Miscellaneous Miscellany Monday: Aragorn, Steak, and Hill Sprints

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1. One of the cool parts about the neighborhood that I live in – other than Traders Joe’s, Starbucks, Panera Bread, and the bookstore all being within a five minute walk from my apartment – is the fact that one of the most badass, independent movie theaters is like four blocks away.

It’s no secret that I’m a movie nerd.  I mean, how many dudes try to talk their girlfriends into going to see The Artist?.  For those not in the loop:  The Artist is up for Best Picture this year (as well as a slew of other awards including Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Most Likely to Force Tony to Hand In His Mancard, etc), and not only is it filmed in black and white, but………..

………………….it’s a SILENT film.

No explosions. No light sabers.  No ninjas.  Not even a gratuitous side boob shot.  No nothing, except for a cute dog, lots of dancing and stuff, and one of the most uplifting, feel-good, movie experiences of the year.

Anyways, I became a member of The Coolidge (the name of the theater) shortly after moving into our apartment last year.  As a member – they have different tiers of membership – I get discounted tickets during the week, as well as FREE tickets Fri-Sun.  What’s more, I get free popcorn no matter what!!!!

Furthermore, I also get email notices of special events and happenings that take place on a weekly basis. For instance, every week they have special midnight showings of past movies like Back to the Future or Indiana Jones. They also do their fair share of promoting things like the Sundance Film Festival, and it’s not uncommon for them to premiere certain movies or host advance screenings with an open discussion afterwards.

Even cooler: in two weeks they’re honoring actor Viggo Mortensen with their annual Coolidge Award. Meaning, freaking Aragorn is going to be in the house……..for an entire day……..chilling.


Leading up to the event, The Coolidge is playing a a bunch of Mortensen movies – A History of Violence, The Road, A Walk on the Moon, and even holding a Lord of the Rings marathon this weekend, playing all three extended-cut editions back-to-back-to back starting at 11 in the morning.

See?  I told you this place is pretty baller.

Then, on March 5th, after showing Eastern Promises (a film which Mortensen was nominated for Best Actor for a few years back), Viggo will be there in the flesh to discuss his life and career, and most likely  have to file a restraining order against me.

Holy shitnuts this is going to be so epic.  I can’t wait, and I’ve even started to prepare a few drafts of what question I’m going to ask him.  So far I’ve got this:

Hey, what’s up Viggo?

Needless to say, it’s a work in progress and I can’t even express how excited I am to go to this, and………

…….wait, what was that babe?  We’re going to be in Florida on vacation that week?  I won’t be able to go to it????


Well, I guess there’s always next year.  Fingers crossed they’ll invite Kate Beckinsale or something.

2. And while we’re on the topic of movies, a few weekends ago, after being told by numerous people that I HAD to watch it,  I finally sat down to watch Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead.

Admittedly, going in I was a bit skeptical.  I knew there was going to be a “meat will kill you” vibe, and it’s actually a topic I touched on not too long ago HERE.

That said, it was a really, really, really, eye-opening documentary, and I can’t express enough how everyone should take the time to watch it. For the record, you can watch it for free on Netflix streaming.

For what it’s worth:  I’m thiiiiiiiiiiis close to possibly purchasing a juicer in the near future. I’m still eating dead, furry animals of course.  But I certainly don’t see the harm in adding more nutrient dense fruit/veggies juice into the mix.

Something to think about at least.

3.  I just finished reading an interesting book on how to improve your memory titled Moonwalking with Einstein – The Art and Science of Remembering Everything.


If you ever wondered why you seem to forget where you put your keys and why you can’t remember what you had for supper last night, yet, there are some people who have memorized 50,000 number of pie, then this book is right up your alley.

4.  Okay fellas (and girls too), I need your help.  Well, my cousin needs your help, actually. She’s the Director of Photography for Maxim, and she informed me that they’re currently planning their annual Maxim Hot 100 list – otherwise known as the best day of the year.

Anyways, she informed me that they’re opening up the voting process to the general public and she asked that I share THIS link, which will take you to their voting page.

You’re welcome.

5.  Like most couples, Lisa and I celebrated a belated Valentine’s Day this past weekend.  As is the case, a few weeks ago she explained to me that she was taking care of Valentines this year, and that all I had to do was take a shower make sure to block out the Saturday night AFTER actual Valentine’s Day.

Done.  Easy peezy.

Going into it, I had absolutely NO CLUE what we were going to do.  The only hint I got was that it would be decadent and that we had to dress up, which basically ruled out a Star Wars Convention.

Leaving out the details we got on the T, headed into the city, and ended up getting off near the waterfront, which is an area that we don’t visit nearly enough.  We turn a corner and BAM……………..it’s a steakhouse!!!!!!!!

And not just ANY steakhouse:

Morton’s Steakhouse!!!!

Okay, now some stuff that’s actually training related.

6.  For all those people out there who make every excuse imaginable not to train:

It’s too crowded

I’m just not in the mood

I have a headache

I have a hang-nail

NCIS is on tonight

You should take a page out of Ben Bruno’s book.  The guy had freaking KNEE SURGERY a few weeks ago, yet he’s still getting after it training on a consistent basis.  He’s made a few cameo appearances at CP the past few weeks to train with our staff, and it’s pretty cool to see that, despite only having one working leg at the moment, he’s not using it as an excuse to “lay low” or “take some time off and rest.”

In fact, if anything, he’s using it as an excuse to prioritize other things – like chin-ups.

While he still has his list of rehab exercises to do for his knee, he’s not letting the monotony bring him down.

In fact, I’d argue that he’s still training harder than most “healthy” people.

As an example, the other week after each set of a rehab exercise, he’d walk over to the chin-up bar and bang out ten reps.  In one session alone, he did over 200 chin-ups.  Pretty sick if you ask me.

Moreover, he’s still training his non-injured leg fairly aggressively with various exercises like 1-legged step-ups, 1-legged squats, and 1-legged goodmornings:

So, I guess what I’m really trying to say is……..stop being a pussy.  Quit making excuses why you can’t train.  No matter what, you can ALWAYS train around an injury.

7.  Nia Shanks is going to love this.  Hill sprints are the bees knees.  I don’t care who you are or what kind of shape you “think” you’re in, hill sprints will suck the living life out of you.

I’m lucky in that I have a fairly long (and steep) hill right behind my apartment, and I take advantage of that fact at least once a week.

Hill sprints serve as an excellent conditioning exercise for me because 1) like I said, I have decent sized hill right behind my apartment so it’s waaaaay convenient, and 2) they’re easily one of the more “knee friendly” modalities I can implement.

Try not to make it any more complicated than it has to be.  There’s no set “program” I follow, or some super secret Russian algorithm I utilize.  All you need to do is find a hill that will make you hate life, run up it (15-20 seconds), walk down, and repeat.

Shoot for anywhere from 6-10 total sprints, 1-2 times per week, and you’ll definitely see why those cute elliptical sprints you do every week are a joke.

And that’s about it.  I’m heading into the facility now to film what should be a pretty cool video blog for tomorrow: chin-up progressions for women. BOOM!

Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

I don’t share email information. Ever. Because I’m not a jerk.

Comments for This Entry

  • Barath

    Sometimes I am inclined to believe there's a sixteen year old girl inside you waiting to come out, Tony :)

    February 20, 2012 at 11:45 am | Reply to this comment

  • Lauren L

    I have to comment in the same fashion you wrote today's post: 1.Maybe YOU don't have a super secret Russian algorithm... ;)2. I'm pretty jealous you have an awesome theater like that in your area, we have nothing like that out here in SoCal. And you're missing Viggo?! Ahhhhh that is such a bummer!!! 3. I'm calling The Artist for best picture, director, and actor. I think I blew my exclamation point budget in this comment.

    February 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Reply to this comment

    • Anonymous

      We have a TON of great theaters here in Boston. The Coolidge (the one I spoke about in the blog) is literally like a five minute walk away, and it's ALWAYS playing the best independent films. A few blocks further, we have Regal Fenway, which has RPX and stadium seating, and plays all the big budget, popcorn movies. Best picture is tough this year. 2011 was a pretty lousy year for movies IMO. If my vote counted, I'd probably go with Midnight in Paris.

      February 20, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Reply to this comment

      • Lauren L

        Jeeeeez quit bragging ;D Yeah I can either drive to Orange County to see some cool indie films (I was able to catch all of the Oscar nominated short films there which was awesome), or LA and spend way too much money for a movie ticket (is $12.50 a lot? I think it is) but sit in super plushy leather seats and catch some not so main stream movies there. It sounds like you're living in a whole 'nother world over there in Boston. And yeah, 2011= not so good on the movie tip but I agree, Midnight in Paris was spectacular.

        February 21, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Will B

    great post!  If you do go ahead with the juicer, I highly recommend the Omega 8004.  It's incredibly easy to clean, can do a million things other than juice, AND makes a higher-quality juice than the kind made in Fat, Sick, etc.  The higher price is definitely worth it, especially as it has a 15 year warranty-- as in longer than it will take for juicing to go in and out of style a few more times....

    February 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Reply to this comment

  • DanG

    I bought a juicer about 3 weeks ago and I friggin' love it. I use the Breville Juicer Plus and think it's pretty awesome. I feel great and a lot stronger ever since I started 'juicin' it the last few weeks. I never knew beets, carrots and apples would actually be something I consume together. 

    February 20, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jeff

    I went with the Breville after watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Used it alot early but more sporadic as of late. I do wonder sometimes if it's the best because all the pulp comes out and you get juice only....am I missing fiber and other good things this way??? Thinking VitaMix might have been better choice. I will say if I over bought any fruits/veggies the juicer is a good way to costume them before they go bad or have slightly turned.

    February 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Chris

    Apparently Albert Einstein said "gratitude prayers" hundreds of times a day.  "They" say this is perhaps a reason why he was so brilliant. Thanks for the book recommendation Tony.

    February 20, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Reply to this comment

    • Anonymous

      It was a pretty fascinating read, I hope you enjoy it! Currently reading a book titled "You Are Not So Smart," and it deals a lot with psychology and behavioral economics. I can't get enough of that stuff!

      February 20, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Kim

    Jeff, Juicers do remove all the fiber.  And you don't need a super expensive blender to make an awesome green smoothie.  I like spinach, peach and a bit of water. Tony, Enjoyable post, as always.  :)

    February 20, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Scott Brady

    Do it. Buy a juicer. Highly recommended Tony. Go for a masticating one. I have a Hurom KT100, which in the USA is more known as a Omega Vert. Do lots of research to make sure you're happy with what you're getting, but once hooked you'll love it. Love these misc posts too. Cheers Scott

    February 21, 2012 at 8:23 am | Reply to this comment

  • Michael Wolf

    Miscellany Mondays just got turned up a notch by the headline appearance of Aragorn!  This is even cooler than when I went to an indy theater in the east village the day before Halloween 2004, to watch the original Phantasm with Angus Scrimm in the house.

    February 21, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Dave Thomas

    Tony, regarding the single-leg stuff for Ben.  Wouldn't that create massive asymmetry when the other leg becomes healthy?  What are your thoughts here?

    February 21, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Reply to this comment

  • RS

    Tony, Jealous about the steakhouse. I went to Morton's a few years back. Loved it. I know you did as well. RS

    February 21, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Shannon_schierling

    Wait - where are the chinup progressions?  It's my goal to get to an overhand chin up this year... I've been doing negatives from a doorway chinup bar and doing some austrailian pullups with a rope net I crawl under at a playground.... did I miss them?

    February 22, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Reply to this comment

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