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11 October 2017

Fustigation Fury- Training To Fight From The Primeval To The Present, Part 1

Notorious (and somehow illiterate in a developed Western nation) Irish Traveller Paddy Doherty does little more than speak an unintelligible patois of Hiberno-English, Irish, and German, commit petty crime, and fight.

Humans have fought since time immemorial- we're an ornery lot.  Like other apes, men have fought to establish their position in the pecking order or to kill, but they've also fought for money and glory.  Over the years, humans have invented more ways to fuck each other up than one could count, ranging in scope and intensity from the on-its-face-ludicrous-but-apparently brutal Russian slap fighting to atomizing each other with nuclear weapons, but they all have one thing in common- the desire to inflict pain and damage upon one's opponent.

If WSM wanted to get super hardcore, they could always add the knives-strapped-to-the-triceps gambit to the axe hold... I have a feeling there'd be a lot of records broken the first day they used the Enter the 36 Chambers method.

Humans being the apex predators and unrepentant destructive psychotics that we are, have learned over the years that simply practicing technique is not enough when one must stand toe-to-toe with their opponent and attempt to impose their will on them- physical fitness, stamina, and strength are also key elements to victory.  As such, just about every style of combat ever developed has a concomitant training program that compliments and enhances it, just like good lube does for violent anal fisting.


Before we jump into strength and conditioning training for fighting, however, I'd like to clue you guys into some badass fighting styles that aren't often discussed, which is tragic because these styles are more awesome than a tandem blowjob from Tegan and Sara (or for the ladies... being doublestuffed by John Cena and the Rock?).




  • Russian Fist Fight.  This Russian martial art usually consists of two teams of Russian psychopaths pairing off and beating the everloving fuck out of each other, because vodka and Siberia and general evil are the prime motivators in everyday Russian life.  This sport is apparently the progenitor of the fight rule everyone thinks of as American as apple pie, the "don't hit 'em when they're down," which is an oddly pragmatic rule for a people seemingly obsessed with being little more than drunken villains from James Bond films.  Check out this awesome Little Big video that highlights this incredibly brutal Russian tradition.


    • Purring.  Also known as shin-kicking, this English martial art began as part of the Cotswold Olimpick Games in or around 1622.  One of several games so fucking weird that they could only have been the produce of bets between people so drunk that locomotion was a distant memory and in which double vision would be considered 20/20.  These games included a bizarre dance competition that featured the village retard as a referee called dwile flonking, piano smashing (I am not making that up). and sledgehammer throwing, so purring must have seemed like an event dreamt up by Michael Bolton while masturbating to the tune of Christopher Cross's horrific, worthy-of-being-sent-to-the-camps song "Best That You Can Do."  The sport, and I use that term very loosely, was a favorite pastime of the notoriously tough and insane Cornish miners grab each other by the collar and proceed to kick the ever-loving fuck out of each other's shins until one person quits.  Somehow, these fights are determined by the winner of two out of three matches, though I cannot envision how drunk one would have to be to do that more than once.  I would guess drunker than Robert Downey Jr when he broke into a neighbor's house and passed out in their kid's bed, which would leave me to believe this sport has its roots in drunks trying to liven each other up for the walk home after an epic day of drinking. 

    • Bartitsu.  This hundred-plus year old hybrid martial art has recently had a resurgence (possibly due to its popularization by the Art of Manliness website) and was mentioned several times in Sherlock Holmes stories.  Invented at the turn of the 20th Century by Edward William Barton-Wright, bartitsu was designed as a method of combat for English gentlemen that made use of stupid shit the English dandies of the time carried, like canes and umbrellas.  Equal parts jujitsu, schwingen (Swiss folk wrestling consisting mostly of giving your opponent a gnarly wedgie), savate, canne de combat, judo, and boxing.
    With that out of the way, onto training to fight, because knowing how to fight isn't worth shit if you're too weak and winded to impose your will on your opponent.


    Ancient Greek Pankratiasts
    Anyone else miss the old UFC/Vale Tudo rules?  Holy shit they ruled.  Everything permitted except eye gouging, fishhooking, and heatbutting?  YAAASSSSSS.  It was a time when Marco Rua used a foot stomp to win a fight, when people used to break their hands pounding their opponents into bloody hamburger, Wanderlei Silva earned his nickname "The Axe Murderer" for headbutting his way through an entire fight and had the ring looking like a scene from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and dumbass felon Kimo carried a massive cross to the cage.  Well, if you were to put much more skilled fighters like you'd see in vale tudo into that cage and less like those you saw in the first couple of UFCs, you'd have the sport pankration, introduced to the Olympics in 673 BC and well known for being the most brutal thing going in the ancient world.  It was a sport so fucking vicious that it enabled the Spartans to slaughter Persians with nothing more than their bare hands, teeth, and shattered lances at Thermopylae, and it made the Greek hoplites into some of the most fearsome fighters in human history.

    This Richard Simmons-lookalike, bizarrely enough, is apparently the world's foremost authority on one of the hardest styles of martial arts ever invented.

    Pankration matches were essentially slaughterfests, as crawling away from a fight crippled or dropping dead in the midst of a fight were about as common as shit-filled underwear after a trip to all-you-can-eat Indian restaurants.  Pankratists weren't simply more vicious than a rabid dog with its nuts caught in a mousetrap, either- they were fucking strong, and many could kick straight through a 16 lb bronze and oak aspis (hoplite shield).  Given that this shield essentially turned the hoplite into a tank, kicking through one was no small feat, and receiving a kick with that kind of force could be fatal if you caught one in the chest.


    Secure in the knowledge that in order to be bone-shatteringly strong, the hyperviolent death machines of ancient Greece heaved around some weights in addition to training techniques and sparring balls out for hours a day.  Stone lifting and throwing were two of the favorite strength tests and methods for building the type of strength that would allow them to snap limbs even as they were being strangled to death, ancient Greek fighters, as was the use of proto-dumbbells called halteres.  Additionally, they spent a hell of a lot of time stretching, running, shadowboxing, and training their "core" (oh, how I fucking loathe that term).  For the latter, they had a method worth mentioning because it deserves to be featured in Rocky 48- they would strike a punching bag as hard as possible, then tense their body for impact as the rebounding bag would slam into them like a 19 ton truck into a crowd of unsuspecting Europeans (Nurse).  Compounding that would be the events of their daily lives, which often included military training and hard physical labor.  To develop their strength even further, the athletes of ancient Greece would run at the end of the day and perform rigorous bodyweight exercises to transform their bodies even further into unstoppable, Terminator-esque death machines... which they then used to conquer the known world and defeat the largest army ever assembled to that point (Brown).


    Indian Pehlwani
    I've written an entire series about how the Indians trained and dieted to become some of the most badass wrestlers and strongmen in the world from the dawn of recorded history until the British ripped their balls off and fed them to the Indians like some fucking kobayashi.  Rather than rehash it, I'll just link it: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.  That might be the most comprehensive analysis of badass, old school, sweat-your-fucking-balls-off-and-eat-ghee-like-you're-getting-paid-to Indian pehlwan training ever written. Matt Furey's got nothing on me.  You're welcome.


    If you want the TLDR version, you need look no further than the epic Indian wrestling badass, a man so fucking tough that wrestling him was akin to attempting to fuck up King Kong while afflicted with turf toe, gingivitis, and full-blownsies AIDS- the Great Gama.  Gama was fucking jacked, especially for turn of the 20th century and a region now known for spindly limbs and potbellies.  Born in the Punjab in 1878, this one-man-wrecking-crew of mustachioed wrestling glory came to prominence in his very first public match at age 17, in which he fought a literal giant with enough wins under his belt to make Goldberg's record look less fanciful.  Though the match ended in a draw, Gama defeated him in a rematch and was then touted as the next champion and proceeded to lay waste to everyone in India except the Indian champion. 


    After a quick trip to Europe to trash all of the wrestlers on the continent (his first match was against Benjamin Roller, who had defeated Farmer Burns and Ed "the Strangler" Lewis among others, and Gama pinned Roller in a minute forty), defeated 12 wrestlers in a single day, won a forfeit by legendary strongman and 2-time world champion Stanislaus Zbysko (whom he later beat in under a minute), and then returned to India to mangle the World Champion there.  By the time he was 48, Gama held the belt for the World Champion in the United States and India, and retired having fought to a couple of draws but never having been defeated, even when he wrestled over a dozen men in a single day. Among his victories, Gama counted wins over strongman, Olympic Weightlifter and strongman Maurice Deriaz (who once defeated 44 opponents in a single wrestling tournament), ripped Swiss champion and all-around badass Johan Lemm, a bunch of judo and jujitsu practitioners, and the greatest wrestlers (and some of the largest humans on the planet) in India.


    Undefeated for over 50 years, the Great Gama was renowned for his strength and even fitness fanatic Bruce Lee was reportedly a rabid fanboy of Gama's workout routine.  When I say renowned, I mean he was Mountain-from-GoT-strong.  At one point, Gama allegedly lifted a 2.5 foot tall stone weighing 2645 pounds in a bear hug, and his even the strongest of the European strongman wrestlers claimed the Great Gama was the strongest man they had ever faced.  Gama was strong in the way a tyrannosaur was strong- his levels of strength and strength endurance seem hardly possible.  Gama performed 5000 Hindu squats per day, many of them while wearing a 200 lb stone donut around his neck (still on display in the National Institute of Sports in Patiala, India), and did 3000 pushups a day, in addition to hours of wrestling practice and clubbell work.  To fuel these lunacy-tinged training days, Gama reportedly drank two gallons of milk and ate one and a half pounds of crushed almonds a day.  In short, he trained like his hair was on fire and his ass was catching and ate his fucking face off, and in the end his win-loss record reflected his insane work ethic and prodigious appetite. 

    I might even get the scoop on how these chicks train.

    Up next, more wacky and wild martial arts, plus catch-as-catch can / no holds barred training and the strength training methods of karateka.  Additionally, I'll be publishing a "Chaos and Pain Reads It So You Don't Have To" article summarizing the best of what training magazines have to offer these days, and then the conclusion to the fight training series, which will feature the training methods of boxers throughout the ages, the training methods of judoka, and whatever else I decide to throw in there.  Until then, get your ass in the gym and do something epic.

    Sources:
    Brown, Eric.  Ancient Greek athletic training.  Livestrong. 11 Sep 2017.  Web.  24 Sep 2017.  http://www.livestrong.com/article/349071-ancient-greek-athletic-training/

    Dileep, Srikanth.  A forgotten wrestling legend: Perhaps the greatest of them all.  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/124884-a-forgotten-legend-perhaps-the-greatest-of-them-all

    The Great Gama.  Wikipedia.  Web.  11 Oct 2017.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Gama

    Nurse, Paul McMichael.  Pankration: Martial Art of Classical Greece.  Fighting Arts.  Web.  23 Sep 2017.  http://www.fightingarts.com/reading/article.php?id=164

    05 October 2017

    Halloween-tastic Music, Books and Movies- Brutality You Need To Check Out This Month

    Anyone who knows anything about me knows I like my movies, books, and music so brutal they cause pregnant broads to spontaneously miscarry, priests to become draped with pustulant boils and then burst into flames, and SJWs to just die instantly in response to the many triggers they witnessed.  October is the best month to revel in this, as it's Halloween month.  As such, I thought it high time to drop a new movies, books, and music installment for you guys to ensure you're similarly fortified against those people who want to replace our Samhain revelry with "Harvest Festival" and other assorted Christian nonsense.


    The TCM prequel Leatherface opens Oct 20th.  W00t!!

    Movies

    With the onset of Halloween, it only stands to reason that we should all be neck deep in horror movies whenever we're not fucking, fighting, lifting, or working.  As I've spent most of the last year being a degenerate, party beast, horror movie afficianado, and having asked repeatedly for recommendations that yielded the exact same results each time (A Serbian Film, Haute Tension, Martyrs, etc), I'm in a unique position to throw you guys a couple of bones for the month.  Before we begin, I'll mention that not all of these films are gore-fests- some of them are cooler than Vanilla Ice on a sportbike without being so gory you'll puke in your shoes during the opening credits.  Yeah, I know it might come as a shock, but gore and horror movie excellence are not intertwined.



    Eat- I am generally a terrible, partying my ass off person and failed in every regard to relate to you the details of this little-known gem, but you guys should seriously heed my advice here.  The protagonist of this film is anorexic and only eats when stressed, and she's stressed because she sucks as an actress.  The result: she eats herself when angry, sad, stressed, or generally out of sorts.  If you see a tampon pop into view, be prepared for a fucking bloodbath with this one.  It starts off seemingly all fired up about the Backstreet Boys (the opening credits make it look like it's going to be a PG13 "horror" film directed by whatever hack is responsible for that travesty  and ends a FUCKING BLOODBATH.  Autosarcophagy happens in this film.  Watch it (it's on Amazon Prime this month!).



    August Mordem Underground- This is without a doubt the most fucked up movie I have ever seen, for those of you who are fans of Stepbrothers, you'll know what I mean when I say that this is my Good Housekeeping.  AMU follows three full-blownsies psychopaths as they torture, rape, and murder people out of what appears to be sheer boredom.  Clearly directed by a guy who loves hardcore and crust punk and literally starring a woman named Crusty, a woman, her brother, and her boyfriend (both of whom she fucks throughout the film) do all kinds of shit like rape a woman while forcing her husband to cut his cock off with cuticle scissors and beat peopless heads in with hammers (the gore effects are fucking solid).  AMU is fun for the whole family, provided your family has severe mental illness and more sexual pathologies than have ever been recorded in one household.  Highly recommended for anyone who was bored by Anti-Christ and thought A Serbian Film could have been a bit more intense.


    It Follows: This movie is a distinctly slow-burn type of film, wherein there's not a lot of action aside from a couple of relatively gore-less deaths, but I love this movie because I'm relatively old (the Blair Witch was the shit when I was in high school), it's an innovative take on the genre, the art in the movie is doper than Michaelangelo trying to impress buyers so he can score a kilo of meth, and I' ve come to enjoy slow-burn films.  In any event, the film centers around a sexually-transmitted demon who stalks people who have ducked people he's already trying to kill, and the only way to pawn him off on another is to fuck someone or kill the demon.  WATCH THIS SHIT.


    Inside- The French are useless.  They bitch about the Germans, continue their entirely baseless claims to preeminence in cuisine, preside over the worst remaining vestiges of the Colonial Era in a couple of the filthiest shitholes in the third world, and generally suck in every possible way... save two.

    Hardcore and brutal gorefest films are the only redeeming qualities in a country known only at this point for having terrible politicians, ghettos in Paris that make Mogudishu seem relatively nice, and a language that sounds like retarded people babbling while trying to dislodge the peanut butter stuck on to the roofs of their mouths.  The New French Extremity movement in French film is fucking awesome- it's brought us gems like Martyrs (a cabal of evil rich people who torture people in an effort to make them have a martyr's vision of the afterlife), Frontiers (a couple fights off a small army of neo-nazi family members with a love for The People Under The Stairs), and Irreversible (I Spit on Your Grave in a subway tunnel, with waaaaaaaaay more rape), more gore in action films, and generally more goodness in the world.


    Beatrice Dalle: 10/10 WB

    Inside continues that grand tradition with a film centered on a pregnant woman scheduled to induce labor the next day as she's under siege by a mysterious attacker who wants to rip that baby out and keep it for herself.  Given that the film's opening credits scene is nothing but blood and bits of body flowing down a staircase, you should expect this movie to be almost as brutal as it ends up. Almost.  Plus, this thing is directed by the guys who did the new TCM prequel Leatherface and stars the ultra-sexy Beatrice Dalle, so this is a must watch for the Halloween season.



    Would You Rather-  While I am exhausted beyond death with this trope and still find myself wandering about the movie landscape with nothing but hate in my heart for the now tired "we dare you to do this shit for some money but it's not a game and you're fucked forever", Would You Rather brings the goods in all the ways that shit like 13 Sins and Nerve (among a half a dozen other movies with the same fucking theme).  As the movie poster indicates, someone has to take a razor blade to their own eye in this film, the plot of which involves people competing to win a game of "Would You Rather" in which quitting means death and winning means certain disfigurement.  Brutal, well-paced, and highly entertaining.



    Houses That October Built- One of the best Halloween-themed films I've ever seen, as well as one of the coolest found-footage films ever, HTOB follows a group of apparently amateur documentarians on a cross-country road trip to find the most balls-crazy extreme haunt in the US.  As they dig deeper into a haunt that appears to be more legend than reality, they run afoul of a group of haunt workers who then terrorize them throughout their trip.



    Watch this shit if for no other reason than the Porcelain Doll chick, who is one of the freakiest characters in any horror movie I've seen- I must've jumped a foot out of my fucking seat during her scene, and I'd be surprised if people didn't attack that actress on the street just on general principle.  The sequel is out now, but I'm saving it for Halloween itself to watch- might as well have something I know is gonna be both new and baller for the big day.



    Megan Is Missing- This movie is exceptionally fucked up, and because shit like this apparently happens in the real world, it's all that much more disturbing.  The movie centers around a chick looking for a friend who disappears after meeting up with a guy from the internet.  She finds her alright, but it's as much to her chagrin as Justin Long's trip down the chute in Jeepers Creepers, and she ends up an unwilling participant in extreme BDSM porn and a variety of other unsavory activities.  Not for the squeemish, and probably not for anyone with a daughter.



    Pod- This indie gem is what sci-fi horror should be and rarely is outside of the Alien series.  Plenty of jump scares, numerous plot twists, great gore effects, and decent creature effects make for an awesome addition to anyone's horror library.  This film was unique enough to warrant a couple of rewatches, and I plan on checking out his two latest movies, the western-horror Carnage Park and serial killer-fest Psychopaths this month.


    If you haven't heard the Infant Annihilator album that dropped last year, you need to.

    Music
    I've discovered some shit that has me spinkicking squat cages and terrifying normies as I gorilla stomp around the gym, and I've got the best of that shit listed for your listening pleasure.  For the band/album I've either linked them on Amazon or Bandcamp (support the bands you like and buy their shit, people), and for the best song bits I've linked their Youtube so you can get an idea of how awesome their shit is.  Check this shit out and go destroy something beautiful.



    Clawhammer- Infernum In Terra
    Brutal slam beatdown done to perfection by Brits who want to see blood on the floor at shows. Pig squeals missed with Shattered Realm-esque hardcore vocals and gutteral lows, thesemotherfuckers bring it on every fucking track.  If you threw old Waking the Cadaver in a blender with the Hoods and a bit of One Life Crew, this is what you'd get... pure, unadulterated brutality.

    Most CNP song: Lynching (featuring Rob and Phips from Brawl Between Enemies)



    Enemy Mind- No Safe Place
    I love Pittsburgh, and I love PGH hardcore.  Any hardcore or metal band from the Steel City is guaranteed to fucking bring it, and Enemy Mind goes hard as fuck.  Bringing back the old jockcore / toughguy style from the mid-to-late 90s, Enemy Mind will fill the gap left in anyone's heart who misses Shattered Realm (with their original singer), Hoods, Irate, or NJ Bloodline, and will have you tearing the fucking gym apart while screaming along with EM's gruffer-than-gargled-glass vocals.

    Most CNP song: Dead WrongToughguy at its finest, rocking lyrics like "I hope you can run / skinny shit talking motherfucker run fast.  Chase your punk ass to the ends of the Earth / know when I catch you I'ma beat your ass.  Look at me / I'm the one that did this.  Close your mouth and mind your business.  Keep my name out yo mouth dude / whatcha gonna say when I come for you?"  Yes.  This is that kind of wignorant awesome.



    Nasty- Realigion
    The only badass thing to happen in Belgium beside their insane deathground stand against a German army that outnumbered them ten to one in the First World War is Nasty, who are rightly recognized as the kings of European hardcore.  Over the years, these lunatics have put out increasingly brutal albums and garnered a more and more rabid following, culminating in their newest album Realigion (I guess it's a religion of being "real").  Packed with more breakdowns and "blechs!" than anyone's ever manage to wedge into 30 minutes, this fucking thing goes hard to the paint and make you want to kick old ladies down the stairs and smash everything in sight.



    Most CNP songs: At War With Love and Rock BottomAll breakdowns and badassery, and the video is thoroughly entertaining.



    Built Upon Hatred- Tha Promo and S/T

    If you don't know what slam beatdown is, you really need look no fucking further than this band- super fucking brutal deathcore vocals, the occasional pig squeal, and lyrics so fucking tough you'd think they were a collaboration of Charles Bronson and Carl Panzram (I've listened to the Last Podcast on the Left series on the man twice in the last week because it's that fucking awesome) with some assistance from the singer of No Zodiac, who is the spiritual heir to Panzram.  I think I had these guys on shuffle all/repeat all for about three weeks of amazing lifting in July, and nothing makes weight less noticeable than Michael Cera's serum testosterone than pure, unadulterated hatred.

    Most CNP song: The Faults in my Peers.  Frankly, half the reason I love this song is because of the drop from Alpha Dog that's followed by a breakdown so brutal it might liquify your bowels the first time you hear it: "Fuck that- it's a promise.  No matter where you go, no matter what you do, I'm gonna hunt you down. I'm gonna hunt you down and then I'm gonna slit your throat and then I'm gonna cut you open and then I'M GONNA EAT YOUR MOTHERFUCKING HEART! YOU BETTER PRAY, JOHNNY YOU BETTER FUCKING PRAY THAT THE COPS FIND YOU BEFORE I DO! GET ON YOUR COCKSUCKING KNEES AND PRAY!"




    Clench Your Fist- Break the Jaw

    I am a massive Nasty fan, as you might know if you've been following the blog for a while, and I just realized that the reason I love this band so much is because they're basically just a Nasty clone... and I have no problem with that whatsoever.  Straight up beatdown hardcore the way it ought to be.

    Most CNP song: Kalasjnikov.  Want a song that is basically just a break down that continually gets broken down over and over until it's pure sludge to which you can make weights your doe-eyed bitch for a couple of minutes?  Fire up this fucking banger.



    Ded- Mis-An-Thrope
    I realize that all of the tr00 metal and hardcore bros reading this are about to get their panties in a bunch harder than a social justice warrior in strip club populated only by Eastern European transplants with daddy issues and racist tattoos, but I couldn't give less fucks, because sometimes nu-metal is a good time.  This is one of those times- Ded, in spite of their terrible name, is heavily influenced by hardcore bands (the singer even rocks a Trash Talk shit in one of their videos) and is reminiscent of early Slipknot.  We all know that S/T and Iowa-era Slipknot was the shit, and this band is a nice break from my constant beatdown and slam beatdown rotation.  Catchy hooks, not too much in the way of clean vocals, impressive percussion... this shit is something you could play while tearing ass down Rt 101 in California with the windows down when you needed something heavier than Pennywise to listen to.

    Most CNP song: FMFY.  Yeah, it's a little "Fuck you, you fuckin' fuck" style, but it's very reminiscent of Slipknot's epic banger "Heretic", so you really are obligated to like it in spite of the their stupid band name.



    Gassed Up- Conflict and Judgement EP
    Awesome beatdown wiggercore out of Britain.  Bust out your favorite flatbrim hat and get ready to punch anything nearby the second the track kicks in.  Imagine Fury of Five if they were worth a shit, E-Town Concrete if they didn't go softer than baby shit in an Indian monsoon, or Hacktivist if they were talented.

    Most CNP song: ConflictWignorance at its finest, with a random Michael Jackson riff in it to match the lyrics.  Doper than any street corner in a Philly ghetto.


    I just discovered Monster Hunter International is now a role playing game as well, which means I need to grab a 20 sided die this weekend and find a pack of nerds with whom I can play this.

    Books
    Much like with the other two categories, if I were to list all of the books I've read since the last installment, this would end up being a ten part series at the very least.  As such, I'll remind you guys that the Monster Hunter International series is phenomenal and still going, with Larry Correia teaming up with some of Baen's best authors to bring you super hard-boiled monster-slaughtering action.  Aside from that, I've been reading occult shit ranging from the The Black Book of Satan and Hands-On Chaos Magic (which is a pretty awesome book that utilizes a hell of a lot of neuro-linguistic programming) and The Wisdom of Eosphorus (which I highly recommend to anyone with any interest in the Left Hand Path) to The Book of Wotan (an excellent introduction and guidebook to Odinist practices that contains the full Havamal) and The Traveler's Guide to the Afterlife.  I've covered a lot of ground, very little of which has bothered with books about training because most of those books are either drier than a thousand year old Egyptian aristocrat or so derivative to the point of being offensive.



    Dave vs. the Monsters series by John Birmingham
    This series is similar in many regards to the MHI series I've mentioned above, but with more of a rough-edged, salt-of-the-Earth-meets-asshole-drunken-fuckboy-jock flair.  This series follows Earth's unlikely champion against the hordes of demons who think of humans as food, who proceeds to lay waste to them using his trusty maul named Lucille.  Amidst all of this, "the Dave" drinks and fucks his way to fame, chilling with celebrities and shirking whatever duties the government heaps upon him.  Yeah, these books are fucking tits, and you need them in your life.



    Every Single Book by Joe Abercrombie
    I've been trying to come up with my favorite book by Joe Abercrombie, and I'm at a loss.  Every one of his books is perfect preworkout material, as his books are filled with badass quotes and the kind of hack-and-slash action that gets your blood pumping and makes you want to fuck shit up.  Not only are the characters in his stories witty as hell, but their casual philosophical nature makes for great brain candy and food for thought, as well as providing badassery for maximum pumpitude in the gym.  Behold:
    • “Love is a fine cushion to rest upon, but only hate can make you a better person.” 
    • “You should laugh every moment you live, for you'll find it decidedly difficult afterwards.”
    • “Suffering is what gives a man strength, my boy, just as the steel most hammered turns out the hardest.”
    • “Truly, life is the misery we endure between disappointments.” 

    Honour Imperialis (Warhammer 40k Omnibus) by by Aaron Demski-Bowden, Rob Sanders, and Steve Lyons
    Warhammer novels are very hit and miss, in my experience, but this omnibus was amazing from start to end.  I can't imagine any of you are unfamiliar with Warhammer, so I'll just say these books are twice as well-written and violent as any other Warhammer novels ever put to paper, and if you pass this omnibus by you will regret it on your deathbed.  It's that good.



    The Silence- Time Lebbon
    By far and away the best horror novel I've read in the last few years, The Silence combines the best parts of Night of the Living Dead and Pitch Black to produce the most unique horror plot I've ever read.  A team of spelunkers uncovers a new cave system in Romania and unwittingly release a new, horrible creature into the outside world.  This creature is essentially a blind, flying rat with a chainsaw for a mouth that hunts and destroys the slightest sound, laying eggs in the corpses of its victims that hatch at further sounds or vibrations.  The story follows a family who knows sign language because the daughter is deaf, and they utilize that to remain alive during an apocalypse the world was ill prepared to handle.

    So there you have it- shit that will entertain you through this awesome season, fuel epic lifts, and stoke the fires of your soul to ensure that you crush your opposition and destroy everything they hold dear.



    Up next, part one of my Fustigation Fury: Fight Training from the Primeval to the Present series.  That one is shaping up to be epic, so keep your eyes peeled for it to drop Sunday or Monday.

    02 October 2017

    Peanuts- Poisonous Protein-Packed Pellets Of Doom

    Recently, Chaos and Pain started distributing product through Tiger Direct, and I'm going to be providing content to them once a month.  Since I already had this article partway written, I submitted it to them for publication.  Tragically, they're nerfing the shit out of my language, but this article is pretty badass and I want to spread the word about the evils of peanuts (apparently George Washington Carver wasn't the swell guy everyone seems to think), so you can read the un-nerfed beginning here and then follow the link to finish it.

    Fuck peanuts.  Fuck peanuts in their stupid asses.


    If there isn't anyone reading who has at some point been strapped for cash and has thus resorted to living on peanut butter sandwiches, I'm a Chinese jet pilot- we've all done it.  And having done so, I have bad news for the lot of us- peanuts are in fact poisonous, protein-packed pellets of doom, and they will give you cancer if you eat them frequently enough.  Seriously, peanuts appear to be only slightly less carcinogenic than radium and although they are tasty, you should think strongly about never eating them again.  Ever.

    Saddam knew the awesome killing power of peanuts.

    Scoff all you want, fuckface, but they're poisonous because they're packed clown-car style with aflatoxins.  Aflatoxins are hyper-poisonous carcinogens that come from fungi that grows on a variety of different foods ranging from corn to peanuts, and the shit is serious- though acute aflatoxin poisoning occurs about as often as Amy Shumer skips a meal, chronic, lower-level exposure is both difficult to identify and more insidious than body-snatching ghosts in shitty Canadian "horror" films.  No one's eating a pickup truck bed's worth of peanuts in a sitting, but you a  pretty damn likely to do so over the course of a lifetime, and that's where the problems arise.  Chronic exposure to aflatoxins is a problem you don't want to have- it leads to immunosuppression, cirrhosis, and liver cancer (Hardick). 

    Less lethal than peanuts.

    Wait, it gets even better!  Of the 20 different aflatoxins, aflatoxin B1 is considered to be by far the worst, and guess where it's most prevalent?  You guessed it- peanuts.  According to the ever-helpful Wikipedia, aflatoxin B1 "is highly implicated in hepatocellular carcinoma [a type of liver cancer that usually only occurs in people with chronic liver disease or cirrosis] in humans" and it "also been shown to be mutagenic [it alters your fucking DNA], teratogenic [turns fetuses into unspeakable horrors or miscarriages], and to cause immunosuppression" in animals (Wikipedia).   Oh yeah, aflatoxins can do more damage than Michael Meyers on bath salts, viagra and cheque drops in a sorority house.  Check out this list of bodily functions aflatoxins [read: peanuts] can mangle (Lee):

    • Respiratory: Pulmonary edema, cancer
    • Cardiovascular: Heart inflammation
    • Neurological: Reduced oxygen flow, headache, neuron death, encephalopathy, impaired memory, insomnia, disorientation, loss of coordination; tumors in both central and peripheral nervous system
    • Gastrointestinal: Liver damage, liver cancer, vital hepatitis, parasite infestation
    • Urinary: Kidney damage and tumors
    • Reproductive and Developmental: infertility, teratogenic, abnormal growth and development in children
    • Endocrine: Tumors and cancer
    • Blood: Blood and bone cancers
    • Immune: Immunosuppression, autoimmune reactions and allergies
    • Other: Mitochondrial malfunction, interference with protein and RNA synthesis, apoptosis (cell death)
    Want to find out the rest of the story?  Check it out at Tiger Direct's site.  A new Movies, Music, and Books blog will be dropping presently.

    26 September 2017

    Fuck The Olympia- The Real Champions Of Bodybuilding Are Uncrowned

    Hanging out with these two would be less fun than having your pisshole raped with a sound coated in ghost pepper sauce.

    With the 2017 Olympia a mere week in our rearview mirror, with yet another victory for the patently unlikable Phil Heath, a discussion of the idiocy of the Weider empire and the fallacy that their bodybuilders have always been the best is necessary.  As I've mentioned in a past article about the myth of Arnold's preeminence in bodybuilding, the Weider empire was built on some foundations so shaky they might as well be an elementary school in Mexico City (awww, too soon?  Suck it up, buttercup.)  Seriously, the Weiders were such underhanded fucking sneaks and thieves that they make Vince McMahon seem like a paragon of virtue in the field of business ethics, and they've snowed everyone into thinking that not only are they the only "real" bodybuilding federation, but that they've been the only game in town since bodybuilding started booming again in the 1950s and 1960s.  In reality, there were federations with champions as good or better than the reigning Mr. Olympias (who often competed against fields so small it is hard to imagine them, if you've been to one of these insane 12 hour local bodybuilding competitions in the last ten years).  If you want the full scoop on the Weiders, which is frankly FAR too long for me to detail here, I recommend Randy Roach's awesome series Muscle, Smoke, and Mirrors, which is supposed to get a third volume but as I understand it the author's gone blind and can't complete it.

    In any event, there are some badass bodybuilders out there of whom you very well might have never heard, and they deserve a hell of a lot of attention despite the fact that the Weider publishing empire and their bought-and-paid-for judges took a steaming shit on their careers.



    "Brutal" Bertil Fox

    Because the Weider empire wasn't really what it was billed to be and he could find better competition elsewhere, Bertil jumped on the IFBB wagon about 5 years too late and then proceeded to shoot his ex-fiancee and her mom to completely mangle what little was left of his competitive prospects.  That's not to say, however, that he was not the best professional bodybuilder between 1977 and 1980, and could be considered the greatest mass monster of the pre-1990s era.  Originally hailing from St. Kitts in the Carribean, this Godzilla-esque future slaughter machine rocked 16 inch arms at 16, 17 inch arms at 17, 18 inch arms at 18, and 19 inch arms at 19, eventually stretching the tape past 21 inches on his ridiculous hamhock arms (Sprague 248).


    Serge Nubret, Brutal Bertil, Tony Emmot, and someone no one's ever heard of.

    At 5'7" and 245 lbs., no one on a competitive stage had the mass and detail to hang with him, and a half-starved Frank Zane would have looked like a mid-transformation intersex physique competitor if he'd even bothered to stand next to Brutal Bertil onstage.  In the 1977 NABBA Pro Mr. Universe (pictured above), Fox dwarfed Serge Nubret, who was an IFBB fan favorite.  To give you some idea about how badly the corrupt-enough-to-be-Mexican-cops IFBB judges were, check out Bertil's the picture below.  You also should take note of the fact that had Fox entered the IFBB in 1976 instead of dicking around in the NABBA, we'd have a much different historical record in the IFBB, and might never had Lee Haney as a Mr. Olympia at all.  Here was his competition, weighed against Fox:

    Frank Zane 5'9" 187-195 lbs.
    Robby Robinson 5'7" 215 lbs.
    Ken Waller 6'0" 230 lbs.
    Serge Nubret 6' 215 lbs.
    Roy Callender 5'8" 220 lbs.
    Bertil Fox 5'7" 245 lbs.

    Seriously, no one could hang with Brutal Bertil onstage.  The dude was a mass monster before such a thing existed, and he scared the shit out of everyone.  Even Lee Haney was outclassed against Fox, because they weighed the same, but Haney was four inches taller, and Brutal Bertil was always more cut than a bag of dope.  Owing in large part to the fact that he became a murder machine and was subsequently hung in his home nation of St. Kitts, Bertil Fox has fallen out of the zeitgeist and is a forgotten legend in bodybuilding lore.  Never fear, however, because I've got two of his workouts that propelled this bad motherfucker to Mr. Britain, Mr. Europe, and two Mr. Universe titles.  Check it.


    Bertil was again robbed at the 1983 Olympia, when he lost out to an out-massed Lee Haney.

    Brutal Bertil's 1983 Twice Weekly Arm Insanity

    EZ-bar curls: 6 x 6-8 reps, 200 lbs max weight
    Incline dumbbell curls: 6 x 6-8 reps, 80s lbs max weight
    Dumbbell concentration curls: 6 x 6-8 reps, 60 lbs max weight
    Barbell preacher curls, 6 sets: 6-8 x 155 lbs max weight
    One-arm cable curls: 6 x 8-10 reps, 60 lbs max weight
    Lying extensions: 6 x 6-8 reps, 200 lbs max weight
    Bench dips: 6 x 6-8 reps, 135 lbs on legs max weight
    One-arm dumbbell overhead extensions: 6 x 8-10 reps, 60 lbs max weight
    Pushdowns: 6 x 8-10 reps, 250 lbs max weight
    One-arm pushdowns, 6 x 8-10 reps, 100 lbs max weight

    That is one gnarly fucking workout- a minimum of 144 reps on biceps and 216 reps on triceps... which he did twice a week.  Maybe you're just not doing enough arm work if you're not ripping the sleeves of your button down everytime you try to clear a paper jam at the office.



    Brutal Bertil's Gold's Gym Chest Routine... that enabled him to bust out a sick ass set of 6 with 525 lbs in 1983

    Barbell bench press: 5-7 x 4-8 reps
    Dumbbell bench press: 5 x 6-8 reps
    Incline barbell press: 5 x 6-8 reps
    Dips: 5 x 8-10 reps (done as a superset with the flyes)
    Dumbbell flyes: 5 x 6-8 reps

    So there you have it- the secrets behind some of the best upper body development of the pre-growth hormone era.  Use it well... but try not to shoot any of your exes while you're getting swole as fuck.



    Scott "Captain Boulder Shoulders" Wilson

    I recall reading about Scott Wilson early on in some bodybuilding books I purchased second hand, and although I repurchased the old Gold's Gym Book of Bodybuilding, it didn't contain what was obviously some absurdly hardcore shoulder workout that no mere mortal could complete without an 8 ball of cocaine, a 20 oz t-bone for periworkout nutrition, and enough exogenous testosterone to drown a Brahma bull- instead it has a back workout that will probably make kids from Reddit vomit expletives and lengthy missives about steroid use and overtraining while they skip yet another workout to debate the latest useless Pubmed training study.




    Before you scoff, recall that powerlifting was in its infancy when he competed, then note that Wilson rocked a 625 squat, 470 bench, and 665 deadlift in what I assume was the 220 lb weight class in the late 1970s.  Not too shabby, given that powerlifting was just something Wilson did in the offseason from bodybuilding to put on mass.  It's likely not surprise you that this dude sold the bicycle his mom won for him on a game show to buy a set of weights as a kid- this motherfucker was dedicated from an early age.  After entering and winning the Mr. San Diego contest on a dare from his friends, Wilson won the Mr. America, Mr. international, and the Portland Grand Prix.  At 5'10 and 215 lbs with 20" arms and 24" relaxed, unpumped shoulder width, Wilson looked a hell of a lot bigger than he actually was, owing in large part to his tiny waist... which is a miracle he maintained once you check out his pants-shittingly insane precontest back workout (I've looked fucking everywhere, and I tragically could not find his shoulder workout, which I was dying to try).


    If this dude's shoulders don't make you want to break into the gym in off hours and slay weights, nothing will.  The lat spread is legit, too.

    Deadlift: 5 x 5 reps
    Bent barbell row: 5 x 6-8 reps
    T-bar row: 5 x 6-8 reps
    Lat machine pulldown: 5 x 8 reps
    One arm dumbbell row: 5 x 8 reps
    Barbell shrug: 5 x 8 reps
    Upright row: 5 x 8 reps



    Victor "Train Like A Maniac and Eat Your Fucking Face Off" Richards

    If you want to talk about a bodybuilder the Weiders fucking HATED, it's Victor Richards.  The biggest motherfucker on the planet in the 1990s, Richards only competed a couple of times but got a bunch of press in Ironman magazine, as I recall.  At 5'9" and 300 pretty fucking lean pounds, Richards dwarfed the reigning Mr. Olympia at the time, Dorian Yates (5'10" 255 lbs), and would still outmass just about every bodybuilder on the planet today in competition shape (Phil Heath is 5'9" 252 lbs and Big Ramy is Victor Richards' size, but with the addition of a hell of a lot of advances in pharmacology).  His measurements seem like complete fabrications, until you see pictures of him... and bear in mind when you read these measurements that this was pre-growth hormone era development, and Richards could bust out a vacuum pose that would make Frank Zane blush.  Allegedly capable of a belt-and-wrapless 900 lb squat, Richards purportedly had a seated military press of 450 lbs, a 600 lb bench, a 550 incline bench, 200 lb dumbbell shoulder press, 26" arms, 24" calves, 67" chest (what in the sweet fuck?), 37" thighs, and a 36" waist.  Those measurements are utterly insane, as are his lifts.  Sheer lunacy, fueled by anger and as much food as the man could fit down his throat (he guesstimated that on a really insane day of eating, his calories would reach about 30,000... which again sounds fucking crazy, but the man was humongous).



    Sadly, Vic Richards hated competing more than Donald Trump hates protesting and the fact that the USFL went tits up.  He won the 1992 Nigerian National Championships, the 1989 Mr. Barbados, and the California Gold Cup Classic in 1984, but just based on speculation I'm going to say those titles were not exactly hotly contested.  He did, however, initiate a surprise posedown at the 1994 FIBO with then-Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates, whom he dwarfed at an alleged 320 puffy pounds.



    Tragically, there's no record of an exact Richard workout, because the dude trained entirely by feel.  He trained until he was so fucking tired he had to grow, then would eat until he couldn't fit any more food down his throat.  Inspired in large part by the ultra-awesome Barbarian brothers, Vic Richards defined taking it to the ultimate fucking extreme- massive powerlifts followed by nearly endless hypertrophy training, balls to the wall, all the fucking time.  If nothing else, the man should stand as an example of what someone can do if the do literally nothing other than eat, sleep, and train as if a team of burly men with spiked bats will anally rape your grandma with their weapons if you don't go bananas enough.



    Gary Strydom

    Gary Strydom is one of the most horrifying victims of the Weiders' insane hatred of competing federations.  Perhaps the greatest bodybuilder ever from the front, Strydom's been basically stricken from the IFBB record after having tested the waters in a competing federation created by comic-book-evil pro wrestling magnate Vince McMahon.  The federation was a complete bust- McMahon essentially tried to turn bodybuilding into a pro wrestling-esque soap opera and the entire thing was a retarded-shit-show-of-anything-Steve-Harvey-has-ever-done proportions.


    That's just ridiculous.

    Strydom's competition history is as long as your arm, and you'll note his ridiculously low placing in the IFBB after returning to the fold- the Weiders punished everyone who jumped ship for Vince McMahon's WBF with low placings for the remainder of their careers, no matter what their condition.  Aaron "Batman" Baker (the Kai Green before Kai Green), uber-beast Mike Christian, David Death (one of the most shredded individuals to ever walk the Earth), and Berry DeMay also suffered appalling placings in spite of the fact they outclassed the majority of their competition as penance for participating in McMahon's idiotic soap opera of a federation.  In any event, here's what a beast Strydom was:

    1983 NPC Florida Championships, Junior - Heavyweight, 1st and Overall
    1984 NPC USA Championships, HeavyWeight, 1st
    1986 NPC Nationals, HeavyWeight, 1st and Overall
    1987 Night of Champions, Winner
    1988 Chicago Pro Invitational, 2nd
    1988 Mr. Olympia, 5th
    1989 Arnold Classic, 3rd
    1989 Grand Prix France, 1st
    1989 Grand Prix Germany, 2nd
    1989 Grand Prix Melbourne, 1st
    1989 Grand Prix Spain (2), 2nd
    1989 Grand Prix Spain, 2nd
    1989 Grand Prix Sweden, 1st
    1989 World Pro Championships, 2nd
    1990 Grand Prix England, 2nd
    1990 Grand Prix Finland, 3rd
    1990 Grand Prix France, 2nd
    1990 Grand Prix Germany, 4th
    1990 Grand Prix Italy, 3rd
    1990 Houston Pro Invitational, 2nd
    1990 Ironman Pro Invitational, 4th
    1991 Night of the Champions, Winner
    1991 WBF Championships, 1st
    1992 WBF Championships, 1st
    1996 Night of Champions, 12th
    2006 Colorado Pro Championships, 7th


    To be that big and insanely conditioned, you'd think Strydom would basically have had to live in the gym... and you would be absolutely correct.  The man would take off a day every two weeks, and his workouts were not what you would call low volume- even into his 50s the dude is still training so hard that his training partners tap out midway thought a workout.  Here is his unspeakably brutal double-split competition split, which he would do for twelve weeks, generally taking one day off every two weeks:

    Day 1- Quads (a.m.); hamstrings (p.m.)
    Day 2- Biceps, triceps (a.m.); calves, stationary cycling (p.m.)
    Day 3- Deadlifts (a.m.); upper back (p.m.)
    Day 4- Chest (a.m.); shoulders, abdominals, cycling (p.m.)

    Strydom trained like he was possessed by a team of demons hell bent on having the biggest arms and shoulders in history, and he'd scream wacky shit like "THERE'S A MANIAC LOOSE IN THE GYM! HE'S GOT GREAT DELTS, THOUGH!" during his ultra-late night training sessions.  Fueled by psychopathy and so many chicken breasts the World Court should have him up on charges for avian genocide, Strydom built a physique that absolutely no one could match, and at the top of his game he was more than a match for the reigning Mr. Olympia Lee Haney.


    Fellow fuckee Berry DeMay, Lee Haney, and Gary Strydom in the Olympia

    We might as well start with the man's shoulder routine, since his shoulders rival those of Scott Wilson and we all need to rethink our priorities after looking at those gigantic things.  This is just a sample workout, as his routine varied based on how he felt.  In Strydom's own words:
    "I suggest training delts by themselves so you can focus 100% of your mental and physical strength to this body part, which, in all honestly, can't be too big," says Strydom. "I like to punish my shoulders to the max. Sometimes I train them for 45 minutes, other times it will take two hours. Delts can take a lot of beating and a lot of volume. To get them to grow, you have to keep going until you cannot put a shaker cup to your mouth."
    Machine Shoulder (Military) Press- 5 x 12 reps
    Leverage Shoulder Press- 5 x 12 reps
    Bent Over Low-Pulley Side Lateral- 5 x 16 reps
    Calf-Machine Shoulder Shrug- 5 x 18 reps

    In other words, we're all fucking pussies because our volume is so low it wouldn't even qualify as a warmup for Strydom, who is reported to have been strong as a rabid ox on a steady anadrol-and-methyltest regimen.  Strydom hated competing but loves to train, and really only competed to satisfy his rabid pre-internet fanbase.  Had the man been born 20 years later, he'd have been an Instagram superstar the judges couldn't ignore, as he took selfies before selfies were even a thing, and before there was an internet on which to post them.  Bear witness, and he exercises his exorcism:




    At 6'1" and 230 lbs, Strydom wasn't exactly a mass monster, and his back could have used more mass, but his physique was still the thing superheros would kill to have, and his chest was definitely one of his standout bodyparts.  Just as he did with his shoulders, Strydom beat the fuck out of his chest like his name was Liam Neeson and his chest had kidnapped his daughter.  What follows is again a sample workout, since his routine varied greatly based on his level of fatigue.

    Strydom's Pectoral Annihilation Routine

    Dumbbell Bench Press (warm-up only)- 3-4 x 10-12 reps
    Dumbbell Bench Press / Flye Combo- 5-6 x 12-25 reps
    Incline Machine Press- 4-5 x 12-25 reps
    Cable Crossovers- 8-12  x 10-30 reps
    Dumbbell Pullovers- 5 x 10-12 reps

    With routines like that, Strydom managed to never win the Olympia, in spite of the fact he was never anything but ripped to the bone, sporting 22" arms, a 32" waist, 29" thighs, 19" calves. a 19.5" neck, and a 61" chest.  Ridiculous, but I suppose it speaks pretty loudly to never fucking with the Weider empire if you want that Olympia crown.

    Obviously, there are plenty of other examples I can and shall provide of bodybuilders outside of the Weider camp who could have trashed their IFBB competition.  The aforementioned Gold's Gym Book of Bodybuilding is chock full of eccentric individuals who shunned the IFBB for other federations, and their programs were crazier than a bag of wet cats.  Don't let the magazines fool you- there are some bad motherfuckers out there of whom you've never heard, but you should.  Their programs all boil down to the same message, though- train your fucking ass off and the gains will flow like semen after a gangbang.

    Go forth and destroy.

    Sources:
    All about Gary Strydom.  Bodybuilding Pro.  Web.  26 Sep 2017.  http://www.bodybuildingpro.com/garystrydom.html

    Gary Strydom's workout routine.  Pumping Iron Mag.  31 May 2014.  Web.  26 Sep 2017.  http://pumpingironmag.com/content/gary-strydoms-workout-routine

    Gethin, Kris.  Delt delerium training with Gary Strydom.  Bodybuilding.com.  6 Aug 2014.  Web.  26 Sep 2017.  https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/delt-delirium-training-shoulders-with-gary-strydom.html

    Heffernan, Conor.  Reprint of Jerry Brainum's article "Every which way but loose: Gary Strydom's chest training turns his pecs inside out for awesome mass."  Physical Culture Study.  12 Apr 2017.  Web.  26 Sep 2017.  https://physicalculturestudy.com/2017/04/12/every-which-way-but-loose-gary-strydoms-chest-training-turns-his-pecs-inside-out-for-awesome-mass/

    Merritt, Greg.  Hardcore Contender - Bertil Fox. Flex.  Web.  9 Oct 2016. http://www.flexonline.com/training/hardcore-contender-bertil-fox

    Sprague, Ken and Bill Reynolds.  The Gold's Gym Book of Bodybuilding.  Chicago: Contemporary Books, Inc., 1983.

    Victor Richards.  Greatest Physiques.  Web.  21 Aug 2017.  http://www.greatestphysiques.com/victor-richards/