The Blowhard Way

Do you lie awake at night worrying that everything you know is wrong? You need what this guy is selling!

I LOST 20 POUNDS in 20 days, and you can, too! Got a beer gut? Gone. Big butt? Gone. Chubby cheeks, double chin, love handles, lard legs—all of it gone in just 20 days. On the field-tested Hard Way Diet, you will lose weight, or your money back. I guarantee it!

The Hard Way Diet is like no other in the world. Atkins, Zone, Beverly Hills, South Beach—all these fads restrict how much you can eat. On the Hard Way Diet, you can eat as much as you want, and you can eat anything you want! Some diets even dictate when you can eat. Let me be clear: On the Hard Way Diet, you can eat as much as you want of whatever you want whenever you want.

Too good to be true? Listen to these satisfied customers:

"With the Hard Way Diet, I lost every ounce of body fat," says a Scottish ice climber, name withheld by request. "It was truly amazing. And that was before I got dysentery!"

"The weight just dropped off," remarks an anonymous Austrian alpinist. "I was at least 25 pounds lighter even before I lost my toes."

"I recommend the Hard Way Diet for anyone who is serious about weight loss," gushes a Hollywood stuntwoman who asked to remain nameless. "The sunburn skin peel was a side benefit."

So what is the Hard Way Diet? Simplicity itself: Go on an expedition. You've dreamed of climbing a mountain. Well, do it! Pick your peak—from something obscure in the Andes to something famous in the Himalayas—but make sure it rises above 20,000 feet. Above 20,000 feet, your appetite practically vanishes. And yet you're exercising all day long, for weeks, blowing through the calories. (Ignore the severe headaches; they will pass.) Best of all, above 20,000 feet it's so bloody cold that shivering alone burns off thousands more.

Imagine yourself stumbling down from the summit, 20 pounds lighter. You'll have a better tan, on your face and hands, at least, than you've ever had in your life, and your lips will be puffy—without collagen injections! In some cases, if you're lucky, you may also experience the onset of starvation, a condition in which the body begins to eat its muscle for lack of fat. You could actually be as gaunt and gorgeous as Kate Moss. It's the brand-new thin you!

Act now. Supplies are limited. But hold on—there's more!

LOOKING FOR A FAIL-SAFE exercise program to whip your body into adventure-ready shape? Look no further. The notorious Hard Way Workout is here!

Other regimens require you to join a gym, hire a trainer, or purchase exercise equipment. Save your dough, bro. The Hard Way Workout uses the ancient Greek art of athleticism. The name comes from kallos (beauty) and sthenos (strength). Yes, that's right: calisthenics! Before Bowflex and ThighMaster, before NordicTrack and yuppie Swiss balls, the gods had calis!

The Hard Way Workout couldn't be simpler: 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 chin-ups, 30 minutes of running stairs. With practice, this routine should take no more than one hour from your day, including a shower. An hour a day, five days a week—take the weekend for adventure. No tricks, no gimmicks.

The only rule: no cheating. Push-ups require a rod-straight body and touching your chest to the floor on every rep. For sit-ups, bend your knees 90 degrees, clasp your hands behind your head, touch your chest to your thighs, and drop back until your shoulders are on the ground. (None of these poseur sit-ups like crunches.) Chin-ups: Go from a dead hang up to chin over the bar, then back to a dead hang. As for running stairs: Run up, run down. Take as many steps in one bound as you like. Just don't stop for 30 minutes.

The obvious beauty of the Hard Way Workout is that you can do it anywhere—in your local park, on a business trip to Shanghai (sprint a fire escape), at your Idaho log home (substitute a hill for stairs). No more excuses!

The hidden beauty of the Hard Way Workout is that it hurts. This is critical. Unlike all other exercise programs, the Hard Way Workout doesn't advertise itself as easy. You've heard the scams: "Seven seconds a day to killer abs," "Three exercises every morning for a neck like an ox." No siree, Bob. What makes the Hard Way Workout so unique? It's hard! Your body is training your mind not to give up. Willpower is what adventure is really all about.

Best of all, the Hard Way Workout is absolutely FREE when you order the Hard Way Diet. Interested in survival skills? Please read the following important message.

NEARLY EVERY DAY, there's a story of heroism in the news. Boy, arms eaten off by grizzly, whittles raft, floats out of Alaskan wilds. Girl, trapped on cliff, uses braids to rappel to safety. Lost teenagers eat butterflies, then each other, to survive wilderness ordeal.

Are you asking yourself, Could I do that? Do you wonder if you have what it takes? Have you thought about attending one of those high-priced survival schools? DON'T! The Hard Way Survival Kit (for a low introductory price, plus shipping and handling) is all you need.

Unlike other survival packages, my kit includes only the essential tools, nothing more and nothing less: (1) a plastic camouflage lighter, made in China; (2) a camouflage pocketknife; (3) a plastic soda bottle; (4) an extra-large, unlubricated condom; (5) a camo garbage bag; (6) a watch with built-in alarm; and (7) a bag of Cheetos.

Other survival courses teach you how to identify 73 edible plants and snare a field mouse or a moose, but get real! Are you trying to eat your way back to civilization or just get the hell outta there? The Hard Way Survival Kit has the facts: Food is inconsequential in most survival situations. The overwhelming majority of Americans have ample body reserves to survive without eating for at least two weeks. (Just think of all the pounds you'll drop!)

Thirsty? Don't waste your time learning how to knit a water jug from blades of grass. My kit's plastic soda bottle will do the trick, and the extra-large condom expands to carry a full quart!

Cold and wet? Some programs recommend building a wickiup from twigs or digging an emergency snow cave, "just like a marmot." Huh? The Hard Way Survival Kit shows you that wickiups are not waterproof and that lying down in the snow and intensely exerting yourself, thus soaking your clothes with sweat in low temperatures, is one of the fastest ways to die from hypothermia. My way? Simply drop down into dense trees, gather some tindery branches, break out your lighter, ignite the Cheetos wrapper, and start a bonfire. Too wet to ignite? Warm yourself by pulling on your garbage bag and running in place!

About to have your brains fried by lightning on a high, exposed ridge? Other methods would have you crouch on your pack and "pray to the thunder gods." The Hard Way Survival Kit, the only kit you need, offers a simpler solution: the alpine start. Next time (if there is a next time), set the alarm for 3 a.m., move out via headlamp by 4, and summit by 10. You'll be back snug in your tent by 2, when the rain comes.

What's that? Survival not your thing? You're actually more of a softcore adventurer? Good news: We've got something just for you!

HOW MUCH WOULD YOU PAY to have me yell at you about stuff that bugs me in the privacy of your own home? The Hard Way's Nearly Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Travel, the Outdoors, and Other Stuff video seminar will teach you nearly everything you ever wanted to know about travel, the outdoors, and other stuff.

Here are a few diverse samples of the comprehensive ranting and raving—I mean teaching—found in my essential THWNEYEWTKATTOAOS:

Have you ever awakened in a hotel room and not known where you were? The curtains, the dresser, the TV—they all looked nondescript but familiar in a mind-numbing sort of way. Well, what did you expect? You were staying in another big-name, cookie-cutter hotel chain. Hello? Do you go to an Indian restaurant and order a hamburger? Isn't the point of foreign travel to experience foreignness? Pluck up your courage, comrades: Forgo reservations, hit the streets, and find yourself some indigenous accommodations. A castle parador in Spain, where you can sleep in a real prince's room with your princess. The Wie Hin Lo, in Hanoi, where you can watch old movies of the Viet Cong.

Say you're out for a hike with the guys. At noon you stop for lunch, and what have your friends brought to eat? Energy bars! Am I missing something? Back in town these guys would be wolfing down a sloppy joe and a platter of fries. You pull out your lunch: a couple bagel sandwiches, a tin of baby oysters, a bag of cashews, a bag of raisins, and a salted nut roll. Their little low-fat bars gone, your so-called friends start begging like dogs. What ever happened to the cheap, noble sack lunch? It's energy that lasts all day!

Moving now to winter travel: An absurd number of people can be spotted plodding through the snow with snowshoes strapped to their boots. These valiant perambulators march up the hill and then, believe it or not, march back down. Yoo-hoo, ever heard of skis? Check it out: Skis slide. Sure, you may have to herringbone uphill clumsily, but you'll glide down effortlessly. Skis are like sails: You breeze across a sea of snow. Snowshoes are no better than a rowboat.

Cocktail party on your calendar? THWNEYEWTKATTOAOS is your source for opinionated bluster about the biggest small-talk topic on the social circuit today: Mount Everest. Impress the neighbors with these erudite insights: Neither guiding on Everest nor being guided up Everest is immoral. But what's the point? Mountaineering is an accretionary process in which you learn, little by little, how to make good decisions in sometimes bad conditions. Is this what the Everest guides are teaching? Is this what the guided clients—many of whom have never before worn crampons—are learning?

In true Hard Way tradition, no topic is taboo, no ego too fragile: Why do so many Koreans die on mountains? Why is the United States the only country where you have to pay for an airport luggage cart? Why is the term "soft adventure" an affront to every true adventurer? You'll find the answers to these and many other questions in the always surprising, occasionally offensive THWNEYEWTKATTOAOS.

IN A HURRY TO PLAN your next big trip? Call the Hard Way Psychic Hotline (1-900-HARD-WAY), and for just dollars a minute, we'll provide the world's best expedition advice—and even critique your expedition plans! For a taste of the kind of life-transforming, confidence-boosting services we offer, listen in on a recent call from an aspiring explorer:

"Hi, you're on the line with the Hard Way Psychic Hotline. How can we help you today?"

"I'm going to bicycle to the tops of the highest points in all 50 states."

"OK. Let's think about this: The highest point in Kansas is in the plains and can be reached by mountain bike. But what about Gannett Peak, in Wyoming? It's in a wilderness area."

"I'll ride as far as I can, then carry the bike to the top."

"Have you thought about Mount Rainier or Mount Whitney?"

"My support team will carry the wheels and I'll carry the frame."

"And Denali?"

"No problem. We'll disassemble the bike, pull all the parts in a sled on the glacier, then dump them in a backpack and carry it to the summit."

"Can I ask you one question?"

"Shoot."

"What would you think if someone decided to carry a refrigerator to the tops of all 50 highpoints?"

"I'd think they were really stupid, man."

"True enough. Thanks for calling the Hard Way Psychic Hotline!"

ARE YOU LIKE ME? Do you feel compelled to scrutinize and scorn everything that annoys you? Are your high standards bringing you down? Is it in your nature to provide unsolicited commentary on all aspects of human existence? Don't worry: You're not alone. Coming soon, the next installment from my best-selling Hard Way series: Rant (Not Chant!) Yourself Sane meditation tapes, with harshly scented candles. Stay tuned.

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