Day 1 of my current training plans...
My favorite movie scenes are consistently the training montages before a big competition, fight, or battle. I like a glorious victory, but love seeing the steps that victors take to get an edge ahead of time. Perhaps it is because I love being underestimated. It is fun to be smarter/stronger/richer etc. than others realize. Being willing to be underestimated is a superpower.
I’m starting two writing projects associated with my various pursuits. Investing ideas will be here and everything else will be here. I named it “vale tudo” after the Brazilian predecessor to MMA – (almost) no holds barred full-contact unarmed combat where (almost) anything goes. This is my “anything goes” account. If you want money making idea, sign up for Sifting the World’s new newsletter. If you want to track my other pursuits, then you’re in the right place.
Each weekday starts off with CrossFit. Mondays are not for time, our one day where the emphasis is just on heavy weights. We did back squats, front rack lunges (I scale that to box step ups due to knees recovering from weekend trail running), front squats, and weighted sit-ups. I have a few things that I add – dead hang from the pullup bar, GHDs, and a sled pull. I just hired a strength coach to supplement my group classes with private lessons to improve my form and push me a bit more.
A CrossFit t shirt says “we don’t use machines; we are the machines” but there’s one I need, so I belong to a second gym I go to after CrossFit. It has a stair climber that I go on for half an hour with a 20 pound plate vest and 60 pound ruck sack. This helps me get ready for mountaineering as well as the Tough Ruck rucking marathon that I’m competing in with a friend in the spring. We climbed Kilimanjaro together – he conquered it and I survived it – and he’ll be a great friend to run with. He’s an accomplished ultra-marathoner and the fact that he lives and trains at altitude is my ego’s salve whenever he crushes me at something. While I’m there I go through a few other things with the weight vest/pack from plank to air squats and pull ups.
I’m getting ready for a Jiu Jitsu immersion camp later this summer. I backed into it because it is being taught by world class experts but happens to be, of all places, down the road from my family’s home in Maine. They say that one can be a beginner, but I’m certain that it will be more fun coming in with some training, so I joined a Gracie Jiu Jitsu place. As with CrossFit, I combine group and private lessons. In my last private class, two instructors traded off sparring in 2 minute increments. They got 2 minute breaks; I didn’t. More intense than anything else I’m doing by far.
My CrossFit box doesn’t have early morning classes on weekends so I substitute trail runs. We have a great nearby park with plenty of trails; the standard perimeter loop is about 12 miles of technical terrain with plenty of rocks and hills. We typically stay on our home turf one day then go elsewhere the other and alternate between moderate distances and epic runs with several peaks and distances that take most of the day to cover.
I just started endocrine therapy (12.5 mg enclomiphene/day) to optimize my hormones for athletic performance as well as aging and longevity. It will probably take two or three months to see how effective it is at putting on lean muscle mass, but a week into it I feel great with more energy and confidence in the gym and on the trails. To measure its impact, I started by measuring everything I could – using an InBody machine to measure percent body fat and my basal metabolic rate with the hope that the first goes down and the second goes up over the next few months. I’ll remeasure each month. I also tested my cortisol as a proxy for stress (results still at the lab) and, of course, hormones.
However helpful pharmaceuticals might be, they can only boost the impact of the basics. So I’m going to try to stay on track with sleeping eight hours per night, eating clean (outer aisle only – just lean protein and whole foods. I particularly like duck eggs in the AM and bison or elk with a lot of baby spinach in the PM while avoiding refined sugar, processed carbs, and booze), training intensely, and then recovering with intention. I’ve tried and tired of most recovery gimmicks and largely concluded that the key to recovery is to just get some rest. But I am still wedded to ice baths. I feel euphoric after icy water crossings on trail runs and can replicate some if not all of that sensation by submerging in a tub of ice water for ten minutes.
In each of the above activities, I worried about starting in my mid-40s. I worried about looking stupid. My mantra has been “just look stupid”. I’d prefer to start then to stay on the sidelines due to ego. And this newsletter is part of the effort to hold myself accountable as I get ready for the next CrossFit Open, jiu jitsu immersion camp, the summit of Aconcagua, and the Tough Ruck marathon. Hopefully there will be some cool successes and funny failures along the way – a win/lose for me by a win/win for the readers.
Nice to see you here. Big BJJ fan too