What is Heavy Hands Training?

Posted: 19th March 2021 by strongman in General

Why should I add heavy hand training to my fitness regime?

Heavy hands as a fitness training that will improve cardio endurance. It also improves your overall strength so it is really is as close to the perfect exercise regime as you can probably get . In short heavy hands training will allow you to realize extra gains in stamina and strength while helping improve your general fitness.

How to Exercise With Heavy Hands Weights

There are a variety of heavy hands exercises that you can do, which one is best depends on where you are working out. When you are in a gym you will have more room than when you are home, lack of space is not an excuse for not following the heavy hands training program.

Heavy Hands Training at Home

If you have a small area for your workouts, maybe a spare room or  even the living room after everyone else has gone to bed, don’t worry you can still achieve your exercise goals. Consider trying out shadow boxing exercises, but with weights in your hands. Traditional shadow boxing is a good cardio workout, add heavy hands and now you are getting a muscle workout as well.

Include some bob and weave type movement so you move up and down as you fight an imaginary opponent by throwing punches to the air. Throwing punches for 10 minutes takes some real stamina for most of us, try doing it with a weight in each hand and see just how long 10 minutes really is.

Stairs are your friend, when you are doing fitness training at least. Going up and down the stairs at home is a good cardio workout and if you use the heavy hands method of training then it becomes a good muscle workout as well. While going up the stairs simply swinging and pumping your hands with purpose while having a weight in each hand will increase your workouts effectiveness dramatically.

Go Heavy or Go Home

This is an expression that used to be thrown around a lot at the free-weight gyms in the 90s (and probably still is). Heavy hand’s weights come in all sizes, do not automatically go for for the heaviest. Using too much weight in any type of exercise is a recipe for an injury. If you are a beginner and new at the heavy hand’s exercises, you should start with light weights. Choose weights that match your strength levels as they are now, not what you wish they were.

Before you start increasing the weights you are using in your exercises, you should first start increasing the number of reps you are doing and how long your workout is. Using too much weight will do you more harm than doing more reps or increasing the length of workout.

Be consistent with your training, training for three or four days a week with a 20 to 30 minutes session. The training should not be four continuous days; rather, you should skip a day to give your muscles time to heal.  Once you can consistently do your chosen exercises without feeling like you are not noticing the weights you are carrying then it is time to increase the weights. If you start with 5lbs, move on up to 10lbs, and keep the intensity the same, keep swinging those arms and keep on moving.

Get Results Quickly

It is possible to build your desired body with less effort in the comfort of your own home, you don’t need to go to a gym or do the strenuous exercises that leave you feeling sick and tired. You just have to spend a few minutes each day, maintain consistency in your heavy hands exercises. Do the same exercises every other day and gradually increase the number of reps, the length of time you are doing exercises for and the weights you are using.

The weighted hands training methodology works for anyone, the exercises are durable easy to understand and easy to follow. Something as simple as walking the dog can become an opportunity to burn some calories and build some muscle.

Burn More Calories Without Thinking About It

Running is not for everyone some people will find it difficult to run due to joint or limb problems. In some cases, like in the cities where they are congested, it might not be easy to run. Walking is a good alternative of course, and there are ways you can increase your walking without even thinking about it. Park further away from the store, walk the dog one extra time each day, walk him a bit further than normal. These few easy to do changes can increase the distance you walk over the week dramatically.

Add weighted hands to you new walking regime and you will be burning extra calories and building muscles without even noticing it.

Weighted hands will help you burn more calories compared to when you go walking alone. Apart from burning calories, you will also be able to tone your muscles. Muscles use more calories than fat so the more you build your muscle the more calories you will be burning every waking moment.

Using weighted hands allows you to work the upper parts of your body without straining your knees, ankles, and hips. It can be as simplae as when you take the dog out, remember to pick up the weights and swing those arms

Start Using Heavy Hands for your Exercise 

 It is a simultaneous form of exercise – unlike other exercises that you will have to harness each part of the muscle with a different type of heavy hands training, it is different. We say this exercise is simultaneous as it engages all the four limbs to work out. Therefore this makes it better compared to other forms of exercise, which are tiresome.

 Helps you build on strength and endurance – Dr.Schwartz noted that after starting to work on his heavyweights, his heartbeat rate changed from 60 beats to 40-50 per minute. Unlike other workouts, some athletes will have to lift heavy weights with the heavy hand’s exercise method you only need small weights. Through the repetition of the exercise, you can gain much strength and increase the weight loads gradually.

How Heavy Hands Weights Help You Lose Weight

 Pumping as light as 2lbs of heavy hands weights will be so significant compared to walking without the weights to help in energy consumption.

 According to physicians, a heavy hand user can increase their range of energy consumption from 30-300%. The more muscle you build the more calories you will burn. Even a small increase in muscle can have dramatic effects on your burn rate.

 In normal walking for an hour, most people will lose about 350 calories, but when using the heavy hand weights, users will burn approximately 450-600 calories an hour. The more you swing your arms, the more weights you use the more calories you burn.

Any Exercise is Better Than NO Exercise

This is the one lesson that I wish everyone would learn. Walking for 20 minutes a day is better than no walking at all. Walking for 20 minutes and following the Heavy Hands training program is even better,


Somehow I’ve missed this Pavel book until today… This is Pavel’s book on stretching.

He starts with a pretty amazing assertion… most of us are already flexible enough to do gymnastic style feats. Say what?

Yes! Our muscles could allow us to move through a wider range of motion… if they would.

Why don’t they?

Protective mechanisms designed to protect us from over stretching are the reason.

Pavel’s book and video by the same name are designed to teach techniques that allow you to train your body to move through a longer range of motion by overcoming these protective mechanisms.

He makes the interesting point that while ordinary stretching can leave you over flexible like some rag doll, this form of stretch actually leaves your muscles toned.

How does that work? Because the method that overcomes the body’s protective mechanisms are basically isometric contractions. Stretch as far as you can, from that position (don’t go back!) tense the muscle you’re trying to stretch and “relax”… and suddenly you’ll stretch some more.

Then what?

Assuming you’re not stretched to the degree you want… from that position tense and relax again. And again. You get the picture.

Some muscles don’t cooperate so easily. Some muscle groups require a contraction to drag on until the muscles feel physically tired… only then do they “give”.

Now just because this technique lets you move more fully through a range of motion, it doesn’t mean we can all put our palms on the floor the first day. There’s room for improvement. Pavel suggests doing these stretches 3 times per week several hours after your main workout.

Several of our readers go to chiropractors from time to time for “spinal decompression”… they’ll find Pavel on this topic to be quite informative. He specifically talks about spinal decompression (hanging from a bar) and demonstrates significant decompression in his video (free on Amazon Prime).

Whether you go to a chiropractor or not, Pavel wants every lifter to do spinal decompression ( and have everybody lift). It’s not just for older folks any more!

If you want to quickly and painlessly stretch further, this is the resource for you! It will help you eliminate pain, protect your body, and, thanks to the tension component, help tone your muscles too!

Get “Relax into Stretch” at Amazon!





Forearm Forklift Moving StrapsThe original version of “Forearm Forklift Moving Straps” already made a fine improvised strap that some used for a make shift suspension trainer or as an strap for isometric exercises. What set it apart from webbing or lashing straps were 1) the broader width 2) fairly non abrasive cloth 3) 800 pound capacity and – not to be underestimated -4)  padded grip areas at each end!

Doing isometric “deadlifts” were possible… and as with a barbell, hand strength not whole body strength might become a limiting factor.

With one strap a kind of “hack squat” or “Zercher” squat could be done usually.

What’s different NOW though is that Forearm Forklift has produced a version that includes a HARNESS

This harness comfortably goes over each shoulder and links to the forearm forklift handles.

What this means is that one strap can be used for powerful isometric squats and hip and back type work without being limited by hand strength or endurance!

Using the shoulder harness with one strap can also let one forearm forklift strap suffice for overhead presses…. just grab the harness while standing on the strap and press!

Want to PULL something? Harness yourself with this to a weighted sled and pull.  Or harness yourself to an inanimate object and do isometric pulls! Your hands and shoulders will not be the weak links anymore! You’ll be getting the exercise your legs and hips need!

Here’s what the harness apparatus looks like in action hauling around a big home safe… I guess you could do that too for some exercise!

Forearm Forklift Harness

However you want to do it, the Forearm Forklift with Harness is a comfortable, handy improvised tool to help people who work out at home on a limited budget and especially if you’re needing a harness or want to do isometrics with something that won’t cut into your shoulders as much or make your hands and arms the weak link that holds back your hips and legs.

If you already have the moving straps, you can even get the harness separately it seems.

Who else has used Forearm Forklift for improvised workout gear? Let us know your experience! Thanks.

PS: I would be remiss if I didn’t let folks know that the man who told me about Forearm Forklifts for isometrics is “Gruntbrain” of “Gruntbrain’s Grotto”!


biceps-159681_1280Background on this Isometrics Strength Review (Skip ahead unless you want to miss an important warning)…

If you’ve been around the bodyweight exercise scene for a while, you may be familiar with Todd Kuslikis and his site “AShotOfAdrenaline.net” on bodyweight exercise. It’s a good site though hasn’t, apparently, been updated for quite some time.  The dates of the blog posts have been removed so new folks won’t realize how long its been since the site was attended to. As I learned it now basically functions as an online funnel to get people to join his paid membership site Bodyweight Physique Academy ($47 per month). When I visited AShotOfAdrenaline.net last, I notified Todd through the contact email that his site’s security certificate had expired, and only got some automated response, but never heard from anyone at that time.

Recently though, I was retooling my personal workouts and wanted to focus significantly on isometrics. I had pieced together my own routine from some of my own findings, but I decided to check out Todd’s course which is sold at IsometricsStrength.com (No Affiliate Link).

I was impressed by the sales copy. I have read and used the results from a number of formal studies on isometrics, but he seemed to mention some I had not run across that sounded interesting. So I decided to get his course. Frankly it was a great price… $7. What shocked me was there weren’t a million “one time offers” trying to nickel and dime me for upgrades. It’s just $7 and that’s it for the course and some additional materials.

One premium you’ll receive is a 14 day free membership in the Bodyweight Physique Academy. I wasn’t interested so never even logged in. The shocker was they immediately start charging your card $47 per month after 14 days if you don’t send an email first. Thankfully their support (not Todd… can’t seem to track him down these days) refunded and cancelled the subscription which, frankly, I didn’t even remember reading about. Perhaps that’s what they’re counting on in a sense. Anyway after that slight heart attack (metaphorically speaking) was resolved within a few hours and rather painlessly, I decided to post this review of the course.  I suppose you could say that subscription payment sneaking up on me jolted me into action.

Pro’s and Con’s of Todd Kuslikis’ Isometrics Strength Course:

Not to talk down to anyone, but this course is about exercises where your muscles stay the same length throughout a timed contraction. When I mention “static contractions” below, I am referring to the times you contract a muscle through mental effort for the most part… like a body builder posing and flexing a bicep. When I mention “resisted contractions” below I’m referring to pushing against some object like a door frame, one’s other arm, or something else not designed to move.


The “course” is composed of an ebook on isometric principles, another ebook on the workout itself in two parts… the exercises for individual body parts and the whole body isometrics.  There are also files for nutrition tips (didn’t read it, can’t comment) and a workout log.


  • The Cost – $7! (See the warning above). Excellent value.
  • The Concepts – Todd “sold” me on several important concepts. First, his routine essentially asks you to “pre-exhaust” the muscle you’re working with static contractions (see my explanation above). Second, after the body part is pre-exhausted this way, he moves to a “resisted contraction” for 30 seconds or more to make sure the muscle you’re working has recruited as many fibers as possible to insure growth in strength and size. Third, he does a great job of “selling” the need not only for isometrics which isolate body parts, but also for “whole body isometrics”, where as much muscle is contracted as possible for a short time. For this he uses martial arts poses, but not the sanchin kata which is usually associated with whole body isometrics and “dynamic tension” training of this sort. The “sanchin kata” is a moving form of dynamic tension. Kuslikis’ whole body isometrics are not “moving”…  They are a kenpo form where the final striking posture becomes a whole body isometric, but there is no emphasis on tension during the transition as in sanchin.
  • The Conclusion: This produces a fantastic workout for me, though I’ve had to adjust it based on what gets the best muscle recruitment for me. For example, one of Todd’s brilliant “pre-exhaustion” exercises for the quadriceps doesn’t work for me because of some knee issue in one leg. So, I’ve had to substitute some exercises to achieve the same results while following the basic pattern the course establishes.


Most of my “cons” are really “Pet Peeves” or things that you might nitpick about any course, but, hay, I’m trying to be objective, right?

  • Doesn’t seem to live up to the Sales Page. There’s always a problem when you get carried away writing sales copy but the reader can’t figure out from the course itself what you sold on the sales page! You can have the sales page say all this great stuff to get your product sold, but then the product doesn’t spell out line by line how the information provided relates to the sales page.  Now it may relate in some way, but customers can’t always see the connection. I know I couldn’t figure it, and I’m a fairly careful reader in most instances. One example I kept looking for in the course was this assertion from the sales page but could never find mentioned in the course (I did find these names but not the point being made):


  • No citations.  Since I mentioned the “French researchers” I’d like to see a citation so that I can at least look up an abstract. Some names were mentioned, abstracts found, but I’m left wondering “what is the point he was trying to make?” In Todd’s ebook on the basics of isometrics, he does mention alot of studies, does a good job of expressing the logic of his advocacy for isometrics, but still I’d like to see what I can glean from the studies myself. So a citation, a link, it’d be great.
  • Exercises.  Not all exercises work for every one and not all exercises work as described. As mentioned already, his pre-exhaustion exercise for quads is good… if you don’t have an injury that keeps it from happening.  In his biceps sequence he shows pre-exhausting both arms at one time and then following up with Charles Atlas style bicep isometric where you’re curling one hand and resisting with the other. Personally I’d say pre-exhaust one arm at a time with static contractions, do the resistance isometric and then move to the next arm the same way. Bottom line: you may need to alter the workout to suit your body type or other limitations… or even your preferences. Still the basic concepts are awesome. Adaptation is just a part of life.

Bottom line, it’s a great course and well worth the money at $7. The principles are sound, and I believe it has helped me think in new ways about my isometric routine and know how to get the most out of doing isometrics. I doubt I’ll ever go back to the “old way”.

Again if you missed it, here’s the link: IsometricsStrength.com (No Affiliate Link)


Cardio without running

Cardio without running
— Read on cavestrong.net/2018/07/11/cardio-without-running-2/

I was searching WordPress for ideas related to “HeavyHands” but these days that pulls up everything from Boxing to domestic violence (I kid you not) .

This idea surfaced “cardio without running”… some interesting Videos, though not exactly “panaerobics”. Where do you look for ideas and inspiration?

Let me know in the comments …

So what if you’ve never exercised before, but now you want to (or you’re told you “have” to)? What do you do if you’ve had a layoff because of injury or illness and you want to build back. How do you manage this? How do you build aerobic capacity or regain it?

With all the emphasis on High Intensity Interval Training (which I enjoy and have written about here), one might get the idea that there’s no other way to begin to exercise than to dive in, work out till you throw up and, if you survive, repeat that. (Not to be indelicate but it’s often said that one knows they’re doing “Tabata intervals” correctly when they are on the verge of throwing up!).

Perhaps you’ve tried that. Perhaps you became so sore you couldn’t move for several days and were reluctant to try it again? Or you realized that you can’t do a “high intensity” workout more than once or twice per week. But your doctor wants you to exercise daily? Well you might be tempted to write the doctor off as “not being up with the latest exercise research” (who isn’t unless one is in the field full time?), but before you do that you might want to take another look a the situation. After all the people with the longest lifespans per the “Blue Zone” book are walking on average 5 to 7 miles per day or 10,000 to 14,000 steps or so in pedometer speak! So maybe more capacity, in general, is better than we’ve given it credit for!

If that’s your case, you’ll want to read Arthur Lydiard.

One of the guys at the Facebook Group “HeavyHands User Group” (a great group of thinking practitioners of exercise), shared this document: “Jogging the Lydiard Way” . (The document is hosted at the Lydiard Foundation.)

At first glance I wondered why I should read this… I don’t like “jogging”… and this writing is OLD… Lydiard wrote in the 70’s. With my share of intellectual snobbery (I confess) I was sure that something this old had surely been improved upon.

But passages like this caught my attention:

“…I recall in 1962, speaking to a group of men in Hawera, a small town in New Zealand, about jogging and I made this statement that I believed that anyone who can walk can run and if they really feel inclined, they could run 20 miles and this applied to old people even in their 70s.

After my talk, an old fellow by the name of Wills came to me and said that he was interested in running. However, he was 74 years of age and had had 3 coronary attacks. He was a big man of 280 pounds, obese and looked completely out of condition. He also asked if I believed that he could run 20 miles.

I was a little doubtful when I looked at him, but I told him go and see his doctor and explain just what he had in mind). I said that as long as he did not have a diseased heart and had recovered from his previous attacks, I doubted whether the doctor would be against him trying.

Well, Mr. Wills started jogging, with his doctor’s consent, and the first time that he tried to run for his 15 minutes, he only got as far as 30 yards and had to walk for a time before trotting along again. After a few weeks, he was able to run for the full 15 minutes and was, soon after this, running much longer time.

In 6 months from the day that he started jogging, Mr. Wills actually ran 20 miles without stopping. Besides him on push cycles rode members of the local newspapers – the hardest work they had done in years, just to see what would happen. Maybe they could see the headlines in the Daily: “Joggers Dies on Road”. However, Mr. Wills handled his 20 miles in fine style and, today, 8 years later, is a healthy and vigorous man of 82 years of age who, 3 years ago, rode a racing push cycle around a New Zealand mountain called Mr. Egmont, a distance of 100 miles on Christmas morning for a workout. On his arrival back, on being asked by the local press, what his reactions were to the ride; he remarked that it wasn’t any problem except the traffic worried him. Mr. Wills was a man who started from behind scratch by having had coronary attacks that he was fortunate enough to have survived…”

We hear a lot about excellent programs such as “Couch to 5K” because of their success in getting people to walk, jog, or run their first 5k adventure. This man – following Lydiard’s advice – went from “couch to 20 miles” in six months! At age 74!

How did he do it?

While you will want to read Lydiard’s book for yourself (it’s only 50 pages), he basically taught something we’ve forgotten… to “train not strain” and “have something left over” after the workout.

Like the person who shared the document, I’d say this logic applies to jogging, bicycling, heavy hand walking, kettlebell swinging… almost any physical endeavor one wishes to build aerobic capacity for.

Here are my takeways… feel free to add your own in the comments:

1. Forget prescriptions in books or even by experts about what you “should” be able to do. You must start where you are and build from there.

2. Start with 15 minutes daily preferably. Don’t do anything “Till you drop”. Ease off enough of your activity to complete your time.

3. Resist the temptations to compete or “go faster” until you have invested plenty of time in “going slow”… keep going easy but go longer instead of faster at first. Later in the book, Lydiard has some tables to help people progress from 15 minutes of jogging per day to jogging up to an hour at a time. But he never says “in 15 minutes you should cover ____ miles”. Go whatever speed allows you to complete the time whether jogging or heavy handing. If trying to do kettlebell swings for time, use the weight that lets you finish the time. If rowing, go for the time too.

Lydiard’s theories are adaptable for any capacity building exercise approach.

Personally I have two temptations to fight regularly… to overexert myself or to do nothing at all. Yielding to the temptation to over exert one day often leads to the temptation to do nothing the next (or for subsequent) days. Just today I woke up with some crazy plan to over exert myself instead of trying to gradually improve what I’d done yesterday… thankfully by the time I started to work out I was “cured” of that notion!

I’d heard this term in another context but it seems to apply here… “go slow to go fast”. In this arena of physical capacity building it means to not over extend yourself… to build gradually and incrementally. One does not even need to always work out the same amount of time daily.

For example, After one builds up to an average of 30 minutes, some days will be hour long workouts, and the next a mere 15 minutes to “keep moving”. But overall one’s aim is to gradually progress while not being forced to stop by going at too high an intensity. Over time (and probably less time than you may think) gradual improvements produce amazing results … like the man who went from “couch to 20 miles” in 6 months (and then a 100 mile bike course)! He does caution though to not work out less than every other day if one wishes to progress. Personally I’m aiming for 5 days using his concepts (though I’m not a jogger!)

So when you’ve downloaded the book, read it for yourself and leave your takeaways in the comments.

spine, spinal decompression, lower back painPlease note: I’m not a physician or health care professional. I don’t pretend to offer advice and you shouldn’t take this as any form of health advice. I’m simply recounting my own experience here, and my situation may not be like YOUR situation at all. As a result you need to connect with your own chosen health care professionals, look at all the facts and then make an informed decision for your situation based on their recommendations. Fair enough? If so, keep reading because as we all know, misery loves company.  And perhaps my story will encourage you.

Like my 88 year old mother continually says “Getting old ain’t for sissies!”

I haven’t posted for a while because I’ve been plagued with a few signs of getting older myself. Call it a quirk of mine, but I hated to keep writing things when I couldn’t seem to get solid workout in myself!

Some of you have been kind enough to email me to wonder if I were still kicking, and that’s been much appreciated.

Anyway I’m back at it, and here are some lessons I learned that I wanted to pass along.

First I didn’t seem to be able to get a good workout because of my HIP.

I had to jump a number of hoops (metaphorically) to conclude my hip wasn’t the problem. But before I concluded that I went through a series of physical therapy sessions, xrays, standard chiropractic adjustments, massage specialized exercises, and even some stretches, only to end up in the Emergency Room one night.

Sometimes after the above treatments the pain might subside for a bit. Other times (like the time I rolled off one of those exercise balls) it got worse. Finally one  night I went to the ER because it had all came to a head.  Every pothole caused huge muscle spasms across my side.  At the ER they did xrays but had nothing to tell me from them. The pain pill helped stop the flare up, but home I went with the advice to “see a doctor” (wasn’t that what I was trying to do?)

Obviously whatever I’d done wasn’t working.

I got over my fear of orthopedic surgeons long enough to be given a shot in my hip that helped temporarily but as I was starting to workout, the symptoms started coming back.

But then he said if one shot didn’t help, I’d need a hip replacement.

Hip replacement?

That just didn’t sound right.

I went to another chiropractic office to inquire about a special laser therapy I’d heard about to relieve pain and they asked me to bring the x-rays from the hospital.

I picked them up and looked at them for the first time in their office.

What we DID see and DIDN’T see surprised me…

First off we DIDN’T see any hip deterioration.

What we DID see was a curve in my spine that might of partly been because of the agonizing spasms that night when it was taken. The Orthopedist had never mentioned my spine curvature at all!


I ended up going through a series of professional spinal decompression treatments that made all the difference in the world! In my case, the hip pain is gone. I notice that at times pain does reemerge… in my lower back. The original site of the pain (right hip) and from time to time completely on the other side!

My immediate go to remedy is of course to have another spinal decompression treatment as needed for follow up, but between treatments I focus these days on forward stretching and NOT hyper extending my back.

forwardstretching,lower back stretches for lower back pain

Many times just bending forward to stretch my hamstrings works. At other times I’ve tested home based spinal decompression devices like the Lo-bak Trax
, though I’m willing to investigate other ones. (Note: Those links are both Amazon affiliate links. If you end up purchasing through one of them it supports this blog’s hosting and other expenses as I try to upgrade our presence here.)

Here’s what I’ve found about spinal decompression and low back pain issues.

I’ve noticed that in my case the spinal decompression REALLY WORKED well… over time.

I’d noticed how my back would seize up easily if I stubbed my toe or something so I began to see how tightly wound my whole lower back area was and how inflexible I’d become.

The traction used by the spinal decompression table really stretched out these back muscles, making them not so “tightly wound”.

This is where one side effect came in… my back muscles were so loose, I was starting to bend forward and my wife commented how back my posture was becoming! Before that I’d have resorted to some zealous kettlebell swings to fix that right up, but I was afraid of hyperextending my back again and didn’t want to get back to undoing all my treatment.

So I’ve gradually had to work on my posture. My body lets me know when I’ve not only stood straight but hyperextended my back again!

If you’re in this or a similar pain situation please see professionals you trust to sort things out. Relief was quick for me but not complete after just a few sessions. Then some long international travel and strange hotel beds seemed to undo most of the benefit, though follow up treatment really helped get things back in order!

My plan:

1) Keep forward stretching… keep unlocking my lower back and hamstrings especially. As needed I use an inexpensive pain relief device (Amazon affiliate link).

2) Keep strengthening the muscles… my whole body of course, but especially restoring some healthy tone to my back muscles. I’ve found myself flipping back to Dr. Schwartz’ discussion of “Backaerobics” on pp. 109 ff of his book “HeavyHands: the Ultimate Exercise System” (Amazon link)…He suggested a variety of moves which – with caution – are reminders of the type of work I need to focus a bit on. Fortunately anyone doing Heavy Hands, Kettlebells, or Clubbells, probably is to some extent… Common exercises like “grave diggers”, kettlebell or clubbell swings, etc. all address the areas of crucial concern… I just have to do them without hyper extending. For the time being, no “neck bridges” or other backward bending moves are prescribed for me.

So thankfully I’m back in gear and ramping back up.

Thanks for staying in touch. We’ll see what sparks another article soon!

I haven’t posted in a long while so I thought I’d say “hello” after a hiatus with this snippet from Science Daily that notes how just one moderate exercise session can reduce bodily inflammation – the newly found bugaboo behind so many disease conditions. 

Call me biased but because we’re pretty sure panaerobic exercise is never going to be tested in such studies, I’ll wager panaeeibics hold their own and excel in this regard by activating the largest amount of muscle tissue (muscle tissue loss with aging is one of the chief culprits suspected in the average person increased systemic inflammation as they age).

Glad to visit with all of you again!

One moderate exercise session has a cellular response that may help suppress inflammation in the bodyIt’s well known that regular physical activity has health benefits, including weight control, strengthening the heart, bones and muscles and reducing the risk of certain diseases. Recently, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine found how just one session of moderate exercise can also act as an anti-inflammatory. The findings have encouraging implications for chronic diseases like arthritis, fibromyalgia and for more pervasive conditions, such as obesity.

NYT: Work. Walk 5 Minutes. Work.

Posted: 28th December 2016 by strongman in General

Here’s an article you’ll immediately appreciate if you have a FITBIT BLAZE. or other product that alerts you to the hourly need for exercise.

The New York Times article Work. Walk 5 Minutes. Work. discusses how people felt and performed during an average work day if they took either a 30 minute walk or short 5 minute hourly breaks.

The short breaks were more potent for staying refreshed an alert during the work day. (Obviously this is not a replacement for other lengthier exercise in the day!)

FitBit builds hourly activity goals into its devices for the reasons stated here:

Research shows that prolonged sitting is associated with a significantly higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and depression, as well as muscle and joint problems. Even if you meet typical exercise guidelines, sitting for long periods of time can still compromise your health. Fortunately, moving even a few minutes every hour reduces the negative effects of sitting.

(You can see the research links at the FitBit page by the way.

So in addition to being more productive for your work, you can have a better quality of life for yourself as well.

One thing I like about it is that if you have a daily step goal, by chipping away at it hourly, you don’t end up having to walk 10,000 steps at 9 PM. We both know that is probably NOT going to happen (though I do crank out remaining steps at that hour!).

If you’re more ambitious you can try this… think of this as FitBit helping you to “Grease the Groove” in something you want ot accomplish. Use the hourly reminders to walk 250 steps as a reminder to do a set of calisthenics too.. squats or pushups for example. Or use it as a reminder to climb a flight of stairs and check off another activity towards your daily goals.

You can also use it as a reminder to do other – non physical things – like pray. Or meditate. Or practice deep breathing. Make it work for you, but get your steps in every hour. I try to get 14 hours a day of this activity! How many hours are you trying to stay active each day?

Here’s the FITBIT BLAZE.. My goal is to start blogging about how I’m using the Blaze to achieve my fitness goals and also expose problems I’m having with the device as well as my work arounds.

I’m recovering from some illness and got deconditioned.  They say “the legs are the first things to go” as we age, and that’s something I very strongly believe.  I’m planning a mission trip early next year and we expect to do LOTS of walking.

Knowing my foibles pretty well, I decided that if I planned to do all my walking in big chunks of 30 to 60 minutes per day (my doctor wants me to do 60 minutes walking daily) that I would likely FAIL.

You know how your schedule can get really busy and it’s easy to “skip” an hour long workout.

Recently sports physiologists have said that 10 minutes 3 times per day has the same effect as 30 minutes straight. Leonard Schwartz of HeavyHands fame said that in their testing at the University of Pittsburgh cardio improving responses could start coming  in as few as 3 minutes.

(If you want some ideas for 3 Minute Workouts, check this page.)

These sources planted a seed in my mind that grew like Jack’s beanstalk the minute I heard my friend describe his new Blaze.

He said “It reminds me every hour to do at least 250 steps”.

That’s when I started thinking… “Work out a little bit every hour? Yes, that sounds like what I need to do.”

Of course 250 steps hourly won’t “cut it” for my training. I know that I need some much longer blocks of working out daily, but establishing a pattern of activity and daily working out is exactly what I needed to accomplish.

As I started reading about how Pritikin’s patients were reversing heart and artery disease I realized all of them – in addition to dieting – were doing huge amounts of walking.  That “sealed the deal” for me… I needed to start doing lots more to get my activity in… “mini workouts” along with longer workouts.

Consider it a cardio form of “Greasing the Groove”. “Greasing the Groove” or GTG is doing one exercise a lot to become GREAT at it. I figured that’s what had to happen to my walking… though from the outset, I planned to do more than JUST walking.

That’s where my knowledge of HeavyHands and Isotonometrics and Pan-X come in.  But my FitBit Blaze is proving a big help in its own right.

Just for starters, here is how the Blaze (and it’s app and/or online dashboard) is getting me ready:

First, it’s helping me track my heart rate… for me knowing I’m in an exercise zone is important when I’m doing heavy hands. But also making sure my heartbeat is returning to it’s resting rate in a timely manner is equally important.  The Blaze (while not perfect) is a solid tool to help that.

Second, it’s making sure I do a minimum of exercise 14 hours a day. I chose the hours … others choose fewer hours in the day. It keeps me from vegging out in a chair typing… like now! 🙂

Third, it’s helping me take the stairs and go up inclines. The Blaze makes sure I’m going up flights of stairs daily by tracking the number. Sometimes it’s wacky. I don’t have a single stair in my house but it showed I went up 10 feet while walking around the house this morning. I knew to make up for that over counting later in the day. I like the “badge” I get for hitting 10 “hills” per day. It helps round out my leg development… as do knee bends which the Blaze doesn’t really track except perhaps as steps. Let me tell you, full squats are a challenging way to get steps!  Instead, supplement steps and climbing with them!

Fourth, it’s tracking overall steps. The “badges” for completing steps are motivating as are the “fireworks” on the watch when hitting your daily goal. By some measures “10,000 steps” is good. Others say that’s rather arbitrary. I know if you’re just doing a couple thousand steps per day, moving to 10,000 is a significant and worthwhile challenge. Staying active every hour, the 10,000 figure wasn’t that hard to reach.

Mileage too is tracked so that’s a fifth way the device helps. I was surprised to know I was going over 10,000 steps but not making 5 miles yet.

Sixth, tracking “active minutes”. After 1o minutes of exercise the Blaze automatically records your “active minutes” – that’s the figure I’ll be using to determine if I’m doing my 60 minutes per day. Depending on the “expert” you’re following, you need 30 to 90 “active” minutes daily with your heart rate elevated (the higher the elevation the less time required in general) for optimum health.  Which number is right? I have no idea. As I mentioned before my doctor wants me doing 60 so I’m working towards that figure.

Here’s what the American Institute for Cancer Research defines proper activity levels in their recommendations for preventing cancer:

As well as helping us avoid weight gain, activity itself can help to prevent cancer. Studies show that regular activity can help to keep hormone levels healthy, which is important because having high levels of some hormones can increase your cancer risk.

Physical activity may also strengthen our immune system, help keep our digestive system healthy and allow us to consume more food and more cancer-protective nutrients – without gaining weight.

If you’re not used to doing much activity, start by working toward 30 minutes of moderate activity each day – remember that anything is better than nothing. You can build up slowly until you reach your target. Shorter bouts of activity are just as beneficial. (It’s the total time that’s important.)

Research shows that to avoid weight gain, doing more activity is beneficial. High amounts of sitting – sedentary behaviors – also links to overweight and obesity. Moving more throughout the day and limiting sedentary behaviors may help with weight control.

For maximum health benefits, scientists recommend that we aim for 60 minutes or more of moderate activity every day, or 30 minutes or more of vigorous activity.

  • Moderate activity is anything that gets your heart beating a bit faster and makes you breathe more deeply – like brisk walking.
  • Vigorous activity means raising your heart rate so that you warm up, start to sweat and feel out of breath.

If I’m at work, I’ll just walk or climb stairs probably without arm motions… or sometimes march in place with my hands swinging high.

If I’m “working out” at home I’m using HeavyHands, Indian Clubs, Kettlebells, or IsoTonoMetrics. If I’m outside depending on the available equipment I may be using HeavyHands, Nordic Walking Sticks, IsoTonoMetrics, or nothing. Or I’ll “walk and squat” with all the mentioned tools, depending on how I feel.

Anyway this is how I’m using the FitBit Blaze to try to maximize the number of workouts through the day and strengthen my whole body… cardiovascular system and muscular system as well. And most of all to make sure “the legs don’t go first”.

If you have more questions about the Blaze or integrating it into your workouts, ask questions in the comments and I’ll respond there or respond in another post.

Thanks for reading!

PS- you’ll find it very addictive in a positive way to hit all your goals every day and exercise all the hours you’ve chosen! Here’s what that looks like on the FitBit phone app!