- Books & Biceps
- 💪Books & Biceps - Issue 272
💪Books & Biceps - Issue 272
50 Life Lessons from the Gym, Me & LeBron & Dwyane Wade, The Wager and...
You are reading Books & Biceps #272! Welcome to the 201 new sophisticated meatheads joining us this week… I’m pumped to say that you are arriving at a momentous time.
We just cruised past 4,800 readers and at this clip, our Books & Biceps crew will be 5,000 strong by next Friday. Absolutely remarkable. Thank you to everyone who reads and shares this weekly (and keep sharing). 5K here we come!
Also, if this is your first issue, add your e-mail with the subscribe button below to join us:
The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder by David Grann
Back in early September I recommended Susan Casey’s new book, The Underworld, in Issue #264 of Books & Biceps. The book was a fascinating deep dive (pun intended) on the people exploring the bottomless depths of our ocean. Several times in the book she interviewed and shared stories of treasure hunters who searched tens of thousands of feet deep for sunken pirate ships filled with gold.
I Googled a few of them after I finished the book and then, as often happens, ended up down a Mike Leach-level rabbit hole about pirate ships, man-o-war ships, Spanish galleons and the various famous captains, crews and adventures on the high seas in the 1500s, 1600s and 1700s. And as I plowed through the vessels and wrecks and insane survival stories of marooned sailors on rickety rafts surviving months in the open ocean…
One story and one book kept being mentioned over and over: The Wager.
I bought it and the night it arrived I planned on just flipping through the first few pages to get a feel for it… and ended up reading for about 90 minutes.
The story begins with two different groups of starved men, barely alive after surviving thousands of miles on makeshift rafts in the open ocean, landing in two different ports six months apart. Turns out, they’re from the same ship, The Wager, and their stories are wildly different about what happened.
Then we track back to how these massive ships are run, the society and hierarchy and types of people who work on them, what life is like on board (brutal, taxing, cramped, pressure-filled) and what happened to the ship.
We’ve got storms, ocean battles, arguments, typhus outbreaks, chases, cannons, guns, lies, court rooms, treasure, disaster, survival, starvation, hubris, heroism and more.
The book is an action movie, a history lesson and economics lesson all rolled into one and it’s expertly written. Check it out here.
I met Tobi Emonts-Holley a few years ago on Twitter. I don’t remember if he commented on my garage gym (the Flex Factory) or I commented on his home gym, but suffice to say, we hit it off. He’s got 6 kids, is the CEO of a company and enters crazy endurance challenges. Yeah, he’s a very Books & Biceps kinda dude.
This week he shared a post on what he’s learned in the gym. I loved it and wanted to share it with you all.
Every Fitness Lesson I Learned After 20 Years In The Gym by Tobi Emonts-Holley:
1. The workouts you don’t “feel like doing” are the most important ones. Why? Because they build discipline and consistency.
2. You can’t target specific areas for fat loss.
3. Extreme diets get you results, but unless your diet is sustainable, you won’t stick to it in the long run.
4. All you need to get started is a pull-up bar.
5. The story you tell yourself is the most important factor in your fitness journey. “I’m an athlete, I work out regularly and eat clean” will serve you better than a calorie tracker.
6. Being strong is always a good thing.
7. Regular exercise is the single best thing you can do for your mental health.
8. The only thing that matters for weight loss is a caloric deficit.
9. Fasting is good for you. Build in 24-72 hour fasts once a quarter for a good cleanse.
10. Micro-nutrients and food quality matter, don’t focus just on the macros.
11. Beating yourself up about a missed workout when life is stressful is counterproductive.
12. When you’re stressed, your body will build up fat deposits quickly.
13. Sticking to the same meals at the same times might seem boring, but will keep you on track better and help train your hunger & circadian rhythms.
14. Hunger is often just thirst in disguise. Regularly drink water to regulate your hunger and flush out toxins.
15. Focus on ‘environment design’: make it hard to follow bad habits (snacking, skipping workouts), and make it a no-brainer to follow good habits (clean foods, accountability partners).
16. Learn the difference between cravings and hunger.
17. Avoid drinking your calories if you want to lose weight. Sodas, flavoured coffees, alcohol, etc. will ruin your caloric deficit.
18. Free weights > machine training. Training your small muscles helps avoid injuries.
19. When you get started, choose a workout or sport that is fun. Fun ensures consistency.
20. 8 hours of sleep is a performance-enhancing drug.
21. High-protein foods will suppress hunger best while helping your muscle recovery.
22. Cold showers boost the immune system and help you forge mental toughness.
23. Use your fitness outside the gym as often as you can. Try new sports and challenge yourself in new environments.
24. High-quality food is vital for clarity of thought.
25. Being fit boosts the first impression others have of you. That holds true for job interviews as much as first dates.
26. Keep your phone away from your bed.
27. Motivation will get you started but only a disciplined mind will get you to your goals.
Let me tell you about the night I was an NBA mascot and shared the Miami Heat’s floor with LeBron, Steph, D-Wade and more:
I shared an NBA floor with LeBron, Wade & Steph in front of 20,000 fans. During a game.
How? 10 years ago I convinced the Miami Heat to let me be their mascot for one night.
A true, absurd NBA story I called Close Encounters of the Furred Kind:
It feels like I’m climbing on a… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
— Jon Finkel (@Jon_Finkel)
Oct 24, 2023
The NBA is BACK! And did you know I wrote the digital biography of the one and only Human Highlight film?
It’s called: ‘Nique: The High-Flying, Electrifying Career of Dominique Wilkins. The cover is so dope. I love it.
This is everything you didn’t know about ‘Nique, from his playground days to his dominant high school teams to his time at Georgia, his almost-team in Utah and yes, all the dunk info you can handle. Plus, an inside look at his underrated time with the Clippers and Celtics.
And this is what Spud Webb had to say:
“It’s amazing that people act like they’ve never seen anyone in the 80s and 90s play other than MJ. People need to bring up Dominique. Dominique was an all-time scorer. He never got his credit.”
Strong Links: AKA Sponsors
I eat healthy 80% to 90% of the time. Lean protein. Tons of fruits and vegetables. Protein shakes. All of it… HOWEVER… when I’m not on that clean eating train, I jump the tracks and once or twice a month crush some fast food.
Some times we go old school Mickey D’s. Other times I’ll get 7 items at Taco Bell. All depends what I’m in the mood for… And what deals are out there.
Incredibly, there’s a newsletter dedicated completely and totally to helping you find fast food deals, secret menu items, off menu items and more. It’s called The Fast Food Secrets Club and you can subscribe for FREE right here.
Have you tried AUDIO BOOKS? I’ve long resisted, but recently become a fan and have one or two going right now… I like them for fiction and have been listening to them in place of podcasts during drives…
A nice way to “read” a few more books a year.
If you love audiobooks or are thinking of joining Audible, use this link below and support Books & Biceps:
Help Us Get to 5,000 Readers & Get Free Stuff!
Share this issue with ONE friend and you get 2 FREE E-BOOKS:
1) 8 Biographies of Legends (That You Likely Haven’t Read)
2) How to Read a New Book Every 10 Days Like Bruce Lee
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Thank you all for reading.
Have a great weekend! - Jon
PS: I’m gathering testimonials for this newsletter as we grow. If you have one minute, please reply with one or two sentences describing the best book, workout or thing you learned from the newsletter.