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Latest Poll

Which exercises are essential for shoulder growth?

Barbell Military .. Votes: 4  30% 
Dumbell Shoulder .. Votes: 6  46% 
Upright Rows Votes: 1  7% 
Front Raises Votes: 2  15% 
Total votes: 13

How much cardio do you do each week?

20-60 minutes Votes: 0  0% 
1-3 hours Votes: 4  80% 
3-5 hours Votes: 1  20% 
5-7 hours Votes: 0  0% 
7-9 hours Votes: 0  0% 
9-11 hours Votes: 0  0% 
11-13 hours Votes: 0  0% 
13+ hours per wee.. Votes: 0  0% 
Total votes: 5

New Topics
May is Make a Change Month!
from: BigMikey Sun May 12, 2013 10:54 pm View latest reply to topic Sun May 12, 2013 10:54 pm

Official TFF Post-Whore Thread...
from: BigMikey Sun May 12, 2013 10:51 pm View latest reply to topic Sun May 12, 2013 10:51 pm

Dave's new thread
from: Dave Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:01 am View latest reply to topic Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:01 am

Natural human movement
from: Dave Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:05 am View latest reply to topic Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:05 am

So, I want obliques like Cyborg Santos's...
from: Dave Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:51 pm View latest reply to topic Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:51 pm

Running advice...
from: Dave Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:22 pm View latest reply to topic Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:22 pm

When the gym isnt an option...
from: ArtroPecoTrain Sun May 15, 2011 10:19 pm View latest reply to topic Sun May 15, 2011 10:19 pm

Recipes for making tuna edible
from: Dave Tue May 03, 2011 3:53 pm View latest reply to topic Tue May 03, 2011 3:53 pm

Just saw two documentaries....
from: ArtroPecoTrain Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:32 pm View latest reply to topic Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:32 pm

Genetically Modified Foods
from: ArtroPecoTrain Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:26 pm View latest reply to topic Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:26 pm

May is Make a Change Month!
Why wait until New Years to make a change in your life? As the wiseman said, there's no time like the present! So I've labelled May "Make a Change Month"!

We all have things we think about changing. Maybe its the way we dress, the fact we sleep too late, or (you had to know it was coming) starting a new fitness push. Now we can keep putting it off until New Years and join the throngs of people who pledge to change this or that and maybe even try for a minute or two, or we can take a deep breath, pick up our resolve and make a commitment to ourselves starting this very May 1st.

Regardless of what your change is, whether its fitness related or not, lets hear about it. Post it up and lets make May a month of change!
Submitted By: BigMikey, Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:36 am Read Full Article Post Comments

Taking Requests!
In an attempt to further the fitness related content of the site I've started the "Forgotten Exercises" series wherein I detail exercises which seem to have dropped to the wayside but that are still viable exercises for use in any workout today. But I want more. To that end I'm opening the request lines. If there is a topic you'd like more info on or an exercise you're not quite sure about let me know and I'll put together a write up for it.

PM me your suggestions!

Submitted By: BigMikey, Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:36 am Read Full Article Post Comments

Regarding the Rules...
It is important to me that we are all on the same page in terms of what I expect and how we should all conduct ourselves. To that end I ask that you all take a moment to read the rules ( rules-f4/the-rules-t2.html ) and RESPOND to them. By posting a response to the rules you'll send the message that you've read and understand the rules as set forth thus far.

Thank you for your time and patience,
Submitted By: BigMikey, Sun May 31, 2009 1:24 am Read Full Article Post Comments
 Recent Articles 
Title: Natural human movement Submitted By: Dave

I thought I'd give this subject a shot myself, seeing as it's cropping up a lot in fitness lately.

Well, of course, we all want to become better at natural human movement. But this begs the question 'what is natural'. Is jumping rope 'natural'? Is squatting hundreds of pounds 'natural'?

Well, yes and no. Squatting is one of the range of natural human movements. Crossfit and the like talk about 'functional movement'. But it's surprisingly hard to argue that the squat, the king of exercises, is totally 'natural'.

What am I talking about? Well, how many times do you, in your regular, non-lifting life have to load a weight on your back and squat it? Not many. Mostly, you either have to deadlift or clean. But the squat unquestionably produces excellent gains. I'm at a risk of overplaying my case here, because you can't very well not squat- a trip to the toilet on a day when you're sore from squatting will prove this. But most of these movements are not loaded. I've seen my workmates and observed myself 'squatting' weights like cement bags and so on, but most of these are of the front squat variety.

So why is the back squat considered one of the best exercises? Could it be that we're talking about a different category of movements here- movements not recommended as a mimicry of natural movements, like some sort of 'tonic' that contains substances you wouldn't usually ingest, but which is designed to be helpful to your body? The bench press falls into this category as well- although if you've ever had to lift a motorbike off you after a crash, the bench press suddenly becomes very 'functional' indeed :D

The other point is the weights involved. When you're working, the weights you have to lift are negligable compared to what you squat and bench. Really. A cement bag is nowhere near as heavy as a loaded barbell. But the additional weight has a powerful 'tonic' effect on the body, releasing neuroendocrines and subjecting the muscles to considerable tension.

The point is that 'natural' movement can be overemphasised. Jumping rope is something you'd never naturally do, but it's a great warmup and a cool cardio tool that you can take anywhere.

I'm not arguing that natural movements should be ignored. The case that comes to mind most is running. Running is, arguably, what humans are designed to do. The pronounced achilles tendon, the sweating mechanism, etc. etc. all point to this. And it's one of the best cardio exercises.

I'm not talking necessarily about exclusively long, slow running either. Sprints are arguably more 'functional'. I need to clarify a bit here. Arguably the oldest method of hunting is the 'endurance hunt'- prey is literally chased until it reaches the point of exhaustion. So humans certainly do a certain amount of long, slow running as part of their natural activities.

But any comment about what is or is not 'natural' needs to be qualified. For one thing, stone age hunter gatherers did not necessarily do the same things as modern hunter-gatherer societies. For another, if you look at the physiques of the people who go in for this kind of hunting, they're always kind of emaciated and elongated. Not something you'd necessarily want to copy. Also, humans in modern societies who go in for long distance running at the expense of weightlifting and other more strength-based activities tend to be weak. Very weak. We're talking about a vertical jump of no more than a few inches.

It's also pointless to argue over 'HIIT' and 'LSD'. For one thing, I despise marketting gimmicks. 'high intensity' is a tag-on marketting gimmick to make running look like a new exercise. For another, the boundary is not as clear as people imagine. Run up a hill? You just did an interval.

So what's the take-home message? Well, I'd say it's to stop worrying so much about what is and is not 'natural' or 'functional', and concentrate on what is effective.

Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:05 amComments: 0

Title: When the gym isnt an option... Submitted By: BigMikey

Many of us travel. For some its a part of the job and takes us on the road for days or weeks at a time and while many companies today have fitness facilities in-house not too many of them make temporary memberships a part of their corporate travel plans. So what do you do?

Fitness, like any other endeavor we may find ourselves passionate about, can often involve us to be a bit more creative than we'd imagine at first glance. Here are a few tips to help anyone without access to a gym get a quality workout in the comfort of a hotel room or even their own home!

1. Open your eyes

Tools for a great workout are all around us. I discovered this while stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey just prior to its being shut down. The gym was closed, as were most of the non-essential facilities so PT became a bit challenging.

Here's what I discovered:
The chair in your room is the best friend you have! That chair is essentially the core of your in-room workout. Chairs work wonderfully for curls, upright rows and front raises. They can also be used for standing, behind the head, tricep presses. That same chair can be used for chair dips, and incline and decline pushups. As I mention later they can even be used for legs. Love that chair!

Loop a towel around the door knob on the inside of the door (for example the bathroom) then step outside and use that as leverage to pull against which will work arms and back nicely.

2. Let simple movements guide you

So you dont have a squat rack? So what? Using that afore mentioned chair, do sit-squats on it in sets of 100, then turn around and, laying the chair down on its back, grasp the legs touching the floor and raise the chair up performing a stiff legged deadlift, then go back to sit-squats for another 100 reps. Believe me, you wont miss the squat rack one bit.

For abs, try laying down on the bed and then immediately sitting upright again. After doing this 50 or 60 times those abs are crying for a break. OR, you can assume pushup position with your hands on either of the chair seat and hold it. Its a modified plank and the change in angle can be very interesting!

3. Go back to basics

Jumping jacks, squat thrusts and running in place are things we've all done during highschool P.E. but they worked then and they'll work now. I routinely have clients do each of these as part of their warmup and to help keep their heartrates elevated throughout their workouts.

4. Embrace the change

True there's no way a 12 pound chair will compare to a 40 pound dumbell but that doesnt mean we can't make it as effective if we're patient and understand that we need to do things a little differently. Tell yourself its ok to go for reps, to use slower cadence and to experiment with limited ROM. The goal is to achieve a sweat inducing muscle fatiguing workout - and whatever it takes to accomplish that is acceptable, even welcome!

Between pushups, chair curls, chair front raises, sit-squats, chair stiff legged deadlifts, jumping jacks and squat thrusts there should never be a time when you feel you simply can't get a good workout in.

Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:23 pmComments: 1

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