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Mike Koontz
Author & Photography. PT, Nutrition, Health & fitness. Science and sustainability advocate | a Norse View,
Author & Photography. PT, Nutrition, Health & fitness. Science and sustainability advocate | a Norse View,


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fitness is wonderful for your health as well as getting a more sculpted and capable body.

But that will never change that even fit people (quite a lot of them) are doing the right things for the wrong reasons. Case in point the fit and good looking girl you can see in the video obviously train hard and regular, is in great shape and do know a few things about the body.

But she is also misinformed about a few things, wrongful information and knowledge is shaping her choices and the choices of other people.

You see, there is nothing wrong with the exercises. But there is no such thing as an upper or lower butt muscle.

The maximus gluteus is the big ass muscle which gave that girl her firm looking ass, and there is no way to just work it's upper or lower part.

You either activate it or you don't.

Now, the degree with which you will manage to activate it can obviously differ depending on both the weight you use, the muscle contact and the range of motion and choice of exercise, but it's still the same gluteus muscle being worked.

the anatomy and function of your gluteus.

Outside of the gluteus maximus we also have the gluteus medius and minimus, all combined these three muscles form our beloved ass.

Gluteus medius and minimus are both activated when you do one legged exercises or move the force of your movement in various degrees inside or outside lateral and circular speaking.

So by all means find workout inspiration in this fit girl, just do it knowing full well that gluteus maximus is one complete muscle and that there is no such thing as upper or lower.

music of the day
Fields of the unknown by the spirit
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Gym diaries, day 9316

Morning walk
+ back, abs, cable chest press.
+ 10 min sprint interval
+ mma 20 minutes
low impact evening cardio
New PB
Sitting row 136kg x 18 reps. total of 2448 kg ( 5397 lbs ) per set.

On another note, one can not help but to notice that the greatest evil the world has ever seen continues to rear its ugly, wicked head across the world.

Yes, I am talking about the greatest lie ever told, religion ( of all forms, from all regions and cultures ).

Just this last week we have seen reports of bi/gay girls in Malaysia being sentenced to the cruel punishment of caning just because they had girl on girl sex. All while anal and oral sex in the same country can land you in prison for 20 years.

And on the other side of the world, priests have once again been found to abuse hundreds of kids of all genders.

Nope world, it really is time for us all to grow up and take the mutual, adult choice of closing the book on the greatest lie and evil the world has ever seen.

Because let us be honest, religion has never ever done anything good for this world or its people.

Just as how the world needs to grow up and shred the insanity that is the continuation of the fossil fuel industry and unsustainability in general. They ( fossil fuel, religion, and unsustainability ) are nothing but destructive relics from our wayward past.

music of the day
cross the bridge to eternity by the spirit

About the photo
walking down the old creek which twists and coil like a snake through our Scandinavian garden I could not resist finding something enchanting and beautiful in this simple scene.
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There are people out there that do it right.
Life that is. And nursing cheetahs and taking care of our endangered wildlife and planet, and making people fall in love with the preciously rare wildlife we have left is one such life and occupation that puts you on my list of people that do life the right way.

And this girl, a real life female version of the lion whisperer is one such person thats living life the right way 😊👍
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Let us talk a little bit more about shoulders and the back. Traditional wisdom is all in on hitting your muscle groups hard once a week, or doing a full/half body split 2 or 3 times per week.

And whatever way you do it. Simple reality is that you will achieve wondrous results over time if you stick to it and challenge yourself in the gym.

Even better if you also make sure to eat healthy and nutritious food.

But there are many other ways to train, and to transport yourself beyond your traditional plateous and perceived limits.

As you can see in the link text below, John is talking about training your upper back daily, and while I won't recommend that for everyone, facts are that like John, I too work my upper back pretty hard 3 or even 4 days per week depending on how you do your math. But this isn't the same thing as you repeating a full upper back workout 3 orb4 days per week. That would without a doubt end up being far too much for your body to deal with it.

Our system and muscles can only recover fully from so much. So, to piggy back on John's short post, this is how I do it.

First of all my base is a traditional 5 day split. Which means I train each main muscle group on a day of its own. Such as arms on Thursday. Shoulders on Tuesday and leg and glutes on Monday.

But I always complement my main 5 day split by adding extra exercises for other muscle groups to each workout. All based on a scientifically sound approach to health and fitness.

And here is how I do my complete back week.

My main back day.

This is the full on back killer. I train it hard and massive, with big weights, proper form and a massive total volume.


Because like leg and glutes your back was made to handle it. And working it hard does not just give you muscles and strength, it ups your health and fitness level for your entire body. Strengthening your back also does wonders for the health of your shoulders.

Right now this looks like this.

Standing barbell row
Minimum 5 set, max 8. 8 to 15 reps per set. .

Sitting row
3 set, 8 to 15 reps per set.

3 set

Dumbbell row
3 set 15 to 30 reps per set (the gym doesn't have bigger dumbbells) 😊🏋️‍♂️👍

And my complementary exercises during my back day are.

Standing Cable presses which works my chest and shoulders.

Hanging leg raises, which works both abs, back and arms.

Farmers walk which works the entire body and system.

All combined this is a massive and pretty demanding workout for sure. And you truly do not want your poor back to suffer this workout 2 or 3 days per week.

Now, here is how I work my back during the rest of the week.

Monday is my legday

Deadlifts also target your entire back outside of being an incredible leg and glutes exercise.

Making leg day another day that also challenge and builds your back.

Tuesday is my shoulder day

And I supplement my shoulders with face pull and shrugs. Two exercises which combined activate and work your trapezius, rear deltoideus, rhomboideus and the tiny but important rotator cuffs scattered along our upper back and shoulder joint.

Making my shoulder day an even better back day on top of training my posterior (rear) shoulders hard.

Friday is my chest day

But just like on Tuesdays I also do face pull, and shrugs. And once again my chest workout is thus another day that activates my upper back in a sound way without taxing it to death.

I also do farmers walk on Thursdays during my arm day, but I am not going to count that.

And before we sign off for today.
If you are thinking, how the fuck, my back would implode.

No it will not. My own back has never ever been stronger or healthier or more pain free since I started doing this workout plan.

Which makes daily life better, and also carries through in better leg and glutes, and shoulder performance. A strong and pain free back is simply put a daily life enhancer no matter if we are talking about serious fitness performance or quality of life.

Gym diaries, day 9315

Morning walk
+ shoulders, abs, face pull, shrugs, farmers walk.
+ 10 min sprint interval
+ mma 20 minutes

low impact evening cardio
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Going to the gym isn't just about deadlifts, bench presses, gym classes or the treadmill.

There are countless of wonderful exercises which will supplement your ordinary gym routine while working both muscles, heart and lungs.

But like with all other forms of exercises, you get out what you put in. Anyway, I too complement my 'heavy as a Viking' gym life with things such as weekly weighted sled pull/push, farmers walk (sprint style), heavy boxing bag work, face pull and martial arts.

Things you might not associate with good ol weight training, but as Stephanie allude too in her own post, complementing your ordinary workouts with these types of exercises will maintain and build muscle mass and strength while also ratching up your cardiovascular level.

A combo which is as good for your general health and fitness as it can be for that fit and toned look most people enjoy.
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Standing barbell row
Let us dig deep down into 'standing barbell row' and the complete amount of muscles it will engage and activate.

Once we venture beyond the glorious realms of leg and glutes training, there is the never-ending hallway of kicking and boxing to explore and conquer.
But what else lies beyond the joy of those fit & healthy cornerstones?. Well, if it was not obvious so far in life, martial arts and legs and glutes have their equal in the colossus that is weighted back training.

And when it comes down to weighted back training, actually, when it comes down to working the upper body at all, there is one exercise which I will never hesitate to put front and center (together with deadlift), and that is 'Standing Barbell Row'. But for today, I will allow you the chance of soul searching and knowledge gathering, so instead of me talking about how to do standing barbell row, I will let you do some thinking.

Here is my question:
Standing Barbell Row will challenge and work you from top to toe.
But can you list all of the muscles which you will activate when you do this bad boy in a properly challenging way?. your options.

My back?
Trapezius. Inferior and middle.
Latissimus Dorsi
Deltoideus. Posterior.
Main muscles.
Trapezius. Inferior and middle.
Latissimus Dorsi
Deltoideus. Posterior.
Secondary muscles.
Biceps Brachii
Erector Spinae
Teres Minor
Teres Major
Trapezius. Superior.
Deltoideus. Lateral.
Levator Scapulae.

the correct answer

Gym diaries, day 9311
Morning walk
+ chest, abs, shrugs, face pull, sled push.
+ 10 min sprint interval
+ 20 min hiit mma.
low impact evening cardio

my Instagram

yes, keen-eyed readers will remember that I have already posted question 34 in my views from earth collection earlier this year. But since we started talking about weighted back exercises recently in this collection it felt prudent to bring up this excellent piece before I get around to posting a standing barbell row video.
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Pad thai pasta salad, servings 2-4
I have updated the original recipe a tiny little bit, replacing some of the ingredients with better quality ( like replacing noodles with fibre pasta ) and removing some. But you can always click through to Instagram for the original one.
⌲ 240 g Pulled Oats Ginger
⌲ 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
⌲ 2 tbsp tamari
⌲ 4 servings of fiber pasta
⌲ 1 cucumber
⌲ a pinch of salt
⌲ 1 mango, chop it up.
⌲ shredded veggies of choice, e.g cabbage, radishes, carrot, edamame, scallion
⌲ fresh cilantro
⌲ chopped peanuts
⌲ 1 lime, juice
🌶 peanut & red curry sauce:
⌲ 4 tbsp creamy PB
⌲ 4 tbsp mild olive oil
⌲ 1 1/2 tbsp tamari
⌲ 1 lime, juice
⌲ 2 tsp red curry paste
⌲ 2 x 2 cm fresh ginger (1 inch)
⌲ 1 chopped and sliced red onion


On top of it all, serve a tablespoon of kvarg or two for that fresh and yummy mix of sweet and sour, spicey and soothing that thick creamy dairy like kvarg will provide on a dish like this. Not to mention you´ll get some added quality protein, carbs, vitamin d, calcium, b12 and other healthy additions.

And yes, as always, pick the sugar free option.

music of the day
bloodguilt by depths of hatred
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Lat Pulldown wide grip to complement your chins or, as one of several ways to work your way up to the point where you can start doing chins.

At the top, hang out and stretch your lats and shoulders (deltoideus) before you engage your every muscle Fibre in your lats, rear deltoideus, Trapezius and rhomboideus as you pull the bar down towards your chest.

What a lot of people do not know about this exercise is that it also engage your chest muscles to a certain degree. And especially so if you are doing your lat pulldowns with a narrow grip.

Anyway. Lat pulldown with wide or narrow grip is an excellent sidekick to the mighty chins.

Or to help you improve your strength to the point where you can start doing chins.

Gym diaries, day 9308

Morning walk
+ shoulders, abs, shrugs, face pull, cable chest press.
+ 10 min sprint interval
+ mma 20 minutes

low impact evening cardio

music of the day
blow your trumpets gabriel by behemoth
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Dead stop dumbbell row
Is my personal fav dumbbell row variation. And the way I do my dumbbell row most of the time right now (but not always).

Performed by John Rusin

to do notes down below >>.

Position your anchor fot in a solid split stance. The width of your feet should be adjusted to your comfort zone so you have a nice balanced position in which to work in a strict and powerful way.

You can either do this one standing with both feet grounded or with one knee on a bench ( the later is how I do it ).

Hinge the hips over and adjust height and angles until you can reach ground contact with each rep.

Use the opposite hand to stabilize your stance.

the start

Start with the dumbbell on the ground somewhere between the back leg and your medial center line.

Grip the dumbbell, tension hips, core, back, and deltoideus, and keep your entire muscle chain flexed and contracted and pull explosively through the entire range of motion until the dumbbell reaches its top position touching against your upper body.

Squeeze your muscles at the top of the motion and hold your form and flexed back when you go turn the motion and lower your dumbbell back down to the starting position.

The bottom position.

Allow the dumbbell to settle motionless on the ground between each rep and do not bounce it like you do when you go at it full speed with touch and go reps.

The dead stop will allow your body to feed your muscles more air and energy to keep pulling each rep with max force and power, so the dead stop is the dumbbell variant which is meant for serious weights and yet, pulling out more reps than normal. So don't hold back on reps or weight just because you are chasing some mythical perfect form (yet, do not skimp on your form either, work every single one of your involved muscles properly but seriously hard and take this chance to seriously tax your entire muscular system) .

That will also force you to actually use max force and strength with each rep since you are always starting from zero with zero energy-momentum carrying over from the previous rep.

What you will lose is time under tension and the grueling lactate build up of going at it with full speed and or no pause between each rep and zero chance for your body to refuel with air and energy.

But those slight differences to the exact same workout is why you make use of different ways and pace to do the same exercise at different phases of your workout plans giving your entire muscle chain and body a complete progressive development.

Gym diaries, day 9304

Morning walk
+ chest, farmers walk, abs, shrugs
+ 10 min sprint interval
+ mma 20 minutes

low impact evening cardio
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Earth overshoot day signals the mindless gluttony of our evolving hybrid species.

But what is it exactly? And why is something that sounds so cute something truly terrible that we need to take seriously as a global whole.

To most people, it is more than likely just another ridiculous phrase keyboard warriors throw around once a year while they too waste this world to the point of no return.

But this ever-moving yearly event day is anything but deadly essential. Every year this day signals the point in that year where we have used up all the naturally replenishing resources of this planet.

And beyond this point, the planet is losing its inventory for the next year ahead and it's capacity to restock.

Which any corporate leader would die from a heart attack if it happened to their business.


Every year this day happens earlier and earlier in the year.


For every year that goes by humanity as a whole is fucking up the planet even more at an accelerating pace nonetheless.

Moving us all ever closer to the point of no return.

Beyond that point, well, you will all feel as poor old sods of far gone days when the Vikings showed up at the monastery.

Except it will be on a global scale of permanent fubar.

And this is why sustainable actions matter and why sustainable farmers can be the only way forward. Vegetarian food, clean energy. Proper waste management and crops and food that does not gulp down endless supply of water.

Add to that individual people will have to start taking responsibility for the endless amounts of food they use and throw away, the endless rush to buy new gadgets that provide nothing useful over what you have.

Politicians and corporations that endorse unsustainable behavior are other things that can not go on because humanity as a whole need to change and that is the inevitable truth of Earth overshoot day..

Another crucial aspect to take note of in our instant world of reshares and trigger-happy minds and fingers.

Earth overshoot day and the reality it so clearly lays out for us all to see is not at all about borrowing from unknown faraway future generations. It's about life right here and today and the fact that we are all borrowing from the day that comes tomorrow, next week, next month and next year and with each exhausted resource the burden multiplies and grows even more as time goes by.

So yes those future generations will get it even worse, but so will we with each passing day.


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