30 January 2010

*This Song Is My New Anthem

*I Only Eat Food In Bar Form (The Supplements You Own End Up Owning You, Addendum)

Best. Simpsons Episode. Ever.

Homer Simpson: "I only eat food in bar form. When you concentrate food, you unleash its awesome power, I'm told. That's why I'm compressing 5 pounds of spaghetti into a handy mouth-sized bar.
(eats it, then dials phone)
Hospital please."

That's about the long and the short of it. The fact that something is in a health food store, or is branded as a supplement, does not make it good for you, and does not mean that it's going to help you get stronger, more muscular, or leaner. People consistently fail to realize this fact, due to ignorance of what "healthy" is, because they're snowed by marketing, and because they are simply too fucking stupid to know the difference.

Though Homer seems like a fucking retard for having the idea that any food in a bar form is good for him, there are plenty of motherfuckers running around who erroneously think that the following are worth consuming:

Clif Bars
Better known as "The Superhighway to Type 2 Diabetes", this granola-filled shitpile of a "health food" contains a whopping 21 g of sugar weighed against a paltry 9 g of protein. As if that were not enough of a nutritional ass-raping, the Clif bar is chock full of man-tit and limp-cock making soy, which is just what every man needs in his life. "But the sugar comes from brown rice syrup" you say? Go fuck yourself. Sugars come in many forms, and guess what- THEY'RE STILL SUGAR. The source of the sugar is negligible when you're consuming 21g in a go, especially when it's consumed with Soy Protein Isolate, Organic Roasted Soybeans, Organic Soy Flour, Soy White Chocolate, and Organic Soy Butter. Soy white chocolate? What kind of fucking evil, man-hating cunt created soy-based chocolate? I've no idea who she is, but she is an evil bitch, and she definitely fucking hates you.

Did I mention they also make a "Builders Bar" that contains 20g of protein? Yup. Not only is the first fucking ingredient Soy Protein Isolate, but it also contains Organic Soy Protein Concentrate, Organic Oat Fiber, and Soy Lecithin. Yippee! If you happen to look them up, out of morbid curiosity, you'll see they contain "chicory syrup" and chicory. Chicory is essentially poor-man's coffee, so I thought perhaps that it was a shitty coffee flavoring thing, but no- that's a "non-FDA approved term (non GRAS and non- CFR compliant) for high fructose syrup." I don't know what Clif looks like, but I'd imagine it's a lot like this:

Balance Bars
Trust me- at some point, we've all grabbed one in a time of catabolism and scarfed it down, in hope that it will at least provide us with enough muscle-sparing properties to get us to real food. After all, it's based on the Crossfit approved Zone macronutrient ratio of 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat, so it has to be okay for you, right? Wrong, fuckface. That diet is spawned by the same mindset of mediocrity that produced the alleged television "comedy" show "Reba" and artistically disinclined, noisome, aural nightmare that is Muzak, both of which are proof that the gods all hate us. They're marginally better than Clif bars, in that they contain 13g of protein, but they still contain 16g of sugar, and 7g of fat. Six grams of that nutritional shit show comes from soy, and the sources of sugars is high maltose corn syrup and sugar. If that's not enough, these three fuckers below apparently love Balance Bars so much that they're willing to endorse them on bodybuilding.com. Note the startling lack of muscular development and abdominal definition on these these winners.

You're fat better off getting a Quarter Pounder from McDonalds, frankly- there's no sugar, no soy, costs the same, and you're getting 24g of protein. Plus, you won't have to associate yourself the the douches pictured above, so you win twice.

You're welcome.

Power Bar Protein+
I'm sure it goes without saying that these bars taste like shit. Anyone who's ever had the grave misfortune to try a powerbar has instantly regretted the decision. Well, with the Protein+ bar, you can add to that hobo's ass flavoristic stylings grittiness and a mild soy aftertaste. Yeah, they have 23g of protein in them, but they also contain 19g of sugar, and the ubiquitous soy protein with which we are perpetually plagued.

They suck.

Promax Bars
Anytime there's more sugar in the thing you're eating than protein, it's not fucking healthy. Promax can take their 20 grams of protein and stuff them up their undoubtedly fat asses, because eaters of these fucking things get to choose between diabetes and obesity at the end of their lives, or maybe get a bit of both. Twenty eight grams of sugar? What the fuck were they thinking?

They were probably thinking of adding soy protein. Thanks Promax! Go fuck yourselves.
He avoided Promax Bars, given his low bodyfat, but he couldn't avoid those snakes.

Any Brownie Sold in a Health Food Store, with the notable exception of the Met-Rx brownie
Brownies are not healthy, no matter where they're sold. If you eat Glenny's 100 Calorie Brownies, you are a fucking idiot for a couple of reasons.
  1. You suck at math. They claim to contain 100 calories. 40 come from fat, apparently, in spite of the fact that they allegedly contain 4g of fat, which would be 36 calories (9 per gram, dummy). We'll put that idiocy aside for a moment and look at the carbs (12g) and protein (4 g). First, we'll tackle the carbs. They have 7g of fiber and 11g of sugar, which is 18g, not 12g. We'll pretend, however, that they simply left the fiber out because it's indigestable. 12+4 = 16, and 16x4 =64. 64+40 is 104. Thus, for a variety of reasons, Glenny is a liar, and probably a syphilitic whore, and you are mathematically retarded.
  2. They're full to the fucking brim of soy. Enjoy your nonexistent libido.
While I'm on the subject, those 100 calorie snack things you invariably see women eating are fucking stupid. 100 calories of Doritos is still 100 calories of bullshit. Additionally, I've never seen a woman eat just one of the fucking things. Eating multiple small servings is the same thing as eating one big fucking serving, the exception being that the small servings all have their own packaging, which creates more trash, and is worse for the environment. Apparently, the simpletons eating those things hate everyone else as much as they hate themselves. Thanks, fatasses.
How in the fuck is "oops" possessive? Fat and stupid. She probably eats 100 calorie brownies.

Think before you eat, fuckers.

26 January 2010

*The Supplements You Own End Up Owning You

The other day, I was walking around in a shopping center that contained a Gold's gym. I happened to fall in behind a couple of skinny, yet unfit, college guys, who were dressed in fashionable workout gear emblazoned with Under Armor and Abercrombie logos. Without going any further, I could tell they were useless douches, simply by their manner of dress, but I was bored, so I listened in on their conversation. The conversation, as it turned out, was solid gold- it centered around their "brutal" workout of machine-based exercises, and their need to get their protein shakes to facilitate recuperation therefrom. It was, at its core, a conversation worthy of the very pinnacle of douchbaggery, the likes of which I rarely see.

Sooooooooper tough. He has to be- he's wearing Under Armour!

Nevermind the fact that these fucking retards believed that they had just conducted a workout worthy of inclusion in the trials of Hercules- they believed that the workout was utterly worthless without their post-workout nutrition. They've been snowed by the magazines and the supplement companies to believe that without the proper supplements, they cannot achieve physical greatness.

One of Hercules's trials was dealing with mouthy broads. He handled shit.

Here's a fucking newsflash: BULLSHIT. Certainly, supplements can help, and I've spent a considerable amount of time detailing those that I think are worthwhile. That's not to state, however, that they are in any way essential. Plenty of people throughout history have built massive physiques without the aid of supplements, through little more than big eating and big lifting. What supplements do is speed the process, and help undo the deleterious effects of bad eating habits and sloth, in addition to centuries of shitty breeding habits for most of us.

The most important thing, in my opinion, is your training. That's because I'm primarily concerned with the development of strength, and muscle as a secondary effect. We all know that you cannot really out-train a bad diet, but all the dieting in the world isn't going to build strength and muscle without training. Therefore, training is the bedrock of C&P. Follow that with diet. If you eat like shit, you're likely to look like shit, and you'll probably train like shit as well. Last, and definitely least, is the inclusion of supplements in your regime.

Hermann Goerner never took a supplement. Of that much, I can assure you. That didn't stop him from deadlifting an epic 727 lbs. WITH ONE HAND.

Throughout the ages, the world has produced a wide variety of heavily muscled, bad motherfuckers, like Hermann Goerner, Milo of Croton, every single athlete who sat for a Greek or Roman statue, Punjabi wrestlers, etc. They all focused on two things, instead of supplementation (though they all dabbled in a variety of odd supplements throughout the ages): TRAINING AND DIET.

Lionel Strongfort. Bad motherfucker born in 1878 and lifting crazy weights long before the advent of supplements or steroids.

What to include? I've covered it before, but protein and a multi are the bedrock of your supplementation, NOT CREATINE. For some reason, every sloppy motherfucker on the planet seems to think that creatine is the essential ingredient into any workout program, to the exclusion of every other fucking thing of which you could think, including heavy squats and deadlifts. Creatine isn't fucking magic- in fact, if you eat red meat on a regular basis, it's basically useless, because red meat contains plenty of creatine. and your body can only absorb so much of it Furthermore, creatine's strength benefits are minor, and there are no real hypertrophy benefits.

The following are also useless:
Amino acids (spend your money on fucking protein- it's made of AMINO ACIDS)
anything made by MuscleTech
just about anything by Controlled Labs
weight gainers (try putting whey protein in chocolate milk, fuckface, or just fucking eat something)

To recap:

The end.

25 January 2010

*Making Your Gym C&P Friendly

Most people haven't the luxury of training in a real gym, due to the steady decline of mankind and the concomitant death of hardcore gyms. In spite of this fact, there are a couple of things you can do to up the ante in your gym, and make it a bit more useful.

  • Bring in rubber matting. While this might seem somewhat odd, and perhaps outside the realm of what your gym might allow, it's worth asking. You might be pleasantly surprised by their response- Sportsplex in Birmingham agreed to let me bring in rubber matting and leave it there for doing olympic lifts and deadlifting, and Top Gym in Vienna encouraged me to bring it in. You can buy it used from restaurants, or occasionally get old shit for free, and a couple of layers of it will pad the floor enough that you won't have to worry about a "controlled decent" for heavy lifts.
  • Buy fat gripz. They'll confer the ability to do fat bar lifting without having a fat bar.
  • Conversely, you can create a fat bat by buying a cheap bar and then hooking pvc piping around the bar. The ends of most bars unscrew, so you can just slide the pipe on. Check out this site for tips on how to modify a barbell or dumbbell.
  • Talk to your gym owner about allowing you to use unused space (like a large storage closet) as a "scream room" for powerlifting. You'll likely have to supply your own equipment, but with the number of gyms going out of business these days, craigslist is a gold mine for equipment.
It might suck to lift in a big box gyms, but you can employ any of the above techniques to make the place, at the very least, tolerable.

24 January 2010

**Because I Fucking Can 2

I was once asked why I do partial squats, and a wide array of people wholly incapable of duplicating my lifts talk shit about my insistence on doing partial squats.

If I can do 945 for 4 after a half hour of singles, you know what? Who gives a fuck why I do them- I do them because I fucking can.

They did give me a massive fucking pump, though.

21 January 2010

The disappearing post

I took it down because the video wasn't working and I couldn't post a comment on my own blog. not sure what's the deal, but it'll be back up tonight, fuckers.

16 January 2010

*Gymless Training... Say WHAT?

In the spirit of writing shit that you guys think is the antithesis of my training methodology (i.e. Jack LaLanne), I've decided to answer the 10 or so questions about gymless training I've received all in one. First, I do not recommend that you conduct all of your training in or out of the gym. There's plenty of opportunity to do both, irrespective of where you live. As such, I suggest that you try to incorporate some of both into your training. For those who are training in gyms, these are great methods to utilize on deload days (the D-block days in Exercises in Extremity), times you're on the road or otherwise estranged from the gym, or any other reason your ass isn't in the gym pushing massive amounts of weight. For those who don't have access to a gym, or who can't afford one, here's a way to get some serious shit accomplished until you can get to a place where you can lift some iron.

There's basically two ways you can go with gymless training:
  1. bodyweight workouts
  2. improvised equipment.
Both have their place, though the improvised equipment will likely bring better results, both in terms of strength and size, than will bodyweight shit. If you hit the bodyweight shit hard enough, though, and your diet's tight, you can get pretty fucking impressive results.

For instance, Herschell Walker is a massive advocate, and pretty much the world's greatest example, of what bodyweight training alone can do for you. Walker claimed to have achieved the majority of his physique by bodyweight training alone (though I distinctly recall reading somewhere that he was forced to start lifting weights upon entering the NFL), that consisted primarily of pushups, pullups, dips, and sprints. Walker claims to have done 2,000 pushups, 3,000 situps, and 1,500 pullups six times a week, without fail, for the entirety of his career, with a mixed bag of other shit thrown in on top for good measure. This type of training is also utilized by gymnasts, who achieve fairly impressive physiques, outstanding body control, and decent strength, and they also insist that consistency is king.

If you want to mix this style of training in with your weight routine, I recommend it on D-block days, wherein I typically keep my rep ranges in the 300-500s, as I'd rather not burn myself out for the heavy lifting with a bunch of dips and pullups.

Playing Cards

In the past, I would occasionally train in a similar fashion, especially when watching Rocky 3 or 4 with a buddy of mine. He and I would typically utilize a standard deck of playing cards, assigning different variations of standard bodyweight exercises like pullups and pushups to each suit. Thus, for instance, a Jack of Diamonds would be 11 diamond pushups. We made queens =12, kings =13, and aces=14, and would make the other suits all sorts of crazy nonsense, ranging from Dive-Bombers (or if you're a douche like Matt Furey, Hindu Press-ups) to handstand pushups, finger pushups, one arm pushups, and clapping pushups, and then make the black cards variations on the situp theme, including flutterkicks, scissors, and 6 inches, usually for time or fourcounts rather than straight reps. That was an enjoyable way to waste a Saturday afternoon when there wasn't shit to do and it was raining outside.

Whatever you do, don't buy that Perfect Pushup bullshit. Instead, save your money for a home gym or a gym membership, or if you're really feeling crazy, invest in a TRX suspension system and swing around your garage like a mucking monkey. The TRX is fun to use, is awesome for traveling, and gives you the opportunity to do some ring training every now and again.

For other ideas about bodyweight training, consult sources like Ross Enamait, Pavel Tsatsouline, or any number of bodyweight training books in the Golden Age of Iron Men site, which has a bunch of awesome books on handbalancing. Just promise to use that knowledge for good rather than evil- i.e., C&P hooligans will fucking hunt you down and stab you if we see a pic of you doing random handstands in public places.

Anyone but this broad is getting stabbed for public handstands.
Actually, she's getting stabbed, too. No public handstands.

Unconventional Training
If you want to go the other route, there's plenty of sources from which you can draw. Oldtime strongmen, like the ones chronicled in the Golden Age of Strong Men site, utilized all sorts of unconventional equipment like kegs and sandbags, and there's some good training material on that site. If you're going to look elsewhere, I recommend Dinosaur Training by Brooks Kubik, or you can peruse the works of Evan-Esh and others. If you want ideas on how to actually construct the equipment (sanbags, etc.) read Dino training, Rock, Iron, Steel, by Steve Justa, or just about any strongman site on the internet. The google machine is your friend. I personally used an Army surplus duffel bag filled with 150 lbs of sand and ducktaped all to fucking hell when I mad my own 'bag. Irrespective of the source (even Justa), this shit is manly, and will put hair on your chest- if it worked for pre-gear strongmen, it'll work for you.

Some suggested exercises:
Clean and Press: The clean will end up being more of a continental than a clean, but let's not quibble, shall we? For those of you who are unaware, the continental is the method by which lifters from continental Europe (primarily the Germans) shouldered a weight. Being Germans, they did it in the most painful manner possible, which was essentially to yank the weight up onto their belt and then roll the fucking thing up onto their chest, whereupon they would press it. In any event, with either a sandbag, log, or keg, clean and press it with the same general set and rep scheme as you'd use for regular Clean and Press. A word of caution, however- you won't be handling the same kind of weights, and your hands will be the first thing to give out.

If you use a duffel bag, don't use the fucking handles. It defeats the entire purpose, and you'll look like this douche.

Clean and Carry: Just like you'd think. You clean and either shoulder or bearhug the keg or bag and carry it for distance. Alternatively, you can carry it up stairs, though I do not recommend that with kegs, for obvious, tibia-shattering, reasons.

Don't let this Aussie broad be more of a man than you.

Clean, Press, and Squat: Clean and press the thing to your back, then squat for reps. When you're done, just dump it, and jump way the fuck out of the way if you're using a keg.

Only a Crossfitter or certain shit-talkers on Irongarmx would bother squatting 80 lbs.

Other unconventional out-of-gym things with which to train:
  • Weighted wheelbarrow
  • Sledgehammer
  • Truck tires

One more idea:
One summer in high school, I worked at a nursery (plants, not babies, you fucking jackasses), and I discovered a little-used alcove in the lumber section. I liberated some 4x6" lumber and cinder blocks and built a bench, using the blocks as plates. I had a pretty good time sneaking in there and getting in quick 20 minute lifts, mostly doing bench, overhead presses, and curls. If you have lumber handy, it's worth trying, though I highly recommend the use of leather work gloves while lifting, as the horrifyingly large splinter factor is alarmingly high with that shit.

There you have it. As it's still weight lifting, there's not a hell of a lot you should do to complicate it. Don't overthink it, for fuck's sake, just do it. For those of you who are looking for a more Cirque du Soleil/gymnast look with the corresponding body control, I have no fucking idea why you're reading this blog, but stick with the former style of exercise.

Should you wish for a bore rugged psyique, and a fuckload more strength, I recommend a mixture of the two types, with an emphasis on the latter style.

For the rest of you, it's something to consider on those days you don't feel like hitting the iron, but feel like doing something.

Give em hell, boys.

13 January 2010

**5 Fucking Essential Lifts

Everyone's got their pet lifts. For most, these lifts are comprised of the bench press in all of its permutations, and curls, in all of their variations. For me... well, I recently had a bodybuilder retort, after having me break his balls about his endless arm workouts, "What are YOU doing today? Shrugs and front squats?"

The best part? Yup, I fucking was, haha.

As such, I think it behooves you fuckers to discover what I consider to be the most effective lifts on planet Earth, in order of awesomeness.

1) The Behind the Neck Push Press/Jerk.
I still haven't decided what the official name of this fucking exercise is, but no matter, it fucking rocks. In case you're one of the sad motherfuckers who has not yet attempted this gem, allow me to list all of the shit that it hits, in order of stress applied by the movement.
  • Shoulders
  • Traps
  • Upper Back
  • Midsection (No, it's not your fucking core, unless you're reading a shitty book by a useless trainer, you're on a swiss ball, or you're in a pilates class. It's your fucking midsection- all of it component parts). This exercise will make you into a goddamned abdominal and lower back Tyrannosaurus, especially if you hold the weight at lockout for a couple of counts.
  • Triceps
  • Thighs
  • Calves
Yes. It literally works your entire body. You need this exercise in your workout, desperately.

Now, I know a few of you have asked me if you should even bother doing this exercise if you have no access to bumper plates and you cannot ditch the weight. The answer, unequivocally, is yes. If you cannot dump the weight, work with an increased rep range (6x5, for instance), or cut the rest periods down to virtually nothing and go 10x3, fast. Additionally, you can occasionally see how many reps you can do with your bodyweight in 30 mins, or a percentage of your bodyweight. I did that once as part of a DragonDoor challenge, and every single part of my body hurt for days, including the arches of my feet. Super brutal.

In case you've missed my previous blogs about this exercise, you start with the bar on your back, as if you were starting a squat. You then drop to a quarter squat and explosively drive with your legs, THROWING the bar off your back overhead. Hold the lockout for a second, and then drop it back to your traps.

2) The Front Squat
An amazing exercise, the front squat contributes mightily to both leg and abdominal strength. I can attribute the following to my recent focus on the front squat:
  • increased back squat. This came as a direct result of using the improved leverages of the front squat and a departure from constant hammering on the back squat. I defeated staleness and got far stronger simultaneously.
  • increased deadlift. Because the front squat necessarily uses a closer stance than the powerlifting back squat, I found a better crossover to conventional deadlifting and saw a marked jump in my pulls as I got stronger in the front squat.
  • better leg development. Look at any Olympic weightlifter. Their legs are fucking sick, and I'll bet dollars to doughnuts it has to do with the fact that they front squat on the regular. The front squat shifts the focus of the movement onto your quads, rather than your glutes and hamstrings in the PL squat, due to the closer stance and altered leverages. Thus, you get better quad separation and development out of the movement.
  • better shoulder strength. This is due to the fact that I do them crossed-arms bodybuilder style, owing to the fact that I have some of the worst wrist flexibility in history.
  • better abs. Once you get lean enough, you'll see what I mean. My abs look like fucking bricks, and I do a hell of a lot more front squatting than ab work.
3) The Power Clean
I know, most of you are probably silently cursing me for this, but I like it more than the deadlift. Why? Because I can do it all the fucking time, with no ill effects. Deadlifting more than once a week, or once every two weeks, completely fucks my mid back, crippling me for the front squat and btn push press. Thus, I focus more on the power clean. Doing the quick pulls in the power clean, in conjunction with ultra-heavy shrugs, grants me the ability to pull 605 literally whenever I want, with wiggle room if I feel like going up some. As such, I'm going to keep pounding the power cleans and shrugs as often as I can, and throw in deadlifts as an occasional change of pace. Additionally, the use of 90-95% of my 1RM for a ton of reps leaves me pretty much fresh as a daisy, whereas just a few reps with 95% of my 1RM on deads has me pretty much fucking crippled thereafter.
4) The Ab Wheel.
Ross Enamait ushered in the resurrection of the single best piece of abdominal equipment on the planet, and for that, he's the man. Just do the fucking things with good form, and you'll know what I'm talking about. Check out his website to see what good form looks like.
I'd typically go a bit closer than this, but it's close for him, apparently. And fucking HEAVY.

5) Close Grip Bench Press
No, not the regular bench. I like hand position wherein my index finger is on the edge of the knurling, or over it. I then suck in my elbows to my sides, and my hands are just over my elbows if viewed from the top.

In my opinion, the close grip bench press is superior to the regular flat bench press for a couple of reasons:
  1. it stresses the triceps more than the regular bench, which means that it will have more crossover than the traditional flat bench press.
  2. the weighted dip is a superior chest exercise to the flat bench press in any event, so it stands to reason that the exercise with the most crossover should be the one you choose.
There you have it. These are, in my opinion, the five most essential lifts in any workout. With just these 5, you can build a brutal physique worthy of the admiration of guys and the lust of women. In other words, using these exercises, you can be the balls, just like Ron Burgundy.
He has very little time to get to the gym, so he has to sculpt his guns at work.

Get after it, motherfuckers.

Now playing: All Out War - Condemned To Suffer
via FoxyTunes

12 January 2010

*Baddest Motherfuckers Ever #9- Jack “I can’t die, it will wreck my image” LaLanne

Remember this: your body is your slave; it works for you.
Jack LaLanne

Some of you might be questioning why I would sully the hallowed pixels of this fine blog with the likes of a "fitness" advocate like Jack LaLanne. This is likely due to the fact that you are fucking stupid, or wholly ignorant of the massive mountain of awesome that LaLanne represents.

First, allow me to remind you, that while I personally detest cardio and think that it's not all it's cracked up to be for fatloss, that's not to say I don't think anyone should do it. I know for a fact, however, that you can get by just fine without doing a scintilla of cardio and still end up a ripped motherfucker who retains enough cardiovascular fitness to run a respectable mile time. Second, allow me to elucidate about LaLanne's awesomeness.

LaLanne as a bodybuilder

The Godfather of Fitness was born in 1914, just after the Golden Age of Physical Culture's peak, and grew up in an era wherein people thought that weightlifting would do any number of horrible things, from making a man "musclebound," to turning you gay, ruining your sex drive, stunting your growth, and possibly causing cancer. Additionally, this was the era in which margarine was invented, ushering in the current environment of refined carbohydrates and other assorted dietary nonsense with which modern man is now plagued. In other words, the world fucking sucked.

As a kid, LaLanne was a fucking maniac, to the point where he once attacking his brother with an axe, and setting his family's house on fire. Later, he came to blame his early lunacy to the fact that he ate too much sugar. While, I personally don't buy the fact that table sugar will drive a person completely insane, he was a bad motherfucker, and swears to this day that his current "sanity", or at least the abandonment of his propensity for random acts of violence against his family members on the eating habits he acquired from nutritionist Paul Bragg's recommendations. You might remember seeing Bragg's name on various products in health food stores, most notably, Apple Cider Vinegar. Anyway, LaLanne then came to eliminate everything made with white flour or white sugar from his diet, and instead ate almost nothing but fruits, vegetables, and fish for the rest of his life. To facilitate this new-found love of health foods, and in response to the fact that there were virtually none to be found, LaLanne, the budding 18 year old entrepreneur, opened his own health food bakery. Three years later (1936), LaLanne opened his first gym, in Oakland, CA. This gym grew into a chain, and by the time he had become the foremost authority on fitness in the US, he sold off his gyms (which eventually became Bally's Total Fitness), and became an innovator in the sports supplement industry, along with Rheo Blair. Additionally, LaLanne invented a shitload of equipment that's now standard fare in gyms, including the pulley systems so popular amongst cable crossover aficionados, the Smith Machine, and leg extension machines. Thereafter, the Godfather established the longest running (and fucking hilarious) fitness show in television history, The Jack LaLanne Show, which aired from 1951 to 1985.

LaLanne at Seventy-fucking-one.

So fucking what, right? He invented some shit. So did Nikola Tesla, and no one's calling him one of the Baddest Motherfuckers ever. Well, fuckface, I'm glad you brought that up. LaLanne competed in Olympic Weightlifting and bodybuilding, and is renown for his badass fucking birthday stunts. The following is a list I obtained from his Wikipedia entry, and these are some fucking impressive stunts:

  • 1954 (age 40): swam the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, underwater, with 140 pounds (64 kg; 10 st) of equipment, including two air tanks. A world record.
  • 1955 (age 41): swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco while handcuffed. When interviewed afterward he was quoted as saying that the worst thing about the ordeal was being handcuffed, which reduced his chance to Star Jump significantly.
  • 1956 (age 42): set a world record of 1,033 push-ups in 23 minutes on You Asked For It, a television program with Art Baker.
  • 1957 (age 43): swam the Golden Gate channel while towing a 2,500-pound (1,100 kg; 180 st) cabin cruiser. The swift ocean currents turned this one-mile (1.6 km) swim into a swimming distance of 6.5 miles (10.5 km).
  • 1958 (age 44): maneuvered a paddleboard nonstop from Farallon Islands to the San Francisco shore. The 30-mile (48 km) trip took 9.5 hours.
  • 1959 (age 45): did 1,000 star jumps and 1,000 chin-ups in 1 hour, 22 minutes and The Jack LaLanne Show went nationwide.
  • 1974 (age 60): For the second time, he swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf. Again, he was handcuffed, but this time he was also shackled and towed a 1,000-pound (450 kg; 71 st) boat.
  • 1975 (age 61): Repeating his performance of 21 years earlier, he again swam the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge, underwater and handcuffed, but this time he was shackled and towed a 1,000-pound (450 kg; 71 st) boat.
  • 1976 (age 62): To commemorate the "Spirit of '76", United States Bicentennial, he swam one mile (1.6 km) in Long Beach Harbor. He was handcuffed and shackled, and he towed 13 boats (representing the 13 original colonies) containing 76 people.
  • 1979 (age 65): towed 65 boats in Lake Ashinoko, near Tokyo, Japan. He was handcuffed and shackled, and the boats were filled with 6,500 pounds (2,900 kg; 460 st) of Louisiana Pacific wood pulp.[18]
  • 1980 (age 66): towed 10 boats in North Miami, Florida. The boats carried 77 people, and he towed them for over one mile (1.6 km) in less than one hour.
  • 1984 (age 70): Once again handcuffed and shackled, he fought strong winds and currents as he swam 1.5 miles (2.4 km) while towing 70 boats with 70 people from the Queensway Bay Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary

That shit is officially fucking hardcore, but there's more. The guy still fucking trains two hours a day, at age 95, with 1.5 hours of lifting and a half hour of swimming a day. How many of you motherfuckers can make that claim? Fuck, I can't even make that claim. But then, you might say, it's probably just some light bullshit. maybe. I imagine that's what the Oak thought, too, when he took LaLanne up on his $10k challenge- that LaLanne could fucking ruin ANYONE in a workout.

"When Arnold Schwarzenegger came to America in 1968 and became an instant sensation on the Southern California muscle scene, LaLanne challenged the kid to a duel at Muscle Beach. The Austrian Oak was 21; the Oakland Oak was 54.

"I beat him in chin-ups and push-ups," LaLanne says. "He said, 'That Jack LaLanne's an animal! I was sore for four days. I couldn't lift my arms!' "" (2)

Yup. That fucking happened. A 54 year old LaLanne took the Oak the fuck out, when the Oak was in his prime and LaLanne was already an old man.

LaLanne at 91.
Meanwhile, LaLanne was still a hard motherfucker:
[Every man should know] how to defend himself. I learned wrestling and boxing and all that when I was young. I’ve never lost a fight yet. One of the first ones I had I was in this restaurant in San Francisco. These college kids came in. They were athletes. They started saying, “Hey, muscles,” and making fun of me. Finally one guy says, “You know, I would like to beat the hell out of you.” And I said, “Okay, come on. Let’s go outside.” He followed me out with his friends, and I took this guy, I whacked him, knocked him out, threw him over the hood of my automobile. Then four or five other guys came at me, and I knocked them all on their asses. I went back in that restaurant, and I tell you, people treated me like I was king.(3)
If you're interested, here's an exercise LaLanne loved:

Jack Lalanne Pushup:
  1. Place feet wider than shoulder width and extend arms all the way over head in line with shoulders. Arms should be straight. In the "up" position you'll have a slight bend (flexion) in your hips.
  2. Lower body from three points--the hips, elbows, and shoulders. No one point will bend that much--just equal out the downward travel movement from all three points as you drop a few inches.
  3. Push hard through hands and use core to lift body back into starting position.(2)
Did I mention that at age 90, LaLanne still claimed to have "an active sex life"? Yup. Even his fucking cock is unstoppable.

So, let's recap- LaLanne built a massive fucking fitness and nutrition empire, innovated heavily in supplementation and exercise equipment, trained like a fucking maniac, is apparently unkillable, and whooped Arnold's ass in the gym, in addition to the fact that he is one of the first outspoken Paleo advocates ("If man makes it, I don’t eat it!"), and he still gets laid on the regular into his 90s.

Still think LaLanne is a chump? Tell it to his face- I'd love to see a 20 year old get fucked up by a 95 year old man.

  1. Jack LaLanne. http://www.nndb.com/people/697/000022631/
  2. "He exercised his personal demons". SF Chronicle. October 8, 2009. http://articles.sfgate.com/2009-10-08/news/17183224_1_jack-lalanne-salad-dark-side-brain
  3. "Survival Skills: Jack LaLanne". Men's Journal. April 9, 2009. http://www.mensjournal.com/jacklalanne
  4. "Even at 95, Jack LaLanne is as tough as he ever". SF Examiner. January 12, 2010. http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/Jack-LaLanne-is-tough-as-ever-61584917.html

10 January 2010

My Interview with Mike Gossett of Muscleandbrawn.com

Thought I'd repost it for you guys...

I had the idea to interview one of the loudest guys on Internet forums, and self proclaimed asshole Jamie “Chaos And Pain” Lewis. It turns out that an interview is an exercise in futility. Jamie is like a bulldozer on steroids. So, what follows is more like a conversation and Jamie. Read on, as Jamie Lewis takes a sledge hammer to modern training protocols. Enjoy.

Mike Gossett: First off, thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule of pillaging small villages to do this interview.

Jamie Lewis: (Laughs) No worries, it’s too fucking cold out to do much pillaging.

MG: I know the feeling. For those reading this who don’t know, tell us a little about yourself.

Jamie Lewis: I’m a wildly over-educated strength athlete from Philly. I’ve bounced all over the place, but I wrestled in college, have competed off and on in raw, natural powerlifting competitions for the last 12 years, did a strongman a couple of years ago, and have been consistently appalled by just about everyone on Earth for the duration of my life (laughs).

I got my undergrad in history and East Asian studies from the University of Arizona, an MBA from University of South Carolina, and dropped out of a JD program at the University of San Diego, because I hate laws and lawyers. I’ve been lifting since my sophomore year in high school, and was weak as shit to start. I couldn’t bench 135, weighing 130 for a football strength test.

I currently live in Birmingham and work for a software company. That’s an awesomely disjointed personal history.

MG: Something like that. If I remember correctly you also won the raw worlds a few years back, right?

Jamie: Yeah, the WNPF worlds. It was pretty hilarious, because I was under the impression raw meant RAW, so I competed sans belt, wraps, etc., and the entire time, people talked shit about me not knowing what the fuck I was doing, and that bodybuilders shouldn’t try powerlifting because they’ll get killed at it.

They were somewhat disconcerted with the result, I think, and I was called for a “random” drug test the second I set down my final deadlift attempt. The entire time, I was busy being offended by the fact that they had called me a bodybuilder. (laughs)

MG: Well, to be honest you do look like one.

Jamie: Thanks. I actually learned to take it as a compliment. I think bodybuilding comes with a set of negative stereotypes with which I’d rather not associate myself. I don’t own a Christian Audiger shirt, so I don’t think they’d allow me to compete in a bodybuilding show, anyway.

MG: (Laughs) To change subjects, you posted your workout philosophy on your blog a while back. Can you tell us a little more about that.

Jamie: (Laughs) My philosophy is fairly simple – people need to man the fuck up. I read a quote by the barbarian brothers years ago – “There’s no such thing as overtraining. Just undereating and undersleeping.” That always rang true with me, because I enjoy training, and always wanted to train more rather than less.

People seem obsessed with efficiency lately, and while that’s a good thing in some respects, no one who actually enjoys doing something give’s a flying fuck about doing it efficiently – they do it in a manner that pleases them.
Mentzer and the HIT Jedi clearly hate training, and it shows. He was a fat crackhead and dropped dead at an early age, possibly due to an allergic reaction to the sweatsuits he wore in every pic I’ve seen of him. And no one who’s a full on HIT Jedi amounts to shit.

Pile on top of that, the fact that most people who do bodypart training are weak as kittens and look like hammered dogshit, and you’ve got the roots of my training philosophy. Additionally, I found that the most effective exercises don’t fit neatly into a bodypart program, and that realization caused me to abandon bodypart programs for full body routines.

Later, I realized that endlessly pumping away on shit was boring and mostly ineffective, and that the more ultra-heavy work I did, the leaner I was, and the stronger I was, and the better I felt. Thereafter, I kicked my reading into full gear and amassed a fair library on nutrition and training, and Chaos and Pain was born.

My watershed moment, as I recall, was trying a back squat into overhead press (which later became my BTN push press), and realizing I couldn’t put that on a bodypart day without dropping the whole scheme. And I loved that movement, so I ditched the bodypart routine that day.

MG: Wow, anything else you’d like to say, or anyone else you’d like to rip a new asshole before we move on?

Jamie: I think you know my feelings on Stuart McRobert, but I’d like to send out a hearty fuck you to Joe Weider, whom I will personally eviscerate if I should ever see him.

He’s led millions of lifters astray for years, and the damage that he’s done to strength sports, and the gym industry in particular, is irreparable. I hope he gets cancer of the AIDS, bleeds out of his fucking eyes, and his offspring are covered in boils.

We can move on now. (Laughs)

MG: Hold on I need to remember how to breathe first.

Jamie: (Laughs)

MG: Ok, here’s a question from Steve at MAB.com…What are the most inane, retarded, fucked up, OCD beliefs that bodybuilders stick to, but should get rid of?

Jamie: Well, obviously, the first thing is overtraining and rest days. Bodybuilders have gotten it into their heads that they will shrivel up if they “overtrain”, in spite of the fact that there’s very little objective criteria for overtraining.

And their theory flies in the face of common sense – I mean, look at anyone who works with their hands, like carpenters or brick masons – their forearms are insane.

I think it’s just a salve to their psyches telling them it’s okay to be a fucking pussy. But masons in particular are typically drunk all day long, eat virtually nothing, and heave big ass blocks of stone all over for 10 hours a day. They’re ripped, and their forearms and upper bodies are far more muscular than they have any right to be, given their diets.

According to the theory of overtraining, they should be withered usks of humans, populating the ICU of every hospital on earth, but they’re not.

Next, bodybuilders need to drop their belief in the 1-5 reps for strength, 6-12 for hypertrophy, and 12+ for endurance. It’s fucking preposterous. Clinical evidence supports that, but the vast majority of those studies are conducted on machines, with detrained fuckers who’ve never lifted before. Of COURSE they’re not going to get results from singles. They’re fucking weak, they’re on machines, and they generally suck.

Hypertrophy can be induced from singles, in my experience, from reducing rest periods to 60-90 seconds, maximum. 90-95% 1RM singles with those rest periods will induce hypertrophy because they recruit so many muscle fibers.

It’s almost like a rest-pause set, if you’re going by Weider principles.

I don’t have my notes in front of me, but a decent part of Science and Practice of Strength Training will corroborate this, as will just about every strength athlete on earth – it’s not as if Olmypic lifters are bereft of muscle. And they primarily stick to 1-3 reps per set.

Lastly, the belief that cardio is necessary for fat loss should be abandoned altogether. That and the idea that high reps burn fat. High reps are fucking stupid – they’re not metabolically intensive at all. I mean, how could a person think that lifting a paperweight a thousand times will be more beneficial to fat loss and metabolism than lifting the back end of their car a few times?
There’s only one guy of whom I can think offhand who succeeded with ultra-high reps for fat loss, and that’s Bobby Pandour – an old-school bodybuilder from the turn of the century.

But back to the cardio issue. I’m of the opinion that since higher testosterone levels lead to lower bodyfat, and because muscle is calorically expensive to maintain and increase, weightlifting is the best way to lean out. Thus, I recommend adding light weightlifting sessions as opposed to cardio for fat loss.

MG: What about the farmer’s walk, and stuff like that?

Jamie: That’s lifting. GPP that involves lifting things is great for fat loss. But I don’t really consider that to be cardio, as it still spurs hypertrophy.

MG: True. But few things have left me gasping so hard for air.

Jamie: (Laughs) I had someone recently suggest to me that I need to look into my recommendation for low rest periods and it’s connection with oxygen-deprivation induced euphoria. (Laughs)

But it’s still anaerobic.

MG: Very true. Switching topics again (laughs), what’s on your agenda as far as competitions and such?

Jamie: Well, on the urging of Marc Bartley, I’m going to compete in a real powerlifting federation this year. And I’m going to try to total elite, raw. Which, as I understand it, has never been done. He seemed pretty confident I could pull it off though. I think it would be amusing if I tried out for Ninja Warrior as well. Additionally, I’m going to do a local bodybuilding competition at the end of the year, in spite of my general dislike for the sport, simply to prove that repetition lifting and cardio are unnecessary.

Expect my posing routine to be non-stop most musculars to death metal, or me in a rhinestone studded pink banana hammock posing to Bye Bye Bye. I haven’t decided which yet. I’m going to post every training session and meal during those prep periods.

MG: Sounds interesting, my vote is the pink banana hammock.

Jamie: I figured as much. (Laughs) The worst part about bodybuilding is the posing routines to gospel, in my opinion. Makes the shows completely intolerable.

MG: Dude you’re in the bible belt now. Gospel is almost on non-stop on.

Jamie: Yeah, it’s fairly horrific. I’ve got a sticker in my car window that read “I don’t worship Satan, but I really like the guy.” in one week, I’ve gotten two notes under my wiper that read “I’m praying for you” or some such nonsense. (Laughs)

MG: (Laughs) Why not just put a big pentagram on there?

Jamie: Eh, too goth. (Laughs)

MG: Okay (laughs), let’s say a beginner was brave/stupid enough to ask you to train them, what would you have them do, and what tips would you give them?

Jamie: How raw of a beginner?

MG: Fresh out the womb.

Jamie: Interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever trained a raw beginner. I would have them train front squats, standing overhead presses, and deadlifts three times a week, and then pullups, dips, and abs two other days a week. I’d keep the volume fairly low, especially at first, and have them focus on learning the movements.

After about a month, we’d take the training wheels off and start loading them up, but keep the routine the same.

MG: Ok, any nutrition tips?

Jamie: What, you’re not going to express horror at the fact that my program is bereft of the benchpress?

MG: No, the dips and shoulder presses would take care of them for a long time.

Jamie: Look at you. I’m proud of you. I have an ongoing argument with a friend over my hatred of incline bp, which he thinks is essential. Meanwhile, his upper chest looks like shit, and his shoulders hurt. I’ve got a decent upper chest, and no shoulder pain, and he just won’t accept the fact that the log press is far better for upper chest development than incline bp, and better for your entire shoulder girdle.

I guess he just likes laying down when he should be lifting.

MG: Well, any shoulder pressing will hit the upper chest to some degree not to mention the dips.

Jamie: Exactly. So, onto your question. Nutrition tips.

I think everyone should read a couple books – Neanderthin, by Ray Audette, and the Metabolic Man, by William Wolcott. I know they’re not going to read the second, because it’s a meta-analysis of metabolic typing diets, but the first is a must read. Though I’m not a hard and fast Paleo guy, it’s a good guideline to which one might stick.

If you’re eating lean meats, veggies, nuts and seeds, there’s no possibility that you’ll be anything but lean and muscular. From that basis, you can tinker with your diet to find out what works for greater hypertrophy, but that’s a perfect basis.

Next, I think that keto dieting is essential to getting ultra lean, even if it’s simply short keto runs. Right now, I’m ascribing to a diet wherein I keto diet Monday-Thursday, moderate carb with high protein and low fat Friday, and then a 3 hour cheat window Friday night, moderate carbs, high protein, low fat on Saturday, and then same as Friday on Sunday. Cycling my macro nutrients that way helps me lean out and build muscle simultaneously.
Warren Willey is a big proponent of those cheat windows, and I swear by them – refeeds really will get you leaner.

Incidentally, I don’t give any nutrition advice to women. So my recommendation on carb cycling is just for guys. Especially refeeds.

MG: Why wont you deal with women?

Jamie: Women have a psychological attachment to food. Meaning no disrespect to women (for once in my life), I think they need a psychologist more than a nutritionist for dieting. Because I have no idea how to break that emotional attachment, and it alternately amuses and horrifies me, the refeeds derail their diets every fucking time. Thus, they’re either dieting, or they’re eating like shit. There’s no in between. I can’t be bothered to deal with that. (Laughs)

MG: (Laughs) Also I’ve seen your chicken wing keto runs. I have to ask – what does your blood work look like?

Jamie: That’s a good question. I’ve been to the doctor twice in the last 10 years, and have not had a physical since I was an undergrad. I never get sick, so I haven’t seen the need. I did have my anti-oxidents tested during a keto run a couple years ago, and they were off the chart. I can only attribute that to Animal Pak. But blood lipids and cholesterol are not typically negatively impacted by keto dieting. There’s plenty of empirical evidence to support that. And saturated fat is positively correlated with testosterone, so I’m all about it.

MG: Another question I meant to ask about C&P training. What is your progression scheme?

Jamie: I progress whenever I can, as much as I can. There’s no scheme, because there are too many variables for one to accurately calculate a proper progression scheme, or to predict when such progression might occur.

People aren’t machines, and nothing in nature follows linear progression. If macro-evolution isn’t incrementally progressive, I cannot imagine why I personally could shrug off the nature of life and progress that way. The idea of incremental progression is counter-intuitive, and I believe limits progress far more than it stimulates it. Have you ever followed an incremental progression scheme?

MG: No not really, go for broke every time is my motto.

Jamie: (Laughs) Nice.

MG: Except for DE days.

Jamie: Ah. I fail at DE (dynamic effort) days altogether, and they always become max days.

MG: I have to fight the urge.

Jamie: But I know other people who agree – there are days on those programs wherein they KNOW they could add 15 or 20 lbs to the bar, but only add 5 like the program says. And then later can’t hit the weights the program tells them to. So they miss the opportunity for a potential PR for nothing.

It’s depressing. The only time I use machines is on deload days, by the way – just so I CANNOT max. (Laughs)

MG: (Laughs) Well, then since you have ripped bodybuilders apart, why don’t you take a swing at powerlifters.

Jamie: Ok. My problem with them is threefold:

1) Most of them think, in the face of a shitload of evidence, that they have to be fat to be strong. And that fat somehow shields them from injury. That’s absurd. Fat is pretty much bereft of capillaries, so they’re getting shitty nutrient and bloodflow to their joints when they’re fat. Which would leave them MORE, not LESS, prone to injury.

2) The gear is fucking retarded. Spud’s a great guy, and I respect the shit out of him. But when a guy uses gear, you’re ALWAYS going to wonder how much of his epic squat was the suit. I mean, fuck, if you want to see how much you can lift using a forklift, do that. Otherwise, get out there and fucking lift raw. I just dislike the questions that the gear raises. It is tempting to see what kind of numbers I could put up in a suit, but that’s also fucking irritating. But it’s like an evil fucking siren song calling me to gear, which also pisses me off.

3) Most of them suck at anything that’s not one of the big three, because they never train it. I remember reading an interview where one of Louie’s guys, I think it was Brian Schwab, but if not it was some other 165-er, who lamented the fact that HE COULDN’T DO A PULLUP. WHAT THE FUCK? If you weigh 165 lbs and cannot do a pullup, you should fucking kill yourself immediately in whichever manner speeds your dispatch best. Matt Kroczalesky is the obvious exception.

MG: Ok, anything to say about strongmen?

Jamie: No problems with strongmen. I love their debates about which is the “true” strongman style. WSM vs whatever the one at the Arnold is. If I didn’t have tiny little t-rex arms and weigh 185, I’d be all over competing in strongman. But no one gives a rat’s ass about lightweight strongman, and I fucking blow at stones.

I can lap the 308, and after that, it’s fucking curtains for me, because I can’t get my arms around the fucking thing.

MG: How about Olympic lifters?

Jamie: I wish the US could put together a decent team. It’s nothing but sloth that keeps us out of it. Americans are fucking lazy, and are afraid of overtraining. So with the best fucking food, medicine, and training facilities on earth, we suck shit at Olympic lifting. That’s unacceptable. There should be no sport in which we don’t dominate.

MG: What about chess?

Jamie: Not a sport. And I prefer quadrago. It’s 3 dimensional Connect Four, and it fucking rules. Frankly, I prefer to read than play chess though. I’ll play it if it’s that or watch tv, but that’s about the only reason I’d do it – faced with reality tv or chess, chess wins. As do bleach enemas.

MG: Okay, any swings to take at sports training?

Jamie: I haven’t spent all that much time with it, honestly. I think that anything that involves a stability ball should be stopped, stat, and the trainer should be summarily executed. Frankly, 99% of the trainers on earth deserve liquidation.

MG: Cash for clunkers?

Jamie: And every sport is different, so they’d necessarily require different preparation, but heavy strength training should be a cornerstone of each.

Are you asking me what I think of the cash for clunkers program?

MG: No, joking about the liquidation of trainers.

Jamie: Ah. (Laughs) While the ovens are hot from the trainers, though, we might as well stuff in every single politician in the country. Though if someone bombs congress, I will go down and roast marshmellows with that fire. Which is pretty much how I feel about planet fitness as well.