Hail to the Dinosaurs!
Last week I was talking about my
current training, and why I prefer
to do Olympic weightlifting at this
stage of my career.
I gave you seven reasons.
But I omitted one, and it's a biggie.
Olympic weightlifting is easier on my
Yes, you heard that correctly.
Here's the deal.
My father has glaucoma. My brother has
glaucoma. All of my paternal uncles
had glaucoma. Every man in the family
Glaucoma is a degenerative eye disease
caused by unusually high inter-ocular
(inside the eyeball) pressure. It's
sort of like having high blood
pressure in your eyes.
It causes the death of nerve cells in
the eyes -- and if untreated, it can
lead to progressively greater and
greater vision loss -- and even to
It's an hereditary condition -- which
is why all the men in the family have
We're not sure if I have it or not.
Because of the family history, I get
checked every three months. I'm right
on the edge. I've been told, "Yes, you
have it" -- and I've been told "You
know, I think it's close -- but I
don't think you have it." Three
different opthamologists have said
"Yes, you have it " -- and then
changed their minds in later exams,
and a fourth flat out said he just
Anyhow, we watch it very closely, and
I take the same eye-drops I would take
if I were diagnosed as having glaucoma.
The drops reduce the inter-ocular
Now, as you might imagine, my opthamologist
and I have had a number of conversations
about my weight training.
He wants me to stay away from any slow,
grinding movements where my blood pressure
goes sky high and my face looks like it's
going to explode.
But he's okay with snatches, cleans and
jerks -- because they're much faster and
you don't hold your breath for as long --
and thus, there's much less internal
pressure, even if you do a heavy lift.
Now, please note -- I am NOT a medical
doctor, and I'm NOT an optthamologist,
so if you have glaucoma or are at risk
for glaucoma, talk with your doctor
and work up an appropriate plan,
including the right kind of exercise
program for YOU.
All I'm saying is that in MY case,
based on my current eye condition
and overall health, I've been cleared
to do snatches, cleans and jerks.
Kettlebells would also be okay,
as would most of the exercises
in the Dinosaur Bodyweight
Training course. (I'm supposed
to stay away from any inverted
exercises, such as handstand
pushups, because the blood runs
to the head -- which increases
the pressure on my eyes.)
I'm sharing this because it's an
example of how things change as
you grow older -- and an example
of how important it is to find the
right kind of exercise -- and how
the right kind of exercise might
change for you over time.
Anyhow, my eye pressure and visual
field test was fine at my last exam,
and hopefully it will stay that
In the meantime, I'm having fun out
in the garage, and my lifting platform,
Olympic bar and plates are getting lots
As always, thanks for reading and
have a great day. If you train today,
make it a good one.
Yours in strength,
P.S. Gray Hair and Black Iron is a must
read for older trainees:
P.S. 2. If you're looking for something
fun, different and effective, try Dinosaur
Dumbbell Training or Dinosaur Bodyweight
P.S. 3. My other books and courses are
P.S. 4. Thought for the Day: "Train hard,
but train smart. You last longer that way."
-- Brooks Kubik