Getting a Lean, Testosterone-Fueled Body

I have some tips and advice for myself as well as everyone reading. From my experience and from research I’ve read via peer reviewed scientific studies. I won’t link to sources, because if I did that, it would take me the rest of the young morning and half the day to do, so if you question anything I say, feel free to PubMed that shit for verification purposes. I’m not a medical professional nor am I an expert in regards to any of the following.

You can do this. Anybody reading can do this. Anybody not reading can do this.

Movement, movement, movement. Listen, this isn’t the number one thing in the world when it comes to dropping weight (diet/calorie control is), but it certainly helps. I don’t advocate cardio (long distance or high intensity interval training in regards to running, wind sprints, etc.) to anyone. I can’t stand cardio. It sucks. I would rather lift, but I digress. When I say movement, I mean walk. Walk. Walk as much as you can. Park farther away in parking lots from the entrance (I’m sure you’ve heard this before) of stores, places, etc.

In regards to lifting: lift heavy weights, low reps. I’d recommend a gym if you can. If not, and you are like me and you live an outrageously long way from the gym, I suggest core body exercises that you can easily do at home. Push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups (if possible), bodyweight squats, sideplanks and supermans. Some people think sit-ups are a waste of time, but honestly you are exerting a lot of energy with your torso overall and building up a sweat. A winner in my book.

If somebody tells you that you can’t build muscle by doing bodyweight/core body exercises, they are fucking idiots. It’s an extremely fantastic way to get lean, gain strength and become, well, a damn sizable ‘beast’. It’s great for overall health.

But now, let’s get to the nitty gritty as I continue this essay/book because I’m a long-winded fuck that fails to follow the “brevity is the soul of wit” adage of life.

– Protein, fiber and fat. That’s what you need to focus on the MOST! Now, I don’t really recommend a keto/low-fiber diet because it will drive you absolutely fucking nuts if you are a carb-lover, but of the three main macronutrients — proteins, fats and carbs — proteins/fats are the ones essential for life. Now, why did I mention protein and fiber first? Well, they are the most satiating. Sit down and eat a 16 ounce ribeye steak and a bag of broccoli (just an example) — if you can say that you aren’t full after you’ve sat down and slowly eat the said meal for 15-20 minutes, then I call BS!

– Dietary fat… you need it, my friends. 0.5-0.7 grams per pound of body weight is what I recommend for optimal hormone production. Yep, dat dere dietary fat will keep your ‘mushroom tip’ in full form and supplement your body with the goods to go ahead and maintain strength. I cannot emphasize fat enough. The only ‘fats’ I suggest you avoid are processed transfats. Only avoid saturated fat if you are a little bitch (I know you aren’t, readers, but I’m saying that as a scare tactic). Red meat is great, WHOLE EGGS are GREAT, bacon is great… but also, don’t ignore nuts whether it’s natural peanut butter, almonds, walnuts, pistachios (what the fuck ever). Also… go out and pick yourself up a bottle of fish oil and take 3-5 of those fish oil caps a day. Trust me. Omega-3s are essential fatty acids just like saturated and monounsaturated fats.

But again, allow me to reemphasize the great effects of fiber. Along with protein-laden foods, fiber will satiate the hell out of you. If you abhor vegetables, try my routine: melt butter (yep… whole, natural butter) and sautee vegetables like broccoli with the said butter, throw some crushed red pepper or garlic (use whatever you want if you don’t like it/them) and tear it down as a side of whatever meal you are eating.

Broccoli contains compounds called indole-3-carbinol and diindolylmethane… they are natural anti-aromatase ‘agents’ that work to preserve testosterone levels. This, combined with adequate fat levels, is (are?) GREAT. By the way, aromatase is the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen. Google if you must.

Remember, saturated fatty acids from whole food sources are your friends. All the ‘studies’ out there related SFAs to heart disease and ‘high cholesterol’ are bunk in my book, but that’s another topic for another time.

ALSO, ALSO, ALSO:

A lot of supplement peddlers out there will say “HEY BRO, YOU NEED DIS, DAT AND DISSS” in order to leach money from your wallet. The only supplements I truly recommend that I think are beneficial? Well:

– A multivitamin (fuck megadosing vitamins; just get something that has at least 100% of the RDA of most of the vitamins in there.)
– Fish oil (yes)
– Vitamin D3 (hugely important. HUGE! 5,000 to 10,000 IU a day is what I recommend. Find a bottle with a good enough dosage/serving size. It’s generally cheap. A plethora of benefits, bro.)
– Vitamin K2 (this is the most underlooked and underrated vitamin out there. I recommend Life Extension’s “Super K” brand/vitamin that you can find on Amazon because it contains the MK4 and MK7 form of K2… if you want to know more about K2 I’ll be gladly to write more than I should about it. It helps synthesize calcium and D3 INTO your bones. Gets your ‘shit straight’, so to speak.)

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Guaranteed Ways for Men to Increase Testosterone Levels

I don’t think it is any secret that testosterone levels rise and fall with experiences. Winning, or dominating, raise the levels. Being subordinate lowers the level. I suspect just being confident, and having good posture, raises the level. Certainly, having sex with attractive women raises the level. Lifting weight or being active in general raises it. Eating a high fat diet will raise it.

I say these things above based on my own positive experiences. However, the testosterone increases that have been shown to have occurred following winning or watching a favorite sports team win is only a temporary boost that will last for about an hour compared to total testosterone and free testosterone balances. The hormone fluctuates during the day.

Being obese, a low level cubicle worker and/or subordinate/unconfident will very likely drop your testosterone.

There’s more than lifting weights and hitting on women, though. Start winning. Winning — at anything competitive — increases T.

testosterone2

What use are you if you never test your mettle and grow stronger? I guess it’s the “use it” or “lose it” effects of testosterone. Why should your pituitary and leydig cells in your testicles produce any if you aren’t going to be doing anything to require it?

A solid share of free time/hobbies should be spent competing. Healthy competition is, well, healthy. If you have to play a video game, play a skills-based video game where you are ranked. (It’s the difference between something like World of Warcraft — fairly non-competitive —and Starcraft — nerdy as it is, you are constantly reminded of your place in the rankings, and the better player will win).

Competition isn’t the be all, end all of everything, though.

— Lose fat. Especially belly fat, love handles and chest fat, all three being the worst fat for men.
— Avoid alcohol. If you must drink, limit yourself to once a month and don’t go overboard.
— Eat nuts. Almonds, pistachios and peanuts are my favorites. Brazil nuts are great, too, but treat them like a supplement due to high selenium content.
— Sautee your salads with extra virgin olive oil.
— Consider cooking with coconut oil.
— Eat red meat
— Take fish oil/omega-3 supplements unless you eat a lot of fish
— Hell… eat fish! I love salmon.
— take 5,000 to 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily.
— take 50mg of zinc picolinate a couple of times a week.
— Walk around. Be active.
— Lift weights. Or at the very least do bodyweight exercises.
— Steer your life towards a ‘productive’ orientation rather than a ‘consumptive’ one. Instead of continually consuming things for pleasure, create. Learn, innovate, grow, build and occasionally destroy. Stop relying purely on the productive labor of others, playing their video games, watching their art, eating their salty and sweet snack foods. Stop repeatedly tapping on your dopamine button like a cocaine addicted rat in a skinner box.
— Go out and start talking to women. After a 5 minute conversation with an attractive woman, male testosterone levels can increase up to 30% from baseline (relative to an increase of 13% for conversing with males). Just like what I said about competition and winning, this degree of testosterone increase is unlikely to exert any anabolic effect on muscle tissue, but can contribute to neurology.
— Be more social.

When you have higher testosterone levels, you’ll probably smell better to women.

Rekindling the Badass That I Used to and Now Need To Be

(Preface: I don’t mean badass as in uber douchenozzle Cool Hand Luke; I mean badass as in strong, hard and masculine.)

I don’t know what the fuck an alcoholic really is. Obviously a person that can’t make it a day without alcohol in their system that’s lying around in their piss and vomit all day is not exactly the antithesis of an alcoholic, but there are so many vague, subjective definitions as to what an alcoholic really is that I’ve struggled to wrap my mind around who is or who isn’t.

Was my dad an alcoholic? I don’t know. He died at the age of 49 due to cirrhosis of the liver and renal failure. He drank every day, but his attitude and personality never, ever changed. To me, he was the best father in the world. There’s not another one in the world that’s better, y’know? But every day, he had a Jack and [Diet] Coke. And of course, he paid the price, dearly, at the end of his life. But I don’t think he was an alcoholic. When I think of the word “alcoholic”, I think of families being ruined, and I think of a bum. My dad was not, and I loved my life as a kid. No families ruined here. Just a lot of pain when he passed. My dad came from nothing, a part of a family with seven brothers and two sisters, to making something out of himself: a successful business owner and all. He’s an inspiration to me.

The above has nothing to do with the rest of the post, other than yours truly trying to pinpoint what the fuck an alcoholic really is. Excuse my language, but expletives are my favorite word to use as a modifier and emphasizer. I guess, if you’ve been reading this blog, you’d be used to that by now.

Back in April and May 2010, despite all the bullshit that was going on with my ex-girlfriend Bekki and I, I was in pretty damn good shape. I drove myself to exert energy on a daily basis because I knew if I didn’t I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. I would wake up at 6:30 or 7 in the morning (on my own volition), walk a couple of miles, run a mile and a half, shoot some basketball in the driveway and do some curls with some dumbbells.

I felt damn good, too. Even if my mind didn’t correlate. Physically I felt like a beast. I felt strong and full of energy even though my mind was taking a toll on me due to all of the overthinking I was doing.

I want to get back to that point. Not the overthinking or stress, or anything else from that time period. Just the physical shape I was in and the amount of physical work I was doing to get myself there. I’m too damn flabby nowadays, too soft, too fatigued all the time. A result of the combination of many things.

I wish I had Mark Wahlberg’s gym. It’s just an awesome setup. Check it out. It’s a secluded, private area. Nobody can randomly stalk you. You can do whatever the hell you want in the privacy of your own place. He has his own basketball court and look at all of that damn weightlifting equipment.

mark whalberg's gymI’m jealous. Outside of technology like computers, gaming and having a TV, I’m not too much of a material guy. But having a private gym like that would be absolutely amazing. Especially that little basketball court.

Yo Mark, hook a brother up with all that cash you have, man.

But really, it sucks how lackadaisical I’ve been. That must change, and it will. I posted a picture of 43-year-old Dan Henderson the other day and made a point to mention how he’s in better shape than me tenfold. That’s sad, since I’m 22-years-old and should be bursting with testosterone-fueled energy ready to strengthen my body and wanting to fuck everything in sight (half-kidding about that second part). I’ve fallen prey to being sedentary.

Overcoming Estrogen Dominance

Zinc, zinc, zinc. Zinc is a natural enzyme supporter. Allegedly, zinc assists in over 200 enzymes within the body, helping them into cells and whatnot. Zinc is also touted as a natural aromatase inhibitor*… that’s a part about zinc that I’ve been interested in for a while.

Since last July (2012), I’ve been taking NOW (brand) Zinc Picolinate. To be honest, I haven’t noticed much of a difference within the way I feel, but I’m certain that it’s been beneficial whether I’ve realized it or not. I want to cut down on the aromatase, estrogen and estradiol. I’m certain that I have too much of that shit lingering in my body, and that’s not good for any man who’s looking to become a lean machine, a molecular structured biblical nightmare beast.

estrogendominance

You know why I still sense estrogen dominance in my body? My gut, love handles and chest. Too much fat in my chest assures me of this, especially the good ol’ man boobs. I can’t stand them, and I’ve been insecure about them for as long as possible. I give many people a facade in public. I suck my stomach in (I’m good at it) and look halfway decent when it comes to presenting myself. I also have a couple of shirts that makes the form of my torso look solid and my chest look hard, flat and tight. What a phony I am. I want to turn the facade into the real deal, and that’s what I’m going to be doing, rest assured.

“So, have you ever done any blood tests to be certain of estrogen dominance as in high estradiol levels?”, you are probably asking in your head and wondering… Answer: nope. No blood tests. Don’t need them. I just know. I always thought I had a masculine face, but I recently read that round faces in men is a sign of high estradiol production. Still not sure if that’s completely accurate, but with that, the gut, love handles and chest fat, I’m definitely sure of my body being HIGH in the aromatase enzyme. Aromatase ‘lives’ in fat cells, adipose tissue, what may have you… and I don’t need all of this adipose, yo. So I’m going to destroy it. Here I come.

*Aromatase is the enzyme that is responsible for converting testosterone into estrogen.

What is Masculinity and What It Means to be a Man

Obviously I’m a male (if you haven’t noticed yet; I won’t blame you if you haven’t). I’m 6’3″ at 220 lbs. I have a beard. And the last time I had my testosterone levels checked, my total T was 953.8 ng/dl (nanograms/deciliters).

Yet none of that means nothing. I personally know a 5’5″, 145 lb. man that’s more of a ‘man’ than I’ve ever likely been.

The whole ‘manliness’ and ‘masculine energy’ thing has become a bit of a meme on the internet for the last few years. It’s like a parody  in and of itself.

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My personal view, when I think of masculinity and what it ‘means’ to be a ‘man’, these words and descriptions form an influx into my head: confidence, assertiveness, decisiveness, energy, driven, persistent, a man that’s comfortable in his own shoes… the list goes on.

I was like that before the year 2010. If you’ve been reading the blog, things changed, so I won’t get into that.

I’m trying to rekindle the masculine edge I once have. I’ll do it. I know I will. The first thing I need to rebuild is my confidence. To be honest, in reality and outside of this anonymous blog I’ve been faking it. I’ve done an alright job at it, but I’m not a good actor, so I want to sublimate the fictitiousness of it all into a true to life but intangible, authentic form.

First thing’s first, I need to get back into working out, like I used to. I’m a big MMA and boxing advocate. Doing what I love will build confidence. Writing this blog, since writing is something I love (despite my hate for proofreading/editing), will build confidence. Just two examples that will augment my personal self-esteem. I also need exposure, to things that scare me, like for now, commitment. I’m not saying I’m going to go around and commit to the first girl that shows interest or anything like that, but I need to understand first and foremost that these girls, these women, out there aren’t Bekki (ex-girlfriend) and that it would be unfair to generalize them all as the kind of person she is today. Bitterness puts people into this monstrosity of a mindset, though.

“He who cannot obey himself will be commanded”
Friedrich Nietzsche

None of this means anything if I can’t parlay it all into action. I’ve lost control of my life due to my thoughts taking over. When you are depressed, you don’t feel like getting out of bed and busting your ass through the means of exercise. You feel like staying there and not even moving. It’s merely a reaction of the mind, not a physical reaction. Given the ‘mind over matter’ concept that you can instill in yourself (poof, magically), you just have to get up. Stand up. Move. Just move. Walk around your house. Do anything you can. You might not feel like it, but as soon as you get up and moving that itself can make all the differences in the world. Like the one saying goes, a body in  motion stays in motion.

I’m not the biggest Lynyrd Skynyrd fan, but as a man you’ve gotta be a free bird. Don’t chain yourself up to a woman, no matter how much you love her. This is not saying that you shouldn’t be loyal in a relationship, but what I’m saying is that you should have your own life, too. You should have your set of friends, your best friends; you should have your own hobbies and interests that are in specific particularity to you. As I wrote in a past post, the worst thing you can do as a man in a relationship (this is a mistake women can make, too, of course) is make your partner your world. Shutting out everything else in your life is a huge mistake. Trust me. I speak from experience and extreme pain.

I don’t like referring to the last 3+ years of my life as a lost cause, but to be honest, it probably was a waste of time, the way I allowed myself to dwindle as a man and overall human being. I hope that, in the future, I can reference those said years as learning points, mistakes to accrue wisdom from.

I miss waking up in the morning, being able to roll out of bed on a whim and tackling the day at hand with unequivocal confidence. There’s no reason I can’t do it again. And if I can do it, anybody can. It’s just a mindset issue.

What does it mean to be a man? If you are a adult male and you are living the life you want, there you go. You are a man. It doesn’t matter who you are or your lifestyle, if you are a man and you love your life, then there you go, you are ‘da man’.

The reason we feel pain and sadness as human beings, it’s our body’s natural defense mechanism and signal to our brain saying, “Hey, do something about this shit! This sucks!” as an order of motivation. Everybody, including myself, misinterprets this as a downer. Instead of doing something, we do nothing. The conscious understanding of this ‘signal’ will do your life some good.

I’m just a young buck and these are my personal thoughts. As I’ve also said before, failure IS an option. It’s the easiest option, like quitting. I have roughly a year or less to get myself straightened out to re-enter college next fall. Preparation is a must for yours truly, or I fail to attain my own personal goal.

The Dilemma of Loving Hot Showers

I’ve been thinking about converting to solely taking cold showers for a while now. This idea was first planted in my head back in January 2012 when I tried out a shower that was barely lukewarm. My scalp wasn’t as itchy and my skin wasn’t as dry. The problem is, I love hot showers and the way the warmth feels, how comfortable it is and how relaxing they can be.

Problem is? I have dry skin and some kind of irritating case of either psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis where I get red, rashy, blotchy patches on my face. I cure this by using coconut oil as a moisturizer and it goes away, but it’s irritating to have to use coconut oil as a facial moisturizer on a daily basis.

Cold showers can also have a solid effect on testosterone levels considering excessive heat on the ol’ boys can have detrimental effects on sperm.

But damn it, I love hot showers!