Monday, July 9, 2018

Comparative Workout Advice


For those who blow off their workout too often, or entirely, it might be useful to consider your body similarly to how you consider your car. The two have a lot in common actually, not the least of which is getting you where you need to go every day.

One way to avoid maintaining your body or maintaining your car is to deny that it’s getting older with each passing year, that it doesn’t need maintaining because it still runs "all right," and because it hasn’t broken down and left you stranded. Yet.

Sure, your body / car is not as pretty as it once was. It has a few little dings here and there and doesn’t run as well as it did, but it still gets you where you need to go. And of course if you’re not fixing the little things as they happen, the mechanical as well as the cosmetic, as time goes by these little things can lead to bigger, uglier, more costly, more inconvenient problems down the road, but hey—who’s got the time to properly maintain a car—or a body?

Monday, June 25, 2018

Having Trouble Getting It Up?

Photo from Pinterest

The majority of people in the gym who are strength training/bodybuilding/weightlifting make the mistake of  prioritizing “getting the weight up” over proper form—proper form being the most expedient route toward achieving productive results.

This is why we see so much poor form and so much cheating at the gym—and thus so many injuries: for these people their workout is primarily a contest. It’s about testing themselves with poundages.

Challenging the target muscle with demanding yet manageable poundages is the foundation of any sound strength training/bodybuilding/weightlifting program; hoisting ungodly amounts of weight just for the sake of moving it is not. Proving one’s mettle by hoisting Herculean poundages is called powerlifting, not bodybuilding. All things considered, powerlifting is more about strength-testing than strength training.

Weight is the tool we use to challenge the target muscle so that it will strengthen and grow in a way that will make us more formidable in both strength and attractiveness. Lift too heavy and the opposite is often the result due to improper form.

The egoists will always insist that you’re doing it wrong if you are not lifting heavy, so go ahead, let them pontificate. I’ve found most of these types to be in their twenties, immature and lacking in necessary life experience. 95% of them will not be still training into their 60s, 50s or even their 40s due to their espousing this sort of lunkheaded dogma. They will wreck themselves long before, and most will be too proud to ever admit that’s the reason they are no longer in the gym. They aren’t living in your body and won’t be paying the price for your injuries. Free advice is rarely that; there’s almost always a cost.

Looking around the gym it’s usually easy to spot those who have a plan, a schematic for achieving their goal. These are the people who aren’t jabbering with others or continually swiping their phone or resting for five minutes between each set. They are the ones with their nose to the grindstone—but sensibly so. They use proper form. They aren’t paying attention to what anyone else is doing. They aren’t misusing the machines as if they were rides at Disneyland. They aren’t self-conscious nor do they care what others think. Their success is right there in the results they have achieved: they’re wearing it, 24/7.

All things being equal, who do you think might offer the soundest example and most level-headed advice based on experience, the boastful gung-ho guy in his twenties or the impressively buffed guy in his 50s and beyond? All ages have both sages and idiots. It’s up to us to recognize each.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

GQ Magazine: The Conde Nast Family’s Autistic Child.

As a fitness author who walks the walk, I’d like to see more people think critically when it comes to “the newest thing.” Behind EVERY newest thing is money. New fashions for fall. New tech. New cars. It’s all about making a buck.

People overwhelmingly reject the basic truths of health and fitness because they are “too difficult” and instead chase every new money-making fad as if it were a promise of a magic cure-all.

"This old pro, a copywriter, a Greek named Teddy, told me the most important thing in advertising is ‘new’. It creates an itch."
—Don Draper in Mad Men 

Cryotherapy is bullshit. Detox is a completely fabricated concept. There are no “superfoods.” Extreme stretching is damaging to muscle, tendons and joints. 

Online is epidemic with this kind of crap because people want to believe in the “new” and the “easy.” Idiots write bullshit like this latest lunacy from off-the-rails GQ magazine, the Conde Nast family’s autistic child. Sadly, humans have an unquenchable need to believe nonsense, to follow, to be told what to do.

As for this cryotherapy screed, if you work out with proper form utilizing challenging yet manageable weight/resistance, you will not get injured in the first place. Only morons continue to work out once they’ve injured themselves. But to be so gullible as to believe freezing themselves makes any sense whatsoever reveals how detached from common sense some are.

Consider the source of this air-headed garbage: the writer states this:

"Since I was between sets—checking all of my social media pages and taking selfies—I took the time to Google this procedure."

Lamar Dawson cluelessly admits to being in-the-way, useless dead weight in the gym by revealing “between sets”  to taking up valuable space and distracting herself from the task at hand by engaging in social media, googling, and taking selfies rather than keeping her mind on her "workout"—such as it is.

Go home, Lamar. Seriously. People are waiting for that machine.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Whose Advice Should I Take?

Seriously? If you're a man taking online advice from a woman on how to
build a man's body, then you're beyond hopeless.

I give advice. So why "should" you listen to me—to what I've got to say? First off, I never tell anyone they “should” anything. I never use the word "should" because I have no idea what you should do; I will however advise that you try something and see if it fits.

Do I think I’m right about what I advise? Everybody thinks they’re right about what they advise. I may have a LOT of experience to draw from after a lifetime of working out and decades of being a personal trainer, but in the end what works for me or feels right to me might not to you. All we can do when faced with something new is try it out and see if we like it, or if it works for us.

My advice to those clients who question my direction by what-abouting, “yeah, but my previous trainer said the opposite” or “I read someplace online that doing things the writer’s way was better” is to go back to their previous trainer. Paying me to train them and then questioning my methods tells me I need a different client, and they need a different trainer. Either respect and believe in me and the results I've achieved for myself and others—or not—and if not, then they need to keep looking to find someone who they can believe and trust.

There’s no shortage of Bros and Bullies and overbearing Know-It-Alls who know not of what they speak, yet engage in the fitness business regardless, and usually in a very loud voice. The problem is, the uninitiated have no way of knowing when training advice is poor, counterproductive or even injurious. We don’t know what we don’t know. However, we do have eyes, if not common sense, and automatically adopting advice from some faceless / bodyless online hack or a self-professed “trainer” who looks like they’ve never set foot in a gym in their life indicates a reckless follower personality. When have you ever seen an online fitness article in GQ, Esquire, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal, etc., etc., that was accompanied by a shirts-off photo of the author as an indication that the writer is qualified to advise you? The answer is: never. And don’t get me started on women writers for men’s magazines giving authoritative directives to men on how to work out to build a man’s body.  

95% of the population are followers. They want—need—to be told what to do. And primally so, these people are most receptive to alpha personalities—the bros, the bullies and the know-it-alls. That’s just human nature, sadly enough. And despite a lifetime of poor choices with poor outcomes they will still fail to learn any lesson from this habit, simply because they are programmed to be followers. It's their nature.

So, the first step in whether to take anyone’s advice regarding fitness is to consider what they look like. Oprah Winfrey has cursed our world by elevating fakes and charlatans by the dozen upon her cult followers. She spawned Dr. Phil, who has the breathtaking hubris as a fat man to "write" diet and fitness books (actually they are ghost-written by others) that millions of morons have actually paid money for. Equally laughable among the faculty of Oprah U. was her personal trainer Bob Green, he with the pencil arms and obvious absence of any muscle tone.

Look at him. Look at her. Enough said.

Bob Green and Oprah

Dr. Phil's qualifications as a fitness guru are on full display here. 
When you're lying down and your fat roll STILL hangs over your belt,
your need to get out of the fitness-advice business.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Embracing The Brace

If you’re a runner/jogger, reexamining your running style from time to time will keep you on track. I cringe observing how some people run, the craziest and unfortunately all-too-common being the slamming of the feet into the pavement. Ouch.

Usually it’s the gut wrenching sound that first draws my attention to this counter-productive phenomenon. They invariably do this with great force and one can only imagine the damage they’re doing, which is exactly the opposite of the purported purpose of running, is it not? Slamming your feet into the ground is irreparably damaging to your feet, ankles, shins and knees, as is only logical, yet they embrace and continue with this style. In what parallel universe do the people engaging in this destructive running style think they’re improving themselves?

Joints do not get bigger and stronger with excessive force, but rather deteriorate, diminish and wear out when crushing pressure such as this is applied. 

Running when injured is another bizarre habit the “no pain no gain” fools adopt. I call it “embracing the brace,” since they are usually wearing a knee brace or wrap. Or two.

And those who run in the street alongside rush hour idling traffic, breathing in concentrate exhaust fumes. This is downright stupid.

Exercise is meant to strengthen, heal, enhance health and well being, not damage and diminish.