What are you training for? If you’re like many people who train, “looking great naked” might be one of your motivations.
But have you ever thought about why that is, and what that really means?
Here’s a snippet of what Andy has to say on the matter:
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look great naked, but that doesn’t mean it’s the thing you should focus on. It’s just something that happens when you learn to express yourself physically.
In this episode, Ryan and Andy talk frankly about what focusing on physique really means, and why it probably won’t get you laid as easily as you think.
They also discuss the ever more popular “primal fitness” movement, and the benefits and drawbacks of that approach.
Be sure to catch the next episode by subscribing to the GMB Show:
- (01:09) Good news: The show will now be done in costume.
- (03:33) Ryan recently interviewed Al Kavadlo about his new book, Stretching Your Boundaries.
- (04:55) Andy learned parkour from a dog – true story.
- (05:39) We have a new great feature in Alpha Posse – in-depth, expert interviews. (We just did one with Keira Newton)
- (06:04) Here’s what Ryan thinks about “primal movement”.
- (07:14) “It all comes down to movement. We should all be moving our bodies, and we all know how we should be moving our bodies.”
Having kids will change your outlook on, not just movement, but how you want the world to become.
- (08:15) Look to kids for inspiration on how to just “play.”
- (09:30) “It’s nature, so it’s better, right? Well, is getting eaten by a tiger better?”
- (12:05) The truth about the scapular positioning in a straddle press handstand
Want handstand success? Push like you’re gettin’ paid!
- (16:00) Let’s talk about sex, baby 😉
- (19:17) There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look great naked – What that statement is really all about
- (20:30) We’re not about the 6-pack, but if you do the work, you will see positive results with your physique
- (21:08) To be totally ripped, you have to be down to around 6-7% bodyfat – that’s not very sustainable
- (23:20) Steve Atlas looks ripped year-round, but you can’t get that if you don’t work as hard as he does
If your motivation is moving well, you shouldn’t really care about someone’s bodyfat %
- (26:13) “Physique is not the number one measure of efficacy for a movement-based system”
- (27:47) The two reasons you want to look great naked
- (28:16) “If you want to get laid, do something that makes you remarkable. Physique is not the only thing that does that.”
- (29:11) Looking great naked won’t actually solve anything. Learning to express yourself physically through movement can solve many things.
Be sure to catch the next episode by subscribing to the GMB Show:
Andy: All right. Breaker, breaker one-niner on the interweb. Get your ears on and get your eyes on too for the GMB Fitness Podcast Show. We still have not come up with a name for this. If you’ve got an idea, let us know. Either way, we’re rocking it. The masks are off. It’s like when Kiss first started performing without their makeup. It’s kind of what I feel like right now.
But anyway, for the next 30 minutes plus or minus, we’re going to be giving you some information, some advice and just kind of wrapping about sort of the stuff that is how to move better and how to get fit in a way that actually helps you enjoy your life more because if you’re not enjoying your life, why bother –
Ryan: What’s the point of it? Yeah.
Andy: Yeah, all right.
Ryan: I think you brought up a good idea and that is Kiss took the makeup off. I think we should be thoughtful …
Andy: We should put it on?
Ryan: … and just go full mask and make it even more interesting than it already is. I’m sure that way my hair would look better.
Andy: Are we going to do these in costume from now on?
Ryan: Costume! Yeah, whoo! I will put on the little maid outfit. I fit right in since I’m here in Japan. Maid café kind of thing going on.
Andy: Yeah, little known fact. They actually do make maid outfits in your size.
Ryan: Oh, that’s some scary stuff right there. That’s scary man, scary. What’s going on? What’s going on? What are we doing today?
Andy: Well, today we are going to talk about sex, fitness, body fat. We’re talking about bumping and grinding and getting it down. Well, maybe not all that kind of graphicness but a lot of people in the fitness industry – a lot of the things we talk about are very aesthetic-oriented and very much about your confidence and when it really comes down to it, a lot of the things that many fitness experts are selling is they’re selling sex or they’re selling the promise of being able to have sex.
Well, we’re going to talk a little bit more about that and what all this shit really means because I’ve got opinions on that. So anyway, we will get to those in a few minutes. But before that, of course we’re going to answer a few questions that people have sent in. What else has been going on Ryan?
Andy: You’ve been on the interviews pretty lately. Who have you been talking to? You say you’ve been on Skype how many hours this week?
Ryan: Too many hours! I got to say it’s hilarious because every single day I’m like I’m on Skype again. I’m on Skype again. I’m on Skype again. Not a bad thing. The reason why is I have been able to talk with some pretty amazing people, Al Kavadlo. Good friend of ours, right? Al is a good dude. We had a really good chat.
Andy: Al makes me feel like I’m not a very good person. When I watch Al’s videos and like watch his – read his post and everything, I’m like Al is a much better human than I am.
Ryan: He’s a very positive individual. I love that about him.
Andy: He really is. I hate that guy.
Ryan: He is a great guy.
Andy: He just makes me feel bad about myself.
Ryan: Well, we had another positive chat actually about his new book. You will be hearing a little bit more about that next week. So the interview will post that next week for all of you. It was good. I always love talking to Al.
I also talked to a new friend of mine. I like making new friends. Rafe Kelley. Rafe is – well, he is not doing it right now but he opened up one of the first parkour gyms around in Seattle. He’s one of the top coaches around as far as that. But he’s doing his own thing now, Evolve Move Play, and we just had a really good chat about fitness. I guess you can say in general but really not the mainstream fitness. Maybe primal fitness. I don’t want to put that on because that was a little joke that we talked about.
But basically, he likes to get outside, move the body and we also had a great chat about children and dogs and how training your dog and …
Andy: To get jacked?
Ryan: Yes, to get jacked actually relates – and it was a very good comparison to us humans. So be looking for that to come out pretty soon.
Andy: That’s interesting. Actually now that you mentioned that, like when I first started training parkour here at Hawaii, the guy who was the coach, he was actually training Seeing Eye dogs and he had this dog that basically I learned a lot of parkour practicing next to a dog.
Ryan: Well, he has got some interesting things to say and his wife actually did her thesis on – well, anthropologist and talking about using the human but also looking at ways with – as far as dogs and is bringing up dogs and maybe a dog guy. We just had a great chat about that.
Andy: That’s awesome.
Ryan: So it’s a lot of fun. Looking forward to talking with some more people in the upcoming months. So be on the lookout for those interviews.
Andy: Yeah, definitely and we’re going to be posting very in-depth interviews in Alpha Posse. If you’re not a member, you should become one.
Andy: So that’s going to be really cool and also we will be definitely posting a lot of stuff publicly too.
Andy: So let’s get in some questions people have asked. Since you brought it up and we do get this question a lot, people asking you, “What do you think about MovNat? What do you think about Mark Sisson?” What do you think about the whole primal fitness movement, Ryan? Ancestral fitness as it were.
Andy: The fitness that you inherited from your grandfather.
Andy: Hopefully, I don’t inherit any fitness from my grandfather. I really do plan to do much better than that.
Ryan: I think I guess speaking of grandfathers, I was pretty lucky my grandpa was – that was a fit SOB I got to tell you. He worked. That’s what he did. I mean never sat in front of a computer that’s for damn sure. The guy moved his body quite a bit.
The primal fitness thing is a huge boom. There are a lot of spinoffs regarding it. Rafe and I yesterday talked about that a little bit. He was one of the first guys to actually kind of go towards that direction.
Erwan Le Corre and the guys in MovNat, friends of mine. I’ve been to MovNat camp in Thailand. I think it’s great. Really though, the primal aspect of it, I think using that is good; but really it just all comes down to movement. We can all move our bodies and we know how we should be moving our bodies.
Ryan: Just move. I’m not saying the systems are bad. I think they’re wonderful and I think they’re very good because they get people to start thinking about how we should be moving our bodies which is basically getting off of your ass, getting – whether it be outside or in your room or anything and just moving.
We’ve forgotten how to move fortunately. Rafe and I, what we were talking about yesterday is looking at our children. He has a 16-month-old daughter. I’ve got my two kids and so obviously having kids will kind of change your outlook on not just movement but how you want the world to become because you want to raise your kids in a world that is a positive place, that is an Al Kavadlo world.
But it was interesting because we’re just talking about you look at kids and they’re primal just because they’re kids, if you let them be kids. So of course here in GMB, we talk a lot about play and getting back to that – the exploration and looking at movement not just for a movement but what it can become.
So as far as the primal fitness thing goes, yeah, I think it’s a good way to market things. I think it’s great but really it just all comes down to moving your body and we know how to do that. We’ve just put it away somewhere.
Andy: Yeah, and I mean there’s a lot to be said for – we are so locked in to a very urban or suburban way of life most of us these days. We sit in chairs. We have couches and beds, all that stuff.
Yet if you spend three days at a seminar or if you spend a week at a retreat out in the wilderness, it could change your life. That’s a very healing thing because being in nature and breathing clean air and everything is great for us. But attributing that power to a movement methodology to an exercise methodology I think is a little bit of like a naturalistic fallacy. It’s nature so it’s better. Well, that’s not necessarily – I mean is getting eaten by a tiger better?
Ryan: Yeah. Another thing too, I mean if you think about – it all depends on where you are in your world because if you grow up – Osaka is a good example because – and I’m looking at this and I’m seeing this with my kids unfortunately.
They’re so accustomed to the city now that they go back to my hometown and we go out for a walk in the woods. They’re like this is kind of scary and in that sense, yeah, I think going outside and being more comfortable with nature and understanding that there are different worlds out there is great.
But if you say OK, you have to have this for this, I don’t think it equates because really if you look at people who work in the city who sit behind the desk all day, you just have to be able to do your job. It’s sad. OK? Personally I think it’s very sad but if you really want to get down to it, the fitness that those people need is just so that they can do their job. Really that’s it.
Andy: But that doesn’t mean that they should resign themselves to just sitting in chairs. I mean being fit to do your job also means that you are able to like take breaks, restore your energy, so you can be productive and creative and everything too. I mean we’re not saying that fitness today means being slumped behind the computer.
Ryan: No, no.
Andy: Being fit today means that you’re taking care of your health so that when you are spending that time working, that you’re able to do it productively and then get the hell out from behind the computer when you can.
Ryan: Exactly. What I want in a perfect world, I want everyone to be able to go out and move their bodies every single day and get away from that computer so that they can start enjoying other things. For example going out in nature, for example whatever you want.
But going back to the primal fitness, I think it’s good in the sense that it’s trying to redirect people’s attention to something other than maybe the – just the suburban life or the city life or something like that. But really, first you just got to be able to move and so to me, it doesn’t matter. Just move. Move your body.
Andy: Right, yeah. I mean if it’s getting people out of the gym, nothing wrong with gyms, but if it’s getting people out of Planet Fitness and then moving instead of just lifting stuff up and putting it down – which will get you strong – but if it gets people moving, I’m all for it in that sense. Yeah.
Cool. Next question. Something that was posted on Facebook and we did post an answer there but maybe you could go a little deeper into it. I’m confused by the scapular position in the straddle press to handstand. Are they elevated, protracted and open at the same time? Can they be all of these at the same time?
Andy: No, that won’t work.
Ryan: Basically, if you’re looking at just the handstand portion of it, you’re looking at the scap, the shoulder blade and the shoulder there. You basically just want to make sure that you’re not pulling your shoulder down. It’s elevated so that it’s up. A good queue is to try and take your shoulders and touch your ears with them. So the transition into the handstand, you’re going through different stages.
For example if you’re working on the straddle press to a handstand, yes, it would be great if you could have that scapular elevation from the very beginning, making sure that you’re pressing up on to your toes and down and through the ground. But sometimes, you will happen to go through a depression and protraction of the shoulder getting there.
However, really once you’re in the handstand, you want to make sure that you have scapular innovation. Not fighting with bugs. Is that what you’re doing? Fighting with the …
Andy: Yeah, yeah. I’m trying to cut that shit out.
Ryan: Yeah, cut out! Yeah. But yeah, you just want to make sure that you’re pushing as hard as you can into the ground to elevate the scapular so that you could get it in the proper position for the handstand.
With that being said, it is possible to perform a handstand with the shoulder pack down. It’s not – I don’t advice doing that. You’re not going to be able to have the range of motion to be able to open up your shoulders for a very nice clean line.
But it is possible. You see some of these kind of handstands from many, many, many years ago when they used to do a lot of the arched back handstands which you would find in the Olympics actually.
So it wasn’t until just recently – by recently, I mean maybe about 20 years ago when they started doing the very clean open type handstands. So long answer but basically just push like you’re getting paid and make sure that you’re trying to touch your shoulders to your ears whenever you’re doing any kind of handstand work.
Andy: I think that’s a really good point too. I mean in the past couple of years, people have become aware that there’s a thing called the scapula. I mean I’m not saying this is a new development but I think that a lot of people before were not really that interested, but people started talking about scapular position and stuff and scapular health.
So now it has become a lot more mainstream to think, “Well, where should my scapula be?” But don’t think about where your scapula should be. Think about performing the movement properly which means pushing away from the floor. If you think about the movement, then your scapula is going to find itself in the right position.
Ryan: Yeah, and that’s a good point.
Andy: Unless you have like some kind of like hinge or weird thing.
Ryan: Yeah, yeah. That’s a good point. There’s Craig. He’s in the Alpha Posse. He visited me in Australia. Actually he came to the seminar and while he has got some interesting shoulders. I mean I have never seen anybody’s shoulders like that. So that’s different. So we had to do some things to kind of jump in and do that. But basically, it’s good to understand where your shoulder blades should be in the position of your shoulders. But until you get out and actually try things, and actually get to the point where you’re comfortable being upside down, then really don’t worry too much about it. Just get upside down and push, push, push, push until you can’t push anymore. That’s it. Keep it simple.
Ryan: All right, man. So what are we talking about today? This is something I know that you’ve been wanting to talk about. Do it! Do it! Get on the sex.
Andy: It’s mostly because I want to regale our listeners and viewers with tales of my own sexual exploits.
Ryan: All right. I’m going to take the headphones off and you will be talking right now. Seeing about 15.
Andy: Right. Well, that’s actually not it at all. The thing is fitness, man. Why is fitness a big thing? I actually – I used to do copywriting. I used to study copywriting from a guy who said that there are really kind of three main selling propositions in business and he said they are getting paid, getting laid and not dying.
Getting paid means you are making money and that’s why all these like forex scams and stuff do so well. Getting laid, it’s not just sex. I mean it’s a whole natural primal instinct thing that we have as humans to couple, procreate and so yeah, it’s a very natural thing. Getting laid is a market that is not going anywhere.
The dating market, the dating advice market, all kinds of products that are supposed to make you more attractive. Control top pantyhose, ladies, this is a getting laid market product.
Guys, that third sock that comes in the pack that you’re supposed to put – is that just me? OK.
Ryan: Yeah, you lost me there. I don’t have those in Japan.
Andy: Oh, man. All right. Anyway, so that’s two of them and the other, not dying. So fitness I always heard was a great market because it kind of – if you’re stronger, you look better and it helps with the not dying thing and it helps with the getting laid part. So it’s two out of three. So I always thought, yeah, fitness is a great market. If you look at it, it is. Truth about Abs makes a million dollars a month.
Truth about Abs is an ebook that was written like six, seven years ago and there’s nothing really wrong in it. It’s actually solid. It’s not anything earth shattering that you need to buy an ebook for. It’s a $40 ebook that makes a million dollars a month.
Obviously people care about abs. But here’s the thing. Is it really abs that we want? We talked about this in one of our earlier podcasts about getting the body you want and abs, the six-pack, is an indicator of the full package.
I mean if you’re weak and have poor posture and no endurance but you have a six-pack, that six-pack does not look good. You still look like crap because you are not healthy and it’s an indicator of health.
So the health is obviously the thing that we’re going after and we talked about fitness at GMB. Then it’s really about being fit to do the things that you care about. But this whole thing in fitness, we talked about – people say, “Oh, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look great naked.”
There isn’t. But my personal feeling is that this whole there’s-nothing-wrong-with-wanting-to-look-great-naked thing is a way for fitness marketers to basically patronize and pander to your insecurities while making it sound like they’re telling you it’s OK to be you.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting this. But you obviously don’t look great naked right now which is why I’m going to sell you this thing.
Do you think I’m just like making a big thing out of nothing Ryan?
Ryan: No! I mean you do have a very good point because let’s be honest. Looking at media, the media, I mean we’re bombarded by images of these fit people. If you’re a guy, the first thing – it’s exactly what you said.
The first thing that a person wants is a six-pack. It’s not, “Oh, I wish I could move better.” I mean really it’s not very primal but it’s a very good point. I think in our case, we have talked about this before is that we’re not about the six-pack abs; but if you do the work, you’re diligent in doing what we ask you to do, the six-pack abs will happen.
Andy: Yeah, and maybe – I mean you might never get all the way down for your personal physiological down to a full six-pack but you will get slim and you will have some visible definition at the very least.
Ryan: Exactly, yeah, yeah. Let’s really get down to facts here. OK? To be just chiseled, jacked, ripped, you’ve got to get your body fat pretty low, pretty low, and being able to keep that, so I’m talking lean, like six, seven percent. That’s pretty lean. OK? That’s pretty lean.
Ryan: It’s not sustainable. It really isn’t. It’s tough. I mean that is a whole lifestyle in itself. It’s just keeping that leanness and it can be extremely frustrating.
We get emails all the time. People are like, “Ryan, are you ripped? Do you have a lot of muscle?” because I wear T-shirts and people can’t see. I do have six-pack abs but I’m not going to be extremely lean year-round. That’s not me. It fluctuates. I’m not talking huge jumps or anything like that.
But to me, it’s – sorry everyone. It’s not just about the six-pack abs for me. I want to be able to enjoy my life. I want to be able to – I keep bringing back to move better but that’s really what it is for me.
As far as the marketing and things go, yeah, this is my job. I take my shirt off. People expect to see the abs. That’s what they want to see. That’s what’s going to help us sell more programs. Let’s just be perfectly honest.
So part of my job is to make sure that I have that image. You know what? It’s extremely unfortunate I believe. I’m not saying that I would just want to veg out and go eat a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. That makes me want to throw up to be honest.
But I just wish that we’re able to get a little bit away from just, “OK, how are the abs? What are the abs like? What are the guns?” Something like that.
Marketing, it’s the marketing. It’s the media saying that it has got to be this way. I mean look at the cover of Men’s Health. Look at – I don’t know – any other magazines, Men’s Health. But I’m willing to bet that that’s not 100 percent that person. What I mean is …
Andy: You mean they’re Photoshopped?
Ryan: Yeah, there’s probably some Photoshop going on in there. All right? Now there are some people that I obviously admire like for example Steve Atlas. My coach is a guy – the dude is ripped all year long.
Andy: He has got a great physique.
Ryan: He’s awesome. The thing is he works his ass off to get that and keep it. OK? Now I respect him for that. I think that’s awesome. The thing is though, is that’s what he does all day long, year in, year out. The trouble for me comes in the media is when people say, “OK. You can get this in four or three easy steps,” and that’s what I call the bullshit thing out there.
Going back to Steve Atlas. Again, the dude works his ass off, his diet, the way he eats, making sure of his recovery, the way he lives, the way he exercises. It’s nailed in. But promising people that they can attain that, that they can get that physique in three easy steps and maybe three months, I got an issue with that and that’s – I think that’s kind of where you’re going with it and it’s – I don’t like that at all. I really don’t like it.
Andy: Also like you said earlier that people expect to see you take off your shirt and that’s fine. Well, we will oblige them. We will spray on the cooking oil. We won’t go that far.
Ryan: Olive oil. I use olive oil.
Andy: Olive oil.
Ryan: Olive oil.
Andy: You like to keep it slippery.
Ryan: You bet you. Doing some wrestling later.
Andy: Please stop. Please, please stop there.
Ryan: Yeah, I will stop there.
Andy: OK. So …
Andy: But I think it’s kind of – why do we judge the efficacy of a fitness program on the physique of a person?
Now I think depending on what you – how you define fitness, that makes sense. If you define fitness on looking great naked, then yes, you would judge that on the person who does it.
But why do we – now there’s a whole movement of bodyweight calisthenics, movement skill, the art of movement, primal movement. All of this movement-based training, right? Still people say that I want to get this move. Oh, by the way, what’s your body fat percentage? Who gives a fuck? Well, obviously the person who asked the question.
But if you want to move well and if your reason for wanting to get fit is to move well, then you shouldn’t really care what someone’s body fat percent looks like. I mean yeah, if they’re like grossly overweight, then it should give you some cause for alarm.
But obviously you’re not. We’re not. We’re not – I don’t know. I’m not saying that you should be unhealthy but I don’t think that physique is the number one measure of efficacy for a movement-based fitness discipline. How about if I say it that way?
Ryan: Yeah, that’s a good point. There’s something else and I forgot the guy’s name. He’s a martial artist. Very famous. I forgot his name but I see him a lot in the Jackie Chan films, very heavyset.
Ryan: Sammo! Thank you! There’s a good example of a dude who can move. The dude can move. He’s a big boy. He’s a big boy. So, there’s this one example of that.
But I think – I mean when it all comes down to what we want to say, it’s really – you’re not after those abs. You’re after the actual feeling of when you have those abs. You will want that confidence. You want to be able to feel good about yourself. So let’s evolve. Let’s move past that, for a Fight Club quote there for you.
Andy: It’s a physical expression. I learned to do back flips from a guy who was easily carrying 50 extra pounds. He could jump like you would not believe. The dude was strong. But yeah, it’s definitely – it’s the expression of movement. That’s what movement is about. It’s expressing something, expressing where you want to go and how you want to be in your freedom. That’s a great thing. That to me is a much better goal. Expressing yourself and communicating through movement is a much better goal than looking great naked.
Yeah, there is nothing wrong with wanting to look great naked. But here’s the thing. On the hierarchy of quality goals, it’s a lower level goal. Because why do you want to look great naked? Two reasons.
One, because you think it will improve your self-confidence. Two, because you think it will get you laid and I will dispel the second myth right now. It won’t get you laid any more. You know what gets you laid? Having confidence. You know what gets you laid? Being in a band. You know what gets you laid? A lot of things! A lot of things get you laid, seriously.
If you want to find a mate, if you want to have sex and date and if you want to do that, seriously, do something that makes you remarkable. Yeah, physique is one example. But it’s not the only thing people. There are a lot of scrawny and fat people having more sex than you or me or anyone listening to this. OK?
So don’t think that this is going to solve your coupling problem. If you think this is the only thing that you need that’s going to solve your confidence problem, it might help. But there are other things that can make you confident too.
Just learning how to express yourself physically, it will help your fitness and it will help your confidence too. If you know what your body is capable of, do you think that that’s a good foundation for personal confidence? It’s a great foundation for personal confidence.
So what I’m saying is that expressing yourself physically is a higher level and it is a better goal that will affect more and impact more areas of your life than just looking great naked. Looking great naked will not actually solve anything.
Learning to express yourself physically through movement will solve many things. So that’s my rant. Nothing wrong with wanting to look great naked. It’s true. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best and highest use of your motivational time. It doesn’t mean it’s the best and highest use of your training. It doesn’t mean it’s the thing that you should focus on. It’s something that happens when you learn to express yourself physically.
Ryan: That’s good. I like it. So we talked a lot today and I think we should kind of wrap it up. Just want to let you know in our next podcast or show, we will be talking about how to reduce your body fat and so – I’m just kidding.
Andy: With some berries and we’re going to be shirtless with makeup.
Ryan: Sounds great, man. I love it. I love it.
Andy: I think we got it nailed, dude.
Ryan: We got it! Nailed it! All right. So if you can help us think of a name for this show, podcast, whatever, send your T-shirt, help us out. Remember, make-up, shirtless. That’s the theme from now on. So roll with it.
Andy: Look great naked with GMB.
Ryan: Look great naked. All right. We will catch you all later.
[End of transcript]
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