My Favorite Thing to Hear

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I like hearing primal grunts and clanging iron…But that’s only part of what this post is about!

If you rave, you know that “I love you” is not an uncommon thing to hear. And it really is great to hear, I’m not trying to sell it short.

But you know what I like to hear even more than “I love you”?

“You inspire me.” Continue reading

My First Talk About Business

I titled this, “Asian-American Accountant, Barefoot Business Beast.” Other potential titles could be:

  • “How to Start a Shoe Company with $7K, While Working Full-Time.”
  • “Mental Barriers to Entrepreneurship, & Why They Didn’t Stop a Schmuck Like Me”
  • and “The Most You Can Learn About Mountain in 30 Minutes.” Just kidding. (Kidding about this being a potential title. Otherwise, I do think this is the most you can learn about me in just 30 minutes.)

This talk is nearly a year old now. So much has happened since then–the big thing being that we are now a real business sending real products to real customers for real money (see http://theprimalprofessional.com/). But everything I said in the video still remains true. Thank you Multi-Asian Student Association for having me back

Want to Improve Your Running, Lifting, and more? Pull In Your Anus

“If you study old forms of martial arts or yoga, you know that there are like horse stance exercises and movements that you perform where you draw the belly button in, and, strange as this sounds, you pull the anus up in. So you have like a going down and going up effect that I believe they call a ‘root lock.’ Because it’s the center, the true core of your body, and you’re locking it in by activating the pelvis basin.”

The video title is a bit cheesy, but the info is legit. It’s about way more than just flat abs.

For years, I had this nagging feeling that my legs were imbalanced in length. The left feels slightly longer than the right (or as my mom says it, my right leg is shorter than the left, because neither of my legs long, ha). When I line up my hips against a flat surface, there does appear to be a discrepancy in my femurs, i.e. thigh-bones. Continue reading

Self-Employed No Income, or The Summer Vacation I Never Had

Beach & Beard, staples of Summer 2012. via Instagram

“What have you been up to, Mountain?”

If you’re my friend (real and/or facebook), you probably know I left my job in March to travel the country for 10 weeks, promoting my startup the Primal Professional. Since returning to San Diego late May, life has been less exciting, but different enough to warrant a blog post. We have enough savings and enough potential for income in the near future to be comfortable without clocking in for paychecks. But we don’t have so much savings nor such a guaranteed future income to really do everything we want to. It’s not quite 4-Hour Workweek status, but it’s undeniably better than working full-time.

I’ve been occupying myself with “cheap/free” activities: reading, fooling on the internet, TV and movies, growing a beard, working out, breaking my pinky, cooking, eating, meeting up with people to chat or catch up, and the beach. But first, let’s start with…

Business Continue reading

Becoming a State Champion Powerlifter, part 3: Lessons and What’s Next

On February 11, 2012, I competed in my first powerlifting meet and became a state champion and current record holder in my division. This is a 3-part series on my adventures in powerlifting from Feb 2009 – Feb 2012. The first post talks about how I got into the sport. The second post covers more details on training and the day of the meet. The third post is on lessons learned and what’s next.

Lesson 8. Find synergies. (Photo: Ryan Chang)

The cool thing about these lessons is that they have carryover into all other parts of life. I’ll keep it short, but each one can probably be a post all by itself. Continue reading

Becoming a State Champion Powerlifter, part 2: Meet Prep and the Championship


Footage from the meet (video: Cherry Duong)

On February 11, 2012, I competed in my first powerlifting meet and became a state champion and current record holder in my division. This is a 3-part series on my adventures in powerlifting from Feb 2009 – Feb 2012. The first post talks about how I got into the sport. The second post covers more details on training and the day of the meet. The third post is on lessons learned and what’s next.

Hot baths & cold food…simulating meets at home

Recognizing that environment matters, I familiarized myself with meet conditions to avoid bewilderment day of. The first step was actually going to a USAPL meet as a spectator. We stopped by one early 2011 and made a few observatons: Continue reading

Becoming a State Champion Powerlifter, part 1: My Start in the Art of Strength

On February 11, 2012, I competed in my first powerlifting meet and became a state champion and current record holder in my division. This is a 3-part series on my adventures in powerlifting from Feb 2009 – Feb 2012. The first post talks about how I got into the sport. The second post covers more details on training and the day of the meet. The third post is on lessons learned and what’s next.

347 lbs at 123 lbs bodyweight. A triple bodyweight deadlift was out of reach…for now.

The start of my iron addiction

Continue reading

The Art of Barbell Strength Training, Part 3: Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Love

When Uncle Steve first tried to teach me calligraphy, he shared the story of a famous brush master. “Despite decades of experience,” he explained, “the master would begin every day with the basic vertical stroke. He would keep making vertical strokes until he was satisfied with their quality. On some days, this may only take a few; other days, it may take hundreds before he was content with his brushwork on this seemingly simple expression.”

In many ways, the strength athlete and his barbell is very much like the calligrapher and his brush. Though one lifts upwards and the other brushes downwards, they both devote themselves to finding the perfect vertical stroke. Continue reading