Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Throwin' Hands

Hello GAINZ world!  Sorry for the extended absence...we've all been pretty busy here in GAINZland.  But fear not, Wesay's got your back.

I tried Johnny's heavy bag workout a couple days ago and let me tell you, it's legit.  I started out with a light warm up, then dove right in to the explosive punches followed by the jabs.  Johnny recommended two minute intervals but I forgot when I started so I did about three one-minute intervals in the beginning.  It was only then that I realized Johnny would have said, "hey GAINZ-maker, it's two minute intervals, guy..."  So I stepped my game up and did a few two minute intervals.

To everyone's surprise I'm sure, I'm actually not used to mashing my hands into dense, fleshy objects so I focused more on the speed of my hands than the power of my punches.  Also, I wasn't wearing gloves so I didn't want to pull a Corey Maggette and break my hand against something that I thought was softer than it actually was.  Are you ready for Maggette?  Didn't think so.

I kept the rest periods to a minimum and checked my heartrate as well.  I think the highest it reached was around 90-something.  Not too high for me, but higher than when I want to go postal on everyone at that was a plus.  (Look out for a feature on heartrate monitors in the future.)  My chest, arms, back, and, especially, shoulders felt a nice pump during the workout....not the 'saturated' pump feeling that comes with lifting weights, but more of a muscle 'buzz' that was a hyrbid between cardio and the aforementioned ferrum lifting.

Anyway, the actual workout itself wasn't too difficult for me, but I would imagine it'd be difficult for anyone not used to explosive movements.  And although I didn't find it overly taxing, I was sure as shit sore in my lats for the next couple of days.  No wonder boxers have such coveted V-shaped backs.  So give it a college try.  I would imagine this workout would integrate easily in any circuit training.  I will definitely be sure to incorporate more boxing workouts into my training, not only because of the latisimus dorsi benefits, but also so I'm a little more prepared the next time someone asks me if I "want to throw hands" as I glide into ski lift line.  You never know when shit is gonna go down. 

Yours in GAINZ,

-Wesay GAINZ

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Johnny on the Spot: Vol III

The world's still abuzz over the news dropped here last Tuesday that our own Johnny GAINZ is training for an MMA fight.  Johnny's going to destroy!  He stops by with another "Johnny on the Spot" to show us how he's started his 'pre-training' for the showdown.

1:29 PM those are the burpees i did today, then shadow boxed for 45 seconds, then rest for a min...did that only 3 times and i wanted to puke
  10 of those burpees
1:30 PM me: hahaha nice
1:31 PM Johnny: i got the shadow boxing part off of
 me: did you use dumbbells?
 Johnny: yeah...10 pounders my mom has here
 me: send me the shadow boxing link
1:33 PM that workout was based on a standard burpee
  but i felt like i wanted to incorporate a few more muscle groups
 me: so you did that by shadow boxing?
1:34 PM Johnny: no, i used the enhanced burpee
  with weights
 me: oh ok
1:35 PM Johnny: the enhanced burpee does not involve jumping, it is squat down, kick legs out, push up, row, row, jump up, clean squat shoulder press
 me: so after 3 supersets you were dead?
1:36 PM Johnny: yes, extremely
 me: wow, that sounds pretty intense actually
 Johnny: by the time i got to the shadow boxing after the second and third set, i was basically only throwing jabs and ocassional straight rights
1:37 PM i could barely keep my hands up
 me: 10 of the burpees would kill me
  ...if i was doing them at a good pace
 Johnny: yeah
  and they got slower and slower
 me: hahah ok
1:38 PM 
 me: yeah i would imagine....its hard to keep up the quickness towards the end of explosive workouts
 Johnny: yes, it was my first time doing them so my last two sets i wanted to make sure i gathered myself after every burpee
 me: thats why most trainers recommend smaller sets when training explosively
1:39 PM is this part of your MMA training?
 Johnny: partially
  i have not officially started training exclusively for mma yet but this is great workout to get into shape
1:41 PM and it does work many of the muscles i will be using
  i want to get into shape cardiovascularly before i jump with both feet into my mma training
 me: cool. when does your exclusive MMA training start?
1:42 PM Johnny: well, i am not sure on the official date of my fight yet
  tenatively end of may beginning of june is when the fight will be held
1:43 PM me: i see. well, best of luck Johnny. GET AFTER IT!
1:44 PM Johnny: so i am just trying to get into shape and start training some of the muscles i will need to use so when i do start, i wont have to go through the first few weeks of soreness due to having not used those muscles before
  thank you Wesay
 me: its like optional workouts before training camp
  i like the dedication
  thanks, Johnny
1:45 PM Johnny: the pleasure is mine  
Now don't let Johnny down!  Go out there and try this workout for yourself.  And as always, let us know how you liked it. 

Yours in GAINZ,

-Wesay GAINZ

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bigger Faster Stronger* Review

What up GAINZ world?  Yours truly recently watched a movie by Chris Bell called "Bigger Faster Stronger*" which analyzed steroid use in America and the general notions associated with them.  The movie was semi-autobiographical of Mr. Bell and was shot in a similar style to any recent documentary or any Michael Moore movie (yes, there was some "over-the-top-ness").  I went into the movie not knowing what to expect, but it turned out to be an excellent movie; one that pretty much anyone could enjoy.

Allow me to put on my Ebert-hat and break down some of the main points/themes of the movie and how they affect the GAINZ world.

*********SPOILER ALERT**************

A running theme throughout the movie is Chris' personal choice not to do the JUICE, while his brothers, Mark and Mike, consistently use.  Chris' decision is based on his own moral view that "steroids are bad" and that the one time he did try them earlier in his life he felt guilty about it.  On the other hand, his older brother (I forget which one is which) juices as a means to chase his dream of becoming a big time wrestler/movie star.  I know the older brother's storyline sounds lame and contrived, but it's pretty sad to see this borderline middle-age man continue to chase a dream that everyone knows he cannot achieve.  He even moves out to Caleeforneeya to become a star.  DERP!

The younger brother juices to help him compete for powerlifting titles.  Chris competes in these events too, but fails to do well because he's pretty much the only guy not 'roided up.

Basically the line separating the three brother is a moral line which Chris will not cross.  The other brothers cross the line not because they think what they're doing is amoral, but because their views on what is moral differs from Chris'.  Interesting considering they all come from the same upbringing.

In the end, I believe one's own "moral line in the sand" is the over-arching theme of the movie for the GAINZ world, but a number of other issues are examined as well.  One of those issues is whether steroids are actually bad for your health.  A number of people in the movie passionately 'testify' that they are not.  Chris' older brother states that the juice shrinks his nuts/sack, but that they return to regular size when he's finished the cycle.  Other lifelong bodybuilders state that juicing hasn't had the negative effects on them that are reported in the mainstream.

An AIDS patient argues that steroids saved his life because they gave him an appetite and made him stronger.  I really believed this guy, but that may been because his forehead was larger than Barry Bonds' and his jaw was bigger than Leno's.  So much for the sickly, feeble AIDS look...

On the other hand, one man claims that steroids directly caused the death of his teenaged son.  Chris interviews the man who swears that steroids caused his son severe depression, which led to his son's suicide.  It's a very touching subject, but Chris very professionally asks for proof that juicing was the cause.  No proof is given.  The father, in a genuine and passionate fashion, simply says "he knows."  It really feels like the father is searching for something to blame and latching on to it.  In any event, it seems like we still don't really know anything about steroids yet. 

Another issue is the hypocrisy of steroid use, which many examples are given.  One example is The Governator.  Simply put, steroids helped him to dominate the Mr. Olympia which led to worldwide fame which led to acting which led to more fame which led to a position in George Bush's exercise committee which led to Total Recall which led to governance of the State of Caleeforneeya.  Undoubtedly Arnold has a will to succeed that surpasses 99.99% of the world's population, but only a fugazi would believe that steroids didn't help him in some way.  And it was hypocritcal when he later denounced steroid use but to this day still sponsors bodybuilding events where the competitors are completely juiced up and some have been suspected of steroid-related crimes.

It was also hypocritical of him to have Gold's Gym in Venice Beach take down his photos in an effort to distance himself from steroids. 

Another point of hypocrisy is the dudes on the covers of fitness magazines.  They usually look muscular (but not overly so) and lean.  Well, one of them admitted to steroid use and pretty much indicated that it was an industry wide thing.  Thus, they aren't being totally honest when they say Hydroxycut is all that's needed to have a body like theirs.  Again, another example of steroids helping someone advance in their career.

The movie also gets into steroids in sports and uncovers some gems:  perhaps Ben Johnson v. Carl Lewis wasn't as bad as it sounded (although I'll always support the American) and perhaps Barry Bonds isn't the steroid-villian he's made out to be (a particularly riveting press conference in which he calls out all the reporters for cheating).  I'm not defending any of these guys right now, but the movie does give you something to think about.  And that's what movies, especially documentaries, should do.

There were so many other points/scene I wanted to write about, but I recommend you Netflix Bigger Faster Stronger* and come to your own conclusions.  And draw your own moral line in the sand.  I'll leave you with a deleted scene from the least our boy Cutler keeps it real

Saturday, January 16, 2010

This Just In!

Well, not really, but it's pretty recent:  Utah Jazz rookie Sundiata GAINES sinks a game-winning 3-pointer against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

There's been some rumors that this guy GAINES is related to us GAINZ.  I wouldn't doubt it...we're clutch.  I'll look into it when I finally start the GAINZ genealogy search I promised a long time ago. 

-Wesay GAINZ

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Johnny and His Next GAINZ-Goal

First off, let me say this: My mind is blown from the "I'm Perry’lyzed" 3 part series. Well done Wesay.  It is about time Perry got the credit he deserved in the workout world.

Where is Johnny? That is a question many of you have probably asked yourself in between Johnny on the Spots.  Well, Johnny has been spending most of his time contemplating his next GAINZ-goal.

For those of you unfamiliar with the GAINZ-goal, I will explain (although it's pretty self-explanatory). A GAINZ-goal is a fitness goal one wishes to achieve.  It can be any number of things.  For instance, it can be slimming down to the dress size you have always wanted to wear, or attaining a ripped weight you have always wanted to weigh, or a max you have always wanted to be able to lift. GAINZ-goals can go even further than this. You might want to be the starting point guard for your basketball team or you might want to climb Mt. Everest.  All of these are valid GAINZ-goals.

Which leads us to Johnny's GAINZ-goal: I’m going to step into the cage during summer of 2010 for a mixed martial arts fight. I know, I know, you are probably thinking, what in the world would lead Johnny to this GAINZ-goal? Well, Johnny has always been a fan of MMA and boxing.

I started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu about 5 months ago and became completely addicted to it.  Let me tell you, jiu-jitsu is pure GAINZ!   Besides the obvious physical GAINZ, there is just as much mental GAINZ that can be obtained from practicing martial arts.  And during my BJJ training I was contemplating my next GAINZ-goal because I hadn’t had a legitimate one in a while. So I thought to myself, what could be more GAINZ than an amateur MMA fight?

The dedication and discipline it takes to cut the weight and train for a fight is almost unparalleled. You know Johnny’s mantra, "Train Hard, Eat Right, make GAINZ!" As simple as it sounds, that’s what first came to mind when I was thinking about my GAINZ-goal, and that is what I am going to be doing for the next 5 months of my life. I'm going to be training in wrestling, multiple martial arts, and boxing in preparation for the fight, while also watching my diet and cutting the necessary weight. I am excited for the New Year and achieving the next GAINZ-goal of my life.  You should be too.

Train Hard, Eat Right, make GAINZ!!

-Johnny GAINZ