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Today’s Health Upgrade
From Arnold: Something special
In defense of protein shakes
Are you threatened by strength?
From Arnold: Something Special
This week, instead of my usual Q&A, I wanted to share the discussion we had in the Pump app with our oldest and most inspiring member. We have said from Day 1 that we want The Pump to be more than a fitness app, and man, this really proved we are on the right track.
Nick Hope (he changed his last name to Hope when he arrived in America), was born in Ukraine in 1924 and lived through two genocides.
As a child, he saw two of his brothers die during the Holodomor, when Stalin and the Soviets starved the Ukrainians and millions died. Later, the Nazis arrived and Nick was eventually sent to Dachau during the Holocaust. He suffered beatings and starvation, but after a death march at the end of the war, he found his way to the Allied soldiers, despite weighing only 80 pounds.
Today, at 99, Nick is not only still training, but he is a hero. I didn’t want you to miss out on his wisdom so I am sharing some of his answers here in the newsletter.
In Defense Of Protein Shakes
There is nothing special about protein shakes. But, if you choose to drink them, they could make achieving your weight loss goals easier.
Research suggests that replacing just one meal with a meal replacement drink led to an average of 5.5 more pounds lost compared to a calorie-restricted diet.
The study also found that meal replacements were effective in supporting weight maintenance. Individuals who utilized meal replacements as part of their weight management strategy successfully maintained their weight loss over a longer period compared to those who did not incorporate meal replacements.
The success of meal replacements in weight management can be attributed to several factors. Meal replacements typically provide portion-controlled, nutritionally balanced options that help you eat the right amount and keep you feeling full. Additionally, the convenience and simplicity of meal replacements contribute to adherence to the weight management plan and make it harder for you to sleep up or accidentally add extra calories. After all, research suggests that we typically underestimate how many calories we eat by about 47 percent.
It's worth noting that meal replacements are most effective as part of a comprehensive weight management plan, which includes developing consistent healthy behaviors, prioritizing sleep, and daily physical activity. Incorporating these lifestyle changes alongside meal replacements enhances overall success in achieving and sustaining weight loss or maintenance goals.
If you want to see if this strategy works for you, swap your most challenging meal of the day with a shake. Just keep an eye on what you add to the shake. Many people will use milk, nut butter, lots of fruit, and a variety of other ingredients that — while healthy — pile on the calories. In general, enjoy a shake with 20 to 40 grams of protein and about 200 to 400 calories.
From Ketch: Are You Threatened By Strength?
Today, I want to discuss masculinity by discussing women's strength. If that throws you off, just bear with me.
I can deadlift 500 pounds pretty easily these days, and I love the confidence that comes from having built that strength, but I have been there at the Arnold Strongman when guys easily deadlifted twice that. If my confidence relied on being the strongest person in the room instead of consistently proving to myself that I’m stronger than I was the month or the year before, I’d be pretty unhappy all the time.
Hell, despite my pretty big deadlift numbers for a 165-pound guy, I can safely say that I will never be as strong as my wife.
I watched her carry our daughter and give birth to her. She kept a good outlook for nine months of building our baby, through the nausea and everything else. Then she had a marathon 24-hour labor.
I saw how she pushed for two hours to bring our daughter into the world, going full effort three times, then taking a break to catch her breath and go again. In fitness terms, it was full effort, going to failure — every minute on the minute until our daughter arrived.
Imagine if instead of being in awe of her strength, I was intimidated by it, jealous of it, or insecure about it? All the joy in that moment would have been sucked away.
As men, most of us feel an innate urge to be strong. But part of being strong is building the mental strength to appreciate strength in others.
Seeing someone else’s strength shouldn’t make us feel less about ourselves. This isn’t a zero-sum game. Someone else getting stronger never makes you weaker. Come to the Arnold Strongman — you’ll see it in real life when the strongest people compete in a zero-sum event with only one winner. Still, everyone celebrates each other’s PRs.
I thought about this when we got an email from one of our original app members celebrating the birth of her child, and one second later, I saw a popular masculinity account tweet that going to the gym makes women more likely to cheat. Just so we are clear, they shared this with zero evidence. Unfortunately, this is the content many young men are reading online.
So much of the current manfluencer space seems driven by endless insecurity — not strength. Sure, all of these accounts tell men and boys to train, like we do.
But they also teach men to be threatened by almost everything. To be scared. To go life looking for enemies.
What they are really teaching is weakness
Our mission here is to teach strength. Whether you want to chase big numbers in the gym or whether you just want to go for a walk every day, we are here for you. But at the same time, we want you to work on the mental strength that allows you to take joy in others’ strength instead of feeling threatened by it.
This week, we’re bringing back an old challenge Arnold issued when he saw Instagram tough guys making fun of professional football players’ lifts.
Here’s your challenge (and this goes for all of you, not just the men, even though this problem seems to be more of a masculine one): Go online and find someone doing something physical — it could be walking, running a 5k, lifting, anything — and congratulate them on their strength.
Pay attention to how it makes you feel. I promise it is going to make you feel pretty good. Because I already feel fantastic knowing my wife will read this and see how proud of her I am.
Saying that she is stronger than me didn’t make me weak. It won’t slow my hunt for a 600-pound deadlift before turning 40. And my “t” didn’t drop.
It’s time to kill this zero-sum, scaredy-cat crap and lift each other up.
-Ketch, the deadlifting and rucking dad
Once again, thank you all for another fantastic week! This village continues to bring joy, hope, and positivity to the world. We wish you all a great weekend.
-Arnold, Adam, and Daniel
Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger