Prison Cubicle Training again

I know I’ve said this before, but it isn’t just the muscles that weaken from an extended (2 week) layoff. The motivation and drive fall off a cliff. Even though I have the desire to do something, the thought of digging down deep makes want to just “wait until I have more mental energy”. That is folly, it is never coming back. It will show up after I re-establish the habit of doing it. I don’t just mean doing the exercises and training either, I mean pushing farther than I think I am capable of. Uggggh. It’s early, it’s cold, it’s very cloudy which is depressing and completely uninspiring. In fact it’s not just uninspiring but it is anti-inspiring. I love me some Texas for many reasons, but the weather is not one of them. Winter here is depressing, it’s like living in London or Seattle. I am a child of light, I need the sun. Being overcast for weeks at a time with spots of momentary sunshine here and there is getting harder and harder for me to deal with.

2/19/2019 Tuesday

Yesterday I managed to force myself to do pushups to failure. I was able to grind out a set of 52, total failure on the concentric phase of #53. That was good, I wasn’t sure I could do more than 50 early on in the set. I took a video of myself doing them on my phone, and was surprised at how poor my form appears. I am conscious of using good form, but apparently my proprioception is off. That’s not a big deal though, it is an easy fix: raise my hips higher and they will be in line with my shoulders and ankles, and don’t look directly down at the floor, tilt my chin a bit more forward. Think kissing the floor rather than touching my nose to it.

8:40 – Windshield Wipers x 8; bent knees, my right side (problem area) is just frozen solid, so I just stayed in the bottom position to the left and focused on relaxing into the stretch. It feels a little better, but I could barely get back up off of the floor. The core muscles did not want to work with me.

– Split Squats x 10/side. My right glute feels significantly weaker, even though I think it is actually the stronger side. That is the side I leap off of when jumping over things. On this exercise (and all glute/leg exercises going forward) I focused on driving my foot into the floor and attempting to externally (laterally) rotate it. Like I was screwing something into the floor with my foot.

I wonder if hydration is part of my issue right now? I think I’ll make sure that isn’t the case, I’m going to chug back about 16 ounces of water right now.

9:45 – NOS + Protein powder + ACV

– Handstand Press x 7! New personal best! Total failure after 7.

– Yoga Pushups x 90; failure, good pump. This is my follow up from yesterday.

10:50 – Handstand x 7 seconds; this was an attempt to just do a handstand without using the wall. I did a few 1 and 2 second attempts in which I lost my balance, then I got longer one of about 7 seconds or so.

– Reverse Lunge, non-alternating x 25/side; focused on “screwing my feet into the floor” again, this really does move the focus to the glutes. I am sucking wind too, definitely out of shape after my recent downtime.

– Triceps Flex x 30 seconds; dug as deep as I could

3:30 – BCAA + NOS + ACV

– Handstand Press x 5

– Box Step ups x 5 per side; woohoo! Anything to keep moving dontcha know

Have a Great Day!


Supplement Research

I’ve been taking a pre-workout (NOS Blast) that I just randomly picked up at Walmart, so I decided to vet out the ingredients since I have seemed to have felt some benefit from taking it before I train. I am going to admit that it could be a placebo affect because as I’ve said before, when I take I feel motivated to push harder because I don’t want to be a poser. I don’t want to be that guy that takes a bunch of supplements but never gets in shape. Why bother and why waste the money?

Citrulline Malate

High levels of ammonia increases feelings of fatigue, and it is removed via the Urea cycle. Ammonia is converter to urea and is sent to the kidneys to be peed out. The more ornithine available the faster ammonia can be removed. Citrulline has the ability to double both arginine and ornithine (which the body reconverts into citrulline) levels in the body.

L-Arginine is not very bio-available, whereas citrulline is very bio-available as a supplement. Citrulline is converted into arginine in the body and is far more bio-available. Arginine helps remove ammonia AND is required to release NO.

Nitric Oxide Cycle – an increase in nitric oxide leads to a greater pump. This is the cycle in which arginine converts into citrulline, and this conversion process also produces some Nitric Oxide (NO). From there the citrulline gets converted back into arginine, and round and round she goes. NO increases blood flow by causing blood vessels to relax, giving you the good pump.

So increased citrulline improves the body’s ability for physical work output, improves endurance, and reduces fatigue. It also appears to increase the release of growth hormone after exercise and reduces delayed onset muscle soreness. Also improves ED. It looks like based on my research that citrulline malate is inferior to L-citrulline. Apparently it is a combination of L-Citrulline and L-malate, the second of which does pretty much nothing for you in terms of increasing NO. So only half of the amount per serving is actual citrulline.

Citrulline Malate- 8 grams, or 4 grams of L-Citrulline

Beta Alanine

3 sources of ATP; ATP-CP system (first 1-3 reps, first few seconds of sprint, 1 rep max – basically 3 seconds of max effort), then Anaerobic Glycolysis (which produces lactic acid and hinders glycolysis), then Aerobic. Beta alanine gets turned into Carnosine which acts as a lactic acid “buffer”. This allows you to use glycolysis longer. This will lead to one-2 more reps (8-15 reps), high intensity aerobic activity (rowing) when training between 60-240 seconds per. It clears lactic acid faster, and lactic acid slows the recharge of ATP-CP system.

OVER 200 POUNDS 5-6 grams over the day, taken with meals

Under 200 pounds 4 grams should be fine.


Creatine phosphate which is stored in your cells adds it’s phosphate molecule to the ATP which you use during the ATP-CP (explosive) phase of working out (the first 3 seconds basically). So reps 2-4 are still around 90% of your 1 rep max. Black dudes genetically store more creatine phosphate than white dudes. Once the creatine phosphate supply runs out the body switches to the anaerobic system. This system can’t produce as much energy.

5 grams creatine supplement per day has been shown to be 80-100% bio-available, which leads to a 15-20 % increase in creatine phosphate stored in the muscles. Increase in creatine phosphate stores means the body needs to store more water in the muscles to accommodate them. Also helps increase glycogen stores. Supplementation has been shown to reduce headaches in children with brain injuries.

If you take 20-25 grams per day for a week you will reach full muscle saturation levels. After loading, then 5 grams per day for maintenance phase. If you only take the 5 gram per day dose it may take up to a month to reach full saturation.

Studies suggest that it can be taken any time of day, not necessary to take pre-workout. There appears to be no need to cycle off; a 2003 study showed that there were no ill effects after 21 months of continuous use.


Taurine helps balance electrolytes in the cells, forms bio-salts, supports nervous system, can help decrease blood sugar levels and lower blood pressure. May increase the muscle’s ability to contract, reduces metabolic waste in muscles allowing them to work longer without the “burning”, increases fat burning in humans during exercise. Aids in osmoregulation. Acts as an anti-oxidant.

500-1000 mg / day


Citrulline has the ability to double both arginine and ornithine. Important because ornithine converts into citrulline which converts into Arginine which removes ammonia and releases NO in the process

Beta alanine gets turned into Carnosine which acts as a lactic acid “buffer”. Lactic acid slows the recharge of ATP-CP system (explosive 1 rep max power), plus removing lactic acid allows you to use glycolysis longer.

Creatine phosphate adds it’s phosphate molecule to the ATP which you use during the ATP-CP (explosive) phase of working out.

So it looks like Beta Alanine works synergistically with Creatine.

The breakdown should be as follows:

Creatine: 20 grams/day for 1st week, 5 grams/day thereafter for maintenance – any time of day

Beta Alanine: 4 grams/day – taken with meals

L-Citrulline: 4 grams pre workout

NOS Blast Pre-workout

Citrulline Malate: 750mg/scoop – nowhere near enough

Beta Alanine: 1.6 g/scoop – close if taken 2x per day

Creatine: 2.55 g / scoop – good if taken 2x per day

L-Arginine: 1.5 g/scoop – Probably unnecessary

Taurine: 1g

Choline: 150 mg/scoop

Caffeine Anhydrous: 150 mg/scoop

Have a Great Day!


My Dilemma – Same Muscles Two Days In A row?

A couple of weeks ago I was thinking about my legs being too skinny, and that I want them to be bigger. I was also thinking about that in contrast to doing the stairs so I can handle our backpacking hikes better. A couple of thoughts occurred to me: First, more muscle on my legs gives me more to work with. Cyclists and runners now incorporate strength training to improve their performance. Second, I’ve never been an endurance guy, I think genetically I just have more fast twitch than slow twitch fibers, so I may never be able to match the endurance of the other guys. But if I am stronger my pack weight will be less of an issue, and I may be able to use that to keep pace. After all, we aren’t doing purely endurance, we are doing it under loads.

So I have this dilemma, I feel like I may want to do the stairs today but I don’t want to interfere with my muscle and strength gains. But then again, I’m not lifting heavy, nor have I achieved muscular failure yet. Most of my leg workouts are high rep, so how is doing 60 squats any different from doing the stairs? Muscles definitely adapt differently. Look at Dwayne Johnson, the Cowboys’ Zack Martin, and Michael Phelps. Each trains with different objectives and each looks markedly different. So I’m pretty sure you aren’t going to be able to achieve the same level in both simultaneously.

I’ve always heard that cardio kills muscle gains, but it turns out that may not be the case at all. After some research and analysis, here is what I have discovered and what I think I will do.

Recent research would indicate that the right amount of cardio not only doesn’t hold you back from strength and muscle gains, but 2-3 days of cardio each week can enhance the effects of strength training. [1, 2] They can compete with each other however, so you should definitely spread them apart. Interestingly, studies have shown strength training plus cycling improved muscle size more than strength training plus treadmill walking, or strength training alone.[4,5]

Train the same muscle group two days in a row. Hit a muscle hard and heavy one day, then again the next day but hit them with lighter pump work. Isolation exercises done in circuit fashion work best. Think constant tension for 8-12 reps. Each set should last at least 30 seconds and up to 50 seconds. That’s what is going to work best for optimal gains. The second session is there to enhance the anabolic response from the first session. It does this by prolonging the period of increased protein synthesis and also increasing nutrient transport to the muscles. Isolation exercises done in circuit fashion work best.

This will actually facilitate recovery and lengthen the duration of the anabolic phase.

The first four hours after a training session, protein breakdown can be elevated more than synthesis (although this can be mitigated by the presence of insulin) (6), but from hours 6-24 after, synthesis can become higher if amino acid availability is increased.(6) It then returns to normal within 24-36 hours of the first stimulation. This also means you need to do it within 24 hours after the last session to get this result. It doesn’t apply if you have a day off in between session.

Protein synthesis stays elevated for 24 hours post-training, but by having a second session the next day that’s less traumatic, you extend protein synthesis significantly, thus building more muscle. It’s important that the second session is pump work and not heavy lifting. We don’t want to cause any muscle damage on that second day. We only want to activate the cell signaling responsible for stimulating hypertrophy and pumping nutrients into the muscles. (3)

Also, these need to be constant tension type movements, even just flexing would be good. Remember the BCAAs and protein prior to the session! Since part of the reason it works is because nutrients are being pumped into the muscle, there need to be nutrients available.

Have a Great Day!


(1) Hickson, R. C. (1980). Interference of strength development by simultaneously training for strength and endurance. European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology, 45(2-3), 255-263.

(2) Lundberg, T. R., Fernandez-Gonzalo, R., Gustafsson, T., & Tesch, P. A. (2013). Aerobic exercise does not compromise muscle hypertrophy response to short-term resistance training. Journal of Applied Physiology, 114(1), 81-89


(4) Mikkola, J., Rusko, H., Izquierdo, M., Gorostiaga, E. M., & Häkkinen, K. (2012). Neuromuscular and cardiovascular adaptations during concurrent strength and endurance training in untrained men. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 33(9), 702-710.

(5) Gergley, J.C., (2009). Comparison of two lower-body modes of endurance training on lower-body strength development while concurrently training. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 23(3), 979-987


Falling Off The Wagon

Wow what a crazy couple of weeks. Until this past Tuesday I hadn’t done any type of training since the week of Jan 22.

The weekend of the 25th – 27th me and the guys went backpacking on the Little Bugaboo Hiking trail in Oklahoma. So technically I guess you would say The last day was Sunday the 27th. It was actually more than just that trail, we started off on the South Rim trail which is only about 3.3 miles, then we veered off to the Bog Spring Trail which is about 2.1 miles, that took us to the Hog Camp trail, Then on to the Hunter Cabin trail, then on to the North Rim trail, then I’m

not sure where we ended up. We also lost the trail on n the North Rim Trail and had to bush whack down a ravine and back up the other side. We had ended up in a dry water runoff bed thinking we were still on the trail. It was a long, steep hike back up to the trail. I can’t remember if we followed the North Rim trail all the way to our final camp site or if we ended up on Wildcat trail. I’m pretty sure we didn’t take Wildcat though. It got pretty hairy about this point, and we were bushwhacking a good part of the way. There was a water crossing which was pretty manageable. The last day coming out we didn’t have far to go, but it was all up hill. Every step. Not sure about total miles covered, but it was definitely more than the 11.2 “official” miles.

Anyway, I had a job interview on Monday morning, and I closed on my refi in the afternoon (I had to move from a 20 year to a 30 year mortgage in an attempt to lower my monthly expenses – the fewer expenses I have, the more freedom I have). Monday afternoon I started coming down with a mild head cold. Tuesday and Wednesday there was no way I could make it in to work. Came back on Thursday but felt like hell. I have been trying to shake it ever since. It has been lingering in my throat this whole time. I’ve been taking in excess of 5000 mg vitamin C every day, along with Noni extract, Airborne, some zinc (not a lot, I need to get more), and plenty of garlic, onions, and habaneros. It is February which means the hardest work month (because of the shortest closing time frames) of the year. Although this year January was just miserable too. Last week I worked 12 and 13 hour days. The warden still acted like I was a lazy slacker. I’ve completed all of my returns ahead of my deadlines by 1 or 2 days.

So Tuesday (2 days ago) I did a set of 40 air squats just to try and get moving again. I felt much better yesterday and did some chin-ups and 15 lb dumbbell curls. Today I have done some up/down dog movement for a set of 25 and I did 40 narrow hand pushups. It is insane how fast you lose progress at the age of 52 when you stop doing it for any length of time. I’m curious to see how long it will take to get back up to the levels I was hitting before I got sick. Right now there is no way I can even attempt to do a wall handstand, and I’m not pushing myself hard on the other movements right now either. It’s even a challenge to get myself mentally pumped even watching my motivational videos. Next week I should be close enough to 100% that I can start pushing myself again.

Have a Great Day!


Week of 01/22/2019

Didn’t do any training yesterday, the warden was in an absolutely miserable, foul mood. Up my butt all day long, just pissed off about everything, looking for any and every problem or mistake she could find, even made up a couple of mistakes that were not legit. When I pointed out that they were correct, she said “well change the way it looks! I don’t like it!” Anyway, I could go on, but what’s the point? It just reminds me of the premise of this journal: to keep me focused on escaping prison, not making it pleasant or tolerable.

01/22/2019 Tuesday

10/15 – BCAA + NOX

10:25 – 100 Pushups App x 15, 13, 15, 17, 16, 16, 14, 14, 50; 2 min rest in between. 170 totals reps. Total failure on last rep, not sure how I completed it. I barely locked out on rep 49, but did lock out on 50. I think I would have injured myself if I’d tried to lower myself back down.

I may have to stop doing these at work because the rest period is turning this into a 20 minute workout. I’ll see after the next one because it is going to be fewer total reps, so I’m guessing it will be more reps per set with fewer sets, which translates into fewer rest periods and less overall time.

01/23/2019 Wednesday

9:40 – BCAA + NOX

– Neck Mobility Drills

10:00 – Handstand Press x 7, 3, 2; 2 min rest; total failure on each, did eccentric phase after each last rep, o final set got back off the ground part way before giving out.

– Sphynx Tricep Extension x 18; failure, intense burn, maybe had 2 more but couldn’t dig deep enough to find out.

– Yoga Pushups x 75; not quite failure, but close enough. I was roasting and my elbows and chest were on fire.

10:40 – Sphynx Tricep Extension x 25; failure; elbows very close to body and near bottom of rib cage

Have a Great Day!