The End of Eat The Damn Sandwich

     “If you’re not amazed by how naive you were yesterday,

you’re standing still.

If you’re not terrified of the next step,

your eyes are closed.”

Jed McKenna

The title is true. I will be no longer putting together posts for Eat The Damn Sandwich. The current content will still exist and new content will still be created, just under a different name and with a little bit of help. How this transition happened is quite interesting, and I’m pretty excited to share it with you all.

If you’ve been reading this blog lately, you know that I’ve been trying to assemble a wider variety of content than my original “weight loss updates”. I’ve met and corresponded with lots of interesting people in my pursuit of new stories to bring you, and that pursuit led me to contact the guys at Massenomics. If you are from our local area, you may have seen some of their social media activity, blog posts, and videos. Much like my project, theirs started as a simple idea: Get some fun, hopefully informative content out to the masses, and have a good time doing it. What caught my eye was the type of training I saw from the Massenomics Gym. I saw people training with a real emphasis on getting strong. Really, really strong.  I also noticed a very obvious sense of community. I saw new guys getting help from the seasoned lifters, every new face in their content was learning how to do things the right way from these more experienced guys. Without a formal coach/athlete structure, the emphasis was on the information, the technique, and the work ethic. The vibe looked fun, and it seemed to resonate with something I’ve heard recently:

“Don’t just go to the gym. Be a PART of the gym.”

A few of these guys travel and compete in powerlifting and strongman competitions as well. They also seem to win them….. A lot of them. And I wanted to find out how.

Initially, I contacted Tanner Baird from Massenomics with a simple request.. I wanted to ask him some questions about the way they train, check out the gym and the vibe, and maybe collaborate on some interesting content for this page. A few emails later I had a pretty good idea of what they were all about over at Massenomics, and it was time for me to stop by the gym. I made my way through the entrance, and found a little bitty sticker on the door letting me know I was on the right track.

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As I made my way down into the cold, dark basement, I heard the familiar sounds of aggressive metal music. I was on the right track. I followed my ears until I was standing in front of an enormous steel door. The type of door that they stopped making a hundred years ago. The type of door with levers and chains and counterweights. After pushing, pulling, twisting, and leaning into it, I finally figured out the door lever. The sounds of metal poured out of the open doorway, and I was in…

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The gym is small. It’s full of iron. No frills, just weights and work. Tanner said the gym is moving to a much larger location in a few weeks, which made me very glad I came when I did. I couldn’t help but feel like I had witnessed the humble beginnings of something special.

Tanner and I got in a training session with some squats, some deadlifts, and I consulted him for a little bit of bench press set-up coaching.

The circus was in town… Literally right across the street. So I grabbed this giant for the Shriners and brought him into the #strongestgyminaberdeen Got to do some squatting and deficit deadlifts with @tylereffinstone We have quite a few people at the gym with good powerlifting knowledge, but Big Tyler knows a lot more than every one of us on the Olympic lifts. The lesson is that the diversity of knowledge and training background will make it easier for us all to get stronger!!! And that's a good thing. It's science, it's Massenomics. #massenomics #circus #powerlifting #crossfit #olympiclifting #deadlift #heavymetal #deficitdeadlift #shriners #circusstrong #eatthedamnsandwich #rogue #prboard #learning #improving #stronger #strongerbytheday #science #strengthisneveraweakness #trainingknowledge #beardstrong #dadswholift #safetyfirst #monstersdoexist

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We got our work done, and the conversation turned to what we plan on doing with our online content. We shared the same vision of more comprehensive and consistent multimedia content, and decided that it would be best if we all teamed up. After meeting with Tommy and Austin (the other two official members of Massenomics), we agreed that the best way for us to release quality content consistently is to do it together. Like some sort of beefy, internet-version of Captain Planet, we are pooling our powers together to bring you the biggest and best entertainment and info we can…… And probably save the world..

…or not.

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Either way, we’re very excited. With the gym moving to its new location, we will be simultaneously launching Massenomics.com, which will be your hub for all things strength, including our online store and merchandise. We will also be launching a weekly podcast, from which we will be bringing you information, entertainment, and an overabundance of our own dumbness. We hope to tie in our experiences, the experiences of our guests, and the techniques and philosophies from all aspects of training.

 

I want to thank everybody that has supported me and this blog. All of your feedback and encouragement is what kept me working on the project, and has facilitated this move to bigger and better things. Without your support, this would have been a one-post blog page and I would have missed out on so many of the great conversations and experiences I’ve had over the last year.

From the beginning, I always hoped my 12 month update post would be a special one. I started this blog as a way to hold myself accountable and it somehow evolved into a vehicle for new and exciting experiences. In the past year I’ve made countless new friends, I feel sooooo much better physically, I’m a happier and more positive person, AND I’m almost 65lbs lighter than I was when I started.

In the past year, I’ve been asked lots of times where I got the name Eat The Damn Sandwich. So before I shut it down, I figured I’d share it with you.

Aside from it being a painfully un-marketable name, it does actually mean something. Truthfully, it started with a friend and myself yelling at my wife while she was complaining about how she didn’t want to finish her sandwich..

Not too philosophical, huh?

But my understanding of the phrase in the context of this page was different. .. I always said it like this, “Life is short… just eat the damn sandwich.”

Go on the vacation.

Buy the boat.

Go see your favorite band in concert.

 

Drive your car fast as hell with the windows down and music blaring.

Accept the invitation

Constantly expand your comfort zone.

Order the steak and lobster.

Make new friends.

Have new experiences.

Just Eat The Damn Sandwich.

 

 

 

Thanks for your support, and make sure you give the Massenomics Facebook Page a like so  you can see when we start rolling out the new material. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for updates on new videos from Professor Schanz, as well as from us guys up here in the frozen North.  Expect the first few podcast episodes to publish in a couple weeks.

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Stay Strong,

Tyler

 

 

 

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The Arnold Chronicles: Part Deux

“Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.”
― Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

      After all the trouble we had getting this far (Read Here), we made it… finally. It was too late Friday evening for us to check out the festivities at the Arnold, but we made it to our condo and got unpacked (and a little drunk).

The apartment was incredible, and I highly recommend using AirBnB. This place was directly across the street from the venue, right in the heart of downtown, and it was awesome… We had a bit of trouble figuring out the pool table, so we decided to do what anybody would do when they’re about to be in the presence of the fittest people in the world….

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We did Peyton Manning a solid and contributed to his retirement fund. Then we slept.

Hard.

The next morning, we meandered over to the Greater Columbus Convention Center. I have no facts to back up this claim, but I’m sure it is the biggest building that mankind has ever built ever. This place is colossal. And it was packed with people. The line(s) wound around inside the building for easily a half mile, before piling outside and all the way around the building. There were fit people, fat people, orange people, and people wearing things that barely qualify as clothes. As we made our way into the Expo, we first went past the NXT ring. NXT is the WWE’s minor league program, and there was a ton of people who were at the Arnold for the sole purpose of checking out the NXT action. We saw an interview with WWE star and former Arnold Amateur Strongman Competitor Bron Strowman. Basically, he’s huge and that’s about all he had to say. So we moved on.

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The view from the NXT stands

We powered on through the Expo booths.. There were well over a thousand of them, and most had the same pretty basic marketing plan: Scantily clad fit people handing out free stuff. Unfortunately, the word was out pretty early as to which booths had the best freebies, and they had unjustifiably long lines. I could not believe the amount of people willing to wait in a 45 minute-long line for a free shaker bottle and a protein bar. I don’t really “do” lines, so we kept moving.

We then ventured outside the expo and watched the weightlifting competition. It was pretty damn awesome seeing some of the people compete. At this point there weren’t any heavy-hitters up yet, and I learned that basically anybody can compete here. The real world-class talent competes last, but there were quite a few regular people snatching and clean-and-jerking regular weights. It was really encouraging, and I think that more people should just compete for the sake of the experience. It looked like it’d be an awesome time up on the Rogue stage with all the lights and cameras and crowds, and it’s something I’m definitely going to try and do someday whether I’m any good or not.

But, we had to keep moving. Time was short, and our timing could not have been any better. I happened to run into my favorite UFC fighter Jon Jones on the way out.

Ran into Jon Jones . And he touched me.. so, I'm kind of a big deal…

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Then we made our way to the USA Powerlifting room, and it was then that we had our big epiphany for the weekend. About a quarter mile away from the powerlifting competition I heard something that spoke to me… something familiar… something soothing…………..    SLAYER! Loud as shit!!   Some dude was yelling into a microphone about how much of a badass this next lifter was, and the crowd was going nuts! It was here that we saw some crazy stuff. We saw a woman weighing 136lbs bench press 315lbs raw. I saw a 16 year old girl squat 551lbs.

I heard metal over the loudspeaker in public… It was fuckin beautiful!  After the complex subdued nature of the weightlifting competition, the powerlifting room was on fire. A bit later we made it to the Animal Cage, where they held some 1000lbs squats throughout the weekend. Again, there was metal over the PA, loud as hell. Lamb Of God, if I remember correctly…. Exactly my style! I ran into powerlifter Dan Bell and got a photo with him, before he went on to squat 1000lbs in the cage.

 

 

We learned something very profound about the difference between Olympic Weightlifting and Powerlifting. This is the epiphany I referred to before.

Weightlifting is like a wine tasting.. It’s complex, subdued, and there’s so many subtleties that a person may not even be aware of.

But Powerlifting…… Powerlifting is like shotgunning beers while listening to death metal. Both have there own place in the world, but powerlifting is quite a fun scene if you’re a guy like me!

 

Then we found out some Crossfit Games athletes were going to be at the Rogue booth, and we were pleasantly surprised to find almost no lines. I guess the bodybuilding scene isn’t that hip to the crossfitters! We were able to get pictures with Mat Fraser, Dan Bailey, Josh Bridges, James Hobart, and Matt Chan. I also learned something else here…

We are not built to be competitive crossfit athletes!!

     These dudes were all super friendly, and they are all way way way stronger than I am. BUT, they are basically Hobbits. Super strong, Hobbit-gymnasts. I feel like I probably have as much of a chance at being a competitive crossfit athlete as any of these competitive crossfit athletes have at being in the NBA. But it was great seeing the guys I watch beast out some jaw-dropping feats of strength in person.

Then I saw some jaw dropping feats of strength..

The Arnold Strongman Classic is the second major Strongman competition in the world, second only to The World’s Strongest Man. They had 1000lb deadlifts the day prior.

We watched Hafthor Bjornsson (The Mountain from Game of Thrones), all 6’9″ and 440lbs of him try and fail in a world record attempt at a 300lb dumbbell press. Then Brian Shaw, 6’8″ and 425lbs came out and did it. 3 times. And it was super-intense!!

THIS was inspiring to watch.

      I think this trip has helped me set some goals for the next year. I may be stronger than a lot of average people. But for a guy my size, I’m embarrassingly weak. I think this experience has helped me to decide to hold myself to higher standard. I need to be stronger…. waaaaay stronger before I even can be considered respectably strong for my size. I still fully intend to work crossfit in as often as possible, but I plan on adding an emphasis on strength training as well. I need crossfit to keep me generally fit and work on my weaknesses, but I think I’m going to spend some time getting familiar with my strengths as well. And besides, what kind of man wouldn’t want to lift a giant concrete stone?

 

Thanks for reading, and check out the Highlight Reel from my Arnold 2016 GoPro footage….

Stay tuned, I’ve got some more really cool stuff in the works!!

Like, Share, Tell A Friend…

Thanks,

Tyler

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The Arnold Chronicles: Part 1

“I pride myself on the careful preservation of a forward lean. That’s something I can hold onto, no matter what swirls around me. It’s a choice that’s well within my control.”

-Chris Moore “Way Past Strong”

Today’s post is not about anything we experienced while we were in Columbus. That will come next, and I promise you it will be awesome. This is about the power of maintaining a forward lean, and trudging on into the headwinds of life’s little inconveniences.  This trip was cursed….. Maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but it was a pain in the ass and we almost didn’t pull it off.  There were a handful of moments when we almost called it and stayed home.  I’m glad we didnt. Here’s the story. …

 

Our first step in planning our trip to The Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus Ohio was to find a place to sleep.  3 months in advance we booked an apartment on AirBnb near downtown Columbus. 180k people show up for this event,  so securing quality lodging early was crucial. All seemed well until our host canceled our reservation a week before the event,  leaving us with no hotel options anywhere near downtown.  This was our first “maybe we should just call it off” moment. My stubbornness prevailed and we were fortunate enough to find a condo right across the street from the event. That was our first roadblock, and was an easy (albeit expensive) problem to solve.

Then comes the transportation issues… Lots of them. Our traveling arrangements require us to fly standby,  meaning we don’t own a seat until the plane boards. A full flight means no flight for me. Things were looking too tight for us to make a Friday departure,  so we cleared our schedules and went to fly out on Thursday afternoon.  While waiting at the airport, ready to board, we were told our flight would be canceled due to a mechanical failure.  No flight is worse than a full flight, because it means there will be no open seats in the morning either.  We were screwed, and this trip was over before it even started.

After some serious deliberation, we decided we weren’t going to let something that was beyond our control ruin our weekend. We’re men of action!

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So we jammed our giant selves into a rented Kia Forte and drove 5 hours to Minneapolis, got a hotel room, and waited patiently at the gate the next morning for the first flight to Columbus …..

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20160304_081443Then it got full. We missed it by one single damn seat. As a matter of fact, there was a late arrival who strolled up just as the two of us were about to be handed our boarding passes.

Sorry, guys. Maybe you can catch the next one… or not.

Fuck.

Our next option was 5 hours later, and it didn’t look very promising either. Soooo we did what anyone else would do if they were in our shoes:

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We started drinking at the airport bar at 10 am, and figured we’d sort the rest out later.

5 hours passed pretty quickly, and we made it onboard, and were Columbus-bound! I was practically skipping as I made my way to the very last row.  All that extra work, a 5 hour drive,  a one-way car rental, a sleepless night in a 51 dollar airport hotel, all those $11 dollar airport beers, it all became worth it as I was nearing the back of this aircraft. The two guys in that last row looked at me as I lumbered down the aisle with my head tilted and shoulders touching each of the overhead bins. They simultaneously looked at the vacant seat in between them, looked at me again, looked at each other and made faces that were easily interpreted as meaning

“shit.”

I didn’t care, I had 5 hours of daydrinking under my belt,  and I was headed to The Arnold.

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And it was awesome.

 

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In The Arnold Chronicles: Part 2, I will go over all the fun that the Arnold had to offer. But for now, I’d better sit here patiently and hope there’s a seat for me on this flight home.

Thanks for reading,

Tyler

 

 

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A Quick Update- 11 Month Progress Check, and What’s Coming Next

20160227_142953.jpg   It’s been quite some time since I’ve put together anything new, so I figured I’d check in and update y’all on how things have been going and what to expect in the near future. I’ve been at it for just shy of 11 months now, and it seems like the last couple months I’ve really covered a lot of ground. Performance-wise, I’ve hit a few milestones lately. I’ve graduated to a few of the grown-up movements, such as the handstand pushup, double unders, and chest-to-bar pullups (just in time for the Open, fortunately). I signed up for the open this year, and hope to be able to stay in the RX division as long as I don’t see any muscle ups. Last night was my first workout with chest-to-bar pullups, and it just happened to be the first workout of the Open. 20 minutes of overhead lunges, pullups and burpees isn’t exactly in my wheelhouse as a nearly-300lb dude, but I survived. Today however, my ass cheeks are experiencing a reckoning. Such is life, I guess.

At home, we’ve spent the last month or so really focusing on eating clean, and I have felt fantastic. We’ve been preparing our week’s food in advance for about 6 months, but it’s been tough to know what to eat and how much based on all the loose information flying all over the internet. My wife and I met with a Dietician/Nutritionist through our YMCA and got a plan custom-tailored for our body composition, activity level, and goals. I learned I need to be eating way more carbs (Thank GOD!!), and I’ve had waaaaay more energy and been much less crabby in the few weeks since I nearly tripled my carb intake. We’ve been logging and tracking our meals for the last month or so, and I hope to get to the point where we know what we need for each meal intuitively. The MyFitnessPal and Fooducate apps have been super-helpful for tracking our intake and learning about other alternatives  to the things we usually buy. I highly recommend both apps, but the process is tedious and I hope to eventually just KNOW how much I should be eating. I guess practice makes perfect.

I’ve dropped some more weight recently as well. The lowest I’ve seen on the scale is 287, but I hover right around 290 making my total weight loss 60lbs over the last 11 months.  Here’s a few gratuitous before and after pics….

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Enough about me, here’s what I’m working on in the near future……..

I’m working on a few different pieces featuring some other athletes from other realms in the fitness world, both local and far away. I’ve got a few spotlight pieces with some athletes I’ll have finished as soon as I get the time to fly across the country a few times as well. In 5 days, I’ll be flying to Columbus for the 2016 Arnold Sports Festival. It’s an enormous event featuring 18,000+ athletes and over 180,000 attendees. I’ll be going to check out the Expo, which features almost 1,000 vendor booths for everything you could imagine; then we’ll be watching the Weightlifting, Powerlifting, and Strongman competitions, not to mention rubbing shoulders with some enormous bodybuilders in the process. It should be a really fun time, and I look forward to documenting the experience for you.

 

So… Please stay tuned, and I hope I can get some really cool content put together for you in the near future.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes..

 

“I don’t know a single successful person who leaves their shopping cart in the middle of the parking lot.”

 

Thanks for reading, thanks for all your support, and thanks for sharing and spreading the word.

-Tyler

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Lessons on Learning- With help from Chris Moore of Barbell Shrugged

“It doesn’t matter what you find, or how much. The only thing that matters is that you search. Every day. At every opportunity. Look around for something worth remembering.”

Chris Moore

“Get Change”

Click HERE for the link to purchase.. It’s damn good.

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      As a guy who only recently started trying to get in better shape, I hope to share the lessons that I’ve been learning as I go. However, I find that my own experiences hold only a few droplets of information compared to the wealth of knowledge I’ve found cruising around on the internet. Part of what has helped me stay focused and enthusiastic about the change has been the things I use for entertainment. The articles I read, the podcasts I listen to, and the videos I watch have all helped me keep my health and training in front of my mind. As much as I’d love to simply list and share everything I find, I think it will be much more compelling if I can communicate directly with the people who create this content. This way, I can directly focus on the information that applies to regular people like myself. I’m a husband, a father, and a guy with a day-job. Most people aren’t professional athletes, trainers, educators, or researchers, but I think their experiences can hold powerful information when it’s shared with us average folks. There’s so much to be learned about the physical and mental aspects of fitness, nutrition and all-around excellence-chasing, and I hope to find an interesting way to funnel the more impactful information to you in a way that makes it easy to relate to.

     I’ve spent the last couple months contacting people who I think are doing interesting things: athletes, authors, trainers, physical therapists, coaches, and anyone who I think is awesome at what they do and could have something cool to share. And most of them are more than willing to help. It’s very simple: I ask a few questions, and hopefully I get a few answers…  And last week I got a few answers from one of my favorite writers, co-host and co-founder of The Barbell Shrugged Podcast, Chris Moore.

      I found Barbell Shrugged via a recommendation from one of my trainers. The podcast is a super-entertaining.. there’s a wide variety of guests, valuable information, and more than a handful of dick-jokes. Behind the entertainment though, is a network of information that comes from each host’s almost 20-years in the strength and conditioning world. The guys are all genuine experts. After I first found it, I would listen to the podcast every day and it really helped keep weightlifting, training, and nutrition in the front of my mind. I learned more from their podcast and the supporting articles than I ever could have imagined. It dispelled rumors and misconceptions, and gave me the right data and the right plan to keep me on track. And it was all free.

     Chris’ book, “Get Change” is one of the most powerful reads I’ve had this year. If you want to make a big difference and go big places, this is the book to read. In addition to all of that, Chris has a pretty impressive athletic resume… He played football at the University of Memphis, where he earned a master’s degree in Health and Human Performance. He also spent over a decade in the world of competitive Powerlifting, where he was able to squat 975lbs, bench press 675lbs, and deadlift 675lbs….

Let that sink in for a moment….            975lbs..               Shit..

And since the man has all that experience and a fairly easy-going personality, I asked him if he’d share his perspective on a few topics I thought would be interesting. ..    

And he said yes…..    

     I asked him what is was like to retire from powerlifting and adjusting to working towards different goals. The super-heavyweight powerlifting world has a bit of a “bigger-is-better” culture, and Chris is significantly slimmer now. Since I’ve always been “The Big Guy”, I really wanted to know what that was like…

“I reached a peak weight of about 370 pounds during my super-heavyweight days. Currently, I’m about 238. So you’re right, I know my way around weight swings. 

In truth, I was very overweight as a powerlifter. I should have lifter at around 275-315, that’s plenty big enough. But I became a slave to the belief that to be strong, without drugs especially, I needed to be huge. 

That’s not true for anyone. 

I’ve come to understand an underlying principle with weight loss. Something that makes the shift effortless, once you really accept it and understand. I can speak to it because I’ve overcome it in myself. 

Lasting weight-loss and freedom comes after an identity shift. As long as someone feels the need to be the big, strong guy and prove themselves constantly, they’ll remain a slave to their perceived weakness. 

With food, I think it’s important to understand why the eating starts. Why people get big to begin with. It’s got little to do with the food or training, in my view. The real principle at play is that people are often disconnected from themselves. They are tired, sad, stressed, angry, confused, you name it. 

It feels like hunger sometimes but it’s really nothing more than a pain. 

My solution was to put my focus on helping other people, and making my own training and eating fun and intuitive again. With service and focus on Self, the weight falls off. “

…. I really can’t overstate how spot-on his response was, and I think most people who struggle with the nutritional aspects of their life can really relate to this.

Next, I really wanted to know how their goal-setting process has changed over the years. They started the podcast by hanging out and talking training into microphones in Chris’ garage, and it’s evolved into a real juggernaut of online fitness content. I wondered if they originally had their sights set high, or if they continually adjusted their goals into their new vision….

“I’ve worked really hard to keep my focus on the next best action. 

If I have any secret it could be two things. First, I honestly do not care about the results of my work. I try to put it far out of my mind. It doesn’t matter to me how many people listen. I do not track my rankings and download numbers, or comments. Because it doesn’t matter. 

The second bit is the critical part. I think you have to put the whole of your attention and intent behind every action you take. I try to do that every time I do a show, speak, or write something. I don’t have to worry with a result, if I put everything I’ve got into doing Good now. 

I’d recommend the same approach to anyone. You can’t go wrong. “

           I think this is extremely important. I think a lot of the reason people fall short of success is because they never really fully commit. In training, relationships, and my career I’ve found that the best results come from fully dialing in and giving 100% to the next steps. Focusing on how far away the big-picture results are can be discouraging and tends to cloud perspective. When I learn to enjoy the process and keep moving in the right direction, the desirable result is only a matter of time, and work.

After all, at it’s core a marathon is just a whole bunch of steps, right?

     Next, I wanted to know how Chris fell into writing and if he had any advice. (This one was mostly for myself!)

“I’ve always enjoyed the challenge and work of writing. 

For me, it’s very much like lifting. Everything is earned. Rep by rep. The reason people hate it – the curse of a blank computer screen – is because putting words down required total focus of mind. 

To write is to leave a trace of your mind. I consider that an important action, not only for record. But because the act of tracing thoughts and putting then down, editing them…that makes you much smarter. 

Anyway, the best writing advice I ever came across was from my speaking and writing mentor, Christopher Hitchens. I can’t recall the hours I spent studying the way he wrote, spoke, and talked about writing. 

Long story short, his simple advice is enough for anyone. I will paraphrase – To write well, write just like you speak. It’s the natural way to start. Also, never bore anyone. That’s a terrible thing to do.”

      Lastly, I asked Chris if he knows the impact his podcasts, books, and other content has had on the lives of their fans, what that’s like and what they have in store for the future…

“It’s something I take very seriously. And I’m appreciative for the opportunity to teach and share every day. 

The change and empowerment angle is not accident. This is something we’ve worked hard to bake into the show. Even when we’re talking about pull-ups or something, there’s something there to pull the viewer up. 

The show has been on a break since October, as the fans know by now. But what most don’t know is that we’ve been working full go to record new shows. Shows that go deeper into strength, and deeper into story. 

I won’t tease too much, but if you’ve benefited personally from Barbell Shrugged over the years you should be excited. We’ve built an entirely new vision. For how we’re going to get people results, and for how we’re going to inspire even more change within them. 

2016 is going to be an incredible year. Stay tuned.”

I hope to revisit some of these subjects in the future, and I’m extremely grateful to Chris Moore for his help. I hope you find this information useful, and please do yourself a favor and check out the content they’ve been producing. For me, it’s been priceless.

Here’s a few links…

Barbell Shrugged

Get Change (Chris’ Personal Podcast)

Buy Chris’ Books Here

Barbell Shrugged YouTube Channel (All the video podcasts, as well as a TON of technique videos… Awesome stuff)

 

I’ll leave you with another quote from Chris’ book…

“Whenever there is doubt, there is no doubt. Do what you want to do. Keep doing it, no matter what, and you might find yourself standing alongside your heroes.”

Get Change

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Ringing In The New Year

  “If your view of reality is not supportive, is not positive, is not charging you with energy and joy and zest each day, it is time to change what you are paying attention to. It is time to change your focus. It is time to change your very definition of what reality is, what your life is, what your future will be.”

Brendon Burchard

 

I learned something this year. I actually learned a lot of things this year, but the one that has clicked recently is that there is a never-ending abundance of possibilities in this world. It took a lot of little things to bring me to that realization. 2015 was a powerful year for me. All the weight loss stuff has been pretty thoroughly documented in this blog, but the lessons I’ve learned throughout the whole process have really changed the way I see things. My relationships, my friendships and my career have all seen a dramatic evolution. It’s easy to see a lot of things as out-of-reach or unrealistic, especially when they’re so far from where we are at the moment. But I find that every time I move past those preconceived notions, take action and put in the work, everything progresses exactly as it should towards the ultimate end-goal.

For the first couple months into this little adventure, I saw people doing pullups at the gym. Regular people doing pullups (albeit the crossfit “kipping” pullups). To me, this was a superhuman accomplishment, and I was miles and miles from it. I was doing ring rows, which is basically the scaled-down version of the scaled version of pullups. At the end of the second month, I decided if I could ever graduate to doing band-assisted pullups that I would be set for life. It was all I wanted. I just wanted to be able to hang from the pullup bar during a workout, and I was content to spend the rest of my life doing banded pullups. I had no ambitions beyond that. Eventually, the banded pullups came. But then something extraordinary happened…. I moved the standard forward, and what was impossible to me, is now something I do every day.

Fuckin cool, right?

A couple weeks ago, I had gotten my kipping pullups to the point where I could get one at a time. Then I said, “To hell with it”, and decided to leave the band off during the next workout. Unfortunately, that next workout was  “Cindy” (5 pullups, 10 pushups, 15 air squats, as many rounds as possible, for 20 minutes).  I didn’t do awesome. As a matter of fact, I felt like I barely survived. But I did some legit pullups, with no bands. Even a couple months ago, I honestly believed that I would never be capable of it. I mean NEVER. And if I could travel back in time to 8 months ago and tell 350lb-Tyler that he’d be doing kipping pullups on the regular during wods at 295lbs, I’m sure he’d have laughed Future Tyler out of the room.

So, what does all this mean? It means that it’s time to adjust my goals. There are well-documented formulas and progressions for almost everything in life. If you want to add 50lbs to your squat, there’s programming and scheduling all over the internet that’ll get you there. It takes work, and time. If you want to get better at maintaining healthier relationships, or be more successful at work, there’s thousands of books on the subject. The only thing it takes is work and time. It’s simple. Get the information, and use it. And I’m not sure why it never clicked with me. The same philosophy applies to everything. There’s all sorts of ways that people have found to improve their lives, and the world is full of information on how to get there. I’ve spend the last couple months absorbing as much powerful information as I can, and it’s inspired me to set my sights higher.. I’m not quite sure where yet, specifically. But higher.

My next couple blog posts are going to feature some content I’ve been working on with the help of Chris Moore, former world-class powerlifter, author, co-host and co-founder of The Barbell Shrugged Podcast (Itunes’ #1 Rated Fitness and Nutrition Podcast). This new, bigger-thinking mindset inspired me to contact him and ask him if he’d help contribute some of his experience to my blog. And the powerful thing about asking, is that sometimes people say YES. It will be a simple, short dialogue on a few subjects which I was interested in hearing about from his perspective, and I’m really excited to be able to bring it to everyone who reads this.

The most important thing that I could ask of everybody reading this, is that you make 2016 your year. There’s absolutely no regret in trying that will compare to the regret of inaction. Light a fire, and make it your year. Don’t wait. I was fortunate to stumble into my most profound stretch of personal growth in 2015, but these things are much easier when they’re approached with a focused, fiery intention. Make this your year. Take control of it. Take charge. Have big, fantastic fuckin dreams and make them happen. Go somewhere awesome, do something awesome, and be as awesome as possible, as often as possible. The world is full of people with normal goals. Set yourself apart, set as many exceptionally lofty goals as you can, and then get to work.

Stay tuned…………

Thanks to everybody for reading this, and feel free to share.

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