So this morning (afternoon), actually I woke up to a message from a friend with this.
And nothing else . . .
A few days ago, I got this message on my WeChat (the above was on my WhatsApp).
“Rahul Rahul. Do you have a few minutes?”
And then . . . CRICKETS.
NOTHING at all after that.
If there is something that I ‘hate’ (actually I hardly use the term so I should say “is a pet peeve of mine”) it is THIS sort of “phishing” communication.
And most of the time, if not ALL the time, the person is looking for one of two things.
Freebies. Could be free advice. Free “try your product before I buy) (sorry, but as I’ve stated multiple times in the past, there are NO free trials for either Rahul Mookerjee or 0 Excuses Fitness products). Or free something.
Or, “unloading their negative energy on you”.
I have written about this a lot on the old site HERE and also a lengthy piece on Medium, but given THIS site’s move towards more “life oriented” topics and the other site more towards fitness (but we’ll see – I write about what I like as I like where I like, hehe and can’t nobody stop me – as ole Stone Cold once famously said!) I figured I’d write about it here too.
MOST of the time it’s people that want to suck up your energy on long, meaningless phone calls with rants that make no sense.
In other words, they want to find a “complaint box” and given the polarized world that this is turning into, the fact is most people have nobody to really talk to about THEIR own things.
And when they see someone that is writing on the Internet, an outwardly friendly person that HELPS others, guess what happens.
The energy leeches show up. The energy DRAINS show up. As do the freebie seekers, and energy suckers, and if you don’t watch out my friend YOU TOO will become one of this herd and lose the positive vibes that KEEP these people coming to you.
I’ve written about a person before that wanted free training from me, and who said my exercise poses looked “gay”.
And it is precisely this sort of person I try and avoid. In the beginning I’d dignify their comments by responding (at least initially) before I realized playing the nice guy wasn’t going to get me anywhere.
This also ties more into what I keep saying about NOT offering free products.
These people that take the free products and advice will NEVER EVER value it enough to actually use it, and down the road, they will turn around and bash you for being a “so called fitness guru” or whatever it is they want to say when the FACT is that they never actually got down to brass tacks and DID the thing.
And I wrote about that on the other blog the other day . . . so for those interested, head over to the 0 Excuses Fitness site and check it out.
And while there ain’t nothing with a good rant every once in a while and being the shoulder that others can cry upon, what happens when YOU NEED the SAME?
I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve tried to talk about my OWN stuff, and the person in front of me could care less about what I’m saying - - but is MORE than happy to rant on about (if we’re talking expats in China which to be honest are the category that keep contacting me the most for obvious reasons) their own life, and how everything sucks for them, and how they’re doing precisely jack squat to change it all.
Like the person that was jumping up and down about his thoughts on “red China”. Sent me a bazillion damned messages daily. And so forth.
All the while while LIVING in China.
Like dude, get a life. CHANGE your country of residence (and believe me, he had the cash to do it) if hate your current one that much.
Stop being a hypocrite – and feeding off others energy and dragging them down (or trying to) to YOUR level.
I’ll write more about this later, but for now, the point is this – if you feel “negative energy” come on as soon as you see a certain conversation – or communication or feel that it’s “useless to try and talk to this person because he just flat out ignores what you say” (or gets away with, or tries to, as a person recently told me “I read everything, but I don’t reply!” rubbish) then just don’t TAKE that conversation any further.
Yeah. Right. Reads everything but doesn’t respond, because a lot of it paint him out to be a a hypocrite . . .
Anyway, enough of this. Point is, cut negative energy and energy drains out of your life as soon as possible my friend. You’ll be all the better off for it!
And that’s that for now. Back soon.
P.S. – and yes, these naysayers are just as active when it comes to FITNESS as well. Remember the case of the guy who showed up at the park one day demanding to know why I was doing pull-ups, and not “working my mind”. Uggggghhhhh.
P.S #2 – By the way, our courses on pull-up have been going GANGBUSTERS. From the initial “Pull-ups from DUD to STUD within a matter of WEEKS” (by itself immensely popular) to an ADVANCED course on pull-ups – and more . . . be sure and check it out!
P.P.S – Be sure also to check out the 0 Excuses Fitness System right here - - truly the nigh on MOST comprehensive HOME fitness system you’ll EVER need!
P.P.S #2 – If someone’s actually looking to do business, chances are they’ll SAY what it is they want and not just “Hi Rahul”. Bear that in mind as you go about your dealings with others, my friend. And it’s true – nigh on EVERY time someone’s actually wanted to do actual biz, they’ve SAID it. It’s the “Hi . . . “ and then crickets sort you want to AVOID like the bubonic plague. Trust me. Ain’t worth it by a long shot!
As I was talking to my wife today over lunch, she spoke about something that a current employer (of sorts) of hers is doing.
For what it’s worth, my wife is in the recruitment biz (which is how we met, hehe, long story there tho!) and is what she does currently on a part time basis.
If you’re interested in a job in India, she’s probably the one you need to hit up, but given the COVID lockdown in India (one of the worlds by far harshest and strictest lockdowns), the country has all but ground to a screeching, crying HALT.
A very ineptly done lockdown indeed, and I fear one that really accomplished squat all other than being a STOP GAP measure.
I said this before, of course. A long time ago, and I was called a moron – or worse – for saying it.
I said that the horse done bolted when the Chinese wifully ignored the virus and let it spread willy nilly, and only reported it when they HAD to, and by then the damage was done, and it will take the world a long damned time to recover from this, if ever.
And whether or not the virus was created in China is another topic altogether, and not one for this here email.
Anyway, her employer is running from pillar to post to find sources of income.
Unfortunately not everyone is open to the sort of ideas I am, and so she’s pretty much dependent upon the economy in this regard.
And while she’s getting into the online education hussle, as my wife said over lunch, what was my reaction when I heard about this?
Online education just don’t’ work, my friend. Period.
It’s been tried in China, and has already FLOPPED.
And I’ve said this from the very beginning, back when the China tom tommers (you know who you are!) were claiming that online education would be the next big thing.
No it won’t
There are some things that lend themselves better to IN PERSON, my friend, and that’s just a fact.
And what I told my wife was basically what I said here, and then
“If you truly want to succeed, real success, then do the OPPOSITE of what everyone is doing”.
And if you think about it that’s one of the best pieces of advice I can give anyone.
Sure, it may come with being ridiculed, put down, called names, and WORSE, but end of the day, this approach delivers lasting results and gets you to the pinnacles of success in whatever it is you truly want.
What you REALLY want out of life, not what your parents, co-workers,friends, or family want you to do.
What YOU want to do, and that at the end of the day is what REALLY MATTERS and you know it, my friend.
That nagging discontent ain’t gonna go away, my friend.
And rather than be the one that has regrets - - why not simply accept the fact you have ONE LIFE – to do what you TRULY WANT?
I’ll write more on this later. Back to doing the precise opposite of what others are doing and having ideas that may sound wild is something all of the people below had in common –
Ralph Waldo Emerson
. . . and scores of other than really made it in their lives.
Study their stories, and you’ll understand what your truly BE talking about, hehe.
And fitness is the same.
No, long drawn out workouts with your heart rate in the “zone” doesn’t cut it, and the results that most people get after going to the gym for years show.
NO, pavement pounding ain’t near as good as intense sprints. Proof is in the pudding!
YES, short and intense workouts benefit you in all regards far more than the commonly touted (by the so called experts) alternative.
YES, doing your own thing is truly where it is AT!
And so forth.
Think about everything I’ve just told you my friend, and apply it in YOUR life.
If you do so - You’ll start to go places – that I do promise you!
P.S. – Check out our products right here – https://0excusesfitness.com/products/
P.S #2 – Apply for life coaching right HERE – https://0excusesfitness.com/coaching/
P.P.S – I’m going to be updating my products section on this site very soon indeed. Stay tuned!
As you read this, and indeed as I write this a MASS PURGE is going on - on this particular site.
The email list has grown to be huge and bulky, and has over 30 K subscribers at the time of writing this.
Some of you guys on the list are genuine - some NOT.
And some of the email address (indeed quite a few of them) seem to have been inputted by people OTHER than the owners of the email addresses themselves. Absolutely NOT acceptable to me, my friend.
And not only that - over the past few days, I've been chatting about reviving the rahulmookerjee.com site.
I've already got my 0 Excuses Fitness site going STRONG - so it ain't about business.
It's about the heart.
THIS IS WHERE it all started (to grow and be FULL time doing this) for me, and this site has a very special place in my heart, as does the orignal Fast and Furious book.
(NB - although all my products are DIGITAL now, Fast and Furious Fitness is the ONLY product I currently offer in hardcopy format. Collector's items as it were, and again, good reason behind this!).
You always remember that first love. The first book you wrote. The very first fitness venture you embarked on, hehe (and for me it wasn't even this rahulmookerjee.com website. It was another domain and I'll have to check and see if that is still available!).
Ah, if only I had known what I do NOW - I could have made things so much "bigger" and helped SO MANY MORE people . . . but thats OK.
It all happens at the right place and right time, and for a reason.
I've had a very storied life indeed - continue to do so - no complaints, and in that vein, I'm back to deleting people.
KEY TAKEAWAY from all this, you ask?
If you're truly interested in receiving updates from yours truly (note - these updates will NOT in MOST cases be the same as you get from on a daily basis from 0 Excuses Fitness) then please resign up again using the newsletter sign up function on the main page (at the bottom).
Welcome aboard again as I "resucitate" this website (funnily enough, it still ranks very highly in Google) - and while I'm not sure what plans I have for it down the road, for now, it's going to be something DIFFERENT - that is ALL I can promise!
P.S. - And yes, I write about topics other than fitness. If that pisses off some people, so be it - please do NOT sign up. Other hand, the 0 Excuses Fitness site will probably become more fitness related down the road, and THIS one more life - but we'll see how that goes, hehe.
P.S #2 - Last, but not least, don't forget to check out 0 Excuses Fitness products right HERE - https://0excusesfitness.com/products/
A while I ago was chatting with my friend Dwayne about . . . well, I can’t remember. Life in general I believe it was, and we were talking about work and success, and how things don’t often go according to plan.
And how we should always be prepared for not necessarily the best – but the WORST to happen.
Hey, don’t get me wrong.
It’s all well and good to EXPECT the best, but what if that happens in a manner and (perhaps more importantly) TIME not of your choosing?
What if the “worst” were to be something that “was slated to happen” in order for the best to happen?
And curiously enough, that is how it usually DOES work.
When you’re at the bottom of a tall, tall mountain with nowhere to go – guess what.
It’s GREAT NEWS – because you have got only one way to go.
Henry Ford famously once made the comment along the lines of “when everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplace flies AGAINST the wind, not with it”.
So true, my friend.
It is only after experiencing the nadirs of FAILURE that one can rise to the heights of success, and after studying scores of successful men and women, I cannot think of a SINGLE case to which this didn’t apply (and usually not just one failure either – several massive failures).
If you’ve never failed at anything, chances are you’re never truly succeeded at that thing either.
Point here though isn’t that failure is required in order to achieve true and lasting success.
That it is, but what Im saying is here is what WHEN the mishaps occur.
Do you sink – or find it in you to SWIM – often times against a mighty tide doing all it can to keep you DOWN – and OUT?
Simply answering yes to the above question isn’t enough.
You must DO the thing.
And the key to this, my friend lies not only in what Dwayne very correctly said – – but also what Claude Bristol said in The Magic of Believing.
Success is a matter of never ending application. The minute you pause to rest on your laurels is the minute it takes wings and FLIES away.
Paraphrased, but the gist is what I just wrote.
And if there ever was a comment that rang true with yours truly THIS IS IT!
(and that’s what Dwayne was talking about with regard to “I’m the chump that keeps working”. And if you want to listen to someone that’s BEEN there and DONE the thing, and then some, well, that’s the man.)
I cannot think of how many times in the past Ive done something successfully.
Built up the momentum. Felt great. Built up several small victories.
And then inexplicably I slacked off. For no good reason, I’d let things “slide”, thinking that the momentum I created would be enough to keep things humming.
It wasn’t, of course, and I found that out the hard way.
Right now, every time I embark on a new biz venture or even something fitness related, I think long term and do NOT let the small successes or failures alter my overall emotional state either way.
You gotta be in it for the long term, and this holds true for fitness too.
Here today, gone tomorrow holds true if you stop to “admire yourself in the mirror” and forget that WORK, solid WORK is still required – and that, my friend, is the topic for today.
Chew on it some, and let me know what you think!
P.S. – The exercises in the 0 Excuses Fitness System are NOT “one trick ponies”. In fact it is a challenge even for the baddest mofo out there to MASTER any of these exercises in its entirety – even the humble pushups. And there is a very good reason I keep working on the basics despite my “advanced” status at all this, and why YOU should too.
Find out more about the System here, and get ROCKING now – https://0excusesfitness.com/0excusesfitnessystem/
Oh MY! Something huge is coming up - a new book release, to be precise, my own "Zero to Hero" book - and it will be available for sale VERY SOON indeed at the 0 Excuses Site.
Here are but SOME of the results you can expect from following the tips I lay out in this book, my friend: –
Overweight, rundown, “beat up” and unfit -> Full of stamina, STRENGTH and boundless ENERGY!
From “frustration at where you are in life” -> a LIFE IN FLOW – with BOUNDLESS optimism and REWARDS!
From “procrastination” – > a state of “getting her done” no matter WHAT!
From self doubt and self denial -> a state of ACCEPTANCE, DEEP CONTENTMENT and ZERO “self denial”!
From “stuck in the grind” to SELF EMPLOYMENT and FULFILLMENT – with minimal “apparent” effort!
Man oh man, I'm so excited I can barely TYPE!
I'll end this one here - but anyway - the reason I'm sending it out to THIS website FIRST is because this is where it really all started, my friend.
This is where I really got going first - and so it makes sense to post it here first, even though I'll be selling it on my other site soon.
Get "thee buttocks" over to 0 Excuses Fitness now, my friend - and if you haven't already - sign up for the mailing list there!
Do it NOW, my friend. Don't waste a SECOND LONGER!
P.S. - Additionally - be on the lookout for a MAJOR, MAJOR announcement coming TONIGHT on the 0 Excuses site!
Though I've been blasting this out "ad infinitum" in my Facebook messages and my daily newsletters etc, there are a lot of you that are still loyal visitors to the orignal rahulmookerjee.com website.
And that is FINE - that is where it all STARTED - and there is nothing wrong with the site at all. In fact, the blog posts on the site offer you valuable tips and advice on getting - and STAYING - fit, and truth be told, you'd be well served by taking a gander at some of it (being that the reason you arrived at the page is - well - fitness itself).
But things change, and I figured I'd give the site a new look first, but then I decided against that for whatever odd reason.
Nah. I figured I'd build a new site - and so I have - and the new site is www.0excusesfitness.com - a name that bears significance if just because it points out the MAIN reason people fail to accomplish whatever goals they are that they set for themselves - not just fitness wise - but in LIFE in general.
That's right, my friend. Excuses and smartphones are the BANE of the modern world, and I'll stand behind those words till the day I "pass on", hehe.
Anyway, this particular blog has been discontinued for the nonce in terms of fitness - so please head on over to the NEW site - and check out the BLOG there - more great stuff for y'all to take a gander at!
And of course - new and UPDATED products as well - http://0excusesfitness.com/products/ .
Last, but NOT LEAST - PLEASE SIGN UP for the daily blog posts on the new site PRONTO in order NOT to miss any of the great stuff I post on a daily (or sometimes more) basis. I can't always get on Facebook etc in the nick of time, so this is the best way to stay abreast of what is going on at 0 Excuses Fitness HQ!
All for now - see you at the NEW SITE!
0 Excuses Fitness
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!
Well, it wasn't exactly the most of pleasant and restful of nights for me last night, to say the least. Started off well enough actually, a few brewskies, part of what seems to be a good flick - - you know - - a typical Sunday night for most folks.
And what made it better was a great workout before the evening - - done in searingly hot and humid weather as usual, and with a few new exercises to boot. I've been concentrating on hanging leg raises these days (great, great exercise, and one which I detail in Fast and Furious Fitness extensively: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/4-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book), and I did an interesting variation of this exercise yesterday.
For those that don't know (and you should!) - - the hanging leg raise is by far one of the BEST exercises you can do for your core, and the variation that I did involves pulling your legs up to your chest while you hang prone on the bar. It's supposed to be an easy variant - - in theory, that is - - in practice, do them the right way, and they're anything BUT easy.
Anyway, I went to bed a happy camper, and woke up around 5 A.M. or so, thirsty.
Ok, no big deal, happens a lot, and off I trundled off to the bedside table to grab some H20. . .
Well - - I really should say that I STARTED making my way over to said table - - and - - BAM! OUCH!
I suddenly discovered I was unable to stand on my right leg - - unable to put any pressure at all on that leg - - and the left leg funnily enough was normal - - no problems on that leg.
But it's the pain I remember MOST vividly - - OUCH! It's not often that I scream out loud with pain, but merely standing on my right leg was causing me to do so (and if my neighbors woke up due to this - - and are reading this - - mea culpa, but at the same time, the pain was of a kind I'd never experienced before!).
It wouldn't go away no matter what I did, though it seemed to subside somewhat when I sat down in a certain position.
And finally, after much pummeling, screaming and "thumbing" deep into where the pain was coming from (the side of the inner right thigh), the pain died away - - somewhat.
I finally popped off to bed around 6:30 or so, and when I woke up, the leg seemed fairly normal - - at least compared to the night before when I could barely walk on it.
And my thoughts upon waking up were: - I CAN walk on it now - - but I CANNOT lift my leg off the floor without support - - so SOMETHING'S happened for sure.
Turns out I've got an "abductor muscle pull (or slight tear - - not sure which)" - - the muscle that runs along the SIDE of the thigh - - the inner thigh - - not the groin, but the part of the inner thighs which touch together when you bring your knees together.
Drat - - I don't need this, I thought. Lots and lots of walking to do in the next few days, and I sure don't need to be hobbling around while I do it!
Anyway, I decided to test the leg out with some simple walking on level ground and climbing a few flights of stairs, and strangely enough, I can do that without too much pain (or very little pain, actually). But try and lift the leg off the floor by itself - - and - - OUCH!
As to why this happened to an extremely active and conditioned person such as me (at least, conditioned in the things I do)?
Well, for one, I've been exhausted for the past few weeks (hectic, hectic, you know how that goes!) - - and perhaps this is one way my body is telling me to back off a bit?
Maybe - - but more importantly, I think the reason is the variant of the exercise I did. I know I was feeling a bit funny when I was drawing my legs up to my chest - - and holding - - the other afternoon, but I did not think much of it at the time.
Uh oh, mistake #2 right there (I'm sure you can guess #1?). . .
And the reason that I'm telling you this is simply to drive home the fact that you should - - ALWAYS - - LISTEN TO YOUR BODY - - no matter how good of shape you might be in, or think you might be in. Something I keep emphasizing in all my books and writing, but something that we tend to ignore - - yours truly at times as well.
Anyway, I guess I'll be taking a break today from my climb - - or if I do it, I'll be sure and take it easy today. Definitely no leg raises for the next week or so - - the nagging case of elbow tendonitis I'm dealing with is annoying but nothing to worry about - - but this could get a lot worse if I don't do the right things for it.
Sitting around is never the right thing to do, of course, and that isn't what I'm going to do. That is also why I went for a brisk walk on level ground this morning (along with a few stairs) just to "test" the leg out and see what sort of shape its in - - and so far, so good. I bet I'll be making a full recovery in a few days - - touchwood, of course!!
So, that's the update from here. If you work out today - - make it a great one - - and remember to listen to your body as well!
P.S. : - This email isn't to encourage anyone with a thigh or elbow injury to go out and climb hills or do pull-ups - - remember, everyone is DIFFERENT - - and you should ALWAYS seek medical advice for any injury you might have! That said, some MILD activity "just to get the blood flowing" is usually always a good ideas as well. . .
Well, it's been a while since the last email - - the summer is raging on here, hot, humid and - - well - - H..O..T!! So hot that the hill walk seems like I'm doing it in a sauna, albeit a "natural" one. . .PHEW!
Anyway, seems the heat is getting to some people's brains, and today's email is about one of the most STUPID, bar none, statements I've heard in the recent past (and going by the jokerishness going on during the past month or so, that is saying something - - but more on that later).
This morning, I was talking to a lady who I met a few days ago. We were talking "business" (read into that what you choose to, hehe) - - but after we were done, the conversation shifted on to other topics, and we soon started chatting about fitness.
Now, this lady isn't hard on the eyes to be honest, and that's putting it lightly. Great figure, no extra flab, etc etc - - as you might expect from a competitive swimmers, which this lady used to be in her younger days.
(Side note: Swimming is one of the very best exercises there is, despite the fact it doesn't do much for the legs - - goes against a lot of what I've said about leg training being the #1 priority, but swimming is one of the very few, if not the ONLY exercise which actually delivers a lot of the same fitness benefits that you get via other tough exercises - - but again, more on this later).
And so it wasn't a surprise that we got talking about fitness, starting with swimming, at which this woman appears to be FAR better than me - - and good on her for that.
"I knew it", I said. "You look like you love sports - - but I didn't know you liked swimming as well".
The usual giggle, giggle, and thank you, and we continued.
"I guess you go to the gym nowadays, since you don't swim competitively any longer", I said, more as an afterthought than anything else.
"Yeah, I do"
And so, we started talking about the various exercises she did at the gym, most of them being ones I wouldn't personally do, but hey, to each his - - or her - - own. And it wasn't all bad stuff to be honest, stationery biking, treadmill, etc - - not the best by a long shot, but if it works for her, hey...
"What about the Stairmaster", I broke in, as we were discussing the benefits of the treadmill. "I'm sure you use that, and..."
"Oh no", she said, looking a tad bit concerned. "Climbing stairs is bad for your knees, you know".
I shook my head. I was sure I had not heard her correctly.
She repeated what she said, and I shook my head again, this time in pure disbelief.
"Bad for you? Stairs are BAD for your knees???"
"Yes. My personal trainer, and the one before that said so".
"Ah", I responded, still trying to deal with this once-competitive swimmer imparting this bit of sage (not) wisdom.
But as the shock abated, I realized it wasn't her fault - - it was more her personal trainer's fault for spouting rubbish that has no basis whatsoever - - and whats sad is that 99.99% of trainers you'll see in the gym today are just as, if not MORE, clueless about what WORKS - - and what doesn't.
(Or should we say as opposed to hard work and "sweating it out" as a couch potato is to a brisk walk?)
And I looked at her legs, and it made more sense. She has "swimmer's legs" for sure - - slender, lissom- - legs that wouldn't look out of place in a fashion contest - - but at the same time, legs that don't scream STRENGTH - - and RUGGED POWER.
I then tried to convince the lady that she was being fed a crock, but though she listened politely, I got the feeling I might as well be banging my head against a brick wall.
Anyway, shortly after we exchanged pleasantries and departed, and that particular story ends there - - but that is where THIS email starts, to be honest.
I chose this topic to write about because there are LOADS of folks out there who believe that stairs are the worst thing you can do to your knees, when the truth is the exact opposite.
Look, fellas (and gals), training your legs is the NUMBER ONE, I repeat, NUMBER ONE priority in any sort of fitness endavour. I don't care if your training to be in the army, or sports, or martial arts - - or if your the blob that has just got off the couch for the first time in his life - - leg training is by far the most important thing to focus on, followed closely by hip, core and back work.
And there is nothing that quite hits the legs, back and core like a long, steep step of stairs climbed rapidly and repeatedly.
Well, because this exercise taxes the thighs - - which are by far the largest muscles in your body, and the muscles which really cause GROWTH - - and fat loss - - and release of HGH (human growth hormone) in liberal amounts all over your body.
Squats and rope jumping do it as well, but nothing really gets the heart rate up as efficiently as climbing stairs. And anyone that has experienced the heart pounding, "blood roaring in ears" feeling after a tough climb up a bunch of stairs knows what I mean.
As for it being bad on the knees, well, I haven't experienced any problems from my daily climbs up the hill. And neither do the thousands of people ascending the steep stairs leading up the mountain near where I live on a daily basis (both old and young) seem to complain about bad knees - - if anything, they seem to be enjoying far better overall health and strength than their counterparts on the machines in the gyms.
You'll hear some folks complain about "flexion" of the knees - - well, all I can say is that Nature gave us knees for a PURPOSE - - and your using your knees for exactly the same purpose that they were intended for when you climb stairs.
Your knees were NOT intended to stay "straight" on a machine while you "isolate" your muscles - - NO WAY, Jose!
And at this point, you might hear some say "Pooh! Swimming gets one fit as a fiddle, but swimmers don't have the sort of legs you mention - - what gives?"
Fair enough - - but google any competitive swimmers's routine, and you'll see that exercise on land is a priority for them - - especially LEG work.
Swimming is a sport where the legs don't get that much work - - the upper body does the bulk of the hard work - - but does this mean strong legs don't help a swimmer?
Again, no way, Jose - - them "frog kicks" and "dolphin kicks" will be that much more powerful with a pair of strong and sturdy legs as the "motor" behind the movement!
And if that still hasn't convinced you, take a gander at Fast and Furious Fitness where I detail how my daily hill climb has helped me get into the VERY BEST shape of my life - - at the age of 33, at that - - and if THAT doesn't convince you, then nothing will.
Or, well, wait a minute.
A hard climb up a hill in searing hot weather might - - especially if that hill has STAIRS on the way up.
But then again, that would mean HARD work.
Something that 99.9999999% of all "personal trainers" (UGH!) are opposed to. And something that most modern day trainees seem not to think much of either, preferring to "blast" out reps of whatever exercise they are doing on the latest useless machine in the gym while "ogling the babes".
And if you're the kind that fits into the above category - - well, no problems from my end, my friend - - but I wish you best of luck with the knee problems YOU WILL have if you continue using the machines and do no other work for your legs.
And if you are in the tiny minority? The "Fast and Furious Fitnes" minority, if I might say so?
Well, there's nothing to say in that case - - except a (virtual) shake of the hand, and pat on sweaty back - - and back to the workout, as it were!
Well, that's it for today. If you hear a personal trainer spout more nonsense like this, smack him as hard as you can before running - - that'll be your "good deed for the day"!
P.S.: - I speak about Fast and Furious Fitness in this note, and you can grab your copy right HERE: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/4-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book. This is NOT for the 99.999999% I just mentioned - - but if you don't fit into that category - - well - - there's no better read for you. Again, that link is http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/4-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book . . . rush on over, and grab your copy NOW.
Was at it today after my hill climb (done earlier than usual - - and the heat - - well, let's just say it was SOMETHING ELSE - - YOW!), and saw a young, skinny and nattily dressed "whipper snapper" out and about in the workout area where I exercise after climbing the hill.
The entire area was pretty much deserted today, given the extreme heat (and humidity) - excepting for said person and me, that is.
He was sitting on a bench in the shade watching me exercise, but soon started to stretch, and I could tell he wanted to join "the fun" as well.
And soon, he sauntered over to the monkey bars where I was diligently swinging myself across back and forth, two bars at a time (a technique I've been working over the last few days to get down pat - - still haven't got there - - but I will), and attempted to do the same.
Now, lest you think this email is going the "clown" way (as in, this fellow started to fool around, show off, etc), it isn't - - he actually tried pretty hard, and actually did a pretty good job of swinging himself across the bars once before he let go.
And what I found interesting was he didn't do what 99.999% of folks normally do in that situation - - which is to throw in the towel before they even start i.e. before they even get used to the monkey bars (and believe you me, done right, monkey bars exercises are nothing short of cruel, unrelenting and TOUGH).
He did one more set. Then one more. And then another. And so did I, each of us taking a break during the other's set.
But he was doing one thing wrong - - he was not gripping the bar correctly - - and that is something I've seen many, many people do - - even folks who've been exercising for a LONG time.
Being that he was actually trying to learn the exercise and get better at it, I showed him a simple tip - - a tip that I speak of a LOT in both the pull-up and grip manuals I've authored - - a tip that makes your pulling exercises easier and harder at the same time, if that makes sense.
Easier to grip - - yet harder to grip - - and for those of you that think I'm speaking Latin - - well, I'm not - - but the reason I'm telling you this is not so much because of the actual tip itself, but because of the "root" issue - - and here, that root issue was this dude was not GRIPPING the bar correctly.
I speak a LOT about gripping the bar correctly in my courses, and with good reason.
Grip the bar HARD. Grip the bar LIKE YOU MEAN IT. Grip with PASSION. In fact, the right grip can literally cause your forearm strength to skyrocket in very little time - - and yours truly is an example of this.
Other hand, grip the bar the wrong way, and though you might be able to pound out reps or otherwise do OK at an exercise, it's a recipe for disaster in the long-term. And neither are you getting the benefits you should in terms of wrist and forearm development if you just sort of "struggle" to hang on to the bar, or if you just "limply" hang on.
Worse, a poor - - or incorrect - - grip can actually lead to other problems - - like, elbow tendonitis for instance - - and again, thats something yours truly can bear testament to - - since I'm been dealing with a dodgy elbow for the last couple of days myself.
How did you end up getting a case of tendonitis, you might ask?
Well, dear reader, though I do ALL my exercises in right form, I do end up goofing sometimes. And thinking back to a couple of days ago, I believe I goofed while exercising on the monkey bars after rain a while ago.
The bars were slippery, and not easy to hold at all, and while you might think that makes for a better workout it doesn't for these exercises, and before I knew it, I ended up pulling an elbow and not even knowing it at the time - - though I sure did the next morning. OUCH!
And today, I thought I wouldn't be able to exercise at all on the monkey bars - - but funnily enough, a strange thing happened.
I decided I'd give it a try anyway and see how it were. After all, I can always stop if it hurts too bad, eh?
And what I also did was to focus EVEN MORE on my grip, and gripping style - - I literally tried to "be" my forearms during the sets if that makes any sense.
And I ended up getting through a pretty darn good workout (albeit without the variety of pull-ups I normally do - - I stuck to regular pull-ups today) - - which might seen strange considering I just said I had a case of tendonitis - - a painful one, at that.
But what will sound REALLY strange is that I hardly feel any pain at all in the elbow now.
That's right. Four hours or so after my workout and other activities, the pain is FAR LESS - - and this after a hard workout!
Sure, I still have a bit of pain, but it's nothing compared to what was there before.
Perhaps this was my body's way of telling me that I goofed a couple of days ago? To - - maybe - - CONCENTRATE - - EVEN HARDER- - while working out?
I think it was, and I'm glad my body told me - - now that I think about it, yes, I do end up ignoring my grip at times (though nothing like what most people tend to do) when I'm extremely tired, or towards the end of a set - - not good, and something to keep in mind for me for sure.
So that's the tale for today - - tendonitis seemingly "banished" by doing pulling exercises the RIGHT way (that, and training the young whipper snapper of course, who by the way was still at when I left - - good on you, my friend).
Now, please note that I'm not recommending hard exercise to cure tennis elbows or other cases of tendonitis - - far from it. I'm all for heeding my doctor's advice - - but sometimes, just sometimes - - the unconventional is what works best, and this certainly was the case for me this afternoon!
All for now -- back again soon!
P.S: - Again, grip training is one of the MOST IMPORTANT parts of your workout- - BAR NONE (or very few)! And the ultimate in grip training can be found right HERE: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/products/8-gorilla-grip/