The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. -Nelson Mandela

 Hmmm…that guy on the front row doesn’t look too concerned about missing a workout or three…

So I have this love/hate thing going on with traveling, and maybe you do, too.  You see, I love going to interesting places, seeing new and exciting things, and diving headlong into unique cultures.  The problem is though, that if I’m not doing something physically demanding (whitewater rafting, or mountain biking, for instance), I get real itchy.  Translation: I can’t fully relax and enjoy the surroundings.

Now, there may be 99 totally legit psychological reasons behind this that I’m craftily dodging.  Guilty as charged; though I’d rather consider this “resistance to slothfulness” the natural impulse of a healthy body.  But before I full-on tackle any of those pesky, “gotta move!” psych issues (I’ve got many that are much more pressing 😉 ), I’ll just Band-Aid the condition the best way I know how.  And one of the best ways that I know of is to purposely overreach before I get the ol’ visa punched.

 Customs alert – be sure check this guy’s bags…

Now, before the lab geeks and academics (I love you guys, I really do) beat me up about the correct definition of “overreaching”, let me just qualify things from the get-go by saying that I’m using the term loosely, here.  More specifically, I’m simply pushing myself, in the few days immediately before heading out, to the point of feeling tired, sore, psychologically drained, and generally “meh” about squeezing in yet another day’s worth of training.  If I really push myself into a hole, I can squeeze out about 5 days or so of relative idleness before I go bat-shit crazy again for a heavy dose of iron or other such adrenalin mainline.  

Side note: …Billy Idol was a bright student, and passed his 11 plus, but he was bored at school. When a teacher wrote “Billy is Idle” in the margin of one of his works, it stuck in his mind and later inspired his stage name….


So just what does a run-up prior to a week’s long stretch of idleness look like?  Well, for me, something like this (in reverse order):

Wednesday, 5/14/14 — crumple into a plane.  Harass the flight crew for tequila.

Tuesday, 5/13/14
(A1) squat cleans:135/5, 165/3, 185/2, 205/2, 215/2, 220/2, 2
(A2) Dips: 45/5, 100/3,3,3,3,3,3,3

Monday, 5/12/14
(A1) behind-the-neck push-press: 135/5, 165/3, 185/3, 205/(2,2,2),
(A2) ARXFit leg press single

Sunday 5/11/14
6 pogo hops + 50 yrd sprint + 5 tire flips + 100 yrd tempo run
5 rounds

Saturday, 5/10/14
Sprints: 8 secs to 1-step drop-off (10 total rounds. Stopped at 2nd miss)

Friday, 5/9/14
(A1) squat clean + front squat: 135 (1+5), 185 (1+5) , 225 (1+3), (1+3),
(A2) Dips: 45/5, 70/5, 100/5, 5,

Wednesday, 5/7/14
(A1) power cleans: 135/5, 165/5, 185/3, 215/3, 231/1, 215/3, 225/2, 230/1
(A2) chins: 45 x 5
8 total rounds

Tuesday 5/6/14
Bears: 135/5, 165/5, 185/12 singles

Monday 5/5/14
(A1) RDL/BOR combo: 225 x 5, 5
(A2) EZ bar pullover / tri ext 95 x 10
(A3) ARXFit H press x 2
3 rounds

I’ll make time with the shrink later.  For now, a little overreaching will do the trick just fine.


In health, fitness, and ancestral wellness –




  1. Keith, great post. Very timely too. I just returned from a 3 week holiday to Indonesia/Malaysia and did my best to manage “the itch” (not the mosquito variety) while away.

    I found myself doing very similar to your advice, completing Dan John’s 10000 swing challenge just before I went away. This self-brutalising kept me relatively sedate for about 4-5 days but I was soon hankering for some heavy weights (which there were none).

    Thankfully our group were walking, trekking, kayaking, swimming or snorkelling most days which kept the itch at bay. However, by week 2 I started doing regular bodyweight workouts again. As I couldn’t do any sprints (too hot for this Brit) I did bodyweight work in a Tabata fashion which left me pretty pumped and out of wind, but most importantly provided “that sensation” of having done some hard work in a relatively short amount of time which got me to thinking…

    I can relate with your idea of “resistance to slothfulness” however do you think some people are drawn towards regular physical activity, not only for the longterm physical benefits, but also for the instant psychological benefits?

    We are, after all, wired up differently; hormonally, physically and neurochemically. I wonder if the response to exercise scratches a neuroendocrine itch in folks like you and I and could explain the psychological issues you allude to?

    Or maybe we’re just creatures of habit and resist change to our usual animal habits!

    Either way, thanks for the work you put into the blog.


    • Ha! If ever there was a person wired for the instant psychological gratification for exercise, it’s me! 😉 I feel your pain, Adi. Indeed, that’s a long time to go with no “iron satisfaction”!

  2. It was indeed Keith but as ever, absence of things you have begun to take for granted make you appreciate them that much more upon your return. Currently swimming in “iron satisfaction”! Cheers, Adi.


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