Monthly Archives: June 2012

Friday Failboat 6

At a 24 Hour Fitness, my friend Josh and I get in a pretty decent barbell workout. We press, do some kind of oly lift (on iron plates no less, I power snatched, Josh did a complex of power clean, front squat, push press), and back squat. We’re just two guys doing barbell lifts. We’re just two guys in a sea of virgins who can’t incline bench without lifting their hips off the bench and who start their workouts doing synchronized dumbbell rows while facing each other. A guy takes his girlfriend through his leg routine, from which barbell squats are completely absent. None of this should be surprising. This is all perfectly normal, perfectly healthy. It’s called going to the gym. Real athletes don’t go to 24 Hour Fitness.

This lady with too much rouge and eye shadow and a disproportionate amount of lower belly fat which is probably related to a lifestyle of too much caffeine and not enough sleep appears. Which is fine. I’m not saying she has to be pretty. I’m just saying she’s a character in this story.

There are four pairs in this story.

There is me and Josh. Josh and I met over livejournal while trolling a community which was supposedly focused on going to the gym except only like six people in the community actually lifted. Everyone else had a thyroid problem or was injured or some bullshit and just talked about lifting. Josh offered me money to train him, which I scoffed at and declined and we met up IRL and became training buddies. Now one of our favorite past times is to lift, buy each other dinner, and go take a walk at a nearby park to catch some vitamin D. Strong no homo.

There is the guy taking his girlfriend through his leg routine. He makes a real big fucking deal out of doing lunges in the Smith rack. I hope they’re happy with each other, because I’d have fucking killed myself three years ago if I were him.

There are the guys who start their workout doing synchronized dumbbell rows. I can’t tell if they’re joking. Doesn’t matter if they are. They ask Josh if he’s done using a bench for dumbbell benching because they want to start their next set together. I wonder if they are JO buddies. Have you guys heard of JO buddies? You can find ads for this on Craigslist. Some guys just want to be in a room with another guy to jerk off together. They don’t want to touch the other guy. They just want someone to jerk off with. It’s not gay, though the appearance of their JO partner is very specific and important. But there is no gay stuff allowed. Just two dudes sitting next to each other, but not close enough to touch, jerking off.

Then there are these two adonises, sandy-haired and tan, wearing tanktops and basketball shorts, with a lifetime of curls and front raises behind them. They’re not huge but they’re about as jacked as you could possibly be at 165lbs. I hate everything about them, because I am not them. They probably lost their virginity when they were 14 (feel free to guess how old I was when I lost mine).

So we come back to Cake-face Katrina. She decides she wants to do Smith machine squats, which, again, is fine. This is what you do at the gym. What the fuck else would it be there for? But the guy showing his girlfriend his leg routine neglected to take the 45lbs plates off and she doesn’t have the upper body strength to do so.

She has to make a decision. Who does she ask for help?

Can’t ask the guy doing his leg routine. He’s busy chastising the girlfriend for not doing more reps. Can’t ask the guys doing synchronized dumbbell rows – they’re JO buddies. Don’t really want to get between that kind of friendship. She looks at us, me with an unkempt excuse of an afro with a raincloud following me everywhere I go, Josh who’s favorite past-time is reading Bukowski at bars, thinks to herself, “Do you even lift?” and immediately and desperately avoids eye contact. Then she turns to the two Roman sculptures who do a lot of curls and tri extensions and giggles, hey, could you two strapping young gents help a lady out? They come over and unload all 90lbs of 45lbs plates from the Smith machine for her.

Later she sees me squatting my last set at 380lbs for my volume day and thinks I’m a try-hard asshole. Not the guys who synchronized their db rows together and will later share a stall in the men’s room to jerk off together. Not the guy trying to impress his no-lifting girlfriend with a bunch of lunges and Smith machine squats. Not the narcissistic pieces of shit who bleach their hair and workout in Hollister tanks while “subtly” flexing their tris in the mirror. She thinks the guy enjoying his hobby is the asshole.

* * *

Puke writes:

I wonder if he blogged about what he saw of you, I’ll try and find it.

Look in the Animal Pak training logs.

Alphanitis writes:

Went and visited my uncle recently. He said I have some good size but he asked why I’m not cut. Good. I tell all of my friends I lift for function, they ask why don’t I try to get jacked, what they don’t know is that I secretly do rear delt raises and db flies and shrugs till I almost drop the weight on my toes. So I AM trying to get jacked but no one can tell. Good

Saw my dad for father’s day, bought him dinner. Before we leave for dinner he asks me, “Are you still exercising?”

My fucking dad literally asked me, do you even lift?

Chris E writes:

Brent do you think in an alternative universe there is a version of you and you’re extremely huge and jacked? I’d like to think so.

There’s probably about twenty different alternate universes where I’ve already fucking killed myself. There’s an alternate universe where I’m not allergic to cats and have three. In that alternative universe, those three cats will merrily dine on my face after I die alone in my apartment.

Friday Failboat 5

First of all – WHO TRAINS AT GOLD’S GYM?

Terrible writes:

Been waiting forever for a post, then got too busy to check –

I just moved to Plano from Kansas City a couple weeks ago. I live just south of Frisco on Preston (just into Plano), am now lifting at the Plano Gold’s on Park and Preston.

I know a few of youse guys on here live in the DFW area – if there is some interest in meeting up, I’ll post up my email address.

The Gold’s has a deadlift bar jack, which is fucking phenomenal.

PS, I have absurdly long legs and no calves, so that will be totes cool.

BRB choosing the least popular, least prevalent globo gym in the DFW area. The Gold’s there is pretty OK, I can’t bench there thanks to being a fucking manlet. A meet up sounds lovely. I’ll pay a drop-in fee or vice versa. We should all get together and have a great fucking time. Post your email or add me on fb and we can exchange digits. Pics or GTFO.

I’ve been training at 24 Hour Fitness for some of my pressing/squatting and bodybuilding. It works out pretty well. When my time management is bad (all the time) I end up doing the stuff that matters in the afternoon, go to work, then bodybuild and circle jerk in the gym after. Or, if I don’t feel like driving half an hour to the gym and I’m not training the oly lifts, you can find me among the crowd at 24 Hour Fitness, which is composed primarily of middled-aged guys on TRT, really jacked younger guys with great stacks, guys who don’t even lift, and redditors from /r/fitness pretending to do Starting Strength. If you actually do find me in this crowd, please talk to me. I’m probably about to kill myself.

When I go after work, the gym’s much less crowded. Which is great because it means I’m guaranteed to not have to wait for the squat rack. But it also means that everyone else in the gym is acutely aware of what the other 4 people are doing.

Tuesday night, I end up at 24 Hour Fitness to do front squats, weighted pull ups, curls, rear delt flyes, and seated calf raises. Perfectly normal, perfectly healthy workout. Get dat quad pump, build dem baby calves into muscular bulls, make dem rear delts POP. I’m just herpderping around, working on my physique.

In comes three pretty jacked people, a guy and lady – who is more muscular than me – following the lead of someone I can only guess to be an aspiring IFBB pro. They proceed to go through a giant set of the machine lat row, chest-supported rows, and various lat pull downs. They time their rest periods to roughly 30-60 seconds. The IFBB-to-be guy urges them on with quiet determination.

“How much should I do on this next set?”

“More weight.”

“What do you think, maybe another 25lbs?”

“More weight. Go.”

And they hammer out some really great-looking sets for their upper back. It’s like watching Delta Force clear a shooting house in seven seconds. Beautifully efficient. Boner-inspiring. Makes me wish I was one of them. But I’ll never be one of them. Because I was in JROTC in high school. Because I’m a 5’5″ manlet and don’t have the aesthetics.

I front squat my topset for the night at 315lbs (having back squat 380lbs for a cumulative total of 16 reps the day before), and the IFBB-to-be watches with complete disinterest. Do you want to know why? Because he front squats 315lbs for 10 just to get some blood flow into his VMO. Does it after he pre-exhausts with some sets of 20 on the leg extension machine. Then finishes up with 1k lbs+ leg presses. Then he injects equipose into his vastus lateralis.

They finish their workout in about forty minutes. You guys realize that beyond this point, the testosterone production from lifting weights peaks and your body starts to flood with cortisol, right? Don’t kill your gains. Afterwards they all head up to the cardio floor to get in some time in the fat-burning target heart zone.

Relieved that I now have the weights to myself, and that the IFBB-to-be won’t be there to be completely unimpressed with everything I do, I begin in earnest my final circuit for the night – rear delt flyes, seated calf raises, and barbell curls. I am pretty spent from the earlier workout I had, working, and now coming to the end of this workout, so my curls get pretty sloppy. I over-extend my lumbar, I use hip extension to aid in the concentric portion of the lift. Look man – I’m tired. I just wanted to be done. So I finish up my last ugly set of curls. Then I examine myself in the mirror – not because I’m happy with my pump. My internal monologue is basically –

Look at you. You’re disgusting. PATHETIC. FILTHY.

And then I unrack my weights. As I do so, I look up to the second floor and realize the IFBB-to-be was watching everything. My doyouevenlift.jpg curling technique, my blatant self-examination in the mirror, he saw everything. He shakes his head, sitting on the throne that is the ergonomic stretching contraption, and leaves to meet his trainees on their treadmills to tell them about the fucking amateur Asian kid with baby calves.

This is the Friday failboat.

AngryRunner writes:

I miss you. Re-found your blog after an internet hiatus.

Hey man. I’m glad you’re still around and back to training. Hope you’ve been well, we should catch up.

Friday Failboat 4

This thing on?


Hey guys. It’s Brent. How have you been?

Have you ever been in a band that met pretty regularly? Then one by one the band members get jobs and girlfriends and show up for practice less and less, the gigs come fewer and farther between, and eventually everyone just forgets about the project altogether? And then one day you’re home alone, nothing to do, and happen to wander into the garage where everyone used to play and it’s like nothing’s ever changed, there’s the mic stand in the middle of the cement floor, there’s the drum stand collecting dust?

This is not what coming back to a blog is like.

Coming back to a blog is like getting out of a toxic relationship, deciding you miss it too much, and then crawling back to it on your hands and knees, realizing that you’re nothing without it.

Is this the Friday failboat?

* * *

It could also just be the subject matter, maybe I’m doing this all wrong.

I’ve started using Prilepin’s chart as a guideline for my training, using a “heavy” volume day and a less stressful training load to hit 1-3rms. So still following a Texas Method type approach, just with a little more variation. I’ve also started doing calf raises on a pretty regular basis. How do you guys feel about bodybuilding?

I’ve always pretended to NOT care about my calves. When I first started lifting, weighing all of 105lbs, I didn’t squat. I benched on a home setup with a 15lbs bar and plastic weights on a bench that would collapse under 225lbs. Then I did military presses. Then I did curls. Then I did french presses. Eventually I started sumo deadlifting, because this was the first deadlift article I found on the internet (supposedly written by Louie Simmons in 1999). Eventually I started squatting, because my dad said, “Hey man, you’re looking a lot better, but your upper body’s all jacked and your legs aren’t as muscular. So work your legs.”

Calves were never included in this. When I started oly lifting, I was like, well since I extend my ankles in the second pull maybe I’ll get some fucking calvular hypertrophy going. Hey guys, in case you were fucking wondering, it never happened.

So throughout my life, I’ve generally met mostly support about my lifting endeavors. Great squat man. Your traps are alright for your size. But every once in a while, there’s the haunting comment (other than, “do you even lift”), those are some tiny calves. And I pretend not to care, who fucking gives a shit, too busy banging out these goddamn CURLS son, but honestly? Honestly? Honestly? It crushes me. Every time. Doesn’t matter who it is.

Thus, not only have I been doing rear delt flyes on a regular basis – I’ve now added various calf raises into my routine, aiming for 2-3x a week.

I’m a 26 year old adult, flexing and extending his ankles on the seated calf extension machine or with the barbell on his back, because people making offhand comments about his physique make him feel the same way an adolescent girl feels when people make comments about her weight.

Is this the Friday failboat?

* * *

I can’t remember making friends outside of the gym. All of my friendships which have lasted longer than two weeks have been people I’ve met through a common interest of lifting weights, or 70s big. Most people who understand what having friends is like would view this as sad. I’m done with sad. Maybe this is a fucking plus. Maybe every time someone texts me it can be about meeting up to train. Maybe it can be about eating high-protein foods. Maybe it can be semi-nudes in various bodybuilding poses, and nothing would be homo about it. It’d be perfectly normal. Perfectly healthy.

Is this the Friday failboat?

I posted a thread in /r/weightroom a few days ago hoping to meet people to lift with. 250+ responses, only 3 of whom are in DFW.

Is this the Friday failboat?

Asked two of those three people if they’d like to lift tomorrow. One declined because of his band or some other outlandish excuse, I should have told him if he didn’t want to hang out with me he could just tell me and I wouldn’t take it personal, I’m a fucking adult, but he doesn’t have to come up with some highly unlikely story just to get out of hanging out. The other guy basically said no.

Is this the Friday failboat?

I joined Fitocracy.

Is this the Friday failboat?

Hey guys. Brent here. This is my life as of tonight.

Is this the Friday failboat?