High testosterone is one of the reasons for hair loss!

24 Jan

High testosterone is one of the reasons for hair loss!.

Hair Loss Myths?

14 Jan

Hair Loss Myths?.

Hosting Fitness party – original, easy and fun.

18 Dec

Hosting Fitness party – original, easy and fun..

www.bettiblue.com

Supplements For Building Muscle

21 Oct

If you were to walk into your local health and nutrition store looking for supplements that build muscle, you’ll probably find yourself confused and amazed at just how many products there are to choose from.  With so many supplements available, it can be a little on the tricky side to decide which ones will help you with your goals.  There are a lot of supplements out there to help you build muscle, although some may not be ideal for your goals.

The first thing to keep in mind, is the fact that you don’t always need muscle building supplements to build muscle, although will help you speed up the process.  These types of supplements can help you increase muscular development, providing you work out.  They can aid you in both muscle growth and the recovery of your muscles.  Among the many products available, the most popular are protein, creatine, and multi-vitamins.

Protein is a preferred supplement among bodybuilders and those who exercise.  It contains many amino acids which help you to build muscle.  No matter what type of diet you are or on or supplement you select, you should always pick one that contains a lot of protein.  The ideal way to take protein, is 2 grams per pound of body weight.  You can get protein in pill form, powder, or even bars.  When you select your protein supplement, you should also make sure that the supplement contains whey, soy, and eggs.  Whey protein is the ideal supplement, as it contains everything you need to start building muscle.

Creatine is another beneficial supplement, as it will help you increase your muscle mass and improve the recovery time for your muscles.  Creatine also helps you to increase your muscle pumps as well, allowing you to do more repetitions with more weight.  Normally, you will need to go through a loading period of creatine, which is usually a week.  Once you have loaded it, you should use in cycles, a few weeks using it and a few weeks off.  To get the most from creatine, you should always follow the instructions the manufacturer has provided on the label.

Micro-vitamins are another great supplement, as they work great for those who aren’t getting enough minerals and vitamins with their normal diet.  Although you may have the best of intentions, a busy or hectic schedule can make it very hard to get a healthy meal.  If you use vitamin supplements in your diet, you can get the vitamins and minerals your body needs.  If you are looking to build muscle, you should always take the proper supplements, and use protein bars and shakes if you arenít able to eat a healthy meal.

Building muscle is something we would all like to do.  Even though it requires a lot of exercise and commitment on your behalf, you should also have the necessary supplements as well.  If you use the right supplements, you’ll notice the muscle growth in a matter of weeks.  Supplements will help you to build muscle, by speeding up the process.

There are a lot of brands and manufacturers to choose from. You can find these supplements locally or online, giving you plenty of great deals to take advantage of.  If you exercise and are looking to add more muscle mass to your body, you should give muscle building supplements a try.  They work extremely well, they taste great, and they will greatly assist you in your quest to build muscle and live a healthier life.

Testosterone Supplements 4 Hair Growth

23 Jul

What Causes Hair Loss?

Male Pattern Baldness is progressive loss of scalp hair in men beginning in the twenties/early thirties. It depends on the presence of the androgenic hormone testosterone, and is caused by genetic and hormonal factors. Male pattern baldness occurs in approximately 30%-66% of adult males, and is characterised by a receding hairline, and maybe a bald patch. 5-alpha reductase (5AR) is an enzyme that converts the hormone testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which inhibits hair growth in genetically-prone scalp hairs. If you are genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness, any increases in testosterone may increase hair loss. Bear in mind that even training with weights can increase your testosterone levels.

Minimising Hair Loss

Some testosterone booster supplements include DHT blockers to help your body prevent the conversion of testosterone to DHT, including B-Sitosterol, Saw Palmetto Extract, Astaxanthin and Pygeum Africanum. Bee pollen extract is also used in this capacity because of its rich L-Cysteine content. 8% of hair is composed of L-Cysteine. Cucurbita Pepo inhibits the conversion of testosterone into DHT. Saw palmetto berries include a volatile oil high in phytosterols which also controls the conversion of testosterone to DHT. In some supplements a proprietary or tradmark name may be used when detailing ingredients, thus look for the term “DHT Blockers.”

Avoiding Hair Loss

If you are genetically pre-disposed to male pattern baldness, anything you do to increase your testosterone level (including weight training), may slightly quicken, over a period of years, some hair loss. What appears to be the ultimate cause of hair loss for most people is an auto immune response where the body attacks the hair follicle causing an inflammatory response, similar in the manner in which the body may reject an implanted organ after surgery. Whilst DHT is important in the cause of hair loss, it is not the final cause and a new race has been started to address the inflammatory response which ultimately causes you hair to fall out. You have to attack hair loss from both the DHT and inflammatory response. Increased testosterone may accelerate the process if you are genetically susceptible to it. However, this will not make your hair fall out if you are not destined to lose your hair in the first place. If you are concerned with hair loss, choose a testosterone booster supplement which includes the DHT Blockers B-Sitosterol, Saw Palmetto Extract, Pygeum Africanum, Astaxanthin, Bee Pollen Extract and Cucurbita Pepo. This way, you can boost your testosterone and know your also addressing any concerns you may have.

Sport Nutritional Supplements

22 Jul

FASTER            STRONGER              BETTER  

Sport nutritional supplements can help lower your body fat; beef up your lean muscle mass, increase your antioxidant levels and overall health, and as a consequence improve the physiological and bio mechanical components of your sport!

Recent studies of the dietary practices of elite athletes report that supplements are commonly used and that some professional athletes use a very large number of (approved) supplements.

Why would they do that?
Because they know it helps their performance!

These are professional athletes who are deadly serious about producing the best results possible so they do what it takes to keep IMPROVING.

When a particular supplement allows the athlete to meet his/her goal that supplement should be considered to improve sports performance.
Providing there are no negative side effects involved, athletes should feel comfortable using it and the supplement will often offer a psychological benefit in that it increases the users confidence in his/her expected performance from using the supplement.
A quality sports nutrition supplement will also help to optimize your overall health. There is often a fine line in the difference between sport nutritional supplements and quality health supplements because many sports supplements offer other health benefits in addition to the primary ‘performance benefit’.
The quest to optimize performance or just get an edge on your weekend opponent(s) is a never ending goal of athletes and sports enthusiasts of all levels. It’s no wonder peoples’ interest in finding the best sport nutritional supplements is ever increasing.

The sports nutrition supplements industry has reached more than $ 11 billion in the United States alone!

The following nutrients are popular as exercise performance enhancers – but please note that research is lacking on the efficacy and safety of some of these commonly used supplements particular in respect of athletic performance.

 

  • Alanine
  • Bee Pollen
  • Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)
  • Carnitine
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Creatine
  • Ginseng
  • Glutamine
  • Glycerol
  • HMB (B-Hydroxy B-methylbutyrate)
  • Lecithin/choline
  • Lipoic acid
  • Magnesium
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Phosphatidylserine
  • Pyruvate
  • Royal jelly
  • Selenium
  • Sodium bicarbonate
  • Vanadium (vanadyl sulfate)
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc

NOTE: Professional or high performance athletes must educate themselves thoroughly BEFORE taking any supplement and check that none of its components are athletic banned substances.

Some supplements may contain ingredients, such as androstenedione and ephedrine that can produce positive tests for banned substances.

Athletes under 18 must not take steroid hormone precursors or ephedrine alkaloids (Ephedra).

The green light is given only to vitamins, minerals, beverages to replenish fluids/electrolyte and protein energy bars. This is especially true for people who train yoga, since yoga health benefits focus on all natural health and wellness!

FusemeAll 2 soup in 1: Veg Protein and Super Carbs

16 Jul

This soup is a celebration of freshness and nutrients – in the body and in the season.
The orange soup is a sweet potato, ginger, and miso blend, while the green soup features sweet peas and fresh mint, but any fresh herb would be outstanding. Delicious on their own, they are even more divine side by side as their opposing flavours somehow make friends in your mouth. Incredible. Plus, they look totally groovy nutrition wise hanging out together:  green protein pea-soup and  orange superfood ( bodybuilding diet ) sweet potato soup.
The other wonderful aspect of this dish is that you can serve it warm or cold.

Now, I know that you think I must be crazy to suggest making two totally different soups for one meal, but I’ve made it quite simple to do, plus you may even have leftovers you can freeze for another time.

Sweet Potato-Ginger-Miso Soup

INGREDIENTS
• 3 Tbsp. olive oil
• 3 small yellow onions, diced
• 2 inches, fresh ginger, minced
• 4 cups chopped and peeled sweet potato (about 1 1/2 pounds)
• 4 cups water
• 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
• 1 Tbsp. Japanese miso
• salt to taste

Minted Pea Soup

INGREDIENTS
• 3 small onions
• 3 Tbsp. olive oil
• 6 cups (2 pounds) fresh peas – you can also use frozen
• 5 cups vegetable stock
• 3/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves (or any other herb you like: basil, cilantro, parsley etc.)
• 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
• juice of 1 lemon
• salt to taste

DIRECTIONS (both soups at once):
1. Dice onions and set aside.
2. Place two pots on the stove and add a little olive oil. When warm, add onions to both pots and minced ginger to one, add some salt. Cook until onions are translucent. Set the “onion only” pot aside.
3. In the onion and ginger pot, add chopped sweet potato and stir. Pour in water, cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes, until the  potato are soft.
4. When the sweet potato are almost tender, put the other pot back on the burner, add peas and stock. Simmer, uncovered for 5-7 minutes, just until the peas are crispy-cooked. Do not turn them to mush!
5. Now you have the base for both soups. Hook up your blender and puree the soups respectively (be careful when blending hot liquids). While the  sweet potato soup is blending, add orange juice, miso, and salt to taste. While the pea soup is blending, add the mint, agave nectar, lemon juice, and salt to taste.
To serve, pour one soup on one half and a bowl, and the other soup beside it. They will be similar densities, so they shouldn’t blend together, just rub shoulders.
If desired, garnish with fresh mint, or other green herb, lightly toasted pistachios, and a drizzle of quality olive oil.
Serve warm if it’s chilly outside, serve chilled if it’s hot.

The Perfect Body

12 May

Love, Sex & Tragedy: How the Ancient World Shapes Our Lives by Simon Goldhill

When Clark Gable took off his shirt in the film It Happened One Night(1934), two extraordinary things happened. First, the clothing industry was altered for ever. Because he wasn’t wearing an undershirt, thousands and thousands of men decided never to wear an undershirt again, and within a year a string of clothing manufacturers went into liquidation. Second, thousands of people gazed at the bare torso of the star who was the sexiest man alive.

It is almost impossible for a modern generation of movie-goers to recapture the shock and the eroticism of that moment. Today, there is almost no part of a man’s body that cannot be seen on the screen or in the magazines, and we may be more familiar with Russell Crowe’s chest than our own. But it was extremely rare at that time for a film star to bare his body. In Casablanca (1942), Humphrey Bogart keeps his shirt on. In the war films and westerns that were the meat and drink of the industry, a soldier or a cowboy is always shot, but archetypically he is wounded only in the arm. It’s a cliché of the genre. The sleeve of a shirt can be ripped off, a dramatic moment assured, but the body is kept decorously hidden. A whooping Indian or another ‘native’ might have a bronzed and naked torso, but not one of our boys. When Noël Coward is shipwrecked in the wonderfully patriotic naval adventure In Which We Serve (1942), he never even undoes his top button.

It was only in the late 1960s and the 1970s that things started to change systematically. War films like M*A*S*H (1970)—a cynical, funny, outrageous response to the conflict in Vietnam—is typical. It showed the body mangled, fleshy, bloody and exposed. From these years on, whether you look at love stories or heroic tales, there is more and more exposure of the body. From Rocky to Gladiator now a hero has to be bare-chested.

This is not the first time that the image of the hero has moved from clothed to unclothed (or vice versa). The story of Perseus and Andromeda is one of the most frequently painted Greek myths, especially the scene where Andromeda is chained to a rock, waiting to be eaten by a sea-monster, only to be saved by Perseus who flies in to kill the beast and marry the girl. In ancient pictures, it is Perseus who is nude—as Greek heroes usually are—except for a helmet, his winged sandals and often a billowing cloak. Andromeda is usually rather decorously robed. But when the story becomes popular again for European artists in the Renaissance, the classical Perseus appears dressed in armour and tunic, and Andromeda becomes more and more exposed, until her long hair and wispy silks provide no more than a frame to display her naked body to the viewer. Titian  so highlights the naked Andromeda that the viewer’s eyes are quite distracted from the swooping and very much dressed Perseus in the background.  To be heroic Perseus now needs his armour, while the female body is vulnerable—to male eyes as much as to the sea-monster. The idea of acceptable or normal nudity has radically changed.

There is a history to how the male body has been displayed. It is not just a question of how much of the body a viewer is allowed to see, but also of what a body is meant to look like: a torso in Gladiator or Rocky doesn’t look like Clark Gable’s. There are images of the body all around us—from the pictures of men in film, on TV or in magazines to the medical writer’s body, the novelist’s representations, the legal system, grand art and smutty graffiti. All these images of the body tell us how to be, how to think about ourselves, how to see who we are. But where do these images of the perfect body stem from?

The simplest answer is Greece. Since the Renaissance and its rediscovery of Greek art, there has been a long tradition of taking the ideal of the male body from Greek sculpture. The slim but well-muscled torso, the elegant symmetry of form, the balanced turn of the head or twist of the athlete’s shape, have produced an image so firmly lodged in the Western imagination that it is hard to look at it freshly or in any historical context. For anyone who goes to the gym, who worries about thinness, or getting in shape, or their muscle tone—or even for anyone who just knows what a good body is—there’s a history stretching back to ancient Greece that will change the way your body looks to you.

In the modern West, we are bombarded with images of the body. For the classical Greek citizen, too, images flooded the eyes and filled the public and private spaces of the city in a quite remarkable way. When the Athenian strolled in the market place, the buildings all around were decorated with grand, state-funded paintings of the warriors and battles of the past. There were huge statues of the heroes of democracy, and towering over the city was the Acropolis with the Parthenon and its other temples, decorated with friezes depicting crowds of human figures. All around stood a forest of statues—of athletes, dead heroes, generals, civic benefactors, gods. Lining the avenues, placed around sanctuaries, carved in relief on temples and tombs, on porticoes and civic buildings, were stone and bronze representations of the male form. When the Athenian sat at home to drink wine, his pots and cups were decorated with beautifully painted pictures—an army of perfect bodies. The major cities and civic arenas of classical Greece were crowded with hundreds of images of exercised and buffed masculinity.

The perfect body gave the Greek citizen a difficult model to live up to. To get the body in shape needed training, and that meant, first of all, the gym. The gymnasium was one of the fundamental signs of Greek culture. You could be sure you were in a Greek city if you saw a theatre, a symposium, a political debate—and a gym. It was a prime place for thinking about the body, and for performing with it. The modern preoccupation with the gym, often seen as a sign of contemporary city life, finds its real origin here, in the ancient Greek city. Our preoccupation with bodies and exercise is not new at all, but another classical inheritance. Choosing your gym, worrying about your appearance, exercising the body, adopting a diet, hiring a personal trainer—this is all good ancient Greek civic activity.

The gym was the place where a Greek citizen went to work out. Men only. A citizen should go to the gym regularly, even on a daily basis, and particular groups went to particular venues. Socrates, Plato says, used to like hanging out at Taureas’ Gym near the Temple of the Queen of the Gods, where some very upper-class Athenians exercised—but he was easily persuaded into other gyms by an invitation from a good-looking young man. The citizen would strip. (Unlike the modern gym, all exercises were practised naked—though the penis was tied back for running races.) He would rub oil into his body or have it rubbed into him by his servant, and then he would exercise—run, or wrestle, or jump, or practise for other competitions like javelin or discus throwing. Boys, at least those of the best sort, had their tutors along to keep an eye out for them, and professional trainers coached the more serious athletes. Finally, the oil and dirt would be scraped off with a metal strigil, or scraper. The oil flask and the strigil are what men would stroll purposefully with, like a sports bag and tennis racket.

Modern advertising was epitomized up to the 1970s by Charles Atlas, who used the title of ‘the world’s most perfectly developed man’ to support his promise that exercise will ‘make a man’ of you, as it had for him. (Atlas claimed that it was actually a statue of Hercules in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art which inspired him to attain ‘the perfect male body’.) The ancient gym was central to the whole performance of masculinity in the ancient city: it truly ‘made you a man’. This meant, first, honing your body as a preparation for war, since real men all fought in the city’s army and navy. The second-century essayist Lucian captures the cultural ideal of what a man in the gym should look like:

The young men have a tanned complexion from the sun, manly faces; they reveal spirit, fire, manliness. They glow with fabulous conditioning: neither lean or skinny, nor excessive in weight, but etched with symmetry. They have sweated off all useless flesh, and what’s left is made for strength and stamina, and is untainted by any poor quality. They maintain their bodies vigorously.

The ideal form is neither too thin nor too fat, but perfectly balanced. On show are not just physical qualities, but ‘manliness’ and ‘spirit’, shining from ‘manly’ faces. Their bodies display what sort of men they are, and how they live. This all-round perfection of masculinity is what athletics promises you, and why you go to the gym. But without exercise, a man’s body, says Lucian, will end up like this: ‘It’ll have either a white and lazy flabbiness, or a pale scrawniness, like a woman’s body, bleached from the shade, quivering, and dripping with sweat, and panting…’ The threat to a man’s body is being ‘like a woman’—the reverse of all that is good about the real man. Lucian gives a checklist of negative qualities—pale, scrawny, flabby, quivering, weak and wet—to set against the qualities everyone should aim for: tanned, firm, symmetrical, vigorous and dry. The message is clear: exercise hard, or suffer the humiliation of a bad body, which means being a bad citizen.

Classical artists depicted the athlete’s ideal body which Lucian so enthusiastically described. … The body should be, as Lucian insists, lean but well built—bulked up from exercise but not fat or over-muscled like a modern body-builder. The muscles should be well defined (‘etched’) with a six-pack stomach and cut pectorals, and the torso should reveal an iliac crest, the sharp line or fold running above the groin and up over the hip, a physical characteristic that can be revealed only when the muscles are very strongly developed but the body is exceptionally lean—and which Greek sculptures emphasize in a way impossible to achieve in real life. Thighs are powerful, calves sharply articulated, penis small (always), and, since these are beautiful young men, they have no beards yet, but they do have carefully done hair.

The gym was where a citizen found out what sort of a man he was—by competing with other men, by displaying his body, by making his body more manly. The gym put masculinity on trial, and not just in the athletic activities. It was also a key place for erotic encounters, where the beautiful boy became known as a beauty, where men vied for the attention of beautiful boys, where men gathered to talk, strut and watch each other. It was where you saw other men, and where you viewed others and yourself against the image of the perfect body. The gym made the body a topic of conversation, display, desire and worry as well as of exercise and care.

The ideal forms was sculpted and painted innumerable times, flooding the cities of Greece with a body image that took some living up to. While it is more usual nowadays for female models to provide a bodily form for modern Western women that almost no one can match, in Greek culture it is the ideal male body that stares out from temples, pots and paintings as a relentless and impossible yardstick for men. A real man’s body needs a lot of work and care to produce and maintain.

Nudity was essential to the culture of the ancient gymnasium. It is one rather obvious difference between Charles Atlas and the Doryphoros in their displays of what is a perfect form—as it is between the ancient Perseus and Titian’s hero. Modern surprise at Greek nude exercise immediately indicates how habits of bodily display are culturally specific. But attitudes to the nude body in Rome are even more provocative. Going to the bathhouse was as important to a Roman as going to the gym was to a Greek. People met in the bathhouse not only to enjoy the hot baths, cold baths and steam rooms, but also to gossip, and occasionally to take light exercise—again, in the nude. As with any modern health club or spa, social boundaries need special care when socializing involves taking your clothes off, and the bathhouse had its protocols and rituals.

The ancient practices of nude display may seem somewhat strange to modern eyes. No less surprising is the fact that in both ancient Athens and the Roman Empire there was a flourishing business in health manuals, diets and exercise handbooks. A whole series of experts, from doctors to athletic coaches to personal masseurs, vied with each other. From the fourth century BC, there are several diet books, or ‘Regimens’, collected in the Hippocratic Corpus, which give advice on what to eat, how often and when to bathe, how much exercise to take and of what types, how long to sleep, and how much sex to have. The Greek word for such regimens is diaite, from which comes the English word ‘diet’. The diet books that still keep topping the bestseller lists today are no modern phenomenon. The ancient Greeks, equally obsessed with the body beautiful, were also anxious for expert advice.

These diet books have long sections on what different foods do to a man’s digestion, and long arguments about how to cure various conditions by carefully organized regimens of life. If, for example, you have headaches, feel lethargic, constipated and occasionally feverish—a condition called ‘Surfeit’—then:

after a vapour bath, purge the body with hellebore, and for ten days gradually increase light and soft foods, and meats that open the bowels, so that the lower belly can overcome the head by drawing the humours down and away. Practise slow jogging, long enough early-morning walks, and wrestling with the body oiled. Do eat lunch and take a short sleep after lunch. After dinner just a stroll is enough. Bath, oil yourself, make the bath warm, and keep away from sex. This is the quickest treatment.

This advice is a mixture of specific medical actions, such as having a vapour bath with hellebore to purge the system, and of more general rules for life like ‘Do eat lunch and take a short sleep after lunch.’ It aims to regulate the citizen’s daily life from sex to jogging, according to the doctor’s scheme of things. Greece didn’t just give us democracy and theatre: it also gave us personal trainers and faddish diets.

The citizen’s body is public property. Naked in the gym, relaxed at the symposium, walking in the street, speaking in the assembly or in the law court, the citizen’s body was there to be watched and commented on. How to stand, how to walk, how to appear a man in your physical demeanour are shared concerns. Other men look at and judge the citizen’s body: a citizen’s sense of self depends on that evaluation. The citizen must train his body to make it as beautiful and strong as possible, in order to have success both in war and in all other public activities. Socrates will walk up to someone and complain about the flabbiness of his body and nag a man because he just isn’t toned enough. Unlike modern philosophers, fixed in the classroom and seminar, he is out on the street, actively changing people’s lives. Socrates gets involved because the flabby citizen is a public matter, a matter of public concern. Fat is a political issue.

The influence of ancient Greece on the modern male body is profound. What looks sexy and what is thought healthy depend hugely on the Greek ideals embodied in classical sculpture and art. The perfectly honed, muscled, lean and symmetrical male body is developed as an ideal in the ancient world’s art, medical texts and other writings. Despite the Christian tradition which despises the body as sinful, and longs for a spiritual, non-materialistic life, this image of the trained and cared-for body has become fully lodged in the imagination of Western society, an instantly recognizable icon of beauty and health. We are meant to know what a good body is. We may know that different cultures have different ways of defining the good body. We may be well aware that body images are manipulated by powerful media, which have always provided fantasies of bodily perfection, whether a buxom woman painted by Rubens or a gamine model in Vogue. But we still feel that we know what a good body is. And the fact that we think we do know shows how powerfully Greek myth still works in contemporary Western culture.

In today’s culture of the body, this longing for Greece is rarely made explicit. But the connection between an idealized Greece, the perfect body and athletics was made absolutely clear when modern Europe reinvented the Olympic Games, at the end of the nineteenth century. The obsession of the nineteenth century with all things Greek changed physical culture. While the Olympic movement was being refounded—and well into the early decades of the twentieth century—a cult of the physical flourished in Germany in particular. Groups met to hike, to exercise and to swim or work out together, sometimes in the nude. The Romantic love of nature produced a particular German fixation on The Woods and The Mountains, which joined with a passion for Hellenism to make ‘exercise’ a charged idea for German nationalism. Nude gymnastics was a sign of nationalist fervour. In fact, public nudity is still acceptable in Germany in a way quite different from the rest of Europe and America, and there are parks in Berlin, for example, where nude sunbathing is still normal.

But, as the century progressed, this cult of the body fed into the most worrying sides of German nationalism and its aggressive promotion of the trained Aryan physique. The strongest link between the nineteenth-century Romantic love of Greece and the violent Aryan passions which linked the cult of the body to Nazi ideology is provided by Friedrich Nietzsche. His idealizing of the German spirit, his theories of power and his praise of the morals of the superman, who dominates his inferiors, all had a profound effect on the nationalism that culminates in the Nazi party before and during the Second World War. Even if the argument has often been made that such a use of Nietzsche by German fascism is a drastic abuse of the philosopher’s own true political stance, there can be little doubt that reading him provided a justification and inspiration to many ideologues of the twentieth century.

Nietzsche epitomizes the impact of the Greek body on the Western imagination in a trenchant and odd paragraph. ‘The Germans’, he claims, ‘have joined anew the bond with the Greeks, the hitherto highest form of man.’ Here is the ideologically charged claim that the German race descends from the Greeks, and that as the Greeks were the highest form of man, so Germans aspire to that pinnacle, their own true inheritance. ‘Today we are again getting close to all those fundamental forms of world interpretation devised by the Greeks…We are growing more Greek by the day.’ But for Nietzsche it is not just in our thinking that we can become more Greek: ‘We are growing more Greek by the day; at first, as is only fair, in concepts and evaluation, as Hellenising ghosts, as it were; but one day in our bodies too.’ We can, ‘as Hellenising ghosts’, think ourselves into a Greek frame of mind, but the crucial and ultimate goal is to become Greek ‘in our bodies too’. We need to become physically Greek. It’s almost as if by doing ancient philosophy we will all get iliac crests and a six-pack. This longing for a Greek body is summed up in ringing terms by Nietzsche: ‘Herein lies (and has always lain) my hope for the German character!’ In short, to be truly German, for Nietzsche, means becoming Greek ‘in our bodies’.

Nietzsche and Riefenstahl form part of a long and continuing tradition of trying to live up to the Greek body. Like the Greeks themselves, we surround ourselves with images of the masculine form, trained by exercise and diet, the object of public scrutiny, longing and failure. This embodiment of Greek myth runs through the Western cultural imagination, and lives on as an inheritance in us all. The gym, the torso, the pose, the diet—the fascination of the Greek body is displayed all around us still. ‘Being Greek in our bodies’ may seem like Nietzsche’s fantasy. But it is an ideal that many people, consciously or unconsciously, still share today.


Copyright notice: Excerpt from pages 11-28 of Love, Sex & Tragedy: How the Ancient World Shapes Our Lives by Simon Goldhill, published by the University of Chicago Press. ©2004 by the University of Chicago. All rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of U.S. copyright law, and it may be archived and redistributed in electronic form, provided that this entire notice, including copyright information, is carried and provided that the University of Chicago Press is notified and no fee is charged for access. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the consent of the University of Chicago Press.


Simon Goldhill
Love, Sex & Tragedy: How the Ancient World Shapes Our Lives
©2004, 344 pages, 50 halftones

Why you need a fitness journal

7 May

Fitness journals should keep track of each workout with details of how you felt, DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), meals/snacks, sleep, and more. Listed below are the benefits you will get from keeping a workout journal:

 

  • Studies have shown that keeping an exercise log is a great way to maintain a consistent workout plan. Keeping a log that your friends can see is an excellent motivator to stick to your routine. Knowing that you are going to be accountable will get you off the couch on those days when motivation wanes. You will look forward to finishing your workout and showing off your progress on your results page. Especially at the end of the month when your calendar is covered with all of the activities you did…instead of a lot of blank squares telling you what you could have done.
  • You’ll learn if you are on the right track with your overall approach to a healthy life. If you note that you are feeling frustrated after your workouts on Tuesdays, and exhilarated after your workouts on Thursdays, you can take a look at your journal and determine why. Maybe you don’t like the Tuesday Body Pump class’ teacher as much as the one on Thursdays, or maybe you are staying up too late on Monday nights. Either way, you can change your behavior so that Tuesdays are as good as Thursdays.
  • Exercise logs are beneficial in determining if you are gaining muscular strength and flexibility. If you are trying to get stronger but are not able to do more repetitions or sets, you can see this by reviewing your logs. If you do not record the information, you will just have to guess if you are making specific gains. You owe yourself more than a guess after all of that hard work you have put in!
  • Give yourself credit for the progress you have made even when the number on the scale stays the same. You can do this by recording your bodyfat percentage or your circumference measurements. Most people get discouraged when the scale reads the same every week, but know this: if your bodyfat percentage is going down while your muscle mass is going up, then the numbers could stay the same. That is okay, even great! It means you are gaining lean muscle and getting rid of fat. Your clothes will be looser since muscle takes up LESS space in your body than fat, and it burns up to 50 calories more per pound. Keep your journal up-to-date by logging your bodyfat or circumference once every two weeks.
  • By reviewing your exercise diary, you will see patterns of how your lifestyle is affected from each workout and be able to make necessary changes. If you are so sore after lifting weights on “leg day” that you can’t stand without pain for five days, then you will know to back off and reduce the weight by 5-10 pounds. It is better to make slow and steady increases in resistance than try to “catch up” by lifting too much one day. That only keeps you out of the gym for an unnecessarily extended period of time.

What can I do to lose weight in my belly?

30 Apr

….if you ‘ve been doing lots of crunches but they don’t seem to help …

here is no way to target weight loss to a specific area of the body because your body decides where it wants to put on weight and where it wants to take it off. The midsection is a common “problem” area for many people. The best way to lose fat is through cardiovascular exercise and even better interval training. It is important to do a variety of abdominal exercises (including crunches) to keep your core strong, but until that excess fat is gone, you will not see the muscle definition. If you exercise only your abdominal region you build muscle around your abs region. This sounds good doesn’t it. This is what we want to achieve. There lies the problem. By exercising your abdominal region too much you end up building muscle under a layer of fat. Actually ending up with a BIGGER stomach then when we started. Not good. So if you’re not doing cardio, crunches are not going to help get the 6-pack you’ve been hoping for. Regular cardio exercise at a level that’s challenging for you is your best bet.

For the best and fast result try interval training.

The big problem with humans and almost all other animals is that we are designed to operate in short sporadic bursts. We however as humans try to defy this. Think Cycling (Tour De France), Marathon running and triathlons. We are not built and designed to operate like this. Our bodies are happier doing intensive exercise for about 1-2 minutes then resting for the same period and then intense exercise again. Keeping this up for around 20 minutes at a time.

Why is Interval Training the Best Cardio Exercise to Lose Belly Fat and More Effective Than Any Other Cardio Workout?

Because to burn stomach fat it’s not about time or distance, it’s about intensity and “intensity cycling.” Research has shown interval training – alternating between low-intensity and high-intensity-is unmatched for fat burning potential. When you workout at a higher intensity level, you burn actual body fat-not just the calories you’ve consumed that day.

Plus, by working at a higher intensity level you stimulate your body’s own natural growth hormones, which burns even more fat, boosts your metabolism, and builds muscle!

Repeat these 4 intervals 4 times for a very intensive 20 minute workout!

  • Warm-up for 3-4 minutes at a fast walk or light jog
  • Interval 1 – Run at 8.0 mil/hr for 1 minute
  • Interval 2 – Walk at 4.0 mil/hr for 1.5 minutes
  • Interval 3 – Run at 10.0 mil/hr for 1 minute
  • Interval 4 – Walk at 4.0 mil/hr fro 1.5 minutes
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