Even Easier Strength – Week 1 Update

As planned, last week I completed the first week of Dan John’s Even Easier Strength program.

Day 1 – 2×5 Deadlifts, Overhead Press, Seated Cable Row (3×5), Hip Thrust and three sets of farmer’s walks.

Day 2 – Ditto

Day 3 – 5/3/2 of all of the above lifts, plus three sets of farmer’s walks

Day 4 – 2×5 again + three sets of seated rows and farmer’s walks

Day 5 – 2×5 + three sets of seated rows and farmer’s walks

All in all, I feel pretty good. When I started my shoulders were a bit cranky with the overhead presses, but now, halfway through week two, I have no pain at all. That dovetails nicely with Matt Foreman’s book, where he posits that frequent movement makes your joints healthier.

Also, I love the quickness of the workouts. They have been taking me anywhere from 35-45 minutes, which for me is downright speedy. I am a slow worker-outer, usually piddling around for 60-90 minutes. With Even Easier Strength, I even have time for pre-workout mobility and stretching and still get through everything in a timely manner without taking all freaking day. Win.

My diet was absolute shit, though. What else is new? Working on getting the daily lifting a habit, then eating better a habit.


How To Suck At Life

Wow, it sure has been a long time since I posted any content here.

No, I didn’t die. Obviously. Because here I am writing to you.

But, lots of other stuff happened.

My favorite aunt, who was like a second mother to me, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, struggled with it for three years, and passed away.

My mom was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. She had major surgery, chemo, and radiation, and, thank God, is cancer free today.

And there’s still the fallout from my Dad’s sudden death way back in 2005. That upended my life and I never really found a solid foothold with that until very recently.

I emotionally ate through all that crap, and gained back all the weight I had lost in the previous years. I’m now heavier than I have ever been in my whole life, and I’m pretty pissed off about it.

But, on the bright side, I lifted fairly consistently and heavily throughout all of that, so I also retained quite a bit of strength. I worked with a few great trainers, and a few bad ones. I learned a lot about what type of training is best for my body, and I’m hoping to apply that knowledge in my long road back to health.



One of the things I learned is: I feel great working out and lifting every day IF it’s the right kind of lifting.

Kettlebells every day? No. Injuries galore.

CrossFit every day? No. See above.

Martial arts every day? No. See above, again.

Bodybuilding/Powerlifting every day? Yes. I feel like a million bucks.

I will admit, I bought fully into the CrossFit “bodybuilding sucks” propaganda. I snickered at the dummies doing curls and using the cable machine. Meanwhile, I couldn’t bend over because my back hurt from doing deadlifts for time, or do a simple push-up because my shoulders were jacked up from doing 100’s of burpees and overhead kettlebell swings.

With all that in mind, today I started a cycle of Dan John’s “Even Easier Strength.” I recently read Matt Perryman’s Squat Everyday book, and having had the epiphany that I can actually lift every day and feel great, I decided to run a cycle of one of the greatest lift every day programs there is: Easy Strength.

My first workout today was:

Stretch – 5-10 minutes

Deadlift 2×5

Overhead Press – 2×5

Seated Cable Row – 3×5

Barbell Hip Thrust – 2×5

Farmer’s Walk

Short, brisk walk outside with the dogs.

And that’s it for today. I started with really, really light weights and will work up to heavier as I go along. The idea with lifting every day (unless I’m doing a bodybuilding split) is to never, ever struggle with a weight. All lifts are easy, or relatively easy, anyway. No grinding out 99% 1RM deadlifts. Naughty, naughty.

I would also like to point out, before the kettlebell and CrossFit and Beach Body haters come around, that I’m not saying those types of workouts are wrong or stupid. They just don’t work for me without making me a creaky, grumpy, exhausted, binge eating excuse for a human being. I think every one has a different type of program that works for them. So if you think CrossFit is the bee’s knees, and you can honestly say you thrive on it, then good for you, go for it!

I’ll just be over here, doing my lateral raises and lat pulldowns, cheering you on.



Captains of Crush Grippers (Guide)
2 x 10 right/left
2x 10 left

Turkish Get-Up
2 x 10 (15# dumbbell)

Fitocracy Arnold Bodyweight circuit
8 air squats
5 push-ups
15 second plank
15 jumping jacks
6 lunges per leg
10 glute bridges
4 rounds


Form practice on goblet squats and double kettlebell rack squats


Captains of Crush Grippers (Guide)
3×10 right/left, 2×10 left

Fitocracy Arnold Barbell Circuit
30 seconds work / 30 seconds rest
3 rounds – rest 1:00 minute between rounds
Front squat (33# / 43# / 53#)
Hang power clean (33# / 43# / 53#)
Floor press (33# / 43# / 53#)
KB Swings (16kg)

Front Squat
Work up to heavy single


5×2 @ 80% – 98#


Floor press
Work up to heavy single


5×2 @ 80% – 83#

Well, not a bad week. I didn’t do much in the way of conditioning, but that was mostly because I ran out of time every day. And THAT is due to the fact that I am completely inept at managing my time.

Luckily, that is fixable. I plan on using this interesting little gadget called an alarm clock and using it to wake my sorry butt up earlier to get everything done that I want to get done but don’t have enough time to get done. Funny how that works.

Onward! To next week!

I’ll Knock You Out



Fitocracy Arnold 1% Barbell Workout
30 seconds work / 30 seconds rest. Three rounds, rest 1:00 minute between rounds.
Trap Bar Deadlift (45# / 95# / 125#)
Hang Power Clean (33# / 43# / 53#)
Press (33# / 43# / 53#)
KB Swing (16kg)


Power Clean
Work up to heavy single, then 5 x 2 @ 80%
103# (single) / 83#


Trap Bar Deadlift
5 x 2 @ 80% 1RM (175#)


Fitocracy Arnold 1% Bike Workout
5:00 minute easy warmup, then 30 seconds hard, 90 seconds easy x 5
Done on the AirDyne – 3.6 miles / 110 cals (recovery day, so I did not go 100% effort.)


practice form on double kettle bell rack squat and dumbbell man-makers


Walk 35 minutes outside with dogs.


Fitocracy Arnold 1% Barbell Workout
30 seconds work / 30 seconds rest. Three rounds, rest 1:00 minute between rounds.
Romanian Deadlift (33#) / Hang Power Clean (33#) / Press (33#) / KB Swing (16kg)


Work up to heavy single, then 5 x 2 @ 80%
75# (single) / 60#


“Death By 10 Meters” Farmer’s Carry
Do 10 meter farmer’s carry the first minute, 20 meters the second minute, etc. until you can no longer complete the work in the time period.
I used 30# kettlebells and got six full rounds and 60 meters before the clock ran out on round 7


FLR practice

I had a bugger of a month in July. Work, ranch stuff, and family drama all collided and left me a sleepless, exhausted approximation of a human being. I’ve been catching up on my zzzzz’s this week and trying to recharge the old batteries a bit. I planned an IWT workout after the pressing today. But as I sat between sets on the presses contemplating what exercises to do for the IWT, my body said “If you do that, sweetie, I’ll knock you OUT!”

You may wonder how I know my body said that. Good question, and the answer is as soon as I thought about doing that workout I felt exactly like I did the time I came down with Influenza A (or was it B?): like someone stuck a needle in me and drained every ounce of life from my body.

So, being a person that can sometimes take a very obvious hint, I said “Uh, ok. How ’bout some farmer’s carries, then?” I did not pass out at the mere thought of that, so that’s what I did.

Since I really have nothing to prove, and seek only to get healthier and fitter, it seems wise not to pound myself into the ground immediately after a three week suck-fest. Live to fight again another day, and all that.


MF Shoulder Day



Fitocracy Arnold Bodyweight Circuit:

8 air squats
5 pushups
15 seconds plank
15 jumping jacks
6 walking lunges (per leg)
10 glute bridges

4 sets


30/30 dumbbell push press
1 set = 2 x 30 seconds work / 30 seconds rest. “Rest” is in overhead position. Two sets, rest 3 minutes between sets.


2×10 lateral raise – 5#
2×10 front raise – 5#
2×10 reverse flyes – 5#
2×20 band pull aparts – 1/2″ band


2x barbell press + 2x barbell push press + 2x barbell push jerk
add 5# until failure, rest 1 minute between rounds

33# / 38# / 43# / 48# / 53# / 58# / 63#

This is one of Bobby Maximus’ favorite shoulder workouts. The amount of work I could do on the barbell complex was limited by my pressing abilities. Tried for 68# but could not press it.

I was going to start on the Gym Jones Women’s Foundation II program, but it turns out July is the busiest month of my year. Haying combined with two big freelance design jobs plus some family funeral/fighting over Tupperware drama (literally) and I pretty much had to abandon any hope of working out.

Now that I’ve done about two months of Gym Jones programming and studied the articles and Q&A’s on their site I feel (somewhat) confident in writing my own program. Basically, it looks like:

Monday: Hard Gym
Tuesday: Recovery
Wednesday: Hard Gym
Thursday: Recovery
Friday: Hard Gym
Saturday: Recovery/Easy Pace Endurance
Sunday: Rest

Recovery days are things like 60 easy minutes hiking/AirDyne/rowing or light technical work in the gym.

My schedule can be extremely erratic and chaotic, and if I’m writing my own program I feel much less neurotic about missing or modifying a day. When I’m on a PROGRAM I always feel like I need to adhere 100% to it and I tend to freak out when I can’t do that. Also, I’m really weak on a lot of lifts and I wanted to add in more strength work than tends to be in the women’s foundation programs.

On the downside, writing my own program means I might cherry pick my workouts, intentional or not.

We’ll see.


Overhead Squats and FLR


Warmup of wall squats (RKC style), goblet squats, lunges, overhead walking lunges, dumbbell presses and kettlebell swings.

Dumbell push press: 30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest. “Rest” is in overhead position.


Overhead squats. Holy schniekies I’m rusty on these. My “max” was 53# because I was shaking and wobbling all over the place. Bugger!

aaaand then…

FLR (front leaning raise) – accumulate 300 seconds. About as much fun as it sounds.

Nice to get back to some strength work after a month and a half of mostly intervals and circuit training. Not nice that it was overhead squats. Looks like someone is going to have to practice something.