Yes, I did and a  lot of people have commented since the last blog post about how I am looking leaner. This is the leanest I have been in a very long time, and getting leaner every week.  I appreciate the comments and questions, so I thought I’d give y’all the rundown.

Writing this post, I called the doctor’s office to check and on January 6th, the day of the surgery, I weighed 301.

Jan 3rd 2011, in the high 290s

I took this shot on July 6th, right before I tested my squat. I weighed 265.

July 6th 2011, mid 260s.

I have talked a bit about how much better I feel and how squatting and hip hinging movement patterns no longer cause pain for me.  It had gotten to the point that last fall I did several HKC workshops which left me limping because my knee did not like squatting, swinging or standing for long periods of time. I would get back to the hotel and my knee would ache, be stiff and generally suck all around.

Consider this recent quote from my colleague, Sr. RKC and all around smart dude Dr. Mark Cheng. “If you’re exercising, but pain keeps flaring up, even if you keep training hard, the cortisol will keep the fat on your midsection.”

Looking back on the past few months I can speak on my first hand experience with this.

I tried everything I knew to do for my knee  and nothing worked. The bone spur removal was the ticket. No amount of corrective exercise or body work can fix a mechanical issue like I had. But a surgical belt sander can. No pain = better quality and more quantity of movement. This = better results.  Understanding the nature of the problem usually leads to the correct solution. The same bone spurs that prevented my knee from fully extending were also causing constant pain that increased when I tried did movements involving the knee.  The plus side to this period of time is that I focused on grip training and set several lever lifting PRs and bent my first red nail during this period.

Another factor: I am admittedly an emotional eater.  I think most of us are. Take the equation of not being able to move well or often, the hormonal effects (physical and emotional) of being in pain, one of my dogs died suddenly and unexpectedly in October (and I still think of him every day), and elicious Thanksgiving and Christmas food.

It all adds up to a fat Iron Tamer. I am not making excuses for anything. I let it all get to me.

I got plenty of criticism about it too. Some publicly and some in the form of cowardly anonymous emails and vague social media references.  “Why would you take fat-loss advice from a fat man?”

These criticisms are justified. To me it makes as much sense to me as taking pain management advice from someone who is in constant pain or strength and muscle building advice from someone who squats 275 for a 1rep max.

Even if you don’t have the nuts to say it directly to me, I get why you are saying it. Although I will say that taking the time to gossip or troll fake emails and blog comments shows the maturity level of bratty middle school girls, a distinct lack of having a life and it kinda borders on mental illness.

Consider this however: who is more qualified to speak on a subject, someone who has experienced it or someone who hasn’t?

Would you be better served with fat loss advice from a man who was fat and then got lean or someone who has never been fat?

When I went to Vanderbilt for the VO2 test, we did the standard vital signs, weight and BF%.  At home I weighed 253. Nashville Kettlebell, about an hour before the test I weighed 260 butt naked.  This difference is consistent. The gym scale always weighs me heavier than my home scale.

The Vandy scale weighed me 11lbs above that at 271.  In between I drank at least a liter of water and was wearing clothes at Vandy.  Does that account for all of the difference?  Who knows?

The last time I had my bodyfat measure was in March with hydrostatic weighing:

March 9th Hydrostatic



196.02 lean

90.98 fat


Compare that to the Vanderbilt numbers:

August 12th Tanita scale



209.5 lean

61.5 fat

Since March I have swung away almost 30lbs of fat and added an extra 13.5lbs of lean muscle.

After surgery the first order of business was learning to swing and squat again, then it was simple matter of ramping things up. I believe it has been a combination of things, being able to move better makes me want to move more. Being able to move without pain makes me want to eat cleaner. Eating well and moving well make me leaner.

The differences between now and the other times I have gone on the path of getting leaner? The only real difference is the inclusion of more Barbell work, because of meeting Marty Gallagher. Lots of squats, deadlifts, bench presses and barbell military presses and weekly calls with him that start with “Where’s your body weight?”

This, together with meat, leaves and a LOT of swings and snatches has proven very successful so far.  Today I was at 259. The target is 235 and I am well on my way.