HB Recap

Guess the quote:
“I simply gave (them) a nudge out of the door.”

Time to recap our trip to Huntington Beach, CA for a barbell seminar this past weekend.

On Friday night Welbourn had our little crew over for dinner. “Little crew” is ironic because Johnny Pain weighs over 240, my buddy Josh is 235, Rip is at or a bit below 225, and I am at least 225. Not to mention Welbourn is almost 6’6″, 300 pounds. I caught a little bit of hell for being “the runt of the group”.

Me (225), JP (240+), and Josh (235).

Me (225), JP (240+), and Josh (235).



JP and I usually have one thing on our mind during these seminars: food. It had been a few hours since we got into town (we went from the airport to the hotel, then to the gym, then to a store, then off to Welbourn’s), and I was seriously worried about JP’s well being. A guy who is trying to get yoked can’t go that long without eating; he was getting 90’s small before my eyes. I assured him that “Welbourn will make us a 70’s Big worthy meal, just you wait.” I tried to make myself believe it. Not for my sake, but for JP.

Welbourn delivered:

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Grass-fed beef



This wasn’t the first time I had met Welbourn, but the first time I got to hang around him for more than a few minutes. Aside from being a behemoth, he is both highly intelligent and damn funny. John told us some amusing stories from his time in the NFL and is friends with a lot of 70’s Big football players. You’ll here more about Welbourn in the coming weeks, especially if he keeps cooking like this:

Cooked meat. Note the wine in the background.

Cooked meat. Note the wine in the background.



The seminar itself went well. There was the usual collection of skinny fellas that need to gain >30 pounds, and I hope we reached some of them. Matt, I hope to see you in Wichita Falls next summer. In the mean time, be a good boy and drink your milk.

There was someone at the seminar who was actually quite large. After about an hour into the lecture on Saturday morning, a giant walked in wearing all black, short shorts, and combat boots. He was probably 6””””””””””””””””5″, 265 (somebody verify this for me) with an estimated 12% bodyfat. The dude was huge. Pete bent down to fill out his registration, and I walked over, hit him on the shoulder and said, “What the hell are you doing here? You’re not a CrossFitter.” He looked at me and kinda laughed, but I was still genuinely curious. In any case, Pete was a large human being, and we later found out he plays rugby. He also had been eating a paleo type diet that unfortunately caused him to lose between 30 and 40 pounds — when you are that big, you are gonna have to eat something more than just “Paleo” to maintain get enough calories. In such a case, Welbourn recommends eating “Paleo” + milk. This should be substantial to maintain a given body mass, depending on the training.

Later that night (when Pete ordered two entrees at the restaurant), he was a bit malcontent about losing all of that muscle. I was glad to hear that he was on our side, because he can easily conquer several small villages.

JP and I were able to make a milk run to sustain our caloric needs during the (nearly) 10 hour-a-day seminar. Milk and eggnog did the trick.

I do not recommend the dulce de leche eggnog. At all.

I do not recommend the dulce de leche eggnog. At all.



This made us happy. Very much.

Lat spread, front double biceps, and the crab.

Lat spread, front double biceps, and the crab.



Drinking milk in groups becomes synchronized much like the menstrual cycles of female roommates:

It’s science.

It’s science.



Our pal Rachel was some how convinced to drive one of those silly little eco-friendly cars that resembles a go cart. Hilarity ensued.

I still don’t know how Josh fit into the back.

I still don’t know how Josh fit into the back.



Now, I don’t want you women thinking that some of you are allowed to be painstakingly skinny either. My pal Pooja got a head start by drinking milk with her coffee on Sunday morning.

Good girl.

Good girl.



In other news, I’m pretty confident that I convinced Sean and Ruth to compete in weightlifting. They both have comical amounts of potential in their athletic ability, and I can’t wait to hear about their competitive conquest. It’d be a shame to see that talent untapped, so hopefully I gave them a nudge out of the door.
You two are obligated to stay in touch.

Ruth and Sean: the weightlifting couple.

Ruth and Sean: the weightlifting couple.



This pictorial wouldn’t be satisfactory without the inclusion of Michael, our Danish friend who traveled all the way to California to attend the seminar. Mike is an all around cool dude, and we all hope to see him again.

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Juli, Michael, and I

We ate at Welbourn’s again on Sunday night, but we brought a smörgåsbord of stuff to eat from Trader Joes. After eating I was exhausted and some how managed to fall asleep on Welbourn’s couch when Predator was on tv, so I missed out on a lot of good story tellin’. Oh well. Thanks for the hospitality, John.

Well, it was another successful seminar. We always aim to educate and help as many people as we can. There is never enough time or space to mention everyone, but I’ll get a quick summary in:
Pete, send me your e-mail and stay in touch. Julie (not the one pictured above), let me know how getting stronger improves your Olympic lifts, and good luck at your next meet. Thomas, get your boobs problem situated and continue getting strong (and start thinking about how you would program this stuff). To everyone else, implement this material into your practice, never stop learning (we won’t), and remember…you’re never strong enough.

24 thoughts on “HB Recap

  1. Whoa, that””s a completely correct spelling of smörgåsbord! Do you have Swedish ancestry Justin? .. Would certainly explain the viking qualities of this site !-)

    I don’t mess around.

    –Justin

  2. I love the pools of blood around the meat – MAN = MEAT!

    oh and btw maybe Josh didn”t fit in the car and was just running really fast behind it – Squatting legs u”know?

  3. quick question, anyone else””s travel plans for thanksgiving fucking up their workout schedule?

    Enjoy the holiday. There is plenty of time to train after.

    –Justin

  4. Great write-up, this site is getting better by the day and provides a lot of support for the 90”s small guys. Tomorrow is the day of the pumpkin pie challenge. Can”t wait.

  5. @WannaBBurly – Workout-wise… sure. But, food-wise… it”s a gift from heaven. I get to sit in my favorite chair and just wait for food to fall in my lap.

  6. Started to brine my turkey this morning. I””m going to deep fry that sucker tomorrow! I””m also about to start prepping some side dishes and desserts.

    I believe the title quote is from, “Lord of the Rings – Fellowship of the Ring” said by Gandalf to Frodo.

    Correct on the quote. Maybe some day I will have a prize for this kind of thing.

    –Justin

  7. Great post.

    I”m doing the paleo+raw whole milk thing right now, actually.

    Weight gain is very steady, fat gain is MUCH more manageable than on a higher carb diet.

  8. Seems like you enjoyed your trip to CA and got through to more than a few people.
    Why would you not recommend visiting CA though? Curious….
    BTW, I”m not from CA, I live in New Jersey : )

  9. Winflex: I live in CA and there are many reasons to hate it here…

    The high cost on everything, the people (LA especially), the ridiculous politics, constant traffic everywhere, high concentration of douchbags wearing skin tight affliction shirts (living in new jersey you probably deal with that one)…

    There are many great people and things here however, you just have to take the good with the bad.

    The state is a mess politically and economically. More importantly there is a much higher ratio of dudes that are 90’s Small than anywhere else in the country.

    –Justin

  10. WannaBBurly,
    Yeah it”s messing mine up but I just like it was mentioned before, eating is a form of training. So with that in mind, I”m gonna train my ass off. I did a 20 rep squat yesterday with 225 lbs and figured that was a good way to kick off the Thanksgiving holiday with. I”m going to eat like a Afghan refugee and hit it hard next week. That”s all you can do.

    By the way, ROLL TIDE!!!

  11. Justin, I””ve been subscribing to the blog for a month or so now. Love the site. I just had to drop a comment since you have my friends and fellow trainers Ruth and Sean up today. I will attest they both do lift 70””s Big and regularly mock me for not being an adult male.

    I heard nothing but good stuff about the seminar and can””t wait until February when I””ll be at the new Starting Strength version in San Diego!

    Good to hear from you Marcus. I trust that you will take up my job of hassling them to focus on weightlifting. They were really good people.

    –Justin

  12. Don””t forget that California is actually two states rolled into one. Jefferson State is everything north of Sacramento. We have mountains, water, and a whole lot less people. Unfortunately, we””re governed by the jack@sses south of Sacramento.

    Folks up here are Corndog/PotPie Big … the food without the training.

    Love the site!

    I will give you that. I have been up in the area — my mom used to live in Napa. Real, real pretty area.

    –Justin

  13. Thanks Justin – these posts are great!

    I”m 5”11″, just hit 100kg, and failed 132.5kg 3×5 squats yesterday. It made me feet fat and weak. Though, coming back to 70sbig gives me new inspiration to keep eating! Thanks again mate.

  14. One of the few perks of going to a 24 hour globo gym. I will get my work out in tomorrow morning, then fuck up Thanksgiving: turkey, stuffing, stuffed mirliton, shrimp & eggplant casserole, baked macaroni, pecan pie, monkey bread, lots of liquor, and then getting my ass handed to me by my grandma in a couple of games of bourre (a cajun form of spades). Happy Thanksgiving. Eat like you mean it.

  15. I would like to second the notion of California being two states as I am from the northern half as well. We””re pretty rural in these parts and don””t take kindly to 90””s small douche bags from down south who steal our water… but that””s another story.
    I just wanted to mention that in case no one hear has head about it yet, Crossfit has just made itself even worse than it was, they fired Robb Wolf (and possibly Greg Everett too). Apparently, they dared to think for themselves and suggest that Crossfitters were not good weightlifters and the zone diet sucks.
    Robb””s Blog
    http://robbwolf.com/

    Jesco’s synopsis of the situation is not entirely accurate. Robb made his stance on the Zone Diet clear in his post. It was the HQ representative who claimed Robb’s intention was to shame the diet. Read and analyze it for yourself.

    –Justin

  16. Apologies for being inaccurate, I was trying to sum up the gist of what happened quickly. Robb said nothing about lifting but Greg Everett did. Well, like Justin says, read and decide for yourself. Thanks for the correction Justin.

  17. Not exaclty jealous of your trip to HB, but I would love to meet Welbourn, that guy is a monster. Definitley 70 sBig. Last time I was in HB there was clothes in the public toilet, and shit on the ground, pretty sick.
    Everyone ought to be getting wood for tomorrow. I just finished lifting, and am warming up for tomorrows eating. I just made 2 steaks, a plate of pasta with beef and cheese, plus 3 slices of meaty pizza. Good start.

  18. Thanks to Rip, Josh, Justin, JP, Juli, and Stef for an awesome seminar. Learned a ton of great information on technique for barbell lifts, some useful programming tips, and heard some hilarious comments…

    Wow, that grass-fed beef looks delicious…

    And Justin, I”m not sure if Matt is willing to do GOMAD right now, but he”s sure excited about training at Wichita Falls this summer.

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