[ Guardian Challenge ] It is the people, not the government, regardless of the branch, that will either keep, defend, and guard the United States Constitution or will allow it to be nullified and ignored by tyrants and bureaucrats with evil intent.

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“The constitution — its only keepers, the people”. George Washington

Understanding that the Constitution can only be protected or guarded by the people, the people must be prepared to be the true Guardians of the sacred contract between the citizens and their government.

As Guardians of the Constitution, we must be equipped to do so both physically and mentally. We need strong, healthy bodies and minds. Your brain is a part of your body and must be strengthened and kept as healthy and strong as your muscles.


The SOTG Guardian Challenge

SOTG Guardian Challenge

In an effort to continuously practice that of which we preach, we at Student of the Gun have decided to offer some guidance, a checklist or roadmap if you will, regarding health and strength.

Humans are creatures of habit, both good and bad. It is not enough to acknowledge a bad habit, you need to replace a bad or unhealthy habit with a good or productive habit. I’m reminded of the advice from my friend, James, who decided years ago that he was sick of being soft and overweight. One piece of habit advice that James offered was that he was in the habit of drinking several cans of soda every day.

Rather than try and go “cold turkey”, James switched from the average 150-170 calories per twelve ounce can in soda (355 ml) to 49 calories per 500 ml can of Rehab Tea. That was a ⅔ reduction in the amount of calories he was drinking.

Through the Guardian Challenge we hope to offer positive and productive habits based upon what has worked for us and our friends. Our challenge to you is to make the commitment to follow this plan for 30 days. That’s it, one (1) month, four (4) weeks. Do you have it within you to discipline yourself for 30 days?


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Eliminate 3 Common Dietary Poisons

For decades, we have allowed our food to become processed and packed with cheap fillers. We were made to fear natural sugar and the cheap, garbage food makers replaced it with high fructose corn syrup. HFCS is WORSE for the body, particularly the heart and brain than pure cane sugar.

Just as HFCS is a cheap ingredient in food, manufacturers have been putting soy filler in our food in order to make it cheaper and it is weakening our brains and bodies, particularly those of our young men. Soy puts an artificial estrogen into your system.

Seed oils, containing high levels of Omega 6 are poisoning our brains and bodies. Canola, corn, rapeseed, sunflower, and cottonseed are common seed oils. These have been scientifically linked to heart disease. Margarine falls in this category. What is worse, the Omega 6 found in these seed oils, corn is a major offender, prevents proper brain health and function, and causes both body and brain inflammation.

Read your food labels and ingredients. For 30 days, cut out all…

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Soy
  • Seed Oils

Supplemental Nutrition

Sadly, where we used to get proper nutrition from our standard diet, today it is difficult to get all of the vitamins, minerals, and Omega 3 fatty acids from our daily diet. Vitamins B and C are water-soluble and A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble. Vitamins B and C are not stored in the body for very long and need to be taken regularly. Vitamins A, D, E, and K will be absorbed better or more readily when consumed with natural fat.

Omega 3 or fish oil has numerous proven benefits. Among these are lower blood pressure, improved heart health, improved vision, and improved brain health and function. The human brain needs natural animal fat to function properly.

Examine your diet and strongly consider adding both a multi-vitamin and Omega 3.


Nutrition is not just for your Body, but for your Brain

Load Bearing Exercise

If you have been paying any attention to Student of the Gun at all over the last several years you will know that we highly recommend and endorse barbell training for strength improvement.

Jarrad and I have dedicated ourselves to the Barbell Logic program since January of 2017. We have both seen tremendous gains in our strength and overall physical well-being. I have said it before but, I have no doubt that the physical strength I gained through barbell training helped me to survive the abuse that my body endured from cancer treatment. I shared that story in great detail in the book; Fighting Solves Everything.

Load bearing exercises force your body into a constant rebuild and repair state. This is a GOOD thing. Your body is growing, not dying. Barbell training uses the method of Stress, Recovery, Adaptation. We stress our muscles, they recover, and we adapt and become a better version of ourselves. 

Barbell Logic focuses on the Simple, Hard, Effective model. The exercises must meet all of those criteria, and they do. As I pen this article, I can tell you that I have set more PR’s (personal records) and lifted more weight as a 50 year old man than I did in my 20’s or 30’s.

The Simple, Hard, Effective method does not just strengthen your muscles and bones (load bearing exercise creates strong bones) it also strengthens your mind as a byproduct of the discipline it takes and the achievement of accomplishing something new, setting PR’s.

How often should you exercise per week? Using the Barbell Logic Online Coaching method, Jarrad and I lift and train 3 times per week with rest days on one or two day intervals. We have coaches to program out training sessions and monitor our progress. (You can sign up for BLOC here)

What Goes in Your Mouth?

Even outside of the Guardian Challenge, one of the best pieces of advice for weight loss and health is this; “We lose weight at the table. We get strong at the gym.” In order to lose weight you must be hypocaloric; burn more calories that you take in. To increase muscle mass, we must experience hypertrophy. 

If you want to lose weight you have to consider what is going into your mouth. One great way to reduce calories is to stop drinking your calories. Drinks laden with HFCS are filled with unhealthy calories. When we drink our calories we don’t feel like we are eating too much or overeating. That is the dirty trick we play on ourselves.

If you want to get strong, your body needs more protein and fat and for you to consume fewer carbohydrates, particularly empty or useless carbohydrates. Rather than eat out of habit or boredom, start looking at food as the fuel your body needs to grow, repair, and function properly.

Carrying the Load 

You might have noticed that I have not mentioned buying guns, ammo, MREs, armor, etc. All of the previous are accessories for you, the Guardian of the Constitution. However, you need to be able to carry the load; both the physical load and the emotional or mental load.

We have encountered far too many people who want to be patriots and defenders of the United States, but their bodies are not able to carry the very real, physical load. A plate carrier and set of Level 3 or 4 plates is going to weigh an average of 6-12 pounds depending on size, material, etc. Think about it, if you drop ten pounds of useless body fat, that is an even trade for your plate carrier.

In addition to the physical load that we must carry, we are carrying an emotional or mental load as we are attacked from all sides by those who would steal our liberty and shred our Constitution.

Healthy, strong bodies that are given proper nutrition, result in healthy and strong brains. Healthy and strong brains command and instruct our bodies to perform and do what is necessary to be the natural guardians of the Constitution that American citizens are supposed to be. 

Alright, who is with us? Are you ready to participate in the SOTG Guardian Challenge?


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Paul G. Markel has worn many hats during his lifetime. He has been a U.S. Marine, Police Officer, Professional Bodyguard, and Small Arms and Tactics Instructor. Mr. Markel has been writing professionally for law enforcement and firearms periodicals for nearly twenty years with hundreds and hundreds of articles in print. Paul is a regular guest on nationally syndicated radio talk shows and subject matter expert in firearms training and use of force. Mr. Markel has been teaching safe and effective firearms handling to students young and old for decades and has worked actively with the 4-H Shooting Sports program. Paul holds numerous instructor certifications in multiple disciplines and a Bachelor’s degree in conflict resolution; nonetheless, he is and will remain a dedicated Student of the Gun.

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