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jerryking : functional_strength   24

The Zen of Weight Lifting
Nov. 22, 2019 | The New York Times | By Brad Stulberg.

There’s an old Eastern adage: “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” It’s great training advice too.......A favorite movements at the gym is called a farmer’s carry. You hold a heavy weight in each hand and attempt to walk with a solid, upright posture for between 30 and 60 seconds...... the farmer’s carries work your grip, core, arms, legs and even cardiovascular system — an utterly elegant full-body exercise. .......The physical and mental health benefits of weight lifting are well documented. Weight training can help us to maintain muscle mass and strength as we age, as well as better mobility and metabolic and cardiovascular health. It may help ease or prevent depression and anxiety, and promote mental sharpness.......lifting weights becomes a transformative practice to be undertaken primarily for its own sake, the byproduct of which is a nourishing effect on the soul.....Weight lifting offers participants a chance to pursue clear and measurable goals with outcomes that can be traced directly back to oneself.....In the weight room, however, it’s just you and the bar. You either make the lift or you don’t. If you make it, great. If not, you train more, and try again. Some days it goes well, other days it doesn’t. But over time, it becomes clear that what you get out of yourself is proportionate to the effort you put in. It’s as simple and as hard as that. A kind of straightforwardness and self-reliance that gives rise to an immense satisfaction, a satiating feeling that makes it easier to fall asleep at night because you know you did something real, something concrete, in the world. This doesn’t mean that progress happens fast or is always linear. Consistency and patience are key. If you try to rush the process or force heroic efforts, you invariably wind up getting hurt. Weight lifting, like so much in life, demands showing up day in and day out, taking small and incremental steps that, compounded over time, lead to big gains.
Whether you like it or not, there will be plateaus, which in my experience tend to occur right before a breakthrough. Weight lifting teaches you to embrace them, or at the very least accept them.....For most, the plateau is a form of purgatory. But to advance beyond the low-hanging fruit in any meaningful discipline — from weight lifting, to writing, to meditation, to marriage — you must get comfortable spending time there. Weight lifting shoves this reality in your face since progress, or in this case, lack thereof, is so objective.......
you don’t keep showing up and pounding the stone.

But here’s a paradox: Pound too hard or too often, and you’ll run into problems. The only way to make a muscle stronger is to stress it and then let it recover. In other words, you’ve got to balance stress and rest. Exercise scientists call this “progressive overload.” Too much stress, not enough rest, and the result is illness, injury or burnout. Too much rest, not enough stress, and the result is complacency or stagnation. It’s only when yin and yang are in harmony that you grow — another lesson that applies to a lot more than lifting weights.

It is true that from the outside, weight lifting can seem dull or boring — same movements, same barbells, same people at the same gym. 
Weight lifting fulfills three basic needs:
Autonomy: The ability to exert oneself independently and have control over one’s actions.
Mastery: A clear and ongoing path of progress that can be traced back to one’s efforts.
Belonging: Being part of a community, lineage or tradition that is working toward similar goals.
 
The Zen of weight lifting — the joy, fulfillment, hard-earned calluses and growth — lives in the process, in the journey. 
cardiovascular  compounded  consistency  core_stability  efforts  exercise  fitness  functional_strength  incrementalism  metabolism  movement-based  objective_reality  paradoxes  patience  plateauing  small_wins  soul-enriching  strength_training 
november 2019 by jerryking
Letter of Recommendation: Deadlifting
Sept. 3, 2019 |The New York Times | By Bindu Bansinath.

Here was a functional lift with straightforward rules. You set up behind the bar in a hip-width stance, toes pointing forward, hands gripped comfortably around the iron. Keeping a neutral spine, you hinge at the hips, the fulcrum between load and effort, and push the floor away with your legs. You finish standing upright, with your knees locked out and the barbell at mid-thigh. When all goes smoothly, everything has the illusion of happening at once: the metallic clatter of slack as you pull, your hips and chest rising in sync, an impossible load stood all the way up.
CrossFit  deadlifts  functional_strength  gyms  strength_training 
september 2019 by jerryking
Returning to your primal state | The GoodLife Fitness Blog
The BIG five compound movements are squats, deadlifts, bench presses, barbell rows and overhead barbell presses.

* Why are compound movements important?
Compound movements are any exercise that engages two or more different joints, therefore impacting multiple muscles during the same exercise. They improve overall fitness by benefitting the key categories: cardiovascular health, strength and flexibility.

* More burn
Compound movements burn more calories than an isolation exercise. As you build more muscle, your basal metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories when at rest) goes up. While doing compound movements, your body expends about five calories of energy to consume one litre of oxygen. That means that an exercise involving more muscle tissue, such as compound movements, requires more oxygen and that helps burn more calories.

* Benefits of each compound movement
SQUAT
Squats activate the muscles all over the upper and lower body. They are a relatively easy movement to learn, but there are varieties and progressions that offer challenges on the way to mastering them.Physical benefits:
Enhance the mobility in the hips and ankles
Challenge your core stabilizers, posterior chain and lower leg
Correct muscle imbalances
Life benefits:
Ease movements such as bending down to lift boxes, working in the garden, trying on shoes at the mall or picking up after a dog during a walk
DEADLIFT
Deadlifts target lats, glutes, hamstrings and core stabilizers, but also work your entire body. They are a great exercise for stabilizing the posterior chain, which is the group of muscles through your whole back.Physical benefits:
Improve overall speed, power and athleticism
Help create a nice shape, especially the butt and legs
Life benefits:
Help when you're doing movements such as picking up heavy boxes or lifting kids
BENCH PRESS
Bench presses are the most effective exercise to gain upper-body strength and mass.Physical benefits:
Increase overall upper-body strength
Improve cardiovascular function
Life benefits:
Anything that requires pushing, whether that's pushing a stroller or a lawnmower or attempting power-sled exercises in the gym
BARBELL ROW
This is one of the key exercises that carries over to the other big lifts. If you do it well, you'll improve all the other compound movements.Physical benefits:
Strengthens the back
Reinforces proper hip function
Life benefits:
Improves posture
Helps undo some of the damage of sitting every day
OVERHEAD BARBELL PRESS
While the overhead barbell press strengthens the upper body, particularly shoulder muscles, it also gives your stabilizers a workout as you maintain proper form.Physical benefits:
Strengthens the rotator cuff, which helps people who are internally rotated
Reduces the risk of shoulder injuries
Life benefits:
Eases the impact of constantly looking down at cellphones
Improves posture
You can start off with bodyweight, rather than weights..... air squat can still deliver a workout. You can also just use the bar without weights. .....Perfecting the movements helps ward off injury when you do load on some weight. Once you’re comfortable with the movements, put together a periodized plan (ask a GoodLife professional about a 5x5 program to get you started). You’ll soon see and feel the benefits of more strength, increased energy, better posture and higher fat burn.
chest  deadlifts  Goodlife  metabolic_rate  strength_training  squats  fitness  glutes  military_press  compound_movements  functional_strength  core_stability 
august 2019 by jerryking
When Is It Safe for Children to Start Strength Training?
May 26, 2019 | WSJ | By Heidi Mitchell.

Under the AAP guidelines, children as young as 7 can embark on a strength-training program, as long as they do all exercises with good form, she says. Though this may sound young, Dr. Benjamin notes that strength training can consist of push-ups, sit-ups, handstands and squats—“all of which a 6-year-old gymnast would think of as a normal part of the sport.” She wouldn’t suggest anyone start out a strength-training program with weights.

As with other physical activities, strength training by kids 7 years and older has been shown to help improve cardiovascular fitness, bone density and mental health.
children  exercise  fitness  strength_training  functional_strength 
may 2019 by jerryking
In defence of the pull-up and the push-up
April 15, 2019 | THE GLOBE AND MAIL | by PAUL LANDINI.

As we age, moving well-mobility-becomes increasingly important....calisthenics – along with developing strength and endurance, body-weight training has a built-in mobility element that’s missing from many barbell lifts. It’s an efficient and, a pair of upper-body exercises: the pull-up and the push-up, are ideal builders of strength.

Pull-ups
* Bring your chest to the bar (mental cue)
* Retract your scapular (mental cue)
Pulling exercises are the toughest part of body-weight training.....THE FIXES
The active hang is the bottom portion of a pull-up, and it’s great for strengthening the hands as well as developing a sense for the mechanics of pulling exercises. Grab an overhanging bar with your palms facing away, arms extended. From there, pull your shoulder blades down flat and squeeze them tight to your spine, then extend your legs forward, flattening the arch in your low back. Maintain tension throughout your body, working up to a 60-second hang.

The flex hang is the top portion of a pull-up. This variation places more emphasis on the arms and the upper back. It’s similar to the active hang, only your palms face in and your arms are flexed rather than extended so your chin is over the bar.

Push-ups
Forget about the bench press – for a well-built chest and powerful shoulders, push-ups deliver the goods.
THE PROBLEMS
You may not think of push-ups as being a core exercise, but if you think about it, the whole movement is basically an up-and-down plank. A stable core, mobile shoulder blades and healthy wrists are a must, not to mention strong triceps and shoulders.
bench_press  calisthenics  core_stability  exercise  functional_strength  pull-ups  push-ups  strength_training 
april 2019 by jerryking
A Guide to Your Knees - Well Guides - The New York Times
By Dr. Jordan Metzl

Never had knee pain? Excellent. Let’s keep it that way. And while not all knee problems are preventable, you can prevent many issues and also improve knee function with strength and flexibility training.

With increased muscular strength and flexibility surrounding your knees, the better they bear their load. Muscles are shock absorbers; the stronger they are, the better they can offload the hips and knees and the better your joints will feel — no matter your age.

STRENGTH
Lower extremity strength training includes anything that builds muscle around the hips and knees. Stationary biking is the easiest way to start and has the added benefit of aiding knee and hip mobility. Biking can be done several times per week on a stationary or recumbent bike; we recommend biking for 20 to 30 minutes per session.

Functional strength exercises are designed to strengthen multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Unlike a single muscle exercise such as a bicep curl, functional strength exercises like as a push-up, strengthen all of the muscles in a body area simultaneously. When you move normally, muscles work together, so it makes more sense to exercise them together as well........
Bodyweight Split Squat
Single Leg Hip Raise
Single Leg Toe Touch

FLEXIBILITY
As sore knees stiffen, the muscles around the knees tighten as well. This soft tissue tightening often amplifies knee pain. A foam roller is a terrific, low-cost option that can be used at home to improve flexibility and reduce pain through a process known as myofascial release.

HOW TO ROLL YOUR KNEE
The Hamstrings Roll

Place a foam roller under your right knee, with your leg straight. Cross your left leg over your right ankle. Please your hands flat on the floor behind you.
Roll your body forward until the roller reaches your glutes. Then roll back and forth over the roller.
Repeat with the other side.
Note: You can also do this with both legs on the roller.

Glutes Roll

Sit on a foam roller with it positioned on the back of your right thigh, just below your glutes. Cross your right leg over the front of your left thigh. Put your hands behind you for support.
Roll your body forward until the roller reaches your lower back. Then roll back and forth.
Repeat on the other side.
exercise  fitness  functional_strength  injuries  primers  knees  mens'_health  legs  glutes  injury_prevention 
march 2019 by jerryking
Unlocking the secrets to military-grade fitness - The Globe and Mail
ALEX HUTCHINSON
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL

.A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research reveals some telling clues about which physical abilities are the best predictors of success in the U.S. Army’s storied 75th Ranger Regiment – though such clues, military experts are quick to point out, don’t tell the whole story.

Would-be rangers have to complete a gruelling obstacle course called the Ranger Physical Assessment Test (RPAT) that involves climbing ropes, scaling walls, dragging an 84-kilogram sled, and running more than five kilometres, all while wearing combat boots and nearly 10 kilograms of body armour. They have to finish in less than 40 minutes to pass.

A test such as this requires full-body strength, power and endurance in various proportions. So how do you train for it?

A team of U.S. Army researchers combed through data from more than 1,000 recruits who completed this test between 2014 and 2017, looking to see if success or failure could be predicted from the baseline physical tests the recruits had previously completed – things such as deadlifts, push-ups, jumps and sprints.

All seven of the tests they analyzed were linked to RPAT success, but there were three in particular that had significant independent predictive power: broad jump (standing start and you have to stick the landing); pull-ups (overhand grip, straight body, locked elbows at the bottom each time); and average time in a pair of 300-yard shuttle runs (back and forth between two lines 25 yards apart, with two-minutes rest between runs).......“After pulling tens of thousands of pieces of hard data,” he says, “there was one that correlated in some statistically significant way to a higher likelihood of graduating from our basic special warfare training school: pull-ups.”
elite  exercise  fitness  pull-ups  strength_training  U.S._Special_Forces  functional_strength 
march 2019 by jerryking
Adopt a movement-based approach for optimized workouts - The Globe and Mail
MAY 25, 2017 | SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED | PAUL LANDINI

the four most common movement patterns: 1. pushing (vertical and horizontal), 2. pulling (vertical and horizontal), 3. squatting (knee-dominant) and 4. hinging (hip-dominant). Master these movements and you'll be able to execute just about any exercise that comes your way.

(1) Pushing

Main muscles: Pectorals (chest), deltoids (shoulders), triceps (back of arms).

Best exercises: Push-ups; landmine press; one-arm kettlebell press.
(2) Pulling
Main muscles: Latissimus dorsi (mid back), rhomboids (upper back), biceps (front of arms).

Best exercises: Pull-ups; inverted row; face pull

(3) Squatting

Main muscles: Quads (front of legs), glutes (butt), hamstrings (back of legs).

Best exercises: Goblet squat; split squat; reverse lunge.

(4) Hinging

Main muscles: Hamstrings, glutes, spinal erectors (low back).

Best exercises: Deadlift; Romanian deadlift; kettlebell swing
back_exercises  calisthenics  compound_movements  deadlifts  exercise  face-pulls  fitness  functional_strength  glutes  movement-based  pull-ups  push-ups  shoulder_exercises  squats  strength_training 
april 2018 by jerryking
Running Is the Worst Way to Get Fit - Tonic
Nick English

Nov 17 2016

Running is a crappy way to lose fat and an inferior way to boost cardiovascular health, but it's somehow become the most popular exercise on Earth after walking.....It's an incredibly inefficient way to build strength. And as we all know, a strong body is the number one way to prevent injuries, increase metabolism, burn fat, and stay mobile and functional in old age. Folks "do cardio" because they want to burn off their bellies. And running is a bad pick.

"That's usually what the mentality is, that it's a way to get leaner and lose weight, but doing other things outside of running will probably have a better effect at catalyzing that result," he says. Boyce's fat-loss prescription, like that of practically any trainer worth their salt, is compound strength exercises. That means multi-joint movements like the squat, deadlift, overhead press, chin-ups, pull-ups, and push-ups......Studies have consistently shown that weight training and sprinting are more effective than running at targeting belly fat and creating a good hormonal environment for fat loss, meaning better insulin sensitivity, less of the stress hormone cortisol, and more growth hormone and testosterone. ....exercising the heart at a higher intensity is a better way to get the job done. Studies have shown that shorter sessions of anaerobic training, like fast-paced resistance training or sprints, are just as good for heart health as long, drawn-out runs and better at maintaining muscle and increasing aerobic fitness (or VO2 max, if you want to be specific). ...."In many ways, sprinting is safer than running,"....you're going to have more of a fat loss effect from sprinting for the same reasons you get it from weights: You're doing things that require strength, explosiveness, exertion, and intensity, so your muscles are going to have to work a little bit harder, they're going to burn more calories, and you're going to be more metabolic after you finish your workout as well.".....
aerobic  cardiovascular  compound_movements  deadlifts  exercise  fast-paced  fat-burning  fitness  functional_strength  howto  interval_training  high-impact  high-intensity  injury_prevention  metabolic_rate  military_press  pull-ups  running  squats  strength_training 
april 2018 by jerryking
Eight easy alternatives to boring old push-ups - The Globe and Mail
KATHLEEN TROTTER

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Nov. 13 2013
exercise  fitness  push-ups  functional_strength 
november 2013 by jerryking
What's Your Workout: Killer Pull-Ups, Brutal Sprints and a Nap for Ski Champ Kikkan Randall - WSJ.com
May 14, 2012 | WSJ |By MATTHEW FUTTERMAN.

Kikkan Randall's regimen is a brutal, six- (sometimes seven) day-a-week mix of roller skiing, biking, running and strength training. Pull-ups are a fairly unpleasant experience for most humans, but the ones Ms. Randall does resemble a form of medieval torture. She straps on a belt with a chain dangling from it and attaches a 60-pound weight to it. Or she'll pull herself up with such power that she is able to clap her hands above the bar and then grab it to slowly lower herself. Eight is her record.

The Workout
Ms. Randall does two workouts each day.....distance varies depending on whether the team is working on endurance or speed. Speed work requires interval training, which can be multiple one-minute bursts of sprinting with little rest in between......After lunch and a nap, she works out on her own. Twice a week she does strength training at a local gym, though even that 90-minute session begins with a 30- to 60-minute run or roller ski. She says half of her exercises are weight-training focused on specific muscles, while the other half is focused on strengthening her core balance.

That's where the pull-up bar comes in. Ms. Randall will hang from the bar, bring her legs up into a pike position, then slowly lower them repeatedly. She'll do the same routine with weights strapped to her ankles. Then, keeping her ankles together and her legs raised, she'll swing legs back and forth in front of her face like windshield wipers. "Just as I start to get good at something, my trainer figures out something to add to make it harder," she says.
abdominals  calisthenics  core_stability  exercise  fitness  functional_strength  interval_training  pull-ups  strength_training 
may 2012 by jerryking
The gym comes to the park « Spacing Magazine
Issue 14: Spring-Summer 2009 /// Infrastructure Fetish
The gym comes to the park
By MIke Bulko
calisthenics  exercise  fitness  functional_strength  gyms  outdoors  parks  Toronto 
august 2011 by jerryking

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