September 14, 2012
A few days ago, Jared Enderton, 94kg. lifter and overall really cool dude unveiled what could become the most functional barbell complex known to man. The athleticism, determination and work capacity needed to successfully complete this exercise are at near super-human levels. Watch and be amazed.
Are you awestruck?
But wait, a new challenger wishes to conquer the Enderton complex and in the process set a new world record of 41kg. Watch and be motivated.
Count your blessings because you are witnessing next-level human adaptation so extreme that I would only be more impressed if I saw a lifter sprout a new pair of wings and fly to his next weightlifting contest.
October 31, 2011
I don’t really have a lot of extra money to waste on extra bullshit. I basically make enough to pay rent and buy a lot of eggs, coffee and protein powder. I did, however, order this sweet ass comic book off of Amazon the other day. I know what you’re thinking, “Really, Ben? Amazon? If you were really into the scene, you would’ve walked into an actual, independently owned establishment and bought it with the change that you collected while playing guitar and reciting poetry in front of a liquor store.” True. And before I quit my job working in a cubicle so I could get yoked full-time and moved out of my parent’s house, I actually was a frequent customer at comic book shops and record stores all over Sacramento.
My usual spot was Metropolis Comix. Chris, one of the owners made it really easy on us older guys who were busy with jobs (and getting yoked) by setting up an e-mail subscription system. He sent us the list of what would be coming in, we sent him back our orders of what we wanted. I wish I could do all my shopping this way. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate malls and shopping in general so the mere 15 minutes once a month was a perfect set-up for me. I even had my 1st and only art show at that store.
But I digress.
The book is called Mesmo Delivery, by Rafael Grampa. Grampa, himself, is a São Paulo artist who is relatively new to the comic industry but has a background in design in animation. MD is his first solo work as an artist and writer. Personally, that was a major selling point because that tells me that he created this book just for the thrill of creating something. And honestly, you can see his enthusiasm for his work on the creatively laid out panels and the shocking action sequences.
The story is an interesting take on an otherwise cut and dry story archetype. Archetype(s) rather. Grampa pays homage to a number of different influences; so much so that the reader is left feeling like he learned a little bit about Grampa himself. It’s one part Cowboy bar scene, one part samurai movie, one part mystery and the rest is a bloody orgy of violence and Tarentino shock value. The whole scene would’ve probably taken about 15 minutes. Rufo, a tough guy ex-boxer takes a job transporting some mysterious cargo. He is escorted by a really mysterious and equally creepy over-the-hill Elvis impersonator named, Sangrecco. Rufo makes a quick pit-stop at a bar (cowboy style. I love bar scenes), orders some milk and then shit goes DOWN. Seriously, the pages that follow are ridiculous. If you’re a fan on Tarentino or Robert Rodriguez movies, then you’ll probably like this. But if you were at all squeamish while watching Kill Bill, DO NOT BUY THIS, YOU WILL BE OFFENDED.
The art itself is fantastic. Like the self-righteous music nerds who like their jams to sound more, “analog,” I find myself looking for work that looks more, “organic.” But a lot of times in the mainstream books, the art is so processed and digitalized to perfection that you can’t even tell that the drawings are done by hand anymore. It just looks like a bunch of gradients and Photoshopped eye candy (which is cool in it’s own right). But with this book, you can see the excitement in the artist’s hand. You can see the carefully etched out pen work how it was meant to be seen. Grampa’s style is kind of dreamy but also very grounded and realistic at the same time. The characters are drawn very caricature like, with their defining traits plainly put on display in their figures. The scenery is bleak and grounded by the amount of signage throughout the book. The action sequences are juxtaposed on top of song lyrics with some of the most creative use of paneling and angles that I ever seen. In short, the art rocks and there’s tons of personality throughout the book.
My friend, Will D once told me that “the best art is done for the sake of the art itself. The same can be said of weightlifting. For most people, it’s a means to an end. But when done for the experience, it becomes a means unto itself.” That’s the first thing that came to mind after reading this thing over for the 1st time. I’ve said before that I’m a fan of anyone that makes their passion a priority, so I find myself to be a fan of Grampa. Not that I want to sound like a presumptuous piece of shit, but I think that MD was created for the same reason that the heaviest weights are lifted, because he enjoys his craft.
That’s how Batman should look: like a big, combat effective ninja detective.
Anyways, at 9 bucks, MD doesn’t exactly break the bank. And if you’re a fan of good pen work and just a little bit sick and twisted, then you’ll most likely read through it a few times. You can also buy it off of Amazon so you’re friends won’t know that you read fucking comic books.
July 4, 2011
I’m a fan of weightlifters and artists. I’m a fan of musicians, fishermen, chefs, dancers, pharmacists, coaches, or anybody who’s passion takes them outside whatever is considered normal. That’s because it takes a great deal of hard work and sacrifice to turn passions into full-time commitments (however brief or long that time may be). I’m just a young guy (well I guess not THAT young). But I am young in the sense that I have only just begun to understand what this commitment actually means. But I’m equally excited and determined to make my own thing work. Since I’ve started bitching on the internet, I’ve had tons of people come up to me and tell me stories about what they had to go through to make it work. I’m a fan of you too.
I’m also a fan of this guy.
I saw the trailer and immediately identified with him. That was me as a kid. I was awkward. I drew pictures. I didn’t have many friends. I was him. And now it’s his goal in life to create. And yeah, I know it’s just video games, but I honestly see this guy creating what are essentially projections of himself which, to me, is art. With his computer talent, he could have probably easily sealed a job at a large software company (which is also cool). But he decided to try something else.
P.S. I’ve played Super Meat Boy. It’s addicting. It’s basically like an amped up Super Mario Brothers except you play as a gross, wall-jumping piece of meat and you are on a mission to rescue your equally gross girlfriend, Bandage Girl. So addicting.
Snatch: Took it up to 120.
Clean and jerk: took it up to 140.
I’m planning on hitting around 130/150 tonight.
June 16, 2011
Today I checked out a cryochamber facility in Roseville. I was very disappointed. You see, this morning I gave up on trying to become an accomplished weightlifter. So the next best idea I could come up with was to freeze myself for about 25 years and hope that all the strong people have died off by then and I would live like a king. So basically, I wanted to combine the plots from “Demolition Man” with “Planet Hulk.” Instead I exited feeling amazing and pain free. So disappointed.
OK, serious mode engaged.
I checked out US Cryotherapy in Roseville. So legit. I tried out the cryochamber room as well as the localized treatment on both of my knees. I would recommend it to anyone who trains more then 6 times a week. Being in the chamber itself is kind of scary because you’re not quite sure if you are going to die or not. But there’s an attendant monitoring your every move and the results are well worth it. This video clip pretty much sums up my experience.
May 4, 2011
Sarah informed me that today is apparently Star Wars Day. To celebrate, I’m going to try to fit in as many Star Wars quotes into casual conversation as possible. I also might try to put on some John Williams at the gym whilst I teach classes. This may result in me getting stoned to death. And I’m not talking about weed. I’m talking about biblical scale corporal punishment.
What’s your favorite Star Wars song? (post link in the comments section)
What are some of your favorite lines?
The will was there, but the body wasn’t so much. I had a hard time gettin’ going this morning.
Snatches off the blocks: worked up to 130×2.
Clean and jerks: ”Nobelted” 150. Had a couple misses at 60.
I’m going to be pressed for time today, but I really don’t want to miss a workout. At the same time, if I rush my rest period and try running in guns a’blazin, it’ll probably end up not being productive anyways. I’ll play it by ear. Snatch, clean and jerks and squats are on the menu. As always, snatches and cleans are the priority. But I may end up only having time to squat.
Squats: I squatted 1st because it’s the easiest thing to do when I’m in a rush. Took it up to 220 EZPZ.
Snatch: 130 in under 5 minutes.
I didn’t have time to do cleans.