Cheers to another year around the sun where I get to let loose and share my thoughts on so many random thoughts and you guys enjoy it, so here goes!
I may not be a master at creating the most unique, fresh, creative, never-before-seen content, but I am a master at organizing large swaths of information like no other.
This is something I’ve recently come to terms with. My forte isn’t in reinventing the wheel and showing stuff that nobody has ever seen before. (Besides, isn’t everything just a rehash and iteration of something from the past?)
My forte is in organizing large swaths of information, creating compendiums, distilling complex information into useful morsels and breaking down exercises into their proper form and progressions. And I’m realizing to embrace that organizational strength because the past couple years I was often so disheartened that I wasn’t able to come up with SUPER FRESH content that no one has seen before. (Moving away from muscle beach and transitioning to working out the the park, alone, really made a big impact in my personal workout experience, but I still do it because I genuinely love calisthenics and gymnastics strength training outdoors.)
The reality is most things are a remix of old things anyway. And now I’m realizing to embrace my strength that which is to organize information, create routines and share it with the world. And to just own that hardcore.
I am the creator of The Floreio Project. I am the creator of The Mobility Project. I am the creator of the GymnasticBodies Project. Do I give a shit that Ido Portal, Andreo Spina and Chris Sommers don’t like that I’ve organized their information into a format that’s more useful and better than they ever could put together? No. And I don’t care that they don’t like it. (Btw, Ido Portal will still ban you if you share the floreio project in his Movement group on Facebook, hah!) I’ll take it as the biggest compliment in the world. Besides, if their stuff was so special they wanted to keep secret, they can feel free to pull all the content and make them private.
But I will tell you what will actually be super unique and fresh for 2023: Capturing authentic moments at Muscle Beach.
Natural, spontaneous interactions at muscle beach are the most magical and interesting parts of my days spent there. But they are very rarely filmed because those interactions are hard to film and the mere presence of professional filming equipment and any pre-planning at all changes the dynamic and ruins its innocence. And it’s unfortunate because those raw moments are the most wholesome and unique.
Here’s an example of such a candid moment from some years ago:
View this post on Instagram
For many years now it has been my dream to capture the magic, organically, and I’m actually really excited because I recently figured out who can do it and how. I did a successful test with one of my friends who is a regular at the beach, capable of doing it discreetly so nobody feels like they’re being filmed, has a good eye and understands the nuances specific to the space so he doesn’t have to be directed in any heavy-handed way.
So, come 2023 there should be some really fresh content on my YouTube channel that will capture the vibe that only the locals get to see and experience. And the best part is, these moments will showcase my personality and quirks in a dialogue/conversational format that involves other people rather than a boring monologue in front of a camera lens. I don’t even know what’s going to be in the episodes, since the whole point is that they are to capture spontaneous moments, so cheers to the new year for what’s coming!
I married the love of my life.
Remember how in 2021 I got engaged? Well we got married just a couple months ago! And I will have a blog post dedicated to this whirlwind of an event, full of its endless details (most of which turn out to be not-as-important-as-you’d-think), which isn’t published yet, but I will get to that. The good news is, in the end, it was overall an incredibly beautiful experience with all my friends and family in one place making for a wonderful, unforgettable evening.
The DJ was the most important thing for me. The flowers were the most important thing for her. Our first slow dance was to Bill Withers “Lovely Day” using this dance tutorial which a lot of people loved to see.
The parts of the wedding that were most precious for me was when I was at the altar and noticing all the people that were there, one by one. And for my wife it was when we did our grand entrance and everyone was dancing all around us. It was definitely a once in a lifetime type experience.
And as for my wife and I, without going too detailed and respecting privacy, the marriage gives me even greater confidence to our relationship because now we’re forced to resolve conflicts head-on even more since we know we’re both in it for the long haul. More to come out from this in the future, no doubt!
Luna is pure love and like having a child with training wheels.
A few months after Medax passed away, my now-wife wanted to get another dog. I was somewhat against this because I was still grieving but I eventually caved in. Turns out, it was a great decision to get another dog.
Luna is a 8lb (3.6kg) Papillon mix.
And I didn’t know this at the time but apparently papillons are used in agility competitions. She’s got tons of spunk and personality embedded in her genetics. She even won a local trick contest once (to which I was an extremely proud father boasting about it the whole week)! She’s also extremely smart, way smarter than Medax ever was, to the point of manipulation.
I’m often comparing Luna with Medax. Her sense of smell isn’t as good as Medaxs was. Medax could sniff out long forgotten tennis balls trapped under years of soil from random dirt lots. Luna can’t do that, but in return, she’s the fastest toy-dog west of the Mississippi. And there’s something super cuddly and special about having a tiny dog, something which I never thought I’d say in my life!
Also, everything I do with Luna, I think about how this would relate to raising a child. The way I parent. The things I teach. The way my wife teaches. The responsibilities I take on and the ones she takes on. The fights we have about which way to parent. The communication that’s necessary to come up with solutions and agreements. It’s like raising a child on training wheels, especially with the constant attention she demands.
Also, something that concerns me is if my wife and I have a child next year, how much Armenian is s/he going to be able to actually speak? When I had Medax, we raised her as a family with my parents and Medax was very bilingual and understood Armenian commands just as well. Luna was raised by my wife and I and since we always default to English, she only understands English. This is a bit concerning. I have to make a concerted effort to make sure the Armenian language is not lost to the next generation. (I see most of my Armenian friends children can barely speak a lick of the language anymore, so there’s a low chance we would be any different, lest we move to Armenia for the summers?)
Good quotes of the year that stuck with me
And here’s a recent one that a prolific film producer, Jon Peters, said:
- Interviewer: “Don’t you think, for anything you want to do in life, like if you want to be at the top of your craft you have to be obsessed?”
- Jon Peters: “Yes you have to be obsessed. You have to be driven. You have to want to be better. You have to almost feel like you’re gonna die if you don’t.“
“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working” so here’s the things I created this year.
Overall, I am highly proud of the YouTube videos I created this year. I focused on quality over quantity. Same goes for the blog posts. (You’ll notice there’s a distinct lack of calisthenics videos at muscle beach unlike previous years. I haven’t been able to go as often and dealing with a wedding took way more of my time than I didn’t even realize!)
The biggest change to the website was updating my premium programs in many many ways so that the whole experience would be more seamless and pleasant. The article on microplastics was a huge one and hopefully it was as enlightening for you as it was for me.
- Major Update: Many Programs Revamped!
- ChatGPT: Exciting but Limited for Health and Fitness Advice, Here’s What It’s Best Used For.
- Level Up Your Understanding of Shoulder Mechanics!
- Are Microplastics Causing The Demise Of Humans and Bloodletting Is The Solution?!
- How to Prevent Neck Strains From Pull Ups
- Duonamic (Portable Pullup Bar) Review + Coupon Code
- Training Tutorials
- Muscle Up on Rings with this Simple Transition Trick!
- The Ultimate Guide to Chest-to-Bar Pull Ups with Antranik
- The LOST Ring Row Progressions
- Ring Dip Progressions from Beginner to Advanced with Antranik
- Decline Pike Pushups and Handstand Pushup Progression Tutorial (Utilizing Rings)
- What Everyone Gets Wrong About Scapular Pulls!
- Therapeutic Relief
- Podcast Interview
- Product Review
Feeling unfocused? Feeling down? Clean your room.
The somewhat controversial Jordan Peterson believes that only by taking care of your immediate environment can you then move onto bigger challenges. This is something that works, time and time again. So if you’re feeling down or unfocused, look at your immediate surroundings: Reduce the clutter. Sort everything out. Donate what you’re not using/wearing anymore. De-clutter maximally. Make the goal of that cleaning session to have only your to-do list be the only thing smack dab in the middle of your work-space (and you’re adding to it as you do it).
Energy is constantly required to keep your place neat and tidy to fight the entropy that leads to chaos. For more tips, watch my video on how to get through depression.
Time Spent with Family and Friends, Visualized (Until Death)
I’ve written about how precious time is in the past, but seeing these visuals by Sahil Bloom moved mountains for me this year.
The key take-aways…
- Family time is limited—cherish it.
- Friend time is limited—prioritize real ones.
- Partner time is significant—don’t settle for less than love.
- Coworker time is significant—find work that creates buzz.
- Alone time is highest—love yourself.
When you’re young, you are literally a “Time Billionaire” (rich with time). Too many fail to realize the value of this asset until it is gone. As the saying goes, youth is wasted on the young. (Don’t let wisdom get wasted on the old, too!)
Long Form Videos vs TikTok / IG Reels / Youtube Shorts
“Something” happened in 2020 where all of a sudden everybody went on the Internet to voice their opinion (no matter how unqualified they were) to take advantage of all the extra attention and traffic, while people like me, who already have a following sort of did the opposite and sort of held back, got even more reserved and careful about what I was to say since it was a sensitive year and my own opinion on things wasn’t set in stone because nobody knew what was going on except now we know one thing for sure: pharmaceutical companies rule the world. (This message brought to you by Pfizer! 👿)
So with Tik-Tok being the new rage, I definitely couldn’t adapt to that new UGC (user generated content) format as a content creator. I actually tried but quickly realized: This is not my style and not for me. (Geriatric millennial, confirmed!) And I’m grateful that I don’t need to adapt to that format because I have a significant following on my own website and YouTube channel (and YouTube ain’t going away).
Loyalty is nonexistent with short videos
You have two options in the online world: To be entertaining or to be educational. If you can be both, that’s great but very rare. People want entertainment first and foremost. And my focus is educational, the thing the masses want to see the least. People just want to be zombied out and entertained with their car in drive and brain in neutral.
Moving on, YouTube created “shorts” to compete with IG Reels and TikTok videos but one thing is for sure: No matter how many views your wildly popular or entertaining short video gets, it does not translate to subscribers. The loyalty is non-existent with these formats unless you are extremely prolific.
What do you do when you see a short reel? You usually just go straight to the next one, because your brain wants the next dopamine-hit, immediately cause you just came from another one seconds ago anyway. I often discover people I genuinely think are great. I’ll follow them, and forget their name hours later. Everyone is vying for your attention and it’s ultra-saturated. I know personally from my shorts that got tons of views, it garnered almost zero new subscribers. So I’ll stick to my longer form YouTube videos for the most part.
Soft Launch of the Front Splits FAST Program is coming soon!
I’m doing something I’ve been wanting to for several years: Stretching for the front splits and actually coming out with a program for it. It is such a great goal that simultaneously lengthens my hamstrings and hip flexors in a very simple and methodical way that very few programs are able to do in such a short amount of time. It also makes me physically feel incredibly good each and every time I have a session.
I’ve been keeping busy preparing this awesome new program for the past several weeks and finished filming the most important bits already! I am going to release it with a soft-launch date of January 15, 2023. Keep an eye out for it!
I am currently 39 years old. A far different person than when I was when I first started this blog when I was 27-28. I realized this year that I am officially “middle-aged” which sounds old. But luckily I feel the same, I don’t feel old and actually feel I’m in my prime physically and wisdom-wise, no doubt. What a massive journey this has been. You’ve all got to watch this website evolve, my body transform and now… even get married! Cheers to the new year and to more that life has to offer!