Must have missed the memo (must be getting old rant)

Have I missed something over the years? I must have, but I notice it everyday, and I really don’t understand it at all. It’s on Television, in the gym, all around town, and even at work.

Welcome to puberty boy, now shave your legs
When did guys start shaving all body hair all the time? I am not talking about Olympic athletes, or Ironman triathletes, I’m talking about almost every male these days. I’m not sure when it started, I don’t know why it started, and I don’t understand the reasons behind it either. It’s as if the male population these days grow up waiting to hit puberty so they can finally start doing manly things, and shave their legs. I remember that being something a mother and daughter talk about when the time came, but i don’t ever remember having any man in my family give me the hygiene talk and include shaving my legs, arms, and everything else for that matter. You lea rned a few pointers on shaving your facial hair, and how to stop bleeding with toliet paper. Men were supposed to have hair. It was a part of growing up.

Men were supposed to be strong, burly, hairy, and rough and tumble. Men did manual labor., and outdoor work in the yard. The man of the house opened the stuck jar lids, and killed the mice and spiders that got into the house. Men hunted, and fished got into fights sometimes and worked with wood. When you hit a responsible age – I was 9 – you got your own pocket knife, were expected to be responsible with it, and you never wanted to get caught without it from that day forward.

Being a man was about action, not looks. If you wanted to look good for something, you wore a suit, or your tucked your shirt in.

Pretty colors
When I go to the mall, it’s funny to me, but the young men are more doll ed up than the young women they are walking with. The young man will have more designer clothes, hats, hair gel, and perfume on than the lady he is trying to woo. He probably spent more time in front of the mirror too.

The same thing is happening in the gym too. The bright colors, and hair gel is all over the place in the gym. Accessories and workout gloves abound, but hard work on anything but mirror muscles is hard to find. On the flip side, women in the gym have begun to take manly workouts and make them their own. You are more likely to see a man doing doing shaping and pumping in the mirror than a female lately.

There was a time when the first thing you did to a new baseball hat was to form the brim so that it was curved, and not flat. you wore it with the brim over the face, or the hat backwards. Pretty simple.

Hats today remind me more of the way o ld southern belles wore their hats. To the side, flat brims going every direction, cocked at odd angles and either down so far they cover the ears, or barely secure at all on the head. I am pretty sure that hair pins will be in style for hat retention if this keeps up. While we are at it, take the store stickers and tags off.

Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one and they all stink.
“my 2,000 twitter followers and 500 Facebook friends all like my feeds of wisdom, but my boss just told me to shut the f#*$ up, and get back to work. This sucks”

Welp, my young friend, respect for you and your opinion is a two way street and here are some of the traffic laws:

  • Respect is earned not given
  • Nobody cares where you came from or who you were in school or in the neighborhood
  • Respect earned in the workplace comes by way of rank and position, and in life thr ough age and experience. It doesn’t matter if they earned it before you got there, they were there before you.
  • You don’t make the rules, the rules are already written, you have to follow them to earn respect.
  • When starting out, you earn respect by keeping your mouth shut, learning everything, and working hard at whatever endeavor or career you are embarking on
  • Until you prove yourself to those around you, your opinions and snarky comments (the ones your friends and followers enjoy so much on the web) need to be kept to yourself.

I know alot of this comes from how men are being raised these days. Many have grown up with cell phones, computers, video games, and action heroes who have “issues”. Instead of action, they sit. They see images, videos, and do wonderful things with computers, and beat all the latest games with ease, but they don’t know how to act. They don’t know what to do with all the information they are taking in. Without experience to know what is true, people will rely on emotion, not reason to come up with their world view.

I think that’s about it.
Sorry if this made no sense, but I had to get some stuff off the chest.

Lately, I have felt a lot of young men are losing their way. More and more are worried about appearances than they are about their actions. If I could sum up a few things I believe every man should do, I guess a code, my top picks would be these-

  • A man is no better than his word (and that includes promises of fidelity to girlfriends and wives)
  • Actions speak louder than words
  • A man prepares himself to defend his country, home, family, friends, and those who cannot defend themselves
  • A man believes and has faith in something bigger than himself
  • A man lives his life as an example for others to follow
  • A man works to provide

Till next time, take care, and merry Christmas,


Injuries should not stop you

I am always amazed at the excuses people give to not train when they get injured. Injured hands, arms, feet and big toes suddenly make training impossible for them. The whole body now suffers because of one of its parts. The “wounded/ sick deer” mentality takes over, and soon mental strength begins to decline.

“Wounded/sick deer” get singled out, separated from the group, and the wolves feast. Men should never accept this mentality.

A broken foot, shattered hand, 2 hernias, hip injury, shoulder arthritis, dislocated fingers and toes etc., have not kept me from training. Each injury made me adapt, and develop training plans based on what I could do. I took a lesson from people who are inspirational, and never focused on what they couldn’t do. We have men and women who are severely injured or maimed but are out there running marathons, jumping from airplanes, and driving on. The video of the wrestler born without arms or legs doing exercises some healthy people can’t do, is just outstanding.

When you do become injured, take it as a challenge.

Look at what you have available for equipment, what effects the injury has on your movement, ROM, and load bearing abilities. Set a goal for the end of the recovery period.

Now do research and find all the options you have for exercises based on the injury, and equipment you have. Implement the plan, and make adjustments when needed. This is the perfect time to start doing some of the exercises that you neglected while healthy.

Hand, and arm injuries are a perfect time to focus on core and leg strength. Do hip bridging with weight, glute-ham raises, leg presses, step ups with weight in a back pack. Think your dead lift and squat will suffer- do zercher squats, and zercher lifts off the pins. Put lots of weight in a back pack, and do squats or loads of step ups.
Want to do shrugs, use the standing calves raise machine, and shrug away at the shoulder pads.

Shoulder, upper torso injury- hit the lower body. Use the hell out of the machines. They help stabilize the body and isolate, so use them to your advantage. There are tons of body weight exercises to choose from.

Lower leg and foot injuries- no better time to do all the upper body work you want. Get the guns, chest and back you’ve always wanted. Hit the pull up bar, and all the ground based body weight exercises you can. String them together into circuit training and keep your cardio and work capacity up.

Core injuries- use the stabilizing benches, machines, and ground based exercises. I hated working back from double hernia repair. You never really know how much your core does until you injure it. The hernia repair was my most challenging in that it hurt to do most anything involving hanging, or stretching the abs. One of my goals during this time was to just hang from a pull up bar for 30 seconds without pain, let alone do a pull up. My core work during this time focused on breathing exercises, Pilates, and stretching.

After you have implemented your plan, adjusted when necessary, met your goal, you need build a plan to get the injured area back up to par. Follow your therapists recommendations, and build on that. I will tell you from my experience that most PT’s are not used to dealing with serious trainees. If you are lucky enough to get one that understands your needs, great. I am just saying my experience has been less than ideal.

The “wounded deer” mentality is one of my biggest pet peeves, but also my biggest challenges. I have to deal with guys all the time that, once they get hurt, take physical training and put it to the wayside believing they can’t do anything until they are all better. Usually it is through not knowing the options available, and sometimes its just pure laziness. I use personal example, instruction and motivation for the clueless, and repeated swift kicks in the ass for the lazy. It seems to work every time.

Just be smart. If you are continually learning and seeking knowledge, an injury is just another learning experience. Having a goal during this time to aspire to, takes the focus off what you are unable to do. Maybe the injury was a result of improper technique, or imbalance. Take this time to fix things, and come back stronger and smarter; a great combination.

(NOTE: Now, I am not a doctor, a certified trainer, or physical therapist. I am not saying to ignore the “doctors orders”. Only you and your doctor know you. Do what you think is best for you. As long as you are not being a wuss, its all good)

Take care and good lifting,