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.



Wellness – Resources to Better Yourself

Wellness can be tricky to define but I think we would all agree that is vital to us living a long, happy, successful life. The definition that I find most useful is from the National Wellness Institute. It says “Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.” This is a very broad definition and I think that’s why I like it. It’s so much more than physical health!

Part of wellness is striving to further yourself intellectually and physically. In some ways my blog can help accomplish those goals but there are also other resources out there. Books, podcasts, seminars, conferences, and education, to name a few. I wanted to list some of my favorites and hear yours. Many of the resources on my list are health related but certainly not all.

WEBSITES – These are my go-to websites for reading material!

  • BarbellShrugged.com is a fantastic resource for all things fitness but they also delve into other topics like goal setting. The Shrugged team has been doing a lot of changes of late and are even working on something called Barbell University, which I am ecstatic about. Their website has a plethora of information on it and several different training programs. You can purchase and get access to the 6 month Muscle Gain Challenge as well as Barbell Shredded and Barbell Bikini.
  • JTSStrength.com is home to Juggernaut Training Systems and the juggernaut himself, Chad Wesley Smith.ChadSmith With a 2,325 pound total, Chad knows his stuff, and the articles posted to his website are fantastic! His team continually provides great free information. He also has several digital resources like A Thoughtful Pursuit of Strength and The Juggernaut Method 2.0. This might seem like a powerwebsite but they have articles on mobility, weightlifting, nutrition and several other topics.
  •  MashElite.com is home to the Travis Mash who has not only been coaching for 21 years, but at one time broke the world record pound for pound total. He broke Ed Coan’s record, the greatest of all time (the GOAT) . Clearly, Mash knows a ton about powerlifting but he also was a great Olympic lifter and his Olympic athletes are consistently winning competitions. The website has new articles being posted all the time and Mash posts new FREE training programs all the time. You have to at least check out the website.

PODCASTS – I have turned into quite the podcast junky. I love that I can acquire new information while driving around all day. Now I am constantly gleaning information from people via these great podcasts

  • Barbell Shrugged Podcast I know, these guys again? Yes! This is the podcast that started it all for me. Originally it felt a little more like a crossfit podcast but as the show matured, it progressed into so much more than just that. They have had some amazing guests like Cory Gregory, Christmas Abbott, Travis Mash, Brian Mackenzie, Rich Froning, and even Dmitry Klokov.

bb shrugged

  • Barbell Life Podcast This is led by Travis Mash of com. I really enjoy this podcast because it is just a bunch of good dudes who really care. While the show might lack some in audio quality, it excels in content quality. They answer questions, have big time guests, and are always willing to learn themselves. This podcast is honestly, a breath of fresh air.
  • Industrial Strength Show – Joe DeFranco is THE man when it comes to strength and conditioning for sports. joe-defrancos-complete-3-week-strength-reboot-graphics-1He has trained more NFL players than can be numbered and his knowledge and experience is vast. I like this podcast because Joe is an incredibly passionate person and it comes through in this podcast. He has had many great guests but I also enjoy the episodes where he is by himself. He is extremely consistent and always posts a new show on Thursday morning. I have usually finished it the very same day because it’s that good! He also has worked out a deal with CBS, which should propel the show even further!
  • Tim Ferriss Show – This might be the most interesting of all the podcasts. If you are not familiar with Tim Ferriss than come out from underneath the rock, Patrick! He has written several books; The 4 Hour Body, 4 Hour Chef, and the 4 Hour Workweek. I love this show because every guest is so different! I have learned about cancer research, hip hop music, foreign languages, kettlebell swings, and how to answer emails most efficiently. Ferriss is constantly speaking with people who are trying to push the limits of human performance, and who doesn’t want that? If you haven’t checked out this podcast yet, you should.
  • Dave Ramsey – We have officially and completely veered off the path of fitness but honestly, I don’t care. This post is about wellness, remember? Dave Ramsey is a financial genius, and it’s not because he can teach you how to play the stock market. He is a budgeting mastermind and genuinely cares for people and their wellbeing. If you are in some financial woes, consider the path of Dave Ramsey. His baby steps can be life changing and although his methods might seem extreme, his results speak for themselves. He also had produced a really terrific app called Every Dollar

BOOKS – Let me start this section by saying that these are literally my three favorite books. I think they are the most tremendous resources, especially for those of us who are in pain.

  • Becoming a Supple Leopard Kelly Starrett is the author and he is no joke. His doctorate is in physical therapy but he was also an Olympic rower and now owns Crossfit San Fransisco, however he is known everywhere as a movement guru. I first heard about him through MobilityWod.com and his youtube videos. His videos not only show you how to achieve a stretch or exercise that can make you feel better but he also explains the why and how. I don’t know if you can tell, I love learning, and I have learned so much about my body through Kelly Starrett. The book is excellent because it talks about how he performs self care, how to do every exercise known to mankind, and hundreds of exercises that can help improve mobility and ease pain. Dr. Starrett says that you should be able to treat about 90% of your own aches and pains. That is incredible and so is this book. I would definitely recommend the 2nd edition as it is much better organized. Both are incredible though.
  • The Roll Model – Jill Miller might be a Yogi, but she won’t put you in any twisted and painful positions.JillMiller4 She is actually doing just the opposite, trying to heal your movement. Musculoskeletal disease affects 1 out of every 2 persons over the age of 18! That is insane; and I would be willing to bet it is only going to get worse in this country, if we don’t do something to change it! Jill utilizes her Yoga Tune Up balls to help release all the fascia in your body so you can move better and feel great. I know it works because I have two of those balls and I want to get more of them! To me, this was an easier read than Supple Leopard and I absolutely adored the sequences in the back that help release tension and stress in different parts of my body.
  • BibleOkay, stay with me for just a second! This is hands down the book that releases the most pain in my life. No matter what you believe, most people would agree that relieving emotional strain is extremely important. The spiritual benefits are off the charts. Don’t believe me? I dare you to read some every day for a week.

For thousands of years humans have strived to increase their knowledge, intellect, and power. This is a piece of the wellness puzzle and now you have seen a glimpse into my own endeavor.

How have you been trying to better yourself? What books or resources have you been using to improve yourself? Flowing water brings life, stagnant water is riddled with disease. So keep cultivating who you are. Live like a human and progress forward, onto great things.

Comment with your favorite resources and how you are moving forward!

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