70 Random Thoughts

It’s not a secret that I have struggled to fill the pages of this blog over the past two months in light of dedicating every waking minute of my non-coaching time to writing 360Nutrition.  The blog took a serious backseat to that project as it’s something we have wanted to provide our members since we opened, and the only way it was going to be finished up to our quality standards was by locking myself in my room for hours on end, sitting down with 48 ounces of Columbian bam bam  coffee, my Mac that dies ten seconds after being unplugged, and just writing it until all 68 pages were done.

The good news is that when Wilson and I resurfaced to society I came with a finished product we were able to implement for our October 30 Day Challenge to some outstanding results, so it made the efforts we put in completely worth it.

(If you are interested in what we did with 360Nutrition you can check it out here where we’ve made it available for purchase.  The results have been nothing less than outstanding based on the sample size of roughly 150 people from Performance360.)

The bad news is that in the meantime this site went to shit, I lost all motivation and every time I put my fingers to the keyboard I felt like Billy Madison trying to win the spelling bee.  Concentrating on a single topic just wasn’t in the cards, but I did notice quite the compilation of notes in my files over the past few months so figured, just go with it.  You’re not a real writer, you like bullet points and you’re busy.  Do what feels right.  It felt natural, it felt comfortable so here we are back with another Random Thoughts.

1. It’s holiday season, which means two things:

One, I can start watching Love, Actually again.

Two, “He Went to Jared” commercials are going to start royally pissing me off again.  If I presented my babe with a Jared necklace, I am pretty sure she’d sit around clowning me with her friends, not fawn embarrassingly over a warm fireplace with hot cocoa and crosswords.

“It can only be Jaarrrreeed”

2. Been experimenting with squats the past four weeks and have been very surprised.  I’ve been max squatting every Monday, rotating between five sets of 5, 3 and 2 reps and maxing for 2 reps on my last set every time.  Additionally, in the last two weeks I’ve doubled the amount of clean carbs I eat daily as well as allowed myself more unclean carbs on Sundays and the results have been telling.

  • 2 weeks ago: 171 pounds, 275# x 2 Squat
  • Today: 179 pounds, 300# x 2 Squat

I’ve had a cranky left knee on deep squatting for a while so until now, I rarely went heavy on them. Weight gain was completely incidental and alarming.  I’ve long known I don’t get enough calories in during the day but to go up eight pounds in two weeks was shocking.  For those of you interested in adding mass, do not miss the opportunity to squat heavy wherever you train, especially if you are a relative novice to heavy squats.

3. Snatching is an exceptional movement most of you at the gym will learn at some point.  Most people are thrown into it prematurely because it looks cool, and it’s not one of those exercises that has room for error. I have always had a training philosophy of, “engine before rims”.  Meaning, take care of your horsepower before you start accessorizing and bedazzling.  I don’t believe you should start overhead squatting or snatching before your squat and deadlift are at a respectable level of 2x body weight for deadlift and 225/155 for 5R squats, men/women.  If you are not at that point, your engine still needs a lot of work so you don’t need to worry about putting fresh ass rims on your Celica. Once you get that engine to American muscle level and have the proper combo of hip mobility, core stability and shoulder stability, then yes, proceed with snatching and overheads as a compliment and for continued development.

4.  #ihavebecomeeverythingihate on social media.

5.  I’m I’m able to craft my last meal on Earth, it includes:

  • Appetizer: Chili’s Triple Dipper
  • Beverage: Cherry Coke
  • Entree: Prime Rib, medium rare.  Side of horseradish.
  • Side #1: Arros con Pollo w/ side of queso from Mexico’s (our college baseball team’s favorite restaurant)
  • Side #2: My grandmother’s cheese grits
  • Dessert: Apple pie a la mode

6.  You could heat mud in the microwave, slap some Breyer’s vanilla on it and it would probably be edible.

7.  If you added peanut butter it definitely would be.

8.  I’ve always preferred to prioritize our athletes to be stronger and faster, first.  Bigger, second.  To me, mass should be a side effect of more important athletic goals.  We prefer our athletes to leave more David than Goliath.

9.  I’m convinced NFL Officiating Guru Mike Pereira, Barry from Storage Wars and Joe Madden are all the same person.

10.  Things that make a little part of me die inside.

  • When a server prematurely fills up my coffee after like three sips, disrupting the perfect balance of cream and coffee I had going on.  Why don’t you just spit in it, ma’am.
  • “How much does this bar weigh?”
  • A high school kid asking me how much I could curl as his judgement of my strength.
  • When I buy vegetables from Trader Joe’s only to discover at home they are of the same consistency as my baseball glove.
  • When I see people bragging about bloody hands from pull-ups.
  • “That per side or total?”
  • When I  already put all of the other shake ingredients in the blender and realize I’m out of spinach.

11.  Things that make me sparkle and shine like Janie Briggs getting asked to prom.

  • First time a girl does an unassisted, strict pull-up.
  • Peanut butter.
  • Pumpkin flavored season.  Yeah, I’m a 16 year old girl.
  • Grandma’s deadlifting over 200 pounds.
  • Banner Pilot.
  • McDonald’s breakfast.
  • Unsolicited massages.
  • Robert.
  • When restaurants carry heavy cream.
  • Pancakes.

12.  I have an addictive personality, and when I get results from an exercise I tend to beat it into the ground for myself.  I am currently on this path with Farmer’s Walks and credit a lot of the muscle growth explained above to this exercise, as well.  I like both short and long distances as they both have different challenges and elicit different benefits. I recently walked 40m with 410 pounds and a mile with 106 pounds with our Power Hour class and both challenged me differently, even though the 40m proved to be tougher and made me more sore afterwards.   I found short distance hit my traps and core more, while the mile was obviously more grip intensive and challenging on the entire chain.

13.  YouarenotevengoingtobelieveitisTacoBell.

14.  I can’t believe the NFL still allows a game to end in a tie.  Sweet rules, Mao.

15.  One reason I hate machines for training athletes is they don’t allow your body to adapt to a changing stimulus.   A moving barbell taken from floor to shoulders creates much more of a need for stabilizing muscles and core activation than a Smith machine or leg press with dictated path of motion.  There’s nothing reactive about it at all.

16.  I don’t know a single dude that says, “I can’t wait to have small talk with my barber during this haircut.”

17.  College football is slowly starting to lose me.  When games end with frequent scores in the 50s, 60s and 70s, it feels like I am watching Jonathan Moxon march up the field throwing bombs to Charlie Tweeder while Wendell pouts in the huddle.

18.  Another example of why we STRONGLY recommend you don’t get caught up in what the scale says.

No.  Seriously, ladies.  I mean it.  Look at that, process it nd stop being cray cray over the scale.

19.  I’ve gotta be honest, I love American cheese.  It’s my favorite sandwich and omelet cheese.  Hands down.  Sorry for being patriotic and supporting freedom.

20.  Actor I would want to have a beer with: Liam Neeson.

21.  I’ve casually recommended GOMAD before for immediate mass and strength gains (Gallon Of Milk A Day).  Performance360 member, John Blackburn, has recently used it to put on over 10 pounds in 30 days while simultaneously setting PRs on his hang clean, 3R deadlift and 3R push press where he was previously stalled for months.   Milk is what feeds us from infancy to childhood so this really shouldn’t be shocking it can still help us grow as adults.  If you live with your girlfriend, she may hate you during this time frame but it does work.  Some body fat will follow but it’s guaranteed, signed, sealed and delivered strength and muscle.

22.  An easy way to increase speed is by simply increasing stride length.

23.  People who’s lives start and end with fitness kinda freak me out on the level like Evangelical Christians and political extremists.  I appreciate a good intense lift but I think some separation of church and state is important for life balance.

24.  I’m JUST saying…..if there was a Golden Corral in San Diego, I’d eat there.

25.  My favorite mobility drills:

  • Shoulder: Wall Angels — the shoulder mobility deficiencies in young athletes we train is incredible and this is our most basic way to correct it, via Eric Cressey.  Takes an athlete from awful to proficient in no time flat.
  • Hips: Baby Sits — proper squatting requires both hip mobility and core stability.  Hip mobility needs to come first and this is a great developer of that.

26.  Didn’t have much on my plate last Sunday, so decided to treat myself to a bit of  Megashark vs. Giant Octopus on the Sci Fi channel.  If you are an actor, and you get a call from your agent explaining the script of Megashark vs. Giant Octopus, you’ve definitely just said fuck it, right?

27.  Let’s be serious.  We’re not growing mustaches to raise any awareness, we’re doing it to be funny and look absurd.  You know, back when I was cool and infinitely more handsome.

28.  I’m completely sold on the Handstand Pushup as goal functional.  In my experimental 30 Day cleanse of weight training, I performed a ton of these and when I re-tested my Turkish Get-Up I PRd quite easily at 125# barbell.  Previously, I couldn’t stop the bar from spinning for the life of me.  Excellent exercise for pure shoulder strength and stability.  This benefits OH squat and snatch lockout, as well.

(Yeah, same song in both.  My PR good luck song.)

29.  Speaking of the 30 Day no weights experiment, it worked.  Like, big time.  We had three test subjects and there were nine PRs set in the four weeks following the all body weight, ballistic-based training.  The hypothesis was simple and it happened. Take a subject (me) used to a certain stimulus (weights), remove the stimulus and when re-introduced subject becomes re-sensitized to it.  I’ll be doing this once a year, for sure.

30.  Watched Randy Moss interview Lil’ Wayne on NFL Countdown last week.  Or maybe it was Lil’ Wayne interviewing Randy Moss.  Either way, I got dumber.  And either way, Lil’ Wayne still makes my hang clean better.

31.  I’m confused.  First, Americans were so ahead of the world with fluoridated water and now it’s apparently the devil reincarnate.  WTF?

32.  Fat trainers bother me and there’s more out there than you think.  How can you ask your clients to follow diet when it’s clear you do not?  Or do you just not believe in nutrition?  Either way, it’s dumb and I think body fat standards should be required to both obtain and keep a certification.  I’m not saying you have to be ripped, but you can’t be fat. Don’t take nutrition advice from someone who is overweight.  Please.

33.  Started Newsroom last night.  Will McCavoy’s monologue on America in the opener really cut to the core of me.

34.  Had the following conversation with one of our athletes headed to Notre Dame on a lacrosse scholarship.

Chris: “What should I wear this weekend at Notre Dame?  I’ve never been to the East Coast.”
Me: “Well it’s gonna be cold, dude.  Definitely bring a jacket.  Also, Indiana is in the Midwest, not the East Coast.”
Chris: “Like a snowboarding jacket?”
Me (laughing): “Um, no like a regular winter jacket.”
Chris: “What’s that?”
Me (after we look up the weather in South Bend on my phone): “Jeans and a sweatshirt will be fine.”


Congratulations to Chris on officially committing to the Fighting Irish this week.  Great kid, excellent athlete.  He’ll do great there.

35.  I’ve definitely looked for my phone.  While talking on it.

36.  When I seek to learn more about training, I much prefer blogs of people who actually train people.  Certifications and degrees will never persuade me, I want to know that what I am reading has been implemented on dozens of people to success, not just the author.  Practical experience > Academic credentials.  For my taste, at least.  Fancy language and complex terms just turn me off.  I fancy myself a fairly informed coach and some of it I just can’t keep up with.

37.  Speaking of calculus.

  • Range of Motion > Load
  • Strict > Momentum
  • Whole Food > Supplements
  • Swing to Overhead = Swing to Parallel (explained below)
  • 20 Strict Pull-Ups > 50 Strict Push-Ups > 1 Muscle Up
  • Brunch > Everything
  • Hip Mobility > Hamstring Flexibility
  • Creatine > New Age Fancy Pants Stuff
  • Five Guys > In N’ Out
  • Arnold > Everyone

38.  For those who have asked about footwear, I don’t particularly love any brand above the other but I absolutely recommend you do away with regular tennis shoes that have a thick sole.  Nike Free, Reebok Zigtech, etc.  When your sole is constantly elevated in a foam heel it raises your center of balance, stresses your lumbar on big lifts and make you less athletic.  Personally, I rotate between New Balance Minimus, Innov-8s and Chuck Taylor’s.  I’ll wear Asics Blur sometimes on off days because my feet get sore when I’m on them for 10 hours.

39.  That said, the raised heel in specialty weightlifting shoes is beneficial because of it’s hardened sole.  Heels are not made of foam and reduce the push back from the floor, allowing you to lift more weight in squats and other Olympic lifts while increasing certain range of motion.  Not good for deadlifts though, as it increases bar travel distance and makes the pull harder.  Again, when deciding if you need weightlifting shoes run the rims vs. engine test on yourself.

40.  My little brother, who is also my best friend, has become a male model.  I just, I don’t.  I mean…..what the hell, Andy.

But then he makes up for it with this.

41.  As I walked to get gas for my car, since ya know, I ran out of gas the night before (true story), I walked past three separate people going for a run in the early morning.  In tights, jacket, gloves and wool hat….it was 52 degrees out.  This is why people don’t take us seriously, San Diego.

42.  I’m not saying you have to sprint across a crosswalk, but you certainly don’t need to aggressively flaunt how slow you are walking because it’s your right of way.  Sometimes I wish people wore those big sumo suits so you could give them love taps.

43.  I have road rage.

44. Been in San Diego for four years and still can’t figure out why girls jump in all of their pictures together.  Gave up.  And added to my case files is a recent outbreak of girls posting first person pictures of themselves doing a variety of riveting activities such as driving to work, nothing, hanging out in the kitchen and my favorite, drinking a nice chard on the couch.

45.  We had a gym member leave because he lost too much weight.   This ACTUALLY happened.  Swear.  I was speechless, said he preferred to use machines even though his deadlift doubled and he lost 25 pounds of fat.  What could I say??  Uh…okay?  Enjoy those cable flies?  #p360problems?

46.  Going off of the above point, I think both KB Swings to overhead and proper Russian swings to parallel are both beneficial and neither is necessarily right or wrong.  When you go to parallel only, you allow heavier weight, greater targeting of hip thrust and better rapid force development for exercises like deadlifts.  When you go to overhead, it is typically lighter but engages more upper body muscles and improves exercises like pull-ups.   Pick your poison.

47.  Injuries happen.  Tweaks, pulls, strains, nickes, bruises and blisters.  They are nothing to be afraid of if you are striving for high standards.  Just don’t let them turn into tears and serious injuries.  Train around them, or rest for a few days. It’s no biggie just make sure you inform your gym’s coach or trainer.

48.  I’ve tried.  I just don’t get Twitter and can’t figure out a way for it to benefit me.  If I can’t get immediate gratitude in people clicking ‘like’, it’s not for me.

49.  Stretching….always dynamic before exercise.  When you static stretch before working out you prep the muscle for the complete opposite activity you are about to do.  If you are going to static stretch, do it after you workout.  Thought Coach Roney was a communist for making us do this at Richmond.  I was blind, and now I see.

50.  Congrats to our Rachael Sporko for pulling 305# x 2.

51.  We have casually logged about 25 names at the gym who have lost over 20 pounds with us.  Diet strategy and food intake has varied in many of them.  Some of them followed our advice, some didn’t.  I’ve always said that diet is not an exact science or road map, but the one consistency between all 25 is their consistency in including a challenging training program.  While I do believe in the saying, “you can’t out train a bad diet”, you can certainly out train a decent one.  Nutrition is paramount for results but so is plain ole blood and sweat.

52.  Mechanics break down when you are lifting at maximum effort.  They just do.  It’s not something to be terrified of if you posses strength in stabilizing muscles, nor does one need to inform us on Facebook when one sees it.

53.  I miss Sean Taylor 😦

54.  “Porcupines and pine cones should be best friends” – Pritz.

55.  Good news, smokers!   I think all gyms should have smoking sections now.

56.  The Offspring’s Smash.  Still awesome 18 years later.

57.  Things that are also 18 years or older.

  • Pearl Jam’s Ten
  • Dumb and Dumber
  • Ace Ventura
  • Counting Crows’ August and Everything After
  • Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle 
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Playstation

Yeah, 18 years…Just made you feel like Wooderson, didn’t I?

58.  One of the downsides to living a low carb lifestyle is that you become incredibly sensitive to carbs when you do eat them.  I am in the process of trying to re-train my body to handle them after approximately 45 days on an average of sub 50 per day and I hate how I feel.   “I FEEL….FAAAT” (YOLO chick voice).  My weight fluctuations are out of control as my body is trying to figure out how to handle them again.

59.  If this whole gym thing doesn’t work out, I want to be a firefighter.  Hang out in the station?  Have fellowship at all times?   Family meals?  Contribute something to society?  Aside from the whole risk your life thing, it sounds like my kind of gig…just so long as I don’t have to be the guy who climbs the huge ladder.  Heights > solid ground.

60.  I judge people who judge people for playing fantasy football.  You’ve never lived until you’ve quietly fist pumped a Brandon Gibson touchdown.

61.  I have to be honest.  I hate the term functional fitness.  I use it.  I’m guilty.   But I’ve never had to pick up 400 pounds in real life, carry it down the street and then sprint another hundred yards after a criminal.  I’ve also never had to jump on something almost six feet tall, or throw something onto the ground as hard as I possibly can unless it’s my laptop when I have to start Shonn Greene.  While it’s damn fun and gets awesome results, let’s cut the crap.  There’s nothing functional about it unless you are a night time vigilante, in the military or an Amish farmer.

62.  Congress is one party.  The Senate is another.  Both Presidents apparently bad for small business.  Screw this shit, I’m voting for most handsome and who I think could win in a foot race from here on out.

63.  Speaking of foot race.

64.  The fact that we failed to pass Prop 37 and claim to be at the forefront of the health movement in California is depressing, and bad for our image.

65.  My best friend from college once wrote a full page email on how to properly dress a Chic-Fil-A sandwich with Polynesian sauce.

66. And I follow it to this day.

67.  Along with P360 Athlete Chris Carter committing to Notre Dame on Wednesday, Performance360 saw six of our athletes commit to play lacrosse in college.

  • Lucas Gradinger – Maryland (TPHS)
  • Christian Guinchrd – Dartmouth (Bishop’s)
  • Chris Carter – Notre Dame (TPHS)
  • Jake Kennedy – Bucknell (TPHS)
  • Bennet Shafer – Denison (TPHS)
  • Corey Black – Monmouth (TPHS

Coach Jono Zissi is going to do big things with Torrey Pines this year.

Additionally, we have three athletes on NCAA fields this Spring.

I’ll end on two points of gratitude.

68.  First, Heather Reineke took it upon herself to write a blog for a local website singing our praises.  We had no idea she was writing it until it we saw it published, and that just rules. What a compliment.  Thank you Heather and SanDiegoVille.com.  We honestly have the best members anywhere.

69.  Second, made a Facebook announcement the other week about my college strength coach, Jim Roney, and want to to do the same on my blog for those who are not on Facebook.  Roney was our college strength coach at Richmond and the man responsible for a lot of what we do at Performance360. His programming laid the foundation for a lot of how we train athletes and strength in the gym. Pittsburghs, sled, ladder, protein, box jumps, box squats, being Swim Fan’ish with glute development obsession, protein, Max Effort Monday, protein, strength rep scheming and being an irrational, unreasonable ROM nazi on squats…all his influence.

  • 2001 (Pre Roney) – .500 college team
  • 2002 (Post Roney) – Ranked Top 10 in the nation (#9), set a school record for wins (53), NCAA Tourney advancement (Final 8) and inducted into HOF as a team.
A good S&C program is absolutely everything for an athlete and Roney is the man responsible for instilling a lot of the success our current P360 athletes are experiencing today.  It felt good to finally track him down and tell him all of this the other week, given that this blog likely wouldn’t exist without his influence.
Feels good to be back, nerds.  Hope everyone has a great, safe and fun Thanksgiving holiday.
Dave is Founder and Co-Owner of Performance360 in Mission Beach, San Diego.  As always if you liked it, please support America, meat and barbells and share it how you see fit.


  1. 3 things.

    1. Props for working Janie Briggs into a blog post
    2. Couldn’t agree more with #16. I hate talking to the Barber. Just cut my damn hair.
    3. Tim vs. Zach will never get old. Especially when Tim asks for a cigarette immediately after.

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