“All a player needs to win the game is his Health and his Freedom.”
~The Old Hustlers
I’ve never been a Gangster or a Rapper, but when Ice-T hands out his Daily Game I listen because I can relate!
I listen to a podcast called Final Level, Rapper/Musician/Actor/Speaker/Pimp (Retired)/Hustler (Active) Ice-T named it Final Level because of his love for video games. He interviews people from all walks of life and success, but the best parts are when he takes a few minutes to talk about The Daily Game. The game, in this context, is a metaphor for the path to living successfully.
The one that struck me as the most profound was what the “Old Players” told him:
This is everything!
Right now let’s just dive into the first part, Health.
Back when I turned 30, I went in for an annual physical. The Doctor was an upper-middle-aged White man who carried the unlikely combination that had the look of both relief and concern on his face.
Clearly, I was nervous.
He sat down with me and went over my numbers and told me that I was healthy and strong! He was happy that I was lifting weights and training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. After a brief pause, he told me to “just keep going”.
I stood up to leave when he smiled, then sat back down, I asked him if there was anything else he wanted to say. I smiled and put a reassuring hand on his shoulder to tell him that it was OK, that I was a good listener.
He started tentatively but went on to explain that I was at the age where so many Black Americans went downhill. He said that every bit of my exams and blood tests that had been taken contradicted what I wrote on my intake questionnaire.
After that, he went on a rant worthy of any religious fanatic and would make a zealot proud!
He told me that all my biological markers said that I should live past 100 years old and carry a disproportionately high amount of muscle mass the entire time. Mind you, my grandmother lived to 101 years old and remained lucid until 95!
He told me that High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Heart Disease, Diabetes, and all the other things I wrote down on the intake questionnaire as “running in my family” were wrong!
He told me that EVERY SINGLE ONE of those things was the result of terrible eating habits and life choices that he sees every day across the board, but heartbreakingly even more so in the Black Community!
…I was flabbergasted!
I didn’t go on to try and rant against him because of his clinical observations. He was speaking to me from a place of concerned encouragement. He chose to try to deliver the message to me as best he could, understanding that he didn’t have the right words or social/political correctness to use the right language.
A rundown of the hard part I deal with:
- Many of my relatives died earlier than necessary and from preventable illnesses.
- I am a voracious eater.
- Over time I simply had to learn to eat quality so that the quantity didn’t matter.
- I try to avoid all fast food, I don’t cook with salt at all, I use real butter.
- I use no added sugar unless it’s a special occasion, or the rare instance when I bake.
- I drink a gallon of water every day.
- I have nearly eliminated pork and pork products from my eating.
- I love cheese, it is a struggle to eat less, I try.
- I eat a lot of meat. All kinds, I love meat, I just don’t add salt, and I try to eat beef no more than twice a week.
- I have never tried drugs, smoking, or alcohol.
- I do not have a scale, I use a mirror.
- My weight does not matter, my body fat does.
- I buy snug tank-top shirts so that if I start to develop a belly I won’t be able to wear 90% of my shirts.
- Maintaining health isn’t about making big, short-term gains. It’s about taking every small step possible to keep the body you desire until those small steps are invisible habits.
The gym, this is the easy part:
It usually works out to alternating Weight Lifting and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I get in, blitz hard with good form and heavy weights, then I get out. I am usually done in less than 90 minutes, and that’s because some people are lazy and don’t put the weights they are using back on the shelf, I hate those people.
In addition to TRT, I’ve been on the Golden Six workout since I can’t get to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu every day due to timing. The G6 is very, very old Total Body Workout program that lets me hit each body part in one session.
Note: I warm up on the treadmill for 15-30 minutes.
- Squats. 4 sets of 10 repetitions.
- Dumbell Bench Press. 3 sets of 10 repetitions. (I use Dumbell Bench Presses instead of a Barbell so that I can go past level and get a deeper push.)
- Chin-Ups. 3 sets to failure. (I do 3 sets of 10 behind the neck cable pull-downs or 3 sets of 5 wide-grip chin-ups instead of three to failure, that’s what’s in the picture.)
- Behind The Neck Overhead Press. 4 sets of 10 repetitions. (I use Dumbell Behind Neck Presses instead of a Barbell so that I can go past level and get a deeper push.)
- Barbell Curl. 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
- Bent Knee Sit-Ups. 3-4 Max. (I do 4 sets of 6 Dips instead because as long as my pecs are bigger than my belly, I am OK with that. I have the body of a PowerBuilder/Blacksmith, not a beach model.)
I sometimes substitute: Shrugs 4 x 10 and/or Machine Calf Raises 4 x 10 and/or Tricep Extensions 3 x 10 to each workout.
Progression: Once you can do 2/3 reps above the recommended amount increase the weight or add a set.
Rest for 2 minutes between sets of squats and no more than 90 seconds for the other exercises.
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Always see how far you can take anything you do!