The Spartan Winter
A deeply personal review of 30 Days of Discipline and Body of a Spartan
Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle. – Napoleon Hill
In the fall of 2014 my father passed away and as you can imagine, it was heartbreaking. Perhaps you’ve already lost your father, or your father figure, and my heart goes out to you. Sooner or later we all have to experience this and it can be devastating.
That eery morning when I was given the news that my father died will be forever etched into my mind. It was the worst day of my life.
My phone started going bonkers at 4AM with multiple texts and missed calls. I immediately felt that something was wrong.
I returned the call to my grandma… and when she answered she was already sobbing. She was the one who found him – her son had died abruptly in his sleep.
Like a freight train had hit me right in the gut, all the wind and life was knocked right out of me. I fell to the ground helplessly while trying to reassure my grandma that it was not her fault.
What hurt the most, and makes my eyes swell to this day as I write this – I did not get a chance to say goodbye to my father. This came completely out of the blue. Although we talked on the phone every week or so, it had been about a week since I last talked to him.
It was surreal. It still is. And odds are, it will be surreal for you when your father dies.
Picking up the pieces and trying to make sense of it all
I made arrangements with work, packed a bag and hit the road. Driving from Colorado back to Arizona gave me a lot of time to reflect.
He died early, arguably before his time. As the shock and mourning began to subside, I thought deeply on why he passed when he did.
You see, he didn’t have cancer or anything noticeably wrong with him. For his age, he was still very active, lean, fun-loving, and full of piss and vinegar. He looked to have at least another twenty years in him.
I wondered what was going on in his mind, perhaps even at the subconscious level.
Was there something he hadn’t told me about?
Was it just time for him to go?
A thousand scenarios raced through my mind.
To get through this painful moment, I tried to find some message of positivity. Some good that could be found within this horrific mess. It always sounds easier on paper…
Losing your father is an emotionally turbulent, whirlwind of an experience. The person who was always there to offer you guidance, to show you what it meant to be a stand-up guy, or God forbid, a real man.
In the blink of an eye, I lost my best friend and my wisest mentor.
The most important lesson
If you’d like to find some foothold of positivity in a mess like this, here’s one lesson. It’s the most important lesson to learn. And the toughest.
In life – no matter what happens to us, we control how we react to it.
Like any other life-changing news… are you going to degenerate into a tailspin of alcoholism and antidepressant drugs? Are you going to throw away your goals, hopes and dreams because your life just got flipped upside down?
When I was blindsided by my cancer diagnosis, I eventually found that you can redirect the energy of that bad news into something positive.
The most challenging experiences you’ll ever face are only meant to make you grow. And in life you are either growing or dying.
So grow, friends.
A passing lesson from my father was to act on your dreams and goals every day. Live your life to the absolute fullest.
Simply put, we ought to celebrate every day above ground.
His message was clear:
Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’.
… and it gave me a swift kick in the ass to get serious about a few things.
In December of 2014 I purchased 30 Days of Discipline. And shortly after, Body of a Spartan. I had been on a pretty good track in life already… but my goal was to really take it to the next level. To reach the best mental and physical shape of my life.
Perhaps you can relate to this: it became priority to show my father that I wasn’t wasting my time here.
One of the main reasons I bought 30 Days of Discipline was to keep my head on straight. I’ve got Austrian, German, Slavic and Irish blood in me – reaching for the bottle to find the answer to life’s problems is practically hereditary.
Going into an alcohol fueled tailspin of depression was something I wanted to avoid.
Regardless of the problem – death in the family, weight loss, wanting to build muscle, wanting more money – it’s real easy to be depressed when you sit on the couch watching TV all day, with no exercise or sports to challenge your body, while eating garbage and thinking self-defeating thoughts.
That’s a surefire prescription for misery!
But if you’re working out consistently, learning new things and building towards a positive goal, you can push the negative thoughts and feelings out of your head much easier. You’ll hit daily success – small victories that give you momentum and progress.
30 Days of Discipline is a fantastic program for this. I’d been reading B&D for a while at this point and instinctively knew that this was just the program for me.
I didn’t want some emo, patty cake, sob-fest, nancy-pants recovery program.
I needed action and forward progress.
I needed a real deal, no bullshit, feel-like-a-million-bucks-every-day-program.
I needed a proper challenge that would help keep my mind on track.
I gave it an honest go. And 30 Days of Discipline delivered as promised.
Going to success boot camp
30 Days of Discipline (30DOD) is a boot camp for success. And if you want to be successful, you have to be excellent in your thoughts and actions.
You’ve got to be doing the things that most people don’t want to – like getting up early and holding yourself accountable for your time and actions. Most importantly, you have to be consistent. Discipline holds everything together.
This has been a cornerstone of success principles for decades:
Before you can achieve the kind of life you want. You must think, act, talk and conduct yourself in all your affairs as would the person you wish to become. – Earl Nightingale
Be consistent, pay credence to sustained effort, and eventually it becomes an incredible reality.
Think of the most successful, future version of you. Really let loose with creativity and remove all limitations.
What would that person be doing right now? Would he sleep in til 11am, play video games and eat fast food?
Would he walk around in crummy clothes, with poor posture, slouching and projecting weakness and low self-worth?
I don’t think so.
More likely, he’d be up before sunrise drinking coffee, exercising, planning out his day, envisioning success, and getting things done. When in public and doing business, he’s dressed sharp – without being over the top – and he walks with confidence, strength and purpose.
Principles of discipline
In 30 Days of Discipline, Victor Pride lays out a simple, plainly-spoken system to get the mind and body in prime condition for success. I don’t want to spoil the great content, so I have to be a bit vague on the details of the program.
His principles are very effective and, to me, have an old-school feel to them. Modern living has created an environment where many guys lost touch with this way of life. Perhaps there’s been a lot of mismanaged priorities.
The principles of this program grow on you. They feel like something that decades ago, every man did. If only because it was just how men did things.
At least, the men who stood up for themselves, ran great outfits and businesses, had a loving family, lived in prosperity and enjoyed a special degree of fulfillment.
The principles are listed out and meant to be done daily. I’ll be honest, they’re pretty tough at first and some of these new habits may be a challenge to implement. It’s worth it, though. Some of the benefits you can begin to feel right away, making you feel charged up and super productive.
I recommend that you review them once in the morning and then again in the evening. It helps keep your mind on target for creating new, better habits.
By the end of the first month, I’d grown to enjoy the daily principles very much. I didn’t have to force myself to do them… I wanted to do them. If anything, I made sure that nothing else got in the way of the day’s priorities. Everything else is secondary; child’s play.
In the long term, what we do each day builds up exponentially over time. As opposed to taking action just once in a while, doing it every day will create a drastically different future for you.
I saw that if one month could bring such great results, then two and three months would bring exponentially greater results. I continued and repeated the process for another thirty days… and then another. It became second nature and part of my lifestyle.
I found that 30 Days of Discipline truly becomes A Life of Discipline.
How 30 Days of Discipline will benefit you
To paint a picture of what’s possible, I’ll share my experience with you. Your mileage may vary but the potential is great.
There are a few ways in particular that the program helped me.
- I was better able to handle the loss of my father, because my focus stayed primarily on business, eating and living clean, and working out. I hunkered down through the snowy, Colorado winter and put my nose to the grindstone. When I started to feel down, I would do pushups. I lifted weights 5-6 days a week for constant release, to keep my mind clear.
— The Wolf (@DerekTheWolf) January 30, 2015
- On a daily basis, it helped me feel supercharged to take on the world. The best foot forward in all situations. It makes a huge difference for first impressions.
- Much of this comes from the built-in “fitness regimen.” I’d like to call it the “Spartan 300 Circuit.” I don’t want to spoil the details, but it’s a brutal bodyweight circuit that you do 6 days a week. I did mine in the morning when I woke up, usually around 4:30 – 5:00am. Even without doing a separate workout program, this circuit alone will keep you trim and fit.
- This greatly improved my work productivity and helped maintain solid confidence – even opening up new opportunities in business.
- One day I had my first experience on live radio, being interviewed and broadcasted to an audience of thousands. I was brought on to share my thoughts as an investigative researcher and writer in the health field.
I didn’t know until 10 minutes prior that it was going to be live on the radio. I thought it was going to be recorded and edited first, similar to a podcast. As you can imagine I spent the next 10 minutes just getting more nervous about the idea.
I had stage-fright and was nervous at the outset. But after we got going, it became more like a personal conversation. I caught my footing and we had a great interview.
Nobody could see me over the radio, but as per 30 Days of Discipline, I was dressed to the nine in my office. I had the look and mindset of a CEO, the best version of myself, and it gave the me edge I needed.
On Bold & Determined, Victor speaks on the concept of Spartan Living. Expand your means, reduce expenses and cut unnecessary debt. Combining that concept with this program, I took Spartan Living to heart. Here are a few notes on that…
- I buckled down and did some long-overdue consolidating and liquidating – selling my 2nd, unnecessary truck and things of that nature. This freed up funds to put towards business and investment needs.
- I ditched my old smartphone and its overpriced service, using that cost to pay for hosting for this new website and other, better purposes. In time, I found a better deal, with better service that frees up $600 a year. I am not promoting penny pinching, only that if the price isn’t worth the value, rework it to put money in better places.
- I found a great deal on a property that’s very spacious, private, outside of the city, fireplace, lots of elbow room and several workshop buildings. Best of all, I created a work-from-home situation.
- This lets me re-capture hours of my life, each and every week, from not having to commute back and forth to work.
- At 2.5 hours a week saved from commuting, this frees up nearly 5-1/2 full days each year. That’s enough time for another little vacation.
Time is the most valuable asset we have. We can never get more. The concept of Spartan Efficiency benefits you greatly.
It teaches you that your time is valuable, that you have business to handle and a future to build. You simply cannot afford to waste it on BS like watching TV and playing silly games. You cannot afford to waste it on silly people.
Priorities come first, business before pleasure, every single day.
30 Days of Discipline will instill these principles in you.
Stacking success principles – enter Body of a Spartan
We’re capable of developing awe-inspiring bodies. But the body has to be worked.
Your body is crafted by your lifestyle. The Spartans had impressively powerful, muscular bodies but it was only because they lived an exceptionally hard, active life.
When you are hitting the weights 4-6 times a week like clockwork, mixing between explosive training and strength training, consistently lifting more weight, and eating right, you will find an impressive physique greeting you in the mirror.
There is a fascinating field of study called genetic expression. It explains that ultimately, our diet and lifestyle trigger cascades of genetic changes in our body. Doing good things flips genetic switches one way, while bad things will flip switches the wrong way.
30 Days of Discipline and Body of a Spartan (BOAS) go hand in hand. The former gives you the ambition to build an excellent body and the latter gives you the blueprints.
How Body of a Spartan will help you build the body you want
If you want a no-BS workout program that WORKS (with high-quality pictures and exercise explanations), then Body of a Spartan is for you. I don’t know how long you’ve been working out, but there’s a lot of shady information out there. It is easy to waste years’ worth of time on worthless routines and supplements.
There are certain key exercises that are fundamental to building the body. Guys like Schwarzenegger built their award winning bodies with them. Athletes who need to build strength and power use them.
A program absent of these is a surefire way to waste a lot of time.
BOAS tells you exactly how to do these exercises, with pictures.
Better still, there are certain exercises and methods that I hadn’t came across before. Some include ways to burn extra fat at the end of a workout. Another involves a painfully-good series of lifts that will turn you into a bear.
BOAS is presented in such a way that when you are ready to switch things up, you can formulate your own routine. There are more combinations than you can shake a stick at. Victor gives you all the guidelines you need.
You get a fantastic routine but more importantly, a solid understanding of how to organize and execute one. This book is not just something you get to use once. It will bring value month after month, year after year.
I will stop doing BOAS when I stop seeing strength gains and improvements to my body. But not a day sooner.
Can “natural” trainees benefit too?
Absolutely. This was one of the main drawing points for me: BOAS is intended for the natural, drug-free trainee.
There are a lot of BS routines in muscle magazines that natural trainees will not benefit from. Those routines are designed for guys on steroids.
BOAS is designed to help build a regular guy into a hardened Spartan. No “big boy supplements” are needed.
I support the right to use steroids (athletes, actors and actresses use TRT/HGH/etc., why shouldn’t we be able to?) although I have not exercised that choice myself. Guys on the juice, who are working hard, will just get even better gains and quickened recovery time.
If you are natural, you can still get great gains. This program will bring your body towards the maximum ideal. Hardened through Spartan training.
When I began BOAS in mid/late December I was floating around 200lbs at 6’4″. I hadn’t been dedicated to lifting in a while. Worse yet, I had been recovering from a set of injuries. I was lean but not as built or strong as I wanted to be.
You’ll have to excuse these slacks, I had just finished doing some work on the house.
With weightlifting, I had to start back at square one. 135lbs on the bench, squat and deadlift. Barely throwing up 100lbs for military press.
Over the next few months, I added a lot of weight to the bar and to my frame.
Lately I’ve been floating around 213. That means I put on 13 pounds of lean mass.
Here is a set of recently taken pictures to compare to the two above.
— The Wolf (@DerekTheWolf) July 28, 2015
I started out doing sets with 135lbs on the major lifts. Here are some more recent numbers from workouts:
Bench 225lbs x 5 x 5
Squats 245lbs x 5 x 5 / 265lbs x 1 x 10
Deads 315 x 1 x 10
Military press 155 x 5 x 2
BB rows 185 x 5 x 5
I should tell you that I eat pretty clean and usually do intermittent fasting. Basically, I skip breakfast and eat more in the late afternoon and evening.
For context, I don’t even use protein powder – although I do make raw egg protein shakes that taste like dessert.
My first meal is usually hard-boiled eggs or steal cut oatmeal with raw honey, butter and cinnamon. Or both. Lots of grass fed beef, free range chicken and eggs, wild venison, elk and salmon, and then fruits and veggies. This makes up the vast majority of my diet.
I don’t count grams or calories, I just eat until full. I couldn’t tell you if I hit 300+ grams of protein for the day. It’s probably closer to 150-200 grams most days.
I think someone who did a “dirty bulk” (e.g. eating lots of high calorie fast food) would pack on mass even quicker than I. Likewise if you stayed dedicated to high protein intake.
My top priority with weightlifting is health. Second is strength. As for my body, I just want the size to develop as necessary around my lifts. I take a slower approach and your results could come even quicker.
Why Body of a Spartan works so well
One of the reasons BOAS works so well is that it puts heavy emphasis on the compound lifts.
Have you ever seen a weak looking guy who was push pressing 185+lbs? Squatting 300+ lbs?
No, me neither!
Push pressing that much weight is like taking the average sized American man, hoisting him overhead and throwing him. Being healthy and focusing on function and strength will bring you an impressive physique.
Still cruising on #bodyofaspartan This was warmup on push press, then few sets of 155×5. Compound lifts are the best lifts. Nothing stimulates your body better. PS Private gyms are great because you can workout shirtless, barefoot and listen to whatever you want. #instafitness #eyeofthetiger #compoundlifts #dontstopbelieving #onemoreround #noeasywayout #yoadrian
In my experience, Body of a Spartan brings out the best of your body. It trains your body to be explosive, strong and powerful… while being as lean as you want to be.
I still enjoy my biscuits and gravy and prefer to have a little fat on the body. But compared to the average bear, you can stay as lean as you want on BOAS.
— The Wolf (@DerekTheWolf) August 22, 2015
Two great programs for personal development
Things are much better as a result, in every category of my life. Most importantly health, business, and relationship-wise. And the body crafted through BOAS is especially noteworthy.
My girl loves it and I’m sure yours will too. Why wouldn’t you want to be built like a spartan?
If you are looking for a nonsense self-improvement program, I highly recommend 30 Days.
Ready to build a hardened, spartan physique? BOAS is your blueprint.
I write under my real name and to protect my reputation, I only endorse thing’s I’ve used extensively myself. If I wouldn’t recommend it to my family, I won’t recommend it to you.
Victor has done very well with these two products. I am but one of thousands of men who have seen great benefit.
I dare you to try them. What have you got to lose? Live a life to be proud of. After you’ve started, be sure to come back here and share your progress!