We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, February 17. 2020
My point though, which I repeat to the point of annoying readers, is that you cannot lose weight that way.
Body fat can only be gained, or lost, through nutrition. Exercise is minimal for fat loss. I'd make an exception for those hiking 20 miles/day on the Appalachian Trail while carrying 40-60 lbs of their gear, food, and water. Or their kid.
Thursday, February 13. 2020
I can not imagine why he had to go to Russia for this, but it sounds terrible, a bad story. Xanax is a fine medicine, used correctly.
Wednesday, February 12. 2020
Sometimes attempting to turn fantasies into reality is a good idea, sometimes unwise or self-destructive. Mistaking fantasies for reality is rarely practical.
Here's an example: AUTOGENDERPHILIA IS COMMON
Monday, February 10. 2020
This concerns myelin. Could be a theory:
Wednesday, February 5. 2020
Food fads have come and gone ever since humans had food choices (which has been a tiny fraction of human history). I saw this: Why we fell for clean eating.
I don't know who "we" refers to, but it didn't include me.
It was not long ago when the experts thought that cereal was the right breakfast food. That was mostly marketing, but Mr. Kellogg and others thought it might helpfully reduce sexual desire and promote clean thinking compared to "overstimulating" eggs, sausages, and pie for breakfast. Now "we" know cereal is garbage nutrition.
FYI, my usual breakfast is two coffees before my workout, and a protein shake afterwards. I am not claiming that that is "right" but it keeps me trim and strong. If I did manual labor all day on the farm, I'd go for eggs, toast, sausage, bacon, kippers, home fries, grits, and pie. We fed our young growing kids on breakfasts like that. Pancakes or waffles and bacon on Sunday.They grew, and got smart enough.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:07 | Comments (11) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, February 1. 2020
Friday, January 31. 2020
A reader noted yesterday that "exercise isn't training."
Photo is people exercising. You can tell, because they are smiling and having fun together.
The reader is correct. We use the term "exercise" to apply to many sorts of movement, from taking a walk to taking a calisthenics class to throwing weights around in the gym. Random efforts in the gym do not lead to much progress but do keep you moving.
Training refers to a program for measureable fitness improvement, whether in endurance, strength, power, or all of the above. (The Maggie's Program of weights, calis, and cardio is designed for "all of the above").
For example, if you swim a mile daily that's exercise, but it's training if you aim to reduce your time a bit each week or two by adding anaerobic sprints. Eventually, you will reach your limit and you can call that new level "exercise" again.
Another example: If you go for a 3-mile jog most mornings (many people do 3-5 mile runs most mornings, which I do not recommend doing on roads), that's exercise. It's great for the mind. If you mix it up with speedy segments to steadily reduce the time, it's endurance training.
A final example, from weight training: Let's use deadlifts because they are foundational for general sturdiness. Barbell or kettlebell, but barbell is better because you can do more weight. If you do 5 progressive sets of what you can do, it's exercise. If your plan is to add 5 or 10 lbs to your final set of, say 5 reps every month or two, you are training.
So "training" is about progressive goals, steadily upping intensity and stress. That is why so many people take their phones in the gym. It's not for texting; it's to follow their program and to map progress.
Yesterday's cardio/calis post was an hour of exercise, not training. Quite intense endurance exercise with plenty of cardio stress, but mostly do-able (I can not jump rope for 3 minutes). It was a high-level "recovery day." A lower-level recovery day might be 50 minutes on a treadmill or elliptical (boring), or a 4-hour mountain hike (not boring, especially with company).
My final point is that exercise is great, especially for maintaining a level of physical functioning and for the mental benefits. However, many of us who catch the fitness virus want to see steady gains in various areas of fitness. That's where the training program begins. You keep your records, and have a plan to surpass them. Trainers are experts at that for any level of fitness.
In the first year or two of a daily or near-daily training program, people advance rapidly. That is partly neuro-muscular (getting used to it), and partly because beginners are often in poor condition. After a year or two, progress slows and can often be discouraging. That's just the way it is if you choose to play this game. When you attain a new speed or a new weight, though, the success feels good.
Whether your goal in life is intellectual, spiritual, or physical, it takes dedication, effort, time, and strain. Of course.
But it is only in fitness where you can easily graph it out over time. On your iphone.
Thursday, January 30. 2020
I disagree. Similar things done to excess days in a row can be overtraining. It is impossible to overtrain with a mixed fitness program like Maggie's, done 6-7 hours/week.
What might entail overtraining? Max deadlifts two or three days in a row.10- 20 mile speed runs two or three days in a row. In other words, intense efforts without recovery time.
This morning, a pal and I did a recovery day together to make it fun. We both did powerlifts yesterday. Her cardio fitness is amazing, so I wanted the challenge of trying to keep up with her for an hour. A workout partner can be a good thing.
Here's what we did (I barely kept up - no breaks unless indicated):
5 minutes elliptical warm-up, just to break a sweat
30-sec water break
2 minute mixed jump rope
(Two rounds of the above, then 30-sec water break)
3 minute mixed jump rope routines
(2 rounds of that, then 30-sec water)
Set of 20 goblet squats (light kettlebells)
(2 rounds of that, then 30-sec water/rest)
Set of 20 stepup and overhead press (hand weights)
That's an example of a recovery day of cardio and calisthenics. After 24 hours with good sleep you will be ready for hard things a day or two later. In many ways, an hour of heavy is easier.
It's good to take one day off weekly for just fun recreation regardless of age.
Friday, January 24. 2020
Here's an addendum to my Wednesday post about recovery: Do Older People Need Longer to Recover from Exercise?
What is "older"? But anyway, generally the answer is no, especially once you are into a month or so of a daily fitness program. Nobody can benefit from heavy deadlifts every day, or HIIT every day. For general fitness (maybe not for master athletes in training), mixing it up for an hour or so daily works best.
At any age, get your 20 gms or so of protein after a workout. It can't hurt.
Wednesday, January 22. 2020
The most intense forms of exercise - heavy weight sessions, sprinting (HIIT sessions of any form), or God forbid, distance running - benefit from 48-72 hours of "recovery." This is age-dependent because youthful bodies can handle almost anything.
People over 35 should not do weights on the same muscles two days in a row. If you do heavy weights (eg powerlifts) twice weekly, even then it's best to focus on different lifts each session. "Overtraining" can be a problem for obsessive exercisers.
Recovery means getting protein you need, good sleep (reparative growth hormone operates during sleep), and maybe making sure to roll out your muscles.
"Recovery" does not mean taking a day off from physical activity. How it is done depends on age and level of fitness. For example, fit 35-75 year-olds can use an hour of calisthenics with hand weights as a day of "active recovery" from weight-lifting, but unfit people might just benefit from a long-slow hour of non-cardio "cardio" as recovery. People have to listen to what their body is telling them, but not to their "lazy voice." It can be difficult to tell the difference.
We usually think of 45 minutes of calisthenics as active recovery for fit people under age 75 or so. Calisthenics sessions do not require more than 24 hours of recovery. Indeed, in my gym there is a cohort of around 40 men and women of all ages who do nothing more than 6-7 calisthenics 6 am classes each week. It clearly works well for their fitness, but lacks the bone and muscle strength components of strength training.
Recovery is one reason for the design of the Maggie's fitness program. Weights, Calis, Cardio, rinse and repeat and take one day for sports or hiking to enjoy your improving condition.
What about days off entirely from activity other than walking around? Such days hardly need to be planned, because life interferes regularly enough with our virtuous routines.
Tuesday, January 21. 2020
Monday, January 20. 2020
Who do women target? At Quillette, All the single ladies
Sunday, January 19. 2020
Sunday, January 12. 2020
Friday, January 10. 2020
Wednesday, January 8. 2020
From the article:
Monday, January 6. 2020
Saturday, January 4. 2020
Thursday, January 2. 2020
Everybody knows that academic politics are ugly. Alzheimer's is uglier than that, and there is lots of money available too.
The problem with searches for cures is that the #1 risk factor for Alheimer's is genetic, via the maternal line. If your Mom has it, your odds for it are worrying but not certain. The second risk factor is being overweight. The viral idea doesn't really seem to fit with the genetic. Maybe they are synergistic? Who knows?
Genetic testing for Alheimer's risk is available at any age. With certain genetic conformations, your risk is almost certain. Bad news.
From all I have read about it (not an expert at all), the brain rot begins long (years, even decades) before there are obvious clinical symptoms other than, maybe, being less energetic, social, and driven. My amateur guess is that the brain tangles and brain shrinkage are not causal, but results of a genetic brain rot, a sort of programmed obsolescence.
"Cures" for genetically-weighted diseases are elusive, of course, because they are baked in the cake. Unbaking a cake is a tough challenge.
Tuesday, December 31. 2019
The Maggie's Fitness for Life program includes about a one-hour session of aerobic endurance exercise per week. For true cardiac exercise, we include plenty of HIIT cardio whether in calisthenics or sprints. That tends to be anaerobic.
Why do we include the endurance work at all? For ordinary functionality. We figure that if you can swim for an hour, or do the stair machine or high-inclined treadmill for an hour, well then a 6-hour hike, a day of skiing or basketball ought to be manageable. We strongly oppose road running.
So pure endurance work is only about 15% of our program although we assume most people also do fun recreational things like sports or hiking which do not count as exertion. Mark Rippetoe has other ideas. He is convinced that endurance exercise is a waste of time, and sometimes deleterious.
He is a smart guy, and might be right. Our Maggie's program attempts to strike a balance between strength-building (2 hours/wk of powerlifts and accessory weights), calisthenics (athleticism, balance, agility, HIIT, some strength), and "cardio" (an hour total of HIIT intervals with good rest intervals, and an hour of strenuous but aerobic endurance things). No need to do the hour of HIIT, for example, at the same session. In fact, not a good idea. Mix and match 1/2 hours of different categories but if doing weights, always do them first.
Most fitness trainers consider an hour of endurance work as a "recovery day," but I do not. For me, a half hour on the Stairmaster and a half hour doing high incline walks and jogs on the treadmill leaves me limp for a while.
Final word of 2019: Exercise for fat loss is nonsense. That is 99% nutritional. However, exercise does reduce appetite.
Sunday, December 29. 2019
If you are serious, you get with the program today, not next year. January 1 is for suckers.
Saturday, December 28. 2019
Saturday, December 21. 2019
Tuesday, December 17. 2019
Here are the problems, with which I am sure most people in my field would agree. First, most serious psychopaths rarely seek help, and then usually only when they get in trouble. Second, lying and manipulating are second nature to them, so they try to play you. Some are quite adept. Third, they tend to be unreliable with showing up or paying their bills.
There are others, too.
In my experience, when people come to me worrying about whether they have a cold or dark heart, or feeling guilty about some pattern of behavior, it's a good sign that they are far from psychopathic.
I will offer the opinion that there are full-blown psychopaths, very scary people. However, there are people with a range of psychopathic (ie sociopathic) traits which are worth being alert to. On the other end of the spectrum, most people have psychopathic fantasies which they never, or very rarely, act on.
No mortal is pure of heart. It's complicated. It's not a disease.
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