Fitness Blogs

14 October 2019

Fitness Blogs
  • Scott Brewer: Jumping ship for OPEX
    14 October 2019

    Scott Brewer: Jumping ship for OPEX Scott Brewer: Jumping ship for OPEX Midlands “I realized I didn’t believe in what I was doing anymore.” That’s how Scott Brewer explained his decision to leave his General Manager position at a CrossFit affiliate to open his own OPEX facility—OPEX Midlands, in the suburbs of Lexington, South Carolina. […]

    The post Scott Brewer: Jumping ship for OPEX appeared first on OPEX Fitness.

  • Mischa Jemionek: The Tipping Point
    14 October 2019

    Mischa Jemionek: The Tipping Point Mischa Jemionek: The Tipping Point that Led Her to OPEX North Scottsdale Mischa Jemionek couldn’t do it any longer: She couldn’t work in a system that went against what every fiber in her body was telling her was right. “I have a sports science background, so coming from a rehab […]

    The post Mischa Jemionek: The Tipping Point appeared first on OPEX Fitness.

  • Todd Nief: Thinking Critically Instead of Templating
    14 October 2019

    Thinking Critically Instead of Templating Todd Nief: Thinking Critically Instead of Templating in Chicago Todd Nief was always motivated to self-educate.  “I always read all the blogs involved with CrossFit, and more general things like T-Nation, and (also) learned a lot from different strength coaches like (Charles) Poliquin and Eric Cressey,” said the 34-year-old Nief. […]

    The post Todd Nief: Thinking Critically Instead of Templating appeared first on OPEX Fitness.

  • Robert Downey Jr. Takes a Big Adventure in the New ‘Dolittle’ Trailer
    14 October 2019

    Robert Downey Jr. is ready for a new adventure. After playing Iron Man for over a decade, Downey is set to play another iconic character: Dr. John Dolittle in the new adventure film Dolittle.

    Hero Training: Robert Downey Jr.’s Muscle-Building Iron Man Workouts

    When the movie starts, Downey’s Dolittle has locked himself away in Dolittle Manor after losing his wife seven years earlier, with just his animal friends as company—he has the ability to speak with them. But when Queen Victoria falls very ill, Dolittle is thrust into action and must take a major adventure across the world to a mysterious island to find a cure to save her.

    Downey stars alongside an incredible voice cast that includes John Cena, Tom Holland, Craig Robinson, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, Kumail Nanjiani, and Octavia Spencer. Cena stars as Yoshi the polar bear, while Holland plays Jip the dog, and Malek is playing Chee-Chee the gorilla.

    Breaking Big: How John Cena Became a Hollywood Megastar

    Here’s a look at the trailer:

    I’ve been talking to animals for years now…And they finally started talking back. Does this mean I was getting the silent treatment?
    Watch the trailer for #DolittleMovie in theaters January 2020 and this Tweet to get updates from @DolittleMovie every month until opening day.

    — Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) October 13, 2019

    Dolittle will be released on January 17, 2020.

  • Angler Oliver White on Fishing in Bhutan, Living a Life of Adventure, and Starring in the Documentary ‘A Thousand Casts’
    14 October 2019

    Oliver White is giving The Most Interesting Man in the World a run for his money. He’s been kidnapped by a machete-wielding maniac in the Bahamas (he escaped); worked as a fly-fishing guide in Chile until a client, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, offered him a job in finance; and most recently, was invited by the royal family of Bhutan to fish their rivers for the rare and elusive golden mahseer. His life story is the subject of an upcoming documentary A Thousand Casts, which follows that voyage to Bhutan.

    White’s an adventurer, businessman, and philanthropist, though—as he puts it—fly-fishing is the thread that ties it all together. Recently, we caught up with the angler to learn more about the documentary and discern the driving force behind his stranger-than-fiction life.

    The documentary A Thousand Casts is expected to be released fall 2019.

    Men’s Journal: How did the Bhutan expedition come about?

    Oliver White: I have a column in Fly Fisherman Magazine, and a guy reached out to them about doing a story on Bhutan. The magazine suggested that I do it, but the only way to fish in Bhutan is with an invitation from the royal family. There’s a travel agency called MyBhutan, and they were the ones who facilitated the invitation. I got invited by the prince [Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck], so I went by and had tea and chatted about everything. He’s a big outdoor sportsman. He loves to mountain bike, and he’s into fishing a little bit. The fourth king [Jigme Singye Wangchuck, his father] did a lot of fishing, and one of his bodyguards would go with him, so they sent that guy with me. He knew the river and where they’d caught fish before with conventional tackles.

    Long-Distance Swimmer Ben Lecomte Swam 338 Nautical Miles Through the Pacific Garbage Patch for Science How was the fishing over there?

    It was incredibly challenging. There are a couple very prestigious, kind of aristocratic things to chase with a fly rod, and the golden mahseer is one of them. There really aren’t that many places in the world where you have the opportunity, and Bhutan’s rivers are pristine and perfect, with a healthy population of these golden mahseer. They’re omnivores and eat a lot of grass. Fish like that are very difficult to catch on a fly. As they get bigger, they get a little more predacious and eat small bait fish. You can see in the film where these tributaries come into the main river—the tributaries come in clean and the main river is a little bit off-color. Right there, the fish would stack up and you could see hundreds of them. You’d think that it’d be really easy to catch them, but if you literally get up stream of that and just put your hand in the water, the scent will drift down to the fish and they’ll all disappear. You have to be very stealthy and really work hard to get them, but it’s doable.

    We don’t want to spoil anything in the film, but part of it details your experience being kidnapped while building a fishing lodge in the Bahamas. Did that change how you live your life?

    The honest answer is people expect it would have a greater impact than it really did. At the time, you’re really just focused on the moment. All your resources get pushed to try and get out of this dilemma that you’re in. There wasn’t any of that life flashing before my eyes sort of thing. It was really just like, ‘Okay, man, what are we going to do?’ But as soon as I got out of it, there was this huge crash. An adrenaline crash or whatever it was. As soon as I was safe, it was just like a total meltdown. I immediately left the Bahamas and went back home. I was using that time to refocus and figure out what all that meant. Where I landed was that it was just a random event, and if I let that impact me negatively and change my life and miss this opportunity right now, then that would be a mistake. So I went back. I had to go back and finish the project.

    If you had to pinpoint the driving force behind all of your remarkable experiences, what would it be?

    A big part of it is just really trying to be appreciative of your time, this time that you get to spend here. I let that take precedence—to love what I do and figure out how to make a living doing it. I gave up some financial upside to do so, but I live very lifestyle-rich. So many people are just going through the motions. They’re hosed with all these things: get a job, get married, have a family, get a house with a picket fence, or whatever it is. All of a sudden, they look back and they haven’t necessarily wasted their time, but their life just kind of slipped by. A lot of my choices were driven by that fear of looking back with regret. The nature of my life, being nomadic and always on the move, it’s so much more than the fishing. I love the travel and the people and the cultural exposures. The fishing is really the thread that ties it all together.

    You have a really cool project in Guyana that you setup through your nonprofit, Indifly. Can you tell us about Rewa Eco Lodge and the success it’s had?

    There’s a village in the rainforest in Guyana called Rewa, and there are about 300 people there. In the late ‘90s, the village saw that their wildlife was being depleted, so they made a conscious effort to protect their lands. They got a grant from Conservation International and built a very small, primitive lodge and wanted to do ecotourism, but it wasn’t very successful. Then this guy went down to Rewa as a cameraman to film a birding show. He was an angler and we both worked with Costa Sunglasses. While he was there filming birds, he saw these arapaima, the world’s largest scaled freshwater fish. These things are six- to eight-feet long, and he called Costa and told them what he found. Costa sent me down there to figure out if you could catch the fish on a fly. We realized the people were so incredible that we could give back and help them. I brought one of the Makushi Indians from the village to the Bahamas, where I was still living at the time, and he spent a few weeks seeing how I run my business—how we do hospitality—and working on his fishing skills. We taught him how to improve the caliber of the food at Rewa for the guests; got them better equipment like boats, engines, linens, and all those types of things; then we did the marketing for them in the U.S.  The annual income for the entire village was $750 the year before we got involved. Now they’re generating an excess of $120,000 a year in revenue from fly-fishing trips. It’s had a huge impact on the quality of life of every generation in the village, and the community owns the lodge.

    Casting for Giants: Fly-Fishing for Monsters with Oliver White Do you have any exciting plans for the future?

    I really hope that Indifly can take more and more of my time. The goal is to be able to do more of that, but I still have to make a living, so it’s just balancing those things out. I would certainly look at opening or building another lodge. More than any of that, I’m a new dad. I’ve been guiding the last few days, so I haven’t seen much of him. When he wakes up, we’re going to get in the boat, play around, and go fishing. I’m just trying to figure out how to live this life that I want to live and also be present—learn how to be a great father and be able to drag my son around the world.

  • David Harbour Goes Full ‘Joker’ on ‘SNL’ in Hilarious Oscar the Grouch Origin Parody
    14 October 2019

    Just like Joaquin Phoenix did in the new Joker movie, Saturday Night Live just gave us the origin story of an iconic character. This week on SNL host David Harbour starred in Grouch, a parody skit using the new Joker movie as a template to tell the origin story of Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street.

    From ‘Stranger Things’ to ‘Hellboy’, David Harbour is Having a Moment

    Harbour plays this version of Oscar, who goes from being a garbage worker to becoming the Grouch we all know (and kinda love) from the famous series. The skit has hilarious appearances from other Sesame Street characters, including Bert and Ernie, who get mugged and stabbed in an alleyway for their rubber duckie, as well as The Count, who is addicted to drugs.

    “If everyone calls you trash and everyone treats you like trash, why don’t you just become trash?” Harbour’s Oscar says.

    Here’s a look at the skit:

    Harbour will next be seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Red Guardian in Black Widow. The film will be released on May 1, check out everything you need to know about the movie and the upcoming MCU films here:

    MCU: Everything to Know About What Could Be Next for the Marvel Cinematic Universe
  • Kevin Smith Talks Widowmakers, Weight Loss—and Chris Hemsworth
    14 October 2019
    Courtesy of Kevin Smith

    It’s been 25 years since writer-director Kevin Smith debuted his Silent Bob persona in Clerks. A lot has happened since then: Kevin became a father, he cheated death, and the Marvel superfan assembled his own Avengers-esque crew of memorable characters—called the View Askewniverse—that all return for his latest flick, Jay & Silent Bob Reboot. So is it a reboot or a remake? We’ll let the man himself explain:

    Kevin Smith: As you can imagine, this is the weirdest interview I think I've ever done in my life. More unexpected, I guess. I have no muscles and I know nothing about fitness.

    M&F: Well, we’re gonna talk about your weight loss in a bit, but first, let’s talk Jay & Silent Bob Reboot (in theaters Oct. 15). There’s a hilarious scene in the new movie where Brodie from Mallrats (Jason Lee) explains to Jay (Jason Mews) and Silent Bob the difference between a reboot and a remake. So what’s the difference?

    A reboot is when, you know, a studio takes a property and puts it out there in the hopes of getting your money. But they do it in a way that appeals to you as a fan. Whereas a remake is when a studio doesn't really care how the audience feels about the original. So they just keep the title, f**k up everything else—and ruin both movies in the process. Three years ago, I wanted to make a movie called Jay & Silent Bob Reboot that's going to make fun of remakes and reboots and sequels—while being all three at the same time. It took us a minute to get there because first we have to find money, and then I had a heart attack.

    Timing is everything because in waiting to do it, you get Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Rosario Dawson, Joey Lauren Adams, and a slew of all-stars from your New Jersey-set View Askewniverse. Plus a bunch of amazing cameos by the likes of Joe Manganiello, Chris Jericho, and Chris Hemsworth.

    I don't get that cast unless I have the heart attack. If we tried to make the movie three years ago, we probably don’t pull that cast together. But post-heart attack, you call up people and be like, “Hey man, you want to come to New Orleans for two hours to shoot a movie?” And they’d be like, “I don't know, dude, New Orleans is far.” And I'm like, “Bro, you do remember I almost died of a heart attack?” And then they would instantly be like, “All right, I'm coming, I'm coming.” The heart attack was almost like our casting agent! 

    This thing is one big nostalgia bomb that's meant to go off in your face and heart. And so to have people who were in the original, like, not just Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, which we're directly sequelizing, but also mini-sequels for Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Dogma, as well…That felt great. Suddenly it became, you know, this View Askewniverse class reunion picture and it came at the right time because I'd almost died. And also it’s the 25th anniversary of Clerks this year. So everything just felt like the timing worked out so sweetly.


    What’s up, Doc! A year and a half back, this super hero saved my life! Doctor Marc Ladenheim (husband of the even more talented @rikki_ladenheim_events) battled my Widow-Maker and won! 80% of the folks who have the kind of heart attack I had (100% occlusion in my L.A.D. - the artery that runs across the front of your ticker) don’t make it out alive. I was in the lucky, blessed 20% because of my hero here. I saw the good Doctor today for a stress test, in which they take pics of your heart, then put you on a treadmill and incrementally increase the speed and elevation, then take pics of your heart again. Turns out all that Runyon stuff has done this @WW Ambassador great good and left my heart in strong condition! The Doc said I’m doing great keeping the weight off and keeping up the cardio, then said “Come back in a year.” But this guy is my Batman; would you really wait a whole year to see Batman again if you could see him sooner? So I said “I’ll see you in six months.” When it’s your heart, you can never be too careful. But if something bad ever happens to your corazon? Find this guy! He’s a lifesaver. Like literally! #KevinSmith #heartattack #heart #cardio #ww #doctormarcladenheim #health #rikkiladenheimevents #wwambassador

    A post shared by Kevin Smith (@thatkevinsmith) on Aug 20, 2019 at 2:49pm PDT


    And you got to poke fun at your infamous incident with Southwest Airlines [Kevin was kicked off a flight in 2010 for his size]. How cathartic was that?

    Pretty sweet. Certainly no hard feelings, but the big guy, the Kevin Smith of that night is cheering on the Kevin Smith of today for, you know, taking back a little bit of his dignity.

    But Southwest wasn’t what flipped the switch for you, rather the heart attack, right?

    I did lose weight [after Southwest]. That was when I watched the Fed Up documentary and dropped sugar out of my life. I'd lost a chunk, but then I still had a bunch because my top weight at one point, I was like, “Oh, my God, I’m wearing my area code—323!” The biggest I got was 330. Other than removing sugar, I was still a meat eater and a dairy drinker. No bull**it—I used to drink two gallons of milk per day. That’s probably why I had a heart attack [laughs]. And so after the heart attack, and I had to change my eating habits.

    I had a vegan kid at my house [daughter Harley Quinn Smith, who co-stars as Jay’s love child]. I never really thought about doing it myself until I had 100 percent blockage in my left anterior descending (LAD) artery. My doctor told me it's called the Widowmaker because in 80 percent of the cases of a 100 percent blockage like I got, the patient always dies.

    The next morning, the nutritionist was like, “You might want to think about a plant-based diet because it's been proven to cut cholesterol.” And my kid was in the room, and she was like, “Dad, do it—please.” So I said, I'll try it for six months, man, because clearly eating the way I wanted to eat after 47 years nearly killed me. That was over a year and a half ago. It's been very easy to stay vegan.

    What’s the secret to sticking to a diet?

    I had to find a very thin path for veganism because I just don't like f***ing vegetables. So you know, I'm like beans are vegan—that’s great. Chickpeas are vegan—that’s great. Peanut butter is vegan. You start making a list of the vegan things you can eat and stuff. Oh, I actually became a Weight Watchers ambassador! I’ve lost over 70 pounds.

    What about workout-wise? 

    We live near Runyan Canyon, which is a great location for hiking. It’s a straight incline for most of it. So that’s become a big part of my regimen every day. 

    So did you put Chris Hemsworth in your movie as inspiration?

    Oh, you wanna talk about a body from God's own work! Chris and Ben [Affleck] were in incredible f***ing shape, man. It's nice to have muscle-y examples around you to show you what’s possible. I'm not looking to put on the world's biggest gun show. Maybe just a local gun shop.

    Tickets for the Oct. 15 & 17 nationwide release of Jay and Silent Bob Reboot are available at


  • WWE’s Mark Henry Talks Pro Wrestling, Staying Fit, and Eating to Lift Big
    14 October 2019
    Courtesy of WWE / M+F Magazine

    When former weightlifting Olympian Mark Jerrold Henry signed on the dotted line with the WWE back in 1996, there were many who said that the then-24-year-old would never make it as a pro wrestler. They were wrong.

    Thanks largely to Henry’s unquestionable work ethic, charisma, and an innate desire to embarrass his critics, “The World’s Strongest Man” soon found his groove in the world of sports entertainment, improving year after year and subsequently dishing out a world of pain to his many WWE opponents before finally hanging up the boots in 2017.

    The following year, Henry added a WWE Hall of Fame induction to his list of accomplishments. In WWE, Henry held the world heavyweight championship. In the world of Strongman, Henry’s credits are unparalleled. The man-mountain from Silsbee, TX won the inaugural Arnold Strongman Classic in 2002, and he's also held numerous powerlifting and weightlifting records, including the heaviest raw deadlift (903 pounds) in the SHW class, and the biggest equipped squat, deadlift, and total ever performed by a drug-tested athlete.

    Now working closely with WWE as an ambassador and coach, Henry still travels far and wide. When we talked exclusively on the phone to the man once known as “Sexual Chocolate,” it was late in the evening in Sydney, Australia, ahead of a big tour beginning there on October 21. But despite the long haul, Henry was in great spirits, greeting us with an enthusiastic “Well, hello there!”

    What followed was an insight into one US history’s most driven, and impressive athletes.

    Courtesy of WWE

    Your list of accomplishments in powerlifting, weightlifting, and Strongman competition is nothing short of extraordinary. What motivated you to be the best?

    It was pretty easy for me, because I was angry at everybody that I was competing against. I felt like I needed to prove, and I needed all the work that I did to be seen. I’ve always been an entertainer, long before I started wrestling. I had to win, so I went out there with reckless abandon and tried to entertain as much as I could.

    Now at 48 years young, does your approach to training differ from when you were, say, in your 20s?

    Oh yeah, I never go above 130 kilos [286 pounds] in anything [now]. I squat, deadlift, bench, anything with a lighter weight. I’ll try to do as many reps as I can in the shortest timeframe. My workouts usually take 45 minutes at the most, and I’m dripping with sweat. Then I stretch, and I do cardio for 30-45 minutes. I have a recumbent bike and a regular upright bike. I do a little bit on the elliptical, but I prefer the bike.

    Taking in large amounts of calories required for strength training at competition level can be a real challenge. We’ve all seen the meals that Eddie Hall eats on social media. You had to balance that around traveling when you were starting out with WWE. That must have been no easy task.

    You know, when I was competing, it was just like a [means to an] end, just like Brian Shaw, Bill Kazmaier and all the greats. You had to eat at a level that was just not comfortable. It became work to eat. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve decided to not eat like that, and that’s resulted in me losing 110 pounds.

    I do my best to limit what I’m eating, especially when it’s not good for me.

    Many people will have seen the HBO documentary on the life of Andre the Giant, and viewers had a great deal of sympathy for some of the discomfort, particularly around traveling, that Andre faced. As a big guy yourself, can you relate to some of those issues?

    Most definitely. Travel is the hardest part of pro wrestling for the big guys. We spend so much time in little tiny cars for four and five hours, and then on little buses for five and six hours, or on a plane.

    I came over here to Australia on the plane for 16 and a half hours. It’s very difficult when you are a man of my stature, but you have to tough it out, that’s the thing about our [pro wrestling] business. I’ve been very blessed to be able to have a career for 25 years.

    WWE is back in Melbourne on October 23. You wrestled a huge match there back in 2002 teaming with Randy Orton to face D-Von Dudley and Batista. There was a massive crowd, more than 56,000 watching live. Do you have any memories of that night?

    I do. I remember that the crowd was so unbelievably loud and I enjoyed it. Randy was a new wrestler at the time, and I was trying to help him get acclimated to what it was like being in front of a huge crowd like that.


    You may be retired, but you are still very much part of the WWE family, serving as an ambassador and working with the crew. Do younger talent approach you for advice?

    I work with our talent development. I want to be a part of having my fingerprints on the future of pro wrestling. I’m able to talk to all the younger wrestlers now and give them the life lessons and the travel lessons that I’ve learned. And so far, so good.

    I’ve not had one person reject what I am trying to teach. That speaks volumes for who we pick as talents. I think the important thing is to tell wrestlers to enjoy the [WWE] journey, and that it is important for the fans to have a connection with the talent.

    You’ve worked really hard to show that wrestlers are among some of the greatest athletes in the world. With SmackDown reaching brand new audiences on Friday nights, what can some of the critics of pro wrestling learn that they might have missed?

    Kurt Angle was an Olympic Champion. I was the best lifter that was ever born. People like Shelton Benjamin and Brock Lesnar don’t come along very often. Brock Lesnar has been a world champion in pro wrestling and MMA. [They’re the] best in the world.

    Randy Orton is an unbelievable athlete. Kofi Kingston is a really, really athletic guy with incredible balance. Those guys have so much to give, and they have given so much, for people not to know, or look up, or read what they are talking about, or just going by what they’ve heard from somebody else.

    If those people live under a rock, and don’t know that pro wrestling is sports entertainment, and they feel like they are "breaking news" when they say that pro wrestling is not up to par, I haven’t got time for those people. I love the fans, the people that love our business who introduce you to their sons, and to their daughters. They want to share how much joy they get [from WWE], those are the people that I want to be around.

    In regard to SmackDown, you have been involved in so many great moments on the show. You must be so proud of how well the show is doing 20 years on.

    I’m very proud. I remember the first SmackDown show. It’s such an honorable feeling to have SmackDown go to Fox. The biggest sports network is going to see wrestling in that same platform, I’m very happy.



    Hey guys want a personal message hit me up on cameo!

    A post shared by Mark Henry (@themarkhenry) on Sep 19, 2018 at 3:39pm PDT


    WWE tours Australia from October 21-23, and SmackDown airs live on Fox every Friday night (check your local and international listings). For information on WWE Network, and to get your first month FREE, visit

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