Saturday, April 1, 2017

The wrong side of 40 part 1 { Introduction }

Greetings true believers.  If you are regular readers of The Budo Blog you may have noticed it has been a while since I have posted a new installment.  It is not that I haven't been writing one, however, the post I was working on expanded to the extent that it became far too long for one blog.  So, "The wrong side of 40" is going to be a multi-part continuing blog as I work my way through the process.

A few months back I wrote this blog Improving the hand you are dealt
In it we discussed:

  • Goals
  • Plan 
  • Adaptation
  • Assessment
  • Adjustment (if needed)

To get to where I want to go with this blog series, lets take a look at where I have been

Goals - Batman by 40 (You can read the specifics HERE)
 - Although the plan worked, that level of of training is not sustainable over time which lead to...

New Goals - Beyond Batman (You can read the specifics HERE)
New Plan
 - I hurt my knee running
 -In August I sat in my garage icing my knee, smoking a cigar and washing down ibuprofen with bourbon as I had a conversation with Myron Cossitt (subject matter expert).
He helped me reassess my goals and come up with a sensible program to reach them.

Well it has been over three paragraphs without expressing my self through popular culture.
So, to explain my goals lets look at a couple of pages from one of my favorite comics - Frank Miller's "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" (click to enlarge if you need bifocals)

This is how Batman describes the Mutant Leader in the comic, "He's got exactly the kind of body I wish he didn't have. Powerful, without enough bulk to slow him down. Every muscle a steel spring ready to lash out. And he's young. In his physical prime. And I honestly don't know if I could beat him.

 - Power with out excessive bulk
- Move well (a steel spring ready to lash out)
- Clearly I am no longer in physical prime.  However, I can mitigate previous injuries to be as close to prime as possible

And I honestly don't know if I could beat him.
I have to find out if I can still beat him

- Training injury free, getting stronger.  Putting on weight - muscle and fat (bulk to slow me down)
 - Less lifting days more running days

 - In Feburary I hurt my back lifting too much with imperfections in form.
 (You can read the specifics HERE)
- Cut way back on weight and focus on form

 - In March I hurt my knee running

Oh for fuck sake!!!!

I sat on my couch, icing my knee, and washing down ibuprofen with bourbon.  But the swelling did not go down.  I made an appointment with the Doctor.
He helped me reassess my goals and come up with a sensible program to reach them.

My goals are the same.  However, the means in which I achieve those goals clearly need to change.
More lifting days, and as hard as it was for me to come to this conclusion ZERO running days.

Just like good old Rocky my knees can't take the pounding.

Running / continuous impact is just too hard on my knees now.  I had to remind myself I train to be a better fighter I don't fight to be a better runner.  I have missed Judo classes because I hurt myself running.  I have not missed running because of Judo...

Well except that one time

But ever since then I have found ways to mitigate the risks inherent in martial arts training.

I have to condition in a way that mitigates previous injuries to be as close to my physical prime as possible.

In the previously mentioned "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" when Batman attempts to find out if he can beat him, the Mutant Leader kicks the crap out of him.

Batman was still thinking / fighting like a young man although in the book he is way on the wrong side of 40.

There is only a brief window any of us are in our physical prime.  However, with age comes learning.

And I honestly don't know if I could beat him.

Amatures look at someone and wonder if they can take them.
Professionals, those with life experience look at some and devlop a plan on how to take them. 
(Spoiler warning: it is not in a fair fight)

When Batman accepted that he had to operate differently now than he did in his 30's he found a way to win.

(click to enlarge if you need bifocals)

Fight smarter not harder.
Train smarter to achieve your goals with out injury

The wrong side of 40 blog series will follow my adventures training smarter to achieve my goals while developing a template readers can customize to help them achieve their own goals.

Topics to include:
Time Management
Developing an action plan to reach goals

  • Strength 
  • Conditioning
  • Mobility


  • How do you objectively assess your progress


  • Staying on course

Harley Davidsons are cool.  However, as I understand it, if you want to ride a Harley you better learn how to fix and maintain a Harley.  Because they tend to rumble themselves apart.

Training after 40 is cool.  You just have to learn how to fix and maintain a 40 plus body.

Train hard, Train smart (smarter than me, how many God damned times do I need to hurt my knee running before I see running might not be the best conditioning choice for me), Be safe.


  1. Being exactly 40 and feeling the aches and pains of yesterday's training...I can relate. All the best!

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