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OliveBlood's Philosophical Quest

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I. Background


I was a vegetarian (and lean as all heck with an 8 pack) for my entire early adulthood. I was approximately 5'10" and 150 pounds. I had always felt that I was too scrawny and weak, and so I got into extreme calisthenics. I had some special methods I figured out that caused calisthenics to put on a ridiculous amount of muscle mass onto me, and so I dirty bulked to 220 on little else but pullups, one arm pushups, pistol squats and handstand pushups with a steady intake of soy protein, soy milk and Ovaltine. Part of this had to do with excessive use of static holds and negatives, which put much more strain on the muscles than positive repetitions. Most of it just has to do with my genetics, as both sides of my family are full of people who are just very naturally stocky and strong, before anybody gets the idea that I came up with some kind of magic method.


I realized that in order to get bigger/stronger I needed to start lifting weights. That in itself was its own multi year journey to proficiency. My lower back strength sucked due to calisthenics generally not having any lower back movements that are on par with deadlifts. Some other issues came and went, and gradually I developed the kind of strength that is more typical of people in my family, though I still have a good ways to go before I hit any kind of genetic potential limit.


The thing is, during my initial forays into weight training I got caught up in the paleo diet. The paleo diet indicates that carbs and most vegetables are the Great Satan and that ideal human nutrition is rich in animal fat. It sounded really good on paper and so I tried it - and because of the extreme kind of person I am, I did it very strictly and diligently. The end result was that I got fat and developed high blood pressure.


II. Where I'm at now


For the past several years I've been systematically discarding everything that was out of accord with my original dietary understanding, because I was very lean and very healthy as a vegetarian. The only things I have so far kept are cod liver oil supplementation, whey protein and consuming fish. Everything else can frankly go to Hell, it's caused me nothing but problems.


So now I wake up in the morning, just sip on water for about an hour, then begin sipping on my ~150g protein worth of whey protein mixed in soy milk over the course of the day. Then I munch on carbohydrates as dictated by hunger until about 6 pm and cut my food intake off hard and fast, then go to bed with a bit of a rumble in my stomach. Usually the only fat I get in the entire day comes from cod liver oil, which I take in the morning a few times a week, or from olive oil - but generally I keep my fat very, very low. So far so good! I'm still fatter than I'd like, but I don't feel the pulse in my neck thumping harshly anymore. It's starting to be a gentle pressure like it used to be, but most importantly I'm feeling good again like I am supposed to. I feel healthy again.


Also, though it is temporary, I'm taking a sabbatical from most of weight lifting on the basis that I just feel burnt out doing the same moves over and over. I'm working on an even more hardcore version of the kind of calisthenics that put 60 pounds of muscle onto me in just a few months. My routine at the immediate moment includes crap like front levers, planches and one armed chins. I'm still doing deadlifts and upright rows, because in my experience there aren't really any good calisthenics moves to hit your middle deltoids, lower back or traps the way just lifting weights does.


So far so good. I feel worse DOMS than I have from the last year of lifting. I also don't feel as stiff doing calisthenics, even though they gladly kick my ass they seem to interfere much less with my flexibility.


III. The point


I feel there are two major points that have been missing from my life for at least 5 years: prioritizing feeling good and being healthy over getting big and strong, and finding philosophy in life.


As things currently stand, I feel healthy again. I wake up feeling rested. My self inflicted health problems brought on by the Paleo diet are gradually disappearing. I don't have problems justifying the things I consume against the long standing findings of the scientific community anymore, like I did on the Faileo diet. I don't have to fight a neurotic internal civil war between my intention to avoid carbs and my natural desire to consume them. I don't have to choke down fatty food and feel like crap just because some flash in the pan nutritional guru tells me I should - Robb Wolf can say what he wants, I'll be here with my rice and vegetables and protein shakes and high rep deadlifts and not only will I be just fine but I'll still be stronger than him.


As for philosophy, I find that reverting to vegetarianism is not so much a choice in isolation as a reflection of my own retrogression as a person. That's right, not progression, retrogression. I'm coming to realize at the age of 25 that for all of my experience and "education," most of the things I intuitively felt to be true at age 15 were correct and everything I have learned since then has been wrong. Returning to vegetarianism is only one example of this, although a very good example.


Another good example is my rejection of all political thought. I have noticed that one of the great differences between my teenage life and my adult life is that suddenly politics have become commonplace, and all anyone can talk about in their attempts to think about the world around them is the standing of various political parties on various issues, or more abstractly speculate about how an ideal society "should" be run. People never agree on these issues and always seem to come away from these conversations not only angry and divided but thoroughly impotent. When was the last time you observed anything great, action or insight, come from a political discussion? Yeah, that's what I thought.


As a teenager, my life was not like this. Instead of politics, we kids discussed philosophy. What is knowledge? What is thought? How can you know if anything is true? Does A imply B in a purely logical sense? What makes something moral, and in fact what are morals? What is the purpose of X? Mechanistically, does X lead to Y? Is X good or bad?


These were the conversations that filled my days as a teenager, and when I would talk pure philosophy with people we would come away not only uplifted and enlightened but bound together as thinking human beings - the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of my experience with "mature" political discussion!


Why not then revert back to how I was before? I see no reason.


My life today is defined by a complete and systematic abandonment of everything incorrect I have learned and reverting to what was intuitively correct as an adolescent.

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Continued from first post, I suspect the character limit would've cut me off soon.


One of the reasons I like vegetarianism is that it tends to have a philosophical side to it, and it tends to focus on humanity learning to do better for the environment and become self sustaining instead of world exploiting. The Faileo diet also has its philosophical side, but it instead tends to dwell on a romantic depiction of paleolithic people as noble savages, and encourages us to believe that humanity's ills and failings are the result of its attempts to civilize and feed ourselves more efficiently. If that isn't a lie straight from the jaws of Satan himself, I don't know what is.


While we're at it Paleo types always seem to talk as if the energy ratio between trophic levels is some kind of illusion, that you can get all of your energy and nutrients from 1 unit of meat or from 10 units of plants, and thus the choice of which food source to consume is arbitrary since less meat is needed to nourish a person.


First off that's bullcrap, because the only meat known to be at least dubiously safe in terms of heart disease is hardcore free ranged and pastured to the point of nearly being wild game, and it has almost no fat on it. Eating free range beef is NOT a more efficient way to satisfy your body's energy demands, and hell - even at the much lower price of factory farmed atherosclerotic garbage, which is grown specifically to have much more fat and more marbling, meeting caloric demands is still much more expensive not to mention horrifically unhealthy. Vegetarian logic still holds true - you can eat one cow or a whole field full of grain, it is simply more efficient to produce edible plant biomass than animal biomass, especially if we exclude the usual feedlot fare from the "edible" category.


The vegetarian philosophy is much more appealing to me - you can do more and eat better with grains, vegetables and protein powders, cheaper, easier and healthier. It's getting easier every year as vegetarian practices get more popular and more widely embraced.


In my past as a vegetarian, I never paid any mind to the killing aspect of vegetarianism at all. I never had any revulsion to killing, and in fact I encouraged my non-vegetarian friends to eat more meat to compensate, so that the total amount of death in the world did not decrease because of my vegetarianism. That attitude diminished, but only recently did I begin to have an actual change of heart on the matter and feel that maybe the whole spectacle of mass animal killing might be immoral.


I just recently cooked a meal of chicken, which I think will be my last for quite a long time. I got a big bag of frozen chicken breasts from a local wholesaler similar to Costco, and when I opened up the bag I was horrified to see that each chicken breast was individually wrapped. That pissed me off just because it seemed like a huge waste of petroleum, especially with today's gas prices, but then suddenly I was hit upon with the reality of what I was doing. Some animals had been grown and then killed and cut apart by machinery, and pieces of their dead bodies had been shrink wrapped individually, stamped with an expiration and kept on ice, and I was now preparing to eat them. For once, though it kinda sounds silly saying it, I imagined how I would feel if I was on some conveyor belt to a machine I knew was going to break my neck, rip my pectorals off and package them for easy preservation and future consumption. It was as if I finally realized the horror of a living animal being harvested.


It made me actually dry heave. I finished making the food and ate all of it, largely because I had already opened the packaging and didn't want already dead chickens to have died in vain, but something about the whole idea of such grossly trivialized animal life just sickened me and felt wrong, like it was a nightmare to live on a planet where that kind of thing was allowed to exist.


I think I'm finally a vegetarian in thought as much as I ever was a vegetarian in practice.

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Woke up late today.


I've got only a few things on my agenda today, most of them related to trying to get into grad school. Other than that, I have to deadlift and do some of those fancy chair handstand pushups where the space between the chairs forms a pocket for your head to sit in, allowing you to actually go all the way down. If my forearms and biceps have grown back from the last time I exercised, I may do upright rows too. Short term goal for the deathlift: 405x20, will let everybody know when I reach that.


My other to do list item is a hot date with a huge pile of tater tots. The worst part about intentionally going to bed hungry every night is that staying up on the internet exposes you to food porn which is progressively harder to resist with each waking second. It took everything I had not to break and ruin my fasted sleeping last night, and the chief culprit was french fries and ketchup.


You know, I don't much like french fries and I pretty much hate ketchup, as well as all salty food in general, but damn me if that didn't sound AWESOME last night for some reason.


Today, justice is served, coated in olive oil and red pepper.

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Wow that's quite an introduction! Welcome to the board


Thanks brah. I'll be using this thread as an anonymous blog, as nobody in real life has caught on that I'm vegetarian again and I don't want to go to the trouble of explaining it. Despite my backstory (extremely healthy vegan to partially diseased nonvegan), everyone is still somehow convinced that veganism was the unhealthiest thing ever.


I don't want to hear their squawking, I'll just post my thoughts here instead.

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I think you have come to some very eye opening conclusions. Many of us are wrapped up with trying to gain size. Feeling good and staying healthy should always be the top priority, I completely agree with you. Great post, thanks for sharing.



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Thanks for the thorough introduction. I appreciate your candor regarding your beliefs and thought processes about your choices. Man, it seems like the bane of all us plant-based eaters to constantly have to explain ourselves. I used to try and be closeted with my eating choices, too. If I had a nickle for every time I've heard, "Man, how can you not eat bacon?" I'd be....well, you know how the saying goes.


About 3-months into my veganism (I've been a vegetarian for 7-years prior to going vegan in 2012), I decided to embrace it. I mean, why should I feel shame or ostracized because I'm making the morally conscious choice? Because I actually care about myself and the living things on this living planet? It seemed counterproductive and counter-intuitive. And, quite frankly, way too stressful. To the people who exclaim, "Man, how can you eat not eat bacon?" The sane reply is "Man, how can you?" Of course, we are usually seen as the wackos. The world is often bass-ackwards! I prefer to say that I just eat plants, as labels often confound me, but I won't shirk the vegan label if people want to go there.


Awesome that you came back into the fold. It's a beautiful place to be. Of course, each of us is in a different place, but for me, peace came when I shed the self-consciousness of having to "deal" with the carnivores and just embraced it. Say it loud, say it proud!


Good luck! And, I look forward to more of your posts. Your writing is fantastic.

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If you think about it, it's pretty bizarre how some of us just have this insatiable urge to pour ourselves out to the internet. Essentially, we're spewing to strangers in a one sided discourse, typing up giant walls of text for the benefit of whoever happens to be passing through.


If you think about it though, it kinda makes sense in light of human nature.


I am the kind of person who constantly has to remind himself that humans have potential, and that humans are neither inherently good nor inherently bad - they just are, and they have a fundamental choice of how to apply themselves.


Lately I've been unable to avert my eyes from the fact that most people are simply so ugly, trashy, lazy and dumb. If it sounds like I think I'm better than them, you're right on track because I do - I am a superior person in all rights to the vast majority of people I encounter on a daily basis. Don't be appalled or waste the breath trying to take a moral high ground over this; I'm just openly stating the exact kind of thoughts that have kept you awake at night.


Recently I had occasion to go observe a felony drug trial recently, and it took me to the local courthouse. The trial I was watching was on the top floor, but obviously I had to enter the building through the bottom floor. On that bottom floor, I observed not only the bottom floor of the building but what surely was also the bottom floor of humanity. That was where people went to sort out child custody, alimony, traffic violations, small claims, misdemeanors and every other thing under the sun that my mind associates with petty, trashy people.


If I hadn't associated those things with petty, trashy people before, I sure would have after walking through those halls. Tattoos, matted unkempt hair, scraggly beards, stained clothing. Harsh language at every turn, haggard sunken eyes glaring at each other as they squabbled in the hallways, women with giant herniated guts jiggling with every overly animated gesture so as to make their overly tight animal print tank tops appear to flow like water.


It's not so much that I have an issue with how other people choose to live their lives, to reek of cigarettes and old alcohol and trade child support payments and food stamps, it's that something in my head always protests that this is wrong and that this is not how humanity is supposed to be.


Fast forward to today, where I'm taking a real estate class at a local community college just to broaden my knowledge in the general purview of finance. The class is composed largely of adults - not "over 18" adults, but real adults with careers and families.


What consistently drives me insane about this class is the fact that nobody in there acts anything like an adult. I am still pretty young, I am in my mid 20's, I am still a baby by "adult" standards. Yet, even old balding men and the teacher scream over each other in conversation, bicker over assignments, have side conversations on every corner of the room. People try to "burn" others by saying something condescending after someone else speaks. They text on their phones, play games on computers, come and go as they please. The teacher himself is not much better.


These are grown adults, predominantly white with about 20% representation from minorities. No black people, but Mexicans, far Eastern Europeans, central americans, an eastern Indian or two and some Asians. Everyone all acts the same - somehow they look and act just like the trashy people I saw at the courthouse to sort out their child support, probation and restraining orders. These people are The Public.


We live in an age where many people speculate about why the West seems to be going downhill - immigration, poor economic policy, welfare queens, multiculturalism, corporate greed. Everyone has their theory, and here's mine: an advanced sort of social decay has caused the majority of people in this country to become Nietzchean Undermen. I don't know why, but it seems to be a personal choice: live and act with no standards because everyone else is doing it.


Tonight, I actually ditched class over it. After a certain time of listening to people holler over each other and the teacher, get animated and whoop and yell and slap their desks to punctuate their remarks, baggy clothing and matted hair flapping in the breeze created by their own flailing, I actually began to feel sick to my stomach and had to leave. If this is what most of humanity is like, they're doomed.


I went to go see some of my friends and realized that largely I was still feeling very private, because some of them pissed me off too. Someone wanted to play chess randomly, and I obliged them and basically dicked around, and then when the other person won by a fairly narrow margin despite me playing like an idiot on purpose, they got cocky and started taking the small victory all seriously.


I feel sometimes as if I can never get away from people who want nothing more in life than to try to compete with everyone around them over every retarded thing they can find a way to yardstick. Everything from bank accounts to penis size to effectiveness at taking home silly bar wenches to grades to profession to make and model of cars and electronic gizmos. Hell, even children are an accessory to this sick self aggrandizing competition of life - whose kid got the highest grades or did whatever to become the best talking point at work or Starbucks or whatever the hell.


Times like these make me wonder why it's even worth it to walk out my door unless I need to buy something or further my career. I suppose this is why I like the physical world and don't give much of a crap about the social world. In the physical world, be it physical science, fitness, sports or the creation of product/art/science/technology, you simply accomplish things or you do not. Glory and achievement are self evident, you do not have to factor in the flighty opinions and whims of a million double digit IQ spectators into the equation: you think, you do, the end.


Meanwhile, everybody you meet is trying to overtly or subtly assert their superiority over you. All. The. Time.


I swear to this day that competition among human beings is of the Devil. If people just tried to improve themselves and ignored others, they would become great. If many did that, society would become great. I suppose ironically that all I can do is enter the social world and try to persuade people of it.


This is why people like me spend our nights monologuing great walls of text into the night: we want to vent, but writing in a journal just doesn't cut it compared to the possibility that you might actually be heard, even understood, if only anonymously.


My fitness has been going pretty well on that note. I've lost some lower back/hand strength and so my deadlift has gone down, but for how long of a break I took from weight lifting it hasn't gone down that dramatically. Whereas before I was deadlifting 300x20 double overhand, now that I've finally acquired 90 lbs more weights I've taken to 3-4 sets of at least 5 with 330. I'm gonna keep doing that every 2 or 3 days until it starts to look more like 330 x 10+, then work it up to 330x15-20 and move up again by about 20 pounds and do it all over again until I run out of weight, this time at 400 pounds. Once I can double overhand 400x15-20, I'll feel like a bad mofo.


As for the rest of my fitness, aka my calisthenics, I've been feeling very nice and relaxed. It's interesting how weight lifting leaves me feeling stiffer, but calisthenics leave me feeling like a limp noodle. I personally believe that must have some kind of health implication, but it doesn't matter - I am a fickle creature, and I suspect it won't even be a month before I decide I want to train everything with weights again instead of just my back. Either way I'm making a LOT of progress towards real front levers and one armed chins. Tomorrow I intend to slaughter those movements, and then the next workout work full depth handstand pushups (chairs) and more skateboard flies. Those handstand pushups to full ROM really kick your ass, by the way.


On that note, I'm going to go do something nice and reclusive. A nice cup of soy hot chocolate and a game of Minecraft sounds about right. For your own sake and for the sake of the rest of humanity, please don't suck at life.


Thank you and goodnight.

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Personal crisis of nihilism and lost faith in humankind: over.


In my moment of weakness I neglected to mention something that's of great interest to me at the moment, and that is the effect of diet on the human liver.


There is so much talk now among the dietary world that takes the general form, "such and such food is generally toxic to the body and should not be eaten." The commentariat has thousands of theories on exactly what food is nonspecifically harmful to your body and to be avoided, but I've gone and used both my rational brain and science to come to what I feel to be a more conclusive answer, not just by correlation but by mechanism.


Regardless of what you eat or how much or at what time, your body will utilize your liver to generate bile and digestive enzymes to break it down into raw nutrients. When those nutrients hit the blood stream, for better or for worse, it will be your liver's job to detoxify everything that might be harmful to your body. Drugs, alcohol, fatty acids, sugar, if you go look at some physiology/biochemistry textbook diagrams you'll quickly realize that your liver is largely responsible for digesting and detoxifying everything.


I had a theory once that only now am I finding medical science to support. Medicine refers to something called a "slow liver" or a "sluggish liver."


Here's a link that will provide cliff notes on this: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/sluggish-liver-symptoms.html


In summary, a slow liver is one with reduced processing capacity. Its ability to detoxify ingested substances is more easily overwhelmed. The symptoms boil down to metabolic syndrome, diabeetus and becoming prematurely oldfat.


Many years ago I reasoned that perhaps these were not symptoms specific to "sluggish liver syndrome" so much as syndromes of having a liver's detoxification capacity overwhelmed. I concluded that it was absolutely crucial for health minded people to take care not to overwhelm their liver.


With that in mind, I reasoned further that perhaps no matter what you eat, if you eat too much of it you can "clog" your liver, leaving it "backed up" to detoxify a certain workload of potentially toxic nutrients while a measure of the same nutrients have free reign on your bloodstream. I also reasoned that it is perhaps possible to survive in a state of total bodily purity on a diet of absolute garbage so long as little enough of it was eaten, both in daily total and at any given time, so that you could practically live on fingernail clippings and crude oil so long as you gave your liver an easy enough time that it could process it all before it hit your blood.


Therefore, based on reviewing some liver cleansing protocols, I have rediscovered a critical element of the Ultimate Health Practice which I knew so long ago, and it is the only element of nutrition nobody seems to focus on anymore: when and how to eat.


By the simple rationale listed above, I am strongly convinced that if you're to eat anything, eat it slowly or in the form of a bunch of snacks throughout the day.


I am also convinced that fasting is good for you.


Furthermore, go to bed at least moderately hungry every night of your life. Reason: your organs are supposed to repair themselves during sleep. Do you want your liver to be busy fixing itself or busy spitting out bile and digestive enzymes to process your midnight snack?


Can it do both at once? I don't personally think it can, at least with any efficiency at all. Being able to magically fix itself with 100% efficiency forever without problems while still operating at full capacity certainly isn't consistent of the limitations of other organs. If your heart, kidneys and pancreas are all commonly known to just wear out one day and never work again, at all, ever, why should the liver be any exception to the rule that all organs need their rest?


I don't want to chance it, not with those odds. We're in luck though - the liver is probably the most forgiving organ in the body when it comes to repairing damage done to it, and the more I read about it the more I begin to suspect that most of the chronic health problems people encounter start in the liver and only start to overwhelm other organs after the liver is so clogged that it's causing subtle jaundice, easily detectable by looking at the whites of the eyes.


I've seen things for and against the consumption of both green tea and grapefruit by many people, so I'll partake of small to moderate amounts of both, but I am confident that there is nothing any one week liver flush can do that a regular habit of not overburdening your liver can't do 100 times better.


Is pecking away at food over the course of the day some magic secret to "kick start the metabolism?" Is going to bed hungry going to magically take pounds off of your body? Probably not, although I have reason to expect: the liver is also responsible for governing lipid levels in the body and carrying out gluconeogenesis, among other things, so this probably could have some implications for weight loss - however, that's not my goal so much as having a body that works. If I magically get shredded because of doing what every other forum on the internet would immediately label as "broscience," sweet, but either way I'll be healthier and longer lived for it, and so long as it doesn't interfere with my strength or energy levels I don't see any reason why not to utilize that practice.

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Thank you for the feedback. It's very motivational to me to know people read this stuff.


Today's update is much simpler.


...So after being unable to progress beyond bodyweight on my overhead presses for quite some time due to pain in my back, I decided that I may as well focus on deadlifting above all else so my back will grow strong enough to handle heavier curls and overhead presses, and that just for the hell of it I may as well train calisthenics on the rest because there are some things I can't do yet.


Well, as of today my lever hold is beginning to visibly progress beyond 45º. My upper body in fact is mostly parallel to the ground now, it's just that my lower body sags. I'll start doing "lever knee raises" for several sets to failure, shooting for 3x20 as a short term goal.


I'm also progressing on my one armed chin ups. I can now hold the very top of the movement before continuing with the negative. That's how it starts, you keep training with negatives going down as slowly as you can, then one day you gain the ability to hold yourself in place. Then you train a slow negative with a 5 count pause at multiple points, and once you can do a few rounds of that you're just a few days from your first positive. Let me tell you, this crap has been RAPING my biceps and forearms. I look forward to reporting my first deadhang one arm chinup as much as I look forward to reporting my first 400x10 double overhand deadlift.


As for the full ROM handstand pushups with my head going in between chairs, I finally graduated from negatives to my first positive, which I got the other day. It took enough effort to get just one single positive rep that I still intend to train high volume negatives with pauses for a while though.


In general, things are looking up. I'm getting stronger while living healthier.


I've also begun trending away from potatoes and towards rice as a carb source.


That's it! Stuff is going good.

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I happened to find something on a paleotard website that actually supports my theory about liver health perfectly.


You hear a lot about type 2 diabetes on this and other sites in the community. It’s easy to see why: type 2 diabetes is the “lifestyle” diabetes, the preventable one, the one that “doesn’t have to happen” and that you can “fix if you just dial in the food.” All true, for the most part. Whether you’re in the camp that thinks it’s red meat or egg yolks causing it, or fatty liver from excess PUFAs and fructose, the point is that people commonly accept the idea that T2D is preventable and manageable with the right diet and lifestyle. But what about type 1 diabetes? Why don’t we hear so much about it.


Fuxed liver->diabeetus and metabolic syndrome. Go to bed hungry, wake up healthy.

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Today was good. I went to a haunted house with my girlfriend and some of our friends.


It was totally badass and was an excellent experience.


Exercise today:


Deathlift: 330x12, 330x5 <-should only be one more workout until 330x15+, aka time to start working with 350

One arm chin negative: 10x/arm

Straight bar dips, legs in an L-sit: 20, 15, 10 <-These rape my triceps whereas I don't even feel them on parallel bar dips.


It wasn't a bad day at all. I think from now on I'm gonna alternate deadlift/arms and deadlift/upper back/chest.


Need to hit planches more. Will do that and stretch hard tomorrow.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hit 330x15+ deathlift. Now working with 350.


I have also regained my motivation to lift again, mostly after somebody who does cleans with 40 lb dumbbells and works his back with a back extension machine set to 120 pounds tried to convince me that Convict Conditioning can make a person strong enough to deadlift a car despite not having any exercises that target the lower back.


This is not somebody who can deadlift a car.


On that basis I have regained my motivation for lifting weights rather than getting most of my training via calisthenics. In fact, I am exploring an entirely new area of weight training, and that is the holistic effects or at least blood pressure mitigating effects of proper breathing while lifting. I'm training my whole body one lift per day using my own home brewed 20 rep protocol, and now I'm focusing on controlled negatives and natural, relaxed breath during the exercises. I feel better when I lift this way, and I do not feel the uncomfortable heart pounding head rush feeling I used to get during certain full body exercises.


I wonder in fact if I haven't been unintentionally using a "vented" valsalva maneuver the whole time, using the same glottal stop to build intraabdominal pressure but with a slight venting of air so as to create the illusion of natural breath. I always kinda held my breath during sets - who knows, maybe my earlier brush with hypertension had nothing to do with diet and was actually a result of poor breathing technique during lifting.


I may never know, but I know I can't hurt anything by improving the way I breathe as I exercise.


Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna hit some lever pullups, shower and sleep. In the absence of the equipment required for pullovers, front lever pullups are amazing on the lats. Same general movement around the shoulder joint, but the length of the lever is multiplied by two. It's like the lat version of attaching weights to a 5 foot pole for chest flies.

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Today I weighed in at 202.5.


In other words, I've broken my weight loss plateau by using my liver theory.


I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that a bunked liver is the source of most of today's epidemic health problems, including not only internal ones like heart disease and hypertension but external junk like obesity as well.


I'm growing to strongly believe that in order for body fat to be lost from your body, your liver must first starve a little bit or the fat on your body won't even be touched. I've now known several people who have hit insurmountable multi-year weight loss plateaus that they have instantly and dramatically broken the second they did any kind of liver cleanse or started trying to do anything for their liver at all, and I am one of them.


I will come back with some kind of pubmed sources or other justification for this idea, but whether or not I do that it seems experientially true.


-the liver is responsible for converting free fatty acids into other forms of energy


-"The liver is the major site for converting excess carbohydrates and proteins into fatty acids and triglyceride, which are then exported and stored in adipose tissue." (translation: if you're fat it's because your liver dictates it)


-the liver is also the site where protein is processed before use, being converted into nonessential amino acids, as well as where it's converted to urea if unneeded. In other words, eating bodybuilder amounts of protein may be overloading your liver. Eating less protein (more like 100g/day) and gaining size and strength gradually may be better in the long run for health reasons.


-This whole article from the Intermittent Fasting community on the subject: http://www.theiflife.com/speed-up-your-metabolism-fatty-liver-disease/


This article confirms almost everything I've ever said on the subject of nutrition and your liver:

Many people are overweight despite eating hardly any food…so while calorie deficit is needed to lose weight, it’s only in relation to how optimal the overall metabolism is running in the first place. Have a hampered liver and it will also negatively affect your fat burning metabolism.




So when things start going wrong with your liver, you can sure expect your health and other functions tied into the liver to decline with them…one of them being your ability to burn fat.




If you are experiencing weight gain (and trouble losing weight), bloating, high blood pressure, fatigue or high cholesterol, these could just be a few indications that your liver is being overwhelmed and needs your help!




Today, an increasingly common disorder is known as “Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease”. The Mayo Clinic describes the various stages of NAFLD as...




What Causes a Fatty Liver?

Basically, anything you do that chronically overloads your liver can knock it out-of-whack.




What else you may ask? How about excessive sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and omega-6 fatty acids? You can probably also add pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and environmental toxins to the list as well since anything coming into the body is handled by the liver. (Read: Excess of anything)


So in summary, I am right. They then go on to discuss how to fix the problem:


Remove hydrogenated oils from your diet (fried foods, baked good), namely excess Poly-unsaturated Fats (PUFAs) Omega 6.


"The quality of fat you eat has a very large influence on health, and especially on the liver. Excess omega-6 is damaging to the liver. This type of fat is found primarily in refined seed oils such as corn oil, soybean oil, and safflower oil… Sugar is also a primary contributor to fatty liver. Reducing your sugar intake will go a long way toward reversing it. Omega-3 fats also help reverse fatty liver if an excess of omega-6 is present. There was a clinical trial using fish oil that was quite effective. You might try taking 1/2 teaspoon of fish oil per day." (source in article)


"Yellow cooking oils which remain liquid at room temperatures are usually high in Omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. These seed based oils go by many names, including: corn oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, and others. Do not cook with these oils, and don’t eat food prepared in them when you go out to eat. And lastly, don’t eat any processed and pre-packaged foods which contain them in their various forms. Instead, try replacing these oils with more traditional fats like coconut oil, ghee, or real olive oil.


Conventionally raised livestock eat a diet unnaturally high in corn and soy — whether it be cows, chickens, pigs, turkey, or even some farmed fish. Because of this, the foods these animals produce is unnaturally high in Omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and — in some cases — devoid of any Omega 3 fats with which to balance them out. Avoid any animal products from animals fed these unnatural diets. If you eat fish, meat, eggs, and dairy (which you should!), you’ll want to stick to grass-fed, pastured, or wild animals. (...so... in other words, vegetarianism, olive oil and maybe some fish products. I am right.)


So, in summary, the reason I have broken my weight loss plateau is not because I managed to tweak my macros or do more cardio or any of that, it's because I'm finally undestroying my liver and it's rewarding me with effortless weight loss.


Now if you'll all excuse me, I have deadlifting to do.

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I'm back from being sick. Time to start working out again.


I'm still at ~201-202. Hoping another few days of going to bed hungry will put me sub-200.


As for lifting, my strength in some areas has returned fast. I did upright rows with 135, aimed for 10 but only got 2x8. Next round I'll aim for 135x10, then 135x15+.


I kinda feel like post illness I ought to start with the smaller muscles and work up to deadlifts from there. Not sure why but it's a gut feeling and I will go with it. That said, I plan next to do kickbacks and curls, then chest, then get back to overhead pressing and deadlifting.


Interestingly enough my levers are easier now. Not sure why.

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Today I got my first front lever with my legs sticking out.


I'm now practicing doing my martial arts while running and doing novice level parkour. You know, seemless transitions between the one and the other. Never going to become an IRL Jackie Chan/Solid Snake hybrid if I don't train that way.


Today I overhead pressed. Got 155x13. That's surprising to me since I was so weak when I was sick lately. I expected my strength would waste away, but I only lost about 1 rep. After one more lift I should hit 15+, after which I should be working with 175x10 and going from there. Sick.


Oh, and while we're at it I figured out the solution to breathing while lifting, in case I hadn't already mentioned. All I had to do to make weight lifting feel even more effortless was to disregard all common advice about breathing technique. Everyone advocates exhaling while you push on the weight, but that just leads to a poor man's valsalva maneuver, like a valsalva maneuver in denial. I instead find it more natural and simple to INHALE on the positive and then exhale on the negative. It goes against all advice on breathing technique ever given since time began, but it works great.


It turns out my father did the same thing, and since he used to be monstrously strong that means I must be onto something good.

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Deadlifting: Well, I don't fully have my strength back yet.


I initially noticed I was sick when I could only pull 350x2.5 despite pulling 330x15 earlier that week. With that experience fresh in my memory, I was a little reluctant to start working with 350.


I did find that my grip seems to have suffered a good bit from this last illness, and so it was still difficult for me to get more than two or three reps. Last time I stopped after only a few pulls because something just felt "off" in a way that I knew exactly what was happening, but this time I wasn't dismayed: since I couldn't do any 10 rep sets or any of that, I did a bunch of triples, doubles and singles with 350 just to get my volume up.


My plan is a progression something like this:

350xMx3, 350xMx1->350xMx5->350x10->350x15+


where M is the number of sets you can do without working to failure.


There's something interesting here in that if I can pull this off successfully, I will officially have mastered progression at every rep range, starting all the way down from a single heavy triple and working with it all the way until I can do an entire continuous set of 15-20 reps with that same weight.


I don't think this will be as big of a feat as I may be imagining though, because really all I need to do is have my hands grow back to where they can hold a heavy weight for many reps. My back and legs can already take it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Some really good stuff in here... and I am 100% with you in your belief that fasting is good for you.


You write like I think (if that makes sense). Over time I think I have learnt to over-simplify my thoughts, ideologies and hypothesis' as when I put them out there, whoever reads them usually greets them with either silence, lack of comprehension or just straight out disbelief. I say disbelief because many of my opinions border on being unconventional ~ but hey, even the most widely accepted theories quite probably started out as being "unconventional".


Keep doing your thing MF.

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  • 6 months later...

Well, you guys have finally got me.


I no longer trust store fish or chicken. Low fat dieting is not going to cut it anymore, not when I have discovered it's possible to grow your own spirulina in a fish tank.


I'm finally on board with the vegan thing. Let's do this.

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  • 2 months later...

So you jumped on the vegan train in July, are you still doing it or have you fallen off the wagon? Hearing about new contracts with shipping meats over to China and back for cheaper (and sketchier) processing should hopefully deter some more of those people that are on the fence about going plant based.



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