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Archive for the ‘Physical Culture Posts’ Category

This article is part of a series on physical fitness and physical culture that I’m working on. To see a convenient summary and listing of my previous articles, please click here.

The bodybuilder and fitness guru Scooby is an impressive man whom I have covered elsewhere on this site. What I like about him is the way he cuts through a lot of hype about instant results.

Because I do lots of research on-line about medical procedures for my professional activities, and because I do lots of research on fitness and exercise for my blogging, I get more than my share of targeted ads, aimed at either enhancing parts of my body, like biceps, chest, and of course, sex organs. I also get lots of ads aimed at reducing belly fat, love handles, gray hair, and so on.

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This article is part of a series on physical fitness and physical culture that I’m working on. To see a convenient summary and listing of my previous articles, please click here.

Several videos have come to my attention recently. One is of a clip from the Ross Sisters, a trio of singers and dancers from the 1940s. Not only were they extremely good musicians, but they were in extremely good condition. Check out this video.

The first part is their very tight 3-part harmony 1940s-show style pop singing, and then the acrobatics begins. Each stunt is even more impressive than the former, and I know you’ll be as inspired as I was by these beautiful  young ladies.

 

The next one is of a 72-year-old Ernestine Shepherd, who bench presses 150 pounds and runs marathons. She leads a fitness class at a local church for other seniors.

Anyone who is that accomplished at half her age is impressive. And to look at her leading her class, one gets the feeling that she inspires all her students to do as well as they can.

Watch her interaction with the class members. She really tries to get each person to understand where they are and how to take small steps joyfully towards greater fitness.

Often, there is too much one-upsmanship in so many fitness classes, and Ms. Shepherd seems to delight in helping her class members feel good about the progress each of them makes individually without destructive comparisons to others.

She looks to me to be a truly inspiring teacher.

 

Regards,

 

Alan OldStudent
The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living – Socrates

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This article is part of a series on physical fitness and physical culture that I’m working on. To see a convenient summary and listing of my previous articles, please click here.

As mentioned in previous articles in the Physical Culture series of articles, I’m not heavily into weights or other such equipment. I much prefer bodyweight, self resistance, DVRs (dynamic visualized resistance), and similar modalities. Part of this has to do with my own likes and dislikes, part of it with my goals. I am not a super-athlete or a bodybuilder. And I don’t want my fitness routine to be the main focus of my life. But fitness is important to me, and I am pleased with the success I’ve had in looking and feeling vigorous and healthy, especially at my age. I like the emphasis that systems like Transformetrics puts on directing the mind to focus on the sensation of the muscles working under great tension instead of numbers of kilograms, pounds, and repetition.

However, I have learned much from people into weight lifting and bodybuilding that is of value to me in achieving my more personal fitness goals, and I do use very light 2-pound and 3-pound dumbbells aerobically in something called Heavyhands. I also recently have started using the Sierra Exercise Equipment’s “The Hook, which is a resistance band set-up. (If you click that link, it’s about a third of the way down) At a later point, I’ll probably review The Hook.

The first part of this article deals with Heavyhands, and two subsequent parts deal with weight lifting sites where one can find much general useful information on exercise physiology and practices.

HeavyHands

 


I first did HeavyHands in the 1980s. A medical doctor, Leonard Schwartz, invented this system, which for a while became somewhat of a popular fancy. Although this modality became trendy, it was not just a fad. Unlike a common fad, Heavyhands as a system has much of value, but only if used properly.

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This article is part of a series on physical fitness and physical culture that I’m working on. To see a convenient summary and listing of my previous articles, please click here.

The VRT system takes a similar approach to exercise that of John Peterson’s Transformetrics. But it adds a few wrinkles and comes from a somewhat different starting point.

John Peterson never involved himself in weight lifting, and his whole approach to fitness rests on the principles of bodyweight exercises, Charles Atlas’s dynamic tension, isometrics, and calisthenics, mixed in with a lot of other similar disciplines.

Peterson then reworks and repackages this into his own system that he calls Transformetrics.

Elsewhere on this site, I have reviewed what I consider to be Peterson’s best book, the well laid-out Pushing Yourself To Power. You can read that review by clicking here. This book is an expansion on Charles Atlas and has many parallels, but in my opinion, it is more accessible and is modernized.

Greg Mangan is the independent creator of the VRT Megapump system. He comes at his system from a background of body building and weight training, and his discovery of this system was very much his own.

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A guy who goes by the nickname of Duff posted a link to an old Jack LaLanne video on John Peterson’s Transformetrics forum. This film was probably made back in the 1960s or 1970s.

Jack LaLanne is 94 years old and still works out daily. When he was 70 (close to the same age as me), LaLanne swam 1.5 miles (2.4 km) towing 70 boats with 70 people all the way. During the performance of this feat, he was handcuffed and shackled. He performed this amazing feat in strong winds and strong currents in the Long Beach Harbor. I remember it being headlines in the local paper.

LaLanne has been a fitness guru and exercise advocate for many years, and I remember watching his exercise program in the early morning during the 1950s.

While I don’t agree with much of what LaLanne says, I greatly admire him, and I suspect what he says about too much highly-refined sugar in the diet is true.

For one thing, there is a strong statistical correlation between impaired glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes, and excessive refined sugar intake may well be a contributing factor. It kills me when I see overweight and flabby-looking young teens walking out of the local convenience store with liter-sized beverages that have to contain hugely excessive quantities of highly-refined sugar, along with other risky substances. Excess sugar also has a lot to do with overweight, another diabetes risk factor.

Anyhow, check out this video and see how dynamic Jack LaLanne is. And thanks to Duff for finding and posting it where I’d notice it.

 

 

Regards,

 

Alan OldStudent

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This article is part of a series on physical fitness and physical culture that I’m working on. To see a convenient summary and listing of my previous articles, please click here.

There’s a lot of junk science and  fancy marketing out there about losing weight, getting “fit,” and even getting “ripped.”

In my professional work, I edit many highly-technical medical documents, and I transcribe a lot of medical dictation for patient health care documentation. As a consequence, I am constantly looking up health-related terms and concepts. I also look up a lot of information on newer drugs, experimental therapies, and new surgical techniques not already in my rather extensive library. And as many patients take so-called “alternative” medications and herbs, the doctors want to document them, and they dictate them into the reports I transcribe, and I often have to look these up too. I also write on public health, medical-related, and exercise-related topics both here and elsewhere.

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This is an inspiration for those of us who are senior citizens  and interested in physical fitness.

This video is of a 75-year-old UK woman doing a very energetic salsa. The video appears on the November 25th, 2009 broadcast of the Spanish-language show, Nico Y Paddy, Tu Si Que Vales.

 

Regards,

 

Alan OldStudent

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The Conventional Wisdom: Aerobics

This is part of a series of articles on health, diet, and exercise

A whole lot of folks say that aerobic exercise is the best kind to do to lose weight.

I don’t agree with that. But I do  think aerobics plays a key part in losing weight and maintaining health. It is, however, only part of the picture. One needs to have calorie-consumption restriction in a healthy diet, and one needs strength training.

What is aerobic exercise? Aerobic exercise is exercise you do over an extended session without stopping, like walking, running, swimming, etc. It gets the heart pumping in your target range, and it burns calories. It involves oxygen consumption by the body. Aerobics is touted by many doctors and medical centers, such as the Mayo Clinic, as part of an overall fitness and health regimen. Here’s the “skinny” on aerobics:

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This is part of a series of postings on fitness, health, and dieting. For a chronological list of these articles, please click here.

This book, “Pushing Yourself To Power,” (PYTP) is my favorite book on the subject of exercise and fitness. It is  well worth the investment, but only if you get it with the spiral binding. Stay away from the standard binding.

Oddly enough, the paper and the pictures are top quality, but the standard binding is terrible, and the book falls apart in no time.

However, the spiral binding is super and worth the extra five dollars.

This book is actually an updated and modernized version of the old Charles Atlas course. I remember seeing Charles Atlas ads in the comic books and boys magazines during the 1950s. Charles Atlas was the United States best known exercise and fitness figure in mid-20th-century United States.

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Previously in this series, I posted on How I lost 70 Pounds and How You Can Too, Considerations of Weight Loss, and Metabolism and Weight Loss.

Today I want to write about how I came up with a diet and the strategies I used to stick to it and succeed.

How I Made Up My Mind To Lose Weight And Motivated Myself

I went to my doctor for my annual physical exam several years ago, in my late 60s. I weighed around 270 pounds, had a 44-plus inch waist, and my physical endurance was not too good. I had high blood pressure, and I was inching up into the diabetes danger zone. I have worked in the medical field for decades, and I saw myself becoming old. I looked terrible, and I did not have the same respect I had had when a lot younger, a lot more fit. My joints ached, I was always too cold or too hot, and it was difficult for me to tie my shoes, put on underwear, or put on pants. I could see where this was going.

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