Friday, Jan. 23, ’14: Legs

Leg training on a Friday, and I love it! I never thought I could wake up on a Friday morning and be excited to train legs, but that’s what happened. With a more appropriate amount of rest between sets, it was much better than Tuesday’s leg workout, and it also seemed to lead to a full-body pump…

Quads: Walking lunges (4×12,10,8, 6); Sissy squats (3×10 + X Reps); Squats (2×18,15)
Hamstrings: Stiff-legged deadlifts (4×12,10,9,8 + X Reps)
Calves: One-leg calf raises (4×15,12,10,8
 + X Reps); Donkey calf raises (2×20); Seated calf raises (1×30 + X Reps)

Note: My current PowerBlock gym program is based on the Phase 1 workout in the NEW Super-Size Crash Course e-book.

Summary: I was gasping for air between sets, just as I was on Tuesday, but the difference was that I allowed myself 45-50 seconds of rest between sets rather than the rushed 30 seconds during that workout—15 seconds makes a huge difference! Quads, hams and calves got hammered today, but I wasn’t expecting an upper-body pump, too. Not complaining, though, as it had me feeling almost like a superhero—with X-Rep vision and all. LOL! 

Diet/Supps: For supplement truths and recommendations, see Jerry Brainum’s new e-book, Natural Anabolics, available at www.JerryBrainum.com.

Nutrient Timing: For  meal-by-meal diets plus training and nutrition info, see the X-treme Lean e-book.

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Avengers: Greatest Superhero Movie?

Avengers Movie PosterSuperhero movies have come a long way since the early Superman movies of the ’70s and ’80s.  Even the Tim Burton Batman movies, which were a big deal when they came out, feel incredibly dated now.

It’s not just the special effects that are obviously much better these days, but even the script writing and story lines are leaps and bounds above what they used to be.  The greatest strides were made by the Christopher Nolan Batman series and the recent Iron Man movies.  

The latest in this camp is The Avengers.  I was lucky enough to see this one in a theater and then recently watched it again as a rental.  I feel quite confident in saying that it is easily the greatest superhero movie ever made… or at least ever seen by me.  Admittedly, I haven’t had the chance to see The Dark Knight Rises yet, so I’m a bit biased. I am a big fan of the latest Batman trilogy, though, so I may have to revisit this soon.

Having a cast littered with good actors working off of a great, and often very funny, script doesn’t hurt, but the way the whole movie comes together is really quite impressive.  It never feels like the movie is about any one particular character, and yet every time one of them is on screen it feels like it’s their movie.  It genuinely feels like you went from the latest Iron Man, Captain America or Thor movie right into the most recent movie for any one of them, yet without losing the “feel” of any of the the other characters’ movies.  Even The Hulk is done in a way that doesn’t skip a  beat, despite yet another actor playing the role.  Frankly, I think Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner in The Avengers is spot on.

The snarky arrogance of Tony Stark/Iron Man is never lost, and I’d dare say he’s better and funnier than in his own movies.  Steven Rogers/Captain America works just as well in this as he did in the ’40s setting of his own movie and Thor is, well, Thor.  The Hulk, as stated already, is better with some added comic relief and there’s the bonus of some new potential spinoffs from Hawkeye and Black Widow (as many of my friends are praying for).  Somehow, the combination of all the characters together brings out all of their… character.

Mind you, this was the first BIG action movie I’d seen in a theater in quite a while, but it was just as good the second time around in my living room, so I wouldn’t hesitate to own this one.  The only thing that seemed out of place and awkward to me was the ridiculous giant-horned getup that Loki wore in his full-on bad guy mode.  It was oddly distracting, though it didn’t take away from the movie at all.  

The action, story line and special effects were all incredible, but it was really the way all the characters worked together in the movie, yet kept their individual identities which I found most impressive.  I’m already looking forward to the next round of Avengers movies.  Any and all of them.

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