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Hey guys, been a while since I’ve done a health post and they always tend to be very long-winded anyway. I’m currently on my lunch break so hopefully that restraint keeps this post more succinct.

I want to address two topics that I’ve had arguments about before with both people more and less experienced than I.

Contradicting information about exercise science:

This is a big topic that I’m going to just generalise as people giving different opinions about how exercise (or nutrition) should be done.

So why does this happen? How do you know what you should be doing if everyone keeps telling you different things?

Firstly, you need to understand that there’s two main reasons this happens. Every human body is slightly different and tempered by genetic predispositions. What works for someone may not necessarily work for you. That being said, there are paradigms that generally work to a good degree (which is usually what advice is). Second, exercise science is a junior field. By that I mean the field of medicine and anatomy, for example, are tried and proven fields with many case studies and lots of research. The studies done in exercise science are not always consistent and worst of all – the sample size is not  statistically significant.

Those of you that studied stats at university might remember this term. When analysing a portion of the population using a sample population (i.e. test subjects), that sample population is not considered representative of the actual population if the sample size is not large enough. Without going into the maths, let’s consider that the vast majority of studies use less than 30 test subjects. Now consider that there are 7 billion people in the world. Yep – huge margin of error.

This is why you will hear a lot of conflicting info but don’t get confused – that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to advice. It just means you need to learn who you are. This is something I promote as a part of becoming the best version of yourself, but it applies to physical health as well. I often encourage friends to experiment during their bulk/cut cycles to figure out what their bodies respond best to.

Finally, I just want to point out that the human body is highly adaptive. You should use knowledge you gain as part of your exercise vocabulary. Maybe 5×5 works best for you but someone keeps telling you to do 4×10. As Elliot Hulse would say, don’t get sucked into the religion of a certain methodology. Try both. In fact, you must, by necessity, do both anyway because if you stick to one methodology your body will adapt and you will plateau.

Ok, this post has already gotten a bit long but here’s the next part.

Lean Bulking

Another hot topic and popularly considered “impossible” in the sense that you cannot gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. In fact, I myself believed this for quite a while until I managed to lean bulk myself. May provide photos later but I’m at work right now.

Anyway, the common argument against lean bulking is quite scientific (on the surface). To gain muscle you require a caloric surplus to fuel growth. To lose fat you require a deficit to force your body to burn more fat for energy. I’ve gone into the body’s fuel sources before but in short – your body burns all 3 macronutrients at the same time but proportionally, much more carbs are burned and much less fat.

Now, we have to get a little technical, and this is where I’ve had most of my arguments. How do you build muscle whilst losing fat if it appears that they require conflicting caloric levels? Diet and meal timing.

“Meal timing doesn’t make a difference, it’s all about what you eat in 24 hours.”

Only half true. The other half is why lean bulking is possible.

As with all arguments, we will start from the simplest, most logical argument and build up (Occam’s Razor). Consider this scenario. You have fasted for a day. It is now night time and your body is completely depleted of glycogen and protein stores. You go for an intense steady state cardio session. Several hours after that session, right before bed time, you eat your entire day’s calories in one meal, comprised mostly of carbs.

Those of you that have studied nutrition/health science will know what’s going to happen. The rest of you can probably guess. First, you are engaging in catabolic activity with no glycogen or protein stores (all exercise is catabolic – in fact, living is catabolic). What’s going to happen? Well you still have fat so your body will burn that. Obvious right? What you might not know is you also still have protein. Your muscles contain it and your body will break down your muscle to fuel itself to allow you to keep doing your cardio. After exercise, you do not replenish your glycogen and your blood glucose remains low. EPOC continues to burn calories which will be taken from protein and fat (and protein burns in higher proportion to fat). Your body has no amino acids to repair muscle fibre so your neurological response is to let go of that muscle fibre to feed your body. Result? Muscle loss.

Now, you eat your daily 3000 calories in one go. IIFYM right? Wrong. Your blood glucose level spikes like crazy. Your insulin levels must rise rapidly in response (often leading to Type II Diabetes). The insulin shuttles the glucose through your body and replenishes glycogen stores but obviously you’ve eaten more than you can store in your muscle. What happens to unused glycogen? It converts to fat for storage. Fat is a long-term energy source – slow burning and 9 calories per gram (whilst protein and carbs are 4 calories per gram).

So obviously meal timing does play a part.

This post is getting really long now so I’m not going into what you should do – you can just ask me yourself. I’m just here to prove a point. And those of you that have heard otherwise from so and so – well that’s an anecdotal fallacy. Those of you that have heard otherwise from a scientific paper? More credible, but go take a look at the number of test subjects used in that study and refer to my first subheading above.

When in doubt, trust the most foundational, unshakable concepts in science. You can argue all you want about whether a plane or a rock falls faster depending on what angle they drop, but you can’t argue against the fact that gravity is what’s making them fall.

 

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Hey guys, been a while since I’ve posted and a lot has changed. Specifically, I ended a long term relationship with my beautiful ex and have been riding the back of an amazing transformation. I honestly hope that my ex is growing as a person because I am and that’s what I wanted for her.

Now down to the nitty gritty. It came to my attention recently that there’s a lot of social stigma surrounding the concept of “Game”. For those that don’t know, that refers specifically to the art of picking up girls. While I can understand the social construct that would lead one to such a conclusion, I would also like to remind people that they are not in a position to judge anything that they have zero experience or knowledge of. While there are parts of “Game” that I disagree with, I have to say there is a concept that I learned from it that has helped me grow as a person. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it Game, although people refer to it as “inner-game”.

Now I’m a competitive person by nature and I strive for perfection because that is my code. As a result, I’m a bit hesitant revealing things that could comparatively make me lose my edge. However, I am not apathetic to the plights of the common man and am willing to give you this much. Inner-game is basically improving yourself. By becoming an awesome version of yourself, you will naturally attract more people (girls included). This is not menacing, degrading or negative in any way. It should be celebrated. But unfortunately, society has this stupid concept that you should always “be yourself”, and by that logic self-improvement is fake and frowned upon. I think this is the most self-destructive, redundant and idiotic thing I’ve heard in a while.

Be yourself.

A redundant, meaningless tautology. You can only ever be yourself. There is no possible way to be somebody else. Think about it, if you are the kind of person to try and strengthen your weaknesses, you are not “being somebody else” by trying to change, you are displaying a characteristic of your existing personality. A damned fine characteristic I might add.

The human condition is not so simple that you can only ever be one thing. You have your good days and bad days, you have multiple emotional states, you have interests, joys, fears, and different levels of energy. Self-improvement/inner-game is bringing out the best version of you. You are always yourself. You should just try to be the best that you can be.

I’ve even heard people giving “advice” say that “You’re not that kind of person so don’t try”. How defeatist is that? What they’re saying is “I don’t believe you can achieve any kind of progress to your life condition so just give up”. There could even be some tall-poppy syndrome where people are jealous of your potential to surpass them and try to hold you back. I won’t get into that – let’s just assume everyone has each other’s best interests in mind.

Specifically to the topic of attracting girls – are you willing to accept the fact that there are only a certain, predetermined few girls in the world that will ever like you, and that it’s futile to try and get a girl who is not on that list? If you’re willing to give up and accept this bleak philosophy on life, I have news for you. Your inner-game is weak and you are an unattractive person. Can you honestly say you believe somebody who has that low self-esteem will ever be attractive to a woman? There’s a reason why everyone will tell you to be confident.

Be confident.

This advice clashes with the philosophy of “be yourself” and that’s why most people fail at being confident. It’s “fake” because they’re just going through the actions because they heard they should. No, true confidence is the unshakable certainty in yourself that you can only achieve after dedicating your life to self-improvement. Until you understand yourself, accept yourself and try to better yourself, you are not confident. You are just acting. Women are emotionally sensitive creatures – they will feel the insincerity of your acting. “Fake it ‘till you make it” but if you ever get into a room with a truly confident man, you will realise that it’s a completely different level.

She only likes X-type guys, give up.

A girl does not like a guy because he is a gym junkie, or because he is a workaholic or because he is a gangster. Those are so superficial that they have nothing to do with the person themself. What women are attractive to is the characteristics that are associated with that kind of person. A gym junkie typically has a good looking body, puts hard work into looking good and is passionate about health and life. That is attractive. A workaholic has career potential, a sense of responsibility and the ability to shoulder burdens. That is attractive. A gangster is confident, takes control of the situation and is wild and unpredictable. That is attractive.

Get the gist? Anybody who tells you to give up has no idea what they are talking about. Is there any emotion that literally does not exist in you? I doubt it. We are all capable of feeling confident, responsible, energetic and humorous. We just display these emotions in different levels depending on our surroundings. Again, self-improvement is about having control over these emotions so you can display them in the best way that you can, given your situation.

This stuff doesn’t work on girls.

A friend once told me “if you want to catch a fish, you ask the fisherman not the fish”. I agree to some extent. I think a girl’s opinion can be useful for trying to understand the emotions behind a response but her idea of what you should do is coloured greatly by social paradigm, personal expectations and conflicting emotions.

But let’s simplify this. It doesn’t work on girls? Being the most awesome version of yourself doesn’t work? Then what – you be the lamest version of yourself?

Nope. Doesn’t work that way. You will never get 100% of what you want but how can you possibly think being the best you can possibly be will have a negative impact on your attractiveness?

What happens when you get the girl? Do you just go back to being normal?

That’s the whole point of self-improvement. Your “normal” is not the same normal as it was before you improved yourself. You are literally a more attractive person now because you have worked on yourself to be that person.

Your interactions can be different but you are and always have been yourself. The best version of yourself. The “strongest version of yourself” as Elliott Hulse would say.

There are two types of people when it comes to self-improvement. Those that wish and those that chase. Not everyone who chases their goal will reach it. In fact, when you set a goal like mine (perfection – literally) you set it knowing full well that you cannot achieve it. I have smaller, more realistic goals for sure but my code is perfection because I can imagine nothing better that I can be and I do not want to live life under a ceiling that I could potentially reach and stop growing.

Those that wish but do not chase get nowhere.

So what kind of person are you going to be? The one who doesn’t improve and tries to teach people they shouldn’t try to improve either? Or the one who adds meaning, vibrancy and energy to their life by trying to improve?

The end result is always a better version of yourself, but the very act of chasing it will earn my respect, and the respect of those who are insightful enough to see what you are doing. Some people will only see the end result. They will be haters until you achieve your goals. Then they will be suck ups. Don’t falter in the face of adversity. Focus on speeding past it.

It’s not about anyone except you. Be the best version of yourself.

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