The Truth About Gay Men In The Locker Room.

Dear Davey,

I’m an openly gay college athlete and many of the other players have privately expressed their concerns about changing and showering in the locker room with me. I’m not really sure what to do and wanted your advice.

From,
Jon

lockerroomHey Jon,

My advice is to link them to this article. They need an education and this class is in session.

First and foremost, your straight teammates need to understand that they’ve been sharing locker rooms with gay men their entire lives. They just didn’t know it. There is nothing new or different about showering with you; the only difference is that you’ve had the courage to come out to them.

Second, their straight teammates are probably more keen to check out their bodies than other gay men. The truth is, the locker room can be a pretty intimidating place for gay guys, and most of us go out of our way to avoid any sideways glances or awkwardness. Straight guys, on the other hand, seem perfectly comfortable staring at other guys and even commenting on their packages. For most gay men, this is terrifying.

Third, it’s worth reminding your straight teammates that just because they are men and just because we are gay doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re even interested in looking. In other words, they need to stop flattering themselves.

But for the sake of argument, let’s pretend that your straight teammates are drop-dead gorgeous Adonises. And let’s pretend that you did actually take a lustful look at their nakedness. Is that such a terrible thing? Does you looking at them somehow rob them of their masculinity? Are they somehow lessened or diminished by your gaze? Absolutely not.

(In fact, you’re probably looking at them the same way that they look at women ALL THE TIME. But I digress.)

Finally, let’s not forget that straight guys are the ones with the power. It’s gay men who experience discrimination, who get teased and bullied for their sexual orientation and who are denied equality under the law. Straight guys aren’t victims in the locker room, or in life in general – and it’s not a cute look for them to pretend that they are.

In conclusion, my advice for your concerned straight teammates can be summed up in three simple words: Get over it.

Love,
Davey

7 Reasons To Stop Using Your Phone At The Gym.

phone-at-the-gym-etiquetteWe all have our fair share of gym pet peeves, but using smartphones at the gym absolutely takes the cake for me. I’m always astounded by the number of gym-goers/zombies standing in hallways or sitting on machines while texting, Tindering, checking Instagram or reading Buzzfeed.

Beyond being a terrible habit (on many levels), our inability to ‘disconnect’ is an unfortunate reflection of our fractured attention spans and our inability to focus.

Here’s why you need to leave your smartphone in the locker:

  1. It’s nasty. A study in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine found rhinoviruses (instigators of the common cold) on some 63% of the gym equipment at the fitness centers they tested. From barbells to dumbbells to gym mats and equipment, gyms are breeding grounds for germs. Your smartphone presents a unique opportunity for cross-contamination; even if you wash your hands after the gym, do you also wash the screen that you were touching in between sets? Conclusion: You’re nasty.
  2. It’s rude. Especially when gyms are busy, sitting on a piece of gym equipment while texting Susan about the selfie that John posted last night is inconsiderate. And when you get distracted by your smartphone, you’re probably taking needlessly long rests, which carries over into our next point:
  3. It decreases workout intensity. Most of us aim for 30 – 60 second rest periods in between sets. When you’re distracted by your smartphone, seconds easily turn into minutes. This morning, I timed someone taking a six minute rest in between sets while he was typing away at his screen. Sure, it’s annoying for the rest of us waiting to use that piece of equipment. But it also gives that smartphone user decreased workout intensity. And you only get out of your workout what you put into your workout. In other words:
  4. texting-in-the-gymIt sabotages your results. We go to the gym to get results. But exercising while using a smartphone needlessly handicaps the experience. By taking excessively long rests, you’re watering down your workout and limiting your results. Why not get the most bang for your workout buck?
  5. It gives you monkey mind. Monkey mind is a term used by Buddha to describe the easily distracted and incessantly moving behavior of typical human consciousness. Like a monkey swinging from branch to branch, smartphone use impedes focus by moving the mind from one distraction to the next. By being present and focused during a workout, you’re also exercising your mind. Exercise can even become a meditation of movement.
  6. It might not end well. Gyms can be dangerous places with lots of heavy things moving around and plenty to trip on. If you’re caught up in your phone, you’re not paying attention to your environment. You could get hurt. Even worse, you could hurt your phone. I’ve seen many a smartphones shatter or get stepped on at the gym. Though I’m a generally peaceful and pacifistic man, I relish those moments as tiny victories for humanity.
  7. It can all wait. Let’s face it. You’re not the president of the United States. You’re not saving lives with your text messages. Your tweets are not changing the world. 99% of the texts you receive are unimportant noise that does nothing to serve your happiness or personal evolution. All of it can wait for an hour while you do something important for yourself.

Starting today, let’s all pledge to leave our smartphones in the locker. And if you need your smartphone for music while you exercise, then enable either airplane mode or the “do not disturb” feature so that you can resist the urge. Together, we can make the gym a better place for everyone.

What do you think of smartphones at the gym? Let me know in the comments below.

P.S. If you’re looking to increase your muscle mass, leaving your smartphone in the locker is a great place to start. But for a comprehensive and foolproof guide to building muscle, download my Size Matters program.

Brown Rice Vs. Quinoa

Hey Davey,

What are your thoughts on quinoa, as opposed to brown rice? I’m always watching my carb intake… I have dresses to fit into!

Thanks,
Randy

brown-rice-628x363Hey Randy,

They say if you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. But if you teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime. In the spirit of teaching you to fish, take advantage of a simple tool offered by Google. Go to the Google homepage and type in “quinoa vs brown rice” and click search.

At the top of the search results, you’ll notice a nutritional comparison of the two foods. From the drop down menus under each food, ensure that you’ve selected similar comparison metrics. For quinoa and brown rice, I selected a 100 gram comparison of cooked quinoa to cooked brown rice.

As you can see, the two food products have similar nutrition information with a few noticeable differences:

  • Quinoa has significantly higher levels of dietary fiber (2.8 grams vs 1.8 grams)
  • Quinoa has higher levels of potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc and folate
  • Brown rice has higher levels of manganese, selenium and niacin
  • Quinoa has more protein (4.4 grams vs 2.3 grams)
  • Brown rice has slightly fewer calories (112 calories vs 120 calories)
  • Quinoa has slightly fewer carbohydrates (21 grams vs 24 grams)

It’s worth noting that both brown rice and quinoa are complex carbohydrates, which are broken down slowly by the body and don’t result in the same blood sugar spikes as simple carbohydrate foods like candy, pastries and refined grains. Despite the bad reputation, complex carbohydrates are an important part of a balanced diet. And with plenty of fiber and protein, both brown rice and quinoa will help you feel full longer.

Though quinoa might have a slight edge over brown rice, both foods are healthy choices that totally deserve to be included in your diet. Rather than splitting hairs between these two healthy foods, focus your energy on the more important nutritional issues… like including more vegetables in your diet or reducing alcohol or sugar intake!

That’s my two cents.

Love,
Davey

For more information on losing weight through the foods you eat, exercise and an improved relationship with your body, download Davey Wavey’s Weight Loss Program.

3 Diet Tips From Europeans.

IMG_1806I just returned to Los Angeles from a week-long trip to Paris, Stockholm and northern Sweden. While there are many interesting differences between American and European cultures, food and diet are among the most striking.

As a Californian in Europe, the amount of butter, carbs and chocolate is astounding. Despite the presence of these typically taboo foods, Europeans are thinner than Americans. In the United States, the obesity rate is somewhere around 33.9%. In France and Sweden, on the other hand, obesity rates are 16.9% and 12.0% respectively.

It all begs the question: Can you really have your butter, carbs and chocolate – and eat it, too? And if so, how?!

As best I can tell, here are a few important ways that Europeans generally have a leg up on the American diet:

  1. Eat what you love. Just eat less of it. When walking through the streets of Paris, my boyfriend and I came across a chocolate shop serving hot chocolate. It was irresistible and so we ordered a cup. To our surprise, they served it in a tiny dixie cup that only held a few sips. But it was the perfect amount. We savored each rich, decadent sip. In America, portions are much bigger. In fact, one study examined food products in Paris versus Philadelphia and found that a cartoon of yogurt in Philadelphia is 82% larger; a soft drink is 52% larger and a candy bar is 41% larger. Those larger portions result in more calories. It’s possible to have indulgent foods like cheeses, butter, jams, candy and chocolates. But to learn from Europeans, size down your portions.
  2. Make food a passion. According to one survey, 90% of French people claim to greatly enjoy eating. That number is only 39% in the United States. Being passionate about food can upgrade your diet in several ways. For one, it’ll probably slow down your pace of eating. And when you eat slower, you eat less. You may also visit local food markets and find new, seasonal flavors that you love. Being passionate about what you eat may also inspire better, more wholesome food choices. And it might make you a little less likely to stop at the McDonald’s drive through. To learn from Europeans, cultivate a passion for food.
  3. Walk it off. There’s no magic here. Instead of hopping in your car, take a page from our European friends by walking or biking. Even in Los Angeles, I always walk to the grocery store, gym and anywhere else within a mile or two from my home. If you live a more rural area, walks can be a great leisure activity. After lunch or dinner, my French grandmother would always take my sister and I for a walk around the neighborhood. She said that it helps with digestion. In actuality, it helped burn off some extra calories and got us moving. To learn from Europeans, drive less and walk more.

I’m not saying that the Europeans have it all correct. Here in California, for example, we certainly have the upper hand when it comes to smoothies, salads and gyms – but there are certainly a few important things we can learn from our European brothers and sisters.

Have any more European-inspired diet tips? Share them in the comments below.

P.S. For more information about upgrading your diet in a real and lasting way (and without any marketing gimmicks or ridiculous trends), download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter.

Would You Join A Gay Gym?

Dear Davey,

I’m an openly gay man and I just moved to Los Angeles. I’m trying to decide which gym is best for me. One gym near me is pretty straight but the other is extremely gay. What are your thoughts on joining a gay gym? I need some guidance!

From,
Ben

Man-in-sauna-via-ShutterstockHey Ben,

With a mixture of men, mirrors, saunas and the occasional jockstrap, I can’t help but think that all gyms are at least a little gay. Having said that, some gyms are certainly gayer than others – and there are no shortage of predominantly gay gyms in Los Angeles. I know this because I go to one of them.

There’s no simple answer to your question. In fact, it really depends what you’re looking for in your gym experience.

Pros / Cons of a Straight Gym

  • Pro: Distraction-free workout lets you focus more on exercise
  • Pro: More able to keep to yourself
  • Con: Some gays might feel less safe working out in a predominately straight environment – including signs of affection with a significant other

Pros / Cons of a Gay Gym

  • Pro: More social environment and may feel a sense of community
  • Pro/Con: This can be a good thing or a bad thing, but gay gyms tend to be very cruisey
  • Con: Might end up seeing your ex-boyfriend
  • Con: Might make other gym-goers more self-conscious about body, clothing, etc.

For me, the gayness of a gym isn’t a determining factor. The availability of equipment and vicinity to my house are my top priorities.

Regardless of which gym you choose, I do have one piece of advice. As I’ve said before, it’s much easier to find a good hookup than a good gym; don’t screw where you lift. You’ll see him again and again and again and forever be haunted by the ghosts of hookups past.

But I’d love to hear what you guys think. Would you join a gay gym? Let me know in the comments below.

Love,
Davey

P.S. If you are a female, I strongly recommend gay gyms. There are a number of women who attend my very gay gym and absolutely love it; they can wear whatever they want, no one hits on them and they don’t mind getting down, dirty and sweaty.

P.P.S. Rather skip the gym altogether and workout from home? Download Davey Wavey’s Bootcamp Workout; no equipment needed for awesome results.

 

 

Does The Ketogenic/Low Carb Diet Work?

Hey Davey,

My boyfriend started on the ketogenic diet and is getting some great results. I wanted to know your thoughts on the effectiveness of this regime.

From,
Jordan

cyclical-ketogenic-dietHey Jordan,

The ketogenic diet was initially developed as a way to treat epilepsy. More recently, it’s been used as a strategy for people looking to lose weight and improve their health.

First things first, what is a ketogenic diet?

A ketogenic diet results in a state of ketosis. Instead of relying on glucose for fuel, the body produces ketones in the liver. Though there are many forms of ketogenic diets, they typically involve the restriction of carbohydrates to levels under 50 grams per day. These diets are high in fat and usually contain moderate levels of protein.

Because of carbohydrate restriction, ketogenic diets are often compared to Atkins diets. However, the two are quite different. Ketogenic diets are lower in protein and often require strict meals plans and doctor supervision.

Can ketogenic diets be effective for individuals looking to lose weight? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that all of us are different people with different lifestyles and different preferences – and that there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

Personally, eating a balanced diet of complex carbohydrates (brown rice, whole wheat), lean proteins (fish, chicken, turkey), beans, nuts, lots of vegetables, fruits and essential fats has proven both effective and sustainable. And any diet that doesn’t include whole wheat pizza isn’t a diet for me. Sorry.

And as noted by the Mayo Clinic, low carbohydrate diets and ketosis are associated with health risks including headache, weakness, fatigue and/or bowel issues. For me, the fatigue is most evident in decreased workout intensity – which negatively impacts my gym results.

Having said that, there are plenty of ketogenic diet disciples that swear by the regime. At the end of the day, you need to find what works best for you!

Love,
Davey

P.S. If you’re looking to lose weight through an effective diet plan, exercise and an improved relationship with your body, download Davey Wavey’s Weight Loss Program – and get started right now!

Drink This After Exercise.

11-Greg-Plitt-fotoA lot has been written about post-workout recovery drinks, but a new study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism puts the science to the test.

For the study, researchers compared the rehydration potential of a sports drink (in this instance, Powerade) to cow’s milk, soy milk and a milk-based liquid meal supplement call Sustagen Sport. Fifteen male participants were recruited for a series of cycling workouts while consuming different beverage options – and key biometric measures were monitored.

The milk-based liquid meal supplement resulted in better fluid retention than the other drinks. However, all of the beverages performed better than Powerade. Since sports drinks like Powerade are specifically marketed as hydrating beverages for athletes, the conclusion of the study might come as a surprise.

There is a caveat. Those who drank milk reported feeling more bloated and full, and the sports drink was ranked as the best tasting.

Of course, rehydration isn’t the only post-workout concern. After a workout, it’s important to give your body carbohydrates to restore muscle glycogen and sufficient protein so that your body can rebuild and repair your muscles. As I’m not a fan of cow’s milk, I prefer a bowl of cereal with almond milk, along with a powdered protein shake.

What’s your preferred post-workout meal or drink? Let me know in the comments below!

P.S. For science-based nutrition advice that works, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter.

Want A Small Waist? Lift Weights.

47a7be52257afIn an effort to lose weight, people tend to emphasize cardiovascular exercise over strength training. You’ll see this all the time at the gym; well-intentioned individuals will spend upward of 45 minutes or an hour jogging on the treadmill.

Can you blame them? It seems logical, right? If you run longer, you burn more calories. And if you burn more calories, you increase your calorie deficit and shed excess fat.

The problem is, things are a bit more complicated than that. By skipping strength training, excessive cardio tends to shed both fat and muscle. Losing hard-earned muscle isn’t a good thing. In addition, excessive cardio can boost levels of a stress hormone called cortisol; a side effect of cortisol is increased fat in the midsection.

Today, I came across a great study by Harvard School of Public Health that examined 10,500 healthy men, aged 40 and over during a 12-year period. Rather than just measuring body weight (which can be misleading), researchers measured waistlines and compared them to participants’ activity levels and exercise type.

According to the data, healthy men who did 20 minutes of strength training per day had a smaller increase in age-related abdominal fat when compared to men who spent the same time doing cardiovascular activities (like jogging on the treadmill). For optimal results, researchers recommend a combination of strength training and cardiovascular activities.

If losing belly fat and decreasing your waist size is one of your fitness goals, take this research to heart and ditch those endless treadmill workouts. Instead, spend 15 or 20 minutes with a high intensity interval training cardio session and then head to the weight room.

7 Ways To Make Time For Exercise!

musclegroupsThere are only a few days left in the calendar year, and I know that many people are making resolutions to exercise more. And in making those exercise resolutions, I know that many of you are wondering: Where will I find the time to workout?!

The truth is, most of us will never find time to workout. When was the last time you found time to do anything? Instead, we make time for our priorities. It’s no different with exercise.

Having said that, there are plenty of ways to make time for exercise in your already busy schedule. Here are a few ways to do it:

  1. Have an active commute. Instead of driving or taking the bus to work, perhaps you can opt for a more active commute. Many cities have dedicated bike lanes – or you may even be able to walk, jog or run (if your office has a shower). Turning your commute into a workout catches two birds with one net.
  2. Exercise during commercial breaks. Whether you watch network TV or Hulu, most shows still have commercial breaks. So instead of having to pick between your favorite programs and working out, do both!  During commercial breaks, try cycling between these exercises: 10 crunches, 10 air squats, 10 burpees. Keep repeating until the commercial break ends.
  3. Exercise during lunch. If you get a lunch break, turn it into a workout. Check to see if there are any fitness classes in your area – or sneak out to a nearby gym. Run up and down the office stairwell. You can even go for a walk. As an added benefit, you’ll have more energy for the rest of your workday.
  4. Have a 15-minute workout. Workouts don’t need to be endless and long to be effective. By using high intensity interval training (which cycles between periods of low and high intensity), you can get an extremely effective workout in a short amount of time. For high intensity interval training workouts that you can do at home, download Davey Wavey’s Bootcamp Workout. Use discount code “youtube” to save 25% during checkout.
  5. Have active dates. Instead of meeting your friends or a significant other for dinner and a movie, do something that gets your heart pumping and your blood flowing. Take a class. Go rock climbing at a gym. Play soccer or football in the park. Bonus: It’s also way more fun.
  6. Get up earlier. If your day is already feeling full, sometimes the best thing to do is simply set an alarm. Wake up a little earlier and get your workout in. As difficult as it is to wake up early, I promise that you won’t regret your workout when it’s done! A morning workout is also more energizing than a cup of coffee!
  7. Put workouts into your calendar. If you’re a busy person, plan exercise time in advance by scheduling workout appointments. Do this a month or two in advance so that you can build your schedule around these commitments.

How do you balance a busy schedule and exercise? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Is Crossfit Better Than The Gym?

Dear Davey,

I have a few friends that are obsessed with CrossFit and swear that it’s a million times better than the gym. I know that you go to CrossFit and I was wondering what you think? Should I ditch my gym membership and try CrossFit?

From,
Stevie

7022884_nHey Stevie,

Comparing CrossFit and the gym is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. Both provide great benefits, but it really depends on the person.

There are a few things that I love about CrossFit. For one, you get a sense of community and support. The workouts are completed in a group setting and they are highly structured. The entire workout is planned out – and instructors and classmates will push you to get through. The classes can also be competitive; for some people, this can be the motivational kick-in-the-butt that they need. And there’s no question that the workouts are awesome and effective.

On the flip side, CrossFit tends to be more risky. When you push yourself hard – especially with exercises that are unfamiliar – the risk for injury increases. That’s why CrossFit studios offer classes for beginners so that they can learn proper form and technique. If you do opt for CrossFit, it’s important to complete these introductory classes. Moreover, CrossFit is expensive; an unlimited CrossFit pass to my gym is $200/month. Having said that, I like to think of it as an investment in myself rather than an expense.

As someone who tends to be more introverted, the team spirit of CrossFit isn’t something that I particularly enjoy. In fact, I find it to be a bit cult-like at times. I much prefer the solitude and independence of a solo gym workout. Like CrossFit, my solo workouts are structured and effective (though some exercisers may lack the knowledge to put together a goal-oriented workout). And because I’m only competing with myself, I know that I’m less likely to push myself too far – and get injured.

For me, the answer isn’t either or… but both. Six mornings per week, I workout independently at my gym. And then two afternoons per week, I take a CrossFit class. It’s a big commitment, but it’s also something that I love doing. But at the end of the day, the debate over CrossFit versus the gym is really a personal decision.

In the comments below, I’d love to hear what you guys think. Have you tried CrossFit? Do you prefer the gym? Let us know!

Love,
Davey

P.S. If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide to building muscle, download Size Matters: Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle today! You’ll even get a free gift!