Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I recently read a 2014 study done at Ohio University by Brian Clark, where he found that test subjects who had their muscles immobilized for a month actually gained muscle simply by visualizing themselves contracting a muscle.

It has also been demonstrated that neurological adaptations to resistance training occur before hypertrophic ones – especially in untrained subjects.

Putting these two concepts together, it might be that the neurological adaptations might be what’s actually strengthened by this practice, meaning that if we combine this visualization technique with training we might be able to increase the rate of adaptation/muscle growth…

I have just started the practice, doing the training during the day and visualization at night. I’ll check in with results when I have them

Mouth guard for weight training?

Posted: January 30, 2019 in Uncategorized

My news feed has been littered with ads for exercise mouth guards so I figured I’d return to this subject. I say return because it is something I experimented with several years ago, I believe it was while doing Pete Sisco’s static contraction program. The concept with that program was that you lift massive weights using a small range of motion, and if memory serves, he also suggested using a mouth guard.

While my ego enjoyed leg pressing over a thousand pound two inches, I’m not convinced it was a terribly useful program, but it did introduce me to mouth guards. That being said, when I changed my program only to find that my functional strength was no better I ditched the entire concept, mouth guards included.

But since it seems to be a thing now, I pulled it out and figured I’d give it a try. Here’s the thing – If anything can give you a psychological edge I’m all in. Anything that will help me progress, even if just a little is a good thing by my reasoning.

My personal findings were all over the place. The first day I tried it I think I had a bit of an improvement while using a mouthguard, but the second day trying it I had the reverse results.

The truth is that I’m not convinced it did much to help. However I found a better way to get that edge was to take a quiet moment before doing a lift and telling myself this: “I got this, and when it gets hard – that’s just a sign that it’s working! That’s the time to give it all you got”

Invitro protein

Posted: January 24, 2019 in Uncategorized

Just in case you’re thinking of injecting protein, and the most convenient source is your own semen… don’t be like this idiot. Eat eggs instead.

News link: https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-18/man-hospitalised-inject-semen-into-arm-to-cure-back-pain/10727310?pfmredir=sm

I’m never a fan of corporations jumping on social trends especially when those trends involved alleged tragedies. The way the media is covering the latest Gillette add you would think they are all in on the fight against “toxic masculinity” but I watched the add and I think it has been misrepresented.

Now if Gillette is going to lose a lot of their customers to this, it serves them right, but I personally think they got equal parts right and wrong in this ad.

Wrong – they paint men as mindless drones who will misbehave unless they are caught. They also show men as inherently predatory.

Right – they show that it takes courage to stand up against another man, and also suggest that men need to be an example of masculinity for the next generation.

Part of the problem with this is that you’re not just picking a political side, you’re also telling men how they should behave in a way that is bound to be seen as preaching from a soapbox and quite frankly, men are getting sick of being told how awful they are.

Can you imagine what would happen if a company was trying to appeal to Muslims and they said “come on everyone, let’s not be terrorists”? Identifying any group with their worst elements isn’t a good idea unless your goal is to piss people off.

Another problem they’ve made for themselves, is that they’ve suggested that sexual harassment has been a long-lasting problem… which also implies that they’ve been cashing in on it until now, when it’s not quite so popular.

Yes their sales may boost for women and trend-followers, but I can’t imagine it ending well for them.

I have spent more hours than I care to consider trying to understand the dichotomy of both loving yourself and being unsatisfied with where you are. It seems like those two attitudes can either work together or in opposition to one another, and the latter appears to be more common.

Both learning to care for myself and trying to improve were key in helping me find myself after my 15-year marriage ended, and it has been an ongoing journey of trying to develop these skills in the six years since. The potential friction between the two didn’t become apparent to me until recently.

While I was first just doing what I felt I had to do without thinking much about it, I began to notice a lot of others who seemed stuck in a state of self-pity – and denial to boot. They talked like they had no hope for anything ever getting better in their lives and they were powerless to get what they felt would make them happy. People in this mindset, what I’ve come to call “change state 0”, have the challenge of requiring a lot of tools and gentle alterations to their current patterns, but just like being a noob in the gym, huge changes can come relatively quickly with enough humility and dedication.

But as time goes on changes become more difficult, and worse still, there is a hidden dark side of change which is something that I didn’t even see in myself until after the fact. Understanding the difference happened when I looked at two of my relationships.

In relationship one, my girlfriend would often get visibly excited when she saw a ‘roided out guy on stage or screen. I found myself wanting to feel the kind of admiration she was giving them. Ironically she was a self-proclaimed feminist who aggressively hated the sexualization of women, but I digress. Wanting to change because of feelings of inadequacy — even though I didn’t recognize it as such at the time — may still have long term benefits, but it also leads to a state of constant dissatisfaction with yourself at a deep level, which is not a particularly enjoyable state to be in. This is “change state 1”.

That relationship ended for unrelated reasons, and I’m grateful it did because of how oblivious I was. I was so distraught about the relationship ending that I spoke with a psychologist who laid things out to me in a way that I came to the conclusion that there was actually a lot of ways that this girl had unfair expectations of me that I had been blinded to.

Shortly after I met someone who was outwardly everything I wanted, beautiful, funny, affectionate, compassionate. While these attributes were amazing, she also had another trait that I hadn’t counted on, which is that she accepted me for the way I was; she made me feel desired. I still wanted to be my best, but this time is was because I felt that I had value and wanted to increase that value. In this state – “change state 2” – you love yourself so much that you want to continually improve is a far more fulfilling place to be, and from what I can tell it doesn’t have an expiration date.

It’s unfortunate to me that outside influences affected my state of mind so dramatically, and concerning that I was either ignorant of it or somehow turning a blind eye to it. It goes to show the importance of trying to see yourself objectively as thoroughly as possible. Sometimes we talk ourselves into the worst possible decisions and speaking with a professional is sometimes the best way to realize it. Short of that we have to do our best to watch and catch ourselves as well as to be careful about who we let into our social circle.

I generally consider myself to be above getting offended. In fact I often get offended by how easily people are offended these days. But when something does upset me it does so with tremendous force, so I wanted to look into why this might be.

While considering the things that upset me the most, I realized that generally these things are linked to our personal identity.

For example, I found myself getting quite upset about the idea of encouraging young boys to dress and act like girls. There are a lot of these types of things going on – attempts to tear down social norms regarding gender. So in the face of being called various names, I asked myself why the attacks on masculinity upset me so much, and what deeper personal values I feel they are directly attacking.

Compounding the problem is that people don’t tend to help this internal process so instead of helping you determine why you feel your identity is under attack, they instead tend to accuse you of being hateful or a bigot – which generally leads to a rebellious pushback and a hearty “fuck you”.

While considering why putting little boys in dresses was so upsetting to me, I tried earnestly to determine specifically what it was that bothered me by it. If you’ve read some of my other recent blogs you know that I feel that masculinity is under attack in numerous ways, so that certainly played a part. But realizing that wasn’t enough, I further asked myself why the societal attack on traditional masculinity was upsetting to me?

As I asked myself this question, my mind shifted towards my children, and to my love for them. For my desire for them to have strong male and female role models. At this point I began to see that these feelings were coming from a place of compassion but were manifesting as defensive anger.

Still, I wanted to dig deeper and ask myself why I felt children need a strong male and female role model. This one was a lot harder for me to unpack, but part of the answer was in the very questions that brought me to this point… the fact that I dread the idea of my children growing up to be the kind of judgemental, mean-spirited people who would attack others simply for having differing beliefs. As it turns out, freedom of belief is of high importance to me. I want my children to respect others, and I equally want them to freely embrace their uniqueness and personal qualities rather than feeling ashamed of them – just as I have had to stand resiliently against the feelings that my desire to be a gentleman has come under fire.

Beyond my own children I feel a deep sadness for other children who grow up without learning how to be thoughtful and proud. The idea of having strong male and female role models seemed to me to be the best recipe for this, and parents failing to do this have failed the innocent. It is was beginning to become clear to me where this passionate response came from.

Of course the more I learned about these hidden values, the more they became unclear. For example, my children have not had a particularly strong female role model in their lives, but they still make me proud. Equally, there have been millions of people with good, traditional parental role models who have turned into despicable human beings. So the self-evaluation must continue.

Coming back to the original question – why are we offended… it seems to me that when the things we care most about come under fire we become defensive and the outside world tends to look down on that because they are unable to see beyond the external manifestation. That is impossible to change, but what we can change is how we look at others.

For example, this idea that was offensive to me came from someone who had deep-seeded values of their own, so the second – and perhaps more important part of these times is to do the same exercise for the other person – namely ask questions.

It’s not always possible or practical to ask them directly but we can always ponder the questions. If done honestly you will almost always find that their point of view which was so utterly offensive, also came from a good place.

Speaking of good places, I have to go to the bathroom now.

After writing my post about things women seem to want in a man I read a book called Open Her by Karen Brody. This was an amazing call to men to embrace their masculinity in a positive way which flies in the face of the current movement which seems to be eradicating masculinity.

Karen lists seven archetypes that can be used in combination or individually. I wish there was more content like this available because it was an amazing read and I encourage anyone interested in embracing your masculinity to read this.

I don’t want to step on her toes here although I will share a few tips that I picked up…

Perhaps the most straightforward thing is that a man’s job is to be a protector. She wants to feel safe and protected with you. This means defending her honour when needed and with your physicality messaging that you will protect her (and potential offspring) at all cost.

Similarly, there is great strength in being decisive and leading her. That doesn’t mean you don’t listen to what she wants, but it means you always have a plan and are comfortable taking charge of situations.

Another aspect of strength has to do with rejection. If your lady rejects your advances it may be for a number of reasons and you must learn to not take it personally an not sulk. Doing this makes you look weak and potentially even perverse.

So far all of these have been about strength, but there is another side of the coming and that is tenderness. She wants to feel loved, wanted and understood. Karen gives a number of ways to work on this in her book, but suffice it to say you may need to make a conscious effort to message that to her. I was specifically struck by the statement in the book that says (I’m paraphrasing) you must let her know every day that you choose her.

If you’ve read my other book reviews you know I’m hard to impress, yet this one is a definite winner!