The first wealth is health

If you want to persuade someone that something is inherently good, you first have to help them understand it. And imparting understanding can be quite a challenge given the complex and emotive nature of some topics.

This is why I love the art of of analogy.

Analogies and metaphors work by harnessing the power of comparison and similarity to make complex problems and concepts inherently more approachable. They essentially help someone get to that “ah ha” moment without having to fully understand the scope of the original problem.

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Why I’m giving-up a seven figure income to help people look great naked

Now that sure is a splashy headline, and maybe it’s the only reason you clicked through to read. But if you’ll give me the benefit of the doubt, I’ll show you that it’s fundamentally true. Perhaps most importantly, I’ll tell you the why of that decision and how that could be important if YOU decide you want to look great naked.

For the last eight-plus years I’ve worked as a professional engineering manager and career coach for YouTube and Google. Prior to that, another two decades in software engineering and management.

So let’s get it out of the way, shall we?

Seven figures, you say?

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Bodybuilding is in decline?

I can’t recall exactly what led me down this path, but I recently ended-up poking around in Google Trends at various search terms related to the health and fitness industry. Some things were not all that surprising. Like the huge spike in people searching for “keto diet” and “low carb”. But other trends made less sense to me, like the significant drop in people searching for “bodybuilding”.

It’s easy to get sucked in to playing with the Google Trends search tool, especially when you start playing with geography. So click this link at your own risk.

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Training for life

Are you training for longevity in the gym? Or are you just crashing through your workouts chasing progress at all costs? I know I’ve certainly taken a short-term perspective in my training at times, pushing through pain and making poor exercise choices – all in the name of progress. But those decisions have taken their toll on my body and if you want to be lifting well into later life you need to play the long game.

Whether it’s chasing gains or looking to get peeled, we’re all in a rush for progress. Every workout is approached as an all or nothing endeavor; total success or abject failure. And yet, the reality is that little could be further from the truth.

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Uncommon Smoothie Sense

Smoothies can be a great way to add healthful calories to your diet. But there are a few pitfalls to be wary of, and a number of simple ways you can boost your smoothie nutrition. Let me share with you some uncommon smoothie sense.

For any of you that follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I am a huge fan of smoothies. I find them incredibly useful for adding additional calories and sources of food that I would otherwise struggle to include in my diet. All that said, first I’m going to make a statement that I hope isn’t too controversial for any of you:

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Abs. The holy grail of physique transformation?

Abs. Nearly everyone chasing physique transformation wants that coveted six-pack. A slick slab of undulating goodness that speaks to all that hard work. But sadly, many never achieve their dream, despite making good progress with fat-loss. But why? What is it that makes seeing abs such an elusive goal?

First, let’s be clear, a six pack isn’t for everyone. It’s not necessary, serves no practical purpose and is seen by many as an expression of extreme vanity. And if you’re reading this with a skeptical frown, thinking what the fuck is the obsession with abs in this industry, I totally understand.

However, having just got my coveted six-pack back again after a three-year hiatus, I can assure you that there’s a LOT it teaches you about yourself, the body and most importantly, the mind.

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Don’t make these simple mistakes!

When it comes to diet and exercise, basic mistakes are often attributable to someone’s lack of progress. So if you’re stuck in a rut or not enjoying the progress you once did, chances are you are failing to follow one or more of these important principles.

Tell someone you want to lose weight and the first thing you’ll likely hear out of their mouth is “cut out carbs”. Other’s will tell you to reduce fats, eliminate bread, increase vegetable intake. And they are all right; and they are all wrong.

The trouble is, the average person changes a lot things on their journey to finding what works, and the reality is that they seldom know what led them to success. Worse still, they’ll make assumptions about what worked and then doggedly double-down on that approach out of fear of stalling. And that, sadly, is often the start of a nose-dive into something that is neither sustainable, nor good for your mental and physical health.

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I want you

I’ve not posted here again for a while, but I’ve not been idle. Workouts are good, nutrition is on point, and I continue to make progress. I’ve been writing too, but mostly for my new Facebook group: Uncommon Sense Physique.

With this post, for your reading pleasure, I am re-posting the Facebook note that started that venture.

Verbatim, from the inaugural Facebook post:

Many of you know me as that guy into fitness (actually, I’m not “fit”, but we’ll get to that), and you often see me posting things here on Facebook, as well as Instagram and Twitter. I even have blog (doesn’t everyone?) that has some interesting and relevant content at times. You’ll also probably know that just like the rest of you, I still have a full-time job, and that means everything health and fitness related for me is a combination of life-style and hobby.

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Weak-point training and how not to waste your time

Let’s face it, in terms of our physique, we’ve all got weak points. That one (haha!) lagging muscle group that just doesn’t seem to respond as well as the others. But before you jump on the specialization train, let’s make sure you earned that ticket.

First-up, weak point training — do you need it?

The [harsh] reality is that unless you’re at or approaching your genetic limit in terms of overall physical development, you really don’t need a specialization protocol. Or, said differently, any time spent working to improve a single body part is probably better spent focused on your big rocks, and improving your overall physique development.

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Fundamentals: Focus on your big rocks

If your goal is hypertrophy, there are many variables to consider. And on some level, they all matter. But all too often people focus on the details when their attention should in fact be focused on the Big Rocks of training.

Consider the Muscle and Strength Training Pyramid below. Putting aside nutrition–which has its own pyramid–this pyramid covers six (well, eight) variables that all affect our training.

And while the topics of sets, reps and how many days a week to train do get a lot of air time, many of you are still spending too much time worrying about the stuff at the top of the pyramid.

Stuff that frankly, unless you have your fundamentals in order, just don’t matter.

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