Japanese Lolita look + drunk sluts = shut the fuck up, the goddamn song is catchy and I hope you get AIDS.
Alcohol consumption has, at least in the United States, been a contentious issue. At the risk of beating the balls off a long dead horse, I will again ascribe responsibility for this issue to Christians, as they are solely responsible for the development of a teetotal movement in the United States that's never really existed anywhere else (save for India, which shares a hatred of awesome with Christian fundamentalists). The humorous aspect of that is, to me, that Jesus liked to party, so I'm not really clear on where Christians developed the idea that Jesus was straightedge. Irrespective of how or why the Prohibitionists in the US developed that notion, however, they disregarded both the words of their own holy book, evidence from thousands of years of human history, and the fact that primates have apparently consumed alcohol for the duration of our family's existence to arrive at the conclusion that alcohol is "the debbil". Even tree shrews, which have a higher brain mass to body mass ratio than humans, drink their fucking faces off all the live long day in the wild.
You'd never know that little fucker could drink you under the table.
Though not precisely primates, they're prosimians, and are often used as an alternative to primates in scientific studies. According to scientists, "The pentailed treeshrew is considered a living model for extinct mammals representing the stock from which all extinct and living treeshrews and primates radiated. Therefore, we hypothesize that moderate to high alcohol intake was present early on in the evolution of these closely related lineages" (Wiens). In fact, scientists believe humanity's love for boozing is actually an "evolutionary hangover" from our fruit-eating primate ancestors,many of whom seem to have had a tasted for fermented fruit. That's right- for those of you out there who are eating a strict paleo diet, alcohol is definitively paleo. Moreover, as brewing has occurred for at least the last 9,000 years, humans have certainly adapted to alcohol consumption well enough to obviate the arguments of teetotalers who contend that alcohol impairs athletic performance, especially given the fact that some of the largest and most prolific warriors in history are well known for consuming prodigious amounts of alcohol on a regular basis. For instance, Tacitus has this to say about the only race of people to defeat the Romans completely on the field of battle and resist their imperial aims- the Germanic tribes:
"To pass an entire day and night in drinking disgraces no one. Their quarrels, as might be expected with intoxicated people, are seldom fought out with mere abuse, but commonly with wounds and bloodshed. Yet it is at their feasts that they generally consult on the reconciliation of enemies, on the forming of matrimonial alliances, on the choice of chiefs, finally even on peace and war, for they think that at no time is the mind more open to simplicity of purpose or more warmed to noble aspirations" (Viking Answer Lady).
Contrary to what one would think after perusing any discussion about drinking and hypertrophy on an American internet message board, the Germans were hardly sickly fuckers- in fact, they were renown in the ancient world for being the biggest, strongest, scariest motherfuckers on Earth. According to Tacitus, " All have fierce blue eyes, red hair, huge frames, fit only for a sudden exertion" (Medieval Sourcebook). the same goes for the cultural successors to the Germanic tribes, the Vikings, who drank beer, ale and mead with alcohol concentrations of 9-10% and 8-18%, respectively very regularly, and had at least three instances of multi-day binge drinking per year associated with festivals. Likewise, the Scythians were well known for their use of cannabis and alcohol, the Mongols drank (and still drink) kumis as a nearly exclusive source of hydration, the Chinese have been drinking alcohol since 7000 BC and have dominated East Asia for the duration, Indian warriors began consuming an alcoholic beverage known as sura 5,000 years ago and have dominated South Asia the entire time, and Maya and Incan warriors consumed vast quantities of alcohol during the span of their empires' reigns over Mesoamerica.
Straight up and on the rocks
My liver's hella shot
Fuck all the bros and jocks
Tonight I'm rollin' with the cops
This ain't no A and E
Won't see me on intervention
Won't see me on intervention
Straight A student, honor rollin',
Sneaking vodka in detention
Sneaking vodka in detention
Rigert's gainz look surprisingly intact.
That's all well and good, you might be saying, but those motherfuckers are dead, probably of liver failure, and according to Bodybuilding.com's genius posters, catabolism and low testosterone levels (bet those fuckers fucked chicks and jerked off too! Suckers! Killed their gainz and their empires simultanously.) Let us, then, examine some more modern examples of epic lifters who were also epic drinkers:
- Arthur Saxon. Though he lifted for two to three hours in the morning and often performed twice a night, this legendary lifter drank his fucking face off daily. Claiming to have been "weaned on beer", Saxon drank a "health drink consisting of a stout beer and a shot of gin with eggs and sugar added, and once drank 50 beers prior to a performance in Britain and still failed to miss a lift (Inch).
- Vasily Alekseyev. "When they were in the training hall sizing each other up Vasily was always gone only to return after hours. The other competitors slept in their beds like giant babes while "Uncle Vasily" ran up and down the halls drinking beer from the case held under his arm while thowing bottles and firecrackers in the other sleeping giant's rooms" (Sorin).
- David Rigert. Like Alekseyev, Rigert was a Russian Olympic weightlifting phenomenon who was legendary for his vodka consumption and chain smoking habits.
- Bulgarian Olympic weightlifters. Anyone who has ever trained with these guys comes back with a six week hangover, as the Bulgarians apparently think water and vodka are interchangeable for hydration.
- Hermann Goerner and the early 20th Century Germans. "Many German gyms were not only places where you went to improve strength, health and muscularity. They were also social centers, places where friends met, where you took your wife or girlfriend. They were, at the turn of the century and well into the 1920’s attached to a beer garden or close to one.... Around the four walls of the gym were benches, and above them the shelves where you kept your personal beer stein" (Smith).
- Norbert Schemansky. The angriest man ever to compete and win at anything at all, Mike Tyson included, credited his success with a diet consisting of "hamburgers, pizza, beer" and once stated that he drank so much Budweiser would be his sole sponsor if he was lifting today (Green).
When asked why he drank so much beer, Schemansky had this to say, "Because fuck you, that's why."
I could go on at some length, because I've frankly never met an elite lifter who didn't like to drink. there's actually a reason for this- elite competitors are much more inclined to indulge in risk-taking behaviors than the average person (Jacobs). Additionally, exercise and drinking are very positively correlated. the more you drink, the more you exercise, and vice-versa. Though scientists have no idea why this is, they do know that exercise mitigates the damage done to the brain in binge drinking, and that
"'drinking is associated with a 10.1 percentage point increase in the probability of exercising vigorously,' the authors write. More specifically, 'heavy drinkers exercise about 10 more minutes per week than current moderate drinkers and about 20 more minutes per week than current abstainers.' Meanwhile, the authors continue, 'an extra episode of binge drinking increases the number of minutes of total and vigorous physical activity per week for both women and men'" (Reynolds).
See what happens when you people bitch about DLB? Millionaires, that's fucking what happens.
While that might seem counter-intuitive to most people, it falls in line with what statistics show- the countries with the highest per capita consumption of alcohol seem, almost invariably, to be the countries that produce the best lifters. Here are the top twenty six nations in the world for per capita alcohol consumption and some of their strength sport (I've included the Olympic sports in which strength plays a profound role) feats:
- Moldova-2 bronzes in weightlifting, 2 in boxing, 1 in wrestling, which isn't bad for a country known solely for car theft and corruption. Additionally, it's only been a country since 1994, and boasts a population of only 3.5M. In spite of those facts, the US was barely able to pick up as many medals in weightlifting in the same time frame.
- Czech Republic- 1 silver in boxing. Only a country since 1993 and pop of 10M. As a part of Czechoslovakia, however, they pulled down 15 medals in wrestling, 8 in weightlifting, and 6 in boxing out of a country with a population of 13-15 million.
- Hungary- 20 medals each in boxing and weightlifting, and 54 in weightlifting though they only have a population of 10M people. Clearly, drinking one's face off and boasting the genetic line of Attila helps on the lifting platform.
- Russia- 48 medals in wrestling, 26 in boxing, 26 in weightlifting as Russia (since 1992), and 116 in wrestling, 62 in weightlifting, and 51 in boxing as the Soviet Union. Additionally, Russians hold roughly half of the world records in powerlifting and are capable of more evil per pound of bodyweight than any other group of people in history, especially if homos are nearby. Vodka for the win.
- Ukraine- 14 each in boxing and wrestling and 8 in weightlifting since 1992 and home of World's Strongest Man winner Vasyl Virastuk.
- Estonia- 11 wrestling, 7 weightlifting, and 1 boxing medal in the Olympics, though it's only been a country since 1991 and has a population of 1.2M.
- Andorra- Not even a country, really. Not sure how the hell it made this list, as I've taken shits larger and more interesting than Andorra.
- Romania- 32 wrestling, 13 weightlifting, and 25 boxing medals, in spite of the fact they have about 11 dollars between all of the people within that nation's borders and their country is filled to the brim with destitute vampires.
- Slovenia- 3 medals in Judo since 1992 pulled down by a country that fits comfortably in my parents' backyard. Yugoslavia, however, which consisted of Slovenia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovnia, and Croatia had 16 wrestling and 11 boxing medals in 70 years of competition out of a population of 23M.
- Belarus- 10 weightlifting, 8 wrestling, and 2 boxing medals since 1992, plus they boast badass chick powerlifter Irena Pietrovich in one of the few countries still run by a psychotic despot.
- Croatia- 2 boxing medals, one very fucking badass Mirko Crocop, and the aforementioned Great Antonio (in the last stew-roids blog).
- Lithuania- Home of WSM badasses Žydrūnas Savickas and Vytautas Lalas. Also 5 weightlifting, 7 boxing, and 6 wrestling medals at the Olympics in under ten years.
- South Korea- 20 boxing medals, 35 in wrestling, and 11 in weightlifting, all in spite of the fact that the country's only been around for 60 years and has a fifth of the US's population.
- Portugal- Portugal sucks at everything but drinking, apparently. When some of the people in that country used to actually have jobs, though, they did help "discover" the New World.
- Ireland- 16 boxing medals in the Olympics, and birthplace of the most ridiculous martial art of all time, shin-kicking, in which drunken Irishmen kick each other in the shins wearing steel toed boots until one quits.
- France- 19 boxing, 17 wrestling, and 15 weightlifting medals, though they seem to have peaked quite early and have done virtually nothing of note in decades.
- United Kingdom- Home of WSM winners Jamie Reeves, Geoff "I have very butthurt fans" Capes, and Gary Taylor. They've also boasted their fare share of good powerlifters, and 53 boxing, 17 wrestling, and 7 weightlifting medals in the Olympics.
- Denmark- 12 boxing, 8 wrestling, and 3 weightlifting medals, plus the home and birthplace of one of the few people to fuck Grace Jones and live to tell the tale, Sven Ole Thorson..
- Slovakia- 3 boxing, 5 wrestling, and one weightlifting medal as an independent nation, but also contributed to the badassery displayed in the former Czechoslovakia.
- Poland- Home of Marius Pudzianowki, Sebastian Wenta, and Krzysztof Radzikowski, in addition to 43 boxing, 25 wrestling, and 32 weightlifting medals, plus a partridge in a pear tree.
- Austria- Two wrestling and 9 Olympic weightlifting medals to their credit, in addition to being the birthplace of Arnold Schwartzennegger, Roland Kickinger, and Manfred Hoerberl.
- Luxembourg- Barely a country and boasts a population of ten rich people and their manservants, but they still have a silver in weightlifting and legendary strongman John Marx Grunn.
- Germany- 22 boxing, 24 wrestling, 20 weightlifting medals, and currently boasts badass Olympic lifters Matthias Steiner (the dude who dropped several hundred pounds on his head at the last Olympics) and weightlifting goddess Julia Rohde, who would have been worshipped as a diety in 1940s Germany.
- Finland- Birthplace of some of the most legendary deadlifters in history, WSM winners Janne Virtanen and Jouku Ahola, and WSM runners-up Riku Kiri, Marko Varalahti, and Ilkka Nummisto.
- Latvia- Home of Konstantin Konstantinovs and WSM competitor Raimonds Bergmannis. 'Nuff said.
- Bulgaria- 18 boxing, 68 wrestling, and 36 weightlifting medals, in a country with three million fewer people in it than New York City and roughly the same GDP as the state of Virginia. That, my friends, is called drinking your way to weightlifting excellence.
Not sure if that's a man or a woman, but the moral of the story told in this picture is "Don't be Bangladeshi".
By contrast, the countries with the lowest alcohol consumption have very few or no Olympic medals, no good powerlifters, and no decent strongmen, in spite of the fact that many of them having comparatively massive populations- I'm looking at you, Bangladesh. Does this mean drinking confers great strength? Certainly not, but it does point to a very interesting correlation. While we're on the subject, though,
- post workout consumption of 70-80g of alcohol had no effect on testosterone, leutinizing hormone, cortisol, or any other endocrinological indicator of recovery or hypertrophy (Koziris)
- post workout consumption of 60-90g of alcohol had no effect on strength (Poulsen) or recovery (Clarkson)
- alcoholics have better body composition than non-drinkers (Addolorato)
So, where does this put us? Squarely in the "tell the 16 year olds on the internet to spend more time lifting and less time debating pointless minutiae" section of the library. If you're going to be a Billy Badass, you're likely going to be a badass drinker as well. The two seem to go together like peanut butter and ladies, Chinese food and chocolate pudding, and cocaine and waffles- while you can have one without the other, you're not bloody likely to. Thus, it might be time to grab yourselves some Devotion vodka (it's got 2 grams of casein protein per shot) and head down to the gym for a bit of the old "anything you can do I can do better drunk as a fucking lord", because there's nothing like a drunken, impromptu strongman competition to get the ol' blood flowing. Just bear in mind there's a reasonable chance you might die, and try not to (that's my legal disclaimer for when you parents try to sue me over your corpse).
LIKE ME ON FACEBOOK OR I'LL SWALLOW YOUR SOUL!
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Alcoholic Beverages and Drinking Customs of the Viking Age. Viking Answer Lady. Web. 4 Sep 2013. http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/drink.shtml
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Inch, Thomas. My Friendship With Arthur Saxon. The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban. 7 Jan 2009. Web. 4 Sep 2013. http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2009/01/my-friendship-with-arthur-saxon-thomas.html
Jacobs, Farrin. Risk is relative: Elite athletes take the biggest risks. Psychology Today. 1 Mar 2002. http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200203/risk-is-relative-elite-athletes-take-biggest-risks
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Smith, Charles A. Hermann Goerner. The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban. 12 Oct 2009. Web. 4 Sep 2013. http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2009/10/hermann-goerner-charles-smith.html
Sorin, Richard. A brief history of sport's most recognized man. Sorinex.com. Web. Link broken.Wiens F, Zitzmann A, Lachance M, Yegles M, Pragst F, Wurst FM, Von Holst D, Guan SL, Spanagel R. Chronic intake of fermented floral nectar by wild treeshrews. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2008 Jul 29;105(30):10426-31.