Dedicated to the promotion of general health and well being. Aimed at the attainment of enhanced levels of physical fitness through a thrust on weight training.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Shut Down for Exams

Sorry guys, no posts until next year (till Jan 10), have my sem 5 exams from Dec 27...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

BURNING FAT-1: THE NEED (570 words)

Frankly, what ‘s the need to burn all the fat? The answer varies across the evolutionary spectrum, geophysical occurrences & functional requirements of life forms. The solitary tunic quadruped inhabiting the arctic needs all the fat to be found, while the blue-eyed sirens of Beverly Hills, with their hourglass silhouettes need none of them.

What then is the need & necessity (or otherwise) of—the single most aspect of the human body & the human psyche that has spawned a booming economy of health & fitness maintenance industry—the ever-annoying body fat? The adipose layer has its many benefits:
For one, it is a natural & the most effective form of insulation; polar bears, penguins…
Fats are a greater source of energy than carbohydrates & fats are always stored as reserves in the human body.
Greater insulation & better reserves in the body evidently transforms into improved immunity.

In spite of these, body fat is shunned in the most modern of human populations. The reason is quite simply our civilizational advances. We no longer need to worry about cold weather & natural forms of insulation. We no longer face food scarcity & shortage for the body to stock up like the feast-now-to-survive-the-famine type of predators. Perhaps the greatest antagonist of body fat is the role of unsaturated fats & cholesterol in brewing up heart diseases. Against this background, body fat percentage that goes even into the low double figures is seen as being out of shape, sluggish & prone to lifestyle related diseases. Burgeoning bellies & expanding love handles are clear indicators of low body metabolism and/or of excessive & unnecessary intake, both of which will come back to bite you.

But do we have to completely eliminate this survival feature of mammals & other innumerable life forms. It certainly depends on what kind of a life form are you—what is your lifestyle. If you are the onscreen entity of the show business then yes, your thighs should have visible veins like the almost fat eliminated Queen of pop. But if you are always in the winds of the seas, constantly under the danger of shipwrecks & deserted islands, then stock up man; every ounce will prolong your stranded days.
When it comes to power lifters, bodyguards, wrestlers, members of the law enforcement… it’s bulkier the better. Quest for strength & power always leaves behind a sweet reminder of the inevitability of flab (unlike bodybuilders—they are a different breed altogether).

Well then, how does a man on the street decide how much is too much?
If you can climb the stairs of your office or home without a gasp, if your pant size doesn’t increase with your raises & promotions, if you can occasionally walk kilometers at a stretch, if you don’t have a penchant for oily, fried & junk foods, if you are a busy body & don’t tire out easily, then don’t worry at all: body fat isn’t of concern to you. Adding some physical activity, suited to your age & lifestyle will complete the deal.

Nutrition, exercise & quality of rest (apart from the genetic makeup) will decide your health & happiness. Physical activity & mental grit can even alter you genes (and help you evolve): how else are we humans & still not some lowly organism.

…end of the first part of the burning fat series.

Friday, November 17, 2006


I’d rather that it’s my variant of a standard shoulder movement: the standing barbell raise for the deltoids. Let me first describe the dynamics of my variant. The resistance involved is a plate or hammer curl bar (if your lifting capacity exceeds the available denomination of weights). The grip, which is what brings about the variation, is a hammer grip: the palms face each other, it’s identical to the grip that is used to pull down a rope towards you.

The resistance element held with the appropriate grip in front of you (touching your knees) constitutes the initial position. From this point, slowly raise the weight to a point that is above your head (with deep inhalation), & lower it back in the same manner (with exhalation). This isn’t a power movement, so the number of reps may be slightly higher if separation of the deltoids is desired (say about 15-20, with 60-70% of max strength weights).

It’s important to note that the elbow should be slightly bent outwards throughout the movement to protect the elbow joint. The weight must be lifted with (& from) the deltoids (& the trapezius) and not by the forearms or by the swaying of the hips or the lower back.

Difference from the standard movement: the standard barbell raise concentrates more on the posterior deltoids, whereas my variation targets the anterior deltoids & the trapezius.

  • Major effect: Anterior deltoids
  • Minor effect: entire deltoids & the trapezius
  • Synergist: forearms & biceps brachialis
  • Stabilizer: the back (erector spinae in particular)

Apart from the basic power exercises, such movements can't just be read on your Vaio laptop & forgotten. Your body needs to be constantly experimented with these kinds of workouts to see the results & suitability of such exercises.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


One of the secrets to better results from weights is to target major muscle groups (MMG). It must be understood right from the initiation that the biceps aren’t the only muscles that constitute the human body.

The MMGs (also some of the strongest ones) are predominantly the thighs & the lower back (the back in its entirety is itself a huge muscular portion). The pectorals & the deltoids together constitute another perceivable portion.

All that I’ll take up in this post is the benefits of working out the MMGs on the body, as well as on the supporting muscles.

To begin with, high intensity free weights workout like the squat, the deadlift, bent over rows, the bench press & to some extent the shoulder press stimulate a greater production of testosterone & other growth enhancing factors in the body. Increased hormone production evidently leads to increased muscular bulk & a general feeling of bodily well being.

At this juncture, I wish to bring to your notice an easily observable physiological phenomenon. Any organ that is put to greater use; pressed for increased productivity will undergo an increase in size (& strength) to meet the changing scenario.

Therefore the demand for increased androgenic activity placed through the targeting of MMGs will see a not so spectacular increase in the size of the testes (among other such changes). The other conceivable change in the body would be the increased rate of metabolism.

Exercising the MMGs has a comprehensive effect; in the sense that the supporting minor muscles are also strengthened. The bench press will build up the triceps & the anterior deltoids, the shoulder press takes care of the forearms as well as the triceps, the deadlift has an effect on the biceps, the trapeziuus & the biceps femoris (the hamstrings) & so on. Therefore, followers of this approach may cut down their training of the minor muscle groups to an extent to only strengthen them for higher yields on the MMG targeting power moves.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

WOMEN & WEIGHTS (382 words)

So if you are a member of the fairer sex & have chanced upon this page & are feeling that this isn’t the site for you; then let me tell you that I’ve so far made no distinction between the two sexes. All that I’ve posted so far on this cybernetic existence holds for you as well. Let me state categorically that there is hardly any divide between the male & female strength athletes (or even merely fitness enthusiasts) when it comes to training methodologies.

But there is a popular misconception (among many others) that the everyday women looking to just rein in the tummy should not touch weights. As I’ve stated in my very first post, the three essential paths to physical fitness are strength, cardiovascular health & flexibility. And there is no better-known strength training method than weights.

To begin with girls doing weights will not acquire the amount of muscular bulk that their male counterparts do. This is simply because they don’t have the amounts of testosterone to reach there. This is also the reason why women can’t lift anywhere close to men.

If you are just looking to lose weight; even then a form of strength training is a must. The best way to lose weight is to gain muscular mass. Besides, of what health value is a lean, emancipated look without the basic build and well being?

I now move into my last leg of this post. This is for those who wish to look sexy through some fancy & well marketed health club services. The sexiest look that can be acquired is the muscular look. The two most oomphed sexual attributes of a girl—the derriere & the breasts can go through an unbelievable makeover with weights. If the pectoral muscles are toned & strong, then the breasts will be given a natural ‘up—lift’. Besides well—toned pecs will prevent sagging going into the middle ages. The same is true with the buttock. Dedicated weighted squats will make it beefy & cheeky down there. All these apart, routine of weights (along with some form of cardiovascular workout like dance, swimming—mind you swimming alone is a complete form of exercise or running) will replace the flab with the fibre: what an exchange to the sexier side!