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An American Bodybuilder in Japan

hawkmoon

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God bless brother, sounds like youve made a great life for yourself over there. I admire your ability to adjust to such a diff culture.

I think I have been extraordinarily lucky. 😁
 

maldorf

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hawkmoon

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Has the high suicide rate there in Japan affected you in any way? Wondering if you have had coworkers or friends involved. It seems to have spiked in the past month.



Hi Maldorf, thanks for asking about this.
To answer, no, none at all. This isn't in the news here as from the Japanese point of view it isn't remarkable.
There aren't a lot of suicides due to the pandemic, or even people out of work. Unemployment is still in the 2% range, just kissed 3..

I commented on this in another place I was asked and it's like this:
  • Japan has a naturally high suicide rate, not higher than say Korea, but pretty high.
  • Japanese are for the most part moderately depressed.
  • Japanese have no cultural issues with suicide, no shame or fear of afterlife.
  • They can be tipped from feeling sad to suicide quite easily without support, like the case mentioned in the article of the pro-wrestler. Happens all the time.

And perhaps most importantly, on the whole, people just aren't dying here of Covid - or really getting sick really.
The total deaths here since February are just over 2,000; so if one uses suicide as a contrasting trend, then it will certainly look dramatic, but it's not.

It's funny, I have seen several foreign media stories trying to either damn Japan's approach to the virus or call out "spikes" (which here means a daily high of 2,000 cases amongst 130 million OMG!).

My wife and I used to get pissed off at CNN's Japan reporter Will Ripley when he was ranting about Japan's poor response when there were a handful of cases.
He was going bananas when the Diamond Princess was docked and the virus was running rampant inside.
He doesn't seem to be stationed in Japan anymore :p
 

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hawkmoon

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Two very different reasons why I love Tokyo.

"Mask Land" amusement park

Christmas lights with Tokyo Tower. This is just outside my gym. Stopped with the wife and took some pictures.

20201204_200010.jpg
 

Bleed

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I haven't had the chance to go back through and read everything Ive missed but if you want to make my girlfriend ragingly jealous, post those cherry blossom pictures.

I think it's inevitable we find our way over there once we all come to an understanding on this pandemic (hopefully the US can figure this shit out and it wont be 3+ years). Timing the trip will be the most difficult because the country is very different at different times of the year and you have to choose, which in a way feels like you will inevitably be missing out on something in the week or 2 that you are there.
 

maldorf

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hawkmoon

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They celebrate Christmas in Japan?


Yes, but for most, it's not like us in the West.
The decorations are there, Santa and everything. Even my gym has a tree. I'll get a picture up.

It's more a romantic holiday. Not much gift giving or family gatherings. Families come together for new years, which last until the 3rd.
 

hawkmoon

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I haven't had the chance to go back through and read everything Ive missed but if you want to make my girlfriend ragingly jealous, post those cherry blossom pictures.

I think it's inevitable we find our way over there once we all come to an understanding on this pandemic (hopefully the US can figure this shit out and it wont be 3+ years). Timing the trip will be the most difficult because the country is very different at different times of the year and you have to choose, which in a way feels like you will inevitably be missing out on something in the week or 2 that you are there.


We're fortunate to have cherry trees right outside the window of my apartment building. Exceedingly rare in central Tokyo. Timing a trip for the blossoms is a big challenge.
 

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hawkmoon

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Whats the PEDs situation in Japan old mate?


Legal to have and use like any other med.
Pins are the hard part as they are associated with hard drugs.
 

hawkmoon

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can u buy in pharmacies?


No, because they still need a prescription for the transaction, but easy enough to buy online. The dealers take all the risks.
 

hawkmoon

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Christmas in Japan!

Tokyo Tower lit as an Xmas tree and my gym's tree - they do one every year and send us all Xmass /New Year cards.
Gym was surprisingly crowded today, but Monday's usually are.

Many of the usual Yakuza have been absent since the gym shut in April-May.
My wife speculates because they are at higher risk due to their "business environment" they might have fallen ill...

The local BB org I competed in the last course of year had their final show this past weekend and seemed to have an OK amount of people present and competing.


20201207_174251.jpg 20201207_174616.jpg
 

USMuscle9403

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@hawkmoon I'm always interested in hearing how bodybuilders in other countries approach all aspects of the sport; training, drugs, nutrition.

They always come in peeled as hell! Of course tiny joints play a huge role in how impressive they look, but are you privy to them doing anything much differently than Americans in regards to these things?

... I didn't already ask this, did I?
 

hawkmoon

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@hawkmoon I'm always interested in hearing how bodybuilders in other countries approach all aspects of the sport; training, drugs, nutrition.

They always come in peeled as hell! Of course tiny joints play a huge role in how impressive they look, but are you privy to them doing anything much differently than Americans in regards to these things?

... I didn't already ask this, did I?


From what I have seen, the Japanese have incredible insulin sensitivity. My wife can eat the same amount of carbs I do, and perhaps more, and not get fat at all. When I put her on 50g of carbs a day she got shredded easily to the degree that Hide even commented on her conditioning. No cutting drugs either.

A lot of middle age guys blow this and get metabolic syndrome in middle age due to excessive drinking, over eating, and lack of exercise.
 

USMuscle9403

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From what I have seen, the Japanese have incredible insulin sensitivity. My wife can eat the same amount of carbs I do, and perhaps more, and not get fat at all. When I put her on 50g of carbs a day she got shredded easily to the degree that Hide even commented on her conditioning. No cutting drugs either.

A lot of middle age guys blow this and get metabolic syndrome in middle age due to excessive drinking, over eating, and lack of exercise.

Thanks, bud. I agree they seem to do extremely well on high carbs, better than others. I'm brosciencing the hell out of this, but I've often wondered how ancestral genetics could play a role in how our bodies respond now. Asians have had rice as a large part of their diet for how long? I don't think I've ever seen a low carb Asian lol Whereas Northern European mutts like myself, where there was more reliance on fat and protein, tend to do better with lower or more moderate carbs and maybe a little higher fat. This is only a personal anecdote and observation, but there have been observable trends, in my experience.

What about training and supplementation (otc and otherwise), is there anything they do much different?
 

hawkmoon

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Thanks, bud. I agree they seem to do extremely well on high carbs, better than others. I'm brosciencing the hell out of this, but I've often wondered how ancestral genetics could play a role in how our bodies respond now. Asians have had rice as a large part of their diet for how long? I don't think I've ever seen a low carb Asian lol Whereas Northern European mutts like myself, where there was more reliance on fat and protein, tend to do better with lower or more moderate carbs and maybe a little higher fat. This is only a personal anecdote and observation, but there have been observable trends, in my experience.

What about training and supplementation (otc and otherwise), is there anything they do much different?


I can't speak on the particular of diet and training as there aren't any other bodybuilders in my gym.
I did train with a good friend, Kitamura Katsumi who passed 20 years ago and his training was very similar to mine at the time; a MT/TF 2-way split with moderate volume and failure.
http://instagr.am/p/CIcnoTuLVyF/
Gear is easily available here, but my impression is that most don't know what they are doing.
Only person who ever asked me about AAS was a fellow competitor who was Iranian, and he only wanted a better source.
I expect that the usual Japanese sense about maintaining their private world applies well to AAS use as well.

I also do not believe they eat enough, and only a few truly train really hard. This is evident in their physiques, though there are some who truly love to train.
I met one kid who took second to me in 2018 who has really good legs, because he loves training them:

http://instagr.am/p/CD2tJpLhDf1/
 

hawkmoon

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hawkmoon you gona live there forever... is it home now?


Likely until I retire, assuming my current employment continues. I have 9 more years in the Japanese system until forced to retire from fulltime work.
My daughter also lives with my ex here and I'm not leaving her behind. Even though she will be 15 next year, I'll always be there for her.

My wife and I would like to then move to Hawaii for our later years.
We were married on the the beach in Kauai, a beautiful place, and it it comfortable for Japanese.
 

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