The non-jock’s guide to jocks
You don’t have to be scared of jocks and gyms just because you were a spaz in third grade. Don’t let your childhood trauma or stereotypical assumptions hold you back from being active.
The unexpected joy of behaviours
Do what needs to be done consistently, and you’ll often end up with awesomeness you didn’t expect.
LIES in the gym
You don’t have to go far in the average gym to find someone willing to give you bad information. People are full of ideas and advice about women and weights. And most of them are wrong. I’ve compiled a list of some of the most common myths floating around like the alligator in the sewer stories. The difference is, of course, that there really ARE alligators in the sewer. And snakes that pop out of your toilet, heh heh.
What you need and what you don’t
It’s tempting to think when starting out that you need a whole array of belts, straps, gloves, and suits to begin strength training, especially if you see a lot of folks in the gym all decked out like medieval cyborgs. Well, the truth is that you don’t. Here’s what you need and what you can do without.
Old broads: the golden years of pumping iron
The other day I got an email from a woman who asked, “I’m 31. Is it too late to begin a fitness program?” Only in our youth-worshiping North American culture could such a question even be asked. In most other cultures in the world, the concept of aging equaling inactivity does not exist.
Above: Champion powerlifter and site reader Gayle busts out the biceps curl reps.
No fat chicks
I was sitting on a cold, paper-covered exam table when the doctor told me I was too fat. The sterile, crinkly surface rustled as I shifted awkwardly, trying to conceal my embarrassment and anger. I had gone in to find out why my hip hurt so much. The doctor explained that my extra weight was putting pressure on the joint and was the likely source of the pain. Then he said simply, “Lose weight,” and left the room.
How do you start out if you’re an overfat beginner? Not by taking the usual advice, that’s for damn sure.
How to choose a personal trainer
Often the first question people ask when starting out on a fitness program is, “Should I hire a trainer?” Although you don’t need to hire a trainer, beginners and experienced trainers alike can indeed benefit from skilled coaching and motivation. If you know you’re someone who does better when someone is guiding you, if you would like some skills instruction and don’t feel you can learn yourself, if you would like specialized services like bodyfat assessment or the development of a training program, then you might consider finding a personal trainer. But be warned: There are a lot of sucky ones out there. Here’s how to separate the, uh, weights from the staff.
Use it or lose it!
It’s true — if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it! Keep moving and take care of your body, and you can expect many decades of mileage from it.
A PDF presentation by powerlifter Keith Hobman that explains some basic principles of functional fitness. Easy to understand, with lots of illustrations.
Basics of a routine
Well, now, you’re all excited and ready to go to the gym. But where do you start? There’s no point in stumbling around the gym with no particular plan in mind. If you don’t have a focus it’s easy to get bored and give up. The solution? A routine. Here’s how to put one together.
Worship at the altar of the goddess of form
Prostrate yourself before the bitch goddess, FORM. For those who anger her meet her wrath.
Good form is called good form for a reason—it’s the best way to do an exercise (I know you’re thinking, “Well DUH”, but this really doesn’t seem to be obvious to many people). It’s the most efficient and effective way for your body to execute a certain movement so that it is challenging yet safe.