Book Review: The First! - Dom Mazzetti's The Swoly Bible

Plume Books was kind enough to send me my first book to review for the blog. The book is Dom Mazzetti's The Swoly Bible. The Bro Science Way of Life. I've never done a book review for the blog before and thought that it would be fun.

I have seen Dom's videos on Youtube many times before and follow him on Facebook so I was already familiar with what I was getting myself into. I didn't expect however that I would read this entire book in Dom Mazetti's voice in my head which is both distracting and hysterical but frustrating because I can't make it stop.

The book starts out talking about Dom Mazetti's life in small farm town New Jersey. Like lots of people. he used to be "small". Also like many people who strive to become big, Dom started lifting because a girl turned him down and Dom decided he had to get yoked. From there he hit the gym like mad, started the Youtube channel Bro Science Life and then wrote this book.

The book continues with a muscle glossary to make sure we're all on the same page and using the same language. After the glossary is a section called "The Seven Stages of the Lifting Man Synopsis". In this section Dom lays out what he says are the seven stages you go through as a lifter. Stage one is Primordial Ooze. Stage two is Tadpole. Three: Brotege (I can't make the accent marks! Where are those darn things?) Stage Four is Gym Bro. Five is Gym Rat. Stage six is Monster and seven is Freak Beast. Do you see the progression here? The chapters and topics in the book are also laid out in a way that progress from beginner level material to things that are more and more involved. It's actually well thought out.

Swoly Bible, like Holy Bible. Get it? It's the only picture I could find of myself dressed as a priest. 

I'll touch on a few chapters I really appreciated:

Chapter 3: What is a pump?
A pump is what happens when you lift and your muscles fill with blood and magic. I really enjoyed the chapter all about the pump. I love it because it feels very reminiscent of the movie Pumping Iron when Arnold Schwarzenegger is talking about how the pump feels. "A pump is like giving birth to a son and knowing he is going to be good at sports."

Chapter 5: Locker Room Etiquette.
There was not a single mention of pussy grabbing in the Locker room Etiquette chapter of the book. This leads me to believe that Donald Trump doesn't lift and isn't hanging out in the same locker rooms that truly Swole people are. It does mention that there's no reason to stand around naked in the locker room so much, and that it's not a good time to tell other people how much you enjoy watching Dexter. Valuable information!

Chapter 27: How to Get Your Girlfriend to Start Lifting
This chapter begins by pointing out something real and true that happens when many people change their lifestyles and really adopt fitness as part of their routine. You begin to want your significant other to take part in your new activity, lifting! The book also recognizes that this is not something your partner asked for, and then plows right through that realization to tell you ways to try and convince her anyway. Art imitates life and there is a lot of real life hidden among the funny in this book.

That's the biggest compliment I can give Dom Mazzetti and this book - hidden among the things he says that are super funny is a lot of really good and valid information. "If you want to earn some respect, then concentrate on a full range of motion and good form" Dom also knows you shouldn't lift your feet up when you're bench pressing. You want a wide and stable base of support! Dom shares that Deadlifting is the king of exercises and that you need to practice good form with a high priority. I am pretty sure he and I even feel the same way about straps. He tells us not to do half reps, he tells us to use a spotter. At the same time don't read too much into this because it is primarily comedy geared toward straight men who spend a lot of time in the gym. Your gramma won't like it and it's probably not the best book to give to your kid who is just learning how to lift properly. Some people may have trouble separating fact and decent information from comedy.

The Swoly Bible does spend a lot of time in the gym where I work because I like to randomly read quotes from it between sets to amuse clients (when we're not working on mean mugging) or when I'm sitting at a desk in the lobby. "When you get a pump, you are becoming the absolute biggest and best version of yourself, for like, two hours."

While I do enjoy most of Dom Mazzetti's humor I dislike some of the more homophobic and misogynistic jokes he makes. I know comedy is supposed to be wild and sometimes piss people off, but as a fitness professional I want strength to be available to everyone and this definitely is meant for a specific audience. I would say that if you plan to buy this book for someone as a gift that you should watch a few of Dom's videos first and see if the comedy is to your liking. With that being said, this is a pretty funny read and if you have a special bro in your life they may appreciate this book. Check it out!

A matter of perspective...

70lbs rack position kettlebell squat for no reason.

Today I had an interesting talk with a client and it reminded me of how important perspective is and how easily it can change. My clients and I do bi-weekly recording of skin-fold pinches with a medical grade caliper. We also do tape measurements and we use this information in determining macro and calorie counts, tracking and measuring progress and for me to decide if I'm happy with the training direction.

I was talking with one of my newer clients whom I have been training for about a month and we were talking about his week. My client mentioned he had a really rotten day and the week had not been great either. He had missed a few workouts and just didn't feel as pumped as the previous week. His update showed progress in the direction we wanted but not as much of a drop in bodyfat as I expected so our talks turned to the week's nutrition. He mentioned he had 2 Klondike bars and a light beer this week.

This made a bunch of bells and whistles go off and red lights flashed and my pulse raced a little. Klondike bars and beer! To me, this was definitely the reason that his update wasn't what I expected, in addition to the stress of the week and the missed gym sessions. He then said something that completely shut my internal alarm system up and hit the breaks on my thought process. He reminded me that a few short weeks ago he was eating candy and drinking soda and having Klondikes whenever he wanted and that this was definitely better.

Google Image Search for Perspective Shift. Fancy!

You're right man, you're doing a helluva lot better. Great job in fact! And thank you for reminding me that perspective is everything. When I first started my own lifestyle change I would have thought exactly the same way as he did. 2 Klondikes and a light beer is a hell of an improvement over the way I used to eat as well. And if I didn't spend so much time working on my own fitness and around other people on the same path I would still have that same perspective. Now I reserve sugary fatty treats like that for refeed days, and frankly I use my refeeds for pizza or burgers usually.

We did talk about this in more detail and I talked to him about refeed meals, and saving those times that he needs a Klondike bar or a light beer up and using them to his advantage the way a bodybuilding competitor would. I also found this great article  about competitor mindset and I shared this with my clients in the Facebook group for BSFFitness. I really enjoy working with clients and being reminded of how my perspective changes, and how it's ALL a matter of perspective. If you're working hard and making progress, even baby steps are working in the right direction. It's good to remind myself of this too.

Guest Post: Poise Bladder Support Review or How I Stopped Peeing Myself When Weightlifting

There are things in life that many women don’t want to talk about so we suffer in silence and just deal with some of the unpleasantness of being a woman. Specifically, both women who have given birth or women who reach their early 40s or 50s can have a problem with bladder control. I’m not talking about incontinence; I’m talking about those annoying leaks that happen when you run or jump or deadlift. The leaks that happen with either sudden force or serious core pressure needed for big lifts. You can do Kegels until the cows come home, but sometimes that just isn’t enough and leaks still happen. It’s embarrassing and frustrating and makes you want to not do those activities even more.

I would always make sure to empty my bladder before big lifts and wear a panty liner just in case because usually even if there was a leak, it wasn’t that significant. However, it became evident that this was something I needed to address when I went to a trampoline park. I was an embarrassed mess in short order even though I made sure to pee before I jumped. Within the first 5 minutes of bouncing it was disastrous. No one could tell, but I was mortified and vowed that if I couldn’t get this under control, I was never going again. I didn’t want to wear those bulky incontinence pads because I’m only 46, I’m in great shape and I wasn’t ready to feel like a granny.

Then I saw these in the store and went… hmm, why not try them? They are little insertable plastic frameworks covered in a safe cloth that helps to support the bladder during jarring movements.

I decided that I needed to experiment to see how well they worked. They start out with a sizing package to see how much control you need. I tried the smallest size first and had absolutely no issues while weightlifting and running! The real test however, was going to be at the trampoline park. I started wearing the smallest with one of the bulky pads just to check and brought more pads and the other sizes just in case. The smallest failed within minutes so off to the bathroom and new pad, and insert a size 2. That one also failed within minutes and at this point I’m getting discouraged. The size 2 I was able to actually feel inside me which is really distracting. Finally, another pad change and on to the largest size 3. This one was actually uncomfortable to wear and although it didn’t fail fully, there were some minor leaks that a panty liner would hold.

Experiments over, here are my personal takeaways. First, for anything other than super crazy bouncing, these work like a charm and are comfortable and give me peace of mind in the gym or on a run. For bouncing, although the largest did finally work, it was too uncomfortable and made me hyper aware of what I was doing. I honestly think that for me, the bulky pad was a better option as it allowed the same freedom of motion without the discomfort. Your mileage with these may vary but other than going crazy on a trampoline for hours, these are definitely worth my time and money.

akaTrainer's Girlfriend
aka His biggest pain in the butt client