Forget your Six Pack and Think About the GRAND GAME!

Heard of the Barbell Physio?

If you’ve been lifting or training for some time, back and shoulder issues are something that have come up for most of us.

Personally I can think of several examples of having done a high volume of training and, at the end of the training cycle, I’d have a battered back or clicking shoulder.

It sucks.

I feel like these moments where you question your physical performance mortality, while scarfing down vitamin C tablets, fish oils, contrast showers, and vapo-rub, not to mention foam rolling vigorously (praying that the problem will go away by doing it)….Because T-Nation says these things will solve all our problems.

It’s blindly doing whatever you think is going to work without actually trying to figure out what happened. Or seeking help.

The reason I bring this is from recently reading an article by Zach Long of the Barbell Physio blog. Zach talks about awesome exercises that can help you pivot when an injury or issue with your shoulder come up.


This is Aeneas, the mythic hero who carried his father from the burning city of Troy after the Trojans lost the war to the Greeks. Legend has it that the two would found the city of Rome. Maybe you too are feeling broke like Aeneas. Disoriented with why your getting hurt? Play the grand game with the Barbell Physio

There’s a quote by Dr. John Rusin, “If you sacrifice joint integrity for strength, you’ll eventually lose both!” And that gets me thinking about the Grand Game.

That’s what really matters right? In fact, most of the top people in sports are working or being worked by people to help MINIMIZE the chance of programmed injury.

If you’re playing a more individual sport that’s not necessarily highly technical (like the iron sports; and I say sports with a high level of liberalism here), then we should know better than to create programming errors that lead to injury.

Shouldn’t SMART programming prevent most potential injuries?

Rushing through, is just a cause of injury. In fact, I think I remember reading some top lifters say that the only real issue of injury should come up from freak accidents.

Something that was just a matter of fate and not really from a muscular imbalance gone ignored for too long, or poor technique that was never addressed for years, or a poor diet, or poor recovery protocol, or poor environment.

Shouldn’t these things adapt/improve over the course of your experience?

At least if you want to improve.

The Barbell Physio’s article got me thinking back to the last post we published on personality, character, and training. It’s a hard lesson but planning out the grand game, thinking in the long run, and how things could potentially play out is an incredible skill.

Barbell Physio and Augustus

I mention Augustus Caesar a lot in these blog posts. Here’s a guy who did a lot, even just diet wise, to be able to gather as much vitality as he could.

He needed it to take his adopted father’s inheritance (his influence) and forge something sustainable out of a decaying Roman Republic.

Personally, I’ve even had to think about how far I’ve neglected training my core (effectively) as well as my shoulder health. It wasn’t until shadowing movement specialists at Form and Function Clinic that I could even begin to understand these things.

These holes in my training that were leaving huge holes in my performance and longevity.

Is that the case for you too?

If so, then I think we need to all reconsider if there’s a leak in our ship!

Going back to the comparison of Julius and Augustus Caesar, Julius Caesar tried to run-and gun- his way (through his later political life) to create an empire.

A total upheaval ensued. New rivals and new military action continued. To quickly deal with traitors he forgave them after beating them.

Mercy is good right?


This is what poor programming might feel like to some. All 27 daggers of it.

Unfortunately he didn’t pay enough attention to his own safety.

For on March 14, 44 B.C.E. Caesar was stabbed several times by the very senators that he had forgiven.

He was a jockey beating the crap out of his horse and he paid for it with is life.

He pushed too hard too quickly in realizing his dream. And this left many loose ends.

Now, when we compare Augustus’ rise, it’s a little different.

He did inherit his adoptive father’s name and the prestige that brought with it. However, Augustus played deadly politics well.

Always planning ahead, and solidifying an empire that took piecemeal steps. Augustus played the long game from the age of nineteen to well into his seventies. Augustus built for the long haul.

And it worked.

His efforts postponed the decline of Roman civilization for another 500 years when the Western Roman Empire decayed and the Eastern Empire morphed into Greek.

In a Dark Ages with your Training?

Now, you may find yourself in a dark spot now. It feels like the flippin’ dark ages..’innit?

Like you, I think that times like that make you reflect on what you’re doing.

“What could I be doing better?” is something I’ve always thought when in a training low.

Should I still be blasting? Or should I go into cruise and figure out what’s wrong with what I’m doing?

With that, definitely check out Zach’s article ion the Barbell Physio. Its an informative message to work around injuries and also improve weaknesses.

Hopefully this was a good reminder to us all on the importance of the GRAND GAME.

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