you heard the latest rumor? Five more shopping days left till Christmas.
I have yet to go to the mall and dig in like a desperate, frenzied
animal. I wait till the last minute, depending on anxiety and adrenalin
to incite me to act. I come home with bizarre gifts: a pair 1956
Ford spinners mounted on polished mahogany, the handy all-in-one
hammer, screwdriver, auger, leather punch, ice-pick, barometer and
water pump combination tool, a genuine possum-fur cap with ear muffs
and goggles -- last year's favorites. I call them original.
than a week later, with impeccable timing the old year ends and
the New Year begins. Have you made any resolutions? Here are some
suggestions from the IOL Suggestion Box:
more donuts, jellyrolls and Danish pastry; find an end to cream
puffs, crullers and éclairs; farewell to pound cake, layer
cake, coffee cake and pie
Smile, be happy, quit complaining
below is the Blunder Buster, the 2001 award-winning workout-of-the-year.
Works well anytime: Christmas Eve, immediately prior to last-minute
shopping, New Year's Day
designed to keep you moving during
these unfocused, conveyor-belt days when stopping is not an option.
with your favorite midsection routine of 10-degree incline, weighted
crunches followed by, or supersetted with, incline leg raises, 2
or 3 sets x max reps (10, 25, 50). Good warm-up.
on a mild rampage starting with chest, then back, on to shoulders,
and while we're in the vicinity, a hint of biceps, then triceps.
We finish with one movement for legs so no one can sniffle. The
plan is loose, but not without order; like a walk in the zoo going
from cage to cage, watching the wild animals play.
a look at the five exercises to be performed one after another in
three to four consecutive cycles. Ha. A stray from the norm and
you're all atwitch. Relax, it's the holiday season and anything
is better than nothing. I just returned from the gym where I put
this abominable abnormality into action to soothe the raging beast
within me. Laree told me earlier that my last-minute shopping is
tonight at 8. Chilling. Nail-biting. Thumb-sucking.
and press: This is the bent-arm pullover, as described in last
week's article, with a press from the chest at the completion of
the pullover action. The giant set before you is demanding, and
clean performance and resigned pace, rather than moving heavy weight,
should define your activity. Think of the fascinating compound body
mechanics and the growing pump. Fatigue is the great equalizer.
Allow your heart rate to establish a comfortable pace and enjoy
the ride. No rush, no quitting. Sets of 6 to 8 reps are the targets
of all five exercises.
Pulldowns: Let's stay tight as we move to the pulldowns,
choosing a close grip to protect the cluster of shoulder attachments
from too much extension in every conceivable direction. Monitor
the movement as you lean, arch, pull and return to a slightly abbreviated
overhead extension. Muscle is the force, not momentum. Feel the
resistance in the serratus, lats, mid-back and scapula areas. Pace
stretch slowly and cautiously.
clean and press: This movement amid five rascals persuades you
to use mild weights, something in the range of heavy lateral-raise
poundage. The cleaning action from the floor reaches the shoulders
and smoothly converts into a pressing action. Complete a brief and
tight shoulder contraction at the extension and with muscle and
might lower the dumbbells to your upright starting position. Plan
on deep breathing. Be courageous.
bent-over lateral raise: Take a load off your feet. Ventilate.
Sit at the very end of the bench, legs stretched forward; bend fully
with your torso on your thighs and friendly sized weights in your
hands. Ready? Raise the dumbbells with all your might, maintaining
a straight line from the left dumbbell, across the shoulders and
back and to the right dumbbell. The sensation is one of reaching
(rear deltoid recruitment), not pulling (mid-back action). It's
all good. Do your best with this awkward exercise. Rear shoulders
don't get enough work.
crossover: Stagger over to the cable crossover apparatus and
grab on for dear life. Center yourself, arms outstretched, and take
a step forward, leaning against the resistance of the cables. Draw
the handles forward and together with slightly bent arms to recruit
the chest muscles. Contract tightly as the hands meet and return
slowly to the outstretched starting position. Takes practice to
gain strength and stability in the exercise and to distinguish specific
areas of the broad muscle. Reach high - arms parallel to the floor
- to affect the upper pecs. Reach forward at a 45-degree angle for
mid-pec and reach downward toward the floor for lower pec. Mix them
from high to low or choose your favorite.
That's one. Do it again. And, do it again. You been bad? Parties,
food, missed workouts, left shopping to the last minute? Do it again.
presses are pretty standard. Choose a mild weight to stimulate and
pump the thighs and light enough to knock off some calf raises at
the end of each set (3 sets x 15 reps).
not for beginners and not exactly a walk in the zoo. More like crawling
through the jungles and swinging from vines.
God and have a great Christmas. Dave
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