One of the biggest endeavors I’ve undertaken at Men’s Fitness has been “The Cooldown,” a relaunched “backpage” (also known as the last page in the magazine, besides the inside back cover) that features quick, quippy interviews with international sports superstars.
The first edition launched with our July/August 2016 issue, just in time for the Olympics. So, naturally, we featured Usain Bolt.
The Men’s Fitness Interview: Usain Bolt
(Not-quite-a-spoiler alert: He’s a great dude.)
Ever since famed slugger Mark McGwire was infamously accused of using performance-enhancing drugs back in 1998, anabolic steroid use has not only become a part of the pro game, but also infiltrated average Joe gyms across America. And even though steroids are illegal in the U.S. and have some serious negative health side effects, they’re still growing in popularity — particularly among everyday gym rats who want bigger muscles, faster.
But while guys are plenty familiar with the supposed “benefits” of steroids, they’re typically in the dark— or, worse yet, downright misinformed—about all the nasty side effects they have on your body and possibly even your mind. (And they are nasty.)
In an enterprise story for Men’s Fitness, I spoke with two experts — Dr. Ed Sebanegh, M.D., the department chair of urology at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, and Dr. Stuart Weinerman, M.D., an endocrinologist at North Shore–LIJ Health System in New York — to clear up some of the myths about steroid use.
I like working out. I like Star Wars.
So on the eve of Episode VII’s U.S. premiere, I visited New York Sports Club for a sweat-inducing cardio workout class that involved one key piece of equipment: a lightsaber. (I got a blue one, thereby assigning myself to the “Light Side of the class.” No, that’s not me in the picture.)
The workout incorporated martial arts, calisthenics, and bodyweight moves that wiped out all but the fittest people — Jedi masters, one might say — in the studio. (If the Force was flowing through me, it was at a trickle. Then again, that may have been the sweat running down my face.)
Guided by Jedi master/instructor Amira Lamb, C.P.T., I endured — and then, for Men’s Fitness, wrote about — the Star Wars Workout.
Ordinarily, my work for Men’s Fitness is digital-only, meaning that it gets published straight to web without being included in the physical print issue.
So I was pretty stoked to write my first in-book piece for the December 2015 issue, even if it was just a 250-word story about a pair of Tommy Hilfiger underwear.
(Many thanks to my fabulous editor Nina Combs for her guidance on this piece.)