If there is any single bodyweight exercise that inspires awe, smacks of raw power, is an almost unparalled upper body muscle builder - and a tough one at that - it's probably the humble ole' PULL-UP.
Pull-ups are a supreme test of an individual's strength and fitness levels. And it's sad, but true - that most adults today are probably doing good to knock off ONE pull-up in decent form.
There are numerous reasons why the pull-up should be a staple part of any upper body workout you do, and I'll list some here: -
- One of the best strength exercises you can do - bar none. Pullups done correctly will give you superhuman grip and pulling strength; as well as increases in muscle all over your upper body - including the chest. Plus, they strengthen your entire back beyond belief - get good at these, and you can kiss your back pain goodbye forever.
- Pull-ups stretch and lengthen the spine, thus keeping the vertebrae aligned as they should. The very act of HANGING from the pull-up bar does this, and this leads to a huge increase in nerve force throughout the entire upper body - very few other exercises can duplicate this.
- Pull-ups ensure that you get "balanced" development throughout the upper body. Let's face it, most trainees are crazy about working the chest (which explains why bench pressing is so popular); but when it comes to the back, we don't see near as many folks lined up at the pull-up bar. And this sort of thing ultimately leads to unbalanced upper body development with an overdeveloped chest with nothing to "back it up", for lack of a better term - and makes you a prime candidate for injuries.
Ok, enough already your saying. I know pull-ups are good for me - but I can barely do ONE properly - what do I do?
Well, first of all, and the most important thing is - DON'T GIVE UP! It's easy to get disheartended when you can barely do a single pull-up despite training regularly - or if your training with someone thats good at them. Remember the Rocky movies? Remember Rocky II where we see Stallone popping off one handed chin ups? Or Rocky III, where we see "Mr T" grunting his way through a set of pull-ups while Rocky trains like (for lack of a better description) a "gym bunny"?
I bet you do - and if your not good at pull-ups yet, I bet those scenes had you in awe. That's good for inspirational purposes, but remember that YOU can get good at them as well. Emblazon that in mind as your work your pull-ups; you CAN - and WILL get good at pullups!
Also, make sure your doing your pull-ups in good form; this means pulling with the back instead of the arms. Most trainees will try and jump on to the pull-up bar and somehow haul themselves up - NOT a good way to do them! A correct pull-up starts from a dead hang, and you use your BACK to pull - not your arms - your arms should simply assist the movement. For more on this, see Fast and Furious Fitness - it's imperative you get the form down pat, and I've provided plenty of detail on pull-ups there.
Grip strength can also be a limiting factor for a lot of trainees; so you may also want to work on some supplementary grip exercises if your not improving at your pull-ups. I detailed some of these in yesterday's email, and the book contains plenty more that you can do.
Last, but not least - stay FOCUSED on the task. It's easy to lose focus when doing pull-ups, and end up with sloppy reps - not good. Make sure you focus on your grip, and your back - and keep that focus throughout the entire rep/set. That in itself is a huge tip right there - implement into your own training, and watch your results skyrocket.
And work your pull-ups hard - HARD! I know I said this at the beginning of the email, but it's so important it bears repeating. Remember, hard work is what gets you the best results, and you'll agree with me after you've got to the point where you can pop off 5 sets of 5 good pull-ups without much trouble!
Well, my friend, those are some tips that should get you started on the road to pull-up mastery. It's a long road to be sure, but one well worth mastering.
And if you haven't yet incorporated this exercise into your routine - well, you know what to do.
All for now. If you train today - train HARD, and make it a great one!
PS: Fast and Furious Fitness shows you how to go from ZERO pull-ups to stud level. Don't delay any longer - click HERE to grab your copy now, and get started on the road to get an upper body that'll be the envy of most gym rats!
It's funny, but true. A lot of the folks I meet these days just dont want to shake my hand any longer.
Take, for example, this incident that occured the other day. I was walking down the hallway, while a slightly older (and seemingly well built) guy that I know came down the hall. We shook hands as men normally do - or at least, as I think men SHOULD shake hands, and the next thing I know this guy is offering me a limp fish handshake, and asking me to "let go".
"I'm an old man, leave me alone", he whines.
Now being that he's not really that much older than I am, and also, being that I did nothing out of the ordinary, other than shake his hand, this left me bemused - even more so when he proceeded to complain later that I "crush" his hand every time I see him.
Or, take the case of a colleague of mine, who I see every morning. I walk up to him to shake hands, and what do I get but an even limper, two finger "handshake" if you can call it that. Why? Well, as he himself said once, "I don't have a very strong grip, and I don't think it's important". Hmm, OK. . .no problems at my end. . .
Then there are those who instead of shaking my hand, attempt to wrench the entire arm out of it's socket by vigorously shaking the entire arm up and down as if it were a tubewell (or elephant's trunk). And some of these folks look at me in a nasty manner when I actually GRIP the other hand - puts a wrench in their heaving, hehe.
Laugh all you like, but odds are if you train hard and regular, you've had similar experiences as well.
Anyway, limp fish handshakes, tubewells and sundry aside, there are FAR more benefits to a strong grip than simply delivering bonecrushers (and no, thats not what I set out to do every time I shake hands with someone). I speak at length about training the grip in Fast and Furious Fitness - there's an entire chapter devoted to it, and with very good reason.
Here are but a few of the reasons why YOU should be training your grip as hard as any other body part: -
- A strong grip makes it easier to perform, and improve tough exercises. Pull-ups being a case in a point - how many folks shy away from pullups because they simply dont have the power to hold on to the bar, let along pull in an organized manner?
- Strong fingers, tendons and wrists reduce the chances of injury when performing exercises that demand a LOT from the hands.
- A strong grip makes it easier to perform DAY to DAY tasks, such as lugging heavy sofas up and down stairs. Try pinch gripping a mammoth old sofa - or Grandma's piano - and transporting it up and down three flights of stairs. It ain't easy, and its just not possible if you have weak wrists and fingers.
And in case your wondering what latest gizmo you'll need to purchase the train the grip like it should be, relax - you don't need very much at all in terms of equipment - or time, for that matter. No need for heavy weights. No need to labor over endless sets of "concentration" curls while making sure the "thumb points towards the bicep". No need for wrist rollers (though those can be great). No rubber balls, no squeezing newspapers, none of that.
So, without further ado, how exactly DO I train my grip?
Well - there are plenty of ways - but I'll list a few of them off the top of my head: -
- Pull-ups (done in PROPER form) - one of the best ways to develop a bone crushing grip. Note: You have to do the exercise correctly to get the most out of it - no kipping, no cheating, no swinging - just good proper pull-ups!
- Standing on my hands - a tremendous forearm builder.
- Timed holds from a tree trunk, doorway chinning bar, or just about anything you can hang from safely - another killer.
- Fingertip pushups (again, done CORRECTLY!); these are an all but forgotten exercises, but one that will give you fingers and tendons that feel like pliable steel.
And those barely scratch the surface. . .there is SO MUCH MORE where those came from.
So, let's see. Getting a full body workout within 45 minutes or less (in some cases less than half an hour), great cardio and strength workout rolled into one, exercises designed to give you the grip of an African gorilla - and, best of all, the moans about bone crushers from the limp fish crowd, hehe - I'll take that anyday over lengthy, drawn out gym sessions and 100 sets of what-not for the biceps, and 15 sets "just to train the other forearms", and so forth.
OK - I'm joking about the "limp fish crowd" - but jokes aside, my friend, as you can see - if you train as I teach you in Fast and Furious Fitness; you'll realize that your getting a superb grip workout in WHILE doing your other exercises - without spending extra time on specifically working the grip. Don't get me wrong - you CAN specialize on grip work, if you do it correctly - you just dont HAVE to.
Grab the book today, and give these exercises a try - and let me know how you do!
PS: If you train today, make it a great one!!
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!
Got through another great workout this morning - and a pretty simple one at that. Most of my workouts these days consist of only THREE main exercises; yet, my entire body gets a fantastic working over with just these three main exercises. So, I guess you could say my workout is short, sweet and simple - and that, my friend, as with many other things in life is a good thing.
So, what did I do?
As I said, three exercises - and those are: 5x 5 handstand pushups, 4x 5 pull-ups, and the front/back bridge. I did some supplementary grip/balance work as well, but only because I felt like it - not because I had to. And that was that.
Now, just THREE exercises? I'm really getting a great workout (for the entire body) from just THREE exercises?
And the answer is, YES - I AM (short and simple again, but it gets the point across, so hey. . .).
Now, I realize this may be hard to believe for some of the gym going folks that have been practically raised on a diet of "10 sets x 10 for chest", "5 sets of 20 for the 'peak of the biceps' (whatever that may be)", "10 sets of 10 on the leg extension machine", and so forth. But tis true.
In fact, most people - not just the gym "pumpers" - look at me with disbelief when I tell them less is MORE when it comes to working out - and nothing I say would convince them to believe otherwise. Ask them why they believe the opposite though, and the majority won't really know what to say except that Bubba on the internet forum told them, and Bubba's always right, so, uh. . .there it is.
Okay, your choice - but without further ado, I'll give you my reasons behind the short, sweet and simple philosophy.
First off, your body only has so much to give. Unless your a professional athlete, sportsman, or laborer, you'll likely find that you have X amount of time to work out in, and only so much energy to devote to your workout. So doing a gazillion exercises won't work simply because you wont have the time - or ability - to do all of them justice.
Second, and this ties into point #1 - simply doing an exercise is not enough - you must FOCUS on the exercise like there's no tomorrow, and you must complete each rep in letter perfect form. Always strive to get better at what you do. And this is only possible if you have a limited number of exercises to do - it is impossible for anyone, even the most genetically gifted of us to do justice to ALL exercises in humumgous two to three hour daily workouts. And recovering from such workouts is next to impossible as well.
Third, and this is something you need to make a note of - the body responds to HARD work. Doing fewer sets of a TOUGH exercises (or struggling to get even one rep) is FAR better than moseying through a set of an easy exercise just for the "pump". The body doesnt care about how LONG you take to finish an exercise. It DOES care about how hard you work to complete the exercise, and therein lies the secret to increase in strength.
There's more to it as well - but for more details, refer to Fast and Furious Fitness - I've covered this topic in detail there.
The exercises I did today work the entire upper body into the ground if done correctly. Doing handstand pushups is hard for most people, and doing 25 of them in good form will give even the strongest athlete a run for his money. Ditto for pull-ups - and as for the bridging exercises I did, they are advanced variations NOT mentioned in the book, but for those of that you can do it, it will work your entire body - as an unit - into the ground. You may notice there's no direct leg work in that routine - but I've been getting plenty of it via walking, jumping rope and climbing stairs as of late, so there was no need for it today.
The entire routine took about 45 minutes, and I was hammered by the end of it. And there isn't a single body part that I haven't worked - and again, remember, I only did THREE main exercises - and not that many reps either.
And thats pretty much how most of my workouts look like. I might on occasion try and do high rep work, like the 500 pushup workout I've spoken about before, but by and large, I keep it short, sweet and simple - and HARD. And the results speak for themselves.
So to those of you that are pounding away at workouts that go on for pages, and not really getting much in terms of results, you might want to stop and reconsider. Give the short, sweet and simple principle a try - and see how it works for you!
I realize that it may be tough for you at first to put a decent training program together that doesnt ask you to do every exercise under the sun and doesnt take very much time at all to complete - but I've done that for you in Fast and Furious Fitness. This book gives you several sample routines you can use to kick-start your training into high gear almost at once; and for those of you that prefer doing so, you can create your own routine as well with the exercises I mention. Make sure you grab your copy NOW!
So, thats today's message - and in case your training today, make sure you give it your all!!
PS: In case you haven't done so already, make sure to reserve your copy of Fast ans Furious Fitness ASAP. Here's that link once again - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/83-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book.
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!
So, I finish my workout this morning and toddle on downstairs to the floor beneath me to get a drink of much needed H2O. I had
just been through a fantastic workout - but more on that in just a bit.
For those that are regulars here at Fast and Fitness HQ, you know that I'm currently living in Oman. I also probably told you that I'm in "temporary" accomodation for now - this is sort of a "shared" sort of arrangement, with private rooms for all, but shared water coolers, common eating area etc. Sort of like dorms in a college, except not quite. . .anyway, so thats the story behind water being on the floor beneath me!
So, I meet this guy at the water cooler that lives opposite me. He takes one look at me, and we exchange the usual pleasntries.
"Whats up with the sweat fest", he asks?
"Been working out".
"Oh, been out for a long run, eh?"
"Must be hard to exercise in the heat outside, look at the way your sweating through your T-shirt"
(Remember, I'm basically living in desert like conditions - with A/C inside, which explains why he was so surprised by me sweating a tankful - but regardless, the conditions outside are HOT)
"Uh-huh. . ."
And thus it ended, with the gentleman having got his glass of water, and me having refilled my bottles.
Now, the dude's question was understandable in a way - I mean who sweats in a country where virtually NO-ONE walks even for the shortest of short distances, and the air-conditioning is super powerful. People talk about obesity in the US, but it seems to be even more of a problem here.
He was spot on on the sweating part - but he was wrong on the exercise part. I did NOT run for a mile - didn't even step outside in fact. All I did was an intense 45 minute workout which involved the following: -
Rope jumping (500 reps)
Handstand pushups (15 reps)
Freestanding handstands (lost count, but did them for a fair bit)
2 sets of the neck bridge, held for 2.5 minutes each
The front bridge
Stretching and more free standing handstands(as a finisher)
And that's it. Short, sweet and simple - and the gentleman would be amazed to know that most of the sweating did NOT occur during the rope jumps - I barely broke a sweat on those - it was mostly on the other stuff that I really pushed my limits.
So that, my friend, is living proof right there of what bodyweight exercises can do for you, in a short period of time. Intense workouts that leave you gasping for breath, work every muscle in your body, and make you feel ON TOP OF THE WORLD for hours afteward - all without even stepping out of our house. Can't ask for more than that, me thinks!
Not be able to do all, or any of the exercises I've just mentioned above? Fret not - Fast and Furious Fitness offers you a wide gamut of exercises that you can use to build yourself up to a level where 500 rope jumps seem like child's play to you. The key as always is to START someplace - and then progress from there - before you know it, you'll be making great progress.
Anyway, I'm off to shower and then grab lunch, so I'll end this here. In the meantime though, if you haven't already got your workout in for the day - do so ASAP - and give it your all!
PS: If this sort of stuff inspires you, and eif you haven't already done so, make sure you grab your copy of Fast and Furious Fitness TODAY. Get cracking on some of the exercises that will change your body for the better - in a short period of time!
Woke up this morning around 8AM or so, and went straight into a stretching routine that I've been practising over the last few days. The exercises I'm practising allow for a fantastic overall body stretch, especially in the hamstring area (where most folks are weak) - and boy does it feel good to stretch out your hamstrings first thing in the morning.
After that, I jumped straight into a rope jumping/pushup routine which had me jumping rope in sets of 100, punctuated by 20 pushups in between. Banged out a total of 120 pushups and 600 rope jumps this way - and managed this in around 15 minutes or so.
The adrenalin was flowing, the heart was thumping. Sweat was rolling off me like no-one's business - and I felt like a billion bucks - like a natural "high", if that makes any sense. I've heard of "runner's high", and other such terms - but THIS feeling puts them all in the shade. What's more, this feeling lasts all day; it's currently around 11:30 AM or so as I'm typing this, and I still feel wired. And last, but not least - you burn a ton of calories training this way - all while building healthy, FUNCTIONAL muscle all over your body.
Anyway, I finished off with some neck bridges and handstand pushups - both advanced exercises which I do NOT recommend if you are just starting out - but which I'll cover in an advanced training manual that I'm in the process of writing. Stay tuned for that one.
What about you, my friend?
Did you get your exercise in for the morning? More importantly, how are you feeling right now?
If the answer is "no" to the first question, and "so-so" to the second, well, then you need to get training the Fast and Furious way. And there are many ways - one being "circuit" training with Fast and Furious exercises - similar to what I did this morning. Gets the blood flowing, the heart pounding, and the lungs churning - all in all, a super package that doesn't take up more than 15 minutes of your time.
And whats more - this 15 minutes results in hours more of feeling so good that you're automatically way more productive for the rest of the day.
Now, I dont know about you - but 15 minutes of hard exercises = an entire day's worth of increased alertness, focus, productivity and well being - I'll take that any day over long, drawn out routines that take up the entire day, and do next to nothing for your overall health and well-being.
Anyhow, I'm about to run now - but in case your interested in this (and you should be), then Fast and Furious Fitness is what the doctor ordered for YOU. Get cracking on some of the routines therein, and let me know how you do!
Doing things in reverse (backwards) is not normally thought of as a good idea - but the concept can be extremely beneficial when it comes to your training.
Sometimes, training in "reverse" may be the best thing you can do to shoot past a sticking point, or to better your performance at an exercise your already good. Or, it might just be what the doctor ordered to change things up once in a while (always a good idea).
And what do I mean by "reverse" training?
Well, put simply, what I mean is to literally "reverse" an exercise - and perform it for repetitions in good form. For instance, take the regular pushup, and do it in reverse - as in, get on your back and push yourself up as opposed to chest touching the floor. And if you've never done these before - I'll bet you'll find this exercise a lot harder than the regular pushup - and you'll find it works a bunch of different muscles than the regular pushup does.
Form is paramount on this one, so make sure you do it correctly. This type of pushup is covered in Fast and Furious Fitness, along with instructions and photos on how to do it correctly - make sure you follow the instructions carefully before starting.
Another fantastic example of "reverse" training would be handstands, and handstand pushups - where you literally reverse the motion of a pull-up, and push yourself up and down while supporting your entire bodyweight on your hands. This one is tough enough for most folks to do - so you don't hear much about it - but work this exercise on a regular basis, and you won't believe the upper body gains you make within a short period!
I cover the basic handstand (and handstand pushup) in Fast and Furious Fitness. Bear in mind that there are way more advanced variations than what I show in the book - but also bear in mind that most folks (including those than can lift heavy weights in the gym) would struggle to knock off 10 basic handstand pushups in good form. Try it, and you'll see.
You'll also likely find that your results and performance on the regular exercises you do sky rockets after you work the "reverse" exercises into your routine. I've often found that my pushups improve dramatically after doing a set of reverse pushups right after a set of regular pushups - that's a powerful tip right there - and there are many other examples I could state.
And lest you think this applies only to upper body exercises, think again, my friend. This applies equally to ALL exercises - upper, lower, or core - more details to follow later.
Anyway, think about it the next time you hit a sticking point - it might just be what the doctor ordered. Give it a try, and let me know how it works for you!
I can recall more than a few instances where I've had to cancel my scheduled workout - either cancel it, or abruptly terminate it due to pressing reasons. Now I'm not saying I enjoy this, but hey, thats life - things that are out of our control happen sometimes, and there's not much we can do about it.
And it happens to all of us - and to the best of us as well. I'm sure even the most determined and disciplined amongst us will recall a time when we just HAD to skip our scheduled workouts - even if we didn't want to - just because we were in a situation that demanded it.
Now, does being in such a situation mean you can't get your exercise in for the day? Well, not really - not if your determined enough - you might not be able to get your full routine in, but there's always ways to fit in mini-workouts that are pretty demanding in and of themselves, and that will give you pretty good results if done regularly.
And what do I mean by mini-workouts?
Well, I mean ultra short, intense workouts - so short that you may not even want to classify them as workouts - more like BURSTS of energy. These "workouts" may not last more than a minute at a time, and whats better, you don't need to schedule a time for them either - you just fit them in as and when you can during the course of your day.
I often don't have time these days to complete my entire routine (and as I posted earlier, I don't even have access to a chinning bar at this point in time, so I'm unable to practice one of my all time favorite exercises as well) - so I improvise during the course of my day. I'm currently living on the fourth floor of a building, and in my case, improvisation equates to taking the stairs EACH time I enter my front door. This means I'm either running, or climbing the stairs at a brisk pace at least four to five times DAILY - more than a lot of times if I'm going out a lot.
Sure - I could take the elevator - and folks stare at me in a strange manner when I'm sprinting up the stairs in full formal attire (on my lunch break!) - but it's worth it - I get a fantastic little mini-workout in that makes me feel good for hours afterward. And whats more, this sort of things burns a ton of calories as well, so your getting in that "cardio" your doctor is always talking about.
I did a similar thing a few years back when I used to take the subway to work - I used to make it a point to sprint the stairs up to ground level (or those from the ground level to higher levels - this subway was above ground in parts) EACH time I took the subway. I did this on my rest days (when I didn't exercise in the morning) and I did them on the days when I did exercise - and I did them on the way back from work as well. And in ALL cases, these little mini-workouts recharged my batteries for the next couple of hours. Thats like 1 minute of exercise, maybe 2 at most vs a couple of hours of "feel good" later. Now I don't know about you, but that sounds like a pretty decent trade-off to me!
So that's one example - my example. And just so you know, climbing stairs is a fantastic exercise - second only to climbing HILLS on a regular basis - which I classify as one of my #1 workouts that I've ever done. The health benefits you receive from this type of exercise are second to NONE - and you'll soon see what I mean if you incorporate something similar into your routine.
And stair climbing, although a great exercise, is by no means the only thing you can do to fit in a mini-workout during the course of your day. You can pump out a set of 20 pushups whenever you have time, or you could offer to help your neighbor move the heavy stuff into his van on moving day (and I've done this sort of thing before - more in a later post!). You can do burpees, or you can simply walk down to the nearby store instead of plonking your rear end down on the car seat. It's really all up to YOU - but when there's a will, there's always a way!
So, that's the mini-workout concept. Give it a shot, and let me know how it goes for you!
PS: There are many, many simple exercises that you can do for a mini-workout - for more, read Fast and Furious Fitness. I can't guarantee there'll be no stares, but I CAN guarantee great results if practiced regularly!
PS#2: To those that are training this weekend - make it an AWESOME one!
There's one exercise that we all know, but don't practice enough - though we should be. We do this exercise daily without even thinking about it, yet most of us fail to do it regularly, and with enough passion to actually reap dividends.
It's so simple that you'd probably laugh at me for mentioning it. It's something we do without even thinking about it daily - and it's something that most folks that aren't handicapped can do without any problem whatsoever.
It's one of the oldest exercises known to man, and it produces great results - maybe not the kind the average person would expect, but it DOES produce results, and LONG-LASTING results at that (as the old timers who incorporated this into their routine got). And the results produced benefit you internally instead of just externally - and these results play a huge role in pushing you further along the path to overall well-being and lifelong health.
So, what IS this exercise I'm talking about?
It's not pushups, though those will do you plenty of good, and are something everyone should do. It's not yoga. It's not long distance running, and it's most definitely NOT bodybuilding.
Well, then what is it?
The answer will likely surprise you - it's WALKING. Yes, you heard me right - I'm referring to walking. Something most of us can do, and something which you likely don't even think of as exercise unless your a power walker or unless your out hiking.
Walking is one of the oldest, and most useful exercises there is. You may not think it does you much good, but even a regular (at a decent clip, not necessarily power walking) couple of miles a day will benefit you greatly - perhaps more so than many other forms of exercise. You'll burn calories - which is something most people want to do - but more than that, walking strengthens all your internal organs, and promotes overall health and longevity to a remarkable extent. This fact has been proven scientifically, but even if you don't believe those findings, you've just gotta look at the routines of the old time strongmen, boxers and wrestlers - virtually ALL of them incorporated lots of walking into their daily routines.
It's also a potent anti-dote to ageing - walking works the legs, and as the Chinese say, the legs are the first to go when a person starts to age. Keep the legs fit and strong, and you keep the entire body fit and strong by extension.
And know that it doesn't have to be a vigorous walk to benefit you (though busting your chops walking up a steep hill certainly WILL benefit you!) - walking at a decent pace (note I said decent - not slow) also has it's own benefits, and many of them. The key thing is to walk at least a couple of kilometers daily, or more is possible - and do so without the "marathon" mentality of making the miles, and nothing more. Enjoy the walk, breathe in the fresh air - and simply WALK - thats pretty much it.
That isn't to say walking by itself will get you the results you want - quite the contrary - but it IS a vital part of your routine, and should NOT be ignored.
As for me, I'm doing plenty of walking these days in Oman - this in a country where virtually NO-ONE walks. Sure, the extreme heat is a reason for that, but even so, you'd be amazed at how widespread obesity is here. Folks talk of people in the US being overweight, but there are other countries where the problem is just as (if not more) acute. . .I'm constantly thinking about how much fitter people would be if they just stepped out of their vehicles and walked a couple of kilometers to get to wherever they have to.
Anyway, be that as it may, I'm also doing plenty of handstand pushups, rope jumping, stair climbing and other things in addition to my walking - all things YOU should be doing, or trying to do as well! Of course, you do need a good routine to put things together - but thats why I wrote Fast and Furious Fitness- this has all the routines you need, and more, to get into great, great shape.
OK, long enough post for today, I'll stop here for now. Until next time, make sure you train hard - and be sure to try and incorporate walking into your daily routine as well!
PS: I spoke about Fast and Furious Fitness in today's email - the link to that is right HERE. Click on over NOW, and start on the routines that WILL change your life for the better!