Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hollywood's Leading Men Star in Powerful PSA About Sexual Assault


On the other side of the spectrum from the satirical Onion piece posted earlier today, there is this - men who have influence on how young men think about being men taking a stand against sexual violence. Daniel Craig, Benicio del Toro, Steve Carell, Seth Meyers and Dulé Hill, as well as the President and Vice President, took part in the video PSA.

Here is the story, via Jezebel:

Hollywood's Leading Men Star in Powerful PSA About Sexual Assault

Kate Dries | Jezebel
After a lengthy speech Tuesday by Vice President Joe Biden, the White House introduced their new PSA about sexual assault starring Daniel Craig, Benicio del Toro, Steve Carell, Seth Meyers and Dulé Hill, as well as the President and Vice President.

The PSA is the second from the Obama administration's 1 is 2 Many campaign; the last video featured famous athletes like Eli Manning, Jeremy Lin and David Beckham. It's pegged to their just-released report on college sexual assault. Like the report, the PSA overwhelming focuses on violence against women specifically.


Obama to Create a Task Force on Campus Sexual Assault - This past year was a landmark one for sexual assault activists on campus: the Title IX network helped sexual assault survivors file federal… Read…

White House Announces Guidelines to Combat Campus Sexual Assault - The White House has released recommendations on how to best combat the sexual assault epidemic facing college campuses. And they're not half bad. Read…
During his speech, Biden spoke very forcefully about sexual assault, an issue he's been strongly tied to since the 90s due to his work drafting the Violence Against Women Act. "College and Universities can no longer turn a blind eye and pretend rape and sexual assault doesn't occur on their campuses," Biden said before playing the PSA. "I understand that the good guys in the report, they may feel like they're damaging the reputations of their schools, I get it. But it doesn't matter."

Of the PSA, Biden said he personally made phone calls to get these famous faces involved. As was the case with the original 1 is 2 Many campaign, the Obama administration hopes they will inspire other less famous men to care about sexual assault.

"I'm not used to making calls to big old movie stars," Biden said. "But I called them. And every one of them said immediately, 'What can I do?'"

Teen Boys Losing Virginity Earlier And Earlier, Report Teen Boys

Somehow this is exactly how I remember my early teen years.

Teen Boys Losing Virginity Earlier And Earlier, Report Teen Boys

Published on Apr 29, 2014

A shocking new study that asked teen boys about their sexual habits reveals that they are all having sex all the time and are really, really good at having it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Larger Your Penis, The More Likely Your Wife Will Cheat (in Kenya)

Irony, that. You can read the abstract for the study below this piece from the Huffington Post (the whole study is open access on PLoS ONE). The good news for American men is that this study involved women married to fishermen along Lake Victoria in Kisumu County, Kenya, so there is likely some cultural and values-based issues that Huffington Post chose not to mention in their provocative title.

See what the HP article does not mention until near the bottom is that penis size ranked third on the list of reasons they women had affairs - domestic violence and being denied a preferred sex position were one and two, respectively.

The Larger Your Penis, The More Likely Your Wife Will Cheat Says New Study

The Huffington Post | by Taryn Hillin
Posted: 04/23/2014

Men often view having a large member as a symbol of strength and sexual prowess. But it turns out, when it comes to keeping a woman satisfied, bigger may not be better.

Contrary to popular belief, a new study out of Kenya found that husbands with larger penises were more likely to be cheated on by their wives (shocking, we know).

For the study -- published this month in PLOS One -- researchers interviewed 545 married couples in Kenya in order to better understand their relationship habits and, more specifically, to identify factors which contributed to women having extramarital affairs.

Researchers asked both partners to self-report the male's erect penis size (they had a 15 inch ruler on hand for reference). Then, if there were differences between the estimates (which there were), they either took the average of the two or went with the estimate from the partner who was less likely to fib.

What they found was rather shocking:

"Every one inch longer penis increased the likelihood of women being involved in extra-marital partnership by almost one-and-half times," the researchers wrote. "Women associated large penises with pain and discomfort during sex which precludes the enjoyment and sexual satisfaction that women are supposed to feel."

In fact, one woman interviewed for the study told the researchers the following: "Some penis may be large yet my vagina is small, when he tries to insert it inside, it hurts so much that I will have to look for another man who has a smaller one [penis] and can do it in a way I can enjoy."

According to the study, 6.2 percent of the 545 females had affairs during the six-month study. Other factors that increased the likelihood of women straying outside the marriage included domestic violence, being denied sex or denied preferred sexual position, being under age of 25 and a lack of sexual satisfaction.

Researchers focused on female infidelity specifically because of the prevalence and spread of HIV among women in the region. Researchers felt if they could identify reasons for unprotected sex, they might better prevent it.
* * * * *

Here is the full abstract - follow the title link to see the whole article (open access).

Full Citation: 
Kwena Z, Mwanzo I, Shisanya C, Camlin C, Turan J, et al. (2014, Apr 18). Predictors of Extra-Marital Partnerships among Women Married to Fishermen along Lake Victoria in Kisumu County, Kenya. PLoS ONE; 9(4): e95298. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095298

Predictors of Extra-Marital Partnerships among Women Married to Fishermen along Lake Victoria in Kisumu County, Kenya

Zachary Kwena, Isaac Mwanzo, Chris Shisanya, Carol Camlin, Janet Turan, Lilian Achiro, Elizabeth Bukusi



The vulnerability of women to HIV infection makes establishing predictors of women's involvement in extra-marital partnerships critical. We investigated the predictors of extra-marital partnerships among women married to fishermen.


The current analyses are part of a mixed methods cross-sectional survey of 1090 gender-matched interviews with 545 couples and 12 focus group discussions (FGDs) with 59 couples. Using a proportional to size simple random sample of fishermen as our index participants, we asked them to enrol in the study with their spouses. The consenting couples were interviewed simultaneously in separate private rooms. In addition to socio-economic and demographic data, we collected information on sexual behaviour including extra-marital sexual partnerships. We analysed these data using descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression. For FGDs, couples willing to participate were invited, consented and separated for simultaneous FGDs by gender-matched moderators. The resultant audiofiles were transcribed verbatim and translated into English for coding and thematic content analysis using NVivo 9.


The prevalence of extra-marital partnerships among women was 6.2% within a reference time of six months. Factors that were independently associated with increased likelihood of extra-marital partnerships were domestic violence (aOR, 1.45; 95% CI 1.09–1.92), women reporting being denied a preferred sex position (aOR, 3.34; 95% CI 1.26–8.84) and spouse longer erect penis (aOR, 1.34; 95% CI 1.00–1.78). Conversely, women's age – more than 24years (aOR, 0.33; 95% CI 0.14–0.78) and women's increased sexual satisfaction (aOR, 0.92; 95% CI 0.87–0.96) were associated with reduced likelihood of extra-marital partnerships.

Domestic violence, denial of a preferred sex positions, longer erect penis, younger age and increased sexual satisfaction were the main predictors of women's involvement in extra-marital partnerships. Integration of sex education, counselling and life skills training in couple HIV prevention programs might help in risk reduction.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Michael Taylor - Male Transformation: A Mans Journey To Wholeness

Here is this week's podcast from Coach Michael Taylor on his A New Conversation with Men show (Blog Talk Radio). His guests are Keith Merron and Tim Kelly. They have created a workshop called Sword and Scepter (relating to warrior and king) that is specifically designed to support men in understanding how to embrace new ways of being and relating as men, providing a road map for men to follow that leads them to wholeness.

My sense is that this workshop aims to change a man's relationship to and with power, advocating a more responsible and compassionate use of leadership power (scepter) and assertive power (sword).

Male Transformation - A Mans Journey To Wholeness

Coach Michael Taylor

Find Additional Education Podcasts with Coach Michael Taylor on BlogTalkRadio

Are there solutions to the senseless acts of violence perpetuated by men that are so common in our society? Will new gun laws or additional legislation help eradicate these problems? Is it part of a mans genetic makeup to be violent?

Contrary to negative media generated stereotypes about men, men are not inherently violent and they can learn to be more loving, sensitive and caring. They can be taught to deal appropriately with their anger and they can embrace new ways of being and relating as men.

What has been missing is a resource that deals specifically with the complexity of the changing roles of masculinity. What is needed is a dialog about A Mans Journey To Wholeness.

One such resource is the Sword and Scepter workshop facilitated by Keith Merron and Tim Kelly. This workshop was specifically designed to support men in understanding how to embrace new ways of being and relating as men and it provides a road map for men to follow that leads them to wholeness.

Join Coach Michael Taylor as he interviews the developers of the Sword & Scepter workshop and learn how the workshop can support men in living extraordinary lives.

For more info about the workshop log on to:

From the website for Sword and Scepter, here is a description of the workshop and what one can expect during the four days. PLEASE NOTE: I am not advocating this process, just sharing the information.

The Sword and Scepter Workshop

A 4-day Exploration of Masculine Power
The Sword and Scepter Workshop operates from the assumption that deepening one’s power is a process. It requires courageous opening to oneself, to others, and to the deepest aspects of what it means to be a conscious man in this world. It is our belief that learning about power has a dual edge: the inner exploration of power and its development, and its outer expression in effective forms. We work both of these edges throughout the workshop, seeking to discover both a deeper sense of self and its viable and authentic expression.

What You Can Expect from the 4-day Sword and Scepter Workshop
  • A better understanding of your own relationship to power
  • An understanding of the motives that drive you to express or repress your power
  • An experience of expressing power with other men
  • A model for healthy expression of male power
  • A sense of when your own power serves and when it harms
  • An enhanced ability to harness and channel your personal power

What You Will Experience
The workshop is structured as a series of exercises, experiences, and conversations, rather than lectures and instruction. Participants will join in an exploration in which each man brings his own wisdom and experiences to the circle. We will explore male power through a variety of means, including:
  • Exercises designed to help participant see how they show up as men
  • Exercises designed to draw out masculine power
  • Opportunities to see the impact of power
  • Journaling and other self-reflective activities
  • Men’s Council
  • Accessing timeless masculine archetypes, such as king and warrior
  • Meditation, visioning, and work with imagery
  • Giving and receiving feedback.
The workshop begins on a Thursday evening and runs through Sunday.

How We Are Different
Compared to other workshops, we're different due to:
  • Our purpose. This is a workshop about masculine power. We are not going to tell you how to be a man. We are not a men's social group. We are not a workshop company. We don't exist primarily to make money. We are here specifically to expand your consciousness in the area of power.
  • Who we work with. We focus on men already interested in their own growth and development. We are not trying to convince men of the value of focusing on their own growth. Most men come through invitation, word of mouth. The men show up ready to work, you get more for the time spent.
  • The team. Several men putting on the event are volunteering their time, and we are primarily covering costs, and proceeds go to the non-profit Tribe of Men. Many of the men are highly successful workshop conductors, coaches, consultants and executives in their own right. You'll get multiple perspectives and examples.
  • Follow-up. We believe growth requires more than a "great weekend". The Sword and Scepter ended up creating the Tribe of Men, a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding the consciousness of men. The Tribe can provide ongoing support for interested men, at a price you set for yourself.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bros, This Is How Your Slut-Shaming Is Backfiring: A Sex Researcher Explains

This article is from Playboy SFW - an interesting place to find an article on how "slut shaming" is backfiring on "bros."

Slut shaming defined: "the act of making a person, especially a woman, feel guilty or inferior for certain sexual behaviors or desires that deviate from traditional or orthodox gender expectations, or that which may be considered to be contrary to natural or religious law."

This whole thing of rape culture and slut shaming is what we get for not teaching our boys about respect and kindness toward women. Additionally, there is a systematic failure in these guys to grasp and tolerate that different people have different values, and that women have the same rights as men.

Bros, This Is How Your Slut-Shaming Is Backfiring. A Sex Researcher Explains

Zhana Vrangalova | 4/16/14

When a Duke frat boy recognized a classmate in the porn clip he was watching, the gossip was just too good. He spread the news among some other bros on campus, and the rumor soon traveled from Duke's campus to the blogosphere (including Playboy SFW). Belle Knox, as the student revealed her porn identity to be, was promptly called a slut and brutally harassed online. Many people encouraged her to drop out of Duke—"a huge fucking whore" like her didn't belong among smart, educated elites.

Somehow, however, the frat boy's decision to violate Knox's privacy by outing her went mostly unquestioned. (There wasn't much coverage of him beyond this Gawker post.) The takeaway message was loud and clear: It's okay for men to enjoy porn, but the women who make it are nothing but sluts.

Unfortunately, that reaction isn't surprising. It's simply a more extreme version of a common double standard that echoes throughout the misogynistic corners of college campuses (and their corresponding blogs). "Women are sluts if they sleep around, but men are not," the bro-site Return of Kings decrees. "This fact is due to the biological differences between men and women."

Of course, the pseudo-scientific myth that all women are naturally predisposed toward sexual restraint and all men toward promiscuity isn't only inaccurate but dangerous, leading directly to the notion that women who differ from that norm are unacceptable, need to be corrected or deserve to be mistreated. What's more, it creates a culture in which men who seek out many partners aren't just celebrated, but given permission to devalue women with a similar sexual appetite.

Ironically, it's this negative attitude toward women who have casual sex that makes many women less likely to seek it out, which means less casual sex for the men who want it most. Based on what psychologists know, I'd argue that if we can work toward a culture where the stigma surrounding women's casual sex is diminished, the result could be more guilt-free hookups for all those who want them.

* * * * *

At first glance, some of my field's work on casual sex might appear to prove the bros right. In 1989, when undergraduates at the University of Hawaii were spontaneously asked by researchers of the opposite sex if they would join them in bed that evening, 75 percent of men—but not a single woman—agreed. Similar studies across Europe have confirmed that compared to men, women really are less likely to agree to casual sex and disapprove of it more. In fact, such a difference in desire for casual sex is one of the largest gender differences in sexuality—behind only differences in masturbation and pornography use—as two review studies from 1993 and 2010 showed.

This is where a lot of the analyses end, jumping to the conclusion that men are from Mars, women from Venus. But two important conditions make the findings less black-and-white. First, differences in the affinity for casual sex aren't absolute; they're averages. The desire for casual sex in both sexes is distributed in similar bell-shaped curves that overlap by about 50 percent. That means about one-third of women like hookups more than the average guy and about one-third of men want to hookup less than the average woman does. So even if all of the gender difference in the desire for casual sex was due to some immutable biology (as The Return of Kings and other bro sites would have you believe), a substantial minority of women would still be biologically inclined toward promiscuity and a substantial minority of men would still be biologically inclined toward monogamy.

What's more, these gender differences aren't only biological. Few scientists would deny that nature—namely, the challenges of reproduction (women's high cost of creating offspring versus men's low cost)—has played a role in gender differences toward casual sex over humankind's long evolutionary history. But nurture—namely, socializing women to be chaste and the widespread stigma against those who violate that norm—cannot be ruled out either.

Consider the results from a 2013 study of more than 24,000 students from 22 different American colleges. When asked if they'd lose respect for a man or a woman who "hooked up a lot," 28 percent of men said "yes" for a woman but "no" for a man. (Only 4 percent of women said the same thing.) Another 2013 study of almost 8,000 students at a Midwestern university arrived at a similar conclusion: Both men and women disapproved more of a woman who had casual sex (defined as sex with someone whom they've known for less than one month) than of a man.

Even more interestingly, these studies reveal that guys who seek out casual sex are the ones who are more likely to disrespect females with the same interest. For example, in one study referenced, each additional hookup reported was associated with a 4 percent increase in the odds of men holding the double standard (while the opposite was true of women). To put it another way, "sluttier" men are more likely to slut-shame women—or at least, hold negative views toward women whose promiscuity approximates their own.

This not only exposes a serious hypocrisy, but it seems counterproductive: Disrespecting women on whom your casual sex depends can only lower your chances of finding willing partners in the future, right? So why would slutty guys feel this way?

* * * * *

Perhaps the most obvious explanation is nurture. When misogynist environments teach men that their sexuality is fundamentally different from women (that casual sex is something for them to pursue and for women to avoid) they tend to buy in. Such views are part of a more general traditional gender ideology, explaining why studies have found that men with more traditional gender role attitudes also tend to want more casual sex. Or why in the study of students from 22 colleges mentioned above, fraternity affiliation or varsity athletic participation resulted in a 31 percent and 46 percent increase, respectively, in the odds of holding the traditional double standard. Indeed, while the desire for casual sex might be partly due to nature, genetic analyses of twins show that the tendency to support gender inequality is almost entirely due to nurture. In other words, if your environment promotes sexism, it's likely you'll hold sexist views.

That said, some men might be naturally more predisposed to end up in sexist environments. Over the years, studies consistently found that men who are more into casual sex are also more dominant, aggressive, narcissistic, arrogant, manipulative and lacking empathy. (The evidence is less clear about whether this is true for women who are more into casual sex.) Scholars have argued that these personality traits and a high interest in casual sex often cluster together as part of an exploitative short-term mating strategy where men attempt to seduce many different women—using deception (what bros would call "game") or coercion (what law enforcement would call "rape") if necessary—without feeling remorse. While such an approach might be hostile to their female partners, it allows the men to spread their seed far and wide. As such, these traits have survived (and often times, thrived) throughout our evolutionary history.

Given that these traits are largely heritable, it isn't a coincidence that many narcissistic, manipulative and coercive men find themselves in misogynistic environments: They actively seek out communities that reinforce the sexist attitudes that fit their personality. And so, a vicious cycle is created, resulting in disregard for women, particularly those they deem unworthy of respect. "It's often hard to seduce scores of women if you genuinely respect them," explains Andrew Irwin-Smiler, a psychologist whose book Challenging Casanova examines teenage masculinity and sexuality. "Respect would prevent any kind of meaningful deception—like taking advantage of drunk women. But if you think most women are 'bitches' or 'sluts,' then you can treat them like crap in order to sleep with them."

These men might also feel like the women they consider sluts not only deserve to be treated badly, but they want to be treated badly. After all, part of the repertoire of sexist attitudes is rape-myth acceptance—the belief that women "really wanted it" even when they say no, or that they "asked for it" simply by wearing provocative clothing.

Yet another explanation for the slutty-men-shaming-slutty-women phenomenon lies in the fear of unbridled female sexuality. Since an inherent part of the traditional masculinity ideology is the belief that men are the sexual initiators and predators, the existence of a highly promiscuous woman who unapologetically goes after what she wants threatens men's sense of self. As one nonsexist male blogger, My Dissolute Life, explains when writing about women who like gangbangs (perhaps the sluttiest of slutty acts), "I want, I need, to believe that I'm at the absolute center of a woman's sexual universe. ... A gangbang presents the possibility of a woman whose desire swamps that of the men, who cannot be overwhelmed by the desires of one measly guy."

And that is "more than a little terrifying." That poses a direct affront to men with fragile or "precarious masculinities," a term coined by Joseph Vandello to describe men who perceive manhood as an impermanent state that's easily lost if they fail to conform to gender norms. We know that some men respond with violence when their manhood is threatened. Slut-shaming could be just another aggressive response to this deeply felt threat to their identities.

None of this is to say that all men who are into casual sex are sexist and exploitative. (Nor that all men who aren't into casual sex are respectful and sweet.) It's certainly possible to be a highly sexual man who goes about acquiring sexual partners in an ethical way. The swinger lifestyle, for example, elaborately described in Terry Gould's The Lifestyle, is replete with examples of men who actively pursue casual sex while fully respecting the women (their own wives included) who do the same. It's just that, statistically speaking, there are more "jerks" among fans of casual sex.

* * * * *

Luckily, such "jerks" are a minority in the Western world. The online sexist manosphere has a vocal anti-sexist counterpart, from ManBoobz to the Good Men Project. Better yet, as sophomoric teenagers mature into young men and get exposed to the world outside of their fraternity bubbles, their double standards lessen. Even Tucker Max, the one-time king of the bros, recently gave up his "game". And since Belle Knox came out publicly about her porn career, she has been flooded with support and encouragement that has negated the insults.

More good news is that women's lesser interest in casual sex isn't immutable. For millennia, women have lived in environments that have made them dependent on men for survival and taught them to be sexually conservative. But when social and economic circumstances change to allow for greater female independence and freedom of sexual expression, gender differences in the desire for casual sex become less pronounced.

For instance, this gender difference is smaller among today's youth than it was among their parents. It's smaller in countries where political and economic power is distributed more evenly between men and women (e.g., Sweden, USA, and Saudi Arabia). It's smaller when the stigma that women anticipate for accepting a casual sex offer is statistically controlled for in analyses—i.e., take that stigma away and a lot more women would consent to casual sex. And it can disappear altogether when women believe that the man offering them casual sex is a competent lover who's going to provide sexual pleasure or when that lover is famous and attractive —or famous and unattractive .

In short, put women in the right environment with the right partners, and it's likely they will desire casual sex much more than they do today, perhaps even as much as men do. Overall, the science seems to indicate that the more we talk about the tremendous individual variability in the desire for casual sex, the more the misogynistic minority will get further pushed to the fringe. Which, of course, has an added benefit: When the slut-shaming stops, everyone is likely to get laid more.


Zhana Vrangalova, PhD, is a NYC-based sex researcher who studies casual sex and nonmonogamy, teaches Human Sexuality at New York University, blogs about the science of hookups for Psychology Today, tweets daily about new sex research, and runs the Casual Sex Project, a place for people to share their true hookup stories.

Photo courtesy of MBI/Alamy

Friday, April 25, 2014

Fitness Friday - Fitness News and Information You Can Use


For this week's Fitness Friday, I serve up four good articles - one on how diet and exercise can contribute to healthy longevity, an article from Eric Cressey on band training, and two articles from T-Nation - an older gem from Charles Staley and an interesting piece on using drop sets for strength and size.

From Medical News Today, new research suggests that red meat and exercise are the keys to healthy aging.

Red meat and exercise could be the key to keeping body and mind in peak condition as we age

Thursday 27 February 2014

Protein loading to improve muscle performance isn't just for athletes and bodybuilders, with Deakin University researchers finding that a protein rich diet incorporating lean red meat combined with strength training improved the size and strength of muscles in elderly women.

The researchers believe the study's results show that the combination of red meat and strength training could be the key to reducing the impact age-related muscle loss has on the risk of falls and the ability of the elderly to undertake day-to-day activities such as getting out of a chair. In light of these positive results the study is being extended to look at the impact that increased dietary protein combined with strength training also has on the mental health and wellbeing of older people.
Read the whole article.

* * * * *

From Cressey Performance, an excellent article on using heavy bands for power training.

Band-Resisted Training for Power

Published on April 12th, 2014
Written by: Eric Cressey

Chat with any powerlifter about how he utilizes bands in his training, and you'll likely hear that they’re used for accommodating resistances to build strength. In other words, you can set up the bands to make an exercise harder at the portions of the strength curve at which you’re strongest. And, this is certainly an awesome application that’s helped thousands of lifters (myself included) to build strength.

Being a former competitive powerlifter, until just a few years ago, I’d looked at bands as something that could only make an exercise harder. Over the years, though, I've come around and begun to look for ways to utilize them to make things easier with our beginners. And, obviously, using them for pull-up and push-up assistance can be extremely helpful with working with new clients.

I did not, however, realize until just recently that there was also a middle ground between these two extremes (advanced lifter and novice client). In this capacity, more and more, we use bands with our athletes to be able to train power more aggressively, and more frequently. How do the bands fit in? They lower the landing stress on more horizontal and lateral power exercises.
Read the whole article.

* * * * *

Here is an old article that came up recently on Facebook, but it is still entirely relevant - from T-Nation.

7 Hard Truths About Lifting

by Charles Staley

Here's what you need to know...

• No matter what the goal, you simply can't go wrong by making strength a priority.
• Check your ego. Allow yourself to be coached by someone more knowledgeable.
• Numbers don't lie. If you're getting stronger, you're getting better.
• Stop working hard for the sake of working hard. Practice training economy and maximize the results of your efforts.
Over my 30-year career in the fitness biz, I've experimented with a lot of things that seemed promising at first, only to end up on the scrap heap in the end. But seven concepts have remained tried and true over the past three decades. As a bonus, I'll also share three ideas that I'm taking a second look at.
Read the whole article.

* * * * *

Here is another piece from T-Nation, on using drop sets for strength and power.

Masochistic Mechanical Drop Sets

by Ben Bruno

Here's what you need to know...
•  Mechanical drop sets allow you to switch to an easier exercise or an easier variation of the same exercise as a means to extend the set further – a great way to add muscle to stubborn body parts.
•  Don't go overboard. Two to four sets is adequate for upper body exercises, while 1-2 sets should be plenty for lower body.
Drop sets are a time-tested, muscle-building technique. You take a weight and rep it out, reduce the weight and rep out again, and then reduce the weight further and do it again. Essentially you reduce the weight as a means to keep the set going.

Mechanical drop sets follow a similar concept, only rather than reduce the load as you fatigue, the load stays the same throughout. You simply switch to an easier exercise or an easier variation of the same exercise to extend the set further. The key is to use exercises that sequence well together and require little-to-no setup changes so you can transition from one exercise to the next with minimal disruption to the flow of the set.

There are many different and effective ways to employ mechanical drop sets for both upper body and lower body work. Here are eight of the best, along with examples for each.
Read the whole article.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Maryann Reid - 15 Things That Introverts Would Never Tell You


I don't agree with all of this, and I speak from the experience of nearly 47 years as an introvert. However, most of her points are roughly accurate.

It's particularly difficult for male introverts - men are supposed to be outgoing, gregarious, and assertive. It's possible for introverts to be assertive with a little practice, but we are not likely ever going to be outgoing and the rest of it.

However, we are loyal friends, as long as you don't mind long gaps between lunch dates. And we are good thinkers, writers, researchers, and - believe it or not - therapists.

15 Things That Introverts Would Never Tell You

March 24 by Maryann Reid

Introverts get a bad rap in a world that celebrates extroversion and “people-persons”. There are things introverts wish you knew about them that would help any relationship or situation. For instance, we are not anti-social or depressed, we’re just different. In fact, many envy us for our self-contained, cool manner that keeps others calm, focused, and safe. People love us, in secret. As introverts, we have many “ways” that only our closest friends understand. Here are several things about introverts you may not know. 
We don’t care about your birthday.

Any introvert who works in an office knows how it feels to be hustled for birthday cake money. It makes us squirm when a random office person cheerily volunteers that it happens to be their birthday. We think they expect us to respond with like enthusiasm and interest, and maybe even accept their invitation to join them for drinks with a group of about 300 other random people to celebrate. Three hundred is a bit of an exaggeration, but feels that way to an introvert who just wants to go home. If you don’t invite us, we’re not offended. We’re relieved.

We don’t need you to care about our birthday.
Yeah, we don’t. We have friends who genuinely know us and care, if we care. However, an interesting thing about introverts, is some don’t need to celebrate it. We’re okay with quietly honouring the day on our own or with a group of friends we’ve carefully selected. We don’t have to let the world know.

We are not really listening as you recount your weekend.

Unless you are part of our circle of friends, we don’t care what you did last weekend. We are of the mind that everyone has a right to privacy, and if you chose to spend it in a drunken stupor or beating down the door of your ex, then that is up to you. We don’t judge, and find it takes too much energy to give it to people we don’t know. Just because we work with you, that doesn’t mean we know you.

We hate crowds.

Large groups of people make us tired. All the stimulation of having so many different types from all walks of life can make us a little woozy. Some introverts are empaths, so they tend to take on the energy of others easily. We sometimes feel like we “know” everyone in the room and get easily overwhelmed with the swirl of activity.

We don’t really like networking events.

This is especially hard for introverts who run a business. Networking makes us feel like we have to perform. We struggle to say the right thing and listen attentively. We don’t really care since we don’t know you. Even in business, we have to feel connected to someone on another level to get the most out of a networking type of event. This takes time, and choosing the right event, and coming up with a plan to offer value to others, while getting some for ourselves.

We force ourselves to act like we like you.

This is the nasty truth. We know who we like and don’t. It can stem from many reasons that can have its roots in childhood to what we ate for breakfast this morning. Don’t take it personally. We appreciate honesty, and sometimes it hurts. To survive, we have to supersede these feelings and be nice. Nice can be harder than being real.

We know how to get stuff done.

We pack our alone time with activities–projects, phone calls, emails, rough drafts and blueprints for world takeover of our next big idea (which we have lots of). We value solitude because it lets us experiment with new concepts, plan and stretch our imagination. Anything is possible when we spend time alone, and what we create may change our lives, and yours, too.

We like to write things out.
We love email because it helps us get what we need without interruptions. Interruptions throw us off course, and we need to expend more energy to get back on track. So, please don’t call unless it is a close-ended question.

We feel safe with the right people.

When we have the right people in our lives, we give our all. We give our best selves. We become protective warriors who will fight almost any cause for someone we love. Just ask our friends. We blossom in the right company, and shine. It takes us time to find the right people, and when we do, we don’t hold back.

We do have friends, who really like us.

Introverts like people, and people like us. Most introverts have no issue with hanging out in groups, and spending time with others. If we have friends, it’s because we consciously chose them. We’ve put effort into the relationship, and our friends know that. We go to bars, parties, and meet new people. The difference is that not everyone we meet becomes a friend.

We can do the extrovert thing, for a while.

We have to do that to get along. We can be the life of the party, host the networking event, and be the chairperson of the charity. We do this willingly, knowing that at the end of the day we can go home. When we get there, it may take days, or weeks to replenish ourselves, and feel ready to do that again.

We are not shy, rude or uptight.

At first, we may seem that way. Get to know us, and we can actually make you laugh, and hold a conversation that lasts more than 15 minutes. The thing is, we don’t share this with everyone. Being “social” or “sociable” is an option, not a way of being. We can’t fake happy or excited really well, and we show what we think on our face, not as much in our words.

We are okay alone.

We have lots going on in our heads and don’t need more. Unlike our extrovert counterparts, we don’t need others for stimulation. We’re constantly working out life in our heads. We entertain ourselves with creative projects and know how to take ourselves out for a good time. More people, means more stuff to deal with, and we’ve got enough of our own energy to hold.

We hate small talk.

We’re thinkers, and we relish conversations about big ideas, theories and ideals. We rarely get into small talk and do so comfortably.

We make a choice to be with you–appreciate it.

We value our alone time and are picky about who we let in. Letting in the wrong person will drain us, leaving nothing for ourselves. We tend to attract extroverts who suck our energy, and search out likeminded introverts for our groundedness, deep thinking and sense of control. We appreciate our time with other introverts and have an understanding of each other’s limits and boundaries.

Maryann Reid

Maryann Reid, a catalyst for self-empowerment and award-winning author of several books published by St. Martins Press, has a passion for writing stories that unveil the lives of gutsy women on the brink of self-discovery or disaster. Find out more about her at or her latest novel, This Life at

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Paul Rosenberg on David Brooks’ and Chuck Todd's Twisted Rhetoric on Obama's “Manhood Problem" (Salon)

This kind of nonsense is infuriating. Because President Obama does not want to engage militarily with Russia to force them out of the Ukraine, then somehow Obama is not really an "alpha male" (Todd) and has a "manhood problem" (Brooks).

For perspective, this is what Steve Benen noted at Maddowblog noted about Obama's use of force as president:
It was this president who escalated the use of force against al Qaeda; it was this president that launched the mission that killed bin Laden; it was this president who increased the use of predator drones to strike at terrorist suspects (including killing Americans affiliated with al Qaeda living abroad); it was this president who helped assemble an international coalition to strike at the Gadhafi regime in Libya; and on and on.
Far from being a pacifist based on this record. Perhaps his rhetoric is not he cowboy bravado we
heard from Bush, or that we are getting from Putin, but talk is cheap. Bush bungled the whole 9/11 response, and Obama has cleaned up the mess, and in fact has taken even broader steps in the futile "war on terror."

In fact, Obama has been so willing to use force that does not endanger American soldiers that the far left in this country (what there is of it) has called him a thug - which is white code for a scary black man.

When one is a pragmatist and a realist, looking often for the middle way through conflict, neither side is going to support such an agenda - the conservatives brand him unmanly and the liberals brand him a brutish man. It's a no-win public image war, so one might as well do what he things is best.

David Brooks’ twisted “manhood”: Questioning Obama’s masculinity isn’t just racist, it’s wrong

Obama foreign policy's rooted in successful realist tradition. Questioning his manhood is rooted in white supremacy

Paul Rosenberg |

Chuck Todd, David Brooks (Credit: NBC News/AP/Nam Y. Huh)

This just in: New York Times columnist David Brooks and NBC’s Chuck Todd want you to know that President Obama has “a manhood problem” — or at least the appearance of one. That’s the conclusion the two white men reached on “Meet the Press” on Sunday (transcript), following comments by another white man, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Corker warned, “I think we’re going to lose eastern Ukraine,” which would be “a geopolitical disaster,” resulting from “an era of permissiveness the U.S. has created around the world.”

But that perception doesn’t only belong to Republicans. No, it was international, Brooks claimed:
Basically since Yalta we’ve had an assumption that borders are basically going to be borders and once that comes into question if in Ukraine or in Crimea or anywhere else, then all over the world all bets are off. And let’s face it, Obama, whether deservedly or not, does have a — I’ll say it crudely — but a manhood problem in the Middle East. (editor’s note: the bolding is ours) Is he tough enough to stand up to somebody like Assad or somebody like Putin? I think a lot of the rap is unfair but certainly in the Middle East there is an assumption that he’s not tough enough.
And Todd asserted that the Obama administration itself shared this perception:
By the way, internally, they fear this. You know, it’s not just Bob Corker saying it, okay, questioning whether the president is being alpha male. That’s essentially what he’s saying: He’s not alpha dog enough. His rhetoric isn’t tough enough. (blogger's note: bolding is mine) They agree with the policy decisions that they’re making. Nobody is saying– but it is sort of the rhetoric. Internally this is a question.
Here’s the video:

Of course, Todd provided no sourcing for this claim. He wouldn’t be an insider if he didn’t depend on sources he can’t name. It’s such a manly way to do politics, sniping from the shadows.

There’s so much BS involved here, one hardly knows where to start. Because it can cloud out everything else, it’s best to hold back the black masculinity aspect, and start with foreign policy facts. First off, as Steve Benen noted at Maddowblog, the assumption Obama is “not tough enough” flies in the face of “overwhelming evidence to the contrary,” even using Brooks-approved standards:
It was this president who escalated the use of force against al Qaeda; it was this president that launched the mission that killed bin Laden; it was this president who increased the use of predator drones to strike at terrorist suspects (including killing Americans affiliated with al Qaeda living abroad); it was this president who helped assemble an international coalition to strike at the Gadhafi regime in Libya; and on and on.

If you knew literally nothing about the last five years, you might hear this chatter about “manhood” and “alpha males” and assume that President Obama was a pacifist, reluctant to use military force under any circumstances. But given what we know about what actually happened over the last five years, the scuttlebutt is just bizarre.
What Obama actually is — Surprise! Surprise! — is a foreign policy realist, which is to say he belongs to the sober mainstream of U.S. foreign policy thinking since World War II. The realists stand in stark contrast to the neocons, along with their deluded sidekicks, the liberal hawks. As Stephen Walt explained last week in Foreign Policy, realists have often come off as doves, because war is almost always a bad idea from a levelheaded realist perspective, particularly for a superpower as dominant as the U.S. has been since 1945.

“For realists, international politics takes place in a dog-eat-dog world, where states keep a wary eye on potential rivals and constantly seek ways to improve their own positions,” Walt wrote, but he goes on to outline “four obvious reasons why realists are inclined to be dovish, especially here in the United States.” The first is that “realism encourages close attention to the material elements of power,” which have favored the U.S. ever since the end of World War II. During the Cold War, Walt notes, “The Soviet economy was much smaller and less efficient than America’s and its allies were also less powerful or reliable than ours.” We were sure to prevail in the long run, provided we didn’t undo ourselves “through bloated defense budgets or foolish foreign adventures.” Putin’s Russia, obviously, is far less powerful than the Soviet Union. The realist logic is stronger than ever.

Walt’s second point is the realist belief that “states tend to balance against threats rather than bandwagon with them.” Faced with clear-cut aggression, it’s relatively easy to pull together a strong coalition — become the aggressors, even just arguably, and the logic reverses against you. Hence, realists “understood that other states might take various steps to counter the United States if it threw its own weight around too often or too carelessly.” What’s more, far from bolstering your credibility, belligerence could be counterproductive: “realists understood that wasting resources on pointless wars might actually undermine your credibility, especially if it left the nation weaker or war-weary.”

Walt’s third point is so obvious — “[R]ealists also understand that war was an unpredictable business, and even powerful states sometimes blunder into costly conflicts” — that it only needs a one-word explication: Vietnam.

But Walt’s fourth point may be the most telling, for situating foreign policy in a domestic political framework: “[R]ealists are less prone to demonize opponents because they recognize that all states face competitive pressures and that most countries will act ruthlessly in order to protect their interests.”

For conservatives, however, demonizing opponents, and implicating them all in each other’s bad deeds, is the whole point, the very essence of their tribal politics. After 9/11, neocons came to the fore because their enemy “other” was most readily demonized — even if Saddam Hussein was actually bin Laden’s bitterest ideological foe. Things have changed a lot since then, as other demonizing frameworks have been deployed against Obama. A favorite one — Obama himself as Hitler — clashes violently with the notion of Obama as an incompetent weakling. But demonizing narratives don’t have to be consistent, so long as they are consistently frightening to the point that rational thought becomes impossible. And that’s what we see from conservatives today.

The racial aspect adds another dimension. Obama’s entire political career has been defined by pushing back against the “threatening, black alpha-male” stereotype. Conciliation, not confrontation, is not just his style, but the core of his substance as well. The slightest break from this stance can trigger immediate backlash — as was seen in the knee-jerk response to his comment saying police acted “stupidly” when they arrested Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates for trespassing in his own home. Since then, conservative activists and media have manufactured countless similar offenses as Obama has consistently failed to produce them himself. He has a “deep-seated hatred of white people,” as Glenn Beck alleged, without a scintilla of evidence, when Obama held his “beer summit” to atone for his momentary lapse of inconvenient truth-telling. And that has been the right-wing narrative subtext ever since. But the textual evidence has been virtually nonexistent, because Obama’s personality and his politics have been so deeply wedded to compromise and conciliation.

Now, suddenly, it’s possible for conservatives to finally admit Obama’s not a dictatorial tyrant — now that they’ve found a way to hold it against him!

This swift reversal should not be surprising. White male anxiety about black manhood has always been so deeply irrational that it can switch polarities multiple times in a single racist rant. On a much larger, historical scale, in ”Darwin’s Athletes,” one of the most striking reversals John Hoberman notes came about when blacks first began demonstrating their athletic prowess. Before that, white supremacy had been asserted across the boards — whites were superior to blacks in every way — mentally, physically, morally, spiritually. But when top black athletes emerged to disprove that, white supremacy reconfigured itself: Brute physical superiority was suddenly equated axiomatically with inferiority in every other realm.

Naturally, that’s been a problem for white manhood ever since — even without considering the long history of top black scholar athletes, from Paul Robeson to Richard Sherman. The more that physicality, per se, is demonized in the black male, the more problematic it becomes for white males asserting their own masculine identities, particularly their power over women. This inherent, largely buried contradiction lies close to the core of the GOP’s current problems, simultaneously losing the votes of women and minorities in a long demographic decline.

Faced with this reality, the GOP has no choice. No matter how riddled with contradictions it may be, faulting Barack Obama for his performance of masculinity is the only possible move Republicans have left. And if they can get away with it on “Meet the Press,” then who’s to say they’re wrong?

Paul Rosenberg is a California-based writer/activist, senior editor for Random Lengths News, and a columnist for Al Jazeera English. Follow him on Twitter at @PaulHRosenberg. 

More Paul Rosenberg.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Omnivore - A Manhood Problem (and a Rebuttal to Hanna Rosin)

Silhouette of young man looking up.

Here is another feast of links form Bookforum's Omnivore blog - this time all of the links are related to men, masculinity, social gender theory, and other related topics - some interesting articles.

One of the articles linked below, by Hanna Rosin (The End of Men) is adapted from her opening statement at the Munk Debate, “Resolved: Men Are Obsolete,” held in Toronto. In it she offers a list of reasons supporting her contention that men are obsolete (not in a biological sense, but in a social constructivist sense).

Here are her five evidence points:
ONE: It’s the end of men because men are failing in the workplace [curator: and in education].
TWO: It’s the end of men because the traditional household, propped up by the male breadwinner, is vanishing.
THREE: It’s the end of men because we can see it in the working and middle class.
FOUR: It’s the end of men because men have lost their monopoly on violence and aggression.
FIVE: It’s the end of men because men, too, are now obsessed with their body hair.
These are weak points aside from number one. Point two is relevant, but not necessarily a bad thing if the men are still involved in raising their kids (but they often aren't).

Once again, as I have argued before, this is not the end of men any more than the 60s and 70s was the end of women. Men are in a transitional space as far as our role in society, and how we navigate this transition will determine whether men evolve into greater care and compassion, or retrench themselves in traditional, domination models of masculinity. How women engage this transition will make all of the difference.

A manhood problem

Apr 21 2014

Monday, April 21, 2014

White Male Privilege Squandered On Job At Best Buy

From The Onion, America's Finest News Source. Apparently, white male privilege is not all it's cracked up to be . . . .

White Male Privilege Squandered On Job At Best Buy

ISSUE 50•16 • Apr 21, 2014

HAMILTON, OH—Despite being the beneficiary of numerous societal advantages and having faced little to no major adversity throughout his life, local man Travis Benton has spent the last four years squandering his white male privilege on a sales floor job at Best Buy, sources confirmed Tuesday. “You can get by with a regular HDMI cable, but if you’re looking at a length longer than 10 feet, I’d go with a gold-tipped one,” said the man dressed in a bright blue polo shirt and pin-on name tag as he continued to fritter away such innate life advantages as greater access to higher education, leniency from the justice system, and favorable treatment from other white males who lead and make hiring decisions at a disproportionately high number of American companies. “The AudioQuest gold-tip is actually the cable I use in my own home entertainment center and it provides excellent audio and video clarity, plus it comes with a full five-year warranty, unlike the 90-day warranty of a bargain brand. For your money, you’re not going to find a better cable.” At press time, the man born into the world’s most affluent and privileged socioeconomic group was spending his 15-minute break silently consuming a sleeve of Donettes purchased out of a vending machine.

This Is What Real Men Do

This is what real men do. Watch what happens in under 30 seconds. Best PSA ever? Apparently, this was made by University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication students. They have just won the prestigious Peabody Award, deservedly!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Date and Acquaintance Rape - Presentation Version and Full Version


Here is the presentation (shorter version as presented and a longer version) I gave at the Tucson YWCA yesterday as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. These are hosted by SlideShare.

I posted this at Integral Options Cafe but, as I discuss in the presentation, we need to spend more time educating boys and men on treating women with respect, not on teaching women how not to get raped. Teaching women to be afraid of men is not the answer - and it's clearly not working.

Full presentation:

Presentation as given at the YWCA:

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fitness Friday - Fitness News and Information You Can Use

For this week's Fitness Friday, we have an article on workout nutrition (before, during, and after), another opinion on Crossift, two articles from T-Nation - one on squatting, the other on shoulders - and we finish with an article from on core work.

First up, from Brian St. Pierre at Precision Nutrition, here is the newest thinking on workout nutrition, pre-, peri-, and post-. John Berardi, founder of Precision Nutrition, helped Biotest design some of the earliest effective post-workout nutrition products, and he has continued working in this realm ever since.

Workout nutrition: What to eat before, during, and after exercise

By Brian St. Pierre

We all know that what you eat is important. But what about when you eat? Especially if you’re active?

In this article, we’ll review the evidence on workout nutrition and give you practical recommendations for what to eat before, during, and after exercise.

Quick summary

By eating a healthy, well-considered meal 1-2 hours before exercise, and another healthy, well-considered meal within 1-2 hours after exercise, most people can meet their workout nutrition needs without anything else.

In other words:

If you’re a healthy person who exercises regularly, you probably don’t need special workout nutrition strategies.

Athletes have special needs

Of course, if you’re…
  • An endurance athlete. You train for high-level competition. You log a lot of high intensity miles each week. For you, carbohydrate and calorie needs are likely higher. You could add a protein + carbohydrate (P+C) drink during your training.
  • Training as a bodybuilder. You lift weights with serious muscle growth in mind. You want to gain weight. Your protein and calorie needs are likely higher. You could also add a protein + carbohydrate (P+C) drink during your training.
  • Getting ready for a fitness competition. You accumulate a lot of exercise hours. You’re trying to drop to a single-digit body fat percentage. For you, carb intake should be lower. You’d benefit from the performance-enhancing, muscle-preserving branched-chain-amino acids (BCAA) during your training.
Here’s a handy table that outlines our recommendations by goal and by body type.
Read the whole article.

* * * * *

Here is another opinion on Crossfit, since everyone seems to have one. This time it's Dr. Jose Antonio, a well-known research in sports science.

CrossFit – My Fiddy Cents

By Jose Antonio PhD FISSN

I’ve been asked so much about CrossFit that I figured I’d share my fiddy cents worth. Now mind you, naysayers have suggested to me that “if you haven’t tried CrossFit, then you shouldn’t criticize it.” WTF? That’s the dumbest thing (okay, not the dumbest, but it’s in my top 25) I’ve ever heard. So let me use that sterling logic. If I can’t run a 9.9 sec 100 meter dash, then I can’t comment on sprinting. If I haven’t actually finished a marathon in 2 hr 30 min or less, then I can’t comment on that either. So only those who climb Mt Everest have an understanding of altitude physiology? And if you want to compete in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, then I guess only dogs can comment on that. Those pre-conceived notions make about as much sense as fighting Mike Tyson with two arms tied behind your back. It’s just plain dumbass.

News Flash: if you understand the underlying physiology and biochemistry of any exercise or sport (i.e., overload, specificity, progression, etc), then you should be able to provide sound and evidence-based advice. It’s called SCIENCE.

Moving on.
Read the whole article.

* * * * *

Two articles from T-Nation this week, one is a brutal way to improve your squats, and the other is from Eric Cressey on how to build "bullet-proof" shoulders.

The 185 Rep Squat Workout 

by Dennis Weis

Here's what you need to know...

•  High-rep squats were once a staple of legendary bodybuilders. Why? Because they worked!

•  High reps improve cardiovascular function, muscular bulk and definition, articulation and mobility of joints, coordination, and mental toughness.

•  Leg specialization of this kind has a tremendous anabolic effect on other muscle groups as well. Bodybuilders have experienced a solid 1-inch gain on their upper arms, usually accompanied by a 10-pound muscle mass gain.
Pain. Suffering. Lactic-acid paralysis. Some workouts not only tax your muscles and trigger hypertrophy, they also challenge your mental toughness, testing your courage and even your character. This is one of those workouts.

High-rep leg specialization is a badge of hardcore bodybuilding and will shred you down to the essence of who you are. My personal bests over the years were 305 x 75, 405 x 27, and 455 x 15 at a bodyweight of 212-pounds or under.

The dramatic training results of many old-school bodybuilding stars such as Steve Reeves, Larry Scott, Reg Park (who did up to 50 reps per set), John Grimek, and many others, is undeniable proof of the benefits of high reps. High reps improve cardiovascular function, respiratory efficiency, muscular bulk and definition, articulation and mobility of joints, coordination, and endurance. With high-rep back squats, your mind has to play a big part too, because they're just too damn hard to do without full-throated commitment.
Read the whole article.

* * * * *

How to Build Bulletproof Shoulders

by Eric Cressey

Here's what you need to know...
•  Landmine presses are an effective "middle of the road"exercise between overhead work and true horizontal pressing exercises.

•  If you're dead-set on returning to barbell overhead pressing as you come back from a shoulder injury, test the waters with a bottoms-up kettlebell variation first.

•  Athletes need to earn the right to train lats. You aren't allowed to do pull-ups or pulldowns until you pass the back-to-wall shoulder flexion test. No exceptions allowed.

•  Don't train the rotator cuff to failure. Fatigue is your enemy when you're trying to establish a strong and effective rotator cuff.
A lot of athletes refer to me as the "Shoulder Guy." This is probably because I've personally evaluated more than 3,000 shoulders. With that experience comes a lot of new expertise in the shoulder arena. Below, you'll find three examples of new things we're doing to keep shoulders healthy and performing at high levels.
Read the whole article. By the way, for those who remember him, that is Lee Priest in the picture above. He used to advocate 25 sets of biceps curls in magazine articles (Flex usually). Insanity for anyone not loaded to the gills on steroids and growth hormone.

* * * * *


8 Moves For A Crazy-Strong Core

by Ben Bruno Apr 09, 2014


Many compound lifters scoff at abdominal exercises and argue that heavy squats and deadlifts work the core sufficiently. I think this is a mistake. Sure, the core gets taxed during heavy compound movements, but it's often the hidden weak link and limiting factor that keeps lifters from reaching new PRs.

In other words, a stronger core inevitably leads to bigger lifts. If it helps, think of it this way: Squats and deadlifts work the glutes and hamstrings a hell of a lot, but most serious lifters still do supplemental posterior chain work. Why should the core be any different?

There's a catch, though. Crunches, basic planks, and side planks aren't going to provide the stimulus necessary for strong lifters to get stronger, because they're simply too easy. You need to challenge yourself with difficult, high-tension core exercises to see improvement across the board.

Here are eight demanding exercises to take both your abdominal strength and your overall strength to the next level!

Read the whole article.