Joe Public’s Concerns

RC repair rehab…you’re doing it wrong.

Bigg and I were talking last night about a conversation he had with a co-worker about training so hard. First off, not surprisingly Matt has a lot more patience with folks in these types of conversations. When people want to ask me why I train hard enough to be a bit sore afterwards I want to say, “So I’m not a weak POS like you.” End of conversation. This is why he’s nicer (reason 48,023.)

Some of the questions he’s asked are kind of funny (why do you eat so much? why do you have to “train” after work instead of going out for beers? what’s training, is it the same as working out?) ya know, standard. But yesterday, after talking about various surgery’s and rehab that are common in Professional Strongman (Pro sports really), one interested co-worker asked if he were concerned about possible surgeries looming in his future (knee replacements, hip replacements, and so on.) Of course Matt being Matt, answered in a  patient and logical way.

My reply? I dunno dude, do you worry about all the medical treatment you’ll start to rely on as you age because you’re weak and constantly inflammed due to a shitty diet? Cuz THAT should concern you, not me pushing myself hard in the gym. True story.

But it doesn’t. We live in an age where a small (in the larger scheme of ‘Merika) subset community are willing to push themselves in the gym and sport to be stronger. Or often, Strongest.

Cuz strong people, those who have been in the gym for years and have not only the physical strength to accomplish difficult feats of strength but also have the MENTAL fortitude to push through work when difficult, accept possible risks and will run their numbers to decide if the possible reward is worth it. And if you’re a Pro athlete? It probably is. If not, why compete at all? Spectate. It’s a sport and more beer consumption is usually involved.

We talked about how athletes DO approach injury and rehab. Mainly, how do I get back into the gym as fast as possible to get stronger than before and back to competition? That’s the mindset of an athlete. Even if competing isn’t on the docket, how do I get back into the gym with a barbell in my hands? A 9 month rehab for a rotator cuff repair? W!T!Ffffffff! Wouldn’t you rather be pressing a barbell in four weeks?? Is it a painful rehab? Yup! It’ll hurt but we ain’t got time to bleed and need to get back to training.


Gratuitous picture of Jesse The Bod

For some reason among those who have decided strength isn’t needed in life, all of the doctor’s visits and surgeries needed to “maintain mobility” is accepted. It blows my mind and anyone asking a strength athlete or even someone who has prioritized strength in their life “why” they do it is offended when we say, “Dunno dude, why DON’T you?”  (Ya, I know, my delivery can be a bit harsh.) I have to ask, out of all of the physical therapy going on in America, what percentage are competing athletes (no matter the age and no, beerball doesn’t count. You actually have to have a S&C program) and what percentage is the average American?? The answer would indicate WHO really is at risk for future surgeries. Duh!

When my ex tore up his knee playing basketball with his brother, he went right to the surgeon from the Minnesota Timberwolves and said, “I need to be squatting again and plan on hitting 405 within 6 months. How do we do that?” Surgeon say, ‘okay, here’s how we do it.’ No, “I’m sorry sir, you’re looking at a one year rehab before you can do that.” Had he said that, Dan would have looked elsewhere. True story. We don’t have time for the standard “Joe Public” rehab. Those who live on a pain scale for 3 months and rehab is adjusted as such.

No. No, no, no.

The last time I was at the doctor was March, the time before that? Dunno, four or five years. We ran some tests based on a complaint I had and it turns out that I had an issue, something I’ve chosen not to talk about publicly. Still won’t. Cuz the program is:

1. Jules has a health issue

B. Jules needs to make some adjustments in life and do it now.

III 3 months later Jules is on the road to recovery and feeling better every day.

End of story. My health is everything, strength is a part of that. I will not jeopardize it by not doing EVERY THING I can to ensure it’s optimal. I will push myself in the gym and in the kitchen to make sure I’m the best I can be and if someone dares question me as to why this is so important? Well, I just might answer you. And you won’t like it.

Without health, life is not life; it is only a state of langour and suffering- an image of death.


About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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