Hello, my name is Stéphane Vierge and I was born in 1967 (Do the accounts!). For the last name, I assure you that I did not choose 😉
I was born and raised in Bordeaux, a magnificent city that I love very much, even though I haven't lived there for a long time. I have also spent time in Toulouse and in the south-east of France, 50 km from Avignon where I got married in 1993. I am therefore more of a southern guy, and my last main residence in France is found in the Vaucluse.
With my wife, we lived 5 years in Guyana and we had a lot of opportunities to travel during all these years. In January 2012, we settled in West Africa, in Benin more precisely. And since the end of 2019, we have been living in Spain, in the city of Lleida (Lérida for non-Catalans).
I easily define myself as a homebody globe trotter.
Because I like to discover different cultures and places while enjoying spending time at home writing or reading. And exercise, of course!
I had the idea to create this blog because of a big hassle which happened to me in 2014 and which I will explain to you later. It reminded me how important it is to keep exercising. I live mainly from my writing as fitness and nutrition writer.
The beginning of the end
It was precisely when I returned from France in October 2014 that I found myself on the ground one morning, unable to get up. I felt a pain as violent as a stab in the lower back. And all that just by putting on my socks!
In short, 1h30 to wait on the floor, spread out like a pancake that has just accidentally slipped from the pan. I was unable to find a way to get up without suffering excruciatingly. It was not my 1st lumbago, since I've tasted it a few times since I was 27, but this one was full-bodied.
And that was just the beginning...
The article and the book that changed everything
Thanks to Doctor Stéphane CASCUA
As soon as I was able to pull myself up from my lumbago with the strength of my arms, I started to do research on the Internet. And there, I came across a great article from the Dr Stephane CASCUA, sports doctor and spine specialist (thanks to him).
You can find out here If you want. He says the opposite of most doctors by saying that you have to keep moving when you have low back pain.
So I said to myself that it was time for me to get back into serious sports to strengthen my back muscles and to get rid of excess fat, if you know what I mean.
I then weighed 100 kg (and more… but I didn't want to look anymore) for 1.86 meters.
Thanks also to Doctor Robin McKenzie
Since then, I discovered that I was suffering from a herniated disc. In March 2016, I found myself unable to walk except bent over like a 90 year old. I only moved around with a cane lent by an 87-year-old friend who took pity on me. Not to mention the excruciating pain to sit or stand.
Believe me or not, but I have self-healed following the awesome McKenzie methodA great American specialist in back problems. Only three days to get back on my feet just by following the advice of a book my mother-in-law told me about (Thanks 😉 ).
I had X-rays and a CT scan in April in France, which confirmed to me that the L5-S1 hernia was completely healed, except for a residual lump in the spinal cord canal.
Without any treatment!
I have the liver which is not right, and the spleen which dilates…
I have other back problems, in particular kyphosis due to too much growth between 10 and 11 years old (22 cm in 9 months). Without forgetting osteoarthritis on 4 lumbar and in the middle of the back. In short, what happiness… But the specialists say that sport allows me to save myself many problems.
So, I continue!
Unfortunately, I had somewhat given up my weight training after moving to West Africa in January 2012.
Two main reasons for this abandonment of the sport:
- The lack of equipment available in Benin. The second-hand equipment there was already in an advanced state of decomposition. We know why he got there.
- The heat does not encourage sustained effort. I had air-conditioning in some of my accommodations, but I hardly ever used it. First, because the quality of the electricity provided in the country is catastrophic (and I'm being kind). Then, because my wife doesn't like it. Anyway, it's not good for your health.
When I lived in France before 2012, I always had equipment available in a dedicated room: multifunction bench, elliptical trainer, sliding bench, abs board, straight and EZ bars, dumbbells, etc. More than enough, and enough to motivate me. But since then, nothing, nada… the interstellar void.
I did do some cardio and push-ups, just to say I wasn't giving up on the sport, but nothing very organized.
How to train seriously in these conditions?
You just had to find what works with little or no equipment, including when you are over 40 years old. In fact, I have many more today! Why is time going faster and faster?
I really found what I needed since, and I keep training, even when it's hot… And I keep looking for new effective training techniques anywhere. This is why I often talk about TRX straps, of the resistance bands (I'm a fan), original core training sessions with animal walking and other types of workouts to do anywhere.
I also changed my diet. But without depriving myself, because I am a good eater. In 9 months, I have lost 15 kg while continuing to eat at least as much as before, but differently. I weigh about 85 kg today.
For my suits, the size of the jackets is 58 and that of the pants 42. Not too bad for my age. In 2014, I bought 56 for the jacket and 46+ for the pants!
For the price of 2 or 3 pizzas, you can discover the entire method that allowed me to lose my fat permanently:
Benefit from my experience and those of others
All these years devoted to the practice of sport at home or outside constitute a great experience that I want to share with you. Moreover, I am an avid reader of many American articles on bodybuilding, fitness and nutrition techniques.
I read and research about 2 hours a day. That's why I can say that I make you benefit from the experience of others in addition to mine.
I practiced many sports
Besides fitness and bodybuilding, I practiced many other sports on a regular basis. My father was a former club cyclist, so I often rode bike with him or alone. One of my best friends was a horse guide, so I had the opportunity to do some horse riding.
At an almost prehistoric time, I even started to to run (11 km three times a week). I really enjoyed the feeling of the sport, but my back was already a problem when I was only 20 years old. In addition, my bodybuilding goal was then to weigh 90 kg for 1.86 m and running made me lose too much muscle mass.
I practiced almost every racket sports and in particular tennis on clay (I love it since Yannick Noah's victory in 1983).
When I say almost all racket sports, it's because I also played Basque pelota (including bare-handed), table tennis, badminton and squash. Until the osteopath told me when I was 40 years old: “You should think about quitting tennis, otherwise I'll have to put your vertebrae back in place every month. Not to mention your problems with tendinitis in the elbow and right shoulder. End of story…
When you play 4 times a week, it hurts (literally and figuratively). So muscle strengthening and high intensity cardio sessions became my main training, and no longer a support for tennis.
Get in shape with strength training and HIIT
Today, I do at least 4 strength training or HIIT sessions a week. It's fabulous for building muscle while losing fat. Including after 50 years!
This is all my experience. If you can enjoy it, I'm happy 😉
If you want to contact me, nothing could be simpler. Send me a message at email@example.com and ask your questions. I will be happy to answer you.