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
Thursday, February 15. 2024
Brief hello and update! Good Morning! This may be long, but I spent a lot of time over the past few days having sports conversations and thinking about my growth and youth. So this may be broad and not overly specific in some ways. It's more of a combination of open conversations with friends who have happily swung by to speak and get together to see if I'm holding my head together and speech well.
I am slowly working on the reading, writing and updating. Will keep things as simple as possible. Some things are actually going way better even today than I'd expected! A few personal family and home things - oof. LOL. Frustratingly slow and asking help as words are struggled or forgotten, and I'm slowly reviving others which work!
Sorry if some of you have, or have families, friends or others who have had similar health issues like mine. I am not trying to make anyone feel bad or feel the need or desire to discuss. If I do speak about my situation in any way, I'm just happy to say what even others in my family have asked me to avoid raising. Mainly because I feel nice openly discussing as i need to work out the details! Hoping for great things as I may need to work through it all!
Continue reading "Sports! Good Morning!"
Wednesday, February 14. 2024
As with everything, there is a right way and many wrong ways.
Such a pleasure as I work to recover! I will make one more statement that sounds mean but I'm not afraid to finish this finally, regardless of what anyone replies with. I make so few, but this is so overdue in my life and so damn annoying from the office. Zachriel, who I shall name once because I learned so much about his deep trouble, and his shit and his stupidity, who he is where he is from, his lies, his evil, his deepness that was often overlooked. I have no trouble if his mind is eliminated. He must go. His work is the most evil and I dug up so much about him in my online work, prior to my recent health issues, to know him, without exposing him, and I hope he finally got my recommendation to corporations who insisted delivery of my information. So many people opposed him and I agreed. I feel right to oppose his deep evil. I know he thinks I do NOT know who he is - but I do. I know where he is from, who he is, but I had to, due to the office, keep it all quiet publicly. That's how social groups handle this. But he fell into a range of BS that I had to keep raising because he is deeply evil in my POV and not afraid to lie and be an asshole as a person. So now I won't be the same toward his action. I'm sure someone or he thinks there is more information I don't know. That is incorrect. I'm far more intelligent than he ever knew or admitted. Far more connected, far more knowledgeable and he literally told me once I didn't know about him (or his group as he used to say) when I did. Corporate handling required ME remaining quiet...so I'm being as polite limited as I can. I know everything. He'll say I don't - and he should know he's lying if he doesn't realize it.
No more naming of him. He shall leave and we shall return to happiness and love without the truths I exposed about him.
Now I will share other information because that's my last negativity...I've had several things on a few issues I've had to pressure and move on the last few weeks and now I've told everyone I'm ending that.
Continue reading "Good Morning!"
Wednesday, January 17. 2024
Like most topics that come up here, many will find some boring as hell - but others will find them useful and informative. If you don't like our fitness info, just leave it alone. I just hope that our fitness info has been useful, if not inspiring, to some readers.
Squats and Deads are crucial to building or maintaining physical sturdiness and functionality for any gender, any age (above childhood). When you decide to take them on as a component of your strength routines, you will naturally want continuous improvement. We all want to see results, but strength results come slowly especially after age 35-40.
Either that, or decide that you want to maintain yourself where you are now. That's ok too as long as it is not easy because workouts are meant to be "work," ie difficult and unpleasant. A walk in the park is no "exercise" for healthy people.
Deads are called "The King of Strength Exercises" because they are a functional, total body exertion. Squats are entirely functional. Because exercise time is limited for working people, a 5X5 of barbell squats and another day with 5X5 deads is a decent lower body foundation. Go heavy.
For today, Deadlift vs. Squat Muscles
Saturday, January 13. 2024
Remarkable how many factual and logical errors there are in this Harvard Health piece, beginning with the title.
Yet, for real fitness benefits, of course intensity matters more than anything. F-ing Stair Machine this morning. Who invented that torture?
Apply your BS-Indicator to that article, in our comments.
Tuesday, January 9. 2024
The muscle groups challenged with lunges are similar to those of squats, but best to incorporate both in a conditioning program.
Here's why to use lunges.
Below is good technique, but lunges in place. You can do them backwards too.
Friday, December 15. 2023
One of the things I've learned, even at my age, is that 60-75 minutes of workout daily does build endurance if only as a side effect. Strength is great, but for daily life endurance is what we want to maintain first.
What's the trademark Maggie's Farm 6-day/week fitness routine? Readers know: 2 hrs mostly pushing weight, 2 hrs cardio (real cardio), 2+ hrs calisthenics. Plus appropriate nutrition and one day of rest, "rest" meaning just walking etc.
Thursday, December 14. 2023
Tuesday, December 5. 2023
Wednesday, October 18. 2023
A reader sent us the link: Why You Should Not Be Running
Running as "exercise" was a fad in the 70s. There are many ways to improve endurance short of running marathons, or even 3-mile morning runs.
Being able to hike 10 miles is a good thing in life. Makes life fun and interesting. But if your interest is in cardiac fitness, HIIT is the way to go.
Is it worth swimming laps, doing treadmill or elliptical lengths, etc? Certainly, but only as a minor component of fitness. That's my opinion.
Tuesday, October 17. 2023
"Diet and exercise." Those are the usual suggestions.
Fact is that, with exceptions for situations with hours of vigorous activity daily (eg military basic training), a daily routine of stressful exertion of every sort is for building or maintaining functionality for most people but not for fat loss. It doesn't work.
Building strength is another matter. As readers know, for general fitness we like a combination of heavy weight training, "Cardio" of the HIIT type plus some endurance cardio, and calisthenics. That covers all of the basics.
How Hard Should I Work Out? To lose weight? That's not a thing. For general fitness, a hard hour 5-6 days/week is good.
Monday, October 16. 2023
Sunday, October 15. 2023
Singles are excellent, serious cardio. Often, people who get their singles under good control aspire to do double-unders. It's natural ambition.
Where there is some air conditioning in summer, I like jumping for cardio. I enjoy working on my variations, but I still can't get consistent doubleunders.
Saturday, October 14. 2023
In other words, a long walk, a jog, a mile swim, and banging manageable weights around for a while do not require a dose of 20-30 gms of protein afterwards (whether in ordinary food or as a supplement).
People in serious training programs probably do need 20 or so gms of protein within an hour or two after, and the easist way to get that is in some sort of protein shake. Very few people want solid food after a tough workout.
This makes sense to me: ARE PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS GOOD FOR HEALTH? HERE'S WHAT EXPERTS SAY
Friday, October 13. 2023
Thursday, October 12. 2023
What's the difference between hiking and walking? I guess people define it for themselves. For me, hiking point-to-point in Scotland means getting to your final destination of the day where you can find a dram or two of whiskey. In other words, it is longer and more intentional. The main thing is not to stop for lunch. A stupid granola bar or candy bar is fine, but for a 10+ miler a lunch will take all of the wind out of your sails - blood flow all goes to your GI tract for digestion. Our readers who have done our 10-12 -miles NYC urban hikes know what pizza and beer do to you at the halfway point.
Why not drive? You might well ask. I guess I do it to save the planet...of course. Don't you care?
Average hiking speeds are around 2-3 miles/hour, but what good is an average? We've hiked in Scotland with a 75 year-old lady who hikes about 4 mph, and she is over the hills and far away by the time you tighten your shoe laces and put on your rain gear.
For 6+ mile hikes, Mrs. BD and I tend to average 2.3 mph including brief stops. Hills or no hills, she tends to keep a constant pace while I lag a bit on the hills.
Thursday, October 5. 2023
OK, OK, I know all of the arguments. The Maggie's fitness formula includes lots of everything for good reasons. Balance, agility, explosive power, strength, endurance, nutrition and proper weight, etc.
Endurance (say, jogging 5 or ten miles, or hiking 10+ miles with a pack), is about your Slow-twitch muscle fibers and the number of mitochondria they contain. These can be trained, but not with heavy weights: it is more about the slog.
I see mountain hikers in training. They put on a weight vest and jump on the Stairmaster for an hour or two. At higher speeds, I would consider that cardio plus calisthenics plus leg strength. No need to do that for most people under 40, but sometimes we all have to connect with our inner masochist if we want to improve.
I have an elderly friend who takes his daily 3-mile walk with a backpack filled with old textbooks.
Thursday, September 28. 2023
While most of our fitness posts are about harder things, there are times when doing anything is better than nothing.
For examples, recovering from surgical or other medical issues, for the frail, or just for people who do not chose to do the daunting gym routines.
I would not say "best," but better than nothing.
Wednesday, September 20. 2023
I like a walking stick - a fallen branch broken to length - when taking a tramp without a firearm. It just feels good. Fact is that a walking stick or hiking poles put you almost on three or four legs, and also lessen the wear and tear on middle-aged joints. Especially on hills.
I thought they were nurdy until I saw everybody using them (except us) during our hiking trip in the Dolomites. My Mom always used them after her knees went sour.
We have a hiking trip coming up in a while to the Hebrides and Outer Hebrides (quite similar to Johnson and Boswell's), and their main recommendations are rain gear, hiking poles, day-pack, and waterproof hiking boots. Leave the sun screen at home. I assume they provide the whiskey. The hiking part will be about 7 hrs/day, with fishing boat lifts between islands. Spartan B&Bs with Highland "cuisine." Hmmmm.
It's gloomy and nasty up there in Trump's maternal homeland, and it's easy to understand why so many of them jumped on boats in Glasgow and Liverpool to come to America where the livin' is easy and there ain't no Lairds.
BTW, if you are new to the delightful Boswell, I recommend all of his stuff. In many ways, he was more interesting and amusing than Dr. Johnson who was pedantic - but who could also slide the knife deftly into somebody's pretensions. Also, Johnson knew everything.
Pic is LL Bean telescoping poles.
Tuesday, September 5. 2023
Interesting, possibly controversial topic. I do not trust Dr. Google, but one of my two hernias became visible after deadlifts. Maybe it's been brewing for years.
I also know that I often err in holding my breath with heavy weights. Wrong technique, I know. I try to do it all correctly but sometimes forget, or just strain to my max to get it done like any ordinary foolish person.
Surgeon is going to fix them sooner. He says it's a myth about weights and hernias. He's a smart, experienced, and pleasant guy. Whatever. I'll do whatever he says.
Friday, September 1. 2023
A Stairmaster machine is for cardio and lower body strength/fitness. I use it as part of my cardio days.
It's not much good going slowly and ponderously ffor 40 minutes. For me, the trick is to vary the speed every few minutes, from requiring 2 steps at a time to a slow climb to catch my breath.
It's excellent for hiking fitness. I hate the damn thing, so I try to approach it as a challenge instead of as a chore. I put on a Scott Adams podcast and go for a while. 15-20 minutes.
Cardio days for me entail of mix of elliptical, treadmill HIIT, maybe some rowing, and lastly the Stairmaster to make sure I have no gas left in the tank.
Monday, August 14. 2023
Saturday, August 12. 2023
Friday, July 21. 2023
Nothing wrong with "getting big" in my view. The more somebody can move weight, the better. Makes for more usefulness. When I see roofers climbing up ladders with sheets of plywood, I admire.
Funny thing is, they tend to be wiry guys.
I wouldn't mind gaining 6 lbs. of pure muscle, but I can't. It's physical architecture, bred in the bone. That might be part of why our Physical Fitness posts focus on all-round conditioning.
Arguments about high-reps vs. heavy will go on forever, including here. I
Low Weight + High Reps = More Strength. How do you build muscle: more reps or more weight? Learn why lifting light weights is perfect for gaining muscle.
Thursday, July 13. 2023
That might not apply to 8 hours on the Appalachian Trail or a day job as a lumberjack, but it is certainly true for me with my 1-hr daily exercises. The more consistently I exercise, the less interest I have in food and the smaller the portions I can handle. This effect is most pronounced with demanding cardio and calisthenic exercise, not much with strength exercise or with sports. There is a theory that the effect has something to do with Peptide YY.
Nobody wants to eat anything after a hour of tough cardio exercise and that suppressive effect tends to last 24 hrs.
Maybe it makes some genetic sense. If you need to move yourself vigorously and frequently, the less fat you have on you the better you can avoid becoming part of a Tiger Dinner Party. Hunger is an interesting instinct and only recently has it been studied biochemically. One thing we know for certain is that subjective hunger or attraction to food is not a signal for a need for nourishment for most adults in a food-rich environment.
Overweight people seem to have the strongest subjective hunger, and sedentary people tend to have stronger appetites. Cause or effect? Chicken or egg?
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