Friday, March 29, 2024


Some time ago, maybe 10 years ago, I heard that a movie about Southern Rock/Metal was premiering in Philadelphia,  including a live concert with a Southern Rock/Metal band. I think it was Buzzoven? I really can't remember. I'm a huge fan of that genre, so I got in touch with one of my personal training clients, Pat, and he was a big fan too, so he agreed to meet me there. It was in a really sketchy part of Philly, but Philly really wasn't that bad back then, crime-wise. Or maybe I was naive. But I made it to the place, a hipster bar that only served craft beers. I didn't know, so I, of course, asked for a Budweiser and the girl with the bandana tied up in her hair was like, "We don't sell Budweiser." Obvious disdain in her voice. So I asked for something that tasted like Budweiser. It was good. I felt like an outsider in hipster land.

Then Pat came in and we had some beers and then went upstairs to the Theatre/Live music area. So the movie hadn't started yet and the band was out drinking at the bar. Well, I had just read a story in a metal magazine about the drummer being this badass drinker of Jack Daniels like he's always messed up because he's never without his Jack. So I see him sitting at the bar and I go over to him and I order us shots of Jack. I crush it and he does okay but nothing great. I ordered 2 more. I crush it again. He's slowly finishing his. I order 2 more and he says, "Whoa, whoa, I gotta play tonight. Like he holds up his hands saying he is done, and I'm crazy. What a pussy.  

So then we watched the movie and it was great and then the band came on. I'm on the front row.  During the show, Dixie Dave, the bassist, is motioning to the crowd that he needs a drink really bad. Everybody is ignoring him but me. I know from reading about Dixie Dave that he drinks Jim Beam like a madman. I run to the bar and get him a shot of Beam. He thanked me gratefully in gesture and then after the concert, he came up to me and said to me, "You saved me, brother." I was happy to help. A part of me felt guilty for helping him continue with his obvious alcoholism, but I told myself that it was rock and roll, so screw it. 

Then, the funniest thing happened. The lead singer came over to me and sat down at the bar and was like, "Thanks for the support, man." And I bought him a drink and we talked some. He was a little fidgety. Now, at the time, I had to be like 245 pounds, pretty thick. And he looks over at me and in a straight face, asks me if I knew where he could get some cocaine. Me? I look like a cop, first off, and I didn't fit the profile of a typical coke head. I had more of a beer and beef preference and looked it. So I said, "Do I look like I do cocaine, brother?" He was like "Oh, sorry, man." It was no big deal. I was flattered that he thought I could get a hookup- like I was a cool guy who knew people. Maybe he thought I was in like the redneck mafia or something, because I was in camo at the time, of course. I had a grand time. I made it back to the truck without being mugged and headed home. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Movies for Real Men

I love watching old movies. The ones made before all this bullshit came upon us. You know what I am talking about. The ones made before everyone became so sensitive about everything and all butt hurt and all. I think the first one that made me say, "What the hell?" was when Demi Moore kicked a Navy Seal's ass. That was in 1997. Demi Moore couldn't kick anyone's ass, ever, man or woman, let alone one of the baddest men on the planet. That was the beginning, and then it was all downhill from there. But forget about all that. Let us focus on some killer movies. The Outlaw Josey Wales, for one. 

What a movie! I watch it whenever I can, which is usually once a week. Josey is a simple Missouri farmer during the end of the Civil War, just out plowing the field one day with his son and along came some Kansas Red legs and burn his house down and kill his family including his little boy. Josey is knocked unconscious and wakes up to find everything he knew or loved gone forever. He digs his pistol out of the rubble of his burned down house and begins practicing shooting and at first can't hit shit and then, after much practice, becomes a great shot. Then he teams up with Bloody Bill Anderson and goes to war. He becomes one of the last hold outs of the Missouri Guerrillas and has to take off so he isn't captured. He teams up with a Native American man when he is hiding out in the Indian Nations, and then rescues a Native American woman from some dastardly guys and she and her "mangy red blood hound" join Josey and the man from the Indian Nations for a grand adventure. He has to kill some bad guys a long the way and makes his way eventually to Texas. I won't spoil the ending for you folks that haven't seen it. 

There are some things I would change about the movie. I wouldn't have him spit tobacco juice on the dog, and I definitely wouldn't let him have a damn love interest in the movie. There's only one scene where he's all romantic, but it makes me feel nauseous watching it. In real life, the woman, Sondra Locke , was Clint's girlfriend at the time, so I guess he had to put her in there for some damn reason. She, to my tastes, is a little homely, but Clint had different tastes, I reckon. I just forward through these parts and pretend that they aren't in there.

Other than those few things, the movie is flawless. Here is how I judge a movie: If it makes you feel a certain way after watching it, like you want to be that character , then it is a great movie. The first time I watched it, I wanted to get on a horse, grab some chewing tobacco and a pistol and ride out west. Same thing with Rocky. I was just a little kid, but after watching it, I put on some gray sweats and a cross necklace and went for a jog, throwing punches the whole time. That's what movies should do, inspire you, make you fired up and make you want to be the main character. I do remember buying some Beech Nut Chewing Tobacco and practicing spitting after I saw Josey do it. You could buy it back in the old days as a kid if you found the right store. I didn't die from it, by the way.  Anyway, Josey was great because he barely said anything but the few words he did speak were awesome. I know the movie by heart, by the way. If you are a man, you should know every line. If you don't, get to memorizing. 

The only modern movie that is worth a damn is Hell or High Water, directed by the Yellowstone guy. I can't watch Yellowstone because Costner is a gun hating pinko. Bet you didn't know that. True Grit (the remake) is pretty good too. 

The only love story any good was 1993's True Romance, But there's a bunch of killing and a Rottweiler in it and the girl is sexy and tough, so it's okay.

Rocky I and III are classics. Rocky II was a little too cheesy and Rocky IV was great only for the training scenes. Rocky V doesn't count. The 70's and 80's were great for movies and movie stars. Clint, Stallone, Burt Reynolds were my favorites. And you didn't know every damn thing about them, like what they had for breakfast and there wasn't TMZ with the feminine guy host who drinks out of a cup with a straw. No self respecting man uses a straw. Come the freak on with that shit. Do men even know that rule anymore? If you were never taught that, consider yourself taught now. When the waitress brings you a glass with a straw, take it out and slam it on the table. She should know better. Maybe I should make a post about what a man should and should not do to maintain Man Card status. The first thing on the list is to watch The Outlaw Josey Wales. That will get your testosterone up and you won't want to use a straw, it'll just be naturally in you to refuse it.

I almost forgot about Charles Bronson's 1975 movie, Hard Times. He's a bareknuckle boxer who fights all comers. Fights on the docks and shit. There is a love interest in it, but as far as I can remember, there isn't any kissing or any of that crap. Just lots of fighting and Bronson being a the strong and silent type.

I'm sorry to say that the days of badass movies are gone forever. Now, it's all shaky cameras and sensitive leading men, wearing pink and talking too much. 

Thursday, March 7, 2024


I had a friend die the other day from cancer. I have 3 other friends that have cancer right now. Only one of them is over 60 years old.They all work out, all weight train, and watch their diets relatively close. Better than 90% of the population, I reckon. It makes you wonder , right? Makes you wonder just what the hell is going on. The fucking water supply, pesticides. I had a farmer tell my son how they spray pesticides all over their farm. What choice does he have? No crops, no pay, no food. And the government doesn't see the need to ban this stuff.  They are too busy insider trading to worry about us little folks.What always makes me wonder is how these corporations who make this stuff and the government who allows this stuff , don't see that it affects them too. They have kids, too. Grandkids, wives, husbands. It's in your bloodstream, it's in everyone's blood. These evil assholes are all living here and eating the same shit and breathing the same air as all of us. You can't escape it , no matter how powerful you are or how much money that you have. I talked to a guy the other day who used to work for the water commission. or whatever they call it, in Philadelphia years ago. The guys in charge of the drinking water in the city. He said, "Dude, you wouldn't believe what's in that water, rats, bugs, all kinds of shit." We try to eat organic and then I read about the organic farms next to a pesticide farm, how it bleeds over into the organic field. 

I see it when I go hunting. Plastics everywhere, I mean all over the place. I hunt the Susquehanna River in Maryland sometimes and washed up on the shore is so much plastic that  it is disgusting. Plastics are a huge problem. Our local supermarket leaves crates of bottled water outside the store in the summer. Nah, none of that leaches into the water. Too much money to be made, too much power to be had, too much corruption every damn where, allowing all of this stuff.  

I live on a good sized creek. You can't eat the fish out of there, no way. It's too polluted. Hell, you can't eat the freshwater fish anywhere in the state of New Jersey. And maybe you shouldn't eat the saltwater fish , either. 

All of it is a big toilet and plastic poison heaven. 

What are we leaving for the next generation(s)? A plastic planet, a pesticide planet, a planet that kills you and your family. And now, it is all too far gone to fix. We just keep taking it from these jerks. Do we even have a voice? Does anyone care?

Wednesday, February 28, 2024


I just watched Arnold Schwarzenegger on Jocko's podcast. I still can't forgive the "screw your freedom" post that he made and never will, but I have always been a huge fan of Arnold's as well as Mentzer and Platz. Arnold started it all and brought bodybuilding and lifting weights into the minds of millions. I dare say that without Arnold, there would not be all of the gyms and emphasis on resistance training that there is now. No "normal' people lifted weights back in the 70's. There were some college football teams lifting weights, but not many regular folks were training with weights. I swear , people used to think that it would make one dumb if they lifted weights, or muscle bound or would enlarge their hearts and make them explode. Crazy talk, but not back then. 

Hell, Alan Alda was how women liked their men back then. He was about 137 pounds soaking wet, and had 12 inch arms maximum. He was sensitive and smart but couldn't lift a newspaper without breaking a sweat. spindly with a capital "S". I am always so glad that I grew up when I did, because I was around to see the genesis of pumping iron in the world, basically.  And Arnold started it all. And I'm glad that I was around when Arnold and Stallone were all ripped up and they were on the Muscle and Fitness covers and Clint was lifting weights too. Men were men's men back in that time. There was no toxic masculinity, there was just bad ass dudes that made movies, guys that we all wanted to look like. Hell, I watch movies today and I never think, "I want to look like that guy." As soon as Arnold or Stallone made an appearance with their arms showing or their shirts off on the big screen, my friends and I were like, "Arms are looking good" or "Shit, Stallone looks much more ripped up than he did in Rocky 2."  But we all wanted to look like them, and I would have loved to look like Arnold the most. These guys were like superheroes without wearing costumes. There were thousands and thousands of kids all over the world that were inspired to train by Arnold and Stallone.

It was a cool time to be alive and to be a teenager. I read muscle magazines from cover to cover and when Arnold was on the cover I got extra excited. Inside there were the same old articles regarding their training but the pics were what was really cool. I'd scan through the old Muscle Builder Power mags (the forerunner of Muscle and Fitness) and those black and white Artie Zeller pictures from the old Gold's were so inspiring.  The guys were training hard or cutting up with each other. It looked like they were having a blast.

It seemed like a dream,  California back then. The sunshine and the beach and Gold's. I thought about that all the time, going out there and training when Arnold was in the gym, squatting with Platz, hanging out with the Barbarian Brothers.  C'mon man! That stuff was so cool. That Gold's picture where everyone is standing out front? They were all in that picture, all the big guys of the day.

We all waited in line whenever his movies came out. I can remember somebody talking shit about Arnold one time and I got pissed. Funny, huh? But Arnold was ours, we knew the Pumping Iron Arnold and we were overjoyed by his success as he rose in the ranks to become the number 1 actor in the world. I read Education of a Bodybuilder over and over and stared at the pictures for hours. 

He still loves bodybuilding and talking about training, you could hear it in his voice when he was talking about it with Jocko. Except for a few hiccups here and there, Arnold has done our world right. Hell, he started our world.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Common Sense

Coaches, you have a great responsibility to do no harm to your athletes. You must study, you must have a plan, you must know what the hell you are doing.

Oh my.  I just had a conversation with a 12 year old (my kid) who told me that it really bothers his arm when he does rotator cuff exercises before he throws. Well, duh. Why would anyone ever  perform exercises that fatigue your shoulder and arm before you throw full speed? Isn't that common sense not to do that? 

Common sense.

So I told my son to not do the exercises, and if the "coach" has a problem to give me a call. He won't. But I would welcome the opportunity to teach him about the proper way to do things. But most folks have so much ego that there is no way that they would listen.

The baseball warmup shit is way out of touch.  Here is an idea: Just throw easy before you throw hard. Too simple, I know. It must be exotic, this whole band/rotator cuff thing. Do them AFTER you throw, and do them perfectly. Baseball always has crazy ideas. I had a "pro" strength coach that actually asked out loud about a major league pitcher, "Why would he ever need to do a squat?" Coaches are always trying to reinvent the wheel. Why?  There are so many myths in all the sports, but baseball takes the cake. Maybe because weight training is relatively new to the sport? Bunch of "functional" training. That's a good one. The hell does that even mean? Light, silly shit? Yep.

I've pulled my kids off of all kind of teams. When the football coach of my son's 10 year old team years ago wouldn't allow the kids to take their helmets off and have water to drink while on turf with the temperature 110 degrees, I took my son off of team. What should have happened is that the coach should have swapped places with the kids and see how he felt on that turf. What a dumbass.

That's almost as stupid as running laps on any team except for a team of marathon runners. 

It isn't enough to just do what every body else does. Study, man. Just because the "top guy" in your region does it, don't make it right. Damn.

This is a problem, not just in this case, but all freaking over. 

Also, the obsession with abdominal work is out of control.

Should you perform ab work before you squat? No. Why? Think about it. What is holding you upright in the squat? Your abs. Should they be tired when a weight is on your back? Nope. 

Squats, deadlifts weights, cleans are all great ab exercises. You wanna do abs? Do some planks if you must. But the kids with the best squat and deadlift will be able to do them all day long. 

It is all so frustrating and silly and it makes me wanna throw up when I see the bullshit out there. The problem is, it never changes. Just be the guy who doesn't follow the trends, who follows a common sense approach,  a safe approach and a learned approach. It's not that hard to do.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Stuff Again

I have to admit that this time of year puts me into a slight depression. More than slight, actually. February and March in South Jersey are months that do nothing for me.  Just cold and gray and ugly for no reason. You see, hunting season is over, specifically goose hunting. The doldrums have arrived.

If you aren't into hunting, you may not understand, but those who venture outdoors with a dog and a gun will get it. Or anybody that hunts anything at all will get it. All you do is wait all year for next hunting season. Fishing is coming but it's not the same as hunting to me. 

And hunting keeps me away from the masses of people who need their asses kicked.  Like the guy who works at Primo's Hoagies who had the shitty attitude. Little prick. I pictured myself ripping his arms off of his body. Or the guy who blew his horn at me when I didn't move fast enough for his liking at the green light. Or the fake ass tough guy at the gym with the fat ass girlfriend who thought he was a badass, eyeballing people who were just there to lift weights. Yeah, you are tough. And nobody cares about your girlfriend, believe me.  Everybody sucks so bad that if I have to go out into the great unwashed, it's all I can do not to lose my shit.  But I have kids and I actually have to consider consequences, which means that I am maturing, I believe. It's funny, women are all mature at 25 and men are mature at 50, 60. I'm all civilized now and people sue everyone for everything so I bury all of that daily stuff way down inside. 

Maybe everyone used to be like those people and I just didn't notice it. Maybe because I'm older now, that I notice it more and have lost my patience for it. Maybe I watch too many Youtube videos of people in college who don't even know what the Declaration of Independence is. I may be biased against the younger generation, but I don't think so.  

I know there are kids out there that work hard. At my gym, there are a couple of young girls who really train hard. I can't really think of any guys who do unless that are in their late 20's. I'm sure that there are some. There is a lot of gathering around the bench talking with the young guys. But at least they are in the gym, right?

Do you remember in the old days when everyone said that if you worked construction that it would get you ready for football? People would be like,"Man, you need a construction job over the summer." or "Bobby is working construction, man, he's gonna be ready." There may be some merit to it. I was a gopher for a window company one summer and I ran and lifted my ass off on the job all day. It was relatively light lifting. But something about it helps get you in shape. After they asked me to caulk some windows one day and I did a shitty job, I became the designated gopher or go-for.  The boss looked at my work and in his Louisiana Cajun accent said, "Oh no, bro. That's not good for the home team." I'm not sure what that meant but it was not good. But the benefits were good. Heat acclimation, GPP. Toughness. You work one of those jobs and then you stop off on the way home for a hoagie and a pre-workout. You get to the gym and you are tired but the strong stuff kicks in and you have a great training session. Two beers on the couch at home and then you collapse in bed and then get up and do it all over again the next day. And you get some sprints in there, too. Recipe for success.

If you love combat sports, check out ONE Championships on Amazon Prime. There is some on YouTube also. The May Thai is brutal and the MMA is killer also. These guys get after it. Blood and guts. Bunch of warriors. I love UFC but these fighters seem different. Maybe they aren't as good as the UFC guys, but it sure seems like they are to me.

Speaking of UFC, I hate it when fighters won't retire when they need to. Tears me up inside. But then I look at it this way: It's what they love more than anything else in the world. Who am I to tell them to retire? What else do they have? Nothing like walking into an arena with 20,000 fans cheering for you and then you knock somebody out! You think that is a high unlike no other? And then they retire and they may have money but the baby is crying and the wife isn't used to you being around and you just want to fight, man. Look at Fury. Love him. He's done. But when he doesn't have a fight to train for, he's all depressed and shit. I don't blame him. I only had one official Muay Thai fight but the feeling of winning that fight was crazy. Much different than football or powerlifting. You have sweat coming out of you before the fight that is a different kind of sweat. It's an adrenaline sweat, a fight or flight sweat. You can't believe how hard your heart is beating. That high was amazing. All of your senses are alive. And that's just doing it once. Imagine doing it 50 times! Better than any drug, I bet.

In the 70's and 80's, guys would play too long in pro football. Now, not so much. Players are more aware of the health risks today and they are much richer now. Guys would play 14 years because they needed the money and for the love of it. OJ Simpson could barely run and he was playing. Joe Namath, too. He could barely walk, let alone run. Ken Stabler, Earl Campbell. They were all tore up. Rules were different, guys got the shit kicked out of them on that cement turf. Just like cement And if it was cold, it was even harder feeling. Those owners from back then should be ashamed. 

I am sitting in my truck watching my two sons hit baseballs. I can't stand them but they do love sports and lifting weights. I'm so glad they aren't playing damn video games. We don't have any in our house. I threw the console off the steps and chopped it in half with a shovel. That was before I matured. But I really can't stand kids sitting around doing nothing. Or video games. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2024


 I was laughing my ass off when I saw the picture of Kelce kissing whats-her-name on the field. Funny story: The last I heard of  the Taylor girl was when she sang the song about Tim Mcgraw. Y'all never even heard of that song, I bet. Then I wondered, whatever the hell happened to that girl? Then someone told me that she was the biggest thing around, and I thought, bigger than Pantera? Aaron Lewis? Is she a good singer? Does she know football? She gets a lot of air time at the game. Really bright lipstick.  I saw her friend doing some devil signs or something. I bet she thinks that’s really cool. Straight to hell.

I pictured in my head Ken Stabler kissing his wife on the field or making a heart sign with his hands to his girlfriend in the stands. A heart sign. A grown ass man. Making a heart sign to his girlfriend in the stands. Or Gino Marchetti, fresh home from the Battle of the Bulge. Whatever. It's okay, I guess, because everyone's idea of masculinity has changed over the years. It’s okay to put stuff in your hair and to dance all around when you….ah forget it. I am starting to sound like a broken record. Same old shit. I haven't watched the end of the Super Bowl game in years. You know, the dancing by grown men and all. But I have written about all of that before. It’s as tiresome as the news. Ugh. I'm gonna separate myself from that shit for a while. Stone cold idiots leading us into the demise of our once wonderful country. It is all on purpose. It has to be.

With all this shit going on everywhere and all this deluge of total useless crap thrust upon all of us, it makes me want to check out. Get so far out in the woods, man. Guns and dogs and family. Unless the ATF comes and shoots your family and your dog, you are probably going to be happy. Way out there. No cell phone, no Youtube, no internet. Oh, that would be fun to do. It was that way back when I was a kid, of course. We didn’t have shit, and we didn’t know that we didn’t. Three channels on the TV and one that was fuzzy out of Baltimore. If you got a message on an answering machine when you got home from being out, you’d be all fired up. Going out to a fast food place was a special occasion. Ah, that’s played out, too, talking about it.

 Almost everyone and pretty much everything gets on my nerves.  What doesn’t?  My Labrador, Rebel, doesn't get on my nerves. Even when I just let him outside and then he wants to come back inside 2 minutes later (literally).  Even when he decides to lick himself all over in the middle of the night and wakes me up. He’s innocent. Well meaning. If he knew that it irritated me, he wouldn’t do it.  I know, he’s a dog. I mean, I really consider him my best friend and not a dog, but I don’t want to seem crazy by giving him a bunch of human qualities and telling you a bunch of stories when he acts like a human.

People are strange, man. Have you ever been around people and thought, no matter how long we hang out together, I will never understand what the hell you are talking about? Or people start talking and immediately you know that they have never deadlift, squatted or had any type of actual contact (football, boxing, lacrosse, MMA, Thai boxing, etc.) in their lives? Or somebody whose ego is so big that you can't believe that they aren’t self aware enough to realize that they have been talking about themselves for 15 minutes straight? 

I am looking forward to the new Roadhouse movie, though. Conor in a movie? Hell yes. I like Patrick Swayze and all, but c’mon man. He wasn't kicking anyone's ass, sorry to say it. Hair all perfect. 137 pounds soaking wet. Living in the barn was so cool, though. I bet they put some woke shit in the movie. Maybe I will just fast forward to every scene that Conor is in. They should make a remake of the Stone Cold movie that Brian Bosworth was in.  The Boz was great in it. That was a badass movie. Steve Austin can be the star of the remake, the real Stone Cold. Love that guy.

Friday, February 2, 2024


 That something I cannot yet define completely but the feeling comes when you write well and truly of something and know impersonally you have written in that way and those who are paid to read it and report on it do not like the subject so they say it is all a fake, yet you know its value absolutely; or when you do something which people do not consider a serious occupation and yet you know, truly, that it is as important and has always been as important as all the things that are in fashion, and when, on the sea, you are alone with it and know that this Gulf Stream you are living with, knowing, learning about, and loving, has moved, as it moves, since before man and that it has gone by the shoreline of that long, beautiful, unhappy island since before Columbus sighted it and that the things you find out about it, and those that have always lived in it are permanent and of value because that stream will flow, as it has flowed, after the Indians, after the Spaniards, after the British, after the Americans and after all the Cubans and all the systems of governments, the richness, the poverty, the martyrdom, the sacrifice and the venality and the cruelty are all gone as the high-piled scow of garbage, bright-colored, white-flecked, ill-smelling, now tilted on its side, spills off its load into the blue water, turning it a pale green to a depth of four or five fathoms as the load spreads across the surface, the sinkable part going down and the flotsam of palm fronds, corks, bottles, and used electric light globes, seasoned with an occasional condom or a deep floating corset, the torn leaves of a student’s exercise book, a well-inflated dog, the occasional rat, the no-longer-distinguished cat; well shepherded by the boats of the garbage pickers who pluck their prizes with long poles, as interested, as intelligent, and as accurate as historians; they have the viewpoint; the stream, with no visible flow, takes five loads of this a day when things are going well in La Habana and in ten miles along the coast it is as clear and blue and unimpressed as it was ever before the tug hauled out the scow; and the palm fronds of our victories, the worn light bulbs of our discoveries and the empty condoms of our great loves float with no significance against one single, lasting thing—the stream.

Hendrickson, Paul. Hemingway's Boat (pp. 244-245). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Barbarian Brothers Seminar, 1982

I have always been a fan of bodybuilding. I waited in line for the Conan movie when it came out at Beltway Plaza Mall, I thought Arnold was cool, Franco was strong, Mentzer was the man. But it wasn't like they were football players or anything. I had something like levels to people that I admired when I was a kid. First level was pro athletes. Number one was Randy White, then Mike Webster, John Hannah, Russ Grimm, Drew Pearson, Staubach, those types of guys, freaking warriors , man. Then the next level would be basketball players like Dr. J. I didn't know shit about baseball. I guess it was okay. And then when you were a teenager back then in the 80's and it was an offseason in football and you weren't tall or good enough to play basketball, you lifted weights. You did it after school, and in your buddy's basement, or in my case, in physical training class, like I had in high school. I had two physical training classes , in fact.  Those were weight training classes, run by our resident head football coach who was a cruel, useless fuck who we all despised, except for a few kiss asses. Fuck that motherfucker. I couldn't stand the dude. Lazy, would just sit there with his big ass belly sticking out, reading the fucking paper. Disgrace. No instruction.  He'd tell us how fast he was still. I was like now? Compared to what? Fat ass. Worst football coach ever. We had enough talent to win the State every year. Oh, he hated me . You see, when folks who don't know shit know that you know that they don't know shit, it makes them hate you. I didn't admire the man, and I knew he was an idiot. After my senior year in football, he sat me out in the hallway, everyday. Every day that we had class, I got my chair and sat in the hallway. My friends would come visit me and be like, Steel! It was fun and I still got an A. He was too much of a coward to mark me down in grade.

Anyway, that was a big tangent I just went off into. Back to weight training. So back then, there was no you tube or internet. No cell phones, nothing. 3 channels and a fuzzy one on TV. I got really interested in weight training because of Randy White being big into weight training, and then I lost a bench press contest with a skinny buddy of mine who had a big chest and arms and I was pissed. I started talking to him and he told me about bodybuilding. The next day, he brought me a few muscle magazines. Muscle Mag International and Muscle UP! and Muscleman's annual with Arnold winning the '80 Olympia, that's how long ago it was! I bought Arnold's book and read it cover to cover over and over, The Education of Bodybuilder one. My dad thought it was weird, looking at men in speedos. I wasn't looking a them even, I was looking at Mentzer's forearms. Then I started studying this magazines and I got really into it (I get into things) and I always wondered, why doesn't someone want to look like Mike Mentzer? Of course, I wanted to look like that, no question. So funny to me that men wouldn't want to look huge.  I felt right away that I wanted to get as big and as strong as possible as soon as I started looking at those pictures. Fucking veins and shit? Striations and that big ass biceps vein going down the arm? Terrific. 

Mentzer was the most real looking dude to me for some reason, but all of them, to a certain degree, just seem to be missing something. 

Then the Barbarian Brothers came onto the scene. I first heard of them in 1982, I believe. Two huge twins who lifted crazy weights, trained in flannel shirts and jeans and were huge but never competed in a show, never donned a Speedo. They just slapped each other in the face and curled 315 for reps. AAAAARGGHH. I went into my closet and got out my flannels and started wearing them to train. I read everything that I could get my hands on about those guys. They were different, man. Not like football player cool, but just different, like we are strong and big as hell and we train hard and throw weights around, and don't care how we look when we are doing it. No tank tops and little shorts and barefoot training. Try combat boots and jeans and flannels. They were the antibodybuilder bodybuilders. They drank Coke and ate nachos and drank kefir and lifted for hours and hours each day and didn't believe in overtraining, just under eating and undersleeping! Every magazine that featured the twins, I studied. None of my friends were into bodybuilding, it was just me. They probably thought I was a little nuts, but I didn't care.

So when I heard that the Barbarian Brother's were coming to town to film the movie, DC Cab and were going to give a seminar at the Convention Center in DC, I knew I was gonna go, come hell or high water. I was in the 10th grade at the time. I was 16, no driver's license. The local Gold's Gym was selling tickets to the seminar. I bummed a ride from my sister and went in to get tickets. The guy behind the desk said,  "One of the Barbarians are lifting right now." I looked into the gym and there was one of the Brothers! He was doing rack deadlifts with 7 plates and looked very serious. I could have stayed and watched, but my sister was outside waiting for me. Later on I found out that the Brothers destroyed the Smith Machine at the gym with more weight than the machine could handle.

When the day came for the seminar, I got a ride from my dad into DC.  Back then, it wasn't the murdering out of control mess that it is now, it was actually pretty nice. So he dropped me off and I went into the room where they were holding the seminar. There were chairs set up around a roped off area that had weights, benches, a behind the neck stand and heavy dumbbells. There were around 20 or 30 people in there. Not a big crowd but we were enthusiastic. Then the twins came in! Big as hell, tank tops on and sweat pants. I had never seen any people with that much muscle before.  It was unreal to me, like they had big balloons all over their bodies. Otherworldly to me. It was crazy how much muscle they had. Since then, I have been around some big dudes (Kevin Levrone, Coleman, Nick Walker), but back then, it was a whoa! moment. So they come in and one of them yells, FUCK! and everyone starts laughing. Then they sat down and answered questions. They were drinking milk and taking those huge amino acid tablets that everyone back then would choke down.

They answered questions. One of them was about steroids and the twins agreed that steroids were the "greatest things ever", which was refreshingly honest. They said that they didn't know anyone on growth hormone. Back then it was still taken from dead people, I believe. And then they went over how it was training  in California at the famous Gold's Gym, how they trained whatever they wanted on a particular day, that they really didn't have a set program, they just trained multiple times a day and ate a bunch and when they did trained, they trained crazy heavy. The whole time, there was this guy who knelt down next to the ropes separating the twins from the crowd. He kept trying to get their attention. He was very feminine, I do remember that fact. He kept trying to get their attention, and they ignored him until finally it got to be too irritating and one of them yelled out "WHAT? WHAT DO YOU WANT?" and the guy said he just wanted to shake their hands. So they shook his hand and then he went back into the crowd. Very strange. 

Then they began to warmup to lift. David reverse gripped bench pressed 495 pounds for 4 reps. His ass was way off of the bench but it was still cool to see. Peter did 315 pounds on the behind the neck press and then did 225 pounds for 20 reps. That was impressive. David bent rowed 495 for reps , cheating like crazy. Then Peter curled the 120's for some cheating reps also. It was all very cool. Then we all went out into another room where they were selling pictures. They didn't want to sign the free posters, just the ones that they were selling. I bought a pic and they singed it, "To Jim buddy, the Barbrians" Yes, he spelled Barbarian wrong. I didn't care, but it was amusing.

I was inspired and was now a bigger fan than ever. I still read everything I could get my hands on about them, and when DC Cab came out, I went to see it on opening day.  It was a cool time back then. Nothing to worry about, just playing football and lifting weights and trying to get good grades. The Barbarians were fun to look up to, especially to a burgeoning young lifter. One of them died recently, and the other one lost it mentally a bit, but back then they were aces with me.

All About Being a Lifer

What's a Lifer? Someone who isn't in to something for just a day, a month, a's for life. Whether its training or your family or your doesn't matter. You work at it, you build on it, you see the big picture . You don't miss workouts because it means something to you. You are like a Shakespearean actor- no matter what is going on in your life, you block it out when it's time to train. You walk into the weight room and all else disappears. Worry about it later.