How to build an inexpensive shoulder/rotator cuff exerciser

As you probably know by know PaleoPathologist is into high intensity, superslow style weightlifting. My internet buddy Drew Baye asked me about a piece of equipment I made called an Infimetric Bar. PaleoPathologist cobbled together two of them, one for deltoid work and one for rotator cuff work.


The rotator cuff bar is on the left and the longer delt bar on the right. Delt bar could also be used overhead for tricep or bicep work. Basically to do the delt bar, pull outward and slowly raise one arm while resisting with the other. You’ll feel it in the delts. You can hit various parts of the delts by leaning forward and back. To do the medial/anterior rotators, try to compress the bar between your hands and slowly move the bar back and forth, rotating at the shoulder (not the waist.) For the posterior/lateral cuff, try to pull the bar apart and do the same movement.

I’ve tried doing 30 seconds at perceived 50%, then 30 at 75%, then 30 at 100%, and also have done 45 sec at 50%, 30 at 75%, and the final 15 sec at 100%. I seem to like the 45/30/15 a bit more, since doing 100% effort for 30 seconds kind of sucks actually.

To build these, get some 1/2″ PVC pipe at your local hardware store. Try to get the thicker walled pipe. Get two 90 degree elbow joints for each bar you want to build.


I cut four inch-long handles but I’m not a huge dude so you could add half an inch or so. I wouldn’t suggest too much more; the leverage if you hold at the end MIGHT be a problem.

The center bar for my rotator is 17″. I just held a ruler up and held my arms out in front of me in a neutral position to figure out the measurement. The delt bar is 36″ long.

You’ll need some PVC cement and a file or sandpaper, as well as a saw to cut the pipe. It’s soft and easy to cut.

Cut out your 2 handles per bar and your center bars. Follow the directions on the PVC glue. I suggest putting the handles into the L joint first; when the glue seizes it happens fast and that’s it. Then glue one of the handles to one end of bar. The only trick is aligning the two handles which I did by resting the whole assembly on a table.

Cost is about, oh five bucks.

What exercise equipment have you put togetber?

How to deal with procrastination like a human

This fabulous couple of posts comes to me courtesy of the Caveman Doctor, Colin Champ. He mentioned it on the podcast, Relentless Roger and the Caveman Doctor. Good to listen to a couple of smart young men talk about diet, exercise, life.  The WaitButWhy website has a two part series on why we procrastinate. Hint: it is the Instant Gratification Monkey living inside each of our so-called human minds. But there is a way out–the monkey and the human can be trained. (this beats recruiting the third member of the triad, the Panic Monster!)

PaleoPathologist loves metaphors like the Monkey. They work so much better than erudite verbose explanations.


Tip of the Day: Rapid easy cleanup for cast iron skillets

PaleoPathologist  loves his cast iron skillets, but people keep messing with them around here. For some reason they think you have to put soap in them to really get them clean.  PaleoPathologist’s Incredible Wife (IW) found a chain mail cast iron cleaner here, and ordered it up. When I finish my bacon and eggs in the morning, I pour a bit of the hot water from the coffee thing in the pan and let it sit. My cast iron is pretty well seasoned now. Then I buff it with this chain mail number with hot water, for about ten seconds, and it’s clean. A few seconds on the stove, a wipe with coconut oil, and all done. You can drop it in the dishwasher but it rinses clean fast. Amazon reviews claim it doesn’t scratch glass either–haven’t tried it though.

chain mail

Tip: shut off the screens and play this weekend.

Go out and have some fun. Make time for consecutive deep thoughts. Play!  Get outside! Walk with a loved one, without a heart rate monitor or GPS to track your steps. Write in a journal. Pray or meditate. Turn off your alarm. Jared Diamond says in one of his books that he found Hunter Gatherer tribal men spend about 20 hrs/week supplying all the food their family needs. The rest of the time is spent in play with children, religious pursuits, dancing around the fire…sounds great to me! (He also noted that his physician, lawyer, and accountant friends were not happy to hear this particular finding.) Thanks to Michael Hyatt for this hint.


11 foods that don’t need to be put in the refrigerator!

PaleoPathologist has sometimes looked at LifeHacker’s website and there are some good ideas there. IW probably already knows all this stuff but here is a brief and somewhat entertaining look at foods that don’t need refrigeration. Sausage is NOT ON THE LIST, but it looks so good that I had to use the picture again. Happy July 4th!sausage frying

PaleoPathologist tip of the day on Sunburn

PaleoPathologist is fortunate enough to go with Incredible Wife (IW) and a mix of daughters, sons in law, grandsons, parents, etc. to a beach trip each summer. Sometimes it is Holden Beach, North Carolina, this summer it was La Jolla, CA. The picture of course is totally candid, unposed, and naturally I was breathing in a totally relaxed and easy manner.physique at beach..

Tip on making bacon for the Tribe.

Here is a nice recipe for making bacon, in the oven. PaleoPathologist and family sometimes get together for breakfast or brunch, or at the beach like last week, and we like our bacon and eggs. While frying bacon is a nice craft, when you need ten strips the oven method is terrific. I’ve not tried the pinching up little peaks thing, and we’ve always used foil rather than parchment paper. Sounds like a fun experiment. Don’t forget to pour off the grease into an empty coconut oil screwtop jar and save that good pigfat for cooking!


Tip: Get outside for 5 minutes today

Get some nice blue bright light to reset your melatonin system, boost your mood.  PaleoPathologist walks outside around the building (see below) to get his 16 oz americano in the fabulous mug his daughters got him for Christmas last year, covered with pictures of the two PaleoGrand’s. There is a third grandson who just arrived two weeks ago!20140623_104244_resized


Any tips that YOU find helpful for a quick pick me up?

PaleoPathologist Tip of the Day: Sharpen your knives!

Steven Covey said, “Sharpen the saw.” My Boy Scout leader said, “A dull axe is a dangerous axe.” In this life we have two major categories of jobs:

1.  Do the work that lies in front of you: Productivity

2.  Maintain your ability to do the job tomorrow: Sustainability

sharpen knives

So how could you sharpen your knives today? Would it be a nap? Stepping back and planning? Saying a prayer? Or is it literally sharpening your cooking knives?