Powerlifting: Is Volume Training the Enemy?

Age: 41
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 200 lbs (Starting Weight: 165 lbs) ; 210 lbs (28 March)
Status: Drug-free
Duration of training: 8 Months
Supplementation: 20-40,000 IU D3 + 5g Creatine Daily

Present Lifts

Deadlift: 415 lbs; 420 lbs (13 March); 425 lbs (17 March); 430 lbs (21 March); 435 lbs (26 March)
Squat: 375 lbs; 380 lbs (15 March); 385 lbs (19 March); 390 lbs (24 March); 395 lbs (28 March); 405 lbs (2 April); 410 lbs (7 April)
Bench Press: 265 lbs; 280 lbs (7 April)

6 Month Goals

Deadlift: 460 lbs
Squat: 430 lbs
Bench: 285 lbs

Volume may not be everyone’s enemy. It proved to be mine, however.

I have come to believe that drug-free powerlifters must lift differently, with an elevated sense of humility and a commitment to heavy, progressive poundages, core lifts, low reps, brief workouts, rest, realistic goals, and finally, enough calories to support growth.

The drug-free powerlifter will break down faster than his enhanced counterpart; one simply is not able to assimilate protein as efficiently as one who is enhanced. But I don’t subscribe to the belief that the drug-free powerlifter cannot make the same spectacular gains as the enhanced powerlifter. Those gains may simply take longer to achieve.

To the drug-free powerlifter, rest, recovery and a commitment to regular, calorie-dense feedings are all-important.

The drug-free powerlifter must be humble and a commitment to realistic goals will ensure that one’s humility is not prematurely slayed by impatience.

What is a realistic goal?

I think the addition of 2.5-5 lbs to each core lift per week is not only realistic but attainable. Plateaus will come and they must not be met with discouragement; they must be embraced. The plateau isn’t the point at which one’s regimen should be altered, but the point at which each lift is met with additional vigor and patience. Why? The plateau is the point at which one’s body is preparing to grow and potentiate the next landmark lift. It will come. Sooner, probably, than you think.

It is the plateau at which I have witnessed my body grow the fastest. It is also the point at which, especially for the drug-free powerlifter, to reduce sets and reps, while ensuring that maximal effort remains devoted to each core lift.

Why reduce sets and reps?

If your poundages have been increasing, so has the intensity of your lifts. Your body has come under considerably more stress over a shorter period of time than when you first began, when weights were relatively light and neural adaptations came quickly. Reduce the number of warm-up reps at lighter poundages in order to preserve power for maximal lifts at target weights. If you’ve hit your goal for your workout, swallow your pride, quit and re-rack your weights. Go home, eat and rest. Otherwise, you will be making inroads into recovery potential and increase the odds of injury.

How many reps?

The path to one’s one-rep max in any given workout is the sum of several reps at various poundages. It will vary from person to person, but there is unquestionably a point at which that sum is too high to ensure that one is able to perform at one’s best at target weights with excellent form. It’s up to you to determine how many warm-up reps at each weight is too many. In order to ensure that I achieve regular increases in strength at progressive poundages, I pared squat sessions down from between 8-12 reps at each warm-up weight to the following:

5 x 135 lbs
5 x 225 lbs
3 x 315 lbs
3 x 365 lbs
2 x 375 lbs (PR)

If I lifted 370 lbs last week and was able to add 5 lbs this week, I WILL grow stronger. As a drug-free lifter, muscle may not appear immediately, but it WILL come, given adequate rest and caloric intake.

If I were to plateau at 375 lbs for an extended period, for instance, I would make an attempt to break through that plateau by eliminating the set of 3 x 365 in order to preserve power for maximal lifts at target weights. A mere breakthrough of between 2.5-5 lbs following a short plateau is often enough to both psychologically and bodily propel one to one’s next PR. Over time, one finds how much is in one’s personal fuel tank, on average, per session. Sip through reserves during warm-up sets; leave the vast majority of fuel for your maximal lifts then get the hell out of the gym and refuel.

What did my last deadlift workout look like?

5 x 135 lbs
3 x 225 lbs
2 x 315 lbs
1 x 405 lbs
1 x 415 lbs (PR)

On both squat and deadlift day, I also do one of two pressing activities: seated presses with a narrow grip, or landmine presses. Due to surfing injuries 20 years ago, I do not perform traditional bench presses, which is not to say that I won’t develop sufficient strength to eventually return to the bench with a spotter that may assist with liftoff in order to avoid rotator cuff pain. In fact, I am certain this day will soon come.

Why drug-free?

I can’t imagine never knowing of what one is truly capable under one’s own power, backed by Faith. I cannot imagine not knowing where one’s own grit ends and performance enhancement drugs begin. We are capable of dramatically more than we think. Impatience is our worst enemy. To be drug-free is to be intellectually honest. Were we all drug-free powerlifters, global records would unquestionably be a little lower, but damn, we’d certainly know who possessed true genetic mettle.

Sibanye-Stillwater: If We Had an Audience with Froneman, This is What We Would Say

We respect Neal Froneman and we respect his bold bets. His strategy is not a complex one: buy countercyclically. The Rustenburg, Acquarius and Stillwater deals were good ones, and well-timed. The proposed acquisition of Lonmin is pushing the envelope, but we agree it is a special situation of which Froneman must take advantage.

We are long-time platinum traders and investors and many of the mines flying under Sibanye-Stillwater’s flag have a special place in our hearts. A new era is dawning for platinum mining in South Africa: the industry is graduating to UG2 ore. Consequently, upon sealing the Lonmin deal, Sibanye-Stillwater will need to act decisively in order to transform operations from ones fraught with incalculable risk, to ones that redefine safety in the sector.

Firstly, Froneman needs to commit to swift change at Lonmin’s Marikana, phasing out the following Generation 1 Shafts: Hossy, Newman, Pandora E3 Joint Venture and W1, East 1 and East 2. K4 needs to be closed permanently. Generation 2 Shafts — K3, Rowland, 4B and Saffy — need to be nurtured.

We would like to see Impala Platinum buy out Sibanye’s 50% interest in Mimosa. JV or no JV, we think Wedza Shaft should be placed on care and maintenance and all energy devoted to further development of Mtshingwe Shaft.

We also think there is a case to be made for placing Driefontein on care and maintenance, while concentrating on yield and safety at the Beatrix and Kloof gold operations.

We think Altar, an exploration-stage project in the Andes, should be spun out to shareholders immediately.

On the Valuation of Sibanye-Stillwater

We value things conservatively at Fahy Capital Management and Sibanye-Stillwater is no exception. Its resource base is large, but we believe only a fraction of it is economical at any price and that is the portion we value. Also, we don’t incorporate prospective additions to reserves from the proposed Lonmin acquisition into our calculations.

Resources Subject to Valuation

PGM = 44,261,000 oz

Au = 30,971,000 oz


We believe Sibanye-Stillwater is trading at a 46% discount from intrinsic value. In a word, on any day that Sibanye-Stillwater trades below US $5.14, it is a bargain. But what about tomorrow? What kind of return can one expect at higher Au and Pt prices? We believe that a return of ~200% is probable in an environment that is not hostile to Au and Pt. Our own long-term target for Sibanye-Stillwater at much higher Au and Pt prices is US $8.50.


RNC Minerals: Nickel Pure-Play in the Making

RNC Minerals’ fully-permitted, shovel-ready, mammoth 9.75 Billion lb. Dumont Nickel Project (Projected AAP = 90 Mlbs) is one of our favorites and we have been taking advantage of market weakness to accumulate shares. We think the assumptions utilized in the development of the Project’s PFS are sufficiently conservative for a mine with a projected lifespan > 30 yrs. Let’s move on to the numbers…

Flagship Property: Dumont = 50% Ownership (JV with Waterton Global Resource Management) … -1 Point

Resource Base = 9.75 Billion lbs. Ni … 1 Point

Nickel Price at the Time of Writing  = $6.92/lb. … Unrated

Long-term Nickel Price = $9/lb. … Unrated

Recent Stock Price = US $0.1059 … Unrated

F/D Share Structure = 487,800,000 … -1 Point

F/D Market Cap = US $51,658,020 … Unrated

After-tax IRR = 15.2% (6.1 yr payback period; as it is a long-life mine, this is acceptable, but low IRR will still be penalized) … -1 Point

NPV/CapEx = 103% … 1 Point

Cost Structure = 45% … 1 Point

F/D Market Cap per Resource Lb. = US $.005 … 1 Point

In other words, each lb. in the ground is valued at 5 thousandths of a lb. by market cap.

Share Price Valuation by Resources in the Ground = 20 lbs. … Unrated

In other words, each share is worth 20 lbs. of resources, or US $138 of Nickel in the ground @ $6.92/lb Ni.

Resource Valuation as a Percentage of Market Cap = .15% … Unrated

With resources valued US $33,735,000,000, RNC’s market cap is valued at a ~2 tenths of a percent of the resources in the ground. This is extremely low and there is significant room for market cap growth.

Very Quick & Very Dirty Market Cap Valuation = US $10.1 Billion (RNC’s 50% interest = $5,050,000,000) … Unrated

Near-Future Cash Flow @ $6.92/lb. = $125,550,000 … Unrated

Future Cash Flow Multiple = 0.4x … 1 Point

RNC Minerals’ present market cap is ~0.4x projected near-term cash flow. In other words, no future cash flows have been factored into RNC’s price. Until Nickel prices rise above $8/lb., the Invisible Hand is unlikely to revalue shares upward.

Future Cash Flow @ $9/lb. = US $219,150,000 … Unrated

Debt Coverage = 1,256% … 1 Point

Projected Future Market Cap @ $9/lb. = US $4,387,500,000 … Unrated

Projected Future Market Cap Growth Percentage = 8,393% … 1 Point

Location: Abitibi Region … 1 Point


RNC Minerals warrants the deployment of speculative capital into the stock. But why isn’t it investment grade? The 50/50 JV with Waterton Global Resource Management effectively cuts the Project valuations in half. The 15.2% IRR is low, as well. We are hard on RNC Minerals because we think the world-class deposit would have had a brighter future, sooner, in the hands of shrewder management, which isn’t to suggest that Mark Selby and Co. cannot consolidate operations and successfully execute. In fact, we’re quite certain they can and will. We have a long-term price target of $8.99 a share (Fahy Capital Management is long from US $0.14 a share). This target assumes:

  • Higher long-term Nickel prices averaging $9/lb.
  • Sale of Beta Hunt and Reed Mines




Flagship Project: 100% Ownership … 1 Point

After-tax IRR = > 20% … 1 Point

NPV/CapEx = > 1 … 1 Point

EV/Resources = < 1 … 1 Point

Cost Structure = < 50% … 1 Point

Resource Base = > 80 Mlbs. U308 … 1 Point

Future Cash Flow = Unrated

Future Cash Flow Multiple = > 5x … 1 Point

Share Structure = < 200 M … 1 Point

Debt Coverage = > 50% (or No Debt) … 1 Point

Projected Future Market Cap = Unrated

Projected Future Market Cap Growth Percentage = > 500% … 1 Point

Location: Friendly = 1 Point

Dalradian Resources Avoids the Chopping Block

Flagship Property: Curraghinalt = 100% Ownership … 1 Point

After-tax IRR = 25.5% … 1 Point

NPV/CapEx = 167% … 1 Point

F/D Market Cap per Resource Ounce = $86 … – 1 Point

Cost Structure = 50% … 1 Point

Resource Base = 3,066,000 M oz. … 1 Point

Future Cash Flow = US $1,983,702,000 … Unrated

Future Cash Flow Multiple = 5x … 1 Point

Share Structure = 367,579,114 … – 1 Point

Debt Coverage = 0 Debt … 1 Point

Projected Future Market Cap = US $1,149,750,000 … Unrated

Projected Future Market Cap Growth Percentage = 334% … – 1 Point

Location: Northern Ireland … 1 Point


Dalradian Resources excels in almost every area, but dilution has negatively impacted several factors, including Market Cap per Resource Ounce and overall future growth potential. At higher gold prices, Dalradian will do exceptionally well as one of Europe’s lowest-cost future producers. We have a target of $3.13 a share.




Flagship Project: 100% Ownership … 1 Point

After-tax IRR = > 20% … 1 Point

NPV/CapEx = > 1 … 1 Point

EV/Resources = < 1 … 1 Point

Cost Structure = < 50% … 1 Point

Resource Base = > 80 Mlbs. U308 … 1 Point

Future Cash Flow = Unrated

Future Cash Flow Multiple = > 5x … 1 Point

Share Structure = < 200 M … 1 Point

Debt Coverage = > 50% (or No Debt) … 1 Point

Projected Future Market Cap = Unrated

Projected Future Market Cap Growth Percentage = > 500% … 1 Point

Location: Friendly = 1 Point

Uranium: Time Enough at Last — Dynamics within the Quadratic Family

Mean reversion is critical to the value premise if indeed the walk is random. If the walk is not random and the path is deterministic nonlinear, then the observed periodicity of the value premise betrays a succession of function iterations along a transitive trajectory forming orbits that describe cyclical human behavior in its relentless pursuit of value premise periodic and fixed points.

This post is a load of horseshit.

I think.


Dumont Nickel-Cobalt Project — A Robust, Long-Life Nickel-Cobalt Sulphide Project

The Dumont Nickel-Cobalt Project is the 3rd largest nickel reserve in the world, the 5th largest nickel sulphide discovery ever (largest since 1960), and one of the largest cobalt resources outside of Africa. Additionally, the project is structurally low-cost, large-scale, shovel-ready, and once in production, will be the largest cobalt operation in North America.

The jurisdictionally advantaged, fully-permitted and community-supported project will have a mine life of approximately 33 years with an initial production of 73 million pounds of nickel and 2.3 million pounds of cobalt contained in concentrate annually, with an expansion in year 5 to 113 million pounds of nickel and 4.3 million pounds of cobalt annually.

Cobalt Potential

Dumont - World Class Cobalt Potential


1 Billion Tonne Reserve + Upside Potential


1 Billion Tonne Reserve + Upside Potential


RNC Mineral’s Nickel Roasting Approach: A Significant Breakthrough

RNC’s strategic alliance with Tsingshan led to the development of the first integrated nickel pig iron (“NPI”) plant to directly utilize nickel sulphide concentrate as part of the stainless steel production process through concentrate roasting. Roasted nickel concentrate is effectively a very high grade laterite ore feed which effectively creates a new source of demand for nickel sulphide concentrate, notably at a time when many NPI and ferronickel producers face feed shortages as a result of Indonesia’s nickel ore export ban.

RNC Minerals: End Notes

The Dumont Project is a 50/50 joint venture limited partnership with Waterton Global Resource Management, funded with US$35M in capital commitments to develop Dumont and acquire additional nickel assets, and backed by Waterton’s two largest funds with a total of US$1.725B in committed capital.

The joint venture’s objective is to establish a pure-play nickel company with multiple projects operating in stable jurisdictions.

How We Buy Stocks

How We Buy Stocks

1.) We buy stocks at or near the bottom of their respective cycles. When they revert a little, we sell them and use the proceeds to buy other stocks at cycle lows. We do this over and over and over again. That’s it.

2.) And because we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we aren’t the brightest investors on Earth, we diversify in spite of its probable impact on alpha, and we ignore anything without a substantial perceived margin of safety.