Thursday, March 31, 2016

5 Training/Diet "hacks" that work good AF

Control your environment for diet control - 

When I was working in IT, much like the movie office space, we all had cubicles.  And because you can simply walk up and down the aisles and peer into co-workers cubes, I always felt like I got a little bit of insight as to their life.  Or at least, a snapshot in time.

For the co-workers I was good friends with, it never failed that when they were struggling with problems at home or otherwise, their cubicles tended to be messier and far more cluttered in that time.

This is just my own personal observation and nothing more than some anecdotal evidence, but I feel the correlation is strong.  Kinda like the woman going through heartache is likely to sit at home and eat a whole pan of brownies and throw discipline right out the window during that time.

While not always being the case, our environment that we control like our house or workspace, is often a reflection of our headspace and emotions at that time.  After all, it's hard to clean up and get everything neat and tidy while your personal world is being turned upside down.  So you literally turn everything around you upside down, or leave it in that state while your mind and emotions are occupied in a similar manner.

There was a study done a while back on this very thing.  100 women were asked to come in and sit down in either a messy or cluttered kitchen, and write an essay about either a time their life felt in control, or out of control.  The women who sat in the cluttered kitchen were asked to write about a time they felt out of control in their life, and the ones that sat in the clean kitchen were asked to write about a time they felt in control of their life.

The women were given snacks to eat while they wrote.  The ones that sat in the cluttered kitchen ate more than twice as many cookies as the ones that sat in the clean kitchen.

Some might dismiss this study because of all the quality control or blah blah blah, but I think it's right on point.

When your mind is occupied by feelings of having your shit together, and your environment is a reflection of that, discipline tends to easier, and willpower will be strong.

When your mind is occupied by feelings of chaos and discontent, and your environment reflects that, our other habits will reflect that as well.

As humans, it seems, whatever is at the core of us...whatever is driving our thoughts, emotions, and controlling our mind tends to reverberate throughout every other aspect of our behavior.

Fuck it, might as well eat all the cookies

Focus, or lackthereof, tends to cascade off into every direction of what we have control over.  Our words, actions, thoughts, and habits.

So it shouldn't be of any surprise that the women who were writing about feeling out of control sitting in a messy room would be more inclined to loosen the reigns on eating, and throw more caution into the wind.

I can tell you from experience that when life is really in the shitter it's very hard to find the mental energy or desire to clean everything up around you.  But I can also tell you this; when my own house is very neat and tidy that I do in fact work more efficiently, and seem to have my "shit together" better.

The next time your life feels out of control, remember this - there are still things you have control over.  And the truth is, those are the things you should be putting your energy into.  Because what's the point in sitting around worrying about things you literally have no control over?  All it does is keep you from being as efficient and organized in your life as you can be.

So if you are trying to clean up your diet, and be strict in your eating, literally stop and take a look around at the environments you are spending time in.  If your house is a mess, clean that fucker up.  If your workspace is a mess, clean that fucker up.

Take back control over the things you have the power over, and try to let go of the worries about things you cannot change.  I know this can be hard to do, but actually focusing on the things you can change, will help you find clarity in regards to the things you can't.

Listen to relaxing music while doing lunges -

I've written about this many times, but of course lots of people don't see everything I write, so here it is again.

I love lunges.  I think they are one of the most underrated movements you can do.  They have been hi-jacked by women trying to build glutes and legs and get "toned".  But the fact is, lunges are a great economy movement.

By economy I mean they do a lot of great things all at once.

They improve mobility, create balance throughout the lower body, stretch the hip flexors, and are great for pretty much every muscle from the hams to glutes to quads.

Many moons ago, I somehow ended up having some easy listening ballad type shit come on my Pandora during the end of my leg session.  This would normally be something I'd thumbs down during training as my usual selection is hard, fast paced metal.

But this shit came on during the middle of my set of lunges.  And I found myself lunging, and lunging, and lunging.  After my set, I actually added an easy listening/soft rock station and went back to lunging.  And sure enough I could do far more lunges than I had usually been doing.

It made total sense to me afterwards.

Adrenaline driving music, the kind that helps you "get up" for a big set of squats or deadlifts is great because naturally, you tend to get tighter all over and feel that rush of "crush-kill-destroy" while it's playing.

And this is good.

You need to be amped up and tight as fuck during those big movements.

But for lunging, the fact is staying tight as hell tends to zap you of energy a lot faster than if you're keeping the rest of your body very relaxed.

I likened it to fighting.  When you're sparring, the tighter you stay the faster you're going to gas.  You only  "turn it on" for a split second during a combination thrown, a punch or kick here or there.  But you must learn to stay relaxed if you want to have the energy explode when the moment calls for it.

Lunging isn't much different.  If your upperbody is tight and tense, then that's energy expended that has nothing to do with the part of the body you're actually trying to work.

You should stay upright during lunges, of course.  But you need to stay upright in fighting as well.  I mean, I've never seen someone fight bent over with floppy spaghetti noodle arms.

The key is staying upright, but keeping the torso mostly relaxed.   And what I found was, with the easy listening type music (and no I don't give a shit what kind of easy listening you use), I relaxed better, breathed better (instead of holding my breathe like in squats or pulls), and was able to do about twice as many lunges as usual than I was doing before.

Much like how we reflect our environment and how it's a reflection of us, music in training can and does play a big part in where our mind goes.  If you've ever left your headphones at home and had to listen to awful gym music you're very aware of this.  Your own music that resonates with you, and can give you that surge of focus and adrenaline can help drive you to a PR or to power through a hard set.

In this case, back off the head decapitating stuff, and throw on some relaxing shit and you'll notice a big difference.  I've had multiple people try this and they always laugh at the difference it makes.  So give it a whirl.

Put all of your big movements last in the workout - 

I've been doing this for quite some time, and without fail when someone checks my Instagram for my training log for the day, I will get asked why I am doing my squats and other big movements after all of the other stuff.

Their retort to my "why not?" response is generally the same, not-well-thought-out one.

"Because I have more energy at the beginning of the workout when I can use more weight."

This is true.  However, my stance on muscle growth is that training frequency may be the biggest player in the paradigm of intensity, volume, and frequency.  The more often you can get into the gym, and stimulate growth - and recover from it- then faster you're going to grow.

Of course, this means you have to train very hard.  You can't just go into the gym and do some bullshit sets a bunch of times a week and expect to get mad gainz.  But doing your big movements first, where you're using as much bar weight as possible, tends to play havoc on the systemic recovery curve.

Whether you believe this or not, growth is not determined by how much you're lifting, but by a myriad of other factors that can and do impact hypertrophy.  You can grow off of sets of 5, and you can grow off of sets of 20.  Obviously the intensity (weight on the bar) is going to be much lower during a set of 20 than a maximal set of 5, but do three months of hard as fuck 20 rep squats and tell me if your legs don't grow.  In fact, I'd bet money they grow more than during all the months you did sets of 5.

With all of that said, if I want to train hard more frequently, then I have to weigh in the intensity, frequency, volume factors to meet the demands for recovery.

I've covered this before, but here it is again....

Two of these can be high, but the third needs to be down regulated.

If volume and frequency is high, then intensity needs to be lowered.

So if I want to train often, with a high degree of volume, then the weight on the bar needs to be lowered so that from a systemic standpoint, I'm recovering enough to meet the other variables.

And this is why I have moved almost all of my big compound movements into the end of my training sessions.  Because I still believe they have the greatest amount of value from a growth perspective, but if I want to be in the gym often, doing a lot of work, I can't be suffering from workout hangover because I went heavy on everything.  Remember, there is localized muscle recovery (which is fairly fast), and systemic recovery (the various nervous systems involved in training).

What I have found is that when I move my big movements to the end of my training, I can use far less weight, yet still bust ass on them and benefit from them.  So while using 405 for squats may seem "inferior" than using 500-600 for them, all my legs know is they are having to work exceptionally hard to move that 405 pounds.  At the same time, it's still 405 vs 500-600 pounds, and I wholly believe that from a systemic standpoint the impact on recovery is far less.

Another great example of this is front squats vs back squats.  You can take a maximal set of front squats to failure at 8 reps, but if it's at 365 pounds vs doing back squats to failure with say, 500 pounds, don't you think there is a difference from a systemic recovery standpoint?

I do.  I don't need a study for this.  I've seen it in my training.

So if you want to train hard, and often, be mindful of these factors, and do some pre-exhaustive work before your big movements and you will notice a massive difference in how you "feel" each day recovery wise.  You should be able to train more often, without feeling run down all the time.

To add, I don't care what you pre-exhaust with.  Just think in terms of more single joint movements, or "small" movements that put more tension on a very direct area than spreading it across a large degree of musculature.  So before you ask "what are your recommendations for...", well there they are.

Go in and experiment.

Avoid temptation one time at the grocery store, instead of every night at your house -

I wrote this on my Facebook page last week, but hey let's cover it one more time (and props to the guy who gave me the bolded title for this part).

I can't tell you how many messages or e-mails I get a week from people who blow their diet, or have trouble staying disciplined to what they are supposed to eat, and it's not always the weekend binging (but I will get to that as well).

It's not always the going out to eat on the weekends, or getting wasted at Bob's big kegger that weekend.  It's most often, shit they are eating out of their own pantry.

And my first thought when I hear this "how is that shit in there in the first place?!?!?!"

"I get it for my kids."

Oh so you feed your kids junk all the time.

"No, it's just for snacks!"

They can't snack on fruit or some yogurt or something somewhat "healthy" rather than Oreo's or Twinkies?

Hey look, you are the parent of your kids and if you want to feed them that shit, that's your call.  But here's the thing, if you're trying to drop weight or bodyfat, and you cannot refrain from eating your own kids junk food, then maybe it's best not to have it in the house all together?

I know, it's an Earth shaking revelation but if shit food isn't in your house, it's really hard know...EAT IT!

Here is a better option - Make a list of the shit on your diet, and JUST BUY THAT.  Nothing else.  Just what's on your diet.  Throw away all of the foods that call out to you like the devil asking you to participate in smoking meth and having orgies with two dollar hookers.

If you have kids, it's my SUGGESTION (I'm not telling you what to do here, so gear down, big rig), to buy them healthy foods like nuts, fruit, greek yogurt, etc.  You can also turn them on to chocolate rice cakes, which I personally find delicious and will eat 500 of them when I refeed and they are very low calorie.  It's hard to really fuck yourself up diet wise, by binging on rice cakes.  And there's a lot of flavors.  I'm just throwing it out there as an option.

Have your cheat meal mid-week by earning it on the weekends -

Everyone loves their cheat meal planning.  I swear it's become such a staple in dieting now that it's almost always one of the first questions I get when new clients come aboard.

"When is my cheat meal?"

First off, let's clear something up.  You don't even need planned cheat meals.  It's actually better to NOT schedule them in my opinion, and listen to when your body needs a refeed, than to believe that because some arbitrary day of the week has rolled around that it's time to have one.

If you're not already lean, I am going to stand by my stance that you don't need one at all.  If you're insulin sensitivity sucks nuts, and your body cannot partition your macros very efficiently then it's going to do a very poor job of moving those nutrients into the places it should be going, rather than right to your love handles or saddle bags as fat.

The former seems better than the latter doesn't it?

I know, I know, you need the mental break from dieting.


What I propose in regards to cheat meals, or refeeds, is to eat a high carbohydrate meal with very little fat involved and a moderate amount of protein.

Now that I'm consistently in single digits I have a much better handle on what my body does in regards to food variation.  When I refeed on "clean" food that is low in fat and loaded in carbs, I will wake up the next morning very full, and feeling awesome.  When I eat a bunch of shit that is loaded with high amounts of carbs and fat, I turn into a water buffalo for a few days until that water comes off.

I also "feel" shittier during that time as well, and my joints tend to hurt and I feel sluggish as fuck.

But back to planning cheat meals/refeeds if you happen to be one of those people.

Outside of the people who can't control themselves at home, eating all of their kids snacks, the people without kids who do indeed buy only what is listed on their diet tend to quite often blow their diet on the weekends.  Eating as much as 20% more calories than they did each day during the week.

So think about this - your diet could be on point all week.  You did awesome.  Only ate what you were supposed to.  Then the weekend rolls around and you have plans on Friday......and eat out and think "fuck it, I had a great week.  I deserve to splurge."  No biggie for the most part.

Then Saturday rolls around, and you have some friends over, and hey you have some finger food or they bring some dishes.  Well fuck me, you don't want to be rude, so you eat........all of it.

Sunday comes and you're sitting around in your pajamas until 3 P.M. and all discipline has gone out of the window at this point, and you're tired AF, and lying in bed all day watching bulk TV (this means 17 episodes of Breaking Bad in a row) and there is no "plan" in regards to eating.

You know why?  Because that shit feels good.  Let's decompress from life for an afternoon and eat some spaghetti with 9 loaves of bread dipped in olive oil and butter with cheese on it (ok that does sound delicious right now).  Evening hits and well, fuck, you realize the whole weekend has been one big food indulged binge.

Your week of discipline has basically been all for naught at this point.  And from my own observation these kinds of weekends tend to take about 10 days for most people just to GET BACK to where the were the week before they decided to go off the rails.  That's right.  You're looking at something to the tune of three weeks of being disciplined just to get back to where you were before.

So here is a better option.  Do NOT scheduled your cheat meals for the weekend.  And I will tell you why - If you've been strict, once you cheat, there is this huge urge to eat more food, or eat more shitty food than when you were walking down the straight and narrow.  Anyone who has dieting for a long period of time can identify with this feeling.

The urge to cheat again, becomes much stronger after a refeed or cheat than before.

If you look at your weekends as the "earning time" for your cheat meal mid-week, then at least you've set something in place mentally, to help keep you on track.

Second, when the mid-week refeed rolls around, my other suggestion is not to go out to eat, but to buy and cook your cheat meal.  Once it's eaten, if there are leftovers then bring them to your neighbor or throw them out.  Don't leave it in the house, dammit.

If you go out to eat, at least have SOME guidelines.  Like you can't order three fucking desserts (and yes I've done this and am being a total hypocrite, so kiss my ass...I'm still saying it's not a good idea) after two main courses.

The entire purpose of a refeed are a few.

1.  Replenish depleted glycogen stores
2.  Give a mental break from dieting if you need one
3.  Spike leptin so that your metabolism gets a bit of an upwards shift again

When you factor all of these things in, you can easily come to the conclusion that a refeed or "cheat" meal doesn't have to mean you eat a bunch of shitty food.  In fact, you can still use the same foods you're dieting on, and simply move the portions around.  So if you've been going very low carb, you can just dramatically increase your carb source (like rice or potatoes or whatever), while lowering fats and protein.

Or you can eat a butt load of sushi or plain pasta with some grilled chicken and marinara sauce, etc.  Point is, it doesn't HAVE to be a time where you shovel down a bloomin onion along with half a cheesecake.  In a lot of ways, that can indeed set you back, rather than spur you forwards towards your goals.

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Friday, March 11, 2016


When hashtagging first started, I did not understand it, it annoyed me, and I refused to do it.

I felt the same way about texting at first, then eventually realized texting was fun.  Now I hate texting.  No, I really do hate texting.  I still do it, but I have a limit on how many I will exchange.  Not an actual set number, like "ok, that's 12 I'm done." but more like, I can feel the annoyance of it coming on and I start with the one and two word responses like "cool" or "sounds good".  When you start getting back the "lol" you know I'm done.

Anyway, much like texting I finally gave way to hashtagging as well.  But not to the degree of instafit doods/chicks who basically write a Biblical length status or IG post consisting of nothing but hashtags.  I chunk two, maybe three in there.  Good to go.  But not this kind of shit.........

Apparently, this had to come from an IG pic where a #dog with some #swag had a #sunset behind it, and it was really #cute, while fellow hashtagging #igers ate some #food.....while in #nature.....there was also a #cat in there somewhere......and this person fucking #loved it.

That's what I was able to decipher.

Over the last few years, one hashtag that tends to make its way into my feed on social media pretty often is the good ol #whatsyourexcuse one.

Most often, it is accompanied by a pic of someone with no legs, or one leg, or a robotic arm, or is basically Moses in regards to their age while still lifting, doing crossfit, walking a high beam at the circus, fighting a shark, building a new Egyptian pyramid, etc all in the name of making us feel bad for not "giving it your all."

I have to admit, over the years I've run into lots of excuse makers.  Like, stay at home moms....with kids in high school.....who say they would love to get into shape but (drum roll) "I just don't have the time."

This particular excuse does annoy the fuck out of me.

Mainly because at some point in the conversation they will talk about the 28 television shows they watch during the week, or the 14 hour nap they took that day after doing a single load of laundry.   I know of one stay at home mom that had a college degree, whose kids were all in junior high, but let her husband work and pay all the bills, while they struggled to make ends meet.  Their struggles weren't my business honestly.  It's not my mortgage I can barely afford.  I'm not the one who can't turn the heat up to a comfy 72 degrees in the winter because I can't afford the electricity/gas bill on a house I bought a house that was out of my price that I could keep up appearances with my "friends".

Hey let me be clear, I respect stay at home moms.  That you know, HAVE KIDS AT HOME!  When you're attending his or her college graduation ceremony you're not a stay at home mom any fucking more.  You're a stay at home roommate.

Raising kids at a young age all day is not easy.  On top of that, you still have to cook (or you should be cooking, if the other person is working), clean, and pick up after your other child, i.e. the man working who leaves his dirty socks on the living room floor and never washes a single dish.

Yes, I was that guy when I worked in the private and public sector.  So I'm not throwing stones.

However, now I wash all my own clothes, pick up my own socks, cook all my own food, clean my house, take care of my kids, run them around to basketball practice all week, work, train, travel, take care of my dog and cat, and do adulting all the live long day.

There's no pat on the back here.  As Chris Rock said in one of his stand up routines "that's the shit you're SUPPOSED to do."  If you're the bread winner, you're supposed to make the money for the bills.  If you're the stay at home mom or dad, you're SUPPOSED to keep the house clean, and cook, and take care of the kids during the day while the other person works.  Each of you has jobs and responsibilities that as an adult, you're SUPPOSED to do.  I'm not saying you shouldn't get some accolades now and then like "hey baby, the house looks great" after you cleaned all day.  Or hey, how about a nice back mass-odge at night after a long day of work as sort of a "thank you for providing."

But you give these things to each other out of love and admiration for working together as a unit to create a decent environment for both of you to live in.  But you're SUPPOSED to do that.

Which leads me back to this stupid #whatsyourexcuse hashtag.

I've blogged plenty about obesity.  I mean, my last blog entry touched on it...a little bit (that wasn't the central theme and most people missed that, but I digress).  Unless you have a physiological condition you cannot help, you really don't have an "excuse" for being obese.  You can have "reasons".  Like..."I just fucking like to eat a lot of shit."

Bam.  I can deal with that.  Not that I like it.  Not that I'm happy that you're a burden on the healthcare and workforce system.  But god dammit, you're owning it.  And at some basic level, I can respect that.  It's a really small basic level, but at least there's honesty in it.  And my mom taught me that honesty was a good thing.  So somewhere in there, really far down into that Mariana trench deep level of at least a modicum of honesty.

What I can't respect, are the people who say they "want" to get into shape, or they want to have a sexy as fuck-naked body, but say shit like "oh I just don't have the time" when they take naps for hours on end during the day, or watch episode after episode of Sex and the City or some other really shitty television series.

You don't really want to.  You just like saying that because it's how you lay the foundation for the bricks of excuses to be laid on top of it.  So just don't say it.  Don't say "I'd love to workout" or "I'd love to have a body like that".  Don't say it if the word "but" comes afterwards.

The quote Benjen Stark from Game of Thrones......

"You know, my brother once told me that nothing someone says before the word "but" really counts."

So if there's a "but" in there, just don't say it.  Not in the context of going to the gym and getting into shape.

The average adult watches about 33 hours of television a week.  Thirty three fucking hours!  That's a part time job.  What's even more amazing is that those people, who plop down in front of the television for 33 hours a week, will call the person who spends 6-10 hours a week at the gym...."obsessed."

Now ain't that a bitch?

But believe it or not, as a guy that has spent more than half his life in the gym, I hate all of these #whatsyourexcuse hashtags just as much.  Maybe more.  You know why?  Because their sole purpose is to try and make people feel lazy for not climbing Mt. Everest with prosthetic legs.

Look man, I don't want to climb Mt. Everest.  Especially with prosthetic legs.

I like muh legs.  My real ones.  I admire the fuck out of the guy that goes and does that, but my "excuse" is....I don't want to potentially die climbing Mt. Everest.  I also think it's quite possible that him having legs that are significantly lighter than real legs made his climb easier.  Thus, his climb was LESS impressive than real legged climbers and they should ask him what his excuse is for not having real fucking legs.

If you didn't laugh at that, then you're an overly sensitive ass bucket.

I love lifting.  I love all the aspects of it.  I do it when I'm exhausted, on little sleep, and fit it into my schedule no matter how hectic it may be.  Because I love to do it.  My excuse is, I make it to the gym because it's important to me and I enjoy it.

It doesn't have to be important to everyone, and not everyone enjoys it.  In fact, I'd say the great majority of the population doesn't enjoy it.  As noted, they enjoy watching TV it appears.  A lot of it.

But as a whole, there are plenty of people within the "fitness community" that sort of lose sight that, lots of people in the world also have other passions and interests, and that their "excuse" for not being in the gym is that they don't want to be.  Or that they have other things that excite them that they make time for.  And it doesn't matter what those things are.  It could be paint by number or fishing or going to car shows.  It could be any number of things they do with their spare time that provide some joy and fulfillment to their life.  And they may spend 3-6 hours a week doing that particular thing, and may not want to go do reverse banded box squats with chains for a max triple because that sounds stupid to them.  It sounds stupid to me too, actually.  But hey, whatever training method creams your Twinkie.

They may not want to finish a fight in a mixed martial arts cage with a broken nose and ruptured spleen.  But they may like watching some other mother fucker do it.  I've never seen the fighter point at the TV after his fight and yell "WHAT'S YOUR EXCUSE?!?!"

I'm not sure if this #whatsyourexcuse bullshit is only limited to physical activity stuff, but from my viewpoint, it appears to be.  I mean, learning how to play a musical instrument takes a LOT of discipline and practice, and is exceptionally hard to master.  But I've never seen a youtube video of some guy pulling off a perfect cover of Van Halen's Eruption with a prosthetic leg then go......."what's your excuse, bitch?"

I never watched an episode of Bob Ross painting something awesome then him sign off by asking what our excuse is for not painting some happy little trees.  He loved to paint.  We loved to watch that shit.  Everyone got to win.

It would be cool to hear Bob Ross curse though, wouldn't it?  In that soft, mesmerizing voice.......

"I'm just gonna add some snow to this fucking mountain top here.  Just a little bit of snow up there on that mother fucker."

"What's your excuse, bitch?"
Not everyone wants to Crossfit, or squat a grand, or step onstage covered in salad dressing and flex for a panel of judges.

Not everyone wants to jerk some weights overhead.  I certainly don't want to sit down and listen to a bikini competitor talk about her asparagus all day.  There are lots of things I don't want to do, thus I don't do them.  And I don't feel bad about not doing them, if they are recreational activities or hobbies.  I've never once been berated by a kite flyer asking me what my excuse is, for not taking time for flying a kite.  And that IS a bit of a physical activity.  But they don't seem so smug about it.  Or maybe I just haven't been on any kite flying message boards, and they are really a bunch of smug assholes.  Probably that one guy who has the kite with the "eyes" on it, talking shit on the other guy's "Hello Kitty" kite and what a pussy he is for flying it.  I'm not sure, all of that is complete conjecture on my part.

The sort of #whatsyourexcuse fitness smugness bothers me because I think it sends the wrong message.  Or let me say, it gives off the impression that if someone else isn't going balls out or extreme in their fitness endeavors, that they should be looked down upon for it.

Look, I'm not a fan of lazy, undisciplined people.  But I mean that in the whole "life sense" sort of way.  The people who flat out just don't have their shit together.  But Jesus Christ on a cracker, I know lots of people who live in the gym that don't have their fucking shit together outside of it.  Just because you're #grinding all day and wearing some IG popular clothes doesn't mean you're some pinnacle of "I got my shit together." and should be running around hashtagging #whatsyourexcuse in your gym selfies.

Make no mistake, I am not a fan of the fact that we are indeed the fattest nation on the entire planet.  Obviously it's a culture we have created over the decades as prosperity increased.  50 years ago, men worked hard laborious jobs, and there wasn't food on every street corner in America.  Hard living and hard work was a way of life, and comfort was found in family.  It's pretty hard to become obese when you move all day, and eat just enough to sustain you.

Now most jobs have people sitting at desks for 8-10 hours a day, and the cheapest and quickest food choice doesn't tend to be the best ones.  Work is easy, and the word "comfort foods" now exists for a reason.

But I don't think the fitness community as a whole, is REALLY inspiring anyone to get off their lazy fat ass through hashtags.  No one ever saw a fitness meme and changed their life.  At least, not to my knowledge.  I mean, I'm pretty sure smokers know that smoking is bad for them.  I don't think they were swiping down their IG feed one day and saw an anti-smoking meme about lung cancer and went "holy shit!  Lung cancer, what the fuck?!!?!?!  I'm quitting today!  I had no idea!"

And I'm sure my sometimes abrasive articles or blog posts probably have turned some people off in regards to getting in shape, but at the same time, I have a long list of clients whose lives I've help change in that regard, so at LEAST I'm not just posting a bunch of "hateful" rants while not being part of the solution.

Most importantly, as I've grown old(er), I realize there are definitely things we shouldn't be making excuses for.  But I can't really find "the gym" in any of them.

We shouldn't be making excuses for being shitty parents.  If you are part of bringing a child into this world, by God you better be responsible for it.  There's no excuses for being a dead beat mom or dad.

We shouldn't make excuses for being shitty friends.  We may fuck up sometimes, but if you love and value that friendship, don't make excuses about your fuck ups.  You make amends for them, and take responsibility for it.

We shouldn't be making excuses for the failures in our life that occur due to our own choices and the ramifications from them.  You own your mistakes and poor judgement.  You make changes.  Even if they are exceptionally hard.  Because there's no excuse for being a coward.  Hiding behind the fear of change is indeed an excuse.  Especially when that fear is crippling your life, or the life of someone else.

We shouldn't be making excuses for not doing our best to be true to our word or promises.  As men and women, our word should matter.  Our promises should mean something when we give them.  And the people we keep in our small circle should feel safe inside of it.

In all of this, about the importance of just being a decent human being, I couldn't find anything about the gym.  Or about telling other people they don't measure up because they aren't #grinding with #nodaysoff.

When they throw the dirt on my casket I hope my friends talk about how much they loved me, and how much I loved them.  I hope they can say I was always there for them, and that they will miss our conversations.

I hope my girls will say I was the best father they could have ever asked for.  That I made them laugh, taught them what responsibility meant, and helped them to become strong, confident women.

I feel like those are the things that really matter most.  I really hope I don't fail on any of those accounts.

Because there's no excuse for that.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Fuck your body positivity voice, and fuck your millennial heroes

I'm going to preface this article with this warning early.  This may easily be my most offensive article to date.  I do have a point to make in it, but I can't make it without knowing I'm going to sound like an asshole, so I don't plan on tiptoeing around it.

If you're an easily offended pussy, just check out now.  If you're some PC fruitloop that believes we're all special snowflakes and that everyone deserves a fucking unicorn ribbon, don't continue reading.

You know why?  Because you're going to sound like a bigger asshole than I do in this article with your sniveling millennial generation whine fest in some way, shape, or form.  Yes, you fucking will.

The last few weeks of "news worthy" tripe has been littered with, of course, a fat chick that was slathered on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.

Yes, I called her a fat chick.  I hope you're fuming.  How does it feel to be so weak that mere words on a blog could offend your delicate sensibilities?

Here, let me narrow you down.  If that pisses you off or gets you in some ranty huff, then you probably fit into a particular category.

1.  You're a fat chick.
2.  You're a dude that likes fat chicks.  Which in most cases means, you're probably rotund as well.
3.  You're a femnazi, who believes that beauty comes in all sizes and that body positivity is some kind of "real movement".
4.  You're a hipster.
5.  You have poor taste.
6.  You think this chick has "curves."  Rolls, while technically create curves, are not the same as a curvy woman.
7.  Someone who thinks I'm asshole (99% of the population).
8.  A male feminist.
9.  You're one of those "who are you to judge?" types.
10.  All of the above somehow combined in the most grotesque kind of way.

People keep saying shit like "who cares?" or that "this is not a big deal."

On the surface, I'd agree.  But the fact is, we've been heading down this road for quite some time and it has a far reaching impact than people want to really acknowledge.

And what road is that I'm speaking of?

The one where the minority essentially shames the majority into acceptance of mediocrity, scorns discipline, hates winners (participation trophies anyone?), and believes that equality is some kind of utopia that everyone must be forced to live in.

It's the people that think flipping burgers should pay $15 an hour (an entry level job) and that CEO's make too much money, but don't give a shit that entertainers make millions and millions, while the CEO's are the ones creating jobs, growing businesses, and giving people a means to support themselves.

You're willfully ignorant, lazy, and woefully uneducated about how the world works.

Let's actually call this Sports Illustrated shit for what it really is.


It worked too, didn't it?  I mean, here I sit writing about this bullshit.

Either people lined up to support an overweight chick as a cover model, or people scorned them for the exact same reason.  There wasn't much room for middle ground here.  So let's get past the fact that this was some kind of real support movement for fatties.  This was all about publicity.  No different than Bruce Jenner essentially dressing up in drag (he never got his parts chopped off, so he's essentially a drag queen).

There are lots of Bruce Jenner's in the world, i.e. men who are transgender that struggle with their identity, and probably go through some exceptionally difficult times the rest of us will never understand.  But Brucie did what he did for no other reason than to hype his upcoming reality show.  It wasn't about courage.  It wasn't about bravery or furthering the acceptance of being transgender.  It was about money, and television ratings.  Fuck him, and fuck the media for shoving him down our throats like he donned some badge of courage by "embracing his true self"....that cost him like half a million dollars.

But I don't wanna get off on that shit.

There's no real difference here.  SI isn't dumb.  Few people pick up a magazine off the rack anymore due to this thing called the interwebs.  All the info you want, is right there at your disposal of the Google machine.

SI didn't do this to promote body positivity or health at all sizes.  And you're fucking stupid if you think that's what it was about.

Sure, they hid behind that but the fact is, it was a genius move to put a fatty on the cover in order to sell magazines due to controversy.  I'm sure it worked.  God knows all you chubbers were just fawning over the fact that they put a fat girl in a swimsuit on the cover of a fucking Sports magazine who has never played a sport in her life, and as far as I can tell, never turned down a meal.

Look, Ashley Graham has a beautiful face.  But body wise, I can walk into any Home Depot in America and find a female working in aisle 8 that has a similar body.

Still trying to figure out what I'm supposed to be hot and bothered about

It's also a massive setback in regards to the on going problem of obesity we're facing in this country.  One that continues to gain traction with phrases like "fat shaming" and such and the pushing of plus sized women onto to us ("STOP!  I CAN'T BREATHE!") as something we MUST ACCEPT, is sexy.

It's not.  I don't.  Sorry not sorry.

Mind you, despite the fact that I'm using words like "fattie" in this article, I don't support fat shaming.

Yes I get that thus far, this whole piece reads....feels down deep in your gender neutral soul, like fat shaming from hell.  But me pointing out that someone is obese, or overweight, is just stating the obvious.  If I make an observation that a blue Prius is blue, I'm doing nothing more than making a factual statement.  If I say that only smug fucks who think they are making a difference in the environment drive a Prius, well that's an opinion.  Mostly based in fact, but it's still an opinion.

I'm not shaming anyone, regardless of how offended you are right now.

I do have a point in all of this, which will take a long time to get to, because I can't condense my writing to save my fucking life, and this is my god damn blog, so I don't have to.

Where was I?

Oh yeah.  Fatties.

However, I do not endorse "health at any size" or support obesity acceptance.  But I've blogged about that in the past and SHOWED MEDICAL STUDIES THAT HEALTH AT ANY SIZE IS A GOD DAMN MYTH!!!  So before you claim it's possible, or that you're fat and healthy, it's a lie.

Stop.  I mean, on the SURFACE, you should know this is a lie.

"Health at any size."

ANY size.  See, when you use absolutes like that, it's going to be false.

Health at any size.  That means you can be healthy at 55 pounds as an adult of normal height, or healthy at 900 pounds as an adult of normal height.

"You're being extreme, Paul!"

HEALTH AT ANY FUCKING SIZE!  It's become the tribal chant for those who have no investment in obesity control.  So I'm taking it for what it is.  And what it is, is wrong.

All types of obesity warrant treatment, even those which appear to be healthy, because they carry a high risk of future decline."
I will give her points for honesty....I think that's a "her"

But listen, let's get to my real issue here.

I'm not going to support the furtherment of mediocrity or endorsing a complete lack of discipline in regards to someone's health when I'm opposed to those very things (if you hang in here long enough I'll contradict myself on that stance in just a bit) and this the path we're headed down.  As a country. Yes, we fucking are.

How in the hell do we get to a place where for decades past, what we celebrated were people who went above and beyond to accomplish incredible things, that may have seemed borderline impossible, to celebrating that of putting an overweight chick in a swimsuit on a magazine cover and acting as if she's brave because of it?

So I'm going to BOLD this next part, because this is my MAIN point in all of this.

This isn't about fat shaming.  This is about the representation of something we used to stand against.  Which was that we applauded people who were exceptional, instead of applauding the norm, or average.  We applauded the near unattainable by those who dared to risk everything to achieve it.  Not the "I woke up like this" bullshit.

A few years ago, a woman who got into incredible shape after having a few kids, blogged or wrote about how she trained really hard, and dieted really hard after the birth of her children, to get back into shape as quickly as possible.

Instead of admiring the level of discipline and effort that went into her caring about how she looked and felt, she was ridiculed by women all over the net who were too god damn lazy to do anything but stay fat as fuck post pregnancy and lean on it as an excuse.

The contrast here is striking.

People who go above and beyond, to accomplish something worth admiring are shamed due to the obscene degree of insecurity by those who lack the effort, willpower, and courage to follow suit.

Those same people stand up and applaud like seals at Sea World for fish in support of women like Tess Holliday, who has spent her life looking like she's put buffets out of business.

Hard work and effort is now frowned upon.  Mediocrity or even laziness is now pushed to the forefront and shoved in our faces that we need to be accepting of it so that everyone can feel good about themselves.

Well fuck your feelings.  And fuck your body positivity voice.

Truly, the lazy excuse makers are winning the social war of what is to be accepted, and what is not.  And what cannot be accepted is anyone who dare go above and beyond what the lazy are capable of, and receive accolades for it.

Shit, I've even been seeing this nonsense in the fitness industry.  Women who are supposed to be involved, letting themselves go, and posting up pics at 30% bodyfat talking about how they aren't ashamed of their body.  To help give other women "strength" to feel good about being lazy as fuck.

Look, I'm not saying you have to be "ashamed", and you don't have to stay in "show shape" year round.....but your lack of discipline shouldn't be applauded either.  And one thing I'm sick of is reading how "courageous" it is for these women to do so.

We have watered down the words "brave" and "courageous" so much that we're at a point where women get called brave for posting pics of themselves out of shape.  It used to be reserved for medal of honor winners, firefighters, or anyone who put their lives at risk for the sake of others with no personal gain involved.

I saw some shitty article a while back about fitness women who put up pics of themselves "out of shape" and read a comment in regards to it "I see nothing but strong women."  They were called brave for doing so.

You posted a pic of you out of shape.  Clearly, the pinnacle of bravery.

"Women are objectified all over the world for how they look, Paul.  The point was for them to stand against that be proud of their body enough to show it even if they didn't look perfect."

Hey, I got it.  Believe it or not, I'm really not THAT stupid.  I'm stupid in a lot of ways, but I understood the point.  And I still fucking laughed.

I laughed because it's not brave, and it's not courageous.  You think because someone opens themselves up for criticism that they are being brave and courageous?

Fine.  Then I'm fucking Audie Murphy up in this bitch.  Because what do you think me writing a piece like this, that opens me up for hate filled criticism is?

I sort of got you in a box right now, don't I?

Just because you put yourself in a position of possibly being judged for how you look, or open yourself up to being criticized, doesn't make you a hero and it doesn't make you brave.  If that's the case, then bodybuilders everywhere are the most heroic and courageous fuckers to ever live.  Because they diet and train for months on end, only to stand on stage practically naked and have a whole panel of people criticize what they look like and tell them what all of their shortcomings are.

Christ, you can't write "I like vanilla ice cream" somewhere on the net without someone calling you a piece of shit for it.  The net has made it so that every picture, opinion, article, video, etc has open season on it for criticism across the board.  Since that's the case, we sort of need to reevaluate the fact that we've let the words "bravery" and "courage" get dumbed down to include overweight people in swimsuits making millions of dollars for having some pictures taken of them.

I'm speaking from experience here.  As a guy who was too fat for too long, and in retrospect became far too lazy and undisciplined, I worked my fucking nuts off to get into single digit bodyfat now.  There was nothing difficult about eating 20 doughnuts and pounds and pounds of candy every weekend for years on end.  It took virtually no effort at all.  Level of effort was literally fucking ZERO.  It was fun.  Courage and bravery not required.

What took effort, hard work, discipline, and willpower?

Losing all of that god damn fat and training harder than I had in the last decade.  And I'm not saying I need accolades for it.  I had a huge wake up call over a year ago about my blood work and the first thing I thought was "I don't want to die young, and leave my kids grieving because their father was an undisciplined, lazy fuck."

And I had been.  There.  That's ME owning it.  My own lack of discipline, and my own lack of effort.  And guess what?  It caught up to me.  I went against the very thing that I got into lifting and learning about proper eating for in the first place.  And I was paying the price for it health wise.

But we keep lowering the bar.........

For fucks sake, there's even a division under the fitness umbrella now where you wear fucking tank tops and shorts and the women even wear evening gowns!


People thought that men's physique - with board shorts - was bad?  You wear a shirt and dresses in this mother fucker.  Any "man" that participates in this shit should be forced to do the evening gown round as well.  Might as well, you pansy.

People are going to read this and think I'm a dick (I mean most do already and that's ok), but it's because they are missing the point.

We keep devolving into the acceptance of mediocrity as a "great standard".  And we keep creating these paradigms and situations so that people who don't want to work really hard to achieve something exceptional, can be exceptional at being really average.

"You're the best mediocre person of this bunch!  Well done!"

But let's not single out the women here.  There's a movement starting for young males too.  You know, so that they don't grow up with poor body image due to the fact that G.I. Joe has just become way too fucking jacked over the years.

Apparently, before and after his tren cycle

Which led me to this piece of shit article.....

It's not a joke.  And yes, it's about Ken dolls being too god damned buff and is harming young males body image.

First off, I don't remember ever playing with a fucking Ken doll.  The young girls did.  I certainly don't remember seeing one and feeling bad about my body.  Not once.  Ever.  Ever.

If they wanted to take a stance that made sense, they could say that Ken got more jacked over time and it's making young women believe the ideal man has broad shoulders, ripped abs, and is good looking.

Oh wait, that IS what women want and get wet about.  Fuck, I coulda had a V8!!!  All this fucking time, it's that god damn Ken doll that have fucked women up about what the ideal man looks like.

It's why on the cover of every romance novel there's some dude with broad shoulders and ripped abs about to sexually destroy the woman he's clutching in his arms.

There's not a chick in the history of the fucking universe that has developed carpal tunnel in her wrist due to self pleasure over some fat, beer bellied chump with a fucking fishing hook in his baseball hat, rocking a Phillips 66 shirt.

She isn't getting wet over some extra regular mother fucker
Growing up, I loved that our action figures were jacked as fuck.  I mean, when you're a kid and have that incredible imagination you don't want your action figures to be dumpy as fuck, and look like they spend their weekends having hot dog eating contests in Bubba's backyard during his kegger.  You loved that they looked like they could pick up an entire mountain.  Which He-Man did in one episode. Yes, he picked up an entire mountain.  And we liked that standard.  For those of us that have stayed in the gym we said "that's fucking cool!"  We didn't mope that we couldn't pick up a mountain because it was in a cartoon.  We understood that it wasn't reality.  HELLO?!?!

Please stop

But the concept of pushing ourselves to look as close to being a real life action hero was something that kept us going back to the gym. It's what made us buy Muscular Development and Flex.  Because real life He-Man looking mother fuckers were on the cover.  Not Bob, who works at AutoZone.

And then people want to say we shouldn't look to these people as our inspiration or as role models.

And that's bullshit too.  So here comes in this fucking side rant you never expected with the path I was taking you down.  It's like that fucking mountain lion that comes out of the bush that kills your kids right there in front of you while you were taking them on a stroll through the park.  Then "BAM!".

Day ruined.

Look, that's a nice sentiment but it's not reality.  I'm talking about the role models thing, not your kids being killed by a mountain lion.

"Parents are supposed to be role models!  Not athletes!" they retort.

You're right.  As a parent, you should be a great role model for your children, AND AND AND you should also point them in the direction of OTHER GREAT ROLE MODELS.

Jesus Christ jumped on a life raft, no one ever said you could only have one role model.  When did role model selection become so fucking limited?

"Ok kids, here are your role models.  You get to pick just one, so make sure you're positive about it before you do.  Billy, that's Hitler god dammit, you can't pick him!  The fuck is wrong with you?"

Role model selection, like it or fucking not, is not limited in any way, shape, or form.  I love the writing of C.S. Lewis.  He's a great "role model" as far as authors go.  Dorian Yates was my favorite bodybuilder.  I loved his work ethic and the discipline he had in the craft (uh oh, there's those fucking words again).  A man who is one of my best friends now, Ed Coan, was a huge role model for me.  Charles Poliquin, another one of my best buddies now (yes I'm name dropping, suck my fucking nuts), was my mentor through his writing and training methods when I was growing up.

But I played music for 20 years.  Greg Bissonette was a role model.  As was Tommy Lee (this was before the sex tapes!  I'm talking about as a musician!).  And Neil Peart (I don't think he did any sex tapes, and if he did they would be very technical in nature).

And like it or not, when a young man or young woman is working through finding themselves in this world and in their life, they will and do often find role models that they look up to and respect for different reasons.  This is perfectly normal.  They can look at their hard working mother or father and respect and look up to them for being a hard worker, and great parent, but they may not want to follow in their footsteps in regards to other aspects of their own life.  So naturally they will gravitate IN THAT REGARD, to someone who is a representation of what they might like to accomplish.

"Yes Paul, and they may look to a plus sized model as someone as a role model as well!  Ever think of that, asshole?"

YES!  I FUCKING DID!  Which is why I wrote all of this bullshit!

Thank you!  Thank you for making my point!

The generation of lazy, PC, overly sensitive fuckwads are finding role models in people who have no discipline, no work ethic, feel entitled to everything, and often find fame for doing things that require nothing more than to get banged by a B grade rapper on a homemade sex tape.

This is the person, dear parent, that you want your children to aspire to be like?

We have propped up the wrong people for all the wrong reasons for a while now.  Making people famous for literally doing nothing, and then our youth sees this shit, and aspires to be like........WHAT?

I don't know.  How to be like Paris Hilton?  Famous for nothing.  Kim Kardashian.  Famous for a sex tape.

Plus sized models.  Famous for being overweight with a pretty face?

When about an Eric Berry?  A guy who overcame cancer to come back and become an ever better player than he was before.  Why the fuck isn't he on the cover of shit everywhere?  That's fucking inspiring.  That is something that can resonate with kids about how to overcome adversity, and come back stronger from it.  Why wasn't HE on the cover of SI?  With the fact that we have so many people dying from cancer, Berry represents the embodiment of overcoming the potential of an early grave, only to come back better and stronger from it.

Kicked cancer's ass.  Won comeback player of the year.  Role model.

But fuck that.  Where's that plus sized model?  That's fucking inspiring!

I want my girls to see me as a role model.  But in the context of what that should be.  The kind of man they would want to marry.  As a great father, provider, great teacher, mentor, and protector.

"Well, then you need to work on being less judgmental and blah blah blah".

Shut up.

I love my girls more than anything in the world, and care about their health too.  I sure the fuck wouldn't be telling them to have a positive body image if they were headed down the road to obesity.  I would tell them they needed to eat better, exercise, and take care of themselves.

I would talk to them about discipline, and hard work, and what it REALLY fucking takes to have success in this life in anything you are going to pour yourself into.  I would point them towards people who have accomplished incredible things, in spite of all the odds stacked against them along the way.  And remind them that at times, life will seem very unfair, unjust, and that the people who accomplished incredible things almost always had to do so against tremendous odds.  And overcoming the odds, is what makes it exceptional.  To not lower their standards.  To not buy into the acceptance of mediocrity.  That even if they can't be the best at what they do, to give their best regardless of the situation.  Even when it sucks ass.  Because life is going to suck ass early and often.  And the difference in the people who go on to make the best of it, and the best of themselves, are the ones that rise to the occasion and welcome the challenge.

I won't make a difference in the fucking world.  I'm just writing on a blog.

But I won't teach my kids that they deserve participation trophies, or that they are entitled to a god damn thing, and that the only things you deserve are those you work to earn, keep, and hold on to.

Fuck your entitlement.  And fuck your body positivity bullshit.  Fuck propping up your millennial heroes and their mediocrity.

To quote a movie that is vastly overrated.........

"I'm finished."

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