Archive for June, 2009


Posted in Music with tags on June 28, 2009 by mccoolio

Copy of Metanoia slam.jpgI had a music file on my computer with a lot of older music that I hadn’t listened to in forever. As I wandered through the hefty files I imported a bunch of songs into ITunes and created a mix. This is it. It’s  rock stuff, before I got into heavier, growlier (?) hardcore fare (the latter mostly because of Raleigh’s influence). I’ve listed the songs pretty much in order, with a comment or two. Maybe if you like rock, and you haven’t heard that particular song, maybe my comments will influence you to give it a try. I’m not going to do the research to know whether a lot of these bands are still at it but I’ll speak of them in the present tense. One disclaimer. These songs are ones I was listening to before I just about went Christian Hardcore exclusively. So there’s some questionable lyrics here and there, maybe even a couple of explicit. I’ve got a sweet edit program that I used to use a lot back then. ( I remember a few songs, Mobscene by Marilyn Manson in particular, that after editing, there wasn’t much left.) of So if you like one and download off ITunes, get the clean version. Sorry about that.

1) Powerman 5000-Free, Matrix Theme

This band is fronted by Rob Zombie’s little brother, Spider. After I resurrected it the other day, I’ve listened to it about 1000 times, sung it my head ad nauseum, and just about perfected it on my guitar. Matrix Theme, don’t know where I got it but it’s sweet. Am not even positive it is PM5K but I think it is.

Hatebreed- Tear it Down The only really heavy song in the mix. I love the line “for once, stand the #?%* up and fight”. These guys sound a lot like Pantera without Dimebag.

Hed PE- Blackout. Don’t really like anything else I’ve heard by these guys. They’re pretty rough but I love this song. This was a pretty big hit for them back in 2003.

Deftones-My Own Summer (Shove It) This song really slams. Don’t exactly know what ther lyrics are about and prob don’t want to know.

Mudvayne-Digg.  Wow. Before MV went too commercial. Awesome video too.

AC/DC – Fly on the Wall       This one and Shake Your Foundations are among my favorite AC/DC songs.

Sum 41- The Hell Song & Little Know it All. I love these two songs as does Raleigh. The latter features rock legend Iggy Pop.

Fugazi- Waiting Room & Break. If you’ve never heard Waiting Room, it’s a classic, and classic Fugazi. Some long-forgotten DJ on 102.9 loved this song and played it often before he signed off at midnight (I was on night shift then)

Primus- Jerry Was a Race Car Driver. I’m not a huge Primus fan but I really like this one. From the sound of the big, hammering engine with sweet,open mufflers opening the song, to the goofy lyric delivery, to the crunching guitars, I can’t get enough. Too funny too.

Clutch- Texan Book of the Dead. Again, I’m not a big Clutch fan but this song is hilarious and really listenable (?). A little sacrilegious but truly hawhaw funny. Check out the lyric sheet. EiEiOh. Hahahahhaha.

Robert Palmer-Simply Irresistible. This one goes back to 1989. I can remember busting the left front speaker in my little Toyota truck jamming on this song a little bit TOO loud. Good video too.Whew!

Smile Empty Soul-Bottom of a Bottle. A message of hopelessness and addiction but the music smokes.

Soundgarden- Fell on Black Days, Room a 1000 Miles Wide, Rusty Cage FOBD alerted the world that Chris Cornell can BELT it man. I love the last two also. Johnny Cash’s cover of Rusty Cage is one reason I think he was so cool.



Posted in Sports with tags , , , on June 1, 2009 by mccoolio

Man, do I love doing legs and back.

I’ve been working out now for about 31 years. Whoa. That sounds  a long time, actually putting it out there on paper like that. That’s quite a while.

A few reasons I’ve always loved doing legs ; First of all, my good friend Preston Browning  let me borrow his copy of Herschel Walker’s autobiography. In it I read where  Herschel in his early teens starting doing 500 push ups, 500 sit ups, and wind sprints every day. I was pretty impressed with that. So I started doing a modified version of that, lets say a bit fewer per day than that. But because of that I fell in love with running sprints and the way my legs felt after running a ton of sprints.  I was also  influenced a lot by Arnold Schwarzenegger who, because his legs were really lacking early in his career, he really emphasized doing his legs to improve that weakness and he talked a lot about them in his books which I devoured like candy. Another influence was when I started working out at World Class gym. I was working out with and around a lot of power lifters, where doing legs wasn’t an afterthought. Those guys  really helped me improve my squat numbers. When I started  there, my squat max was a measly, pitiful 275. After about 2 years I was nearing the 500 lb mark . How? Some technique changes ; bar further down my back to change my center of gravity to keep me from leaning forward so much because I have a long abdomen, just a little dip (not a bounce) at the bottom to help transition momentum from down to up, some good examples and peer-pressure; 500-600 lb squats were not uncommon, no STEROIDS, and a lot of hard work.

The World Class Gym era was also when I really started doing pretty well with wide-grip pull ups. At the time  we had a workout group of about 4 of us, and everybody else was around 185 lbs and real strong. I was about 225 and moderately  strong. We always did shoulders and back on Thursdays, shoulders first. By the time we got around to pull ups, my arms were already about shot. I was getting about 4-5 pull ups the first set and the other guys were knocking out 10-20 reps per set. Needless to say, I was getting ragged out pretty hard about that. So, I started doing pull ups a second time a week at work during my break. That helped tremendously. I was able within a short time to get close to 10 my first set which pretty much shut em up.

The best I’ve ever done with pull ups is 19 full, wide grip reps at 225. That was during a pull up contest we had at our gym once. I did 19 the 1st set, 18 the second, and 17 the third. I came in second in the contest. My boy  Mark Smith beat me by one rep. I think he was weighing around 170-175 lbs.  I trained really hard for about 6 weeks leading up to the contest where I was doing pull ups twice a week. Day one, I would go for  reps, about 70-80 total. Then for the second workout that week, I would hang weight on and do about 40-50 reps weighted. The thing was, Mark never trained at all for the contest. He worked out regularly, but he didn’t even do pull ups. If he had trained like I had, he probably would have done about 75 the first set.

Pull ups and squats are a lot like push ups. Somebody will say; yeah, I can do 75 push ups. But then when you see them do them,  a lot of times they’re doing half reps, not touching at the bottom and not locking out at the top. The difference between doing a half rep or even a 3/4 rep and a full one can be huge in any exercise. That extra inch or two to actually touch your chin to the bar at the top of a pull up vs coming up shy of it is the place of least leverage, as is the bottom of a pull up. So achieving those points takes a lot of extra strength and effort, resulting in fewer reps. In squats, that extra 2 or 3 inches to achieve parallel is monstrous. It takes WAY more to do a legit parallel squat with say 405 lbs than a  half rep with 405.

There’s something hardly any little man will admit. That they have a huge advantage as far as pullups are concerned. I won’t get into it but I promise you that you’ll see very few big boys on the pull up bar at your local gym doing doing very many reps.

I have had a couple of notable pull up contest victories, among those a good friend that’s in a very elite Special Forces group whom I laid the smack down on a couple of times, winning a McDonald’s meal, and some O’Charley’s chicken wings as a result, sending him back to save the world a beaten and poorer man.

I always said if a person could only do one or two exercises, wide-grip pull ups and squats would be the best two. Wide grips work the back, biceps, forearms and hand grip primarily and shoulders and low back secondarily. Squats work the quads, glutes, low back and calves primarily and secondarily just about everything else!  Plus you get the advantage of working the two biggest muscle groups in the entire body. Just think how much muscle is in your quads and back. You could put 50 biceps in one monstrous quad. (only about 3-4 biceps in my friend Max’s quads) And what muscle group do you see most people putting so much time into? Tsk, tsk,. Biceps. In addition, as anyone who’s done legs hard, heavy, and fairly rapidly, working legs stresses every body system: muscular, circulatory, breathing,etc. The same can be said for back. After doing a good set of pull-ups, the pulse is pounding and breathing rapid.

Then there’s the endorphin rush. It’s the gym-rats equivalent of the runner’s high; after doing about 6 good, hard sets of squats, then heading to the leg press for about 4-5  heavy sets (don’t ever skip doing heavy leg presses, you can’t come close with any other exercise to using the kind of weight you can use on the leg press),  getting up between sets, waddling around with just about all the blood in your body rushing to engorge those giant slabs of muscle thirsty for oxygen and nutrition, then topping it off with several sets of  hammies and calves. Wow. The second I  wake the next morning I know I ‘ve worked legs. That feeling is still there!

Right now I’m getting these numbers: this morning I got 11 the first set at 239 body weight on pull ups, then 9,8,8 which isn’t great  but I’m going to get down under 230 and that will help the reps go up. I got 405 for 6 reps the other day on squats which is decent considering I don’t have a regular leg partner which is big for me. Legs are just too hard to do and it’s so easy to slough off if you don’t have a good partner to be accountable to.