Fitness News & Views
A Publication of Graham Fitness
Feb. 15, 2017
1 Corinthians 6: 19-20

February Quiz
How Many Can You Answer Correctly?
  1. The Cooper River Bridge Run is considered South Carolina's "Most Gorgeous Run."
    • True
    • False
  2. One advantage of free weights over machines is:
    • Free weights are much easier to use.
    • Free weights use more small stabilizer muscles.
    • In most gyms there are more free weights than machines.
    • All of the above.
  3. Which of these two statements is true?
    • Lard which is pork fat should never be used in cooking.
    • Pansies are edible and make a tasty salad adornment.
  4. Which of the following is not an advantage of machines over free weights?
    • Machines are easier to use.
    • Machines help position you properly so you might need less instruction.
    • Machines are generally safer.
    • Machines eliminate balance as part of the weight lifting equation.
  5. Which of the following is not a good exercise for working the biceps?
    • Concentration curls
    • Seated rows
    • Dips
    • Preacher bench curls
  6. Knuckle cracking can cause arthritis in later years.
    • True
    • False

           I once ran every day for over six years. My streak lasted from about 1983 or '84 to around 1990. It lasted over 2200 days in a row, but I'm not sure of the exact number, nor am I sure why I finally stopped the streak. In order to keep the thing going, I had to run at least one mile each day, but I usually ran more than that, averaging about 25 miles a week at a pace of around 7½ to 8 minutes per mile.
            About a week ago, I saw a story on the BBC News Facebook page about Ron Hill, a British marathon runner, who ended his personal running streak after 52 years. Fifty-two years! Ron was an outstanding marathoner in the 60's and 70's. He competed in the 1964 and 1972 Olympics. He won the Boston Marathon in 1970 with a time of 2 hours 10 minutes 30 seconds, which is a pace of 5 minutes per mile. And while doing all this, he just kept on running - every day for almost 20,000 days until he finally "took a day off" last month.
            Like me, he had to run at least a mile to keep the streak going, but unlike me, Ron ran with a broken sternum following a car accident and ran for six weeks in a plaster cast after an operation on his foot. His streak started in December of 1964 and ended last month.
            Ron who is 78 years old said he decided to stop after experiencing chest pains during a run. He said he thought, "In respect for my wife, my two sons, and my friends, I need to stop this."

       I ran across an article on the website titled "The 50 Most Gorgeous Running Races in America, State by State." Not wanting to read all 50, I scrolled down to South Carolina to see what they chose as the most beautiful race in our fair state.  
      The answer as you might have guessed is the Cooper River Bridge Run. Here's how describes it:
      "Runners in this April 10K get the chance to cross one of the country's most iconic bridges with 33,000 other pedestrians and no cars. As if that experience wasn't cool enough, the race finishes in picturesque downtown Charleston, with a finish festival full of local music, food, and vendors. "
       I've never run this race because I have never wanted to battle the crowds. I love Charleston and try to get down there occasionally, but the crowds are bad enough on any given weekend without an additional 30 to 40,000 people there.

      I am very skeptical of almost any nutritional information I read anymore, because there is so much contradictory info out there. So I pass this along with caution. It comes from "Prevention" magazine.
      Lard is now good for you. That's right. Lard, like your grandmother or great-grandmother used to keep on the stove to cook with is now considered a health food. Lard is pig's fat. My grandmother used to save it after cooking bacon or any pork and pour it into a tin can she kept on her stove. Then she would use it for cooking. She lived to be 96, so maybe there's something to this.
      Anyway, lard is 50 percent good fat and it has less saturated fat - the bad stuff - than butter. In addition, it's a good source of vitamin D, and it supposedly tastes good. The article recommended spreading it on toast instead of butter.
      Ok, I've relayed the information. Do with it as you please, but honestly, I think olive oil is still a better option.

        And while we're on the subject of nutritional oddities, did you know that pansies are edible and quite the rage in some culinary circles? Yep, pansies.
        Because they are so colorful, chefs are using them to dress up salads, hors d'oeuvres trays, and desserts. They have a minty flavor and are a natural complement to cheeses. They should be washed before use like any salad green, but that's about all the preparation needed.
      Now where else are you gonna get this kind of helpful information in one newsletter? Lard and pansies. Who knew?
         A question I get asked frequently is: Which is better, weight machines or free weights. It's a good question, but unfortunately there is no correct answer. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. One will not build your muscles any faster than the other.
         Your muscles don't know anything but resistance. They don't respond any better to a machine's weight stack than they do to free weights or your body weight or a sack of concrete for that matter. Resistance is resistance to them. With that in mind, let's discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of weight machines and free weights.
          The biggest advantage of weight machines is their relative safety. You don't need spotters, because if you drop a weight, it won't come crashing down on top of you. Most machines help you to position yourself correctly, but some instruction is still a good thing. I actually see more machines being used incorrectly than I do free weights. I believe this is because novices are less likely to attempt lifting free weights. Another advantage of weight machines is they require very little set up time, so you can get in a quicker workout. This is primarily true for weight machines that use weight stacks, as opposed to those that use weight plates which must be loaded onto the machine.
       There are disadvantages, however. Weight machines eliminate balance from the equation. Do a chest press on a machine and then do a bench press with free weights and you'll see what I mean. It is also easier for your dominant side to over compensate for your weaker side on the machines, something far less likely to happen with free weights, especially dumbbells. Free weights also engage more muscles, especially the smaller stabilizing muscles, than do machines. But the biggest disadvantage of machines is their lack of versatility. There may be 3 or 4 machines to work a particular body part in your club, but with free weights, the possibilities for working that body part are endless.
        I suggest you avail yourself of both machines and free weights if you have access to both. If you're stuck with only free weights, take heart, because there is virtually no end to the variety of exercises you can do with them.
          I just found out there's another diabolic "ism" in our society, and I am a victim of it. It's ageism. You think I'm kidding? I'm not.
      Ageism is defined as "the process of systematic stereotyping and discrimination against people because they are old." The term was first coined by Robert Butler, MD, psychologist and gerontologist. According to the good doctor, ageism can be personal (our individual biases) or institutional (driven by custom, culture, and economic forces). What's more, bias does not have to be intentional to be damaging. Unintentional biases also take their toll on older people.
        So how does ageism manifest itself? Oh, it can be subtle. Addressing an older woman as "young lady" may perpetuate the idea that old is bad. What about the "senior" discount? Well that promotes the belief that older adults are financially impoverished and need assistance.
      If you're an ageist, you better watch out. The politically correct, thought control police will soon be coming after you, and God help you, if we hear you say the "o" word. But, hey, I'll still take my senior discount, thank you.

      An article on the American Council on Exercise (ACE) website is called "Six Exercises for the Triceps." It got me thinking. Can I name six different exercises for each of the ten major muscle groups - the abs, obliques, lower back, quads, hamstrings, lats, pecs, biceps, triceps, and deltoids? Let's give it a try.
      First the abdominals: Crunches, bicycles, leg lifts, planks, reverse crunches, and abdominal machine crunches.
       Second, the obliques, or side muscles: Sidebends, seated rotations with a medicine ball or dumbbell, cable rotations, woodchops, oblique crunches, side planks.
     Third, the erector spinae, or lower back muscles: Back extensions on the bench, back extensions on the machine, back extensions using an exercise ball, back extensions on the floor, superman, hip raises.
      Fourth, quadriceps, or front thigh muscles: Leg extensions on a machine, squats, lunges, dead lifts, leg press machine, Romanian split squats.
     Fifth, hamstrings, or rear thigh muscles: Leg curls on machine (sitting), leg curls on machine (lying down), hip raises, exercise ball rolls, deadlifts, squats.
    Sixth, latissimus dorsi, or upper back muscles: Lat pulldowns, seated rows, pullovers with dumbbells, pull-ups or chin-ups, bent over rows with dumbbell, shoulder press with dumbbells.
     Seventh, pectorals, or chest muscles: Bench press with barbell or dumbbells, pushups, chest press on machine, incline press, decline press, dumbbell flys.
      Eighth, biceps, or front of the upper arms: Dumbbell curls, barbell curls, preacher bench curls with dumbbells or barbells, concentration curls, cable curls, seated rows.
     Ninth, triceps, or back of the upper arms: Triceps pushdowns on cable machine, dips, pushups, triceps extensions with dumbbell, French curls with dumbbell, skull crushers with dumbbell or barbell.
     And finally, tenth, deltoids, or shoulders: Lateral raises with dumbbells, rear delts reverse flys on machine, shoulder press with dumbbells or machine, front raises with dumbbells, upright rows with cable or dumbbell.
     There you go. There are many more variations of all these exercise, but this list will give you enough options that you could do a different workout every day for a year and not exhaust all the possibilities.
     To conclude this month's newsletter, here are four old wives' tales concerning health. Which ones do you think are true?
  1. Feed a cold, starve a fever.
  2. Knuckle cracking causes arthritis.
  3. Gum stays in your stomach for seven years.
  4. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
     You're right. None of them is true. To fight a fever, your body needs energy which comes from food. Knuckle cracking has no ill effects. Gum passes through your system like any other food, and although apples are good for you, many other fruits are better, and none of them are guaranteed to keep you from needing a doctor.
Graham Fitness
Tim Graham
ACE Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Phone: 803-447-8557
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