Yours truly finished up his meet a week ago Sunday and was off for a fun and sun filled few days in Nantucket. Pooler, my roommate from college somehow still tolerates me. He started inviting Jess and I to Nantucket three years ago and we have been going ever since. It is a very chill place. Perfect for a post meet hiatus.

However, to know me is to know I do not take a vacation from training. I love to train. I also feel when I'm not training, my body starts to revolt. Much like many old beat up machines, once it stops the rust takes over. That sums up my existence.

I knew in Nantucket I would not be hitting a gym, but what to do then? Then it struck me, there was a program on Wenlder's forum that would be perfect. Jim always has different challenges up on his forum, along with lots of other useful information. I recommend it highly. But I digress. This particular program is the Bronson Challenge.

Originally Michael Gordon Peterson, he changed his name to Charles Bronson. Charles spent a lot of time in prison. He was a fighter and a circus strongman so he was no stranger to training. Being quite a madman, Charles spent a lot of time in solitary. So he did a lot of bodyweight training and even wrote a book Solitary Fitness. That's where Jim came up with this challenge. The culmination of which is 500 squats, 300 pushups, and 100 pullups done for time.

The training calls for 5/3/1 training for the squat, bench, deadlift, and overhead press. The assistance to follow on those days is 150 squats, 75 pushups, and 30 pullups while wearing a weight vest with 10% of your bodyweight. On three of the non training days the routine is 200 squats, 100 pushups, and 50 pullups.

So I gave myself one day off after the meet, and then started the bodyweight work with Jess last Tuesday in Nantucket. I was actually really impressed with our conditioning. Jim states the work should be done in 20-25 minutes and we finished it in 14. We did three consecutive days while away and then picked it back up using the vest on Saturday when we resumed weight training.

Here's the rub. As I reflect, I had to continually increase the amount of stretching I was doing each day to keep my back in working order. This morning was enough. I had pain radiating from the center of my back pulsing throughout my whole body. Meanwhile I'm trying to figure out what stretches I am not doing to get better. News flash, wtf am I doing that my back should hurt this much. I just went through 12 weeks of meet prep and my back was feeling better as each day passed.

Finally it hit me, the pullups. For whatever reason these things are wreaking havoc on me. The problem is, once I get an idea, I'm married to it. The plan was to stick with the program for the summer. I desperately clung to figuring it out somehow because I hate quitting anything. But then as the day dragged on and I had to medicate the issue, I realized it's not worth it.

This stubborn attitude I'm fighting is the same attitude that provided me with 600 lb raw benches in multiple weight classes along with a 900 lb equipped bench. Obviously, sometimes tenacity pays off. However, in this case, what's the payoff? Being in better condition? I can do that in a variety of other ways. It's time to drop the hot coal.

It's been so infrequent that I've felt good over the past two decades that I take it for granted. Not today though. I'm getting the train back on the tracks. Time to look through my journals and put an effective and safe program together. Moral of the story, when something hurts, stop doing it! There's always a smarter way.