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Recovery Workout 12-21-12

Today I had a some energy I needed to expel. As soon as I walked in my door I changed and went straight to the gym (my awesome basement) and decided EFF IT! This is my life and I need to live it and enjoy it regardless of this damn sling.

“Now that don’t kill me
Can only make me stronger”

“Work it harder, make it better,
do it faster, makes us stronger,
more than ever, never over,
Our work is never over.”

  • 30 Minutes Recumbent Bike
  • 3 sets of 5 – One Arm Burpees
  • 50 Sit-ups
  • 30 Leg Lifts
  • Right Arm Bicep Curls
  • Right Arm Military Press
  • Right Arm Rows

I’m lefty dominant so I figured who cares if I make my right arm a little stronger than the left during this period of recovery. There’s a first time for everything as the saying goes. I feel really good doing something active again, even if I only worked one side of my body.

Enjoy my ugly attempt at one arm burpees.

zucchini, chicken breast, broccoli, asparagus, veggiesAll followed by a healthy dinner consisting of chicken breast, asparagus, broccoli, and zucchini! Yum. Oh ya and guess what…the world didn’t end today. Cheers!



Surgery Recovery: Starting Over

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted anything and for good reason too.  As some of you may know I have had a torn shoulder (labrum) since the beginning of 2012.  Having already signed up for a plethora of races I opted to simply push through and finish.  This year has been a real eye opener for me, I learned that no matter what the circumstances the mind is incredibly powerful.  It’s been quite the ride and I’ve met a lot of inspiring individuals, I’m beyond thankful for everything that has happened in 2012, from completing my Trifecta (Spartan Sprint, Super and Beast), to finishing the Death Race, running my first marathon and being one of the first to race in the Ultra Beast (the first ever marathon distance obstacle race).  The year has been filled with monumental achievements that have only amplified my desire to help others live a happy, healthy, adventurous lifestyle.

Shoulder Surgery Anthony Matesi


Today I find myself starting over. November 30th I went into surgery to have my shoulder repaired by Dr. Mark Bowen.  When I first went to him to have my MRI results examined he was a bit shocked at how bad my shoulder was torn.  I remember him saying to me, “your shoulder is extremely bad for someone your age, no matter what you will need surgery eventually.” As the year progressed I was completely unable to do any standard chest or shoulder exercises. Yes, I chopped wood and climbed walls and competed until almost the very last month before surgery but I could feel my upper body becoming weaker by the day.  We decided together that it was better I have surgery sooner than later.

After surgery Dr. Bowen informed me that it was worse than he thought and just a scope wasn’t enough, he had to perform an full repair.  Thankfully the Doc has assured me that as long as I follow his instructions and care of myself throughout the recovery process I will be back to normal.

shoulder surgery torn labrum full repair

Post Surgery

The first two weeks were very challenging. I was restricted to always wearing a sling and since I’m left-handed I no longer had access to my dominant arm. Eating, drinking, brushing my teeth, taking a shower, everything became a challenge.  It’s amazing how our body allows us to adapt in these situations. After the first two weeks I went in for my follow-up appointment and everything checked out a-okay. Dr. Bowen gave me three to four more weeks of wearing the sling when I go outside and when I sleep, otherwise I just have to keep my elbow metaphorically Velcro’d to my side. Basically I’ve become a partial T-Rex.  It’s all good though every day I continue to do my extremely basic exercises and I can see improvement.

The past few weeks have taken their toll on me however. I’ve found myself feeling very tired, partially due to restless nights and uneventful days. I’ve been working from home which is convenient but very boring when you are by yourself 90% of the time.  I decided today that this lethargic state of being had to be put to rest. I got off my ass, out of my bed and off the couch, took it downstairs to my basement and hopped on the recumbent bike. I knocked out a nice 30 minutes on the bike and then continued on to a short ab and leg workout to get things back in motion.


  • 30 Minutes Recumbent Bike
  • 100 Bosu Ball Air Squats
  • 100 Sit ups
  • 100 Leg Lifts
  • 100 Supermans (with frequent holds)

As expected my endurance is completely shot to hell, but our bodies have an amazing sense of memory. I am confident that with some consistency I will be back to my normal self in no time. The plan for now is to ride the bike often, work the abs, legs, and core as much as possible and start physical therapy in two to three weeks. It’s all about finding a happy medium. I’m feeling very excited that I’m back in action and can already tell that my body is responding very well to the exercise. I expect my energy levels should come back within a week.

This is just another obstacle in the game of life and I’m ready to jump, climb, and tackle it from every direction necessary.  I may be starting over, but that’s okay. It’ll all be worth it. This is just another beginning.


More Obstacle Race Training in the ATL

Obstacle Race Training for Death Race and Ultra Beast

Everyone got in on some wood chopping action!

When you are staying with other Obstacle Racers, the obstacle race training never ends.  Sunday morning we, Maureen, Andi and myself, headed over to Matt’s house to have breakfast together. After we all ate we were put to work. We helped Matt gather firewood from a neighbor’s house who was moving away.   Even his lil’ ones, Jackson and Emma, helped out.  I gave everyone a lesson in how to properly swing an axe and we all took turns chopping away at some very waterlogged stumps and such.  Matt also had some fun busting a couple old doors up with a sledgehammer.  They also played around with Andi’s homemade tractor pull, even Emma got in on the fun.

Push Up Challenge Obstacle Race Training

Got antsy waiting for our food.

After all that we began to get hungry again so we walked down the street to a local restaurant.  Though the options were limited, because it was brunch, we had some real good food.  I absolutely devoured my burger.  Before our food came out however, Andi and I decided why not knock out some of our pushups for the Push Up Challenge that is happening for the month of September.  We went outside the restaurant and both cranked out a hundred.  It’s funny how many people stop to ask why we’re doing what we do.  Always turns into a great opportunity to promote the Spartan Races, and other obstacle races that we are training for.

Obstacle Racers Train Anywhere

Our Training Pit Stop with Kerwin

Later in the day when Maureen, Andi and I were driving to Jason’s Deli for dinner, delicious by the way, I spotted a guy flipping a tire outside on the sidewalk at an apartment/townhouse type complex.  Of course we just had to stop.  It turned out he was training for a bodybuilding show in New York.  Andi asked Kerwin if we could flip his tire.  Only crazy obstacle racers would do such a thing. Ha.  So we all took turns flipping this big tire.  Then he brought out the sledgehammer and we all got our turn striking the big tire.  I think we convinced him to consider doing a Spartan Race, hopefully we’ll see him out on the course in the near future. He was a BEAST.

Post dinner we decided to do some sightseeing in downtown Atlanta.  We made a stop by the Olympic park area and of course what did we do? More pushups.  We got the attention of some guys walking by. The one asked if we really just knocked out 100 pushups, which Andi and I had.  He claimed he could prolly only do twelve, we said well join us! He dropped down and him and I went head to head at first, and then Maureen and Andi joined in.  I think he did some 38 pushups or so and he said he was going to join in on the Push Up Challenge for the rest of the month because we inspired him to start doing them everyday.  I love it; being able to motivate people to start doing something as simple as some push-ups is so invigorating.  That’s what it’s all about for us, ripping one person off the couch at a time.

Fun in the Park Doing Pushups and Obstacle Race Stuff

We had so much fun exploring the city, OCR style.

Next we made our way over to the Olympic Gymnast statue near the convention center where I remember competing in a National Cheerleading Competition a few years back; we placed 3rd in the International Open Division that year.  When we got to the statue I was in awe.  It was so, so cool to see this massive gymnast doing flares on a ring.  I jumped in there and held the best V-hold I could. It’s been a long time but I’ve been starting to practice these more and more recently.  Andi ended up climbing up on to the statue and grabbed the guys butt. Too funny.  It was getting late so we started to head back. On the walk back we noticed all these concrete pillars.  The obstacle-racing mind right away thought, oh look it’s just like the log hop.  I got up there and right away started hopping from one to the next ALL the way down the street.  Maureen took a little bit to get over the fear of doing it but she got into a nice rhythm; Andi rocked it out as well.

Road Trip Obstacle Race Training

Knocking out some burpees at every state line

When we got back to Andi’s we realized it was probably best if we left right then and there instead of trying to just catch a couple hours of sleep and then drive.  If we had to stop along the way we would.  It was hard saying goodbye.  It was such an incredible weekend with some of the best people.  During our journey home Maureen and I decided to take a picture at every state boarder welcome sign.  We knocked out a few burpees at each as well.  All in all this spur of the moment trip was priceless.  I couldn’t have asked for a better training weekend. Thank you Matt and Andi for being such wonderful hosts and thank you Maureen for coming with! See you all in Vermont later this month.

Ultra Beast Obstacle Race Training

At the spur of the moment, less than a week to prepare, fellow racer, Maureen, and myself, committed to driving out to Matt B. Davis’s Ultra Beast/Mudder training weekend in Atlanta, GA. The event was co-hosted by Andi Hardy, who frequents the podium at Spartan Races. Why would we drive from the Midwest, Chicago and Fort Wayne, just for a training weekend you might ask?  Mountains.  One thing the Midwest is known for is its flat lands, unfortunately that means there is almost nowhere that can properly prepare us for what lies ahead at the Ultra Beast in Vermont this September 22nd.  We know Killington will be brutal; we’ll be doing two 13ish mile laps of the Beast obstacle race, which will amount to being the first ever marathon distance obstacle race.

Friday evening after work I hopped in my car and drove to Indianapolis to meet Maureen.  Some awful traffic caused by a vehicle fire delayed my arrival by almost two hours.  We wouldn’t arrive in Atlanta until 6 AM after driving for 14 hours and some 750 miles.  Our training was scheduled to start between 7:30 AM and 8:00 AM.  I was able to get about 45 minutes of “rest” during the last leg of the trip and another hour of “sleep” at the house.  Andi, was just waking up when we arrived.

Training on a Mountain for Spartan Ultra Beast and Tough Mudder

We started out as a large group for training.

After the short catnap we made our way over to the mountain.  To my surprise, almost 20 people showed up for the training fun.  Even more surprising was seeing fellow Death Race Finisher, Pete, here for the event.  Just before we started the first 4-5 mile trail loop, which included a quick dip in the lake, Pete asked me if I wanted to run with his weight vest.

Mountain Training with Sandbags made by Matt B Davis

Thanks for the awesome sandbags Matt!

Even though we were going to be doing mountain climbs with our awesome sandbags that Matt made, with zero hesitation I obliged.  With our little crew together we set out for the first run.  The weight vest was a bit big but whatever, no time for comfort.  The trails were root infested, and ended up giving Maureen a nice split knee for a souvenir.  We didn’t find out until after we finished the loop as we were leading the pack.  I quickly dropped the weight vest and took off to see where her and the others stopped.  I met up with Andi and found out that a ranger had already picked Maureen up.  When we got back to the car site it turned out that Maureen wasn’t letting a little (deep) cut be the end of her fun.

Sandbag Carry Up Mountain

Check out that group of Sandbaggers

Andi handed out sandbags to all who wanted one, and we set out to climb Stone Mountain.  What a climb that was.  My custom made sandbag, complete with Legend of the Death Race logo, was somewhere around 35 lbs.  Matt decided I needed the heavier one, and they all had approx. 25 lb. sandbags. Andi’s green “watermelon” one was also about 35 lbs.  Along the way we were encouraged by many of the other people on the mountain and of course many were curious why we would do this to ourselves.  Spartan Race got a lot of free advertising from us today.  One guy even asked if he could carry my sandbag for a little to see what it was like and ended up meeting us back at Andi’s car to get one of his own.

Obstacle Race Sand Bag Mountain Training

The first climb to the top of Stone Mountain with sandbags

Once back at Andi’s car we all refueled, rehydrated and prepared for the next run.  With each return to the car more and more of our crew peeled off and said their farewells.  We set off on another run and made a stop at the bridge where the lake was.  We had some fun jumping from the bridge into the water; Andi checked the depth for us.  Maureen had fell back quite a bit because of her knee so Andi went back and the two of them went up the mountain while four of us guys set out on a longer trail run.   Other than some groin cramping this was another great run.  By the end of it we had completed a solid half marathon in total running.

We arrived back at the car and said farewell to two more.  Then there were four, Matt, Maureen, Andi, and myself.  We set out for another mountain climb.  This time I could really feel the sleep deprivation setting in.  The sun was beaming down on us; sweat just pouring out of my body.  Matt and I switched sandbags, and within a few minutes he understood how much that extra ten pounds affected you.  Toward the top we took a breather and I began to struggle even with the smaller sandbag.  My body was just exhausted; fuel was running low, and all I wanted was sleep.

Ultra Beast Obstacle Race Training

And then there were four.

The last stretch of the climb is extremely steep and though beyond exhausted, I did my best to push for a sprint up.  I made it about 3/4ths up this part before having to grab on the handrails. Making it to the top this second time felt like a true accomplishment.  We gathered ourselves, had a few more photos taken and set back down for the descent.

It was an amazing day of training with some incredible people.  The entire time it was all smiles.  That’s what it’s all about. If you have a smile on your face, no matter how hard the task, it becomes that much easier with a smile.  It’s all in the mind, after all. I am beyond satisfied with the turn out of the training event.  Now it’s time to enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend. Happy Labor Day and happy training to all!

Obstacle Race Mountain Training

Now THAT is a mountain 🙂

Workout of the Day 8-23-12

Run just under 9 miles of trails today. Climbed a rope I’ve been eyeing on my walks in the Forest Preserve near my work. Carried a log for a mile and a half starting around mile 6 of my run. Keeping it short and sweet tonight. With the Ultra Beast approaching trying to crank up the mileage. I’ll be heading down to Georgia next week for a training session with Maureen. We’re meeting up with our fellow racing friends, Matt, who runs an Obstacle Racing podcast. Andi, an absolute beast of a Spartan woman, will also be there. She has placed in the top spots at a few Spartan Races.  It’s going to make for a very exciting training weekend.

If you’re in there area and want to join us here is a link to the event page on Facebook.

Workout of the Day 8-16-12

Wow…it’s been a while since we’ve had one of these workout of the day posts. Today was one of those days where I had to push through my lactate threshold. I was feeling pretty tight when I hit the trail by my house today. I knocked out a 3.64 mile run. Half way through I saw a picnic table. I took this opportunity to do decline push-ups, box jumps (bench and table level), and reverse dips. Using the park bench nearby, I used a combination of my arms and legs to hurdle and turn my way over the bench going in a constant circle in both directions. Then I went straight back to running.

After my run I returned to my house, grabbed the slosh pipe and went to town with it. I did a lap around my block holding the pipe above my head, military pressing, curling, holding it out in front of me and curled. This made for a nice addition to the workout, I moved at a nice shuffle pace. The sloshing adds such a dynamic element to your workout. When I finished the lap I dropped and did pushups with my hands holding onto the slosh pipe. From there I moved onto a sprint workout.

Starting at my house I practiced sprinting at 100% force to the end of the block. It was approx .07 miles. I did this for a half mile worth. I pushed my limits a few times, and found myself sitting on the side of the curb a in between a couple of the sprints. All in all my speed is improving. Did you get out and work it out today? Don’t miss a workout, do whatever it takes to get it in. Missing a workout is like missing a class in college, at the time it seems to be a great idea, but in the end you’ll wish you didn’t.

ANNOUNCEMENT: You may have noticed a new button on the right side panel of this site. It’s the shiny green Register Now button.  That’s right we’re hard at work over here putting together an amazing training camp to prepare you for the 2013 Death Race and all other endurance challenges. Registration opens soon, just working out some legal mumbo jumbo.

Training Camps for Death Race Prep Workouts


Yesterday’s WOD

Yesterday I spread my workout out over the entire course of the day. I had a lot to do so I was basically squeezing in my workout how/where ever I could.

Over the course of the day I did

  • 30 Burpess
  • 100 Calf Raises
  • 100 Toe Raises
  • 150 Sit-Ups
  • 200 Penquins – Lay on your back on the floor with your arms at your side then “waddle” back and fourth like a penguin
  • 100 Left/Right Side Sit-Ups

I also dug out a nice 4ft deep hole about 2ft in diameter to install a new mailbox post at my parents house. During which my ol man and I switched off on some of the digging. In between I did a few sets of lunges while carrying the 50lb Quikcrete bag on my shoulder. Prolly knocked out a good 50 lunges on each leg going up and down my driveway.

I did most of my ab work while watching TV…all in all it was a very productive day.

My Behemoth of a Tire Has Arrived!

Well it has finally arrived, my ginormous tire has finally made it here. It’s been sitting in a dirty lot for a while so I had to clean it off a little bit. It had to look like the dumbest thing anyone would do to a tire, scrub-a-dub-dub. During my little cleaning session I gave the tire a good 25 flips. Let me tell ya she’s gonna kick my ass. Thank you goes out to my friend Billy, seriously thank you so much for bringing it over. I can’t wait to spend some quality time with this beast.

2 Pairs of Shoes. 2 Laps. One Trail – Workout of the Day 4-16-12

Today I set out to play on another new trail for me, my good friend Jon told me about while I was visiting him for his Marathon this past weekend. The trail is within a 10 minute drive from my house so I headed out as soon as I got home from work. The plan for tonight was to run this trail path twice, first using my new Cascadia’s and then right after using my Minimus Trails. Going into it I thought I was going to really struggle on the second round, not only was I going from a much more cushy shoe to a minimalist but I’ve already ran the past two days, a third day of running in a row is a little out of the norm for me.

First Lap

The first lap went by fairly quick, the course was just shy of an even 4 miles and my favorite thing as of late was present for today’s journey, HILLS! Yes this trail had a nice share of very gradual inclines and several steeper inclines as well. Nothing too high but definitely enough to make a difference. As of late I have noticed that my hill speed has been improving and tonight was no different, I found myself naturally increasing my speed as I went UPhill. The motion of my legs was so natural, I just start shufflin’ faster as I hit the hills. It’s just nice to know that instead of my old slow down at the hills, I’m starting to see my ability to push up them with a little oomph finally coming around. Half of this trail was a man made trail made out from a fine gravel and overall very smooth, the other half was a more natural trail created by mother earth. The second half was a lot less smooth and gave me some varied turf which is great for strengthening ankles, calves, and quads for sure.

Second Lap

After I finished the first round, I swapped my Cascadia’s out for what has become my favorite running shoe, my New Balance Minimus Trails, while I was lacing up I had doubts that I was actually going to go do another 4 miles, my legs were already a little sore and my shin splint in my right leg was irritated as it was most of the first lap. Regardless, I set off and told myself to go as long as possible and don’t give up, just give it all! That’s just what I did too! I pushed, and the first thing I noticed as I started hittin’ the trail was how weird it feels to go from one shoe to the other. I felt off but within a quarter mile it was business as usual. I was pleasantly surprised to realize it didn’t hurt as much once I was in my NB’s. I really do love how light they are, it’s a dramatic difference you can feel within seconds. I ended up finish the second loop in almost exactly the same amount of time as I did the first loop. The results of this were not as I expected, I was more than sure I was gonna drag ass the second time but I proved myself wrong, which is one of the greatest feelings. Being able to go beyond what you expect to do is what it’s all about. Diggin’ deep and going that extra mile. 8 miles, check!

When I got home, I wasn’t done. I went straight to the basement for a classic weights workout.

  • 3 sets of 6 reps bench press – 3 grips, regular 1st set, close 2nd set, and wide 3rd set (low weight and reps because my shoulder is still healing)
  • 30 v-ups
  • 3 sets of 10 reps peck deck
  • 100 toe raises
  • 100 toe jumps
  • 100 bicycles
  • 25 medicine ball push ups
  • 3 sets of 10 reps tricep pull downs with the rope
  • 50 calf raises
  • 1 minute plank with feet on medicine ball
  • 10 medicine ball push ups

To finish off this wonderful night of gettin’ my fitness I spent some quality time with my best friend Mr.  Foam Roller. Remember to always focus on your stretching and recovery activities just as much as your workouts. As you know, a healthy body and a healthy mind result in a a happy life 🙂

Workout of the Day 4-12-12

Today was one of those days where I got home and I was internally battling with myself trying to decide whether or not to run. At the time I walked in the door my family’s dog, Link, was very determined to get someone to take him for a walk. What he’ll do is go jump at your legs, he’s a small jack russell, and he’ll try to almost pull the whole trick where you push someones knee from behind to make them buckle. He kept doing this to my mother and then he’d scurry over to the door, finally he made a jump at me as I was standing next to his leash. My dilemma for whether or not to run was delayed as I volunteered to take him out and around the lake. During my 1.5 mile walk I realized my shin was a little tender, while it has been improving this was a good sign that I should take it easy and just do a body workout instead of a run today.

When I made it back from our walk I grabbed my big tire, 5ft log and axe along with a few stumps for practicing on and headed out into my yard. To start off I knocked out 50 tire flips. After this I went straight to chopping some wood. I spent around 30 minutes just hacking away. Following my 3o minutes of wood splittin’ I went and did another 50 tire flips. Next up I grabbed my log and did 100 lunges, 50 squats, 25 military presses, 25 bicep curls, 35 front squats. Then I placed my log on the ground and did 20 on each side where I would squat with the log held up on one end, when I stood up I would walk to the opposite side and switch the log to my other side and repeat. Also knocked out 100 calf raises and toe raises. Another great workout in less than an hour. What did you do today?

Update: Decided to finish the night off with 100 crunches and 5 minutes of planking. AROOO!!!