Interview with Wife, Blogger, and Author Rebecca Watson on Low T Marriage

I’ve been a reader of Low T Wife (now rebranded as High T Marriage) Rebecca Watson for a while now. You’ll see her old brand link on my blogroll to the right (I need to do some spring cleaning and updates, but that’s a story for another day). Rebecca just released her first book, I Want Sex, He Wants Fries: 5-Step Plan to Beat Low Testosterone & Get Your Sex Life Back On Track, and I had a chance to catch up with her.

While the book was written from a wife’s perspective, I think most men who may have issues with low testosterone, or want to know what to keep their eyes on, would benefit from the content within. I find the subject of aging fascinating and have read other books on the subject like Manopause. Changing hormones is a serious thing in both men and women, and impact our lives and health in many ways, including our sex lives. While controlling stress, sleep, diet, and exercise can have a large impact on this, some things are out of our control despite our best efforts. Even if you don’t think this topic applies to you today, I recommend you bookmark this post and revisit it as you get older. I plan to have some baseline bloodwork myself based on this interview.

Enjoy our chat below. Book. 3D Cover. TransAuthor Pic. Final

Hi Rebecca! Thanks for taking some time to help clear the air on the whole low testosterone issue and maybe helping other men and couples as they learn more about this topic. I know it can be intimidating, shameful, and embarrassing for men.

Hi Alex. Thanks for having me.

Most guys like to talk about testosterone and hormones about as much as they like going to Mary Kay parties. Hormones are for old guys and chicks.

But here’s why you should care about testosterone. Quite simply, it’s the hormone that’s responsible for making a man … a man. It’s what imparts energy, strength and stamina to your life.

Testosterone is the red pill of the medical world. On the one hand, there’s this lullaby of soothing voices telling you that testosterone doesn’t matter, that it’s okay if you’re 36 years old and your testosterone levels are 300ng/dL*, that it’s normal for a man’s testosterone to be that low. The general idea seems to be that society would be a lot safer if we could just eliminate those pesky testosterone levels that cause all the problems, and that we’d all be better off if men were more like women.

        [*Testosterone is measured in nanograms/deciliters.]

But there are people out there who have discovered the truth. Testosterone does matter. When your T levels are in the 300’s and you feel like crap, and conventional wisdom says that you’re just getting older and a T level of 350 is normal, you need to understand that this is complete nonsense.

What you aren’t being told is that normal isn’t optimal. That’s the red pill truth you need to understand.

The other thing you’re not being told is that low testosterone is quite common; some studies put the number as high as almost a quarter of men over the age of 30 who have clinically low testosterone. In addition, for unknown reasons, T levels have been going down over the last few decades, even after correcting for lifestyle factors like smoking and obesity. In other words, a man today has lower testosterone levels than his grandfather did at the same age, even if they have a similar lifestyle.

When your testosterone levels are low, you lose energy, cognitive ability and focus. You gain weight and lose muscle. You become more moody, irritable, and lethargic. Your sex drive and performance suffer.

What’s more, when your testosterone drops below 300, your risk for cardiovascular disease increases by 200%, you have four times the risk of diabetes and depression, and your chances of getting Alzheimer’s and prostate cancer become significantly higher. Men with low testosterone actually die sooner than men with higher levels!

The reason no one is telling you all this is that most healthcare providers don’t know it themselves. There’s a huge void of information in men’s health issues.

So you may find this all very interesting but you’re only 37. Why should you care?

Here’s the kicker … while testosterone stays level throughout your 20’s and early 30’s, by your mid-30’s, your T levels start to drop by about one percent per year. That’s right. By the mid-30’s, nature starts withdrawing from a man the very hormone responsible for his masculinity.

Most guys will lose at least 10% of their testosterone each decade unless they actively take steps to prevent it.

 Here’s the good news, though. In your 30’s and 40’s, you’re at a perfect age to prevent the slow, gradual decline that derails your life. If you’re reading Average Married Dad, you’re striving to excel in all areas of your life … career, marriage, finances, sex life, parenting, and physical fitness. While you can survive with low testosterone levels, you’re not going to thrive.


And thriving is one thing we’re all trying to achieve here. What exactly is low testosterone (or Low T), why does it happen, and how common is it? What are some symptoms to look for?

Here’s a typical testosterone trajectory … In his 20’s, a man has peak testosterone levels and he’s on top of the world! He has energy, focus, ambition, drive. He feels great and all his parts are working. Life is good. And it stays that way for a while.

Then he hits his mid-30’s.    [results in declining T levels:  ↓T   ]. He’s making his way in the world. The career is taking a lot more time and causing a lot more stress.  ↓T   levels

By now, he’s had a kid or two,  ↓T   levels … his sex life has dropped off some, ↓T   levels … and he argues a lot more with his wife.  ↓T   levels

He doesn’t have as much time to work out, ↓T   levels … he doesn’t get enough sleep  ↓T   levels … he sits in a cubicle all day,  ↓T   levels … and his boss is a jackass.  ↓T   levels

And so it goes. The bottom line is that we’re all living lives for which we’re evolutionarily unsuited. Almost everything about a modern man’s lifestyle decreases his T levels. Yet all of this is going on below the surface, and the guy has no idea. It’s like his car is burning oil and while he can tell that the engine is running rougher than it used to, he doesn’t know the cause.

 In the same way, low testosterone creeps up on a man gradually and unannounced. He may realize that he’s feeling more tired than usual and that he’s having a hard time focusing or staying on task, but has no idea why.

He may also notice a loss in muscle mass and increasing ab fat, along with having a tougher time losing weight. As my husband said, “Your arms get smaller and your gut gets bigger.”

Sex drive may become less intense. Paradoxically, a guy whose testosterone levels are dropping will often use more porn because it’s a low-effort source of dopamine. Erections, staying power, and orgasm quality may decline.


 Yet another reason to put porn in the box of “not healthy” for most things. I finished reading your book and you really laid it all on the line with your own experience. It was touching and showed how real couples handle what could be a deal breaker if not addressed. Can you give my readers a brief synopsis of your journey with your husband from the exciting start to the troubled times and how you overcame that?

We followed a pretty typical pattern. Great energy and high attraction when we first met. We married and pumped out a bunch of kids. Then came life in suburbia … between the mortgage and soccer games, a stressful job, long hours at work, and less time working out … gradually his energy and sex drive all but vanished.

During the worst of the low T years, that guy I married disappeared. It really did feel like our own personal Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I kept looking for my real husband.

Our journey back was full of mistakes and detours that cost a ton of time and money. We wasted thousands of dollars on things that didn’t work and misinformed professionals who couldn’t help. It was maddening!

 The thing that finally saved us was disregarding common wisdom and doing our own research. I spent hour upon hour researching how testosterone affected a man’s life.

The take-away is that you can’t rely on the medical system; you have to be your own advocate. No one will ever care about your health as much as you do, and doctors simply don’t have time to get to the bottom of your health issues during a typical seven-minute appointment. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re lost.


 I’ve read a number of articles over the year like “Top 10 Ways to Increase Testosterone Naturally.” What has been your experience in using natural means to increase testosterone?

You can definitely increase your testosterone through natural means. The question becomes, “By how much?

For those guys who have low-hanging fruit … sedentary lifestyle, crappy diet, heavy alcohol use, poor sleep habits, etc. … they can see significant gains from improving their lifestyle. But if your lifestyle is already pretty healthy, there’s not as much room for improvement.

The other consideration is that it takes a lot of energy to make those lifestyle changes, and when your T levels have tanked, quite often you simply don’t have the energy to do what you need to do.

There’s not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to testosterone. Sometimes the winning ticket is a combination of lifestyle changes to boost internal production and supplementing with external testosterone.


Okay, you’ve sold me on testosterone being important, but what do I do with all this information? What’s the best way to optimize my T levels throughout my life?

Well, ideally, you’d run a baseline testosterone level when you’re around 18 or 19 years old and at your physical peak. Then you would check it every 5 years or so to make sure everything is running smoothly.

Of course, in some ways, we’re in the dark ages when it comes to men’s health, so you were never offered that option. If you have sons, this would be a great gift to give them as they turn into men.

However, the most important thing now is just to get a baseline testosterone level so you have something to compare to in future years. You can do a simple blood test for total testosterone fairly cheaply at most walk-in labs without even needing a doctor’s orders.


 That’s not something included in the normal bloodwork, and one I’ll probably have them run next time so I can start my own “baseline.”

 In I Want Sex, He Wants Fries you talk about your husband’s reluctance to go to the doctor and get checked out. Like most men, I can relate since going to the doctor is about the last place I want to be (just above the dentist). Add to that fact that like nutrition, testosterone knowledge is often a blind spot for doctors. What advice can you give on getting a man to the doctor and what sort of questions does he need to ask to make sure the doctor knows his stuff?

It’s important to understand that unless your doctor has specialized training, he probably has no idea what a healthy testosterone level is and how to achieve it. In fact, after reading this interview, it’s quite possible that you now know more than your doctor does about testosterone.

In I Want Sex, He Wants Fries, I devote a whole chapter to finding a good doctor. To boil it down to essentials though, you need to find someone who has specialized training in testosterone management and regularly treats guys with low T. You really don’t want to be someone’s guinea pig when it comes to something as important as testosterone!


Ha! Probably the first time someone told me I knew more than a doctor. So let’s say the lab results come back as being low and you end up with a prescription. I was aware of the testosterone gel, but didn’t know until I read your book that there were other options available, and that the gel may have issues. Can you talk a little about maybe your favorite prescription options, how expensive they may be, and if those things could be covered by insurance? I’m not expecting you to be an expert in all health plans, but maybe share your experiences you’ve seen in the field with your situation or those of your clients.

 Okay, let’s say your total testosterone comes back at 348ng/dL. While that’s clinically ‘normal’, you now know that it’s normal for an 85-year-old man! You try natural ways to raise your level, but nine months later, it’s still not where you want it to be. Now what?

The Big Three of T therapy is gels, pellets and injections. Gels can be expensive, but insurance often covers them. Self-administered injections tend to be dirt-cheap because they’ve been around forever and can’t be patented. Pellets take the least day-to-day effort, but a doctor has to implant them.

I personally have seen the best results with injections or pellets. It seems that most doctors like to start with the gels, but there can be absorption problems. If you try them and they don’t work well, don’t wait too long before you try something else.


Great advice since I bet most of us hadn’t even heard of injections or pellets. Erections are one indication of Low T, maybe sort of a canary in a coal mine sort of way. In many ways the boner pills that you see on TV has less stigma than having Low T. This is something that even MMA guru/comedian/podcaster Joe Rogan talks about (he takes T too and has discussed this social stigma on his podcasts, who would have guessed?). Do you ever run into clients that may be able to medically function and have the occasional sex life that is so important in marriage (be it medically assisted or not), but the rest of their life has red flags about Low T that they continue to ignore?

 You’re right, Alex. People associate testosterone with sexual issues, but those aren’t the only, or even the main, red flags for low T. You can have low T levels and see very little change in your sex drive or how your equipment performs.

Instead, what a lot of guys notice first is decreased energy and motivation. Everything just seems to take more effort than it used to. They describe it as being in a fog where they can’t think or remember well. Low-level depression is common; it just depends on the individual.

For those guys who are struggling with erection problems, low T may be the cause. If it is, testosterone therapy will fix it for about 60% of them. For the other 40%, they’ll have to dig a little deeper for solutions.


 Maybe the most important part of your book is the relationship stuff. Like a frog that gets boiled, you don’t even realize how shitty things can get over time until it is starting to be too late. And after changes are finally made, and the man is finally feeling more like his old self as opposed to his 90 year old version, things just don’t magically go back to awesome. Talk about what you’ve experienced or seen during this recovery phase and pitfalls to avoid.

 This is a critical part of the book. All the testosterone books out there end at the altar, so to speak. That is, they end at the point where the guy restores his T levels. However, you still have a marriage that has sustained gaping wounds and is on life support. What happens after you leave the doctor’s office? How do you restore the marriage?

Low testosterone takes a huge hit on attraction. Women are attracted to bold, confident, decisive men who are fit and muscular and have energy to burn. Low testosterone takes that away from a man. Even after he restores the testosterone, it’s going to take a while to rebuild attraction.

When my husband and I faced this, there were no resources out there to help. I wrote the book I needed back then.


Yeah, recreating that early relationship magic doesn’t happen overnight. I really, really like how you walk people through what to expect as you try to rekindle parts of your relationship that you haven’t shined a light on in a while.

 I know your specialty is more in the Low T and men arena, but do you have any insight in how testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone play a role in women’s libido? For example, can this lab work approach you outlined in I Want Sex… be applied by men struggling with this issue with their wives? I think we can recognize sexual attraction in women is more complicated, but I have to imagine that like men, some women’s hormones are out of balance impacting health and sex drive.

 Important question, Alex. This interview is getting long, but this question is too central to skim over, so here goes …

Hormones definitely affect female desire; however, it’s a trickier balance. As you know, a woman’s sex drive is normally responsive to a man, rather than spontaneous. It’s tough to know how much of her low sex drive is due to hormones, and how much is simply a lack of attraction.

Sometimes what you find in coaching is that after the husband starts consciously doing the things that build attraction, her sex drive ‘magically’ comes back. Problem solved.

But let’s say there’s something going on with her hormones. What does that look like? As a woman heads into her 40’s, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone all drop, but at different rates, so there’s an imbalance there. Typically, you’ll see a lot of moodiness, weight gain and erratic cycles, her internal thermostat is all whacked out, and she’s going to have a lot of fatigue. She’s likely to have some thyroid issues going on, as well. (Tip: Thyroid is like testosterone in that normal is not optimal.)

If this is your wife, you won’t be able to solve the desire problem until you get her endocrine system functional. However, just like the wife of a low T guy, she may rather jump in front of a moving train than go to the doctor.

Solution? You’ve got to get yourself into a position where you have the leverage you need to get her to the doctor.

So you start doing the things that increase value. You get to the gym, get your career and finances in order, strengthen your leadership, etc. As you do this, it may be that her attraction increases and your problem is solved. If not, well, you now have the leverage you need to get her to a doctor.

Same with hormonal birth control, by the way. If you think it’s affecting her libido, you need to gain the leverage to get her to look at alternate forms of birth control.

This is the The Mindful Attraction Plan in a nutshell. You have to do the work that increases your value in order to have the leverage you need to make the changes you want. It’s the same for men and women. If you’re with a low-drive partner, there are no shortcuts. You can’t talk your way into a good sex life. You have to do the work.


I take that last response as a bonus to my audience, so thanks for at least tipping your toe in on that deep pool. So I know you’re not the only ones who have dealt with this issue, but you’ve taken your experience to another level and are trying to help the masses. What is your Superhero origin story going from regular wife and mom to an expert, author, and coach dealing with helping others with their low testosterone impacts on a regular basis?

 There was this interesting intersection where I had literally thousands of hours of research into how hormones affect desire at a time when we started seeing both men and women whose marriages and sex lives were being affected by hormones.

At the same time, I was beyond impressed with Athol Kay’s The Mindful Attraction Plan model for increasing attraction in marriage, and was excited to see the results he was getting with it.

My previous background included training and development at the corporate level, so when Athol approached me about becoming a coach for Mindful Attraction Plan, it was just a matter of adapting my corporate experience to his specific coaching model.


Sort of like the Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hours thing –  you sort of naturally became an expert, and I’m sure working under the Athol model didn’t hurt either. I like that lunch bucket approach and is one that I’ve used too.

 Ok, I have to ask: How in the heck did you find time to write a book with five kids in the house? I have two kids and by the end of the day when I should be writing I am hanging by a thread and just want to go to sleep.

Lots and lots of carry-out for the kids. Plus chocolate for me.

 More seriously, I had an incredible amount of support at home. My husband very much wanted this book written and encouraged/pushed/prodded/poked me to get it done.

While I had some hesitation about putting our private story out there, he was immediately all in. He liked the idea of bringing something good out of our personal struggle and helping other men avoid the drama he had gone through.

And in the interest of complete disclosure, there were a lot of times I simply bribed myself with peanut M&M’s. You can’t finish a book without copious amounts of chocolate.


That’s pretty great. Pretty hard to do a project like this without support from your spouse. So how do people contact you if they’re interested in your coaching services, and where can we find your book?

If you’ve got a question about your own or your wife’s hormones and how you can optimize them to improve your sex life, you can ping me at or at

I Want Sex, He Wants Fries is available in print and Kindle at Amazon, and at iBooks, and Kobo.


Thank you so much Rebecca! Good luck on the launch, and trying to find your own happy bedroom time with that hoard of children you’re rearing!

That’s always the challenge, isn’t it?

Thanks for having me, Alex. It was great to have the opportunity to share something with your readers that is so vital when it comes to men’s health.



Thoughts on David Foster Wallace and Life

Get your weed packed and your patchouli oil out, and come along as I’m about to get philosophical today.

I was listening to a WTF!!?! Podcast episode with Judd Apatow protégé Jason Segal as the guest. I’m a big Jason Segal fan (HIMYM, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Muppets) and it was a really insightful interview. He got into a lot of personal stuff, including substance abuse, grinding through a tough 3 year period after Freaks and Geeks, and how he transitioned from comedy to drama in the new movie about the last four days of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest book tour entitled The End of the Tour (small theater run, out on DVD on Nov. 3, 2015).   Dave Lipsky who interviewed Wallace during this time was supposed to run an article in Rolling Stone based on this trip, but never did due to Wallace’s change of heart. After DFW’s suicide in 2008, Lipsky wrote an article that has apparently been pulled off of Rolling Stones site, that you can (for now, if it gets pulled I have a copy saved) find here: The Lost Years and Last Days of David Foster Wallace  and later delved deeper in it here: Getting to know David Foster Wallace .

Since I generally avoid the news, newspapers, and especially entertainment news, and only rarely see theatrical releases, I missed this movie, which by all accounts has received great reviews. I’m DFW fan though, and have read his 1000 page opus Infinite Jest, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, and just rechecked out from the library A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again
(an essay collection of this was the first one I read, Consider the Lobster
being his other collection). He’s an interesting cat.

Infinite Jest is one of my favorite books of all time (right up there with Kerouac’s On the Road, Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, and Palahnuik’s Fight Club on my shelf), but was one of the hardest to read. First, it weighs a ton, and is intimidating as hell. I remember for me the story didn’t really start to take off until a couple hundred pages in. Second, 20% of the book must be footnotes – side tangents he felt it important the reader know about. Published in 1996, it follows three primary storylines: One is a film that is so entertaining that it’s viewers lose all interest in doing anything but watching the movie until they die; one is substance abuse and alcohol recovery; and the final leg of the stool is a super high level tennis academy where success is defined as making it to the pros (with all else being failure). This subject matter is commentary on life, and one that should hit home for us. This was before the insidious iphone use, but obviously checking out, drinking, drugs, and success have been a large part of western civilization for awhile.

DFW suffered from depression, but ultimately the questions he asks in his books and to himself is one we all ask: “What is the matter with me? Why am I so flawed that despite all that I have, I am not happy? That I have yearning and am unfulfilled in my heart of hearts?”  Jason Segal talks about this in the interview as well. That money and fame and success does not make you happy. That there are doubts and we worry about how others perceive us. Like the Grinch says, happiness doesn’t come from a store, or from consumption.  I love this commencement speech DFW did at Kenyon College (Ohio).

If you don’t have 22 minutes, fast forward to about the 19 minute mark (or read it here: This is Water PDF). He talks about what we worship (power, intellect, vanity) and how it ultimately makes us miserable in those pursuits. He talks of selflessness, and sacrificing our own individual meaninglessness to lead fundamentally and to live meaningful lives. And this doesn’t (or maybe shouldn’t) come from our jobs. Like Morrissey sang “I was looking for a job, and then I found a job. And heaven knows I’m miserable now.

So what can we do to live a life worth living? That’s really the million dollar question isn’t it? It’s something I’m trying to figure out too. Here’s what I think:

  • Take care of your body. Your body and mind are connected and you need to find self-discipline to take care of your vessel
  • Take care of your mind. Meditation has a lot of positive power to change your energy to positive. I have an App on my phone called “Headspace” (you can find it on iTunes or Google Play, they have free ones and ones you can pay for a subscription for – money well spent in my opinion).
  • Live in the now. I love the Kung Fu Panda quote: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” I’m a huge fan of Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now, and have really, truly been trying to follow this. Stay in the moment, live moment to moment, or at least day to day. Life is a wonder in bite sized pieces of time, but a mountain when you look beyond that to the monumental tasks ahead (to raising kids, paying for college, that work project, retirement, losing 20 pounds). So live in the now and don’t worry about the rest, and you’re more likely to be at peace
  • Give your time, or your money, or your skills, or anything of value. This doesn’t just something I think, Psychology Today talks about how well-being comes from altruism:

Consequently, it comes as a shock for many people to learn that there is no straightforward relationship between wealth and well-being. Once our basic material needs are satisfied (i.e. once we’re assured of regular food and adequate shelter and a basic degree of financial security), wealth only has a negligible effect on well-being.


While possessing wealth and material goods doesn’t lead to happiness, giving them away actually does. Generosity is strongly associated with well-being. For example, studies of people who practise volunteering have shown that they have better psychological and mental health and increased longevity. The benefits of volunteering have been found to be greater than taking up exercise, or attending religious services – in fact, even greater than giving up smoking. Another study found that, when people were given a sum of money, they gained more well-being if they spent it on other people, or gave it away, rather than spending it on themselves. This sense of well-being is more than just feeling good about ourselves – it comes from a powerful sense of connection to others, an empathic and compassionate transcendence of separateness, and of our own self-centredness.

  • Have fun and take off that backpack of responsibility bricks we wear as responsible adults. Play tag and be silly and laugh and chase the dog and make an obstacle course and parkour and throw a ball and race.
  • Work hard. In all you do, do your best. Take satisfaction in a job performed well. This may mean being less lazy at times, but when you work hard you’re depositing positive energy in your mental bank or subconscious.
  • Make and maintain relationships. Finding love with other humans (or pets) is one of the joys of life. Whether plutonic or romantic, these relationships bind us to one another and help to fan the flames of happiness and positive energy. Don’t let your friends, or spouse, or kids get lost in the day to day bullshit of life, instead embrace that love and wade into pool of goodness that is a strong relationship.

In Wallace’s commencement speech, he hits the refrain “This is water” a couple times. In the Tao Te Ching, there’s a verse that states: “Highest good is like water.” Water gives us life but can also be a powerful force as seen in South Carolina. It’s immensely malleable and flows. I think being like water, finding flow in life, and realizing we have the power to change and cut a new path is a message we all need to realize in our heart of hearts.

This is water….This is water…



My path to Tactical Barbell

I’ve done lots of different exercise programs and have lots of different goals over the years. Going from endurance athlete to strength athlete has taken time as I felt it out through various forms. I’m nearly 40 and staying healthy has been more challenging for both me and my older brethren. Where my goals were previously to be at the front end of age group triathlons and running races, or being a competitive crossfitter in competitions, they are now simply to be strong and healthy. While I’d certainly like to be able to see my abs better, it’s a distant third priority. My diet isn’t always super tight, and I need to get more sleep, which both would help with my waistline, but I digress.

When I was first getting my footing to gain strength, while trying to transition after nearly a decade of endurance work, I used bodyweight HIIT of Beachbody’s Insanity DVDs. I did it for the full 60 days, got stronger and in better shape, but it wasn’t for me and didn’t really give me the mass and muscle I wanted. I then moved on to Rippetoe’s Starting Strength. This is a linear progression (add 2.5-5 pounds per workout until you can’t, reset [i.e. step back 10-20%] and start again), program, using a 3 sets by 5 reps approach with the main body movers (squat, overhead press, deadlift, bench press). My copy is well worn and I’ve recommended this to many people over the years as they break down technique and philosophy on gaining strength. I’ve used this programming off and on for 3-4 years, rolling to it again after whatever else I’ve done to maintain that old man strength I’ve gained. The thing is that it’s a little like groundhog day. Same workout every few days. I tend to stall out around the same spots and don’t think you can build castles in the sky with this program, so when I stall I moe on to something else.

My subsequent steps were a strength-focused Crossfit gym, that focused a lot on the same SS prime movers. I was interested in competing in local competitions (scaled) and this didn’t fit those goals, so using my home gym equipment, starting following Outlaw programming. Coach Rudy focused on training for competitive crossfitters and focused not just on the power strength stuff Rippetoe does, but also explosiveness of the olympic lifts (clean and jerk, snatch). I loved Outlaw programming and even went to one of Rudy’s camps, but it didn’t love me. I kept getting various injuries, a lot from those technical barbell lifts. For the last year or 18 months I’ve been doing my own thing – secret sauce training mostly of big movers and support exercises, weights and reps varied, with standard barbell crossfit workouts thrown in. I maintained my old man strength, but was all over the board since I simply made it up as I went along so depending on motivation for the day did a little or a lot.

So like many, I determined I liked someone else to come up with my strength and conditioning programming. Despite input from natural bodybuilding friends, and looking into programming by those in the crossfit community, I didn’t really find anything to my liking. So instead I went off the beaten track and found something that was a mix of traditional lifts, established programming, and my own blend of secret sauce that met my goals. That something I’m currently doing is Tactical Barbell (and Tactical Barbell Conditioning).


While unfortunately only an e-book on kindle and the like, Tactical Barbell has the right mix of rigid program, flexible workouts, and moving the bar that I like. Written as a program for ex-military and cop type dudes who need strength and endurance for their job, it has a couple of tracks depending on what your goals are. They break them as Fighter, Operator, Gladiator, and Mass, which sort of vary along the endurance/strength spectrum. For example Fighter (as in boxers or MMA dudes as an example) is more endurance based with some strength, Operator less need for endurance, more for strength, Gladiator has more strength volume with enough endurance stuff to stay fit, and Mass is as expected focused mostly on strength/mass. Pick your poison depending on your goals.

For me, I chose Gladiator. It’s roots are in Starting Strength or maybe it’s brother Stronglifts 5×5. But instead of just adding weight, it does it all on a percentage basis off your real or anticipated 1 rep max. Four strength workouts per week for a 3 week block, with two blocks in a 6 week cycle. At the end of the cycle you can repeat exercises, or mix them up. The weight percentages go up over the 3 week block with reps going down. The idea being to increase your maximum strength, and submaximum strength workouts will get easier. The Tactical Barbell Conditioning then adds in HIIT workouts to the mix, with more workouts on easier strength weeks and fewer on the heavy weight weeks in a prescribed manner. You can choose the workouts, and they aren’t anything special (sprints, hill work, kettlebell swings, burpees). However, they are designed to work your anaerobic and aerobic systems while still leaving you fresh for your weights. And maybe the best part is, both the weights and workouts are designed to get you in and out of the gym quickly, as in under 30 minutes. Bonus for us busy folks.

If you end up going this route, here are a few things I’ve done that are either different or aren’t mentioned in the book. First, they don’t talk about warmup weights. I usually do some light kettlebell swings or one Spencer Arnold (an oly lifting coach I clinic’d with) recommends just to get the muscles loose in the morning. Then depending on the weight for the sets across programmed for that day, would do zero to three sets of warmups for the lift. Tactical Barbell recommends 2 minutes rest between each set, but depending on time and weight being moved, would sometimes do both back to back, with 2 minutes rest between each individual exercise (for example, would do a set of OH Press, set my stopwatch, jump into a set of squats, then would start my second set of OH press at the 2 minute mark). With a weight workout, I can usually be in and out in 30 minutes, and usually the conditioning programmed takes me about 20 minutes to wrap up depending on the workout. Efficiency is the name of the game.

On “easy” days, I still put on my weighted vest and ruck for awhile, or go on LSD runs with my wife. Helps with the base level endurance to supplement the short anaerobic stuff during the week.

I’m just 4 weeks in the program and already feel stronger, and my muscles look beefier. I’m recovering pretty well, but my only issue is that deadlift is in my workout this cycle and while I’m hitting all my reps, I can tell it’s not sustainable for me in back-to-back cycles. Hamstrings are fatigued, but back is holding up well for now, over the long term health from this lift would be a concern for my body. Current cycle consists of bench press, OH press, high bar back squat, deadlift, and pullups/weighted pullups. I plan to take a week or 10 days after to do more 10-12 rep workouts or crossfit type barbell-esque WODs since I like them and here we’re only in the 5 rep range or less. Then max out, then start a new cycle with front squat, OH Press, Bench Press, chinups/wt’d chinups or barbell bent-over rows, and power cleans. The flexibility is there to do whatever.

I’ve actually been getting up early to knock these out (I’m not a morning person), am trying to get to bed early to get more sleep, and trying to eat better to show those abs. It’s been a mixed bag so far on the sleep/eating better, but have hit every workout thus far and am staying happy and motivated with this program despite working out alone.

So do what makes you happy and healthy, but if you’re looking for a spark, you could do a lot worse than Tactical Barbell. While I think they should take the little time to make it into a real book, I just translated the prescribed training format onto a notebook and took it from there. A $6 investment (or $16 with both books) and you may do what I did and break through a plateau. Good luck!

In a vacuum you’ll live someone else’s life, like your kids

I live in suburbia with milquetoast people that have no flair. It’s no wonder that these people aren’t living their life but that of others, usually their kids or even their friends’ or relatives’ kids. Oh, you can get pulled into something your wife or husband is passionate about, but I see the desire to help kids excel as a dominating force on many average married families. It’s pretty sad.

Shining the spotlight on our life for a moment. We have two kids that are in activities. We spend time going to soccer games and music practice and engaging their interests, often going against our own desires to be doing something else. But our lives do not revolve around the kids. This kid-centric mentality has serious issues of entitlement and disharmony, and tilts the whole family dynamic off-kilter. It’s something I wrote about in my book, but don’t touch on much here. If mom and dad don’t have any other interests that spur them to learn or grow, you have a major problem. If the sole purpose of mom and dad is to be the chef, chauffeur, and deflector of angst and difficult situations for little Johnny, that’s a major problem as well. Kids model their views of the world after their parents. If they think the world revolves around kids, that sense of entitlement carries forward into future generations. You’d think this message would be obvious but it’s not.

world revolves around kids

I see too many friends and acquaintances of ours who are grasping for meaning in their lives. Since none exists, they glam on to anything that seems worthwhile, kids being the low hanging fruit. Other beneficiaries of this mentality include Facebook, Instagram, NFL, and Netflix. This vacuum sucks in the minds and souls of people, and has people living vacariously through the highlights of friends shown on Facebook (by the way, not real life people, just the tip of the iceberg) or susceptible to the influence of Madison Avenue thinking that a coach purse or a BMW will make them happy and fill that longing in their soul.

So fighting against this, here’s what you do: Find a Passion. Find a Hobby. Find a way to engage your brain and hopefully your body in a way that brings meaning to you and maybe the world as a whole. I don’t care if it’s knitting or hoverboarding or spending time playing cards at a nursing home. Be an example for your kids, a picture of strength on how to be an adult and do adult things, and not a vampire that sucks entertainment and meaning from your kids.

What happens when the kids grow up and leave? And you’re left looking at your wife thinking “what now?” Or when you can’t or don’t want to work anymore and are figuring out what it means when that centerpiece of average worker bees is taken away? My boss will work until he dies because he has nothing else that gives him passion. Bummer.

Take a look around and see if I’m not right. Then take a look at yourself and see where you fall in the spectrum. Don’t know where to start to find a passion or a hobby? Start by reading. Go to the library and pick up a magazine. Anyone will do. Modern Family Circus or whatever that goofy shit is called. Photography Monthly. National Geographic. Expand your world view. Find a thread of something that mildly grabs your attention and follow that thread. Then follow the next one that somehow ties into the first, even if it takes you in a completely different direction. Learn. Once you start seeing these threads and learning you’ll start seeing opportunities everywhere that tickle your fancy and drive you to be a better version of yourself. You’ll read books. Maybe you’ll start meditating (I like the Headspace App). By challenging yourself and not accepting the fact you’re just a frumpy soccer mom, or a balding middle-management dad who’s just floating through life, you’ll find meaning. Meaning your kids will see and maybe learn from as well.

So by all means, encourage your kids to be awesome at whatever interests them. Run them around and enjoy your games. But when you’re done and you’re home from another tournament or match, find something that gives you meaning. That inspires you. Stop living your life within a vacuum, letting whatever matter passes by draw in your spirit or interest. Instead, create inspiration and passion that others can model. Find hobbies that bring joy to you and others. That’s meaning. That’s life, not the Fakebook lives so common today. Right?





I’m doing an intensive professional development leadership class right now. It deals with everything from government affairs to running a business to marketing to staff management. This past week we did our own Meyers Briggs personality assessment, among other training exercises. I’ve done other training exercises in the past such as DISC, a similar assessment on personality archetypes. What I take out of these exercises is not so much what my type is (ESTJ and “I” for those who are curious), but recognizing that we live and work and relate with a lot of different people and how they see or feel the world can be very different than us. Like the The 5 Love Languages book, these traits are inherent to individuals and this often leads to conflicts and misunderstandings.

As I am wont to do, I take leadership and relate it back to our home life, since I’m all work lifed out right now. I’ll give you an example of a common situation. Say you’re an introvert (that is you recharge by thinking and reflecting on ideas, memories, and images in your own head) and your wife is an extrovert (who gets energy from active involvement and being involved with other people). You may get home from work and need to have some quiet time, and your wife, who may have been home with your kids, wants to go out with you and other friends to recharge. A fight ensues, all due to the disconnect in personality types.

The difference between being a leader at work or being a leader at home is not a large chasm. If you are a shitty leader at work, you’re probably a shitty leader at home. However, there are some personality types that I’ve seen (especially more introverted type who are in a management role forced to interact with others in a more extroverted manner at work) who are large and in charge at work, but are like a wet noodle who cocoons at home. They come in having been in charge all day, and doesn’t want to make a decision the rest of their day. Meanwhile, the working wife may have felt the same way, but in the vacuum and absence of leadership, the wives are left guiding the family activities at nights and weekends. How many times do you hear your work buddies refer to their wives as their “social coordinator,” like they have no say in how they spend their time or what they want to do? The problem is, your wife doesn’t see how awesome or important you are at work, only your lack of leadership at home. That can often be problematic and subconsciously (or consciously) be an anchor on your marriage and even sex life.

People are complex and don’t fit into a nice box, even if Meyers Briggs or Gary Chapman tries to put us in one. We may not be touchy feely most days, but some days maybe we just really need that after being shit on by someone. And as any man knows, your wife is a rubix cube of complex emotions and thoughts that you may never figure out. As you begin to intertwine two lives though, you start to settle into routines. Often they aren’t the same as the role you play at work, and because many men are truly and seriously “nice guys,” they go along to get along. I am a huge Stacking Benjamins podcast fan, but if I hear host Joe Saul-Sehy say for the 100th time “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” I’m going to drive down to Texarcana, Texas, take his nuts out of his wife’s purse, and then punch them. It’s pathetic. If you ever say that I will personally revoke your man card.

So often the wife tames the wild beast that is husband, like saddling a wild horse. And neither husband nor wife realize it was the wildness of the horse that attracted her in the first place. So neutered wild man starts deferring more and more to his woman, and like a frog being boiled in the pot of water, neither side realizes the dynamic shift until it is too late. And wrestling back the leadership role takes time and effort, but if successful, sets back to “right” the structure of what a husband and father’s role should be in a family. You’re still a team, but now you actually have an opinion, and act like you care, and delegate, and direct the ship like a motherfucking CAPTAIN, instead of being an extra child to take care of and account for.

Bringing it back to my class, a leader at work and at home have similar traits. From the book we had to read – The Truth about Leadership: The No-fads, Heart-of-the-Matter Facts You Need to Know, a leader has the following key traits to inspire confidence that others will want to follow willingly:

  • Honest – Tell the truth and live by clear ethics. Be honest with yourself about what’s important. And don’t be afraid to have those difficult conversations instead of gunnysacking or ignoring or rationalizing poor behavior from anyone in the family, including you.
  • Forward looking – You provide your followers with a future-focused vision. These visions help create success for everyone.
  • Models the way – A leader doesn’t ask others to do something he isn’t willing to do. Want your wife to work out and lose weight? Then you better start kicking ass at the gym, juicing, shopping for healthier groceries, cut out alcohol, and being awesome. Amazingly your wife will find motivation to find a way. Want your kids to put down the videogames and iPad? Then get them outside and play catch or soccer, or have game night, or shoot some hoops. Modeling is more powerful than lecturing.
  • Inspirational – You are enthusiastic and excited and have energy about the vision you’re selling. You aren’t a slob sitting on the couch every night with a beer. You’re the guy who lost 25 pounds and are now looking good, helping coach your kids team, volunteering at the soup kitchen with your family, and slapping your wife on the ass in front of her friends at the barbque. She laughs as she protests since she loves the attention, and you inspire her and invoke envy in her friends and yours.
  • Capable – A leader gets things done – he does what he says he’ll do and he does it well. He may not have all the skills, but knows what he knows and what he doesn’t, so can get help when needed and accomplish the goal at hand. Your wife won’t care if you did the work in the remodel she’s been  hounding you on or if you hire it out. But she’ll remember that you took care of it.

There you have it. Be a leader for your colleagues, your subordinates, your wife, and your kids. Get into these habits and wear them like you own ’em (and soon you will). Be like Bat Dad (he deserves his own post – we love BatDad).

leader of kids

Four easy ways to be happier

While these things may be easy in concept, they can be hard to implement, or remember to implement. Our lives are so full of distractions, which is part of the problem. But if you boil down what we are trying to accomplish with all our efforts and time is basic: Be Happy. So often we forget this and simply are checking boxes, grinding out, thinking of the next thing on our ‘to do’ list and ultimately forgetting to be happy. So take a few minutes, read my thoughts before you jump to the next big thing on your list, and hopefully take some time to be happy. These are things I’ve talked about and continue to come back to.

  1. Live in the Moment – not the past, not the future, but right now.  One of my favorite books is The Power of Now. While it has many great things about managing ego and your defense mechanisms, the key point is that if you live in the moment you will find happiness or at least survive tough situations with tact. I’ve been reading a number of Navy SEAL type books including American Sniper and The Warrior Elite. If you know anything about SEAL training in BUD/S, they have Hell Week. Most men drop out but those that don’t have a mental attitude of getting through that exact moment. Take that single step. Survive that cold moment in the water. They don’t look ahead that they have 3 or 5 more days of this as that is simply too daunting. An acquaintance I was talking with on Monday admitted shame and guilt in the past prevents her from being happy today. I told her essentially that who you are in the past doesn’t define us today. We have the ability to live in today and make building blocks to who we’ll be in the future, but simply living today and being happy in the moment is a choice we get to make. She asked if I was a motivational speaker, to which I just laughed. Easy message, hard to remember to do. See the joy in what you are doing in this exact moment and stop worrying about things that have been or may never come to be.
  2. Attitude of Gratitude. Simply taking time and being thankful for what we have has a great impact on our overall happiness. My wife and I try to take time together each night to say how thankful we are to have the life we have, with two great kids and each other. Saying out loud how lucky we feel for this life, and for health, and for living where we do, and so on somehow makes it all worth it. It removes the stress and is sort of the payment for services tendered in all the hard work we do. Which brings me to:
  3. Work Hard Toward Something Meaningful to You. Hard work has negative connotations to many, but in reality if you are putting in time and effort toward something you are passionate about or meaningful to you is not really hard work at all. The sweat and effort are investments to your mental well being, and if you stay in the moment, can actually be quite enjoyable. For some people this is their job, for others it is building for Habitat for Humanity. Take satisfaction in what you do and embrace the work it takes to get there. At the end of the day, you’ll feel happy about what you accomplished.
  4. Play. I rarely see adults playing. Those that embrace mountain biking, or old man soccer, or even social chess club have the right idea. Or those that mix it up and play soccer or football or basketball with their kids on a regular basis, or even have board game night at home. We love playing Sorry and Life, but hope to expand to highly recommended games like Galaxy Trucker and Ticket To Ride. While those are different than the physical play that MarksDailyApple recommends, both are important in that you stop being so fucking serious about life and enjoy something that still requires mental engagement with a fun end goal of beating your friends, wife, or kids in a competition. Play is important people! And I want to qualify that play with others is the key, so get off Candy Crush and engage with other humans.

Finally, I’ll give you one bonus of what not to do. This is a slippery slope, but if you remove stress from your life you’ll be happier. One stress that we’ve removed is watching the nightly news. It is all about ratings, and to get those they focus on mostly bad things: murder, assault, deadly accidents, natural disasters, war. Every time I watch I get sad and stressed out, showing how fucked up the world is. Maybe it’s a simple defense mechanism, but this news does nothing for me and adds nothing to my life except stress and grief. Remove it and you’ll be happier, I know I am.

And with that, I’m off to another out of town work obligation. Going to enjoy my ride on a nice day and my experience with new people. Have a great day folks, and remember to take time to be Happy!

7 Ways to Spice Up Married Sex Life

You’ve been married for awhile. Life is great, life is busy, but when you’ve got your partner by your side, the two of you can conquer the world. Except for maybe the bedroom. Let’s face it, we’ve all gotten into routines with our partners. If you’ve been married 10, 15, 20+ years you’ve probably had sex with your partner hundreds if not thousands of times before. Maybe the routine is you look at each other … “hey, you wanna tonight? Ok, cool.” and like that you’re set for a sex date that scratches an itch. Or maybe it’s Saturday night, the kids are in bed, and the wife is a little tipsy from a few glasses of wine while watching SNL – some clumsy fumbling later, expressions of love, and you can notch another one for the books.

We have room for improvements. Married sex comes in all flavors, and boring vanilla is a common one. But why not take the risk to try something new. I’ll be honest, it is a risk to break out of the mold. You have to put yourself in a vulnerable position and that alone can be very overwhelming. Your attempts to spice up your married bedroom are probably as likely to crash and burn as they are to catch lightning in a bottle and have an experience you’ll talk or think about during those dryer times. We can’t stop trying though.

It starts with communication and energizing that gray matter between our ears. I’m making some assumptions for those that are still reading this. Those include you already have a good, albeit “boring” or “predictable” marriage, with no major issues, and attraction towards each other is good…but you just tend to lose each other in the day to day landscape of life. And your sex life needs a boost. If that is you then this post is for you.

How you introduce any of these is really up to you. You’re the one that knows your spouse, how willing they are to take risks or try new things, and how to sweeten the honeypot. In my experience, the following are important:

  • Do it when you have their undivided attention
  • Be in a calm and relaxed state, a good mood by both parties help too
  • Don’t have unrealistic expectations, and don’t put undo pressure on your partner to immediately say yes. Plant the seed and go from there, it may take some further discussions to move forward
  • A glass of wine usually doesn’t hurt as you’re talking about this.

[the setup: you and your spouse are in the living room on a lazy Saturday night. The kids are in bed, you’ve had a nice day and are happily satisfied with all that is life. You pour two glasses of wine, and turn down the television or ask her to turn off the Netflix or iPad or phone for a few minutes]

“I really had a nice day today, and I still think you’re sexy as hell even after all these years. Remember when we did (that crazy thing/couldn’t keep hands off each other/almost got caught…) when we first started dating? (note: good to A) introduce sex topic B) do so in a positive way with something you can reflect back on with the two of you – those brain memories are tattooed somewhere inside and you want to reactive those synapses) I love sex with with you, but I’d really think it would be hot if we tried something new for a change. I’ve got a few ideas that get my heart beating fast what do you think?”  Another thing that I’ve found when doing this, if the mood is set and the pump primed, is to lay it out as a fantasy you’ve had for awhile. Now again, as you introduce the idea don’t expect it to happen that night. It could, but don’t act like a whiny baby if it doesn’t go over as well as you’d hoped. You’re planting a seed and if she/he responds positively, you can start moving in that direction another time.

Anyways, without further ado, here are my list of seven ways to spice up an average married vanilla sex life. Keep in mind you’ll likely both be a little uncomfortable and nervous, so take your time, laugh and smile and just have fun with it. If you find something that really works, go back to that well and tighten things up even more for next time.

1. Role Playing – The location and your personal situation will dictate some of the rules of the game. Kids at home with you will leave you fewer options than a night alone at a hotel or if kids are with Grandma. This is one played as much between the ears as anything else, but accessories and dress up are a fun part of it. Talk about the set up and plot, give your partner the autonomy to create their half of the situation, but don’t be afraid to go over basics of how it may play out or even dialogue points. Get into your role, be your half and trust your partner to be theirs. Basic ones that are hot include: doctor/nurse and/or patient (you can find scrubs pretty cheap along with the Fake Stethoscope– do you want to be the doctor banging the nurse, or examining a patient for her ailment?), the prince/sleeping beauty or princess (wife would wear a sexy night gown, and husband dresses nice, plays into the princess fairy tale), pretend you’re both in high school and are getting frisky while your parents are away (can take it as far the cheerleader or school girl outfit if you! or simply pretending one or both of you are inexperienced and “have never done this before”), and the ever present delivery/repair man and housewife. If you’re out of town in a hotel, both of you get dressed up, and meet in the hotel bar and be two different people (you can surprise your partner here with your backstory and them you). Flirt. Be someone else. And care that role playing back to the room. Really, whatever gets your mind revving can be used for role playing.

2. Light dominance (scarves, eye-mask) – If you haven’t played in the BDSM area, you can do some fun things to dip your toes in the water. Maybe if you’re like us, that’s as far as you’ll go. Still, it’s pretty fun. Tie up your partner with scarves is a soft and easy way. You can simply bind her wrists together, or perhaps to the bedpost. Start with one if you’re unsure. Be sure you trust each other and have a discussion if you’re worried or when is enough. Usually the appearance of power and submission is enough to really get the juices flowing. I’ve tried the scarves around the eyes, but found for us they never stayed in place, so a sleep mask as a blindfold worked better. Or sometimes as I’ve been pulling her shirt over her head, I’ve left her eyes and wrists both covered or immobile as an alternative to tieing her up or blindfolding her while accomplishing the same goal. And always remember “Stop” or safeword means to stop. Don’t mess around.

3. Introduce a new toy – shop together – If you don’t have sex toys this can be especially intimidating, but it shouldn’t be. You don’t need to go looking for a 12 inch black dildo or spend $100+ on a fancy WeVibe remote control couples
“massager,” but find something that is an easy icebreaker. Honestly, bringing the iPad or laptop in the bedroom as you’re shopping on-line together is half the fun. We’ve bought cock rings, vibrators, dildos, jelly vibrators (over cock), and the infamous Hitachi Magic Wand. Some have been a mainstay, some have been used once or twice and put in the drawer, but all have been an experience. Sex Toys for Couples or Adam and Eve have both been solid, and Amazon is a catch all for random stuff you may be able to find.

4. Adult movies – I did a whole post here: Adult Movies for Couples where I described some hits and misses and ideas. Before anything hardcore, we had already used the softcore Skinemax (Cinemax) movies late at night, or nakedness of Game of Thrones, Spartacus, and others to our benefit and wanted something more. We found more was better, and pretty fun actually. Check out the post if you want ideas.

5. New location (in the car in the garage, shower, hotel, sexcation) – always doing it in the marital bed is boring. Mix things up. In the last year we’ve done it in the living room, in the new mini-van (in the garage with kids sleeping above us), in the shower, and on vacation (including  resort sexcation sans kids- highly recommended). We’ve had foreplay in the walk-in closet, kitchen, laundry room, and on the couch under the covers with others in the room. It’s fun to keep things mixed up and in the potential mix. I’d have liked to expand this to other locations, but my wife is a little more conservative in this regard, so stretch your own boundaries in a way that feels exciting but is “safe” for you and yours.

6. The quicky game with kids nearby – Had one of these tonight – kids put to bed but before they pop up again “to say goodnight” for the fourteenth time. Other ones have been in the morning while they are zoning out with their morning routine, or lock the door quick for few minutes while they are playing outside or videogames. You have to get things going quickly and without abandon. Sometimes this is rougher and more exciting than the standard fare, like two animals going after it knowing at any moment a little one might interrupt. The stakes are high :)

7. The slow buildup (making out, holding hands, ..) – Romance is dead in many marriages, replaced with practicality and schedules. Sure you still see some couples holding hands, but the slow buildup is a lost art. When was the last time you guys opened the car door for your wife? I bet you probably did that while you were dating. And when was the last time you made out that wasn’t a precursor to sex? These things create warm fuzzies for both parties, and if you can space them apart during a long night out (or find a corner in a dark pub or restaurant to make out for a bit) you can leverage that slow smolder into some blazing hot foreplay and sex later.

Really, there are any number of ways to keep the sexual spark alive in a marriage. A big part of that is simply having sex frequently so that it doesn’t become the elephant in the room, and then using that as a springboard to communicate what you want. Share fantasies. Tell them that you still think they’re hot. Keep the passion alive. Do that while you continue to try to improve on yourself and your life, and you’ll most likely have a happy sex life and happy marriage.

Musings from three weeks of travel

I haven’t written much lately, simply haven’t been around. I just returned from three weeks on the road – a week of a family road trip vacation sandwiched between two weeks of work conferences. It was exhausting. Here are some random musings I thought about while on the trips.

  • I spent the two conference weeks spending extensive time with my boss, who I’ve worked with for seven years now and I genuinely like as a person. However, work is his life and spending most of 17 hours a day for two weeks with the dude who would constantly be talking about work stuff certainly makes me glad my priorities in life are grounded. My boss doesn’t like his kid, doesn’t have hobbies, doesn’t exercise. Work is his life. While I enjoy the challenges and successes of my job, if I didn’t have to go, I could fill my world with things that are more rewarding personally. My priorities are self-improvement and enjoyment (through hobbies and activities), service to others in my world of influence, and my family. In the far distance is success at my profession. Seeing others whose world revolves around long hours at work and having that artificial idol of being important and having power at a JOB, certainly cements in me my choices and life touchstones. Relationships with your kids, wife, husband, family, and friends should trump the profession. The job should be a tool to live the rest of your life in a way that matters, and unfortunately the priorities are reversed for many, with family and life coming second to that hamster wheel.
  • I’m coming up on 40 years old, but take care of myself and look pretty good for my age. I can be funny, engaging, and a good conversationalist, and usually dress pretty well. I’m not the cookie-cutter in my industry, and have done interesting things over the years as well as having a good base of topics I can mix myself into due to my constant and varied learning and reading I do. Because of that, I’m a high quality male. I have been with my wife Holly since I was 22 years old. At that age, I was still a work in progress and not always super confident, especially in my value in the so-called Sexual Marketplace. As I gained knowledge of gender dynamics and manosphere thinking, I realized as I got older and more accomplished I could pull young and hot women if I so desired. That’s pretty powerful stuff. The two recent weeks of professional networking, drinking, dressing well (the women were all decked out and taking the effort to look feminine and made up, many, many dresses and heels), continued to illustrate that point. I’ve written before how conferences can be a powder keg for sexual tension and infidelity. In several instances, after spending time and establishing rapport with some really good looking women in their mid-20’s who were hanging with our group, taking it to the next level would have been easy and natural. This is both a warning to those of us married to keep it in our pants, as well as something to pass on to the younger generation who is getting pressure to marry, worried they are passing up an opportunity of a lifetime. If you find someone that is the right fit, then my all means marry. If they are just “good enough” and you’re worried about losing a once in a lifetime chance (there is no “the one” despite what romantic comedies sell you), wait and continue to be awesome. As Silent Bob said in Clerks “There are a million fine women in this world dude. But they don’t all bring you lasagna at work. Most of them just cheat on you.”  A high quality man can pull much younger women for a long time. Just take care of yourself – lift weights, learn, be funny – and life is your oyster.
  • Road trips with kids are damn exhausting. We took a trip down to Cincinnati and Kentucky, stayed with friends and in hotels, saw lots of things like zoos and caves and Churchill downs. It was a good trip, but at the end we were still ragged, not really relaxing as action was always happening. The previous year we did Disney. While we enjoy cultural experiences, and think it’s important for the kids to learn things and see the world, to recharge and relax you need to hunker down and unplug. A cabin in the woods. A beach vacation. Camping even. We were talking about an international trip with the kids next summer, but I think we’ll end up relaxing for a week on a lake instead and postpone that another year.
  • There’s really no place like home. After sleeping in my bed about three nights in three weeks, missing my kids’ first week of school, having limited time to really unplug and relax, eating like shit, not working out, I come to appreciate what a steady home life means. You get into a rhythm. You can eat well and work out and be healthy and engage your friends and the community. Traveling, while sounding exciting and fun, is exhausting and makes having any sort of normality difficult. I’m glad to be home and have my average married life which is exciting and fun in its own right.
  • Needless to say the last few weeks have been a virtual desert on the sex front. One of the least frequent sex times in the last few years for certain. We had some quicky shower sex the morning we left on vacation, a vacation where we were staying at a friends house, then hotel room with the kids, constantly exhausted. That’s been it for the last three weeks. After being delayed getting home yesterday by three hours because of a train/dump truck crash that canceled our transportation, everyone was sleeping including my wife when I finally got home. I am horny as hell and hope to get back into a rhythm there as well, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes some time to reconnect in that area in proper form. Here’s me right now: boner anchorman

So this travel and a jam-packed September is delaying a few things I have in the works, but I hope to get back into the mix with writing and a new launch. I have a few drafts in the hopper to wrap up so stay tuned. Now for me, it’s off to reintroduce myself to some heavy weights, my lawnmower, and my wife’s vagina.

Have a safe and fun holiday weekend here in the states.


Saturday Potpourri: fructose, podcasts, books

Randomness today.

I don’t follow too many fitness or diet blogs anymore. If you’re just starting out, Mark’s Daily Apple is a good place to get basic info and studies, but I’m here to be entertained as well, so like the science-rant-random strain of blogs and articles.


With that said, a few I’ll read are Chaos and Pain and Lift-Run-Bang.  I have corresponded some with Jaime at Chaos and Pain over the years, and have copies of his books. His posts have been cleaned up in the last 6 months, removing some of his adult-only images, to focus more on Paleo, Lifting, and making fun of the weak and obese. Paul at Lift-Run-Bang is a strong powerlifter dude who also likes to pull back the curtain on lifting, diet, and science. One article I wanted to highlight was on how not all carbs are created eaqual:

All Carbs Are Not Equal –  he highlights the following statement about Fructose: It also changes your body composition to increase body fat even when you are on a caloric restriction.If your diet is high in refined sugars, fructose, etc. then you could be in a calorie deficit….AND STILL GET FATTER.  Check out the article, may have some holes but overall has good info on why to avoid fructose. Essentially, if you’re trying to lose weight, and are exercising a metric shit ton, and still eating like crap and drinking sodas, you likely may still be skinny fat. Again, goes to show how diet is a critical component to any body composition approach (i.e. one of my favorite goals: Look Good Naked). By the way, since Paul doesn’t hyperlink to IIFYM in his article, it is If It Fits Your Macros – a diet style that focuses on fat loss and macro eating, and one I know nothing about.

So probably like you, I don’t live close enough to bike or walk to work, so spend a fair amount of time in my car commuting. I also run several times a week, mow the lawn, go on walks, and work out in my home gym. That leaves a lot of time for thinking and learning. I still get books on tape, but have migrated to listening to podcasts. I run Android on my phone, so use the Podcast Addict app to listen to them. I’ve heard other people really like the Stitcher app (Android, and i-shit compatable).  What I do is use the search function for various apps I want to listen to, download specific episodes I want to my phone when connected to wireless, and listen at my convenience. It’s a great way to learn and be entertained on the go, and is a highly recommended resource no matter what you’re interests.

Here are the podcasts I’m regularly listening to, do a search in your Podcast player and check them out if you’re so inclined:

Stacking Benjamins – A magazine style podcast on personal finance, usually three episodes per week. Somewhat silly, but entertaining and informative, and my favorite personal finance podcast (and I’ve checked out a bunch). Here’s an little write-up if you want to learn more before jumping in. Clean and suitable for family listening.

Motley Fool Money – This is another finance podcast, only put out once a week. Usually gets into specifics on certain stocks, so more nuts and bolts-ish, with an interview with someone who has maybe broader reach in personal finance. Not as silly, and intended for those who keep a little closer eye on the market. Minor adult language, but topics are for grownups.

Death, Sex, and Money – A very NPR-ish podcast on the topics at hand. Pull back the curtains on other people’s lives and get more insite on topics such as cheating to life as a funeral home directors to money impacts on relationships. Interesting perspectives, if not a little dry at times.

Freakonomics Radio – Taking regular topics and looking at them from a different vantage point. Topics are all over the map, from sleep to economics to diet to comedians to marriage. I have to be in the mood, but it’s good and I always learn something. Clean.

Barbell Shrugged – A fitness, lifting podcast, focusing on things like diet, Crossfit, getting swole. The hosts can sometimes be knuckleheads who laugh to much and hence annoy me from time to time, but the content is really solid and if you can overcome those hurdles, it will likely motivate you to lift more, eat better, and be healthier. Some swearing, minor adult topics.

My Brother, My Brother, and Me – Dubbed “an advice show for the modern era” MBMBAM (as they call themselves) are three brothers who answer random advice questions. They go off the rails and follow tangents, but are usually pretty dang funny. Often a top-ranked humor podcast covering lots of random topics. Some frequent swearing and adult topics.

Joe Rogan Experience – Usually clocks in nearly 3 hours long per episode, but full of interesting insights and randomness. Joe Rogan is a color commentator/ announcer for UFC, MMA practicioner, comedian, and jack of all trades. Guests range from comedians, to doctors, scientists, MMA fighters, and everything in between. Not safe for work, but topics they chase on tangents are often as interesting as the main topics they end up discussing. Everything from weed to the mob to cryogenic therapy.

I still try to read as many books as possible, random sampling of the latest I’ve read/am reading:

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride – The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies (and NFL QB Aaron Rodger’s as well), and this book (penned by “Westley”) from the movie details how it came to be, stories from filming, and how it became to be a cult classic.

The Plan of Chicago: Daniel Burnham and the Remaking of the American City  – Daniel Burnham is recognized as one of the grandfathers of today’s modern planning. This Plan of Chicago laid out the vision to a modern American City and influenced many.

Independent Contractor, Sole Proprietor, and LLC Taxes Explained in 100 Pages or Less – Setting up shop I needed a little more info on this topic. Easily digestible but chocked full of content for anyone looking to set up a side hustle. Even gets into setting up individual retirement plans and the differences between them so your hustle can shelter more money from taxes. I recommend kindle since it’s a better value and worth $5.

MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom – A Tony Robbins money book, told in typical inspirational Tony Robbins style. A lot of fluff, looks at financial freedom from a whole life/happiness perspective not just retirement, and is often entertaining with a few nuggets of new info I didn’t know. However, it has some issues and I think people who want to get a better handle on this topic are better off reading:The Bogleheads’ Guide to Retirement Planning. You won’t get the holistic life message like Robbin’s book, but better fundamentals.

Snow Crash – A Neal Stephenson novel is like the Matrix meets Tron meets Scientology. Very entertaining, may one day be made into a movie.

Dad Is Fat – Comedian Jim Gaffigan pondering life, parenting, and marriage with five kids in a two bedroom apartment in NYC. Clean and funny, audiobook (how I listened to) is read by Jim. Recommended for an easy, light read.

Before I Go to Sleep – A novel written in the first person by a woman who has memory issues and is trying to figure out her life every day. It’s a mystery as she unravels things that don’t seem quite right. Entertaining and in the same vein a as Gone Girl, and also made into a movie (I haven’t seen) last year.

Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and The People Who Play It – A super dorky book about D&D, but one I enjoyed. I talked about how I introduced D&D to my kids before, and this was pretty interesting as I didn’t have any idea on the history. I still think board games and imagination have a big role in childhood, not just video games.

I left off a few Leadership and Financial Report requirements I have to read for my new class, but I like interesting or entertaining books and hope you continue to search for your own at your local library.

Keep Your Passion Bucket Full


/’paSHǝn/ , pash-uh n


  1. any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.
  2. strong amorous feeling or desire; love; ardor.
  3. strong sexual desire; lust.
  4. an instance or experience of strong love or sexual desire.
  5. a person toward whom one feels strong love or sexual desire.
  6. a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything: i.e. a passion for music.
  7. the object of such a fondness or desire: i.e. Accuracy became a passion with him.

My life bucket is quite full, but my passion bucket has some holes I’m looking to patch up. I’ve been here before. It’s been awhile, as I’m usually have that passionate spark about something that burns deep inside and fuels some reservoir of excitement that is hard to explain. Right now I don’t have a good explanation of losing this feeling and it’s a little worrisome. You HAVE to go through life with passion or it’s like living life in a black and white movie – the color is just gone. Remember when Dorothy went to Oz from Kansas and it went from dull and dreary to “Ho-lee Shit! This is what I’m talking about – color and excitement!!”? Now imagine that in reverse. See?! Improvements need to be made.

I think way too many of us get ground down by the day to day, and lose the passion we once had. In my youth I’d do all kinds of crazy stuff because I was so filled by the mythical Ch’i I was drunk on life. Midnight rollerblading adventures with old girlfriends. Solo breaking into Ross-Ade Stadium (sober I might add) multiple times and soaking in the stars and how amazing life is. Coming This-Close (“) to attempting the same maneuver to break into the Colosseum in Rome (this time, semi-drunk on wine), but decided against it. Having passion and a kid-like outlook on life with a smile on face knowing everything is awesome is something I took great satisfaction in. Cranking up Cat1 or HC mountains on my bikes during Ironman training, or simply racing up a local peak trying to beat friends to the top. But my tires are flat right now. Trying to find my mojo.

Like you, my life is incredibly full, incredibly in flux, and it’s mostly really good. New job is going really well, leaving much less time for goofing off and writing posts while on someone else’s dime. I was selected to start a 6 month high-end leadership class paid for by the company, but will suck some more time out. Will be assistant coaching BirdsNest’s competitive soccer team this fall. Working to get my shingle ready to hang out next month some time (stay tuned!). Running 3x a week, and lifting 3x per week. Mowing lawn, cleaning house, laundry, running kids… the list never ends. Then finding time to enjoy the fruits of my labor by relaxing at the pool with wife and kids, and trying to find time to enjoy friends, and my wife’s vagina. Does any of this sound familiar?

On top of this, I’m wrapping my head around another major life change-an old, once dear friend who has passed on if you will- and frankly I’m happy to keep my balls juggled in the air, let alone having my cake and eating it too – but that’s what I want. My kids are happy. Money and work situations are solid. Health is really good (getting faster and stronger, feel healthy). Wife relationship solid, but lacking passion. But I’m out of balance. I sleep like shit. I don’t feel passion, and need to patch the holes in my passion bucket, and get back to this:

Passion Bucket

and this:

fireand this:

jump again

I know I can’t be the only one who has misplaced their mojo. The last time I really felt like this was when I started of my journey to figure out why my marriage was so blah, which is why I started this blog to begin with. I then figured out a purpose, and it brought me joy. Lately I’ve been out of balance and lost my way. Frankly, I just need to follow my own advice. I have a mental health chapter in my book which details concepts and habits that I’ve let go to the back burner and stop making a priority. Practicing presence. Meditation. Yoga. Play music. Fabricating new interests and hobbies. Creating positive energy and optimism. Gratitude. If you, like me, have let these things take a back seat to the daily grind, you too likely feel unbalanced.

Realizing this is the case, I’m vowing to keep all the life balls juggling, while still learning new tricks AND, perhaps most importantly, get back to my roots and rekindle PASSION back in my life and marriage. Since our Sexcation back in December routine has crept back into my marital relations as well. Wife Holly is heavily vested into the work grind, and heavily invested in screen time on her phone, much to my dismay. Connection has taken a back seat to life. At least we’re aware of it, we talk about it, but it’s back to us to find that excitement again instead of vanilla sex and friendly embraces.

Knowing and realizing is the first step to correcting this type of shit, in marriage and in life. Don’t continue to accept a passionless existence. Don’t continue to hide or misplace your passion behind work, or alcohol, or an iPad. Find time to open your mind, and heart, and feel that life energy flow through you and guide you. Bring your wife or husband into your glow. Feed your kids from your fountain of peace and abundance, and fill you passion bucket back up again.

I’m patching the holes in my bucket, and will see you on the other side!

-Peace!  AMD