No point in much of an intro here: everyone else is doing end of year round-ups, so let’s do this. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.
I have no idea if it was actually invented in 2012, but absolutely the best workout I have done, and would recommend to anyone, this year, is the below, courtesy of Dan John. It’s best done with two kettlebells (I used 24kg), though one massive dumbbell might work.
20m Farmer’s walk
8 Double-rack squats
Repeat a total of 8 times.
Bam. That’s a loaded carry, a difficult-to-mess-up squat, a horrendous grip workout and a cardio hit that will sear your lungs off all in one package. It took me four horrendous minutes to do, and I’m pretty sure I was burning fat for the rest of the day. Also, I think my shoulders got about an inch bigger. Honourable mention: max bodyweight squats.
No contest: it’s the magnificent Huevos en el Purgatorio, courtesy of the equally-magnificent Flick Girls. The essential premise? Cook up some onion and bacon, throw in some chopped tomatoes and hot sauce, then poach some eggs in the top. Even better, this reminded me that you can cook an egg in quite a lot of different leftovers, for an 8g hit of protein and a generally lovely breakfast. Honourable mention goes to ‘a massive steak’, as usual.
Yes, a traditional category. I’ll say The Dark Knight Rises, because even though I’ll probably re-watch Avengers more, that bit where Bane strokes the man’s face immediately made me want to go and buy some Captains Of Crush handgrippers. Honourable mention: good range of motion on Bond’s pull-ups in Skyfall. Basically, a great year for big forearms.
Probably Tyler Hamilton’s The Secret Race, which gives a great flavour of the oxygen-depleted air at the front of the Tour De France peloton, as well as a comprehensive explanation as to why exactly Lance Armstrong is such a massive shit. TL;DR, yes everyone was cheating, but nobody else was cheating quite so much, or forcing his teammates to cheat, or deliberately sabotaging the lives and careers of those who weren’t cheating, so fuck that guy.
Honourable mention: Zombie Titanic, because what other book this year has a jiu-jitsu practising suffragette in it? And it’s my awards, I’ll do what I like.
Chan-Sung Jung vs Dustin Poirier, UFC on Fuel TV. Chan-Sung Jung is an amazing fighter, and everything about this made me want to quit my job, dedicated myself to punching and choking people full time, and buy a Korean Zombie. Mercifully sanity prevailed, but I’ve still rewatched it twice and done air-punches both times. Honourable mention: Nate Diaz vs Jim Miller, another glorious outing for Diaz’s Calzhage-esque boxing and vicious, vicious BJJ.
Best fight scene
Anything from The Raid, but specifically the scene where the two main protagonists face off against Mad Dog for what seems like about half an hour. Like a good Dragonforce track, it started awesome, then started to drag, then carried on for so long that it got awesome again, then crescendoed in a way that made me spill my tea and go ‘Holy shit!’ It might have come out in 2011 where you are, but not in the UK. Honourable mention: the Hulk going nuts in Avengers.
Putting coconut oil in strong black coffee, as recommended to me by nutritional genius Ben Coomber. Tasty, enlivening, easy to make and good for you, in that order. You can also do it with good-quality butter: turns out Homer Simpson was right? Honourable mention: poached eggs on anything, which have made a comeback this year. Forget all that nonsense about making a tiny whirlpool in the water – four teaspoons of white wine vinegar is all you need.
This one. Bookmark me for the coming year, y’all.
HOMEWORK: No homework! It’s Christmas! Go hug somebody.