Category: Basics

Drug-taking in Ancient Times

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Performance enhancing drugs seem to become more problematic every year. Athletes are getting bigger, stronger and faster. Spectators are getting curious, suspicious and concerned. Performance enhancing drugs have touched nearly every major sport at one level or another. It’s a modern problem right?

Well not exactly…

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Suits, Boots and Brutes: The History of Powerlifting Gear

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Early this month I had the pleasure (?) of helping a friend of mine at his local powerlifting meet. Over the months he had squatted, benched and deadlifted with a remarkable intensity and focus. When the time came for the big day, I was honoured that he asked me to come along. Admittedly, I didn’t know what to expect.

Despite training for over a decade at this point, a time that has included powerlifting programmes, my knowledge of the sport was largely confined to big athletes lifting even bigger things. The powerlifting meet changed that. At least somewhat. Still big athletes and big things but now there were elastic singlets, knee wraps and in the warm up benching shirts. What I thought to be a simple sport (in theory, not in execution) was anything but.

Competitors discussed the relative merits of heel height in their lifting shoes, the importance of tight weightlifting belts and which squat suit provided the best bang for their buck. When the time came for my friend’s first squat, I had to peel him into, and then later, out of, his own squat suit. Moral of the story? Always ask what exactly is entailed when you agree to help someone!

In any case the experience rekindled my interest in the history of powerlifting, specifically all its bells and whistles. In today’s post, we’re going to discuss the emergence of weightlifting belts, shoes, squat suits and bench shirts to determine what emerged, when and why.

The History of the Low-Carb Diet

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Ah the low-carbohydrate diet, a form of eating that has become so ingrained in 21st century culture that you could be forgiven for thinking it was a relatively new idea. The truth is that low-carb diets have existed since the 19th century, when an Englishman named William Banting began promoting a low-carb way of life. Although clinical obesity is a relatively new phenomenon (it only really came to the fore in the 20th century), people for centuries have dealt with weight issues. William Banting was one such man, who so impressed with the result’s of his diet, began to market the low-carb way of living.

So who was William Banting and how did he discover this diet?

Guest Post: Common Sleep Disorders and Their Solutions

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Our latest post comes from the wonderful and talented Samantha Olivier from Ripped.me. We’re delighted to have Samantha featured on the site again and know you’ll enjoy her latest piece

Sleep disorders are numerous, with more than eighty different types affecting people of all ages, genders, and sizes around the world. In the USA alone, more than 70 million people suffer from various forms of sleep disorders that hinder their daytime performance and can lead to serious long-term illnesses if not treated properly.

The History of the Leg Press Machine

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Though oftentimes derided on the gym floor, the leg press machine has nevertheless become a staple of weight lifting life through the globe. Yes it’s not as ‘hardcore’ as the squat and yes it’s oftentimes abused by bros quarter repping but this piece of equipment has a long and interesting history behind it.

A long and interesting history, which will take us into today’s post. We felt that having only really covered the Smith Machine in detail, it was time we began to look at the history behind some of the more popular machines known to lifters.

Guest Post: 3 Home Workouts for Anyone Interested in Natural Bodybuilding

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Photo courtesy of Flickr

For many aspiring bodybuilders, natural bodybuilding is an appealing choice. “Natural bodybuilding” refers to bodybuilding that does not involve the use of steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs, whereas “traditional bodybuilding” allows competitors to take drugs. If you’re a natural bodybuilder, the lack of drug use may mean that it can be harder to get to a low body fat percentage.

However, there have been many impressive physique transformations by naturals. Incorporating elements of plyometric circuits into training can help natural bodybuilders stay lean and achieve the physique they’ve always wanted. Below are three challenging circuits to help you reach your dream physique.

The (Somewhat Complete) History of the Deadlift!

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Having previously looked at the history of the squat, bench press and even the smith machine, it seemed about time that we did a history of the deadlift. We’ve been putting this one off for quite a while, even looking at the Romanian Deadlift en lieu of the actual thing.

The stumbling block in approaching the history of the deadlift is the amount of smoke and mirrors surrounding one of the most popular exercises in the Iron Game. Someone writes something in a training book or blog and suddenly it becomes part of the popular lore. Actual research is a lot harder to come by. Nevertheless, it’s clear that deadlifts and variations on the deadlift have been around since time began. Man and woman kind has seemingly always displayed an insatiable desire to pick heavy things up from the ground.

For the sake of my sanity and timekeeping however, we’ll begin in with the eighteenth-century when a variation of the deadlift, of heavy lifting, briefly took England by storm.

Fitness To Improve Health – What You Need To Do

There is a lot of talk in the press right now about the difference between leading an active lifestyle and actively exercising for fitness. The benefits of both these approaches are enormous, especially if you have a desk job. But can either be effective in improving your health? Generally speaking, if your health needs improvement, then increasing your activity might help. Is there more to it than that though?

Guest Post: 5 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing That Stubborn Belly Weight

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Jogging for hours and doing hundreds of sit-ups a day should make you totally ripped, but what if your belly weight is still there? The reason why you can’t get rid of that stubborn fat are numerous and connected to your age, lifestyle, diet and stress level, so you need to identify your biggest opponents and learn how to defeat them. Here are five reasons why you’re not losing belly weight and what you can do about it.

Guest Post: How to Stay Fit After 50

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The old saying goes that you are as old as you feel. This is most definitely true in spirit, but when it comes to your body – your actual age starts creeping up on you pretty fast. After your 50th birthday, the changes become more rapid and a lot harsher. This is exactly the reason to get ahead of the curve and start paying proper attention to what you eat and how you treat your body. Start scheduling regular checkups and once you make an exercise plan stick to it no matter what.