The Best Articles of 2017 – The Rise and Claim Edition

Rise and Claim isn’t even one year old yet but 2017 is over and 2018 has begun. As we are into a new year I thought a post on “The Best Articles of 2017 – The Rise and Claim Edition” was fitting.

This will be of benefit to a variety of readers. It will give those who may be new, an opportunity to discover what we are all about.

A ‘Best of’ also gives a chance to those who simply want to look back at some of the highlights from the year. Some of these you may not of read before or even knew existed.

That is why it’s good to re-share relevant content occasionally.

For objectivity, the measurement I used to gauge the success of a post was the number of views it received. This removes any bias I may have for favouring one post over another for whatever reason.

For example, I have a soft spot for some of the earlier posts but these didn’t perform as well when looking at the stats.

Let’s look back at the five most popular posts of the year:

1) The Truth About Planet Fitness

This was surprisingly the most viewed post of the year. It was shared 5 times on Facebook by unknown individuals.

To my frustration, it’s actually harder than you think to see who shared your posts. Whoever you 5 individuals are, thank you.

In this post I gave my Planet Fitness review and my opinion on the company itself. Basically they operate in a niche for a specific group of people.

These are not your typical gym-goers. In fact they are probably the opposite to your typical gym-goer. Without Planet Fitness I am not sure they would be exercising at all.

I spent a month there working out and it was an experience in itself. Pizza nights and the absence of valuable equipment made for an interesting time there indeed.

2) You Need to Gain Muscle – 6 Reasons Why You Should Be Bulking NOW

This list post on the beauty of bulking came in at second place. “6 Reasons Why You Should Be Bulking Now” was written while in London for the weekend.

More specifically I was in a Mcdonald’s restaurant at the time, I wonder where the inspiration came from?

But seriously this was my attempt at convincing those who shy away from gaining weight to do exactly that. We have all heard the term “abs on a skinny guy is like…”

If you want to get big you need to be willing to accept some fat gain (fulfilling reason #2 helps a lot). I stress some because another crowd of people take this to a different extreme.

This is what is termed “dirty bulking” and it is both unnecessary and counterproductive.

Unnecessary in the sense that muscle can still be gained while keeping a relatively lean body fat. Counterproductive in the sense of the more fat gained, the more fat that will have to be lost.

This takes both time and effort, two things which are finite.

More fat gained also means less muscle gained as well. With each increasing pound of fat, you are in a less favorable environment for gaining muscle, provided all other things are kept the same.

Fat gain is a necessary sacrifice to gain muscle but there comes a point of diminishing returns.

3) How to Read a Book Every Week

Third place in “The Best Articles of 2017 – The Rise and Claim Edition“. This post focuses on the countless benefits of reading and elaborates on how they can be achieved.

It was written at the time I was looking into the idea of reading a book every week. That is a challenge which has escaped me for quite a while due to other commitments unfortunately.

I always find myself going back to this article as a reminder of why I tried it (and still continue to) however.

Reading is without a doubt one of the most powerful activities you can do to better yourself. Read good books and you’re even further ahead.

Comprehend the wisdom, apply it to your life and you will win.

Reading a book every week is definitely doable. It does require some prioritization however. An effort must be made to carve out a time in the day to drop everything, sit down and read. 

I also tweet my thoughts on reading (@riseandclaim)

The Best Articles of 2017 - The Rise and Claim Edition

4) Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 6 Rules of Success & Why You Must Apply Them

Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most well-known people on the planet and for good reason. The man has accomplished many different things in many different fields – most notably in bodybuilding, acting and politics.

After watching a video of his speech again for the first time in years, I had to write about it.

In this post I analyzed Arnold’s famous “6 Rules of Success” speech he made at University of Southern California in 2009. Each point can serve as a reference point for your journey through life.

Rule #3 stands out to me in particular. “Don’t be afraid to fail” should be eternally remembered.

Failure always comes before success.

Learn from the best because why not? They have been through it all before and most are willing to share some of their secrets.

Take them with you and move forward. If they are good enough for Arnold they are probably good enough for many of us.

Just don’t forget rule #2. Creativity demands it.

5) External Forces Impact Internal Forces – Do You Know How?

External Forces Impact Internal Forces was created in response to writing a post for Timo over at Axtschmiede. Titled “How to Overcome a Fear of Thunder and Lightning, it was created in response to reading “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” by Friedrich Nietzsche.

How’s that for some post-ception?

As the fifth most viewed post of the year, it had a very clear message- Whatever you consume, so you shall become. With that said, be wary of the information, food and people you are taking into your life.

Over years, these shape us into who we will become. That can either for good or bad.

Potential can be destroyed when put into the wrong hands. Potential can also be capitalized on when done right.

From it can blossom unimaginable success.

Put yourself on a strict diet of healthy food, strenuous exercise, enriching conversations and stimulating texts.  This will give you the leverage needed to kick-start your ascension. Thank me later.

The Best Blog Posts of 2017

I hope you enjoyed this post. I personally found it beneficial to look back at previous posts.

Each is like a individual memory which carry thoughts with it. Where I was, what I was thinking about – all come back.

Thanks for reading,

Stay tuned.

P.S Leave a comment down below to let me know what you think.

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2018-01-14T01:25:04-07:00 By |Life|5 Comments


  1. […] day will come when I sit down and read it […]

  2. Robert Prescott January 6, 2018 at 5:17 am - Reply

    You wrote a post about bulking up while in a McDonald’s? LOL Sounds like a strange place to come up with the idea, but I can see how it may have happened. Gaining fat is essential for better health as long as it is in the class of GOOD fats like CLA which can help you to lose weight. But unfortunately the majority of fats people consume, lots of it too, contributes to diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

    I enjoyed this look back post because it helped me, as I am sure it will help others, to find articles and posts they may have missed in the past. For instance, your post about how to read a book every week, resonates with me because reading is a great way to keep your mind sharp. It is a way for us to exercise the brain, instead of draining it by sitting in front of the TV all of the time. And as for Arnold’s Rule 3, Don’t Be Afraid to Fail is something every successful person can relate to and if one wants to experience success, this is what needs to be done.

    • Peter January 10, 2018 at 11:16 am - Reply

      Thanks for commenting Robert. Yes it was an interesting place to come up with the idea indeed.
      Yes the distinction between good fats and bad fats should be made, the worst of all being trans fats.

      Reading is a fantastic way to keep on your toes. There is always a word to learn or an idea to be sparked, something that TV simply will not do. Rule 3 should never be forgotten Robert. It can serve as a light in the darkest of times.

  3. Brandon January 5, 2018 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    Great suggestions here. I’m actually looking to get big/build muscle, so the article on bulking will be more my thing. I’m not afraid to gaining a bit of fat either since I know how to lose weight and keep it off. So whenever I bulk, I bulk for roughly 6 months and then begin cutting. Great article, well done.

    • Peter January 5, 2018 at 11:40 pm - Reply

      Thanks for commenting Brandon. It sounds like you know how to bulk and cut just fine. Some self-control is needed to not go overboard.

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