Slightly more than one week before the IFBB-related event, Nordic Grand Prix – a part of Fitnessgalan in Globen arena in Stockholm – I will in fact not, somewhat unexpected, show any pictures of my shape. I will save that until the actual show, or probably, a bit afterwards.
Instead I will just briefly emphasize the importance of branched chain amino acids  and in conjunction with this mention my new favorite, BCAA with cola taste, from Delta nutrition in Stockholm.
Branched chain amino acids are essential – in this word’s both concrete and symbolic sense – if a fitness athlete strives for to optimize one’s results, and is a very useful complement to a general proper nutritional approach. It gives one’s muscles additional endurance, strength, recovery and particularly ‘pressure’ in the good sense. It may thus be regarded as a piece of a puzzle that one needs in order to come into great shape, not the least the weeks before a show.
The products of Delta nutrition’s can be bought online.
Lite mer än en vecka innan Nordic Grand Prix i Globen, där jag tävlar i Men’s Physique, kan det vara värt att lyfta fram betydelsen av grenade aminosyror.
Dessa är essentiella – i så att säga båda konkret och metaforisk mening – om målet är att optimera sina styrketräningsresultat, och hjälper till att ge extra styrka, återhämtning och bidrar till ge minimera både muskelförlust och att öka “trycket” på musklerna. På så sätt blir det en viktig pusselbit för träning, kost och att toppa formen inför en tävling men även i allmänhet.
Delta nutritions grenade aminosyroprodukter, till exempel den oerhört goda colasorten, kan köpas på Delta gym i Stockholm eller online.
제가 새로 Delta nutrition 한테서 좋은 BCAA 를 받았어요. BCAA는 까닭으로
강하고 건강 해요. 경기가 전에 특히 좋어요.
As I have explained in my first blog post, in comparison with many other (fitness) bloggers I do have a somewhat different approach to writing, and that in several ways. For instance I do not write much about my personal life, and neither do I upload pictures and/or brief texts about what has happened during the last day(s) and things like that. And if I write about traveling, I might go back as far as, let’s say 2006, rather than to talk about last month’s excursions. Partly this is because I do not want to be caught up in the obsessions of the presence – that is also why I do not have Twitter or Instagram – even if I do of course understand its appeal among factual or potential readers. I am more of the essaistic kind in this respect.
Speaking of which, my first diet – in a very unstructured way, and hence not really a diet in the proper sense – was actually when I walked, walked and walked in California and to less extent also in Nevada, in 2006, and hence burned quite a lot of calories and thus also body fat during a three weeks long stay.
But this one does not really count and I do not even have any pictures left from back then. Instead I will reflect upon the winter and spring time of 2010 and what I accomplished during three-four months, and which has also affected my confidence as a nutritional coach and fitness practitioner. This can be considered as my first far-reaching and seriously planned diet.
Like for many other people, my shape has always fluctuated between unfixed categories such as ‘relatively thin’ and ‘normal’ on a body fat continuum, and that is also the case after I started with strength training in 2005. For instance I was quite slim in that year, but then I started to bulk up a little, and also in later periods it has been the other way around from time to time. However, it has never extremely distinct in any of these two directions, and the frequency of training has always been somewhere between four to five times per week (if I did not travel and skipped it all, and these days I work out almost every day).
In 2009 I focused a lot on the last-mentioned activity and therefore training became subordinated to my cosmopolitan adventures, particularly in Japan, but on the other hand I did soon got back on track again after I had come home in June. During the last quarter of the same year, though, I had gained some convenient fat – not the least after three weeks in Australia in November – and was obviously not too bothered with it. Or perhaps I was – my body weight was about 79 soft kilograms and I am only 5,7 – but I nevertheless thought that I should wait for to incorporate more drastic changes after the new year had begun and deal with it then.
So what I did, right at the beginning of January in 2010, was to apply some of the lean gains principles that I had learned the year before, but – most importantly – I drastically decreased the total calorie intake, while keeping the protein intake relatively high, and did so over the next three to four months. I skipped the details but had on the other hand a very steadfast nutritional structure that I followed diligently.
During the three winter months, I dwelled in a almost ascetic fashion and did not party any more than a few times and did not eat any junk food or candy at all. Instead I focused a lot on the idea of to come into good shape and optimize my physical appearance and look forward to going to Paris, where I was supposed to meet a French girl that had I met in South Korea the year before and who lived there. Hence I did to some extent visualize and concretize my own goals, although I did not have any exact ideals with regard to body fat percentage. But even somewhat blurry goals, without clear-cut demarcations, can be relevant.
My personal strengths – from my own subjective viewpoint, but there is probably some objective truth in there too – have always been my looks and a very high verbal IQ (but average in performance IQ, so I am not very good at subjects such as maths and physics, and to quickly figure out what to do in real-life situations, i.e. fluid intelligence), so having too much body fat was detrimental to my own internal feeling about myself and hence also on my outer appearance (or the other way around, since these two dimensions are intimately inter-related). There is – at least for me – always an interplay between the outward and inward and their linkages to confidence.
And how did it go a little bit more exactly? The result was a decrease of about 10,5 kilograms of body weight, and I felt happy when I eventually came to Paris in the middle of April. The two pictures below do not really catch the essence of neither my bad nor good shape – partly because I had not reached the maximum fat weight around the time when the photo from Australia was taken – but at the time for the the second one the abs had become quite visible and I had overall a very slim and, with general standards, appealing figure.
What I have learned from this is, most importantly, one: that I can do it, and that I have proved to be both consistent and effective with regard to diet plans; two, that I can help other people to do the same or something similar; and three, that one should always have goals – whether extremely concrete and measurable or of the less clearly-defined sort – as motivation and driving force.
På ett underhudsfettskontinuum har jag aldrig varit så kallat “tjock” utan alltid “normal” (om man ser till både midjemått och BMI), men vid årsskiftet 2009/2010 hade lagt på mig en så kallad trivselvikt – som jag inte trivdes med – omkring 79,5 kilo. Det var till och med lite mer än i samband med tidigare bulkfaser under 2006 och 2007. Då bestämde jag mig för att genomföra min första riktiga, sammanhållna diet. Och jag utgick från leans gains och periodisk fasta som jag hade lärt mig knappt ett år tidigare, genom att läsa texter av Martin Berkhan och Seth Ronland.
Eftersom jag hade planer på att åka till Paris under april månad, och alltid haft mitt utseende som en – åtminstone från mitt eget subjektiva synsätt – stark “egenskap” (det andra är hög verbal IQ), och skulle träffa en tjej som jag hade haft kontakt med sedan vi träffades i Sydkorea året innan, fick jag ett slags inre drivkraft. Det kanske var ytligt och trivialt men likväl behövs sådant för att få mer långsiktiga saker gjorda.
Sagt och gjort – jag följde en lågkalori- och högproteindiet under tre-fyra månader, och gick ner cirka 10,5 kilo under denna. Det framgår inte särskilt tydligt av bilderna – och den första, från Australien 2009, var innan jag hade nått fettviktspeaken vid det kommande årsskiftet – men jag var i riktigt bra form, om än inte tävlingsform, när jag väl anlände i den franska huvudstaden.
Det jag lärde mig av detta var framför allt, ett: att jag kan klara av att strukturera en diet och genomföra den; två: att jag kan hjälpa andra med samma eller liknande målsättningar, och tre: att det behövs mål – oavsett om de är väldigt konkreta och mätbara, eller något mer diffusa – för att ha inre motivation och driv till att få mer långsiktiga saker gjorda.
제가 오년 전 에서 처음 다이어트 를 했어요. 파리스 전 에서 쯤 열 킬로그램 을 줄였어요.
David Pinder, in his work ‘Arts of urban exploration’ (2005), is one of the researchers within the social sciences that has examined what is often known as urban exploration (often shortened as UE). He explains his particular viewpoint in the preamble of his article:
The catalyst of this event in May 2003 came from a Brooklyn-based artist collective called Toyshop. Numbering around 15 to 20 people mainly with a background in the arts, they have staged a number of street interventions and forms of direct action over the last few years. Centred on the street artist Swoon, the group / previously called Swoon Union or Swoon Squad / is concerned with public space and its democratization through what it calls ‘creative forms of productive mischief’. ‘[R]ooting around the edges of appropriate acts of citizenship’, its members say, ‘we are using every means at our disposal to make a city that instigates our creative impulses and fosters the feral spirit’. They describe how they work with the city ‘as muse and medium’. Criticizing the privatization of public space and the associated passivization of city dwellers, they state: ‘We are attempting to, through example, create a participatory model for citizens to take part in the physical and social structure of the environment we live in.’ Through street art and other interventions, its members seek to exploit opportunities for play and subversion as they interact with the city’s spaces. Swoon’s own art particularly involves the creation of life-sized figures on walls from delicate paper cut-outs, carved tape or woodblock prints. They often represent figures from her life or characters associated with particular places. They are an example of how work on streets can give people ‘a new, often transient set of landmarks with which to guide themselves’, and allow them ‘in a concrete way to see the manifestation of a certain kind of vitality in the city’.
Although urban exploration, in this sense, is partially historically linked to so called situationists, and thus often constitutes an active critique of the ‘privatization’ of the public sphere (Why am I, as a citizen, not allowed to go to, dwell or reside everywhere in public areas?), urban exploration is often associated with – as the name implies – the direct experience of cities, particularly abondoned buildings, tunnels (for instance transit tunnels and utility tunnels), sewers and other more or less inaccessible parts of its fragmented geography. The pioneers of UE were a group of youngsters who called themselves The Cave clan and who did their groundbreaking activities in Melbourne in Australia back in 1986.
Over the last three-four decades UE has gradually become a more established subculture, and people – often teenagers or young adults – visit new places where they make tags or leave other kinds of traces of their visits, take multible pictures with their cameras or cell phones and share them online (although this is of course not necessarily the case), and follow the customs that have been constructed in interplay with other, earlier, urban explorers. One such custom is to – once again – share photos online but seldom, and for obvious reasons, not reveal the identities of the explorers. And the fact that these communities resemble sort of a ‘secret society’ does certainly add to its appeal.
If one is interested in this phenomenon, there are tons of material online to look into, whether general articles and information, or UE communities as well as various YouTube videos (and there is actually a 86 minutes long documentary film, Urban exploration: Into the darkness (2007), dedicated to UE).
But to make a complex story short and cut to the chase, UE is – or, at least, may be – an excellent way to broaden one’s horizon of understanding the world and the environments that surround us but which are rarely explored. In conjunction with UE, a person may learn a lot about a particular part of a city’s history, and with this in mind, a rather broad age spectrum of its potential target group seems natural. Perhaps it is a constructive way to preserve one’s juvenile dimensions? A combination of facts and fun.
As a potential urban explorer, you may chose your local small town (or even the countryside, like a desolated house, church or castle, which thus instead makes into ‘rural exploration’!), Stockholm, London, New York, Paris or some other place as your point of departure – the main thing is that you, preferably, look after the special locations, somewhat hidden from the general routes where citizens tend to be allocated, and examine them, probably in tandem with a few friends.
And trust me, this might create collective memories that will last as long as you live. For instance, during the spring time of 2010, I and two friends made two intriguing explorations in Uppsala (where we all lived at that time) and Stockholm. Nothing ‘extreme’ and truly unique – to the extent to which that is relevant – but still interesting, inspiring and somewhat thrilling.
And the activities do not even have to be prohibited or illegal; sometimes it is just interesting to walk around, along a particular street or in a particular neighborhood (동네 in Korean), especially if you visit a city for the first (and perhaps also the last) time. I come to think of everything from Los Angeles, to Budapest, to Oslo, to Kuala Lumpur, to Busan, to New York city, when I associate this with many spontaneous city walks. It is stimulating, and sometimes even venterous (although all is relative), but nevertheless very often rewarding. But then it is not UE as it is generally understood, but rather a way to experience or ‘interact with the urban environment’ in the sense that David Pinder discusses (but most likely without any political implications, since one is only there for a brief time).
Additionally, one might burn quite a massive amount of calories, and in a lot more interesting environments than in the gym or at the regular jogging route, while experiencing UE of some sort. But most importantly, it is a fun and interesting activity (재미있는 일 이에요).
Urban exploration (ofta förkortat som UE) är ett intressant fenomen som har en historia som sträcker sig från 1986 och en grupp ungdomar i Melbourne, Australien, och som successivt har utvecklats till en subkultur. Många har säkert hört talas om det eller testat på det själv (oavsett om de känner till termen eller inte).
I grunden handlar det om att utforska olika övergivna och mer eller mindre svårtillgängliga byggnader och andra typer av stadsmiljöer, till exempel tunnelbanesystem och mentalsjukhus. Man kan även tänka sig mer lantliga miljöer – gamla kyrkor, slott och övergivna hus – som ett slags rural motsvarighet till detta. Och det behöver inte vara en jättestor stad för att finnas intressanta, outforskade eller i alla fall mindre vanliga platser att uppsöka.
I dag finns det mängder av UE-forum där utövare delar bilder och diskuterar tips och erfarenheter, och på YouTube hittar man förstås mängder av videoklipp som berör fenomenet på ett eller annat sätt. Inom denna subkultur finns en hel del kutym, både vad gäller hur man helst bör bete sig på plats, och beträffande att inte avslöja identiteten på vare sig själv eller andra utövare. Det är en gemensam aktivitet som man företrädesvis gör tillsammans med några vänner och inte talar högt om, eller i alla fall inte är alltför specifik beträffande.
Jag har testat på UE- eller UE-liknande aktiviteter i Sverige, och i en bredare mening även i flertalet andra länder genom långa, spontana promenader i både respektive stadskärna och -periferi. Det är, eller har åtminstone potential till att vara, en utmärkt aktvitet som hjälper en att vidga sin förståelse av världen, och kan ge fantastiska minnen för livet att dela tillsammans med andra. Man kan också lära sig en hel del om städer och platsers historia, speciellt om man gör lite egen research innan, i samband med, eller efter vistelsen.
Tänk också på hur många kalorier det bränner att gå, huka, krypa, klättra och hoppa i flera timmar. Garanterat mer intressant kardioträning än att vara inne i ett gym, särskilt under vår- och sommarperioden. Bejaka barnasinnet på ett konstruktivt sätt. Vi ska alla dö förr eller senare och det finns all anledning att gå utanför sin egen comfort zone och göra något spännande och annorlunda.
One way to describe a lifestyle, or even life-stance, is to use relevant philosophical or cultural-historical concepts that highlight how one as a person does live, or wants to live; it can be both descriptive and prescriptive. In my case – and perhaps in many other people’s lives too – the Apollonian and the Dionysian can have bearing in this respect.
Historically, these concepts are linked to classic Greek thinkers and what some of those have said about the two gods Apollo (아폴론 in Korean) and Dionysus (디오니소스 in Korean), which represent different aspects of the human existence. However, these terms are even more well-known because of certain European philisophers and philologists such as Friedrich Nietzsche and particularly his work The Birth of tragedy (1872). Nietzsche has been criticized by several scholars for misrepresenting the religio-historical elements of these two gods, but the point is that he used them and had an idea about how they could symbolize something regarding culture and the modern way of life (which he mostly loathed). Here is a quote from his above-mentioned work:
And psychologically speaking, what then is the meaning of that madness out of which tragic as well as comic art grew, the Dionysian madness? What? Is madness perhaps not necessarily the symptom of degradation, of collapse, of cultural decadence? Are there perhaps — a question for doctors who treat madness — neuroses associated with health? With the youth of a people and with youthfulness? What is revealed in that synthesis of god and goat in the satyr? Out of what personal experience, what impulse, did the Greek have to imagine the Dionysian enthusiast and original man as a satyr? And so far as the origin of the tragic chorus is concerned, in those centuries when the Greek body flourished and the Greek soul bubbled over with life, were there perhaps endemic raptures? Visions and hallucinations which entire communities, entire cultural bodies, shared? How’s that? What if it were the case that the Greeks, right in the richness of their youth, had the will for the tragic and were pessimists? What if it was clearly lunacy, to use a saying from Plato, which brought the greatest blessings throughout Greece?
This is a complex topic in itself and I will not even try to analyze its many angles, and explain neither Nietzsche’s interpretations, nor examine some of those who have written about his philosophical (and philological) contribution in this regard. Instead I will try to, as briefly as possible, point out some of the main characteristics of the Apollonian and Dionysian, and then relate these two concepts to more current socio-cultural conditions and my own way of living.
The Apollonian represents human reason, ethics, and a ordered way of life, while the Dionysian on the other hand is almost the opposite – the chaotic, perhaps tragic, and intoxicating. Both are related to culture, such as music, but concern different aspects of them. Below one can see an example of how these two can be categorized.
When it comes to intellectual and physical modes and activities, and the integration of the body and brains concept, it is not difficult to distinguish some characteristics which are related to both the Appolonian and the Dionysian, however only partial. Mostly, though, they are linked to the former, since one has to be rational, structured and logical in order to read and understood literature, and to complete both studies and workout and diet plans.
As I have said in an earlier post, one almost crucial way to develop intellectually is to travel quite extensively, since it broadens one’s horizons of understanding life and the world, and to party and eat junk food is of course the opposite of physical development.
However, if it is being done selectively and, mostly in conjunction with traveling and thus at new and more exciting locations than one’s home town or city, then party (and other more adventerous activities) adds a relevant and Dionysian dimension which makes existence more complete.
For the sake of simplicity, think perhaps of the funny film trilogy The Hangover (I have only seen part I and part II, but visited Tijuana, where the third film partly takes place, and hence know a little about what this hell-hole is like). As a person you do want to have the experience of some of those nights, although perhaps a little bit less twisted in some respects. One can be 20 or 30, or perhaps even a bit older, but regardless of that, the Dionysian element should not be wholly neglected but, instead, incorporated into a person’s life (and of course, there are always exceptions, some does not want to party and be adventurous at all).
The Apollonian constitutes the basis, whereas the Dionysian does occasionally complement the former.
Me and some friends having a good time in Daintree rainforest, Queensland, Australia (2009) – one of the 35 countries that I have visited so far (저 하고 친구 같이 호주퀸즐랜드 에서마시고 시간을 참 잘 보냈어요.)
Ett sätt att förstå ens eget liv och tillvaro är genom begreppen apollinisk och dionysisk, som är knutna till de grekiska gudarna Apollo och Dionysos, och använts av ett flertal europeiska filosofer, framför allt Friedrich Nietzsche i hans verk Tragedins födelse.
Det hela är ganska komplext, men kan förenklas genom att säga att det apolliniska representerar det ordnade, rationella och logiska i tillvaron, medan det dionysiska är motsatsen, det kaotiska och oordnade. Tänk på Baksmällan-filmerna eller någon av de egna galna utekvällarna, kanske inte minst utomlands.
Relaterar man detta till mitt och den här bloggens koncept, är det enkelt att inse att det apolliniska är grunden i tillvaron, men att det dionysiska kan fungera som ett komplement, som visar sig med vissa mellanrum. Det sista kan också kopplas till resor, och att utforska världen och livets mer extatiska och kaotiska dimensioner. (Sedan är det förstås valfritt om man vill festa eller inte.)
When I intend to learn more about a particular subject, I do not often take the intermediary route and read newspaper or web newspaper articles, but do instead go directly to and read the research material in question (which can be books and/or digital articles). This is related to the body and brains concept, since it helps a person to develop intectually and knowledge-wise if one learns to cope with studies by oneself, rather than to use the help from other people in order to understand research.
However, sometimes a specific newspaper or web newspaper is the right choice if some scholars do share their knowledge to other people through these kinds of media channels. One example is an actual article from New York Times, written by Aaron E. Carroll, who is a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. In this text he says something substantial and important about nutrition, and refute contentions regarding both high-fat and high-protein intake. It is most wisely to read it in its entirety, but the quotes below highlight some of its main points. And one of these is that there is not really any singular ‘evil’ with regard to nutrition, at least not one of the usual macro suspects (fat, protein and carbohydrates). Instead it is about degree in relation to individual needs.
The scary findings from two paragraphs up are from a subanalysis that looked at people only 50 to 65. But if you look at people over 65, the opposite was true. High protein was associated with lower levels of all-cause and cancer-specific mortality. If you truly believe that this study proves what people say, then we should advise people over the age of 65 to eat more meat. No one advises that.
Further, this study defined people in the “high protein” group as those eating 20 percent or more of their calories from protein. When the Department of Agriculture recommends that Americans get 10 to 35 percent of their calories from protein, 20 percent should not be considered high.
This nuanced and problematized depiction of what research ‘really shows’ is then summarized in the following passage:
All the warnings appear to have made a difference in our eating habits. Americans are eating less red meat today than any time since the 1970s. Doctors’ recommendations haven’t been ignored. We’re also doing a bit better in our consumption of vegetables. Our consumption of carbohydrates, like grains and sugar, however, has been on the rise. This is, in part, a result of our obsession with avoiding fats and red meat.
As I have said before, it is – and once again in the Aristotelian sense – much about to find a proper nutritional balance. Avoid the extremes, at least as long as they really are bad for you, and eat at most moderately of carbohydrates (especially sugar) if you do not have a certain reason to modify the intake in these respects. And do not be afraid of a relatively high intake of protein, and eat fats every day, but do not over-consume them.
Jag brukar ofta undvika att ta mellanvägen och ta del av forskning, till exempel om näringslära, indirekt genom nyhetsartiklar, utan gå direkt till ett litet urval av studierna i fråga och läsa dem. Det är kopplat till mitt koncept, body and brains, och leder i alla fall på sikt till mer intellektuell och kunskapsmässig utveckling.
Ibland händer det dock att experter inom ett visst område bidrar med material i tidningsartiklar, och då är det givetvis helt i sin ordning att fokusera på dem. Ett sådant, färskt exempel återfinns i New York Times.
Denna text, som skrivits av Aaron E. Caroll, professor i pediatrik vid Indiana University School of Medicine, tar upp den vanligt förekommande föreställningen om att vissa särskilda näringsämnen är skadliga, i stället för att fokusera på att det handlar om balans mellan olika makronutrienter och andra näringsämnen, och detta i förhållande både till individuella skillnader mellan människor och givetvis mängden av det ena eller andra som äts.
Återigen handlar det alltså om att tänka nyanserat och kritiskt och att finna en rimlig balans. Aristoteles i ett nötskal. Dessutom finns det inget näringsämne, åtminstone bland makronutrienterna (fett, kolhydrater och protein) som är skadligt i sig självt.
After a period of some uncertainty regarding this spring’s competition, things have become clearer. First of all, I will not compete at all in any WBFF-related events but focus entirely on the IFBB-linked competition form Men’s Physique (Men’s Physique 경기). There might be some other interesting, and perhaps more artistic, alternatives that emerge in the future, but at the moment it is MP that I do solely aim for competition-wise.
More specifically, I will compete at the Nordic Grand Prix in Globen in Stockholm at May 10, and I represent Team Delta for the second time. I am pleased to be a part of one of Sweden’s most dedicated and experienced competion teams, especially since things are more serious and well-structured than earlier. Fitness is a growing phenomenon and sub-industry and thus a person like me – who has trained for ten years, been a PT since 2007, and considered the idea of competing at some point for a long time – wants to be in a place where things happen. It should also be emphasized that the Nordic Grand Prix is a part of Fitnessgalan, which is one of the biggest fitness and wellness events in Sweden. So there is much more going on than competitions.
Apart from the general support of Team Delta, I have one of Stockholm’s most well-experienced personal trainers, Anders Hellquist, as my specific competition coach, and he will help me with – in particular – training tips and posing practice. I am relatively skilled with regard to nutrition, and training-wise as well, but there are always new things to learn and/or new ways of thinking in these respects. Habits may be good, but sometimes one has to make relevant modifications.
My aim is to make a good result, and I will hence focus more on posing and stage presence, and to be seriously shredded when it really matters. That is, in slightly more than five weeks.
Efter en period av viss oklarhet kommer jag att tävla i Men’s Physique Nordic på Grand Prix i Globen den 10 maj, vilken är IFBB-sanktionerad. Denna tävling är en del av ett större event, Fitnessgalan, som är en av branschens allra största händelser gällande fitness och wellness.
Även denna gång kommer jag att representera Team Delta, och strävar efter att göra avsevärt bättre ifrån mig än tidigare. Mycket fokus ligger på posering och scennärvaro, men också att peaka formen och därmed ha mycket lite underhudsfett kvar. Jag har erfarne Anders Hellquist som tävlingscoach, och han kommer att hjälpa mig med bland annat posering, och vi för även en kontinuerlig dialog om kost och träning. Det kan därmed bli aktuellt att göra smärre modifieringar i träningsprogrammet.