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Chaos and Pain

  /  tips   /  Just Settle Down And Bodybuild, Bro, Or My Answer To Just About Every Question I’m Asked

Just Settle Down And Bodybuild, Bro, Or My Answer To Just About Every Question I’m Asked

Even a broken clock is right twice a day, but no matter what time that clock says, Jeff Dunham is never funny. Jeff Dunham’s effect on a comedy show is very much like an ebola outbreak’s effect on Central Africa tourism- you only head toward it if your goal is to stamp out the infection and cart away dead bodies.

In the past I would publish articles in a series called “Ask The Asshole” but as the questions began to resemble each other more and more, and my answers became basically rote repetitions of one another, I abandoned the series. You might think that I would enjoy posting my hilarious repartee with people who should never publicly utter these questions, but frankly I’ve grown so weary of answering stupid questions that most days I’ve got less funny in me than a dialogue between Howie Mandel and Jeff Foxworthy scripted by that hideously uncomedic asshat with the puppets. Until now, that is, because if I can’t laugh in the face of a coming apocalypse fueled by gun-toting, sexless autists, idiotic partisan politics, hyper-emotional responses to trivial events, and the fact that “e-sports” are likely going to be in the next Winter Olympics, I might as well just eat a goddamned frisbee and get it over with.

“Gurrrrl, I gotta wear a belt in the grocery store because I look hot in it, right? Right?!?! Bro, why’s she laughing? Quick! Someone post a pic of me on Insta so I can get validationnnnn…”

That’s not to say I don’t like helping people out- I give out more free training advice than all of the dudes in Rogue gear scamming on hot chicks at the gym combined, only the advice I give is actually sought out and appreciated. It’s frustrating, however, when the answer is so often the same. As such, I’m just going to post this in hopes that people will actually read it and take it to heart.

If you look like this, you’re not a powerlifter or any other kind of strength athlete. Stick to convincing idiotic Midwesterners to stab each other and leave the weightroom to people who belong there.

Let’s start with competing- most people probably shouldn’t bother. If you’re an adult male over 170 lbs and you’re not in the 300-400-500 (bench-squat-deadlift) club, DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT COMPETING IN POWERLIFTING. I don’t know what the equivalent is in oly, but I’m sure such a standard is available online. There are too many of you goofballs running around with truly mediocre lifts asking for advice like “should I cut to 181? I’m SIX FEET TALL and bench well under 300.” I’m not going to use the word manlet, but if you’re over 5’6″, you should be in the 198s or higher. And you should be far stronger than you are before you compete, anyway- the definition of the word compete is to “strive to gain or win something by defeating or establishing superiority over others who are trying to do the same,” so if your lifts such, you’re not competing. Instead, you’re putting your weakness on public display for no apparent reason.

If your diet doesn’t involve decent amounts of barbecue, you’re probably weaker than an anemic kitten and have the physique of a prepubescent girl.

That brings us to my next point- I highly doubt any of you are eating enough. Before you start protesting about how you get fat if you eat too much, you’re eating too little and training too little. I’ve written pretty much endlessly on weight gain diets, and yet I still get absurd questions about cutting when people are tall and skinny. Or short and skinny. Either way, it’s stupid- if you want to be strong, eat to get strong. Leaning out is the easy part. Getting obscenely strong and jacked is by far and away the hard part- if it wasn’t, you would see far more guys in the gym benching over 500 with guts, rather than a bunch of wusses in spandex struggling with 225.

With eight weeks of starvation and maybe four lackluster days a week a Planet Fitness, you too could have this body! InB4 Redditors start whining about gear.

I’ll repeat that one more time- if getting lean was the hard part and getting strong and huge was the easy part, there’d be a lot less Zyzz and a lot more Eddie Hall in every gym in the country. Any wuss who loves the stairmill and hates rare steak can get a six-pack. Hell, asceticism of every stupid goddamned variety is in vogue now with the alt-right, bitch-made neo-stoics, and whatever other variety of wuss who cannot control the extent of his or her indulgences is running around. Not doing stuff is easy- it’s the lazy asshat’s way of attempting to be interesting.

Asceticism is for wusses, not feral executioners stalking the Iron Abattoir.

“A contemporary physique star, Bobby Pandour (1876-1914), was an athlete in several senses of the term. A fellow strongman remembered visiting Pandour one morning at his friend’s Parisian hotel room. There he found the strongman lounging in his pajamas and surrounded by a large, animated crowd of ladies clad only in their diaphanous negligees. The strongman was apparently none the worse for wear despite a performance that must have been every bit as exhausting as the one he did on stage” (Chapman 75).

Name a single awesome lifter or generally badass who was an ascetic. You can’t. Big personalities have big appetites and do great things. Case in point: the first man to bench press 600 lbs, squat 800 lbs, and total 2000 lbs in a powerlifting meet was Pat Casey. Pat Casey trained more in a day than most people train in a week, and he ate enough food to feed a sub-Saharan African family for a month. Think you eat enough? Pat Casey ate gargantuan amounts of food and then chugged 4-6 quarts of whole milk every day just to round out his calories. That’s 2400 to 3600 calories and 128 to 196 grams of protein a day just from his milk, and it was nothing for bodybuilders of the day to eat 6000 to 9000 calories a day to pack on mass (Roach). Are any of us consuming a full day’s worth of calories as an afterthought, on top of massive meals? I highly doubt it, because if we were, there’d be far more XXL shirt in our gyms rather than mediums.

“Casey’s early ambition was simple: hoist ever heavier poundage, grow larger and ever more muscular. His continual training and his copious consumption of calories had an incredible effect on his physique. The more he ate, the larger he grew; the larger he grew, the stronger he became; the stronger he became, the hotter his young male metabolism raged. Pat drank six quarts of whole milk each day in addition to eating everything he could lay his hands on. It was reported in Muscle Builder magazine that Casey used to stop and eat a packed lunch (“meatloaf sandwiches smothered in mayonnaise”) during his day-long iron sessions.'”

“He mimicked what he saw [the gym rats] perform: lots of exercises, lots of sets, marathon training sessions, training the same muscles three times a week. Those endurance weight training sessions beat the chubby Irish boy into shape. Pat thought nothing of spending all day in the gym, doing whatever suited his fancy, taking as long as he needed between sets to rest and fully recover” (Gallagher).

After Casey hit a 615 bench in competition with a two-second pause, broke the 800 lb squat barrier and the 2000 total barrier in the same meet, he retired from competition. Know what he did then? He cut bodyweight and was a non-competitive bodybuilder for the remainder of his life. Training just two days a week he was able to maintain most of his muscle and rock a physique most lifters would sell their sister into sexual slavery for because he’d already put in the hard work of getting huge. See where I’m going with this? Get big as hell- leaning out is the easy part, and you and your bullcrap about how hard it is to shed weight can go screw yourself because he only person who believes that bullcrap is your stupid ass.

How I generally feel when answering a question and am told I don’t understand something about the special snowflake asking my opinion. You’re not special. This does not require any mathematics or chemistry. It is all much, much more simple than you would like to think. You just dislike the answer because it’s not 10 minute abs.

This brings us to my final point, to which there are absolutely no exceptions- if you are a strength athlete and are stalled out, burned out, frustrated, injured, coming off a meet, or coming back off a layoff, you should give some strong consideration to doing some bodybuilding for a while. I cannot count the number of times someone has asked me a question about what to do, all in a goddamned panic about what will happen to this lift or that lift because of whatever mundane crap they’re freaking out about has happened, and my response is always the same- settle down, bro, and just bodybuild. That’s it.

Step 1.

SETTLE DOWN. It ain’t that deep, as they say. If you’re not that big or strong anyway, who cares if a lift slides a bit? And if you are really big and strong, that will all bounce back in short order.

Step 2.

Leave your house and go to one of those old-fashioned book stores. You know, the ones so old timey that everything in them wasn’t written by some know-nothing anonymous douchelord on the internet. Buy a couple Flex mags, or some Muscular Developments. Then take them home and read them at your leisure, while you’re scarfing hamburgers because you need the calories and protein to grow. From those magazines you can get at least one, if not more, interesting workouts that are certainly different from what you’ve been doing. For a month, do that. No conjugate nonsense, no goddamned RPEs, just lift weights, and try new stuff. Find out what tiny muscle groups you can engage with machines and cables and train them. Fix your muscular imbalances. And most of all, discover the great, wide, wonderful world that lays before you when actually give yourself options and explore them.

If you really want to melt your mind, do some research about the way Bob Cicherillo trained. The man did absolutely no compound movements of any kind and was a goddamned mountain. Try the super slow (10/10) method Ken Hutchins invented that was crazy popular in the 60s to bust plateaus. Read up on Peary Rader’s old stuff. Download some stuff off Sandow Plus and use that, or jump on The Tight Tan Slacks Of Dezso Ban and try some of the stuff you read there. During that time, don’t pay any goddamned attention to anything anyone says about anything training or diet related on the internet (including me). Just research and do your own thing and stop getting caught up in the great big bag of bullcrap the internet age has turned lifting into, because lifting weights and getting jacked actually used to be fun. Seriously- it really was.

You’re only as smart as your dumbest idea, but if you don’t think at all, you’re just retarded. Think about how you’re going to slaughter the weights before you enter the killing ground.


Chapman, David. Sandow The Magnificent. Chicago: University of Illinois, 2006.

Roach, Randy. Splendid specimens: The history of nutrition in bodybuilding. Westin A. Price Foundation. 14 Dec 2004. Web. 27 Feb 2018.

Wilhem, Bruce. Pat Casey- Part One. The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban. 24 Apr 2008. Web. 27 Feb 2018.

Wilhem, Bruce. Pat Casey- Part Two. The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban. 28 Apr 2008. Web. 27 Feb 2018.

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