The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

It’s no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Pro Powerlifter AJ Roberts's Avatar
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    From Strongest To Fittest

    And so the journey begins.

    For those that don't know me, my name is AJ Roberts and I'm the former 308 All Time Total record holder in powerlifting with best lifts of 1205 squat, 910 bench and a 815 deadlift.

    Up until about 2 months ago I trained at Westside Barbell alongside some of the strongest lifters on this planet. However, after 10 years in the sport I decided to walk away having reached all my goals.

    Some may say I left too soon, and that the best was yet to come, but I gave everything I had to the sport and mentally had nothing left to give.

    I'm now living in San Diego, California and after a few weeks in the gym going through the motions and sort of being at a loss for what to do I've decided to set what many may feel is one of the hardest goals there is: To become the fittest man on Earth.

    Why Crossfit?

    Having spent close to 2 years running the Crossfit powerlifting Certification with Louie Simmons, Shane and Laura Sweatt, and Chris Mason I've become a big fan of the community.

    Also I've always said after powerlifting I'm going to lose 100lbs (320-220) and feel that this is only going to happen if I have something other than weight loss to train for. I've followed the sport closely as it has grown and actually get excited about the thought of competing in it.

    So what's the gameplan?

    I'll start with my diet as this is an area that has had to dramatically improve. Although I ate what many would consider a pretty clean diet for a powerlifter the truth is I ate to get bigger and this meant pushing things to the limit. I spent the first month just eating clean and dropped from 320-293 and then for the past 2 weeks I've been doing CarbNight loading under the guidance of buddy Mark Bell.

    If you haven't heard of this before he's a quick little video Mark put together: http://youtu.be/GAbym1WIV2c

    The reason I decided to go with CarbNite loading vs other diets is because at this point I have a lot of weight to lose. I probably wouldn't recommend this to others unless they had a significant amount of weight to lose and would favor more of a carb rotation or backloading approach. But for now this is what I think will work best and so I'll continue on until I feel it's time to switch to something else.

    As far as training goes my template looks like this

    Monday
    Upper body speed - Olympic lifts
    1-2 Assistant exercises for Shoulders
    Upper body metcon

    Tues
    Lower body Max effort - singles & or rep maxes
    1-2 Assistant exercises for back
    Lower body metcon

    Thursday
    Upper body max effort - singles & or rep maxes on a bench press or overhead variation
    1-2 Assistant exercises for chest & triceps
    Upper body metcon

    Sat
    Lower body speed - Box squats / free squats
    1-2 Assistant exercises for glutes/hams
    Lower body metcon

    On my off days I'm trying to get 30-60 mins of interval training in on the elliptical for now. I plan to head down to Crossfit Invictus as well as Crossfit PB to start getting some coaching on technique and to get on the rings and other equipment I currently don't have access to

    The biggest things I need to work on right now is my conditioning, flexibility and mobility. I'll need to get up to 3-5 workouts a day to be ready when the Open starts in February but for now am taking it day by day.

    This journal will serve not only as a place to record my progress but also a place that publicly keep me accountable.

    Here's to a new beginning...
    AtLargeNutrition - Support the company that supports WannaBeBig!

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  3. #2
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    I personally think this is very cool and am eager to see what AJ can do. Watch here to chronicle his progress.


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  4. #3
    Pro Powerlifter AJ Roberts's Avatar
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    Monday, July 2, 2012

    Power Clean - 135 x 8 sets of 3

    Really worked on my technique with the power clean today. Strange lifting the barbell with the legs vs back off the floor. The weight was really light but as I struggle with the catch position at the top it allowed me to really practice my form.

    Handstand Pushups - 3 sets of 5 reps

    Wasn't sure how these would go but managed to crank out 5 reps. Did have to use a spotter to keep myself up against the wall as my legs wanted to drift back on every rep due to not having my low back flexibility. Each set I got a little better though. These completely smoked my shoulders.

    Metcon - 4 rounds
    Battle Rope - 1 minute
    Sledgehammer Tire Strikes - 10 each side

    Really pushed the pace on these and took minimal rest between the battle rope and sledgehammer, wanted to quit after 2 rounds but pushed it to 4. My grip was completely gone at this point due to all the blood that had rushed to my hands.
    AtLargeNutrition - Support the company that supports WannaBeBig!

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  5. #4
    Senior Member
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    Very cool AJ. I have been training out of a crossfit gym since I started Powerlifting. CF is on my list of things to do after bodybuilding.
    Whoever said "Good things come to those who wait" couldn't have amounted to much. If you want it get off your lazy ass and get it!!
    Proudly Sponsored by AtLarge Nutrition

    Best raw lifts:
    Squat: 733
    Bench: 512
    Deadlift: 733
    Total:1951


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  6. #5
    Wannabebig Member Brandon Lilly's Avatar
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    Im really glad to see you do this as Ive already told you... Lead the way and let nothing stop you.
    I train at Lexen Xtreme in Grove City, OH. My current training partners are Jimmy Harris, Ryan Messmer, and a few others that rotate in on different days.

    Current best total 2530 @ 307.2 BWT, April 2012 at RPS Powerpalooza

    Current best Raw w/Wraps total 2105 @ 308.2 BWT, June 2012 at RPs Summerslam

  7. #6
    TJW jed's Avatar
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    If you have the dedication and motivation to become one of the strongest people to ever walk our planet, I don't see a problem with you attaining your next goal. Good fortune to you sir and thanks for coming to WBB!
    22 - 5'11'' - 190 lb
    PR's - Squat 350 | Bench 290 | Deadlift 400.4 | BW 203
    P Clean 98 KG | Jerk 106 | Full Clean 106 |
    Philippians 4:13 - "I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me."
    "I'm really impressed with your dedication. I will call it your jedication." - killxswitch
    J O U R N A L !
    TJW

  8. #7
    Wannabebig New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jed View Post
    If you have the dedication and motivation to become one of the strongest people to ever walk water delivery san francisco our planet, I don't see a problem with you attaining your next goal. Good fortune to you sir and thanks for coming to WBB!
    couldn't agree more! reach for the stars and you just might end up touching them

  9. #8
    Wannabebig New Member
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    This will definitely be a great story to follow. Best of luck with the new challenges that await you.

  10. #9
    phil 4:13 Bako Lifter's Avatar
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    Fuck, another beast to add to the list. Crossfit invicticus is one of the best, I was going to drop in last month but I had some difficulties with the hotel I was at in SD, so I didn't get to go.

    I look forward to seeing this unfold, and I will see you at regionals some day

    Edit: thinking about your strength, I bet you could do grace in like 2:00. And I bet you would destroy Linda, setting a record that will never be broken.
    Last edited by Bako Lifter; 07-02-2012 at 11:19 PM.

  11. #10
    Wannabebig New Member
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    Look forward to seeing your progress.

  12. #11
    Senior Member
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    Can't wait to see your progess. Good luck.
    m/37/5'10/194

    Back Squat 435lbs
    Shoulder Press 195lbs
    Deadlift 505lbs
    Bench Press 315lb

  13. #12
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Good luck AJ.


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  14. #13
    Wannabebig New Member
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    Mobility Resources

    AJ,

    I'm sure you're probably already doing this, but be sure to check out www.mobilitywod.com for all there videos and advice. And since you're already in California I would make regular trips up to San Francisco to visit CFSF and Kelly Starrett personally.

    Best of luck in your CrossFit endeavours!

  15. #14
    Senior Member
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    You had the fortitude to be one of the strongest men on the planet. That same drive will lead you to success with your newest endeavor. Looking forward to watching your progress and eagerly awaiting your first competition.

  16. #15
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    Bad ass, I am sure he will be at the top of this game too, in time...kick its ass AJ

  17. #16
    Senior Member Paulo_Santos's Avatar
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    This is very cool. Good luck AJ.

  18. #17
    Wannabebig New Member
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    Awesome! Got the link bookmarked on the homepage of my IPad, looking forward to following this! Good Luck! PS: Would love to see videos!!

  19. #18
    Pro Powerlifter AJ Roberts's Avatar
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    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    Thanks for all the comments everyone. Means a lot to me to have so much support going into this new chapter.

    Today was Max Effort lower. I jumped in with the powerlifting group for the main movement and then broke off for accessories.

    1" Deficit Deadlifts w/Short light bands (~150lbs at lockout) - worked up to 415x10



    Although I'm still doing Max Effort on this day I'm taking a slightly different approach and changing up the reps each week. This is to focus on my strength endurance as right now it lacks in comparison to my maximal strength.

    Wide Grip Rows - 3x20 reps

    Ultra Wide Grip Pulldowns - 3x10 reps

    Metcon - 3 Rounds
    Back Raise - 20 reps
    Alternating Lunge Jumps - 10 reps
    Bodyweight Squats - 20 reps

    I went through this with practically no rest, by the end I was completely shot. Had that feeling you get just before you throw up. You know dry mount, shakes etc. Managed to keep everything down though so thinking I should have done 1 or 2 more rounds. Maybe next time.
    Last edited by AJ Roberts; 07-03-2012 at 08:13 PM.
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  20. #19
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Roberts View Post
    Thanks for all the comments everyone. Means a lot to me to have so much support going into this new chapter.

    Today was Max Effort lower. I jumped in with the powerlifting group for the main movement and then broke off for accessories.

    1" Deficit Deadlifts w/Short light bands (~150lbs at lockout) - worked up to 415x10



    Although I'm still doing Max Effort on this day I'm taking a slightly different approach and changing up the reps each week. This is to focus on my strength endurance as right now it lacks in comparison to my maximal strength.

    Wide Grip Rows - 3x20 reps

    Ultra Wide Grip Pulldowns - 3x10 reps

    Metcon - 3 Rounds
    Back Raise - 20 reps
    Alternating Lunge Jumps - 10 reps
    Bodyweight Squats - 20 reps

    I went through this with practically no rest, by the end I was completely shot. Had that feeling you get just before you throw up. You know dry mount, shakes etc. Managed to keep everything down though so thinking I should have done 1 or 2 more rounds. Maybe next time.
    Use clamps!

    Nice work!


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  21. #20
    Senior Member
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    Got to meet you last Summer at a Westside CF Powerlifting seminar. So first thanks again for being such a great resource on training and answering all of my questions.

    If anyone can make a successful transition from Powerlifting to CF, you'd be the guy.

  22. #21
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    haha remember Lou always said if you throw up it's your body rejecting the training so sounds like you did just perfect.

    DL's looked strong man.


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  23. #22
    Pro Powerlifter AJ Roberts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post
    haha remember Lou always said if you throw up it's your body rejecting the training so sounds like you did just perfect.

    DL's looked strong man.
    Never minimal, never maximal, always optimal ;-)
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  24. #23
    Senior Member Big_Byrd52's Avatar
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    I will be following your log. We are making the transition at the same time so i think it will be useful to bounce training ideas off each other. Good luck, ill be seeing u, hopefully before Uncle Rhabdo drops by.
    All Time 198 Squat Record of 1,050 pounds
    http://ironscene.com/view_video.php?...e=&category=tr

    All Time 220 Squat Record of 1,100 pounds

    ** 1063 squat , 611 bench, and 733 deadlift for 2408 Total
    All Time 242 Squat Record of 1,108 pounds At 228)
    ** 1108 squat , 639 bench, and 700 deadlift for 2447 Total

    What I Lack in Genetics, I Make Up For With Determination and Discipline

  25. #24
    Tap, Rack, Bacon ncsuLuke's Avatar
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    Definitely subscribing to this. I have always wanted to see someone with a background like yours get into crossfit. Best of luck, can't wait to follow your progress.
    6'1", 215lbs

    Deadlift - 475, Front Squat - 320, Back Squat - 405

  26. #25
    Pro Powerlifter AJ Roberts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Byrd52 View Post
    I will be following your log. We are making the transition at the same time so i think it will be useful to bounce training ideas off each other. Good luck, ill be seeing u, hopefully before Uncle Rhabdo drops by.
    Sounds good. Maybe you can take a trip out to La Jolla and we can hit the gym together.

    You still keeping your log over on EFS?
    AtLargeNutrition - Support the company that supports WannaBeBig!

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