Be thankful for your health!

Be thankful for your health!

Posted by Elias Arcondoulis on Jan 04, 2015 in #Ambassador Blogs.

Hi everyone and Happy New Year!

Before I leap in to 2015 I thought I’d cover off on the month of December, as it was a pivotal month in my sporting progress. Earlier in 2014, I made the decision to try out for the Australia Bobsled team. Bobsled requires an explosive sprint over 30-50m with high resistance, which is suited to explosive athletes at approx. 100kg bodyweight.

The bobsled tryouts took place in Brisbane, December 7. The tryouts consisted of a 1 rep max bench press, back squat and power clean as well as a 60m & 100m sprint, and standing long jump and static vertical jump. Unfortunately a week prior, I did a partial tear to my right calf. Despite all natural efforts to accelerate the healing process, it had not recovered by the time of the trials.  I decided to go to Brisbane nonetheless and do my best in the gym. I did a cautious 130kg power clean and 220kg squat, to prevent further injury to the calf. I was uninhibited with my upper body and I was happy with my bench press of 155kg. Legendary swimming coach Don Talbot happened to be there and provided me with plenty of encouragement; it was a privilege to meet him. The following day consisted of sprinting and jumps, which I elected not to be a part of.

Based on my power in the gym, my bodyweight, and previous experience in track running and athletics, I was invited to train with the team on the ice in February 2015, Whistler Canada. This was very exciting for me and a great opportunity to pursue an Olympic dream!

I headed to Tasmania the following weekend to visit the staff at the Bulk Nutrients factory and also to compete in the Gates of Hell Strongman Competition on December 14. The competition was well run and held at Van Demon Fitness centre. I competed in the heavyweight division and I was doing well; I won the yoke walk (270kg carry over 40m), won the log clean and press (117.5kg – I had to go light to prevent furthering the calf injury) and pulled the biggest axle deadlift of 250kg, no straps. Unfortunately in doing so, I tore the bicep tendon off the bone in my left arm. I went straight to the Royal Hobart Hospital.

I visited an arm specialist in Adelaide the following week who made it clear that I required surgery. The following day, he performed a bicep-button operation, which involved attaching the bicep tendon inside the bone, providing a strong connection. The plaster comes off January 8 and the recovery time can take 2-3 months.

Being injured can often help you think clearly with perspective. It very quickly makes you realise how much you can take being in good health for granted. I have written up a lower body and core/lower back program which I can do whilst in an arm sling, involving safety bar squats, leg machines and some light pliometrics. The nature of these workouts has helped me stay positive.

I am still undecided about going to Whistler with the bobsled team due to this injury. If I re-injure it, it may never re-heal. I have also been advised that if I do not go to Whistler in February, that my chances of competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics will be unaffected – i.e., it won’t impact my long term chances. It would be a great experience, however to visit the team and get some sled experience, even just to watch and become immersed in the sport. I will make a decision by the time of the next blog and keep you all posted.

Train hard and smart,


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