Still laughing out loud!
Still laughing out loud!
yours is probably growing up
I’m using minoxidil. I still have a lot of hair, it was just starting to go a bit, so I’ve been trying to stay ahead of it. It’s hard to tell how much hair it has added to my head, but it has for sure added fine hair growth to the rest of my body, especially my upper back and shoulders. Not exactly preferred, but not that big of a deal.
I tried Finasteride, both pill and topical. Made me feel awful and it was most likely messing up my hormones.
I also use a couple different DHT shampoos and a DHT hair pomade. Not sure if these do anything, but they don’t add any extra effort to use them.
Flameout and I-Well (mostly for the curcumin). I’m going to be a rebel and add creatine, too, even though you asked for two.
I had to lie to myself in the beginning. Really. I figured if I kept telling myself certain things I wanted to be true even if they weren’t, they’d eventually have to be true. Of course, action needs to be taken to make it all happen.
It was a very long process on the order of years to get to where I am. But it’s really been the last 1.5 years that I’ve figured myself out - or at least enough to be content with who I am the vast majority of time now.
At first, it was purely self preservation. I was allowing other’s behaviors and emotions to make me feel terrible for many years. I was taking on everyone’s else’s problems as my own that I didn’t cause and could do absolutely nothing to change.
My ego got in the way many times and I thought I could “fix” everything. Total fool’s errand that ended up wrecking me mentally and emotionally. Layered under everything were my own feelings of being not “good enough” due to past failures and it was a recipe for disaster.
I was also wanting everything to be done “perfectly” by others according to me. Literally everything no matter how trivial. I was a drill sergeant with my kids. I finally realized what was driving much of it was was trying to meet the expectations of my wife (Type A on steroids). I was never like this earlier in my life. I decided one day to stop caring about stuff like whether or not my son made his bed that morning. It was literally nonsense crap that was that so trivial that would drive me crazy. Just so dumb in hindsight.
I guess I just decided one day I was going to put myself first even if that meant hurting some people around me. And I had to lie to myself in the beginning about being good enough, etc. I figured if I started saying positive stuff to myself, eventually that becomes my normal thought process, which leads to better feelings about myself, which ultimately leads to more optimal behavior for me. It has worked.
I’ve always been disciplined in many ways and I realized I could use that discipline to put myself in a better daily emotional state. I now feel pretty good about everything in my life and my relationship with my kids is completely different for the better because of my mindset change.
But none of this emotional/mental improvement happens without the physical/general health improvements I did first. I had let myself get into the worst shape of my life, not terrible for Joe Schmo, but terrible for me. And my hormones were a complete mess and for sure were messing up my brain.
Getting myself physically right was step one and was generally easy for me because I’ve always been in decent shape. The gym was the only thing keeping me sane for a very long time.
And this is not a suck up - reading tons of articles on TNation the last couple years was absolutely part of my “therapy”. It allowed me to escape the chaos in my head for many hours while also being incredibly beneficial to my health. I’m incredibly appreciative of all the content provided and everyone just seems like decent people.
Sorry for the length. I think part of my “therapy” is continuing to talk about, and be accountable for, the decisions I’ve made to improve my life.
Coming up soon!
I’ve never cared that much about them, but once I start getting close to a big round number, my brain gets really stupid. I make poor decisions, feel crippling levels of anxiety, a little sadness, sleeplessness, etc.
Creatine is so awesome. Seems like every week there’s a new study about what it does for the brain, plus anti-cancer, anti-aging, and body comp benefits.
Note to self: start taking creatine.
That’s an incredible mental strategy. The action part was probably not easy, so congrats on the work you did and positive changes you’ve made!
Seems like a lot of us (me for sure!) would benefit from learning to do this. I’m so honored that you shared your process and the obstacles you overcame.
I’m delighted to hear that T Nation played a role in your transformation. It sounds like you made a lot of tough changes, and that is seriously impressive. It’s not easy to do when you’ve gotten used to a more relaxed lifestyle. But you dove in and now have consistent superhero results.
Gaining control over the body does something amazing to the brain, doesn’t it? I think you’re right about hormones playing a big role here. They can either make the brain and body sing or screw with them in the worst ways.
Well it’s therapy for all of us now! haha thank you again for sharing your knowledge and discoveries here; I’m getting a lot out of it.
Just saw this and had to drop it here. If you’re working out nearly every day and not seeing results, this may be why.
It’s a rat study, which people are often quick to poo-poo but a lower lifting frequency (3-ish days a week) seems to always be the sweet spot that gets me the best results.
Also, about those rat studies, maybe don’t discount them too quickly: Do Animal Studies Transfer to Humans?
And I kinda want to see the rats who got the greatest bump in hypertrophy. #jackedrats
Here’s a close-up of that cool graph/chart thing. Click to expand it.
Unconventional Dropsets and Making a Muscle Suffer
There’s something I’ve been doing since forever, and yesterday in the gym, it occurred to me that I hadn’t read or heard any coach describe it in an article or in their own training.
What is it? A tempo drop set.
It’s pretty obvious. Let’s say you’re doing a T-Bar row and you’re lowering the weight slowly, then rowing it back up powerfully, and pausing (contracting hard) at the top for a full second or two.
The tension will start to get unbearable pretty quickly if you’re using enough weight.
And once you can’t eke out another rep the same way, you switch to an easier tempo.
So what then? Just crank out reps at that easier, more even tempo, something like 2 seconds up, 2 seconds down, no pauses at the top. Then go to failure like that.
In fact, you could even make this a rest-pause between the slow tempo and the even tempo if the burn between the two was intense enough. Just do the slow controlled reps, and when you hit failure, set down the bar, rest five seconds, then start back up with the easier reps.
You still accumulate a ton of time under tension within a single set.
So this is what I often do:
• Slow eccentric reps with a pause at the top taken to failure. Given the weight I use, this usually ends up 8-10 reps.
• Then with little to no rest, crank out as many even reps as possible. With that same weight this usually this ends up 4-5 reps.
It’s not a mechanical drop set because you’re not changing the exercise. It’s not a traditional drop set because you’re not reducing the weight. It’s a tempo drop set and more people should be doing it.
And I’ve been doing this for all sorts of exercises: leg extensions, chest press variations, lateral raise or rear delt flye variations, bicep curls, walking lunges, whatever, you name it. I tend to love isolation lifts.
Here’s the other thing though…
Super strict tempo prescriptions are super silly.
If your mind is busy saying, “one banana, two banana, three banana, four banana” in order to get the prescribed amount of seconds, are you REALLY getting a good mind-muscle connection?
Because moving the weight for the perfect (yet somewhat arbitrary) number of seconds is not nearly as important as making a muscle ache and burn in a way that’ll produce results.
Placing tension in the target muscles and making them suffer is the key. I’d also wager, that learning to seek out and actually enjoy that suffering is the key to continuous, visible results. It has been for me at least.
Another Dropset That Doesn’t Get Much Attention
Range of motion drop sets. They’re more common, but it’s another simple strategy that people don’t talk about. You go to failure with a full ROM, then you crank out bottom-half or mid-range reps until your delts, or biceps (or whatever muscle group) feel like they’re going to pop. It’s brutal and addictive.
I liked this part the most. Although I am not sure that liking the suffering is necessary (says the guy who makes himself suffer most day of the week). Maybe just being able to accept and tolerate it and enjoying the results that is brings.
That’ll work too! ha!
Had a restless night, and I think I might have a touch of food poisoning or a stomach bug. I just can’t shake the need to barf or gain the desire to move. So, no workout today.
Here’s day-before-yesterday’s workout that I forgot to log…
Wednesday: Legs, Mostly Isolation
Leg Extension: 4 x 15 Slow and controlled, then drop set reps to failure at an easier tempo
Ham Curls: 4 x 8-10 even tempo, trying to avoid too much tension in the high ham
Walking Lunge: 3 x out and back
Abductor Machine: 4 x 15 full ROM, then drop set to mid-range partials
Weight Perception and What All Seasoned Lifters Know
Chris and I have been talking about making a new thread regarding body weight and physical appearance. Why? Well, partly because of what happened on X (formerly Twitter) recently, and partly because there’s a phenomenon with lifters: the heavier you get with muscle, the leaner and lighter you often end up looking.
So a woman who appears to be around 130-150, might actually weigh 170-180. (I know a couple beauties like that. They’re ripped.)
And about the X (formerly Twitter) thing, there was this guy who made an off-hand remark to someone else’s original post. His comment was so off-base that it blew up with all these women re-sharing it along with their own gorgeous pictures and their weights.
The gist of his comment? He basically said that if a woman weighs 145 pounds, she’d have to be 6’2" to be attractive… and then a thousand women responded. And it was fabulous.
So first of all, he didn’t even need to show us what he looked like to reveal that he doesn’t lift. He’s got the mindset of someone who’s never built muscle.
Second of all, if you want to be a metabolic monster, your goal should be to get as heavy as possible – with muscle. The more you have, the more of a glucose disposal agent you carry around on your body. You get to eat knowing that you’re fueling this metabolically expensive tissue. And you get to buck the cliche of worrying about gaining weight. Weight is your friend if it’s coming in the form of hard-earned muscle tissue.
And third, most people are terrible at guessing someone’s weight. Especially if that person has a great body composition. So that’s kinda why Chris and I were thinking about starting that thread: to show people that scale weight is pretty deceiving.
But I’m not sold on the idea of starting it yet because I assume (and hope) everyone here already knows. Should we or nah?
Oh, one last thing… I’m 5’10", and with a full magazine, plus a round in the chamber, I weigh about 160 here.
I always play that carnival game where they have to guess your weight within a certain number of pounds. They never get it right for me. I 6’3 and 285-290 lbs depending on the day.
Social media has skewed the perspective even further with perfect angles and lighting.
You’re the perfect example of this! I would’ve guessed something more like 200.
I have never had any idea what anyone weighs… and I wrestled. I was often disastrously disappointed to discover some monster was, in fact, in my weight class.
Also, open carry is basically the coolest thing you can do. Well played.
And I’m betting your competition saw you as a monster too!
Haha that’s my range gun! Thank you! I love this thing. I was just wanting to see how much it’d add to the scale.
Open carry is allowed here, no permit necessary, but so many people have warned me that it’s a bit too risky. And I also wouldn’t want negative attention while shopping for dog food, ya know?
We have conceal carry permits, so if I carry, I usually keep it holstered (with a sticky) in my purse.
Best quote I heard on this was from a self defense instructor who prefers concealed carry: “Open Carry is violence.” Basically you are showing your willingness to be aggressive openly and those who want to be more aggressive towards you may also do so to try and prove some sort of point (usually “I want to show you I am actually more aggressive than you” - for some dumb reason - people are weird).
Much better to conceal and then you also don’t make yourself the first target for any armed criminal.
At 6 3” and with any kind of size I would have you at minimum 250. You would have to a skeleton to be 200. I would have to see the size of your melon to guess properly.
Yeah, I haven’t been 200 lbs since the 7th grade…
Also I posted that picture because it is fairly deceiving. No one else in the pic to compare to, downward angle, etc…
So true. Also most people aren’t pro-2A in this state and I’d rather not make strangers uncomfortable.
I could see open carrying while hiking out in the mountains because it’d be easier access if there’s a mountain lion or bear. Actually, there have been some recent (crazy people) attacks on trails lately.
With all the true crime podcasts and serial killer documentaries, it amazes me how people are cool with being defenseless.
Haha proof that I too am terrible at guessing anyone’s weight!
Thats kinda hot!!!