Monday, December 28, 2015


Dear readers, your author has once again underdone surgery in order to correct an injury related to training.  My ACL rupture and meniscus tear suffered from a 775lb yoke walk was repaired on 17 Nov, and I have been since recovering and training in a slightly altered manner.  The last time I underwent surgery was to repair a torn labrum suffered during a wrestling match when I was 16, so suffice to say things were a little different than I remembered.  For those of you that have yet to undergo surgery, I wanted to give you an opportunity to prepare for the unique aspects that come with being a strongman.  And for those that have undergone this process, perhaps you can relate to some of it as well.

-The day before surgery, when you make sure to get the angle on your 105lb dumbbell holding your dip stands steady JUST right, because you know that you won’t be able to move that sunuvabitch for a few months after your surgery.

-The moment your anesthesiologist actually lays eyes on you and immediately doubles the dosage of your pain meds.  Now, I don’t think I’m a big guy, but I kind of forget how the rest of the world works, and when the hospital hears “5’9, 190lbs”, they assume you’re coming in pretty fat.  My anesthesiologist came into the room, saw me, his eyes grew to the size of dinner plates and there was a slight argument between him and my nurse at that point.

Anesthesiologist-“So yeah, we’re giving him 2 Percocets before surgery.”
Nurse-“But the surgeon said to only do 1.”
“Yeah, but we’re giving him 2.”
“But that’s not what the doctor said.”
“Yeah, I know, so we’re giving him 2.”

Now that I think about it, he looked a little familiar

He eventually won out after just stonewalling and filibustering, which then led to my next fun moment.

-Amazing the nursing staff by your ability to dry swallow 2 Percocets because for the past 2 months you’ve been taking fishoil and glucosamine by the handful in a futile attempt to treat your torn ligaments.  It’s not the greatest talent to have, but it’s a talent none the less.

-The uneasy look the nursing staff gives you when you warn them that you tend to come out of anesthesia “combative”.

What the nursing staff was picturing

-Contemplating a future in bodybuilding after the staff shaves your knee because, now that the sasquatch-esque amount of hair is no longer obscuring your quad, you can actually see the teardrop.

-Being told that your surgeon is going to harvest your hamstring tendon for your new ACL and worrying because you know you’ve blown out that damn hamstring at least a half a dozen times.

-Your surgeon and your physical therapist both politely declining your invitation to view the video of your injury…you know…for diagnostic purposes.

-Being asked what pain level you are comfortable with being at once you are recovering at home and being corrected when your answer is “6/10”.

'Tis but a scratch

-Living off of protein bars and greek yogurt after your surgery because you can’t stand long enough to cook but still want your protein fix.

-Contemplating quitting your painkillers because they might interfere with your energy drink addiction.

-Reading “The Westside Method” while high on Percocet to see if it makes more sense.  Protip: It doesn’t.

I love Louie, but I swear he learned how to write by reading Mad-Libs

-Training in freezing temps shirtless with a fan on because the surgeon has strongly advised you NOT to break a sweat while the stitches are still fresh.

-Getting winded from band pull aparts.

-Realizing now is the time to start focusing on training your grip again and having to go on a Legend of Zelda-esque adventure to find all of your grippers again.  Except you end up finding the #3 first, which would be like getting the Master Sword at the start and having to work back to the wooden one.

-Stopping your painkillers WAY too early because it’s been years since you’ve been pain free and you’ve forgotten what it feels like.  Then, 2 weeks later, you realize there is a huge difference.

-The look on your surgeon’s face when you show up to your 1 week post-op visit with no crutches or brace on your leg, along with no idea where they are, and no idea why any of that is a problem.

-Developing some form of psoriasis on your lats because your crutches have zero possibility of actually being in your armpits if you have any hope of being able to use them in a realistic fashion.

-Being told to “slow down” while on crutches.

In reality, I couldn't catch this guy if he WAS on crutches and I had 3 good knees

-Having to cut out your gallon of water a day because getting up to pee is a Herculean task.

-Needing to be told exactly what you CAN’T do by your physical therapist, because you know that, if they give an inch, you’ll take a mile.

-Getting sick of small and weak people advising you NOT to train your good leg.

-The longing look you give your buffalo bar every time you pass it in the gym.

-Going to physical therapy and nerding out over them using jump stretch bands too.

-Having no idea what to do with information regarding when you will be able to run again.

The sport isn't really known for having the swiftest athletes

-Learning how to bench with only 1 foot on the ground.

-No one appreciating your comedic genius when they see you with only 1 crutch, ask if you’re ok, and you respond that you got the role of Tiny Tim and are just trying to stay in character.

-Becoming MacGuyver in the gym to rig up ways to train around your surgery.

-Trying to maintain your pokerface when you’re cleared to perform hamstring curls with band resistance.

-Going to PT and doing a bunch of moves you were already doing at home because you thought they were safe.  Whoops.

-Having your PT get nervous because your ridiculous pain threshold allows him to push WAY harder than he really should.

-Debating on if you should tell your surgeon that your shin is still numb 5 weeks post op because you figure it’ll make deadlifting easier.

Because socks are just silly

-Secretly counting your blessings because this is a lower body injury, which means at least your upper body will still be jacked.

While I have your attention, I wanted to point out that the blog has been running 3 years strong and recently acquired over 200,000 views.  I am thankful for all of my readers, both my diehard loyalists who have been here from the start to people who have just stumbled across it a few days ago.  Thanks to all the folks who take the time to comment, as your feedback means a ton and makes this process worthwhile.  Please, if there is anything you want covered, leave me a comment and I’ll make sure to address it, and stay tuned, as I’m not done yet.


  1. Hey man! Great read. Glad everything is going well. It's good to see you working around your injury/recovery. Too many people after a surgery will stop doing everything. I don't think that's a good idea lol.

    I was hoping for your next blog if you could touch on what a beginners first year of training should look like. Lets say they have played some sports and have messed around in the weight room, but now they are starting from ground zero. Also what weight range in the major lifts do you think a person should have after 1 year of training hard if they started as a beginner.

    Can't wait to read the next blog. Keep up the good work and wish you a speedy recovery!

    1. Hey man, thanks so much for the comment. I've written about a beginner weight training program in the past here.

      Although really, these days, I'd just run a beginner on 5/3/1 from the start. A lot of lessons to be learned from that.

      That said, I appreciate your question, and I'll see if I can flesh it out a little bit more with some thoughts. Thanks for the suggestions.

  2. 200k views is well-deserved. I always come back to your site for a fresh and terrifically realistic point of view. The mix of philosophy with the "just do the damn work" attitude is awesome. Especially for an older fart like me just trying to get stronger because I want to be, dammit. Thanks for the writing and I hope you continue for a very long time.

    1. Much appreciated dude. Glad to have you as a reader and I really appreciate the support. I hope to keep this going as long as I can.

  3. Great stuff, laughed out loud at a few.

    1. Thanks man. Gotta have a sense of humor about the whole thing.

  4. Hope your recovery continues to go well!

    1. Thanks! At present, I don't even really feel like I'm missing anything in my training. I wish I could squat with 2 legs, but I'm getting it done with 1, and seated good mornings have been a decent deadlift substitute. I just miss competing at this point, but I'm hoping this extended off season means I can come back stronger.