The Swagger #15 – Thursday Random Edition

— It’s Whatever Pops Up and Sticks Throughout My Day

In here today:

  1. Statistician William Briggs on Reason
  2. Anthony Colpo Ups The Ante on High-Frequency Training
  3. Weird How NIH Scientists Profit Personally
  4. The Neo-Castration Cash Cow Might Just Be Headed for the Butcher
  5. The Ukraine Quagmire (I told you so when this all started, and it’s solidly on record about a million times…all while people fell all over themselves pasting stupid flags on every social media profile they have, like The Usual NPCs)

Greetings on this Thursday morning from Pattaya, Thailand where things are seemingly progressing on par with The New Woman (if that piques your curiosity).

Another sort of free-for-all, que-sera-sera kinda thing which seems to suit me well while I’m running a promotion at FreeTheAnimal.com (17-50% off, if that piques your curiosity).

… There’s a bit of confusion having been expressed over how subscriptions or memberships work for The Swagger and/or FreeTheAnimal. Let me make it as simple as I can. There will be a test.

  1. There are two email lists, The Swagger (for fresh content in the actual emails, both free and premium) and FreeTheAnimal (admin and notices, no actual content, instead links to content). Subscription forms (free) for both are right here. It’s not duplicate, so it’s ok and best to be on both and if an FTA member, essential to be on the latter, minimally.
  2. Membership at FreeTheAnimal is the way to get everything paid content, archives, Chatbot Zon AI, Downloads, etc. If you have an FTA Membership, you need nothing else. Think of it as: advanced premium. A 17-50% off promotion is running through Sunday.
  3. Premium at The Swagger is for those who want only my fresh new content the three times per week I publish there (Tue, Thur, Sun), which normally is about 4 added premium articles per week, vs. 2-3 free. It’s priced right at 1 Starbuck ($3.50/m, $35/yr).
  4. Why you might have both. Only 1 reason: those who have the Premium at The Swagger in addition to FreeTheAnimal Membership do so for the convenience of having all its content come through as emails, that’s how they like to roll, and the added expense is worth the convenience for them. You stil get the premium Swagger content as an FTA member, but as a cross-post to the blog and email is just a notification with a link to it.

Ok, so. Let’s go.


Statistician William Briggs on Reason

Having been turned onto him some months ago by Mike Eades, he’s growing on me. Think about all the lies and damn lies advanced either through purpose or ignorance, using stats. Briggs is intimately familiar with all of them and I don’t know how he sleeps at night, being able to understand such a tough area of math (I understand derivative, integral, multi-variable, and differential calculus easier than I do some of the stats stuff, and I took advanced courses in it) at its very depths.

This was the first random thing I saw this morning.

Here was my comment. See if it helps you explain what’s being said there, and note, this is precisely the philosophical awareness and enlightenment that began for me in 1990, brought me where I am today, and sparked my growing general misanthropy. If you’re not thinking in these terms, at least implicitly, then you are not thinking. You don’t yet know how to think, truly.

For humans, everything begins with the senses.

Let’s break down the process from sensory data to concepts via precepts and percepts:

  1. Sensory Data: This is the raw information that our senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell) pick up from the environment.
  2. Precepts: These are the immediate mental images or impressions that are formed as a result of processing sensory data.
  3. Percepts: Percepts are the result of further processing of precepts.
  4. Concepts: Concepts are abstract ideas or mental symbols that are formed from our percepts.

So, without the senses, “reason” is merely a brain in a vat, and you are not going to get any meaningful results vis-à-vis the real physical world and the requirements to survive, prosper, and be happy in it.

Failure in this area is what leads to endless yammering, yak yak, mental masturbation, diarrhea of the mouth, solipsism, and Dunning-Kruger.

Both sides of the political spectrum are equally guilty, which is what makes it so easy for me to take a shit on either. The 114 No-Pill Advantages is my advanced course in this area.


Anthony Colpo Ups The Ante on High-Frequency Training

High-Frequency Training, Part 2: How Training More Often Can Kick Your Gains into High Gear

How many times should you train each muscle group per week?

When it comes to training frequency, the resistance training field is broadly divided into two camps.

The Ample Recovery Camp: At this end of the spectrum are those who believe a gym workout is an extremely taxing event, one that requires ample recovery. This camp typically believes you should never train a muscle while it is still sore, and that individual muscle groups should be trained only once or twice per week.

An example of someone who used a low-frequency approach with great success was Dorian Yates, who pretty much owned the Mr Olympia title throughout the 1990s. He trained 4 times per week, working each major muscle group once weekly.

The Frequent Stimulus Group: This camp operates on the premise that every workout is a growth stimulus, and therefore the more workouts you can perform and recover from, the more strength and hypertrophy you will experience. While this approach still struggles for acceptance in Western gyms, it has an indisputably world-class pedigree. Using very high-frequency training, the late Ivan Abadjiev transformed the tiny nation of Bulgaria into a gold medal factory that dominated international Olympic weightlifting until the early 1990s, at which point many Bulgarian lifters began migrating to other countries.

Now that I’ve been deep into this for a full 8 months plus, with millions of pounds volume lifted, I have a sense of what works for me and what should work for any normal human.

What “works best” is a few components, in order of importance:

  1. The routine that gets you to the gym and through a workout most consistently. This is analogous and parallel to the best diet: the one you stick to the most. All the debating is dross if this essential prerequisite isn’t met.
  2. Manages injury risk. By manages risk, I mean taking a risk of injury, but reasonable ones. And risk is highly variable, contingent not only on weight and volume, but frequency…and that’s per exercise and often enough, what style it’s performed in—such as the grip (pronated, supinated, natural, etc.). No risk, little to no gain. Big risk, you’ll be out of the game. You want Goldilocks risk, meaning injuries will mostly be small, manageable hurts that can be worked around, but you stay in the gym, and you still make gains and maintain.
  3. The science. Only after 1 and 2 are met and optimal is it time to bounce the science off your desires, goals, abilities, and where you are in your development. Naturally, the more experienced, stronger, and well-developed, the more you can mess and experiment with. When someone asserts that A Method is better than B Method (which you may prefer and, plus, satisfies 1 and 2), always ask, how much better? When someone is being clever, they may very well know that the advantage of one over the other is well under 5% and often not even statistically significant in studies. So why worry or bother about it? Tell me it gets 10% plus consistent advantage, I’ll listen.

The bottom line is that what’s best means best to whom and for what, and the answer is, for you and what your needs, goals, and desires are.

… So I have a full-body, high-frequency program nobody is interested in. It violates what everyone knows, see? Only, it’s in accordance with the recent science Anthony has written about, that post above being the most recent. Moreover, I bounced this off Anthony personally, in the gym even, over the five weeks in Pattaya, Thailand, he’s refers to in that post. You could say that my program—consisting of 20 individual, full-body routines (performed at whatever frequency you wish)—was born out of those discussions, plus my own experience over 8 months performing a library of 70-80 individual exercises many times, making spectacular gains using a number of methods and programs.

I have some gym bros trying it out in different ways.

Nick says:

Greetings again from the liberal shit-hole of Minnesota.  Good feedback on the daily workouts….I’m learning!!. What I see so far – I am not working legs hard enough…I can recover from day to day as long as I vary the exercises (like you thought) – back is my best exercise and I respond to everything, I push through the soreness with ease.  Chest sucks as I’ve been nursing a partially torn pec for years and I have to go light…even to failure at 20 reps, I still can’t trigger much.  My shoulders are fine but pressing is impinged by chest injury..lateral raise rocks…so, it’s light press, heavy raise.  Arms are now light with many reps as the fatigue of daily lifting is more than these small muscle groups can handle.  So, first set is about 12ish reps, drop the weight and shoot for 15.  ABS are ABS….

Also to note….so important to mix up exercises.  If I’m sluggish, I take on a BW squat (MYO style) versus a single leg squat or lunge…whatever hits the muscle while providing the most stimuli for the day.  

Anyhow – finishing workouts with 30 minute bike rides at around 140-150 bpm.  Thanks again.

… And Owen:

Just checking in, now that I have a few weeks of this under my belt. I have to say, I’m really enjoying it; I love the relatively manageable volume and the variety, but I also feel it’s well-designed and giving me a really impactful workout.

I was definitely a convert to higher frequency training before this, at least in concept if not exactly in execution, but having experimented on some of the same programs you used in the past year, I believe the sheer volume of those sessions was causing some harm, especially considering where my starting point was in relation to the rapid uptick in work and frequency. I picked up some bicep tendinitis in both shoulders, and it was a fucker. I’ve got some shots to address the inflammation and am working well again.

I feel your program really finds the sweet spot between volume and intensity; I’m getting some great work in, but I’m not trashed leaving the gym and am therefore not dreading the next session. I firmly believe that as healthy humans, we can/should be looking at daily tests against the iron or whatever meaningful work we undertake, and this template really gives me a framework to put in a good effort, improve, grow and retain enthusiasm for the challenges.

Many thanks for this.

As for me, I’ve been all over the map. Not necessarily by design, but over circumstances, such as a condo move and other things, and I basically took on a “freelancing” attitude. By that, I mean that because each routine in a full body every time, I don’t need to worry about anything getting left behind if I end up having more off days than anticipated. That was always a bit stressful because depending on how you have your slip routines planed out, there can be up to 7 days more time off for certain body parts or areas compared to others.

But working something legs, chest, back, shoulders, arms, and abs each and every workout, nothing gets left out in the cold too long. It’s an unanticipated bonus. Since there is no pressure to do high frequency all the time, you can easily do it in spurts.

Here’s how my schedule has worked out so far.

  • Began the program with routine #1 on March 21.
  • Did 3 consecutive days work
  • 3 consecutive days off
  • Two days on, two days off
  • Three days off, two days on
  • One day off, one day on
  • One day off, one day on

That gets me to today, Apr 11, and through routine #12 of 20. There are 8 more routines to go.

The plan: Hit #13 tomorrow, Friday. Take Saturday off, then do 7 consecutive days, Sunday–Saturday, which is April 20, so 30 days since inception and all 20 routines done. I echo Nick’s charge about not feeling like I’m working my legs enough. That was, until 2 days ago, which calls for DB Walking Lunges and I did 13 per side and then 15, with 10Kg DBs (44 lbs total added weight). It’s a wrecker, that one. I’m going to increase its frequency in the overall. Plus a couple of other ideas.

I’ve got a bunch of charts showing progress, but I want to hold off on lots of fanfare until I’ve tested it with the full-body frequency of seven consecutive days. Here’s one chart showing stuff pretty well distributed, needing only to focus in a bit on glutes.


Weird How NIH Scientists Profit Personally

The revelation that BioNTech received a notice of default from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) over COVID-19 vaccine royalties is merely the latest episode in a saga of profiteering, intellectual property disputes, and governmental entanglement in what was heralded as a scientific breakthrough. This isn’t just about unpaid dues; it’s a window into the murky origins of mRNA vaccine technology and the complex dance between public institutions and private enterprises (fascism).

At the heart of this debacle is the undeniable truth that the vaunted mRNA technology, which was rapidly deployed against COVID-19, was not a miraculous innovation by Pfizer or BioNTech. Nor was it a testament to the ingenuity of free-market enterprise. Instead, it was the fruit of government labor, nurtured within the walls of the NIH, a fact that only now is getting its due acknowledgment. The implications are profound, not just for the companies involved, but for our understanding of how medical breakthroughs are achieved and monetized.

The narrative spun around these vaccines was one of private sector triumph. Yet, as the dust settles and the financial disputes surface, it becomes clear that this was always a partnership with the government, albeit a silently acknowledged one. The New York Times’ coverage of Moderna’s belated royalty payments to the NIH for the use of its mRNA technique further peels back the layers of this story, revealing a patent dispute that questions the very foundation of Moderna’s vaccine development.

Such revelations beg a deeper exploration of the relationship between public institutions and private corporations. The NIH’s role in the development of mRNA technology raises questions about why this connection was obscured rather than celebrated. Was it to maintain the illusion of private sector superiority? Or perhaps to avoid scrutiny over how public funds are used and how profits are shared? The financial arrangements between government scientists and private entities, where royalties can be pocketed without disclosure, only add to the opaque nature of these collaborations.

Consider the implications. On one hand, the development of the COVID-19 vaccines has been hailed as a monumental achievement in the face of a global crisis. On the other, the ensuing disputes over money and credit expose a less flattering picture of the motivations driving this achievement. The NIH’s silence on its role in developing mRNA technology, followed by disputes over royalties, suggests a gold rush mentality that prioritizes profits over transparency and public welfare.

So with “follow the money” being a general rule of thumb when looking for the root sources and motivations of impropriety or criminality, doesn’t that tend to weigh in the favor of those who claim, with much supporting evidence, that the so-called vaccines are a health menace at best, a real killer at worst?

Who do these arrangements serve? Are they in the best interest of public health, or do they cater to the interests of a select few, wrapped in the guise of public service? The saga of mRNA vaccine development and the disputes that have followed reveal a system in need of scrutiny and reform.

And the above is about as nice a spin as I can put on the whole tawdry affair.


The Neo-Castration Cash Cow Might Just Be Headed for the Butcher

Boom. The Daily Mail UK detonates a truth bomb that could very well send shockwaves through the burgeoning billion-dollar industry that’s been fattening itself on the gender confusion narrative. Yesterday’s headline screams a wake-up call: “Most gender-confused children grow out of it, landmark 15-year study concludes – as critics say it shows being trans is usually just a phase for kids.”

Let’s dissect this beast.

A study, not just any scribble on a napkin but one meticulously documented over 15 years and published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, tracks approximately 3,000 kids from the tender age of 11. These kids, split fairly evenly between male and female, were observed as they navigated the tumultuous seas of adolescence into early adulthood.

The findings? A staggering 78% of these young voyagers maintained a consistent, positive relationship with their gender throughout the study. The rebels, those who initially bucked against their biological reality, comprised about 19% of the cohort. Yet, here’s the kicker: nearly all of them eventually found peace with their gender. A mere 2% remained in the throes of discontent by the study’s conclusion.

What the researchers unearthed is monumental. They posit that questioning one’s gender, or even fantasizing about a life beyond the gender binary, might simply be a rite of passage in human development. A phase, if you will.

Remember the tomboys of yesteryear? Those spirited girls who shunned dolls for dirt, who were comrades in adventures, albeit with a tad more caution? They were the embodiment of this phase. Yet, in today’s climate of hyper-sensitivity and medicalization, the mere hint of a girl liking “boy stuff” sends parents into a tailspin, rushing to consult with doctors about drastic, life-altering interventions.

Enter the Netherlands researchers, stage left. Their work raises a critical question: Shouldn’t doctors be mandated to discuss these findings with parents contemplating puberty blockers and surgeries for their potentially “transgender” child? Isn’t there an ethical obligation to inform them that this phase of gender questioning is not only normal but almost universally transient?

Or perhaps, here’s a novel thought, we should allow kids to simply be kids. Let them explore, question, and grow without the shadow of irreversible decisions looming over them.

The neo-castration industry may be facing its reckoning. And it’s about damn time. Let the data speak, and may it echo through the halls of clinics and hospitals alike, urging a return to sanity and, dare I say, a bit of common sense in parenting and pediatric care.

Let kids be kids. The rest will sort itself out in time, sans scalpels and prescriptions.


The Ukraine Quagmire (I told you so when this all started, and it’s solidly on record about a million times…all while people fell all over themselves pasting stupid flags on every social media profile they have, like The Usual NPCs)

Consider the recent headline splashed across one of the corporate media’s so-called crown jewels, the Washington Post. It’s not just any headline. It’s a testament to the evolving narrative, a subtle acknowledgment of a grim reality: the quagmire that is Ukraine’s current situation (TL;DR: Ukraine is Fucked). Amidst a relentless onslaught of Russian airstrikes and a battlefield that only sees advances from one side, the Washington Post lays it bare: Ukraine is ensnared in a conflict with no visible end. The status quo? A grotesque tableau of daily deaths and a country inching closer to the brink. An anonymous Ukrainian lawmaker’s bleak prognosis that the nation could not endure another decade of this stalemate only adds to the grim picture painted.

The discourse shifts, painting Zelensky not as the unyielding hero but as a potential obstacle to peace. His refusal to negotiate with Putin, as long as Russian boots soil Ukrainian land, is portrayed as a political poison pill. Zelensky’s adamant stance on reclaiming every inch of Ukrainian territory only compounds the complexity of an already intricate situation. How Zelensky plans to navigate this labyrinth is anyone’s guess.

This narrative shift is a far cry from the previous tune sung by the media. Gone are the days when bad news from Ukraine was either buried or spun as a clarion call for more military funding. This story, devoid of the usual assurances that just a few hundred billion more would tip the scales in Ukraine’s favor, signals a change in the winds.

And then, there’s Politico’s piece, echoing a similar sentiment. Where once stories of Ukraine’s plight served as a cudgel to beat Congress into opening the nation’s coffers, now we’re confronted with a stark admission: no amount of money might prevent a catastrophic collapse of Ukraine’s front lines. High-ranking Ukrainian military officers, voices of experience and authority on the ground, concede that the military situation is dire. The West, despite its technological prowess, lacks the means to counter the sheer force Russia is poised to unleash.

Elon Musk, often sidelined as a billionaire with a Twitter habit, finds his seemingly offhand remarks about the war’s trajectory gaining unexpected validation. Politico, unable to outright endorse Musk’s perspective, begrudgingly hints at its potential accuracy.

The dissonance between the narratives spun by U.S. and NATO war planners and the reality voiced by those in the trenches is stark. While officials in Washington and Brussels paint a picture of imminent victory, just over the horizon if only Congress would loosen the purse strings, Ukrainian military leaders on the front lines deliver a somber verdict: no amount of money can alter the course of this war.

The question then becomes, whom do we listen to? The strategists and planners ensconced in their offices far from the horrors of war, or the Ukrainians who face its brutal realities every day? The answer, though uncomfortable, is clear. In the end, it’s not about the narratives crafted in the safety of distant capitals but about the harsh truths lived by those on the ground.

Furthermore, it’s about the moral high ground in all of this—and where also, nobody is without sin—and that goes all the way back to 1993. I’ve written about it: Will Russia Become The Moral Leader and Conscience of the World?


So that’s about it for this one at a neat 3,600 words. Back Sunday with what’s sure to be something. That’s also when the promotion at FreeTheAnimal ends.

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