More Trouble Than I Am Worth: Chaos Is The Plan (T3hPwnisher Log)

AM WORKOUT (0410 wake up via alarm)

75 KB swings w/57.5lb bell
2.8 mile walk w/80lb weighted vest at 2.8 mph average
60x270lb reverse hyper
50 band pull aparts


Short walk w/dog


  • Starting to feel the impact of the fatigue of a week of deck building. My walking speed is reduced, and my desire to get up this morning was pretty minimal. Were it not for the fact I was already pretty awake by the time the alarm went off, I most likely would have snoozed. It’s hard to get motivated to go for a walk, but I know that this is the most restorative and probably “healthful” workout that I do.

  • The swings were actually pretty explosive this morning all things considered. I have noticed that, despite the long hours, the time away from the weights and more just working outside have my body feeling pretty well. Lotta nagging pain is gone.

  • Tang Soo Do is most likely going to get scrapped tonight, as my in-laws are here for one more day and we’re going to do our best to finish up what we can on the project while they’re here.


I came up with a Looney Tunes idea of combining Mass Made Simple with the Armor Building Formula today. Dan has spoken about turning MMS into a 7 week program by doing the complexes and squat workout twice a week and the upperbody workouts twice a week (so soemthing like Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri for example). I’m thinking of taking the press workouts from ABF and using those as the upper body workouts, then doing the complexes and squats for the lower body workouts.

I suppose if I was REAL stupid, I could do the ABCs instead of the barbell complexes and THEN end the day with the squat workout as well, but then I’d be doing 2 days of ABCs and 2 days of Press workouts in one week, which definitely flies in the face of the ABF set up.

And, of course, there’s no need to do ANY of this…but I gotta be me. I’m honestly thinking about this in the context of a longer term plan, where I go Mass Made Simple into 6 weeks of Super Squats into 6 weeks of the Super Squat 5x5 program back into Mass Made Simple at the next weight class up. Another option, outside of that 5x5 program, could be to do 8 weeks of Easy Strength in between. Both would serve a similar function.

I’m ALSO thinking about stealing from DoggCrapp for the Super Squats run, and picking 3 different movements for each exercise and rotating between them all. This would include squats: alternating between buffalo bar squats, safety squat bar squats (most likely against bands) and SSB front squats.

All of this coming from the fact I’m in a leaning out phase right now and should be incredibly primed to grow, per Dan’s recommendation in Mass Made Simple, and this seems like the kind of thing I would do.

@dagill2 @cyclonengineer @Lonnie123 , I figure as Dan John fans, you’d appreciate this rabbithole.


I think the ABC/MMS hybrid makes total sense. I’ve always felt like the upper body section of MMS was pretty much a “insert basic strength program here” kind of deal.

I really, really like the idea of rotating Super Squats movements as well. The idea of rotating between different kinds of suck definitely appeals. Might help keep the misery fresh.


Really appreciate you swinging by man! I know your time is limited these days. And yeah, I get the same read from Dan as well: he says it’s the complexes and squats that are the magic of MMS.

The rotating of squats is definitely multipurpose in that regard. Alternating the suck, yes, but ALSO not beating the hell out of the joints with the same movement for so long. I notice that, at the 6 week point of Super Squats, I am BROKEN. It’s just a lot to keep hammering the body at the exact same angle 3x a week. MMS solves it by reducing the frequency, but DoggCrapp solves it with movement variation. And then, alongside that, DC and Pavel taught me the idea of rotating movements because one makes the other stronger. The front squat improves the buffalo bar squat which improves the SSB squat which improves the front squat. I honestly considered it as an idea to stretch out Super Squats itself for longer: turning it into a full body DoggCrapp approach. It even has weighted stretching! Haha.



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Pwnisher really out here thinking “But what if I did all the programs???” :thinking:

Honestly doesnt sound too bad. Im at week 5 of the ABC program and my general thoughts on it are its good as a baseline “fitness program” or maybe even to run along side an athletic program (Play football + do the ABC program for example) but I wouldnt call it a complete “mass building” program, nor do I think would Dan John

Its a good program to run if you wanted to look good/move good/feel good (which is no small thing), but not the one to run if you wanted to move into the upper realms of the generally fit public (aka a non pro athlete).

The primary gaping holes I see are no horizontal press/pull work and no “heavy and hard” leg work… Especially for the legs, The KBs are cute but I just dont know how complete a workout you get doing a bunch of sets of 3 @ ~100 pounds, even if you do a lot of them. The shoulder days are probably damn near all you need for vertical pressing though so thats good

But yeah Id be lying if I hadnt though of adding a high rep/heavy weight squat set in there some where… And as a confession of sorts Im already already in sets of 3 pull ups in between every upper body pressing set on those days because lets be real that day just really isnt all that much work.


Thinking about this more, it seems like an awful lot of volume. However, I think you have your recovery and nutrition dialed in enough to handle it. It would definitely be too much volume for me unless I could sleep about 12 hours/day.

One of the things I like about the ABF is the relatively low volume/high-(ish) intensity approach. It seems to be working for me well and I can definitely feel my core getting stronger.

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@Lonnie123 Appreciate your thoughts on the matter there dude. My impression from Dan’s book is that he DOES consider the ABF to be a mass building program, but also in the form of a “minimum effective dose” program. Or like an 80% of the 80/20 equation. But I can see that desire for getting in some pulling. I’m sure Dan would say that’s a great time to hit in the warm-up: especially with his recommendation to hang from a bar. I suppose I’d still be suffering from a lack of horizontal pressing with this approach…but I’d also not care much, haha.

@cyclonengineer I’d be curious about the recovery impact. I feel like breaking the MMS workout into two separate parts and stretching it out one extra week would help in that regard, but I haven’t run the ABF workouts before to really be able to say. I’d definitely be putting away some quality food for sure.

AM WORKOUT (0410 wake up via alarm)

PHYREXIAN DREADNOUGHT Phase 3, Week 1, Workout 2

30 minutes EMOM

Round 1: 3x226 axle zercher squat from floor
Round 2: 2x185 axle dead incline bench
Round 3: 7xBW chins (various grips)

17x405 low handle trap bar pull


3x10 standing ab wheel
Lateral raise dropset (40x10lb, 40x5, 40x2.5, 40xEmpty Hands)
50 band pull aparts
2 minutes lockout and hold 225lb trap bar


Moderate walk w/dog


  • I’ve come to appreciate this day because of how predictable it is. It’s nice to have something that I know what to expect. I also appreciate how my strength is coming along well on these zerchers. I’m up 25lbs from where I started. My pressing strength is still falling apart, but my pulling strength is going up, so there is some balance there.

  • Kept the chins at submax. Just trying to build them back. And due to logistics, I’m not able to load them on this particular workout.

  • The inclines were very much set-up dependent. When everything was set right, the bar would fly up, but if I had any sort of misgroove, I suffered it.

  • Finally got a good grip on the trap bar, but just barely squeaked out a 1 rep PR. Things are getting tough there. Biggest variable seems to be holding in chow. I get close to vomiting at the end.

  • I’ve definitely achieved leanness again. It’s become incredibly easy to accomplish with my way of eating. The one major change I did was to reduce my dairy intake, which is to say my cheese intake. The other thing was to eat to satiety rather than to fullness/pleasure. Similar to the Velocity Diet, learning how much food I actually need to continue to train and progress is pretty key. Mark Bell has talked about this a bit: we all tend to overestimate how much food we actually need, and the same can be said about protein as well. Of course, I say that as someone that makes pretty extensive use of Metabolic Drive…BUUUT that’s also under the approach of a protein sparing modified fast in particular, which at least coincides with the “not needing that much food” portion of the thought process.

  • In theory, I’ll be doing 2 Tang Soo Do classes tonight, but we’ll see what the home project gods have in store for me. That said, my kiddo got their third stripe last night, so the whole family will be testing for new belts in early August, and after that we’ll all be moving on to the advanced class in our Dojang, so that’s pretty cool.


Not a problem at all man, i still read your blog weekly, i’m just stearing away from posting too much.

I’ve noticed the same thing when i’m doing programs that lean heavily on one movement, so rotating movements make so much sense.

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Personally, I find this to be so mental and it’s tough to get past…I might be starving at 11am, but if I go for a walk or something that hunger kind of dissipates, yet I struggle on harder workouts fasted. I know you’ve been training fasted for a long time, but in the sense of training hard, any tips on getting past the mental block of no food?

@Stormblessed I’m going to sound like a broken record on this, but the best thing I did to solve my perpetual hunger was to go on a carnivore diet. The body doesn’t hunger for energy: it hungers for NUTRIENTS. The issue is, because most of our “food” is so nutrient void, we tend to overconsume energy in order to satiate nutrient hunger. If you’re trying to get 200g of protein a day eating Twinkies, at 2g of protein per Twinkie, you’re taking in 28,000 calories to get there, compared to if you were to get after it by eating a Piedmontese grassfed sirloin, which would result in 846 calories of steak.

By shifting to a very nutrient dense diet, I am no longer hungry all day. In fact, I can go all day without eating and not feel hunger. Which means, when I go for those harder workouts, I feel fine: I’m nourished from my previous day’s eating.

I don’t believe fasting should require effort. It should be effortless. We should be fasting because we’re not hungry, NOT because we are martyrs and masters of suffering.

@TrainforPain has experienced something similar with his revisit of the Velocity Diet: it’s SO much easier coming at it with a carnivore background. The hunger just isn’t there any more.

I put this together and it’s pretty nifty. It’s me at the start of Carnivore, at 201lbs, then me near my lowest bodyweight at 167lbs last Jul (lowest was 164), and then me today at 181lbs.

Been a wild journey. Seems like I have a pretty good handle on things now.


Thanks for the callout and absolutely! I did the Velocity Diet a little over a year ago, coming off not real disciplined eating, and the first week was tough - I really had to suck it up. I did it again this year and there were many days I had to remind myself to get all the shakes in… like I wasn’t even starving for those, much less the meal. By the end of the second run (last week), I mostly wanted to eat again kind of as a concept: “wouldn’t it be cool to have some eggs?” kind of thing vs. “I have to eat a pizza or kick someone.”

@T3hPwnisher it’s honestly remarkable how similiar your body composition remained. Obviously you’re leaner 35 lbs lighter, but you were good and lean at 201.


@TrainForPain Appreciate your perspective there, and my experiences very much match up the same. And also appreciate those kind words. Similar to the physique I posted when I got diagnosed with test levels that are “what we expect to see from someone that’s been chemically castrated”, it goes to show that what’s on the surface is often not even close to the full story.

Today was pretty different. Valkyrie had a really bad allergic reaction to something and I already had the day off work, so I slept in with her and actually fasted until lunch, just to see how it would go, and to kind of help reset myself after some decent living yesterday (BBQ food truck for lunch and Texas Roadhouse ribs for dinner). Mrs. wanted some Taco Bell for lunch and I found out they’ll sell you side orders of the protein for $1.50, so that was pretty clutch.

DID get in a very short bit of training with 2 rounds of max distance keg carries. Used my 100lb keg and tried two different styles. I have to prep for a 225lb sandbag eventually, but just wanted to get in some time under stress before I got stupid with it

Also mowed the lawn after dinner, so about 60 minutes of activity there

On yeah, and I got 28 10oz grassfed piedmontese New York strip steaks today, so that was cool


lol the things you find out when in a crunch!

I might’ve missed it, where’d you get these from? I just loaded up on ribeyes and top cap sirloin to finish this month strong (with exception of refueling after weigh in on Saturday).

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I picked it up off the piedmontese website. Its their BOGO deal.


back looking like a strongman’s. Quality

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How is she doing?

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@simo74 Major props from you my dude: thanks! Definitely feeling that way again.

@TrainForPain so awesome of you to check in! She’s much better now, though not fully recovered. We got her a steroidal regimen from urgent care, which went a LONG way toward addressing the symptoms, and she’s gone from “I wish I didn’t have skin” itchy to “This is annoying” itchy. I was so happy I already had the day off work scheduled, so I could just hang out with her at home and take care of her.

AM WORKOUT (0410 wake up via alarm)

PHYREXIAN DREADNOUGHT Phase 3, Week 1, Workout 3

1 min log clean and push press away w/175lb (1 rep total)
5 1 min rounds of log viper each rep (5-4-3-3-3) w/1min rest between rounds

ZENO SQUATS (12 deep breaths between sets)

3x10 standing ab wheel
7x6 chins, 3x5 chins (various grips)
20,10,10,10 Dips
Neck Harness work
50 light band pushdowns
25 miniband curls
26 GHRs


Moderate walk w/dog


  • This day turned out pretty clutch. I was curious how Zenos would go after hard press training, but the log in particular really had my hips pretty warmed up, so squatting went well. My right shoulder has been bugging me as a result of all the pry work I was doing during our deck project, and it was a little rough getting into squat position, but nothing terrible. During my warm-ups, I tried a low bar set up, and I can still do it, but it felt awful with that shoulder, so something to watch for.

  • Walked the weight down on the log and still had some struggles there, although I’m also beltless. Biggest issue is just clean inefficiency. Since the log isn’t coming up in the competition, I’m not too worried: just want to include variety in pressing movements. The vipers were good for conditioning and some brute strength.

  • Zenos felt so “right”. It’s been a while since I’ve done them, and it’s one of those where every time I come back I wonder why I stopped. This is my first time including them with my new approach to squats: beltless, high bar, full ROM. Workout 1 went well, but the real magic is the follow on. Adding 1 more rep to the start is going to result in more sets as part of a cascade effect. But I already observed the benefit of getting under the bar so often in one workout: by the end, the walkout felt light and tight.

  • That set of 20 at the end was absolutely ridiculous. 20 WAS the goal at the start, but once I got to rep 6 I was thinking 8 would be a good number, then 12, then 15, and as I got to 17 I figured I may as well close it out. It’s good that I can reach those depths again. It’s not going to be the objective every Zeno workout, but on this first one it was a good way to makeup some volume.

  • I also just realized at this very moment that my lower back wasn’t bothering me at all for this workout, whereas in previous iterations squatting on Friday was limited because of that, so that’s cool.

  • Going Hepburn with the chins: just adding in 1 a week and letting it accumulate, and keeping it submax as well. Rest of assistance was some bitter medicine: all the stuff I needed. Those band pushdowns in particular were a right, as was the GHR. That said, I forgot to hang from the bar, which needs to be an objective of mine to continue to build my grip strength for the competition (both grappling and strongman). It’s the same reason I did that 225 static hold the other day. I’m thinking I might 2 birds/1 stone this and use Dan John’s “hang for 30 seconds and do a pull up” approach here so I can get in hangs AND chins.

  • Since I’ve been talking about it so much, here are some “before/after” photos of the deck project. Hearing my Valkyrie tell me last night “we literally could not have done this without you: you were the only one strong enough to pull out those boards” was incredibly satisfying.


Glad to hear it and the deck is gorgeous!

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Sorry for the late response - that’s a great way to think of it that I’ve never thought of. Maybe my brain is so wired into thinking a certain way, I still find myself wary of going full carnivore…I am trying to eat pretty much just meat/fish, eggs, fruits, and veggies lately though which I hope can satisfy the nutrient point you made as well.

Thanks for the input as well @TrainForPain. Good to get some other perspectives from guys like you two. I’ve heard Mark Bell talk about fasting but having a couple protein shakes throughout the fasting timeline then a big meal at night, and it would still be a 24-hour fast (not sure that’s true but found it interesting). I guess that thought process is similar to Velocity at the end of the day. I may start experimenting with that a few days a week and see how it goes.

Appreciate the conversation guys!