I’ve made no secret of the fact that I love the “Bourne series” – the book more than the movie(s) - - a lot, lot more!
I’m a huge Robert Ludlum fan, but while most movie adaptations of books fall woefully short of (my) standards (Jurassic Park being one prime example), the Bourne series didn’t.
At least, not in my own opinion . . .
Especially not the first three installments.
The Bourne Identity.
The Bourne Supremacy.
The Bourne Ultimatum.
They messed up a bit with the Legacy (#4) in my opinion, but despite it’s somewhat lukewarm box office response, Jason Bourne (2016) was a great, great movie, and Damon kicked ass.
And HE is the reason (the main reason) I love those movies.
I don’t know why, but Matt Damon makes the perfect “spy”, especially considering the functionally fit physique he has in the movie.
You see him hanging off ledges and doing fingertip crawl downs (spiderman!) down walls of embassies in the first movie.
You see him ALL out sprinting in the second (and doing pull-ups in the first).
And more . . .
And my personal favorite movie in the series is #2.
I watched it again last night, and much as I wrote about in 2018, I cannot get enough of the sprint sequence right at the start, which most people “miss”.
Bourne is showing running in Goa India. A fast run to begin with which (along with the right visuals and music) quickly builds up to a semi-sprint, then a sprint, and then the CRESECNDO – an all out sprint, arms pumping furiously, legs flying . . . with the music to boot.
And it brought back memories
Of me in 2018! When I did exactly those workouts in the park after my climb . . .
. . . ‘twas afternoon (or early evening) workouts then.
And you’d see me climbing the hill ONCE (after I did my pushups and pull-ups I believe) and AFTER the animal like movements.
I’d start off with a run, and finish off with several sprints, and I still remember the FEELING, the sheer feeling of exhilaration I got while doing ‘em, a feeling even HILL sprints (these were land sprints) cannot and will not give you (NOTHING compares to an all out land sprint in terms of duration, for one!).
Don’t get me wrong.
Hill sprints are fabulous, and that’s why I’ve got Advanced Hill Training out there, but flat land sprints allow you to really amp things up and really build up them hamstrings as well (so do hill sprints though).
Anyway . . .
This afternoon, I went out for a pull-up workout.
50 pull-ups, 50 pushups, and 50 dips.
And it was Damon inspired.
That physique he’s got in the movie came from THREE Things (and remember, this dude LOVES to eat, so he sure did make sacrficies for the movie!).
Pullups. At one point “Bourne” was doing them in sets of 30!
Heavy bag work (a lot of it. And it shows in the shoulders!).
And probably other stuff too, but most of all, that CHISELED, ripped physique you see?
LOTS and LOTS Of . . . running . . .
. . . on mountains! For hours a day.
Bourne hated it (by his own admission). But he did it, with his trainer, and the results are there for all to see.
And while I never hated my squats or sprints, or anything, I never did them for “hours!”. I DID climb hills for hours, but I DID want to quit on occasion, but I never did – and the results are there for all to see!
And I’m feeling great, and on top of the world, and wanted to tell you about it!
Now that I have, it’s adios. See y’all around!
PS – Here is where you can pick up a book on pull-ups that will get you cranking them out effortlessly - - https://0excusesfitness.com/pull-ups-from-dud-to-stud-within-a-matter-of-weeks/
PS #2 – I wrote about “moonlight sprints” before too, and those are great too! Anyway, to get to Bourne level at pull-ups, here are the exercises that will get ya there - https://0excusesfitness.com/pull-ups-stud-to-super-stud-within-weeks/
So I got through a workout today. An old style workout. A fantastic one!
And why do I say this i.e what makes it different?
Well . . .
. . . because it’s a workout from BACK in the day.
From BACK when I wrote all those books on pull-ups, and when it was my primary means of exercise (the pull-up, that is).
And it fits in nicely with what I said in the last email as well, or at least the ending. If you missed it, go on ahead and check out the blog!
And the workout was . . . pushups, and pull-ups.
More specifically, fingertip pushups and pull-ups, and while the REASON for my doing the workout today (this particular one) was not necessarily to go down memory lane, ended up that way, and that’s what ended up happening.
But, the REAL reason behind the workout was something else, which I will talk about in the next email.
For now, bear in mind that that is how life is when you live in the flow, and so are workouts.
(Comes with caveats, of course. I’m currently nursing a split callus big time – something that has resisted TWO band-aids thus far . . . and looks ready to resist far more. Good news is the scab is already forming, and better news is, again, the MEMORIES it brought back).
I’ve often shown up back home with bleeding palms and BURNING skin (from rubbing a split callus on thick bars for tons of pull-ups).
And I’ve felt GREAT afterwards. And the callus usually heals within a couple of days, and the skin toughens, and . . . bingo. Problem solved. I’ve never been one to let “little things like that” bother me.
But you don’t have to go through that if you don’t want to, and that ain’t why I’m telling you this.
It’s because of two reasons.
One, this workout was done OPPOSITE of the manner in which I normally do my workout. See the next email for more on this, and this was actually the reason I did it in the manner I did.
And two . . .
If there EVER was a better grip workout combo than with the above two exercises (and if you add in hanging leg raises, it amps the effect) I am yet to see it.
The two books on pull-ups, and the THREE Books on grip have MORE than plenty in terms of this, of course.
But the fact is (oh, and add in monkey bars as well) that there are FEW, if any tips I can give you at getting better at and increasing pull-ups than doing and getting very good indeed at fingertip pushups.
My workout today was 50 pull-ups and a 100 fingertip pushups.
And not all at one go. 5 sets of 10 pull-ups, and 5 sets of the pushups.
Maybe I’ll switch the numbers around in the next workout to make it fun!
But for now, I’m toasted. So is my grip.
And so it’s adios for now, with one of the most powerful workout related tips I could ever, ever give you!
I’ve written about this before!
Well, the X taper and V shape, at any rate. Hehe.
And while I haven’t spoken about the wall chair in a while, Ill do so NOW. An excellent, excellent exercise indeed and one I’ll include in the book on isometrics once I get it out.
Speaking of which, I had about 23 exercises penciled in on that one already.
Unfortunately, I don’t appear to have it backed up, and given the recent Windows crash . . . well, let me just say it’s history.
I wrote about Shantaram in the last email.
And his book was actually written (mostly) while he was in a jail in Germany (after his Indian escapades). And the jailers tore that mammoth manuscript up for some vague reason not once, but twice, and I think AFTER he was halfway into the book both times!
Quite different from a certain Adolf hitler who got the royal treatment at a Bavarian prison, complete with beer and sundry while he penning “Mein Kampf”.
Makes you think does it? (and also the fact that Germany is the one European nation that won’t come out and say anything against the modern day Chinazis) . . .
Anyway, he wrote it – again.
For the third time.
And as far as the book on isometrics goes, I’m gonna have to dig deep down inside and do the same thing myself! ?
Anyway, the wall chair.
Was getting the daughter to do it this afternoon, and amidst all the other sage advice this lovely almost-7 year old fitness guru gives me, there was this.
“Dad! Do you know something?”
(said as my legs were quivering!).
“Eat more mangoes! It’ll build your legs!”
Hmm! Hadn’t quite heard that one, but my daughter’s just too adorable at times!
Anyway, the wall chair is an excellent exercise my friend and a highly underrated one at that.
I mention it in Fast and Furious Fitness, but for some reason, did NOT put it in 0 Excuses Fitness. The latter book doesn’t have rope jumping either. And the former doesn’t have the plethora of pushups and pull-ups the latter does . . .
Get both, would be my advice! Hehe.
Anyway, as I leaned against the wall for support, an outline formed.
My back, waist and hips.
I was sweating up a storm, so the “why” is easy to understanding given a white background (the cemented wall).
And when the outline “came about”, it looked like the below.
A broad upper back, with plenty of “meat” towards the center and traps area.
Progressively tapering down to a narrow waist, barely even visible, and then expanding out again somewhat into hips.
And I just had to notice that my friend. I’ve written about it many a times, but I had to notice it and bring it up here again.
And while this one exercise alone won’t get you the shape I refer to here, the exercises laid out in the 0 Excuses Fitness System certainly will my friend.
Oh yes, they will, and a quick look though the other blog (for proof on what I said) will be more than plenty, hehe.
OK, that’s it for now.
HERE is where you can grab the System – https://0excusesfitness.com/0excusesfitnessystem/
It sucks, doesn’t it?
Going to bed at night . . . and . . . NOT being able to sleep, despite hours of “trying to”.
I see it all the time.
People complaining of insomnia, and “welcome to my world!” comments when another person refers to having insomnia.
As if staying up until the wee hours of the morning (when you do NOT want to) and then not being able to sleep was a badge of honor and the most normal thing in the world.
Anyway, just so you know, I’ve been there. Used to be, way back in the day I could barely get to bed (sleep) without a solid “heft” of liqor in me, and then some.
Or, without the conditions being “perfectly right” for me to sleep.
And so forth.
And often times, I STILL couldn’t sleep.
Tossing and turning until 4 AM, “wishing” that I’d finally fall asleep, and when I did, it was with the “dread” that the alarm clock “Stood ready” to toll an hour or so later anyway . . .
It’s a shitty feeling, and a most annoying one at that.
Of course, if I knew what I do now, this wouldn’t happen at all. And if it did, I’d do what I do on the VERY rare occasions that it happens NOW . .. that being to hammer out some work while I’m up and unable to sleep.
Or, and this works like a charm, a quick 100 squat workout. Isn’t a lot for me, but works like a charm anyway when it comes to insomnia . . .
Anyway, my wife was telling my daughter something about this the other day.
My daughter (when she doesn’t exercise, and being it’s “lockdown time” these days, that happens quite a lot) is anything BUT sleepy at night, and she usually hollers for a good hour or so before going to bed.
(this is unless she’s done a solid Kiddie Fitness or park workout with me earlier on in the day, of course, but that happens quite often for whatever reason)
And my wife was telling her this.
“When I was young, they used to ask me if I died when I slept, so soundly did I sleep, moving nary a limb!”
(this is me translating the Hindi version into English for y’all) . . .
And for whatever reason, my daughter found that hilarious.
But the point stands.
My wife (when she was young) used to wake up at 530 AM and go to “exercise” in a field with her Dad.
You wouldn’t believe it by looking at her now (no she is NOT fat, but she’s hardly the “six pack” owner you’d expect her to be from following the routines she did, and yet, she’s fitter than the average gym bro – and can outdo ME TOO in some of the exercises we do together, if you can believe me!).
It truly “stays with you” if you start ‘em young . . . which is another reason I make it a point to do as much Kiddie Fitness with my daughter as I can. Yours truly, as you know, had the exact opposite upbringing, and those tight hamstrings are STILL an issue for me!
Anyway. 530-730 of running around in a field, often times with mud up to your ankles.
Helping around the house.
A half an hour or so bike ride to school and back.
And then 3-4 hours of solid sports in the evening.
My my my.
Is it any wonder she slept like a a log and then some?
And lest you think you too have to follow this sort of regimen in order to fall asleep instantly, think again.
You CAN if you want to (think back to the times I hiked hills for hours daily in the sweltering HEAT).
But you don’t have to.
A quick 30-40 minute blast, TOPS (most people don’t even need that much) is literally all you need my friend.
A 100 pushups is MORE than enough for most people to be exhausted for not just that one day, but DAYS afterwards.
Ditto for some of the other exercises I teach.
Believe me my friend. There IS a way to get rid of the annoyance, and it’s easier than you think!
P.S. – Here is where you can get the BEST damn course on pushups my friend: (and YES, the workouts therein WILL banish insomnia so quickly you’ll wonder if you ever had it in the first place! ?) https://0excusesfitness.com/pushup-central/
When you look at the picture of Mike Tyson with that jump rope in hand, or indeed ANY of his pictures, THREE things stand out.
The chiseled CORE.
The MEATY, SOLID forearms that could likely knock a damned gorilla out!
And that solid, muscular CHEST OF HIS. Slabs of muscle as it were, like no other!
And while I’ve covered pushups before, the one thing I haven’t is rope sprints. Done right.
At least, I don’t think I have.
I’ve covered hill sprints before.
Regular sprints (and pulling my Achilles while I was at it!)
And BIPEDEAL and other sprints (that’s the next email, by the way!)
But not rope sprints.
And as I get done with a super, super workout, let me tell you something.
If there is one thing that burns and shakes when you’re doing jump rope sprints right, it’s your FOREARMS MORE THAN NAYTHING else!!
And . . . gasp, your TRICEPS.
Try doing a set of pull-ups or pushups right after these rope sprints, and youll see what I mean.
If you’re doing ‘em right, you’re not going to be able to do more than 15-20 seconds of this REGARDLESS of the shape you’re in – if you do ‘em right!
The very same thing I talk about in Advanced Hill Training and the very same thing that causes fat to FLY OFF YOUR BODY like nothing else!
And the breaks, you ask?
Well, you REDUCE them.
And while that may sound hard to do while you’re breathing and panting up a veritable storm, it’s easy if you know how.
One way is to do what I said the other day, do an easier exercise.
Maybe a few reps of it.
Or, BREATHE Deeply like I’ve taught you . . . that by itself is an exercise unto itself.
Or, do another exercise (a complementary one).
The key is this – don’t stop to smell the roses (or sweat) for longer than you have to, and REDUCE that time.
Keep reducing it no matter what.
And the MENTAL part, of course.
There is a tendency to waffle around once you get tired, or start to.
During these times, AFFIX that IMAGE of yourself - - the PERFECT YOU as you exercise.
And imagine yourself super fit, and CONSTANTLY GOING!
Rep after rep, set after set, and you’ll see the exercise times going on, and the breaks, the heart rate hammering through the ROOF, and your gains too!
And last, but not least, don’t think for a minute think that this sort of thing ain’t gonna add strength.
Oh yes, it will.
Strength + conditioning in one package, and if there ever was a benefit to Rahul Mookerjee’s stuff it is THAT!
P.S. – Here is the System that will give you the carved abs you want, and the benefits above.
P.S #2 – Make sure to check out Corrugated Core right here too!
P.P.S. - Taking a break from Animal Kingdom Workouts. I've decided to stop at 68 exercises for now, and am through writing the descriptions etc for 25 of them. Steady progress, and very much in the works! Back at it tomorrow, but for now, I figured I'd write to you. ;)
I wonder what the ole Trumpinator would think of this, hehe.
Probably doesn’t care either way, but hey, he’d probably LIKE this email here - - and NOT for the reasons you might expect! ?
Anyway, I still remember the boobybuilder at the swimming pool, back in 2010 I think it was . . . Maybe 2009. Not sure.
Guy that was big as heck. Had all the puffed up bloated muscles, the massive chest and pelican legs . . . and very little back development to boot.
And of course the beachball biceps and so forth . . . which unfortunately weren’t helping him in the pool.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this dude. I was doing my laps swiftly, and he was watching me, and I still remember him coming up to me and talking to me.
“That’s good, man! You can really swim!”
“I’m getting there”, I grinned back (which is true; I love to swim and can do it pretty well, but there’s always room for improvement!).
And then he told me the entire tale that I’ve detailed on the Shoulders Like Boulders page.
While he didn’t quite drop dead of a heart attack when he lifted his arms up to hang a picture, he almost got there.
Two bypasses before the age of 25 I think it was, or maybe 26. I can’t be “arsed” to look right now, but it’s something like that.
And all the so called strength and twelve pack abs couldn’t get him to ONE continuous SLOW . . . BREADTH of the pool.
He was literally resting for 10 minutes between each slow breadth! And this guy could pound out the weights like nobody’s business apparently before he did the smart thing and flat out quit.
Anyway, my last post on mental tip #2 (on the other site) w.r.t high rep workouts caused a bit of flutter for some people it seemed.
One person posted the following on my WeChat account: (one of the crappiest social media sites out there with some of the worst rogue nation tom tommers out there and . . . ah, but lets not get into that!)
“Maximum weight . . . add oil” was the first comment.
I have to confess I don’t know why he made the “add oil” comment. It’s a comment the Chinese often use in their own language. Translates into something like “come on”, or “keep going” or some such thing in English, and to be honest I don’t much care to delve into the specifics.
Much like I prefer calling an apartment complex an apartment complex as opposed to “garden” which a lot of foreigners seem to prefer calling it.
(The Chinese call apartment complexes “gardens” ; even in their own language. Don’t ask, hehe).
Not much of a China sympathizer am I? Well, that much is apparent from my posts, or should be . . .
And then 2 minutes or 3 later . . .
“Keep adding weight on the bench press for 1 rep with no spotter until you just can’t lift it. See how big your balls get when it’s really life or death”.
Anyway, why should that concern you eh.
Well, actually it should but we’ll get to that later.
My response to this dude was …
“Heavy singles are indeed a good method (if you lift weights). The oldtimers did a lot of that”.
And it’s true. Weightlifting done right is GOOD . . . but NOT the way most people do at the gym.
And if there was ever a more retarded exercise than the bench press out there, Id love to see it.
Perhaps the lat pulldown. . . but we’ll get into that later. I was going to talk about this to the dude, but got a bad vibe at the minute I was going to type out my response, so stopped.
No point talking to those that have already made their minds up eh. ?
For now though, here are some reasons right off the top of my head that I’d take pushups over benching any day (and bodyweight exercise OVER weight lifting, especially the puff and buff nonsense, any day of the week.
Pushups are the #1 strength and conditioning (and weight loss) exercise all in one, my friend. Truly the big dog of all exercises.
Don’t believe pushups require strength?
Lets take the 500 lb bench presser, and see how many handstand pushups he can do, or even GET into the position.
Let me tell you one thing – most CAN’T.
And the reverse isn’t true either.
Its far easier to progress into weight lifting if you’re already good at bodyweight stuff, but it doesn’t quite work that way the other way around.
And that brings me to my second point. Conditioning.
High rep bodyweight exercises, or even a set of 50 pushups done in slow, perfect form have a way of making that heart THUMP like NO other weight lifting exercise (especially not one rep, and then “rest”) will.
They have a way of making you breathe like NO other exercise will (except perhaps hill sprints).
And they build the ENTIRE body, my friend. Including the legs and core.
As for bench pressing . . . legs? Core? I don’t think so, my friend.
And I’m not just referring to pelican legs. I’m referring to the exercise itself (and hence the pelican leg syndrome that is so damned common out there - - and pathetic, really, to say the least).
The legs and core – and back are the TRUE seat of power, my friend and hoicking up a massive (or whatever you can) weight while lying prone on your back aint the way to develop any of those areas.
Especially not the way most guys grunt and groan through poor FORM while doing the bench press, an exercise which along with the deadlift is probably responsible for more shot shoulders than ANY other weight lifting exercise I’ve known.
And as for “life or death”.
There have literally been cases where people have died doing exactly what dude suggested i.e. try max reps with no spotter.
Might sound good in theory, but I doubt anyone approaches these with the goal to go out of the gym in a coffin . . .
And with pushups, the worst that can happen is nasty injury.
Circa my sprained thumb (or dislocated, actually), by far the most painful thing ever to happen to me. I’ve detailed what happened before, but basically it was freezing cold and a rainy day, and I got the urge to do fingertip handstands after a long ass workout, and . . . POP!
That thumb popped BACK in, and BACK OUT. And – OUCH!
I was told to rest it to “recover”. Never did. Kept training all throughout it, WITH the pain, and I really do think that helped me recover faster than if I were to just ice it up and “sit” on it, hehe.
Or, perhaps the busted chin (damn near) that happened when some joker let his dog get too close to me when I was doing my patented WIDE grip handstand pushups . . .
But nothing worse than that, really.
And while all of the above should be more than plenty, there are tons of more reasons, but I’ll do up another post (article, actually is what this damn thing is turning into!) on that later.
For now, lets look at what Herschel Walker had to say about bench pressing, pushups and the core. You know who he is, I’m sure!
"Almost everybody wants to look like a body builder and do 500 pounds on the bench. That sounds good, but all of sudden you've got back problems and all these other problems."
“You get the core ready, you can handle anything else”
As for pushups. His workouts (up till 3500 pushups a day) – should be proof enough!
And ANY serious combat athlete, or strongman would tell you the same thing.
Take Iron Mike Tyson, for instance. Bruce Lee. The Great Gama from India. All of them did a TON of pushups, and did NOT lift weights (and in the case of the Gama, he did, but certainly not bench pressing).
Last, but not least, if all of this ticks you off royally, well, that isn’t really the point of me saying it.
If after reading all this you’d prefer to go back to the benching station and see how many you can pump out with the bros cheering you on, by all means be my guest.
Aint my job to “make the horse drink”, hehe. All I can do is take it to the water . . .
Lifting weights CAN be good – but doing it the way people do in the gym (bench pressing, deadlifting etc) is usually more harmful than good.
As for what sort of “weight lifting” I am referring to that is good - - I’ve spoken tomes about it before on the list, but if you’re new to my list; well, hang on for a while yet - - I’ll do up another piece on that later!
And those are my thoughts on that.
Whew, that was a longer than usual piece. I’m out for now - - back later!
P.S. – Pick up the best damned course there is on pushups right HERE. There truly IS NO BETTER course than this one, my friend, and that is a FACT.
What a workout it was this afternoon!
I’ve written about being in a state of “near collapse” towards the end of some of my most recent workouts, but today was something else altogether.
Not only was it that state of “almost collapse” today but I could barely walk once done.
And despite the A/C on full blast – I was sweating buckets a full half an hour AFTER my workout – after a shower at that!
Yes, ‘twas that intense, and what did I do different today?
Well, basically two out of the three exercises I have included in 0 Excuses Fitness – three exercises that are (I believe) at the end of the section of pushups, and three exercises that are ROUNDLY and routinely ignored.
Big mistake, my friend.
And probably a big mistake on my end too to NOT devote an entire book simply to these incredible movements.
(NB – Advanced Hill Training is a book on these movements, but again, that’s a different course, and NOT one devoted purely to that type of movement).
And I implemented this sort of thing into my training today for a change, and . . .
. . . more importantly, you’ll have to read what I said about not wearing masks etc on the other site, and how my daughter (all of 6 years of age) is starting to develop the tiniest hint of a “pot belly”.
And how kids her age are getting downright FAT these days as is, and these inane lockdowns everywhere ain’t helping either.
I mean, you KNOW it’s bad – terrible – pathetic – and so forth that folks are starting to say “it’s OK, no problem” to what I described above but talk about stepping out of the house for a quick walk and they act like one is committing hara kiri.
All because some people nearby have apparently “got the COVID”. I wrote about this before. Yes, just suspicion, no confirmation, and that was nigh enough to set the cat amongst the proverbial piegons.
Anyway, ya’ll know how hard it is to get young kids to buckle down and do something, and if I said “let’s exercise”, I’d have heard crickets or perhaps worse, hehe.
So I didn’t.
I got down with my daughter, and did the thing, and half way through the routine as my daughter was “cheating” her way through a set of duck waddles and I was doing my damndest to make the damn exercise HARDER, I could literally hear myself wheeze and pant with each step.
And my heart was fixing to pop out of it’s casing, or so it felt like!
And THAT is what you can expect from the Advanced Hill Training routines my friend – the perfect accessory, along with the 0 Excuses Fitness System if you’re currently in lockdown or limited travel mode or if you’re just a “homebody”.
And back to day – the simplest things are indeed the best, and while I will detail specifics of the movements later, let me just say it’s things that most adults pooh pooh at – and most adults CANNOT even BEGIN to do.
And these exercises will get you in great, great shape my friend – both from a trim and toned perspective – as well as HEART – and internal HEALTH.
Give these sort of workouts a whirl, my friend. You truly WILL Enjoy ‘em!
P.S. – Oh, we did the bear crawl and duck waddle – straight out of the 0 Excuses Fitness System today, but there are more my friend. Oh yes, there ARE – and I’ll be putting out a course onthat as well – stay tuned !
P.S #2 – Kiddie Fitness details not 10, not 20, not 25 – but FIFTY ONE ways to get your kid (and probably you the ADULT reading this too) in RIP – ROARING shape with the sort of workouts my daughter and myself did today, and “animal workouts” is only PART of the offering, my friend. Believe me now and trust me later, there is a lot, lot more to this. Check out the course right here - - https://0excusesfitness.com/kiddie-fitness/
As I sit here hours after my workout this afternoon (yes, you read that right – afternoon! Hehe) . . . I’m still exhausted, but in a GOOD way.
My body feels worked to the bone, and for those that don’t know, and I’ve written about this on one of the sites (either this one or the other) – I’ve been on a NEW routine for the past week.
A routine so powerful and difficult that it would probably kick most advanced trainees and triathletes in the can – not just for the EXERCISES themselves, but also the conditions in which it’s done.
You 0 Excuses Faithful will recall the video I shot in the 0 Excuses Fitness System (the workout video) where you can see my sweating full tilt . . . as the air conditioning was on, FULL BLAST!
The videos and pictures show that for all to see, and while the A/C was on then mostly for Cindy who was shooting the videos (didn’t want HER to sweat buckets, hehe) - - these days, it certainly isn’t while I do my home workouts.
And I almost – literally – COLLAPSED from exhaustion towards the end of my 25 minute blast today, a routine so intense that I literally felt my heart thud, pound and hammer for probably more than 23 of those 25 minutes!
I’ve posted details on the other site as to what the exact workout was, but for now, two things.
First, why do I work out in extreme heat?
Charles, a friend of mine often wondered “how I could undertake my hill climbs – often times multiple climbs – in extreme heat and humidity with temperatures approaching 50 degrees Centigrade in China”.
And probably rightfully so, hehe.
And my wife often asks me as well. And she often tells our daughter to “work out with the A/C or fan on”.
And again, understandable to a degree, but to me, it’s about getting back to bare bones.
Often times, when climbing the mountain, I’ll see Chinese (mostly girls) with these little bitty pink mini fans they use to fan themselves (and truth be told, a lot of them that collapse on the way up probably do need it to an extenet!) and I always shake my head internally.
To me, it’s about braving the elements, and then some.
If you want extreme fitness, and to get fit quick – you must pay the price!
It’s the same as with anything else, my friend – success in any area. As Napelon Hill famously once wrote, Nature will only give up the object of your desires once you have paid the price. Nature cannot be tricked or cheated!
And so it is with fitness, and as for losing weight, though all the pundits claim the answer to that question is “no”, and it’s about calories burnt or other such nonsense . . . I beg to differ.
To me, it’s about how you feel and how hard your body is WORKING!
Running sprints all out in extreme heat on FLAT land can often be a far more exhausting workout in many regards than doing uphill sprints in cool weather (don’t get me wrong – the latter is tough, but still . . . ).
Doing pushups after extreme jumping sessions (an example I quoted on the other site today) is different from just doing 50 of them in your living room and then calling it a day (again, great thing to do the latter, but that’s not my point!).
And so forth.
If you’ve felt the sweat pour, and the HEART POUND during tropical conditions outdoors as you undertake extreme workouts (or what others call extreme or military grade workouts), well, you won’t be asking me this question any more!
Personally, I’ve always done better overall after hot, hot workouts and then coming home to a nice COLD air-conditioned environment (and perhaps even a few frosty cold ones later on during the day, hehe).
Anywya, the second thing you ask ?
Well, it’s my ROUTINES these days.
If you’d say jumping rope is the main part of it, you may be right.
But it ain’t the hardest part by far.
The hardest part involve two things – one, jumps without ropes, and two jump-squats of a nature I have NOT detailed in ANY of my writings.
Combine the two with what I’ve written above, and Oh MY.
The fat will FLY off you within the space of a few workouts, and how . . .
Advanced stuff of course, and I’ll detail more later, but for now, if you’re looking for solid fat burning workouts that you can get started on – HERE IS where you can go – https://0excusesfitness.com/0excusesfitnessystem/
Grab it today, my friend. It truly IS the best darn fitness system on the planet and by far the best fitness investment you’ll ever make!
P.S. – By the way, we’ve got a ton of goodies for ya’ll to choose from as you stay “locked in” due to this blasted COVID. Check ‘em out HERE - https://0excusesfitness.com/products/
I’ll admit it.
Oh YES, I will.
I’ve been in one of my foul, foul moods as of the last couple of days. Day and a half, actually, ever since . . .
Even since, ah, but wait.
I wrote a post about the FACT that ignoring the negative in your life won’t necessarily make it go away, and in some cases will even excaberate the problem.
That caused a few people to unsubscribe from the list. One person (well intentioned) even sent me this “Can’t you be a little less grumpy at times?”
Well, she was right in a way, but she was WRONG in a bigger way.
I wasn’t being any grumpier than my normal “el groucho” self. I was stating a fact, which with all the hoo haa about everything going on, people choose to ignore these days, and “just think positive”, thinking it will “draw the positive” to them.
And the so called goooorrooooosss don’t help either, my friend, by propogating stuff that flat out don’t WORK.
As for proof?
Look around you, my friend. Look at what is happening not just to you on a macro level, but globally.
And as for this damned COVID19, don’t even get me started on the stupidity again. Apparently it’s gotten to the point where even normally sane people are buying into the insanity of “the world needs to stay locked down indefinitely” and to hell with why or the repercussions and consequences.
Deep breath ….
So you have probably noticed my two sites (at least the fitness ones) beiong up and down over the past day or so.
Actually, you probably noticed an OLDER version of the site yesterday without the most recent blog posts, and today, a BLANK page when accessing the site.
My host done moved servers for what seemed like the umpteenth time, and in typically professional manner and by their own admission they never bothered to inform any of their customers about it.
And for what seemed like the billionth and one time, 2-3 days of blog posts and site upgrades were LOST during the transfer, and the host could care less despite this problem occurring not once, not twice, but damn near every month.
If anything, their response is “so what. IT happens”.
And one fine gentleman on the support team took the time and initiative to rename the site main file to “hello world”, and then claim it was working when 0excusesfitness.com showed nothing but “hello world”, something my six year old could probably have done eyes closed.
And for those that didn’t know, they call this “tech support”.
Some will no doubt ask why I don’t move hosts given all these fools have put me through in 2020.
But I did my friend.
And the last one was just as bad, and in these times of lockdown and what not (indeed, they have a ready excuses “we’re working from home! Please understand!”) I am not sure a move would be the best idea.
What infuriates me is their stock “We’re sorry for the inconvenience” response to everything, which they just generate by pressing a button on their customer service app. They’re anything BUT sorry, and this problem reoccurs every month, so if they WERE truly sorry they would have fixed it, but nothing.
A law unto themselves a lot of these web hosts are, and while I’ve shortlisted another one, I’m not hopeful. But we’ll see.
In the meantime if you have any suggestions on this front, feel free to pass ‘em my way and we’ll go from there.
And on other fronts, and grip workouts …. Napoloen Hill correctly stated that every situation, every negative occurrence has a positive – and the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit if you look for it.
While I’m not sure this situation has any benefit whatsoever, I was feeling 200 on a scale of 1 to 100 on the grumps scale this morning, and I’m at 70 now.
Well, the only way I know how.
A hard, hard workout in which the jump rope darn near slipped out of my hand, and not because of the sweat either.
IT was because I couldn’t grip it any longer at a certain point during my workout.
The Gorilla grip fanatic could barely grip the jump rope!
Would you believe it if I told you that my workout involved nothing but this, and the numbers 1600 and 20?
A 20 minute workout for 1600 jumps, and a slight change in hand position that left me fried.
A small change that torched my entire chest and core, and upper back, and my grip … and that explains the numerous typos in this here email, more so than normal, hehe.
I’m not going to reveal what it is HERE, but rest assured it’s BIG my friend – it will work your entire body and fry that unsightly lard off in ways you never thought possible – in record fast time.
And I’ll reveal all on my groups and inner SHIP (circle) once the site is finally back online. UGH!
And so it goes for now, my friend. I’m so pissed I haven’t even turned on the air-con and I’ll do so now and might as well take a shower too, hehe.
P.S. – Napoelon Hill wrote about being tested, did he not? In his own words, there seems to be a hidden guide whose job it is to test men through all sorts of discouraging circusmstanes and heartbreaks to ascertain just how much they can take. The men that succeed are those that keep picking themselves back up and keep on keeping on, until they finally “reach” – and the gates of full blown success are thrown wide open – and in terms of hosting – and some other things right now – I sure do seem to be going through it!
P.S #2- Nothing new for me though, hehe, so rest assured. We’ll be back with a bang very soon – and how – and on that note, I’m out. See ya later!
P.P.S – And while I won’t name and shame the web host for now, I’ll tell you this – stay AWAY from companies that pretend to be based out of the U.S. and have their support sneakily and entirely based in India. I’ve written about how tech companies and BPO etc in general is quietly leaving India, and THIS level of service is one reason why, and believe me, with my I.T. background and work experience here, I KNOW (back in the day I actually worked for someone, hehe).
No it aint racism, so please get off your soap box(before you start). It’s me stating a FACT, my friend. Customer service in anything (or most things) in India atrocious if at all existent … Amazon India being the one exception to the rule.
I’m sure there are good companies there, but they are very much the exception I’d say rather than the NORM!
Well, it's been a long time since my last update - - and for that I apologize (yeah, I know, again!) - - this last month has been a virtual whirlwind of activity. Running hither, traveling thither, apparently a thousand things to get done and only 24 (sometimes less) hours to get it done - - you know how it goes at times!
Anyway, I was puffing my way my favorite hill yesterday on a HOT and BALMY (and I mean it - - it's so humid and muggy out here these days that you literally start to "drip" sweat as soon as you step outside) Tuesday morning. Step by step (or double step, for those of you that know me!) and finally I was up at the top - whew!
Now, for those that have been following my newsletters/site, you know that the climb is only part one (albeit the most important) part of my daily workout, and bodyweight exercises follow shortly thereafter. I generally do a combination of stretches and pushups at the top of the hill and then some intense grip work/pulling exercises at the bottom - - but today was to be different, as a long forgotten (for whatever odd reason) exercise suddenly slipped into mind.
And before I knew it, the hands made their way down to the cemented section at the top of the hill, and I found a wall to "lean" against - - and I turned myself upside down - - and yes, you guessed RIGHT - - for some reason, I haven't been doing handstands or handstand pushups for a couple of months now - - but jumped straight back into them yesterday morning.
Now, handstands and handstand pushups are a fantastic, fantastic exercise to build the upper body, and I've written many times about this in all my manuals, so you might ask why I stopped doing this exercise for a while.
Fair enough question...And one that I don't really have a ready made answer to, as it was one of those things that just "happened". You know how it goes, you try a new exercise, or focus on another one, and one of the old ones suddenly slips into the background - - until you remember it - - and then you're back at it with a vengeance.
In my case, "new" would certainly be true, now that I think about it. I've been focusing on many new stretches that I've experimented with - - as well as "extra wide grip" pushups (don't ask, hehe) - - as well as building my grip - - and this last one (grip) takes up a lot of my time and energy (though the results have been WELL worth it).
And I've also been focusing on my pull-ups, perfecting my form, no swinging, kipping, etc (not that I did that to start with, but one can always improve regardless).
Anyway, the first handstand left me teetering unsteadily on my hands, and I felt a "new" (yet familiar) feeling through my entire core as I turned myself upside down.
Oh yeah. THAT feeling ... THAT feeling of your insides literally being "tightened" as you struggle to mantain focus and balance.
The second one was easier, but not by a lot.
And the third was a bit easier, but again, not by a lot.
But the important thing is I was able to DO the actual handstand - - call it muscle memory, or call it what you will, but my shoulders didn't pop out of my body the moment I balanced my bodyweight on them, and this despite me not having done a single handstand, or handstand pushup for ages now.
And as I struggled my way through sets of 2, then 3, then 2 handstand pushups (will take me a few days to work back up to 5-7), I knew I was going to be sore tomorrow in my chest and tricep area - - not to mention my forearms, which I thought were getting a good ole "beating".
Anyway, I completed the rest of my workout as usual, and then had a good lunch, a nap, and then was off to get some work done in the evening. Decent enough dinner, a little sore around the lats, and then off to bed...
Did I say a "little sore"?
Well, I did - - but that's nothing compared to what I felt like THIS morning. I woke up, and tried stretching my arms over my head as I normally do upon waking up - - and - - OH BOY.
My upper back, but especially my lats (the muscle group around the armpits) seemed to be literally "pulsating" with a life of their own every time I raised my arms above shoulder level. Sort of as if I'd hammered them with endless sets of pull-ups, but in reality, the handstand pushups were what caused the soreness - - and funnily enough, my forearms feel absolutely normal (probably due to all the grip work I do).
OUCH! As I flexed and stretched, trying to get the blood flowing, I also noticed a new soreness around the shoulder area - - sort of the "front" part of the shoulder - - a "deep" sort of soreness, sort of like someone had beaten that part of the shoulder muscle to pulp - - but without the associated "bad pain", if you get my drift.
My own fault for neglecting my "upside down" exercises for days on end, hehe.
Anyway, the reason I'm telling you this is because all of us (myself included) tend to "forget the basics" every once in a while (or if not forget, not focus upon) and we all need that good old fashioned "kick up the backside" in order to get back to them.
That kick can come in various forms - - sore lats - - a bulging stomach (for those of you that haven't exercised in a while) - - admonitions - - or just about anyway, really - - but the fact of the matter is simple - - don't forget the basics, or they'll come back to hit ya - - HARD!
And I'm also telling you this so you know that one of the BEST, bar none, workouts for your upper body can be centered around two main exercises.
That's right - - just two - - those being handstand pushups and pull-ups (and it doens't matter which level you're at - - even TRYING these exercises will cause some serious strength to develop!).
I've mentioned this combo repeatedly in my courses, but for some reason it gets ignored a lot of times - - and so I'm putting it out there again - - this time with a personal experience to share as well, hehe.
Anyway, that's it for now. Gotta grab some lunch, and recuperate a bit more before the evening session. Be back soon with more - - if you work out today -- make it a great one - - and remember to focus on the BASICS!
We've all heard it - - the magic number, that is. 500.
500 pushups. 500 reps. 500 squats. The number 500 has somehow assumed "mythical" (if I might use the term) proportions in training "lore" - - and with good reason - - doing 500 reps of a certain exercise is anything BUT easy. And if we're talking pushups, 500 pushups WILL give you a HECK of a workout - - see http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/blog/item/47-500-pushups-a-day and http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/component/k2/item/87-more-on-doing-500-pushups-a-day for more on this!
Anyway, today's (second) note is not about pushups - - it's about WALKING.
Yes, that's right - - walking - - that oft ignored, simple, yet amazingly effective exercise that we can ALL (provided we have a pair of intact legs!) do on a regular basis.
And though walking might seem like no big deal to some, have you ever stopped to wonder about how many steps you can walk without stopping?
That's right - - not "reps" - - steps - - or "paces" for our friends from the U.K. - - can you walk 300 paces without halting? Or 400? Or 500 - - or more?
Well, I don't know about you, but I counted my steps today as I moseyed up the hill - - I was going up one of the paths without stairs - - a path I use on the days I don't go up the route with stairs (though the lack of stairs certainly does NOT make it any easier to puff up the slope).
I thought I'd do 300 at a time for fun.
100...200...300... - - the magic number (for me) just came and went before I knew it.
And soon enough, I was at THE magic number - - 500. But I didn't stop there.
I managed a total of NINE HUNDRED steps - - UPHILL, at a steady pace before I finally stopped to catch my breath - -and give my aching calves and legs a much needed break.
From that point on, the route joined the "regular" route with stairs until the top - - probably another 400 or so. I didn't count, but that's a rough estimate.
And at the top of my hill I checked my watch, slick with sweat - - and - - YES! I had done it - - I had surpassed my previous best of 13 minutes - - ended up with a 12 minute climb today.
Now that's something to feel good about - - or at least, I feel good about it. And those of you that exercise on a regular basis will know the feeling of exhilaration that accompanies a PR - - be that any form of PR (weight lifted, or seconds shaved off your run/climb, et al).
And why do I mention this along with the "500 steps at a time" topic?
Well, simply because walking can sometimes get to be so "easy" for some that you actually end up slacking - - and missing out on some of the benefits this exercise has to offer (multiplied manifold, of course, if you're walking up hill).
Oh, thats just a simple walk. Pff!
Oh, walking! Hmph! How can that possibly help me!
On the other hand, TIME your walks - - and COUNT your steps - - and you might just find you get a way better workout than you do if you're "just walking".
And that, my friend, is a tip I thought I'd share with you (and one I've used myself many a times as well).
All for now!
P.S.: - I speak about the many benefits of walking in Fast and Furious Fitness - - walk on over HERE to reserve your copy: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/4-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book
Well, we're finally back online, and with a new look at that - - a look that (judging by the emails I've got so far) some of you seem to be enjoying more than the previous version of the site.
Whew - - what a battle it was to finally get online again, but it's DONE for now, and I hope Fast and Furious Fitness doesn't have to "move" again anytime in the near future!
Anyway, let's start things off with some reader feedback - - specifically, a great question from Tom in Newark. He wrote in saying that he loves pull-ups - - and that they are his favorite exercise, but he had a question. Are pull-ups better when done with a "hammer grip" (parallel, with the fingers of both hands facing each other), or is it better to do them with a regular grip (palms facing away)?
He also goes on to state that doing the hammer grip pull-ups seems to hit different parts of his back than the regular pull-ups do, and that both complement each other.
And he finished off by saying he's building some super gripping power with a combo of these two exercises (and a few others thrown in, these being the main ones though) alone.
Great question, and one I've often pondered myself, and my answer is - - Tom, they're BOTH good - - and they're BOTH variants you should practice on a regular basis.
You've also let one of my "secrets" to improving at pull-ups here out of the bag - - that being to work the hammer grip pull-ups to improve the regular pull-ups, and vice versa.
And yes, the hammer grip pull-ups DO hit your back differently than the regular pull-ups. The regular version seems to "spread" your lats out more, while the hammer grip pull-ups seems to "lengthen, stretch and strengthen" (no other way to put it on this one!) your lats a lot more. And they BOTH hit your lower back pretty well.
The parallel grips also seem to lend themselves to higher reps than the regular grip pull-ups, though interestingly enough, that doesn't happen ALL the time for me - - only on occasion. I'll elaborate more on that later though.
The only real area of difference is the abdominal region. I've found that the regular grip pull-ups tend to hit the "front" of the stomach as a whole a lot more, as opposed to parallel grip which seems to tax the "obliques" a lot more - - a good thing, by the way, since THOSE are the muscles (along with the transverse abdominal muscle resting deep under the superficial "six pack" muscles) that really pull your waist in - - as well as add REAL POWER and STRENGTH to your entire core.
And contrary to what most people think, BOTH are great ways to develop crushing grip power - - of course, if you do things the right way. There is a secret that one needs to know - - and MASTER - - while doing pulling exercise - - something so simple you'd think it was obvious, but something that (amazingly enough) I see ignored on a regular basis.
I detail that secret in Gorilla Grip - - a must have if you're (like Tom is) interested in developing crushing gripping power - - you can grab your copy right HERE: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/products/8-gorilla-grip/
But otherwise, both are great versions of the same exercise, and I recommend practicing both versions if you can on a regular basis. Just make sure you do the exercise in PROPER FORM - - no "kipping", no "swinging up with the legs" or the other foolishness I notice and write about on a daily basis.
Kudos on the gripping strength you've developed - - add some monkey bar work in there, and you'll soon be on your way to tearing wrists off in no time, hehe.
And that, dear reader, is that for now. Back again with more!
P.S: - Our Facebook page is a great way to stay informed on what is going on at Fast and Furious Fitness HQ's - - stop by and check it out - - https://www.facebook.com/fastandfuriousfitness
This is something I've been meaning to write about a LONG, LONG time now, but haven't had the time to do so.
The park that I partake of my daily walk in has plenty of folks of all age groups exercising on a regular basis (which is a great thing). You'll find folks out for their walks (and/or Tai Chi, bodyweight stuff, et al) even on days so hot that you literally feel like a sponge that is slowly, but surely being SQUEEZED, dripping sweat with every movement.
And that is one area where the Chinese score over a lot of other countries - despite the recent surge in couch potatoes (young 'uns at that) and folks getting lazy, by and large, the Chinese still believe in daily exercise as "part of their lives" as opposed to a lot of developed countries where exercise is treated as something you have to "fit into your schedule" (and consequently becomes a chore).
But that isn't the topic of today's post.
A few weeks ago, I puffed up the hill, and almost collapsed once I was at the summit. It was an especially cloudy and muggy day, extremely overcast, and one could barely even BREATHE (you know, the sort of humidity that "clings" to your lungs) and that doesn't make climbing a steep hill any easier.
There weren't that many people that day, except for a few young men "lounging" about, if I may term it as that.
And as I completed 25 strict, letter perfect pushups, something I tend to do after a hill climb (and before my pulling movements), they looked on in amazement as if to say "in THIS heat? No way!?"
But one of them soon got down from his "perch" on a nearby railing and started to follow suit - and pounded out what seemed like 70 or so "rapidfire" pushups.
Or so he claimed.
His compatriots cheered him on, but to me it felt like watching a circus show - rather like watching a human machine gun hurriedly rep out half baked pushups, the arms barely bending, the chest so far from the floor that you could stick a barrel in the space - - and most of all, the horrible, jerky, up and down motion where the person exercising uses momentum rather than strength to complete whatever "movement" it is he is doing.
Uggggh, I thought.
But I'm used to this sort of foolishness, and I just sort of shook my head ruefully and didn't say much.
Fast forward a couple of days, and I see a wiry guy on the pull-up bar, a slim fella with very little fat on him, someone you'd think should be great at pull-ups done in proper form.
But as he "jumped" on to the pull-up bar, I watched from a distance, warming my grip up for a few tough sets of the monkey bars, and I soon found out that his fitness levels were nowhere near what I thought they should - or would, for that matter - be at.
Our friend completes the first rep by literally "jumping" half the way, and then goes half way back down, and then kicks both legs furiously, sort of like the "dolphin kick" when performing the butterfly in swimming, and that kick gets him to rep #2.
He gets to rep #4 or so like that, and then furiously contorts his face, scowling, and letting out "oohs and ahs" for the benefit of a few girls who had stopped to watch "the monster crank out the reps".
He finishes 20 or so reps like that, and then jumps down from the bar (the last 5 reps being half-half reps, in that neither did his chin get over the bar, and neither did he go even halfway down), grinning at the simpering women, and at that point I couldn't help but laugh, though I turned around quickly, not wanting him to notice.
But notice it he did, and he came on over to the monkey bars, which are three times as thick as the regular pull-up bars most folks prefer.
He jumped up, but fell off the bar quickly, much like a limpet detached from a tree trunk.
"That's not easy", he grimaced, staring at his hands (baby soft from what I could tell). "That's too hard on the palms!"
And as he said this I repped out a few "back and forth" reps across the monkey bars, swinging my way across, and the guy kept staring.
Then, he jumps on to the bars again, and starts to rep out pull-ups in the same shoddy manner, and at that point I stopped him.
"Not that way", I said, somewhat irritably. "All the way up, and THEN (this is the part he most hated), go ALL the way DOWN!"
He gaped at me as if I had asked him to dive to the bottom of the Pacific.
"Down", I repeated.
And after about 5 rounds of this conversation, he finally did lower down to a "flexed hang" letting out a genuine gasp this time.
He then flailed around with his legs for a while, but not even the most desperate of kicks could get him past half way point on this particular rep.
And he soon dropped from the bar like a dead weight and glared at me, as if I was responsible for his "failures" in front of the girls.
Soon, he walked off, muttering something about my calloused hands being "horrible".
Ok...horrible they are, but they sure can GRIP!
Now, the point of mentioning this jokerishness is not to poke fun at the two fine men I just spoke about, but rather to emphasize that "cheating" a.k.a "bouncing or kicking" your way through reps does YOU no good.
It may stroke your ego for a while, but when you do the exercise in right form, you'll soon find out that ALL your "effort" thus far has been in vain. More importantly, bouncing and kicking on pushups and pull-ups (for instance) is a great way to lead to shoulder and tendon injuries - not something you want for sure.
So don't be the guy that "bounces" out 50 plus reps and preens in front of the women. Be the guy who pumps out 15 slow, letter PERFECT reps, and BUILDS from there.
Don't be the guy who "kicks" his way to 20 half baked chins. Be the guy who spends hours honing his grip on THICK bars, more time in the dead hang position, FEELING his lats, and PERFECTING that first rep before moving on.
In other words, check your ego in at the door when training hard - and this goes for trainees at ALL levels.
Concentrate on the workout itself - - and the numbers will come. Believe you me, the numbers will come!
And here's a parting shot - if all this sounds too "silly" (pff! I'd rather "pound" out the reps rather than worry about this nonsense, some might say!) - just go back and read my post a while back on the "old man I met in China" right here: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/blog/item/167-the-old-man-i-met-a-couple-of-months-back-in-china. Read the part about a letter perfect handstand, the vice like grip - - the entire post, actually, and then read THIS one again, and that'll say it all.
Or at least, it should!
And thats it for today. Back again with more!
P.S.: - Pull-ups are one of the hardest movements for folks to even complete, let alone complete in proper form, but the benefits from doing these right, and doing these regularly are manifold. And the same holds true for handstand pushups. Weave a workout around these two movements (remember the leg work!), and you'll be looking like a human gorilla in no time at all!
Was completing my workout today in the local park when a couple that I've seen often came along.
I was working out in the afternoon today, and this particular, probably in their mid 20's or so usually chooses this time of the day for their jaunt.
And as I went through the last few repetitions of an extremely tough exercise I've been working HARD to master, I saw "the look" on the woman's face.
And from the title, you've probably already guessed what type of a look it was - - and you're right.
And what's funny, at least to me, is that this look repeats itself every time they see me exercising - - oddly enough, they seem to show up just at "that" particular time in my workout. One of those things as it were.
The guy usually looks at me with a resigned, sort of "benevolently friendly" (if that term makes any sense), says something to the gal, and walks on.
The gal walks on too, saying something to the guy, but she's got the first stage of the "the look" printed ALL over her face.
As in, what's that crazy "gui lao" doing? (Gui Lao literally meaning foreign devil, a not so polite but commonly used term on mainland China, at least in the Southern provinces)
She pauses, stares at me, and I stare at her after I complete my rep, and then go on about my business.
Finish that rep, and I find her staring at me again with a look of "why would someone do that", as her partner nudges her, edging her on her way, down past me.
And come the third rep, I see both of them sneaking surreptitious glances at me, but being they're too far away at this point for it to really register in my mind, I just act as if they're not there and continue.
This particular scenario repeats itself every time they see me, so you might ask, hey, what exercise is it that causes the Chinese to give me the "crazy gui lao" stare?
Well, as mentioned before, it's an exercise that is extremely tough to master, and certainly not for the "pumpers" at the local gym/'roid house.
It requires patience to master, so that makes it a no-no for most people.
It makes you grip as if your life depended upon it, and it makes ugly callouses sprout all over your hands. Strike three for most folks right there.
But it also develops a vice like grip, super strength (and endurance of sorts) in the entire arm, especially the fingers and forearms.
And that exercise is - without further ado - a FLEXED hang - but from one hand.
Simply put, that means yours truly is hanging in the bottom position of a pull up (arms fully outstretched) with one hand - for time. And to make it even more fun, I use a thick bar to do this exercise.
I've been at it for a couple of weeks, and it was surprisingly hard to begin with, even for someone like me whose used to doing various sorts of pull-ups.
No swinging around crazily, no showing off, just a flexed, still, controlled HANG.
And while the exercise might cause the average person to gawk and gape, be informed that if you want to build a bone crushing grip, this particular exercise will do it for me - in less than a minute, or minute max per set.
I mean, find someone, at whatever body weight, that can hang on with one arm in good form - on a THICK bar - for one minute or more, and you've got someone with a seriously, seriously strong grip.
And I don't know about you - but I'm more than willing to brave callouses and the "crazy" look (and the pain) to achieve the results I'm referring to!
Now, I realize there are a lot of people might agree with me here, and rock on down to the local playground for some timed holds, but before you do so, a word of caution: -
- Make sure your able to do timed holds with TWO hands in PROPER form for AT LEAST a minute before even attempting this. And yes, there is a reason the four words are capitalized. . .extra attention, folks!
- Make sure you can do at least 5 pull-ups per set in good form without undue fatigue.
- And last, but not least, make sure you keep your weight at reasonable levels. This usually goes hand in hand with the first two, unless your freakishly strong, of course, but I've hardly ever seen overweight folks manage one pull-up in good form, let alone five.
And that, my friend, is the story for the day. Try this simple little exercise out if you so desire, and let me know how it went!
P.S: - Can't even do a flexed hang with TWO hands for any length of time, let alone what I mention? Well, no problem, amigo - your NOT alone, and there IS a solution. Pull on over to http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/88-getting-better-at-pull-ups-from-dud-to-stud-within-a-matter-of-weeks and you'll soon be pumping those reps out as if they were second nature - NO questions asked!