Programming note: Next week I’m going camping up near Yosemite, so the newsletter that comes before Fourth of July weekend will be a re-run of a classic Ask A Swole Woman column in lieu of our usual. Wishing you an early and warm “America!” etc.
Yesterday, a friend declared to the group chat that she was going “gym mode” this summer and requested recommendations for dry-fabric workout tops. As someone with a chronic and incurable case of gym mode, and who spent last summer scrambling over boulders in canyons in Joshua Tree, in 105-degree weather, in the hot sun, I am just short of being a published author of research in this matter. In the spirit of the summer solstice, that changes today.
I only have a couple of recommendations, but I would defend them with my life. The first is Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily fabric. You can get it in any shape of your choosing (long sleeve, T-shirt, tank top). The long sleeves are specifically amazing if you are doing anything outside in the unsparing summer of the American Southwest—they protect from sunburn, and dissipate sweat like tears in the rain. I feel these are very reasonably priced, and mine have held up very well. Simply the best hot-weather physical-activity top material that you can buy.
The other option I’d defend with my life is fancier, more expensive, and arguably second-best, but more beautiful. These are Tracksmith tops in Twilight micro-mesh (T-shirt, tank top, crop top). If you wanted to look like a professional racer, these are it. They do have a little embroidered bunny on them, but unfortunately I am from the American Northeast and this is our culture. I like the bunny. (Longtime readers know I’m also an adherent of the Tracksmith Twilight split shorts; I know they are expensive and I’m sorry, but the first two pairs I bought a few years ago look as new as the day I bought them, and I love few pieces of clothing more.) If the bunny (animal or branding) was terribly offensive to you, you could probably remove it. I’m running a trail race this weekend, and it gives me some small relief to know I will be freaking styling-profiling in this shirt.
These are not even affiliate links or brand sponsorship or anything; I am just being nice and doing my part not to gatekeep one of the few pure and good things in this world (a workout top that does not make working out in the heat even worse).[^1]
Beasties, feel free to leave your own recs in the comments for each other!
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~Discord Pick of the Week: If you've ever struggled with grip strength (or know that people with more grip strength tend to, dun dun dun, live longer) this video is quite cute and full of technique tips from a guy who would know.
“Filling the research void with studies that do little to help us understand the cause-and-effect relationships of our real-life dietary decisions,” as happens extremely often in nutrition research, “does little to advance understanding; in fact, it sows confusion.” This reminds me of the caloric-intake/longevity research I wrote about a couple weeks ago. It feels like we shouldn’t be taking cues on how to eat in our daily life from academic research, because it’s way too targeted and incremental (the exception being, of course, if we find out something we eat is acutely toxic in the amounts we normally consume it).
Every 8 to 12 months, someone discovers anew that time some guys on the bodybuilding.com forums once waged holy war over how many days were in a week. Many lives were lost. Someone discovered it again on Twitter this week and made it go viral again. In recognition of our servicemen, please enjoy Jon Bois’s forensic analysis of this historic battle. I believe that this thread should be a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The first woman to sail the “voyage for madmen,” the round-the-world Golden Globe race that takes the better part of a year.
This piece on the $1,600 (!) Goop cruise (!!!) is a little too credulous on the whole, but this is the truth:
As women seek whatever resonating nuggets they can find from Goop, social media, celebrities, TikTok doctors and people professing to be “hormone experts,” there’s a lot of misinformation, and little supervision — including of the herbal products sold to women struggling for a solution, which are unregulated in the U.S., said Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, a clinical professor at Yale Medical School’s Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. “So I don’t know what my patients are getting half the time when they tell me they’re doing this or that.”
No matter how frustrating that may seem, [Dr. Lauren] Streicher sees why the misinformation sticks. “If women went to their doctors and got good information, they would not be going to an actress,” she said. “The reason women do that is because their own doctors didn’t help them.”
Wild how men in gyms have no game at all. Always coming up to you and just explaining things instead of being normal. This post about men in rock-climbing gyms specifically taught me the term “beta” [verb], which I guess means “to mansplain the answer to a rock-climbing puzzle, perhaps even while the person is trying to do it.” This is not how you interact with other humans! Learn manners!
“Like a lot of runners, Adam Devine uses exercise as stress relief. He got sober in 2013, and picking up running a couple of years later helped him keep at it… He doesn’t see what he did as something virtuous or worthy of praise. Instead, he replaced one addiction with something else that made him hurt.”
Okay—I have to be eminently clear that it is not funny for a blind man to be kicked out of a gym for being accused of ogling women. But imagining how apoplectic this baldly provocative headline would make JoeySwoll, I admit I did laugh.
It shouldn’t surprise me, but it did, that Bryan Cranston has an unusually regimented approach to his entire life, and all his friends love him for it.
Some things to do if you’re sick of social media.
That’s all for this week! Enjoy your eventual long weekend, and grill a hearty portion of protein for me in the next two weeks, and then eat it yourself; you need it. I love you for reading, thank you, let’s go—
[F1] I’d exercise caution bringing either of these around a barbell, if you fear ever roughing up your clothes; I actually haven’t had any issues, but knurling can snag fabrics or make them burr up. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!