May 18, 2014

Why You Should Cancel Your Gym Membership

That's Bo Jackson.

If you were born before 1985, then YOU know that BO KNOWS!

Despite the "Bo Knows Weights" clip in that video, Jackson frequently claimed to have never lifted weights in his private training sessions, relying solely on cardio and bodyweight exercises: squats, situps, pullups, pushups, etc. A lot of people respond to that by saying "Bo Knows Bullshit..."

But maybe not.

It may be true that a rigorous lifting schedule shows "gains" in size/definition of muscles, so you look jacked in a swimsuit... but moves like "Preacher Curls" make it dangerously easy to isolate/engage those "vanity" muscles without having one's core and legs involved - the end result of which is something akin to chrome-plating a two-ton crane and erecting it on Marshmallow Mountain. (It's also not going to do you very much good to be the size of Schwarzenegger if you can't scratch your own ass because your range-of-motion is non-existent.)

You just have to ask yourself one question: What kind of body do you want? Do you want to look like Mr. Universe? Or would you prefer a practically fit body in the tradition of Bo Jackson, who had a career as an All-Star athlete in two professional sports leagues - without pumping iron.

I'll choose functional strength, every time.

May 4, 2014

Hierophant: A Secret Shared, or, The Labyrinth

Le Pape card from Marseilles Tarot

The word "mystery" has been used heavily in my Tarot articles, often in reference to concepts supposed to exist beyond the scope of human understanding, like with The High Priestess. The Hierophant brings with him an experiential knowledge, theoretically attainable by all humanity, which is known as "Enlightenment" in many circles. (Ta hiera, "the holy" + phainein, "to show.") The Hierophant lives inside us, allowing occasional glimpses or, sometimes, powerful revelations of a Reality beneath, or imbued within, that which we see in our daily existence. 

Tarot is generally of interest to those persons attracted to the fringe. "Occult" means hidden, of course. These cards were created to hide in plain sight the secrets of practices punishable by death at certain times in history. The Hierophant card, previously "Le Pape," or The Pope, most explicitly reveals this side of Tarot. Very clearly, the main figure of the image is in possession of some power, ability, or wisdom sought by the characters kneeling in front of him. But what?