There I sat nervously awaiting my turn to recite a soliloquy from William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” in Mr. Scoblete’s 10th grade English class. As each student stood up individually and gave a flawless recital, my heart raced and the goose bumps on my arms hardened. As a shy kid, the thought of standing up in front of an entire class was mortifying, especially since nobody had screwed up yet. It was the equivalent of being in gym class after 10 kids in a row had nailed their free throws.
Finally, my name was called and I rose to present the soliloquy that I had practiced over and over all night and early that morning. I began, “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day. To the last syllable of recorded time.” At that point, I froze and went completely blank. I looked around the classroom for assistance, as if anyone was going to whisper the next line to me. To my chagrin, I continued with “Shit. Fuck.” Mr. Scoblete interrupted, “Okay Andrew, sit down.” To this day, it was the worst feeling of failure that I have ever encountered. The remaining students nailed the passage and out of a class of 32, I was the only one that choked.
That day changed me forever, as I promised myself that I would never let that happen again and become comfortable in front of an audience. Now, many years later, I have performed stand-up comedy to over a thousand audiences, and have yet to feel that moment of blankness. Public speaking went from being my worst fear to something that I truly enjoy and look forward to. And rather than recite someone else’s words, I must write and present my own and make them laugh! Had I not failed that day in English class, I may have never felt the need for redemption nor stepped on a comedy stage. That frightful moment is one that I will never forget and always be thankful for. I may never understand Shakespeare, but I can now entertain an audience. Thank you, Macbeth.
It has always been my belief that attention and praise should be earned, not solicited. For instance, Chesley Sullenberger, the heroic pilot who miraculously landed a plane in the Hudson River, saving all 155 people on board deserves all the attention and praise in the world. Conversely, Charles Ramsey, the now famous man who claimed to rescue Amanda Berry, turned out to not be all that he was cracked up to be. His hilarious interviews and contrived one-liners made him an instant hero and internet sensation, and fooled me into putting him on a pedestal with Captain Sullenberger. Shortly after, a man named Angel Cordero, stepped forward and claimed that is was he who kicked the door open and freed Amanda Berry, and that Ramsey didn’t see her until she was already outside. Only Amanda Berry can verify this, but like Al Qaeda and Hezbollah, many stepped forward to claim responsibility.
As a bodybuilder and comedian, I can appreciate attention as much as the next person. However, my goal has always been to build an aesthetic physique and make people laugh. If any notoriety is gained in the process, it’s the result of hard work. On the numerous reality shows on television, housewives trash each other on camera to gain whatever faux fame they can grasp. And on the hugely popular, now defunct, “Jersey Shore,” Snooki did cartwheels with no underwear exposing her china closet, while Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino treated women like meat, with his arrogance and mediocre abs. They all made fools of themselves and the result was attention, albeit negative.
From the guy covered in tattoos to the woman with the pierced tongue, lip, and labia, the need for attention has never been so dire. In fact, appearing on a reality show can be hazardous to your health. Since 2005, 14 reality “stars” have committed suicide. Recent examples include Mindy McCready, the country-music star who appeared on “Celebrity Rehab,’’ and shot herself to death, and Mark Balelo, an auction-house owner featured on “Storage Wars,’’ who died of carbon monoxide poisoning. In a study conducted by New York journalist Seth Kaufman, he found that people who competed on reality shows had a 3 time greater chance of committing suicide than the national average. The question remains, is it cause or effect? Do they go on reality shows because they are so damaged and seek attention and validation regardless of content or is it the humiliation of being voted off an island that drives one over the edge?
We need more Captain Sullenbergers and less “Survivors,” more Michael Jordans and less caddy housewives. Finally, we need more heroes and less attention whores. Earn your praise, don’t solicit it.
Go into any gym across the country and you will see the majority of men and women lifting free weights or some Cyborg machine with loose form and zero focus. They’ll maneuver the weight from point A to point B and think that they’re stimulating the muscle. What they don’t know is that the negative portion of the movement is what builds and defines the muscle. As a reference, the “negative” is when you lower the weight back to the starting position and the “positive” is the actual lifting portion.
It’s human nature to lift something and feel a sense of accomplishment. However, in the iron game, the good stuff happens when you lower the weight slowly and really stress the muscle fibers. The muscle becomes more defined and grows stronger as result. So, my advice would be to the lower the weight and slow down. Allow a 3 second negative on each repetition and you’ll enter a whole new world of pain and be rewarded with stronger, more shapely muscle bellies. Slowing down the movement will also prevent injuries that occur when using loose, sloppy form.
Leave your ego at home, temper the pace, and watch your body change. Remember, the negative defines you. It’s not about how much weight you can lift but how hard you can contract the muscle. Like sex, fast, sloppy movements benefit nobody and will leave your lower back in a twist.
If you want to be president, you cannot be obese. At least, that’s what Chris Christie believes given his recent lap-band surgery that has helped him lose nearly 40 pounds since he underwent the operation the weekend just before President’s Day. Following the likes of Roseanne Barr and Rex Ryan, Chris Christie had the inflated silicone band placed around the top portion of his stomach to slow down food consumption. It’s a last resort that is supposed to be performed only after traditional methods of weight loss such as diet and exercise have failed. Rather than put in the hard work, Christie took the shortcut that so many Americans prefer. And like any surgery, there is a risk of severe complications that in rare cases can be fatal.
If the 350 pound William H. Taft was running for president in today’s vain society, he would surely have been defeated by the slimmer, less qualified William Jennings Bryan. There is no way a president could get stuck several times in a White House bathtub today and not pay a political price for it. But does being overweight make a president less effective? Bill Clinton and Teddy Roosevelt were both portly fellows who are widely considered to have had successful presidencies.
In this country, we love shortcuts and want results yesterday. The fact remains that losing weight naturally is hard. It takes incredible discipline to stick to a strict diet and workout regimen. Similarly, unless your last name is Bush, it takes many years of hard work to reach public office. So, why can’t Chris Christie hire a trainer and get his oversized ass in the gym and off of the operating table? To me, it’s like a sex addict cutting off their penis or a cokehead chopping off their nose. It’s a petty, yet expensive form of cheating. A person who gets gastric bypass or Lap-Band surgery is like a runner that cuts across a track halfway. You get there, but at what cost? I’d have a lot more respect for Chris Christie if he put in the hard work and lost the weight the healthy way. It would be a good way to show the American public that he is dedicated to positive change and will work through the pain to get there. Instead, he chose the weight-loss equivalent of accepting illegal campaign donations to help win the presidency.
This morning I walked into the gym to train my clients when one of my trainer friends said “Andrew, stop whining, you’re a grown man.” He was speaking in reference to yesterday’s blog in which I bitched and moaned about not being able to find the right woman. It was the cliché blog that I usually make fun of where the Carrie Bradshaw wannabes spew their verbal diarrhea on a screen for all to empathize with. In reality, nobody cares! Nobody wants to hear you whine about past relationships, nor your skepticism towards future ones. After all, that’s what therapy is for. In fact, I have always enjoyed the need for a therapist to tell you that everything you say is 100 percent confidential, when in actuality nobody fucking cares! That’s what I’m paying you for, dummy. Nobody wants to hear about my co-dependence, lack of sleep, or boring fucking dreams. Tell anyone you want, doc. Good luck finding someone that cares.
The purpose of this blog is to tell you to eat chicken and broccoli, workout four days a week, and to stay away from extreme diets. It’s to make you more accepting of your body and keep you from negative thoughts. In the past, I’ve provided workouts for every muscle imaginable and every secret I’ve come across in my 20 years in the iron game.
Seinfeld whines, Larry David whines, and I whine. There’s something about being a Jewish boy from Long Island that gravitates one towards complaining. And that’s okay as long as it’s funny. Yesterday was not funny. It was accurate, it was depressing, and it was a tiny bit cathartic. Today my neurons are back in their proper home and I’m telling you to eat sweet potatoes and squat. Do cardio on an empty stomach, drink tons of water, and eat a high protein, low carb dinner, with lots and lots of green vegetables. Only take creatine if you want to be on kidney dialysis and perform each exercise with slow negatives and proper form.
Most of all, stop whining because nobody cares. Nobody.
If you want to look like a superhero, you must develop your X Factor. Andrew, what the fuck are you talking about? Okay, if you draw a line from each shoulder to the opposite foot, you have an X. The wider the X, the more you look like Superman, got it? Okay, so there’s three muscles that create this illusion: the side delts, abs, and outer quads. Here are the exercises that will enhance your X Factor:
Dumbbell Lateral Raises: 3 sets of 10, 8, 6 reps
Cable Lateral Raises: 3 sets of 12, 10, 8
Upright Rows: 3 sets of 12, 10, 8
Dumbbell Front Raises 3 sets of 12, 10, 8
Leg Raises: 3 sets of 25 reps
Crunches: 3 sets of 25 reps
Knee-ins: 3 sets of 25 reps
Leg Extensions: 3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps
Lunges: 3 sets of 12 reps
Squats: 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6
Leg Press 3 sets 12 reps
-Perform the shoulder and quads workout 2 days a week and the ab workout four days a week.
-On each additional set of shoulders and quads, add weight.
-Put on a cape and fly away.
In the 11 years I have lived in NYC, I have dated, married, divorced, even fostered women along the way. Find me a tortured soul with no job or apartment and I will take her in like a wounded bird and nurse her back to health. Then I will turn her over to the next guy and wish her the very best. Five years later, I’ll see her walking down the street with her husband pushing a stroller and I’ll smile and feel like I did something good.
A jaded, hopeless romantic, I hope to meet a great woman and start a family one day. That said, the means to that end is often a struggle. Bad dates, conversations, breakups, and last minute cancellations have cost me time, money, and made me re-consider celibacy.
My gay friends tell me that I should give up on women and give men a shot. The only problem with that is that I’m not attracted to men. I love women and do not see that changing in the foreseeable future. They say “Andrew, if you were gay, you would have so much fun.” And I respond “If you were straight, you’d be miserable.”
Still, I am not ready to throw in the towel just yet. I have five or six hundred broken hearts left in me and will cut through the jungle to find that gem. She’s out there and she’ll be mine. Oh yes, she will be mine.
Flakiness and selfishness are often intertwined. A flaky person is selfish, but a selfish person is not necessarily flaky. They may very well be flaky, but it’s not a prerequisite for selfishness. When a person becomes reliably unreliable, all desire to see them is lost. Making plans with them becomes silly, because by the time “game day” arrives, they are going to cancel and waste more of your time.
In dating, reliability is important. When someone cancels on you last minute, what they are saying is “Fuck you and your time. I’m more important than both.” Strangely, these people remain single and never understand why. After all, they are too important and special to assume the blame.
The only thing that I enjoy about being cancelled on is the bullshit excuse that I receive. I’m sick, stuck at work, my sister’s best friend’s cousin’s niece died, I have to study, I’m dizzy, have an emergency, my friend got into a car accident, and I just fell down a flight of stairs. In the words of George Washington, “It’s better to give no excuse than a bad one.” If you don’t want go somewhere, don’t make plans. Rather than ruin someone else’s night, ruin your own. Of course, if you really are sick or stuck at work, then cancelling is fine. That said, they never really are.
Is coffee a friend or a foe? I say friend. I say best friend. I say friend who helps you move. And 108 million Americans agree with me. The soothing aroma, taste, and caffeine spike was first enjoyed in the mid 15th century by the Sufis in Yemen and is still worshipped to this day. And it’s good for you! Now, this may sound biased and that’s because it is. Personally, I like a little bias in my coffee.
Harvard researchers say drinking coffee lowers the risk of Parkinson’s disease, colon cancer, and type II Diabetes. According to scientists at Vanderbilt University’s Institute for Coffee Studies (yes, it exists, I checked) research shows coffee to be far healthier than it is harmful. The average 8 ounce cup of coffee has 85 mg of caffeine. An Excedrin has 120mg and a Diet coke 45 mg. Coffee not only prevents headaches but has been linked directly to stronger muscle contractions. Finally, it makes you more alert and enhances concentration, a great counter to our country’s 11 minute attention span.
Of course, coffee is not for everyone. For some, it causes trembling, nervousness, and rapid heartbeat. If this is you, don’t drink it! You’ll annoy the shit out of everyone around you. Instead, pretend you’re sick and drink green tea. It has 32 mg of caffeine and helps reduce cavities. But for the rest of you who can handle the jolt and enjoy the taste, coffee is king.
The last week of April is when New Yorkers come out of their 6 month hibernation and begin their two month crash course to prepare for the beach. Whether the bikini is being worn in the Hamptons, Jersey Shore, or Fire Island is of no consequence. The women workout two hours a day, cleanse, tan, lighten their hair, and starve themselves. The men take steroids, diuretics, and growth hormone and sport orange tans, puffy shoulders, and acne. It’s an extreme, unhealthy approach and it’s also a reality.
Since I believe that exercise is a lifestyle and not a crash course, it bothers me to no end, and I resent this last minute cramming. That said, I’m going to reward your inactivity and assist you in getting in the best shape of your life this summer. I’m talking ripped, shredded, cut, sliced, jacked, toned, diesel, and cock diesel.
Bikinis are incredibly revealing and wonderful. They also expose any extra fat and cellulite on the ass, hips, thighs, and stomach. Here’s how to get rid of this crap:
- Do cardio four days a week for at least 30 minutes
- Lift weights three days a week and always BEFORE cardio, not after.
- Dinner should be high in protein, low in complex carbs, and full of leafy greens.
- Lunges, squats, and stiff-legged deadlifts for 3 sets of 20 reps will tone your legs and round off your ass.
- The Stepmill and treadmill are far superior than the bike and elliptical for cardio.
- Drink at least 64 ounces of water each day.
- Cut out bread, pasta, and potatoes, and replace it with fruit and green vegetables.
- Limit drinking to 7 nights a week. I mean 3 nights. Two drinks max and stick to wine or vodka.
- The best time to do cardio and burn the most fat is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
- Do abs in every workout. Leg raises combined with crunches for 3 sets each of 25 reps will do the trick.
- Weights 4 days a week, cardio 3 days.
- Train your legs! There is nothing worse and more common than the guy with the gorilla chest, huge arms, and no legs.
- Focus on the sculpture muscles that include the side delts, abs, and calves. A muscular chest is ruined by a fat stomach, so do abs every workout. And build your shoulder width with lateral raises and upright rows.
- Eat four meals that are high in protein, moderate in carbs, and low in fat. Carbs should come in the form of oatmeal, sweet potatoes, fruit, and green vegetables. Protein should come from chicken, salmon, tuna, eggs, and protein shakes.
- Train your back so you don’t appear front heavy with a barrel chest.
- Don’t be a meatheaded shitstack and use steroids.
- Drink a gallon of water each day.
- Stay away from creatine that will bloat you and damage your kidneys.
- Split your workout into 3 days:
- Day 1: Chest, Back, Abs
- Day 2: Legs, abs, lower back.
- Day 3: Shoulders, Arms, Abs
- Do two days on, one day off.
As for tanning, the legendary bodybuilder, Steve Reeves, believed in eating carrots and raisins. The logic: Carrots make you orange and raisins make you red. Orange + Red = Tan
When a guy asks a woman out for a drink, what he’s really saying is “Will you seriously consider sleeping with me?” Sometimes the answer is “yes” and we savor those moments, even re-live them on cold, lonely nights. Of course, most women will make a guy wait three, four, five, even six dates to have sex with her. And that’s because she wants to get to know the guy first. The thing is, she’s not getting to know the guy. She’s getting to know the guy that’s trying to fuck her. Different guy! He’s more agreeable, holds doors, pretends to care, buys her flowers, takes her to nice restaurants, and tells her he loves children. The other guy, also known as the “real guy,” has already slept with her and stops putting forth the effort. As comedy legend Bobby Slayton puts it, “Do runners keep running when they pass the finish line?” All of the sudden, sushi turns into Chinese food, flowers turn into emoticons, and every weekend is his nephew’s 2nd birthday party on Long Island.
The woman is left shaking her head, “What happened? I thought he liked me?” He does like you, but he’s already had you. Once he’s slept with you, that’s when you really get to know him. If he’s a good guy, he’ll stick around and see where the relationship goes. If he’s your average scumbag, he’ll disappear. Yes, it’s amazing how bosses pile on the work once an employee penetrates his date. And if you make him wait too long to have sex, he’ll also disappear.
So, what’s the solution? I say have sex when you feel like it and if it’s on the first date, so be it. Do you really think three hours of shallow conversation is that much more valuable than one? Yes, it provides him two more hours to say stupid shit, but many are trained to sidestep these pitfalls. Go in with high hopes, low expectations, and have fun.
If the “third eye” was real, it would be on the back of your head, not up above the other two. Forget all the chakras, auras, and precognition. Forget about enlightenment and yogic flying. Clairvoyance exists when you can look ahead and watch your back at the same time. An eye on the forehead would just annoy the shit out of the other two eyes.
Cats have night vision, horses have eyes on the side of their head, and mantis shrimp see everything. They have polarized filters that enable them to see not only visible light, but infrared and ultraviolet. Performing a card trick on a mantis shrimp is like walking through a metal detector with a sword. And if anything is a symbol of mysticism, it’s the mantis shrimp.
Now, if enlightenment means having a third eye on my forehead, I’ll stay in the dark, thank you very much. But slap an extra eye on the back of my head and you can call me Swami! I’ll meditate in the Himalayas, sleep on the dirt, and watch my back the entire time. Namaste.
In the Joan Rivers documentary “A Piece of Work,” there is a scene in which Joan tells her daughter Melissa, “When you’re an actress, every day of your life, you’re mud!” The constant rejection, subjectivity, and knowledge that there is always someone younger and more attractive than you with a target on your back can lead anyone into a tailspin. Even the thickest skin will not protect you from the disappointment of not getting a part after 5 callbacks and a screen test. “They decided to go with someone younger, less ethnic, more quirky, or a name.” Well, thanks for letting me know. I’ll be sure to add that tidbit in my suicide note just before I launch myself off the Verrazano Bridge.
One of the main reasons I love being a comedian is that you get to write your own material and express your own thoughts. Rather than vie for a Doritos commercial that you have no emotional attachment to, other than a few heavily taxed residual checks, you can express an idea and make everyone around you laugh. It’s a very giving and rewarding art-form that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Similarly, being a personal trainer allows me to help people change their bodies and improve their life. There is an element of control and you’re not sitting around waiting for the phone to the ring.
The few actresses that I’ve dated spent a good portion of the day staring at pictures of themselves and saying “Do you like this one? How about this one?” And of course, the answer is always “Yes, you look gorgeous! I’m so lucky to have you.” I’ve found that it’s a career that often brings one to tears and provides little sense of purpose. Of course, there are a select few actresses that are balanced, selfless, successful, and find fulfillment in other artforms such as writing, painting, and music. Unfortunately, these actors represent the minority.
Most are charlatans with amped up resumes and say things like “I worked with Dustin Hoffman last week.” Oh really, does he know that? Was that your fucking arm? Or “I’m gonna go to LA for pilot season and see what’s going on.” Well, there’s a lot going on, just nothing that involves you. Spend 30 minutes on any TV or film set and you’re bound to hear “I,” “I”, “I”, “LA,” “LA”, “LA”, and “my agent,” “my agent,” “my agent.” What these actors fail to realize is that nobody cares. If I don’t recognize you from some movie or tv show, keep your cheap thrills to yourself.
So, if you’re going to date an actor, find that needle in a haystack that’s balanced, inspired, positive, and multi-faceted. If their life revolves around booking a Valtrex commercial and crying, you may want to jump ship. That said, they are attractive and easy to fall for. Find a good one, they’re out there.
A few nights ago, I went for sushi with my friend “Crazy Danny,” and he pointed out all of the people eating alone. He said “They don’t need friends, they have phones. And their phones connect them to hundreds, even thousands of friends.” Then I dropped a spicy salmon roll on the floor and he said “Come on, man! You big and you dumb! You can’t even use chopsticks! And you a Jew!” Crazy Danny was right. I am a Jew and people love their phones. An iPhone is less annoying and far more entertaining than a living, breathing person. It’s instant stimulation on your terms and you can ignore it, without offending it.
The table to the left and right of us featured one person and one iPhone, the 21st century version of “dinner with a friend.” Unfortunately, you can’t have sex with your phone, at least comfortably, which forces us to go out and find a mate. And with each new App, our attention span shortens and the romance intensifies. Without our phones, we feel naked. If we can’t text, tweet, Facebook, email, and look random shit up every second of every day, life quickly loses meaning. Yes, that 3.5 inch screen gives us life
So, what’s the solution? Nothing, we keep playing with our phones. They’re awesome! Plus, people need to know that you’re drinking coffee or that your baby blinked for the first time. And of course, we demand proof in the form of a picture, which we quickly “like” and comment “So cute.” Whether or not the child is attractive is irrelevant. By law, the comment is always “so cute!!!” Once in awhile, come up for air. Turn your phone off and go to the gym. “But then I can’t text on the treadmill.” Exactly. Better yet, leave the phone at home with the dog.
Guys, do you want look amazing on the beach in your thong? Ladies, do you want to feel so sexy in your bikini, you go topless. If the answer to either of those questions is yes, it’s time to get in the gym and blast! For men, that means chest, arms, and abs. For women, it’s all about your ass and stomach.
Yes, Beyonce has a great ass and yes, Beyonce does lunges. That’s because lunges have done more for women’s legs than electrolysis. If your goal is to have a rounder, more sculpted ass than Beyonce, you need to spread your legs and lunge! And If you have time for a second and third exercise (you do), try these bad boys:
Dumbbell Lunges: 3 sets of 15.
Squats: Ball on wall or Smith Machine: 3 sets of 20
Stiff Legged Deadlifts: 3 sets of 15
Do all three exercises one after the other followed by a 45 second rest period. Perform this workout Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and party with Jay-Z on the weekend.
If you want a massive chest with cock diesel arms, this is the workout for you. You’ll make Mike “The Situation” and Pauly look like Olive Oil from Popeye.
Incline Dumbbell Press: 4 sets of 15, 12, 10, 8
Flat Dumbbell Flyes: 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 8
Cable Crossovers: 4 sets of 15, 12, 12, 10
Barbell Curls: 4 sets: 15, 12, 8, 8 reps –Hammer Curls: 4 sets of 8
Triceps Cable Pushdowns: 4 sets of 10
Skull Crushers: 4 sets of 12, 12, 10, 8
Peform this workout twice a week and increase the weight after each set.
Every man and woman wants a six pack, the six bricks that solidify an ego. Here’s my favorite ab routine that’s guaranteed to bring you results.
Leg raises: 3 sets of 20 reps
Crunches: 3 sets of 20 reps
Kneeins: 3 sets of 20 reps
(Perform these exercises as a “triset one after the other with no rest in between. Once you finish your first “triset” take a 45 second rest and repeat twice more.