Spinach and Sausage Egg White Omelette

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Here is a very lean, high protein, breakfast that tastes pretty great and would be great on a weight cut! 

Ingredients 

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 cup of Egg Whites  

1/4 cup Spinach

2 Open Nature, Spinach and Feta, Chicken Sausage

Instructions  

Put the olive oil in your pan with the two sausages. Let the sausages cook about 4 minutes in each side on medium heat. 

Pull the sausages off the pan and cut them into small-medium slices. Then put them back into the pan with the egg whites.

Take your spinach and cut or tear it into smaller pieces and put onto the eggs before they start to cook. Make sure to mix it in so it becomes part of your omelette and doesn't just sit on top.  

When your omelette starts to solidify and is cooked well enough to slide on the pan then you should flip it. Allow it to cook on the second side until it slides around. Should take significantly less time than the first side. I prefer low heat to make sure it cooks through well. 

You can add some cheese to the top, but do it right after you flip it so it melts. Once it's done cooking food it in half with your cheese in the middle.  

 

Grilled Kicken Chicken with Tzatziki Dip

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Ingredients Chicken

1/4 Bottle Weber Kick'n Chicken Seasoning

5 lbs Skinless Boneless Chicken Breats (approx. 2 packs)

4 Tbsp Olive Oil

Preparation Chicken

Preheat Grille to 450-500 degrees

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir well

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Put chicken on the grille (7-10 min, flip, 5-7 minutes)

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Ingredients Tzatziki

1/2 Cucumber 

16oz Cold, Plain Greek Yogurt (I went with fat free + probiotics)

4 Cloves Garlic (Pressed)

1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Dill

1/2 Squeezed Lemon

Salt and Pepper to taste

Preparation Tzatziki

Peel and finely dice the 1/2 Cucumber. Dump into your bowl on top of a paper towell. Use another paper towell on top to dry the cucumber slices. This will keep your Dip from getting watery.

Remove paper towels and then combine the chopped dill, pressed garlic, yogurt, salt and pepper, and squeezed lemon in the bowl.

Stir everything together. Make sure you stir it well and don't leave any clumps of garlic, dill, or cucumbers.

Put it in the refrigerator, covered, for at least an hour. Better if left to chill overnight.

Ingestion

Fork your chicken breast and dip it, deeply, in your Tzatziki. Prepare yourself for amazement as you chew your high protein, slightly spicy, hot, cold, refreshing, sexy bite. Don't spend too long chewing because you have lots of protein to eat before the anabolic window closes. Enjoy!

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6 Weeks Out AO 2016: Preparing for My First American Record

I really hate that I didn't write anything during the meet preparation. Honestly I was very focused on training and wasn't sure if anyone would be interested in reading the random things I decide to think about and write. As of January 2017 I decided it doesn't really matter if anyone cares, as long as writing could make me the least bit smarter.  

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Before we started the Prep Cycle I had spoke to Dave about expectations. We talked bout planning every Friday night attempt in all the six weeks of the cycle. That way every Friday appropriate jumps in weight would be made to optimize attempts. Also I've found that setting expectations and invisioning your goals helps make them a reality. If you put a number in your head and tell yourself you need to hit it, then you will do everything you can all week to set yourself up for success. This is exactly what happened. Every single Friday for six weeks I didn't miss a single attempt. I'm going to list the goals made for the cycle to the best of my ability, but they aren't right on. Just close as I can remember.

Wk1: 162/198, Wk2: 166/202, Wk3: 170/206 , Wk4: 166/202, Wk5: 174/210, Wk6: 176/212

We had been in somewhat of a strength cycle so we had not taken many heavy weights leading into this, but we had been building up to them. Week 1 was pretty easy. Had some errors warming up, but the weight was not heavy enough to need great technique in either lift. I was able to muscle through the numbers and went into Week 2 knowing my Snatch injection needed work. Continued through the cycle improving my Snatch technique each week and feeling more comfortable with bigger weights. Made it into the deload (Week 4) without any problems. Taking it easy for a week did make me nervous though because we were taking some fat jumps after the deload.

Taking a week not feeling any really heavy weights just made me apprehensive about Week 5 since I was supposed to hit 2 PR's. Went into that week already nervous about Friday. Not only were the lifts going to be PR's, but 174kg Snatch marked an unofficial American Record. I really wanted to keep my no miss streak going and I REALLY wanted that Snatch. I did everything perfect all week. Minimized stress, ate well, and got plenty of sleep. Everything was teed up perfectly. I had my warm up attempts planned and plenty of adrenaline. I had planned a 10kg jump from 164kg and the only way I was going to get to take it was if all my Snatches went perfectly. I didn't miss a single lift! Went all the way to 174kg and crushed it. By crushed it I mean I got behind the bar a little and then pressed it out because I wanted with all my heart to make it and wouldn't let myself miss. It felt incredible to finally hit it! However, I knew I still had more to do and somehow was able to stay calm and composed leading into Clean and Jerks. My focus didn't waiver. I felt no complacency. Somehow...

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Going into Clean and Jerks I was feeling very confident. I couldn't remember the last time I missed a Clean or a Jerk and we had been going heavy on them for a little while. I know 210kg would be real heavy, however I also knew I couldn't miss. I was very tired, but still all the lifts went off without a hitch. I took big jumps to 190kg then 200kg and 210kg from there. I got pretty amped up for 200kg no crushed it. While recovering I wasn't sure I had enough gas in the tank to take one more big attempt. I think I just knew deep down what it meant to make this PR Clean and Jerk and the huge total. Also the expectations from my coach and keeping the streak perfect meant quite a bit as well. I put my goals on the board and I wasn't going to let 1 lift stop me from crushing Week 5. I made the lift and I don't think me or Dave could believe I had hit those numbers. It was truly awesome! 

Saturday after that huge PR session Dave said to me, "We're going to take it easy next week. I honestly didn't think you could do that. You shouldn't have been able to; you should've needed at least two Friday's to hit those numbers." I was definitely relieved. That Max Out Friday definitely tanked me and was the ultimate cortisol dump, but I hit my numbers I needed. I was ready to go to the AO. I was ready to get my first OFFICIAL AMERICAN RECORD! We then finished the final week of the cycle and went into the 2 Week Taper. I had what I needed. 

 174kg Snatch - https://instagram.com/p/BNIhmkgDFBw/

210kg Clean and Jerk -  https://instagram.com/p/BNEOdTWjbNh/

2017 Jacked and Tan Cycle (Part 2)

Post Deload (Weeks 5&6): 

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Coming off the deload week I wasn't doing so great. I had started tightening up and was definitely dragging. The deload didn't leave me feeling fresh in the least. Despite feeling like dump I continued grinding through the programs, hitting numbers as prescribed. Was doing just fine until Wednesday morning. We had a heavy single on front squats and the linear progression called for an additional 10kg each week. This meant I was going to do 240kg (529#), which would tie my current PR. The only difference is that this time I was incredibly sore, tired, tight, and a little achey. I was nervous about it all practice. We started our warm up sets for the squats and I was feeling strong. The top of my warmup sets were 180, 200, 220 and I pretty much crushed them. Loaded 240kg confidently, attacked the lift, and crushed it ( https://instagram.com/p/BQSCSsgjyFx/ ). Everything was cool, felt awesome, and then every hour after I got a little tighter and felt more aches. By evening practice I was basically useless! I did the cleans (barely), skipped the squats, skipped the pulls. Not a good night by my standards. Skipping pieces of my program while my friends train is actually the worst. I can't stand it, but I didn't really have a choice. Friday was equally disappointing. Despite constant mobility work and treatment, I still was not able to perform at the level I wanted. I did a pretty decent Snatch and then cut the Clean and Jerk at 180kg.

By Saturday I was feeling allot better. Still had some pain to work through, but I could do power variations basically pain free. I did some powers, squatted a little, and stretched allot. Sunday I continued treatment and stretching. Monday the 13th started the last week of the cycle. Traditionally during the last week of most of our training cycles we will cut back some volume and put our adaptations to the test. Structure is kept to a minimum as we all pick our best lifts prescribed in our program to hit somewhat of a max on. I stuck to the sets on the first couple days, but I did push it on the clean + hang clean and the clean triple plus jerk. Also I pretty much skipped the Wednesday morning front squat since it crushed my soul the week before. Turned out to be a good move!

Made it to Friday feeling perfect. By perfect I mean pretty sore, feeling strong, no pain, hungry for weights. I knew Snatches wouldn't go great because during our strength cycles the technical stuff kinda goes on the back burner. I ended up working up to 170kg but only after missing 165kg and taking the jump anyways. I would've probably retaken 165kg, but Dave told me just to put it on. I also walked out 140kg, which is equally disappointing to the miss. 170kg is still pretty good all the things considered! 

Finally it was time to Clean and Jerk. I didn't know why, but I had been excited about maxing them all week. Also a pretty big number had been sitting in the back of my mind since Cleaning 200kg easily off the blocks on Wednesday night ( https://instagram.com/p/BQoIOvolYAu/ ). For whatever reason I felt like I wanted 215kg on the bar. My best Clean and Jerk was 210kg, but I had made some big strides since and was confident that I could make it. While working up I was doing my best to make each lift with authority. I wanted well timed Cleans and solid Jerks the whole way up. Reps were taken at 100-120-150-175-195-205 to work up. After 205kg I wasn't sure Dave would let me take 215. I had mentioned to him and he said "We'll see." Anyways as I was sitting after everyone else had finished lifting the team was egging it on. This is a regular occurrence and doesn't usually carry much weight. Dave walks over to me and says one thing... "215." I nodded and went to a bench to sit alone and prepare for the lift. I was still out of breath from 205 at the time and I was going to need to calm down if I was going to hit that lift. Dave and the guys comp loaded the bar, while I visualized the attempt. When I was ready I had McKellar throw one of my favorite songs on the radio while I belted and chalked up. I stepped to the bar and was confident I had it. I don't really understand how, but I crushed it. Didn't look or really even feel that hard. Technique was pretty great. Especially for me. I was absolutely ecstatic! ( https://instagram.com/p/BQtFN-UhAOE/ )

Jakced and Tan Cycle was on point this year! I got stronger and more confident without really even taking any huge weights. Just doing a ton of volume with good concentration was more than enough to prepare me to exceed all expectations. Coming out of a strength cycle able to execute enough technique to Snatch 170kg and crush my Clean and Jerk PR is incredible. The stuff works. On top of that you add a few complex PR's, a 260kg pause Back Squat, and a tied front squat PR with some room for more and you have the recipe for an amazing training cycle with incredible results. I honestly couldn't be any happier with the progress! I love CS. I love training. I love my coach. I LOVE WEIGHTLIFTING!

260kg Pause Back Squat -  https://instagram.com/p/BQkEnWuD5sL/

170kg 3 Clean, 1 Jerk -  https://instagram.com/p/BQhWjo9DDrf/

182kg Power Clean + Hang Clean - https://instagram.com/p/BQpWoDMhHEv/

 

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2017 Jacked and Tan Cycle (Part 1)

End of Deload (Week 1-4): 

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So far this strength cycle has been pretty chill. The weights aren't too heavy, but the reps are high. The squats aren't even what makes this cycle so tough. Really, it's the volume on the lifts that beat me up. Obviously there are a few squat workouts that aren't great for me (4x6@200-215), but the 3 Cleans  + 1 Jerk are much tougher. There is also some Snatch complexes in the mix that can get a little nasty. It seems like most of the full Snatch work is just heavy enough to miss every set. Somehow I've been able to make the majority of these Snatches, but it's taken tons of focus. Executing good technique has been a huge challenge under the load of the program and I have a feeling when we lose some of the load the Snatches will only get heavier and more crisp. We plan to keep the pedal on the gas with the volume work for a while since I'm not lifting until summer,  but I'll be eagerly waiting for the sessions with some big weights. At the end of week 3, I made 5 sets of Snatches at 150kg and took 200kg on Clean and Jerk. This honestly felt incredible. I hadn't done a CJ that heavy in a little while and I was definitely feeling the fatigue. During the deload week we didn't work to such heavy weights on Friday in hopes that the body would be ready for 205kg in week 5 and something really fat the last week! We're also planning a front squat PR if the body is up for it so stay tuned!

 

Dave got me a new super to train with! It's lots of responsibility...

Guitar lessons! 🎸

Guitar lessons! 🎸

As some of you may have heard, Cal Strength has recently added some new talent to the in house lineup. The new talent pool consists of a 105+ (a.k.a. Sam the Super) and a -85. So basically the super is all mine to train with. The only downside is right now he's a handful. Sam the super is under weight at the moment and if he's ever gonna push me he'll have to grow some. I've been making him drink lots of chocolate Fairlife and eat lots of meat. Also I fed him some beers last weekend for training hard his first week. Sam has had some prior back issues so I've also had to help him keep it safe while retraining him in the lifts. He's pretty smart about not doing too much too soon but I still keep a close eye on him.  He is pretty well versed in the lifts, but we've done some fine tuning. Emotionally he's doing pretty well. He had a minor lapse when Dave told him, "You're not a slap dick training in the back of some gym anymore! Dress like a weightlifter." He later came to realize it was just Dave making an early power move to demonstrate dominance. 

Taking care of Sam hasn't been all work though. He's pretty cool to chill with and train with. Also he's moving quite a bit of weight despite only working off a percentage of what he's capable. One of my favorite things is that he brought a guitar and he's been teaching me to play it. I suck, but he has to keep teaching me because he lives at my house and I'll continue playing poorly and loudly until he makes me better. The Cal Strength family and I are really excited about Sam Duval and can't wait to see what he does once he's in shape. After we slap some weight on him and get him training on our programs in our environment, he'll do some cool stuff. Many big lifts to come for this dude!

8 Things About Sam: (Because he couldn't think of 10😂)

He started weightlifting in 2015

His athletic background includes rugby, volleyball, water polo, and eventually Crossfit before leading him to weightlifting

He was a firefighter for CALFIRE from 2012-2016

His best lifts are 160/190 in training. Currently he is 6'5" 119kg but we're hoping to get his body weight to 135kg eventually

He has been playing guitar since he was 10 years old, and is a die hard Red Hot Chili Peppers fan

His favorite song is "get on top" because they shout out Sammy D in the first verse of the song. Coincidence? I think not...

Sam is new to weightlifting but excited to start competing  for Cal Strength once he gets his back healthy.

Check out his instagram @samduval  

150kg (330#) Snatch

https://www.instagram.com/p/BIG5g67AhQS/?taken-by=samduval&hl=en

 

Bulking Up 💪🏽 

Bulking Up 💪🏽 

2016 Grid League

For those that don't know NPGL is basically CrossFit in a team format with heavier weight, more complex gymnastics, and faster. Not saying that this makes it better or worse than CrossFit it's just different. In order to be more viewer friendly the races are shorter and condensed to a court, which in turn requires the athletes to be more anaerobic and more powerful. This is actually the only reason I'm able to even compete. I can specialize in the heaviest and most explosive movements and then tag someone else in so I can find some air to breathe and let the copious amounts of lactic acid that have built up break down. This was especially hard in Provo, Utah. With an elevation of 4,551' the effective Oxygen in the air is at about 17.6% as compared to 20.9% at sea level. So basically there's no air. On the upside, there are some amazing mountains basically everywhere you look. They were absolutely massive and dwarf any and all structures in the area. They were definitely as steep and bare as any mountains I've seen. Literally straight up in areas and almost solid rock all the way. You can sorta see how large they are here because most of these trees are full size pine trees and they look like saplings. It was pretty awesome.  

Overall the matches didn't go quite out way. We ended up 1-2. We won our first game against a really great Boston Iron. It was very close and came down to the very last race. In fact I ended up finishing some clean and jerks from behind to help us win. I had to do allot more in the match than I honestly expected. I ended up playing through the whole thing and doing TONS of barbell cycling. It about killed me. Second match that we lost was also close. We tied in regulation and then lost in "Grid Lock," which basically means your repeat the second part of the final race. The third race we got blew out by D.C. They're girls are pretty nuts. They have some strength on the women's end and the men are pretty tough too. I did way more work than I had planned, but it was allot of fun and I got to hang out with some great athletes and explore Utah a little bit. Unfortunately it may have to be my last season. Weightlifting is starting to become more of a priority and I can't afford the time off and the risk of injury. Heavy weights at full speed is definitely not safe!!!

When I decided to be a Weightlifter

In Fall of 2014 I began looking for ways to push myself competatively in different aspects of Fitness. I had been Crossfitting for probably about a year at that point and had done some local competitions and the Open once. I really wanted to find some tough competitions that required an advanced strength base because that was my strong suit. As I searched and compiled a list of competitions I would consider doing I wondered about the National Weightlifting Meets. I knew they existed as I had done a local meet for fun with some friends while training for football back in the day. I had heard them talk about the National events, but just assumed I was far from qualification from those events as I had never been a competative weightlifter and none of the lifters that I knew could qualify. Anyways, I looked at the qualifying totals and saw that with the progress I had made since the meet I had done before I was right on the brink of qualifying for the American Open. As soon as I saw that I searched for a meet to sign up for. I happened to come across the MDUSA Open / tryout. It was free so I immediately signed up. I was nervous to compete there because after doing some more research I found out that I would be competing with some really great weightlifters. So this is when I became a full time weightlifter and started exclusively training for weightlifting. I went to the MDUSA meet and lifted in shorts and a tight Dri-Fit haha! This was before I had ever bought or worn a singlet!!! Also, if I'm not mistaken, James Tatum out-snatched me at about half my body weight! What a beast!!! 

Snatches: 127kg (7:25), 137kg (7:50), 147 (8:15)

Clean and Jerks: 170kg (32:20), 180kg (33:00), 190 (33:40)

Coah: Mike Tarha, "Mighty Mike"