Trainer Thought of The Day: Rant

So, this  “trainer thought of the day” post was going to go straight to FB but one thought became many and decided to make this go on my web-page….because it’s a bit of a rant.


So, I’ll get right to it.


But first, I want to thank all my clients and everyone who has referred people to my business this past month or so. My schedule is filling up quite nicely. I’ve never been happier to give up some of my naptime. HAHA


Seriously though, if you know me you know that I take anywhere from 1-3 naps a day. I know for most of you it may seem like gloating, but you have to understand when you have anywhere from 3-8 hours of downtime, you’re gonna nap.


If you work/have worked with me before, you know by now that I don’t work with just anybody that asks for my training services. I’ve recognized that with my schedule filling up, my time becomes more and more valuable…and so should the quality of my clientele.


Recently, I had a conversation with someone that wanted to get started strength training….BUT they “didn’t want to look like a man….”. If you’re reading this, you know how annoyed I was with this statement. 90%+ of my clients are women. You can imagine the amount of shared concern most of them had before having me train with them. It’s not the person that I’m annoyed with.


It’s the perception that women (and men) have about what it means to be strong. So…I’m going to write this to those who believe in this mindset and in the best format possible: Bullet Points.




  1. There are enough women in the world who lift weights and you’re likely friends with one or know a woman who lifts weights. I need you to look at them or find a recent photo of them right now and ask yourself: Does she look like a man? Most likely the answer will be a resounding NO. That alone should debunk the idiotic ideology you chose to believe in.

  2. If you’re a woman who believes in this mindset, I don’t think you’re doing the image of women any favors. This is an uninformed belief. A belief commonly held by those who are scared of the things they don’t understand. What-I-Really-Do-Women-Who-Lift-Weights
  3. You want to get a nice ass…a “toned (insert body part here)”? You lift appreciable weights. That means relatively heavy. End of story.

  4. If you lift weights and decide that you have “man shoulders/back/arms/legs/etc” please be sure to stand next to an actual man to see if that is true. If that is the case, I know a handful of dudes that could be doing what you’re doing right now because if you look more manly than they do, then I need you to reach out to them and hook them up. The state of man is in jeopardy. We need you to show us the way because you clearly have this “looking like a man” thing figured out.

  5. Focusing on more of what you don’t want rather than what you do want keeps you from getting actual results simply because your outlook is negative. Positive mindset? Positive results. Amazing how that works.

  6. You are a “basic bitch”. I know. Calling a woman a bitch of any kind is a sin. I get it-it’s like calling a black person the N word if you’re not black; it’s totally different if it’s anyone else. Anyways, If you don’t know what a basic bitch is, it’s sumed up as “someone who does what everyone else is doing and isn’t their own person at all.” If you’re okay with being a basic bitch, that’s totally okay (there are also “basic bros” for the …bros). That being said….

  7. If you’re a woman and you lift, to me you’re not basic….you’re a “bad ass bitch” (AKA Bad Bitch): “Now a bad bitch is a woman who handles her business without making it seem like business….“Having the mindset that you can do anything and everything you want to in this world even if everyone tells you no you can’t do it and you say YES I CAN, WATCH ME. Having a bad bitch mentality is now considered a positive trait. Girls with a (BBM) Bad Bitch Mentality are a powerhouse and a force to be reckoned with. If you have a bad bitch mentality, you have the mentality that you will get to the top, you will succeed and you will win the game of life. Girls with a Bad Bitch Mentality go farther, stronger, harder and always come out on top because they NEVER stop. They NEVER give up and that is why they succeed….” Damn that was beautiful!! These are the kind of women I work with. Just look at my professional page on FB. You’ll see what I mean.MjAxMy03NmJhNWY5NmQyMDg2OWJj
  8. Finally…it’s not your fault for thinking this way. Everything you’ve ever known has been taught by someone of authority or someone you respect. It is hard to admit sometimes that everything you’ve learned is utter bullshit. It is hard to question it. With what we know today to be physically and scientifically unfounded about women and lifting weights becoming “men”, it shouldn’t be hard to shut that shit down. Though, we seriously underestimate our own psychology and how reinforcement for decades of the wrong thing can dictate what we choose to believe. I can’t tell you what to believe, BUT make sure whatever you believe in gives you confidence,, happiness, and positive self-image, and appreciate other people’s hard work.


Okay. I’m done. Have a nice day!!


Strength in Iron,




Testimonial No.8: David Frahm

When did you start training with Donovan?

March 17, 2015

What led you to “Train With Donovan” and why?

I have a few friends who had been doing group training with him for a number of months, and just watching their transitions over the course of those months made me think “I should do this. I owe it to myself.” I was never in it to lose weight. I knew that probably wouldn’t be the best goal for me. Instead I simply wanted to get in better shape, and be more fit and in tune with my body. I knew that as I did that, I’d burn the fat, even if the weight didn’t disappear. Over time, I haven’t actually lost a lot of weight in pounds but, my pants waist has shrunk somewhere between two and four inches and my shirts feel significantly more loose, especially around the belly. I’ve definitely lost fat and put on muscle.


What were some of the things you’ve sacrificed to make your training a priority? Why is your training important to you?

The biggest sacrifice is time. I’m pretty busy, between being an active member in one community, a leader in another, and maintaining my relationships with friends and loved ones. I used to go to karaoke once a week; on one of the days that I train now; and I rarely have the energy to make it out after our workouts. Still, I wouldn’t trade my training back for it. It’s important to me because of how it makes me feel. I’ve wrestled with a lot of body negativity issues. I’m a big guy. I will never not be. But I can choose whether it’s just me being the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, or if I can actually build some strength and muscle. Training with Donovan leaves me feeling empowered, even if a bit sore. It’s also amazing at fighting off my depression, and the stresses of the day. Nothing feels quite as cathartic as the physical exertion on days where work is just a little too stressful.


Have you worked with a trainer before? If so, how does your current experience with Donovan differ from past experiences? If not, what are some of the positive experiences you’ve had so far?

Donovan was my first trainer, and he’s been phenomenal to work with. He’s always encouraging, which is great on the good days, and even better on the bad. He encourages not just lifting the weights, but also building a positive attitude, and treating your body right. Whenever it’s a “bad day” in the gym, he always asks “How’d you sleep? What have you been eating?” and encourages you to be more mindful in your choices. This, plus seeing the gains from week to week and month to month have always left me feeling more empowered. I feel like whenever he sees me doing things a little to easy, he encourages moving up the weight, and when he sees that I’m struggling on a day, taking some off. It’s not always about hitting the number, it’s about building a strong and consistent habit of doing the work, so that when you need to take a breather, you’ll come back in just as good.


How do you feel now compared to when you first started training with Donovan?

I feel significantly stronger, more flexible, and empowered physically and mentally. One of my more amusing litmus tests from when I started training was being able to lift my girlfriend. When I first started with Donovan, I couldn’t really pick her up without struggling. I could do it, and hold her for a bit, but she always felt insecure with it. Now I can just pick her up and walk away with her, and it usually leaves both of us laughing. When I talk about being empowered, one of the metrics of success that I have with Donovan is to make my bad days today be where my good days were yesterday. It’s incredible to actually see it and have the numbers. Just a couple of weeks ago, I had a day where I was feeling about 80%, tops. I slept like crap, ate like crap, and struggling with depression were all leading to me having a bad day. Still I was pounding out some floor presses, and I was working with a weight that was below where I had done it last time. Donovan saw how I was working, and actually encouraged me to do better than my last time. I listened to his advice, and was still able to push myself through it at the higher weight. He saw that, even on a bad day, I could do more than I thought I could, and encouraged me to push myself I still remember, less than a year ago, when I first deadlifted over 100 lbs. I felt so strong and so proud, because I wasn’t sure I could do it. Now, that weight is less than where I start my warm-ups, and I’m less than a year in. I’m still feeling strong and proud, I just work with bigger numbers now.

workout-before-after (1)


Would you recommend training with Donovan to others, and why?

Absolutely, and I have. He’s good at paying attention to you, your needs, and your body. If something isn’t working right, he’ll find a way to change it. If you’re incapable of doing something, he’ll find a way to work around it. One of the people in my group can’t really lift weights over her head, so he has her do something else to work those muscles. Another can’t handle rapid up and down motions, things like jump squats, and so Donovan gives him an alternate thing. He finds what works for you, and always has tips on how to make it better.


What do you look forward to in the future with your training?

Making my bad days tomorrow be where my good days are today, and to make my good days tomorrow above and beyond that.


-David Frahm 3/1/16

Perception vs. Reality

I get it. Perception is the reality. While that may be true, I’m here to tell you:






There’s no doubt that our bodies live in a totally different reality than our minds do. The reason there is so much constant failure in the fitness industry is we pay too much attention to fixing issues that are merely symptoms of a larger problem.


Obesity is not an epidemic. It’s systematic failure where pragmatism is not the focus in nutritional eduction to the general public as much as it should.


It’s the fact that for most people, completely cutting out cookies and maxwell polishes the rest of your natural life is unrealistic and unnecessary if you enjoy them. Where instead we could limit the things we want in a practical way that our daily nutrition isn’t depended on these kinds of foods.



It’s believing we can eat whatever the hell we want as long as we work it off next week. Where instead we could eat well and train well most of the time, and eat whatever the hell we want occasionally and not have to worry about it.


Warm weather is approaching. People will be out on their porches drinking beer almost everyday. Including me! That’s totally okay. But when shit gets real and you want to start cutting down, you should know what to do and how to do it.



If the winter is your “off season” and you want to train hard and stay disciplined so you can enjoy the spring/summer months, then that is a solid plan.


No one can tell you HOW to live your life, but we can help you navigate it so you can live it to its fullest and healthiest.


Whatever your perception is, do right by you by being constantly aware of the thoughts you make, and what kinds of results your actions will yield.



Have a great day.


D-Money’s Exercise of The Month: X-Band Walks

Happy New Years, everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog post on this website. Not going to lie, at one point I did give up. Writing just isn’t in my wheelhouse and I get bored quickly. However, I’ve had a shift in perspective and goals. I used to think I’d have to write out this 500-1000 word article for it to be worth peoples time to read. That kind of ideology is what ultimately let me to think that writing was a bit too much. As articulate and long-winded as I am in person, I’m not quite the same in writing. So then I realized I could just get straight to the point. Create content that the busiest of people could spare 2-5 minutes to read and maybe learn something.

Doesn’t it feel good when you come up with ways to make your life easier? I hope you can find this post useful to help make your life easier, too.

Today’s post is the beginning of a series  I’d like to call “D-Money’s Exercise of the Month.” Some of these exercises aren’t new or very exotic, but they’re pretty damn powerful if you use them correctly. More often than not these drills/movements can be used in your warmp-up, at the end or during your strength routine.

So without further adieu, introducing: X-Band Walks

Targets: Glute Medius, Hip Abductors

What does it do? The X-Band Walks (a.k.a. cross band walks, a.k.a. lateral resistance walks, a.k.a. ass burners) is a fantastic drill to strengthen and stabilize your hips and stabilize the knee. That’s good news for people who live in weather where it can become very icy, or if you’re used to sitting on your tush all day it can “wake” that ass up. Having that stability in the knee and hip joints will give you a better chance from taking a nose dive slipping on ice. This is also a great drill to use pre/post knee or hip surgery if squatting and lunging still hurts.

When should you use it? The X-Band walks can be used just about anywhere in your programming. Whether it be in the warm-up as a stabilization drill for a lower body day, before you participate in a sporting event, or in between strength sets as a filler on upper body day.

How should you use it? You want there to be a level of fatigue in the glutes before you train them. Programming 15-20 reps going each direction is a good start depending on the strength of the band. You can also use them for time, anywhere from 20-30 seconds at the end of the workout for a finisher. Boom! Try it out and let me know what you think!


Testimonial No.7- Ted Reynolds


When I first came to Donovan I had already been lifting for a few years and had worked with other trainers before so I thought I knew quite a bit about lifting. Came into my first session and immediately he changed the game. He’s got every step broken down to a science and the man knows what he’s talking about. Through my sessions with him I learned new and more effective ways to lift to not only get stronger, but put on size at the same time. The energy he brings to every session was everything anyone could want out of trainer. Working with Donovan didn’t just benefit me when I worked with him but he taught me so many things that I still utilize today with my lifts. Without doubt I am a better lifter today because of him.

-Ted Reynolds


High Carb vs. Low Carb 101: For The Every Gym “Joe/Jane”

What you need to know:

  • Carbs are good. Most macros, you just have to be smart about them based on your goals
  • Restricting your carb intake TOO much can lead to some serious losses such as: increased cortisol, output, decreased testosterone, impaired mood and cognitive function, muscle catabolism, suppressed immune function.
  • Carbs are essentially in the driver seat for hormone function. If the hormones are out of wack- take  a look at your diet first, then follow up to get your levels checked.
  • High Carb vs. Low Carb diets are simple plans based off your level of activity (i.e. high level athletes don’t usually perform well on low carb diets).

The high carb vs. low carb debate have been around for decades. No doubt, carbs have a special place in all of our hearts (and stomachs). They are there for us when we’ve had a shitty day. Or when we’ve had a killer leg workout. Or when we need the energy to nail that important presentation at work. They come in all forms: beer, pastries, pasta, fruit, veggies, ice cream…they’re everywhere! You can see the dilemma that we face. So how do we escape the world of carbs to for a better quality of life??

We don’t. And we shouldn’t.

Carbs aren’t to be avoided. Not long-term anyways. But rather they’re to be managed. Carbohydrates are so important on so many levels. Hell, carbs even help overcome cancer:

From Science Daily:

“The research advances our understanding of how important carbohydrates are to the function of cells. Although most of us think of glucose (blood sugar) as the only important sugar in biology, there is an entire area of research known as glycobiology that seeks to understand the function of complex carbohydrate structures in cells. Carbohydrate structures cover the surface of cells, and affect how cells interact with each other and with pathogens.”
“The carbohydrates on the cell surface determine how it interacts with other cells, which makes them important in cancer and other diseases. So, if we can design compounds that change these structures in a defined way, we can affect those interactions,” Cairo explained. “Finding new enzyme targets is essential to that process, and our work shows that we can selectively target this neuraminidase enzyme.”

So, carbs DO help fight cancer. Sweet!!! 😉

But what about the unwanted weight gain/fat gain? The average weight gain each year under the age of 25 is anywhere from .5 to 1.5lbs. Between 25 and 44  jumps 3.4 percent in men and 5.2 percent in women. This information has been out for quite some time now. How to carbs play a role in all of this?

The findings on carbs having a direct effect on body weight control have proved to be inconsistent. However, we do know that sugar-sweetened beverages are associated with weight gain, but that’s for another article.

We’ve seen how High Carb/Low Carb diets can be beneficial to athletes, but there seems to be some disconnect for the ever day “9 to 5” folks. When used in conjunction with your training sessions/events/daily activities, carbohydrates can be a very powerful asset. Let’s dive into the high carb diet.

The High Carb Diet

For several years now, the average gym member/client that I have talked to all have common goals of becoming stronger, feeling better, and looking better naked. I would even go on to say everyone on the planet have something in common with at least one of these goals. And nutrition planning has everything to do with it.

Having a high carb diet can be a very powerful tool in achieving these goals. Carbs are known to be in “the driver seat” for hormone control. They also get a bad rap being held responsible for (unwarranted) weight gain. On higher carb days you’ll feel bloated and unable to get all the necessary foods into your system. This is the problem that most people see with their diets.

When done right, a higher carbohydrate intake can increase thyroid output and control hunger (Douyon 2002; Friedl 2000; de Rosa 1983). Carbohydrate intake can also help one take advantage of certain anabolic hormones, namely insulin. Insulin regulates amino acid and glucose intake entry into the muscle cells. If insulin is seldom elevated, dieters will not reap its anabolic benefits. This is why eating proteins with carbs together are way more effective when they’re eaten separately.

How to use the High Carb Diet
Here, are the meats and sweet potatoes of how you can use the High Carb diet to your advantage. Since carbs have such an advantage in providing energy, it is important that you have all that energy at the right time. Think about your body as a bank. Its pay day and carbs are the cash you want to deposit. Sure it’s great to have all that dough (mmmm dough), but what good is it if you aren’t able to invest it and make it into something? That’s what it’s like to have a high carb diet and sit around to not use it. It just sits.

Carbs are indeed powerful, but with great power comes great responsibility (right spiderman?).
great responsibility

So, for the regular gym-goers out there, listen up: cycling your high carbs around your workouts are going to be the most effective for you. This means when you’re about to kick some serious ass in your next training sessh, hit the carbs baby!!
elf carbs
If you’re training in the AM, the high carbs will be in the evening before. Why? When you’re sleeping, your resting metabolism is working hard. Which means you’ll be able to store those carbs in the form of glycogen. Glycogen is stored mostly in the muscles that use it (some stored in the liver as well), and is the dominant contributor of energy to hard workouts. If glycogen

levels are low, hard workouts become increasingly difficult to complete, and almost impossible to complete with a consistently high level of performance. Then when you wake up? Awwwww shyyyyyt, it’s time to get after it!! For your evening training session- the carb load would be done during the day. As an added benefit, you’ll be super productive at work and way more focused with all that energy.


The Low Carb Diet
Much like the high carb diet, the Low Carb Diet can be used strategically for weight loss and fat loss. Since we know that carbs are actually a good thing now, it’s safe to say that Low Carb diets aren’t all that and a bag of fat free chips. One thing that’s true about LCD: Carb reduction costs us. It doesn’t really matter if you have a sedentary job or you’re up and going all day long. There are some level of carbohydrates needed to function at our best long term.


Utilizing a LCD will definitely be a good way to lose weight. No doubt about it. But for most of us, keeping carbs too low for too long can have disastrous consequences. Especially for those of us who workout.

If you’re sedentary, your carb needs are lower. So you might be able to get away with more restriction.

But if you like to exercise regularly and enthusiastically, restricting your carb intake too drastically can lead to:

  • decreased thyroid output
  • increased cortisol output
  • decreased testosterone
  • impaired mood and cognitive function
  • muscle catabolism
  • suppressed immune function.

As we mentioned before, carbs play a huge role in hormone control. This is especially important for women. Yet because low-carb diets can significantly disrupt hormone production, women with too-low carb intakes — especially active women — can face:

  • a stopped or irregular menstrual cycle;
  • lowered fertility;
  • hypoglycemia and blood sugar swings;
  • more body fat (especially around the middle);
  • loss of bone density;
  • anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues;
  • chronic inflammation and worse chronic pain;
  • chronic fatigue and disrupted sleep; and
  • a host of other chronic problems…

Don’t get me wrong. Some people have gone on to lose lots of weight using a ketogenic or very low carb diet, and keep it off, while seemingly maintaining some sort of health in the process. Ripped, lean, and feeling awesome.

But the balance is there are also people who’ve tread similar waters and crashed hard.

Long term Low Carb Dieting isn’t ideal for many reasons. Its initial results for one are very misleading and don’t focus on the bigger picture. When you start on a diet/program for the first time you’ll get that “Low Carb Honeymoon” (catecholamine honeymoon article) where they feel all great, and nice, and full of energy.

At first, on a low carb diet, you go through a transition period of what I call “feeling like ass”. It will last a few days, but then you’ll catch second wind and break through that wall. You feel buzzed, excited, and full of energy.”

Weight loss ensues, as the glycogen burns up, and water flushes out of your system. Losing up to 10 pounds in the first week is not unheard of. It’s the ultimate tool for creating a quick positive feedback loop (carbs hold water, when you rid of carbs you don’t retain as much water).

The good news is you feel great. You’re energetic, and you might see things within your body improve. He also talks about allergies, aches and pains clearing up. Why don’t I stop there? Seriously!?

But the problem lies within the period following this honeymoon phase.

Because you can’t rely on stress hormones forever. Adrenaline are reserved for stressful situations, not for daily living. Over time, you’ll get burned out.

And then all of the sudden, a steady decline in energy and eventually…

cameron meme

One might notice their cravings for food, mostly carb-heavy foods. Shyt is gonna get real when you have to rely on willpower to restrict carbohydrates.


So where do we go from here? How much is enough?

There’s more than one way to go about it, but I like the simple approach. If you’re training from start to finish costs 350-400 cals, you’ll want to consume that much in surplus prior to your training (referring to the carb cycling earlier). This way you’ll have the right amount to absolutely annihilate your training sessh. So, your training day nutrition plan from a calorie standpoint will look like this:
2,000 daily cal intake
+ 400 cal surplus
= 2,400 cals for the day
– 400 cal workout
=2,000 total cals


Generally dipping below 120 k/cals of carbs for anyone on a regular basis isn’t sustainable.

This is a great way at looking at how to utilize calories for performance. But what kind should you use for optimal performance? Let me make it easy for you. Check out this carb chart from Precision Nutrition:

Carb Chart

USPA Training: Week 4

Squats (*Reps)

Bar x 10

135 x 8

225 x 3

315 x 1

350 x 8

*I believe I messed up on my programming for this week. At some point I was supposed to work on “explosion” but did reps instead. This was pretty brutal.*


Bench (Heavy)

Bar x 10

135 x 5

185 x 3

215 x 1

235 x 1

5 x 2 @ 250

Dropset x 20- 135


DB Bench

80 x 8

95 x 8


Deads (reps)

165 x 10

225 x 3

345 x 2

**1 x 8 @ 420

Rack Pulls

365 x 6 x 2

385 x 8


3 x 8


Red Band 2 x 10

Seated Lat Pulldown

2 x 15-20

**Today was a great day. Bar moved fast. Probably a combination of a long warm-up, stress-less work morning, and a good meal the night before. Whatever the case, I’m starting to feel like my old self again.

Testimonial No. 6: Sarah Bauer














Donovan asked me to write about my fitness “journey”. At first I struggled with that, as to me, I haven’t quite met with what I define as success so my journey wasn’t worth writing about yet . Then he posted this quote on his Facebook training page “Success is not the destination. Success is the journey.” . And I realized that my success is that I am still on the journey!

I’ve seriously and consistently worked out for more than a dozen years in some capacity. Everything from extreme body shaping, boxing, and cardio fitness classes like Zumba – you name it, chances are, I’ve tried it. I’ve suffered through videos (yes, actual VHS tapes) from Jane Fonda, Richard Simmons and a whole host of Beach Body hotties. I’ve worked out with friends (and made some great ones along the way), strangers and alone. I’ve got my sweat-on at home, at various gyms, outside, at hotels and even at work! Some of these things were fun, some were effective and some were just not the right fit.

I first trained with Donovan when I was pregnant with my now 4 year old. I pushed a car across the gym parking lot at 6 months pregnant! And yes, I do mean “train”, not “work out”. Train for what, you ask? Life. Donovan helps me train to live my best physical life. I returned to Donovan last year after a kickboxing and cardio jaunt, taking a break from being a cardio queen. Six to eight hours a week of cardio had left me tired and bored with an injured knee and foot. It was getting me nowhere! I started partner-training with Donovan (another secret to success in the gym – have an accountability partner) and hit a much better groove.

At the beginning of this year, I switched over to small group training with Donovan and three other women. We work on our individual goals in a group setting while providing support and motivation for each other. Our training sessions provide stress relief (slamming a tractor tire with a sledge hammer will do that), muscle building, and camaraderie.

While the numbers on the scale don’t move much, other goals have taken priority. I’m stronger than I have ever been (I can deadlift more than my body weight!).  I have more energy, my knee and foot no longer hurt.  I can keep with my kids.  My health numbers (blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol etc.) are fabulous.

And, last but not least, a funny thing happened that I didn’t expect… I have always associated having body confidence with attaining a big weight loss. This last year of training with Donovan has changed my mind on that. I discovered that when I’m training, and I’m stronger, I’m more the person I’m meant to be. I no longer associate body image with a clothing size. I’m currently in best shape, both mentally and physically, that I’ve probably ever been. The journey isn’t over, but I can finally call it a success.



Squat (Heavy)

5 x 2 @ 80% (400#)


60k x 4

90k x 2

140k x 1

160k x 1


Front Squat

4 x 5


3 x 8


Bench (Reps)

1 x 8 @ 70% (220)


135 x 8

185 x 3

205 x 1


B. Incline 6 x 8

50 x 2 x 8

60 x 2 x 8

70 x 2 x 8

B2. F.E. Pushups 6 x 15

B3. T-Row 6 x 15 @ 135


C. Suspended Rev. Fly 2 x 12

C2. Hanging leg drops 2 x 10
*Death by Chest

Tempo Flys 2 x 15

Elevated Tempo Pushups w/ pulse 2 x failure

*After this finisher chest workout, I was like…





Deadlift (explosion)

8 x 3 @ 60% (360)

B.Rack Pulls

315 x 8

385 x 2 x 5

C. BB Hip Press 2 x 12-15

225 x 12

315 x 15

Accessory Day

Shoulder Press 5-4-3-2-1-2-3-4-5
Weighted Pullups 5-4-3-2-1-2-3-4-5

B.DB Preacher Curl 3×12-15

B2 Rear Delt Swings 3×35

B3.DB Bench 3×8

C. Hammer Curl 3×10-12

C2. lateral Raises 3 x 12

C3. Lat Pulldown 2 x 15

C4. Triceps 2 x 20




I’m always training for the next competition, no matter when it is. Nearly 3 months after my latest  performance at the UPA Midwest Championship in Iowa, hitting an all-time high 1399 total (SQ-501 (PR)/B-314(PR)/D-584), I’ve gotten back the momentum to carry into the next meet. I had such a positive experience doing the UPA meet (my first in that federation) that I was going to go back in August. Until I found out Matt Houser ( a good friend of mine and one of the world’s best benchers) is going to host another meet at our gym here in Bloomington, IL. So I started my new training cycle this week using THE CUBE. I’ve used THE CUBE to get ready for the UPA meet and had amazing results. So, why not do it again?!?

Week 1- THE CUBE

Squat (Rep Day)
1×8 @ 70% of 1rm (500lbs)

135 x 5

225 x 5

315 x 1

335 x 1


*Front Squat

135 x 5

165 x 5

170 x 5


3 x 15

*If you’ve seen me, which you will in my deadlift video, I”m very posterior dominant. So, my quads are going to be my weak point. So I’m using front squats as an accessory movement. Love these.

Bench (Explosion)

8 x 3 @ 60% of 1RM (314)

**B. Incline DB Bench

70 x 2 x 8

60 x 3 x 8

B2. Foot Elevated Pushups (decline)

5 x 10-20

B3.T-“Bar” Rows

5 x 10-12

**Okay, so I made an attempt to do this Diesel Crew chest workout that Smitty wrote up. It was originally for 8 sets, but time and conditioning wasn’t going to let that happened. Needless to say bench is my weakest lift. I was taking 3-5 minute rest periods in between each set. It was insane. But I liked it. I think I’ll use this every week and work up to 8 sets or keep it at 5 and increase the weight. Either way, gainz are coming.



Deads (Heavy)

***5 x 2 @80% of 1RM (600)


165 X 10

225 X 3

345 X 1

405 X 1

425 X 1

Work set: 480 X 5 X 2

***I chose to go off of my last (meet) PR @ 600, which I didn’t do the last time I did THE CUBE because the last meet I did before January was in October ’13. That was a long fucking time ago and I had no idea where I was numbers wise. Not to mention I decided to move up to the 198 class so I was training with a “bigger” body for 2  training cycles. However, my training is closer to my previous meet and my glutes and hams are feeling better and fuller. But fuck this was heavy.

B. Snatch grip RDL

225 x 2 x 12 (no straps)

C. Band Resisted Lat Pull Downs

2 x 20

C2. Abs

2 x 15


Accessory Day


A.Strict Press

4 x 6-8 @ 105#

A2. Underhand BB Row

4 x 10-12 @ 155#


B.Bench Supported Rear Fly (straight arm to hid the rear delts, traps, and all dat good shit)

4 x 15 @ 15-25#

B2. Preacher Curl

4 x 12 @ 30#