"Celluloid Steroid", and it's an in-depth report on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the entertainment business in general & in the movie industry in particular. If you're curious about what's going on behind the scenes, feel free to sneak a peek (and if you're not, please, spread the word, anyway) You may also browse my website for more information: www.urbangorillabooks.com
Just in case you're wondering if I still do movie work -- yesss, I do. Although, owing to a natural process called aging, I don't do as many stunt-related work as before ( I guess producers are afraid that I might break my ass or something).Anyway, every once in a blue moon I get to do some acting bits in the odd film production.One example is AnD artist Mike Moeller's latest project: a German movie production calledStreet Gangs. The movie was directed by Mike, and a whole bunch of AnD members were involved in this thing. The picture is out now, available as a DVD & Blueray. Check it out By the way, the movie was originally calledUrban Fighter... so don't get confused by the trailer's title.Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOvptM9yrz8
Hi all!I've been awfully busy during the last couple of months with a new baby of mine. I've set up a little publishing company, specializing in e-books & graphic art. It's called:It's all street style & underground culture, and the topics range from ghetto fitness, parkour, and martial arts to hardcore bodybuilding and urban art. Quite a range, I give you that... but it's all connected, you know. There will also be some (street) poetry & fiction and a graphic novel section. The homepage's already up (checkwww.urbangorillabooks.com), although the rest of the website is still under construction at this stage. I will start out with just a handful of books that will be available through Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Apple and Sony, as well as through my own website.A lot of interesting projects coming up, I can promise that. Deadline is September, and I will surely keep you posted. I'm really excited about this. Please, spread the word if you like the idea.Peace out, bros!
I've just returned from Germany's largest bodybuilding & fitness fair, the FIBO in the city of Essen. I went there on behalf of my current employer, the Swedish gym chain Actic Fitness.The whole event was a real eye-popping freak show in parts... and I really loved it! What I enjoyed most, was meeting two of the most famous bodybuilders in the world in person. First of all, living legend Ken "Flex" Wheeler, one of the best physiques ever to grace a competitive bodybuilding stage (this guy's a hardcore martial artist too, by the way. Mr. Flex "The Sultan of Shape" Wheeler And if that wasn't enough for one day, I also ran into Kai Greene, currently one of the top three pro bodybuilders in the world. Mr. Kai "The Predator" Greene (3rd place, Mr. Olympia 2011)... a man with upper arms the size of my thighsMeeting those two bodybuilding icons was a real treat, and now I feel a damn lot smaller, that's for sure. Looking forward to next years FIBO.Cheers!
Just wanted to up the ante a bit by posting 2 more pics I just got mailed by the AD... wadda ya think?These shots were taken during the filming of a German motion picture in Berlin last October... and no, I did NOT play the Fuehrer!
It's been a pretty busy week... had to leave town again to travel to another gym of ours, lending the local instructors a hand with grinding out more training routines. The gym is located in Goslar, a quaint small town in the heart of the Harz mountains... a place famous for witchcraft and creepy stuff like that... well, at least in the Middle Ages it was.The cardio area of our Goslar gymAnyway, although my working days were crazy busy, I had a great time... lots of wacky old people in that area... very entertaining, really. The clients/gym members were a bit on the decrepit side, as well... and folks under 30 were few and far between. I was really quite afraid of doing serious damage to those guys, therefore I was taking it a little easier than usual on the H.I.T. training principles.MoreNautilus machinesOn Wednesday I took a day off and traveled to Berlin... stunt coordinator Ramazan Bulut had hired me for little stunt job on a German movie project (sorry... can't tell you the name right now, for the thing's still in production... and only for posting that picture they might file a multimillion dollar law suit against me, you know).It was just one little scene, by the way, with nothing more than a split second of action, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, since it gave me the opportunity to work once more with Ulrik Bruchholz(AnD member) and Ramazan... both of Action Concept Stunt Group fame.On the set with Ulrik and Manuela (as my beloved wife)... I played a German consul... and Ulrik some tough nut Russian soldier kicking our German Nazi butts out of the consulate The movie is set in Russia during World War II, so I got to wear one of those dashing Nazi uniforms (although I think that baby blue color kind of reduces the intended awe-inspiring effect a bit). Plus, that mustache made me look somewhat like Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator... at least, everybody on the set couldn't stop pointing out the uncanny resemblance.
This summer I didn't have much of a vacation. Instead, I was sent all across Germany by Nautilus to help out at some of our gyms.In July and August, I went to a tiny but famous place, name of Schwäbisch Hall. It's a fairly small town in the heart of Germany, with a medieval-style historic town center. Quite pretty, if you're into that sort of thing. Looks like some place right out of The Brothers Grimm... minus the elfinsDidn't have too much time for sight-seeing, though. The mission was to help out as an instructor at a gym belonging to our chain, which had newly opened up.Not an easy task, since I had to work pretty much all day, churning out two, sometimes three HIT workout routines per hour for our gym members... which amounts to an average of 15 or more training plans per day.Although these routines were all based on the high intensity training method, they had to be specially tailored to the individual needs of each client... male, female, young, old, fit as a butcher's dog, or completely out of shape. Our Schwäbisch Hall gym may not be too big, but you feel right at home there... With this type of schedule I couldn't do much more than sink half dead into the pillows of my hotel room bed in the evenings.Nevertheless, I really enjoyed working down south. The southern folks (even here in Germany) seem to be much more relaxed and easier to get along with then the stubborn and reserved people of the north (where I happen to belong to). A cliche, maybe... but apparently one with a grain of truth in it.The team I worked with was pretty cool, as well. With most of them being physiotherapists or sports therapists by trade, with even one pro figure athlete and one advanced triathlete among them, the job was no trouble at all. Michael (who is also from Wolfsburg), Georg (another serious martial artist), Berit, and IMost of them were new to HIT, but I had a bunch of them hooked after tasting first blood. Especially the figure athlete (Hi, Figen! How ya doin'?), who was sore for about a week after a workout session with me.That's Figen... shredded.
D'ya ever hear about H.I.T. and the Nautilus machines? I bet you did. The Nautilus weight training machines were introduced to the fitness world in the early 70s by a guy called Arthur Jones. This man was quite a character, to put it mildly... combat pilot, crocodile hunter, filmmaker, inventor of exercise machines. Some people call him genius, while others think him stark raving mad. I like that.The fact of the matter is, Jones turned the whole bodybuilding business upside down.Arthur Jones, the mad scientistAccording to Jones, machines are superior to free weights, 'cause barbells and dumbbells do not keep your muscles under tension throughout the entire range of motion. In other words, with free weights your muscles will always have some short rest either at the beginning or the end of each movement... which obviously impairs the efficiency of the whole exercise. Well, machines and free weights both have their pros and cons... and most athletes -- when they're smart like me -- incorporate either in their training.To cut a long story short, Nautilus machines are in my opinion still the best exercise machines on the market, and all the stuff that followed had simply copied the unique Nautilus technology. Jones also invented a new training concept along with his machines. With High Intensity Training or H.I.T. you perform only one set per exercise (as opposed to the three sets or more in other weight training methods), but you do each set until you reach muscular failure. Don't get confused by the term "failure"... this does not mean that you actually failed at performing the exercise, it just means that you have to do each exercise up to the point when -- no matter how hard you try -- you can't perform another rep. This can be brutally hard, and I keep running into people who shy away from this experience. Yeah, it's not for everyone, I give you that... but I wouldn't have it any other way. If I don't go to failure in my sets, I feel like I haven't done my best. Once you're hooked, you don't want to go back to the old pansy way of working out.This is animal.And this is me and my buddy Chris, a recreational MMA fighterAs with anything new, H.I.T. was discussed quite controversially when it hit the scene (pun intended). Arnie, yup... the governator himself, was a real hater of the H.I.T. concept, back in the day (he actually trained with Jones for about two weeks, but then threw in the towel early, because he couldn't stand the grueling intensity of Jones's workouts). Although opinions are still divided on the subject, there are tons of scientific studies around today that prove the great efficiency of high intensity training (when done correctly).More and more athletes incorporate H.I.T.principles in their training schedule nowadays, and no matter which type of training you prefer... H.I.T. is here to stay.
Hi everybody!I haven't posted anything here in a couple of months, so I thought I might let you know what I've been up to in the meantime.For almost a year I have been working as a fitness instructor at a pretty big gym now. Since the movie business is pretty slow in Germany at the moment, lots of stunt people, stage fighters and so on, had to go and find themselves day jobs. Moi, as well.I quite enjoy being a fitness instructor, actually. I'm still doing what I love doing... plus, I'm able to pass on my own passion for all kinds of sports and physical culture, at the same time. The cool thing is, the gym chain I work for specializes in Nautilus training equipment and High Intensity Trainingaka H.I.T., a training method I've always been really into. So, I feel like this is really my turf...There are various ways of doing H.I.T., but training this way basically means that you do relatively brief but damn hard workouts. And I mean DAYUMM HARD. Luv it!
Yup, it's finally out!YIP MAN 2, the long-awaited sequel ofYip Man, premiered in Beijing on April 21. The official release date for Asia will be... tadaaah!... TO-MOR-ROW!!!At this stage, I'm probably allowed to post another blog on the movie, i.e. the making of it, here on AnD. Some of you may have noticed that I deleted my previous blog entry on the topic. I decided to do so at the time, because I got some pretty negative feedback from fellow-actors and -- indirectly -- members of the production team. Apparently, they were not too happy with me "spilling the beans". Prima donnas! There had been quite a few misunderstandings and wrong interpretations of what I had written about some incidents behind the scenes. Also, I wasn't supposed to post any photos of actors in costume on the set (including my humble self) and stuff like that. Well, you know the deal... we're all big boys, and we know that everybody -- particularly here on AnD -- does it (besides, any publicity is good publicity, as they say). I didn't think it such a big deal, especially since I was pretty cautious about picking the most innocuous pictures.Admittedly, I wasn't as cautious about picking the most innocuous words, when describing some of the bloopers behind the scenes. I'm particularly sorry about the remark I made about stunt actor Darren Shahlavi and Sammo Hung. I wrote that Darren accidently hit Sammo in the mouth while shooting a fight scene, sending him to the floor as a result... sure, this did happen, but by casually mentioning it, I seem to have caused a lot of brouhaha in certain circles. To make that absolutely clear, I didn't mean to give the impression that Darren hit Sammo out of clumsiness or anything like that. Darren is a pro to the core, and I merely wanted to point out that such things happen all the time on martial arts movie sets, no matter how masterly your fighting skills are. Unfortunate timing on both sides, slightly inaccurate distance, fatigue, an injury (Sammo was suffering from a bad knee, in fact, and literally slipped into the punch) ... ANYTHING can cause such a glitch. Sammo directing Darren (with me behind the ropes)Shooting a martial arts flick is no picnic, especially when you're tired and/or injured. I myself once kicked "Xanda" star Sang Weilin in the face while filming "The King of Wrestlers" 搏击之霸(and I got elbowed in the head pretty hard a couple of times in return). No big deal. That's all part of the game... and if some people latch on to a trifle like that, it just goes to show that they haven't got the faintest idea of what working as a stunt fighter/martial arts actor is actually all about.... with my buddy Antony Wood, who played the ref in the Donnie/Darren fight... I understand that poor Darren had to answer a lot of stupid questions because of what I'd written, and I'm truly sorry about that. Honestly, I didn't think that the little blog of some unknown German stunt actor dude would ever draw this much attention. Wow! Pretty cool on one hand, pretty scary on the other...Darren and I during the press conference sceneAnyway, 's all water under the bridge, since the movie will be in theaters tomorrow... and I'm pretty sure everybody is going to be really happy with the result. Pics and vids of Yip Man 2 are all over the net now, meaning I should be allowed to contribute some stuff myself, too.http://www.youtube.com/v/48m-j3LF_X0&hl=de_DE&fs=1&Check out this clip! There's a lot of Darren in there... and you might even be able to spot me once or twice in the background.Enjoy
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