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Originally posted on LaxSpot on 02/02/2008

Whats up folks, its been a few days since I posted, but today I get to write about what I am referring to as “stage two”.  As many of you may have read in the last post comments I am volunteering with the washington college lacrosse team, and today was my first day.

I started with another great workout in the gym, starting with some interval training on the bike, followed by another intense pump with the weights.  Again supersetting and or “tri” setting everything with no rest, except to move from excercise to excercise.  Now it sounds like I am doing a circuit, but it is more like several small circuits with very low weights and fast, high, reps.  I was SPENT when I left the gym…but my day was far from over.

Stage two: WHISTLES

I made my way out to the field and met up with the team, they were just starting stretching, so I had some time to catch my breath, but not long.  Coach Clarke asked me what I wanted to do and we both decided that I would get about a half hour with them to start, including the face-off warm up followed by live draws.  after that I would be taking whomever was not participating in certain drills and going live, one player at a time.

When we first started I grabbed the guys and requested their best effort, no matter how tired I looked I requested that they beat me into the ground, they were simply not to let up, I expected them to fight with me for every GB and make me earn every face-off.  you may think that should be what I expected however in the past when I took draws with them they would stop after I pulled the ball out.  to be honest as far as the draw goes I am far superior, I have more experience, have more training and to tell you the truth draw wise it is clearly a mismatch.  However as I get more and more tired these guys are more than capable of winning some draws.  With there being 4 of them and 1 of me I get tired quickly.  Anyway these guys got the picture, no draw was to be an easy one for me and I promised them when I lost draws I would make them work to get the GB. and make me work they did in dead…they are all smaller and quicker on their feet than me, and none of them like to lose, if there is one thing these guys will help ME with it is getting the ball off the ground.  history tells me that when I am hitting the whistle, my opponents have a tendency to get up and try to beat me to the ball, instead of doing a move.  Great face off men hate when people do this to us…and when these guys at WAC lose a draw they are really good at pressuring me to pick up the GB, needless to say these guys will make me better at this part of the game.

Man, that first 30 minutes was intense, these guys made me work, and I salute them for their effort, it felt real good to get physical.  after that the guys had to do some full field transition, while I did some stretching and some sprints.  about 20 mins later, coach clarke called for me again.  this time I would be taking draws with whomever was not in the current drill, that meant I would have one guy at a time take about 5-10 draws with that player and then the next guy would rotate in…I probably took 30 to 40 draws almost one after the other…BRUTAL

at this point i was SPENT, I got some water and rapped a bit with some of the recruits that were on campus for the weekend, one dude had a towson lid on, so he got the most of my attention…nice kid, good sense of fashion.

anyway to say the least this was a productive day, I got to hear some much needed whistles and got to reconnect with a team what I have alot of love for.

To sum it all up my training is in full swing, I have almost all the pieces of the puzzle in place, and month one is over, three to go!

until next time

OH SNAP, I almost forgot tomorrow is the big day, giants/patriots. . .i can hardly contain myself…lets go big blue!

CAPTAINQUICKWRISTS

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 01/29/2008

whats up folks, i am sure if you have been reading my blogs you have also been reading the comments that have been made by the resident “hater” sofletes.  if you have not figured it out he is actually a friend of mine. in fact he is one of my best friends, and probably the only person i know that is capable of killing a man with only one hand.  he is a “recon marine”  which i believe is the marines equivalent of a navy seal ( i am sure that he is going to be mad that i compared the two…as he is surely much more bad ass than a seal)  any way, meatstick is the only way to characterize this guy, however he is also a training genius.  in fact if he were still in the Chesterton area he would be training me along side mike duquette.
so in the last couple of weeks i have put on some serious muscle, i have my bench back up over 300lbs, my squats however are not making as much progress.   i am still capable of moving over 350lbs from the squat but it is hard to make any real gains there since i do not have a workout partner in the weight room.  it is easy to get someone to spt you on the bench but not too many people want to stand behind you and mount you from behind while you grunt out squats…at least i know i would not be itching to do that for someone i do not know.

anyway back to the task at hand, it has become evident that i am bulking up pretty quick, i gave my marine buddy a call.  what is my next step?  i asked.  we talked about it for a while and decided it was time for a “300″ style weight training program.  a little hesitant i brought what he sent me this morning to mike (the personal trainer).  am i ready for this yet?. . .mike took one look at the workout and said “can you send me a copy of this tomorrow?”  if you are ready for this i think it is absolutely the best thing for you..and the decision was made, no more low rep power movements, it is time to start stripping all this access fat off of my increasingly “thick” physique.

i started with mike, ladder drills, circuit and we finished up with the theraband…i made the mistake of telling him about a drill i was thinking about creating.  we came to the conclusion that we would call it “resisted bear crawls” , where mike throws the theraband around my body and resists as i bear crawl sprint from one end of the squash court to the other, pair that up with the other drill i made the mistake of telling mike about, “stance resistance”.  this is the face-off mans equivalent of a hitting the sled in football, only we again use the theraband while i explode from about 5 feet away from the wall, out of a face off stance. i am reaching for a spot that is 30 degrees to my right and 5 feet in front of me..  i am to get back in my stance promptly and as soon as i get back in my stance he blows the whistle again(sets of 10 three times as fast as we can do it)…this is usually the last thing we do, and it always crushes me.

i was pumped to try the new workout, since “day 1″ was the equivalent of what i did yesterday in the gym i started with “day 2″…everything on these workouts is a superset with lower weights and high reps, in some cases it is a “tri set”, but that was not today.  today was chest and some explosive movements followed by some sprints..i hate sprints.

anyway, i have to tell you about this one thing that my buddy calls “man makers” …i told you he was a meat stick.  this is where i took a 40lb dumbbell in each hand, did a push up with them in hand, when you get to the “up position” you are to bring one dumbbell up while keeping your body locked in the same position.(like a bent over row),  you do that for 10 reps on each side, superset it with what is basically a elbow to knee squat jump, and repeat it five times…needless to say this crushed me…finished up with some sprints and some dry heaving and i was on my way home for dinner…sweet

one more day is over…i am starting to feel like some real progress is being made…i cant wait to see how i feel in two more weeks after i really get into this high rep workout!

oh yeah, i hope all of you are fortunate enough to get the nfl network. . .the superbowl coverage is sick…i am growing more and more confident that the g-men will be coming out of this game with a win and a big ass ring!…i think i will send them a letter and request to buy my own ring, as i am definitely a part of this team…i deserve a ring d***it!

until next time, im going to go and eat some lightning. . .shannon (my wife) is having a hard time finding recipes for it but she is coming along!

jb   a.k.a.  humbledbythepigsuitcomment

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 01/26/2008

well ladies and gentlemen over the last couple of weeks you have been so kind as to listen to my whining and complaining about how difficult of a time i was having getting used to working with my new trainer and getting back to “game” shape.  for this i thank you, that is why this weekends blog is a little different.

last friday i would have to say was my best weight room performance to date, i got after it pretty hard.  three sections, 10 straight minutes of a full sprint on the bike, some serious chest, 10 more minutes on the bike, some serious triceps, 10 more minutes of full sprint, followed by back and biceps, followed by abs!!!

i left feeling pretty good about myself, the bike sprints were particularly satisfying!  i came home to the dog, and the nfl network…sweet, no wife for a couple of hours(her sister was moving into college at salisbury…even though i told her that the mascot of the school was a flying rat).  now dont get me wrong i love spending time with my wife, she is clearly my better half but sometimes i like having some time with my dog and my big ass tv.  anyway i made some dinner and geared up for the last day of waterfowl season.  around here goose and duck hunting is what makes the world go round, and i am no different than the rest of the people in this town.  unfortunately work has kept me from hunting as much as i would have liked this year but sometimes that is just the way it goes. saturday however, was going to be different, my stepfather got me the invite to one of the premier hot spots in the area, at a local doctors “offshore” blind.  i had heard roomers about this place, so i was excited!

5:00am comes around and my alarm hit me like a tone of bricks, man its early.  we made it out to the doctors house by 5:45 and started our way out to the blind.  this place was great, and i wish i could explain all the factors that made this blind special, but i will start with the fact that it was in the middle of the chester river and it had a stove(for the ham, egg and cheese sandwiches), an oven(to toast the bread) and a coffee maker in it…needless to say it was a more civilized hunt, well at least it started that way…i soon found out that most of the men who were occupying the blind (all men who i have known most of my life, and my mother) were complete clowns(i mean that in the best possible way, these guys were flat out funny)…it was an entertaining day, a great group of guys to say the least!

anyway we were fortunate enough to kill our limit in “blue bills” (16) and a couple of other birds, man it was a great hunt!  special thanks to dr. “a”.

at this point you are likey asking yourself why i am telling you about this hunt, well it is simple:  sometimes you have to take a step back when you are working for something special, a goal, or when you are testing yourself.  as long as it does not interfere with your goal, you should “work hard and play hard”.  in my case i needed to “slay some ducks”. now do not get me wrong, i still went for a run, and watched what i ate, but i allowed myself to fully embrace the “male being” this morning…thats right i was all man.  there is something about getting up early, setting up a modern day hunting rig, and hunting a wild animal.  yeah yeah i get it ducks are not exactly like a wild bore, or a bear, even a deer.  still until you have experienced what it is like to have ducks “decoy” into your rig, just after sun up while you plot to unload the birds ultimate demise into its chest, you cannot judge the situation.  it is a combination of hand to eye coordination and timing. this is more than sport, it is how  our forefathers fed their children!

anyway i feel completely recharged, i cannot wait to get up in the morning and hit the weight room…i am having a hard time convincing my wife to rub my back after workouts but i think i will prevail, she is a sucker for giant traps,  and fortunately i happen to have a pair for her to work on!

all right folks…i will talk to you in a couple of days, oh and apparently the story about my biting through a keg at the o.c. touney has gotten out into the media, i was really hoping to keep that a secret…dang it!

unitl next time!

justin berry a.k.a. “ifyouhesitateiwillabuseyou”

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 01/23/2008

Well Ladies and gentleman, “The time is now and the place is here”.  This is aquote from my favorite series of books by Dan Milliman.  This particular quote comes from “The way of the Peacefull Warrior”  and I suggest all athletes and competitors get a copy.  This book changed my life when I needed it the most. Just after my father died when I was 19 and just starting my sophmore year at Towson, a great friend (Jim D’Annunzio) gave me a copy of this book, and it helped me not only get past the pain of my fathers passing but taught me how to overcome physical pain as well.

Which leads me to this weeks post.  While in college you practice for at least two and a half hours on the field and another hour and a half in the weight room, and if you were like me you spent the beginning of the season in the breakfast club at 6:00am with Coach Ross, because you did not make the “run test”.  When it was all said and done you averaged four hours a day doing something athletic.  Presently in the year 2008 at age 28 (29 in March)I am trying to fit four hours of exercise into about an hour and a half…BRUTAL.  Not to mention my recovery time is NOTHING like it used to be.

SOOOO “The time is now”  last evening was my first Plyo’s and power movement session of the week.  Now I am not positive but I think my trainer was trying to make a point.  I was not hung over from a GIANTS game, I was not tired for over working, I was actually feeling pretty good, and I let him know that before we started.  BIG MISTAKE.  We started with some pretty simple “ladder drills”  you know one foot in, one foot out, that kind of thing.  Followed by some of that dynamic stretching, so far so good!  Finally we started the Circuit training, WHAT circuit training was not part of this deal, but apparently I do not reserve the right to complain.  The “deal” is that I trust my trainer to get me ready and I dont ask questions…BAD DEAL.

OK back to “The time is now”  about half way through the FIRST round in the three round circuit, I started to black out, you know seeing stars, legs locking up, muscles completely failing, GOOD TIMES.  As I was trying to keep it together long enough to make it through the “power pushup” part of the circuit, I simply fell on my face.  I truly didnt think I could do any more of them, I could not see two feet in front of me, but I could hear Mike (my trainer) saying “Dude, you got this, come on”  and it reminded me of the book!  it was at this moment that I had my first thoughts of failure, or thought that maybe I was too old for this, in short I was actually doubting myself.  Now anyone who knows me knows that I am, well a little bit ummm, lets just say, self confident, yeah thats right ,self confident.  So as you can imagine this feeling of doubt was not a good one for me.  As I lifted myself up to my feet and was about to say something retarded like “dude, I need some water”  I noticed that Mike was looking at me like, he knew I wanted to quit, so he made the decision for me, he just started counting down from ten (this means its time to move on to the next excecise), and we just moved on.  With the quote “The time is now and the place is here” running around in my head it became quite obvious that I needed to get through that circuit right then or I would never reach my goal. And Get through the circuit I did, and I very well could have called it a night after my workout with Mike, but I even found the energy to make my way down to the weight room, and pounded out some serious weights.  I drove home completely drained, slept like a baby, and woke up feeling alot less sore than I thought I would.

I now remember how it feels to really want something, to push yourself just a little farther than you think you can.  I remember that physical pain can be overcome with the drive to succeed, and training my mind to think this way again will be hard but it should not take too long, as I am certain that I can still take it to the next level!

Unitl next week

CAPTAINQUICKWRISTS

P.S.  GIANTS BY 4 IN THE SUPERBOWL

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 01/22/2008

Well ladies and gentlemen, its week two and I am still alive.  I must say as much as I love the Giants they are putting a little bit of a cramp in my monday workouts.  Its a good thing I only have to do a couple miles on the treadmill, some lower body and some power movements (but thats all!).

First lets get this off my chest GO BIG BLUE, we are Superbowl Bound BABY!

OK On to the workouts.  I find myself more and more motivated, Just today I saw a post from an old friend and fellow blogger Hunter Lochte his quote was FAAAAAAAAAAT.  Now this is an old running joke we have from our days at Towson.  You see, when I was a senior and having arguably my best season, I was also playing on a recently rebuilt ACL, a broken rib in my right side and a torn Hammy.  needless to say I didnt do much during practice, I think it was like 20 love face-offs a day and then I would hit the training room for some treatment and some stationary bike riding.  It was awfull hard to keep in good enough shape to play ball at that point but I kept my stamina just where I needed it to be to get through a whole game (BUT BARELY)  anyway I put on a few pounds during that time and Mr. Lochte and I would joke that it was a good thing my hands were so fast because the rest of my body was NOT…In short I was FAAAAAAAAAAAAT.

So how does that tie into today’s post?

Simple….I have figured out over the years that my body structure is that of one that can GAIN or LOSE weight rapidly!  In order to keep weight off I absolutely MUST work out at least 5 times a week and I need to eat alot healthier than I did when I was 21.  I am still right around 230 but I can already see the difference in my body…I am starting to see that “Lean Muscle”, that my trainer is always talking about, it just has not yet overcome the FAAAAAAT.

Tonight I am going to be sluggish being that I got after it pretty good watching the G-Men, but as far as food was concerned I was pretty good…mostly ate meat and veggies….not sure the Bud Light was too good for me (although they say there are alot of electrolights in that stuff, OK who am I kidding)…hopefully by my mid week post I will have something more exciting to tell you about, since tomorrow is my dynamics and therabands day (Tuesdays and Thursdays).

Until Next Time

THAFASTESTHANDSINTHAGAME

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 01/22/2008

Well ladies and gentleman, Week 1 has begun and i could have waited until the end of it to fill you all in but i figured my experience so far was too good not to tell you about it.  Last week i went in for my physical and body fat testing.  brutally honest, my trainer was.  i believe the words he used were “fat, but not too fat, i think we can drop 30lbs and 2 waist sizes”, so what will i do with all my freaking work clothes, that crap is expensive.  what a p***like i didn’t already know i was over weight, now i am really motivated.   anyway he gave me my diet parameters and gave me until Monday the 14th to get ready. Being a huge ny giants fan it was hard for me to stay focused on Mondays workout, i definitely ate and drank way too much while watching then pummel the hopes of the cowgirls, and come Monday afternoon it was evident that i was struggling.  it took  t minus 10 minutes before i was receiving a tongue lashing from mike duquette my personal trainer.  apparently he does not share my passion for the giants.  anyway we kicked it all off with some dynamic stretching, and apparently that stuff  is harder than it sounds.  5 minutes into this thing i was gasping for air and praying that a water break was coming, and that was just the warm up!  then came the plyo’s and thera bands.  it was pretty intense, i felt like i was in a myoplex commercial or something… this guy never stops talking about lean muscle mass and fueling your body like it is a machine.Needless to say when it was all over i had not remembered working that hard in probably 7 years, since i was at Towson.   it feels good.  by the way i weighed in at 234 pounds one week ago, today i weight 230, its awful interesting what the right diet and a little conditioning can do for you!ok i will check in again next Monday.  remember my goal is 200lbs by april 25th wish me luck!

Justin berry

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 10/14/2008

Wow, what a wedding.  After an hour flight, sitting in traffic, a very nice ceremony and a reception to remember, my first wedding in Long Island was definetly one that I will not forget.  It was great to see some former teammates and their parents at the reception where it seemed like we picked up right where we left off in college.  After a long night of celebrating the married couple, it was time to get a couple hours of sleep before driving back to Baltimore.  The drive back was easy and we got in around 1.  The marathon had just finished and the roads were empty, so I jumped on my bike and took a nice long bike ride to get my workout for the day.  After an 8 mile ride and some lunch, it was time to finally watch some football.  How about Texas coming back to beat Oaklahoma, Okalhoma State knocking off Missouri, and Florida dismantling LSU?  It was a great day for some football.

Sunday started early with a walk around Patterson Park with Mason and a 30 minute drive to Genesse Valley.  The scrimmages started at 10, but the teams (minus us) were promplty warming up by 930.  The entire team finally strolled in around 9:40 and it was time to strap it on and play our first game against Ursinus. This game was close in the first half as we got our kinks out and knocked the rust off.  We were all pretty impressed with the intensity that Ursinus played with and they came after us all game long.  I didn’t get a final, but we managed to extend a lead in the second half.  After a 20 minute break, it was time to strap it on again and play a Michigan team that last year went 19-0 and won the club championship.  The coach at Michigan, John Paul, I have known for quite some time because we used to work the Warrior camps together when I was in college has put together an impressive team at Michigan and I wont be surprised if this team goes DI in the near future.  The game was unfortunately not as competitive as the Ursinus game, but these kids did play incredibly hard which I definitely respect.  Best of luck to Ursinus and Michigan both with their upcoming seasons.

That’s the recap of the wedding and the tourney, I was going to talk about my Ravens, but that will have to wait until next week when we come back from Miami with a W.
Have a good week and Ill check back in soon.

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 10/09/2008

I hope that everyone is doing well….I know its been a while, but I have been busy moving (I never realized how much crap I had) and getting settled into the new house.  We have moved from Federal Hill across the Inner Harbor to Butchers Hill.  It has been an interesting move to say the least and it is tough getting used to new surroundings.  For starters, parking is miserable, if you get home past 7, you are going to be lucky if you can find a spot that isn’t three blocks away and unfortunately, the gym is no longer a block away and I had to buy a bike to get there.  The bike has made things a lot easier and I have enjoyed the exercise riding to and from the gym.  Mason has managed to adapt well and seems to be enjoying Patterson Park as much as he did Riverside.

Now on to lacrosse…Last week I signed a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Wings and was protected by the Washington Bayhawks, so it looks like one more year of pro lacrosse.  I have come to the conclusion that this may be my final year playing lacrosse unless things go well and I have a good year.
This weekend we have a group of MLL players playing in a DII tournament against Ursinus and Michigan at Genesse Valley that benefits the Huntington’s Disease Foundation.  Brian Myers was a teammate of mine at Towson University and his dad is suffering from Huntington’s disease and this tournament is a great opportunity to raise money for a good cause.  If you have a chance, please come watch some great lacrosse and support a good cause.
Another former Towson teammate and current Long Island Lizard Danny Cocchi is getting married tomorrow night and we are heading up to Long Island for what is sure to be a great time.  This should be an incredible party and it is going to be great to catch up with a lot of friends that I haven’t seen in a while.
Thats it for right now, I will get back in touch next week and fill you in on the wedding and the tournament.

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 09/16/2008

Well, I am now three weeks into being back at school and is has been nice to get back into a routine.  Dont get me wrong, the summer was amazing and I love the travel, but at times, it is nice to settle back into normal life.  Being back and settled in allows me to get back to the gym which has been very nice, travel can take a toll on working out.  I will say though, it is tough to go from not working out in about a month to jumping back into it at full speed.

With school bein back in session, that means it is only time for my second favorite time of the year (after lacrosse season), football season.  What an opening to the season it has been in both college and pro.  USC look absolutly unstoppable, but will the get complacent and have a mind lapse against a lesser opponent…Will Oklahoma make it through their difficult schedule of the Big XII to take on the Trojans in the National Championship?  Those two teams are my favorites at this point, but it is early.

The NFL is also off to a good start with teams that were supposed to be good, being terrible, and teams that were supposed to underperform, winning.  The Ravens looked better than expected in week one and I think that the whole city is “Wacco for Flacco.”  The big question for them will be if they can bounce back from the Hurrican Ike ordeal to make a run that includes no bye weeks and 5 straight road games in 35 days.  If they can get through it, watch out AFC, the Ravens will be back and be a force to be reckoned with.

On top of football, its time to get back out and play lacrosse again.  The BILL (Baltimore Indoor Lacrosse League) started last week and despite having a young team, DeWalt should be able to challenge the top teams in the league.  This past Saturday, the alums of Towson, Maryland, and UMBC made their way out to Genesse Valley for the second annual alumni lacrosse tournament that goes to benefit former Maryland coach Dick Edell.  It was a great event again this year and it was great to see all of the guys and participate in an event that goes to such a great coach and person.

Thats all for now, talk to you again soon.

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 08/25/2008

I know that it has been a while and I hope that everyone is doing well.  I just got back from a two week vacation in Hawaii that ended my hectic summer and now it is time to go back to work.  This summer has been a busy, but well worth it.  For the last three months, I have been on the road with maybe a week at home in Baltimore.  My travels have taken me from Baltimore to New York, New Jersey, California, Denver, Texas, Illonois, North Carolina, and Hawaii but I wouldnt have it any other way.  Lacrosse was tough this summer for me, not playing for the Dragons for some odd reason and than being traded half way through the season and playing pretty poorly for the Bayhawks.  Oh well, life goes on and now it is time to gear up and get ready for indoor.  I am not sure what is going on yet with indoor, but things should play themselves out over the next month or two.  Trilogy had an awesome summer.  While most camp companies were down, we were up.  We have built a very good following that keeps getting bigger the longer we are in the game and we are only going to grow from here.

With the summer coming to an end, it is time for me to go back my full time job, teaching.  We have our first set of meetings tomorrow morning with school starting the day after Labor Day.  I am looking forward to going back because I will finally be able to get back into my normal daily routine.  Getting back into a routine allows me to start a new workout that is hopefully going to get me back into shape in the next four weeks.  It is two lifts per day, three days a week.  After the four weeks, I will go back to a once a day, four days a week workout.  Being home also allows me to spend some time with my dog Mason.  I havent seen him in the last four weeks and only saw him a little this summer, needless to say, he is happy that I am home.
How does everyone feel about the Olympics?  The US were pretty consistent with their medals, I believe it was 36 gold, 38 silver, and 36 bronze (or something along those lines).  It was great to see Baltimore’s own Michael Phelps absolutely dominate the swimming pool, Usain Bolt from Jamaican tear up the track in the 100 and 200, and Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor  own the sand for a second straight Olympics (there uniform arent bad either).  The women’s gymnastics team had a really strong showing, Lisa Leslie won her 4th gold medal with the women’s basketball team, and the men’s basketball team (easily the best 12 person basketball team in the world) finally got back to where it should be by bringing home the gold in a tough game versus Spain.  There were a ton of other sports that I watched throughout the Olympics that were amazing to see, handball and badmitten are two that I would love to play.
With all that being said, who is ready for football to start.  I have watched a few preseason games, but havent been able to really get into it yet.  I had my fantasy football draft yesterday and now I cant wait for the season to start.  I love nothing more than waking up on a Sunday morning, getting my Ravens gear on and walking over to the stadium.  Game days in Federal Hill are amazing, the whole are goes purple and black.
Well, I hope that everyone has a good week and I will check back soon.
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