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.
October 27, 2011
Weightlifting sucks. I’m going to do Crossfit instead. See you at the gamez, brah.
I invented this. It’s the newest, most biologically efficient way to perform a pull-up. The Cabbage Patch Pull-up, taking the functional fitness world by storm.
October 26, 2011
This week’s training has actually been pretty decent so far. I feel like my numbers are slowly and surely coming back up (my snatches more so than my cleans). But there is measurable progress. My bodyweight is also going down little by little. I’m taking my diet a little more seriously and getting plenty of water.
Snatched and cleaned off of the low blocks: I think I hit something like 120 and 140.
I forgot anything else I did.
Snatched and cleaned off of the blocks: This time I went off of knee height, doing 1 pull and then one snatch/clean for both lifts. I hit a nice 130/150.
Attempted to Front Squat: did not get very far.
I started off with power snatches but in the heat of battle with Alex Lee, I started cheating and going into the hole at about 115. Alex successfully power snatched 120 after I full snatched it. We went back down to 70 and worked back up with the 1 pull, 1 snatch format. I pulled out with the victory at 126.
Power cleans: These did not go so well. My shoulders would just NOT loosen up. I spent the rest of the time front squatting between 100-130kg. and working on my shoulder mobility.
This was probably my most productive session so far.
Snatch pulls off the blocks: I worked up to 160 doing sets of 3.
Cleans off the blocks: I loosened up with 50 for like 20 minutes. Tom assised with my shoulder mobility by pushing up my elbows while I held the weight. This is probably the most painful stretch but also the most effective for rack mobility. I worked up to 130 doing sets of 3. Then singles at 140, 150 and 160. 160 ties my PR from the blocks so I was happy.
Hang Snatch: Hit 130 a few times. Took a couple of attempts at 140. These felt pretty damn good.
Clean and jerks: These did not feel good at all. We made it up to 130, decided to start all over again. and then made it up to 130 again.
Front squats: Made 160. Missed 170. I feel like everything is slowly but surely coming back up. Everything except front squats.
I was pretty happy with this workout.
Power snatch: Hit a nice 110. Took a few more but none of them were a definite power snatch.
Power clean power jerk: Hit a really nice 140. Missed a couple at 151.
I actually felt pretty good despite the lack of sleep from the night before.
I played it like a regular Friday morning even though on this particular week I knew I might possibly want to go hard on Saturday instead. Some peeps from the Sports Palace are coming up tomorrow and training at HF headquarters.
Snatched a nice and easy 120. Clean and jerked an easy 140.
Snatched a decent 130 and went up and down a few times but never hitting more than 130 again. Clean and jerks felt solid but I could tell that my head just wan’t in it. Alex and I decided to save our legs for tomorrow.
Got some dece’ squats in. Warmed up by snatching to 130. Then Alex and I squatted up to 200kg. for triples. Alex got 210. Then we worked back up from 100kg. doing sets of 5. 100,140,160,170,180. Dece. Big Brian Wilhelm was there hitting some snatches and cleans off the blocks. Dude is huge.
October 26, 2011
I could go on and on about the meet this past weekend. But you know what? That would be BORING because I didn’t lift. I didn’t break any JR PWA records (in fact, the only record I’ve ever broken is Little Richard’s Greatest Hit’s. And that was from listening it it so often.) I mean, what would I write? “Yeah, I PR’ed in counting attempts.” So during practice yesterday, I asked CC if she would write something. I felt kind of guilty about it because lifting aside, CC takes a full course load and is midway through volleyball season. So it’s not like she has a lot of time in between practices and classes. But, she graciously agreed. So here we go. An athlete’s perspective on game day.
Its lift day and I’m about to start my warm ups. It is time to trust my technique and just go for it. Not much thinking involved, but visualizing success. No nerves, only excitement. Snatch warm up felt money. 3 for 3, BAM! I broke my previous record of 64 with 66kg. I was pretty stoked! Only 7 months of training and here I am breaking records, dang. I wanted a fourth attempt I was feeling so good. Unfortunately, you only get three. Haha. So, I took a break and munched on an almond snickers bar (amazing by the way, highly recommend). Then, time for clean and jerk. Warm ups felt solid too, adrenaline was flowing. Took 80 in the back. Solid opener with 78. 2nd attempt, 82 white lights. Ben asks if I want 84 or 85. I’m thinking 85 because it’s the current Jr. record. So I say, “How `bout 86, break the record?” Ben looks at me, pauses, shakes his head and says “No.” Haha shoot, wishful thinking. 85 it is. I cleaned it really well. Confident in my jerk, I take a deep breath, slow dip and put it behind my ears. For a split second I thought I stuck it. Obviously, I was a little out in front because my back foot slipped just a tad and I lunge forward, bar still overhead! I try and save it and stand back up with it. Epic fail! 85 would have been a PR! Close, but no cigar. Little did I know, I also broke the Jr. total record with 148. But I couldn’t have done it without Ben by my side, can’t thank him enough. So we celebrated with In and Out. Yum! Fun and successful day! I’m excited to see what weightlifting brings me next!
I couldn’t NOT use this song. It actually kind of goes well with the lifts.
October 25, 2011
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Had the camera veered slightly to the right, you would have seen me freaking out and hitting the wall out of excitement. I had coffee in hand but luckily decided to set it down before the attempt. The arm flailing would’ve surely ended up in disaster. But seriously, you know what that is? That is max effort. That is getting AFTER it. That is fearlessness. That is a serious disregard for anything else besides the task at hand. I could point out the exact moment where myself and most other lifters would’ve let go. But she decides to hang on and even begins to STAND UP.
CC is a self-described gamer (sorry guys, not the online SC2/MW2 type of gamer). But rather, she is a playmaker. She is gifted with the ability to be able to perform under pressure. When it comes down to the final moments and something really matters, she can make things happen.
I know that in the end, she missed it. But she kept holding on when others would have given up. Whether she chooses to continue the pursuit of lifting is irrelevant. I am confident that her character will set her apart from the rest no matter what she chooses to do.
Anyways, she broke 2 JR PWA records (for the snatch and total). This lift would have tied the clean and jerk record. I’ll post the full video of all her attempts tomorrow but here is her last snatch attempt at 66.
October 24, 2011
Women’s T-shirts are now for sale on the online STORE. Check ’em out, homie. I have a variety of shirt styles to choose from. If the fitted look isn’t your thing or just want a shirt to train in, I also have the classic heavyweight T. Spreadshirt has some other options as far as shirt styles are concerned. So if you are interested in something, let me know.
CC did well that the meet this weekend. I’ll have more to say on that probably tonight and tomorrow as well.
October 21, 2011
I ended up not posting any of my workouts this week. That’s because nothing exciting happened. I did, however start to feel better as the week progressed and ended up hitting some decent weights today. Also, we got a new gym dog. His name is Bootsy.
After this I front squatted 180kg. and then back squatted 230kg. Don’t ask.
CC will be competing this weekend. I’ll try to get some video and post if anything awesome happens.
October 18, 2011
Channel your inner Ricky Bruch and shout loudly when you lift things.
I know I’ve posted this video on here before. And I’m most likely going to do it again because I will never NOT get amped after watching this video.
October 17, 2011
Today was a lighter day. My lifts felt good. I was doing everything right. There was just nothing behind them. I could feel that while I was warming up today. So I did the smart thing and did a lot of stretching, a lot of band work and kept the lifts light. I basically just played with lighter weights doing sets of 3 to 5 until I started to loosen up. I even finished up with some light conditioning. Tonight felt better. I was able to snatch up to 120 with little difficulty. I still chose to not push it and finished up with some light squats. I don’t feel like I’ve lost anything by taking it easy today. This may just end up being a lighter week. I feel like I’m due for one. But even if it is lighter on the volume and the intensity, I’m still going to take up both lifts for a single on Friday. I’m pretty confident that I’ll feel better as the week progresses.
October 17, 2011
I gets none.
Whatever. I’m still better at the agility ladders.