Sunday, March 15, 2015

Back From the Dead

Father forgive me for I have sinned. It has been two years since my last post. Actually, as you know, it hasn't; since I posted two recent articles lately, but before then there was a dry spell of about two years. However, I have been making some changes to the blog lately. The most noticeable is the new logo design and updated color scheme. That's just the start of it. I plan to be far more aggressive with my content creation than I have been in the recent past.

Homemade Strength originally started as a way to simply post my DIY projects so others could duplicate them if they wished. I used to be fairly active on a particular forum and I kept hearing guys say or do one of the following pieces of bullshit:

1. There is no gym in my area within reasonable driving distance that has a squat rack.

2. I lift from home but can't afford the right equipment so I don't do any useful lifts.

3. [posting pictures of 2 bar stools with a loaded bar balanced on them, likely because of reason #2]

My response was to make my own home gym (literally make it) and then post stupidly detailed, possibly redundantly so, instructions to make it all seem super complicated so that nobody who was complaining would actually do it anyway. Joking aside, that's why I made the blog. And after I completed the basic stuff I moved on to more obscure and less useful gear, not all of which I still even have. After that I ran out of stuff worth making.

And you'll notice that there is a period of several years which we can call the Dark Times, where I did not post anything at all. Looking back I can't believe it has been that long. Even so it didn't feel like I abandoned the blog, as I would respond to comments. There was just nothing new to make. That's not really different now. There is only one project which I have upcoming in the near future. But that leads to the point of this post.

If all I do is post DIY gym projects I may never post again, and I'm not cool with that because I like to write, and I like to lift, so I like to write about lifting. As such, I'm going to expand the blog to be a general blog about lifting. This will include supplement reviews, music posts, and articles about diet and anything else that pertains to lifting. I have done a few of these in the past but now I'm giving myself free reign to do it regularly. The focus is still lifting from home, after all, it's called Homemade Strength.

In addition to updating the look a bit, I've also put up a Facebook page, and an Instagram page, in addition to the blog and the Youtube page (which primarily exists to host videos for the blog. The facebook page has actually been around for a while but I haven't posted anything to it. I'm not a huge social media guy so I'm not 100% sure how often it will get used but it seems a useful platform for smaller topics on which I don't have pages of things to say. Instagram seems like a fun idea to use pictures to achieve a similar thing. In any case, I know people like social media so I figured I'd expand things a bit. At the very least it's a way to keep you guys updated about new posts so you don't have to check the blog all the time, now that I plan to be posting more regularly.

This doesn't mean I'm going to be posting like crazy, bear in mind, as I work nearly 60 hours a week and during week days I literally eat / sleep / lift / work  / repeat. But with anything (pertaining to lifting) being fair game I should have enough freedom to put up regular content.

I have several supplement reviews in the works, and by several I mean three, and probably an additional two after that. I have a DIY Big Ass Dumbbell project planned. It's actually already done. I just have to film a video showing you how to to do it (it's totes easy as the kids would say).  A music post is long overdue so will likely happen sometime soon as well. Also a bluetooth headphone review is in the works. Again I'll probably do a video / article combo for that one so you can choose your preferred form of media. And then there's the review of the Rogue Ohio Power Bar. That will most likely be a video, as how much is there to really write about a barbell, but I do want to give my brief opinion of it.

The most interesting news is I'm about to start bulking again. I had always been skinny and I hate to eat. My first two years of training I went from 120 lbs. to 180. And when I say "I went" I actually mean "I clawed my way with my fingernails, inch by inch, out of hell"; Al Pacino from Any Given Sunday style. I know the struggle that skinny guys have and I have always been interested in helping the "hardgainers" so I figure I might do some kind of project involving this bulk.

I'm sitting at a lean 160 right now. I might just take it up to 200 for lols. I have to go past 180 at the very least on principle. I was thinking 190, but since that's so close to 200 I might just go all the way. The time frame on this probably being a year. The point being to show those struggling how it can be done. Not by someone who weighed 170 without training. Not by someone who eats 3500 calories a day with ease. Not by someone who has no issue getting up to 235. But by someone (a man) who weighed 120 lbs. at 5' 10" at 27 years old. Someone who is just like you, but knows how to power through to get results. It sucks for me to bulk. And I think that's what might make this an interesting project. Although I'm sure, looking from the outside, people will assume it's not hard for me, I can assure you it is. Cutting, on the other hand, is pretty damn easy.

That's just an idea for now. I'm not completely sold on it, as it will be a lot of work, since I plan it be a video series, not simply an article written after the fact. But it might be a fun project. We'll see.

In any case, that's what is going on. And to kick things off, immediately after this, I will post the pre-cursor article to my supplement reviews, just to clarify my position on supplements in general, because I know a lot of younger guys, just starting out, find this blog and often think that GNC is the answer they need.


  1. Hey Carl,
    Haven't seen a blog post in a while and I was really excited when you said you were going to be making content more aggressively. Any idea when your next post will be?

    1. Hi Will,

      Glad to here you like the site. I have been fairly busy lately with other things. However, regarding this site, I have been working on a related, yet new website project that I feel is a better format for what I want to do moving forward. HmS still feels like just a DIY equipment blog to me and I want more freedom to put up more varied content related to all facets of, not just training and nutrition, but also style in general, as well as the DIY stuff.

      I don't want to say too much just yet. I've only got a few days of work into the new project. I have much of the graphic design work completed but there is still a lot of work to do before it's up and running. I can't give a date of release right now because I'm getting ready to move in real life so things are going to be a little busier for a while, but I am most definitely still trying to create new content.

      So that's basically what's going on. I will, of course, post the details on this blog if and when this happens.