I was made in 1967, one of the last of a generation to grow up with no internet. We had telephone boxes and 2p`s, three tv channels, The Saturday morning pictures, Zammo helped us say No! and Jim Fix`d anything he could…
Also a time devoid of any real information for an aspiring 10-year-old. I can remember convincing mum to buy me a Bullworker one Christmas and a set of York weights for another.
I, of course, got nowhere, but hey, I was a kid.
At school, I wasn’t a natural team sports player, and I fcuking hated football.
However, I was a great gymnast tho and wanted to be a Pro Wrestler.
My high school didn’t do gymnastics! And Norwich didn’t have a wrestling school then.
You, youngsters, don’t know you’re born!
This if course made no difference to me as I`d embraced the local drug scene and lifted nothing heavier than a spliff for several years.
Luckily I met a chap called Mike, who lifted weights. I started lifting daily with him and thank fcuk removed myself from the dark circle of acquaintances I`d acquired.
After burning out within six weeks of these daily workouts, I also started getting daily back pain. Surprisingly this turned out to be genetic rather than rampant abuse of technique.
A 10-year cycle of back pain, osteopaths, NHS referrals, sporadic lifting and lots of walking stretched ahead of me.
I fell into a rut of working the night shift for these years, culminating with me on Incapacity Benefit and antidepressants for 18 months.
I`d lost count of the many, wasted years, through back pain and shitty unrealistic routines I`d followed. Then I read a book called Brawn by Stuart McRobert.
I`d coincidentally read that most back pain is caused by weakness and inflexibility, so I started to fix myself whilst not working and penniless.
Using the most basic principles outlined in Brawn, I changed my mindset and focused on getting stronger and not bigger. It`s a subtle yet crucial distinction, and as I got stronger, I got bigger and leaner!
I started lifting with an empty bar, trained every fifth day, walked and stretched every other day. I would train and then literally wait for a training day to come round again.
I was very fortunate to be helped by Doug Black and meeting Paul George, which led me to where I am now. They inspired me to train clients for free initially, in my converted living room, to building a paying client base, to now having premises with living quarters attached to MY gym!
Whilst I did strengthen my back and become very flexible, I ended up having an L5/S1 fusion on my back in 2010. Bizarrely capable of lifting heavily until the day of the operation, but my day-to-day pain level had gotten unbearable.
If you can imagine having a headache for ten years, in the end, even a mild one would grind you down…
Every squat I tried aggravated my back, I deconstructed and reconstructed my squats, yet back pain plagued me using uninspiring weights.
I dropped back onto Trap bar deadlifts and have some credible numbers under my belt at last.
We`re always learning, but as long as we learn, the mistakes are a lesson. 🙂
I made hellova lot of mistakes when I started!
I`m now only using exercises I can do consistently, and the more patience I show, the harder my body lets me work. As a result, I`ve pulled a 600lb trap bar lift.
The greatest Champions are NOT those blessed with the greatest genetics.
The greatest Champions merely travel the furthest.
You have to be the best you, you can be.