Monday, February 15, 2016
Saturday, February 13, 2016
Never Do These Exercises Again! Get A Complete Workout In Six Minutes! Clickbait is the bane of the internet in the form of provocative headlines. What we never see from the wise and all-knowing sages freely spouting their gym advice and fitness/nutrition counsel at us is their photographs.
The guy who writes that leg presses are dangerous, and that isolating your biceps muscles is wrong (!!) — as GQ’s Bill Bradley warns — doesn’t include a photo of his arms, legs, or any photo at all identified as being himself. This is always the case in the mainstream online magazine and faux-news world. The proof is in the pudding as they say, or in the case of the “experts,” not.
I will consider advice provided by guys who have built exceptional bodies, knowing that even some of these guys exhibit very poor form or have whacky ideas in some instances. But I never consider advice from the online know-it-alls hiding anonymous behind a by-line whose photos are nowhere to be seen. And don't get me started on women writers who spout muscle-building advice aimed specifically at men. As I learned working at the Los Angeles Times, some people think the most straightforward strategy to making themselves relevant to readers (and their bo$$es) is to just be contrary.
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Photo courtesy Matthew LeBaron
If you experience knee discomfort/weakness/pain when working legs, it’s most likely because (1) you’ve been careless or clueless in the past about doing your leg exercises properly and/or (2) you’re currently being careless and/or clueless.
There is no shortage of people at the gym who believe that their way is the only way. They have found security in their workout regimen and cherish the sense of control that strength training provides them in an out-of-control world. They have come to believe that they know all there is to know about working out. Some of these I-know-what-I’m-doing people are very resistant to the idea that their workout form might need improvement.
Our knees are HINGES only. They are badly designed, weak little mechanisms not meant to bear weight or to power any exercise whatsoever. They are not muscles: they are merely bone, cartilage and tendon. Their purpose is singular — our knees exist solely to allow our legs to bend, period.
When doing squats or leg presses, the engine for those exercises resides in your BUTT, or gluteus maximus — the MAXIMUS part providing the clue that this is a very powerful muscle designed to do the work that many people mistakenly assign to their knees. Next time you do squats or leg presses, pause immediately before you lift off to first flex and tighten and squeeze your butt, and keep it flexed through the entire set. Power up from the butt — not the quads and not the knees. Keep your mind in the muscle. Power up (the positive) using the butt and power down (the negative) using the butt to drive the entire exercise — both the negative and the positive — and every muscle from your core downward will benefit with minimal strain on your knees.
Despite what the many know-it-all lunkheads on youtube tell you, never sink below parallel when you squat, as this puts enormous strain on your knees that will greatly shorten their life. The ass-to-grass dive-bomb advocates and those who encourage bouncing up from the bottom of the squat are not only idiots, but they are all young and inexperienced. You’ll never see an older bodybuilder demonstrating such form because those who have advocated doing such crazy shit blew out their knees long ago and are now hobbled. No more gym for them.
Happily most young men grow out of the all-or-nothing, Jackass-stunts mentality without a disabling injury. A lot of those younger guys who used to think they ruled at your gym, but all of a sudden are “too busy” to work out? They’re hiding injuries caused by very poor workout form and an ego too weak to own up to their mistakes.
Don’t be that guy. You still want to be doing squats and leg presses well into your 70s and beyond, safely and sanely. copyright2017RichardSullivan
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Getting in shape or staying in shape or not bothering to be in shape are all purely voluntary decisions. No one can force us one way or another. The choice is up to each individual, 100%. Yet this ongoing absurdity in the media that has given rise to such ridiculous and damaging catch-phrases as “real women’s bodies” and “unrealistic beauty standards” continues unabated.
To claim that women who are in shape are not “real” women is not only staggeringly insulting to those millions of women (and men) who do stay in shape, but is absolutely revealing as to the claimant’s own self-loathing. To claim that getting in shape or staying in shape is “unrealistic” is so preposterous that you’d think the speaker couldn’t possibly be that Palin-stupid to say any such thing publicly. Our society’s overall dumbing-down crusade shows no sign of waning, and this particular issue is a great example of that.
To my recollection it all began getting out of control back in the 1970s with the idea that every kid who played on the soccer team should be awarded a trophy, rather than just those members of the team who genuinely excelled. This lunacy has left us with two generations of entitled nobodys and non-achievers who now think the world owes them because mommy convinced them how very special they are, despite all obvious evidence to the contrary.
Rather than our society raising up and praising those who reach their personal goals, those who excel, those who show perseverance and dedication, the dark side instead seeks to denigrate them as unrealistic, based on their view that most people realistically will not go to extraordinary lengths to get what they want. So therefore, those who do excel can be safely dismissed as unrealistic. All the while presenting this "logic" while whining about episodes of “fat shaming.”
They claim that shaming someone who fills their gullets with excess food to the point of creating a physical disability is wrong, but shaming people who stay in shape by publicly and disdainfully dismissing them as not being real, or that such an achievement is unrealistic, is somehow perfectly acceptable.
And don’t get me started on those morons who claim sexual attraction should have no connection to one’s intentional sabotaging of their own bodies (“He should love me for who I am INSIDE!”).
Get in shape or don’t; I don’t care. But whining how unfair it is that people you are attracted to sexually have no sexual attraction to you — well now you're just embarrassing yourself, so stop it. Stating as fact that those who do stay in shape are not “real” but those who do not bother to stay in shape are “real” only reveals the speakers’ mortifying insecurities and their day-to-day failure at achieving something they would love to achieve for themselves, but somehow can’t get up the gumption to.