Tuesday, May 16, 2017

As I Inch Closer To 70...

I posted a new video on YouTube encouraging people to stay fit as they age so as not to end up in a real pickle. Poor health makes every problem worse.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Never Stop Learning

Another old person on TV this week excused himself from the idea of weight training because of the “risk factor,” as in, fear of injury. Of course like any other new and unfamiliar activity, a smart person does their research before setting out on a new endeavor to avoid mistakes and setbacks, and fitness activity is no different.

But again, this is just an excuse. People get run over crossing the street every day, but few people refuse to cross the street because of this. Nearly 1.3 million people die in car crashes every year, but that doesn’t stop you from driving, does it?

Doing your homework by spending time vetting YouTube videos on the subject, of which there are thousands, can be of great benefit whether you're new to the game or an old hand. Yes, there are some idiots on YouTube telling you to do things no logical person would do. And there are some guys with amazing bodies who perform their exercises wrong.

So how does a newbie discern the good advice and instruction from the bad? By comparison, by making a habit of watching and comparing and learning, by rejecting the over-zealous boastful macho guys for the more even-keeled.

To invest the time and money in an ongoing fitness program while refusing to read or to watch videos on that very subject makes no sense. Fitness is a lifestyle, not a short term hobby, and as such our goal needs to be continually learning and trying new things and improving our present form and technique.

I’ve been working out since I was 12, and I am still learning new things and searching for ways to improve my form as well as my diet. We all have 24 hours in our day. What we do with those 24, how productive we choose to be with them, is entirely up to us.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Importance Of Selfies In Our Fitness Goals

Richard Sullivan age 51

Recently much has been made critically of all the selfie-taking, but one area that photos of ourselves prove crucial is in our pursuit of fitness.

Having photos we can call up and compare allows us to monitor our progress, or lack of it. Selfies are also very useful in goal-setting by comparing the way we look now with someone whose physique we admire and wish to emulate. Taking a selfie in a similar pose as the photo of the person we admire and viewing them side-by-side, we can quickly see our own weak areas — shoulders, chest, legs — in need of the most attention.

Most of us have had periods in our lives in which our fitness goals must take a back seat to other more immediate concerns, and having selfies of our better selves reminds us of what we are capable of achieving, and aids us in getting ourselves back on track.

Nobody wants the best that they can be to be in the past. We optimists value our belief that we can always improve, and revisiting photos of ourselves at our peak times, rather than bring us down, can be a way of lifting ourselves out of our present situation and inspire us to rededicate ourselves to further improvement.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Are Fitness Bands BETTER Than Weights? Time Under Tension

BEGIN this video at 8:35

Unlike free weights, fitness bands maintain a constant and continual resistance throughout the entire range of any given exercise.

Fitness bands are not only very different from free weights and pulleys, they are unique in how they work the muscle. Because the tension is maintained throughout the entire exercise, fitness bands work the muscle in a manner unique from machines, free weights and even pulleys.

In performing a lateral deltoid (side shoulder) raise with a dumbbell for example, there is a dead space where after lowering the weight from its high point back down to your hip, no tension at all exists. Essentially you’re resting at this point, which is contrary to what we want; performing a set of ten with no rest or gaps should always be our goal.

On the other hand performing the same exercise with a fitness band maintains the tension throughout, even when your hand is lowered to your hip. 

As compared to pulleys for the same exercise, fitness bands provide a much smoother ride, minimizing the risk of injury.

Eric Janicki in the video above demonstrates a very intense chest exercise you can do at home or at the gym utilizing fitness bands. I tried to fix this vid so it would begin at 8:35 automatically it isn't working the way I want. Manually start the video at 8:35 for the exercise I want you to see. Then try it out!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

What “Body Image Activists” Are Actually Telling You: It Does Not Get Better

Illustration from the Los Angeles Times

The agenda promoted by chronic underachievers encouraging others — as a twisted way of justifying their own personal failures — to accept and embrace their weak, clumsy, sick, unfit, obese or skeletal body as it currently exists and what they themselves have created, voluntarily by intent or neglect, is as shameful as it is ludicrous.

Misery loves company.

"Accepting" your current body as-is, the way it functions and looks, with no thought or effort at improvement, as these as these so-called “Body Image Activist” losers demand, is as identical a concept as accepting any other troubling aspect of your overall present state. It's no different than accepting your crappy job, your insufficient income, your stalled career. It’s the exact same thing as accepting your dysfunctional marriage, the dangerous neighborhood you live in, your kids’ associating with unsavory friends. These "activists'" message is "don't let anyone pressure you into bettering yourself or your situation."

Our one and only body is the vehicle that transports us through life, the one and only life we will ever have. Sure, go ahead — run it into the ground! Stop caring for it. Stop caring about how it looks, how it functions, how it feels. Forget all about the future consequences of not caring for yourself — the disability, the pain, the lost opportunities. Be in denial about how you yourself judge others based on the outward expression of their self esteem and then hypocritically demand that others not judge you similarly.

People who claim they don’t have the time or inclination to exercise or eat in a healthy way do not get to complain about the consequences of their not exercising or eating in a healthy way, much less have the arrogance to demand that others step up to fix them, or pay for them to get fixed, or accommodate the deficits they have created willfully for themselves.

When it comes to our physical fitness or lack thereof, there’s no such thing as “I don’t know how this happened.”

What most people are okay with doing to their body they would never do to their car. Most people would be ashamed to be driving around in a wreck, with dents, scratches, patches, flat tires. Most do not ignore their car’s upkeep. They want it to look nice and avoid it breaking down in the middle of nowhere and leaving them stranded and afraid. They get the fluids changed, the tires rotated, the dents fixed. They get a tune up. Few just say “I’ll accept my car as it is. As it ages I will do nothing to keep it looking good and running well because I don’t care about what others think, nor do I really need a car all that much. And when it ultimately breaks down I’ll just demand that my friends and family rescue me, accommodate me, go out of their way to drive me places. Because it’s my right to let my car turn into a wreck — and when that happens it’s everyone else’s obligation to step up and help me regardless of what’s going on in their own lives because I’m so special and that’s what friends and family are there for anyway.”

Self identified “body image activists” aren’t fooling anybody. If they have half a brain in their addled heads they had damn well better be concerned about the way their body looks, feels and functions — and fast.

The way our bodies look is the manifestation of our overall health and fitness level. Pretending that the way our bodies look is something wholly separate, unrelated and apart from our self regard and self esteem is preposterous.

Fix yourself, people. Time’s running out.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Your Workout: Just Get It Over With

Richard @ age 52

If you’re disappointed in your fitness progress most likely it’s because you view your workout as something to get over with as quickly as possible. One major magazine’s writer states in a recent “motivation” article that the best reason to work out first thing in the morning is “to get it over with.” Yeah, right.

If improving the very vehicle that transports you though life, if looking good, feeling good and functioning well is so unimportant to you that a workout is some unpleasant task that needs rushing through just so you can get onto more urgent things like going to a bar or vegetating in front of the TV, so be it. That’s why you’re disappointed. 

Until you accept fitness as a lifestyle, your workout as being as necessary as sleep, as indispensable as eating, and your body being as worthy of attention to detail as your car, you will get nowhere.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Stop Wasting Your Workouts: Learn Proper Form

Normally at the gym I keep my head down and stay focused on the workout at hand. But yesterday my eyes landed on quite a few guys who had one thing in common: absolutely terrible form and technique. How is it in the age of YouTube that people do no research, have no curiosity about the thing they do religiously 3 times a week or more? To spend all that time preparing for the gym, going to the gym, spending money related to going to the gym, and make no effort to school themselves about how to go about performing their workout is baffling. These guys are throwing away their opportunity to excel and grow.
If you are not investing time outside the gym to learning and improving, then expect no sympathy when your longed-for results don’t show up. 

Fitness is a lifestyle, not a three-times-a-week activity. Do your homework. See what you are doing wrong. Spend time vetting workout videos on YouTube rather than bingeing on Netflix. Start with MIKE THURSTON’s series on what you’re doing wrong:

 Mike is not the only voice out there; JAMES GRAGE has a lot of good technique advice:

And sports rehab JEFF CAVALIERE’s Athlene-X channel gets right to the meat of the issue with anatomically-themed schooling to help you undertand how your own body works and why you are having problems: