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Nothing. The safe answer is “nothing.”

Yesterday I was at a cross-roads. My gym schedule was disrupted to the point of a reset. I had a choice to make. Was it a legs day, a chest day, arms, or something else? I narrowed it down to legs or back/shoulders. My problem then was that I wasn’t digging any of it. My cardio (dirty boxing and violence) has been going swimmingly. But between that and the lifting of generous quantities of iron, I had kicked my own butt.

So, I skipped the gym entirely, smoked a cigar and went for a walk. Best routine in weeks, that was. I slept better for it.

Lately I’ve been sluggish. I think I’ve even mentioned it here. Weak, irritable and unproductive even beyond my usual laziness. Why?

I spent most of the year getting rid of excess flab – shedding 24 pounds in the process. My intent, once trimmed, was to beef up a little. “Cut” and “bulk” they call it. The bulking is followed as needed by another cutting.

Anyway, I was starting on a half hearted power program. No results yet to speak of. I gained 3 pounds but that could be water or a little fall cushioning (gotta watch that). Where was I…

Yes. A summer I spent cutting and conditioning and suddenly I ramped up the weights, rather carelessly. I’m a small time believer in “no pain, no gain” but I seemed to have reached the point where the pains aren’t so small time. I have a couple of nagging injuries that keep getting aggravated. And it’s aggravating me.

Today I did – or started – what I thought would be a light workout. It was going to be a general upper-body tune up. Three sets of bench-presses and I had a sharp pain. One sharp one in addition to the naggers. For once I actually listened to my body and backed off. Another cigar and another stroll in the woods. I also made use of one of my several compression cast things. It seems to be working.

For the short interim I’m going to monitor the diet, ease off the heavy stuff and recover. Sometimes that’s the best course of action.

And that’s the point of this admittedly rambling post – take it easy:

  • Don’t shift programs until you’re sure you know what you’re doing;
  • Don’t beat yourself into oblivion;
  • When in doubt, take a break;
  • In the scheme of health and weight control, diet is maybe 2% more important than exercise – use that 2% when you need to;
  • Wear an air compression cast thingy in public – the ladies love it..;
  • Eat your greens, get sleep, drink water and just say “no” – all that good stuff;
  • Skip VP debates on TV;
  • Mostly importantly, listen to your body. It will tell you what to do if you listen.

I hope this resonates with at least one of you. I’m always here (physically at least) to help.


Dr. Perrin says, “Take two breaks, skip the debates, and don’t ever call me again.”

By the way, you can help me too! If you happen to be an extraordinarily attractive woman with stronger hands, questionable morals, and a massage license (or not), I could use your (free) help. The cast thingy needs help… I’d like a free, deep tissue massage…for free… If you fit these exacting requirements and operate anywhere between Columbia, SC and Tampa, FL, please let me know. The world will thank you.

And, thank you, good people, for enduring this one…