Well, the bottom line, what I'm trying to tell you tonight,
is that evil...eeeevil... is necessary.
Evil is necessary, thereby, if it's necessary, evil...
- Evil... - ...must be good.
Evil is good.
Brigands, thugs, hooligans, scoundrels... anti-heroes and anti-heroines. That's who grabs the fucking ring at the top of a mountain after three movies consisting of nothing but a shitload of walking, punctuated by brief periods of sobbing and a hell of a lot of Liv Tyler not being shirtless, not some fatass and his pre-pubescent shitheel friend- that shit only happens in godawful movies and overly-long, badly written stories. This is why the Punisher and Batman's sales will always beat Superman's, and why the white knights of the interwebz will continue to remain unlaid- no one fucks a nice guy, and few people will follow a "nice guy" anywhere but to church.
Funny how none of the pacifists in The Chronicles of Riddick got any vag, but Vin Diesel couldn't wipe his ass without the hottest broad in the movie following him into the bathroom and asking if he needed help.
Not unlike the legendary strength and tenacity of Wolverine, regular people with a mean streak have been shown in a variety of studies to outperform the nice. This should come as no surprise to anyone- just like the ultra evil Darkseid killed off goody two-shoes, Cub Scout Superman, African honey badgers tear the living shit out of much larger animals like gazelles, fuels by nothing but hate and a diet heavy in meat products. Like the honey badger and Darkseid, it's critical that you channel your inner Hulk and fucking yell and smash until whatever stands in your way is reduced to smoking rubble.
Ever notice that comic book characters clench their fists more than Channing Tatum clenches his jaws while trying to figure out how to get a single human emotion to pass across his robotic, crunk dancing face? There's actually a pretty fucking good reason for that hand clenching- other than looking cool, it makes the clencher stronger. Experiments show that physically gripping something boosts your endurance and mental willpower. This phenomenon hasn't just been restricted to a single study of meta-analysis of Jason Statham movies, who clenches his fists and bunches his shoulders better than anyone- rather, it's been proven in a whole series of experiments. In one, they found that people could endure pain twice as long (in this case, from holding their hands in icy water) if they squeezed the holy fuck out of an object with their other hand at the same time. Another study found that the same could be applied to people trying to exhibit a modicum of willpower when making food choices- if they rolled into the store with their shoulders bunched and their fists clenched like they were summoning their inner Hugh Jackman meets Ambrose Burnside, they were far better at resisting the urge to buy junk food. Take note, those of you with shitty willpower- if you just act angry as all hell at your bodyfat when ordering a meal, you're far more likely to eat like a machine and hate yourself into looking good.(Daily Mail)
It works for some.
And you know what makes you stronger still? Thinking evil thoughts. I realize that at this point it sounds like I'm making this shit up, but according to a study at Harvard, people who imagined themselves doing shit like raping puppies and knocking over liquor stores were able to hold a five pound weight far longer than those who tried to think up boring good deeds like helping old ladies across the road or telling your booty call that you respect them in the morning. Yes, ladies, this means that channeling your most horrible tentacle rape fantasy might enable you to squat more... although I cannot be held accountable if you kill yourself under a heavy weight dues to leg shaking brought on by fantasizing and involuntary kegel flexing.(Naughty or Nice)
Behold the dawn of a new type of preworkout supplement.
Speaking of hentai, porn does a body good. According to some sources, pornographers pointedly attempt to elicit the "maximum drug/hormone release by mixing sexual images with male dominance, aggression and violent images intended to shock and stimulate simultaneously", which stimulates the production of much higher baseline levels of hormones essential to getting strong and lean, "especially testosterone, but also adrenaline, epinephrine, and others". Not only does it create an awesome biofeedback loop, particularly in men, but watching porn causes an immediate release of "enormous amounts of additional testosterone, which further increase male narrowing, loss of reason, feelings of aggression, and sexual drive and arousal." In other words, porn lets you win while you're watching it, and then win again thereafter when you experience heightened baseline levels of testosterone thereafter. (Netnanny) But what about furry porn / shit porn / tentacle rape / throatfucking or whatever dark secret-style porn you have lurking on your computer? Great news, ladies and gentleman- that shit simply makes you more awesome. According to M. Williams, paraphilias are triggered by, and cause the release of, massive amounts of testosterone. That shit is so potent, in fact, that psychiatrists use massive doses of antiangrogenic drugs like methylprogesterone to control these "deviant" predilections. As such, you should probably just go ahead and masturbate to www.hogtied.com to your hearts' content... though I'd refrain from doing so at work. (Williams)
While we're on the subject of sexual piccadillos, spanking appears to increase aggression as well. Studies have shown that frequent use of corporal punishment, even mild corporal punishment, correlates with increased levels of aggression.(Taylor) Other studies, like that of Mazur and McDermott have "stated that males with higher testosterone levels tend to be slightly more aggressive, and argue that this appears to be due to the way acting aggressively raises testosterone levels rather than the reverse." It's not just the person doing the floggings who's gettine the benefit, either. Aggressive and violent behavior has been definitively shown to increase testosterone levels as well, particularly when a person is on the offensive.(Salvador) As such, the next time you're fucking, you might want to break out the flogger if you're interested in hitting a PR on the deadlift anytime soon- no matter which side of the whip you're on, you're bound to benefit... literally.
Apparently, Benny Podda was onto something with the whipping.
For those of you out there without a ready sexual partner, fret not- the Dark Side's got a lotta mo. Aside from the aforementioned benefits of porn, you can still derive plenty of benefits from such activities as cursing, playing violent video games, and listening to aggressive music. Yup, those weekend nights spent screaming expletives into your headset as you slaughter motherfuckers on Call of Duty while blasting metal in the background are definitely giving your endocrine system a boost, in addition to alleviating post lifting soreness. A 2010 study by Bushman and his associates showed that "violent video games can stimulate aggression for an extended period of time." This will, as I showed above, raise your testosterone levels in turn. Compounding that effect is the music you've invariably got playing in the background, as I highly doubt anyone's rocking Abba or Neil Diamond while attempting to murder half the Western World. No fewer than five experiments have shown that "violent songs led to more aggressive interpretations of ambiguously aggressive words, increased the relative speed with which people read aggressive vs. nonaggressive words, and increased the proportion of word fragments (such as h_t) that were filled in to make aggressive words (such as hit)."(Anderson) Rounding out this trifecta of awesome is the fact that the curse words you're screaming at a rate that makes Goodfellas seem G-rated by comparison has actually been shown in clinical studies to reduce the perception of pain, which means that the DOMS you're feeling from five consecutive days of squatting won't feel so horrifying. The effect of swearing on pain perception is actually shown to be more pronounced in women than men, so ladies, feel free to start swearing like sailors.(Stephens) Either way, the use of expletives will allow you to endure more pain for longer than your goodie-two shoes opponents... all of which explains why the kids rocking clan tags like [GODS] suck so fucking badly as the night wears on. In short, pretty much the only good reason to ever listen to ICP would be to help you through a particularly brutal squat of deadlift session, as even humorous violent songs will increase aggression levels, and singing along will alleviate a considerable portion of the pain. Time to crank up the "Shaggy Show", I suppose.
Finally, for those of you who think that all of this anger is going to "burn you up", as posited by Powers Booth in Red Dawn, studies have shown that anger is actually a healthier response to external stimuli than fear. According to researchers, people who responded to the World Trade Center attacks with anger-filled outbursts were much more optimistic later on, and another study found that people think better and more logically when angry rather than scared.(Lerner) “Anger can sometimes be adaptive. We’re showing for the first time that when you are in a situation that is maddening and in which anger or indignation are justifiable responses, anger is not bad for you.” This means that whenever you're driving, reading the poisonously insipid thoughts of ill-bred minds online, walking, speaking to someone in public, or brushing your teeth, you are actually doing yourself a multitude of favors by descending into a maelstrom of hate and destruction the likes of which the world hasn't seen since the gods destroyed Japan. All that hate's not going to burn you up- it'll keep you warm, increase your protein utilization and give you a better sex drive. Additionally, hate sex is great sex, so you'll have that going for you as well.
Anger is a gift, just like this fucking movie.
In my search, I did find one thing that both men and women should try to avoid before hitting the gym, and it's not just marriage. As I blogged before, marriage has a deleterious effect on testosterone production, but even more pronounced than that effect is that which occurs when a man holds an infant. (Mirkin, ) Women, too, might want to avoid handing small children before hitting the gym, as this effect could manifest in them as well, and because "women with high levels of [testosterone] are judged more attractive by themselves and others" in addition to possibly being more sexually active with more partners. Additionally, studies show that in women "T [is] significantly related to "aggressive dominant behavior"" and that "the women's self assessment of their own status was positively correlated with the hormone" in studies on testosterone and aggression in women. As such, it's best to do everything you can to maximize your test levels whether you're a man or a woman. I'd recommend latex gloves when handling babies, but I doubt that'd do you too much good. In some cases, it's unavoidable, but you can utilize some of the above strategies to cleanse yourself if you can't avoid baby-handling- and frankly, it gives you a damn good reason to hit up porntube.
Proof: Batman is cooler than Superman
In closing, I feel my case is compelling- nice guys and girls will finish last in the gym (though probably first in the bedroom). Aggression and testosterone work in a kind of feedback loop, each fueling the other and creating a perpetual motion machine of awesome, if you give them the right kind of boosts. As such, you can literally fake it til you make it, and once you make it, you will continue inexorably into the land of brutal PRs, increased "coordination, cognitive performance, and concentration"(Mazur) and generally just being a far more interesting individual.
Maybe it's time to add a "get hammered, eat some meat, have a fight, and have wildly kinky drunken sex with a stranger" day (aka Viking Day) to your program.
Anderson CA, Carnagey NL, Eubanks J. Exposure to Violent Media: The Effects of Songs With Violent Lyrics on Aggressive Thoughts and Feelings. Iowa State University and Texas Department of Human Services. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 84, No. 5.
Bradt, S. "Strength in Naughty or Nice". Harvard Gazette. 4/19/2010. http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2010/04/strength-in-naughty-or-nice/
Bushman BJ, Gibson B. Violent Video Games Cause an Increase in Aggression Long After the Game Has Been Turned Off. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2010
Dabbs, J. M., Jr., Carr, T. S., Frady, R. L., & Riad, J.K. (1995). Testosterone, crime, and misbehavior among 692 male prison inmates. Personality and Individual Differences, 18(5), 627-633.
Daily Mail. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1321939/Tensing-muscles-helps-summon-willpower.html
Lerner JS, Tiedens LZ. Portrait of The Angry Decision Maker: How Appraisal Tendencies Shape Anger’s Inﬂuence on Cognition. J. Behav. Dec. Making, 19: 115–137 (2006). http://content.hks.harvard.edu/lernerlab/papers/files/Lerner%20Tiedens%20-%20Portrait%20of%20the%20angry%20decision%20maker%205.06.pdf
Mazur A, Booth A. Testosterone and Dominance in Men. Behavioural and Brain Sciences. 1997. http://cogprints.org/663/1/bbs_mazur.html
McDermott R, Johnson D, Cowden J, Rosen S. Testosterone and Aggression in a Simulated Crisis Game. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 2007; 614; 15.
Mirkin, G. Does Marriage Affect a Man's Testosterone? http://www.drmirkin.com/men/testosterone.html
Net Nanny. http://www.netnanny.com/learn_center/article/117
Salvador A, Suaya F, Martinez–Sanchisa S, Simona VM, Brain PF. Correlating testosterone and fighting in male participants in judo contests. Physiology & Behavior Volume 68, Issues 1-2, 1 December-15 December 1999, Pages 205-209
Stephens, R. et al (2009). Swearing as a response to pain. NeuroReport 120: 1056-1060.
Taylor CA, Manganello JA, Lee SJ, Rice JC. Mothers' Spanking of 3-Year-Old Children and Subsequent Risk of Children's Aggressive Behavior. PEDIATRICS Vol. 125 No. 5 May 2010, pp. e1057-e1065.
Williams, M. Ph.D. "Sexual Compulsivity." http://www.brainphysics.com/paraphilias.php