Some Pandemics Are Mind-viruses; or The Easy Peasy Way to Quit Porn

I recently had a conversation with a friend about some of the worst viruses that existed in human history and we got to talking about the what makes for the worst. Is it the number of people that die, is it the number of people who suffer symptoms, or is there some other metric?

Well, in our conversation, I told him that I found a book recently, one that I really feel compelled to share with you, that is what is called a hackbook. If you don’t know what a hackbook is, that’s okay. A hackbook is one where a hack author, not just a hack, takes another text and hacks it to represent the hack author’s needs. And in my conversation with my friend, I told him about how I thought that pornography had become the worst virus in modern history and that this hackbook I read recently offered a really impressive vacination.

My argument for why I believe that pornography is the worst virus to have infected man kind is because of the number of people infected and the wide array of symptoms that manifest due to consumption. If you want a immense breakdown for what porn does to your brain, check out your brain on porn. Really incredible stuff, and it is referenced in the hack author’s book called “The Easy Peasy Way to Quit Porn.”

Cover Image

Basically, this book was written using “The Easy Peasy Way to Quit Smoking.” And as you are reading it, you can clearly see the similarities between these two incredible substances. But the main point that I want to drive here is that after reading this book, I was incredibly astounded by the kinds of introspective questions that it encourages you to ask your self. Some of them really took me by surprise.

Now I know what you are thinking, I don’t look at porn. That’s where I think you need to stop kidding your self. You might not be looking at the tube sites and you might not be indulging in HD DVDs from truck stops, but you most certainly are looking at porn. And it isn’t in a way that you might think. Say you like to watch football, and “the best part” is the cheerleaders between commercial breaks. Or you love sports illustrated or GQ or Cosmo. Or maybe you are one of these people that don’t like watching Game of Thrones on HBO. Heck you might only ever get on the internet every once in a while just to surf social media.

And that’s just it, porn takes on so many different forms that it is in your very own social media. Don’t believe me? Do you ever go to instagram? Do you ever visit snapchat? do you ever use facebook? Heck, I bet you will even find porn on LinkedIn. You see, pornography stimulates a portion of your brain to fire dopamine. And pornography doesn’t have to be naked people to get your dopamine sensors firing, that’s why the romance novel industry is as sought out after as it is.

The fact of the matter is that pornography is any instance where you are served with supernormal stimuli, and your brain fires off dopamine because of the exaggerated stimulus. Over time, normal stimulus doesn’t bring you pleasure and you must spend more and more time, going to further and further means of getting dopamine. I mean, did you see how incredibly fast TikTok caught on? It is the newest rush of dopamine.

Once you have an idea of what supernormal stimuli is, you have to be very paitient with your self. Reading this book, The Easy Peasy Way to Quit Porn, will help understand where supernormal stimuli is in your life and the fastest and easiest way to quit participating in it. I would love to tell you what the secret sauce is, but you really should just read the book and see for your self how little supernormal stimuli is doing nothing for you, only costing you, and how easy peasy it is to stop indulging.

The biggest reason that I wanted to share this book today is because I too had a porn addiction, just as I have suffered a cigarette addiction, a pot addiction, and a booze addiction. Addiction is incredibly destructive, and it rears its ugly head in a way into a person’s life like you wouldn’t imagine. But before you go off thinking I was some degenerate of the most epic proportions, you have to understand, I did not choose to be addicted to porn. And likely, neither did you. I did not choose to become enslaved in the vice. I did not choose to become infected by the mind-virus. But I did choose to see the truth. I did choose to see what it wasn’t doing for me. I did choose to see how I don’t need it anymore. And I did choose to be grateful to be done with a terrible addiction. And guess what? I haven’t been happier.

And that’s what I was getting at with my friend, that like a virus, porn infects a person unknowingly and manipulates their behavior to propagate the the virus on to others. Porn is free, like a virus, and the symptoms are not always readily apparent, like a virus. But over time, the virus of pornography begins to change behavior, change demeanor, change the very structure of you mind until you must have pornography to satisfied. Regretfully, it is like drinking ocean water – the more you drink, the sicker you get.

The same is true for romance novels on your eReader (“I only read before bed, or on my lunch break.”), or instagram (“I just check it everyonce in a while.”), or facebook (“I look at it when I am in the bathroom.”), or snapchat (“I like to check it when I am driving.”). The point is that we have become so addicted to supernormal stimuli that we have encouraged our phone companies and social media giants to make it fit in our pocket, stream HD, and on demand. It isn’t that you miss being connected to other people when you don’t have your phone, its that you don’t have access to supernormal stimuli and you might suffer withdrawals.

Alright, this was definitely a departure from my normal book reading, but this book was really good and I want to encourage others to read it when they can see that now is the time to make a change: The Easy Peasy Way to Quit Porn.

Callisthenic Secrets Found in Convict Conditioning

I recently found myself wondering if there was a better way to do fitness after I Started a 90 day no-gym fitness journey, and I think I found it.

First of all, I don’t think that you will be able to find this book in a traditional book store. And truthfully, if it wasn’t for the immense library at Library Genesis, I doubt that I would have ever known about this book.

Convict Conditioning: How to Bust Free of All Weakness-Using the Lost  Secrets of Supreme Survival Strength - Kindle edition by Wade, Paul.  Health, Fitness & Dieting Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

This book was an absolute god send to me after I noticed a strange pain in my right foot, right behind the Hallux Bone. If you don’t know what bone that is, that’s okay. Its the proper name for the big toe. Anyway, I found that this part of my foot was hurting soooo bad and I really couldn’t quite explain it, and so I was propelled to find something that would help remedy this problem.

See, there are really only one of four things that influence the body’s pain (from my limited understanding of the body): the way you use the body, the food you feed the body, the condition you have received your body, and the way that other’s are using your body. That last one sounds weird, but bear with me; the way that a virus uses your body will determine if your body will deteriorate or not, and which parts. The other things that influence your experience of you body are pretty self explanatory.

Now, I haven’t been sick. So that ruled out the last one. I haven’t had any major changes in my diet recently. I tend to eat pretty well six out of eight days a week, so that ruled out the food aspect for me. I have only recently been experiencing this pain and so I strongly doubted it was congenital. So what that really left me with was how I was using the body.

As it turns out, this is exactly what was happening. I have been misusing my body ever since I left the gym and began using weights at home. Now, I am not using crazy amounts of weight, below is a picture of the weights I have been using. But did you notice something?

Yes, that is a hard wood floor. I have been working out barefoot on a hard wood floor and the repetitions using weight on this floor caused serious soft tissue damage to my feet. I know, crazy to think about how sensitive the body is when placed under tremendous repetitive strain. And that’s exactly what Paul Wade describes in his book.

The human body wasn’t made to lift weights over and over again. Day after day after day, with every increasing weight and intensity. This is, in his opinion, a recipe for disaster. And why is that? From his point of view, the human body is only as strong as the weakest link. And when you are lifting heavy weights, in his opinion, you are unnaturally applying resistance on parts of the body that take a tremendous amount of time and training to be able to perform some of the feats of strength that are being demanded of them. Specifically, the ligaments and joints.

Your body is incredibly adaptive when it comes to hypertrophy, or muscle building, but it isn’t very good at adapting to stress with regards to ligaments and joints. Look at the picture below, do you see all those ligaments and tendons? Those bad boys will never become muscular like the calves or the biceps. They have to be trained over a long period of time. So how do you do that?

foot anatomy | Foot And Ankle Bones, Ligaments, Tendons And More | Foot  anatomy, Muscle anatomy, Ankle anatomy

On the surface calisthenics, or the art of beautiful strength, makes sense. But when taken into account against modern methods found in #gymlife, they seem lame. That is until you take some time to look into some of the strongest people on the planet: Convicts. And from the perspective of someone who has been going to the gym for almost half a decade, the ideas that are presented in Convict Conditioning are life changing.

It almost goes without saying that the body is capable of incredible feats of strength. But when you think about your body, is it capable of incredible feats of strength? Can you do a single one-arm pullup? I know that I can’t, and in the years of going to the gym I have never seen any one who can at the gym. If you are having a hard time conceptualizing how you would do one, here’s how.

I have found my self incredibly intrigued by this book and Paul Wade does an amazing job of explaining how you too can make your body into an incredible gym. And you don’t need a gym membership or weights or anything like that. You simply have to dedicate time, in a graduated way, doing progressively more difficult exercises until you are able to do the unthinkable. Like 100 one-arm pullups or pushups or one-legged squats or one-arm handstand pushups or one-arm leg raises or standing to standing bridges.

Anyway, if you have been thinking about changing your life: Convict Conditioning has begun to change mine.

Start of a 90 day no-gym fitness journey

I love Sundays. I love being able to sleep in, focus almost exclusively on my interests, and I most especially love the opportunity to reflect on where I see my life’s journey going.

Now, waking up late this morning was definitely a pleasure. I normally wake up at about 4:45am every weekday (if you want some tips on how to do this your self, check out this post), but on the weekends I take a much more unstructured approach.

So there I am in my apartment, I have awoken to the beat of my own drum, and I get the feeling that I want to go to the gym to throw some weights around. That’s when I realize that I had recently froze my account at my local Planet Fitness. Kind of came as a surprise.

I have been going to that gym for five years, almost every single day. You’d think that I had taken some serious crazy pills to freeze my account. Well, as you will soon learn, I did it because I am not willing to take the crazy pills.

Let me explain. About two weeks ago I received an email saying that there would be a mask policy put into place as of August 1st. I shrugged my shoulders, and decided that I would deal with that policy when that day came. Now I am severally opposed to wearing masks at the gym, and so you have to know that this is a cancellable offense in my book.

When August 1st came around, I entered the gym, scanned my bar-code key-chain, and went on my way. That’s when the assistant manager, who I know very well (been going 5 years, you get to know people), came up to me and asked me if I had a mask.

“No,” I said.

“Well, Alixander, we have this new policy that requires you to wear a mask,” she said straining for breath through her fabric mask.

I knew where this was going, and so I simply asked her how long I have to wear the mask.

“You can take it off as soon as you are working out.”

I smiled a big, maskless smile and said, “Well, I am working out right now. Thanks for letting me know.” And I walked on my way.

Needless to say, I ended up getting chased down by the assistant manager and was told that if I didn’t follow policy of wearing the mask when I walked in and walked out of the gym that I would have my account suspended.

Step into my shoes just for a moment, and trust me when I say that I understand that she needs to do her job and enforce policy, but in order for me to enter and exit the gym with a mask on is like saying that I need to wear a condom before and after I have had sex.

I politely told her that I was going to finish my work out and that I was was going to place a freeze on my account. She explained to me that she didn’t want to see me stop my five year streak over something like this. Truthfully, I didn’t care. Who I was when I started at that Planet Fitness five years ago is a very different person than who I am today.

The picture in the photo was of my very first day five years ago.

You can see that I apparently got in trouble a lot for “training” my friends on how the equipment works at the gym

So fast forward to today, waking up to the fact that there will be no gym for the next 90 days. I had some serious questions going on in my head. The first of which was, what do I gain not having to go to a gym any more? The next was, how will my training be hampered without the gym’s equipment?

I contemplated that while I was working on making a new workout shirt for this next stage in my personal fitness journey. Rummaging through my old shirts, I found one of my favorites from a band I absolutely love (Crook and The Bluff) and cut it into my new gym shirt.

Making one of these gym shirts is pretty easy. Making all the muscle to fill it, that’s the hard part.

I followed the instructions from this website for the first one that I made. I make them a little bit different now, but you’ll get the gist of it.

After I was done with cutting up the shirt, an intimidating experience considering how much I love the shirt, I then went on to think deeply at my desk. And the best kind of thinking is done with paper and a writing utensil.

I realized pretty quickly that the biggest upside to not having a gym was that I would be able to work out when ever I wanted, where ever I wanted, and I wouldn’t have to pay to train. That seemed very exciting. Not having a gym meant that I’d be able to train outside in the open air instead of in gym air, or I’d be able to train at home instead of having to compete for gym space. This seemed like a huge upside to me.

The downside that immediately presented its self was that I would not have any gym equipment. This would mean that I would have to either get super creative about body weight workouts, or I would have to start investing money into gym equipment that would be taking up more space in my already small living situation. So the downside of not having a gym was that I would have to house my own equipment, or my workouts would become longer for less of a result.

What do I mean by, longer for less of a result? Well, I will use one example. The way that the human body is designed is to compete with the forces of gravity. All of the functions of the body are meant to compete with the never ending pull that the earth has on the mass of the human body. That means that I could easily do pushups and air-squats for almost indefinitely with enough training.

On the flipside, there is the problem of the pull exercises. As the body is primarily made to push away from the force of the earth, there are few instances where the pull muscles of the back are necessary. And except for things like pulling a rope, or climbing a tree, the back is severally limited when it comes to body weight exercises. So in order to over come that, equipment or props will become necessary.

Liberty Park | Utah tourism, Salt lake city, Utah
Here is a pretty ideal picture of the park’s views of the rocky mountains.

After some time of contemplating the upsides and downsides to no gym, I got off my butt and headed out the door for Salt Lake City’s Liberty Park. In no time at all I had completely forgot all those upsides and downsides. As I went about the streets of my city, I found myself picking ripe apples, plums, grapes and pears while walking to the park. By the time I got there, I was basically on a sugar rush. It was time I got to training.

Using a concrete picnic table, I did the following workout:

  • Alternating Step-ups: 20 each side
  • Inclined Pushups: 20
  • Seated Crunches: 20
  • Air-squats: 30
  • Lunges: 20 each side
  • Speed-skaters: 20 each side
  • Rotating Planks: 20 each side
  • Lateral kicks: 20 each side
  • Backward kicks: 20 each side
  • Criss-cross kicks: 20 each side

Granted, this wasn’t the most strenuous workout. In fact, it was pretty freaking easy. But being in the shade of a bunch of huge cottonwood trees was incredible. I loved every minute of being able to breath the air around me and to feel the gentle breeze that came through the trees. Honestly, I loved the feeling.

Afterwards, I went for a run around the park. The park so happens to be a mile around and the pace I took was a pretty good one. Once I had finished the big loop, I headed on home. As I walked home listening to birds singing and watching squirrels dart up and down trees, I thought very seriously about what the next 90 days of my fitness adventure would be like. I wondered as I walked home how others had handled this change from gym life to no-gym life. I knew that I wasn’t the only person to let the gym go in the last couple of months. So now I turn the time over to you:

What have you done since you kicked the gym habit?