The Chaos And Pain Revolution

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Interview: Johnny Bonnett of Black Center Tactical and Tactical Sekt

Posted on: July 30th, 2015 by chaosandpain No Comments
This interview was conducted by guest contributor Max James, a Hooligan and door kicker for Chino Tactical.

The Rise of Tactical Schools

Training comes in all shapes and sizes—though perhaps not as central to a modern lifestyle as traditional gym work, much can be learned from tactical training and education. Such training provides not only a different approach to physicality, but an expansive and practical skill set which allows the student an extra dimension of self-determination and security. With this in mind it comes as no surprise that schools which specialize in tactical and survivalist courses have boomed in the last decade, offering civilians a wide range of classes covering everything from hand to hand combat to gun fighting, as well as specialized regional survival and military tactics. Previously reserved for law enforcement and military personnel, the public has grown more and more interested in learning the skills necessary for survival outside of current society. But how did we get here?

Survivalists are not exactly a new phenomenon—in fact, as common sense would indicate, people tend to become survivalists in response to potential world altering disasters. As early as the late nineties Y2K scare people began to stockpile supplies of every kind, including medical equipment, nonperishable foods, and weapons. While at face value a fear response like this may seem extreme, early survivalists have given way to a very legitimate subculture: preppers. Preppers are the newest wave of survivalists who, as the term suggests, prepare for potential disasters by stockpiling necessary goods and training for possible doomsday scenarios.

This is where tactical schools come in—for many, mere material preparation is not enough. After all, what good are knives and rifles without a fully developed knowledge of their use and functionality? However, to assume that everyone interested in acquiring that knowledge is a prepper is no longer accurate. While preppers no doubt champion the need for combat education, more and more average people turn to these institutions; as the social and political climate of the country intensifies a greater number of people are beginning to take their personal security into their own hands, the mindset being that it is better to have and not need than to need and not have.

My tactical education came from my time in the Army. I attended basic training, as all soldiers do, and from there my training advanced as I went through school to be a 31B MP. The roll of the MPs was to provide additional support to infantry units in Iraq and Afghanistan—Infantry units would move into a location, do their work, and leave. We would roll in and hold the area, provide security, and occasionally take locations ourselves. My tactical training was actually put to the test, and I trusted it. It kept me alive.

This brings me back to the matter at hand—tactical schools, specifically those run by true combat veterans over civilians. I firmly believe that a combat veteran can teach a civilian more thoroughly and accurately than a civilian can teach their peers. Why? Because their training has also been put to the test. Most civilians who run their own establishments never encounter the pressure that accompanies the training. This pressure is crucial, it’s what separates an untested theory from a proven strategy, and it’s severely lacking in civilians who are not put into situations which demand the use of their knowledge. Enter veteran-run school Black Center Tactical.

How does this connect to Chaos and Pain? Chaos and Pain is not just a supplements and swag line. It’s not just a brand or a trend. Chaos and Pain is about pushing the envelope in everything you do—from lifting and fighting to guns, gear and everything else. Whatever you pursue, you should own it and fucken destroy it. Chaos and Pain is about being the best, and Black Center Tactical has rightly earned its reputation as one of the best. We’ve had the privilege of interviewing the founder of Black Center Tactical, Johnny Bonnett—a fellow veteran and respected gun fighting instructor.

So Cal resident Johnny Bonnett is a former Marine with a self-professed love for tattoos, guns, cats, and music. A true renaissance man, Bonnett not only educates the public in self-defense, but also owns and operates Custom Kydex Holster Company and plays in well-known industrial band Tactical Sekt. 


The Interview

Q: Can you describe your military and law enforcement background for us? Are there any specifics in your tactical background which the average reader may be unaware of?

A: I am a former Marine and a combat veteran with extensive weapons and tactical training I picked up during that time, primarily rifle and infantry related things. After I finished my enlistment, I spent a couple years doing LEO work after graduating the academy. The experience and training received during this time laid a good foundation for my skillset, though I credit most of my current capabilities to the training I put myself through over the years from various instructors and schools which got me to where I’m at now. All of the life experiences I’ve had, some not even “Tactical” in nature, have lead me to be a good student and teacher.

Q: You run Black Center Tactical, a firearms based tactical fighting school. How did you find yourself in a position to pursue such a program, and what drove you to educating the public about firearms?

A: I saw a real need for people to learn how to fight with the weapons they were buying, and not just the basic safety and marksmanship that was being taught in other schools. I really just started buy teaching friends and then spread the word to social media and the program grew from there.

Q: Why do you think it’s important for civilians to train and learn from firearms? Are there any specific skills or mindsets which develop from a tactical course geared towards guns, and what do you think sets Black Center Tactical apart from other schools?

A: BCT is different than other schools because I start out my students from day one with a focus on the fight, mindset and owning the battlespace. It’s important for gun owners to learn these skills because most buy weapons and set them on the nightstand or in the closet and expect to protect their loved ones and homes if something were to happen that required them to fight with them. The principles that guide my instruction are Shoot, Move and Communicate.

Q: You also operate the Custom Kydex Holster Company, what do you feel makes Kydex holsters unique? Can you discuss the products you make and what they offer to customers?

A: Kydex materials are a lot more durable and customizable than a leather or nylon holster. I can make them is most colors and most models and light combinations. I also make them for outside the waistband carry and inside the waistband carry as well as mag carriers and knife sheaths. Customers can custom build a holster on my website

Q: In 2012 you joined the industrial band Tactical Sekt, what has that experience been like? What do you expect from the band going forward?

A: Playing with Tactical Sekt has been a dream come true for me, Anthony has had the project a long time and being able to come on board and share the stage with such a great friend and musician has been a blast. Tactical Sekt has a new album in the works and some live shows coming up including playing a festival in Toronto, Canada in August.

Q: Do you play any other instruments besides the keyboard? Are there any other genres of music you like to experiment with?

A: I do not play any other instruments, in fact, I really play a computer and just play what I write on the computer using a keyboard. I like all genres of music but my creations typically revolve around electronic dance.

Special thanks to Johnny Bonnett for taking the time to answer all of our questions. One way or another, it seems that tactical schools are here to stay as a welcome addition to other training methods. It’s unconventional, unforgiving, and unlikely to earn you nods at the gym, but tactical and defensive training are an undoubtedly applicable and vital aspect of well-rounded fitness. Maybe it’s time to enroll in a course.

To find out more about Black Center Tactical School please visit their site at, or stop by their Facebook page at You can follow Johnny Bonnett through his Instagram, BLACKCENTER, and be sure to track down Tactical Sekt through their Bandcamp page to listen to their newest music. 

You Don’t Have to Train in a Gym to Be a Jacked Badass- Bodyweight Training of the Experts

Posted on: July 29th, 2015 by chaosandpain No Comments
In the dark, misty depths of history, when men were violent, bloodthirsty killing machines and women were slightly less prone to fomenting a bloodbath, access to gyms was essentially limited to Sparta, Greece and India.  While neither of those nations are known for producing hulking mounds of sinewy muscle in the modern era, they were the only two places in the ancient world that boasted gyms.  The Spartan version, called the agoge, was likely so nightmarish that one would prefer to have sex with a broken-glass-filled-vagina’d Rosie O’Donnell.  Beginning at the age of seven, Spartan boys were underfed, underclothed, overworked, beaten, and taught to be hard.  They were regularly forced to fight to death in an über, super brutal version of MMA called pankration, in which fish hooking and eye gouging were encouraged.  Though they were gyms, they had no weights to lift- instead the students of the agoge regularly lifted and carried stones and logs for distance as if they were in the modern World’s Strongest Man.The Spartans also did a lot of group-oriented calisthenics which, interestingly, led Xerxes to think that they were weaker than a twink with AIDS.  After sending spies to watch the Spartans train, Xerxes discovered that the Spartans exercised in unison with rhythmic movements, which the Persians misinterpreted (hilariously) as dancing.  Thus, they thought they could just roll the apparently light-of-heel Spartans up, and then unknowingly walked right into the teeth of a well-oiled, incredibly strong war machine (Kagkelidou).


 Frankly, this is the closest thing to Greek Calisthenics you’ll see unless you go to a Greek Calisthenics revivalist school, find a Crossfitter obsessed to death with calisthenics, or build a time machine to haul your happy ass back to the 2nd Century BC.
The Greek gymnasium was basically Curves for Women in comparison to the more-brutal-than-the-end-of-A-Serbian-Film agoge.  In a gymnasium, Athenian men over 18 received all manner of physical instruction, the basis of which were calisthenics. For those of you (like myself) who are slobbering history and archeology nerds, the word calisthenics is actually ancient Greek and derives from the word kallos,
which means beauty and strength.   The system of calisthenics was essentially a system of bodyweight exercises that combined the goals of hypertrophy, balance, strength, and endurance (with a heaqlthy dose of philosophy thrown in on top, because the Greeks were awesome like that).  Thus, it wasn’t so much a sport as it was a training system in a cool-ass community center designed to make people awesome.

Somebody had to have modeled for this, so I’d say calisthenics are pretty fucking effective.

Greek calisthenics have been revived and popularized in urban areas, more or less, by teams like Barstarzz or other street performers.  The system as the Greeks originally conceived, consisted of ground work like pushups, ultra wide grip static hold pushups, handstands, handstand pushups, situps, leg raises, lunges
combined with a sort of Thai push kick, pistol squats, leaping front kicks, high knees, and the like.  They also did bar and ring work for the upper body, much as you’d see modern gymnasts do- varieties of
pullups and muscleups and static holds.  No one died (probably) but given the state of the physiques on Greek statues, they were some ripped sons of bitches.


It appears you can get a jacked-ass upper body with nothing more than a set of monkeybars on a public playground.

Modern street calisthenics, as it’s known, mostly consists of work on pullup bars, dip bars, and jungle gyms.  It seems to build some incredible upper body hypertrophy and strength, as well as seriously ripped physiques.  Beyond that, it seems to have become a bit of a performance art, so like the calisthenics of the Spartans, it could almost be construed as dance at times.  In reality, however, it’s simply a rhythmic demonstration of incredible strength and muscular control, which is after all, pretty goddamned cool.  There seems to be no real set program for street calisthenics- the goal is to just get strong and work on body control.  Thus, a heavy dose of dips, pullups, planks, and squats are encouraged at the start.  Then, you basically just play- try shit and see if you can do it.  Then, get stronger and try again.  For those of you looking for linear periodization, you won’t find it here… because linear periodization sucks, and we’re not goddamned robots.

Pretty serious hypertrophy.  These guys are Lee, Ranjit, and Sai of Recession Proof Body (a seriously cool moniker).

Clearly, none of the above is mind-melting or ground breaking, but people rarely think of it in terms of strength building.  I can personally attest, however, to the fact that I am far stronger when I include a couple of 20 minute sessions of bodyweight work every week.  In fact, when I was in college, a buddy and I used to “play cards” a couple of times a week, and that kept us ripped in spite of the fact we were facing a couple of Blizzards from Dairy Queen every day like we were college girls sticking their faces under the frozen yogurt machine every day in the caf.  You know- chasing the freshman 15 (which I guess due to inflation seems to have become the freshman 25, because I’m seeing a lot of livestock wearing college sorority t-shirts lately).  When we played cards we’d watch either Rocky 3 or Rocky 4 and place a deck of cards between us.  We’d take turns drawing cards, and would do either pushups (black) or abs (red).  Black diamonds were diamond pushups, and red diamonds were double the situps.  We’d go through the deck a couple of times, and kept me as ripped as a phone book at a strongman competition and ready as an evangelical Christian dude on his wedding night. In other words, “playing cards” was awesome addition to my 5-6 days a week of training.  These days, I simply do dips and pullups, which I find to be more useful.  If I can find a tall stack of mats, I might do high jumps in between supersets of pullups and dips, or maybe ab wheel.


As this random Russian shows us, it’s all about the pullups.

The third group I mentioned at the outset were the Indians, who actually predated the Greeks and Spartans in terms of having a codified system of exercise. There are extensive historical texts from early antiquity regarding exercise, wrestling, and the sport that was eventually bastardized by hippies in the 1970s called “yoga”.  Physical fitness was prized among the Indians, and every village had a gym in which villagers trained and wrestled.  The calisthenics regime followed by the Indians is what led to them being the most dominant wrestlers in the world for centuries, and it’s more brutal than an Al Qaeda execution video.


 Body built entirely by milk, veggies, almonds, chickpeas, and clarified butter, plus bodyweight exercises.

The program Indian wrestlers use arose out of this millennia-old system of training do over 2000 dands (dive bomber pushups) a day, and can do 1500 of them an hour, and the upper body specialists in India do
over 5000 a day.  Additionally, they do two to three thousand bethaks (free squats standing on their toes) a day, and the fewest a wrestler will do in a day is 500.  On top of that, they do tons of somersaults to
build flexibility and core strength, wrestler’s bridges for their necks, and headstands.  Though they’re now considered weightlifting implements, another feature of their training that could be replicated
without spending a single dime was club swinging, which could be replicated simply by swinging a heavy tree branch or log.  Again, they had no program for training- they’d just bust their asses harder than a slave coal miner in Scotland on the same exercises every day because they wanted to be better than the next man.


Across the Pacific Ocean, thousands of blood-crazed, heavily tattooed, hulking monsters of men, screaming hakas and wielding weapons made of bone, wood, and sharks teeth built their massive bodies not with calisthenics, but with the manliest of leisure pursuits- stone lifting, tug-of-war, wrestling, and boxing.  The Hawaiians were, at the time of their discovery, considered to be some of the most physically striking people in the world.  It’s not hard to imagine Captain James Cook fawning all over the Hawaiians like a preteen over the Jonas Brothers because he basically landed on an island filled with clones of The Rock.  Additionally, their strength was considered unparalleled in the Western world, even at a time when weightlifting and strongman were physically one of the most, striking native races in the world (Aipa).


Just as in India and Greece, physical excellence was prized above all in Hawaiian culture for men.  The most famous king in the history of Hawaii, Kamehameha, was as famous for his strength as he was for his military prowess.  As the 14 year old gripped a stone no other man on the island could flip, the 2.5 ton “Pöhaku Naha,” he screamed:

“Naha Stone art thou:

And by Naha Prince only may thy, sacredness be broken.

Now behold, I am Kamehameha, a Niau-pio

A spreading mist of the forest.”

Badass that he was, he strained so goddamned hard that blood shot out of his eyes like he was a superheavy squatting in the WPO, and with blood dripping from his fingers, he flipped that sonofabitch to the amazement of everyone in attendance (Aipa, Monster).



It’s pretty awesome that the greatest king in Hawaiian history was as famous for his strength as he was for his conquests, but it’s unsurprising- pretty much every leisure activity the Hawaiians participated in showcased physical dexterity or sheer muscle power.  Basically, the Hawaii of yore was like an island filled with hot, strong women and ultra-tan Hafthór Júlíus Björnssons.  Boxing, wrestling, stone lifting, and tug-of-war were all that were needed- no gym required (Games).


Then jumping to the mainland were the native peoples of the Americas.  Obviously, they were a very diverse group of people, but from North America to South America there was a culture of exercise.  Unfortunately, there isn’t much written about any of their specific exercises, but there are anecdotes.  Both the Apache and Iroquois were known for their extreme endurance and toughness.  They were rugged and incredibly strong, according to explorers like Oglethrope expedition member Edward Kimber.  He commented on the appearance of the Seminoles, stating, “As to their figure, ‘tis generally of the largest size, well proportion’d, and robust, as you can imagine Persons nurs’d up in manly Exercises can be” (AIHDP).  Likewise, South Americans were equally strong and tough, and participated in crazy ass strength and conditioning sports that were so tough they’d kill Rich Froning- shit like the favorite pastime of the Ge Indians of South America- log relays, where participants would carry short logs weighting as much as 200 lbs over courses as long as several hundred yards (Crego 189).  As I said, there is only anecdotal evidence of how they trained, but I found a video of a Native American warmup that shows that the Native American warmup is extremely similar to the manner in which the Ancient Greeks trained.


Not a bodybuilder, but the 54 year old world record holder in the pullup.

In summary, if you think bodyweight exercise is bullshit, you’re wrong.  Enough hard training in bodyweight work should, if done right, turn you into a bona-fide badass.  And for those of you who think you can’t build big, stong legs with bodyweight work, consider this- Indian strongman Monohar Aich had a 660 squat at 159lbs mostly from doing thousands upon thousands of free squats in prison.  Most pehlwani have tree trunk legs despite eating a meatless diet, all from free squats, and if you look at Grecian statues, all of the models for those statues had good to great legs, without weighted squats.  Thus, you might want to add in some bodyweight work if you want to achieve your potential, because it certainly won’t hurt, and it will almost definitely help.


Now, go do some goddamned pullups.  Then do some more.



AIHDP.  History of Indigenous Activity.  American Indian Health and Diet Project.  Web.  28 Jul 2015.

Aipa, Daniel. Is Weightlifting a Hawaiian Practice?  The
Ku Project.  16 Mar 2015.  Web.  27 Jul 2015.

Crego, Robert.  Sports and Games of the 18th and 19th Centuries.  Westport: Greenwood Press, 2003.

Games of physical strength.  Hawaii History.  Web.  27 Jul

Kagkelidou, Evangelia.  Calisthenics, the Yoga of Greeks.  Greek Reporter.  9 Oct 2013.  Web.  27 Jul 2015.

Monster, Higa.  Lifting Stones.  AnimalPak.  Web.  27 Jul 2017.

Throwback Thursday: Apex Predator Diet, Part 2- Dieting for Fat Asses

Posted on: July 9th, 2015 by chaosandpain No Comments
Throwback Thursday is back with the second installment of my diet, the Apex Predator Diet.  We’re going to be working our way backwards from fat to lean, so here is the first level of the diet.  Fatties, take note of this- this is how I think you ought to be dieting given your state of corpulence.  If you didn’t notice from the length of the opening entry into this series, this is going to be one hell of a long string of articles.  For the rest of you, be patient- I’ll be posting an installment of this every Thursday until we’re done, and then will move onto something else.  For those lean people out there who want you diet right now, settle down- our tubby compatriots need a head start shuffling towards whatever destination to which we send them, and ample breaks to catch their breath and shoot insulin and the like.

The Fat Ass Approach

I’ve actually not had to use this, as I have about the same ability to ignore the sensation of my abdominal fat sitting on my waistband when seated as those overly pretty people on the Bachelor have for admitting that they’re actual prostitutes.  As soon as I start feeling that sensation, I start dieting my everloving ass off.  Once lean, I freak out when I lose abdominal vascularity, much less my abs in general.  As such, I’ve had to extrapolate from the diet I used to jump start my fat loss once I noticed that my abs were going the way of the the Kardashian family’s collective personal pride.

I think I hate her more than I actually should because she’s got one of the best asses on Earth.

As with everything I do, this diet is hardly a hard and fast dietary regimen, but rather more like a broad outline with suggestions on what you can do with the finer points.  Thus, you should experiment with a couple of different approaches to determine what works best for you.  From there, you can carry what you’ve learned into the succeeding phases and have an even better handle on your diet than the cast of that ridiculous show Mike and Molly, who apparently have made a pact to eat into immobility in recent years.


The Rundown

  • Kick it off with a 10-14 day keto run (no Rampage for 10-14 days)
  • Protein-sparing modified fast at least one day a week
  • 5 days a week, one solid-food meal a day.
  • low- but not no- carb one day a week, punctuated by a 3 hour cheat window that is at least moderately reasonable.  This is not a full-on Rampage day, but more of a moderated eating spree- you’ll eat things that are off diet, but try to keep them relatively lean and just carb up on low fat foods.
  • One day wherein you eat more than one solid-food no-carb meal a day.
Seems fairly simple, right?  As I’ve said before, this is hardly rocket surgery.  The point in this phase is to get you looking at least decently while keeping your lifts up and not completely hating life.  One of my main problems with the PSMF (protein sparing modified fast), as I’ve mentioned, is the fact that they leave you insanely hungry and can be a distraction from training.  As such, I would recommend (based on personal experience) throwing that day in between your Rampage day and your higher calorie day.  As I almost invariably have my cheat meal on Friday, that works out pretty nicely- keep the calories low on Saturday, drink a shitload of protein shakes (at least 6), and then grub on every meaty bit of deliciousness I can on Sunday.

If you’re concerned about calories, you will moderate your caloric intake according to your individual metabolism.  I’m not talking about some bullshit, low-brow, Easy Bake Oven BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) calculation- you will find your sweet spot through experimentation, because you’re a goddamned mad scientist and only you can understand your own insanity.  Additionally, my conception of a workout is considerably different than that of most, so it would be completely disingenuous for me to suggest that I could tell you what caloric intake would result in the most fat loss and muscular gain.  I can tell you that your body will tell you when it’s had enough fatty meat.  My sweet spot seems to be between 1 and 3.5 lbs of meat in a sitting, depending on the type, my level of activity, and where I am in a week.


Luckily for you, “studies of ketogenic diets have found that when subjects are told to limit carbohydrate intake but to consume “unlimited” quantities of protein and fat, they automatically limit caloric intake and consume between 1400-2100 calories”  (Ketogenic Diet 101).  That’s a very cool biological cruise control you’ve got built in, and I can say that though I generally go a bit higher than that (2000-3000 calories) in my evening meal, I definitely hit a point where I can go no further, and it’s not from being stuffed- my body just taps out and says and says “to hell with it, I’m done.”  The key here, especially for you tubby bastards, is to stop eating before you’re full.  Luckily, meat on the bone slows your eating considerably (I personally tend to scarf down my food like a wild, starving dog), so you’ll have a better sense of where you stand in terms of fullness than you would otherwise.


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There is one unfortunate caveat for you people, however- years of overindulging have raped your endocrine system harder than a big-bootied white girl at a black fraternity and you can no longer fully trust your body’s satiety signals.  Leptin is the hormone made by fat cells that causes your brain to listen to signals of satiety, but overweight people, having much greater fat stores, have higher leptin levels and become resistant to the signal.  As such, I would start toward the lower end of the caloric spectrum and increase as needed, using your level of energy in workouts as a guide. (Russell 22)  One nice thing about the structure of this diet is that it will help to moderate the other side of the hormonal overeating coin- ghrelin.  That’s the hormone that tells your body you’re hungry, and it’s suppressed with high fat diets.  As such, you’ll likely find you’re hungriest on your Rampage day, since you won’t be eating such high fat foods throughout the day.




Many of you, upon seeing some quick results, are going to come to the conclusion that you should skip your Rampage day to prolong your fat loss.  If you choose to do so, I would add in another high calorie day (but not consecutive to another high cal day), and would not recommend that you go more than two weeks without a cheat meal, both for sanity and your metabolism’s sake.  The reason I start this phase with a 10-14 day keto run is that the fatter you are, the harder it is for your body to get into ketosis.


Basically, think of your glycogen stores as a water glass, that you filled up years ago and kept dumping buckets of water on top of the full glass for years, while leaving it out in the rain.  In Seattle.  As such, your insulin receptors threw in the towel years ago, while you were shoving Little Debbie snack cakes down your piehole and washing them down with a Coke.  You’re completely destroyed your body’s ability to correctly recognize its own metabolic signals, so you’re going to have to suffer a bit to undo the damage you’ve done.  Additionally, Dan Duchaine was a big fan of starting ketogenic phases with 10-14 day keto runs, and that makes good sense- fat people produce ketone bodies much more slowly than do lean people (Russell 22).  Thus, I can drop into ketosis inside of a day because I’m lean, but the 308 lber trying to drop to 242 is going to take the better part of the week, for the reasons I outlined earlier in this paragraph.  Happily, there is a fun way to expedite this process- drink vodka.  Drinking clear liquors (not sugary liqueurs) crashes your blood suger, which will cause you to deplete your liver and muscle glycogen faster (George).




Delicious, but in no way keto.  Also, it’s a fire hazard.  I once set my right side and my pants on fire drinking Ouzo.

In regards to how much carbohydrate you should eat, which I’m sure many of you are wondering, you should shoot to keep your carbohydrates to 30 grams or less a day.  “Although up to 100 grams of carbohydrate will allow ketosis to develop, it would be rare to see ketones excreted in the urine at this level of intake” (Ketogenic Diet 104).  Because you’ve spent the last several years stuffing your face with all manner of bullshit, you might want to go ahead and forgo it for the time being so as to get your body back to a state where it can better tolerate carbs.  The nice thing about dieting is that the leaner you get and stay, the more leeway you end up having with it, and the more rapidly you can make physiological changes for the better.  Think of fatloss like a massive freight train- it’s a bitch to get that thing moving, but once it’s up to speed, nothing short of a nuke is stopping that it from reaching its destination.




Is this phase going to be fun?  In spots.  Eating every meal with your hands is awesome, in my opinion.  There’s less cleanup, you get to use wet wipes, and gnawing on a bone is a hell of a good way to avoid biting your fingernails.  The days you’re not eating real food, however, are going to blow.  That’s the price you pay for years of eating like dogshit, however, and if you want to be a beast, you’re going to have to go hungry like one every now and again.


I’m sure you wrestling marks just came in your pants.  Triple H actually uses a moderate-fat ketogenic diet, as it happens.


Sample Week Of The Fat Ass Approach

Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday:

  • 5-6 protein shakes throughout the day (and one overnight, which I’d leave on the toilet and chug while peeing).  I usually had Vitamin Shoppe Whey Tech 24 in the morning, and followed that with Muscle Infusion throughout the day.  If I did a morning workout, it was a short workout (20 mins) usually consisting of one arm deadlifts, and I usually did not have a pre-workout shake.  On two of these four days I typically substitute one shake at lunch with wings or other no-carb meat.  NOTE: Before you eat wings or dry rub ribs, confirm that the sauce and rub do not contain sugar.


  • 1500-2500 calories worth of meat, preferably on the bone, for your evening meal.  If you’re eating chicken, make sure you’re eating the skin.


  • You might want to think about a Protein Sparing Modified Fast (nothing but shakes) on Monday as well, especially if you want to accelerate fatloss.



5-6 protein shakes with a less calorically dense dinner.  This is intended to rotate your calories and stimulate more fatloss.  Instead of ribes, maybe go with a t-bone or a porterhouse.



Watered-down Rampage day.  Keep your carbs reasonable, and focus on getting lean proteins throughout the day.  To give you an idea of how I did this to into single digit bodyfat, most Rampage days consisted of 94% lean meat tacos on low carb shells.  For my cheat meals, I went bananas, but I’d suggest that while you definitely want to make sure you eat a considerable amount of carbs, you should keep your calories in check until you’re starting to see decent progress.  This is for two reasons- you need to learn dietary discipline and because your body still has massive fat stores on which to draw, so massive cheats are unnecessary.  I’ll cover the Rampage Day in depth in an upcoming post, but for now I’d say eat lean and low-to-moderate carb throughout the day and cap the day with a carbohydrate bonanza the likes of which you’ve likely not seen since you saw undergraduate college girls descend on a table of free bagels.  In terms of amounts, I’ll agree with Dave Palumbo and say your initial Rampage day should be in the neighborhood of 400 grams of carbohydrates.  If you don’t lose more weight the following week, reduce that number.  If you lost plenty, you can adjust it up.  For you guys, however, I’d suggest you go easy, since you’ve mangled your insulin sensitivity worse than that broad who got attacked by a chimp a couple of years ago.


This is what your metabolism looks like.  Well done.


Protein Sparing Modified Fast.  Nothing but shakes in water today.  Quite frankly, you’re likely going to want to skip the gym today and just occupy yourself otherwise, but if you do plan on training, be prepared for it to suck, so don’t plan to hit PRs.


Keto day, but eat two meals today- one smaller and one larger.  Make sure you train on this day- your lift will be awesome.


What You Will Need For This Diet

  • A good multi-vitamin.  I cannot bring myself to eat offal, so this is a necessity for me.  If you like eating liver and kidneys and sundry other items you see falling out of hapless victims in Hostel, feel free to skip the multi.  I’m back on the Animal Pak bandwagon, and I’m fairly certain you could cure cancer with it.


  • Omega 3 fatty acids.  I’m not paying eleventy billion dollars for grass-fed beef.  I’ve not got the money for that silliness, and likely nor have you.  Pop Omega 3s like candy and you’re gold.


  • Some permutation of the ECA/ECY (ephedrine/caffeine/aspirin or ephedrine/caffeine/yohimbe) stack, or another good fatburner like Cannibal Inferno, Cannibal Inferno AMPed, or Cannibal Claw.  If you go ECA, don’t give a shit how you combine them- just do it.  Neanderthals were huge fans of ephedrine, and so should you be.(Doweiko 88)  I’ve written about why you should love that stackhere– before I switched to my own stuff, I used Stimerex or Lipodrene.


  • A good blended protein and a good whey protein.  I’ve used Matrix 5.0, Muscle Infusion, and Pro Blend 55 to good effect.  Just make sure that the carbs in that thing are LOW- that means no Muscle Milk, no Syntha 6, no weight gainers.  For the whey, just stay away from that Six Star garbage or anything with added Taurine or Lysine- that means they’re protein spiked and contain far less protein than the label claims.



A Note About Women And This Diet

Assuming you’re a woman or have ever met one, you’re aware that women regard carbohydrates like the last life boat on the titanic and will maul you like a goddamned honey badger if you get between them and their potatoes.  There’s actually a psychochemical reason for this- women appear to either have chronically low seratonin and tryptophan levels or are just addicted to high levels of the two chemicals.  This is especially true around their period, at which time the production of both chemicals in the brain is suppressed.  Additionally, seratonin reduces anxiety, from which every chick I know suffers, and tryptophan is the amino-acid precursor to seratonin, so it contributes to anxiety suppression as well.  (Sayegh et all, Christie)


Guess what kinds of foods stimulate the production of those chemicals?  Carbohydrates.


Protein-rich foods (i.e. the foods women typically ignore for carbohydrate-laden foods) increase dopamine and norepinephrine, which means eating a lot of protein will make you more alert and energetic.  This may be why men are so ready with solutions to any woman’s problems, and happy to share them until she plants a goddamned fork in his eye for doing so.


Her craving for carbs was so great, she had to wrap her face in a dirty blanket to restrain herself.

The reason why I’m including this is because women need a priest qualified for an exorcism and a psychiatrist far more than they need this diet.  I’m not saying you necessarily can’t do it, but it’ll likely make you miserable for a couple of weeks.  Men with high estrogen levels and might have this problem too, but that’s just speculation.  The original sound guy for the Grateful Dead is apparently 100% carnivorous and had this to say about chicks and keto diets:


“The female hormones seem cause a strong craving for carbs, as the female body isn’t fertile without a layer of fat. This makes this diet very hard for women to follow. Traditionally the women are the gatherers of fruits and (starchy) roots, while the men are the hunters. This is shown today in the different ways men and women go about buying things. The gals “shop” which is a trip through the entire store or mall in search of things to buy. They may not actually buy (gather) anything. The guys on the other hand know what they are after, and then seek it out (hunts it down) and buys it, usually then taking it home right away.”(Stanley)


If you do decide to try it, I did a quick google search to see which kinds of cheese might work for this diet, since it’s my experience chicks will consider eating dogshit if it’s covered in enough of the right kind of cheese.  I’ll say right off I know exactly nothing about cheese and despise it.  Thus, I’m making recommendations on macronutrient ratios:


  • Gruyere Cheese– This seems to be about as close to beef ribs as you can get in a cheese.  If you want to sit down to a pound of this shit a day, have at it.  40g of protein and 42g of fat per cup with <1g carbs
  • Limburger Cheese- Damn near as good for you as Gruyere, provided you can tolerate the smell.
  • Goat Cheese, Hard Type
  • Brie Cheese
  • Edam Cheese
  • Monterrey Chesse
  • Muenster Cheese
  • Camembert Cheese

Up next, dieting for the Not Too Fat But Not Too Lean, and the Rampage explained fully and completely.



Christie, Catherine.  Mood-Food Relationships.

Doweiko, Harold E.  Concepts of Chemical Dependency.

Macdonald, Lyle.  Ketogenic Diet.

Russell, Sharmen Apt.  Hunger: An Unnatural History.

Sayegh R, Schiff I, Wurtman J, Spiers P, McDermott J, Wurtman R.  The effect of a carbohydrate-rich beverage on mood, appetite, and cognitive function in women with premenstrual syndrome.  Obstet Gynecol. 1995 Oct;86(4 Pt 1):520-8.

Stanley, Owsley.  Diet and Exercise.


Paleotards Are Doing It Wrong, Part Deux

Posted on: July 7th, 2015 by chaosandpain No Comments

For those of you who read the foregoing entry, you’ll note I generally side with Ray Audette on the subject of paleo dieting.  Unlike his contemporaries, he seems to understand the necessity of fat, the fact that modern fruits in no way resemble ancient fruits, and the fact that hominids of the past were largely carnivorous in nature (Stanford).


That’s not to say, however, that I am some kind of mark for Ray Audette.  He might have done some homework, but he didn’t do all of it.  That’s unsurprising, because he’s neither a historian nor an archaeologist nor a nutritionist- in fact, he is a former computer salesman.  And while his motto for dieting boils down to “A natural diet is what is edible when you are naked with a sharp stick…. When you have no technology” (Sherman).  For some reason, many paleo advocates have taken paleo authors’ recommendations against salt to indicate that seasonings are bad.  Bodybuilders, for some reason, seem to share the concept that seasoning their food will somehow make them fat.  This is, of course, retarded.


I didn’t even know garlic mustard was a plant.

Archaeologists have found that, instead of what was previously believed (in spite of common sense), ancient man spiced the everloving shit out of their food.  Garlic mustard has been found in ancient cooking utensils (Saul).  The paleo community, then, is basically like the Christian community- they take what they like from the texts and discard the rest, and their “gurus” are no different.

“Even if eating only foods available to hunter–gatherers in the Paleolithic made sense, it would be impossible. As Christina Warinner of the University of Zurich emphasizes in her 2012 TED talk, just about every single species commonly consumed today—whether a fruit, vegetable or animal—is drastically different from its Paleolithic predecessor. In most cases, we have transformed the species we eat through artificial selection: we have bred cows, chickens and goats to provide as much meat, milk and eggs as possible and have sown seeds only from plants with the most desirable traits—with the biggest fruits, plumpest kernels, sweetest flesh and fewest natural toxins. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale are all different cultivars of a single species, Brassica oleracea; generation by generation, we reshaped this one plant’s leaves, stems and flowers into wildly different arrangements, the same way we bred Welsh corgis, pugs, dachshunds, Saint Bernards and greyhounds out of a single wolf species. Corn was once a straggly grass known as teosinte and tomatoes were once much smaller berries. And the wild ancestors of bananas were rife with seeds” (Jabr).


A Himalayan salt lick.

And as for salt, which Audette rails against in a manner so prolific it rivals the Westboro Baptist Church’s hatred of the homosexuals, it’s not only necessary, but critical.

“Certain isolated groups in areas such as Brazil, Papua New Guinea, and rural African communities have been found to live on sodium intakes of as little as 1150 mg per day. However, despite finding generally low blood pressure in these remote communities, the little evidence that exists on these low salt societies suggests shorter life expectancy and higher mortality rates” (Kresser).

Paleo authors will often rail against sodium intake, suggesting that paleolithic man consumed less sodium than is recommended by the government to maintain optimal health.  Apparently, however, they lack access to Wikipedia.  Wild animals, of whom our ancestors were a part, utilize natural “salt licks” to maintain healthy bone and muscle growth.  These mineral licks are so important to wildlife that they’re illegally used to bait animals for hunting, and even the Vikings mentioned them prominently in their mythology.  According to Norse mythology,

“In Norse mythology, before the creation of the world, it was the divine cow Audhumla who, through her licking of the cosmic salt ice, gave form to Buri, ancestor of the gods and grandfather of Odin. On the first day as Audhumla licked, Buri’s hair appeared from the ice, on the second day his head and on the third his body” (Wikipedia).


A bro this jacked could not have been a stranger to a salt lick.

In other words, no matter what the paleo authors might say, they’re absolute morons- salt is important in your diet.  Nevermind seasonings, which have been used since time immemorial- you need to salt your food.  The issue with salt isn’t too much salt- it’s an imbalance in your salt and potassium intake.  Prehistoric man ate a hell of a lot more potassium than we did, which kept their electrolytes balanced and kept them hydrated.


Ancient India seems so much cooler than modern India it’s hard to compare the two.

Likewise goes for intoxicants.  With the exception of Robb Wolf, paleo authors treat intoxicants as if they were child porn- partake and you should be thrown under Gitmo and raped by a thousand super-hung bulls.  Ancient man and even primates, however, have always loved to get twisted.  Take alcohol, for instance- primates have been getting hammered on alcohol for ten million years.  It’s literally hardwired into our brains to drink for the last 10 million years- exactly the amount of time it took for tree dwelling primates, who cannot metabolize alcohol, to split off from apes, who can (Zolfagharifard).

“‘Ancestral reconstructions of ADH4 demonstrate the ancestor of humans, chimpanzees and gorillas possessed a novel enzyme with dramatically increased activity toward ethanol and we suspect this novel metabolic capacity was adaptive to this hominin ancestor,’ said Professor Carrigan.

‘This transition implies the genomes of modern human, chimpanzee and gorilla began adapting at least 10 million years ago to dietary ethanol present in fermenting fruit.

‘This conclusion contrasts with the relatively short amount of time – about 9,000 years – since fermentative technology enabled humans to consume beverages devoid of food bulk with higher ethanol content than fruit fermenting in the wild.’

He said the history has implications not only for understanding the forces that shaped early human terrestrial adaptations but also for many modern human diseases caused by alcohol today” (Ibid).

So, as you can see, the conception that alcohol is forbidden on the paleo diet is nonsense, as Robb Wolf affirms in his seminal text.   Similarly, other intoxicants are forbidden by paleo authors, though evidence overwhelmingly shows that paleolithic man consumed intoxicants.  Consider, first, that both the ancient Indians and the Neanderthals consumed ephedra (Loporto, Block).  Coffee beans were combined with animal fat to create a protein rich snack (Avey), and coca leaves have been in documented use for over 4000 years.  In short, it’s not unpaleo to get wrecked… and in fact it might not be paleo to be 100% sober.


Paleo Diet misinformation- what caveman would have avoided eating boar?  Ridiculous and deceitful.  Chicanerous and deplorable.

Going back to the diets themselves, though, you’ll note that (with the exception of Perfect Health Diet) none of these diets prescribe specific goals for macros, calorie intake, or anything beyond “don’t just eat the same damn thing every day.”  So the point of paleo dieting is not to of it as “Should I do the Paleo Diet?”, but rather to ask yourself “How can I meet my dietary goals, whatever they are, using Paleo or mostly-Paleo foods?”  Assuming that, if you’re reading Chaos and Pain, you have some idea of how much you need to eat and what macros you’re aiming for, and that you’re probably not obese, Type II diabetic, or otherwise physically dysfunctional, you’re probably looking to bulk up, cut down, boost your T and GH levels, reduce recovery time, or otherwise improve your Wilks.  Given that, it would behoove us to discuss the effective differences between the various versions of paleo as they apply to mostly healthy people.


If this is you, throw yourself down a goddamned well.

Bear in mind, the benefits of the stricter versions of Paleo are often subtle and incremental if you’re mostly healthy — though it’s recommended that you do a month of Strict or Traditional Paleo to see what nagging annoyances might clear up.  Some examples of what you could eliminate would be: recurring fungal infections, falling asleep after lunch, acne, gas and bloating, GERD (aka acid reflux), gout.  Frankly, I’ve never had any of these, but I’m more or less Wolverine when it comes to my immune system.  Aside from allergies, I heal insanely quickly, get sick only ever couple years, and really only suffer from allergies as a general rule.  From what I see online though, paleo is the last dietary bastion of the glutard/hypochondriac crew, who thing they’re “sensitive” to everything from wheat proteins to tapioca and pretty much every dumbass thing in between.  As preposterous as that is, there is something to be said for the placebo effect, as I’ve written about before, so I suppose it’s worth trying even for those halfwits.


Body most definitively not built by paleo.

Another thing to bear in mind is that some or most of you will find it more difficult, or even impossible, to bulk on Strict or Traditional paleo because the foods are far more nutritious and less calorie-dense than bulking staples like protein/milk shakes.  It’s tough to get to 2g/kg of protein when you have to do it by actually eating meat and eggs.  Furthermore, you’re not going to be “carb backloading”, consuming “super starch”, or any other plan involving pathological candy consumption or powders sold in a tub.  In spite of that fact, turn of the century strongmen were able to get huge and strong eating more or less paleo, so you can too- it’s just going to require a hell of a lot of stuffing your face.  I can personally attest to having attempted a modified paleo diet that included a tortilla day post workout, and the rest of which was Granny Smith apples, almonds, chicken breast, chicken thigh, and broccoli and cauliflower.  In 10 months, my lifts all increased considerably, but my bodyweight dropped about ten pounds as I got much leaner and stronger.


If it can make dudes who eschew meat and weights and live off of chickpeas and pushups look better than most of the bros at your gym, there’s likely something to Ayurvedic medicine.

As for nutritional supplements, they’re really not paleo.  As I stated, paleolithic man used herbs for performance enhancement, and all of Ayurvedic medicine is based on the use of herbs for health improvements and performance enhancement, but they were hardly slamming protein shakes and preworkouts on the regular.  It might be worth experimenting with ditching them for your month of clean paleo, however, because you could then determine upon adding them back in exactly what works and what doesn’t.


Cro-Magnon man was almost entirely carnivorous… likely so he could beat the shit out of Neanderthals and bang their wives.

If that a bit confusing and daunting, you’re not alone.  In my research I was honestly perplexed by the disparity in diet recommendations by paleo authors, just as I was with the authors who wrote about the Ph of various diets- literally no two agreed on anything.  As such, I enjoin you to read up on this stuff and do a bit of your own research- check out ScienceDaily, for one, and do an occasional search on the diets of Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals- it will do you a world of good.


Up next, we’ve got an article headed your way on picking the type of paleo to best suit your lifestyle (even though none of them are really “paleo”), the use of protein, and a couple other topics.  Till then, keep it beastly!



Avey, Tori.  The Caffeinated History of Coffee.  PBS.  8 Apr 2013.  Web.  7 Jul 2015.

Block, Jill.  Ma huang, an ancient Chinese stimulant.  UCLA.  Winter 1998.  Web.  7 Jul 2015.

Jabr, Ferris.  How to Really Eat Like a Hunter-Gatherer: Why the Paleo Diet Is Half-Baked.  Scientific American.  3 Jun 2013.  Web.  & Jul 2015.

Kresser, Chris.  Shaking up the Salt Myth: The Human Need for Salt.  13 Apr 2012.  Web.  7 Jul 2015.

LoPorto, Garret.  Surprising Way Your Neanderthal Genes May Affect You.  HuffPost.  10 May 2010.

Saul H, Madella M, Fischer A, Glykou A, Hartz S, Craig OE.  Phytoliths in Pottery Reveal the Use of Spice in European Prehistoric Cuisine. PLoS ONE, 2013.  8(8): e70583

Sherman, Rebecca.  Neander-Guy.  Dallas Observer.  6 Jul 1995.  Web.  7 Jul 2015.

Stanford CB, Bunn HT. Meat eating and hominid evolution

Current Anthropology,  1990. 40(5):726-728

Zolfagharifard, Ellie.  We’ve been drinking alcohol for TEN MILLION years: Gene mutation reveals our primate ancestors enjoyed fermented fruit.  1 Dec 2014.  Web.  7 Jul 2015.

SARMs and LGD-4033- They’re Seriously Awesome

Posted on: July 6th, 2015 by chaosandpain No Comments
There have been a lot of questions flying around about our new SARMs line, so I thought I’d start covering SARMs in a blog series to shed some light on a group of chemicals that seem far too good to be true.  To kick this off, it seems logical to explain what SARMs are.  SARM is an acronym that stands for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator.  Most of the awesome androgenic effects of testosterone, both endogenous and exogenous, are controlled by androgen receptors, which are basically like catcher’s mitts for the chemicals being pitched by your endocrine system.  SARMs, then, are even cooler because of the selective nature of their design (as the name explicitly states)- the selective action of these compounds on muscle and bone tissues means that these compounds are perfect for lifters.  They were originally developed to treat muscle wasting disease, but anything that will prevent wasting disease will also prove incredibly beneficial for lifters with good diet and heavy training regimens.  This unique class of androgen receptor molecules basically act like androgenic drugs (anabolic steroids), but due to the efforts of what I assume were a coven of witches and a bunch of druidic wizards, SARMs lack the negative side effects of anabolics.  Yeah, you read that right- you get a slightly diminished anabolic/androgenic effect in comparison with traditional PEDs, but you get no testicular atrophy, no liver damage, no heart damage, and no negative effects on blood pressure or heart health.  Some SARMs show a few virilizing effects at ultra high doses, but all SARMs lack those effects at more reasonable doses.


Skeptical?  So was I when I first researched them.  Then, however, I went on Pubmed and discovered that some SARMs have anabolic activity was similar to or greater than that of testosterone propionate (Yin).  I realize that sounds utterly insane, given the lack of negative sides, but multiple studies have shown this, and the science all clearly states that SARMs are excellent for gaining “fat-free mass” (Bhasin).  Not surprisingly, SARMs were not developed with our kind in mind- they’re all being developed for the increasingly large eldeerly population in America, with the intention of preventing muscle and bone loss in that population.  No matter what their aim, however, this bodes very well for lifters in general, because we can finally use a non-vilified set of compounds that act much like steroids with the positive effects, only without the balding, testicle shrinking, weird libido effects, and overall health detriments steroids can present.


Chaos and Pain currently has three SARMs on the market, and we will be adding two more in the coming month.  Currently, we have LGD-4033, GW-1516, and MK-2866 on sale at, which we chose because they are the best SARMs we could find.  For the next week or so, I’ll be posting breakdowns on what these SARMs are, how they work, and why we chose them so you guys have a better idea of what you could buy and why you should.  To kick things off, I figured I’d start with LGD, as it’s my favorite of the lot.


LGD-4033 is a nonsteroidal oral SARM that is ideal for anyone trying interested in recomposition.  As I know a lot of you are trying the Apex Predator Diet or another diet intended to build muscle and reduce fat simultaneously, this compound is essentially your holy grail, because LGD demonstrates anabolic activity in muscles with no negative side effects.  The best part about LGD-4033, however, is that in spite of its positive effects on muscle mass, no testicular atrophy or prostate swelling occurs- it is entirely without the negative effects reported by steroid users.  According to one study, “LGD-4033 was safe, had favorable pharmacokinetic profile, and increased lean body mass even during [only 21 days] without change in prostate-specific antigen” (Basaria).  The highlights of LGD read like a wet dream:

  • In a double-blind clinical study, fat mass did not change significantly in athletes attempting to gain muscle, but muscle mass increased on a dose as low as 1mg per day.


  • A clinical study showed an increase in lean body mass, muscle strength, stair-climbing power, and sex hormones in a mere 21 days.


  • Blood counts, chemistry, lipids, prostate-specific antigen, electrocardiogram, hormones, lean and fat mass, and muscle strength were measured during and for 5 weeks after intervention, and no significant unhealthy effects were recorded.

If you want to check out the poster the scientists who conducted the LGD study made as a kind of Cliff’s Notes, here’s a png you can download and check out at your leisure.

In short, though, this is the perfect SARM for recomposition, works really well for bulking, and is ideal as a cutting agent when combined with another SARM Chaos and Pain sells, GW-1516.


If you are curious about dosing, here’s what science recommends for bulking, recomposition, and cutting:

  • For bulking, recommended dosage would be 10 mg day for 12 weeks.


  • For recomp, recommended doses would be 5-10 mg a day for 12 weeks.


  • For cutting, recommended doses would be 5-10 mg a day for 4 weeks, and is best if stacked with GW-1516.

So there you have it- an explanation of SARMs and a breakdown of one of the SARMs currently available online at Chaos and Pain.  Keep your eyes peeled for future explanations, and it might not hurt to check out my sources just so you can see for yourself that we’re not selling you a bottle full of “magic beans” and bullshit.



Basaria S, Collins L, Dillon EL, Orwoll K, Storer TW, Miciek R, Ulloor J, Zhang A, Eder R, Zientek H, Gordon G, Kazmi S, Sheffield-Moore M, Bhasin S.  The safety, pharmacokinetics, and effects of LGD-4033, a novel nonsteroidal oral, selective androgen receptor modulator, in healthy young men.  J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2013 Jan;68(1):87-95.

Bhasin S, Jasuja R.  Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) as Function Promoting Therapies.  Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2009 May; 12(3): 232–240.

Yin D, Gao W, Kearbey JD, Xu H, Chung K, He Y, Marhefka CA, Veverka KA, Miller DD, Dalton JT.  Pharmacodynamics of selective androgen receptor modulators.  J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2003 Mar;304(3):1334-40.

Hey Paleotards- You’re Doing It Wrong, Asshats.

Posted on: July 1st, 2015 by chaosandpain No Comments
One of the most frustrating things about the internet is that while it provides a bounty of information, there’s nearly as much conflicting information or misinformation as there is useful information, and for the average person it’s incredibly difficult to differentiate between the wheat and the chaff.  It’s almost as if a blind man got dropped off on an island populated by 50% gorgeous women and another 50% trolls in corsets, Spanx, and sexy clothing- it’s gonna be hard as shit for him to determine which broad would get him high fives from his bros and which would get him mocked on Facebook for the rest of his life.  Tragically, I think the worst subjects in this regard are training and diet, both of which are written about extensively, but at least half of the missives penned seem to be the produce of minds rocked by people with IQs below room temperature.

Paleolithic dieting is perhaps the worst of sub-subjects to diet, because even outside of the internet there appears to be no consensus among authors about what, exactly, paleo dieting is.  In fact, the debate about what actually constitutes paleo is frankly more mind boggling than the fact that anyone finds Jack Black to be amusing.  To date, I’ve read the following paleo books:

I’ll hardly assert that having read the above makes me some sort of an expert on the subject of paleolithic dieting, but I’ve done a tremendous amount of research into the actual archaeology and into the evolution of fruits and vegetables, which puts me heads and shoulders above all but perhaps three of the above listed authors.  Before we delve into the actual archaeology, however, I felt it necessary to employ some aid from renowned internet paleo author J. Stanton, author of Gnoll Credo, to help me flesh out the divisions in the paleo community.  You know, so I can eviscerate half of the internet for being the dumbasses they are thereafter.  As such, the following portion was cowritten by both Stanton and myself.

The Main Paleo Categories

Strict Paleo

“I determined, therefore, to eat only those foods that would be available to me if I were naked of all technology save that of a convenient sharp stick or stone.” (Ray Audette, Neanderthin) As mentioned above, this is for all intents and purposes the paleolithic dieting bible for anyone actually concerned with dieting in the manner of our ancestors.  In practice his statement means meat, fat, organs, and any other unprocessed animal product from animals fed and finished on grass (or forage, in the case of non-grass-eaters like chickens); fish and shellfish; eggs; tree nuts; vegetables; roots; berries; mushrooms. Cooking is permitted, but dairy products, legumes, grains, potatoes, sugar, added salt, and processed foods of any kind are not.  For reasons that will be covered later in the article, fruit is allowed but limited.  Raw honey is allowed but very strictly limited to small amounts.


My two cats, Clean and Sober, just think I’m TOPS!


Traditional Paleo

This trend is currently exemplified by Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution and the Hartwigs’ It Starts With Food / Whole 30.  Building upon strict paleo, it brings the additions of delicious, delicious salt, and other spices (except soy sauce and other grain-derived sauces), sweet potatoes (but not white potatoes), cooking oils made from animals or fruits (tallow, coconut, palm, olive).  Clarified butter gets a hall pass, as do limited amounts of coffee, tea, mate, etc.  Red meat is encouraged over white, eating the entire animal (offal and all) is encouraged, and there is a bit of fat-phobia in Wolf’s book, though he’s backed away from that position somewhat over time.  This diet is also more tolerant of processed food, but it doesn’t allow for “Paleo” junk food nonsense like “paleo cookies” and “paleo pizza”, even if it is made with coconut flour, arrowroot, or other technically “legal” ingredients, no matter how much people who “have been on paleo for 4 days and just feel TOPS” might whine.


This pic pretty much sums up the word primal, even if the diet doesn’t.


Primal is Mark Sisson’s brainchild, and is explained in his book Primal Blueprint.  Primal includes all of the Traditional paleo foods with the inexplicable additions of white potatoes (an explanation on why white potatoes aren’t paleo is forthcoming.  Just keep yer britches on.), dairy if you tolerate it well, and gluten-free soy sauce is OK.  Though he’s apparently a glutard, his diet is fat-tolerant, as his general recommendation for carbs is around 150g/day depending on one’s goals.  Completely counter to Audette, for whom cheating on a diet is tantamount to (and possibly worse than) cheating on one’s spouse, primal is more tolerant of occasional cheating (the famous “80/20 rule”).  It’s essentially paleo-lite for housewives.  In spite of that, Sisson was the first paleo source to cover issues like sleep and exercise in addition to diet, which makes his approach not entirely crap.


Captain Potato there in the middle is 3 years old and weighs 154 lbs.  One potato, two potato, three potato, CHOMP.

Perfect Health Diet

The PHD is essentially Primal with the addition of white rice and a few other tropical “safe starches” (e.g. cassava, sago, taro, tapioca).  This diet recommends a starting point of appx. 15-20% protein, 50-60% fat, and 20-30% carbs, with modifications to suit various specific goals like hypertrophy or weight loss.  It’s focused on nutrients like a fat kid with Prader-Willi syndrome on an ice cream cone, with specific recommendations for quantities of organ meats, bone broths, fatty fish and shellfish, etc.  It’s more in line with Audette, even if the food choices aren’t, because the PHD is less tolerant of outright cheating but more tolerant to occasional low-fructose sweeteners like dextrose and rice syrup.



Specialized and obsolete versions of “Paleo”

Being something of a fad diet, certain versions of paleo have gone the way of reel to reel, the Dreamcast, the RCA video record player, and the Shake Weight.  Before anyone gets their panties in a twist, stop and consider the fact that paleo is, for all intents and purposes, a fad diet.  It arose out of a series of articles in mainstream journals about “Ancestral Diets” in the 1980s, turned into “Evolutionary Medicine,” and then became a diet with something of a cult following in health food stores.  Later, CrossFit boxes abandoned the archaic Zone diet and pushed paleo’s popularity further, but since everyone has the attention span of either Lindsey Lohan or a gnat (they’re basically the same thing), paleo was dropped like a fat girl in swing class when everyone decided that gluten was the enemy and moved on to glutardation.  I’m certainly not suggesting that the paleo diet isn’t useful, but rather that, like any other diet, its popularity will wax and wane with media coverage and, sadly, internet message board discussions.



Autoimmune Paleo

Autoimmune paleo was essentially traditional paleo minus all of the nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, all peppers, both sweet and hot, eggplant, white potatoes, and the few common allergens remaining in a paleo diet, like eggs, nuts, and shellfish.  This diet was typically only used by people with autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, and although it was generally very helpful for them, it fell out of fashion faster than two polo shirts worn at once with popped collars.



Cordain’s original Paleo Diet

This is perhaps one of the saddest books ever produced, because Cordain created a trend that flew in the face of his own research harder than that bird that smashed Fabio’s nose.  It’s likely that Cordain wishes he could gather up all of those books and burn them, because what he essentially did was try to combine the low fat-faddism of the 1990s with paleolithic eating, which essentially created a horrifying chimera of diets that resembled the monster at the end of The Thing.  In spite of the fact that Cordain suggested in “Implications of Plio-Pleistocene Hominin Diets for Modern Humans” that hunter gatherers’ diets (which he believe mirror paleolithic diets in many ways) contained between 19% and 35% fat, the original Paleo Diet includes bizarre admonitions like “cut all the fat off your meat and then fry it in flaxseed or canola oil.”  Luckily, he managed to get his wits about himself in the last ten years and replaced his original pile of trash with a much more sensible and accurate book,  The Paleo Answer.

Though these diets are all fairly disparate, they have a number of critical features in common:

  • No grains.  That means no bread, no cereal, no crackers, no tortillas or chips.  (Exception: Perfect Health Diet allows white rice in moderation.)  Grains (wheat, corn, rice, barley, oats, rye, and other seeds and grasses) weren’t eaten much in the paleolithic because they require milling and long cooking to be made edible.  Raw grain plus water essentially equals paper mache, and there’s not a primate on Earth that can eat paper mache without shitting their proverbial pants.
  • No grain products.  This means no “vegetable oils” like corn, soy, sunflower, grapeseed, and canola, no corn syrup or Frankengredients like TVP (textured vegetable protein).  That pretty much puts 75% of the supermarket off limit if you’re any kind of paleo.
  • No peanuts or peanut butter.  They’re a legume, not a nut.  Plus they’re only 18% poor-quality protein (PDCAAS = 0.5) with boatloads of inflammatory linoleic acid (“omega-6 fat”).  Peanuts, like corn, also contain a fungi called aflatoxins which is one of the most carcinogenic toxic substances known.  There’s no treatment for aflatoxin infection, either- once you have it, you have it.  Cooking can kill aflatoxins, but it’s not 100% effective- for some reason ancient man knew this, but flight attendants don’t.
  • No sugar except what naturally occurs in fruit, and limited amounts of honey.  Obviously, ancient man had little access to sugar cane, and they certainly weren’t going to tangle with a bunch of bees for honey on a regular basis.  Thus, sugar and honey are pretty much out, which basically eliminates all junk food from one’s diet when combined with the grains.


In short, no matter what kind of paleo you’re doing, you’re essentially limited to the meat counter, the produce section, the spice rack, and maybe a stop in dairy.  As J Stanton puts it “Eat anything you could pick, dig, or spear.  Mostly spear.”  He’s got an article to that effect called “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey.”  One caveat to the “dig” portion of Stanton’s quote I’d like to point out, and one to which I alluded earlier, is regarding modern tubers and fruits.  Agriculture does funny things to food, and fruits and tubers are perhaps some of the best- they in no way resemble their ancestors.  Tubers, for instance, were basically oblong pieces of bark with a tiny bit of meat in the middle.  According to Loren Cordain (the academic, not the shitpile author of pandering diet books), most of tuber eating was chewing on and digesting insoluble fiber- paleolithic man got over 100g of fiber daily from gnawing on tubers.


Apparently, there is a trend among hippie to engage in “aboriginal birch bark biting.”  I just don’t even know what the hell is going on in the world anymore.

Because eating tubers was so time intensive (and likely led to more TMJ than a 12 hour stint at a glory hole), tubers were likely the initial objectives of cooking (Ungar 36).  Tuber consumption increased concomitantly with meat consumption and was likely the fallback food for primitive man, no doubt because that fiber filled up empty bellies (Ungar 203).  That, however, is a far cry from the sugary-sweet sweet potatoes with Saran Wrap-thin skin upon which you’ll see your typical paleo advocate munching.


They might look like funny-colored cherries, but those are actually what apples looked like in the paleolithic.

Similarly, white potatoes in no way resemble their ancient ancestors.  The wild potato, which still grows in Peru (where it was originally domesticated 7000-10000 years ago), is more bitter than a fat girl on prom night, more gnarled than your great grandma’s arthritic hands, and thicker skin than what’s likely on your palms.  Apples in the paleolithic were little larger than cherries and were incredibly tart- in fact, they were far more like the crab apples that litter your driveway every fall than the Granny Smith you see in the grocery store.  If you want to see what an ancient strawberry looks like, look no further than a wild strawberry- they’re basically the size of blueberries and about as tart as a lemon.  In short, none of the produce you’re eating is paleo, and tubers and fruits are the worst culprits in this regard.


I’ll continue this insanely lengthy article soon and hash out more of the reasons why people who eat paleo aren’t, in fact, eating like paleolithic man.  Unfortunately, the introduction to the disparate types of paleo dieting took so long it left me with little room for explication of the difference between modern paleolithic eating and the actual diets of paleolithic man.  In any event, there’s plenty more to cover, so we’re going to school these paleotards like they’re sitting in those tiny chairs with the desk attached.  Luckily, their legs are so goddamned skinny form all of the cycling and jogging that they can probably fit- let’s just hope they’ve eaten enough calories to hold onto their crayons as they take notes.

One final note- I love the idea of paleolithic dieting.  I just hate the assholes who do it.

Throwback Thursday: The Apex Predator Diet, Part 1

Posted on: June 25th, 2015 by chaosandpain No Comments

An Explanation of Throwback Thursday

It occurred to me recently that over the 6 years I’ve been writing for the public, I’ve put out nearly 500 articles.  That’s a lot to sift through.  As such, I thought it might be prudent to repost some of my articles with some extra editing to provide people who’ve never read them the opportunity to do so, and for the newer fans of Chaos and Pain to catch up on what they missed.  Given that my diet was the thing that put my on the map (outside of my former powerlifting world record), I’d start with my diet: The Apex Predator Diet.  Thus, without further adieu, I give you the APD.


Who doesn’t want to be as hard as a Wolverine?

An Overview of the Apex Predator Diet

The Apex Predator Diet is a at its core a cyclical ketogenic diet, not unlike those I’ve supported in the past.  On this diet, you’ll be doing ketogenic (keto) dieting on 30 grams of carbohydrates or less per day for 5-6 days a week (or more, depending on your bodyfat levels).  During the non-carb days, you’ll be consuming 1-2 meals of fatty, preferably bone-in meat per day, supplemented by 5-7 low carbohydrate protein shakes.  The other day or two are referred to as “Rampage” days, during which time you’ll replenish your glycogen stores and satisfy your desire to wreck pizza and cookies.


The Tomohawk Steak.  My vote for most anabolic substance on Earth

The reasoning behind this methodology of dieting is that I found protein-sparing modified fasts like the T-Nation’s Velocity Diet gave me just enough energy to put in a workout that would embarrass an undergraduate girl trying to drop her freshman 15 before going to the beach to pick up guys over the summer- I was truncating my workouts horribly and thinking about nothing more than committing hara kiri out of shame.  Thus, I did some research and discovered those diets are really only suited to the morbidly obese and people who suck at lifting weights, rather than people trying to be so insanely superhuman they make Superman seem like a shiftless, impotent, weaksauce layabout by comparison.  As such, I experimented with a variety of evening meals and finally settled upon beef ribs and bone in steaks, which are eminently satisfying, calorically dense, and restorative in ways you cannot possibly imagine.


Arthur Saxon didn’t count calories to become the strongest man on Earth, he just ate a couple of pounds of meat at every meal.

This diet, though similar to many you’ve likely seen, is vastly superior (if you’re training hard 4+ times a week) to existing frameworks for a couple of reasons:

First, my macronutrient percentages are different.  Conventional wisdom on the cyclical ketogenic diet (CKDs) is that 65-75% of your calories should come from fat.  Ridiculous.  According to my biggest fan on Earth (sarcasm rules), Lyle McDonald, “when subjects are told to limit carbohydrate intake but to consume “unlimited” quantities of protein and fat, they automatically limit caloric intake and consume between 1400 and 2100 calories.”(Ketogenic Diet 101).  I don’t give a damn who you are- that nonsense is not going to support heavy training unless the lifter competes at 114lbs.  Not only is that a caloric intake suitable only to the Olson twins and 19th Century hunger artists, but at the macros suggested by the gurus, you’re not getting nearly enough protein, either.


Let’s do the math:
2100 total calories – 1470 fat calories = 630 calories / 4 calories per gram of protein = 157.5 grams of protein.

The protein shakes I needed to get up to 200 lbs have more calories in them than that, and I mix them in water, not milk.  The Predator Diet is much higher calorie count (3000+), most days, with 50-60% of your calories coming from protein and the remainder from fat.


Second, I cycle calories.  For those of you who are not already incredibly lean, calorie cycling kicks in to keep your metabolism humming.  I’ve not seen another CKD or Traditional ketogenic diet (TKD) that tinkers with calories in this way to accelerate fatloss, which is weird, because…


Third, it’s insanely easy.  One of the things I see people constantly blabbering on about with the Intermittent Fasting diet is how easy it is to not eat for half the day.  I guarantee you it takes no more time to make a shake than it does to make a cup of coffee, and those goofballs must be chugging coffee like Hummers guzzle gas if they’re not eating.  As such, their collective argument is as silly as the Predator Diet is anabolic.


 This is what catabolism looks like.  Well, extreme catabolism, at least.


Fourth, it’s crazy anabolic.  Though you’re operating in a caloric deficit for the majority of the day, you’re getting a constant influx of protein to stave off muscle catabolism, and the high fat meats at the end of the day provide saturated fat and cholesterol, both of which boost testosterone levels, which in turn increase aggression, which in turn makes you tear shit up in the gym, making your system even more anabolic.  Basically, you become a perpetual-motion machine of badassery.


 And this wasn’t even my leanest competition- it was just the last one in which I squatted over 600 without wearing a belt.


Fifth, you’re not insane with hunger at all times.  When hungry, “people tend to conserve energy rather than expend it.”(Russell 148)  That’s definitively not a good thing if you’re training hard, especially if you’re dieting for a competition and/or training twice a day.  I used this diet to cut for all of my meets and ended up on the underside of 7% bodyfat, making my water cut easier, increasing my strength to weight ratio, and allowing me to be insanely ripped while breaking a 40 year old world record in powerlifting.


Sixth, you have planned, insane, gluttonous cheat meals.  These serve a variety of purposes, and they match the occasional gorge of a predator nicely.

Because I realize experimentation is scary for most people, I assure you I’ve already done plenty of experimenting, I’ve got four basic permutations of this diet- Fatass; Sort of a Fatass, Lean; Crazy Lean; and Athletes and Italians.  The first three are fairly self-explanatory, and will be broken out by bodyfat percentage (see explanation below).  The last is because I get a lot of emails from people whining about pre-and post-workout carbs.  They’re of the opinion that they’re indispensable, though I would dispute that opinion.  For those ladies out there who absolutely must have your carbs or you will turn into a raging ball of hormone-fueled fury, laying waste to everything in your path as you make for the counter at Auntie Annie’s in the mall, this should suit your purposes nicely as well.

The bodyfat percetages below will be men; women, followed by the bodytype according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE).  Note: I had a chart for this, but I was told to make it safe for work, meaning no f-bombs, so the chart disappeared and I changed the names of the diets somewhat.

Fatass: 18+%; 25+%; Average

Sort of a Fatass: 9-17%; 19-24%; Athlete-Fitness

Lean: <8%; <18%; Athlete

Crazy Lean: 2-5%; 10-15%; Essential Fat

Note: There is no bodyfat percentage for the Italians and Athletes, but I’d recommend <15% and <21% for those.  It’ll be explained why later.

Werewolves- the ultimate apex predators?

Components of the Apex Predator Diet

Before we get into the finer points of the diet, let’s cover a couple of basics- food and supplement choices.  The reason why I’ve christened this diet the Apex Predator Diet is due to the awesome food choices you’ll be making.  Nowhere will you find bland, tasteless, rubbery bullshit like chicken breasts and steamed broccoli.  On this diet, you won’t even need utensils most of the time, because your food should come with a built-in handle- bone.  Bone is an integral part of meat, and ripping an animal’s flesh off its bones with your teeth is a primal, visceral, ethereal act that stands in stark defiance to modern life and harkens to a time when men were men and women appreciated real men, in addition to being tougher than most of the “men” you see waddling their sloppy asses around the mall these days.  As such, it would stand to reason that if we want to regain that former glory, strength, and aggressive awesomeness we had in times past, we should eat like our forebears.


For those of you who are staring, incredulous, at that statement, consider the following:

“The connection between flesh and bone is primordial and fundamental.  Yet today, bones have fallen out of favor.  We are all familiar with the expression, ‘The nearer the bone the sweeter the meat,’ but we demand everything precut and prepackaged, and that is, increasingly, all we can buy.  Our world is full of recipes for boneless, skinless (and often tastless pieces of meat, chicken, and fish, and we can scarcely recognize whole fish or birds.  We have become so obsessed with ease of preparation and speed that we have lost touch with the visceral appeal of cooking with- and eating- bones.” (20  McLagan)


They understood this, because they were stronger, smarter, and tougher than the lot of us.

“There is a universal understanding that bones and meat are inseparable.  Yiddish: Bones without meat are possible, meat without bones is not possible.  Hebrew: There is no such thing as boneless meat.  Greek: Meat is sold with bones. Norwegian: He who buys the meat has to take the bone with it.  English:  Bones bring meat to town.  He who eats the meat let him eat the bones.  You buy the land you buy the stones: you buy the meat you buy the bones.”(119 Bones)


What heaven used to look like to most of mankind


Eating boneless meat is thus not only effete, ridiculous, artificial, and offensive to the soul of the slaughtered animal, but it’s fucking stupid.  Bone in meat tastes better and is healthier, as cooking it in that fashion “enables the bone nutrients to infuse into the meat, imparting wonderful flavors”(Shanahan) in addition to added nutrients.  After you’ve cooked it that way, you eat it with your hands, as your primal ancestors did, using the bones as the handles for bearing meat to your mouth as they were damn well intended.  Eating becomes more satisfying because you’re restoring the tactile sense in your hands to the process of eating.  As such, it becomes a richer, more natural, more intimate experience and produces greater satiety as a result.  As one probably hot hippie put it,

“eating with your hands gives you a deeper sense of your food, because you are bringing more sense receptors to the table. Temperature and texture become more profound when you can feel them on your fingers first, and the experience of consumption is extended even longer for a more pleasurable process.”(Urban)

Worried about a mess on your hands?  Buy some goddamned Wet Ones and be glad you have fewer dishes to do.  Also, toughen up.

Additionally, you’re going to be consuming an assload of low-carb, blended source protein shakes, multivitamins, EFAs, and fatburners, and will try to mix in some offal if at all possible.  I’ll get into all of that good stuff in the next installment, however, leaving you with the fact that offal tastes absolutely awful (puns abound!), so I generally just take a boatload of multis.


So tune in next Thursday for the next edition of Throwback Thursdsay, when I’ll cover the APD for fatasses.


McDonald, Lyle.  Ketogenic Diet.

McLagan, Jennifer.  Bones: Recipes, History, and Lore.  New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2010.

Russell, Sharmen Apt.  Hunger: An Unnatural History.  New York: Basic Books, 2005.

Shanahan, Cate.

Urban, Shiloh.  “Eat With Your Hands.”

Cannibal Alpha PCT

Posted on: June 22nd, 2015 by chaosandpain No Comments


For those of you who don’t know about it, Cannibal Alpha’s been changed to Cannibal Alpha PCT, and it’s got a whole new formula.  We realized that having a PCT (post cycle therapy) would be more important than having a mild herbal test booster, especially with our introduction of SARMS.  That’s not to say the previous version was shitty- we just changed the end goal so we could match our market.  Cannibal Alpha PCT’s main ingredient is Arimit, which is bascially two semi useful ingredients wrapped around a super powerful one- Arimistane.  Arimistane (Androst 3,5-dien-7,17-dione) is an anti-estrogen like Lex Luthor is anti-Superman.  It kicks serious ass.  And the best part?  Not only does it increase testosterone, but is suppresses estrogen production.  It’s seriously strong, and it rules.  Though it sounds like a pharmacological compound, it’s actually a natural metabolite of 7 Keto DHEA that exists in the body. The results it gives?  More muscle mass, better recovery, decreased fat storage, and increased libido.  Yeah, it’s that awesome- you’ll harden up in the midsection and the nether regions, recover your natural test levels, and just generally kick ass on it.


If you want the whole ingredient listing, check it out:



For more information on Arimistane, hit up this site:

Natty Or Not? Not That Anyone Should Give Two Shits: The History of Performance Enhancing Substances

Posted on: April 28th, 2015 by chaosandpain No Comments
Zero shits are given.

Interestingly, when I began lifting weights, steroids were not a topic of discussion.  Of course, we knew some people used gear and took it for granted that the top pros used shit, but no one actually cared.  It didn’t stop us from following their programs, from lifting 10 times a week, or from doing 60 sets a bodypart.  Instead, it gave us an aspirational goal which, while probably unrealistic, made us shoot for the stars.  It made us definitively and pointedly better, because it gave us supermen for idols- it gave us a huge goal for which to shoot that kept us from being mired in the mediocrity in which modern lifters seem eminently comfortable.

Doug Young- literally everything millenials aren’t.

For the modern lifter, that must seem completely insane- modern lifters spend more time programming and making excuses for their shit lifts than they actually spend lifting.  They endlessly discuss their lack of progress, parse their programs, and nitpick their form, because doing all of that shit means they never actually have to exert themselves in the gym.  They’ve given all of the societal indications of caring without actually putting their heart and soul into training, which is what we used to do, and it’s why we succeeded in spite of the fact that our programming and exercise choices were often subpar, led astray by the evil left hands of Ben and Joe Weider.

Natty bros, the guy on the left is to blame for your plight- Dr. JB Ziegler.  He brought steroids into the American zeitgeist.

Then, we have the “natty” excuse, an excuse so hollow and pathetic it is difficult to describe the contempt for it that I have.  Bear in mind, I never even saw a capsule of dianabol until I was 32- I knew of steroids, and I knew people who used them, but I never gave a shit.  I didn’t give a shit because I knew I could succeed without any assistance, and did so.  I didn’t look to “gurus” to assuage my ego with limits on my natural progress, begging them for an upper end to my gains by which I could measure myself as the peak of potential “natty” gains.  The idea that I was limited by genetics or “nattiness” never occurred to me.  likely because I am not the biggest bitch on Earth, and the fact that I’ve read enough that I know that winners will always do what it takes to win.  Always.  Thus, when I needed a boost, I would take one, but until then, I would strive mightily against genetics, gravity, and humanity in a bold effort to transcend the normal and achieve the impossible.

Elite and not a bit sorry about it.

Don’t believe me about the fact that winners will do what it takes to win?  Well, science says “eat shit”, because you’re obviously not a winner.  A “researcher, Bob Goldman, began asking elite athletes in the 1980s whether they would take a drug that guaranteed them a gold medal but would also kill them within five years.  More than half of the athletes said yes.  When he repeated the survey biannually for the next decade, the results were always the same.  About half of the athletes were ready to take the bargain” (Reynolds).  Conversely, only 2 out of 250 recreational lifters said they would do the same (Ibid).  That’s a pretty impressive disparity- 50% of elite athletes will do what it takes to win, whereas less than 1% of normies would.  Amusingly, this study was done at a time when both steroids and ephedrine were legal and acceptable for use among the average trainee, blissfully avoiding the unnecessary, illegitimate, and indefensible stigmas they now bear.

Bringing it back around to the topic of my generation and steroids, we didn’t think of steroids in a pejorative manner or regard them as the magical group of pharmacological miracles that turn shit lifters into supermen than modern trainees do.  Instead, we regarded them as a tool in a toolbox… an option that might confer benefits… and basically something one could do if one wished.  There was neither stigma nor reference for that group of drugs-  they simply were.  It was accepted as a matter of course that methyltestosterone or dianabol were in the supplement Hot Stuff, and that clenbuterol was in the preworkout Ultimate Orange (along with ephedrine and every other heart attack-inducing substance Dan Duchaine could find.  It didn’t matter if people used a stepped up androstenedione to us, or another substance to drop in on ephedrine to make our blood pressure even more ridiculous, but they were considered to be tools for use by people who wished to rather than magical death drugs used by “cheating” psychopaths- they were just a part of a panoply of performance enhancing drugs that humans have used since time immemorial when they wanted to win.

Frankly, I would not be surprised if nearly every person under the age of 25 reading this right now was bleeding from the eyes.  For those of you who are struggling not to punch your laptop, consider the opinion of the Washington Post’s sports columnist Sally Jenkins:

“Maybe we shouldn’t ask athletes to live up to ideals that, let’s face it, are unsupported by the chronically weak performance of human nature. Maybe it’s time to decriminalize performance-enhancing drugs, in view of the fact that the first drug cheat was an ancient Greek and runners brought sport-doping into the modern age in 1904 by dosing themselves with strychnine.

Our Air Force gives fighter jocks “go-pills” to get them through long missions, but we don’t refuse to call them heroes because they’re on speed. So what’s this strange amnesia that causes us to seek purity in athletes? Why should they have to meet a higher moral standard than soldiers? Call me naive.”

“What’s the job of an athlete really? It is to seek the limits of the human body, for our viewing pleasure. Athletes are astronauts of the physique, explorers. Some of them choose to explore by making human guinea pigs out of themselves. So maybe we should quit assigning any ethical value to what they do, and simply enjoy their feats as performance artists. Virtue was another notion dreamed up by the Greeks, only they were a lot less confused about what they meant by the term. Their word for virtue could also be accurately translated as simply “excellence.” As for the word “amateur,” it didn’t exist to them at all.”

“Doping is not a modern art. It’s just the medicine that’s new. As a recent story in National Geographic pointed out, performance enhancement grew with chemistry in the mid-19th century. Athletes choked down sugar cubes dipped in ether, brandy laced with cocaine, nitroglycerine and amphetamines. In that context, the current scourges of steroids and blood boosters are merely a sequential progression” (Jenkins).

Performance enhancing drugs have been used since prehistory.  Ancient neanderthal burials all contain ephedra plants, which were used by that species for unknown purposes, though it is considered to be a PED.  Given the fact that neanderthals were well known for their slaughter of megafauna, it’s not outside of the boundaries of consideration to think they used ephedra as a performance enhancing drug to aid in that pursuit (LoPorto).  And it’s not just the neanderthals who have used PEDS- the ancient Greeks were well known for using any means they could to gain an advantage on their opponents, and not only was that expected, but it was appreciated, provided they didn’t get caught (Bowers).  The Roman gladiators doped to get through fights, and nineteenth century French cyclists and lacrosse players used a combination of wine and coca leaves, called “Vin Mariani”, aka “wine for athletes,” to gain an edge on their competition (Murray).

It’s not just hominids who look for an edge, either- horses consume locoweed, which affects them much in the same way nicotine affects humans (it’s an ergogenic aid [Pesta]); capuchin monkeys and lemurs get high off millipedes and use them as a sex aid, narcotic, and a natural bug repellent (Zambone), reindeer eat the same mushrooms Viking Berserkers used to ingest to make them fearless before  going into battle (leading to a very weird cycle in which shamans and reindeer drink each others’ piss to get high) (McBain), elephants are incorrigible drunks and rampage drunkenly through Indian towns causing wanton destruction (Hussain)… the list goes on and on.  Many high-functioning species use narcotics and other substances to perform in an altered state- it’s the way of the world.

Thomas Hicks: Powered by rat poison.

Fast forward to the modern era and you’ll find nothing’s changed.  In the 1904 Olympics, marathoner Thomas Hicks began the tradition of doping at the Olympics when he won his event using a combination of strychnine, egg whites, and brandy (Abbott).  By the 1940s, the Germans were experimenting heavily with steroids and amphetamines, and Hitler was allegedly guinea pig #1 amongst them.  Pervitin and Isophan, methamphetamines, were the Nazi soldier’s drug of choice (Ulrich).  Later, the Nazis developed a pill that was a combination of morphine, cocaine, and methamphetamine to optimize performance.  Hitler himself was one of the first test subjects for steroids, and it’s reported that he recommended their use for all German athletes as a result (Taylor 146).  Due to the success in the field of combat, athletes began taking these substances shortly thereafter, referring to amphetamines in particular as essential for optimal performance.

“These drugs — nicknamed la bomba by Italian cyclists and atoom by Dutch cyclists — minimize the uncomfortable sensations of fatigue during exercise. By setting a safe upper limit to the body’s performance at peak exertion, these unpleasant sensations prevent bodily harm” (Noakes 847).

Tommy Simpson straight KILT by amphetamines in the Tour de France.

In the 1960s, two athletes died in competition due to complications from amphetamine use, and shortly thereafter, drug testing began in competition.  In 1975, the IOC banned steroid use, but it wasn’t until 1988 that Ronald Reagan banned the non-medical sale of steroids in the United States.  Bear in mind that this ban had nothing to do with the public health- this was simply a political move intended to demonize the Eastern Bloc countries, who had been kicking the shit out of us in international competition and openly admitted to widespread and prolific use of anabolic steroids.  By banning their sale, Reagan made the use of these substances taboo, thus taking away some of the glory the Russians and their satellites could take from their wins in international competition.  Demonization of these substances and propaganda against them has continued until today, in spite of the fact that doctors routinely prescribe anabolic steroids and growth hormone for everything from longevity to mental health, and prescribe amphetamines as a matter of general course to everyone from small children to the elderly.

6’6″ 330 lb offensive tackle (and massive draft bust) Tony Mandarich

And it’s not just lifters, football players, and cyclists who dope- it’s truly a matter of “if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.”  Amphetamines have long been a part of baseball:

“Baseball and greenies [amphetamines] go together like hot dogs and apple pie, assuming the hot dogs come flying off the grill at Warp Seven and the pie sort of jitters and sweats slightly as it is removed from the oven. They’ve been together for a long, untouted while, is the thing” (Kreidler).  

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has stated that he’s heard about the use of amphetamines in baseball as far back as the 1950s, in fact.  Shit, even badminton players use gear- Indian and Chinese badminton players have gotten popped for steroid use in the last few years, and star tennis player Rafael Nadal is routinely accused of using steroids.  Swimmers and soccer players routinely use albuterol and clenbuterol to improve their performance, competitive pistol shooters and archers take beta blockers, and fighter pilots take amphetamines (Harris).  In fact, performance enhancing drugs essentially permeate every competitive sport or activity, ranging from chess (Grossekathöfer) to golf (Rosaforte) to professional orchestra (Wise) to, believe it or not, billiards (Deardorff).

Badminton champion Lee Cong Wei, who has popped positive for corticosteroid use.

Performance enhancing substances are not limited to steroids, amphetamines, and growth hormones, however.  The most widely used PED is caffeine, and it’s estimated that 85% of the US population consumes caffeine daily to improve alertness and performance (Mitchell).  Similarly, athletes in every sport use ibuprofen to improve their recovery times (Harris).  Miraculously, this is one of the few substances not banned by the WADA, which has banned 162 substances ranging from completely legal selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) to steroids to rat poison (Banned).  This, of course, essentially means that the banned substances list is a more or less arbitrary line in the sand drawn by non-athletes to limit the options of actual athletes to perform to the best of their abilities.

Up next, we’ll cover the history of sports supplements and the bans on those substances by governments and various sporting bodies and federations, and continue to explore reasons why “natty bros” are nothing more than whiny, uncompetitive bitches looking to excuse their poor performance by drawing arbitrary lines in the sand on performance enhancing substances and ascribing near-magical attributes to substances routinely taken across the board by competitive people across the globe and throughout time.


192 Banned Performance Enhancing Substances and Methods

with Pros & Cons of Their Health Effects.  Pro Con.  Web.  23 Apr 2015.

Abbott, Karen.  The 1904 Olympic marathon may have been the strangest ever.  Smithonian.  7 Aug 2012.  Web.  23 Apr 2012.  Web.  23 Apr 2015.

Bowers LD.  Athletic drug testing.  Clin Sports Med. 1998 Apr;17(2):299-318.

Grossekathöfer, Maik.  Outrage Over Ivanchuk: The Great Chess Doping Scandal.  Spiegel Online.  11 Dec 2008.  Web.  28 Apr 2015.

Harris, William.  10 performance-enhancing drugs that aren’t steroids.  06 Nov 2012.  Web.  28 April 2015.

Hussain, Wasbir.  6 drunk elephants electrocute themselves.  Seattle Times.  23 Oct 2007.  Web.  23 Apr 2015.

Jenkins, Sally.  Winning, cheating have ancient roots.  Washington Post.   Aug 2007.  Web.  23 Apr 2015.

Kreidler, Mark.  Baseball finally brings amphetamines into light of day.  ESPN.  15 Nov 2005.  Web.  27 Apr 2015. 

LoPorto, Garret.  Surprising Way Your Neanderthal Genes May Affect You.  Huffington Post.  10 May 2010.  Web.  23 Apr 2015.

McBain, Michael.  Strange fungi facts.  Amanita Shop.  Web.  23 Apr 2015.

Mitchell DC, Knight CA, Hockenberry J, Teplansky R, Hartman TJ.  Beverage caffeine intakes in the U.S.  Food Chem Toxicol. 2014 Jan;63:136-42.

Murray TH.  The coercive power of drugs in sports.  Hastings Cent Rep. 1983 Aug;13(4):24-30.

Noakes TD.  Tainted glory–doping and athletic performance.  N Engl J Med. 2004 Aug 26;351(9):847-9.

Pesta DH, Angadi SS, Burtscher M, Roberts CK.  The effects of caffeine, nicotine, ethanol, and tetrahydrocannabinol on exercise performance.  Nutr Metab (Lond). 2013 Dec 13;10(1):71. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-10-71.

Reynolds, Gretchen.  Phys Ed: Will Olympic Athletes Dope if They Know It Might Kill Them?  New York Times.  20 Jan 2010.  Web.  20 Apr 2015.

Rosaforte, Tim and Sam WeinmanWas Vijay Singh’s biggest crime ignorance?.  30 Jan 2013.  Web.  28 APr 2015.

Taylor, William N.  Anabolic Steroids and the Athlete, 2d ed.  Jefferson: McFarland & Company, 2001.

Ulrich, Andreas.  The Nazi death machine: Hitler’s drugged soldiers.  Der Spiegel.  6 May 2005.  Web.  23 Apr 2015.

Wise, Brian.  Musicians use beta blockers as performance-enabling drugs.  WQXR.  16 Aug 2013.  Web.  28 Apr 2015.!/story/312920-musicians-use-beta-blockers-relieve-stage-fright/

Zambone, Jennifer.  Of monkeys and millipedes.  CEI.  30 Nov 2000.  Web.  23 Apr 2015.

Powerbuilding #2: It’s Not JUST About The Mustaches

Posted on: April 23rd, 2015 by chaosandpain No Comments

Key and Peele could not have said it better, what with their love of Khal Drogo aka Big Dave Navarro, because powerbuilding is my shit.  Apparently, however, the wise “menfolk” of the interwebz feel differently, because of a variety of very weak and easily disassembled arguments.  In any event, here are the wonderful things I’ve learned after feedback from the last installment of this series:

  1. People love dogma like dogs love drinking out of the toilet.
  2. Lazy people too lazy to even bother getting out their recliner to take a shit will scream about being “natty’ until my ears are bleeding like I’ve been listening to Michael Bolton on 10 and refuse to try anything new.
  3. Everyone seems to want to know my opinion on Layne Norton.
  4. The wise men of the internet has developed a very stupid acronym that I’ve already forgotten for “natty bros” they don’t consider to be natty.
Here are my responses to that news:
  1. People are less intelligent than your average drunken koala.
  2. See above and add “lazy.”
  3. I know literally nothing about the man other than he the seeming fact he uses the word “natural” so frequently one would think he’s considering a name change to Natural Norton, and he undulates or something.  I guess he’s some sort of snakeman who panders to the drunken koala people?
Just so you guys keep posting that stupid internet acronym for fake natty.  Because that endears all of you to my heart.

But, being the swell guy I am, I will plate the aforementioned parties by including more “natty” bros in this article, since everyone seems to have missed my inclusion of Mike O’Hearn (who insofar as I know no longer uses that dumbass word) and Roy Hilligenn.  Let me add the qualifier “alleged”, because I don’t know who’s on or not and neither do the wise young men populating Reddit and filling it with all of the love and intellect that website could possibly hold.

For the uninitiated, steroids in the US basically started with a man named Dr. John Zeigler.  They were only ciminalized in the United States in the 1990s, however, after one of our athletes popped positive and lost his gold medal in about the same way a person in Los Angeles loses his car at gunpoint.  Bear in mind, it was not because he died or had adverse effects- it was because a body of Frenchmen said that he couldn’t win because he tested positive for a substance that was legal to use in the US.  Ziegler was a third generation doctor who tested the effects of dianabol on American weightlifters around or after 1959.  Thus, any lifter mentioned before 1959 could be considered (for the excuse- and retardation-oriented) “natty”.  That’s not to say they necessarily were, however, as Ziegler himself noted in 1954 that the Russians “had to catheterize all of these young [lifters], say 22 years old just so they could urinate” because they were taking such enormous doses of methyltestosterone, which was first produced in 1947 (Roach 329).

So, we’ll start with a man who was ostensibly “natty”, to satisfy the Redditors who weep and wail and gnash their teeth about the subject, and then move on to more modern trainers.


Jack Delinger5’6″ 195 lbs

You’ve all heard of the 20 rep squat workout, right?  The workout about which old heads and “natty” kids who only want to lift twice a fortnight jack off to before they go to sleep at night after chugging a gallon of milk a day and admiring their nonexistent abs in the mirror?  Delinger comes from that era, except for the fact that he thought 20 rep sets on squats were for pussies- he would just put 415 on the bar and squat it until he literally fainted.  As you can see from the picture above, his method clearly worked- apparently squatting more than double bodyweight for six sets of more than twenty reps is the way “natty” bros can defy modern conventional “wisdom” and actually get over 160 lbs.

Not a lot of planning went into his workouts, either- Delinger would lift five or so days a week, doing a full body workout that was roughly the same each time.  As to his split?  He essentially lifted as much weight as possible until he literally couldn’t move, rested, and then hit the weights again when he was able.  He didn’t dick about with a slide rule and a notepad determining what his training weights and percentages should be- instead, Delinger beating every body part to death like he was Braveheart with a warhammer smacking about the British with heavy weight and high reps, with no shits given about his exact training volume.

To gain weight, Delinger found that high reps with basic compound movements were his best bet- an interesting departure from the norm.  He apparently gained 33 lbs in two and a half months doing 6 sets of 15-20 reps on the following exercises (Delinger):

  1. Heavy Bench Press
  2. Heavy Cheat Barbell Curl
  3. Cheat Bentover Row
  4. Squat
  5. Cheat Upright Row

Definitely a different approach from what you usually see out of powerbuilders, but apparently a highly effective one, because Delinger was built like a brick shithouse.

Mike Francois

5’9″ 235lbs in season/270lbs off season

Mike Francois was one of my favorite bodybuilders of the 90s simply because he was massively strong and looked it.  Though he didn’t ever really get to show the world what he was truly capable of, due to his contraction of ulcerative colitis, Francois definitely brought the most brutal physique of the 90s to the stage every time he stepped on it, and certainly is in consideration for the title of “greatest uncrowned Mr. Olympia” of all time.  Want to know what makes it even better?  His numbers- a 700lb squat, a 525 bench, and a 800 deadlift, which are serious numbers for a 242 lb powerlifter.  Know how he did it?  When he was contest prepping, Mike Francois trained at Westside Barbell.

To get his brutal-as-hell physique, Francois incorporated a lot of 5×5 and 8×2 rep schemes, then used high rep backoff sets and accessory work to backfill his program with volume.  True to his powerlifting-esque training regime, Francois used box squats and rack pulls to supplement his main lifts, in addition to his favorite accessories:

  • Chest: Incline barbell bench press (30* incline)
  • Upper Back: Wide grip cable row to chest
  • Biceps: Barbell curls, Hammer curls
  • Tricep: J-curls (This is a Westside exercise that is kind of a combo skull crusher and close grip bench. Take the weight down to your chest using a narrow grip, the at the bottom of the motion slide the bar back to about your nose, then slide it back out to your chest and then press it up. 
  • Quad tear drop: leg press with feet on lower portion of plate, 6-12 inches apart.
  • Quad sweep: front squats with heels elevated.
  • Rear delts: dual cable flies or reverse pec dec
  • Calves: standing calf raises

Francois credited the no-shits-given attitude of nonstop competition in the gym for a lot of his physique success.  “Each day was a competition. Being the lone bodybuilder (even though I was treated great by all the guys), there was an unspoken challenge. It may have just been in my mind, which is all the really matters anyway when you are trying to make improvements” (Colescott).  That’s where his massive shoulders arose, apparently, as the constant competition led to Francois and his training partners using 400 to 500 lbs on seated shoulder presses, over 900 lbs on rack pulls, and other hideously heavy weights on everything else.

Phil Hernon

5’6′ 239 lbs

Without question the bodybuilder of whom you’ve never heard with the most brutal physique you’ve never seen, Phil Hernon was the man.  Allegedly a proponent of the H.I.T. training system, he was anything but- Hernon trained each bodypart three times a week with ridiculously heavy weights and rotating rep ranges.  And when I say ridiculously heavy, I mean it- at under 240 lbs, Hernon was repping out with over 400 lbs on the incline bench, and was apparently a serious squatter as well.

If those tree trunks he called legs were any indication, Hernon was moving serious weight in the squat rack.

Herndon generally only did three working sets per bodypart, but he did a hell of a lot of warming up beforehand.  For instance, when doing back, shoulders, and chest, he’d do pushups and light lat pulldowns to get his blood moving, then move to incline bench press for a couple of sets of 6 paused reps with 225 and 315.  After that, he’d do a single set of paused reps with 405 to failure pounds is put on the bar 405. he unracks it and proceed to do 5 controlled reps to failure.  After that, it was on to the flex leverage upright bench press loaded as heavy as he could for a set of 8 without a warmup, followed by a warmupless set of low incline dumbbell bench press with the 125s for a set of 12-15 reps.  After that, he’d move on to back, shoulders, and traps using the same sort of system- a combination of machines and compound movements starting with low reps and then working up to higher rep ranges on his accessories.

The next time he’d hit the same bodyparts (in two days), he would repeat the first day’s workout, but with the rep ranges and exercises reversed to rest the first day’s heavy exercise by doing 11 to 15 reps instead of 5 to 7 reps.

Hernon would only take a day off when he felt like he couldn’t continue, as he believed that a muscle would start to degenerate if it wasn’t stimulated within 48-72 hours.  This was the reason he kept each workout’s volume low- frequency of training trumped long, volume-filled training.    In short, Hernon recommended everyone:

  • train a muscle often.
  • keep protein at very high levels to add in the needed synthesis
  • train just enough to stimulate growth but keep it to a point where you are able to train each bodypart again two days later
  • train even when sore, as soreness is not an indicator of recovery
Other Notable Powerbuilders

Bill Ennis

Lest you think that powerbuilding is only good for bodybuilding, think again.  Obviously, all of the dudes I’ve mentioned thus far were strong enough that they make the strongest guy at your gym seem like he’s got enough AIDS that he pops AZT like Tic Tacs, but powerbuilding worked for all of the best lifters of the 70s and 80s as well.  One of those guys, the aforementioned (in the previous installment) Bill Ennis, used powerbuilding to dominate the 198 lb weight class and post a 1906 total at 5.5% bodyfat in 1980.

To achieve this wholesale domination of his class, Ennis used a combination of ultra-low rep sets with bodybuilding assistance exercises, which he considered to be essential for the achievement of complete strength.  In the end, however, Ennis credited his diet with much of his success.  Unlike many powerlifters of the 1980s, Ennis focused heavily on nutrition and utilized what was essentially a strict competition bodybuilding diet- moderate fat, moderate carbohydrate, and high protein.  In many ways, it mirrored Phil Hernon’s paleoish Zone-esque diet.  Ennis ate 9-18 egg whites a day, low fat cottage cheese, and tons of raw vegetables and fruits- roughly 6 oranges and 6 apples daily.  

Like the Bulgarians of his day, Ennis’s training sessions were short and heavy, 45 minutes to an hour.  He focused on one lift per training session and would work up to a daily max and then back off and do low rep sets.   When doing the basic movements, Ennis believed that repping out on the three main lifts was counterproductive, as it cut into his recovery and slowed his gains.  Instead, Ennis used bodybuilding movements like lat pulldowns, pushdowns, leg extensions and the like to backfill his volume and get in his rep work to ensure complete development and prevent muscular imbalances.

Franco Columbo

At a height of 5’3″ and a bodyweight of around 194, Franco was an absolute beast in the gym.  He competed int eh World’s Strongest Man against guys who outweighed him by over 100 lbs and did well until dislocating his leg running with a refrigerator on his back, squatted 655, pulled 780 in the gym, and benched 525 in competition. and deadlifted 700-plus, training twice a day and hitting each bodypart three times a week.  If you want to check out his brutal powerbuilding program, go here.

Aaron Baker

At 5’8″ and 236 lbs, this dude was inclining 435 on the Smith Machine for 6 or 7 reps two weeks out from a show, and worked up to 105s for reps on dumbbell flies.  Though not particularly recognized for his strength, what amounts to a proto-Kai Green, nicknamed “Batman”, was a legit badass powerbuilder in the 1990s.

Johnnie Jackson

The 5’8″ 255 lb Jackson crushes 800-pound deadlifts and 100-pound side laterals, moonlighting as a powerlifter when he’s not competing in bodybuilding. Referred to as the second strongest bodybuilder next to Ronnie Coleman, Jackson might be the third strongest behind Jackson and Stan Efferding but is likely the strongest current IFBB pro bodybuilder with an 825 geared squat and a 600 lb geared bench, plus an 823lb raw deadlift and a 225lb strict curl.

At this point, if you’re not confinced of the efficacy of powerbuilding, you very well might be mentally retarded.  Get your shit together and start adding in bodybuilding movements to add volume and improve your physique and your main lifts- it’s essential.


Aaron Baker Workout.  Get Bulky.  Web.  22 Feb 2015.

Bass, Clarence.  Ripped for powerlifting.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  6 Jan 2012.  Web.  3 Mar 2015.


Colescott, Steve.  Mike Francois at Westside Barbell!  RX Muscle.  21 Jul 2009.  Web.  22 Feb 2015.


Delinger, Jack.  Bulk Training.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  28 Oct 2009.  Web.  22 Apr 2015.

Forum Post.  Phil Hernon’s Training Program.  T-Nation.  29 Mar 2010.  Web.  22 Feb 2015.

Jack Delinger: An All-American Bodybuilder.  Muscle Old School.  Web.  22 Apr 2015.

Meadows, John. October 2013 Interview with IFBB Pro Mike Francois.  Mountain Dog Diet.  23 Oct 2013.  Web.  22 Feb 2015.

Merritt, Greg.  Rated hardcore.  Flex Online.  Web.  22 Feb 2015.

Sloan, C.S.  Big Beyond Belief, HIT, Phil Hernon, and Other Things from the ’90s.  C.S. Sloan’s Integral Strength.  18 Apr 2014.  Web.  22 Feb 2015.