The Alley.

November 24, 2015

The Alley that our gym is located in got some new artwork the other day.


Personally, I liked what was up there before.  But change is good so they say.

This was a nice little surprise I opened up the garage door to the other day.

In general, I will never post a review of anything negative on this blog.  This is mostly because I usually only post about things I like and this is no exception.  That being said, I’m going to preface this post with:

I like Werksan Equipment.

If anyone reads this and goes around saying “Ben hates Werksan” I’ll reach through the computer screen and slap you across your simple face.

I’ve chosen to build up the rest of my stock of bumper plates with Eleiko “Sport” training plates, but that’s simply because I aesthetically like them better.  I believe them to be equal in performance.  However I do have a great deal of experience with Werksan equipment (including the 3 barbells that we own from them) and I can assure you that their product is top quality.

However there is this.


You see these plates? It took me well over 3 months to revive these two plates.  But that’s actually not why I’m writing this post.

I can understand if a company is out of stock or backordered on a particular item.  Heck, I’ll even forgive waiting over 3 months to receive an item.  But during the course of those 3 and a half months, I left numerous messages over 3 different routes of communication.  No response.

During those 3 months, I actually ordered more Werksan equipment.  Except this time, I ordered through Rogue (who’s customer service is BOSS).  That order came through, but more importantly, Rogue answered my questions when I wondered if THAT order would come through.

Moral of the story, if you like Werksan equipment, I advise you to go for it. But order through a 3rd party vendor like Rogue.

Take this as a data point and nothing more; a snapshot in time.

Your milage may vary.


White Dwarf-ISM Demo.

November 12, 2015

I had a few people ask me about the song I used in my latest video I posted on the Occam Facebook page.  This is White Dwarf.  Their demo is one of my favorite things released this year.  They basically sound the most like SLEEP since SLEEP.  I’d like to hear a full album from these guys for sure.

Here’s a track.  Click on the link and download all 4 songs for $FREE.99!


November 4, 2015

I took a temporary retreat yesterday with a group of strangers.  Honestly, it came at a good time even though it’s the middle of the week and I never leave the lair during the week unless it’s work related.  However, for me to sit down and be forced to interact and speak personally with a group of strangers is one of the things I need to work on the most.  Because I hate it.  But I do value how that situation forces you to organize your thoughts into words in real time; organically, not written such as on here.

One subject that came up was courage.

To me, one of the most courageous things one can do is to look introspectively.  Taking a good look at yourself and seeing all of your flaws, seeing all the room for improvement isn’t fun and certainly doesn’t feel rewarding.  However in my opinion, the pay off when applying what you find to whatever it is you do with your time (whether its lifting, or coaching or being in a long term relationship or being a father) is the only true path towards personal development.

I’m inspired to be more courageous every day by seeing people do this themselves.  Go forth and keep being courageous because it inspires the rest of us to do the same.

Trust the process.


So I was working on my annual end of the year favorite tracks playlist and I stumbled across a gem.  But first, a little background info.

In 2014, I discovered that I like cats; Strange, I know.  But I moved in with a roommate who owned a black cat named Benjamin and we basically became best buddies even though we acted like we hated each other.  That same year, one of my favorite releases was from indie hip-hop collaboration, Run the Jewels.

For reference, here is my favorite track from Run the Jewels II featuring Zach De La Rocha.

This year, the duo released a CAT THEMED REMIX ALBUM, MEOW THE JEWELS.

Thank you, internet.

I’ll put out my annual favorite tracks list soon.  Sadly, no there will be no cats on it.  What are some of your favorite tracks/singles from this year?

Edit: I didn’t get the rig right and have been subsequently corrected but I’m going to leave the post as is because it’s funnier that way.  It’s actually: 

4×12 x 2
8×10 x 1
2×15 x 1

For all you tone worshippers out there, I want to bring these guys to your attention.

Lament Cityscape.  I saw them open up for Serial Hawk the other day.  Two dudes.  MASSIVE sound.  I saw them set up and the guitarist brought out his rig and I’m like WTF is that.  I’m not all that tech savvy but it looked like a guitar amp, bass amp and a bunch of power amps powering a 4×12, a 6×10 and a BIG FUCKING SUBWOOFER.  I know what you’re thinking, “yeah, but did it sound GOOD?”  Yeah, surprisingly.  I mean there was no one else for him to compete with as far as interfering with other instruments and he really did cover the whole spectrum, not just the low end.

Here’s my favorite track.

Here’s a photo of the guitarist and rig.

Yeah, he played through ALL of that.

Yeah, he played through ALL of that.

Here’s a good shot of one of the guys from Serial Hawk.

Coincidentally, this is how I look when I answer the phone.

Coincidentally, this is how I look when I answer the phone. “WAAAAZZZAAAAAAAAP.”

I remember MY first beer.

October 25, 2015

I actually do though and it’s a mildly funny story told in person.

I was actually talking about this.

Jean tasted his first rainbow on Friday with this 160kg clean.

Jean tasted his first rainbow on Friday with this 160kg clean.

And you know what? It looked easy.  I gave him a hit of salts (also a first).  He threw on some Radiohead (I’m so proud) and that shit flew off the ground FAST.  Good thing I caught it in slow-mo.

Also notable is one of our young guys hit like 9 PR’s on Friday.  And this was after I let him know the night before that none of the lifters we watch on “Unbelievable Bulgarians” are actually natty.  I know. So young.

I guess the theme of this post is that I’m surrounded by youth and their radiant optimism.  It keeps me getting after the big boy weights, searching for that 1-2% I have left in the tank.

Thanks, guys and girls.

  1. Rear leg elevated single leg split squat (driving through front heel to activate the glute).
  2. Single leg DB RDL.
  3. Behind the neck Dip N’ Split
  4. Single arm split leg DB press (pressing with the same side as the leg that’s out front.  Again pushing through that front heel.  Alternating feet.)
  5. High pulls (all variations).  We’ve always done them but they come up more frequently with the emphasis on upper body involvement and “activity through the middle.”

Come at me bro.

Honorable mention: Single arm farmer carry.  (Both lats engaged. Elbow slightly bent and reaching behind.  Neutral spine.)

Sense of Urgency.

October 13, 2015

“Yeah, more graves to dig, goodbye there’s no need to cry
‘Cause we all die”

-The RZArector (The RZA)

The Gravediggaz. A fairly unknown project from 1994 featuring most notably Prince Paul and The RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan.  Their first release, “6 Feet Deep” is notable because it’s b-movie, spooky shtick coined the sub-genre “Horror-core.”

I have a message for you.

Death comes for all of us.  It’s only a question of when and unfortunately we don’t get to pick.  Sure, we can plan.  Workout.  Take our vitamins.  But it suffices to say that there is only so much under our control.

I had a moment this week where it was very possible that my time had come.  Relax, mom.  I know you read my blog and I’m fine.  It was a minor incident that was 100% not my fault.

You know what I felt when I looked death in the face? “If this is my time, at least I died at a time in my life where I was 100% dedicated to pursuing my passion and helping others chase dreams of their own.”  No, not all those words went though my head in that split second.  But if you crumpled all those words into a feeling, that’s what I felt.

When I looked death in the face, my only regret was that my work would be left unfinished.

And then just like that I was fine.  I drove to a familiar bar, drank a shot of expensive whiskey, smoked a cigarette (no, mom.  I don’t smoke.) and then I called it a night; after all, I had work the next day.

I suppose the point in letting you all know about this is that the incident left me with a sense of urgency.  Time on this world is short.  If you want to make your mark on it, do it now.


October 9, 2015

Greg Everett is an excellent communicator.  When he writes, his voice is succinct, specific and entertaining.  This little gem struck a chord with me this week.


Sure it’s a common sentiment and blah blah blah but it’s worth more than 90% of the asinine quotes that people post on the internet every day.


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