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Metheads Anonymous

Thursday, October 06, 2011

My name is Rich, I am a recovering meathead. In the past I spent, hours, days, weeks and months in weight rooms and gymnasiums chasing the chimera of turning myself into some form of clone of a Greek god.

I leapt on every new “flavour of the month”, anecdotal “this technique worked for me” and new pronouncement of the guru of the month with reckless abandon. In my quest for godhood I did trisets, supersets, drop sets, single sets and isometric sets. I used the Nautilus machines, the isolation machines, free weights and sandbags and tractor tires. All to no avail, the denizens of my gene pool impeded my quest and restricted any real or imagined gains and improvements. I did get stronger to a degree and even bordered on getting lean but 17 inch arms eluded me as did anything appearing to be a six pack.

Due a late season football injury when I entered the Marine Corps in March at age 19 I was a 195 pound slob. Twelve excruciating weeks of boot camp later bodyweight training plus some running and a lot of marching had shrunk me two trouser sizes and added 15 pounds. The lesson was there but I choose not to learn it, so when I was at my first duty station it was back to the weight room with even more misplaced ardor. This exercise in futility continued for years notwithstanding the multiple doses of successful bodyweight and limited cardio training I was subjected to by my Uncle.

While in professional school I began a regimen of road running. I was pounding the streets and roads irrespective of the weather day in and day out seven days a week. Strength training was abandoned; I was going to use running as my salvation for Kenneth Cooper had come down from the mountain varying the clay tablets proclaiming the Age of Aerobics. My weight went down to 175/180, my clothes hung off of me and I looked as if I had been doing time in a Siberian gulag. I completed two marathons.

This fallacy continued until at age 43 I returned to being employed by Uncle. Again bodyweight training and running (always strength training first) became my training regimen. Again I got lean and fit without an excess of body fat. In my now impending dotage I was able to complete parachute training and the Special Forces qualification course. This was my training programme for the next 17 years until Uncle said I was too old for continued employment.

I returned to being a sloth for the next three years working security on the dog watch. Due to some unknown aberration in my psyche at this point I decided to take up cycling and sea kayaking. I died. The rust and lack of maintenance was evident on the now 63 year old skin suit I was wearing. It was time to doing something to attempt to reverse the deterioration of my slothful lifestyle.

/899999999I was introduced to Kettlebells; I was introduced to using full body free weight training and rediscovered bodyweight training by reading “Combat Condition” by Matt Furey who led me to resistance band training. Wait a minute where is the cardio, why was my endurance and cardiovascular response improving? When I researched what I was doing, strength circuit training, I discovered that that form of training had a built in cardio component.

I decided to get certified as a personal trainer which required acquiring a new knowledge base and set of skills. I began to review the current research on training and subscribed to a variety of websites related to physical training. Things such as Indian clubs and jumping rope began to be “rediscovered” by various trainers. The star of cardio began to wane as the ultimate weight loss modality. Myths about training were being revealed as the myths they were, instant fat loss schemes were revealed as scams not schemes.

Now when I create training programmes I have gone back to what has always worked and has stood the test of time. Bodyweight training has always been around and worked, Indian clubs have about a 2000 year history, resistance bands date from the mid 19th Century. Kettle bells have an unknown date of origin as do jump ropes but training programmes from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries include them.

I am Rich, a recovering meathead “who once was blind but now can see”. Thus endeth my confession

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • DEE0973
    Awesome blog!!! Thanks for the insight
    2719 days ago
    Absolutely loved your blog as always!!

    Your kettle bells information from prior posts and your teams led me to discuss these with my husband, who subsequently discovered the use of kettle bells as an excellent cross training method for his passion, mountain biking. He's now working to perfect his Turkish Stand and has pain in places he'd never even noticed before.

    Body weight based exercises and resistance bands are now the staple of my training. My PT recommends squats and walking lunges above anything else for legs and the difference they have made to both my legs, my core strength and my balance is amazing.

    Keep spreading the message!!
    2723 days ago
    emoticon (we don't have a 'salute' icon)
    2724 days ago
    So glad to see your blog! And the chronology of your fitness life. I still quote you every chance I get...and still am doing ST. I have a shoulder issue, dr. has suggested modifications.

    Your blogs are excellent and I always look forward to reading them! Wish they were more frequent...but they're worth the wait.
    2724 days ago
  • RLMCCOY124
    Loved your Blog - snooped around your photos and noticed you and I share an affinity for kilts. I believe you are wearing the Sport Kilt - Braveheart in one of the pictures. Currently, I have three Sport Kitls in the following tartans - All Ireland, California, and Irish Revenge. Take care!
    2724 days ago
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