To avoid having to check this page every ten seconds for updates on supplements, music, and sundry little details, hit us up on Facebook and like the page. That'll keep you updated without getting spammed with a million twitter-length posts!

19 December 2014

Bacon: Superfood Or Hipster Bullshit?


I have never in my life enjoyed eating bacon- it seemed like a pointless food designed to satiate useless people in the effort to fill their bellies as a metaphor for filling their empty souls and lives.  I honestly viewed lovers of bacon with contempt for most of my life, and as I got older and bacon as a fad took off, I came to the conclusion that there couldn't possibly be any merit to "meat candy" at all, especially with hipsters and paleotards calling it that.  When I started looking into it so that I could put the aforementioned assholes on full blast, however, my opinion changed quickly- it appears that bacon is in fact all that it's cracked up to be.


Nevermind the fact that if you made a Venn diagram of hipsters, beardos, and people who yammer on endlessly about how much they love bacon (and Kerrygold butter, but that's another stupid issue for another rant), you'd be looking at a single circle.  Nevermind the fact that I am about to espouse a food that is beloved by "men" who can fit into skinny jeans and wear them proudly.  Nevermind the fact that your Facebook page is likely overrun, as mine is, by Grizzly Adams lookalikes who've mistaken hobo chic for masculinity and cannot stop posting pictures of their food, which is invariably 40%  bacon, whether it's a sheet cake or a fruit salad.  Nevermind the fact that if you find yourself in a cool little indie bookstore in a trendy part of town, half the fucking books are about bacon, they likely sell sunglasses with faux moustaches dangling from them, and that stupid shit is sitting right next to bacon flavored chapstick.  Those asshats might love bacon, but they also love shit like breathing and drinking water, and none of us should quit doing either of those things just because insufferable dipshits with a misplaced sense of vanity and a flair for being public nuisances like them as well.


Striving to pull myself from the mental morass that is my sea of problems with internet memes, shitty social trends, and the odious nature of social media and the utter pillocks who apparently perpetuate it, I shall get back on topic.  Research into nutrition over the last ten years reinforced, by and large, my opinion of bacon.  Loren Cordain, for instance, the author of the Paleo Diet, detest bacon, claiming it's unlike anything paleolithic man ate and deleterious to one's health due to its nitrate and nitrite content, "low" protein content, and high levels of fats.  Additionally, since factory farmed pigs are raised on a diet of soybean protein, ground grain, and a vitamin-mineral mix, they have less omega 3 fatty acids in them.  For whatever reason, paleo authors seem to think that feedlot pigs are sickly, but as they're raised to grow as quickly as possible and be as large and lean as possible in a short time, they're far from sickly- they're just maltreated.  According to Cordain, though,
"A final way of comparing the artificial and unhealthful characteristics of bacon to free range pork meat is by contrasting the nutritional characteristics of feed lot raised pigs (which are used to produce bacon) to free ranging wild boars.  Although you may think that wild boars are completely unrelated to domesticated pigs, actually they are exactly the same genus and species – except that one lives under the hand of humans whereas the other lives freely.
Wild pigs/boars forage freely and opportunistically and eat mainly vegetable material, but also small game species, eggs, nestling birds. Consequently, for humans eating wild boar meat, we may benefit by consuming the superior nutritional characteristics of wild pigs including leaner meat, greater beneficial polyunsaturated fats and higher vitamin E.
That's a lot of meat that never got eaten, for no reason I can fathom.
 Because pigs are monogastric animals (single stomach), they have the ability to convert vegetable and plant 18 carbon fatty acids (ALA) to the 20 and 22 carbon fatty acids (EPA and DHA) which reduce inflammation, reduce cardiovascular disease and promote good health for us all when we eat pork. Free ranging pork contains higher concentrations of these beneficial fatty acids than are found in their feed lot produced counterparts.
In the past 200 years, the food processing industry has produced an incredible plethora of food products which are almost irresistible to our taste buds. I’ll list just a few of these, but bacon surely must lie somewhere in the top 5 or 10" (Cordain).
Jesus fucking christ.

In spite of the fact that pigs were domesticated during the paleolithic era (Hirst), Loren Cordain seems as staunchly anti-bacon as the Kardashians are anti-intellectual.  Even weirder, Cordain is apparently not anti-feedlot pork, as his diatribe above was prefaced with a comparison of pork chops and bacon.  Compounding that contradiction is the fact that no two paleo authors seem to agree on anything having to do with what a "paleo" diet is, I decided to see what other paleo authors thought about bacon:
  • the progenitors of the paleolithic diet, S Boyd Eaton and Melvin Konnor, recommend against eating foods high in salt and fatty meat, so bacon is a definite no (Konnor).
  • Ray Audette, the author of Neanderthin, eats a pound of bacon every day for breakfast (Barr).
  • Art DeVany, evolutionary exercise author and author of New Evolution Diet says bacon's ok, so long as you trim the fat (DeVany).
  • Keith Thomas, who runs the site EvFit (and pulls 429 at 60 years old), eats free-range, nitrate free bacon about once a month.
  • Robb Wolf, author of Paleo Solution, eats bacon regularly.
  • Mark Sisson, author of the Primal Solution, asserts that "There’s no such thing as too much bacon"(Sisson).

Frankly, I don't know what the big deal is for the people who claim it's not paleo, especially those in Cordain's camp- pork belly is no less paleo than modern fruits and veggies, and from what I can see it's roughly the same in terms of nutrition.  Sure, you might be getting more omega 6's in factory-farmed bacon, but that's the case with every kind of factory-farmed meat.  As you can see below, from a macronutrient standpoint, pork bacon and boar bacon differ only slightly, and the edge might go to pork bacon.



When you get down to it, about the only thing that would actually be paleo in terms of a diet would be hunting and gathering in a wildlife preserve.  Modern strawberries are genemodded monstrosities compared to wild strawberries, the modern potato doesn't even begin to resemble its paleolithic counterpart (which had a poisonous, thick skin), and the ancient precursor to the apple was basically the size of a cherry and somewhat sour.  So, it's ridiculous to avoid bacon because it's not "paleo"-very little food on Earth is.

Clockwise from top: the type of strawberry you'd see in a store, true wild strawberries, and “white”  alpine strawberries.

So, having put the whole "paleo" baby to bed, it's time to address the substances that get naturopaths foaming at the mouth like an epileptic while filming bukkake in a room filled with strobe lights- nitrates and nitrites.  Nitrates and nitrites, in the form of sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite, are used in very small amounts in curing meats, and some studies have shown them to be linked with increased risk of colorectal cancer, Alzheimer's, and a variety of other diseases, presumably due to the fact that they damage DNA.  Sounds horrible, right?  Well, brace yourself, because bacon is not the culprit even if a direct link had been discovered between nitrates and nitrites- radishes and your own spit are.
"In fact, nitrites are produced by your own body in greater amounts than can be obtained from food, and salivary nitrite accounts for 70-90% of our total nitrite exposure. In other words, your spit contains far more nitrites than anything you could ever eat.
When it comes to food, vegetables are the primary source of nitrites. On average, about 93% of nitrites we get from food come from vegetables. It may shock you to learn that one serving of arugula, two servings of butter lettuce, and four servings of celery or beets all have more nitrite than 467 hot dogs. And your own saliva has more nitrites than all of them! So before you eliminate cured meats from your diet, you might want to address your celery intake. And try not to swallow so frequently" (Kresser).


I wonder if this could give you cervical cancer.

  • Spinach may contain 500 to 1900 parts per million of nitrate
  • Radishes may contain 1500 to 1800 parts per million 
  • Lettuce may contain 600 to 1700 parts per million. 
  • Cured meats is no more than 156 parts per million, and in most cases, the amount added is 120 parts per million or less and after processing the amount remaining in the final product is typically 10 parts per million or less. 

Bacon pump engaged.

Hilarious, right?  Luckily for vegans, though, it seems that dietary nitrates and nitrites are not directly linked with deleterious health effects, and they have actually been shown to have positive health effects.  
"From a therapeutic and nutritional aspect, nitrate and nitrite have been shown to reduce blood pressure (Larsen et al. 2006), protect against ischaemia-reperfusion (Duranski et al. 2005), reduce oxidative stress (Carlstrom et al. 2011), modulate mitochondrial function (Larsen et al. 2011) and reduce oxygen consumption during exercise (Larsen et al. 2007). The latter finding has attracted great interest from the sports community and among exercise physiologists" (Witzberg).  
Yeah, bro- nitrates convert to nitrites, and nitrites convert to nitric oxide.  Thus, when you eat cured meats, you're getting a little bit of a pump on.

Daily consumption of bacon and a shitload of lifting built this body.

It's not just the NO2 that makes bacon a baller meat source, however- pork is higher in B vitamins than other meats, has a stellar amino acid profile, and gives you another option when rotating protein sources, which many nutritionists think is ideal for maximal health.  This may be why strength athletes and bodybuilders have long advocated the inclusion of bacon in their diet.  Oh, you didn't know that those guys have been stuffing their faces with meat candy since the early 20th Century?  Well, they have.  Here's a short list of some vocal bacon advocates:
  • Mariusz Pudzianowski- multiple winner of the World's Strongest and and possessor of one of the greatest physiques evreeats a bare minimum of two pounds of bacon a day (Horton). 
  • The Saxon Trio-  these turn of the century strenght behemoths ate over three pounds of bacon a day (Gadreau).
  • Adolph Nordquist- the "Young Sandow was famous for his strength and his incredible physique, and recommended eating bacon to supplement the diet with fat for greater strength (Roach 39).
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger- at his biggest as a competitor, Arnold ate bacon every morning with his breakfast (Arnold).
  • Dan Duchaine- bodybuilding guru and chemist Dan Duchaine recommended bacon as a part of the diet for the entirety of his life.
  • Peary Rader- founder of Iron Man magazine, Olympic weightlifter, and bodybuilder Rader advocated daily consumption of ham or bacon (Roach 293)
  • Vince Gironda- One of the most famous diet and bodybuilding coaches, and an accomplished bodybuilder himself, Gironda espoused the consumption of bacon for maximal strength and definition (Palmieri 51).
  • Reg Park- champion bodybuilder, the first bodybuilder to bench 500 lbs, and early action movie star Park ate bacon on a daily basis as a part of his breakfast.

In the end, it seems that bacon is, in fact, all that it's cracked up to be, especially in terms of a paleolithic or ketogenic diet.  The annoyance of hipstery-bullshit, nonsensical trends aside, bacon can serve as a badass addition to a diet from a variety of standpoints, and is hardly the harbinger of doom that patchoili-scented naturopath "doctors" like to contend.


... and I know what I'll be keeping in a baggie to eat as my "peri-workout" nutrition at the gym.  Here's the recipe, in case you guys want it.

Sources:
AMI Fact Sheet: Sodium nitrate: the facts.  American Meat Institute.  Web.  19 Dec 2014.  http://www.meatami.com/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/44170

Arnold Schwarzenegger's blueprint.  Bodybuilding.com.  12 Nov 2014.  Web.  19 Dec 2014.  http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/arnold-schwarzenegger-blueprint-trainer-mass-nutrition.html

Barr, Luke.  Neanderthin!  GQ article reprinted online.  Neanderthin.com.  Web.  12 Dec 2014.  http://neanderthin.com/gq.htm

Cordain, Loren.  Bacon: Is there anything left to discuss?  The Paleo Diet.  Jun 2014.  Web.  12 Dec 2014.  http://thepaleodiet.com/bacon-anything-left-to-discuss/

DeVany, Art.  The Beginner's Guide to Evolutionary Fitness.  Artdevanyonline.com.  2 Dec 2012.  Web.  12 Dec 2014.  http://www.artdevanyonline.com/1/category/diet/1.html

Gadreau, Lou.  The Saxon Trio: what they ate and how they trained.  Bob Whelan.com.  Web.  19 Dec 2014.  http://www.bobwhelan.com/history/saxontrio.html

Knekt P, J√§rvinen R, Dich J, Hakulinen T.  Risk of colorectal and other gastro-intestinal cancers after exposure to nitrate, nitrite and N-nitroso compounds: a follow-up study.  Int J Cancer. 1999 Mar 15;80(6):852-6.

Konner M, Eaton SB.  Paleolithic nutrition: twenty-five years later.  Nutr Clin Pract. 2010 Dec;25(6):594-602.

Kresser, Chris.  The nitrate and nitrite myth: Another reason not to fear bacon.  Chris Kresser.  2 Jul 2014.  Web.  19 Dec 2014.  http://chriskresser.com/the-nitrate-and-nitrite-myth-another-reason-not-to-fear-bacon

Maestri, Nicoletta.  Potato history- Archaological evidence for domesticating potatoes.  About.com.  Web.  19 Dec 2014.  http://archaeology.about.com/od/plthroughpo/a/Potatoes.htm

Palmieri, Alan.  Vince Gironda: Legend and myth.  Web.  19 Dec 2014.  http://www.davedraper.com/fusionbb/fbbuploads/1225141331-GirondaBook.pdf

Reg Park's Diet for a Classic Physique!  Classic Physique Builder.  19 Feb 2009.  Web.  19 Dec 2014.  http://classicphysiquebuilder.blogspot.com/2009/02/reg-parks-diet-for-classic-physique.html

Sisson, Mark.  How Much Is Too Much?  Mark's Daily Apple.  31 Mar 2010.  18 Dec 2014.  http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-much-is-too-much/#ixzz3MHX4UDBe

Swann PF.  Carcinogenic risk from nitrite, nitrate and N-nitrosamines in food.  Proc R Soc Med. Feb 1977; 70(2): 113–115.

Witzberg E, Lundberg JO.  Dietary nitrate – a slow train coming.  J Physiol. Nov 15, 2011; 589(Pt 22): 5333–5334.

08 December 2014

Baddest Motherfuckers Ever- Armand "Fuck Cooking Food, I'll Eat It Raw" Tanny


One year after the end of the Great War, something amazing happened in Rochester, New York- the Tanny brothers' badass mom spurted forth the younger brother of the guy who went on to build the first serious chain of bodybuilding gyms across the country... a younger brother who would go on to bang innumerable sluts and out-perform Hermann Goerner in the one arm clean.  That man's name should be fresh on the lips of every hard trainer on the planet, yet hardly anyone's fucking heard of him.  

The name, which should taste sweeter on your lips than Dmitry Klokov's superhuman semen and go down smoother than a bikini model's bleached, waxed asshole, is Armand Tanny.

Vic Tanny at the age of 30 on the far left.  Joe Weider's in the center.

At the ripe old age of 13, Armand Tanny's older brother bought him his first weight set as a present apparently designed to land him into the "Coolest Fucking Brothers on Earth Hall of Fame" in the first ballot drawing.  That weight set crippled Armand for the next day, after he trained himself into what was likely rhabdo and left him barely able to move for the next couple days.  The muscle protein cannibalizing weight set, however, povided some of the original equipment for the Tanny family gym, and became the birthplace of his brother's, Vic Tanny, chain of gyms that was bought out by Bally's a few decades later.  After training with his brother and the neighborhood guys for only five years, Tanny became one of the few people in the United States to clean and jerk 300 lbs, earning him nationwide attention for his prodigious strength and sick physique... all by the age of 18.


From there, Tanny enrolled in college, attending the a local Rochester school until being lured to the Southern California beaches with the promise of untold amounts of half-naked ass, badass weather, and the best strength training/bodybuilding scene in the country.  After collecting enough credits to qualify as a physical therapist, Tanny was lured away from his premed program by delicious vagina and sandy beaches.  He'd funded his schooling with professional wrestling, at which Tanny blew dogshit, but apparently paid for his party-boy/wrestling/sun-worshipping lifestyle as he amassed a 9W-19L record over the next 20 years even after injuring his knee so badly in a collegiate wrestling match that he had to give up full squats for the rest of his life.

"It wasn't that I couldn't finish med school.  I just loved the beach.  I wanted to be there from dawn to dusk.  Education is one thing, but you have to keep your perspective.  You see, I loved chasing pretty girls." -Armand Tanny [actual quote]

If you're a "normie", you likely think that meant that Tanny just hung it up and took up knitting, like every old-timer who will talk a muscular guy's ear off with tales of what I believe to be entirely fabricated tales of bygone weightlifting glory.  Nope.  His brother Vic followed closely on his heels to Southern California and opened what was widely acknowledged to be the best gym in the area.  Training there and on the weekends with strongman and woman Les and Pudgy Stockton; acrobat, Hollywood stuntman, Russ Saunders; and bodybuilder, strongman, and inventor of the Universal Gym, Harold Zinkin in a homemade weight pit they built on the beach as a predecessor to Muscle Beach, Armand built one of the greatest and strongest physiques the nation had yet seen.

This is what happens when pussies aren't on the internet talking about lifting instead of lifting.

Two years later, and in spite of his debilitating knee injury, he placed second in the heavyweight class in the Junior Nationals competition in 1941. At a bodyweight of 190lbs and height of 5'9", he put up an impressive 230lb press, 250 lb snatch, and 330 lb clean and jerk (Draper). Later that year, Armand became the Pacific Coast weightlifting champion with a 270 press, 280 snatch, and 360 clean and jerk, again at a bodyweight of 190, which was exceedingly light for a heavyweight (Wieder).  His most impressive lift, however, was a 300 lb one arm clean at that bodyweight, which was his pet lift and the lift that garnered him the most fame.


Over the next few years, Tanny gained even more fame for his broad-assed shoulders and barn-door lats, in addition to his massive one arm clean, and his brother and Joe Wieder eventually convinced him to enter a couple of bodybuilding competitions.  During the 1940s, he lived with and trained with Steve Reeves and George Eiferman, both of whom were legendary Mr. Americas and actors, and the latter was the inspiration for the cartoon character George of the Jungle.  


Though he only competed four times, he ended up with a fairly impressive record:
  • 1949 Pro Mr America, Winner. 
  • 1949 IFBB North American Championships, 4th.  Clarence Ross winner, Alan Stephan second, Floyd Page third, Armand Tanny fourth, Leo Robert fifth.
  • 1949 Mr USA, 5th.  John Grimek first, Clarence Ross second, Steve Reeves third, George Eiferman fourth, and Tanny fifth out of a field of fifteen competitors.
  • 1950 Mr USA, Winner.  Defeated George Eiferman and Vince Gironda. 
Thereafter, he quit the stage for a brief sojourn to Hawaii, then returned to become a part of the legendary Mae West's travelling revue, which was a combination of burlesque, bodybuilders, and comedy.  This act was so popular it drew crowds bigger than those legendary crooner Frank Sinatra was drawing at the time, which would basically be akin to a travelling freakshow with bodybuilders, Carrot Top, and run by Joan Rivers' reanimated corpse out-drawing Taylor Swift.  Thereafter, presumably due to the fact he was exhausted from all of the fucking he had done for the last 35 year, Tanny signed on with Joe Wieder as a writer and started training with proto-powerlifters for fun.  When asked why he never competed in the fledgling sport of powerlifting or again in bodybuilding, Tanny's response was simple- he'd proven everything he needed to, and there was no money whatsoever in either sport.  Why spend time and money pursuing sports that would afford him nothing but expense when he could make plenty of money managing his bothers' gyms and use it to train and hang out on the beach all day?


At this point, you should likely be wondering what sort of a program this maniac followed- one that allowed him to bang whichever beach-going sloots upon whom he happened, afforded him the ability to crush both professional bodybuilders and elite-level weightlifters.  From everything I can tell, the man was all over the place with experimentation and didn't follow any kind of a set program- instead, he just trained for a couple of hours a day 6-7 days a week, mixing in gymnastics on the beach, swimming, and wrestling as well.

NOTE: Unlike today's pussy lifters, Tanny did not avoid recreational activities and sports to avoid injury for lifting, which likely kept him from incurring much in the way of injuries.  

One of the programs Armand Tanny used was a superset program to get the biggest pump on as many muscles as possible.  To do so, he picked opposing muscle groups to be worked for as many sets and reps as possible in ten minutes (Supersets).  Thus, in 50 minutes, he and his training partners got a brutal, full body pump that they then took to the beach to use in banging sloots.

1. Deadlift
1. Abdominal Raise

2. Two Arm Press
2. Two Arm Chin

3. Deep Knee Bend
3. Leg Curl

4. Bench Press
4. Bentover Rowing Motion

5. Biceps Curl
5. Triceps Curl



Though Armand was a bit of a pretty boy (a lot of a bit of a pretty boy), he was heavily involved in powerlifting at its inception, and trained with early champion bench presser Pat Casey and powerlifting phenom Bill "Peanuts" West.  As a result of training with such unconventional and hideously strong juggernauts of the strength world, Tanny ended up espousing some really unconventional training methods and techniques.  For instance, Tanny once wrote as lovingly as most fanboys write about Dan Green's every bowel movement of the "touch" method.  This method was developed by Bill West and is the bane of every single internet douchebag "lifter"'s existence- HE LOVED PARTNER ASSISTED REPS.

Yup- you know the handsy spotters helping the bench bros bounce your squat max off their chests with aplomb in your gym?  Well, apparently that shit gets the job done... and not just on the bench press- Bill West's team used the method on everything in the gym, from the bench to the clean pull to the press to the deadlift and squat.  Bear witness:
"As time went by, he thought why be so conservative --- get in there and really help the guy trying to make the lift. Get hold of him bodily when necessary, apply the pressure. The closer the contact, the more realistic the assistance. The idea started getting clearer when Bill used the heavy touch on the power rack bench squat. How was a man going to get that first squat started from a sitting position on the bench with the bar resting on the shoulder level on the cross pins, loaded to two or three hundred pounds more than his best regular squat? A helper on each end usually results in an uneven spot. A steadier and more practical way proved to be method of getting directly behind the lifter, bear hugging him under the arms, and simply boosting him to a standing position."
"The method may prove awkward at first, but after a bit of practice, the spotter gets to know the lifter’s particular sticking points and the amount of help he really needs. The whole idea of the touch system is to transfer power past sticking points. Complete movements can be made with heavier than regular limit lifts. The lifter gets the opportunity to use very heavy weights."
Bill "Peanuts" West using the touch method on a dude in his underwear.
"Bill West, himself, was averaging 575 from the deck in every deadlift workout. But for some reason- and it went on for a whole year- he could not make 600 high deadlift. The secret eluded him. He knew if he could high deadlift heavy, his regular deadlift would go up. In a very brief period, using the touch system, it happened exactly that way. His high deadlift program went like this:
505 x 5555 x 1575 x 1605 x 1615 x 1 Touch system630 x 1 Touch system655 x 1 Touch system670 x 1 Touch system405 x 5His regular deadlift shot up to 630" (Tanny). 

Both Armand Tanny and Bill West trained frequently with Pat Casey, the first man to officially bench press over 600 lbs.  Casey was a huge fan of bench press lockouts, and over time both West and Tanny came to share his appreciation for partials.  One day a week was devoted to lockout work, while a second chest day allowed for full range max work. The first series of sets was done as the photo above indicates- with the pins 2" above the chest:

"145 x 10
185 x 10
245 x 5
270 x 3
295 x 4 reps x 5 sets
The second series of sets is done with the bar elevated 4 or 5 additional inches but not over 8 inches above the chest:
325 x 1
345 x 1
370 x 6 singles
290 x 10 reps" (Lockout Prones).  

By far and away the most interesting tidbit about Tanny was his I'm-So-Fucking-Paleo-I-Don't-Even-Use-Fire diet- after visiting Hawaii, Tanny came back raving about the badass Somoans he'd met.  Tanny reportedly gushed about them like a schoolgirl about the Jonas Brothers, claiming: "They ate everything raw.  you name it, fish, meat, beetles - everything!  They were so strong and healthy" (Roach 183).  After seeing the enormity of their bodies (they're 5'10' on average and have abnormally dense muscle and bone tissue) and their prodigrous strength, Tanny changed his diet entirely and started eating everything raw- .75 to 1.5lbs meat a day (tuna, beef, liver, lobster, oysters, clams), in addition to nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables.  He took it even further than that- he would walk out into the surf while hanging out at the beach and kick up 6'-7' clams to eat as a snack.  Then, Tanny added the advice of the first modern nutritionist Gayelord Hauser and added brewer's yeast, dessicated liver, yogurt, black strap molasses, and wheat germ oil in an effort to aid digestion and improve his longevity (Roach 184).


Tanny felt like the creatine in his diet, obtained from the massive amounts of raw meat he was eating, was the reason he was able to bring such a complete package of size, cuts, and muscularity to the stage, all while maintaining a level of strength that made him the envy of other lifters around the country at 200 lbs.  Clearly, the fact that he had been training hard with what basically amounted to an early powerbuilding routine for nearly 20 years by the time he won the pro Mr. USA played a major role as well, in addition to the fact that he added an immense amount of GPP to his program in the form of gymnastics on the beach and wrestling.


Every day was Christmas for Armand Tanny.

Whatever it was, Armand Tanny definitely saw the inside of enough women in a relatively prudish time, made a pretty tidy sum of money, lived in the nicest climates in the US, and basically lived as a gym going beach bum who garnered a reputation for being one of the most muscular and strongest dudes in the country- all without really competing- to have baddest motherfucker status fully engaged.

Sources:
Armand Tanny.  Dave Draper Online.  Web.  2 Dec 2014.  http://www.davedraper.com/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/PmWiki/ArmandTanny

Doonan, Simon.  Eating Gruel and Loving It.  Slate.  28 Mar 2012.  Web.  8 Dec 2014.  http://www.slate.com/articles/life/doonan/2012/03/gayelord_hauser_the_man_who_invented_the_celebrity_diet_.html


Roach, Randy.  Muscle, Smoke, and Mirrors, Volume 1.  Bloomington: Authorhouse, 2008.

Tanny, Armand.  Touch System for the Deadlift.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  18 Jun 2014.  Web.  8 Dec 2014.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2011/06/touch-system-for-deadlift-armand-tanny.html

Tanny, Armand.  Lockout Prones.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  16 May 2011.  Web.  3 Dec 2014.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2011/05/lockout-prones-armand-tanny.html

Tanny, Armand.  Supersets for super size.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  9 Jun 2011.  Web.  3 Dec 2014.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2011/06/super-sets-for-super-size-armand-tanny.html

Thurber, Jon.  Armand Tanny dies at 90; Muscle Beach bodybuilder won national titles in '49, '50.  LA Times.  9 Apr 2009.  Web.  4 Dec 2014.  http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-armand-tanny9-2009apr09-story.html

Todd, Terry.  Armand Tanny remembers Steve Reeves.  Iron Game History.  Dec 2000: 6(4);24-25.  http://library.la84.org/SportsLibrary/IGH/IGH0604/IGH0604g.pdf

27 November 2014

Hey Crossfit Haters- Prepare To Eat A Cock Sandwich

The infamous 365 lb hitched pull from a broad that apparently lives within a stone's throw of me- this was her third attempt, pulled 75 seconds after her second attempt and within the rules set forth by CrossFit.  Best part?  If she actually learned to deadlift rather than pulling like it was a clean, half of the people reading this would be forced to commit ritual suicide because of what she'd be pulling.

A disclaimer to begin- I am capable of differentiating between CrossFit and competitive CrossFit- and asked competitive CrossFitter Brooke Haas to explain the difference:
"Training CrossFit:
       -This is who the vast majority of my clientele are and I absolutely love it. These are people that use CrossFit for what it is truly designed for and in many ways it’s a means to an end. They don’t just want to be good in the gym but outside those walls as well. They want to be better cyclists, skiers, hikers, parents, grandparents, athletes… you name it. They use CrossFit to increase their base level of GPP (general physical preparedness) and this correlates to better performance in their specific sport or life.
It doesn’t mean they are any less of an “athlete” than any one of us out there, but they have different goals. In my opinion people can train CrossFit like this for a lifetime. We can come in the gym once a day, follow a 3 on 1 off cycle, or a 3 on 1 off 2 on 1 off cycle of training and see results for years to come. With good varied programming we will get strong, increase our endurance, see improved times, etc. Our work capacity across broad times and modal domains will increase which is the goal regardless. Over time we may need to target some of our weaknesses to help “level out” our work capacity but realistically it could take years and years to get there if at all. For some of us that day may never come depending on what our previous athletic/training background may be. 
      The sacrifice here is minimal. In most cases these people may just be switching training programs and their time commitments and priorities won’t change. Likely we would see these athletes making sacrifices for other goals they may have if any (qualifying for the Boston Marathon, winning a local mountain bike series, working to become a pro surfer). Either way CrossFit is there to develop their base and if any sacrifices are made they would be due to other avenues. 
2. CrossFit as a Recreational Sport:
-This is the person that has been introduced to CrossFit and enjoys the competition aspect of it. Maybe they enter a local competition and find themselves more attracted to this side of CrossFit. Team competitions, local throw downs possibly offering “scaled” divisions as well as “rx’d”, and CrossFit is starting to become more of a sport to them. These athletes may pay closer attention to targeting some of their weaknesses in order to “fast track” their fitness. This is a legitimate goal and one that I think a lot of people fall into. 
      Having specific and realistic goals here are going to be important to helping us define where we are along the line of the competition realm. A good association here is the difference between any recreational and professional sport. You may like to play tennis, golf, compete in a local soccer or softball club, go to swim meets, etc. but it’s a different demand and commitment than those that play those sports professionally.
Sacrifices may start to be required of those that are treating CrossFit more as a sport. Generally it’s going to be more time spent in the gym with either consistency or additional work. It may include some more specific programming outside of the regular class. We may need to pay closer attention to our diets and learn how to treat competitions and train for them as well as how to manage them. Overall it should still be FUN for us though. We can take it seriously but we also haven’t invested “all” of ourselves into an event so we SHOULD be having fun with the journey as well as the competitions along the way.
3. CrossFit as a Sport (Elite Level):
       -Some may think it’s a stretch to call it professional but I disagree. Those that are at the top of the field these days generally make it a living to train. The sacrifices here are heavy and things are not always fun. It’s work, hard work and these athletes are willing to put it in regardless of the outcome and they risk the time invested. I know a number of Games athletes and almost ALL of them either train at a gym, own a gym, or simply compete and do nothing else. Their lifestyle allows them to focus primarily on training and this is what it takes to be at an ELITE level. Most of them have lengthy previous experience in athletics or some kind of strength and conditioning program. Having a base level of fitness and having good exposure to strength training is a plus and although not mandatory it is rare to see people competing at a high level without this. It just takes a whole lot of hard work, and that takes time. 
       This athlete is someone that can basically do every workout on crossfit.com as rx’d, no scaling necessary and posts competitive times/scores with top Regional (top 5 or so) athletes and Games competitors past and present. They may go to some of the more well known competitions and place well. Qualify for Regionals without specific training for the Open and are legitimate contenders for the Games (Top 5-7 in a Region). Truthfully it’s a small percentage of the population of our community. One that makes sacrifices just as any other athlete trying to reach the peak of their sport would. We may find them working through aches and pains, potential injuries, and having to pay close attention on their training programs as well as maintenance outside of the gym as well. Specific programming is often required in the area of the athletes weaknesses and they have to be ever evolving as the demands of these competitors continually increase. Volume will typically increase depending on the age of the athlete and most of them will either have a coach or a group of likeminded individuals at a similar level to train with.
      The sacrifices that are made in the present for these athletes may or may not effect their overall well being in the future. Some of those aches and pains may turn into something more and the risk is worth the potential reward for these athletes. The goals they set in the near future can come at a high price, some who are willing just pay up."
Behold a CrossFittor outlifting you without straps.  Elgin will save you.  Pussy.

That said, allow me to begin this epic rant by addressing the video everyone who lifts and is on Facebook as seen- Elgintensity's "Deadlifts from the Washed Up Loser Olympics."  I'm sure half of you agreed with him in his commentary, as half of you were likely outdeadlifted by the 123 lb girls and/or 190 lb in that video.  As Elgin likes to say, "haters gonna hate," because he's a fucking halfwit who's marginally more original than his poor man's Ben Stein delivery would indicate, and he lives up to that credo with every second of his "I've never seen a strongman deadlift in competition" commentary.

STRONGMEN DON'T KNOW HOW TO DEADLIFT.  DISGRACE TO THE SPORT.  AN INSULT TO EVERYONE WHO ACTUALLY LIFTS!!!!

Before we continue, let's look at the God of the Waterheads' in gym performance.  At a skinnyfat and wholly unimpressive bodyweight that appears to be 180 lbs of bird shit, Elginsaddity is apparently setting the weak-as-fuck and sloppier-than-Phillip-Seymour-Hoffman's-rotting-heroin-infused-corpse ass end of the strength training world on fire with a 425lb squat that impresses literally no one on Earth, an actually respectable 335 bench, and a CrossFit-tastic 545 deadlift.  In other words, he is basically on par with the strength levels of the Crossfitters upon whom he incessantly bags, but is in no way, shape or form strong enough to consider himself the authority on lifting he apparently does.  But wait, you might be thinking- isn't this entire article about how Crossfitters don't suck at lifting, and is it not hypocritical to then call Elgin a mediocre lifter?  Not at all, because CrossFitters consider themselves CrossFitters and don't provide the powerlifts as the sole metrics of their overall strength, as the "Subhuman's Champion" does.  This "champion" is in reality a mediocre lifter who does a bad Ben Stein impression while demonstrating a laughable paucity of strength training knowledge and above-average Windows Movie Maker skills.

Behold the awesome physique of the "People's Champion."

In an effort to garner undeserved internet fame by capitalizing on the wave of butthurt in the strength community that is CrossFit hate, Elginsaddity put himself front and center in the interminable "I hate CrossFit because I'm fat and weak and they're at the very least not fat" discussion by posting a couple of videos criticizing the "form" used by CrossFitters.  This is, of course, the How this trend got started is up for discussion- I'd posit it's likely due to the incessant rambling by CrossFitters about the superiority of their sport in comparison to others.  Like chihuahuas and their incessant ankle-biting and yapping, the CrossFitters' ankle-biting and yammering is certainly obnoxious, and some measure of hatred of them is therefore deserved.  Unlike Chihuahuas, however, CrossFitters are not simply rackety, useless creatures capable of doing nothing but impotent aggression, carpet shitting, and general obnoxiousness (no, that's left to the fans of Elgin Mones).  CrossFitters might be more annoying than a roomful of 16 year old entitled cunts at a Sweet Sixteen birthday party, but they are generally incredibly good-looking, reasonably (and in some cases exceptionally) strong people who compete in a sport that has in a few short years eclipsed strongman, powerlifting, and Olympic weightlifting in popularity.

Say what you want about CrossFit, but those motherfuckers can draw a crowd.

Yeah- as much as you guys wish it weren't so, CrossFit is actually an immensely popular spectator sport.  Whereas no one in their right mind travels to a powerlifting or Olympic weightlifting or powerlifting meet to serve as a spectator, and few major strongman meets draw appreciable crowds, the CrossFit Games have drawn crowds of between 24 and 30 thousand people the last couple of years.  Though the popularity of any given thing is often inversely proportional to the coolness of that thing, the willingness of the average person to watch a bunch of people engage in exercise that average person cannot possibly comprehend or associate with any physical activity is rather telling.  Clearly, the sport has a hook that extends beyond a bunch of people with too much money, board and booty shorts, and a collection of cameras that would shame even the most extreme Instragram-obssessed narcissist- it's appealing to a spectrum of people that includes a wide array of strength and aesthetics sports, in addition to the average person.

CrossFitters- better looking and more muscular than most other strength athletes... which makes them more marketable and thus "better" from an economic standpoint, at the very least.

I realize, however, that many of you will claim that my statement regarding the strength of CrossFitters is specious, as literally none of the internet's CrossFit naysayers even possess the modicum of motivation necessary to do the scantiest of research, nevermind actually pick up something heavy (if you haven't yet caught on, I'm stating, unequivocally, that it is only pussies who claim to lift and dont, shmoes, and undeservedly self-important Asian ambulance chasers who hate CrossFit [with one notable exception]).  So, without further adieu, let's examine metrics collected from the CrossFit website itself by author and scientist Chris Beardsey of Strengthandconditioningresearch.com.  Let me reiterate- these metrics were not fabricated by myself, nor were they fabricated at all- instead, they are considerably dated (which I'll address shortly), low-end metrics provided by the CrossFitters to CrossFit over the last few years, compiled and analyzed by Chris Beardsley.  I realize Elginsaddity's fans have already had problems wrapping their feeble, protein-starved, undertrained minds around this fact, so I will reiterate once more:

THESE METRICS ARE FREELY AVAILABLE TO INTERNET SHIT TALKERS ON THE CROSSFIT WEBSITE.  Feel free to go fuck yourselves, by the way, Elgin fans- you're a lot of cunts incapable of working the fucking Google machine with big mouths and tiny cocks.

Yup- they look like total pussies to me.  Good call, internet.  
Kill yourselves.  I don't care how you do it, so long as you're dead.

First off, we need a baseline for the determination of relative strength.  Thus, we must take a look at the bodyweight.  The top 125 Crossfitters in the country are all roughly between 150 and 225 lbs, the bulk of them (and seemingly the most successful of them) are between 180lbs and 210lbs, and the median all of the top 500 CrossFitters is about 190 lbs, which would put them in the 181 class for powerlifting.  Yes, the 181 class- they're actually competitive athletes, meaning they will compete at their optimal bodyweight using whatever means are at their disposal to ensure victory.  As such, we will use performance metrics for 181 lb athletes to assess their performance.


Though likely of little interest to the bulk of you, I found it interesting that the best of the CrossFit men, with one notable exception in that little 150lber, are between 5'10" and 6' and between 190 and 205.  Here's a comparison of the height and weight of the top 500 CrossFitters:


So, now that we have that out of the way, let's look at the reported deadlift on the CrossFit website for the top 125 Crossfitters- they've got two guys who deadlift over 650 and a couple more who deadlift over 600, with an average of around 510.  The top 75 all deadlift over 500, and the top 50 all deadlift over 550.  

Yeah, none of you would like to be as strong or as jacked as Khalipa.  Suuuuuuuuuure.
Kill yourselves.  Again.

Again, bear in mind that these stats are old- for instance, Jason Khalipa's clean is listed at 335 on the CrossFit site, but he's on video clean and jerking 355 (which would tend to indicate his clean is even higher than 355).  In the same video, Froning snatches 305 when his snatch is listed lower online.  Matthew Fraser's snatch PR is 315 on video, but 300 on the CF website.  Meanwhile, I took so long to write this article that the discrepancy was wider when Beardsley did his analysis.  In any event, rest assured that the PRs of Crossfitters, who don't even train for maximal strength, are greater than those listed in this analysis.

Meanwhile, this random CrossFitter looks 10x as good as Elgin and has actually been laid in the last year.  Oh, and fuck Robert Frank, while I'm at it.  Congrats on being a fucking nobody who's done nothing.  Eat a dick.
And note the background which is appropirate- both of the aforementioned pussies lose in both.  Lots of bullshit and nothing to back it but micropenises.

So, how strong are the top 50 powerlifters at 181 in 2013?  They deadlifted between 590 and 715- obviously bigger than the Crossfitters, but not shockingly so.  There are at least 12 CrossFitters with 600+ deadlifts, which would but them in the top 35 at 181, and the three CrossFitters with > 650lb deadlifts would crack the top 5.  According to the USPA's lifter classifications (which I think are incredibly low, but I've discussed my opinion of lifter rankings before), the average of the top 125 CrossFitters' deadlifters are right around the Master cutoff of 515, and at least there are easily 100 CrossFitters who class Elite by the USPA's classifications at 181.   


So then we have the metric I've mentioned I find laughable in CrossFit- their back squats.  By powerlifter standards, CrossFitters just can't hang... or can they?  Using the USPA standards, 501 is a master classification, 547 is elite, and 596 is international elite.  Given that I have only been outsquatted once in the history of the 181lb division, I feel like I am entitled to cast aspersions on everyone in terms of squatting- I don't use any progression scheme, follow no program, and don't even back squat fully outside of meets much.  I do a combination of jump squats and partials, and with that, I've got the second best unwrapped squat in the history of powerlifting.  Elginsaddity's squat is suicide-inducing, and I'm not even sure his buttbuddy Robbie has legs... so their opinion is null and void.  CrossFitters, however, can weigh in on the topic, because in spite of the fact that they don't even really train the lift, they're better at it than most parties.  Plenty of CrossFitters have a 500+ squat, which would get them into the top 30, and 6 CFers have a squat would land them in the top 8.

Guess who's nowhere near the top of anything at 181?  Elginsaddity.

So, there you have it.  CrossFit might be at times somewhat homoerotic.  It certainly sucks at times.  But competitive CrossFitters are not, as are popularly bandied about "washed up losers."  The only people who would characterize them as such are never-beens and never-will-bes, like your friends Elginsaddity and Robert whatever the fuck his name is not memorable and should die in a fire because he'd have to have sex to have AIDS.

He's like, thhhhhhhho bufffffff.

Congratulations, fans of those pussies!   You suck in multiple dimensions.  And to Elgin Mones and Robert Frank, you two fuckers are nothing, will amount to nothing, and mean nothing to the world at large.  Your fans fucking suck, you suck, and the lot of you should fucking head to New Guinea and drink some fucking Kool Aid, the useless, worthless, and weak omegas that you are.  You're weaker than the people over whom you profess superiority, which is fucking weaker than an AIDS baby in a Oly meet.  You don't understand strength sports, fail to understand strength metrics at any point, and lack the testicular fortitude to prove yourselves on the fucking battlefield... unlike CrossFitters.

Meanwhile, this is what was happening as I typed this ridiculousness.

By the way, you two pussies- I'm smarter, stronger, more well-accredited, leaner, and have a hotter fucking girlfriend than you.  Find a fucking bridge and jump off it.  Your fans' shit talking is fucking noise in the wind, and you two pussies are corpses in search of a fucking tomb.  Pathetic.

So to the rest of you, stop listening to know nothings who will be never be nothings- I have proven myself because I fucking hate people.  They'll never prove themselves, because they're leeches.  Treat them as such.  Salt those pussies.  Move on with your lives.  SALT IS GOD.

That is all.

20 October 2014

Stew-Roids: Arm-Wrasslin' Hillbilly Style


Though it's rare I'll take any cues in life from people 1) missing teeth, 2) wearing hunting camo, or 3) with NRA stickers on their car, there is something to be said for occasionally stealing a page from the hardy, uneducated weirdo one finds on and around mountains in the backwoods of any country.  I would venture to guess that exceptions exist, but at least in the United States (and possibly Canada), one can find all sorts of toothless, hard-drinking, foul-mouthed hardasses who will as soon eat roadkill and threaten a foreigner with a firearms, and who likely has more knowledge on surviving and thriving in conditions most of us would consider deplorable.



Such, apparently, is how life goes in the Ozarks, which are mountains located in the ass end of... actually, none of you should ever go there, so it doesn't matter where they are.  Let's just say they span states most Americans can't find on a map, and is squarely located in the banjo-music filled hell on Earth known as the American Bible Belt, so named because although they've never read the fucking book, the people there are happy to yell about it and Jesus until one of you stabs the other.  If you think I'm exaggerating, I'm not- the Beverly Hillbillies were based on Ozark culture, except that given that the Ozarks were a bastion of rough-and-tumble fighting, imagine the Hillbillies horribly disfigured, sporting filed teeth (all the better to chew off noses) and incredibly prone to random acts of mayhem (Wikipedia).



Though the modern people of the Ozarks mostly just seem to be content to yell about Jesus, speak in tongues, and shoot small animals rather than gouge out each others' eyes and chew off noses, they do have a thriving strength sports culture, and small, informal arm wrestling competitions are the norm in local bars.  That, then would provide both the historical background and modern day evidence one might want for perhaps investigating the local fare, which of course consists of a great deal of game meat and stew.  One of the most popular dishes in the area, and one about which celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain raved, stating it was probably the best drunk food he's ever eaten, is Ozark Chili, otherwise known as Spaghetti Red.



You can go two ways with this dish, as you're about to see.  If you just want hearty, meaty fare that's as keto as gnawing on your next door neighbor's arm and heavy enough in calories to fuel brutal workouts, skip the noodles.  If you want a recipe that's going to put meat on your bones, rescue you from the clutches of a hangover, or serve as a preworkout meal for some drunken armwrestling, add the noodles- just add a cup of cooked spaghetti for every pound of meat in the chili, mix it all together before plating it, and serve.  And although I have no idea why someone would add some of these things to chili (Anthony Bourdain was similarly horrified), Spaghetti Red is typically served with hot sauce, vinegar, ketchup, onions, pickles, shredded cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, and mustard.  Add those if and when you dare.



Ozark Mountain Chili

Ingredients
3 medium onions, chopped 
6 cloves garlic, minced 
1/2 lb bacon, cut into pieces 
2 0z Gebhardt's chili powder 
1/2 oz dark chili powder
3 lb chuck roast, cubed red pepper to taste 
1 can beef broth 
1 lb hot pork sausage 
1 can green chilies, minced 
1tbsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp dried habenero chilies 
1 tsp cumin 
1/2 tsp coriander 
1 can tomato sauce 
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies
1/2 cup oregano tea (1 tsp oregano steeped in hot water 30 minutes) 
1 tbs salt 
4 drops Tabasco sauce

  1. Fry bacon until crisp, then add onions, garlic, and both kinds of chili powder. Saute until onions are clear.  
  2. Brown beef in large skillet, a pound at a time, adding sprinkles of red pepper while browning. Add some broth to pan to keep meat from sticking.  Add each batch to crock pot after browning and stir. 
  3. Brown sausage with minced green chilies, then add habeneros when sausage is just about brown. 
  4. Add spices, tomato sauce, Rotel tomatoes, and remaining broth. Mix well and cook for 30 minutes in crock pot on high. 
  5. Add oregano tea and Tabasco. 
  6. Cook on low for 15 more minutes and serve.


Adding three cups of cooked spaghetti to this belly bomb will net you another 884 calories, 5.2g fat, 172g of carbs, and 32 grams of protein... making this one of the most brutal, well-balanced weight gaining recipes I've ever seen.



So, go get your hillybilly on and start packing on that mass... just try to avoid eye-gouging.

Sources:
Gouging.  Wikipedia.  Web.  20 Oct 2014.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gouging_(fighting_style)

Ozark Mountain Chili.  ChiliCookin.com.  Web.  20 Oct 2014.  http://www.chilicookin.com/Recipes/Web/OzarkMtn.htm  

Spaghetti Red.  Wikipedia.  Web.  20 Oct 2014.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaghetti_Red