If You’re Not Getting Stronger, You’re Getting Weaker

girl in bikini looking bored

girl in bikini looking boredIf there’s one thing that holds true over the last few years is this. Either I’m getting stronger or I’m getting weaker. There is no maintenance.

I noticed, for example, if I deadlift a barbell that weighs 145 pounds, and then I keep lifting that 145 pounds with the same set and rep range, that 145 will begin to feel heavier than it did in the beginning. That has led me to believe that there is no real maintenance of strength. The body must be continually be challenged otherwise it starts to get weaker.

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The 30 day Triceps Experiment Results

As a refresher, this is what I said I would do…

Here’s the rundown.

1. I will do 20 triceps lying presses (skull crushers) every day using a 15# dumbbell
2. I will do no more than 10 reps per set
3. I will perform 2 sets for each arm and alternate arms for each set
4. I will do this everyday for 30 days
5. I will not do any bicep specific exercises
6. I will continue doing other exercises like pull-ups, deadlifts,pushups and squats

OK, here’s what happened…

-At the end of the thirty days, did I lose any weight?

No, nope, negatory. But, on the bright side, I didn’t gain any weight either.

-Did my arms get any bigger?

Yes they did. I gained an eighth of an inch on both arms.

-Was it a complete waste of time?

Absolutely not. No experiment is ever a waste of time. For me, I found out that I could actually add an eighth of an inch to my arms by using only a fifteen pound dumbbell for 30 days. I also found out that even though my triceps always burned, I didn’t lose any weight.

I’m still curious as to why when I did the same experiment on my biceps I lost weight. Oh well (shrug). Maybe I’ll need to revisit that bicep experiment again one day.

And FYI, I’m already planning my next experiment… Kettlebell Swings. Stay tuned.

 

 

Why It’s Important To Check The Ingredients In Your Food

yogurt-bowl

These days I find myself checking ingredients a lot more than I used to. I was on a mission in the supermarket, like I usually am when I need food, and made my way to the last aisle in search of milk,  cheese and yogurt. The “normal” size of yogurt is too big for me to eat in one sitting,  I’m not that big of a yogurt fan,  so I was checking out some kid sized yogurts.

Now some of you might be asking yourselves, why don’t I just buy a large container of yogurt and scoop some into a small cup? My answer, longevity.  I just can’t seem to keep the large tub from going bad. Smaller containers work best for me.

I stayed at a Hampton Inn hotel once and part of the breakfast buffet was a small sized Yoplait yogurt.  The perfect size that I can’t seem to find in any of the markets by me. (sigh)

So as I was perusing the kids sized yogurts, one “natural” yogurt caught my eye.  The container was the perfect size. The yogurt was strawberry flavored and I expected a natural yogurt to include strawberries in its list of ingredients. Wouldn’t you?  To my surprise,  strawberries were no where to be found on the list.  Instead, it had natural flavors. I’ve read up on natural flavors and as far as I could interpret the info,  almost any type of preservative can be added to that natural flavor and it can still fall under the umbrella of “natural flavors.”

So I passed on that brand. Things like that have made me much more skeptical about reading ingredients and to be much more mindful about what I’m eating.

So did I find a yogurt that day? Yes I did. I came across an organic yogurt.  All the ingredients appeared ok and the sugar content was low,  12 g.  I prefer the blueberry.

Mission accomplished.

Why I’m Still Against Long Distance Running

The body was meant to go long and slow, or fast and quick. Ever notice how even obese people can run for long distances at a slow pace, or even finish a marathon? But I bet if they had to out run a threat, running as fast as possible, they’d be in trouble.

And that goes for anyone who doesn’t normally run at a fast pace.

Let’s think about that, shall we?

When it comes to being functional, it’s a lot better to be able to run fast than long. If you told me I needed to get somewhere that was five miles away, guess what? I’m walking there–not running. Firstly, I don’t know about you, but I don’t walk around all day dressed to run. Secondly, I don’t want to arrive at my destination all sweaty, tired and hungry.

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When it comes to exercise, sometimes less is more

Me and a friend went to the park to walk around and catch up.  We walked along the trail and came up to the push-up area. Along the trail are different workout stations like push-ups, parallel bars and pull-up bars.  We knocked out a few sets of ten and then headed over to the pull-up bars.  I did a few pull-ups and some static holds with my elbows bent at ninety degrees.  My buddy knocked out a few chin ups and commented on how he needed to work on those more.

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Eating Meals Out Of A Bowl

bowl of fried rice

bowl of fried rice

Today i was thinking. If our stomach is supposedly only as big as our fist, then why are our meal sizes so dang large. Yes, the stomach can stretch to accommodate more food, expanding to ten times its original size (some research even lists it at 50 times), but why would we force it to do that?

Did anybody ever think that maybe, just maybe, the brain sees a stretched stomach as a sign that food is abundant in this meal? Therefore, the body should store some as fat just in case we don’t come across an abundant meal again.

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Sand Bag lifting and Minimizing Strength Work

Navy Sea Bag

Navy Sea Bag

Today I picked up my sea bag and did a quick 20  reps of picking it up off of the floor and putting it on my shoulders. I alternated shoulders each rep. I forgot what a great exercise this was. It’s been a while since I did them. I used to add them to the end of each bodyweight FUN-damental circuit.

The more I trim away at my workouts I find that I end up going back to what I used to do. A lot of body movements. It just makes sense and I feel my body getting faster and more agile every day.

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