becoming infinite

always learning. always growing. always lifting heavy things.

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10 weeks out and sending a 9

up and down week, training-wise. if i could compete in accessory work i would own so many records. sadly, i compete in three lifts, and one of them (my squat, what else?) is currently a mess.

but today we hit projected second attempts on squat for three singles, and 240# came up like buttah. we widened my stance pretty considerably and it helped me feel like i could really sit down into the hole, rather than needing to hinge back. so that was exciting, and a pretty big relief too.

we hit second attempts on bench for 3×1 as well, but we were in a hurry because my coach had a 4pm client so there was maybe a minute rest between each. my first 135# came up slow but fine, second didn’t even budge off my chest, and third was a grind. right now it looks like i’ll open at 57.5kg/126# and take either 60kg/132# or 62.5kg/137# for my second. i think when i’m well-rested i should be able to bury 62.5, but we’ll see how the next few weeks pan out!

and then the girl and i went for a little friday night indoor climbing fun. i warmed up on a 6 and a 7, and then jumped to an easy 9. and while it was definitely a light 9, i sent it and was super stoked! i’ve (a) never sent a 9 before, and (b) not climbed since…november? then i went and climbed two other routes – an 8 and a 9 – and now my forearms are falling off. but we had so much fun. a good friend of ours works at the wall and caught us all night. after having spent the last four weeks with our relationship in so much flux and stress, it just felt incredible to hang out and be silly and have fun.


this route was really fun to climb. i’m also really excited that my calf does this, because it’s kind of muscle-y and neat.

Week 4 of training continues tomorrow with tons of back, shoulder, and chest work. i have to get cranking on my El Paso presentation (the paper from which also just got accepted to a conference in LA…more on that later!) and some exam things for students.

here’s to a great weekend!



doing the thing.

sometimes relationships get rocky. even when you really love the person and they truly love you, and you both believe in one another and your abilities to make each other happy…shit still happens. and right now i’m with somebody who i really care about and with whom i’m willing to work through the shit.

the last month has been difficult for both of us. i went for about a week only sleeping 2-3 hours a night; i dropped nearly an entire weight class in ten days. we’re still fumbling; we’re nowhere near the couple we were. but we’re working and working it out.

and last night we spent an hour together doing what we do best: goofing around. we did a metcon (which i will discuss no further because i detest conditioning workouts!) and then hijacked a vacant wallyball court to do some acro and other yoga fun.

(if you’re just tuning in, the brick-shaped one on the left is yours truly. the very cute one in the orange is my yoga partner/thai food cohort/snuggle buddy/girlfriend.)

i wish i had the time and patience and general electronics knowledge to splice and cobble together all of my favorite snippets. we took about 20 minutes of video, and my favorite parts are where one of us bites the dust and we end up in a laughing heap of silliness.

but i did capture this image, because we both love being upside down:




things are far from perfect. we’re hanging on because we believe it’s right. because even though everything seems mixed up and sad right now, when we see each other it all feels okay. and last night was good. i’m lucky to be in a relationship where the “good” is so good it makes you want to work through the not-so-good.


happy hump day, everyone.



meet prep: 11 weeks out.

we’re nearing the end of our first block of training. yesterday marked the beginning of Week 3; after Week 4 we’ll switch to a new block. since the reemergence of my appetite i’ve been feeling more comfortable with bigger weights (imagine that!) and not as frustrated.

monday we had 12×1 of our final bench warm-up. i hit 120# for all of my singles and they were smoke city. ideally i would like to open at 60kg (132#) on meet day, but i’m okay with opening at 57.5kg (126#) as well. we’re still far enough out that i can continue to plan and strategize!

but then we had 3×10 pause squats. my training partner is a former collegiate soccer player who then started CrossFit after graduation. she owns me in anything high-rep. i, on the other hand, am a tubby powerlifter who considers sets of five cardio conditioning.

we both did 135# for all of our working sets and i was straight f*cked up for three days. i literally got on my yoga mat at 5am on tuesday and thought to myself, “i can’t bend my knees so maybe i can just…freefall down to the floor…”

then yesterday we got to do something i’ve been waiting for for quite some time: we got to pull heavy! i worked up to my approximate opener weight (275# in the photo; will open at either 125kg/276# or 127.5kg/281#) for three speedy singles, then did 225# 3×3 with pauses at the knee. it was great to pull heavy again, and to be back pulling conventional too. i had good bar speed – especially for me, the world’s slowest lifter – and just need to focus on cranking my shoulders down.

275 pull january 2015

and then for fun we did a widowmaker on bench – video here! 75% of final competition warm-up, which had me right at 95#. the final rep was so long i wasn’t sure i would come out of it. and inb4 CHEATER ARCH. don’t hate on lumbar flexibility. brandon lilly even complimented it. so there.


today we did accessory work, and i teach yoga for 2.5 hours tomorrow for some good ole active recovery. things feel good; a little beat up, but strong. excited to smoke the end of this training block and get going on the next one!


change and things.

life is crazy. busy and stressful and insane and wonderful.

the semester has started; i’m teaching two sophomore classes. the faculty member i’m working under for one of them is a lot of fun and super laid-back. my adviser is on sabbatical this term so while i miss her intensely, she has gifted me her office as an office/study space in her absence. and it’s a beautiful thing.

my seizures have been out. of. control. these exams need to be over so they’ll hopefully settle down.

i moved. i’m sharing a house with three other people. i’m a 5-minute walk from my office and a 3-minute walk from a coffee shop, a fro-yo place, and a liquor store. aka i have moved to heaven.


10394511_10101746354408565_8498642638783457684_ni bought a bike. she’s fun.

i squat 275 with wraps last week. and then two days later i pulled 285 for six triples. i’m competing in two weeks, just for shits and giggles, and then our big meet is in december. if i can cut to a 56kg and not lose any strength i can put a serious scare in the national deadlift record.

i’m seeing someone. and it’s fucking spectacular. we’ve known one another for a few years, peripherally, and we started hanging out this summer. she’s somethin’. it’s a new relationship but i’ve got a good feeling about it. it’s relaxed. i laugh more with her than with anybody, outside of maybe my college best friend. we take things one day at a time. and today, things are awesome. hopefully tomorrow they will be, too.

my first qualifying exam is in 19 days. it’s my non-area exam but it has been eating up all of my study time lately. i think i’ll be fine. i have tons of outlines, i just need to commit them to something of a working narrative in my memory. then once that’s over i have exactly one month until my 8 hours of area exams.

this is a hurdle, a rite of passage. i’ll do well, but not without some tears and fits and  lot of caffeine, i’m sure.

this blog…i don’t know what i want to do with it. i have a new phone and i make training videos a lot now. i want to make a training-specific blog, especially now that i’m getting my technique de-bugged and starting to get more confident in my lifts.

we’ll see. it’s a process. everything is a process. change is inevitable. sometimes it sucks but damn sometimes it’s awesome.

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catch-up and blog re-vamp!

the semester is nearly over and i’m finally starting to feel like myself again! this semester was a killer, and i spent most of it feeling decidedly “off.” but just in the past week, knowing that the end is near, i’ve felt myself relaxing back to my normal self. which is by no means “normal,” but we all know that already.

the next four weeks are going to be a bit of an experiment, and i think i’ll use this blog to document it. here’s the deal:

my body responds really well to high-volume training. in a meet prep cycle that’s not really an advisable method – aka you need to be working under heavy workloads getting towards your 1RM – but i’m in my off-season now so my coach and i are experimenting with my training.

i have three major weaknesses, physically: my middle back, my hamstrings, and my anterior delts/shoulders overall. i also have a summer schedule looming, which means no class, studying for quals, and teaching yoga at the gym 5 times a week.

which led to the development of my next training cycle: Shit Ton of Volume (STV), Phase 1.

the general gist is this: i’ll lift 4 days a week. one of those days will be a single session with my coach; the other 3 will be double sessions – major lift (squat, push press, or bench) in the morning with one or two accessory movements, and then opposite muscle group accessory work in the afternoon. (i.e. if i push press  in the morning i’ll do lower body accessory work in the afternoon). on top of that, twice a week i’ll be getting in a sprint cycle – 4-6 round of 30 seconds max effort followed by 2 minutes of rest. it doesn’t always have to be running sprints, but i’d like them to be at least once a week.

the goals are to increase my posterior chain strength and power, grow my quads some more, and grow some caps (shoulders), all while hopefully leaning me out a bit too.

i took a bunch of measurements this morning as a baseline, and at the end of 4 weeks/Phase 1, i’ll re-measure and see how everything shook out!

also, yes i competed a few weeks ago. i’ll spare you a long update; my PL page is updated with numbers, and here’s a picture to tide you over!

Georgetown 215gotta love dat lifting face!

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accessorize yo’self!

today was my first training day following my coach’s written program. initial reaction: holy volume!

as much as i love my Big Three, accessory work is where it’s at as far as nailing down and hammering out weaknesses. and this program has a ton of accessory work.

my main lift today was bench:

2×5 open bar
1×5 @ 65#
1×3 @ 85#
4×8 @ 95#
1×8 @ 100#

my working rep scheme was 5×8. the first four sets felt good – solid but by the eighth rep i was definitely working to keep my form – so i bumped up in weight for the last set. i have the same rep scheme next week, so i’ll start right in at 100# and see what happens.

then it was accessory work central: cable rows, pull-ups, and face pulls to get my upper back; incline DB bench press and skullcrushers to work “bench” muscles; some ab work at the end because i need to do core work every day i train. everything was in sets of 15 except the pull-ups, which were 10×2 with 45s rest between sets.

i am 100% beat up. but very very excited to see where this brings be in the next few months!

Photo 107awkward angle, awkward lighting, and super awkward face!!

P:GK continues on. having diet soda in the house has helped me not panic when i get a craving for something sweet. i also just need to be better about hydration in general (this is a life issue for me haha – i’m terrible about drinking water outside of the gym!), so that’s the next thing on my list.

once classes go into full swing next week, i’m going to have to come up with some ideas for easily-portable keto meals. if any of y’all have some tried and true ideas, lay ’em on me!

it has warmed up considerably in lexington, although it’s super grey and rainy today. i’m still missing my southern florida heat, but if my 5-year plan pans out the way i hope, i’ll be down there permanently before long!

happy weekend everyone!