30 June 2013

Chaos And Bang Is Back, Bitches!

Due to popular demand, and by that I mean people outright demanding we rekindle the series, we've changed our format slightly and the medium by which we're transmitting it.  Given that neither of us has any interest in figuring out how to put something on iTunes, we've put it up on Youtube, from which you can rip your own mp3 and put it on whatever device you so choose.  I spent a lot of unnecessary time finding the images, which are of Ashley Blue, Alexis Texas, Lucy Pinder, Geisa Vitorino, Fabi Froto, Holly Peers, and a couple of other Nuts girls.  In the even you're playing this thing and happen to look at the screen at any point, you shouldn't be disappointed.

Yeah, this good.


24 June 2013

Random Awesome Shit- Whooty, Movies, Books, and Music That Will Put Lead In Your Pencil

For every bitch who hits the "Dislike" button on these entries, there are ten emails and ten IMs and ten comments asking for more recommendations.  As I love pissing people off and enjoy a good review as much as the next guy, I'm happy to provide some reviews.  For those of you who hate these entries, have a big booty and a smile and shut the fuck up.

Movies You Should See, Stat
Iron Sky

This movie sat in my recommendations list on Netflix instant for months while I dithered about watching a movie I assumed would suck harder the least singer of Wham! in a rest stop bathroom.  Those were many months wasted, however, because this movie is one of the greatest unknown gems available for the general public's viewing pleasure today.  Set in a dystopic future in which a Michelle Bachman look- and sound-alike sends a black model to the moon as part of a publicity stunt, the moon lander touches down right on the edge of the dark side of the moon, whereupon one astronaut is clipped by a Nazi in a leather-trenchcoated spacesuit and the black model, spouting rather amusing ghetto slang, is captured.  Upon discovering the computing power of the iPhone, the Nazis send a landing party to Earth to secure more "supercomputers" to power the Nazis' ultimate weapon for the "pacification" of Earth.  Two of the landing party become aides to Bachman and utilize Naziesque propaganda to secure her reelection, upon the eve of which the remainder of the Nazis invade.  From space.  The movie is not only as good as it sounds- it's far, far better.  You will never forgive yourself for failing to see this priceless piece of Finno-German moviemaking.

The Woman

For some reason, I've been a fan of Jack Ketchum in the way the US government is a fan of the US Constitution- I like his stuff in theory, but in practice can't stand the sight of it.  So it was with the film adaptation of the predecessor to the Woman (the Offspring), and so it is with most of Ketchum's books.  The Woman, however, was astonishingly good.  I always enjoy a good condemnation of modern society in its comparison to the past, and even moreso enjoy seeing the hypocrisy of "Western civilization" thrown back in its face, and for this reason I couldn't have enjoyed The Woman more.  Set in the modern day, the Woman is a tale of a family whose well-to-do family man patriarch captures a feral girl in the woods and chains her up in his barn in an effort to "civilize her".  Predictably, the family's vague attempts at civilizing the girl are anything but, and though a violent psychotic, the feral girl is a sympathetic character in the face of the civilized world.  Topped off with some excellent revenge sequences, the triumph of "the uncivilized", and very cool plot twist at the end, you pretty much cannot not like this film.

A Serbian Film
Truth be told, I didn't watch all of this movie because I often spend as much time fucking during horribly twisted erotic horror films as I do watching them.  This film was even more fucked up than the German horror porn classic Nekromantik (which is an awesome film about a couple that has a long-term threesome with a rotting corpse), so much more fucking was required.  Description of the plot will then be somewhat difficult, but here goes- a world-famous Serbian porn star is contracted to make an epic but small-release "special" porn film, which turns out to be the most fucked up thing anyone's ever done, watched, or considered.  It features multiple murders, bestiality, necrophilia, incest, homosexual incest, homosexual rape, date rape, outright rape, infant rape, eyehole fucking, group suicide... the list goes on and on.  The film is so awesome that it's been in the home of the Inquisition (Spain), a nation-wide repository for violent criminals and thieves (Australia), a nation renowned for its inhabitants' cannibalistic tendencies (New Zealand), a nation well known for its big-booty scat porn (Brazil), and a couple of authoritarian nations that suck per their Constitutions. If you want to check out a film that inspires you to masturbate and consider killing yourself for the good of humanity at the same time, this film is for you.

Perhaps we need a bit of a cleanse after that review.

I think we've had enough tits, so we're going pirate style and chasin' the booty.

Your New Favorite Bands
Infant Annihilator

It's rare that my jaw drops when I hear a band for the first time- most bands have such a hackneyed sound that it's like listening to any band on an alt rock radio station circa 2002.  Luckily, not every band on Earth sounds like Creed anymore, but there's still a general lack of innovation out of a lot of bands.  When I first heard Fear Factory's Demanufacture, my mind was blown by the speed and precision of the drumming.  When I heard Acacia Strain's 3750, I felt the same way about the utter bleakness, brutality, and hate pouring through the speakers.  Infant Annihilator managed to pull off both sensations simultaneously.  Never before have I been so surprised by a band than when I first heard Morbid Angel and Carcass in the same day- Infant Annihilator combines all the speed and aggression of American death metal, then adds the brutality of Acacia Strain, the technicality of Meshuggah and Veil of Maya, and finally slathers it with the goofiness of Anal Cunt or Agoraphobic Nosebleed.  If your tits aren't blown clean off by this band, nothing will astonish you, and there's a reasonably decent chance that you're clinically dead.  Were you to play IA on loudspeakers in Croatia, there's a decent chance there'd be a massive outbreak moshing in what were formerly Muslim mass graves, followed by an outbreak of hyperspeed brain-eating that would look like the end of Return Of The Dead in 36x fast forward.  Bear witness as they exercise their exorcism:

They also pulled off two of the best covers ever, which are available free on Mediafire- what is possibly Bring Me The Horizon's best song, Pray for Plagues, and the most annoyingly catchy song of all time, Gangnam Style.  If you like their shit, it's cheap on Bandcamp- support the band so they make more of this shit, as it is epic.

If Infant Annihilator gives you such hard eargasms that your bloody eardrums are splattered all over your neck like strawberry Pop Tart bukkake, you'll love Rings of Saturn and Signal The Firing Squad more than Aaron Hernandez loves incriminating himself in felonious acts.  Don't believe me?

Rings of Saturn is all of the technicality of IA with more noodly bits, atmospherics that would not be out of place in a Portishead song, and less silliness than you'd see in an Orthodox Jew's countdown of a store's register.

Signal the Firing Squad brings more brutality per second than most bands bring per lifetime.  Saddam Hussein's kids WISH they were this fucking brutal, and those motherfuckers threatened soccer players with dismemberment over a game in which scoring happens less often than Screech from Saved By The Bell gets laid.

Thy Art Is Murder

I was recently warned not to support Satanism, even as a goof, as support for the forces of evil only lends the people who control the world more power.  Given that absurdity, I've decided to throw the full weight of my support behind the Beast, and am rocking Thy Art Is Murder on the regular.  There are more breakdowns in TAIM songs than you'd see on a Cuban highway and more blasphemy than you'd see in a typical Westboro Baptist church sermon.  These motherfuckers would shank Jesus and pour acid in the Virgin Mary's eyes, just fucking because.  Though I don't condone hippie bashing, I do condone the everloving fuck out of Thy Art Is Murder.  If there is anything on Earth tougher than this song, I am unaware of its existence. If Jack Palance fucked a badger, this would be the soundtrack for their "love making".

Does Thy Art Is Murder inspire you to deadlift in the ashes of a church you "accidentally" burned down and then used the crucifix you found on the wall to pleasure your girlfriend?  If so, you might want to check out Columbia's own Impale The Betrayer.


Black Tongue

I bought Acacia's Strain's 3750 without having heard it, on the recommendation of a friend that nothing would ever be heavier than that band.  Brown Noise, the first non-noise track on 3750, blew out my car's two back speakers in the first bar, as I unwittingly had the shit turned way up and the bass maxed.  Thus, Acacia Strain's "Brown Noise" nearly fulfilled the promise of the song title, as their three drop A guitars proved too much for my stereo and nearly my bowels.  Acacia Strain's followups, however, have done nothing (in my opinion) to improve on the formula they created.  Luckily, however, Black Tongue's exploded onto the scene to pick up where Acacia Strain's first major release left off.  This shit is about to rape your soul with a cock made of pure hate.  Interestingly enough, I discovered while researching this blog that Black Tongue is Infant Annihilator's touring side band, which explains why they roll harder than a 1990's era Ultimate Warrior with a fistful of Viagra and a backpack full of d-bol and coke.

Provided Black Tongue warms the frozen cockles of your blackened heart, check out Immoralist.  A bit less sludgy, but just as likely to make you kick and old lady into traffic.


Chicago's putting out the best hardcore in the US, bar none.  Drowning, then, is pretty much Eric Roberts in Best of the Best, in spite of the fact that they appear to be a pack of wiggers, a symptom of sucking.  Down-tempo, jam-packed with breakdowns, actually intelligible vocals, and an apparent desire to start fistfights whenever they're not starting riots.  For those of you who actually want a touch of melody, they have a tiny bit, which strikes me as weird as hell for a band that wants to do little more than make music to kick peoples' fucking heads in to.  Also, the first track off their upcoming album features Jorge from Merauder, which is fucking awesome.

Throw these motherfuckers some money so they record more shit and download their album here.

If Drowning gets your dick hard, check out World of Pain's new shit.  Just pop this into the stereo and point the speakers at the soon to be dead motherfucker you want beaten, if you want to beat the brakes off someone without scuffing your knuckles, .

I just snagged their "Lifter" shirt - shit's 2 legit 2 quit.

Also, keep your eye on Warhound- their new shit is too fucking hard.  How about a video jam-packed with sluts and breakdowns, plus a bunch of dudes in ski masks hanging out of the windows of a Caddy screaming  tough-as-fuck lyrics?

Bonus:  Weird Bands OF Whom You've Almost Certainly Never Heard

I honestly have no idea how to categorize these guys- they're unlike anything of which you might have ever heard.  If you took the bassist from Mudvayne, threw him into Dillinger Escape Plan, grabbed the vocalist from December (another unknown band you should also check out) and gave Serj Tankian another mike and a handful of acid, then locked the lot of them in a room with mental patients and between the Buried and me records, you'd get Sikth.  They're weird as fuck, cool as shit, and worth adding to your mp3 player for a bit of insanity.

Sub Dub Micromachine

Some of you will balk at this band, as they look like Slipknot if they got their costumes from a BDSM shop frequented by motocross fans.  You're missing out, though, as Sub Dub's a pretty badass changeup if all you listen to is deathcore and dubstep.  Additionally, this band defies description almost as hard as Sikth- they look industrial, which they're not, and they change sounds several times in almost every song.  They can shift effortlessly from Devildriver to Korn to Slipknot to Powerman 5000 and then drop in a Crowbar-esque breakdown for no fucking reason whatsoever.    For those of you who take yourselves far too seriously, you'll probably hate this almost as much as the people around you hate you.  For the rest of you, enjoy.

Dope D.O.D.

Quite frankly, I don't listen to a hell of a lot of rap, and honestly have no idea how I stumbled across this group.  Oddly, they hail from the Netherlands, a country generally associated with dikes and clogs and not much else, save perhaps for their Socialists' current ridiculous attempt to ban pornography in the European Union. On the opposite end of the spectrum from the loathsome hag heading that movement is Dope D.O.D., who've opened for Snoop Dogg, have cameos by rap legends Kool Keith and FUCKING ONYX on their latest album, and boast backbeats comprised mostly of dubstep.  Basically, these guys are the Geto Boys meet Natas updated for the 21st Century and overlaid on some dirty dubstep drops.  If you don't find yourself head-nodding to this shit, you should check your fucking pulse.

Books To Sate The Intellectual Black Hole Left By Comments On Internet Message Boards

The Joe Ledger series, by Jonathan Maberry
Jonathan Mayberry is one of the most underrated authors in mass market fiction today.  He's written a spate of novels in the last ten years that combine elements of sci-fi, thriller, espionage, and horror in every novel.  This series features Joe Ledger, a former cop recruited into a government quick response team for "abnormal" events like zombie outbreaks, Nazi mad scientist geneticists using cloned Neanderthals as slaves, and the like.  Always jammed with action, they read like a cross between Larry Correia and Vince Flynn, and the unique plots make for interesting reading.  i can see how he'd not be tremendously popular, as his works span too many genres to specifically appeal to any one demographic, but they're highly enjoyable reads and worth picking up to read on the plane or the beach.  If you don't mind starting in the middle of the series, you might want to start with the Dragon Factory, as it's the best of the bunch in my opinion.

Infernal City series, by Edward Lee
The first in what is now a four book series, Lee smashes erotica and splatterpunk together to make one of the best horror series of all time.  In the Infernal City series, a variety of different houses serve as gateways to hell, which exists as a mirror of our own world and repository for damned souls.  In hell, bio-electricity created from the torture of souls replaces electricity, there are zones in which demons spontaneously arrive and slaughter everyone around, and bones, organs, and flesh comprise the brick, mortar, and fabric of Hell's civilization.  It'd be dark as shit if half of it wasn't hilarious and the other half didn't leave you ready to fuck a hole in a cinder block wall- instead, it's just randomly fantastic.  The whole concept drips with insanity and is generally awesome.

21 June 2013

Time To Stir The Pot- A Refutation Of The Science Behind Carb Backloading

For fans of the podcast (which is being resurrected soon and will likely involve video), you know Paul and I spoke with Kiefer, the progenitor of Carb Backloading.  As I stated on the podcast, I'm generally of the opinion that CBL is perfect for getting fat and contracting Type II diabetes, and I'm skeptical of its real-world applicability.  The majority of the people I know who tried it either felt like Gary Busey after a week-long Jack and coke (Columbian marching powder, not the Beetus-bringer) binge the majority of the time but leaned out a bit or felt like Busey and got fat.  No one I've seen, however, thrived off the diet.  As such, my skepticism seems to have been justified.  When I learned of a Duke grad in strength training world who shared my psychotic, balls to the wall training approach and had the credentials to back his opinion of CBL, I felt compelled to drop an interview bomb in his lap to hash this whole thing out.  Thus, without further adieu, the interview:

Alex, looking perfectly ridiculous on a bicycle.

Alrighty, it's interview time.  In the interest of dogmatic adherence to the typical structure of an interview, why don't you brag about yourself a bit.

My name’s Alex Viada, and I run a company called Complete Human Performance.  We’re a small coaching company with one primary focus- building world class strength AND top level endurance in ALL our athletes. We’ve never felt those two goals are mutually exclusive, just damn difficult to put together. There are a lot of guys and girls out there who love throwing around huge piles of iron, but either for professional reasons (military, police, fire, etc.) or personal reasons (enjoy mountain biking, trail running, marathons, etc.) need excellent endurance.  Most of the crap you read out there either tells you that you can’t do both, or throws out this minimalist garbage that says you can train for Ultramarathons and Ironmans by doing 30 minute sprints and metcons.  The former is flat out wrong, the latter, well, let’s just say one of the best known founders of one of those systems has successfully DNFed every race he’s done since switching to a minimalist program. For us, everything we do is proven- based on solid, no BS training routines that are backed by actual sports science and plenty of results.  Basically, we take on people who want to do it all, but have been told they can’t… and help them shut the naysayers up.

Personally speaking, well, I’m a lousy athlete [ed.- yes, all 4:20 milers are terrible athletes], genetically speaking (sorry dad).  Never been very strong or fast, was quite honestly just a “smart kid” growing up.  Played a lot of sports in high school and succeeded mostly on determination, and I never had much of that. When I tried to gain weight, I ended up fat.  When I tried to cut, I ended up skinny fat.  Currently, at 33 years old and 220 pounds, my best raw squat is 615 (695 single ply currently), best bench is 445 raw (485 shirted currently), and deadlift 705 in gear or without (as of five weeks ago).  I currently run a 4:23 mile, have done 4 marathons, 1 Ultramarathon, 1 Ironman triathlon, and 1 half Ironman in the last three years, regularly compete in mountain centuries (100 mile bike rides through the mountains), and drink entirely too much high gravity beer.  On the education side, graduated from Duke University with a degree in biochemistry, am a USA Triathlon certified coach, and an NSCA-CSCS.  Eleven years of coaching experience, but worked in the clinical trial world for 8 years as well, which gave me an excellent bullshit detector and made me a real skeptic.

Seems to me the average marathoner weighs about 130lbs and would struggle to bench their bodyweight.

Careful with the jogging- I hear joggers have had a problem with spontaneous combustion up North.  For some reason I thought you were a grad student- I guess because you still lift in Duke's gym, where the next strongest person is my 130 lb girlfriend.

I was going after my Msc in physiology from NC State, but honestly the program was pretty mediocre.  Either switching to biomechanics or transferring to UNC when I got the time to reapply.  Work and life gets in the way, man.  Either way, wasn't going to mention something in progress.

Understandable, I suppose.  Now, I've heard a rumor that you rock a supertotal that's even more ridiculous than combining real lifting with clog-wearing trick lifting.  What's your version of a supertotal- what I heard about you doing passed the Carrot Top-on-angel-dust-fellating-a-rabid-badger level of insanity.  

My supertotals (and there are a few I use to judge progress) are always zero.  In other words, take a measure of strength (weight) and pit it against a measure of speed and endurance (time), with the goal of them canceling each other out.  My most frequently used supertotal- run a marathon in less than your bench press.  Bench 400?  Run a sub 4:00.  Bench 350?  Run a sub 3:30.  For the ladies, it’s 2.5 times your bench versus your marathon.  Most people, with proper training, should be able to do this.  My personal goal this next year or two is run a 100 mile ultra in less than my PL total, but this will take some serious work…  for now I’d like to be the only guy who’s qualified for Kona (Ironman world championship) with a 700 pound deadlift.

That's fucking ridiculous.  I would rather masturbate using Freddy Krueger's glove than run a marathon.  I heard you recently did a meet, tore your quad, and still did the marathon anyway.  Why the fuck would you do that?  How'd it turn out?

Ha.  It went pretty damn badly.  I sustained a pretty serious quad tear on my opening squat during a meet three weeks out from a 50 mile ultramarathon.  Missed what was supposed to be my longest training run…  8 days out from the race I was thrilled that I could finally walk without limping and that the swelling had gone down enough for me to wear regular pants.  6 days out I successfully jogged a mile.  The race itself was brutal- I couldn’t run or walk downhill, (I had to sidestep slowly), and by the end of it there was so much swelling in my calves and ankles (from pooled blood and fluid) that I couldn’t feel my right foot. Finished about 2.5 hours slower than I’d planned, but got it done.  As for why, well, look at it this way- You learn more about yourself and your tolerances pushing through and competing under crap conditions than when things are perfect. Most folks who’ve been at this long enough are always injured in some form or another, and if you let it hold you back, you’ll never leave the house.  Besides, I work with disabled athletes as well- some of these people have less than half an intact limb and they’re out there running a hundred miles.  I can suck it up for 50 with a bit of swelling. Finally, I’m a cheap, stubborn son of a bitch, and having folks tell me that A) I should just stay home, and B) No, I couldn’t get a refund on the entry fee, meant I had really no choice.
This picture makes more sense, and is less uncomfortable, than jogging.

I don't give a shit if disabled people can hop on one foot and sing the national anthem for an entire marathon- I'm still not fucking running.  Alas, down to the meat and potatoes-  I hear you and Kiefer have heat.  How'd this happen?

Man, truthfully speaking the guy probably has no idea who I am- I don’t have heat with him in particular, just with bullshit science and those who make a buck off it.  All these diet and health gurus are interchangeable, whether they be dangerously hardcore or bulletproof executives- they learn just enough about a topic to sound authoritative, then put down half-baked theories that would get torn apart by a first year biochem major, back it with a whole bunch of references that they either haven’t read or don’t really understand, then say shit like “This works, and you can’t disagree because I know science and I’m over 200 pounds.”  My real beef with this is that nobody seems to question this stuff- they just fall into the pack and go “wow, this works”.  Of course it works- eat next to nothing all day except some eggs and protein powder, pound coffee until you’re tweaked to shit, then only stuff yourself with sugar after your evening workout?  I know a whole bunch of sorority girls who went all through college like this.  Controlling cravings through fasting then binge eating at night makes it hard to take in enough calories for most folks, so they lose weight.  Miraculous.

Look, I have nothing against the guy personally- I don’t know him.  Could be the nicest guy on earth, and he’s certainly earnest about the field.  What I don’t like is bad bullshit science being repackaged and sold.  I’ve picked apart a lot of his stuff, but…  hey, it’s the internet, what are the odds he’s seen any of it and felt the need to respond?  Pretty low.  It’s not about debunking anyhow- most of what I write isn’t an attack on people trying to come up with new ideas, it’s just stating the facts.  People can draw their own conclusions from there.  If that makes some popular diet or amazing new underground renegade magic bullet systemic manipulation whatever the crap sound like bullshit, then, hey, maybe it is bullshit.

This picture has nothing whatsoever to do with Carb Backloading.

Goddamn, you're going strong to the hoop.  So you're saying the idea of carb backloading is, in essence, bullshit?

The concept might have some merit when it comes to helping people restrict calories, control cravings and take in an overall solid nutrient profile, but there’s no magic to it.  The concept of clinically significant modulated tissue response using your body’s natural hormones is bullshit.  Which, yes, basically undercuts the entire premise. If the tagline was “CBL- it’ll make you less hungry during the day and you’ll lose weight”, I’d say GREAT.  But no, it’s pages and pages of hyperbole and in-text citations to 20 year old studies on diabetics.

Christ almighty, I'm sure half of my audience has already rage-quit this article and has some half-formed, incoherent, all-caps diatribe against you and your family forming on their fingertips.  Half of Supertraining now wants you dead.  As such, it might behoove you to tell us with what, specifically, you disagree?

Oh man, I’d be doing you (and myself) a disservice if I tried to condense this into anything shorter than a novella.  We’re talking basic, basic stuff, things like the clinical insignificance of morning growth hormone pulses (i.e., the pulses are far too low to really affect muscle gain or fat loss in any meaningful way), a seeming lack of comprehension regarding digestion times and insulin peaks (particularly digestion of large meals- CBL as designed will have most people waking up with carbohydrates still digesting in their small intestine), flaws in understanding receptor kinetics and response to hormones (i.e. the entire concept of Modulated Tissue Response…and I’m not dignifying that with the trademark symbol, assumes you can cause selective expression of certain receptors in muscle as opposed to fat via resistance training and insulin regulation, but fails to understand that this selective expression is upended the moment you ingest ANY glucose.. unless you’re diabetic….  Which is why most of that cited research on diabetics here is not really relevant.).  This last part is the biggest problem, for me.  Any entire system based on a shaky foundation is, to me, completely suspect… and the foundation simply doesn’t hold water. Sort of like chiropractors.  Sure, you can seem to know what you’re talking about and can be right about a lot of things, but your entire field is based on quackery bullshit… so I’m not trusting you over a more reputable source.

Mexican chiropractic medicine seems a tad extreme.

You're the only other person of whom I know who knows that the founder of chiropractic/osteopathy was a med school dropout and out-and-out quack.  Mention that in some circles and people get very stabby in a hurry.  That motherfucker thought he could cure cancer by cracking the joints in peoples' skulls... nevermind the fact that they fuse when you're a child.  That science shit is SCARY.

Oh man.  The founder claimed you could heal people with magnets.  There are some good chiropractors out there who are really trying hard to become more scientific and restrict their practice to conditions that they might actually be able to treat, but… if they really wanted to be legit, they’d go into orthopedics. I think about it a little like Scientologists- you might seem like a rational, reasonable person who might occasionally have some good insights on life, but underneath it all your beliefs are batshit crazy. The only things I’d have a chiropractor treat outside of lower back pain are fibromyalgia and chronic Lyme disease [ed. aka Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever / Valley Fever for those of you outside of the NE United States.  I've no clue what they call it overseas, but I don't even know if they have ticks overseas].  Because nonexistent illnesses respond well to useless treatments...  (I’m going to catch some heat for this one).

Ok, so now just about half of the women in the United States want you dead, too.  You're making a lot of friends here.  So, in your opinion, is there any fact behind Kiefer's work, or do you just consider Carb Backloading to be a work of fiction?

There’s fact behind it somewhere.  Look, the guy did some homework.  Problem is, he did what most first year bio grad students do before they figure out how to really examine research- he looked at a few mechanisms in isolation, then figured these would translate to the real world.  Problem is, this ignores the reality of the human body.  I spent enough time in pharma to know that out of every 10,000 “can’t fail” perfect mechanisms discovered by some very very smart people (driven by money, so they got incentive), only 1 of them turns out to be applicable in the real world.  Most of these ideas sound great in theory, but when the systems involved are examined in more detail and all the body’s various homeostatic safeguards kick in, the ideas fall apart.  When you read this stuff (CBL), it’s really a lot of selective interpretation of data (Hell, his own references contract his statements and conclusions), hand-waving about MTR, and other “Trust me, I’m a scientist and I’ve read 40,000 studies”.  Bullshit.
A) Your PhD is in an entirely unrelated field, probably about as diametrically opposed to biochemistry as you can get.
B) Really READING a study, understanding it, analyzing it, reading its references, examining the mechanisms in question, cross referencing its conclusions, and otherwise being able to draw YOUR OWN conclusions from it takes HOURS and HOURS- there’s a reason that post docs have journal clubs to help them understand new research.  You do the math here.  If the 40,000 figure is true, then this most likely equates to about two or three minutes spent scanning each abstract and looking at pretty graphs.  

AAAAANNNNNNND now physicists want you dead as well, which is not all that awesome because they've apparently been building death rays with which to kill Obama.  Soon, the Japanese will send giant robots after you and you'll have to hide in the Nazi base on the dark side of the Moon.  Before you depart this Earth in a fiery blast of physicist-fueled rage, could you expand a bit on the insulin peaks?  I've been arguing this point with people since I first saw a powerlifting face those cookie sandwiches with the frosting in between the cookies postworkout.  To me, that shit seems like a recipe for the beetus.

Yeah, absolutely.  I think selective citation of clinical studies have done people in this community a tremendous disservice.  When people think insulin peaks, they think insulin spike, post workout anabolic windows, thirty minute periods of high levels that can be taken advantage of to shuttle nutrients into the body, etc.  The major problem- this is NOT how the body works the majority of the time.  Insulin spikes, followed by a return to baseline, are the norm in studies that test insulin response to foods because these are conducted on FASTED SUBJECTS.  These are people who have ZERO food in their guts who then take in small quantities of carbohydrates, which allows researchers to study the dynamics of glucose and insulin response.  For MOST of us, our insulin levels look like a sine wave that’s always above zero- they’re constantly rising and falling throughout the day in response to a semi-constant release of nutrients in the gut (insulin oscillation).  And it is a semi-constant release- very few of us are EVER in a truly fasted state, since food digestion is measured in multiple hours, not minutes.  Look at it this way- say I take in 500 grams of PURE sugar, as would be an ideal post workout carb meal as per CBL.  What ACTUALLY happens?  First of all, most of that will sit in the gut for hours- transporting sugar across the intestinal lining requires both ample amounts of water and ample amounts of sodium- too little of each and it just sits in the stomach (ever seen a distance runner puke up pure Gatorade even when totally dehydrated?  This is why- that sugar’s just sitting in the stomach sloshing around for hours, holding water there to maintain osmotic balance).  What then happens is a relatively slow absorption of sugar for the next 8-10 HOURS.  Yes, you get a huge insulin spike that then REMAINS elevated all night. Fact is, post-training is one of the WORST times to take in huge amounts of sugar, since not only are you probably slightly dehydrated, but your gut is also operating on low power mode (since your muscles are receiving most of the blood), further delaying gut emptying time.  Hence, you get a fat insulin spike that lasts for hours and hours.    You want a recipe for insulin resistance?  There you go.

I am not a fan of the post-workout carb-up either, but I imagine the hordes of people screaming for your blood are calling bullshit for lack of citations while stuffing their faces with Twinkies.  While you're pissing everyone off, though, would you mind expanding on Modulated Tissue Response as well?

Sure.  So the general idea here is that you can, and I quote, “give each tissue of the body a specific instruction, either through diet, activity or both.”  Generally speaking, this is a natural part of how the body works- each system operates under a set of rules and feedback mechanisms, and depending on the conditions it can operate in different ways.

Now there are two primary mechanisms that CBL discusses:
  1. The overnight increase in insulin sensitivity, and 
  2. non-insulin mediated glucose transport into muscle cells.  
First, just to recap, insulin has MANY purposes in the human body, but the most significant one here is its ability to cause glucose uptake by the cell.  Basically, when insulin encounters any nutrient storing cell (muscle, liver, fat, etc.), it binds to the insulin receptor, which then (simplify simplify) causes a glucose transporter receptor to come to the surface. It’s essentially telling these cells to “open their gates” to glucose.

For keto dieters, gates for glucose might as well be the gates of hell.

There’s a problem with number 1.  The CBL book states “Both fat and muscle cells react strongly to insulin in the morning and less so as the day goes on, i.e. insulin sensitivity is high in the morning.”  …this is actually completely, 100% INcorrect.  Even his own references state the exact opposite (as does every biochemistry textbook ever written).  The body is insulin RESISTANT in the morning (the well documented “dawn phenomenon”), which means it is LESS capable of quickly storing excess glucose.  So, no, your fat cells won’t “soak up sugar like a fat kid with a gallon of melted ice cream and a straw” as the book states- quite the opposite., Now, the data supporting a few other claims based around this (Including all-day suppression of fat burning) is not really supported by any references- there is a SINGLE study done on ten volunteers where the researchers make this claim, but they themselves state it’s a theory, with more research needed.  At least somebody’s being responsible here.

As for number 2, there’s an even bigger problem with this.  When you’re exercising, your body is burning glycogen (even at low intensities, some is being used).  At high intensities (as when weight training), your muscles are using glycogen as its primary fuel source. In response, your body releases small amounts from your liver as glucose and dumps it into the bloodstream, with the goal of getting this sugar to the working muscles.  This is a small amount of sugar- not enough to cause an insulin response.  Now, as an adaptation, your muscles themselves, when stimulated by high intensity activity, signal their OWN cells to “open their gates” to glucose WITHOUT needing insulin to tell them to- this is precisely to facilitate uptake of this liver-sourced glucose by the muscles that need it most. The CBL argument is then, post exercise, you can take advantage of this selective response by flooding the system with sugar, and the muscles will take up a huge amount of it before insulin is released…  thus avoiding an insulin spike and minimizing fat storage.  Bzzt.  False.  The reason this is so studied for diabetics is because they do NOT release insulin naturally (or, in the case of type 2 diabetics, do not respond to it), so ANY non-insulin related expression of glucose receptors is beneficial- it’s one of the few ways the body can clear sugar from the system (which is toxic in high amounts).  For NON-diabetics, this isn’t a concern.  And, in fact, within SECONDS after taking in simple sugars, whether post workout or otherwise, your body releases JUST AS MUCH insulin as any other time of day. Insulin expression is not governed by the amount of receptors open on muscle cells, it is released a) by high levels of glucose in the blood, and b) on its own in pulses throughout the day. The few seconds that a handful of muscles have their glucose transporters open before the floodgates open are in no way clinically significant… you’d be talking maybe a few extra grams shunted into muscles as opposed to fat cells.  The reason is simple- there’s only so much glycogen storage capacity in your muscle cells, and even prolonged high intensity weight training won’t do much to drain these stores.  All they really need is a few grams to fill them up again, and any extra glucose simply floats on by, right to the fat cells it was destined for all along.

These are basic, BASIC fallacies.  It makes the book hard to read.

She mad.

Well then.  Fatties are wheezing with rage and conspiring to kill you.  Before they heave their sweaty bulks out of their chairs and begin their labored-breath struggle towards their front door and vans equipped with chair lifts, I figure we can cover your endurance stuff.  You kind of sound like a powerlifting version of J. Stanton from Gnolls.org.  He's a huge fan of doing shit like hiking a mountain fasted and then going directly into the gym to deadlift to max.  Frankly, I think it's lunacy, but more power to you guys.  After all of the nonsense about the SEAL who ran a bunch of marathons while looking muscular, your take is refreshing in that you actually lift serious weights.  Since people are going to ask, how do you combine training for the two sports?

Funny you asked!  I actually have a series up about it on my website (So you want to run and be strong parts 1 and 2) that outline the framework.  I basically use a complex/parallel form of periodization for my lifting (alternating upper and lower max effort and dynamic effort/hypertrophy days), similar to Westside, but with more emphasis on straight weight and the competition lifts as opposed to frequent rotation.  For the endurance training, it’s basic block periodization (a la Verkhoshansky).  What really makes the system work, though, is that the programming is all integrated- the lifting and endurance pieces are not treated like separate components, every workout is programmed in with full consideration to the others.  This is usually the downfall of most combination attempts- few coaches or trainees are accustomed to, say, taking the duration or intensity of last week’s trail run (with ten minutes of hill repeats) into full consideration when deciding on the intensity and rep range of the second accessory lift during the next lower body day.  Lastly, I try to keep the systems as separate as possible- there is ZERO reason for me to incorporate barbell complexes or high intensity conditioning into my lifting workouts (as these do not benefit my endurance training as much as, say, running or biking), and there is zero reason for me to incorporate “strength” intervals into my running or cycling. (Pedaling in a high gear may increase leg strength for a typical cyclist, but I’d rather squat 600 for a few reps).

Cycling appears to be working for Lokelani McMichael, however.

Agreed on the squatting.  Frankly, I'm still confused by your psychotic obsession with "endurance", but everyone has their faults.  How off base did you think I was, then, in my "Run and You Will Only Die Tired" series?

I thought it was pretty damn excellent- one of the best systematic breakdowns of the limitations of steady state LSD type training, any why the costs FAR outweigh the often limited benefits.  I definitely agree with most of your points- I would NOT recommend long duration steady state cardiovascular work for most folks.  It makes it hard to maintain muscle, harder to gain strength, and it’s not ideal for staying lean (you’re taking in huge amounts of calories to fuel energy…  take in too few, and you’ll drop muscle.  Take in too many, and you’ll just get fat.  Long distance training doesn’t make your body want to add on lean mass).  Add on to the fact that I agree most of us aren’t “born to run”… neither you nor I is built much like a Tarahumara.

There are still a few cases where I DO recommend low intensity steady state cardio, though, which tends to spark some disagreement.

  1. First is, surprise, if low intensity steady state activity is the goal.  Put simply, if you’re looking to run a marathon, you have to run long distances.  Doing nothing but high intensity training may improve peripheral vascularity, stroke capacity, etc. etc., but doing enough volume here would result in ANY athlete burning out.  The long slow distance work is actually relatively easy to recover from, provided energy intake is high enough, and still results in a number of these same adaptations.  Much like you can’t go balls out with heavy max attempts and sets to failure every time you lift, you can’t trash your body every time you hit the track.  Other side of this is, if you don’t run long distances, you’ll never know what it’s like to run long distances.  There’s a reason why CrossFit Endurance’s founder didn’t finish a single ultra for years after adopting his own routine- there’s NO way 30-60 minutes of cardio can prepare you for what happens to your body after 15 hours on the trail.  You need to learn what you can eat, you need to learn pacing, you need to learn how to run after you’re bonked, you need to learn stride efficiency, etc.
  2. The second is if you’re a top level powerlifter or strength athlete already pushing the ragged edge of your training envelope.  If your routine is designed to give you JUST ENOUGH time to recover from your workouts, you can’t afford to throw in additional high intensity work without experiencing some diminishing returns.  If you’re tearing your hamstrings to pieces three times a week in the weight room, and every time you get back in there you’re JUST recovered enough to push a little more weight, throwing in sprints or extra prowler pushes will do nothing but hinder that recovery (and if you find you CAN handle additional work, then squat more, you lazy bitch).  Far better for this type of guy to do a nice steady walk or slow jog for thirty minutes to get the heart rate up and improve cardiovascular endurance somewhat.  The impact to maximum strength and recovery will be absolutely minimal.
Lifters who jog are still weird.

I generally don't stroke my cock as hard as you just stroked my ego.  In any event, I figure we ought to wrap this bitch up by having you divulge what diet to you recommend to your clients, and why.

If it fits your macros.  I tell them all to basically come up with a diet framework that accounts for about half their calories and gets in the basics of what they need- enough protein, enough good fats, and enough carbs.  What they do beyond that, as long as they don’t go batshit crazy high on the calories or starve themselves, is up to them. Calories, macronutrients, and training is 95% percent of this all.  Diet timing and hormone manipulation is the other 5%... I make sure they worry about the bigger things first.  The only time I really tell them to worry about exact macros and timing is either when they’re trying to make weight or during contest prep.  Period, full stop.  Thing is, no matter what you end up doing, there’s some diet system out there that probably has, at some point, claimed it’s the absolute best way to do things.  Between “8 small meals” old school bodybuilding lore, intermittent fasting, CBL, paleo, Mediterranean diets, the Warrior Diet, etc. etc., you’ve pretty much got the bases covered no matter what your eating habits are.

As I'm sure you know, my diet (the Apex Predator Diet) and Kiefer's Carbnite Diets are similar, and I think they're generally a far saner approach to fat loss.

Agreed.  What I read of your diet, it uses ACTUAL well-documented systemic processes to suppress appetite, minimize muscle loss, and still allow you a few days of normal eating to both maintain sanity and account for ANY micronutrients you could be eating.  I also like the fact that you recommend cycling calories- between that and the higher protein (which also keeps people eating a bit more), you definitely managed to fix some of the biggest problems I have with CKDs…  mainly that people starve themselves and wind up looking and feeling like shit when all is said and done.  I have to be honest, I haven’t read nearly as much on Carbnite- after reading CBL I sat under my kitchen table rocking back and forth alternately weeping and screaming at the cats for three days, I don’t think I could handle that again.  Neither could the cats.

Goddamn, I am awesome.  Well, guys, there you have it- a Duke biochemist powerlifter-endurance athlete's take on CBL.  I'm sure you guys will have 11,000 follow up questions, so feel free to bring the heat in the comments.  I'll shoot Kiefer an email to see if he feels like making this a debate, and if he does, I'll get you guys front row seats to the battle royale.  In the meantime, check out Alex's website here and direct your hatemail to alex.viada@completehumanperformance.com.

17 June 2013

Jesus Says, "I Killed Off All The Dinosaurs Because They Were Dirty Homos"

The seminar is off, but this pic is too good to take down.

In my search for a hilarious and sexual pic for the end of this blog, I discovered this priceless bit of what appears to be Christian insanity.

13 June 2013

Dude, So and So Got SO Fucking Jacked For That Movie: Henry "Fat Cavill" Cavill

Superman would have been awesome had the Soviets dominated in WWII... except that Shuster and Siegel likely would have been deported and liquidated by Stalin with most of the rest of the Jews in Russia.

I've made no bones about my dislike of DC's most famous character, the squeaky-clean, has-every-fucking-power-in-the-book, unstoppable, relentlessly boring Superman.  As a character, he's uninspiring, but his appearance is banal to the point where he should be a middle manager at a small manufacturing company who owns no pants but dockers and no shirts but short-sleeved, plaid button-downs and drives a wood-paneled, powder blue minivan to work every day, rather than being a newspaper reporter.  While I think Shazaam/Captain Marvel is actually the progenitor of the Dudley Do-Right ethos Superman's championed since the early 1940s, Superman's personality compounds the anti-appeal of his appearance to create what has to be the most genuinely unlikeable character since Archie (who is apparently also getting a feature film soon).
More likable.

Though it should surprise no one, the people who have played Superman on the silver screen were generally bland and remarkably unmuscular that one wonders if the people doing the casting were aware of the generally muscular appearance of superheroes in general.  In chronological order from the 1940s World's Fair onward, behold the physical wrecks who've played the iconic man of steel:

1940: Ray Middleton, rocking a slightly modified 'S' because no one knew who the fuck Superman was in 1940, and entirely bereft of visible musculature.

1948-1950: Kirk Alyn, who would have benefited greatly from the invention of Spanx, had they existed in the 1940s.

1951-1954: George Reeves, who ate a bullet out of shame after seeing his legs in the mirror.

1961: Johnny Rockwell, a man with a physique so pathetic his pilot Superboy tv show never even aired.

1966-1968:  Who better to play a muscular, super-strong alien with every superpower known to man than a 34-year-old, showtune-singing, chubby fuck named Bob Holiday?

1975:  Left with no way to make Superman suck more, David Wilson played a Superman whose musculature was replaced by a mad scientist with a voice that could only be described as a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

1978-87: Christopher Reeve, before he proved he was not "super" anything, other than crippled.

1979: Tayfun Demir in the odious but hilarious Turkish Return of Superman, who seems to have had his arms replaced with pipe cleaners after some horrible industrial accident.

1988-1989:  John Haymes Newton, who at least had the decency to have visible abdominal development as Superboy.

1989-1992- After allowing a person who clearly did semi-regular situps play Superboy, the studio, ashamed of their mistake and searching for answers, recast the role with a pigeon-toed, metrosexual, former soap opera star, Guido named Gerard Christopher to atone for their sins.

1993-1997:  Dean Cain, simultaneously proving it only takes a pro football player 5 years to lose his physique entirely and that Superman can be played by a guy who's clearly one of those "Asianals" Andrew Dice Clay likes to mock.

2001-2011:  Tom Welling, proving once more that no one in Hollywood gives a shit about source material and that the CW is the worst thing to happen to humans who can see and hear.

2006: Brandon Routh, the first Superman to do "rope yoga", whatever the fuck that is.  Those of you to have the misfortune to see this film know Routh's unimpressive swimmer's build was the most impressive thing about the pile of uninspired dogshit that was Superman Returns.

2009: Matt Bohmer as the first gay Superman.  Who knew Superman was a twink?  All joking aside, I find it amusing that a 150 lb Superman looks far more "super" than the fat fucks who played the role from the 1940s to the 70s.

All physical wrecks, until now...

2013: Henry Cavill takes a steaming shit on precedent and actually lifts weights to play the first jacked Superman.

The tide of suck seems to be going out, however, as Zach Snyder appears poised to make Superman cultural relevant and interesting again.  Snyder cast Henry Cavill in the role of Superman based in large part on the fact that Cavill was already fairly jacked for his role in an unpronounceable Russian director's completely unwatchable film, The Immortals. Having not created a suit for the movie yet, Snyder dug up Chris Reeve's corpse, peeled off the Superman suit from his rotting body, and handed it to Cavill for his screentest.  After proving that not even the gooey bits of a quadrapalegic's rotting flesh could keep him from looking like a badass in a 40 year old Superman costume, Cavill got the part.

Seriously, don't bother watching this, even on Netflix instant.  The Immortals is truly godawful.

Though Cavill was cut up like a bag of dope for the Immortals, that wasn't always the case-according to the dudes at Men's Health, Cavill's nickname growing up was"Fat Cavill"(Chang, Superman).  In spite of addictions to Elder Scrolls and Skyrim (I'm not making that up), Cavill managed to not be a disgusting fatass as he grew into adulthood, he wasn't really rocking a physique that belied his standout performances on rugby and field hockey pitches when he auditioned for the Immortals.  In his tenure on the show The Tudors (the show on which he was working when he auditioned), Cavill could only be described as skinny fat, echoing in most regards your average weightlifting message board poster's physique.  After getting the nod for the role in spite of being a pasty white, toothpick armed doughboy, Cavill trained his ass off for the role.

The physique for which most Fittitors strive.

Trained by Mark Twight, progenitor of the 300 workout, 6'1" Cavill lifted six days a week on an extremely restrictive diet with the rest of the cast to build muscle and lose fat.  Cavill eventually dropped 25 lbs for the role and hit an all-time low of 6% bodyfat for the Immortals, for which he credits the fact that he worked out with cast members and  who eventually went on to become a star athlete who excelled at rugby, field hockey and cricket, says training for the role of the Greek warrior Theseus in "Immortals" rivaled the Labors of Hercules in their brutality.  Prior to hitting the weights for the role, Cavill put in five straight months training with martial artist Roger Yuan just to get into shape.  Day in, day out, for that period, Cavill trained for four to five hours a day with a combination of bodyweight movements, cardio, chapala yoga and kung fu before he was able to begin weapons and fight training.  According to Cavill's cast member Luke Evans, with whom Cavill trained, their trainer would  "wake [them] up at seven in the morning and before breakfast we'd run up and down 21 flights of stairs in the hotel three times. Also, you're constantly feeling hungry because you're only eating what your body can burn off - you don't want to store anything. You're just like a processing machine" (Morris).  Having survived the conditioning phase, the cast began training with circuit weights at 4A.M. six days a week for over an hour at a time before moving on to weapons and fight training, skirting the line between eye-bleeding intensity and pants-shitting insanity.  Though there are no details on what the workouts were exactly, they're rumored to be of the variety a certain group of Kool-Aid-drinking "elite athletes" do on a daily basis.  According to Men's Fitness UK, the workouts consisted mostly of high intensity compound movements, with the addition of some rehab work to prevent repetitive stress injuries from fight and stunt training (Hit and Myth).  The only thing that got him the workouts was, surprisingly, the sense of camaraderie he had with his cast mates and extras, all of whom participated in the daily workouts and ate roughly the same diet.

"There was a sense of team and camaraderie," Cavill, 28, recalls. "We all sweated together, we all bled together, we all ate the same highly inefficient food and just kept on going and supported each other."
"Because they were doing it—and if they could do it, so could I. It's not the end of the world that your feet hurt. Push yourself" (Chang, Superman).

Though the majority of their training was free-weight based, all of their workouts ended with a circuit of some kind to burn out the actors.  One such workout was the brainchild of Gym Jone's Mark Twight, while the other was created by the aforementioned Ricky Blanchard.  The purpose of these circuits was two-fold- one, they were intended to condition the actors for 14 hour physical workdays in which they had to look as fresh as the scene required, and two, to get the last bits of bodyfat off of them, so as to appear as the Greek warriors with which we're familiar from Greek art.

You know the Greeks took shit seriously if their statues had abdominal vascularity.

Twight's workout is nothing Earth shattering, though his recovery method, known as the "tailpipe technique" might prove useful to the average trainee.  The tailpipe is a breathing exercise intended to help trainees manage fatigue, which is of primary concern to the special operations trainees and action movie actors Twight typically trains. The method works like this- right after you complete an exercise, take eight calm, controlled breaths through your nose.  Don't fiddlefuck around with your mp3 player, dance in place, or engage in a bit of the ol' jib-jab with your training partner- just breathe.  The second you've completed your last exhalation, move on to the next exercise in the circuit.

The circuit, as I mentioned, is hardly incredibly innovative, but according to Cavill is highly effective.  Grab a 35 lb. kettlebell and do 25 reps of each of the following movements:

Goblet Squat

Kettlebell Swing
Squat Thrusts (clearly, you won't be holding the kettlebell for these)
Jumping Jacks (you won't be holding the kettlebell for these, either)

Blanchard's circuit was a bit more intense and utilized a Tabata protocol to condition Cavill's balls off while building strength at the same time.

5 rounds 1 minute jumping rope, 1 minute rest

Round 1
30 seconds work, 10 seconds
Weight plate halo
T-bar row
Dumbbell clean and press
Mountain climbers on upside down Bosu ball
Gym ball jackknife with hands on Bosu
Side to side pushups on Bosu
Dumbbell swings
Medicine ball wall toss
2 minutes' rest

Round 2
Repeat the circuit from the first round with 40 seconds' work, 10 seconds' rest (Hit and Myth)

Like Tom Hardy in Warrior, Cavill credited the diet equally with the soul-crushing workout regimen for his ripped as a prolapsed anus's sphincter condition.  Cavill's diet was created by one of the trainer fors the cast of The Immortals, Ricky Blanchard, and is surprisingly high in carbohydrates and relatively low in fat and protein.  They did carb cycle, however, so the diet below isn't entirely accurate- Blanchard explained Cavill would spend one to two days on a lower carb diet, then kick up the carbs for a day to replenish his glycogen stores.  Without doing that, Blanchard said, there would have been no way for Cavill to make it though the long daily sessions of weightlifting and fighting.  According to Men's Fitness, here's a general day in the gastronomic life of an Immortals cast member:


Breakfast: Oatmeal with dried fruit and almond milk. 1 serving of fruit.
Snack: Natural protein bar. Sports recovery drink
Lunch: Salad of your choice but must include chicken breast, 30g avocado and 90g low-fat cheese. Low-fat dressing.
Snack: 60g nuts.
Dinner: 125ml vegetable  soup. 180g salmon with lemon sauce, asparagus and wild rice.
Snack: 250ml fat-free cottage cheese. 30g nuts.


Breakfast: Protein shake (blend 1 banana, 50g berries, 1 scoop protein powder, 250ml almond milk).
Snack: Hummus with carrots
Lunch: 250ml vegetable soup. Salad with chopped turkey.
Snack: 1 green apple. 2tbsp almond butter.
Dinner: 180g chicken breast with 2tbsp honey chili sauce, quinoa and snap peas.
Snack: 20g casein protein.


Breakfast: Egg white omelet. Handful of strawberries.
Snack: 225g cottage cheese.
Lunch: Tuna salad with greens. 250ml soup.
Snack: 8 almonds. Carrot, apple, celery and ginger juice drink.
Dinner: 225g swordfish with mango and ginger sauce, wild rice and 1 medium artichoke.
Snack: Fresh pineapple with 225g cottage cheese.


Breakfast: Muesli with almond milk. 1tbsp protein powder. Carrot, apple, celery and ginger juice drink.
Snack: 240ml low-sodium V8 juice. 2tbsp peanut butter.
Lunch: Stir-fry 170g scallops with 250g Chinese vegetables, garlic, onion and ginger in 2tbsp olive oil.
Snack: Protein shake (blend 1 banana, 250ml carrot juice, 1 scoop protein powder).
Dinner: 225g turkey burger with coleslaw (no bun). 250ml gazpacho.
Snack: 20g casein protein.


Breakfast: 250g fat-free plain Greek yoghurt. 1 banana.
Snack: 225g unsalted nuts. Carrot, apple, celery and ginger juice drink.
Lunch: Veggie burger with sautée vegetables and salad. 125ml vegetable soup.
Snack: 20 pistachio nuts.
Dinner: Tuna salad with plenty of greens. 250ml chilled cucumber soup.
Snack: 225g cottage cheese. 30g mixed nuts.


Breakfast: Scrambled egg white or egg white omelette with mushrooms. Handful of strawberries. 170g cottage cheese.
Snack: 1 tomato. 50g fat-free cheese.
Lunch: Soup and salad of your choice (include 2tsp sesame seeds).
Snack: 50g turkey jerky. 280g almonds.
Dinner: 280g halibut with 4tbsp pesto, wild rice and courgette.
Snack: 20g casein protein.


Breakfast: Egg white omelette with spinach. Handful of strawberries.
Snack: Fresh pineapple with 30g cottage cheese. 225g unsalted nuts.
Lunch: 280g steak with salad of your choice (include avocado).
Snack: 1 apple with 2tbsp almond butter.
Dinner: Beef and broccoli stir fry. 250ml miso soup. 1tbsp protein powder.
Snack: 225g cottage cheese. Handful of mixed nuts.

Blanchard, who clearly has some sort of cottage cheese fetish, appears to have put the cast of The Immortals on a starvation diet the likes of which has not been seen outside of a sorority house in years.  According to Cavill, the diet worked wonders but the cast paid the price, getting sick every time a stiff breeze blew past due to the heavy workload and light diet.  As such, Cavill did what any red-blooded man would do and got good and hammered on the weekends to unwind from the brutality of a spartan diet and training regimen that exceeded 6 months in length.  "When you train with guys and you're all eating nothing in order to be lean, there are those weekends," Cavill, 28, recalls. "There's no point in going halfway. You're going to wake up with a terrible hangover and think, 'OK, thank God, I got that out of my system'" (Chang, Henry).  On their once weekly cheat days, Cavill and Evans would hit up a steak restaurant for "a great rib-eye steak, chips and couple of pints"(Morris).  I've no idea precisely what Cavill drank, but should you wish to follow his example you might want to stick to clear liquors and stout beer to keep your carbs low, and to supplement with a multivitamin, ZMA, liver support like Liver Stabil or Liver Armor, a protein shake, and a gallon of water before bed and through the night to minimize your hangover the next day.

Having already gotten ripped for the Immortals, Cavill changed his training and eating strategy considerably for Superman in an effort to gain as much fat free mass as possible for the role.  Retaining the services of Mark Twight, Cavill started putting in long hours at the gym and at the dinner table.  Though the exact details of Cavill's Superman program remain shrouded in secrecy, Cavill did have the follow to say about his programming:

  • he trained two and a half hours a day on average, five to six days a week (Man of Steel)
  • for the first two months of training, he lifted on his own and tried to gain as much size and strength as possible, using what basically amounted to a powerlifting routine.  He kept the weights as heavy as possible and his reps low in an effort to build a dense physique, focusing on cleans, squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, and bench presses (Dutta; Man of Steel)
  • the last four months of training were spent with Twight, trying to gain more mass while leaning out as much as possible (Ibid)

Cavill gave a little insight into the exact programming Twight had him doing in one interview, wherein he stated "Mark Twight, the chap from Gym Jones, has been putting me through the ringer big time. An example of the sort of workouts we’ve been doing recently? A couple of weeks ago it was 100 front squats in body weight. We’ve been quite fond of doing the 100 repetition stuff recently and heavy as well."  In keeping with his previous sentiments about group training, Cavill stated that it helped his progress considerably in his quest for mass as well.  "For example, if Mike Levins, who’s the assistant trainer, Mark Twight, and myself are training, we’ll just do 10 reps of a weight and then someone drops out, they do 10, someone drops out, they do 10. By the time the third person’s finished their set, you come in and do your 10, up to 100. Otherwise, training stuff, I mean, it’s huge amounts of kettle bell workouts" (Man of Steel)

Interestingly, Cavill revealed that he had a special six-week period of training specifically for his shirtless scene, as he insisted there be CGI abs in the movie.  Though he was less forthcoming with the details than the NSA's been about their recent rape of the Constitution, it would seem from his description of that 6 week period that he was training and dieting even harder than usual, as he admitted he was a mean son of a bitch during the training and hungry all the time.  Cavill revealed in an interview for the Immortals that his trick for looking pumped onscreen is that he constantly carries resistance bands with him on set to keep his pump.  It sucks, apparently, because he's exhausted, starving, and usually lifted before they shot each day, but it worked.  For Superman, it appears he added random sets of pullups to his pump up regimen, as I've seen more pics of Cavill doing pullups hanging off of any overhead ledge or bar that happened to be nearby than I have vids of Ashley Blue being throatfucked until she puked (and trust me, that's a lot).  The ultimate payoff, however, was the fact that movie theaters are hiring cum swabbers out of porn shop's "video arcades" to clean the seats after female audience members view the scene, and Zach Snyder hooked him up with a badass meal immediately after the shoot for the shirtless scene wrapped.  "The biggest treat was after a six-week phase when I was getting in shape for shirtless scenes.  After that, Zack Snyder bought me an amazing apple pie and a tub of ice cream. Then I ordered a pizza as well, and didn’t even go home — I just sat in a trailer afterwards and ate it. I passed into a food coma after that" (Shortlist).

Swapping his bulking diet for the cutting diet was the hardest part of the shoot and training, according to Cavill, because until he started cutting he'd been eating 5,000 calories a day in his quest to pack on mass as quickly as possible.  The diet definitely worked, as some sources stated Cavill put on twenty five pounds of rip in his six month training period.  Unlike his pro-ana Immortals diet, Cavll's Superman diet consisted of large quantities of lean meats, eggs, fruits and veggies, with starches comprising the smallest part of his diet.  According to Cavill, "You’ve got to eat protein first, then a little bit of carbs" in order to stoke the furnace and keep your hunger levels high to continue eating (Dutta).  Nothing Earth shattering there- eat more meat, eat less crap and you'll gain muscle faster than before.

As usual, the takeaway from a "So and So" seems to be- eat a ton, train a ton, sleep a ton if you want to look superhuman.  Doing what everyone else is doing isn't going to cut it.  45 minutes of half-assed training a day four times a week isn't going to cut it.  "Cutting out carbs a little" isn't going to cut it. If you want extreme results, you have to apply extreme effort- quit whining about who's taking what, who's got the best genetics, and why you don't have the time or energy to get what you want.   If a dude who's nickname growing up was "Fat Cavill" could do it, so can you.

Don’t listen to the lies, your barriers are breakable- Fat Cavill

Chang, Samantha.  Henry Cavill: I worked out at 4 every morning to get my 8-pack abs.  Examiner.  13 Nov 2011. Web.  11 Jun 2013.  http://www.examiner.com/article/henry-cavill-i-worked-out-at-4-every-morning-to-get-my-8-pack-abs-for-immortals

Chang, Samantha.  'Superman' star Henry Cavill sculpted body down to 6% body fat.  Examiner.  16 Oct 2011. Web.  11 Jun 2013.  http://www.examiner.com/article/superman-star-henry-cavill-i-sculpted-my-body-down-to-6-body-fat-for-immortals  

Dutta, Nirmalya.  Man of Steel: How Henry Cavill got in shape with the Superman Workout.  Health.India.com.  13 Jun 2013.  Web.  13 Jun 2013. http://health.india.com/fitness/man-of-steel-how-henry-cavill-got-in-shape-with-the-superman-workout/

Henry Cavill.  Shortlist.  4 Jun 2013.  Web.  13 Jun 2013.  http://www.shortlist.com/entertainment/films/henry-cavill

Henry Cavill on his training for the Immortals.  Hurtin Bombs.  9 May 2011.  Web.  11 Jun 2013.  http://hurtinbombs.com/post/5338493075/henry-cavill-on-his-training-for-immortals

Hit and Myth.  Men's Fitness UK.  Apr 2012.  Print.

The Immortal Workout.  Men's Health.  Web.  27 May 2013.  http://www.menshealth.com/celebrity-fitness/immortal-workout

Man of Steel Workout.  Movie Workouts.  11 Jun 2013.  13 Jun 2013.


Miller, Chris.  Eat like a star of Immortals.  Men's Fitness.  23 Feb 2012.  Web.    http://www.mensfitness.co.uk/exercises/celebrity-workouts/2020/eat-star-immortals

Morris, Andy.  Diesel celebrates Luke Evans!  GQ.  24 Apr 2011.  13 Jun 2013.  http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/entertainment/articles/2011-04/28/gq-film-diesel-celebrate-luke-evans

Total Film.  Henry Cavill talks Man Of Steel and James Bond. Total Film.  3 Aug 2011.  Web.  27 May 2013.  http://www.totalfilm.com/news/henry-cavill-talks-man-of-steel-and-james-bond

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