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Archive for category gym stuff

Fitness Fads Through The Decades

Here is an amusing article describing the various fads that have engulfed fitness nuts over the years. The video shows them all, and the article delves deeper.

The 10 described are: hoola hoops, vibrating belt, gym culture, jazzercise, aerobics, home equipment, tae bo, spinning, crossfit, wearable activity trackers.

Who’d have guessed these are merely fads that grab the popular mindsets…like invasion of the body snatchers!

HERE IS A COMMENT SOMEONE NAMED GAVIN SENT ME:

Haha, good article/video. Funny to see all of the fads especially the older ones.
I haven’t done any of those (Except Gym culture, I guess?) but Crossfit is very popular these days. Its good that it gets people into full body lifting exercises like deadlift, bench, squats, etc. However often there’s little attention given to having good form and it’s all about slamming in as many reps as fast as you can no matter what, under the pretense of being “intense” and “getting cardio”… when you could do an actual cardio exercise instead (like tennis, or running) and avoid unnecessary injuries. A lot of beginners get hurt badly. And yes the mentality is cult-like for sure.

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Michelle Obama Outshines Me With Weights

Pretty impressive, especially because I do pec flys with just 25 pounds in each arm, and the FLOTUS does them with 35 in each. I better get in better shape!

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Some Good Exercise Ideas

It sounds like a bad infomercial: Get ripped in less time! We’re conditioned to believe that jaw-dropping, body-transforming results are achieved only by putting in the hours. But if you’ve been adhering to the muscle-isolating back-and-bi, chest-and-tri gospel, the truth is, you’re doing it wrong.

“Your brain doesn’t think in single ‘muscles,’ it thinks in terms of movement patterns,” says Pat Davidson, Ph.D., director of training methodology at Peak Performance, a private fitness studio in New York City. “Human evolution led to five basic movements, which encompass nearly all of our everyday motions.” Meaning your workout needs just five exercises, one from each of these categories: push (pressing away from you), pull (tugging toward you), hip-hinge (bending from the middle), squat (flexing at the knee), and plank (stabilizing your core).

It’s the approach Davidson takes when drawing up the regimens of Peak’s celebrity clients, including Gerard Butler, 50 Cent, and Jimmy Fallon. The time-crunched love it because it’s an efficient and effective workout—more taxing on the muscles, leading to increased strength and a faster metabolism. Plus, you’re not lost when your trainer isn’t around. “If you know the basics, it’s incredibly simple to build your own workout,” Davidson says.

Still—like martinis and porn—there can be too much of a good thing. “It’s stressful to the entire body,” says Jason Hartman, trainer to many U.S. Olympic bobsled and skeleton athletes and the U.S. Army Special Forces. “That means that if you overdo them, you’ll just beat yourself up. Do this style of workout no more than three or four times a week.” Mix and match the moves at right and feel okay about taking the less-time-consuming way out.

• • •

How It Works

Pick one move from each of these categories. Then do 2 sets of 12 reps. Change up the moves but repeat the plan 3 or 4 times a week. For cardio extra credit, see the add-ons below.

PUSH
The Ultimate: Bench Press
Lie face-up on a bench, holding a heavy barbell at your sternum, hands shoulder-width apart, elbows bent into sides. Extend arms, pushing bar directly above chest. Pause, then lower barbell to start.
The Alternates: Push-up, dumbbell shoulder press, single-arm kettlebell press, push press

PULL
The Ultimate: Pull-up
Hang from a bar with palms facing away from you, arms straight, knees bent so feet don’t touch floor. Bend elbows, pulling chest toward bar. Slowly lower yourself to start.
The Alternates: Dumbbell row, TRX row, chin-up, cable row, lat pull-down

HIP-HINGE
The Ultimate: Deadlift
Set a heavy barbell on the floor in front of you. Push hips back as you bend forward, grabbing the bar with hands more than shoulder-width apart, palms facing body. Keep back straight as you stand up, lifting the bar and thrusting hips forward. Slowly lower bar to start.
The Alternates: Kettlebell swing, Romanian deadlift, trap-bar deadlift

SQUAT
The Ultimate: Split Squat
Stand on your right leg, left foot resting on a bench or box behind you, and hold a heavy dumbbell in each hand. Bend right knee, lowering body until left knee hovers just above the ground. Straighten right leg, returning to start. Complete all the reps on one side before switching legs.
The Alternates: Barbell squat, lunge, goblet squat, reverse lunge

PLANK
The Ultimate: Farmer’s Walk
Stand up straight holding a heavy dumbbell in each hand, palms facing body. Maintain your posture as you walk 20 meters. Turn, repeat, returning to start.
The Alternates: Plank, bird dog, side plank, suitcase carry

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Fears And Injuries Off The Couch

In the last few months, I have been unusually active, mostly on the tennis courts…sometimes four consecutive days a week, as I am asked to sub. These efforts are in addition to my daily indoor exercises for 10-20 minutes. The result has been fear and injuries.

I was bitten by a tick before I went overseas and worried that the aches in my shoulders and knees were signs of Lyme disease. It may have been weight lifting.

Then I went tobogganing and crashed…discovered a bruised, purple toe that I thought was broken. But it wasn’t, and the pain quickly became mere discomfort and then went away.

I did some crossfit squats with weights and strained something near my groin…so I worried that I had a hernia (the doctor told me what to look for and concluded via my telephone call that it wasn’t that), but I also worried that I might have the beginnings of cancer!

I did some rowing and lat pulldowns on machines in a Florida hotel gym and hurt my back…couldn’t walk straight…hunched over and constantly hurting, whether lying down or sitting up. But after two hot showers a day and some gentle stretching, I was able to play tennis anyway.

I also took four tennis lessons in Florida, where it was incredibly humid and 80 degrees. One time I was way past exhaustion and was determined not to stop before my hour was over. I did worry that I would pass out–but not die on the court, like some other players I have heard about back home.

I hate all these injuries. I hate my fear of being struck down at any time by over exertion or disease that might be deadly. Yet I realize that I am bringing all these risks on myself by choosing to rise up off the couch in the first place. It is an expected result.

Yes the sports are fun. Yes a walk in the woods exposes me to ticks. Yes gym exercises can lead to muscle strain. What other option is there? I sit enough at the desk and watching TV as it is.

Life is always a compromise. You always pay a price. But I often wonder if I am smart about it. The fact that I can do it all, when others my age are using walkers and canes, forces me to take advantage of my abilities, while I have them. It would be such a waste to just sit, when I don’t have to.

And the injuries are so minor compared to others with real illnesses and handicaps, that I simply can’t whine about a little discomfort. So I keep exerting and risking and enjoying and loving a great tennis shot, higher weight on the machine, or a new muscle definition. I guess that’s what makes me who I am, even if some people find my achievements and abilities annoying.

Use it or lose it…and don’t whine or complain out loud.

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Bodybuilder Sonny Bryant: Age Gives People A Reason To Be Lazy

Josh Sobel sent me this video about Sam “Sonny” Bryant, Jr, a 70-year-old bodybuilder (when this was made last year) who started working out 27 years ago, when he was 44. He says “More peoples die retired than they do on the job working.” So he never plans to retire. But I read that he works out twice a day, so I wonder if he means he is going to keep working out as opposed to working for money.”Age gives most people a reason to be lazy,” is another view he has. So is “Your thought process is what makes you old.”

Check out this video of a competition he won for his division. Also impressive here is the one-legged bodybuilder:

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World’s Strongest Kids?

Two brothers, now ages 10 and 8, work out two hours a day under their father’s supervision. The video above is three years old. The one below is more recent. Check out Giuliano’s abs!

Here is the Wikipedia story on the elder brother.

Giuliano Stroe (born July 18, 2004) is a Romanian gymnast who has been lifting weights and learning gymnastics since he was two years old in Florence, Italy where his family lived. They now live in Romania again. In 2009, he was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records after setting the record for the fastest ever ten metre (33 feet) hand-walk with a weight ball between his legs. Stroe performed the stunt in front of a cheering live audience on an Italian TV show, and has become an internet sensation as hundreds of thousands of people have watched the clip of him performing the stunt on YouTube.

On February 24, 2010 he broke the world record for the number of 90 degree push-ups, which is an exercise where push-ups are performed without letting your feet touch the ground. Stroe managed 20 90 degree push-ups beating his previous record of 12, live on Romanian TV.

Giuliano’s father, Iulian, said he has been taking Giuliano with him to the gym ever since he was born, but he is careful not to push Giuliano too hard. Stroe insists his son’s workout schedule is not excessive. “He is never allowed to practice on his own, he is only a child and if he gets tired we go and play,” Iulian said.

Giuliano says his newfound celebrity has not gone to his head. He adds that he still does normal nine-year-old activities like watching cartoons and painting.

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Abs Should Be There When Midriffs Are Bare

abs are in now for high fashion crowd

abs are in now for high fashion crowd

bare midriffs send women to the gym

bare midriffs send women to the gym

new crop top style requires abs or at least flat stomach

new crop top style requires abs or at least flat stomach

Who would have predicted that midriffs exposed by the latest crop top fashion styles would be sending women to gyms in droves. Sweat and pain is the passport to wearing these fancy clothes, and here is an article describing some of the goings on. Obviously I am partial to nicely defined abs, and I think it’s about time everyday women were after some definition as well. After all, misery loves company, and when I think of all the pain men go through to look attractive to women, why shouldn’t the females have to put in a little extra effort to look good for the men…only kidding, only kidding. I know how hard the female gender works to look sensational…

“Midriffs are suddenly in America’s face,” writes Shivani Vora in her piece titled The Time of the Tummy. “The stomach is the new erogenous zone, but not in a vulgar sort of a way,” one fashion commentator said. “Yes, you can show your whole midsection in a bra top, but most of the styles only give you a peek. Regardless, it is making women frenzied about shaping up their abs.”

The 5-foot, 115-pound Jewlie Williams, another fashionista, for example, spends more than two hours most days of the week exercising in stomach-centric classes like Ab Attack (Crunch offers three others as well), running and dancing. Her day begins and ends with 100 crunches, she said, and she has drastically cut down on her sugar intake.

“I bought six crop tops, but I felt like I needed tighter and flatter abs to feel good wearing them,” she said, “so I’ve been working really, really hard to get them better-looking.”

Sandra Ciconte, an already-slender 5-foot-6, has embarked upon a six-day-a-week routine that includes two private sessions with at Core and a 20-minute floor routine by herself on other days.

Dr. Michele Olson, an exercise physiologist at Auburn University, stressed that cardio intervals such as alternating sprinting with walking are the first step to a six-pack. “You need to have less fat over all to have firm abs,” she said, “not do hundreds of crunches or situps.”

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A Turkish Get Up

So my friend Tom just told me about a floor exercise called a Turkish Get Up that’s usually done with a kettleball. You can see what it looks like in the video above, which has about 77,000 views. I just tried it with just 10 pounds, and I could only do three on each side comfortably before stopping.

But someone else decided to substitute a woman for the kettleball, and she weighs a helluva lot more than that 10 pounds (125 pounds?). Hard to believe how strong some people are. This video below has over 20 MILLION views.

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Scott’s Story

A friend sent me this very inspirational story about Scott Belkner, who was born with Cerebral Palsey and has dealt with this in a very impressive and memorable way. He was also featured on Reddit, and you can read people’s comments and questions–and Scott’s answers–right here .

Some of Scott’s words worth repeating are: Go big or go home… If you can’t do it in one try, keep trying…To people who don’t have a disability, you need to stop feeling sorry for us: that don’t help us.

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Motivations to Lift Weights

gym inspiration

gym inspiration

Saw this and am lifting weights right now…with breaks to post this picture…

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Thoughts On Motivation And Living By A Military Amputee

This amazing story by Derick Carver—the amputee in the video above— was sent to me by a reader in Japan and is very inspirational. It’s also a good kick in the butt or take-your-breath-away punch in the stomach about how to live your life. Coincidentally, I also served at Fort Bragg, learning to jump from planes and becoming Airborne, and also spent time—a month—recuperating in Walter Reed Hospital, after I returned from non-combat, military duty in Korea with hepatitis. Other than that, of course, there is NO comparison…

In early 2010, I was serving as a Platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne. On a dismounted patrol my platoon was ambushed by the Taliban and I lost my leg in combat. I flatlined 3 times, I endured 47 surgeries, would need 52 blood transfusions. I fought through them, and I continue to fight every day of my life. I will fight until the day I die. I am an American Airborne Ranger…that is what I do.

People always ask, “What motivates you?” This question comes up at least 3 times a week while in the gym. I can only assume someone sees me, my leg and other injuries and imagines how difficult it must have been to recover from such a traumatic event. My response is always the same, “What the hell else am I supposed to do?” Three years ago I was an Infantry Officer with the 82nd Airborne, had a Ranger Tab, and I was jumping out of airplanes and leading men in combat. Now, because according to your standards I’m “disabled,” am I supposed to be a different person? Sit around and feel sorry for myself? That’s not in my nature; it’s not a choice I’m willing to accept.

Motivation or the lack thereof is a choice. Just like everything else in our lives Read the rest of this entry »

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Unbelievable Exercises To Challenge Any Human

This demonstration of 44 bodybuilding exercises is beyond belief, if you are like me and have never seen or heard of some of them. Unfortunately they are not do-able if you are a mere mortal. I suspect gymnasts could do some of these, but not many ordinary humans. There is one of them I might take a crack at. I will let you know if I break or tear any body parts…I did it, and I am sore all day…

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20 Fitness Tips From Some Experts

looks like Arnold did squats too

looks like Arnold did squats too

the pain shows, doesn't it?

the pain shows, doesn’t it?

This article sounded questionable, when I clicked on it. But it has many familiar suggestions that I agree with, and it also leads to decent videos and other short articles. So check it out. I was especially interested to read that squats are better than crunches for building abs, and that sleep plus decreased carbohydrates should reduce female belly fat.

Let’s hope these ideas will work. I am going to do some squats right now—just after two hours of evening tennis—to get in shape for two more hours of tennis tomorrow morning.

tips for squats

tips for squats

are squats better than crunches?

are squats better than crunches?

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Paul Ryan Stays Fit With P90X

Paul Ryan works out often

It’s 1:30 am, after the Vice-Presidential debate, and I have been procrastinating doing today’s exercises. So in reading the post-debate analyses, I bumped into this story about Paul Ryan’s interest in fitness and working out. Once I post this, I will do some of my own exercises…

When TIME named Paul Ryan a runner-up in the 2011 Person of the Year issue, many were familiar with his proposed budget, but few knew that the Wisconsin Congressman stayed fit with the now best-selling P90X workout plan.

Ryan says he keeps his body fat between 6 and 8 percent. At six-foot-two, the congressman says he weighs about 163 pounds and tries to get his heart rate to 165 during cardio. He says he wears a heart pulse monitor while working out. “I’m kind of a skinny guy,” he told Politico. Ryan held down three jobs right after graduating from Miami University in Ohio in 1992, one of which was as a personal trainer. Ryan’s father died of a heart attack when Ryan was sixteen, one reason, for Ryan’s dedication to fitness.

Tony Horton, the stand-up comedian turned P90X creator, says the rigorous workout has been boosted from both sides of the aisle. “I think Paul Ryan’s been very good for P90X, as much or more so as Michelle Obama,” he says. “I’ve worked with the First Lady and her Let’s Move campaign. Some of the Secret Service came up to me and said, ‘Hey man, we’re really loving the P90X.’ I’m well aware that they’re using it in the White House.”

According to Horton, you don’t need a lot of equipment to get fit. Ryan likes to use weights, but they aren’t a necessity. “You need the human body, Mother Earth and Sir Isaac Newton’s law of gravity,” Horton says.

TIME asked Horton to suggest a get-fit regimen that could be implemented alongside the presidential campaign but still leave time for careful consideration of the issues. He recommended an upper-body exercise, a cardiovascular interval exercise, a core exercise and a leg exercise.

Confusing the electorate is unwise, but according to Horton, confusing the muscles is a plus. This involves changing the routine often so muscles don’t get accustomed to any one exercise. To get the full benefit of this regimen, you’ve got to make like the party and diversify. “Do a different push-up every time,” suggests Horton. “Add kenpo karate or jumping jacks or whatever on that second move. On the crunches, modify your position to engage the abs or core directly. You can do squats with your feet wide, your feet narrow. It’s a workout that might also give you a bounce. As few as two rounds of that will release norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin.”

Perfect for when the poll numbers aren’t going your way.

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Back At The Gym For A Tension-Relieving Workout

After 14 months of avoiding the place, I finally made it to the gym. It was a minimal workout, just 30 minutes, but it really felt great to be pumping up. But knowing I was going to be near the gym after a friend’s afternoon lecture, I thought the gym visit would be easy.

In fact it was absolutely necessary. At the lecture, I saw an acquaintance who told me his wife had died just three months after learning she had cancer. They had been together almost 30 years, had both recently retired and were planning “a decade or two of travel and relaxation.” I was so stunned I could barely stand up. I became a bit dizzy and thought I was going to fall down, that my legs wouldn’t support me.

So I raced to the gym to burn off my fear, anger, tension, adrenalin, whatever. It was a welcome relief from a horribly upsetting encounter. I feel so bad for this man who is struggling with his new and unexpected circumstances. And for his deceased wife, who had almost no time to prepare. I didn’t ask any questions about lifestyles and health habits. It just reminded me yet again how fragile and unpredictable our health and living is. It’s a constant gift that needs to be appreciated, treasured and cared for…

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We See This Guy On TV Alot

do you recognize him?

He’s got a pretty good set of abs and body in general…right? But there is something very unusual about him. His name is Jeff Life, and he is a 72-year-old doctor. See him working out below, something he does at least six times a week in the gym.

In an LA Times article , it says his regimen includes hard cardio, heavy weights pushed to the max, martial arts, Pilates, a strict low-glycemic carb diet and lots of supplements. It has also, for the last seven years, been hormonally enhanced by a program that includes testosterone and human growth hormone—a therapy Life views as entirely appropriate, even necessary despite the medical evidence questioning both its effectiveness and safety…

Like most people, Life didn’t give a thought to his testosterone level, his HGH or his fitness as he built his career as a family practice doctor in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. A lapsed Masters swimmer who became inactive in his mid 40s, the father of five became fat and borderline diabetic—”a typical stressed-out middle-aged doctor who ate, drank and didn’t practice what he preached. It was years and years of sloth.”

Dr. Jeff Life–2010

That changed the day Life, then 60, picked up Muscle Media magazine and read about “the Challenge,” a 12-week, before-and-after fitness contest. His competitive fires lighted, Life sent in his before photo and hit the gym.

Three months later, he’d dropped 25 pounds, cut his body fat from 28% to 10%, got genuinely ripped and was named one of the contest’s 1999 “Body for Life” 10 grand champions…

But by age 64, Life found himself shrinking.

His muscles didn’t respond to workouts like they did a few years before. Abdominal fat started piling up. He began feeling mildly depressed. And he wasn’t waking with an erection as often as he used to.

It was a condition he would soon know as andropause, the insidious creep of declining testosterone.

It was time for his second epiphany—and the photo that would change everything…

the whole Dr. Jeffrey Life

Dr. Jeff's ad for the company he works with

In June 2003, Life became a Cenegenics patient, ultimately taking daily shots of HGH along with once-a-week testosterone shots, a regimen he still maintains.

“I could feel the difference quickly. Clarity of thought, a new, sharper focus, increased sexual function, bigger muscles.” He was so impressed that he packed up, moved to Las Vegas and joined the company.

After six months of seeing clients, Life had an idea to keep them motivated: Show them his body.

“They needed to know that I walked the walk.”

That might have been the end of the story—until a year later, when a writer from GQ magazine, in to do an anti-aging story, walked by Life’s office. His eyes bugged out at the sight of the glossy 8 by 11 of the buffed, bald, jeans-wearing guy hanging on the wall.

The shot ended up in his article in the January 2006 issue of GQ….Now it’s been seen by millions. An old, bald head on the young beefcake body. The claim is that this is not digitally modified. Whats your reaction?

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Fitness Trainer Drew Manning Gained 70 Pounds On Purpose

Fitness Trainer Drew Manning gained weight (middle) and then lost it (right) to better understand his clients

Here are excerpts from a story about a fitness trainer who gained 70 pounds on purpose (then lost it) to better understand what his clients go through. His journey allowed him to empathize more with his clients and suggest new ways to become fit.

Always a fitness junkie, staying in shape comes naturally for Drew Manning. He’s that guy at the gym the rest of us love to hate. But his wife says he was a “judgmental” trainer who would look at someone who was overweight and say, ‘They must really be lazy.’ ”

In order to better understand the struggles his clients were facing, he had to face them himself. He gave up the gym and started consuming junk food, fast food and soda. In just six months, he went from 193 pounds with a 34-inch waist to 265 pounds with a 48-inch waist.

Manning says he didn’t realize the effects of his weight gain would be more than physical. It altered his relationships and his self-confidence. The fact that he had to do push-ups on his knees was almost humiliating.

Manning suffered through soda deprivation headaches and food cravings on his way back to fit. The journey was easier for him than for most, he’ll admit, but he’s eager now to provide tips for others to follow in his footsteps.

“The biggest thing [I learned] is that it’s not just about the physical. It’s not just about the meal plan and the workouts and those things. The key is the mental and the emotional issues. I realized those issues are real.”

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Inspirational Workout Montage From Great Training Movies

This is a workout training montage Chris Ivey sent me of all the great movies that have inspired people to do any kind of working out. It includes some of the greats from the Rocky movies, to Kickboxer, to Pumping Iron.

I love that Arnold says you have to do the last 3-4 lifts to feel the pain and build the muscle. Otherwise you can never be a champion. Unfortunately, I always hesitate to overdo it and hurt myself.

Just listening to Burgess Meredith tell Rocky how he has to stay with it and get up is an inspiration in itself. And then…when Rocky races to the top of the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art—that is positively splendiferous!!!

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Ouch!! Treadmills Can Be Dangerous

This is meant to be funny by the compilers of these many treadmill accidents, and I am certainly laughing at some of them. But I am also shaking my head at the stupidity of the jerks attempting a few obviously insane moves. Aren’t you supposed to stand ON the conveyor belt first, and then start it going?

I am soooooo conservative.

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A Week At The Gym

This came in from a high school classmate, Stephanie Logan Kennedy. So perfect for me with my history of not being disciplined…until recently…

If you read this without laughing out loud, there is something wrong with you. This is dedicated to everyone who ever attempted to get into a regular workout routine.

Dear Diary,

For my birthday this year, my Husband (the dear) purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me. Although I am still in great shape since being a high school football cheerleader 43 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try. I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Christo, who identified himself as a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear. My husband seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started. The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.
____________________­____________
MONDAY:
Started my day at 6:00 a.m. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Christo waiting for me. He is something of a Greek god – with blond hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!! Christo gave me a tour and showed me the machines. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which he conducted his aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring! Christo was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time he was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!!
____________________­__________
TUESDAY:
I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Christo made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air then he put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. His rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT!! It’s a whole new life for me.
____________________­___________
WEDNESDAY:
The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn’t try to steer or stop. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jason Statham Fight Scenes And Training Approach

In case you aren’t familiar with Jason Statham’s films, above is a sample.

Jason before and after—could this before photo be real?

Jason Statham filled out for Death Race

There is so much interest in Jason’s physical transformation and growth into a top action star that I have collected two interviews. Notice his diet and that his workout routine is not a regular routine at all. Maybe I should shake up my own training activities. In the first interview below, he admits how miserable the training makes him. I can easily relate to that.

Q. You’re in such good shape in this movie (Death Race). What was the training like?

JASON STATHAM: In terms of the training? It changed a lot. The training schedules were put together by a guy called Logan Hood he’s an ex-Navy seal who’s pretty intense. The good thing about his sessions is nothing was ever repeated. We’d hawk back to the old starlets of exercise, using everything that uses your own body weight and the very basic things like pull-ups and pushups and squats and dead lifts, power planes, that kind of thing, sprints, explosive power stuff.
Q. Every day?

JASON STATHAM: Six days a week, yeah.
Q. For how long per day?

JASON STATHAM: Not that long, actually. 40 minutes, 45 minutes, sometimes an hour.
Q. What kind of diet did you have during your shoot?

JASON STATHAM: It was lots of protein, lots of vegetables, fruit, nuts, berries, a little bit of dairy, no refined carbohydrates, no pasta, no bread, no sugar, no juices.
Q. Did you find that difficult?

JASON STATHAM: It makes me very miserable. But you know, it’s in for a penny, in for a pound. You do it for a reason and it’s part of the job, so it’s nice to have that focus and dedication.
Q. Where you up early to train?

JASON STATHAM: Yes, we used to get up at 5, and hit the running machine which is no fun. Then we’d do an hour and then get ready and start the film. It’s amazing how much energy you get once you get into the routine.

Jason talks about his training for Death Race in the clip above.

Now here is the second interview after Transporter 3 came out.

How fit are you out of ten?

It depends. When I was filming Death Race I was extremely fit but right now… If I was a ten then, I’m probably about a six or seven now.

What level martial artist are you?

Movie level.

You recently lost 17lb (7.7kg) in six weeks. What did you eat?

Not much. Mainly protein, nuts and berries. I was a miserable bastard.

You also trained with a former Navy SEAL. Why him?

He leads by example. You see people working out with some trainers and the trainers look like they need a trainer. It’s bizarre how they get the job if they’re not in fucking amazing shape themselves.

What did you do with him?

I trained six days a week, 35 minutes a day. We had two rules: we wouldn’t do the same workout twice and we’d record everything. The main part of the session would be intense and involve heavy compound lifts, circuits, kettlebells and medicine balls. Read the rest of this entry »

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Best Tennis Ever, 75 Days Of Continuous Exercise And 177 Push Ups!

Two days ago, I played my best tennis ever, and my team won both sets over very tough competitors…the same duo who had beaten us two out of three sets last time. I know that watching top players on TV at the Australian Open helped a lot. But more importantly was being taught the proper way to hit a squash backhand at a clinic I went to on the 8th of this month. I applied the same principles to tennis, and it worked beautifully. My net game was sensational, my serving improved, and I was able to lob well over and over. Funny but most of the time I play as the weakest player, my stronger partners always choose the forehand side of the court. This leaves me having to be the backhand guy, and it is my poorest stroke…as it is for most of the people in my club. Tuesday it was working great. Thanks to squash lessons.

And just for the record, I have now done some exercise at home 75 days in a row. This is in addition to all the tennis, squash, skiing, etc. I am proud of this major achievement in my life, because I am a guy who can’t do anything regularly. I have been undisciplined about exercise my entire life…except for these last 10+ weeks. I also set a new record for push ups: 177. Of course this is just 45 non-stop and then 20 sets of 6-8 with no more than 10 breaths in between each set. At least I am doing something, rather than months of nothing.

More typical is that I joined a gym again and haven’t gone at all in the three months or so since I paid. Fortunately they have a plan that only charges me for each time I go. I bought eight visits. Let’s see how many I use up in a year.

Also happy to report that another friend told me today he looks on this site for inspiration to keep himself exercising and living healthfully by reading the stories of others. Do you have a story to add? Let me hear about it…

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Visit To Super-Athlete Land

Sun Valley snow view

I have just returned from Sun Valley, Idaho, where some friends urged us to visit them for a week and enjoy the outdoors. Though New York City dwellers most of the year, these urbanites thrive on physical activity out west, spending 5-6 weeks in the winter and a couple of months each summer. And they have found a community of compatriots who are also the most passionate athletes. Some of these SV friends are working people from cities on both coasts who come out on weekends and holidays. Others are retirees who live for sports and outdoor motion.

Four to six days a winter week, they are skiing in the morning for a couple of hours. Followed by a hot tub soak, stretches and weights in the gym, and then a hike, snowshoe or cross country ski in the afternoon. One dinner guest I met goes downhill skiing, then skate skiing, then biking—all in the same day! And he is not unusual. The summers and falls are filled with days of hiking, fishing, golfing, biking, motorcycling, hunting and of course time in the gym…NOT to build muscles, but “because I love it. It feels so good.”

Ira having fun in snow storm

How I admire their enthusiasm for so much activity. I can almost understand it, cannot relate to it, and certainly can’t keep up with it…although I did push myself to ski four times in five days, and also hit squash balls with friends two days, once after skiing. But I am not a life-long athlete. Only these last few years do more moderate daily doses of sports activity seem desirable.

The last time I was in Sun Valley in 2006, my school-age kids were with me and glued to beds the first day. I went skiing in a snow storm, struggling as a Florida-raised boy should. Exhausted by the effort, the snow, the limited visibility, the lack of being fit, I trudged back proud that I hadn’t injured myself. Refreshed by 12+ hours of sleep, my kids urged me to play squash with them (instead of collapsing and not moving forever), and I complied for family harmony and bonding. Unfortunately I tore my shoulder in three places, and that interrupted my physical life for about eight months.

This time I was more cautious, but also in much, much better shape. I could pace myself wisely and recognize signs of fatigue and strain. After two days of skiing painlessly with friends, I rested the third day and only played squash. The trails had been groomed with artificial snow up till then. I did feel wimpy that my friends were indifferent to the below zero to 5 degree temperatures. In spite of decades up north (I grew up in Miami Beach), that’s still pretty cold to me.

ski instructor Hans

The fourth day was the first big snow in two months. Two feet of monster flakes began dropping nonstop, and it was beautiful but challenging. Going out alone was too dangerous, I was told—I’d get lost, take the wrong trail, die alone in the cold. Ridiculous…but to placate the worriers, I hired a ski instructor and heard that I was doing it all wrong—the problem with not learning the sport until my 20’s. Two and a half hours later, I could turn a lot better, and my coach took me on a black diamond run with moguls. Finally I was finished, exhausted, and somehow made it back to the house with jelly-legs that would barely support me. No squash that night.

The fifth day I went out alone in spite of the falling snow. My quads were aching on the first run, and I took it real slow. Thank goodness no one was with me I had to keep up with. Two-plus hours later I was wiped and went home.

As usual, I was relieved to have survived without injury. Maybe if I’d grown up in the snow, I’d be more comfortable with the speed. I’d be eager to enjoy the cold, the slopes, a few jumps. But skiing is always a bit confronting for me, like running a gauntlet that I force myself through to prove I can do it. The truth is I will never be like the others who enjoy it so much that they buy second homes in Sun Valley and go six days a week in freezing temperatures and wind. Now when it comes to tennis…

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Growing Up And Working Out

Jonathan Lipnicki stole the show from Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire and is now a gym rat

I love to see how people change over the years and decades, so I was amused by pictures of child actors who work out as older guys. I was familiar with just one of them as a kid—Jonathan Lipnicki from Jerry Maguire—and felt badly that he built up his muscles for a movie requiring a buff body, and then his shirtless scenes were cut from the film. But he still works out 4-5 times a week, so he is on a healthy track…

Danny Bonaduce is funny: he goes to red carpet events topless. Maybe he should next follow Lady Gaga’s lead: she just stepped out bottomless.

Aaron Carter

Danny Bonaduce was in The Partridge Family

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Sports/Exercise Report for March Through August

I am finally catching up on a summary of my physical activity…but for the last six months. As usual travel and various responsibilities ate into the time available. I was too lazy to write it up each month. So here are the facts.

I feel very fit, my weight has stayed between 173 and 175 (low was 167, high was 178), and I am grateful that I can play tennis like I did three of the last four days…for 4.25, 4.5, and 2.5 hours. I know that many people my age can’t play at all, like the college classmate who received the invite to play tennis at our reunion next month and wrote sadly to me that “In my day, I could have whipped anyone’s butt. Now I’m lucky if I can even walk. So wish I could join you.”

The real challenge for me is after playing tennis for 2+ hours to have the strength—both physical AND mental—to then be more active, whether push ups, crunches or other exercise. I feel too tired, though I know my physical life is very respectable, even impressive, to some friends who live on their couches. And at least I am doing something physical, whether hours of tennis or five minutes of push ups, from 15 to 21 days each month.

My record for doing major physical activity in a month was 25 days in November 2009. Beginning this past March, I was active the following number of days per month (and I AM counting just push ups or some crunches): 17, 21, 15, 20, 16, 19.

My record number of tennis-playing days is 18 in June 2010. So my recent summaries are: 6, 17, 9, 17, 13, 12.

My record for playing tennis in a month is 42.75 hours. I recently did: 14.75, 35.25, 12.5, 37.5, 36.75, 26.

I only played squash in March: twice for 2.5 hours.

I only went skiing in March; twice for 6.5 hours. And one day of snowmobiling.

My crunch activity per month has waned: 2, 3, 0, 3, 3, 7.

I rarely go to the gym or do exercises (with weights) at home: 1, 1, 5, 0, 0, 1.

I have done a few push ups over the months: 4 (55 was the most), 2, 0, 3, 3, 5 (51 was the most). Maybe 11 times in January 2011 was my record.

I did wall sits prior to the ski trip in March. Six minutes was my best time.

In May I went hunting twice for nine hours. Never close enough to draw the bow.

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