have all the faces gone and the bodies in need of attention? They
came in the spring, floated in the open back door with a warm fresh
breeze like airborne pollen, promising seeds of life. "It took
us a long time to get here, but we’re here for good,"
said the electrical contractor, my age and looking at retirement.
"Me and the wife want to get our health together and enjoy
the years ahead." They came and went, came back again briefly
and disappeared. That was in the middle of the summer. Gone. Where’d
they go? And, if only they had stayed.
simple. Exercise, eat right and be consistent. Health is wealth
and time an abiding investment.
think about the eager young stringbean whose thoughtful grandmother
bought him a membership in May, a birthday present I think. He’s
been in and like a bee buzzed the equipment long enough to know
it was fruit full of sweet nectar on the inside, yet bitter as herbs
on the outside. "Bitter? No thanks, I’d rather shave
my head, get a tattoo and have my tongue pierced." If only
he had stayed.
of all the cool benefits and rewards, dude. You’d be bigger,
stronger, faster, healthier and more muscular day after day. And,
oh boy, the girls.
You can see it in her eyes; you can see it in his. Attractive people,
once head-turners and sexy, but today they’re uncertain, almost
defensive. Too many lunches and too many cocktails. They slipped,
let go, slowly and imperceptibly, ignoring the lost ground, convinced
they could regain it at will. "This can’t be happening
to me -- sluggish, flabby muscles, sagging skin and a pouch; this
happens to losers." In June it became a bad dream, the treadmill
and crash diets. Now November, it’s a nightmare; they’ve
vanished. If only they had stayed.
and extend your youthful years, fuel them with passion and spirit.
Courage, discipline and the willingness to sacrifice are splendid
possessions, everlasting and beautiful. Let them play like notes
of a catchy tune as you exercise your muscle and might.
watched her climb the stairs to the broad and open second floor
where the bikes, treadmills and elliptical machines hummed. I rooted
for her in my heart and mind, begged her to persist, considered
her chances of persevering and noticed my shoulders sink at the
prospect. Not very good. She was large, middle-aged and came with
a lot of history and baggage. The climb about did her in and she
paused to rest before mounting the bike with difficulty. I encouraged
her, we spoke of commitment and her plan was clear. Dispose of the
weight and restore the vigor, retire the oversize image and escape
the dark clouds of neglect and guilt. Today is the day upon which
tomorrow is built. Alas, it’s impossible for some to back
their needs with the will and fortitude to accomplish them. She
has left the building. Gone.
uncomfortable burdens of life, physically and emotionally, are prevented
or diminish proportionately with the time invested in one’s
health and fitness. This awareness often comes late rather than
early, and the difficult task, the deciding factor, is in making
a sufficient initial investment. It can take from 10 minutes to
10 days to 10 weeks, depending on one’s character and circumstances.
Count on hope, draw on trust, seek inspiration, welcome encouragement
and depend on all the support you can get.
consequences remain the same: stick with it and you surely grow
rich; give up and poverty accompanies you wherever you go.
know, I know, you get the picture, but there is a bunch of budding
bombers browsing the website and I want to attract them and indoctrinate
them before they mess with the keyboard (catch a cyber-wave) and
find themselves seeking excuses from our infamous competitor, MusclesR4idiots.com.
Gone, lost, astray, to be seen no more; floppy and flaccid forever,
lives without backbone or biceps. I can’t bare it.
get to work on our second surefire Cannonball Routine for those
uncertain days before us.
Mean Metal Mover -- Deadlifts followed by Squats and Pullovers
the first five minutes are devoted to non-stop crunches and leg-raises,
something like 25-30 crunches, followed by 10-15 leg raises, followed
by 25-30 crunches, followed by 10-15 raises till your time is up.
No lingering or loitering; you will be sorry.
emphasis throughout the abbreviated winter Cannonball Routines is
on form and pace and the use of moderate weight. The idea is to
perform each repetition, and thereby the entire set, with total
concentration on muscle engagement and perfect exercise execution.
Be entirely present, from the loading of the plates and the chalk
on the hands, to the approach of the bar and the feel of the muscles
in action. The reps are to be studied, yet crisp and sure -- not
mind-numbing, desperate and distracting. They are to be strong,
lovable movements, not acts of ugly resistance.
we push heavy weights with good form and accomplish the set; we’re
there and we get it over n' done with by applying might and will.
This is intense and bullish and we blast our way through barriers.
I love it: aggressive, bold, impatient and careless.
method underlined today, equally intense and muscle-loading, is
steady, thoughtful and unyielding in nature, one rep at a time for
the sake of the rep itself. One-rep power is diverted to multi-rep
control and concentration. You can feel the muscles struggle, shape
and grow. I love it -- extremely demanding, seldom applied and requires
patience, understanding and stamina.
Start with the Deadlift. The Deadlift as an exercise is extraordinarily
beneficial. I capitalize the word because it deserves capitalization,
as your mother’s name or America or Michelangelo. From the
bottom of your feet to the top of your head, everything works en
total to pull the bar off the gym floor -- the big and bulging muscles
to the tiny insertions hiding within the flesh and bone structure;
the hormones and enzymes to the neuro-transmitters, and the heart
and capillaries to the twin lungs. They systemically and comprehensively
work together for the all-consuming cause, the execution of your
works, everything progresses.
As an exercise we are specifically working the lower back, quads,
hamstrings and grip. You might also want to prepare yourself for
heavy low-rep and one-rep-maximum Deadlifts in the future. With
this in mind, I place a two-inch platform beneath my feet and pull
the bar from the floor for focused repetitions. The added two inches
of depth increases the range of motion and the critical demand on
the insertions and muscles, resulting in greater muscle development
and pulling power. The advantage to singles and doubles is marked
when the bar and the feet are again on the same level: assurance,
off-the-floor power, comfort in position, and assistance in breaking
sticking points are amplified.
1 warm-up set, comfortable weight
4-5 x 8-10 reps, moderate weight you can observe and enjoy
Between sets, sit, hydrate and focus on breathing and recuperation
-- preparation for the subsequent set... go.
supersetted with stiff-arm pullovers.
the Deadlift gets a big "D," so the Squat gets a big "S."
I employ the Top Squat and, thus, the exercise is a grand experience.
As in the Deadlift, we are seeking pace, focus and performance.
Allow me to introduce you to your back and thigh muscles; they are
wonderful and worthy facilitators to be valued the rest of your
life. Few people notice until they can no longer stand or bend without
pain, limitation or humiliation.
heavy weights will come in those tough workouts ahead when we have
the urge, the time and the purpose. Today, mean metal movement will
be achieved with moderate weight and close attention to muscle engagement.
It’s not bar on back, up and down, up and down and rack it,
and not every rep demands six to eight seconds to perform, like
it was a solo. Simply pause and think and be there, body, mind and
soul. You are to pump and burn and scrutinize. Gorge the tissues
with oxygen and nutrient-laden blood, contract the muscles precisely
and extend them exactly, shorten with delight, lengthen with pleasure
and know you are in control.
warm-up set, comfortable weight
4-5 sets x 10-12 reps, a happy weight for a mission worthy of a
with stiff-arm pullovers, a favorite movement for restoring oxygen
and righting the ribcage and reminding you the shoulders should
be back, not rounded, and the spine erect, not slouched, and there
are muscles and power in the torso to be developed and utilized
and displayed. There they are; the serratus and abs, bis and tris,
minor pectorals and lats.
warm-up set, comfortable weight
4-5 sets x 10 reps, moderate weight, a friend for life
and forth you go, squats and pullovers, with rhythm and harmony,
lightning and thunder. The whole body comes alive and there’s
no record to set or deadline to meet and a smile forms on your face
that only you can see and appreciate. It’s fulfillment and
intelligence and a head start becoming more, never less and it’s
having time on your side, which enables you to notice others and
care and be thankful you do. It’s being in shape, getting
in shape or knowing you need to and will, in time, today and tomorrow
and the next day and the day after that.
think that’s it, champions of the skies. I’m trying
to impress you with the joy, freedom and fluidity of exercise while
retaining intensity when lighter weights are used. We rarely are
where we are at the time we are there. The lighter weights and resulting
focus effectively assure our total presence.
hit it, Bombers, with God’s strength...
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