Call me Ant. I enjoy heavy deadlifts, philosophizing about physical pilgrimage, and being the best Super Smash Bros. player in any given room. I consider myself a writer (philosopher) and backyard athlete, but I’ve also done some speaking and coaching. But before I tell you more about the now, here’s my story.
You could say it started when a girl told me, “You have girl boobs.” (I’m a guy, by the way.) But I’ve had a neurosis to reclaim my physical-self for as long as I can remember. I always wanted to look well built and be athletic. But sometime around 5th grade, I got sloppy. I was an introverted goober that enjoyed anime, video games, and junk food—a perfect storm for physical destruction.
Globules of fat started growing on my skinny frame. (I can touch my pinky finger to my thumb when I wrap my hand around my wrist.) Hence, skinny-fat syndrome. Something I talk about (probably) way too much. My physical abilities tanked, too. Not only was I sporting a muffin top, but I couldn’t even do one pull-up. Hell, I couldn’t even do one push-up.
I was ashamed of my body. Put a lot of pressure on myself. Lived with a lot of stress. I was afraid to change clothes during gym class. I wore an undershirt instead. I never played any sports. And then my friends found something called tricking on KaZaA. (Tricking is best described as freestyle acrobatics.)
There were people in this underground tricking world that called themselves backyard tricksters. They had no formal training or experience in martial arts or gymnastics. No coaching. No indoor facility. They just went outside, found some grass, and started tricking. I enjoyed the idea of this because I could trick without public embarrassment. (Introversion runs deep in this one, myes.)
Tricking was the rabbit hole. It gave me some physical confidence, somehow. I say “somehow” because it also was (and is) rather humbling. And then thanks to a trickster known around town as Jujimufu, I started getting into nutrition and strength training and the whole body composition space. After understanding the power of barbell and bodyweight training, I built a garage gym. (How backyard of me, eh?) From then on, it was only a matter of time…
What I train for…
I train with ethos of…
- An Olympic weightlifter
- A gymnast
- An acrobat
And I merge all of those things into building an “X” physique. Throughout all of this wanting change thing, I didn’t want just any old body. My skinny-fat frame had the proportions of a female. A wide waist, narrow shoulders. Yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. Muffin top. Cheerio sized wrists. Blah, blah, blah. Dilapidated deltoids. String bean biceps. Whine, whine, whine.
I wanted to build my body up a specific way — a way that opposed the skinny-fat frame. Looking well built was a given, but I didn’t want to be a blocky bulge of bodybuilder brisket. I wanted to build an “X” physique.
And then combine that with the physical attributes needed for tricking — being strength and power oriented. Being a fast-twitch machine with a unique blend of flexibility and grace. Having the ability to survival spatial-temporal-kinesthetic chaos.
Maybe the best way to describe both = freedom. Movement freedom. Gravitational dominance. I’ll let you think of a catchy word. This kind of spilled over into barbell training, too. There was (is) an allure to bodyweight training that captured my eyes, hence the gymnastics side of things.
But I’ve always blended both the athletic and aesthetic side of things. I’ve never really done a conventional bodybuilder routine, even though looking good is a big goal of mine. I do my best to make the athletic training also take care of the aesthetics.
Some stats and other junk
- Height: 6’4″
- Weight: 200-210 pending the season
- Favorite lift: deadlift and chin-up
- Favorite trick: hyperswipe or hyperhook
This here is one my favorite pictures of myself. This here is a video of a 550 pounds deadlift I did. This here is the last real sampler my friends and I made outside of the teaser one above. It’s incomplete and unfinished because I broke my foot in 2011. You can see the video of the break here. It took me a while to get back into tricking, but I’ve continued on strong in recent days. I’ve also been known to dress up as Super Saiyan 4 Goku and shoot kamehamehas. And kick things.
Some professional stuff
I found tricking when I was in high school. I initially went to college for psychology, but I changed paths. I got a degree in Health and Physical Activity at PITT. I interned with sports teams when there, notably the football team under Buddy Morris and James Smith. I’m grateful for them. The experience changed my life.
I went on to become a high school teacher for a little while before I migrated to the Internet. Alongside maintaining this place and working with students (via the Internet), I’ve done a shred of speaking. I was a teacher at Camp Nerd Fitness. I do work with people on on one via distance coaching. But my writing here is much more of an exercise in mindless self indulgence. And for more, I turn you to the ethics.
If you made it this far