lördag 16 februari 2013

Back to my roots - 2-Tickets-To-The-Gun-Show

This blog has been about kettlebells, crossfit, running, bodyweight, power lifting, olympic lifting, dancing, fighting etc. All things part of the current vougue in training. That is what my own training has looked like the past 6 years or so. Getting to know this kind of training has been a revolution for me. It has transformed my body and the way I think about training and physical culture. It has been good.
But lately it has been….less than satisfactory. I remember the same feeling from when I worked on my Masters thesis. I wrote my Bachelor quickly and passionately. Learned all I could along the way. Stayed up all night and vacuumed the internet for information and read every text no matter how distantly related it was to my subject. For my Masters I stayed with the same subject but went deeper and looked at it from another angle. It should have been easy. I already knew more or less everything. It should have been a smooth ride but it wasn’t. It went slow. It was a bit boring. There was more to say in the subject but I already knew the answers. For me there was nothing more to gain than the exam. All the questions were already answered. I didn’t need to do it. That feeling of unrest I felt while writing my Bachelors was gone. It was all calm.
I have sort of felt the same with my training lately. A bit bored. Not knowing where I wanted to go. I have also had problems with nagging pains and injuries. Problems with an elbow, straining my back, something in my shoulder. I needed something else. My body needed something else. A change of scenery.
 Kai Greene training arms

I will be 40 this year. Growing old(er) isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Hurting more easily. Healing slower. Harder to learn. Harder to build muscle. Stiffer. But there is of course a flip side to that coin. Knowledge. A certain calm. Perspective. I have always been slightly nostalgic. Looking back with a bit of bitter sweetness in my heart has been second nature. That has changed. I have a child and life has irrevocably changed. Life the way it was is a finished chapter. It is now something that I can look at without longing. I can look at what I was without sorrow that I have become someone else.
Doing that I have realized I few things about myself. That I like power metal, that I like to play guitar but that I don’t have to be the best there is. That I would like to live in the country side. That I like to build muscle. Yepp, that’s right. Build muscle.
When I started training gyms were small dark basements with faded pictures of huge guys in colorful even huger pants on the walls. There were no chains. The people that trained there were gym rats. If you showed up more than three times a week over a couple of months you were an accepted part of a small society. That was great. I do miss that. There were three day or four day splits. There were arm days and leg days (ratio 3:1usually). There were sets, reps, spotting the bench, cheat reps and pump. This was were I learned and started to love. It is where my roots are at.

Jon Bergqvist training arms

But talking super setting biceps curls and triceps push downs on arm day with your regular kettlebeller or crossfitter will give you nothing but contempt. Yes I have been one of them. I know all the arguments and I do agree with many of them. The infinite complexity of the human body can not be contained in and hacked up into a three day split. Everything is connected. Wanna be strong in the press? Mind your toes. Pain in your left knee? It might be your right wrist that is the problem. Isolation is not possible. True, true, true. But then again: ”The infinite complexity of the human body…”. That does not allow for only full body, multi joints movements. Not only for kettlebell swings, muscle ups and overhead squats. It also allows for concentration curls and z-bar french presses. In all its glory it allows for us to break out of any dogma if we have the will.

A couple of weeks ago I saw a post on facebook. Someone (Jon Goodman) trying a new revolutionary hypertrophy program for……yepp, arms. Only arms. A year ago I would have snorted at it and went on with my snatching but this time  it struck an old familiar chord in me and I decided to go full retard. To do the absolute opposite to what I have been doing the last few years (ok, perhaps not the absolute opposite, it’s still barbells, dumbells, pull-ups and dips, but you know what I mean). Said and done. Here I am now, on the last week of a 4-week arm program. The program is ”2-Tickets-To-The-Gun-Show” by DanTrink. It is arms three days a week and full body one time a week. It is an endless road of curls, extensions, pressdowns and presses. Everything is timed – a lot of time under tension – and everything is muscle contact and I absolutely love it. I have measured and photographed my arms for the ”before” picture and after next week we’ll see what the results are. My body feels great. No problems with my back and most miraculously my elbow is better than it has been for years. It was obvious that I needed change.  I have a feeling there will be some iron pumped in the close future. To quote Kai Greene:
Your mom is going to love you whether you have 24 inch arms or not. It’s up to you to get the 24 inch arms.”