Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Where's the beef?


Recently, Pierini Fitness read an article with a clever clickbait title Eating meat has ‘dire’ consequences for the planet, says report.  It said that a new report, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, offers a solution to feed a rising global human population expected to be 10 billion people by 2050.  Apparently, the way we’ve been eating can’t be sustained in the future with 10 billion hungry people.

This report, compiled by a group of 30 scientists from around the world who study nutrition or food policy, was three years in the making and its authors deliberated with the intent of creating recommendations that could be adopted by governments to meet the challenge of feeding a growing world population.  The bottom-line recommendation is to follow a largely plant-based diet, with small, occasional allowances for meat, dairy, and sugar.

The article reported how this report weighed different side-effects of food production, such as greenhouse gases, water and crop use, nitrogen or phosphorous from fertilizers, and the potential for biodiversity to take a hit should a region be converted into farmland. By adopting the recommended plant-based diet, the report's authors say climate change-inducing gases could be reduced and enough land could be reserved to feed the world's growing population.

This isn’t the first-time news like this has been reported.  Upon reading this, Pierini Fitness was curious who these researchers were and who funded this research study.  You know the saying, follow the money.  It provides clues so that after we’ve taken everything into account, we can say, borrowing what the late and great Paul Harvey would say, “And now you know the rest of the story.”

According an January 20, 2019 article published at https://www.beefmagazine.com, obviously representing ranchers and others delivering us middle-aged men our beef, this research study was funded by “vegan billionaires” and “screams of centralized control of our dietary choices with a globalized system that mandates what we can and cannot eat. What’s worse, these recommendations are elitist and ideological, lacking in science and common sense.”

Elsewhere, one obesity researcher recently carried out an analysis into the effects of eating this new suggested plant-based diet and found it’s deficient in several important nutrients.  For example, comparing it with the current authoritative US diet recommendations, this recommended plant-based diet would only provide 5 percent of vitamin D recommended, 17% of vitamin A (retinol) and just 55% of the calcium recommendations.

What’s the Pierini Fitness recommendation to all middle-aged men?  Do your own research and make your own conclusions but when hungry you may very well ask as Pierini Fitness does, “Where’s the beef?”

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, January 21, 2019

Get our Fountain of Youth back


Content here at Pierini Fitness – all original and written by its chief executive blogger also named Pierini Fitness – generally follows the genre of “middle-aged man reflections about living and dying, gracefully-aging and trying my best to live a good and honest life.” 

Those of you who have read Pierini Fitness over its 10 years in existence, know there’s also good middle-aged man diet, fitness and health stuff here too.  Occasionally, I share a snapshot from my training journals and that’s what I’m doing today.

Today I’m sharing part of my Saturday workout from a couple days ago. It was a workout of alternating pull-ups and chin-ups done with a “greasing the groove” cadence.

What’s greasing the groove?  It’s an approach to doing an exercise frequently where every set is performed without going to muscular fatigue.  Do a Google search and read up on it if you’re unfamiliar with this training method.

About a dozen years ago when I was closer to being in my prime, I was a pull-up “beast” and regularly completed some amazing high-volume workouts.  I also did heavy weighted single pull-ups and chin-ups.  I recall doing a pull-up with 88 lbs. strapped around my waist, and a chin-up with 100-lbs. added.  I built a killer back from doing this “simple” exercise.

Pierini Fitness circa 2007 at about age 52

Here’s the detail from my Saturday workout:




# of rounds and reps


Reps done


Start new round every
10 rounds of 3 reps
30
60 seconds
10 rounds of 2 reps
20
30 seconds
20 rounds of 2 reps
40
Flexible based on feel
3-2-2-2-1
10
Finish as quickly as possible



Total reps completed
100


My plan was also to perform this workout as a superset with bar dips, but I only did bar dips for the first 10 rounds as my right tricep muscle had a funny feel to it and I didn’t want to injure it.  I was able to complete 35 bar dips in these 10 rounds.  Pull-ups and bar dips make a nice couple for a superset workout, so I’ll try again soon. 

If you want to restore some lost pull-up performance like me, let’s do a once-a-week volume workout of pull-ups and chin-ups greasing the groove style.  While it won’t be our primary purpose, who knows, we may get our Fountain of Youth back.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Friday, January 18, 2019

Pierini Fitness KB carries complex

For the longest time I’ve wanted to make more workout videos and finally got around to it last Friday.  Today I’m sharing what I hope to be one of many to follow this year.  This workout uses my favorite exercise implement, the kettlebell (KB) of the 24kg load variety.  Of course, if you decide to take this workout for a test drive, size it as to duration and load according to your current abilities.

This is something that doesn’t always come easy for me.  For example, when viewing various workouts posted on fitness-related websites and YouTube, it seems that so many of them are intended for the younger fitness enthusiast in mind.  We “older folks” - the middle-aged men fitness enthusiast around the world - can easily be lured into believing that we should also be able to do these workouts with the same loads and in the same time as that younger whippersnapper demonstrating it in “dog and pony show” fashion during classroom show and tell time.

In my gracefully-aging journey, I confess that I’m at a different chapter in my fitness life.  It’s, therefore, essential to scale my workouts according to my current abilities.  Yet, they need to be challenging and requiring me to reach for the stars in my pursuit of middle-aged man fitness excellence.  I’m sure you’re no different.

Blah, blah, blah, blah!  Let’s get down to business with today’s workout that I’ve named the Pierini Fitness kettlebell (KB) carries complex.  It consists of three single-arm KB carries, each performed with your right arm first, and then left arm.  Each carry is held for one minute.  You have 15 seconds to change sides and carries.  When performed as prescribed, it’ll takes 7:30 to complete one round.  If you perform this workout for the first time, you may find, as I did, that one round is enough.

Eventually, I advanced to two rounds and that’s what I did the day I filmed this video, but only the first round is included in the video you’re about to view.

I gave myself 2:30 of recovery after the first round before beginning the second round.  Soon I’ll be ready to tackle three rounds but need to attempt this on a day when that’s all I do.  When filming this video last Friday, I had already completed a 25-minute “grease the groove” workout of alternating pull-ups and chin-ups.  I need to be 100 percent fresh to attempt three rounds of this KB carries complex.

So, when completed as prescribed, here’s what a timeline of one round looks like: 

KB carry
Time
Cumulative time
 Waiter carry R
1:00
1:00
 Transition
0:15
1:15
 Waiter carry L
1:00
2:15
 Transition
0:15
2:30
 Rack carry R
1:00
3:30
 Transition
0:15
3:45
 Rack carry L
1:00
4:45
 Transition
0:15
5:00
 Suitcase carry R
1:00
6:00
 Transition
0:15
6:15
 Suitcase carry L
1:00
7:15
 Done!
0:15
7:30

Here’s a video demonstration of me performing one round last Friday.


With the current KB weight, the time under tension of this workout will make your shoulders and entire core musculature feel that they’ve been worked hard.

This workout will also give you a decent serving of cardiovascular training, like it did for me, as indicated in the snapshot image below of heart rate statistics reported by my Garmin Forerunner 35:


My average heart rate (MHR) during this workout was 146 beats per minute.  Since I’ve self-assessed my MHR at 180 beats per minute, this means that I worked at 81 percent of my MHR during this workout. 

My highest heart rate during this workout was 163 beats per minute, or 91 percent of my MHR. 

Make no doubts about it, this KB carries complex is a bona-fide cardiovascular conditioning workout.

Take it for a test drive the next time you’re up for something different and then let me know what you think about my Pierini Fitness KB carries complex.

 Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Balderdash and poppycock!



Earlier this month, the American Psychological Association (APA) announced that for the first time ever, it’s releasing guidelines to help psychologists work with men and boys.

Its concern is that there’s something wrong with men because they commit 90 percent of the homicides in the United States and represent 77 percent of homicide victims.  They tell us we’re more likely to be victimized by violent crime and 3.5 times more likely than our lady counterparts to die by suicide. 

And, if that’s not enough, we’re told our average life expectancy is almost 5 years less than women.  The APA’s litany goes on and on, but I’ll spare you of the statistical details.

Now, no thanks to these new APA guidelines, the psychologists of the world whose mission it is to tell us men that we’re all nuts, will also be teaching that traditional masculinity is, for the most part, harmful.  Men socialized in this way, we’ll be told, are less likely to engage in healthy behaviors.

Quick to drink this Kool-Aid was Proctor and Gamble, an American multi-national consumer goods corporation founded by traditional men and whose products include the Gillette brand traditionally-masculine shaving creams and razors marketed towards young men wanting to be traditionally-masculine, and older traditionally-masculine men.

Thirty years ago, Gillette introduced its popular tagline, “The best a man can get” which it defined as an inspirational statement reflecting standards that many men strive to achieve. 

Now, Proctor and Gamble, and I’m sure others to follow, has not so cleverly yet sublimely given a two-thumbs down to traditionally masculinity, doing it slyly with its own descriptive tagline of “toxic masculinity.”

It’s a misguided attempt destined to fail that will fall upon deaf ears of most middle-aged men in America and around the world who have a correct understanding of traditional masculinity and what it means to be a traditional man.

America was made great thanks to traditional masculinity and traditional men who exhibited this time-tested and desirous virtue.  And, collectively, we traditionally masculine men will make America great again.  It’s what we want for our sons and our grandsons and succeeding generations of males to be born that we’ll never know.

Well thanks APA, for letting this middle-age man know what you think about traditional masculinity.  As ambassador of all middle-aged man around the world, the Pierini Fitness gut reaction response to your guidelines and new mission is thanks but no thanks.

APA’s guidelines aren’t relevant to the middle-aged men of Pierini Fitness, traditionally masculine men who think before acting, and are constantly reflecting about living and dying, gracefully-aging and trying our best to live good and honest lives.

Therefore, there are two words that best describe what we collectively think about this new APA nonsense.   

Balderdash and poppycock! 

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, January 14, 2019

Tools in my Pierini Fitness toolbox



For many years, this middle-aged man belonged to a gym and that’s where he went to exercise and chase his fitness, health and wellness pursuits.  In June 2015, however, I made a minimalist “business decision” to end my gym membership and be a fitness vagabond, getting my workouts in at various local parks, a spare room in my office and, occasionally, at home.  For some reason, working out at home isn’t something I do well.  I need to go somewhere for best results.  The various local parks I frequent are my training landscapes of choice.

Along with this minimalist fitness lifestyle, the tools in my fitness toolbox are few in count but get my job done.  I have two categories of tools, fitness equipment tools and fitness technology tools.  Today, I’d like to share with you the few items in my minimalist fitness toolbox.



Fitness equipment tools
First up is my Tommy Kono-autographed “Louisville Slugger” wooden pole.

My dear departed friend, American’s greatest Olympic weightlifter, Tommy Kono made this and gave it to be about 10 years ago when I was training in the Olympic lifts.  I use it to warm up my shoulders before a workout since a lot of what I do places great demands on my shoulders.

Here’s a dated picture of me using my Tommy Kono-autographed “Louisville Slugger” wooden pole:  


Many years ago, I made a video demonstrating the shoulder dislocates and overhead squat warm-up drill I use to loosen up my shoulders.  Here it is:


Here’s the autograph:


RIP Tommy Kono.

Next up is my kettlebell (KB) tools that I use the most.  I own three “bells” – a pair of 20kg KBs and one 24kg KB.  After researching various brands, I settled on Ader.  Here are pictures like the “bells” I own: 

I own two of these

I own one 24kg KB
Here are a couple of my favorite KB workouts:





Now that I’m back on the saddle at Pierini Fitness, I hope to make and share other KB complex training videos in the future.  Wish me well in my pursuits.

Next up is a pair of 5-lb. dumbbells I own.  I don’t use them often but when I do it’s to generally do a Heavy Hands workout. 


Here’s an explanation of one workout I do when using these 5-lb. dumbbells:


Here’s another workout I created to do at work when I’m very busy and don’t have time for a longer workout:


Next up is a 12-inch high-quality step box I purchased late last year.  I keep it at my office and use it there.  I use it for high-volume step exercise activities generally done in superset fashion along with another exercise like, for example, two-hand KB swings perform for multiple rounds.


One tool I own but don’t use is my jump rope.  I prefer to run or walk briskly because doing so is easier on my knees than the rope.  But there’s no doubt that the rope is an excellent tool that should be in most middle-aged men’s fitness tool box.  I reserve the right to take it out of storage and use it from time to time.

Finally, since I perform pull-ups and chin-ups in my training, I go to a local park that has a good pull-up station.  I owned one for many years that I used at home but a move several years ago made it necessary to get rid of it. 

Fitness technology tools
I’m a heart rate monitor junky and have been for many years.  Late last year I decided to “relapse” after being in recovery and not using my heart rate monitor for a while.  It was time to update this technology tool.  After much research, I learned that the “new kid of the block” was Garmin so I jumped ship after having been a faithful Polar user for many, many years.  I ended up buying a Garmin Forerunner 35 and am extremely pleased with my purchase.

Garmin Forerunner 35
What’s nice about Garmin is that you can create a Garmin Connect account at their website allowing the workout information captured on the watch to transfer to your account and get lots of good training performance analytics.  Since I’m an analytic guy, I really like this feature a lot.  Additionally, this Garmin Connect information automatically syncs to my MyFitnessPal account – see below.

Next up, is my iPhone app at MyFitnessPal.  I previously talked about MyFitnessPal in an earlier Pierini Fitness blogflection.  You can get a free membership by going to MyFitnessPal.com but I chose to upgrade a get a premium membership so that my visits there would be advertising-free, and I could have access to some other analytical tools.  I believe I pay about $50 a year for this premium membership and, thus far, it’s worth every cent of it.  I use this app daily.



Last technology tool in my fitness toolbox is my most recent purchase.  It’s a Withings Body+ Body Composition Wi-Fi Scale and I use it for my daily morning weigh-ins.  I understand that Nokia purchased Withings so sometimes the unit I purchased will be described as Nokia and sometimes as Withings.


Some fitness people say you shouldn’t weigh yourself daily, but this middle-aged man takes exception.  I’m an analytical fitness dude and what my data daily.  What’s neat about this scale is that the information automatically syncs to my MyFitnessPal account.

Finally, not pictured is a blood pressure home unit that I use periodically to see how I’m doing in the blood pressure department.  Thus far, my blood pressure is excellent, and I want to keep it that way.  Getting a reading from time to time is the best way to make sure all is well.

A closing comment is that everything I’ve shared with you is solely to explain what I use in my middle-aged man fitness, health and wellness journey.  Unlike some bloggers, I don’t have any affinity agreements with any of these companies to earn spending money.  I make my money practicing my profession.   Everything I share here is solely for the joy of sharing information that’s hopefully helpful to you.

My dear fellow middle-aged men fitness brothers from different mothers, these are the tools in my Pierini Fitness toolbox.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum