Dave Goes Barbarian: Bench Press A Planet

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What? No, we’re barbarians, here. Not superheroes. Though, spoilers will be dealt with appropriately.

Dave, what are you saying?

I’m saying you should be bench pressing a planet. Probably every day, depending on volume.

Dave, I thought we were talking HEMA and-

Yeah, yeah: I’ll get to that. First, though, we need to talk basics. Why is that? Because I’ve been going untrained for months and coming back hurts. While the end goal here is to support my HEMA work, and build general physical preparedness for the next 60-120 years (what? I’m optimistic), there’s a lot to do to get to the point where I want to be. And that starts first thing in the morning. With push-ups. Continue reading “Dave Goes Barbarian: Bench Press A Planet”

Dave Goes Barbarian: I Pulled The Trigger

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Or rather, I drew the sword. After all, the metaphor is specifically HEMA-related, and that’s what I’m talking abo- Oh, never mind. I’ll come in again, shall I?

Yesterday, I joined Schola Saint George. I quickly received an email from Dr. Brian Price, one of the co-founders of SSG, and I’m ready to begin my journey into the martial instruction of Fiore dei Liberi. Now to recruit some sparring partners…

For now, I’ll be continuing my work on body-weight calisthenics and basic gymnastic practice, and integrate some free weight barbell training into that.

I’ll be honest, here, though: I kinda feel like I’ve just enrolled in an advanced degree program. The more I dig into HEMA, the more I’m going to have to learn just to keep my head above water. No twice a week sessions at the local dojo. This is going to need to be something every day. And a lot of it is going to be book work, at least to start with. For one, there’s an entire glossary of terms I’m going to be learning. Some of which I recognize. Posta di fenestre, for example, is the Window Guard, or as the Germans refer to it, Ochs – the Ox Guard. The sword is raised to the side of the head in both hands, with the point aimed at the opponent. I suddenly wish I’d taken Latin, y’know, ever.

Fortunately, there are a number of things upon which I can work while getting up to speed on the theory. I’ve found several videos on the Tubes of You that show exercises one can perform with a sword to limber up the joints and get the muscles ready for practice. I spent a few minutes performing these, and already feel a difference. Which is a good thing, as an old impingement issue in my right shoulder has been cropping up again. Basically, my neck is too tight, and pulls the ball of my humerus deeper into the joint than it should be, where it rubs against one of the tendons, generating annoying inflammation. It genuinely sucks, but there are a number of things I can do to alleviate the problem. Squatting heavy, for one. Indian club and mace swings, for another. And (trumpet fanfare) swinging a sword around! I’m debating an indoor sword trainer, as well, which is a nifty device that looks like somebody melted a sword blade down until it was all of a foot and a half long past the crossguard. It’s the same weight as a sword, has the same balance, but I’m not going to lop the blades off the ceiling fan, or accidentally vivisect one of the kids. I’m sure Mrs. Dave will appreciate that.

The big thing going on right now isn’t the HEMA. It isn’t the resumption of physical training. It isn’t even picking out a new handgun (I’ll fill y’all in on that, when it happens). No, Dave is coming to grips with his limitations, and I’ll be frank: it [REDACTED] sucks. I believe I mentioned that Mrs. Dave travels fairly regularly on Uncle Sam’s dime. That leaves me to do the hands-on raising of Wee Dave and Wee-er Dave (not their real names) more or less by my lonesome. I went into this with eyes wide open, or so I thought. Those of you who are also parents will nod when I say: I had not clue the first. I had zero idea of the levels of frustration small children engender on a daily basis. I had no idea how exhausting just getting the basics accomplished could be. I really had no way to know. If you haven’t been a parent, there’s almost always a sunset clause built into any childcare you’ve provided. (Okay, realistically, that’s likely true here, as well. It’s just that I’ve got fifteen more years, and that’s if we don’t increase the clan, again.) I signed the check sight unseen, and now it’s coming due. And I’m tired. I’m flat exhausted most of the time. And it’s not a lot of fun. It’s fun sometimes, and it’s usually good (what’s that line about not being tame, but being good?), but it’s not easy. So my efforts as self-improvement and professional development are, while not outright frozen, at least slowed by a good bit. I suppose I’m increasing my WIS (and maybe my CHA), but I’ve never before found that to be a particularly pleasant endeavor.

So the littles are running me more or less ragged (and I’ll talk about that more in columns to come: You, too, can act as a pseudo group therapy for Dave!) and I’m not getting done the things I want. I have novels to finish, y’all, and it’s just not happening. I have skills to develop and projects to finish. And I have to let that be okay. It’s not my natural disposition, let me tell you. But that’s not a choice I get to make. Or rather, it’s a choice I made long before Wee Dave arrived on the scene.

Next week, I’ll be going into my further exploration of Fiore and his work, as well as treat you to a thrilling discussion of PT methods. I’m sure you’re waiting with baited breath (old chum). Until then, get supple and try not to rage on the effete city-dwellers around you, you furious barbarians.

Why I Stopped Dismissing Bodyweight Training

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For a long time, I refused to do any bodyweight training. I didn’t like it. I didn’t enjoy the idea of doing pushups and pull-ups. Especially because, for a lot of that time, I couldn’t really do any of those.

However, I’ve come to recognize a few things, including a little bit about myself. In particular, my formerly snobbish attitude on bodyweight training.

Now, I think it’s a solid method of training and here are some of the advantages of it. These are all things you should at least think about when it comes to training modalities.

Continue reading “Why I Stopped Dismissing Bodyweight Training”

Essentials Of Strength Training

 

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What are the essentials of strength training? What do you really need in order to get strong and fit?

Obviously, I’m biased, but what follows is my simple take on the absolute essentials to get strong. Bear in mind that this is just one take on what the essentials of strength training. It’s not intended to be the last word on the subject.

Plenty will disagree, but here is an exhaustive list on what are the absolute essentials.

Continue reading “Essentials Of Strength Training”

The Number One Reason You Should Pick Any Excercise Modality

I’ve been talking a bit about kettlebells lately. Before that, it was barbells and dumbbells.

However, I’ve never laid out the primary reason you should pick any exercise modality out there. After all, there are plenty. They range from an afternoon walk before you cook supper to Crossfit. There is an insane number of choices.

Yet, with all the discussion about why you should do this or that, we all–myself included–tend to forget the primary reason you should pick any method, modality, or outlet.

Today, I’m going to remind you.

Continue reading “The Number One Reason You Should Pick Any Excercise Modality”

How To Get Fit On Any Budget

I was talking to someone last night about yesterday’s post. This is a longtime friend of mine, so he read the post and came to me directly to talk about it. His issue was that he didn’t really even know where to start. He’s back in college full-time and his wife is the only one working. Since he’s going to an online school, there’s not really a campus gym available to him, and with money tight, he was curious what he could do.

Yeah, I threw out a few suggestions in that post, but I also thought it might be time for a post I was toying with for a while, and that’s breaking down options based on cost.

Now, bear in mind, this will be a long one and some things may show up in several places, but there will be reasons. This will also not necessarily be an all-inclusive list, so I welcome folks to add to this list.

Without further ado, here we go, from the least expensive to the most expensive.

Continue reading “How To Get Fit On Any Budget”