My physical training has been the single biggest ally in fighting my mental health issues (namely, depression). This is a recommendation I’m not afraid to personally endorse to men again and again, but I can also backup with multiple medical studies.
It’s also the backbone for my #1 Bestselling Book in Men’s Health.
Any reader of my book will be able to read between the lines of many chapters and see a man constantly at war with his own mental health. And this is not a war to be taken lightly – when the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK is suicide, and 42% of men in the UK have suffered with depression.
42 fucking percent. That’s pretty much half of all the men reading this, have already, or will at some point, suffer with depression.
So I put quite a bit of weight to my words when I say that I strongly believe a rigid and regular exercise program helps my mental health and it can help yours too. The routine and the testosterone boost are vital to my mental health as a man.
….so what happens when you get an injury from training, and then you can’t hit the gym in the same way anymore?
Cue 2 deep hernias in my lower abdomen (with a testicular cancer scare thrown in for good measure – but that ended up being nothing more than a week of worrying my ass off).
The prognosis? No deadlifts. No squats. No Benchpress. No gym…. What the fuck would I do!?
Are you the Lord Of War riding into battle in glorious chainmail, thoroughly polished with sand and vinegar to ensure it gleams in the sun for all of your enemies, and allies, to see?
Is your plate-mail forged in the finest smiths in the City? Is your long sword of the best Frankish steel, it’s lethality in battle honoured by the thousands of hours you have practiced with it?
Do you ride on a battle-trained Destrier, standing a head above all other steeds yet responsive to the lightest steering-touch of your knee?
Who has the biggest impact on the battlefield – this Lord Of War, standing in all his finery and well trained in the art of killing?
Or the solder a few paces away, with a tattered boiled leather jerkin on his back and a heavily notched and rusted blade in his hand, who has repeatedly spent his weekends drinking and whoring while the other men ran sword drills in the training fields?
The title of one of my upcoming books has the word “Fuck” in it. Unsurprisingly, most of the early conversations I’ve had with publishers have come up rather abruptly on this word quicker than a thirsty berserker on a blonde maiden.
The word Fuck is undoubtedly taboo in Western society, and in my opinion, quite beautifully so.
I was having dinner with one of my closest brothers earlier in the week. The restaurant he took me to (he’s a London native and knows the land better than I) was extremely popular and highly reviewed, but we were surprisingly able to get a walk in. In fact, the place was only at 25% capacity.
He apologised and said the place was usually much more crowded and he assured me it was a great restaurant, but when I told him I much prefer quieter places now anyway, he was shocked.
“This is London, you’re here for the crowds and the hustle! And you love clubs!”
But I explained how recently, when I’m in crowded places, I seem to have developped “Shrek Syndrome”. I knock people over, I spill peoples drinks, last week a woman literally walked face-first into my shoulder and almost knocked herself out. I’m basically a clumsy Viking without a battlefield.
This particular brother of mine is a Psychology graduate and loves to discuss Mindset topics as much as I love to write and teach about them, so naturally, we dove into this further.
Here’s the problem – I was at the very beginning of creating a new anxiety, one that if I wasn’t careful, could become deeply rooted. An irrational worry about being too cumbersome and clumsy for busy crowds.
And as I discuss in my book, when you allow low self-esteem, low confidence, or anxieties and fears to control you, you lose the opportunity to experience life, love and adventure!
When you’re in Raiding Season (losing fat and increasing muscle definition), packing in all of the extra calories isn’t a huge priority. You can casually eat what you feel like and trust your appetite. Combined with all of the extra supersets and drop-sets in your workouts, you’ll achieve a calorie deficit and cut down your body fat.
But what about when you’re mass building and need hella calories?!
When you’re in Winter Season, you’re trying to pile on the mass, and get beast mode huge and strong. It’s when your body does it’s growing, and that requires lots of calories.
But that’s not always easy for Modern Vikings with the stresses and problems of a modern lifestyle.
What if you overslept and now there’s no time to prep your regular Viking breakfast before getting the kids ready for school? What if you know it’s going to be a mixed up day and you’ll struggle to make all 6 meals and 5,000 calories (My personal goal is 5,000 /day but yours could be 3,000 – 5,000).
What if you just want to blast down the nutrition you need because at the end of the day – Food Is Füel and you really don’t want to spend your day worrying about each meal being good?
Well for those days, here’s my personal breakfast smoothie recipe. I find breakfast is by far the easiest meal to get right and even if the rest of the day fucks up, as long as I smash breakfast, I’ll have an epic workout and an epic day.
This smoothie gives you a 1,300 calorie kick and 82g of protein (overkill but whatever) and it tastes good (“good” is as good as it gets in a 1,300 calorie shake, sorry but thats the truth)