Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Why Bodybuilding is Gay

Bottom line up front:

  • The only people who care about your abs and "striations" are other dudes
  • Unless you are paid to step on stage and WIN, you are wasting your time and we are all short enough on time
  • If you're in the gym for 2 hours every day, you're wasting your time
  • Everyone, especially young men, are better off training for strength
  • To add endurance, especially for the combat world, go Ruck
 I know, this will be hated by many, but it needs to be said. I remember getting into bodybuilding and caring about every little detail on my body. Hell, I was even that genius who was trying to train my calves directly. I know...pathetic. Like many, I had no idea that silly isolation workouts could do nothing against genetics. In addition, training any single-joint movement is a waste of time. So why aren't young men interested in getting stronger overall? Do they not know that strong people are harder to kill, and are generally more useful in life?

    The fitness industry has done nothing but sell abs and monster workouts, created by drug-using men, to young men. Little do these misled kids know that no one, especially women actually care about your abs. As a matter of fact, look at all the comments on literally any "physique" dude's Instagram or Youtube Channel. Will there be comments from women oohing and ahhing? Or will most of the comments be from other men? The latter is a lot more accurate. Those "men" in the comments will either be trolls hating on the dude in the picture, or they will be fanboys of that dude's abs or muscles. Being obsessed with another man's abs and muscles....are you sure you're actually straight?

    Let's look at bodybuilding as a "sport." Guys like Reg Park and Arnold Schwarzenegger were probably the last "good looking" men in bodybuilding. These days, everyone who steps on stage is a walking big pharma commercial. And who even likes these physiques? Seriously, I need to know: who thinks this looks good? Regardless, men have been chasing those dreams for decades. The dream of stepping on stage wearing a man-thong, which is essentially just a beauty pageant for men. Why did we ever think this was a good use of time? What happened to learning about motors, homesteading, farming, and being self reliant? Does being a man require being able to step on stage in a man-thong, or should we be strong enough to pick up things and fight, as well as cover ground? Well, that's what this is all about.

    The term "functional fitness" has basically been applied to everything from yoga to people doing jump squats with 220 lbs on their back. As it turns out, in life, none of what you see in that world is truly functional. What is functional? Strength training, daily activity, rucking, and patrolling as you would on a mission. If we're talking about being a useful man in life, plus being useful on a team, you must be strong, and you must be able to move especially while wearing gear. That does not mean go running for miles in shorts and tennis shoes. While that is endurance "training," it does nothing to train us for what a warrior should be able to do. Read more about that HERE.

    Unlike bodybuilding, true strength training is actually useful. We don't do bulks and cuts; often, we don't even care about diet, so long as you are eating enough to recover. Instead of dieting like bodybuilders and women, we want to use food as a fuel for our workouts and activity. If you get too fat, then cut out some of the extras. Otherwise, we are eating to get bigger. Bigger and stronger - not bigger and fatter. In addition, unlike bodybuilding, we conduct simple strength training using the compound movements (squat, deadlift, overhead press, and bench) to use as much muscle as possible in one movement. We don't care about biceps or quads training. We don't have time to spend two hours in the gym, trying to "sculpt" our calves. Also, we are training for strength, that means implementing a lower rep range. 4-6 reps, shooting for 5 reps, or even the 5, 3, 1 method is the goal. What about 10-15 reps? Well, that's silly bodybuilding, and it's endurance training. Those rep ranges do not make men stronger. Sure, if you're just coming off the couch from doing nothing, any rep range, with any exercise will give you results. However, after your "newbie gains" phase (4-6 months) that progress will slow and completely halt. So why not train in the proper ranges in the beginning? "What about the jacked bodybuilders who do those rep ranges?" I'm glad you asked. If you're taking drugs (and all of them are) basically any kind of program, any exercise, and any rep range will work. On that note, are you a drugged up, competitive bodybuilder? No? Then why train like one? Train for strength, not for bikini poses.

    What about endurance? Shouldn't I run for that? We've already covered that HERE. For 99% of people, training strength 2-3x per week is more than enough of a fitness program. For people just beginning (the great majority), they see amazing results within a month, and will continue to see results over a year down the road. So, why do anything else, when you don't need to? If you like running and doing aerobics, and you are young enough to still be able to recover for your next strength training, then have at it. But if you complain about lack of time, then stop wasting your time and work on getting strong. Lastly, we have to address the warriors. If you have to perform a heavy physical job, then you made need some extra endurance training but, I let me ask: do you jog for miles in shorts and tennis shoes for your job? If not, then why "train" endurance that way? If you are a soldier, you should be rucking. Ruck at least once per week. That will be your sport-specific endurance training. Once you get out and do your combat training, such as battle drills and squad/platoon maneuvers, that will be a lot more specific in training than any jogging program you could do.

So, let's summarize:

  • Train for true strength 2-3x per week
  • Eat to fuel those demanding workouts and subsequent recovery
  • Perform your actual sport on non-strength days for your specific training



Sunday, March 31, 2024

No, You Don't Need to Run for "Conditioning"


Bottom Line Up Front

  • Running is not required to build endurance, even for warriors
  • A Program comprised of strength training, daily activity, and weekly rucks or patrols is the best conditioning for warriors
  • "Conditioning" sounds cooler than "aerobics," but they're the same workout
  • The most common excuse for skipping training is "lack of time," so we should train with the greatest efficiency

    Crossfit, and all of its copycats have sold you on the idea that you have to complete multiple "movements," at high intensity to trick your body and be prepared for the combat world. Even worse, the average Box sees complete beginners being forced to perform highly technical Olympic lifts with too much weight. It's all marketing, and it works. Doesn't it look cool to see an extremely fit dude performing creative and fun workouts? Doesn't it seem like those exercises match the challenges of combat? Afterall, we do have to jog and sprint every now and then in the combat world. We do need endurance to survive the long days full of miles, while wearing gear. The military practices this by simply running, in shorts and tennis shoes. But is running in shorts and tennis shoes really the best way to condition yourself for those challenges?

    The answer is quite simple: NO. I can't tell you the last time I had to run 2-3 miles in PT clothes in combat. In fact, that never happened. For context, I was a Grunt during the Battle of Ramadi (05-06). In one of the most brutal fights of the entire Global War on Terror, our deployment was combat-intensive. Every time we went out, something happened, and usually many things happened. Then, we spent about 11 days storming the city to begin building the first Combat Outposts. It was non stop, street to street, house to house fighting. Despite all the low-intensity cardio demands, I did not run for miles in shorts and running shoes. So why do we train "endurance" that way in the military context? Is it the lack of understanding the demands we are facing? Is it simply institutional-inbreeding?

      So how should  we train for combat endurance? We have to begin by defining endurance or conditioning. Endurance is simply your ability to perform a lower intensity movement for an extended period of time. Simple. How do we measure endurance? The most reliable method is by using Heart Rate Zones, combined with your age. There are five zones: 1-3 are your aerobic zones and 4 and 5 are your high intensity, shorter duration zones. Zone 1 would be more along the lines of just casually strolling around, while zone 3 would be the upper limit that you can perform for an extended period. For me, zones 1-3 are around 90 to 153 bpm. That is my endurance training zone. Now, what can we do to work in that heart rate zone, that will also mimic what I would do on a mission. Well, if you've listened to me for a while, you are already doing it: you should be rucking. In addition, actually patrolling with your gear a few times per month is also more realistic than jogging in shorts. In addition, your daily activity (10-12000 steps per day) will also cover a lot of your zones 1-2.

    "Dude, there is no way just walking, rucking, and patrolling can replace running for my endurance." Why not? You're training in zones 1-3, right? Even better, you are wearing most of the gear you will actually operate in. Again, are you patrolling and fighting in tennis shoes and shorts? Are you wearing light clothing and jogging for 2 miles on a mission? No? Then why are you "training" for endurance that way? How does that training modality match the effect you want to achieve? It just doesn't make sense. "Well we do have to actually run every now and then in combat." Absolutely; but, again, you're not doing that in shorts and tennis shoes - you are maneuvering in your boots and combat gear. In addition, the most you will be running in combat will be possibly for 1/4 to 1/2 a mile. That is about it. You may have to perform a few sprints at a short distance; this could include your "3-5 second rushes." So what about sprint training? Fair enough. However, are you arguing that a big, strong guy with a 400 lbs deadlift, who rucks and patrols in his gear every week, cannot perform a sprint? If you believe that, you may want to revisit where sprint "power" or just power in general comes from. How do we train power? By getting stronger. A strong man who also patrols and rucks often will have no problem sprinting. He will definitely have no problems with a bit of light jogging in his gear. Even better, the big strong (not big fat) will have a much easier time in those conditions than a skinny, weak guy, who does none of the recommended training.

    Now, let's put it all together. Do you still think running in shorts and tennis shoes for miles is the most effective way to train for combat endurance? It will work, sure. But does it resemble what you will most likely be doing on patrols and missions? No. So, if you just enjoy running and, in addition to the strength training, patrolling, and rucking in your gear, you still have the time to go run, then do it. Go run. Some people just need to run. For the rest of us and especially for those who are short on time, combining strength, patrolling, and rucking should be the go-to method for combat fitness.


Exercise Physiology: Human Bioenergetics and Its Applications

Tortora & Derrickson's "Introduction to the Human Body..." 9th edition (http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Human-Body-Gerard-Tortora/dp/1118129199)

Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength 

Thursday, February 22, 2024

No BS Guide to Men's Fitness


Alright, so I've made many posts about fitness, strength, and nutrition, and I've heard all your questions. Many are still confused; they don't want to read long-winded essays; they just want to be told what to do. So here ya go: a step by step training and nutrition guide. If you do long for the detailed explanations, follow the Combat Fitness playlist


A good Soldier must be strong, able to carry loads, and be aerobically fit. We can cover all those components with a simple program:

1. 2-3x per week strength training

2. 1x per week rucking

3. Daily activity: minimum 10k steps, sports, etc.

4. Eat for fuel - not for beauty pageants


Monday: Full Body Strength, Starting Strength Novice Linear Progression*

3-5 Warm-up sets | 3 working sets of 5 reps | Add 5 lbs every workout

1. Squats

2. Bench (Replace bench with overhead press 1x per week)

3. Deadlift 1x5

*Extremely deconditioned or older people may benefit from 2x per week

*Once per week perform a few sets of chin-ups at the end


Ruck at least once per week

  • Wear boots or it's not rucking
  • No crazy mileage
  • No crazy weight (20-25% of bodyweight)
  • You don't need to run
  • Example: 20% of body weight, 4 miles
  • Increase mileage OR weight ONLY when you can hit the designated distance with a 15/minute mile. Example: 4 mile ruck in less than an hour


  • 1g of protein per pound of body weight
  • 25-35% of calories from fat
  • Remaining calories from carbs
  • Eat for your activity level, which almost everyone messes up and under eats. I am currently 188 lbs and eating 3500 calories daily. If my activity increases, so will my food. I am not training for a beauty pageant - I am training for performance, and so should you.


Thursday, February 1, 2024

The Warrior's Diet & Training Guide


Any type of diet, done with consistency, can work for the average newbie. But catch up to those people a year later and you'll see how things turned out for them. You need to change your lifestyle to truly be successful. That means stop eating junk every damn day!

For any real success, you must be willing to get active.......and stay active. If You cannot commit to at least one hour of physical activity everyday, or train 3-4 times per week, then walk away now because this advice will not work for you.

Low-carb diets do work......for the right people........for a short amount of time. Bodybuilders and professionals use low-carb diets SHORT TERM to trim extra fat and boost their metabolism. If you are just starting off, you don't need to take any excessive measures. Low-carb diets rob your body of fuel and almost all of the lost "weight" is water and muscle glycogen. Wait, but muscle glycogen is important, right? Exactly.

Think about eating food to fuel your activities, instead of being active to counteract your food.

Eat the right foods, for your activity level, and you won't even have to count calories and stress about your diet.

You don't have to suffer and avoid foods you love. In fact, you should be feeling full after each meal and even enjoying a few cheats every now and then. Believe it or not, I am not obsessive about my food or training. I train 3-4 times per week, I eat good foods and besides that, I just try to stay active on most days. 


1. Determine How Much You Should Eat Find one of the many FREE Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) calculators online and figure out what you should eat every day. But don't get too wrapped around the numbers game. Afterall, many people underestimate how much they eat and over-estimate how much they train. But we do need a baseline for what you SHOULD be eating daily. After a few weeks you can adjust those numbers based on your habits and activity. Now what about those macros?

Men: Consume .8 grams of protein per pound of body weight; 20-30% of your calories are from fat; the remaining calories are from carbs. Naturally, if you are trying to lean down and "cut," your carbs will go down, meaning your protein should increase.

Women: Consume .8 grams of protein per pound of body weight; maximum 25% calories from fat; the remaining calories are from carbs. Same as men, if you are trying to cut or get leaner, you can cut a bit of carbs but, to keep the proportions correct, your protein will go up - not fat intake. 

2. Eat the RIGHT foods. Believe it or not, most people know what food is good or not. It's built into us. Do I really need to tell you that potato chips and cupcakes are bad? Do I really need to tell you to drink water, instead of soda all day? Thought so...you know what to do; just do it.

Seek out nutrient dense foods and avoid calorie dense foods. It's that simple.

3. Eat for YOUR Fitness Level & Activity

Once you have established your BMR, you can then adjust your macros accordingly. If you are having a heavy day, add 150-300 extra calories. Try to eat a large breakfast to give you plenty of fuel until your next meal. If you cannot eat breakfast, try to eat a large dinner the night before. There are zero legitimate studies showing that large dinners promote unhealthy weight gain. On that note, there are zero legitimate studies showing that "intermittent fasting" leads to long-term healthy weight management. These are just little tricks influencers will push on you. Stick with the basics and you will be fine.

If you find that you are starving by dinner time or late at night, that is a good indicator that you did not eat enough during the day. Make a plan to eat more, earlier, the next day, and that should help. You shouldn't walk around feeling full all the time, but you also should not have endless cravings, with low energy. 

4. Stop Demonizing Carbs!

Seriously, this nonsense has to stop. Carbs are not your problem - over-consuming them, in junk-food form is your problem. Carbs are fuel. 

Carbohydrates are our primary source of energy, period. Glucose is the ready source, while your muscles and liver store them as glycogen. Glycogen is easily used by the body during activity. Forget about the gurus and pseudoscience for a minute. Your body wants to utilize carbs so much that when you cut off the supply it will make them from other sources, known as gluconeogenesis. Sure, you can force your body into Ketosis, where it must utilize other nutrients as glucose, but why would you make your body go through all the extra work? All this low-carb, keto crap is just that: crap. Notice that your friends who praise it always seem to get off it at some point. It's because their bodies get tired of being starved, and force them to eat food again. Then, in their survival-mode panic, they consume nothing but junk food and lay around the house. Then, they claim that the carbs made them fat. 

5. Know What Training is, and Actually Train

People tend to confuse activity or "exercising" with actual training. "Training" is a specific activity designed to induce an exact effect. Example: strength and power training, a 5k running program. Going for an unloaded, leisurely walk is activity, or exercise. Training makes you grow, get faster, while demanding a ton of energy. Activity, while extremely beneficial for overall health and longevity, will not induce specific results, and do not require a lot of energy. Examples of training, with links to videos:

You should TRAIN for at least 3 days per week as a beginner, and around 5 times per week as an athlete. You should conduct basic activities EVERY DAY. This can be as simple as an hour walk, or 6 10 minute brisk walks, or an hour of light sports. Most experts agree that getting in at least 10,000 steps per day has an amazing health benefit, and will also assist in fat loss on the long run. Go look up your favorite body builder. The great majority spend the first hour of their sessions walking on a treadmill. 

What if you don't have a smart watch? 10,000 steps for most people is just around 5 miles. If you cannot do this all at once, split it up throughout the day:

  • Six, 10-minute brisk walks
  • Park far away and walk
  • Walk if you don't have to drive
  • Always take the stairs
  • Stand more

So let's put it all together

Here is my typical day of eating:

(below is my typical week of training)


4 whole eggs, either on a cheese sandwich or scrambled with shredded cheese

Pre-workout (1 hour before training)

peanut butter sandwich and some coffee


Huge glass of chocolate milk (3/1 carbs/protein ratio)

OR, a standard whey protein shake

Afternoon Snack


1. A few tablespoons of peanut butter, washed down with whole milk

2. 3 boiled eggs



1. Huge grass-fed beef cut, with either potatoes or rice, topped with steamed broccoli

2. Home-made burgers with some cheese and lettuce

3. Chicken breast and rice, topped with steamed broccoli

My Typical Week of Training

*I try to get a minimum of 10k steps daily

Monday: Strength: push, pull, squat, based on Mark Rippetoe's 3x5 program
Tuesday: Cardio: either BW conditioning, or a longer SS cardio run
Wednesday: Strength 2: same as above
Thursday: Cardio 2: Hill Sprints, or similar
Friday: Options:
1. Strength again and then on Sunday more cardio OR
2. A large fitness challenge, which could be a long, tough ruck, or a massive workout that challenges the entire body, and lasts more than an hour. Then, Saturday and Sunday are "recovery days."

Recovery Days do not mean laying around, doing nothing. In fact, light activity including easy sports on off days have been shown to not only increase recovery and mitigate soreness, but they have also shown to help people avoid injury. As it turns out, daily movement is good for the human body.

That's all there is to it, folks. Being fit and healthy certainly does not mean starving or restriction. Hang out with me for a day and you will see just how much food I can destroy! The fact remains that as long as at least 80% of your diet comes from good foods, then you really can do whatever the hell you want with the other 20%. As you become fitter and leaner, you will learn how to do all this naturally, without having to count. Even better, you'll be so fit that you'll have to introduce some "junk" food, just to be able to fuel your body for those long days. Example: Super skinny backpackers who live on absolute crap for months, but it doesn't show one bit. So do you want to keep counting every calorie, starving yourself everyday, and dying to eat just one piece of chocolate everyday? Or do you want to train, be active, eat like a maniac, and still have room to enjoy some of your favorite treats every now and then?


Grunt Proof


BMR Calculator (http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/)

Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook (http://www.nancyclarkrd.com/books/sportsnutrition.asp)

Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength

Insulin Index of Foods (clinical study) (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/66/5/1264.full.pdf+html)

Tortora & Derrickson's "Introduction to the Human Body..." 9th edition (http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Human-Body-Gerard-Tortora/dp/1118129199)

Sport Medicine on "Post-Workout Nutrition." (http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/nutrition/a/aa081403.htm)

Clinical trials on high fat diets and health risks (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19828712)

Clinical trial on high cholesterol and health risks (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16549459)

Clinical trials: Cholesterol and Atherosclerosis (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14623804)

Clinical trials on low-carb diets and obesity (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12761365)

The science behind caloric measurements and inaccuracies (http://www.livescience.com/26799-calorie-counts-inaccurate.html)

Dietary fats http://www.medic8.com/healthguide/articles/fats.html

Saturday, January 13, 2024


Compared to its beginning in 2020, the SERE Challenge has evolved into a complex, extremely demanding event. In addition to the real-world event on the ground, the SERE Challenge has also become the most authentic survival show on any platform. How did it begin, how has it evolved, and what is coming in the future?

    Back in 2016, I purchased what would be my first set of properties deep in the Sierra Nevadas. A truly remote location, complete with extremely rugged terrain, peace and quiet, and tons of public land where one could freely roam for days. Missing my connection with the veteran and outdoor communities, I immediately began contemplating methods to get like-minded people out to the area in order to enjoy the area like I do. I had many ideas, but the first one that stuck was a survival competition, where youtubers would test their own skills against other survivalists. Utilizing the over 3200 acres of public land near me, the Survival Games was solidified as a full concept, and in November 2020, we hosted the first event. Watch Season 1

    Bill (Stokermatic) battled Eric (Coleman Outdoors) in the first Survival Games. The concept in Season 1 was simple: Each contestant is dropped at an unknown location in the area. They have 24 hours to evade the "hunters," and reach an extraction point. Whoever reaches extraction first, or does not get captured wins. Once a contestant is captured or reaches extraction, the roles are reversed, and the event starts over. Eric evaded Bill for just over 11 hours, but was eventually hunted down and captured. Bill evaded for over 16 hours, reached the extraction point, and won. Season 1 set the tone for the show, and set a high standard for survival "reality" shows. The most appealing aspect is the realism and authenticity: there is no Hollywood budget, no camera crews, and no high-end production. Everything is real; nothing is staged or reshot, and the contestants have no idea what is coming until it happens. No other "survival" or outdoor show has done this, nor will they even try. The big-budget productions simply cannot operate or market themselves without over-dramatization. SERE Challenge Season 2 introduces the full concept of SERE in 2022. Watch Season 2

    Brent (Brent0331) battled Jared (2 Alpha Solutions) in the first full concept of SERE Challenge. Building on the original concept of Season 1, now each contestant is first captured by an enemy, and spends up to 6 hours in below-freezing temperatures, in uncomfortable positions and situations, and is interrogated. Once the "captivity" portion is complete, the contestant escapes and begins to evade. Using a stolen radio and equipment, the contestant is then given a course in order to navigate to his extraction point. Limited guidance to the "survivor," combined with bolstered support for the "hunter" made Season 2 even more intense and challenging that the original concept. Watch Season 2. But the crew, led by Randall (Grunt Proof) is not even done improving the event and show. SERE Challenge Season 3 will be even more challenging for the contestants, and will include many improvements such as a full-blown real-world scenario: The Crisis.

Monday, January 8, 2024

Combat Fitness Nutrition

 Facts up front:

  • Many (good looking) bodybuilders and weight lifters can be observed dumping loads of sugar directly into their post-workout shakes
  • Marathon runners and other endurance athletes "carb-load" up to a full day before their race. They also consume fast sugars during their events for continuous fuel, as well as after for recovery
  • The body prefers to store extra glucose (broken down carbohydrates) in the muscle cells, in the form of glycogen, instead of storing it as fat
  • Many (fat) gurus demonize carbohydrates because they do not understand basic physiology and how the human body operates. Ignore their advice and look better than all their followers when bathing-suit season comes around
  • The only people who should take special care when consuming carbs are those with serious metabolic conditions, diabetes and/or people who are obese 
  • As long as you conduct the right training (see HIIT), are fairly active on most days, and eat at the right times during the day, you should have no reason to fear carbs!

    "Pre-workout, during, and post-workout"...unless you have lived under a rock for the last decade then you know these terms well. All athletes use peri-workout nutrition in order to stay well fueled so that they can train hard, recover, and then get on with the rest of the day. It's very simple: Basically, within one to two hours before training they eat the proper food as a "pre-workout" and then within two hours after training they take their "post-workout." You may have noticed people people chugging some brightly colored drink before training, and then slurping down a protein shake right after as well. They are implementing peri-workout nutrition, although not in the best manner. I'm not saying you should go out and buy a bunch of expensive products and carry a shaker cup everywhere you go. In fact, if you follow the basic laws of human physiology you can learn to fuel yourself in such a way where you kill your training, lose fat effortlessly, and feel better throughout the rest of the day as well.

But first, you must stop demonizing certain groups of foods....

Carbohydrates, glucose, and glycogen: a refresher

    Your body is constantly using up energy in order to keep you alive. When you conduct a strenuous activity the body requires a lot more energy; this is Biology and Physiology 101. This energy typically comes from carbohydrates, which are either free (blood glucose) or stored in muscle tissue as glycogen. Therefore, the primary source of energy for working muscles and organs is carbohydrates [1,2,3]. Glucose is so preferred and efficiently used that, when lacking them, the body will utilize other methods (gluconeogenesis) in order to synthesize it regardless. Every athlete that is worth anything utilizes the process of glycogen storage, usage and replenishment in order to train hard and perform at optimal levels. The secondary effect is that most of them look amazing; they feel great as well. And most importantly, they are healthy! Peri-workout nutrition is based on basic sport physiology, which can be implemented with the following principles:

1. The body prefers carbohydrates for fuel; fill your "tank" up before training.

2. Glycogen (energy) is stored in the muscle cells as readily-available energy. The more muscle mass one has, the more glycogen he or she can store. *A 150 lb, lean man can store up to 1600 calories in his muscle tissue alone!

3. Unlike fat storage, glycogen is easily used as well as replaced. It is very costly (and slow) for the body to conduct gluconeogenesis - creating glucose from other molecules - for fuel when glucose is absent. Thus, endurance athletes describe this condition as "hitting a wall;" if this absence of preferred fuel exists, the medical condition known as "ketosis" occurs. 

4. On the other end of the spectrum, for the body to store extra glucose in the fat cells (de novo lipogenesis) is extremely costly as well. An estimated 30% of energy is utilized in order to conduct this process. Thus, excess carbohydrates are most likely either used for direct energy or stored in the muscles as glycogen. [6]

5. A workout on an empty stomach  and/or absent of plenty of carbs is almost wasted because you will not train near as hard as you would when fueled properly. While many dieting women think training while starved burns more fat, they couldn't be more wrong. A well-fueled person trains much harder, which means they gain/maintain muscle and burn more fat. This means looking good naked!

6. Consuming protein after training is great, but it is not nearly as important as consuming more carbs. Protein is valuable for muscle repair but is useless after training, unless you replace your glycogen stores in the muscle as well.

Eat about 1/4 of your daily carbohydrates for breakfast (to fuel your body for the day), 1/2 as a pre-workout, and the last 1/4 as your post-workout.

Pre-workout nutrition

Despite what the commercials and your still unfit friends tell you, pre-workout does not come in a shaker cup. To truly fuel your body for training or heavy activity, you must eat food. Those pre-workout drinks are mostly junk, a bit of sugar, and some caffeine. With terms like "more alertness, more energy, better training, etc," they are a failed attempt to mimic what actual energy is: FOOD! To make things worse, many women starve themselves around training time thinking they will burn more fat in the process. Instead, they are sluggish, they train like shit (if at all) and basically waste their time. The bottom line is this: you are about to place a lot of stress on your entire system and make your muscles work very hard; this requires a great amount of energy. Starving or drinking what is basically an over-priced soda will do nothing in terms of fueling your body.

Eat almost half of your carbohydrates for the entire day, some protein, and a bit of fat as a pre-workout

The harder your training will be, the more carbs you should eat

Two hours before: eat slow-digesting carbs that will last through your workout. (wheat bread, pasta, vegetables, etc)

My favorite is two large slices of multi-grain/wheat bread with peanut butter and a cup of coffee*: tons of carbs, some protein and some fat......and yummy!


One hour before: eat faster digesting carbs. (white breads, power bars, some sports drinks) 


30 minutes before: eat more simple sugars for quick fuels for your workout (bananas, sports drinks, some snack foods)

My favorite: eat a few ripe bananas!

More muscle and athleticism = more fuel needed and burned. On the flip side: less muscle, lower fitness level = less energy required, which means the less "fun" you get to have.

If you have a big day ahead of you then load up on those carbs (like endurance athletes) you will pack the glycogen in your muscles and be able to breeze through your activity. While the low-carbers are fooled by the gurus into believing that sugars just get stored as fat, they couldn't be more wrong. Sure, if you eat a stack of pancakes slathered in butter and syrup, and then go straight to bed, then of course you will store it as fat! Lastly, many people fear the consumption of sugar before training because they believe they may crash during the workout. Only people with metabolic disorders and/or diabetes, and very unfit people have this problem. If you are fit and healthy then eat all the sugars you want (peri-workout). If you have metabolic disorders then always go for the slowest-digesting forms of carbs....too easy!

*Although you should primarily rely on food for energy, caffeine - a central nervous system simulant - has been proven to be a valuable supplement prior to training. In fact, the only decent ingredient in any of those pre-workout shakes is the caffeine. [4,5]

Peri-Workout Nutrition

    Not many people think about eating during training or activity but this may be essential. If you are going for an hour-long leisurely walk with a friend then you may not need to carb up during that. However, if you are conducting an exhausting and long activity like hiking or biking all day, then you should consider bringing along some fast sugars to keep you fueled up. While a lot of the low-carbers think that going into ketosis (a sickness) and forcing your body to burn stored fats as direct fuel, is a good thing, the rest of us call that "hitting the wall." It is one of the worst things you can do to your body. Eat something small, easy to digest, and with a bit of sugar in it to stay fueled for your activity. Even better idea: take your low-carb friend out with you and run them into the ground! My favorites are homemade power bars, dry pancakes from that morning, or bananas and other fruits.

Post-Workout Nutrition

This is actually the easiest one to screw up. Today's pop-culture fitness industry has everyone believing that protein is the most important nutrient post-workout. Protein is important to rebuild muscle tissue and restore normal functions after training, but the absolute most important post-workout nutrient is actually carbohydrates. In fact, a ratio of 3/1 carbs/protein has been recommended to athletes around the world for at least for decades [1,2,4]. Consider this: you trained hard, depleted your glycogen stores and destroyed some muscle tissue. Why would you only replace one nutrient? 

By not replacing those valuable glycogen stores, you will have little to no energy for the rest of the day. Even worse, your body will most likely break down protein in order to create the fuel it requires. And the chances are high that "stolen" protein will either come from your post-workout shake, the muscles themselves, or both. So drink protein all you want after training but it will most likely be wasted unless you eat carbs as well.

An important note here is for the people who cannot control their cravings for sweets:

*Due to the depleted muscle glycogen and overall low-energy state, the worked muscles are basically starving for carbs post-workout. Therefore, it is almost impossible to store carbs as fat in this "anabolic window." This is your chance to eat your cheat meal and those sweets that you crave!

One to two (maximum) hours after training, consume your post-workout meal

This amount should make up 1/4 of your day's carbohydrates 

The carbs should be both slow and fast-digesting so that (a) insulin packs the nutrients where they need to go quickly and (b), you will have plenty of energy to continue on with the rest of your day. Remember, you still have to live after training! Do not fear insulin; it does not simply push fat into fat cells, as many gurus would have you believe. Post workout, it primarily shuttles glycogen and protein into the muscles [1,2,3,4] If you choose to ignore the actual science, just look at all the athletes who consume tons of sugar right after training, and do not gain an ounce of fat. Most highly educated and experienced experts will tell you this simple fact: "The fat you eat is literally the fat you wear."

Eating sweets or cheat foods during this time is basically guilt free and will satisfy your cravings. This should make the evenings a lot more bearable for the dieting women!

Do NOT over-do the cheats, especially if you are a beginner and/or do not have much muscle. Remember, more muscle = more glycogen (carbs) required, which means you have to eat more. Less muscle and easier training means you cannot get away with cheating too much.

    In closing, carbohydrates are your friends, just as long as you utilize them properly. Bodybuilders eat a ton of them to build and keep muscle; also notice how when most of them "cut," without the assistance of steroids, they become much smaller and weaker. All other athletes use them to train hard and break world records. Besides having a legitimate metabolic disorder, not training properly (or not at all) or eating at the wrong times, carbohydrates should be your primary go-to nutrient before, during and after training. Remember, eating a bunch of bread, pasta, or a huge stack of pancakes before a long day of hiking up mountains with a rucksack: probably a very good idea. However, eating those same foods just before going to the couch? Probably not a good idea.....but you already knew that.

Carry on!


Life as a Grunt

Clark, Nancy. (2012) Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook. 5th Edition

Friday, January 5, 2024

Why Winter is the Best Season to Get Fit


To all the people hiding from the cold weather: this is actually the best time for you to be outside and training. Here's why:

1. 70-80% of the body's energy goes to thermoregulation alone. Training out in the cold makes your body work harder both physically and to heat you, creating more an of energy deficit. That means more fat loss! (

2. Although strength gains be maintained by training every 14-20 days, cardio-respiratory gains must be maintained at a minimum every 5-7 days. If you want to IMPROVE your cardio, you should be doing it every two or three days. 

3. Because of the weather, most people tend to over-eat, despite not even being that active in the first place. This is an out-dated survival mechanism that clearly hurts us these days.

4. Humans evolved for millions of years outside, despite such terrible climate changes. Just like in strength and cardio training, our bodies positively adapt and thrive in such a challenging environment as the cold or heat.

5. For every day you spend on the couch, eating and waiting for "nice weather," you are losing your cardio gains and gaining fat in the process.

Get outside and work your body, burn fat, and live like a human is supposed to!!


An Infantry Life

Cohen, Barbara Jansen, Kerry Hull, & Jason James Taylor. (2013). Memmler s The Human Body in Health and Disease. 12th Edition. 

Kenney L. W., Wilmore, J. H., & D. L. Costill. (2015). Physiology of Sport and Exercise (5th Ed.). 

Tortora, G. J. & B. Derrickson. (2012). Principles of Anatomy and Physiology (12th Ed)

The 10 Commandments of Fitness


    I'm a fairly observant person, and I enjoy grouping people based on certain characteristics. This is all too easy in the world of fitness and health. We have the unhealthy, overweight and unfit, who always demonstrate certain traits together; on the other end of the spectrum, we can observe the fit, strong, and healthy people who also share their own set of unique characteristics. So what are the most persistent traits that we can steal from those darned Alphas, in hopes of helping ourselves? Luckily, I've had a lot of experience around these people; over the decades I have come to learn a set of rules that many of these people typically follow: A "10 Commandments" of the fit and healthy if you will, which I think can help the average Joe out a heck of a lot. Follow these rules and you'll notice a lot of changes that come with them. Break these rules, and remain stagnant on your journey. 

1. They take the stairs...and walk! This tip has been overly perpetuated for years; but guess what? Most people still ignore it. Brutalizing yourself in the gym for an hour or two is great, but what do you do for the other 22-23 hours of your days? If you are completely stationary most of the time, the bottom line is that nothing you do in the gym will make up for it. Take the stairs, park far away from your destination, go for walks.....MOVE! 

2. They have active friends. Before Exercise Physiology, I studied Sociology; therefore, I am always highly interested in the cultural aspect of fitness and health. Notice how many fit or active friends you have, who also have fit and active friends. I'm not saying to dump your lazy friends, who probably hold you back; but you may want to start looking for more active people in your life. A "fit buddy" keeps you moving and motivated. 

3. They are patient/they enjoy the process. Progress is progress.....period. When some people experience the amazing "newbie gains," where their bodies seem to change week to week, many people do not. You must learn to enjoy the journey and the process, and stop trying to rush to the end. Focusing on the means, instead of the ends, will keep you motivated longer and keep you from becoming frustrated in the long-run. Seriously, people, Rome was not built in a day, why do you expect your beach body to come after a few months? 

4. They mix things up. There is a huge difference between what you like to do and what works. Many people tend to stick with the same program or diet, when that approach didn't necessarily work for them to begin with. Runners rarely lift weights and the "power lifters" rarely want to run or go hiking. Maybe you're progress has stalled because your body no longer adapts. Maybe you are making no progress because you've done the same thing for 10 years! Challenge yourself with new programs and you'll see a wealth of gains soon, guaranteed. Variety also helps prevent injury from over-use and keeps us motivated as well. 

5. They remain consistent. Contrary to the last remark, some people you need to stick with a program for once. Many people change their program and diet too frequently, which never allows the body to adapt and grow. This is especially applicable to nutrition. Depending on the program, a good one can last anywhere from one month to a full yea. If you find yourself continually program "hopping," that may be your biggest problem. Even the worst training program can yield results, even if the person doesn't hit it as hard. The main theme should be consistency. 

6. They train hard, but smart. No program should have you going "balls to the wall" everyday. For the guys who have access to the awesome drugs, this may work; but this is dangerous to us humans. If you are a bit tight or sore, you can work through that. But learn to recognize symptoms of over-training or injury before you end up laid out on the couch for weeks. A smart way to approach this is to train around injuries. As an example, if my back is acting up, I will avoid compression exercises, such as squats, and move to the leg press machine instead. This allows me to get my leg training in, without hurting myself further. I learned in the Infantry that there is tough, and then there is just plain stupid. Don't be stupid! 

7. They have plenty of excuses....which they overcome. This is a severely over-used term "no excuse." Great motto; the only problem is that people are still chronically inventing them! Time, energy, access, aches and pains, colds....they are still excuses. I have two herniated disks (L-5 and S-1), knee pain, a strained shoulder, two jobs, I am a full-time student, I do a lot of housework....blah blah blah BLAH! If we all waited for the absolute perfect time to workout, none of us would ever train! Observe your fit friends or family members and you'll notice that they always find a way to train....period. You call them crazy for running in the freezing cold; you pick on them for being late to a family dinner because they were training; but deep down, you know that you wish you had that type of discipline. Quit making excuses and start making a plan to fit training into your life. The operative word here isn't time, but time-prioritization. 

8. They don't "grow up." A characteristic that many fit people share is the fact that they can be considered to be a bit "immature" to some of their friends and family members. They play with children more, they act like children, and anytime there is a chance to play a game or sport - no matter what they are wearing - they jump at the opportunity. Since when did growing up become synonymous with being lazy and boring? According to one of my favorite sources, (1) fidgeting can burn up to an extra 300 calories per day. With that in mind, find your inner child! 

9. They welcome adversity. Look at any person you know who is fit. Chances are he or she will welcome any challenge that is presented. Whether it's climbing a mountain, competing in a sporting event, or simply working out in the freezing weather. Even friendly competitions during training can push a person past most plateaus in gains and progress. It can also keep us coming back for more. Most importantly, I enjoy challenges as a way to measure my own skills and gains. Take a few notes from these people. Or, better yet, join in the challenges with them and discover your own hidden strengths and bad-ass-ness! 

10. Lastly, and most importantly: Fit and healthy people enjoy their lifestyle; they don't obsess or stress over it. Thanks to the internet gurus and holistic weirdos, everything has at one time or another been demonized. In the late 1800s it was Banting, (2) the first low-carb trend; then it was Atkins in the 70s; next, in the 80s and 90s it was fat. Now, we seem to demonize carbohydrates all over again. The point is, too many people waste their time reading all this regurgitated nonsense and demonizing food groups. *TIME: didn't many people say they didn't have enough of that?* Is "low-carb" better for you? Are fats your enemy? Possibly. I, however, would lean more toward the observation of over-consumption and under-activity. But the fact remains that in the thirty minutes you wasted reading that one article, you could have gone for a walk, did a body-weight routine at home, or simply did some ab work or push-ups. Stop being OCD about every single tiny aspect of it all, and just look at the big picture: millions of uneducated people run around and eat with absolutely no research under their belts; and most of them are fitter than those gurus you read about! THAT is your goal: to pay attention to what you eat and get moving; your goal is not to read about a bunch of odd and possibly inaccurate facts on nutrition. 

Conclusion The fit and healthy tend to usually be the least stressed when it comes to their habits; this is why they seem to make it all look so easy. And that's the beauty of it, it does become easy and simple! Once you commit to and adapt to the new lifestyle, much of it will simply become second nature. Observe your fit friends to see how much they stress about their lifestyle. Sure, they pay attention to what they eat - which is more simple than many believe - and they always make sure they do something active each day, but they rarely get crazy about any of it. That is the true magic of it all: keeping it simple. I learned this a long time ago: K.I.S.S. - "Keep It Simple, Stupid." Just follow these rules, or any other positive ones you come across, and try to hit most of them every day. Your fate is in your hands, people; make the right choices each day and you won't regret a thing. 


Cissick, John M. (April 2002). Basic Principles of Strength Training and Conditioning. NCSA's Performance Training Journal. Volume 1, Number 4.   

Clark, Nancy. (2012) Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook. 5th Edition.

Mala, J., T. K. Szivak, S. D. Flanagan, B. A. Comstock, J. Z. Laferrier, C. M. Maresh, & W. J. Kraemer. (2015, April). The role of strength and power during performance of high intensity military tasks under heavy load carriage. US Army Medical Department. 

Resistance Training for Health and Fitness. American College of Sports Medicine. 

Strength Training: Overloading to Increase Muscle Mass. Sports Performance Bulletin. Clin Sports Med. 2007, 26: 17-36. 

Groves, Barry, PhD. (2003, 30 April). William Banting - Father of the Low-Carbohydrate Diet.

Schoenfeld, Brad J. (2010, October). The Mechanisms of Muscle Hypertrophy and their Application to Resistance Training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Volume 24, number 10. 

Warpeha, J. (2007, Dec 1). Single Versus Multiple Set Training: What Does the Research Say?.NCSA's Performance Training Journal. Volume 6, Number 6.

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Wool vs Synthetics During Winter Operations

Pretty good debate topic: wool vs synthetics. 

And I'm not talking about the light and thin merino base layers - the most anti-synthetic people I know are all about the thick, heavy wools. There are many pros and cons from weight, durability, flame resistance, to comfort. My thoughts are, it depends on what you're doing. If you're just hanging around camp or your tree stand, the heavy wool stuff is fine. However, if you are conducting heavy movement in freezing temps, the heavy wools are horrible. We dropped the wools for the mountains of Afghanistan; thruhikers dropped the heavy wools, and mountaineers dropped it well before we even heard about ECWCS. WHY? I know so many people cannot fathom this idea, so here's a fun experiment. Put on your favorite heavy wool sweater, grab your ruck, and cover at least 12 miles in 15 minutes. 

I think then you'll see why we no longer carry it for movements and patrols. So what about static positions after that movement? Well, that's exactly what the Level 7s are for. And if you compare the weight it'll add to your already heavy ruck, plus the compression you get vs those big ole sweaters and heavy jackets, it's no comparison - none. What about fire? Well, unless you're working in a refinery I don't see the point. I'm sure what y'all are doing around fire but I've been playing with it for at least 30 years and I've gotten a few ember holes. And that was usually when the alcohol and mo-gas was involved. 

Go out and train, and you'll find exactly what works for you. If I'm wrong, great. At least you know what works for you. 

Carry on!

Monday, January 30, 2023

The First Ever Public SERE School | SERE Challenge

The SERE Challenge earned the title of being the first real-world survival and evasion competition. It was created as a series on YouTube, where like-minded outdoor creators come together to test and show off their skills in a one-of-a-kind, physically-demanding event. The next step is the first ever SERE School for the public! This in-depth course will go above and beyond basic survival courses, because the remaining categories will also be instructed and tested: Evasion, Resistance, and Escape. 

If you think you have what it takes to attend and survive the most challenging survival course in the country, REGISTER HERE



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