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My Gym 

So I walk in the gym this morning at 0600 just like any other morning. My workout partner is actually one of my bosses, for lack of better terms. While he’s still in the locker room getting ready, I discovered the crime scene of what was left of our work weight room. Now let me take a slight step back……This weight room was nothing more than some used equipment and nasty carpet and mismatched weights a few years back. No one used it. Can couple years ago we started using the gym and got permission to make improvements. We went big, but it took a minute to get there. When I say big we want a power rack and bench to go with it. We did the typical thing and bid for it and finally got approval. We went with Rogue and have never been happier. Solid equipment and the bench is heavy and sturdy. From there we got new floors, mainly because it flooded, but it worked in our favor. Next thing you know people are using their own money to donate equipment and more and more people are showing up and become invested in the gym.

Back to my original start of the blog. I walk into the weight room and see some funky looking contraption involving a wooded stretch stick and four EliteFTS bands. It looked downright stupid. I couldn’t fathom why some asshat would be doing with it. And then one of our mirrors were broken behind the dumbbells. Wasn’t the first mirror ever broken in there, but they didn’t bother to clean it all up. My point behind this gripe is the thought and effort a few of us put into this gym is not respected by the whole.

In the end this horrific scene was a blessing. We were able to articulate that the dumbbells were not fitting the racks, and this was the cause of the broken mirror. So guess what….brand new dumbbells have been sent out for a bid. I get annoyed with some people from time to time about their care for the weight room, but in the end I can’t be happier with what we have. I have access to two other state of the art gyms and would rather lift in my 400 sq/ft dungeon with loud music and people yelling any day of the week.

Back at it

Welcome back. I took a year off and completed forgot about my attempt to make weekly/daily/whenever blog posts.

I am a year into heavy lifting 4-5 days a weeks and a failed attempt at my first Men’s Physique Compitition. I say I failed because I didn’t compete after actually attempting the eating right portion of the training. The main reason I didn’t do it was because I got injured. I had slightly agitated by left should in training and then royally jacked it up being an idiot on a 4-wheeler. This caused me to take a month off and I got weak and I got slightly heavier. Haha, ok my pants got tighter. I came back slow but over time got stronger. I maxed out on bench the other day at 345lbs weighing in at 212. My squat is still crappy. I don’t get it. I do legs three times a week, same as I do upper body. The damn things don’t grow.

Today was low box squats. Go heavy for 6 sets of 3. I’m ass to grass and pushing weight I can handle for 3 reps. I follow that with trap bar deadlifts and then finalize with stairs for cardio and to hit legs again. My legs are on fire, but they don’t grow. I am forever going to be the guy people look at and say, “Don’t skip leg day.” You know what those people can come lift with me any day of the week and I’ll show them I put forth the effort most don’t.

OK rant over. Happy Lifting. Hopefully I can make this blog thing work.

Feel free to follow me on instagram at hhatley28

Stronger In A Week

Four straight days with no days off of pure heavy lifting. I had to squeeze a week worth of lifting into four days because of my upcoming beach vacation. I’m sure Westside Barbell does not recommend four days straight, but it had to be done. We started with Heavy Legs using EliteFTS orange bands to add some resistance and a home-made box to make things that much more horrible. Louie Simmons recommended doing more sets with less reps (8 sets of 3reps). I was  not expecting this to be as rough as it actually was. I was able to get 265 and finished all my sets and reps, but I was dripping wet and damn near spent. Coach said it should take one hour no more, which was highly stressed. I didn’t believe him.

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EliteFTS Orange Bands and homemade box 

It was then on to superseding straight legged deadlifts and walking weighted lunges. I was able to complete the supersets, but my body did not want to cooperate. Everything from the waste down was now hurting, in a good way. And that was day one. It took 45 minutes of pure hell and I squatted 2120lbs, not including the orange bands.

I woke up the next morning at my usual time, 0415, and stumbled to the bathroom. I hurt in areas that I haven’t in a good while. Now I will be honest, I started lifting like every DBag out there and didn’t touch legs. I grew up and came to my senses and started hitting working on them past year or two (minus the times I was running like an idiot). So my legs are not as strong as I’d like, but they will be. With that being said I was excited for doing a heavy upper day. It was similar to lower except we didn’t use bands. It was old school bench press with a 8 set/3 rep count. It was hard and scary. We loaded the bar with 275 and I am still shocked we made it through. There was no assistance from the coach, I pushed every bit of the iron up on my own. After the main workout we hit the secondary and did two superset workouts. The first being close grip incline press and wide grip pull downs. Incline has always been my “go-to” lift. It has been my strongest and this day was no exception. The second superset was cable face-pulls and barbell rows. I was able to complete them all and walked out of that gym not being able to lift a damn thing, including my arms.

The last two days we ventured into Westside’s dynamic workout. Everything was the same as above, except there wasn’t as much weight. Instead we were aiming for explosive lifts. We used EliteFTS red and orange bands for squats and bench and small green bands for deadlifts. Without going into complete detail of every lift, the bands added a touch of

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Coach in the white tank. Me on the bench.

humility to the lift. They make you aware of the fact that you HAVE to respect the weight and the form required to lift it. If you jacked around and tried to do a “bounce off the chest,” the bands would snap your arms/body back inline and could hurt you if not prepared. The last two days consist of sore muscles being shocked again by explosive pushes and pulls. It’s like we broke down our muscles and as soon as they started to heal we broke them down again.

 

My goal is to push the limits each week and increase my lifts by 10lbs per week. I feel this is a reasonable goal, for at least a few weeks. At the end of a fun strenuous week, I will enjoy my week at the beach. Happy lifting.

 

 

In the Beginning

This is my first time attempting a blog. I have thought about starting a fitness/personal journal for some time…so be nice.

IMG_0165I started experimenting with lifting weights around 2004 right after I applied at the police academy. I grew up as an average skinny kid from the suburbs. Not the most athletic, but not the least. The only thing I knew about lifting was what I learned in the family garage with the old concrete filled plastic covered weights. I graduated from the Memphis Police Regional Academy in 2005 and spent the better part of my career working midnights. My first son was born in 2008 and it was time to swap to Day Shift and be “normal.” My co-worker and I decided to start going to the City Athletic Club. He knew more than I but it was pretty much the basic 3 sets of 8 and lots of weight. My first day was an embarrassment. I could barely lift 135, and I doubt I actually lifted it solo. In a nut shell and not to go through too much history, I was a weak little bitch that inspired to be the “Big guy.” I wanted the tight sleeved police uniform and to be intimidating. So throughout the past 8 years I have been in and out of the weight room and had major gains and set backs. Started the PD at 170ish soaking wet and today I weigh 205 lb.
In the summer of 2013 I was training for a 1/2 marathon and staying in shape for FBI PFT qualifications. I was going to be a FED and the half was on my bucket list. Melissa and I trained together and ran the Greenline Half in October 2015. There was no weight training, only push-ups and sit-ups. I was what you would call “Skinny-Fat.” I had some muscle from past training but nothing worth looking at in a bathing suit. It wasn’t until after the half that I started back training with my co-worker, who we will now call COACH.IMG_8023 (1).jpg

Well Coach encouraged me to get back into lifting and incorporate  sprints into my fitness regime, oppose to distance running. He said this would better my chances at passing the PFT. I started this in November and did light weight. I was nervous that heavy weight would bulk me up and possibly injure me. I was listening to too many runners. Getting back in the weights made me “meathead ready” all over again. I loved it. We lifted in a small Police weight room with weight older than me. Long story short the PFT never happened unfortunately. With the PFT out of the picture I focused on getting strong and big. I kept daily logs ,and our little group seemed like a secret society. We only talked about how much we lifted and how much we can lift the next week. After the first of the year we focused our attention onto nutrition. This was completely strange to me. It was tough for me and I cheated way too much. But there were several times were I was strict. Coach and another female Officer in our group decided to sign up for their first bodybuilding competition. Their determination made me focus in on my diet even more. To be honest, I was completely jealous of them and regret not signing up for it. When Coach signed up I was about 3% of Body Fat behind him and I didn’t think I had the time to drop down to competition weight…I was wrong. I dropped to about 196 and had two upper abs. They did well in their first competition and brought home three trophies. Even though i didn’t compete, it felt like I had a hand in there awards.

It’s now the first of June, 2016 and the competition is about a month behind us. Coach now wants to go from body building to power lifting with a touch of body building. Meaning we lift heavy as shit and eat somewhat clean, this makes me happy. Yesterday was day one. Eight sets of 2 rep squats at 90% my max. I could barely walk today. Today was Day 2 and it was heavy upper body. We did 275 lbs eight times for three reps each. It felt awesome to be able to lift that much weight with no help. It feels good to be the strong guy again. And it feels even better to have your wife send you a before (2008) and after (2016) picture on the day you start back doing powerlifting. Coach makes a hell of a plan, but a lot of the credit comes from him studying Westside Barbell (Louie Simmons). This is the start of my journey to be the bigger and stronger than  I’ve ever been.img_0361CJAL4327