Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Icebox

Monday I learned two things. #1 - Cold weather and even colder barbells and plates make for an absolutely miserable training day. #2 - Walking into the gym with no plan is as productive as not walking into the gym in the first place.

Currently we are undergoing expansion at the training compound. Hopefully, in a few weeks we'll expand to 1400 sq. ft. and all my hopes and dreams of having large private training facility will begin to be realized. But thanks to a blast of Canadian air, our little uninsulated steel building barbell club feels more like a meat locker than a gym right now. The barbells in the early morning below freezing temperatures make you hands ache they are so cold, it's like grabbing fire ants, and i've found you spend nearly as much time warming up as you do actually training.
I went in Monday to begin preparation for the various upcoming strongman shows in GA this spring. I had high hopes for the day, but most of them froze solid and fell to the ground when I woke up to 28 degree temps. Plus the landlord had removed some walls as part of the expansion and his junk and bolts and screws were everywhere and there were plently of new holes to let in the draft (Our propane heater did nothing to combat this kind of cold). Everything was in disarray and more importantly I had not plan for training. Sure maybe a loose idea, but no script to follow. And in my foggy, early morning daze and the ice cold temperatures, no plan was going to get formulated on the spot. So I stood around and looked stupid for a while, tried to train for stones, made a half hearted attempt at doing something that looked like exercise, and then sipped on my coffee and called it a day. I accomplished nothing except mild sleep deprivation from crawling out of my warm bed so early. So, from now on I'm going to do a better job of planning, I'm going to script my workouts and dress in three layers of clothes(and a hat, and gloves), and try and make some honest to goodness progress (even in these unfavorable conditions). I'm also going to look into that wood buring stove I've always wanted...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Orphan Sunday

I don't know what to say...

As I type this post I have heard my little girl sing "Jesus Loves Me" over her baby monitor in just the last few minutes... 7 months ago we were essentially strangers, and she wouldn't utter a word. Wow, what a difference a loving home makes.

Today is Orphan Sunday, and churches all across America are making efforts to recognize the desperate need for people to provide for and defend millions helpless orphans all over the world.

Allison (my wife) and I spent an hour or so sharing our story with a young married couples Sunday school class at our home church (Lakeview Baptist). We recounted the fear, strife, and joy of our journey to become parents, and our life parenting our precious little girl. I hope it struck a cord. I wish that someone had told me the things I said today when Allison and I were newly married in 2003.

So, consider the orphan. Adopt, or help someone who is adopting. Invest your life in things that matter, and don't store your treasures here. Please help.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Massed Bands

I didn't get a chance to attend the Stone Mountain Highland Games, but I did get sent a link for a video of a whole lot of bagpipes and drums during the opening ceremonies.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Talk To Me Johnny

I've been busy, so I haven't had the opportunity to do much writing, but I'm going to try and do a better job of posting some good content, and stuff worth watching/reading

I got sent a link to a very interesting/entertaining blog called Talk To Me Johnny and an article written about some of the more serious training facilities in the country, both past and present. It's a good read and I'll try and be better about posting some more content in the future.

Here's the link for the article:

Talk To Me Johnny - Mecca of Power

Also, the zombie preparation articles are an interesting read.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tire Flipping: 101

I got a text message Sunday afternoon.

"I am thinking about flipping the tire 100 times tomorrow. you want in?"
From:Zack Roberts
5:28pm 8/22/10

I reply.

"I am training in the morning"
From: Zac Boman
5:30pm 8/22/2010

He says...

From: Zack Roberts
5:32pm 8/22/2010

So, I hadn't decided to do the hundred rep challenge with Roberts as I left for the gym. I had actually planned to do some dynamic effort box squats with bands at a certain percentage of an estimated max and other very sciencey training with complicated sets and reps and loading and gadgetry all designed to make me look smart and trick my training partners into thinking I knew what I was doing.

I pull up to the compound and sure enough Zack was already there and I helped him roll the tire out on the gravel drive to begin his quest. And something in me just wanted to do it too. "Are you gonna flip the tire Boman?" he asked, I said "I think I am."I then ditched all my complex training plans for something simple and straightforward task of flipping a 540lb. tire 100 times. To complicate matters I had about an hour to do it. So, we decided to work in sets of five with ~2 minutes of rest in between sets. Then it began. The first fifteen were cake, barely even broke a sweat. The next fifteen started the water works, and then the next fifteen had us wondering what we had gotten ourselves into. By 7am we were both sitting at 50 flips. Things start going down hill from there.

The tire literally became soaked with sweat. The hand holds were caked with sweat and dirt. And you had to talk yourself into every flip. We coated ourselves in chalk. We reached 70.

At 80, my grip was going, my shoulders were chewed up like I had been front squatting a roll of barbed wire, and me, Roberts, and the tire were suffering. The sun by this time had broken over the trees. its 7:23am.

I needed to get this over with, so I decided to do a set of 7,7 and 6 brining me to 100 and getting me home and showered. I wrestled 7 over for the two sets. And finally came the last set. I finished the 6 and then did one more just to show it who was boss. 101.

I had jumped slightly in front of Robert's he was working to get to 90. I had to leave before he finished. I knew he would flip to 102 just to say he did more than me. I had trouble opening doors the rest of the day, My fingers weren't fully functional for about 12hrs. My entire body is sore today, and it's kind of nice. You set a goal and you don't stop till it's done. Again, one of the nice things about having a place to call your own.

I get another text message close to lunch -

From Zack Roberts

"you jerk"
From Zac Boman

"Lol go back and do 112 tomorrow"
From Zack Roberts

No, I don't think I will.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Precious Girl

I missed the birth of my daughter. A reality that haunts me as the fact that Rebekah was not naturally born to us seems more and more foreign with each passing day. Worst of all, I don't know where I was or what I was doing August 23rd, 2007. I would give anything to remember. I would like to think that I paused for a moment and things felt different, or I woke up in the middle of the night wondering what had disturbed my sleep. I doubt such romantic or supernatural a thing happened, but I wish it did.

The last five months have flown by. I don't know where the time has gone. And it is hard to believe that in December it will have been a year since we sat in the stern orphanage director's office in south Russia and had placed in our lap a crying, underfed, frightened little girl with a social history that, frankly, scared us to death. It was enough to make two naive parent wannabes almost turn tail and run... but because of God's faithfulness we didn't.

That little girl who, 9 months ago, terrified us and convinced us we were about to ruin our lives, is now asleep in her very own room right next to ours, and part of me is hoping she wakes up just so Allison and I can go in there and tell her we are here, always, and she is safe.

We put her to bed tonight as a two year old for the last time. My heart breaks as I think about all we missed. Allison said only moments ago "I wish I could have seen what she looked like when she was a little baby", just one of the many phrases that make me want to invest everything I own into developing a working time machine. I am determined to make sure we don't miss another thing from the girl who has changed our lives, for the better, forever.

I could go on and on about what a treasure she is, how she has come to life and is nothing like the hollow, somber child we met in December, and how God Masterfully purposed in eternity past to accomplish this thing in our lives for His Glory, but it's late and I need to shed a few more tears over the fact that time is already moving to fast and my little girl is growing up. Happy Birthday Rebekah, you are a treasure to your Mother and Father's heart, we love you.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Where I got hooked

In 2007 I had the opportunity to go to America's Strongest Man in Charlotte, NC. It was produced as sort of a side show to the NASCAR Speed Street festivities in downtown.

It was a good year for Strongman. This ASM contest included names like Brian Shaw, Steve MacDonald, Nick Best, Travis Ortmayer, Derek Poundstone, Van Hatfield, and Chad Coy just to name a few.

It seems hard to believe, but I didn't have a digital camera in 2007, So these were taken with my trusty Canon Elph (remember advantix film?). After I took these pictures, the camera sat untouched in the console of my wife's Yukon for the last three years, no kidding. A few weeks ago my dad was visiting and making a trip to Wal-Mart and I got him to drop the film off. Our Wal-Mart no longer does on site processing so they had to be sent off (alot has changed in photography in three years). Anyway, here is a few pictures of the only professional strongman show I've been to. It was very cool to watch and I think I drank about twenty complimentary Monster Energy drinks over the course of the two day show.

Brian Shaw on the Log Press for Reps, I forget the weight.

Steve MacDonald getting ready to press

Van Hatfield getting set for the Engine Block carry and Load

Derek Poundstone after the Engine block load and discovering that he had already won by points, I don't think it was even the second day yet.

A tenacious but undersized Chad Coy

Nick Best getting ready on the Block Press

Those Blocks were hot

Nick Best on the 700lb. Deadlift for reps

Steve MacDonald deadlifting

Travis Ortmayer, who withdrew due to back injury after the first two events, on the block press

Derek Poundstone after the deadlift

And Van Hatfield after a solid deadlift performznce

All in all, it was alot of fun to watch the pros at work, and now some of these names are the best in the world at what I love, I'm glad I was there. I think my log press went up 20lbs. just smelling their sweat.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dairy Farm

Here are a few pictures of our trip back home to Vernon, Alabama. As I mentioned earlier, we visited Gilmer Dairy Farm. God bless the farmer's of America for working so hard to fill my ever growing power belly.
Allison, Rebekah and I had too good of a time, life moves a little slower in Lamar County... And I am better for it. To view our photo album from our trip just click either of the two pictures. And Drink More Milk!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Playing in the Dirt

The longer I train out in a steel building the more I like it. Slowly, my workouts are looking less and less traditional. I guess you'll mix things up a little when you have the space, equipment, and remoteness that a bizarre training protocol requires. Today I wanted to train my upper back, but I need to work on some form of power movement... and I wanted to try and throw something (just in case I work up the nerve, don a kilt and compete in the highland games in October). So my session was reduce to me hoarding the bumper plates working my way up on a very "born outside of marriage" version of an olympic high pull. Which, frankly, became reduced to a very fast deadlift and an upright row at the end. This was intermingled with me marching out in the dirt and grass to throw a 20lb. kettlebell as high as I could. The kettlebell kicked up wads of dirt and the morning dew as it landed and the red mud turned the handle slick as glass. I was ok with that, it made me feel rugged, and old fashioned, and alive. In between throws I went back and did some barbell rows. I'm thankful to have patches of grass and gravel that afford me such weird luxuries as slinging weights as high over my head as they can go. Two of the three exercises I did today would have had me escorted off gym property at any fitness establishment.

The further I get into my own training the less inclined I am to perform traditional movements. A person should squat, deadlift, and press in some capacity, everything else is subjective. I haven't performed a traditional bench press in nearly six weeks. It's one of those things that fall by the wayside when you train the log and overhead press twice a week. So when people ask me "what do you bench?" I'm going to say... "I mostly do curls..." and then I'm going to stare at them blankly and let a little bit of drool drip out of the corner of my mouth. And then, regardless of what they say, I'm not going to say another word, just keep staring and drooling until they walk away.

As an aging lifter, I am learning what Dan John means when he says "the body is one peice" and "all training is complimentary". I couldn't pass up high pulls just because the good mornings I did on Sunday made my hamstrings and low back sore, sometimes things just overlap, I'm learning to be ok with that. Plus, you might think what I did today did a poor job of bringing "ripped" and "shredded" definition to my rear deltoid like a Men's Health model... and you'd be right. But supersetting reverse cable flyes doesn't develop the strength and power it takes to put kettlebells eye level with third story windows.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Does a Body Good

This was the top shelf of our refrigerator a couple of days ago. It was so beautiful I had to take a picture. Arnold Schwarzenegger once said, famously, in Pumping Iron "milk is for babies". He was correct. Milk is for babies and people who want to get wicked big and strong. Right now I'm going through a gallon of whole milk every two or three days. Usually mixed with couple of scoops of my EAS Sam's Club protein powder (the vanilla is pretty good and 30$ for 5lbs).

My almost three year old daughter is underweight, I mean not even on the chart underweight. When we got her from the Russian orphanage she was malnourished and would eat anything you put in front of her. Our pediatrician told us to do whatever we could to get extra calories in her. She told us nothing but whole milk to drink, and to put butter in everything she eats. The more calories, the better. It was music to this old strongman's ears. I happen to be a weight gain expert. So, now, not only does she drink almost nothing but organic whole milk, but it is usually laced with carnation instant breakfast, or whey protein, or melted ice cream. Plus we give her anything and everything she wants in the way of food. I've often said to Allison (my wife) that we check our ego at the dinner table and try get as much food down her as we can coax. The result? I don't know if she's on the chart yet, but she gained a little weight, grew 3/4 of an inch last month, her hair and nails are growing like weeds, and we've already outgrown clothes that were too big for her in Russia in early spring... And she hasn't even touched a barbell... yet.

So, Milk, it does a body, almost any body good.

I'm headed to my hometown this weekend and The Boman Family is going to visit Gilmer Dairy Farm, which is owned by former a high school classmate and friend, Mr. Will Gilmer. And we are going to show my cute girl where this magic, muscle making, weight gaining elixir comes from... And hopefully pet a few cows.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Resolution #6

Resolution #6 - I am resolved to consider anyone who would spend a significant amount of money on a magic bracelet as having a grossly inferior intellect.

This is where I may lose some friends. This is the resolution that may hit close to home and quite honestly, I might get some backlash from this. But someone has got to take these people by the collars, shake them, and wake them up to the fact that wearing a bracelet with "holograms" in it doesn't magically makes them healthier or a better athlete... Or better looking... Or able to stand on one foot longer.. etc...

Let me back up a little. For those of you who don't know, the latest trend in athletic accessories (at least in my part of the country) is a Power Balance bracelet. They are basically a rubber bracelet with a shiny thing on top and bottom that apparently are holograms that "resonate with and respond to the natural energy field of the body." The website further explains "Power Balance is based on the idea of optimizing the body’s natural energy flow, similar to concepts behind many Eastern philosophies."

Bullpoop. (Allison made me edit this part.)

If I meet you and shake your hand and look down and see a Power Balance bracelet on your wrist. I am going to assume a few things about you. First, I will assume that I am vastly superior to you in every facet of cognitive ability that can be measured. Second, I will assume that you are the living embodiment of "a fool and his money are soon parted". Thirdly, I will assume that you lack discernment and discretion in, not only your choice of apparel and accessories, but also every other area of your life up to this point. Finally, I will assume that whatever exchange is about to take place, I am going to win it.

Power Balance bracelets are stupid, bottom line. And if you have bought one expecting the results it promises, you are an idiot. If you have purchased one to be fashionable and to look "cool" and not really to be a better athlete, you are an insecure idiot. Furthermore, you should be ashamed of yourself for being subject to every pop culture and societal trend. If I have hurt your feelings, good. Somebody needed to, and if it has to be me, so be it. Just remember, I loved you enough to tell you the truth. And the truth is, you are a disgrace to all things reasonable if you are trusting a piece of rubber and two "holograms" to make you a better person.

If you have purchased a bracelet and are now sorely repentant for being such a complete fool after having read this, I'll be glad to be your life coach, just send me 30$.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Gym of My Own

Well, with no place to rack my weights now that Swat has closed, I've taken matters into my own hands. I, along with my training partners have secured a mini warehouse that will serve as our new training facility. So this afternoon, after church, I borrowed a friends truck and loaded up as much as I could haul of my carport gym and headed over to an undisclosed location in Lee County, Alabama, to our new private training facility. We combined all our equipment and have got a very good setup.

After a few trips from my house and a storage unit we finally got most of the stuff put in the gym. I have never sweated so much as I did today.

By clicking on any of the above pictures you can view my complete album on facebook. I'll be adding more pictures as we get things like we like 'em at the new gym and wrap it all up with a video tour. If you are living in the Auburn/Opelika, Alabama area and are interested in training or being a member of our "key club" gym please contact me at

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Swat Gym Closes

Swat Gym is where I've trained for the last 4 years. And today I walked out of there for the last time. I won't make this a sorry lament, I'm ready to move on.

It has been subject to poor management in the best of times (the gym hasn't belonged to Bill Kazmaier in years). As a business it never advertised or sought to improve it's building or equipment. Every vinyl covered bench had rips and holes in it. The machines were old and useless. The dumbbells stayed perpetually in the floor. The five and ten pound plates were always skillfully stacked under a mountain of 45's and 25's. I would commonly find a bar loaded to 500+ pounds lying in the floor from someone who was strong enough to deadlift it but they were too weak to unload it (it was usually the trap bar, so you knew they were fruity). I would complete a 4 exercise training session in the time it took most people to bench press (usually, they took 5 phone calls between sets).
The music sucked. In the mornings I squatted, pressed, and deadlifted to a steady diet of Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, and Miley Cyrus.

Bars were bent, light bulbs out, water bottles and cups strewn about. For the most part it was really a reflection of human depravity. I have a few good memories.

I remember talking to Bill Kazmaier as he happened to be in there shortly after Phil Pfister staged (in my opinion) the greatest comeback in all of Strongman history to win the 2006 World's Strongest Man competition. He won four or five straight events, including beating Mariusz on the stones by a hair as the rain came down in Sanya, China. It still gives me chills to think about it. Bill was there, he talked about what a jerk Puzianowski was, how Phil told him this was it, how he really felt like it was his time and then he rattled off a few stories from the competition. I was captivated, and began training for my first contest shortly after that.

I remember some good lifts, I remember plenty of bad ones, failed ones, and ugly ones.

If one more person came up to me and asked me what the bands were for, I guess I was going to strangle them with a pair of mini's.

I remember meeting my dears friends Zack and Kandis. I will always be thankful to Swat for introducing them to Allison and I.

I remember the day the power went out and we all trained in complete silence and darkness, all you heard was clanging plates. They sounded like angelic cymbals. Everyone should train in complete silence every now and then, it clears the head.

I remember laughing alot.

SWAT Gym wasn't so bad I guess... But where I'm going to start training next is a little bit of a surprise...

As we were finishing up today Zack and Tim and I noticed that someone had loaded the two top, vertical pins on the warped old leg press machine slam full of 45's and didn't remove them. I've stripped every bar I've ever used for the last 4 years, and even reorganized plates and dumbbells as I trained. I had had enough. So, leaned up on either side of that leg press were two 100 pound plates. I got one and Tim got the other, we hoisted them up to about eye level and slapped them right on top, face down.

It's been fun SWAT Gym, good luck with the big move tomorrow, before you unload that leg press you might need to grab a crowbar.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Resolution #5

Resolution #5 - I am resolved to never drink a soft drink from the can, at room temperature, or without ice ever again.

There are few things more refreshing to me than to take a nice big Auburn Tigers Stadium cup (college fine china) and press it to my refrigerator door until it is 3/4ths full of ice and then pour as much diet coke, or cherry coke zero, or coca-cola classic, or mountain dew, or just about any carbonated beverage you can think of, over it until it is just about at the brim. That is the pinnacle of refreshment. [Grapico... I forgot Grapico...]

Conversely, if you were to take that same carbonated beverage and leave it unrefrigerated, and pull it straight from the pantry, pop the top, and then drink it, you would have a liquid burning down your throat with all the appeal and satisfaction of having drank a perfectly mixed 2-cycle gasoline... It's too harsh and hard. At least that's my opinion.

Ice has the uncanny ability to add a certain refinement and luxury to the lowly canned drink. If a soft drink is to be enjoyed properly certain prerequisites must be met. A proper vessel is a must(i.e. one of the hundred or so stadium cups in your cabinet), and Ice is a close second.

Of all the things I missed while in Russia, none of them are quite as small and simple as the ice cube. It gives a soft-drink the taste and temperature of freedom. I love freedom. I love it like I love a cold drink after cutting the grass in summer time.

So, while adding ice to your cup may not let you get the full 0,5 Liters of beverage you paid your hard earned Ruble for in Russia, who cares! It's good. And it makes me thankful that in America, some things are still free... Two of those things are people and refills.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Georgia (still) On My Mind

Saturday was a good day. I got to spend some time with some good friends and participate in the sport I love, but am genuinely bad at (for now).

My second outing at Georgia's Strongest Man ended in the same result as the first. Dead last in the Super Heavyweight division. But, frankly, I'm just thankful to have been a part of it.

I only trained twice from March 14th to April 25th, and those two times were in a little gym in southeast Russia while my wife and I were away trying to pry our daughter out of the steel trap of the Russian government. I also, lost 23lbs. in that time frame due to the stress and terrible food. When I finally got back to training in late April I could barely squat 325lbs. for a set of three. At that point GSM was six weeks away.

So, I just began there. Chopping wood and gaining weight back and thinking about June 5th. I wanted to compete, even though I knew I would likely finish where I did, despite my best efforts. Slowly the strength came back, and every time I went to the gym I felt like my old self. And every time I thought about the contest I wondered what in the world I was doing.

Then last Saturday, it was finally here. I left out early that morning and made the scenic drive to Douglasville, GA with my father-in-law (he came to drive my mangled body back home if need be).  He asked me if I was nervous about the competition, I wasn't.  When you've stood in a Russian courtroom and contended for the custody of your daughter against a rude and belligerent judge wondering if the child you so desperately want as yours will be given to you, nervous takes on a whole new meaning. I was glad to test myself, I wasn't there to win, I knew going in there would be no chance of that.  I was there so that the Hell Russia had drug us through didn't win.  And that it didn't stop or influence my life any longer and hold me back from who I am.  It was time to live, and make memories, and spend time with friends, and make new ones.

I came close to a couple of PR's on the Axle Press and the Deadlift but fell short, beat a couple of folks on the truck pull, stunk it up on the 750lb. yoke (but I didn't scratch), and got close on the stone #3 on the stone load.  It was certainly not a memorable performance, unless you are me.  I'm proud of the effort, I honestly couldn't have done any better.

Every pound I moved I wholly and fully dedicate to my beautiful wife and precious baby girl.  Being a Strongman will always be a distant third after Husband, and Father.  And the first two are far more rewarding.

Special thanks to Brad Stanford who threatened to slap me if I did not attempt the third stone.  The thought of your meaty bear claw coming at my face produced my best run at stone #3 yet.  Also, the thought of you yelling "War Eagle!" is the only way I was able to even break that 605lb. deadlift off the ground. I knew I should have brought my Snuggie.

Special thanks to Jim Whisman for letting me stand in his enormous shadow while the hot summer sun tried to fry us all.  I'm going to start calling you Jim "The Tennessee Oak" Whisman.

Finally, special thanks to the 75% of you that voted "yes".  I needed that.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Last Events Day

This was my last events training day before the big show next Saturday. I'll do a couple of light gym workouts between now and then. but, here is the last one that counts.

Axle continental and press
110 x 5
160 x 2
210 x 1
230 x miss (tried to get cutesy with it and goofed up)
230 x miss (tried to get fancy on this one and use some "technique")
230 x 1 (just did what works, good and easy)

225lb sled tire pull up my driveway x 50ft

wow, I forgot how much demand the pull puts on your achilles tendon, worked on staying low.

301 x 1
367 x 1
433 x 1
499 x 1 (yes, you heard me, between the mish mash of KG and Lb. plates I was using this is what the progression looked like. I had to use the calculator on my computer to figure this out.)

About the time I was going to the yoke and stones a monsoon came, so hard that I thought I should start building an ark. It blew into my carport and made everything wet. So I called it quits here, I may do stones and yoke tomorrow, I may not... who knows. What is done is done. I'm not going to gain any measurable strength between now and the contest. Oh well, I'd rather strongman poorly than not strongman at all.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Big Ole' Copperhead

I thought my one reader might want to see the huge copperhead my dad killed while weedeating some of his land up in Lamar Co., Alabama. He was about three feet long and I think dad plum near shot the head of the thing as he pulled his .22 Beretta from his pocket and emptied the clip. (I advise anyone and everyone, when in doubt, empty the clip) He was about three feet long and were it not for the weedeater he would have likely stepped on him.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The People Have Spoken

77% to 23%, I will be competing in Georgia's Strongest Man 2010.

Ironically, the state with the lowest percentage was Sweet Home Alabama, with only 55% of voters wanting me to compete, second was Georgia with 67%. I think my concerned Mother may have voted "No" multiple times from different computers.

Every other state with voters was at a full 100%.

No one one the West Coast voted because they apparently don't give a rip, and I can't say I blame them.

So there you go, it is what it is. So, I'll give it my all and do a full write up in two weeks. CHEERS!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

4 weeks ago tonight

...Allison, Rebekah, and I stepped off a plane in Atlanta and almost literally fell into the arms or our family and friends. I still do not have words for that moment... For those who supported us, my heart will forever be overflowing with gratitude. No matter the depths of senility my mind may take me years from now in my old age, I will never, never, never forget that night. It was the culmination of all that God wished to do in our adoption of Rebekah, and now He continues to work in her in ways we never imagined. There is a God in Heaven, Jesus is His Son, if your still an orphan, He wants to find you.

6 Weeks ago tonight, the somber, speechless, furrowed-brow little girl who we had set our affections on was ours for the very first time. That first day with us she ate enough for an adult while sitting in my lap at lunch. I'm certain we could have fed her rotten garbage and she would have ate every ounce she could, not knowing when her next meal would be. We put her down for a nap, and a few hours later, in the late afternoon when she awoke, she trembled from fear as Allison held her in her arms. Later that night, we managed to get her to sleep. Just like I knew I would, I laid in bed wondering what we were doing 5000 miles from home, and also wondering if we had what it took to survive this. Like any good man, I hid it the best I could, and tried to show stone like resolve while the storm raged inside. Husbands, be Jesus to your wife, a Bulwark, a Fortress never failing.

I remember when we went to have Rebekah's passport photos made. On the way, as we bounced along the road, the orphanage worker that accompanied us said through our translator - "In a month, you won't even recognize her..." She was exactly right...

Tonight, we got out as a family to run a few errands after I got off work. Rebekah bobbed her head and clapped her hands while we jammed to Shane and Shane in the car. She sang her little song about Gracie (the wonder hound) "Dogga - Dogga, -Dogga, Dogga, Dog!". She also talked alot in her own baby talk as she reviewed the events of her day, and often I would catch her smiling to herself as I kept an eye on her in the rear view mirror. After dinner we stopped off by the park. The Opelika High School jazz band was doing a little concert. Rebekah loves music, I have never seen a child dance as hard and freely as she danced tonight. She clapped vigorously at the end of every song, and pointed in amazement at every dog in sight. She loves the park, she loves her home. Finally, after daddy made up silly songs at bathtime, Allison rocked her while we read our Bible story. Whenever I finish reading she clasps her hands together, closes her eyes and smiles, reminding us to pray. I start it the same way almost every night. "Dear God, thank you for Rebekah..."

Sunday, May 16, 2010

You Decide 2010

Ok, I'm gonna be straight up. I've tried to play catch up with my training since arriving home from Russia, but needless to say, we've been a little busy getting the little one settled in.

Here is my predicament, I'm underweight by about 15lbs. of where I would like to be. I'm undertrained and (in my mind) weak as a kitten and likely to finish last given the talented strongman competitors that show up for such a well organized and popular contest.

So, I'm turning to you [both of my readers] to decide. I will do whatever the poll results tell me. If it is a no, Brad and Jimmy, I'll come set up the tent and help keep you guys out of the sun. If it is a yes, I'll fight lift, pull and push until I can go no further - and let the chips fall where they may.

Georgia's Strongest Man 2010 will be held in Douglasville, Georgia on June 5th.

Please, one vote per person - Polling will end Sunday May 23rd at 7pm.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fat Gripz

I have to just be honest, sometimes I fall victim to a flashy sales pitch, or gimmicky things that I think may be the long lost strength secret that will finally make me the greatest of all time. I like gadgets, little things that can be useful in training. Now, these things can also be a major distraction. I bought a Rolling Thunder, for instance, that I just knew I would use every workout and twice on Sundays. I don't think I've hooked that thing to a loading pin since 2009... I have so many other "fish to fry" before I need to worry about how much I can one hand deadlift on a spinning PVC handle. But, anyway, I digress...

The online shopping bug bit hard a week ago and I couldn't help but take advantage of some free shipping over at EliteFTS. So, I bought a set of monster mini's, some short bands (for deadlifting, more on that later), and... yes... some Fat Gripz.

Much like the zombies that Advocare makes out of professional athletes (and its customers... and its salesmen...), I have become a Fat Gripz non paid endorser.

I've used these for Dumbbell tricep extensions and curls over the last couple of days. I also got a chance to use them on the bench press. I love them. It increases the level of difficulty dramatically, and replicates the grip on a thick bar perfectly. The rubber felt a little mushy when I got to 250lbs. on the bench, but overall it is pretty sturdy. I plan to use them pretty much all the time, especially on dumbbell movements.

Hopefully that Thomas Inch replica at SWAT Gym will be coming off the ground soon.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

264.9 or Bust

Monday I weighed my self. The day after I got home from Russia I weighed 270, 12 days later this is where I'm at.

June 5th I would like to compete in Georgia's Strongest Man. The problem is I ain't got no business being a Super Heavy Weight. So, the diet began on Monday, I'm going to try and slim on down and compete in the 265lb. class. Which is still in the heavy weight class, but hopefully I'll be a little more "in my league" at the lighter weight class.

So I've trimmed the carbs, reduced the portions and (to an extent) upped the volume. Things are going well, I won't be at my strongest going in, but hopefully, I can be a little more competitive (assuming I make weight). This coming monday I'll show the scale again and we'll see where I'm at.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Resolution #4

Resolution #4 - I am resolved to sleep whenever the opportunity to do so is presented.

Allison and Rebekah (over Al's left shoulder) sleeping in the Madrid Airport

I was laying on the cold marble floors of the Madrid airport at 4am local time when this resolution popped into my mind. I had a small travel pillow, a flannel shirt as a blanket, and had put my boots back on just to keep my feet warm.

Allison and I had made a campsite in a small corner of the terminal next to the duty free liquor store. At the time it was a nice, quiet area. Allison lay next to me, and Rebekah was sound asleep on a makeshift pallet of airplane blankets and her super fluffy "blankie". We all three drifted off, when I awoke about an hour and a half later, the marble floor had literally drained all the body heat from me.

I got up and walked around just to get the blood flowing again, and then just stood watch over my girls for the rest of the time. I've never missed my bed like I missed it then.

Late that night when we arrived home, as I got in bed I literally could not believe how soft my own bed was. I even checked to see if someone had put one of those memory foam covers on it for us. I slept like a baby.

So, no, I will not be staying up late, and, yes I will be taking a nap...

Friday, April 30, 2010

Carport Gym Tour

I spent the afternoon assembling my Home Depot axle and then taking it for a test spin, along with a few yoke pickups. I decided to take a few pictures and give all (both) of my readers a quick tour of my home gym setup. I also train at SWAT Gym in Auburn, Alabama for most of my barbell/dumbbell training. On the weekends though my training partners and I usually break out the toys at home and make the neighbors stop and stare.

I got a 1 and 1/2" inside diameter galvanized steel pipe from Home Depot cut to 7'6" and put pipe clamps 17" from the ends. Then I took a chainsaw file and marked the center and the rings 16" from center, just so I would have a reference point. My cheap bumpers fit nicely, as the outside diameter is just under 2". The total cost was about $35 dollars. Now, it isn't a heavy duty, press 450lb. kind of axle, but right now, it's all I need.

Next up is my tire collection. From left to right: 385lb., 540lb., 650lb., 750lb. The 540lb. tire is my go-to conditioning multi flip tire. The 650 is a loaner from my training partner and difficult to flip due to lack of hand holds. The 750lb. is ridiculous, and the day I can bang out a dozen flips on that things is the day I'm somebody. This is actually also a good shot of my yoke that I had made a few years back. It's not adjustable, as it was made for me and my height, it handles 700+ lbs. with ease.

A few stones, a stone mold I should be taking better care of, my homemade frame that has easily taken 650lb. or better for a ride, my homemade tire sled, and my black treasure chest of goodies.

In the treasure chest are a collection of 15kg red Panatta Sport plates (Bill Kazmaier's old equipment company). I bought these from Sue Kazmaier when Kaz Fitness Center closed down in downtown Auburn (boy, that was a good gym). I'm assuming these were some of Bill's collection from back in the day. I've also got my rolling thunder and various other bits and pieces of things in here.

Inside the carport closet I've got a Keg of Sand (~250lb.), a nice stack of 45lb. plates, 50ft. of 1.5" manilla rope, 3 bars, my log and a few other small plates. All in all, I have no excuses for being as weak as I am. It is a pretty good setup.

Finally, here is all my adoring fans. Ladies and Gentlemen I give you Gracie The Wonder Hound. She is 1/3 Bassett Hound, 1/3 Yellow Lab, 1/3 Human Being. And without a doubt the best dog in the world. If the door is open she'll sit and watch until she gets bored, which usually doesn't take very long.

So that's my home gym setup. I feel like I've got a good little place to train. Now if I can just find the time....

Monday, April 26, 2010

Resolution #3

Resolution #3 - I am resolved to never learn a foreign language, no matter how practical or useful it may be.

This resolution is both a compliment to and a consequence of Resolution #1. If I keep Resolution #1 this resolution should be a natural by product, or at least it should be... Unless I go to Texas...

It got old using a primitive monkey sign-language to try and convey to stern, impatient Russians what it was that you wanted... Couple that with just trying to talk louder and use precise diction and A-NUN-SEE-ASHUN hoping that it was not the fact that you both spoke completely different languages, but rather that the person you were trying to communicate with simply had a hearing impairment or that you were a mumbler. It was ridiculous, but we survived.

And I think there was something inside me that just plain felt dirty using the Russian words for "hello", "goodbye", and "thank you"... I felt like a traitor... Everytime I said "Dasvidaniya" I'm sure I felt the same guilt as if I had just lit flame to an American flag.

No more. I'm an American. I speak English. I've got a million other things I would rather learn before I would want to learn how to easily ask somewhere where the bathroom is in Spanish.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Amazing Grace

I woke up early this morning and was in the mood for a little Scottish Pipe Band music. I stumbled across this video of pipe bands from several countries playing Amazing Grace as a finale to a concert in Moscow. It is chilling, but I am certain no finer a song has ever rung out from the courts of Red Square. Enjoy.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Resolution #2

Resolution # 2 - I am resolved to take advantage of as many "all you can eat" wings nights as possible while I do live.

I essentially live in a college town (well, technically in the town adjacent to a college town). Now being so near a major university provides one with almost as many pros as cons. For example, Con - good luck driving anywhere on a Fall Saturday when there is a home football game (War Eagle!), but you have to take the good with the bad. So, I'll tolerate things like mad traffic in exchange for other things like.... Large quantities of cheap delicious food intended to draw college students in to spend money on alcohol. So, in Auburn, Alabama on just about any night of the week you can find some relatively inexpensive all you can eat food specials from the local eating establishments. The most common (and in my opinion delicious) AYCE special is that from the humble lowly chicken wing... I salivate as I type this...

I spent many a Russian evening with my stomach gurgling from hunger wondering why in the world I did not more frequently exercise the opportunity to tee-total stuff myself with the fried, sauce-covered best part of a chicken.

At times I felt like a guy in a movie, maybe trapped in a cave, realizing that death is eminent asking himself why he never married his high school sweet heart, then promising himself if he made it out alive, he would... Fortunately, I married the best woman in the world... So, on those nights, as I wasted away from hunger, all you can eat chicken wings became my high school sweetheart, and I promised myself I would never take them for granted again.

So, save a little bleu cheese and celery sticks for me, Daddy's coming.

The Resolutions - Resolution #1

I'm going to start a new series of posts called "The Resolutions". You may have seen my twitter updates where I began listing various resolutions of things I will or will never do again now that my wife and I have finally returned home from Russia with our beautiful daughter.

While in Russia for a month I was daily taught lessons on how wonderful life is here in America compared to other countries. So this list will serve as a reminder of insights, lessons, and just things that drove me crazy while away. A lot of the have to do with food, and for that I apologize. I lost 23lbs. in Russia, not because I was trying, but because the food was that bad.

Now, this is also a lighthearted take on the Puritan theologian Jonathan Edwards and his 70 resolutions , which are much more edifying and noble than these resolutions will be. Still, I hope you enjoy.

Resolution #1 - I am resolved to never leave the borders of the United States ever again.

Dear Other Countries,
You are not as good as mine. I do not care to see you, your historic landmarks, your tourist attractions, your detailed architecture, your beautiful landscapes, or subject myself to your corrupt government in any way. If I wish to see mountains I will drive to the North or West, and if I wish to see ocean I will drive South. If I wish to experience history I will turn to the appropriate channel on my television or open a book. Finally, I will gladly embrace the label of being narrow-minded and unenlightened by making this resolution.

Zachary E. Boman

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter and Fatherhood Eve

We stood in the Moscow Holiday Inn lobby and waited on our driver, Vitali, to pick us up and head to the airport. We were to catch our flight to Astrakhan, Russia to see our daughter for the first time in three months and finish the process of bringing her home. Like I usually do I looked through the big rack of tourist brochures while we waited. I noticed several pamphlets for “gentlemen’s clubs” and “escort services”. And I guess it was the daddy welling up in me, but I couldn’t help but ask myself “wonder how many of those girls were orphans?”

Had Rebekah remained instutionalized and never received a family, she would be turned out on the street at 16. A reality that could keep me awake at night. The little girl we have loved and cherished for the past three months, years from now, alone in this dimly lit place. Now, some will tell you that after the age of 16 there are opportunities for housing and further education and a variety of other benefits available to the children, but I doubt seriously that there are many successful transitions into the world outside the orphanage through those means. In all reality, prostitution or organized crime is a likely destination for the young men and women that institutions produce, not because the Russian government steers them there, but because a lack of parenting does. I am so thankful that God has brought us here to rescue her from things like that.

My heart is full and overflowing with emotion that our “gotcha day” for Rebekah will coincide very nicely with Easter. We were hoping we would get her on Good Friday, but in a way I find it fitting that her new life will follow the celebration of the resurrection, and not before. Adoption is in so many ways a resurrection. Our adoption and salvation in Christ is the crucifixion of our old self, and the being raised to new life in Him. An event not at all possible had Jesus Himself not been raised.

Tomorrow will likely break Rebekah’s little heart and she will be removed and separated from the only safe and stable thing she has ever known, Baby Home #2. She will be with us forever and she will never again see the wrinkly faces of the Russian caregivers, or the belligerent orphanage director, or the bubbly social worker, all of whom kept her emotional life support until God could bring us to her. Her old life will pass away and a new life will begin, and if she could only know what waits for her on the other side of the Atlantic. The family, the friends, the warmth of her quiet home on Crossley Avenue, and two parents that love her and will pursue her little heart as long as it takes. When that plane lands, an earthly resurrection will be complete.

When Allison and I came here on our first trip in December we went through hell. I have never known fear, trial, and fatigue like I knew it then. We faced many challenges and were subject to many attacks by the enemy. And we came frighteningly close to saying “this is too much” and walking away. And it was only through wise counsel and support of family and the light of God’s grace that we had the clarity to do what God had called us here to do, begin the process of bringing this child home. Now it is my shame that we almost failed to stay the course, but praise be to God that He did not allow us to fall. The Grace of God came with every lost hour of sleep, every frightening diagnosis, every meal missed, every blister on our feet, every tear shed, and every night we lay awake in our own personal Gethsemane asking God “If you are willing, remove this cup from me…”. And that same Grace sits here with me now. Praise be to God Almighty who ushers us through when we are too afraid to go any further.

When we left from that first trip, we left a small picture album, with pictures of Allison and I, and Family, and even Gracie the hound with Rebekah. We wanted her new home to at least be familiar to her in picture. We were told when we came back this trip that it had become her favorite thing. That she would sit in the corner and look at it again and again and again. Allison and I fought back the tears on the playground that day, I have never been filled with more love and heartbreak than I was that day. Oh how I wanted to pick her up and tell her “precious girl, if you only knew...” Little does she know that with those pictures she is merely looking at a mirror dimly, but soon she shall see it all face to face. It will be real, the past will be gone, and she will receive a new life. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

And now Allison and I stand together, holding onto each other and a Resurrected Savior. I am fearless about tomorrow, it will be hard, but in the end we will see the Glory of God unfold in the life of this beautiful little girl.

So, this Easter is special, we will celebrate Christ’s resurrection today, and in a practical way we will celebrate it tomorrow as well. Rebekah will leave everything behind, and we will dress her in new clothes and finally we will step, as a family, beyond those rusty iron gates forever.

Rebekah Grace Boman will walk out of an orphanage tomorrow, because Jesus Christ walked out of a tomb today.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I'm in Astrakhan, Russia. I can't believe it.
On March 23rd my wife and I stood before a Russian judge and for three hours were questioned and berated over why we would want to adopt this child, our daughter, Rebekah Grace Boman.

At the end of that day we were awarded custody and are now waiting the required 10 days before we go and pick her up from the orphanage and begin the process of bringing her home. On Monday, the day after Easter, she will become ours permanently. We will get her passport, then fly to Moscow and get her Visa at the US Embassy so that she can come home and be a United States Citizen.

By clicking on any of the pictures below you will be taken to my Facebook Picture Album and can see some of the sights we've seen and my beautiful daughter's face. Thanks for looking, keep praying.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Today, from where I sit.

Training has been... well... boring. Honestly, I'm in cruise control. A little log and tire flip and frame carry on Sunday. Some box squats today... Eh.

Frankly, I just just want to keep my back healthy and make it to Russia to bring my daughter home. So I'm not taking any risks.

The older I get the less important laying it on the line to get stronger becomes. The more important staying healthy, mobile, and pain-free becomes. I've got a few more years to work on pulling that 800lbs deadlift or push a 400lb. log, but in the mean time I'm focused on becoming and dad and spending time with my family.

The long and short of it is, a man's got to have priorities, and right now training is about 5th on the list. And the way I look at it, I'm not going to get to the end of my life and think to myself, "man, I sure do wish I had spent more time in the gym".

Some might call me uncommitted... They would be wrong. I assure you that the things worthy of my commitment are now receiving my full attention.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I forgot how to be strong

Today was weird. It was my first day back from catching my death of illness which has had me with a fever, sore throat, sinus, etc.

I squatted. Well, I tried to.

Nothing fancy, just wanted worked up to a beefy double. My beefy double turned into a way to hard single. I couldn't believe how hard that squat felt.

I had a teacher in high school that once jokingly told me "I've forgotten more than you'll ever know". I think as I get older I'm starting to see what she meant.

After squatting I moved to the plain barbell good morning. Nothing Fancy, but by my third set of warm-up weight my left hamstring almost cramped up....


I've forgotten how to be strong. I've forgotten what it takes. I've become a schizophrenic in my training.

Focusing on to many goals at once will only ensure that you reach none of them.

What do I do? More good mornings for one. Heck I think just more in general. I can't not do GM's for three years and expect keep the strength that that exercise provided. The same thing goes for all the other things I've left behind in an effort to be more "specific" in my pursuit of strength. Hard lessons to swallow when I remember where I used to be.

So, There you go. Let the perpetual Massive Overhaul continue...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sick Day

I left work today a few hours early. My throat hurts and I've got a low-grade fever.

Sick days aren't as much fun when you're an adult as when you were a kid. Thundercats and He-Man doesn't come on TV anymore, and even Sesame Street lost what little innocence and appeal it had. My wife is gone out doing adoption errands, so I don't even have someone to fix me Spaghettios or chicken noodle soup or PB&Js...

So here I sit, wishing I had the clarity of thought to type something profound, but I don't. I'm sitting in a quiet house watching my dog nap on the couch she's not supposed to lay on, and wondering if the sting in my throat will let up enough to allow me some sleep tonight... So much for pressing in the morning.

I guess I should put on The Princess Bride and try to enjoy it, but I think I may just lay back down.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mark Rippetoe interviews Shane Hamman

If you haven't already seen it. Mark Rippetoe did an interview for Starting Strength with Former Olympic SHW Shane Hamman. Very interesting and insightful on the life of the Olympic athlete and the current state of Weightlifting in the USA.

Click Here For the Shane Hamman Interview

I can't help but love some of Mark's insights on strength overcoming technical error in this interview. Simple and Profound, gotta love a Texan.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hard Things

I've got a beer keg filled with sand. It weighs about 250lbs. My training partner Tim and I took it down to the street and set up a little strongman medley yesterday. We would pick up and carry the keg 50ft. down, then pick up a 550lb. frame and come 50ft. back. Tim went first, picked up the keg, kept it high and walked it down the course, then stepped in the frame and made it back down the course. He set the frame down and between heavy breaths that "this seemed like a better idea on the drive over here". He was right. My turn came... There is special kind of anxiety that I get when I know I'm about to have to dig deep and do hard things. I finished the course with room to spare, but it just reinforced what I already knew; I hate medleys. Strongman medleys require resilience, endurance, monumental levels of intrinsic motivation and just a touch of crazy. I possess all four in extremely limited quantities.

We finished the second round of this and almost had to flip the switch (more on flipping the switch later) to get it done. I laid down in the yard heaving and panting and stared up at the sky and questioned everything in my life and most especially why in the world this, of all things, was what I did on Sunday afternoons.

The answer never really came. It's just what you gotta do to do what you want to do... But I got to thinking about it...

The last thing in the world I wanted to do after carrying that frame was to pick up the keg and head back the other way...

Nobody ever chooses the hard way on purpose. Sure, sometimes they do because they have to, but rarely. In fact, when it comes to our day to day lives I would say most people never intentionally choose to put themselves through Hell physically or, much less, emotionally thinking in their head "this will develop my character and make me a stronger person, and ultimately be for my good". Nope. Those thoughts never enter the brain while you are handcuffed to your very own personal tragedy.

I am thankful for a loving and infinitely wise God who puts us through the hard things, even when we go kicking and screaming. The lessons you learn in the dark hours are the ones that will carry you the rest of your life. They are the lessons that, God willing, you attempt to convey to your family, friends, and children... even though they'll have to their own hard lessons ahead of them. They are the lessons that fill you with right indignation. They are the lessons that flood you with resolve. They are even the lessons that make you want to love so deeply and purposefully that it will take death itself to peel you away from those on whom you've set your affections. In other words, these lessons are important.

I don't claim to have endured much, or know more than I really know, or (Heaven forbid) be wise. What I do know is that every day I am being molded and hammered out by The God of the Universe into what He ultimately wants me to be, He'll do the same to you, and without your permission... And sometimes, regardless of the circumstance, you have to pick up the keg and just keep walking.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Getting Old

My back hurts. It is clamped up like piano strings. My knees hurt. Squatting off the couch makes me concerned for my patellar tendons. I'm getting old. I feel old. I feel like a dad. And to tell you the truth, I kind of like it. Now, not the knee / back pain thing, but there is something in me that is feeling, I don't know, mature. I guess there a few reasons I could feel this way…

I waved a sad goodbye today to my old '97 Dodge truck, Rosie. She wasn't "just a truck"... Those are fightin' words... No, Rosie was a friend of mine. We were together for ten years. I sold her for $1200 dollars to a man from Valley, AL. Never thought of Rosie as a Valley girl, but oh well. Alot of my youth left as Rosie drove away, the older I get, more I have to let go. I’m not 20 years old anymore, a lesson I must relearn daily.

Perhaps it was the baby furniture I assembled for my daughter (who is still in Russia, God willing not much longer). Putting together the crib (not hard) and the dresser (intensely hard) was a labor of love for me. It scarcely felt like work when I considered the precious girl that will grow to love the home we are preparing for her. I would put together a thousand dressers for that precious little one.

It could just be the rain, but today was different. On the one hand the letting go, on the other is the promise of great gain in bringing Rebekah Grace Boman home… I need to grow up, so I can love her and help her do the same.

…I’ve never been a big fan of “adolescence” , the male species should be boys or men. There is a real danger in embracing adolescence as a stage of life. Perfectly good “would- be” men can get stuck here and with the enabling of mothering wives find themselves trapped perpetually playing video games, whining, and shirking various responsibilities…

In regards to a time when the transition from boy to man occures, I’m sure ages vary. For some it is when they turn twelve or fifteen or maybe when they watch the last remaining token of their youth drive away without them in it (like me).

So tomorrow is going to be a new experience for me, genuine manhood. I’m glad it coincided with strongman training, I’m going to take my painful back and knees and train until I’m lying on the grass trying to talk myself out of vomiting... I’ve got to get some stuff out of the basement. Goodnight everyone, I guess we gotta grow up sometime.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Eugene Sandow Books

Lately I've been trying to gather a few resources from some of the more notable "Old Time" Strongmen. I stumbled across two PDF books listed on by Eugene Sandow:

Strength and How to Obtain It
Sandow on physical training : a study in the perfect type of the human form

These are free to read/download, but caution: he is pretty naked in most of the book.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Where I've Been

I haven't posted in a while. Honestly, I had nearly forgotten about the old blog. My training has been, due to more important endeavors, nearly not worth mentioning since the start of Football season, then into Thanksgiving, and then I never get anything done between Thanksgiving and New Year's. So now here I sit, typing this and Tivo-ing through The Biggest Loser.

There was a four week stretch where I didn't touch a barbell, or a dumbbell, or a tire, or a stone. And now that I'm a little older, and hopefully a little wiser, I'm going to make it an annual habit of doing very little in the Month of December. So, from here on out I'm going to take a month off every year, it's good for me.

I've been back in the gym for two weeks now, and every drop of strength has returned. I'm focused. I'm looking forward to moving the weight and I just feel fresh. A step back, has turned into a step forward.

During that month off not only did I spend alot of time with family and friends, but I took a trip that will forever change my life. My beautiful wife and I flew to Russia and met our daughter for the very first time. We have been in the adoption process for two years now, and experienced nearly every high and low imaginable, and finally in early December we took a 10 day trip to Russia and got the ball rolling on bringing this little one home. She is a precious little two year old with blonde hair and crystal blue eyes. She has endured more Hell in those two years than most people experience in a lifetime. There is alot to undo in her little heart, and we are resolved to complete the task. As my sister says all she needs is a little love and vitamins and she will be just fine. Given my wife's fantastic cooking skills at preparing some calorie dense, down home southern soul food, she is gonna plump right up. In late February we will travel back to Russia, go to court, and then bring her home. I could go on and on about our trip, but let me just say, if you're a praying person, please pray for us. Also, if you have the desire to adopt, do it... You will never be the same.

So that's it for me. I was on sebatical from training, now I'm back. I'll try and post more often.

Right now here is what I call the "Not as Young as I used to Be" training routine

Sunday afternoon
3-4 events

Tuesday morning
Squat (low volume, mostly dynamic)
Front Squat
1 Hamstring exercise (~30 reps)
1 Ab exercise (~30 reps)

Thursday morning
1 Pressing exercise
1 rowing exercise
1 bicep and 1 tricep exercise

Friday Morning
Deadlift (low volume)
1 low back exercise (GM's or hyperext.)

My gym days are pretty standard and low volume, stuff that I can recover from easily, then on Sunday afternoon I kill it and work 'til exhaustion on 3-4 events. Sleeping and eating like a Grizzly Bear is also in the mix... maybe some Advil too.