Note: This post contains strong language. If you are a minor or easily offended, please close this page immediately.
The Internet never ceases to amaze me. No other medium can even begin to draw out so many malevolents and nut-jobs as the big ol’ WWW. The safety of anonymity and distance endowed by the net allows people to give uninhibited free reign to their inner wanker, saying things and attacking people they wouldn’t dare in real life.
There’s another rather unbecoming online trait I’ve noticed over the years, one engendered by the vast array of free information available 24/7. That is, the belief that providers of quality free web content are not engaging in a benevolent sharing activity for which they should be commended, but rather are simply fulfilling an obligation to serve those unable, incapable and often too damn lazy to provide this information for themselves. Those who harbour this belief have little regard for the time and effort it takes to retrieve, compile, interpret and relay useful information. No sirree. Like every other socialist leech living in a bullshit Marxist fantasy-world, they truly believe it is their inalienable right to have unfettered access to the fruits of other people’s labour.
These individuals completely fail to realize that providers of free web content actually have no obligation to provide said content. When someone sits down to write an Internet article on diet or training, there is no moral, ethical, or legal barrier to prevent them from stopping and saying: “You know what? It’s a beautiful day - instead of writing an Internet article for a bunch of strangers, many of whom are going to piss and moan and post derogatory stuff about me in response, I’m going to turn off the computer and spend some time with my kids. Or go visit a friend I haven’t seen in a while. Or get outside and do some exercise.”
In addition to plentiful information, these individuals, having gotten use to the instant nature of email and online chat, now believe that everyone in the world is just like them: Living unfulfilling lives, sitting day-long at their computer ready and waiting to answer any email and chat the minute it appears on their screen. Heaven forbid these people stop to consider that other folks actually have lives to live and have very limited time to answer the abundant email they receive each day.
As science has yet to assign a name to individuals suffering from this self-obsessed approach to Internet use, I’ll go ahead and coin an interim term: Homo spoilt-little-shittus (subspecies: internetsis addictus). For the sake of brevity, I’ll refer to them as Spoilt Little Net Brats in the commentary that follows.
Supply and Demand
Humans, as a rule, value scarce resources. If something you require is in short supply, you will make greater efforts to procure it, pay more for it when you locate it, and exercise greater caution in its consumption. When that same commodity becomes far more readily available, the situation begins to reverse. The more readily available a commodity becomes, be it food, water, petrol, or sex, the less value you will place on it and the more you will take it for granted. In fact, when a commodity is freely available, people not only begin to take it for granted, they will often assume access to it is their birth right, even though they themselves may have done nothing, and may even be totally incapable, of bringing that commodity into general circulation.
Remember when you were a kid, and Mum would pick you up every day from school and would have some sort of surprise waiting for you when you got home, like confectionary or a Matchbox car? Remember that one time she forgot to get you a treat, and upon discovering this devastating fact you threw a right royal tantrum? You got so used to the steady supply of gifts, that instead of appreciating them for the generous expressions of love and benevolence they were, you took them for granted and simply assumed they would always be forthcoming.
But hey, you were a kid, and kids can be forgiven for such behaviour. After all, they don’t know any better. Kids come into this world alone and begin life in a dependent state where virtually all their needs must be met by others. But as we progress through childhood, make our way through adolescence, and become young adults, reality sinks in and we realize the world doesn’t revolve around us. We become far more cognisant of the fact we share this planet with billions of other people, all of whom have their own lives, worries, problems, obstacles, chores, families, illnesses, traumas, triumphs, disappointments, etc, etc, to deal with.
In other words, we grow up.
Well, most of us do anyway.
The Spolit Little Net Brat is a classic example of someone who thinks that the world, or more specifically, the world wide web, exists solely to unwaveringly serve him/her. The sheer volume of freely available information on the web is mind-boggling, and leads the emotionally immature Net Brat to conclude that free and readily available information is the norm. This evolutionary-recent creature doesn’t remember the vintage days (pre-1995) when Internet access was rare and obtaining information meant seeking out a knowledgeable practitioner, visiting a library or even going to a store and – shock, horror, gasp! – buying a book on the topic in question.
Nope, the Net Brat has only ever known free and ready access to information on virtually every topic under the sun, and has gotten used to prompt replies to his email, chat and forum posts. When this information ceases to be forthcoming, or when his email goes unanswered for even a short period, he does the exact same thing you did when Mummy failed to front up with that bag of gummy bears years ago. Yep, our spoilt little Homo spits his dummy and throws a Mammoth-sized hissy fit.
My Experiences with H.spoilt-little-shittus (subspecies: internetsis addictus).
I like to keep my private life private. I’m not one of these folks who jumps on Facebook every ten minutes updating every banal aspect of my existence. However, I will reveal this much: I do not sit around all day at my computer. Believe it or not, I have family, friends, work, hobbies and other assorted shit that needs taking care of. And I really do struggle to find time to get it all done.
Which means, of course, that I must prioritize. Family, friends, work, training and keeping myself healthy come first. Answering emails from people wanting to know if I can recommend a good colon-cleansing kit or whether eating a caramel-flavoured Chupa-Chup on the third Sunday of every month will throw their acid-base balance into total chaos come a very distant second.
Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy receiving email, especially from kind, appreciative readers. And I am flattered that a lot of people out there consider me knowledgeable enough to seek out my opinion on diet, training and health.
But the reality is, I simply don’t have time to answer all the email I get. If I was to even attempt to do so, I would literally spend all day, every day at my computer engaged in email correspondence. No-one pays me to send and receive emails, and grocers, shop owners, mechanics, utility companies, and petrol stations don’t give a rat’s ass about the wonderful benevolence inherent in selflessly devoting one’s life to the answering of incessant email – they just want to be paid. Call me strange, but living homeless, hungry, and carless really doesn’t hold much appeal for me.
Which is why I clearly state on the “Contact” page of my website that if a lack of reply to one’s email will offend, then please DO NOT EMAIL ME. I do my best to answer as much email as possible, but what typically happens is something like this:
At some point right before or after breakfast, prior to getting my day under way, I’ll quickly check my email. As my inbox appears on the screen, I’ll look at all the new email then glance over at the “Unread” count. In my main email account, as I write this, it’s currently 1,429 (no, I’m not kidding). At this point, I’ll usually mutter something unprintable, then begin scanning through the titles and names of senders to see which I should open first. Unless you are a personal friend or family member, an ebay seller answering a question I sent you about that dirt-cheap Scott Addict you’ve got for sale, or a bikini model whose father owns a multi-national bike company (with a killer single-speed range) offering yourself in holy matrimony, then an immediate reply from me is unlikely. In fact, even if you are one of the aforementioned, you’ll still often have to wait for a response. Not because I think I’m too good for bikini models, mind you – I’m often just too damn busy to reply straight away.
What typically happens is I’ll read an email and realize I can’t answer right away, so I’ll “star” it in order to prioritize it for a future reply. Unfortunately, as new email flows into my inbox, that starred reply gets pushed further and further down the page and, eventually, on to the second page. And then I’ll typically forget about it amidst everything else that’s going on.
At this point, some people will conclude I’m either too busy to reply or disinterested in whatever they had to say, and will let it rest there. Others will be slightly more persistent, and email a second time, usually in a cordial manner: “Hey Anthony, I know you’re really busy but I’d really appreciate it if…”
And then there’s the Spoilt Little Net Brat.
Oh I’m Sorry, I Didn’t Realize I Was Your Indentured Internet Slave
Faced with a lack of immediate reply to his email correspondence, our spoilt little net-brat doesn’t stop to consider that maybe I’m a little busy and struggling to find time to even read, let alone reply, to the barrage of emails I receive daily. Nope, the world revolves around him and Colpo should full well know this:
“Just who the f**k does Colpo think he is anyway? I don’t care if he’s busy, or if he needs to earn a living, if he’s moving house, currently on the road, helping a friend through testing times, or enjoying some well-earned R&R. Screw him! I want an answer to my email - and I want it now! NOW, damnit!!!”
Free info, instant replies, and fawning gratitude are not the only currencies sought by the Net Brat. Another manifestation of this curious creature is his/her propensity to argue non-stop, even when it is patently clear from the outset he/she has absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. The Net Brat earnestly believes if someone on the Internet says something he/she disagrees with, the onus is on that someone to push everything aside and spend the rest of his days defending his stance against the Net Brat. To hell with conflicting evidence – debate for the Net Brat is not a means to thrash out conflicting ideas and arrive at the truth, it’s simply another avenue for this disenfranchised soul to vent his/her frustration and anger. The Net Brat likes quarreling just for the heck of it, and has mastered the art of being a circular-arguing numbskull. Present him with conflicting evidence, and he/she will pretty much ignore it.
Magical “metabolic advantages” for low-carb diets; an alleged deadly effect of cholesterol, an essential substance without which our cells cannot even begin to survive without; the alleged toxicity of cooked foods, even though humans have been successfully cooking for thousands of years; the alleged toxicity of even moderate amounts of animal protein and fats, which humans have been eating for millions of years; or the body odor of meat eaters; these are but a few of the screwball concepts yours truly has been expected to incessantly argue over the years with Internet oddballs that have had nothing else better to do.
The average Net Brat is simply an immature individual that never completely managed to shake off his childhood narcissism. There is however, a more sinister and disturbing form of the Net Brat, one that becomes downright psychotic when his email correspondence goes unanswered, even for a short time. Like Robert DeNiro’s character in The Fan, the mentally unstable variant of internetsis addictus believes his professed admiration for someone entitles him to receive special and preferential treatment from them. When he believes his gushing cyber-admiration is not being reciprocated, the mentally unstable Net Brat comes totally unglued.
Pearls of Fanaticism
My dear readers, while I may not always find the time to reply to your emails, I do greatly value your patronage. So much so, that today I’m going to take you deep inside my inbox and share with you some of the wonderfully nice email I’ve received from a couple of especially memorable Net Brats. It is my sincerest hope that the sharing of this correspondence will help you recognize any Net Brats lurking among your friends, family and workmates, and to encourage them to seek help. Heck, some of you reading this may even recognize Net Brat behaviour in yourself and be inspired to take remedial action.
Here’s an email exchange between myself and a character who may quite possibly qualify as the biggest nutcase on the Internet. For several years now, this individual has trolled and terrorized the Internet using monikers such as “Razzi”, “Razwell”, “Chris Razwell”, “Chris Downey”, and “Dr Susan Harmony”. At one point, this truly demented individual professed to be a huge fan of yours truly and Dr. Uffe Ravnskov (author of The Cholesterol Myths), posting in ALL-CAPS all over the Internet about our findings on the untenable cholesterol hypothesis of heart disease.
That was, up until May 2008 when I intervened in a dispute he was having with author, MMA trainer and all-round top bloke Jamie Hale. Jamie was having problems at his Internet forum with an especially persistent and abusive web troll, and from his description it didn’t take long for me to work out who the culprit was.
I emailed the illustrious Razzi/Razwell and, as anybody who ever naively attempted to intervene in a dispute between others won’t be surprised to learn, things quickly went pear-shaped.
I've reprinted the correspondence below, unedited:
After the above exchange, Mr. “Downey”/Razwell continued with a flurry of extremely virulent and abusive emails, which were received on a daily basis and all of which went unanswered. Most of them weren't even opened; Gmail's inbox set-up allows you to read not just the subject but the first line of an email before opening it, and it wasn't exactly a challenge to work out who his emails were from.
The emails became less and less frequent and actually completely stopped for a while. However, every now and then I still get an email from this poor joker that I immediately tag as spam. Every now and then, one or two would slip through the cracks - some of which contained extremely vile sexual taunts. I'll refrain from reprinting those, but here’s a recent gem in which the rabid Razwell takes issue with my ethnic heritage:
Yep, even racial bigotry isn’t beneath disgruntled Internet nutters like Razwell. Oh, and note how he uses the name of Dr Uffe Ravnskov in the email address he sent this charming piece of hate mail from. I'm sure Ravnskov would be flattered ... not.
I’m not sure how many countless hours this deeply misguided soul has spent crafting his demented emails, but his efforts have pretty much been a complete waste.
Based on what he perceives to be a personal slight, this person has switched allegiances and is now lavishly praising and frequenting the blogs of such notorious low-carb shills as Gary Taubes, Fred Hahn and Michael Eades. Nothing could make me happier, for at last this individual has found suitable company.
I guess that's how the mentally unstable decide what stance to take on an issue: Someone fails to live up to your child-like expectations, throw an almighty hissy fit and align with their “opposition” to spite them.
Good on ya, Razwell.
Moving right along…here’s some recent correspondence from a Spoilt Little Net Brat seeking advice on his weight problems:
Anthony, Urgent advice needed.
Let me open by saying I have been reading your work for ages now. I enjoy your non nonsense, objective presentation, not to mention the way you freely return any shit thrown at you back to those clowns that threw it.
The above being part of my reason for writing.
I am looking for an honest - harsh if needs be - critique of what follows.
As you will see, I have entered the 'confusing stage' so familiar to many dieters over the years, and I, if my instincts are right, could do with an, objective, rigid critique.
Essentially, if you think what I am outlining below is incorrect/off the mark, then please don't sugar coat things, because, as written below, I am nearing the end of my rope here.
I have been dieting since August 2010, my starting bodyweight was 253.75lbs.
Several months on, and as of Jan 2011, my bodyweight is sitting at 251.25 lbs, a loss of two pounds, hence this thread.
Below are some before and afters, as you can see I have made some undeniable (read 'great') progress over the last few months.
However, I am starting to think I need a little assistance, because, as you read on, you'll see I am struggling as far as answers go.
A few folks have said my fat loss isn't that great, an assertion of which, I believe to be largely absurd. However, as the months roll on, I have begun to suffer the odd nagging doubt about my knowledge.
Am I 'that'off beam with my preceived results?
Here goes, as said, please be objective/harsh as you want, is there really not much difference between the two sets?
For the record, my height is 5'11".
BEFORE: Aug 2010
AFTER: Jan 2011
I firmly believe, that once protien is fixed, calories determine 99% of the end results.
I stick to the same diet day in day out, being sure to take in 1g of protein per per pound of lean mass, which gives me a daily intake of approx 180lbs protein (I actually exceed this figure a little, taking in 200g per day, I figure any excess protein will be used in gluconeogenesis which is no bad thing as studies show)
Outside of my cheat day, my daily calorie intake remains constant, the only thing to differ are the meals making up the days food ie:
one day I might have a curry, and on another I may have a roast dinner etc. Each day I allow myself some chocolate such as a Chunky Kit Kat or two.
My workout philosophy is to get the maximum possible results from every workout, every exercise, every set, and every rep. anything less is a waste of time and energy.
My workouts strive to balance progressive loading with frequency and efficiency. I do this by only using the best ‘bang for your buck’ exercises; weight intensity; and rep range that, again as proven by studies, provides a nice balance of neuromuscular and metabolic stimulation. I also try to reduce/eliminate as many variables as possible – which allows me to focus purely on increasing load as often as possible.
I hit all major and minor body parts two to three times a week.
Each workout involves:
1 x 6-8 dumbbell deadlifts
1x 6-8 dumbbell decline presses
1x 6-8 dumbbell one arm rows
1x 6-8 dumbbell incline presses
(35kg dumbells for the above)
Over the last month, I have increased the workout frequency to fvie days per week. In light of this, I have also bumped calories up to 3000 per day.
I figure this strategy will also serve to boost my metabolism after the first run of fat loss progress, I guess this should help with hormone levels?
As mentioned, I have not simply been following a vague prescription, everything I have posted can be backed up with scientific studies.
My protocol is based upon these scientific studies, here is a basic breakdown of what I have arrived at in my research:
1) For maximum activation of motor units in the muscle from the first rep, the load must be around 75-85% RM or 6-12 rep max for maximum muscle and strength gains.
2) The load must be lifted progressively, workout to workout.
3) Compound movements are more efficient than isolation movements as they provide higher overload to the target body parts. MRI and ECG studies have even shown us which of these specific exercises produce the highest motor unit activation in the target muscles.
4) Muscle groups must be worked as often as possible. No less than every 48-96 hours – with 72 a happy medium. Protein synthesis returns to normal after 36-48 hours, however the CNS has not always fully recovered until 72-96 hours.
5) One set per muscle group is all that’s needed for growth – further sets just delay recovery and tear down the muscle further delaying recovery and super-compensation.
6) Failure is not required for building muscle ( but can be a valuable tool)
7) Pump or burn sets can help build muscle (occlusion studies show us this), but are not required and are secondary to load in importance.
8) Proper daily diet is essential to health and bodybuilding goals.
9) No more than 1g of protein per pound of lean body mass is required for optimum mass gains/ lean mass retention – and may in fact be much less – if recent studies are correct i.e. no more than 20-30g complete protein every 3-5 hours.
10) Once protein requirements are met – body fat is strictly a matter of thermo dynamics – i.e. adjusting calories from fat and/or carbs.
11) Proper pre/post workout nutrition can be vital for maximal muscle gains and/or retention.
12) Never workout on an empty stomach - that applies to lifting weights and cardio.
13) Try to separate cardio and weight lifting whenever possible. i.e. different days, or at least 8-12 hours apart.
14) HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training i.e. tabata, sprints etc) is better for lean mass retention than SSC ( Steady state cardio i.e. 30 mins on steady speed on bike, etc)
15) There is no difference between HIIT and SSC when it comes to fat loss. As its calories burned that dictate fat loss (see point
10). HIIT will burn more calories quicker, but it will be harder and more intense, SSC will take longer, but will be easier.
[b]Mr Colpo, the reason I am asking for your input, is that I have also had 16 years training and dieting experience and experimentation in which I have tried every routine under the sun, not to mention every diet, yet, inspite of this I have only lost 2lbs? WHAT is going on? I am being too hard on myself? I actually think there is an observabley large change between the before and afters pics.[/b]
I have been homeless and have had mental problems over the years, both of which I thought were behind me, but I have to be honest, this is beginning to kill me a little. I spend many hours online researching studies, of which I can then apply their findings to the letter, yet don't seem able to advance. Are the studies wrong?
Am I one of those folks that just can't lose the weight as easy as others?
I would just appreciate a bit of help.
[Name supplied but withheld (Hey, I don’t want to be held responsible for yet another shooting spree in Colorado)].
Climax, Colorado, USA.
When I received this email, due to its lengthy nature I “starred” it and, you guessed it, forgot about it amid the flow of subsequent email. Just over a week later I received the following:
come on, ffs
Jesus, Colpo, was my last mail really too much to fucking ask?
FFS, yeah, ten fucking mins, too fucking much.
I own your mind!
A couple of thoughts immediately come to mind. This individual sends me an email only slightly shorter than Atlas Shrugged then expects me to deal with it in ten minutes. And then implies that I’m the inconsiderate party…
He then closes the email by remarking that he owns my mind, which begs the obvious question: If he owns my mind, why didn’t he access it directly for the information he needed instead of going to the trouble of drafting such a huge long-winded email?
Folks, I will reiterate once more – I am really, really busy. Yeah, granted, I could answer a lot more email if I abandoned my family, told all my friends to stop calling me, told women I was a eunuch, went on the dole and stayed up late every night at the computer fueled by NoDoz and ephedrine.
Excuse my blatant disregard for my fellow man, but I’m not going to do that. Yeah, I know, how terribly selfish of me to place my own family, friends and health above the whims and desires of total strangers. Sheesh.
Seriously, if you are a Net Brat, grow up. If you are a psychotic version of the Net Brat, get some help – immediately. The Internet will be much better for it.
Anthony Colpo is an independent researcher, physical conditioning specialist, and author of the groundbreaking books The Fat Loss Bible and The Great Cholesterol Con. For more information, visit TheFatLossBible.net or TheGreatCholesterolCon.com
Copyright © Anthony Colpo.
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