ONLY IN SPARTA

HISTORY


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SPARTA

From the eBook series INVENTING FITNESS PART I available on Amazon.com

Spartan

adjective

  •  Marked by strict self discipline or self denial
  • Simplicity, frugality

Boot camp

Today, a new recruit arrives to basic training pretty much having no idea what is in store. A Spartan boy however, would have had a few years preparation and by age 7, sent to the agoge.

Unlike the upscale gyms of Athens, the agoge was the original bootcamp. And still it got worse. Overseen by paidonomous, or “boy hearders,” a basic education was taught. No reciting of Homer. No poetry. Young men were not taught to challenge their minds like Athenians. Here, barefoot and with one set of clothes a young boy was introduced to life.

Today there are many races and workouts all themed with Sparta; however nothing compares to them or their techniques of strength building.


 

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IIFIYM and why it probably won’t work for you

EATING HEALTHY


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WHAT EXACTLY IS A FAD?

First, what ever happened to a simple cheat meal? The concept being, that after staying on track, eating wise and healthy for a specific amount of time, we reward ourselves with the meal of our choice. Guilt free. Your inner self thanking you, you revel in high caloric deliciousness, and your metabolism possibly getting a little jump start as well.

fad   noun

  • an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object’s qualities; a craze.

IIFIYM


The acronym gone Instafamous, If It Fits In Your Macros, i.e. “flexible dieting”, has gone viral and taken the industry by storm, and not without it’s controversies. This one, in my opinion, has asked for it. The concept behind it seems simple enough. Stay within your “count” and you can be “flexible” and eat what you want, on a regular basis.

Yeah, no.

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO, HMMMM

Pizza once in awhile is probably not going to cause you a lot of problems. Keep trying to justify eating it on a regular basis because 2 slices “fits in your macros” will probably lead to some issues, though. By the way, who says restaurants and companies are telling the truth on all that serving info? There are such things as “empty calories”. Unless you cooked the food yourself, fully aware of exactly what went into it, how does one know the truth?

We don’t.

“The only way to get the fat off is to eat less and exercise more” – Jack Lalanne

The man lived to be 96. Personally, I believe he was doing something right. Second, to be clear my favorite cheat meal happens to be onion rings. I love them dipped in everything from honey mustard to ranch. However, knowing that a typical serving has anywhere from 15 – 18 grams of fat, in roughly 6 – 9 pieces, do I just figure this into my daily count and eat them whenever I want?

No.

Fried food clogs arteries and contributes to a whole host of health problems. All of this leads me to my main point. Eating clean means different things to different people. To the majority of us it simply means consuming more fresh, relatively additive and preservetive free foods that are proven to be good for us. And full of flavor!

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Diets and fads come and go, but one thing remains the same, we have to watch what we eat and exercise more.

As with starting any new diet or exercise regimen I would suggest first consulting a physician.

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“To-may-to, to-mah-to”

The Tomato


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Growing up, I ate good food. I was spoiled in that regard. My family has always had a garden and for sure tomatoes have been a staple. My Uncle Pete, sicilian, was an influence as well and to this day I have never been able to replicate his rigatoni. However, his tomato salad has been a constant in my kitchen for years now. We supplied the tomatoes, he made the salad. That’s how it worked. I spoke with him recently and got a refresher. He informed me after all these years, that it was his mothers favorite.


“Only two things money can’t buy, That’s true love and homegrown tomatoes” – Guy Clark


JUICY FACTS

The origins of the tomato can be traced back to Central South America and were cultivated by the Aztecs.

  • The french believed them to be a powerful aphrodisiac, and called them “pomme d’amour” or love apple.

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  • The Latin name is lycopersican escutentum, or edible wolf’s peach”.
  • Tomatoes are full of Lycopene, believed to be a powerful antioxident, and is why they turn red as the they ripen.

Tomato Salad 

All you’ll need 🍅

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3 – 4 fully ripe Big Beef, or Beef Steak tomatoes, cut in quarters

Half of a medium Red Onion, thinly sliced

Fresh basil, shredded

Extra Virgin Olive Oil to drizzle

Salt & Pepper for seasoning

And 2 – 3 teaspoons of water.

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Voila, a bowl full of love apples!

Clean, fresh, healthy, what more could you want?

The weather is changing, windows are opening, and food for me, takes on an entirely different style. Part of the secret in this simple, yet spectacular salad is that all the ingredients are fresh and of high quality.


I fully document my love affair with food on Twitter: @jwilltrain

 

#mondaymotivation

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This Week

#1 Mindset

Decide right now, what part of the week is for getting up, getting moving, and getting active. Mark it on your calender. It’s yours. Think of that time like a reservation. Cancel at the last minute and recieve a hefty fine.

#2 Decide

“Shoulda, woulda, coulda.” Ban these words from your vocabulary. Effective immediately. Start with “I can, I will, I am“.

#3 Start

Don’t know where to begin? Go get on the treadmill and push start. Pick up the dumbbell and curl it. Elliptical? Start peddling. Take a nice long walk around the neighborhood. If your a seasoned pro, ramp it up. Add another set. Arnold said it’s all in the last 2 reps so pump em’ out. Add 10 more pounds

What are you waiting for?

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ANATOMY OF A WORKOUT

GYM TIME


 

“Sweat plus sacrifice equals success”

With all the fads, trends, and broscience out there, it can be very confusing trying to design an effective workout regimine. On one hand, I always say routines are not a one-size-fits-all. On the other there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

None the less, you’ve made up your mind and your ready to sweat. You need a plan of action. This is meant as an overview for getting started. If you already rock it out in the gym….props to you.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started”

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I. WARM UP

All workouts need a short period of warming up. Look at this portion of your workout the way you do your treasured automobile. In the winter, you turn it on and let it run for a bit, all the while wiping any fingerprints from the dash.

Why?

Besides getting your metabolism going and circulating blood and oxygen, your helping the respitory system get ready for what is to come. Keep it somewhere between 5 – 10 minutes. A little dynamic stretching here is good. Those stretches that are quick, ideal for getting blood pumping, and geared toward the muscle groups being worked. Hamstrings & Quads on Leg Day, or even bodysquats.

II. BODY 

Depending on your routine allot a specific amount of time for the entire workout, including time for rests in between sets. Say, for example, your working the shoulders: Below is known as a pyramid, typically used in a mass building phase.

Wide Grip Lat Pulldown

  • Warm up Set x 12 – 15
  • Set I (12 reps)
  • Set II (10 reps)
  • Set III (10 reps)
  • Set IV (8 reps) 

Leave 1 to 1-1/2 minutes in between sets for rest. Tip Watch out, scrolling through your newsfeed will seriously derail your concentration and turn that minute and a half into 10. With a quickness. Focus.

Workouts should be structured. You made it into the gym and thats awesome. Make it count. Aimlessly going from one thing to the next with no clear idea only hinders progress. Take a moment to plan out your weekly routines based on what your ultimate goal is. If strength building is your intention, decide how the week will should go ahead of time.

Week 1 

  • Monday – Chest
  • Tuesday – Legs/Abs
  • Wednesday – Back
  • Thursday -Shoulders/Abs
  • Friday – Biceps/Triceps
  • Saturday – Rest
  • Sunday – Abs/Light Cardio

This is known as your training split. Dividing your workouts by muscle group. Above is a basic “Push/Pull”.

III. COOL DOWN

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Benefits

The cooling down period is just as important as the warmup. Save static type stretches for afterwards. Stretches meant to elongate the muscles, they help prevent lactid acid buildup and stiffness. True, “leg day” wasn’t a killer if your not a little sore a day or two later. Stretch anyway. These are most effective if held for at least 30 seconds.

If your heavy on cardio and just performed H.I.I.T on the treadmill, don’t just stop. We aren’t 747’s that can just throw up spoilers. Gradually reduce your speed until the last, 1 – 1/2 minutes are a slow walk. Take sips from that water bottle you’ve brought along. Then do your stretching.

Spring will start officially in a few weeks. Summertime fun after that. Get a head start on all of it.

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