Alternative Native


June 1, 2006
On a trip to Baguio, our family stopped at the famous Lion's head at Kennon Road to take pictures. It was typical tourist stuff, so I decided to be different. My idea was, I would look for an Igorot and pose with him. I got my own camera and began scouting for an indigenous model. Soon enough, I found one-complete with weaved bags and long curly hair.

I called my brother so he could take a picture of us. I was explaining my plan to him when he looked at me, as though insulted. "Pare, mukha ba akong indigenous?" Turns out he was an artist on vacation as well-and as most artists go, he looked, uhm, "indigenous." Good thing he didn't have a temper!

- Leandro, by email
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Mikke Gallardo

Navel Maneuvers

Every 36 minutes, a visitor to the Men's Health US website clicks on "Ask the Muscle Guy" and throws a question to Lou Schuler, Men's Health US's Fitness Director. People ask 14,600 questions a year. The question he's most often asked? "What do I do with my abs?" Since we know for a fact that there are a lot of men here in the Philippines who are also obsessed with their midsection, we picked nine popular ab-related Qs and turned to Mr. Schuler for some answers (thanks Lou!). Here are a few pieces of advice.



Q: I'm very lean-less than 10 percent body fat-but I still have only two visible segments of my six-pack. How do I get the final four?

A: When I first started working out in a commercial gym, circa 1980, there was this guy who'd come in and start his workout with a set of full situps on a slant board, which was the opposite of what everyone else was doing back then. We were doing hundreds of cute little crunches while he was doing dozens of nasty situps. Guess who had the abs?

I like the full-range-of-motion ab exercises, as opposed to the truncated crunch variations, for three reasons: One, full situps are harder, and I think harder is better. Two, they force other muscles in your thighs and trunk to help with the exercise, and I believe the more muscle you use, the more muscle you build. Nature didn't design your muscles to work in isolation; why try to build them that way? Three, their reputation as being hard on a healthy back is exaggerated. (There's some risk, but not more than in exercises such as reverse crunches, which no one regards as dangerous.)

Here's how to do the full situp on a slant board: Hook your feet under the braces, lower yourself until your lower back is flat against the bench, then pull yourself up to a full sitting position.

As you get better at it, you can lower the angle of the slant board and increase your knee angle-that is, put your butt farther from your heels. I like to do this exercise with straight legs. From that elongated position, first push your lower back against the board, flattening your spine, then start curling up.

Body Doubled

Supersets are the extra-value meals of exercise: more of what you want, at a lower cost. They can give you more muscle in less time, with less energy expenditure and even less boredom.









You probably know the basic idea behind supersets: You alternate between sets of different exercises with little rest in between, rather than knock out all your sets of one exercise before moving on to the next.




Here's a quick example of why supersets are, for lack of a better word, super. Say you want to do four sets each of bench presses and seated cable rows, 10 repetitions per set, with two minutes' rest between sets. Let's assume each repetition takes six seconds, so a complete set takes 60 seconds. With straight sets, it takes 24 minutes.

Now, let's superset these two exercises and take 90 seconds' rest after each exercise. So you'll do a set of bench presses, rest 90 seconds, do a set of rows, rest 90 seconds, and repeat.

This time, you complete the same program in 20 minutes, which is nice. But the key difference is that you take a full four minutes to recover between one set of bench presses and the next, and between sets of rows. This means you can use more weight for these exercises and, as a result, get more total work done in less time.

With some creativity, you can use supersets to build more muscle, burn fat, and get stronger. So strap on your cape and get ready to supersize your workouts.

Supersets for bigger muscles

Your muscles have two types of fibers. The smaller, slow-twitch fibers are used primarily for endurance activities, and the bigger, fast-twitch fibers mostly come into play when you need to move a heavy object, or move a light object fast. But all the fibers-big and small, fast and slow-have the potential to get larger. So it makes sense to work them all if you want the biggest muscles possible.

The plan: Do 10 repetitions of one exercise, then 20 repetitions of a different exercise for the same muscle group, without rest. Then rest 60 seconds and repeat. Two or three of the following supersets is plenty.

Example 1: Builds chest, triceps, front shoulders

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
(10 repetitions) Set an incline bench to about 30 degrees. Hold the weights just above the top of your chest, then push them straight up.

Pushup
(20 repetitions) Get on the floor with your back straight, your body weight resting on your palms and toes. Lower yourself to the floor, then push back up.

Example 2: Builds lats, biceps

Close-grip Chinup
(10 repetitions) Grab a chinup bar with an underhand grip, your hands 6-12 inches apart. Hang at arm's length, then pull your chin up over the bar, pause, and lower yourself.

Wide-grip Lat Pulldown
(20 repetitions) Grab the bar with the widest possible overhand grip. Pull the bar down to your chest, pause, then return to the starting position.

Supersets for strength and power

Most of us use the words "strength" and "power" interchangeably, but they're actually two separate qualities. Strength is measured by the amount of weight you can move, at any speed. Power is weight times speed, or the ability to knock an inanimate object into the next ZIP code. Both qualities are important for sports perfor-mance. And the strength/power combo allows you to work with heavier weights in the gym, which means you build muscle faster.

The plan: Do a five-repetition set of a heavy-duty strength exercise, followed by 5-10 repetitions of a power exercise-something that involves moving your body as fast as possible while holding

Example: Builds entire lower body, improves vertical jump

Squat
(five repetitions) Hold a barbell across your upper back and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor, pause, then stand back up.

Dumbbell Squat Jump
(5-10 repetitions) Stand holding a pair of dumbbells at arm's length at your sides. Squat down about halfway, then immediately jump as high as you can. Bend your knees as you land. Regain your balance, then repeat.

Supersets for fat loss

Pure weight loss can be accomplished with something as simple and sedentary as having your lips stapled shut. But along with fat, you'll lose muscle. If that's your goal, be my guest. But if you want to lose only fat, you have to do intensive muscle-building exercises that require so much energy that your body suffers a massive caloric deficit.

The plan: Do 10 repetitions of one exercise for your lower body, then, without resting, do 10 repetitions of an upper-body exercise. Make sure both lifts tap the largest muscle groups possible. Rest 60 seconds and repeat. Do a total of four supersets of each exercise pair.

Example: Works entire lower body (particularly gluteals and back of thighs), trapezius, chest, shoulders, arms

Deadlift
(10 repetitions) Roll a barbell to your shins and squat over it with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grab the bar overhand with your hands just outside your legs. Straighten your back and lift your chest and head, then stand, keeping the weight against your legs at all times. Slowly lower it, sliding it along your legs. Let it touch the floor before you start the next repetition.

Bench Press
(10 repetitions) Lie on a flat bench and grab a barbell with an overhand grip just wider than shoulder width. Lift the barbell off the rack and hold it straight over your chest. Lower it to the middle of your chest, pause, then push it straight up. You can use dumbbells, if you prefer.

Combined Power

Exercise Photographs by Beth Bishoff





Swiss-ball pushup/jackknife



Good morning/behind-the-neck press


Allow US to make an assumption about you: When you hit the weight room, you sometimes have trouble focusing on the simple act of working one muscle group at a time, resting, working it again, resting, and continuing for an hour that often seems like five. Sure, you like the results, but you have to wonder if there isn't a faster track to the same trophy muscles.

There is. "You can perform two or three exercises at the same time, and you can handle some heavy loads while you do it," says Alwyn Cosgrove, CSCS, a strength coach and owner of Cosgrove F.A.S.T. Systems in Newhall, California. The tech-nical name for these multipart exercises is hybrid lifts, and Cosgrove uses them successfully with time-pressed athletes and executives.

You can do the following hybrid lifts two different ways: You can hoist fairly heavy weights, lift slowly, and use the exercises as your main muscle builders. Or you can try lighter weights, work fast, and use them to improve sports performance or shift your fat-burning metabolism into the credit column.

Either way, try them two or three times a week for four weeks. You may get so hooked on multitasking that you never go back to lifting weights the old-fashioned way.

1. WORK YOUR ABS AND CHEST

Swiss-ball pushup/jackknife

Get into pushup position—your hands set slightly wider than and in line with your shoulders—but instead of placing your feet on the floor, rest your shins on a Swiss ball. Startwith your arms straight and your back flat.

Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor.

Pause, then push yourself back up to the starting position.

Now, lift your hips up as high as you can and pull your feet toward you by rolling the ball as close to your torso as possible.

Pause, then roll the ball back to the starting position. That’s one repetition.

Do two sets of 10-12 repetitions.

To build more muscle: Try the bench press/reverse crunch. Lie on a bench with your feet in the air, a medicine ball or dumbbell between your knees, and a barbell or dumbbells held up at arm’s length. Lower the weights to your chest, then do a reverse crunch—curl your hips up and in toward your torso. Lower your hips to the bench, then raise the bar to arm’s length and repeat.

2. WORK YOUR LOWER BACK, GLUTEALS, HAMSTRINGS, AND SHOULDERS

Good morning/behind-the-neck press

3. WORK YOUR BACK, BICEPS, AND ENTIRE LOWER BODY

Dumbbell power clean/box jump/squat

Dumbbell power clean/box jump/squat


Grab a pair of light dumbbells and stand about six inches behind a sturdy box or step that’s 12-18 inches high. Hold the dumbbells at your sides and bend your knees slightly.

Jump up on the box by dipping your knees and swinging your arms forward. Allow your momentum to carry your arms up and bend your elbows so that when you land on the box, your upper arms are parallel to the floor and the dumbbells rest above your shoulders.

Keep the dumbbells in the same posi-tion and perform squats by lowering your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Step down off the box.

Do four or five sets of 4-6 repetitions, completing up to four squats after each jump. So a set of four cleans and jumps could include up to 16 squats.

To build more muscle: Try the power clean and squat, without the jump. That way you can use heavier weights for the clean.



4. WORK YOUR LOWER BODY, UPPER BACK, AND BICEPS

Jump squat/sternum chinup

Stand under a chinup bar with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands at your sides.

Lower your body by bending your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor, then jump up to the chinup bar so that your palms are facing you and shoulder-width apart when you grab it.

Using the momentum from your jump, pull yourself up until your chest touches the bar. You’ll have to arch backward to pull this off.

Lower yourself to the starting position, then repeat.

Do one or two sets of 12-15 repetitions. This one is tough on your palms, so consider gloves.

To build more muscle: Lower yourself slowly on the chinup—take up to 10 seconds. Or do three or four chinups after each jump.

ROLL YOUR OWN

Here’s how to create your own hybrid exercises

A good multipart exercise has to be challenging to all the muscles you’re trying to work. This isn’t as easy as it sounds, since most hybrid exercises combine upper- and lower-body movements. And, unless something has gone tragically wrong, your lower-body muscles are a heck of a lot stronger than the stuff you like to flex in your bathroom mirror. So you need to put your bigger muscles at some sort of mechanical disadvantage while giving your smaller muscles a kick-start.

You can make up your own moves or experiment with some of these combinations that the strength coach Alwyn Cosgrove uses with the athletes he trains. Each allows momentum for upper-body muscles and requires balance from the lower body.

1. Lateral stepup/hammer curl Stand with a step or bench beside you and hold dumbbells at your sides, palms facing in. Step side-ways onto the bench with one foot, and as you rise, curl the weights to your shoulders.

2. Front squat/shoulder press With a barbell or dumbbells, squat down with the weight resting on the front of your shoulders. Then, as you stand up, use the momentum to help press the weight overhead.

3. Lunge with overhead press Stand holding dumb-bells at your shoulders. As you lunge forward or backward, press the weights overhead. Return to the starting position, then lower the dumbbells.

How to Become A Greek God

By Joe Kita

The Doryphoros at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, one of only four Roman versions of the lost Greek original.





This is Doryphoros (Dore-IF-er-us), a statue created by the Greeks in the fifth century bc. He later came to be regarded by the Romans as the Canon of Proportion, or the ideal man. In fact, when it was time for Emperor Augustus to be immortalized in marble, he merely had his sculpted head placed on a copy of this body. If only it were that easy for the rest of us. Even though the only throne you sit upon is cast from porcelain, you can still acquire a body worthy of adulation. Doryphoros's physique is a bit extreme (try finding a dress shirt with a 19-inch neck), but it remains a model of proportion. To help you attain similar results, we asked Wayne Westcott, PhD, fitness research director at the South Shore ymca outside of Boston, to recommend the best exercise for building each body part. Do all eight exercises twice a week. Some of these moves can be challenging, so do your upper-body work (neck, biceps, chest, waist) on one day, lower-body work (forearms, but tocks, thighs, calves) the next. Ideally you can complete each session in 20 minutes—and, in time, you too might be up on a pedestal.

NECK = 19 INCHES

At the gym: Nautilus four-way neck machine. Allows you to safely work the neck by raising and lowering your head, and by moving it side to side. Start with 70 pounds in the head-raising exercises, 50 for all the rest. Do one set of 8-12 repetitions in each direction.

At home: Barbell shrug. Pick up a 100-125-pound barbell using an overhand grip. Stand straight and let the bar hang down near your thighs. Without bending your arms, repeatedly shrug your shoulders toward your ears (the same motion you'd use before a tribunal). Do two sets of 8-12 repetitions.

BICEPS = 16½ INCHES

Gym or home: Incline biceps dumbbell curl. Sit on an incline bench and let your arms hang back so they're fully stretched; your palms should face forward. Alternately curl the dumbbells up, turning each palm inward as you do. Two seconds up, pause, four seconds down. Do three sets of 8-12 repetitions; rest 45 seconds between sets.

HEIGHT = 6 feet, 5½ INCHES

That's a big boy, by any empire's standard. If you're significantly shorter and can't realistically hope to attain equivalent measurements, keep these general rules of proportion in mind:

* Your waist should be about 12 inches smaller than your chest.
* Neck, biceps and calf measurements should each be roughly half your waist.
* Your thighs should be about 1½ times the size of your calves.



CHEST = 52 INCHES

Gym or home: Bench press with dumbbells, a barbell, or any available Greek column. Start with a warmup set, using two-thirds the weight you normally bench. Then add the rest of the weight and do three sets of 8-12 repetitions.

FOREARM = 14½ INCHES

The other one once held a spear, but it was broken off centuries ago, perhaps by a premenstrual Aphrodite.

Gym or home: Wrist roll. Tie one end of a 30-inch rope to a broomstick that's been shortened to 18 inches. Tie the other end to a five-to 10-pound weight. Hold the stick horizontally in front of you using an overhand grip, then roll it to raise and lower the weight. Repeat the exercise as many times as you can.

BUTTOCKS = 47½ INCHES

At the gym: Nautilus hip-extension machine. It works the gluteal muscles and hamstrings. Do one set of 10-15 repetitions.

At home: Full squat, with dumbbells or a barbell. With feet flat, slowly lower yourself until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor; keep your weight on your heels and your knees in line with your feet. Slowly come back up. Start with a warmup set, using two-thirds the weight you normally squat. Then add the rest of the weight and do three sets of 10-15 repetitions. (If you have knee, hip or back problems, do a half squat: Lower yourself till your thighs make a 30-degree angle with the floor.)

CALF = 19 INCHES

Gym or home: Standing calf raise, with dumbbells in your hands or a barbell on your shoulders. Stand on the balls of your feet at the edge of a sturdy step. (Be careful not to trip on your toga.) Rise up on your toes, then come back down, letting your heels drop slightly below the step. Do two sets of 15-20 repetitions.

WAIST = 40½ INCHES

This is mainly due to his sizable obliques, the muscles on each side of his torso. In ancient Greece, athletes were thick-waisted; they needed abdominal strength for the discus, the long jump, and wrest­ling. Doryphoros's waist doesn't look big, though, because his chest is proportionately larger. So there's hope for you yet.

Gym or home: Twisting trunk curl. Lie on the floor with your lower legs on a chair seat. Slowly curl your upper torso off the floor; but at the top of the movement, slowly twist to the right, bringing your left elbow toward your right knee. Untwist and lower yourself, then curl up and twist to the left. That's one repetition. Do two to four sets of 20-25 repetitions.

PENIS

You can't see it because it's not there—a sobering lesson to nude spear-bearers everywhere. What's left has a four-inch circumference.

THIGH = 26½ INCHES

At the gym: Leg press. Pick a weight you can press only about a dozen times. After the twelfth repetition, quickly reduce the weight by 20 percent and do 6-8 more. Think you're Atlas? Drop the weight an additional 20 percent and pound out 6-8 more.

At home: Lunge, with dumbbells in hand or a barbell on your shoulders. Step forward with your right leg so that your knee is bent 90 degrees. As you do so, let your left knee drop toward the floor. Then push back to the starting position with your right leg. Now repeat with your left leg. That's one repetition. Do one set of 6-8 repetitions. (If you have knee, hip or back problems, do the half squat under “Buttocks” instead.)

SEA Games

Endurance Training for Wrestling

Wrestlers put too much emphasis on endurance and the reason is if you lose your "air," your chance of getting mangled by your opponent increases. Then why is it that you find yourself huffing and puffing event if you could finish a marathon? That only means one thing. Aerobic endurance means nothing on the mat.

Aerobic Endurance's Place



No, I haven't lost my sanity yet. And you read it correctly; AEROBIC ENDURANCE MEANS NOTHING ON THE MAT. Have you seen a marathoner up close? How do they look like? Not to take away anything from marathoners because running marathons is really tough. Aerobic training has made their body soft, light and lacking muscle mass, strength and power. That is a direct adaptation to aerobic training. Aerobic training has made their body that way so as to cope with the constant pounding on the pavement.

So what is the problem with that? Other than looking like a glutton punished in Purgatorio in Dante's Divine Comedy (La Divina Comedia for you literature lovers), that body is not designed for strength and power. Attributes that are of prime importance in wrestling.

Analysis of Wrestling

Wrestling is an anaerobic sport. It has two rounds, three minutes each. If you watched a wrestling match live, you will see that there will be a burst of action, then the pace slows suddenly, then draws to a halt for a while, then its pretty random. There is no constant exertion of effort and surely you won't be utilizing the aerobic system.

The answer: Anaerobic Endurance Training

Anaerobic means without air. Don't mind and don't be misled by the fancy term. It doesn't mean that you will wrestle without breathing but what it really means is that you don't utilize oxygen to fuel your activity. So how do you train endurance anaerobically? Try these routines for improving anaerobic endurance:

Body Weight Circuits:

* Situp Pullup
* Position yourself under a pull up bar.
* Lie down.
* Do an explosive situp to stand up then jump.
* Grab the bar then do a pullup.
* Repeat.
* Try doing this for 30 seconds to two minutes.


Jogging Bear Crawls

* Jog for 20 seconds.
* Crawl for 20 seconds.
* Repeat up to 2-6 minutes.


Ali Shuffle Mountain Climbers

* While standing, shuffle your feet back and forth for 30 seconds.
* Then crouch to push up position, drive one knee up to chest level and out stretch the other, alternatively for 30 seconds. Try doing this four times.

Grip Training for Arnis



"Absorb what is useful, dismiss what is not." Bruce Lee might have been credited for that quote but that phrase has been an unwritten law followed by organisms ever since the dawn of time. It has also been conceptualized by evolutionist Charles Darwin himself. Then why did it turnout differently for Arnis? Why are the masters of old hit harder? Faster? And have a firmer grip than practitioners of today? That is what you think.

Now and Then

At a time that notion masters of old are better than today seems to be true. The masters of old are farmers and lumberjacks. That would explain their superior preparedness since they were accustomed to hard work. They hoe the ground, till the soil, chop some woods, and carry heavy things. Now the typical master looks like somebody who just came out of bed, bloated like a drunkard, coughs and spits phlegm so thick it clogs the sink. They turned into chain smokers and measures strength on how many spirited drinks they could chug.

The Evolution and MMA Connection

The growth of Mixed Martial Arts has sent shockwaves in the martial arts world. They saw that no single martial art is best. They found out that the simplest punch, kick and takedowns are the most effective. And they also paid attention to conditioning. Locally, some arnisador got the message. Evolve or cease to exist.

Grip training for arnis

Grip in arnis is as important as grip strength for rock climbers. You lose your grip and you will get mangled. In arnis you lose your weapon and you will get bashed. Here are some grip strengthening drills for arnis:

Hit tires with different strikes. This drill teaches your hand grip to be reactive. You cannot just grip the stick as hard as you can and strike wildly. Doing so will tire your hands instantly and the chances of you losing your stick rises.

Use thicker sticks. This drill is used so as you won't get accommodated with the practice and will introduce new stimulation to your training.

Swing heavy sticks/lead pipes. To improve your speed strength you must wield heavier stick or pipes. Although use this drill sparingly because it might disrupt your technique.

Chin ups with towels. This drill is works your grip strength harder than conventional chinups since you are constantly slipping you will have to grip harder.

Wet towel twists. Stop using the washing machine dryer and not only will the saving come a long way on your electric bill but you also get to strengthen your grip.

Lever lifts. This is the reason why carpenters have a vise like grip and as a bonus this develops the forearm muscles that will make Popeye envious.

A few other grip guidelines

The grip required in arnis does not require you to have a strong crushing or pinch grip. Grip training should be a secondary to a good general workout, then add the grip training.


Built Like A Rower
By Carlomagno Canta, CSCS; Photography by Bahaghari MFI


What strike you most when you see a rower? The whole physique that is built like a marine, powerful upright posture and big wide backs. Surely something to be envious about. So you want a physique like that? Read on.

Analysis of Rowing

Rowing is a good exercise that utilizes your whole body. The common misconception about rowing is it is a good aerobic exercise. The event is to short and doesn't really make use of the aerobic energy system. What it does is it really pushes your anaerobic lactic acid threshold.

The Bad Side

So you‚re excited to try rowing but found out that the activity may be healthy but the venue isn't. Manila Bay has suffered so much from our negligence and lack of concern. It has become the biggest septic tank and people still won't stop throwing garbage there. Also when you go beyond the American embassy you will see a lot of ships that is easy to behold then remember that they were spewing a lot of smoke exhaust giving your lungs another beating. Health workers have examined the bay's water and found out that the level of coli form is very high that it might give you diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever. This is a sign that everybody has the responsibility to take care of the environment.

Creating a rower's body without going to the gym

The good news is you bay will not be using those rowing machine. The bad news is you will be using a barbell and possibly a harder routine to boot. The routine will be utilizing the Tabata system invented by a Japanese speedskating coach. The effectivity of the routine is evidenced by the very muscular legs of the speedskaters.

Power Snatch

Load: 20-50 percent of your rep max
Do a set for 20 second, rest 10 seconds in a hang position or you may place the bar on the preacher curl apparatus. Repeat eight times and this will give you a total of four minutes and maybe the hardest routine you ever done.



Building A Boxer's Midsection
By Carlomagno Canta, CSCS; Photography by Bahaghari MFI

The most prominent part of a boxer's physique is his midsection. It is born out of function and necessity. They just have to have it to survive frequent blows to the midsection. Here are a few movements that you could add on your program in your quest for a prizefighter's midsection:




Standing Overhead Presses

Boxers have great sets of shoulders. Having a weight balanced above your head is the best way to develop your core. A boxer's midsection is often correlated with superb shoulder development.

Cleans

Power cleans are not only good for developing power but, as a bonus, it also help teach your core how to absorb shock.

Front Squat

In the front squat you are force to tense your abdominals or the weight of the bar will crush you. This is the best way to teach ab pressurization and building your virtual belt.

Deadlift

Deadlift should always be a mainstay on just about everybody's program. Just look at a powerlifter's midsection and you will know why I don't need to explain how a deadlift could be a good ab developer.

Pullups

Try relaxing your abs while doing a pullup and watch yourself struggle to do one.

Ab Wheel

One of the best ab equipment ever developed but was not given the respect it deserves. You could see them placed along side those solar suits, tummy tucker, and paperweight dumbbells in your friendly neighborhood sports shop. Grab one and give it a try.



Circuit Training for Football/Soccer
By Carlomagno Canta, CSCS; Photography by Bahaghari MFI
Circuit training is a training method where you divide your training into stations. Instead of finishing all of your set of an exercise before moving on to the next exercise, you will do a set of every exercise in your program and after doing one of each will constitute a circuit.



The problem is weight resistance training has been frowned upon by some athletes because they fell that it makes them slow and limber. The problem is not resistance training but lazy and ill-informed coaches designing their program. They just let their athletes go on circuit training comprised of every machine in the gym. No wonder the athletes digress doing circuit strength training. Machine = seated exercise and fixed pattern.

The program

The program will comprise of full-body routines, compound exercise and freeweights.



About the authors

Carlomagno Canta is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the internationally renowned Colorado based National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and has handled the strength and conditioning program of three Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC) champions, Alvin Aguilar, SEAG gold medalist, Marcus Valda, and the RP Softball Team, 2004 bronze medalist in the World Cup in New Zealand. He is also Men's Health Philippines' Fitness advisor.

Sixto Carlos is a 15-year veteran in Arnis and has thought the US and Philippine Marines, US Rangers, and various martial artist about stick and knife-fighting.

Define Yourself

By Michael Mejia, CSCS
Photography by Richard Corman
Styling: Amit Gajwani, Grooming: Patryca Korzeniak/Stockland Martel



You love lifting. You love the plain challenge and the simple rewards—beating your previous best and feeling a great pump afterward. And maybe you hate cardio. Devoting gym time to cardiovascular exercise feels as if you're burning away hard-earned muscle. But you're not—you're revealing it. If gaining mass is all you focus on, soon no one will be able to distinguish your traps from your del­toids. For a lean and chiseled physique, you need cardio work. Relax—no distance running involved. Besides, you know you need aerobic exercise for a healthy heart. And a healthy heart is more efficient at transporting blood and oxygen to working muscles. The stronger your heart, the stronger each of its contractions. That means more oxygenated blood is pumped out with each beat. What follows is a set of rules to help lifters build healthy hearts. You don't need much cardio work, and most of what you do need should be at high intensity, as befits a man with a lifter's mindset. It'll help you see more muscle definition without wasting time in the gym spinning your wheels.

RULE #1: CHANGE THE CYCLE

You don't lift the same way all year, so why should the frequency, intensity, and duration of your cardiovascular workouts stay the same? They shouldn't. When you're trying to add muscle, keep your aerobic work to a minimum—say, once or twice a week for about 15-20 minutes. This will limit your energy expenditure and allow your body to concentrate on building muscle.

When you're trying to get lean, increase your cardio training to 2-4 times a week, to help strip away excess body fat.

At all times, alternate your cardio methods so your workout's not so boring—treadmill running one day, rowing or elliptical training the next, cycling the day after that.

RULE #2: SEPARATE CARDIO FROM LIFTING

Serious lifters worry that cardiovascular training will impede their ability to recover from intense strength training. That all depends on when and how you do your cardio. Keep your cardio days and strength days as removed from each other as possible. That way your cardio won't hinder gains in strength and size. For instance, doing a tough cycling workout after you hammer your legs with squats and lunges isn't a good idea if your goal is to build bigger legs. Save your cardio for the next day, or even two days later, to rest your legs.

If you must do cardio and weights on the same day, choose a form of aerobic work that emphasizes body parts your weight lifting didn't focus on that day. So, if your cardio choice is rowing, which works your upper body as much as it does your legs, row on a day when your weight session doesn't concentrate on your upper body.

Whichever route you choose, just be sure to hit the weights first. You don't want to wipe yourself out before your weight routine—you won't get the most out of your session, and lifting when you're tired can be dangerous.

RULE #3: DON'T MAKE AN IMPACT

Your body has enough to contend with in repairing the damage that lifting inflicts on it. The last thing you need to do is break it down further with high-impact cardio training. Concentrate on cardio workouts that minimize microtrauma—the small tears to muscle fibers that are part of the process of building new muscle. Running on hard surfaces like asphalt or concrete can be traumatic to muscles and joints. Jumping rope can cause similar problems. Your best bets for low-impact exercise are swimming, cycling, and using an elliptical machine.

RULE #4: IGNORE THE "FAT-BURNING ZONE"

It's a myth that you have to work out continuously for 20 minutes before you begin burning fat. The thinking once was that you needed to exercise in a range between 60 percent and 80 percent of your maximum heart rate. Any lower was too easy, and any higher made it too difficult to efficiently use fat for fuel.

Ignore that theory. Your body uses more energy overall when training at high intensities—just look at the physique of a sprinter. Going all out also makes better use of your time. You can finish your cardio in an intense 10-to 15-minute workout.

Stick to interval workouts that feature short bursts of high-intensity movement followed by active recovery periods. This approach is best for your heart and for fat loss.

RULE #5: CHOOSE THE PATH OF MORE RESISTANCE

Changing the gears on a bike and altering the gradient on a treadmill, for instance, are great ways to increase intensity. Just be careful to find a level of resistance that won't reduce the amount of work you're able to do when you return to the weight room.

Now that you know the rules, follow these guidelines, depending on your goals.

Bulk Cycle (12 weeks)
Do this when you're trying to add muscle.
Frequency: Twice a week
Duration: 10-15 minutes (not including warmup and cooldown)
Protocol: Intervals
Intensity: High
EXAMPLE: Stationary cycling
Warmup: 5 minutes of light pedaling
Work interval: 20 seconds of pedaling as fast as you can
Recovery interval: 40 seconds of light pedaling
Total reps: 10-15
Cooldown: 3-5 minutes of light pedaling

Lean Cycle (8 weeks)
Do this when you're trying to gain definition.
Frequency: 2-4 times a week
Duration: 15-20 minutes (not including warmup and cooldown)
Protocol: Intervals
Intensity: High
EXAMPLE: Rowing
Warmup: 3-5 minutes of light rowing
Work interval: 45 seconds of hard rowing
Recovery interval: 90 seconds easy
Total reps: 7-9
Cooldown: 3-5 minutes of light rowing

Six-pack in Six Weeks?

By Carol H. Pajaron; Photography by Ocs Alvarez




You should know the truth: Working in the magazine business doesn't make you a pinup. (Just as playing pickup ball weekly doesn't give you game worth an ESPN highlight.) The Men's Health HQ, which shares office space with 20 other glossies by Summit Media, is actual proof. Plus, we have the misfortune of geography; being situated inside a mall, most of us conveniently lapse into a daily diet of fastfood. And we are like the average Pinoy whose trip to the gym often gets sidetracked towards the bar and a bottle of San Mig.

Telling you how to lose your gut and build abs like Men's Health cover models may rob us of bragging rights when these guys' bellies show you otherwise. But can we walk the talk? For six weeks, six guys from Summit, including MH staff writer Mike Diez, took on the challenge. This is how they made the change, and how you can, too.

The Outdoor Gym

Photographs by Bahaghari MFI; Shot on location at Camp John Hay, Baguio City



Cool weather, fresh air and natural obstacle courses. Do you really want to be among glaring fluorescent lights, sweaty treadmills and 100 other like-minded men? Why not take your exercise regimen into a park or nature reserve, or maybe where you and your friends had your first boyhood adventures? The difference this time is that you’re not playing hide and seek or trying to impress girls with BMX stunts—you’re there for an intense workout.

The next few pages feature an outdoor workout, designed to develop strength, coordination, and explosive power using everything that nature has to offer. Forget the hot, sticky gym and the queues for a stationary bike. Our power sessions will propel you towards peak performance, right down to the last muscle. The best bit? It’s free.

Outdoor Adventure

Leave the beaten track and head for the bush. Don’t plan your route. Instead, let your gut feeling lead you. Be spontaneous about your training intensity and simply integrate your natural surroundings into your muscle-building routine.

Hardcore exercisers will race from one challenge to the next: strong branches become chin-up stations; ditches can be cleared with explosive leaps. Use logs as bench-press weights and grueling uphill stretches will challenge your quads, calves and glutes. The effect is twofold: you’ll not only burn fat, but also bid farewell to your boring, old training regime.

20 Minutes is All it Takes

Peak performance needs more than strength alone. So we’ve compiled the following exercises to cover the four main elements of fitness and create a demanding muscle-building routine. Think of these as your workout base—the way you structure the rest of your routine is limited only by your imagination. You will see results with just 20 minutes of training, but go harder and your muscles will respond.


WARM-UP (COD) Warm-up with a 10-minute jog, then step up the tempo. It’s up to you how fast and for how long you run. If you’re new to running, sprint for at least 30 seconds, but for no longer than three minutes.

Strength (STR) Give it your all. At the end of each exercise, your muscles should be completely spent.

Explosive power (POW) The important thing here is execution: the shorter your contact with the ground the better.

Coordination (COD) To build strength, you must engage all the muscles involved in a movement, so spend at least 1-2 minutes on each exercise.



Relaxation (REL) For quick recovery, finish your training session with a relaxation exercise




BENCH PRESS (STR)
A log is all you need for an effective chest workout. Makesure you have a good grip of the log before lowering it slowly towards the middle of your chest. Repeat until your muscles start to burn slightly.

VERTICAL JUMP (POW)
This exercise will rapidly improve your acceleration. Place your legs hip-width apart with your knees slightly bent and your arms out to the side. Jump as high as you can, stretching out your arms and legs as far as they’ll go.
PUSH-UP (STR)
For a power chest, vary the distance at which your hands are placed. Elevate your legs (on a fallen log, for example) and lower your upper body as far as you can.

SQUAT (STR)
Grab hold of a tree with your right arm stretched in front of you and place your left foot at the base of the tree. Tuck your right leg behind your left. Bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground, then come back up again. Change sides after each set.





STEP JUMPS (COD)
Place one foot on a log or bench, body upright and hands on hips. Jump as high as you can, swapping your feet quickly. Make each jump as powerful as possible.

LUNGES (STR)
Start with your feet about a meter apart. Place hands on hips and bend your knees until your back knee almost touches the ground.

SCISSORS (STR)
Sit on an even surface and lean back at a 45-degree angle. Stretch your arms out to balance yourself. Lift your outstretched legs, then spread and cross them in a scissor-like motion for as long as you can.

RUNNING JUMPS (POW)
From a running start, lift your leg up from the ball of your foot, raising the knee so your thigh is horizontal. Drive your arms in rhythm with your legs. Actively pushing off the ground is important to develop coordination. Start with 3-4 jumps.



HOPPING (COD)
From standing, jump up and down on the same leg, then change legs (both feet will come into contact with the ground briefly on the changeover). Make sure your hips are straight throughout the movement.

CROUCH JUMPS (STR)
Starting in the push-up position, pull your legs into a crouch as quickly as you can. For added strength training, add a push-up after each repetition.

BALANCE BEAM (COD)
From a standing position, close your eyes and raise one leg, keeping the knee of the supporting leg slightly bent. Keeping your eyes closed, extend your raised leg out in front of you and draw a semi-circle in the air around your body with the tip of your foot.

LATERAL JUMPS (POW)
To improve explosive power, jump from side-to-side over a log with your legs together. Try to hit the ground with both feet at the same time and cushion the impact by bending your knees slightly when you land.



THE DEADLIFT (STR)
Stand straddling a log with your upper body bent over so that you can just put your hands around it. Raise the log slowly upwards until it touches your chest, then lower.

INTERVAL TRAINING (COD)
Set up a sprint course of about 100meters (draw in the sand or find two trees that distance apart). Increase the speed as you train.

LEG EXTENSIONS (STR)
Sit with your hands just behind you to support your upper body and lean back slightly. Raise your legs and pull them in to your chest. Now straighten and bend your knees as often as possible. Make sure you keep your back straight throughout the movement.

POWER BREATHING (REL)
Sit cross-legged and raise your arms upwards, stretching your upper body. Take deep breaths for 2-3 minutes.

Fast Forward

By Ted Spiker; Photographs by Pier Nicola d'Amico



Have you ever truly tested your athletic limits? If you're like most men,the answer is no. Sure, you go to the court and dribble till you're winded, or to the track and run till you're dripping wet. But you won't find your limits there—team sports and workout routines are all about, as the adage goes, "playing within yourself." Testing your limits is about playing beyond yourself. It's about actively seeking your physical boundaries, pushing down those walls, and raising your game to a level you never thought possible.

Meet one of the world's best athletes—Dwayne Wade. At the 2006 NBA All-Star Game, he beat some of the game's best (LeBron James, Steve Nash) at the Skills Challenge. His 26.1-second completion of the on-court obstacle course was just .3 seconds short of the all-time record. Expect Wade to make another run. ("Vegas, here I come," he said, referring to next season's host of the annual contest.) He's used to looking ahead. Call it force of habit: for Wade, success would never have come had he stopped pushing when he met resistance.

Learn his strategies and you'll soon be busting through your personal barriers. You may not earn a ticket to training camp, but you will end up in the best shape of your life. After all, it's all about making that quick first step.

The Great Equalizer

SPEED

You might say it's better to be fast than good. If you're too slow to beat your man, you'll never have a chance to showcase your skills. (Remember Damon Bailey? Didn't think so.) And for those short on talent, speed can level the playing field. But sports speed isn't just about maximum velocity. It's also about how fast you can accelerate and decelerate—that is, go from standing still to your top speed, and vice-versa. And because every 10th of a second matters, even small improvements can make a major impact on your performance.

TEST YOUR LIMITS

The 40-yard dash is one of the best measurements of speed and acceleration, which is why it's a highly regarded test at the National Football League (NFL) combine.

How to do it: You'll need a partner and a stopwatch. Mark off 40 yards on a track or grass field. Get into a comfortable stance—a four-point sprinter's stance is typical—and instruct your timer to start the clock as soon as you move. The clock stops when any part of your chest crosses the finish line. 3 points: 4.49 seconds or less 2 points: 4.5 to 4.99 seconds 1 point: 5.0 seconds or longer

PUSH YOUR LIMITS

Get a running start. Mark a starting line and a finish line 20 yards apart. Begin running about 20 yards behind the starting line and progressively build up speed so you're at top speed as you pass it. Maintain that intensity until you cross the finish line. Rest for three minutes, then repeat for a total of 2-4 sets. "This drill reinforces the running mechanics and acceleration you need to switch gears and pick up speed when you're already in motion," says Bill Hartman, PT, CSCS, a sports-performance specialist in Indianapolis. Do this workout twice a week, resting at least a day after each session.

Step on the gas. To develop fast starts, try this ball-drop drill from Tom Shaw, CSCS, speed coach of the NFL's New England Patriots. Have a workout partner stand on a hard surface, holding a tennis ball at eye level. Stand about five yards away in a three-point stance. When he drops the ball, sprint and catch it before it bounces a second time. Have him move back a yard or two and repeat the drill until you can't get to the ball in time. The biggest gap Shaw's ever seen closed? Fifteen yards, by star cornerback Deion Sanders.

Sock it to your core. Abs are critical to speed. Strengthen yours with this situp routine: Lie on your back and rest your heels on a wall so that your legs are straight and at a 45-degree angle to the floor; extend your arms straight above your head. Lift your torso and touch your toes, then rotate to the right and touch both hands to the floor. Now rotate to the left and touch the floor on that side. That's one repetition. Do as many as you can in 30 seconds, rest 30-60 seconds, and repeat. Stop when you can't match the reps of your previous set. Perform this workout two or three times a week.

Dwyane Wade
Shooting Guard/Miami Heat

Ask Dwyane Wade who's the best player in the NBA, and he'll tell you LeBron James. That's not humility. It's strategy. "I like it better that way," says Wade. "I need a rabbit to chase. Because if I keep fighting, I'll only achieve greater success."

Before Wade entered the NBA, his rabbit was the league. College recruiters labeled him a kid from the ghetto who couldn't pass the ACT test, and his failing grade (by a point) scared off all the big schools. Still, Tom Crean, head basketball coach at the small and academically driven Marquette University, paid Wade a visit. He was one of only three coaches who recruited the future fifth pick in the NBA draft. "He saw I had character and the will to be someone, to do something others didn't expect," Wade says of his mentor. So Wade became the first partial qualifier in Marquette's history—meaning he was accepted to attend class, but couldn't play ball until his sophomore year, grades permitting.

It was that year of ineligibility, of being relegated to the practice squad, that prompted Wade to explore his boundaries. "I played the role of our upcoming opponent's star in every practice," he says. "One day I had to be a point guard, the next a post player, the next a three-point shooter." Wade learned every position on the court, which is why he excels at every location today. — David Schipper

Wade's Breakthrough Strategies

Embrace deception. You can make yourself seem quicker if you master the holdback. "I can't always go 100 mph, because defenders will get used to my speed," Wade says. "But if I go slow at first, they'll get caught when I decide to blow by them."

Beware of hesitation. There's a difference between patience and hesitation, and it depends on confidence. "You can't be underconfident when your teammates are putting the ball in your hands," Wade says. "Remind yourself that others are depending on you."

Be a quick study. "No matter how bad or good you are, if you're a great listener, you're going to respond to coaching and surpass your limits," says Wade. "During practice, I always want the coach to say I picked up the play quicker than anyone else."

A Fit Man Can...

By Adam Campbell; Photographs by Mark Nicdao; Styling by Isha Andaya; Grooming by Kiko Escobar; Models: Rich Herrera and Cassandra Ponti




We have a lot of time on our hands, so the other day we looked up "fit" in the dictionary. We read about fit (as in flipping out) and fit (as in what your hat should do) before finally landing on definition number three: "Sound physically and mentally."

Not exactly helpful. After all, it doesn't say squat about how many pushups a man should be able to do. Or how much weight he should be able to lift. Or how fast he should be able to sprint.

Which is why we've taken matters into our own hands. On the following pages, you'll find our definition of fit—10 simple (though by no means easy) things every man must be able to do before he stamps himself "in shape." Says who? Says us.

The good news: If you don't measure up to our admittedly high standards right away, we've given you the tips and training strategies you need to get there quickly. Then you won't need to look in a dictionary for the definition of fit.

You'll just need to look in a mirror.

A fit man can...

Bench-press 112 times his body weight

Upper-body strength is important for more than bench-press bragging rights. Literally being able to throw your weight around—plus half that of the guy standing next to you—is the ultimate sign that you'll never have a problem hanging drywall, holding your ground in the post... or looking great in a tank top.

The Test
Use a bench-press machine and keep your feet flat on the floor during the entire lift. To get your score, divide the heaviest weight you can lift one time by your body weight.

The Scorecard
Less than 1.0: Weak
1.0-1.49: Ordinary
1.5 or more: You rule on the bench

Boost Your Bench Press
The key to strengthening any muscle is lifting fast, says Louie Simmons, strength coach to five of the world's top bench-pressers. Follow Simmons's plan for four weeks to improve your own bench-press performance:

Using a weight that's about 40 percent of what you can lift one time, do nine sets of three repetitions, with 60 seconds' rest between sets. Lower and raise the bar as fast as possible, and alternate your grip every three sets, so that your hands are 16, then 20, then 24 inches apart.

Three days later, perform three sets of flat, incline, or de­clinebarbell bench presses (alternate varieties each week) with the heaviest weight you can lift six times.

Bonus tip: Press your head into the bench as you lift. You'll activate the muscles called neck extensors, which help ensure that your spine is in a straight line. That'll put your body in a stronger position.

Run a mile and a half in 10 minute

Breaking the 10-minute mark for a mile and a half isn't just a sign that you can outrun the feds. It's also an indicator of peak aerobic capacity—your body's ability to deliver oxygen to your working muscles. Regular aerobic exercise lowers your cholesterol and helps keep your body fat low—both of which significantly decrease your risk of heart disease.

The Test
Run 1½ miles on a flat path as fast as you can.

The Scorecard
12 minutes or more: Slow
Between 10 and 12 minutes: Ordinary
10 minutes or less: Endurance excellence

Air Out Your Aerobic Ability To build aerobic capacity, you need to run far. But you also need to run fast, says Barrie Shepley, CSCS, Canadian Olympic triathlon coach and president of Personal Best Health and Performance. Follow Shepley's plan for 6-10 weeks and you'll increase your endurance about 30 percent.

Perform a 40-60-minute run on Saturday at a pace just slow enough that you never feel winded. (Walk if you need to.)

On Tuesday, do 4-6 half-mile intervals at your goal pace for the mile-and-a-half run. (If your goal is 10 minutes, run each interval in three minutes, 20 seconds.) Rest for the same amount of time as each interval takes.

On Thursday, perform 4-6 uphill runs at a moderate pace, with each lasting about 90 seconds, and take about two minutes' rest after each interval. After your last interval, jog for 10-15 minutes at an easy pace.

Bonus tip: Train like Roger Bannister. That is, split the distance into four 600-yard intervals and run them at a pace that's about 10 percent faster than your 112-mile pace, resting one minute after each. Bannister used this method to train for the first sub-four-minute mile.

Touch the rim

You bet. In addition to the fact that a fit man just ought to be able to show off once in a while, a good vertical leap is the ultimate sign of lower-body power. It means you can combine lower-body speed and strength into one quick movement. And that'll help you anytime you need to move explosively—stealing a base, grabbing a rebound, diving for cover. (For the record: Guys with the best hops always have help from genetics, plus a few extra inches, but a fit man should still be able to score high on the vertical-jump test. If the rim is out of reach, make the backboard your goal.)

The Test
You'll need a small bag of chalk to do this test. Chalk your fingers and stand flat-footed next to a wall. Place your chalked hand as high as possible on the wall and mark it with your fingertips. Then, without taking a step, dip your knees, swing your arms up, and jump as high as you can, again marking the wall with your fingertips. The distance between the two marks is your vertical-jump height.

The Scorecard
20 inches or less: Grounded
Between 20 and 26 inches: Ordinary
Higher than 26 inches: High flyer

Have Better Hops
To leap higher, you have to practice explosive jumps, says Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, a strength coach in Toronto.

Stand on a box or step that's about 12 inches high. Step off the box, and as soon as your feet hit the floor, jump as high as you can. Repeat five times.

Do four more sets, resting 30 seconds between sets.

Bonus tip: Never use your first jump as your score. You can expect maximum air on your third attempt.



Leg-press 214 times his body weight

When it comes to strength, your lower half is your better half. Your leg and butt muscles are the foundation of your body and essential for almost any activity—from standing upright to sprinting to pushing your brother-in-­law's Hyundai out of a ditch. You're 175 pounds? Make your leg-press goal 400 pounds. Your brother-in-law will bow in your presence.

The Test
Assume the position in the leg-press machine. Lower the weight until your knees are bent 90 degrees, then push the weight back up. To get your score, divide the highest amount of weight you can lift one time by your body weight.

The Scorecard
Less than 1.8: A shaky foundation
1.8-2.2: Ordinary
More than 2.2: Serious strength

Get Stronger Legs
Try this technique, called diminished-rest interval training. You'll improve your leg-press performance by 10-20 percent in three weeks, says Alwyn Cosgrove, CSCS, owner of FAST Systems in Newhall, California.

Using a weight that's about 95 percent of the amount you lifted in the test, perform 10 sets of one repetition, resting 80 seconds after each set.

Do this workout twice a week, each time reducing the rest period between sets by 10 seconds. When your rest period is down to 30 seconds, retake the test and increase the weight.

Bonus tip: Right before you take the test, do a leg press with 20 percent more weight than what you think you can lift one time—but lower the weight only halfway before pushing it back up. When you perform the test, your muscles will be expecting a heavier weight. It'll not only seem easier, but you'll be able to push more pounds.

Swim 700 yards in 12 minutes





Funny thing about swimming: We know guys who can run 26 miles without breathing hard, yet sink to the bottom of the pool after half a lap. Why? Because swimming requires both aerobic capacity and upper-body muscle (the kind a lot of those marathoners lack). Paddling 700 yards in 12 minutes should be just enough to help that cute lifeguard in a pinch.

The Test
Swim as far as you can in 12 minutes. Your total distance in yards is your score.

The Scorecard
Less than 500 yards: You're sunk
500-700 yards: Ordinary
More than 700 yards: Aquatic excellence

Swim Better, Swim Farther
According to the American Swim Coaches Association, only two out of 100 swim well enough to complete a quarter of a mile without stopping. That's usually because they have poor form, says Terry Laughlin, author of Swimming Made Easy. Follow this rule: Keep your head aligned with your body (the way you hold it when you're not in the water) the time you're swimming. When you breathe, roll your entire body—as if you were breathing with your belly button—without changing the position of your head. You'll float better and use less energy. And that means you'll be able to swim farther.

Bonus tip: Swim 25 yards at a time to practice your form. Start by swimming a total of 200 yards per session—eight 25-yard inter­vals. Add 50 yards each week until you're swimming a total of at least 500 yards. Increase your intervals by 25 yards every two weeks until you're able to swim the entire distance without stopping.

Do 40 pushups Drop and give us 20, soldier.

Twice. Why? Because pushups measure upper-body endurance—the ability to use your strength over time. If you can crank out 40 pushups, we guarantee that your body won't quit when everything's on the line—like when you're carrying a kid out of a burning building (or hauling your wife's luggage through three airport terminals).

The Test
Lower your body until your upper arms are parallel to the floor, then push yourself up. Repeat as many times as you can.

The Scorecard
25 or fewer: Weak
26-39: Ordinary
40 or more: Strong and tough

Build an Upper Body for the Long Run

Try this program from Charles Staley, a strength coach in Las Vegas. It will get your upper-body endurance to fitman level in 12 workouts.

Perform sets of half the number of pushups that you completed in the test—resting 60 seconds between sets—until you've done a total of 40 pushups. (For example, if you did 12 pushups in the test, you'll do seven sets of six pushups.)

Each workout (do it every four days), deduct five seconds from the rest interval. After 12 workouts, you'll be able to do 40 pushups without rest.

Bonus tip: Time how long it takes you to do as many pushups as you can. Then rest for the same time period, and repeat the pro­cess two to four times. You'll quickly improve your upper-body endurance.

Measure up

Take a look at yourself. If your belly is growing faster than your butt, you have bigger problems than figuring out how to get a tan without taking off your shirt. The more fat your body stores in your midsection, the higher your risk of heart disease. And this much we know: Fit men don't get heart disease.

The Test
The easiest method of determining your risk level is a comparison of your waist and hip circumferences. Grab a measuring tape and measure the circumference of your waist at the narrowest point. Then measure the distance around the widest part of your hips and butt. Divide your waist circumference by your hip circumference for your score.

The Scorecard
0.92 or higher: Your wife and kids are going to miss you
0.82-0.91: Ordinary
0.81 or less: Flat and happy

Shrink Your Belly
A combination of diet and exercise will help you lose weight the fastest, says Jeff Volek, PhD, RD, coauthor of The Testosterone Advantage Plan. Try this simple method to make the transition from chip-eater to healthy guy: Cut 250 calories from your diet and burn 250 calories a day through exercise. That's a total of 500 calories—enough to lose a pound a week. Foodwise, 250 calories is about the same as a 20-ounce Coke, a small bagel, or two hand­fuls of potato chips. To burn the same number of calories through exercise, a 180-pound man could lift weights for 30 min­utes, walk 212 miles, or play basketball for 20 minutes.

Bonus tip: Limit your carbohydrates—especially the high-sugar kind—after 5 PM. Research shows that as the day progresses, your body has a greater potential to store them as fat.

Run 300 yards in less than a minute



Whether you're chasing down a purse snatcher or running the fast break, every once in a while a man just needs to bust it. If you can cover 300 yards in 60 seconds, you have the speed and drive you need for just about anything.

The Test
Run as fast as you can between two lines spaced 25 yards apart. Do six round-trips, for a total of 300 yards.

The Scorecard
More than 70 seconds: Slow
60-70 seconds: Ordinary
Less than 60 seconds: Fast and agile

Increase Your Speed
Train with sprint intervals three times a week, says Mike Gough, CSCS, a strength and conditioning coach in Ottawa, Ontario.

Sprint at 85 percent of your full effort for one minute.

Then run at a lower intensity—about 40 percent of your fulleffort—for the next minute. Continue to alternate between intensities for 20 minutes. Try this workout on a hill to get even better.

Bonus tip: Sprint as hard as you can each time you push off the line for your first three steps. Then stride though the middle portion of each 25-yard sprint by simply trying to maintain the momentum you gained from your sprint. This will increase your speed drastically, since the starting and stopping parts of the run are where most guys let up. That's because accele-rating or decelerating is more physically demanding than just running.

Touch his toes

No one has to mistake you for Sarah Hughes, but flexibility really does equal fitness. And having flexible muscles will help keep you moving—in the gym, on the court, at the golf course—as you get older. Research shows that from age 35-50, the average man's flexibility decreases by 25 percent. That can lead to shoulder injuries and runner's knee. Plus, tight pectoral muscles limit your strength, so your weight workouts will suffer, too—not to mention your ego.

The Test
One of the best measures of flexibility is the sit-and-reach test. Here's how to do it:

Place a yardstick on the floor and put a footlong piece of masking tape across the 15-inch mark.

Sit down with your legs out in front of you and your heels at the edge of the tape, one on each side of the yardstick.

Put one hand on top of the other and reach forward on the yardstick as far as you can by bending at your hips. Your score is the number your fingertips touch.

The Scorecard
Less than 15 inches: Stiff
15-17 inches: Ordinary
More than 17 inches: Fantastic flexibility

Fire Up Your Flexibility
Your muscles can be stretched more effectively when they're completely relaxed, says Joel Ninos, PT, CSCS, a physical therapist in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Try this stretching technique, called hold-relax, to increase your flexibility:

Place your right leg on a bench or a desk that's between knee and waist high. Keep your leg straight and lean forward as far as comfortably possible by bending at your hips.

Continue leaning forward as you bend your knee slightly and gently push your heel into the bench for ten seconds. Then relax and straighten your leg. Now you'll be able to lean forward far­ther than when you started. Hold this new position for 20-30 seconds.

Repeat three more times, leaning forward a bit more each time.

Bonus tip: Before you stretch, stand and place your heel on top of a Swiss ball with your leg straight out in front of you. Without moving your body, rotate your foot in circles on the Swiss ball for about 20 seconds. This will relax your leg muscles, and you'll be able to stretch farther.

Throw a basketball 75 feet (from his knees)

We know what you're thinking: This skill may come in handy if you're taking a last-minute desperation shot in your local over-40 league. But otherwise, what's the point? Here's why it's important: Throwing for distance is the ultimate measure of your upper-body power (that's strength plus speed). A fit man needs a powerful arm not only to throw the long bomb and hit his tee shot 300 yards, but also to punch somebody in the kisser. Still think it's a weenie goal?

The Test
Kneel on the court, just behind the baseline. Throw the basketball overhand as far as you can. The top of the key at the far end of the court is 73 feet—just short of the Fit Man standard.

The Scorecard
Less than 60 feet: Lousy arm
60-74 feet: Ordinary
More than 74 feet: Cannon fire

Make Your Upper Body More Powerful
The single-arm clean and press will improve both upper-body speed and strength, says Ballantyne.

Grab a dumbbell with an overhand grip and hold it in your left hand so that it hangs down at arm's length in front of you.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Explosively pull the dumbbell straight up by dipping your knees, then straightening up as you shrug your shoulder.

As you pull upward, rotate the weight in an arc over your upper arm until the dumbbell rests on the top of your shoulder. Your upper arm should be parallel to the floor, and your knees slightly bent again.

Dip at your knees and push the weight above your shoulder until your arm is straight. Return to the starting position and repeat with your right arm.

Do this move two days week, with three days of rest in between. Perform three sets of four repetitions with a heavy weight in one workout, and eights sets of one repetition with a lighter weight—about 30 percent of the heaviest weight you can lift one time—in the other.

Bonus tip: Throw the ball at a 40 to 45 degree trajectory. It'll go farthest that way.

Rise above the game

By Rick Olivares; Photographs by Paolo Picones of M4 Collective; Imaging by Glen A. Concio



3 Kinds of Sports Injuries

1 Acute Injuries A purely accidental injury from a single sudden incident, such as pulling a muscle or being struck in the face by an elbow

2 Overuse Injuries Injuries that develop because of improper stretching and conditioning

3 Chronic Injuries Injuries that occur after playing a sport for a long time. Symptoms of these include pain when playing, a dull ache when you rest, and swelling.
I am a force of nature. I am relentless. At 5’10” I had long legs to cover the length of the court with gazelle-like strides and long arms made for rejecting weak-ass shots. Only I was a late bloomer.



Dan Rose's 4-step program for Ali Peek:

1 Balance Techniques "To help him play under-neath the basket, he has to have a better sense of balance. To help him with his control, I make him do a variety of presses: bench, leg, and push. Ali weighs about 250 lbs. Ideally, he should be able to bench press double his weight."

2 Strengthen those legs "If you weigh 250 lbs and often go up for dunks, you should have strong legs that allow you take all that pounding and punishment your legs are subjected to."

3 Footwork drills "After working on his balance, we had to work on his agility and quickening his movements. Big guys aren't normally fast but we got him to work on his explosiveness that enabled him to get to the ball faster."

4 Water and fruit intake "Ali's a big guy. If the average person drinks 6-8 glasses of water in one day, Ali should be drinking more. The water and fruits helps keep his bones and muscles fluid and strong."




It wasn’t until after school when I came into my own and learned to really play basketball. My classmates, long accustomed to my sitting on the sidelines to heckle, now raised their eyebrows indisbelief. I was a frustrated basketball fan who learned the game after endless viewings of Come Fly With Me. It felt great to actually execute (minus the rim-rattling dunks of which I had none of the elevation for) what every ballplayer fantasized about after watching an NBA game.

But after a bit, the weekend warrior in me began to slow down, hobbled by an unknown ailment. In denial and still flushed with inspiration, I went on playing, ignoring the signals my body was sending. Why not? I was young and indestructible; or so I thought. If His Airness could play through the pain, I reasoned out (though half-convinced), then so could I. I was too chicken to go to the doctor until the pain got to the point where I had trouble going up and down the stairs. The explosiveness I once displayed fizzled out real early.

Turns out that all that pigging out, a misplaced belief that one can be young forever, and going through a misguided weight training program had done me in more than foes on the hardcourt.

The career I dreamed of was over before it got even underway.

Injuries are an athlete’s worst nightmare. For professional athletes it could mean an end not only to their career but also their financial stability. For weekend warriors like you and me, it could be the bitter end to a childhood dream and a means to stay fit.

A study by the American Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that 4.3 persons are treated every year for sudden sports trauma in emergency rooms. That telling statistic doesn’t begin to tell the whole story.

The figure is exclusive of the millions of weekend warriors who engage in athletic activity as a means of staying fit or satisfying their competitive urges. Since there is no national sporting body to keep track of this, conservative estimates would place the number of sports-related injuries to 10 million annually.

There is no surefire way to avoid sports injuries unless you avoid playing like the plague. For many, it’s a way of life. They grew up active in sports and in many ways, it defines them.

What follows are information on familiar injuries, and stories of inspiration to survive them. Read and learn. So you don’t wind up as another statistic.



6 Common Basketball Injuries


Next to drinking, it's likely your favorite after-hours activity. And like the bar, it's where you often get hurt. Here are the common complaints among casual and professional cagers:



MUSCLE STRAINS

Quick bursts of speed, sudden directional changes, and fatigue make for sore muscles after a hard-played game. Strains are most often a result of improper physical conditioning.

Treatment/Prevention: If you experience a painful muscle strain, ice it right away. Icing it on and off for 72 hours will help prevent swelling. A common misconception relates to applying hot compress, which will only aggravate the injury. So wise up, guys. Inflammatory medications are also helpful in combating muscle strains.

Professional basketball players should be religious about preseason workouts and conditioning. This allows them to cope better with long seasons and to peak at the right time. For recreational players, the inevitable muscle pain will be there unless basketball and other workouts become a part of your regular schedule. Work on quick bursts of activity. Sprint on both the lengths and widths of the court with and without the ball.

ANKLE SPRAINS

Rebounding in the crowded alligator wrestling pond (as former Chicago Bulls assistant coach Johnny Bach calls the shaded lane) is risky because you might get hit by an inadvertent or a well-planted elbow, or you could land on someone's foot that can hurt like heck. These are usually sprains to the ligaments outside the ankle that can just ball up like anything.

Treatment/Prevention: It would do well for you to remember the RICE Method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). Icing it will help control the swelling that follows almost immediately after the injury. It is always advisable to see a physician to determine the gravity of the injury because at times, the ankle might be broken. Should you have a history of ankle sprains, we recommend that you wear an ankle brace in addition to taping your ankle.

JAMMED FINGERS

It's not as fast as a baseball clocking in at 90-plus mph, but a basketball flying towards you and jamming a digit can be really, really painful.

Treatment/Prevention: Ice the finger right away then move it as soon as you can. If you think it's dislocated or you can't move it at all, see a physician and ask for an x-ray.

KNEE SPRAIN
The most common knee sprain in basketball is the medial collateral ligament sprain or MCL. This occurs when a player makes a sudden change in position and cuts too hard. Bumping or hitting the outside of your knee on someone else's leg can likewise cause it.

Prevention/Treatment: All throughout we have stated the importance of preseason conditioning. It doesn't totally prevent injuries for there are many freak accidents that could happen in any given game. But it does help minimize occurence.

In treating MCLs, ice the knee even if the swelling doesn't seem all that bad. Try a knee sleeve for compression and make sure you work on your range of motion as soon as you can. A torn MCL is fairly serious and must be treated by the proper physicians.

TORN ACL

Over a decade ago, an injury like this meant that your career was over. With the huge strides made in sports medicine, comebacks from anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) injuries are now more likely. It's getting back to your previous game that's now the question. This injury is more common to female basketball players whose hip structures often lead to knock-kneed landings.



Prevention/Treatment: Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent an ACL injury. Basketball is a game played on instinct where your mind and body make lightning-quick decisions and movements. But practicing jumping and landing properly balanced on both feet and on the balls of your feet should help.

If you think you've torn an ACL, get immediate evaluation by an orthopedic surgeon. A torn ACL usually requires reconstructive surgery.

LOWER BACK PAIN

There is an assortment of back pains: bulging discs, back spasms, and scialtica, a pain that reaches from the lower back down to the leg. The most common culprit for this injury is improper stretching. Sometimes discrepancies in leg length can cause back pains.

Prevention/Treatment: Some injuries cannot be prevented; however, warming up properly greatly reduces the risk. Bulging discs and scialtica require medical treatment. Anti-inflammatory medication helps. For those with differences in leg length, you should consult podiatrists for orthotic lifts to correct the problem.



Get back in shape

Treatment and rehabilitation are quite costly. Unless you're a moneyed pro, how can the average athlete or weekend warrior avail of the treatment?

"The reason why it's expensive," explains Dr. Canlas. "is that we want these players to get to a premium right away. This is their livelihood." He advises to those without the means for proper strength and conditioning that simple knowledge of plyometrics can help them get better and stronger. "It is achievable but it takes somewhat longer," says Dr. Canlas. "Any weight training or workout program should be done or at the very least consulted with educated and licensed trainers."

To put it bluntly and brutally frank, there isn't much you can do about sports injuries. We can merely react to them and treat them.

But there are two ways that you can minimize the risk:



* Stretch. Do it before and after every sporting activity.
* Pace yourself according to skill level. Don't rush things. As you get better, you'll notice how gradually your body adjusts to new levels of difficulty.


Writing this has been a catharsis of sorts. I have mustered the courage to overcome my fear of doctors and needles to actually seek treatment for my aching knees and feet. Now I'm convinced of getting back into competitive shape and being pain-free. Basically, it's about staying healthy and being careful with one's body. After all, what's life without sports?

If you find yourself in a similar situation, hopefully, you'll feel the same way, too. And who knows? It just might not be too late to take one last stab at those hoop dreams.

More Suggestions for Sports Survival:

* Don't be a weekend warrior. Avoid doing a week's worth of activity in a day or two.
* Learn to play your sport right. Use proper form to reduce your risk of "overuse injuries."
* Use safety gear.
* Know your body's limits.
* Build up your exercise level gradually.
* Strive for a total body workout of cardiovascular, strength training, and flexibility exercises.


What To Do If You Get Injured



Never try to "play through" the pain of a sports injury. Immediately stop when you feel pain. Continuing to play may aggravate the injury. Some injuries require immediate medical attention, while you can treat others by yourself.

Seek medical attention when:

* The injury causes severe pain, swelling, or numbness.
* You can't put any weight on that area.
* An old injury hurts, aches, or swells.
* A joint doesn't feel normal or stable.


If you don't have any of these signs, it may be safe to treat the injury at home using the RICE:

R - Rest
I - Ice
C - Compression
E - Elevation

Looking great at any age

By Mark Anders with interviews by Carol H. Pajaron and Mike Diez


Age 20 to 29: Grow, Show, and Go



"Nature doesn't give a damn whether you live beyond the age of 25," says Leonard Hayflick, PhDd, a professor emeritus at UCSF and author of How and Why We Age. "Nature's only concern is that we live long enough to raise offspring to independence." Tthat's why for most of human history, the average life expectancy has been about 20 years. Oof course, we've found ways to live longer, primarily by eradicating diseases. But the surest way to cheat death is to stack the game early. Think of your 20s as a decade of pregame practice. Iinvest a couple of hours of effort every week now, and it will save you a decades-long decline later.

THE CHANGES

HORMONAL CHAOS

Your body is pumping out tons of human growth hormone (HGH) and testosterone, which leads to a peak in muscle mass sometime between ages 18 and 25, says Walter Thompson, PhD, a professor of kinesiol¬ogy, health, and nutri¬tion at Georgia State University in Atlanta. The bad part: It's only temporary.

THE FIX
Feast on the flood. By the time you're 22 or 23, HGH production begins to decrease, dropping 2-5 percent each decade after that, silently stealing your strength. Build as much as you can now, and when you're 40 you can just maintain the brawn.

CREAKY KNEES

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University followed 1,321 former medical students and found that those who injured their knees as young adults were more than twice as likely to develop arthritis as they grew older.

THE FIX
Stretch your hamstrings. Lack of flexibility in the hamstrings causes many knee problems. Avoid them with this hamstring stretch: Sit on the floor with your legs straight and spread a few feet apart. Bend your right leg and bring the foot to your left knee. Then try to touch both hands to your left foot. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, then switch legs. Repeat three times every day.

Ease up on the cardio. Pounding the pavement too hard, too often can wear down the cartilage in your joints. So limit your running to no more than four days a week. Instead, try a sport like basketball, in which you start and stop often. It's actually better for your carti¬lage than the repetitive pounding of jogging. Strength training can also strengthen carti¬lage, says Thompson.

THE FAT TIDE

During college, most guys eat like sumo wrestlers but burn off the extra calories playing sports, walking to class, chasing skirts, and just being generallyactive. After graduation, the feast continues—but without the physical activity. "From the day of graduation, most men start gaining weight," says Thompson. "Before long, you're sitting at your desk and you're 25 pounds overweight."

THE FIX
Travel east for healthy eats. Restaurants tend to serve large por¬tions, and the food can be high in fat. Plus, there's often a limited choice of vegetables. "Picking the type of restaurant wisely can help," says Hope Warshaw, RD, author of Eat Out, Eat Right. Warshaw says that Asian cuisine—Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese—generally includes more vegetables.

Play hide-and-seek. Put the beer and sodas in your refrigerator's vegetable drawer and leave the carrots out in plain sight so you'll remember to eat them, says Nancy Clark, MS, RD, senior sports nutritionist at Boston-based Healthworks Fitness Center.

THE BUFF FACTOR

Looking good can help you land a better job and a better mate. In a recent study, researchers at Yale University found that a significant bias against overweight people—stereotyping them as lazy, less valuable, and less intelligent—exists even among health professionals whose careers emphasize obesity research.

THE FIX
Build your show muscles. Pay particular attention to your chest, shoulders, and biceps—the muscles people are most apt to notice first. To build maximum muscle in these areas, Tom Seabourne, PhD, CSCS, an exercise physiologist at North¬eastern Texas Community College, designed an exclusive strength-training routine (below) for men in their 20s. It includes explosive power moves, like the bench-press throw, that take advantage of your increased hormonal activity to develop muscle faster.



Age 30 To 39: Prevention and Planning



Carefree days have been replaced by 24-7 responsibilities: a wife, a baby, a mortgage, and a boss who reminds you of all three. Burritos that disappeared in a puff of metabolic smoke now linger like an oil spill. "Your physiological capacity—the overall performance of most of your body's systems—decreases by around 1 percent per year from 30 onward," says hayflick. hence the burrito hangover. To counter this physiological decline, switch your strategy to preventive fitness. You need to continue lifting heavy weights to preserve the muscle you built in your 20s; stretching takes priority, because you're going to start losing flexibility; and regular interval training is on the list so you can combat the loss of stamina that will start in the middle of this decade. The good news: It's never too late to make a fresh start.

THE CHANGES

NO MORE MR. GUMBY

Flexibility decreases in your 30s, not only because you're likely to sit in an office chair for hours every day, but also because many of the activities you do—running, weight lifting, even basketball—don't call for a full range of motion. "There's actually a shortening of both muscle and connective tissue," says Brent Feland, PhD, an aging and flexibility researcher at Brigham Young University.

THE FIX
Say yes to yoga. "Yoga requires you to go through full ranges of motion and to hold those positions," says Feland. Take a class once a week and use the moves everywhere. "Get out of your chair and into a stretch while you're watching SportsCenter," advises Feland. "It's really easy to do. You just have to develop the habit."

YOUR BEATIN' HEART

Stamina peaks for most men around 31 or 32, but within the next five years your aerobic capacity declines. "The heart is a muscle just like any other, and as you age, you lose some strength," says Jordan Metzl, MD, author of The Young Athlete: A Sports Doctor's Complete Guide for Parents. Also starting in your 30s, your body's ability to extract oxygen from your blood diminishes, your cholesterol counts and blood pressure rise, and fatty deposits begin to build up on the walls of your arteries.

THE FIX
Schedule a checkup. Ask your doctor to work up your lipoprotein profile. Catch the trouble early enough and it's a good bet that exercise alone will prolong your life.

Speed up, Slow down. Maintain your aerobic capacity with regular interval training, says Dr. Metzl. Do this workout three times a week: Start with a 10-minute warmup of light jogging. Then sprint for 45 seconds at 80 percent of your maximum heart rate. Recover with 90 seconds of walking or light jogging, and repeat your cycle of sprints 8-12 times. Cool down with a 10-minute jog.

PUTTING ON POUNDS

"If your body were a car, it'd require less gas to run as it grew older," says Dr. Metzl. In fact, your body consumes 12 fewer calories per day for each year after 30, and most men reach their maximum body weight between ages 34 and 54.

THE FIX
Limit your fuel. You need less fuel now, so don't feel obligated to clean your plate at every meal—leave that to the dishwasher. When you snack, don't eat from the box or carton. If you dole out a reasonable portion, you'll be less likely to absentmindedly eat the whole container.

MISSING MUSCLE

Electrical forces bind all of your body's molecules together, but these forces begin to weaken in your 30s, so some of those molecules begin to malfunction. Strength and coordina¬tion are usually the first to go, and muscle mass drops. If you don't take steps to prevent it, you'll lose about six pounds of muscle in the next 10 years.

THE FIX
Build muscle for daily activities. Switch focus from mirror muscles to functional strength, flexibility, and balance. Your tendons and joints aren't as sturdy as they used to be when you were a kid; pay attention to form to prevent injuries. Seabourne's slow-tempo exercises (see below) are safer for your joints, but you'll still maintain a high intensity.



Age 40 to 49: Never Back Down




During your 40S, you realize that your body's warranty has indeed expired. And you could probably use a little body work. "All my buddies are getting fat," says 48-year-old Seabourne, the author of Athletic Abs: Maximum Core Fitness Training. But your 40s are also when you've established your career a bit, so you can leave the late-night duty to junior staff. For the first time since college, you have a little discretionary time. you've earned three hours of workout time during the week and a longer session on the weekends. no excuses. your body needs the work right now; delay isn't an option.

THE CHANGES

THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING YOU

For most men in their 40s, height begins to decrease. "Disks in the spine are fluid filled, like shock absorbers," says Seabourne. "But as you grow older, they act more like dried-out sponges." By the time you hit 60, you'll likely have shrunk by 1¼ inches.

THE FIX
Stand and sit up straight. Seabourne says posture is more important now than ever. Imagine you have a string pulling your body up from the top of your head: shoulders back, head up, spine neutral. "That'll keep those disks healthy. And you'll appear thinner and taller because your posture will be better," he says.

Lengthen and strengthen. Developing the muscular endurance of your core is essential to maintaining good posture, says Seabourne. The key is to lengthen your spine through stretching, and strengthen your abs and lower back. Try to do this exercise at least once every day:

The Yoga Pose. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands against the small of your back. Inhale as you slowly lift your chest. Exhale as you stretch, slowly tilting your head back and gently pulling your elbows toward each other. Remain in this position and let gravity stretch you into the natural arch of your back. Do this for 3-8 seconds. Try it between sets of your weight workout.

SORE SUBJECT

Whatever your sport, you have to prepare your body to perform. Lots of middle-aged weekend warriors come home with injuries like torn hamstrings, sprained ankles, or worse.

THE FIX
Feel the flow. Seabourne says a short warmup—8-10 minutes of light cardiovascular work—starts the flow of synovial fluid, a natural lubricating solution found in joints. It also elevates your core temperature so your muscles are more elastic and you have less chance of injury.

AGE-OLD PROBLEMS

As your personal odometer ticks upward, your risks of heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure also go up. You owe it to yourself and your family to stick to an exercise program—the best way to dodge heart and head bombs. But to keep in the game, you have to prepare your body to perform. The day after exercise, you want to feel a pleasant soreness, not debilitating injuries.

THE FIX
Find a trail. A study of nearly 11,000 Harvard alumni found that a brisk 30- to 60-minute walk 5 days a week cuts stroke risk by 24-50 percent.

Keep track. Take note of your speed, distance, and pace.

LESS MUSCLE = MORE FAT

"After age 30, you lose about half a pound of muscle per year—if you're sedentary—which turns into 2.6 pounds of fat per year, just because of metabolic slowdown," says Seabourne. In that trade-off, everybody loses.

THE FIX
Eat six small meals daily instead of three big ones. It'll keep your furnace stoked, making it burn fat more efficiently. It'll also boost HDL (good) cholesterol and cut LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Add a pound of muscle. Muscle tissue needs more calories for maintenance and rebuilding processes than fat tissue does. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn—even at rest. "Gain just one pound of muscle, and that's an additional 50 calories you'll burn each day," says Seabourne. For the 40s strength workout (below), Seabourne calls for a slower lifting tempo but keeps the weights fairly heavy, so you can build muscle mass. "It's still cool to lift heavy, but you need to pay strict attention to your form and protect your joints," he says. Glucosamine supplements can help with your day-after pains.



Age 50'S and up: Defending your turf




By now you have it figured out (i.e., you know that nobody has it figured out). you're a master at the office, a veteran in the weight room, the head of the clan. But you're fighting Mother nature and entropy at the same time, and that's one tough tag team. australian researchers found that men age 58 and older often struggle with body-image issues. Performing at least two exercise sessions per week boosts men's self-esteem by helping them feel better about their bodies' ability to perform routine tasks. and feeling good motivates you to make more gains. your fitness program should help you avoid pain and do what's important to you. okay, so you're not a kid anymore. neither is Clint eastwood. But he can still kick some butt.

THE CHANGES

THAT TRICK KNEE JUST GOT TRICKIER

Many men in their 50s begin to have joint trouble. The main culprits: overuse injuries and osteoarthritis.

THE FIX
Ride a bike. Researchers at Arcadia University studied 39 people suffering from osteoarthritis of the knees and found that cycling just 25 minutes a day, three times a week, significantly improved pain relief and performance in walking tests. So saddle up.

BONE LOSS LOOMS

Bone minerals are lost and replaced throughout life—it's a natural process —but after age 35, the loss begins to outpace the replacement. At 50, this imbalance can hurt you.

THE FIX
More stress. Stressing your bones strengthens them. Walking beats swimming, running beats walking, and strength training is the best bone builder of all, says Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, PhD, head of kinesiology at the University of Illinois.

Have a cow. The average 50-year-old needs about 1,200 milligrams (mg) of calcium per day for healthy bones. Get that from one eight-ounce glass of milk (300 mg), six ounces of yogurt (300 mg), a handful of almonds (150 mg), and two ounces of Swiss cheese (540 mg).

OH, MY ACHING BACK

Inactivity can tighten your spine and pelvic muscles, forcing your knees and lower back to compensate. That's why they ache, explains Mark Verstegen, author of Core Performance.

THE FIX
Roll your foam. Exercising with a foam roll can loosen the muscles around your pelvis and torso. Lie on top of the roll with your arms crossed over your chest. Keep your abs tight and your feet on the ground. Glide on the roll from your shoulders to the base of your spine several times until you feel the muscles release. Do more foam-roll moves to loosen hamstrings, quadriceps, groin, and glutes.

Take a Pilates class. Strengtheningyour stomach muscles can ease back pain. "Pilates includes a lot of balance activities on one hand and one knee that are aimed at stabilizing and strengthening the core," says Chodzko-Zajko.

WATER SHORTAGE

Between ages 57 and 86, your body literally dries up. It will likely consist of just 54 percent water, as opposed to the 61 percent found in younger men. You'll also sweat less because your sweat glands disappear. You may have less body odor, but overheating and heatstroke become an issue.

THE FIX
Be a camel. "Drinking fluids is more important as you grow older," says Chodzko-Zajko. "One of the problems with aging is that thirst decreases with age, so people tend to drink less."

MASS DEFECTIONS

Muscle tissue needs more calories for maintenance and rebuilding processes than fat tissue does. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn—even at rest. "Gain just one pound of muscle, and that's an additional 50 calories you'll burn each day," says Seabourne. For the 40s strength workout (below), Seabourne calls for a slower lifting tempo but keeps the weights fairly heavy, so you can build muscle mass. "It's still cool to lift heavy, but you need to pay strict attention to your form and protect your joints," he says. Glucosamine supplements can help with your day-after pains.

THE FIX
Play with heavy metal. Don't shy away from heavy weights because you think you're susceptible to injury. As long as you use proper form, which you should master now if you haven't already, heavy weights will keep your bones strong and your muscles large. Seabourne kept the weights up in your workout (below) but slowed the tempo and concentrated on lifts that develop balance.

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