I admit that I have been a little preoccupied lately and haven’t been able to wow you all with my manly machismo and Stephen King-like writing skills but I can explain.  You see, I have been taking ninja lessons to help increase my strength to it’s maximum potential.  It’s hard work being strong and ninja-like so I am definitely open to trying new things to get my strength up.  Here is one of the programs I have been following:

Speaking of ninje chops, my life just changed for the better as my girlfriend moved in on Sunday (the real reason I haven’t been around much) and we have been apartment hunting in the Newton area.  You know, some guys would freak having their man cave feminized with “product” and hosiery and such but I take this as a sign that I may be grown up now.   It is the beginning of a great new chapter in my life (if I say otherwise I may get ninje chopped).

To sweeten the deal, I even get a dog to keep me company when I am banished to the couch for practicing my ninja skills.

In  other news, I finally put up a 300 lb bench press last Friday which is something I have been trying to accomplish for close to a year now.  It is amazing how I watch exercises like the squat and deadlift steadily increase monthly but it takes almost a year to increase my bench by 5lbs.

Most people would give up after making numerous attempts at the ever elusive 300 but I say the show must go on.  Honestly, it may have taken quite some time and many tears but 5lbs is progress.  I don’t care who you are.  If it takes me another year to add another 5lbs so be it….actually, I’m going for 305 next week just for shits and giggles.  Here is the video footage of my 300:

In honor of hitting my bench I am going to share a shoulder exercise with you that you should all be doing. One of the hardest things I find when coaching a new client on how to do a bench press or even a pushup is getting their scapula to move properly with resistance.

Ever see some one do pushups and instead of bringing their chest to the floor tend to sink into their shoulder blades?  This may be a weakness in muscles such as the pec minor and serratus anterior.

Doing scapular pushups may help.

How to do it:  Maintain a pushup position and keep your core tight and elbows locked.  Drop your chest between your shoulderblades and then press through your chest to return to the starting postion.  Repeat for 8-12 reps.

  • Do NOT bend your elbows.
  • Do NOT arch your back.

What they help fix: Winged scapula and/or rotator cuff weakness.

Target muscles: Serratus anterior and pec minor.

Variation: If you have trouble keeping your elbows straight, try doing them from your elbows or “plank position”.

So if you are trying to increase your bench to titanic proportions or just coming back from a rotator cuff injury, scap pushups may be just what your looking for.  Try doing a couple sets of 8-12 2-3x/week.

Thats all for today, back to ninja practice work.


Written by Steve