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KEANU REEVES At 52, he’s back as John Wick and fitter than ever
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D I S P L AY U N T I L M A R C H 2 0 , 2 0 1 7
March 2017 Mensfitness.com
The StyleIssue March 2017 Features
72 Keanu Wants to Fight! After a lifetime of playing iconic badasses, Keanu Reeves, at 52, remains one of the most enigmatic figures in Hollywood. But here, the alwaysguarded actor opens up about life and fitness, and reveals why he’s still ready to kick lots of ass.
The Perfect Fit 61 Bring the Heat! The best new goanywhere gym wear.
66 Modern Classics Snazzy (but cool) new sneakers and watches.
68 Spring Cleaning Grooming essentials to shake off winter.
70 Journey Man A $6,000 travel look for under $1,000.
BY D AV I D K AT Z
78 Turn Back Your Body Clock Can you be a 45-yearold but maintain the body of a guy in his 20s? According to one world-renowned exercise scientist— the inventor of the Fitness Age—the answer is: Absolutely. And it’s going to change the way you train.
Breakthroughs 17 Top News The best sports to beat back the Grim Reaper.
18 Muscle Why meat eaters don’t have an advantage in the gym.
BY ERIC BENSON
Cardio cancels out binge eating; and shocking your brain leads to gains.
Truth About Testosterone
How downward dogs can lower your blood pressure.
The $2 billion testosterone-replacementtherapy industry says the solution to all your problems is some extra “T.” Is an easy-access “fountain of youth” a good thing? Here, our man searches for answers. BY B RU C E FA LC O N E R
90 Rocket Power In space, your bodily fluids go haywire, your bones get brittle, and your muscles wilt at an astonishing rate. That’s why, as NASA sets its eyes on deep space exploration, it’s creating a new breed of super-ripped astronauts. BY RON BERLER
24 Nutrition Is broccoli the veggie of youth?
61 These looks are a hit no matter what your game is.
On the Cover
KEANU REEVES PHOTOGRAPH:
DOUG INGLISH Nina Paskowitz Geri Oppenheim S T Y L I N G : Jeanne Yang/ The Wall Group T - S H I R T : RIC J E A N S : Fabric Brand eastdane.com W A T C H : IWC HAIR:
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march 104 Eat your way to “shredded” with this get-lean plan.
30 For faster results, master the tempo tantrum. 17 Swingers live longer (no kidding).
On Top 27 Fight On Enter the new world of luxury boxing gyms.
Regulars 6 Fitness on the Go
8 View from the Top
Your total-body plan to become a human machine.
10 Dave’s Take Insider tips from our editorial director.
30 Lift Smart Pace your workout for better PRs.
12 Celebrity Workout Keanu Reeves’ hit-man plan.
34 Gear Up Sweat-soaking running gear that banishes BO.
128 Before You Go Your most pressing financial questions answered.
35 Bring It Mark Cuban’s must-have apps.
Eat to Win
Rita Ora lights up the big screen.
47 Guy Food What people from the world’s longest-living regions eat to stay practically immortal.
37 Game On For Honor will unleash your inner warrior.
38 Tune In
104 Chow Down The low-fat meal plan.
110 A Cut Above The new weight-loss supp you’ve got to try.
112 Sugar Burners The best a.m. routine.
114 The 500-Rep Challenge HIIT at its finest.
120 Be Inspired How to lose 90 pounds!
122 Stay Strong A testosterone supp shopping list.
50 Fast Fuel
Meet Wolverine’s badass new nemesis. The new Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio.
How to make Spain’s most iconic dish— paella—into a robust, better-for-you one-pan meal.
42 Get Out
52 Fit Chef
The month’s coolest escapades.
The ex-pro swimmer creating an organic chicken empire.
56 Earn It!
53 Diet Hacks
58 Burn It!
The ultimate salad bar smackdown.
Next-level bikecommuting gear.
40 Go Fast
44 Man Up Fight the right way now, have hot makeup sex later. 4
Columns 54 Learn It! One man dares to declutter his apartment. The best new credit cards.
Clock wise from top lef t: Linda Xiao; James Michelfelder; D ylan Coulter
36 Worship Her
The Body Book
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Clean up your act in the kitchen with these surprising diet tips.
WHAT YOU’RE FORGETTING IN THE GYM The five essential (and effective!) exercises every man should be doing to get stronger.
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THE 25 FITTEST CELEBRITY WOMEN
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T ’ S N O S E C R E T T H AT S O M E G U Y S J U S T A G E
better than others. Now while some of that may be genetics—whether it’s keeping a full head of hair north of 40 or magically possessing some eternally youthful physique—I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that your DNA can take you only so far. Aging well, after all, is something you do. It’s about leading a smart, healthy life, building great habits at a young age, and choosing to walk through the world in a body that not only makes you happy but also gives you confidence. For proof of this, allow me to introduce our latest cover guy: Keanu Reeves. As anyone who’s visited a cineplex in the past quarter century knows, Reeves, who first burst on the scene in the late 1980s as a teenage underachiever in the goofy Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, went on to become one of the great action stars in recent memory, churning out blockbusters like Point Break (1991), Speed (1994), The Matrix (1999), and, most recently, the runaway cult hit John Wick (2014). At 52, Reeves has exactly zero plans of slowing down, which he makes very clear in his ass-kicking new movie, John Wick: Chapter 2. As he reveals in a rare sit-down interview (page 72), the raw physicality of filming great action is a true passion for him. “I want to be able to do everything,” he says. “Since The Matrix, I’ve used this term superperfect. As in, ‘Can we get it superperfect?’ That’s part of what makes a great action film— the intensity of just trying to do the best you can in the circumstances that you have.” Of course, that’s a lesson I’d urge you to apply to all facets of your life, whether it’s eating right, dressing right, or improving your own physique. As you set your sights on new goals, don’t miss our story on the single most important biomarker you’ve never heard of: your “fitness age” (page 78). Developed by a leading exercise physiologist, fitness age is the single surest indicator of your long-term health and longevity. And get this: With the right exercise plan—which we’re posting in full at mensfitness .com/fitnessage—you can actually lower it, almost ensuring a longer life. How’s that for a fountain of youth? So are you ready to live a longer, happier, more fruitful life? I certainly hope so. Enjoy the issue.
If you own a single blazing-yellow item, make it a killer raincoat.
Stack it high! The greatest new muscle-building burgers.
Get serious! For cover guy Keanu Reeves’ ass-kicking routine, turn to page 12.
From top: Levi Brown; William Hereford; Linda Xiao; Doug Ing lish
David J. Pecker Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of American Media, Inc.
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untuckit.com Austin • Chicago • Los Angeles • New York City • San Francisco
What winners know
Advice, wisdom, and healthy-lifestyle hacks from Men’s Fitness Editorial Director and Galvanized Media CEO David Zinczenko
THE HITMAKER RIDES AGAIN
Step into the ring
■ Keanu Reeves is the eternal action hero. As the rest of us age and Hollywood’s tastes change, he’s the same machine who took the red pill back in ’99. And as he proves in this month’s John Wick: Chapter 2, he’s still the one man who can win a gunfight with a dog, a Mustang, and sheer gravitas. Read our revealing interview with him on page 72—and steal his immortalitygranting workout on page 12. (We did.)
■ Fitness studios have already revolutionized biking and burpees—and now, thanks to Rumble ( rumblefitnyc.com ), it’s boxing’s turn. Founded by my friend Eugene Remm and his entrepreneurial dream team, Rumble is already a magnet for off-duty models and aspiring Rockys alike, who come for the nightclub-quality sound system and stay for the workouts. Pro tip: Arm yourself with these boxing gloves from Cleto Reyes ($163, cletoreyesboxing.com ).
“THE DEFINITION OF A GOOD INVESTMENT IS ANYTHING THAT LOWERS YOUR STRESS LEVEL.”
Exude confidence ■ Buying great cologne seems to baffle even my most style-savvy friends. So I’ll make it simple for you: This month, ignore the pushy salesperson and jump-start your style routine with the brand-new Polo Red Extreme (75ml, $75, ralphlauren.com ). The latest signature scent from Olivier Gillotin, the mastermind behind Polo’s riotously successful line of Red colognes, is robust, enduring, and unquestionably masculine—exactly the jolt of energy you’re looking for, and one nobody else has discovered yet. 10
The Caribbean vacation in a glass ■ Let’s face it: By the time March rolls around, you’re usually pretty sick of winter’s permagray. This year, when I need a reminder (or three) that spring weather is around the corner, I head down the block from Men’s Fitness HQ to one of the best new bars in the city, BlackTail, for my new favorite pour. The cocktail geniuses there call it the Arawak: Bacardi, sherry, amaro, Campari, and coffee liqueur, with just enough absinthe to keep your feet tapping. Get the recipe straight from the source at mensfitness.com/arawak.
Clock wise from top lef t: Doug Inglish; Cour tesy of Cleto Reyes; Nick Ferrari (2); Prop st yling by Rachel S t i c k l e y/ B e r n s t e i n & A n d r i u l l i
The Cover Guy’s Gym
BULLETPROOF BULLETPR ROOF YO YOUR OUR KILLER B BODY ODY BY MIKE SIMO SIMONE ONE PHOTOGRAPH P HOTOGRA APH BY DO DOUG OUG INGLISH
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S t y l i n g b y J e a n n e Ya n g / T h e Wa l l G r o u p ; H a i r b y N i n a P a s k o w i t z ; M a k e u p B y G e r i O p p e n h e i m
John Wick racked up 76 kills in the original film—not too shabby for a retired hit man. The staples in his repertoire include judo, jiu-jitsu, gun fu (kung fu with guns), and hand-to-hand combat. ¶ But it isn’t just these skills that let Keanu Reeves-as-John Wick rip someone’s face off with a roundhouse kick. No, what Reeves has—and you can have, too—is something that takes his abilities to a higher level: an enhanced sense of “proprioception,” or a heightened awareness of where every part of his body is and exactly what it’s doing at all times. ¶ The following workout, which Reeves used to train for John Wick: Chapter 2 , features multistep exercises that efficiently work several muscles and body parts together, to earn you not just a killer physique but killer moves, too.
I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with “S.” Who knows what you’ll see in the backup camera1 of your new 2017 Corolla, but that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? That’s why it comes standard, along with Toyota Safety Sense™ P.2 Because, even though you might see almost anything, one thing we think you should definitely see is safety. How many things can you spy that start with the letter “S”?
Toyota Safety Sense™ Standard
Prototype shown with options. Production model may vary. 1. The backup camera does not provide a comprehensive view of the rear area of the vehicle. You should also look around outside your vehicle and use your mirrors to confirm rearward clearance. Environmental conditions may limit effectiveness and view may become obscured. See Owner’s Manual for details. 2. Drivers should always be responsible for their own safe driving. Please always pay attention to your surroundings and drive safely. Depending on the conditions of roads, vehicles, weather, etc., the system(s) may not work as intended. See Owner’s Manual for details. ©2016 Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
The Cover Guy’s Gym
MULTIPURPOSE MOVES AND A NONSTOP STRUCTURE ARE A DEADLY COMBINATION PHOTOGRAPHS BY JAMES MICHELFELDER
HOW IT WORKS
Patrick Murphy is an L.A.based celebrity trainer, murphyfitness.com.
2) Sync up your entire body.
Perform each circuit two to three times per week. Complete 15–20 reps of each exercise and then move on to the next exercise. That’s one circuit. Rest one minute upon completion then start again.
1) ISO LUNGE WITH BAND FRONT RAISE
2) ALTERNATING REVERSE LUNGE WITH BAND ROW
Hold the band in both hands shoulder-width apart. Step on the center of the band with one foot. Step forward into a lunge with your free foot. Hold the lunge while slowly raising your hands to shoulder level. Resist the band as you lower your hands. Do 10 reps on one side, then switch.
Anchor your band at navel height. Facing your band, hold it in both hands with light tension. Step back with one foot into a lunge. Row your arms back, elbows grazing your sides. Resist as you re-extend your arms. Step forward and repeat, lunging with the opposite foot.
3) STEP FORWARD AND PRESS PUNCH WITH BAND With a band anchored about chest height, turn around so you’re facing away from the band’s anchor point. Hold the band with light tension. Take a large step forward while forcefully pressing the band forward. Resist as you bring your hands back to the start.
4) BAND OR CABLE PALLOF PRESS With a cable handle or band anchored about chest height, turn sideways and hold the band in both hands in front of your chest. Step away from the anchor point so the band is tense. Press both hands out in front of you, keeping your shoulders square. Resist as you bring hands back to start.
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S t y l i n g By B a r r e t We r t z; G r o o m i n g by C a s ey G e r e n / B e r n s te i n & A n d r i u l l i u s i n g Sh i s e i d o; F i t n e s s Te c h : J e b S t u a r t J o h n s t o n
This is not your traditional musclebuilding plan. Joint stability, mobility, injury prevention, and explosive power are its cornerstones. “Keanu’s body was put through the wringer,” says his trainer, Patrick Murphy. “I had to implement the safest, most effective program possible.” ¶ To accomplish that, Murphy made heavy use of bands: “They can be easier on the joints than free weights,” he explains, “but I also like the negative resistance they present.” ¶ Other tools in the box are unilateral exercises like ice skaters and single-leg pistol squat hops, which enhance proprioception—the body’s ability to sense what all its parts are doing—and balance.
1) STANDING LEG SWING Balance on one foot. Swing the other forward as far as you can control, then backward the same way. Do all reps on one side before switching.
2) SINGLE-LEG BALANCE BODY LEVER Stand on one foot, with both arms above your head. Hinge at the hips, extending the free leg back behind you and your arms forward so that your body makes one plane from fingertips to sole of foot. Use the standing leg to pull yourself back up.
3) MODIFIED ICE SKATER Start by standing on one foot. Push off that foot to leap to the other side and land softly. Quickly repeat the process in the other direction. During each side leap, tap your calf with the heel of the trailing foot.
4) REVERSE LUNGE KNEE-UP HOP Stand with feet hipwidth apart. Step back into a lunge with one foot. Drive the back knee up and toward your chest to explode into a hop off your other foot. Do all reps on one side before switching.
3) For a joint-friendlier version of this move, see description on left.
1) DUMBBELL FLOOR PRESS With a pair of moderate to heavy dumbbells, lie on the floor with your knees bent. Hold the weights and lay your triceps on the floor with your elbows slightly elevated. Press the weights up above your chest. Squeeze and repeat. Resist the weight as you lower down.
2) IMAGINARY CHAIR CABLE HIGH ROW 2
1) This shoulder-friendly alternative to the bench press eliminates leg drive, forcing your upper body to work harder.
Attach a rope or straight bar to a cable station set to the highest level. Holding a deep squat, row the cable down to your chest with your elbows coming toward your sides. Squeeze and repeat. Resist as you release the cable, maintaining your squat.
For the full plan, including the warmup and Circuit 4, go to mensfitness.com /keanuworkout.
2) Holding form will activate nearly every muscle in the body.
3) SINGLE-LEG LEG PRESS Set up the leg press for moderate to heavy weight. Place both feet on the platform so your knees are at right angles at the start. Remove one leg. Press with the leg remaining for a full range of motion, but avoid locking out the knee. Do all reps on one leg before switching.
4) SINGLE-LEG PISTOL SQUAT HOP Stand on one foot. Extend the other foot forward while bending your standing knee and sending hips back to squat on one foot. Explode off the standing leg to hop up. Land softly with bent knee. Switch to the other foot and repeat.
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Hard-hitting news from the cutting edge of modern research
BREAKTHROUGHS hich type of cardio gets you the healthiest and keeps you alive the longest? ¶ Curious exercise researchers at the U. of Sydney examined 11 different health surveys on more than 80,000 people (average age: 52) over nine years and found that, amazingly, those who’d played racquet sports like tennis, racquetball, or squash in the previous month had a 47% lower risk of early death. ¶ And that’s not all: Enthusiasts who swung a racquet regularly also showed a 56% drop in cardiovascular disease. It’s believed that this type of full-body exercise, which features short bouts of high-intensity effort, helps you live longer by boosting your metabolism and strengthening your heart. ¶ Swimming, a great whole-body workout, came in second, with aerobics in third place and cycling in fourth. Surprisingly, neither soccer nor running seemed to significantly reduce premature death. ¶ To court longer life, pick up a racquet and add the sport of kings to your cardio routine—it will serve you well.
Swingers Live Longer (Swimmers and Cyclists, Too).
D Y L A N C O U LT E R
Carnivores s have no advantage e over veggie eaters in muscling up.
Vegetarians build as much lean muscle Getting plenty of protein postworkout is key to speeding muscle growth and aiding recovery—but what type of protein is best? ¶ To find out, Arizona State U. researchers tracked the diet and workout habits of 70 elite endurance athletes—43 meat eaters and 27 vegetarians. And surprise! At study’s end, the veggie eaters had virtually the same lean muscle mass as the carnivores and just as much leg strength. ¶ And though the groups’ VO2 max scores showed they were equally fit, the vegetarian women’s numbers were 13% better. ¶ The take-home: If you’re getting the right amount of protein per day (0.6 to 0.8 grams per pound of body weight), it doesn’t matter what form it comes in—plant, animal, or supplement.
Ask Men’s Fitness
CROSS VS. CLANK: WHICH GETS YOU FITTEST? ■ CrossFitters and
SHORT, EXPLOSIVE MOVES ARE THE MOST EFFECTIVE
SIZE DOESN’T MATTER IN MUSCLES ■ That guy with the ungodly big, bulging bi’s? He’s not necessarily stronger than you are. That’s the upshot of a review in Muscle & Nerve
that concluded that the link between post-workout muscle size and muscle strength is tenuous at best. In fact, scientists noted, even when you lose muscle mass after time off, strength often sticks around. Take that, Hulk.
■ If you do want to build strength in your muscles, the best way to do it is through short, explosive contractions lasting less than a second. In a new study in the Journal of Applied Physiology , researchers found that short exercises are not only less tiring and easier, they also build more strength than longer, sustained contractions.
J O E W. , N E W YO R K , N Y
What makes a great (or lousy) gym pal? What’s in his head.
Your buddy’s reasons for exercising may be the problem. ¶ Impulsive gymgoers are most often motivated by feelings of pressure, guilt, or shame about their bodies, the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research reports. If those thoughts plague him, it’s going to be tough for him to stay consistent. ¶ “The gym should be seen as a thing of value, not a chore or punishment,” says study author Dave Keatley, Ph.D. If your pal’s impetus to work out is negative (“I look awful”), not positive (“I’m doing something great!”), you may need a new partner.
P e t e r Ya n g
weightlifters often clash over which workout is best— and now we know. Sort of. In a new study in the Journal of Exercise Physiology, 13 seasoned CrossFitters and 13 iron junkies were put through a barrage of tests, including pullups, shuttle runs, and explosive jumps. Who won? Well,
no one, really. Each group excelled in whatever played to their regimen: CrossFit folks had more endurance, lifters more strength. So mix it up to get the best of both worlds—fitness snobs always lose out in the end.
My weightlifting partner is really erratic about getting to the gym, and it’s driving me crazy. Any idea what’s going on or what I should do?
Bring it, bro: Competition gets you to the gym Been slacking off instead of hitting the gym and throwing up some iron? Get yourself an enemy to go after. ¶ Okay, not an enemy, exactly, but someone who can give you some stiff competition. That’s the very best motivation to work out, according to UPenn researchers who found that, rather than a cheering section, you ou need to feel a sense of competitiveness to be e extremely consistent with your workouts. ¶ Their study, an 11-week weightlifting, running, spinning, and yoga program involving 790 students, showed that exercisers who competed for the top spot on leaderboards had 90% higher gym-attendance rates than those in groups s in which competition wasn’t emphasized. ¶ So if you’re feeling less than excited about crushing it these days, challenge one— or a whole gang—of your gym buddies to a duel and watch the gains start rolling in.
BEST WORKOUT MOTIVATION: BEATING SOMEONE’S ASS.
Ask Men’s Fitness WORKING OUT MAKES UP FOR BINGE EATING (WELL, A WEEK OF IT) ■ The ill effects of a brief eating binge can be offset by exercise, says a small study out of the U. of Michigan.
RUN FOR IT (BUT HEELTOE OR TOE-HEEL?)
In it, four subjects (hey, we said it was a small study) who ate 30% more calories for a week— but still did 150 minutes of cardio and worked out six days—had none of the insulin resistance/inflammation that pigging out usually causes.
SHOCKING EXERCISE NEWS! ■ Last November, we wrote about transcranial directcurrent stimulation (tDCS), a new brainstimulation treatment that seems to boost exercise
■ Many runners believe that landing on the ball of the foot is better than adjusting to a heel-first gait, assuming that going ballsfirst will cushion the impact better. Not so: A study in the Journal of Sports Sciences discovered that when runners switch up their style, there’s no change in the amount of force from one method to the other—the impact is just redirected through the body.
capacity. (Check it out at mensfitness .com/tdcs.) And, boy, were we ahead of the curve. In a study at the U. of Kent in the U.K., nine guys in their 20s did leg extensions at about 20% of their max; but when tDCS electrodes jolted their heads with a tiny bit (2 milliamps) of juice, their perceived effort lessened, allowing them to exercise about 15% longer. You can buy a tDCS device at the brainstimulator .net, but ask your doctor first.
Some studies claim fitness trackers are useless, while others say they’re great for your health. What’s the lowdown? CALEB R., B AT O N R O U G E , L A
A fitness tracker can work— if you actually use it.
Like any new tech, trackers have their pros and cons, so nailing down benefits is tricky, says Kelly Evenson, Ph.D., a professor at UNC– Chapel Hill and the closest thing to a human fitnesstracker “tracker” there is. ¶ For example, one recent study she did suggested that trackers don’t improve health; but her newest research shows they can, indeed, lower heart disease risk—but only if used faithfully. ¶ For max usefulness, she says, wear it in the same position every day, update software often, and pair it with benefitboosting apps.
TO SLEEP SMART, CUT BLUE RAYS ALL DAY
GERMS MAKE HUGE ATM DEPOSITS
■ Getting enough good sleep is one of the best ways to stay fit and healthy. So hear this: The more screen time you put in on your smartphone, computer, or tablet— all day, not just near bedtime—the poorer and shorter your sleep will be, say UCSF scientists, who analyzed data on 600-plus subjects. The culprit: Blue light emitted by screens, which hinders the sleep hormone melatonin. To fight the blues, block rays from your phone or computer with an app from justgetflux .com or twilight .urbanandroid.org.
■ An NYU sample of 66 New York City ATMs found their keypads to be teeming with bacteria. Luckily, though, most are harmless types that thrive on skin and home surfaces. No, the real evildoers are inside the ATMs, the researchers say: The cash the machines spit out is rife with more than 3,000 types of bacteria. Many are linked to acne (collective shudder), but some are deadly antibioticresistant strains. So consider your hands tainted after withdrawals— or, better yet, get yourself a Bitcoin account.
Daily posing can lower your risk of stroke and heart disease.
Yoga lowers blood pressure
Ask Men’s Fitness I love to hit the golf course on the weekends, but my gym-loving buddies say I’m not getting any real exercise. Am I wasting my time?
Get on the ball: Golfers live longer than nongolfers.
Any consistent exercise is good for you— even golf, according to new data out of the U. of Edinburgh, in Scotland, where golf was born back in the 1400s. ¶ The study, the largest and most systematic review ever done, found that golfers live longer than nongolfers and are in better health overall, says author Andrew Murray, M.D. “Golf is a great choice for longevity, physical, and mental benefits—and you can play it from age 3 to 103,” Murray says. ¶ Just ditch the cart and carry your clubs: An 18-hole round can burn 1,200 calories, compared with 600 for cart jockeys.
Push blood pressure downward with daily yoga sessions.
BREATHE THROUGH YOUR NOSE!
Thanks to the good folks at the CDC, we know that about 75 million Americans have—and 59 million more are on the verge of developing—high blood pressure, which can dramatically increase heart disease and stroke risk. ¶ Those are some scary numbers. ¶ Of course, if you think or have been told that you’re at risk, taking sensible steps like quitting smoking and exercising can help stave off high BP, also known as hypertension. But if you’d like to be even more proactive, try yoga: A new study presented to the Cardiological Society of India shows that practicing hatha yoga an hour a day for a month can lower blood pressure even more than lifestyle changes. ¶ In the study, the yogis, who did stretching poses and breathing exercises, had a huge drop in diastolic BP (pressure while your heart is resting) over 24 hours, from a dangerously high 81 to a normal 76. A decrease that drastic could lower stroke risk by 15% and heart disease by 6%. The way you breathe throughout the day and while exercising can calm your body and mind and help them both perform better. Yet proper breathing is one of the most overlooked methods of improving health. ¶ Now there’s even more evidence that breathing right is important: In research at Northwestern U., subjects who inhaled through their noses were able to recognize fearful faces faster and remember images better than when they were exhaling or inhaling through their mouths. Researchers believe rapid (“panicky”) nasal inhalation synchronizes brain areas to make us more aware of our surroundings. ¶ For respiration tips, go to breathing.com.
Broccoli can help head off the aging process.
Broccoli: a pep stalk from Mother Nature Love broccoli or hate it, you’ll probably be wanting more of it once you read this. ¶ Packed with tons of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant phytonutrients that help you stay fit and trim, broccoli also contains niacin (alias “vitamin B3”), which helps create an enzyme called NMN (for nicotinamide mononucleotide). ¶ Now a study conducted on mice at the Washington U. School of Medicine has revealed that the NMN in broccoli helps your body use energy more efficiently, slows agerelated weight gain, boosts eyesight, and improves insulin sensitivity. In other words, it staves off many of the negative effects of aging. Even as the NMN-munching study mice got older, their metabolism and energy levels remained comparable with that of younger, friskier rodents. ¶ Can’t stand broccoli? You can still reap the benefits of NMN by eating foods like chicken, pork, tuna, mushrooms, peppers, and peanuts, which are also extremely rich sources of niacin.
Ask Men’s Fitness I’ve picked up a diet soda habit, but now I’m hearing that the diet stuff is almost as bad as the regular. Is that true? SAM R., MIAMI, FL
■ Have dinner
earlier. Stop eating around midafternoon, and don’t start again till morning. “Restricted feeding” cuts appetite and ups fat burning at night, say Pennington Biomedical Research Center researchers.
■ Go low carb once
a week. Eating just three low-carb meals in a 24-hour period lowers your insulin resistance, say U. of Michigan scientists. This helps your body
burn more fat and protects it against high bp, pre-diabetes, and diabetes.
■ Pretend you’re watching yourself stuff your face. To drop pounds, try a little mental imagery, says a new report from the U. of Aberdeen in Scotland. Seeing yourself from an external perspective could help you put on the brakes.
OLDER CHEESE HELPS YOU GET OLDER
YO-YO DIETING MAY BE A GUT REACTION ■ After Israeli researchers put mice through a cycle of weight loss and gain, they found that the rodents’ systems all returned to normal but one: Their microbiomes (germ colonies) stayed in “obese” mode for
six extra months, Nature reports. It seems the little guys’ guts remembered obesity fondly, and sped up weight gain when off the diet. The finding may lead to treatments to combat yo-yo dieting. Till then, fortify your gut with plenty of probiotic (yogurt, kimchi) and prebiotic (asparagus, onion) foods.
■ A compound in aged cheeses may help keep you alive longer, says Nature Medicine . Italian researchers found that subjects who ate higher amounts of mature cheese had 40% less risk of heart failure. The compound, spermidine (also abundant in soybeans and mushrooms), was first isolated from semen, winning it our award for “Most Unappetizing-Sounding Health Boon Ever.”
F r o m t o p : L e v i B r o w n / Tr u n k A r c h i v e ; G e t t y
To stay lean, drop diet soda.
Seems so, Sam. Research increasingly shows that sugar substitutes fail to do their job— that is, prevent obesity and diabetes, says Mass General Hospital’s Richard Hodin, M.D. ¶ Case in point: Hodin’s latest study found that, in the stomach, aspartame actually blocks an intestinal enzyme that helps protect us from gaining weight. ¶ And it’s not just aspartame. Multiple studies show that, across the board, sugar substitutes tend to promote obesity, plump up belly fat, and, basically, keep you fat. ¶ Hodin’s advice: Stick to water.
SCIENCE SAYS: LOSE WEIGHT 3 HEALTHY NEW WAYS
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Scientiﬁc evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pistachios, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. See nutrition information for fat content. © 2017 Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds LLC. All Rights Reserved. WONDERFUL, THE FIT NUT, the Package Design and accompanying logos are trademarks of Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds LLC or its afﬁliates. WP16815
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Everything you need to make life work for you
Snap your fist, then pull back for a proper punch.
Enter the ring Boxing checks off all the right training criteria: It’s anaerobic! Muscle toning! Core sculpting! And whether they’re grimy or sparkling, boxing gyms have become beacons of total-body fitness. Plus, you’ll never have more fun hitting things with all your might. Ready to go a few rounds? Step this way. By Mike Woods Photograph by James Ryang
Boxing gyms have come a long way from the gritty, dank caves Rocky prowled in Philly’s predawn hours. Just as we had the luxury-climbing-gym revolution last year—when men skipped the treadmill to flex their bouldering skills—we’re now witnessing an explosion of ultra-high-end boxing temples. ¶ Leading the way are Box ’N Burn Boxing and Fitness in L.A., Chicago’s Unanimous Boxing Gym, and, most recently, the gleaming Rumble, which opened a 6,000-plus-square-foot location in New York City this past January. At this knockdown palace, which is partly coowned by a former Google executive and a master trainer from Bravo’s Work Out New York, you can work on fullbody toning while hitting an aqua heavy bag, which is much easier on the joints and tendons. ¶ “Our clients don’t just punch a bag for 45 minutes. We have weights and benches,” says Eugene Remm, a head of the EMM Group and a Rumble co-owner. “Add our overall cleanliness, and nobody thinks ‘boxing.’ ” (For more about Rumble, visit mensfitness.com/rumble.) ¶ We totally approve of the rise in boxing gyms, and not just because we’ve seen Creed too many times. Boxing isn’t just about fighting—it’s a great workout that boosts mental agility, improves coordination, and blends cardio and muscle sculpting. “Boxing is the only sport where you have to stay on your feet the whole time to be successful,” says Eric Kelly, a four-time amateur national champion who now trains clients in NYC. “Meanwhile, you’ve got to keep a guy’s foot out of your ass. That requires every muscle in the body!” ¶ Here’s what you need to know before you step into the ring. 28
The beginner’s guide to picking a boxing gym Before you can pull on the gloves, you need to find the right place—and the right trainer.
ou’ve hit YouTube, and after watching highlights of Mike Tyson knocking heads into the cheap seats, you’re amped to learn the ropes. Now what? “Start by going to a reputable gym,” says Heather Hardy, the WBC international featherweight champ. What constitutes as “reputable” depends on your personal preference. The gym doesn’t have to be beautiful— it can be a hole-inthe-wall reeking of
Bengay, with heavy bags wrapped with duct tape. Next, find a trainer. “Let the owner know if you’re interested in competition or fitness,” says Hardy. Then ask about style: Do you respond better to an earful of growls from a grizzled vet, or pats on the butt from a gentler soul? Make sure the gym trains “whitecollar types,” and steer clear of anyone lacking ring time. “I don’t take the ‘no fighting experience’ trainers as seriously,” says Kelly. “Ever
heard of a swimming instructor who hasn’t been in the water?” And don’t be intimidated. The camaraderie found in boxing gyms is second to none, and most boxers are chill cats who are happy to share tips. From the banker throwing soft punches to the welterweight prospect fighting on HBO next week, they’re all there to better themselves. “It’s one of America’s last true melting pots,” says Bruce Silverglade, owner of Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn. D Y L A N C O U LT E R
On Top Slug away Avoid this fate by slipping, or ducking, the next roundhouse that comes your way.
THE SECRET TO SUREFIRE RIPPED ABS AND CHISELED ARMS? BOXING.
HOW TO TAKE A PUNCH bout to get clocked? Here’s how to avoid hitting the mat. Keep your eyes open—don’t blink—and focus on your opponent’s chest to spot any muscle movements that’ll indicate an incoming bell ringer. Next, “slip” the punch, which means moving your head to the side— that way, you’ll deflect the hook’s full force. Finally, tuck your chin. This is a matter of discipline, but it’s the best way to prevent an embarrassing TKO.
Group class or one-onone?
Clock wise from top lef t: Jorg Badura; United Ar tists/Photofrest; Nick Ferrari; Prop s t y l i n g b y R a c h e l S t i c k l e y/ B e r n s t e i n & A n d r i u l l i
Group gigs are great for Spinning, but in the boxing space? There’s something to be said for starting out by yourself and locking down the basics. ¶ But if you’re not sure you’ll like the sport at all, consider taking a few group classes—they are cheaper, have some nice camaraderie, and can provide a good intro. ¶ “Oneon-one is best,” says Kelly. “You get all the attention. Your trainer can focus on technique and make sure you ain’t just staring at asses and being lazy.”
To learn more about how a boxing workout can overhaul your fitness levels, go to mensfitness .com/fightplan
YOUR TOTAL-BODY BOXING WORKOUT The beauty of boxing workouts is that you can still become a mini Mayweather whether you make it to the gym or not. Done right, this boxing workout will eventually transform you into a Golden Gloves god. STEP 1
Stretch No muscle goes unused, so spend five to 10 minutes before the bell rings stretching every body part. Work those hamstrings: Stand straight and bend over, with your fingers touching the floor. To prevent tearing your shoulder muscles, place your hand against a wall and lean away, which stretches the fibers.
to stay balanced when you punch. It also puts your hammies, adductors, quads, and calves to work as you move laterally. Start with three rounds, sliding and popping combos—which helps refine your evasion techniques—while picturing a foe in your face. You’ll eventually be able to shadowbox for 15 minutes (five rounds) and in the process build a toned trunk.
Jump rope Jumping rope is crucial to building the quickness and agility you’ll need to be a ring king. Start out jumping with both feet, then gradually alternate, jumping five on the left and five on the right. Only after you master that will you be coordinated enough to jump back and forth between right and left.
Hit the heavy bag Learn how to control your “foe” with a jab while also working your core and hips, from which you’ll transfer power to your punches. “The power comes from the ground up,” says Kelly, “and the core must be strong to get the right velocity behind each punch.” Aim for heavy bags attached to a chain, rather than those connected to the wall— the swinging helps hone your body movements.
Shadowbox This drill helps you learn
As you hit the bag for three to four rounds, make sure to snap the punch before you bring the hand back.
Hit the speed bag Fast-twitch muscles pop as the speed bag goes rat-a-tat. The goal is to build combos, which will improve shoulder strength and train you to keep your hands high. Besides helping you get some killer shoulders, practicing the speed bag is for rhythm, timing, and relaxation. Punches shouldn’t be thrown with flexed muscles—relax your arm to keep a steady rhythm, which translates to a more fluid motion. Don’t “punch” the bag; it’s as if your hand were holding a bicycle pedal moving in a continuous circle, hitting the bag every time it gets to the top. To improve your accuracy and head movement, sub in a double-end bag.
Boxing gym essentials Everlast 120" Hand Wraps
■ These wraps will keep your phalanges and metacarpals from splintering. And the polyester-nylon material is breathable, so they won’t get too stanky too quickly. $9, everlast.com
Everlast Powerlock Hook & Loop Gloves
■ Versatile enough for bag work and even sparring, Powerlock gloves are constructed entirely of a proprietary foam that grips every contour of your fist while absorbing shock upon impact. $100, everlast.com
Reebok Boxing Boot-Buck
■ The go-to boxing shoe for ankle support and style. You’ll get good traction while doing the Ali shuffle—and at the right price point for the average Joe Boxer. $100, reebok.com
On Top Lift smart
pace! Varying the tempo of your workout can bring huge improvements in strength and power
By Pete Williams, N.A.S.M.-C.P.T. Photographs by James Michelfelder
When it comes to setting personal records in the weight room, it’s natural to focus on sets, reps, and weight. But most athletes give little thought to tempo—the cadence at which a movement pattern is performed. ¶ Enter tempo training, which was popularized years ago by strength coach Ian King but has resurged. And no wonder: Changing up tempo can produce dramatic results, including increased strength, power, and size. It can also help you bust through plateaus by mixing up stale routines that no longer generate results. “By varying the speed, you trigger a response that creates muscle growth,” says Ken Croner, owner of Indiana’s Munster Sports Performance. ¶ What’s more, being aware of your tempo ensures a more mindful workout, an antidote to all the digital distractions that’s made it difficult for athletes—like everyone else—to concentrate on the rep at hand. “Focusing on your lifting tempo forces you to think about what you’re doing,” says Croner. ¶ Muscular and mindful? Can’t beat that.
S t y l i n g by B a r r e t We r t z; G r o o m i n g by C a s ey G e r e n / B e r n s te i n & A n d r i u l l i u s i n g L a u r a M e r c i e r ; F i t n e s s Te c h : J e b S t u a r t J o h n s t o n
You’ll achieve that extra power boost you’ve always coveted if you toss the medicine ball at just a modest pace.
One Emergen-C every day and you’ll emerge restored, fortiﬁed and replenished. A super fresh formula packed with B vitamins, electrolytes, antioxidants† and more vitamin C than ten oranges.* Why not feel this good every day? †Antioxidants include Vitamin C, Zinc and Manganese. *Based on using the USDA.gov nutrient database value for a large, raw orange. ©Alacer 2015
On Top Lift smart SLOW DOWN TO BUILD STRENGTH ■ Athletes typically lift at a steady pace, powering through the eccentric (lowering), isometric (holding), and concentric (raising) portions of a lift. But greater gains require a change of pace. A slower tempo increases a muscle’s time under tension (TUT) for each rep. The greater the TUT (on the lowering or holding portion), the greater the stress on the muscles; that leads to optimum hypertrophy, or muscle building. As a bonus, this speed encourages proper form. A pushup is more effective if you spend three to four seconds lowering yourself and one to two seconds holding just above the floor before powering back up. There’s additional TUT, and the slower movement recruits more shoulder stabilizer muscles and better engages the core. A squat becomes extra challenging ● ● ●
THE SPIN MASTER
JEN BARNET OF XCYCLE VEGAS SOLVES YOUR WORKOUT WOES
if your eccentric phase takes 10 seconds, which adds 100 seconds to a 10-rep set and raises the TUT tenfold. Plus, squatting—more than any other move—is about execution, and a slower tempo forces you to squat properly. Tempo training even applies to thrusters, the popular CrossFit move: Slow down in the squat portion before exploding into a shoulder press. Beyond the greater TUT, this encourages proper form. A criticism of CrossFit is that it emphasizes speed at the expense of form, and some athletes, especially newbies, aren’t ready for ballistic movements. A slower tempo yields a correctly performed lift. Anthony Hobgood of Exos in Gulf Breeze, FL, recommends slowtempo training with pullups. This increases TUT and stops the natural tendency of using a body’s momentum to get through a set, boosting the number of pullups an athlete can do.
SAMPLE WORKOUTS These can be done on their own or consecutively
Slower-tempo workout >10 pushups: 4 seconds down, 2 seconds hold, 1 second up >10 squats: 6 seconds down, 1 second hold, 1 second up >5–10 pullups (depending on ability): Starting from the bar, 2 seconds down, 2 seconds (hold at bottom), 2 seconds (hold at top)
Faster-tempo workout Do these as fast as possible: >10 bench presses using 40% of 1RM >10 squat jumps using body weight >10 medicine ball rotational throws using modest weight
To learn more about how to maximize and improve your TUT training, go to mensfitness.com /TUT.
My girlfriend got me a gift certificate to a spin studio for Christmas, but I’ve never been spinning before. What should—and shouldn’t—I wear on the bike?
SPEED UP TO INCREASE EXPLOSIVENESS ■ On the other hand, working at a faster tempo with less weight is better when training for power. A quicker pace increases the body’s ability to handle rapid stretch loads; the faster movement also lengthens your fascia’s elastic properties, causing muscles to contract more forcefully. Focus on
moderate resistance—60% of a one-rep max—and maintain a high effort while moving quickly. The end of a set shouldn’t feel harder than the beginning. Have a 300pound bench max? Load just 180 pounds and blast through all three phases. Or do a squat jump using just your body weight. For both workouts, you’re combining speed and strength.
FOR A NEW PR, MIX UP THE TEMPO ■ Alternating between various tempos will not only help you break through plateaus, it’ll lead to a more focused workout and a more efficient gym session overall. “Tempo is so valuable because it serves so many goals,” Hobgood says. “You know the moves; this just changes things up to improve results.”
have some horror stories. One gentleman once wore jeans to class—he didn’t have a change of clothing. It was the most uncomfortable ride I’ve ever watched. Another guy came in without a shirt. It was a bit shocking, but he had a nice body, so I didn’t mind. ¶ The general rule is to wear padded cycling shorts or gym shorts (or gym shorts over cycling shorts), then either a muscle tee or tank. The outfit is lightweight and won’t interfere with your bike. Aside from jeans, avoid khaki shorts, which are constricting. But there isn’t much you shouldn’t wear. Even outdoor cycling shorts are acceptable. Those shorty-shorts show your love for fitness. ¶ I’ve also seen more guys take their shirts off midclass. That’s fine! If you’re dripping with sweat, take it off. That means you’re getting what you came for, and you’ll probably inspire the person next to you. ¶ But definitely no jeans!
NICK S., CANTON, OH
Looking for explosive power? Decrease the weight and boost your rep speed. You’ll soon see more gains than ever before.
ÂŠ 2016. Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. All Rights Reserved. 5, Life Happens in 5, Ascent, and all affiliated designs are trademarks of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company or its affiliates. Not actual product sold in stores.
On Top Gear up STYLE SENSE FA S H I O N T I P S FROM THE PLANET’S B E S T- D R E S S E D M A N
By Peter Koch Photograph by Jarren Vink
It’s time to update your wardrobe with threads that’ll keep you stylish as you smash through those early spring PRs
TIM GUNN ( A K A @T I M G U N N )
QOR’s insulated hoodie shields your body from the elements. 5
What are the essential shoes every man should have in his closet and why?
Time to hit the streets again! But if you’ve been wearing basketball shorts and a ratty muscle tee for your outdoor cardio, you’re past due for a serious upgrade. These brands are melding breathable, high-tech, fashionable fabrics that kill BO and soak up sweat, so you’ll look good while burning away the winter blubber.
TOM M., SACRAMENTO, CA
■ I believe that shoes are our most important wardrobe investment. We are judged by our footwear, so spending a bit of money and some time on considering the right options will serve you well. Let’s begin with the essential of all essentials, the black-leather cap-toe oxford. This sleek and elegant musthave is your go-to for weddings and funerals, job interviews, and formal occasions, including black tie. Next is the brownleather brogue. Dress it up or down, pair it with jeans or gray flannel—it never disappoints. Every man must also own a tan, beige, or light-brown loafer. Like the brogue, the loafer’s hallmark is versatility. A boot—whether a lace-up, a suede desert boot, or a Chelsea model—is a wardrobe staple that enhances your look. Finally, we all need a white-canvas or leather low-top trainer, aka sneaker. The sneaker’s ubiquity is both a blessing and a curse. The most versatile are those with the simplest silhouettes and the fewest bells and whistles. These service jeans and a T-shirt as well as more formal pants and blazers. MEN’S FITNESS
4) QOR Italian Fleece Hoodie
■ A drawcord-free hood gives this fleece a street-friendly aesthetic, but it’s what’s inside that sets it apart from your Champion hoodie. The doubleknit spacer fabric insulates on a brisk morning, breathes better than pure cotton as you hustle to the gym, and quickly wicks away sweat when your warmup kicks in. $128, qorkit.com
1) Tracksmith Van 1) Cortlandt Singlet
2) Lululemon Box Space Short
3) Nike Free Train Instinct “Hart”
5) District Vision Nagata Speed Blade
■ While some workout kits scream for attention, this mesh singlet—that’s runnerspeak for a lightweight, breathable racing tank—has a clean, understated style that makes it easy to match with whatever shorts or sweats are clean.
■ Made of an abrasion-resistant fabric studded with laser-perforated vents, the Box Space withstands beatings from the worst of CrossFit’s WODs. Can’t keep up? Microfiber panels absorb sweat and chalk if you double over between reps.
■ We’re not sure what’s best about this training shoe—its flexible, warp-knit upper, the responsive midsole, or the fact that Kevin Hart is cheering our every squat. Not literally—though the fit comedian did scrawl 23 quotes, like “Health Is Wealth,” all over it.
■ The Nagata is serious about performance—note the shatterproof lenses and titanium-core frames—but our favorite detail is the waterrepellent sports strap that holds on tight, even during scrappy sprint intervals.
Pr o p s t y l i n g by We n d y S c h e l a h / Ha l l ey Re s o u r c e s
On Top Bring it
The Cuban advantage This month, everyone’s favorite billionaire investor, NBA owner, TV star, and fitness fiend talks technology: the rise of artificial intelligence, his essential apps, Apple vs. Android, and what he’d do differently if he were in Mark Zuckerberg’s shoes By Mark Cuban
If you were running Facebook, what would you do differently and why? MARK S., WILMINGTON, DE
ÒI use both Android and Apple,Ó says Cuban of his smartphone preference. ÒI always have service.Ó
Financially, Facebook is crushing it, so I’d make sure I kept my employees happy. There’s not much I can add there. ¶ Operationally, the one thing I’d change is to allow users to receive truly organic, algorithm-free feeds as an option. I just think in this day and age of living in an echo chamber, allowing information to flow organically is a good thing. What’s the best book you’ve read lately and why? V I N C E C. , L A N CAST E R , PA
The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake the World, by Pedro Domingos. It’s a very readable guide to how all the different forms of artificial intelligence work and how they can impact each of us and our environment now and long term. Are you a big supporter of certain kinds of work spaces? For example, are you a proponent of open-air offices—the kind with lots of cubicles and interaction, popularized in Silicon Valley—or do you prefer your employees to have private offices?
Everyone complains about millennials being bratty, disrespectful, reluctant employees. Have you found this to be the case? L A N C E E . , P I T T S BU RG H , PA
No, because I don’t hire bratty or disrespectful people, regardless of age. You manage to do so many things at once—running businesses, owning the Mavs, being on Shark Tank. What are your secrets to multitasking? BEN S., NEW YORK, NY
No meetings, no phone calls unless someone writes me a check. What are the apps you can’t live without? ARCHIE L., NORTH SALEM, NY
Cyber Dust, because I want privacy and as minimal a footprint as I can leave for my messages. Then NBA League Pass, because I’ve gotta watch the NBA, as well as Fox Sports GO so I can see my Mavs when I’m on the road. And MyFitnessPal: I track everything I eat and all my workouts. It’s the only way I can keep the weight off. I read that you use Android instead of Apple. Is this still the case, and if so, why did you make that choice? J A M E S T. , LO S A N G E L E S , C A
I use both. Each is on a different network, so I always have service.
From top: Brian Doben; Zaza Pachulia/Get t y Images; Nick Ferrari
CORY E., CHICAGO, IL
I’m all for open spaces. I don’t have an office and don’t feel like I need one. I like the energy an open office brings and the ability for people to talk to each other more easily. What’s the best habit you’ve picked up as a CEO? And what’s the worst you’ve ever successfully gotten rid of? WINSTON L., FRESNO, CA
Mark Pa s swo rd
What’s the most exciting tech company out there we’ve never heard of? PETER D., BOSTON, MA
If I told you, I’d have to shoot you. This 20 2015 book describes descri the rise of algorithms algorit that learn, lea evolve, and evolve adapt.
The best habit is probably doing everything I possibly can via e-mail. The worst habit is not doing enough meetings because I do everything via e-mail. Fortunately, I hire people who are good at doing fewer—and shorter—meetings.
Ask Mark! Have a question for Mark Cuban? E-mail him here: email@example.com.
On Top Worship her
An alluring Ora British actress and singer Rita Ora goes Fifty Shades Darker B y C h r i s M a r t i n s
British singer and blossoming actress Rita Ora bears little resemblance to Mia Grey, the chaste, peripheral character she plays in the Fifty Shades franchise. In real life, the 26-year-old is a sexy, ambitious, hardworking star. ¶ This past year, she inked a massive record deal with Atlantic Records UK; launched her 15th Adidas line; and became the host of America’s Next Top Model. ¶ To think, when Ora broke through in 2011, it was as a guest vocalist on a dance cut called, ironically, “Hot Right Now.” She could’ve become a hook-singing studio chanteuse, but being in the background was never the plan: “I attack any job with energy and respect.” ¶ It shows. This year she’ll drop her sophomore LP. “It’s my pride and joy,” she says. “The theme is celebrating the fact that I’m free”—the “free” referring to the successful lawsuit she brought to get out of her Roc Nation contract. ¶ That holdup, she says, just gave her time for everything else. Like acting alongside the late Carrie Fisher in Wonderwell—“I play an evil witch/manipulative sexy person”—and filming February’s Fifty Shades Darker. Her role is larger in the sequel, but she’ll
“leave the more erotic scenes to Dakota [Johnson].” ¶ Not
“I attack any job with energy and respect,” says Ora. Suffice it to say: It shows.
that she’s camera shy—her 2016 shoot with photographer Terry Richardson, whose photos never seem to feature anyone clothed, made waves. But Ora doesn’t see the problem: “I don’t look at being naked as risqué,” she says. “I look at it as beautiful, fun, and artistic.”
On Top Game on THE FIT GAMER OPTIC GAMING’S H A LO M A S T E R A N D R E S I D E N T GY M R AT M I C H A E L “ F L A M E SW O R D ” C H AV E S
What are the go-to weightlifting moves that’ll max both my lifting and gaming potential? MAX C., VENICE BEACH, CA
The thud of swords against shields and armored chests is part of the excitement of For Honor.
Unleash your inner warrior Go for glory as a knight, Viking, or samurai in Ubisoft’s brutal, blood-tingling For Honor
The biggest video games of 2016, as in every other year, were almost universally of the shooter variety: Titanfall 2, Battlefield 1, even the cartoony Overwatch. Their macho arsenals and familiar gameplay scratched the itch many gamers feel if their trigger fingers go too long without popping a foe’s head like a cherry. But variety is the killstreak of life, and
Ubisoft’s combatfocused For Honor introduces a much more up-closeand-personal style of killing. Set in a world of knights, Vikings, and samurai, it’s an all-out brawl, offering players the promise of glory in battle before crushing their skulls under broadswords, katanas, and morning stars. For Honor’s unique combat system is a multilayered game of
rock-paper-scissors: Flick between stances (left, right, and high) to defend against attacks and launch your own. And regardless of which warrior you choose, you can switch among a dozen unique fighting styles— each designed by real-life masters in weaponry—so when you engage with foes on the battlefield, mind games, feints, and parries are crucial to survival.
What I play on my smartphone BMX biker Nigel Sylvester
O l i v e r M c Av o y
Video games help me hone my hand-eye coordination, but I’m always busy doing a million things, so I usually play only when I’m flying. ¶ I was hooked on Temple Run for a while. I liked the superfast game speed and collecting characters, each of which had different abilities. My favorite was Scarlett Fox—she’s more agile than the others. ¶ My new obsession is Dots. Since I’m naturally curious and like solving old puzzles, it’s the perfect game for me. When I play it, I keep all distractions to a minimum. I raise the brightness on my iPhone 6S screen so I can see everything really well, listen to some Young Thug or J. Cole, and just zone out.
Campaigns in multiplayer “Faction Wars” last real-world weeks; when the dust settles and the smoke clears, the victors get the spoils, like warrior customization options. They can also opt to plunder the in-game world and control a nameless warrior, like a Viking Raider who challenges and seeks to overthrow the ruthless chieftain Ragnar. Why? For Honor.
by Mike Rougeau
Since Sylvester is naturally curious, Dots appeals to his analog love of putting together old puzzles.
■ The most important moves I do are compound lifts—like deadlifts, bench presses, and squats— because they train the neural pathways of my brain to actively fire multiple muscle groups at the same time. That way, I’m priming those signals—whether from my brain to my fingers (to pick up that bar) or to my hips (for power to lift)—to perform optimally even if I’m not exercising. Secondly, deadlifts work your grip like no other. Even after I’ve played eight hours a day (or even all night), my finger movements still feel effortless; I’ve trained them to adapt to the constant demands I put on them. A lot of gamers like me, who play firstperson-shooter games, struggle with forearm and finger strength. But doing deadlifts with a mixed grip—one overhand, one underhand—makes holding a controller for hours much easier. I also deadlift with heavier and heavier weights, so when I’m playing multiple days in a row at a tournament, the constant stress of holding the controller doesn’t bother my hands. My brain and body are equipped to work in tandem. MEN’S FITNESS
On Top Tune in
Marvel’s newest badass Boyd Holbrook had to completely change his lifestyle to battle Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine in Logan—and it wasn’t easy By Molly Langmuir
Boyd Holbrook is a changed man. After spending 14 hours a day for the past two years on the sweltering Colombian set of Netflix’s series Narcos, in which he plays a DEA agent chasing drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, Holbrook didn’t have much time, or desire, to hit the weights. ¶ But that was before he joined the Marvel universe as Donald Pierce, the jacked, mutant-hating cyborg and robotics genius who battles Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine in Logan, which opens this month. Naturally lanky, Holbrook realized he needed to add weight to his 6'2" frame. Not a simple task.
Donald Pierce is a cyborg with a simple mission: kill all mutants.
What changes did you make to your day-to-day lifestyle? I started getting 4,000 calories a day and stopped eating carbs and sugar, which is the devil. I also cut out smoking and drinking. I ended up putting on 25 pounds of muscle.
few sets of burpees just to get the blood flowing.
Once you were on set, did Hugh give you any tips? I learned by watching him. Hugh’s a machine. He’s always got weights lying around, and sometimes before we’d film a crucial scene, like a really intense fight, we’d swap weights or do a
Did you work out away from the cameras as well? Hugh invited me to come train with him in the mornings. We’d do circuits with heavier weights, then mix in CrossFit-linked workouts. We’d warm up with a 1,000-meter row,
then do three sets of 50 box jumps, a 2,000-meter row, and 20 wall balls— each in under 12 minutes. We filmed all over the U.S., and it was important to maintain a workout rhythm. In New Orleans, we’d go to a 24-hour gym, and in New Mexico—where we finished the film—we’d run to the set together.
Hugh’s about working out whenever he can. Are you aiming to be as ripped as he is? Yeah, come March [when Holbrook’s next project, Predator, starts filming], me and Hugh might have to arm wrestle. Who’d win? Probably Hugh. But by March, I’m gonna be trouble.
How the Iron Cowboy mastered pain James “Iron Cowboy” Lawrence (a nickname he got because he often raced wearing a cowboy hat) gained fame in 2015 for competing in 50 Ironmans in 50 consecutive days in 50 states to raise awareness for childhood obesity. Since his new book, Iron Cowboy, details the daily agony of that experience, we asked for his tips for surviving even the most painful workouts.
■ PAIN TIP 1 “When the pain becomes intolerable, I get through the moment by surviving to the next second. Once I do that, I try to survive another 60 seconds—I call these power minutes. The great thing about pain is that with pain comes struggle, and with struggle comes learning, and from learning comes growth.” ■ PAIN TIP 2 “In my experience, most people quit when their bodies begin telling them to. But once we reach that built-in stopping point, we have at least 60% more to give. That’s why you learn the art of managing the pain and taking comfort in knowing that this is a new pain I have today—the pain I had yesterday is gone.” Lawrence battled torn shoulders during his quest.
■ PAIN TIP 3 “Having one ‘why’ isn’t good enough. You need to have a whole bagful of whys. Whys keep you going and give you a reason to take the next step. For me, reconnecting with my family was enough, but if you’re going for 50 days and your first why isn’t big enough, you’ll stop.”
C l o c k w i s e f r o m t o p l e f t : C o u r t e s y o f 2 0 t h C e n t u r y F o x ; E r i c R y a n A n d e r s o n / C o n t o u r b y G e t t y : J a y b i r d / i r o n c o w b o y. c o
How much time did you have between shooting Narcos and Logan to get into shape? I had only about a weekend, so I had to start my training in Colombia. I didn’t even have a trainer, so I’d do a sort of prison-yard workout. I used a pullup and dip structure and a bench I put in my bedroom so I could do 45 minutes in the morning, then come back after filming and do another hour and a half. Plus, Colombia has hills everywhere, so I’d go for runs with my dog and do burst sprints.
“HUGH AND I’D DO BURPEES ON SET JUST TO GET THE BLOOD FLOWING.”
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On Top Go fast THE CARMUDGEON ALL THINGS SPEED, FROM AN AUTO E N G I N E E R A N D L I F E LO N G RACER BY J O H N D I N K E L (AKA @CARMUDGEON)
If the world were ending and you had one last car to drive, what would you want it to be and where would you drive it? N I C T. , K E N T, O H
T H E CAR : 1 974 D INO 246 GT
Named for Enzo Ferrari’s dead son. Never called a Ferrari. Back then, Ferraris had V12s. This bambino Ferrari had a highwinding 2.4-liter 4-cam V6 and a drop-dead gorgeous Pininfarina body, with voluptuous fenders, wraparound rear glass, Kamm tail, and air scoops behind the doors. Ferrari’s first midengine production model, the Dino was the perfect blend of form and function.
Getting personal with...
ALFA ROMEO’S RACY NEW RIDE Fall back in love with the brand—and its seductive high-speed pinup, the Giulia b y N i c o l a s S t e c h e r NAME: Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio BASIC PERSONALITY: Italian flirt. MEASUREMENTS: A curvy 111.0, 182.6, 73.7, 56.1 (wheelbase, length, width, height, in inches).
T H E D RI VE : L I M E ROC K IN AU TUM N
Frost on the pumpkins. Maple leaves dripping with color. The short drive from CT’s Interlaken Inn to Lime Rock Park would have all the mechanicals ready for a morning romp around the track and a shot at a brass-ring lap of 59 seconds. Then we’d be off to Watkins Glen—not the famous track above the city but the original circuit through town. There, at breakneck speeds, the Dino and I would retrace the ghostly tracks of race cars past, pausing slightly at every traverse of MiIliken’s Corner to toast with Veuve Clicquot the man who invented auto dynamics. 40
WEIGHT: 3,800 pounds (curb) of asphalt-churning force. FAST OR SLOW TYPE? With a top
speed of 191 mph and a speedy 3.8 0-60 romp, the Quad isn’t playing around. SPECIAL TALENTS: The Quad’s
The Giulia Quad goes 0–60 in 3.8 seconds. But don’t fret about your noise-averse neighbors—its dampers soften with just a button push.
Much of this Alfa’s body is made of carbon fiber, so it turns into an aerodynamic speedster when it hits high speeds. MARCH 2017
twin-turbocharged V6 is essentially the same motor found in the Ferrari 488 GTB supercar, with just a few cylinders lopped off. Bellissimo! EASY OR TOUGH TO HANDLE?
Incredibly responsive steering. Spot a turn up ahead and it feels like the Quad is already leading the way. FAVORITE THING TO DO ON A DATE: Drive the Italian beauty
by a row of BMWs, Audis, and Benzes and watch every owner swear under his breath. ANY RECENT LIFE-CHANGING EVENTS? The Quad’s been
given a new airtight chassis, overseen by Ferrari legend Philippe Krief; an almost 50/50 weight distribution; a body constructed of pure spaceage carbon fiber; and enough horsepower to challenge Lambos and Ferraris. DREAM VACATION: Already taken: The Quad notched a 7:32 lap time on the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife (North Loop). That’s faster than any sedan, ever. TURN-ONS: Tight corners that lead to open straights, so its 505 horses can gallop till redline. LIFE STORY IN 25 WORDS OR LESS: Sales forced Alfa to leave
America for decades. The stunning Giulia—its first shot at selling volume here—will likely decide the firm’s U.S. fate. MOST ATTRACTED TO: Guys who
adore German performance but lust for Italian curves. MOST LIKELY TO END UP WITH:
A guy who wants a ride that’s akin to—but less boring than— the BMW M3i, and doesn’t mind ponying up $72,000.
Amy Jo Palmquest Team Nutrishop Director and a mother of 2 Paul Buceta Photography
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On Top Get out THE EVERYWHERE MAN T R AV E L T I P S F R O M A GUY WHO’S BEEN T O E V E RY C O U N T RY I N THE WORLD
Brave the elements March is “hump month” temperature-wise, so whether you’re racing through Florida gator swamps or night schussing by torchlight in the Alps, there’s no shortage of adventures awaiting b y P e t e r K o c h
Craving massive swells but pressed for time? Check out nearby Puerto Rico for some of the best breaks.
I love traveling internationally, but long flights are so draining. Which airlines are the most comfortable and enjoyable to fly? M A X L . , R O A N O K E , VA
Surf Borinquen’s Northwest Coast
RINCÓN, PUERTO RICO
Epic surf travel doesn’t get much easier than hitting the sun-kissed shores of northwest Puerto Rico, just a short—and passport-free—hop from the Midwest and the East Coast. The 20-mile stretch of beaches, bays, and points between the towns of Rincón and Isabela serves up the greatest diversity of surf spots in the Caribbean. Ride the legendary swells at Middles and Gas Chambers, happy in the knowledge that you’re meeting this winter storm on its swell end. puertoricosurfinginfo.com
Sea to Sea Adventure Race
True Grit Epic Mountain Bike Race
Learn the True Meaning of “Après Ski”
Santa Cruz Paddlefest
■ There’s unexpected adventure on this sufferfest, which crosses from the Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico via rivers, bike paths, and, of course, gatorinfested swamps. Pay attention, and you’ll find the Sunshine State is still wild at heart.
S A N TA C L A R A , U T
O B E R TA U E R N , A U S T R I A
■ True Grit is one of the toughest races out there. Racers have 11 hours to cross 100 miles of desert terrain—which includes climbs totaling 10,000 feet—or be DQ’d. The payoff? Unparalleled natural views.
■ Celebrate après ski—aka post-slopes partying—and take Austria’s highest resort by storm. This immersive ragefest features torchlit night skiing, beatdropping DJs, and 299 new friends.
■ Decades of West Coast paddle-surfing tradition converge on Monterey Bay at this laid-back event. Watch pros do tricks on double-overhead waves at Steamer Lane, while newbies practice their SUP endurance during a 6.2-mile race.
C RYS TA L R I V E R , F L
For the best travel locales to mix fitness and pleasure, go to mensfitness.com /fitdestination.
S A N TA C R U Z , C A
■ Flying around the world doesn’t have to be a pain! I love Turkish Airlines because it has some of the cheapest fares to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The flight attendants are attentive, and the food, even in economy, is high quality. The only downfall is if you’re tall like me—the economy seats are pretty small, but for me that’s not a dealbreaker. Another option is Emirates, which offers great economy and business-class fares to Dubai and beyond. The service is phenomenal, and the economy seats are comfortable, providing ample legroom and armrest space. Singapore Airlines is also a favorite. The airline studies which foods and wines taste best at high altitudes, so the meals are excellent. When I fly domestic, JetBlue is my top pick. Its new Mint class sets the standard in domestic upper class, with seats that lie flat and are big enough for taller people to be comfortable. Its overall look is sleek, relaxing, and fun.
*Terms & Conditions Apply Of fer Ends 6/ 30/17
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On Top Man up
How to fight
(your way to sizzling make-up sex) Of all the ways to entice her into bed—an erotic whisper, a deep kiss, a Chippendales striptease—a fair fight is by far the most underrated By Sarah Rose
ake-up sex can be the most intense romantic experience of your life. Sadly, it takes the apocalypse to get there. Arguments are emotionally taxing and potentially catastrophic. If quarrels are inevitable—and they are—keep your costs low: Learn to fight your way gently to a toecurling, earth-shattering, multiorgasmic ceasefire. ¶ Here’s how to get to yes, yes, oh, yes.
Use the Jedi mind trick Repeat after her. When she says, “You were supposed to do X,” you have one line: “You think I was supposed to X.” This makes her feel listened to and validated. The fight is half over once you repeat her premise. Obi Wan Kenobi never said it, but the Force works on the strongminded, too. Memorize poetry Good arguments have rhythm: Acknowledge her point of view. Briefly explain yours. Acknowledge her point of view again. “Gosh, I can see how X seems neglectful, but that wasn’t my intention, and I’m sad X came across that way.” Repeat it like the verses of a song: ABA.
Comfort her She might cry. She’s a weeper. Crying isn’t about manipulating you; it’s about feeling sad and being vulnerable. Recognize her tears as a call for tenderness, and answer the phone: Take a time-out, then be warm—you’ll be a decent person and run up the relationship points at the same time. Don’t fix the problem You see a nail. You have a hammer. Why not use it? Because she doesn’t want a solution; she wants you to listen to her talk about the nail. Talk and sex are connected for women—you can’t get to the naked resolution without the talk. Let her talk, listen, listen more, fast-forward to the horizontal reconciliation. It’ll be infinitely easier to fix things—to hammer that nail—after you’ve both enjoyed a good pounding. MARCH 2017
TAKE A TIMEOUT—YOU’LL BE A DECENT PERSON AND RUN UP RELATIONSHIP POINTS AT THE SAME TIME.
Learn to apologize Saying “I’m sorry” doesn’t mean “you’re right and I’m wrong,” it means you’re sorry. And you are. You love her, she’s in pain, that blows. Never use the conditional tense in an apology, “I’m sorry if you feel this way,” that’s just passiveaggressive jackassery. Instead, the script is: “I’m sorry you feel this way.”
Practice relationship hygiene If you’re conflict avoidant—like me!— establish good habits. Every day, each of you swallows the bitter pill of naming one little thing that annoys you, followed by a chaser of one thing that makes you feel loved. This quick routine lets you share info about a problem, but not necessarily the
emotion attached to it. It’s like a vaccine—a daily dose of a poison that might otherwise kill you. Relationship fights aren’t zero-sum; she doesn’t have to lose for you to win. You’re both better off winning. So tell her she’s right, and make it easy for her to say you’re right. Then make out while you make up. Score!
Rober t Whitman/thelicensingproject.com
Be selfish Don’t point a finger and make accusations—it only raises the temperature, so she’ll double down on defense. Neutralize her opposition by beginning every single sentence with the same two words: “I feel.” Start with your
feelings and she’ll be reminded you have them. Women love men with feelings.
On Top ASK THE WINGMAN
The Sex Files
Our experts answer your most intimate questions—no holds barred
A D V I C E O N LOV E , LU S T, A N D L I F E BY T H O M A S E D WA R D S , THEPROFESSIONAL WINGMAN.COM
A good friend of mine has been hinting she’d like to be “friends with benefits.” We’re both single right now. Think it’s a good idea? J E F F T. , M I A M I , F L
■ I’m a fan of friends with benefits as long as both want the same thing. If not, friendships can be lost. Plus, if she’s suggesting FWB, she’s already attracted to you, right? If it’s mutual, it could be hot, sexy fun; if not, it could lead to trouble. Having sex and “seeing if something develops” aren’t the same, so be sure to talk openly about both of your intentions.
I get first dates, but not many seconds— what’s the secret? LU K E R . , D E T R O I T, M I
■ First and foremost:
■ It depends. Many people go into “friends with benefits” thinking they can handle it, but once they’re involved, it gets complicated. Any time you alter a relationship’s structure, there’s risk. Will you be able to keep the friendship intact if things don’t work out?
Tr u n k A r c h i v e
■ If you two have sex more than a few times, the release of natural hormones will cause a deeper bond to develop—you’ll no longer be just friends. And don’t assume it’s her who will want more commitment. Will you really be able to watch her date other guys when you’re sleeping together? For now, snuggle, watch TV, have beers together—let her fill all the other needs a girlfriend fills, without ruining a good thing. DR. NELSON
■ It’s such a travesty that health care is tied to employment—wait, what? A friend wants to fuck with no strings attached? Go for it! What could go wrong? Worst case: You write a book about the platonic fuckfest. It’s made into a film with Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, whose onscreen heat rocks his marriage to Demi, so they split. A few years later, Ashton and Mila Kunis are married with kids, Demi’s out of rehab with a renewed sense of self, and you two are still cool with all the hot sex you’re having because she was serious about staying pals, and you’re not a character in a movie. JENA
My girlfriend doesn’t like me to go down on her. Is that common, or am I just bad at it? BRAD C., GREENWICH, CT
THIS MONTH’S PANEL
PSYCHOTHERAPIST/ SEX THERAPIST TAMMY NELSON, PH.D. PSYCHOTHERAPIST/ SEX COUNSELOR MICHAEL AARON, PH.D. PSYCHOTHERAPIST/ SEX THERAPIST MOUSHUMI GHOSE WRITER/ STAND-UP COMIC JENA FRIEDMAN
■ Women can be shy about getting oral sex. They may be nervous about the smell or taste of their bodies, so tell her you love both, and going down on her excites you. They may also worry they’re taking too long, so assure her there’s no hurry— you’ll stay down there as long as it takes. Finally, it can be hard for women to express their sexual needs, so encourage her to guide you by asking her to either moan when she likes it or show you with her own hand. DR. NELSON
■ For some women, cunnilingus is too gentle—they need it a little rougher than your tongue is able. So while you go down on her, try stimulating other areas, too—use two fingers inside her, caress the anal area, or play with her nipples. If that doesn’t work, don’t push it—just ask her what she wants and get on with it. MOUSHUMI GHOSE
■ People like all sorts of different things in bed. Why not do a national survey and find out how many women enjoy it? Just kidding, don’t fake-survey women about their sexual desires—we’ve had a rough few months. JENA
The only question you need answered by the end of a first date is, “Do I want to see her again?” Everything else comes with time. How to get there? 1) Keep first dates short—90 minutes max. At the end, just say you have an early day tomorrow, but that you had a great time and would love to see her again, so there are no hurt feelings. 2) On the date, make sure you can sit next to each other so you can feel each other’s proximity and physically interact. 3) Don’t try to figure out if she’s “long term” material by asking deep, searching questions. Avoid things like old relationships, politics (especially now!), and money, and stick to lighter topics—work, outside interests—so you get an idea of her personality. 4) Take it slow with making moves, especially kissing. if you “go for it” and it fails, that doesn’t mean she’s not interested, so don’t take it personally. 5) Finally, ask her to text you when she gets home. It’ll show you care—and also get you past that “who texts who first” thing, so your postdate communication will be seamless.
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Smarter ways to rule the kitchen
Eat toWin The diet of Ikaria, Greece, “the island where people forget to die,” features tomatoes, wild mushrooms, and wild greens.
WANT TO LIVE TO BE 100? THE PEOPLE IN SEVEN AREAS AROUND THE WORLD DO JUST THAT—AND WE HAVE THEIR SECRETS. BY NILS BERNSTEIN
PHOTOGRAPHS BY LINDA XIAO
On the menu in Okinawa: brown seaweed, pork, and bitter melon, which looks like ugly cucumber.
Can you eat your way to a long life? People in a handful of regions across the globe apparently do. Author Dan Buettner identified seven so-called “blue zones”—places where residents often live past 100—and analyzed the factors that may explain it. Along with lifestyle, nutrition is key. So pick some favorites from each and start beating the odds!
■ Called “the island
■ Why such
Wild greens, olive oil, chickpeas, lentils, black-eyed peas, lemons, goat-milk cheese, potatoes, tomatoes, wild mushrooms, sage, rosemary KEY FOO DS:
Hortopita: phyllo pie made with wild greens DISH TO TRY:
longevity among Okinawans? Could be their superfood intake: Turmeric is a favorite here, as is go-to veggie bitter melon—both thought to be disease fighters. Most foods are stir-fried quickly in minimal oil. Brown seaweeds (hijiki, wakame, kombu), bitter melon, turmeric, tofu, sweet potato, lots of all forms of pork, garlic, green tea, brown rice
The basic principles followed by citizens of “blue zones”
The diet ●
KEY FOO DS:
DISH TO TRY: Goya chanpuru: stir-fried bitter melon, egg, tofu, and thinly sliced pork
Plant-based, though not entirely vegetarian Lotsa legumes— beans, lentils, peas Mostly organic and local Heavy on whole grains
The lifestyle ● ● ● ●
Not much smoking Close family connections Regular social engagement Constant moderate physical activity
NICOYA, COSTA RICA
■ Carbo-loading for long life? Sardinians eat gobs of pasta and wholegrain breads—even their famed soup, zuppa gallurese, is a sort of bread casserole. Could be the omega-3s they get from shellfish and dairy or the crazyhigh polyphenols in the local red wine…
■ This Costa Rican
KEY FO ODS: Shellfish (clams, mussels, lobster); sheep’s/ goat’s milk; tomatoes, almonds, fava beans, chickpeas, flat bread, saffron, fennel, red wine
Oily fish like salmon and herring, whole grains like rye and buckwheat, berries, peas, oats, yogurt, root vegetables
DISH TO TRY: Fregola sarda con arselle e zafferano: semolina pasta with clams and saffron
DISH TO TRY: Fiskbullar med rotmos och ärtor: fish cakes with mashed rutabaga and peas
KEY FO ODS: Black beans, corn tortillas, winter squash, ginger, eggs, yucca, plantains, yams, tropical fruits (bananas, papaya, mango, guava, peach palms)
quality of life (low crime, free health care) offers some nondietary reasons for long lives. Still, something about the hearty cuisine of Sweden’s Öland, Småland, and Skåne (their flavonoid-packed black currants, perhaps?) keeps them hanging on.
KEY FO ODS:
peninsula’s diet is similar to the rest of Latin America’s but with a few key differences: The fruit of its peach palm tree is said to fight cancer, and its wild ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory. Plus, little milk or processed food is consumed.
DISH TO TRY: Gallo pinto: rice, black beans, fried egg, and corn tortillas
Food st yling by Hadas Smirnof f; Prop st yling by Maeve Sheridan
where people forget to die” in Diane Kochilas’ cookbook on its food, Ikaria is a hotbed of oldagers who follow a Med-type diet but eat less meat than most Greeks; farm or forage many foods; and proudly admit they fuck like bunnies into their twilight years.
HOW TO LIVE (ALMOST) FOREVER
Eat toWin Live longer
Grazie, Rosemary! Loma Linda’s Seventh Day Adventists thrive on fresh foods, whole grains—and not an ounce of meat.
The diet of the seventh “blue zone,” the Italian coastal town of Acciaroli, is like that of most of southern Italy, but with one addition: wild rosemary, eaten all day, every day. The local herb’s intense aroma suggests it has even more antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and circulatory- and memory-boosting properties than ordinary rosemary. Bonus: Dried rosemary retains most of the nutrients of fresh.
Tip Buy organic rosemary to avoid nutrient-killing irradiation.
LOMA LINDA, CALIFORNIA ■ Loma Linda has
one of the world’s largest concentrations of Seventh Day Adventists, who— believing the body and soul to be one— spurn meat, most rich foods, booze, cigs, and caffeine. But some do eat fish—and, sorry, Adventist vegans, but pesco-vegetarian Adventists live longer than you do.
KEY FO ODS: Whole grains (oats, barley, quinoa), beans, lentils, peas, chickpeas, citrus, whole-wheat bread, almonds, soy milk, salmon, avocado DISH TO TRY: Blackbean burger with avocado and tomato
Eat toWin Fast fuel
Españainapan CREATE AN INCREDIBLY HEARTY, PROTEIN-PACKED ONE-POT FEAST BY UPDATING THE MOST DELICIOUS (AND ICONIC) OF ALL SPANISH DISHES—PAELLA—WITH A HEALTHY WHOLE GRAIN BY TOBY AMIDOR / PHOTOGRAPH BY LINDA XIAO
Exotic Saffron Packs a Punch (in more ways than one) Just a bit turns a boring plate into a memorable meal. And luckily for your wallet, a little goes a long, long way.
Pull a rabbit paella out of your hat
Saffron may be expensive, but this tasty, healthy spice is worth the price.
For more paella cooking tips and recipes, visit mensfitness.com/ paella
■ Think of saffron as the truffle of the spice kingdom. The fragrant red strands, harvested from the stigma of the saffron crocus flower and then cured, are essential to the flavor of many Spanish dishes. But saffron isn’t just powerfully tasty, it’s also megahealthy, packed with a carotenoid called crocin—an antioxidant that helps fight cancer, stabilize blood sugar, and promote memory retention. Since saffron is also one of the priciest spices you’ll ever come across, costing upward of $12 for just one gram, you’ll want to exercise restraint
when you use it— which isn’t difficult to do, since just a bit will be plenty for pretty much any dish. According to Alex Raij, chef and co-owner of NYC’s La Vara restaurant, always buy whole strands of saffron, not the preground variety, which might be cut with marigolds. Ugh. How to use saffron: Before adding it to a dish, crumble the strands in your fingers so the fragrance is distributed evenly. It’s particularly tantalizing when added first to a pan of sizzling oil, which really wakes up a dish, Raij says. Store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
ultraversatile dish? Then head straight for the rabbit. ¶ Top chefs often name famous Spanish chef Josefa Navarro’s simple rabbit paella as the best paella in the world; and many American students studying in Valencia have been welcomed their first day with a traditional rabbit paella, cooked over an open fire and bestowed upon them by their host family as if it were a gift from the Spanish magi. ¶ And cooked right, it is. Because rabbit isn’t just delicious—it tastes a bit like chicken (no kidding) but with a slightly “wilder” flavor. It’s also a nutritional slam dunk: A superlean meat, it has more protein and less fat than chicken, veal, turkey, lamb, beef, and pork and half the calories of lamb or beef. ¶ If you don’t have a local butcher who sells rabbit, you can order boneless rabbit loin (you seriously don’t want to be picking out all those tiny little bones) online from D’artagnan ( dartagnan.com ).
SKILL LEVEL: BEGINNER SERVES: 4 PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES
■ Want to make a superauthentic paella from Valencia, Spain, the proud birthplace of this EXPERT TIP
Shrimp Paella with Quinoa and Edamame
tbsp olive oil
garlic cloves, minced
medium yellow onion, chopped
½ tsp dried thyme ½ tsp fennel seeds ¼ tsp each salt and ground black pepper Pinch saffron threads (crush between fingers just before use) 1
(14.5) can no-saltadded diced tomatoes
cups low-sodium vegetable broth
lb peeled, deveined large shrimp
1½ cups quinoa 1
cup shelled edamame
1) Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it’s shimmering, add garlic and onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. 2) Add thyme, fennel seed, salt, pepper, and saffron; stir to combine. Add tomatoes and broth. 3) Raise heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 2 minutes. 4) Raise heat to medium and add shrimp; cook for 5 minutes. 5) Add quinoa and edamame and raise heat till mixture comes to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer, covered, till shrimp and quinoa are cooked through (20 to 25 minutes). N U T R I T I O N (PER SERVING)
Calories: 445, Protein: 30g, Carbs: 56g, Fat: 10g
Food st yling by Hadas Smirnof f; Prop st yling by Maeve Sheridan; Saf fron: Givaga/G et t y
The dish paella (pronounced pa-AY-yuh) is actually named for the shallow cooking pan in which it’s made and served. ¶ Paella originated in Spain, where centuries ago farmers would throw together white rice and any proteins they could find, and cook them over an open fire in the fields where they worked. Over time, paella evolved into a masterpiece of Spanish cuisine: a dish typically made with white rice; a variety of seafood (shrimp! mussels! lobster!) and/or meat (chicken, chorizo); a flavor base (sofrito) of garlic, onions, peas, and tomatoes; and a sprinkling of saffron. ¶ But white rice isn’t the optimum carb for health-conscious guys; and what’s a meal without plenty of veggies? So we’ve put together this better-for-you paella by swapping out rice for quinoa, the king of whole grains, and adding tasty edamame— a nutritious green soybean— to make a healthy, protein-rich meal that’s lower in carbs, calories, fat, and sodium. ¶ And for four more great veggieboosted paellas using quinoa, farro, buckwheat, and sorghum, go to mensfitness.com/paella.
Enameled cast-iron paella pan in Cherry ($250) and optional glass lid ($40) by Le Creuset, lecreuset.com
3 Tips for Cooking a Great Paella From expert Sarah Jay, who runs one of the best, most authentic online sources for all things paella, paellapans.com: 1) Use a real paella pan.
2) Don’t stir it once the liquid is boiling.
■ To develop maximum flavor, paella needs to cook in a thin layer—that’s why paella pans from Spain are wide and shallow but not too deep. As an alternative, use the largest sauté pan you have.
■ As paella cooks, the grains should form a loose connection. If you stir it then, it disrupts this network, changing the texture of the grain—and the final dish. So if the grain’s in and the liquid’s bubbling, hands off!
3) Eat the paella straight out of the pan.
■ Traditionally, the whole paella pan is brought to the table, where everyone claims a spot in front of it and digs right in. Try it, and you’ll find the eating more fun, communal, and delicious.
Eat toWin Fit Chef How can you love food but stay so fit? I don’t understand that “Don’t trust a skinny chef” stereotype. I don’t want to eat what a really unhealthy guy eats; at the same time, I can’t call a salad “dinner” and be happy. For a real meal, I want a beautiful protein and superclean sides: yucca, sweet potatoes, quinoa, lentils. With the restaurant, it’s all my favorite things in one place.
ASK THE WINE HACKER JEFFREY SCHILLER, AUTHOR OF WINE HACK: W I N E E D U C AT I O N T H AT S TA R T S W I T H YO U R M O U T H , N O T W I T H YO U R HEAD @GONEDRINKIN
I’ve heard you can make cheap red wine taste more expensive by whipping it in a blender. Is that really a thing? MARK MADISON, BOISE, ID
The model cook
Ex-pro swimmer, runway strutter, and underwear aficionado Franco Noriega is building an organicchicken empire by Nils Bernstein With Peruvian chef Franco Noriega’s shredded physique—he’s modeled for Dolce & Gabbana—and scantily clad YouTube cooking demos, you’d think his boy toy rep might overshadow his kitchen cred. But at Baby Brasa, his Manhattan pollería, the food takes center stage. A tribute to taste, nutrition, and affordability, Baby Brasa offers organic rotisserie chicken, creative salads, and sides that all redefine fast food for the fitness minded. We asked Noriega how he stays in model shape. Decanting red wine makes it taste even more appealing W H AT ’ S THE DEAL WITH...
What’s your favorite ingredient or side? Quinoa is an unbelievable superfood. I’ve been eating it since I
What do you eat for breakfast? First I have green tea with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and wait 30 minutes. Then I usually do a shake with almond milk or açaí; and I have tons of things on the counter—maca root, goji berries, bee pollen, almond butter—so I add whatever’s there, with maybe banana or avocado. Any tips for guys who think “eating healthy” is boring? I enjoy every single bite I take. Having to eat something bland or boring just to get there body-wise—for me it’s not worth it. You can still have great food and look fucking great. How do you work out? I ride my bike or skateboard across the bridge into Manhattan two or three times a day, so my cardio’s covered. And I go to the gym five times a week. I love it, but I’m learning how important rest days are, whether you want to get bigger or slim down.
■ “Aquafaba,” a name made up to conjure something more fabulous than “chickpea juice,” is simply cooking water or canned liquid from chickpeas or other legumes (like beans, peas, or lentils) that’s been beaten into a stiff froth for use as a vegan substitute for eggs or egg whites. ¶ Because its emulsifying properties are similar to that of eggs, it can be used raw or cooked, in sweet or savory foods from waffles to mousse—it even makes a decent-tasting vegan mayo. Just don’t try scrambling the stuff—it’s best in dishes where eggs are just one of the ingredients, not the leading lady. ¶ To make aquafaba, drain the liquid from canned or cooked chickpeas or white beans (they have the most neutral flavor), and whip it. When it’s the consistency of egg whites, it’s done; if it’s too watery, boil it down a little. ¶ Three tablespoons (about 10 calories) replaces one egg.
From top: Sandra Arenas; Sam Kaplan
■ Putting wine in a blender—let’s call it “aggressive decanting”—is an old winemaker’s trick to simulate how the wine would taste after aging. It can make a cheap wine taste better, but only to a degree. How does decanting work? First, most of what you experience in wine is its aromas. When the compounds that create these aromas hit oxygen, they fully release for your nose to detect. Oxygen also mellows tannins, molecules from the oak your wine is aged in, which make wine bitter. Of course, if you’re patient, a more practical alternative to using a blender is to empty the bottle into any container—decanter, pitcher, bucket—that will maximize air contact with the surface, splash it around, then let it sit for half an hour. (Don’t want to serve from a bucket? Funnel it back into the bottle.) Decanting is really for rare wines that have been cooped up in a bottle five-plus years and need to be woken up. So, your $8 bottle of cab? It won’t turn into a 90-pointer, but it will be more appealing.
Baby Brasa’s chicken is all-organic. Why? I ate organic in Peru, where everything is organic and local. When I came here, I started gaining weight, feeling tired, getting sick. I mean, we are what we eat. I want food to taste good, but I also want to feel good. At the restaurant, we pay three times more for organic chicken than regular. At first—I really wanted to make a profit!—I cooked an organic chicken and a steroid chicken at the same time, and it was like two different proteins. The difference was so fucking clear. If you roast organic chicken with only a little salt, it’s delicious. But if you do that with a regular supermarket chicken, it’s horrible.
was a year old. And it’s so versatile! Make a smaller piece of chicken with a mound of quinoa and you’re good to go. Throw it with chopped tomatoes and it’s quinoa salad. You can substitute hot quinoa for rice, or do dessert—quinoa pudding’s delicious.
Eat toWin Diet hacks THE FLAB BLASTER FAT- LO S S T I P S F R O M THE WORLD’S MOST FA M O U S T R A I N E R BY G U N N A R P E T E R S O N (@GUNNAR)
What’s the minimum amount of exercise I can do and still see results?
Salad bar smackdown
Our “bar” fight winners In our head-to-head salad contest, the ingredients highlighted in green came out on top: Spinach
From top: Jens Mor tensen/Galler y Stock; T VK8 8 8/Get t y; Juliachka/Get t y
Three times leaner, with half the calories and more protein, chicken easily beats steak. Kidney beans
All beans are similar in nutrients, but we give black beans the edge for slightly higher protein and fiber.
Winter hibernation is over—you need a big bowl of something fresh and healthy.
While tofu wins “calories by weight,” nearperfect eggs have more protein and vitamins.
■ What year did you graduate from the U. of Underachievement? Seriously, “the minimum”—that’s what you want to know? As my friend Zach Even-Esh, from the Underground Strength Gym, says, the way you do anything is the way you do everything. Think about that: If you look for the minimum you have to do, you’ll get the minimum out of it. And that’s across the board—you’ll always leave something on the table and never reach your full potential. So, fine: If you follow the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services’ recommendation to get at least 150 minutes of moderate (or 75 minutes of vigorous) aerobic activity a week, and pair that with a decent diet and adequate sleep, you won’t become morbidly obese. Or you can aim for 45 to 90 minutes a day, five to six days a week, with workouts that combine multijoint strength moves and high-intensity intervals (plus some steadystate cardio before or after), and eat clean food, drink lots of water, and shoot for eight hours of sleep a night, and see what those results look like. Your life, your choice!
Spinach is packed with vitamins—not the case with mesclun, a combo of less nutritious greens.
After all the holiday meals, Super Bowl parties, and winter comfort-food binges, most of us are ready to race back to the salvation of the salad bar. The huge choice of ingredients can be daunting, though, so we compared the most popular salad fixings to see which have the fewest calories, the most nutrients, and the best chance of keeping you full all day.
JACK D., FORT COLLINS, CO
Tuna is a bit leaner and has more protein, but salmon has near triple the heart-smart omega-3s. Cheddar
Feta has about half the calories of cheddar and is almost 30% lower in fat. Cauliflower
These veggies are similar in calories, but broccoli has more calcium, iron, and vitamins C and K. Almonds
You can’t go wrong with nuts, but almonds have better macros for fat, protein, and vitamin E. Bacon
An easy choice: Bacon has almost five times the fat of ham and more than three times the calories! Tomatoes
Tomatoes ace out carrots for their slightly better carbs and calories (and, IOHO, taste). Beets
These two are much the same in nutrients, but we pick red cabbage for more vitamin A, B 6, C, and K. Dried cranberries
Though similar in macros, raisins have less sugar— dried cranberries often have added sugar!
PORTION OF THE MONTH
¼ CUP ALMONDS = 1 GOLF BALL
Order a diet-friendly salad—by choosing from our list of champs.
You’ve been Chop’t! If you’re heading to one of the trendy salad shops and want a low-calorie option that’s good for you, try these hacks:
Chop’t Mexicali Vegan (360 cal): Ask them to hold the romaine, add more spinach, and swap in walnuts for chips.
Sweetgreen Spicy Sabzi (440 cal): Ask for red cabbage instead of beets and tomatoes in place of carrots.
Just Salad Mediterranean Mix (570 cal): Switch out the romaine for spinach and the pita chips for pumpkin seeds.
Tips and tactics for living smarter
By Jeff Wilser
Close the dooron clutter
ONE EXTREMELY MESSY MAN EMBRACES THE GREAT UNKNOWN: AN ULTRACLEAN, HYPERORGANIZED, AND “JOYOUS” APARTMENT
The less junky your junk-filled closet is, the happier you’ll be, says the wildly popular KonMari Method.
As an unmarried man who works really hard, travels a ton, and leads an active social life, I’ve come to accept several less-than-awesome realities about my daily existence. (For starters: I eat way too much takeout, I’m constantly forgetting my toothbrush on trips, and these days, I could probably consume a few less sugary cocktails.) But if there’s one piece of man-on-the-go collateral damage I simply can’t accept, it’s the increasingly gnarly state of my apartment. In recent months, I’ve found myself engaged in a daily battle against the black hole of my storage closet, the mountain of mismatched clothes scattered across various pieces of furniture, and the towering pile of envelopes on my desk. When it took me a full hour to locate my hiking boots (in a kitchen cupboard?) last fall, I realized: Holy shit, I’m messy—and I need an intervention. So I reached out to Patty Morrissey, a Jedi-level practitioner of the ultrahot KonMari Method of streamlining your life—inspired by the ultrapopular book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering, by Marie Kondo—for her to whip me into shape. Here’s what I learned. 54
M AT T H E W W I L L I A M S /A R T D E PA R T M E N T
Before I toss the old sweatshirt, Patty tells me to thank it for its years of service. Closure is crucial, preach KonMari practitioners.
1) Keep only what brings you joy
5) Never ball your socks
“Let’s start with your clothes,” says Patty. She instructs me to put every article of clothing—winter coats, underwear, bathing suits, the works— into a pile on my living room floor. Good God. She calls this the “power of the pile,” since it forces you to confront how much you truly own. The Kondo principle is dead simple: Touch every single item. Feel it. Think about it. Ask yourself, Does it bring me joy? If it does, keep it. If not, ditch it. Patty hands me an old fleece sweatshirt. “What do you think about this?” she asks in a neutral voice. I haven’t worn it in years, and it doesn’t bring me joy. Gone.
Kondo views balled-up socks as the devil’s work, since they are “always in a state of tension, their fabric stretched and their elastic pulled…what treatment could be worse than this?” Patty instructs me to fold everything. On a philosophical level, the point is to treat your possessions with respect, which extends their lives and provides greater pleasure. On a more basic level, now my socks don’t slide to my ankles. Win.
2) Saying thank-you to garbage is weird but fun
Before I toss the sweatshirt, Patty asks me to thank it for its many years of service. This is a pillar of the Kondo method, as it helps you get closure on the items you discard. “Thank you for keeping me warm when I jogged to the gym, sweatshirt,” I actually say out loud. This is goofy but strangely empowering. In total, I stuffed 11 bags with clothes, which I donated to charity. 3) Decluttering will nudge you to upgrade
I have a knife rack in my kitchen. It’s the kind that hangs on the wall. To be honest, it looks kind of cool, but the knives are dull, and I never use them. I hold a knife in my hand. Does it bring me joy? In its current condition…no. But what if I get it sharpened? I did just that. Now the knives get me excited to cook, and more cooking (and less Chinese takeout) means healthier eating. Tiny upgrades can have domino effects. 4) Your stuff gives clues to your values
Soon I get to my hiking boots: Joy. Backpack: Joy. Passport: Joy, joy, joy. At a gut level, I realize how much adventure travel means to me. I’m now headed to a trek in the mountains of Thailand—not a coincidence. Changes like this are why Kondo claims in her book that “many of my clients remark that they have lost weight or firmed up their tummies. It’s a very strange phenomenon, but when we reduce what we own and essentially ‘detox’ our house, it has a detox effect on our bodies as well.”
WORKS FOR YOU... OR O R YOU YOUR UR MONEY MONEY BACK BAC CK!!
6) Sorting your stuff helps sort your past
I hold a coffee mug from an ex-girlfriend. Joy? I’ve been lugging that sucker around for years, never using it but never quite having the guts to throw it out. “Thank you for reminding me of the good times we had, coffee mug,” I say, gently placing it in the trash. Kondo frowns upon clinging to the items that bring us pain. The focus is now on the present, not the past. 7) This is not an overnight process
“You wouldn’t hire a personal trainer to give you a hot body in four hours,” Patty tells me. It’s a journey. Kondo suggests that the entire process can take six months, but I’ve found that even before you finish your entire home—I’m still working—you can feel immediate results. Bite-size chunks have value. 8) You will like your stuff more when you have less of it
One category is especially tough for me: books. I blanched at the idea of losing a single paperback, but I dutifully went through each and every novel and was embarrassed to find stacks that I had never read. “If you missed your chance to read a particular book… this is your chance to let it go,” Kondo explains. “Get rid of all those unread books.” So I did. And then something unexpected happened: Now I love my bookshelves. They seem to sparkle. The only books that remain are the ones I really like, so every time I glance in its direction, the bookshelves jolt me with a pick-me-up. Now extrapolate this sensation with everything you own, and the results can be, well, magical. ■
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Jeff Wilser is the author of Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life. Twitter: @JeffWilser These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Sharp strategies for building wealth
by Jack Otter
Thanks to the rise of digital payment services, credit card companies are working harder than ever to attract newer, younger customers. The best news? They’ve really sweetened the benefits.
It’s no secret that basically every forprofit business on the planet is in pursuit of millennials, whether it’s selling smartphones, clothes, or fast food. But my personal favorite aggressive millennial attention seeker? Banks. With newfound competition in payment apps like Venmo, banks are desperate to boost their credit card business among young people, which is great because anyone (i.e., you!) can reap more and greater perks: Sign-up bonuses are at a record high, rewards are getting more generous, and, yes, instead of plastic you can now whip out cool cards made of titanium or stainless steel. “It’s kind’ve a micdrop moment when you’re at dinner and there’s this argument over who will pay,” says Sean McQuay, credit and banking expert at NerdWallet. “When the metal clinks on the table, there’s no further debate.” Whether it’s flashing a cool card or upping your savings, here’s how to take full advantage of the banks’ newfound generosity. 56
The clink that changed everything
To get the new Chase Sapphire Reserve card, introduced last year, you have to pay a $450 fee. Sounds outrageous, right? Well, that’s until you actually run the numbers. Cardholders get an annual $300 travel credit, which you can use on anything from plane tickets and hotel rooms to Uber rides and parking garages. (Doing the math, that effectively drops the annual fee to $150.) Plus, you get 3 points, or what amounts to 3% cash back, on restaurant and travel expenses. And if you spend the points through Chase’s “ultimate rewards program,” you get 1½ times the value. So when spent on travel, that’s like getting 4.5% cash back. And the kicker: a 100,000-point sign-up bonus, or the equivalent of $1,500 in travel cash when spent through Chase. “The sign-up bonus effectively covers the annual fee for 10 years,” says McQuay—as long as you make use of that $300 travel credit each year. McQuay says he had always recommended cashback cards over travel cards, but “Reserve has changed the math.” Other experts share his enthusiasm. “The fees I pay pale in comparison with NICK FERRARI
With the right card you can lower the cost of almost everything you buy by about 2%. And you can score a round-trip first-class ticket to Europe.
Travel and restaurants
This is where the Sapphire shines, because you’ll get 3% cash back on these categories, which is effectively boosted to 4.5% if you spend it through Chase. Another category to consider: affiliated cards, which peg rewards to a specific airline or hotel. If you fly American Airlines all the time, for instance, the Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard is a good choice. Delta frequent-fliers should consider the Amex Delta cards, which come in Gold, Platinum, and the $450 annual fee Reserve card. The escalating list of benefits includes perks such as early boarding, seat upgrades, a free annual companion ticket, and, for Reserve cardholders, unlimited access to airport lounges. The same logic applies to hotelaffiliated cards: They’re useless if you don’t frequent that hotel chain but can be a great deal if you do. The Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card will give you extra points whenever you stay at a Marriott, a big sign-up bonus that could be worth up to 10 free nights (depending on the property). Bonus: It’s metal. You carry a balance
the benefits I get,” says John Ulzheimer, a credit card expert and points ninja.
Ma r tin Ru g n e r/ O f f se t
Why so generous?
Well, it helps to understand two things about the banking business. First, Chase, like most banks, pays less than 1% on savings accounts. But it charges 16–23% to borrow money on the Sapphire Reserve. That’s a sweet profit margin. And credit cards have become an especially important line of business in the wake of the Great Recession because government regulators cracked down on many of banks’ other businesses. Banks hope you will carry a balance and pay those crazy interest rates. If you do, it will cost you far more than you’ll ever get in benefits, so these cards are only worth it if you pay off your balance in full every month. And here’s another thing to understand about banks and credit cards: Stores pay a 2–3% “interchange fee” on every credit card transaction. Most of that goes to the banks, a smaller portion goes to Visa, MasterCard, or Amex. Guess where that money comes from? It comes from you, because the store
increases prices on everybody to account for the fee. McQuay thinks that Chase is basically refunding those fees to customers with its generous rewards in a bid to boost its already dominant market share. The bottom line? Every time you buy something you’re paying a little extra to cover the cost of credit card transactions, even if you pay with cash. But if there’s one way to get that money back, it’s getting a rewards card that pays you. “There’s no excuse for people not to be getting 1.5% or 2% for every single purchase,” says McQuay. McQuay suggests that you start by thinking about where you spend your money, because certain cards give you more cash for certain kinds of spending. Then focus on what kind of rewards you want. Here are a few spending categories and the cards he recommends for each: Gas and groceries
The Amex Blue Cash Preferred card will give you 6% cash back on groceries and 3% back on gas and some department stores. It charges an annual fee of $95, so you have to spend more than $31 a week on groceries to cover the fee.
If you need to borrow money, your only concern should be getting the lowest possible interest rate—preferably zero. Say you have a $5,000 balance. At 15% interest, you’re looking at annual fees of $750, wiping out all these benefits. Go sign up for the Chase Slate card, which offers 0% interest for 15 months, and, importantly, charges nothing for the balance transfer. Most credit cards will hit you with a 3% or 4% fee to make that transfer. That gives you 15 months to pay off your credit card. You want simple
If you don’t want to think about airline mile maximization and what card is right for what spending category, here’s your solution: the Citi Double Cash card. As long as you pay the monthly minimum (though you really should pay it off in full), you get 2% cash back on everything. That’s not a bad deal; and since it’s plastic, you don’t have to worry about setting off metal detectors when you travel. ■ Jack Otter is the author of Worth It…Not Worth It? Simple & Profitable Answers to Life’s Tough Financial Questions.
The guy’s guide to spending money
by Mark Ellwood
Style on two wheels
High-end, retro-inspired, and performance-based bike-commuting wear is all the rage these days.. Here are the best ways to suit up..
have to be Tom Ford these days to know we’re in the middle of a menswear revolution, a mind-boggling, rule-defying era when it’s OK for guys to wear sweatpants—sorry, joggers—to work, it’s totally normal hearing a white-collar worker drop phrases like “fly colorways” when describing his $800 velvet sneakers, and it’s simply a fact that the razor's edge of menswear chic is no longer in Milan but at NBA press conferences. In short: Never before has the line between high-end fashion and athleticwear been more blurred. (For more on great athleticwear, see page 34.) ¶ But as much as I dig a gym-worthy hoodie under a snappy blazer, there’s one surging trend I love even more: today’s luxury bike-commuting clothing. And no, I don’t mean your typical space-age, Lycra, time-trial getup. I’m talking about spread-collar dress shirts, clubworthy tailored jeans, and elegant, slim-fitting slacks that are specifically built to fight sweat—and made entirely of technical, state-of-the-art fabrics and fashioned at the hand of tailors at the top of their game. At a time when biking to work has never been more popular, it’s now gotten even more practical and stylish. So I tried all of the leading brands and singled out the items you need to buy right now. Just don’t forget your helmet.
YOU DON’ T EXACTLY
THE BEST T-SHIRT
Top: the Rapha merino wool T-shirt. Bottom: Gihan Amarasiriwardena, chief design officer and co-founder of Ministry, running a half-marathon.
Merino Wool T-shirt by Rapha $80, rapha . cc
When it comes to BO-banishing, sometimes old-fashioned is the only way to go: wool. All wools will wick away moisture and odor, binding them into the fiber so they can’t escape. What’s more, wool is so absorbent it can soak up significant sweat before you feel the dampness. But because wearing wool close to the skin can be scratchy, it’s smart to opt for the sleekest of its fibers: merino. (For the record: The surface of merino’s fibers is smooth, while traditional wool strands look like spiky pinecones under a microscope.) Rapha’s handsome new merino tee looks sharp and will stay fresh hours into even vigorous exercise.
activity. They’re ruggedly durable, but the problem comes when it rains: Traditional heavy cotton is like a face towel, growing heavier as it soaks up water. Wear a pair of twills made from Epic cotton, though, and you can weather almost any storm. Plus, Howies offers reasonably priced, slim-fit styles. The fibers are coated by a DWR, or Durable Water Repellent, solution that seals the cotton on the inside, making water bead up and roll off. It can’t cope with mountaineering or wading through rivers, but this T-fal–like coating will keep you surprisingly dry during a simple downpour.
THE BEST DRESS SHIRT
Future Forward Dress Shirt by Ministry
T H E B E S T W E AT H E R - F I G H T I N G J A C K E T
$95, ministryofsupply . com
Patagonia Dual Aspect Hoodie
Think of Ministry’s surprisingly stylish polyblend button-down as the Clark Kent of designer shirts: formal and buttoned up but with hidden strengths. The key lies with one of the fibers used in the fabric, Outlast, which is what’s known as a PCM, or phase change material. PCMs act like intelligent fabrics, automatically adjusting to the exterior temperature. They become insulating when it’s cold and ventilating when the mercury rises. (The science is nerdishly complicated, but think back to high school Physics 101 and the principles of kinetic and latent heat. Gel-filled microcapsules in the fiber trap energy by liquefying as your body warms up. When the temperature drops, that gel becomes solid again, releasing the energy trapped in the microcapsules as heat.) Outlast earns plaudits for using PCMs in a stylish design with four-way stretch weave that emphasizes comfort, too.
From top: Jake Stangel/ Rapha; Timothy Anaya
T H E B E ST P O LO
Polo Shirt by SmartWeave $69, smartweavestore . com
It took almost eight years of research before Bradley Rose launched his sweat-concealing range of polos; Rose even tested prototypes in Switzerland on sweating mannequins (yep, they do exist). The result is clothes made entirely from natural fibers—100% cotton—in a patented custom weave that nixes any sweat stains. The secret process weaves two distinct fibers into a single fabric
$249, patagonia . com
layer, each having a different purpose. “The inner fibers draw moisture away from the body so the wearer stays dry,” Rose told me, “while the outer ones prevent the moisture from being seen on the outside but allow it to escape as vapor, as it would in an athletic garment.” THE BEST JEANS
The Drifter Jean $185, kitsbow . com
The key to cycling jeans lies in the fabric, which here includes 17% cordura nylon and 3% Lycra. The latter adds extra stretch, allowing for easier movement, while the former is a militarygrade nylon that’s abrasion- and tear-resistant—it’s twice as durable as conventional nylon, which is one of the toughest manmade fibers. But the appeal of Kitsbow denim is also the styling: These jeans have been almost imperceptibly tweaked to be comfier in the saddle. Thighs are roomier so they don’t pinch cycling quads, and there are crescent-shaped seams around the knees to permit more natural articulation while you’re on the move.
The secret behind the ultimate insulated jacket is simple, says Charles Ross, a specialist in performance sportswear design. “The best insulation ever created isn’t down or fleece or polyester—it’s dead air. When you’re insulating yourself, you stay warm from whatever body heat you’ve generated that doesn’t escape.” This means you’re looking for a wind cheater with impressive heat-trapping potential, as well as comfort and stretch—and nothing beats Patagonia’s exclusive Polartec Power Shield, which combines three Polartec fabrics for robust protection and durability. The Dual Aspect hoodie is a hybrid midlayer that does double duty as an outer layer in milder conditions. THE BEST BLAZER
Summit Endurance Slim Fit Suit $240, combatgent . com
Epic Weatherproof Trouser $119, howies . com
The key to wearing tailoring when you’re cycling is stretch. Grab the care label in a suit lining; look for the words elastane or Lycra, DuPont’s version of elastane/ spandex. You’ll want 2-3% of it blended with wool, silk, or linen to ensure the suit will stretch as you pedal and spring back to look slick and wrinkle-free at journey’s end. Dual vents make it easier to sit in the saddle, and a breathable lining will minimize the risk of sweat. ■
Chinos are usually the worst thing to wear outdoors or for any vigorous
Mark Ellwood is the author of Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World.
THE BEST SLACKS
The Active Guy’s Guide to Style and Grooming
Perfect Fit Bring the heat
Who said your coolest and most comfortable athletic gear had to be confined to the gym? Here are the best ways to incorporate your most highly technical duds into your daily look while seriously upping your style batting average. Bonus: We’ve got the best new sneakers to wear with, well, anything, and a collection of sports watches worth drooling over.
John Mather William Hereford
A Cooler Windbreaker
Shell game This red Hideaway jacket from Armani Exchange could very well be the ultimate layering item. It’s ready for sweat—and even equipped with straps that allow you to wear it like a backpack if you’re overheating—but it’s also a terrific way to cut the formality of a sport jacket. (Note: If you don’t have a white blazer, you can pair it with a navy one, too.) Windbreaker: Armani Exchange, $160; Blazer: Vince Camuto, $225, nordstrom.com; Vest: EFM, $425; Pants: Nautica, $70; Watch: Omega, $11,700
If you own one blazingyellow piece of clothing, make it a killer raincoat.
A Flyer Raincoat
High and dry This canvas jacket from Nautica is pure elementsfighting awesomeness. It’s fully functional—ready for any sopping-wet hikes—yet stylish, too. If there’s one item in your closet that needs to be blazing bright yellow, it’s a killer raincoat. Raincoat: Nautica, $348; Shirt: Untuckit, $98; Tie: Tommy Hilfiger Tailored, $80; Pants: Perry Ellis, $98; Shoes: Clarks, $110; Watch: Nautica, $165; Motorcycle: 2017 Ducati Scrambler Café Racer, $11,395
Join the club Okay, so it’s not exactly exercise gear per se, but this lightweight cotton jacket from Tallia Orange just oozes sporty cool. It’s lightly constructed, superstrong, and, with its slim-fitting-yet-roomy chest, it’s tailor-made for fit dudes. And, seriously: Roger Federer often wears blazers over his Nike duds. Who says you can’t, too? Blazer: Tallia Orange, $350; Hoodie: Vince Camuto, $195; Racquet: Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph, $249
G r o o m i n g b y N a t h a n R o s e n k r a n z / H o n e y A r t i s t s u s i n g Y S L L’ H o m m e
A Sportier Blazer
Perfect fit â—? Style
A Trimmer Polo
Play it cool Now, the good, old cotton polo is far from obsolete, but donâ€™t you want something a little stretchier and breathier, with maybe a truncated sleeve to show off those guns? Meet the slim-fitting and moisturewicking Active 360 Polo from Perry Ellis. Polo: Perry Ellis, $60; Vest: Michael Kors, $228; T-shirt: Jockey, $28; Shoes: Sperry, $90; Pants: Armani Exchange, $90; Watch: Victorinox, $595; Bicycle: Shinola Limited-Edition Brass Bixby (not available in stores).
Perfect fit ● Style
A Better Everywhere Tee
Make it pop If you’re anything like us, most of your gym clothes can be described in three words: gray, gray, and gray. It’s time to inject some feelgood color, brother, and that’s why we’ve singled out this great green T-shirt from Eddie Bauer. Since it’s sweat wicking, it’s treadmill approved, but it’s snazzy enough to wear anywhere else, too. T-shirt: Eddie Bauer, $25; Jacket: Tommy Hilfiger, $275; Pants: Tallia Orange, $100; Watch: Citizen, $1,075; Headphones: Bose QuietComfort 35, $350
TO BOOT NEW YORK
1) Alton $ 2 0 0 , T O B O O T. C O M
2) Sta Stan a n Smith S $75, AMAZON.COM/ FA S H I O N
3) Chuck ck Taylor Ta All-Star ’70 0 Mono Leather Le $95, CONVERSE.COM
4) Sky II Lo B&W $70, PUMA.COM
A great pair of white sneaks and a wonderfully bold sports watch are the ultimate finishing touches for just about any look. Pick from our favorites to incorporate p some eye-popping—but still elegant—flash into your daily life. By
Barret rre et Wertz Photographs ho otog ap phs b by Levi evi B Brown
Prop st yling by Angela Campos/Stockland Mar tel
Perfect fit â—? Watches
Fa : A b Fact: big, s swinging i metal ta watch adds a bit of bling g (without making a you look ook like i a douche). u he)
BELL & ROSS
1) Vintage ta age B BR126 R 126 Sp Sport p Heritage $4,800, BELLROSS.COM
2) Couturier rie e r Auto Automatic o ma Chronograph $1,695, U S . T I S S O T S H O P. C O M
TA G H E U E R
3) Heue Heuer 01 $ 5 , 4 5 0 , TA G H E U E R . C O M
4)) Ed 4 Edifice d i fii ce $380, CASIO.COM
B U L O VA
5) CURV Ch Chronograph ap $750, MACYS.COM
Perfect fit ● Grooming By Barret Wertz Photographs by Levi Brown
Spring cleaning Wake up from a long, cold winter with these fresh new essentials
1) DUO This innovative new dual-sided cleansing disk, smooth on one side and scrubby on the other, is packed with more longlasting cleansing power than normal bar soaps or body washes, so it goes strong through 30 showers.
$ 1 0, TA R G E T. C O M
2) Hydro 5 With five blades, skin guards, and a gel-reservoir strip, the Hydro 5 razor is less irritating and keeps skin hydrated for up to an hour after you shave.
3) Cool Mint Antiseptic Use this mouthwash to kill 99% of the germs, reduce plaque on teeth six times better than brushing and flossing alone, and—oh, yeah—have awesome breath.
4) Skin Active Moisture Bomb SPF 30 Packed with supermoisturizing hyaluronic acid and powerful antioxidants, Skin Active Moisture Bomb delivers strong hydration, while SPF 30 protects skin from harmful UV rays. $ 1 7, G A R N I E R U S A . C O M
HEAD & SHOULDERS
$5, HEADANDSHOULDERS .COM
6) Pro LS All-in-One Face Cleansing Gel Dense gel builds into a foaming lather that deeply yet gently cleans skin without drying it or disturbing its natural balance. $18, LABSERIES.COM
Prop st yling by Angela Campos/Stockland Mar tel
5) Old Spice Swagger 2-in-1 Being 100% flake-free is a good thing. Having great-smelling hair is a great thing. Swagger gives you both.
1) UltraClear Never had an antiperspirant stick that actually goes on clear and doesnâ€™t stain your shirts? Now you do. $ 4 , D E G R E E D E O D O R A N T. C O M
2) DiamondClean Toothbrush This sleek sonic toothbrush removes plaque and whitens teeth much better than a manual toothbrush. $220, USA.PHILIPS.COM
K I E H Lâ€™ S
3) Age Defender Eye Repair Created especially for men, this thick, potent eye cream helps you look more awake instantly and even appear younger over time.
$ 3 0, K I E H LS .C O M
4) Face Scrub Glycolic acid and biodegradable microbeads double down to remove dull, dead skin and stimulate collagen production. $ 4 0, LQ D . C O M . A U
5) Renewed Razor Sharp for Men Great for sensitive skin, this gentle shave cream turned foam also cleanses as it softens stubble. $ 2 0 , P H I L O S O P H Y. C O M
To get your dry skin and hair ready for the warmer, more humid days to come, shake up your grooming routine.
6) Heavy Hold Pomade With its water-based formula, Heavy Hold creates smooth styles with high hold and maximum shine, even on longer hair. $ 1 8, A M E R I C A N C R E W. C O M
7) You Body Spray Coriander, amber, and vetiver are just a few of the notes that make this next-gen body spray all grown-up and ready for you, the man. $5, AXE.COM
Perfect fit ● Style
Hack the look
THE JOURNEY MAN Pull off a $6,000, go-anywhere getup from Tod’s for $5,000 less—and circumnavigate the globe with your extra dough PHOTOGRAPH BY
The jacket This lightweight anorak from the Gap is durable and easy to pack. ($118) You save: $2,007
The hoodie Built for the elements, DC Shoes’ Ellis Light Jacket is all comfort, too. ($65) You save: $510
The shirt A classic cotton tee from Jockey. What else do you need? ($28) You save: $54
The joggers These cotton pants from Nautica sport an ideal, trim silhouette. ($70) You save: $405
The shoes The pinnacle of style and function: leather Converse Jack Purcells. ($85) You save: $410
The backpack This streamlined rucksack from Fossil holds all your travel essentials. ($398, amazon.com/fashion) You save: $1,367
The sunglasses Why pay more for shades? ($185, nordstrom.com) You save: $300
This look: Brunello
G r o o m i n g b y N a t h a n R o s e n k r a n z / H o n e y A r t i s t s u s i n g Y S L L’ h o m m e ; C o u r t e s y o f To d ’ s
You’re an adventurous guy. You’d like to scooter across Italy, fly off to Timbuktu, maybe sail to Papua New Guinea. But do you know what you need, besides, well, time and cash? The right clothes. More specifically, an outfit that is all-weather, comfortable, and slightly formal and slightly casual at the same time. Enter this great, all-purpose look from Tod’s. The problem? The cost. So we dismantled it and put it back together again at a better price.
Above, a look from Tod’s. Left, our handpicked impostor.
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Jacket: BELSTAFF T-shirt: VINCE Jeans: FABRIC BRAND & CO. EASTDANE.COM Boots: ALPINESTARS
KEANU REEVES WA N T S TO
FIGHT Somehow, after a lifetime of playing iconic badasses—heroic cops, a hacker named Neo, a certain “Eff. Bee. Eye.” agent—Keanu Reeves, at 52, remains one of the most enigmatic figures in Hollywood. But here the always-guarded actor opens up—about his life, his past hits, his latest project (John Wick: Chapter 2), and his eternally youthful physique—while making one thing very clear: He’s still ready to kick lots of ass. BY
D AV I D K AT Z
you like action movies?” asks Keanu Reeves, unable to contain his excitement, as he leads me on a tour of 87Eleven Action Design, a cavernous gym, production company, and choreography studio located in an industrial park near LAX that is arguably the white-hot center of modern movie fighting. “It’s like a training school, a dojo for stunts,” he says, clearly pumped to be back at what was his “second home” while he prepped for the cult action movie John Wick (2014) and the next installment, John Wick: Chapter 2, in theaters now. ¶ Reeves’ youthful enthusiasm is a little surprising, and not because the guy is officially 52 years old. (In his mod black jacket emblazoned with “Arch”—the motorcycle company he co-founded—he doesn’t look anywhere near that age.) And it isn’t because I expected Reeves to be a jerk, either. The truth is, I had no idea what to expect, because Keanu Reeves—a star for more than a quarter century, a guy whose films have amassed nearly $2 billion at the box office—has achieved something miraculous in today’s celebrity-obsessed world: He’s preserved some mystery about himself. “I’m not looking for a red carpet to walk, and I’m not trying to have a celebrity footprint,” he says when I mention that it’s rare to see his name flashing across TMZ, and it’s even rarer for him to sit for an extended interview like this one. And while so many actors in Hollywood are focused on building their online “brands,” Reeves seems totally fine with letting the world of social media entirely pass him by. “I can see the appeal—it’s just not to my taste,” he says. Before I meet him, I know a few basic facts: He’s unmarried, with no kids. (“I’m an unsuccessful representation of the species,” he jokes.) Also, I know that much of my impression of Reeves is formed by his work, notably his tendency to play stoic heroes—like the Zen-like savior, Neo, in the record-shattering The Matrix trilogy—so I half expect to encounter a quiet, impenetrable monk. Instead, Reeves is more like a high-energy actionmovie fanboy, rattling off some of the films that 87Eleven co-founders—veteran stuntmen David Leitch and Chad Staheleski—have choreographed: The Bourne Legacy, Fight Club, and, of course, The Matrix, on which Staheleski served as Reeves’ stunt double. Fifteen years after that movie’s smash success, he knew those guys aspired to direct, and Reeves brought them a project he was developing about a retired assassin who goes on a bloody revenge spree after a group of thugs off his dog. Reeves would star, and they would direct. “Just good clean fun,” he says of the movie, with its superstylized violence, insane body count, and wry tone. (“It is
funny,” Reeves admits. “But not ha-ha funny.”) It was an odds-defying hit: Made on a small, $20 million budget, it grossed $86 million worldwide, cementing Reeves’ status, once again, as one of Hollywood’s most appealing and bankable action heroes. in
2 0 1 7,
it’s easy to forget that reeves is an
unlikely badass. He first hit it big in comedy, in 1989, with the ridiculous Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, about two bodacious, underachieving California teenagers traveling through time in a phone booth. Not only was Bill & Ted Reeves’ first (but hardly last) surprise hit, earning a sequel, but nearly 30 years later people still talk about a reunion— an effort Reeves supports. “It would be absolutely fantastic and ridiculous to play those roles again,” he says. “Bill and Ted in their 50s?! Excellent. Bodacious!” (Yes, a writer is currently working on a script.)
“ Before a big fight sequence, I still eat a steak. It started on The Matrix. It’s totally psychological.”
T-shirt & Jacket: BELSTAFF Jeans: FABRIC BRAND & CO. EASTDANE.COM Boots: ALPINESTARS
For his sudden transformation into ass-kicking leading man, however, Reeves credits director Kathryn Bigelow, now known for war movies The Hurt Locker (2008) and Zero Dark Thirty (2013), but then starting out with Point Break, in 1991. Bigelow cast a 26-year-old Reeves as an FBI agent embedded with a band of bankrobbing surfers led by Patrick Swayze. It was another ridiculous premise, another huge hit for Reeves. “It was pulpy, it had a real energy,” says Reeves (who hasn’t seen 2015’s failed remake). “I’ve met people over the years who said, ‘I started skydiving because of that movie,’ or ‘I started surfing because of that movie.’ ” Reeves jumped from a plane once during production to get a taste of what it’s like, but he says that his co-star, Swayze, really caught the bug. “I think he had 30 jumps while we were filming,” he says. “The insurance company was, like, no. Eventually, he got a ceaseand-desist from the production company.” Whether it was because of the surfing, the long hair, or the laid-back delivery, Point Break stereotyped Reeves as the ultimate SoCal underdog—an image only bolstered by the blockbuster Los Angeles freeway thriller, Speed (1994)—which still persists today. The irony is that Reeves isn’t a native Californian, or even an American. He was born in Beirut, Lebanon, to a British mother and Chinese-Hawaiian father (his name means “cool breeze” in Hawaiian) and spent his formative years in Toronto with his costume designer mom and her eclectic group of friends, including singer Alice Cooper. Reeves still identifies as Canadian, even if he’s lived in L.A. since he was 20 years old. “Those were my formative years, from like, 7 years old on,” he says. He explains his attachment to his home country as “like the imprimatur of youth, that early sapling that grows into a tree.” 87 e l e v e n ’ s a n n e x , we get a bird’s-eye view of the place. Most of the floor space is taken up by a huge blue mat overhung by cables used for “wire work,” the suspended choreography that allows actors to dodge bullets midair and pull off impossibly high roundhouses. Today it’s being used by a stunt team from Logan, Hugh Jackman’s final Wolverine film, and Reeves looks on with jealousy. “I always want to work out here,” he says, “just come in and get some more training.” For Wick, that meant he had to learn an entirely new discipline: judo. “I had a little experience in movie fighting,” he says, with typical (and sincere) modesty. “But I’d never done judo.” He says the form is tricky to fake onscreen because, unlike throwing punches, “you really gotta throw someone.” Reeves adopted a former MMA fighter named Eric Brown as his sensei. “At the beginning, I didn’t even know where to put my feet,” he says. “So it was a lot of me learning the basics.” By the time he flew to New York and Rome to shoot John Wick: Chapter 2, which expands the mythology behind Wick’s order of assassins and reunites Reeves with The Matrix co-star Laurence Fishburne, he was a bona fide judo expert. “Keanu is the most persistent, non-giving-up guy you’ll ever meet,” says Stahelski. “He doesn’t want to act out the part. He wants to be the part.” Reeves loves pushing himself during his action sequences, though he rejects the word “stunt” for anything he does himself. “There’s an incredible stuntman who doubles John Wick,” he says. “They hit him with a car. He’s standing there, and they hit him—that’s a stunt. Me? I’ll shoot some guns, flip some people—and that’s action. So, yeah, I do as much action as I possibly can, because I love it—and I love the opportunity to bring the audience along.” Which is one of the reasons why Reeves never enjoys stepping aside for the sake of his safety. “I hate that, it’s always a drag,” he says. “I want to be able to do everything. Since The Matrix, I’ve used this term, ‘superperfect.’ As in, ‘Can we get it superperfect?’ ” On a huge-budget studio movie that can afford infinite takes, that means
Jacket: BELSTAFF Watch: IWC
a s h e l e a d s m e u p t h e s ta i r s t o
“ Just good clean fun,” he says of John Wick’s graphic violence and huge body count.
DIESEL HAS ZERO PLANS TO SCALE BACK ACTIONMOVIE ROLES.
doing it until it’s right. On a leaner film like Wick, where fights that could have been allotted five days might get two, it means no room for error. “But that’s part of what makes [a great action film] a pressure cooker,” he says. “It’s the intensity of just trying to do the best you can in the circumstances that you have.” looking back, he credits point break for making him
think about his body more. “It was life-changing for me,” he says. “It introduced me to fitness and training.” He began working with Denise Snyder, who has remained his main fitness guru for more than 25 years, and has overseen his body throughout his career. “He can get huge,” says Snyder. “That worked for Speed. But usually I don’t think for him massiveness works. On John Wick, it’s about his presence, and it can’t come from size. It’s got to come from structure. It’s really about pulling his shoulders back.” Reeves says that meant not having “huge traps.” “I wanted to have that back,” he says, “to look like if I grabbed you,
S t y l i n g b y J e a n n e Ya n g / T h e Wa l l G r o u p ; H a i r b y N i n a P a s k o w i t z ; Makeup By Geri Oppenheim
“ I WOULDN’T CALL IT ROCK BOTTOM, BUT THERE WAS SOME VERSION OF, ‘AM I GOING TO BE WASHED UP AT 21?’ ”
you were in my world now.” Reeves isn’t slowing down his exercise regimen these days, though he admits that the biggest difference between playing an action hero at 52 versus 25 is the wear and tear on the knees. “I can’t do stairs as fast,” he says. “But if you say ‘action,’ I’ll go.” His recovery is a little slower, but his endurance is solid. His training diet is still simple. “Low sodium, low fat, and the night before a big fight sequence, I still eat a steak. It started on The Matrix. I was like, ‘Gotta go eat a steak, Carrie-Anne [Moss, his co-star].’ It’s totally psychological.” He prefers a nice New York cut, with a little fat on it. With Wick behind him, Reeves says he has some “civilian living” ahead of him before he chooses his next project. During these periods, he takes it easy. “Steak. Red wine. A nice single malt with a big ice cube. Ride a motorcycle.” Reeves plans to keep the great action movies coming. “You just gotta find the right one,” he says. “You can’t just do it to do it. Unless you need the dough, which is a good enough reason.”
Of course, Reeves, who allegedly took in millions for his work on The Matrix movies alone, doesn’t need the dough. “Well, I do,” he insists, declining to elaborate too much. “It’s a long story that I don’t want to share with you.” Though later he offers a clue: “When you’re friends with someone, you want to help them, you sign something that turns into something else, and that comes back to haunt you.” Still, he says, money is a bad way to make career choices, and his résumé bears that out. (See: 1991’s My Own Private Idaho, 1993’s Little Buddha, and 2012’s Side by Side, a documentary he produced about Hollywood’s conversion from traditional film to digital.) He’s also the guy who started a motorcycle company five years ago. In fact, Reeves actually showed up today on one of his bikes, a gorgeous Arch KRGT-1, what he calls a “performance cruiser.” Arch is more than a vanity project, he says. He’s involved in every facet of the company, from design and testing to administration. The project fits perfectly into what Reeves sees as the guiding philosophy of his life: “You’re gonna die—make stuff.” ■ MARCH 2017
Turn back your
Can you be a 45-year-old but maintain the body of a guy in his 20s? According to one world-renowned exercise scientist, the inventor of a proprietary formula that assigns you a “fitness age,” the answer is: Absolutely. And it’s going to change the way you train—forever. By
Like most fit guys, you’re probably addicted to numbers. Chances are you know your max bench and squat, and you might have a pretty good fix on your body mass index, too. If you’re superhardcore, you might even know your basal metabolic rate (for the uninitiated, that’s the amount of energy your body churns through when you’re at rest). And no doubt if you’re an endurance guy, you can list your PRs in everything from the 5K to a Spartan Race. But before you get too confident in the story that these numbers tell, especially as they pertain to your long-term health, Ulrik Wisløff, Ph.D., a professor of physiology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, has an important question for you: What is your fitness age? Wait, you don’t know? Well, according to Wisløff, a 48-year-old former semipro soccer player who is also one of the world’s top exercise scientists, that’s deeply unfortunate. Because your fitness age— even more than your real age—is the key to providing confirmation of your physical prowess or exposing a gaping void at the center of what you thought was a solid training program. What’s more: Paying special attention to your fitness age, which you can maintain with a very targeted HIIT training regimen, might just save your life years down the road.
FITNESS AGE, DEFINED Fitness age, which Wisløff introduced to the world in a 2014 study, is rooted in your body’s level of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF)—its ability to disperse and consume oxygen. In fact, having great CRF—not to be confused with cardiovascular fitness, which refers only to the heart and blood but not the body’s breathing apparatus—is such an important factor to your longevity and your long-term health that a recent scientific statement from the American Heart Association described it as a “potentially stronger predictor of 80
mortality than established risk factors such as smoking, hypertension, high cholesterol, and type-2 diabetes mellitus.” But as Wisløff knows all too well, CRF is difficult to measure—and even more difficult to make sense of once you have it. The surest way of gauging CRF is to calculate your VO2 max, the maximum amount of oxygen you can process during an activity. (The average person has a VO2 max of 30 to 60, with some elite athletes, such as pro cyclists, reaching the 90s.) Since the Nobel Prize–winning physiologist A.V. Hill introduced the concept in 1923, the only reliable way to measure VO2 max has been with an exercise test, which asks subjects to push their bodies to exhaustion on a treadmill or a stationary bike while breathing into an ergospirometry system. Even if you endured the process, the larger question remained: What does it even mean? If you’re, say, a 34-year-old guy with VO2 max of 52, how does that inform your health and your training? “When we started this [research] many years ago,” Wisløff says, “we always told people that they had a VO2 max of 30 or 40 or 50, and then they’d always look at us and ask, ‘OK, well, what is that?’ ” So Wisløff set off to find a way to do two things simultaneously: 1) easily and accurately calculate VO2 max without the hassle of equipment, and 2) translate the findings into something the average athlete can understand and use to his advantage. Enter fitness age. In 2006 he and his colleagues began conducting an enormous study of cardiorespiratory fitness and other health indicators in 4,637 Norwegian men and women, and devised a proprietary formula, which you fill out on his website, that assigns you a fitness
MANY GUYS WHO LOOKED FIT—AND WORKED OUT A TON—TURNED OUT TO HAVE GERIATRIC FITNESS AGES.
age, essentially defined as the average VO2 max of healthy people at any given age. That 34-year-old with a VO2 max of 52? According to Wisløff ’s calculations, he’s in fine shape. Generally speaking, the average healthy guy in his 30s has a VO2 max of roughly 49, so the 34-year-old’s fitness age is close to his real age. But he could be doing better, and with the right training regimen, he could easily bring his fitness age down to something on par with a healthy man in his 20s. (Twentysomething males have an average VO2 max of 54.) But if that same 34-year-old found out that he had a VO2 max of 39? Well, he’d have the same fitness age of your typical 60-year-old. He’d be out of shape, with a dangerously elevated risk of developing cardiovascular disease and, according to some studies, cancer and Alzheimer’s. But I know what you’re thinking. “I work out. I run. I lift. Surely my fitness age is superyoung!” Well, not necessarily. When Wisløff began to measure the fitness ages of his test subjects, he encountered many people who looked fit and worked out but had practically geriatric fitness ages. One group of bodybuilders were lean and muscular, but “their fitness in terms of peak VO2 was scary low,” Wisløff says. When he tested amateur endurance athletes—many of whom trained up to 10 hours per week—he also found unexpectedly high fitness ages. That’s because, as Wisløff has consistently found, great CRF is achieved through high-intensity exercise, not long, slow jogging. This has not gone unnoticed by Wisløff ’s peers, who believe his greatest accomplishment might not be in creating the fitnessage algorithm—a simple way to estimate VO2 max—but in devising an easy, efficient way to dramatically improve it. Carl “Chip” Lavie, M.D., a leading cardiologist and the author of The Obesity Paradox, told me that he revered Wisløff for expanding “our knowledge of the importance of higher-intensity exercise and its impact on improving fitness and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.” When Wisløff pioneered fitness age, he didn’t just create a diagnostic tool; he laid the groundwork for developing what might just be the world’s most useful exercise cure.
There are a lot of factors that go into calculating your fitness age— by far the most important of them is cardiorespiratory fitness, says Ulrik Wisløff, Ph.D.
G r o o m i n g b y C o r e y Tu t t l e / H o n e y A r t i s t s
SO DO YOU WANT TO LIVE FOREVER? To calculate your fitness age, visit worldfitnesslevel.org to fill out Wisløff ’s detailed online questionnaire (and be sure to read “How to Calculate Your Fitness Age,” on the next page, for our analysis of the questions). Once you’ve got your fitness age, you can supplement your training program with a scientifically proven fitness-agereducing intervention. Even if you don’t calculate your exact fitness age, you can still follow these six tips to boost your body’s cardiorespiratory fitness, bulletproofing your health while leaving plenty of time to do all the activities you love: pick-up hoops, distance running, or improving those max bench and squat numbers inside the power rack. Whatever your goals are, here are the six ways to keep your body young. STAY YOUNG TIP NO. 1:
SUPERCHARGE YOUR HEART When Wisløff began to design a training program that could boost VO2 max and
reduce fitness age, he asked himself one fundamental question: What limits the body’s ability to uptake oxygen? Wisløff knew skeletal muscles weren’t the principal problem—they can handle more blood than they can possibly get. He also knew that the lungs, while crucial, couldn’t be dramatically altered with training. But the heart is highly trainable, and increasing the heart’s pumping capacity—the amount of blood it can pump in a given amount of time—directly increases the body’s ability to uptake and distribute oxygen. In other words, a more efficient, more powerful heart leads directly to a higher VO2 max. But how exactly do you train your heart to be more efficient and powerful? Two factors govern pumping capacity: maximal heart rate and stroke volume. Your maximal heart rate is inborn. (What’s the best formula? 211 minus your age multiplied by 0.64.) No matter how hard you train, that number will tick down throughout your life. But you can do a lot to increase the stroke volume
of your heart. “The heart is like any other muscle,” Wisløff says. “It must be loaded to get trained. And the only healthy way to challenge the heart’s pumping capacity is to fill it with maximal amounts of blood for long periods of time.” The heart achieves maximum stroke volume when it’s pumping at 85–95% of its maximum beats per minute. (For most people, the 85–90% range is sufficient.) So if you want to boost your VO2 max, Wisløff says, you’ll want to work out within that range of cardiorespiratory intensity for as long as you possibly can. If you do it right, you’ll end up with an “athlete’s heart,” one that’s bigger, contracts more forcefully, and relaxes quicker. As Wisløff puts it: “You’ll have a better motor.” STAY YOUNG TIP NO. 2:
FOUR MINUTES IS YOUR INTERVAL SWEET SPOT So how exactly do you get your heart rate to the 85% threshold, and how long can you (and should you) keep it there?
HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR FITNESS AGE You’ll need to fill out a questionnaire devised by exercise scientist Ulrik Wisløff at worldfitnesslevel.org. Here Wisløff walks a casual lifter and an erstwhile CrossFitter through each question. BY MICHAEL RODIO
Where are you from? Ethnicity? Highest level of education? W I S L Ø F F S A Y S : “We use that only for research purposes so we can compare Norway, USA, Japan, etc., and different ethnicities—nothing of this is used in the algorithm.” R O D I O ’ S TA K E :
I type in “Brooklyn.”
Gender, age, height, weight. W I S L Ø F F S A Y S : “Height/weight is just for calculating BMI, which goes into the algorithm. But gender matters a lot—women’s values tend to be about 20% lower.” R O D I O ’ S T A K E : I’m 26, 5'9", 175 pounds. I enter twice, because I accidentally type in my weight in kilograms the first time. STEP 3
What’s your maximum heart rate? W I S L Ø F F S A Y S : “It’s a common means of denoting intensity for endurance training.” I had no idea, but the site computes it for me. (It’s 196 bpm, apparently.) R O D I O ’ S TA K E :
Exercise: How often, how long, and how intense? W I S L Ø F F S A Y S : “All these factors matter in a balanced way, but exercise intensity is the most indicative of fitness age.” R O D I O ’ S T A K E : I pick “little hard breathing and sweating,” because there’s no option for “vigorous swearing or crying.” STEP 5
What’s your waistline? What’s your resting pulse? W I S L Ø F F S A Y S : “A low resting heartbeat is the sign of a fit heart—world-class endurance athletes use it to see if they’re ready for their next exercise session— but we do know that it’s not enough to predict fitness on its own. Hydration can sway it, for example, so make sure you’re hydrated when you take your measurement.”
My belt suggests a 31-inch waistline. My Fitbit says 55 bpm.
R O D I O ’ S TA K E :
T H E TA K E A W AY
Even though I’m 26, with an expected VO 2 max of 53, I have the fitness age of someone under 20 years old, with an actual VO2 max of 60. W I S L Ø F F S A Y S : “That’s not bad for a 26-year-old. It’s about the same as mine.” 82
It usually takes more than a minute of vigorous exercise before you reach maximum stroke volume. That’s easy enough to do—try running, cycling, or rowing really hard for 60 seconds—but the trickier and more exhausting part is keeping your heart rate and stroke volume locked at that rate. The key to mentally and physically sustaining that kind of workload, Wisløff says, is to use interval training. “It is obvious that one cannot exercise for very long periods of time at 85–95% of maximal heart rate,” he says. “But intervals get you up to that needed intensity” and give you enough rest in between “to get rid of lactic acid that builds up during the interval.” But not all interval training is equal. Sprint intervals of one minute or less can get your heart rate past the 85% threshold, but they just don’t give your heart enough sustained work at its maximum stroke volume. Tabata training with 20-second maximumintensity intervals followed by 10 seconds of rest can work, but be aware that your heart rate drops as soon as you stop moving. (And the more fit you are, the faster your heart rate plummets.) If your goal is to improve VO2 max, then it’s better to keep your heart pumping consistently at 85% of its maximum rate than for it to be yo-yoing from 75–100% of its max rate throughout your active workout time. How long is the ideal stroke-volume maximizing interval? In theory, make it as long as possible. (If you can push out 30-minute intervals at 90% of your max heart rate, go ahead and do it. Also, congratulations, your VO2 max is almost certainly spectacular.) Wisløff and his colleagues found that four minutes is a length most can manage. It lets your heart pump at its maximum stroke capacity for an extended time, and it’s sustainable for untrained individuals and beneficial to elite athletes looking to boost their already excellent CRF. Wisløff ’s recommended program is simple: A 10-minute warmup, followed by four four-minute intervals of large muscle mass exercise (running, cycling, rowing, swimming, cross-country skiing) broken up by three minutes of active rest (a very low-intensity version of whatever you’re doing). The results can be dramatic. After the seven-week program, Wisløff has seen spikes in VO2 max and benefits that go beyond CRF into weight-loss and leanmuscle gain. In Norway the response has been ecstatic. “The biggest newspaper here [Verdens
YOUR HEART IS MORE TRAINABLE AND ADAPTABLE THAN YOU IMAGINED. Gang] presented this program on their online version,” Wisløff says. “That story is the most visited story in that newspaper’s history. Now there are even training groups and training centers around Norway that are using this. It’s used a lot.” STAY YOUNG TIP NO. 3:
DON’T TRAIN FOR A MARATHON Ask a random sampling of men and women to name the kind of athlete with the best cardiorespiratory fitness, and you’ll almost certainly get answers like marathoners, triathletes, and Tour de France cyclists. While this may be true at the elite level, it’s often not the case for weekend-warrior endurance athletes, and the reason is simple: Running, cycling, and swimming for long distances won’t push your heart to its maximal stroke volume, so they won’t do a lot to improve VO2 max if you are already in good shape and go hard for four minutes. “I know a lot of endurance athletes on a really high level,” Wisløff says. “Even in those people we have been able to improve fitness a lot by exchanging two to three hours of running for periodization of 4x4 intervals or even 3x3 intervals.” Wisløff himself is a runner. He likes to go on 45-minute runs through the forest near his home in Trondheim, Norway. When he does, he makes sure that he is giving his heart extended periods of time above the 85% threshold by working in long, steep uphills. “I would like to say that lowintensity long distance is the best, because I like to do that,” he says. “But it’s surely not the best.”
STAY YOUNG TIP NO. 4:
FORGET BEETROOT JUICE AND HYPOXIC MASKS You’ve seen those heart-healthy labels at the supermarket, and you know that “eating clean” is a good thing for your health. So can you eat your way to a lower fitness age? Nope. “Indirectly, it’s important to have a good diet, because if your diet is better, you adapt better to exercise,” Wisløff says. “There have been some reports that if you drink beetroot juice or stuff with a lot of nitric oxide in it, that may help your cardiorespiratory fitness—and that may be true with untrained people. But as you get fitter, that supplement doesn’t seem to work a lot.” What about training at elevation or working out on the treadmill with one of those Predator–style hypoxic masks? After all, don’t all the top endurance athletes run high up in the mountains? Wouldn’t just living at altitude boost your VO2 max and reduce your fitness age? Nope again. The science on hypoxic masks is thin. “Even though there are some believers out there, I know that world-class endurance athletes in, for instance, some cross-country skiing do not use them,” Wisløff says. While some world-class endurance athletes travel to high altitudes to train, the effect on performance is tiny. If you’re the thirdbest half-miler in the world and you want to become the best half-miler in the world, then by all means move to La Paz, Bolivia (altitude: nearly 12,000 feet). But if you’re something other than an Olympian, you’re going to make the same gains if you do all your interval training in Miami. STAY YOUNG TIP NO. 5:
SAVE TIME FOR CROSS-TRAINING You might expect that Wisløff would advise those looking to reduce their fitness age to do nothing but lung-busting sessions of 4x4 interval training. But he knows personally that such a course would be counterproductive. “I can’t just do 4x4,” he says. “I think it’s totally boring to do just that.” In his fitness-age-reducing fitness program, Wisløff reserves days for fun runs and 60-minute activities like five-a-side soccer, and he practices what he preaches. He performs 4x4 interval training only a couple of times per week. (One session is always a lab-wide workout in which he leads his 60-person staff in exercises.) The rest of the time, he works out like an outdoorsy and not especially fitness-obsessed man. He plays a weekly Continued on page 124
THE 7-WEEK ADD-YEARSTO-YOURLIFE INTERVAL WORKOUT PLAN Lower your “Fitness Age” with just two interval workouts a week BY MICHAEL RODIO
ou’re a 35-year-old desk jockey with the heart of a 60-something couch potato? Join the club, Jack. But there’s hope for you: Wisløff has created a seven-week program that primes your heart for a better fitness age—and burns plenty of fat—in just minutes of sweat. ¶ It’s all built around Wisløff’s lab-tested “4x4 interval training” workout: four minutes of high-intensity exercise, followed by three minutes of active recovery, repeated four times. ¶ The core concept is to blast your heart to 85–95% of its maximum rate—not quite all out but intense enough that you’ll be able to say only a few four-letter words by the end. Then you’ll you ll downshift to a three-minute active-recovery phase at 70% capacity—still moving, but moderately enough to catch your breath and scrub lactic acid from your muscles. ¶ The best part? You can do any kind of exercise you want—swimming, cycling, rowing, and running are popular, but anything will work, as long as you’re pushing your heart to the limit. With just two of these 4x4 workouts a week, Wisløff’s lab has made progress with everyone from untrained shlubs to elite athletes. After the fourth round, you should feel like you could have done another round. ¶ For Wisløff’s seven-week workout routine, check out mensfitness.com/4x4plan.
The truth Photographs by
By Bruce Falconer Christopher Griffith
Thanks to the explosion of testosterone-replacement therapy, which is officially a $2 billion industry, it’s never been easier for men everywhere to flood their bodies with man’s “fountain of youth.” Is easy-access testosterone good, bad, or simply benign? Here, one man suffering from the gnarly effects of low T searches for answers.
“Middle age,” according to several dictionaries and the American Psychiatric Association, begins at roughly 45 and runs all the way to 65. But for me, it actually came early—at 38. Until then, I’d always been an active guy—not a star athlete, to be sure, but someone who did calisthenics every morning, walked to work, and ran about 10 miles a week. I ate a balanced diet and was naturally slim. But then, last year, I inexplicably started gaining weight and feeling exhausted most of the time; mysterious, often-debilitating aches and pains began shooting through my muscles and joints. For much of the past 12 months I couldn’t even walk without the aid of crutches or an orthopedic boot, having developed an excruciating case of tendinitis in both feet simultaneously. It felt as if the bottom had fallen out of my life—like age had finally caught up to me and run me over. I fell into a depression.
To fight back, I sought out Michael Matthews’ 2014 book, Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body—an Amazon top seller—and read it with highlighter in hand. Following Matthews’ program, I switched to a high-protein diet of “clean” foods—lean meats, Greek yogurt, fruits, green vegetables—and made sure I got eight hours of sleep a night. I even lightened my schedule to reduce stress. In the gym, I became an early-morning regular, doing heavy compound lifts three days a week. I lost some fat, sure, but made only negligible gains in muscle mass. If anything, all that pumping iron caused my body to hurt only more. Nothing I did seemed to work; I didn’t feel any better. In fact, I felt only more exhausted, particularly at night, which, let’s just say, isn’t exactly great for a marriage. That was the final straw. Frustrated and confused, I scheduled an appointment with my primary care doctor for a blood test. Reviewing the results, he did a double take: “This can’t be right,” he said— never something you want to hear from a doctor. “Your testosterone is superlow.” He referred me to an endocrinologist, and two more blood tests confirmed it: My blood testosterone level was just 133 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl), well below the generally agreed-upon “normal” range of roughly 270 to 1,070. To put that into perspective, even the average male octogenarian in a nursing home scores in the upper 300s. As his words sunk in, all I could think about were those ubiquitous low-T ads on TV—the ones featuring handsome middle-aged men astride motorcycles in the desert, staring longingly into the distance, while voice-overs promising a new T therapy as a fountain of youth play on loop. Like just about every guy, I’d made fun of those commercials for years. I wasn’t that grizzled old dude already... was I? 86
NEVER BEFORE IN HISTORY HAS TESTOSTERONE BEEN SO READILY AVAILABLE.
D Y L A N C O U LT E R
Like it or not, I was about to find out. The endocrinologist couldn’t say for sure whether all my symptoms were the fault of testosterone deficiency, but he nevertheless recommended testosterone treatment, and I agreed.
P r e v i o u s s p r e a d : A r i a n a S a l v a t o /A p o s t r o p h e ; O p p o s i t e p a g e : G r o o m i n g b y W i l l i a m M u r p h y/A t e l i e r M a n a g e m e n t u s i n g D i o r H o m m e ; T h i s p a g e : S a m K a p l a n
THE “MAGICAL” WORLD OF LOW T
The importance of testosterone to male health has been understood since at least the 1930s. A steroid hormone produced in the testicles, T encourages the expression of male sexual characteristics like big muscles, body hair, an Adam’s apple, and a deep voice. It also boosts self-confidence, focus, motivation, aggression, and—perhaps most important to many men who don’t have enough of it—libido and the ability to get an erection. As males, most of us reach peak T by age 20, after which our levels tend to remain steady. After age 30, however, testosterone begins to decline by up to 1% per year. Scientists don’t know why, but as we grow older, T begins to recede like an outgoing tide. And as it falls, men experience a cascade of negative effects: depression, hot flashes and sweats, exhaustion, forgetfulness. Declining T also means declining muscle mass and bone density, and, of course, trouble getting it up. Which is why, more and more in this day and age, the push for—and ready availability of—testosterone-replacement therapy, or TRT, has become an issue. Never before in the history of medicine has testosterone been so abundant and readily available, from physicians as well as any number of low-T clinics that have sprung up across the country and online. The business of T is booming. Those low-T ads I mentioned? In 2012 alone, T-related advertising skyrocketed from $14.3 to $107.3 billion. By 2013, the FDA reported that 2.3 million American men had received prescriptions for supplemental testosterone. Only a year later, that number nearly tripled to 6.5 million, according to
Sorry, supershredded fellas, but that’s the baseline percentage of body fat you need if you want to maximize your baseline testosterone, according to Bradley Anawalt, M.D. If your body fat dips below 10%, it creates “the canary in the coal mine” effect, he says. In other words: Your body senses an imminent death. “The brain thinks you’re starving, so instead of vamping up reproductive function, it turns it down. T is the first of the hormones to fall out.”
IMS Health, a health-care research firm. The total value of the global TRT market already stands in excess of $2 billion but is anticipated to reach $6.5 billion by 2020, according to a recent report by Global Industry Analysts. TRT can take many forms, depending on the prescribing doctor: injections, adhesive patches, nasal sprays, oral ointments, subcu-
taneous pellets, and even suppositories, all of which have their pros and cons. But by far the most popular form of TRT prescribed both by low-T clinics and doctors is AndroGel, a clear gel you rub on your shoulders and upper arms once a day, every day, for as long as you want, even forever if you so choose. The reality is, these days you can get T from
THE HIDDEN TESTOSTERONE KILLERS The four things you need to steer clear of for the sake of your T levels
Heated plastics ■ Plastics contain a lot of chemicals that work as estrogen mimetics and can be bad for your T, says Brian St. Pierre, CISSN, C.S.C.S., of Precision Nutrition. When heated, plastics can release phthalates and BPA—both bad.
Products labeled “high fragrance” ■ The label “fragrance” means it contains “a phthalate compound,” says St. Pierre. “Your skin is your largest organ, and it absorbs what is put on it.” Look for phthalate-free soaps and deodorant.
Excessive booze ■ “Yes, consistent
Painkillers ■ Men who are on
heavy drinking lowers your T,” says St. Pierre. For the record, it’s the ethanol that hurts, but that doesn’t mean you have to cut it out completely. “Have limits,” says St. Pierre, advising a max of one to two drinks per day.
chronic-pain meds (especially opioids like oxycontin) can have superlow testosterone. According to Abraham Morgentaler, M.D., “Some of these guys have the lowest T we see—it’s a poison for the hormone system.”
anyone who can prescribe medication. Primary care doctors have proven themselves all too willing to hand it out on only their own authority: According to The New York Times, they’re responsible for upwards of 60% of all TRT prescriptions. It all begs several questions: Who really needs testosterone therapy? Should it be readily supplied to men who don’t medically need it but want it? And could T therapy—which was designed to help you—actually harm you instead? THE TROUBLE WITH TRT
CAN YOU MENTALLY PSYCH UP YOUR TESTOSTERONE? In the near term, it’s not as crazy as it sounds
our mind is more powerful than you think. Yes, this sounds ridiculous, but your T responds to a lot of social and psychological forces—including, amazingly, psyching yourself up. According to Emory University neuroendocrinology researcher and former D-I cross-country runner Kathleen Casto, a sport psychophysiologist, “Your T is constantly ebbing and flowing—it doesn’t stay one way. All kinds of social and psychological forces are at play.” ¶ Casto recommends positive self-talk to boost it in the near term. “Tell yourself, ‘I want to be the best,’ ‘I’m a winner.’ Belief in self and the degree to which you feel you are ‘born for this’ correlates to increased T.” She also suggests “imagining success in a contest against an opponent”—studies show that for some people, anticipating success may boost your T and could even lead to a short-term athletic and mental advantage.
no matter how TRT is delivered, it doesn’t cure low testosterone—it simply supplies a hormone your body’s already producing, which makes your natural tap shut off. TRT also causes your sperm count to crash to near zero—a critical consideration for younger men who might want kids. SO, WHO SHOULD AND SHOULDN’T TAKE TRT—AND HOW DO YOU KNOW?
NORMAL, HEALTHY 35-YEAR-OLDS DON’T TYPICALLY NEED TESTOSTERONE THERAPY. 88
According to the leading experts I spoke with, if you’re an older guy—well north of 50—and you suffer daily from those negative effects, seeking out TRT is a reasonable, healthy course of action. For example: You’re 65 and your testosterone has plunged to 250 ng/dl. You’ve most likely lost your sex drive and your ability to get a hard-on, and you feel
D y l a n C o u l t e r ; G r o o m i n g b y W i l l i a m M u r p h y/A t e l i e r M a n a g e m e n t u s i n g D i o r H o m m e ; O p p o s i t e p a g e : F o o d s t y l i n g b y L a u r a K i n s e y
Once you’ve started on T therapy, the results don’t take long to appear. After only a week or two of TRT, many patients, even those of advanced age, experience a significant increase in libido as well as a sunnier mood and a general sense of well-being, says Ronald Swerdloff, M.D., chief of the division of endocrinology and metabolism at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Of course, not everything happens so fast—other benefits, including improved strength and bone density, may take six to 12 months to manifest. But—and it’s a big but—along with the benefits of TRT come health risks as well. Physicians caution that taking T could hasten the growth of preexisting cancerous cells. Other documented side effects include, ironically, testicular shrinkage and infertility. TRT can also be dangerous for men with sleep apnea, worsening its symptoms. But by far the biggest concern is that taking T may increase red blood cells, which could lead to heart attack or stroke. For decades, drug companies pushed estrogen pills as an anti-aging elixir for menopausal women until, in 2002, a federal study found that estrogen therapy placed patients at significantly greater risk of breast cancer, heart attack, and stroke. As of yet, no such far-reaching clinical studies have been performed on TRT, leaving many questions about its safety and efficacy unanswered. Less serious, but still a concern, is the fact that TRT temporarily stops your body from producing T naturally. The fact is,
constantly tired and depressed. Plus, you’re losing muscle mass and your bones are becoming brittle and prone to fracture. For you, TRT is a sensible option. But if you’re a normal, healthy male in your 30s or 40s, you probably don’t need TRT. “If you go in and say, ‘Well, you know, in the past 10 years I’ve gotten more tired, I’m having trouble keeping weight off…’ that’s simply not enough—it’s a natural phenomenon!” explains Jacques Baillargeon, Ph.D., an epidemiologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. That’s not to say young men never need a T boost. According to Swerdloff, perhaps 5% of men suffer from a condition known as hypogonadism, which prevents these unlucky few from producing enough T on their own. For them, therapy makes sense. Bottom line, if you’re unhappy with your daily life due to a possible lack of T, then TRT is something to consider. But, leading experts agree, first you need to visit a urologist or an endocrinologist— specialists more adept at diagnosing and treating hormone deficiencies than the average family doctor or low-T clinic— to have your blood-testosterone level checked. Doing so requires at least two blood tests, ideally after fasting for 12 hours and as close as possible to 8 a.m., when oft-fluctuating T levels are at their highest. “A physician should have chemical evidence that a patient has a measurably low testosterone level” before TRT is administered, says Swerdloff. Shockingly, about one in four men undergoing TRT never seeks a blood test, meaning that up to a quarter of low-T patients are treating a condition they may not even have. Nevertheless, T prescriptions are being handed out left and right. “A lot of people are walking into doctors’ offices and asking for prescriptions, and doctors are complying, in part because they don’t want to lose patients,” says John Hoberman, author of Testosterone Dreams. “A lot of sloppiness and fraud comes when you just slosh this stuff out there and let every Tom, Dick, and Harry try it.” And it’s not just old Toms, Dicks, and Harrys—those guys in the commercials trying to get their sex lives back on track— who are seeking out prescriptions for T. “There’s a big interest in testosterone treatment among young, relatively healthy men, in order to enhance both appearance and strength,” says Swerdloff. Let’s say you’re a healthy 35-year-old guy with an average T level of 668 ng/dl, and you want some AndroGel to get jacked: You should definitely think twice about it. Sure, TRT can boost your testosterone
by hundreds of points in as little as a few weeks; but it can take you only so far. Landmark studies at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and McMaster University showed that if a man’s T levels are relatively higher but still in the normal range, he won’t build muscle any faster than a man with lower levels. No, if you really want to see huge muscle gains, you’ll have to push your T well into the thousands—for which you’ll need something a lot more potent than AndroGel. In other words, in no way should TRT be considered a legal alternative to steroids. OTHER ALTERNATIVES TO TRT
The good news is, if you feel your testosterone could use a boost but aren’t considering TRT, you can increase your levels naturally by adjusting your workout, diet, and lifestyle habits. At the gym, do more deadlifts and squats—leg-heavy exercises known to boost T. Eat more foods high in protein and vitamin D, such as steak, eggs, oysters, salmon, nuts, milk, and yogurt, and get a good night’s sleep, all of which help build muscle and up T production. Not surprisingly, raising T naturally takes work. While TRT can raise testosterone in a matter of weeks, changes in habits may take months or even years to achieve the same result. But consider the other benefits your healthier lifestyle will bring—not the least of which will be better overall well-being with no fear of side effects. In my case, my blood tests actually saved me from TRT. A month after my initial visit, I was back in my endocrinologist’s office for the results of a follow-up blood test. Put off by the prospect of infertility, I’d been very reluctant to go the TRT route, and opted instead for a clomiphene citrate, or Clomid. Designed to stimulate ovulation in women, the pills have also proven effective at raising T levels in men with secondary hypogonadism— that is, men whose difficulty producing testosterone stems from problems in the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland. In many cases, Clomid can prod the body into upping its production of testosterone. For me, it worked with a vengeance: A daily 25mg brought my masculinity roaring back. My T level nearly sextupled to 772 ng/ dl—a dramatic enough improvement that my endocrinologist lowered the dose. Most important, I now feel better. My aches and pains haven’t gone away completely, but they’re less noticeable than before, and overall I feel more energetic, confident, and, well, happy. Thankfully, I wasn’t that low-T guy after all. ■ LEVI BROWN
Raise your T levels by bulking up on vitaminrich foods.
THE ULTIMATE T-BOOSTING MEAL To boost testosterone naturally, opt for foods rich in B vitamins and minerals like zinc. This menu has them all, in spades.
One glass (8 ounces) organic skim milk ■ Skim milk contains less estrogen—a testosterone downer—than full fat but still has T-building protein. 2 to 3 cups freshly chopped kale and spinach… ■ Spinach and kale have plenty of magnesium, an essential mineral for maintaining high amounts of T. …tossed with 1 cup cooked butternut squash, chopped (skin removed)… ■ Slow-digesting carbs from starchy plants like squash tamp down blood-sugar levels, keeping T topped off. …topped with 5 to 6 ounces steamed oysters, marinated in lemon juice and roasted garlic (2 garlic cloves per 5 ounces) ■ Oysters are packed with zinc, a mineral that increases levels of testosterone and growth factor-1. D R E S S I N G : Use oyster marinade, plus 1 to 2 teaspoons of walnut oil ■ Nuts, and their oil, have good amounts of zinc and B vitamins, both essential for building testosterone.
Life in space—where your bodily fluids go haywire, your bones become brittle, and a your y muscles weaken at an astonishing rate—is pretty grim for us earthlings. That’s why, y as a NASA sets its eyes on taking that next giant leap into the future—deep space—it’s getting behind astronauts with a different kind of right stuff: crazy hardcore fitness regimens. By
Ron Berler Dan Winters
Shane Kimbrough trains for his expedition, an international mission, at Johnson Space Center, in Houston.
Miraculous things happen in space, roughly 220 miles above the Earth, where the International Space Station (ISS) speeds across the sky at about five miles per second. Here, where the ISS’s constant free fall over the planet’s horizon simulates the conditions of microgravity, you can twirl weightlessly, launch a 500-pound object with a small flick of a finger, and fly across the room, arm outstretched, like Superman in full save mode. In fact, visit Mission Control at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, with its theater-size video screen showing live what’s happening in space, and you’ll sometimes see firsthand an astronaut doing exactly that. But terrible things also happen to your body there—some catastrophic, some even irreversible. Spending just weeks floating out of the reach of gravity is equivalent to being in a lengthy hospital bed rest: Your blood volume drops, which means the heart has less blood to pump and begins to atrophy. With that go your stamina (from VO2 loss), your aerobic and anaerobic fitness, and your strength. Some of the bodily fluids in your lower extremities shift to your head, swelling your face and causing bruising headaches. One of those liquids, spinal fluid, flattens the back of your eyeballs and inflames your optic nerve, which may cause blurry vision and could even cause farsightedness, new research shows—in fact, almost two-thirds of astronauts who’ve spent months at the ISS have reported problems with their eyes. You also run a heightened risk of kidney stones. As if that’s not devastating enough, in a reduced-gravity environment, your bones lose minerals and begin decreasing in density at a rate of more than 1% per month. (By comparison, elderly men and women on Earth lose density at 1% to 1.5% a year.) This makes the bones weak and brittle and puts you at greater risk of osteoporosisrelated fractures later in life. Oh, and your muscles, including those in your spine, wither rapidly. Few know this better than astronaut Robert “Shane” Kimbrough. As 92
you’re reading this, it’s likely that Kimbrough is on his way or just back to Earth from the International Space Station, where since October 2016 he commanded Expedition 50, whose stated mission was, in part, to study the effects of microgravity on the body’s ability to heal and to research “how lighting can change the overall health and wellbeing of crew members.” Once the Soyuz Descent module has parachuted onto the steppe of Kazakhstan in central Asia, Kimbrough will return to NASA’s Johnson Space Center, where researchers will subject him to months, even years, of testing, evaluation, and rehabilitation to gauge the long-term effects of living in microgravity. What kind of extreme training does it take to endure, much less thrive, in space for months—and possibly years—on end? More important, what kind of man?
Except by express invitation, only astronauts and support staff can enter Building 26 at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Hidden inside this nondescript, buff-colored cinder block structure on the northeast side of NASA’s 160-acre campus is a high-tech, stateof-the-art fitness center where America’s 44 current astronauts train for their missions into space. Half the length of a football field, the gleaming, airy gym is as spotless as a showroom floor, with row upon row of resistive machines, stationary bicycles, free weights, treadmills, and elliptical trainers, as well as a half-court basketball floor and a 25-yard, two-lane lap pool—everything a fitness junkie could desire. On this warm May morning in 2016, several months in advance of his autumn space shot, Shane Kimbrough, an energetic, military-fit, 49-year-old retired U.S. Army colonel, is grinding his way through a cardio-and-weightlifting regimen designed to place as much stress on his body as possible and hammer his skeleton and musculature into near-superfit form. Kimbrough has been performing the routine for almost two years in preparation for his upcoming flight mission; in that time, he’s done enough running, lifting, and squatting to satisfy the most demanding of professional trainers—not surprising, since Mark Guilliams, who worked with the Houston Astros, is now NASA’s lead specialist on astronaut strength, conditioning, and rehabilitation. At this moment, Kimbrough, dressed in gray and black workout clothes, is standing astride a futuristic-looking “universal gym,” a piston-pulley-and-bar contraption called ARED (short for Advanced Resistive Exercise Device). He steps into its steel platform, slips beneath a weight bar attached to a pulley, spreads his feet shoulder-width apart, and does a set of squats. He sets down the weight, spreads his feet as wide as he can manage, into a sumo squat— one of the most demanding, full-body-blasting moves a human can do—then resumes lifting. He follows this with a third set of squats, this time standing on one foot. Then another set, balanced on the other, to work the hip-adductor
Kimbrough on the COLBERT treadmill. In 2016 one astronaut actually “competed” in the London Marathon on it during a space mission.
““It’s It’s really challenging to move a big, white suit that weighs about 300 pounds. Being able to control one takes strength and technique.” True believers say acupuncture increases blood flow and boosts recovery. Though no credible studies support that, none really dispute it, either.
muscles. He sets the weight down, changes the load, and does a set of punishing shoulder presses. And on and on until sweat is dripping off him, his workout gear soaked through. It’s all part of the targeted, intensely rigorous regimen that NASA’s physical training staff has devised in hopes of keeping the bodies of astronauts like Kimbrough from essentially deteriorating while being subjected to the harsh realities of space travel. Which is why, the day we meet him, Kimbrough is here sweating through yet another training session, readying his body for Expedition 50. Though, in truth, he’s been preparing to go into space his entire life.
From a very young age, Shane Kimbrough wanted to be an astronaut. His grandparents, who lived in Florida, would take him to the nearby Kennedy Space Center to watch the Apollo astronauts blast off. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were his first heroes. For college he chose West Point—“for the challenge,” the same reason he yearned to fly Apache helicopters. Eventually he served as a platoon leader in Operation One astronaut’s lifting gloves after a regimen dominated by squats and heavy deadlifts. Desert Storm in Iraq and was put in charge of six Apaches. He and his group flew nightly missions deep behind enemy lines, videoing the terrain that U.S. ground troops would cross when they eventually attacked. It was his joints in as many different planes as we could, so we threw him perilous work. “I’ve always been one of those guys—I just want to do everything just in case, so he’d be prepared. Maybe Soyuz lands five what people think I can’t do,” Kimbrough says. “If somebody says I hours away from where Mission Control thought you were going to can’t, I’m going to do it.” land, and you have to get out of the capsule, and it’s 30 below zero. You When he returned home, his flying experience got him a job training have to be ready for anything. An astronaut doesn’t have to be a great astronauts to land the space shuttle. Three years later, in 2004, NASA athlete, but he has to be fit overall. You’re better off being good at many chose him for its astronaut corps, where he began working with trainer things than really good at one.” Guilliams, who saw Kimbrough—a star pitcher during his years The big lifts are also important for astronauts not just while they’re at West Point—as a good athlete of average size who needed to get in space, but once they return home. For some, it takes months, even stronger if he wanted to actually fly missions. “He came from a military years to restore their bone mass. For others, it never fully returns. background and hadn’t done a lot of weight training,” Guilliams says. Kimbrough never wanted that to happen to him. “We taught him the squat, the deadlift.” In 2007, Kimbrough was assigned to his first mission, STS-126, Why those lifts? “It’s a question of gravity,” he explains. slated to deliver equipment and supplies to the International Space When gravity is virtually absent, as it is in space, demands on the Station in 2008. As is the case with every astronaut, at that point his body change, as do the body’s responses. Watch any video of an astrotraining regimen became targeted—meaning, Guilliams and his team naut maneuvering about the space station and you’ll see that he or designed a fitness program specifically for his body type and needs. she is like a monkey swinging through trees—all shoulders and arms. Because the reality is, just as you need to top off your gas tank before “With any muscle, if you don’t use it, the body just says, ‘OK, I don’t you start a road trip, you need to be jacked before you start a space need it,’ ” Guilliams says. “It’s the same thing with bone. If there’s no flight—your bone strength and musculature demand it. stimulus on the bone from standing or walking around all day, the “Mentally, being a guy who works out a lot, it just gave me some peace body says, ‘Well, I don’t need bone,’ and it starts withering away.” of mind,” Kimbrough says of the workouts he did to prepare preflight. Countering the risk of bone loss means emphasizing load-bearing Yet, even though the 16 days he spent in space weren’t enough to cause exercises. “Most of the bone loss we see is in the lower back, the femoral him noticeable bone loss, he did lose muscle strength that took him neck, and the greater trochanter, which is in the hip,” Guilliams says. several months of dedicated gym time to recover. “So we focus on hip-dominant exercises—squats and deadlifting. If that kind of damage can be done in just 2½ weeks, imagine the Those are the main exercises we build the whole program around. pummeling a body will take in expeditions that are more than five They’re also multijoint, multiplanar movements. We wanted to move months long. 94
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““I’ve I’ve always been one of those guys—I just want to do what people think I can’t do.”
Former U.S. Army colonel and Apache pilot Shane Kimbrough, currently a NASA astronaut.
Fortunately, since 2006, NASA has gotten better at not only training astronauts until they’ve reached a level of superfitness preflight but also helping them maintain their muscle and bone strength while they’re on the space station itself, via regular, hyperspecific exercise regimens using high-tech equipment that allows for complete, efficient workouts. Astronauts use three primary machines for the bulk of the workouts they do while living on the ISS: One is the ARED, the sci-fi-looking weightlifting contraption Kimbrough is pumping away at the day we meet him. The others—one a treadmill, the other a stationary bicycle— are also installed in both the NASA gym and the space station, so astronauts can get accustomed to them before they rocket into space. At the NASA gym, the bike, a Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation and Stabilization System—or CEVIS—is stationary. In orbit, CEVIS is little more than a box bolted to the floor with pedals protruding from each side, with a seat and handlebars. Thanks to microgravity, the version on the space station doesn’t have a seat or handlebars—instead, crew members just wear a pair of bicycle shoes, clip into the pedals, and pedal away, as if riding a unicycle. The exercise surface of the treadmill—the Combined Operational Load-Bearing External Resistance Treadmill, or COLBERT, for the talk-show host, a huge NASA fan—consists of a series of hard rubber, tanklike slats, rather than the bouncy belt loop you’d run on at a fitness club. According to Bob Tweedy, who trains crews on the use, maintenance, and repair of the three exercise machines, most astronauts prefer the ARED in space, because so many of them are into lifting.
The COLBERT treadmill is the easiest device to operate but also the most boring. (Unless you’re a runner. In April 2016, while aboard the space station, British astronaut Tim Peake “competed” in the London Marathon in real time.) For many, the CEVIS bike is the most difficult device to adapt to. “It’s hard to ride a bike in space,” Tweedy says. “You’re unstable, and you don’t have gravity. You’re not holding on to handlebars, and you don’t have any leverage to push the pedals down. You’re using the muscles of one leg to push that pedal down, and the muscles of the other leg to pull that pedal up. It’s a push-pull action, not push-push, like it is on Earth.” Needless to say, though astronauts may grumble about the machines, they don’t skip their daily workouts. They know the risks if they do. NASA’s detailed plan for Kimbrough during his space station stay: lifting 45 minutes to an hour at least six days a week, as well as adhering to a strict regimen of exercises designed by Guilliams and his team to minimize muscle atrophy and thinning bones. They reconfigured his routine every week or two to emphasize exercises that strengthen the body parts (hips, pelvis, lower back, legs, heels) most at risk for bone-mass loss and swapped out exercises in each routine every three days or so, mainly to avoid boredom. They changed reps and loads daily. Finally, they assigned him 45 to 60 minutes of cardio work on the bike and treadmill to increase the stamina needed to do tasks such as making repairs outside the space station. “The biggest thing, physically, that we did in 2008 was spacewalking,” Kimbrough says. “It’s really challenging to move this mass— the big, white space suits we have that weigh about 300 pounds. Being able to control one takes strength and technique. Every time we open and close our hands we’re fighting the pressure of the space suit, so they get worn out. We really do everything with our hands during a space walk and very little with our feet.” One big hole in NASA’s “space fit” plan for the future: Unfortunately, it’s still designing and testing exercise equipment compact enough to fit in a spaceship that will eventually carry astronauts to Mars—estimated to take place around 2030. For example, at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, project manager Gail Perusek and her Human Research Program team are developing compact devices that are a fraction of ARED’s mass and volume, while improving on performance and making them capable of supporting both short and long missions. The larger of them will be about a tenth of ARED’s size and suitable for a Mars mission. The smaller will be slightly larger than a shoebox, and support missions will be up to 21 days. “Basically, big enough to stand on for a wide squat, with good form,” Perusek explains. Crew members would be able to accessorize the new machines, Continued on page 124
YO UR BET T ER-BO DY B LUE PRINT Ed i te d by M i ch a e l S i m o ne
Hit the ropes to develop near- superhuman endurance.
Build a body that’s more than just a big slab of meat. Our three-day, ready-for-anything program (next page) is the ultimate combo of traditional lifts, hybrid modifications, and endurance challenges. Trim the extra fat—and keep it off—with our lean-eating meal plan (page 104), which is specifically designed for steady weight loss. And for your monthly dose of inspiration, check out a dude who lost 90 pounds—and increased his squat by 215% (page 120).
PHOTOGRAPH BY JAMES MICHELFELDER
Body Book Power up
Unbreakable YOUR READY-FOR-ANYTHING TOTAL-BODY PLAN
BY MIKE SIMONE // PHOTOGRAPHS BY JAMES MICHELFELDER
Looking big, strong, and durable is one thing. Being big, strong, and durable is another. Can you push, pull, or carry something incredibly heavy? How well do you sprint, jump, or climb—and do you have the stamina to keep it up for a sustained period of time? Instead of training for the pump, use this program to take your conditioning to a whole new level.
D AY 1
HOW IT WORKS
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PUSH AND CARDIO
This routine is built around foundational lifts, but with twists that are less conventional. Each day includes a unique challenge to break up a “routine” workout. In Day 1, battle ropes test your endurance, burning up your shoulders, arms, and even your lungs. Day 2 you’ll use the sled, a device that’ll put your entire body on blast. Finally, Day 3 is arguably the most gut-wrenching: Front-racked hang cleans to walking lunges and trap-bar deadlifts with farmer walks will expose and strengthen any weak spots. To be ready for anything, you need to take your body to the brink of failure and beyond. With this plan, three days are all you need.
Exercise 1: Bench press. Tucking in your elbows will save your shoulder joints.
Sets: 4 Reps: 10, 10, 6, 4, 4 Rest: 60/120 sec.
Rest 90-120 sec. after reps of 6 and below. Rest 60 sec. after reps above 6. Do these workouts on nonconsecutive days for two to four weeks. Do 10 min. of foam rolling before the workouts and 10 min. of yoga after.
Grasp the bar just outside shoulder width and slightly arch your back. Pull the bar out of the rack and slowly lower it to your sternum, tucking your elbows about 45 degrees to your sides. When the bar touches your body, drive your feet hard into the floor and press the bar back up. MARCH 2017
2) INCLINE BENCH PRESS
3) 3-PART PUSHUP VARIATION
Sets: 4 Reps: 10, 10, 6, 4, 4 Rest: 60/120 sec.
Sets: 3 Reps: 25 per variation (3) Rest: 60 sec.
Set an adjustable bench to a 30- to 40-degree angle and lie back on it. Grasp the bar just outside shoulder width, arch your back, and pull it off the rack. Lower the bar to the upper part of your chest and then drive your feet into the floor as your press it back up.
Place your hands on the floor at shoulder width. Keeping your body in a straight line, squeeze your shoulder blades together and lower your body until your chest is an inch above the floor. Position 2: Bring your hands close. Position 3: Place your hands outside shoulder width.
4) 3-PART BATTLE ROPE VARIATION Sets: 3 Reps: 30 sec. per variation (3) Rest: 60 sec.
Tuck your elbows into your sides and alternate pumping your arms up and down, creating alternate waves in the rope. Switch to a double wave, where your arms move in tandem. Then move each arm in independent circles in front of you.
5) DIP Sets: 3 Reps: 25 Rest: 60 sec.
Suspend yourself over the bars of a dip station and lower your body until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Add weight using a weighted belt or by holding a dumbbell between your feet. Program designer Mike Counihan is a NYC police officer and personal trainer. @nodonutshere
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S t y l i n g by B a r r e t We r t z; G r o o m i n g by C a s ey G e r e n / B e r n s te i n & A n d r i u l l i u s i n g C h a n e l; F i t n e s s Te c h : J e b S t u a r t J o h n s t o n
1) BENCH PRESS
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PULL AND CARDIO 1) DEADLIFT
5) DUMBBELL ROW
Sets: 6 Reps: 10, 10, 6, 4, 2, 1 Rest: 60/120 sec.
Sets: 5 Reps: 15, 10, 10, 8, 8 Rest: 60 sec.
Stand with your feet hip width. Bend your hips back to reach down and grasp the bar, hands just outside your knees. Keeping your back in its natural arch, drive your heels into the floor and pull the bar up along your shins until you’re standing with hips fully extended and the bar is in front of your thighs.
Rest your right knee and right hand on a bench and grasp a dumbbell with your left hand. Let the weight hang straight down. Retract your shoulder and row the dumbbell up and to your side. Squeeze your shoulder blades at the top and hold for one second. On the final two sets, choose a heavy weight and “cheat” it up, performing your reps explosively and with loose form. Switch sides with each set.
2) BENTOVER ROW Sets: 5 Reps: 10, 10, 6, 4, 4 Rest: 60/120 sec.
Grasp the bar overhand at shoulder width and let it hang in front of your thighs. Bend at the hips and lower your torso until it’s nearly parallel to the floor. Bend your knees a bit to take tension off your hamstrings. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull the bar to your belly.
3) SLED PULL AND PUSH
Exercise 1: Deadlift. If you’re having trouble with a slipping bar, try an overhand and underhand grip.
Exercise 3: Sled pull and push. Keeping your weight on your heels will engage your legs, saving your arms from fatigue.
Sets: 4 Reps: 20 yards down and back Rest: 60 sec.
Facing the sled, pull the straps taut with straight arms. Slightly bend your knees as you pull the straps in a row movement toward you. Then move behind the sled with your arms straight and flexed and drive it forward using slow, controlled steps.
4) PULLDOWN Sets: 5 Reps: 10, 10, 8, 6, 4, Rest: 60/120 sec.
Reach up and grasp the handle at a cable station. Pull it down to your collarbone, squeezing your shoulder blades together as you pull. 100
Exercise 5: Dumbbell row. For variety, nix the bench and alternate two dumbbells.
Body Book Power up D AY 3
LOWER BODY AND CARDIO 1) SQUAT Sets: 7 Reps: 15, 10, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, Rest: 60/120 sec.
Set up in a squat rack or cage. Grasp the bar as far apart as is comfortable and step under it. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and nudge the bar out of the rack. Step back and stand with your feet shoulder width and your toes turned slightly outward. Take a deep breath and then bend your hips and knees to lower your body as far as you can without losing the arch in your lower back. Push your knees outward as you descend. Extend your hips to come back up, continuing to push your knees outward.
2) HANG CLEAN TO FRONT-RACK WALKING LUNGE
Exercise 2: Front-rack walking lunge. Foam-roll shoulders/triceps before this move.
Sets: 3 Reps: 10 with 20-yard walks Rest: 60 sec.
Holding a barbell at shoulder width in front of your thighs, bend your hips and knees so that the bar lowers to just above your knees. Now explosively extend your hips as if jumping while at the same time shrugging your shoulders and pulling the bar straight up in front of you. As the bar reaches chest level, quickly slip under the bar and catch it at shoulder level with your upper arms. Complete 10 repetitions. Then step forward into a forward lunge. Continue walking for 20 yards.
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3) TRAP BAR DEADLIFT WITH WALK
Exercise 3: Trap bar deadlift with walk. For more of a challenge, try the suitcase deadlift. Place two loaded barbells side by side; lift and walk. The exercise has four points of instability you must balance.
Sets: 5 Reps: 10 with 20-yard walks Rest: 60 sec.
Stand with feet hip width. Bend your hips back and grasp the handles. Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, drive through your heels to stand up straight and extend your hips and knees. Walk 20 yards.
4) JUMP SQUAT Sets: 4 Reps: As many reps as possible in 30 sec. Rest: 60 sec.
With your feet shoulder width, squat down halfway, then jump as high as you can.
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THE SINGLEDIGIT BODY-FAT PROJECT To achieve the precise body-fat percentage that unsheathes your shredded physique, nutrition is key. With our sample three-day plan, you’ll learn how to melt fat while maintaining muscle for the long haul. By Jim White, R.D., Photographs by Linda Xiao
The secret to getting that cut, shrinkwrapped look of a fitness model: whittling your body fat down to 6% to 13% (depending on how much you want your abs to pop). To do that, you’ll need to cut about 500 calories a day and adopt a highintensity resistance-training program to add muscle and eviscerate fat. (You’ll lose about one to two pounds a week.) Use the three-day sample eating plan on the next pages to ensure that the weight coming off is actual body fat—not water weight—then create your own long-term plan.
To get this Swissbison-burger recipe (and all the others!), go to mensfitness .com/leaneats.
THE NUMBERS THE GUY
175 lb, 5'10 5'10", 0 " , 35year-old ye e a r-o o ld da active ctii ve e ma male a le e
Recommended R eco omme e nd ded Baseline B ase eliine e Macros Ma acro os CALORIES
2,100–2,300 2,10 0 0 –2,30 00 PROTEIN
1.7g 1.7g/kg g /kg g body bo o d y weight we e i g ht = 105g–115g 10 0 5g g –115g g protein p ro o te ein daily, d a i ly, 18g 18 8 g per p e r meal me eal (20% (20 0 % of o f total to o ta al calories) ca a lo o rii e s) C A R B O H Y D R AT E S
28 288g–316g 8 8 g –316 6 g to total o ta al (55% % to total o ta a l ca calories) a lo o rii e s) FAT
58 58g–64g 8 g –6 6 4 g (25% %o off total to o ta a l ca calories) a lo o rii e s)
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Body Book Chow down Singledigit fat: Sample Day 1 WORKOUT
• Drink 16 oz water BRE AKFAST
• 2 slices sproutedgrain bread topped with: 1 tbsp natural almond butter • 4-inch fresh banana • 1 cup skim milk MIDMORNING SNACK
• ¼ cup trail mix made with: Raw almonds, walnuts, pistachios, raisins • 1½ cups fresh pineapple • 1 protein shake made with: 20g protein powder LUNCH
• 3–4* oz pan-seared then baked salmon topped with: 1 tbsp BBQ sauce • 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes topped with: 2 tbsp raisins • 1 cup brussels sprouts, roasted
Supersimple BBQ Salmon
• 20 whole-grain crackers topped with:
2 oz favorite cheese
3-4 oz wild-caught salmon fillet
• 1 cup strawberries, grapes
Salt and pepper
• 3–4 oz grilled marinated chicken breast
tbsp BBQ sauce
1) Spray a nonstick pan with cooking spray and heat pan on medium-high. Season salmon with a pinch of salt and pepper, and add to hot pan. Cook skinside down first for 3 to 4 minutes.
• 1 cup tabbouleh • 2 cups salad made with: Tomato, cucumber, onion *4-5 oz raw, 3-4 oz cooked
2) Flip salmon and continue cooking for about 1 minute, then flip back. 3) Spread 1 tbsp BBQ sauce on top of salmon, then place in a preheated 350°F oven. Cook salmon until medium (or your desired doneness).
Salmon is brimming with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. 106
NUTRITION (PER SERVING)
210 calories, 21g fat, 11g carbs, 21g protein
FOR ALL THE GET-LEAN RECIPES, GO TO MENSFITNESS.COM/LEANEATS
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Body Book Chow down
Sample Day 2 WORKOUT
• Drink 16 oz water BRE AKFAST
• 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese topped with: 1 cup mixed berries ¼ cup low-sugar, low-fat granola 10 walnut halves MIDMORNING SNACK
• 1 cup quinoa topped with: ¼ avocado 2 boiled eggs 1 tbsp fresh salsa LUNCH
• Burger bowl made with:
1 lb ground chicken
½ onion, diced INGREDIENTS
1 garlic clove, chopped ½ bell pepper, chopped 1 bunch Tuscan kale Favorite spices 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 cup farro • 1 cup Tuscan kale sautéed in: 2 tsp olive oil
Sweet spot. Foods high in fiber and protein help you feel fuller longer, promoting weight loss.
cups old-fashioned rolled oats
cup chopped almonds
cup ground flax seeds
cup raw pumpkin seeds
cup chopped walnuts
cup golden raisins
½ cup dried unsweetened coconut flakes ½ cup sunflower seeds ½ cup chopped dried apricots
Sample Day 3
tbsp ground cinnamon
tsp vanilla extract Dash of nutmeg
• Chocolate-PB protein shake made with: 20g protein powder 1 tsp cocoa powder 1 tbsp peanut butter DINNER
• 3-4 oz baked trout • 1½ cups new potatoes roasted with:
• Drink 16 oz water BRE AKFAST
• ¾ cup cooked muesli topped with: ½ cup blueberries ½ cup milk • 1 whole egg + 2 egg whites, hard-boiled or pan-fried, topped with: ½ avocado
Salt, pepper, fresh rosemary • 1 cup asparagus, roasted
• 1 cup black beans topped with: 2 tbsp salsa 2 tbsp cheddar cheese • ½ cup brown rice LUNCH
• Turkey sandwich made with: 3 oz turkey breast 2 slices sproutedgrain bread ¼ avocado Fresh arugula • 1 medium apple
• 3-4 oz tuna packed in water
1) In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir.
• 2 cups fresh spinach • 1 cup wild rice
2) Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
• Bison burger made with: 3-4 oz bison 1 slice Swiss cheese Whole-grain bun • Salad made with: 2 cups greens and fresh veggies 2 tbsp vinaigrette
For all the program’s recipes, go to mensfitness.com /leaneats
3) When ready to eat, portion out ¾ cup muesli and add ½ cup low-fat or nut milk. Soak for about 1 hour in refrigerator or microwave for 2 minutes. N U T R I T I O N (PER SERVING)
330 calories, 15g fat, 36g carbs, 12g protein
Food st yling by Hadas Smirnof f; Prop st yling by Maeve Sheridan
Pinch of sea salt WORKOUT
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Body Book Supp spotlight Hydroxycut SX-7 Revolution supports energy and focus.
A cut above
All-new Hydroxycut SX-7 Revolution is the weight-loss supp that really delivers By James King
routine and you’ll be in head-turning shape year-round. When it comes to supps, this all hinges on consuming ingredients that have been shown to work. For example, caffeine
anhydrous should be included in any solid thermogenic, as it increases energy and enhances focus. Secondly, ensure that whatever you take is backed by clinical studies.
Weight loss backed by science ■ Hydroxycut SX-7 Revolution delivers the weight-loss ingredient C.canephora robusta which has been tested in two separate studies. In the first study, subjects lost an average of 10.95 pounds in 60 days with a low-calorie diet. In a second study, subjects lost 3.7 pounds in eight weeks with a calorie-reduced diet and moderate exercise.
he difference between looking pretty good and looking like you’ve been carved from stone like Michelangelo’s David, but with bigger pecs, is consistency. You need to consistently train with the proper intensity, note how you fuel up and recover, and understand which supps provide the best bang for your buck. Stick to that
Supplements promoted as the holy grail of fat loss are often underdosed and ineffective. While no weight supplement is a replacement for solid nutrition and training, adding Hydroxycut SX-7 Revolution to your plan can help you lose weight and increase your energy. Certain supp ingredients are preferably delivered as either a liquid or powder. Hydroxycut SX-7 Revolution’s dualcapsule combination pill combines the power of liquid and powder in one pill. With an impermeable membrane that keeps the highpurity ingredients separate, its dual capsule maintains the integrity of the ingredients by suspending them in their preferred states. Some guys would shrug that little detail off, but the details are what separate the leaders from the followers.
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Body Book Melt fat
Blast your gut away
These high-intensity sugar-burning workouts are tailor-made to trim your body’s flab by David Zinczenko
magine you’re out for a walk in the woods. During this leisurely stroll, your muscles are using a type of muscle fiber called slow-twitch fiber. These fibers circulate the oxygen you take in, and with every breath, burn off blood glucose and the glycogen stored in your liver. You’re not breathing hard, but if you walk briskly for 20
minutes or more, you’ll begin to run out of glucose. To replace that blood glucose, your body taps into your fat stores. Now imagine you hear a crashing noise behind you— it’s an enormous brown bear, out for blood. Suddenly you’re sprinting, and even though you’re fighting for as much air as you can get, it’s primarily stored sugar that’s propelling
you. Your muscles are on fire as you burn glycogen like mad! Suddenly, the bear gets distracted by a school of leaping salmon, and you collapse safely in a heap. Your muscles probably feel like Jell-O, because you’ve burned all the sugar out of them. If you start thinking about burning sugar when you exercise, and not about burning calories, you’ll see why
short, high-energy bursts of exercise make more sense— you burn off the stored sugar in your muscles, causing your body to melt down fat in order to replace the missing glycogen. The secret to cracking this seemingly impossible barrier: Exercise enough, but not too much. And here’s how it’ll happen: For six days a week, alternate between full-body toning
and strengthening workouts (for 15 to 30 minutes) and cardio interval workouts (only 10 to 30 minutes). The former adds the muscle mass you need to burn more calories and includes three sets of eight to 12 repetitions of pushups, dumbbell squats, and other exercises. The latter mixes short bursts of high-intensity activity with lessintensity “recovery” periods a routine periods, that studies have shown targets belly fat. Every day, do this simple and flexible one-minute-in-themorning energizer. This workout works with whatever energy levels you’re dealing with, getting you in the groove to move more throughout the day.
One-minute energizer on a stationary bike E V E RY D AY ( E V E N D AY 7 )
■ The three 20-second bouts of all-out effort, in between slow bouts of recovery movement, are all you need to gain significant physical benefits of exercise. You can also do the energizer on a treadmill or another cardio machine. > 2 minutes — Warmup. Pedal at an easy pace. > 20 seconds — Pedal as fast and hard as you can while maintaining control and good form. Don’t hold anything back. At the end, you should be huffing and puffing to catch your breath. > 90 seconds — Recovery movement. Slow to a very easy pace. Don’t stop; keep pedaling slowly until your breathing returns to a comfortable rate. As you near the 90-second mark, start to ramp up your intensity again. > 20 seconds — High-intensity exercise.
Adapted from David Zinczenko’s Zero Sugar Diet: The 14-Day Plan to Flatten Your Belly, Crush Cravings, and Help Keep You Lean for Life (BALLANTINE BOOKS)
> 90 seconds — Recovery pace. > 20 seconds — High-intensity exercise. That’s 6 minutes; you’re done!
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Body Book Hang tough HOW IT WORKS ■ Move through this circuit one time as
If you’re intimidated by 500 reps, cut them in half and go for 250.
quickly as possible, completing 50 reps per exercise. Rest as needed. For weighted exercises, select resistance where you can perform between 15 and 20 unbroken repetitions at full capacity. It’s suggested you try this in between rest days and after completing a normal program of four to eight weeks.
THE -REP CHALLENGE
TURN YOUR BODY INTO A FAT-BURNING MACHINE WHILE YOU TEST YOUR STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE
If you’re the type who loves walking out of the gym drenched in sweat and shaking with endorphins—this one’s for you. And we’re not just talking about pumping up your pecs and biceps. This is all-out war—not a single muscle will go untouched. No “runner’s high” can even touch the fix this workout produces.
BY MIKE SIMONE PHOTOGRAPHS BY JAMES MICHELFELDER
WATCH THIS NOW! GO TO MENSFITNESS.COM/500REPS
Body Book Hang tough 1) PUSHUP Reps: 50 Rest: 0
Pushup. To get more in one shot, slightly reposition your hands each rep.
Place your hands on the floor at shoulder width. Keeping your abs braced and your body in a straight line, squeeze your shoulder blades together and lower your body until your chest is an inch above the floor.
2) SQUAT JUMP Reps: 50 Rest: 0
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and squat down until your thighs are about parallel to the floor but no deeper. Jump as high as you can. Land with soft knees and begin the next rep.
3) INVERTED PULLUP
Dumbbell front squat. As you descend into the squat, squeeze your glutes.
Reps: 50 Rest: 0
Set a barbell in a power rack (or use a Smith machine) at about hip height. Lie underneath it and grab it with hands about shoulder-width apart. Hang from the bar so your body forms a straight line. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull yourself up until your back is fully contracted.
Squat jump. Your thighs must hit parallel to the ground to count as a rep.
4) NEUTRALGRIP DUMBBELL SHOULDER PRESS Reps: 50 Rest: 0
Stand tall holding a dumbbell in each hand at your shoulders. Turn your wrist so your palms face each other. Slightly bend your knees, then explode upward while pressing the weights over your head. For a complete repetition your elbows and shoulders should be locked out overhead. Thatâ€™s one rep. Slowly lower the weights back to shoulders and quickly repeat the process.
5) DUMBBELL FRONT SQUAT Reps: 50 Rest: 0
Workout by: Wyatt Krueger, Level-1 CrossFit instructor and owner of CrossFit Amherst, crossfitamherst.com
St yling by Christina SImonet ti; Grooming by Casey Geren/Bernstein & Andriulli using Chanel; F i t n e s s Te c h : J e b S t u a r t J o h n s t o n
Hold dumbbells at shoulder level and stand with your feet shoulder width. Sit back with your hips and lower your body as far as you can without losing the arch in your lower back.
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FROM THE MAKERS OF
Body Book Hang tough 6) RUSSIAN TWIST Reps: 50 Rest: 0
Hold a 12-pound ball with both hands and sit on the ground with your legs and feet slightly elevated off the ground. Extend your arms and explosively twist your body to your right. Twist to the left. That’s one rep.
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If you can’t do the Russian twist with your feet up, drop them to the ground and bend your knees.
7) PUSHUP RENEGADE ROW
9) BENCH HOP Reps: 50 Rest: 0
Reps: 50 Rest: 0
Stand on one side of a bench or low box and hop over it. Quickly hop back and forth for the prescribed number of reps.
Get into pushup position with dumbbell in each hand. Perform a pushup and then, in the up position, shift your weight to your right side and row the left-hand dumbbell to your side. Perform another pushup, shift your weight to the left, and row with your right hand.
10) MOUNTAIN CLIMBER Reps: 50 Rest: 0
Hold the ball with both hands and get into pushup position on the floor. Drive one knee up to your chest and then quickly drive it back while you raise the opposite knee.
8) V-UP Reps: 50 Rest: 0
Lie on your back on the floor holding the ball with both hands behind your head. Extend your legs. Brace your abs and sit all the way up. Raise your legs simultaneously and reach for your toes with the ball. Your body should form a V shape at the top.
Pushup renegade row. Beginners can eliminate the pushup and focus only on the dumbbell row portion. 118
Bench hop. Switch out for box jumps if you prefer.
For more hardcore, blood-pumping routines to test your fitness, go to mensfitness.com/ challenge
Available on iPhone , iPad , Kindle Fire , Nook and Android tablets and phones. TM
Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Kindle and Kindle Fire are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc or its affiliates. NOOK is a registered trademark of barnesandnoble.com LLC or its affiliates. Google Play is a trademark of Google Inc.
Body Book Be inspired
A scary cardiac episode led Johnathan Fuller to improved fitness— and a serious change of heart By Adam Bible / Photograph by Andrea Morales
ne ordinary day at his job crafting titanium knee implants for an orthopedic company turned very scary, very quickly for Mississippi’s Johnathan Fuller. ¶ Out of nowhere, he broke out in a profuse sweat. Moments later, a sharp pain shot through his chest. “I was in so much pain,” he says, “I fell down on my knees. I was really scared that I was about to die.” ¶ The discomfort continued for five long minutes. Though not a fatal heart attack, the crushing pressure that all but stopped his breathing told him it was time to regain control of his life. Overweight with a family history of obesity and heart disease, he knew it was time for a change. Here’s how he did it.
How long after the attack did it take for you to hit the gym? It was about a week. My brother Joel and I went to one and joined on the spot. He helped to keep me motivated. There were some days I would struggle to get there, but my brother would push me to go. How did your training progress? I started going six days a week, just kind of messing around with lifting weights and mixing in some cardio. When I started seeing results, it helped me keep at it. What kind of program did you use? I actually picked up a copy of the Men’s Fitness Exercise Bible to get started. I would go through it and find exercises I liked. Squats became one of my favorites, along with the bench 120
press. Honestly, I started off at about 95 pounds for squats, but my max now is 300. For bench press I could barely do the bar, but right now my max is 200. And I couldn’t even do a pullup. Now I can do 20, strict. What about your diet? How did that change? It was the empty calories I’d eat—Oreos, fast food—that got me fat. I was really bad with soda. Sprite was my favorite, and I’d hit up all of the usual fast-food places like Burger King, McDonald’s. So what happened? First off, I stepped up my protein intake, adding in more chicken breast, and eating fish like cod or sea bass. Going with the good carbs and staying away from the bad carbs was also key. I track calories now, and MARCH 2017
JOHNATHAN FULLER 28
Southaven, MS Height:
Total Pounds Lost:
Starting Body Fat:
Current Body Fat:
how many macros I eat a day. My intake is about 2,800 calories, with at least 175 grams of protein a day, and my carbs are at around 330 grams. I haven’t had a soda in three years. Now I drink nothing but water. So guessing no more Oreo binges either? Nope, no Oreos at all. If I do have a craving, I’ll make something healthy like a Greek yogurt cake sweetened with stevia.
What’s next for you? Right now, I’m trying to gain strength so I started doing CrossFit two days a week. Fran is one of my favorite benchmark WODs. I’m also still going to the gym regularly, and I’m also hoping to enter my first fitness competition next year. Long term, I want to make fitness my career path. I’m planning on going to school to become a nutritionist and chef since I really enjoyed
It’s your turn ■ Do you deserve to be a Men’s Fitness Success Story? If so, send before and after photos and your name, e-mail, and telephone number to us at successstories@ mens fitness.com.
learning to cook and eat right. Now I want to help others do the same.
Body Book Stay strong Try this…
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Power up! Low testosterone can hurt everything from your physique to your mood to your performance in the bedroom. These three supplements may reverse it.
■ According to a
■ This Asian food
■ Studies show that
study in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, Fenugreek helped to reduce body-fat levels and improve total testosterone versus a placebo in a doubleblind trial. Additional research has also shown it could help to boost libido. You can get it in curries (it’s used to flavor them) and teas, or as a supplement in TestroVax, by Novex Biotech, which promises to boost testosterone levels 42% in 12 days. ( novexbiotech.com )
staple has been shown to fight nausea, inflammation, and even cancer; and, according to a study published a couple of years back in the Tikrit Medical Journal, it may also help to significantly improve testosterone and semen quality in infertile men. The best way to get more ginger in your system is through your food. Add ginger to vegetable blends when juicing in the morning, grate some into a stir-fry, or add thinly diced pieces to Asian-themed chowders and soups.
consuming six grams of this ancient root for 60 days helped men with low sperm counts to improve the quality of their erections and also lead to more frequent sex. It also reduced fatigue in the bedroom. Furthermore, these guys’ T levels jumped by a whopping 16%. “Trib,” as it’s called, is thorny and bitter, so supplements like Vitaligenix T10 from MuscleTech (packed with 125mg of the stuff) are generally the best way to consume it. ( vitaligenix.com )
FOR MORE ON LOW T, CHECK OUT THIS MONTH’S TESTOSTERONE FEATURE, STARTING ON PAGE 84.
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R E C O V E R Y (continued from page 83)
game of soccer. He kayaks. In November, he ended one e-mail to me with “good cross-country skiing conditions here now!” Wisløff views the 4x4 training as a key fitness intervention, something everyone should and can integrate into the fitness routine that they’re already doing. “When I stopped playing soccer, and I got kids, I became more inactive. But when I started to become active again, I would do interval training two times one week, then three times the next, and that’s a really good way to improve fitness quickly,” Wisløff says. “It’s an oxygen cure.” Stay Young Tip No. 6: Choose Your Devices Wisely By now you’ve probably realized that many popular device-based approaches to improving fitness just don’t pass muster when you’re trying to reduce fitness age. Walk 10,000 steps per day? Why? Your heart rate is never going to get anywhere close to a range where you can lower your fitness age. Exercise for 150 minutes per week? Sure, that sounds good. But what’s your real output going to be? Heart rate is a better measure, but Wisløff realized that on its own, it didn’t mean a whole lot. “I’ve been struggling and trying to find how we can translate changes in heart rate into a meaningful index that actually tells me if I’m doing enough exercise per week to be protected against lifestyle-related diseases,” Wisløff says. What he came up with was a new metric called Personalized Activity Intelligence (PAI), which is basically Wisløff ’s fitnessage calculator in weekly-exercise-plan app form. Your PAI goal is to maintain a weekly score of more than 100. That’s the point at which Wisløff ’s studies show that a man’s risk of cardiovascular disease gets reduced by 17%. (After that point, you’ll get fitter, but your risk of cardiovascular disease won’t significantly decrease.) A couple of exercises per week that in total raise your heart rate so you breathe heavily for about 40 minutes will give you 100 PAI. You can get it also by exercising at moderate intensity for a few hours. The higher the intensity the more PAI you earn. It absolutely can be achieved by low to moderate intensity as well. Daily workouts are not required. “The data is so clear. You don’t need to exercise every day; you just need to have 100 PAI per week,” Wisløff says. So superintense workouts like 4x4 interval training can easily be spaced out with rest days or days of lowintensity workouts, and you’ll still be bulletproofing your body and health. By that point, you might even be able to compete with Wisløff. His fitness age, he told me, is below 20. ■
R O C K E T P O W E R (continued from page 95)
adding or subtracting parts for different exercises, kind of like a detachable Swiss Army knife. Its functionality as a universal gym would remain; it would also include a rowing-machine element that would replace, aerobically, the stationary bike and treadmill. The plan, according to Perusek, is to develop an International Space Station version and transport it there in 2020 for testing.
Unfortunately, physical decline isn’t the only hazard of life in microgravity. Even if perfect exercise equipment is invented and optimized for the space station and longer missions, unsolved and unavoidable hazards remain. On the space station you’re exposed to 10 times more radiation than on Earth. And the farther out you venture, the worse the threat from “treacherous” (NASA’s word) galactic cosmic rays, which can increase your cancer risk, damage your central nervous system, and cause heart disease. Case in point: Apollo astronauts who went to the moon—the only humans who’ve flown past the Earth’s protective magnetic shield—died of cardiovascular disease at a significantly higher rate than astronauts who flew only lowEarth orbit or never flew at all, a recent study found. Other new research suggests that the radiation on a planet as far away as Mars could even cause brain damage and cognitive impairment similar to dementia. Not surprisingly, it’s this radiation that could eventually turn out to be the deal breaker—though we wouldn’t bet against NASA finding a solution for even that. For the time being, it works to continually improve anti-radiation shielding in the space station, monitor crew members’ levels to keep them in the best-shielded locations, and put them on a diet rich in antioxidants to further reduce radiation risks. Kimbrough, who plans to remain in the astronaut program following his mission, is focused on the things he can control now and in the near future. He’s an evangelist for NASA’s fitness research findings. “All the data we get from all these people who’ve flown have shown we need to do this full-body workout. You don’t need to have this giant chest and nothing else. You don’t need to have giant legs and nothing else. You need to be well-rounded.” Guilliams concurs. “There’s a ton of science to this,” he says. “A lot of what we’re doing is trying to figure out the best way to train in flight, so when astronauts do get to Mars, they can continue to do their job. That will be part of Shane’s mission. We hope to learn a lot from what he experiences.” ■
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Money mentor Is Apple losing its mojo? What exactly is President Obama’s economic legacy? And should we abolish the corporate income tax? Fox Business Network’s senior correspondent CHARLES GASPARINO shoots you straight.
Is Apple’s dominance cracking? I saw that its shares have fallen. C A M E R O N P. , C H A R L O T T E , N C
Well, let’s look at the facts. On paper, Apple CEO Tim Cook has had a great run since taking over in Cupertino, CA, after the death of longtime CEO Steve Jobs in 2011. At press time, shares are up well over 100% since then. Cook has taken on and won over hard-nosed activist investors who questioned his direction of the company, such as Carl Icahn. And Apple remains the crown jewel of Silicon Valley. Frankly, most CEOs would give their right arm for Cook’s stock performance. ¶ At the same time, however, shares have traded largely flat over the past year, and that’s because Cook can’t seem to kick the innovation knock. Analysts and investors continue to worry about the next Apple product and scoff at what Cook is saying about the future, like his recent musings about an Apple self-driving car. ¶ I fear that Wall Street is always right about such things, and I’m pretty sure investors sold Jobs short more than a few times over the years, but there’s a good reason why investors remain skeptical about Tim Cook, and that reason should give anyone who wants to load up on Apple stock, particularly at these levels, some pause. It’s completely fair if you’re an investor in the stock and are wondering whether to load up on more or take your winnings now—because it remains to be seen whether Apple’s best days are ahead of or behind it.
The Obama era is over. What do you think his economic legacy will be? M A R K M . , S A N B E R N A R D I N O , C A
Is it crazy to abolish the corporate income tax? Yes. One of the reasons why we have high corporate income taxes in this country is so that we can have somewhat lower individual income taxes and not have a deficit that’s even bigger than we already have. ¶ But that doesn’t mean the U.S. corporate income tax shouldn’t be lower. ¶ Only two other countries have higher corporate tax rates than the U.S.’s combined federal and state tax of 38.9%: the United Arab Emirates and Puerto Rico, two places that don’t exactly break records for job creation. In many ways the U.S.’s corporate taxes have backfired, as businesses try to avoid them, often finding a smaller foreign company to buy their operations so they can reduce their tax bill, and keeping trillions of cash in overseas accounts. ¶ President Donald J. Trump made lowering the corporate tax rate one of his signature economic issues. ¶ Now that Republicans control the House, the Senate, and the White House, look for corporate taxes to get reduced significantly as part of a broader tax-reform effort. The point man on this will be Wisconsin Congressman and House Speaker Paul Ryan, who knows every inch of the U.S. tax code. ¶ But to return to your question: No, you don’t want to abolish the corporate tax rate. You want to lower it in a way that doesn’t bust the budget and cause deficits to grow, interest rates to spike, and then the economy to stall. But if lawmakers find the right rate, look for businesses to stay here in the U.S. and repatriate trillions of dollars from overseas accounts.
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The economic legacy of the Obama era will be something that will divide liberal and conservative economists for years to come. President Obama came to office in the middle of an economic crap storm. But he also had the tools available to make things better—he could’ve cut taxes so businesses could hire more, he could’ve tried not to demonize all rich people through his words and his tax policies. ¶ Instead, he passed the well-intentioned but misguided Obamacare, which created additional tax burdens and regulations and ultimately led to massive premium increases paid not just by the rich but by middle- and working-class people. He passed a major stimulus bill that didn’t do much to create shovel-ready jobs. ¶ However, President Obama’s biggest economic accomplishment, no doubt, was a raging stock market, which climbed from about 8,000 on the Dow just after he took office to nearly 20,000 as of this writing. ¶ And yes, the headline numbers look pretty good as Obama’s term comes to an end: some GDP growth, low unemployment, and a strong stock market. But those numbers become more suspect the closer you look. In some part unemployment is declining because people are dropping from the workforce, GDP growth is pretty low by historical standards, and the stock-market boom has, unfortunately, helped only a small segment of the population.
“The economic legacy of the Obama era will divide economists for years to come.”
A lot of economists across the whole of the political spectrum seem to agree that we should abolish the corporate income tax completely. Is that as crazy as it sounds? J O H N H . , C H I C A G O , I L
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