A blog by the Next Level  2013 Advancement Team.  

This blog provides the insight, in-jokes and inspiration of a team in action.  Each post is by a team member as their journey continues.  

In The Next Level, an "Advancement Team" is a team built of experienced athletes designed to "advance" the program.  The spring 2013 Advancement Team is comprised of eight men: Tom Keon, Phil Cohen, Stephen Cyr, Seth Carbonneau, Stephen Forgione. Phil Biondo, Yarza Winn and Chris Noonan.  

Each post represents only the views of it's poster, and is not intended as a reflection of the opinions, views or beliefs of any other teammate, the team as a whole or The Next Level.  

Follow these men as they make their marks on a small corner of history.


Ego Maniac!

posted by Phil Biondo

This is my first blog post ever, so while it will most likely not go down in history, but I am meanwhile not afraid to go down.  Which brings me to this weeks topic: Girls in the gym.

More specifically: when I enter the gym, should I check my ego at the door and only lift appropriate max weights?  Or should I let my ego run wild, as usual, and use the possibility of hooking up with the bikini model in the elliptical to push myself past my normal max weights?

Most days I would tell you to check your ego at the door. In fact I often make fun of guys trying to impress some mildly fit female, as if that extra 10 lbs. is the deciding factor in wether or not she lets you in her pants. Most days i'm so focused in the gym I wouldn't even notice Kim Kardashian doing squats right next to me. Having said this I myself earlier this week was a victim of my own ego.

During my weekly sets of dead lifts to start off back day, otherwise known as OMG my lats are huge day! I started off light with a couple warmup sets(135x10, 225x10). Then two sets to failure(315x10, 405x8). Then finally finished with a one rep max where I tied my PR of 500 lbs. That's right 500 lbs., I was impressed too.

Unfortunately this testosterone high only lasted a couple seconds until a very attractive female walked up to me flirtatiously, wearing a midriff tank designed to prominently display her lower back tat (tramp-stamp/), along with the tightest booty shorts in the world.

But then things shifted.  This smoke show proceeded to call me a, "P#$$y" for ONLY lifting 500 lbs. when she had clearly seen me already lift that same weight the previous week. 

It was at this point I probably should have listened to my extremely sore back, and told her to go back to her Zumba class. Instead I decided to impress her by throwing on another 10 lbs. on the bar.

Half way through that lift, I could feel something start to tear...

To make a long story short I now have a new dead lift PR of 510 lbs. but have not been able to lift or stand up strait for the last five days.

I'll leave it up to you to decide: is an ego a positive tool for bodybuilders?  Or just a reason to have a chiropractor on speed dial?