My First Book Review Since 7th Grade: The Financial Matrix and How it Relates to Getting Jacked

downloadIt’s 90+ degrees and beautiful here in southern California, but if you watch the local weather report, you’d think that Armageddon is upon us. People absolutely lose their minds when the temperature varies more than 3 degrees from the usual 75, and all anyone wants to talk about is how important it is to find an air conditioned location for shelter until this “heat wave,” exits.

Idiots. This is why I moved here.

So I’m able to write this next to the pool at my place before shooting back in to the gym for a client and heading to wrestling practice. It’s late October and I have to pinch myself every day to make sure this isn’t a dream.

With everyone trying to take cover from the onslaught of vitamin D, there haven’t been any kids running around the pool, so I’ve gotten a little more reading done lately than I had over the first few months here, and I recently finished up The Financial Matrix by Orrin Woodward.


Great book, and, as I posted on my Instagram, I think it should be required reading for all high school students. I don’t know about anyone else, but I got no formal education on finances in school, and all I had to go on was what my parents told me, which I naturally ignored until I was a full blown adult with student loans, a car payment, and a mortgage. By then I was a little behind the 8 ball, but I finally smartened up, made a good investment on a house that we sold, and am now debt free, which gave us the freedom to relocate across the country.

This book gives a pretty solid argument that the financial system that we live under is designed to keep us in debt and reliant on the big companies of the world, which fills their pockets while emptying ours, and give strategies on how to become debt free so that you have the freedom to play ball by your own terms. I recommend it highly for that alone.

Hidden in the practical financial information were 4 gems that transcend money, though, and are extremely applicable in your quest to get jacked and awesome that I want to share, in case you don’t want to read the book.

“Deliberate practice separates the amateurs from the professionals in every field.”

We get better with practice, regardless of whether we’re talking about saving money, being better at your job, or getting swole. Malcolm Gladwell already gave the secret formula of 10,000 hours of deliberate practice being the baseline for being an expert, so you can work backwards from there to see where you stack up in any multitude of things.

In order to truly get strong, you need to work at it. If you’re constantly varying the movements you do in your training, you’re not going to get to reach the levels of mastery that are important. When you can truly own a lift, you can challenge yourself to higher degrees, which forces the body to adapt the way that you want-by getting yoked. If you only do a movement once in a while, you never get good enough at it to load it properly, so you leave gainz on the table.

Professionals train, amateurs exercise. Be the former and you’ll thank me later.

“Most people choose to sell their dreams to buy their excuses instead of choosing to sell their excuses to buy their dreams.”

This is some powerful stuff. When it comes to feeling great and having a body that can perform like a badass, everyone wants in. When the rubber hits the road and it’s time for the work to be done, there are crickets everywhere, or at least the common excuses.

“I’m too busy.”

“I have to get this old knee injury fixed up first.”

“I’m not a gym person.”

At the end of the day, excuses are like assh- well I’m sure you’ve heard it before. If there’s truly something you want, you have to accept that it’s probably not easily attainable, or you’d have it already. Sell the excuses, make a plan, and go for it. Ready, fire, aim.

Otherwise, it becomes, ready, aim, aim some more, keep aiming, I’m bored, let’s drink.

Word of mouth marketing:

  1. Discovery: Somebody encounters a new idea.
  2. Wow: The person is convinced that the idea is worth sharing.
  3. The Share: The person shares the new information with others

This is valuable from a few perspectives. If you’re an entrepreneur, then this is what you want: you get people so excited about your product or service that they can’t stop raving about it and tell all their friends. Awesome.

P.S. Share my stuff with your friends.

The flip side is this: I repackage an old gimmick promising you that you’ll lose fat 10,000% faster than ever before, and all you have to do is send me $300. You are busy, successful, and tired of trying to lose fat, so you bite. Then you tell your friends, who are probably similarly like minded, (that’s why your friends), and they all spend $300 on said gimmick.

Then you all get bummed out that your wallet is lighter and nobody lost fat, and believe that you are hopeless and will never get out of the body or life that you’re in.

This, my friends, is the traditional fitness industry. Equipment sold on QVC, early morning ESPN workout shows, and sauced up bodybuilders selling supplements in magazines are what I grew up on. Billions of dollars worth of bullshit were bought and sold this way.

Be leery of who you trust, learn to sift through the nonsense, and understand that there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

In order to live the life you’ve always wanted, you’re probably going to have to face some things you’ve always avoided.

If you want something that you’ve never had, you’re going to have to do some things differently. If you’ve battled your weight your whole life and ended up as the kinda strong but kinda fat guy, and that’s not who you want to be, then you’re going to have to address how you eat, train, and live. If you have always been small and skinny and want to add muscle, then you’re going to have to stop with the crazy cardio death circuits, eat a sandwich, and lift some heavy stuff.

I hear people talk about wanting to change a lot, and that’s admirable. But when presented with some of the things that they’ll have to address, they often want no part of it because, “they don’t like that stuff.”

Newsflash: Not everything is enjoyable. Paying bills doesn’t give me a rocket. Sometimes we need to do certain things that we don’t love in order to reach a result that we do. That might mean quitting with the Cap’n Crunch for breakfast and cook some eggs and eat a banana.

Training and life should be enjoyable. I love training. I love eating high quality food. I hate paused squats. They make me stronger. I include them in my programs when I’m looking to get stronger. I also mix in a burger and some beers and accept that I’m not going to be 6% bodyfat that way. I’ve struck a balance. If I want to get down to the 6% bad enough, though, I’m going to have to understand that my life is going to be very different during that process.

Wrapping up, when we sold our house in New England, I almost got divorced because I fully intended on bringing all of my books with us to the west coast. My wife thought this was a less than stellar plan and intelligently flashed the cost of such a shipment and I realized that many of them could go to new homes, where they’d be enjoyed again.

Now, instead of hoarding books, I’m doing my best to give away great ones right after I finish them. If you want a free, slightly used copy of The Financial Matrix, just click on the contact tab, fill out your information, put your address in the comment box and I’ll ship it out.


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