Author: Conor Heffernan

Conor is currently researching Ireland's physical culture movement as a PhD student at University College Dublin. When not in the library or the gym, he likes to try his hand at writing....with mixed results.

Forgotten Exercises: The One Arm Clean and Jerk

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Recently I had the good fortune to stumble across Alan Radley’s excellent History of Physical Culture work. A combination of fun facts, serious scholarship and enough photographs to keep any Ironhead happy, it’s likely that I’ll be dipping in and out of this work for years to come.

In any case, Radley’s scholarship highlighted a number of odd lifts and techniques that although hugely popular during the heyday of physical culture in the early 1900s, have now largely fallen by the wayside.

The focus of today’s short post is one such lift, namely the one arm clean and jerk.

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Guest Post: 5 Fun Ways to Lose Weight This Summer

It’s true that we all make promises to ourselves to be skinny when the summer comes but we also know that these kinds of things rarely go according to plan. However, summer is a great time for losing weight for many reasons. First of all, you’ll probably have more time to devote to it. Besides, there are plenty of outdoor activities you can engage in, burn some calories, and have some fun along the way. So, if you’re not much of a gym lover, here are top five ways to lose weight this summer.

Guest Post: What You Need to Know about Vitamin B12 [Infographic]

Taking fitness seriously not only means training regularly but also means paying attention to the vitamins and nutrients that our body needs. While working out is often half of the battle towards increasing fitness, enhancing health and protecting against anti-aging, getting the right amount of nutrients is a long term battle.

Most of us know about the ‘headline’ vitamins such as vitamins C and D but B is often talked about much less, and specifically B12 is one of the most under discussed vitamins, that a growing number of people are deficient in. B12 plays a vital part in many of our body’s core functions such as the production of red blood cells and nerve cells.

Not only that, being deficient in B12 is likely to make you tired, sluggish and prone to getting headaches. To find out more about vitamin B12 and the symptoms, causes and treatments check out the below infographic by psysci:

The History of the Reverse Grip Bench Press

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Without doubt one of the odder movements in the gym goers’ repertoire, the reverse grip bench press is a lift you’re unlikely to see on a regular basis. Somewhat circus-like in its execution, the lift is nevertheless an invaluable one to those suffering from issues of shoulder mobility and I’d suggest, boredom.

A fun lift to try, even just once, the Reverse Grip Bench Press (henceforth the RBGP) has a relatively recent and interesting history. A history that stems primarily it seems, from the world of powerlifting and hardcore bodybuilding gyms. A history that will be examined in today’s brief post.

Jackson Bowling, Steroids Good or Bad? (Muscular Developement, September 1968)

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Bodybuilders and athletes alike are hearing more and more about the “new” tissue drugs and anabolic steroids, but down to earth facts and information has been hard to come by.

Just what are these steroids ? Are they harmful ? Do they really work the miracles some claim ? These are but a few of the many questions that more and more weight trainees are asking, and this article hopes to give the answers in plain, every day terms.

From Waffles to Weightlifting: Eleiko Barbell

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In many ways the gold standard of the Iron game, few lifters will go through their careers without using an Eleiko barbell at some point in time. An iconic range in the weightlifting community, the history of this Swedish company is often forgotten. Indeed, so commonplace have Eleiko products become, be they barbells or plates, that we often take their very existence for granted. Having previously examined the history of the barbell, it seems only fitting to examine one of the most iconic barbells around.

When one digs a little deeper however, a bizarre story of waffles, weightlifting and innovation begins to emerge.

Guest Post: How to Encourage Your Children to be Physically Active

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As parents, it is our responsibility to keep our kids healthy. Physical activity helps them build strong muscles and bones, and also gives them a really good night’s sleep. Researchers say children need compulsory physical exercises not only to prevent obesity but also to improve their cognitive skills and academic performance.

When we talk about physical activity for young children we don’t mean signing them up for the gym. It is all about being active and moving around instead of sitting in one place. 

Forgotten Training Protocols: 4 x 10 Clusters

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For whatever reason some training systems remain in the public psyche while others fall to the wayside, continued only by a few dedicated and often fixated trainers. Thus while nearly every intermediate and certainly every advanced trainee is familiar with manipulating rep ranges, few seem to stray outside the comfort zone of 5 x 5, 8 x 3 and whatever other bland rep schemes we chose. What about 7 x 4 for a change?

Musing aside, today’s short post details 4 x 10 clusters, a method of volume training first introduced to me several years ago by an older trainee and a fallback I use whenever my training gets a little stale.

Guest Post: 5 Extreme Sports You Need To Check Out

In a modern urban environment, it’s sometimes hard to find new challenges and get your blood pumping with excitement. These experiences are precious – they make us feel invigorated and help us push the limits of our abilities. Extreme sports are the best way to experience such thrills and also meet new people who enjoy similar risk-taking activities.

Participating in these sports takes a lot of preparation. Moreover, following the rules and safety instructions is imperative. The excitement isn’t going to be worth your while if you don’t come back in one piece, so make sure to inform yourself on all the possibilities and necessary precautions.