Taming the Demons


Dave Tate on Iron Radio episode 112 spoke to his one hour in the gym making him better for the other twenty three hours in a day.  Brandon Lilly on Iron Radio episode 263 spoke to discovering weight lifting as a stress release when he was young.  Since leaving the deployment lift style, which for me was an outlet, I have pursued multiple lines of effort to tame my demons.

Boxing resulted in multiple broken noses and sleep apnea.  Kettlebells worked quite well but I was curious to get stronger.  Barbell training resulted in a swollen long head bicep tendon and more recently some sciatica.  No-gi grappling severely aggravated my shoulder / swollen long head bicep tendon.

So here I sit, hours away from my first ever trip to a chiropractor, and I am scared.  Yes.  That is how I would describe it, scared.

I am once again injured, likely as a result of an optional activity, and it is negatively impacting the rest of my life.  My sleep is slightly disturbed and the pain and numbness in my left leg is just enough to be noticeable.  Additionally, I do not know if this is but a symptom of a larger problem.  My coworkers with chronic back pain, quite simply, seem to hate their life.

The question that I ask myself, and likely one that is for the ages in multiple subjects, revolves around “What is the minimum effective dose?”

In my case what is the minimum effective dose of an activity that will keep me healthy, challenged, relieve stress, allow me to struggle against something, and has a low chance of injury?

Additionally, what is the minimum effective dose for strength training for normal human life?  (e.g. Do I really need to back squat 315 or is doing a double kettlebell front squat with 2x32s enough?)

I don’t know the answers to the above questions but I will find out.

At the minimum I am envisioning a month off of strength training while I figure out this back issue.  When I come back I don’t know what I will do…  Back to barbells?  Change rep and set scheme?  Back to kettlebells?  Hmm…  Right now I have more questions than answers.