Half of my life

I turn 41 this month and I am feeling pretty good about it. Life is going well, and despite a few vendors cancelling out on review opportunities, I may have a few more coming.

My fitness routine is still going strong and work is going extremely well. I have an amazing team.

I have lived in MN for almost half of my life now, and it’s been a good ride. Lots of twists and turns have come my way over that time. I have had some heartbreak, some adventures, and I have watched both of my kids come into this world here.

I don’t know what the future will bring, but the 41 years under the bridge have all been a memorable experience.

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The parade

Trellis wrote:

Sean,

My family and I had a falling out over Easter and I am hoping you can help. I just met this guy a few weeks ago and I am head over heels in love. It’s love too, I am 24 and know what love is and what it isn’t.

Anyway, I met this guy and he is totally different than my ex husband (yes- 24 and divorced), and he is crazy about me. We just can’t keep our hands off of each other!

We were not making out or anything with my family, but they said we were hanging on each other and making people uncomfortable after I brought him for Easter dinner. I told my mom that he was moving in this week and she got upset. When I fired back to my mom that he was “the one”, she got upset and said I have issues because I’d only been divorced for three weeks and she felt I was moving too fast. I said, “When it’s right, you know it’s right.” We left shortly after and I don’t know what to do. Help!

Trellis

Trellis,

So you’ve been divorced for three weeks and have decided a guy you met a few weeks ago is “the one”? Yikes. No offense, but I sense you’re most likely a train wreck. I am not knocking you feeling your emotions or being really into this guy, but the truth is, no one knows who they really are until 25 or later, so you’re really jumping the gun here. To top that off, you’ve been married before and obviously thought the first dude was worth marrying, so after just three weeks of being divorced, don’t blame your mom for showing concern that you’re moving way too fast. Listen to your parents and slow it down. Your decision making skills and impulse control are definitely lacking.

If whatever you have with this guy is solid, he will understand. Give it several months, and get to know him. Don’t jump into this knee deep in a few short weeks. Get to know him better…not physically, just emotionally/mentally. If you fail to do this, you’ll be twice divorced by 25.

Sean

Factually incorrect

I live my life by some pretty simple rules. I try to be a good person, I am always seeking to learn things, and I try look at the full set of facts before making a decision.

While I sometimes may be an emotional speaker or writer to get a point across, it bothers me when people only see one side of things during a discussion in order to make their point, and with today’s internet being what it is, I’ve built of a few dozen emails filled with rage about that people have sent me and I will lay them out now:

1. In her vegan rage email, Whitney wrote: “Why do you consume dairy? Nut and plant milk products are so much more healthy for you!”

Wrong. Dairy protein has the most absorbable nutrients, and has less impact on the environment. Nut milk and most plant milks (and related proteins), while tasty, are incredibly wasteful on the nuts & plants and water, and most of their nutrients are not fully absorbed by the body because they are chemically added. I understand if you have a dairy allergy or nut allergies why you’d avoid one or the other, but if you can have dairy, don’t avoid dairy proteins. Whey is simple the best post workout protein money can buy. I will never be a vegan though, as that would require me to give up meat. I live each day, knowing I get meat for dinner and many days that meat comes from big, farty, cows and I love it. Beef, not cow farts.

2. Anonymous wrote, “How can you be a conservative in this day and age? Don’t you know what you’re doing to the world?”

It’s true, I am a conservative. I am also pro-LGBT, anti-tax, pro-capitalism and certainly anti-socialism. I am also a loving Christian. I don’t hate anyone, and wouldn’t judge anyone for their political beliefs. I am not doing anything bad to this world by being conservative and there is definite evil on both sides of the political coin. Rather than being on the fringes, I feel people should meet in the middle and talk more about compromise and understanding.

3. Speaking of being a Christian, DVC wrote, “How can you believe in God when this world is going to hell around us?”

I just do. I also believe this world is only as bad as we think it is. Besides, if the world is indeed going to hell, don’t you think you’d want to be on the side that goes to Heaven?

4. PPM wrote, “Do you have a thing against fat people? It seems like much of your site is talking about health, as if fat people are unhealthy, and it sucks.”

While there are overweight people in this world that have healthy blood pressure and vitals, it is well-proven that being “over fat” and/or drastically overweight can take a toll on your heart, joints, liver, and even ability to fight certain cancers. I don’t have anything against people that are “over fat” or overweight at all…in fact, I hope some of them that are looking to improve their physique look to my site and others for motivation and information.

5. Dan wrote, “Your taste in music is a joke.”

Congrats Dan, your comment totally made me rethink my musical choices in life and I am now converting to being an avid listener of Justin Beiber, David Guetta, and Halsey. Just kidding. My music loving ears say you are just looking for an argument, and I am not playing along.

There are a ton more, but many of them seem to revolve around these topics and my pro-vaccine and “better living through chemistry” stance…but I am not opening that can of worms right now.

Review: Valhalla Labs Fenris Fury Preworkout

If you’re not familiar with Norse Mythology and you haven’t seen Thor: Ragnarok, let me clue you in on who Fenris is. Fenris, or Fenrir as he is sometimes called, is a child of Loki (a gift from Odin in the Ragnarok movie), and is a giant wolf who is virtually unstoppable and very, very powerful. How powerful? He is rumored to be able to one day swallow both the earth and sky (and Odin) in one mouthful.

So you may be wondering what does a powerful wolf have to do with a preworkout? Well, Valhalla Labs has brought forth the best and most power driven preworkout I’ve ever tried – Fenris Fury. It is pure intensity in a shaker.

Valhalla Labs products are designed by Dr Todd Lee, a medical doctor, biochemist, and IFBB champion, and they are precisely formulated for power and performance.


Yes, not only did he manage to get a degree in biochemistry AND become a Doctor of Medicine, he used whatever free time he had to win multiple IFBB and NPC championships. This means the supplements from Valahalla Labs are formulated by someone who not only knows how they work AND how to design the optimal formula, but also someone who exemplifies their effectiveness.

I’ve tried many, many, preworkouts over the years, and many have the exact same claim:

“Most Powerful” – many stack stimulant after stimulant to try to cause an energy boost that ends up with a jittery feeling and resulting crash. “Huge Pump” – many use trivial amounts of arginine or citrulline without precisely formulating them for an effective pump.

Like the mythological counterpart, Fenris Fury is made differently than the others and it really shows with every workout.

The sleeve tearing pump and increased NO production and blood flow is achieved through creatine monohydrate, arginine alpha ketoglutarate, citrulline malate, agmatine sulfate, and beet root extract. The result is a headache free workout with amazing cellular volumization.

The energy boost and fat burning comes from caffeine, taurine, Marus Alba (also known as white mulberry), Kudzu, Yohimbine HCL, and L-Carnitine. Caffeine and taurine provide the energy boost, while L-Carnitine Kudzu, Marus Alba do the fat burning and IGF-1 release. The bonus addition of yohimbine HCL does a gender-targeted fat burn (hips for women and abs for men).

The final two ingredients, betaine and beta alanine, reverse lactic acid buildup and signal muscle growth which result in less muscle fatigue and better muscle growth. More workout and less muscle fatigue? Yes please.

So the blend is fantastic, but how does it taste?

It tastes absolutely amazing. Some preworkouts just dump in a ton of flavoring and the result is an abomination of flavor overload. Fenris Fury has a fruit punch flavor that is drinkable and smooth, almost like a pink Starburst. It makes a preworkout enjoyable.

It mixes extremely well too. Many preworkouts leave what I call “snowballs” in the shaker…it’s essentially undissolved preworkout powder and it’s a waste of money and a waste of a workout. Fenris Fury mixes in seconds, even with a small amount of shaking or stirring. No snowballs on the side of the cup here.

But does it work? You’re damn right it does. I have been using it for almost a week now and every single workout has been a combination of maximum focus, increased power, and amazing tenacity. I have never had a better workout, and just when I think I am done for the day, my body begs for one more exercise and I feel like I could go all day. I get a fantastic workout time and time again without the super jittery and “cracked out” feeling that some preworkouts give. If you go into your workouts carb-free, which I also recommend, the fat burning capabilities increase tremendously.

All in all, Fenris Fury has set the bar high for any preworkout. I know I won’t be buying anything else.

Check it out here and read more of the science behind it, by clicking on the picture:

I will be reviewing more Valhalla Labs product in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Sean

Why I don’t do much for video…

While doing supplement reviews, I was often asked if I’d consider doing a video review. My most often used response was, “I don’t typically do those, but I’d consider it.”.

The excitement over video reviews has died down a bit until recently, when a bunch of supplement companies began contacting me to specifically do video reviews on their products. Rather than put my usual response, I began to say no, and sent them these links:

https://www.google.com/amp/amp.timeinc.net/fortune/2018/10/17/advertisers-facebook-video-metrics

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/08/11/technology/youtube-fake-view-sellers.html

That’s right, videos often have misrepresented view counts, so why would I waste time editing and re-editing a video, ensuring the lighting is good, getting “action shots”, etc., when views aren’t real and I can easily type out everything and take a few quality pictures instead?

I know online marketers do videos on Instagram and FB and some don’t require product shots, “action shots”, or well-lit/professional quality video, but it seems like even if I did a video, the company’s expectations are tainted and it seems dishonest for me to do that to anyone.

Instagram has a similar problem and some users with thousands of followers have up to 80% less when spam accounts are removed. Spam accounts are typically seen as the accounts with no pictures, an odd name, and no posts, but they can also look like real people too. I actively monitor my Instagram and deny or report and remove spam accounts daily or weekly.

You may be thinking that page views on a blog can be inflated too, which is correct, but it’s harder to do than with video. In fact, WordPress offers unique view stats, which is a much more accurate statistic than video views. Blogger has a similar feature.

I want to be honest in representing myself with any vendor, so for me and for now, video stuff is best left off of the table, until the tech companies can fix it.

Sean

Who do you trust?

Tb wrote

Hello,

I just found your site and I am still working back to the beginning, but there seems to be a lot of good information here. Have you always been into fitness or how did you get into it? I am always surprised that there are so many places to look for fitness information, but I am wondering how I should go about determining which are the best sources to believe in. Any tips?

Tb

Tb

You’re right, there are tons of places to find fitness information. My motto is, if someone is calling themselves a fitness professional after just getting started, or posting workout videos with bad form, they are not someone you should be getting your information from.

I see so many people on Instagram flapping their arms trying to do shoulder exercises, people rocking at the hip when doing dumbbell arm work, or doing back exercises and saying they are working their chest muscles, and frankly, it’s pretty pathetic. There is nothing wrong with getting fit and posting videos or pics of progress, but don’t try to teach other people something that is incorrect.

If you’re looking for people to follow on Instagram, I’d recommend any IFBB or NPC pro, a hardcore supplement site that posts tips and videos (no Advocare or GNC stuff), or someone that is certified and has several years or more of experience. Don’t follow any supplement company that markets supplements for video game playing either…they’re a joke.

I follow some pretty reputable fitness people on my Instagram. I’d trust their tips/advice/videos over most. I am no professional myself, but I’ve been doing this for nine years. I’ve had my ups and downs along the way, but I try to always recommend good practices and no crash dieting.

Sean

It’s about the journey not the destination

RB wrote

Hey man, I have been watching your post on Instagram and you are getting into good shape. I have started on my own journey and I’m curious how much weight you have lost recently as in maybe the last year or two. I am looking for a loss of 40-60 pounds in the next year and could use some pointers too.

Keep up the good work!

RB

RB

Thanks for the positive feedback! Over the last year, I have dropped over to pant sizes and lost about 20 pounds. I am not sure how far you are in educating yourself on your journey but you may be wondering how I dropped over two pant sizes and only lost 20 pounds… I have added quite a bit of muscle in the year which offsets the amount of weight lost.

It’s crazy to think that one year ago this month I decided to really dive deep into reshaping myself. It started as a way to be a little more “beach ready” for a trip I took to Jamaica (I was only “half beach ready” by the time the trip came), but it turned into an exciting challenge to see where I can take myself physically. I bicep curl about 25 pounds more than I did in January, I have almost tripled the weight of my tricep exercises, I have regained my grip strength, and have added an increasing amount of muscle definition. I can also do pull-ups all damn day.

This isn’t about weight loss for me, and I would encourage anyone looking to improve their physical appearance to not stay focused on losing the weight, but shift focus on reshaping what’s there. Anyone can always scale back their calories, shift to really restrictive eating, or improve their physical activity with moderate cardio and lose weight, but if you’re not careful you will lose muscle mass along the way which will only result in future fat gain.

Here are my tips, all in one bunch:

Figure out your macronutrients, but eat what works for you, and hit the gym hard. In the end, modifying your eating habits will pay off. Eating a bunch of junk never helps.

Weight loss alone doesn’t keep weight off, so building muscle will increase metabolism as the body uses more energy to maintain muscle than fat. Build muscle.

Unless you have some sort of physical condition that is preventing you from lifting heavy weights, get in the gym and go wild.

If you’re afraid to go and exercise in public because you don’t know how to use the equipment or do weight based exercises, there are plenty of apps you can use, and websites you can visit, that will teach you all of the exercises you need to do to shape yourself the way you’d like to.

If you start getting bored with what you’re doing, challenge yourself to change up your routine and have some fun with it.

Finally, find a partner. Get someone that encourages you or pushes you to do one more set, or one more rep. It will take you far on those days that you feel you just can’t do it (even if it pisses you off in the moment).

I am far from where I know I can be, and I know I have plenty of work ahead of me, but that’s the FUN part! I am determined to always be a work in progress. A body is like a house…it’s an investment. If you take care of your investment, it will take care of you.

Sean