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P-Factor™ is the willingness, the eagerness with which we give ourselves Permission to PHail. It's the excuses, the compromises, the deals we make in our secret hearts, the calculations and the little stories we tell ourselves that allow us to save our energy for some hypothetical future all-out effort instead of using it now when it matters. So that the all-out effort never really comes. How cunning. Such a relief. Because that would be hard. And exercise is all about looking good.

So there they are, the dudes, chatting in the gym, pairs and trios mostly, getting ready to get to it! Any time now. Oh, there one goes! Ah, curls. Excellent. Pump those bi's, gee. Cranking away, eeek eeek eeek like a rusty hinge. "Ungh, ungh, ungh," he says, a painful expression distorting his glossy countenance. And now after a suitable rest it's something with a bar and some weight held over his head at a strange angle, arms akimbo. "Ooomp." It impresses us as being very scientific.

Indeed, the gymrat bodybuilders, per their muscleman mags, know all about intensity -- the way they know about silkworm farming: as a theory. No need at all for any P-Factor™ here. There's no intention of achieving even the slightest amount of grueling effort, which is what P-Factor™ gets us out of. They do get a thimbleful of benefit from the facemaking they practice, which over a long enough time will amount to a bucketful of effort. Good for them. But they're not serious. Because emotion isn't what makes us serious. Effectiveness is. It's what you do.

The most effective thing is intensity. Saving nothing. Doing it now. The enemy of intensity is P-Factor™. It has to do with mental toughness. You don't get it by wanting it. You get it by building it, through consistent training and by continuing self-examination to find the weakling in your mental closet so you can slap h/im/er until s/he stops making excuses. Easy to say, hard to do. Because a lot of the time the weakling isn't in the closet. S/he's out front offering you bon bons. But no excuses. Dogs need to be trained. You do it by consistency and clear expectations.

We call it P-Factor™. P as in permission. Permission to Phail. As if we needed Permission.

Yes, P-Factor™ is trademarked, the way you can patent a gene. As for how to overcome it totally, why there's just one thing you need! Our new, exclusively revised and updated INFINITE DINOSAURS PROGRAM, available now for a LIMITED TIME ONLY from our luxurious corporate office complex located in EXOTIC Las Vegas, Nevada, at the low low price of only $399.99! That's right! INFINITE DINOSAURS™!!! -- over 127 elegant spiral bound pages with several professionally-drawn TWO-COLOR illustrations of almost virtually everything you need to achieve the new new you you knew you knew you always knew you wanted to be! INFINITE DINOSAURS!!!! Sent direct to YOU by first class mail via the United States Postal Service of AMERICA! No APOs. Hurry! Get that P-Factor™ OUT of your face!!!!! You might expect to pay thousands of dollars for the VALUABLE secrets contained in just one paragraph of this priceless INFINITE DINOSAURS PROGRAM!! So act now before this limited one-time offer expires forever! Rush cash or money order for the amazing INFINITE DINOSAURS PROGRAMto: FabulousOneTimeChance, TRLR 11, Mobile Haven, Rural Route 29, Henderson, NV, 89009. Don't wait!!! Act now!!! You CANNOT afford not to!!!  P-Factor™ is everywhere!!! INFINITE DINOSAURS™!!!!!!! ***>>>>>SATISFACTION GUARANTEED!!!!<<<<<**** Do it NOW!!!!


Yes. Well. Uh, pardon. How did that happen? Too much television? You see, though, the danger of too much hype. There is no magic, other than the psychological kind. People do sometimes win the lottery. Hurray for them. The rest of us earn what we have. And we don't appreciate being lied to, or hearing phony promises. You know it, girlfriend. Infinite Dinosaurs™, nor acai berries, nor any other uberproduct will burn the calories or add the muscle for you. To get it, you earn it. Either the hard way, which is inefficient and unnecessarily unpleasant -- or the less-hard way, which is efficient and necessarily unpleasant.

Not a very good sales pitch, eh? But it's not about hype. Honesty. Sorry, if you were hoping to be lied to. Look up your ex, for that. What you really want is effective exercise, safety and results. It takes reasonable work. Interested? If not, well, uh, could it be P-Factor™? (And no, it's not trademarked ... or is it?)

Be excellent.


CrossFit Burbank

*Allow eight to ten months for delivery. Not responsible for lost or stolen items. Guarantee valid only until December 31, 1997.


This one is laughable, several times. This one is sad, yet beautiful.  This one is just silly. This one is a study in foolishness. An even bigger fool (starting at :20). Here's why (and from another angle). Deeply disturbing.

It's entirely possible that pressure points can do odd things. We've all hit our funnybones, and that proves something. It's remotely possible that there is some actual but immeasurable force that might be transmitted without recourse to the physical universe. It's certain that we have not seen it here. Those of us who have seen the name-it-and-claim-it hairdoo preachers on TV will recognize the falling bodies. Emotion and fraud. Satan loves religion.

That an old man should delude himself is pitiable. That his "blackbelt" disciples, steeped in Hongywood acrobatics, should collude or fall prey to the delusion is shameful. That some MMA fighter should beat up this foolish old man is just the way of the world. Harsh lessons may or may not be necessary, but the world is full of them, regardless. So we'll comfort ourselves by supposing they're necessary.

Let's look for the lessons, and learn them, before we end up crumpled on the floor, bleeding, in shock, and mortified. Let's not be fools. Let's test all things, and hold fast to that which is true.

Be excellent.


CrossFit Burbank

Fuel to the Fire

A fit individual can maintain a constant healthy bodyweight for an entire adult lifetime. The body finds its weight according to its activity level, and the diet adjusts itself to that via appetite. If there is less exercise, five extra pounds of useless weight may be gained, from storing more than is used. But it levels off. There is a lag time, then. But there is self-regulation.

Getting fat, very fat, should be no easier than getting very muscular. Both are functions of hormones and metabolism. Eating by itself won't do either. Neither will moving or not moving. There is a range that normal individuals have, within which they will gain or lose weight. After that, it takes exceptional effort or circumstances, or a profound genetic or hormonal disruption.

To get muscular, amino acids and glucose must be directed within muscle cells, guided by hormones. To get fat, free fatty acids and glycogen must be localized within fat cells. It is not the presence of amino acids or FFAs that dictate this. It isn't the presence of insulin per se. It is the receptivity of cells and the prevalence of hormones. A muscle cell takes in raw materials not because they are in the bloodsteam, but because its receptors have been activated or sensitized. Exercising a muscle does that. Then, if sufficient nutrients and the proper hormones, testosterone, HGH, etc, are in the bloodstream, muscle growth will occur. Same deal with fat. An excess of glycerol and insulin, in a generally insulin-resistant body, will result in the pervading corpulence of the current American population.

It isn't about excess calories anymore than being muscular would be. It's about the type of nutrients and the hormonal reactions. Some people are born to be powerful, some to be fat. The rest of us have to work at it, or fall into it by habits of lifestyle. It's not a moral statement. Only choices can be judged by moral standards. We might say, informed choices. That's why there is the Old Testament concept of unwitting sin -- it is treated differently by God. The harm is done, but the guilt is less. Those who are congenitally muscular may be proud, as those who are fat may feel shame or guilt. But not all blessings are earned, nor curses. The universe, like metabolism, is hormonal. There is balance, within a range.

Because muscle is made of protein, and fat is made of, uh, fat, people generally assume there is a cause and effect relationship. But perhaps we've seen the dudes with the protein powders straining away in the gym trying to bulk up those guns. Some of them do. But they usually look, to an informed eye, sort of puffy and soft, and always malproportioned. Unwitting sin. It's the opposite with the fatties. They think fewer calories rather than more grunting will do it. Yes, it will, sort of for a while, until they start eating again in the way they think is normal. But it's not, none of it, about calories, anymore than heat is about fuel. There's a lot of fuel in the world. Why isn't the world on fire?

Some of the work, you just have to do. Sometimes there's no help but what you give yourself. Sometimes there's help.

Here we are.

Be excellent.


CrossFit Burbank

The Good with the Bad

Meat, including red meat, or bacon, or lard, seems -- according to actual evidence, rather than the common bias that plagues dogmatic but non-evidentiary medical belief -- to play no role in creating heart disease. It may in fact mitigate against it, in that it promotes good cholesterol and inhibits bad.

That's a very VERY challenging statement. Consult then G. Taubes, in his meticulously documented "Good Calories, Bad Calories," pp. 168-169:

"The observation that monounsaturated fats both lower [bad] LDL cholesterol and raise [good] HDL also came with an ironic twist: the principal fat in red meat, eggs, and bacon is not saturated fat, but the very same monounsaturated fat as in olive oil. The implications are almost impossible to believe after three decades of public-health recommendations suggesting that any red meat consumed should at least be lean, with any excess fat removed.

"Consider a porterhouse steak with a quarter-inch layer of fat. After broiling, this steak will reduce to almost equal parts fat and protein. Fifty-one percent of the fat is monounsaturated, of which 90 percent is oleic acid. Saturated fat constitutes 45 percent of the total fat, but a third of that is stearic acid, which will increase HDL cholesterol while having no effect on LDL. (Stearic acid is metabolized in the body to oleic acid....) The remaining 4 percent of the fat is polyunsaturated, which lowers LDL cholesterol but has no meaningful effect on HDL. In sum, perhaps as much as 70 percent of the fat content of a porterhouse steak will improve the relative levels of LDL and HDL cholesterol, compared with what they would be if carbohydrates such as bread, potatoes, or pasta were consumed. The remaining 30 percent will raise LDL cholesterol but will also raise HDL cholesterol and will have an insignificant effect, if any, on the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL. All of this suggests that eating a porterhouse steak in lieu of bread or potatoes would actually reduce heart-disease risk, although virtually no nutritional authority will say so publicly. The same is true for lard and bacon."

The lesson is not that meat is good, but that refined carbs are bad. Didn't we already know that? From a heart disease perspective, meat is the lesser evil. And it's not the meat anyway, but the fat. Meanwhile carbs, refined carbs, industrial carbs, appear to be the single major factor in creating heart disease, diabetes, obesity -- Syndrome X. Sounds like bad news for vegetarians, eh?

Indeed it is. Bad news for some vegetarians. The muffin vegetarians. The unthoughtful ones. The PETA freaks. The fanatics. But not for those vegetarians who are about health. Because in terms of nutrition,  responsible people don’t use refined carbs in meaningful amounts. It’s not that meat is good and veggies are bad. It’s that meat, with its mitigating role in disease, should be irrelevant, since those diseases shouldn’t be a problem, and wouldn’t be, given a sensible, plant-based diet.

Of course there are problems with an imbalanced and foolish carb diet. Huge problems, of plague proportions. But if those problems were solved, as they easily could be, by using unprocessed plant nutrients, then what would the major problem with its major diseases be? Per The China Study, meat, and its putrefaction and its autoimmune diseases.

See? Diet is the most important common factor in health. Exercise is about fitness. There is significant crossover between these two distinct areas, but the areas are distinct. It's all very Confucian. You know ... the Rectification of Names. Truth starts by calling a thing what it is.

Be excellent.


CrossFit Burbank
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