December And What Comes With It

My last post was quite a while ago.

I’ve been silent on Twitter, and I haven’t been active on any of the forums I generally frequent. My house is a mess, and I haven’t been sticking to a reasonable schedule for lifting and cardio.

Why?

I’ve been extremely busy, and not with the things I should be busy with:

  • New Posts in this Blog
  • Re-structuring and Organizing this Blog
  • Social Media and Networking
  • My Dropshipping Business
  • My Book
  • Training
  • Nutrition

 

Instead, I’ve spent almost all of my time in the past week and a half on trivialities:

  • Driving all over the place for two Thanksgiving dinners.
  • Helping out a friend at his business for what has become far too much time.
  • Driving back and forth to my parents house to cut down some trees.
  • Getting my car inspected (in Pennsylvania, this is always far more complicated than it has to be).
  • A Supply-Chain Networking conference, which was not nearly as productive as I had hoped it would be.
  • Events related to my birthday. As much as I appreciate these gestures, it made the past week even busier.

 

The most difficult part of the equation with all of these things is this: when I am engaged in them, I lose focus. When I lose focus, I cannot give 100%. When I cannot give 100%, I don’t bother.

No one wants to read rambling, half-cocked posts on here. I’ve been down that road and have deleted numerous articles that don’t meet my current standards.

And so I found myself, when I wasn’t busy, caving in to the “Average guy” approach of zoning out in front of the TV or internet, because I was simply too sapped of resources to put any effort towards my goals.

Even now, my thoughts are drifting towards the “how and when” I’m going to drive out to my credit union, hit the gym, stop at the grocery store, and clean up my now-messy apartment today.

** At this point in the post, I had to leave, drive to my girlfriend’s workplace, and pick her up, as she got sick. I understand that these sort of things happen, but it was still a time-suck that put me an hour and a half behind schedule for today. So now, it’s not extremely likely that I’ll make it to the gym during my preferred window of time in the early afternoon when it’s practically empty.

So the real problem here: How do I eliminate these sort of problems, increase productivity, and make every day a victory?

The truth is, there’s basically no way to eliminate these time-sucks, there’s only ways to minimize their impact.

Today could be a total loss, but that’s not how I roll. What will I do today?

  • Eliminate multitasking, other than listening to some of Chris from Good Looking Loser’s podcasts on my way to and from my bank (almost an hour away).
  • Utilizing an interactive checklist (I now use Evernote) to bash out everything I need to accomplish, in order.
  • Put distractions out of my mind until the tasks at hand are finished. Only at this point will I allow myself to read a book or watch some Game of Thrones. Time is ticking away, and there’s no space in my day for goofy arguments on Pinkbike, perusing Twitter, or getting lost in aimless web browsing.

Today, I am determined to count my waking hours as a victory. Every day, I look for measurable, quantifiable evidence that I am continuing on the right track. I will go to sleep a better man than I was when I woke up. I honestly feel as though an unchanging, daily “Master Checklist” would be a great tool for this, and I may expand on this subject in the very near future.

Remember:

When you are trying to improve yourself, you are always “on the clock”.

 

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Supplementation, Marketing, and Reputation

In the past year, I have become more and more skeptical of supplements. For a time, I bought into the hype of articles on bodybuilding websites, and spent hundreds of dollars on high-quality Creatine, Yohimbine, Green Tea Extract, Fish Oil, Joint Compound, Pre-Workout, BCAA’s, Glutamine, L-Carnitine, Lean-Out, Whey Protein, and whatever else I could get my hands on that would supposedly be a game-changer. I read reviews on these products, and made a determination based on what other people were saying about them. I considered myself to be relatively skeptical and discerning.

I wasn’t. I was buying into manufactured hype, reading fake reviews, and wasting my money on garbage. 

I popped these supplements at the recommended daily doses, and used a daily pill container like a geriatric with diabetes and high blood pressure.

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Still packed with pills from months ago.

I had a spreadsheet determining when I should be taking each of these pills, and had alarms going off on my phone at regular intervals. I would panic if I was getting low on one of them, and would rush to re-order them. Every couple of days, there was a new box of a random supplement waiting on my doorstep when I got home.

Truth be told, the only thing I really noticed was my bank account getting smaller. I was spending as much money every month on supplements as I was on food.

The majority of supplements are not cost-effective.

I have no plans or desire to ever get on a bodybuilding stage, no matter where I am in terms of my fitness. My body is my trophy. I understand that for someone who is interested in competing, the incremental gains one would notice with the majority of these supplements may be worth the financial cost. Truth be told, the difference between 6.1% body fat and 6.6% body fat is not something I am concerned with, as I will never go that low.

As of November 2015, I am supplementing with the following:

  • BCAA powder (Scivation Xtend)
    • I find that I simply drink more water when it’s mixed with Xtend, which tastes quite good, even when heavily diluted. The function of this product is to speed up recovery and help eliminate muscle wasting. I have not noticed any significant game-changer effects, but it’s relatively inexpensive, and the simple fact that I’m drinking a lot more water with it is worth the cost.
  • Zinc – 100mg
    • I supplement with zinc for immune support. I also find that on zinc, I have an increased sexual appetite, and slightly more aggressive demeanor. Zinc is highly recommended.
  • Whey Protein
    • I consume Whey Protein shakes on average, once a week. I’m taking this supplement only when I need to eat, but am on the move and can’t cook a proper meal (and due to IF, this isn’t very often). Sometimes I’ll have a shake, but just as often, I’ll simply extend my fast.

Instead of pre-workout, I’m drinking a tall cup of black coffee, occasionally a “shot in the dark” from my local coffee shop. Instead of a post-workout shake, I’m eating steak and asparagus, salmon, or two Quest bars. I’m getting a lot of the supplements I used to take in pure form, only now they’re coming from natural sources.

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The best post-workout that money can buy.

What does this have to do with marketing?

I have previously stated that I’m a fan of Bold and Determined and Good Looking Loser. These sites are some of the absolute best resources on the planet for anyone looking to improve themselves.

The authors of these sites have teamed up to form a supplement company, Red. Currently, they offer their house brand coffee, and something called Osta-Red.

I knew very little about Ostarine when I saw this supplement on the site the other day. Upon doing a bit of research, I believe it would have some serious benefits for me, as I’m in the middle of a recomp.

The deciding factor in why I’m going to order a bottle of Osta-Red, though?

I have purchased Victor Pride’s products before, and was incredibly impressed with the amount of value relative to the low cost.

I haven’t bought anything from Chris at GLL yet, but picking up some of his Kratom is definitely on my agenda in the near future.

I trust products offered by these guys, as well as Cernovich, because of one simple reason: They don’t try to sell me a bunch of fucking garbage. The products are as-advertised, effective when applied, and utterly devoid of fluff and nonsense. I’m not being roped into a sales funnel. They aren’t reporting to a boss or a board of directors, so I trust their intentions: To offer a kick-ass product that people will talk about.

Another important deciding factor in this equation: These guys have a very solid reputation and track record to uphold, and they take this very seriously. People talk about their sites and their products quite often. They make their living on the internet, and their sites are the result of unfathomable amounts of work. So what would happen to web traffic on their sites if they suddenly started trying to hock garbage?  What would people be saying if the product didn’t produce results? The answer is obvious, and I can say with almost absolute certainty that neither of these guys would risk tarnishing (or even diluting) their reputation in order to make a quick buck.

With that in mind, Osta-Red is in the on-deck circle. Once I pick it up and spend a few months on it, I’ll have a full, un-biased review on the subject, and post some before and after photos.

 

 

 

Phase Two

There’s going to be some big changes around here over the next week or so. Some house-cleaning, some re-focusing, and some trimming of the fat (this is just a figure of speech. I never trim the fat from my steak).

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Metaphorically, of course. Although I do know how to operate an excavator.

I have been building a comprehensive post that outlines every facet of my exact, somewhat perfected fat loss protocol, broken down into plain English for beginners. This will cover everything from nutrition to meal timing, to cardio, to weight training and rest. I have guinea pigged all of this on myself, and it all works. There’s some mixing of conventional and unconventional methods in the program, and the results are like a fat-melting torch.

Look… I know there’s a million of these out there. I am aware. Mine is different, because I do not yet participate in any affiliate marketing programs, and have nothing to gain from a monetary standpoint. I have no problem with people who sell supplements, but I don’t, so there’s no rub, no angle to this program. I do not want anything from this, I simply want to see if others are getting the same results I have been. It reads like a short book, and I may even release it as such, as a free PDF.

I am cleaning up the site, deleting some of my more unfocused articles, and organizing the relevant ones into a more easy-to-navigate format. See the tabs above? They’re not functional yet, but they should be at some point over the next few days. The goal is to change the site from the hodgepodge of unorganized babble of its current state, into a leaner, meaner machine. This is my first foray into any sort of writing for an audience, so I’m learning as I go along.

I will likely be writing a lot less about Mountain Biking, especially in the upcoming five or six months. I live in the Northeastern United States, it’s late November, and I have exercise induced asthma. Until sometime in April, my bikes are nothing more than expensive ornaments in my apartment.

I will be moving forward with some other endeavors in the coming months, including my aforementioned book. I’m moving right along with this project, spending between one and four hours a day writing it, locating old pictures, and digging through my memory to give an honest account. It’s going to be released free of charge to anyone who wants it. Again, no angle, no games, no marketing bullshit. If you want to read it, it’s yours.

The basis of the book is about how I let my life fall into utter disrepair in my twenties, and how I transformed myself from an absolute failure and a slob, a 29-year-old boy, into a fit, intelligent, successful, disciplined stomper-of-asses. I detail my successes, my failures, my breakthroughs, and my breaking points. It’s revealing, sometimes embarrassing, but it’s an honest account and, based on feedback on some sample chapters, it’s worth reading.

Credit where credit is due. There’s a handful of Blog Artists, authors, webmasters, and other influential characters who’s content I simply would not be here without. They are MASTERS in their respective areas. I am working on yet another post that outlines some of their works, their websites, and their other media outlets, with brief summaries and a bit of a guide for those unfamiliar with the territory. I understand that I don’t technically owe these people anything, but the absolute least that I can do is to link to their content and explain how I have personally benefited from it. They have all released books through various channels, and I have yet to be disappointed in the slightest.

That’s it for now. If you have made your way here, look around the site. Comment. Critique. Contribute. Feel free to drop me a line at Ridehardliftheavy@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter @ridehardlifthvy

-Brian