Fitness hacks
#1
Purpose of this thread is to describe any clever ideas, techniques, habits, whatever, that relate to physical fitness. I do bodyweight calisthenics and yoga exclusively, but I didn't want to create a thread just for that, so weight lifters feel free to join in.

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I've been doing pushups and bodyweight squats almost every morning since I was in my teens, plus pullups when possible, plus yoga for the past twenty years. For the last ten years, I've been traveling almost continuously, either camping or living in hotels and weekly apartments, and it has been very hard to find pullup bars in many countries, so I gave them up. Thanks to Richard Turpin at the Armenian/Persian Ayatollah's forum, I was forced to face the reality that there is no way to work biceps using just floor exercises and so I really need to add pullups back in.

Example of how hard to find pullup bars in some countries. During a recent 6 week bicycle tour of the Mojave area, I only once encountered a true pullup bar (in Blythe, California), plus Baker, California had a children's playset that could be used for pullups. Otherwise, nothing. In Spain, I visited maybe 70 towns and cities during a recent 3 month hiking trip, and the only time I found either a true pullup bar or something that could be used as a pullup bar was in Teruel, and that bar was very low, designed for children, so I had to fully bend my knees to allow hanging. In Ukraine, by contrast, pullup bars are everywhere.

In order to simulate pullups in the absence of a pullup bar, I used the following hack. Cut 6m piece of Mil-550 parachute cord, which has static breaking strength of 250kg. As a rule of thumb, dynamic breaking strength is 1/5 of static strength. Since I weigh 75kg, I need to double cord to give dynamic strength of 100kg, so now cord is 3m long. Wrap cord around tree 10-15cm in diameter, thus ends of rope 1.5m from tree. In the Mojave, there are often ironwood trees with trunk or branches this diameter, or you can use telephone poles on the side of the road. In Spain, I encountered pine trees this diameter everywhere. Tie free ends of cord to stick (I use my hiking stick) using clove hitch knot. Then lean back and do one arm inclined rowing. To avoid abrasion to rope, sew up tunnel of 1000d cordura, about 50cm long by 2cm diameter, and run rope through tunnel where it touches tree.

It was pretty obvious to me that one armed inclined rowing was not equivalent in difficulty to pullups, but it wasn't worthless either. Today was my first day exercising in Ukraine and so I had a chance to test how much strength I had built in the last 5 months using one armed inclined rowing. Result: 9 correct and 1 almost correct commando style pullups, which is my preferred pullup style (right hand closest to body and pull to right shoulder on even days of month, left side on odd days). I probably couldn't do more than 5 commando pullups previously, so these were encouraging results. I expect to build up to 15 commando pullups during my 3 months in Ukraine, where I'll have daily access to a pullup bar in the nearby park. Then back to one armed inclined rowing hack during 9 months away from Ukraine. Probably lose a little strength during those 9 months, like down to 12 reps, then build back up to 15 next summer in Ukraine.

I'm 58 years old, so these are good numbers for my age.
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#2
I started training pretty obsessively in my late teens, and have been doing so for about 15 years now. 4 days a week of weights generally, then 1 day of rugby training and 1 day of a rugby match when I was younger. Now just 4 days a week of weights and either one day of running or one day of playing rugby 7s, depending on the time of year.

The biggest fitness hacks I've learnt along the way have, sadly, involved coping with the effects of aging. Before 27 or so I never once injured myself working out (injuries picked up in rugby not withstanding). After that little niggles started appearing here and there, with the odd more major injury. I've had to gradually make changes to help minimize those since:

- 10 minutes of stretching/yoga before and after every workout. I always "stretched" when younger, but never properly. Doing a proper, full, in-depth stretching routine is really key as an older guy
- I take 5g of collagen every day and it's made a big difference. Its also got great skin benefits, I'd heavily recommend it for anyone over 30
- I've shifted my weight training to lighter weight, higher rep work across the board. I've seen no decrease in size since doing so, but feel far less exhausted after my workouts now - it puts a lot less stress on the Central Nervous System. Its also dramatically reduced my injury rates, because its putting less weight on the tendons and joints.
- I've given up full 15s rugby and started playing 7s instead. This is very specific advice that probably won't help most people here, but its made a huge difference to me. The players are generally smaller in 7s, its far more about running speed and far less about heavy contact tackles. If there are any other current rugby players who're hanging on in 15s, not wanting to give up playing for ever, I'd really recommend the switch over. You still get the pleasure of playing, but in a way less injury-prone way.
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#3
Simple general fitness workout you can do in any gym with a single piece of equipment:

Alternate sets of kettlebell swings and kettlebell goblet squats using the heaviest weight you can comfortably control during a swing.

Those two exercises alone are amazing for cardiovascular health, fat burning, hip mobility, balance, and core strength.
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#4
(05-29-2019, 03:49 PM)shemp Wrote: For the last ten years, I've been traveling almost continuously, either camping or living in hotels and weekly apartments, and it has been very hard to find pullup bars in many countries, so I gave them up. 

Your alternative for the pull up is pretty cool. 

Not sure if you considered this and ruled it out for some reason, but there also are portable pull-up bars that you can attach to doorways:


   
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#5
@Ouroboros: Much of the time, I'm carrying a backpack up and down mountains, where every gram of extra weight counts. That 6m rope plus cordura tunnel weighs 45g (about 2oz), which I don't mind. But no way to carry that portable bar. The only place I'm stationary for any length of time is Kyiv, but Kyiv has real pullup bars in all parks.

But yes, those portable bars are good for guys living in apartments.
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#6
The best thing I ever did was consistently spend a few hours per week reading and watching videos from experts. To do this I switched from a 5 day per week bro split to a 3 day per week strength program (stronglifts, starting strength, greyskull, etc.) and spend the extra time studying. The experts I followed were mostly strength training and olympic lifting coaches - Glenn Pendlay, Elliott Hulse, Greg Everett / Catalyst Athletics, Rippetoe, Mehdi / Stronglifts, Justin Lascek, and many others.

It cannot be emphasized enough how inefficient and sometimes just flat out wrong most people are with their training and their beliefs on how to train effectively. It is so much easier and less time consuming when you know what you are doing. I got stronger, bigger and leaner. I fixed significant issues with imbalances, prior injuries and posture problems - with many of these I didn't know I had the problem until well into the process - thanks to Elliott Hulse for ranting about how learning to do proper olympic front squats forces you to fix your problems - that put me on a path to fix everything, turn mobility/flexibility from a weakness to a strength, and eventually start learning olympic lifting.

Also, girls notice guys with no legs and posture problems much more than guys realize. It's unfortunate how some guys spend so much time trying to get big to impress girls when the best thing they could do to be more attractive is spend five minutes fixing their hips or doing band pull-aparts and shoulder dislocations to fix their rounded shoulders and protruding head.

Bottom line - learning from the experts and slow consistent progress makes all the difference.
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#7
Not sure there are any fitness hacks.

It's all pretty basic.

Work out, exercise and eat right.

The hard part is actually starting and being consistent.
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#8
Not really much of a hack but if you are trying to cut or maintain weight eliminating breakfast or only having a very small breakfast helps a lot.
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#9
Purposely park your car in the back of the parking lot so you have to walk extra. Purposely take the stairs instead of the escalator. Small things like this make a different. It might sound insignificant, but it adds up over time.
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#10
(06-07-2019, 02:02 PM)raetj Wrote: turn mobility/flexibility from a weakness to a strength

Can you expand on this? Were you not flexible enough or too flexible?
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#11
Walking on a steep icnline for 20 minutes a day is a low impact way to loose easy pounds fast without wearing down your muscle.  Advanced mode: wear a weighted vest
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#12
Fitness hacks for those who want to lose fat without counting calories:

(There's nothing wrong with counting calories. In fact, if you're in a calorie deficit, it's guaranteed that you'll lose weight, as all quality studies on the subject show. However, it's also boring. So, below are tips you can use to automatically consume fewer calories without tracking them)

1) Consume enough protein because protein is the most satiating macronutrient. One study found that when people increased their daily protein consumption from fifteen percent to thirty percent of their daily calorie intake, on average, they automatically ate four-hundred-forty-one fewer calories per day.

2) Increase your fiber intake. For every fourteen grams of additional fiber you consume per day, calorie consumption tends to reduce by about ten percent each day.

3) Consume one or two glasses of water before every meal. This causes you to consume less food because the water stimulates the stretch receptors of your stomach, signalling your brain that your stomach is already partially filled. That leads to less hunger.

4) Eat from a smaller plate. This tricks your brain by believing that your meal is bigger, leading to an automatic reduction in calorie intake.

5) In addition to the previous point, eating with smaller cutlery provides similar benefits

6) Practice intermittent fasting. Fast for sixteen hours per day and eat your food in an eight-hour time-frame.

7) Get enough sleep as sleep deprivation increases levels of hunger hormones, such as ghrelin. Plus, sleep deprivation also reduces willpower, making you more likely to reach to junk food

8) Keep food variety per meal limited. More different foods per meal automatically increases calorie intake.

9) Don't drink your calories. Liquid calories are less satiating than those from solid foods

10) Cut sugar from your diet. Calories from sugar don't satiate hunger effecitely. That's why energy from sugar tends to go on top of teh energy you already eat.

Will provide the scientific sources in case someone wants those
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#13
Wait, you can't find something to do pullups on? LOL!!! You must have the weakest hands. I do pull ups on doorways, gates, hallways, etc, etc. You must be slow.
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#14
(06-10-2019, 01:36 AM)ex-malemodel Wrote: [Image: hi4JXRj.jpg]
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#15
(05-30-2019, 03:37 PM)zatara Wrote: - I take 5g of collagen every day and it's made a big difference. Its also got great skin benefits, I'd heavily recommend it for anyone over 30

Just a note on collagen, it really is critical for skin and joint health. Just make sure it's fish based if it's coming in supplement form. Home made bone broth is another excellent source to get it from.
"Women however should get a spanking at least once a week by their husbands and boyfriends - that should be mandated by law" - Zelcorpion

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#16
(06-11-2019, 09:48 AM)Greenman Wrote:
(05-30-2019, 03:37 PM)zatara Wrote: - I take 5g of collagen every day and it's made a big difference. Its also got great skin benefits, I'd heavily recommend it for anyone over 30

Just a note on collagen, it really is critical for skin and joint health. Just make sure it's fish based if it's coming in supplement form. Home made bone broth is another excellent source to get it from.


Why is fish based collagen supplement better than pork or beef based (such as Great Lakes Gelatin)?
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#17
Fitness hack: take viagra before your workout. One recent study found that 20 mg of viagra may give you steroid-like gains (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4076819/). The researchers concluded, "the approximate doubling of skeletal muscle protein synthesis observed in response to sildenafil is of similar magnitude to that observed in response to 100–200 mg/week testosterone injection." So, from now on, instead of reaching for PEDs, those who want to get huge should take viagra before their workout. As an added benefits, completing your entire workout with a boner may also impress the ladies. Good luck lol
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#18
^ No freakin way! Anyone here want to try for a month and report back?
They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety- Benjamin Franklin, as if you didn't know...
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#19
^ I skimmed that article he linked to. Conclusions are hedged by so many qualifiers that I doubt any one here will get much muscle growth from sildenafil. But that idea of doing his workout with a boner poking out his gym shorts the whole time is intriguing. Have you tried that, Beest?
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#20
(06-14-2019, 01:37 PM)shemp Wrote: ^ I skimmed that article he linked to. Conclusions are hedged by so many qualifiers that I doubt any one here will get much muscle  growth from sildenafil. But that idea of doing his workout with a boner poking out his gym shorts the whole time is intriguing. Have you tried that, Beest?

I haven't tried it and aren't planning on doing it lol. Also, the muscle building benefits you'll get - if you'll get them - will likely be small since the researchers stated it's the equivalent of 100/200 mg of testosterone. That's a dosage people use for testosterone replacement therapy; not a dosage people use for a steroid cycle. Then you're looking at around 600 mg+ per week. 

Also, the side effects likely wouldn't even be worth it. With the side effects you may experience from long-term viagra use, you may as well go on real gear. (I've never been on gear myself, though.)
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