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Breitling reinvents the connected watch firmly geared towards performance. Every inch an instrument of the future, the Exospace B55 multifunction electronic chronograph pushes the boundaries of comfort, ergonomics and efficiency. The titanium case of this compendium of innovations houses an exclusive SuperQuartzTM caliber chronometer-certified by the COSC and featuring a range of original functions tailor-made for pilots and men of action. Welcome to the world of precision, feats and high-tech sophistication. Welcome to the vanguard of instruments for professionals.




GNC, Vitamin Shoppe and Amazon

Pure is where passion meets purpose. Where head meets heart meets hustle. Pure is why we keep out lactose, gluten, and preservatives. And pack it with protein from 100% Whey Protein Isolate. For those who choose a life that doesn’t just match their drive for fitness, it demands it.

WEIGHTLESS WARMTH WHEREVER DANIEL WOODS Men’s THERMOBALL™ Hoodie Joshua Tree National Park, California Photo byTim Kemple

Ultralight warmth for any activity

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Down alternative


Former Men’s Health cover guy Owen McKibbin, still flying high at 53.


02.17 Attack the New Year! Use our plan to jumpstart your healthy 2017.

98 Lose Fat Fast See how these MH cover models built their camera-friendly bodies. BY JOE KITA


The MetaShred Secret That massive guy on this month’s cover? That’s MH fitness director BJ Gaddour. See how he trains.

106 Best Foods for Men Fill your kitchen with good stuff. BY PAUL KITA

114 Recover from Any Breakup Move on from whatshername. BY JEFF VRABEL

118 Zen for Men We put the man in mantra. BY MICHAEL EASTER

126 Stay Young Forever Flip the calendar, feel better! BY JULIE STEWART


January/February 2017 | 5


Useful Stuff




20/ 12 Months of Adventure! We’ve mapped out your best year yet. BY JEN MURPHY

24/ The Ultimate Game-Day Dip Add this to your Super Bowl party’s starting lineup. 26/ Pain-Proof Your Shoulders One move can shore up your weak spots. 32/ Belly Off! Club This pizza lover lost over 100 pounds. 36/ Listen to This! 3 best wireless buds.


Health 85/ 9 Drugstore Deals Find more than vitamins and prescription pills. BY CHELSEA RATCLIFF

94/ How to Sleep with Her Bedroom strategies for better z’s. BY DAN ROE

Food 55

55/ Eat Like Doctors Do And you’ll visit them less often. BY BRITTANY RISHER

64/ Sugar Detox Wean yourself off the white stuff.

88/ Care for Your Colon Screening is easy. Really! BY JULIE STEWART

90/ Is Your Liver Cooked? This organ can be a ticking time bomb. Disarm it now. BY AIMEE SWARTZ

46/ Hard Abs Made Easy This simple tool is used by some of the world’s strongest men. 132/ Get Back in Shape A taste of our revolutionary new plan, MetaShred Extreme. BY BJ GADDOUR

6 | January/February 2017

Weight Loss 70/ Slim Down for Good Our beginner’s guide is the last weight-loss plan you’ll ever need. BY JEANINE DETZ

STYLE Cold Comfort A multi-layer plan for looking good in harsh winter weather. PAGE 77 A Dirty Secret The surprising ingredient behind better skin, teeth, and hair. PAGE 83

ON THE COVER BJ Gaddour, photographed by David Yellen. Styling by Brian Boyé, grooming by Isaac Davidson/ Kiehl’s Facial Fuel/Wilhelmina Artists, hair by Frederic Boudet/ Celik Beauty hair products/Bryan Bantry Inc. Solid & Striped trunks.

Clock wise from top lef t: R ALPH SMITH , Glenn Glasser/Galler y Stock , SAM K APL AN , BEN RIT TER , BEN GOLDSTEIN


34/ That’s What She Said Actress Priyanka Chopra reveals her biggest turn-ons.

The Prescription News you can use from the Men’s Health team of expert advisors.




Erase Chronic Pain

Schedule Better Sleep

Pump Up Your Protein

Many men live with daily pain. That’s why I’m excited about a field called neuromodulation. To treat pain, a physician places small wires on top of the spinal cord or along certain nerves. When the device is activated, mild electrical pulses go to the nerves, blunting their ability to transmit pain signals to the brain. The procedure takes a few hours, but the relief lasts months.

Schedules are important for your mind and body. A recent study suggests that if you eat meals at the same time every day, your body prepares for them. So if you have a daily sugary treat at the same time, your body might actually diminish the negative effects. Similarly, you sleep best if you keep a consistent schedule. I set a timer on my TV to make sure I stay on schedule.

Good news for grillmasters: To maximize muscle growth, we need to eat more protein at every meal than we previously thought. Before, the threshold was about 25 grams of protein, but a recent study suggests that 40 grams is better. Eating protein is one of the best ways to grow and maintain muscle. Eat a 5-ounce sirloin or chicken breast and you’re there.

Paul Christo, M.D., is a specialist in pain medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

W. Christopher Winter, M.D., is medical director of the Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center.

Alan Aragon, M.S., maintains a private practice designing fitness programs for athletes.

Your backpack holds gym gear; his held his heart.

New Heart, New Mission

8 | January/February 2017


“People assume that tooth decay only happens to kids. But it’s actually a big problem for all of us, all the time. I see patients in their 30s and 40s who get upset when they have cavities after not caring for their teeth. And don’t think because you have capped teeth that you won’t get cavities. All the factors that cause kids to get them affect adults too. If you don’t brush well with fluoride toothpaste, you’re going to get cavities. And steer clear of sugary drinks; if you want to splurge on one, drink it quickly so you don’t bathe your teeth in sugar for hours at a time.”

Mark Wolff, D.D.S., Ph.D., is a

professor and associate dean for predoctoral clinical education at New York University College of Dentistry. PH OTO G R A PH BY J ES S E B U R K E

S A M P E E T ( i c o n s) , J O E M c K E N D R Y ( p o r t r a i t)

Andrew Jones went from hospital bed to national TV on MH advisor Travis Stork’s show, The Doctors.

Four years ago, when Andrew Jones was 22, he was pursuing his goal to be a fitness model and bodybuilder. But those ambitions had to be put on hold when he started having trouble breathing during a run. “I felt like I was breathing through a sponge,” he says. It turned out to be myocarditis, a heart condition that for Jones was caused by a virus. It can be deadly, but his cardiologist told him it could also resolve itself. For him, it didn’t. Two years later, Jones was hospitalized and put on a transplant list. Then four months after that, he got a pacemaker and an artificial heart that he carried in a backpack. Still, Jones felt fortunate: He had his supportive family in Connecticut, a skilled medical team, and years of healthy living under his belt. That motivated him to start his nonprofit, Hearts at Large, with the mission to register more U.S. organ donors through education and by raising awareness. More than 100,000 Americans need an organ transplant, and each day 22 people die waiting for one. “Why wouldn’t you want to be a superhero?” he asks. In September, Jones was on the CBS show The Doctors with Travis Stork, M.D. “He lit up the room, despite having to tote around a backpack 24/7 that contained his artificial heart,” says Dr. Stork. “What excuse do we have not to get off the couch and live life to its fullest?” Jones will return to The Doctors with his new heart in the new year.

Get in touch with a different kind of remote.

Introducing the new Volkswagen Golf Alltrack with 4MOTION® all-wheel drive. Soon to be everywhere. When it comes to the moments we remember, how many take place in your living room? If you’re still trying to recall, perhaps it’s time to reacquaint yourself with a world beyond Wi-Fi, where the stunning beauty of a vista in front of you is not virtual reality but reality reality. The Golf Alltrack comes with 4MOTION all-wheel drive, Off-Road Mode, and enough turbocharged power to motivate you off the couch. Because happiness favors the spontaneous.

Optional accessories shown. Always ensure that your vehicle is equipped with appropriate tires and equipment and always adjust your speed and driving style to the road, terrain, traffic, and weather conditions. See Owner’s Manual for further details and important limitations. ©2016 Volkswagen of America, Inc.

MARIA RODALE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Matt Bean

Ronan Gardiner



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Rodale Inc. 400 South 10th St. Emmaus, PA 18098-0099 Men’s Health carries the very latest health, fitness, and nutrition reporting and taps the world’s foremost experts so you can be more knowledgeable about your health. But every body is different. Take what you read here as general information; individual diagnoses and treatments can come only from a health care practitioner.

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Ask Men’s Health Definitive Answers to Life’s Essential Questions HEALTH

When I first get out of bed, it seems like everything cracks—my neck, ankles, knees. Am I just getting old? JIM, PITTSBURGH, PA

It’s only your joints preparing for the day ahead. As you move during the day, bubbles form in the fluid that lubricates your joints, says Greg Kawchuk, Ph.D., D.C., a professor of rehabilitation medicine at the University of Alberta. When they collapse, you hear them pop. It’s a harmless phenomenon—and it might even help your joints glide as you move. Now if a joint cracks every time you move it, that’s different; it could be a tendon snapping against a bone as the result of an injury, a change in your workout routine, or a muscle imbalance. Ask a physical therapist or doctor for advice. Finally, if every pop is painful, talk to your doctor; it could be a sign of arthritis, but know that cracking joints don’t appear to cause the condition. STYLE

For years I’ve had a huge crack in my fingernail. Can I get rid of it? JACOB, DOVER, DE


Is fresh fish any healthier for me than the stuff I can grab in the frozen-food aisle? QUINTON, LAFAYETTE, LA

The cold, hard truth: It’s all pretty much frozen. Commercial fish operations flashfreeze their catch—often right on the boat—before sending it to distributors, who then decide whether it’ll stay frozen for purchase or be thawed and presented “fresh” by the retailer. Nutritionally there’s not much difference between the two. As for taste, the majority of people in a Japanese study either favored frozen fish or couldn’t tell the difference between fresh and frozen. (Repeated freezing and thawing can ruin texture and taste, though.) Bottom line? Buy it in any form, but just eat it. The average American man eats about 1¼ ounces of omega-3-rich fish a week, according to Nutrition Journal. That’s not even close to the 7 ounces the American Heart Association recommends. 12 | January/February 2017

No, but you can hide it with a little work. Remember, nails have roots just like hair and teeth. They’re hidden under your cuticles. A damaged root will show up as a defect—like a crack— that remains indefinitely. “If the irregularity runs lengthwise starting at the base of the nail, you can’t prevent a crack from forming in the future,” says dermatologist Dennis Gross, M.D. “But you can improve the way it looks.” Use your other fingers on that hand to try to pull the skin away from the nail. Hold it steady and lightly file the surface of the nail, stroking in the same direction as the crack. “Filing a nail sideways creates a zigzag pattern and can further damage the nail root,” says Dr. Gross. Finally, apply a clear topcoat or nail finish, such as the matte finisher from Essie ($9, ulta. com), to help hide the crack. PH OTO G R A PH BY S A M K A PL A N

Ask Men’s Health


I hate stretching, but I know I need to do it. Is there one move I can do that hits everything? JORDAN, WOODS CROSS, UT

Try the reverse lunge to hamstring stretch. “It stretches your hips, hamstrings, and lats and activates your glutes,” key areas to prep before any workout, says Kevin Larrabee, C.S.C.S., of Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Boston. To do it, stand with your feet together. Step back into a reverse lunge and raise your arms overhead, stretching your lats. Place your hands on each side of your front foot, raise your hips, and lift your front toes, stretching your front hamstring. Drop your back knee, stretching your back hip; return to the start. Repeat on the other leg.


My barber uses a straight razor on my neck, and I love the clean feeling. Is it safe to try on my face? SHAWN, ASPEN, CO

Well, how’s your driving, Shawn? Our favorite description of this manly skill comes from John Rivera, a master barber at The Art of Shaving. “Using a straight razor is like driving a car with a stickshift,” Rivera told us. “You have more control, but it requires more effort.” Before the advent of cartridge razors and, before that, basic safety razors, the straight blade was it. If you

want to use a straight razor at home for that smooth feel, you’ll have to lubricate your skin with shave oil before your cream goes on, and then stretch your skin taut so the blade can glide at a 35-degree angle without pulling on the whiskers. The nose of the blade can reach nooks under your nose and crannies around your Adam’s apple. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll get the closest shave and save a few bucks while you’re at it. “If you keep your blade clean and sharpen it every two or three shaves, it’ll last you a lifetime,” says Rivera.


Allergies can strike at any time, even if you have plenty of past experience cuddling cats. At least you’re in good company: Pet allergies affect about 16 percent of the U.S. population. But the only way to know if you’re one of them is through skinprick testing, says Cliff Bassett, M.D., medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York. Have a question? We’ve got answers! Ask at


My friend tagged along on his son’s job interview. Weird, right? But the kid got the job. Is that normal? ROY, PALO ALTO, CA

It’s not as strange as you might think. It’s an emerging trend, and many firms consider parental involvement in the hiring process to be best practice. “The parents wouldn’t necessarily answer the question but put more information on the table,” says Northwestern Mutual field internship director Michael Van Grinsven. At a minimum, coach your kids. A LinkedIn poll found that twothirds of professionals wished their parents offered more guidance. Just consider how involved you want to be. If you’re a helicopter type and the company seems tolerant, tag along. If not, then don’t. Professional development speaker Jeff Havens says showing up alone is a candidate’s first chance to show that they’re independent. 14 | January/February 2017

These days, when does a woman want a man to stand up for her—if at all? BILL, ATLANTA, GA

You may think things have changed in this department, but don’t overthink it. Sure, we want equal pay for equal work, but that doesn’t mean we want to fight all our battles alone. If your mother makes a backhanded remark about your wife’s parenting skills, step up and defend your wife. If some drunk creep in the bar is pestering your female friend, of course you should come to the rescue. It’s common decency. If you’re ever in doubt, just ask the woman if she wants help. There’s plenty she can handle on her own—but she’ll also be happy to know you’re on her side if she needs you.

What’s the most overrated sex position? ROGER, RENO, NV

That’s easy: reverse cowgirl. I know, I know, you love the view. But if you asked your partner, she’d probably call it more of a quad-building exercise than a sex position. Honestly, the angle is all wrong—not to mention terrifying. While she’s up there bopping around, she’s also stressing about whether you’re enjoying it (as she stares at the wall or your feet) and praying that she doesn’t snap you in two. That said, don’t feel you have to ban it from the playbook. Variety is hot! But the next time she assumes the position, just do her a favor and be extra vocal so she feels connected to you. Then switch over to doggy style before it becomes too uncomfortable.

P r o p s t y l i n g ( p r e v i o u s p a g e): S a r a h G u i d o / H a l l e y R e s o u r c e s; M a t t h e w S t a c e y / t h e l i c e n s i n g p r o j e c t . c o m ( p e a c h) , M a t t R a i n e y ( E a v e s) , P e t e r M . F i s h e r/ G e t t y I m a g e s (m a n a n d b o y)


I got hives from my buddy’s cat. I haven’t been around cats in a while, but this was the first time I ever had a reaction. Am I allergic?



Ask your doctor if a medicine made by Gilead is right for you. © 2015 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. UNBC1850 03/15

Jimmy the Bartender Straight-up advice on women, work, and other things that drive men crazy.

My wife’s turning into her mother, and it’s traumatizing me. How can I look past it? Paul, Austin, TX Traumatizing you? Oh, come on. Imagine your wife thinking you’re turning into your fat uncle Rudy, the one with the flatulence problem. Now imagine her still wanting to sleep with you. That’s what I’d call traumatizing. It’s too late for you now, but I always try to tell guys to read the fine print on the “for better or for worse” document. Roughly translated, it says, “Marry the woman, marry her DNA.”

My boss keeps scheduling meetings and then not showing up for them. Should I say something?

My buddy drinks when we ski. I’m afraid he’ll get hurt—or hurt somebody. What do I say? Neal, Baltimore, MD

Jimmy Calls BS on... 16 | January/February 2017

Overuse of the phrase “reach out.” This really gets to me—the cloying sanctimony and bogus empathy in a statement like “I reached out to her.” It’s pervy talk. Creepy. Try “reaching out” to a cop. Or Miss Indiana. You can reach out if you’re drowning, but if all you want to do is call somebody, then call. Otherwise, keep your hands to yourself.

My girlfriend’s father never lets me grab the tab. I feel like a freeloader. Any suggestions? Todd, Chandler, AZ Like so many other tight spots, good manners are the best lubricant. Next time, offer to pitch in. Once. He’ll say no because it pleases him to say that. Your job is not to diminish his pleasure any

You’ve been around awhile, Jimmy. Is there any advice you wish you could’ve given your 30year-old self? Thom, Brooklyn, NY Learn to think big but see small. When you’re 30 years old, you would not believe the dumb things that will end up mattering later— because when you’re 30, you truly can’t believe small stuff matters at all. Here’s my list: an extra pound or two, having just one more, the condom you left in the car, the white lie, the humiliating one-liner. But if you’re lucky enough to survive to my age, you realize that nothing matters except the small stuff. That big interview you blew when you were 28 years old? That’s nothing compared to the yellow light you’ll run when you’re 42.

Jimmy, how much money is enough? Dan, Boston, MA Money is easy because it’s easy to measure: Eat, sleep dry, buy gas, dress sharp, and you’re good. But try taking a kid who already owns 5,000 Barbies down the Barbie aisle in the toy store. When she catches a glimpse of the one Barbie she doesn’t own, she’ll explain loudly why she doesn’t have enough.

From top: Michelle Pedone, iStockphoto/Get t y Images, Ivan Bliznetsov/Get t y Images

What a crazy combination. People try all kinds of stuff to make drinking more stupid than it needs to be. Drinking and driving, drinking and flying airplanes, drinking and marriage. I mean, drinking too much always results in a certain level of falling-down brainlessness, right? So drinking too much on a slippery downslope virtually guarantees that you’ll end up plastered, literally. Tell your buddy that of all the dumb ways to spill a drink, doing it while skiing is the dumbest (next to drinking and skydiving), and that you’d prefer not to watch.

Robert, Raleigh, NC How about “Just fire me?” Unless he’s docking your pay for wasting your time, I don’t see what the problem is. Sometimes a customer will order a drink from me and then barely touch it. Fine with me. The boss is paying you for your time, right? If he’s wasting it, then his boss will let him know.

more than being his daughter’s touchy, competitive boyfriend already does. So after he insists, your lines are very few: “Thank you very much” says it all.

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Useful Stuff Tons of tips, tricks, and strategies for life. Edited by Jerilyn Covert

Start Your

Bucket list? Nah. This list is about living— our guide to a year of discovering your passions, learning new skills, and becoming a man of action. Open your calendar app— you’ve got some flights to book. By Jen Murphy

ADVEN My friend Jack once quit his job and declared the Summer of Jack. Single and in his 30s, he traveled the world to indulge his passions—music and sports. He went to Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, and Spain for the FIB music festival. He scored seats for Opening Day, the Kentucky Derby, the Indy 500, baseball in Tokyo, and rugby in Australia. His Instagram feed triggered next-level FOMO. Eventually he returned to work, but he has continued to fill every year with as much as possible. The Summer of Jack, he reminds envious friends, wasn’t about a bucket list but about things he loved to do. We can’t all quit our jobs, but we can embrace Jack’s philosophy of collecting lifealtering experiences. Start with our monthly game plan.

20 | January/February 2017


Watch ice climbers reach for the sky and then learn the skill yourself at the Ouray Ice Festival.



The world’s most fearless climbers come here to race up a nearly 175-foot frozen waterfall. But you can hone your own Spidey skills at beginner-friendly clinics in a spectacular mountainringed box canyon. In the evening, keep warm with live music, craftbeer-fueled parties, and Ouray’s famous natural hot springs. All-access pass $60, ourayice


This is the perfect gateway to yoga for guys. Wanderlust Oahu blends approachable classes (like restorative Yin yoga, taught by surfer and yogi Gerry Lopez) with biking, surfing, and other adventures along the North Shore and lectures from chefs, filmmakers, and more. At night, detox to retox at concerts featuring acts like Griz and Son Little. Tickets from $99, wanderlust. com/festivals/oahu


You’re not a cruise ship guy. Right? So hop aboard a 54-foot sailboat with Adventure Flow to explore southeast Alaska. Daylight lasts longer this time of year (about 12 hours), and it’s also the best time to see seals and enjoy the remote wilderness uninterrupted by tourists and passing luxury liners. Your guides, who double as photographers and chefs, will take you off the beaten path to paddleboard past Dawes Glacier, kayak the Ford’s Terror tidal bore, and traverse the Alaskan forest. Three-day trips from $850, January/February 2017 | 21

Useful Stuff And you thought a 5K would be easy.





This event melds music, sports, and volunteering. Highlights include aerial surf shows, paddleboarding races, spearfishing competitions, and beach cleanups. At night, enjoy seaside cookouts and live music on a rooftop lounge. From $10 for music tickets, challenges and exhibitions free to watch;


Flying with Gear? If you like to travel with your own toys, ship them with a service like Ship Sticks,, or Luggage Forward. Some work with FedEx and UPS and you might pay about half of what you’d be charged direct. If you’d rather rent, try Black Tie or Door 2 Door, both of which will deliver right to your hotel. Pack even less with GetOutfitted Plus; this service ships ski clothing and teams up with Ski Butlers to provide the latest gear, plus in-room ski and boot fitting at more than 20 resorts. Starting at $79 a day




A fondo is a group ride; a fondo is fun. This three-year-old series, founded by former pro cyclist Tyler Wren, fuels its riders with farm-fresh food, and plenty of it. Four distances, from an easy 11-mile ramble to a challenging 89-mile ride with nearly 5,000 feet of climbing, makes the Maine event accessible to all abilities. Finishers are rewarded with a lobster bake feast at Wolfe’s Neck Farm. $35 to $145,

Warm summer temperatures trigger insect hatching, which makes June an exceptional time to fly-fish the trout highways known as the Madison and Yellowstone rivers. Montana’s Last Best Outfitters will guide you to whopper rainbows and then send you off on a threebrewery tour of Bozeman with Tour de Foam. From $540 for two, 22 | January/February 2017

Planning an adventurous getaway? Don’t settle for photos. Track your hike using GPS, and then upload the route to, which will create a 3D model of the terrain and highlight your route. Pick from three sizes (we like the “big” 6-incher, about $165). Surprise your mate with the keepsake and display it as a reminder of your trip—and of what a thoughtful guy you are. (Works for a guy trip too—or your solo hike.)


MAY Sometimes a mud-free festival is preferable. The National’s Aaron Dessner picks the lineup, which in the past has featured the Shins, Sia, Kendrick Lamar, and Beck. New digs at Harvard’s Athletics Complex will allow for more acts, plus a film component curated by Harvard grad Natalie Portman. Price TBD,

How to Be a Model Partner

Learn to cook like a true Texan. A cowboy hat helps.

Skip the summer crowds. The weather is still warm enough to hike, bike, and raft, and Suttle Lodge & Boathouse in Deschutes National Forest makes an epic base for outdoor adventures. Revamped last year by Portland’s Ace Hotel team, the lodge rents kayaks and canoes, and boasts a beer garden and great cocktails. Cabins from $125, lodge rooms from $275;



This weekend-long workshop teaches urbanites how to light a fire without matches, build a shelter from natural materials, and navigate by the stars. You’ll even enhance your cooking repertoire with wilderness recipes like fruit pancakes from cattail flour. $319, destinationbackcountry

Master the flavors of West Texas at El Cosmico campground’s fifth annual Camp Cooking event. Host Lou Lambert, chef at Lambert’s Downtown Barbecue in Austin, will share his famous buttermilk biscuit recipe, wax poetic on beef grading, and teach the fine art of open-fire and Dutch oven cooking. Accommodations from $85, camp weekend price TBD;


December 29–31 Imagine if Ibiza’s top nightclubs invaded the Sierra Nevada Mountains and you’ll get the idea here. This multi-stage event combines performances from over 50 dance music artists (last year’s headliners included the Chainsmokers and Flume) with Big Air snowboard and ski demos. Post a photo of yourself at any of these events with the hashtag #MHadventure for a chance to appear on our Instagram account.

M i c h a e l C l a r k ( p r e v i o u s s p r e a d ) ; G a m e f a c e M e d i a I n c . ( m u d d y m a n ) , n i c e t r a i l s . c o m ( m a p ) , M i k e D i s k i n ( S i a ) , c o u r t e s y S p e c i a l i z e d ( b i k e ) , R e m y G o m e z c o u r t e s y o f T h e S u t t l e Lo d g e ( c h a i r s ) , J e n n i fe r B o o m e r ( La m b e r t ) , M o r g a n a S k e l t o n ( m e n )

Bored with the typical 5K? Rugged Maniac will cure that. This 26-city race (powered by Men’s Health) injects thrills into those 3.1 miles by adding 25 outrageous obstacles, from waterslides to trampoline jumps. The race day party includes beach volleyball, dancing, and beer. Dade City’s course, which runs along rolling lawns, huge oaks draped with Spanish moss, and beautiful water features, is by far the most scenic of the series. From $59,






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A Game-Changing Dip Build a better Super Bowl starter with help from dedicated tailgater Jason Dady, owner of Two Bros. BBQ Market in San Antonio. “It’s always the first dish to go if you do it right,” he says. Here’s his recipe.

Can’t-Miss Chip Shot “Nothing screws up a good dip like a bad chip,” says Dady. Serve yours with wavy potato chips or classic Fritos Scoops. Ridges and cup-like shapes help you get the bite to your mouth without a fumble.

Fresh Go wild with the toppings: shredded cheddar, diced tomato, diced onion, fresh cilantro, diced jalapeño. One must-have, says Dady, is shredded iceberg lettuce. “It gives the dip a crisp, fresh pop.” Tangy Keep the toppings in place with either sour cream or Greek yogurt. Slather it on and then, if you want, top it with Dady’s secret weapon: ranch dressing powder. Buttery Ripe avocados will stand out from the texture of the cream cheese and beans. “Add thin slices of ripe avocado as a middle layer. This will also support the ingredients that go on top.” Savory Raid your supermarket’s Mexican aisle for refried black beans. Unlike traditional refried pintos, says Dady, “they taste much better cold.” Creamy “You want a strong base that won’t get soggy,” says Dady. Go with whipped cream cheese, which is more dippable (and lower in calories) than the regular kind. Food styling: Jamie Kimm

24 | January/February 2017


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Green Tea Apple This quick energy booster is an antidote to dark winter months. Plus, you’ll take in some fruit without even knowing it.

How to Make It Blend all the ingredients with ¼ cup ice until smooth. Makes 1 serving Per serving 165 calories, 10g protein, 30g carbs (3g fiber), 2g fat

Shore UpYour Shoulders Shoulder pain? Do these moves. No shoulder pain? Do them anyway. Here’s why.

Adding one of these mobility-boosting moves to your routine will reduce your risk of shoulder injury and lessen any pain you’re already feeling, says Doug Kechijian, D.P.T., of Resilient Performance Physical Therapy in New York City. His favorite is the arm bar, but you should find the one that’s right for you.

Adapted from a recipe by Michael Schulson, Sampan restaurant, Philadelphia

What I Really Want for Valentine’s Day Sandra Nygaard, MH fashion director Personalized Ring Thoughtful trumps big spending every time. Engrave it with a secret pet name or inside joke. I like rose gold. $198, Salted Caramels Chocolates are cliché. Béquet’s handmade treats from Montana taste of fresh cream and sea salt. $11, Flannel Pajamas Skip the skimpy lingerie. This unlikely gift is like getting a nonstop hug. For a supersoft hug, spring for cashmere. $60,

T RY T H I S : A R M B A R



Start as you would for a getup: left leg straight, right leg bent (foot flat), a kettlebell in your right hand pressed over your shoulder. (Keep the bell here throughout.) Slowly roll left as you lift your right leg (still bent) and bring it over to your left side. You’ll end up on your side with your right leg on the floor. Do 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps per side.

Assume a pushup position with your hands in rings or TRX handles that are 6 to 12 inches above the floor. (The higher you go, the easier the move will be.) Try to keep your body perfectly straight from head to heels as you perform a pushup. Do 4 sets of as many reps as you can, stopping 2 reps short of failure.

Hang from a pullup bar. Bend your knees so your thighs are parallel to the floor, as if you’re sitting in an invisible floating chair. Maintain that position as you slowly perform a pullup, pulling your body up and then lowering yourself back down. Do 4 sets of as many reps as you can, stopping 2 reps short of failure.

26 | January/February 2017

Leather Ping Pong Paddles My husband and I can turn any game into Game of Thrones. These let us battle in style. $150 each,

S c o t t Te i t l e r / t h e l i c e n s i n g p r o j e c t . c o m ( s h o u l d e r ) , S A M K A P L A N ( s h a k e , p a d d l e s ) ; fo o d s t y l i n g : J a m i e K i m m ( s h a k e ) ; p r o p s t y l i n g : S a r a h G u i d o / H a l l e y R e s o u r c e s ( p a d d l e s ) ; ST E V E S A N F O R D ( i l l u s t r a t i o n s )

What You’ll Need ½ cup Greek yogurt 1 green apple, cored and chopped ½ cup unsweetened green tea 1 tsp honey or agave ¼ cup parsley leaves

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Nutrition Know-It-All A Man, a Can, a Plan

M I K E R O U S S E L L , PH.D.

Salmon Pesto Pasta

I exercise after work and usually have a beer with dinner. Does the alcohol hurt my recovery?

What You’ll Need 7 oz (about ½ box) whole wheat spaghetti ¼ cup prepared pesto

Alcohol messes with muscle recovery, yes. But you’re probably fine: One beer doesn’t have enough alcohol to significantly inhibit your progress. If you’re worried though, add another beverage before your postworkout brew. Research shows that drinking a whey protein shake after a workout and another shake four hours later can blunt the bad effects of the alcohol. Beer-and-whey smoothie, anyone?


Shelve the sugary jarred spaghetti sauce and simplify: This five-ingredient recipe is a better pasta night option.

1 pint cherry tomatoes


2 cans (5 to 6 oz each) salmon in water, drained Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste


Almonds have fat, yet they can help me lose weight? How does that work?

Per serving 360 calories, 29g protein, 40g carbs (7g fiber), 11g fat


Ramp Up Your Running Speed This Winter Signed up for a 5K in the spring? Max out your indoor training by running 2-minute sprints on a treadmill set at varying inclines. Here’s a weekly plan from trainer James Ferris.




























REPS 28 | January/February 2017

The Picture of Mental Illness?

Men can be reluctant to admit they’re depressed, let alone ask for help. But social media may provide clues. Researchers have tapped technology to identify signs of depression in Instagram posts. Dark colors, low light, and frequent posting were among the red flags. If your pal’s social media signals worry you and he seems tired or irritable or has lost interest in a hobby, invite him over. Then suggest he see a doctor if he seems depressed. Or you can report any posts that suggest self-harm; Instagram will send your friend an anonymous message with support resources.

It may seem counterintuitive, but eating fat doesn’t necessarily make you gain weight. (It’s consuming too many calories overall that leads to weight gain.) In fact, with nuts, the opposite is probably true. Almonds make a great weightloss snack because they provide what I call the “trifecta of satiety”—fiber, protein, and fat. This trio helps slow digestion and increase feelings of fullness, both of which encourage you to eat less overall and, as a result, lose more weight. Mike Roussell, Ph.D., is author of The Six Pillars of Nutrition and a nutrition advisor for Men’s Health.


F o o d s t y l i n g : J a m i e K i m m ( p e s t o p a s t a ) ; i l l u s t r a t i o n s b y M I C H A E L B R A N D O N M Y E R S ; e t i e n n e v o s s / i S t o c k /G e t t y I m a g e s P l u s ( s a l m o n ) , B o z e n a _ F u l a w k a / i S t o c k /G e t t y I m a g e s P l u s ( s p a g h e t t i ) , J a c k J e l l y / i S t o c k /G e t t y I m a g e s P l u s ( p e s t o ) , c o u r t e s y M i k e R o u s s e l l ( R o u s s e l l )

How to Make It In a large pot of boiling, salted water, add the spaghetti. Cook until al dente (about 1 minute less than the package says). Drain. In the same pot, stir the pesto, tomatoes, salmon, and pasta together over medium-low heat until warmed, 2 to 3 minutes. Plate and sprinkle with Parmesan. Feeds 4

Get ready to feel more on than off with Emergen-C Immune PlusŽ. Supercharged with zinc, vitamin D and more vitamin C than 10 oranges^ to help support your immune system.* Why not feel this good every day? Emerge and see. ŠAlacer 2015 ^Based on using the nutrient database value for a large, raw orange. *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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The Power of Wills Three men (look at the names!) share how they keep their New Year’s goals. WILL POWERS

Quick Change

65, Photographer, Phoenix, AZ


Resolution Weight control and exercise His Secret Good old-fashioned stickto-itiveness. The key: “You can’t change if it’s for someone else; you must do it for yourself.” 35, IndyCar Driver, Charlotte, NC

I want a skin routine that’s fast and simple. Any suggestions? SUMIT, CALGARY, AB

Get two wash products and a moisturizer. Wash with a cleanser twice a day; twice a week, swap it for an exfoliator. Then apply an SPF moisturizer. If you like, get a nonSPF lotion too, for night. Try Nivea moisturizers ( and Every Man Jack cleansers ( Or subscribe to Mavericks for a 90-day skin care kit ($89,; you get a cleanser and day and night moisturizers.


Resolution Win the Indianapolis 500 His Secret Minigoals. “If you overstep your goal, you can crash,” says Power. “Set a goal to get the most out of yourself on that day, on that lap, on that corner— and you will.” 30, Senior Marketing Manager, San Francisco, CA


Clashing over finances is common and can lead to nasty splits. Here’s what happy couples do. By Brittany Risher 1/ Hire a Ref If you’re focused on the kids’ college tuition while she’s planning a second honeymoon, no wonder you fight about money. In an Ameriprise Financial survey, almost three-quarters of couples had different money management styles. But 40 percent of couples who couldn’t resolve their issues said an advisor helped them see eye to eye, relieving tension in their relationship.

2/ Keep Your Own Stash Yes, you two should have a joint account for family expenses, and you’ll need to agree on amounts you’ll each throw into the pot. But it’s a good idea to also have your own account to use for anything you want, says Marcy Keckler, vice president of financial advice strategy at Ameriprise. “That way there’s no pointing fingers or ‘Oh, where’d you get the new shoes?’” Keckler says.

How can I save my shoes in the rain?

3/ Invest in Sex Set a weekly time to talk money—no judgment— for 10 minutes. That’ll keep small grievances from building up into major fights. Have backto-back meetings: one at the kitchen table for budget stuff, one in the bedroom for whatever comes up. It’ll defuse tension and boost your endorphins, says relationship therapist Bonnie Eaker Weil, Ph.D., author of Financial Infidelity.

My Mom Did That FED ME LIQUID JELL-O FOR A STOMACH BUG Your tummy may have tolerated the Jell-O powder mixed with hot water better than solid foods, but don’t use this elixir with your kids. Yes, fluids are important when you’re sick, but that much sugar can dehydrate you, says Benjamin Krevsky, M.D., M.P.H., chief of gastroenterology at Temple University Hospital. A little sugar helps your body absorb fluids, but an excess will draw too much fluid into your bowels, he says. Pedialyte is perfect: It has some sugar and electrolytes. Have your kid drink water and Pedialyte until his urine is pale yellow. When he’s ready to try solid foods, gradually reintroduce bananas, rice, applesauce, or toast. If he’s getting worse, can’t tolerate liquids, or is still sick after a week, see a doctor. 30 | January/February 2017


I used to wear old, wornout shoes on rainy days, but then I’d feel poorly dressed on top of the already crappy weather. So I did some research. Short of wearing heavyduty boots (not always practical), you have three options: First, polish your shoes with a wax polish; that superficial layer repels water. Second, have a cobbler add rubber soles to your leather shoes to keep water out. Or, finally, buy a pair of galoshes from Swims ( They slip on over your shoes and come in a rainbow of colors, from black and brown to orange and olive. At $95, they’re a bit pricey, but one pair lasts years. Brian Boyé is the executive fashion and grooming director of Men’s Health.


Meredith Jenks (Boyé), cour tesy Everett Collection (June and Beaver Cleaver)

Resolution Cook more often, and brew beer and sake His Secret Share your goal with lots of people so they hold you accountable. If you tell your friends that you’re brewing sake, they’re going to follow up with you.

Invest in Mutual Fun

Useful Stuff This gentleman used to work in a sewage treatment plant. Now look at him!



Highest odds you’ll catch the flu if someone in your household is infected. You can cut your risk by washing your hands often. (You’ve already had your flu shot, right?) Source: Trends in Microbiology

The Modern Man’s Rulebook By Hugh O’Neill

The Burnout Quiz Here’s your job fatigue checklist. If any of these sound familiar, it could be time for a change. By Megan DiTrolio You’re underpaid with no guaranteed raises ahead.

B e n Wa t t s / Tr u n k A r c h i v e ; i l l u s t r a t i o n b y S T E V E S A N F O R D

You’re tired of coworkers trashing each other. Whatever your boss says makes you seethe. Set up a “360 review” with HR, says Jessica Jaffee of the employee review site Glassdoor. This is when you and the team can confidentially talk about the boss. You’re bored but don’t want any new challenges.

You’re an extrovert with few people to interact with. Burnout is more likely if your personality and job duties are a mismatch, research shows. Find ways to diversify your duties to better match your personality, like collaborating with coworkers on a project. Your career path and training don’t point to your dream job. Remind yourself of why you took the position, and pursue skills that might help you land the gig you want, says career coach J.T. O’Donnell.

You don’t have enough time to handle your workload. Stress rises all day and hardly stops once you’re home. At the end of each workday, rate your stress on a scale of 1 (no problem) to 10 (bonkers). Do this for a week or two and then assess the results. If more than half of your scores register above a 5, that’s unhealthy, so start looking, says O’Donnell.

Rule No. 26 / Say Sorry Health resolutions are easy; hearts and minds are hard. Start the new year with this spirit lifter: Apologize for something. For starters, how about that stupid thing you said to your sister at the party for your folks’ 40th? True, saying “I’m sorry” may not be your strong suit. But guess what? Developing humility is a big step toward full-throated manhood. If you’re thinking of that passiveaggressive “I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings” stuff, forget it. You acted like an ass. You’re sorry. Period. Keep it short, plain, simple, and sincere. Get the words out and you’ll feel strong, renewed, and maybe even forgiven. More important, your sister will feel respected. No need to be perfect; you’re just a man. But a fellow faces his shortcomings and tries, bit by bit, day by day, to do a little better. To paraphrase the songwriting legend Leonard Cohen: We’re all cracked vessels; that’s how the light gets in.

Your paycheck is your only motivation for staying.

IF YOU CHECKED 0 to 3: Hang tight and hope. 4 to 6: Freshen your résumé. 7+: You’re still there?

January/February 2017 | 31

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Doughy No More


Pasquale Cozzolino ate pizza every day and still lost more than 100 pounds. Mamma mia! The Setback I moved to New York City from Italy in 2011. My goal was to open a restaurant with a friend, but I first needed to learn about American food. So I started eating 10 or 11 times a day and stopped exercising. My two years of “research” resulted in 140 extra pounds, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, knee pain, back pain, and rashes. My doctor warned me that my physical condition, along with my stressful lifestyle as a chef, could end up becoming a big problem.

Pasquale Cozzolino New York, NY OCCUPATION Chef AGE 39 HEIGHT 6'6" WEIGHT BEFORE 370 AFTER 250 START DATE Feb. 2016

The Wake-Up Call During a trip back home to Naples in 2015, my friends and I went to the beach. I kept my shirt on. I felt like a big piece of meat. The experience was so embarrassing that when I returned to New York I wrote down a goal for the next year: lose weight. The Food I used to eat pizza five or six times a day at work. Hey, it’s my job! I still eat a margherita pizza for lunch at Ribalta, but I start and end my day with meals that help me stay committed to my eating plan. Breakfast is fruit, cereal, eggs, yogurt, and orange juice. Dinner is salmon or catfish with some grilled zucchini or broccoli. After I changed the way I ate, constantly being around food was no longer toxic for me.

The Reward I’m more energetic. My overall mood is much more positive. My friends, family, and coworkers tell me how great I look. I’m no longer embarrassed. Now when I go to the beach, I’m confident and I go shirtless. 32 | January/February 2017

The Easy Way to Make Great Pizza Some pizza chains cover up bland crust with sugary sauce, crummy cheese, and cheap meats. This pie, based on Cozzolino’s recipe, uses fresh ingredients—and you can inhale half of it for a mere 450 calories. It’s so good you won’t miss the greasy pepperoni slices at all.

STEP 1 Put 2¼ cups of cold water into a big bowl. Add ½ teaspoon dry yeast; gradually stir in 3 cups flour. STEP 2 In a separate bowl, mix ½ tablespoon salt into 3 more cups of flour. Then gradually stir this flour into your flour-water mix.

Use your hands to mix the dough well, about 5 minutes. Let it rest, covered, for a half hour. (Go make a salad or something.) STEP 3 Cut the dough in fourths. Freeze three portions (wrap each one in plastic) and thaw when a craving hits.

STEP 4 Preheat the oven to 500°F. On a baking sheet, roll the dough into a 9-inch circle. Top with ¼ cup sauce, 2 ounces sliced mozzarella, some fresh basil leaves, and 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil. Bake until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Feeds 2

PER SERVING 450 calories, 15g protein, 73g carbs (3g fiber), 9g fat


Cour tesy Pasquale Cozzolino (inset)

The Fitness I used to think that I had no energy to work out. Now I know that exercise gives me energy. I wake up at 6:30 a.m. three times a week to kickbox at the gym before breakfast. My lunch break is often my run break. I even found a group of fellow Italians who work in the restaurant industry to play soccer with for fun and fitness.

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Priyanka Chopra The star of ABC’s Quantico and this spring’s movie comedy Baywatch says she’s easy to impress: “Listen. Share. Be unapologetic about who you really are.” And... Make Her Dance

Sweat the Small Stuff





It’s the small gestures that show you care for her, support her, and know what she likes, says Chopra. “Make her feel like she’s the only girl in the world.” Chopra recalls waking up one morning to find an espresso machine sitting on her doorstep. A friend, it turns out, had picked up on the fact that she loves coffee and functions better on it. “It was a sweet, thoughtful, meaningful gesture,” she says.

Open Up to Her Chopra says her idea of a great date is a moonlight sail on a yacht. For those of us who aren’t movie stars: “It’s all about having an opportunity for meaningful conversation,” she says. Material possessions—clothes, cars, jewelry— don’t impress her. “A man

talking about his work, his beliefs, what he stands for? That’s sexy,” she says. “And of course he has to be able to make me laugh and to laugh at himself.”

Spoon with Her “When a man cooks for me, it’s an extreme turn-on,” says Chopra, who freely admits that she can barely boil an egg. “The act of preparing food is so visual, and seeing someone make something with their hands is sexy.” It doesn’t have to be elaborate and fancy, she says. “A friend put on an apron and made me a simple pasta dish. What’s important is that he made a special effort for me.”

Tell the Truth, Always The biggest relationship mistake men make is lying, says Chopra. “You tell a little lie to avoid confrontation or to brush things under the rug...don’t! Women have huge hearts. Something that might seem big in your head always becomes smaller when you talk about it. Get it over with. Sort shit out.” Ultimately, it’s about respect and not having double standards. “Treat other people the way you’d expect to be treated. A true partner helps you be the best person you can be.” —BEN COURT

“A man talking about his beliefs, what he stands for? That’s sexy. And he has to make me laugh.” 34

P h o t o g r a p h b y J A M E S W H I T E , f a s h i o n e d i t o r : J a c q u e l i n e A z r i a , h a i r : R h e a n n e W h i t e / K é r a s t a s e N u t r i t i v e M a g i s t r a l / T h e Lo n d o n S t y l e A g e n c y , m a k e u p : Yu m i M o r i / La n c ô m e / T h e Wa l l G r o u p , m a n i c u r e : R o s e a n n S i n g l e t o n / D i o r Ve r n i s /A r t D e p a r t m e n t . A m e r i c a n A p p a r e l t e e , G u e s s s h o r t s , Zo e C h i c c o e a r r i n g s , L i v H a l e y b a r n e c k l a c e , A l e x Wo o s t a r / P n e c k l a c e , J o h n H a r d y b r a c e l e t

Indians express their freespiritedness through dancing at every opportunity, Chopra says. “Any kind of celebration is an excuse to dance.” The key to being a good dance partner? Be yourself. “Not everyone can be a Travolta, but anyone can be a good dancer. Just feel the vibe and the beat and hold your woman’s attention, whether it’s with your eyes, your moves, or your hands.”


When you wear almost nothing, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to feel everything!


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Best Buds

Sink your Bluetooth into truly wireless sound that hits all the right notes— no strings attached.


1/ For Siri-ous Comfort The one-size-fits-all Apple AirPods are remarkably comfortable, but they’re so small we were sure they’d slip out. Yet even during runs, burpees, and headbanging to Metallica, they stayed put. For easy volume and track control, you can double-tap and ask Siri to be your audio spotter. $159, 2/ For Pocketless Playback Heart rate monitoring and intuitive controls make Samsung Gear IconX a slick workout companion. Swipe a finger to control volume; tap lightly to pause or play. With 4GB of storage you can load up on songs transferred from your computer or phone. $200,


3/ Best Overall It has an in-ear heart-rate monitor, VO2 data collection system, preloaded workouts, and a rep counter. Oh, and music on the Jabra Elite Sport sounds crisp and clean. The buds themselves are noise-canceling too, so you’ll stay focused on the workout at hand—not the chatty gym fauna. $250,

De-Gunk Your Earphones Some manufacturers’ websites provide cleaning info, but let’s face it—you won’t bother with those instructions. Simply detach the silicone parts and wash them in warm water with a drop of dish soap added. Reattach when dry. No detachable parts? Grab a clean, dry toothbrush and gently scrub away wax deposits. Source: Steven Sobol, M.D., M.Sc., otolaryngologist, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia


36 | January/February 2017


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Ron Howard The skilled filmmaker has learned to love his past as he shapes his future. By Eric Spitznagel

Imagine if every time you did something awesome at work somebody said, “Hey, remember when you were an awkward, adorable 6-yearold?” That’s what Ron Howard has had to endure for nearly four decades. Today, Howard is celebrated as one of the best filmmakers of his generation. But when his obituary is written, it probably won’t get to Apollo 13 or A Beautiful Mind or Cocoon or The Da Vinci Code before it mentions his role as Opie, the gap-toothed son of a small-town sheriff on The Andy Griffith Show. For years, Howard says, being reminded of Opie, or even his Richie Cunningham character on Happy Days, would make him cringe. But his defensiveness has softened over time. “I’ve reached a point now where it warms me to hear somebody call me Opie or Richie,” he says. “Without those characters, my life wouldn’t be the same. Everything I’ve become is because of them.” We should all be so accepting of our past. MEN’S HEALTH: You found your calling at 5 years

38 | January/February 2017

[Wayne’s last movie, released in 1976]. The director, Don Siegel, was taking me up to Wayne’s room to meet him, and as we were walking through the lobby we passed a magazine stand where there was a copy of TV Guide with Henry Winkler and me on the cover in our Happy Days outfits. Don said, “I’ve got to show this to Duke.” I begged him not to, but he bought it anyway and we went up to the room. There’s John Wayne, and he’s this huge, bald guy with huge hands. The Duke was bald? Yeah. He wasn’t wearing his hairpiece. So he was a hairless giant playing chess. Not what I was expecting. I shook his hand, and it’s like my tiny hand was being engulfed by his gigantic palm. Siegel handed him the TV Guide and said, “Look at where our young friend is this week.” Wayne looked at the cover, squinted at me, and said, “Ah, big shot, huh?” with a perfect John Wayne drawl. “Big shot, huh?” is what John Wayne says before he shoots somebody. It was fine. We talked about it and had a good laugh. He was actually really easy. What makes a person a legend? Is it just about raw talent? Or are the legends the ones who just don’t give up? I think it’s both, actually. There are some people who just immediately become legends, like

James Dean and Elvis Presley and the Beatles. The Beatles were legends before they turned 30. But some people do it only after long sustained periods of productivity. Do you feel you fall in the latter category? I don’t know. I’m not somebody who likes to evaluate his own career. But one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever gotten was from Steven Spielberg. Not long ago we were pitching ideas back and forth and he said to me, “Wow, you’ve been a household name since 1960. You’re the Cal Ripken Jr. of this business.” Now there’s a compliment. Cal Ripken Jr. broke the record for the most consecutive games played. He was also a damn good baseball player. Absolutely. He was a two-time MVP and probably the greatest shortstop of all time. But what really made Cal Ripken Jr. a legend is that he showed up. For something like 2,600 consecutive games. That’s amazing. He stuck around and endured and remained productive year after year. If that’s what being a legend is all about, I’m okay with being in that category. I’m proud of my longevity. I think that’s an admirable goal for anybody. Whatever it is that you do, try to be like Cal Ripken Jr. Be the one who keeps showing up. 

G a v i n B o n d /A u g u s t

old. Did starting that young help you find your confidence faster? RON HOWARD: I think it did. I remember being on Andy Griffith and feeling like I was being heard. I felt very much a peer to the grownups. So you and Don Knotts were hitting the strip clubs after every shoot? [Laughs.] No, nothing like that. They didn’t treat me like one of the gang. But they made me an honest part of the creative process. In what way? I remember the exact moment they started taking me seriously. There was a very collaborative nature to the show. One day on the set, just after I’d turned 7, we were rehearsing and I had a line, I don’t even remember what it was, but I told the director, “I don’t think a kid would say it this way.” And he said, “Well, show me how you’d do it.” I told him, and he said, “Okay. Let’s do it that way instead.” It was like...I can’t even explain it. Your world shifted. It really did. I remember standing there beaming like I’d just had my first kiss, and Andy walks up to me and says, “Whatcha grinnin’ at, young’un?” He seriously said “young’un”? That was literally how Andy would talk. So I told him, “That was the first suggestion of mine [the director] has taken.” Andy patted me on the back and then, loud enough for everyone on the set to hear, said, “Well it was the first one that was any damn good. Now let’s do the scene.” When you met John Wayne, did he have the same swagger we saw in the movies? The first time I met him was at a hotel in Carson City, Nevada, where we were doing The Shootist

“I’ve reached a point now where it warms me to hear somebody call me Opie or Richie. Everything I’ve become is because of them.”

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Men at Work THE REWARDS OF RISK Mark Fitzloff, a top player in the ad game, reveals his secrets to creativity and connectivity. By Tom Foster In the advertising business, big risks can lead to big rewards. But back in 2000, Mark Fitzloff was afraid he’d gone too far after he created an edgy Nike ad that appeared with a controversial wheelchair joke. It provoked Nike founder Phil Knight to suggest that Fitzloff, then a junior copywriter at the Oregon-based agency Wieden+Kennedy, be fired. But the bosses at W+K believed in the value of creative risk, so they took their own leap of faith: They said no to Knight. Now, more than a decade and a half later, Fitzloff is W+K’s executive creative director. He and his partners helm a ship of nearly 600 and manage the core creative work for accounts such as Coca-Cola, KFC, and yes, Nike. His team created those Old Spice commercials (“Hello, ladies...”), as well as Super Bowl spots for Chrysler with Eminem (“Born of Fire”) and Clint Eastwood (“It’s Halftime in America”). “The key to creating something memorable is not to be intimidated by the possibility that people will think it’s foolish,” Fitzloff says. “If we didn’t make room for people to utter their most harebrained ideas, nobody would ever be furious at us, but we’d also just make the same time-tested tropes over and over again.” A 45-year-old father of two, Fitzloff is now focusing on the spots he has planned for this year’s Super Bowl—the biggest game of the year in advertising. Here’s how the 22-year veteran keeps pushing boundaries and finds peace despite a pressure-packed career.

Do What Others Won’t

Beware the Big Break

Make the Boring Exciting

Get a Laugh

Fitzloff did standout work on less prestigious assignments. When he started as a copywriter, he had no training and took a job writing junk mail letters. That led to a better job writing stuff nobody wanted to. Then W+K hired him to work on Microsoft, the only tech client in an agency built around Nike. “I had a mentor telling me, ‘It’s a trap. You’ll get pigeonholed. Don’t do it!’ But I did, and when Microsoft left the agency six months later, I was still there,” he says.

Especially in a visible industry like advertising, other opportunities come calling if you succeed. “That’s a dangerous path, because if you take a job you’re not actually qualified for, very soon you’ll be found out as a bullshit artist,” says Fitzloff. “The next thing you know, right when you should be in the prime of your career, you’re a bit of a has-been.” His solution is simple: Show patience. “Be able to say, ‘I’m in a good place; I’m still growing and learning.’”

In any line of work, you can be given assignments that seem like duds at first. “If you fixate on not having an emotional attachment to that brand, you’re missing the opportunity,” Fitzloff says. Think about ways you can make the project your own. “So in my case, I’m really into science fiction and fantasy. If that’s what I’d rather be thinking about, then how do I find a way to make the brand exist in my sci-fi fantasy? I call it being selfish in your work.”

A lot of the best commercials work because they make people laugh. One of Fitzloff’s go-to humor devices is what he calls “the nth degree.” “You say a thing, and then you say an extra thing that didn’t need to be said about it, and then take it another step. You go until the viewer thinks you can’t possibly escalate it any further, and then you do.” Sometimes, Fitzloff says, great ideas come from applying the nth degree to thoughts that initially seem ho-hum.

40 | January/February 2017


Make an Impact Fitzloff’s Portland office features unique portraits of each W+K employee, and a mural that reads “Fail Harder.”

Fitzloff picks his three top spots that grabbed people for very different reasons.

The Ad “Born of Fire,” Chrysler The Hook The fighting instinct “When this ran during the 2011 Super Bowl, Detroit was being written off by the whole country, and the ad tapped into a prideful defiance that was right for the times.”

The Ad “I’m on a Horse,” Old Spice The Hook Mocking the form “Deodorant ads traditionally make ridiculous promises—like if you choose this brand you’ll have better lady-getting skills. Rather than make one of those promises earnestly, we took it over the top. The takeaway is that Old Spice is basically admitting the lie, which makes them so honest that maybe it’s true.”

Fail So Hard

Pursue Passions

In creative work, you’re putting a piece of yourself out there, Fitzloff says. Rejection can be devastating, whether it’s by a client or the public. The pain it brings is punishment enough. For that, Fitzloff’s company has a mantra: Fail harder. “Instead of rewarding people for the amount of work they’ve sold or something like that, we reward them on their ability to take risks and the natural surprise and interest of their ideas, regardless of what happens to those ideas.”

If your only source of happiness is how you do at work, then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment, says Fitzloff. Hitting a dry spell or a stretch of bad business can be deflating. So you have to look for the things in daily life you love, and then make those things as habitual as brushing your teeth. For Fitzloff, that means playing the piano every day for at least a half hour. “For me, playing music is like reading or going for a run: It tunes out the rest of the world.”

The Ad “Best Job,” Procter & Gamble The Hook Love of Mom “When the parent company of so many household brands sponsored the Olympics in 2012, we focused on Olympic households. We realized that the unsung heroes are the moms around the world making selfless commitments to allow their kids to follow their sporting dreams.”

January/February 2017 | 41


The back mechanic tinkers with Ken Whetham, an elite powerlifter.

FIX IT WITH THE BACK MECHANIC To save his strength, our aching writer headed north of the border to see Stuart McGill, Ph.D., the master craftsman of healthy spines. By Lou Schuler PH OTO G R A PH S BY F I N N O’ H A R A

My exam began the moment I climbed out of my rented Chevy Cruze and walked up the driveway—I just didn’t know it yet. Nor did I suspect that by the end of the day, I would learn that I’d been exercising wrong, that I had a semi-serious back injury, and that most one-size-fits-all fitness recommendations are basically bullshit. All I knew was that after four decades of lifting, my workouts were no longer working. My squats were pathetic, my deadlift

was dying, and—worst of all—my back felt sore and unstable. If anybody in North America could help me recapture my weight-room mojo, it was Stuart McGill, Ph.D., who welcomed me into his home clinic in Gravenhurst, Ontario. You may not recognize McGill’s name, but if you’ve ever done a side plank, you’ve been influenced by his 30 years of innovative research as a professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo.

January/February 2017 | 43


McGill has seen hundreds of elite athletes and worst-of-the-worst back-pain cases over the course of his career. He’s published more than 250 studies that go way down the rabbit hole of investigating the causes of back pain and ways to prevent and treat it. His main takeaway: Don’t worry about bodybuilding ab exercises like situps and crunches, and don’t go looking for help from yoga, Pilates, your insurance company, or a surgeon. You need to focus first on what triggers pain, and remove the cause. Then create a pain-free foundation by teaching your core muscles to stabilize your lower back—that is, to hold your spine in a safe position—and to develop endurance in those muscles.

Know Why Your Back Hurts Your spine is a curved stack of vertebrae cushioned by gel-filled disks. If it bends out of that natural curve, that’s not a big deal— unless it’s bearing a load, whether that load is in the form of a barbell, a bag of mulch, or a screaming 3-year-old. When that happens, the compression on the improperly stacked disks causes the fibers that make up the disk wall to loosen and divide. With enough stress, the disks become compacted and the gel interior squirts out between the fibers. That gel then hardens and

The conventional notion that everyone should squat “ass to grass” is basically bullshit, McGill says. presses on nerves, creating a painful, bulging disk. This is also why any ab exercise that has you repeatedly bending your spine—like the situp—is less than ideal. If your spine were a straight line, with the vertebrae stacked up like the floors of a skyscraper, it would easily bear heavy loads. But with its curved configuration, it has no inherent structural stability. “The spine bears load because it’s stiffened by muscle,” McGill explains. Muscles and connective tissue act as a guy-wire system. Without muscle, your spine couldn’t even support your upperbody weight, he says. Spinal injuries due to instability tend to follow a U-shaped curve. We’re most likely to mess up when the load is the lightest or the heaviest. When it’s light, we may not bother bracing with enough muscle to provide tension. When it’s heavy, those muscles can get overwhelmed. One of the most spine-bending positions is a move you probably do every time you sit down or hit the gym: the squat. 44 | January/February 2017

Fix Your Squat It didn’t take McGill long to find the locus of my discomfort. All he had to do was press down on my third and fourth lumbar vertebrae and there it was. He couldn’t say exactly what type of injury I had, although it fit the pattern of a bulging disk that was probably pinching a nerve. Whatever it was, it was clear that the pain was brought on by the way I do the squat, one of the most basic movements. He said he’d noticed something about the way my body moved exiting my car. So what was wrong with my squat? I was using standard form—feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing straight ahead, thighs parallel to the floor at the bottom of the descent. The problem: I have a nonstandard body. Your body is likely nonstandard too. McGill explained that a squat is safe only if you keep a neutral spine, with your lower back maintaining its natural arch. If you squat deeper than you should, your spine goes into “butt wink,” where your lower

spine curves inward. Doing that with heavy weights can damage one or more of your spinal disks. (Without weights, a daily deep squat is actually good for you.) I was shocked to learn that due to my hip structure, it’s impossible for me to not shift into butt wink before my thighs are even parallel to the floor. That’s why McGill recommended that I use a wider stance and squat to just above parallel. (To hone your own form, see “How Deep Should You Squat?” on the next page.) Indeed, the conventional notion that everyone should squat “ass to grass” is basically bullshit, says McGill. “Life isn’t fair. Your anatomy is what determines your safe squat depth and risk of injury.” But my squat wasn’t my only problem.

Keep an Eye on Your Form McGill quickly noticed something embarrassing about my form. When I picked up a weight, I braced my core to protect my back— a good practice. But when I finished with the weight, I simply bent over and set it down, losing all my protective muscle tension. I’ve actually warned others, based on what I learned from McGill, to treat every weight as if it’s heavy. A principle I’d apparently failed to assimilate is that a weight that’s heavy on the way up is still heavy on the way down. That led to another important lesson.


Your hip anatomy determines whether certain moves may hurt your back. The first one is a body-weight squat, which is all you need to preserve your hip mobility without putting your back at risk. Next, do exercises that improve your core strength and endurance and stiffen your guywire system. McGill’s favorites are the bird dog, side bridge, and curlup. (For descriptions of all three, plus the squat, turn to “Your Back Pain Prescription” on page 137.) On workout days, use these as part of your warmup, he suggests. The stiffness those exercises generate will remain for up to two hours and will make your lifts safer, more efficient, and more powerful.

Don’t Force It

create or exacerbate an injury. It’s better to stand tall, lift your head, and sneeze upward. When you go from sitting to moving. You see this a lot the gym: A guy sits on a bench between sets, hunching over his phone; this cues an unnatural spinal curve. Then he goes right into a heavy lift. Allow a little transition time to stand; then activate your core muscles to protect your back as you begin to lift.

Never Let Your Guard Down Risk can also be situational, and injury can happen when you least expect it. McGill says you’re especially vulnerable at these times: First thing in the morning. After eight hours in bed, your disks will hold more water than usual. That means there’s more pressure within the disks, making them ripe to bulge. Wait at least an hour before you do anything that requires lifting or bending. When you sneeze. Most of us instinctively bend over to sneeze, which puts the lower back into a compromised position. The propulsive force of the sneeze can then

Save Your Spine with Four Moves McGill’s research has busted key myths about what alleviates back pain. For example, he’s discovered that yoga and Pilates are not suited to some backs; too much lying in bed tends to worsen back pain rather than fix it; and back surgery often isn’t necessary to relieve pain. Another big finding is that your back can take 10 years to truly heal from an injury, not the six to 12 weeks your insurance company might claim. So what works? The best way to protect your spine is to do four exercises every day.

When I first walked into McGill’s clinic, my goals were pretty straightforward: to learn why I’d lost so much strength on my squat and deadlift, and to get rid of my pain. But now I’m realizing that I might need to rethink my entire routine—including the loaded squat, one of my favorite moves. What’s the purpose of a loaded squat? “Why is it the best tool? Why not do a lunge, or push a sled, or climb steps?” McGill asked me. I didn’t have a good answer. It just seems strange to give up on what everyone says is such a great muscle-building exercise. But McGill has talked to countless dinged-up athletes and lifters in his many years as a scientist and clinician, and he knows that we all have the same fear: If we can’t do the stuff we see other people doing, we feel diminished by comparison. And that’s absurd, he says, when you consider the alternatives. A deadlift off blocks using a trap bar hits all the muscles in my hips and thighs, and I can do it without any risk of butt wink. Stepups, lunges, and sled pushes work those same muscles. Whatever I choose, I’ll incorporate his core routine and remember that no lift is safe unless I pick up and put down every object as if it’s heavy enough to break my back. Because believe me, it is.

Illustrations by +ISM

How Deep Should You Squat? Use the hip rock-back test to find out. Start on all fours with your knees a few inches apart and lower back naturally arched. Slowly push your hips back until you feel movement in your lower back, a sign that you’re losing that arch. Return to the start. Spread your knees

wider and repeat. Keep going until you find the position that allows the deepest range of motion without any change in your lower back. Try it again with your feet angled out to see if you can go even deeper. Apply that position to your squat.



January/February 2017 | 45

From a tuck hold, straighten your left leg. Pause and return it to the starting position. Repeat with your right leg.

Tuck to One-Leg Extension

Support your weight on your hands and keep your arms straight as you hold your thighs angled up from the floor.



Hit a couple of bars to burn more fat, build stronger muscle, and move with more grace.

Enter a Parallette Universe



Straddle a parallette—bar between your legs, arms holding your weight. Hold that position and alternate straightening one leg at a time.

Single Straddle

Position the bars into a V formation. Assume a pushup position, your upper back arched. Do a pushup, shifting your body forward at the bottom. Reverse and repeat.

Maltese Pushup

Pound for pound, gymnasts are among the strongest men on the planet. Just think of a move like the Iron Cross, where an athlete hangs in midair, arms outstretched, supported only by his hands. One of the training essentials is a piece of basic equipment you can use at home: parallettes. “They’re simple but open up an infinite world of body-weight exercises,” says Dave Durante, a former Olympic gymnast and the co-owner of Power Monkey Fitness in New York City. “Use them to muscle up, forge functional strength, and practice movement control.” Check out Durante’s eight favorite parallette exercises below.

Tuck Hold





Place a hand on each bar and assume a pushup position, your weight on the bars. Press your upper back up toward the ceiling, creating an arch in your upper back. Now kick your legs between the bars. You want your body to end up at the same angle as the pushup position, except your chest is facing up (as in a reverse pushup position). Push your chest up to the ceiling, creating an arch from your shoulders to your feet. Reverse and repeat.

Tuck Shoot-Through

From a tuck hold, raise your hips so they’re in line with your shoulders, keeping your arms straight. Pause and return to the tuck hold.

Press Hip Raise

From a tuck hold, straighten both legs simultaneously.

Tuck to L-Sit


Place the parallettes 18 to 24 inches from a wall. Assume the press hip raise position (#4, left), except with your feet on the wall. Slowly slide your right leg up the wall, keeping your weight toward the wall. Reverse the move. Now slowly slide your left leg up the wall.

Wall-Assisted Shoulder Stand

In this gymnastic hold, you work every muscle without moving.


5/ Gear Up Durante has trained on every kind of parallette out there. “Rogue makes my favorites,” he says. “They’re sturdy and durable and also high enough off the floor for beginners to practice key movements on.” $87,

4/ Be Inventive The beauty of parallettes is their versatility. “Get creative. Try your own moves and holds,” Durante suggests. For a longer workout, you can even mix in some classic moves like pushups and squats.

3/ Master Two Positions The hollow and arch positions (seen in #5, the tuck shoot-through sequence) are key in body-weight training. “They reinforce correct muscle group engagement for maximum strength,” says Durante.

2/ Hold It People want to go right into flashy, dynamic movements, says Durante. “But to gain strength for those, you need to master the holds, which are the foundation of movements,” he says. Practice holds like tucks, L-sits, and wall-assisted handstands.

1/ Stay Tight No matter which move you’re executing, be conscious of what every muscle in your body is doing, says Durante. The goal is to have your whole body react as one continuous piece with no dead weight.

Gain more strength, make faster progress, and avoid face plants by following these five rules.


Select three or four of the exercises shown on this page and perform each move for 10 to 20 seconds, resting 90 seconds afterward. That’s 1 round; do 3.


G r o o m i n g : H o l l y G o w e r s / D i o r H o m m e / A t e l i e r M a n a g e m e n t ; l o c a t i o n : S o l a c e N e w Yo r k


MH Challenge

Bench Your Best Your guide to the ultimate man move. By John Gilpatrick

52 | January/February 2017



Before you start sliding on plates and pumping out reps, lock down your form. Precise form helps you lift more weight using the same amount of effort; it also reduces your injury risk because the load is handled by your muscle and not your joints, says Mike Robertson, co-owner of Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training.

Establish your baseline bench—that is, your 1-rep max. This is the most weight you can press one time while still maintaining good form. To find it, do 1 rep with successively heavier loads until you hit the heaviest you can handle. Use a spotter.

To raise a heavier bar, you’ll need a bigger, more solid foundation. “More muscle means more strength,” says Robertson. “If you lose muscle, the first thing that goes is your bench.” He’s coached guys who’ve plateaued, only to see massive gains when they go up a weight class. Give your body some building material: Add a couple hundred extra calories a day to your diet over this time period (for example, some peanut butter or a protein shake).

Four Steps to Perfect Form Start with your hands beneath the bar, spaced just beyond shoulder width. Tighten your entire body (as if you’re about to take a punch) to activate more muscle. “The tighter you are, the lighter the bar will feel,” says Robertson. Now: 1/ Unrack the bar and hold it above your chest. 2/ Slowly lower the bar toward your nipples—the shortest path the bar can take, so you use less effort—with your elbows at a 45-degree angle. 3/ Push your chest up to the bar. 4/ Touch the bar to your chest; then press your feet into the floor and explosively press the bar back up.

The Operating Instructions You’ll bench two days a week with at least 72 hours between sessions so your body can recover. Workout A (below) is designed to recruit as many of your muscles’ motor neurons as possible, activating them to gain strength. For workout B you’ll do 100 reps, which signals your body to pack on mass while increasing your muscular endurance. Stay at the prescribed load until you can complete all your sets and reps with good form. When you’re ready, add 10 percent more weight. But don’t be afraid to push the envelope, Maximus says, as long as your form stays true. “You never want your body to get too comfortable with the load you’re lifting,” he says.



4. GO TO THE DARK SIDE Maximus calls this the iPhone problem. If you don’t charge your phone at night, at some point the next day, it won’t function the way you want it to. Same goes for your body. “The bed is your charger,” he says. “You can’t get the proper work done in the gym if you only get four, five, or six hours of rest. So sleep at least eight hours.” Banish electronics from the bedroom and use blackout curtains to block light from outside. The darkness leads to better sleep.




1-rep max



3 minutes*




2 minutes


1-rep max

*Men who rested 3 minutes between heavy bench sets sustained higher testosterone levels than those who rested 1 minute. **Ten sets of 10 reps is a method called German Volume Training, popularized in the 1970s. It’s a secret to strength and size.

Ken Hicks/Elitef

When we asked our MH Twitter followers about their top fitness goal for 2017, the consensus was clear: add 30 pounds to their bench press. “What do you bench?” is gym small talk, sure, but it’s also a quick way to take the measure of a man. Adding 30 pounds could take as long as six months if you’re a gym rat, or four weeks or so if you’re a rookie, says Bobby Maximus, training director at Gym Jones in Salt Lake City. It’s well worth the effort. “The bench press is not only the best move for packing on upper-body muscle, but it’s also critical in nearly every upper-body lift in and out of the gym,” Maximus says. Start 2017 off strong with this four-point plan.


taking the stairs has never tasted better.

Trying a delicious snack square with real fruit, whole nuts and dark chocolate is just another step to being your best. Plus it has 100 mg of naturally occurring cocoa flavanols—the good stuff in dark chocolate. And no, we didn’t just make that up. Check the interwebs.

Try A Little Goodness™

®/™ Trademarks © Mars, Incorporated 2016. Other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Food 7 FOODS DOCTORS PRESCRIBE Think of these foods as your shield against a costly doc visit. By Brittany Risher Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what most guys buy at the store: beef, chicken, sugary desserts, and alcohol. Really: The research firm Hartman Group studied this recently. Those categories are also among the top sources of calories in the American diet. Beef and chicken are fine, but you know the effects of excess alcohol and sweets. Carry extra fat and you could end up in the office of a nutritionist or cardiologist. Why not short-circuit the process and eat the way the experts do? We checked in with six top names in health to find out what foods they always eat and why they eat them. This go-to shopping list will keep all your systems running at optimum efficiency.

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t leave oysters out of your bag. The mighty mollusks carry vital nutrients.


January/February 2017 | 55


OUR EXPERT PANEL David Katz, M.D., M.P.H. founding director, Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center Stephen Kopecky, M.D. cardiologist and professor of medicine, Mayo Clinic William Yancy, M.D. program director, Duke Diet & Fitness Center Jim White, R.D. spokesman, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Cara Anselmo, R.D.N. clinical dietitian, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Alicia Anskis, R.D., L.D.N. clinical dietitian, Massachusetts General Hospital

Oysters Yes, oysters. These briny bivalves outmatch all other foods when it comes to zinc content. “Zinc plays a role in enzyme activity and protein synthesis and is key for immune health,” says Anskis. Plus, studies suggest a link between zinc deficiency and decreased testosterone. Oysters are also loaded with iron and vitamin B12, both of which support blood circulation and energy metabolism. Try to work oysters into your rotation of two to three servings of seafood a week.


Food st yling: Jamie Kimm

Try ’Em If you can find fresh oysters, shuck ’em and slurp. Or buy canned, smoked, bacony-tasting oysters (they’re in the tuna aisle). Pop them on crackers and add goat cheese.

Olive Oil.


1-2 Tbsp



Recommended amount to consume daily

Minimum number to eat each week



Fiber in a big bowl (2 cups)

Something Blue or Purple Dr. Kopecky came up with this one, and he’s not talking about blue M&Ms. He means produce like blueberries, grapes, eggplant (with the skin), and red cabbage. The pigmentation signals the presence of anthocyanins, a group of antioxidants that battle inflammation. Eat these to lower your risk of inflammation-related illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.




Potential dip in your LDL cholesterol if you eat ⅔ cup a day

Cups to aim for each week



Try It In a medium bowl, mash a handful of blueberries with a little salt and chopped basil; add a splash of balsamic. (You can add fresh minced chiles too.) Spoon this slightly sweet sauce on top of broiled salmon or roast chicken. Eggs

Purplish Foods.

Protein in a half dozen of the Pacific variety



Calories in a handful (2 tablespoons)

Olive Oil




We’re talking whole eggs, not just whites. Yolks have compounds that keep your eyes, brain, and bones healthy. Research now confirms that they won’t spike your cholesterol, says Anskis. Eggs also have the highest “biological value” of any protein source. Translation: Your body can absorb more of the protein for greater muscle-building benefits.

“Your primary fat should be olive oil,” Dr. Kopecky says. Researchers credit a potent polyphenol called oleocanthal for fighting everything from Alzheimer’s to some cancers. Consider your supplier too. “I only buy extra virgin olive oil and get it at box stores that have a high turnover,” Dr. Kopecky says. “If it sits for a long time, it loses some of its benefits.”

“All whole grains are good, but oats are probably the easiest to add to your diet since they’re not hard to cook,” Anskis says. Two cups of oatmeal has 8 grams of fiber; that’s about half what the average person eats daily. That’s not close to the 38 grams you need to drop your risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and diabetes, so eat fiber from produce too.

Two things in life are guaranteed to break your heart: high school crushes and not eating beans. In a 2014 study, people who ate ⅔ cup a day of legumes, such as peas, beans, and lentils, reduced their LDL (bad) cholesterol by 5 percent. Have a half-cup serving of beans at least three or four times a week. Black, white, red, pinto, navy— your body doesn’t care.

All nuts contain hearthealthy good fats, but three of our experts singled out walnuts as nutritional champs. They’re packed with omega-3 fatty acids, says White, which may also strengthen your sperm. In a Biology of Reproduction study, the swimmers of men who ate about ⅔ cup of walnuts a day showed improved motility, vitality, and shape.

Try ’Em For a no-heat lunch, try curried egg salad with greens: Mix 8 chopped hard-boiled eggs with 1 Tbsp Greek yogurt, ½ Tbsp curry powder, some chopped parsley, and salt to taste.

Try It Extra virgin olive oil is best used for lowertemp cooking. At higher temperatures, beneficial compounds break down and the taste suffers. So use it to sauté or as a finisher for soups or salads.

Try ’Em You don’t always have to go sweet with oats; their sturdy texture can also support savory flavors. Add salmon and avocado, or mix in mushrooms and greens sautéed in garlic.

Try ’Em Toss a rinsed can of chickpeas with olive oil, a little garlic powder, smoked paprika, and salt. Roast at 400°F for 30 to 40 minutes, tossing halfway. It’s a crunchy, smoky snack.

Try ’Em Mellow out their flavor by blending walnuts into a shake, dropping them into a soup, scattering a few atop a salad, or crushing them to use in a breading for fish or chicken.

Fill the Rest of Your Cart with the Good Stuff Here are the other foods our experts picked for your ultimate grocery list: broccoli, spinach, grass-fed beef, wild-caught salmon, mackerel, Greek yogurt, tomatoes, almonds, garlic, mushrooms, dark chocolate, and avocado.

58 | January/February 2017


* Nielsen, based on XAOC (all outlets combined) sales volume for L52 week period ending August 27, 2016 ©2016 Twinings North America, Inc. •

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Bowling for Breakfast Four heart-healthy, fiber-rich, single-serving, grain-based meals worth waking up early for.


Savory Breakfast Grits

If you like to start your day with eggs, you'll dig the yolks with the grits.


Cracked Wheat Fruit Bowl

A spoonful tastes like you rolled out of bed and into a tropical resort.


Cranberry Cream of Wheat

Make a double batch— this will keep well in the fridge. Eat it hot or cold.

½ cup frozen cranberries 1 Tbsp maple syrup 3 Tbsp Cream of Wheat 2 Tbsp chopped toasted pecans 2 Tbsp half and half

In a pan on medium, heat 1 tsp oil. Add the shallot and cook till soft, 2 minutes. Add the broth; boil. In a bowl, stir the broth and grits till thick. Cook the eggs with 1 tsp oil in the pan. Top the grits with eggs, radish, and avocado.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, stir the cracked wheat into ½ cup water; add a pinch of kosher salt. Cover and microwave on high for 5 minutes; then let the bowl stand 2 more minutes. Stir and top with the tangerine, kiwi, coconut, and mint.

In a pan, add the berries, 1 cup water, and a little salt. Boil until the berries burst, 8 minutes. Stir in the syrup and Cream of Wheat and cook per package directions. Turn off the heat; stir till fluffy. Serve in a bowl with pecans and half and half.

466 calories, 18g protein, 34g carbs (6g fiber), 30g fat

269 calories, 7g protein, 52g carbs (9g fiber), 5g fat

327 calories, 6g protein, 47g carbs (5g fiber), 14g fat

60 | January/February 2017

Holy Whole Grains!

Its the ultimate oneminute meal for a morning workout guy.

½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats ½ cup milk 2 Tbsp chocolate protein powder 1 banana, sliced ½ cup blueberries

In a jar or bowl, stir together the oats, milk, and protein powder. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, just take off the lid and heat the oats in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir in the fruit and enjoy. 432 calories, 22g protein, 72g carbs (9g fiber), 9g fat

Call it fiber power: People who ate at least three servings of whole grains a day were less likely to die of heart disease or cancer than those who ate none, a 2016 study in Circulation found. Whole grains offer nutrients that may delay conditions that could lead to disease, and the fiber fills you up. (One serving is ½ cup cooked hot cereal.)


F o o d s t y l i n g: J a m i e K i m m; M I C H A E L B R A N D O N M Y E R S (i c o n)

¼ cup cracked wheat 1 tangerine, peeled, sectioned 1 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced 1 Tbsp unsweetened coconut A few mint leaves, for garnish

2 Tbsp finely chopped shallot ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth 1 packet (1 oz) instant grits 2 large eggs 1 radish, thinly sliced ½ avocado, thinly sliced


Overnight Protein Oats



Fight Against the Dad Bod Advice and inspiration from the Ultimate Guy Otis Hooper


Otis Hooper is a D.C. Air National Guard Pilot, a proud father of four boys, and a 2016 finalist for the title of Ultimate Men’s Health Guy. However, as recently as two years ago, “Hoop” was overweight and making poor nutritional choices.

WATER So, you need help to circulate all those nutrients throughout your body. The best option? Water! And for even more help, look to CocoaVia® products. The cocoa flavanols in CocoaVia® promote healthy blood flow†.

THE MORNING MIND TRICK Getting in shape can be more of a mental challenge than a physical one — I had to find a way to train my mind first. As soon as I wake up and my feet touch the floor, I knock out one push-up, followed by one sit-up. If I get down on the floor to do one push-up and one sit-up, I will likely do a little more. But if I don't, I still fulfilled my commitment to myself and I can go on with my day, guilt-free.

He said, “after realizing my sons were watching and emulating everything I did, I decided to make fitness a priority.” Hoop decided to set a better example for his boys. Working out more efficiently, taking control of his diet, and making lifestyle changes helped him lose 50 pounds and pack on 25 pounds of muscle. This landed him in the 2016 Mr. Olympia competition and the pages of Men’s Health.

HEALTHY TRAVEL As a pilot, frequent traveler, and a busy “fit-dad”—staying healthy on the road is just as important as it is at home. In addition to focusing on eating well and staying active, I stash CocoaVia® single-serve stick packs in my travel bag and add one to my coffee every morning. The cocoa flavanols in each serving promote healthy blood flow†, keeping the oxygen and nutrients flowing throughout my body all day, whether it’s on the ground or 35,000 feet in the air!

Go behind the scenes with Hoop at for workouts and nutrition tips.

®/™ Trademarks © Mars, Incorporated. 2017.


Lt. Col. Otis Hooper with his sons

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Center photograph: John Loomis


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Where Sugar Bombs Hide The average guy consumes about 22 teaspoons of sugar a day—way more than the 9-teaspoon limit set by the American Heart Association. Halve that and you’ll trim plenty of calories, says MH nutrition advisor Mike Roussell, Ph.D. You’ll also shield yourself from diseases linked with being overweight. Most added sugar lurks in packaged goods. So make the swaps below; then head to “Best Foods for Men” later in this issue for more ideas.








Sweet Baby Ray’s Original Barbecue Sauce Just 2 tablespoons of this glaze loads you up with 16 grams of sugar. Want to candy your dinner? Go ahead—glop a glug onto that pork chop.


Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Sensuous Slathering Sauce Tomatoes sweeten this vinegar-tinged condiment. Yes, sugar’s the third ingredient, but it’s a sane 5 grams per 2 tablespoons of sauce.

2.75 teaspoons


Starbucks Unsweetened Iced Coffee Pick up a bottle, pour it over ice, and that’s it. Red Bull Sugarfree? Not a smart swap. Sugar substitutes may stoke calorie cravings, recent research suggests.

9.75 teaspoons

Subway Footlong Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki To sabotage your afternoon, have 32 grams of sugar at lunch. Much of that is swimming in the sauce, but at least 9 grams is in the bread.


Subway Oven Roasted Chicken Salad Forgo the bread and sauce and you’ll consume a mere 6 grams of sugar. If you can’t eat vegetables without dressing, ask for a little oil and vinegar.

6.5 teaspoons

Healthy Choice Café Steamers Sweet Sesame Chicken Its fiber content (5 grams) isn’t nearly enough to offset the 23 grams of sugar inside this conveniently sugary microwave dinner.


Evol Lean & Fit Fire Grilled Chicken Poblano You’ll cut the sugar to 3 grams, raise your fiber intake to 8 grams, and avoid the cloying, syrupy aftertaste. It’s fairly filling too, as box dinners go.

5 teaspoons


Real Fruit Fiber, especially the soluble kind found in fruit, helps regulate your blood sugar, not work against it. Plus, unlike a fiber-free juice, real fruit sticks with you and prevents hunger.

4 teaspoons

Red Bull You’ll need an awful lot of energy to fight off the 39-gram sugar salvo in 12 ounces of this caffeine blast. Might as well eat four Krispy Kreme cinnamon sugar doughnuts. Yep, less sugar.

V8 V-Fusion Tropical Orange An 8-ounce bottle has the juice of 127 grapes, 2¾ sweet potatoes, and half a tomato, the label proudly proclaims. Great! But no fiber and 25 grams of sugar. Ugh.

64 | January/February 2017



Prop st yling: Sarah Guido/Halley Resources; icons by M I C H A EL B R A N D O N M Y ERS


Check the ingredient list for added sugars like these: anhydrous dextrose, corn syrup solids, fructose, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, molasses, fruit nectar, sucrose, glucose.

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Weight Loss


THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO LOSING WEIGHT Haven’t exercised in years (or ever) and need to drop 30, 50, or even 100 pounds? Take it off painlessly—and for good—with this plan. By Jeanine Detz You’re ready to lose a large amount of weight. Great! So you commit to a diet that dictates every bite you take, plus a rigorous workout plan that would make a fit guy beg for mercy. It seems like a good idea, but it’s not. The extreme approach is impossible to live with longterm and, if you’re currently overweight, could lead to injury and tip the scale in the wrong direction. A smarter strategy: modest changes. Walk more, do basic bodyweight exercises, and be a bit more careful about what you eat and drink. Experts agree that the small-steps strategy can not only spare your joints but also instill healthy habits and deliver results—so you’ll never need to lose weight again.

January/February 2017 | 71

Weight Loss

Cutting calories is just one part of the weight-loss equation. For results that last, you’ll need to change your eating and the way you think about food. For help, we sought out the brains at Precision Nutrition—Brian St. Pierre, R.D., director of performance nutrition, and coach Ryan Andrews, R.D., C.S.C.S. Use their guidelines to gradually transform your meals and painlessly peel off the pounds.


Smarten Up to Shrink Your Gut

Start Small, Eat Better This Year Don’t overhaul your entire diet at once. Change just one daily meal—breakfast, say—each week. This helps you ease into your new habits. By month’s end, you’ll be eating like a fit guy and more likely to do so for good.


Revamp your breakfast based on our “Perfect Plate” meal formula (left). For example, have: A four-egg omelet made with a handful each of scallions and peppers and cooked with a pat of butter

The Perfect Plate

1 banana (or other fruit) 1


2 palm-size portions of protein (eggs, chicken, turkey, beef, fish, pork): It keeps you satiated and builds and preserves muscle. Plus, your body burns more calories as it digests, netting a bigger postmeal burn.


1 to 2 handfuls of carbs (fruit, oats, wild rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, beans): Fiberrich carbohydrates—such as whole grains and legumes— fill you up, fuel you up, and help your body recover from exercise.


2 fist-size helpings of vegetables: Aside from their payload of vitamins and minerals, vegetables contain plenty of belly-filling volume, fiber, and water. That means you’re less hungry despite the low calorie total. 4


1 to 2 thumbsize portions of fat (butter, olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds): Fats boost immunity and also help your body absorb vitamins. Omega-3s reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Coffee and water

Eat in 20 Minutes If you finish a meal in five minutes flat, you’re probably scarfing down too much. Aim to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner in 20-minute spans, timed from the first to the last bite. “This gives your brain enough time to recognize how much you’ve eaten,” says St. Pierre.


Keep eating your breakfast, but now switch your lunch, following the same formula of lean protein, carbs, vegetables, and fat. One to try: 1 large chicken breast, grilled 2 handfuls of mixed cucumber slices and baby carrots 2 slices whole grain bread 2 Tbsp guacamole Seltzer water WEEK THREE

Now transform dinner. Create any combo that meets the standard. For example: 8 oz sirloin, salmon, or pork chop 2 fist-size portions of roasted broccoli, seasoned to taste

Stop at Satisfied Put down your fork when you’re satisfied, not stuffed. Of course, this can be tough to gauge when you’re staring down a pile of chips or wings, but here’s a trick: Ask yourself, “Would I still want to keep eating if that were a pile of steamed cauliflower?” If the answer is yes, nosh on; if it’s no, stop eating.

1 medium sweet potato 1

1 Tbsp olive oil (for roasting the broccoli) 3 squares dark chocolate with a pear, for dessert Wine and/or water WEEK FOUR

1 cup Greek yogurt 3

1 handful of fruit, like berries or apple slices 1 thumb of seeds or nuts

72 | January/February 2017


When you need a bite between meals, go for it, but snack only once a day, sticking to this formula: 1 palm of protein or 1 handful of carbs or up to 1 fist of vegetables or 1 thumb of fat. Some ideas:

Have Fries with That Eyeing the poutine? Go for it. “There are no good and bad foods,” St. Pierre says, “only foods you should eat more or less often.” This mindset eliminates guilt and deprivation and helps you stick to your good-eating plan in general. Aim to hit your “perfect plate” foods 80 percent of the time.

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Weight Loss

The Workout Twice a week, complete the recommended reps of each exercise in order; that’s 1 round. Complete 2 rounds, taking a break to catch your breath or regain your form as needed. After two weeks, amp it up to 3 rounds. Next month, do 3 rounds three days a week, starting with a different move each time while keeping them in the same order.

1/ Sit-Stand Squat Stand with a chair behind you, feet hip-width apart and arms raised in front of you. Bend your knees and push your hips back until your butt touches the seat. Then stand up. That’s 1 rep; do 10.


Get Strong and Lean Whether you’re just starting to exercise or are getting back in the game, your routine should focus on three things: “You need to reconnect your brain and body, make working out a habit, and create a simple, fun fitness base so you’ll be able to train more vigorously in the future,” says MH fitness advisor David Jack. This program achieves that trifecta, helping you build muscle and torch calories.

Walk Off the Weight Running while carrying a large amount of weight sets your body up for injury, so start slow. “Walking not only boosts your daily calorie burn but also conditions your metabolism and joints to function better,” says Jade Teta, N.D., cofounder of The Metabolic Effect in Santa Monica, California. “So you can gradually increase your workout intensity without hurting yourself.” Carve out time for a dedicated walk, following Teta’s recommendations below. Try to accumulate an additional 5,500 steps by simply walking more throughout the day.



Weeks 1 to 4

30 minutes, easy pace ADDITIONAL WALKING

5,500 steps throughout the day

305 Calories a 240pound guy burns walking slowly for an hour. Move like you’re late for a meeting, and the tally goes up to 469.

74 | January/February 2017



Weeks 5 to 8

45 minutes; 5 minutes of easy pace, followed by 1 minute faster pace; repeat ADDITIONAL WALKING

5,500 steps throughout the day READY TO RUN


Weeks 9 to 12

45 minutes; 5 minutes moderate pace, 1 minute jogging; repeat ADDITIONAL WALKING

6,000 steps throughout the day

2/ Side Wall Plank to Raise Stand with your right side next to a wall. Place your right forearm on the wall, parallel to the floor, your left arm hanging at your side. Walk your feet out until you’re leaning at a 45-degree angle. Keep your body aligned from head to heels as you slowly raise your left arm straight out to shoulder height. Pause and lower it. That’s 1 rep; do 10, then switch sides. 3/ Towel Swing Stand with your feet shoulderwidth apart. Push your hips back, knees slightly bent, and hold a corner of a towel with each hand in front of your hips. Quickly lift your arms, and then forcefully lower them. That’s 1 rep; do 40. 4/ Elevated Pushup Assume a pushup position with your hands shoulderwidth apart on a step, couch, or kitchen counter. Bend your elbows to lower yourself and push back up, keeping your body straight at all times. That’s 1 rep; do 10. 5/ Side Shuffle and Tap Stand with your feet shoulderwidth apart. Shuffle three steps to the left and touch your right toes to the floor behind your left foot. Immediately shuffle three steps to the right and touch your left toes to the floor behind your right foot. That’s 1 rep; do 10.


Crush Cravings *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. © Procter & Gamble, Inc. 2016

Style Darker colors, like navy or black, are more refined than brighter hues.

High-end hardware elevates a coat so it looks as good with a suit as it does with jeans.

KILL THE CHILL Brutal weather shouldn’t bully your style. Conquer the cold with these subzero strategies. By Sandra Nygaard

Designs that skim your body rather than bulk it up translate as dressier.

Layer a technical piece under a luxe fabric—a down vest under a wool jacket, for example.


Your winter challenge: Stay warm and look good. To help you achieve both, we reached out to a team of clothing and grooming experts for this head-to-toe guide. “You don’t need to sacrifice comfort for style,” says Aaron Levine, head of men’s design at Abercrombie & Fitch, who’s managed to survive and thrive through a few winters in Columbus-freezing-Ohio. “There are many great new pieces in classic styles with technical properties, and they’re thin, light, and weather resistant.” On the following pages you’ll find Levine’s ideas for smart layering for work and play, plus a simple plan for upgrading your entire winter look.

January/February 2017 | 77


Grow your own: Think of a beard as an extra layer of insulation— a sweater for your neck and face.


Layer It On Make every layer work. Lose the cotton Drake tour tee and put on a soft, sturdy knit base layer, like a merino Henley, says Levine. Then build out. Steer clear of the snowman look. Layer a down jacket under a thinner wool topcoat. If you want the jacket to recede, make it black. Or try a brighter version to add a peek of color, “as long as it’s streamlined and doesn’t appear bulky,” Levine says. Know you can trust the classics. You’ll never regret buying earth tones and neutrals like navy, charcoal, and olive. Look for quiet textures, not in-your-face patterns. “A tweed, herringbone, or nubby texture can stand out subtly,” Levine adds.


Gain Traction Don’t let a deep freeze get the best of your feet. These coldweather boots will cover you from workdays to weekends. They’re slick enough to wear with a suit, but they’ll also keep your feet extra warm. The neoprene detail adds insulation while the rubber sole keeps moisture at bay.



Kenneth Cole $395 Weather turned foul? Bring on the bells and whistles. These lightweight boots have a plush wool lining, sealed seams, waterproof leather, and a durable, grippy outsole.



Mimic the natural world. Add colorful accents with hats and scarves, Levine says. Go for seasonal hues, like red and mustard.

Previous page: Coach coat, $895. Patagonia vest, $149. Michael Kors turtleneck, $395 Dockers pants, $68. Naadam scarf, $155 Hestra gloves, $125 This page: Filson jacket, $385. Patagonia vest, $149. Naadam hoodie $250. Timberland Henley, $68. Abercrombie & Fitch jeans, $88 Chippewa boots, $290. Steven Alan hat, $98 78 | January/February 2017

Wear these stylish, snow-ready boots in the city or the woods. They have all the qualities of hard-core hikers, like a mesh lining and interior membrane to keep your feet dry.



Timberland $200

S t y l i n g: B r i a n B o y é & S a n d r a N y g a a r d (m o d e l s) , g r o o m i n g : M a r c o C a s t r o / D e f a c t o

Show some color discipline. “You don’t want to be the loudest guy in the room,” says Levine. “Keep it lowkey or wear one bold color; your words will have impact because they’re not competing with your clothes.”

Ugg $200


Find Your Comfort Zone On any given day in winter, just a thin amount of insulation can make the difference between sweating and freezing. That’s why every guy needs a variety of outerwear to face the elements— and different styles to meet every occasion. Here are our favorites, no matter what the weather or where you’re headed.


J.Crew $475

Hilfiger Edition $995

Banana Republic $398

Abercrombie & Fitch $260

Banana Republic $350

Joseph Abboud $2,495

Eddie Bauer $129

Moose Knuckles Canada $395

Nobis $1,295






B E N R I T T E R (d o g)

Does your pooch need an extra pelt? Dogs with thick fur, like huskies or Malamutes, can handle extreme cold, but small or short-haired pups need help. In this weather-resistant, side-zip coat, Sparky can face any wintry mix. It’s insulated on top with a technical stretch fabric below so he can fetch freely. Ruffwear, $90





Win the Winter Head Games Barber Justin Virgil Gramelspacher of New York City has tips to avoid hat head and other winter disasters. Turn Down the Heat Combat dandruff by washing your hair with warm water; high temps dry your scalp. Then use a light conditioner. If flakes persist, use a dandruff shampoo, leave-in conditioner, or scalp oil, says Gramelspacher. Step Up Your Styling Towel-dry your hair and use a gel for volume and to prevent static. Then apply a light product with flexible hold. “Styling cream is like lotion for your hair,” he says. “It will protect it from overdrying and keep hair in its place.”

80 | January/February 2017

You’re Getting Warmer Outwit winter with smart accessories. By Sandra Nygaard Cashmere Hat

Leather Gloves

Leather Bag

Wool Socks

Patterned Scarf

Regular wool can get scratchy against your forehead. Upgrade to cashmere (made from goat hair) and your dermis will definitely notice the difference. It’s feather-light, very warm, and softer than the shorter, thicker fibers in sheep’s wool. Steven Alan, $98

Scandinavians know all about cold weather, so we’ll trust this Swedish brand that deploys elk hide, an excellent insulator. A wool lining will provide your digits with extra warmth when they need it most. Hestra, $180

Break away from the basic black bag: A navy leather tote with black trim is a sophisticated alternative to the traditional briefcase or messenger bag. Plenty of interior pockets here provide essential utility. Coach, $550

You’re only as warm as your feet. Merino wool is breathable and manages moisture as it regulates temperature. The seamless construction of these socks means less friction for long, fearless walks in the snow. Farm to Feet, $20

Even if you’re usually timid with color, an interesting scarf can make an average outfit stand out. Try a pattern, like this geometric in gray and black, when you want to add attitude and interest without getting too bold. Coach, $95

Illustration by G A RY W I LL I A M M USG R AV E; st yling: B ill L a u g h l i n / M a r k E d w a r d s ( b o o t s , c o a t s , a c c e s s o r i e s)

Pick the Right Hat Once your hair is dry, wear a roomy hat made from natural fibers to prevent sweating, which makes your hair flat.







“Guys typically don’t compliment each other. But when I have a buddy or somebody on my hockey team that says, ‘What are you doing? You look great,’ that’s the ultimate compliment to me.” Individual results will vary. Proper diet and exercise as described in the Metashred program are necessary to achieve these results.


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The Dirt on Clean Skin A gritty, grimy secret weapon can leave you looking fresher and healthier. By Sandra Nygaard PH OTO G R A PH BY B EN R I T T ER

We love charcoal. It can sear steak to juicy perfection, suck the stink out of a man cave, and keep wrenches rust-free. (Just toss a briquette into your toolbox.) But you might be surprised to know that its purifying powers can also keep your skin, hair, and teeth clean and healthy. Charcoal’s porous structure naturally draws out oil, dirt, and stains while attracting water to hydrate your hide, says dermatologist Marianna Blyumin-Karasik, M.D. Here’s our quick-and-dirty lineup for any grooming issue.

Dirt Buildup

Greasy Skin

Carbon molecules in activated charcoal are like dirt magnets, says Dendy Engelman, M.D., a Manhattan dermatologist. When pore pollutants come into contact with carbon, they stick together and wash away as you rinse. Nivea Men Active Clean Shower Gel, $5,

Swipe away sweat, salt, and grease wherever you are with these travel-friendly, charcoal-infused black wipes. They also contain witch hazel to soothe skin irritation and inflammation. Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Facial Wipes, $6,

Clogged Pores

Winter Dryness

The alpha hydroxy acids in this mask soak up oils and smooth out bumps. Just don’t leave it on longer than advised. The charcoal can absorb too much oil, and your skin will produce more of it to compensate. Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque, $46,

Cold, dry air can roughen skin. Charcoal is winter-friendly because it simultaneously moisturizes and cleanses, says Dr. Blyumin-Karasik. This gentle foam gets rid of grime without fragrance or residue. Clinique for Men Charcoal Face Wash, $20,

Stained Teeth

Dull Hair

Surface stains from coffee, tea, and wine surrender when faced with a toothbrush containing charcoal, says Marc Lowenberg, D.D.S. But naturally dark or yellow teeth may need a hydrogen peroxide bleaching agent, he says. Ernest Supplies Toothbrush, $8,

Pomades and gels can leave residue that weighs your hair down. This sulfatefree formula combines charcoal and fresh citrus oils to scrub away buildup while going easy on your scalp, says Dr. Engelman. Hask Charcoal Purifying Shampoo, $6,

January/February 2017 | 83



Before you talk to a doctor, choose one trained to listen. Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine practice their distinct philosophy in every medical specialty. A DO is trained to ďŹ rst consider the person within the patient.

Learn more at

Health People lather longer with nonfoaming liquid soap, a recent study showed.

GET MORE OUT OF YOUR DRUGSTORE Look beyond the vitamin aisle for some great finds. Here are nine of them. By Chelsea Ratcliff Drugstores are overwhelming. Racks of candy, rows of razors— plus the tabloid headlines at the checkout. You can’t blame these retailers for trying to cash in: Pharmacies receive less money from insurance companies for prescriptions these days. Small community drugstores and big chains alike (CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid) want to be your go-to, drop-in, one-stop shop. And there’s good stuff in those aisles besides pills and potions. Find the best with our handy guide.


January/February 2017 | 85


1/ Advice from the Pharmacist (on Almost Anything) A common joke among pharmacists is that they’re experts in counting by fives— in other words, “that we’re just product pushers,” says Steven Chen, Pharm.D., of the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy. Yes, pharmacists have in-depth knowledge of meds, but four years in a doctoral program earns them more than just pill skills. “It’s a very intensive, patientfocused, clinically focused training,” Dr. Chen says. If you have a chronic condition, a pharmacist can likely tell you which lifestyle changes might complement your medications and also point you to products beyond the pharmacy counter.

2/ Easy Health Screening Think of the pharmacist as a valuable player on your health care team. A pharmacist can’t have you strip and put on a gown for a physical exam, but he or she can still find out plenty about your health. “We don’t do checkups in the sense of diagnosis, but we do screenings,” Dr. Chen says. A pharmacist might check you for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. Some can also screen for undetected or untreated depression. Pro tip: An independent pharmacist may have more time to spend with customers, says Dr. Chen, although some chains also provide these services.

3/ No-Fuss Vaccines Had your flu shot yet? The CDC recommends one annually for adults, but only 42 percent of us comply. Flu season runs until March, so it’s not too late. Get your flu shot in the morning if you can. U.K. research suggests that your body mounts a more robust immune response if the jab’s in the a.m. But the flu shot isn’t the whole story. Only 20 percent of adults are up to date on their Tdap vaccine, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (a.k.a. whooping cough). Nearly every pharmacy offers it, and it’s usually free with insurance.

Yes, pharmacists have in-depth knowledge of meds, but four years in a doctoral program earns them more than just pıll skills. 4/ Smoking Cessation Programs

7/ The Perfect Hand Soap

Many pharmacies now offer counseling services as well as products to help smokers quit, says John Beckner, R.Ph., a senior director with the National Community Pharmacists Association. In fact, some pharmacists have training as certified tobacco treatment specialists. Almost all can offer guidance on nicotine replacement therapies and other treatments, and they’ll show you how to use smoking-cessation meds correctly.

Any soap can scrub away germs, but liquid soap is more sanitary than bars. Bacteria may cling to bar soaps, especially moisturizing ones, suggests research from Washington University in St. Louis. Try Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Liquid Hand Soap or a similar brand with plant-derived ingredients and no potentially harmful preservatives, such as parabens. And unless you work in health care, avoid antibacterial soaps: The FDA now warns that they may have hormone-suppressing effects. Companies have until midyear to pull them from the market.

5/ Probiotics Gut pains? Fart a lot? A probiotic supplement might quell your GI troubles, especially if your gut disruption was due to antibiotic use or an infection. A daily dose of these live microorganisms may restore the natural balance of healthy bacteria in your digestive system. You could ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome after six months, a BMC Gastroenterology study suggests. And in a study in Nutrition Research, probiotics relieved gassiness. Individual results may vary, so be ready to experiment. Tap the pharmacist for a product recommendation.

6/ Oral Care Essentials Two words: tongue funk. Probably the most overlooked item in the oral health aisle is a an inexpensive little plastic gadget. A tongue scraper is one of the best tools for removing dragon-breath-causing bacteria from your mouth, says James Keddington, D.D.S., of the University of Utah School of Dentistry. “The rough texture of the tongue allows microorganisms to collect and proliferate,” he says. This handy tool brings bacteria to the surface and then squeegees them all away.

Yes! Our writer did it for almost a week. 86 | January/February 2017

This one is just crazy enough to work: Pour warm salt water in one nostril and let it flow out the other. Seasoned users swear that this centuries-old nasal irrigation technique beats allergy and sinus relief drugs, and plenty of research backs the claims. Weirded out? The pharmacist can walk you through the process and help you decide whether a neti pot or a squeeze bottle is right for you. A neti pot is safe as long as you’re flushing with distilled or sterile water, or H2O that’s been boiled and cooled or passed through a filter with a pore size of 1 micron or less.

9/ The Redbox Before you head home, don’t forget the power of humor, even if it comes in the form of a cheesy film. Studies associate positive health effects with spontaneous laughter. Belly laughs can increase pain tolerance, boost immunity, and bust stress. All that for a buck fifty! Try Seth Rogen’s animated Sausage Party, now available at Redbox.

The pharmacy chain is expanding its healthy food offerings, a trend I noticed one night as I waited for my mom’s drug order. Rather than extend an already long day with an additional stop at the supermarket, I grabbed a box of CVS Gold Emblem Abound Organic White Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese and was later pleased to find it didn’t taste like gauze. So began days of pharmacy food refills. I sampled lots of tasty items from an Epic Turkey Almond Cranberry Bar (like emergency Thanksgiving) to a Naked Green Machine Smoothie. I made a dinner of whole-grain pasta, organic tomato sauce, and meatballs. I even had happy hour with CVS wheat crackers and salsa and grape juice (vintage unknown). Plus, you can grab Gas-X before you check out, just in case. —JOE KITA

Illustration by K AGAN McLEOD

Can You Live on Food from CVS?

8/ Neti Pot



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The screening you can do in your own bathroom If you’re willing to scoop your scat into a vial, a fecal immunochemical test is an easy way to screen yourself. It detects proteins present in certain colon cancers. Another test, called Cologuard, spots DNA that may be linked to cancer. You may have to repeat these tests every year or two, not the decade you can wait after a clean colonoscopy.

The test you can swallow

Save Your Butt You have zero excuses to skip out on colon cancer screening. It’s now easier than ever. By Julie Stewart Many cancers hide deep in the body, evading detection. Not colon cancer. To find out if you have it, all you have to do is look. Unlike many screenings, tests to spot colorectal and cervical cancer are very effective. “They’re head and shoulders above the others,” says Robert Schoen, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Yet about 40 percent of men between ages 50 and 75 haven’t had a recent colon check.

Screening is advised for men 50 and older, but many younger guys should also be checked. A University of Michigan study found that nearly 15 percent of people diagnosed with colorectal cancer are younger than 50. If you have a bowel disease or a family history of colon cancer, ask your doctor about testing. The most common test is a colonoscopy. While you’re under anesthesia, the doctor probes your colon with a 5-foot scope, snipping out any precancerous polyps. If you’re stalling because of the diarrhea-inducing prep, it’s time to man up: The ridges of your colon need to be free of debris for the best viewing. Most important, if you screen for and spot colon cancer early, a cure is more likely. And scientists keep discovering ways to make testing easier, whether you opt for a scope or one of the newer tests on the block. Read on.

The Warning Sign in the Toilet Bowl 88 | January/February 2017

The more convenient colonoscopy prep Colonoscopy veterans talk about glugging a gallon of polyethylene glycol and following a clear liquid diet the day before the procedure. Today, many doctors split the dose into two parts or offer a more palatable duo of Miralax and Gatorade. Soon you may even be able to eat beforehand. Scientists at UC Irvine found that people who ate “low residue” foods like eggs and white rice the day before felt better and didn’t compromise the results. Don’t defy doctor’s orders; just ask if easier prep options are available.

Throw back a pill that contains a tiny camera, and a specialist can watch as it moves through your colon, spotting polyps along its path. The PillCam is approved by the FDA for colon screening in some people. Check with your doctor—and call your insurer to see if you’re covered.

The virtual colonoscopy (no probing required)

A scan called CT colonography uses low-dose radiation to reveal tumors. It’s as good as a colonoscopy, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force noted recently. So any insurer holding out will probably cover it soon. The test does require bowel prep, but it’s less intense than colonoscopy prep, says Perry Pickhardt, M.D., chief of gastrointestinal imaging at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Give your doctor a heads-up if you notice blood in the toilet, a change in your bowel habits, or unusual fatigue. These can signal colon cancer. If you’ve always had gut trouble, raise the red flag even higher. Conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or peptic ulcers can delay diagnosis; a recent study in the British Journal of Cancer found that it takes 20 percent longer for people with these conditions to be diagnosed with colon cancer. That’s because your doctor might blame any new or worsening symptoms on your existing condition, the researchers say. I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y A D A M N I C K E L


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Is Your Liver Cooked?

This vital organ plays a key role in metabolism. Don’t treat it like chopped liver.

Millions of men have hidden liver trouble. Follow our advice to keep yours healthy. By Aimee Swartz Maybe you’ve heard this line just before last call: “The liver can grow back!” Well, yes, but let’s not rationalize ourselves into the hospital. Your liver is incredible, but boozing is just one way to ruin this vital organ, which turns food into nutrients and filters toxins from blood. Another big threat is fat. As many as a third of American adults have a buildup of extra fat cells, a condition with a lovely name: fatty liver disease. Early medical literature described fatty liver as a problem afflicting heavy drinkers, but “that’s no longer the case,” says W. Ray Kim, M.D., a professor of medicine at Stanford University. Now it increasingly occurs in people who don’t drink in excess. In those people, it’s called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, now the most common chronic liver condition in America. It’s normal for a liver to contain fat cells, but things change once its fat content hits 10 percent or more. Inflammation can set in. The liver’s spongy texture can coarsen as its function declines. But this might sneak up on you. Your liver can still power on when only a fraction of its tissue is healthy, so most people with NAFLD go years without symptoms. It’s often detected by chance through unrelated blood work or imaging tests. Up to 20 percent of the time, NAFLD may take on a more serious form: nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH. This, too, is often silent. Most people with NASH feel fine and only notice symptoms—like weight loss and fatigue—once the liver is badly damaged, a process that can take years. By then they may have cirrhosis, potentially fatal damage from scarring. “As scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue, the liver will begin to fail,” says Dr. Kim. “Once a person with NASH has cirrhosis, there is no reversing it.” Eventually the only option is a transplant. What’s more, NASH is emerging as a major cause of liver cancer, a disease that kills the majority of its victims. The good news is that unlike cirrhosis, NAFLD and NASH can be reversed. Here’s how to show your liver some love. 90 | January/February 2017

1/ Beware of Metabolic Syndrome

2/ Watch Your Enzymes

Fatty liver is a classic 21st-century American disease; its rise coincides with our increasingly poor diet and lack of exercise. High blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and excess abdominal fat—that constellation known as metabolic syndrome—also threaten a man’s liver, says Sean Kelly, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. Having only one of these factors is a signal of poor health; two or more will multiply your risk of developing NAFLD (plus plenty of other problems, such as heart disease and diabetes). As metabolic syndrome compromises your body’s machinery, fat accumulates in your liver. Your doctor can detect blood sugar and cholesterol levels through a simple blood test.

While you’re arranging for your blood work, ask for a comprehensive metabolic panel. This will indicate whether key liver enzymes are in the normal range. Men may be programmed to metabolize fats in a way that makes them more prone to fatty liver than women, according to research from the U.K.

3/ Nourish Your Liver Excess calories and carbs promote the formation of fat deposits in your liver, but a smart diet can actually help your liver regenerate new cells. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and limit foods high in saturated fats and sugar. “Start small. Even simple modifications like avoiding fried foods or giving up soda can make a big difference,” says Dr. Kelly. Hit the bulk aisle: I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y S C I E P R O






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In a recent study in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, people with NAFLD who consumed just over an ounce of brown milled flaxseed a day for 12 weeks improved their liver health.

4/ Be Religious About Exercise Recent studies have shown that regular exercise can reduce liver fat even without weight loss. That goes for aerobic exercise (such as running or swimming) as well as strength training. In one U.K. study, people who cycled and did resistance training three days a week for three months reduced their liver fat by an average of 16 percent compared with those who didn’t do the exercises. Whatever habit you establish, keep it up. If you quit working out, your liver fat levels will rebound within a year, suggests a new study in the International Journal of Obesity.

5/ Maintain a Healthy Weight For every extra BMI point, your NAFLD risk rises 13 percent. “Often a 10 percent body-weight reduction translates into a big improvement,” says Dr. Kelly. If you need to slim down, do it gradually; Dr. Kim advises taking six months to a year, because losing 4 or more pounds a week can bring on or worsen fatty liver. Avoid weight-loss or bodybuilding supplements, some of which can hurt your liver. Twenty percent of people with substance-induced liver injury can blame it on a supplement, versus 7 percent a decade ago, the journal Hepatology reports.

6/ Limit Your Alcohol Intake Drinking can send your liver into overdrive as it tries to process the alcohol and detoxify

your blood. There’s no hard and fast rule, but the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommends that men limit alcohol to one or two drinks a day. If you already have NAFLD, it’s probably okay to have a drink from time to time, but not on the regular. NASH patients, however, should be totally off the sauce, say researchers in Germany.

7/ Mind Your Medicines Some medicines and supplements—even ones that tout liver benefits—can actually harm your liver. Case in point: The pain reliever acetaminophen can wreck your liver if you take too much (more than 4,000 milligrams in 24 hours). You probably know that acetaminophen is in Tylenol, but it’s also in hundreds of other drugs, especially cold and flu remedies and prescription pain relievers. Only take medicines that you need, follow dosing recommendations, and let your doctor or pharmacist know everything you are taking, even if it’s sold over the counter.

8/ Protect Yourself from Hepatitis Viral hepatitis—A, B, or C—can wreck a liver. Hepatitis A is primarily spread through food or water tainted with microscopic amounts of feces. It’s rare in the United States, Canada, and western Europe, but not in other places. Before traveling, look into a hepatitis A vaccine. (Check Hep B and C, on the other hand, are spread via blood and other body fluids. There’s a shot for B; and to avoid B and C, use latex condoms and never share toothbrushes, razors, or needles. Anyone born between 1945 and 1965 should be tested. Anyone being tested for HIV should consider hepatitis B and C testing as well.


Percentage of your blood being processed by your liver at any given moment, at about 1.4 liters per minute

Percentage spike in NAFLD risk in folks who ate fast food more than three times a week for 25 years, versus those who ate it once a month or less.

92 | January/February 2017


14 days $1,613

Estimated number of Americans, in millions, with NAFLD

Time that a liver section from a living donor takes to double in size in its new body

Annual medical costs per patient from NAFLD alone

800 to 1,000


Your liver’s average daily bile output. Bile helps your body break down food, drink, and whatever else the organ encounters.

If you keep your liver in tiptop shape, you could help more than yourself. In April 2015, David Denovchek, a 30-year-old Ohioan, caught the tail end of a local newscast. A 4-year-old girl named Jamie needed a new liver, and doctors were seeking a living donor—someone who could donate part of their organ so it could then grow and function in Jamie’s body. Thanks to the liver’s regenerating properties, this can be done safely with a healthy donor. Denovchek fit the criteria perfectly: He was young and healthy, he had Jamie’s blood type, and his liver was pristine. “I never drank or smoked in my life,” he says. So that very night he contacted Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, where Jamie was being treated. Several weeks later, surgeons cut out 30 percent of Denovchek’s liver and transplanted it into Jamie’s body. Denovchek remembers the surgeon’s exact words: “Had we not done the surgery, she would have had days.” Denovchek was out of the hospital in four days and back to his routine morning runs three weeks later. And seven months after the surgery, he finally got to meet Jamie, on her fifth birthday. They played tag, colored, and belted out “Let It Go” from Frozen. Want to be a hero? Go to and sign up to become a donor with the United Network for Organ Sharing. —JAMES NOSEK

Illustration by G A RY W I LLI A M M USG R AV E

3.4 10 210 Weight in pounds of a man’s liver

Can You Spare Some Liver?




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At the 90-second mark, commence extrication maneuvers.

Glenn Glasser/Galler y S tock

SLEEP WITH ANY WOMAN Yes, sleep. As in hibernate. (What were you thinking?) Learn to stack easy z’s and wake up refreshed. By Dan Roe

Illustrations by MICHAEL HOEWELER

Keeping your mate up all night isn’t something to brag about. In fact, about one in four American couples sleep in separate beds because they just can’t sleep together. Seven out of 10 women in a recent Women’s Health poll said their partner keeps them up at night by snoring and moving around. And a groggy partner is a cranky partner. “If that person is waking up grumpy and it’s a new relationship, it’ll probably get worse over time,” says Rafael Pelayo, M.D., a Stanford sleep physician. “Lack of sleep makes people feel irritable, inattentive, and sometimes even guilty because they bark at their partner in the morning.” See if any of these problems sound familiar, and then take action to sleep well tonight.

5/ Spooning puts your arm to sleep. Curling up together can have direct physiological benefits— like reducing stress responses, says behavioral and social scientist Wendy Troxel, Ph.D. Start out in a bodies-touching position to generate oxytocin (the “cuddle hormone”), suggests body language expert Patti Wood. Then segue into something more conducive to slumber. The back-to-back “Zen position” reveals trust and the ability and desire to be independent, Wood says, but the “tushie touch” shows that you want to stay sexually connected. It’s all about the oxytocin: Scientists in France say this hormone makes men perceive their partner as more attractive than other, unfamiliar women, possibly making the men less prone to infidelity. (Good for you both!)

1/ Snoring keeps one of you up all night.

3/ She’s always cold and you’re a furnace.

Sleep on your side to keep your tongue out of the way, Dr. Pelayo suggests. Or do palate exercises, like pushing the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth and then sliding your tongue backward. In a 2015 Brazilian study, such exercises— involving the tongue, soft palate, and hard palate—reduced snoring frequency by 36 percent. Another option is the Max-Air Nose Cone nasal dilator—a plastic thingy that props your nasal airways open, encouraging nasal breathing. In one study, it increased airflow by 110 percent.

Women tend to feel colder than men because their smaller frame and higher body fat equals a slower metabolism. And once you hit dreamland, your internal thermometer changes: “You tend to feel colder in the morning than at the start of the night,” Dr. Pelayo says. Performance bedding fabrics can help. Sheex, made of moisture-wicking microfiber polyester and spandex, absorb sweat and help regulate body temps. A ChiliPad Cube mattress pad uses silicone tubing to circulate cold or warm water on either side of the bed.

2/ One of you is a restless sleeper.

4/ She wants to sleep; you’re wide awake.

6/ Sleeplessness is tearing you apart.

Go royal: With a queen or king mattress, you’ll have more elbow room. A Sleep Number bed (air chambers for each side) or memory foam mattress isolates movement. On a budget? Wedge a body pillow between you and your bedmate, Dr. Pelayo says. Or try slipping into a thin sleeping bag beneath the sheets.

Your chronotypes may be out of sync. You each have your own natural sleep cycle; we don’t know how they develop, and altering your chronotype isn’t easy, says University of Pittsburgh sleep researcher Heather Gunn, Ph.D. Is your mate’s internal clock powering down as The Bachelor credits roll while yours keeps ticking well past the ShamWow infomercial? Ask each other if hitting the sack together is really that important. If you’re a night owl and she rises with the roosters, try heading to bed separately. “If you wake up feeling good,” Dr. Pelayo says, “all is forgiven in the morning.”

Two words: separate beds. Maybe it’s not so romantic, but a good night’s sleep trumps all. In a University of Pittsburgh study, married men were more satisfied with their relationship after a good sleep. About a quarter of U.S. couples don’t share a bed, the National Sleep Foundation reports. Have a snuggle (or more) before retiring to separate beds, and then climb back into bed together in the morning. “Time spent side by side in an intimate space is important,” Wood says. That’s when men are more likely to share intimate thoughts. And you know where that can lead. January/February 2017 | 95

2 0 17


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January/February 2017 | 97

Ever look at a Men’s Health cover and wish you had a body like that? It’s time to stop daydreaming. Four of our most iconic cover guys are about to show you how to build muscle, lose weight, and look great at any age. BY JOE KITA



Your Body Is Your Business Card YOU MIGHT NOT EXPECT THE

fitness director of the biggest men’s magazine franchise in the world to be eating at Five Guys. But that’s where you’ll find BJ Gaddour every Friday afternoon after he streams his Facebook Live workout. “For other people, Wednesday is hump day because they’re one day closer to the weekend,” he says. “But for me it’s Tuesday because I’m one day closer to this.” Before Gaddour are two lettuce burgers (iceberg leaves instead of buns), medium Cajunstyle fries, medium regular fries, and a large Coke Zero. From the look on his face, you’d think he was back in Milwaukee eating Mom’s home cooking off a plate that reads “You Are Special.” (“It was a massive plate, and, yes, it really did say that.”) Back then, at age 17, Gaddour weighed 275 pounds and was softer than a steamed dumpling. But next to the toilet, his dad stashed copies of Men’s Health. Inspired by the guys on the cover, he began to educate and define himself.

He dropped 50 pounds for his senior season of high school football by cutting back on bread and sugary drinks. He gained it back to play Division 3 ball at Amherst. His weight continued to rollercoaster. During a brief stint as a bodybuilder, he says, “I got supershredded for one show and then gained back 35 pounds in five days.” Now he prioritizes steady, lifelong gains. Fitness has become a journey for him, not a destination. And at 34 and around 225 pounds, Gaddour is fitter and healthier than ever. But he’s not a freak. “I’m really a fat guy faking it as a fit guy,” he says. “I think of each rep as a french fry.” And when he’s not making MH workout videos, he’s sprawled on the couch with his wife and two boxers, Stinky and Sweetie, stretching and binge-watching miniseries. “I train so I can be as lazy as possible.” In other words, Gaddour’s a regular guy who made health and fitness a priority and has worked hard to transform himself. That’s why he’s on our cover.


Bulgarian Split Squat/ Pullup

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“If I had to name two exercises that were capable of transforming most men, I’d pick the Bulgarian split squat and the pullup,” says Gaddour. He does sets of both at least once a week. “I use them on a biweekly or monthly basis to gauge my progress. My indicators used to be the bench press, squat, and deadlift. But these two are safer, more convenient, and provide the same advantages.”

January/February 2017 | 99

WATCH FLIX AND FLEX One thing holding men back from maximizing their muscle gains, Gaddour says, is their inability to do exercises with a full, pain-free range of motion. So he decided to create #NetflixAndStretch. If stretching at the gym isn’t your thing, you can do these moves in front of the TV. Sub in a chair, sofa, or ottoman for the bench. Do each for 2 to 5 minutes. For quads/hip flexors



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“My body responds best to intermittent fasting. I have coffee in the morning, but delaying my first meal and doing my a.m. cardio in a fasted state is a big reason I maintain low levels of body fat year-round.”

6 p.m. 16 to 20 ounces of lean meat, plus unlimited vegetables

“I’ve never counted calories or weighed anything. I try to get at least two fists of protein and two fists of vegetables at each meal.”

Between meals and during workouts Drinks: Scivation Xtend BCAAs

“This is an electrolyte and amino acid blend that enhances muscle growth and promotes recovery.”

Treats Berries with peanut butter, or high-protein, lowsugar ice cream at night, and Five Guys on Fridays.

“I’m disciplined 80 to 90 percent of the time, but I’m always working for the release, the fun, and the enjoyment I find through food.”

How BJ Trains Gaddour does an hour of lower-intensity aerobic exercise every morning “for recovery and to get my mind and energy set for the day.” Then he does 60 to 90 minutes of high-intensity strength training in the afternoon, alternating upper- and lower-body days. His new DVD workout series, MetaShred Extreme, is a five-disc set featuring 11 full workouts and eight finishers. These are arranged in two-week cycles for a six- to 12-week transformation. “You can do it at home or on the road because it requires minimal equipment,” he says. “It’s the best way to build muscle and lose fat.” Check out the sample workout on page 132 or order the DVDs at

100 | January/February 2017

P h o to g r a p h s b y J O H N LO O M I S (t h i s p a g e a n d o p p o s i te); i l l u s t r a t i o n s b y S A M P E E T

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Consistency Is the Key September 2000

Reelin’ in the years: There’s nothing fishy here. At 52, Avedon looks this good in real life.

TURN TO THE NEXT PAGE AND take a quick look at the two photos of the guy hiking his shirt up. That’s Gregg Avedon, who’s appeared on a record 16 Men’s Health covers— second only to the bar code. One photo was taken in 2000; the other just a few months ago. Can you tell which is which? Not so easy, is it? That’s because at 52, Avedon has managed to preserve himself better than Ted Williams. And his secret, he says, isn’t really a secret at all: “I’ve just been extremely consistent with my training and diet across 35 years,” he says. Granted, as a model and

personal trainer in South Florida, it’s his job to look as if he found what Ponce de León was seeking. But just because Avedon’s office is a gym doesn’t mean he acquired those abs through osmosis. “Some days you feel great and other days you don’t,” he says. “But if you can walk into the gym every day and meet two goals—to be safe, and to be sore the next day—then no matter what happens, you’ll make progress.” This advice also applies when you’re traveling, which is where consistency can turn into complacency for most men. When


Incline Dumbbell Bench Press “It’s great for overall chest development while also hitting the delts and triceps,” says Avedon, who sports a 44-inch chest. “Let’s face it—a good chest gives you the illusion of a well-proportioned physique. If you maintain good form, this move also builds the serratus muscles of the abdomen, the lats, the radialis muscles of the arms, and your grip strength.”

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AVEDON’S ANTI-AGING AXIOMS 1/ Eat a clean, organic, mostly plantbased diet, along with pasture-raised, grass-fed, lean proteins that are free of hormones. 2/ Hydrate with plenty of clean water. 3/ Exercise with or without weights five or six days a week. 4/ Get seven to eight hours of sleep every night. 5/ Do something each day that helps you reduce stress.


Avedon’s modeling career was at its peak, he logged 3 million flight miles one year. But his training and diet were never delayed. Before leaving on a trip, even now, Avedon calculates how much protein powder, greens powder, and other supplements he’ll need each day and packs them in individual snack-size bags that lie flat in his luggage. For the plane ride, he stashes Quest protein bars in his carry-on. He also checks online to see if his hotel has a suitable gym or if it’s affiliated with one nearby. “I need dumbbells up to 50 pounds, a bench, a cable machine, and a treadmill,” he says. Avedon, author of the former MH column and popular book series Muscle Chow, doesn’t eat out when he’s traveling. Instead he buys yogurt, cans of tuna, or bags of salad at the market and eats in his room. Call it DIY room service. “I keep everything very simple, and I stay on my plan,” he says. “You want to avoid the gerbil-ona-wheel thing, constantly cleaning up your diet and getting back in the gym after every trip.”

A typical workout for Avedon starts with 20 to 30 minutes of high-intensity cardio on an elliptical machine or stair stepper, followed by 30 to 40 minutes of resistance training that includes rotating days of chest/shoulders/ abs, back/arms/abs, and legs. He does this workout five or six days a week; he also walks 4 to 6 miles in the evening to “clear my head and manage stress.” Avedon has had no major health problems and only two injuries in his career, a hernia and a torn biceps from doing a preacher curl with a straight bar. “It took a lot of rehab, but I can lift a piano with that arm now,” he says. Nonetheless, some effects of aging have crept in. “It seems like I’m always battling some kind of little ache or pain,” he admits, “but I don’t let it get me down. I say, ‘Okay, today is not a good day to do this movement because it’s bothering my shoulder, so I’ll do an alternate one.’ I always find a way to work around it.” Oh, and by the way, those photos over there? The most recent shot of Avedon is on the top.

The Consistency Trick To help his clients stick to their exercise and diet plans, Avedon photographs them with his iPhone. Then he promises to do it again in 90 days. “That raises the stakes,” he says. “They get nervous.” Try it. Take shirtless selfies from different angles, share them with a few close friends (notice we said “close”), and vow to transform yourself in three months. With that incentive, you’ll become more consistent—and be on your way to a lifetime of fitness.

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November 2000

J a s o n E l l i s P h o to g r a p h y. c o m (Av e d o n to p), D a r r y l E s t r i n e (Av e d o n b o t to m)


In Bod We Trust

SUPPOSE YOU’RE DINING OUT with Batman, having a great time, and suddenly he asks you to call an ambulance because he’s having a heart attack. You’d look at him like he was the Joker, right? Owen McKibbin recently found himself in a similar situation. This MH superhero, who’s been on the cover 13 times, started feeling “clammy” and thought he was going to pass out during a courtroom custody hearing. Now this

is a man who knows his body better than a Ferrari mechanic understands the F136 engine. During the previous few years he had noticed some shortness of breath during workouts and a strange pressure in his chest while lying on his left side. He raised his hand and calmly asked for an ambulance. “Everyone was like, ‘For who?’ I said, ‘For me! I think I’m having a heart attack.’” (His father had died of a heart attack at 41.)

A former pro beach volleyball player, McKibbin dug deep for lifelong fitness.

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104 | January/February 2017

Fast-forward four and a half years: McKibbin, now 53, is fully recovered. In fact, he says he’s in better shape than he was a decade ago, and not far off from his covermodel days. He recently opened a fitness studio in Santa Monica called F45. He attributes his enduring fitness to high-intensity zone progression training, or ZPT (see right). To prepare for this photo shoot, he ate a high-protein diet that was high in healthy fats and cut out rice, potatoes, pasta, bread, and sugar for one month. That said, he still drinks wine, loves good tequila, and notes “there’s some really good pizza out there.” A former pro beach volleyball player, McKibbin credits his lifestyle for enabling him to recover fully and quickly from spinal surgery early in his career, four knee operations, and that heart attack. “I’ve always been able to push through pain, but it’s also been an Achilles’ heel,” he says. “Thankfully, I trusted my instincts.”


Zone Progression Training The philosophy of ZPT is that you work one area of the body, say chest/arms, and with little or no rest, hit the secondary muscles in that same zone to exhaust the group. “Then once a zone is done, you pull that blood into a different zone,” McKibbin says. “It’s the best workout possible in the shortest amount of time.” Sample Workout 10–15 dips 20–30 pushups 60-yard hill sprints, stairs, or rope jumping 12–20 full-extension pullups 10–20 hanging leg raises (straight or angled, arms at 90 degrees) 30- to 80-second hill sprints or stairs Rest 30 to 60 seconds. Start at 1 or 2 rounds; work up to 5.

The 70/30 Rule Most men in pursuit of a balanced body divide their strength training equally between pushing and pulling. But McKibbin prefers to do 70 percent pulling and 30 percent pushing. “With all the sitting, driving, texting, and computer work we do that hunches us over, we need more movements that open us up,” he says. One bonus is better posture. “You can take a guy who’s 5'8", but if he has perfect posture he’ll look like a 6-footer when he walks into a room,” he says. “Perfect posture is something you rarely see in our society, and it exudes power and confidence.”

P h o t o g r a p h s b y D AV I D H A R R Y S T E W A R T (M c K i b b i n a n d G u y, t h i s p a g e a n d p r e v i o u s)

High-intensity exercise combined with feelings of anger or emotional distress can be a dangerous mix, a new study in the journal Circulation warns. The finding is based on the reports of nearly 12,500 heart attack sufferers on what they did and how they felt in the hour preceding their attack. Study author Andrew Smyth, M.D., Ph.D., says that both cause blood vessels to narrow, which can triple your risk. McKibbin, who’d exercised that morning and was in court fighting for custody of his son, says those two events may have played a role in his own heart attack.

Firefighters arrived and peeled off McKibbin’s shirt. “I heard one of them say, ‘My god, this guy’s in better shape than all of us combined!’ Then a couple of them recognized me and said, ‘You’re our hero! We do your workouts. You can’t be having a heart attack!’ I actually had to settle everyone down and say, ‘Look, I’m controlling my breathing so you’re not going to see any signs of distress, but I truly believe I have a blocked artery, and you have to get me to a cardiac unit now.’” Because his vitals were stable, the firefighters said they couldn’t call an ambulance. McKibbin insisted, saying he’d pay for it himself. When EMTs arrived, they also doubted McKibbin. Again he insisted. At the ER, surrounded by skeptical nurses, he convinced a doctor to put a camera into his femoral artery. Yep: His widowmaker artery was significantly blocked. “The doctor literally dropped his clipboard,” says McKibbin. “He looked at me and said, ‘You just saved your own life.’”

Now a professional photographer, Guy still looks picture perfect.


View the World as One Big Gym IT’S ANOTHER PERFECT DAY IN MALIBU, As evidenced by Guy’s 55-year-old phyand Jack Guy, another perfect Men’s Health sique, there must be some genius in that. The cover model, is paddleboarding. Suddenly a older you get, the more mind-numbing the pod of dolphins appears and he gives chase, same old workout can become. Plus, your sprinting left and then right as they weave body adapts to it. Switching to activity-based through the waves. When he has to turn training has helped Guy stay fresh and fit: back, the dolphins refuse to end the fun. Paddleboarding blasts his upper body and “They were swimming under my board, core, while steep-ascent hiking works his legs rolling over and looking up at me,” he recalls. and heart. Power yoga provides stretching, “It was amazing. When you make your traina core workout, and more cardio. ing activity-based, you expose yourself to Guy also made a mental shift: He stopped experiences like this. It doesn’t even feel like striving to fit into other people’s visions of work; it feels like you’re just fitness. “I used to diet down out there enjoying yourself.” to 3 percent body fat,” he says. When Guy lived in New York “I looked great with my shirt City, he stayed in the gym. But off, but in clothes I looked after moving to California to unhealthy. I need a little body become a photographer, his fat to look my best.” routine changed dramatically. He still pushes himself, “I’m still in the gym about two within reason. “I eat clean, days a week, but it’s only for train hard, alternate my activtoning,” he says. “The rest of ities, and accept where my the time I alternate three activbody ends up,” he says. “It’s ities on a daily basis—distance not about the weight for me paddleboarding, steep-ascent anymore. It’s about how I hiking, and power yoga.” October 1998 look and how I feel.”


Abdominal Double-Team The best way to develop abs that pop, Guy says, is to use a combination of strength and endurance moves. Cable Crunches for Strength Do these standing, kneeling, or seated on a Swiss ball, with as much weight as you can safely handle. (Don’t do these at all if you have a bad back.) Guy does 4 heavy sets of 10, and then immediately moves to… Swiss Ball Crunches for Endurance Guy heads outdoors and cues up a hard-hitting song that lasts five full minutes. “It’s a great distraction,” he says. “Sometimes I even forget to stop when the song is over.”

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Your ďŹ rst step to losing weight, gaining muscle, and living the healthiest year of your life? Cleaning out your kitchen. EDITED BY PAUL KITA / PHOTOGRAPHS BY STEPHEN LEWIS

FOR MEN 2017 107

My job is to eat. As the nutrition editor of this magazine, I chew and sip through many of the roughly 20,000 new packaged food and drink products that show up in stores each year. I’d rather go out to eat, honestly. But in my conversations with experts, I’ve learned that the best thing you can do for your health is to cook your own meals. That means going to the supermarket. Most of those 20,000 products have an ingredient in common: bull crap. Of course, it hides behind terms on labels like “light,” “gluten free,” and “low fat.” All of this nonsense makes it difficult to buy and cook better food. Which is why I and two dogged reporters, Megan DiTrolio and James Nosek, spent the past year analyzing thousands of packaged products. Use our list of MH-approved foods to achieve your health and fitness goals this year. We assure you that all the items on these pages contain no bull crap.




Your two big allies are protein and fiber. Both help you reach a point of fullness during a meal and maintain that feeling afterward. Shoot for 30 grams of protein and at least 8 grams of fiber at every meal. These options, along with a few low- or no-calorie alternatives to high-calorie foods, will help.



PICK-YOU-UP TWININGS PURE GREEN TEA Green tea with breakfast may help you avert an energy crash later in the morning, a study from Poland suggests. If the grassy taste isn’t your thing, try blending some into your morning shake.


SANDWICH SLIMMER FOOD FOR LIFE EZEKIEL 4:9 WHOLE GRAIN POCKET BREAD Two slices of white bread contain almost 160 calories and not enough fiber to fill you up. By comparison, this pita has about 60 fewer calories than white bread has, and 4 grams of fiber. The company builds its bread with organic whole-wheat flour, lentil flour, and (get this) fresh carrots.



CHUGGABLE ORGANIC VALLEY WHOLE CREAM ON TOP GRASSMILK No, it’s not milk made from grass—but that sounds plausible now, given the alterna-milks on the market. One cup provides 8 grams of protein. Almond milk can’t say that.


LEAN LUNCHMEAT APPLEGATE ORGANIC ROAST BEEF Some deli meats are made using different cuts and binders. This roast beef comes from one animal. It’s great with brown mustard and cheddar, stuffed in #5 (above).



PASTA NIGHT PASTA BIONATURAE ORGANIC WHOLE WHEAT SPAGHETTINI These satisfying noodles don’t make you feel like you’re chewing through a hay bale. CAN’T FIND IT? We also like De Cecco’s whole wheat linguine, which has a slightly earthy taste. Tip: Always cook packaged pasta one minute less than the instructions. You’ll hit the al dente sweet spot every time.

BEER WITHOUT BLOAT MICHELOB ULTRA Ninety-five calories. About 3 grams of carbs. Easy to drink.

BREAKFAST ADD-ON GOOD CULTURE ORGANIC COTTAGE CHEESE CLASSIC Its protein count (19g) is among the highest of the ones we tried. CAN’T FIND IT? Do Friendship 2% Lowfat Pot Style cottage cheese.




SUPPER STARTER EARTHBOUND FARM ORGANIC SPRING MIX Enjoying a salad before digging into a meal can help you lose weight. Swap dull iceberg for the fresh romaine, chard, arugula, radicchio, and spinach in this blend.


SODA ALTERNATIVE S. PELLEGRINO Keep the bubbles; lose the weight. Swap in this fresh-tasting sparkling water. BONUS A man cannot stay hydrated on fizzy water alone. So chug some clean, crisp Smartwater too.




Illustrations by TOMI UM

HEAT-N-EAT BREAKFAST CEDARLANE SPINACH AND MUSHROOM EGG WHITE OMELETTE This 270-calorie frozen meal has enough protein to keep you full and even sneaks in vegetables. It would be better with whole eggs, but no big deal.


PROTEIN ENTRÉE PERDUE HARVESTLAND ORGANIC CHICKEN BREAST Chicken breasts are still among the leanest forms of animal protein. Plus, these Perdue birds can’t be given antibiotics. SWAP #1 Are you getting sick of chicken? Try Organic Prairie organic ground turkey. SWAP #2 Sick of poultry in general? Grill up burgers made with Great Range Brand Bison ground bison.

This fiber-packed pasta (#7) doesn’t need a blanket of alfredo to taste good.

Our winning tomato sauce (#22) uses fresh basil for a balanced, natural sweetness.

Grape skins contain potent antioxidants. Drink them in wine form from a bottle of #34.

All nuts help your heart. But not all nuts are as fun to snack on as these nuts (#26).













All packaged products, from sugary cereals to frozen peas, now seem to tout their protein content. Here’s a secret: Most of them don’t contain much protein. If you want to bulk up, you’ll need to consume 1 gram of protein per pound of your target body weight. These choices actually deliver on their promises.


LEAN BREAKFAST AL FRESCO SWEET ITALIAN STYLE CHICKEN SAUSAGE The label keeps it simple: chicken, red and green peppers, water, sugar, and spices. One link: 130 calories, 14 grams of protein.


GRAIN CHANGE-UP BOB’S RED MILL QUINOA Here’s a fact for the quinoa-shy: This grain provides 7 grams of protein per cooked cup. White rice has a measly 4 or so.



REASON TO SPEND AN EXTRA BUCK FIFTY ORGANIC VALLEY EXTRA LARGE OMEGA-3 EGGS The almost-orange yolks are rich and gooey when cooked over easy. Heat a buttered skillet on medium low, guide in the egg, and cook till the whites set. Flip and cook 1 minute more. Eat. Fall in love. CAN’T FIND IT? Spring for Eggland’s Best classic large white eggs. You’ll find these (from vegetarian-fed birds) in pretty much every U.S. grocery store.



REASON TO SKIP THE SANDWICH SHOP ORGANIC PRAIRIE ORGANIC ROAST TURKEY BREAST SLICES It’s the quickest way to pack in protein short of a Greek yogurt IV. Two slices have 15 grams. BONUS Add some good fats: Layer sliced Mission organic avocado on your sandwich. DOUBLE BONUS Go with Arnold 100% Whole Wheat bread. It has 3 grams of fiber for 100 calories a slice.

PROTEIN IN A CUP SMARI ORGANIC ICELANDIC YOGURT First there was Greek yogurt, then Icelandic yogurt. What’s next, Galapagos yogurt? Look, this stuff is worth the hunt. One serving has fewer calories than a handful of potato chips. It’s tart, so adding fresh fruit balances it out beautifully. CAN’T FIND IT? Go with Chobani Greek NonFat Plain. It’s creamy.



TACO FILLER ORGANIC PRAIRIE ORGANIC GRASS-FED GROUND BEEF The meat from cattle that eat grass tends to be leaner and richer in antioxidants. Sizzle; then add some salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne, and oregano. Beats the taco seasoning packet. EAT IT WITH La Tortilla Factory Organic Tortillas are 100 percent nonGMO whole grain. Quick-heat them in a dry skillet on medium high. We like the yellow corn variety.


LATE-NIGHT LIFELINE STOUFFER’S FIT KITCHEN BOURBON STEAK At 410 calories and 27 grams of protein, this frozen meal is a decently nutritious fallback for when your schedule turns crazy.


NUKEABLE LUNCH SIDE HEALTHY CHOICE CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP This simple classic provides 8 grams of protein per cup— the most of all the soups we analyzed.






The American Diabetes Association recommends foods with key nutrients that have low glycemic indexes. That means things like beans, leafy greens, citrus, nuts, and grains. Combine fiber-rich foods with lean proteins to help balance your blood sugar, maintain a healthy weight, and please your palate.



HOT CEREAL EARNEST EATS MAYAN BLEND HOT & FIT CEREAL Oats have fiber and potassium, two key nutrients that people with diabetes need, according to the ADA. This has no sugar, and that’s saying something, considering that even some so-called “healthy” options we looked at had 10-plus grams per serving. CAN’T FIND IT? Quaker Old Fashioned Oats contain only 3 grams of sugar and a full 12 grams of fiber per 450-calorie serving.


MICROWAVEABLE LUNCH LUVO QUINOA & VEGETABLE ENCHILADAS WITH MOLE SAUCE OVER BROWN RICE Whole grains, such as quinoa and brown rice, can help manage blood sugar. This frozen meal tastes like something from Chipotle and provides a whopping 8 grams of fiber for 330 calories. Plus, vegetables! BONUS If you’re a buildyour-own-lunch kind of guy, Minute Rice whole grain brown rice offers 2 grams of fiber in ⅔ cup.








The Best Portable Protein Supplements can help if you’re having trouble getting all your protein from food sources. Introduce these helpers to your muscles.


INSTA-SAUCE RAO’S HOMEMADE TOMATO BASIL One day at the office, MH staffers dunked bread into a lineup of low-sugar sauces. Most jars fell flat on flavor, but this one had a taste that rivaled Grandma’s recipe. Plus, it’s bursting with vitamins C and A.


DEPTHS-OF-WINTER SAVIOR EVOLUTION FRESH SWEET GREENS AND LEMON This smoothie is sweetened with a little apple to balance out the spinach and kale.


EYE-OPENER GEVALIA RAINFOREST ORGANIC REGULAR GROUND More java, anyone? People who increased the amount of coffee they drank daily by more than one cup lowered their diabetes risk by 11 percent, a 2014 Harvard study found. Hold the sugar: Let this robust brew’s flavor come through.




If you want to tamp down your blood pressure, lower your cholesterol numbers, and keep your arteries flexible, you need to consume fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants, says Kentucky-based dietitian Chris Mohr, Ph.D., R.D. These foods make a heart-healthy diet easy—and plenty tasty.


CEREAL BOWL FILLER BACK TO THE ROOTS ORGANIC STONEGROUND FLAKES, CALIFORNIA WHOLE WHEAT Whole grains have fiber—and fiber may help lower cholesterol. This three-ingredient cereal has 5 grams of fiber per cup. CAN’T FIND IT? Among the big brands, it’s hard to beat Post’s Shredded Wheat Spoon Size Wheat’n Bran Cereal. One serving gives you 8 grams of fiber for 210 calories and not a single gram of sugar.

BP BEATER LOVE BEETS ORGANIC COOKED BEETS People with hypertension who ate these red roots had lower blood pressure and arterial stiffness. Beets are a pain to peel, but this brand does that for you—and cooks ’em too. Rip open the package, slice, and serve with goat cheese and arugula. Classy.


FOOD FOR FIDGETERS WONDERFUL PISTACHIOS These unsalted crackand-chew snacks are as fun to eat as they are good for you. Have them with a beer.

OMEGA-3 DELIVERY VEHICLE TREASURES FROM THE SEA WILD ALASKA SALMON Raid the freezer section for this oily fish, which has a huge payload of good fats. Thaw and enjoy: Frozen is just as nutritious as fresh.




BREAKFAST SANDWICH FOUNDATION THOMAS’ 100% WHOLE WHEAT ENGLISH MUFFINS Each muffin has 3 grams of fiber. Skip the toaster: They’re at their best crisped in your oven’s broiler. Eat with grass-fed butter.


SHAKE UPGRADE COCOAVIA Add the cocoa powder from these single-serving packets into smoothies. It’s unsweetened, so cut it with protein powder or, better yet, chocolate milk.


VANILLA PROTEIN POWDER ISOPURE ZERO CARB CREAMY VANILLA Most sugar-free options taste like the plastic scoop inside the tub. Thankfully, this product’s last ingredient (not first, second, or third) is sucralose. 25g protein per scoop WILD CARD FLAVOR POWDER MUSCLETECH PERFORMANCE SERIES PHASE8 COOKIES AND CREAM Think of it like a DQ Blizzard, only it’s good for you. 26g protein per scoop READY-TO-DRINK PROTEIN SHAKE PREMIER PROTEIN (CHOCOLATE) If you’ve worked out so hard that you can’t lift your arms to mix a protein shake, select this premade option. Or, if you’re partial to a low-key chocolate flavor with no nasty aftertaste, it’ll help you out there too. 30g protein per shake PROTEIN BAR DETOUR SIMPLE SALTED CARAMEL COOKIE DOUGH Our team blind-tasted dozens of bars and declared this savory-sweet treat the champ. 20g protein per bar CHOCOLATE MILK HORIZON ORGANIC LOWFAT CHOCOLATE MILK It’s not kid stuff. This brand had the least amount of sugar among organic brands for the fewest number of calories. 8g protein per glass




Cubes of tender steak fortify our pick for best frozen beef entrée (#18).

The Best Snacks for Everything To maintain weight, stay under 300 calories from snacks daily, says Mohr. Choose tactically to make the most of the calories. AFTER THE GYM OBERTO ALL NATURAL ORIGINAL BEEF JERKY There’s about 16 grams of complete, lean protein in half a bag. Stock up. WHEN YOU’RE STRESSED ORGANIC VALLEY GRASSMILK RAW CHEDDAR CHEESE We like the sharpness of this cheese, which helps you eat only a little. HAVE IT WITH Mary’s Gone Crackers Black Pepper. BEFORE A RUN ANNIE’S ORGANIC PRETZEL BUNNIES They’re tasty, salty, and carby. Plus, rabbits are fast! WHEN YOU’RE CRAVING ICE CREAM FORTE HIGH PROTEIN GELATO PURE ORGANIC MADAGASCAR VANILLA A half cup has15 grams of protein for 160 calories. CAN’T FIND IT? HäagenDazs vanilla frozen yogurt has 170 calories in a half cup. FOR WATCHING TV SMARTFOOD DELIGHT SEA SALT POPCORN It has 140 calories per serving. HAVE IT WITH A cold Goose Island IPA.

AT YOUR DESK MELISSA’S CERTIFIED ORGANIC MINI BELL PEPPERS These tri-colored flavor bombs pack a satisfying crunch. HAVE ’EM WITH Tribe Classic hummus. FOR GAME DAY FOOD SHOULD TASTE GOOD MULTIGRAIN TORTILLA These chips beat out six other brands in our test. HAVE ’EM WITH Wild Oats Marketplace Organic Medium salsa. WHEN YOU JUST NEED CHIPS BOULDER CANYON COCONUT OIL POTATO CHIPS You’re looking at 130 calories in 14. CAN’T FIND IT? Kettle Brand Sea Salt potato chips have 20 more calories. BEFORE THE BIG PRESENTATION RUNA GUAYUSA UNSWEETENED LIME Slugging back coffee will only leave you jittery. For a pleasantly mellow caffeine buzz, grab a bottle of this tangy-tasting, no-calorie iced tea. CAN’T FIND IT? Turn to Honest Tea Honey Green Tea.










CAN OF LEGUMES EDEN ORGANIC BLACK BEANS Try these mixed with a little olive oil, red wine vinegar, thawed frozen corn, diced onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, and garlic for a spin on Mississippi caviar.


CHIP DIP WHOLLY GUACAMOLE CHUNKY Avocados are like WD-40 for your arteries. Their good fats help keep the plumbing in working order. This dip features the fruit (yes, fruit) as the first ingredient on its ingredient list. Many other supermarket options don’t.


Make these huevos (#14) the heroes of your breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner.

REASON TO LICK THE ROOF OF YOUR MOUTH SANTA CRUZ ORGANIC CREAMY LIGHT ROASTED PEANUT BUTTER After scraping the bottom of dozens of jars, our taste testers hoisted their spoons in favor of this lightly salted, assertive PB. It has 7 grams of protein, 14 grams of good fats, and 210 calories in 2 tablespoons. CAN’T FIND IT? Smucker’s Chunky Natural peanut butter has just 1 gram of natural sugar. (Plenty of bigname brands add more sweet stuff.) Store the jar on its side so it’s easier to stir.


LIQUID STRESS BUSTER JOSH CELLARS CABERNET SAUVIGNON Polyphenols in red wine may help combat artery-blocking clogs. This smooth but hearty bottle goes great with everything.


HANDFUL OF AWESOME PLANTERS NUT-RITION MEN’S HEALTH RECOMMENDED MIX Almonds, peanuts, pistachios. No candycoated junk. Just plenty of heart-healthy fats. We created it! Per 1 oz cup: 170 calories, 7g protein, 6g carbs (3g fiber, 1g sugar), 14g fat.


EXCUSE TO EAT CANDY ALTER ECO DARK QUINOA ORGANIC CHOCOLATE BAR Eating chocolate has been associated with a lower risk of insulin resistance, a 2016 study from Luxembourg found. Have a 1-inch square of this just-sweet-enough snack for a guilt-free pleasure. It tastes a lot better than statins. CAN’T FIND IT? Ghirardelli Intense Dark Midnight Reverie 86% Cacao Bar is so potent you’ll only want to eat a little bit. That’s a good thing. Try some grated over vanilla ice cream or on a morning bowl of warm oatmeal.







Don’t cave to the pressures of chicken nuggets and mac ’n’ cheese. As Dad, you have a responsibility to feed your kids something nutritious beyond what you can order from a drive-thru intercom. Meet them halfway with these foods. They’re things kids love, dialed up to include more of the nutritious stuff.



MEAL BUILDER MARTIN’S 100% WHOLE WHEAT POTATO ROLLS These light buns are great for burgers, but they also make for a great bookend to ham and cheese, peanut butter and banana, or aged Gruyère and Prosciutto di Parma (if your kid happens to be a budding foodie).

ALTERNATIVE TO CHICKEN (AGAIN) ORGANIC PRAIRIE ORGANIC PORK CHOPS, BONELESS Throw some salt and pepper on these then slide them into a 450°F oven until cooked through to an internal temp of 145°F. Serve with applesauce on the side.



WAY TO WAKE EVERYONE UP APPLEGATE ORGANIC SUNDAY BACON These thick slices of porky goodness contain only 30 calories a slice. They’re especially awesome with black coffee and a batch of homemade pancakes. CAN’T FIND IT? Wright Brand bacon is meaty and satisfying.


TUBULAR DINNER OPTION APPLEGATE NATURAL UNCURED BEEF HOT DOG It’s made with grassfed beef—and little else—so you can feel less guilty serving them to the little guys. HAVE IT WITH Rudi’s Organic Wheat Hot Dog Rolls. They’re soft and squishy like white rolls but have more satiating fiber.


PIZZA CRUST RUSTIC CRUST ORGANIC GREAT GRAINS Host pizza night for the family without doing delivery. The fiber in this crust helps fill you up so you don’t go finishing off the kids’ slices. It’s easy: Top it. Bake it. Watch it disappear. Don’t have the time to bake a pizza after work? Amy’s Organic Cheese Pizza offers the best nutrition of any pie we could find in the freezer section. A third of a pizza has 290 calories, 12g protein, and 33g carbs, 2 of which are fiber.


BROWN-BAG GO-TO APPLEGATE ORGANIC BLACK FOREST HAM It’s the leanest organic ham we could find on the market. You could layer a few slices on a sandwich, but you can also warm them for an easy breakfast side. Just put a hot, dry skillet over mediumhigh heat, add the ham, and sizzle until the slices are slightly browned, 30 seconds to a minute per side. CAN’T FIND IT? Dietz & Watson Uncured Classic Dinner Ham has the fewest calories and most protein of all the brands we analyzed. Another big plus: There’s zero added sugar inside.



114 | January/February 2017


LET HER HAUNT YOU The right way to make a clean break from the wrong woman. BY JEFF VRABEL


women do better than men: break up. At least that’s according to Craig Eric Morris, Ph.D., a Penn State anthropologist who studies heartbreak. Like the incoming asteroid that will wipe out life on Earth, women burn hot and fast. When a relationship is over, they cry, invest in red wine, watch Nicholas Sparks movies, log on to Bumble, turn to Ellen for spiritual strength, and then get on with it—and come out in a better emotional place, where they greet the next guy. Men, on the other hand, slice their suffering into long, dull, onerous chapters, dragging out our obsessive retelling, recalling one more thing, investigating all the emotional forensics, and Facebook-stalking her for months, if not longer. We do not recover; we simply grind on. And on. Once you saw her, now you don’t, then you see her everywhere. Madness. What’s more, a breakup can trigger an actual condition. It’s called abandonment rage, a term coined by Reid Meloy, Ph.D., a psychologist at UC San Diego. This anger is the flip side of the lunacy that happened when you liked her more than she liked you. Now that she’s gone, you’re devastated. Like a tornado survivor, you’re wondering what the hell just happened. If you’re old enough to drink, chances are you’ve already been through this kind of thing; most men have endured three serious breakups by the time they hit their 30s, according to Morris’s studies. But are those sad experiences universal? Does one break fit all? Or, just as there are many different kinds of women, are there many different ways of breaking up with them? While no two splits are exactly alike, of course, they do tend to follow patterns. Read on to move on. I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y M I C H A E L M A R S I C A N O

THE FIRST LOVE YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE DESTINED TO MARRY This could be the girl you fell hard for in your teens, and the girl you’ll be googling well into your 80s. It’s a lifelong ache. According to Lauren Howe, a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford who studies responses to rejection (in case you thought your job was depressing), these stand out because we may see them not only as encounters that didn’t work out but as something bitterly damning about who we really, truly are. Meanwhile, Morris says, the anguish over losing a quality woman may come from the grim realization that you have to start competing (not to mention bathing) all over again. Plus, if you two were really close, you might’ve thought you let her frighteningly near your true self—a self that you yourself may have never met until you met her. So you might feel a need to shoulder all the blame. THE EX-ORCISM Crush that impulse as soon as you can. “If you’re always thinking, ‘I was too clingy’ or ‘I was too sensitive,’ question the story you’re telling yourself about the relationship,” Howe says. “A lot of factors determine whether a relationship fails. Maybe it was timing, or the person wasn’t ready for something that mature.” If your sad, crushed brain is clinging to a narrative that puts you at fault, you may be trying to control the chaos, so changing that narrative will speed your comeback. For help, ask members of the former potential wedding party for their help and insight: “Others often provide more charitable explanations than we provide for ourselves,” says Howe.

The Recovery








Lick Your Wounds

Grab a Beer with a Bud

Recall Your Previous Life

Pause to Reflect

Talk to Women

In your brain, the aftermath of romantic rejection can look like cocaine withdrawal, a Rutgers study found. So give yourself time to clear your head, says psychologist Gary Lewandowski, Ph.D. Spend it outdoors: Take hikes, go camping, climb a mountain. (For more ideas, see page 20.) In a Finnish survey, people who spent time in nature reported better emotional well-being.

We’ve all seen breakups coming among our own circle of friends, sometimes months before the ax falls. Your pals probably could have predicted yours. “Friends can help you see the broader picture,” says Lauren Howe, the author of a recent Stanford study on failed relationships. Ask, but only once. Because if it’s all you talk about, you’ll soon be drinking alone.

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Good news: Before you were part of a couple, you were a functioning human being with your own favorite pastimes, drinks, authors, and bands. Remember that guy? Be him. You did it before, so do it again. Think of activities you didn’t or couldn’t do with your ex— hunting, binge-watching Cops, listening to the Boss’s entire catalog on one glorious road trip—and do it.

The simple act of thinking about your breakup can boost your recovery, according to University of Arizona research. Take 10 minutes or so each day to reflect. It’s okay to run through her habits or traits that annoyed you. In fact, recognizing these can help you find a better fit the next time around, says Scott Stanley, Ph.D., of the University of Denver.

But not about your ex. “We know that finding other partners is helpful,” says psychologist and relationship expert Gary Lewandowski, Ph.D. “There’s no 100 percent solution that works for everybody. But here’s some science in your favor: Seven or eight times out of 10, finding a new, meaningful relationship will help you get over a previous one.”

M I C H A E L B R A N D O N M Y E R S ( i c o n s) , S t o c k c a m /G e t t y I m a g e s (d e l e t e b u t t o n)


The Purge HOW TO ENGAGE IN A DIGITAL SHE-TOX. “Social media makes those moments where you have to confront your negative emotions more common,” says Lauren Howe, a Stanford social psychologist. Your coping strategy is below. Facebook After a relationship status change, you can set limits on how much of your ex you see and how much she sees you. For erasure, unleash an app like KillSwitch. Netflix et al. Remove her from shared accounts and change passwords. But be sure to alert her, so she doesn’t rage-text you when she’s shut out of a Stranger Things episode. THE MOTHER OF YOUR CHILDREN Going cold turkey isn’t exactly practical when you’re attempting to raise secure, stable human beings who’ve been suddenly shoved into an emotional hurricane by the two out-of-control adults in charge of everything. These relationships are to BF/GF relationships what sweaters are to doilies. Unravel carefully. Put your negative reactions in a box and bury it in the yard. THE EX-ORCISM You need emotional distance. Anne Gilbert, M.D., a psychiatrist and behavioral health specialist with Indiana University Health, says your most prudent move is to go as cold turkey as you can while remaining a quality father and person. “Start treating her as you would a pleasant roommate,” Dr. Gilbert says. “Do your best to set up a boundary, and be emotionally separate. Keep conversations cordial, businesslike, and brief, and don’t react to her reactivity.” In short, treat her as you would the other crucial figures in your children’s lives—teachers, doctors, mother-inlaw. (Well, maybe not the mother-in-law.) Later, says Dr. Gilbert, you can explore reviving the friendship part. “I see lots of divorces where people say, ‘One of my best friends is my ex-husband,’” Dr. Gilbert says. “But that’s later on. At first you have to set rules, because someone always feels more strongly than the other. As you recover, that’s when you can relax the rules.”

Photos Apple goes so far as to keep your last 1,000 shots in your My Photo Stream album— which, depending on your settings, can pop up in searches. The last thing you need is a photo of your ex commandeering the screen at the wrong moment. Serenity Caldwell, managing editor of iMore, suggests searching your ex’s name (which will search faces, if you’ve tagged her) and addresses you two frequented (like her apartment). If you want mementos, hide photos instead of deleting them. Texts Delete the entire emotional thread, not just a few messages. Snapchat Well, at least this one’s easy. Gmail Google keeps everything, all the time, always—so deleting her will entail a lot of clicking. Search her name, click Select All, Delete. Empty trash. Exhale.

THE HOT-SEX YOGA INSTRUCTOR There’s no better partner than the one who introduces you to new perspectives, experiences, skills, and the reverse cowgirl. Monmouth University psychologist Gary Lewandowski, Ph.D., says losing a woman like this is tough, because she’s the one who helped you expand your sense of self and your sexual skills. But if mastery of a position like the T-square is the only souvenir you bring home, remind yourself that you can also have those intense experiences, but probably with somebody more stable. THE EX-ORCISM Make these two words your mantra: Clean. Break. “Cyclical relationships— on-again, off-again—increase the stress,” says Lewandowski. So close your eyes and press your nose against this page. When you open your eyes, she will not only still be gone but also have never even existed. Done. THE LADY-BRO IN YOUR CREW If introducing sex into a perfectly functional squad is one of the most effective ways to screw everything up, suddenly removing it is even worse. So if you simply can’t bear the sight of your ex, sorry—the team has already been forever changed. If she goes, so does your social network. That’s bad. THE EX-ORCISM If you two are serious about preserving the sanctity of the troop, fall back on the interests you shared before the hooking up happened: work complaints, football games, people you both can’t stand. In the meantime, ask your buddies to give you an honest assessment of what they saw, says Howe. This isn’t to talk trash about her— calling her names solves nothing and only makes you look weak and slightly disgusting. Instead, it helps you understand that the narrative in your broken, love-addled brain might be different from the one your crew witnessed. Love does that, because love is not only stupid but also, ironically, heartless. THE SOUL MATE YOU FELL HARD FOR She’s history—and no amount of sulking, Instagram-stalking, and fixating on the shortcomings you once generously overlooked will change that. So organize your recovery. Try writing (yep, writing) about why-oh-why it all fell apart, what you both did wrong, what you’ll never do again. Do it 30 minutes a day, Lewandowski suggests. Look for the positives—reclaimed freedom, poker nights, bathrobe ’n’ brew weekends, and the knowledge that you’ll go into your next relationship much better armed. Lewandowski found that people who engaged in such positive, cathartic writing felt calmer, more confident, and more empowered than those who wrote about the negatives. CONTINUED ON P. 139

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Feel like you’re going to pieces? Here’s how to pull yourself together. BY MICHAEL EASTER / PHOTOGRAPHS BY HENRY LEUTWYLER


P r o p s t y l i n g : E l i z a b e t h P r e s s / J u d y C a s e y ; To n g R o I m a g e s / G e t t y I m a g e s ( c l o u d s p r e v i o u s p a g e )


I sat on the edge of my bed, eyes closed, breathing deeply, trying to go blank. I was a mess. My thoughts bounced around like a puppy on speed. I plotted how I could finagle a raise at work and win an argument I was having with my girlfriend. I wondered how I’d handle weekends and college reunions without booze and bedlam. Then something significant happened: I started to notice the tumult that my self-important, future-focused thinking brought on. When my thoughts run the show and I do the first thing that comes to mind, I have the mental finesse of a brakeless freight train. I become the guy who treats his work commute like Daytona. I fire off regrettable emails that open with “WTF.” And I huffily tug on my dog’s leash when he stops to smell something for too long because, hey, I have shit to do and you sniff this same street sign every morning, buddy. By returning each day to the edge of my bed to sit, breathe, focus on nothing, and pull back to nothing when I recognize that my mind has wandered, I’ve come to realize that impulses, thoughts, and emotions are like clouds floating across the blue sky: temporary. I don’t have to act on them, nor do I have to believe them. About a year ago I was driving and listening to someone on a podcast explaining that if you take all of time that we know of and put it on a yearlong scale—called the cosmic calendar—all of recorded history shows up on December 31 at about 11:59 p.m. When I heard that, I truly realized how insignificant I am in the grand scheme. I lost it. Imagine a 29-year-old fitness bro bawling his eyes out in commuter traffic while passing a Chipotle and an Office Depot. Then it occurred to me: Can I change time? No. Would freaking out about the meaning of life and what happens next do me any good? No. Didn’t I thoroughly enjoy my life and have a lot to be grateful for? Yes. I was sitting in a V8-powered, air-conditioned, half-ton pickup that was streaming audible information from outer freaking space, and I was headed to a job I love where I help men better their lives.

It’s a hell of a time to be a man, and I’m grateful for every single lucky moment. There’s freedom in that. I may not be significant from a cosmic standpoint, but I can matter on a smaller scale by caring less about myself and more about others. Now at work I hear statements like “You’re better than me at this. What do you think?” and “Sorry, my fault. I’ll fix it,” coming out of my mouth. When someone rushes into my office with a “big problem,” I understand that it’s not a big deal (it never is) and calmly solve it. At home, my girlfriend and I don’t bicker because I now know my way isn’t “the way”; it’s “a way.” And I wait until my dog is done sniffing urine-soaked objects before continuing our walk. My guess is that a lot of men are where I used to be. It’s the 21st century. We’re distracted, edgy, rattled, stressed, scattered, and overwhelmed. We’re tense and jangled even when we’re in a relaxed setting. We react to the pings, buzzes, and flashing lights on our cellphones while we’re at home with family, out golfing with friends, even hanging out alone. We fret about the next thing before we’re done with this thing. The irony is that there have never been more or better researched ways for silencing stress, creating peace of mind, and living in the now. Meditation helped me, but I know it’s not for everyone. Through it, I’ve realized mental repose has many faces: focusing on the metronomic cast of my fly rod, watching my pointer flush out a bird, detaching from fatigue on a long run. Our fathers might be right. Maybe walking in the woods, tinkering on a vintage Chevy, or sipping a cold lemonade on the porch as we watch traffic go by is all we need. Maybe the answer isn’t trying to find nirvana, but realizing that nirvana can be right here if we discover ways to engage our brains differently and focus on the moment, even when we’re brushing our teeth. But how do you get from here (tense, frazzled, reactionary) to there (calm, present, patient)? Here’s your guide to creating space for yourself so you can live the life you’ve imagined—while you still have time.

DON’T JUST DO SOMETHING; SIT THERE Your path to enlightenment (or at least a slightly less dark view of the world) starts with this simple six-step meditation plan. 1/ Sit with Your Eyes Closed You don’t need a monastery, just a spot with minimal distractions. The point is to practice tuning out intrusions.

Moment’s notice: By learning to stay in the present, you can create a peaceful future.

2/ Focus on Your Breath Take several slow inhalations, exhaling completely after each one. 3/ Quiet Your Brain “Imagine your mind as a clear, calm, blue sky,” says Tim Olson, a North Face athlete and two-time winner of the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run. Sometimes a cluster of storm clouds will obscure that blue sky, but the sky is always there. Allow your breath to take you to a less turbulent place. 4/ Do a Body Scan Take stock: How are you feeling at this moment in time? Where in your body do you feel clenched? Where do you feel light? Don’t try to change anything you observe. Just recognize it. 5/ Suspend Judgment “It’s okay if you’re having a stressful day,” says Olson. Try to pay attention to the way you’re feeling without becoming discouraged. Whenever your mind wanders, bring it back to your breath—again and again. 6/ Build Endurance Start with five minutes, and be patient. Then work up to 10, 20, and 30. “Meditation is exercise for your brain,” Olson says. “The more you do it, the easier it becomes.”

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Andrew Puddicombe




THE FIVE-MINUTE VACATION You don’t need a beach in Belize to escape your problems. These three tricks stop stress faster than a mai tai. Sniff This Mix a drop of eucalyptus oil with 19 drops of almond oil. Then place a few drops of the formula on a cotton square and enjoy the aroma for five minutes. In a recent study from Korea, people who did this saw their anxiety levels dip. That may be because a compound in eucalyptus called 1,8-cineole reduces blood pressure and relaxes muscles. Put that cotton square in your car’s cup holder to take some of the rush out of rush hour. Go Row Is the boss treating you like a urinal cake? Get thee to a rowing machine. Just five minutes on the erg can ease feelings of aggression caused by criticism more than hitting a punching bag will, according to German research. Rowing at a moderate 7 mph can relax your muscles in a way that counteracts the tension induced by anger. Eat Chocolate Men who ate 1.8 ounces of dark chocolate two hours before a stressful task developed less inflammation than those who munched a placebo chocolate, a study in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity found. Credit the antioxidants. The chocolate was 72 percent strength—like Ghirardelli Intense Dark Twilight Delight.


Andy Puddicombe, 43, of Santa Monica, California, is a former Buddhist monk, the cofounder of Headspace (the world’s largest meditation app, with nearly 10 million users), and author of The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness. Before I became a monk I was living in London, where I was studying sports science and working as a personal trainer. I was at a rugby club, and a car crashed into the crowd. I was on the outside of it. It was really bad. A couple of people died and others had serious injuries. Three months later, my stepsister was hit and killed on her bicycle by a man who fell asleep at the wheel. It really shook me, and not all in a bad way; it woke me up.

I was living a life I was kind of enjoying, but I didn’t feel at peace. So halfway through my degree, I quit to become a monk. People were horrified. My university thought I’d gone mad and wanted me to see a doctor; my parents were like “What is he doing?” My girlfriend was like “How dare you?” Understandable. I would have been asking the same questions. I was 22 years old. I studied the Burmese tradition for five years, then spent another five years in the Tibetan tradition. I lived in Nepal, Thailand, India, Burma, Russia, Poland, and Australia. I spent some time in monastery and some in retreat, a mix of time spent meditating for hours a day and mindfulness CONTINUED ON P. 138 training, like cleaning.


ANYWHERE YOGA You can enjoy the benefits of yoga all day long. Just do these simple moves. Waking Up While lying on your back in bed, bend both knees until your soles are flat on the mattress. Put your arms out in a T and slowly drop both knees from side to side. As your knees go left, look right, and vice versa. Goodbye, cranky lower back. Commuting Sit up straight and put your hands on the wheel at 10 and 2 (where they’re supposed to be anyway). Slowly tilt the front of your pelvis down, creating a space between your lower back and the car seat.


Calm Spend a week to three weeks perfecting a stress-busting technique (think of it as “strain training”) or use its “Emergency Calm” to decompress while waiting for the traffic to decongest.

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Then slowly tilt your pelvis up, pressing your lower back into the seat to release pressure. At the Office Stand with your feet together and slowly bend forward. (Your knees can be bent or straight.) Let your head, neck, and arms go slack as you breathe for 10 to 20 seconds. Slowly return to an upright stance. Inversions help refresh your brain by sending more blood there. Before Exercising Warm up the muscles in your arms, back, and legs by doing the downward-facing dog. From a forward bend (see “Office,” above), bend both knees until your palms touch the floor; then step back into an inverted V position. Extend through both

Headspace For Sport Programs such as “training,” “competition,” “motivation,” and “focus” last 10 to 20 minutes. If your mind tends to get in the way of peak performance, this app may be just the thing.

Buddify This app offers specific meditations for dealing with stressful situations, including travel hell and lying in bed in the middle of the night while thinking about everything you have to do.

arms while lifting your hips, shifting your weight back, and moving your heels toward the ground. Hold for 10 seconds, come down to your knees for 10 seconds, and repeat. During/After a Flight While standing, clasp both forearms behind your back and bend gently backward. This opens up the chest, shoulders, and back. Before Bed Sit on the floor facing a wall. Lie back and scooch your butt toward the wall while raising your legs. Rest the backs of your legs against the wall, either together with the soles of your feet toward the ceiling or in an open V shape. Breathe and rest until you feel relaxed.

Take a Break! It supplies quick relaxation breaks you can use at work. For example, stare at a virtual horizon and select a seven- to 13-minute guided meditation set to relaxing sounds such as waves or rain.

Stop, Breathe & Think Take a survey to gauge your mood and customize a meditation program to address it. It offers plenty of functions, including the ability to track progress and emotions.


J a m i e M c C a r t h y/G e t t y I m a g e s (S i m m o n s), M a t t h e w S i m m o n s /G e t t y I m a g e s (S h a r m a)

Find Calm amid the Chaos

FAST TO SLOW DOWN Fasting doesn’t have to involve food. Depriving yourself of certain things can give you space from ingrained habits so you can reboot your brain. Try these fasts to raise awareness and calm your mind. Sight Fasting Sure, you spend all night with your eyes closed. But watching your eyelids for an hour or so during the day can change the way you experience the world. Your eyes function like a computer keyboard while your brain is the processor that interprets the input, says Lotfi Merabet, O.D., Ph.D., of Harvard’s Laboratory for Visual Neuroplasticity. If you temporarily reduce the demands on your brain’s visual cortex by shutting down your sight, you can redeploy those brain cells for other things. Most often they go to work to heighten one of your other senses, which is why some blind people have seemingly superhuman hearing abilities, a keener sense of smell, or an enhanced capacity for taste. To get this effect, you must spend time with your eyes closed, but you don’t have to sit in silence. Instead, try this: Put on your favorite Spotify playlist or podcast and close your eyes while you listen “to prepare the brain to be more receptive,” says Merabet. Sound Fasting There’s a reason the words “peace” and “quiet” go together so often. Silence helps promote CONTINUED ON P. 138 I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y A N J E J A G E R




When conventional medicine failed him, cancer survivor and former broadcast journalist Brad Willis started meditating. You might remember Willis, 67, as an intrepid foreign correspondent with NBC News. But here’s the rest of the story: He broke his back while on vacation, endured a failed surgery that ended his career, and then received a diagnosis of stage IV throat cancer. “At first I relied on Western medicine,” he says, “painkillers, muscle relaxers, [and] antidepressants, which when added to the alcohol I was drinking only deepened my despair. It wasn’t until I discovered yoga that my healing began.” Willis admits that he still sometimes gets agitated as a result of old patterns and living in a fast-paced, overstimulated world. “But that’s when meditation and the silent repetition of positive thoughts is a godsend,” he says. “It’s very powerful just to sit and repeat silent phrases such as, ‘I am peaceful, compassionate, healed, and whole.’” Skeptical? “Start with just two to three minutes each day to develop a positive habit,” says Willis.

When things get rocky, world-class climber Chris Sharma takes his mental focus to new heights. Sharma might be the most daring and successful rock climber in the world. But the 35-yearold Californian credits the sport with keeping him fit physically and mentally. “Climbing is the best form of meditation,” he says. “It’s all about body awareness. You’re in touch with every little nuance in your body. One of the beautiful things about climbing is that you can push out your everyday worries and be present.” Sharma tried formal meditation but found that it wasn’t for him. “When you’re sitting and just focusing on your breath, there’s so much potential for your thoughts to drift.” Climbing, though, allows him to get a grip on his monkey mind and find focus and balance. And that’s vital when you’re scaling the cliffs of Majorca, 70 feet up with no rope. Even if you’re not this adventurous, Sharma suggests finding a passion that absorbs your attention. “It’s about finding moments of focus and concentration,” he says.

Here’s how the music mogul and philanthropist Russell Simmons gets his groove on. Simmons, who’s the chairman and CEO of Rush Communications and cofounder of DefJam Records, meditates twice a day. “Nothing creative happens except in the present moment,” he says. “Only a quiet mind can create.” The 59-year-old also does yoga every day and is opening a studio (Tantris) on Sunset Boulevard. When he practices, he blends the physical moves with a meditating mind— the breath being the element that unites them. Yoga, says Simmons, is much greater than the physical practice most people experience. “People go to a yoga class in the gym and think it’s yoga, but that’s just poses,” he explains. “When the mind is still, that’s yoga.” When you’re in this mindset, Simmons contends, you’re better able to conquer any of life’s stressors. “I don’t believe that what’s on the outside is the cause of stress. The cause of stress is on the inside. A calm mind can go through all sorts of things and be happy.”


Don’t let the ball drop on your health. Follow our plan to feel great for life, starting today. Have you ever met a 115-yearold man? Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine have determined that the limit of the human life span, on average, is 115—a threshold that hasn’t risen since the 1990s. But a typical guy only makes it to 76, and before that he may deal with decades of disease. Bad habits are partly to blame. Only one in 37 American men hit all four benchmarks— enough physical activity, a healthy diet, no smoking, and a safe body fat percentage—of a healthy lifestyle, according to Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Experts worldwide agree that those four factors significantly reduce your odds of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. But even if you’re in the other 97.3 percent, it’s never too late to ring in healthy changes. We’ll show you how to live longer, feel better, and look like a young guy even as you grow older.


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Look Better Than Ever Why look your age if you don’t have to?



danger of developing diabetes, a new study suggests. Flip back to page 70 for hints to slim down.

Live to 115 These habits will help you fend off health saboteurs.

GEAR UP HEART HEALTH Many activities help your ticker, but cycling is superb. Compared to other workouts, it was most effective in lowering coronary heart disease risk, a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found. Ride for about 50 minutes a day.

DO A GUT CHECK Wrap a tape measure around your waist and divide its circumference by your height in inches. If the result exceeds 0.5, you may be in

KICK THE HABIT FOR GOOD Smokers, charge up your smartphones. According to research from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, the app SmartQuit (free, iTunes) can quadruple your odds of quitting if you stick with all four of its key components.

TAKE A DEEP BREATH Practicing the Chinese discipline of qigong for an hour a day may improve lung function, a recent study suggests. Qigong can also be a calming influence. Find a class at

1/ If you live near traffic, invest in an air purifier with a HEPA filter. By reducing harmful particles from emissions, you might be able to tamp down inflammation in your body, a Canadian study suggests. 2/ Use gentle cleaning products, like vinegar. People in a German study who used disinfectants one to three times a week had more than double the risk of asthma of those who never used them. 3/ Get a radon test kit. Radon, a radioactive gas, can enter your home through cracks in the foundation, raising your risk of lung cancer. Go to

Swollen gums look bad, feel bad, and are bad for you. Consider whey your weapon: People who eat at least 9.6 grams of whey protein a day have a 25 percent lower risk of severe gum disease, a Danish study found. Whey may inhibit plaque formation and enhance immune system function. Ricotta cheese is a good source.

GET YOUR HEAD IN THE HAIR GAME Think of shampoo as skin care for your scalp. “When people think about hair, they often forget about the skin under it,” says Cindy Jones, Ph.D., a biochemist who formulates skin and hair care products. Scalp skin contains the follicles that determine the health of each strand. Use a shampoo with B vitamins like niacin and panthenol to nourish them.

SAVE YOUR SMILE Acid is the enemy of the mineral-rich enamel on your teeth. In a University of Alabama study of nearly 400 flavored waters, sports drinks, fruit drinks, sodas, energy drinks, and other caffeinated beverages, 93 percent had a pH in the dental danger zone. Drink lots of water and choose refreshments that are less erosive. Here’s how a few common beverages stacked up: Minimally erosive: Perrier sparkling natural mineral water, Starbucks Medium Roast coffee. Erosive: VitaminWater Power-C Dragonfruit, SoBe Elixir Piña Colada, A&W Cream Soda. Extremely erosive: Arizona Lemon Tea, Powerade Orange, Rockstar Energy Drink.

Ease Those Aches and Pains Feel like a young, spry guy when you get out of bed in the morning.


Approximate mileage to run each week for ideal bone strength, says Juan Del Coso, Ph.D., of Camilo José Cela University in Madrid.

POP THE LID ON HEADACHES Migraines often go undiagnosed in men, recent research suggests. If you have more than two attacks a month, melatonin might help. People in a Brazilian study who popped 3 milligrams of this popular sleep supplement every night at bedtime fended off headaches just as well as those who took prescription migraine medicine. Try Swanson Premium Melatonin ($3 for 120 capsules [3 mg],

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SHORE UP YOUR NECK AND SHOULDERS Leaning forward all day at work (sound familiar? ) can give you rounded shoulders and a stiff neck. To rebalance, do special lat pulldowns, says Mitchell Yass, D.P.T., author of The Pain Cure Rx. Lean back with your hips at a 30-degree angle and reach for the bar (or an elastic band). Then pull down with your arms straight and wide, bringing your elbows in line with your shoulders, and return to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 10 reps, three days a week, with a minute of rest between each set.

F r a n k P. W a r t e n b e r g / G e t t y I m a g e s , M a r t i n B a u e n d a h l / G a l l e r y s t o c k ( p r e v i o u s s p r e a d )

SEEK A HELPING HAND FOR BACK PAIN See a D.O. to get off the DL. Research from the University of North Texas suggests that osteopathic manipulation, or the hands-on treatment of muscle and joint problems by a doctor of osteopathic medicine, may soothe chronic lower-back pain. People who had six sessions over eight weeks more than doubled their odds of recovery. Osteopathic manipulation may work by minimizing muscle imbalances, says study author John Licciardone, D.O. “That muscular asymmetry may produce mechanical stress in the spine that aggravates pain,” he says.

Boost Your Energy Do what you love without wearing out.

WATER DOWN STRESS Turn off Tidal and listen to actual tides. The journal Health Environments Research reports that people who listened to the sound of ocean waves began to calm down within just seven minutes. It’s all about the “biophilia hypothesis,” or the idea that human survival instincts are bound to natural surroundings because that’s the environment in which we evolved. Download an app like Ocean Wave Sounds for Sleep and Relaxation (free, iTunes).

Stay Sharp The world’s an interesting place. Don’t let anything limit your perception of it.

KEEP YOUR EARS PERKED UP What’s the sound of 1.1 billion people going deaf ? According to the World Health Organization, that’s how many young people are at risk of hearing loss. Loud noise from concerts, nightclubs, and sporting events can do plenty of damage to your ears. See where you stand with the hearing test on hearZA, a free app developed by audiology researchers in South Africa. (They’re releasing a U.S. version, hearUS, later this year.) Check in periodically, and if your score changes, see an audiologist.

HACK YOUR HORMONES Hormones can energize or exhaust you. For instance, testosterone helps you build muscle; chronic excess cortisol, a stress hormone, is linked to burnout. But working out for 40 minutes four mornings a week can raise your T levels and reduce cortisol, a study suggests. Jog in place and do jumping jacks for a minute each; then walk for three minutes. Next, walk briskly for three minutes and run for two. Then do 3 sets of 10 reps each of front kicks, high knees, and lunges with 20 seconds of rest in between. Follow with 3 sets of 12 reps each of squats, pushups, bridges, and situps with 30-second rests. Stretch for five minutes.

STICK IT TO ALLERGIES Call an acupuncturist. Needling might relieve persistent, energysapping allergies by tamping down overactive immune responses. For best results, have 12 treatments—two or three a week, suggests John McDonald, Ph.D., of Australia’s Griffith University School of Medicine.


Percentage drop in ischemic stroke risk among men who ate the most flavanones (antioxidants in citrus fruits), according to research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

SPEED UP YOUR BRAIN There’s no surefire way to stay sharp and avoid dementia, but there are fun ways to try. “Things that speed up your brain seem best,” says Philip Harvey, Ph.D., director of psychology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Speedy thinking engages more brain regions to strengthen neural connections. Play a fastpaced game that gets progressively harder, such as Double Decision (, for about 45 minutes twice a week.

Illustrations by SAM PEE T

SEE MORE CLEARLY Eye doctors see more men with dry eye than they used to, likely thanks to hours spent gazing at screens. Don’t just pump over-the-counter artificial tears into those dry peepers. See an ophthalmologist. “Dry eye is an inflammatory disease,” says Marguerite McDonald, M.D., F.A.C.S., of NYU Langone Medical Center. The glands that make eye lubricating liquid can malfunction, sometimes causing permanent damage.


Percentage increase in men’s risk of colorectal cancer, one of the deadliest cancers, if they have frontal balding plus mild hair loss on top, according to new research in the British Journal of Cancer. See page 88 for more on cancer screening.

The Anti-Aging Secret for Every Cell in Your Body You can strengthen your chromosomes. There’s no magic pill that will keep your skin smooth, your biceps big, and your manhood hard forever. But there are simple strategies to benefit your body more than 30 trillion ways at once. Seriously: That’s how many cells your body has, and each cell contains chromosomes. At the end of every chromosome is a telomere, a layer of extra DNA that helps cells divide. But with every split, your telomeres fray, which contributes to aging, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. You can take steps to protect your telomeres and slow down the clock. They are revealed by Nobel laureate Elizabeth Blackburn, Ph.D., president of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and CONTINUED ON P. 139

INSTANT HEALTH TESTS 1/ Feel your pulse: Check for a beat at your carotid arteries, located on either side of your Adam’s apple, and at your femoral arteries, where your inner thighs meet your groin. “If you can’t feel a femoral or carotid pulse, one of them may be blocked from a congenital condition or, more commonly, from arteriosclerosis,” says John Elefteriades, M.D., director of the Aortic Institute at Yale New Haven Hospital. See a cardiologist. 2/ Check your urine. “Blood in the urine is a huge warning sign for potential problems inside your body,” says Orlando Health urologist Jamin Brahmbhatt, M.D. If blood is bright or persistent, it could be an infection, STD, or even cancer. 3/ Download the Eye Handbook app. It tests for 20/20 vision and can also check for glaucoma, macular degeneration, and damage to the optic nerve. Of the many apps out there, “Eye Handbook was developed by eye doctors to help diagnose and track eye function,” says MH advisor Kimberly Cockerham, M.D., of Stanford’s department of ophthalmology. Best of all, it’s free. —BRIELLE GREGORY

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The Workouts “I love food. So I think of every repetition as a french fry.” BJ Gaddour

P. 132

Are You Ready for MetaShred Extreme? Prepare for buckets of sweat—and your best body ever. P. 137

Your Back Pain Prescription Rock these four core-strengthening moves for a strong, pain-free spine. PH OTO G R A PH BY B EN G O L D ST EI N

January/February 2017 | 131

The Workouts (from page 98)

Are You Ready for MetaShred Extreme? Prepare to experience the most effective and intense body-sculpting training system Men’s Health has ever developed. DIRECTIONS Complete each workout twice a week. Start with the first exercise; do it for 30 seconds, and then rest 15 seconds. That’s 1 set. Do 3 sets and continue to the next move. Repeat that pattern (30 seconds on, 15 seconds off for 3 sets) with each exercise until you’ve completed all the exercises in the workout. Don’t want to do the whole workout? Pick a few moves you like and do them using the four different muscle-building MetaMethods on the next page.

Workout 1: Lower-Body Lightning

1 Mini-Band Single Leg Hip Thrust

2 Box Squat Jump

Sit on the floor with your back resting on a bench, a band around your knees. Now press into your right heel and elevate your hips as you bring your left leg up, flexing your right hamstring and glutes at the top. Reverse and repeat.

Stand with a box or bench directly behind you. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and squat onto the box or bench. Pause briefly, and then explosively push yourself back up, jumping up in the air as you do.

3 Bulgarian Split Squat

4 Dumbbell Multi-Stance Squat

5 Mini-Band Skater Jump

Stand in a staggered stance with your back to a bench, the top of your rear foot resting on the bench. Lower your body as far as you can while keeping your torso upright. Your front leg should form a 90-degree angle at the bottom of the move. Push back up.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold a pair of dumbbells up near your shoulders with your palms facing your body. Push your hips back, lower into a squat, and push back up. Do all your reps. For your next set, your feet should be shoulder-width apart; the set after, make them as far apart as you can.

Place a mini-band around your knees. Stand on your right foot with that knee slightly bent and your left foot off the floor. Lower your body toward the floor, and then bound to your left by jumping off your right leg. Land on your left foot as you reach toward the outside of your left foot with your right hand. Reverse the move back toward the right, landing on your right foot.

132 | January/February 2017


Workout 2: Upper-Body Blaster

1 Seated Band Multi-Grip Row Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Loop the band around your shoes and grab the band using an overhand, shoulder-width grip. Without moving your torso, pull the band to your upper abs. Do all your reps. For your next set, use a palms-facing grip; the set after, use an underhand grip.

2 Seated Band Face Pull

G r o o m i n g : N i c o l e W o o l e r / Tr u e B e a u t y M a r k s ( w o r k o u t s ) ; J O H N L O O M I S ( o p p o s i t e i n s e t )

Sit on a bench with your feet hip-width apart, and loop a resistance band around your feet. Grab the ends of the band using an overhand grip. Starting with your arms straight, pull the middle of the band toward your forehead, keeping your elbows wide at the top of the move. Pause and repeat.

3 Multi-Grip Pushup

4 Dumbbell Multi-Grip Curl

5 Dumbbell Multi-Angle Press

Assume a pushup position with your arms straight and hands close. Bend at your elbows and lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Pause and push your body back up. For your next set, your hands should be beneath your shoulders; after that, double shoulder width.

Stand with a pair of dumbbells and let them hang next to your sides. Turn your arms so your palms face your body. Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows and curl the dumbbells close to your shoulders. Pause and slowly lower the weights back to the starting position. Next set, curl the dumbbells with your palms facing each other. The set after, use an underhand grip.

Sit upright on a bench holding a pair of dumbbells with your arms extended directly overhead. Lower the dumbbells toward your chest, pause briefly, and then press them overhead. Do all your reps. Next set, do the move with the bench at an incline. For your third set, do the move with the bench flat.

January/February 2017 | 133

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Workout 2: Upper-Body Blaster continued

6 Dumbbell Modified Upright Row

7 Dumbbell Overhead Carry

Stand holding a pair of dumbbells in front of your thighs, palms toward your body. This is the starting position. Pull the weights up to chest level, keeping them tight to your body. Do not raise your upper arms any higher than shoulder level. Reverse the move and repeat.

Grab two dumbbells and press them overhead, your arms perfectly straight. Now walk, trying to push your rib cage and shoulders toward your hips.

Choose Your MetaMethod Don’t want to do the full workout? Simply choose an exercise from either workout—or one of your old favorites—add it to your regular workout, and perform it using one of the four methods below. You’ll ignite your normal routine, leading to insane gains.


Range-of-motion exercises hammer your muscles in specific sections of an exercise, which zeroes in on your weaknesses and forces your muscles to work harder for a longer time. Do It Using the split squat, pushup, or press, do reps of the “bottom half”—or half the range of motion of an exercise—for 40 seconds. Then do 40 seconds of the “top half.” Now do the move using the full range of motion for 40 seconds. Rest 1 minute. That’s 1 round; do 2 to 5.

136 | January/February 2017



Bloodflow restriction training, which uses elastic bands to reduce circulation to your working muscle, is a proven way to build muscle and strength with much lighter loads. Do It Choose an exercise that targets one of your limbs— biceps curls, for example. Wrap your working limbs with elastic bands at the joints closest to your core. Do as many reps of the exercise as you can in 30 seconds; then switch limbs and repeat. That’s 1 round; do 5.

Putting your muscle under load for an extended time creates insane metabolic stress, one of the main precursors to growth. So grab a light weight and slow your reps down to a crawl, focusing on feeling every muscle fiber working. Do It Using just your body weight when you first start, take 4 seconds to lower, and 4 seconds to lift. Move continuously for 2 minutes. Rest 1 minute, then switch sides (if it’s a single-limb exercise). Do 2 to 5 sets.

Try MetaShred Extreme This 11-workout system is MH’s most metabolic fitness program. Every workout is strategically choreographed to drive muscle growth and accelerate fat loss. You’ll see dramatic results in as little as 28 days.


You’ll pack in a ton of work by repping out with successively lighter weights in each set. The brief rests and varying loads scream just one thing to your muscles: Grow! Do It Grab a weight you can lift for 40 seconds. Do reps for 40 seconds and rest 20 seconds. Now grab a weight equal to half the last weight. Do 40 more seconds of reps; rest 20 seconds. Finish with 40 seconds of the exercise using only your body weight or a light load. Switch sides and repeat. That’s 1 round; do 2 to 4.


Trainer: BJ Gaddour, C.S.C.S., Men’s Health fitness director Time: 40 minutes Workouts: 2

The Workouts (from page 43)

Your Back Pain Prescription

G r o o m i n g : N i c o l e W o o l e r / Tr u e B e a u t y M a r k s ( w o r k o u t s ) ; F I N N O ’ H A R A ( i n s e t )

If you don’t have back pain now, just wait—chances are you will. Unless, of course, you learn to love these four moves. Stuart McGill, Ph.D., the author of Back Mechanic, says they can boost core strength and endurance, reduce pain, and prevent injury. DIRECTIONS Perform the four moves daily. For the bird dog, curlup, and side plank: Do 6 reps (per side, if applicable), rest 30 seconds, then 4 reps, rest 30 seconds, then 2 reps. Then move on to the next exercise. End by doing 1 squat with good form.

Bird Dog

The Curlup

Get on your hands and knees with your hips and knees bent 90 degrees. Lift your right leg and left hand; keep your raised foot and heel pointing back and away directly behind you, and your raised hand directly in front of you. Both limbs should be perfectly parallel and aligned with your torso. Hold the position for 10 seconds; then return to the starting position. Do all your reps and repeat with your left leg and right hand.

Lie on your back. Bend one knee so your foot is flat on the floor, and place your hands (palms down) beneath your lower back. Raise your elbows slightly and brace your core. Lift your head, neck, and shoulders simultaneously an inch or two off the floor. Hold the position for 10 seconds; then lower. That’s 1 rep. Do half your reps, switch legs, and do the rest.

Side Plank


Lie on the floor on your left side. Prop yourself up on your left elbow and feet. Your top foot should be on the floor directly forward of your bottom foot. Place your right hand on your left shoulder and make sure your hips are pushed forward throughout. Hold the position for 10 seconds; then lower your hips. That’s 1 rep. Do all your reps and repeat on your other side.

Stand tall with your arms outstretched. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your torso. Keep your back straight throughout the descent. Now relax and sink into the bottom of the squat for a few seconds. Begin building tension in your back to straighten it, and then push back up.


Trainer: Stuart McGill, Ph.D. Time: 15 minutes Do It: Daily

January/February 2017 | 137



I understand why people are put off by the trappings of meditation. I was quite literally a guy with a shaved head who wore a purple skirt and burned incense. After 10 years I went back to the U.K. and met a doctor who ran an integrated practice. I was taken into the practice to teach mindfulness alongside traditional medicine. It gave me a chance to see which techniques worked. That’s where I met Rich Pierson, a burnedout ad exec in his late 20s. We ran meditation events together for two years. People started asking us, “Why can’t I get anything like this online?” I didn’t think it could work. I believed that meditation was a very personal, one-toone thing, and I didn’t know how it could work online at this scale. But Rich did, and together we launched Headspace in 2010. Some see meditation as a little “woo-woo,” but looking at brain scans, wow, you can actually see the difference it makes, and that’s really exciting. We went from 700,000 users in 2014 to 7 million in a year and a half. More than half are men, which is a surprise. As guys, we struggle. Our minds aren’t as compliant, and we don’t have the same social networks that women have. We want to appear strong and don’t want to admit vulnerability. But meditation is private; you don’t have to tell anyone. I am on my own in my own space. As meditation moves to a digital vehicle, it’s much easier for guys to use. Frequency is more important than duration. Five minutes is a good start. Do it anywhere. There’s an important distinction between meditation and mindfulness. Mindfulness is being in the moment in a nonjudgmental way. I’m a passionate surfer. Something about surfing is mindful and naturally brings about that quality of mind. Meditation is taking the time to train our minds so we can apply mindfulness in a more skillful way when we need it. A lot of people say they don’t need meditation, that exercise is their meditation. But what happens when you get injured, or go on holiday, or you can no longer do an activity? When you are feeling overwhelmed, you can’t just leave and go for a run, but you can access the calm you develop from meditation. There was so much uncertainty when I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2013. One day the doctor says I may never be able to have children, and then that it may have spread to my brain. Then he says I’m okay. Cancer is such a loaded word, but living from one moment to the next takes a lot of the mental anguish out of it. The skill of being present helps when the tendency is to leap forward

hoping for an outcome. Meditation allows us to drop that story line of past and future and just be present. Men especially are goal-oriented. We tend to be driven toward destination, not aware of the journey. It may sound like a cliché, but the journey is the destination. It only takes cancer or losing your job to understand that we are not as in control as we think we are. It’s a scary idea because control makes us feel secure. But instead of desperately trying to hold on to or chase things, meditation opens us up and allows us to flow more easily through everything. You don’t do meditation so you get good at sitting with your eyes closed. You do it to bring awareness and compassion into the world. In the monastery, you have the freedom to be yourself. A lot of the typical male stereotypes fall away, and you’re more willing to share feelings and difficulties. You’re not so focused on creating a particular identity. A lot of people assume that monks are enlightened. They are not enlightened; they’re working on it. Whenever you bring humans together in a small space, tensions are there. Someone who is type A? In their presence you feel it. And when things get difficult, you want to retreat to a cave. Of course it’s different for a monk because you’re retreating to an actual cave instead of a metaphorical one. Sometimes meditation is seen as a magic bullet, that suddenly you can undo 10, 20, even 50 years of conditioning, of living and thinking a certain way. People who dedicate their lives to unwinding the conditioning still do some of the same things, but they’re more aware. You may flip someone off in traffic, but by noticing what you’ve just done you’re making progress. One misunderstanding is that because we talk about being in the moment, we can’t have dreams and aspirations. We want to be present, but with a direction. What we don’t want is to be so dependent on goals that our happiness depends on reaching them. When our happiness and peace of mind is dependent on an outcome, that’s a risky way to live. In meditation you bring awareness of everything, good and bad. It can make you aware of uncertainty and doubt, and you may realize that you’re living in a way that’s not leading to your own happiness. That can be scary, but it can result in positive change. Am I enlightened? Here, enlightenment is seen as a destination. In the East, maintaining stability of awareness and emotion is what you’re after, and that takes continuous practice. I consider myself a student of meditation. 

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MEN’S HEALTH Vol. 32, No. 1 (ISSN 1054-4836), is published 10 times per year (monthly except for January and July) by Rodale Inc., 400 South 10th St., Emmaus, PA 18098–0099; (800) 666-2303. Copyright 2017 by Rodale Inc. All rights reserved. In U.S.: Periodicals postage paid at Emmaus, PA, and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster (U.S.): Send address changes to Men’s Health magazine, Customer Service, P.O. Box 26299, Lehigh Valley, PA 18002-6299. IN CANADA: Postage paid at Gateway, Mississauga, Ontario; Canada Post International Publication Mail (Canadian Distribution) Sales Agreement No. 40063752. Postmaster (Canada): Send returns and address changes to Men’s Health magazine, 2930 14th Avenue, Markham, Ontario, L34 5Z8. (GST# R122988611). Subscribers: If the postal authorities alert us that your magazine is undeliverable, we have no further obligation unless we receive a corrected address within 18 months.

mindfulness—being in the moment and experiencing the present—by helping your mind rest. The constant noise of our everyday lives keeps our nervous system in a state of chronic overdrive, which plays a role in stress and other health problems. “Our culture has lost the importance of silence,” says Patricia Dobkin, Ph.D., an associate professor of medicine at McGill University. To get comfortable with the quiet, sit for 10 minutes a day “with your breath,” which means simply breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth while noticing your body’s sensations and letting thoughts come and go. Gradually work up to 20 minutes. Don’t be discouraged if your mind seems busy at first. “Many people are uncomfortable with silence,” Dobkin says. Your mind may not be still. Your thoughts may buzz around. That’s okay; just let the thoughts go and refocus on your breath. Digital Fasting Phone content can be addicting, especially games like Pokémon Go, which are designed to provide “pleasurable hyperstimulation” that leave you wanting more, says Robert Weiss, M.S.W., a tech expert at Elements Behavioral Health. But smartphones are also necessary for daily communication, so it’s probably not wise to go phone-free for days at a time. Try a phone fast during a few strategic hours. Identify scenarios in which technology is an unneeded distraction—meetings, work dinners, or family functions—and turn it off.

HELP YOURSELF TO HAPPINESS In our selfie-obsessed culture, make selflessness your focus. Studies show that people who volunteer are healthier and happier than those who don’t give back. But not all charity work is equally beneficial. You’ll feel best if you volunteer for the right reasons: to bond with other people, understand others’ needs, or support a mission you value, suggests research from Australia. Volunteering to enhance your career, avoid life problems, or get yourself adopted by that sexy director at the animal shelter isn’t what this is about. “Start with an organization that you are naturally interested in and feel passionate about,” says Sara Konrath, Ph.D., of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. If you want to help a few of the more than 30 million Americans who can’t read, volunteer for a literacy organization. If you’re an athlete and want to share your skills with kids, volunteer to be a youth coach. Find local groups sorted by category at 


THE EX-ORCISM Don’t worry about the grammar—just get it down. For weightless things, words are powerful; writing them down will feel physically relieving. Set aside a specific time and place outside your usual circles to do this: a park bench, new coffee shop, bar, whatever. According to Penn State clinical psychologist Michelle Newman, Ph.D., tying your thoughts to a specific spot will gradually prevent them from elbowing their way into other times, such as just before bed and when you’re trying to sleep at 3 a.m.

THE CUBICLE FARM NEIGHBOR YOU NEVER SHOULD’VE DATED Think of it like a divorce. “In the same way divorced parents renegotiate their roles from parents to partners, you two need to talk about how you’ll still have a relationship, but that it needs to be a different one. This renegotiation is key,” says David Sbarra, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Arizona. It’ll also be awkward bordering on waking nightmare. THE EX-ORCISM Regain control by becoming a problem solver. Because it’s your problem? Precisely. So head off the changed, charged situation before it turns into a game of passive-aggressive looks, whispers, and backstabbing office politics. Find ways of working together in an impersonal team-type setting. (And yes, you have been reduced to an emoji and everyone is emailing about you.) THE CRAZY-INTENSE HOT-ANDCOLD BORDERLINE WOMAN This one is tricky, and it’ll sound more brutal than it is. If you’re separating from someone who’s battling serious demons, your best move is to ask her to back out gracefully while encouraging her to seek solace from friends and/ or a therapist, and to dial back the unicorn memes. Otherwise, even though you’re no longer a direct problem, you’ll remain an echo of a previous one. And as ice-cold as this sounds, it’s no longer your concern. “If you are a reasonable and kind person, you are not responsible for your ex’s well-being, as much as you might feel you are,” says Sbarra. THE EX-ORCISM Act with compassion. Allow for a reasonable division of clothes, books, goldfish, and toothbrushes— and then vanish. Completely. “No texting, no talking, no reinforcing her behavior,” Sbarra says. “Eventually your ex will move on, or direct her angst toward someone else.” 쐍


Elissa Epel, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry at UC San Francisco in The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer (out January 3 on Amazon). We asked them for intel and advice:

NOURISH YOUR DNA Anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish like salmon and tuna, shield telomeres from damage. On the other end of the spectrum, certain foods act like telomere toxins. “Processed red meat and sugar stand out for their potent negative effects on telomere maintenance,” says Epel. Minimize your intake of those foods and eat free-range, organic meats whenever possible. Finally, steer clear of supplements that tout telomere-lengthening benefits. These haven’t been proven safe or effective.

BE POSITIVE We’d love to peek inside Lewis Black’s cells because cynicism, hostility, and pessimism are hard on telomeres. “Daily stress is a part of modern life,” says Epel. “What matters is how we approach these situations and recover from them.” As you grasp at negative thoughts, you pump out stress hormones, which sabotage telomeres. Try a strategy known as thought distancing: Imagine the stressful situation as a movie scene. You’re just in the audience watching it go by.

RUN AWAY FROM AGING Exercise is the single most important tool for protecting telomeres because it busts two bad influences: inflammation and stress. “The very time when you don’t want to exercise is the best time to do it for your telomeres,” Blackburn says. Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, done three days a week for 45 minutes, may even double the activity of an enzyme called telomerase that helps repair frayed telomeres. However, a warning to weekend warriors: Don’t save your exercise for one big mega-workout, since overtraining actually harms telomeres.

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REDESIGN YOUR VACATION Instead of lounging on a beach, take a trip that will refresh you in a different way. Epel and Blackburn recently found that a six-day meditation retreat helped people fend off telomere damage. More and more travel companies now offer wellness and meditation retreats, but you can also practice mindfulness on your next vacation no matter what the destination. (Find meditation ideas on page 118.) Unencumbered by your day-to-day obligations, you can use vacation as a perfect opportunity to practice new stress-resilience skills, says Epel. 쐍

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The List

“Go to the dollar store. If they don’t have what you want, everything only costs a dollar.”

Interviews by Eric Spitznagel

Life Advice from Kids “Don’t do any diets. Just eat healthy stuff without doing anything weird. Definitely don’t do the diet where you eat other humans.” —Logan, 7


“Don’t cross the street without looking both ways because you could get hit by a car and then somebody else gets all the candy.” —Charlie, 5

“Run around the backyard like the dog does. He seems like he’s in pretty good shape.” —Gavriella, 7

“Drink like three gallons of water every day, or become a tree or jellyfish.” —Morgan, 8

“Just run all the time. Run like there’s hot lava behind you. Because then even if you get tired, you’ll be like, ‘Aaaaaiee! Lava!’ And you’ll keep running.” —Charlie, 5

NUTRITION “You need to eat spinach. And then you can throw it up in the toilet. And chicken. Is tortellini healthy?” —Gavriella, 7 140 | January/February 2017

“Get a bigger house. If your house is really big, you’ll have to walk a long way just to get to the bathroom. That’s a lot of exercise. I think people who live to 100 had to walk up and down a lot of stairs just to go potty.” —Ian, 5

MONEY “Bury your money in the backyard. But make a map so you remember where the money is. But hide the map where you can’t find it, so you don’t dig up the money. Or give the map to a friend who has enough money.” —Charlie, 5

“Well, you have to be near her but also not too near—like, medium. Kind of near her but also not. Go away from her when she wants you to, but also come near her.” —Gavriella, 7 “Don’t put a glue stick in her hair. It sounds funny, but she never thinks so.” —Charlie, 5


“Make sure your muscles are trying as hard as they can. And keep your bones straight. [Sits up to demonstrate.] Also, do more jumping jacks.” —Aki, 6

“Yoga is a good idea. It stretches out your body so you don’t shrink.” —Gemma, 7

“Buy more things that give you back more change. If you have a lot of coins, your pockets will be heavy and you’ll think, ‘I’m rich!’ It’s all about having heavy pockets.” —Aki, 6

STRESS “Go take a walk in the woods. Nature is great because it has birds and Bigfoot. [Long pause.] Bigfoot’s not alive, right?” —Ian, 5

STYLE “Wear more leather jackets. And spiky pants. But not with spikes on your butt. Just spikes everywhere else.” —Gemma, 7 “Stick with plaid and fedoras.” —Morgan, 8 “Just buy lots of cool shorts.” —Oscar, 5

RELATIONSHIPS “First try to underestimate her and say you don’t like her and stuff, and then next year just ask, ‘Will you marry me?’” —Logan, 7

“Sometimes you have to laugh so hard, you super-pee. That’s when you pee over your entire pants. Your pants are like ruined with pee. That’s how hard you laughed.” —Charlie, 5

s o l e g / G e t t y I m a g e s (s u i t) , M i c h a e l D e n o r a / G e t t y I m a g e s (f l e x i n g) , R e h a n a S a e e d - J a a n / G e t t y I m a g e s (s u n g l a s s e s) , H o w a r d B e r m a n / G e t t y I m a g e s (w e t p a n t s) , c o u r t e s y E v e r e t t C o l l e c t i o n (P o p e y e)

“Eat lots of broccoli. It might give you bad farts, but it makes you stronger if you eat the stems. If you fart a lot but you’re strong, I think that’s a good compromise.” —Gemma, 7

My dad always believed in working hard and following your dream. His name was Josh and he was my hero. I made this wine in his honor. It’s big and vibrant but always approachable, like him. — Joseph Carr, Napa Valley Vintner & Son


Josh Carr, circa 1948

Please enjoy responsibly. ©2016 Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, Stamford, CT 06901.

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