Category Archives for "How To – Advice"

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Do Bodybuilding

If you are engaged in body building for the sake of becoming as big and as muscular as you possibly can then I’m sure you’ve noticed that 1) Your confidence isn’t growing as fast as your muscles are; 2) Very often it seems like it’s a lot of work and the results are disproportionately low to what you put in as effort;, and 3) Even when you achieve good results oftentimes you don’t feel satisfied. It’s like it’s never good enough.

In this article (and video), I will give you 3 reasons why you may be feeling this way, and why building huge muscles for the sake of being huge should probably not be your main goal:

Reason No. 1. Big muscles give false sense of confidence

The truth is that we build muscles for reasons that we aren’t even conscious about – admiration and respect from other men, domination over other males, and status. The bigger you get the more you think that you are invincible and there is no other male that can stand on your way.

The problem is that usually competing for domination and status among other males doesn’t work with striking bodybuilding poses. It does take actual skills in physical fights. And, big muscles have nothing to do with fighting skills, fighting skills have everything to do with fighting skills. So, if bodybuilding is your main thing and you ignore the manliness aspect you may find yourself in trouble.

Reason No 2. Muscle dysmorphia

Muscle dysmorphia, also called bigorexia or megarexia is a medical condition that’s the opposite of anorexia. It simply means it’s never enough. You are always too small, too skinny, too ugly, underdeveloped.

Think of it this way. If your arm is 15 inches your goal is to grow it to 17 inches. When you get to 17 inches it’s not enough. You’re still small and now you want it to be 18 inches. Does that sound familiar?

In my observations, most guys who are fixated on building excessive muscle mass suffer from muscle dysmorphia. I used to suffer from it.

And, it’s not easy to cure yourself of this – 1) You have to acknowledge that you have it, and 2) You have to learn to accept yourself the way you are.

Reason No. 3. It’s against nature – gains don’t last

You have to eat all the time not only to grow new muscle but simply to maintain. Feels like a job and your day revolves around your food. Your vacations, travel, enjoying evenings out with friends – everything is difficult because you have to eat every 3 hours.

You have to eat 5-6 times a day, there must be a large amount of protein in each meal, it’s difficult to prepare, it costs a lot in money, in time, effort, in missed opportunities and life in general.

And, the moment something happens and you aren’t able to maintain that schedule your hard-earned muscles start to go away.

If it’s so difficult, if it’s so unnatural, if you have to work so hard at it – without getting paid – why do it then? A lot of it is going to go away one day anyway.

I did bodybuilding for 23 years, 9 years as a competitive bodybuilder. It took me more than 27 years to learn what I know today – why I did bodybuilding and the high prices I had to pay in work, effort, money, missed opportunities and missed life.

So, if you’ve never thought about it, I want you to take a few minutes and think about why you are doing bodybuilding.

Once you know the answer, think about whether it is worth the cost that you’re paying for the return on investment you are getting.

Why you can’t do even one pull-up and how to fix it

I’m sure you’ve seen somebody do pull-ups with such an ease and grace that you were simply amazed. And, you probably thought, I’d love to be able to do pull-ups like him.

And, that thought made you feel bad because you are painfully aware that you can’t do even one pull-up.

Okay. Here is the thing: If you have two arms you can learn to do pull-ups. Period! I don’t care if you are a female or male, small or large, young or old. All you need to do is learn the skill.

And, I say “learn the skill” because the pull-up is not an innate capability, like the push-up – push-ups are fairly simple: go down, go up. All you need is the strength. The pull-up is a learned skill, which goes way beyond just being strong.

Think about it this way: To hit a tire with a sledgehammer you have to have two arms and the ability to swing a sledgehammer. That’s your push-ups.

To play the piano you also have to have two arms, right? But, that’s not enough – you also need to acquire the skill. So, think of the pull-up as learning the piano, only learning the pull-up is much, much easier.

Ok, then, but why is it so difficult for us to learn to do the pull-up?

Here are the two main reasons why:

  1. We do the wrong exercises
  2. We use assistance instead of gravity

In the first case here is how we think: “To learn to do a pull-up I have to train my biceps and my lats.” And, we end up doing isolation exercises.

The problem is the pull-up is a complex movement pattern and it requires that we train the entire body exactly the way the pull-up is done. Which simply means you have to train the pull-up by doing pull-ups. There is no other way around it!

In the second case, we use pull-up assist machines and rubber bands instead of gravity. There are 3 big problems with assist machines and bands:

1) they provide too much help and at the wrong times;

2) they don’t train some of the muscles we need for unassisted pull-ups – like the core muscles for example; and

3) transitioning from assisted to non-assisted pull-ups is even harder than starting from scratch.

So many people have told their stories of being able to do 8-10 pull-ups with minimal assistance but as soon as they try unassisted pull-ups they feel like their muscles are frozen.

Ok. So, this is why you can’t do the pull-up, but how do you fix that? Here’s how…

  1. Train pull-ups by doing pull-ups. This is called Specificity – meaning train the skill you want to learn. If you want to learn to play soccer you are going to sign up for soccer, not for tennis – that’s specificity.
  2. Do pull-ups using gravity and your own body weight. The only techniques you’re going to need are static holds and negatives. That’s it. Nothing fancy. At the end of this article, I’ll link to a video I made a few years back that demonstrates these techniques in a fun way.
  3. Train the pull-up often – that means 3-5 times a day, every day. When you watch the video that I just mentioned, keep in mind that it’s a fun video and it says train every other day. You should train every day, several times a day. And, don’t worry about overtraining. Just practice the skill like you’d practice the piano.

I personally have a pull-up bar on the door to my home office. Several times a day as I go through the door I do a few pull-ups.

This is it. If you do these 3 things there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that you will learn to do the pull-up.

Anyone can learn to do pull-ups – ANYONE! And, that includes you. You just have to commit to it, be diligent, and put in your time and effort – just like I did.

I’m leaving you with this message. There are two types of people in the world:

those who talk about things,
and those who make things happen

Which type of person are you?

If you are still reading, I think I know the answer. And, I know you know it, too. So, get to work and make this happen. And, I’m here to support you every step of the way!

Video: Why fat people are fat – THE TRUE REASON

There is a particular reason why fat people are fat! It isn’t slow metabolism. It isn’t the lack of exercise. And, it isn’t eating too many carbs or too much fat. Although, these are all good reasons they none of them is the chief reason.

I’m so excited to talk about this issue that honestly I don’t want to give out the true reason here – you will have to watch the video above.

In the video, besides naming and explaining the true reason why fat people are fat, I also talk about my experience with this problem.

At the end give two steps that any person with chronic weight gain / fat gain problems can take to turn things around. Hint: it starts with you and your mind! And, it has a lot to do with taking responsibility and quitting being (or playing) a victim of your circumstances.

Video: How to eat what you want and never gain any fat

It’s never a great idea to eat what you want but it is possible – without gaining any weight.. or fat, just to call it what it is.

During my competitive bodybuilding years, I used to eat six times a day and I used to carefully measure everything I ate. It was cumbersome and boring.

Then one day I decided that I wanted to be able to – at least sometimes – enjoy foods that others enjoyed, too.

So, I searched the web and found something that looked promising. I tried it and it worked. It’s called Intermittent Fasting (I’ve written about it before).

In this video, I share exactly how and when I fast.

Althugh, I still eat healthy whenever I want I allow myself some indulgences. Not only is it not affecting my body fat level but I actually stay lean while maintaining the muscle mass I had before I started. My strength has gone up. And, I feel great.

I want more people to know about Intermittent Fasting. It allows freedom. It is liberating… and it’s healthy.

Have you tried Intermittent Fasting? Let me know in the comments below.

7 Unorthodox No-diet Rules for Achieving Ideal Body Weight video course

Diets don’t work! Learn how to achieve your ideal body weight – and how to make it permanent – with no dieting at all!

7 Unorthodox No-diet Rules for Achieving Ideal Body Weight

Take the “7 Unorthodox No-diet Rules for Achieving Ideal Body Weight” now!

This course is for you if you fall into any of the categories:

  • This course is for you if you describe yourself as “overweight” or “obese”, and you’ve continuously suffered failures with weight loss diets!
  • This course is for you if you are of normal weight and want to know how to maintain it for life or simply want to know how to enjoy a healthy living by making the right nutrition-related choices then!

What this course IS NOT…

  • This course is not about dieting. The rules mentioned in this course ARE NOT A DIET!
  • This course does not give an “Eat all you want and lose weight” type of advice!
  • This course is not about a nutrition trend that is hot now but will be rejected or even forgotten in the future!

What this course IS…

  • An ORIGINAL AND UNCONVENTIONAL content that is entirely based on my own study of nutrition and movement for a period nearly quarter of a century as a competitive natural body builder, personal trainer and nutrition consultant, as well as an avid health and functional fitness enthusiast.
  • An unorthodox but simple and intuitive set of rules that will serve you for a lifetime.
  • This course lays down the simple truths about why we are so screwed up health-wise and how to undo the damage by simply doing what the human body is well adapted to reacting favorably to and avoid what it is ill adapted to reacting favorably to.

Take the “7 Unorthodox No-diet Rules for Achieving Ideal Body Weight” now!

Beginners Pull Up Tutorial video course

Learn to do the pull up – the ultimate upper body builder. A complete step-by-step pull up tutorial for the beginner.

Enroll in the Beginners Pull up Tutorial video course now!

What are the requirements?

  • No previous knowledge or physical skills needed – it’s all included in this video tutorial course

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Over 28 lectures and 1.5 hours of content!
  • At the end of this course you will be able to do more than one pull ups

What is the target audience?

  • Anyone who cannot successfully do a single pull up in a strict form
  • This Pull up Tutorial is for beginner-level athletes as well as intermediate level athletes who cannot complete a single pull up without assistance

Enroll in the Beginners Pull up Tutorial video course now!

Defensive Handgun Skills: Defensive Pistol 2, Force-on-Force, Low light shooting

This past weekend I attended a 13-hour course at KRTraining, which was comprised of three separate defensive pistol skills courses: Defensive Pistol Skills 2, Advanced Training 2: Force-on-Force, Advanced Training 1A: Low light shooting.

Defensive Pirstol 2 at KRTraining

Defensive Pistol 2 at KRTraining: Training getting the pistol off a flat surface without the risk of it sliding out from underneath your fingers… when you need it most.

For this day of courses I used my new Ruger LC9s Pro sub-compact pistol.

I have to say that out of all the previous courses I’ve taken at this defensive shooting training school these three were the most impactful. More specifically the Force-on-Force scenarios.

Here are the main things that struck me the most:

  • If something is happening somewhere and you are in an adjacent place (could be another room in your house or the main building of a gas station – somewhere where you are not at the moment but you can hear or see things happening): “If there is nothing worth dying for don’t go in!”
  • Do not provoke! Do not start conflicts! Do seek to deescalate conflicts! Watch your body language and tone of voice!
  • If you are in a convenience store (coffee shop, movie theater, etc.) as a licensed CHL/CCW holder your job is NOT to be the policeman. Your only responsibility is to protect yourself, wife/children from imminent danger of losing life or limb, or to prevent a mass-murder. In any other case stay put.
  • If you are in a situation in which you were legally justified in drawing your weapon do not hold the weapon when the cops come! They don’t know who’s the good guy and who’s the bad guy (that’s assuming the bad guy is not a threat any more)! Identify yourself as a legal CHL/CCW carrier.
  • Draw your lines mentally as to what you can live with in case something is happening near you and you are not legally required but are legally justified to protect others from something horrible happening to them. What is morally the right ting to do? What can you live with if you do or not do what is morally expected of you?
  • Do not give full statement when first responders arrive, but state that you will comply fully as soon as you consult with your counsel. Provide the most necessary information without going into great detail. You need to make it clear that you were in fear for your life but you don’t want to say something that is not accurate at the moment that goes on record and can be used against you later (adrenalin spill, inadequacy, profound stress can all be a cause of that).
  • Train yourself to be in constant Condition Yellow (relaxed alert) when outside “your castle”. Train your situational awareness. Don’t miss clues! Don’t ignore when the gut’s telling you something doesn’t feel right! (in Force-on-forece role playing I got robbed at an ATM – I ignored the clues!)
  • Legally carrying REQUIRES of you to ALWAYS be at your best behavior, knowing the consequences if you are not! In my view, well-educated CCW holders, by deciding to carry that day, require of themselves to avoid situations that they or other people would normally not care too much to avoid. In other words, legal carrying when combined with the required education, makes for a very safe and highly responsible person (contrary to common belief).
  • All men are genetically predisposed to aggression – and that appears to be normal. But when aggression is combined with lack of empathy – the result is a sociopath! (this comes from an excerpt I was given to read during class from the book “On Killing” by Lt. Col David Grossman)
  • On adjusting to low light: Full adaptation of the eyes to darkness can take up to 40 min. It takes an instant to adapt back to full light. It is pointless, therefore, to wait to adapt to low-light. That’s what tactical flashlights are for. And, it makes perfect sense to flash in the eyes of an adversary to momentarily and completely take away his being adapted to low light conditions. Being directly flashed in the eyes is something you must avoid for the same reason.

I also learned that although sub-compact handguns may be okay as a part of your EDC or minimally uncomfortable for concealed carry, they are definitely not okay for defensive handgun courses. The low capacity (7 + 1 rounds in my case) makes it very stressful and difficult to complete drills. As one of my instructors stated near the end of the day, “You are fighting the small gun syndrome”.

Now, almost a week later I’m still processing the information received that day. And, I know it will take a while to fully process all that happened and all that I was exposed to.

In the mean time, I look forward to my continued education in the area of self-defense with firearms – Combative Pistol 1 with Tom Givens and after that MAG-20 Classroom with Massad Ayoob.

Running Fast and Injury Free e-book by Gordon Pirie

Below you will find a link to the Running Fast and Injury Free e-book by Gordon Pirie – a British runner, competitive professional athlete and trainer from the mid and last part of the last century. The book was edited by Dr John S Gilbody.

This short (60 pages) e-book is a highly recommended reading! I’ve read and re-read it several times. I’ve used it to correct my running technique many, many years ago.. And, I’m glad that I did. I have not suffered any traumas, related to running itself since I’ve implemented the teachings in this book.

“Running Fast and Injury Free” by Gordon Pirie simply is a classic and I am saddened that it has not gained more popularity!

Use this book if you:

  • want to learn what is the most proper way anatomically for humans to run
  • want to enjoy being able to run and avoid injuries for as long as you desire to continue practice running – one of the most innate human movement abilities
  • become better at running – become faster while expending less energy (become more efficient)
  • want to be (or already are) a competitive runner – all kinds of distances
  • want to know where the main problems come from in the technique of runners today (casual and competitive)
  • want to learn how to select the right running shoes (and avoid the many bad ones)

There are two ways to access the PDF file: 1) click on the image below, the PDF e-book will load and you can read on your computer; or 2) right-click on the image and select “Save link as..” to save to your computer.

Running Fast and Injury Free e-book (PDF) by Gordon Pirie

Running Fast and Injury Free e-book (PDF) by Gordon Pirie (Edited by John S Gilbody)