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As I have previously mentioned in other articles, I structure my monthly workouts into four separate approaches to weight training across four separate weeks in the month. This weekly altering of training is based on my own theory of dividing four different methods of training into four separate weeks: 30s Week, Superset Week, Drop Set Week, and Heavy Week. This article focuses on Heavy Week, and provides a weekly workout concentrated on the power movements involved with the type of exertion that is necessary to build dense muscle tissue and strong tendons and ligaments.

The moving through space of the heavy resistance of free weights builds dense, large muscles that grow to withstand a larger amount of stress that in turn strengthens bones, tendons, and ligaments. The more physical stress that one is subjected to, the more the body adapts to adjust to that stress by tearing and repairing the muscle fibers and sinews being used, as well as increasing the density of the skeletal frame beneath the muscles.

When I first ventured into the gym, training heavy was a daily occurrence. We rarely focused on lighter, isolated movements, but rather on heavy, compound movements, exercises that combine multiple muscle groups at once. There was nothing like the feeling of strength and conquest over moving such weight through space. It was both a mental and physical challenge that was an exhilarating outlet, and one that could be constantly improved upon. I had already built a strong physical foundation for my muscles, tendons, and ligaments at a young age with calisthenic movements such as pull-ups, chin-ups, sprints, and dips. My body was ready for compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, military press, cleans, and bench press. Having my foundation, my body thrived with the power movements. I still greatly enjoy my Heavy Weeks, but provide balance for my body with lighter, more isolated weeks as well. It maintains my strength and keeps my tendons and ligaments free from injury and prepared for longevity.

Below is a brief description of Heavy Week along with an itemized workout. Enjoy the results!

HEAVY WEEK is the week that I’ll incorporate power movements such as deadlifts, squats, bench press, military press, cleans, and other similar movements. I keep to a weight that I can handle for 6-8 repetitions. They’re basic movements, but highly effective.

FORM is an absolute must for preventing injury. A spotter is recommended. (A spotter is someone who will make sure that your form is correct and that you are not compromised in any way beneath the heavy weight.) More rest in between sets is appropriate for Heavy Week. I’ll usually do 4-5 exercises per body part on a given day, multiplied by 2 sets.

HEAVY WEEK

Leg Day A

Barbell Squat – 2 sets x 6 reps

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Front Squat – 2 sets x 6 reps

Leg Press – 2 sets x 6 reps

Alternating Dumbbell Lunge – 2 sets x 6 reps

Stiff-leg Deadlift – 2 sets x 6 reps

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Donkey-calf Raise – 2 sets x 6 reps

Leg Day B

Dumbbell Squat – 2 sets x 6 reps

Leg Press – 2 sets x 6 reps

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Leg Extension – 2 sets x 6 reps

Lying Leg Curl – 2 sets x 6 reps

Barbell Lunge – 2 sets x 6 reps

Standing Calf Raise – 2 sets x 6 reps

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The post Heavy Week Total Body Workout appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.

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By: John M. DiFazio II
Title: Heavy Week Total Body Workout
Sourced From: www.fitnessrxformen.com/training/heavy-week-total-body-workout/
Published Date: Fri, 06 Oct 2023 14:03:02 +0000

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Divorce is Not the Answer: Why More Couples Over 50 Are Divorcing and How to Save Your Midlife Marriage

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Captura de pantalla 2024 06 08 a las 19.50.00 1
Photo by: Kelly Sikkema | Unsplash.com

            I have been a marriage and family therapist for more than fifty years. One of the greatest tragedies I am seeing today is the rise of midlife divorce with women initiating nearly 80% of the divorces.[i] Divorce can be devastating for both men and women, but contrary to popular perception, men suffer greater emotional wounding. I believe strongly that divorce is not the answer and most midlife marriages can be saved.

The National Center for Family & Marriage Research (NCFMR), Co-directed by researchers Susan L. Brown and Wendy D. Manning, was established in 2007 to help improve our understanding of how family structure is linked to the health and well-being of children, adults, families, and communities. Dr. Brown’s recent article, “The Graying of Divorce: A Half Century of Change,” offers the following facts.

  • People over 50 are divorcing in record-breaking numbers, and three to four-family generations feel the effects.
  • Between 1990 and 2010, the divorce rate for U.S. married couples over 50 doubled and was even higher for couples aged 65 and older.
  • One in four persons who divorce in the U.S. is over 50, contrasted to less than one in ten in 1990.
  • More than half of gray divorces are couples in their first marriages, including more than 55 percent for couples married more than 20 years.
  • Divorce can be financially depleting. Women 50 and older experience a 45% decline in their standard of living; for men it’s 21%.
  • Baby Boomers are particularly vulnerable since they have a high rate of divorce and many went on to remarry. Second and third marriages have an even higher rate of divorce than first marriages (I know. Both my wife and I had been married and divorced twice, before we married. Third time was the charm).
  • As the divorce rate for adults over 50 soars, so does the number of adult children experiencing parental divorce.
  • In their book Second Chances, Wallerstein and Blakeslee assert, “Divorce is deceptive. Legally it is a single event, but psychologically it is a chain — sometimes a never-ending chain — of events, relocations, and radically shifting relationships strung through time, a process that forever changes the lives of the people involved.”

            The causes for divorce are varied. Each one is a personal tragedy for the people involved, but also for their children (including their adult children) and can ripple through many generations. No one says to their partner,

“I’m happily married. I love us and the partnership we’ve created. I want a divorce.”

I suffered as a child when my own parents divorced following my mid-life father’s increasing irritability, anger, depression, and despair when I was five years old. I grew up vowing that it wouldn’t happen to me, but it did. Being a marriage and family counselor did not prevent me from having my own struggles that eventually led to divorce.

Fortunately, I got help, learned why marriages succeed and fail, and what I could to ensure success. It hasn’t always been easy, but my wife, Carlin, and I have been happily married for forty-four years now. I have detailed what we learned and what can be most helpful to you in my book, The Enlightened Marriage: The 5 Transformative Stage of Relationships and Why the Best is Still to Come. I have also developed an online course, “Navigating the 5 Stages of Love,” that draws on the main issues I share with my private counseling clients.

We all want real, lasting love, whether we are in our 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, or beyond. Yet too many relationships fall apart, just when the couple could be enjoying their marriage the most. Most people don’t know why. They become disillusioned, frustrated, and lost. They have fallen out of love and mistakenly believe that they have chosen the wrong partner. After going through the grieving process, they start looking again; but often, their efforts end up in disappointment.

The 5 Secrets For Finding Keeping Your Marriage Alive and Well

Have you ever wondered why finding the right partner and having a marriage that last through time and is passionate, nurturing, loving, and joyful has been so difficult?

Are you in a relationship that started off great, but seems to have lost something vital?

Are you in a mid-life relationship that could use some help? (My colleague, Chip Conley, author of Learning to Love Midlife: 12 Reasons Why Live Gets Better with Age, says with our increasing longevity midlife extends from age 35 to 75).

Here are five secrets for a healthy marriage that lasts and gets better through time.

Secret #1: There are 5 Stages of Love Not Just Two.

Many of us have come to believe that finding the right person (Stage 1) is the most important stage (Hence all the programs and dating sites that promise to help you find your soul mate). Once you’ve found that special someone, Stage 2 begins and you build a life together. We are told we are then entitled to live happily ever after. But that is not the case for most of us. Here are the 5 Stages I describe in my book, The Enlightened Marriage.

  • Stage 1: Falling In Love
  • Stage 2: Becoming a Couple
  • Stage 3: Disillusionment
  • Stage 4: Creating Real, Lasting Love
  • Stage 5: Using the Power of Two to Change the World

            Most marriages that fail do so when one, or both partners, become disillusioned.

“Is this all there is? I need more. I’m tired working to make things better and I don’t want to remain in a hollow marriage.”

But disillusionment is not only a feeling, but an actual stage of marriage that can be understood and successfully navigated.

Secret #2: Stage 3, Disillusionment, is Not the Beginning of the End But the Entre to Real Lasting Love.

If we believe there are only two stages for having the relationship we’ve always wanted when things start to go south we ignore the signs or wear ourselves out trying to fix things. When things don’t get fixed we often blame ourselves or our partner and feel we must get out of the relationship because it seems that no matter what we do, things don’t get better.

            There is an old saying that can help us at this point,

“When you’re going through hell, don’t stop.”

Most people either remain stuck in their pain or wear down and want to bail out. What is called for here is support and guidance to keep going deeper. One of the most important things I teach people when they come to me for counseling is how to understand the value of Stage 3.

Secret #3: Stage 3 Teaches Us to Get Real.

Falling in love is by necessity deceptive. We so want to find that right person, we all project our unmet needs and desires on them. We don’t see the real person, we see what we want and hope to see. We don’t fully share our real selves. We share the parts of ourselves we think will be most attractive to a potential partner.

As we get older and we spend more time in our marriages, we often become more and more afraid to reveal our true selves, speak about our real needs and desires. Men often ignore the warning signs or see the signs but never really know what to do to fix things. Little by little the disillusionment builds up and often leads to divorce if a couple doesn’t get help.

In Stage 3 we learn to recognize our projections and take the risk to slowly reveal who we really are and accept the gift of who our partner really is. We also recognize that there are unhealed wounds from our past relationships, most importantly from our first relationships—the ones we had growing up in our first family with our parents. We must get real with our past in order to have the future we all want.

            The famous psychiatrist Carl Jung said,

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”

This is never an easy task. Stage 3, if we can get help navigating it successfully, can help us release the illusions that keep us from our true selves.

Secret #4: We All Have Faulty Love Maps That Must Be Corrected.

Most of us grew up in families where we got a distorted map of what real lasting love was all about. There were beliefs about ourselves and others that were implanted in our brains and became mostly unconscious. We were implanted with internalized messages that told us things like:

  • I am not safe.
  • I am worthless.
  • I am powerless.
  • I am not lovable.
  • I cannot trust anyone.
  • I am bad.
  • I am on my own.

Or we see our partner through the lens of these unhelpful belief systems.

Do you recognize some of these beliefs in your own marriage?

Secret #5: Real Lasting Love Requires Three Necessary Ingredients.

Most of us have no idea how to nourish a healthy relationship through all the challenges we face as we age. It’s as though we are given a beautiful and rare flower, but we mistakenly give it too much water or not enough. I thought all I needed to do when I got married was to be a good provider and refrain from being mean and nasty (Oh, and remember to shower regularly). But it took me a long time to learn the simple, yet necessary ingredients for real lasting love to flourish.

Psychologist, Dr. Sue Johnson, offers guidance in her book, Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love. She helps us remember these three ingredients with one simple word: ARE.

  • A is for Accessibility: Can we reach each other? This means staying open to your partner even when you are tired, hurt, or insecure. Answering “yes” to questions like: Can I get my partner’s attention easily? Is my partner easy to connect with emotionally?
  • R is for Responsiveness: Can we rely on each other to respond to our emotional needs?  Answering “yes” to questions like: If I need connection and comfort, will you be there for me? Does my partner respond positively to my signals that I need them to come close?
  • E is for Engagement: Do we trust our partner to value us and stay close even when we are out of sync with each other? Answering “yes” to questions like, Do I feel very comfortable being close to and trusting my partner? If we are apart, can I trust that we are still connected and cared for?

Most of us didn’t learn how to give and receive real lasting love. We forget that like food, we need these three types of nourishment often, many times a day. A big splurge on anniversaries and special occasions never makes up for what we miss if we don’t get these regular gifts of love every day.

Divorce is not the answer because we know that these skills can be taught. I believe it is never too late to have a happy marriage. And most midlife marriages are worth saving.

I am planning to offer a course called “Divorce is Not the Answer: How to Save Your Midlife Marriages,” but I’d like to hear from you. If you would be interested in attending please drop me a note to Jed@MenAlive.com and let me know. Please put “Divorce is Not the Answer” in the subject line.


[i] Professor Scott Galloway, Divorce, https://www.profgalloway.com/divorce/

The post Divorce is Not the Answer: Why More Couples Over 50 Are Divorcing and How to Save Your Midlife Marriage appeared first on MenAlive.

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By: Jed Diamond
Title: Divorce is Not the Answer: Why More Couples Over 50 Are Divorcing and How to Save Your Midlife Marriage
Sourced From: menalive.com/divorce-is-not-the-answer/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=divorce-is-not-the-answer
Published Date: Sun, 09 Jun 2024 01:56:19 +0000

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How to Get a Full-Body Workout on a Cable Machine/Functional Trainer

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cable 11 1 1

Walk into any commercial gym, or even a hotel fitness center, and you’ll probably see a cable machine and/or a functional trainer.

A cable machine features two weight stacks connected by a cross-beam. The weights in each stack can be adjusted by the user and are lifted through a system of pulleys and cables that travel up and down a track.

A functional trainer sports a similar system, but is more compact in design, with the weight stacks sitting closer together. Most functional trainers also have a pull-up bar between the two weight stacks. 

Cable machines/functional trainers are pretty dang versatile. While a downside of weight-training machines is that they lock you into one position, a cable machine allows for movements that are more dynamic and exercise your balance and stability more than other machines. And with one machine, you can do multiple strength-training exercises and use movements that effectively isolate muscle groups and work them from a variety of angles. It’s possible to use cable machines/functional trainers to get an effective full-body workout.

This advantage is particularly beneficial when you’re traveling. Most hotel gyms are pretty basic: it’s typically a small, poorly lit room with limited equipment. But they do often offer a functional trainer, which means you can get in a good all-around strength training session while you’re on the road.

To learn a full-body cable workout that can be used either at regular or hotel gyms, I turned to Chris Contois, my physical therapist at Vitality Therapy and Performance here in Tulsa, OK. He’s also a competitive bodybuilder and has been doing some bodybuilding programming for me the past year.

Chris created a simple upper body/lower body split that can be done with a cable machine or a functional trainer. He noted that in the last two hotels he’s stayed in, the functional trainer had fixed handles; you couldn’t swap out attachments and put on a rope handle, for example. So he designed this functional trainer workout assuming you might only have fixed handles available.





Also, one of the downsides of functional trainers is that they’re not great for training legs. While you can do some leg exercises with a functional trainer, your options are limited. If you feel like you need a bit more lower body work, Chris recommends adding some plyos or some bodyweight movements, like air squats.

Upper Body/Lower Body Cable Workout

For a full-body workout, do all the exercises for both the upper and lower body, resting 90 seconds to two minutes in between each set.

Upper Body

  • Mid Back. Mid-Handle Position Single Arm Mid Row: 4 sets x 8-12 reps
  • Upper Chest. High-Handle Position Cable Crossovers: 4 x 10-15 
  • Lats. High-Handle Position Half Kneeling Underhand Pulldown: 4 x 10-15 (video shows an overhand grip, just switch to underhand)
  • Mid/Lower Chest. Mid-Handle Position Single Arm Chest Press: 4 x 8-12 
  • Shoulders. Low-Handle Position Cable Laterals: 4 x 10-15
  • Biceps. Low-Handle Position Single Arm Cable Curl: 4 x 10-15 
  • Triceps. Low-Handle Position Single Arm Behind Head Tricep Extension: 4 x 8-12 
  • Abs. Mid-Handle Position Rotational Chop: 4 x 10 

Lower Body 

  • Quads. Low-Handle Position Cable Goblet Squats: 4 sets x 10-15 reps
  • Glutes and Hamstrings. Low-Handle Position Cable Pull Throughs: 4 x 12-15 
  • Quads and Glutes. Low-Handle Position Split Stance Lunge: 4 x 8-10 
  • Hamstring and Low Back. Low-Handle Position Cable Romanian Deadlift: 4 x 8-10
  • Outer Leg. Low-Handle Position Hip Abduction: 3 x 10-12
  • Inner Leg. Low-Handle Position Hip Adduction: 3 x 10-12

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By: Brett & Kate McKay
Title: How to Get a Full-Body Workout on a Cable Machine/Functional Trainer
Sourced From: www.artofmanliness.com/health-fitness/fitness/full-body-cable-machine-functional-trainer-workouts/
Published Date: Tue, 04 Jun 2024 16:03:30 +0000

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Our 45-Year Men’s Group: Honoring Tony, A Man of Great Generosity and Patience

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Captura de pantalla 2024 05 30 a las 14.00.44 1
Photo by: Ellery Sterling / Unsplash.com

I am an only child by birth, but Tony became the brother I never had. It began the day I attended a workshop on April 21, 1979. I had recently moved to Mill Valley from Stockton California after my marriage had ended. I felt alone and hungry for connection. I saw a flyer tacked on a bulletin board that grabbed my attention:

“Men, come and share a day with other men and hear psychologist Herb Goldberg, author of The Hazards of Being Male. We will explore the complexities of men’s roles today.”

            Goldberg said,

“There is a lot of talk these days about male privilege. It’s true that males, as a group, occupy many positions of power in society, but the male has paid a heavy price for his masculine privilege and power. He is out of touch with his emotions and his body. He is playing by the rules of the male game plan and with lemming-like purpose he is destroying himself—emotionally, psychologically and physically.”

I could certainly relate to his words and I was looking for a different way to be in the world.

The day with Goldberg and what followed changed my life. The day wasn’t about gender politics or trying to figure out who was more harmed by the social system. It was about taking responsibility for our own wounds and supporting each other in healing. One of the exercises we did, was to have each man reflect on the times we had felt dropped-out or betrayed by other males in our lives.

I talked about my father’s anger and his leaving the family when I was five years old, something I had rarely discussed with anyone, and certainly not in front of a group of strangers. As other men talked about their own experiences, I realized I wasn’t alone. Many men had experienced a father wound. But there were other hurts and betrayals.

One man talked about being the youngest in his family and having two older brothers who tormented him. Another talked about his hunger to have a child. He was willing to give up a relationship that was good in all other ways, except the woman didn’t want children. I’d never heard a man talk so fervently about wanting to be a dad.

Tony was one of the fifteen men attending the gathering. He was tall, good-looking, soft-spoken, but very approachable.

After the day had ended, we all had opened ourselves up to vulnerabilities and wounds we had never shared before. I felt I had found soul brothers and wanted to continue the experience. Tom, one of the organizers, invited anyone interested to meet the following Thursday at his home. Ten of us showed up and we discussed the idea of meeting weekly for a men’s group. I was pleased to see that one of the men who came was Tony. After a few weeks, the group was reduced to seven and we have continued meeting since then.

My wife, Carlin, says that one of the main reasons she feels we have had a wonderful forty-four-year marriage is because I have been in a men’s group that has been meeting for forty-five years.

In my book12 Rules for Good Men I reflected on the many experiences we went through together in the group and described the following 7 Stages:

  • Learning to Trust and Open Up.
  • Revealing Our True Selves, Fears, and Insecurities.
  • Baring our Bodies and Souls.
  • Finding Delight and Having Great Fun Together.
  • Revitalizing the Group (After we had been together twelve years, one of the guys said we seemed like an old and comfortable married couple. We needed to spice things up, and we did).
  • Making a Lifetime Commitment to Keeping the Group Together.
  • Dealing With Disabilities, Loss, and Dying.

When the group began in 1979, I was thirty-six. There were three guys older than me and three guys younger. I turned eighty last year and am now the group elder. Four of us have passed on and three of us are still alive. Tony passed on May 26, 2024 and we are still in the process of mourning his death and celebrating the gifts that he has left us.

There are two qualities that stand out to me about Tony. The first quality is his patience. In a world where everyone seems to be in a rush, Tony always took his time. He listened and reflected deeply. When he did talk, it was always with gentleness, clarity, and an ability to cut through the chatter and noise and get to the heart of the matter.

In recent years he had to deal with many health challenges and would say that it was like an endless “whack-a-mole,” dealing with one problem, only to have another one pop up and demand his attention. But he handled each one with grace and courage.

The second quality is his generosity. We would take turns meeting in different places, sometimes in one of our homes, sometimes in another. Sometimes we would rent a house in a beautiful area, often by the ocean. Whenever we met, when it was Tony’s turn to host he would go out of his way to make the experience special. Spending time with Tony was always a cornucopia good food, good wine, good cheer, and always a surprise or two.

His generosity of spirit went beyond the things that a great host, friend, and brother would do. He was like a virtuoso musician (He loved music and had been a roadie for the Sons of Champlin rock band in the 1960s and 1970s) who paid attention to details. And the details all had to do with the music of love and life.

One of the experiences that Tony and I had together was attending one of the last performances that the band the Eagles gave at the Cow Palace in San Francisco on March 10, 1980. I had seen the Eagles perform shortly after the band formed in the 1970s and danced and sang to iconic songs like Peaceful Easy Feeling, Tequila Sunrise, and Desperado (for me the ultimate song that spoke to my wounded heart—as it has to so many males I know–with lyrics

like these:

Desperado, you know you ain’t gettin’ no younger
Your pain and your hunger, are drivin’ you home
And freedom, oh freedom
Well, that’s just some people talkin’
Your prison is walking
Through this world all alone…

And don’t your feet get cold in the wintertime?
The sky won’t snow, and the sun won’t shine
It’s hard to tell the night-time from the day
You’re losin’ all your highs and lows
Ain’t it funny how the feelin’ goes away?

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?
Come down from your fences, open the gate
It may be rainin’, but there’s a rainbow above you…

And the last plaintive lines:

You better let somebody love you (let somebody love you)
Let somebody love you before it’s too late.

            On our last telephone call before Tony passed he told me,

“I received a loving intervention from some medical professionals today who made it clear to me that I am dying. Just wanted to touch in with you and the guys. There will be no grand gestures or parties or anything like that. I just want to remember the great times we have had together these many years. I love you, my brother. You do the great work and I love you so much.”

Being with Tony and the five other men in our group has given me lessons about courage and love that I will take with me for the rest of my life. Tony, I love you too, brother. Your spirit will continue to bless us all.

As we all had agreed, our group will carry on until the last man has passed and will live on through the lives of those we love and whose lives we have touched.

My commitment to men and the work I do is to write an article each week and send out a free newsletter to anyone who would like to subscribe. You can do so here.

I also offer a number of on-line courses on some of the most important issues people address in their lives. You can check them out here.

The post Our 45-Year Men’s Group: Honoring Tony, A Man of Great Generosity and Patience appeared first on MenAlive.

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By: Jed Diamond
Title: Our 45-Year Men’s Group: Honoring Tony, A Man of Great Generosity and Patience
Sourced From: menalive.com/our-45-year-mens-group-honoring-tony/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=our-45-year-mens-group-honoring-tony
Published Date: Thu, 30 May 2024 20:01:16 +0000

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