Sunday, May 20, 2018

Weightlifting: 7/5/3/1 and the Best Protein Shake

Is that a protein shake or a sugary treat from Starbucks?

7/5/3/1 is a 5/3/1 variation where for the first week of the cycle, you do 3 sets of 7, with the last set being a 7-plus set. Basically, I took the deload week and added a few reps and sets. For all practical purposes, 5/3/1 is more like 8/6/3 for me, so perhaps this variation should really be 10/8/6/3. Here's an example, for anyone with no clue what I'm talking about.

Front squat one rep max = 300 lbs.

First week: 115*5, 135*5 (warm up), then 155*7 (50% of 1 rpm), 180*7 (60% ), 195*9 (our hypothetical lifter was able to perform two extra reps).

Second week: warm up, 195*5, 200*5, 210*5+ (70%)

Third week: warm up, 200*3, 210*3, 225*3+ (75%)

Last week: warm up, 210*5, 225*3, 245*1+ (80%)

The percentages I'm using are lower than the actual 5/3/1 program, but you're supposed to start conservative and set rep PRs. I also don't like messing with percentages in general--I was an English major and that's too much goddamn math. Also, it doesn't really matter. All that matters is pushing the weights.

I'd like to also share a protein shake recipe that contains no protein powder. Protein powder is expensive and a rip-off, you're probably not getting the advertised amount of protein. Instead of wasting cash, make this delicious shake (Disclaimer: Do not eat raw eggs. I only do so because I have an iron stomach). Without further ado:

In a blender add 4 eggs, 8 ounces of milk, 8 ounces of Greek yogurt, one banana, and a couple strawberries. The result should be around 47 grams of protein, with very little fat. Enjoy.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Conan Brothers Q&A

NattyJuice405 asks "Bros, what is your training like? We haven't had an update in a while."

Dave: It goes the same as it always goes.

Arnold: Weightlifting isn't an intellectual pursuit. It's about lifting heavy shit. That's why meatheads are good at it.

Dave: But we aren't your average meatheads.

Arnold: We know how to read, write, and bake a meatcake.

Dave: Don't eat his meatcake.

Arnold: I'm currently doing a 5/3/1 variation of my own creation. Behold:

Sunday: Front squat 5/3/1 progression, split squats for 5 sets of 10, calf raises 5 sets of 10.

Tuesday: Bench press 5/3/1, cable rows 5 sets of 10, pressdowns 5 sets of 10.

Thursday: Power clean 5/3/1, leg curl 5 sets of 10, dumbbell good morning 5 sets of 10.

Saturday: Press 5/3/1, chin ups AMAP 5 sets of 5, barbell curl 5 sets of 10.

I do optional upper body stuff throughout the week if I feel like it, curls, side laterals, and so forth. I don't want to particularly think about my training at the moment, so this works.

Dave: I just lift weights.

Arnold: Yeah, well, I'm a special snowflake and you're a piece of poo-poo.


MarvelMonkey asks "Avengers: Infinity War. Thoughts?"

Dave: It was pretty good for an animated flick.

Arnold: Best romantic comedy I've seen in a long time.

Dave: The song and dance was really spectacular.

Arnold: Just a good ol' time at the movies.

Dave: I could have done with a little less scrotum chin.

Arnold: I really wanted Robert Downey Jr.'s head on a pike, and I am disappointed that did not happen.

Dave: I never like the team-up movies as much as the individual ones. I didn't think it was as good as Thor: Ragnarok or Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Arnold: But the deaths, Dave. All of which have no consequence.

Dave: I also thought Thanos's plan was stupid. Like, dude, just make half the universe infertile if you're so worried about over-population. Maybe he would've met less resistant had be been giving out free castrations.

Arnold: Maybe he would've met more.

PCPrincess asks "Do you guys think Trump will ever be held accountable for his gross criminality and corruption?"

Dave: That's like asking if the devil will ever get his due.

Arnold: This country is so partisan that there will always be a large percentage of the voting public that will support Trump, even if he's caught on video pledging allegiance to Russia while pissing on an American flag.

Dave: But, but the Mueller investigation!

Arnold: Like I said, it doesn't really matter what he uncovers. I have no faith in humanity. Trump is the idiot god of old white racists. It doesn't matter if he's taking payouts from corporations or selling off public lands. He's got Fox News on his side, and conservatives have brainwashed their constituents into believing that Fox is the only legitimate source of news. Fox doesn't report on his scandals.

Dave: But, but maybe the Democrats will take back Congress and he'll be impeached!

Arnold: They could take the House, but remember, it's pretty badly gerrymandered. The Senate is probably out of reach, baring a historic turnout.

Dave: But, but, but but!

Arnold: The idealistic part of me want to say that Trump will get his due. But that part died long ago, buried under a mountain of propaganda, dirty laundry, and meat-sweats.

Dave: Oh god, the meat-sweats.

Arnold: You got to pace yourself while eating meat. Never forget, Dave.

Dave: How could I?

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Lore Building: An Ugly Map

Here's an amateurish drawing of the South of the fantasy world of The Heart of the Thief. I drew this map to help me visualize the world better, and as you can see, my drawing talents do not rival Picasso's. The story starts out in the coastal city of Capetia, and the main characters travel through the Great Woods all the way to Beaune, a country modeled after medieval France. A lot of this might be revised, but this is the world so far.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Select Farmers Only Profiles

Name: Not sure anymore since I'm generally referred to by all as "South-Indiana Troll-Beast," or simply "Ogre-Face."

Age: Anywhere between 30 and 85 years.

Looking for: Somebody to hold a pillow over my face; companionship on a superficial level.

Hobbies: Chain-smoking, excessive High Life drinking, snarling, farting, meat-mashing.


Name: Frank Reynolds

Age: 33

Looking for: A brew-knowledgeable lady who will swallow my swill with a smile on her face.

Hobbies: Talking about beer, talking about hops, sourcing locally, generally being a dick about beer.

Bio: Hey all, just looking for companionship in the local farm community, would be great if I met someone who grew their own hops. Obviously, I'm really into beer, so it's a given that you're going to have to be as well. Just started up my own brewery (Frank's Deliciously Skunky Beers) even though there's a microbrewery about every block. Haven't got all the recipes down, so hope you look good holding a bitter beer face! Hah, please bring something not related to beer into my life.

Name: The thing that walks that should not.

Age: 10 (dog years).

Looking for: A tasty treat and a good, smelly place to roll around.

Hobbies: Eating things that are not eatable, pooing in the house, barking at noises no one can hear but me.

Bio: Woof woof! Okay, so I'm writing this for my dog, he's a mixed bread rescue, and I have to be honest, I can't stand the sight of him any longer. I will give you one-hundred dollars to take him off my hands. Do whatever the hell you want; hell, toss him in the river, I don't give a shit. The above picture is really what he looks like. Imagine waking up to that face staring into yours every single day. I didn't do anything to deserve this hell. Wait a minute, this is Pet Finder, right?

Name: The Joker, the Clown-Prince of Crime

Age: ?

Looking for: An abusive relationship with either a male caped crusader playing the role of dominant, or a submissive woman willing to dress as a clown and be beaten with socks filled with soap. A couple would be nice.

Hobbies: Casual murder, clown-themed gags, photography

Bio: Ahahahahah! Yes, this is the Joker, single again! I don't think Harley is coming back after I pushed her off a ten story building! What a riot! Also, Batman is dealing with some personal issues, so I have no one to beat the hell out of me and because of that, I can't sleep well at night. Love's a funny thing, eh? Kinda looking to stay in the superhero scene. If you get your kicks by punching men in the face until they pass out, then please, send me an email. Must be willing not to kill even if I wipe out your whole family. Similarly, I need a woman that can handle being constantly put down as well as the eminent threat of death from a clown-themed source. I know that's complicated, but such is life! If sado-maschicism is your thing, then give the Joker a ring! 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Lore Building: Faeries

I'm currently working on another idea for a novel (superhero deconstruction), and even though I've put a lot of work in the Heart of the Thief, I'm not going to start a rewrite until I've gotten most of the lore sorted out, so be prepared for quite a few of these posts.

An excerpt from Peter's Apocrapha: Faeries: A People of Legend

Many a housewife has told a tale of a missing ladle or a sack of flour and blamed it on faeries. Unlike hobgoblins or poltergeist, faeries were once a real race, not so different from men! Of course, they had elongated ears that somewhat resembled those of a rabbit, and there is some evidence that they had tails as well; but in general appearance, they looked like fair men and women, though taller and slenderer. They lived before the Dominion of Man, perhaps soon after the Age of the Gods met its end. The ruins of their civilization are still found towards the East of the Continent, though many archeologists acribe their elegant architecture to the Emperor's Revival, despite their construction being beyond even the skill of Pallas's best. The Lung of Rankar is thought to have been their totem. They were the first to create music, and it is said that you can still hear traces of their songs in the forgotten dells and haunted groves of the Great Woods. What happened to them is unknown, but the Corruption is blamed, for it is the bogeyman that is always cited when something is inexplicable. More likely, they suffered some sort of plague or environmental catastrophe. We will likely never know for sure.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Lore Building: The North and the Mechanics of Being

The North and the Mechanics of Being

The technological wonders coming out of the North have prompted many in our ignorant lands to regard our distant neighbors with suspicion. The Cult of Rankar refer to inhabitants of the Laurasia as heretics, and the Council of Mages spews vile propaganda about pogroms in which witches are beheaded and magical books burned. True, magic is banded in the North, for the Laurasians made a choice one-hundred years ago to rid themselves of a dependence on sorcery, instead embracing science and mathematics. This Enlightenment is responsible for the many amazing inventions Laurasia has produced: steam ships that are powered by coal; gunpowder and firearms; zeppelins that float high above in the clouds. Critics say that the Northerners have made a terrible sacrifice, trading their souls for a godless existence. This is pure hearsay; I have met Northerners, and let me tell you, they are as human as you and I. I must admit that their language is strange, and their habits and manners much different from our own, but they are not like the men of the Shivering Isles, who are doomed to degenerate into ravenous walking corpses. Were we to do as they do, then all of Capetia would benefit! Indeed, it is inevitable that magic and mages become distant memories, for if we do not match the technology of the Laurasians, we may one day call them Master, for their ambitions are plain, and it is only a matter of time before they set their eyes on the South.

--author unknown

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Lore Building: The Corruption and the End of the First Age

The Corruption and the End of the First Age

Even the most ardently secular scholar among us does not dispute that there were other races before man. The reasons for their disappearance, as well as the legends regarding their powers, are the main areas of debate. According to the beliefs of the Cult of Rankar, the first people to gain sentience in the Maat were the Theodoti, who were erroneously referred to as the Gods in many heretical texts. Certainly they were a powerful people; in their veins flowed ichor, and they lived lives far longer than creatures today. Some sources claim that they were of a gigantic stature, and that they possessed magic surpassing that of even the most powerful wizard of our days. It is surmised that they discovered more than one piece of Rankar, which would explain their semi-divine status (though the Cult will bristle at my choice of words). After eons, the civilization of the Theodoti collapsed during a civil war. The Corruption, as it would later be called, is thought to have originated during these mythical days. The reason for the war is unknown, but the Corruption was the result of a defilement of one of the pieces of Rankar, for from the pieces the Theodoti drew their power. The Corruption spread to all the pieces of God that the Theodoti had in their possession, and their powers lessened, and many of them died, and those that survived retired to the deep places of the world, becoming monsters and lesser things. The vicious Barbarian God Prax is hypothesized to have been a fallen Theodoti, or at least based upon one such individual. All of this is speculation and relies upon sources that may as well be apocryphal. What truly happened in the early days of the world is lost. What is known is that the Corruption survived the First Age, and that it ended the Second Age as well. Who knows what will happen in the last days of our world?

From Tales and Legends of Set