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Fitness industry trends tend to change.

A certain workout program or method will be the latest craze. A new exercise method is introduced (or an old one is rediscovery). The old method is called dumb, out-of-date, and ineffective. Meanwhile, the new one is heralded as the One True Way of exercising.

Cardio was a popular exercise in the 80s and 90s. Slow jogging became popular in the 80s and 1990s. In the 2000s, the high-intensity interval training was the new kid on the block. In the last couple of years people have been bashing HIIT and promoting mellow Zone 2 Cardio as the better way.

Weightlifting is also a good example of the in-then out phenomenon.

Free weights were the most popular form of resistance exercise in the 19th century and the 20th century. In the 1970s, the Nautilus machine was introduced and quickly became the most popular, high-tech way to build muscles.

Then, things went backwards again.

CrossFit, Starting Strength and others were lauding the benefits of barbells a decade ago. Weight-training machines, which were once considered dumb and useless, became popular again. Weight machines were portrayed as being artificial and domesticated, contrary to how man is designed to move. Weight machines were seen as only for weenies who couldn’t lift free weights, or bros who cared more about looks than strength.

It was a great thing for the fitness industry to refocus on barbells. This opened up new possibilities for people on their fitness journey. It went too far, however, in eliminating the option of using machines. Things are beginning to change again. Machines will soon be back on the strength training menu.

The Re-Rise of the Machines

The truth is often found between the extremes. The debate between machines and barbells is a perfect example of this. There is no absolute good or bad. Both have their pros and cons. There are good reasons to use either (or both!) ).

I am not the only one who is embracing this idea.

Years ago, I was a total barbell fanatic and embraced it with the fervor of a convert.

I stopped using weight-machines and concentrated my training on big barbell exercises like the squat and deadlift.

I always told people that barbell training was the best exercise to do when they asked what kind of exercise you should do. There’s no doubt about it.

When someone wanted to use machines, i would tell them that barbells are a better option.

Barbell training became my favorite pastime. It gave me a great deal of satisfaction.

In the last few years, my opinions and beliefs about weight machines and barbell training have changed.

Due to several factors, as I mentioned previously, I have shifted from barbell training to hypertrophy-style bodybuilder programs. I want to be jacked. Like Mike Mentzer. Or Arnold. As a father in his 40s who doesn’t use TRT or steroids.

To achieve this goal, I have been working with weight machines.

Guess what? Mark Rippetoe may be upset, but I have learned that machines are a great way to build muscle and get stronger.

Weight machines have many benefits. I will explain why they are useful in a strength training program.

Yes, You Can Get Strong Using Machines

Barbell advocates often claim that barbells are more effective than machines for building strength.

What is the conclusion of the research?

Free weights and machines both increase strength and muscle mass equally, according to studies.

Some free-weight advocates might concede this conclusion but argue that compound exercises with multiple joints are still better.

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Sunday Firesides: Gotta Get in the Reps

After coaching youth sports for a while, you will begin to notice the biggest difference in which athletes improve. Kids who play catch or dribble basketball on their driveways every night get better. Those who do not handle the ball during scheduled practice sessions will not improve.

The reps are what matter. The number of “touches”, or the number times the child has the ball in their hands, determines if he will develop the necessary skills.

It’s not just in sports that repetition is key. The more you practice something, like playing a musical instrument where you have to tickle the keys the more you improve, you can also train your soul.

Aristotle said, “Virtue is a habit.” Virtue is a habit.

It’s not sufficient to work out or meditate once a week to reach self-mastery. Self-mastery is built by doing things that you would rather not do. It is built through small daily habits — such as starting a difficult discussion, giving up dessert, or turning off a suspenseful film before going to bed.

It’s not sufficient to attend a church service or a date-night once or twice a year. Daily devotions are necessary to develop such dispositions.

Character is developed by doing thousands of small touches and repetitions. This builds the muscle memory in the heart, which prepares you for the high-stakes situations of life.

The man who wins the great challenge or temptation is not the one who has been practicing but the one who has made his life his practice.

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Odds & Ends: April 12, 2024

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A vintage metal box labeled

Why I hope to die at 75 by Ezekiel Emanuel. In recent years, there has been much attention paid to the idea of extending life expectancy. Oncologist Dr. Emmanuel is a bioethicist and has a strong, contrary position. He hopes to die by 75. He argues that many people believe they will be the exception to aging rules, and remain physically agile and mentally sharp until their death. But as the capacity-robbing, burden-on-loved-ones-increasing toll of age eventually comes for all, Emanuel would rather go out before he falls apart. He doesn’t plan to die at 75. But he will stop having preventative screenings, such as colonoscopies and cardiac stress tests, once he hits that age.

Flint and Tinder’s Vintage Slub Polo. One of my favorite clothing brands just released a line of polos, tees and tanks made from slub-cotton in the USA. I bought a navy blue polos. The fabric is thick and not as thin and gauzy like some slubs. Polo shirts are great for spring because they are so versatile. Dress them up or dress them down. Check out our guide on polo shirts.

William Manchester’s The Last Lion Trilogy. The best biography you will ever read. Manchester is a three-volume epic of 3,000 pages, which takes you through Winston Churchill’s life. It’s a fun and inspiring ride. You feel as though you are there, as Churchill grows up, struggles to find his political place, and leads the country through WWII. The Last Lion is a biography that’s close to being a page-turner. You know the outcome, so it’s difficult to call it enthralling. Manchester tragically died before he could finish the final volume. Another author completed it. The third volume is slightly less than the first two but still worth reading.

The Searchers. John Wayne delivers the most intense performance of his acting career in this John Ford film as Ethan Edwards. A man who vows revenge on the Comanche Raiders who killed his sister-in law and brother, and kidnapped two of their daughters. Wayne is a master at portraying a complex, conflicted man who wants revenge on the Comanche raiders that killed his sister-in-law and brother. He also kidnaps two of their daughters. The film has been beautifully shot. There are so many epic shots of the desert. The film’s pace is perfect. It doesn’t drag but it also doesn’t seem rushed.

Quote of the week

It would be a sin and a sulk against nature to not go and enjoy her bounty and rejoice with the heavens and the earth during the vernal season of the year, when the air is pleasant and calm.John Milton

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4 Ways to Remove a Broken Light Bulb From a Socket

When the glass bulb breaks on incandescent bulbs, it can be difficult to remove them from the socket. With a little ingenuity you can solve this problem.

You might ask, “Why should I know how to remove a broken incandescent bulb when they’ve been phased out?” The U.S. did ban incandescent lights last year to encourage people to switch to LED bulbs. These are usually made of plastic, and do not break like the thin glass incandescents. There are still two reasons to be able to remove a broken bulb. You probably still use incandescent light bulbs around the house. You’ll need to know what to do if they ever break. Incandescent light bulbs used to illuminate your home’s rooms are now banned. However, bulbs for bug lamps and appliances that use incandescent lights remain legal. Even in the age LED bulbs, you may still need to replace a broken bulb.

We have shown you four different methods to remove a broken light bulb. Be sure to turn off the electricity before you try any of these methods. You don’t need to electrocute yourself. Put on heavy duty work gloves, and remove any remaining glass shards from the bulb to avoid cutting yourself. As you remove the bulb, keep your gloves on.

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