My Workout Video #1

Enough people have asked for me to take some video clips of my workouts that I’ve finally obliged.

So here’s six reps of deadlift at 255 and seven clean reps of standing press at 115 with two cheat reps tossed in at the end. Previously, I had gotten to 250 on deads doing sumo style but decided to go back to conventional. That was a few weeks ago and I took it up at 205 and now have surpassed what I was doing in the (easier) sumo. As for standing presses, I was up to 130 on those but it was getting way too compound (kinda like the cheat reps you’ll see). So, we took it to 105 where I could do at least six clean reps and I’ve been advancing it since.

I also shot a clip of seated rows at 220, but my form really reeked when I looked at the video so I’m going to brush up a bit on those.

Later: Damn, I forgot to include my post workout meal. 3/4 pound of burger done on a Foreman style grill to pretty well done in order to make it a lean burger. Did something quite interesting with the mash (incidentally, I’d be eating white sweet potatoes instead but no one seems to have them just now and I don’t care much for the orange ones). After draining I added 1/2 cup cottage cheese and a tbsp of yogurt, both low fat. It was really tasty.

Big Meal 1
Big Meal

So, not perfect paleo, of course, but reasonably primal with the goal of keeping the fat in check and the protein & carbs high for the sole purpose of post-workout glycogen replenishment and continued fat burning.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Steve on July 7, 2010 at 10:20

    Good job!

    is that a home gym?

    • Rick on July 7, 2010 at 10:45

      Only if Richard has a basketball court in his house as well!

    • Richard Nikoley on July 7, 2010 at 11:04

      Close enough. Five mint walk from home.

  2. Steve on July 7, 2010 at 11:56

    Didn’t realize that was a bball court. 😉

  3. Primal Toad on July 7, 2010 at 12:10

    Damn… that looks very difficult. I enjoy lifting my own body 🙂 Makes it as simple as possible while still losing fat and gaining muscle.

  4. Lute Nikoley on July 7, 2010 at 12:34

    Totally cool. Looks to me a little you are using your back a little too much on the deadlifts. I’m probably wrong, cause you’ve got a trainer standing right there. Just don’t want you to get hurt.

    • AJP on July 7, 2010 at 16:59

      I Agree on the over use of the back.

      Richard: I would question your trainers knowledge if he is not pointing out the poor form.
      I do love the intensity you bring to the lift.

      Keep at it and great post as always.

  5. Susan on July 7, 2010 at 13:10

    You look great. Can I ask an OT question. If you had a diagnosis like pancreatic cancer, what would be your strategy? I realize that is a huge question, but on all the blogs I follow the emphasis seems to be on losing weight, body composition, blood sugar, thyroid, etc. It’s great stuff, but I have a friend in critical shape and am wondering if there is a bottom line plan for facilitating healing in these situations. Your advice is appreciated.

  6. Edward Stedman on July 7, 2010 at 13:25


    Why does your trainer have you deadlift with the bar on the inside of the rack?

    • Richard Nikoley on July 7, 2010 at 13:42

      That’s just where I do it ’cause it’s often there from someone else. Using the 45-pound plates puts the bar at exactly the same height as the bottom part of the rack, so it doesn’t really matter.

  7. Gabe on July 7, 2010 at 14:31

    Nice video! Those “cheat reps” looked a lot like the push press, which we do from time to time at my gym. It’s kind of a fun exercise and a good midway point between the strict press and the push jerk, since you’re still engaging the shoulders somewhat. For a not-fun-whatsoever overhead exercise, I recommend doing some thrusters as well, just because it’s such a relief when the damn set is over.

  8. JK on July 7, 2010 at 15:14

    hey Richard,

    Just curious, what brand of cottage cheese have you been using? The only reasonably priced ones I can find are Dean’s which have some questionable ingredients aside from just milk things. Keep up the good work!


  9. JP @ Primal Journal on July 7, 2010 at 15:51

    Nice lift!

    Have you tried protein and fat post workout?
    I find I don’t need carbs post workout and that fat give me more energy (and I seem to progress faster too). Just wondering about your take on that.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 7, 2010 at 15:54

      Hi JP. Coincidentally I just had a look at your blog from a link over at Dr Dan’s At Darwin’s Table.

      To answer your question, yes, protein and fat was what I used to do, but I wan’t lifting this kinda weight or making the gains I make now. Also, see here:

      • JP @ Primal Journal on July 8, 2010 at 04:18

        sounds good Richard.

        It’s all about finding what works for us!

  10. Dan on July 7, 2010 at 17:27

    Wow well done. I want to start doing that kind of power lifting work outs too. I used to do that and made massive gains in my legs. I think I might be like you – good at short bursts of power. But I have no buddy with me and would be afraid of doing those weights without one.

  11. Austin on July 7, 2010 at 18:25

    Great stuff. Knowing me I’d be too chicken to do the cheat reps.

  12. Primitive on July 7, 2010 at 21:25

    Well done Richard; I can’t imagine doing such a weight, due to lack of good grip in my right hand (dead thumb muscle as a result of a surgery blunder years ago).
    Do you mind sharing what a short intensive workout session is to you? What kind of exercises are better suited for such sessions, in your opinion?

    • Richard Nikoley on July 8, 2010 at 10:30


      I think that deads and squats are the core exercises and that everything else you choose to do is just basically to assist you to do heavier deads & squats. At least that’s what I’m doing for now.

      • Primitive on July 8, 2010 at 17:05

        Thank you Richard; that’s what I’ve been leaning toward in the past month after reading so many positive notes about them; in addition, I’ve added dumbbell snatch, and it’s noticeably adding to my strength and helping my dead lifts and squats.

  13. Simon on July 8, 2010 at 01:25

    Hey Richard – I’m a little confused. Why trying to keep the fat content so low? I can understand eating leaner cuts of meats, but draining the fat out takes it to a new level it my view. It looks like you’re changing directions lately in reducing fat and increasing carbohydrates. It feels like this is counter to your earlier posts when you started this blog. I’m not opposed but would definitely like to hear what is driving this apparent change. What’s up?

    • Richard Nikoley on July 8, 2010 at 01:34


      It’s three post-workout meals per week. It’s working for me.

      Otherwise, no important changes other than I’m tracking what I eat calorie wise and I dont snack at night.

  14. chris on July 8, 2010 at 14:59

    Looking good Richard.

    The deadlift is indeed the grandaddy of all lifts; that there is no doubt.
    Second though, to my mind is the clean and jerk. Full body hoisting movements stimulate the central nervous system something serious.

    Add pull-ups (weighted or not) to these three and you have the perfect trifecta.

    Squats are important. But not at the expense of the clean and jerk, IMHO.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 8, 2010 at 15:03

      Thanks, Chris. Yea, I do weighted chins, normal & close grip.

      I’ve done cleans, but not the full on C&J except as a crossfit style deal with fairly lighter weight.

  15. chris on July 8, 2010 at 15:18

    If you come upon a training plateau I’d wager that some time spent perfecting the clean and jerk would be well worth your effort. Your deads, your grocery carrying capacity and your ability to end a fight with one punch will all be enhanced by including C&Js…

  16. Greg on July 12, 2010 at 04:33

    Nice work – Dead lifts are my least favorite exercise, but nothing works my body more. How do you feel about Whey protein shakes? Everything I read so far says its the best source of protein.

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