28 December 2012

Ask The Asshole- .44 Magnum Edition Part 2

In stark defiance of my otherworldly will, I was laid low over the last couple of weeks with what turned out to be walking pneumonia.  I've been sick precisely three other times in my life with anything that really resembled a serious sickness, so I was frankly unprepared for the eventuality of contracting what to me is a disease reserved solely for the elderly and people with AIDS [note to self: get tested for AIDS].  At the same time, everyone and their brother got a hair up their ass to send me an email, most of which I deleted in a fever-induced haze.  Once I finally got a thermometer, I discovered that over the last four days, my temperature was between 100 and 104, and 104 was CERTAINLY lower than some of the fevers I had earlier in the week, which necessitated throwing out two of my pillows because they smelled like 30 year old veterans of a Turkish bathhouse. All told, I shit my pants more time than I can count, and I coughed so hard for a couple of days  that I reenacted the Exorcist and projectile vomited up anything in my stomach- in store parking lots, public bathrooms, and a few times in my shower. At one point, I thought my girlfriend was a killer robot and kicked her completely out of the bed.  In other words, if you didn't get a reply to your email, it likely was for a good reason.  If any of you are looking for a quick cut, however, I recommend walking pneumonia- it looks like I might be going 165 in January.  Hopefully without the heat rash and coughing, however.

Douchebaggery: A national epidemic.

Q:  Recently, a couple of articles were released linking Crossfit and P90X to steroid use in America's kids.  Do you think that there's any truth to these studies?

A: First, let's address the fact that there are no "studies" associated with these articles- they were the brainchildren, respectively, of dickless halfwit Douglas Quenqua of the NYT and possible Stalinist Alec MacGillis of The New Republic   Frankly, we can lay the lot of this idiocy at the testosterone-bereft feet of Quenqua, as it was all his anti-scientific idea, but because MacGillis is a flaming asshole and appears to be losing his fucking mind, in addition to being a rabid leftist, he should get a bag of flaming dogshit thrown through his dining room window this evening as well, followed by some rocks, the occasional hammer, and their mom's favorite dildo.  The article to which I've referred is linked here, in case any of you want to offend your intellects with the ravings of the NYT's (hopefully) least mentally competent member.  After reading it, I've half a mind to send a box of .44 magnums loaded with a single bullet to the head office of the New York Times so that the lot of them could take themselves out for publishing their in-house Special Ed's blissfully short logical fallacy.

Quenqua, continuing to avoid journalistic responsibility.

In case you avoided reading the article, which likely would have done your blood pressure some good, here's the gist:
  • it cites a study published in Pediatrics as its inspiration, which (unlike either of the aforementioned authors, actually read).  This study, which I've got cited below, doesn't make any actual legitimate claims about the deleterious effects of "muscle building", but instead draws some bizarre and tenuous parallel with anorexia by stating "Broadening existing body image programs to address muscularity as well as thinness would be an appropriate and cost-effective approach.  Although it is appropriate to promote physical activity in youth, which may have desirable benefits in terms of health and body composition, care should be taken to emphasize moderation in behaviors and to focus on skill development, fitness, and general health rather than development of a muscular appearance"(Eisenberg).  This is fucking stupid for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it's a statistical certainty that more dogs are proficient in astrophysics than there are pediatricians proficient in sports nutrition and exercise.  Beyond that, the asshole who conducted the study didn't even read their own fucking work, because it clearly shows that the people most likely to train to for more musculature are fatties, skinny kids who are tired of getting their asses beat, and athletes, rather than image-obsessed psychotics.
  • it claims the possible detriments to a high school kid's life could be "long hours in the gym, allowances blown on expensive supplements or even risky experiments with illegal steroids"(Quenqua) and states that "only genetics can confer"(Quenqua) muscular physiques, which I suppose falls in line with hours in the gym and the use of supplements being considered a detrimental waste of time.
  • it provides this fucking gem, from a man who should be stripped of his medical license and dragged behind a moving car over a bed of broken glass and nails, stopping occasionally to wash his wounds with lemon juice and rub gasoline in his eyes:  "'The problem with supplements is they’re not regulated like drugs, so it’s very hard to know what’s in them,' said Dr. Shalender Bhasin, a professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and chief of endocrinology, diabetes and nutrition at Boston Medical Center. Some contain anabolic steroids, and even high-quality protein supplements might be dangerous in large amounts, or if taken to replace meals, he said. 'These things just haven’t been studied very well,' he said."(Quenqua).  In other words, without a tremendous amount of meddling from the government, this man does not trust anyone's word, in spite of the innumerable lawyers champing at the bit to fuck anyone who tries to fuck their customers.  On top of this, our doctor of medicine has managed to ignore 50 years of scientific evidence refuting the concept that high protein diets are deleterious to one's health in addition to the massive amounts of research that has been done into nutritional supplementation.  It's not that supplements "haven't been studied well"- it's that this embarrassment to his profession is spouting off about a subject he has not studied very well. 
If anything, it looks like Ryan could use some steroids.

Stepping up the insanity from this article was one that was even more anti-intellectual and inflammatory, in which Alec MacGillis of the New Republic blamed Paul Ryan and his P90X infatuation with the rise in teen lifting obsessions.  The article seems to have been removed (likely when the author came out of his trip and realized he was going to be sued by everyone and their brother for slandering the holy fuck out of a wide array of rich and wholly innocent people), but you can rest assured it gives you one more reason to hang a beating on a leftist when you see them regurgitating Chomsky at the top of their lungs in Starbucks.
Do the right thing, Quenqua.  Find out what the barrel of a .44 Magnum tastes like.

Hilariously, a recently released Swedish study directly refutes the asinine claims in the above shining gems of journalism, as it stated that "teenaged boys with above-average muscle strength have a better chance of living longer compared to those with lower levels of arm and leg muscle strength or a weaker grip"(Carnahan).  This study, unlike the poorly conducted study cited in the aforementioned article, utilized a sample of one million men, and found that "Even muscular overweight men fared better than thinner men with weaker muscles. It may not be purely physical, either—stronger boys had a lower risk of death from suicide, and were less likely to develop psychiatric issues like schizophrenia or depression"(Carnahan).  Pile that atop our weekly dose of headlines stating "HOLY FUCK, YOUR KID IS FUCKING FAT!", and that should lay this baby to bed.

Q:  Donnie Shankle just quit Glenn Pendlays team! We're never going to medal in Olympic Weightlifting again, are we?

A: Likely not, but that has nothing to do with Donnie Shankle.  Insofar as I know, Shankle was the darling of the weightlifting community  but competes in the most insanely competitive weight class in strength sports and can't hang with the international lifters.  Frankly, none of our lifters can, as thy're constantly chased around by government drug testers and hounded and harassed by our government rather than aided in their efforts.  I'm not sure why Shankle, with all of his rampant Jesusing, is so popular, but I'll be happy to see his Bible-reading fade into obscurity.  That aside, the US government's all but stated they hate strong people and want us all dead, so  medals in Olympic Weightlifting will be forthcoming on the seventh of never, most likely.

Q: All of the strongest men seem to have something in common, thick joints. That is, thick wrists and ankles in particular. What's the Asshole's take on thickening tendons? Can it be done? I assume the answer will be heavy partials like Louis Anderson or Brooks Kubik prescribed in Dinosaur Training.  I welcome the derision, however (not to ride your nuts) but you joints are pretty thick.

A:  I just measured my wrists- 5.25".  If I have thick joints, I pity those with small ones.  I've mentioned this in the past- partials are the most accepted method of strengthening your ligaments and tendons.  Frankly, working with a load over time will strengthen your ligaments and tendons considerably, irrespective of the range of motion utilized.  I've looked for the documentary many times since I saw it without luck, but I recall a documentary from the early 2000s on Discovery or somesuch in which the ligament insertions of Roman and Greek athletes were measured against our own and found to be considerably larger.  Their tendons and ligaments were so thick, in fact, that the conclusion of the sports scientists was that there was no way a modern athlete could outperform them.  This would have been due to the lifetime of heavy labor these athletes endured, and the constant marching and battling in heavy armor they did.  Thus, I'd posit that if you continue training heavily, your ligaments and tendons will necessarily grow to compensate for the load.  Utilizing the example given in the documentary, however, doing some weighted carries might be a useful method to add to your partials- a 50 to 60 lb weighted vest would be a good investment.  I wear one while playing Call of Duty, and it kicks my fucking ass every time.

Failing that, you could always go 12 gauge on the deal.

That's all I have for you guys this week.  I'm down to 182 as of last night, so it looks like I'll be competing at 165, provided I'm among the living, next month.  Whee.

14 December 2012

Ask The Asshole- .44 Magnum Edition Part 1

Q: How much muscle do you think a person can gain, naturally, over a lifetime?  Here are some calculators I found, but I wanted to know what you thought:  http://www.builtlean.com/2011/03/30/how-much-muscle-can-you-gain-naturally/

A:  This is, without question, one of the dumbest and most pointless "intellectual" exercises in which one could engage.  If you're wondering why, it's because there's no point to it.  Science has yet to find a method for determining the genetic ceiling for human performance for NFL athletes, and if corporation putting hundreds of millions of dollars a year into the subject cannot come up with a test for that, there's little chance that your average internet strength guru has a fucking clue what your genetic potential is.  Furthermore, there's been no study conducted that would even provide the basis for a bell curve, which would completely eliminate even the "average" natural muscular gain over time... because you NEED A FUCKING DATA SET TO CALCULATE AVERAGES.  These stupid motherfuckers online find that it's a nice salve to the pride of the wastes of space occupying the squat rack in your local gym with piss-poor 135 lb squats to low-ball their genetic ceilings so they feel positive about their progress and then buy the gurus' books like they're Linus and the book is their security blanket.  Meanwhile, none of those sorry, thumb-sucking, dickless, prideless, sad-sack, effeminate, useless, possibly Canadian, soy eating, commie pinko motherfuckers trying to determine their genetic ceiling will ever reach it BECAUSE THEY"RE ALREADY ANTICIPATING THE POINT WHERE THE CAN QUIT.  If you're shocked at the caps used in this section, it's due to the fact that I would curb stomp anyone who mentioned the "most muscle you can naturally gain" metrics as evidence of anything other than their own hideous stupidity, and I hate the assholes who want to know "the answer" more than enough to pluck out their fucking eyes, make them masticate them, then use their eyeball paste as a lubricant for the anal rape of their mothers while I force their cuckold fathers to watch.  Anyone who wants the answer to that question is nothing but a slack-jawed pussy, and the world would be better off without them.

Fuck me running, I hate people.  Here's one of the stupid fucking charts on the site the idiot who emailed me mentioned:

198 lbs of lean mass at 6'5"?  Someone send Berkhan a fucking map with Samoa circled on it... and a .44 Magnum loaded with a single bullet.

Let's for instance, take the mockery of intellectualism that is the aforementioned site.  On it, they proffer a bell curve example for genetic musculature.  This means that all things being equal (myostatin levels, genetic markers for height weight and bodyfat, protein synthesis, sleep, food, efficacious training, massage, sex hormones, stress levels, etc.), there will be bell curve distribution of muscular gain.  That's all well and good, except that those things are never equal.  Never.  Never, ever, ever, ever, ever.  Thus, the bell curve is fucking stupid, right off the bat.  Apparently utilizing the same witchcraft and pseudoscience behind the concept of the genetic ceiling bell curve, various professed "natty" geniuses the world around have offered up wildly inaccurate and limiting charts like the one above, telling people exactly what their max ripped bodyweight could be.  I shouldn't have to tell you that their charts have less to do with reality than Lindsey Lohan has to do with good citizenship, but apparently I fucking do.  Because we can't be certain who's used AAS in the last 50 years and who hasn't (because every pussy on the planet thinks everyone with a fucking ounce of muscle on him is on gear... except for people in the Olympics, for some reason), let's look at some lifters who were popular in the earliest 20th century- you know, before the advent of modern medicine, refrigeration, and most of the training equipment with which we're accustomed   In other words, let's look at the stats and determine which of the following people "must" have been on steroids based on these completely non-scientific charts, in spite of the fact that they basically lived in the dark ages:

Maxick.  5'4", 147 lbs.  OBVIOUSLY JUST SHOT A WHOLE KIT OF GH!

Arthur Saxon.  5'10", 210 lbs.  DAT DERE CELLTECH.


Bobby Pandour.  5'5.5", 160 lbs.  BIG TRAPS= OBVIOUS AAS.

Herman Goerner.  6'1", 245 lbs.  DEAD BY 30.

Ernest Cadine.  5'6" 181 lbs.  BLEEDS TEST E.

Eugen Sandow.  5'9" 200 lbs.  GOT ANAVAR?

Using the wholly unscientific, Candyland metric designed by Martin Berkhan, all of them must have been on steroids, in spite of the fact steroids had not yet been invented, because they exceeded his maximum ripped bodyweight by an average of 26 pounds.  Let me put that another way for you- men who rode penny farthings to a gymnasium that lacked squat racks or plate loaded barbells (for the most part) and ate diets far inferior to ours in terms of macronutrient profiles got bigger and leaner than the "gurus" claim is humanly possible for a modern man with access to any number of legal supplements designed to further his hypertrophic goals.  The only thing dumber than these metrics are the fucking idiots blathering on about them on the internet as if they're some sort of benchmark for who's using gear, coming from the vaunted vantagepoint of an internet warrior who knows nothing, lifts less than nothing, and wouldn't know deductive reasoning from a ten-speed bicycle.

Amusingly, I'd exceeded the limits of his calculations while I was still wrestling, doing a ton of cardio, getting drug tested for college athletics, and had never even tried DHEA... as a sophomore in college with very little in the way of a handle on diet or training.  I simply trained 6 days a week, ran 3 miles a day, wrestled once or twice a day, ate nothing but chicken breasts and hamburger patties, and slept a lot. Ideal scenario for hypertrophy?  I think not.

(Your Height in Inches -70) x 5 + 160 = Maximum LBM
65-70 x 5 +160 = 135

BuiltLean's genius formula arrived at the same conclusion- after 4 years of highly inefficient training and imperfect diet, I'd hit my genetic ceiling.  Thus, I started lifting in 1993, and by 1997 I had allegedly hit my genetic ceiling, doing virtually everything incorrectly... with all of the genetic potential of Emmanuel Lewis.  Seems like sound logic and strong science to me!  In short, those "predictions" of maximum muscular gain are pseudoscientific horseshit, their progenitors can go fuck themselves, the people who visit their sites can go fuck themselves, and everybody else can probably go fuck themselves as well.

If you take any of those charts to heart, it's either because you're a lazy piece of shit or you've got a room temperature IQ.  Either way, you should probably leave your parents' basement, head to the local gun shop, purchase a .44 Magnum and a single bullet for the gun, and blow your fucking brains out.

I don't care how you do it, so long as you're dead.

Q: What can I do to get my deadlift up to 315?

A:  This question actually made me make the Rock's incredulous face, because... it's fucking astonishing.  I cannot conceive of an adult male being incapable of pulling 315.  I have pulled 515, cold, in street clothes, and that was when my max was in the low 600s.  Truth be told, I do not remember a time when I could not deadlift 315.  I did a death set of 17 reps with 315 at 145 lbs.  If you're an adult male with one year of training under your belt and you cannot deadlift 315, you're neither a man nor worth discussing.  You're a disgrace to your family, and I cannot imagine the self-hatred you must feel. Fucking do the right thing so your parents can at least try and have a useful kid before they die- eat a frisbee.  If you need help with this, Robert Hamburger has provided the following synopsis:

"Seppuku is the ancient art of killing yourself if you get super pissed and can’t find anybody else to kill.  Ninjas use all sorts of crap to kill themselves—guns, ropes, knives, lasers, spears, etc.—and don’t even think twice about it.  These guys would kill themselves for just about any reason and often for no reason at all: that’s why we there are so few ninjas today.

But if you want to commit Seppuku and you’re like me, you don’t have access to stuff like lasers.  But there’s hope.  I tried to kill myself by swallowing a frisbee a couple of times—and believe me, it’s pretty cool.  The only catch is you have to be really super pissed to do it.

Step 1.    Get a frisbee from the store or friend.
Step 2.   Clean the Frisbee.
Step 3.    Make sure your parents aren’t around
Step 4.    Put something slippery on it, like butter or cream.
Step 5.    Get really super pissed.
Step 6.    Fold the Frisbee hard (this is crucial)
Step 7.    Keep folded and insert Frisbee into mouth hard.
Step 8.    Push hard until you can’t see it.
Step 9.    Wait.
Step 10.  Die."

Thus spaketh Robert Hamburger.

In all seriousness, if you cannot pull 315 in a year as an adult male, seriously consider suicide, or at least quit lifting, because you suck at it.  Up next, the hubbub over Paul Ryan getting kids hooked on gear, the cube method, and a bunch of other random horseshit, accompanied by lovely pictures of suicides. 

I knew you'd whine if you didn't get tits.

09 December 2012

Run And You'll Only Die Tired, The Logic Part 2

I realize that for most of you, this issue was laid to rest a year ago, as it should have been.  Runners, however, are a wilfully ignorant, backwards bunch, and things like science and anthropology mean about as much to them as they do to the average Midwestern "Christian".  As such, I decided to give you a little more ammunition for the interminable arguments in which you're likely to at some point find yourself engaged with a runner by providing you with a little mathematical backup.  Then, as I love research as much as North Korea's dictators love bad haircuts, Disney, and missiles, I decided to drop a bit more knowledge for you in regards to the hunting methods employed in the paleolithic era.  If you'd like a refresher on the subject, please enjoy the following ridiculously heavily researched (yet still accused of being "broscience", ostensibly because I'm mean to testosterone-deficient runners):

Part 1: The Logic
Part 2: Evidence
Part 3: More Evidence
Part 4: Even More Evidence
Part 5: The Science

Going for the knockout blow.

Here's how persistence hunts go down:  a group of men run after a small animal for an extended period of time.  Rather than use tools, to which hominids have had access for at least two million years, the animal is just run down until it drops dead from exhaustion.  When this is done (extraordinarily infrequently) in the modern era, it's generally done as a ceremonial exercise by tribal Africans, who will chase a deerlike animal for two to five hours over a half marathon or marathon distance, as a general rule.  The temperature at the time of the hunt is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (really fucking hot to those of you who utilize centigrade measurements), which they utilize to hasten the beleaguered creature's demise in the hunt.  These hunts, as you can well imagine, are generally unsuccessful, and even elite athletes with experience conducting these retarded hunts cannot come close to accomplishing such a ridiculous goal.  One such effort was led by elite Kenyan marathoner Andrew Musuva, who's apparently killed a kudu with a softball-sized rock before.  They clocked a 4 minute mile at one point in their day-long chase and never even got fucking close to the pronghorn they were pusuing- instead, the thing mocked them from afar like they were Wile E. Coyote's close personal friends and it was a wildly oversized blue roadrunner.

This picture is a nice allegory for the above story-  the kudu would be the faceless man, and the hunters would be the broad getting fucked hard.

If you're incredulous that humans that had access to a bevy of tools in the last couple of million years would have utilized such a ridiculous method, you're not alone.  On it's face, the persistence hunting method seems wildly inefficient as a method to obtaining calories, so I decided to run some numbers to confirm this.  The following is a fairly quick breakdown of what I calculated as caloric expenditure from the hunt and the calories that would have been obtained with this method.  I assumed, by the length of the hunt and the distance traveled in the sources I found on the subject that the hunters would be running between 5.5 and 13 miles an hour, which corresponds to about a 11 minute mile (barely faster than a walk) and a 4 and a half minute mile (basically, a sprint).  Then, I assumed the average weight of our hunters to be 150 lb based on an anthropological estimate of paleolithic Europeans (Hermanussen).  Though I realize that my scientifically based estimates aren't exactly perfect, they're certainly far better than the scanty evidence on which runners base their nearly religious belief that humans of the recent past were nearly criminally stupid when it came to hunting.

Interestingly, there was no mention in the sources I found about women participating in persistence hunts, but non-retarded sources show that women participated heavily in hunts of big game, as the paleolithic era was pretty progressive in terms of gender equality.  Hopefully, this will inspire the hotties at Lift Big Eat Big to chase down and hang a beating on a runner, misogynistic fucks that they are, this week as a WOD.

Caloric expenditures during running for a 150 lb man (assuming they're carrying nothing whatsoever):
2 hours at 8mph= 1890 kcals burned
5 hours at 5mph= 2715kcals

Our allegedly mildly retarded ancestors reported utilized this method to pursue hooved creatures, as a genral rule, utilizing their superior long-distance speed to run down animals designed for sprinting.  Thus, they would have hunted a creature like a deer, kudu, or antelope.  In Kenya, male tribesmen hunt kudu utilizing this method for certain ceremonies, and male kudu weigh an average of 500 lbs.  Clearly, a bunch of skinny dudes who just ran a marathon probably aren't going to have much left in the tank to haul the fruits of their ridiculousness home to the ball and chain.  Thus, they'd butcher the animal and return with the edible parts.  With cattle, a 400kg liveweight animal will yield about 140kg of edible meat.  Using that as a basis for calculating edible meat, I determined that the aforementioned average kudu will yield about 175 lbs of meat.

Dean Karnazes is about the only distance runner on Earth I'd pit against one of these animals.

Carrying the food back, a group of five men would have 35 lbs per person.  Walking with hand and ankle weights at 4 miles an hour is akin to running at 5 miles per hour, so the caloric expenditure for carrying 35 lbs would be significant.  In fact, "Gross energy cost per mile during weighted walking (120-158 kcal/mile) was comparable to and in some cases exceeded that of running which was independent of speed (120-130 kcal/mile)"(Miller), which means that they'd expend much more in the way of calories on the return than the run itself.  According to a study by army scientists, the energy cost of load carriage for a 15 kg load would be about 225 calories per hour.  Walking 20 miles at 4 miles and hour would burn 2003 calories, plus the 1125 calories from the additional weight, bringing the return trip to 3125 calories.  Thus, you're looking at an expenditure of 5000 to 6000 calories per person, at a minimum.  Given the number of predator animals capable of taking the meat from small, comparatively weak humans, one would think that they would return more quickly than 4 miles per hour, meaning their caloric expenditure would likely rise another 1000 calories per person as they evaded wolves, lions, and other predatory creatures.

Apparently, anthropologists failed to mention to joggers that hyenas are pretty fond of kudu meat.

This means that a hunt consisting of five runners would require at least 25,000 calories to complete, and likely more along the lines of 30,000 calories.  For obvious reasons, the USDA does not track caloric information on kudu, but it does on a close relative of the kudu, the deer.  175 lbs of raw deer meat will yield 95256 calories.  This means that in a best case scenario, one quarter to one third of the calories acquired by this method of hunting would be expended in the hunt itself.  Based on the available data on persistence hunts, only 50% of them are successful (Liebenberg), which means that one half to two thirds of the calories obtained by persistence hunting would be consumed in their acquisition.  Due to the fact that one half to one third of the total calories obtained in this asinine form of hunting would be utilized obtaining the meat, it would stand to reason that this method of hunting could not have been the predominant method of hunting in the last 2 million years, or humanity would have fucking starved to death long ago.

Persistence Hunting Wrapup
Remarkably inefficient?  Yes.  
Stupid?  Yes.  
Preposterous?  Yes.

In case all of the maths and anthropology has bored you, 'ere's some tits.

Bethea, Charles.  Fair Chase.  Outdoor Magazine.  19 Apr 2011.  Web.  4 Dec 2012.  http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/nature/Fair-Chase.html?page=1

Hermanussen M.  Stature of early Europeans.  Hormones (Athens). 2003 Jul-Sep;2(3):175-8.

Knapik J, Reynolds K.  Loads carried by soldiers: historical, physiological, biomechanical and medical aspects.  ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA.  Jun 1989.  http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA212050    

Liebenberg L.  Liebenberg L.  Persistence hunting by modern hunter-gatherers.  Current Anthropology  2006;47(6):1017-25.  http://www.mattmetzgar.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/persistence_hunting.pdf

Miller, JF, Stamford BA.  Intensity and energy cost of weighted walking vs. running for men and women.  J Appl Physiol. 1987 Apr;62(4):1497-501.

Nutrient data for 17164, Game meat, deer, raw.  Nutrient Data Library.  USDA.  Web.  4 Dec 2012.  http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/5133?fg=&man=&lfacet=&count=&max=&qlookup=&offset=&sort=&format=Abridged&_action_show=Apply+Changes&Qv=1&Q9353=1.0&Q9354=175

Scahill, Darren.  Food Science/cow weight/cow meat ratio.  AllExperrts.  12 Nov 2003.  Web.  4 Dec 2012.  http://en.allexperts.com/q/Food-Science-1425/cow-weight-cow-meat.htm

03 December 2012

Dude, So and So Got SO Fucking Jacked For That Movie: Chris Hemsworth

Eight years ago, I experienced a phenomenon in a movie theater that was unrepeated until this past summer.  As I know you're audience, I know what you're thinking- that phenomenon was not a blowjob in a movie theater, which I get fortnightly from a Mexican prostitute named Guadalupe.  I insist that she call me "El Comandante" and salute my penis when it's at full attention, and to never, ever look me in the eyes.  The phenomenon to which I was actually referring was actually the call-and-response moaning coming from the women and men of the theater whenever Jessica Biel or Ryan Reynolds showed up onscreen in Blade Trinity, which was like bearing auditory witness to a massive, Calligula-style orgy replete with donkeys, midgets, golden, brown, and Roman showers, and just a hint of pederasty.  I swear on my life I saw a chick masturbating in Reynolds' shirtless scene, and I'm pretty sure there were dudes jacking it into empty, upturned popcorn bags when Jessica Biel did pretty much anything in that film.  Since then, I've not heard overwhelming appreciation from the audience of a theater in that sort of an overwhelming sexual manner until Chris Hemsworth and Scarlett Johansson mocked us with the fact that none of us will ever even engage in consensual hand holding with either of them for two hours during the Avengers.

Interestingly, I just discovered Reynolds and Johansson used to be married, and that Johansson apparently has a prison tat, or at least a tattoo designed and executed by a man with a sharpened toothpick and ball point pen ink in a prison cell.  

Frankly, I'd never seen a movie with Johansson prior to the Avengers' movies, since I don't hate myself enough to sit through "The Nanny Diaries" or "A Love Song For Bobby Long".  Likewise, Hemsworth was a total unknown to me other than as "the guy who was in Star Trek" for five minutes.  When I googled him to see who was going to play Thor, here's what I found:

It goes without saying that I was underwhelmed.  I never really liked Thor all that much, and I sold the only comic I ever owned  that featured him for $50 bucks when I was in 8th grade ("The Incredible Hulk" 255, if you're curious).  Insofar as the Germanic pantheon goes, I was always much more partial to Tyr, against whom Thor seems a childish warfare neophyte in comparison.  As such, I had nothing more invested in the casting of Thor than disgust at the fact that an apparent yoga instructor played Conan in the reboot, and I'm sick of that bullshit.  Hemsworth appeared to be just as fucking sick of it, though, as he packed on about 25 lbs to play Thor.  He looked pretty good throughout the beginning of the movie, and I'm certain most of us were going with "he looks pretty big", until one scene near the middle of the film.  Halfway through the flick, pretty much everyone in the theater said "holy shit" in unison, and half of the chicks in the theater had to get up to go to the bathroom and and wring out their panties in the sink- right after the scene where Hemsworth popped off his shirt in front of a window.

While I realize that a dude who's 6'4" is pretty fucking skinny at 220, most of us should be pretty fucking happy to look that vaginal-lip-smacking good while "skinny".  In any event, Hemsworth broke his ass in the gym to get this look, and ended up doing something similar to what Tom Hardy did for Warrior to get the cuts popping- he trained around the clock and ate his face off, then cut down and trained even harder to lean out right before shooting began.

Hemsworth's trained with three different guys- jacked-as-fuck kettlebell trainer and director of Michigan-based personal trainers Art of Strength Mike Knight (pictured above right), Aussie rugger Steve Walsh, and former Navy Seal Duffy Gaver.  As such, you'll find a couple of different accounts of how Hemsworth trains, but it you look closely, you'll see they re all pretty similar. Hemsworth always trains at least five, and usually six days a week, twice a day.   He lifts far heavier than you'd probably expect (rep wise, as there are no accounts of how much he can lift), which is a refreshing change of pace from the typical bullshit you see with actors.  

Initially, Hemsworth focused on building mass, as he'd never really lifted before.  He was a brawler growing up, and he and his brothers kept busy by beating the shit out of each other , throwing knives at each other, surfing, playing rugby, and doing their best Ong Bak impersonations by practicing thai boxing.  There was likely a little bit of lifting involved in all of that, but when you and your brothers punch each other in the face instead of saying hello, bench pressing likely becomes a bit too dangerous to be performed without a crew of spotters.  As such, Hemsworth's body was attuned to a lot of physical activity, but no real heavy lifting.  Thus, he had to change his mindset entirely to pack on some mass, which he did in a hurry.  To gain the mass, Hemsworth embarked on an eight week bulking plan, followed by a four week cutting phase.  Here's his eight week bulking plan:

Week 1: 4 sets of 4-6 reps

Week 2: 4 sets of 6-8 reps
Week 3: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Week 4-8: 4 sets of 4-6 reps

For this he had 3 workouts performed twice each per week, with a break on Sunday.
Day 1:  Chest and Back
Bench press
Bent-over row
Weighted pull-up
Weighted dip

Day 2: Legs

Hamstring curl

Day 3: Arms

Weighted chin-up
Close-grip bench press

If you thought 6'4", 220 was unimpressive, here's Hemsworth pondering the difference between his own physique and that of your average dungeon gym's "powerlifter" look.

Nothing up to this point is particularly earth shattering, and it's likely a lot of you are thinking you've tried that shit and it hasn't worked.  I can tell you why, very simply- you have nothing but your own motivation to get you through a workout, whereas Hemsworth has a crazy ass paycheck and a trainer following him around with a garbage bag filled with food, screaming at him to eat, at all times.  According to Mike Knight, "Chris needed to bulk up, so it was a matter of upping his calories so that he could gain up to two pound a week. Towards the end of training he was eating 6,000 calories a day but working out so much that he was burning them right off. His diet included huge quantities of grains, vegetables, lean protein and potatoes"(Smith).  "Eat your fucking face off and you will grow", as the good book says.  Apparently, it worked a little too well, as Hemsworth hit 235 lbs and had to drop to 220 to fit into his costume.  To do so, he switched his workout and diet completely. His diet became paleo, and his workouts looked far more like Crossfit than the power bodybuilding routines he followed to gain weight (McGuinness and Warner).  

The aforementioned plan was the one concocted by Hemsworth's Aussie trainer, and under Knight Hemsworth changed things slightly.  Rather than an eight week bulking phase, Hemsworth did "12 weeks of classic bodybuilder exercises that included inclined presses, Turkish get-ups, windmills, squats and pull-ups. To add bulk, Knight integrated kettlebell weights, a great metabolic tool that builds up core strength.  According to Knight, the heavier a kettlebell, the safer. 'Never hold less than 50 pounds in each hand. Anything below that and you'll be tempted to use your arms to lift the weights. This is when you'll get hurt. When using kettlebells, you need to use your hips to do the lift'(McGuinness).  If your socks are knocked off by a recommendation that no one should touch anything under a 50 lb kettlebell or that anyone in the history of ever gained mass with kettlebells, you're not the only one.  One look at Knight, however, and you start to think you might not know as much about kettlebells as you thought you did.

Some of his fat loss workouts looked like this:
Circuit 1: 
(20sec on/10sec off):
Double kettlebell squats - four rounds
Eight rounds of snatches - eight rounds

Circuit 2:

Kettlebell swings - 30sec two-hand, 30sec right-hand-only swings, 30sec left-hand-only swings, 30sec 
alternate swings
Cleans - 5 right, 5 left, 4 right, 4 left, 3 right, 3 left, 2 right, 2 left, 1 right, 1 left, then back up to 5 each side for a total of 60 reps with no rest

Circuit 3:

Turkish get-ups - 5min continuous
Windmill - 5 each side

Pretty fucking lean.

His workouts varied from day to day, but were always complexes.  According to Knight, Hemsworth did a "total-body circuit based around classic strongman moves, such as log presses, tire flips, sledgehammers and prowler sprints, as well as circuits 
with kettlebells of varying weights"(Warner).  With Knight, he focused on a combination of bodybuilding and mixed martial arts to lean out in addition to a "total-body circuit that included sledge hammers, "ropes gone wild," log presses, Prowler sprints and, once again, kettlebells"(McGuinness). Their mainstay was something Knight calls "ropes gone wild",which are pretty much Battle Ropes- with 55-foot ropes in each hand, spazz like you're having a fucking suizure.  For more information on these, see any fat person in an unconventional gym who's studiously avoiding weightlifting or any self-proclaimed MMA practitioner. 

... or a randomly hot broad.  Needless to say, if you can smile while you do it, it's not going to work for dramatic fat loss.

As I stated above, Hemsworth's worked with a number of trainers, and thus has had a number of different protocols.  Another one of his six day a week routines looked like this (Bullman):

Day 1: Chest/Shoulders/Boxing

Morning: Chest and Shoulders
Dumbbell Flies- 3 x 12, 10, 8 reps
Barbell Bench Press (Medium Grip)- 3 x 12, 10, 8 
Bent-Over Lateral Raise- 3 x 15, 12, 12
Lateral Raise- 3 x 15, 12, 10 
Arnold Press- 3 x 12, 10, 8 

Evening: Boxing and abs

Bag: 5 sets of 3-minute rounds
Focus Pads: 5 sets of 3-minute rounds on
Skipping: 5 sets of 3-minute rounds

Ab Circuit, repeat three times
Prone Plank- 60 second holds
Lateral Plank- 60 second holds
Roman Chair Leg Raise- 20 reps
Cable Crunch- 20 reps
Oblique Crunches- 20 reps

Clearly, the dude does a hell of a lot of shoulders and arms.

Day 2: Back/Arms/Boxing/Abs
Morning: Back & Arms
Chin-Up- 3 x 15, 12, 10 
Barbell Deadlift- 3 x 10, 8, 6 
  {Barbell Curl- 3 x 10, 8, 6
  {French Press- 3 x 10, 8, 6 

Evening: Boxing and abs

Bag: 5 sets of 3-minute rounds
Focus Pads: 5 sets of 3-minute rounds on
Skipping: 5 sets of 3-minute rounds
Same Ab circuit as before

Day 3: Surfing/Legs
Morning: Surfing
Since most of you don't have access to an ocean, 30 minutes of HIIT cardio will suffice.

Evening: Legs
  {Leg Extensions- 3 x 10, 8, 6 reps
  {Seated Leg Curl- 3 x 10, 8, 6 reps
Barbell Full Squat- 3 x 10, 8, 6 reps

Day 4: Core/Cardio
Morning: Abs
Circuit listed above

There are, of course, as many ways to get big-ass arms and shoulders as there are dudes who do nothing but arms, chest, and shoulders in every gym, which is to say, a metric fuckton.  There might be more ways to accomplish this goal than there are ways for college girls to debase themselves for free t-shirts at spring break, though statisticians are still comparing the data.  Pantless statisticians with a lot of very sticky spreadsheets.  For the Avengers, Hemsworth used another celebrity trainer, Duffy Gaver.  Gaver's apparently trained everyone your girlfriend's ever quietly rubbed one out to in Hollywood, such as Channing Tatum, Ashton Kutcher (who knew that motherfucker lifted weights?), Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Matt Damon.  To give your girlfriend more fodder for her spank bank in the Avengers, Gaver had Hemsworth "lift big and eat bigger. Hemsworth downed huge amounts of chicken and red meat. For thickness, Gaver had Chris rock a variety of heavy rows - bent-over barbell, dumbbell, machine -- plus lat pull-downs, extra arm work, and shoulder moves"(Smith)  Gaver claimed there really wasn't anything too esoteric or unique- in fact, Gaver stated explicitly that most of the muscle could be attributed to the "a ton of food"(Character Builder) he had Hemsworth eat for the film, most of which was the standard bodybuilder fare of chicken, broccoli, and brown rice.  Likewise, Gaver had Hemsworth train like a bodybuilder, claiming that the routines used by guys like Arnold and Franco are the types of routines you should follow if you want to look like the bodybuilders of that era, which was their goal(Ibid).  Thus, he had Hemsworth doing high volume workouts that consisted primarily of heavy shoulder, arm and back work.  Once he gained more weight than he needed, he switched to Crossfit style workouts and cut his carbs to lean out (Chris Hemsworth).

Even Thor is incredulous.

Before you guys start screaming about Hemsworth being a genetic freak who should have pursued a young Austrian's dream and headed for the Olympia stage, slow your roll.  More than one guy has achieved this exact transformation for the very same movies.  That's right- not one, but three guys basically did the exact same thing and got the exact same physique, and none of them started out huge.  the other two guys to whom I'm referring are Hemsworth's stunt doubles in the thor movies and the Avengers.  His stunt double in the Thor series is thrice-named British stuntman Billy Holland Hanton, who actually looks better than Hemsworth upon close inspection.  Hanton, who's four inches shorter than Hemsworth at the same weight, bulked up to play Thor after specializing in free running and gymnastics his entire life. That's right- this guy is generally far smaller than Hemsworth's 220 lbs, and has served as a stunt double  for Christian Bale in the Dark Knight (190lbs) and Daniel Craig in Quantum Solace (180 lbs) .  Because he usually walks around 30 to 40 lbs lighter (or rather, runs around like a goofball jumping off rooftops and doing flips all over the place like a ninja on absinthe), Hanton busted out two a days, six days a week, for 12 weeks to get in Thor shape (Holmes).

How do you spell "jacked"?  Try using the veins on his biceps.

Because this article's gone on long enough and this broad's language is hilariously stilted, I'll just repost the original in its bizarrely formal form:

"Mr. Holland Hanton's first workout is around lunchtime. He begins with a light, 10-minute jog on a treadmill to warm up his muscles. Mr. Holland Hanton then goes into a training circuit, beginning with a 90-second sprint on the treadmill at a steep incline. He then does 12 underarm chin ups, 12 dips, 12 push ups with his feet raised on a bench, 30 squats and 25 calf raises on each leg. The circuit takes around two minutes. He repeats it four more times, for a total of five sets, with no rest in between.
Mr. Holland Hanton says he prefers exercises where he is lifting his own body weight, like squats and dips, rather than using free weights. "The old-school kind of training regime works for me," he says. "I need to be able to throw my body around however I'm asked to. I don't want to be too bulky."
Weights enter the equation at the end of the day—after rehearsals or shooting—when Mr. Holland Hanton returns to the gym to focus on whatever muscle group needs to appear most prominent for that job. For "Thor: The Dark World," he is now stunting for Mr. Hemsworth, who is particularly muscular with big arms. "Chris is in the most incredible shape I've ever seen anyone," Mr. Holland Hanton says.
So, between sprints, he focuses on exercises like bicep curls and tricep pull downs.
The circuit training approach works well for him, he says, because it shocks his system. He often changes the order or number of repetitions. "You never get used to what you are doing because it's different things in short spurts."
The DietOf all the things his job requires, Mr. Holland Hanton says the diet is the most difficult. "I didn't realize how hard it would be psychologically," he says.
As a teen, Mr. Holland Hanton says he ate whatever he wanted with no consequences. He continued that approach through his first couple of movies, often skipping breakfast or eating a candy bar for energy before a workout.
That began to change two years ago, when Mr. Holland Hanton wasn't getting as lean as he needed to be. Beginning with "Green Lantern," he began experimenting with diet restrictions. For his current film, he has placed himself on a diet with no white carbohydrates and dairy and small meals every two hours. He never eats until he is full, which he says helps keep his body from storing food.
Each morning, Mr. Holland Hanton eats within a half-hour of waking. Breakfast is protein-packed, including two boiled eggs with a chicken breast or tuna on a bed of spinach with avocado. He has small snacks at specific times all day long, ranging from nuts and blueberries to more chicken and tuna. He mixes in nonstarchy vegetables, such as broccoli and "good" carbohydrates, like brown rice or sweet potatoes. Once a week, he enjoys a "cheat day," with something like bread or chocolate"(Holmes).

Nothing shocking there, either- he eats a shitload of clean foods, trains twice a day, six days a week, and utilizes circuit training to get lean.  Just like Hemsworth.  Exactly like Hemsworth, in fact.  The other stuntman who doubled Hemsworth
, Matthew LeFevour, had pretty much the same thing to say- he was constantly lifting to get big.  "I never get out of shape but, I have walked around at 195-200 lbs most of my adult life and I need to hit 220 and lean to double Chris. This time around I worked on 90% of the sets. That is a guess but, there were not too many that I missed"(DCMarvelFreshman).  

So, it comes down to this:
  • train six days a week, no exceptions
  • train twice a day if possible
  • use heavy compound movements to gain size, then circuits and complexes to refine it
  • eat big to get big, and eat paleo to get ripped
Boom.  You've now read the exact same fucking thing about three different actors (in addition to two stuntmen).  Starting to get the message?  

Eat more, lift more, bitch less.  If you look like shit, it's not genetics holding you back- it's just that you suck at life.
Thor says "stop sucking.  That is all."

PS- If you want to get laid tonight, show this post to your girlfriend.  Chris Hemsworth is like viagra mixed with Spanish Fly and catnip for chicks.  You might want to bust out a couple of situps while she's reading though, because, you know, abs.

Bullman, Brian.  Thor's Thunderous Workout.  Bodybuilding.com.  Apr 2011.  Web.  2 Dec 2012.  http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/learn-how-thor-packed-on-20-pounds-of-muscle.html

Character Builder: Duffy Gaver "The Avengers" Interview.  http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/avengers-interview-personal-trainer-duffy-gaver.html

Chris Hemsworth on his workout for Thor.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKTz9xZYPRA

DCMarvelFreshman.  Chris Hemsworth's 'Thor' Stunt Double Matthew LeFevour Dishes On THE AVENGERS.  Comicbookmovie.com.  27 Feb 2012.  http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/MarvelFreshman/news/?a=55408#cyve3uJvPXILEiGz.99

Holmes, Elizabeth.  Building  body for Bond, Batman, and more.  Wall Street Journal.  13 Nov 2012.  Web. 2 Dec 2012.  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323894704578114922368500276.html

McGuinness, Romina.  The Thor workout: How 'Avengers' star Chris Hemsworth got his biceps1 May 2012.  Web.  2 Dec 2012.  http://www.metro.us/boston/life/article/1141924--the-thor-workout-how-avengers-star-chris-hemsworth-got-his-biceps

Smith, Cassie.  Avengers Interview: Chris Hemsworth And Scarlett Johansson’s Personal Trainer.  Bodybulding.com.  1 May 2012.  Web.  2 Dec 2012.  http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/avengers-interview-personal-trainer-duffy-gaver.html

Warner, Joe.  Hammer time.  Men's Fitness UK.  Apr 2011.  Web  2 Dec 2012.  http://www.mensfitness.co.uk/exercise/celebrity_bodies/6766/official_chris_hemsworth_thor_workout.html