20in30 Week 2 Speed Day – Being Flexible

Flexibility is important, and I’m not talking about reaching down and touching your toes or an awesome full king pigeon pose.


King Pigeon Pose

You have to be flexible with your workout regimen. Sometimes your plan doesn’t always work out and you might have to tweak your program a little bit.

Should you have a plan? Yes! Goals are extremely important, in fact I talked a little bit about it here. Making a plan to accomplish the goal is vital but sometimes things happen and if everything doesn’t go according to plan, THE WORLD WILL NOT END! Well, maybe eventually.

So next time you are supposed to do a particular exercise in the gym and that piece of equipment is broken or the the 135lb, 19 year old kid is texting a novel to his ex girlfriend on the leg press machine, don’t worry about it and make a substitution. Take a quick detour. I wouldn’t suggest deviating from the plan everyday but once in a while won’t kill you. Detour

I have been having a tad bit of elbow pain and when I tried to do some dumbbell incline press, they hurt worse. I instead just did dumbbell shoulder pressing and it felt better. Tada! No sweat! Actually, copious amounts of sweat. But either way, you can’t let the detours rattle you, just keeping lifting and working. On to the workout!

Banded Barbell Bench Press: 9×3 @55% of 1rm (I ended up using 115)

Band Pull Aparts: 1 set of 10 for every set of bench.

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3×12

Rear Delt Raise: 3×15

Dumbbell Lateral Raise: 3×10

Chin Up Holds: I just did several sets of isometric holds. Working on position and grip strength. More on that later!


20in30-Week 2 Intensity Day

It’s Week 2 and today is all about intensity again, heavy weight for a few reps. Last week I worked up to a 3rm. My goal this week is to hit that same weight for 3 reps + 5lbs. If I can do that every week for a month than I will reach my goal of 20lbs in 30 days. This simple progression is called linear periodization, utilizing the principle of progressive overload.
But first, a quick story. Way back in the 6th century, Milo of Croton was said to be a giant of a man and incredibly strong. He was a 6 time Olympic victor in wrestling and supposedly ate 20 lbs of meat and 20 lbs of bread…a day!
The real story I want to tell you is how he supposedly gained all his strength. He apparently carried a calf everyday on his shoulders. Now carrying a calf may not sound too incredible but Milo carried it everyday until it was a full grown bull! That is impressive! Whether the story is true or not is irrelevant, the story is a perfect example of progressive overload. Everyday lift a little more weight. Everyday get a little bit better.
This is what linear progressions are based on, progressive overload. Linear progressions are a great way to increase volume and intensity over time and it’s incredibly simple. Add weight to the bar or reps every workout or week. Programs like Strong Lifts and Starting Strength use this linear model and it truly is effective, especially with beginners. (Newbie gains are the best!) However, you can only move in a linear fashion for so long before gains come to a halt. I’m utilizing a linear progression for my intensity day and only for a month before going to different style of programming.
So with all that being said! Here was my workout for today. At the end of the 30 days I will have this program available in a PDF format. Interested? let me know!


Super Set 1

Bench Press: Work up to 3RM+5lbs (200lbs today) – Then 90% for 3×3

Cable Row: 1 set of 10 for every set of bench press, including warm ups.


Super Set 2

Hammer Curls: Sets of 50, 40, 30

DB Tricep Extensions: Sets of 50, 40, 30


Super Set 3

Cable Curl w/ Iso Hold: 3×15 (arms were trashed so I stopped at 15 a piece)

Cable Tricep Pushdown W/ Hold: 3×15

20in30 – Volume Bench

Need to put on some size? Get stronger? If so, you probably need to crank up the volume!

Today was my volume bench workout and so as promised earlier in the week, I will talk about what in the world volume is.

The formula for volume is simple. Volume = Weight x Sets x Reps. For example, if I squat 100 pounds for 5 sets of 2 it would equal 1000 lbs of volume.

In order to keep progressing with your strength goals, your volume has to increase over time. That doesn’t mean you need to add thousands of pounds in volume each and every workout but small timely volume increases are important.

There are pretty much only three ways to add volume with either more weight on the bar, more sets, or more reps per set. Sounds simple right? It Is fairly simple but there are lots of combinations to keep things interesting. Continuing with our earlier example of the 100lb squater, to make an increase from 1000lbs to 1200 instead of 5 sets of 2 @100lbs we could do 4 sets of 3 @100lbs. Then the following week go to 5 sets of 3 at 100 lbs, and repeating the process with a little more weight on the bar next month.

To really gain hypertrophy (build muscle) increasing the volume is vital. Just don’t jack the volume up to fast or you will become brutally sore.

So long story short, this is my volume bench day, AKA the day I do higher reps of bench press.

Bench Press: 5×8

Band pull apart: 5×10

Close Grip Bench Press: 3×10

One Arm Dumbbell Row: 3×12

Machine Chest Press: 3×15

Machine High Row: 3×15

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20in30 – Day 2 Squat Day

Today was squat day.

Even though the main goal of this program is progressing the bench press, I don’t want to lose strength in the other big lifts (squat and deadlift.) It is usually best to have one main goal; because of that I will only be squatting and deadlifting once a week. Squat I usually squat 2 to 3 times a week and at one point I squatted everyday for 45 days. So the low frequency is odd to me but I don’t want to burn myself out on squats and not be able to hit my bench numbers the next day.

I did 3 sets of 3 on high bar squats and I chose high bar for a couple of different reasons. I’m not nearly as strong with a high bar squat as low bar so this gives me a chance to work on the technique and build strength in this style of squat. Also, because it is a lighter load it’s less systemic stress on my body, which hopefully will allow full recovery for my next bench press day (AKA Wednesday.)





Here’s day 2 of the program.

High Bar Squat: 3×3

Bulgarian Split Squat: 3×8

Donkey Calf Raise: 4×20 (Raised the weight every set)

Ab Wheel Roll Out: 3×10 (Best ab exercise ever!)


Hit a fairly easy 3×3 at 275 today and it felt good. Looking forward to the speed bench day tomorrow! Getting better everyday.

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Day one of the program here!!!

20in30 – Day 1

Today I started my 20in30 program that I have been working on. I’m trying to add 20 pounds to my bench press in 30 days because unfortunately my bench press is woefully sub par.

So, today was my first day and I feel pretty good afterward. Hit my numbers for the day which is really important because today was my “intensity day.” Now contrary to popular belief this has nothing to do with HIIT or how many ounces of sweat I lost. Intensity in the weight room refers to the amount of weight lifted. So today my goal was to lift a heavy weight for low repetitions. This could be compared to the Westside or Conjugate method of a “Max Effort Day” but instead of a 1 rep max (1RM) I worked up to a 3RM and then took 90% of that for 3 sets of 3. I can’t take credit for this idea because Travis Mash of MashElite.com uses it all the time in his programs.

Since this was my intensity day I didn’t want to do a ton of benching volume (to be explained later this week) mainly because I have a volume day scheduled later in the week. So I did some direct arm work instead. I have avoided direct arm work for around 2 years and it’s time to get some horseshoes! TricepsMy triceps are fairly weak and I believe that is contributing to my poor bench press performance so I attacked those suckers using Kris Gethin’s DTP method. DTP is a pyramid scheme. I’m using his method to add size to my arms. It utilizes extremely high volume and low intensity and I need some actual muscle growth in my arms because a bigger muscle has the potential to be a stronger muscle.




So without further adieu,


Super Set 1

Bench Press: Work up to 3RM – Then take 90% of the 3Rm for 3×3

Cable Row: 1 set of 10 for every set of bench press, including warm ups.


Super Set 2

Hammer Curls: Sets of 50, 40, 30

DB Tricep Extensions: Sets of 50, 40, 30


Super Set 3

Cable Curl w/ Iso Hold: 3×20

Cable Tricep Pushdown W/ Hold: 3×20


So I hit 195 for a solid triple and did 3 sets of 3 with 175 for bench press. It took me around 10 or 11 sets including warm ups so I did 10 or 11 sets of cable rows.

I’ll try and post again with tomorrow’s workout, make yourself better and live human.


LIFESTYLE – Dreams, Resolutions, and Goals

Dreams, resolutions, and goals. What’s the difference between these three? Why does it matter? I probably should have posted this on January 1st because it has that New Year’s resolutions feel to it. The truth is that goals should not only be set on at the beginning of the year. They can be set at any time and you need to have goals!

“Dream big.” “Never let go of your dreams.” “Dare to dream big.” “If you can dream it, you can do it.” These all sound nice and incredibly motivating and I suppose they can be. However, to me they set up a false reality. I think there is a step missing and it is vital! At your first job, you don’t become the boss the next day. In between scrubbing toilets and becoming the manager you have to work hard and prove yourself worthy. When you register for college you don’t automatically get to graduate. There are some steps in between that must be accomplished before you get all the glory of walking a stage in a dress and a ridiculous hat with a dangling tassel.

Dreams are just that, dreams. You have to take that idea, which might spark a passion or a dream and try to turn it into a reality. You need to determine the next steps to accomplish your dream. When that happens, your silly little dream has now become a goal, and that is a very good thing!

So you now you have a goal but you need to get smart about this! Not that kind of smart, (sorry, Steven Carell) this S.M.A.R.T. which stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic,  and timely. Now just hear me out, this is not beginning of my self-help book but this is important.

This past year I had a goal to squat and deadlift 365 pounds respectively. My goal was:

  • Specific: It was precisely 365 lbs. not, “squat more weight.”
  • Measurable: Throughout the year, I could squat and then know how close I was to my goal.
  • Attainable: I knew that I could dedicate at least 4 days a week to working out in the gym and from everything I had read, that seemed like enough to accomplish my goal of 365.
  • Realistic: The most I had ever squatted was around 325 at the beginning of 2015. That would be a 40 lb. increase in 12 months, or 3.33 lbs. per month. That definitely seemed realistic to me!
  • Timely: I had to put a time limit on my goal otherwise there is no motivation to accomplish the 365 squat. My goal was a yearlong goal but I had some smaller goals along the way. For instance, I wanted to squat 345 by summer.

Now here’s the funny thing…I didn’t actually intentionally do this the s.m.a.r.t. way  but it happened to follow that model.

Here is what I actually did to accomplish my goal.

  1. WRITE IT – I wrote it down on an index card and it lived on my night stand for a whole year. This either shows you my dedication or laziness when it comes to cleaning. Either way I was able to look back at my goal all throughout the year and which proved to be incredibly motivating.
  2. PLAN IT – I decided I was going to do some research on how to increase my squat numbers. I looked at several different lifting programs and also read a ton about eating to get stronger. I utilized two main training programs for 2015. I used Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program. I bought the eBook online at amazon 5/3/1 and his 2nd book Beyond 5/3/1. Both books are tremendous resources, I have read almost every article of his on com. 5/3/1 was extremely beneficial, especially during my busy times at work. The program doesn’t totally destroy you and it also makes sense if time in the gym is becoming an issue. I also utilized Cory Gregory’s Squat Every Day program. That made the single biggest leap in my squat training. I did that over the summer when I had more time and it was totally worth it! More on squatting every day another time.
  3. EXECUTE IT – Your plan isn’t worth much if you can’t execute. This is the hardest part but I also knew what I was capable of. I know getting in the gym four times a week was achievable. Getting stronger, losing weight, or gaining weight is always easier and more feasible when you are consistent.

Humans have been accomplishing great things throughout history (building the pyramids, going to the moon, creating the Xbox one) and you should too! What’s your goal? Do you have a plan? Make one! It’s worth it. Your journey to becoming healthier is only a dream but you can make it into a goal which leads to the realization of it. So live like a human and undertake something, something big – bigger than you can dream, achieve a goal.


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