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Been laying in bed for a while, unable to get up and face the grind?

Feeling a bit “dead inside?”

Driving yourself mad thinking about all the things you could be doing instead of laying there depressed, “searching for the energy?”

Biologists have a list of criteria they use to characterize whether or not something is a living thing.

Can it reproduce? Does it maintain homeostasis? Does it have a metabolism? Etc.

As a fan of simplicity I like the characteristic: “Is it irritable?”

Can you piss it off?  Will it react to stimuli?

Things that are alive can be irritated.  They’ll react and adapt.

When you’re faced with a problem you can do one of two things:

1. Do nothing: Stagnate, decline, feel all the emotion and do nothing as you further punish yourself and your brain physically dies in a process called synaptic pruning. If you don’t use it, you lose it.  Continue this path and it’ll worsen.

“If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice” – Neil Peart

2. Take Action: Be impulsive, be calculating, be anything, just do something.  If you make a mistake you can learn from it, if it goes well you’ll grow and prosper.  Either way you’re experiencing psychological growth.  This is the very essence of what it means to be ALIVE!

The first law of psychology is “You get more of what you reinforce.” We’re a product of our habits.  Generally speaking, are you in the habit of growing or declining?

If you’re not actively living, you are passively dying – Ori Hofmekler

Too many people check out when they clock in at work.  Most people I meet aren’t really there.  When they do get perked up it’s usually about something like the new body work on their Camaro or the new DLC that came out on the Xbox Marketplace.

Most people aren’t engaged in something they can get good at over a lifetime.  Most people are drifters.  Most people are dead inside.  I became one and I didn’t snap out of it for months.

I went through a period of time moonlighting at Domino’s where I would wake up around 4pm, deliver all night until closing time, do dishes until 4 or 5am, and then lie in bed trying to calm my racing thoughts before passing out.

I worked three 12’s and two 10’s every week so I didn’t see much of the sun for about 3 months and you can bet I felt “dead inside” too.

Extreme depression, the worst OCD symptoms I’ve ever had, and a complete disregard for my personal health all to chase after a paycheck that wasn’t worth it.  My life decayed to the point that I almost shot myself.

When I did get anything done it required massive amounts of caffeine to accomplish; 14 cups of coffee in a day didn’t seem like a problem at all, I was getting things done for once!

I found myself affirming “I’m surprised I survived January” like a little bitch.  Screw that noise.

I made some relatively simple changes with enormous outcomes that in hindsight are so obvious it hurts, and before I knew it my body chemistry was back to normal and I had those amazing qualities healthy people call drive & ambition once again.  I’m definitely a fan.

If you’re feeling “dead inside” while running as fast as you can to stay in the same place, it’s time to issue some walking papers and stretch for something.

“That’s so much easier said than done!”

Your point? What’s your alternative? It’s definitely not easy, but “living” in your current headspace isn’t either.  What my approach has yours doesn’t is: it’s worth it.

Flip the crazy switch and use your pain to drive you.

Or just try something new.  Start small, baby steps can lead to great journeys, you’ve got to start though. Instead of looking at how bad things are, look at your options.  Being resourceful is way more fun than being a victim.

Some of you might be truly depressed, no matter who you are you should seek small victories and keep hitting them until it’s just “what you do.”

Living depressed in a routine isn’t growing.  It sure as hell isn’t living.

You expand the vistas of your mind by pushing the boundaries of it, not aimlessly following along the course you’ve made for yourself until you can do it on autopilot while you gain 5lbs per year.

Growth isn’t comfortable, growth involves being irritated slightly. My body and mind feel 100x better after a session at the gym or a cold shower.

It’s not comfortable waking up early.  It’s painful in a way.  Every time I get up early and hike Mt. Olympus with a friend it’s always worth it to turn around and look down at the amazing view knowing that I could be laying in bed still, completely asleep to the possibility of the majestic sight I’m experiencing.

Wake up, friend.

You have consciousness.  You can choose what you grow towards.  A tree will grow towards the sun.  Rocks on the other hand, just sit there.

Are you alive? Or are you sinking like a rock?

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Fat Loss Autopilot – Part II, Mindset

Measuring tape around slim beautiful waist.

Measuring tape around slim beautiful waist.

This is the big fish.

Your mind is the mountain before you.  Get out of your way and it’ll drop off like a stone, because at the end of the day – fat loss is very very simple.

First, some required reading to really get this part handled:
Why You Will Never Reach Your Goals

&

Inevitability Thinking

Onward

“Every time I see you you’re leaner.  What are you doing? I haven’t seen you in class for a month..” says the doctor in my old CrossFit group.

“Dude, you’re disappearing! How much weight did you lose?” high fives my Jiu Jitsu instructor, the most Brazillian guy you’ll ever meet.

“I’m down 30 lbs now.  I have to buy new clothes.  People keep coming up to me telling me I look great and asking what I’ve been doing!”

“This is sweet! I overheard my sister say to my mom ‘Don’t tell him I said this, but he’s starting to look incredible’ and now she’s asking me for advice!”

“This is happening so fast I’m just going to wear suspenders under my jacket for the winter and buy new pants come spring.”

It’s an amazing feeling hearing statements like these directed at myself, clients, friends and family members who have all made profound changes to their body in record time.

An even more amazing realization is what would have happened otherwise.

As I said before:
In the space of 6 years I lost at least 40 lbs 3 times.

If I hadn’t become obsessed with this early on, I’d probably weigh in around 300lbs now.
Often times I forget, but that’s a massive deviation that would have wrecked my life and I’m thrilled that I can pass this on to you.

If you’re 20+ lbs overweight and this post doesn’t give you a kick in the ass and a shot of motivation to alter the fact, you’ll be hard pressed to change anything and you’re probably perfectly content watching your favorite reruns of Modern Family surrounded by empty styrofoam containers for the rest of your life.

We both know you’re better than that though.

I joined my high school swim team on a whim and became obsessed with nutrition and exercise.  Although my nutrition program was sub par; 6 small meals a day did a better job at making me neurotic than leaning me out – couple hardstyle kettlebell training with spending 5 hours a day in a 65 degree swimming pool and one can get lean pretty quick.

I didn’t have any muscle to show for it though, silly 18 yearold Norski..

The word "jacked" doesn't come to mind

60lbs later, the word “jacked” doesn’t really come to mind

A harsh fact of reality is if you’re overweight, you are more likely to be disrespected than any other stereotype.

Having lived on both sides I can say it’s incredibly real how differently people treat you depending on your body.  It’s not ‘superficial,’ it’s how our minds work; perception is reality.  Look up the Halo Effect if you don’t believe me.

The difference in female attention I received shortly after I stopped looking like a pale, fat, long haired, neck beard slob in cargo shorts and Metallica T-shirts was completely mind blowing.

I’m talking day and night difference.

The way you carry yourself will change completely too.  It’s pretty great not feeling like you always have a ketchup stain on your shirt even if you’re rocking a suit.

A friend of mine used to bounce at clubs and decided to do a little social experiment where he put on an eye patch for a full day and observe.  Whether it was working the entrance at work or just buying groceries he said people’s reactions to him were 100% different.

He’s a big dude, the kind of guy who could naturally bench over 300lbs before he started lifting seriously – so people always gave him “big guy respect” – but adding the patch turned that respect into fear.  People wouldn’t look him in the eye, and were relieved when he was friendly with them.

It’s subconscious and automatic, even if you consciously try to look at a person through your “good heart.”  We profile and label people based on their appearance.  No matter how well dressed a person is, it’s incredibly hard at first impression to strike people as a person of status if they’re carrying around a significant amount of fat.

In this case shaving doesn't make you look "sharp"

In this case shaving doesn’t make you look “sharp”

Now days it’s frowned upon to downtalk someone for being terminally unemployed, a criminal who refuses to leave their worthless ghetto mentality behind, or someone blatently offensive with something to prove about their stance on sexuality.  Yet it’s oddly more acceptable to value someone less for being fat.

Get on the wasteland of what is YouTube’s comment section (I want the old one back dammit) and it’s not uncommon to see a comment thread that looks like this:

“gaaaaay and fake. stahp kthx aight”
“bro, dont say gay lik its bad u fatass. ur prolly livin in ur moms basment n ur cingle 2”
“lolwat ur r a buttfungus! dont hate me cuz im fluffy mang. k but so ya”

It hurts to read, but you get the point.  Put yourself in a room full of every stereotyped minority on the planet and if you’re the fat one, you’d be the first to be turned against if the group started fighting.

Lord of the Flies backs that one up quite well.

No you don’t “own your curves;” you’ve grown your own 90’s fanny-pack you can’t open.  Looks about as cool too.  Every time I see one of those documentaries showing a fat kid devouring KFC as the voice over talks about them “battling weight their entire life” I have to roll my eyes.  Walk even a portion of this path successfully and you’ll see what I mean – this isn’t preening a golf course with a pair of safety scissors, it’s being a grownup and taking care of yourself.

Posting trendy internet memes on your Facebook wall condemning “new” behaviors like being “sizist” and promoting “body acceptance” when you’re obviously on the razors edge toward becoming diabetic are just a pathetic way to feel better about something you’re never going to do.

Love yourself, absolutely, so don’t immediately accept defeat because you decided to value ice cream more than self respect.  There’s being at home in your own skin, and then there’s denial.

Exactly. Kind of how my sedan becomes a racecar when I take it to the salt flats

Exactly. Kind of how my sedan becomes a race car when I take it to the salt flats

Real self love would have you investing in yourself.  Love your body?  If you’re a champ about changing the oil on your car every 3,000 miles, you should care even more about the vehicle you can’t trade in when something goes out.

“Your body is the only place you have to live” – Jim Rohn

You might leave McDonalds in your backseat/body.  I got a lot happier when I chose to treat mine like a Lamborghini.

Don’t just jump onto a program on a whim and then impulsively leave it just as quickly.  That’s pointless.

Don’t go in halfhearted either.

You can be involved with something or you can be committed.

When you eat bacon and eggs for breakfast the chicken was involved, but the pig is committed.

Be committed.

Every time I’ve had success a massive emotional shift happened within me to drive it.  This needs to happen for you too.

All decisions are rooted in emotion.

One can get a lot done being fueled by pain, I was a fan myself for a long time.

It isn’t fun living in a negative headspace most of the time, but when I think about it nearly all the drive I’ve had for self education has been rooted in insecurity.

Ask yourself where you’ll be in 5 years if you keep doing what you have been.  Unless you know what to look for the food industry is not going to make things easier for you.

– How bad will you miss “the look” from your lover?  How discouraging is the new one going to feel?
– You get invited to a pool party.  Do you feel self conscious of your body in a swimsuit?
– Are you on the road to having a “mom butt?” Even if you’re a dude?
– Do you already wake up and look down at your paunch roll first thing in the morning?

Your body isn’t getting any younger.  Going for a hike with an extra 30-50lbs on your frame makes the adventure a lot harder – I do it sometimes with a backpack and a 24kg kettlebell to keep perspective.

Do something and make it part of you.  You’ll gain a lot more than a rockin’ bod and you’ll surely have more depth than that 19 yearold you despise because they look good and eat garbage.  Be sure to wave hi to them on your run in 10 years when they drive past with 30lbs on them they never expected.

Fascination on the other hand makes effort worthwhile and makes progress delicious.

Your deepest passion doesn’t feel like work when you’re in the middle of it doesn’t it?  In high school I played guitar so much my left hand grew noticeably bigger than my right.  Most musicians say they hate practicing, but I’ve enjoyed every second of it because I only play what and when I want to; which is all the time. I always love playing.

Accentuate the positive, fall in love with the journey and you’ll liberate others to take charge of their own.

How awesome would it be if you looked like a statue?  If you knew you could cause a chemical change in your lover just by changing in front of them?  How great would it be to hang out at the pool and feel excited and proud to show off the investment you’ve made in yourself?

It’ll change your definition of awesome, that’s how.

“Love it or change it” – Doug Castillo

If you don’t see yourself getting jazzed about possibly being mistaken for Rosie O’Donnell someday you owe it to yourself to build a body you’ll actually be proud of owning.

I really care about helping people reach their goals so I’ve done everything I can to make this program as painless as possible, let’s get you on the path to the jeans you wore when you were 17.

The series continues in part III “Quick Start Toolbox.”

Don’t be shy, tell everyone about the body you really want to build in the comments below!

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Inevitability Thinking

Take a quick assessment of your life and compare it to James Bond or Tony Stark: Compare your spending habits, the state of the room where you spend most of your time, your body language, your mode of speech, your physique, your mode of dress, etc.

How many times have you told yourself something like:

– I need to drop this fat
– I really do need to pay that card off
– I wish I was better at talking to girls..
– I would so love to quit this dead end job
– I sleep way too much (but.. it’s because I need to have 10+ hours to feel right… ..yeah!)

After giving yourself a nice hard bitch slap make note of what needs to be done.

Take ownership of the state you’re living in and realize you’re the only person who can change it for you.

The paradox is that while our bodies and minds have tremendous capacity to adapt to almost anything you could realistically encounter (not including a naked spacewalk or exposure to the Spanish flu) we also have a counter-mechanism that does all it can to keep us right where we are.

Nature in her infinite wisdom does her best to ensure our survival by enticing us to conserve as much energy as possible – including mental energy.

Nothing ever happens if you don’t make it happen.

It can feel like an uphill battle; you know what you need to do, but it can feel neigh impossible just starting sometimes.

Self Discipline sucks, and willpower becomes won’t power right when you need it the most.

Let’s rectify this.

You have a fence to climb? Throw your hat over it first. Actually, throw your wallet.

Welcome to the world of Inevitability Thinking.

“If it mattered to you enough..” is a dumb saying: not useful and not actionable. Think beyond and use what matters more.

Name your goal, and create systems in your environment to keep you on course towards that goal. Make things so impactful there would be no. way. in. hell it wouldn’t happen.

One of the most impressive stories I’ve ever heard about this line of thought involved a woman in the 1960’s named Zelda Gamson.

Zelda developed the habit of chain smoking and despite multiple attempts to quit she kept relapsing and going back to two packs a day of this worthless vice I will never understand.

One day she was done and realizing that an addict has a civil war going on inside their soul she took advantage of that awareness and made her ultimate scenario that would guarantee she would never smoke again.

She threw away all her cigarettes, handed an envelope to a friend containing a check for $5,000, and told her to mail it if she was ever seen smoking again.

A pretty powerful lever if you ask anyone. Where she placed it is even more impressive:

Zelda was a deeply involved civil rights activist and the check was written out to the KKK.

Do you think she even held a cigarette again after that conversation?

People like to solve problems but usually end up with a solution that requires the least amount of effort.

Truly successful people take things from “How could I make this happen?” to “How could we make it impossible to not happen?”

As said in the recording industry, “An amateur practices until they can play the part right. A professional practices until they can’t play it wrong.”

While I’m a big fan of efficiency and the 80/20 principle I also believe you need to guarantee your results.

Por exemplo:

Problem: You know you have a habit of playing the snooze button game long enough to go without showering because “you soaked in the hot tub last night and can get away with it at work for today”

Typical thinking: Get more sleep, or any other generic advice readily available on yahoo answers.

Inevitability thinking: Make it known you need to be up in the morning, get better sleep, set two alarms on the other side of the room that go off at the same time, and send a snapchat of you in your car to a friend who will personally watch you put five dollars in your mother-in-law’s mailbox every time you’re absent or late.

Good luck sleeping in if all of that’s in place every night.

“How do I pick the right things?”

In your heart of hearts you know what you need to do. The best leverage is rooted in emotion.

Back it up with financial risk and you’re golden. I’m a fan of stickK.com where you pick a charity you couldn’t stand supporting and the donation amount of your choice is automatically sent off to them if you fall through on your goal.

You follow through when your emotional ecosystem demands it.

Subconsciously you understand the stakes of a given worst case scenario; stuff like losing your job and possibly becoming homeless, but initially you’ll probably think of the social pressure you’ll feel if you don’t follow through.

Your gym buddy is going with or without you, but you missed last Tuesday and you’ll lose their respect if it happens again.

You’ve been eligible for a promotion for months and catching flak about tardiness from your supervisor would send that little dream home penniless in the rain.

Some people say “Emotions make you weak.” I’ve worked for a few and I don’t enjoy the thought of becoming a soulless drone on the road to sociopathy so I say:

Realize the power emotions have and leverage them to help you build a life of your design.

Put that lever in a smart place and you’ll guarantee your results.

Make it happen by making it inevitable.

Burn your boats Cortez – you’re here to stay.

What are you throwing over the fence?

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Why You Will Never Reach Your Goals

People don’t change for 3 reasons:

1. They don’t know how to get what they want
2. They don’t even know what they want
3. They know exactly what they want but can’t get themselves to make it happen

If you’re reading this I’m going to assume you’re in group 3.

Realize that for every reason you have to take action for yourself you’re also receiving a payoff of sorts that’s keeping you from doing it.

Consider the following:

How awesome would your life be in one year if every day you woke up at 4:30 am, drank something stimulating while reading something that gets you super motivated, worked out for an hour, groomed yourself so you look sharp as hell, and then took the next required step in the plan for building your business or biggest passion before you even clocked in at work?

One year of that.

One year of good reading, training, looking your best, and taking the next step every day.

Worlds apart right?  So go do it.

Que inner voice..

“..But . . waking up at 7 is already hard, sleeping in just feels so good, I hang out with people until 2am and I need to be on point and have energy at my job or else I’ll get fired and won’t be able to pay all my credit card bills and..”

Stop rationalizing. You’ve been wanting to “get it off the ground” for how long now?  You’re not going to “work on it after work” if you’ve spent the majority of your energy frantically getting underpaid while you help make somebody else rich.

Flip the script and actually consider why it could be perfect for you.

“I’ll learn a lot, feel incredible, get into the best shape of my life, and build something I can be proud of.”

No worries if you get tired at your day job where you shuffle papers.  Coffee saves lives my friend.  You’ve already taken care of priority one for the day anyway.

The saying “pay yourself first” is great advice.

Some of the most successful people in the world wake up way earlier than you’d ever expect, especially considering the lifestyle they can easily afford.  They’ll often have a mission critical success routine they use every day and it’s not surprising they’ve gotten to where they are.

You can embrace the fetal warmth of your bedsheets, or you can leverage the arcane discomfort of the early dawn to get a head start on your big dream while your supervisor is still snoring.

The choice is yours.

Your mind can think of reasons to do anything and you’re just bound to find more the further you get down any given rabbit hole.  Suspend some disbelief and get past the initial resistance you encounter – you’ve got a world of options to chose from.

The first law of psychology is: you get more of what you reinforce.

Reinforce your dreams by listing reasons to make yourself level up.

Try it out, open a word processor or the notes application on your phone and make two lists.  One labeled ‘why’ and the other ‘why not.’  Look for every possible reason for and against taking action on one thing that would give you some serious leverage.

Go ahead, I’ll still be here when you’re done.

You’ll quickly realize your current payoffs are downright childish and you’re probably running away from pain.

If you’re someone who can say “The last five people I’ve dated cheated on me” you definitely want to see why you keep going for those types.

Weighing “I could look like a fitness model and age better than 90% of everyone I know” against “Pie is really really good” shouldn’t require much thought as to which is the better option.  It’s not an either/or thing because you can still have both, just not all the time.

Realize the deep meaning of why you keep doing what you are and you’ll want to kick your own ass.

You’ll still have all your old payoffs inviting you into old habits but when you get some perspective and realize the actual benefits to the new change it becomes a simple choice, like choosing between Wendys’ dollar menu and lamb coconut kourma.

Pushing your comfort zone a bit isn’t fun at first.  But eventually you adapt and become comfortable with this next level and it becomes easy, or even pleasurable.

Rinse and repeat.

Take it from someone who used to be a fat kid that hated exercise.  I never thought I’d ever be the ‘insane’ type of person who pays money to compete in lifting events and races.

List the next step you’re going to take after realizing your ‘Whys’ and ‘Why Not’s’ below.

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Fat Loss Autopilot – Part I, Overview

Kettlebell

One of my close friends

“What if I said you could drop 20lbs or more in a month with a program that encourages lots and lots of bacon?”

No, this isn’t hypothetical.  This is a lifestyle that has been a godsend for me and everyone I’ve seen adopt it into their life.

In this series of posts you’ll soon become an expert on the most debated subject next to politics and religion.

How does fat loss actually work?

After fourteen years of being fascinated by this phenomenon, reading any and every training and nutrition book I could get my hands on I’m more than confident I’ve got it figured out.

This series is going to cover in depth exactly how our bodies handle fat and I’ll be giving you the most guaranteed way to get rid of it in the safest, quickest way possible.

I have a Ph.D. in Broscience and I’m working on a bachelors degree in Biochemistry but I’ll do my best to keep the nerdspeak to a minimum.

Read this series and you’ll have everything you’ll need – including the psychological aspect – to finally get rid of that pile of mediocrity you’ve had sitting above your waistband forever.

First, a little background about me:

I’m no charlatan.

In the space of 6 years I lost 40 lbs 3 times.

I didn’t exactly win the genetic lottery in the physique department but I didn’t roll snake eyes either.

I always hated that kid who lived on a diet of coffee, donuts, and cigarets, and showed off a six pack in the locker room. (I’m not saying any names.  ..Except that I’m talking about you Dylan)

I’m 6’2” which is great unless I wanted to be a ninja, my legs resemble a pair of pliers in shorts, and I have memories of being nine years old and looking down at my belly in the shower wondering what I would look like if the small roll of fat wasn’t there.

Shortly after seeing no changes in my body from my first semester in 7th grade gym class, taking a look around at both my immediate and extended family lead to me having an emotional breakdown in the hot tub.  Sad panda.

One of the most useless statements I keep hearing time and time again is “Well, maybe it’s genetic..”

Sorry, but in the rare event that you have a serious thyroid problem or you’re a type I diabetic, you’re likely more affected by your family’s emotional and habitual ‘DNA’ than by the “metabolism” you inherited.

In all my years of studying the body I’ve learned that overriding your genetics is lightyears easier than you think.

There are always variables you can influence and manipulate and to think otherwise is lazy, victim mentality based, or simply just uninformed.

The fact is: “Everything works for six weeks.”

You’ve heard it before.

I’ve personally tried every ‘sensible’ approach like basic calorie counting to full obsession programs involving intermittent fasting combined with hundreds of kettlebell snatches and/or 5+ hours a day burning lanes on swim team; and it’s all worked.

Stupid things like the maple syrup diet and that sacred cow that just will not die known as the “Master Cleanse” will all lead to “weight loss” (not necessarily fat loss) as well, until it stops and you go back to your old habits.

I’ve found the best approach, but you can pick your own path provided it follows three rules:

1. It must be sustainable long term – I.e. if you ate this way for 20 years would you still be alive and in good health?  No ~600 calorie a day crash diets.
2. It has to actually help you reach your goal.  No eating taco bell every night for a year and wondering why you don’t look carved out of marble because “you do crunches.”
3. It has to be something you actually enjoy and can stand behind long enough for you to reach your goal.  This is the most important.

If you can somehow get stoked about tuna and spinach for every meal until you reach your “maintenance phase” and actually follow through with it then power to you.  Work the other end and make your diet fit your life rather than your life fit your diet.  You’ll be a lot happier and you’ll wake up leaner in a few weeks.

Everything works at first. Just make sure it’s something that will keep working and it’s something that works for you.  I know I’ve found my favorite:

Enter the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet

“The cyclical what?!”

– The Fat Loss Autopilot diet.
– The “Cheat Code” diet.
– What my friend Jon has to laugh about and calls “Norski’s Bacon Diet.”

To sum it up as simply as possible you:
– Eat less than 30g of carbs every day.
Add fat to your diet to replace energy from said carbs.
– Eat enough protein to keep seeing gains in the gym.
– Every 7 to 14 days you load up on carbs to your heart’s content.

Simple.  But not easy to execute at first.

Most people probably rolled their eyes and hit the back button on their browser when they read that, but if you’re still with me you’re in for a treat.

This is the only thing I’ve done that’s never felt like a “diet.”

The first three days or so can be rough for some people.  Seeing that glucose is more addictive than nicotine it’s not surprising.  The most common thing I hear is “..but I live off bread!”  To which I want to reply but don’t; “Which is exactly why I can see your gut hanging out of your shirt..”

Once you’re past that though it’s clear sailing if you’re doing it right.

When you realize what you actually can eat on this program you’ll probably laugh your ass off and call me insane.  I’ve had people threaten me after convincing them to try it if it makes them fat.  The followup conversation after a week or two always involves a tone of delighted disbelief.

People don’t like having their reality challenged.  This is a great one – some don’t know whether to be mad, confused, or incredibly happy when it turns out that yes – this “actually works.”

My staples include:
– Ribeye steak and eggs covered in Montreal seasoning and Worcestershire sauce. (My favorite meal)
– Massive nine egg omelets with cheese, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, ham, bacon, sausage, and habanero salsa.
– Aidels Chicken & Apple Sausages (Remarkably tasty and great in a pinch if you need to microwave something and take off.)
– Program friendly protein shakes (I’m a fan of BSN Syntha-6 Isolate and MusclePharm Combat Isolate.)

And finally, what most guys will love about this program

– As much bacon as one can eat in a day.

You read that correctly and no this diet won’t give you a heart attack.  Countless studies have been done to show that this diet is ideal for your blood chemistry.  My mom is a hematologist (does laboratory bloodwork for a living) and after a few months of this my lipid panel has never been healthier.

LDL cholesterol will drop like a rock and your HDL will improve markedly.

All those ‘studies’ mentioned by your power-yuppie friend who’s way too into yoga are 30 years old and flawed. They didn’t consider something different might happen if large amounts of glucose and the body’s most powerful storage hormone insulin were both hanging out in the bloodstream when the research participants ate a high fat diet.

Correlation doesn’t imply causation.

High fat and low carb will send every desirable signal that we’ve discovered to your body to get lean in a hurry.

Not only that but following this protocol long term (4-7 months) will raise your insulin sensitivity and actually reprogram your metabolism for a leaner build, so if you go through a period where you let it slack it will be harder to rebound the longer you follow it.

Most of the weight you’d gain back at first will be water filling out your muscles.

I’ve spared you as much chemical jargon as I can for this post.  I’ll delve into the nerdspeak for those who want to know how it all works in Part IV.

For now, give yourself a boost of motivation to take action and head over to Part II.

Questions and comments below!

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Kettlebell

Everyone should pursue strength.

Everybody.

Lots of people hear the words “Strength Training” and the image that comes to mind is a puffed up, sweaty “bro” yelling through his 15th rep on the bench press wearing what used to be a T-shirt that has the sleeves cut off and is torn open all the way down both sides.

What some think of as a dull, mindless practice reserved for people with an angry disposition and/or an inferiority complex is a place I draw serenity and mindfulness from time and time again.  Putting up one-hundred 24kg kettlebell snatches in under five minutes your first time is a spiritual experience indeed.

Our society should be a lot stronger than we are.  As a whole our gene pool is far weaker than it was just a few hundred years ago.  Our reality is pretty bleak across the spectrum as well.  We buy “value meals” because we no longer value our meals, over half of marriages fail (that statistic only measures whether they end or not) and all too commonly a kid who dreams of being a Submarine Captain grows up to be “Regional Director of Sales” or something else equally uninspiring.

“An inch wide and a mile deep.” – Pavel Tsatsouline

Strength comes in many forms but at the end of the day it comes down to “The ability to generate force.” It’s the key principle to living your dreams and is the single most important quality a person can cultivate in order to circumvent Thoreau’s “Life of silent desperation.”

I walk the path of strength quite literally – I move odd-shaped “cannonballs with handles,” barbells and my bodyweight against gravity – but I gain a lot more than meets the eye and even more than what meets the mind.

There is much more to cultivating strength than being able to press a bigger bell above one’s head and forging a harder physique.  It’s an interesting moment when you realize that the heavy weights aren’t what make you strong; it’s the practice of making your own tension that makes you strong.  The weight – lifted in clean form – simply lets you know you’re able to tense hard enough to move it.

C’est la vie.

The same practice that has stripped the fat from my frame and replaced it with dense, powerful muscle has also improved and continues to strengthen my everyday state of being.  Any kind of growth comes from pushing your comfort zone and kettlebell training does that better than it does anything else.

It takes a certain degree of strength just to show up consistently and another to complete a program you start without jumping to another before you finish.  Strength to keep going when your vision darkens slightly and you’ve exhaled all the moisture from your throat when there are still dozens of reps to do before the clock runs out.  Yet once you’ve walked a stretch of the path you’ll see your entire life begin to change in the best of ways.

“Keep practicing that and eventually it will be the only stance that you know” – James Sjostrom

An unusually large number of people believe they’re going to be millionaires “someday.”  Most people think they’re going to get “in shape” too.  Looking inside a globo-gym on New Year’s day can be almost as sad as people-watching at Walmart around 2 am.  The sad reality is the people you see there will look pretty much the same or worse when they sign up next time the ball drops.

All too often we rely on spur of the moment impulse, excitement and willpower to get anything done.

You know that one diet you did where you lost 20 lbs and felt really good before you couldn’t handle it anymore and went right back to your old habits?

Sure, you could always get back onto that – but, you’re really going to do it next time. ..when you get around to it.  You want a glass of pepsi?

Anything slightly better than absolute hell is tolerated by most people because they have the delusion that comfort is preferable to growth.  It should be common sense but in order to get anything worthwhile done you have to do something long enough that it has a chance to take effect.

To get physically strong you need to have a measure of mental strength.  To be mentally strong you need to get comfortable with discomfort.  That inner strength is what drives the mavericks who make history and empower those who make lasting changes in their lives and those of others.

“We are what we repeatedly do, therefore excellence is not an act but a habit” – Aristotle

The outer world reflects the inner; our habits and being are far more important than the methods and techniques we use to make things happen.  Pick a lifetime pursuit that resonates within you and walk the path until the journey has changed and elevated your life entirely.  “You can be anything you choose to be, but you must be strong first.”

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