Monday, December 19, 2011

THT 4.0 Volume 3-day split, week #1

What can I say? I went back to a MuscleHack Volume workout after my 10 weeks of THT HIT experimentation. I'm not regretting the flip. Indeed, it's kicking my ass already! Legs and shoulders (but not traps - whoops!) are tonight after work. My expectation? Lots of work and lots of PAIN in 2 days from now. Can't wait to hit it hard this week with Christmas coming soon!

Remember, MuscleHackers... Christmas isn't a time to deny yourself a little enjoyment with family and friends so long as you don't go overboard and you don't let indulging / over-indulging become the new "you". Be smart, eat what seems fair and feel free to "punish" yourself when you're back in the gym with a little extra work if you want.

We all want to be in the best shape that we can be in, ultimately. We want to look good, feel good and be healthy. However, that doesn't mean you need to drink only water and eat lettuce all through the holiday season. Enjoy your holidays and don't lose sight of the fact that fitness isn't a destination - it's a lifestyle choice. You can "splurge" once in a while and be in great shape year-round.

All the best, MuscleHackers! Lift hard and train smart!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Week #10 thoughts and post-Experiment thoughts

The article is now up on So happy to be done with the writing side of the project! I do like to write on occasion, but this was quite the 10-week set of exposition for me. It's a break from the ordinary though, so I should be happy about that.

These pics are just after week #10, as of Dec 15th. On the other hand, I'm not really pumped in them so it's a bit of both sides of the coin.

Things I've noticed from the above pics: My abs are really starting to take off - this makes me unbelievably happy. My arms are developing nicely, my chest is building at a wicked pace. I'm sticking around 10% BF - always a good thing when you're telling everyone that you're a MuscleHacker. ;) Oh, and my traps are really coming along - so are my legs. I don't think I have a part of me that isn't coming along. I bet you can guess how that makes me feel. ;)

Lift hard and train smart, MuscleHackers!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Week #9 wrap-up notes

This was the penultimate week to my THT 4.0 HIT experiment. I hit my first serious walls - biceps and calves. The way around each is complicated. Biceps - I seem to need to alternate between low-pulley single cable curls and mid-pulley single cable curls.This is meeting with slow success as the weight I'm moving might dictate that I ultimately drop a bit of weight and focus on the motion and cadence. I've had to do this before but not for biceps. The important thing to remember here is that the number, or the weight being moved, does not matter.

The second "wall" is my calves. Again, I'll likely need to drop a bit of weight and make sure I get back to a proper Range of Motion (RoM) but they're also getting quite strong and hitting the right balance of weight and RoM is tricky.

I'm really debating writing the remaining 2 weeks of articles for MuscleHacker this weekend. I just think that I might just publish one last article for weeks 8, 9 and 10.

Oh, and a pic from week 9.

Lately I consider myself lucky, as I seem to just be growing everywhere. It's to the point now that I own several pairs of jeans that I simply cannot wear because my quads don't fit in them. Even today I put on one of my favourite t-shirts for work and it was evident that I can't wear it to work for much longer as I'm a lot bigger than I used to be and it hangs off me - and almost above my waist. OK, one more.

So just remember MuscleHackers - lift hard and train smart. You'll hit your goals every time.

All the best for a great weekend!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

THT 4.0 HIT Experiment Week #7 and Week #8 Notes

Well, it seems the further along that I come during this THT 4.0 HIT experiment, the quicker the time seems to fly by! In truth, Week #8 is also done - but we'll get to that. In the meantime, my observations on Week #7:

Lifting was no harder for me than Week #6, but the mental "load" was greater. Not the first of these things was the fact that I managed to hit 300lbs for bench right at the very end of my week. This mental boost was enough to carry me right through the next week. Today is rest day #2 for me and I'm still amped from the gym.

Full details on Week #7 (and soon, Week #8) can be found on

Now, for the usual suspects - the pics.

First pics was right after training biceps. Peaked, but couldn't fully flex to show striations.

Second pic is obviously post-everything. One of my recent faves of me, and that's saying a lot because I'm still my own harshest critic.

Third pic is an "unusual" pose for me, which is why I took it.

In the second pic,which is also up on the MuscleHack FB page, an interesting question was posed: am I losing bodyfat? The unscientific answer is "No, or at least I'm not trying to right now". If anything, my carb intake is about the same lately. I'm eating more of all of my macros because I am adding what seems to be slabs of muscle during this experiment cycle and I want to keep it around. I'd wager my abs being more "evident" is because I'm finally training them right again and they're literally exploding in size. As always, this is completely without factual measurements or other evidence - just my own observations.

Week #8 observations: I finally ran into a wall training biceps. I've moved from standing single cabled curls with the pulley at the floor (day 1-2) to standing single cabled curls with the pulley at waist height. This allows me to not worry about getting the weight off of the floor and focus on the RoM and PCP of the exercise. Also, my back is moving nicely and no rocking needed with the weight - MUCH safer. Triceps are moving well on their second go-round with 2-handed pressdowns. Overall, everything is on a roll and I'm stoked for the last 2 weeks of the experiment!

Have a great day MuscleHackers! Lift hard and train smart!


Friday, November 18, 2011

THT 4.0 HIT Experiment vid - pec deck burnouts!

I think I honestly had one more rep "in" me, but my camera-phobia set in and I was left unable to do any more. See what the mental aspect of things can do to you???

I harassed my bud Oscar to take some more vid footage of me doing another burnout set. Eventually, over the next couple of weeks, I hope to video some of the actual components of the experiment. In truth the entire experiment, except for the burnouts, is completely based off of the MuscleHack THT 4.0 HIT cycle.

Also, a bit of news before the vid: I'll be doing up a FB page for the blog that Mark will likely tie into from the MuscleHack FB page. This will make it even easier to share my journey with everyone who has an interest in MuscleHacking - and my journey with it.

Now, the vid:

I make the funniest faces when I work out. :/

So, the usual disclaimers: I might not make it look that way, but that's a lot of weight. Please don't attempt that weight if you're not at that level in your training yet. Doubly so on the narrow-grip pec deck (I move 290 there). Work your way up in your weights and reps safely in your workout - continual gain in smaller steps is infinitely preferable to too much of a "jump" and an injury. If you're new to working out and you haven't been active for some time prior, consult your family doctor for an evaluation before starting a workout plan.

There'll be another update this weekend as time permits. I'm in the middle of Week #8 of my THT 4.0 HIT Experiment. So far, it's awesome! My plans when I'm done are to go to the 3-day THT 4.0 Volume workout.

Have a great weekend, MuscleHackers! Train hard and lift smart!


Monday, November 14, 2011

THT 4.0 Experiment Week #7 follow-up

These are my "follow-up" notes to week #7 of my -inspired experiment. Basically, I went insane. I decided that not only was Mark's workout program amazing but that I could turbo-charge it. So far so good. This is what happens when you rework the THT 4.0 HIT program.

So, I've encountered an interesting scenario in my training. My overhead press is now to the point where I'm unable to actually get the entire weight up off of the pegs but once it's in the air I can do my reps. I don't yet know whether that just means I'm that far along in my training or whether I need to revisit it some more. I'm inclined to believe it's the former thus far, as I can lift 5lbs less than my current working weight right off of the pegs. An interesting situation, that's for sure.

What I've been able to do is press the full weight up on the inside grip, but not the outside grip. So, I performed my sets for a couple of days and then asked a friend to help me "pop up" the weight off of the pegs on the universal machine. Once in the air, I was "back down" a couple of reps but I still hit my 5 reps @  180lbs. So, the jury's still out so far. My next cycle might eschew the universal machine (which isn't a bad idea as it's almost maxed-out) and go directly to dumbells for the same exercise.

I've posted up the week #5 and week #6 notes over at - you'll notice that the gains are still ridiculous. I figure by the end of the 10 weeks that I've decided to do this workout that I'll be progressing in smaller increments than what I've been managing thus far.

Happy item of note - yesterday, I benched 300lbs for 5 reps... and then I did 2 more reps after a short rest. Why more? I just had to do it again. It was SUCH a blast benching at 300lbs!

Oh, as is my custom of late - a pic from the end of Week #7.

So remember, your goals are obtainable. Mine are. Yours are. And remember that when you obtain them, set new ones!

Lift hard and train smart, Musclehackers!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

THT 4.0 HIT Experiment - week 5 and 6 notes

I conned Oscar into taking a video of me doing weight-added underhanded pull-ups. I uploaded it to here yesterday, but the Blogger video rendering software is crap. So, I'm attaching directly from YouTube now. Let's see if this works.

New post will be up on the MuscleHacker site later with broken-down stats. In a nutshell, I keep gaining across the board but my shoulders are becoming a special case. I tend to start my new weight with inside grip overhead presses (Cabled) and then after a few days at the new weight, I move to outside grip overhead presses with the same weight and re-progress. Still, I'm progressing. I can't argue with success!

I'm off tonight but back at it tomorrow and Friday. Remember, Friday is Remembrance Day (in Canada) and is celebrated in most free nations around the world. Take the time to remember those who gave their lives so that you have the chance to make your own choices in this life.

Train hard and lift smart, folks! Have a great day!


Monday, November 7, 2011

THT 4.0 Experiment - week 5/6 notes

So, I'm 2 weeks behind on updating here - this is not intentional.

6 weeks of my MuscleHack THT 4.0 Experiment are done. 6 particularly gruelling weeks of "what the hell have I gotten myself into?" thoughts, 6 weeks of "holy shit that's heavy!" thoughts, 6 weeks of "I'm lifting how much now for reps?" thoughts.

The best part? I would NEVER go back. EVER. This is probably one of the coolest things I've done for myself. I'm beyond stoked at how well things have turned out so far.

I'll be putting up a more detail post on later today, but here's a good picture that I think exemplifies how far I've come to-date:

This picture almost scares the crap out of me. I can't wait to see if I can actually get any "scarier".

Have a great week, MuscleHackers! Lift hard and train smart!


P.S. Mark has a wicked new exercise for triceps that he has added to the MuscleHack library. You can check it out right here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Week #4 notes

So, another week and another stack of gains! This THT 4.0 HIT experiment is really producing results!

I can't explain it, other than it works for me and there's no guarantee that it will actually work for you. By all means, attempt it. But if it doesn't work, don't be disappointed. MuscleHacking is a science-backed training philosophy but my experiment is something... different. What I'm doing is as much a mental game with myself as anything else.

Notes and numbers on weeks 3 and 4 are up at

However, as is my custom, the blog gets the pics!

This week coming, I'll be benching 280lbs. This is an interesting number for me (yet another personal record), but something bears mentioning here: these are not classic bench press reps. I use a Smith machine with the catch pegs set above my chest so that if I were to let the bar rest on the catches, it would not impact my chest.

My reasoning for this workout is two-fold. One, chest press is already a compound exercise. I'm not hitting a big PCP (Peak Contraction Point) flex at the top of the rep. PCP is what really hits the muscle and creates growth. I won't deny that benching builds muscle, but physically-speaking it's not the most efficient way to build your chest up. Two, I use pec deck as my 3rd exercise (now, but it was my 2nd previously) to really hit my chest with as much of an isolation exercise as possible. This allows me to get that PCP flex happening that I mentioned above.

In doing so, I know I can bench a little less right to my chest. In reality, the numbers don't matter. They're simply a metric by which I can measure progress consistently. I know I'm not benching 280lbs "pure" this week - and that doesn't bother me a bit.

Have a great week, MuscleHackers! I'm looking forward to week #5!

Train hard and lift smart!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Week 3 experiment notes

Morning all. This will be a short post, mostly because I promised Mark that my updates would be over at

I missed my Friday workout and then by Sunday's end I was trashed. An eyelid infection had settled in. I'm on antibiotics right now to try and rein it in some. So, week #3 was a three-day experiment week. I still plan on hitting the gym tomorrow and expect to gain as I have been previously. Remember, the mind is your biggest asset when it comes to triggering change!

Have a great day, MuscleHackers!

Train hard and lift smart!


PS - a shot from week #3. Felt really good here. Tired, but good.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I don't always get good pecs shots

But when I do, they almost scare the crap out of me! As in, "that's really me?"

Yesterday I lifted more weight for bench press than I have ever lifted in my life - 260lbs x 5 reps (+1). Yesterday I did trap shrugs that made me feel beastly. Yesterday was an epic day without plateaus. I'm not sure how much longer I can keep up this level of progress, but you can be damn sure that I'm going to keep pushing the envelope and wring every last drop of success out of it that I can.

Now, where were we? Oh, right. The picture.

Day #2 of week #3 is today. There WILL be gains. And swearing. Likely lots of swearing. But still, gains. More news and updates to come as it happens.

Train hard and lift smart, MuscleHackers!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A dupe from the Progress Pictures addition

I was literally so trashed when I took this picture that I couldn't a) flex my biceps fully or b) get my upper arm parallel to the floor! I was exhausted!

This Thursday I'll be benching 260lbs for at least 5 reps. I'm also moving to 320lb deep hack squats. I'm also currently doing 225lb two-handed tricep pushdowns. This actually poses a problem as the machine only goes to 235lbs total weight. I'll have to move to solely single-handed pushdowns and extensions at that point. My entire training regimen hasn't so much progressed as exploded these last two weeks. I'm insanely excited to see how long I can keep pushing this level of gains for.

Have a great day, MuscleHackers! Train hard and lift smart!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

This is probably insane, but...

I've decided to perform an experiment. I was approximately 8 weeks into my THT 4.0 Volume #1 cycle following my ankle sprain injury at the end of July. I had started thinking about this weeks ago and decided to give it a go. In a nutshell, I work out using the Total Anabolism 4.0 HIT method  for 4 days straight, add in some random deadlifts to make sure my lower back gets some work in too and then take 3 days straight off. So far, 2 weeks in, I'm feeling pretty good - and bigger! I'm also gaining everywhere like crazy.

At Mark's request, I'm posting weekly updates at MuscleHacker. Head on over and give the first week's entty a read. The second week (just completed) will be up shortly.

Train hard and lift smart!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

THT 4.0 V1 leg day done!

That was an epic workout - definitely one for the books. How so? Simple. At this rate, I'll be propelling myself past a 700lb leg press before mid-October. I've also mananged to pretty much max out the hack squat machine at just beyond 550lbs. So, I'm going to be working on going deeper for my squats for another few weeks at that weight. Once I get "deep", I'll have to transition to bar squats again.

Also, I put up 200lbs x 8 reps for seated calf raises, so I'll be working over 210lbs next week. EPIC. I'm well into Personal Record territory there. Each new day is a new PR. Also, I got my trap shrugs in as the Smith machine was busy on Monday - shrugged 320lbs x 8 so I'll be moving 340 next week! A bit more each week - you can't go wrong there!

Also, as an aside, I'm pleased with the disclaimer that Mark put on the controversial article over at It's not the change I wanted, but I can respect his choice as the owner of the site and the disclaimer states clearly that neither Mark nor the site endorses steroids.

So, chest and abs for my THT 4.0 Volume #1 day today! Can't wait! Big, big, big hits for chest and abs are coming! I'm going to seriously smash my goals tonight and feel great doing so!

Have a great day all! Train hard and lift smart!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A quick note in light of a new article on

So... I'm trying to get used to the new Blogger interface. Bear with me.

There's a new article over at that suggests, possibly, that steroids are maybe not all that bad. I'm not going to beat around the bush here - I have ZERO respect for people that use steroids. Yes, that includes the famous ones. I've never touched them and I never will. I've made my concerns known to Mark McManus, who runs and ultimately He's a busy guy and he's 4 hours ahead of me, so this might take some time to be seen but that's alright.

Steroids are what you use when you've run out of drive, dedication, patience and even concrete effort. I drink GNC's Pro Performance ISO Burst Whey (sweetened with either sucralose or stevia), and I've taken GNC's Pro Performance Creatine Monohydrate (for a couple of months) in the past. Now, I occasionally drink the protein shakes and I'm off creatine again. I actually stopped taking creatine when I realized that beyond the mental gains it didn't seem to be doing that much for me.

Again, I find the article on to be completely against the spirit of and its nautral bodybuilding background. I'm doing what I can to get it taken down, properly.

On a happier note, I had a wicked Shoulders day yesterday to start off my new week of THT 4.0 Volume #1. Far better than I expected, that's for sure! I'll take it! Legs are tonight too. Can't wait to get back in the gym and kick some ass!

I'm happy to address any questions that anyone might have about my stance on said article, or even about said article, if you want to throw them my way!

Have a great day all! Lift hard, train smart - and naturally!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

THT 4.0 V1 week end update - with news

Today is not all about me. Pretty much every entry is all about me. I will tell you that I blew through my expectations for biceps, back and biceps last week to round out my THT 4.0 Volume #1 week.

Today, however, is all about one of my best friends - Oscar. I've been promising to write an article about him for quite some time now. I've finished that article and he's fine with the content.

You can head over here and check out the article for yourself on

Have a great Wednesday, MuscleHackers!

Train hard and lift smart.


Friday, September 2, 2011

MONSTER update - legs, chest and abs done!

Life's like that sometimes. You start a post with the best of intentions and the next thing you know not only have you not finished it, you've also finished the next day in the week's run as well.

Leg day was an unapologetic success! I'm pushing hard to be well through 700lbs for leg press by the end of October. I'm really redoubling my efforts to grow my quads. I also smashed thru 200lb seated calf raises - this blew my mind because I did 180 as a "comeback" set last Friday and I wasn't sure if I could power through a full THT 4.0 Volume #1 leg day at my expected weight. I didn't have any pain on my HIT day, but I could feel I wasn't full back up to speed yet.

Chest day... WOW. Wow is the word of the day there. 220lbs for deep benches x 6, wrapped at 160lbs x 7. Pec deck is at 270lbs, heading for 280lbs next week/ Remember tho, these numbers are subjective. They work for me but they might not be applicable to your gear. They're like the points on the Drew Carey show - they just don't matter at the end of the day.

Abs were completely and utterly slaughtered. Tonight will be biceps / back. Tomorrow is triceps.

Can't wait to get this weekend started! Also, Oscar's article is done, as far as copy goes. I just need to find out why WP won't let me add pics to the post and it'll be submitted for review on

All the best for a great weekend, folks!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Week #5 THT 4.0 V1 shoulders done!

Well, I'm relying on my form history in Firefox to tell me what week I'm actually on here, with my ankle recovery and all. So, I'm going to call this week #5 of my THT 4.0 Volume cycle #1 run.

I smashed a plateau on my shoulder day yesterday. I busted out 160lbs overhead x 6, 150lbs x 7, 140lbs x 7, followed by 130lbs x 8 and 120lbs x 6. Also, delt raises (bent arm, dumbells) are up to 60lbs each x 8 and a second set of 60s x 5. Up next week - 65lb raises!

Also, shrugs were epic - 310lbs x 8, followed by 300lbs x 6, 290lbs x 8 and 280lbs x 7. I love when the last sets are less than the top sets... it shows just how tapped you are by the end of each portion of the sets. I didn't get my burnouts in yesterday, largely because I kept running into everyone that I knew after being gone for a week, as well as doling out a bit of training advice to a guy I had met a few months back who had some more questions. I wish I had a pic of him before he started MuscleHacking! I don't recall his name, we know each other by face and he had quite the pot belly a few months back. Now, he has seemingly lost ALL of his belly, and he's quite toned. Quite the shift over just a few months. He says he "follows what I recommend" from the MuscleHack site and he's eating a lower-carb diet. Not bad for just word of mouth!

Today is leg day. Today is a day where I'm looking forward to an entire 4.0 Volume workout because I haven't had a full, proper one since I was injured. My HIT workout last week was decent and I was able to work every body part without issue. So, onward and upward.

A new article is being compiled for your perusal over at Yes, this will be the article detailing my friend Oscar, the guy that has gone from 340lbs to 250lbs in just over a year. He has done it simply by changing his eating habits / diet and adopting a modified MuscleHack THT 3.1 HIT and Volume-based workout. Lots more detail will follow, as well as before and after pics!

Have a great day everyone! Train hard and lift smart!


PS - here are a couple of pics from after both a week off (on vacation, travelling) and a THT 4.0 HIT-style day last Friday. The pics were taken after the HIT workout. I was so tired, I couldn't even really flex my tricep in the front pic when I posed.

Friday, August 19, 2011

THT 4.0 V1 back and biceps day done!

Yesterday was an interesting workout day. Unlike previous cycles where my friend Oscar and I would workout the odd time together, this cycle has been largely just me, by myself. Yesterday was a change in that we got to workout together for the first time in weeks. So, while I did get to spend some time spurring him on, I asked a favour of him. Thankfully, he agreed and shot a short video of my bent-over dumbell rows.

So, armed with the fact that a quick review showed I had a bit shaky form, I quickly corrected it for my second set (and indeed, second half of the first set!).

Currently, I'm uploading to my "catch-all" Youtube account, but I'll make another next week specifically related to my workout "self" and relocate the video there.

Having said that, yesterday's gains were INSANE for a THT 4.0 Volume #1 Back and Biceps day. That was my first time "throwing" 120lb dumbells around for bent-over rows. I wanted at least 5, and I got 6. I needed at least 7 with the second set and got 8 reps. Bicep curls, always a favourite, progressed again.

The dumbells in question:

I can't always shoot video because I largely workout alone and don't want to bother fellow gym members, even acquaintances, with the task of "shooting" me. But, when I go with a friend, I'll see what I can do.

Also, as a teaser, my friend Oscar has agreed to let me write an entry for that is all about him - how he started out last spring at 340lbs and how he's feeling now at 250lbs. Once I have the content written and he approves it, I'll put it up for Mark's review. If I've ever "inspired" anyone to workout, I hope this story inspires 100X the people I have!

All the best for a great weekend  everyone! Train hard and lift safely!


PS - I'll be off for the majority of the week next week on vacation, hopefully returning to the gym for a 3-day run starting next Friday. Or, I might just do two HIT days to recover before starting the next "week" of my cycle on the Sunday.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

THT 4.0 V1 chest and abs done! Plus, a retrospective on training.

We are all given different starting points in life in a number of ways. We might be born into privilege, or into abject poverty. Quite a few of us will be born into the "in-between" of those two extremes. You might be born with a predisposition for science, a passion for the arts or a desire to perform public service. However you start in life, with a few tragic exceptions, you can always change your ways and, furthermore, change your own life.

It's important to note that last part: change your own life. When I started to really get into MuscleHacking (and submitted my first testimonial to Mark McManus), I never intended to "change" anyone's life but my own. I wasn't satisfied with my level of personal fitness and I had always wanted to be "more", physically, than what I had ever been before. When Mark had mentioned to me that I should write my own blog about my training experience with the MuscleHack THT systems, I was enthusiastic about the opportunity to tell my story as a "hardgainer" bodybuilder. In reality, I also know that the audience I would reach at first was tiny, but would hopefully expand over time.

As one of my favourite Internet memes goes, "Suddenly, everything". I started to really put on some muscle almost 2 years after starting out, but with some "breaks" in training that I didn't want - travel, injuries, other commitments, it still wasn't piling on as fast as I wanted it to. My blog started to gain some consistent readers (thank you!) and my progress was published for all to see. This kept me accountable, but apparently it also had a motivational effect for other folks. Things like that always make me smile!

So, 3 years later I've been published as a pictorial testimonial for Mark's latest free training guide - Targeted Hypertrophy Training v4.0 -  and I've been invited to be one of the first authors on Mark's new website, MuscleHacker. In fact, my first article is up and I've been asked to continue writing! I plan on doing so for as long as I'm allowed to continue. I owe the MuscleHack community, especially Mark, more than I can ever repay for the chance and tools to build a better me.

Now, I look back at what I have done in the past three years and I'm truly shocked by it. I'm humbled by my ever-expanding reader base and the feedback I receive from everyone. I'm inspired by the messages I get that tell me that I've inspired someone else. I'm bolstered by my own conviction to keep putting on muscle and to be able to keep helping friends, acquaintances and complete strangers effect change within themselves - to help them obtain the shape and health they've always wanted.

My favourite part is that I do this for free for them. Every last one of them. I guess I really am "paying it forward" as a MuscleHacker because Mark has made so much knowledge, so many tools available to us for free. It only seems right to continue that philosophy. For as long as I can assist others in a mneaingful way to them, I'll keep blogging and training others as I train myself.


Training note: chest and abs day was yesterday. Gains, gains, GAINS. I love a solid day with no back-pedaling! Benching was hardcore, narrow-motion pec deck was BRUTAL, but so worth it. Abs work? Slaughtered 'em. All in the name of gains. Today is back and biceps day. LET'S DO THIS!

Have a great day everyone! Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings today. Apparently I just had to "get that out" of me.

Train hard and lift safe!


PS - an "aftermath pic" from training yesterday. Toasted abs and shredded pecs!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A quick note and some news

As always, our lives seem to keep us in constant flux. We have our longer-term constants, but short-term stuff loves to throw a monkey wrench into things. So, I'm now behind by a day but I'll catch up by Saturday.

Next week will be at least a part "week off" for me as we're heading out of town for a few days and I won't have access to any real weightlifting gear.

However, the positive side to this post is that I've had my first "article" published on Mark McManus's new website  - MuscleHacker. I was one of a lucky few from the MuscleHack community that was chosen to write for Mark's new site and I'm beyond thrilled that my first submission was posted already! If you like what you've been reading on here and you have a couple of extra minutes, please head over and have a look. I'll happily respond to your comments there or here!

So, it's a good start to a good day. Hitting the gym tonight is a definite thing. Knowing what life has in store for you around the next corner - not so definite.

In any event, go nuts and enjoy your day today because if you're not enjoying life, you're not really living.

All the best for a happy and productive day! Lift hard and train smart!


Monday, August 15, 2011

THT 4.0 V1 - triceps done, shoulders done!

So, as promised, yesterday was an epic double-up day for THT 4.0 Volume cycle #1. I started out with shoulders - and almost pulled an upper shoulder-blade muscle (the name escapes me right now). Not a trap but the ones directly on the shoulder blade. So, I still managed to get in two decent sets of overhead press and all of my lat raises for delts - with gains for delts!

I rested for a bit, feeling myself out and decided to press on with triceps. Instead of French curls, I've been doing overhead tricep extensions, two-handed, with dumbells. I progressed in every set yesterday. Trust me, I can feel it today! I also smashed out full progressions on tricep pushdowns!

So, at the end of that week... I'm more than a little trashed. The good news is that as I write this, my shoulder feels decent so I might do 1-2 more overhead sets tonight to make up for it along with my legs.

Suprise #1: I've been selected by Mark McManus to write for his new website, This is OUTSTANDING! Mark has created a new site for all of us to get together on and contribute our experiences, our modifications to the THT routines (like my overhead tricep extensions) and everything else that goes along with being a MuscleHacker! I've got my login info, but I'm waiting as to when we're told we can log-in.

Surprise #2 - a fresh selection of pics from after yesterday's workout! I'm more than pleasantly surprised that I'm in this kind of shape with the last few weeks I've had. I'll take what I can get!

Have a great week everyone! Train hard and lift smart!


THT 4.0 V1 Biceps and Back day done!

This was for, figureatively, all of the marbles. I had not done deadlifts since the first week before my injury. I was genuinely afraid of how my ankle would react to the "pitched forward" starting stance of a true barbell deadlift - especially with a combined total of 265lbs for bar and plates on it to stay at my goal of constant progression.

I was about to find out...

The end result? Simply, WIN.

My ankle held up nicely and I managed to complete all of my sets without issue. Indeed, it was an epic back day! Then, having moved on to the biceps portion of my THT 4.0 Volume cycle #1 workout, I was ready for more.

I got what I bargained for. I had solid gains across all of my sets. Two days later, my biceps were seriously telling me that I was in recovery mode. I love that feeling!

Sorry about this post being late. The weekend was full of stuff for me to do, both for myself and work. Yesterday was a double-up day and I'll get to that shortly - with a surprise as well! Actually, two of them!

Have a great day all!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

THT 4.0 V1 Chest and Abs day done!

Well, as I'm known to do, when in doubt about how far I've come or how many weeks are left - just add more! I'm adding two more weeks to this run of THT 4.0 Volume #1 cycle as I'm recovering from an ankle injury and have had basicly two weeks off and one in the middle of my cycle. This should be my fourth week, but not 100% sure on that so I'll just add two more at the end.

Chest day is done! I analyzed my range of motion last week and found that I wasn't going deep enough on my benches. So, I decided to hit this week and bench as deep as I could go safely on the smith machine. End result: 200lbs x 6 for the opening set, 150lbs x 8 for the closing set. I don't mind backstepping on the weight cause it doesn't matter. All that matters is the growth.

My abs were slaughtered with 4 sets of crunches @ 235lbs. Last set was "only" 12 reps. Man was I ever feeling it after those - I love that burn!

Train hard and lift safe folks!


PS - a couple of pics from Tuesday. Sorta blurry but you get the idea. 

Week #4 THT 4.0 V1 Shoulders done!

Well, I've gotta be honest here: I'm not sure if it's week #4 or not. I'm pretty sure it is, but this ankle injury has messed up my training schedule and so far the only day I have four entries on now is my shoulders day.

I managed to progress everywhere, which isn't a bad thing. I've even decided that at this rate I'll do some squats and such on the weekend, and maybe some light calf raises to see how the ankle does.

In my usual fashion of "just do more", I'll literally do just that. I'm adding 2 weeks on to this cycle to ensure that all muscle groups get a decent chance to progress with THT 4.0 Volume #1 before switching to either Volume #2 or a 4.0 HIT cycle.

Also, sorry about the delays. Been really busy of late with everything else and I still have the update from last night's workout to write as well! It never fails!

Train hard but be safe folks!


Friday, August 5, 2011

THT 4.0 V1 futher updates

Well, this last cycle hasn't been as laser-guided accurate as my previous cycles for reporting, mostly because I started the cycle with a sprained ankle. With that said, it has been healing enough that I was able to do some dumbell deadlifts last night as part of my back / biceps THT 4.0 Volume #1 day.

I actually managed gains yesterday for Back and Biceps day. The same yesterday for Chest and Abs day.

It's really rough sometimes having to fight through an injury enough so that you can do the things you can still do 100% while making sure you also don't re-injure yourself again. The mental struggle just adds to the physical effort required for the day.

With that said, I can honestly say that I'm proud of my efforts and I can't wait to get back into the gym on Sunday for another Shoulders day workout.

Have a great workout everyone! And a great weekend at that!

Lift hard and train smart! Or, when in doubt - MuscleHack it!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

THT 4.0 Volume update

So, a bit of an update that will explain my silence.

 I was on vacation last week and sprained my ankle. This gave way to a still-voluntary, somewhat cautionary and entirely unwanted week off from the gym. I was back on Monday for chest and managed to bench 250lbs for 5 reps. That was WICKED!

So, I'll attempt to recover my THT 4.0 Volume 1 week (this week) by doing shoulders tonight, along with back and biceps. I'm skipping legs as my ankle is far from 100%, although I CAN walk on it - so I might try a set of leg extensions and a set of leg curls. Triceps will be Thursday. I'll then aim to be back on my regular rotation for this cycle starting Sunday with chest again.

Time will tell. I don't have a full range of motion without extra resistance or pain yet, but walking on level ground brings no discomfort. I can walk thru the gym carrying 45lb plates in each hand without grief, so that's something. I just don't want to be right off the "leg training" wagon for too long!

Have a great day all, train hard but smart!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

THT 4.0 V1 Chest and abs day done! Back and biceps too!

Hooookay. This was a lesson in "how do I lift this much weight?" The answer to said question is: carefully and focus on downsizing my progressive sets. This way by far the most trashed I've ever been after a chest workout. The same goes for my abs.

The new THT 4.0 Volume #1 cycle allows you to really isolate your chest well with cabled pec deck workouts, while also hitting it with the extra beefy goodness of bench presses. The end result is that you feel like a million bucks after the workout, but flexing for progress shots takes serious concentration. OK, you feel like a million exhausted bucks.

EDIT - everything after this point is written today, July 12th. I had meant to finish this post yesterday but I ran out of time. Figures. At least I can incorporate things in from last night's wokrout as well!

On that note, my chest is seriously feeling it this morning! 2 days later, I'm reminded of how people can make such drastic changes for themselves using Mark's amazing programs. I can flex my pecs, but it feels like my chest is flexing every muscle fiber independently.

Last night was back / biceps night. I'll attack this one right out of the gate by mentioning that I missed my decline lat pull-overs last night and subbed in an extra set of dumbell rows to make up for it. I just couldn't get cable station time. Biceps went markedly better than that, but I've also decided that as of next week, my final barbell curls set will be followed by at least a single set of single-handed cable curls. Mentially, I need that isolation exercise to help myself grow. Other than that it was an amazing THT 4.0 Volume workout.

Triceps are tonight. I'm really enthused about the fact that triceps get their own day. Something about that just makes a lot of sense to me.

Have a great day everyone. Train hard and lift smart!


PS - I've often been told that I don't "flex my abs". This is actually a mental trap of mine wherein my abs have always been hard to train up, and to notice their increase, because of my tall frame. So, I decided to give a good pec / abs flex a shot. If I'm pretty impressed, that says a lot because I'm still my own toughest critic. You can judge for yourself!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

THT 4.0 V1 Legs day done!

I knew that this was going to be a challenge. Leg day. Subbing in hack squats for Smith machine squats. Tackling a new cycle. BRING IT.

So, I went and kicked some ass. And then I walked slowly, very slowly, out to the car to remember why driving stick sucks after leg day!

THT 4.0 is proving to be the toughest MuscleHack workout I've had in quite some time. It might be the extra half-weight set to failure. It might be because I'm coming off of a HIT cycle series and I'm not used to the single-day intensity. Any way you slice it, THT 4.0 Volume rocks!

Tonight is chest and abs night. I'm likely going to be as weak as a kitten after this one, but it's going to be worth it for the benefits I'll get for doing that kind of work!

Keep lifting folks, you'll be kicking ass and taking names long after everyone else is wheezing and stumbling their way around!


Monday, July 11, 2011

THT 4.0 V1 Shoulders done!

In the interest of not eating up space everywhere, THT 4.0 Volume Cycle #1 (isn't that a mouthful!) will be referred to in new post headlines as "THT 4.0 V1" followed by whatever day it is - Shoulders, Back / Biceps, etc.

With that said, yesterday's first THT 4.0 Volume workout reminded me why I try to support Mark McManus so much. I started a tad bit low for my opening sets of overhead press and lat raises, but I quickly found my groove after that. Plus... 4 sets of trap shrugs? That's WAY more intense than I was doing with THT 3.1 HIT because that's how a volume cycle works. You hit one / two body parts harder than you'd hit them for a HIT cycle. I couldn't easily raise my hands above my head after my workout yesterday because my workout hit my shoulders that hard.

THIS is why I MuscleHack. THIS is why I shamelessly promote Mark's work to everyone, 24/7 - but nicely, I hope. I believe in this "system" because it WORKS. You can do over a year's worth of training now, indeed several years now, without repeating the same cycles. How awesome is that? And it's all still FREE.

It's really simple, folks. Do you want to be in better shape? Do you want to do the things you love to do even more frequently, all the while feeling better about yourself because doing what you love is less tiring and more enjoyable? Your choice is quite clear, then. Join the MuscleHack FB page, visit and download the latest THT 4.0 workouts. You can also join the MuscleHack forums and get tips and advice on lower-carb / low-carb eating that will assist you in your transformation into someone who can literally do more in weeks than they likely believe is possible.

You CAN do it, but you need to BELIEVE that you can do it in order to succeed. Without positivity, you can't succeed.

Of course, I'll happily answer your questions and comments here, or you can message me via Facebook.

Train hard and even use the new THT 4.0 cycles as a springboard to launch yourself forward into a healthier, more energized life.

Have a great Monday everyone!


PS - A quick pic. Note the trashed traps and delts! Traps especially are really starting to come up!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

THT 3.1 HIT cycle - COMPLETE

AND.... that's a wrap!

Another successful THT 3.1 cycle is complete, and it wasn't 100% true-to-form in my usual, inimitable fashion. I went over a month doing just one Mass component day per week. Summer and a new getaway place that we seem to visit every weekend kept me from doing more than periodic Consolidation-day workouts.Of course, we all make those choices consciously so I really have no one to blame in the end but myself.

With that said, I'm still enormously pleased with my results after this cycle. I have to honestly say that I can see the results, especially in my legs, shoulders and chest. Hell, I can see definite changes everywhere.

A snapshot of my progress: Benched 200 x 9 to start the cycle - ended at 240 x 6 (+1). Trap shrugged 240lbs to start, ended at 290 x 8 last night. Lat rows were all over, but progressed nicely (went between 3 separate exercises for the course of the workout cycle).Squatting was hack squats for 2 weeks, then went from 220 to 260 for Smith machine squats (to 90 degree knee bends). Calf raises, seated (one of my hardest parts to train), went from 180lbs to 200lbs. Triceps were a monster gain, up to 210lbs. Biceps were insane, cable curling 80lbs x 11 per side for form last night. I can do more weight for curls, but I get sloppy. This gives a nice, full-range curl.

Just remember, though: the numbers do NOT matter. The weight does NOT matter. I am not any "stronger" or "weaker" than the next guy, because the numbers don't matter - only your personal progress matters! What works for me weight-wise has nothing to do with what works for you. Lifting less than me doesn't make your progress any less significant - remember that!

On Sunday, I'm starting one of the two THT 4.0 Volume cycles - going from Sunday to Thursday so I can get maximum trailer/fishing time in with my babe.

Which one do you think I should do? I'm honestly split 50/50 either way right now. Leave your comments here or at the MuscleHack FB fan page!

Train had and lift safely!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Week #10 THT 3.1 HIT Day #1 done!

Yesterday was a welcome change in pace. In other words, we were late to the gym and had to bust our asses to finish the day before close at 9PM! Apparently they're on "summer hours" now until September, which means no 10PM close at all. Bummer.

I just need to go back tonight and hit my delts and lats. We only had 45 minutes in the gym and I just didn't have quite enough time.

With that said, my THT 3.1 HIT Mass workout went perfectly! I cut back on my overhead press, benched a critical set (220 x 12 + 1) and hit big gains where I needed them (260lbs x 10 for Smith machine squats, 200 x 9 for seated calf raises). Theoretically, I have 2 days left in the gym this week, not counting tonight's quick run.

I'm not looking forward to leaving THT 3.1 HIT, but I am looking forward to getting back on to a Volume-type workout - and THT 4.0 Volume is really looking good right now. If you don't have your free copy of the book, go and grab it now! Also, Mark has created the THT 4.0 Voluime 3-day routine for those of us with extra-tight schedules who still want a Volume-style workout. The man is a machine for creating wicked workout programs for us! Thanks Mark!

On an unrelated note, I'm getting tired of all of the "Royals" Canadian trip coverage. Few know this outside of my circle of friends and family, but I don't have "Cable" TV (anymore) or satellite (yet). I refuse to pay exorbitant pricing for a handful of shows we might find interesting. We get all of our news from all over the Internet - including those selfsame TV stations' websites. Now, even my favourite news websites are slathered in "Royals" articles. Please. Stop. The madness. We're Canadians, we've been our own country for over 140 years, we really don't need a meaningless figurehead that we throw tax money at to tell us what and what isn't a law - we already have Stephen Harper for that. William and Kate seem like nice people but I cringe and then anger a tad at the sight of people bowing and scraping to two people who don't really do anything to further our country (aside from secondary tourism and memorabilia markets). at all.

Whew! Rant over!

Train hard and have a great day everyone!


Monday, July 4, 2011

THT 3.1 HIT Week #9 done, Week #10 starts today!

THT 3.1 HIT Week #9 is a wrap!

So, I managed to get two full workouts in last week. Everything was met with gains all over except for overhead press. I do think that I've over-committed on my overhead press so I'll be scaling that back a bit to focus on proper cadence and form.

This is my last week to effect THT 3.1 HIT-type gains before I get into the 4.0 Volume cycle world! I will, however, be hitting 4.0 extra hard as I'll be going with the 5-8 rep range for everything. I'm also going to take a step back on my bar squats and do hack squats where the cycle calls for them.

I'm really, really looking forward to THT 4.0. Of course, I might be biased because I'm actually IN the book.

I'm pumped to finish this week and hit next week running HARD! Who else is already doing a THT 4.0 cycle? Let me know in the comments or on the MuscleHack FB fan page.

Train hard and lift safe!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Week #9 Day 1 of THT 3.1 HIT done!

It was a great THT 3.1 HIT workout last night! I learned that I can easily plateau with my shoulders if I don't train them frequently, but the rest of my body doesn't seem to care!

On that note, I've set some goals for myself. I'll add more for other relevant exercises as I get closer to starting my first THT 4.0 cycle. I plan on obtaining these goals by the end of this calendar year.

Goals thus far: 260lb smith machine bench press (all goals are for reps, not 1RM), 300lb 90 degree smith machine squats, 320lb smith machine trap shrugs, 220lb seated plated calf raises, 140lb single dumbell bent-over row, 70lb dumbell delt lat raises, 180lb machine cabled overhead press, 230lb + bar deadlift, 95lb dumbell wrist "fingertip" curls, 220lb cabled kneeling ab crunches, 95lb cabled machine curls (single-handed), 200+lb proper tricep extensions (also 105lb overhead dumbell extensions).

Current status in the order as shown above: 220lbs, 260lbs (just starting), 270lbs, 200lbs (just starting), 110lbs, 60lbs (slow to gain!), 160lbs (also slow to gain), 190lbs + bar, 80lbs, 205lbs, reset to 80lbs for proper form, reset to 180lbs for proper form (90lbs currently).

It's going to be a LOT of work, but when I'm done I know I'll be much stronger, and even more built, than I already am. I've found over the last weeks that while my drive to progress hadn't dimished, my longer-term goals had fallen by the wayside and I had no direction. Where will I go from here? I'm not sure. I'll re-evaluate as I get closer to December.

I may indeed find myself surpassing more than a few of these goals, but that works for me. It indicates two things: that I can still successfully plan and lay out future achievements for myself, and that I can exceed my own expectations. I can live with myself if that comes to pass.

Have a great Tuesday everyone! Train hard but safely!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Week #8 THT 3.1 HIT final update

So, you might have guessed by now that Day #2 didn't happen. Once again, forces conspire against me to halt my progress in the gym. I'm not impressed at all.

For just over the last momth or so, I've had a chalazion - a blocked oil gland on my upper left eyelid. It has been largely kept at bay by antibiotic eye drops, but lately it has grown some more and my family doctor felt that something needed to be done about it. So, Wednesday, we lanced it with a small needle but that only removed a tiny bit of whatever was in there. He then referred me to an eye specialist who actually performed a couple of incisions under the eyelid. This has proved to be most useful in draining off what is inside and there's a marked improvement this morning.

Of course, this annoyed / freaked me out to no end so I was pretty useless Wednesday after the needle and then yesterday afternoon after the incisions.

All of this adds up to the fact that I'll have to settle for being back on the gym on Sunday or Monday, depending on when we get home from Toronto this weekend.

Hopefully I'll keep up my recent trend of gains with only one gym run per week. It's not the progress  rate I wanted but still, progress is progress. Negativity only hurts you in the end.

Have a great weekend everyone!


EDIT - Also, there have been requests for my eating habits, favourite workouts, schedule, etc. I'm going to create a new page on the blog for this as an open forum to discuss what I do and what I eat. I'll work on that this weekend as time allows.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

THT 3.1 HIT Week #8 Day #2 is TODAY!

I'll be in the gym again after work today, hitting the last Mass day for THT 3.1 HIT cycle. It was interesting to read in the new THT 4.0 book how Mark explains (mostly for newer folk) the concept of microcycles, mesocycles and macrocycles. I also like how he has come up with two new rep ranges for us - 7-10 and 6-8 reps!

Personally, I'm thinking of hitting it flat out and after doing 8-12 reps for 2 years and then some, I'll be going directly for the 6-8 rep range. Why? Because it's the most drastic yet meaningful change I can force on my body after having done 8-12 reps with all of my previous MuscleHack workouts.

I'm going to run this cycle out for the full 10 weeks and then either take a week off (but I've had it easy for the last month or so) or get right into a 5-day Volume 1 cycle. I'll see what I feel like at the end of this one.

So, join me in training hard today and we'll get through it! Hit it hard and make your progressions!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

THT 3.1 HIT Week #8 Day #1 done

There's only one way to properly celebrate the fact that you've been included in the latest THT Training Guide - you head to the gym! So, I did. Man, did I ever work for those gains!

My weekend was a typical weekend for me of late - good food, some carbing-up, relaxation and some fishing. Fishing doesn't always count as relaxation when the worms are disappearing faster than your previous records!

Yesterday was no slouch. I benched 220lbs x 9 to open the day (progression!), and then I added 2 more reps as a celebratory hit. It felt good. Also, it was a red-letter day in that I overhead pressed 160lbs x 6 - not a "gospel"opening set, but huge for me nonetheless as my shoulders are amongst my weakest and hardest-to-progress areas. Well, maybe not the weakest anymore. ;)

Also, pretty much everything else was a walk - gains everywhere. I didn't progress on delt raises, but I was tired - this was my last set before abs - and given my overhead progress, I didn't let it bring me down. I'll just make sure I progress on Wednesday. :)

So, that's a wrap for THT 3.1 HIT Mass Week #8 Day #1. I'll be finishing this cycle (a classic 10 weeks) and then likely launching directly into THT 4.0 Volume Cycle #1. I will be making a chronological adaptation that moves my "workout week" to Sunday-Thursday as we do like to head to the lake for the weekend on Friday afternoons.

Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't thank Mark McManus once again for including me in the THT 4.0 e-book. It's a huge honour to be a part of something that gives back to the bodybuilding/lean mass community. I'm always happy to answer questions about my training via here, the MuscleHack FB page or via my FB account.

Finally, a word for any new readers: the ad revenue here will be split between the Canadian Cancer Society and as a donation to Mark McManus. The CCS is my #1 priority Canadian charity and Mark, well... he definitely deserves our support! I also have a Flattr link you can use as well. All donations will be made as "Rep To Failure's Author and Readers". So, please, click those ads or hit the Flattr button. It's greatly appreciated!

I'm back in the gym Wednesday, but keep those questions coming! Lift safe and train hard! Have a great Tuesday all!


Monday, June 20, 2011

THT 4.0 is available NOW!

Don't walk, don't saunter, GO NOW AND DOWNLOAD IT!

Mark has really, really outdone himself this time. And true to form, it's all free. Mark's more than an inspiration to us all - he truly keeps redefining what it is to be a MuscleHacker.

Mark has donated SO MUCH of his own time and effort to give us all the chance to be in far better shape than the vast majority of us start out in, it's ridiculous.

Head on over to the FB Fan Page for MuscleHack and weigh in on what you think about the new release, ask any questions you have or just drop Mark a line via there.

Have a great day all and train hard - but lift safely!


THT 3.1 HIT Week #8 - a quick note

So, apparently THT 4.0 is due to drop today, according to Mark McManus over at the Facebook MuscleHack fan page. I'm excited and more than a little nervous! I've been on Mark's website before as a testimonial, complete with pictures, but I never expected to be included in one of the training guides as a testimonial.

Thanks Mark! I'm honoured to be a part of the MuscleHack community and even more so as a possible inspiration to other MuscleHackers!

Week #8 THT 3.1 HIT is tonight! I'm likely going to finish out this cycle of THT 3.1 HIT at 10 weeks as proscribed and then move on to a THT 4.0 cycle. Can't wait to hit it hard!

Have a great Monday (and week) everyone! Train hard and lift smart!


Friday, June 17, 2011

THT 3.1 HIT Week #7 wrap-up

So, that's a wrap for Week #7. Technically, I've been halving my progression through the weeks as I've only hit once a week. On the other hand, I've still managed to get ridiculous gains. I don't know if that's something I can maintain in terms of progress, but it's been cool to see for sure!

My goal for next week is a proper, 2-day workout (Monday / Wednesday) as I haven't had the chance to hit my Consolidations in a while.

All the best for a great weekend everyone!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

THT 3.1 HIT Week #7 update

Point of interest: I've been doing single-day weeks for long enough now that I've messed up the cell order in my Excel worksheet. All of this week's entries are on last week's Wednesdau columns. :(

Second point of interest: I ran out of (metaphorical) gas yesteday at the gym. Need to go back today for shoulders, back, traps, wrist curls and abs. Otherwise, I'm continuing my freakish gains - benched 220 x 8+2, squatted 240 x 9, curled 90 x 10 (cabled single), tricep extensioned 225 x 8 (full stack). THT 3.1 HIT Mass days are KILLER!

Let's discuss the last one quickly.Months ago, when I was doing THT HIT Mass, I was doing about 195 lbs. When I flipped over to THT 2.0 Refix, I was down around 180 for my chest/tricep days and then ultimately ended up around 195 again. This bears noticing because when you're doing lots of pre-exhaust, it still affects your opening numbers and technically lowers them. You're still repping to failure, but with less weight.

On to this THT HIT cycle. I started at 195lbs and now I'm at 225. That's a hell of a progression. I do credit secondary isolsated single arm sets as being part of this. My triceps, while strong, have always felt / "looked" under-developed to me. So, this cycle especially, I've been working extra hard to get them to build out. They're definitely getting there, and the significant increase in strength shows just that.

So, tonight's workout is going to be short and sweet, followed by much swearing and splitting of firewood. I leave you with a totally unrelated-to-weightlifting picture, one that I took last weekend at our getaway spot on Wasi Lake. Enjoy!

Remember, folks. It's simple. Eat, MuslceHack, rest, repeat. Continue until you're where you want to be - odds are it won't take that long. Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

THT 3.1 HIT Week #7

Nobody told me this was a maintenance cycle!!!! GRRRR

And by that I mean that I've only managed to hit the gym once per week for what has to be the last 4 weeks. Mind you, I've been supplementing myself with good old-fashioned manual labour - hauling and splitting firewood for the most part, a little digging of the rear garden at home yestrday - but mostly firewood-related work.

So, tonight after work will be my first gym run of the week. Oddly enough, I feel great. I can't wait to get in the gym tonight. I just want to get in there, hit it hard, wreck myself (metaphorically) and go home ready to start some new weight levels. Positivity is key for stuff like this. I'm progressing on one day per week - not normally, but not outside the realm of possibility.

So welcome to your Tuesday. Welcome to my Tuesday. Welcome to our Tuesday. Make it happen!

Lift hard, train smart, be safe.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

A fundraising notice

I've been involved in the SETI@Home project for 9 years now. I've contributed hardware and LOADS of CPU time over the years. It's one of only two non-medical scientific distributed computing projects that I belong to.

S@H is using Flattr to allow people from all over the world to donate to their charitable causes and recipients of choice. I've begun using Flattr just recently in order to contribute to SETI@Home, but it also occured to me that I could use Flattr to bring a little extra revenue in to the site.

With the money donated by Flattr users, 50% will go to the Canadian Cancer Society and 50% will go to Mark McManus - the creator of Also, you can support these worthy recipients by clicking on ads shown here that interest you as I'm also a Google AdSense publisher.

I'd recommend checking out Flattr as it seems to be taking off and it's a great way to do micro-donations to many worthy causes all at once. There's even the option to have recurring payments set-up so that you can contribute monthly to your chosen recipients.

Have a great day all!


Week #6 Day 2 is tonight - and other news

So, Week #6 Day #2 of THT 3.1 HIT is tonight. I'm looking forward to my final sets for two working weightx - 150lbs for overhead press and 210lbs for Smith bench press.

Also, I've been given some incredible, impressive and more than a little humbling news that I'm just awaiting clearance to announce to everyone. Once I do, I'll post it immediately.

All the best for a great Thursday everyone! Train hard!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Week #6 Day 1 done

Much, much better. Yesterday was a wicked success. I'll be resetting my seated cable rows, working on form over raw weight for trap shrugs and keep working up my overhead press on Wednesday.

At this rate, I'll be benching 220 for reps next Monday. Also, Smith machine squats are on target - I did 230lbs x 8 last night. Cabled single curls hit hard, too. I didn't, however, get a chance to perform my "finisher" arm exercises of underhanded pull-ups with plate weights.

This is the "ultimate power" of a MuscleHack THT workout. Specifically, the THT 3.1 HIT workout. You can stand to screw up for a bit, but if you're really, REALLY driven you might not see any setbacks. So far, my only setback was my overhead press by 1 rep.

This is MuscleHacking, folks! Get into it!

Also, geek update: the cinematic intro for Star Wars: The Old Republic is up on EPIC. That is all. Can't wait for it to come out to retail.

Have a great Tuesday folks!


P.S. here's a pic from yesterday. Seems I'm finally starting to "fill out" some more!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Week #5 Day #2 -Part #1?!?

An interesting development came to pass. After yesterday's gain-recording bench press and Smith squats, my arms rose up in rebellion and refused to let me curl my "top" weight for the day. In fairness, my arms and back haven't had ANY time off this week as I've been moving massive amounts of firewood around for the camp. My boss cut down a bunch of trees and has been giving the felled wood to me - a massive savings over having to buy the stuff. So, over two uility trailler loads later, I'm toasted.

I'll be hitting the gym today after work to finish my Day #2 of THT HIT 3.1. As it stands, I feel solid today after that squat and bench session, like a Mack truck I suppose. :)

I'm also re-skipping ball hockey as it seems to re-anger my still-recovering elbow and perpetuates my issues with lifting.

So, back in the gym tonight to close out Mass Day #2. I can't wait!

Also, as an aside - Mark, I'm pulling for you, buddy. I know you're going through some stuff but you'll get through it. If anyone can run a business while dealing with everything in front of you and still be a great father to his daughter, it's you. You've been a stand-up guy all along and I'm sure you're not going to change from being that way. If I can EVER do anything for you, you know how to get a hold of me.

Happy Friday folks! Lift smart and train hard!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Week #5 Day #1 done.

Or, how to progress after a week off, across the board. Not really sure how the hell that works, but it WORKS. Stunning number of the day #1: benched 210lbs for 9 consecutive reps, then did 1 more to show my pecs who's boss. Stunning number of the day #2: deep squatted 220lbs for 10 reps, far more than the 8 I had expected. Stunning number of the day #3: 150lbs x 11 reps overhead press, well past 9.5 reps last week. Stunning number of the day #4: 55lb dumbell delt lat raises - 10 reps. WHOA.

Summary of the day? AWWWWW YEEEAAAAAAH! A wicked gym run all-around. Biceps were blasted, triceps were obliterated, calves were slaughtered, kneeling ab crunches were EPIC.

Bring on day #2.

Henceforth, all such efforts will be referred to as "Like a Mando" or "Like a Mando'ade". Clearly, a workout of such intensity and results is beyond Earthly constraints. :)

Have a great Wednesday all!


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Week #5 - progress?

There's a question mark as I'm unsure. I had one workout last week - a week ago today. I've kept busy with chores around the house, working on the project Focus (lots of torque needed to free up rusted bolts) and working on the camp - but I've had zero time for the gym. This does not please me at all.

So, I'm back at it again tonight after work. All you can do after you fall is to pick yourself back up again. Perhaps everything I need to know in life I've been reminded of by the recent Batman movies. Hmm.

I'm going for no less than what I lifted last week at the gym. I'm fired up and I'm angry. I'm possibly even over 9000. I'm not settling and I'm not quitting. Quitting is for people who aren't me.

Have a great day folks!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Week #4 THT HIT Mass Day done!

I love playing mind games with myself.

I went into last night's workout with the determination that I COULD NOT FAIL. In truth, I didn't. I only banged out a half extra rep for overhead press, but it was still that 10th rep that I didn't do last week. How can I not be pleased with myself?

Actually, I have a confession to make. Last night, I sat down to bench 210lbx x 8 reps (or better) to make my progression on chest for the night. True, it adds triceps but we're splitting hairs here now! Focus! Anyway, I banged out 8 really nice reps. Then, I just laid there on the bench for a minute and thought to myself, "can I do at least one more?"

In reality, I could do two more. Hard, slow reps that I had to fight for, but I managed to hit out two more. I brought that same intensity to the rest of my night (as I was leading off with chest) and I have to say that some days I genuinely surprise myself still when in the gym.

Also, I'm adding a few pics I took last night. Watch for one element that I didn't notice until today, after I took my pics. Here's a hint, it's legit and it's south of my waist, but it shouldn't get me arrested for mentioning it in public.

Caught it yet? My quads, specifically my left in the one shot. What did you think I was referencing? :P

Have a great day and lift hard folks!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Week #4 THT HIT Mass Day #1

Well, life is nothing if not interesting. Case in point - I only got in one workout last week. While at home. Within range of my gym. FAIL. Add in a long weekend where I ate so-so and I'm really missing the gym right now. Guess where I'm going tonight after work?

Believe it or not, I'm going to be pushing for gains today. My own laziness is not an excuse. Plus, I did get some decent wood splitting exercise in this weekend, ran the dog some, so it's not a total wash. Positivity is key - without it, you're doomed to the same past you were stuck in before you decided to get off the couch and make something of yourself.

So, today is Day #1 of Week #4 of THT 3.1 HIT. Going to hit the gym, lift hard, sweat and swear and make my gains. Because I can. It's that simple.

Make everything you do "that" simple in execution and you'll never fail. You can plan all you want, analyze all you want and run your mouth all you want before you set foot in that gym / hockey rink / office. Once it's time to put up, just do it. Make it as simple as possible, with the least chance for complication or failure as possible and you're set.

Have a great week eveyone!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

THT 3.1 HIT Week #3, Mass day done

In life, even with a certain plan for yourself, you need to think outside the box. Once in a while, opportunities will present themselves and it's up to you to discern whether they're worth following through or not.

Last night, I had an idea. I've been doing well leading off my HIT nights with Smith rack squats, but the last two or three nights I've been leading off with Smith rack bench press. Tonight, I'd not only do exactly that, but I would also shoot for no less than 210lbs x 6 to open - up from 200 x 10 last week.

Not only did I hit that, I short-rested and then banged out two more clean reps. I marked it down as "210 x 6" in my logs to promote even progression, however. :) It was a good night all around, and another stand-out surprise was my overhead press - 150lbs x 9, up two reps.

So, my conundrum is that I'll need to hit the gym early Friday afternoon because of the holiday long weekend here and we'll be heading out to the camp later on that day. Having said that, I'm looking forward to several days and nights right out by the water. We can't fish yet (for bass), but I enjoy sitting on the deck with a good book and a coffee just the same.

All the best for a great Thursday (Thorsday!) folks!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Note to self: predictions are bad

Well, today I may not make it to the gym and I definitely didn't make it yesterday. It seems as though my third week of craziness has arrived.

Hopefully I can make it to the gym tonight as planned. I really, really want to lift today!

All the best for a great Tuesday, folks!


Monday, May 16, 2011

End of THT HIT 3.1 Week #2

Apologies for the late post. Blogger / Google was having serious technical issues last week so I was literally unable to post updates on my THT 3.1 HIT progress.

Final progress on the week was great. I missed my Consolidation workout due to scheduling issues, so I'm just going to do Week #3's Mass days and then hit my Consolidation on Friday.

This week should be epic. I should be benching 210lbs on Wednesday. I should also be going up on bicep curls as well. Also getting close to going up on Smith machine squats.

This week is more of the same - my previous couple of weeks of insanity have gone down, so now I can hunker down and really get into the big progress, big pushes that I want to do.

Have a great week folks! Lift safely and train hard!


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Week #2 THT HIT Mass day done

So, yesterday was going to be the "real" test. Week #2, THT HIT Mass day #1, on a new cycle after a 2 week "break". Would I gain or would I be stuck in a rut?


Happily for me, I gained everywhere! (in reps, that is) Benching was particularly awesome (up 2 reps @ 200lbs), so was tricep extensions (205lbs x 12). Also, bicep curls rocked, and I slaughtered myself with two sets of abs. A breakout surprise was my weight-added pullups - 8 x bodyweight + 60lbs, a new personal best!

My new abs regimen is two sets on "on" days, and 1 set of abs on off days. Literally, I'll hit the gym for abs and some deadlifts to keep my lower back tuned-up.

So, with today off for recovery I'm shooting to do a little grocery shopping after work, take a few things out to the new camp and just recover in general.

Tomorrow is moar weight for some exercises, moar reps and just moar badassery all around! Yes, I made that last part up. You can't be too badass in Canada, or "they" will throw you in jail. No thanks, I'd rather stay in the gym I have now.

Have a great day, folks!

P.S. - today is the 10th anniversary of the passing of one of the best Fiction writers of all time, Douglas Adams. Remember that Towel Day is May 25th. ALWAYS know where your towel is.


Friday, May 6, 2011

THT 3.1 HIT Week #1 Mass Workouts Done

This is where things can tend to get a tad confusing for some folks, and that's understandable. I've decided to go with at least a half-cycle (5 weeks) of Mark's THT 3.1 HIT cycle. This will tide me over until Mark's new free training book, Targeted Hypertrophy Training 4.0 (previously known as Total Anabolism) is released.

After taking the better part of two weeks off, I've been working good and hard at getting back into my proper MuscleHack routines - decent food (except for weekend carb-up days), proper MuscleHack-quality workouts and lots of water. I've also decided to resume my GNC Mega Men's Sport vitapaks while cycling off of creatine for a while. This isn't due to any negative reactions or results. I just like to do shakeups once in a while to keep my body guessing.

I've also decided that this week deserves a little "publicity", so I'm attaching two photos from last night after my second HIT Mass workout of the week. My consolidation workout will be on Saturday (or Sunday). Without further ado...

So, it is entirely possible to eat like crap briefly, lift for maintenance for a week after a week's break and still not lose mass or strength. I was pec deck'ing the equivalent of 250lbs last night, shrugging 305lbs, cable curling 180lbs with two hands, tricep pushdowns were 205lbs, Smith squats should have been 240lbs (did 230), overhead universal press 150lbs, delt lat raises with 55s, rowing 270lbs (dropping that to 250 next week and raising my grip some), wrist rolling 55s, etc etc.

The bottom lne is... and you've heard it before... just keep lifting. The rest will take care of itself.

Have a great weekend folks!


Monday, May 2, 2011

THT HIT mini-cycle starts NOW!

So, I've decided to do a 4-5 week mini-THT HIT cycle while I wait for Mark's Targeted Hypertrophy Training 4.0 to drop. My first night back was tonight, and it was EPIC. Also, the new MuscleHack tank tops are actually getting people talking and making it easy to get people pointed in the right direction to learn about Mark's work! Outstanding!

Also, it seems that I did enough of everything right while I was away that I didn't lose much mass or strength. I was able to bench 200lbs for reps tonight, as well as shrugging 300lbs and rowing 270lbs.

So, onwards and upwards. More lifting, more reps, more weights, more MuscleHacking.

Have a great week all!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Week #2 in a foreign land

Sooooo... I've ate bad food, more bad food, some more bad food and then some good food. Then, some more good food and then some bad food. This is what happens when you're abroad and the most easily recognized food stuff is "hamburguesa". *facepalm* To be fair, I've had Subway a couple of times, but the staff there are really non-versed in English and I'm just now learning all my toppings in Spanish. Starbucks, on the other hand...

So, I've done 2 THT HIT 3.2-style workouts this week. Tonight's workout was even better than Sunday's. The weight "amounts" are all wrong because the machines is crap and doesn't move worth crap. It needs a full servicing. But, I've persevered and even managed to get in calves and legs on it. So, better than expected, honestly.

However, there's no substitute for my beloved 22 Wing gym. I can't wait to get home. I miss my babe and our furry boys. I miss Canadian food. I miss going for a drive in the (much!) cleaner air. I'm just a tied-to-the-land Canadian, I guess!

All the best for a productive and great week, folks!

Lift hard and train smart!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The author is currently occupied...

I'm away on a business trip, busting my butt for a couple of weeks in a foreign country. I managed to get in a decent all-in-one biceps / abs / shoulders / back workout. The end result felt as thought it was about 8/10ths of a full out MuscleHack workout. Not bad for one of those all-in-one Nautilus-style gyms.

So, my updates are going to be pretty light as I look to take a few more days off of working out. I'm gearing toward a THT HIT 3.2 workout if I have to, but preferably a THT Mass 3.2 workout if I can. I'm trying to get a temporary pass to one of the full-on gyms here.

I did manage to snap a half-decent shot partway through my workout.

Have a great week everyone!