One of the problems that we face in running a business with a social media presence is, frankly, attempting to figure out how to handle our online SELF, i.e. our image.
If you spend a lot of time slaving over your business, a lot of energy trying to improve it, love and cherish your business, it becomes almost like a child to you. As if you two were hooked up with an umbilical cord that is stronger than steel. It has a lot of you in it, and it has a lot of its hooks in you. You love it and therefore become a little protective.
So, one of the options, when someone attacks your baby, is to ignore the slight and treat it like a crank phone call…just hang up and don’t answer it when it rings again. This is usually the way we handle it.
But recently we’ve had quite a bit of negative response from certain quarters concerning one of our posts, which on the whole, seems to have been a little misunderstood (those interested readers can read that post here What Those Who Can’t Do Do). And like a bad cold, this misunderstanding seems to be catching.
The post in question treated, in a very general and slightly humorous fashion, the annoying tendency to use social media to sell the emperor some new clothes.
So, what we decided to do this evening is to take some time out and respond to one particularly vociferous attack on our business, in the following way…
An Ignorant And Unfriendly Review:
“Horrendous Facebook presence. This company takes immature, unfounded, poorly researched, ranting shots at hardworking individuals and then defends their attitude by being passive aggressive to people in the comments section. I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt the first time, as I was sure their page had be hacked, but I now know this is exactly the kind of business these people are running. And no, I haven’t been to this gym, but surely this page is for rating yourself as a whole business, not just on the quality of your gym equipment. I certainly wouldn’t feel welcome or safe at all at your establishment.”
🤔 Perhaps this particular individual is really attempting to make us see the point:
Why be Passive Aggressive, when you can just be plain ol’ everyday garden-variety downright Aggressive, huh?
The woman seems to really be itching to have a go at us Tooth-and-Nail with this review of hers. There is quite definitely a rather petty, nasty little bee lodged securely and painfully somewhere deep inside her bonnet.
My dear woman, thank you for your ill-considered and less-than-intelligent review of something that you know very little about and have even less of an understanding of. We haven’t accused any particular individual by name, but certainly, if you feel that the shoe fits, toss it to whomever you like.
And we disagree, you do not seem to have even the vaguest idea of what sort of business we are in, nor how long we have been in it.
No, our pages have not been hacked-we take great personal care of the value and quality of content that appears on our pages. As to the actual value of your “benefit of a doubt”, however it matters little to us. The lion rarely concerns himself with the opinion of sheep, as the saying goes.
Well now, on to our, according to this person, “horrendous” Facebook presence…-yes we do have a point of view, and yes again, we intend to stubbornly defend whenever we are able to.
When we see snake oil being peddled as the Holy Grail by con men who aren’t worth their weight in cheap fertilizer, well madam, we will not then go out of our way to mince words
We are also not going to lose much sleep over what someone, who has never been to our business or ever intended to be one of our customers, goes nattering on about.
We dislike precious, mealy-mouthed, self-righteous trolling masquerading as pompous indignation as much as the next fellow.
We will do our best to confront & refute this pointless & tiresome activity, whenever and wherever this distasteful action persists.🤗🤗
The irony of time is, that while it allows you to accumulate knowledge and build on the experience and work of yourself (and others), it is often at the cost turning into a sort of technician with a rather limited horizon.
When what you really started out wanting was to get some kicks & become a legend.
It all kinda starts out like a little fairy tale: ‘Back in the day, well…’
Let us quickly flip over the superficial pages of time in an effort to transport ourselves towards a more innocent era, harkening back the return to simpler sets of rules while simultaneously casting our mind’s eye into some of the less distracted kindling of our misspent youth.
We are now floating, bright eyed and bushy-tailed, about the dancing dirty and shabbily chic bell-bottomed streets of Santa Monica and Venice in the late 1970’s and early 80’s.
Let’s turn up the magnification a little and envision a boisterous, rowdy, loud, sweaty group of muscleheads who have just finished a particularly torturous & gruelling training session at Golds. Before the start of this session, while gulping down their pre-workout drinks (back then, a cup of black coffee and a fistful of liver tablets) one of these muscley juvenile delinquents would loudly and arrogantly proclaim a challenge to the others that he would out-pump and out-lift any one of them. They would bet the cost of an (absolutely essential) post training meal at a local eatery like Zucky’s or the nearest All-You-Can-Eat Swedish Smorgasbord on the outcome of this epic & titanic struggle.
The winner would pick up the tab.
Swedish Smorgasboards were the favoured venue. Why these places were called Swedish was anybody’s guess. Their was nothing even vaguely Swedish about them- No one remembered having ever seen, let alone met a swedish person in one. As far as we were concerned, they might as well all have been Chinese, Australian, Mexican or Swahili.
At that time, most of the all-you-can-eat venues in L.A. seemed to be run either by chinese, iranian, australian, indian, mexican or some other familiar immigrant nationality. And boy, did they not like to see a carload of sweaty, starving bodybuilders pulling up in some noisy, smoky, smelly old piece-of-shit Ford Fury III with a hang-five deodorant foot dangling uselessly from the rear view mirror. Why the consternation? Because, at $4.99 a head, the chances were damn near slim to none that anyone was going to turn a profit on this crowd of buffed-out rowdies.
It mattered little to us that they’d quickly switch the normal meal plates for downsized dessert versions when they saw us swaggering through the double swing doors, bent on laying gastronomical siege to their establishments and imposing financial ruin upon their profit margins. We just piled our undersized plates higher, went back more often and got twice as many of them.
The food was cheap, it was cheerful and most of it, more than a little on the deep fried, greasy side: chicken thighs and wings, spring rolls, shish kebab, tacos, hot dogs, pickled eggs, pig’s trotters, sliced salmon, cream cheese, sardines, bagels, salad fixings of all sorts and descriptions, stainless steel canisters filled with chickpeas, sliced beetroot, corn, grated carrots, sliced onions, coleslaw, stacks of processed cheese slices and myriads of other questionably hygienic, less identifiable foodstuffs.
All this grub was washed down with copious amounts of milk, coca-cola, coffee and ice-cream.
And that, that was just for starters…
I answered a version of this question on a website that I waste a lot of time on called QUORA. It got me thinking about what the essence of a good training strategy, any good training strategy that made sense, might be. So I decided to use this idea for today’s blog.
As a trainer with over 40 years experience, I do not have a problem with an “up/down” split. In fact there are several good arguments supporting the logic of this training strategy.
As long as you give the ”down” bit the respect it requires. There used to be a standing joke floated at Gold’s about one particular guy who spent most of the week working his upper body, only to vanish like a puff of smoke when it got to leg day, something always more important to be taken care of, you see.
Giving the legs their own special day(s) actually is a very effective strategy for concentrating focus and emphasising intensity on them, especially if they are a weak point.
But the Holy Grail of training lore is to be aware that muscles are built on the yin-yang of intense work that causes the maximum amount of stress on the muscle and then sufficient time for recovery and repair from the damage that that intense work and stress has caused.
The more intense the work, the more damage it causes, the more rest and recovery time is required to repair this damage so that adaptation occurs and a net plus gain of muscle tissue results. This is a natural cycle that is disregardable only at your peril. If you don’t pay attention to its rules for long enough surprising and unpleasant things happen, no matter how physically tough and mentally gifted you are.
3 mediocre leg workouts per week are not better than two good workouts which are not better than one great leg training session. So avoid using frequency of training as a stand-in for the intensity of your training. It just doesn’t work that way.
More is sometimes used as a poor excuse for less and less quite often turns out to be more.
Observing the above advice should go a long way to setting you up to get the most of your upper/lower split training scheme. Or any routine, for that matter, that you decide to follow.
Ok, understood. You’ve all seen food before.
You know what a a steak and a carrot look like. You can’t always tell the difference between Bullet and Bomb Proof Coffee, but you know there is one.
We get it. So, what’s the point?
Well, this is the point. Food is a pleasure and a tool, not a church. You’re not going to food hell if you eat a pizza and wash it down with a carafe of merlot.
Not eating red meat, eating “clean” (whatever you want that to mean), on the other hand, doesn’t automatically grant you an indulgence from the wages of sin. Hitler and Charley Manson were vegetarians and rumour has it that each was very choosey about what kind of foods he ate and didn’t eat.
You can put high octane petrol in your car or can use Tijuana Tap Water (a particularly low octane grade fuel that the Mexicans sometimes sell to unwary Gringos) and it will still run on pretty much the same in the short term, but probably not with the same long term result.
Just taking a little time to choose, prepare and be aware of what you decide to eat and how you decide to eat it is key to the mindset that you want to cultivate to live a healthy lifestyle. Eating is necessary, take time to do it right and enjoy it. If you obsess over the word DIET every time you feel a hunger pang, you’re looking down the barrel of a gun and doomed to failure and an otherwise miserable existence.
“Oh, but I travel a lot and can’t maintain much food discipline, etc.” I hear you. A quick pitstop at the local Starbucks for a panini and double latte isn’t going to cripple you for life. Just make sure to take advantage of the gifts and pleasant surprises obtainable from other cultures’ food styles and cuisines that will surround you in those foreign lands.
Look forward to what your experience truly is: an opportunity to traverse unknown landscapes of taste, broaden your culinary horizons and embark on gastronomical adventures. Refrain from accepting the boring temptation to court and seek out the familiar stodge of ‘back home’ food.
When you fall off the wagon, just get back on as quick as possible, don’t wallow around in the muck & mud of guilt & cheap regret or use your momentary loss of balance as a dirty little excuse to swig down 3 more bottles of Red to kill the pain.
Now, leaving you with these whimsical meanderings, we’ll just get back to our late and lazy Sunday Breakfast while enjoying a stunning SPP rooftop view overlooking Castle Cornet and the harbour.
We’ll even take a little time out of our dazzlement to post a photo on FB of what we’re having to eat.
Because we’re sure you are just dying to know.
(Pictured from L to R) Cup of rough ground Portuguese coffee with Peruvian cocoa, Sri Lankan cinnamon, Guernsey Cream and coconut oil from Hawaii. Raw local grown broccoli, Iceland humus, British free range coddled eggs with Guernsey butter and cheddar cheese, rustic French sourdough bread, fresh local figs.
Creatine cycling is probably not necessary at all.
Let’s have a brief look at why the claim for this POV should be true:
Creatine is not a. It is rather a :
A drug occupies a space on an a molecule (receptor site) either preventing it from being activated or activating it (a bit of a simplification but a good enough for our purposes). A drug shuts down, suppresses or otherwise turns off functions in the body by blocking chemical reactions.
A nutrient, on the other hand, activates, expresses, and turns on bodily functions or mechanisms, working much like a key that opens a locking mechanism.
Another drug characteristic has to do with tolerance, the desensitisation or reduction of the response of the body over time to it. In order to resensitize the body, it is necessary to reduce or eliminate a drug from the body for a period of time. Thus, the requirement for a cycling strategy.
Nutrients, like amino acids, essential fatty acids or creatine, on the other hand supply or furnish components or substrates that are necessary to perpetuate, continue and optimise metabolic processes.
Your body does not build up a tolerance to creatine, does not store the substance past a certain (probably genetically determined) level and any extra or unused creatine is simply excreted. Therefore, it is highly unlikely to cause toxicity or create an opportunity for overdose.
As creatine does not show these drug like characteristics, cycling is unnecessary.
IF YOU CAN’T SUCCEED, GIVE THE INTERNET A TRY.
Just like my Uncle Charlie used to say, just before he sprung the trap: He said, “You can’t cheat an honest man. Never give a sucker an even break or smarten up a chump.
― W.C. Fields
Living on an island far away from most of the cares of the big, wide world is often idyllic, sometimes repetitive…but on occasion it’s a little comical, too.
In most lines of work there is some sort hierarchy of spiritual and social nobility: the great, the near great, the average, the near average and sometimes, just the idiotic. My field is no different. Social media is often responsible for allowing the last group to have equal footing and be given equal airtime with the first.
Recently we noticed a guy, who once owned a failed fitness business in town, touting his new online course purporting to teach the gullible: “What you need to do to succeed in the fitness business”. Who better to give advice on how to do it right? And the best part? You can learn his secret from wherever you are in the world!
He starts out with ” I am so-and-so, Trainer To The Stars and Famous Sports Teams, etc., etc.” Then he has quite a dodgy photo of Arnold doing a selfie and him in the background throwing a double biceps (well, isn’t that what you pay your entry ticket and stand in long lines at trade shows for?). Also, something about this being evidence of Arnold’s endorsement. All of this is complete HOGWASH, of course. He is just some failed wannabe fitness guy from a small island.
Today, we hear of another individual, who lives locally and looking suspiciously like the handsome gentleman pictured in the cover photo of today’s blog. This gentleman is giving online classes on how to lose weight. We reckon that he should probably stick with his day job.
We also don’t know if this particular guru is asking for any payment in exchange for the valuable information, or just giving it away…whatever…one sometimes gets what one is willing to pay for, often he gets a lot less…
So, let's look at reasons that we would want to use a pre-workout in the first place.
Well, the front runner as far as reasons usually go is that we may want the PW to help get us "up" for our training session after a hard day at the office.
Another reason may be that we want a PW to assist us to obtain the maximum benefit from the time and energy that we plan to invest in our training session.
Other reasons can range from helping post workout recovery to avoiding DOMS.
Basically, we want the PW to help us create a training session that we can look back on with a fond feeling of satisfaction and comforting knowledge that we kicked ass and made some progress.
When considering and researching a pre-workout candidate, let's look at some key ingredients—and why they’re important.
Many, many ingredients are available in off the shelf pre-workouts, but the ones that we’ll talk about here are the conventional, uncontroversial (in reasonable dosages), legal (but check with your own sporting organisation, if this issue is of concern) and have a little scientific research backing up their use (and justifying their expense).
Primary purpose: Energy
Optimal dose: 200-500 mg, or 1.8-2.7 mg per kg of body weight.
Benefits: The good old standby, the most used drug on earth has repeatedly been shown to be an effective ergogenic aid (performance booster) in both endurance exercise and short bouts of maximal exercise (e.g., sprints). Although there haven't been many studies showing increases in one-repetition max, caffeine has been shown to increase workloads by decreasing the rate of fatigue and lowering the perception of effort—even in sleep-deprived situations. This is accomplished through action that caffeine molecules have on adenosine receptors, blocking the effect that adenosine has on promoting fatigue.
Based on your genetics, you will either be a fast or slow metaboliser of caffeine. The slower that you metabolise caffeine, the longer it stays around in your system. Slower metabolisers need to be cautious when taking caffeine later in the day, as it will interfere with sleep.
- Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
Primary purpose: Supporting an anabolic environment.
Optimal dose: 5 g in pre-workout, up to 20 g total throughout the day can be used.
Benefits: BCAAs— leucine, isoleucine, and valine—are important when it comes to regulating protein metabolism, increasing protein synthesis, and suppressing protein breakdown. For a decent ratio of leucine/isoleucine/valine, you are probably looking for values of 3:1:1, respectively.
Leucine is the key ingredient here because it has been shown to stimulate muscle protein synthesis most effectlvely, the role the other 2 amino acids seem to be supportive and less vital. Therefore, leucine should be the amino acid with the highest quantity in your blend. A dose of at least 3 g of leucine, along with the other two BCAAs, in a serving of your PW is a good general rule of thumb.
A further useful ingredient is arguably HMB (Hydroxy Methyl Butyrate), a metabolite of Leucine. Research indicates that HMB has an anti-catabolic effect, reducing the damaging effects of the catabolic hormone cortisol. HMB seems to roll in and out of fashion, but we think it important enough to mention as a good ingredient to look for in a PW.
Primary purpose: Increased muscular endurance.
Optimal dose: 1.5-5 g.
Benefits: This is another ingredient that can help improve your overall training volume, it works by buffering hydrogen ions (H+), giving you the ability to maintain intensity for longer periods of time. In other words: more high intensity volume; more gains.
If you take a large enough dose, you will most likely experience an electrical, tingling sensation. This effect is called "paresthesia," at first it may be a little uncomfortable, but it is not life threatening, in fact you may grow to like this strange effect. Anyway, you didn't drive all the way to the gym to be comfortable today, did you?
Beta-alanine is excellent for pumping out extra reps and squeezing the most out of your workout.
- Creatine Monohydrate
Primary purpose: Explosive strength, Myostatin Suppression, Mental Focus
Optimal dose: 5 g in pre-workout, up to 20 g per day
Benefits: Creatine has many benefits to offer: it supplies energy, helps build muscle and aids in the recovery process. Its effectiveness varies widely in individuals, depending very much on genetic predisposition. But there are few people that don't find it of some value.
The reason that manufacturers suggest a "loading" phase is to speed up the saturation process. A standard loading phase is typically prescribed for about a week, thereafter dropping down to a maintenance phase of 5 g per day.
Realistically, you can just stick to suggested 5 g/daily amount.
We’ve written extensively about Creatine in our profile on Quora.com. Go to Alex on Quora, if interested in reading further about Creatine.
Bonus Ingredients: Vasodilators
Primary purpose: Increase blood flow, chase the pump.
Benefits: The primary role of vasodilators such as L-Argininine, Ornithine and L-Citruline is to increase nitric oxide levels in the blood, leading to an increase in blood flow, which can stimulate that keenly sought after and magical status "the pump."
To let our workout genie out of the lamp and get him casting his high energy magic accross your gym session, your PW should be taken roughly 30 minutes before getting to your workout venue. This ensures that all the ingredients start to metabolize and become ready for use as you begin your training session.
So that you can get some of that motivational ass-kicking workout done that we spoke of in the paragraphs preceding, right?
The problem with really getting the gym thing right and ensuring that your training sessions are going to be as productive as possible is realising that you’re more often than not, very likely to be working under suboptimal conditions and with situations that will offer you challenges of some description or other. And sometimes the Gods of Fortune toss a very nasty surprise indeed along your path, when you least expect or are ready for it.
Silly Examples: you’ve finally got access to a great gym, but your genetics aren’t brilliant; you’ve got good genetics, but your wife’s just about to produce another baby (the 2nd one in less than 2 years); you’ve found the perfect training partner who is supportive and always shows up, but you’ve also just bought a house and are struggling with mortgage payments; everything is really going great, you’re making great gains in the gym and really putting on some buff, then you get injured. So on and so forth.
Your success in the gym may not depend, or may depend a lot less, on whether your hero and training role model is Arnold, Zane, Dave Draper, Dorian, Lee Priest, Kai, Nadine Skinner, Ben Pakulski, Larissa or Rich Piana. And I hope that I don’t get a knock on my door from any of these guys’ (or girls’) hit men (or hit women) or their lawyers, because I think that they’re all great. But living on someone else’s kicks and smart moves is a pretty cheap date that ultimately won’t propel the person that you want to become to stardom.
Unless you are incredibly fortunate and have a little good luck angel glued securely on your shoulder-reality’s usually going to be a rather devious and unjust bitch.
That may be just the way it is, get used to it. And if you somehow manage to hack and hew her into something else, through persistence, blood, sweat, force of will, tears, voodoo, or whatever…don’t take it for granted that she comes with a lifetime guarantee.
If you think she might and that and that you’re good, you’ll sort of maybe sit it out tight and perhaps wait until the stars are aligned, all the omens are just right and the Great Cornucopia of Plenty is somehow going to open up and sluice you in Greatness & Good Fortune, all I can say is ‘well, good luck with that’. You’ll be waiting yourself into the grave, most likely.
Am I just some bitter, miserable, disappointed aging gym rat trying to throw a couple of litres of dirty water on your parade? Gee, I hope not. That’s certainly not my intention here. Really, that is the last thing that I want to do. I would like to think that it’s more like pouring some ‘tough love’ on something that I truly care about, hoping that it will grow into something beautiful and substantial.
Although knowledge and experience are always helpful, what is absolutely essential are the 3 R’s: resiliency, relentlessness & ruthless optimism. These are the main mandatory survival assets necessary to leverage against all obstacles that are threats to you, your progress and your ambition to get on in the world.
And, uh, almost forgot, one more thing. You need to be selfish. I don’t mean that you need to be a Selfish Bastard. I do mean that in order to win against the mighty devils & evil spirits of adversity and self-doubt, and in order to succeed against all the odds not stacked in your favour, it is a rather good idea to be convinced that what you are doing in the gym is very important & matters a great deal. Not that it is just some self-indulgent pastime that you are sheepishly sneaking around doing this week because you haven’t grown up yet or have nothing better to do.
In other words, train like you give a fuck and make it stick.
Nothing else is likely to work, at least, nothing that I know of.
What Does Alex’s Recipe for Muscle Mousse Have to Do with Job Satisfaction, DEXA Scans, Jealous InternetBitches, Giving the Middle Finger to Getting Old and A Famous Quote?
Ok, call it like you see it: it’s just wishful thinking, pie-in-the-sky mindset, a fond little day dream, or patronisingly laugh at it and say that we’ve already had it, it’s over, gone, kaput. I, personally, do not give a damn…my theory is that summer in Guernsey is still yet to come. Although, granted maybe a little haphazardly and retardedly.
3) Are you going my way? Good progress in weeks 4 & 5.
4) The final product of the 6 WEEKS TO THE BEACH diet (during which the subject ate quite a lot of Muscle Mousse during a challenge that actually turned out to be 8-9 weeks ;-).
5) Starting body mass = 91.4kg and Body Fat % 16.9
7) The End Result: 8.1% at a body weight around 83kg. Scan results: DEXA is considered the gold standard in assessing body fat percentage & distribution.
So, you can take a few useful things away from today’s blog. What might they be?
- A reasonably tasty recipe for a Ketotic Desert that most probably will help you in your efforts to get, and stay, in ketosis;
- Even a 56 year old guy can get pretty ripped in a relatively short period of time;
- And finally, a little quote by a famous Englishman just to drive home the point that you can usually get fairly close to what you want, if you pull the stops out and are persistent at it:
A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds. Sir Francis Bacon
It’s in the genes. The right way to train. The right way to eat. The right plan.
Genetic testing is the future. But like all things that are conveniently parlayed into the future and not yet resident in the room, the question is whether or not you should have a go at it now.
The picture that a gene test presents to an individual interested in fitness or the athlete is not yet crystal clear in 100% HD, but it’s getting there. How useful a genetic test to gain insight into certain dietary and training schemes can be to you NOW depends on interpretation, and depends on who is doing the interpreting. And yet, we bet that these types of tests will give you a whole lot better idea of how to handle your own training strategy than your local FB “fitness guru” with no real training, no real experience or no actual knowledge that you couldn’t find scrawled on the wall in an off-High Street public toilet…well, other than a loud mouth and a good con can cloud the issue with.
You could wait and, as time goes on, knowledge will improve, be upgraded and refined. So, why not wait till it’s a science to get yours? Well, because it IS a science. Albeit, a young one.
And well, because that doesn’t help you progress with your training and diet NOW. There’s no time like the present. You are always going to have to make decisions without 100% of the information available to you. That’s where interpretation and experience come in handy. And we’re here to help.
There is so much garbage and “junk-info” in our line of work and time is short. Why waste it? We want to look at every opportunity to present our clients and members with ways to cut through the murky BS so easily available online to help them get to where they need to go, health and fitness-wise.
Give us a call to make an appointment to discuss the in’s and outs, how’s and why’s of this cutting edge fitness technology and how really easy and inexpensive it can be to get fit through science
…and we don’t mean ‘bro-science’.
∞ We are a fully trained consultant & distributor of this new technology ∞