- Created on Tuesday, 25 February 2014 21:49
Anyone know his name? It seems to me that I, along with just about everyone else involved with fitness should. Chances are if you've searched online for fitness, especially a phrase pertaining to 'cardio' you might have stumbled upon his image.
His name should be as popular as Lance Armstrong, or as...umm... well as popular as any athlete famous for their physical endurance. Instead this nameless representative of Finland has become the poster child for the fitness marketers and trainers that bash some forms of cardio while hyping their preferred method or their fitness program.
Usually, almost always, his photo is beside a sprinter. And there's always a caption that refers to the differences in their physical appearances.
Some trainers love him. At least they love his image and how it suits their message.
I can get what they are getting at but it's not a fair comparison. It's like comparing a tractor trailer to a dragster. They are designed for different purposes and each has its advantage over the other.
To say marathon runners in general are unhealthy looking and frail is unfair. He doesn't represent them all, just like the sprinter in the second image isn't a rep for all short distance racers.
Marathoners can sprint. They might not win against a sprinter but they will finish. The same might not apply to a sprinter in a full marathon.
Also ones' body type influences how well they'll perform in certain events. How well someone does at something can have a major impact on the activities they participate in. Which is why we need to consider individual preferences and how it relates to exercise participation. Don't bash the guy because he's skinny and a photographer happened to take his picture at a point during the race when he's tired.
Frankly I feel for the guy. I'm sure he probably spent some time training for the race, possibly even qualifying for it by placing well in previous events, and now his claim to fame is being the sickly, weak marathoner that does LSD. And by LSD I'm referring to the acronym for Long Slow Distance which refers to a style of cardio respiratory training, not d-Lysergic Acid Diethylamide.
Personally I'm not a fan of marathons. I have no interest in running or walking in one and never had. The last time I went 26.2 miles at a time I was driving. But I do believe long slow distance (LSD) cardiovascular exercise is optimum for some people.
I am definitely not a fan of bashing one form of exercise to make another look superior. All exercise has its merits. If someone enjoys running marathons good for them. If someone exercising for fat loss takes up walking which progresses into jogging and decides to do a marathon great for them, as long as they've developed the appropriate level of fitness.
Let's remember that marathons are competitions, with individuals competing against each other or themselves. Running a marathon is not a well suited exercise for someone requiring a great deal of fat loss. For a beginner it makes sense to do LSD and then progress to a more intense form if they desire to do so.
Don't believe the nonsense that if you start doing a form of cardio your muscles will waste away to skin and bone. And do not let it prevent you from starting a cardiovascular exercise program. Start with fitness which should be approached with common sense. Work on improving all the components, not just one. Include exercises that develop muscular strength, and ones that improve muscular endurance. Eat healthfully and exercise consistently to maintain a healthy body composition. Work on improving or maintaining flexibility and agility. Perform sensible cardiovascular exercise that suits your goals and that you enjoy. And if that means running 26.2 miles, well good for you. Just don't ask me to go with you! And if you do enter a race, be careful. Someone might take your picture and make you famous for all the wrong reasons.
What's your take on marathons, or LSD? Do you know who the Finnish racer is? Comments are always welcome.
Aaron Harris provides in home personal training in San Marcos, Vista, Oceanside, Carlsbad, and Escondido California and other cities in north San Diego county. Aaron completed his most recent marathon in February of 2014, which was multiple episodes of House of Cards on Netflix.
- Created on Sunday, 02 February 2014 13:43
It amazes me what a major food holiday the Superbowl has become. It's the busiest delivery day for United States' second largest pizza chain, and I'm sure it probably applies to the largest chain too. And then there's the chicken wings, all 90+ million pounds. Why it's the most popular Superbowl snack I'll never understand.
I realize that for some people the closest thing to physical activity they'll get today will be a long duration jaw workout and possibly too many 12 ounce curls. For most the only way of increasing their heart rate is going to be from screaming at the TV screen.
Never fear, I'm here to help.
Since I was gracious enough to provide the nation's best Thanksgiving Advice (don't google it, I admit it is self proclaimed but many others agree) I'm going to do the same for Superbowl Sunday. So here it goes.
1. No chips. That's right, no chips. Unless you could care less about the game and there's no concern of getting too excited. If you are a raving fan, the kind that's jumping up hollering at the TV, high fiving constantly, and just plain acting like a fool No Chips for You! The choking hazard is too high a risk.
2. No wings! Again, if you treat the game with the same enthusiasm as an episode of Jeopardy fine, go ahead. But again for the die-hard fanatics those tiny bones are serious choking hazards when inhaled. Plus no one wants to be cleaning up the buffalo sauce from the couch or chair arms or high fiving you with slimy, saucy fingers. So no wings.
3. No greasy foods for the same reason why I say no wings. Plus there's the fact that all that fat & grease plus whatever else is making your taste buds override common sense is going to eventually start to wreak havoc on your innards. Then probably around the early fourth quarter one of two things is bound to happen- You're going to need to sprint to the restroom, hopefully in time, and miss the best play of the game. Or you're going to pause live TV with your remote only to return and find out that your DVR picked today to act stupid and change the channel to QVC when you hit the play button. Now you've either pissed off everyone that was waiting for you to return or you've ordered a stupid ab machine you know you're never going to use, or both.
4. Limit your beer intake. First, just like I told you in November there's the risk of you getting drunk and beligerent but Superbowl fans might not be as civil towards you today as they were at Thanksgiving dinner.
Second, keep in mind that the Superbowl is also famous for the multi-million dollar ads. Do you really want to be running to the bathroom during every commercial break? You'll be missing half the entertainment.
Well what about wine? you may ask in a nasally, whiny voice. To which I say <start sarcastic font> Oh, that's right, and everyone talks about the memorable wine ads from the Superbowl <end sarcastic font>. If the games excites you and gets you on your feet, no red wine. Unless you have a spray bottle of stain remover and rag with you. Otherwise stick to white wine.
5. Nothing in a bowl that requires a spoon. Again this is only for those that can't contain their excitement. If your only exercise today is going to be jump squats that you perform by hopping out of your seat during every play or from every flag thrown, think about the mess you're going to make sloshing food all over the place. Save it for later.
So there you have it. To sum it up if you are a raving, die-hard fan it's completely fine to have water and something safe like maybe a slice of bread, untoasted of course. If you're like me and don't get worked up over the game go ahead and enjoy your snacks. Remember the everything (and anything) in moderation rule. Eat like you're watching the game, not like you just finished playing in it.
After all it's just the Superbowl, and it is only a game, no big deal.
Now let's see how long before Homeland Security contacts me about making such an Anti-American terrorist comment.
Aaron Harris is a personal trainer in north San Diego county California. He will be viewing the Superbowl for the commercials as well as the game. Aaron is not any kind of terrorist, no matter what some of his clients may tell you.
- Created on Monday, 13 January 2014 16:09
Not everyone wants to join a gym. I'm lucky to be a member of a very small facility with an even smaller member base, and a very, very small membership fee. It fits me much better than working out someplace crowded.
Even though my specialty is providing in-home personal fitness training I've posted articles about the benefits of joining a gym. I've also written about an exercise center organization that makes fun of some of its members, and also about a creepy gym dweller. Until now I hadn't thought much about the many stereotypical members that can cause some people to dislike going to the gym. While reading Athletic Business' article 'Women-Only Fitness Zones Perpetuate Stereotypes' I saw the video below. I counted 16 offenders that can make working out around others a less than pleasant experience.
How many did you count? If your count was less than mine then which stereotype are you guilty of?
- Created on Friday, 10 January 2014 12:16
Yesterday, January 9th was National Apricot Day. I missed it. And I'm kind of upset about it. I've been a fan of apricots for a long, long time. Apricots are one of my favorites- right up there with fresh, ripe mangoes and ripe, juicy, sweet nectarines.
Lucky for me one of my clients has a champ of an apricot tree. Year after year it impresses us with an abundance of fruit that his family, my family, the smartest birds in San Marcos, and who knows how many colonies of ants can't keep up with.
Apricots are not just delicious but the small tasty treats are a great source of vitamins A & E and potassium. They're also a good source of fiber, calcium, and iron.
Finding out after the fact that National Apricot Day is Jan 9th left me feeling a bit dejected, like not being invited to a best buddies birthday get together, but mostly baffled. Why observe and celebrate this precious drupe in January, a month when they're not in season? Now keep in mind it's "National Apricot Day" so I don't want to hear about how they might be ripe and in season somewhere else on this planet. They're not in season in January in this nation. And don't tell me I could've celebrated with canned apricots or dried apricots(I'm regular enough), neither is as good as the fresh variety to me.
Most of the apricots you find in the supermarket are grown here in California, so I have a pretty good idea that I'm correct by saying they are ripe between May and July, not in January.
So making Jan 9th to me makes no sense. I don't blame the apricots. It's the work of whatever secret society of apricot aficionados who must've been drunk off apricot wine to come up with January 9th. They should've given it more thought so we could have it during a month when they're in season and celebrate by enjoying a ripe, fresh apricot, or two. Or maybe four or five.
- Created on Wednesday, 01 January 2014 11:52
- Created on Tuesday, 24 December 2013 20:38
- Created on Wednesday, 27 November 2013 23:27
Every year at Thanksgiving personal trainers and dieticians are doling out the usual bits of advice to prevent you from packing on the pounds over the holidays. And usually that same advice prevents some of you from actually enjoying the holidays. You know what I'm talking about-
'Set your alarm and get up two hours earlier and squeeze in a 5 mile run.'
'Do ten squats every time you open the oven door.'
'Jog in place while you mash the potatoes.'
'Drink a half gallon of water before you sit down at the table and another 12 ounces between every bite of food.'
'Stay away from the buffet table, you'll gain five pounds just looking at it.'
'Don't eat any carbs.'
'Have a large salad first with no salad dressing, then for your main course have one ounce of turkey, white meat of course, some green beans, a bite of sun dried yam, and a glass of water. For dessert have a sprig of peppermint.'
Well this year I've decided to post my own Thanksgiving day rules. I think you like mine better.
First, take it easy on the appetizers, (unless of course they are extremely awesome) especially if your contribution to the dinner is sitting on your ass watching the game to 'Stay out of everyone's way in the kitchen.'
Don't you remember hearing your mom tell you "You're going to spoil your appetite"? Well that certainly applies on Thanksgiving day. The really good stuff is getting served later you know.
Go easy on the alcohol. Not only are you taking up space for the great stuff(ing) but there are some bad consequences, like you getting drunk, running off at the mouth and getting stupid. Next thing you know you've pissed off a family member that has no problem recording of video your drunken, belligerent antics and posting it on Youtube. Happy holidays.
Don't eat under-cooked turkey! Seriously, poultry should be well done. And if you drank too much you might not even notice you're eating under-cooked poultry and if you did piss someone off they just might let you continue eating it.
Don't mix all your food together on your plate if there are small children at the table. They'll think that's gross and you always be remembered as the one that ruined Thanksgiving dinner, forever.
If you find a hair in your food, don't make a scene. Be polite about it. Unless of course you find nits on it, then it is completely within reason to run away from the table screaming.
If you're the chef and someone finds a hair of yours in the food you have three options; 1- ask them in a snarky manner what their contribution was to the dinner, unless they did help out or contribute something substantial like those awesome appetizers that the lazy helping-by-staying-out-of everyone's-way drunk game watchers ate all of and didn't save you one, then (Number two) just smile and say "Good thing I shampooed this morning" or three- say "You think that's bad, wait'll you see what I hid in the dessert!"
Don't have seconds on dessert. Unless of course you exercised before dinner, then you earned it. But then if the hair in the food issue comes up, well...
Most importantly, remember that cortisol can have negative effects on your body and health. Higher than normal levels of the hormone are released into the blood when you get stressed. So don't stress out. Relax. Enjoy the company, even those jerks that you are now realizing you wished you hadn't invited like you said after last years get together. Chill out and have a drink, but not too much. You don't want to end up on Youtube!
I believe there are a handful of days every year that everyone should be able to relax and enjoy a meal without feeling guilty. Thanksgiving is one of them. Enjoy your day and enjoy your meal. And remember to be thankful for everything you have to be thankful for.
And finally, if you are going to watch the late game after dinner root for the Steelers!
- Created on Monday, 28 October 2013 20:57
There used to be an email subscription service called Emazing Tipomatic. If you were one of its 12 million subscribers you might remember it. The service offered the Emazing Tip of the Day from a selection of over 100 topics.
What I'm guessing a lot of you don't know is that for a while I was a contributuing writer of Emazing.com when it was owned by Sony Music Entertainment.
Like millions of others I was a subscriber to a few of their Tip of the Day topics, The Emazing Bodybuilding Tip of the Day being one of them. Well, after sending an email about the inaccuracy of one of the tips I was asked if I would like to take over writing the tips for that topic. I accepted.
It used to be that if you did a Google search for Aaron Harris along with an exercise related term there was a great chance that the search results would be heavily populated with copies, postings, and archives of my Emazing Bodybuilding Tip(s) of the Day. Here's an example of a couple of my tips still found on a popular site- Supplement tip from emazing Body Building tip of the day...m and
From Emazing tips of the day~Have you...
I have found every single one of my Emazing Bodybuilding Tip of The Day articles on an old hard drive. Starting today I will publish a tip, in the same order they were published, in the exact same wording in the training tips section every week day. However, seeing how these tips are over a decade old and much has been proven by scientific research I will also include an update as to whether this tip is still worthwhile and if not what I recommend instead. You can find my very first Emazing Bodybuilding Tip of the Day here- Strength Stimulus.
- Created on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 13:34
For years I've been suggesting that people not focus on the numbers on the scale but to find some other, much more significant measurement that you can use to track your progress.
Think about this, ladies, if you're getting fitted for a bra does the fitting specialist bring out a scale? No, she(or he?) would use a tape measure. Guys, if you're getting fitted for a suit does the associate ask you to step on a scale or are you measured for circumference?
So is it really your body weight that you are most concerned with?
I realize that the amount of mass you carry around does have some significance, especially if it is creating joint problems, or excess stress on the muscles involved with breathing. Ultimately the solution should always make the best methods top priority- exercise and proper nutrition through a sound diet. Not only will your health and fitness improve but so will the shape of your body.
And yes, depending on your goals and training methods your body weight may actually go down also.
If you still need more convincing watch the video below for proof that this is the way to go.
- Created on Friday, 05 July 2013 00:12
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- Created on Thursday, 04 July 2013 01:11