C-Mass (Review)

This book is an “application” of the principles of his previous Convict Conditionings. He references earlier exercises but often doesn’t explain them. You can google and figure it out.

He promises 20lb-30lb gains from bodyweight alone? Well, this is a half-truth. You probably won’t gain 20lbs of lean muscle anytime soon. However, he is right in contrasting training for neural strength (think Pavel Tsatsouline) and training for muscle growth.

Pros:

I honestly learned a lot of new stuff. I’ve been doing a combo of kettlebells and bodyweight training for two years, and have done some form of weight training for close to two decades, and I still learned a lot of new exercises. And it works. I’ve gained close to 25lbs in two years from some variety of bodyweight training.

His dieting advice is mostly sound. You don’t need outside “help.” Eat a lot of hearty, manly food and work hard and you will be fine. Shucks, even drink a beer from time to time.

A lot of the sciency principles are sound and he does a good job explaining why stuff works.

Cons:

As others have pointed out, the language is a problem. I’m used to the “bro” culture and I can get past some language. But dropping the F-bomb every page really doesn’t add anything. Further, while I am all for making fun of the “Be-liebers” and some of the slams towards the metrosexual Jersey shore community are funny, he overdoes.

I am not convinced that bodyweight purism is the way to go.   Pavel has shown conclusively that kettlebells can heal and rehab the body and add insane strength.    Further, I am not sure about dropping deadlift altogether.   It s a raw strength exercise with real life application.

And the truth remains, if you want to pack on real mass real quickly, nothing equals barbell squats.  Personally, I don’t do barbell squats because I don’t have the equipment, but it is the real mass gainer.  Even more, Wade praises guys like Saxon, Reg Park, and Steve Reeves, yet these guys all used forms of weightlifting.

Of the (Amero)Russians, I was foremost

I get told that I know little of Orthodoxy.  It’s hard to know what to make of that claim.   Certainly with regard to Triadology, the Fathers, and Christology I know as much as the next EO apologist.  I certainly know more than the average Babushka.  Presumably, that’s not what they have in mind.   Usually it is with regard to criticisms I make of EO on tradition and praxis.

What is interesting is that from 2010-2013, both when I was pursuing Orthodoxy and later critiquing it, Orthodox converts and apologists were emailing me and asking for my articles on Trinitarianism, Scripture, Vladimir Putin, Slavic Monarchy, and Holy Russia (unless you can find those on archive.org, I have no idea how to access them).  But now that I disagree with EO conclusions, I suddenly “don’t know anything.” Wisdom is justified by her children!  It’s kind of funny, actually.

I taught myself the basics of Russian.  I can still read the alphabet and basic news headlines.   My vocab is rusty, but that’s because I decided to focus on Hebrew instead, seeing it would pay more dividends.  I then read all the Russian masters–not just the theological ones, but Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Pushkin, and Gogol.   In fact, I even look like Pavel Tsatsouline!   We have the same receding hairline and facial structures.  Which of the convertskii can say that?

pavel