Friday, June 29, 2007

Hot Flashes, Mood Swings and a CONTEST!

I'm going through "the change".

In between the headaches, night sweats and incontinence, I've begun migrating The Cup to a different site with a new look.

Until the shift is complete, I will continue to post here with updates as they happen.

In the meantime, you can start making yourself comfortable at

You - John Q. Public - have spoken. And I have responded.


Feel free to update your bookmarks, your websites and your business cards so everyone knows exactly how they can enjoy The Cup.

The first three readers to submit legal documentation proving the permanent change of their (or their firstborn's) name to will receive a free one year subscription (that's 10 issues!) to Men's Fitness magazine - Plus you'll have my eternal gratitude (or maybe my sympathies would be more appropriate).

I need to replace the stock image at the top of the new site with something that better reflects everything The Cup stands for: namely my own fitness-related (albeit sometimes imperceptibly) commentary surrounded with all the sarcasm, cynicism and sometimes tasteless humor you've come to expect from me (just wait until you see today's post).

If you are skilled in the fine art of creating headers, I need one that is roughly 770x200 pixels.

You may submit as many header designs as you like. Artwork must be original. Only one design will be chosen as the winner. I will be the sole judge, though I do have a team of trusted advisers I may turn to for outside opinions. Winning header becomes the property of Smart Way Enterprises, LLC in exchange for the following prize package.

The winner will have bragging rights that their design is prominently displayed at the top of (until something better comes along). What were you expecting - cash?? Ok, ok.... As long as your design is in use, I'll even mention you by name and/or website on the page titled "the cup" (found under the sidebar heading, "percolations") AND I'll even throw in John Berardi's UPDATED nutrition program (retail value: $147)

Send your designs or any questions to questions [at] joestankowski [dot] com. As soon as I find a suitable header, the contest will officially end. Non-winning entries may or may not get an immediate (or any) response. Good luck!

I look forward to seeing everyone at the new and improved MorningCupOfJoe.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

MySpace Surveys

I'm still not sure exactly why, but I have a MySpace page -

If you know anything about MySpace, you're probably already familiar with the ridiculous "surveys" floating around - most of which I suspect are to gather personal information and steal your identity (even if they are written by 12 year olds)

Notwithstanding the fact that I'm a responsible adult (and have a life) I wouldn't ever take one of these data-mining exercises seriously, but today I thought I'd have a little fun with some of the questions right here at "the cup". Enjoy.

- Are you smiling?
Only when I deadlift

- Do you drink beer?
Of course. Milk is for babies - Arnold said so.

- What do you want?
To deadlift more weight. What else is there?

- Are you any good at poker?
Why would I play cards when I can deadlift?

- Pepsi or Coke?
Varsity post workout drink by ProGrade. It has the 2:1 carbs to protein ratio I need and it tastes great!

- Do you ever throw up?
Only after a good workout.

- Do you use a pencil or pen?
I write with lifting chalk.

- Do you believe dreams come true?
Only if you have a solid periodization plan and restoration strategy.

- What are you wearing on your feet?
Barefoot. I'm getting ready to deadlift.

- What was the last thing you ate?
A chocolate-almond supershake (recipe from Precision Nutrition)

- What were you doing before this survey?
Thinking about deadlifting.

- What is the closest item near you that is black?
A stack of 45lb Olympic weights.

- What is the last movie you watched?
Bill Hartman & Mike Robertson's warm-up video

- Where was your default MySpace picture taken?
At a tattoo shop in Gary, Indiana the day after a powerlifting meet.

- Why did you pick your background?
If it was anywhere else, the tiger would have tried to kill me.

- What is irritating you now?
Knowing that somewhere in the world, there are people who will never have a chance to deadlift.

- Do you have a dog?
No. They don't have opposable thumbs, therefore they cannot deadlift.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Idiots In The News

I admit it... I find it very annoying (to put it mildly) when people feel the need to broadcast their political preferences, favorite breed of dog, love of bingo or the school their child attends through cheap, 50 cent bumper stickers plastered across the back end of a $30,000+ vehicle.

So I guess that means I'm gonna have to stop at a gas station to find a foam & mesh hat with the raised text "I Brake For Idiots" on the front panel.

It's still early in the week, yet we've already had to deal with some really stupid news. And this goes way beyond the (most recent) release of everyone's favorite heiress from her 12x8 foot jail cell.

1) We have a story about a pro wrestler who killed his wife and 7 year old kid before hanging himself. Of course ESPN was quick to label it a case of 'roid rage.

Didn't Arnold "The Governator" admit to steroid use during his bodybuilding days? Who has he killed lately? What about the majority of the NFL? Major league baseball? Tour-de-France cyclists? The Chinese women's swim team?

If 'roid rage is really the side effect of steroid use the media makes it out to be, every four years I'd expect the Olympic games to be awash in blood.

I'd bet the parents of ESPN's newscasters never had to worry about removing "honor student" bumper stickers when it was time to trade in the family sedan.

2) In another story, fast food restaurants in NYC have decided to "stand their ground" and blatantly defy a law (albeit a ridiculous one) by refusing to list the calorie content of the crap, er... 'food'... they push on their customers.

Want to find out what happens when you defy a law? Just ask the aforementioned Miss Hilton now that she's traded in her orange jump suit for freedom. She may still stop for chihuahuas, but I predict she won't be stopping off for a drink before driving home anytime soon.

3) A pair of really intelligent parents (both doctors) in India thought it would be a good idea to let their 15 year old son deliver a baby by Cesarean section.

WOnder if they have a pro-life bumper sticker: "Choose Life - Let Our Son Deliver Yours"

I can't wait to see what tomorrow's news has to offer.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Dr. Joe's Wilmington Diet Revolution Has Begun!

How does one become a 'weight loss expert'?

First, you need a doctoral degree (real or otherwise) and/or the name of a local seaside attraction. If you're lacking either of these, you can also use the name of the nearest small town. Whatever you do, just be sure to put the word "diet" after it to give it some air of credibility. (words like "breakthrough" or "revolution" can make your method appear even better!)

Next, remove one or more of the seven major nutrient classes: protein, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals or water. Nevermind the fact that these are all important for your health; just put it in writing.

Now here comes the critical part: Gather testimonials from people who lost a good deal of weight in a relatively short time. Great sources are new moms ("I lost 8lbs and 3oz in just one afternoon"), food poisoning victims ("I don't even think about my favorite foods now") and amputees ("Everyone at work keeps asking what's different about me since I started The _____ Diet").

[basically, if you hang around a hospital long enough you'll get all the marketing materials you'll ever need.]

Finally, wait for a slow news day when you'll contact the media about your new diet system. If the planets are aligned just right and you've followed my instructions to the letter, I can't think of any reason you can't become the next weight loss guru.

I wonder... could the Atkins diet really be the best thing since sliced bread?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Women and Relationship Issues

Body weight is NOT directly proportional to the weights you lift.

In fact, if you've spent any amount of time hanging around gyms, you may have noticed that the amount of bodyfat a person carries is usually inversely proportional to the amount of weight they lift.

I can't tell you how many times I've seen significantly overweight women going through the motions of triceps kickbacks to shoulder presses to biceps curls with nothing more than a pair of 3lb dumbbells!

Ask 'em why and you'll probably hear some variation of "I don't want to get bulky"

Look, I don't care how much you weigh... if you have more body fat than you want, you are bulky. Toying with those little pink, foam covered weights isn't going do anything to change it.

On the other hand, fitness and figure competitors (and I don't mean bodybuilders) have lean, fit and at risk of being perceived as politically incorrect, I'll even go so far as to say SMOKIN' HOT bodies.

They don't use the 'cute little hand-weights' either. They go straight for the 20, 30 and 40+ pound dumbbells and they train hard.

They squat.

They deadlift.

They do pull ups and cleans and all those other so-called 'bulky' exercises.

They even sweat.

But as a 'side effect'...

They get stronger.

They get leaner.

Their bodies get firm, yet retain (and even enhance) their feminine qualities.

And contrary to common thinking, those women who dare to lift 'real' weights do not become bulky (unless your measurement standard is Lindsay Lohan or the stick-figure character from 'hangman').

I certainly won't ever claim to understand what goes on in any woman's mind, but if I can just help a few of 'em get past their tabloid-and-infomercial influenced visions of "common sense" and begin to train like they really mean it, I'll be a happy man.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Arrested Development

During the summers of the late 1970s, early '80s, I remember getting up in the morning, having some scrambled eggs and a pop tart or two, then as soon as the Flintstones was done, I'd go outside to play 'cops & robbers' with my neighborhood friends all day - the only break would be for a sandwich (usually a couple slices of cheese-impregnated ham with a slathering of yellow mustard) and a cold glass of cool-ade (I don't know what flavors, but it seemed like it was always red).

Whenever we'd play CHiPs, there'd be the standard argument over who could be "Ponch".

Back in those days, to become a police officer (or at least to play one on TV), you really had to have the appearance of being an outstanding citizen and in good physical condition (Don't even try to convince me that Barney Fief, Rosco P. Coltrane or the aforementioned motorcycle cops from CHiPs weren't all in the their physical prime).

Looking back, I suppose I could even give some credit to those fictitious law enforcers as my early inspirations to exercise as I'd run around chasing bad guys and patrolling the neighborhood on my 'motorcycle' all day. (Okay, so maybe Ponch & Jon were just convenient excuses to put baseball cards in the spokes of my bike...)

"Being well-rounded, having some life experience, makes for a better person and patrolman..." Fast forward to the present day, non-televised world of cops: Police standards are sinking fast.

Minor crimes like drug convictions ("experimental use of cocaine and marijuana" or "ecstasy... as long as it was more than five years in the past") and gang related activity (I can only imagine what this includes) are no longer the barriers to wearing a badge and carrying a service revolver that they once were.

You now have the right to a jelly donut. If you cannot afford a deep fried mound of flour covered (and filled) with sugar, a donut will be provided for you by the taxpayers.

The physical standards for new recruits are falling, too (why else would I have brought the subject up in the first place?).

One police department in Alaska now allows for an additional 21 seconds to run 300 meters - giving them a full minute and 17 seconds to cover the track. Should I assume they're running in snowshoes?

The L.A.P.D even loosened the body fat requirements to 24% for men and 32% for women. I could understand these levels in the corn-belt states, but in Los Angeles? Judging by the cover of People magazine, I was under the impression that being overweight there was a crime!

In everything else in life, standards get tougher. Why would something as important as protecting and serving go the other way?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Celebrity Look-Alikes

I just saw a teaser for the evening news where so-called 'regular' guys are going under the plastic surgeon's knife to look like thier favorite celebs.

Brad Pitt's nose and Russell Crowe's chin are said to be popular but if I was to ever seriously consider getting work done, I think my first task would be bicep implants. My only fear is that people on the streets might mistake me for "Carrot Top"

Did A Beta-Carotene Overdose Cause This?

BTW: New York, look out. I'm coming into town to do some more work for Men's Fitness magazine again this week. So I invite my friends and fans in the city that never sleeps to drop me a line in the next couple of days and we'll try to schedule a time and place to meet up for a meal or a drink over some fitness chat - maybe we can even throw some weights around if you know of a decent gym.