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Posts Tagged 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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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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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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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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Bobybuilder Bobby Church’s Gigantic Quads

There is something intriguing about seeing muscle development of this magnitude. I know there are numerous magazines and videos that display these outsized examples of human anatomy, but I don’t look at them. So this video I bumped into is very confronting. How many hours did it take Bobby to reach this level of musculature. And now he has to maintain it as long as he can. What discipline. What obsessiveness and devotion.

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