luka

Well-known member
Staff member
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9vKfcCwpObw

Big Danny L requested,it, Padraig (U.S) seconded it, now here it is. For all you gym rats out there, time to compare maximum bench stats.

What do you do, how do you do it, and, crucuially, how many inches are your pythons?
 

Leo

Well-known member
I live in a fifth-floor walk-up apartment, that's about the extent of my exercise. 68 stairs, 80 if I'm up and down to the basement to do laundry.

Being carless, I do a fair bit of walking. Yesterday the health app on my phone said 8 miles (17,000 steps). Not too shabby for an old geezer.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I do general body weight exercises - push ups, crunches, plank, squats, leg raises, dips - and have a set of dumbbells, but I stopped over Christmas and still haven't gotten back into the habit.
 

catalog

Well-known member
Do you just work out at home then? I need to build some regular fitness into my life, cos I'm too sedentary. But I might have to join a gym cos if I'm not paying, I feel like I won't do it. It's like meditation or something, can't do it on my own motivation, which is sad I know
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
The main thing I do at the moment is lament how much time I don't have, due to work and kids, to exercise. I think the phrase is "disciplinary regime" and under late capitalism fitness becomes another one to fail at. I don't have the time in part because I prioritise my partner going to yoga, because she has a degree of depression and I know it's good for her mental health. The intersection of wellness and mental health under capitalism is another one of these strands we could pick at. I think of what appears to happen to her when she goes to yoga in Reichian terms, a parasympathetic expansion. She went last night and when she came back was pretty much a different person, full of optimism, ideas and affection (which included a discussion about finding time for me to get to the gym, funnily enough). I think Reich often nailed things that are simply under our noses and expansion and contraction is one of them. He saw it as fundamental to the life process. I recognise how much my own moods and mindset can shift when I'm expanded vs contracted.

I have dabbled with weights/Olympic weightlifting in the past and greatly enjoyed it. I also did Chinese martial arts for about 10 years or so, alongside swimming, running and calisthenics, though none of this was scheduled or measured. Obvs weights lends itself to measurement. Chinese martial arts are weird, great fun, but it doesn't really impact hard on your fitness neither if you're being honest does it teach you how to fight. These disciplines seem somewhat eclipsed by MMA etc though they have great meditative qualities which is perhaps their real strength. I mucked around a bit with "Reality based martial arts" - read Geoff Thompson et al and went to a few seminars. That's proper mad but interesting stuff. Gets you to ask questions any martial artists should think about, like what would it be like to engage with real violence, but ofc there's a load of performative idiocy to be found on that scene.

I have a set of old school "strands" at home which were a popular "physique" tool before the creation and commercial distribution of weights as a tool. I have bouts of using these a few times a week, alongside pressups, bodyweight squats etc but I find it hard to sustain, 'cos so much other stuff is occurring that fills up life.

In general I value the idea of strength. I'm quite big and I like being strong - though I'm a wimp in the gym (long arms and legs - problematic). I know Mark Rippetoe is a bit of a dick but I like the writing at the beginning of Starting Strength where he says something like "strength is the most important thing in life".
 
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DannyL

Wild Horses
I heard an interview with the founder of that system on the Art of Manliness podcast. That podcast and the site, the whole brand, is in itself is worth a look for a survey of the grab bag of failings and insecurities that is contemporary masculinity.
https://www.artofmanliness.com/

It feels slightly shaming that I used to listen to it. It's earnest and uncomplicated in a very American way.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
I've noticed that people tend to make friends with people their own size and shape. Not to say there aren't exceptions. But it's a general rule which is generally true.

But I had a period in my mid thirties where I was mostly knocking about with a burlier lad. Not a muscle man, just naturally a bit burly. And I ended up getting a set of Dumbbells and lifting them till I changed shape. Thicker neck bigger shoulders bigger arms. Put on about 3 stone. It exerted a weird pressure on me. It was also all the beers I was drinking and my slowing metabolism. But still interesting.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
When I lost a stone or so it was really nice. I'd had food poisoning and then gave up boozing for a year and a half or so and just the feeling of being lighter on the feet etc. Just needing less energy to move. Felt younger.

So I think the fetish for bulk is probably stupid in the long run. bad for the health. Feels gross.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
A lot of the different things you can do to your body are almost mutually exclusive. Body builders don't do cardio and wheeze up every short flight of stairs. In the Mark Rippetoe video I posted where he's mocking yoga he's saying flexibility is really bad for you. You should have stiff, tight joints which are harder to injure. Just a kind of walking slab of concrete.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
I watched the documentary about Ronnie Coleman on Netflix last week. Really enjoyed it but at least 50% of my pleasure was looking at footage of Ronnie BITD and going "Jesus Christ!" He's a salutary tale as the documentary follows the run up to his latest bout of surgery. Back fucked, on crutches. He's kinda like the Ali of bodybuilding, stole fire from heaven and suffered for it.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Nicking Padraig's comment from the other thread:

fitness is an end unto itself

one of the things I dislike most about modern society is that once you're an adult physical fitness, and activity generally, is a hobby

obviously people are encouraged by doctors etc to exercise, but it's something you pursue in your spare time, after work/other responsibilities

and it's something that's difficult if not impossible for many people to pursue, due to lack of time/resources

and along with poor diet, you see the massively deleterious effects on public health


Couldn't agree more tbh

Also about the class dimensions of Crossfit. It never occurred to me as starkly as you put it there, but yes, of course.

I guess one question is what are current fantasies of physique, and why do they exist?
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I heard the other day...."If your life doesn't let you eat properly, then change your life" - same for exercise I'd say.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Exercise is a drug with few downsides. I was going to say no downside but of course you can injure yourself.

There's a good reason it's always listed as one of the key things to use to beat depression.

I used to fucking LOATHE it, mind you. Two keys to how I grew to like/love it.

1. Ignore the go hard/go home thing when starting out. Chances are if you go hard too fast you'll go home and never leave the couch again. Exercise should involve discomfort but you shouldn't be dreading it like a PE lesson.

2. Structure - this is what made the gym click for me. Establish a routine, keep the exercises to the minimum, make it as simple as possible. I do two routines, A/B/A/B etc. Each has three exercises. Break 1min 30 between each set. Before this I was wandering around doing bits and pieces, no idea why I was picking those exercises, no sense of progression.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Oh and 3 - find a way to do it that you ENJOY. I didn't enjoy the gym til a few years ago. I enjoy bouldering though, which is really good for you and (in my experience) so fun that you don't even realise you're getting fit.

If you hate running, e.g., it might be that you're pushing too hard too fast - but also you might just hate running.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
This thread is making me feel bad as I haven't hit the gym since October, although as excuses go I suppose I have a fairly good one.

I want to hear from HMGovt in this thread. By all accounts he goes in, does about three reps and then leaves, twice a week, and already has forearms like Popeye.

I've noticed that people tend to make friends with people their own size and shape. Not to say there aren't exceptions. But it's a general rule which is generally true.
Here's a thing that once you've noticed it, you'll always notice it: individually, there are thin girl goths and fat boy goths, but in any goth couple, the man will be a stick figure and the woman will be enormous.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I never go to the gym or do any kind of exercise apart from actual sport, if I'm not chasing a ball I can't normally get out of first gear.
That said, I don't mind swimming a few lengths I guess, and when we were in Wantage before moving to Portugal I did try out the rowing machine a few times and we've been talking about doing it again. Thing is, I am never gonna pay to be a member, I want to just walk in, use the thing for (I dunno) half an hour and then go, why the fuck isn't it possible for me to pay, say, 5 euros and do that? Cheapest way in the nearest place is 20 euros for a day pass but that seems completely excessive when there is no chance I'll do more than an hour of exercise.
 

HMGovt

Bamber Clatscoigne
I want to hear from HMGovt in this thread. By all accounts he goes in, does about three reps and then leaves, twice a week, and already has forearms like Popeye.
Pretty close. I'm rarely in there longer than 15 minutes, except when I can be bothered to row all out for 500 metres, which takes <2 minutes.

I usually do 15-20 reps on each machine (six of them) with sufficient weight to make the last few reps a painful, face-contorting effort. That weight increases gradually but number of reps is constant. It's been more rewarding lately, so I'm going three times a week. I should probably try deadlifts and other free weights, but it's a faff compared to the machines.

If you achieve enough intensity it'll increase your VO2 max as much as aerobic exercise, so why bother with that, outside everyday cycling, walking and fucking?

Who shall be the first to poast physique?
 
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