Here’s the quick elevator pitch:
1. Our goal is to help you reach your fat loss & physique transformation goals in the most effective, efficient, and sustainable ways possible.
2. Our mission is to streamline that process down into simple, straightforward, and actionable strategies.
3. Our focus is fluff-free. Most of the fitness industry focuses on selling you a bunch of bullshit that you don’t really need, or on minutia that doesn’t really matter that much in the end. We’d rather use our formal education, research, and practical experience to cut through the crap, and get down to what works in the real world.
4. Our hope from there is that you take some personal accountability, stop chasing magic pills, improve your daily habits, and start taking consistent action towards your goals. Other than a few outliers, this is the only real Way we believe you will ultimately get to where you want to go.
5. Our style is to sprinkle in a little Warrior & Wave Man philosophy for a well-rounded lifestyle approach, and a little Miyaki-style humor so neither of us get bored as hell during our time together.
Here’s the long road trip pitch; the drunken, rambling, talk your ear off, tell you how much I love you, full story. If we wake up next to each other at the end of it, I’m sorry for any inappropriate things I might have said or did…
We’re trying to show people how they can achieve a cosmetic, out of this world, some other planet look, which is the kind of body I go for. — Vince Gironda
1. We focus on training and nutrition programs geared specifically towards slashing body fat, building lean muscle, and looking good with your shirt off, pants off, or walking around naked. Give us a show baby. Don’t be shy.
2. Improving biomarkers of health and overall wellness is a part of what we do too, but nothing we write or teach is meant to treat any specific medical condition. For that you will need treatment from a healthcare specialist or medical nutrition therapist. Don’t trust your health to fitness marketing material, or some self-proclaimed guru trying to build a platform by proclaiming his pee-pee can cure every disease on the planet.
3. There is certainly a lot of overlap with programs geared towards other fitness goals – getting Donkey Kong strong, running as fast as Usain Bolt or as far as Forest Gump, improving your numbers and times in physical challenges, becoming your local boot camp champion, seeing how many pull-ups you can do while simultaneously winning the Air-Sex World Championships (this really exists), etc. But never forget our primary focus here is on physique enhancement. We want you to look Ron Burgundy or Veronica Corningstone-style good, and be confident enough to Free Little Willy or Unleash Thelma & Louise at Da Beach.
4. One of the additional areas we focus on is integrating movements from yoga, martial arts, corrective exercise, mobility programs, and biomechanically-based isolation exercises and stretches in order to offset the seated computer posture, improve muscle imbalances and alignment, reduce chronic pain, and prevent injuries. While we’re into Yoda’s wisdom, we don’t want you to end up looking and moving like him.
5. Many have moved away from focusing primarily on physique enhancement because of the negative association with extreme juiced up bodybuilders, crazy pill-popping fitness diva disasters, and the physique-at-all-costs mentality. That’s not what we’re about here. We’re more about finding sustainable lifestyle plans that help you live lean year-round without giving up your health, wellness, career, sanity, or social life. To be 100% honest, if you are willing to give up everything just to get the body you want, there are probably others out there who can help you better than we can. I ain’t no preacher, and you gotta do what you gotta do. But I’ll just say this — I know some extreme athletes and cutting edge biohackers think they can outsmart their internal physiology and negative feedback loops, but I haven’t seen too many win that battle in the long run. What I’ve seen a lot more of is fantastic short-term results followed by long battles with weight rebounds, yo-yo’ing, natural hormone production, and emotional issues.
6. But we’re not at the opposite, infomercial extreme either – you know the scammers that promise you can eat whatever you want, never workout, and just take a few magic pills to reach your physique goals. That’s horse shit of the highest kind my friend, so stop snacking on it. The tough love truth is that you’ll need to take some personal accountability and put in some effort to reach your goals. It’s not always easy, but it’s not impossible either. If you’re a lazy bastard or broad looking for the quick fix, we’re not da crew for you.
7. While there are always a few good nuggets of gold discovered from time-to-time, the foundation of efficient fat loss and physique enhancement plans hasn’t changed much over the last few decades, and never will. Real foods, free weights, and basic methods can get the job done. While fads and trends come and go, the fundamentals have stood the test of time for one simple reason – they work.
8. 80% of the fitness industry is geared towards selling you a bunch of bullshit that you don’t really need, on minutia that doesn’t really matter, on purposely confusing you so you come back for more, or on researchers and coaches overcomplicating things in order to justify their credentials, impress other colleagues, or project an aura of intellectual superiority. We’re more into efficiency through simplicity, cutting through the crap, hacking away the unessential, and getting down to what actually produces results in the real world. After nearly 20 years in the game as an athlete and coach, I can tell you the following with confidence. While the science behind them is crazy complex and could take a lifetime to learn, the practical application strategies, the “what to do” of the most effective programs on the planet, are the simplest ones on paper. Easy? Not always. You’re gonna have to grind sometimes. Simple and straightforward? Yes.
9. Get in the calorie deficit necessary for fat loss, eat enough protein to support lean muscle mass and improve satiety, adjust your carb and dietary fat intake up or down based on type, volume, and frequency of exercise as well as individual metabolic condition (lean towards lower carbs for sedentary, obese, and insulin resistant and towards higher carbs for athletes and regular high-intensity exercisers); emphasize mostly real, whole, natural foods over highly refined, processed, and fast foods; find a diet structure that is practical and sustainable for you (you can do the fitness 6 small meals a day and starve at night thing, but research shows that is completely unnecessary, and you can get equally good fat loss results eating the traditional 3 meals a day with a higher percentage of calories and carbs at night — which is way easier and more enjoyable for most of us with real careers and some kind of sex and social life), strength train to build lean muscle mass and shape, tighten, and tone the body (yes, you too ladies); increase non-exercise specific activity (i.e. walk more as part of your day/for an errand, take a hike pal, have more sexy time with your significant other) for some extra fat loss. Be as consistent as you can, and then peel (off the layers) and reveal. Boom.
10. And THE most important step – taking action baby. These days people read, talk, theorize, and debate in forums a hell of a lot more than they actually “do” in the real world. We can’t stand for such uselessness. If you want to reach your goals, you have to take the first step today (not tomorrow), and then continue putting one foot in front of the other and walking on (not talking on and on).
11. In other words, the key is Kaizen – moving one step closer to your goals on a daily basis through action. Not whining about where you are at, or sitting back and overanalyzing about which path will get you to where you want to go. Take some steps, then assess and adjust as necessary.
12. On that note – We have a ton of articles, posts, interviews, and videos on this site. But if you’re new, it is easy to get lost in the sea of content. Here’s the best, most up-to-date stuff to get started with:
And since you are new, you need to know we always take care of our crew. What the hell does that mean? Well, I’m up at 5am every day, writing away, doing the best I can to create useful content, and share targeted strategies regarding the natural physique transformation way. Make sure you subscribe below to get all of my new stuff for free:
If you just care about the vanity side of things, you’re done. But the other things we’re into on this site are Warrior Strategy & Wave Man Living. If you’d like to know what that is all about, read on…
No matter what it is, there is nothing that cannot be done. If one manifests the determination, he can move heaven and earth as he pleases. — Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai.
The journey of a thousand ri proceeds step by step, so think without rushing. Understanding that this is the duty of a warrior, put these practices into action, surpass today what you were yesterday, go beyond those of poor skill tomorrow, and exceed those who are skillful later…See to it that you temper yourself with one thousand days of practice, and refine yourself with ten thousand days of training. – Miyamoto Musashi.
1. Some people use martial arts just to kick ass. Cool. But to some, it becomes a much deeper and defining influence in their lives. It is a gateway to gain self-awareness, confidence, and focus. And the lessons learned in the dojo can be used to improve in all other areas of life.
2.For whatever reason, physique training has been to me what martial arts have been to so many others. And I don’t mean the process of trimming the pubes, slapping on a fake tan and a dong thong, and prancing around on stage like Magic Mike. Nor do I mean flexing for professional photo shoots or annoying “selfies” like Zoolander. I mean the actual athletic process of training with weights to transform the physique.
3. While it’s the body composition change that motivates us in the beginning, sometimes it’s the character change that ends up being the true transformation.
4. Maybe I’m just a hippie making it out to be more than it really is, but committing to some type of athletic lifestyle has provided me with a solid foundation in this chaos called life, and my journey in particular, which of course has been full of ups and downs, successes and failures, achievements and disappointments. I have always been able to find comfort, peace, escape, value, and a sense of purpose in the gym, regardless of whatever else was going on around me.
5. More importantly, the lessons learned in the gym (the strength trainer’s version of a dojo) — discipline, delayed gratification, sacrifice, commitment to a craft, and perseverance — have helped me in all other areas of my life. At the very least, it taught me how to put my energy (both positive and negative) into something constructive rather than destructive. I believe it can provide you with some of the same benefits.
6. Bruce Lee merged philosophy, and this mind-body-spirit connection, into his martial arts training. He saw something bigger in the sport, as a tool not just for physical conditioning, but also for self-awareness, self-help, and personal growth. I am in no way talented or knowledgeable enough to proclaim I can do the same thing in the fitness space. But I do get tired of talking about 6-packs, squats, spandex, and the same shit all of the time. And even the biggest of meatheads and fitness divas must know there is more to life than personal mirror reflection time. So we both must branch out to find a little balance.
7. And besides, if all you do care about is cosmetic change, there is something that many physique enthusiasts, athletes, coaches, and writers often overlook. Even the best, most scientifically based, most anecdotally proven programs on the planet are meaningless unless they are actually applied. Research and planning will only take you so far. It is implementation that matters most. So we can all use a little kick in the ass from time-to-time in order to get shit done. That’s where warrior strategy comes in.
The Master gives himself up to whatever the moment brings. He knows that he is going to die, and he has nothing left to hold onto: no illusions in his mind, no resistances in his body. He doesn’t think about his actions; they flow from the core of his being. He holds nothing back from life; therefore he is ready for death, as a man is ready for sleep after a good day’s work. – Tao Te Ching.
Life’s not about money. Look at achievements, accomplishments. It’s about having fun. It’s about enjoying life. – Mike Ditka
1. Getting fit, getting rich, and just getting shit done in general is one thing. But getting shit done for the right reasons, knowing what you are truly fighting for, and ultimately finding your passion, your purpose, and peace of mind is something else entirely. Most people bury these true keys to happiness under the responsibilities and grind of daily life.
2. In the Internet Era, we all seem to be way too freaking anxious and stressed out all of the time, mostly over meaningless shit. We get caught up in projecting a perfect PR image and improving our social status vs. being authentic, honestly expressing ourselves, personally growing, and truly connecting with others. We are completely miserable trying to “keep up with the Joneses” or follow the path we are supposed to vs. the one that we truly want, or is the right fit for us. We live by other people’s core values instead of finding and following our own.
3. It is because we forget to meditate on, or at least accept and respect death. We live like we are just going to go on living forever, whether in this life or the next. Thus we take everything for granted, focus on the wrong things, ignore what really matters, procrastinate, turn minor problems into major disasters, etc. We settle, because we believe there is always time to improve some other time down the line. Happiness and personal fulfillment can wait for another day. Bullshit man. The sands of time are ticking away and can’t be stopped. They can run out on you or I today for all we know. That’s where Wave Man Living comes in.
4. Rōnin literally translates to Wave Man, a samurai that serves no master and is socially adrift. But not all who wander are lost. The most famous rōnin was Miyamoto Musashi. He was a warrior who did not follow traditional conventions or social standards. Authenticity, daily growth, and self-mastery mattered most. He spent his life perfecting his craft, learning martial strategy, gaining philosophical insights, constantly testing and improving his skills in battle, creating his own fighting system, and his own way of life.
5. History often remembers rōnin in a negative light, but I like to think of them as warriors who had the courage to pursue self-knowledge, self-help, and their own style vs. mindlessly clinging to dogma, archaic traditions, social shackles, or peer pressure. You don’t have to become a hippie hobo to benefit from this lifestyle approach. All you have to do is have the patience to find, and courage to follow your own path, regardless of what others may think. This can be applied to any industry, career, or pursuit.
6. Combine that with a little Aloha spirit where Kalai is from, and a little beach dude mentality where I’m from, and that’s history’s mystery of who we are. Treat people like family, focus on kicking ass in what you can control, and be calm and flexible enough to roll with the rest. I don’t know, I think it’s a good way to live, and could help you out if you seem to be struggling. But I could be wrong, and it certainly ain’t for everyone.
7. So you see, sometimes its time to buckle down, rise above, commit to a cause, persevere, and get shit done. That’s where Warrior Strategy comes in. Sometimes its time to loosen up, roll with it all, choose yourself, follow your gut, blaze a few trails, and have a little fun. That’s where Wave Man Living comes in. It’s not The Warrior or The Wave Man. We believe a good life includes both The Warrior AND The Wave Man. It’s like our version of Yin & Yang.
If that sounds like something you are into, I wrote a book that includes strategies from both in order to overcome any challenges you are facing in life. You can check it out here:
OUR VAGABOND APPROACH
He studied all the traditional philosophies, but then he began to form his own philosophy, and he came to the realization that you just can’t borrow another person’s philosophy. You have to learn about yourself and create your own philosophy, your own way of life. — Linda Lee (on Bruce Lee).
There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself. ~ Miyamoto Musashi
Maverick Definition: An unorthodox or independent-minded person. An independent individual who does not go along with a group or party. An individualist, non-conformist, free spirit, loose cannon, loner, lone-wolf.
1. Does that sound like a dude who wants to create a cult or culture of co-dependency, who wants to project himself as a guru, an all-knowing authority on anything, or who wants you to blindly follow him rather than believing in yourself? I think not my friend.
2. I know that’s the trend in the “health and fitness”, “wellness”, and “life coaching” industries, but it ain’t our style. While we all need help, external motivation, and good resources from time-to-time, no one can be your savior except yourself. I’d rather do what I can to give you the knowledge and confidence to follow your own path. My goal with this site is to share some strategies and tools that ultimately help you find your own sustainable style vs. getting you to pledge allegiance to anyone, including me. Do you want to be a hawk that can hunt on its own or a baby bird waiting to get fed?
3. I’ve followed Bruce Lee’s advice of self-awareness, self-help, and self-experimentation over blindly following dogma, tradition, or systems, to find what works for me. Hence, the Vagabond Strategist Style = use whatever weapons work. I encourage you to do the same.
There is no external help. The problem lies in asking somebody else to solve your own problem instead of asking yourself. I can give you ten thousand of my ways, but they are my way, not yours. An individual’s questions are answerable only by the individual himself, and nothing would be gained by his sitting in on a recital of mine… Independent inquiry is needed in your search for truth, not dependence on anyone else’s view. – Bruce Lee.
Research your own experience. Absorb what is useful. Reject what is useless. Add what is specifically your own. — Bruce Lee.
4. My nutrition approach includes principles from Paleo/Evolutionary Nutrition Theory, Sports Nutrition Research, and Natural Bodybuilding Experience. My training approach contains strategies I’ve learned from biomechanics, exercise physiology, martial arts, corrective exercise, capoeira, gymnastics, professional wrestling/stunts, yoga, and physique training. My personal philosophy is a mix of notes and quotes from Miyamoto Musashi to Mike Ditka, from Bruce Lee to Ron Burgundy, and of course, this crazy bastard:
5. So how can I say that I’m a guru that can provide you with an exact system you should follow, in anything? I can’t. I don’t believe in it. I see myself as an athlete and lifelong student first, not a coach. I’m learning, growing, evolving, and getting better every day, and simply sharing what has helped me along the way. And I’m too busy and happy enjoying my own life to spend all day, every day giving guru advice.
6. What I do believe in is creating great content (vs. creeds), resources (vs. rules) informed but flexible guidelines (vs. set systems), and getting you to a targeted ballpark starting point based on your individual situation. These will give you the best chance at succeeding with your goals. From there, you must take personal accountability, and test, assess, and refine in the real world to ultimately find what works best for you. I (or any other coach) doesn’t know you better than you do. That’s not what the gods or gurus will tell you, but its the truth. I know that style doesn’t always work for everyone, so there will be no hard feelings if you need something else. But I gotta stick to what I believe.
7. And what do I believe? Books are the best teachers baby. Here is a long-ass blog post, perhaps the best thing I’ve ever written, as to why I believe that 10 REASONS BOOKS ARE THE BEST TEACHERS
A teacher, a really good teacher, functions as a pointer to truth, but not a giver of truth. He employs a minimum of form to lead his student to the formless. Furthermore, he points out the importance of being able to enter a mold but not being caged in it, or to follow the principles without being bound by them. – Bruce Lee
1. Our mission on this site is simple — we want to help you feel more comfortable and confident in your own skin. Whether that is through Physique-Focused Fitness stuff to help you look a little better, some stretching and mobility stuff to help you feel a little better, or some Warrior and Waveman strategies to help you live a little better; we dig sharing what has helped us, and believe can help you. But that’s all we really can do. Like I said in the Books Post above, I don’t believe people can be coached. We can be guided, and given good resources, but ultimately for anything to actually “stick”, you have to believe you’ve discovered it yourself, from your own experiences, expertise, and beliefs. Our egos and entitlement are too big these days for anything else to work. I know other coaches feel differently. So be it. But we can only help you the best way we know how. And after 15 years in the game, that is what I’ve come to believe. Maybe I’m just a shitty coach? I’m fully prepared to admit that as well.
2. Regardless, to fulfill our mission on this site, we are going to try and educate, not dictate. We want to provide you with great content, not coach you.While I do work with some clients offline, for whatever reason the individual interactions and overall vibes are different in person. Its like two teammates getting after it and grinding away together vs. a master sitting back pontificating because he loves to hear himself talk, and a student sitting back overanalyzing, arguing, or forever planning because he has no real intention of ever doing anything. With the weights right in front of you, there is not much time, energy, or effort to waste. They don’t care about our bullshit. Its take action, or move out of the way so someone else can. So I guess in terms of coaching, something gets lost in the online translation for me.
3. That’s why here on this site, we ultimately want to create something akin to a College Course Catalog — a forever expanding and evolving resource that helps you learn, grow, research, experiment, refine, find your strengths, improve your weaknesses, figure out what works best for you, prioritize your preferences, and ultimately become your own coach. I’ve written a few courses and books on fitness and philosophy. I’ve dedicated the rest of my life to researching and writing a bunch more. You can check out the catalog as it stands right now on Amazon. Read the books that appeal to you. Absorb what is useful. Ignore the rest. And most importantly, start taking some action.