Sunday, May 30, 2010

Week 28 Day 6


1. 4x10 Fast Squats

2. 2x Dumbell Bench Press Drop-Set

3. 2x 10 Close grip press

4. 3x5 Straight Body Lift

5. Max Weighted Sit-ups

Week 28 Day 5


1. 1 hour and 30 minutes of 5 on 5 pick-up basketball

2. 5x3 Deadlift

3. 5x3 Weighted Dips

4. 5 Dumpster Sprints

5. 10 dunk attempts

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Week 28 Day 4


1. 5x3 Back Squat

2. 400 Shots

3. 3x Championship sprints

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Almost There

Today was my planned day to finally realize my goal of dunking a basketball and although I came very close I did not do so. I dunked a somewhat flat volleyball clean, but I just couldn't get enough lift to get a clean dunk with a regular basketball. I am almost there. It'll happen very soon.

Week 28 Day 3

Workout #1:

1. 10 rim grabs

2. 15 dunk attempts

3. 3x3 Weight Pull-ups

4. 2x20 Kroc Rows

Workout #2:

1. 400 Shots

2. Hard Moves off the dribble

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Why Is Ben Resting So Much?

I have taken 6 straight "rest days," because I am planning on attempting to dunk tomorrow. I have been getting very close recently and at the end of last week I was feeling a bit overtrained. I'm hoping that my fresh legs will allow me to achieve my goal tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Week 28 Day 2

Active Rest Day

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Week 27 Day 6

Active Rest Day

Friday, May 21, 2010

Food For Thought

A few of the followers of the quest have asked me to discuss nutrition a bit more regularly. What better way to present my take on nutrition than to post a food log. So here is what I ate today:

Breakfast—Egg Scramble: 4 eggs, 2 pieces of bacon, spinach, mushroom, and onions

Pre-workout snack—Small piece of chicken and some coffee

Lunch/Post Workout meal—A bunch of chicken and half of a sweet potato

Dinner—Ribs, asparagus, and salad

I try to keep it simple. I eat protein at every meal and at most meals I get my carbohydrates from vegetables. I am not afraid of fat. I don’t weigh my protein out, but I definitely eat more than a gram of protein per lb of bodyweight. Most days I eat three meals, some days I will have a small piece of protein before I workout to give myself a nice amino acid boost heading into training, but I don’t do that religiously. On days when I know that my workouts are going to deplete muscle glycogen I will have a dense carbohydrate source like yams or sweet potatoes with some protein following the workout. That’s about it.

Week 27 Day 5

Active Rest Day

Thursday, May 20, 2010

New PR on 4x400 meter run

Set a nice PR on a 4x400 meter run today. I ran my first two sprints in 1:05 and 1:03 (a PR for a single 400). Then I fell off big time running my next two sprints in 1:20 and 1:22. My goal is to break 1:00 on a single 400 meter time trial and run four sprints under 1:10 in the near future.

Week 27 Day 4


1. 5x1 Standing Box Jump

2. 5x1 Stride Box Jump

3. 3x5 Weighted Dips

4. 4x400 meter sprints (2:00 minutes of rest between each sprint)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Week 27 Day 3


3x5 Deadlift

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Week 26 Day 2


1. 400 shots

2. 2x UNLV sprints

3. 2 games of 2 on 2

Monday, May 17, 2010

Week 27 Day 1


1. 3x5 Back Squat

2. 3x5 Weighted Pull-ups

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Water Yourself

A dehydrated athlete is an unprepared athlete and more often then not an unsuccessful athlete. A 1% state of dehydration will negatively affect one’s performance by as much as 10-12%. When dehydrated, athletes will experience increased muscular tightness and decreased mental acuity. So, needless to say, one of the easiest ways to optimize one’s performance on a daily basis is to stay hydrated.

A simple formula for calculating the amount of water that an athlete needs to take in on a daily basis is half of the athlete’s body weight in ounces plus 16-20 ounces for every hour spent training. For example, I am 190lbs, so regardless as to how much I train on a given day I need to take in a minimum of 95 ounces of water. If I play two hours of basketball, I will need to take in an extra 40 ounces of water, bringing my total intake of water up to about 135 ounces of water.

I know what you are thinking, “I can’t drink 2 gallons of water a day. I’m going to have to go to the bathroom too much. I don’t have time for that.” My response to these complaints is that if you want to improve as an athlete and strive towards a state of optimal performance you absolutely have to take your hydration seriously. If you do not water yourself adequately everyday you will fail to achieve your athletic goals, and your mental performance will tank as well.

All of this being said, this simple equation is only a reference tool, once you get a general idea as to how much water you run well on, simply make the consumption of that much water part of your daily routine and I promise you that you will feel and perform better.

So if you want to perform like a thoroughbred, you might have to pee like a race-horse.

Week 26 Day 7

Active Rest Day

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Week 26 Day 6


1. 300 shots

2. 3 games of 1 on 1

3. 3x UNLV sprints

Friday, May 14, 2010

Week 26 Day 5

Active Rest Day

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Week 26 Day 4

Workout #1:

1. 5x2 Deadlift

2. 5x3 Weighted Pull-ups

Workout #2:

1. Conditioning: 7x 100 meter hill sprints

2. 300 shots

3. 10x hard dribble weave through chairs

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Week 26 Day 3

Basketball Workout:

1. 15 rim grabs

2. 300 shots

3. 7x 30 sec AMRAP defensive shuffle (length of the key)

4. Full court moves off the dribble between chairs

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Week 26 Day 2

Workout #1:

1. 5x5 Back Squat

2. 5x5 Weighted Ring Push-up

3. 5x5 Straight Body Lift

Workout #2:

1. 300 Shots

2. Conditioning: 5x Championship Sprints

3. Hard Moves Off the Dribble

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Week 26 Day 1


1. 5x1 Depth Jumps onto Box

2. 5x1 Depth Jumps to High Bar Grab

3. 10x1 Standing High Bar Grab with (1/2 with) 20lb weight vest (1/2 dunking a basketball over the high bar)

4. 5x1 Box Squat jumps w/ 20lb vest

5. 15x1 Dunks on High Bar

6. Conditioning 5x 10 spot High Bar grab

Week 25 Day 7

Active Rest Day:

1. Light 1k row

2. Foam roller and bocce ball roll

3. Stretching the hamstrings and hips

Saturday, May 8, 2010

An Ego Boost Followed By a Slice of Humble Pie

Today I played pick-up basketball at the Hamilton Rec Center in Novato. We got a great run in, played a ton of games, and had a lot of fun. When we finished up, one of my teammates, Vito (if you were wondering, yes he would have been well cast for “The Sopranos”), said “Keep it up Ben, you are a great athlete.” I tried to be gracious, smiled and said, “thanks,” but I was stunned and realized that no one has ever called me a great athlete.

I have been told that I have a nice stroke (basketball shot), an acute ability to anticipate in football, a good work ethic, and impressive self-taught technique during my short-lived Olympic Weightlifting career, but I have never been told that I was a “great athlete” . . . until today.

In reality I’m not a gifted athlete, I don’t possess a great deal of innate speed, quickness, or explosiveness, but over the course of the last 25 weeks I have worked tirelessly and intelligently to improve my inherently lackluster, god-given athletic ability. Based upon the way I played in our pick-up games today and the fact that I was grabbing the rim with two hands and hanging on it between games, Vito called me a “great athlete.” Although I have yet to realize my goal/dream of dunking a basketball, I am making great strides and I have improved my athletic ability tremendously.

One of the guys playing with us, named Mike, was an incredibly gifted athlete. He was my age, about 5’9’’, and probably weighted a buck fifty soaking wet and he could absolutely fly. After the first game, I went up and grabbed a rim with two hands, and watched Mike as he proceeded to easily throw himself an alley-oop off the backboard. My jaw dropped. I asked him how long it took him to get the timing down on the alley-oop and he said, “I just tried it once and it worked.” I congratulated him and told him how impressive it was, but on the inside I was fuming. My internal monologue went a little something like this, “I have been training hard for 25 weeks to dunk a basketball and this kid, who has probably never really “trained” for anything in his life, just decided one day that he was going to throw himself an alley-oop off the backboard and it just worked.” Needless to say I was pissed and force-fed a gigantic slice of humble pie.

Week 25 Day 6

Basketball Workout:

1. 200 shots

2. 10 rim grabs (hung on the rim with two hands for the first time)

3. Conditioning: 16 defensive slides in the key for time+ slide, back pedal, sprint drill+ sprint lay up drill

4. about 2 hours of 5 on 5 pick up basketball

Friday, May 7, 2010

New Box Jump PRs

Hit a new standing box jump PR (46 inches) and a new striding box jump PR (53 inches) today. My ultimate goal is to eventually get up to a 50 inch standing box jump and a 60 inch striding box jump.

Week 25 Day 5


1. 5x1 Standing High Box Jump

2. 5x1 Stride High Box Jump

3. 5x5 Weighted Ring Dip

4. 10x 100 meter sprints (1 sprint every minute on the minute for 10 minutes)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sacrificing Sleep is a Slippery Slope

In previous posts I have referenced the importance of sleep and the many benefits of a sound (8+ hour) night of sleep, but I haven't addressed the side effects of poor sleep. One of the most common adverse effects associated with a night of poor sleep is insulin resistance (the thing that we are trying to avoid through a solid diet and smart exercise).

I know what you are thinking, "It won't effect my insulin resistance if I don't get a good night of sleep every once in a while, right?" It seems logical that skimping on sleep every once in a while would not have any negative effects on our bodies, but in reality this preconceived notion is wrong.

A recent article in Science News states that "one sleepless night can induce insulin resistance in healthy people." ( The article references a study published in "The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism." The study tested blood glucose and insulin levels in participants after one night of good quality sleep and one subsequent night of poor sleep. After the night of poor sleep the participants were significantly more insulin resistant than they were the day before.

So if you are a healthy, insulin-sensitive person do not take your health for granted, get your rest.

Week 25 Day 4


1. 3x5 Deadlift

2. 3x5 Weighted Pull-ups

3. 3x 25 GHD Sit-ups+ 10 Reverse Hypers

4. Basketball shootaround+ dunking technique on a 9 ft hoop

Week 25 Day 3

Basketball Workout:

1. 300 shots

2. Conditioning 3x championship sprints

3. Hard moves off the dribble throughout

Note to Self

After a few days off, do not try to make up for lost time in one day (really more like 3 hours). On day 2 this week I completely over did it. I did about three workouts consecutively without any breaks or meals and in hindsight it was not an intelligent training decision. I experienced soreness that encompassed almost every inch of my body on day 3, which is a very strong indication that I did some significant over training on day 2. I need to keep in mind that I am not going to achieve my goals in a couple of days, but rather over the course of weeks, months, and even years.

Week 25 Day 2

1. 300 shots

2. Agility ladder work

3. 3x side hurdles+ 3x forward hurdles

4. 5x5 Back Squat

5. 5x5 DB Bench Press

6. 3x max strict pull-ups

7. 3x10 leg raises

8. UNLV sprints x3

Week 25 Day 1


1. 20 rim grabs (and some solid attempts with a volleyball)

2. 5x 10 spot cylander slap

Week 24 Day 7

Active Rest Day

Week 24 Day 6

Active Rest Day