5 for friends 9/30

Quote: “Once a year, go someplace, you’ve never been before.” – Author unknown. I’m not sure when I first heard this piece of advice; likely it was during High School around my Senior year. But, with that mantra it has spurred meditating underwater falls, exploring underwater-cave systems, and even finding out that gator really does taste like chicken.

Book currently reading: Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance by Alex Hutchinson
More or less always has been on my reading list, as it does cover what the physical limits of humans are and how thinking is the most significant moderator or what limits or expands our capacity. 

Article worth a read: How to Craft a Perfect Email My guilty pleasure as an adult is scouring LifeHacker for essential tips on how to be a human in the real world. Today’s article hit me in a big way after handwriting letters, and interpretative dance email is my favorite mode of communication. Mostly because of the asynchronous nature I can pour a stream of consciousness out and can whittle away the excess and eventually understand what I mean around the same time as I hit send. Despite the ads more often than not this was a reminder of what I should be looking for and can speak to the contender for Quote of the week: Writing is 80% organizing your thoughts 20% actual writing. From Malcolm Gladwell, whose new book will be arriving at my door soon. 

Small Purchase: In the grand scheme of things, I question how small is my purchase; because it relates to the most excellent game of all time Magic: The Gathering and my decades-spanning collection. To the point over the weekend, I went to my local game store to play in the pre-release event for Throne of Eldraine (the 82nd expansion). For the small cost of a trip to the movies with popcorn, I spent my Friday evening with great friends of mine that I have not had time to see in months. The gameplay and format have been the best I’ve seen since my all-time favorite set from 2014 (Khans of Tarkir). $25 paid for just over 4 hours of pizza, exciting games of magic, and stories of harrowing victories and defeats we could still laugh about all night. 

What am I working on:  This month continuing in alignment with my goal of training to complete a Spartan Beast (last piece of the Trifecta) without too many injuries. So, my 3rd month at the Hive has my body starting to adapt to the high volume of reps under heavy load. With my increasing aerobic capacity and marginal strength gains, things are coming up Milhouse! Month 4 is my time for putting together my ever-improving endurance and will power to finally tackling the often neglected skill gymnastics.

Slowly but surely each WOD or trip to the globe-o gym will include 1 or more bodyweight movement. The aim is to work on pacing and strengthening my core and stabilizer muscles.  

2min bike
10 Hang Power Cleans
10 OHS
10 Kip Swings
10 Alt. Step Ups
Lateral Burpees
Overhead Squat OHS (95/65)
Chest to Bar Pullups C2B

5 step diet plan *revisit*

Today I am revisiting a one-shot blog post on the topic of dieting, a subject I am always finding something new about so never feel I can adequately cover. In the style of Tim Grover no one is more important than the other, so they are all no.1. 

Recently a friend coming to me, pain in their eyes as they said, “Aqueel, I need to get with you to work on a nutrition plan. I’m sick and tired of being fucking fat!” My usual apathy and distracted nature couldn’t ignore his knee that was visibly swollen, angry, and red. I still gave my generic prepared response, “Please get in touch with X, who is much more qualified in the field of nutrition than I am.” Since then and several days of being mauled by my guilt of inaction; here are the distilled method for creating a diet that will never make you feel like you’re on a diet ever again.

Still feeling the sting of their words and knowing what it’s like not having the body you once remembered today’s thoughts aren’t going to be validated by science journal, for the sake of time… and laziness, but will have greater efficacy than my usual training advice “Just train more.” and with that I defer to the favorite format of the internet: lists!


What we gain from eating breakfast, more significant than the dubious studies that suggest it’s a great way to kickstart your metabolism; is think of it as a timestamp and a habit that successful athletes, CEOs, and even jerks on the internet like me can do which frames the rest of your day. “Most important meal of the day” is correct because no matter what time you wake up regularly you have to break your fast eventually. So, if for the next four weeks (or any other pop psychology study length of time that determines how long it takes to establish a habit) shove food in your gullet after you wake up. More so before you get sidetracked with the rest of your day and rationalize stopping at Taco Bell on the way to work.


Eight 8oz glasses of water a day is the accepted convention, and I find no fault with this. However, when we take a moment to think about this and remember how often you see me (or other mindful, fit people) walking around with a gallon jug of water or canteen. Here’s why: I have to be reminded to drink water, or I won’t remember. Moreover, like many of you getting up for water is terrible for my workflow. The solution 8x8oz=64oz the magic number so while at the gym bring a gallon jug (128oz) or for my desk, a 32oz canteen to fill up twice and I hit my water goal, for the day.


Before getting meta with this entry, the simple reason is once again behavioral. In America, we have terrible portions. Too large if you were unaware, and people generally will end up eating an extra 280 calories in chips/fries, starchy carbs and trans fats that are beyond necessary. Start your second and third meal of the day with a simple salad or extra serving of greens; not because it is the historically popular option. It is so you feel better about eating your vegetables, and it pairs well with many popular meal options. In addition to curving your desire to obliterate that giant burrito of your daydreams.


Don’t merely willpower through skipping the cookies, extra brownies, or one more mixed drink during happy hour because you deserve it. You deserve to hit your goals, so level up your strategy by setting rules for yourself to make it easy to say no to the extra sweets. (Like the laugh factory you can have a two-drink minimum, that can also be your maximum.)


I’ve attempted to save the most straightforward and most challenging step for last. Challenging since it is easy to put off and become distracted by the deluge of information that comes when searching for: what is a ‘Marcos calculator’ and ‘What are my Macros.’ Only that is the task enter your height, weight, level of activity and have churned out a guideline of how many grams of protein, fat, and carbohydrates your body requires to stay alive. Adjust the numbers as recommended if individual goals are to lose or gain weight.