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ABs-solutely Need to Work the Gut and Core September 5, 2018

I was reading and discussing the basics if fitness and health with a friend and we decided that gut health and training was the basis for a solid program. Now it is COOL these days to focus on core instead of just the belly and I agree with that.

The core include belly, back side and hips. Being comfortable fit in this area translates to power in the gym, balance during life and fitness activities and healthy spine/ back.

ghere will be more posts but I tripped into the following video and played with the move displayed and agree that it will have great benefit for me.  AND HOPEFULLY FOR YOU .

Simple complete ab move:

www.youtube.com/watch  

 

@martyroddy

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PUSH -Me ,Pull -You – Resistance training Plans, or Weightlifting with Dr. Doolittle, Pt. 2 August 29, 2018

Weightlifting as an adult presents a variety of challenges. The key challenge is time. Once that is addressed we have to decide on our goals.  How much time do you have when you do get to the gym and what do you want to do with IT??

There will be little reference to goals but focus on the general idea of moves to use to reach the plethora of goals available in the gym. Future posts will address some different goals.

The workout foundation I am suggesting is based on a 4 ( maybe 3) day a week visit to the gym. For the 4 day rotation: Days 1 – 3 do~workout A, Days 2 -4 do~workout B.

You will be focusing on different body-parts on the different pairs of days. Another thought- You can do a variety of abdominal/core exercise at every workout. Though a changing variety for 1/3 and 2/4 would be best.

This post is focused on the push exercises and push movements. The obvious king here is the PUSH UP. Simple to do anywhere and at any time.

The following list of PUSH moves is basic but comprehensive.

Information about the moves and variations can be found with a trainer or at bookstore or on the web. The same is available for specific workout plans.

 

Push ups :    Push Ups are performed in a prone position (faced own to ground) by raising and lowering the body using the arms. Hand position can vary but the basic is hands placed beside and slightly in front of the shoulder when face down.

Bench Press(chest press) :   Lie flat on your back on the bench with a barbell  grasped in both hands. Bring the bar to the chest and press it upward. Like many moves this can be varied with hand position or on an inclined bench to change to muscle interaction or with dumbbells or exercise bands..

Dips ( parallel bar dips) : Dips are usually performed on equipment designed for use in this movement. Grab the bars on both sides and lower your body until shoulders just above the bar/hands and return to the top. Can be performed between chairs or posts or with hands behind  your body on a bench.

Shoulder press :   Grab the barbell at shoulder height and width ( can be seated or standing) and press the bar overhead. It is the lowered to the starting position . Control must be maintained at all times.  This can be done with specialized equipment at the gym or dumbbells, kettlebells or bands.

Lateral chest raises(Flyes) :  This movement is performed on the back on a bench, starting weights extended above the chest, touching. The arms are lowered through an arc  to a spot slightly below the chest, with arm nearly parallel to the floor, and returning to the top starting position. Can be performed with a specialized machine, with cables or on an incline bench.

Lateral Raises (forward) :  This movement is usually done with dumbbells (but cables or bands can be used)  The movement starts with the arms straight, and the weight in the hands at the side of the body. The body is in a slight forward-leaning position with hips and knees bent a little. Arms are  slightly bent, and raised through an arc until even with the shoulders.  Can be performed laterally ( sideways) or forward for a varied impact.

Learn to do these exercises and the matching Pull moves and create a total body workout that will lead to general fitness or a competitive body building prep workout.

 

@martyrodddy

 

Push -Me ,PULL -You – Resistance training Plans, or Weightlifting with Dr. Doolittle,Pt1 August 28, 2018

Weightlifting as an adult presents a variety of challenges. The first is usually the time issue.    How much time do you have to get to the gym every week ?     How much time do you have when you do get to the gym? 

This post will have little reference to what you have done in the past nor any focus on bodybuilding or other competitive workout goals. That can come later, more advanced versions/editions of this post.

The workout foundation I am suggesting is based on a 4 ( maybe 3) day a week visit to the gym.                         For the 4 day rotation:          Days 1 and 3 do~same workout, Days 2 and 4 do~same workout.   

With these workouts you will be focusing on different body parts on 1/3 and 2/4

First things first – you can easily/ safely do abs/core at each workout but I would recommend variety for each pair of days.

The workouts will be separated into basic moves PULL and PUSH . The basic Pull move could be the Lat Pulldown (no brainer) or a Pull Up.  Where the basic Push move would be a Push Up or bench press.

I will make a list of basic PULL MOVES for this post and PUSH moves for Part 2.

PULL MOVES in the gym –

I will include a general description of the move BUT much can be found with a search of the web. Info about techniques and workouts can be found.

Pull Ups :     The grip is away from the body and width can vary. Start with the body is suspended by the arms and pull the body up until the chin is  brought over top of a bar .

Chin Ups :  This is basically the same move as the Pull Up  with the difference being the placement of the hands with palms facing the body, resulting in a slight variation in muscle impact.

Lat Pull downs: The Lat Pulldown ( Lat is short for latissimus dorsi- the big upper back muscle set) is performed on a specialized piece of equipment with a bar attached to a cable nd set over a bench to sit on that often is set to upward restrict leg movement. Grab the bar with varying widths and like pullups/chinups with hands facing fore or aft and pull down to the top of the chest and slowly return to the top. A variation can be performed with the bar coming down behind the head.

Barbell Rowing : Stand with legs a little wider than shoulder width and grasp the implement ( a wide variety can be used) and bend at the waist to about 45 degrees, and pull the eight to your center chest and slowly return it to arms length and repeat.

Dumbbell rowing, 1 arm :  Similar to barbell row BUT with opposite knee and hand  on a bench grab the dumbbell and pull to chest and slowly return to ground. Repaet each set for both arms.

Upright rowing :    Standing with the weight in front, holding an overhand grip and lifting straight to the collarbone.   Barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells or a cable machine can be used.  A narrow grip focuses the resistance to the central upper back( but could strain shoulders) a wider grip broadens the impact but reduces strain on shoulder.

Shrugs : Stand upright, grip the bar(or dumbbells) with hands about shoulder width apart,(feet as well) and raises the shoulders as high as possible, and then lowers them, without bending the elbows, or moving the body.The range of motion may NOT be as long as a normal shrug move. Raise shoulders until level/horizontal to floor, or a little higher.

Deadlift :        A loaded barbell or bar is lifted off the ground to the level of the hips, then lowered to the ground. Stand in front of the barbell with legs a little wider than shoulder width and grab the bar beside the calf/ankle(outer), weight back on heels and back straight, push up with the legs and pull with back and shoulders until bar rests on top of thigh near the hips. Slowly return the bar to the ground.

Good Mornings ( straight leg deadlift ) : Similar to the deadlift but knees are not involved in the move. Approach the bar ( always much lighter than regular deadlift) and grab at about shoulder width with foot spacing the same. Hinge at the hip and pull the bar to your hips using the lever of your straight back. Will work on the lower back and hamstrings with some pull to upper back.  Like all exercises do it in a smooth easy flow.

Rowing Machine ( cardio) : Sit on the seat and slide feet into the pads and grab the handle and start pulling( first with the legs then arms) Most rowers have a simple description on the machine. You can do a wide variety of workouts with this machine and achieve a total body effect.

Now this is a list of moves to do during a Pull Exercise Session. They can be juggled and combined for an effective workout. Do some or all of them depending on your goals and available time for workouts .

In general the pull exercises focus on back, biceps, shoulders. When combined with push exercises on alternate days you can build a fit , healthy and balanced body.

 

@martyroddy

 

Grip Strength : Helps with Deadlifts,Pull-ups and Games August 17, 2018

Performance improvement with moves like pull ups and deadlifts ( even rows) can be assisted with a careful focus on improving and maintaining grip strength.

It can be difficult to add reps on the,pull up bar when your hands give out after “holding your butt” in the air for 20-30 seconds. A powerful grip also allows you and your body to focus on performance of the move without concentration directed at holding on…..for dear life.

Eliminate the worry about grip and focus on …ONE MORE REP…..OR 19 more.

The following are some of my favorites:

Plate Squeeze (smooth side out) – grab 2 weight plates smooth side out and hold them a set length of time [ do so over padded floor in case you let go] – a) stand in place b) plates in both hands and walk c) lift as if doing dumbbell curl

Farmers walk ( dumbbell, plates, barbell) – grab a moderately heavy weight, in both hands and walk 10 strides and turn around

Hex Hold ( dumbbell by the end) – Grab dumbbell by the weight( fat end,sometimes hex shaped) and hold.

Dead Hang ( pull-up bar, pull-up bar with towel or squat pad ) – grab overhead bar and …HANG … As long as you can or a few sets of timed hangs. Increase the difficulty with a towel or pad to make the bar THICKER, to,further challenge the grip

Wrist roller- if gym has one, do rolls forward and reverse grip to increase impact

Great basic grip exercises , discussed above:

13 grip strength exercises( good stuff but may be overkill)

Add a few grip exercises or get serious and a full plan of moves and sets/reps. It will pay off. In my own fitness efforts the grip training also keeps my hands nimble and flexible as I injured many fingers during a youthful athletic career and want them to work until I now longer need them…

@martyroddy

 

Are You a Runner or a Jogger ? August 14, 2018

I have often heard folks who run regularly “put down” folks that jog. They seem to think jogging is some how inherently LESS than running….or joggers are not up to the same “level” as runners.

When a person has a pair of sneakers, tennis shoes or running shoes on (depends on where you live, RIGHT??) and is on the road or track or treadmill they are , we are all the same …AT THAT MOMENT.... Are you running or jogging?

We are all working out / exercising and becoming more healthy and fit.

Joggers go out on the road track or treadmill regularly but usually have a smaller chance of injury because they tend to take it easier with each workout. Many of us “joggers” have chosen to be joggers to take it easy and exercise with focus on fun and fat and not time and performance. I have run in well over 100 races, but as a one time football player…the running is strictly for fun and fitness( physical and psychological )

Many runners and joggers share the same silly, shiny sweat resistant clothes, funny shoes and even crazy electronics. Let’s share the love and move and seat together.

@martyroddy

 

Pull Ups : Impossible Torture or Foundational Fitness Basic

I have spent many hours, days, even years in gyms. Lifting weights, pushing/ Pulling my body and running up and down a court with a round ball. During those years the basic movement that always challenged me was the PULL UP.

Back in the heart of my football years I spent the offseason getting stronger and piling on muscle and power and for several years I counted on pull ups as a foundation move that supported much of the heavy lifting. Even though I could never do more than 20-25 reps ( at the end of the summer) , the work paid off. My tall ,thick frame and long arms created a challenge.

As a slightly more mature “adult ” , at least age wise I am interested in doing these again.

After ” playing” a few days at the gym and doing a few,,…very few reps as well as a few negatives ( helps to be 6’8″, I can jump all the way up) I know I need a plan to approach the exercise.

Where do I start? Just go to the gym , do a few sets of a few pull-ups and repeat every couple of days???? Or create/follow a plan ? The following graphic is a great starting point.

I can use it to develop strength and evaluate my current level. Steps 1.2.3 can b effectively used in the development phase and later after goals have been reached to maintain. Body rows are not a direct move but will engage most of the same muscles.. A combination of pull-ups, flex hangs and then negatives will result in increased strength and eventually the reps we want.

Once we have done some basic building,build-up moves we can follow something like the following :

This is just an example of the multitudinous pull-up and other exercise programs available,on the net.

@martyroddy

 

Sweating the Small Stuff : Sodium Control and Exercise July 12, 2018

When dealing with heart health issues that involve concern for blood pressure the intake of salt should be restricted. A low sodium diet as well as focus on proper intake of magnesium, potassium and calcium can help counter the negative effects of sodium.

Now sodium is required for a healthy body and a healthy natural diet should provide enough BUT packaged and processed and foods tend to have much more than is needed. Restaurant foods especially fast foods are even worse.

Limit to 2400 mg sodium/day( US Guidelines), Non-athletes/active people need about 500 mg/day.
Most active people consume enough even without adding salt to foods. Many packaged foods have 250-600 mg per serving and some as much as 1500/serving. A diet rich in raw (minimally cooked) vegetables and fruits will provide an adequate amount of sodium for most people. Highly active people who sweat a lot may also eat more of this produce to get what is needed or add a little salt. These same fruits and veggies will also provide much of the calcium,magnesium and needed.

veggie basket

1. Consume lots of fruits and vegetables and legumes for the needed minerals that balance sodium.
2. Exercise and sweat and control weight.
3. Limit intake of fats and alcohol
4. moderate salt intake by limiting processed foods (restaurants)

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/220147.php

Tests have been done and are continuing to link exercise and sweat to reduction of sodium in th blood as well as the retained water and increased blood pressure. I have seen / experienced reductions water retention after vigorous , sweat inducing exercise. I add NO SALT to my foes and eat very few salty packaged foods….I said FEW but I often try to buy no salt corn chips and pretzels and at the movies I don’t get popcorn every time and when I am able I request salt free. If I get some salty corn I hit the gym or go for a vigorous walk/ hike.

exercise-sweating