Monthly Archives: August 2016

Get Your Legs Ready for Short Wearing Weather

Having a big upper half is highly sought after, so why are so many of you not concentrating on your legs? For one, they are the two body parts you have that are going to support the extra weight you pack on up top. I almost wanted to cry, this Summer, when I noticed that my calves and thighs were sorely lacking. I have been busy with trying to handle everything in my life but I knew that I had to give some special attention to my getting stronger legs. The first new lift that I had decided to implement into my routine was the hack squat. For those who haven’t tried them, get ready, the hack squat requires that you take the barbell BEHIND your legs.

I almost had to stop myself from tripping over my own feet the first time that I tried this exercise. I wasn’t sure what weight to use, since this was my original attempt at getting this routine over with. I must have started with too much weight because, upon my first upward movement, I nearly fell on my back. When you do most exercises, the weight is in front of you, making it easier for you to decide if you need to set it down, to avoid falling forward. With a hack squat, the weight is behind you, so if you fall, it’s going to be right on your back, ouch.

Am I the only one that gets that combination tingle of both fear and excitement, when trying a new exercise for the first time? I felt that my stomach was filled with butterflies as I approached my next lift, lying leg curls on a rickety bench, joy! My reward for trying to help my legs better support my frame was met with a t-bar smashing right into my Achilles’ tendon. After doing all I could to mask my pain-filled scream that sneaked out, the curls became much more simple. It’s hard to say if the soreness that I am currently feeling is from the weightlifting or the accidental scrapes I suffered from learning my form. I would go on to learn that, after smashing my leg into the t-bar, I had now put a bend in the bar, it must have been from my jumping reaction to the pain I felt in my heel.

Moving on to sitting leg curls, I did have to bend at a slightly awkward movement to complete the entire set, not causingstronger legs me too much additional pain. I might have to wear shin guards, as I continue to build up my legs in preparation for that wonderful summer vacation. What makes working out your legs different from most other parts of the body is that you only walk on your legs. Try not to think about how many steps you take, in an average day, after strengthening your legs, it will only make you queasy because you will feel that workout in the upcoming days. When it comes time to pick out the new attire, which you should do, in order to reward yourself for building massive legs, always try them on first. Us weightlifters are always growing, don’t be afraid to buy a larger size of attire, in order to grow into it. I rarely buy anything that is tight-fitting off of the rack because I know I will grow out of it, in a matter of weeks!

The Extreme Stakes of Becoming an Olympian

As we are all glued to our televisions to find out which country will reign supreme, there isn’t much known about the high costs just to compete in this amazing event. Many will go for years to try and get onto their countries team but it isn’t poor effort that can keep them out of the running. What most don’t realize is the sheer expense to becoming an Olympic athlete is a costly one that leaves even the most optimistic hopeful, crawling away.

If it takes a big budget to become an athlete, how do the lucky ones become rich and famous, with enough assets to keep them set for a lifetime? Endorsements, which means that another company sponsors you, is a deal that every hopeful hopes they get signed to. If you have found that you start chewing your fingernails when you think about a job interview, you have no idea what the applicants in the Olympics have to face. In most instances, the funding to get an Olympic level athlete trained and prepared will come from the pocketbook of the parents, adding extra strain on the family.

It can take up to, and this isn’t even the highest number, one-hundred thousand dollars, just to get a shot at competing. If you were to lose this competition, you have just blown the money needed to tryout at the Olympics, better luck in the next four years, right? If you are one that competes in sports, during only one season, it takes four years to try over and you thought getting a letter that you didn’t get that job was bad! Imagine putting your entire life savings into taking on the entire world, so to speak.

At this moment, there is no real avenue for Olympic hopefuls to get funded, meaning that we could be missing out on the best athletes in the universe, because they don’t have their own private source of funding. It can take an entire decade, made entirely of training and being determined, before anyone can obtain that dream success that changes lives. While all stand on the starting line, in amazing condition, waiting for the sound of the starting siren, only one or two could be fortunate enough to get that coveted spot on a Wheaties box. There have been voices raised about the unfair practices that one must go through, just to be looked at seriously by a sporting committee. I know that I couldn’t have raised what it took to go to the Olympics once, can you imagine the poor families who try, more than once, to get their family member closer to Olympic stardom?

I’ve read about athletes, who are already spending most of their free time practicing, having to get a full-time job, just to help cover the fees associated with becoming an Olympian. I wish there was some scholarship program that could provide the raw talent of these young athletes, with a less financially troubling path to take. In alleys behind buildings, old outdoor parks, and garages all across the country, there are those who want to compete for their country and win. Why are we letting the money that it costs to enter hold back talent that wasn’t born with a silver spoon in their mouth? If we had a system to track applicants, solely on talent, perhaps USA would run off with even more medals than we already have, at this point.

Having to Deal with Bullies at the Health Club

This is not my proudest moment but I have to speak out about what happened to me over the weekend. Let me preface this by saying that I am not a violent person by nature. To be truthful, my early years were spent dodging fights, now you know my inspiration to start lifting. Over the previous days, I had been overhearing a, quite frankly, obnoxious man with a booming voice that resonated throughout the building. I have loud family and friends, I wasn’t going to hold the volume of his voice against him. Letting his lack of volume control go, I just cranked the headphones up and went about my business. As fate would have it, I can sometimes get in the zone and lose track of my surroundings. I went walking over to the water fountain and mistakenly made slight contact with Mr. Loud’s shoulders, maybe his arm, I’m not positive. He didn’t mouth off but gave me a stare, I thought he might approach me directly. I walked back to knock out some flyes, at this point there were about ten more patrons in the health club. While I had been sweating up a storm, our old friend the loudmouth was confronting a smaller dude, not cool and I blew a fuse. If two muscled up guys wanted to fight, I believe there is a sport for that called professional wrestling!

Walking over to him, I calmly tried to assess the argument. Thanks to my genes, I can maintain my composure for a short time before I fly off the handle. After hearing both parties try to talk over each other, I paused and released a deep voice that was hiding somewhere within me my entire life. Like a scene out of a WWE show, my deafening order for quiet was met with wide-eyed shock. When my plans get changed, leaving me with less catch up time, it makes me mad. I had not signed up to watch over two grown men that day, especially when one of them already had it out for me. Cooler heads did prevail and the two men that were about to start shoving each other had backed off into separate areas. I am not someone who would be thought of as intimidating, a fact I have come to know.

Attribute it to a bad morning but the yell that I roared out to get some peace and quiet had it’s desired effect. Half of me wanted to walk out of the health center, never to return out of feeling like a jerk. The other half, the one I chose to follow, stayed and finished the tasks that I came there to complete. Bullies of gyms across the world, just remember, the smaller guy you pick on could be within earshot of a bigger guy that doesn’t like jerks! If you are in a similar situation, having to put up with a jerk, the Today show has a great piece here that can offer more assistance.

I almost neglected to talk about a phone call that I received, shortly after the bad day I was having. A manager at that health place needed to tell me that the obnoxious man had not been showing back up to workout anymore. Far form being upset at the potential loss of a customer, the manager actually thanked me. After we hung up, I chuckled that I would ever get appreciated by the owner of a company for having less customers. If you had been able to see this mysterious man, full of nothing but hot air, I could have gotten a standing ovation!