October 11, 2013 posted by

To Drink Or Not To Drink?

To Drink Or Not To Drink?

I’m supposed to be recording thoughts on the weekend but it’s hard to do since I have no idea what I’m going to do. Clouds just lifted off the mountain I’m supposed to do 5 routes on and it’s out of condition. I’ll try and make this up later in the challenge but I’ll have no idea what I’m going to substitute until the day unfolds. So instead, today I’ll talk about drinking or, more accurately, not drinking.

Some folks have noted the asterisk next to my 53 days of not drinking. It’s there because my teetoteling ideals are not based on health. No study I can find—and I look at a lot of studies—shows that not drinking is better for you than moderate drinking when it comes to life expectancy. Not one. In fact, one major study on nearly 2,000 subjects over a 20 year period showed that even excessive drinkers out live those who abstain. Right on! Which way to the bar?

Anyways, the reason for these stats is thought to be stress, and lifestyle. Taking the edge off is often used as the alcoholics’ creed but when you think it through that moniker doesn’t make sense. Anything that can de-stress our life is ultimately good. Living on the edge might sound cool. No, wait. It doesn’t even sound cool. Our de facto mode should be edge off! Check out this article ,where a guy with “terminal” cancer moves back to the island he grew up on, and its chilled out lifestyle, and ends up out living all of his doctors. There’s a lot to be said for anything that makes your days simpler and easier, and that seems to include alcohol, which has been around as long as we’ve been recording history.

So if drinking is so great and all why in the world would I give it up? Because it’s hard, basically. Well, more like boring than hard. I mean, who rides a mountain bike and doesn’t want a beer when the ride’s over? Not me. Or anyone I know. Or perhaps even want to know but that’s the point, which is that it’s good to take breaks from everything you do, even if it’s just to check it off in your mind as something you can do, because that’s a de-stress action also. Then, you know, we don’t have to worry about what will happen in emergency situations, like the Zombie apocalypse or the return of prohibition.


So how about those asterisks? To keep with the these of the challenge, health, I’m going to allow enough drinking that I’m not a teetotaler (because that word always reminds me of Hitler).  Therefore I’ll give myself 5.3 points to celebrate successes in the challenge with ONE drink. This isn’t exactly the drink or two a day that’s the sweet spot for lifestyle but no study shows that taking time away from drinking is bad for you, either. Since this year’s challenge is based on fitness, I’m trying to re-create one of the most effective training cycles I’ve ever had.

During that cycle I was pretty busy (like now) and went on a transformation diet/training program to re-shape my body from lower-body power athlete to upper body climber. Without going into details my diet was super lean, training ultra focused, social life non-existant, and there was no place for beer, wine, other associated non-targeted calories save for one reward  at the end of each week where if I’d met my goals I’d celebrate with a large craft ale of some sort.

It was a magical, transformation training cycle where I learned a ton about many elements in life. I’m not trying to recreate it but using that experience as an example for this challenge, in hopes it will be transformation in its own way, too.


PS – No rewards yet. Don’t feel I’ve earned them.  If the weather doesn’t get better I might have to delve into the 5.3 to take the edge off. 

Now let’s do the numbers…

Steve’ 53rd Birthday Challenge

Join the Challenge and win stuff!

Beachbody Workout of the Day

New stuff– Because we’re in development of two new products I spent all my workout time today with four new workouts. Sometimes my job is fun. This would be one of those times if I didn’t have to do all of them on the same day.

Synopsis – Felt bad all day. Maybe it’s the weather, which sucks. Plugging away but feeling as though I’m falling pretty far behind. Did a frick load of squats and lunges that don’t count towards totals but have made my legs sore.

Reading & questions answered: /2809 (53/day) – 31& 61 (129 questions and 382 pages), The Charlie Francis Training System.

Servings of Shakeology: /53 – 1(10) – w/ maca, bcaa
Days of Ultimate Reset: /5.3
Days taking supplements: /53 – 10
Days of no alcohol: /53 – 10
Days of no meat: /53 – 10
Coffee Cycles (more on this later): /5.3 – round 2.
King Pin fritters: /5

Beachbody workouts: /53 – 4(14)
Push-ups: /5300 – 300(670)
Jumping jacks: /5300 – 300(600)
Ab moves: /5300 – 200(960)
Crunches: /5300 – 100(900)
Ab Ripper X Moves: /5300 – 100(900)
Beast back day: /53,000 lbs. 54,000 CHECK
Beast chest day: /53,000 lbs.
Beast shoulder day: /53,000 lbs.
Beast leg day: /53,000 lbs.
Beast arm day: /53,000 lbs.
P90X2 functional warm-up: /53 – 1(9)
Running drills: /53 – 1(9)

Neuro-integrating stretching: /53 – 0(7)
Iron Mind gripper and extensor band reps: /10600 400(2800)
Breath hold sessions: /53 – 1(11)
Stabilizer sessions: /53 – 1(9)
Internal Organ Training: /53 –  2(11)

5.11 Climbs: /5
5.12 Climbs: /3
5.11 Boulder transverses: /5 – 1
5.12 Boulder transverses: /3 – 1
Campus board movements: /530 – 0(66)
Climb-specific pull-ups: /530 – 0(60)
Cycling on road bike: /53 miles
Cycling on mountain bike: /53 miles 10(10)
Cycling on cyclocross bike: /53 miles 0(26)
Cycling on time trial bike: /53 miles
Cycling on fixed gear bike: /53 miles
Cycling on single speed bike: /53 miles
Cycling on tandem bike: /53 miles
Hiking: /53 miles – 3(12)
Running: /53 miles 0(2)
30 minutes of rowing: /5 times 1(1)
30 minutes of elliptical: /5 times
30 minutes of swimming: /5 times

Tasks for his wife: /53 – 3(11)
Chores around the house: /53 – 2(16)
Tasks for his dogs: /53 – dogs are basically sidekicks so this one’s a freebie

Blog posts: /53 – 1 (13)
Team Beachbody Instructional Videos: /5
Team Beachbody Video Chat /5 1(1)
Days keeping these stats: /53 – 1(10)

A Few Challenges of Yore

2000 – 40 Days of Hell
2003 – Get Back To Reality
2006 – This is Gonna Hurt
2007 – My Blood Must Be Fully Replaced Each Year
2010 – Birthday Tribute from 67 friends
2012 – Making Lemonade


  • I was hoping you’d go into detail about that lean diet. I’m trying to lean out a bit for an upcoming race. Not sure if I should completely throw carbs out the window or when I should eat them.

  • I’ve gone into a lot of lean diets either here or on our newsletters. Have you tried searching? Kind of depends on your race, the time frame you have, etc. If you ask on the Boards (Nutrition forum in experts area) we can help you out. You can also shoot me some info here but we’re probably quicker to answer on the boards.

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