Anvil or Hammer

The return of Monday Musings

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on October 10, 2011

In the past I used Mondays as my day to review my progress to date. Check my bodyweight and state goals for the coming weeks. I’m going to start doing that again. So it begins:

Clear the air
Since I’m finally getting back into blogging I feel I need to settle up on where I left off. Nearly five years ago I was very into training and blogging. I was primarily training for strongman competitions. I was trying to get stronger and lose some fat but not bodyweight as much. This meant a lot of eating and a lot of heavy lifting.

At the time I was training with Luke an Dan, fellow strongman competitors. Luke was a quiet guy who definitely did the strongman thing on the side. He wasn’t interested, as far as I know, in making a career of any kind out of it. Nor was he all that interested in the “community”, meaning blogging, forums and so on. We trained together maybe a dozen times.

Dan was the gregarious one of the group. He did want to make a career out of training and continues to try to now with his business BeMore Training. Dan and I trained together far more frequently. He came to Dumbarton a few times, I took him to UB once, I even trained at his house a couple of times. Dan was the one with me when I injured my back so terribly.

I bear the majority of the responsibility for the injury as it’s my body and my training. That said, I still lean some of the blame on him for pushing me through what can be described as at least a very ill conceived program. I still have bad feelings about this and about the fact that he never should a hint of interest in my recovery except enough to try to get me to buy stuff from his company. I’d like to say I don’t hold a grudge but I’d be lying if I said that whole thing didn’t still bother me. I don’t wish him ill, best of luck and all, he’s not welcomed here nor anywhere I am.
And I feel better getting that out after all these years.

Check on old compatriots
Brett appears to be out of the blogging game. Let’s hope he is still training
Stephen has been going strong the entire time I’ve been out. I commend him as a true lifelong trainee
Scott S appears to be working hard and doing well, although it looks like the nagging injuries and illnesses are still bringing him down.

Where I am
I’ve obviously been training off and on since the back injury described above. If you look at my archive, I posted nothing in 2010 but I was training even then. I just had a lot going on. Mentally I mark 2008 through 2010 as a kind of deadzone for training. I did training but I was wrapping up school and dealing with the back issue and moving and a ton of other stuff. I didn’t really have goals, plans and often I didn’t have desire.

In February of 2011 things changed. I committed to dropping some weight, getting healthier and getting some goals together. I began by looking for a trainer. This may seem weird given the amount of time and mental energy I was previously throwing at training but to me it made perfect sense. I don’t want to throw that much mental energy at planning and strategizing anymore. Additionally I always felt a little adrift. I had trouble finding people who I felt shared a common system of training beliefs, who trust to help me make decisions. So I thought I would give the training thing a run. I’m glad I did.

Kurt at ProFitness has been a tremendous help. While he and I have some common philosophies, he’s got knowledge in areas that I was unaware had knowledge to share. I reviewed his website initially and didn’t get a very good feel but I figured the best thing I could do is go in and meet the guy. Upon doing so I immediately was impressed by his knowledge and approach. He was pretty quickly able to improve my always crappy range of motion (ROM). We agreed on a kind of virtual coaching plan that involves a monthly visit from me to get my biometrics checked and to talk through any new exercises or mid-course corrections. I’ve been working with Kurt since then, getting my bodyfat calculated monthly and getting a new workout each week or two via email. It’s been working out really well.

Where I’m going
It’s fall, going into what is predicted to be a very cold Minnesota winter. I weigh 240 lbs, I can touch my toes with my knees locked. I have a deadlift max somewhere in the 300 or 400’s. I bought two pairs of shorts at a garage sale with 36″ waists, I intend to be in them when the weather warms up again. I’m also signing up for the th Tough Mudder, a 10 mile obstacle course. My specific challenges in preparing for the course are: preparing to run 10 miles over uneven terrain, doing muscle ups over walls and the monkey bars.

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