Sunday, February 11, 2018

Apparently Looking and Feeling Good Is Now Some Impossible Standard.


As someone who has written for multiple magazines and newspapers through the years I am always disturbed by irresponsible journalism - and I use the term journalism loosely in this example.

An ongoing theme in the Media in recent years has been to give a voice to the wailings and thrashings of “males” - and I use that term here loosely also - and their hand-wringing enablers who feel an unbearable, unfair and unrealistic pressure to actually become physically fit. To attach a phrase as vile as “impossible standards” —as the Media has so often done lately—to something as basic and essential to one's quality of life as physical fitness is reprehensible.

Apparently there’s a whole subset of losers who, due to movie stars’ physical transformations to take on film roles depicting superheroes, feel brutalized by societal “pressure” to become physically fit themselves. And the media loves to enable this self-humiliation, wallowing, and self-pity rather than chuckle about the feebleness of these put-upon guys’ laughable claim and the low standards they've set for themselves.

Claiming to feel unfairly pressured to look like a superhero or some Instagram fitness model is as silly as claiming to feel unduly pressured to become a billionaire—except that making money totally depends on interactions with other people, whereas any idiot can become physically fit all by himself in the privacy of his own room. Making money depends on the cooperation of others to provide it to you, whereas becoming physically fit is totally on you alone. You may well not be to blame if you’re not making good money right now, but you ARE totally to blame if you look like shit. To those complainers I say nobody’s shoving bad food down your throat. No one has you duct taped to the chair in front of your computer.

For some reason these same boys don’t cry about society’s expectations that they try to build a successful career or business for themselves, to act as a responsible parent to their children, financially and otherwise, or take a bath once in a while. But they draw the line at physical exertion, at any intimation they should take responsibility for not being physically strong, physically fit, physically able and physically healthy.

Friday, February 9, 2018

You Don’t Need To Lift Weights To Build Impressive Muscle

USA Olympic Speedskater Joey Mantia's awesome quads.

With the Winter Olympics upon us, have you stopped to take a gander at the legs on those speedskaters? Jesus Christ! Liftin’ Bros can only wish their efforts at the squat rack could give them results even approaching the quads and glutes of speedskaters, their awesome muscle created not from squats, not from leg press machines, but by their own bodily exertions.

I myself was a speedskater in my teens and I then recall seeing the jacked quads of competitive speedskaters and thinking to myself, “they look deformed.” How times and opinions change…

The same goes for Olympic gymnasts whose bodies outshine all those Instagram fitness models, not due to lifting dead weight, but due to lifting their own living bodyweight.

And because these athletes are regularly tested for banned substances, underachievers can take no comfort by claiming these athletes' astonishing amount of jacked muscle is due to drugs, so losers are going to have to retreat back to their dependable "they have superior genetics" and similar smarmy justifications to explain their own lack of achievement.

There are some impressive videos online by guys who took on the uncomplicated, simple challenge of doing a set number of daily pushups, chinups or pullups for a specific time period—one month, three months, etc., in the privacy of their own homes, to see what results they might achieve, which turned out to be impressive to say the least. Search these out on youtube.

For those who have not yet managed to get themselves into a gym due to claimed cost, time restrictions and all the rest, here’s this: ANYBODY can stop reading this right now and get down on the floor and pump out as many pushups as they are able. No cost. Takes less than a minute. And then repeat in an hour. Then again tomorrow, and the next day. If you can only do two, then push yourself to do three in a few days from now. Then four, then five. This simple exercise works biceps, triceps shoulders, pecs, abs, quads and glutes.

Stop wishing and start doing.  

Body Fat Feminizes Men

This illustration from illustrates not just "from fat to fit,"  but just as importantly, "from feminized to masculine." There is no arguing that facially and body-wise, this man has substantially increased his masculinity by shedding feminizing fat and building muscle.

The increase in estrogen (the female hormone) production in males is but one of the many serious fallouts of fat gain. Man-breasts, softened flesh, the feminization of facial features, decreased libido and many other female characteristics in males are directly due to bodyfat gain.

No distracting behaviors such as the rabid following of football teams, growing a beard, increasing the volume of one's voice, the directing of aggression or anger toward others— no claim to “manly” interests or conduct obscures the very obvious tell-tale signs of the feminization of males due to fat gain that others observe in this group.

Fat gain increases the production of the female hormone estrogen in males crucially at the same time testosterone production is decreasing—as it does naturally beginning about age 22. As if the natural falloff of testosterone weren't bad enough, every pound of added body fat accelerates that loss. The result is male feminization.

Many men rather than do what needs to be done—eating healthfully and pursuing a challenging workout at least 3 days a week—deflect from the loss of their masculinity by acting out in ways they associate with traditional masculinity, believing they are successfully deflecting. Few people see themselves as others see them and thus are able to convince themselves that they are presenting a picture far different from the actual public figure the rest of us see.

Bodyfat feminizes men.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Avoid The Distraction Of Minutiae

Focusing on small inconsequential things is an intentional distraction from what needs to be done to reach our fitness goals. People become embroiled in questions like “What’s the best time of day to work out?” or “What protein powder tastes the best?” which reveal these people are resistant to simply buckling down and doing what needs to be done. Online, silly distracting arguments on the subject of fitness rage on even among people who don’t even work out. 

The formula is simple: working out regularly with proper form and focused intensity and eating nutritionally are all one has to do to make a very significant change in one’s physique.

But as humans are wont to do, people take a simple yet uncomfortable set of criteria such as this and complicate it needlessly with minutiae and mindless details to distract from the fact they’re rejecting what really needs to be done.

If you are not progressing the way you’d like it is due to improper form and lack of intensity. If you can’t see your abs you need to lose fat. Simple. Uncomplicated. Reasonable. Circling around the issue with excuses and denials obviously gets people nowhere. Get offline and get down on the floor to count off as many pushups as you can manage. Install a chin-up/pull up bar in your doorway and every time you get the urge to sound off, or worse, engage with others sounding off, get up and crank out 10 reps instead.

Direct your energy in productive ways. You’ll get out of it what you put into it.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Smoking Says: “I Hate Myself, But I Hate You Even More.”

GQ France has determined 4 techniques for impeccable skin—using a model with a cigaret in his hand—none of which include the fact than NOTHING destroys skin tone texture and health as irreversibly as does smoking.

Setting fire to a bunch of weeds that have been adulterated by cigaret manufacturers with concentrated nicotine and other chemicals to make them all the more potently addictive, then sucking this searingly hot, tar-unfused toxic gas cloud deep into your lungs, scorching your throat and bronchial tubes along the way, destroying the first line of defense against inhaled impurities—the cillia—on contact, hour after hour, day after day, is the ultimate act of self-loathing.

Smokers of course know all this full well, but denial is the universal coping mechanism we all use to justify our stupidity and selfishness, am I right? So they go on inhaling, deep, deep down, gumming up their lungs with black goo, creating cancer lesions, subjecting family members to their deadly pollution, demanding that all those around them accept without complaint their wanton contamination of everyone else’s breathing air, burning their children to death in house fires. Over 1,000 Americans die annually and 3,000 are permanently scarred by fires caused by smoking, in most cases, someone else's smoking.

People lighting up are telling all those in their vicinity that they alone get to determine the cleanliness of the very air that every other creature requires to live. Totally unnoticed, 400,000 Americans die every year due to smoking, their own smoking and that of others. If 400,000 Americans died every year from terrorism, the nation would implode, but apparently 400,000 people dying from smoking is perfectly acceptable.

Nothing so embodies a person’s complete lack of self worth than the dirty slow expensive debilitating repulsive suicide of smoking. Nothing embodies the hubris and literally breathtaking entitlement of those who believe they get to determine the health and comfort—even the very existence—of those they come in contact with.

Smokers stink, by every definition of the word. 

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Learning From Other People's Mistakes

Mike Thurston Corrects Your Mistakes

Rather than search online for how to DO a certain exercise, it is far more productive and targeted to search for how NOT to do them.

YouTube is a phenomenal source for fitness and bodybuilding videos, some good, some bad. Unfortunately some people are more attracted to the philosophies of various Gym Bros, the boasting, loud, trash-talking douches who have no idea what they’re doing, rather than to the many even-keeled level headed trainers. That’s life I guess.

Two very worthwhile online trainers who have proven historically to have a good handle on explaining what you may be doing wrong are Jeff Cavaliere and Mike Thurston.

Thurston has a series of videos of what not to do and how to change your current style to achieve proper form HERE.

Cavaliere has a huge number of videos online whereby in most of them he is explaining proper form and common mistakes and how to correct them HERE.

Proper form adds to the difficulty of the exercise, which is why so many people are lazy about proper form. Proper form makes all the difference between progressing and not progressing.

In addition to Cavaliere and Thurston’s vids, search on YouTube by typing in the search field “Mistakes” + the name of the bodypart, such as “leg mistakes,” “Biceps Mistakes,” etc. 

Jeff Cavaliere Corrects Your Biceps Mistakes

It's Frustrating: So Push Past The Plateau

Many people who regularly go to the gym hit a wall whereby after a while they no longer see new positive changes in their body. This is due to the fact that our bodies acclimate to accommodate the stress we put on them. The way to push past this is to change things up, but the problem is, change is uncomfortable.

Some, like myself back in my early 30s, have embraced the mindset of “enough is enough”, as in, “I shouldn’t have to constantly increase my workload—because this is hard! How much more should I have to do? How much harder should I have to work?” 

Yes, it is hard to change things up, or more accurately, more challenging. Climbing the ladder of success in your career, escalating the passion in a romantic relationship, raising your kids—all these and more require an ever-changing, ever-challenging mindset in order to progress toward our ultimate goal of success, of upward mobility. So why do people think of fitness any differently from all the other worthwhile endeavors in life?

If you are plateauing you need to change it up, but moreover, accept the fact you will ALWAYS have to be changing it up, challenging yourself by adding another set, trying new exercises, increasing intensity, studying and implementing better form, eating less junk, watching more instructional YouTube videos, etc.