The RP vs. JYB3 — An EPIC Fitness Challenge

The combatants: The RP, JYB3(w/Ali) & Josh)

The RP vs. JYB3.  Mano y mano.  

Or should we say metrosexualia y metrosexualia?

Below, The RP and JYB3 share their personal fitness goals as part of this elite competition.  And later this week, we will hear from their trainer — our web site’s own fitness expert, Josh Bowen

Click here to watch a video with the official rules of the challenge. (SPOILER ALERT:  Everyone’s a loser!)

And stay tuned for many exciting developments in the challenge — where you can join the combatants, and when you can win valuable prizes.

We encourage you to pick sides: We fully expect #TeamRP and #TeamJYB3 to trend on Twitter, blow up Facebook, and do whatever to Pinterest that Pinterest does.

Anyway, here are the big losers themselves:


JYB3 (#TeamJYB3)


I am announcing it to friends and family and anyone else who will listen.

I’m serious this time.

It’s not a New Year’s resolution. Just a December 8th start date. I’m not sure when the end date is. But it won’t be until 2013. And here’s what I’m going to do.


(or at least 10 pounds)

Jonathan Miller has challenged me and I told him, in no uncertain words, “I like the idea conceptually, but the working out part concerned me and make me reluctant at first. But I’m in. I’m all in. I mean I’m in. I’ll do it. I guess.”

So “It’s on!” And today is the day. Or maybe it’s tomorrow. We weren’t really clear on that. But what is clear is that I am committed to losing 15 pounds. (Or at least 10).


I’ve been asked for a “Before” picture. To show beside my “after” picture once I’m through. That assumes two things: 1) I’ll actually finish this commitment and 2) that the “after” picture will actually be distinguishable for the “before” picture.

What I would like to do instead of a “before and after picture” is to reserve the option of

having two “after” pictures, assuming things go well. And a written “before” depiction for comparison purposes. (In addition to the “after” pictures, both of them, if it goes well), I will include a brief narrative description as well.

So, here, goes.

Seth Rogen shirtless

John Y Brown III (Before Description). Imagine Seth Rogan on a beach somewhere without a shirt and nearly knee length baggy shorts. But picture him about two inches shorter and with a slight Southern accent. Eating a Krispy Kreme donut. (I’d say imagine him 7 pounds lighter than he is in the movies….but because the camera adds about 10 pounds, instead imagine him about 3 pounds heavier than he is in real life and not on camera. Or if that’s too difficult because you are struggling to imagine Seth Rogen off camera and 10 pounds lighter, just go ahead and imagine him like in his movies buy 7 pounds lighter. (Just slightly less accurate that way because the added 10 pounds caused by the camera is inexact. But it’s close enough. If you’ve followed this description closely, you have a pretty good idea now of what my “before” picture looks like.

Or, for a simpler image. Just imagine Seth Rogan (movie not real life) shirtless and eating a Krispy Kreme donut. Minus 7.2 pounds (I’m factoring in the donut). And don’t imagine a Speedo. That’s not fair to anyone.


THE RP (#TeamRP)


About a decade ago, I started training with the extraordinary Josh Bowen.  He pushed, bullied and harangued me into shape.  By the time we were done, I weighed 175 lbs and was — with no exaggeration — in the best shape of my life.

After a few years, I thought that I had learned all I could from my guru, my fitness sherpa. I continued hitting the gym, this time by myself, using all the advice Josh had given me.  A few years later, I was roughly in the same shape.

Then I got greedy, and exercised too hard and did something (used the elliptical in wrong form? put too much weight on the leg press?) that led to a bulging disk in my lower back. My exercise routine shut down as I went to all sorts of places for treatment — doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors, acupuncture, drum circles, etc.

The RP BEFORE BEFORE. Posing with Josh in 2005

Finally, I listened to my wife, found a Yoga instructor, whose stretching and strength routine helped ease the pain.  Thank you to the marvelous David and Erin Smith of the Om Place in Winchester!

But without exercising regularly, I gained a bunch of weight.  Then I lost it, worked out too hard, hurt myself and gained a bunch of weight again.  I simply have never been able to figure out the right balance of working out hard enough to lose weight, but not too hard to hurt myself.

In the meantime, I aged.  I developed both borderline high blood pressure and the same stomach acid problem that plagued my dad.  I’m on acid blockers, but for both of my conditions, my doctor was insistent:  I have to lose at least 10 pounds.

I’m at 190 now.  I need to be at maximum 180.  I’d love to get down to 175 — where I felt best — but losing those final 5 pounds by myself always led to other physical problems.

So, I’m back to the master for help.

I eat pretty well, but could always use some nutrition tips.  But really, I am looking to Josh for a weight-losing exercise program that will not exacerbate my disk problem.

And I look forward to sharing with the RP Nation.


JYB3 (#TeamJYB3)


Diary Entry

Day One of my new diet to lose 15 (or at least 10 pounds)

Worked out 4 minutes.

Ridiculed by wife for 5 minutes for only working out 4 minutes.

Don’t Eat Apple Fritter for breakfast. (At least not a whole one)

Wondering how much weight can be lost my removing all body hair (with the exception if hair on my head)

Decide if really believe it could be a half pound I may consider removing all body hair (except hair on my head)

Decide to buy new set of scales. Something is wrong with my current scales. (After removing some body hair, scales showed no drop in weight)

Decide it’s best for now to put moratorium on diet until proper scales are secured. Just to be safe.

Decide to take “before” picture instead of just having written “before” description.

Decide to stick with written “before” description and delete picture —both the actual and Photoshopped versions.

Ticked at God, even though it’s Sunday, for not giving me a faster metabolism.

Calling it a day on dieting front at 8:43am


Night One of my new diet to lose 15 (or at least 10 pounds).

I still haven’t lost the 15 pounds yet and am beginning to lose patience with this whole diet thing. But I’m not quitting yet. I ate sushi tonight. It was great. Raw f ish and cold white rice and some seaweedy stuff. Really great. Made me want to join the Krishnas and hand out literature at the airport. Seriously, it wasn’t all that that bad.

Got a little judgmental, though, on the way home watching people driving through Burger King and McDonalds. Don’t they know they are killing themselves? What’s wrong with these people? No will power! Kinda pathetic. And makes me mad that I’m helping pick up the bill for their health insurance. That’s got to stop. (And this judgmentalism after just one healthy meal!)

Made me think of the Tea Party and what they must feel—and that made me thirsty for a cup of hot tea with lots of milk and honey. Which I think is pretty healthy. So I drank two cups. The tea with lots of milk and honey made me more accepting of others who don’t bother to care for their health, like I do.

JYB3 BEFORE BEFORE (circa 1971)

As of today. I got pressed tonight by the Recovering Politician blog to send a real “before” picture—not just a narrative description of what I looked like “before.” After giving it some thought, I sent them this “before” pic. (see below) The picture of a guy taking a pic of himself in front of a mirror reminds me too much of Anthony Weiner….just not ready to go there yet. Maybe a picture of myself in a gym shirt in front of the mirror but with the lights off. But that’s it. And personally I hope they accept the one I just sent. It is a real “before” pic and a pretty good shot of my pecs and lats and even abs. (At age 8)


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