From now on, you can find me here: Ben By Design
The basic prinicple that rests at the heart of repeated success, is understanding that A=A. There are real laws to this universe. Things can be proven. Drop an object, and it will fall to the ground everytime.
Nothing will stymie success more than blanking out the fact that A=A.
I see examples of this daily when talking with others;
Thankfully, reality is real, and when two people disagree, reality will always be the final arbiter.
Tell me that strength isn’t required to squat 500lbs, then put it on your back and see what happens.
Tell me that a headstand is a progression to a handstand, and watch countless of my students stand on their hands for a minute, while you sweat in a 105 degree room and wonder why your shoulders mysteriously aren’t any stronger from balancing on your head.
Tell me everything is good in moderation, and blank out the fact that you neither; look, feel or perform as those who actually have asked, and proven, what the body requires to be optimal.
Tell me success is a product of wishes, whims, luck and other contradictory princples- blanking out the fact that it takes, on average, 6 years for those who inherit wealth/win the lottery, to be back to the same level as they were before.
Tell me there are no absolutes- blanking out the fact you’re stating an absolute.
Tell me that we know we know nothing- blanking out the fact that you’re assuming knowledge.
Tell me it is genetic, and blank out the examples of Art Devany, Mark Sisson, Jack LaLanne, Erwan LeCorre & many others.
I will leave you with a quote from my favourite novel, Atlas Shrugged.
“Whatever you choose to consider, be it an object, an attribute or an action, the law of identity remains the same. A leaf cannot be a stone at the same time, it cannot be all red and all green at the same time, it cannot freeze and burn at the same time. A is A. Or, if you wish it stated in simpler language: You cannot have your cake and eat it, too.
“Are you seeking to know what is wrong with the world? All the disasters that have wrecked your world, came from your leaders’ attempt to evade the fact that A is A. All the secret evil you dread to face within you and all the pain you have ever endured, came from your own attempt to evade the fact that A is A. The purpose of those who taught you to evade it, was to make you forget that Man is Man.
“Man cannot survive except by gaining knowledge, and reason is his only means to gain it. Reason is the faculty that perceives, identifies and integrates the material provided by his senses. The task of his senses is to give him the evidence of existence, but the task of identifying it belongs to his reason, his senses tell him only that something is,but what it is must be learned by his mind.
“All thinking is a process of identification and integration. Man perceives a blob of color; by integrating the evidence of his sight and his touch, he learns to identify it as a solid object; he learns to identify the object as a table; he learns that the table is made of wood; he learns that the wood consists of cells, that the cells consist of molecules, that the molecules consist of atoms. All through this process, the work of his mind consists of answers to a single question: What is it? His means to establish the truth of his answers is logic, and logic rests on the axiom that existence exists. Logic is the art of non-contradictory identification. A contradiction cannot exist. An atom is itself, and so is the universe; neither can contradict its own identity; nor can a part contradict the whole. No concept man forms is valid unless he integrates it without contradiction into the total sum of his knowledge. To arrive at a contradiction is to confess an error in one’s thinking; to maintain a contradiction is to abdicate one’s mind and to evict oneself from the realm of reality.”- John Galt
Welcome to reality- you are not a special snowflake.
Anonymous asked: great website - do you know my buddy Wheels?
We have all heard it before.. “Don’t let your ego get in the way”….” Just keep your mouth shut if you have nothing nice to say”… “Leave your ego at the door”… “A big ego is the greatest problem there is with men”…Let me tell you why this is batshit crazy.
When someone proclaims one of those statements, they are asking you to practice the altruistic virtue of “blanking out” the fact that your mind is of value. That you are of value. These statements generally come from those who proclaim there is no right or wrong, only moral greyness. These people are asking you NOT to think.
Ego is derived from the latin word “I.” Your ego is YOU. Yourself. A man’s self is his mind- the faculty that perceives, forms judgements, chooses values.
Now, let me go into this a bit further. The egoism that I practice is rational egoism OR rational selfishness. Rational egoism is the principle that an action is rational if and only if it maximizes one’s self-interest.
“The Objectivist ethics proudly advocates and upholds rational selfishness—which means: the values required for man’s survival qua man—which means: the values required for human survival—not the values produced by the desires, the emotions, the “aspirations,” the feelings, the whims or the needs of irrational brutes, who have never outgrown the primordial practice of human sacrifices, have never discovered an industrial society and can conceive of no self-interest but that of grabbing the loot of the moment.”- Ayn Rand
“Men have been taught that the ego is the synonym of evil, and selflessness the ideal of virtue. But the creator is the egoist in the absolute sense, and the selfless man is the one who does not think, feel, judge or act. These are functions of the self.
Here the basic reversal is most deadly. The issue has been perverted and man has been left no alternative—and no freedom. As poles of good and evil, he was offered two conceptions: egoism and altruism. Egoism was held to mean the sacrifice of others to self. Altruism—the sacrifice of self to others. This tied man irrevocably to other men and left him nothing but a choice of pain: his own pain borne for the sake of others or pain inflicted upon others for the sake of self. When it was added that man must find joy in self-immolation, the trap was closed. Man was forced to accept masochism as his ideal—under the threat that sadism was his only alternative. This was the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on mankind.
This was the device by which dependence and suffering were perpetuated as fundamentals of life.
The choice is not self-sacrifice or domination. The choice is independence or dependence. The code of the creator or the code of the second-hander. This is the basic issue. It rests upon the alternative of life or death. The code of the creator is built on the needs of the reasoning mind which allows man to survive. The code of the second-hander is built on the needs of a mind incapable of survival. All that which proceeds from man’s independent ego is good. All that which proceeds from man’s dependence upon men is evil.”- Ayn Rand
This rational egoism should not be confused with those brutes who cannot admit they are wrong, when the facts of reality prove otherwise. It takes a man with high self-esteem to admit that he is wrong. Self-esteem will be a whole other post- I am working on it.
Remember folks- we believe that you are designed to be extraordinary. We believe that life is enjoyment. We believe that you are of value. We believe your highest value is yourself. We believe that before you can say “I love you,” you have to say “I”= Ego.
Look, we at Life By Design, believe that the bodies natural state is healthy. We believe in thriving, not just surviving. This natural state is only achieved once we provide the body with the basic requirements of life.
If you looked at a wilting plant, you wouldn’t immediately diagnose it with this or that disease. First, you’d ask what it needs; water, sunlight, nutrient rich soil. The same is true for the body- give it what it requires and you will thrive.
There is no arguing that the state of the world economy is a mess- as is the state of our health as a species. We are sicker than we’ve ever been, and its only getting worse. The one thing required for a healthy economy, is capital. Capital comes from savings. If we view this from a health perspective, capital is your quality of life, which comes from making deposits into our savings account. Those deposits come in the form of living a life that you were designed to live.
Every time you; come into West London CrossFit, get your brain/body connection turned on at GFC or the Cafe, eat a by design meal, get your much needed full nights sleep, essentially - live a life by design- you’re making deposits into your health savings account. You’re increasing your overall health capital.
Just like in business, an increase in capital will allow you to expand your opportunities. When we are talking health capital, we are taking about increasing our overall wellness. We our providing ourselves with the necessary requirements, in order to perform the process of living we all desire to achieve; a being of self-responsibility, who trusts him/herself to perform any task life may throw at them- willing or unwillingly.
This also allows us to make withdrawals from our savings account without the detrimental effects it would have on those with less health capital.
Every time you take the actions to live by design, you’re making deposits in your account. Every time you take the actions that are at odds with our design, you’re making withdrawals from your account. You cannot keep withdrawing from your savings without eventually drying up that capital. Health, just like wealth, cannot be created out of thin air- we must look at the necessary actions required- production. You have to work to produce the goods.
“The body is designed to be amazing, it’s designed to be extraordinary. What most people see as illness and disease is simply just their body not getting what is needs to get.” -Dr. Jamie Richards, Life By Design Co-Founder & CEO
“An honest man knows that he can not consume more than he has produced.” -Ayn Rand
Think about that.
I can not believe we are still having this talk.
As most of you have heard, Western University released the results of a study showing a correlation between egg yolks and heart disease- Research finds egg yolks almost as bad as smoking.
What we need to understand here, is this study was nothing more than a glorified questionnaire- that’s all it was.
“The study looked at data from 1,231 men and women, with a mean age of 61.5, who were patients attending vascular prevention clinics at London Health Sciences Centre’s University Hospital. Ultrasound was used to establish a measurement of total plaque area and questionnaires were filled out regarding their lifestyle and medications including pack-years of smoking (number of packs per day of cigarettes times the number of years), and the number of egg yolks consumed per week times the number of years consumed (egg yolk-years).”
If there is one thing that every single human being could grasp in order to decipher what information is correct or in-correct— its the controlled trial.
This was NOT a controlled trial. It is what those in the scientific community would call an observational or epidemiological study. These studies can never establish cause and effect because there are too many uncontrolled variables. Food questionnaires are notoriously inaccurate- could you tell me exactly what and how much you ate in the last month? No. Neither can I.
How many of these patients do you think were eating bread with those eggs? How about a big glass of orange juice and a bran muffin? I’d like to see how sugar intake, or wheat intake would measure up. Even if they show a positive correlation, that stills leaves us with nothing but a hypothesis.
I’ll leave you with a snippet of an essay by Richard Dawkins on the double-blind controlled trial
“Not all concepts wielded by professional scientists would improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit. We are here not looking for tools with which research scientists might benefit their science. We are looking for tools to help non-scientists understand science better, and equip them to make better judgments throughout their lives.
Why do half of all Americans believe in ghosts, three quarters believe in angels, a third believe in astrology, three quarters believe in Hell? Why do a quarter of all Americans and believe that the President of the United States was born outside the country and is therefore ineligible to be President? Why do more than 40 percent of Americans think the universe began after the domestication of the dog?
Let’s not give the defeatist answer and blame it all on stupidity. That’s probably part of the story, but let’s be optimistic and concentrate on something remediable: lack of training in how to think critically, and how to discount personal opinion, prejudice and anecdote, in favour of evidence. I believe that the double-blind control experiment does double duty. It is more than just an excellent research tool. It also has educational, didactic value in teaching people how to think critically. My thesis is that you needn’t actually do double-blind control experiments in order to experience an improvement in your cognitive toolkit. You only need to understand the principle, grasp why it is necessary, and revel in its elegance.”
I love books. I have a habit of buying way too many at once! I love it. I collect them. I’ll give a list of the books I have read since I asked this question, and one’s that I am currently reading.
Atlas Shrugged- Ayn Rand
This is a must read. Easily the best book I’ve ever read. The impact Ayn Rand has had on me, is greater than any other individual, ever. You cannot come away from this NOT fighting for Liberty.
Economics In One Lesson- Henry Hazlitt
This is an excellent primer on the Austrian School of Economics. This will give you a great understanding of why a Free-Market is the only proper way for an Economy to prosper.
End The Fed- Ron Paul
Ron Paul is my hero. End of story. Seriously, this book will show you why the Federal Reserve Bank is the cause of the economic melt-downs, why it doesn’t work, and why it is downright immoral. We can’t print our own money, why should they?
It Starts With Foods- Melissa & Dallas Hartwig
Food either makes you healthy, or less healthy. That’s that. Best book outlining my nutrition philosophy.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad- Robert Kiyosaki
Who doesn’t want to be rich? Look, being rich isn’t luck. Those who inherit or win the lottery, are back to the same wealth they started at, within 6 years. Learn what the rich teach their kids, that the poor/middle-class do not.
Start with Why- Simon Sinek
How did Apple take over the market? How did the Wright brother’s succeed in flying the first plane when all the odds were against them? People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
Why Businessmen Need Philosophy
A compilation of essay’s that provide a guide for the capitalist ideas behind Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged- this is brilliant.
That is that! I’ll update what I am reading on a regular basis. I read; End The Fed, Economics In One Lesson, and Rich Dad, Poor Dad in about a week. You can expect more to come!
When CrossFit Co-Founder & CEO Greg Glassman went looking for a definition of fitness, the best he could find was ; the ability to transmit genes and be healthy.
Although that definition certainly describes the word in a reproductive sense, what we are looking for is a way to define who can do more work.
Glassman came up with the idea that fitness was best described as; Increased work capacity, across broad time and modal domains.
This simply means, the ability to do work, in any given time domain, regardless of the task. This covers tasks that take several seconds (Olympics Lifts & Power Lifts) as well as long hikes. Whatever the task, we want to be able to perform it as fast as possible.
Ten General Physical Skills
There are ten, general, physical skills that one must work on in order to do well at any given task. They are;
1. Cardiovascular/Cardio Respiratory Endurance
The Hopper Model
Think of a big lottery hopper- write a bunch of tasks on slips of paper, that cover all time domains and as many modalities as possible, throw them in. Whoever finishes averagely best at these activities is fittest.
That means that if you can lift a car, but can’t walk a flight of stairs, you aren’t fit. Same goes for the marathon runner who can’t even do a pull-up or deadlift his bodyweight.
Looking at the above 10 GPS- we are saying you are as fit as you are competent in each of these ten general physical skills. If you have a weakness in one, it will impact all the others.
What is Fitness?- Greg Glassman
There may be plenty of you still wondering what exactly CrossFit is, as hearing the big news that we will be joining the affiliate family as West London CrossFit.
I wanted this post to lay out a clear message of what CrossFit is.
CrossFit is defined as: Constantly Varied, Functional Movements, Executed at High Intensity.
What are we varying? Let’s break down a few things- Movements; deadlifts, squats, presses, pull-ups, running, rowing, swimming, biking, push-ups etc.
Rep schemes: one day we may back squat for 5 sets of 5, another day we may go for a max and then another day possibly 20 reps! The same goes for any other exercise (with some exceptions of course.)
Energy Systems: There are three basic energy systems, but we can simplify it by breaking it down into anaerobic and aerobic work. For anaerobic you can think short and heavy (max deadlift) , for anaerobic you can think longer duration- really anything over 2 minutes.
Any movement that you would find yourself performing in everyday life; standing up from a sitting postion, picking up something off the ground, putting a box up on the top shelf for storage- these movements are expressed in the three main lifts everyone should be training; squats, deadlifts and pressing. Functional movements are also unique in their ability to express power. This is important- power is king! This becomes especially important when we are creating conditioning workouts. We want to use movement that express the most power. We do so by using the following criteria to label an exercise a “functional movement.”
You may remember this from grade 10 physics—> Force x Distance / Time = Power.
In science, power and intensity are the same thing. How much did it weigh? How far did you move it? How long did it take you? We clearly want to move the heaviest weights, the longest distances, in the fastest amount of time possible.
The idea with CrossFit, is to build a broad, general and inclusive fitness level. Whatever task you wish to perform in life- be it swimming, rock climbing, pick up game of basketball, weeding the garden, playing with your kids- you should be able to do it. We can help you do it.
Next post, I will discuss how we define “Fitness” at CrossFit.
First off, let me make it clear my position on supplements. These are not to take the place of anything I could otherwise be getting in my diet. Eating by design covers your basis- it is the foundation. Supplements, in my eyes, are used in order to replace the missing nutrients. If you are not yet eating by design, get that under control first. No amount of supplementing will guard you from the ill effects of sugar and wheat.
The next supplement you’ll find in my cabinet, is zinc.
Zinc is one of the most common mineral deficiencies among people, especially those who train. Of the athletes Charles Poliquin has tested, 98% of them come back deficient in zinc. One of the most common symptoms of low serum zinc is an increase craving for saltier, sweeter foods (1). Even a mild deficiency in zinc can lead to low testosterone levels (2). That is not cool with me!
Zinc is involved in over 300 enzyme processes and hormonal functions, many of which are involved in gene expression (3).
Low levels of zinc may lead to; decrease in sperm output, testicular shrinkage, reduced testosterone, slow muscle growth, decreased immune function,cause gastrointestinal problems, slow healing, as well as create problems with skin and appetite (4).
When I source any supplement, I am always looking for the best quality. There are two things you don’t cheap out on in life: supplements, and parachutes. The only form of zinc I will use is zinc chelate. Chelate simply means it is bound to amino acids in order to improve absorption.
Also, check out Poliquin Top Ten Benefits of Zinc.
Remember, these are not recommendations, this is simply me answering the question and providing the evidence to back up my beliefs.
1. Michio, Komai, et al, Zinc deficiency and taste dysfunction; Contribution of carbonic anhydrase, a zinc-metalloenzyme, to normal taste sensation. Biofactors, 200; 12(10): 65-70.
2. Prasad, A.S., Zinc in growth and development and spectrum of human zinc deficiency. Journal of American College of Nutrition, 1988 Oct; 7(5):377-384
3. Prasad, A.S., Zinc deficiency in women, infants and children. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 1996 April; 15(2): 113-120
4. Prasad, A.S., Zinc: The biology and therapeutics of an ion. Annals of Internal Medicine, 1996; 125(2): 142-143