From Couch To Spartan Sprint – Exercise 3.3

Thou Shall Squat.

But I’m out of ideas for the squat right now so Thou Shall Swing The Kettlebell.


It’s also a matter of having a cool idea to share and then deciding where it sort of fits in. I learned these side stepping KB swings in Exercise Theory and it fit in with this idea I’ve been having of designing a work out for a too-light kettlebell.

With a dumbell movement you can always add more reps when you’ve gotten stronger and it feels light. With KB swings though, once it feels light you’re not actually deriving any benefits. So I was thinking about what a person could do now that they’ve outgrown their first one, when this move came up in class.

If you want to make a too-easy movement challenging again then adding instability is the easiest way. As a beginner the search for stability is your primary goal, always find the strongest safest way to move. As an intermediate though you can play with that.

It’s like any skill or discipline – first they tell you what you never, never, never do and a few years down the road they quietly tell you when to do it.


From Couch To Spartan Sprint – Exercise 2.2

Thou Shall Take Your Vitamins.

Which in this case means drinking things that taste like yard clippings.


The deeper spirit of Take Your Vitamins though is that most people get hung up on what they like and what you like is nowhere near the fucking point.

For one you can change what you like – people train themselves to like cigarettes and alcohol for years, they train so hard they seek professional help to untrain those cravings.

And second people never question if they really like something or if they merely want the absence of a craving. Let’s use soda as an example because it’s one I’m guilty of – I feel like having pop all the time. When the wanting comes up go ahead and get a soda. Then turn off everything. No video or TV, no music, no scrolling your phone, no nothing. And drink the soda.

Do you feel better? Do you feel the happiness that marketing and your dopamine system promised you? Probably not. You probably feel really underwhelmed and bored and kind of gross and you crave more distraction, because that’s all the soda really was.

You are actually suffering through the things you think you like and numbing it out with distraction.

…And if you’re willing to that for destructive things then go ahead and do it for constructive things. Like fiber shakes. Made from hemp.

Videos I Liked This Week

This is a re-watch. I didn’t (I don’t think) post this video the first time I watched it because I thought the conversation in the beginning was annoying but I still think about this video, and even quote it, all the time.


Another re-watch because I saw it in my side bar. You should have seen this by now too, it’s over 10 years old, but it’s the video that introduced me to Sam Harris and changed my thinking forever.


This video is proof that some of the best life advice is dating advice. People think dating advice is pick up lines and fashion but look at all the points of this video, there’s nothing superficial or cheesy about it. To be attractive – romantically or otherwise to draw people toward you – you have to have direction, purpose, ambition, standards, etc. Nothing cheesy about it.


Vsauce is great and all the first season of Mind Field is free now.


Hunter McIntyre is a dick. But he’s a dick I like, I guess. I saw one interview with him after the Crossfit Games and thought fuck this guy completely and clearly he does have some shitty attitudes and qualities. But some people are an acquired taste. And this interview is hysterical.


Really long, which I guess is the theme this week, but an all-purpose chat with Jeff is fucking dope. Drink in the knowledge.


This one is short. And extremely important. In Tim Ferris’ book Tools Of Titan there’s a work out for the glute medius that I constantly meant to look up and always forgot when I was planning a work out. Then thanks to Twitter I saw someone made a video of it. Suck it, books. But seriously do this work out everyday – your gluteus medius is probably shit.


And finally a new channel I discovered that’s awesome. I love The Grey and I think about it all the time so I watched this and a bunch more the channel and hombre is shining.


From Couch To Spartan Sprint – Exercise 1.3

The first Commandment is to Stay Inspired. This video deals with what to do when your inspiration is drained.


You need to be able to see the heroic version of yourself in – let’s make up a term – future hindsight. Keep in mind that you are at the beginning of the training montage, you are a walking before photo. When you feel like quitting don’t tell yourself I won’t quit, listen to your future self say I didn’t quit.

The book is already written, your best self is waiting on the later pages and you just have to keep turning ’em to get there.

And, this is weird for an aspiring woo woo fitness guru to say, remember that you’re not special. Meaning that you’re not different than millions of other people getting in shape. We have a terrible misconception of thinking our suffering is unique, our wounds are only our own like no one else, that everyone else is a normal person and we’re battling something unseen that’s much bigger.

And you’re just not that special, kid.

There’s no such thing as other people. Just people. Doing difficult, unseen things everyday, and you’re one of them. The belief that one is uniquely flawed is an excuse.

Videos I Liked This Week

This is first because it’s what I’m listening to right now. Literally as I wrote this sentence. And possibly – but not guaranteed – when you read it.


And there’s a trailer for the final season of Bojack that came out an hour before I wrote this. I’m glad it’s the last season, I’ve been saying for a while that as enjoyable as the show is Bojack needs to get healthy or die because stories only have meaning because they have endings. If he circled forever then the underlying message that life isn’t like TV would be moot.


Since we’re still talking about entertainment and somewhat frivolous things – I obsessively watched all the video CaptainSauce did on this game. And I still think of myself as someone who hates “Gaming YouTube”


Okay, actually fitness stuff for a minute – one, I like this Sea Saw Press. And just the advice for getting a connection to your lower pecks, it’s a difficult area to feel when working out.


Now the much more important video. I want to say a lot and I want to say nothing at all. Like, it’s all there, she tells her story with complete sincerity. I guess what struck me was walking the line of building a better body to feel better actually working but also not solving underlying issues.

Fitness should be part of a recovery plan for literally everything but it’s bad if it’s your only plan for everything.


Followed by another body issue. It’s a topic I’d never thought about or even noticed until 3 years ago when a girl told me I wasn’t tall enough to date and we were the same height. I was confused because I’d never thought of myself as short or as tall. And she said it so obviously, like it was just clear as day – not like she wanted to date me and this was in her Cons column, this was complete ineligibility. I was shocked how much it hurt. And I was shocked that for weeks after I was suddenly aware and resentful of guys around me who were taller.

Like Shoe says, people are allowed to have preferences, people shouldn’t be shamed for things they can’t change, everybody is somebody’s type, people are more empathetic and people are more shallow than ever. All those things are true at once. It’s weird for me because I grew up in the 90’s when shallowness was a cultural death sentence and everything was supposed to be love conquers all. But then I watched admitting to shallowness be considered a brave, even deep, introspective thing and then it all gave way to the acceptance and encouragement of everything superficial once again. And it’s worse than ever before because if enough people treat the vapid as important and the vapid has consequences then the vapid is important. And I hate living in a world where the vapid important.


And then we’ll end with a video that really did make think with a smile “yeah, I do miss Li’l Jon…”

Videos I Liked This Week

Just nothing to do with fitness… not sorry though.

Let’s open with something cheerful before we get to Contrapoints and then a video about Contrapoints.

You should watch videos like 5 Minutes Of Gal Gadot Laughing or cute puppies or whatever just to stay sane.


And on to Contra’s (aka Natalie Wynn) amazingly honest video about incels. Sympathetic and condemning, identifying with and admitting that they are a black box.


Followed by Blaire’s video discussing Contra’s brutal dismissal from the sacred woke halls of Twitter over sharing a thought. And Blaire takes it to a personal place too and shares her own complicated and totally sincere path through her own community. And that’s what I realize now I like in these individuals, they’re sincere and sincerety gets a little messy – it’s easier for douche bags to hammer home dogma because it feels pure than to be honest about how complicated things feel.


Okay, one thing Fitness related. Look how much power he gets into a forward knee! I watch the occasional MMA video because that’s more the physique I want than body building and I’m always looking for more power and explosive-based exercises.


Now hopefully this sucks you in as much as it did me. CaptainSauce is a gamer channel and he does lots of hilarious stuff like games where you need a clown to sign insurance forms while jumping to it’s death, or games where the world is ending so you just run around shooting everyone you can. But then he also gets so sucked in and sensitive to text on a screen and the ethical and mental health concerns the game brings up.


Another long video so I’ll wrap this up, if you watch any of these you’ll be down your own rabbit holes anyway. So I got into BroScienceLife and the character of Dom Mazzetti as created and played by Mike Tournabene. Just like getting into a new band I absorbed the back catalogue and the behind the scenes stuff like it was my sacred duty. Music fandom is dead, long live comedy-writer fandom. Anyway there’s a gap in the the Bro universe a few years ago and a bit of talk about how Mike was going to get to take the character to the next level but there’s nothing out there about what happened – or really, didn’t happen. The thread just dies and Dom comes back a few years later.

Well he finally talks about it on this podcast and it gets into exactly what happened with the failed pilot (I watched it, it was… watchable. And nothing more.) and then into the nature of hopes and expectations and, for a comedian and a meat head, it gets real about living with disappointment and carrying on.

Videos I Liked This Week

I almost made an addendum to last week’s video round up because right after I published it I discovered ContraPoints. Totally coincidence that someone mentioned their friends listen to ContraPoints and using new slang they don’t understand on Twitter and I figured Contrapoints was a rap group but then YouTube slumped together a beauty column that had make up tips from a ballerina and this video.

I get the new slang problem.

Contra is brilliant, honest, comedic, insightful, academic, street, strong, vulnerable, and straightforward about her own confusion. I recommend any video she’s put out in the last year.

and here’s that Ballerina video because I found it likeable too. Although I was shocked in the comments to find out she’s considered to have started tragically late at age 11.


And this video I’ve also been sitting on waiting to talk about for 6 days (which in internet time is roughly a decade). Because I wanted to do a video about training like One Punch Man and the things it would lack, then this hombre says everything I was going to say and a whole lot more in a video that looks better than any video I’ll make for years. So I tip my hat to the master:


I usually put music stuff at the end but there’s so many videos to get through I don’t want to organize anything.

I used to watch this video multiple times a day. In the pre-YouTube era where I’d actually downloaded it.

I desperately wanted to be a rockstar when I was young but not for the artifice, for the real nuts-and-bolts behind-the-scenes stuff. I loved photos and videos of musicians in-studio doing the work.


Followed by – this is just Shoe being lovable.


Some neat history


Literally any Wes Watson video. It’s fun that I’m still picking up prison slang from him and now a bunch of trans slang from ContraPoints at the same time. It’s a wide world on the Tubes.


A little nostalgia fest from Todd In The Shadows: my step-dad loved Cyberpunk, it was one of the only albums he owned. And I had no idea what The Mummer’s Dance was until I heard the first note and thought oh right, the album that every mother in North America was issued when I was young.


In more time-wasting news, Liv watches this guy’s videos all the time and I finally got sucked down the rabbit hole as well. On her last day off we got bakery treats and ended up watching videos for 5 hours.


Back on a serious track: This is problem I can relate to, I’m always hankering for some snacks in the evening.


And back to time-wasting: Echo Charles mentioned this guy once on the Jocko Podcast and yes, it turns out he is funny.


And we’ll wrap up with more ALL OBSTACLE videos. Which aren’t time-wasting if they help you with the first commandment: Stay Inspired.