Well, this one is long, long overdue for sure. If you've been following this site a while (and if your one of the many who have signed up for the daily newsletters and/or made purchases), then you've probably noticed the complete lack of communication from me for a few months now, both via email and on the website. I used to send an email to you on an almost daily basis, or weekly at the very least, but as of late, that has not been happening - and I owe you a (long overdue!) explanation for this.
So, where HAVE I been - and what have I been upto?
Well, many things, really - the short answer to this would be LIFE and it's many turns have been keeping me busy. REAL busy, so busy that I've not even found time to speak to you guys for a while, which is something I aim at rectifying at the very earliest.
Well, like I said - many things - amongst one, Mrs Rahul Mookerjee and myself discovered a while back that we're soon going to become parents. Yes, that's right - unexpected news, at least when we got to know, but still GREAT news, and something we've always wanted.
Second, as many of you already know, I moved to Oman a while back - this for reasons mostly unrelated to the Fast and Furious business, but reasons unavoidable all the same - and THAT has been keeping me busier than an industrious worker bee as of late.
I'll go more into detail on all this at a later stage, but for now, let's just say that I've been real busy - like unavoidably busy - and hence the silence for a few months.
Anyway, so what have I been doing for exercise during this busy time, you might ask. Have I been getting my workouts in as usual?
Well - the answer to that is YES - even if I exercise less frequently at times due to other committments. But yes, I've still been getting some great ones in - and whats even better is that I've been experimenting with some different routines, which look to be giving me good results as well.
I'll share the actual "meat" of the workouts with you in emails to follow, but for now, I'll give you a brief overview:
- I've been getting a lot of my workouts in on the beach - great, great place to workout if one knows how to (and plus it's right HERE - prime example of using whatever "tools" you have at your disposal at the time). Workouts done on a flat surface are one thing, but add the uneven nature of a sandy beach in, and you take each exercise to a whole different level. Fingertip pushups as covered in Fast and Furious Fitness are a great example - they feel TWICE as hard when done in the shifting sand. Not to mention swimming in the ocean - a fantastic overall body workout which feels way different from workouts done on land, but offers many of (and some extra) benefits as well.
- Walking, climbing and running stairs has become a rather important part of my routine - and thats a good thing!!
- The heavy bag has become a part of my routine, and I'm getting some fantastic workouts in on it. Stay tuned for further details on that one.
And more, but thats a brief synopsis. The important thing to note is that I'm still getting my workouts in despite being real pressed for time - and if your in the same situation as I am - so should YOU. Something else to note as well is that I'm not forgetting my old routines - not by a long shot. But, adding something new into your routine once in a while spices things up, keeps it interesting, and is usually always a good thing provided you stick with it for a period of time.
Anyway, more to follow, so much more to share with you - but that's it for now. Until next time, take care - and if your working out today, make it an awesome one!
PS: Fast and Furious Fitness gives you many routines you can stick with - even if you dont have very much time to get a workout in. Grab your copy today!
PS#2: Train hard, and keep at it!
Was on my way up a flight of stairs last night when I was stopped by some guys I vaguely know. They live in the same building that I do, so we often exchange pleasantries, kidding back and forth, and so on.
"You been out jogging?", one of them asked me. (I was wearing shorts, so that was a question I expected).
"No", I respond. "Better ways to stay fit than jogging for hours, though there's nothing wrong with it if you enjoy it".
"Ah, so you must have gone to the gym then, huh", responds another dude, plucking at my shoulder. "How much weight do you use for your shoulder exercises" he then asked.
"No weight", I responded.
He looked at me as if I'd said I could fly from the US to Antarctica within a matter of minutes.
"Well, how did you get those well built shoulders then? Everyone knows its not possible to develop the upper body well enough without a regular weight lifting schedule".
I grinned, and didnt respond.
Then one of the other guys, who'd been quiet until now piped up.
"He goes to the natural gym", smiling and looking at me for affirmation.
And while that wasn't how I'd describe it, it was a pretty interesting term anyway - and he was on the right track. I smiled, nodded to the guys, and made my way back to my apartment.
Thats what I like best about Fast and Furious exercises - they confuse the average "gym rat" into thinking your doing something better than they are at the gym. Do these exercises regularly, and you'll have folks thinking you spend all day at the gym, kill yourself lifting heavy weights, take pills - have some sort of magic diet, and so forth - the works. While all the time your secure in the knowledge that you do NONE of that - you exercise with a minimum of equipment, and eat healthy - natural foods. You exercise hard, but you dont spend all day exercising. And the results you get are usually FAR better than those gotten by the "I spent four and a half hours doing bench presses in the gym" dude you so often meet.
So, would YOU like to join the "natural gym"?
Would YOU like to get on the fast track to supreme fitness and health - without spending all day in the gym - and feel great for the rest of the day after you complete your workout?
I'd bet the answer to this is yes - and the only membership fees you'll need to fork out is the ridiculously low $24.99 for Fast and Furious Fitness. Far less than what you'd typically spend for a year long membership at the local health club - and whats more - this membership lasts for LIFE.
So, make the sensible choice, my friend. Sprint on over HERE now, and grab your lifetime membership to the "natural gym" NOW!
PS: I spoke about strong shoulders in this email - Fast and Furious Fitness will show you the BEST exercise you can do to get super strong, healthy and powerful shoulders.
PS#2: I know I've been a bit remiss with the daily emails - life's just getting TOO busy - but I promise I'll try and rectify this!
Do you have back problems of any kind? Stiffness in the back, an inability to bend over fully and touch your toes, or maybe extreme lower back pain that gets aggravated by simple day to day activities? Stiff upper back? Hunched over? The list goes on, and on, and on. . .
And if you answered yes to any of these questions, believe me, your in the majority - not the minority.
Sad as it sounds, back pain/problems are an issue for a LOT of people today. Just this week, I spoke to three people in their early 30's - a time when the body should be at it's fittest - that could barely make it to work and back home without severe lower back pain. In fact, there are folks that end up going to work with back braces strapped on - the pain can get to be THAT bad.
And this issue ranges across all age groups and demographics - I've seen folks that could lift enormous poundages do so, and grab their lower back in agony the next minute. I've seen 18 years old that make regular visits to the chiropractor. And so forth.
What's sad is that back pain is an issue one can easily avoid - WITHOUT making expensive trips to doctors and chiropractors, and without consuming a ton of expensive medications.
How so, you might ask.
Well, the first way is blindingly simple - and thats basically to "get off thy duff", as it were. Most folks today spend the majority of their days sitting down, and sitting for long periods without moving or stretching is without exception, one of the WORST things you can do for your back - especially your LOWER back. Simply walking around for a while with erect posture can alleviate back pain to a degree, but what amazes me is that folks are willing to drive long distances to see medical professionals that will "help their back pain", but neglect to simply walk around for a while daily.
Most back pain occurs due to the following reasons - weak upper back muscles (very common), weak muscles along the spine, and a wonky lower back (this last one is extememly common too). Those are the usual culprits - strengthen these areas the right way, and you can say goodbye to back problems forever.
So, how do you get the job done then?
Well, simple - you do so through bodyweight exercises that strengthen your back naturally. Pull-ups, as taught in Fast and Furious Fitness are one of the VERY BEST exercises you can do for your entire back. These are tough, but the results make the effort more than worth it.
There are stretches that make you feel like a billion bucks as well - while working the whole body as a unit. One of these is the gymnastic bridge that I show you in Fast and Furious Fitness - get good at this, and you'll be bidding riddiance to that nagging lower back pain shortly thereafter. I show you the basic movement in the book - there are far more advanced variations - but you'd be amazed at how many folks (including the "pumpers" in the gym) score a big ZERO when they try this one for the first time.
And lest you think those are the only things you can do to strengthen your back - well, think again, my friend. There are a plethora of different options available to you - but only if your open to trying them. The path most traveled is NOT always the best path, especially on this one!
Last, but not least, this email is NOT intended to be medical advice - if you have recurring back pain that doesn't go away even after strengthening your back, see a medical professional right away. In most cases though, I'll be willing to bet you won't need to do so after working on some of the exercises I spoke about - back pain will most likely be a thing of the PAST.
Anyway, thats it for today. Get cracking on "dem" pull-ups, and some of the other Fast and Furious exercises, and watch your back pain disappear like there's no tomorrow!
Well, it's been a long time between posts indeed - and for that I apologize. Just too much going on this last month as it were; the main thing being that life being the strange animal that it is, I've ended up moving from the plains of India to a tiny country in the Gulf of all places - to Oman, specifically. The reasons for this move are beyond the scope of today's email, but it was a heck of a move regardless, which ate up pretty much every spare minute my wife and me had over the last month.
And lest you think the title of this email was a mistake, well, no - it isn't - I fitted in a fantastic trip to the Himalayas as well. That's something I make sure to do every year - I simply can't stay away from the mountains.
So, whats all this got to do with exercise, you might ask?
Well, plenty, if you think about it. Look, the first thing is that there's been a lot of travel going on as of late, so I haven't had the chance to work out daily - and when I do work out here, I don't have a pull-up bar at hand. Neither is there a local park I can go and do pull-ups in. So, I do the best I can with other exercises. Nothing can quite replace the thick bar pull-ups I did before, but I think I'll live until I find a way around that problem.
And no - I don't skip my workouts just because there's no pull-up bar around - there's plenty of other things you can do for an excellent workout. See Fast and Furious Fitness for more on that.
And what if you'd want to skip your regular workout altogether - and do something different for a few days?
Well, you can - and thats what I did on my recent trip to the mountains in India. It was a five day trip, and ALL I did was walk up and down the mountains (trek would be a better term) daily. And believe you me, trekking the steep Himalayas is not something to sneeze at, especially if your doing an average of 8kms or so a day, most of that up steep dirt tracks through the jungle. I guess you can say I slept like the proverbial log at night - whew!!
On that note, know that walking hills is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and fitness, so if you have access to hills around you, make sure you incorporate hill climbs into your routine. And it doesn't end there - you can also SPRINT up the hills - only make sure you work up to a certain level of fitness before attempting hill sprints!
It was a great, great trip overall - stunningly beautiful mountains, great weather, good food - and getting in great workouts without even thinking about it. Double thumbs up overall.
Now note that I do NOT recommend skipping your regular routine all the time; especially not if your skipping it in favor of a less beneficial routine. Sticking to a routine and getting better at a few exercises is one of the hidden keys to lifelong health and strength, but if you need a change - or if you find yourself in a position to follow an equally beneficial routine for a few days,then by all means go for it.
And as for now, I haven't found any outdoor activites to do here in Oman, but then I'm only a few days old here. Give it some, and let's see what I can dig up!
All for now - I should be updating this more frequently now that I finally have acess to the Internet. In the meantime, have a great weekend ahead - and if you train, make sure to make it a great one!
PS: Hill sprints are without exception one of the most powerful tools in your fitness kitbag, but you've got to be exercise due caution while doing them. Fast and Furious Fitness shows you how to work these into your routine - do so if at all possible, and you won't believe how quickly your body changes before your eyes!
Getting a sensible workout routine together - and sticking to it like billy-o is one of the BEST decisions you'll ever make in your life. Elementary, I know, but my dear Watson, you'd be amazed at the number of people that put off or otherwise never make this one simple decision that can change their lives for the better.
There are a ton of excuses that folks like to make to convince themselves that "that type of workout is just not for them". You hear people complaining about lack of time, lack of exercise equipment, lack of a decent gym or other area to workout nearby - and so forth. And truth be told, these are all excuses when it comes right down to it - where there is a will, there is ALWAYS a way, and this is especially so with exercise.
Now, something you'll hear people talk about a lot of times is the weather. For instance, someone living in hot and humid subtropical Asia (or elsewhere) may complain about his daily run due to the heat, and end up skipping it altogether a lot of days. On the other end of the spectrum, those living in Scandanavian countries deal with snowy conditions (and zero daylight) a lot of the year - but does that mean they should stop exercising outdoors for themajority of the year?
Let's think about it - what good would it do to get on an exercise program "when the weather is good" and then do nothing "when it's bad"?
It's summer where I live currently - and that means temperatures of over 45 degrees Celsius (over 113 F) IN THE SHADE. Does that mean I've cut back on my workouts, or have stopped trying to achieve my best during each and every workout? Absolutely not - even if it means dripping with sweat for the majority of my workout. Trust me, there are times where I feel like I'm breathing in molten lava instead of air - thats how hot it is - but I keep going.
And just so you know, I do NOT workout in air-conditoned gyms and do NOT have ceiling fans or A/C's running if I workout at home. I aim to create a spartan environment in which to workout - so if it's my living room, it'll be me, the carpet and the wall - and nothing else. Yes, I'll sweat up a storm - and YES, it'll make the workout that much tougher to accomplish - but believe me, I feel like a billion bucks at the end of it - and so will you if you do something similar.
Those of you that are familiar with my writings know that I spent a few enjoyable years in China a while back. Part of my workout there was to climb a long, steep hill near my house on a daily basis - in sapping hot and humid conditions (sometimes I'd climb during the middle of the day if that is when I had time). I climbed this hill when it was HOT - I climbed during pouring rain (when almost no-one would be at the hill) - in short, I climbed darn near EVERY DAY without missing a day unless I really had to. And the results of this showed as well - those of you that have read Fast and Furious Fitness will know what I'm talking about.
Now, I'm not necessarily asking you to go to giddy limits here. You don't have to climb in the rain, and you don't necessarily need to workout during the middle of the day - but what I'm saying is to FIND A WAY to get your workout accomplished, irrespective of the weather conditions. This may mean modifying your workout a bit, or it may mean changing the time of your workout. Whatever it is, make sure you "get her done" - and do so like you mean it.
Finally, the other side of the coin is that you do need to respect weather conditions to a degree. For instance, I usually finish off around 2 bottles of water during my workout these days - I don't think I could maintain the intensity of the workout without replacing some of the fluid I lose. And if you run in cold weather, make sure your wearing protective clothing while you do so. And so forth.
The main point I'm trying to make here is to find a way - and strike a BALANCE that allows you to get your workout in regardless of weather conditions - and do so SAFELY.
Find that balance, and you'll be that much further down the road of strength, health, and lifelong fitness.
PS: I talk about Fast and Furious Fitness in this note - it can be found right HERE.
One of my favorite proverbs goes such "A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link."
We've all heard it before. You can have the strongest pieces of metal holding that chain together, but one little weak piece will cause it to snap in two when push comes to shove.
And the same applies to your body as well. You can have the strongest arms and legs in the world, but weak lower back muscles will always limit the amount you can push and pull. You can have huge biceps, but weak forearms will always limit your gripping/pulling potential. Strong quads coupled with weak hamstrings are an open invitation to injury, especially if your an athlete. And the list goes on and on.
So, what can YOU do to ensure that you strengthen all your weak links?
Well, for one,you can base your workout upon compound exercises that work several groups of muscles together as opposed to exercises that claim to "isolate" certain muscles. This means, that for example, you concentrate on getting better at doing pull-ups in good form rather than sitting on a chair and pumping out curls to "develop the peak of the biceps muscle". Remember that exercises that work several large muscle groups together are the BEST exercises you can do - not just for overall development, but also to ensure that any weak links in the chain are quickly identified and fixed. Try doing pull-ups with a weak grip - it just won't work unless you strengthen your grip.
Second, you need to make sure you actively strengthen your weak links instead of ignoring them. So in the example above, avoiding the pull-up in favor of the lat pulldown machine is NOT the answer. Work the exercise until you have a solid grip - and work your grip in particular as well - in other words, ensure you strengthen the weak link to the fullest extent possible.
Remember, a weak link means you have a problem. And when you have a problem you don't ignore it and hope it'll go away on its own. You must actively FIX that problem - and the very same thing applies to weak (or underdeveloped) parts of your body as well.
By the way, this little gem of a saying doesn't just apply to fitness - this applies to business, daily life, security, and just about anything else you can think of. Think of a Ferrari with a powerful engine but a suspension that is about to fall apart. You get the point. . .insert example of choice, but the fact remains that weak links are there to be fixed - not ignored.
Do so, and you'll notice a vast improvement in your overall strength and fitness levels within a few days.
PS: - The best compound exercises can be done with little other than your own bodyweight. That's right - you don't need a single weight to get in a decent workout. Check out Fast and Furious Fitness for some GREAT compound exercises that YOU can include into your routine today!
Was going hammer and tongs at my workout today in the park. I was doing pull-ups along with ab and grip work - one of my most enjoyable routines. The sun was out, the birds were singing and there was a cool (sort of) breeze blowing in my face. Long story short: - I was training hard and all was well with the world.
(OK, maybe all wasn't well with the world - but you know what I'm saying - when your engrossed in a tough workout - and if your applying yourself as you SHOULD be - nothing else seems to matter at the time!)
Anyway, I noticed this one seriously overweight dude with headphones on "checking me out" as I went through my routines. Wasn't annoying - and to his credit, he was being (or trying to be) discreet about it, but what made it completely obvious is that he discarded his own routine and literally started to ape what I was doing (when he thought I wasn't looking).
Now, being that his own routine was mostly lying down horizontally on the dipping bars and doing some sort of "stretch" in that position (I kid you not), that would appear to be a good thing. I was doing exercises that work - good, HARD exercises that produce results - so on the surface of it, it should be a good thing that this type of training was what he was apeing - right?
But it wasn't.
So there I was, doing slow pullups in sets of 5. Slow, hard pullups to really nail good form (there's a tip in itself) - and I was doing those in sets of 5.
Our guy waits till I'm done, and then leaps on to the monkey bars and tries to do much the same thing with a lot of "aah's", and "ouches" - and the mandatory "kipping", as in, he's literally using momentum to pull himself half way up and then dropping back down like a sack of potatoes. After doing a rep or two of this, he pauses, and continues staring at me working my way through my own set of pullups.
After that, I did some hanging leg raises, and hanging knees-to-chest exercises - two of the very best things you can do for all round core development. So our guy decides this is something else he likes, and attempts it. He gets his knees up about a quarter of an inch or so via pure "swinging" (NOT the right way to do them), and then larrups down from the monkey bars with more vocalizations. Gee, no wonder it hurts, it's wonder the dude hasn't torn his lower back apart completely if this is what he does on a regular basis.
And it was more of the same as I proceeded on to other exercises. At the end of it all, he simply shook his head and walked out of the park - likely never to return again - and likely to harbor a grudge against the "tough exercises" he was apeing.
Now, I tell you this not to poke fun at the dude, but simply because there are WAY too many people out there who copy other people's routines to the letter, and then wonder why it doesn't work as well for them as it has for someone else. And this is a huge mistake.
Remember - your body is UNIQUE - and what works for you might not work well for others (and vice versa). Said dude wasn't even in any sort of shape to do pull-ups and had obviously never done them before; he'd be far better off working exercises that would pull his ponderous belly in - but he saw me doing it, so he had to attempt it as well. Bob Doe down the road reads that "so and so champion of XYZ bodybuilding contest" does "10 sets of 50 reps in the bench press", and attempts the same thing himself - and the next thing we know is that he's sitting at home nursing a sore shoulder or worse.
It might sound funny, but that's how it is for the majority of people. And they'd be FAR, FAR better off figuring out what works best for THEM as opposed to what the big guy on steriods does, or what someone with far more experience than them does. That is what I'd advise for YOU as well - figure out - and DO what works best for YOU!
And last, but not least, this is NOT to say that you shouldn't learn from others. Quite the contrary - you should - but there is a difference between "studying" someone's methods and blindly copying them. Study, learn, and then adapt said methods to your OWN advantage, and your on the right track. Other hand, if all you do is blindly copy - well, you're likely not going to get very far, if at all.
And that, my friend, is that for the day.
PS: One of the very best sources of knowledge that you can study is right HERE.
Headed out to the park this morning after pumping out 180 good pushups. The blood was roaring in my ears - I'd normally do some more things before gallivanting on to the park, but being it's cool outside (for a change), I couldn't wait to get outside to feel the fresh breeze on my face.
So, romped on to the park, onto my exercise spot - only to find the dipping bars being occupied by a short, portly gentleman who was, for lack of a better description, "swinging" himself on the dipping bars. So much for starting off with a nice, slow, low set of dips.
Side note: It's amazing how people ignore a fantastic piece of workout equipment right IN FRONT of their eyes. Sure, the old, thick dipping bars ain't no shiny machine in a new gym - but use them correctly, and they'll build more strength than any new fangled machine ever will (or can). This particular gentleman was a step ahead of those who see dipping bars as a place to hang their sweaters and not much else - but still, if your out exercising, and if all you can think of doing on the dipping bars is swinging back and forth while imagining that "loosens" your legs up, well. . .
Anyway, started off with pull-ups. Warmed up with some "mini" pull-ups, and then on to the first, full range pull-up. Upon which the guy behind me said "Wow, for a big guy like you, you sure can pull yourself up well. Cool!".
Well, being that I'd only done ONE full range pull-up at that time, I was a bit surprised to hear that - but thanked him anyway, and moved on to doing sets of pull-ups. He continued goggling at me for quite a while before he finally left. Wonder what he'd have said if he saw some of the grip exercises I was doing.
Anyway, the reason I bring this up today is to point out one major fallacy in modern day thinking (when it comes to fitness) - and that is, one's weight. Folks automatically assume a stocky, strong fellow is "musclebound" and "not fit" - and when they see a rail-thin skinny waif or dude, they pat them on the back saying "well done, I wish I was fit as you are".
Erroneous thinking, my friend. While weight is, and always will be an important measure of one's overall health and fitness, it is by NO MEANS the end and all of fitness. I've seen rail thin folks struggle to do even one pullup, and I've seen big, strong guys climb hills daily without getting fatigued. I've seen skinny men jogging around the park - supposedly building strong lung power - but give them a flight of stairs to sprint up, and they're exhausted before they know it. And these are but a few examples.
So, that, my friend, is a classic example of judging a book by it's cover - not the insides. And if your going to counter what I'm saying by pointing out that body mass indexes are what one needs to consider - well, then just remember that some of the world's strongest and fittest athletes are considered obese by those standards. That's right - obese - and we're talking highly paid professional athletes here. So while I'm not knocking the BMI thing, it's again by no means an accurate indicator of one's fitness.
And on the flip side, this should NOT be taken to an extreme and is NOT an excuse to justify being fat and slovenly. If your belly hangs out depressingly, if you can barely walk a mile without fatigue, if you can't do a single pushup in good form, all these things are NOT good things - and you DO need to make sure you can do them, and control your weight accordingly. What I'm saying though is that shouldn't be the only thing your focusing on.
Concentrate on your HEALTH - and STRENGTH - and make sure your doing all the right things to keep your weight at a decent level - and the rest will come automatically. The above won't guarantee you a six pack - I don't have one myself, and never have - but it will guarantee you some amazing improvements in your overall health, strength and levels of fitness.
So, that, my friend, is today's tip - time for this "big" guy to go shower!
PS: I speak about dips in today's note - a fantastic exercise for the entire upper body. To find out how to do them in proper form, I urge you to get your copy of Fast and Furious Fitness NOW.
I finished off my workout this morning with a series of dynamic stretches. Nothing at all complicated, just simple, basic stuff that stretch and strengthen the ENTIRE body - and make one feel amazingly alive at the end of it all. Now, I had just finished a HARD workout - but after I finished things off with stretching, I was literally buzzing with energy - good, positive ENERGY - all as a result of my stretches and how good they made me feel.
Folks often talk about runner's high, feeling the "pump" in the arms and so forth - but how many times have you heard someone talk about feeling "on cloud nine" after a series of fantastic stretches? I bet not many - and thats the reason I'm mentioning it in today's email.
One of the stretches I did was to grab my ankles. That's right, just grab my ankles. All you have to do on this one is to lie on your stomach, and bend backwards in that position to grab your ankles with your hands - and HOLD for time (in my case, a minute and 30 seconds). Simple as this one sounds, most folks wouldn't be able to hold this one for more than 20-30 seconds - let alone a minute or more.
Another one I did was the gymnastic bridge - something I've written about before, and something I highly recommend. Talk about turbo charging the entire body through this one stretch - WOW!
And while these two stretches I've just mentioned have you buzzing for the rest of the day, a great add on is that they are also an excellent core/abdominal workout. In fact, I wouldn't be lying if I told you you could get a good core workout from these two exercises alone.
Also note that I did these stretches AFTER my workout - not before. I've written about this before - it's always better to stretch at the end of your workout as opposed to before (which is what the "experts" all tell us). More on that later, and if you missed the post where I talked about it, simply use the search feature on the blog and you'll find it.
Well, my friend, that's it for today - gotta go run some errands now. Be well!
PS: I talk about both the stretches I mentioned, and many, many more stretches in Fast and Furious Fitness - grab your copy NOW, and start turbocharging your internal circuitry TODAY!
Cardiovascular training a.k.a "Cardio". Hey, we've all heard the word. It doesnt matter if we're overweight sitting in the doctor's office, lifting enormously heavy weights while the tubby guy next to you "does time" on the treadmill, or even while getting unwanted advice while your pumping out a good set of pushups.
The term has become so common these days that it's nigh impossible to talk about a fitness program without mentioning cardio specifically. Unless of course your talking about Fast and Furious Fitness - where the emphasis is on staying strong, fit and healthy (and many other things) - but not necessarily "cardio" in itself.
Now, I realize that some people reading this will automatically take this to mean that I'm not much of a one for cardiovascular workouts, not a huge believer in maintaining a low resting pulse rate, etc etc - but that couldn't be further from the truth. I think those are excellent goals, and that "cardio" should be a part of every workout - but where I diverge from most modern day "gurus" is that I don't believe a workout should be either this or that. Most people today are trained to think of either "strength" workouts or "cardio" workouts - and that is completely alien to my line of thought.
So, am I not concentrating as much on "cardio" as I should be? Am I doing the wrong thing by not endorsing mindless hour long (or more) slow jogging routines that will supposedly give you excellent cardio?
I think not, my friend - but before you judge, here's a simple test that will have you thinking. And that simple test is this - drop down, and give me 50 slow,good pushups in GOOD form. That's it - 50 pushups - and for those of you that haven't been doing this a while - make that 25. Just make sure that every rep is a good rep, and thats all I demand.
After your done with the 50 (or 25 - and believe me, even 25 pushups done in good form is more than what the average gym goer is able to handle), take note of your breathing? I'll bet your more than a bit out of breath - possibly completely winded if your out of shape at this time. And it's quite likely that your breathing won't return to normal for at least a couple of more minutes - or maybe even more.
And THAT, my friend, is "cardio" right there for you. Pushups are NOT purely a "cardio" workout - but they provide cardio benefits notwithstanding. And thats pretty much the case with most exercises I advocate in the book - they are NOT hour long "cardio" routines. But boy oh boy, they sure do get you breathing harder than you have in a while - and the pushup example was but one of the things I talk about.
I'm not sure where folks came up with the idea of "more is better" when it comes to cardio. You'll have people running on the treadmill for hours, claiming they did "cardio" and yet they have a tough time dropping weight and gaining muscle. Curiously enough, these same people are somehow able to watch TV, chat with the person on the machine next to them, sip sports drinks, and do all this while doing their "cardio" - and then they wonder why they aren't getting results.
Compare that to the minute or so 25 pushup routine I asked you to do. After doing 25 good pushups, even an advanced trainee will be somewhat out of breath - and a beginner will likely be wiped out. You won't HAVE the breath left to chit-chat; and THAT is what real cardio training is all about. And remember, the exercise isn't even a pure cardio exercise like jogging on the treadmill is.
Now, I know that some people are so addicted to long, drawn out cardio sessions that it would be pointless for me to tell them otherwise. And that's fine by me - to each his own. Just know that the hours your spending pounding the pavement could be better spent elsewhere - with better results - and if you choose to learn how, well, I'm here for ya.
Last, but not least - workouts should ALWAYS be well rounded - i.e. you should be getting stronger, and FITTER through doing an exercise. Simply focusing on one of those two is not ideal - focus on the overall package, not the bits and pieces that make it up.
And that, my friend, is what I think about cardio. Have a fantastic weekend ahead, and if your training this weekend - get after it with gusto!
PS: Fast and Furious Fitness will ensure you get the complete package when it comes to workouts - grab your copy NOW.
Had some real trouble peeling the shirt off my back this morning. I tugged and tugged - but the darn thing just wouldn't come off my upper back. I finally managed to "reach around" and get it upto my shoulders - whence the tug of war began all over again.
I pullled, grunted, groaned - did everything possible to get the darn thing off my shoulders and into the laundry - at one point it seemed I'd have no option but to literally cut the damn thing off my body.
And then, finally, I managed to get it off - whoa!
Now, the reason behind me telling you this is not to detail my after workout struggles with apparel - but it fits in rather nicely with what I'm going to tell you today.
Today was one of those days where I suddenly got a little constrained for time as far as my workout schedule goes. Arrived at the park with a plan in mind - that being doing a long pull up and pushup session there - but wouldn't you know it, the best laid plans go awry at the last moment. Don't you hate that - I know I do, especially since I'm a creature of routine when it comes to exercise.
But, there wasn't much I could do - except to train in the very limited time I had, which was a sum total of 10 minutes.
So what I did was I took one movement out of each "group" of exercises I was going to do, and focused on that. I did this for THREE exercises - and did not rest between movements. And at the end of that 10 minutes (or maybe 12), I was breathing pretty hard and sweating all over. Not quite as much as during my regular routine, but nothing to sneeze at either. Called it a day at that point - will make it a point to make up for the lost time tomorrow.
And you'd think that this type of training wouldn't be too hard - after all, all I did was THREE exercises - right?
WRONG - and my struggle with the shirt bears testament to this.
This type of "abbreviated" training can work great sometimes, especially when you're a bit stressed for time. It can also work great if you're exhausted from an extra hard workout the day before, or simply for a change. Key things here are to CONCENTRATE - concentrate HARD on form as well as the movement, and to move FAST - faster than you would during your regular workouts. And you'll quickly see that you can get a fantastic workout in even if you have a sum total of just 10 minutes to spare.
So, give this type of training a try sometimes - it really works!
PS: I include a killer routine that will have you puffing within 10 minutes flat in Fast and Furious Fitness - check it out HERE!
Regular readers will have noticed that I generally do (and recommend doing) my exercises in a set pattern/order. By that, I mean that there is a "method to the madness" as in, I don't just hop, skip and jump from one exercise to the other. So I'll be talking about doing a 100 pushups, then maybe some pullups, finish off with some stretching - that sort of thing, as opposed to "a pushup here, 2 there".
And truth be told, sticking to a sensible routine is one of the keys to making good progress. Map out a good routine for yourself, and stick to it religiously for a length of time - and you'll see what I'm saying.
But what I'm going to say today is going to go against what I just said above - or will it?
Today was "one of those days" for me - I didn't particualrly feel like getting out of bed due to a nasty head cold that I seem to have picked up, and my energy levels were practically at zero. Not the ideal recipe for a great day, let alone workout, but yet, I knew that I'd feel way worse if I didn't get the blood flowing a bit.
So, laced up my running shoes, got out my trusty jump rope, and started jumping.
(Note: There are some of you that will take this a bit too literally and attempt to train hard when you're REALLY sick - and I'll say this right now - DON'T do it. Training with a case of the sniffles is one thing, training when your bedridden and really sick is quite another. The contents of this email are not medical advice - when in doubt, ALWAYS seek medical advice first).
My workout today was strange in some aspects. I didn't feel like I was doing good at all on the jumps, but ended up setting a personal best with regard to numbers. Then moved into pushups, but for some reason, I couldn't do them well at all today - so did about 75 (no real reason behind that number) and then figured I'd do pullups.
Now, I normally train my pull-ups in sets, along with other exercises. This allows me to hit each exercise HARD - and get the most out of the movement. But today, I didn't really follow any such pattern - it was pullups, grip work, then some ab work, then back to pull ups again. NOT the kind of order I'd follow generally - but it seemed to work for me today.
Ended up getting a decent workout in, and am feeling much better for the effort I put in.
So remember this: While sticking to a routine is key, and will lay a solid foundation for great future gains, also remember that there are going to be times you're going to have to deviate from the routine. The reasons are varied - you may not have access to a chinning bar at times, you may choose to focus on one exercise more than another on some days, or you may just not feel up to your normal routine sometimes. Whatever it is - remember that an occasional deviation from your regular routine is perfectly fine, and may even help you get better at certain exercises. And here's the main thing: Your deviating from your routine - but your still doing SOMETIHNG. Beats the heck out of sitting on the couch complaining to yourself that your too bushed to workout - don't you agree?
Just make sure that an occasional deviation is just that - occasional. For the most part, you still need to stick to your regular routine - and if you don't have a regular routine as yet, well, you need one - Fast and Furious Fitness would be a good start for some great routines.
And that, my friend, is that for now. Off to the trusty Post Office shortly. . .
Scary term, ain't it? "Decagenarian" - took me a while just to spell that one correctly (if I have this time around); in other words "the over 100 age ground". Century plus, whatever you prefer to call it. Those of us that make it to the ripe old age of 100 and beyond (senior PLUS discounts??) fit into the category I just mentioned.
Living to the age of 100 itself sounds scary to most people, but it doesn't have to be that way. Follow the right diet, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and you'll be adding on years to your lifespan without even thinking about it. In other words "do as Grandma advised", and you'll stick around for way longer than you think.
Sounds like the right thing to do, doesn't it? And while it is - the funny thing is that there are some of us in the 100+ age group that contradict a lot of these principles, and are still as hale and hearty as can be at 100+.
I was reading an article on decagenarians in the local newspaper today. I normally have little use for the mainstream media - most of the news is either politically motivated or does nothing much to motivate and inspire - but some of the stuff they write about is actually good, and this was one of them.
Anyway, they profiled (as in, spoke to personally and then profiles) a few decagenarians to find out what the secret of their longetivity was. And what they found out might surpise you.
Two of the "young" men are twins living in China. They are 103 years of age - and what do they eat on a daily basis? Snakes. That's right, SNAKES - and thats what they say has enabled them to live on to such an advanced age. Apparently snake bile cleanses the phelgm and cures chest problems - and these fine "young" men say snake bile is what enabled them to live in until 103. They can still walk unassisted - and do so for 2-3 km daily.
Another "young-un" lives in India, and follows a simple diet of tea, milk, pulses and vegetables - but that isn't the entire story. This dude took up running at the tender age of 80, and is one of the, if not THE, oldest marathoners around.
That's right - he STARTED to run at the age of EIGHTY - 55 years after most folks give up - and he's STILL DOING IT AT THE AGE OF 101!
100 too young for you? Well, let's move on to a lady from Georgia (I think) who is about 130, and drinks a ton of vodka daily in addition to walking daily. NOT the ideal thing to do for long lasting health - or so WE think. Here's someone that's living proof of the exact opposite.
A slightly younger person from China (102) does much the same thing, except he substitutes vodka for the local liqor, and he smokes a ton of cigarettes to boot. And yet, he's fit and raring to go - more so than most 20 year olds are in this day and age. When asked, he too said he walks on a daily basis - unassisted, of course.
Anyhow, I think you can see what most of these people have in common - and that is, they MOVE on a daily basis. Specifically, they WALK - and thats one of the most important things you can do for your overall health and fitness as well. And you shouldn't just walk to lose weight, though some forms of walking do help you lose weight fast. No, I recommend talking long, leisurely walks - and relax, and breathe deeply while doing so - this simple practice alone will add on a couple of years to your life.
And while you may not have the time for long WALKS (at least not daily), I recommend you make walking a part of your daily life anyway. Walk for 15 minutes in the morning before work, or before bedtime. It doesn't matter when you do it - and you don't have to do it for hours - but make sure you include some sort of walking into your routine. You'll benefit more from it than you realize at this point!
Anyway, I suddenly got a bit rushed for time, so I'll end this here. Back again tomorrow!
PS: Walking is something I cover in great detail in Fast and Furious Fitness -- grab your copy ASAP!
I know folks that stick to their training routines, work their exercises HARD and with passion; and follow a decent diet most of the time. These folks are giving it their very best in every workout - shooting for those 5 extra reps no matter what - or shaving a second or two off their sprint timings - or just doing an exercise better than they did it the last time they worked it.
Well, all good, you might say - so where does the question I posed come up?
A few weeks back, I was doing wonderfully well on my pushup workouts. Was banging out 200 odd pushups daily at a point - and when I say I was doing real well on them, I mean I was improving on every workout. I was either doing them at a faster pace, or doing more reps in one set, or doing more reps of a harder pushup than an easier one. And my progress led me to push myself harder and harder during each training session - which is normally a good thing.
But then, all of a sudden, one fine day, that seemed to change a little. I think it was Monday - I couldn't get past my previous "best" numbers on any of the pushups and I took a bit more time to do them than normal. Note that I still DID them - still felt GREAT after doing them - but I didn't "progress" in that particular workout.
No problem, it might just be an off day of sorts of me, I thought - and I didn't worry about it after that.
Come Tuesday, the same problem persisted. Come Wednesday, and I actually was able to do LESSER number of reps than I had been doing previously - and THAT got me thinking.
How could this happen? I was doing what worked for before (great tip right there), following the same diet as before, and doing everything the same way as before - but how was this causing me to go down on the pushup numbers?
Well, I then thought I'd take a bit of a break from the pushups and concentrate on some other exercises - this means I still did pushups daily, but I did more of some other exercises for the next three or so days. And when I finally did go back to my "set a personal record" pushup routine - voila - no more sticking points!
So, was it the different exercises that made the difference? Well - maybe - but the real thing is that I cut back on pushups a while, and didn't try to achieve a personal best in EVERY workout during those three days. And thats what I do these days as well. For instance, I did 100 pushups today - 120 yesterday - neither of those are a "best"; but sometime next week I'll shoot for 250, which is a decent number. And I bet I'll crack off without a problem.
So, my advice to you would be NOT to shoot for a personal best daily - and in THAT PARTICULAR regard not to give it your "all". Note I capitalized "THAT PARTICULAR" - this is important! I don't mean to tell you not to try hard in each workout - not at all. I'm just saying don't kill yourself in each and every workout - reserve that for some "special" day of the week. Follow that bit of advice, and you'll likely not hit many sticking points as well during YOUR workouts!
And that, my friend, is today's tip. Off to the shower now.
PS: As far as pushup workouts go, you'll find all that you need right HERE.