I grew up watching Ray Mears on television and thought he was always a bit of a legend. Calm, methodical and tubby, like a real outdoorsman should be.
Then Bear Grylls came along and to be honest, annoyed the shit out of me. Something just wasn’t right about him; an Etonian education, over-zealous cadence and staying in Hilton hotels whilst filming ‘survival’ content.
Well, Edward Michael Grylls can fuck right off because there’s a new badman on the scene who appears to be as legit as they come. Andrew Ucles. A cross between Steve Irwin and the Grizzly Man.
A friend of mine showed me some of his videos very recently and to be honest, it blew my mind. This guy is literally a superstar and has a pair the size of two nebulae.
“Hey, sorry for the short notice but you know how these things are…,” started the message. It was an honest introduction, more so than usual and it had caught my ego’s attention.
“[Big UK Brand] are casting for their AW16 / SS17 lookbook today and have asked to see you.” Me!? Little old moi!? My ego began to dilate, rapidly, salivating like Golem at what this could mean. I’ve been selected. I’ve been noticed.
Funny how the ego feeds off of recognition and the illusion of being unique, isn’t it? Needless to say, I had already fallen for these traps and instead of taking a step back, re-assessing the message, its contents and subliminal meanings, I was already on my motorcycle smashing it to central London before my balls were too swollen to ride.
Coach Sommer doesn’t really need an introduction from me. If you’ve never heard of him, it’s worth your time checking him out. In a nutshell, he’s coached a load of gymnasts to championship level over a few decades and knows what it takes to build a real gymnastic body – one that can function and perform to a high level but can also adapt and manage day-to-day realities and challenges. Sans bullshit.
Tim Ferriss did a wicked interview with Sommer, questioning him lots on the training process and various important points surrounding it.
A personal favourite takeaway from the interview was that it takes 211(+/-) days for soft tissue to adapt to a stimulus, apparently. I didn’t know it took that long for a change to be made but it makes sense when you realise muscle adapts nearly twice as fast compared to other softer tissues.
In terms of your own experience, what’s easier to build in less time, guns or range of motion? Continue reading →
Now that I have your attention, this post should have been called ‘How I Gave Myself Patellar Tendonitis’.
Because it doesn’t really matter what the sport or activity is, if you’re body has a weak link, it has a weak link. The straw that breaks the camel’s back can represent any discipline. Shit, it can even be bending down to pick up the mail off of the floor. Where there are weaknesses, there are heightened probabilities of those weaknesses being exposed whenever you move the body around. Especially, if like me, you are a moving human who enjoys moving through new planes and axes and exploring just what is possible.
8 months in to my Weightlifting journey and I’ve come away with some valuable lessons and realisations as to how to combine weightlifting with gymnastics training – a self-experiment that I’ve been delving into, despite there being not a lot of info out there.
The second block of combining weightlifting with gymnastics is in full effect. Some changes had to be made; the tendons were getting spicy from too much work and the neural fatigue was setting in. Time for a reconfiguration. And if you’re wondering what the above picture has to do with any of this? It doesn’t.
Since noticing a significant reduction in sleep quality from pushing my training limits a little further than normal, I did a bit of scouting on the internet to see which drugs were out there that would fall under both the legal umbrella and the sleep inducing one.
5-HTP and Melatonin were the two culprits that came to surface and I managed to get hold of them far easier than I had originally anticipated.
Only 3 weeks in and I’m now in a lot of pain. My joints are aching. My tendons nagging. And my energy levels nowhere to be seen.
Hints towards the flavour of overreaching are present. My appetite has decreased significantly and I’ve resorted to behaviour matching that of an insomniac when in bed. To be honest, it’s been a rough week. Time to reassess the programme some more. Training used to be fun!