Thursday, October 25, 2012

7 Tips to Manliness

This blog was contributed by Corbitt Chandler, a very good friend of mine from Check his site it out you want to know how to train like a real man.

Here's a cool picture of the author, a modern day barbarian...who obviously uses Instagram.

(I added pictures to the blog because I have a hard time concentrating on a blog without pictures)

OK, if you’re hippy that’s cool or whatever.  Your respect and appreciation for “Mother Earth” is something to be admired.  I have a friend who’s a “hippy.”  He’s hiked the A.T. (Google it) and majority of the P.C.T.  He has respect for the Earth and has actually experienced it.  Thing is, the dude is a former Marine, worked for Blackwater and could snap your neck in the blink of an eye.  He’s a 200lb plus hippy with a big beard and not to be reckoned with.  That guy talks the talk and walks it (literally).  Most guys just play the hippy card because they like to do drugs and go to week long rock festivals.  Yeah, it works to pull skirt, but most of the skirt they’re pulling I wouldn't touch with my worst enemy’s piece of hardware.

To be honest, I don’t consider those types men.  I don’t consider hipsters men.  I don’t consider a guy that can’t move his body weight with ease or weighs as much as his girlfriend a man.  I feel manliness has been lost in our society today.  Guys like my friend I mentioned are few and far between.  They’re slowly taking a back seat to skinny jeans, tolerance, weird meaningless tattoos and drinking strange cocktails from mixology bars.  I mean whatever happened to the man’s man?  I’m not that old, but I can remember hearing it 10 to 15 years ago, “oh, Tom’s a man’s man” or “that guy’s a man’s man.”  Now, it’s, “he’s got style” or “he’s metro” or whatever else is the latest and greatest.  Things like this sadden me to my deepest most inner being.

So, I decided to pull together some simple tips.  Tips to help those who might need help getting back on track, have lost their way or would like to join the ranks of men.  These tips can also serve as a reminder to those of us striving to be a “man’s man” and help us not lose our way in the B.S. that is this ever changing climate of what Ah-nold would call, “girly men.”  No specific order here so here we go:

Tip 1: Believe in Something
It’s really that simple.  I can’t tell you what to believe in, but have something to stand by and stand for.  Too many men these days don’t have anything at their core.  They’re swayed by public opinion, peer pressure, talking heads or whatever else may come their way.  WAY back in the day, being “open minded” was literally comparative to when we tell someone they’re being an airhead. The point is without belief you’re pretty hollow on the inside. Now let’s not get this confused, I’m not saying you should be a pretentious asshole about your beliefs.  Just don’t be ashamed of them, keep them at your core… You’ll know when and if the time comes to speak up and share them.

Tip 2: The Knight’s Code
You can Google this if you want the long version, but in one word – chivalry.  A man’s man isn't too big to lend a helping hand.  Be there for others and not just your friends.  We can’t save the world, but help those that you can.  Unfortunately, they haven’t figured out how to alter our genes like they do in comic books, but you can still be the superhero of your own world.  You never know the life-altering effect you might have on someone.

Tip 3: Be Strong
So, to kind of tie in the point above, Knights weren't only expected to help others, but to be physically able to do so when the time called for it.  They were called to defend the weak and you can only do that if you’re keeping yourself prepared.   Do this by training often in different modalities – lift heavy weights, move your own bodyweight and never allow your training to become “comfortable.”  A man’s man should always have butterflies before he trains and do things that pull him out of his comfort zone.  This will help him in life might any situation arise. 

Tip 4: Run like the Wind Blows
I have to admit I sometimes go for a long jog.  They’re great for meditation, but as a daily practice this isn't a man’s man’s cup of tea.  Actually, while I've met a few endurance athletes who were pretty manly most are the antithesis of what I’m trying to describe.  Yes, they’re mentally tough, but they also; shave their entire bodies, probably can’t pick up anything that weighs any more than their own bodyweight and train in a sport that replicates “flight” in our natural fight or flight response.  A man’s man needs to sprint, run hills and train to be explosive.  This is us in attack mode - our most basic primal response.

Tip 5: Be a Lion
In everything you do, big or small, significant or insignificant, be a lion.  Lions are efficient… Lions are aggressive... Lions can work alone or in teams…  Lions know when to rest… Lions know when to play…  Lions are kings of their domain… Lions are ______.  You get the point.  Learn from them.

Tip 6: Eat Meat
I've never met a vegetarian I liked…  Actually that statement’s a lie.  I've liked plenty of vegetarians.  They’re great seasoned, marinated and washed down with a cold one.  Point is, we’re where we are as a species today because we began eating meat.  Our ancestors formed tools and sacrificed a lot more than you and I ever will to eat meat.  There’s a reason for that.  I get that there are some bad practices out there with the way livestock is treated and believe it or not I’m actually not cool with that.   I think you should look at the sources your meat comes from and if you can afford it buy better quality, organic, grass fed, etc.  This industry is NEVER going away so the only way to help encourage change is with your wallet.  Anyways, men eat meat. 

Tip 7: Love the right Woman
It’s easy to get caught up in the jungle of silicone, surgically enhanced, self-absorbed women that are out there these days.  It’s easy to get caught up with the chick that likes the guy in the band.  When it comes to the opposite sex it’s just plain easy to get caught up, but these above examples are not the woman of a man’s man.  At the end of the day, a beast needs his beauty so what is she? The woman of a man’s man is beautiful from the inside out.  She’s someone who can hang with him in any environment be it; hill sprints in 100 degree weather or at the bar with his buddies. She’s sophisticated, tough, selfless and loyal.  She is like the women of Sparta – born to love her man, but trained for battle. These women are the true diamonds in the rough.  Find her and hold on for dear life.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thriving or Surviving

An interesting article written by Ned Kock caught my eye recently. The article brought up the idea that the possibility of our longer lifespans has increased the chances of us becoming obese with age. The article can be found here.

This a great article that had enough bar graphs and points that I could understand which I appreciate very much. I hate reading articles with great points but with studies so complicated that I can't even tell what he's even trying to prove or disprove anymore. But I digress. Modern medicine has made it so we don't die of diseases that would have killed us 100 years ago. It's great that people are living longer lives. I enjoy having my grandparents around to see how I've grown up. I have the same wish when I become a grandpa - to see my child grow and have a successful life. But when do we stop thriving and start just surviving? I think that's what the article was really trying to get at. It's not even so much about how we're just getting fatter as we age, obviously this doesn't apply to people who actually make it a point to take care of themselves. But whenever these studies come out, they're most likely based on the sedentary, non-active population which makes up a huge majority and we all know majority rules.

According to these studies of hunter-gatherer societies (people who aren't sedentary) they actually lose weight as they age. Unlike urban-dwellers who gain. I agree 100% with the idea that modern medicine has led to the downfall in modern health. Of course there are things that we can be thankful for with the advancements in surgical procedures and stuff. If I have a broken bone I'll definitely seek medical attention to get it fixed. But it's another thing to irresponsibly destroy your body over time with a bad diet or improper exercise and expect yourself to be fixed overnight with a pill. Luckily the human body is resilient and will respond accordingly with time and care if addressed quickly enough. People diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases have reversed their condition with proper diet and exercise. Don't believe me? Google it.
"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but instead will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease."
- Thomas Edison

So now people live technically longer than they should. To the point where quality of life degrades but the quantity of life increases. Cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy. People suffer through this procedure hoping that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately not everyone benefits from it. In fact according to this study chemotherapy contributes just over 2 percent to improved survival in cancer patients. Oh and you'll also suffer from these side effects. Of course there are many factors that can contribute to one's decision to accept or refuse chemotherapy or medicine in general. But again you need to ask yourself what his more important to you, thriving or surviving?


Monday, October 15, 2012

Don't Let Sit Happen

We all know that a sedentary lifestyle will kill you fast. There are tons of studies out that show this. But recently this article came out telling us that "Short bouts of sedentary behavior consistently increase health risk." Basically this means that if you work a desk job, you're odds of living a long life decrease every minute you're in a seated position. So if you're sitting on your ass as you read this, show respect to my blog, do yourself a favor and stand up!

The concept of Eating Like A Hunter fits perfectly with the article because it encourages as much movement as possible by physically earning your food. Imagine putting a 500 lb. bull in a headlock while stabbing it in the throat with your knife after it was weakened by your spear lodged in its abdomen. "Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense. (Proverbs 12:11)" Even evolutionary theorists will agree with this concept. Nothing in nature survives to pass on its genes if it waits for food to come to it. Even a plant will grow in the direction of sunlight. But modern humans are too smart for our own good sometimes. We've found a way to create an environment where food will literally come to us without any type of physical labor. And there couldn't be a more popular, unhealthy food that we associate with home delivery...Pizza!

I work a desk job. I understand the health risks associated with it and know what I must do to minimize those risks. The typical desk job has a 15 minute break (or two) and a 30 - 60 minute lunch. Try to find at least 30 cumulative minutes of exercise/movement within an hour-and-a-half's time. It might be difficult for some, but I think this is definitely possible for most. The idea of sitting on another chair to stair at your phone should sound crazy to you. Think of're taking a break, a break from what? What have you done that deserves more sitting? In fact you're better off laying on the floor and taking a nap. I wouldn't advise that though because sleeping on the job will get you fired. If you want to call it break, take a break from sitting down. Do 15 minutes of calisthenics on your breaks and/or lunches. If you work in a large building walk/sprint up and down the stairs. Pound tons of water throughout the day, it's not only healthy but you'll have no choice but to stand up and walk to the restroom. If you work at home or your office allows for it, get one of these.

Make every second count in your work day. Since most of us aren't working labor-intensive jobs, we must do what we can to keep our strong edge.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Breaking The Dietary Rules

What is eating healthy? You'll get a different answer from each and every person you ask. Is it eating lots of veggies and minimizing fat? Is it limiting sugar and salt? Is it going vegan? No wonder we're so confused! Nobody has a definite answer to the question because we're constantly listening to people who really don't know the answer.

Let's take a step back and look at the people who are giving us dietary advice nowadays. Let's first be on the right page and agree that we all want to look great naked, be strong, and most important be healthy. Would you listen to a doctor, dietitian  or nutritionist that didn't truly understand your goals or even worse didn't look like he gave a damn about their own health? There are plenty of these type of people. Take away the degree and/or certification and you basically have a case of blind leading the blind. I don't like to let a piece of paper or plaque dictate a man's worth because frankly I know plenty of unaccomplished college graduates. In the same way would you like to have a fat - I won't even say fat, let's say "out of shape" personal trainer make you do something that probably he should be doing with you?

I would much rather listen to a person who lives and breathes what they teach. Because there's nothing more convincing than actual physical proof. We'd rather see results than read about them, or see results, then read about them. It's all about application. Science is nothing if its efficacy is not tested and proven. So why do doctors (most of which are not qualified to be giving nutritional or dietary advice), magazines, and books keep telling us to minimize fat, salt, meat, and increase our consumption of grains and carbohydrates?

I bought into this garbage like everyone else did and saw no beneficial changes to my athletic performance or physique. I'm a guy. I want to look good and I want to be strong. If you're a guy and don't value these aspirations, you need more than a dietary makeover. That deserves its own blog which i'll write up in the near future...Anyway back to my main topic. For over 10 years I listened to what the so called experts were recommending and saw no results. The problem was I was getting advice from people that followed the same advice but were either taking performance enhancers or had the benefit of training for a living. Yes, calories in vs. calories out does have its legitimacy. It's one of few things that I actually can agree with.

As a fan of extremes I decided to do the complete opposite of what everyone was saying. I decided to adopt and high fat/low carb lifestyle where my food sources only came from animal meat, vegetables, and pretty much no fruit. I didn't even eat organic the entire time I adopted this new lifestyle just to see how far it would actually take me and also because i'm still skeptical about the importance of going all organic. I also increased my salt intake via mineral salts and plenty of bacon and as much as I can minimize my grain and processed carbohydrate intake. Despite the questions I received from peers, friends, and family I noticed myself gaining amazing energy, awesome strength (for my size and build), and rapidly decreasing body fat levels, basically getting ripped! So what dietary rules have I broken so far and benefited from?

  1. Decrease salt intake - BROKEN
  2. Minimize saturated fat intake - BROKEN
  3. Increase omega-6 fatty acid consumption. BROKEN
  4. Eat more grains - BROKEN
I've pretty much done every single dietary no-no that the average person, let alone doctor would advise against. Yet at 28 years old, I'm in the best shape of my life.

My goal here is not to convince you to do exactly what I do. But it's to encourage you to forge your own path and question every single thing people tell you when it comes to nutrition and performance. If something isn't working for you, it's time to try something new. Know who you're talking to, look at them and ask yourself if they sound and look like they know what their talking about.