"The best teacher is not the
one who knows the most but the one who is able to reduce it to that wonderful compound of the simple & obvious".
Greetings! My name's Paul Tucker and
perhaps like many of you has clocked up quite a few hard miles. Rough chassis & suspension but a strong motor. In
recent years I have been able to jump through a chronic pain "ring of fire" and gain more useful strength , flexibility
and stamina than I've ever had. My successful leap was based around positive thinking , mind over matter
and a belief in the bodies' ability to self-heal.
Since May 2004 I have used
kettlebells daily to rehabilitate from old injuries and achieve a level of complete physical fitness I never thought possible.
At times it was 2 steps forward and one back but the convenience afforded by kettlebells enabled constant progress.
"If you have pain you overcome it by physical exercise, not by the mind.
The mind is no good for fixing pain."
Soviet weightlifting legend
I learnt to lift heavy weights
as a teenager and then spent years in & out of traditional gyms finding it all a bit of a bore. Much later I took up endurance
(including mountain ) running and heavy landscaping. I have spent many years locked in a sitting posture , both studying and
working in an ergonomically stressful environment (microscope and computer). Believe me , I am well acquainted with the forces
behind postural and stress-related pain (so-called tension myositis)!
life is spent diagnosing disease and contemplating the complex interplay betwen genetics and environment responsible for disease.
Notwithstanding wars, accidents and "bad genes" , it is plainly apparent that a large proportion of human suffering is nothing
more than maladaptation to out various environments - geographical (skin cancer , insect borne disease) , social (stress and
it's mental and physical consequences) and political ( pollution ,access to clean water and healthy unprocessed foods). Add
in the effects of gravity and it is no wonder that very few of us are immune to a wave of adverse circumstances. Studies
of population longevity throw up the consistent triad of a healthy diet , abundant exercise and positive social relationships.
So - called "ageing" is in
many ways a popular myth. Getting older is inevitable but the signs and symptoms of ageing can be significantly averted or
modified . As my age "caught up" with me and various life factors conspired to deliver stress and pain into my life , I began
to wonder how strongly one could swim agaist the current. Numerous older folk tell me that in old age the mind is willing
but the body is weak , and personally I never feel better than when I engage in regular , intense and purposeful exercise.
We all know we should be exercising
, and that it will make us feel happier, help us develop healthier eating patterns , help us relax and sleep better and so
on , but almost universally we are "too busy" for vigorous exercise. We either find it all too hard and give up trying , or
are driven to weekly or twice weekly bouts of "factory" style exercise to expunge guilty feelings. I believe
in regular intense bursts of functional physical activity that leave one feeling refreshed , not exhausted or sore the next
The key to anti-ageing is generation
of human growth hormone , increasingly important as the body becomes older. This is a natural youth
drug which repairs and rejuvenates damaged tissues. Released during restful sleep it recharges the body for the next day's
activities. It is released by exercise , particularly with bouts of INTENSE exercise. As you become older it becomes
increasingly necessary to stimulate this hormone boost to repair accumulative tissue damage.
Click on the links below for
recent references .
By the way , lads! Heavy exercise
to "failure" - running , gym , whatever will deplete your growth hormone and testosterone levels. One clue : you come back
from exercise feeling weaker than when you started.
Kettlebells offer the opportunity
for daily intense bursts of activity and generation of a "free youthfulness drug". 10 minutes a day can do it.
Currently I practise
Kettlebells and yoga , supplemented with as much outdoor activity as I can fit in . For a personal challenge , to thumb my
nose at past pain and to put my money where my mouth is , I recently competed in ( and won ) the 2006 Australian Tactical
Strength Challenge .
That involved a deadlift
(off the ground) of 190kg (425lb) , 16 pullups with 10kg attached and 135 repetitions of 24 kg kettlebell snatches in
5 minutes. The body seems to be holding up OK!
My current focus is Girevoy
( kettlebell ) Sport , a very tough sport , which for me is the ultimate test (see webpages at left ).