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  1. #1
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    Default DEVELOPING YOUR FOUNDATION

    gabecookingn.jpg
    Sometimes I wonder, if in the noise and chaos of the modern world, anyone cares about what we write for more than 24 hours. But I said I would write this, so here goes.

    No matter what weapons you carry or what secret ninja skills you learned at the shaolin temple, your foundation is physical fitness. Physical fitness will lead to mental fitness...proven. It will also provide for a total quality of life that the overfed, undisciplined sloths will never experience. How is this developed? That friends is the purpose of this post.

    Number One is establishing a good body composition. Being lean and muscular is best. Being fat and muscular is next best, but that fat will not help you with anything other than surviving starvation. Being fat and weak is the worst condition of man, truly the most common condition of man, and leads to the worst quality of life, or combative efficiency possible. So the goal is lean and muscular. Here is how we get there. If you need to lose that layer of survival food storage you will need to alter your diet. Yes, it will take focus and discipline, which in addition to fitness and common sense, is sorely lacking in America. How much do you want it?

    The diet that I use and suggest is a Modified Paleo Diet. Modified means that is a choice of food and not a religion. What it consist of is found in the second adjective - "paleo". It refers to natural foods easily sourced by our ancestors. In short, anything that runs, flies, swims or walks is a source of protein and edible. And things that grow on trees, plants, or "naturally" comes out of the ground is edible. The exception would be excessive fruit...that should be avoided due to the sugar content. What is not on the list are processed foods. Anything in a box, or package, or frozen, must be studied for contents. No bread, no chips, no gluten or dairy for most of us. No soy, or foods with added sugar. Again...if you'd rather suck start a 12 ga than give up your nightly pizza and beer...sorry...I can't help you.

    There is the notion that diet is a negative thing. It is not. Here is a run down of what I ate yesterday

    Breakfast - 4 eggs scrambled with spanish chorizo, bowl of overnight oats with Keto syrup, 12 oz of organic espresso with coconut cream.

    Lunch - 1/2 pound grass fed beef patty and sweet potato, with iced tea.

    Dinner - Shredded pork with cumin rice and a tumbler with Tito's and Soda.

    I drink two 32 oz Nalgene bottles of water per day. My goal is a gallon of h2o, but that is not easy even in the desert. If I am hungry, I will snack on jerky or nuts...no candy, chips, or anything sugary...cookies, candy, etc. Hardly the image most have in their heads is it?

    If you make a sumo wrestler look like a Swedish Bikini model, a Keto diet would be better in the short term. We can discuss that another time. Regardless of which diet you use a great ally in the body comp area is light cardio. This is different than high intensity sprints, and the idea of this is that steady state low intensity cardio tends to rely on body fat for fuel. Low intensity means that you are breathing slightly labored but you can have a conversation while doing it. Think a walk, a hike, casual rowing, low pressure jujitsu, kata, etc. This may not replace your high intensity work if you are already doing that...but I suspect those doing the high intensity stuff won't need to lose 20 pounds either.

    Me? I vary my cardio work between bag work, hikes, kata, or rowing.

    Muscle burns fat. The bro science says this and it is true. In conjunction with diet and adequate cardio, you need to build muscle. I recall one guy telling me he wanted to be strong but not bulky. I laughed...if you are strong, it will show. More to the point...everyone wants to be strong, and secretly (or openly), they want the first impression they make on people to be made by their pecs, delts and waist. Moreover, as you age, the more muscle mass you start with, the better your quality of life will be. More muscle = more better. The more muscle you add, the easier it will be for you to slim down the body fat you carry. The methods of adding muscle are quite well known now. Its not about strength, its about hypertrophy. That means that you should avoid focusing on powerlifting minimal reps stuff and specialize in multiple sets of 10-15 reps...or more. At the end of a session, your muscles worked should feel swollen...hence the term, the pump.

    Eat well, do some cardio, build muscle. Easy. All it costs is a gym membership and discipline.

    Other things - Forget the parochial mentality of American fair play. The mentality that reviles Sammy Sosa, Mark McGuire and Lance Armstrong. If there were substances that would turn you from a fat diabetic blob of manhood into a muscular 35 year old version of yourself, but it was looked down upon by society, what would you do? Go with the crowd or tell the crowd to kiss your ass? I am betting on door number two for all of you. I recall a Joe Rogan podcast I listened to. It was dealing with steroids and testosterone (two different animals often lumped together). Rogan was asked if one should use these substances in his fifties. Rogan responded that that was the perfect time. That at 50 you had at most likely another 30 years or so. He then noted how a generation ago a man in his fifties was nearing death. Today you can reach your seventies looking like Sylvester Stallone. What I am referring to is the use of exogenous hormones. We have an entire section discussing this but in short, here is what you do.

    If you are in your early 40s, you should find a progressive medicine doctor whose goal is optimization, nor "graceful aging". Most of these will be cash doctors that do not use insurance. That gives them the freedom to advise you based on you and not limited by what Lab Corp's values are or what Blue Cross demands they do to get paid. Educate yourself on these things so the doc will not be able to talk down to you. be as informed as they are on these matters if possible. You will be surprised at how little most doctors know about nutrition, exercise, or hormones. Get a blood test done and check thyroid and androgens...along with the usual blood panels. Based on my discussions with students and clients, I would think almost all men 50 or older should be on testosterone supplements. And truly, many in their late thirties would benefit from this as well. If you have low testosterone (based on you and how you feel, not on what LabCorp says), no amount of training or dieting will allow you to reach your goals.

    There are other points, but these are the major ones. Diet + Cardio + Muscle Building. And all supported with modern progressive supplementation. I am considering an online physical consulting business where I take the individual and build a program for them to achieve these points at any age. My creds? See the pics attached.

    sameage_n.jpg
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    1,180
    Bookmarked this page. Great summary, and thanks for doing it. Been (slowly) working on this but have gotten lazy with my diet in some aspects. Enjoying sugar too much when I was young (think kid) makes it all too easy to indulge (read: cave) while I'm stressed, and I've had a lot of that over the last year, and what with studying for the bar exam, that hasn't let up. Working on cutting that back out and adding back in my previous gym schedule, so that I lift like clockwork.

    On the gym point: It seems a little tough for someone with my body type to really build muscle mass. I'm 6'2", skinny, decently lean (not as much as when I first started law school, admittedly), with long muscle structure. Anything to especially focus on, bearing in mind the baseline of high reps? I know I've asked this before and perhaps just need to be more disciplined and patient, but I don't seem to have gotten very far with the muscle-building aspect.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    5,713
    Well done, Jefe.

    I'd add: fix what's broke. Try to avoid surgery, but if it's inevitable, don't delay. Recuperating right now from round 3 of kidney surgery, this time a 7mm on the left, and I should have gotten that squared away two years ago. (Gabe, drink more water. )
    On T: working now with a doc recommended by a brother here. Consider the effects of adrenalin dump and resulting cortisol over the course of 4 decades and it's no wonder old cops fade out or drop dead. It's not cheating. It's essential maintenance.
    More on this as the drugs wear off. Or not.
    Keep writing, Gabe, and we'll keep reading--and thinking, and acting.

    P.S.:
    On nutrition: sugar is poison. Pie, ice cream, most holy and revered donuts--these are all obvious. But fruit, as you point out, is far more insidious. We're no longer gorging on fruit in season against the long winters. Fruit is available all year long on demand. It's easy to defrost a pint of blueberries and add a little full fat kefir. Think of the antioxidants! What could be better? Except fruit is sugar, too--and sugar is poison.
    I told the doc there was no way I was gonna cut down on meat consumption or go Mediterranean. He said drink more water, then. And I'll continue to do so. For some reason I can't get the image of a big plate of shredded pork out of my mind. Alas, no Lindo Mexico anywhere nearby.
    Last edited by Papa; 05-13-2022 at 12:06 PM.
    Warrior for the working day.

    Es una cosa muy seria. --Robert Capa

    "...I rode the range in a Ford V8...Yippy Yi Yo Ki Yay." --Johnny Mercer (as modified)

    "What cannot be remedied must be endured."

    Vale et omnia quae.

    P:28

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Western WA
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    6,940
    Quote Originally Posted by Faramir2 View Post
    On the gym point: It seems a little tough for someone with my body type to really build muscle mass. I'm 6'2", skinny, decently lean (not as much as when I first started law school, admittedly), with long muscle structure. Anything to especially focus on, bearing in mind the baseline of high reps? I know I've asked this before and perhaps just need to be more disciplined and patient, but I don't seem to have gotten very far with the muscle-building aspect.
    I have always had a similiar build. Always been lean and struggle to put on muscle mass. A high metabolism is a good thing; for me it's been a blessing in that I don't worry so much about fat. But, some of us just have a harder time building muscle than others.

    Each of us has a different body and our bodies will respond differently. Yes the basics are the same - good diet, a good mix of cardio, weights, and mobility exercises. But the specifics might be different.

    The same exercises apply to everyone but you have to figure out what mix works best for YOU. Low weight/high reps, heavy weight/low reps, medium/medium, etc. Ideally you cycle through these over time. I think the body adapts relatively quickly so constantly changing the demands imposed on it will keep it challenged.

    My recipe is consistently sticking with certain exercises (bench, deads, squats, pull ups, etc.) but varying exactly how I do them. Regular squat vs single leg squat vs lunge variations, etc. Particularly when working around an injury...maybe you can't do a regular bench but you are still better off doing other exercises, even if very light, than doing nothing at all.

    Another thing that I think is important is specific exercises that target muscles you may have missed before. A good example - I've always done curls but haven't consistently done variations that really hit the brachialis. Studying up on variations that hit different muscle aspects that you've previously missed can help fill things out.

    The most important thing is simply being consistent doing SOMETHING.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

    Upcoming classes:

    Pistol Groundfighting, Texas

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    AR15ONA
    Posts
    615
    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel Suarez View Post
    Sometimes I wonder, if in the noise and chaos of the modern world, anyone cares about what we write for more than 24 hours. But I said I would write this, so here goes.

    Some people do.


    My XO and I are constantly learning from the writings, videos, and in person interactions with our teachers. Namely you Gabe, Brent, and Papa. Its no exageration to say that if you want to be the best, you have to learn from the best. Its a privilidge to learn from others willingly given experience. Others beyond the pale.


    Too many people spit in the faces of those who have more knowledge, motivation or willpower than themselves.


    What a f*cking waste.


    There is so much knowledge thats available to us and people are too arrogant or weak to internalize it and change.


    Nutrition, fitness, training - it's all out there, available to anyone who wants to learn and then more importantly - do it. Now.


    As the quote goes: "Its later than you think".

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    1,180
    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Yamamoto View Post
    I have always had a similiar build. Always been lean and struggle to put on muscle mass. A high metabolism is a good thing; for me it's been a blessing in that I don't worry so much about fat. But, some of us just have a harder time building muscle than others.

    Each of us has a different body and our bodies will respond differently. Yes the basics are the same - good diet, a good mix of cardio, weights, and mobility exercises. But the specifics might be different.

    The same exercises apply to everyone but you have to figure out what mix works best for YOU. Low weight/high reps, heavy weight/low reps, medium/medium, etc. Ideally you cycle through these over time. I think the body adapts relatively quickly so constantly changing the demands imposed on it will keep it challenged.

    My recipe is consistently sticking with certain exercises (bench, deads, squats, pull ups, etc.) but varying exactly how I do them. Regular squat vs single leg squat vs lunge variations, etc. Particularly when working around an injury...maybe you can't do a regular bench but you are still better off doing other exercises, even if very light, than doing nothing at all.

    Another thing that I think is important is specific exercises that target muscles you may have missed before. A good example - I've always done curls but haven't consistently done variations that really hit the brachialis. Studying up on variations that hit different muscle aspects that you've previously missed can help fill things out.

    The most important thing is simply being consistent doing SOMETHING.
    Aight, I just need to kick myself in the pants and commit to the long haul. Nothing like the simple solution, eh?

    Funny you mention single-leg squats: Today I emphasized legs. I noticed I wasn't dropping as far on the right. That leg is a bit less developed than the left—and additionally, I have a couple of unusually tight muscles in that leg. Solution: stretch and work that leg to help work out that tension and imbalance.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    422
    What is suggested is simple: Diet / Lite Cardio /Build muscle. So simple that many find it difficult to adhere to for some reason. This is where discipline lives; as all (most?) here would agree with.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Beyond The Wall
    Posts
    49,554
    Was in conversation today with an old student that has some interesting takes on food shortcuts.

    More to follow.

    And yes...I will be launching a fitness consulting service for those who want to accomplish this but do not know how.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Exiled in Texas
    Posts
    7,942
    Does consulting include connections to a good doc who will write a prescription to keep T at optimal levels rather than just barely above the minimum?

    I haven't had to supplement yet, but the age is fast approaching. Fortunately, I'm now in an area with a lot more medical professionals, but I still haven't found the person that the bros would call a "hook-up."
    Virtute et Armis

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    92
    Quote Originally Posted by LawDog View Post
    Does consulting include connections to a good doc who will write a prescription to keep T at optimal levels rather than just barely above the minimum?

    I haven't had to supplement yet, but the age is fast approaching. Fortunately, I'm now in an area with a lot more medical professionals, but I still haven't found the person that the bros would call a "hook-up."
    This)++

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