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, September 25. 2017
The idea is to do 100 daily, whether it's 1 or 5 or 10 or 20+ at a time. Just do 100 total with proper form (down low, back and legs like a plank and no dropping your butt). Obviously this is not for those fitter folks who can just get down and do 100 in a row without breaking a sweat. I'll begin with ten sets of ten and try to up the reps in each set each day with a goal of two sets of 50. Women can either do Pushups for women, or the basic version. Supposedly it can tighten gals' boobs, but don't ask me. I just do not want to develop Man-Boobs.
Men can not do Pushups for Women, of course. That would be shameful (although I confess I was forced to, recently. I can't do 50 man pushups in a row - yet).
100 is not a lot for 24 hours, and over time it gets more efficient, more at a time. Probably not a bad idea for those who never do pushups to begin with 30 for the first day, then 50 the next day, then 70, then 100.
Warning: The next Maggie's 30-day challenge in November will be similar, but for Burpees. We want to keep our readers alive. We need every one of our readers to keep getting the big bucks from Dunkin Donuts and Bob Dylan.
This is fun:
Wednesday, September 20. 2017
The essential two are:
They seem simple, but must be done with correct form and enough reps to matter. Youtube videos are good for that instruction. Both of the above can be made more cardio- and plyometrically-demanding with squat-jumps and jumping lunges, or more strength-building by adding hand weights.
The other mostly-lower body calis I do weekly are Jumping Burpees, Low Box Jumps, Mountain Climbers, High Step and Press, and Kettlebell Swings. All of the latter are also, at least for me, intense cardio exercises that I count as HIIT Cardio. I do calis in rotations of 3 or 4 of them and do my best to minimize breathing breaks. I mix in some planks, jump rope, etc.
Exercise Tip: Do your calis the days after weights, not the days before weights. That is, if you are over age 40. Calis do not technically require any recovery time, but at some point I think best to put in a cardio day between calis and weights.
Sunday, September 17. 2017
These two upper-body calisthenics are classics for good reason - they are simple, and efficient by stressing many muscle groups. These are mainly guy exercises, because males have greater, or greater potential, upper body strength and power than most women (so women commonly do assisted pull-ups and knee push-ups. But women have boobs, so there's that...).
I've been focusing on Push-ups lately because our Saturday morning class expects 200 of them in the course of an exercise session (for the guys and the gals). That's a lot, for me anyway, with or without my shoulder's damn traumatic arthritis. "Push-ups are basic strength-building total body exercises that strengthen the upper body and improve the core strength. Several muscle groups in the chest, arms, shoulder, triceps, back, and neck work simultaneously during a push-up." Yes, you tense your core (belly and back) like a board, but you have to breathe too. Little puffs.
Here's a simple challenge program to get you to 60 pushups in one go - or at least in one day. A healthy male under age 75 or 80 can quickly get to 50 pushups in a row, and work up from there if they want. Lots of guys aim to do 100 in a row. Why not 99?
Next, inclined pull-ups, aka inverted rows. These are mainly back, but secondarily shoulder and arm stressors (as are dumbell rows). Like regular pull-ups, you can do these overhand or underhand. I do them with TRX straps and alternate overhand and underhand.
Regular Pull-ups are primarily back muscle exercises (you do not pull with your arms - you thrust your elbows down with your back muscles). Chin-ups (palms facing you) engage more arm strength. Unassisted pullups are difficult for most middle-aged men, and for most women. Some tips for working up to your first pull-up.
If a guy can do 10 pull-ups, he's got darn good upper body fitness. I can't - but I could when I was 16. I will try but I doubt I will get to ten again. I saw a middle-aged gal do three sets of ten (unassisted) last week. She was a fit lady, no bulging muscles at all and only slight kipping.
The thing about exercises with multiple muscle groups is that the weak link fails first. Thus, to make your back work hard with pull-ups, you need to be able to keep a hold on to the darn bar with your forearms. Many humans are like T-Rex: puny arms, strong thighs.
Tuesday, September 12. 2017
Lots of Americans try to stay fit to extend the energetic, functional, productive and profitable part of their life span for as long as they can. It takes work but, as I say, only 5 1/2-6 hours of unpleasant work/week before or after work, and rational nutritional habits so you aren't over- or under- weight.
Mrs. BD and I tried a new fitness class early Sat. morning. We might be naturally lazy, but will not put up with that deplorable character flaw. Like my sister preaches about life, "Ignore how you feel. Always Go Do It."
More below the fold, with two calisthenics I can barely do -
Continue reading "Life in America: I am not Fit yet. How about you?"
Thursday, September 7. 2017
"Cardio" is sort-of a misnomer because all exertion raises heart rate. However, it is a shorthand that people use for forms of exercise which do not use heavy weights.
Let's keep it simple. To put an activity in the cardio category, you have to be continuously sweaty and short of breath (but not out of breath - that is anaerobic HIIT exercise) for about an hour. I ignore heart rate, but many people keep track of it. Thus walking, hiking, comfortable swimming, biking to the beach, are not exertion in any sense. They are just "living life" - the rewards of fitness. You know it's exertion (aka "exercise", as opposed to recreation) if you'd rather avoid it, if it sucks to be doing it, and if you want a nap after.
1. So-called "fat burning" cardio. Another misnomer because this doesn't burn fat worth a darn (nor does any form of one-hour exercise). This refers to around 60 minutes of aerobic exercise at a pace short of sprinting but with the maximum pace you can maintain for an hour. This is endurance exercise which does not stress the heart very much but puts it to good use. Running, elliptical, stairmaster, speedy biking, treadmill, speedy swimming are all typical "fat-burner" exercises. I mix them up without breaks to avoid boredom.
2. HIIT cardio. This is true cardiac fitness training. Often, it refers to exercise with 10-60-second wind sprints (or even more for some people) of maximum anaerobic effort relieved by slower but comparably-lengthed intervals. If you can do those intervals for 10 minutes without a full break before the next round, I am mighty impressed. I can't. I can only do about 3 reps of intervals without needing a minute break to lean on something while trying not to barf. HIIT cardio might help you survive your first heart attack because it increases heart vasculature. Regular bouts of HIIT will raise your level of performance on the "fat-burners" too. For HIIT, I use speed rope, combat bike, sometimes Stair machine or ski machine. Could just do running sprints outdoors.
3. Calisthenics. An hour of mixed calisthenics with no rest breaks is "general conditioning." It combines aerobic cardio, some bursts of anaerobic cardio, some explosive movements, and full-body muscle use (but not strength building). Typical cali routines include burpees, step-ups, pushups, running in place, planks, dips, ball slams, box jumps, mountain climbers, kettlebell swings, squats with light weights, lunges, roll-ups, heavy ropes, band walks, jumping jacks. Some activities like martial arts or playing sports contain calisthenic-like mixes. However, bear in mind that athletes use calisthenics to train to perform their best in the sports themselves. Sports are fun, not physical training.
Continue reading "Getting fit for Fall: Three kinds of "cardio" exercise"
Monday, September 4. 2017
2 good links from Time magazine:
The New Science of Exercise. Challenging exercise is medicine.
A good Time supplement (you have to buy it) The Science of Exercise: Younger. Smarter. Stronger.
Wednesday, August 30. 2017
Everything goes downhill quickly - cardio, endurance, speed, strength. Measurably downhill in 10 days. Unfortunately, things do not ratchet up in a positive direction unless you keep pushing it. In fact, there is no ratchet. There is only uphill or downhill.
That's why Mrs. BD and I try to stick to a fitness regime even on vacation. Too much time and money invested in it to let it slip away. Time off is like blowing your savings.
Friday, August 25. 2017
There must be an adaptive aspect to that. It explains why body-builders and getting-in-shape exercisers (those who are not in the fat or overweight category, but just a little 5-6-lb pudgy with undeveloped muscles) need to force-feed themselves their five small meals (large snacks instead of "meals") daily to support their fitness-building. Over months, some of those fat pounds can be replaced by solid muscle pounds in other places.
Overweight people, on the other hand, have many weeks or even months of survival energy stores already on board and really only need several 30-gm doses of protein daily if they are embarking on a strenuous daily fitness program because body fat is a fine energy source. Certainly not three regular American meals/day if they want to get in fighting shape. We have discussed the various forms of eating (ritualistic, social/recreational, impulsive/emotional, false hunger, etc.) here.
In the first case and in the second, we see that subjective "appetite" can be a trickster for adults. I could build an analogy to sexual instincts, but I won't. Goals, logic, and discipline are powerful human tools. Perhaps our most powerful.
Side note: If you enjoy difficult fitness training, you have a problem. Like grammar school, you are supposed to hate almost everything about it. If you don't hate it, and if it isn't mentally and physically painful and aversive, try a new program. If you hate it, but feel glad you did it afterwards, great, because that is life's deal in most ways. If your daily life is strenuous physical work, you can ignore all of this.
Thursday, August 24. 2017
Every good fitness trainer will urge you not to compare your fitness with others. That is fine in theory, but it goes against human nature.
There is an unspoken rule in gyms that you do not look at other people or at what they are doing. A rule more honored in the breach than in its observance, maybe. Indeed, we glance at what the big boys are doing with the multi-100 lb barbells, and we at least glance at the 30-something pigtailed blond bouncing merrily and faster than us on the elliptical in front of us.
I'm talking about the competitive urge, though, not the boy-girl aspect. I'll admit that I envy the taller, hunkier guys with more rugged features and builds than mine, and there is an ugly thread of hatred in that because I imagine they could have stolen the girl I liked when I was in high school, or gotten a job I wanted for being a more formidable or impressive presence. It is common for women to feel similar things, to feel defeated by women who are shapelier, more athletic, more charming, etc. People who are relatively free of interpersonal competitiveness, whether in talents, brains, career success, wealth, fame, fitness, attractiveness, etc. are blessed in a way, I think.
Anyway, all such comparisons and competitions can interfere with, or even defeat, our personal fitness goals (unless we are, in fact, seriously competitive athletes). Indeed, they can discourage people from pursuing their goals at all. Some people are afraid of gyms. The ancient Greeks were not. Their gyms were for people without manual labor who needed phys ed and intellectual stimulation. OK, it is true, they liked the boys too but that is not what we are about.
My suggestion is to make a set of, say, 6 fitness provisional goals (signal goals, eg body composition, distance on 60-second sprints of whatever sort, deadlift max, number of pull-ups, etc) and to keep a monthly log of progress while doing the full round of fitness efforts. This takes the focus off others and puts it where it belongs, at least in this area of life. We don't compare our bank accounts with Warren Buffet's. We compare them with ours from last month or last year.
Am I progressing morally, spiritually, financially, physically, intellectually, culturally, from year to year? If not, what the heck am I doing with this incredibly challenging and often-harrowing brief gift of life? Waiting for something? Or surviving (not a bad idea)?
Wednesday, August 16. 2017
Early this year, to deliver on my New Year's resolution, I started working out. I found this brilliant exercise for people who have a hard time getting into the habit of working out.
Here's how it goes - begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side.
With a 5-lb potato sack in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, and then relax. Each day you'll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer.
After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb potato sacks. Then try 50-lb potato sacks and then eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb potato sack in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute. (I'm at this level.)
After you feel confident at that level, put one potato in each of the sacks...
Wednesday, August 9. 2017
Stairmaster intervals provide possibly the most efficient and intense cardio exercise. Your heart rate jumps up to max immediately.
You can do 30 seconds of high-speed anaerobic intervals then slow down for 60 seconds, and repeat at the speeds that work for you. If you can do two steps at a time on the higher speeds, so much the better. Another approach which I am using now is to do 3-minute stairs at the highest speed I can handle for that long, then get off and do a one-minute plank and another minute to breathe, then back on. Thus a 20-min cardio work-out which also beats the hell out of your quads.
What is it good for? It's for intense cardio training, lower body endurance, core stress. It doesn't build strength per se the way squats and deadlifts do, but it does work for lower body "toning" at the least.
Because it is very low-impact, about the same as walking, it is also a cardio recommendation for people with bad knees, hips, and lower back.
(Readers know that we believe that two 20-30 minute cardio stress sessions weekly is enough cardio, if combined with the other weight and calisthenics routines.)
Five hours or less per week of weights, calis, and cardio is all it takes for general Fitness for Life. Then throw in some sports or hiking or yoga or golf or swims or whatever for fun, plus some Cokes or beers as rewards, and you've been a darn good steward of your body, which is your most important real estate. Anybody can find time for that. Just avoid any distance running or you will regret it.
What we call "cardio" is really endurance-maintenance and endurance-building for people with sedentary (ie less than 6 hours/wk of short-of-breath exertion) lives. The idea is to keep heart rate far above walking or recreational biking, with sprints of max heart rate, for 1 hr+. At this point, I can tell how hard my heart is pounding without looking at any gauge.
Our current cardio routine gets us moving with vigor and lots of sweat, and the time flies:
- 15 minutes elliptical, moving resistance up and down the scale from 3 to 15
That's just a bit over an hour if you take very little rest to breathe - which you are not supposed to do.
Wednesday, August 2. 2017
Our genius trainer has prescribed us morning calisthenic workouts for our next little getaway.
Genius Trainer hates to see the backsliding that occurs after 10 days away from him. His demands are in addition to our usual Cape Cod daily multi-hour hikes and pond races, not to mention body-surfing in the icy ocean with the seals and sharks for as long as we can. For me, few thrills equal that when there is good wavy gravy.
Here is his email:
You should complete these light vacation calisthenic workout circuits every morning. Including foam rolling and dynamic warmup, this workout should take under 45 minutes in total.
Lunges—3x15 each leg
Monday, July 31. 2017
Photo is the REI 40-L daypack.
I've done reading on the topic of daypacks. I have always used my antique Osprey daypack (made in Dolores, CO) which is about 20-liters. With a replacement waist belt which my shoe repair guy fixed up for me for $10, it sits right and holds anything I might need for an ordinary day hike. (I think any pack without a waist belt is a terrible idea. I have also found that a proper fit and tweaking the adjustments makes a big difference. It has to sit on your butt.)
I bought my Osprey pack in Telluride on a ski trip with the kids. Needed a place for them to put spare winter clothing in as the temperatures went up and down and as snow came and went during the day.
Mrs. BD took the liberty of buying me a 40-Liter REI daypack for our recent Hebrides hiking trip. It fits well, but holds far more stuff than I am ever likely to need other than for lengthy winter hikes.
In fact, it could function as a smallish airplane carry-on. These days, half the people on international flights carry backpacks. They have become standard tourist items, but who needs a backpack or daypack to walk around Florence all day?
Let's say the usual day hike off the beaten track is from 4 to 8 hours. What do you need in the pack? Some liquids, snacks, maybe a sandwich or two, some rain pants and waterproof jacket, a trail map or travel guide, a first aid kit and some blister packs, a wallet, binoculars, a little camera or iphone, perhaps a 2-way radio if remote, maybe a place for hiking poles - and empty space to stuff layers that you might not want as the day warms. A box of ammo if hunting in the wilderness.
Shouldn't a 20-L pack be able to handle that, and more? Unless it's warm weather and you are carrying several liters of water, or unless you are playing sherpa and carrying stuff for other people.
I think the Osprey 20 L pack is a good daypack choice.
We're about to plan our next wilderness hiking trip (day hikes only, thank you, with fluffy towels and hot water at night), so I will decide for sure whether 40 L is overkill.
If you are a regular day hiker, what size do you use, how do you use it, and what do you put in it? And if you would want a 40-L pack, why?
It's not a "diet." It's an exercise and fitness plan with a simple weight-loss component. It can't hurt to try it, if you need it. Lean and fit is better than fat and unfit.
Wednesday, July 26. 2017
Hansen himself has always done farm work and brain work. Just one of many quotable paragraphs:
Sunday, July 23. 2017
There are so many rating systems that it can be confusing or misleading. And when it comes to off-trail wilderness hiking, which we did a lot of in the Outer Hebrides, you really need a guide who knows the terrain to estimate what sorts of challenges you can handle. In less wilderness areas, of course, we all get a kick out of doing off-trail explorations on our own. Not always a good idea.
Many difficulty- rating systems are based on altitude changes, steepness of grade, length, agility-requirements, and risks (eg weather, cliffs, boulder fields, etc.). Other rating systems are based on technical difficulty alone.
I'll pick one example: the famous and popular Tuckerman Ravine trail up New Hampshire's Mount Washington. Alltrails rates it as Hard on their Easy/Moderate/Hard system. But what does that really mean? 9 year-olds prance up it with daypacks. What it means is that there is a substantial altitude change, variable weather (foolishly-unprepared people have died of exposure up there but it would be difficult to be that stupid), and high rocky steps at times, but it is a relatively easy hike if you are in good health and cardio condition. It's a 7-hr hike up to Lion's Head and back down - what Europeans call "hill-walking." In the European system, the Tuck hike probably would be rated in the 2 range on their 1-5 rating system.
Several of our Hebrides hikes would be rated Hard (if you sometimes have to be on your hands and knees grasping rocks and heather to get up the steeps) in some US systems, but all were around level 2-2.3 in the Euro system. I like that Euro system which takes into account your fitness level and the hike's challenges.
In my view, though, those Euro ratings - "Easy" to "Expedition-Level" - do underestimate the challenges. The Euro level 2 to 2.3 range is plenty for me. On level 3, I suspect that I would be a slowpoke in a group. People do not like to have to wait for the slowpokes. On straight steep uphills, off-trail, with unstable footing, I need a minute to catch my breath every 20-30 steps. I call that "admiring the scenery" or "taking a picture."
Since we're talking about hill-walking - all-terrain hiking - and not technical mountaineering, we are mostly talking about stamina and cardio conditioning. Strength is not a major factor but mental and physical stamina are.
Trailmaster posts about two common American rating systems in Choosing a Difficulty Level for Your Hike is a Key to Wise Hike Planning
Here's another piece about different rating systems for hikes and mountain bikers: TRAIL DIFFICULTY RATINGS SIGNS
And yet another to rate hikes you have taken: Hike Evaluation Calculator
Photo is from the popular hill walk/climb, Breakneck Ridge Trail in the very pleasant village of Cold Spring, NY. It's a 6-mile hill walk but the first mile involves lots of scrambling and a 2000-foot altitude change which is why some people rate it at a rather high - too high - 3 because anybody in decent shape can do it.
Friday, July 21. 2017
Labeled as "boot camp" and "toning" for women, it's really just progressive calisthenic routines and is just as good for men, and for any age. Calisthenics don't care about gender. These sorts of cali routines combine cardio, so doing this sort of program for several weeks covers both, while keeping your muscles in use and building stamina and agility.
Doing it daily in a group, or with a group of pals, works best but anybody ought to be able to follow this path which begins fairly easy, about an hour daily, and ramps up in challenge but not in time spent.
For each week, you would do the routine 5 days. It doesn't require a gym or any special equipment besides hand weights. If you start now, you should be "well-toned" and fit by Labor Day: Get Toned Fast
Right here and now I issue a challenge to some of our guy readers who are sarcastic or dismissive about structured fitness to give this a 6-week try at 5 days per week, and then get back to me with a report. Nothing to lose, and no need to tell anybody it's a girl program. Mr. Bliss is doing it with me, before work each morning, as a summer break from his usual gym routine.
When I first encountered this program, I had to check out what they meant by some of the terms on Youtube. Try the Turkish Get-Up. I'd advise against the crunches. Do V-ups instead.
Thursday, July 20. 2017
What most people want from fitness, probably only second to looking good/feeling good, is Stamina.
I like that word better than "endurance" which sounds painful and tedious, while "stamina" connotes an energetic or even joyful get-up-and-go attitude while including the ability to keep going when the going gets tough, pushing the point of fatigue further out while taking some pleasure or satisfaction in a strenuous or stressful life.
The older we get, or the heavier we get, the more difficult it becomes to maintain or build physical stamina. Unfortunately, it requires psychological stamina (ie, the talent to seek or invent, engage, and push through difficult challenges and opportunities. The most common adaptation for those lacking that talent is old-fashioned self-discipline) to build or maintain physical stamina. As the experts say, the day you "don't feel like" exercising is the day your body and mind need it most.
"I don't feel like it ..." is one of the most insidious, anti-life, anti-energy phrases ever invented. Why not try "I wish I hadn't been born on this planet with this annoying gravity and all these interesting and difficult things to do"? Unless they are clinically depressed, there is no cure for low-energy or relaxation-oriented people for whom inactivity or passive activity is the default setting or the desired state. Indolent is just the way they are made. Some people are naturally vigorous, some indolent, and most somewhere in-between. It's a Bell Curve of a partly-genetic and partly-cultural personality trait and it is quite obvious in what people do when given the choice.
I am on board with the Maggie's Fitness Doctrine that strength is foundational, but that strength is just a tool for building functional physical conditioning to apply to the average active and athletic American life. (Average Americans, unlike Europeans, are prone to engage in sports and/or challenging exercise.) Decent strength makes general conditioning exercises - cardio and calisthenics - more possible, more forceful, more energetic, and more enjoyable. Strength itself is great for schlepping stuff, but the general conditioning reward of strength is to be able to be more fully-engaged in all the cool things life offers - including physical chores, adventures, sex, and sports.
This is why I believe that a couple of half-hours of cardio HIIT, and a couple of hours of intense calis, are the best plan for building stamina for life for ordinary people. For beginners, get those muscles woken up with weight-training, hard and and grooving, and then move on to the challenging moving that really applies to living this brief and precious life to the fullest.
My personal test to assess people, including myself, on the Vigor-Indolence Scale is below the fold -
Continue reading "Stamina and Psychological Stamina"
Wednesday, July 12. 2017
On Wednesdays we usually focus on general conditioning (fitness for life) and rarely on training for specific athletic endeavors. That's for a reason.
However, tough hiking is just an extreme variant of walking. A question might be "If you had three months to prep for a ten-day backpacking hike in Denali, or the Bob Marshall, or the White Mountains, or, like us, mountains in the Highlands, what would you do?"
I should modify that a bit. "What would you do, assuming you had a day job and little free time on weekends?"
I asked an exercise expert friend, a competitive athlete who can do several reps of 300-lb deads, that question. She said, given just an hour daily, the emphasis should be on lower body endurance and intense cardio. She said she would do two days/week of the usual powerlifts, but replace her other exercise routines with an hour of stairmaster with a 20-lb weight vest, and an hour of calisthenics with a 5-10-lb weight vest. She correctly observed that hill/mountain hiking is not mostly about strength but is about stamina, agility, and endurance. A person can be very strong without good endurance (and vice-versa). She said an hour of intervals on the bike would be fine, but an hour walking on treadmill with a 20-30 -lb weight vest at a high incline would be better for the purpose.
She also said that, from her experience, daily 7-hour mountain hiking with packs over 10 days can not really be duplicated in normal life. Best approach, when actually doing the trip, would be two to three days on, alternating with one lighter day for recovery. In fact, that is roughly what our guide had planned for our mixed group - two days hard, then one day lighter, and so on. By day 6, I felt eager to tackle anything. Pumped up and ready to go. Too soon, it was time to go home.
Wednesday, July 5. 2017
The saddest part of the story is how quickly training gains are lost during periods without regular (meaning 3+ days/wk) strenuous activity. There is measurable decline in cardio functioning and muscle strength in weeks, and training gains can be lost in a few months. Use it or lose it. That is just how it is after age 30 or 35.
Physical fitness, like mental fitness, is a life-style choice.
A single "bout" doesn't mean very much, since most of us who pursue fitness spend 4 or 5 hours per week. Still, the brain effects are interesting.
Sunday, July 2. 2017
Friday, June 30. 2017
Except for Blueberries. There is no reason to even think about this topic unless you want to lose weight, or unless the physiology is interesting to you. Fruit is a fine dessert because its main nutritional ingredient is sugars. Especially Fructose. There is nothing "healthy" about fruit or fruit juice.
Fructose is metabolized in a different way than is Glucose.
The very short story is this: All sugars are not created equal. Fructose is metabolized into fat. Glucose in moderate amounts is turned into glycogen for energy. Table sugar is Sucrose, which is metabolized first into its components of Glucose and Fructose.
Corn syrup, the most common commercial sweetener, contains Glucose and Fructose. Thus eating a fruit, or drinking fruit juice, is equivalent to drinking a Coke other than the virtue signaling. No common sweeteners contain pure Glucose.
Children are best off drinking milk or water.
Wednesday, June 28. 2017
Getting stronger entails breaking down muscle so it can regrow stronger and it seems as if the eccentric motion does a better job of that than the concentric although the latter tends to be where we feel we are working hardest. In the simplest example, when you do a barbell squat the squatting requires eccentric contraction for your quads and glutes, and the stand-up is concentric for them. Vice versa for the hamstrings. That's why your trainer may demand that, in a curl or bench press, for examples, you lower the weight to a count of 5 or 10 instead of letting gravity do more of the work. Some people call that "negative" training, or just say "control it down."
Strength training offers a fun chance to brush up on your human anatomy. While most powerlifts engage the entire body to some extent (which is why they are efficient strength-training tools, like the deadlift), generally most of the work is done by specific muscle groups. Let's consider the bench press, which is designed to not be a full-body exertion but instead to isolate upper body muscles - chest, upper back, shoulders, and arms. The concentric and eccentric contractions of the bench are explained well here. You can see why your biceps get pumped during bench even though pecs and triceps do the lifting - the control down is an eccentric move for the triceps and pecs but concentric/stabilizing for the biceps. After all, you can't drop that barbell.
The only place I can think of where you let gravity do most of the work is in the deadlift where the control-down is less important. You can almost let the bar drop.
How to pack on muscle with eccentric exercise - Eccentric training has lots of perks—and it’s easy to work it into your routine.
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