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Q&A On Some Fitness Stuff

Hi all, someone asked me why I don’t write about strength training very often anymore. He also wondered about my specific training these days, so I’ll give a couple of quick, non-thrilling updates.  Then, if you’ve got any questions, put them in the comments and I’ll happily talk with you about whatever you want.

The truth is, I’ve said pretty much all that I think I’m ever going to have to say about it.

I think everyone can enjoy exercise, and that there’s no downside to being strong. If you hired me to train you just to “get fit,” I would say:

“Tell me a physical activity you like to do.” It could be weights, running, racquetball, whatever. Anything that makes you move. Then I would see if I could help you do that better.

If you said, “I want to get as big as possible,” that’s a different discussion, but it’s also a fairly brief one.

If you said, “I want to get better at the Highland games”, again, we have to have a more specific discussion. But there’s rarely going to be any occult mystery to any of this stuff.

It’s all pretty simple, it just takes consistency, and it can be hard to make exercise a habit if you don’t enjoy it.

As to my own training, I’ve been lifting stones. I’ve got a range from 150-400 lbs, and stone training is by far the most fun I’ve ever had with strength. My arms always scratched and bruised and, and they feel like crocodile hide at this point, but I do love it so. I pick up a heavy rock, see if I could press it overhead, walk around with it, test how long I can hold on to it, etc.

Also, wrestling. Lots of wrestling lately.

Over to you? Any questions about anything fitness related that I can take a stab at? Any goals you’re working on?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • mole July 13, 2013, 1:57 pm

    Hello Josh,
    I’m a senior (68 yrs old) with some medical problems. I’ve been doing some moderate training to get a little functional fitness and strength, improve balance, flexibility, etc. I’ve practiced the kettlebell swing for a while, really enjoy it, and seem to benefit a great deal from it. I recently experimented with a more intense interval protocol with the swing – 20 sec of swing, 10 sec of rest for a total of 4 minutes. Gets me huffing and puffing pretty quickly. Thus far I’ve found that after that brief 4 min session I don’t have much juice left to do any of the other movements I used to do – push press, squat, or dead lift. Do you think it’s ok to just stick with swing for a while and gradually try to build up to include some of the other movements. Or should I dial back on the swings right now and keep the other movements. I enjoy them all – just trying to figure out if the swing is enough for a well rounded workout, at least for a little while.
    Many thanks for your advice.

    • Josh Hanagarne July 13, 2013, 2:52 pm

      Hi Mole, my first question would just be about definitions. How would you define a “well rounded” workout, as you put it?

      I do a lot of different things, because I get bored, and because not all movements will feel good/be good for me at all times. I tend to focus on what I like that I can do without any pain. Sometimes that’s many movements, sometimes it’s just a kb swing.

  • Jennifer July 13, 2013, 6:18 pm

    To be perfectly frank? I HATE EXERCISING. I can’t seem to force myself to do it. Bah!

  • Jennifer Graham July 14, 2013, 7:09 am

    Living in rocky New England, I’m fascinated by the stone workout. But I’m curious as to where you get them (are they at your gym, or in your yard?), and how you approximate the weights.

    • Josh Hanagarne July 15, 2013, 12:46 pm

      I weigh my stones. I broke one of our scales, to my wife’s great annoyance. But then I figured out a way to do it gently by folding a towel on the scale before setting (gently) a rock on it.

      The rocks I have came from our garden, we just got lucky. I took a couple more from a neighbor who didn’t want them. And there’s a lot where we get our gardening soil that also has an enormous stack of rocks that they are willing to sell and weigh. All my stone lifting is done at home or in the woods.

  • Stuart Atkins July 14, 2013, 9:59 am

    Talk about push ups. I’ve been dong lots of them lately after I ride my mountain bike for a good hour long ride. Don’t push ups strengthen every muscle in your body? I also bought some of the Navy Seal designed Perfect Push ups. Those are great.

    • Josh Hanagarne July 15, 2013, 12:44 pm

      I do like push ups and generally do a few hundred a week. I’m not sure about “every muscle in your body,” but it always depends on what you want. If I want to have stronger calves, I’m going to do calf work, not push ups. I really do like the perfect push up handles. Great present from mom-in-law a few years ago.

  • Jeroen July 16, 2013, 12:36 am

    Hi Josh,

    What kind of wrestling do you do?

  • Casey July 17, 2013, 12:52 pm

    I’m with Jeroen, wrestling? That sounds cool, worth a post for sure.

  • Andrew July 19, 2013, 5:34 pm

    Hi are you still practising biofeedback Josh?

    Also i am going to write it hear to save me writing somewhere else, 3/4’s of the way through “the knot” i quite like it, to me theres a bit of Neil Gaiman & Terry pratchett to it who i also enjoy.

    Any more patchwork series on the horizon?


  • christa July 20, 2013, 8:15 am

    I’m wondering if you have ever injured yourself lifting the stones (or anything else)…I mean like back injury or something serious enough to make it impossible for you to work out for a length of time. Did someone teach you good technique or did you figure it out for yourself?