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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Shaky Hands and Cross Kissing

On my way to the Arnold 2013. On my way to represent the Dark Orchestra and make you all proud. I will smash the American record and bring home the title for you, for us, for the Attitude nation.  I came across this article I wrote sometime ago before nationals.  A year later and I feel the exact same way I do now.  So I just had to re post it.  I find the taper bug very interesting as well.  I have been talking to a few friends on different ways to stay 100 percent clear from the dreaded bug, so far not a whole lot of success.  Its something I want to chat about on my next podcast though.....o by the way is not going live tomorrow at the usual time due to traveling to the Arnold.  BUT, we are putting together a LIVE show at the Arnold grabbing as many guests as we can get that walk on by, Just like we did at the American Open.  Hope to see you their, it would be great to be able to meet you in person.  Salute.

I wasn't going to write again tell after the Arnold, but I just couldn’t stay away from chatting with you. Coffee is just not the same without talking to the Attitude Nation. Writing has become a big part of my life; a big part of the training, a big part of relationships, and most importantly getting to know and understand myself. Writing is my therapy, without it I feel claustrophobic, uptight, and lonely. So I hear I am, back with you one more time before the Arnold.  Lets grab some coffee, put on a Piano guys song, put on our phantom mask's with the dark cape, and let’s sing together in this ever so odd world of the dark symphony - while the world shuns us!

The Taper bug has finally left, thank the Lord. The last week I have been tired, weak, slow, and unmotivated. I have been sleeping like a new born baby, too lazy to even play video games.  Just enough energy to sit in the hot tub and stare at a swaying tree for about 30 minutes. This always happens to me before a big meet, or any meet that is.  I call it the Taper bug. The Taper bug is when you start to back off the training and rest the body. The volume goes way down, the squat workouts get easier, the length of training gets cut in half, and the overall intensity lowers with each workout. You become more sore, achy, slow, and even weaker the more the taper bug enters your body. Why? I have no idea. You would think it would be the exact opposite. It’s like your body finally gets some rest and takes full advantage of it. Your body shuts down, like a bear for the winter, a big Donny shankle bear. Lol, sorry I don’t know why I just said that, but the image is pretty funny. Months and months of hell training, months and months of beating this bloody muscular skinned thing we call our body down.  Time after time of kicking it every time it tries to get up. Now when you let it stand, it doesn’t just jump up and say "let’s go"! but no, the body slowly gets on one knee first, and then the right hand helps support your the left, and after a few days of trying to stand up it does, slowly but surely. But my friends.....It doesn’t just, it grows 90 feet tall and smashes everything in front of it. "Green Monster” my old blog explains this perfectly.

I have been in depression the last week. The taper bug got to my head a little bit, and the taper cloud over my head really brought me down. A few small injury's and some tweaks in the lower back is the minds worst enemy, and the body's worst optical. Even coffee didn’t help. Weight after weight being missed, twitching legs while a sleep, and low energy levels, haaaa! NO MORE!! I have smashed the bug and grabbed my gun. I have reunited with the Nation and we will attack. Snap out of it Champ, you have a title to defend. Three time Arnold champ has a certain ring to it. You have a medal to send around the world, no time for pity. No time for "what ifs”, no time for the weight to feel heavy, just lift and win....then do to all again.  After they put the medal around our neck, salute the Nation with pride boy.

Yes that all sounds good, but a minute later my hands start to sweat again, my heart rate goes up, and my mind starts playing tricks on me again. The opener keeps me up at night, the opener haunts me. Sometimes I feel like running, running to a small town and hiding in a bar. Forgetting that I am 4 months sober and drinking my worries away night after night. Yes, this sounds great, no more pressure, just a white flag and my vodka. Every sip of that Vodka would warm my soul and make me feel good again. No more pain and hype, no more hateful comments towards me, no more long days training in the gym, no more letting people down if I do bad. But then again I would be letting many people down if I ran away. Then again I would not have you. I would no longer be a part of the Attitude Nation. Being a part of this Nation is everything to me, I take pride in it. Vodka is a nation of destruction and failure. Vodka is a friend who will smile to my face and then stab me in the back.

Fuck, this blog is all over the place, I am sorry, this is why I haven’t wrote in a few days, I knew this would happen. I am glad I wrote this blog today, I feel its centering me and putting me back in a place of comfort and confidence. So thank you.

Someone call the small town bar and tell them I won’t be making it in, I have a title to defend. Tell Vodka I am sorry for no showing, and not to wait up for me. Remind him that I am with the Nation still, and I will never leave them.

Smash the Taper bug and Win The Arnold 2013

Smash Sir Vodka and keep marching with the Nation 2013

Last fridays max out video.  The last max out day tell Arnold.  Plus i walked into coaches office at a perfect time. 

Calm before the storm 2016

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Road Trip

The green jungle is bright green this afternoon.  There are animals everywhere grazing in the sun.  I am under a tree that is giving me partial shade, while the rest are small spots of sun hitting me like a high School dance.  O boy she looks good today, and she tastes even better.  She is light brown from the sun, and her ice is like a turning disco ball that takes me back to my very first slow dance in middle school.  She is extra strong today from the two shots that were injected in her.  If coffee was a sport, than she would test positive for steroids.  Before I started writing I was in a great people watching zone.  It’s such a beautiful day to sit back, take kisses from your coffee, and watch all the different kind of people out walking around.  Smell is everything, the smell that is floating around puts you in a good mood.  It takes you back to playing basketball back in your hometown during the summer.  It makes you think of all the old friends you have lost over the years....I wonder how they are all doing.  A hot day but a perfect day because of the small gusts of wind that hit you every once and a’s like ranch with your pizza, it makes a world of difference. 

I want to say thank you to all of you who e mailed me about the Gold Medal Tour.  I have read and keep reading every single e mail you have wrote me.  I have written down all of your names, addresses and phone numbers.  I have received over 100 e mails so far!  And they are still coming!  I can’t wait to get this started and watch all the cool places the medal will go.  I can’t thank all of you enough, it means the world to me.
 My blog views have gone through the roof lately, wow, this nation is growing.  It’s like fight club with a weightlifting twist.  I think it’s because of the technique talk and videos I have been putting out lately.  Well here I go again; back to talking about God knows what, and more coffee talk, meaning the views will probably go back down.  I really do feel that getting away from weightlifting and training helps an athlete’s mind and body recover from the mental game that takes a toll on a weightlifter.  Stepping away and finding something to do is a great way to hit a PR the next day.  I choose writing to you, what do you guys do?  It’s funny, I don’t know one weightlifter that has a hobby, or an activity he or she likes to do when not performing the art of weightlifting.  It’s like we are all obsessed, we are chasing our own tails, we are hungry dogs that only want one thing, and this is to kill and eat.  This is what makes us champions; this is what makes us...well, us.  This is the hardest sport in the world, so we must be the hardest people in the world.  We are one of a kind, we are truly warriors. We get a high when we make a lift, and when we miss.  Missing only means one thing, and that is to make it.  Make it, miss it, make it and hopefully make it again. This is our high, this is how we gamble, and this is what we do on the weekends.  Pretty much this is really all we talk about.  This is our Las Vegas.
After this year’s Olympics I am planning a Cal Strength/Attitude tour.  I am buying a bus camper thing, whatever you call them, and I am going to travel to every state and train with you guys.  It’s still a few months away, but it’s going to happen.  I will stay in touch with you about this American tour.  It’s time to stop talking through this blog, it’s time to stop watching videos, and time to train together in person.  If you want me to stop by your gym and get a workout in or even do a seminar let me know, and I will be there.  It’s going to be called the Attitude Nation tour, and I am going to paint that on the side of the bus so everyone can see it.  Our medal will be traveling the world and I will be traveling the United Sates.  This is happening, this is real, and I am pumped out of my mind.  We together are going to take weightlifting to a whole other level; it’s going to be bigger than boxing.  We are the future.  While USA weightlifting sits on their ass and tells just a few lifters that they are God (I won’t mention any names) we will take over.  If they are not going to grow this sport then fuck em, we will.  They raise their nose to us; they could care less about you and me.  If you are not an 18 year kid who has a coach that is connected with some old guy in the weightlifting organization than you are nobody.  I will stop at that....I need to go train now before I get to worked up.  talk to you tomorrow!  Salute!  
PS:  Hey USA weightlifting what ever happened to my interview after I won Nationals last year?  Every other weight class winner got one.  What happened to my pictures and story line after the 2011 Pan Am Games?  What ever happened to my 2010 Pan Am championships videos?  I guess I was left out of that one as well.  I lift for this great Country, Cal Strength, Attitude Nation, myself, my family, my wife and my coach….NOT YOU. 

American tour 2012   coming soon

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Traveling Medal

Over and over the opener flashes in my head, keeping my eyes wide open at night as I stare at the ceiling fan.  The "what-ifs" are thrown around the room with each turn of the fan, and they bounce off the walls and hit me directly in my gut while I lay half-asleep like a zombie.  Questions that I don't know the answer to turn me into a mad scientist trying to figure them out.  The drool drips form my mouth as I rock back and forth in my favorite wooden chair.  I keep staring at the empty table like I am trying to figure out the winning word in scrabble.  I can hear the talk outside my door - the bets, the who will win, opinions, cold remarks, and the positive motivation from the people in my corner.  Letting the nation down is my biggest fear.  The pressure is heavy, much heavier than the bar.  I want to win for the kid who trains in his garage.  I want to win for the unspoken for, the hidden soldiers that train just as hard or harder than I do.  The kid who gets bullied, the young kid who is crying outside his math class because he is to scared to enter the room.  I want to win for you, my second family, the family of the dark orchestra.  The family who visits me here in a world of black buttons and white screens.  You keep me going. I am glad I have you to talk to, so the least I can do is win, and bring us home the gold.  Most importantly my coach, Coach Pendlay is the man I want to see smile after I win; the happiness that one smile alone would bring me is something I can't express through this key board.  

Adrenaline please be in my corner.  I sometimes miss my openers because I don't finish enough.  The reason for this is because the pull feels so light from the adrenaline rushing through my body that I get under too early.  The Arched Angel needs to be with me in my opener; I need her to guide me to victory.  I keep telling myself over and over to finish like someone has a gun to my mom's head, no matter how light the super man pull is. Fucking finish Jon, and then stand the fuck up.  Fight for your life and your family's life as well.  Fight for the Attitude Nation. Fight and win. 

 I am going into Nationals like it's another training day.  This is the mindset I have decided to take going into battle.  There is nothing different besides the lights, the people and the stage...just lift.  

I rub my hands together after I take a drink from her dark brown body, realizing that I have training soon.  Its very hard to train right now, just because I am so focused on competing at nationals.  I am ready now, there is no more time for training... lets get this show on the road already.  Do you have this same problem? My body and mind have their shields, war paint, and swords ready for kill time, ready for gold medal time, and bar slamming in the faces of many time.  The people who hate me out there are going to hate me more when I win.  What a great way to give someone the middle finger.  Evert time I smile it must destroy them. Every time you root for me, they must lose sleep. Good!   Let's kill 'em with kindness by winning!!!  

Please give me your address, I want to send OUR gold medal to every Attitude soldier all over the world.  Wear it for a few days, take a picture and share it with the Nation, and then send it off to someone else.  I am dead serious.  I want the world to see that big gold medal.  I want the haters to see it it everywhere they go.  THE HATER CAN RUN, BUT HE CAN'T HIDE!    Please e-mail me at  with your name, address and phone number.  When you are done wearing it for two days, then send it off to another person.  I know all the Attitude soldiers can afford shipping because we are all motivated hustlers.  The goal is to have the medal travel the world for one year and then back to me.  Let's do this every year.  Please e-mail me, please.....let's take over the world.  

Now its time to train.  I will do everything in my power to get you that medal.  We will win. We will concur. Slam your bars and turn your AC up with the windows down during a hot day.  Salute my friends. Now go lift!   

Gold Medal Tour 2012 and forever  

Sunday, February 19, 2012

14 Days Out

Getting ready for Nationals the Attitude Nation way !!   Compete, compete, compete, fight, fight, fight, win, win, win   and then slam the bar!    (Repeat)  

Friday, February 17, 2012

Weightlifter Rich

Some call it Hood Rich, I call it Weightlifter Rich.  Here are the top ten reasons that make you Weightlifter Rich.
1.  Everything is in your Parents name. 

2.  Zero dollars in your bank account - Four Thousand dollars rolled in a rubber band under the spare tire of your trunk. 
3.  Car payment is more than house payment. 
4.  New black on black Audi with the gas light on 24-7.  When you do get gas you only put in ten bucks at a time. 
5.  You live in the nicest apartment in your city with no furniture.  Only a blow up matteress in the bedroom and the PlayStation in the living room. 
6.  The only plastic in your wallet are Starbuck cards. 
7.  Late on rent because you just bought the newest weightlifting shoe. 
8.  Your sponsor put you up at the Super 8 Motel for Nationals. 
9.  You go to a five star restaurant and ask for the Dollar menu. 
10.  Reebok sponsors CrossFit.......LA Gear sponsors Weightlifting. 
 Training never sleeps 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Socially not eccepted, outcasts that reak of freak.  Our home is the gym, the world has shuned us.  We dont bench press so we cant be strong.  If we are not powerlifters than we are not weightlifters.  No curls no girls.  We are the red head step child who eats in the adich.  We are the miss understood.  The suits and ties give me change as a wait for my coffee with my ripped up cloths and chalky hands.  Teachers say "he could have really been something....only if he applied himself".  Too bad he became a gym rat.  Too bad he didnt follow in his fathers foot steps.  No why do you do this sport?   You should go back to school, you should figure out your life plan.  What are you going to do after weight....power training..? 

The NFL guys watch us like we are a half time show. They smile, shrug there shoulders, give a little clap and then go back to there grown up table.  They lift weights, they run on the track, they play football.  The weightlifter stays in one place as the bar grins with complete power.

We are freaks with tree trunk legs, over sized asses, pot belly's, long sharp traps like a rino with his horn, used for protection and survial from joe next door.  You dont understand us, good... then leave us alone. We dont understand you eaither.  Throw your rocks, thats fine, we are strong, we can take it.  Trust me joe, if you can be a weightlifter you can be anything.  Consist missed lifts and bomb outs is only the start of what I weightlifter can endur.  Trust me joe, your rocks dont hurt.  Hey Joe, dont move, I am just going to pick up this really big rock and drop it straight on your head.  Actually no I am not, I will take the high road, I am in battle everyday, I dont have the energy to battle with you.  Go back to your desk job as I bleed 5 colorfull rings.  

Weightlifting is dark, but beautifull.  A place full of purple cats and tea party's.  The cold bar is our warm fire, a nation of crying eyes and smiling faces.  screw the rest of the world outside the gym, we are family, we can do anything with eachother.  But even though this palace can get cold at night, and sometimes no one can hear you yelling "anybody home"?  Training is always there for you, and will always respond by saying "yes sweetie, how was your day"?   Everything seems to be ok when training.  Weightlifting seems to make everything else in life fall in place.  No matter what stresses or plroblems you are having in life, you know for sure that training starts at two.  Training loves you. Its a great feeling knowing that when the world gets cold, training is always there ready to hold you in her arms and sing you hush little baby.

I know you think we are all freaks Joe, but fuck you, the Attitude Nation is family, weightlifting is family, and all we need is eachother.  

Freak 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Soldier Of Strength

An Attitude Nation Production.  The trailer for the new Cal Strength Movie.  coming soon!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Arched Angel

The way she bends makes you want to get under her...and fast.  Her black wings open wide and her body stretches out as if she was being raised by God himself.  A sudden pause in the gym occurs, a half second pause of beauty.  A gust of wind hits the wide eyed watchers as they gaze upon her remarkable bent shaped arch.  She rises higher and higher onto her toes as her hips come through like a 3D movie.  Her shoulders are so far back that a cup could balance on her chest without spilling.  Somehow, her eyes are still staring straight ahead, even though her body would tell you different.  What a remarkable position. What a great athlete.  A site that is kind on the eye, and would make a grown man cry from the beauty she holds.  She is the Michael Jordan of weightlifting. Her finish is greater than Lance Armstrong finishing his race.  Her arch is more famous than the golden arch we know so well from our childhood.  

Her wings are now black from the hell she has been through, before weightlifting they were diamond white.  Before weightlifting she could fly, now her back hurts so she only leaves the platform for a split second. Some call this (Ali Feet), and others say imprisonment.  Every time the angel tries to fly home, the weight pulls her back down, like the Godfather trying to get out, but they keep pulling him back in. 

Yes Caleb Ward's video below shows he is Married to her, but me.........I am married WITH KIDS! ha!  Get off me Caleb.  Pause around 26 seconds.  Oh, and I almost got kicked out of this meet for "exiting from the front of the platform".  I replied, "Johnny Cash". 

A kiss and leave relationship.  How long do you kiss before unlocking lips?  This is impossible for me to answer, only you and her can figure this out.  We need her; the Attitude Nation must have her to succeed. We need her in this sport to achieve greatness. Without love she would die, I would die.  She plays the part of my step mother, beautiful eyes and a Julia Roberts smile.  Hugs that smell like new car and a laugh that dulls pain.  She misses her old life with other angles, but now she finds herself in a love web.  One day she can fly home, but not yet.  First the Nation needs to make the Olympics; we need her grace and her beauty to guide us to the “finish”.  We need her strength and her confidence to catch the bar perfectly in the pit of unsure.  Her name is the Arched Angel, and she is in all of us, even if you haven't met her yet.  She will guide you to the land of Pr's, especially for the weaker lifters who need her most.  Weak legged lifters like myself need as much torque, bend, momentum, and lever as possible.....without it we would be nobody, without her the weight would win.  She is that half second of peace in your life before you leave her all alone to venture in the land down under, called the “catch”.  You miss her so dearly, like your mother dropping you off at summer camp.  Her black wings reverse her body as she flies away, higher and higher still keeping her eyes locked onto yours.  Its not sweat, its her tears that have fallen.  This is what the audience doesn't understand.  A bond with a lift goes unseen by the judges, a love that is un judge able.  The flapping gusts of wind from her calloused wings moves the hair on your head around like a rain storm, and your eyes pierce with concentration from the harsh reminder that you must move on, you must stand up.  The Arched Angel is not the fastest, nor the strongest, but the smoothest and most talented.  Getting on your toes in the finish with 166kg takes a guardian with wings.  Someone who understands you, just as much you understand her.  Sometimes she will help you; and sometimes she is on her lunch break. 

If you haven’t seen her yet, then you are probably seeing the scare crow.  The scare crow is mean and unforgiving.  He will make you miss everything in front, and slow is his middle name.  I call him the evil V, V for vertical.  He has no idea what explosive means, he has no clue how to put on the Ali boxing gloves.  V is also very old.  He was used way back in the day when a weightlifter wasn’t allowed to have any bar body contact.  Yes the V works great for that, but the sport has changed, and the Arched Angel has arrived. 

Her elbows point back as she lies wrapped on your lap feeding you grapes.  Her lips move across your face like a water skier on glass.  Her lips were once apple red and smooth like life before weightlifting.  But the very own Weightlifting that created her, is the one killing her. The masked two faced sport has turned her lips to more of a red whine than summer apple red, and her smooth fresh silk sheet lips are now dry desert mountains, cracked and bumpy.  Forehead to forehead you gaze in each others eyes with that half smile that speaks laughter and happiness.  The hard part about this dream world relationship is the unknowing that awaits for you after the grapes are all eaten.  Will you stand tall with weight?  Or will you stand tall empty handed?

My good friend and once team mate Caleb Ward not only has a relationship with the Arched Angel, but he is damn married to her!!  Pause around 1:02  I thought he was going to do a back flip! In my opinion Caleb Ward as top 5 best technique in the world.  He takes the spot for best athlete I have ever seen up close and personal.  You can't teach his rhythm, speed, and power.  

Caleb Ward 2016

Thursday, February 9, 2012


That day I ordered a number one like I usually do.  Instead of the drink I got a strawberry shake, and instead of the double-double I had to upgrade to a tripple- tripple.  I couldn’t let Donny see me with a small meal.  I wanted my first impression to be good; I wanted him to like me.  My fingers were like drum sticks against the white table as my head kept turning side to side, trying to see if I could see the man himself walking towards the building.  Saying I was nervous doesn’t explain how nervous I really was.  Not just the fact that I was about to eat lunch and train with my role model I have never met before, but the fact that I was in an unknown city by myself, just gave my college councilor my drop out forum, and just told 24 hour fitness I quit.  So there I sat at the front door of my new life, hoping someone would open the door and take me in.  I put everything on red, and then closed my eyes as the ball rang around the wood wheel.

I ordered Donny the same thing I got.  My dad taught me well, I bought.... respect is everything.  I was raised watching the Godfather's and listening to lecture’s from my father on how to go about social situations.  Hours among hours of "what to do" and "why to do it".  The man was brilliant and still is.  I keep trying to convince him to write a book, trust would sell.  This man’s life is a book; Dave North is a genius with people.  With just one look and a touch of the shoulder, he would make you melt in his hands, and he knows it.  My parents are divorced, and let’s just say that my mom and dad don’t talk.  But the best way I can explain my dad is something my mom says about him.  She says "that man could have been President of the United states”.  When she says that it gives me goose bumps.  Pulling strings is an understatement with him.  He would give me a lecture as a child and then perform it without anyone knowing what he was doing.  It would work every time, to this day I am still baffled at what his mind can do.  I will never forget the smell of his work suits and the presence he carried with him.  He always made the coffee drive through people smile, and please stomp your shoes outside before getting in his baby (aka) Lexus.  Being the vice-president of Nextel on the whole west coast….well let’s just say he ran things like a boss! As a young man I emulated him. He was after all, my father.  One day I realized that my father was not me, and I am not my father.  As my father chose the direction to take his life, I chose my own direction.  So I became jumping Jonathan North, a soldier of the Attitude Nation, nothing more, nothing less.  It feels great just being myself.  I still use many of my dad’s teachings every day, and I am lucky to have a dad that let me into his mind and help me through many of my problems.  Thank you Dad for everything you have taught me, without it who knows where I would be today.   If we ever talk again, I would tell him to please write a book.  I beg you.  I Love you dad, I always will. 
As I sat there with all these random thoughts racing through my head, I then wondered if Donny knew that I am his biggest fan.  I would sit front row at every meet he lifted in, and cheer like the Cowboys were playing in the Super bowl again.  His YouTube videos were my motivation, and California Strength was the Harvard of weightlifting.  Hopefully I get in, and maybe someday I will graduate with my Olympics rings…. if I play my cards right and train hard. 
He walked in like he owned the building, better yet… the city.  I stood up and shook his hand, and then we sat and ate in almost complete silence.  He didn’t talk a lot, so I didn’t either.  There was an understanding at the table between us both, and after a few minutes I knew this was going to be my new home.
We trained hard that day.  I met the Don (Dave Spitz) and that went well.  I will never forget what Donny said to me in the middle of practice.  He said, "I am going to break you down boy".  And O boy did he.  I was about to drive back home to Sacramento when the Don changed my life with just one line.  "Come back tomorrow and train again".  I drove home with a smile ear to ear the whole hour and half home.  No music, just a replay in my mind of everything that happened.  I did it, I impressed them, they liked me, I just might be a Cal Strength soldier. 
After three weeks of hell, and hours and hours of driving there and back, the Don had a sit down with me.  The little ball hit red.  Babe call the Uhal place, we are moving.   The End  
 Shankle-Don-Cal strength-Dave North 2012    

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hole In One

I grabbed my Pendlay bar for this 130kg drive.  Swung it back and cracked it.  The swing was long and powerful.  I followed through the finish as if I was Tiger Woods posing for Golf Digest.  A swoosh followed by a whack, followed by the whistling wind slapping my kakis like a flag outside a school yard.  The wind died down as complete silence took over this beautiful green landscape.  What I sight....watching what your body created.  Now I understand how the mad scientist must have felt when he created Frankenstein.  I lifted my hand above my eyes, trying to block out the sun from watching my little white ball fly across the course.  I slammed my club down against the short hard grass as I gave myself a fist pump and a loud roar!  Hole in one!  I didn't shank it but I definitely shankled it!  I didn’t just lower my hand down from my forehead; I gave it a fast and violent ATTITUDE NATION SALUTE!  My Golf buddy filmed it, check it out below!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mark Haz

Good morning soldiers of the attitude.  It's a great day to kick your body deeper down into hell.  It’s a beautiful day to train and hug life with a smile.  Call your mom and tell her you love her, and then go back to slamming more bars.  Drink coffee to your favorite song as you stand on top of the back room table swinging your arms in the air like a bald eagle.  USA salute, God for inventing this great sport called weightlifting salute and everyone that we have in our lives that is special to us salute.

My last few postings have been too much about weightlifting and my crazy views on technique. So now I am going to ramble about whatever this coffee has on her mind.  Balancing coaching and training is hard, but I love being able to do both.  I sometimes get excited for the day I retire so I can coach full time, but then again I am excited to be an athlete and make this Olympic team some day.  Knowing what you are and what you want to do in your life is a beautiful thing, thank you Lord for blessing me with weightlifting.  Thank you Lord for giving me the courage to drop out of school and meet Donny Shankle at the In-and-Out four years ago.  Thank you for letting me walk my own path and not what society wanted me to do.  Thank you mom for trusting my decision to give this weightlifting thing a shot.  Thank you for reading this blog and being a part of this great nation called the attitude.  I am so happy to have you.

 I hope my videos of the superman pull have been helping some, and my arm bend article as well, even though that one was a little controversial.  Boy I love lifting off the high boards, they will get your back freaky strong.  Talk about having to finish like a champ, the high boards will force you to move like no other.  And the pull....the pull takes three days to complete!  Why are Mondays always so hard?  Maybe it’s your mind telling your body, "hey body it’s the beginning of another week of hell."  And then your body throws a hissy-fit. 

Mark Haz just sat down next to me, love this sexy beast.  This dude is 52 years old and trains everyday hard in the paint. Snatch clean and jerk squat to max daily.  He never seems to get hurt or take a day off....what a champ.  His best lifts would crown him the world champion in the masters division if he would ever go.  I think he is next year.  I am his biggest fan.  Mark Haz you are a bad ass, keep up the great work.  It’s an honor to be your team mate and your friend.

Time to get ready for our second Practice.  I posted a video that I wrote this blog to, with my new favorite band called The Piano Guys. I am hoping to see them in concert in San Fran soon.

Mark Haz 2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Row Your Boat

I am a big believer in the arm bend.  I call it “rowing the boat".  Here are a few reasons why bending your arms will help you lift big weights:  First of all, rowing the bar into your hips creates much more force and explosion at the finish of the pull.  Secondly it tightens up that superman pull, allowing you to stay in better positions.  It also allows you to stay over the bar much longer.  If your hips hurt from striking the bar low on your hip, then the arm bend will help you clear the “ouch bone”!  If you need more bar speed in your lifts, then please go to the store and buy some arm bend, because it will put the bar in 6th gear!  

As the bar gets closer to the hips, the bend in your arms should slightly increase. Once the superman pull is over and he has stopped fighting crime, it’s time to row your boat to the finish line!  How hard you row the bar into your hips determines how much hang-time the bar will have in order for you to get under and win the Olympics! 

Every athlete will be different.  Some will do better with straighter arms, and some will do better with more arm bend like myself.  I hope this helps some people, I know this has helped many of my athletes, including myself.  Do what works for you. 
Attitude Nation Salute!     Arm Bend 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


It’s been a hard day of training, and it feels great to be home.  Protein...check.  Meal...check.  Hot bath...check.  Writing a beautiful blog, in my quiet living room, with my dog sitting next to me....priceless.  I turned off every light in the house besides the small lamp on the corner of my desk.  I am sipping a hot cup of gorgeous brown eyed coffee.  I am listening to a peaceful song that has me so relaxed.  The pain in my legs and shoulders are slowly leaving my body as a write this sweet calm blog.  It feels so nice to not lift weights; it feels so great to chat with you again.  The song I am listening to is called a Sad Cello Melody.  It doesn’t say who the artist is on YouTube.  The older I get the more my taste in music changes.  I love the cello, the sound is heaven. 
My blogs scare my mom at times, but I tell her I love her and that its all good in the hood mom, I am happy.  I don’t know why I wrote Alice, people thought I was crazy for telling that chapter of my life.  I won’t lie, there were a few times I thought the same as I laid awake in bed.  I don’t want to hide my life journey from people; I want my life to be an open book.  That’s why I write.  I am not ashamed about Alice, if anything I would do it over.  I think it made me a better person.  I think it will make me a better parent.  My hand has touched the hot stove, I know it burns, I know how it feels, so now I will never be tempted to touch it again.  I guess that’s the way I look at it.  Who knows, maybe I helped some kid not do drugs from my writing, which would be great.
Sometimes I wish I started this sport earlier in life, I think I would be lifting much more weight.  It would have been fun to be a junior and go on all the trips and have more weightlifting experience under my belt.  But then again, I am glad that I started when I was 22 and walked in different worlds.  It’s like I was on a long tour through the jungle.  I saw the football animals, I saw the night owls, I saw the college bears, the body building gorillas and much more.  And most importantly, I met my wife throughout the whole thing; so yes, I am glad I started late.  I am glad I get to write to you about my ups and downs, my secrets, training, life stories, and my journey through life and weightlifting.  Thank you for visiting my blog; it’s really the only reason why I keep writing.  Well that and the fact it’s not weightlifting.  I don’t want to come across negative about weightlifting, I am not.  It just feels great to get away from it at times.  That’s why I don’t write about training a lot, even though I do deeply love the sport.  Do your shoulders ever hurt?  Well mine do, and right now they ache so bad.  I have to keep getting up and walk around because my legs will cramp up from sitting too long.
 Why is it that I keep opening the frig looking for food when there is nothing in there?  Do you ever do that?  It’s crazy.  I have been doing it my whole life.  I will look, see nothing, and then look again in ten minutes.  I guess I am hoping that a steak with horse radish will magically be there the more I open the frig door.  Well thanks for hanging with me, it’s late and I have to play call of duty with Jared Enderton online soon.  I won’t forget about you, if you don’t forget about me.  I will be back tomorrow to chat more about life and training.  Good night.  Cello 2012