Posts tagged The Inner Circle Gym

June 20th Workout

After the four-day-a-week Four-Month Total Transformation course with Blaine we transitioned into a twice-weekly schedule that I thought would be easier. I thought wrong.

Here’s today’s workout, we started with a barbell complex consisting of these exercises followed by this:

A dumbbell and kettle bell complex that included an inclined chest press and a kettle bell single leg Romanian dead lift that required massive amounts of balance from already fatigued leg muscles and then for a little breather we transitioned into this:

A Physio Ball reverse hyper-extension where you lay tummy-down on the ball and raise your straightened legs backward as far as you can. We did two sets of max reps and then went to this high-intensity finisher:

That really makes the ‘ole butt burn…

And last but not least, this was what Blaine put on the board to top it all off:

Usually we do this portion of the workout on our own later in the day and (full-disclosure) sometimes I don’t get around to it…

Don’t judge! Also FYI, I usually post these photos through the Knife Challenge Twitter feed and you can find that here.

Compound Exercises

As the months have progressed we’ve been performing increasingly difficult compound exercises. We’ve also been increasing weight AND decreasing rest time in between sets. It’s just another way to accomplish what Blaine describes as “functional fitness.”

Here’s an example of a core-focused complex using a Physioball. He makes it look easy but believe me, it’s not. By the third rep of my first set I was squealing like a little piggy.

And here’s Blaine giving us an example of ANOTHER compound exercise in our weight matrix. It’s a hang clean into split-stance push press and it’s just one of four exercises in this week’s weight matrixes. The other included bent-over rows, back squats and good mornings.

As you can see Blaine makes it look simple but believe me – after five sets of six reps of these bad boys are enough to make you want to melt into a big puddle on the floor.

Sweat Angels

Since starting this intense training regimen about four months ago we have come to coin a new term in the gym – the sweat angel.

Obviously see where it came from. It’s kind of like a snow angel but made up entirely from your sweat. It happens when you are working out so hard that you flop on the floor like a freshly caught fish twitching and gasping for oxygen on a ship’s deck.

This is a pretty good sweat angel from my workout partner, Taryn. We usually both leave at least one of these on the floor after every workout.


My girlfriend’s daughter Anna visiting the ICG

Why are you here?,” is a common question I’ve heard over the course of the last few months. It’s usually thrown out there during a particularly painful moment of the workout, designed to get the mind off the temporarily-excruciating present and keep your eye on the bigger picture.

The first few times Blaine asked that question I didn’t really have an answer. But I began to think about it after workouts. Why AM doing this? It’s really hard. The workouts are long and grueling, the diet is tough and I’m constantly sore. But it also makes me feel fast and strong and fitter than I have been in years. But why am I really doing this?

I’m doing it for the control. Over myself, my body, my situation and my future.

The responsibility. To commit to something and accomplish it. I haven’t been as faithful as I should have been but I’m gonna finish strong.

And for the discipline – to gain it. The interesting thing about something that requires you to be strong is it shows you your weakness.

This experience, like any lunge, squat or deadlift, is making me stronger so I can meet real-world challenges. The reason I’m here is because I want to be healthy, strong and stable for myself and for the people I love.

Upping The Ante

Sorry I’ve been so reticent (not revealing in my thoughts or feelings) lately. I’ve been a busy boy – busy getting my ass kicked.

Or perhaps not so much kicked as reshaped literally – these lunge matrixes are nuts.

The Knife blog/training project kinda snowballed on me. I went from eating Taco Bell at 2 a.m. to “eating clean” (as Adam is so fond of saying), downing IPA’s to drinking horrible green mixtures of powdered plant matter and screaming through karaoke at Trav’s to screaming through workouts. Y’know, basically sweating my guts out on the floor of this little gym I never knew existed until 6 months ago.

FUN FACT: I sweat so much that the halo of perspiration I leave on the floor after a workout is something Adam and Cathy have started calling “sweat angels” (you can see a slight example above).

But I wouldn’t trade it for the world…

And now I, along with two other brave souls, have begun the 4-Month Extreme Transformation with Blaine Davidson. You can check out the link for the details but basically it’s four 1.5 hour sessions a week for four months and he tells you what, why and when to eat.

Even though I was doing personal training twice a week, working out on my own and trying to eat healthier this training regimen has taken my fitness to the next level – in just three weeks.

When we started I weighed 285 lbs. In just a few weeks I’m down to 279 lbs. and I’ve put on more than 5 lbs. of muscle. And we’re just starting the cardio phase…

Blaine says I can get down to 220-230. After losing a mere 15 or so pounds since starting at The Inner Circle I shudder for a moment at the work I know that will entail. But I am also excited by the challenge and eager for the increased fitness, strength and mobility.

So stay tuned because we’re taking it to the next level…


One of my goals throughout this project is to workout at least five times a week. That seems like a lot but I count stuff like taking my dog for a jog as a workout. As long as it gets my heart rate up for a sustained period of time.

So far, I’m eight days into the project and I’ve gotten in four workouts. 50/50 isn’t bad but I really fell off the wagon Sunday.

I slept in ’till 11, got up and got dressed for a run with my dog, stepped outside and immediately retreated into my house. It was SUPER windy and I knew a run was going to be cold and unpleasant.

Instead, I sat around my house in my running clothes and played XBox and ate pizza all day. No joke, I ate an entire Papa Murphy’s family-sized pizza over the course of about 10-12 hours. It was a cowboy pizza. I had the meat sweats.

PLUS I didn’t get in a workout. So I pretty much felt like a POS.

On the upside I did DOMINATE the new Call of Duty. It was a pretty good day as far as video gaming goes…

*Note to self: Lay off the video games.