Sunday, September 4, 2011


These are some updates for those who are hard-gainers. I went for a follow-up visit to monster doktor, and here are some tips he had for me. Of course, you should always seek the advice of a medical doktor, and I am in no way telling you what course of action to take. These are merely notes about the course of action I am taking. Your situation may differ and might require a different course of action.

  • Making your own protein shakes sounds great on paper, but there are a lot of logistics involved that can actually act as a deterrent for drinking them religiously. Also, they are not balanced nutrition and tend to be dairy rich. Rather, get some Nestle Boost high protein drinks or Ensure--drink 2-4 per day.
  • Drink at least 2 litres of water daily (8 glasses per day). The human body is over 70% water, so drink plenty of water. Do not drink caffeinated beverages-they speed up the metabolism
  • Eat every 2 hours, 6 times daily.
  • Eat 3 cups vegetables per day and 3 pieces of fruit per day at a minimum.
  • Take 1 vitamin/ 3 times daily with water. Use EV 24/7 for best results.
I would also like to add that going to a buffet like Golden Corral after work out is a cost-saving strategy. The food offered is a balanced mix of the food groups.

Also, to re-emphasize:
  • Rome was not built in a day. Take it day by day. Be consistent. Focus on the process.
  • If you can gain 1/2lb-1lb per week, then that is great progress.
  • Set a personal goal for your ideal weight, with the guidance of a doktor, of course. Mine is 200lb. So far I've gained 20lb. Remember, you can do it, and stick with it!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Admittedly, when I first got into this...I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, especially in regard to pacing myself, knowing my limitations, and listening to my body.  The hard lessons learned were the result of an injury, but it was a lesson learned, nonetheless. "That which does not kill me only makes me stronger."

These are some of the lessons I learned throughout this process:

  1. Create a realistic work out routine. The body needs time to recover from the last workout, and if you do go back to back days, then you probably did not get a good work out prior. If I do go back-to-back days, then I make sure to work muscle groups I did not work the previous day. 
  2. Focus on weaknesses and root them out systematically. For example, my bench press is weak. To remedy it I need to do more chest work/shoulder work, such as Swiss ball push-ups, dips, and front military presses (because my shoulders wobble too much during a bench press movement).
  3. Nurture strengths. Areas of excellence are not excellent enough. My strengths are the one-armed deadlift and the leg press. So I continually challenge myself and add more weight.
  4. Go until failure. For instance, we did Scott curls (aka, preacher curls) the other day until failure. I did leg presses until failure. Calve raises until failure. Bench presses until failure. Shrugs until failure. Upright rows until failure. You get the point. "Grow or Die," as Kubik says. Pain is weakness escaping the body.
  5. This is not going to be pretty. There will be a lot of embarrassment, sputtering, teeth-clenching, straining, aching, yelling, cussing, and general controlled mayhem. To make an omelet you have to break some eggs, as Lenin said.  "This is it. Fuck it. It is what it is."

Monday, July 11, 2011



I saw a monster doktor last Thursday, and he had some great advice for my whole weight gain regimen. (I am not a doctor. I am not giving YOU medical advice. Go see your own doctor, and follow his or her advice. If need be, get a second opinion. Use your fucking brain, etc.)

Firstly, I am up fourteen pounds since I started all of this. McCallum's shake, rice balls, and chankonabe are the culprits. The monster doktor told me that if I gain 1lb per week, then that would be 52lb per year. He also told me that when it comes to your ideal weight, your genetic background is a great reference. For instance, my father is about six foot six inches and weighs about 200lb.  I'm only an inch taller than my father, so my ideal weight would be about anywhere from 180-205lb. I'm shooting for 205lb, so at least I have validated my own research by talking to a professional.  But wait, it's not all fun and games! There will be blood tests to check my cholesterol levels, etc. and a follow-up visit in 4 weeks, before which I have to document what I eat for 7 days to give monster doktor an idea of what's going on.

I have to stop using caffeine, processed sugar, and artificial sweeteners.  My layman understanding of these doktor orders are that said sugars, etc. speed up the metabolism, whereas I already have a fast metabolism.  (Some, who will remain unnamed here, have argued that processed sugars are making Americans into a bunch of pansies, but I digress.)  Needless to say, honey and raw sugar are all I can have. So if you are wondering, Yes, I cannot consume the McCallum Get Big Shake anymore, because it is loaded with sugar.

The monster doktor said I can just mix skim milk with protein powder (whey) and keep on eating healthy foods in large quantities.  In my case, that will be chankonabe, onigiri, fruits, nuts, vegetables, etc.

Also, weight gain goes straight to your mid section a lot of the times, so this should be done responsibly so that one won't end up looking like the typical overweight Amerikan. My understanding is that if you exercise regularly and eat a lot, there will be more muscle mass gained than fat. When you go to the beach, you do want to feel good about yourself, so all things in moderation.  I don't want to gain weight at the expense of my looks, so I added a lot of cardio and ab work into my regimen.

Anyway, to all the hard gainers out there. This is not rocket science.  I wish you all the best, and don't give up. 

Monday, July 4, 2011


I mentioned these a while back. My training partner showed them to me, and they are an exercise Arnold espoused for arm work. I was thinking that one could go really heavy on the bottom position  half curl and do "forced reps," then lighten up for the other two movements. It's 7, 7, and 7; thus the name 21s.

Check out the video: 21s

Thursday, June 16, 2011


OK, so I am on top of the world now. The Bruins are the best team in hockey!  Now, I can get back to business.

First order of business: eating.  Operation Human Monster costs a TON of money, so unless you are really affluent, read further. I shop like an old Jewish woman.  I mean this in the most flattering way possible to old Jewish women. I used to work in a grocery store, and they had every angle figured out on getting the best possible deal.  So that is my mindset when I shop: old Jewish woman.  Extreme couponing does not really apply to the foodstuffs necessary for Operation Human Monster, but the money you save on other crap can blow up your food budget. So I practice extreme couponing on lots of things, especially anti-inflammatories like Motrin or Aleve (believe me, you will need Motrin or Aleve at some point in time if you go hard and heavy).  If you live in the southern United States, Southern Savers is your friend.  They explain everything so that I do not have to.

Regarding the actual food stuffs, here is the weekly grocery list so that you can begin to fathom how much money this costs:

  • 35 eggs (save yourself time and boil the eggs at the beginning of the week)
  • 14 quarts of non-fat milk
  • 28 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 14 cups skim milk powder
  • 21 servings protein powder
  • 7 pints ice cream
  • 7 bananas (I get the ones that are 35 cents in the produce section that are close to over-ripe)
  • 28 tablespoons malted milk powder (Carnation can be found in the grocery store)
  • 42 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 35 slices bread
  • 35 slices cheese
  • 42 slices cold cuts
  • 5.25 lb meat
  • 14 servings vegetables
  • 7 servings fruit
In previous blogs I listed Strossen's diet and McCallum's shake.  I am using McCallum's shake and Strossen's diet to compile the grocery list.  Here is one simple strategy: look at the circulars before they are effective and carry them to a single store that will match their competitors' prices.  On stuff that won't spoil quickly, like peanut butter, back up a truck if it is buy one get one free.  For vegetables, garden if you can. Eggs and milk are going to kill your bank account, so good luck.

Second order of business: logistics.  Half of this is preparation.  I prepare the shakes for the day each morning in a huge batch, then store it in a portable GALLON container, which I carry to work and drink throughout the day. Yes, GALLON container.  I boil up a huge batch of eggs at the beginning of the week, then I carry them with me for breakfast and snacking.  For sandwiches, I just store up what I need for the week at work, then make them as I eat lunch or snack.  If you don't have a refrigerator at work, I don't know what to tell you. Maybe use a cooler with reusable ice packs? 

Third order of business: lifting iron.  I used to do way too much when I went to the gym, but now I have modified my approach and spaced things out.  Here is the general idea: four on, three off.

For example:


  • Squats 1x20
  • Pullovers 1x20
  • Shrugs 1x20
  • Standing behind-the-neck presses 3x8
  • Upright rows 3x8


  • Bench presses 3x8
  • Curls 3x8
  • Reverse curls 3x8
  • Nose-breakers 3x8
  • One-armed dead lifts (1x15 per arm)



  • Bench presses 3x8
  • Leg presses 3x8
  • Pull-downs 2 sets of 25 reps
  • Leg raises 2 sets of 25 reps
  • Arnold's 21s for arm work (look it up)
  • Hammer curls 3x8
  • Inclined triceps work 3x8

  • 20 squats
  • 20 pullovers
  • 15 bent-over rows
Saturday & Sunday REST DAYS

That's just a brief sketch, but as you can see, I am cramming a lot of exercise into one week, then resting as necessary.  Good luck with your training.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I am going to be out of pocket until the Stanley Cup Championship is over. I.e., I will be glued to the set, chomping at the bit for Boston to own Vancouver, like the last time we played them.  I'm taking a "Paschall pause" and focusing all energy on the Cup. Black and Gold never quit!

When I return I am going to go Howard Hughes on the logistics of Operation Human Monster. This is one hell of an endeavor to put it lightly, and the weight gain portion has to be as regular as clockwork to have any effect. The exercise is easier than the eating, i.e. I'll be detailing extreme couponing, prep work, and realistic foods that are healthy and affordable. I wish you all happy work outs until then.    

That is all.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


I'm not one to re-invent the wheel, so as far as grip work is concerned, I direct you to Brooks Kubik's DINOSAUR TRAINING and John Wood's web page:

I can testify to the fact that one-armed deadlifts and power holds have made it to where people do not want to shake hands with me. No, it's no because I am an asshole. Ha. Ha.



Sunday, May 22, 2011


A work buddy of mine shared some really kick butt anime with us to-day, and I was interested to see the manga from which the anime originated. I found volumes 1 and 2 in English from Yen Press:

The anime is available online from Baka with fan subtitles (Disclaimer: I'm not responsible for anything you download and do not recommend bootlegs.) 28.6.11 (28 June 2011) the DVD will be released of the first season, and there is an officially licensed version airing on Anime Network. I'm pretty sure you can stream it there.

Highschool of the Dead (HOTD) is quickly becoming one of my new side favorites to watch when I am not immersed in Bleach or Death Note or Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

It is like George Romero was plopped down in Japan and decided to write a manga. Do I really need to say more than that?

Another manga gone anime I am interested in is Blade of the Immortal:

That's all for now. Time for food and relaxation before going beddy bye. ;)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


So, I made an excursion to the local Super Oriental Supermarket (that's its name--I jest you not) and found a lot of goodies.  Unfortunately, I ate a lot of my haul before I could take pictures for you all. I found some especially tasty instant udon noodles. I went all Sandra Lee  

on them and jazzed the soup up with fresh vegetables and tons of meat, then put an egg in it. It's not chankonabe, but it was easy to make.  Aside from the fried tofu and chrysanthemum greens, the ingredients for chanko are not too difficult to find. I scored big and found some chrysanthemum seeds at the Super Oriental Supermarket, so I'll have greens real soon. Yum.

Anywho, here is a nice video on how to make chanko:

Monday, May 16, 2011


On the days I do not exercise, I enjoy immersing myself in anime and eating tons of food. I also nap periodically between eating and watching anime, much like a cat would.  This is how I recharge my batteries and keep centered. I know that a lot of people out there hate the popular anime series, like Bleach and Full Metal Alchemist, but I judge each anime purely on its merits. If the anime brings me enjoyment, then that is all that matters. Below are some of my favorite anime series:










Okay........that's just the tip of the ice berg. I'm aware of all the classic stuff like Akira, Vampire Hunter D, etc. I like those, too. Just figured everyone already knows about those.    

Sunday, May 15, 2011


They say that home is where the heart is. One's home should definitely be a happy, clean, and organized place.  Out of all the cultures I have studied, the Japanese have the best mindset about merging aesthetics and functionality in regards to home keeping.  If you are wondering how the heck this ties in with Operation Human Monster, there is a method to my madness. Be patient, grasshopper. 

The fundamental mindset of someone who works out is that he has his life in order and is happy doing his own thing. Focus and concentration flow from this wellspring of organization, cleanliness, and happiness.  Your home is a reflection of yourself, so if it is in order, then the rest of your life is likely in order as well. At least, one hopes so! To the contrary, a disorganized, unclean, and sad home will likely seep into other areas of your life, and people will notice.  Basically, HYST (Have Your Shit Together).

I have to admit that I used to not be the best home keeper. So I can attest to the perils of letting clutter seep into every other aspect of my life. Admittedly, it is not my disposition to be a neat freak, but I do possess discipline, so I can make myself do whatever is necessary to achieve my goals. It just so happens that everything starts at home and spreads outward, so I have taken this lesson to heart.

Here are some of the things I have borrowed from the Japanese to keep my home clean, organized, and happy. If the eyes are the gateway to the soul, then the entrance to your home is also very important - it is the face of your home.  Thus, the genkan, an area where one removes his shoes and stores them facing the door or in a getabako.  I do not need a getabako, so I merely store my shoes in the genkan.

How the genkan works is straightforward. You remove your shoes in this area, then make sure your feet do not touch it. So take a shoe off, place it on the floor of the genkan. Step over with the bare foot to the clean side of the floor. Then remove the other shoe and step over with it to the clean side of the floor. You get it. The idea is to not step on the genkan with your bare feet, because this is a high-traffic area that is dirty. Most Japanese homes have the genkan as a depression in the floor so that you step up to the clean side, but if this is not an option, just a designated area you will not walk across barefooted will suffice.  

As for the restroom, I keep a pair of crocs in there. So when I enter the restroom I put on the crocs making sure not to touch the bathroom floor with my bare feet.  So I've gone Howard Hughes on a lot of stuff. Nothing wrong with that. At least the place is clean!

As for other areas of aesthetics in the home, I am working on collecting a lot of authentic Japanese woodblock prints and screens, and I really like this site: FUJI ARTS

Any who, I always feel weird when I visit some one's home and am allowed to wear my shoes indoors. No-one has visited my home since I implemented the no-shoe policy, but they simply won't get in if they insist on wearing outdoor shoes indoors. Not going to happen.  


In regard to maintenance workers, and how to deal with them, I figured out a pretty classy way to not offend them and still keep my floors spic and span. (I rent, so the last thing I want to do is make the maintenance folks angry! I might need their help someday!)   Set up a telescoping pet gate that closes off the genkan. Arrange a small table with a bowl of candies and shoe covers, aka, booties. Put a note on the table stating: "Please wear the shoe covers past this point. Thank you, and take some candy for your kind cooperation."   

Saturday, May 7, 2011




I will test pilot these recipes, then try to convert them to crock pot cooking as much as possible. Just an FYI, I do not think this is a feasible plan for me, because I like to eat stuff that takes as little work as possible, but the whole 20,000 calories a day tactic is gold.





My boss used to play DL under Mack Brown at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. When he first arrived, the S&C coaches told him he had to put on more weight.  We were discussing what all he went through to gain weight, and he had some really good basic tactics I'd like to impart.

This fellow is by no stretch of the imagination a "hard gainer," he just needed to be bigger like most high-school players who matriculate to college football. So don't go thinking this is the Holy Grail of weight gaining!  He shared this information with me when I told him about how I'm trying to become a monster. I've taken it to heart and am eating as I type this...and drinking lots of milk!

  1. Graze throughout the whole day. 
  2. Eat so much that your jaw hurts. Otherwise you are not doing it right.
  3. Eat to the point that you feel like you are going to vomit, but stop eating before you do. Then pick back up eating as soon as you can.
  4. Start researching the diets of Sumo wrestlers, tactics, etc. 

Friday, May 6, 2011


I used to read A LOT of really high-level, highfalutin stuff, but usually at the end of the day, after staring at a computer screen, etc., the last thing I want to do is strain my eyes and brain trying to decipher something really serious. Anyone who knows me, knows that I have what can politely be called a "book problem." So this whole not reading "much" is slightly out of character.

I do read obsessively, however. I've just started what can be called a "saturation job" on weightlifting books and manga. The manga are my entertainment books. The lifting books are my practical books (but there is only so much someone can learn from a book--and I've kind of moved on from reading the books and implemented what they say). (Tell. Show. Do. Observe. Follow-up. How many folks are subject matter experts on stuff they never get out and try to master?) You won't accomplish jack holed-up in the cloister, is what I have discovered.  

I like manga because, duh, it has pictures and is easy on my eyes. Also, I enjoy how something totally dark and violent can be happening in manga, then there is some lighthearted comedy thrown in to keep it fresh. DeathNote is an example. I also am a total BLEACH freak. I know some of the purists out there hate on Bleach (the anime and the manga), and are aesthetic snobs. That's great. I just go with the stuff that I find pleasurable. External justification is not my bag.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


I posted earlier the music I would ideally listen to during a work out if I was into that sort of thing. Post-work out I actually do like to listen to quite a bit of music, read, and watch anime. Anime and music much more than reading, though, because it requires less concentration on my part. Mainly I read manga and other Japanese literature, especially when I am around people with whom I do not wish to interact socially - like on a plane.  A large portion of Operation Human Monster is devoted to eating, resting, and growing. Here, I will go over resting, especially music activities. Most of this music, and I could care less whether other people like it or not, puts me in an even more restful mood.

Oddly, most of it is not in English, my native tongue, which allows me to simply enjoy the music, not analyze it. After working out I feel like I've been run over by a truck, so I do not want to waste energy on anything. If there is one philosophy to post-work out (for me), it is to do as little as possible afterwards for at least a day!  

Anywho, here are some relaxing songs I enjoy. Aesthetic know-it-alls need not apply.

Monday, April 25, 2011


These are some rough notes on the workout I'm shooting for to-morrow morning. I've incorporated grip work, neck work, and bottom position work. In addition to this, since time is money, I'll be doing flat dumbbell bench presses, since I won't have a spotter. And this is not a leisurely Saturday afternoon where I can fool around with the power rack, benches, and j-sticks forever. Okay, so here goes.

Leg presses 1x15
Bottom position squats 1x10
Regular squats 1x10
Pullovers 1x20
Standing behind the neck presses 3x12
Shrugs 3x12
Behind the back shrugs 3x12
Flat bench dumbbell presses 3x12
One-armed deadlifts 1x15
Stiff-legged deadlifts 1x15
Bent over rows 1x15
Barbell curls 3x8
Reverse barbell curls 3x8
Nose breakers 3x8 
Neck lifts 1x15 (all four directions)

Sunday, April 24, 2011


I do not listen to work out music. I also do not carry my i-pod to the gym. Other than wrestling shoes, a polo shirt, some sweatpants or shorts, my car keys, and my mobile (which I ALWAYS leave in my truck), I do not bring much to the gym other than focus and concentration.  The downside is that the gym plays music I do not have much say over, but luckily it is so low that you would have to try to hear it to be annoyed by it. If I did have a set of workout songs, these would be the top ten - purely because of the intensity (for me, not necessarily you).

Saturday, April 23, 2011


One thing I will never do is offer people advice regarding exercise. As I frequently say, I am not a medical doctor nor am I a professional. I am merely cataloguing what has or has not worked for me. Operation Human Monster is all about me, and hopefully, as a by-product people are entertained and are provided with interesting subject matter. 

You may be different, because people are not the same.  People are not equal. So I would never presume what worked for me would work for you or vice versa. Also, I'm not interested in any one's ego trips. I could care less how great this or that workout program is compared to mine, in YOUR opinion. And another thing, do not try to halt my progress with negativity. I tune negative people out like they are a cancer, because that's what they are. Go mess up someone else's day, please. I do not have any cookies to give you for your sage advice. LOL.      

That being said, the world of exercise is full of self-proclaimed experts.  Always consult a real expert, not a charlatan!   


As far as gaining weight is concerned, shakes have done me the most good. That and Golden Corral. Below I have listed shake recipes taken from Strossen's SUPER SQUATS and McCallum's THE COMPLETE KEYS TO PROGRESS. FYI, the type's font size is set so low in McCallum's book that you will practically go blind reading it!

McCallum's Get Big Drink

In a bowl with and egg beater, or in a blender, add the following and mix:

  • 1 day's supply protein supplement
  • 2 quarts milk
  • 2 cups skim milk powder
  • 2 eggs (I would use pasteurized egg whites)
  • 4 tablespoon's peanut butter
  • 1/2 brick of your favorite ice cream
  • 1 banana
  • 4 tablespoon's malted milk powder
  • 6 tablespoon's corn syrup
Pour the admixture in containers, refrigerate, and consume the entire batch with meals throughout the day. Should be about 10 glasses' worth.

Strossen's Shake:

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups powdered milk
  • 1/4 cup nutritional brewer's yeast
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tablespoon's lecithin
  • 1 tablespoon wheat germ oil
  • 1 large scoop ice cream 


Here are a couple of toys they do not have at my gym. What is it they say, "Wish in one hand. Shit in the other. See which one fills up first." Won't be holding my breath for any of this stuff, but, as always, donations are accepted here at Operation Human Monster.

I could buy a motorcycle for this much cheese!
Why go to the Bahamas? Blow the money on this. LOL.


Remember how I told you that a work buddy had recommended Arnold's Big Arms workout? I found an article with Arnold's program here. 

Also, just for retro kicks, check out these old videos:

All of you women out there, please wear outfits like the woman in the video is wearing sans the leggings. Thank you for your help with this matter. ;)


My training partner was telling me that he had read an article arguing that pullovers do not expand your ribcage as the old timers claimed. I think there is some confusion regarding semantics. Ribcage vs. thoracic muscles, i.e. 

I am not a medical doctor, so I will not make claims that I am not qualified to make. (I will ask my doctor the next time I see her, if she thinks pullovers strengthen the thoracic area.) However, as I told my training partner, I think a lot of these folks are over thinking pullovers. After doing twenty rep BREATHING squats of my ten rep max, I feel like a compressed accordion. When I follow the squats with pullovers, it makes me feel "back to normal," uncompressed. And I can feel a really good stretch in a my thoracic muscles and connective tissues. For what it's worth, I wouldn't stop my pullovers after squats, because I can FEEL it working my rib cage. I'm a simple guy.  

Below I have posted an instructional video on pullovers and two articles (for and against):




I do not have enough room in my apartment for a home gym, so I train at a commerical gym. The gym in the apartment complex does not have a power rack or Olympic weight set, so I've not worked out in there. A lot of the guys at work have home gyms, and I have to admit that if I had one there would not be much to it. Once I get a house, this is the home gym I would like to have:

  • Olympic weight set, with an Iron Mind Appolyn's Axle bar
  • Power rack
  • Adjustable bench
  • 2 sandbags
  • Set of dumbbells
  • Neck strap
  • Chalk
For what I'm doing, I would be set with the aforementioned equipment. If anyone has any thoughts on home gyms, feel free to comment.

Friday, April 22, 2011


It is easy to go "stale" if you do not keep things interesting. Just as in personal interactions, emotional highs and lows are key, not the same dull scenario ad nauseam.  Squats were getting "stale" for me, so I enlivened things by changing my squat routine. Normally I would just do 20 reps of my ten rep max and add 5-10 pounds to the bar every session. Nothing new there. 

I read in DINOSAUR TRAINING that a doctor was watching a football team doing squats, and he asked the coach how many players would be able to do heavy squats from the bottom position. Turns out that bottom position rack work will blow up your squat, not to mention your bench.

Today I started with 10 bottom position squats, then did 10 regular squats.  I used 60% of my ten rep max for the bottom position squats, and added 10 pounds for the regular squats and did 10 reps. The bottom position squats are brutal, even with a light weight. There is no "bouncing" you can do. You just have to drive upwards and fight gravity.

I plan on making deadlifts more interesting by incorporating one-armed deadlifts, too. 10 regular stiff-legged deadlifts, then 10 one-armed deadlifts with a barbell. Also, bench presses with bottom position work make setting up the power rack, the bench and the j-sticks seem worthwhile. So I'll start doing 10 bottom position bench presses, then as many normal bench presses as I can until failure.

It helps to keep things fresh.   

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I have read from various sources that folks with shoulder problems were re-habing with Indian clubs, because it is a light resistance (about 2 pounds) but offers full range of motion for the exercises.  I posted some videos and links to old books if anyone is interested:

Here's an old school book,THE INDIAN CLUB EXERCISE, but unfortunately there are no useful pictures. (That's the problem with a lot of old books, the technical writing back then sucked.)

Obviously these folks are trying to sell their product, but there is some info on how to acquire Indian clubs here. 


There's nothing new under the sun, but things get laconic over time. We were talking about arm work today at work. Apparently, Arnold had a concise pamphlet on arm work, called BIG ARMS, that was nothing more than the routine and pictures of how to do the exercises. Bob Hoffman, go figure, had a book called BIG ARMS, as well, but it is more in-depth. I like condensed information, because time is my most valuable possession. Does anyone have a copy of Arnold's pamphlet?

I found a Bob Hoffman book,SIMPLIFIED SYSTEM OF DUMBBELL TRAINING, and duh, these will definitely work the arms. Also, Brooks Kubik's CHALK & SWEAT has lots of all dumbbell routines.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


At work today we were talking about Stafon Johnson's bench press accident, and one of my work buddies, Alonzo, mentioned that Johnson would have likely died if his neck had not been so strong. Seems like, except for athletes, the neck is neglected in most exercise programs. The more I read, though, folks like Bob Hoffman had neck work in a lot of programs. 

I found this article by John Wood on neck strengthening, and I learned a lot. My neck is one of my weak areas, so I was looking for some safe, SANE, yet effective training tips. I had heard about doing the wrestler's bridge, but it was helpful to learn that wall walks are a great way to build up to doing the wrestler's bridge. The Navy Seal videos I posted a while back had some neck work, but not weighted, like you would see with a machine or a head strap or the wrestler's bridge with weights included. 

Probably goes without saying to be careful and consult a doctor. I'm open to any references folks have to offer on neck work.

EDIT: I found some videos on neck work. Using dumbbells and a towel looks like a great way to build neck strength, if there is not a neck machine in your gym or home gym. Also, a weight plate and towel or head strap can be used, but it is not as easy to hold as a dumbbell. I also added a video on the wrestler's bridge. My layman's opinion is that one should work up to the neck bridge. That seems like the deep end of the pool to me. Just saying. Also, always consult a doctor and exercise safely, not stupidly. The goal is longevity.


If you have read DINOSAUR TRAINING, then you know Brooks Kubik and many others consider sandbag training the bread and butter of building those stabilization muscles. (There is a whole chapter in DINOSAUR TRAINING regarding lifting heavy awkward objects--sandbags being the least dangerous, cheapest, and most practical.) We have 80lb bags of sodium chloride at work and 100lb bags of L-aspartic acid and l-glutamic acid, and even strong guys struggle with those. So I understand what Brooks is saying about doing deadlifts, curls, or clean and presses with a hefty sandbag. Believe me, you will FEEL that the next day, even if you follow every good lifting principle in the book!  I'm a cheap bastard, so I am going to buy two duffel bags, some contractor trash bags, twine, and carry a shovel the next time I go to the Gulf Shores. LOL. In the meantime, I'll do curls with bags of salt.

Here is a quick and dirty (literally) guide to constructing a sandbag, in case you didn't know that the sand goes in the duffel bag, then you close it. ;)

Sandbag Construction Kit 


I have not had the pleasure to read or study this book's programs as of yet, but I have heard reputable folks recommend it for kettlebell programs, mainly MMA folks.  I'm not sure how it would be drastically different from an all dumbbell program, but I do see some differences. If you've read it or want to send me a free copy of the book (yes, I went there - we take donations here at Operation Human Monster), tell me your thoughts on it, etc.



Probably my favorite MMA fighter. 6 ft tall and 230lb, Fedor Emelianenko's reputation speaks for itself. A real life human monster. Just anyone who's been in the ring with him!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I am a major hockey freak. And I am obsessed with the Bruins. One of my favorite players for Boston is defenseman, Zdeno Chara. I like Chara because he is a real life HUMAN MONSTER. Just ask Koci:
At 6 ft 9 in and 255lb, Chara is a real life human monster. Look at this hit on Pacioretty:
Hope Chara remembered the 5 words when the douchebag Montreal Police were "investigating" the matter. So hats off to Chara for being a human monster and dominating everyone else on the ice.


Ever seen a really hot chick stroll through the weight area of the gym, and guy's spotters are leaving them hanging like Stafon Johnson? (As a side note, what a Busch league weight program USC has. Did a hot co-ed walk through, distracting his spotter, or was Stafon trying to be a big man and did benches without a spotter? Either way, what a bunch of geniuses. You'd never see that under a good S&C coach, like Scott Cochran. What goobers.) Everyone who works out will discover that most of this stuff is mind over matter to get those last couple of reps, but motivation is key.

I have a one-track mind. So, when I feel like wussing out on those last couple of reps I think of Zuzana. She has perfect form, if I may say so myself. Here she is doing two really great exercises--the burpee and the hanging leg raise:

More motivation. Serebro is about as culturally aware as I am going to get: 

Monday, April 18, 2011


A razor has a straight edge. Even a dull razor can kill you.  So where would drugs and alcohol fit into Operation Human Monster? They don't! I want to become a MONSTER, not a sot or a junkie! Plus, money diverted to shit like drugs and alcohol would cut into my food and gym money!  

First of all, illicit drugs are illegal. So messing around with illicit drugs, including the associated negative health problems, can deprive you of your non-jail personal time. Notice I do not use silly, highfalutin words like "freedom." Ever been to jail? Yeah, get back to me about how cool drugs are after spending a night in the clink. 

As for alcohol, I can think of nothing more deleterious to a workout program.  Alcohol is for getting women drunk who normally would not sleep with you, and forgetting about ugly women you would not normally sleep with the morning after you wake up next to Brunhilda. My method has always been to buy the pretty women who would not normally sleep with me copious amounts of their preferred alcoholic beverage, whilst I nurse a Perrier or Coke.  Hey, I don't argue with results.

As for chewing tobacco and cigarettes. Heinrich Heine said, he would move to Amerika, but the thought of people who chewed tobacco frightened him. Exactly. Ever seen the teeth of someone who dips? Your teeth are the first thing people notice when you smile, and a smile is a man's most powerful weapon for charming people. So, no chewing tobacco for me.  Smoking tobacco is even stupider. Do I really have to catalogue the health problems that come with this nasty habit?  Well, I will. Weightlifting requires a LOT of heavy breathing.  Consuming smoking tobacco will throw a helluva monkey wrench into that spoke! Try doing twenty squats with your ten rep max if you are a heavy smoker. They might as well chisel your tombstone over by the power rack.

Seriously, though, if you are a physical culturalist, it is a no-brainer to NOT consume beverages that lower your inhibitions, dehydrate you, and generally make you lazy. It is a no-brainer to avoid activities that could steal your non-jail personal time.  It is a no-brainer to not consume shit that is a pesticide (tobacco), and will ruin your lungs, teeth, and gums --not to mention hoards of other VITAL organs, like your HEART. 

So as a categorical imperative: no illicit drugs; no alcohol; no tobacco. Not for me, anyway.