No Magic Pill

Knowledge + effort + time = success


The Site: No Magic Pill

Welcome to No Magic Pill, my attempt at a weekly (or so) blog focusing on living a fit lifestyle. Topics will include various training programs and methods, the latest nutrition news and studies (which tend to change every other week), and general lifestyle issues that affect individual, social, and global health with some odds and ends thrown in for fun. Rarely, you’ll find motivational posts here—I’ll leave that to the experts. Less rarely, I’ll go on a rant about something or other. Overall, though, my goal is to share my thoughts and the latest information and opinion from the realms of science, media, politics, and society in general in regards to your fitness, all in a format more focused than the occasional fitness-related posts I’ve made elsewhere. I welcome all questions, comments, snide remarks (I expect these mostly), and especially your ideas for future blog posts. Thanks always for reading, sharing, and recommending.

This blog spawned from some brainstorming and discussion that occurred at the JP Fitness Summit in Little Rock, Arkansas, in spring 2008. After two previous unsuccessful attempts, it was finally my first time attending, even though this was the sixth incarnation of the event, and through the grapevine and various anecdotal information from some who attended the previous year, I learned that Lou Schuler, whose blog (until July 7, 2008, when it will be penned by someone else—Lou is now here) I can’t recommend highly enough, had given a presentation on two tracks of fitness writing: having a lot of scientific knowledge but little writing experience, or having a little scientific knowledge and substantial writing abilities. I obviously fall into the latter category (c’mon, I have a B.A. and an M.A. in liberal arts), meaning I can churn out hundreds and thousands of words at the drop of a hat (not all of it BS), and though I have several years of informal experimentation and research under my belt, I simply don’t have the hard science background. I’m not the type of person to sidle up to Lou and simply ask for his presentation notes or become an Internet groupie and email him asking how to get started in the business, so instead, I decided to start this blog to see if I can actually produce some meaningful content. I’m not entirely sure where this whole thing will go—if it goes anywhere at all—but my goal is to post something at least once a week.

Why “No Magic Pill”? Because one of my biggest peeves is the continuing, mindless search for pristine health in the form of a simple medication in spite of deplorable diet and pointless exercise, if any. Everyone wants to find the easy way—well, no, not just the easy way, but the born-again way, where all your health- and lifestyle-related sins can be washed away (repeatedly, of course) with the ingestion of a single, magic pill. One issue I will likely hit on over and over is the return to primal living. Now, I’m not suggesting that we all go back to living in caves sans electricity and plumbing. Instead, I’m suggesting we eat how our bodies are evolved to eat, exercise intelligently to compensate for our increasingly sedentary and physiologically dysfuntional lifestyles, and use our technology to complement nature, not fight it.

The Author: Ben Smith

I am a former fat boy who grew up teetering on obesity throughout grade school. After giving up several years of baseball and basketball, I started wrestling in tenth grade and quickly realized that I didn’t have the strength to compete in the heavyweight division (up to 275 pounds), so I used every wrestling weight-loss stereotype to eventually go from 265 pounds to 155 pounds over the course of a single year. Sure, I lost nearly half my bodyweight, and most of it was fat, but I also lost a lot of muscle mass as well as screwed up my endocrine system during a very formative period of human development. My weight (and fitness) yo-yo’d over the next four years until I was introduced to free-weight training at the start of my senior year of college. It was the spark I needed to at least get started on controlling and manipulating my body—a year later, I delved into the nutritional side of the equation. Since then, I’ve experimented with dozens of training and nutrition programs, some successfully, others not so much, each a learning experience, and that continues to this day where my weight and hormones have finally reached some sort of homeostasis, allowing me to tweak my lifestyle rather than completely overhaul it. A hamstring injury in spring 2007 focused my attention primarily on rehabilitation, prehabilitation, imbalance correction, and everyday lifestyle modification.


3 Responses to “About”

  1. Adam Steer said

    Hey Ben,

    I really like what you are doing with your blog. Your style is very innovative. Keep it coming.


  2. Hey Ben,

    I’m digging the blog! I’ve been skimming some posts and I’m impressed.

    More feedback when I finish reading.


  3. Julie Keen said

    Finally clicked on the link in your siggie … looking forward to poking around a bit!

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