Friday, January 4, 2008

The Ultimate in Strength, Flexibility, and Balance

I came across this cool video on MySpace. This guy exhibits significant strength, superb balance and extreme flexibility. All seem to be in excellent balance with each other for almost perfect physical shape. He's obviously practiced a lot, so I bet his endurance is equally excellent. However, I do wonder if his extreme hip flexibility subtracts any from leg strength. Some physical conditioning experts, notably Pavel, believe that too much flexibility can keep you from reaching your full strength potential. Anyway, check it out:

Incredible African Pole Dancer

Add to My Profile More Videos

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Modding the Crazy Plate Bench Press for Low Budget Lifting

Below is a Youtube video showing a guy doing a crazy plate bench press. Now I'm sure that guy or whoever owns the gym he's at paid a nice hefty price for that bamboo lifting bar, but I think this concept can be used to get a great low-budget-warrior type of workout as well. First, watch the video:

Notice that the free-hanging barbell plates make the lift more difficult, that's the only reason for doing this lift in a gym with nice equipment and lots of barbell plates. Your muscles will be screaming when you're done.

Now, how does this translate to low-budget lifting? As I've noted before, when I started lifting I was supporting a family of four on a budget of less than $16,000 a year. I had NO money to buy equipment with. Anyone that doesn't have $150 to buy a set of weights can easily lift heavy by modifying the crazy plate concept. For the bar, use an old metal fence post or a long section of pipe (at least 1" in diameter) or anything similar. For weights, hang a 5-gallon bucket or half of a 50-gallon drum from each end (make sure you use rope to tie them in place, the bucket's handles may not be strong enough). Fill the bucket/barrell with anything heavy, from sand and brick to old car parts and farm equipment, getting the weight as balanced as you can. Find the balanced center of the bar and start lifting. You could also use a rope or chain to tie on concrete blocks or homemade concrete plates like I used to use.

Here's an article from that talks more about homemade weights:

By the way, big thanks to for pointing out the crazy plate video.

God bless, stay strong, stay fit


Are Strong Chicks Sexy?

You don't have to be around the fitness industry long before you start hearing ladies complaining that they don't want to lift heavy weights because they don't want to get huge, bulging muscles that will make them unattractive. Personally, I just about burst out in laughter whenever I hear something like that, because such a statement contains several misconceptions. Here are my arguments to those misconceptions:

  1. Muscle is sexy--Ever see a guy turn his nose up in disgust at a pair of firm, muscular thighs? Not talkin' about the babes on steroids with no trace of body fat. Talkin' about athletes, dancers, fitness models and the like. Nope, muscle makes a body curvacious and attractive.
  2. Bulky muscles don't happen by accident--Those gals in muscle mags that women think of so often when they think about weightlifting don't get that way just because they lift heavy. Most of them are also on juice, train excessively and maintain an unhealthy bodyfat level. Few gals (maybe 1% of the population) will gain lots of muscle mass just by lifting heavy weights a couple days each week. If muscle mass were easy to get, every guy in America would look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. And even if you fall into the 1% of women who do gain muscle easily, review point No. 1 above and be happy!
  3. Strength is health--So many health problems from bad posture and back pain to heart disease and high cholesterol can be solved with strength training. Strong muscles prevent injury, correct posture, and make your body more capable. Training for strength increases heart and lung health (provided your training reaches intensities that raise your heart rate significantly) and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which is the "good" cholesterol. Sickliness, including muscles wasted away by excessive aerobic conditioning, and weakness are never sexy.

My wife used to tell me that she didn't want to do heavy weightlifting because she didn't want to get all bulky with muscles. She's been doing kettlebells for a year or two now, but that's not really heavy lifting--great exercise, but not heavy. But this summer she started lifting with me--working at her 5-rep-max and such. We just tested her 1 RM on Friday and she pulled 215 on deadlift and pressed 100 pounds off the bench! She wont' win any contests at that level, but she's stronger than most American women. She feels great about what her new strength allows her to do. And to look at her, you'd never suspect that she likes to lift heavy. She's curvacious and firm, but not bounding with mutant-looking muscles. And in the bedroom . . .well, that's between me and her (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

So, what do you think? Are strong chicks sexy? Let me know by leaving comments on my blog.

For a list of resources that the gals can use to start gaining the benfits of heavy strength training, check out the ladies' page on my Low Budget Warrior web site:

Also, here's a gal that's got a great attitude about heavy lifting:

God bless, stay strong, stay fit