December 27, 2015

dieting while out of town

My family and I are on our way to Las Vegas Nevada. We're not going there the same reason most people do, we're going to visit my half brother and my step-brother. I was afraid that while we were in Las Vegas I was going to become frustrated with dieting and give up like I almost did during Christmas break. I figured the only way I can be sure I wouldn't throw in the towel is to figure out why Christmas break was so disheartening for me. I think the reason is that i was trying to eat perfectly, eat only the food I packed and brought with me. When I didn't have the will power to say no to all the amazing food I became so frustrated I almost gave up. I've decided I won't do that while on vacation. I'm going to eat the food I want, but will try and eat in moderation. As long as I don't binge eat the next 4 days I'll consider my diet while on vacation a success. But no matter how I do,  I'll get back on my diet when I get back.

support and weightlifting

Since I hit a lifetime PR on the snatch yesterday I've been on cloud 9. I never believed I'd get to a 100k snatch at all, much less this quickly.  Especially since I didn't start weightlifting until I was 38 years old. When I was attempting to max yesterday I ran out of energy half way through. One of my training partners had a particularly long and grueling training day, yet he still gave me his Cliff bar even though he obviously was going to need it to get through his workout. Coach Erik saw me miss a few of my lighter attempts so he watched the rest my lifts and helped me with my form. All that help made me think of how much support it takes to be an olympic weightlifter. For me, in addition to the obvious, like my wife adjusting her schedule to watch my three young children anytime I'm wanting to train. There's also the half dozen coaches and athletes who help me with form and advice every single time I'm in The Miller Gym. And of course my nutrition coach who has made the adjustments I needed to make the biggest gains I've ever made in a two month period. Weightlifting is the most amazing sport I've ever competed in. But it takes more support than any sport I've ever done too. I'm blessed enough to have such an amazing support system around me. I'm a lucky man.

I've decided that if I qualify for the 2016 master's national weightlifting championships I'm going. I'll have to sell my triathlon bike, road bike, race wheels,  And wet suits to be able to afford it. But if I qualify,  I'm going!

December 26, 2015

Christmas and dieting

I did everything I needed to prepare to eat well on Christmas eve and Christmas. I made and logged all my food. I brought all my prepared food with me to my in-laws house. But once I saw all the amazing food I fell off the diet wagon somethin' horrible! This morning I was frustrated. I was close to giving upon dieting and just staying obese the rest of my life. For breakfast I ate exactly what I wasn't supposed to, cinnamon toast with butter. Eating like that is exactly what got me to 318 pounds. Then I went to the gym and set a lifetime personal best snatch of 100k! In the last 3 months I've put 12k onto my snatch. The most I'd put on in the same period before this was 5k. I realize the gains I've made is because the diet my sports nutrition coach put me on and that I almost gave up on. Talk about motivation! Once I got home I ate a healthy and moderate servings of baked sweet potato and chicken breast.

December 22, 2015

carbs on training days and vacation

I have 250 grams carbs to eat daily. On the days i workout i eat a large amount of my carbs before and during my training. This morning pre-workout I ate 2 cups rice, one cup skim milk, coffee with half and half,  totaling 121 grams carbs. Afterwards i took my oldest son out for lunch & I ate two grilled chicken sandwiches from Burger King which was 76 grams carbs. Total carbs eaten by 9 am was 197. That left 53 grams left to eat the rest of the day, less than 11 grams per meal. On a normal day i'd have things to keep my mind off food suchs s helping kids with homework, driving kids to and from practice or friends houses, work, etc.  But i'm on vacation. Apparently being on a diet during vacation is MUCH harder. All I've been thinking about all day is food. There's a key lime pie in the freezer, shepherds pie in the fridge, granola bars, and cup cakes. Oh man. Dieting while in vacation is danm hard! But i MUST stay dedicated to this diet! I'm averaging 1 pound a week of weight loss. At this rate I'll get to my dream weight of 230  pounds in 71 weeks. That's already 1 year, 4 months, & 3 weeks away. Any failure to follow my diet perfectly will make this take even longer.

The 2016 USPA Regional powerlifting championships

I thoroughly enjoyed my first powerlifting meet a few weeks ago. I enjoyed it so much I've been dreaming of doing another one as soon as possible. I was going to compete in the NASA powerlifting national championships in Feb 2016 in OKC, Oklahoma. But yesterday a fellow weightlifter, Dana Ashcraft, told me that the 2016 USPA Regional powerlifting championships will be held in Feb 2016 right here in Albuquerque New Mexico, just an hours drive from my house! Competing here in New Mexico will save me a grip of money!  Every dollar saved and put into savings for a down payment for a home is a day closer to retiring from the prison! So I went in early this morning and got the day off from work, then registered for the meet! I accidentally registered for the 275 lb division. I meant to register for the 308 lb division. I'm hoping they'll change my entry form. I'm currently weighing 301lbs. My nutrition coach is having me lose 1 pound a week, so I'll probably weigh around 292 by then. If they're not willing to change my weight class I'll need to cut 17 pounds. This might be crazy,  but if I have to cut 17 pounds I'm going to ask my favorite MMA fighter of all time, retired MMA fighter and Albuquerque resident "the dean of mean" Keith Jardine for help. He was a big light heavyweight fighter. During his career he had to cut an absurd amount of weight for his fights. Very few people would know how to cut weight better than him. He retired from fighting a few years ago 34-11 in his MMA and boxing career.

December 21, 2015

weightlifting on vacation

I'm on vacation until December 31st. This is the first time in 21 years of working at the prison that I've had Christmas week off. It's only the third time I haven't had to work on Christmas day. MY wife and kids are on vacation too. This holiday is turning out to be pretty wonderful.

We'll be going to Las Vegas NV from the 27th-30th to visit my half brother. He's 21 years younger than me. Not that it matters, I just find that amusing and thought I'd share.

 It's difficult training olympic style weightlifting while on vacation. More difficult than any sport I've ever participated in. A person can run anywhere. There's jiu jitsu gyms in virtually every city in the U.S..  But there's not many gyms with drop plates  and bars that work for olympic weightlifting. I've found a couple gyms that say they have bars and plates for weightlifting. I'm hoping they'll let me drop in.

December 20, 2015

traveling for weightlifting meets

My training program is having me taper this week, which means I'll be peaking next week. My weightlifting meet isn't until Jan 16th. The last program i finished i lifted a lifetime best 91/115 which would have qualified me for the masters national championship. But I peaked almost a month before my meet. Since I peaked so long before my tournament I ended up only lifting an 88/115 at The Lift Outside The Box weightlifting meet and missed qualifying for the masters national championships. Same thing is happening now with this training program. I'm peaking 3 weeks to soon.

I've been eligible to retire from the prison since May. In addition to working at the prison my family and I live on prison grounds. I don't want to retire and leave the prison until we save up a down payment of %20 for a home. It has been more difficult to save up $40,000 than I thought it would be. If we continue to save at the rate we are currently I won't be able to retire from the penitentiary until 2020. I'm not ok with that. We need to make some adjustments. We're already on a pretty strict budget. About the only place we can make any changes is to take the money I'm saving to travel to the masters national championships in Savannah Georgia this upcoming March and add it to the down payment for a home fund. So its looking like if I qualify for the masters national championships I won't be able to go. I guess that makes the problem of my training program not match up with weightlifting meets not matter much. I don't want this to sound like a pity party. I'm completely at peace with it. I'm a family man. Nothing matters to me more. I love putting my family first. I don't need to actually go and compete in the masters national championships, simply qualifying is enough.

December 18, 2015

Snatch high pulls and other weightlifting joys

Today I completed 4 sets of snatch high pulls at 90%. I LOVE snatch high pulls and clean high pulls! They're one of my favorite exercises of all time. When I first started weightlifting I hated any kind of high pulls. I sucked at them, and they completely exhausted me. Not only would high pulls tire me out for the rest of the workout, but I'd be physically wiped out the rest of the day too! It's amazing to me how the body can adapt if it's given the right stimuli.

I'm also amazed at how much more sleep I need now that I'm an olympic style weightlifter. Today after my workout I laid down to rest for a moment or two. I had no intention of falling asleep. I woke up 2 hours later. Since picking up weightlifting I sleep much more deeply. I never struggle to get to sleep and I rarely wake up during the night. I never needed this much sleep when i played football, trained MMA or triathlon.

Since the powerlifting meet I competed in a few weeks ago my elbows have been hurting when I do jerks or any kind of presses. I'm not sure what's going on there,  but I purchased a bottle of glucosamine chondroitin. Glucosamine really is a miracle drug. My Rottweiler used to run with me when I was a hard core triathlete. She'd average 25 miles a week. About the time she turned 7 her hips would hurt after long runs. I started giving her human grade Glucosamine and after a few weeks she never had problems with her hips ever again. On hindsight I suppose I should have started taking glucosamine as soon as I became really serious about weightlifting. Especially since I didn't pick the sport of weightlifting up until I was 38 years old.

December 16, 2015

pay it forward for Chistmas

In 2011 i got ran over by a vehicle while cycling and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Not working and the medical bills devastated us financially. There were many days we didn't have any food in the house. On Christmas we had to explain to the kids, ages 2, 4, & 6 that we couldn't afford gifts that year. My middle son assumed Santa Clause wasn't coming because of him. He repeatedly begged me to tell Santa he was sorry and he'd be a good boy from now on. No matter how hard i tried to explain it wasn't their fault the tears continued to fall, mine included. A few minutes later a coworker of mine from the prison knocked on our door and dropped off a huge pile of gifts for my children. Their Christmas was saved. I've never been more grateful in my life.

A few months ago my wife and I paid off a huge amount of her students loans and my medical bills. We're in a much better place financially.

My wife and I heard about a father on an Indian reservation not far from us that committed suicide. He left behind a wife who was a stay at home mom and three young kids the same age as ours were in 2011. I also have a coworker who's 2 year old son is really sick and has been in and out of the hospital all year. My wife and i scrounged together every penny we could possibly afford and gave each of them a check. I know money wont fix what those families are going through. But I'm hoping at the very least they will be able to have a moment of joy and forget for a short while all the problems in their life as they see the joy in their kids faces when they open their gifts on Christmas morning. I know that's how my wife and I felt on Christmas 4 years ago.

December 15, 2015

new weightlifting personal best lifts (PR's)

In October 2015 I competed in the Lift Outside The Box weightlifting meet. I weighed in at 143 kilos, (314.6 pounds) I snatched an 87, and clean and jerked 115 kilos for a 202k total. I missed qualifying for the 2016 Masters National Weightlifting championships by 5k.

For the last 2 months I've been losing weight and my lifts have increased. Usually a person loses strength while losing weight. Today I weighed in at 136.8 kilos and I lifted a lifetime PR of a 92k snatch and a 116.5k clean and jerk, for a total of 208.5k. My totals are now 1.5k above what I need to do to qualify. If I'm making these kinds of gains now I can't help but to dream what I'll be able to do once I get to my goal weight and am able to start eating to make big weightlifting gains.

My goal of being a competitive 105k masters weightlifter is progressing.

December 11, 2015

I'm in full blown athlete mode!

When I first started training triathlon in 2004 i weighed 292 pounds. I trained hard and got surprising results for a guy as big as i was. During races and training I'd constantly be told, "how does a big guy run so fast?" I knew they meant it as a compliment, but i didn't want to be fast for a big guy, I wanted to be in the front of the pack. 
                                   (February 2003)
The only way I could do that was lose weight. It took me a long time, 5 years actually, to figure out how to eat to lose weight without ruining my training and racing. There was a fine line. Slide a little to much to one side and I lost weight but sacrificed performance. Ate a bit to much and I'd recover from training better but the extra weight would slow me down. Eventually I figured it out. I got down to and maintained a body weight of 175 pounds for 18 months. I'd lost 117 pounds total. It was hell getting there, but once i got there a switch went off in my head. I went into full on athlete mode. Nothing got in the way of my training and eating right. I went on a two year streak that i took top 10 in almost every race i entered. I was no longer just fast for a big guy,  i was one of the fastest multisport athletes in the region. I became a sponsored athlete. 
(April 2010)
Since I picked up weightlifting my training has been great. I have perfect coaching and i was focused on training. But my diet sucked big time. Before my nutrition coach started helping me I'd try dieting like i used to when i was a multi-sport athlete. But i'd miss food so bad! I wanted to eat the foods i loved more than i wanted to be in great shape. I gained back all the weight I'd lost in traithlon and then some, getting to 318 pounds. I could find the motivational to train hard,  but couldn't find enough motivation to do the right thing with my diet. That changed on Holloween. My sports nutrition coach, Barry Schroeder, found my blog and decided he was going to help me. Since then my diet has been nearly perfect. I'm recovering faster. I'm gaining strength and speed quicker. And I'm doing all that while still losing weight. I feel like I've hit that full blown athlete mode again. I never miss training. And I don't leave the house without having my entire days meals planned out. Now i'm entirely focused on eating food that will help me recover and make gains. I'm perfectly content going without the bad food others may eat in front of me. I've reached that state of mind that if my body is craving something I'll have a bite or two of it and feel satisfied. I feel like a serious athlete again.

December 10, 2015

update on calorie change

A couple days ago my sports nutrition coach changed my daily calorie allotment. It took a couple days for me to figure out what the new calorie regiment would feel like. On my non-training days it feels like I have lots of carbohydrates to eat at everyone meal. On my training days I eat the majority of my carbs before, during, and after training. The rest of the day I only have a dozen grams of carbs to eat at each meal. Even though my carbs feel low the rest of the day, I never feel hungry because I have 300 grams protein and 125 grams fat each day. I've always felt best eating lower carbs  and a little more fat than most people. On the occasions I've tried low fat diets I fell apart quickly. I lost strength, endurance, and energy. This diet seems perfectly suited for my body type. I'm down to 304 pounds. I've lost 14. Just 75 pounds to go to hit my goal of being a 105k.

December 09, 2015

hand care for weightlifting

Yesterday during training my weightlifting coach asked one off his star lifters if she'd been doing proper hand care. Hand care? I know a lot of weightlifters use sandpaper to grind the calasus off their hands. But if that was the only thing we were supposed to do they'd simply call it sanding your hands. I asked coach Shane Miller, the guru of all things weightlifting, what things is important in hand care? These are the things he said:

- your hands should be completely smooth. If your skin is rough or lumpy, they are more likely to catch on the bar when you are lifting causing painful rips or tears. So shave your hands. The best time to do it is after you shower or  bathe.

-wash your hands after lifting to get all chalk off your hands. Leaving the chalk in will dry out your hands.

-use lotion on your hands to keep them from cracking or getting rough. it's especially important after washing your hands after lifting.

-use a small amount of chalk when you work out to keep your hands dry and help your grip. That will make you less likely to hold the bar too tight, which is a good thing as far as callus prevention.

- don't over-chalk. That may actually create more friction by having too much chalk on your hands.

- Use a towel to dry your hands between sets.

- weightlifting will make your hands tougher. The longer your a weightlifter, the better conditioned your hands will be, but it takes time.You will go through a period of time where no matter how careful you are, your hands will rip if you hit a high enough volume of exercise. Be patient and be careful and you will get through it. Your hands will come out tougher on the other side.

December 08, 2015

change of calories

My sports nutrition coach is making some changes to my diet. On workout days I used to eat 390 grams of carbohydrates. On non-workout days I'd eat 190 carbohydrates. Now things are changing a bit. I'm going to be eating 250 carbs 6 days a week. Once a week, the day of my choosing,  I'm scheduled to eat 410 carbs.

Today I had a really hard workout. 2 hours and 20 minutes of %60-%90 of max. I needed the fuel to get through a workout that intensive. Before training i had two cups of white rice mixed with 1/2 cup of skim milk,  coffee with 2 TBSP half n half. During the workout i drank 2 servings of Gatorade and a half scoop of whey protein. Post workout i drank a shake with 1 cup skim milk,  1 scoop protein, 1 banana, 2 TBSP peanut butter, BCA's, & glutamine. The rest of the day I only had 70 grams of carbohydrates left to eat. I had enough protein and fat to keep me from getting hungry, but eating only 70 carbs the rest of the day made me grumpy. I'm not sure if it was my bodies blood sugar levels dropping or what, but i turned into an a-hole the rest of the day. As long as I don't lose my strength and speed gains I'll be really happy continuing to lose weight,  get thinner, become faster, & feel better about myself. Today I keep trying to remind myself that my nutrition coach is the bomb, plus he's a serious weightlifter too. So I know he understands what it takes to lose weight without losing performance. But I'm like an old grumpy man. I freak out about changes. I'm trying really hard not to freak out,  because like i said, my nutrition coach has a life time of eating healthy and competing seriously in athletics to base his reasoning on. I've even seen it first hand the last month. I've lost 14 pounds while recovering faster and making greater gains than I ever have before. Both my weightlifting coach and nutrition coach are ALWAYS having to remind me, "trust the program Cody". So right now I'm doing my best to simply focus on trusting the program and ignoring my fears.

December 07, 2015

to much competitive spirit?

Earlier this year I found out NASA (natural athletes strength association) powerlifting has a power clean division. Not many powerlifters in New Mexico have competed in the clean division. Consequently there's almost no New Mexico state records in the power clean divisions. When i found this out I became very excited. I told all the athletes I know at The Miller Gym, High Dessert Athletics Club, Praxis, and Santa Fe CrossFit that they could compete in the upcoming New Mexico state NASA powerlifting championships held on April 2016 in Gallup New Mexico. I told them just showing up and lifting the bar would make them both state champions and a state record holders in the power clean division! I let them know i could fit 9 athletes in my vehicle if people wanted to carpool. I assumed everyone would be as excited as I am about going to a new venue, setting new records, and becoming state champions just by essentially showing up. Not a single person seemed interested. I asked my wife, "How could this opportunity not get everyone fired up? If I heard I could set a state records in something even if it was something I sucked at I'd still show up. For the experience and memories if nothing else." My wife told me most people just aren't as competitive as I am. On a basic level that makes sense. But on the other hand I REALLY don't understand. Everything about competing is awesome. I never feel as alive as when I compete. I'll compete in anything. Even if it's something I don't really enjoy or know anything about. You name it I'll try it. Not only are they fun, but I find it's a great way to gain back dwindling motivation for weight loss, training, or life in general. In the last 11 years I've competed in 86 multi-sport races, 8 running races, 2 Jiu Jitsue tournaments, 7 weightlifting meets, 1 powerlifting meet, and 1 CrossFit games. That averaging almost 1 competition a month. To me that's what makes life worth living! With all the options and opportunities out there nowadays why the heck would people not want to try something new and exciting all the time? Perhaps my wife is right. Maybe I'm much to competitive. And perhaps, as unbelievable as it sounds, maybe a new adventure and finding new adversaries just isn't as appealing to others as it is to me. Could there be such a thing as to competitive?

December 06, 2015

New Mexico New year's classic powerlifting meet report

Squat 175k
Bench 132.5k
Deadlift 195k
Coefficient 1.4438

On December 5th 2015 I competed in The New Mexico New Years classic powerlifting meet in Roswell NM. The meet was put on by NASA (Natural Athlete Strength Association). This was the first powerlifting meet I'd ever done. I've been training olympic style weightlifting for two years, but nothing even close to powerlifting. 

I was wanting to compete in the SHW divisions which is 309lbs or more. I woke up that morning weighting 305 lbs. Before I left the house for the 3 1/2 hour drive to the meet in Roswell NM a drank a glass of water with a couple teaspoons of salt stirred in. I figured the extra sodium would help my body retain water. 10 minutes before weighing in I chugged as much water as I could. I weighed in at 312 lbs easily making the SHW minimum weight. 

I entered 9 divisions. It cost me a fortune, but it was one of the most fun and memorable experiences of my life! Totally worth every penny! These were the divisions I entered. 
1- clean only masters pure SHW
2- clean only masters one SHW
3- clean only law enforcement SHW 
4- power press masters pure
5- power press masters one 
6- power press law enforcement SHW
7- push pull masters law enforcement SHW
8- unequiped powerlifting law enforcement SHW 
9- power sports law enforcement SHW 

The first lift was the power clean. I was really glad the clean was first. I know how to clean well and I'm comfortable doing cleans since the clean and jerk is one of the two lifts I've been training at for the last two years. I lifted a 120k clean. It was the heaviest clean of the day and a state record.

The next lift was the strict curl. I hadn't done curls at all since 2003. So I had no clue what weights to attempt. i lifted 35k, 50k, and my third lift was a 65k.

The third lift was the squat. I built up to a 170k squat. Since that was a national records they let me attempt a fourth lift. 175k, good lift.

After the squat it was obvious to everyone I was a rookie at powerlifting. I was having to ask athletes and officials a thousand questions. A powerlifting coach, Vernon Smith, who owns Grow Strong strength and conditioning in Albuquerque New Mexico came up to me and offered to coach me the rest of the day. I gratefully accepted his generous offer. The rest of the meet was so much easier and less stressful with a powerlifting coach helping me.

The bench press was the fourth lift. I ended up struggling with this. Out of habit I didn't wait for the head referees commands. Even though I lifted the weight easily I was given three red lights at both of my first two lifts for lifting the weight off my chest and racking without the officials commands. On the third lift I had to remember to wait for the head judges commands or I'd end up bombing out. On my third attempt of 132.5k I got three white lights. 132.5 was super easy. I could have lifted a lot more,  but after  two "no lifts" I was only concerned about not bombing out. I only started training again in the bench press this summer. Until this summer my lifetime bench PR was 275lbs I set back in 1999 when I was 24 years old. This summer when I first picked up benching again I could only lift 245 pounds. So all things considered 132.5k (291.5 pounds) is pretty awesome. I was allowed a fourth attempt and I successfully lifted 135k.

The deadlift was the fifth lift. I had no idea what to try to lift in this lift either. I used to deadlift when I first started olympic style weightlifting, but the deadlifts were hurting my hips so my weightlifting coach stopped putting them into my programing. It had been 20 months since I'd done any deadlifts. I started out with a 110k deadlift- ridiculously easy. My 2nd attempt I jumped up to a 150k lift. Also ridiculously easy. I decided to try 180 for my third. Also amazingly easy. I was allowed a fourth lift and i lifted 195k.... easily. I learned a very valuable lesson. I should know approximately how much my max lifts are if I'm going to lift in a powerlifting meet- duh!

I set 9 state records and 4 national records.  I entered these divisions and next to each is my total and placing. 
 clean only masters pure SHW (Super Heavy Weight), 120k, state record
clean only masters one SHW, 120k state record
clean only masters law enforcement SHW 120, state record
power press masters pure 152.5k state record
power press masters one 152.5k state record
power press law masters enforcement SHW 152.5, state and national record
 push pull masters law enforcement SHW, 327.5k, state record and national record 
 unequiped powerlifting masters law enforcement SHW, 502.5k, state and national record 
power sports masters law enforcement SHW, 392.5k, state and national record
The NASA powerlifting trophies and medals are top notch!

pre-workout meal comparison and weightlifting belts

After trying every food imaginable I've found the food that gives me the most energy to sustain my energy through an entire weightlifting workout is white rice mixed 1/2 cup skim milk, sugar, and  one or two cups of coffee. After Thanksgiving I had a pumpkin pie and thought,  "this has lots of calories and is high in the glycemic index. I bet pumpkin pie will work great as a pre-workout meal!" Just in case your wondering,  pumpkin pie does not fuel an athlete well. Not only did I end up running out of energy half way through my workout, i felt like crap the rest of the day. And the pumpkin pie used so much of my daily allotment of carbs and fat that I was hungry the rest of the day. No bueno.

Every 4-6 weeks I tweak my back doing back squats. It's never an injury severe enough to make me miss training,  but it's serious enough to bug for a week of two while it heals up. I've tried everything to stop this from happening: changing my form, tightening my belt REALLY tight, squating slower.... nothing seemed to stop it. A few weeks ago I had to order a different weightlifting belt. The one i had been using the last couple years wasn't legal in powerlifting meets. Bada Bing bada bang, problem fixed! Turns out I was needing a different weightlifting belt. The one I'm using now gives my back perfect support!  I haven't had any problems at all since lifting with the new belt. It's an Ader 4 inch weightlifting belt. Its a miracle worker and a back saver!
There's a funny 105k+ story to go along with this belt. I ordered the belt based on their sizing chart. When I got it in the mail I thought they had to have sent me the wrong sized belt because this sucker was huge! I'm sure it would fit around two normal sized men twice with plenty of room to spare.  I started packing it in the box to return it and my wife said, "why don't you try it on so you know how much smaller of a belt you'll need to replace it with." Great idea! I tried it on, not only did it fit,  but if I was a half inch bigger around the belt would be to small. Ah, the life of a super heavy weight. Every day in the shoes of a 105k+ is an adventure!

December 04, 2015

wrist problem fixed

The last couple weeks my right wrist had been hurting when I do snatches. On Saturday i told Erik, one of the coaches at The Miller Gym. After watching me lift only one time he figured out my problem. I allow my wrists to bend backwards when the weight reaches the top of the snatch. Normally that wouldn't be much of a problem, but my wrists are super flexible. They end up bending to far. See picture below:
The picture below is how I'm trying to have the weight land. This feels so much better. The only down side is changing my form on the snatch is harder than I thought it would be. It's caused a lot of missed lifts and frustration. Since the very first day i started doing the snatch I've ALWAYS done it that way. Changing it has thrown off my balance,  and to some extent even my confidence. With hard work, focus, and determination I'll get it. Like my Mom used to tell me, "this to shall pass."

December 03, 2015

afraid of big weights

At my last meet in October, The Lift Outside The Box weightlifting meet,  I missed my last snatch of 91k. If I'd have made that lift I'd have qualified for the master's weightlifting national championships. When I missed that lift I was crushed. Failing at my goal of the national championships made me more determined. I'm training harder, focusing on sleeping more, and I hired a sports nutrition coach.

Now that I'm to the part of my training that I'm starting to lift heavier weights again I've realized another side effect of my failure in October. I seem to get scared of lifting big weights. That had never been a problem for me before.  Now anytime I lift higher than%80 of my max I get intimidated and i have to walk around the gym trying to motivate myself and talk myself into attempting the lift. So far I haven't missed any big lifts, but the fear remains. Today I even succeeded at a snatch of only 5k below the weight I attempted in October, but the fear remains. I'm constantly amazed how much of a mental game weightlifting is.

December 02, 2015

eating before and during training

Since hiring a sports nutrition coach I've been eating smaller healthier meals. I almost never eat until I'm full. The good news is my stomach has shrunk so I get full sooner. The bad news is my stomach can't handle my normal pre-workout meal anymore. I used to eat two cups white rice,  one cup milk,  and coffee. If i eat that now i feel overly full and uncomfortable while training. Now that I'm eating less for my pre-workout meal I'm running out of energy during my workouts. I've started sipping on a 16 ounce Gatorade with a half scoop of whey protein during my workouts. That seems to have fixed everything. I'm no longer overly full and I have energy to finish training.

December 01, 2015

dinning out on a budget

My wife and I are on a strict budget. We put aside $50 every pay day for dining out.  $50 every two weeks isn't much for a family of 5. We'll usually eat out once a week at someplace cheap like McDonald's or Taco Bell. On Sunday the wife, kids, and I helped an old friend of ours move. We helped move from early morning until 6 pm that night. Afterwards everyone was exhausted and no one felt like cooking so our buddies took us to eat at Applebees. Its amazing how much we enjoyed eating out at an actual restaurant. Back before we had kids and students loans we ate out all the time without thinking about it. It never really felt like that big of a deal. But now going to eat made us fell like royalty. Its amazing how going without something can make us feel so much more grateful and appreciative when we do get it.

November 30, 2015

a full weekend!

This Saturday I'll be competing in my first powerlifting meet put on by NASA. I'm right on the line between two weight classes, the 275-307lb division and the 307lb+ division. I've decided I'm going to lift in the 308lb division. My walking around weight is around 305 so I'll need to eat a decent meal and drink a few glasses of water before weigh ins. I needed to know what numbers to go for at the meet so I maxed out on bench press. I hit 305.5 lbs! Earlier this year my max was  240 lbs. I'm pretty excited about my strength gains and I'm even more excited about competing in my 1st powerlifting meet.

The prison was short the week of Thanksgiving so I had to work 10 out of 11 days. 7 of those were twelve hour shifts, 3 were 16 hours shifts. During that grueling time I didn't miss a single workout and I didn't overeat once,  not even on Thanksgiving. By the time that long stretch of work ended i missed my kids so much! To do something special I took them to the dollar movies to see The Minions. On the way there the battery light came on in my vehicle. After the movies and on our way home the alternator in my old 90's model Chevy Suburban went out. Of course my phone's battery was dead so I couldn't call friends for help. I took out my battery and alternator and hitch hiked to the nearest auto parts store. Got them tested, purchased a new alternator, then had to hitch hiked back to my truck to install it. Bad news is i wasn't prepared for such a long outing so i missed my nutrition goals of the day,  but the good news is I broke down in front of Chucky Cheese in Albuquerque so the kids had a blast while I was fixing the Suburban.

November 28, 2015

week 3 with a sports nutrition coach

I started working with a sports nutrition coach almost 4 weeks ago. So far I've lost 4 pounds, which is amazing because my main goal is weightlifting performance. Of course I want to lose some fat, but only if it's done in a way that doesn't jeopardize performance. Also,  I started taking creatine monohydrate a little over a week ago. I usually gain at least 5 pounds when i start taking creatine. No weight gain this time. More importantly my clothes are fitting differently. They are tighter in the legs, chest, and shoulders, and looser in the waist. I feel like I'm healing quicker now from training than I was before. I'm sleeping better too. When I hired my nutrition coach he surprised me by keeping my calories the same. But he raised the amount of protein I'm eating- by a lot! Before I probably ate around 180 grams of protein a day. Now I'm eating close to 300. I'm averaging 125g of fat and 290g of carbohydrates on a non-training day. On training days my carbs go up to 400g and he has very specific directions on what I eat should before, during, and after training. I'm really happy i hired a nutrition coach. My only regret is not having done it a couple years ago. I'd have made more strength gains and I wouldn't have become as fat as I did.

I hurt my wrist weightlifting a week ago. Every time i lift it hurts a little worse. Of course I'm doing what any manly man does. I'm ignoring it, not telling anyone, hoping it'll get better on its own, and assuming that as long as I don't get it diagnosed that means nothings wrong with it. So far ignoring my wrist isn't working. So of course that means I haven't ignored it long enough or put enough effort in pretending nothings wrong.

November 27, 2015

suicide and correctional officers

I've been pretty transparent on my blog about my recent struggles with depression. I looked up some statistics and was shocked. I wish a knew these things before starting my career as a Correctional Officer in 1995.

-Correctional Officers (CO’s) have the second highest mortality rate of any occupation.

-33.5% of all assaults in prisons and jails are committed by inmates against staff.

-A CO’s 58th birthday, on average, is their last.

-CO’s have a 39% higher suicide rate than any other occupation and have a higher divorce and substance abuse rates then the general population.

-CO's die, on average, less than two years after retiring.

Throughout my 21-year career in corrections, I've lost a large number of my fellow correctional officers to suicide. Yet very little (if any) attention was paid to the issue of correctional officer suicides. Discussion of suicide within my profession is a taboo topic because corrections employees are not supposed to appear emotionally vulnerable or fragile. After all, emotional vulnerability often equates to emotional instability, which is perceived to be a weakness by fellow officers. It is also a sign that you can be manipulated or are easily prey by inmates.

There has been much written concerning suicide among law enforcement officers, but very little about suicide among correctional officers. College classes go into great depth about the risks of stress, burnout, depression, and suicide rates among police officers, but in corrections courses the topic is rarely, if ever, discussed.

Existing Research on Suicide in Corrections
Research studies have found high suicide rates in the corrections field. For example, a 2009 New Jersey State Police Task Force Study (PDF) found that corrections officers have a suicide rate that is twice as high as the rate of police officers.

A 2013 U.S. Department of Justice’s Programs Diagnostic Center Study (PDF) found corrections officers:
-Have a much higher rate of suicide than those in other occupations
-experience severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during their careers
-and on average, will not live to see their 59th birthday. Yup, you read that correctly. The average correctional officers won't live to 59.

In one of the few studies specifically addressing correctional officer suicide, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries indicated that 38 percent of the intentional fatalities were suicides by self-inflicted gunshot wounds, but the actual percentage is largely unknown because the BLS only reports suicides that occur in the workplace. Suicides that occur at home or elsewhere are classified as non-occupational and are not part of the BLS data.

So, in the last 8-9 years i have suffered severe depression and thoughts of suicide. I also have pretty severe PTSD. I cant keep my back to a room or a door. If there's someone standing behind me or someone keeps getting to close to me i get anxious. While in public i'm constantly looking in people's eyes and faces looking for signs of impending attack. I watch everyone's hands for weapons- I knew I'd been institutionalized when I looked for weapons in my grandmother's hands and looked for bulges in her clothes before I'd hug her. My kids won't get near the bed when I'm sleeping because sometimes I wake up yelling, punching, and kicking. I often times wake up running through the house. I don't know what I'm running to or away from, but i know its a life and death situation. My family knows never to walk up to me from behind......
Why did I choose a career in corrections? Why have I stayed 21 years? And why the hell haven't I retired yet? I know one thing for sure, when it comes to depression I'll never try to gut check it again. I'll get help.

November 26, 2015

more sleep for olympic style weightlifting

I've found I need 1 to 1.5 hours more sleep a day now than I did when I was a hard core triathlete. I'm only training an average of about 6 hours a week weightlifting. When I was a triathlete I was training an average of 22 hours a week. It's amazing to me I trained almost 4 times as much as an endurance athlete as I do as a weightlifter, but I need significantly more sleep now. 

The last 3 or 4 weeks I've had the best sleep of my life! For the last few years I had been struggling with sleep apnea. I wasn't sleeping well and I was constantly tired beyond belief. I assumed the sleep apnea was from obesity. In the last month I've lost 13 pounds. That's a drop in the bucket of what I need to  lose, but I've lost almost all of my problems with sleep that I had developed. There's no way losing 13 of the 140 pounds I'd gained made my sleep apnea go away. Now I'm beginning to wonder if my sleep apnea had to do with my weight gain or if it had more to do with the severe depression I had been in. Can depression caused sleep apnea? I'm not certain, but i know one thing for sure, I'm unbelievably grateful to no longer feel chronically exhausted and overworked. And I'm even more appreciative to no longer feel constant despair and hopelessness. 9 years of working 80-90 hours a week had beat me down physically and emotionally. Since I had never suffered from depression before I didn't realize how it gradually worsens. Like a frog in a pot of water that is gradually brought to a boil. The frog doesn't realize it's in a life threatening situation until it's almost to late because it had worsened so gradually. I now understand why they call depression the silent killer. Especially with men. We don't ask for help. No matter how bad things get we always say everything's fine, until it's to late. Even more so with Correctional Officer's. Machismo is huge among corrections employees. That's one of many reasons why the suicide rate among correctional officers is so high. Studies have shown the rate of PTSD of correctional officers is higher than combat vets. I've lost a lot of my fellow correctional officers by suicide the last two decades. 

November 25, 2015

The 2016 NASA World Cup

It turns out if I compete in the New Mexico New year's (powerlifting) classic, which I already registered for, I'll be eligible to compete in the 2016 NASA world cup, NASA's powerlifting world championships. There's nothing as thrilling as competing at a world championship sporting event! In 2006 i qualified and competed in the 70.3 world (triathlon) championships in Clearwater Florida. Even though I finished with one of my slowest 70.3 distance races of my entire triathlon career it was one of the most exhilarating and memorable experiences of my life. Everything about a sporting world championships is memorable and surreal. The athletes, the energy, the enthusiasm! I cant believe i get an opportunity to compete in another one! I'm so excited!  There's no way I'm missing the 2016 NASA (powerlifting) World Cup. It's going to be held in August 2016 in Denver Colorado, & you can bet I'll be there!

November 23, 2015

more energy during training

Today's workout was awesome! 81 reps total, all double and triples. Today was one of those rare days that everything felt light and no matter how hard I worked I never felt tired. I think that has a lot to do with hiring a sports nutrition coach. I'm recovering quicker, feeling stronger, and have more energy during training now. The workout took me almost two hours. After weightlifting I did the bench press program Shane built for me. I built up to two reps at 129.5 kilos (285lbs). I've always struggled at bench. That Shane's program has built me up to 2x285 lbs is virtually a miracle. I'm hoping to hit a 300lb bench at the NASA powerlifting competition on December 5th in Roswell New Mexico.

My daughter hugged me today and said, "Daddy, your getting skinnier. I can tell when i hug you. You feel different." I haven't seen much weight loss on the scale the last couple weeks,  but she sure made me feel good.

November 20, 2015

my son and weightlifting

Some wives give socks or ties for presents. Not my wife. She knows exactly what will make me happy. Weightlifting suplaments baby! I got this in the mail today for my 40th birthday. I'm a happy man. 

Today at my son's weightlifting practice coach Miller gave my son a Miller gym t-shirt for an early Christmas present. My son was was so happy about the shirt he refused to take it off last night. He slept in it. He really loves weightlifting, and he's pretty darn good at it. I'd really like it if I could watch him practice just one time without my eyes filling with tears. It's funny how love and and being proud of seeing my children exell  makes me cry.

Here's a video of my son doing power cleans. If he continues progressing as well as he is coach Miller will let him lift in the 2nd annual John Henry Davis meet in January. My dad even said he'd come to watch my sons first weightlifting meet. Even though my Dad only lives a few hours away he only visits once every couple years. So that would make it a particularly special day for my son. He and I would be lifting in the same meet together. Now that's what I call father/son bonding! 

November 19, 2015

weightlifting, retirement, and Santa Fe New Mexico

I find great joy from training olympic style weightlifting. The dedication and focus it takes to train in this sport fits my personality perfectly. I have a perfect weightlifting specific gym and like minded athletes to train with. I have two top notch coaches, one weightlifting coach and one nutrition coach. I'm completely content where I'm at. And now that I'm able to slow down on overtime my family life is the best it's ever been. 

I spent my entire career counting down the days to be able to retire and move, and now that I'm eligible to retire from the prison I've found complete satisfaction where I'm at. My wife and I have been house shopping here in Santa Fe, the houses are unbelievably expensive, there's no way we could afford to buy a house here. So after years of wanting to retire, I've found  that now I don't want to, and I sure as heck don't want to move away from my weightlifting gym here in Santa Fe.

I started taking creatine again. I'm always amazed how quickly my body gets strength gains and how much more quickly my body recovers when I take creatine. The only down side to creatine is the weight gain. I've gained three pounds in less than a week. All the weight gain is water weight, and since i don't have to worry about making weight at a lower weight class i don't mind. My next weightlifting meet is in January. The meet in January will be my last chance to qualify for the Masters Weightlifting National Championships.

November 18, 2015

help to recover

This week will be the hardest week of training I've ever done.  I'm only half way through and already my legs are trashed! Today is my only day of rest this week so I thought what better way to recover than with a massage! Plus it's my 40th birthday today. What a great gift for myself! My legs were so sore it hurt when the massage therapist was working on them! Hopefully the massage will help me recover more so I can trash them all all over again.

November 17, 2015

boundaries and coaches

After hiring a sports nutrition coach,  one who is an olympic style weightlifter himself,  I've lost 13 pounds. This last weekend my 5 oldest friends were getting together to watch the Holly Holm vs Ronda Rousey fight and we were celebrating my 40th birthday. I had a lot of anxiety about sending my nutrition coach an email stating I was going to be off the diet wagon Saturday night and drinking.  He responded "Understood. Happy birthday.  Get back on the wagon on Sunday ". I wasn't expecting such a supportive and understanding response. Back in my hard core triathlon days I had a triathlon coach who pushed me really hard. I made great gains under his tutelage, but he wasn't understanding about balancing life and athletics. The week my youngest son was born and hospitalized for three days he sent multiple nasty messages about missing workouts. My old triathlon coach caused me a lot of stress and anxiety in my life. I didn't enjoy that kind of pressure.  I was expecting that kind of a response from my nutrition coach,  but nope,  he was awesome. It's nice being a serious athlete with coaches who are great at getting results,  but also know how to allow balance in their athletes lives.

November 16, 2015

glycogen and olympic style weightlifting

Great news! I'm relatively certain I've figured out what caused the fatigue during my workouts the last week. I thought it was caused by one or a combination of the following: dieting, to many hours at work, lack of sleep, or because my new intensive training program was to difficult for me. Turns out it has to do with my glycogen levels. I'd  been doing a bench program after weightlifting. Doing both was causing REALLY long training days and was burning me out.  A couple weeks ago I started weightlifting on Mondays, Wednesday's, and Fridays and doing the bench program with pull ups and abs on Tuesdays and Thursdays. My muscles glycogen levels were able to fully replenish because the muscles used on each day were different, but an athletes liver glycogen levels takes 48 hours to fully replenish from strength training days. Since I was strength training 5 days consecutively my livers glycogen levels were getting lower everyday and never recovering. I'll be going back to doing bench press after my olympic weightlifting. Olympic style weightlifting is such a mental game. I'm always learning something new.

November 15, 2015

upcoming biggest volume week ever

Last week was a recovery week. Even though the weights were low and I didn't do many sets or reps I struggled to finish my workouts. I worked 12 hour shifts on all my days off but one, on Friday I got a mandatory 16 hour shift, and I'm attempting to lose weight (down 13 pounds so far). I'm not sure which one of those was the culprit of the struggles in the gym or if it was a combination. Starting tomorrow I'll be in a really big training week. It'll be the most volume and intensity I've ever attempted in a week. Hopefully the last week of lower volume was all I was needing because I'll need to be at %100 this week.

I usually cycle creatine monohydrate. After a meet I'll take 4 weeks off, then I'll take a it again until my next meet. It usually ends up being a month off 2 months on. I started taking it again tonight. I'll need the extra help starting on Moday.

November 12, 2015

soon to lift in my first powerlifting competition

On December 5th I'll be competing in my first powerlifting competition. It's going to be the NASA (natural athlete strength association) New Mexico New year classic. I'm currently weighing 305.4lbs, down from 318. Looks like I'll be lifting in the 275-307lb division. I found out i can lift in multiple divisions. I could lift in the police division, masters 1, and masters pure divisions.  I looked up the New Mexico state records in those divisions and there are 14 vacant state records. I'll end up setting 14 state records in my first powerlifting competition! Here are the divisions and records I'll be lifting in. They are all in the 275-307lb division. The only bad news is it'll cost me $515 to enter all those divisions.

Power sports police division 

Power press police division 
Power press masters 1 division 
Power press masters pure

Retro powerlifting police division 
Retro powerlifting masters 1 division
Retro powerlifting masters pure division

unequiped bench police division
Unequiped bench masters pure

Unequiped push/pull police division
unequiped push/pull masters 1 division

power clean police division
Power clean masters 1 division
Power clean masters pure division

definitions of divisions :
Power sports= curl, bench, deadlift
Power press= bench, clean
Push/pull= bench, deadlift

November 11, 2015

a great Olympic weightlifting coach

My middle child has significantly less confidence than my other children. His lack of self-esteem has caused him to learn more slowly in school, causes him to give up at things very quickly, have emotional outbursts, he's incredibly hard on himself,  etc. A few months ago I started having him trained in olympic style weightlifting by coach Shane Miller. My son has a real talent for weightlifting. He stays intensely focused at every training session, which he usually isn't willing to do with anything else. This new found talent of his has totally changed him in the last few months. He always leaves in a better mood than when he started, which has has taught him to stay focused and positive when attempting other things. Since he's becoming so good at weightlifting so quickly its made him feel significantly better about himself. He's more patient, focused, confident, and much happier. Only a few months weightlifting has had a profound and positive effect on my sons life.

Awhile back there were 5 men at The Miller gym who were competing to successfully lift a 91k  (200lb) snatch. i was the first one. One of the guys at the gym, I'll call him Jack Ass, was a sore loser and told me the only reason i was the  one who lifted a 91k first was because of how overweight i was. Earlier this week a 2nd athlete successfully lifted a 91k snatch. As soon as Jack Ass heard he immediately said loudly,  "yeah, but your a 105k+ and-" before Jack Ass could finish his statement coach Shane Miller shut him up and pulled him aside. Apparently Coach Miller had a come to Jesus moment with Jack Ass because Jack Ass came back to me and apologized. I love my gym.  I love the other members of my gym- most of the time. And i love my coach. He's a great teacher,  a great person, a great motivator, he does an amazing job at stopping or minimizing gym gossip or politics, and I'm mostly grateful because he's making a huge difference in my son's  life.

November 09, 2015

eating to train and recover

My sports nutrition coach is having me eat 400 grams of carbs on a heavy weightlifting day. 1/3 to 1/2 of my carbs should be eaten in a block of 2 hours before, during, and two hours after my training. When I first started I found that I perform best if I eat 2 cups white rice with a cup of milk and a little sugar before my workout. It wasn't until a recently I found I workout best if I drink orange Gatorade with chocolate whey protein during my workout- tastes like an orange-cicle!

I'd always struggled with energy after my workouts. I'd feel wiped out for hours. This week I tried a new post workout shake. It's made with 1 1/2 cups milk, 1 1/2 scoops whey protein, BCA's, Glutamine, a banana, and two tablespoons peanut butter. Within minutes of pounding my post workout shake I feel unbelievable. The most ignored aspect of training is recovery. Hopefully this'll jump start my lifting. 9 1/2 weeks left until the last shot at qualifying for the Masters National Weightlifting Championships.

November 08, 2015

first full week with a sports nutrition coach for weightlifting

I decided I wanted to lose 74 pounds to be able to lift in the 105k weight class, but i didn't want my weightlifting to suffer, so i hired a sports nutrition coach. After my first full week with a sports nutrition coach I've lost 1.8 pounds. When i had tried losing weight on my own my workouts would suffer, I'd fatigue quickly during workouts, I'd lose strength, and get overly hungry. So far i haven't felt any of those problems. I guess that's why it's better to hire a professional. 1.8 pounds down,  72.2 more to go. So far so good. I'll continue to keep you updated.

November 03, 2015

on an upward swing

The entire week I've ate exactly what my nutrition coach wanted me to! After two years of training hard and eating like crap I'm excited to finally be getting the nutrition aspect of training down. Hopefully that will enable me to get the gains I need to qualify for the Master's National Weightlifting Championships. Last month I missed qualifying by 5 kilos.

The last few days I've had the best sleep I've ever had! I'm sure it's a combination of training harder than I've ever trained and eating well. This is a welcome relief. I've had obesity related sleep apnea the last few years. It feels great to finally feel rested.

For 9 straight years I worked 80-90 hours a week. It caused some pretty severe depression. To be honest I almost didn't make it through it. The last couple months I've worked a normal amount of hours. Thankfully the depression has dissipated along with the excessive amount of work hours. So.... what is that weird feeling I have floating around inside me? Oh ya, that's happiness and contentedness. Welcome back. It's been a long time. I've missed you.

Everything is finally coming together. The only thing left unaccomplished is for me to save for a down payment for a home and qualify for the Masters National Championships. 

November 01, 2015

nutrition coaching day 2

I hired a nutrition coach.  Today marks my 2nd full day of being coached by him. Lot's of new things.

-This weekend i attended my father-in-laws 75th birthday party. There's no way i could have ate healthy and in moderation if i wasn't being held accountable by my nutrition coach.

-Planning out what I'm going to eat before i eat it and logging it makes a huge difference in the quality of food i end up eating. 

-higher quality foods are much much more filing

--I'm having a hard time eating as much as I'm supposed to, especially the 300g protein. 

- left on my own i eat WAY to much fatty foods

- once i log and eat my first meal eating healthy the rest of the day is easy but the first meal is the hardest for me. I love to eat crappy food in the morning, corned beef hash, burritos, grilled cheese sandwiches with green chile, etc. And after i eat one unhealthy meal i have a tendency to want to eat poorly the next meal,  then the next meal. It's the fat man's snow ball effect. 

October 30, 2015

sport nutrition coach update

I've hired a nutrition coach to help me lose enough weight to get down to the 105k weight class while still making performance gains in olympic style weightlifting. We were supposed to start next week. Yesterday i received an email from him saying he was so excited he was willing to start coaching me early for no additional cost. Seriously? How often does that happen? Awesome! He analyzed the last week of my diet and sent me almost 2 pages of observations and suggestions. He sent me info regarding what to eat before,  during,  and after my workouts to get the best benefits from training. How many carbs and what percentage of my daily carbohydrate intake should be consumed within a two hour block of training. He sent me suggestions on what to eat, when to eat, and why it'll benefit my performance. Since getting his email I've probably emailed or Facebook messaged him a dozen times. He always responds within moments and spends the time answering whatever question i had in great detail. I can't believe all the work this guys doing for me for only $75 a month. I doubt he's making minimum wage coaching me at this point. I'm thinking hiring this guy to be my sports nutrition coach was the best decision I've made in long time. My only regret is not hiring him earlier. If i had I'd already be a 105k and would have qualified for the 2016 Master's National Championships weightlifting meet. With Coach Shane Miller as my weightlifting coach and and Barry Schroeder as my sports nutrition coach I'm certain I'll be making unbelievable gains. Current weight, 309lbs. Next stop, lighter, stronger, and faster baby!

October 29, 2015

when to retire?

I'm currently eligible to retire from the state of New Mexico. I've been struggling to figure out when I should retire. I could retire anytime between now and July 2019. After years of deliberation my wife and I have decided for me to wait until 2019 to retire from the prison. The reason is simple. I've fallen in love with weightlifting. I've never enjoyed another sport or hobby as much as i enjoy weightlifting, and Santa Fe has one of the best weightlifting coaches in the nation, Shane Miller from who Coaches out of the Miller Gym. There's no way I'm ready to leave the quality of coaching here, there's way to much I still want to accomplish in this sport.

October 28, 2015

a nutrition coach for weightlifting!

In 2004 I weighed 292 pounds. And then I found triathlon and I gradually got thinner as I became more involved in the sport. I got down to and maintained my dream racing weight of 175 pounds. I fell off the diet wagon May of 2012 shortly after I got ran over by a vehicle while I was cycling and suffered a traumatic brain injury. I retired from triathlon and since then I've gained a ridiculous amount of weight. My top weight, which I hit this month, was 318 pounds. I've tried dieting a thousand times. It never works. On the rare occasion I do lose weight for a few weeks in a row I always gain it all back and then some. I got tired of struggling to lose weight and failing. I got sick of being embarrassed about how I look. I got sick of not being able to buy clothes anywhere but Big and Tall stores. I got sick of being to fat to be able to play basketball or ride bikes with my kids. And I've developed sleep apnea from being grossly obese. I decided to do something about it. I hired a nutrition coach, weightlifter Barry Schroeder. He owned(still owns) three New Mexico state record in the 35-39 age group 105k weight class. Then he lost a lot of weight, dropped down to the 94k weight class and broke the 3 state records in that weight class too. To lose that much weight and still be strong enough to crush numerous state records means he knows the science of nutrition and how to eat to perform well for weightlifting while losing weight. I contacted him and asked if he'd be willing to help me. He was very enthusiastic about it. His prices are phenomenal too! Only $75 a month! First step is he'll track my food, calories, and weight for a week, then I'll start his diet magic! Next stop is the 105k weight class and qualifying for the masters national weightlifting championships! I'll keep you informed on my progress! I'm pumped!

October 27, 2015

challenging weightlifting program

I started a new weightlifting program.  Coach Miller told me this will be the most difficult program I've done. If yesterday was an indication of how the next 9 weeks will go then he's absolutely right. Yesterdays workout was a ball buster. It was a tremendous amount of fun, but it was one of the hardest workouts I've ever done. It took me 2 1/4 hours to finish the workout. The rest of the day my legs were wobbly and i woke up with my legs ridiculously sore. I love to work hard, and i love how a hard workout leaves me feelling.

If training goes well then I should hit an 95k snatch and a 120k clean and jerk by the John Davis memorial weightlifting meet in January. If i can hit this numbers then I'll qualify for the 2016 master's weightlifting national championships that'll be held in Savannah Georgia in April.

October 25, 2015

2016 triathlon and weightlifting schedule

I've started contemplating doing a half dozen multisport races or more in 2016. I'd like to hit 100 races completed in the next few years. I'm currently at 86. Of course my main focus would be weightlifting, so I'd need to schedule races no closer than 6 weeks from weightlifting meets. The more i wondered what a weightlifting/ multisport schedule would look like the less i could resist building one. I doubt I'll stick to this schedule, but this one looks pretty good to me. What an adventure 2016 would be if i did something similar to this!

P.S. another great thing about this schedule is i wouldn't have to purchase a USA Triathlon membership until May because you don't need a USAT membership to race in multisport races on military bases and the first two races of 2016 are on military installations.

December 5th, 2015
NASA powerlifting meet
Roswell NM

The 2nd annual John Davis memorial weightlifting meet
Santa Fe NM

Missile Man duathlon (1)

Tax day triathlon (2)

Joker Duathlon (3)
Holloman Air Force Base NM

Dog house sprint triathlon  (4)
Lubbock Tx

Milkman triathlon  (5)
Dexter NM

May/ June / or July
The New Mexico state games weightlifting meet
Albuquerque NM

Bottomless lakes triathlon (6)
Roswell NM

Socorro chile harvest triathlon  (7)

SPC cotton country sprint triathlon (8)
Levelland Tx

monster triathlon (9)
Holloman Air Force Base NM

Weightlifting meet
Santa Fe NM

Veterans day duathlon (10)

The Polar Bear triathlon (11)

October 24, 2015

rest between sets for olympic weightlifting

During my last weightlifting meet I felt fatigued by the time I got to the Clean and jerks. I decided I'd try and take less time between lifts during training to see if that would help increase my endurance during weightlifting meets. I've set the timer on my phone for 4 minutes. Every time the timer goes off I do another set regardless if I feel recovered or not. So far this has rocked my legs! They are tired and pumped up once I leave the gym. The next day my legs are always much more sore and fatigued than I'm used to. This approach probably burns more calories which will help me get to my goal of lifting in the 105k division.

On another note, my depression has subsided a lot the last couple weeks. I'm sure it has to do with working less and sleeping more the last couple months. I had been suffering from severe depression, most likely caused from working 80-90 hours a week for 9 straight years. I've only been working an average of 50 hours recently. Life feels so much better being well rested and having the fog of melancholy lifted.

October 23, 2015

first treadmill tabata of 2015

Yesterday morning I was mandatoried to a 16 hour shift at the prison. I refused to let that upset my new  workout regimen. I got off of a 16 hour shift at 10 am, slept until 1:15, went to the New Mexico Corrections Academy and completed my training routine before my kids got home at 3 pm from school.

For cardio I did my first treadmill tabata in over a year. I chose the treadmill tabata because I didn't have much timr. A tabata is a very quick and rediculously intense cardio workout. It'll makes your lungs scream and heart feel like it's going to pump right out of your chestt. I did a 5 minute warm up followed by a twenty second sprint at a %12 grade and a 13:37 pace followed by a 10 second rest. I completed  10 sprints of 20 seconds followed by a ten second break. It was really hard! Felt great.

October 22, 2015

triathlon and weightlifting?

One of my bucket list goals was to complete 100 multisport races. In the 7 years I had competed in multisport I completed 86 triathlons and duathlons. You'd never know by my current physique, but I used to be a skinny and blazing fast triathlete.

I received a Facebook message by a state record weightlifter, Barry Schroeder. He asked if I wanted to compete in a team triathlon with him next year. That got me to thinking.... There's no reason I shouldn't compete in a few triathlons or duathlons occasionally. Barry's been a huge motivator on my life the last couple years. Seems like anytime I'm needing a moral boost or pep talk he shows up.

My favorite races were in the South West Challenge Series. I finished top 3 in the SW Challenge series for 6 consecutive years, 2006-2012. I'd need to finish 6 races in 2016 to be eligible for the series championship. I won't lie, finishing an endurance race at my current weight of 312 pounds would be hard, but I'm always up for a challenge. Plus that would probably motivate me to lose some weight. losing weight would help my health, racing multisport again, and most importantly my weightlifting. At my current weight class i missed qualifying by 5k. If I was in the 105k weight class for weightlifting my current weightlifting totals would have qualified me for The Masters Weightlifting National Chamionships.

I dunno. Should I try doing to Polar Bear triathlon in Las Cruces NM on Dec 6th of this year? That's the first race of The South West Challenge Series 2016 season. I'd only have to do 5 more to qualify to be a 2016 South West Challenge Series champion. If I did 6 races for the 2016 season I'd only have to complete 8 more in my lifetime to have completed my goal of 100. I'm competing in a NASA powerlifting meet on Dec 5th in Roswell NM. I could drive from the meet straight to Las Cruces and compete in the triathlon the next morning. That would be insane to compete in a powerlifting meet and a triathlon on back to back days, but it would be a weekend I'd always remember. Hhhmmm. What do you think?

October 21, 2015

program for more fitness

I've put a lot of thought into developing a great program that will increase my fitness level, raise my metabolic rate, and help me lose weight without fatiguing my legs for Olympic style weightlifting. I've decided I'll do Olympic style weightlifting and abs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. And on Tuesdays and Thursdays I'll do the bench press program Shane builds for me, pullups, abs, and hit the heavy bag for cardio.

The abs program I'll be doing is from the book The Complete Book Of ABS by Kurt Brungardt.
Back in my glory years I had included his abs workout program into my triathlon training with great results (see picture below)
I know,  i post this pick a lot, but who doesn't still dream of their glory years? I'd like to improve my physique again so that my glory years are now rather than in the past. I'm hoping this program I'm starting will get me there.

October 20, 2015

boxing and weightlifting

I've been wanting to lose some weight and do some cardio. Any of the times I've tried doing cycling or running in conjunction with weightlifting I ended up over training and getting sick. I already push my legs to the limit with olympic style weightlifting so I wanted to find a cardio that mostly worked the upper body. So today I started hitting the heavy bag. Afterwards I realized a few things:

-I'm in better cardiovascular shape than I thought a 313 pound person would be.... Yup, 313. Not something I'm proud of, but I'm working on it.

-My boxing form has turned to crap since the last time I practiced.... 9 years ago? Crap, I'm getting old!

-My right cross used to be unbelievable.... It's not anymore. Not even a little bit.

-My left (non dominant) hook is better now than it has ever been. Where the heck did that come from? Perhaps weightlifting has caught the strength of my weak hand up to my dominant? Awesome. I'll take it.

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed hitting the heavy bag again. I think heavy bag work and olympic style weightlifting is going to be a great combination.

October 19, 2015

family at weightlifting meets and emotional roller coasters

My wife is a very attractive lady and I'm still very in love. I still work hard at impressing her anytime I can. By doing the housework before she gets home from work or by doing great at sporting events to impress her, etc. Most of the time that works out great for me. But I've realized its causes problems with my weightlifting meets. Anytime she and my kids are in the audience I end up doing poorly at weightlifting. I end up putting to much of my concentration on doing well to look good for them them rather than on my form. Apparently still being madly in love after 13 years of marriage has an occasional down side.

On Saturday I failed at qualifying for the Masters National Weightlifting Championships at the "Lift Outside The Box" weightlifting meet held here in Santa Fe NM at The Miller Gym. After a poor sporting performance my emotions are all over the place. I've learned to never make any decisions soon after I do something I consider disappointing athletically. After the meet I was going to go on a low carb diet. Now that I've recovered from my emotional roller coaster I realized I'm a decent weightlifter. I'm fine at my current weight class. Yes I need to drop 30-40 pounds. But I need to do it in a healthy and moderate way. I also need work on my snatch form. My snatches in the last couple meets were down right ugly, but I don't need to do anything drastic with my weight that'll cause me to lose strength and speed that I've worked so hard to build. On the upside my clean and jerk exploded during my last training plan. I increased 7k in only 3 months. The next meet I'll be competing in will be The 2nd Annual John Davis weightlifting meet. Hopefully I'll qualify for the Masters National Weightlifting Championships then.

October 18, 2015

weightlifting and tapering for a peak

I've been experimenting with my taper before weightlifting meets. I've tried not working out the entire week before the meet, taking a few days before the meet off, and most recently just a light training day the day before. Out of all of these not training at all three days from the weightlifting meet seems to work the best. Not lifting a week before the meet makes me feel sluggish. Weightlifting light the day before makes my legs feel fatigued and doesn't let me feel explosive power that taking three days off before the meet does.

Back in my triathlon days i had a golden carrot,  a goal of beating a stud triathlete named Brian Pilgrim. I chose him because he was a bad ass and i felt that i needed to beat the best to be the best. i eventually did end up being faster than him.

Now that I'm a weightlifter i have another gold carrot. Barry Schroeder. He's a stud. He's only a 94K but he consistently lifts a 101/121/222. For as long as I've been a weightlifter i thought a 100k snatch and a 120k clean and jerk was unattainable. But yesterday i lifted a 115k clean and jerk. I now know those numbers are attainable, sooner rather than later. Possibly by January,  definitely by next summer. Yesterday after my piss poor performance at the Lift Outside The Box weightlifting meet i was feeling sorry for myself, but this morning i realized beating Barry Schroeder is possible. And now I'm super motivated. Time to lace up the weightlifting shoes and go back to training!

October 17, 2015

the 2015 Lift Outside The Box weightlifting meet report

Today i competed in the 2015 Lift Outside The Box weightlifting meet at The Miller gym in Santa Fe New Mexico. The day started off horrible,  i weighed in at 143k. I knew i was gaining weight,  but dang. I've put on 15k in the last three months.

Today I had one goal and one goal only, to qualify for the Masters weightlifting national championships. To do that i needed to successfully lift a 91k snatch, 116k clean and jerk, for a 207 total.

The first two lifts of an 82k and an 87k snatch were successful, but i knew i was in trouble. On every attempt i was doing power snatches. I didn't drop below the bar once. When i went for the 91k snatch same thing, i didn't squat. 91k was just too much weight for me to lift successfully without decent form. I did a push out, no lift.

On the clean and jerks i lifted a 106, 110, 115. The 115k broke the New Mexico state record by 7k. I also set a clean and jerk and total PR, but i missed qualifying for the Masters weightlifting national championships again. I got closer this time,  but i was still 5k from qualifying. i have one more shot in January to qualify for the national championships.

October 16, 2015

weightlifting taper and my grandmother passing away

Just before i started my taper I was ready for a break!  I was going to ask my coach if i could have a week off after the meet. By the end of my taper i'm missing lifting heavy. This is exactly what happens everytime.  I'm tired when I'm supposed to be, and feeling hungry for some heavy weightlifting when I'm about to compete. It's wonderful having a coach that has me hit every phase of training exactly like I'm supposed.
My grandmother died this weekend of bone cancer. It was her 5th bout with cancer. She was amazing.

My mother was at the funeral. My mother and i haven't spoken in over 4 years. I was afraid she was going to try and cause drama like she usually does. She didn't. Although it was awkward being around her, the weekend with the entire family was wonderful and the funeral was beautiful. I'll miss my Meme, that's what i called her. Meme. She was so strong and wonderful. She was the rock of our family. All of us on earth who knew her are heart broken, but she's with her husband, her daughter, and Jesus now so I know she's happier.
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October 08, 2015

retire from the prison now or max out my retirement?

On May 30th i was eligible to retire from the state penitentiary. After a long hard look at my life and my families  future i had decided to stay at the prison until July 2019 which is when I'll max out my retirement. And then yesterday I found out if i die before i retire, even though I'm already eligible my wife will only get %30 of my retirement. If i retired now and then died she'd get %80 for the rest of her life. That changes things a bit. I've always prided  myself as a selfless spouse and a hard working provider. If i do what i want and stay at the prison another 4 years I'm gambling with my wife's future. If i leave too soon i won't have a down payment for a home or enough in savings to guarantee that we could pay our bills while i work my way out of an entry level position as a dock worker at ABF freight or UPS . Being a father and husband is much more complicated than i thought it'd be.

October 03, 2015

race to the 200 pound snatch club

There were 4 men in my weightlifting club who were having a competition on who would be the first one to lift a 200lb snatch. Last week i was the first one to make that lift.  To celebrate i bought this shirt to workout in. 
One of the guys in the competition told me that I only made that lift first because i weigh so much. Notice that they wanted to focus purely on the fact that i outweigh them but not on the fact that I'm twice their age? Those two little pipsqueaks pissed me off. From now on I'm lifting with a purpose. And every time I hit another big weightlifting milestone  I'm gonna rub it in his flippin condescending faces. Next stop is a 120k clean and jerk. I'm only 4k away.

One of my weightlifting partners, Katie Plant, approached me later and told me, "screw him Cody, at least you never bombed out of a weightlifting meet like he did". That meant a lot to me. It feels good knowing there's people who have my back and that i wasn't the only who thought their comments were uncalled for.

September 26, 2015

weightlifting, boxing, and depression

I've been wanting to start doing cardio, but I'm pushing my body to the max with weightlifting. Anytime I've added some sort of cycling or running into my training regiment i end up overtraining and getting sick. Then it occurred to me that most of weightlifting is legs and the types of cardio I'm doing is also legs. So what if i started adding cardio that primarily  worked the upper body?  But what could i do to raise my heart rate using my upper body? BOXING! Hitting a heavy bag! So i found a heavy bag and gloves on Craig's list for only $50. I'll be picking it up tomorrow. It'll be a fun workout that wont fatigue my legs as much, and it'll be great training for my career as a correctional officer at the prison.

For the last 9 years I was forced to work 80-90 hours a week. Working that much and sleeping so little caused me to be severely depressed. For the last month I've been able to slow down on overtime. I assumed once i was able to work less and sleep more my depression would go away. It hasn't. Perhaps i need to wait longer? Expecting the consequences of 9 years of hell to go away after only a month might be asking to much, but it sucks finally being home and having the time to do things but not have any interest in anything at all. I got so used to going through the motions of life even though i felt horrible that now it feels like i forgot how to feel happy. I don't mean to sound like a pussy, but in the last 4 years I've gained 130 pounds. I'm so over weight I've developed sleep apnea and i just don't care. Now that I'm working less I don't have an excuse to feel like this, but i still do. What gives?

September 25, 2015

trying to qualify for the masters national weightlifting championships

On Monday i set PR's of a 90k snatch and a 113k clean and jerk. My weightlifting coach, Shane Miller told me I could attempt a 92k snatch and a 115k clean and jerk today. If i made both lifts that would give me a total of 207k, which is the amount needed to qualify for the Masters national weightlifting championships. So today i tried, and I successfully lifted a 91k snatch, but missed the 92k. I lifted a 114k clean and jerk easily which put me at a 205k total. I desperately wanted the 207k, so i jumped from 114k to 116k and nailed it! I made the 207k total I'd been training the last 21 months for!  As long as I'm able to lift that amount on October 17th in the sanctioned weightlifting meet i'm scheduled  to compete at I'll have qualified for the 2016 masters national Championships in Savannah Georgia!

Earlier this year i sold all my triathlon gear to be able to afford for my wife and i to travel to Savannah Georgia if i was actually able to meet the minimum total. Looks like that might happen.

September 24, 2015

my home, my gym

The gym i train at is an Olympic style weightlifting gym. It's the most supportive environment I've ever been in. We're all there with the same goal, Olympic style weightlifting. Next to the prison (i work there, I'm not an inmate) I've never felt such comradery.

Last week our gym had two people compete in the masters weightlifting world championships in Finland. One took first, the other 2nd place. This week we have 5 athletes going to compete in the university national championships in Utah. The joy we have for each others accomplishments and struggles is 2nd to none. I'm getting close to the qualifying totals for the 2016 masters weightlifting national championships. Almost everyday someone asks me how my weightlifting is going. They all know  I'm close to my goal and everyone seems as excited about it as i am.

 I've fallen head over heels in love with Olympic style weightlifting. This is such a beautiful sport! It takes speed, strength, balance, form, and incredible mental focus. The Snatch and the Clean and Jerk are the most complicated and rewarding exercises I've ever done.

September 23, 2015

starting to commute by bicycle again

My wife and i have had only one vehicle all week and my wife's been taking it to work. I've been riding my old, beat up, 90's model Raleigh mountain bike everyday to The Miller Gym and work. At first i was afraid the cycling would hurt my weightlifting. But i think the cycling is actually helping it. I used to struggle getting my legs warmed up and ready to lift heavy. This week, by the time i bike the 11 miles to the gym, my legs feel great and are ready to lift right away. So it looks like I'm picking up commuting to work and gym on my bicycle again.

September 21, 2015

new PR's close to qualifying

Today i was scheduled to lift heavy. It's not often my programming has me go heavy, so it wasn't a day i was willing to miss. My wife's van broke down and she needed my vehicle for both her work and school. So i rode my old commuter mountain bike to the gym.

 It was only about 11 miles from my house to The Miller gym, not that far really,  but i was  still worried riding that far on an old dilapidated bike would fatigue my legs. It turns out it didn't. I lifted a lifetime PR of a 90k snatch and a clean and jerk of 113k for a total of 203k. That's only 4 kilos from qualifying for the masters weightlifting national championships.
Qualifying for the master's national championships would mean a ton to me. I used to be a pretty finominal triathlete, i had qualified for 6 national championships and one world championship. I assumed the cycling accident that ended my triathlon career marked the end of me competing in athletics at a national level. But here i am getting close to being able to compete at another national championship sporting event. I'm so excited and I'm incredibly grateful to everyone who's helped me get to where I'm at, particularly my weightlifting coaches Shane Miller,  Kim Alderwick, and Jodi Stumbo.

September 11, 2015

losing weight for an attractive woman

My wife started working out at Praxis (formerly Zia crossfit) a month ago.  She's lost so much weight so quickly that the transformation has been shocking. She's not just losing weight, she's getting that athletic and fit look, muscular arms, a slender waist line, long lean legs, and defined shoulders. On one hand I'm lucky because my wife was already a very attractive lady, but now she's looking unbelievable. And now i need to lose some dang weight or we're going to endup looking like the picture below.

September 10, 2015

forgiven and blessed

On Friday i received two medical bills totaling  $6700. Then a few days later my vehicle broke down, another  $706. Yesterday on the way to pick up my vehicle from the mechanic my wife's vehicles check engine light came on. The only way for my family to get out of that kind of financial mess would have been for me to go back to working massive amounts of overtime. I spent 9 years working 80-90 hour work weeks to pay off my wife's student loans. Working that much caused massive depression, marital problems, and i missed much to much of my children growing up. To have to work that many hours again was more than i could bear. I'll be honest, i started to pray for God to take me to heaven rather than me to have to work like that again. I wanted to die.

This morning i called the hospital to negotiate the bill. By the end if the of the phone call they agreed to forgive the bill. As soon as I hung up the phone i fell to my knees in relief and started crying, praying, and thanking God. Its amazing how loving and forgiving He is. i usually have the worst luck,  but i put it in Gods hands and He gave me so much more than i deserve. I'm so very blessed.