blog, a Facebook page, a Facebook fan page, a Twitter account, and a Youtube account, but don’t reply to any of your fans. You need to appear busy, like you’re training Olympians around the clock. Don’t be bothered by pedestrians!

25. Create a Cult – People long to be part of a group and receive attention. Eventually your army will be large enough to transform into a cult. Create a hierarchy system and use mind control tactics. You do not want to encourage free-thinking as this could backfire on you. You need to intimidate and brain-wash your followers. Use fear tactics and make sure your underlings know that the second they rise up and formulate thoughts of their own they’ll be ousted from the club.

It’s far too easy for these trainers to lose sight of the whole damned point: To Help People!

Sad, but true.

Nia Shanks on Nutrition Triggers and Tricks:

No, it may not be fun to do, but if you have any struggles with food, or just want to improve your food-relationship, I highly suggest you take the time to identify your personal eating triggers.

  • What emotions trigger you to eat, even if you’re not physically hungry?
  • Is there a time of day that makes you more prone to poor food choices or overeating?
  • Do you have any domino foods? A domino food can be described as a food that you start eating and can’t stop. Think of it as the potato chip expression, “bet you can’t eat just one.” Please keep in mind domino foods aren’t just items like potato chips, cookies, or junk food; they can also be natural foods. As an example, I used to have problems with things like almonds – I wouldn’t eat a small handful; I would almost eat an entire bag.

Darren Barnes historical … squatting 150k at a much much lower bodyweight than you!

Rog Law is determined to get Sexy … well, sexier!

For the past few months I’ve just been eating anything that I’ve wanted, loosely tracking calories and macros, but for the most part not really caring how much I ate – lots of ice cream, steak, ribs, fruit, pasta and the occasional Cinnabon.

Training has been whenever I’ve felt like it – sometimes 1x a week, but usually 2x with a couple of challengesthrow in for fun. Simply put I’ve been maintaining my results with as little time as necessary, but today marks the the day that I finally get off my butt cheeks and decide to actually get moving towards my own personal Sexification goals for several reasons.

Every Sunday I’ll be updating with pictures and talking about what I’m doing training wise, what I’m eating, my calorie intake and how I’m varying it and pretty much anything else that I think will be helpful.

He’s already got some before pics up:

That’s a man who wants some cookies!

Lindsay Taylor may be able to help you with your tendinitis

Magnus Ver Magnuson Tribute

Donny Shankle expounds on the benefits of consistency in another excerpt from his upcoming book.

Glenn Pendlay gives a little overview of the training that’s going on at the OTC:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday

  • training two times per day
  • morning mostly snatch stuff, 4-5 exercises
  • afternoon mostly clean and jerk stuff, 4-5 exercises
  • Monday is concentrated on high blocks
  • Wednesday on blocks below the knee
  • Friday from floor

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

  • mostly lighter stuff
  • more of the power versions of the lifts, where the other days are more of the full versions


  • Squats 3 days per week
  • Add to this an early morning session each day which is mostly calesthenics, like pushups situps pullups and stuff

That’s a pretty standard looking template, actually. Many of the primary programs being used by a lot of coaches look a heck of a lot like that. Yes, they will vary in detail, maybe no Saturday workout, maybe no mornings, but very similar.

What I particularly like about this kind of template is that it is easy to scale DOWN. Just do a modified version of the afternoon M/W/F sessions and you have a good routine that almost anyone can fit into their busy lives. (More snatching in the evening, for instance.)

Captain Kirk Fontaine details his own “origin’s story”.

After my discharge from the military in 1983, I started to go to college back in 1984 then started revisiting my interest in bodybuilding and weight training. I worked out in the college gym and decided to pursue a degree in something health and fitness related since I was exercising on a regular basis and also became interested in bodybuilding and competing. I won several trophies during that stint which ended in 2002 winning 1st place in the Cleveland Bodybuilding Championships and placing 4th in the Master’s Class in the same competition.

I always love hearing how people got their start with the barbell.

Josh Gilbert of Average Broz gym Front Squats 180k. Josh is a really funny kid by the way. Had a good time jibin’ him when I was down in Vegas in January.


FINALLY … K-Star Smashes Pat Mendes! This is both funny and instructive, my favorite!

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