Tag Archives: gym

Tuesday Training: Nerve inhibition and bonus BANE!


I woke up this morning aching, pissed off and unrested. Another setback has befallen my bumpy road to full fitness and recovery. After my trip to the GP’s three weeks ago I was given the prognosis that I had some mild tendonitis in my left shoulder. That was a steaming pile of *cough* horse-shit.

At the time of the appointment I felt slightly relieved, following the prior amateur diagnosis from my big brother that I may have had a minor stroke. Tendonitis is manageable and strokes tend to be a smidge more difficult to overcome. Just a tiddy bit.

Anyway, three weeks of rest and a sedentary lifestyle came and went. As expected I became a misery and irritable. I had started to hammer the CV but swiftly recognised that even a running movement was aggravating my shoulder. My sleep pattern suffered due to not exhausting myself through the day, and anyone who has the misfortune of sharing a bed with me will know I am a massive mental when I sleep. But, I kept to the plan as per the doc’s recommendation like a good little boy with the distant hope that I would be back to full Hulk mode in a month.

So, the pain had subsided to a point where I decided it was time to dip my toe in the water and give the shoulder a little workout.

This turned out to be foolish.

My shoulder had about 40% of the strength that it ordinarily pumps out, I was wincing with every lift and unable to support even the lightest of loads. This culminated in an incline bench movement whereby my left arm gave out completely causing me to launch the bar back in to the notch to prevent a premature beheading. Consequently, I stormed out of the weights area and straight into the changing room with a major grump on. I didn’t even shower, you heard me right, not even a splash around the pits and ball-sack.

Yesterday I bit the bullet and booked a physio appointment. 45 notes lighter, I had a new prognosis – nerve inhibition. Essentially, my rhomboid muscles are freakishly over-developed and have encroached on my shoulder blades, shoving them up and forward. Consequently, the shoulder blades are applying pressure to the scapula and inhibiting the nerves in my shoulders, particularly my left, causing the nerves to wave the white flag when asked to work.

Also, I was joyful to learn that I have awful posture problems. 27 years of hunching over have taken their grizzly toll on my shoulders. I was interested to learn how much damage a poor posture can have on the body. When I say mine was bad, it wasn’t god-awful, but the physio was adamant I needed to transform how I carry myself when walking, standing, sitting and sleeping…for life.

If you can picture the scene in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ where Bane is sat hunched over in the sewer and presented with the battered Commissioner Gordon, well, that is pretty much how my posture is. (Piccy-wic included). Yes, I did just compare myself to Bane – deal with it.

Right now the pain is fairly prominent, I am certain that when I lifted two days ago I over compensated and have in turn strained my left bicep as well – Great stuff.

The outlook for the next month would therefore appear to be rest, posture improvement and several more sessions with the work physio (free) and lots of finger and bollock crossing that I repair.

One thing I have learned is that when I do get back into the iron lifting game, I will be dropping back on the weights. I have surpassed what I realistically should be lifting which is a damn good thing but also an achievement that has come with a painful cost. Plus, Tough Mudder is on the horizon and I MUST be ready for that.

I apologise if this has been a particularly self-centred entry, but I needed to vent my spleen.

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Tuesday Training: The tragic and cautionary tale of ‘Zyzz’.

Aziz 'Zyzz' Shavershian (1989 -2011)


Each of us, as humans, have the ability to become obsessed. It is both a brilliant and potentially dangerous facet of the human condition. Mostly, we are aware when passion morphs into obsession and we are able to curb it, identify and consequently mould it into the muse we want it to be.

A key example of unbridled obsession would be the former England rugby legend, Jonny Wilkinson. Infintitely talented on a rugby paddock and relentlessly devoted to success, a character driven by unbridled passion. As a personality, he was revered constantly, and unfairly, as a rugby droid, purely because he would not go out shagging vapid trollopes every weekend, or provide a cutting soundbite to the press.

Here was a man obsessed with two goals – to captain England and the second, you guessed it, to lift the Webb Ellis trophy and be a world champion. Everything else was subsidary.

The kick that changed history.

The reason I mention Wilko is two fold. On the surface was a consumate professional and a cast iron role model. His obsession and unflinching desire paid massive dividends. On November 22nd 2003, his world was replaced with a new alien existence. Jonny became a national hero and icon, prime press fodder.

Post World Cup final, his finely tuned body began to creak and misfire. Injury upon injury followed, form dissapeared. Wilkinson slowly slipped from the public conscious. All the seconds, minutes, days and hours spent carving his psyche and technique to becoming a world champion reared themselves in the years that preceded that glittering November evening at the Telstra stadium.In a cruel twist, the work he had done was now creeping up and tearing him apart.

Jonny entered a spiral of deep depression and suffocating anxiety. Silently, he became a recluse – angry at the sport that he once adored and the spotlight that shone so brightly on his career.

From hero to an ongoing joke of the sport, famed once for his consumate temperment, now for his broken body and failed comebacks. His obsession led to the heights he craved but similarly it also culminated in to the darkest, lonliest period of his life.

Fortunately, Jonny eventually recognised this and relaxed his obsessive regimen and learned to enjoy his rugby, moving to Toulon and rebooting his stuttering career and personal life. He identified his demons before they swallowed him entirely.

‘Zyzz’ however, did not.

Aziz ‘Zyzz’ Shavershian

I stumbled across ‘Zyzz’ a couple of months ago on youtube whilst I was searching for a couple of motivational videos prior to throwing stuff about at the gym. The picture heading this blog previewed the video and so my curiosity was tickled and I watched the four minute video that followed.

What a cock,” was my immediate thought.

A minute later, “Cripes, he is in great shape though”.

Three minutes in, “He’s rather funny is this Aussie chap”.

The video ends, “What the shit?!! He’s DEAD?”.

I have a healthy morbid curiosity, maybe it links to the job I do (I’m not a contract killer, despite my obvious resemblance to Agent 47 of the Hitman games). My research began and I started to learn more and more about this internet sensation and cult hero, who was simply known as ‘Zyzz’.

Here was a very young man, who whilst in his teens was trapped within the body of an ectomorph. He craved, like a vast bulk of us gents do, women and he believed that being shredded was the answer. Therefore he began to train….hard. Results came quickly and with his new found adonis-like physique, as did a new personality that would inspire and repulse in equal measures.

‘Zyzz’ was the phyical embodiment of an internet troll, he became a minor celebrity down under. This was reflected following his premature passing with the search term ‘Zyzz’ being more popular than that of the Australian Prime minister.

Watching his videos, ‘Zyzz’ fist pumps and flexes his enviable physique in all manner of inappropriate situations.Whether you approve or not, he coined a number of phrases, that no douby you will have heard farting out of the mouths of teenage plebs at your local gymnasium.

“You mirin’?!” – You admiring?

“Come at me bro!” – self explanatory.

“Sick C*nt” – again, self explanatory.

“FUUUUUUAAAAAARK” – see above.

All inspired, Shakespeare standard fayre I am sure you will agree.

Watching his videos, it is simple to dismiss ‘Zyzz’ as a bit of an Aussie prick – and he is, but this is also a slight disservice. Away from the camera, he openly confided in his fans that the entire ‘Zyzz’ character was just that, a fabricated figurehead for his obsession – to be the king of aesthetic bodybuilding.

His transformation from stick insect to aesthetic god has inspired many. He is also despised by those who consider him a fraud, and understandbly so, I am undecided, but once you click through a few of his videos and read his dry and sometimes hilarious quotes, it’s difficult to not feel an ounce of sadness for his untimely passing. There is certainly a presence about him, good or bad.

Aziz ‘Zyzz‘ Shavershian died in a sauna in Bangkok, aged 22. It is widely reported that he was on a very intensive steroid and fat burner cycle and this coupled with an unknown heart condition put paid to his legacy. Despite his continual protestations that he was a natural bodybuilder, the general consensus was that he indeed did abuse steroids.

I dont ask that you like or approve him, I just consider his story to be quite an intriguing one.

His obsession snuffed out his young life. Dont let obession rule yours.

RIP Aziz ‘Zyzz’ Shavershian March 24, 1989 – August 5, 2011


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