Book Review: Street Workout

By June 15, 2016 Health & Fitness
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The Kavadlo brothers, known almost as much for their colorful personalities as their approach to bodyweight strength training, are at it again with the most comprehensive book ever written on bodyweight training. Simplicity is the key when it comes to using your environment around you to get stronger, more fit, and break free of the dogma of a big box gym.

With a focus on feeling better and staying healthy, looking better is a by product of following the exercises within this all encompassing treasure of a book. Minimal equipment is key in this encyclopedia of body weight training packed with information, full color photos and everything you need to know to become a bodyweight master. With something for everyone from the absolute novice to the most seasoned of veterans, this is an all inclusive book, brimming with all the training you need for a lifetime of fitness and longevity.

Toss out your supplements, cancel your gym membership and get outside! From sample routines to just getting you started, there is no other book of it’s kind, or on it’s level; it contains everything you need to know from pushing to pulling to squatting, hanging and so much more.

Kenny Lombardi - All Rights Reserved without Written Consent

Kenny Lombardi – All Rights Reserved without Written Consent

I have a decent amount of experience with bodyweight training as well as kettlebells, and conventional weights. After taking some time off from body weight training I was a little bit too ambitious and went for one of the more challenging workouts prescribed in this book. Nothing can really prepare you for an advanced bodyweight workout except practicing those skills. Though strength does carryover, I will be the first to admit that I am absolutely wrecked. If this is the type of training you would like to focus on, there is no better book. Even if bodyweight exercise isn’t your thing, it is definitely worth picking up to supplement your workout routine already. You will find muscles you didn’t even know existed!

The Kavadlo Brothers are a true testament to what it means to be physically fit, and have put in the years of work to show the proof. If you are tired of being suckered into the newest fitness equipment, or have a penchant for sculpting your body in a minimalist fashion that produces real world results, then you are doing yourself a disservice by not already having a copy. If you think bodyweight training is just pull-ups and push-ups, think again.

The exercises described in these pages would challenge even the most seasoned of weight lifters. I am not one for recommending things that I don’t believe in and I believe in the works of Danny and Al wholeheartedly as some of the best at what they do. The Kavadlo Brothers couldn’t be any better of human beings, and so passionate about what they do with no motivation beyond sharing their wisdom with you. I know that they love to hear success stories and if you pick up the book definitely get in touch with them and let them know how it changed your life, as I am confident that that is exactly what this book will. Get some!!!!

Do yourself a favor and pick up your copy here: STREET WORKOUT (http://www.dragondoor.com/eb87/?apid=513a1e35e981b)

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Rad Dad Feature: Jim Wendler

By June 9, 2016 Rad Dads
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Jim Wendler is one of the most inspirational people I can think of. The creator and author of one of the most popular and effective training systems, 5/3/1, he is also an amazing example of what it means to be a father, husband and a man. This has been one of the most humbling and uplifting features I have had the honor of publishing, so I hope those of you that aren’t already familiar with his works will read on and just take it all in. It is my absolute pleasure to share with you this Rad Dad Feature with Jim Wendler.

Tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your career with being a dad?

I am Jim Wendler. My wife and I are owners of Jim Wendler LLC. The majority of people reading this will know me, if they know me at all, as the creator and author of the book/program: 5/3/1: The Simplest and Most Effective Training System for Raw Strength. Most of my career revolves around helping people get better physically and mentally – using training as a way of changing the mind and body.

Balance is one of the principles of my training program and in life. This does not mean equal time for each endeavor, job or hobby. This just means that you devote and maximize the time that you have and do what is necessary. A lot of this involves being selfish with your time; this does not mean you are a selfish person rather that you view your time as a commodity and don’t let unnecessary tasks take time away from what is important. For me, this involves living as simply as possible and recognizing what is important. This involves prioritizing your life and learning to say “no” to people. This is my life, my family and I won’t waste any time being sucked into a life of meaningless activities to appease some social or political norm.

What does being a modern-day dad mean to you?

A modern day dad is probably the same as it was decades ago: you teach and mentor your child to be a smart, responsible, caring adult. You give them support and love and let them know they are part of YOUR tribe; your family is the rock, the anchor in their life that they can always depend on. You help them find their way and give them the tools to blaze their own path. I don’t think that has changed.

One thing that has changed, at least in my eyes, is the amount of education you must provide your child that he cannot learn in school. This includes art, music and physical culture. These things are essential for a well-rounded education and we try to give our kids the opportunity to explore them.

The biggest challenge in this day and age, and this probably hasn’t changed that much in the past 100 years, is the constant battle parents have with what is preached in modern society: materialism, the crowning of the victim, applauding physical and mental weakness, “falling into line”, and how the media/popular society defines success. Even if you turn off your TV, this attitude can overwhelm you.

How did becoming a father change your life? 

The most obvious change is that your life, your time is no longer all about you. There is a tremendous amount of sacrifice that has to be made. But with that, you have to remember to never lose yourself in your kids. You have to be a great example to your kids and still pursue what you love – to show them that life is more than just being a father or mother. So again, balance comes into play.

For whatever reason, I’ve always had the “me against the world” mentality. Now, it’s “us against the world.” And I like the feeling that we are some kind of motorcycle gang ready to take on whatever comes our way. All we need is a killer logo and make our kids earn their top rocker. In fact, we actually have “top rocker” challenges for the kids that involve reading, writing, music and physical challenges. Something fun that we can all do together.

What’s the greatest part about being a dad?

Seeing your kids learn, evolve, question and find answers on their own. My parents gave me a base and then let me find my own way. You don’t learn anything when everything is being force fed to you and I love seeing the thought process. I love teaching and sharing things with them – teaching them about sports, or music or philosophy. I love the challenge of answering their questions.

On a lighter note, my oldest son is just fun to hang out with. We have some nights where we both stay up late and just play games and laugh our asses off. It’s like a G-rated Frat party and those times are priceless.

What advice can you give any new father out there?

First, make sure you find your true partner in crime (your wife). You guys should be best friends, respectful of each other and in love. This relationship should be solid before you entertain the idea of having children. Your relationship shouldn’t require work that detracts from being a parent; it should be the strongest and most important aspect of your family. And you should treat it as such.

Second, have roles. I know it’s not cool to have specific roles for the mother and father, but this is my family. A mother is better at certain things and the father is better at others. This is how our species has survived and conquered. So know your roles, do your roles and don’t worry what the rest of the world is doing and/or preaching.

Make sure you are emotionally, financially and physically prepared to have children (this goes for the mother as well). If you aren’t prepared in these three areas, don’t have kids. If you have a surprise pregnancy, make the changes and sacrifices so that you are financially, emotionally and physically prepared. You no longer get to be selfish in these areas. The state should never raise a child – if you bring him into this world, it’s your responsibility to raise, educate and support him. Anything less and you are a burden on this society.

Finally, cherish the times you have with them. The most important thing you can give to a child is time and attention; enjoy the time together. Being a parent is serious business but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.

“If you want to change the world, raise good children.”

Thanks so much for taking the time to do this feature. It really means a lot to me and I am honored to have you grace our pages. You are an inspiration and truly define the “Modern Day Dad.”

Make sure to check out Jim’s website, www.jimwendler.com/

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Rad Dad Feature: Richard of Bricktop

By May 31, 2016 Everyday
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Richard aka Dickard T. is a fine example of what it means to be a modern day dad. A hard working father, grandfather, musician, and more. It’s been my pleasure to follow him and his daily life on Instagram and I’m proud to finally have him on the pages of our site. Few men deserve this feature more than Richard, so it’s an honor to share this with you…and make sure to check out Bricktop!

1. Tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your career with being a dad?

My name’s Richard Juhl aka Dickard T. and I play guitar in Bricktop.I’ve been in the Automotive industry for over 12 years. I have 3 awesome kids, Cassidy is 16, Parker is about to turn 14, and my youngest Kaleigh is about to turn 12 and more recently I became a grandpa. Gotta say I love it!!! My kids are the reason I was able to balance work with home. When I was single I could work all day into the night and do it all over again the next day. The money was nice but I realized that time spent with my family was nicer. Some things ya just can’t get back.

2. What does being a modern-day dad mean to you?

The world!! Being the best I can for my kids. Watching my kids grow and express themselves in so many different ways. Showing them the right path, yet still having fun along the way. Sometimes ya gotta get on em but I’ve learned talking to my kids instead of at em goes a long way.

3.How did becoming a father change your life?

Completely turned it right side up. The best thing to ever happen to me!! Taught me responsibility, showed me the love I could have for another human being. Don’t get me wrong I love my friends with all my heart but to anyone who has kids. When they look at you there’s no better feeling. Unless they’re asking for $20…hahaha

4. Whats the greatest part about being a dad?

Knowing that I had part in my kids upbringing. And When my kids outsmart me!! Every day I learn something new from my kids. It’s the simple fact that they never cease to amaze me.

5. Can you share a funny story about being a father?

There’s so many but the one that comes to mind, my youngest Kaleigh was 7 and Bricktop had just released a video on YouTube. My daughter comes home and says she already asked the school and that it was ok if Bricktop played her elementary school. I explained to her that it probably wouldn’t be appropriate because we have cuss words in some of our songs. She looks at me straight faced as possible and says. “And you let your 7 year old daughter listen to Bricktop”? “What’s the matter with you”? I didn’t live that one down for a while. But it was really cute. Now she’s almost 12 and imitates Dave’s drumming on the videos!!

6. What advice can you give any new father out there?

Be patient and do fun stuff, take em to shows. Make memories!!!

Thanks so much for being apart of this! Its an honor and a pleasure both to have you on our site.

I wanna say thank you and I think it’s great that you’re giving dads recognition for just doing what we do every day and I’m honored to be apart of this!!!

Check out Bricktop here: Bricktopthugrock.bigcartel.com
and make sure to follow Richard on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/dickardtttbricktop/

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If you really want to rebel against your parents…

By May 16, 2016 Parenting
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Henry Rollins said “If you hate your parents, the man or the establishment, don’t show them up by getting wasted and wrapping your car around a tree. If you really want to rebel against your parents, out-learn them, outlive them, and know more than they do.” When I read that, it really hit me pretty hard.

I always wanted to stick it to “the man.” As far back as I can remember I was riding my skateboard around my town listening to whatever punk cassette tapes I could get my hands on through my dollar store Walkman. Not too much has changed.

I’m not sure if I turned my back on society or it was the other way around, but much of my youth was spent waving the punk rock banner while getting chased by jocks, rednecks, and crooked cops.

This seemed like a pretty viable lifestyle until I had my own kids. Though I would never turn my back on the values that made me who I am, it’s funny to watch those values evolve and change as I grow myself into this parent role.
I love that my oldest daughter has a rebellious streak. She is a natural born leader and isn’t afraid to (metaphorically) put her middle finger up at the norm.

The hard part about being a parent is when that rebellion gets turned on you. I have suffered through it when my daughters eyes gaze at me like I am a part of the world that she despises, the people that don’t understand her, “the man.” It’s all part of the cycle though, and being a parent means working through it with them.

Usually those moments are pretty short-lived, but it’s tough to encourage a child to keep questioning everything and stick up for herself; especially when you become the target of her questioning. This quote from Henry Rollins really resonated with me as I spent much of my youth really rebelling against nothing but myself. I was an angry and confused kid and was on a path of nihilism instead of rebelling for the right reasons and in the right ways.

A rebel without a cause. Hindsight is 20/20 but it’s amazing to be able to view the world as a parent; many things make so much more sense, some things make even less sense and the best we can do is hope our kids turn out alright with us as their guide.

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As protectors of our children

By May 5, 2016 Parenting
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My daughter came home from school the other day and as she recanted the things that happened, she sheepishly added that a boy made her feel uncomfortable at recess. “What do you mean?” I asked her and she explained that a little boy was running around the playground slapping the other girls on their ass. She almost seemed apologetic that she even told me about it. After all this boy was her friend. She went on to mention that he did it to all the girls.

I had to stop her right then and there. I had to set the tone, I couldn’t let her think her feelings were unimportant or silly or should be brushed aside.

At that point there was no excuse that either of us could have made for this young man. We stopped everything and I told her “Your body is yours and yours alone. No one has the right to touch you or make you feel uncomfortable under any circumstances. Even when you are older, you set the rules. Your body, your rules.” I went on to tell her that I appreciated her telling me and that she did the right thing. I asked her why she didn’t tell her teacher and she said that it would be too embarrassing. And there lies the problem.

This is something that follows people their entire lives. They don’t want to offend, they want to make excuses for people whose company they otherwise enjoy, and on a larger scale society still very much shames a woman for coming forward if she has been harassed in any way. It might start with a game of grab ass, but how soon before it turns something much more serious?

Needless to say it will be handled or there will be hell to pay. This also stands as a reminder to let our little boys know how to treat women, and let our daughters know they deserve respect. Boys too, they need to know boundaries for themselves and for others.

Let’s be honest, the last thing any of us want is a pissed off father who feels like your little boy did their girl wrong, but even more than that we have a responsibility to raise young men that are protectors, not offenders to our women.

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Book Review: Orgy Porgy

By May 1, 2016 Entertainment, Parenting, Rad Dads
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I’ve written and deleted this review half a dozen times. As if no words could do justice to this collection. Scott Hobbs Bourne was once my favorite skateboarder, and as he grew; so did I, allowing him to evolve into not only one of the favorite authors and poets, but an inspiration as a man, a husband, and father.

Orgy Porgy is the complete collection of a bi-monthly column that ran from 2007 to 2011 in the French publication SOMA and five other literary works previously published in magazines such as Jpeople, Juxtapoz, and Ala Champfest. Through these stories and tales you become more than a reader, and Scott more than just the author. These become letters written directly to you, with Scott sharing bits and pieces of his life in Paris. By enveloping yourself in these stories, you gain a piece of Scott’s wildly entertaining life, and these letter almost become correspondence between you.

Scott Bourne's Orgy Porgy from aweh.tv on Vimeo.

It’s hard when reading Scott’s work to not feel like he is an old friend, as he is so open and raw, so honest and powerful as each word becomes party of the stories he tells on the page. Coming from reading “A Room With No Windows”, this is a reinforcement that Scott is not only a poet on the page, but an artist working in the medium of the human experience.

Pick up your copy here: ORGY PORGY

See also our book review of A Room With no Windows

and our RAD DAD FEATURE WITH SCOTT.

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Rad Dad Feature: Matthew Melnick

By May 1, 2016 Entertainment, Parenting, Rad Dads
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I have seen many bands in my time. Some of the heaviest bands on earth even. When I think back to the most impressive, most brutal and terrifyingly awesome show I had ever seen it was a band called Disassociate.

I was visiting California for the first time and happened to catch them at the infamous Gilman street in the late 90s. As they got on stage I had no idea what I was in for. An absolutely crushing sonic assault from start to finish that left me with my jaw on the floor. To this day, their LP “Symbols, Signals & Noise” is one of my favorite albums of all time.

By chance I found Matthew Melnick, the guitar wizard behind those punishing riffs on Instagram. I was stoked to find out that not only is he still making music with his current bands Darkside NYC and Downlow, but he also is an extremely dedicated father to two children.

It’s my absolute pleasure to share this feature with you. Meet Matthew Melnick.

1. Tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your career with being a dad?

My name is Matthew Melnick, and i’m a husband to an awesome wife, Pamela and a father to 2 excellent children, Edward 11 years old, and Madeleine 5 years old. I have no issues balancing a career and fatherly duties since i’m a full time stay at home dad! I gave up my job as an Internet support technician for Thorn Communications 6 years ago to take care of my daughter full time when she was born. My wife supports the family and works full time as a Registered Nurse at NY Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell. I take care of Madeleine and things at home like cooking, cleaning and getting the laundry done. My son is from a former relationship and lives in Illinois with his mom so visiting him is a challenge, but I make it work. I see him a couple of times a year and every summer after his birthday in July I fly out to celebrate with him, then we both fly back to NYC for his summer vacation which rules.

I’m also a musician for 35 years. I play guitar in 2 bands, Darkside NYC and Downlow. I used to play guitar in a punk band called Disassociate. I also do power electronics and noise in a band with my wife called Blood of a Zombie.

The guys in my bands also have wives and children to deal with, so the bands aren’t really a full time thing and don’t really conflict too much with my family schedule. Getting in rehearsal time and setting up shows is sometimes hard but it’s worth it. I sometimes have to settle for late night rehearsal and deal with lack of sleep.

2. What does being a modern-day dad mean to you?

Being a dad these days means dealing with a whole different set of complications and situations than my dad or his dad encountered. Being equipped with a modern arsenal of knowledge and experience is crucial. I work according to a schedule, almost down to the minute, every day. If I don’t adhere to a schedule, nothing gets done! My iPhone timer and Google calendar are my essential father tools. Knowing how to cook and prepare food the kids like, knowing how to do the laundry and iron my wife’s uniforms and my daughter’s clothes are as important as knowing how to dial in the right distortion settings for my guitar rig. The attraction kids have to the internet and computers, tablets and iPads, and their exposure to advertising and media at every turn is a challenge for the modern-day dad, and it’s something I have to deal with and manage on a day to day basis. Trying to find a balance between their use of technology, real books and actual toys is probably my most important duty as a responsible dad.

3.How did becoming a father change your life?

Becoming a father changed my attitude about material possessions and collecting things. When I had kids, my interest in gathering material possessions decreased a lot. At this point in life, i’d much rather have an empty basement where I can relax and my kids can play than have a basement crammed full of band t-shirts, records, CDs, videos, books and other stuff that I don’t use or wear. All that stuff really isn’t that important to me anymore. I have no one to impress by showing off a collection of old hardcore 7″s! I get more pleasure watching my kids have fun and smile than owning anything. Ok, except my guitars and synths, but even that stuff.. If a giant flood wrecked all my gear, i’d survive. It’s just wood and metal. Nothing could replace my children.

4. Whats the greatest part about being a dad?

The greatest part about being a dad is watching my kids grow up, and up and up! Their transition from just being babies and not being able to walk or talk, to watching my son rollerblade and skateboard, and seeing my daughter draw an amazing picture, or read a story to me..that’s the biggest payoff. And their faces when they say something interesting or fascinating, or if they say something funny and then laugh. it’s corny, I know, but sometimes just seeing them smile about something and gazing right into their happy faces is worth more to me than anything in the world.

5. Can you share a funny story about being a father?

I never really grew up, ok? I mean, I grew, but never “grew up”. I still try to keep a little bit of youthfulness in my attitude and life. Anyway, for a while when my son was about 5 years old, he had a thing where he’d always talk about “poop”! There was always some way he’d manage to get that word into a conversation and i’d just crack up laughing because, yes, i’m still juvenile and that just makes me laugh, ya know? I can’t even pretend to be a mature adult sometimes (maybe that’s how I can still be in bands 30 years down the road). He’s 11 now and the poop phase is more or less over, but he’s passed the torch my daughter, and she’s carrying the poop flag for the family now. She says certain words that she hears in school or learns from friends and it’s just hilarious to me. I try not to encourage her by laughing, but sometimes I can’t help it. What’s funnier than a 5 year old coming up to you, looking you straight in the eye and saying, “Fart your Butt!”? Those surprise moments when I never know what’s going to come out of my kids mouths are the best. I have a million fun times with my kids and family. It’s like being in a real life comedy show sometimes.

6. What advice can you give any new father out there?

Don’t take everything so seriously. Learn to laugh at things. Get your cooking skills together. Learn to iron clothes. Make sure you know where the working flashlights are. Always carry tissues and bandaids. Buy disposable items if possible. Know the difference between processed food and food that grows out of the ground and buy more of the food that grows out of the ground. Get a good coffee maker. If you get really mad, walk away, take a deep breath and dial it down a few notches. Forget about sleeping for at least 2 years.

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Follow Matt and check out his works:

Matthew Melnick’s website (needs updating, but check it out anyway) http://www.matthewmelnick.com/
Matthew Melnick’s Facebook https://www.facebook.com/matthew.melnick
Matthew Melnick’s Twitter https://twitter.com/mmelnick
Matthew Melnick’s Instagram https://www.instagram.com/mmelnick/
Matthew Melnick’s Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/profile?user=splifford
Darkside NYC Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DarksideNYC/
Matt’s site about Brooklyn (that’s about 15 years old) http://www.lostbrooklyn.org/
Blood of a Zombie website http://www.bloodofazombie.com/
Matthew’s daughter, Madeleine’s website fartyourbutt.com

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Skateboarding Flashback

By May 1, 2016 Everyday
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I remember my grandfather taking the picture of me on the left when I was in highschool. I found it the other day and thought it would be interesting to recreate the picture in front of their house for the hell of it.

Most of my friends that I skated with back then quit skating and and moved on, but skateboarding was always my escape, my release, my art. I never was good enough to be pro, but I still have fun and am lucky to share it with my kids.

It’s funny how quickly we can move on from something we based our whole lives around, then look back and wonder what happened? Some of us wonder why we are sick and tired and bored and boring; get back on board! Do something you love, find your passions and let them put you in the hospital, break your legs, destroy you in the best ways possible.

When people ask when I’m going to give it up I tell them…I’ll give up skateboarding the day I give up on living.

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Four-Sigmatic Superfoods/Mushroom review

By April 23, 2016 Food & Drink, Health & Fitness
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Four-sigmatic is a cool company. A hip foray into the world of medicinal mushrooms, they offer many well thought out blends of various super foods in a convenient single serving package.
Given what I know about medicinal mushroom products, I was more than a little apprehensive to take the first sip. The first product I tried was the reishi Cocoa. It smelled like a rich and velvety cup of cocoa, but I have learned that in the world of medicinal mushrooms that smell can be very deceiving.

I was pleasantly surprised at how great it tastes and found this to be true for everything I tasted in their sampler pack.

The blends were not only intelligently combined as far as medicinal quality goes, but the flavor profile of each package was a mix of delicious and complimentary herbs and spices.
By far my favorite would have to be the cordyseps Cocoa. Absolutely delicious with a hint of cayenne, this is the perfect pick me up before a workout or just to make it through the afternoon. I even added it into an already made cup of coffee for a spiced mocha, and it was exactly what I needed.
The great thing about four-sigmatic is that they have put a great deal of research behind their company and the mushroom blends they offer. Much of the information they have learned, they share via their website and YouTube channel. It’s worth it to subscribe to their mailing list just to have access to their information on medicinal mushrooms.

That said these cool and committed group of fellows are changing the game and offering a simple and creative way for you to introduce the impressive powers of medicinal mushrooms into your daily life. With heaps of evidence behind the efficacy of the mushrooms, Who wouldn’t want to tear into a package and mix it with a couple of ounces of water and be performing at your peak ability. Mushrooms that help your physical performance, that help you relax, that boost your immunity, that help your brain work optimally, a blend for everyone.

Don’t just take my word for it, pick up a sample pack for yourself and find all the proof you need @ http://www.foursigmatic.com/

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How lifting made me a better man

By April 21, 2016 Health & Fitness
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As a youth, I equated weightlifting with the douchebaggery that came with being a redneck in the small town I grew up in. I steered clear of the weight rooms that housed the jocks that made fun of us punks, and as a result never touched a weight until my late 20s.

I don’t know what ignited the spark but I’ve used the iron to beat up on my demons and pressure my body into submission. When I was a child I would beat up on myself in other ways like tossing myself down stairs on a skateboard, or drinking until I passed out. I’ve been sickly skinny, I’ve been morbidly obese, and I’ve been nearly dead more times then I should be able to count. As an adult I no longer want to be out of control, I want to control my path, my destiny, my body and my mind.

When I found the iron, everything changed. It helped me take control of myself, it challenged my own mind, and taught me the discipline that I still had not learned. I was taught by the weights, and unlearned much of what I thought I knew about weightlifting and more importantly the person I was capable of becoming.

It’s important as we age, to test ourselves. To make sure we are still living, breathing, and not giving up without a fight… The weight doesn’t change, it doesn’t care if you are tired, or upset. It’s just as heavy as it ever was, begging for you to conquer it, or you be conquered.

Weightlifting has allowed me to escape in a much more positive way that I ever had before. It’s changed my life. It’s saved my life. It’s a high that surpasses many, if not all of the highs I have ever experienced. It’s taught me to be calm, collected, yet forced me to explode at just the right times.

I never thought I’d be tossing around weights and clanging iron in my garage…waiting for the next session, waiting for the therapy, waiting to destroy myself and build back stronger, but here I am. I don’t know if I lift to conquer the weight, or the demons. I don’t know if I lift to find a balance, or just keep myself from losing control. I do know this; the iron changed me, so when I say that I #nevermissamonday, it’s because I can’t put a price on the therapy of the iron.

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Five Tips for a Healthy Marriage

By April 19, 2016 Parenting
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I’ve seen quite a few folks on here recently get married. Congrats!!! Here are some tips I’ve learned to keep things sailing smoothly. Please share your tips as well!

1. Unplug from time to time. The Internet is a bombardment of images that are trying to sell you on the idea that you don’t have enough, you aren’t happy, things should be a fairytale all the time. According to the marketing teams out there; your job isn’t good enough, your family isn’t good enough, you don’t have the right car and your family is lacking. Come to terms with the fact that you do have enough, and enjoy what you have even if that means smashing your television.

2. Give attention not just love.
Especially in our hyper-connected society, it’s easy to tune your partner out. A “like” on a picture isn’t attention. Make sure you set aside time to really enjoy your partners company. Even a coffee together at your kitchen table can mean making the most of each others company and keeping eachother connected. Dates don’t have to mean dropping the kids off at a babysitter either, a date can be lunch on the couch while the baby naps.

3. Agree on your finances. You’ll never have enough money unless you learn to live with having just enough. There will always be money troubles and that’s a part of life. Learn to live within your means and save for your family. Then blow it all and spend together. The important part is agreeing on it. Working together. Life is short, spend, save, just do it together!

4. Sex. Have lots of it. It’s a stress release, it’s sharing intimacy with your partner, it makes you happier and healthier. When you’re happy, when you’re angry, don’t use it as a weapon against your spouse, use it as weapon against non-intimacy.

5. Be best friends. Do stuff together more than apart. Your significant other is an addition to your life, not just an accessory. Share your passions, your hobbies, inspire eachother. Lift heavy, eat entire pizza pies, make lots of love, have babies, kick your shoes off and watch trash television. Make time to just spend time and enjoy your lives. You’ll make it work if you want to make it work.

What tips can you share?

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Rad Dad Feature: Billy DeCola

By April 16, 2016 Entertainment, Parenting, Rad Dads

You might recognize Billy DeCola from the TLC reality show, “NY Ink,”, he left the show after the second season to focus on what was truly important to him, his family. An accomplished tattoo artist that specializes in Traditional Japanese tattoos, Billy is also a dedicated father whom owns his own studio in Vancouver, BC. It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Billy DeCola.

1. Tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your career with being a dad?

My name is Billy DeCola. I’m a tattooer born and raised in Florida, USA now living and working in Vancouver, Canada. Since I make my own schedule it allows me to spend a bunch of time with my kids. I’m even able to coach my daughter’s t-ball team and I also volunteer at the school teaching kids how to draw and paint. The art program got cut because of funding so rather than ask people for money, I’d rather donate some time. The kids get super excited because some of them saw me on the NY Ink show so they think I’m a superstar or something lol.

2. What does being a modern-day dad mean to you?

Being a modern day dad means understanding what’s going on in the world today and having an open mind … while still hanging on to the values that were passed down to me by my parents.

3.How did becoming a father change your life?
Becoming a father definitely settled me down a lot. I don’t party nearly as hard as I used to. But it also lit a fire under my ass and now I have a constant motivation to work hard and to do good.

4. Whats the greatest part about being a dad?

The greatest part about being a dad is the feeling of being a kid again. I love playing with dinosaurs and Legos and going on the monkey bars… and now that I have kids I can do it all again! I was getting a little old to go out to the playground by myself but now it’s all good again!

5. Can you share a funny story about being a father?

I’m drawing a blank here man. Everyday is funny in some way but nothing stands out at the moment.

6. What advice can you give any new father out there?

For all you soon to be and new fathers out there… the best advice I was given when I was about to be a father and was freaking out was this – “becoming a father is like getting into a fight. You’re never 100% ready for it but when it happens you just do what you gotta do.”

Man that’s the best way to put it. I never read any of those ‘becoming a daddy’ books or anything… but I think I’m doing alright. It’s all about loving that child with all your heart. Everything else will fall right into place.

Thanks so much man! Really appreciate you taking the time to talk with us!

Follow Billy on Instagram: @billydecola
Visit his website: BillyDeCola.com
and if you are ever in Vancouver, BC, make sure to check out his tattoo shop “Kiku Tattoo Parlour!”

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Top five ways to spot if your internet fitness guru is full of myth

By March 31, 2016 Everyday
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I wasn’t always into health and fitness. There was a time where I was an overweight alcoholic that was a complete newbie to the fitness world, and I certainly am no expert now. Many people however have seen my transformation from a 240 pound sloth into the almost 100 pounds lighter, wildly energetic dad I am today and have asked my advice on various programs and trainers they’ve seen online. Though I don’t offer too much fitness or diet advice, I too have been duped by the fitness establishment more than a few times and wanted to take it to task, especially when I see my friends wondering if “Doctor testosterone booster” can really give them a shortcut to being “shredded” just by picking up their “before, during and after” protein shakes.

Here are my top five ways to spot if your internet fitness guru is full of myth.

1. They sell a supplement.

Selling a supplement isn’t a crime in itself, but supplements make the most money in the fitness world as they prey on people who are looking for an added edge or a quick fix. Supplements are the single biggest money maker in the fitness world.

Many fitness “experts” claim that their product is the reason for their chiseled physique when we all know that dedication and hard work is the real cause at best; and at worst their supplement of choice is actually steroids and testosterone therapy. Even worse, some use dodgy studies and antiquated evidence to push even more of their product on you. “You can’t get enough protein from food, so take two scoops of my (heavily processed, cheaply made, completely unnecessary, chemically laden) powders!”

2. They sell a workout plan that works for “everyone.”

There is not much that is new under the sun. For most fitness enthusiasts there are an endless amount of free workouts you can find online. All you have to do is start. If you are new to fitness, or working out, you will see results. If you want the best results however; you need personal programming and a specialized diet plan. Rarely is this something that can be done over the Internet unless you know where to look and who you can trust. Some “experts” give away their workout and diet plans in hopes to reel you in to using their supplements (see point one) and you might ask “why would they go to the trouble to do that?” The answer is, they didn’t go to much trouble, and supplements are the biggest money maker in the fitness industry.

3. They use their credentials as their sources and expect you to blindly trust them.

This is quite possibly my biggest pet peeve. Simply by having muscles, or being thin, or even having a PhD doesn’t get you off the hook for peddling myths, nonsense, and outright lies. A doctors degree even doesn’t make you any more credible just because you made a statement. It’s your duty to list credible sources and be able to back your fitness claims. Especially when you are using those claims to…guess what? That’s right, peddle supplements. (See point one)

4. They give you some free content but need you to pay for the rest of it.

I’m all for paying for knowledge, and I understand that people have to make a living; but why isn’t that living from training happy clients? There are millions of fitness bloggers sharing the same advice that someone is trying to charge you for. Sign up here with your credit card information the last paragraph of “how to get ripped quick!” I’ll give you a hint, you’re paying to see that last paragraph contain a link to their supplements, why you need them and a study they hope you won’t fact check because it doesn’t even support their claim. (See point one)

5. They won’t or can’t, answer you questions and ignore any debate without selling a product or directing you to their own study.

Lastly, you know you have encountered a fitness charlatan when they won’t or can’t answer your fitness related questions. If you encounter one of these fitness frauds don’t be scared to call them out on it. When a supposed “expert” claims that they have access to “new science” but have no sources that should be your first red flag. If their claim also supports their need for you to take their supplement, I think you can figure out who you are dealing with.

When a “fitness expert” makes a scientific claim and tosses around their credentials as reason enough for you to believe it, they owe you credible sources to back up their claim. Statements like “there’s new science” and “research shows” or “I feel it more here” isn’t accurate scientific evidence. Chances are they are spewing out nonsense they don’t think you will fact check, citing their own anecdotal evidence or personal studies hoping you are too stupid to realize it, and fall for their number one chance to make some cash off of you; convincing you that you need their supplements. (See point one)

I’ve seen it more often than not, and though some of you have been in and around the fitness world for quite some time, others, like me are pretty new to all the smoke and mirrors of the industry. I hate seeing a con man, and even worse than that a liar. Combine the two and it looks like you got more than half the fitness industry down. Hope this guide helps you decide who to follow, who to trust and reminds you to do you own research. If it was as easy as a magic powder, we’d all be drinking shakes and look like Arnold.

For raw fitness truth and real advice you can trust, check out my friends on iTunes @ Mind Pump Radio. (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/mind-pump-raw-fitness-truth/id954100822?mt=2)

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Reverse Tie-Dye Tutorial

By March 28, 2016 DIY, Everyday, Style, Tips & Tricks
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Making a reverse tie-dye, or bleach tie-dye is a fun way to spruce up an old shirt. It takes something plain, and many times stained…and turns it into a work of art. Tie-dye can be a really fun project for you and your kids. Though this one uses bleach, so it’s important the adult handles that part. Here is a quick and easy tutorial on how to turn your old shirts into a work of art.

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1. Pick out your shirt. Darker shirts work best. Get it thoroughly wet and then ring it out a bit.

2. Though you can make many designs, my favorite is made by using a fork. Place the fork in the center of your shirt, and twist like you are twirling spaghetti.

3. Once it is twisted, make sure the edges are close together and the shape is a spiral.

4. Use rubber bands to keep the shirt in its shape, then remove the fork

5. Take your shirt outside, or in a well ventilated area. Bleach is pretty hazardous stuff and you don’t want to be breathing it in.

6. Pour the bleach over your tightly wound shirt. Make sure you get both sides. I used the fork the flip it after one side was well saturated.

7. You should see the bleach start working. The amount of time the bleach is left on determines how vibrant the shirt will be. 5-10 minutes is more than enough.

8. Wash off your shirt. I used my outside garden hose so I wouldn’t ruin the clothes I was wearing. Liberally spray it down with water until all the bleach is gone.

9. Wash your shirt well in your washer. I made sure it was in there by itself because I was too paranoid that I would ruin my wife’s clothes. Nothing ruins the mellow vibes of a tie-dye shirt than having bleach get all over your wife’s favorite dress.

10. Dry it, wear it, and feel your life change. Enjoy!

Photo uploaded to our Instagram page.

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