I will try to document something great. Andree. She is uncomfortably great. I will say ‘she’ but know that traditional gender definitions do little to describe ‘her’. In fact, to experience Andree is to question your own identity.
About a decade ago I was bouldering at Pine Mountain with some folks I can’t remember when someone unremarkable whispers, “Is that Andree?”. I knew just about everyone in the small Santa Barbara climbing community so I looked up expecting either a familiar face or someone to re-file under forgettable. Rather, I was introduced to my life’s epoch. I said nothing. I think she was wearing Army fatigues and a tank top. Who knows. There was a look on her face that is to this day difficult to explain. It was not happiness. She looked mildly annoyed or a bit underwhelmed with Earth. I don’t really remember what happened after that.
Dre came over to train, of course, one-arms in my garage this evening. It was, of course, awesome. Imagine Prince strolling into your local gym to pound out several plates on the bench press. It is an awkward sensation to have someone simultaneously redefine your understanding of physical power and sensual desire. It is to experience, in a word, Andree.
At best, I can go through it a couple times taking ~50lbs off with the pulley. For variation I’ll either alternate arms when I switch holds are just hammer on one side for the duration of the set then go through it again on the other side. The first few reps are easier so I might hit those closer to body-weight then put some more on the pulley for the last few reps.
Given how much regular pull-ups suck it is a bit surprising how good one-arm pull-ups feel. Babes dig ’em, they’re super fun, everybody wins. My friend Andre, who is both into babes and a babe herself, is all about one-arms. Coincidence?
One-arms and babes are a natural segue into barbells and boobs. On the complete opposite end of the awesome spectrum is cancer. I found out about BarbellsForBoobs.org shortly after my friend Steve (Stainless) Edwards was cut down in his prime. If you’re talking barbells, boobs, and punching cancer in the face, you are definitely speaking my language.
Are you proud of your hangboard setup? If you sent me a photo of your work would I laugh, in a bad way? These are our garage/basement/bedroom door frames for Christ’s sake – let’s show some respect. Look, I’m not going to tell you how to live. I just want to point out that a lot of time and effort will be expended on your hangboard so you should make it awesome.
Some do not, to be sure, but I have basically an anatomically complete frame. And it all works fairly well (big shout out to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital). So while my passion for beefing arms, coupled with a disdain for leg activities, serves me well at the cliff I do acknowledge the utility a complete physiology affords. I do, after all, need to transport myself to said cliff. I should do some Olympic lifts. How better to reinforce all the physiological systems from tip to toe? There are probably some equally good exercises but let’s agree that the snatch does incorporate all our stuff. Furthermore, one could argue that those of us fortunate enough to benefit from the bump in weight loss missing limbs/organs affords would benefit even more from developing a holistic craft like Olympic lifting. By the way, this is truly awesome to behold:
Though not officially an Olympic sanctioned lift, still very rad. Zach Ruhl
So there, I have no excuse. I am also encouraged knowing I have never regretted rounding out my fitness. I have also never regretted lifting weights. Anyway, it’s settled. Remaining obstacles look like this:
My ankle mobility is fully fugg’d from non-use, broken legs, ignorance, etc.
My hip mobility is fully fugg’d from sitting professionally.
My shoulder mobility is markedly improved but technically still pretty fugg’d in the front-rack position.
I look at this list as a litany of reasons to get after the Oly lifts. Truth be told, I do enjoy activities beyond hangboarding and look forward to fixing my mobility issues. Here’s the plan: