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thad castle

How Val Kilmer, Mark Wahlberg and The Tao Turned Me Into A ‘Stud’

AT AGE 16, I WAS LAZY—AND FAT. Naturally, then, when I had to choose between “Men’s Powerlifting” and “Body Mind and Spirit” during my junior year of high school, I chose the second.

And it really was PERFECT: I’d read a little from THE TAO, do a little TAI CHI, and of course: meditate, usually with this image of Val Kilmer in Top Gun stuck in my head. Guess what?

A few months later, I was training for admission to West Point.

The importance of visualization and breathing is underrepresented in fitness, but in meditation—it’s paramount. I’ve seen it first hand, training thousands of hours with clients in private sessions. But I’ve experienced it while “butchering” an aria on an audition for the LA Opera, and as an Army cadet: running the muddy fields of Fort Lewis (with a 40-pound ruck on my back)

“It’s not enough to work out and eat right. To make a lasting change, you need to reach inside, connect your mind with your body, and a future vision of who you are becoming.”

This image of Mark Wahlberg is what I chose as “my future self” back in 1997 after moving to L.A. I ‘photoshopped’ my head on Mark’s body, and printed dozens of stickers, putting them everywhere, even on the back of my license.

You don’t have to join the Army, audition for the opera, or pay a trainer to make this connection. You can start with meditation. Be ready to answer this question: what does YOUR “future self” look like?


And They’re BROTHERS.

Daft Punk wishes they’d thought of this.

Tip: Skip ahead to :30 to skip the ads/lead-in.

I Love You, Man!

We Do Guys Who Love Chores

I mean we love guys who do chores.

hot guy vacuuming We Do Guys Who Love Chores


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wrestlers Hot Dudes Wrestling

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Frat Boys Have Feelings

picture 6 Frat Boys Have Feelings

Should I Go on a Diet Before Starting My Exercise Program?

picture 1 Should I Go on a Diet Before Starting My Exercise Program?

I’m just starting a cardiovascular exercise program and am about 140 pounds overweight. Should I start this exercise program now, or should I try dieting and wait to lose some of the weight first, and then start the program? I’m having difficulty keeping up in the classes and the movements seem really difficult. —Pamela, Redondo Beach

You’ll lose weight more rapidly if you combine calorie restriction with exercise rather than just restricting calories alone. If you’re having trouble with the classes, try non-weight bearing activities, such as bicycling on a stationary bike, swimming, or working on an elliptical machine which will protect your joints, ankles and wrists while you begin to lose the weight.

Hot Guy with Abs

Which Kind of Cardio Is Best?

dave johnson 1 Which Kind of Cardio Is Best?

HEY SAM— I have a Precor at home (love it). Anyway, I work out on it every night. What do you recommend: long, steady cardio, or sprint intervals? I used to do steady cardio for 60-70 minutes, but lately I haven’t had as much time. So I’ve done 45 minutes of sprints (1 minute super fast, then recover) at least 5 days a week. Is one better than the other?  —Debbie, Spokane

Interval training (or “high intensity interval training,” sometimes referred to as HIIT) is very effective at reducing body fat.  However, your body adjusts very quickly to exercise. If you’ve stopped seeing the results you want, then it’s time to mix up the program.

One way you can mix up your cardio is to alternate your longer-endurance days with interval training. That means do a few miles at a heavy resistance on Monday, do intervals Tuesday, take Wednesday off, a long slow (but steady) uphill climb on Thursday, and intervals again on Friday. Use weekends as an opportunity to cross train (play a sport, go skiing, jog outdoors, etc) and take one of your weekend days off.

An interesting thing about intervals: they’re super effective at getting rid of body fat, but scientists haven’t figured out yet which length of intervals (short, medium, or long) work best. So cover your bases and mix up the length of the intervals themselves, too.


My New Year’s Resolutions for 2009

522151149 My New Years Resolutions for 2009

Here they are, in no particular order:

1.  Meet my dad live in person.

2.  Compete in a bodybuilding contest.

3.  Become a community emergency response technician for the City of Los Angeles.

4.  Get complete at the dentist, and rotate my tires.

5.  Take an international trip with Bronson.

6.  Learn conversational French.

7.  Interview Arnold Schwarzenegger

8.  Pay off three credit cards.

9.  Re-learn how to snowboard.

10. Get behind a cause.

I decided on a bodybuilding contest (instead of a triathlon, yet) because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, largely because it scares the hell out of me. I’m also thinking, how cool would it be to actually combine some of these resolutions?  For example, competing in a bodybuilding contest in which Arnold is an honorary judge and interviewing him afterward, or practicing conversational French while snowboarding in Canada with Bronson?

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