Tuesday, January 31, 2017

DISTRACTIONS: The Ludicrous Shit on Men’s Fitness Websites & Blogs

I get it, I have a blog where I present my views — but I never tell people they must do, or must not do, this or that. I also understand after decades of training people that most DO INDEED want — crave even — to be told what to do. As a certain Twitter abuser likes to tweet, “Sad!”

I also know from training people that most of them desperately want some answer, some method, something magical other than “find yourself a challenging workout and stop eating crap.” There is none. There is no other answer, or supplement, or celebrity secret. 

Men’s fitness magazine websites are all about offering “NEW.” There is no new. There are some new ideas about doing the same old thing, such as planking, which is welcome for variety’s sake, but ab work is still all about performing challenging ab exercises.

The fitness magazines are in the business of selling product, and they are dedicated to baiting us with things new and different, but more especially “instant.” Washboard Abs In Three Weeks!” “Ten Dangerous Machines At Your Gym!” “Five Exercises Sabotaging Your Muscle Gains!”

Ask yourself, "Who writes this crap?" We never see their shirtless pictures proving whether they actually work out themselves. That should be a given: the fact that it is not should tell you how worthless these articles are. Often, as seen in the screen shot above, the "advice" isn't even attributed to any actual person.

The fault lies with the reader taking the bait — actually, the reader who rejects the tried and true, claiming it’s unpleasant or hard or boring, the reader looking for something easier and quicker than just putting his or her nose to the grindstone. The reader, unwilling to do what needs to be done, looking for some distraction.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Big Picture

If you’ve ever listened to a podcast related to bodybuilding, fitness or nutrition you’ve noticed that the conversation inevitably veers into “extraneous details” territory, whereby the obvious big picture is lost to the participants who instead focus on minor or even unimportant details. Macronutrients. “Bad” foods. “Waste-of-time” exercises.

People resist the basics because they are so easy and uncomplicated — and unappealing: eat healthy and engage in your choice of challenging exercise. Period. How boring. People want something new. Something different. Something magical.

One review on Amazon.com for my book Reclaim Your Youth gives my work just one star with the critic’s justification that his expectation to be provided with something new concerning fitness and nutrition went unrealized. Never mind that nowhere do I claim I have new discoveries or information, much less promise that, the critic independently concluded that would be the case, and gave me one star for his unjustified expectations. In other words, “the author didn’t provide me with the brand-new never-before-revealed magical way to go about losing weight and getting fit that I just assumed he would, so I feel cheated.”

As the critic reveals, most people are highly resistant to the work that needs to be done to accomplish what they want. This goes for building a business or a bank account or a successful marriage as well as building a body. These things should all happen for them automatically, they believe, because that’s what they want. They somehow assume without any first hand knowledge whatsoever that these things happen for others, so why not them too?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

GQ Staff Finally Does Something Right

As you might have guessed reading my posts, I love to mock GQ Magazine for its editors and staff spouting rules on fitness, grooming and dress that they themselves don't adhere to. But in this set of articles in the UK version of GQ, three of their staff took on a 12-week transformation challenge that turned out much better than I expected. It is worth a read:



Monday, January 16, 2017

Language Trickery 101: Use vs. Abuse

Every loaded argument against HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) by way of anabolic steroids, if you will only read more carefully, centers on steroid abuse, NOT on steroid use. This is an obscuring tactic used by frightened people who confound the truth in order to win others over to their questionable agenda. Lying, obscuring, misleading and outright trickery are despicable tactics that sadly, many likeminded manipulators subscribe to. 

Pay attention to the language: the list of supposed ill effects attributed to steroids by questionable, and even by official government, sources centers on their ABUSE, not on their USE.

Take too many steroids for too many years, they argue, and you are destined to suffer dire consequences. Probably true. Also true: take too many sleeping pills for too many years and you are destined to suffer dire consequences. Drink too much alcohol for too many years and you are destined to suffer dire consequences. Smoke too many cigarettes for too many years and you are destined to suffer dire consequences. Take too many prescription pain killers for too many years and you are destined to suffer dire consequences. Eat too many meals at McDonald’s for too many years and you are destined to suffer dire consequences.

Interesting how all these socially acceptable activities have such dire consequences, yet we don't need laws to protect us from them. Thank you for saving us from steroids, heroic lawmakers! Nobody's ever OD'd on steroids, nor do steroids get anyone high, yet the US government has classified steroids in the same highly dangerous category as heroin. That is insane.

That those who continue to take unnecessary prescription pain killers, ostensibly for a decades-old “injury,” or use a pharmaceutical patch to stop smoking, or take a pharmaceutical to enable them to get an erection, or take a pharmaceutical to try and regrow lost hair, or take a pharmaceutical to try and grow eyelashes, or take a pharmaceutical to prevent wrinkles and facial furrows, or take a pharmaceutical to lose weight, are the worst kind of anti-HRT hypocrites. One wonders at their choice to draw the line where they have, allowing themselves one or even multiple age-treatment pharmaceuticals while disavowing another. It makes no sense — unless perhaps you are a psychologist.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

ABS: The Elusive Six-Pack

Ross Edgley / Instagram

A six-pack is created in the kitchen, not in the gym.

Changing one’s diet is a challenging task, since we eat for pleasure, to ease pain and anxiety, to celebrate victories big and small. Few people intentionally eat solely for sustenance; pleasure trumps pragmatism. If a person is carrying more than 10% body fat then the six-pack will remain elusive, visually. It might be there under the fat, but the fat will always obscure it from view. All the leg raises, planks and crunches in the world will not reveal those hard-won abdominal muscles if they are layered over in fat.

Finding balance between eating enough nutritious, muscle-building food to add muscle while losing fat or keeping abdominal fat at bay is a quest not easily won. We don’t want to lose hard-won muscle by eating less nutrition but at the same time want our hard work to show off by losing fat.

The obvious villains are snack foods and fast foods; bad fats, sugar (which is contained in just about every commercial food), and munchies sweet and salty — cookies, chips, and the like. Certainly genetics play a part in the ease with which people can change their bodies, but after all is said and done, we have to play the cards we’ve been dealt by working harder at our diet than the next guy.

Just as some can play the piano by ear or draw beautifully without ever taking an art lesson, there are those who seemingly with little effort build beautiful bodies. C’est la vie.

Tweak your daily diet to get the results you’re after, or not. I feel your pain, as it’s an ongoing experiment for most of us.

The photo is of Ross Edgley who has one of the most esthetically awesome bodies ever. You can check him out on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rossedgley/

Sunday, January 8, 2017

GQ: This Is The Guy Who's Telling Us All How We Should Dress.

The sole proof that magazines’ primary purpose is to sell you expensive shit can be be seen in those very people who run the magazines. Fitness magazines’ staff members for the most part look like crap, as do the men’s fashion magazines'. Here we have a photo of Noah Johnson, GQ Style Senior Editor. GQ’s website loves to run features and slideshows mocking celebrities for a too-large tie knot, or the unforgivable sin of buttoning the bottom button on their vest or cardigan, or urging you the reader to get off your lazy ass and get fit.

Note the fine example being set here by Chris Hemsworth’s doppelganger, Editor Johnson. The three sizes too big white T shirt billowing at the waist. The baggy ill-fitting jeans, the unkempt face scruff, and the frosting on the cake, the shoe laces in place of a proper belt. 


Both GQ and it’s British counterpart GQ UK have recently run photos of their staff and it’s an eye opener for their breaking every single rule they preach to readers, from their unfit bodies to their terrible wardrobe choices to eschewing the services of a proper tailor.

Those who can, do. Those who can’t, preach.

Monday, January 2, 2017

WHY New Year's Resolutions Fail:

The tradition of New Year's resolutions is an EXTERNAL motivator, an artificial construct. Unless our motivation is INTERNAL, borne of a deep desire or need for change, the prospect for failure is high.

The excitement of New Year's resolutions disappears by mid-February in most people for this very reason. Gyms and health clubs across the nation are buzzing right now based on this annual holiday phenomenon, but by mid-February all will be back to normal.

Our motivation for change must come from someplace other than excitement over a fixed date on the calendar in order to succeed.