Sunday, January 18, 2015

Maybe It Really Is Somewhere In The Middle

Last week was actually a good week in the gym.  If I sound surprised it's because I am.  I have been struggling for some time with keeping things moving.  I keep going to the gym but like many people I struggle with the patients needed to allow something to progress, or be willing to let my body define what I do even if it's different from what is on the internet.

Right now in power lifting there are three major schools of how to train.  I realize these are major simplifications but the point of this is not to detail the the different programs but to give a brief overview, or at least my overview, of each one.

West Side type training promotes the idea of training without using the major three lifts.  You will do box squats and bench with boards at limit weights but you won't train the major lifts heavy.  You do speed work for the technique portions of your training involving the major lifts.

The second major school that I see is the sub maximal trainers.  These people promote using the three lifts but training them with a percentage of your max weight.  Focus on speed of the movement and using a higher rep range.

The third school I have seen is to use the major lifts and train them heavy in the 2-3 rep range.  Never going to a max effort lift but still going heavy.

My problem had always been that they don't work for me.

I am not an athlete.  In fact I suck at most athletic activities.  The only way I can get better at the three lifts is to work them heavy like the third school but I burn out quickly.  Then I switch to one of the others but as soon as I get a limit weight in my hands it feels crazy heavy and my form falls apart.
 
So I decided to switch things up.  How can I work the three lifts in a heavy range but not burn out.  My plan was do a week of heavy work in the three major lifts followed by a week of heavy accessory work.  Front squat and stiff leg deadlift instead of squatting on Monday, stuff like that but still going heavy in the 3-6 rep range.  Last week was the first time I had cycled back to the heavy lifts and everything felt good and strong.

One of the things that is often overlooked, especially buy people who watch the elite level lifters, is how difficult it is for a non-athlete to improve on a very technical lift.  I must practice the three major lifts on a regular basis or I will loose the ability to perform them.  There are people who can not squat for months, or only squat %60 of their max, and hit the platform in stride but I am not one of them.

I don't really think I have discovered anything that many of us genetically typical lifters didn't already know but this is the first time I really pushed myself on it.  I would often try one method then switch to something different but never branch out on my own and try something that I feel would work for mine.

Now I will be the first to admit that I will never in 100 years break any records.  I will most likely never even total elite in any weight class but I will hopefully continue to make progress and improve myself.

Like taking the Red Pill it's about always moving forward.  Always improving.  Always practicing.

A good workout one week doesn't mean they will all be good, and one day of my wife letting me touch her doesn't mean there will be more to follow.  In fact if my workout were anything like my wife then everything would be a failure over the long haul.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

This Might Just Work.....Sort Of

It's an interesting dynamic that goes on in your head when you realize, or in my case openly admit to myself, that your wife just isn't into you any more.  Many of the little Beta things that you do on a regular basis with the hope she may allow you to have sex disappear.

My wife is historically very lazy when it comes to our relationship.  I have mentioned before that if I don't track her down when I get home for a hug or kiss then I don't get one.  So I stopped doing that.  I get home and do what I need to complete my day and get ready for the next.  Nothing important really but when weighed against making the effort to force my wife to give me some affection it does come out on top.  It didn't take long for her to notice, and to start complaining.  The other night was a good example of how this has been playing out.

After diner I went to watch some TV.  Not something I do often but I just felt like sitting down for a bit before going to bed.  My wife, like usual, was sitting at the dinner table on her phone.  Once she was done with her Facebook and texting she mentioned that I didn't give her a hug when I got home.  I told her she could come over to the couch for one.  She instead spent the rest of the evening, which wasn't much time, complaining about that.  My previous reaction would have been to get up and give her a hug, but I asked myself why.  I would make the effort to get up and do something I didn't want to do and my reward would be nothing.  She would never appreciate the effort as she has an expectation that I will do it. 

Now I get it, the whole idea that a hug will get me sex is silly but it still goes back to the whole point of my post.  Why does she get what she wants if I don't get what I want.  I will still give her a hug and kiss when I want to but the expected affection stops.  Like working out I do it for me.

Yesterday a similar scene played out.  I came home and went do what I needed.  I was sitting in the chair in our bedroom taking my shoes off when she came in.  She leaned over to hug me and gave me a kiss.  Since my marriage can't really get much worse I said "what the hell" and reached up under her sweater and grabbed her boobs.  99 days out of 100 my wife wears underwear that looks like it was bought at a thrift store that only sold old lady clothes.  But tonight she had on one of her nice bras.  She hugged me and I molested her chest for a few minutes and that was it.

This seemingly harmless and meaningless exchange was a huge departure for us.  Normally if my hands get anywhere near her chest on a day she is not ovulating it's met with revulsion and a diatribe about all my negative traits.  But that day was different.

At the risk of jumping Red Pill shark here I will say that my frame is telling me that this happened because of my change in behavior.  There could have been many other reasons why she allowed me to do that but the fact that it happened at all while being two weeks away from her ovulation has me feeling that maybe I am doing something right.

I realize that her attraction to me has not really changed.  She is still not into me, but by forcing her to come to me for this I may be changing what she is willing to do.  In the past my mind has gone some deep dark places to deal with a sexless marriage and maybe a relationship without any physical contact is something she is not prepared to handle.

Hope springs eternal, or is it hope is for suckers.  Either way I will take what I can right now.   My marriage will either improve or end this year and this may be the start.  Too early to say what direction this is going in but at least it's something different from the frigid marriage I have been in for the past decade.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

I'm Not A Powerlifter, Yet.

I was talking with one of the trainers at the gym a while back and he asked me if I was a power lifter.  It wasn't because I was handling big weights but because of how I train.  I gave up on high rep work many years ago and learned to enjoy training in a much lower rep range.  I train like a power lifter in how I set up my gym sessions and the type of movements and equipment I use.

But the truth is I am not a power lifter.  Until I compete I simply train like one.  I also think that if you are a body builder or even a crossfitter unless you complete you are just working out like one.

So my decision for this year is to step onto the platform.  Given my size and age I am assured to be completely embarrassed by how weak I really am but I need to do this.  It's not enough to just train like one, I must compete like one.

This idea has also given me some other ideas.  How many men write about taking the red pill, like how I train, but never take the the final step that is needed to really be someone who has taken it.  It's not enough to just say I took it, I must compete and show what I have done.

The real question for me now is what to do.

That brings me to an article that was posted on the Art of Manliness site.

A Roadmap To Manhood In The 21st Century

If you hang out in the Man-O-Sphere long enough you will start to believe that the entire purpose of the Red Pill is for men to have for sex.  That seems to always come across as the driving force behind everyone who starts this journey.  I can be honest and say I was no different when I started.  But once I came to realize that my physical relationship with my wife was over I had no where else to focus.

Now I do.  The article is a long read and I am still getting thru it but at a high level it goes over steps needed to reclaim ones manhood.  Not just improve your sex life but improve your entire self as a man.

One of the more interesting ideas presented in it are the three P's of manhood.  Provide, Protect, Procreate.  Moving forward I will focus more on the other 2 since procreate isn't something I can do anymore (got snipped many years ago).

For me the point of all this is to focus on being a man and not just being a penis looking for a place to be.  I don't think this really changes my path forward, but I will be looking beyond just improving the way I look and try and focus on what really makes us men.

It's an interesting question and one I think I will enjoy exploring and trying to answer.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Year Same Old Me

A new year has started and I am getting back to some things.

To be honest I have been wanting to blog more but I was really struggling about something.  One of my first blogs was to explain why I even wanted to blog.  I don't want to be a writer or ever try and make money doing this.  It was just a way for me to document my journey to improve myself.  Along the way my mind has gone to some very deep, dark places, and I did write about these.  My struggle had been in do I delete these or leave them.

My decision has been to leave them.  I am not proud of where I was last year and the things that went thru my mind, but I did go thru this and will leave what I wrote.  I won't reference it much, and if you are interested you will need to do some searching, but it's there for all the world to see and as reminder to myself of all the places I have been.

I need to move forward but not forget where I have been.

I loath the whole new year resolution idea but I have set some high level goals for this year to keep moving myself forward.  As it should this list will change as I accomplish some things and change my view on others but the high lights are as follows.

  1. Compete in a power-lifting meet as a 242
  2. Enroll in a graduate program
  3. Get my professional license in TX
  4. Build a back yard chicken coup
  5. Create a softball training area for Killer K
  6. Blog twice a week
There will be more as the year moves on but this is a start.

Note that nothing in the list involves my wife.  This is not a real decision that I have made but I will move my life forward and if she chooses to come along then great, but I will no longer be making decisions about my life based on he.

Recently I have finally admitted to myself that she no longer has any attraction to me.  I have know this for many years but there was a part of me that didn't want to believe it.  I mean have I really changed so much that she no longer wants me other than the one day a week that her hormones kick in.  My realization is that she has changed.  The driven confident woman I married is now an old broken down woman who spends her days comparing about everything.  I'm no catch, but I deserve better.  She is a good mother and I have no plans of divorcing her but I am also not going to spend effort to save what is left.

There will be more to follow but every journey starts with one step and this is my first.