THE SNOOP

We're snooping your pages.  We're creeping your posts.  We're sharing your stuff.
We will not discriminate.  (Although we will often poke fun.)

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Boston Next Step: Community-Driven action is the antidote for tragedy

We have a soft spot for any community who gathers out of common ideals of compassionate social good.  So we love the work of Lynn and Doug Julian, who created Boston Next Step, a community-driven organization committed to the ongoing recovery of survivors of the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013, as well as first-responders, friends and anyone affected by the tragedy.

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You do not need to be a giant to raise hopes as high as the sky.

This is a very cool Snoop, and one that we proudly captured on film ourselves.

#DoctorBeDancing is a young doctor in Boston who loves to dance and decided to just randomly bring a boombox in public, wearing his scrubs, and passing the hat. But instead of keeping the spare change and dollars for his own gain, he donates all of his raise money to charity.

One of the founding principles of The Next Level is to take your talents and passions and use them toward goals bigger than personal gains and accomplishments.

Everything you do is worth more than you imagine. And this guy totally represents that. 

Consistent practices. Universal lessons.

What helps us make room or more love?  

We live in a culture which praises aggression and accomplishments that we "do for ourselves." Yet those who are consistent and disciplined in a practice are graced with the ability to also create more generosity, more temperance, and more good.

Today's Snoop came from J.R. Hitchcock, and alumnus from the remarkable Next Level team, Epic.  It's a bit of inspiration that echoes the sentiment from above in a simple, charming way.

Many of us have seen stories and tales of the remarkable Mrs. Shepherd, but we honestly don't think hers is an example that can be too often mentioned. It's hard not to admire the message her work sends about how external aesthetics can marry with internal grace in a way that not only is without conflict, but to the mutual benefit of both.  

Strong Talk from Robert Kearny

We all love it when an athlete's work can parlay into cool impaction the greater world.  Sure, it's exciting when someone is remarkable within their sport, but there is something exciting when an athlete can transcend his practice.

This past year the very Snoopable Rob Kearney has been one of those athletes.  Unto himself he is plenty exciting, holding world record lifts and competing globally in StrongMan.  But his revelation to the world that he was in love with a man was what launched Rob's relevance beyond just his sport and into the stratosphere of notoriety.  

Recently, Rob competed at the 2015 Arnold Sports Festival Strongman World Championships, and went on the Strong Talk podcast (produced by our equally-Snoopable buddy Kalle Beck from the fast-growing Starting Strongman). But the conversation became fascinating – and hence Snoopworthy.

Have a listen!

Should we NOT be celebrating a woman's body just because it is fat?

 The gorgeous woman who (once again) opens the debate about self-determinism versus industrialized beauty;  Tess Holliday .

The gorgeous woman who (once again) opens the debate about self-determinism versus industrialized beauty; Tess Holliday.

Our buddy Nick LeFabvre Snooped over to us an interesting debate he's interested in having about a hashtag making it's rounds in the fit-focused social networks (and beyond): #EFFyourbeautystandards.

The hashtag is intended to encourage women to self-define their own ideals of beauty, and to not attach too deeply to the marketed ideals of "industrialized beauty."  It was started by a plus size model Tess Holliday, who was signed to major modeling agency recently.  

Which is where Nick's post comes in.  He snooped us a contrary – and rather inflammatory – opinion on the matter from a fitness enthusiast named Brit Bliss.  (A model in the beauty industry, she chose the title  "public figure" on Facebook, so clearly is a woman of huge authority on the matter.  Eye-roll.)  While the message Holliday represents seems very healthy (not to mention savvy as heck), it turns sour when placed in the hands of Miss Bliss (oooh! now we get it!) and her "fit-chick" extremism.  She strongly that everyone thinks the same way she does, believing that fat is a bad thing no matter what and should be "fought against."  

Whoops.

While Nick noted to us his opinion that both women have balls for two entirely opposite reasons, he is mostly fascinated with what others think of this debate.  And that curiosity makes all of this double-Snoopworthy, because when a competitive bodybuilder – usually the stereotype of body-nazi-ism – is inviting a rational debate on self-image message, well,  it's something pretty nifty.  

Chime in; we're sure you ave an opinion on the topic.

 

Strongwoman Kim Berg at the Arnold

We've been friends with the amazing Kim Berg for a few years and her example and abilities never cease to amaze, dazzle and inspire our own athletes.  So we were psyched to finally be able to Snoop on her!

Kim posted a video of her amazing work in the StrongWoman Nationals at this years Arnold Sports Festival.  She came in second but remains in first as an inspirational leader in our opinion!

Congratulations, Kim!  Looking forward to seeing what amazing accomplishments you have in the future!!!

First Mr. Olympia, Larry Scott, Dies at Age 75

Be sure to read what was inspired by the death of first-ever Mr. Olympia winner Larry Scott, which is way better than our Snoop of the news.  He died on March 8, 2014 at age 75 due to Alzheimer's disease, which he was diagnosed in 2010.

In 1963 Mr. Scott became the first bodybuilder to win the title that sits at the center of muscle culture's media propaganda machine, the Mr. Olympia.  While it is arguable that the Mr. O is a title decided more by industry than by sport, it is nonetheless a very competitive and challenging title to achieve, even way back at it's inauguration.

Larry Scott had a long carer associated with bodybuilding and training, and was considered a legend among those very familiar with the sport.  He had a few bit roles in campy movies of the 60's, most memorably in the cult flick Muscle Beach Party.  Mr. Scott was iconic let the world some of the most memorable and inspirational imagery of the artistry of muscular physiques.

Thank you Mr. Scott, Mr. Olympia.  You will be missed, but may your legacy live on!

 The first ever to win the Mr. Olympia in 1963.

The first ever to win the Mr. Olympia in 1963.

 A legacy of iconic physique imagery.

A legacy of iconic physique imagery.

What all bodybuilders want to be when we grow up.

We Snooped this incredible video of the amazing bodybuilder, 70-year old Sam "Sonny" Bryant Jr. off of (arguably also amazing) drug-free bodybuilder Matt Young.  

The dude in the video is 70 years old.  And looks better than most guys look in their late 20's.  And he competes in drug-free bodybuilding contest.  Where he also beats dudes in their 20's. Let us now all recount our excuses and have ourselves a moment of personal shame . . . 

Done?

Good, because this guy proves one of The Next Level's coaching foundations: specifically that the best bodybuilder are not the best lifters; they are the best healers. Let's repeat that so it can REALLY sink in:

THE BEST BODYBUILDERS ARE THE BEST HEALERS.

Kicking ass.  Showing young'uns how it's done.  

The idea that bodybuilding is a "fountain go youth" comes from the ideas that the art and science of bodybuilding philosophically revolve around the principle of adaptive healing after gradually increasing damage.  And growing old is a "gradually increasing damage" to the body.  Which is why men like Sam  Bryant Jr. still compete in bodybuilding at 70 – and still kick ass.

This is one edge that bodybuilders will have if they are smart in their craft.  So Mr. Bryant's example is not only a marvel, but an education.  mastering how the body heals itself on a day to day basis, of your own abilities, is what gives a bodybuilder longevity not only in his sport, but apparently in his life!  (Side rant: we'd like to see guys on pharmaceuticals and 'roids try this stunt!  After all, merely healing the body's own healing energies is not the same as developing and adapting a body that heals efficiently on it's own.  In fact, it retards this adaptation.)

I think at 70 he's earned the right to rock the old school striped 80's  singlet.  

But most of all, if a dude who's 70 can look this good in micro-spandex, well, then that is clearly an argument both in favor of having some fun with how you dress, as well as just how that kinda look really is for those who worked decades to achieve it.  

I think we found a new bodybuilding hero.

HELL. YES.

This awesome footage of Dallas sportscaster Dale Hansen was Snooped off a few pages, and if you watch it, you will see why.  Eloquent and yet with the intensity of a bucket of ice water splashed onto you, it's hard to not get all riled up with pride from Mr. Hansen's words.

In Head Coach XN's blog this week, he thanks Michael Sam for coming out, as being gay in a hyper-masculine sport is a journey XN has had to take for two decades.  So this editorial is apropos to the moment.

usually people stand and cheer for the sports.  This time, you'l cheer for the sportscaster.  Hell yes, Dale Hansen, you rock.  Hell yes.

We'd now like to introduce the next amazing team.

The Spring '14 team has technically been working together since last October.  But now the team is ready to introduce themselves. They have not decided on their name yet, but will soon.

The team has chosen the first set of strength and bodybuilding contests towards which too focus their goals, and are beginning to work together on concepts and strategies.

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