Hey folks....over the past 4 years here on BB, i've seen lots of gallery shots, profile shots, progress photos and thumnail photo. IMO, many, many of them are really awesome and are a tribute to how well people do on this site to improve their bodies. But here's the thing - when taking photos, try a few of these tips to improve their resolution so that others can appreciate your progress and achievements: 1. It's best to have someone else take your photo. The resolution and focus is ALWAYS ten times better. 2. Mirror shots are almost always OUT OF FOCUS because the camera focuses on the hard glass for focal range, not the image of you in it. 3. Bathroom shots are "tacky". If you must, at least clean off the counter and close the lid on the toilet. 4. Flip your "sideways" photos....we can't "stand on our sides" to see your photos. 5. To get a good self-portrait from you cellphone, you have to almost put yourself in a 'half nelson' position. This not only "hides' what you are trying to photograph, but sacrifices a good shot. See #1 above. 6. If you have one, use a digital camera instead of your cellphone. They work better. 7. If you must use a mirror (ugh!) to take your photo, don't use a flash - it will wash out the entire shot. Some simple tips....give 'em a try. Good luck all...keep up the great work.
In addition to "pressing iron", I'm really a frustrated gymnist (check my photo gallery). Back in College days...and I do mean "back" then....I was on the Team and it was alot of fun. So, I still can't resist the "rings" and the challenge they have to offer at my gym. After entering the Crossfit scene about a year ago, I resumed my "Rings" training and lately, have been working on the "Muscle Up" using them. It's a heavy workout on the upper body, as well as the Torso. What's great is that you also can get the 'dips' and then you can swing into other maneuvers from there, too if you'd like. It's hard work. But, the variations are awesome. My fellow 'Crossfitters' support me and cheer me on, but everyone else at the gym thinks I'm a "nutcase" when they walk by and watch. Me....I'm just having fun.
Lots of my Bspace friends here have asked me "what's next"? Many have encouraged the stage comp circuit, Crossfit Competitions, photo posing, personal training certifications for both ONLINE and local fitness center solicitations, and the like. Although they're all very flattering recommendations and thoughts....you know, I just like being my own self and sculpting my own body so that I may live and feel the best I can. It helps me face the day....live the day....and, yea, perhaps help others the same way along the way. That to me, is where I enjoy being.
We're often our own worst critics, actually. And that's OK...too...I understand that....but it all comes down to making realisitic goals in this bodybuilding sport.....knowing your body....communicating with it....being patient....and then watching it shape and mold. And, by the way, that's not easy and I certainly haven't mastered it, either. At the end of the day, however, if the tightness, soreness and improving strength of my muscles communicates with my mind correctly.....I am happy with where I am, where I've been, and where I am headed in this quest. Not to the point of being complacent and status quo oriented, mind you, but being happy enough to get up tomorrow morning and face the "iron" once again....knowing that I've have made a difference to myself and perhaps someone else yesterday...and maybe, just maybe, I can do it again.......today.
Kinda surprised myself, actually. Flat bench press, 10 reps, pair of 90's. Last two were a struggle. Know what the toughest part was, though? Puttin' the freakin things back on the rack! HS!
Well....18 months into this BB scene....now I have taken the next step - - Cross Fit. See http://www.crossfit.com/ The two trainers at my gym have just recently become certified (two of very few here in this state) and have launched a program within our membership to promote it, and, hopefully "take it on the road" in competition one day. Guess who they chose as their "guinea pig" to be in all their classes and promotion posters. Yup...here I am and here I go. After 18 months of pure strength training I thought it would be a "cake walk"....man was I mistaken. I've never worked so hard at fitness training in all my life. And this is supplemental to my normal weight lifting! My trainers are "beatin me up" at this. But, it's amazing what it does for endurance. This is insane.....this is addicting.....this is raw core power.
….since the journey started. Some of my reflections of hittin' the gym six days a week over the last 52 weeks…pretty much in chrono order.
1. Day one….trainer says “154 lbs!!!….boy, I’m gonna have some fun with you”
2. Hey, what’s Creatine, anyhow, let alone CEE??
3. Why is harder to put those 45 lber DB’s back on the rack after working ‘em than it was to take them off?
4. Traps…are those something you catch “critters” in??
5. Fellow “gym rat” said…”..man, look at those “chicken legs”
6. Why is harder to put those 55 lbers DB’s back on the rack after working ‘em than it was to take them off?
7. I’m supposed to be gaining weight, not losing it!!...WTF.
8. Stop spittin’ on my mirrors!!!
9. Ectomorph…mesomorph….endomorph….what am I a “caveman”???
10. Grunting costs 25 cents in the donation box please.
11. Stop throwin’ those dumbbells down!!
12. Hey bro, can you “spot me”?…Then I say…”ah….um….that’s 250 lbs what am I supposed to do?”
13. Bring on the RED MEAT…TUNA….CHICKEN….PROTEIN SHAKES….EXTREME MILK CHOCOLATE…..NO LIVER PLEASE. Everything else I’ll eat…unless it’s nailed down or still crawlin’ (tribute to my “southern” bodyspace friends).
14. Who put that sh - - station on the sound system??
15. Why is harder to put those 65 lbers DB’s back on the rack after working ‘em than it was to take them off?
16. Whatya mean the bank didn’t send my monthly payment this month?
17. Hey bro….you look like you work here, where the hell’s the front desk staff??
18. Dear members…due to cut backs, the front desk will no longer be ‘staffed’ from 5 AM to 8:30. Ok…just give me a key, I’ll let myself in. Awesome…I can pick my own station to listen to!!
19. Why is harder to put those 75 lbers DB’s back on the rack after working ‘em than it was to take them off?
20. Whatya mean the Jazzercise ladies are takin’ the place over in the evening?? I have to “dodge all 30 of them” to get into the weight room. This can’t turn out right…or just maybe it can??
21. Hey Geoff, we have some new members, would you show them around and keep an eye on them if they come in to work out in the early AM? Yea…if the “Good Samaritan rule applies….and….hmmm….discount membership??
22. First one shows up….I tell him….”boy, I’m gonna have some fun with you”.
23. 164 lbs…..ahhhhhh....feels good.
24. Hmmmmm….now what?
3/11/07 and 3/11/08/ban_dit/2008/03/11/it-was-one-year-agotoday/frontalmaruch2007jpg/
Don't get me wrong....I'm all for 'em! BUTTT.....here they come. As a 6:30 AM workout kinda guy, I'm used to almost the whole place myself everyday. I know....I know....I'm spoiled. Three big rooms of all the "toys" I want. Heck...I'm even the nice guy that puts them all back when I'm finished playin' with 'em (Don't you just hate that when others just leave them out for you to contend with!) However, you have to pass through the main "big floor" room to get to the other "caves" of the gym where all the "big boy toys" are. Between 4 and 6 PM every day....JAZZERCISE invades and occupies that room. If there are days I can't make the 6:30AM due to weather (God I hate this unending snow!) or work, I really have to go in late afternoon. The down side to that is that trying to "dodge" my way across that JAZZERCISE floor room is a real hazard, I tell ya! Twenty or so ladies, each lookin' for the chance to kick me in the butt and blame it on the dance step. And I swear they are watchin' for me. I've already had a couple of direct hits and several "near misses". A man could get hurt don't you know!!
Or perhaps even a variation of types. Does it really matter what type you are? In the grand scheme of things...of course not….but it does help to know ahead of time when goal setting, planning nutrition direction and maximizing muscle building. Let’s face it, genetics DO play a role in our ability to lose weight, gain weight and when it comes to building and showing muscles. By the age of twenty one or so, you’ve been delt your “genetic cards”. So don’t become easily frustrated in this Bodybuilding initiative if you have a hard time achieving your goals….instead, do a little research - it may help you. I can’t even count the amount of bodyspace visits and Private Messages I’ve had from both male and female who each believe they just can’t seem to make any noticeable progress no matter what they do. Now, keep in mind that I'm not saying that it's ALL genetics...nor am I even going to guess on a percentage of how much I think it plays. But I can tell you that the training program of an Ectomorph shouldn’t be the same as an Endomorph…for example. The end result will hopefully be the same, mind you…but it’s the “how do I get there” that will be different....and perhaps 'how long it takes', too.Right here on BB.COM, do a search for each of the three types. You’ll find great articles written around each specific body type to help steer you in the right direction to maximize your bodybuilding….from each profile's nutrition to workout routines. There’s even a fun online “test” you can take which will help you identify which one you have a tendency to project. It’s right here: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/becker3.htm
Famous Ectomorphs: Lisa Kudrow, Kate Moss, Edward Norton, Brad Pitt
Famous Mesomorphs: Bruce Willis, Demi Moore and Sylvester Stallone
Famous Endomorphs: Oprah Winfrey, John Goodman and Kate Winslet
Me (not famous...perhaps infamous..LOL!), I’m an Ecto-Mesomorph (a "combo". I can sculpt and build muscle easily, can get long lasting "pumps", but I have a small bone frame, very high metabolism (can’t do a lot of cardio while bodybuilding - - I burn everything off), can’t pack on a lot of mass weight, am on a high protein/100% whey diet. In other words, my body tells me it wants to be a “lean, mean, fightin’ machine”. So that’s what I'm gonna be - - that's how I orient my goals - - that’s how I train - - - and most important of all….I’m happy. Good luck folks!!!Geoff
Pulled a lower left "Lat" fan muscle this morning. Dead Lifts - - third set. Form was fine. Hadn't done "deads" for a while, though. Had to stop my workout (was half way thru). You'd be surprised what "else" you can't do with a lower back "pull"! Here's an interesting one - - I'm a Vocalist on weekends and sing in a couple music groups, so I work the ABS and diaphram alot on those "high notes". Whoo boy....tried a "high C" and never knew the Lats were involved in that maneuver too!! Mama Mia!!! Anyways...time, rest, and Motrin will heal...not looking for sympathy, but I could use a lower back rub ...can't reach back there! Have two "gigs" this weekend. :eek:
In my last BLOG, I explained how I had the pleasure of having my son (A Personal Trainer from out of state) come up for a weekend visit. Of course he brought his gym clothes for the sole purpose of “bettin’ me up”…which he did. I got him on my "ABS” though!!
What he taught me was the key to “Big Arms”. The answer: Triceps. Biceps are fun and easy to workout. “Curls for the girls” we say. Well, remember the TRI in triceps stands for "three muscles", when the BI in Bicep stands for two. If you put more effort into those Tri's, you'll build those three muscles and expand those “guns” in no time. That’s what I’m gonna do since I’ve been stuck at 15” for too long!! Here’s a “beer winner” trivia question for you: The Triceps make up two thirds of your arms' size.
Anatomy Lesson (Easy):
The Tricep Brachii (as it’s called) has three heads as you can see in the diagram. Each head originates at a different location, but all end up attaching to a tendon down at the “Ulna zone” at the upper forearm/elbow area. ….the Lateral head runs from your upper arm bone (humerus) and runs down the outside of the upper arm…”horseshoe” style head… the Medial (runs down the back of the upper arm)….and Long head originates up by your shoulder blade and runs down the inside of the arm. When people see “big triceps” on you, they usually are seeing the Lateral head since it’s facing them. The primary purpose of the Tricep group is to extend the elbow (straighten your arm). The secondary purpose is to move the arm in toward your body (accomplished by just one head, the Long head). Now, with all this in mind, a workout routine which maximizes the resistance when straightening your arm….will work the Lateral and Medial heads….and any that comes across your body will work the Long head. The best exercises are: Bench dips, close grip bench press, overhead barbell presses, across the body DB curls and “skull crushers” (lying tricep extentions) Here’s a link here at BB.COM which explains and shows these quite nicely. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/triceps.htm.Also, if you have a Cable machine (Cybex or equiv), or a Lat Pull down machine. Stand in front of it and do “close grip pulldowns” with a grip of your choice, keeping your body fully erect. Remember, it makes sense. If two thirds of your upper arm is the Tricep....then building it will expand those arms quicker since there's more "real estate" at issue!Having said all this. I’m ready to get my 16” arms by the end of the year. No more concentrating exclusively on “Curls for the girls” all the time, or Bicep 21’s. I’m graduating to the Tricep world. I’m gonna “rip my T-shirt sleeves”. Wanna join me?
And oh yea....thanks Jonathan...I love ya, son.
My 21 yr old son lives out of state and is a Personal Trainer there. Well, he and his wife are up visiting for the weekend. He brought his gym clothes, so I knew I was in trouble. Sure enough, off to my gym we go this morning and he "beat me up". Then he felt bad afterwards, so he treated me to one of those "Massage chairs" you see in the Mall. Oh yeah. Not as good as my masseuse, but my back felt sooooo nice. A great day it has been. He showed me a "ton" of new routines. I'm ready to try 'em out on my own and to show my lifiting partners next week!!! Have a great one everybody!!
Had two of my lifting buds get a bit "overzealous" yesterday just before I arrived at the gym. The "bands" in our gym are all kept, looped, and fastened on the back of our Hammer Strength incline chest machine, so people can use the machine as a counter weight as they pull and stretch the "bands". Well, someone put all the heavy 45 lbs plates on the "top holders" on the machine the night before by mistake and my two buds decided to do "band pulls" together.....which they shouldn't have done in the first place.....well...um...yup...the machine was "top heavy" and it came tumbling over on them as they simultaneously pulled on the bands. They were able to prevent it from crashing onto the floor (with them under it), but not before a few scrapes and scratches took its toll on each. They're OK....thanks to our "screamin" gals lifting friends who warned them that the 'leanin tower of piza' was comin down!! Ohhhh...boy. A close call it was. Needless to say, new procedures are now in place.....and no "doubles" on the bands!!
Reading "Just Dave"'s recent blog of Sep 21 motivated me to supplement it with my experiences. First of all, our gym is not a "lion's den". We are blessed with having all the "toys" and, being a medical rehab fitness facility primarily, we are sparsely attended and everyone is friendly and helpful. However....the regulars...you know, the same 5 or 6 that are there the same time every day (yea, I'm one of the band members), have the urge to get a little creative and impose some "turf flexing" because we think we "own the place" now (hey, I regularly pay my $35 a month!!). And, by the way, this is not a MAN THING. Two of the six are ladies. So we have a rule - - Any gruntin or spittin' on the mirrors results in a 25 cent fine in the "grunt jar". Same goes for throwin' dumbells on the floor.
It's funny...I've seen the biggest muscle people never make a sound, then the "casual once or twice a week guys" come in and you think they're hollering a goblin's "death cry" - grit their teeth and exhale a water spray on the mirrors. Never mind, we make lots of $$ off them. Sometimes they get pissed and we don't see them again (can't take any amusement flack!). Hey....it's the rule If you can't take the "heat, then onto another kitchen." LOL- you gotta have some fun in this journey.
Oh, we haven't figured out what to do with the "piggy bank" yet. Maybe we'll buy the owner a couple of cases of Windex??? After all, the mirrors....... are "sacred" territory.
Had my annual physical last week. Since I took up bodybuilding just late last winter, the Doc, of course had no history that I had jumped into it "big time". Since I had read on this site and elsewhere that Bodybuilders can "throw askew" blood work and Body Mass indexes, I had a chat with my Doc about that. Of course when he initially looked at my height/weight stats from the Nurse, the first thing he did was to pull out the BMI graph. I said....hold on....that doesn't take muscle mass into consideration. Oh, he says, you're right. I encouraged him to view Body Fat as a better measuring tool for me. "Oh, good idea - let's see 6.5%...you have no worries in that department". Duhhh. Then came time to order routine blood work. Again, I cautioned him that I was taking creatine and high protein supplements. "Well, OK, let's see how it comes out". Sure nuff....three days later the letter arrives at the house with a breakdown of the all the blood work. All looked great, however, the Creatitine Kidney levels (waste creatine levels) reading was at the "top edge of the normal scale" - - which is what I was wondering if it were going to happen. Doc says to make sure I HEAVILY hydrate during the day if I was going to continue to do that. We've all been told to drink plenty of water to help our muscles mend, but this is another reason to do so. Also, he says I should alternate months and NOT stay on creatine mono supplements permanently. He was't too familiar with Creatine EE (like what Animal Pump has - which is the only creatine I take), so he couldn't medically comment on that. So there's some info for everyone to consider.