Thursday, 15 March 2012 05:47

Former bodybuilder tells it like it is

Those that know me well know that swimming is one of my favorite pastimes. In addition to it being a a great, great overall body exercise, swimming is also fun and enjoyable to do. It's good for overweight people, it's good for toddlers, and it's great for the average person looking to get in some exercise. Cannot say enough good things about swimming.

Anyway, swimming reminds me of something I thought I should share with you. There was a guy at the pool I swim at who used to participate in bodybuilding competitions. And when I say bodybuilding, I mean it - he looked every bit the part. Gigantic muscles popping out in all directions, an unnaturally slim waist, the flared lats; you get the photo. Now to his credit, this guy was learning how to swim - one of the best things you can do - and being that I used to hare up and down the pool at a pretty decent clip completing my laps, he'd come up to me at times and ask me for pointers on how to improve his technique, breathing style, etc etc.

Now, while I'm certainly no expert on swimming, I helped him out the best I could with what I knew and some tips that I thought would improve his swimming. And while doing so, we started to chat, and got around to talking about exercise routines.

And this brought up the topic of bodybuilding, and what this guy did full time for many years before taking to the pool. And it aint pretty - think 8 hours of pumping iron (not kidding you - 8 full hours pumping iron daily), making sure he got enough food in him, and of course, the anabolic steriods which is pretty much a must - do if your anyone of any repute in the bodybuilding field.

"Well, at least you must have built up a considerable amount of strength with all that weight training", I told him.

And his response was this: "Yes, to a degree - but whats the point? My muscles hurt when I swim with any regularity, and I've already had TWO heart attacks. My wife fears the third one could be the last, so I quit professional bodybuilding at that point".

So, how old was this guy? The answer may shock you - he was 30.

That's right - THIRTY years of age, bloated muscles and all - and TWO heart attacks already!

Now, I bring this up not to point fingers at this guy and give him a lecture on how bodybuilding is BAD for him - he's done that better than I ever could by changing what he does, and hats off to him for that. But, his routine is about par for most modern day bodybuilder, and that sort of routine is best AVOIDED. The trouble is though, that all those fake muscles get folks thinking that they're the "real deal" - and they start to ape the bodybuilder routines - and thats when the problems start.

Think about it - doing all sorts of exercises for 8 hours a day daily - and eating next to nothing except protein shakes and eggs - and bloated muscles that don't work worth a darn in the real world. Is it worth it? I can just begin to imagine how that guy would do if I asked him to rep out 5 pull-ups in good form.  .  .

Two heart attacks before the age of 30 and virtually no stamina/endurance left. Is it worth it?

Only you can answer those questions for yourself, but I know what my answer is.

And lest you think this type of thing is limited to bodybuilders, think again."Professional" wrestling (not the real deal) is rife with cases of folks dying of drug overdoses, and movie stars routinely use drugs to maintain their "perfect" bodies.

Now, if you've made it to this point, and still believe that bodybuilding is the best thing you can do for yourself, well, no further arguments from me. It's your choice - and not really my business - so have at.

But, for those of you that choose to do things differently - and naturally - grab a copy of Fast and Furious Fitness today. 15-30 minute workouts that get you in the best shape of your life, and looking great as well - as compared to hours of slaving away at the gym - you can't beat that. Most of all, you'll be using your body NATURALLY - the way Mother Nature meant you to use it; and your body will thank you in heaps for it as well. 

So, my friend, there's the wisdom for the day. Give it a serious though, and let me know what you think.

Best regards,

Rahul

PS: Though my book doesn't talk about swimming, swimming is one of the best things you can do for your health; so if you have access to a clean pool, and know how to swim - incorporate it into your routine at the earliest!

PS#2: No pool, no problem - all the tough workouts you need are mentioned right HERE.

 

Wednesday, 14 March 2012 06:46

Going back to the BASICS

Amidst all the new fangled machines, latest treadmills (equipped with a space to rest your coffee mug, no less), heart monitors, fancy sweatshirts, and what not, we have all but forgotten that there was a time when people trained WITHOUT all these gadgets - and still made fantastic gains. 

I mean, look at folks like Jack Lalanne (someone I greatly admire) and what they've achieved. Lalanne emphasized sticking to the basics, eating a proper diet, and regular, hard training - and that was pretty much the secret to his amazing success. Sure, he may have lifted weights at some point, but thats fine as well; nowhere does it say that lifting weights won't help you in your fitness pursuits. 

Yes, that might sound strange coming from me - the bodyweight exercise maniac - but remember that everyone has their own way of doing things. Lalanne was BIG on bodyweight exercises - but if doing something else also helped him, hey, thats perfectly fine by me.

Anyway, back on topic - all the fancy equipment we see floating around the gyms these days is practically worthless in terms of getting real gains. I mean, think about it - a treadmill with a place to put one's COFFEE mug of all things? Someone's actually gong to be sipping coffee while training and call that real training?? More to the point, if that someone has enough time to drink coffee during training, is he really training?? I don't think so.

What most people need (and what most gym owners need to do, but never will) is to drop all this airy-fairy stuff, and get back to the BASICS. First off, you don't even need anything other than your bodyweight to get in a fantastic workout, and believe me, that type of workout is way more than the average Joe in the gym can handle.

And equipment? Well, believe it or not - a rusty swing set out in the park, an old set of parallel bars that folks mostly use to hang their jackets on, a jump rope, and some rusty, creaking monkey bars are really all the equipment I need, and will need for the forseeable future. And you don't even need to purchase a gym membership for any of that. Go to your local park, and you'll likely find all these pieces of equipment lying about virtually untouched.

Now, I realize that some of you gym goers may think I'm talking through my hat here. I mean how does a thick rusty iron bar compare to the shiny, heavy weights in the gym? Parallel bars? What possible good could they do?

Well, my friend, the answer is that these types of things will do way more for you than the fancy machines or weights ever will.

Take for instance the parallel bars - a training tool that I VERY HIGHLY regard - but which is barely used by most folks (other than gymnasts). The average person is unable to do ONE bodyweight dip on these; so he ends up using the
"chest press" machine or whatever it's called.  Do a set of 25 pushups, and a set of 10 dips on a parallel bar set up - and then tell me if that gets you sweating more than running for 10 minutes on the treadmill.

And thats but one example - the list goes on and on. I could give you many more, and Fast and Furious Fitness contains many routines that require little or no equipment, and will have the average gym goes collapse in a puddle of sweat within minutes. But for now, lets just say that going back to the basics will give YOUR health and fitness a much needed shot in the arm.

Give this a thought, and let me know what you think.

Best regards,

Rahul

PS: There ain't much point spending $40 and upwards a month on gym memberships when you can get better for LESS. In addition, the "true" cost of a gym membership ends up being far more than the monthly fee you pay - google this if you don't believe me. Don't fall into this trap! Instead, pull that credit card out right NOW, and grab your copy of Fast and Furious Fitness for just $24.99 (with NO hidden costs whatsoever). It's the best decision you can make your health and fitness - so hurry!





 

There are going to be times when even the most dedicated amongst us will find their day to be just too hectic to get a workout in. Or at least, it’s going to feel that way. Sure, I know I talk about (and actively do) 10 minute, or 15 minute workouts to get the job done - but still, there's going to be times when you feel that things are just too hectic to fit a workout in. (Note: I’m excluding professional sportspeople or others who do physical activity as part of their daily jobs – such as laborers, dock loaders etc. This is meant for the rest of us that don’t necessarily do hard physical labor as part of the “job”)

For instance, today's been a particularly busy day for me thus far, and it's just about lunchtime now. Had a business meeting early in the morning, then got home on time to head out to get some paperwork done for the wife. Then emails etc, and before I know it, it's time for lunch. Oh, and in the middle of all that I've been juggling some important phone calls as well - so, hardly sounds like the perfect day to get a great workout in.

But, as it turned out, I did get a great workout in - and so can you - if you do the right thing. 

I did two short routines today - 12 minute routines each, and feel great. Simple exercises, and the workouts in themselves were simple too - so simple that I didn't even need any time to think about how I'd approach the workout. Just start, bang out the reps, pant, sweat, rest a second or two, and then go again. And you'd be amazed as to how heavily a 10-12 minute workout can make you work.

Two key factors here: - a) my routines were SIMPLE - so you jump straight into them as you have some time to spare and b) they didn't take more than 12 minutes approximately (each routine) - this is key, as you get your workout done - and then jump right back to your other commitments. And whats more, you'll feel much, much better for having got a short workout in, and you'll likely be far more productive as well.

The only downside of this is that you'll be working up a sweat twice, so you may need to take a second shower during the day. Small price to pay for a good workout, me thinks!

Ok, back to the "grind" now - more later!

Best regards,

Rahul

PS: Fast and Furious Fitness contains many such 10-12 minute killer routines that YOU can use as well - grab your copy now!

Monday, 12 March 2012 06:02

Whooping the Monday morning blues

If your like most people, you know what I'm talking about when I'm referring to Monday morning blues. The dreaded 6AM alarm clock, hungover and tired body, the extra-hurried commute to the office before finally collapsing into a cubicle - we've all experienced it - including yours truly.

Now, working from home may alleviate these pains somewhat, but not everyone is in that position - and let's face it, if your working a successful business from home, you'll need to devote time and brainpower to that as well.

Anyway, we hear a lot being talked about on Monday morning blues, and how one can beat them. I've read some decent suggestions out there, including "making a to-do plan for Monday on Friday itself", "getting sufficient sleep", "not hitting the snooze button", and so forth. Some of the stuff being talked about is downright ludicrous as well - I saw someone say "do nothing but relax on the couch" on Sundays. And thats likely worse for you than a hectic Sunday.

But, amidst all this, I've never ONCE heard exercise being talked about. Nowhere have I read that getting a quick workout in (and I mean QUICK) before work, or breakfast, or as soon as you wake up will do more to thump the blues than any other technique will. You can hit the snooze button all you like, but you'll still feel grumpy when you make it in to the office. Other hand, work up a fantastic sweat for a bit before you leave - and you'll feel on top of the world, and ready to tackle your week with renewed vim and vigor.

And the amazing part is that you don't even need to exercise for an hour to get the "feel good" endorphins kicking in. Short, intense bursts of exercise will do more for you than spending an hour on the treadmill watching TV or chatting with the chick next to you on the leg press machine. I did a 15 minute burst this morning that got me huffing and puffin (followed by a 30 minute killer workout a bit later that had me sopping with sweat from head to toe when I was done) - and I'm ready to battle an army now.

Of course, you need to know WHAT to do - and how to put a good routine together, but thats no problem - I've already done the "spadework" for you in Fast and Furious Fitness. All that remains is for you to grab your copy NOW.

Still don't believe me? Still think that a nice heavy breakfast is what you need for that pounding hangover to go away? Well, do a set of 100 pushups the next time the blues roll around - and then tell me. I don't care if you do one pushup at a time, or 10, or whatever it is - just do the pushups, and make sure you do 100 of them - and don't dwadle while doing them. And THEN tell me how you feel.

I bet you'll feel far better than you would have if you chugged down a gallon of coffee and a ton of greasy food to boot.

And that, my friends, is today's tip. Have a fantastic week ahead, and remember to get your workouts in!

Best regards,

Rahul


PS: Start your week off right, and you'll breeze through the entire week like a hot knife cutting through butter. Yes, it DOES work that way! Fast and Furious Fitness is a must-have that will get your week started in the right direction!



Just finished watching a show on National Geographic (one of my favorite channels). Though I don't generally watch TV - I'm a HUGE fan of Discovery, National Geographic and all the other channels that discuss wildlife. This particular show was about a fishing enthusiast whose on a mission to capture some pretty large fish in the Amazon - catfish, if I recall correctly - and thus goes on an expedition to some of the most isolated parts of the Amazon river basin to do so.

Actually, terming the fish he's out to catch as "pretty large" doesnt really do it justice - he finally managed to catch one at as his expedition was about to end (after staying up for days and nights to do so - gotta commend the guy's discipline), and it weighed in at a monstrous 460 something pounds and 8 feet 8 inches in length. So "gigantic" would probably be a better description.

I must say it was an absolutely beautiful area - nothing but river and greenery all around - true rainforest. And except for a few isolated tribes living inside the jungle, there was absolutely NO signs of human civilization, which is probably the main reason why the area is still forested and beautiful.

Anyway, that brings me to the topic of this message - this guy we're talking about hooked up with some of the tribesmen along the way and went along on a hunting mission with them. Now, remember that these are tribes with scarcely any contact with what we call the "civilized" world, so they have ways of their own - one being that they hunt practically naked. Except for a small smattering of string like cloth around their "private" areas, and a ton of beads and stuff on their wrists, no clothing whatsoever. Not even shoes - they hunt and walk around  barefoot.

So, they show our fisherman going along with these tribal guys on a hunt - this particular one being a bird hunt. And the first thing you notice about these tribal guys (apart from their nudity) is their legs. Gigantic, muscular legs - massive thighs rippling with muscle, striated calves that looked like they did a gazillion rope jumps daily, and hips that looked as if they belonged to a prize bull.

These guys could give any "bodybuilder" a run for their money with their leg development - and their legs were every bit as strong as they looked, unlike most modern day "bodybuilders".

And what exactly do they do to get this strong, you might ask?

Well, the answer is - walking, and more importantly, walking all day long on HILLY terrain. That's it. The first thing most people would associate with legs such as these is squats with  heavy weights - but that certainly isn't part of the tribal routine. Heck, even bodyweight squats likely aren't. No rope jumping, squats, or ANY exercise of any sort - just walking all day long as they hunt. Trekking through jungles on hilly terrain barefoot, and that too as a matter of survival. Natural fitness - just the way I like it - and look at the results it brings.

I can understand how their legs got so muscular - as I've experienced the many benefits of climbing hills on a daily basis MYSELF. I used to climb a long, steep hill daily in China as part of my overall workout, and I've never gotten a better workout for my legs. See THIS post for more details.

I'll get into more details on the show at a later point, but for now, know that walking hills on a regular basis is one of the VERY BEST things you can do for your overall health and fitness. If your overweight - add hill walking into your routine, and watch the fat disappear within DAYS - and this without making any major change in your diet. If your looking to pack some muscle on to your legs, and keep it there - hill walking will do the trick. Looking for a lower resting pulse rate - the hill's your best friend. 

And it doesn't stop there - once you get good at climbing and walking hills on a regular basis, incorporate running, and then SPRINTING hills into your routine - and THEN watch the results you get. Oh boy!

I cover hill climbing and also talk more about how it has personally helped me in Fast and Furious Fitness. I also include some sample routines that you can do on the hills. These have you huffing and puffing within 10 minutes flat - and most people will find that even FIVE minutes is enough to start with.

So, if your lucky enough to have hills near you - make sure your climbing them on a regular basis as well - there are few better things you can do for your overall health and strength!

Best regards,

Rahul

 

Saturday, 10 March 2012 05:27

Train like an ape

This morning, I was reading up on ape strength. It's incredible just how strong our simian friends are - a 165 lb chimp, for instance, has been known to register a pull of a mind-boggling 847 lbs - and that only with his right hand!

That's right - 847 lbs! A 90lb chimp can wrestle THREE full grown men to the ground within minutes - and toss them up into the air while doing so. Now if that isn't some real strength, I don't know what is.

And in addition to being STRONG, our simian friends are also fantastic acrobats. I've been to the Himalayas in India, and have seen monkeys perform acrboatic feats on ropes (or electric wires) hung up at precarious heights - and do so without an apparent care in the world. You know a monkey's strong, but you know it's flexible when it does somersaults on a thin electric wire hanging about a 100 plus feet in the air - and that with a baby gripping on to it's underside!

Well, so what this has to do with you?

Well, nothing really - nothing unless YOU too would like to develop the kind of strength these primates posess. If this doesn't interest you, you can stop reading right here - but if this is your thing, then read right on.

Apes and monkeys get as strong as they are by working with their own bodyweight in the wild. Most of their lives are spent swinging and hanging from trees, and they do this for survival - not "fun", or not "to train". A baby monkey starts life off by grabbing on to Mom's underbelly and staying that way for hours on end - and a baby monkey likely has a grip stronger than two or three adult men combined. 

And while we humans can't ever get AS strong as our simian friends, we can certainly work up to levels of grip and pulling strength that most folks would find impossible to achieve. And the way to do that is to, quite literally, train like an ape.

This doesn't necessarily means tons of pull-ups and chin-ups, though those DO help, and ARE a fantastic starting point. But training like a monkey goes way, way beyond that. Truly training like a monkey makes pull-ups and chin-ups look EASY, and I'm not kidding you on that one.

I did a lot of this type of training this morning - and had a fantastic workout. One of the things I did was to "walk" the monkey bars - only I didn't do it the normal way - I held on to the side of the apparatus and "walked" my hands up and down the entire supporting bar. Try that one on for strength, and let me know how your forearms feel after that!

And that's just ONE of the exercises I did. There are so many of them that I don't even list them all in Fast and Furious Fitness - mostly because most of them are too advanced.

I may put out a course on advanced pulling exercises in the future, but for now, know that training like a monkey is one of the best things you can do for your overall strength. You'll develop a ferocious grip without even thinking about it - and you'll build massive amounts of upper body power within a very short period of time. And you'll develop a core that feels as if it's made of steel - and has the strength and flexibility to match.

"Walking" the monkey bars will likely be too tough for most folks, but know that pull-ups and chin-ups are a great place to start. The pull-up alone with work your entire upper body in the ground - some folks do NOTHING but pull-ups in their workouts, and get great, great results.

Once you get better at doing them you can try some new things - but that will likely take a while. I talk about pull-ups and assorted variations in Fast and Furious Fitness - believe me now and listen to me later, these exercises alone are more than what most folk manage to master during an entire life of working out.

Grab your copy NOW, and get started on the way to ape-like levels of power.

Best regards,

Rahul

PS: If you have kids, these exercises are some of the BEST things they can do for their overall health and development. More importantly, they're fun - so doing them ain't gonna be a chore for them. Get them started as early as you can!

 

Friday, 09 March 2012 05:48

Stretching before or after your workout?

Today I'll discuss a topic that most of us have wondered about at some point. And that involves stretching - as in, when exactly should you stretch your muscles? Before a hard workout? During a workout? Or AFTER a tough workout?

Most "experts" recommend stretching before your workout. According to them, stretching "loosens" up your musclesd, and prepares them for the rigors of your workout. And according to them, stretching before your workout lessens the chances of injury. So, you've likely been taught that it's best to touch your toes a set number of times before you go out for that run. Or maybe that you should "stretch for at least 10 minutes" before starting your workout. Or something similar. 

Well, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say something that will likely contradict what you've heard until now on this - I do NOT recommend stretching before a workout. Stretch once you've started to exercise if you must, and by all means stretch AFTER a workout - but not before. And while that contradicts what the "experts" say, well, try doing a stretch (that is somewhat tough for you - for instance, touching your palms to the ground in a standing position with the legs STRAIGHT) before you start exercising - and then do it again after you're hot, sweaty, and done with your workout. Which one is easier?

I'll bet it's easier to do it after your workout - not before - and the reason for this is quite simple. First, your muscles are properly warmed up by the time your done exercising - and a warm muscle is far more pliable and receptive to a tough stretch than a cold, tight muscle is. Ever tried to jump straight out of bed and do a tough hamstring stretch? OUCH!

Note that warming up is NOT the same as stretching - and stretching to warm up is usually not a very good idea, and actually increases the risk of injury as opposed to what the "experts" say. I am not against warming up - in fact I recommend it, and do so myself. But I don't do so by stretching. I may do a few light sets of an exercise to warm up, or I may go for a brisk walk - but that is NOT "stretching". And warming up actually helps you stretch better; not the other way around.

And thats one of the great things about the exercises I recommend in Fast and Furious Fitness - you can warm up with a few light sets of these exercises - and you can then use them in your actual workout as well.

Second, stretching after your workout helps release the lactic acid that builds up in your muscles during a hard workout and this helps you recuperate better from your workouts. Stretch a muscle that has been worked throughly during a workout - and it feels like pure bliss. Can't explain the why's or how's of this one - try it yourself, and you'll understand what I mean.

And now that I've said that it's best to stretch after a workout - and not  before - let me throw a spanner into the works and say that there are workouts you can do that involves nothing but STRETCHING alone.

Yes - thats right - you can get a great workout sometimes by doing exercises that involve pure stretching - and I'm not referring to yoga here. Yet, these exercises stretch your ENTIRE BODY at once - not ONE particular area - and thus you can "ease" into the stretch, and keep easing into it throughout your workout. This actually helps tight muscles loosen up, while using the muscles that are already "loose" to help out in the stretch - giving you a great overall workout. 

I'll speak more about this type of workout later - but for most people, you'll do just fine by stretching AFTER your workout - not before!

And thats today's tip. Have a great day!

Best regards,

Rahul

 

If you have a young kid at home (below the age  of 5, or below formal schooling begins), you likely know how hard it is to keep up with them. "Managing" kids, keeping a tab on their movements (and thus keeping them out of trouble) is literally a full time job - and one that exhausts most adults, irrespective of fitness levels. 

Young kids have seemingly limitless stamina and exuberance to match. They can run around for hours without getting tired - and when they do get tired, they hit the hay - and more often that not, they're out like a light after doing so. No tossing and turning or waking up in the middle of the night - no stressing out over the next day - they simply SLEEP and allow their systems to rejuvenate for the next day. And the next day, they're back at their devilish best again - no soreness, or aching muscles, or anything of that sort.

And the secret to their good health and endless amount of energy is that they MOVE around constantly. You'll rarely find a young kid sitting down still for any length of time - more often than not, he'll be itching to crawl about or fiddle with things, or run about (if he's at that age). In fact, they exercise without even knowing it - or without even putting it on their to-do list - they just DO it, and do it happily and regularly.

And thats what we can learn from kids when it comes to fitness - making exercise a part of our daily lives - and doing so without any stress whatsoever.

Your 1 year old isn't concerned with how many times he can crawl around the floor - he does it for FUN - and he keeps doing it until he's tired and not able to do so any more. Then he's put into bed, where he sleeps like a baby (no pun intended) - and is back doing the same thing with vim and vigor when he wakes up. And he's setting a great foundation for strength gains while he crawls about on the floor, hangs on to the monkey bars, and so forth.

Compare this to the average adult. He wakes up dreading going in to work - comes back home after a long and usually stressful day, and collapses on the couch for a while, before tucking into dinner and then bed. There is not much physical activity whatsoever in the average adult's day - and those that DO exercise usually do long "cardio" sessions, or spend hours fooling around with fancy equipment in gyms - and most of these people actually end up dreading their workouts - simply because they're so boring and something that they don't even WANT to do.

And so, is it any surprise that the majority of folks fail to stick with their routines or achieve the sort of results they'd want from their training programs?

How much better would it be if we simply did the things the way we did when we were young kids? How much would we benefit from making exercise a part of our daily life - and doing so without any stress whatsoever? That second bit is key - have FUN while doing something, and don't stress out about it, and you'll automatically stick to the routine without even thinking about it.

Most people don't know how to make exercise fun - but if they did, I guarantee you that society in general would be a LOT fitter than it is today, and much healthier as well.

And thats what I'm hoping to change with Fast and Furious Fitness. Yes, the exercises are HARD - and yes, you can get done with your routine FAST - but most importantly, they are FUN to do. And most of them require no special equipment, so you can do them anywhere you have some space - and you'll feel like a billion bucks after getting done with your workout.

So, thats another take on exercising - chomp on it for breakfast today, and see how you like it!

Best regards,

Rahul

PS: Note that when I talk about kids having boundless energy, I'm referring to those below the age of 5 or before formal schooling begins. Formal schooling in my book is one of the prime reasons behind kids losing their natural exuberance and stamina as they start getting weighed down by unnatural expectations. I'll talk about this more in later posts, but you only have to look at the number of obese teenagers you see around you for proof.

Do your bit to stop this. If you have kids at home (kids of any age), make sure you grab a copy of Fast and Furious Fitness, and get the youngsters started on some of the routines in the book. They'll thank you for it later!

 

Wednesday, 07 March 2012 06:09

My forearms are about to fall off

My forearms are having a tough time of it today. They are swollen to the point where I think clenching my fist tightly will cause a vein or two to "pop out" - literally. My right upper forearm is making strange palpitations - sort of like the graph on a heart rate monitor - and the portion of my left forearm right beneath the elbow joint is numb in a strange, achy sort of way. Heck, it's not just my forearms - my fingers feel swollen as well, and are starting to make their presence felt as I'm typing this letter to you. Talk about being put through the wringer - YOW!!

And that, my friend, is what is liable to happen to you as well when you partake of a workout consisting of rope jumping, pull-ups, pushups, handstand pushups and grip/ab work at 10AM on a bright sunny March morning.The workout must have taken about 35 minutes total - I'm not sure, as I was too bushed to even time myself today, but thats a general estimate of how long it took.

Some people term this type of training as "madness". I've had folks look at me as if I were crazy while training. Heck, most of you regular readers know that I used to climb a hill as part of my daily routine in China - and this was sometimes done at 11AM, in temperatures approaching 37 degree Celsius, and humidity that made you feel like you stepped out of a hot shower the minute you stepped out of the air conditioning. At that time, a LOT of folks quite literally told me I was nuts to train this hard in hot weather, and how did I keep up my discipline, and so forth.

And to be honest, I'm fine with that. Maybe I AM nuts - maybe it IS madness - who knows - but for those of you that are enthused by this sort of thing and would like to try it yourself, remember that training the way I talk about will result in the following: -

- Forearms that feel like they've been put the wringer (yes, you already know that, but I'm just saying)

- The sweat will pour off you in a hot shower - even during your "rest" times, and your heart rate will go through the roof, and stay there. Ever felt a sledgehammer pounding inside your chest? Well, you WILL when you train this way.

- You'll feel like your about to collapse in a heap after a few minutes of this type of training; and you might well do so.

- The local ruffians hanging about in the park will cease playing cards and shooting the bull, and stare at you as if you've landed from Mars. Heck, not just the local ruffians - it'll be people in general that'll look at you as if you were certified. Even the friendly canines roaming about in the park where I sometimes train look at me with a funny expression on their faces when I'm doing handstands as if to say "Jeepers, what is HE doing?!"

- Some nuts with nothing to do and only time on their hands will come up to you and urge you NOT to train this way, and give you dozens of absymally silly reasons as to why you should heed their "advice". And you need to deal with this sort of thing firmly - see http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/81-unsolicited-advice-and-why-you-should-ignore-the-same for more on this.

- You will have no energy left to "socialize" (read waste time) with others during your workout - you'll barely be able to talk during your workout, so your liable to be labeled anti-social in addition to crazy.

- And, your forearms will feel like they've been put the wringer - but hey, we already covered that one, didn't we?

So, if you don't feel like training the Fast and Furious way, well, I completely understand - no complaints from my end.

But if your one of the few that DO feel like this type of training is for you, then here are some MORE things you can expect: -

- Fat will melt off you like butter in a hot frying pan

- You'll develop a really strong and healthy core, stronger than most folks get in their lifetimes.

- You'll feel so great after your workout that you'll never consider exercising any other way

- You'll build the upper body strength of King Kong - and your shoulders and upper back will look like you borrowed them from a male African gorilla.

- You'll start growing out of your shirts just WEEKS after you buy them.

- Your legs will turn into nimble, strong, pillars of POWER - you'll wonder where all the extra endurance and strength came from!

And more, but those are some of the things you can expect. 

Anyway, more on the "madness" - I plan on getting another workout in this evening. Not quite as extreme as what I did this morning, but I plan on banging out at least 30 handstand pushups and 100 situps in the workout. See how I do on that one. 

All for now - as always, if you train today - make it a SUPER one!

Best regards,

Rahul

P.S:- More such "crazy" routines that build crazy levels of strength and fitness can be found HERE.


 

Tuesday, 06 March 2012 05:42

Imagination is everything

A year ago, I was unable to perform a handstand pushup with proper form and with full range of motion. 

And at the time, I wasn't sure why - I knew this was a HARD, HARD exercise to do, and I knew that I'd benefit greatly from regular practice at this exercise, and so I better bust my backside working them. And bust my backside I did - but after many, many hours of practice, I was still unable to get a single rep with the full range of motion. OK, I could go down a little from the handstand position - but that was it - and for reps? Forget about it.

I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why I couldn't do this exercise correctly. I could do pushups for reps, and pull-ups as well so it obviously wasn't a lack of strength. I practiced daily - so it wasn't lack of practice. And the lack of progress discouraged me so much that I almost quit doing this exercise until a few months ago.

Fast forward a few months to now - and I can now do handstand pushups in full range of motion - for reps, at that. This was something I thought was absolutely impossible for me at the time, despite being strong enough to crack off 250 odd pushups in every workout - along with 40 odd pull-ups and some other things.

So, what was going on back then? WHY wasn't I able to do handstand pushups correctly at that time - more importantly, how am I doing them NOW - with seemingly little practice?

And after a lot of soul searching, I figured it out - the problem wasn't lack of practice, strength or anything physical. The real problem lay in my MIND - and once I sorted that out, I was able to do something that I previously thought was impossible.

Let me elaborate a bit more on this. I always thought of the handstand pushup to be something impossible - something only "elite" athletes and strongmen could do. Now, this doesn't mean I didn't try to do them. I did try, but in the back of my mind there was always that little voice saying "Hey, this is a TOUGH one - don't feel bad if you can't do it".

Anyway, as I said, I got discouraged while doing the exercise - and stoppped practicing it for a while - but I did NOT give up the desire. In other words, I kept on imagining that I could do handstand pushups - and while I didn't do many  I kept reading about them. Kept researching them, and learning what I could find out about them - and most importantly, I kept IMAGINING myself DOING the handstand pushups exactly as I wanted to. Slow, controlled reps in full range of motion - just as I tried to, but couldn't do.

I visualized the sort of upper body strength I'd have after doing the exercise. I thought long and hard about the sort of strength it would build in my triceps, and how much better I'd feel when I could do the exercise correctly.

All thought, and no action, you say?

Well, one fine day, all that imagination led to ACTION - without thinking about it, I tried a few handstand pushups again. Didn't get one in full range of motion right away as expected - but a couple of days later, I was able to go down further than I ever have. And then a week or so later, I was FINALLY able to do ONE FULL handstand pushup - with full range of motion!

And the key to my achieving success in something seemingly impossible was my imagination. OK, effort and common sense played a big part, but still - if I didn't imagine - if I didn't DREAM - I'd never have gotten around to learning more about the exercise, and then finally attempting them again, and nailing them.

Albert Einstein once famously said "Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions." And he was spot-on - more so than he realized at the time.

And the same theory applies to YOUR fitness as well. Doing a 100 pushups daily may seem an impossibility if your only able to do 5 before collapsing. Running sprints may seem out of the question if you can't jog in place for more than 2 minutes. But guess what - all of this is POSSIBLE - but you have to BELIEVE and IMAGINE it to be so. 

Don't get me wrong - effort and dedication still plays a huge part in your success. But, your mind needs to first KNOW that it CAN do what your trying to do - and believe you me, once you program your mind to believe through the power of your imagination, you'll shortly be doing things you once thought were impossible. And this applies to all areas of your life - not just fitness.

Emblazon this concept in your mind, and you'll be on the road to a better you in no time!

Best regards,

Rahul

PS: Imagination is importance, but you also need to take proper action to achieve your goals. And with regard to your fitness, the first call to action is to get Fast and Furious Fitness HERE.

 

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