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18 August 2017

The Caffeinated Elixir Of The Gods: Coffee For The Win

Again, this is another teaser for an article I wrote for the corporate site detailing the awesomeness of coffee.  Like I said, I'm not out to sell shit on this blog, but I figure you guys might like extra content while I'm working on new shit for this site.

Coffee- the second most valuable traded commodity on the planet (to oil), second most consumed beverage (to water), and people drink half a billion cups of it for breakfast around the world.  It's so important that in the Civil War the Union could not have won without it.  Each Civil Union soldier received as part of his rations 36 pounds of coffee a year, and the word "coffee" was more prevalent in the journals of soldiers than any other word, including words that should be most prevalent, like "Lincoln" and "slavery" and "war."  Seriously- Union soldiers loved to be caffeinated so much that in 1859 the Sharps Rifle company put coffee grinders on the rifles themselves.

Chaos and Pain's new coffee hits harder than a dubstep drop and gets you so hopped up you'd think you fell out of an airplane and landed face first in a Columbian coca field.

In other words, coffee is the business.  It's our jam, our jelly, our peanut butter, and our peanuts.  The origins of coffee are a matter of some debate, but there is no doubt that the coffee bean hails from UNICEF's favorite place for charitable donations, the perpetually starved nation of Ethiopia.  Luckily, the people of Ethiopia decided to share the wealth with Arab traders, and by the 11th Century coffee had begun spreading throughout the Middle East and Europe... and this is the historical point at which life got as good as an all-expenses-paid vacation to the Playboy mansion for the world at large.

Had Ponce de Leon simply realized Ethiopia had already given the world the closest thing the world had to the fountain of youth, he could have stayed home and chilled rather than running around the Americas like a jackass.

Though coffee has gone in and out of vogue with nutritionists and health experts, the science is in and it is definitive- coffee is the elixir of life.  When Juan Ponce de León was looking for the fountain of youth in the New World, he had no idea humanity had already found it- it's coffee.  Coffee's health-promoting properties are derived from its phytochemistry... and you'll have to go here to get the rest of the article.

Coming up late this weekend/early next week- "Fuck The Olympia- The Real Champions Of Bodybuilding Are Uncrowned", in which you'll get workouts from Brutil Bertil Fox and a bunch of other maniacs of who you may have never heard.

17 August 2017

Lucid Dreaming Rules- Cultivate Crazy Gainz and Trip Balls While Sleeping With The Olympus Hypnos and Binaural Beats

* This is a teaser for an article I posted on my corporate site.  I never intended to use this blog to sell product, so head over to to read this badass article in full.  Lest you worry, it's not a big advertisement for Hypnos- I just had some really cool experiences using Hypnos with binaural beats to have lucid dreams and thought I'd share the wealth.*

It is probably redundant to mention the vast importance of sleep for people in general, and trainees in particular.  More articles have been written about the subject than have likely been written about the importance of any other non-training subject in the strength training world, save for perhaps protein, so there is little need to belabor the point.

Sleep.  You need it like you need oxygen, protein, and sex.

Edison, the All-Time World Heavyweight Champion Asshole

Why don't people get enough sleep?  The factors are more numerous than tanning salons down the Jersey Shore, but they include people dicking around with their phones in bed, electromagnetic fields in and around the bedroom, poor diet, lack of exercise, and a litany of other factors.  In this author's opinion, however, the blame can be placed squarely at one asshole's feet- Thomas Edison.

Prior to the invention of the electric light bulb, people slept an average of 10-12 hours a day.  Thomas Edison, the inventor of the electric light bulb, was a workaholic who believed that sleep, and rest in general, were unnecessary, primitive, and to be championed only by people so lazy that they rode around in whatever passed for Walmart's too-fat-to-walk scooters.  I suppose he needed all of that extra time awake to steal as much as he possibly could from other inventors, electrocute elephants, hire henchmen to beat up his competitors, force the world's greatest mad scientist Nikola Tesla to work a ridiculous 10 AM to 5AM workday, and get his assistants killed working on a ghost busting machine.  Whatever his other asshattery might have been, however, we can hate him most for the fact that he is directly responsible for the modern idea that getting "too much" sleep is unhealthy, and the fact that Americans average 20% less sleep than they did in 1900.  In contrast to our modern sleep habits, Paleolithic man (who was demonstrably stronger, healthier, and essentially better in every possible way than modern man) slept from dusk until dawn, which means a little over 10 hours a night in the summer, and considerably longer in the winter.  Were this unhealthy, it's unlikely that they'd have done it- they had fire, so they could have kept themselves busy into the wee hours of the night if they'd wished to.

Poor baby Edison couldn't even enjoy all of the scandalous crap he put in his movies (Aleksandrowicz), because his Johnson likely didn't work.

Amusingly, although Edison was a massive fan of jamming as much sex and violence into his movies as possible,  he probably had erectile dysfunction and couldn't whip it out and jerk it to the films he made.... 

14 August 2017

Like A Phoenix Rising From The Ashes- How To Fuck Shit Up When Coming Back After A Layoff

The last two years of my life have been, as I've mentioned in prior articles, about as outlandish and hyperbolic as two years could be.  Amidst all of the partying and my subsequent incarceration, I took a number of layoffs... which was a bit of a shock after about 20 years of training in which I never took a week off.  When I was asked a few years ago how best to come back from a layoff I was as mute as I would have been if someone cut off my fingers and tongue, because I had no clue- I'd never come back from a layoff.  Now that I've been a colossal shitbird / party animal, however, I have a damn good idea because I've done it a number of times- where I wouldn't respond previously for lack of knowledge I now am equipped to lay out a plan for anyone interested that will have them rising from the ashes of their layoff like Dark Phoenix to lay waste to everything around them and slay weights like they're Pygmies and you're the Congolese Army.

"Every fuckin' beatin' I'm grateful for. Every fuckin' one of them. Get all the trust beat outta you. And you know what the fuckin' world is."
- Al Swearengen

Every now and again, life hands you an ass whipping the likes of which haven't been seen since Wandy kneed and soccer kicked Rampage Jackson half to death in Pride 28, and your training necessarily has to take a back seat.  Even if that doesn't happen, you are more than likely going to get burned out on training at some point and just sit your ass on the couch for a month or two.  You'll spend the first couple of days thinking about how you're going to lose all your gains.  Maybe a week later you'll hit the gym to discover your lifts haven't really suffered, and then your lifts will space out a little further, and a little further.  Here's the cool thing- unless you go on a starvation diet and dive-bomb Rich Piana-style into a medical coma, you're not going to lose too much strength.

That last statement assumes you have a few years of aggressive training under your belt, and that even in your layoff you're still at least as cognizant of getting adequate protein as a cat is that a cucumber may not be a snake.  Should either of those two facets of your layoff fail to materialize, you might experience different results.  Provided you have those two things, however, after a month or two off you might be looking at a 10-15% drop in your typical top end strength numbers.  While that seems massive, it's really not- getting that back takes two months, tops.  Frankly, as I surge in strength and then get bored again (repeatedly), I lunge closer and closer to my best top end numbers even without dieting like a maniac or killing myself in the gym.  It's weird- although it was insanely difficult to get a 415 bench, I can train my ass off for two months and see 415+ at the end of the tunnel without even really trying... and when I say without even really trying, I mean that to get that 415 bench in the first place I was training 6 days a week, sometimes twice a day, and I can get within shouting distance of it again with 4-5 intense (but not eye-bleedingly intense) workouts a week.

"Ummm... wait.  So it's like, not broscience?"

The reason for this is the bit of bro science we all know as "muscle memory"... which as it turns out is actual science.  According to one study:
"Even if subsequently subjected to grave atrophy, the higher number of myonuclei is retained, and the myonuclei seem to be protected against the elevated apoptotic activity observed in atrophying muscle tissue. Fibres that have acquired a higher number of myonuclei grow faster when subjected to overload exercise, thus the nuclei represent a functionally important 'memory' of previous strength. This memory might be very long lasting in humans, as myonuclei are stable for at least 15 years and might even be permanent" (Gunderson).
If you went full blank-faced, wide-eyed Lindsay Lohan when you saw the word "myonuclei", the TLDR is that muscle memory lasts at least 15 years and might be permanent, which means you'll be able to regain your peak level of strength with far less effort than it took to achieve initially when you finally decide to pick the barbell back up.  That's fucking epic, but I suppose it makes sense- once you've climbed to the peak of a mountain, hunting around for the best access point to the peak, each subsequent effort will go much more quickly and smoothly because you've already been there.

You're gonna have to get pumped the fuck up to get your gainz back in short order. 

Bringin' It Back
Your return is going to consist of two sections- machines and free weights.  If you lack access to machines, I've got you covered, but in my opinion the best way to recondition yourself for the gym is two weeks of machine work.  The reason for this is mostly narcissistic, but there's a practical component as well- you're prepping your muscles to handle free weights without exposing yourself to the possibility of injury.  I realize that doesn't seem to fall in line with my general mindset, but I can explain my logic in two parts:
  1. To me, having anything but elite strength is embarrassing in the same way that shitting your pants at your own wedding is embarrassing, and I'd like to whet my teeth on some machines to feel out weights and build a little baseline strength before I potentially embarrass myself on the bench or in the squat rack.
  2. I know myself- I will want to max out as soon as humanly possible to see where I stand and how far I have to go.  With no physical preparation, this is fucking stupid- your body has lost its rhythm, you don't have good bar paths, your ligaments and tendons are totally unprepared to handle heavy weights, and all of the tiny support muscles, like the supraspinatus, are totally detrained.  Even if you don't hurt yourself physically, you're likely to hurt yourself mentally by hitting the free weights and getting stapled by a weight that should be easier than finding a Nazi in Charlottesville.
Machine- and dumbbell-only workouts seem to have worked pretty well for Chick.  Insofar as I recall, he never lifted a barbell unless it was to get it out of the way of his Smith Machine.

The First Two Weeks
As I stated, the first two weeks of this program will be done entirely on Hammer Strength machines, cables, and the like.  This is just a physical preparatory period designed to get you back to moving some weights without exposing yourself to injury and to prep your muscles for the DOMS nightmare looming on the horizon.  The reps here will necessarily be a bit higher, as the volume just gives you a bit of time under tension and is going to induce some soreness without killing you.  Lest you worry that your time will be wasted in these two weeks, consider the guys who famously based their workouts heavily on machine work- Big Ramy, Casey Viator, Bob Cicherillo, Mike Mentzer, Phil Heath... and the list goes on.  Machine work, according to most bodybuilders, results in far more hypertrophy than free weight work, which means you'll get a bit of your size back while you're getting a pump and flushing your musculature with enough blood to feed a family of ravenous 30 Days of Night vampires for a week.  On top of that, you're sort of "greasing the groove" as Pavel says- you're allowing your body to be led through the motor path for various exercises to sort of jog your muscles' cellular memory without exposing yourself to undo risk of injury that could occur with a wonky bar path (Krakauer).

In the 1960's and 1970's, guys like Roger Estep actually had an offseason, wherein they'd either not train or train very little.  That didn't stop them from rocking physiques that would have had the Hulk shamefully masturbating in the corner.

Move like you're Chris Kattan on an eight ball of coke during this first fortnight of training- you're not in the gym to chat up the insanely hot guy/girl/trans person you're ogling from across the gym, and you likely don't look good enough to pick them up anyway.  So walk your jiggly ass quickly to the water fountain after each set, get a quick drink, then go right back to your next set.  It's not like you're in the kind of shape wherein you're gonna pick up anyone at the gym anyway, so keep it fucking moving and burn off some flab while you're getting back in the swing of things.

Don't even bother chatting the hardbodies up until you've got one again yourself.

Week 1 and 2

Day 1- Chest and Shoulders
Chest Press- 3x8; 3x6; 1 death set with 80% of the weight you used in your first 3 sets (death set is a set done to complete failure [i.e. death])
Incline Chest Press (or Incline Smith)- 4x10
Pec Deck/Cable Crossover-3x12
Machine Shoulder Press- 2x10; 5x8; 1 death set with 80% of the weight you used in your first 2 sets
Lateral Raises- 5x10
Real Machine Laterals- 4x10

Day 2- Back
Hammer Row / Dumbbell Row- 6x8
Pullups- 4xAMRAP
Cable Row- 2x10; 2x8; Death set with one plate lighter than your first two sets
Face Pulls- 3x20

Day 3- Legs
Leg Press / Squat Machine- 3x10; 3x8
Leg Curl- 5x10
Leg Extension- 4x10
Calf Raise- 3x50 (yeah, sets of 50.  I believe I picked this little tidbit up from Tom Platz and told my last training partner about it.  They hadn't been able to grow their calves for shit using any method, and this method blew them up fast)

Day 4- Arms
Rope Curls- 6x10
Rope Pushdowns- 6x10
Dumbbell Curl- 4x8
Dumbbell Skullcrusher- 4x8 (these are done laying on the floor, legs out straight, bringing the dumbbells down just above and outside your ear.  Rest the dumbbell on the floor for one second, then return to the starting position.)

Day 5- Potluck for 45 minutes
This is a fill in the blanks day- I just bounce around the gym for 45 minutes getting a pump on.  If you want to ogle that chick you've been side-eying all week, go work out near her.  I'd recommend doing more calves (your calves can never be too big), some forearms (your grip is going to need work, as are your callouses), and more shoulders.  Shoulder strength seems to have the most carryover to other lifts, in my experience, and jacked shoulders will make you look bigger than you are while you're training to refill those shirts that have gotten a little loose on you.  Really, though, what you do on this day is entirely up to you.  Just get your ass into the gym and train like breaking the dry spell that has you rocking a half gallon of yogurt in your pants depends on it.  Because it does.

Days 6 and 7- Off

Doug Young wouldn't have done machine work if you ran into his gym and stuck the barrel of a pistol in his eye.

Now, as I mentioned, I realize some of you lack access or have some horrible allergy to machines, which I have to say is lamentable.  Nevertheless, it is of course possible to rise out of your indolence utilizing only barbells, though you won't have the same hypertrophy that the machine users use, in all likelihood, because you will be forced to use light weights while you relearn your bar paths, and you'll likely be far more sore because you'll have to utilize far more stabilizers than the machine users would.  For non-machine users, I recommend the following (because I had to do this in the past year as well):

Day 1- Chest and Shoulders
Bench Press- 3x10 (12RM); 3x5 (8RM); 1 death set with 90% of the first 3 sets' weight
Champagne Press- 4x8 (10RM)
Incline Flies- 3x8 (10RM)
Strict Military Press- 4x10 (12RM)
Lateral Raise- 3x10 (12RM)
Rear Lateral Raise- 3x10 (12RM)

Day 2- Band Work
Tricep Pushdowns- 10xAMRAP
Curls- 10xAMRAP

Day 3- Back and Shoulders
Pendlay Row- 5x8 (10RM) (pull explosively into your solar plexus to the point that you're bruised)
Pullups- 6x AMRAP-2 (so you're stopping just short of failure on every set)
Face Pulls- 4x20
Lateral Raises- 6x8 (10RM)

Day 4- Band Work and Bodyweight Work
Pullups- 75 total reps, in as many sets as it takes
Dips- 150 total reps, in as many sets as it takes
Tricep Pushdowns- 5xAMRAP
Curls- 5xAMRAP

Day 5- Legs
Squat- 5x5 (10RM) (going light on these because you're going to be fucking sore, and getting back in the groove on the squat is by far and away the hardest thing you're going to have to do in this month)
Stiff Leg Deadlift- 5x8 (10RM)
Calf Raise- 3x50

Days 6 and 7- Off

"I fought like I didn't deserve to live."
- Jake LaMotta

Now it's going to be time to pick up the pace a little bit.  Stay on top of knotting- self massage is as essential as protein during the initial month of training.  Neglect it at your peril.  Time to fight like you don't deserve to live and give the weights a bit of the old "what for."  You've fucked about long enough.

Day 1Chest and Shoulders
Bench Press- 4x4 (6RM); 2x2 (4RM); 2 death sets with 60% of the initial weight
Close Grip Bench Press- 4x8 (10RM)
Weighted Dips- 4x4 (6RM)
Lateral Raise- 3x10 (12RM)
Face Pull- 3x20 

Day 2Back 
Pendlay Row- 5x8 (10RM) (pull explosively into your solar plexus to the point that you're bruised)
Shrug- 5x8 (10RM)
Pullups- 6x AMRAP-2 (so you're stopping just short of failure on every set)
Cable Row- 4x15
Face Pulls- 4x20

Day 3Shoulders and Arms
Strict Military Press- 4x8 (10RM); 2x3 (5RM); 1 death set with 90% of your first sets' weight
Lateral Raise- 5x10 (12RM)
Rear Machine Laterals- 5x10 (12RM)
Dumbbell Skullcrushers- 4x6 (8RM) (these are done laying on the floor, legs out straight, bringing the dumbbells down just above and outside your ear.  Rest the dumbbell on the floor for one second, then return to the starting position.)
Hammer Curls- 4x6 (8RM)

Day 4Off

Day 5Legs
Squat- 5x5 (7RM); 2x3 (5RM) 
Leg Curl- 6x10
Leg Extension- 5x10
Calf Raise- 3x50

Days 6- A Little Bit Of Everything
Bench Press (1 and a half reps)- 3x10 (you do these by taking the bar to your chest, pressing halfway up, returning the bar to your chest, and exploding to the top)
Strict Military Press- 3x3 (5RM)
Cable Row- 4x10 (12RM)
Pushdowns- 3x20
Rope Curls- 3x20

You're not coming back off a layoff and dropping right into a Tom Platz leg routine, brotato.  Settle the fuck down.

Now, you might think that this program is light on legs, and it is- this is because in the last year I have discovered when you come back off a layoff nothing gets as sore as your legs.  Your legs are going to be more sore than a porn star's vag after a world record gangbang.  It's obnoxious, but it's true.

So there you have it- you can come back harder than a diamond in an ice storm if you just put some will into it.  There is no sense in beating yourself up for lost time, lamenting what could have been if you hadn't taken time off, or bitching about the current state of your strength or physique.  All you can do is put your head down, attack the weights like a rabid dog attacking an old lady, eat as much fucking protein as you can fit down your gullet, and watch the gainz pile up.  If it were any easier, it'd be basketball.  

Get out there and fucking kill it.

Gundersen K.  Muscle memory and a new cellular model for muscle atrophy and hypertrophy.  J Exp Biol. 2016 Jan;219(Pt 2):235-42.

Krakauer JW, Shadmehr R. CONSOLIDATION OF MOTOR MEMORY. Trends in neurosciences. 2006;29(1):58-64. 

05 August 2017

Hillbilly Chili Hacks- Backwoods Stewroids To Fit The Tiniest Budget

A Short Aside for Those Who Think They Cannot Cook

Before we get started on another food blog, I figure it bears mentioning that I'm aware that some of you refuse to accept the fact that cooking is in your DNA.  Literally. Homo Erectus began cooking food at least a million goddamned years ago.  So, before you begin your bullshit, pre-baked, lazy nonsense about how you cannot cook, acknowledge the fact that IT'S REALLY NOT ROCKET SURGERY.  I realize, however, that trying new things is daunting, and there is a high cost to fucking up expensive recipes.  Frankly, there's a high cost to simply filling a spice cabinet.  There's a higher cost to you, however, if you simply eat bland, awful crap all the time, because  

Yeah, eating food that tastes good is more important for your mood than anything else, and if your mood sucks, so will your sleep, training, and life in general.

Now, I am horrified to get messages like the one I did yesterday, wherein one of my friends informed me he was reduced to eating prison food (top ramen with canned tuna) because he's broker than a cokehead bouncer working in a strip club.  This sort of thing just cannot happen- friends don't let friends eat ramen.  So, I sent him a tub of protein and am writing this gem.  I'll post an article soon with kind of step by step instructions for beginning cooks, but in the meantime, just remember the following:
  1. Salt is your friend.  It's possible to overdo it, so just add it gradually as you go.  Don't go all fucking Mrs. Dash on me- there are better ways to get your potassium and salt tastes WAY better.
  2. Heat is your friend.  Everyone's afraid to cook on high heat, but provided you actually pay attention to your food rather than fucking around on Facebook, you'll get a nice crust on your steak and it won't taste like grey horsemeat.
  3. Make a list of four dishes you fucking LOVE (and that fit your macros) and practice them until you can make them without much measuring or looking at the recipe.
Creepy does not even begin to describe this picture, but this even this weird fucker can cook.

Trust me when I say that cooking is way easier than you think it is- you just need to apply the same discipline to it that you do lifting and you'll be more golden than Dusty Rhodes' son.  So, with that, let's get on to the good stuff.

Stew-Roids- The easiest food man has devised
Stew is literally the easiest thing on Earth to cook this side of my hyper-delicious hyperbulk favorite, frozen Banquet fried chicken (and if you've never had it, it makes KFC taste like a fried troll that had lived its life on a diet of doghit before dying of syphillis), and stew has the added benefit of not putting cellulite on your face if you eat too much of it.  It's the just about the oldest method of food on Earth, second only to roast meat.  Seriously, the cauldron, soup pot, whatever the fuck you want to call it, basically marked the divide between the man who spoke in grunts and hopped around like a pack of retards in a McDonalds Playland and the man who shot monkeys into space.  So not only was it integral to living, but the cauldron was the mainstay of every kitchen around the world until just recently.
"There emerges a picture of plain living society scattered over much Europe north of the Alps, dining most days on bread, water, or ale, and a companaticum (that which goes with the bread) from the cauldron, the original stockpot or pot-au-fait that provided an ever-changing broth enriched daily with whatever was available.  The cauldron was rarely emptied out except in preparation for the meatless week of Lent, so that while a hare, hen, or pigeon would give it a fine meaty flavor, the taste of salted pork or cabbage would linger for days, even weeks.  Except in really hard times, this system meant that there was generally something hot and filling to eat, even if it was no more than a soup thick with shreds of past dinners" (Tannahill 94-95).  
"But the cauldron remained the central and essential feature of the northern kitchen until the eighteenth century, and it was the cauldron that dictated how the majority of everyday foods should be cooked.  In America the cauldron (known as the 'kettle') was still the single most important and expensive item in the settles' baggage during the westward expansion of the nineteenth century" (Tannahill 97).
So I think by now, I've made my point- stew is the engine on which humanity runs, and the best part is that it doesn't matter if you're poorer than a Thai ladyboy hooker who only wants to fuck devout Mormons in the Tabernacle or if you can't cook for shit.  Viking berserkers lived on stewroids (their staple stew was called skause), and as I've mentioned before, it's practically all sumo wrestlers and Icelandic strongmen live on.  The best part is, even if you're a fucking hobo or you're just a bro who spent his last $10 on preworkout drinks at the gym, you can make a badass stew out of nothing but possibly-gone-bad leftovers and a little ingenuity.  Here's how.

Roadkill Soup aka Kentucky Burgoo 
Something called Roadkill Soup is exactly what I expect most of us would think people in Kentucky would eat.  While banging their sister, playing the banjo, and doing that weird backwoods tapdancing.
Yeah, I don't get it either.

In any event, the origins of Kentucky Burgoo are pretty much shrouded in mystery- I spent a considerable amount of time researching it and it basically boils down to the fact that there were a lot of really poor Kentucky work crews in the mid 1800s who wouldn't be able to work if they fell facedown from starvation.  So, someone invented this thick-as-fuck belly buster to get their asses moving.  You can make a burgoo (which has to be the most disgusting word in the English language and is apparently predates the stew itself, somehow) with literally anything, but the Confederate army cook Gus Jaubert, who's considered to be the father of burgoo, said this is how he did it:
"The making of good burgoo... is even more difficult than the roasting of the meat and requires more time.…Its ingredients are 400 pounds of beef, six dozen chickens, four dozen rabbits, thirty cans of tomatoes, twenty dozen cans of corn, fifteen bushels of potatoes, and five bushels of onions." 
No two burgoo recipes are the same, and some people even throw in dead shit they find on the side of the road.  One thing they all have in common, apparently, is a healthy dose of bourbon... which makes sense given Kentucky's known for the stuff.  Some people apparently simmer their burgoo for a full 24 hours, but that's just fucking silly- what kind of overall-wearing, washboard-playing maniac wants to wait a full fucking day to eat a meal?  In any event, the way I made it ended up tasting a lot like chili, which is fine by me because I could live on nothing but chili and die with a smile on my face that'd make it look like I died fucking twenty porn stars.  So here's what I did:

1 lb 90% lean ground beef
1/2 lb stew meat
Some leftover pulled barbecue chicken
1 can of corn
1 can of red beans
1 can diced tomatoes
15 oz can tomato sauce
1 diced potato
Couple of pinches of salt
Couple of pinches of red pepper
Couple of pinches of ancho chili pepper

  • Brown the meat in a frying pan using a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.  I chop my ground beef as finely as possible, because it gave a nice contrast to the size of the stew meat.  
  • Dice your potatoes however you like them- I wanted mine small because I had some rice to throw the stew over and I figured it'd all just meld nicely.  The whole point of this recipe is that you make it however you like it, so you can experiment and find out how you like it best.
  • Once that's done, just dump all of the ingredients in a pot and simmer it for an hour.  If you're new to cooking, just put the temperature dial on 2.
  • Rock out with your cock out and eat.  I threw some diced jalapenos and habeneros on top and then threw the whole thing over rice.  Everyone does their own thing with burgoo- doesn't matter if you top the stuff with a dead blackbird you found in your backyard... which is incidentally one of the legends of the origins of burgoo.

Mulligan Stew / Hunter's Stew / Trashcan Chili
Hobo stew.  It can't get any easier than that, can it?  This doesn't differ greatly from burgoo, and a lot of people think that Mulligan stew was the inspiration for burgoo... but frankly, who gives a shit?
Basically, I'm just including this one to show you guys how easy it is to cook up something decent on the cheap.  All of the recipes for this one involve a couple of kinds of meat and some veggies, usually onions and green peppers.  The following recipe, to which I obviously added red beans for more protein and texture, comes from 1906 and was literally written by a hobo.  Apparently back in the day there were hobos who worked as typesetters to pay for their whisky and Mulligan Stew while they rode the rails from town to town, which is about as ridiculous as it is cool- the only thing that could make that cooler is if Ashley Blue was riding the guy's face as he typed.  In any event, here is the authentic recipe:

  • Chicken, young or old
  • Beef, tender or tough
  • Salt pork (plenty of salt)
  • Mutton (made from sheep)
  • Potatoes (commonly called “spuds”)
  • Carrots, turnips, tomatoes, green corn (and other vegetables)
  • Take an ax (or similar device) and chop all into fine particles (more or less), throw entire mixture into a large receptacle and coil until all the ingredients are tender (the meat especially). Serve while steaming hot.

Who in the fuck wants to look at hobo porn?  Who even knew such a thing existed?  Well, now we all do.

Obviously, salt pork is not easy to find, so I used bacon.  For the veggies, I used jalapenos, green onions, and corn.  If you want to be hyper authentic, you've got to find a big tomato can and cook it over an open fire surrounded by hobos who are probably going to get you drunk on grain alcohol and then gang rape you, so I'd just use a slow cooker.  Clearly, using ground pork and ground beef makes more sense than chopping the shit up with an axe... and if you have an axe in your kitchen you are probably adding human flesh to this mixture anyway.  In any event, hobos liked this stuff because you could literally make it out of anything you had handy, and you should like it because it means you can bulk on literally anything.

To sum things up, you have no excuse for not making gains.  Just get out your crock pot and throw in whatever the fuck you have handy- it'll taste better than being small.

Here's a little eye cleanse, because even I'm a little disturbed by the hobo porn.

Anderson, Jean.  Kentucky Burgoo.  Epicurious.  Web.  5 Aug 2017.
Sparber, Max.  Irish-American Dining: Mulligan Stew.  Happy Hooligan.  27 Aug 2014.  Web.  11 Jun 2017.
Tannahill, Reay.  Food in History.  New York: Broadway Books, 1995.

11 July 2017

Random Shit I've Learned Part Three... Or Shit That Makes Me Want Beat People With A Sack Full Of Newborns. Whichever Works.

The intervening period between my last article of this nature and this one were... tumultuous, you might say.  I have learned a lot about life, the world, your mom, the fact that shit is not always fair, and nothing is guaranteed to go your way. Additionally, if it seems to be going your way, you best not be fooled- as I said in my last psychological article hate is a good thing and so is pessimism.  Life doesn't always come out chicken and waffles- even when succeeding is easy, because if you're a psychopath who lives by mottos like "moderation is mediocrity; extremity is excellence", you certainly can still find a way to lose.

If you're not caught up on the goings on in my life, I got into a crazy relationship the insane, Hunter S. Thompson-worthy details of which will remain unpublished until I write a memoir, spent most of a year lifting between 3 and 4 times a week packed to the gills with vodka, chicken fingers, and tater tots, then had the succubus leave me.  I paid cash for the most expensive rehab in the history of the universe, met a highly vaunted NFL bust and a lot of doctors whacked off their faces on meth (which is troubling to say the least), failed to win her heart with my efforts and went utterly berserk with partying until I eventually ended up in jail resultant to a DUI.  I've always joked that I live in a fucking cartoon, but I seriously don't live a normal life, unless you're Robert Downey Jr or the aforementioned amazing author.  No matter my love of the extreme, even I can admit you can overdo shit, and I did.  I still stand behind my defenses of drinking that sent the No Fap/No Fun/No Strength posters on Reddit (here and here) into apoplexy, but that shit can certainly get away from you.  You have to keep the tiger by the tail, as it were, and I got bitten a lot.  Shit happens.  In any event, I learned a hell of a lot over the last two years, and I am about to impart that knowledge to you.

Someone in antiquity posed for this, in a place where cows were rare, supplements didn't exist, and the only weights were whatever was handy.  And he's bigger than all of us... but tragically hung like a baby.

You can do a lot more with a lot less.  
I know I own a supplement company and this might be counterproductive to selling shit to people.  I'm not about selling shit.  I'm about results.  What I can tell you is that I was under the impression you needed all of the things in the perfect place to succeed in strength- sleep had to be ten hours a day, to digest the 500 grams of protein you stuffed into your stomach after two sessions of heavy weights a day.  I knew from my research that people managed to get stupidly jacked pre-refrigeration and supplements, but I figured I was just genetically cursed and required all the advantages of the modern era.  I was fucking stupid.

Gnolls are the only apex predators that could wipe us out.  Luckily, they're fictional.

If you claim to be a hardgainer, feel free to message me and I'll come to your house and hang a beating on you that you will not live long enough to never forget for being retarded.  This is not hyperbole.  If you're not big and strong, it's because you don't want to be.  As I've stated many, many times, people are supposed to be jacked and strong.  It's our state in nature.  That and our massive brains is the reason we're apex predators and have dominated this planet.  You're not genetically cursed- you're mentally fucked.  Thousands of years of programming have rendered you physically impotent.  You've been sold a lie that claims you're a sheep and not a wolf, even though humans and dogs are the only two predators on the planet that cooperate.  That is significant.  If we are sheepdogs as posited in American Sniper, we're only sheepdogs because we pity the weak, in spite of the fact that the weak are beneath contempt and killing our species.  You need to recognize these facts.

I get a little link happy sometimes.  Sue me.  The first one is my favorite movie that's not The Devil's Rejects, and the rest are informative.

Prehistoric people moved stones we can only dream of budging.  Ancient Olympic athletes performed feats of strength that seem positively superhuman.  None of these guys had more than some ephedra and goat meat in their blood, and they rocked out with their cocks out daily, because humans are born to win.  We wiped out the physically and possibly mentally superior neanderthals, exterminated every bit of megafauna on Earth, and then went on to conquer everything but our own innate hatred of ourselves. 

Does that mean you should be one of those dipshits who eschews all supplements and will cram your limp dick in the ear of anyone at the gym who will sit still long enough to you to wrestle its flaccid form into that tiny hole and harangue them about how you refuse to even drink coffee before you train and you still can do such-and-thus unimpressive thing?  I wouldn't, because everyone in every gym despises that asshole, and because you're just making an easy thing harder than it needs to be.  Even cavemen used ephedra, khat, coffee, coca leaves, or whatever local stimulant they had handy, and they did so because they knew it improved their performance and made them better human beings.  Moreover, if they'd had protein powder back in the day, I guarantee they'd have used it, because real lifters have been all over protein powder since the shit was invented, even when it was basically undrinkable.  So, if you get into a jam and can't afford protein powder for a while, or you can't get into a paid gym for a couple of weeks, know that it is not the end of the world- just fucking nut up and sally forth.  If you can afford it, however, you might as well enjoy the benefits of living in the technological age.

Have you ever seen your "super mega br00tal hardcore" gym this packed?  Me neither.

You can do more with less.  
I spent five of my seven months in jail doing nothing more than weird, self-invented TRX style movements with a sheet, wall sits,  and ballistic incline pushups.  I'm sure the TRX people have a whole book detailing the same things I figured out on my own, but my point is that I lived on summer sausage, ramen noodles, and as many milks per day as I could buy off my fellow inmates, and I left jail with a 365 bench, easily Pendlay rowing 365 for triples, and jump squatting 405, weighing a slightly puffy 205.  How?  Boredom, hatred, and what I would consider not terribly hard work.  What I did was A LOT of work.  A lot of what I would consider to be very, very easy work.


Jumping online when I got out, I was highly amused to see all of these self-important missives on Facebook about the importance of quality work and the pointlessness of high volume training.  I damn near quit Facebook over it, in fact, because my feed was nothing but assholes who barely look like they lift pontificating about what does and what doesn't work when they've won nothing but jack and shit (and jack left town) and boring fucking videos of non-prs.  I don't know what in the fuck goes through people's minds when they post these fucking things, but let me set the record straight: NO ONE GIVES A FUCK ABOUT YOUR THIRD LACKLUSTER SET OF BENCH.  NO ONE.  NOT YOUR MOM, NOT YOUR CORPSE GOD, AND DEFINITELY NOT ME.  For fuck's sweet sake, let the madness end.

In any event, I can tell you from personal experience that 4-6 hours a day of low impact, sort-of-bodyweight shit adds up, and it's this little shit that can fill the gaps in your minimalist training routine to get your strength levels to the point that someone might actually give a shit about your training videos.  Before you fly off the fucking handle and suggest I train light and only do rep work now, notice that is not the point of my missive here- it's that TONS of light shit can backfill brutally heavy training and bring up your strength far more quickly than heavy training alone.  I keep an orange Elite FTS resistance band hanging up on my porch so I can do high rep sets of rows, curls, overhead press and the like whenever I want, and I am 100% certain it works... if for no other reason than Bruce Lee was about that life.  According to his wife, Linda:
"Bruce was forever pumping a dumbbell which he kept in the house. He had the unique ability to do several things at once. It wasn't at all unusual for me to find him watching a boxing match on TV, while simultaneously performing full side splits, reading a book in one hand and pumping the dumbbell up and down with the other. Bruce was a big believer in forearm training to improve his gripping and punching power. He was a forearm fanatic, if ever anyone came out with a new forearm course, Bruce would have to get it."
And Chuck Norris, the only person on the planet who can kick a man in the back of the face, had this to say about Lee's incessant training:
"I remember visiting the Lee household and seeing Bruce bouncing his little boy, Brandon, on his abdomen while simultaneously performing leg raises and dumbbell flyes."
So maybe get some resistance bands and a pullup bar and add some random light shit to your day when you can.  Unless, of course, you prefer to be fat and weak, in which case you should just carry on doing what you're doing.

This gets me to me next point, which is:

Being strong is ridiculously, embarrassingly easy.
Honestly, it is.  I was always the littlest kid in school- they wanted to keep me from going to first grade because they thought I was too small for elementary school.  I busted my ass to make the state traveling team for soccer, and fought my ass off for every position I ever earned on a varsity team.  I'm neither a gifted athlete nor was I born preternaturally strong, but I was born with a hatred of losing.  A deep, abiding, all encompassing hatred of losing, and that is what drives me.  There's no brass ring for setting records or winning competitions that you can hold up at the end of your life and validate your existence, but you can break your ass to win at life so that at the end of your life you have no ragrets.  Not even one letter.


Being strong is fucking easy.  Really, really easy.  It doesn't require math, it doesn't need cameras and fancy equipment, and it doesn't require a team or a coach.  It's human vs. iron, and so long as you refuse to lose, you will win the war.  And I mean, refuse to lose- all of the positivity bullshit, hand-holding fitspo bullshit in the world will not make you strong- refusing to believe you are weak will make you strong.  Depending on what scientist you ask, we're 50-75% stronger than we act- there are just mental blocks in place to prevent us from utilizing strength that might cripple us.  I might have thought that was bullshit save for the fact that I've always owned dogs, and I know dogs cannot leave anything in the tank when they're excited.

Do not ever, ever own a dog mixed with a dachshund.  They're mean for no reason... but what would you expect for a dog breed bred to kill badgers?

Our dog growing up was this horrible asshole of a dachshund-lab mix named Tana, who hated it when people went in the pool and thought it was her sworn duty to announce to the world that someone was in peril of drowning by scampering around the pool and screaming at the top of her lungs at whoever was touching the water.  When my sister had her 16th birthday party, Tana went berserk for something akin to 8 hours, running full tilt around the pool and occasionally falling in, and never paused once for a break.  She spent the next 2 weeks bedridden unless we picked her up and carried her to water, food, or grass to use the bathroom, because as the vet diagnosed she'd basically pulled every muscle in her body.  He actually suggested we put her down.  All because she was so scared of swimming she thought it was her sworn duty to humanity to announce anytime a person was submerged in water- she had no physical limits to this duty.  Humans brains have a block that prevents us from over-exerting ourselves except in times of extreme need, but you can train it to pipe the fuck down so you can be superman more often- it is simply a matter of will.

If we were all werewolves, strength competitions would not even exist- they'd consist of nothing but corpses crushed under terrific weights, maimed and mangled people, and shattered records.

Canines are superior to humans in about every conceivable way.  I lack the breadth of vocabulary to explain exactly how true this is, but it is true.  Nevermind the fact that canines are more loyal and caring than a human being could ever be, but they lack the psychological restraints that humans have.  They're not designed for sprinting for ten hours straight, but they're prepared to do it if that's what they think is right.  You think you need the perfect program, or diet, or lifestyle, or genetics?  Bullshit.  You need strength of character, force of will, and a focused mind.  That's it.  No calculators, no spreadsheets, no training journals, no videos... none of the extraneous shit people have come to believe is magical but is in reality just a distraction from their goal.  And if you think I'm wrong, feel free to rock out and then show me how you used incremental loading with percentages of your daily max to lift the 315 lb oddly shaped rock Bybon lifted over his head with one hand 2,700 years before the invention of whatever training program is trending on Facebook these days.  

Oh, don't you worry- I've got a lot more to rant about, but I figure this is a good stopping point.  Coming very soon- the finale to my long-dead series about Kaz and Jon Pall (along with partially rewritten versions of the first two installments of that series), an article about how peanuts are quite literally poison, an article about the uncrowned champions of the Mr. Olympia contest, and a heavily history-based diet that I imagine a bunch of you will find intriguing even if you immediately dismiss it as poppycock and balderdash.  Chime in on my FB if you have a preference- I have the top ten list up on my page now.