Way of the Warlord: Phase 3 Update

Last week we continued our new Way of the Warlord program here at A Kings Castle.  This is designed to be an interactive physical, mental, and martial arts program where the authors of the site give out a two week challenge to the readers to better ourselves and become better men.  Today’s post is the mid point update where we will share our questions, triumphs, difficulties, and advice.

Phase 3’s homework is:

Physical: 300 curl challenge

Mental: Get out of your comfort zone

Martial: Stretching Your Limits


Physical: This has been my thing for a while now, so I love/hate the 300 curl challenge.  It gives you a serious pump and leaves you burn the fuck out.  I did it 3 times this week, but next week I want to do it after all 5 of my workouts.

Mental: I took on something at work I have never done before.  It has the potential to make me more money and there is room to move around in my company.  I had no idea what the hell I was doing when I started, but after one week, I feel like I have a good understanding of the project and where its going.  Over the next week, I’m going to really dive in and try to take the lead position head on.


Where are you guys in the challenge?  This post is just an update so its kind of short but I’d love to hear your guys input.  The whole goal of this is to get us interacting and helping each other reach our goals.

Stay determined and check in when you’re having an issue or a hard time staying on track.  Drop a comment on your progress!


J. Nyx


Author: Jnyx

Fitness addict, DIY guru, tech nerd, member of Memesters Local 419.

40 thoughts on “Way of the Warlord: Phase 3 Update”

  1. I’m doing a circuit of Four x Bench, Hammer Curls, Dead+Shrug, Decline situp, Calf raises. Daily with light weights. It’s decent cardio and a nice pump. Getting too old for the heavy stuff. How is your soreness a couple days later Jnyx ? When my soreness is no longer acute….. I up my weights a little 🙂

  2. Physical: returned to the deadlift after 3 years due to my spine injury. I had been doing body weight squats for a solid year to get me to this place, and practicing my DL form at home in the mirror. I was terrified, went light, and succeeded in not hurting myself. Hamstrings are pretty shocked, though.

    Mental: faced some very overdue and challenging mental, familial, logistical, and spiritual housekeeping after the death of a loved one.

    Martial: dug out the whetstone and sharpened the first foot of my broadsoard (it needed it).

    1. I have a herniated disk in my lower back. At first, the pain and swelling would re-occur every month or so. Now I have no pain at all due to doing more pull ups, dips and stretches. However, I am hesitant on doing squats. I have a bench at home where I only do leg curls and leg extensions . DO you think it would be safe to do squats at the gym?

      1. Body weight squats only, until you are in a better place, for sure. If you are starting out, try standing in “horse stance” with your back up against the wall. It sounds really basic, but I swear to God, horse stance gave me my quality of life back and helped me get strong again. It is the single most important exercise I have ever done. It can be as challenging as you require, depending on how deep you go and the duration you hold it.

      2. Squats are always such a tricky thing if you have a pre-existing injury. I’d honestly ask your doctor about that one, because even a slightly wrong form with an already present herniated disk and you could be in for a world of pain that may never entirely go away.

        1. you’re spot on. When it first happened, I literally collapsed from the pain. I never want to feel that pain ever again.

          1. Inclined leg press machines are great for hitting almost the same areas (obviously it’s not a perfect substitute) while keeping your back perfectly aligned because you’re seated almost laying down. Hmmmm….I dunno man, I think I’d skip squats forevermore in your situation, too many herniated disk injury types I’ve known in real life have it become a permanent persistent pain that requires risky procedures that themselves might not even fix the issue. Like I said, you’re really best off ignoring any jock/gym person advice on this before you talk to an actual doctor.

      3. Honestly you can probably do core strengthening exercises that don’t rely so much on your back, and then work on your glutes/legs with other safer methods.

        1. yes for now, but eventually when I enter my 50s (in 6 years) I will have to stop playing soccer because I will be too slow. I am thinking about my next stage in life when it comes to fitness.

          1. My discs will never fully heal— so offloading some of their job to the core muscles is an essential for me. I changed a lot about the whole way I move, always keeping my abs somewhat tightened, etc. if you are concerned about the next phase of life, core muscles and glutes are the most important part. Whenever I see an oldster bent of back and slumped over, invariably he’s got a flat, skinny butt. Build up your abdominals, lower back, and ass to protect your spine. Low impact, easy, but consistent. You don’t need an 8pack, and don’t worry about doing any beach body modeling. Just get the strength there to compensate for your vulnerability.

            That’s my plan.

          2. That’s funny, I’m 50 this year and scouting for a Lacrosse league to join for fun, lol.

            1. the guys I play with are between 20-35 and former college players. My philosophy is go hard or go home. Maybe I will find a more appropriate group then, who knows.

            2. Were you born a natural mesomorph?
              I have to believe you most likely were.
              It makes a BIG difference.
              I am a natural born ectomorph, but built myself up through exercise over the years. As stated above, at 46 I started having issues with rotator cuffs and tendonitis. I have workd through it and am still in better shape than the majority of guys my age (51), but all those years of working with heavy dumbbells took their toll on my ectomorphic frame.

              Natural born mesomorphs are very lucky.

          3. 44 huh?
            I became physically “limited” (but still better than most my age) at 46.
            Be careful…

      4. As GOJ stated, check with your doctor. If he thinks you are capable of squats, start out with body weight, then move up to any empty bar. Take it VERY slowly and if you feel the slightest twinge or it just doesn’t feel right, quit right then! Make sure you allow plenty of recovery time too. I am an experienced lifter and do not squat more than once a week. The same with deadlifts.

        Squats are king because they are a total body exercise that will truly strengthen your core, along with your legs and glutes, if done correctly. So don’t ever let ego or dick measuring in the gym enter into the equation. That’s a fast track to injury. I injured myself showing off in my twenties, both with squats and other stupid shit. But squats that were too heavy for me to perform with strict form were at least partially responsible for compressed lumbar discs and severe sciatica.

        I am pushing sixty now and after years of chiropractic care and diligent attention to strict form I am still squatting with no pain. If you are cleared to do this and decide to, check out Athlean-X on YouTube. Jeff is a physical therapist as well as a professional sports trainer and has been injured lifting weights himself. If you follow his advice on form for squats (as well as all other lifts) you will be able to do them without risk of injury.

      5. Funny…
        I do pushups, dips, deep knee bends (squats) and lots of other stuff, but am hesitant to do chinups/pullups (which I used to be great at) due to my rotator cuff/elbow tendonitis issues.

    2. “dug out the whetstone and sharpened the first foot of my broadsoard”

      Ya boi COP ’bout to hit you up old school….
      That’s cool.

  3. Physical: 300 curl challenge

    Mental: Get out of your comfort zone

    Martial: Stretching Your Limits

    Physical: Adding another day to my gym routine, which I’d justified “taking off” during summer months, mostly for going out and having fun. Now that autumn is here and quickly moving towards winter there’s no excuse not to take it back to 4-5 days a week (was at 3 currently, all major muscle groups covered but it’s in a maintenance-only type of mode necessarily).

    Mental: Adjusting to a new situation I find myself in which is quite stressful, however, I’m tackling it by being impartial and logical about it, and have managed to utterly remove emotions from both the processes and outcomes of this change. There are times when I slip but I’ve been catching myself as I slip and not after as of late, which has helped me to control the path that I’m on.

    Martial: Looking for an actual boxing type gym but still coming up short. Son suggests that OSU might have actual real training available somewhere for non-students so I’m going to check into that. Otherwise, just keeping up on my range time and I know that’s not what’s being asked here, but it’s all I’m doing.

    1. ” utterly remove emotions from both the processes and outcomes ” – I always struggle with this

      1. Me too. In this particular case it’s easy to do because the thing I’m stressed about, the person specifically, is not around to see me flip off the electronic media of choice, so I can remain cool and logical while talking/texting/whatever. Believe me, when that person is gone, I’m flipping off my cat or muttering to myself about topics related to vengeance and burning down thatched huts. The outcomes I’m cold though, no emotions because I know they won’t help. The process is still a struggle in progress but I removed the emotions from the front facing part of me and that has helped a whole lot.

        1. At work, I am working on implementing lean manufacturing techniques such as designing fixtures for interchangeable parts and pairing mating components and having them built by 1 supplier as a way to ensure proper fit before final assembly. I have a QC department that was supposed to ship the fixtures, which are huge weldments, and ensure their proper use in a plant in Arizona. None of that was done, just thrown over the fence and washed their hands of it. The fixtures, were rusted out by sitting in the desert open air. The equipment came in and none of it fit with the other sections from other plants. I had to spend 3 days making measurements thinking I was the guilty party and my fixtures were fucked up. I wasted my time and now the QC department seems to care and want me to come up with a procedure to use the fixtures. How do you repeat yourself 3 times without getting angry on the third and start throwing tantrums? At least I own up to my mistakes but I am never lazy with communication and getting things done.

      2. If you have a set swinging, you are going to have a hard time doing this. Stupid and illogical shit just pisses me off! Maintaining frame and keeping a calm exterior can be difficult, but it is doable. It helps to stop, take a deep breath and analyze the situation before you act or even say anything. Never let ’em see you sweat.

          1. Age helps…somewhat. If walking away to get your shit together works, do it. We all handle confrontation and the stress associated with it differently. We just have to figure out what works for each of us individualyrics.

    2. Plenty of boxing gyms my way. Problem is they will throw you to the wolves day one. Talking about fighting over class but getting a college age guy who has a legit chance at getting to the money in professional boxing. Fast hands are god given

  4. Physical: This is my second cycle of Max-OT, so I am striving to overload my muscles even harder than before during the early AM. In addition I have started adding some high volume auxiliary exercises, per Hipponax’s advice, in the evening as well. That’s the only way I can work around my time constraints. It doesn’t seem to be affecting my sleep, so I will continue.

    Mental: I am paying closer attention to my sharp tongue and trying to be more patient with my wife. When she gets critical of me or others I am sitting back and carefully considering my responses before saying anything, if at all. This seems to have improved the harmony of my household quite a bit versus my typical snide responses in the past. I’m also trying to be more careful about it at work too. It’s difficult because I have a very low tolerance for stupid BS.

    Martial: Still staying stretched and practicing basic kicks, strikes and blocks at home. I am working hard on close quarters pistol combat under the tutelage of a very knowledgeable retired police officer. Last Sunday I pulled off some very good shots and elicited a bit of praise from my instructor. This is very uunusual since he really leans to the critical side. I will continue practicing my trigger and breath control until these shots are second nature.

  5. Physical: Finally moved back to dayshift and now have a schedule more similar to that of old. Workouts progressing at 5 days a week despite a violent bout with bronchitis. Motivation acquired and defiance is high. Once more, I have things to prove. Nutrition slowly improving. (Chicken and salmon for dayz…)

    Mental: With dayshift comes a new assignment to a new shop with an entirely new roster of people and set of responsibilities. Comfort zone: breached. (Boothe pls advise on officer etiquette in back-shop) Was shot down twice this week by girls who I would not say are out of my league. Result is my hard-wired internal response of “I’ll fuckin’ show you”. I’ll improve and do far better.

    Martial: Continuing familiarization and marksmanship practice with numerous platforms. Discipline and form with handguns visibly improving. Can consistently shoot man-sized target with my sub-compact at 100m.

    1. “Result is my hard-wired internal response of “I’ll fuckin’ show you”. I’ll improve and do far better.”

      Awesome! Good for you!

  6. This goes in “mental”, I believe : when back at home, I can’t find the will to wake up early in the morning when I don’t have to. And it’s a shame because the days I start early have always been more productive.

    1. Not sure if it will help but what I’ve found help me “get up and go” in the morning is one of two things, pick one:

      1. Have a gorgeous, svelte feminine woman with long hair wake you up by applying oral sex to you or

      2. Tell yourself the night before, as you set the alarm “I’m going to get up in the morning I have things to do. I will not hit the snooze alarm”. This is especially effective if you say it as you’re getting into that dreamy stupor right before nodding off. Repeat a couple of times to yourself, ideally 3 or more times. Always seems to work wonders for me.

      Of the two I recommend 1 as the most fun but 2 as the most realistic for day to day operations.

      1. I will try the second option. Can’t do the first one, still in celibacy mod… Going to celebrate my third year in december, by the way.
        I just have to correct that oversleeping problem and I may be able to become the most disciplined Frenchman in history.

        1. The words “celebrate” and “celibacy” are two words I’ve never seen put together in a coherent sentence before.

      2. “Have a gorgeous, svelte feminine woman with long hair wake you up by applying oral sex to you”

        An escort I saw for 3 years (but no longer) once said something similar. After a long night of drinking (and other stuff…) she told me I was “husband material”. At first flattered that this perfect 10 ( at the time she was a runway model escorting for extra $$$) thought of me as “husband material”, I was soon deflated when she said she wanted to start taking me out to “meet women my own age”. My response to her? If I ever woke up to some wrinkled, snaggle toothed old bag in her forties trying to go down on me, I would jump out the window…naked….to my death.

        But, as long as the “gorgeous, svelte feminine woman with long hair” is under 30, I have agree 100%!!!

        BTW, that escort turned 30 on August 31. I no longer see her.

      3. When you’re me, #1 is very feasible. Problem is it isn’t particularly effective because if you finish it just puts you right back to sleep.

    2. Let’s rephrase “I can’t find the will” to “I haven’t found the will yet”. You can indeed find the will, and so you shall eventually. Keep trying. First and foremost make sure you are getting enough sleep. If you are sleep deprived, making your feet hit the floor early is a daunting task. Then set the goal firmly in your mind when you go to bed that when the alarm goes off you will get up. Then when the alarm goes off, don’t think about it, just get up. The more you do it the easier it will get.

  7. Getting up early saves $$$. Get up at 3:00am. Go next door and get the neighbor’s newspaper and speed read. At 4:30 put it back into the plastic baggie and return. Saves about $35 every 3 months.

  8. Still reeling from getting totally and completely snaked on witchie-poo’s will by the one person I thought would not “f” with me in this way. So nothing good to report other than keeping up with my up-ramp on my workout from week 1. But I will get back into this thing. I absolutely will.

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