General fitness

Jan Libourel

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Day before yesterday, I saw my orthopedist about some knee pains I've been having. It turns out it was arthritis again. To my great chagrin, the doctor ruled out squats and lunges--two of my favorite moves--and suggested an exercise bike. I've always rather despised exercise bikes as a somewhat "sissified" form of exercise, but I want to keep fighting the good fight. Anyway, my stepson, who happens to work at a bicycle shop, is going to set up an exercise bike for me this evening utilizing an inexpensive "beach cruiser" bicycle. I'll have to see how this works. Between my shoulder last summer and now my right leg, I feel like I'm falling to pieces, but I suppose that's just part of getting old!
 

Grand Potentate

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Day before yesterday, I saw my orthopedist about some knee pains I've been having. It turns out it was arthritis again. To my great chagrin, the doctor ruled out squats and lunges--two of my favorite moves--and suggested an exercise bike. I've always rather despised exercise bikes as a somewhat "sissified" form of exercise, but I want to keep fighting the good fight. Anyway, my stepson, who happens to work at a bicycle shop, is going to set up an exercise bike for me this evening utilizing an inexpensive "beach cruiser" bicycle. I'll have to see how this works. Between my shoulder last summer and now my right leg, I feel like I'm falling to pieces, but I suppose that's just part of getting old!
How bad is the pain? Did you get an X-ray or mri? Often they use “arthritis” as a blanket diagnosis as opposed to doing a more in-depth exam. Old so must be arthritis.

none of the arthritis meds really work. Diclofenac gel (voltaren brand name) works ok.
 

Jan Libourel

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Thanks for the concern and advice, Rambo. Yes, they took multiple X-Rays. Fortunately, much of the time there is no pain at all or at most very little. I can still give the dogs lengthy walks and such.
 

Grand Potentate

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Thanks for the concern and advice, Rambo. Yes, they took multiple X-Rays. Fortunately, much of the time there is no pain at all or at most very little. I can still give the dogs lengthy walks and such.
so only when doing squats? how about any other knee bending activities like lunges or even stretching? how's the flexibility in the affected leg? often hamstring and calf tightness can cause knee mobility issues. give me some test cases where you feel the pain and where you don't when you're exercising.
 

Jan Libourel

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Thanks again for your concern, Rambo. Briefly, yes, I do feel some pain when doing lunging movements--mostly "gravediggers" and "uppercuts"--with my maces. It's not excruciating or anything...just bothersome and I know it's there. Anyway, the doctor ruled out lunges in addition to squats, alas! I have never been very flexible or done much stretching, so that may be part of them problem. I'll try to do some work in that regard.
 

Grand Potentate

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Thanks again for your concern, Rambo. Briefly, yes, I do feel some pain when doing lunging movements--mostly "gravediggers" and "uppercuts"--with my maces. It's not excruciating or anything...just bothersome and I know it's there. Anyway, the doctor ruled out lunges in addition to squats, alas! I have never been very flexible or done much stretching, so that may be part of them problem. I'll try to do some work in that regard.
ok well flexibility would be the easiest fix. definitely recommend stretching the hamstrings, quads, and calves. hips as well. i can point you to some stretches or you can do some googling. you're a workout sadist so you'd probably enjoy a good foam rolling as well. HIGHLY recommended for getting out the knots and kinks. save that, unless you get any clicking or popping, its probably not a tracking issue or anything structural. start with the stretching and lay off the squats and lunges for 2 weeks. report back and let me know how you feel. if you need any recommendations on tools for stretching let me know.
 

Jan Libourel

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Thanks for the advice about the Voltaren, Rambo. It turns out my wife is very familiar with it. I bought a tube, but I am a little chary of using it, there seem to be so many dire potential side effects!
 

Grand Potentate

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Thanks for the advice about the Voltaren, Rambo. It turns out my wife is very familiar with it. I bought a tube, but I am a little chary of using it, there seem to be so many dire potential side effects!
i've never heard of people having side effects from the gel although i suppose its possible to some extent if you take a bath in it. give it a shot. i'm sure you won't break out in scabies just putting a bit on your knee. you really dont need much to cover the whole surface.
 

robertito

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I used to take voltaren as a kid. I think that as a syrup. Very popular in Spain as anti-inflammatory medicine. I don't remember any side effects or similar so if my mother was giving to us it has to be good.:)
 

Dropbear

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Does anyone have experience with ‘ybells’? Basically a kettle and dumbbell combo you can also use to help with push-ups. I was thinking about getting a set to inspire me to do more strength training along with the running.
 

Grand Potentate

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Does anyone have experience with ‘ybells’? Basically a kettle and dumbbell combo you can also use to help with push-ups. I was thinking about getting a set to inspire me to do more strength training along with the running.
Never even heard of them. Got a pic?
 

Arnathor

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Grand Potentate

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A bit of a gimmick, but if it gets me to use them then I’m down with that.
i don't know. seems kind of weird. like what happens if you land down on the edge and it rolls the wrong way? something about that shape just seems odd to me.
 

Jan Libourel

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I am not sure what the YBell brings to the table that you can't get with a conventional kettlebell. I note that Rogue Fitness offers a somewhat similar piece of equipment called the Thompson Fatbell. I like kettlebells, but after having used them regularly for five years I'm not sure they offer much, if anything, that cannot be accomplished with dumbbells. However, they just seem more "cool" than dumbbells, and I especially like the ones with faces. I have the chimpanzee from Onnit, the bulldog from Ironskull Fitness and the bear from Zoobells.
 

Dropbear

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I’m still doing my 25min shuffle-run every morning, but that’s nothing compared to the routine MFDoom MFDoom has for fitness!
 

Jan Libourel

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Just thought I'd mention that on the blog site for Set for Set, I have a very lengthy treatise on the history of the iron game, strength sports and muscle building. It's dated December 30...if anybody's interested. I believe it's the longest thing I've written since I finished my doctoral dissertation back in 1968. I'd enjoy seeing the comments--positive or negative--from any forumites interested in such matters.
 

Journeyman

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Dropbear

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I just gave it a quick skim but I found the writing style thoroughly enjoyable.

Your response to the comment about black strong men was very interesting. I’m guessing it was perhaps a more middle class sport or interest in the past?

I’d also assume that circus performers were mostly white. And white women admiring a half naked strong black man might not have gone down too well in the Deep South.
 

Jan Libourel

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^Complicated question. As to blacks in bodybuilding, let's remember that it became a regularly practiced "sport" (if you want to call it that) in the late 1930s. The country was still very racist. In the late 1940s, when major league baseball first became integrated, black players were booed and jeered from the stands. Black bodybuilders did appear on the covers of the Weider magazines, Hoffman's Strength and Health and Rader's Iron Man in the early to mid-1940s. Hoffman did have some outstanding weightlifters who were black, the great heavyweight John Davis being perhaps the most memorable, but Hoffman was so racist that he wouldn't allow them to train in his York gym--they had to train at the local YMCA...or such was the story I heard. The AAU Mr. America was the nation's premier bodybuilding event in the early days, and the contestants had to pass an interview as well as demonstrate weightlifting and other athletic prowess. Black bodybuilders complained, with probable justification, that the interview procedure stacked the deck against them. Of course, since the early 1980s, the reigning Mr. Olympia for all but a few years has been black.

As for the ethnicity of circus and vaudeville performers, my impression is that a disproportionate number of them were Jewish. Many of them segued into the nascent movie industry in various capacities. I believe Leo Durlacher (Professor Attila) and his son in law Sig Klein may have been Jewish, but I haven't been able to confirm this. Sandow's parents were assimilationist Jews who had converted to Lutheranism. To show you the extent of prejudice in those days, the husband of my grandmother's first cousin had a difficult time getting into a college fraternity because one of his great-grandfathers had been a Jew, even though he had converted to Episcopalianism. Even the cruel Nazis weren't so bigoted about such distant Jewish ancestry, really!

As long as we're on the topic of ethnicity in the strength sports, it's interesting how many of the early American weightlifters of the Hoffman era had Slavic/East European names: John Carl Grimek, John Terpak, Steve Stanko, Stan Stanzcyk, Norbert Schemansky, to name some that come to mind.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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As long as we're on the topic of ethnicity in the strength sports, it's interesting how many of the early American weightlifters of the Hoffman era had Slavic/East European names: John Carl Grimek, John Terpak, Steve Stanko, Stan Stanzcyk, Norbert Schemansky, to name some that come to mind.
You also have the Ukrainian/Odessa connection in music and also in fictional boxing i.e. Sylvestor Stallone in Rocky. My brother-in-law, looks like him and especially his youth. And he was a boxer.

After getting my Brompton fixed this morning, was out on the bike lines this afternoon. It's last September since I was last biking. The overall fitness was still there. Last year, it took 6-8 weeks before I felt I was getting a buzz from biking and feeling fit. That was on the back of 2020, which was an 'orrible, 'orrible year for maintaining fitness.
 

Jan Libourel

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Friday evening I received a pair of 5kg (each) "mugdars" (large-size Indian clubs) from "The Great Indian Workout" in Nasik, India. I am very pleased with them--much more challenging than the 3kg clubs I bought a few years ago. This is good! If they hadn't proved difficult, I'd have felt I'd wasted my money! They don't look too much smaller than the old Iron Sheik's alleged 75-pound Persian "meels." As it turned out, a former maker and purveyor of Indian clubs confirmed my suspicions. He said the Sheik's meels weighed somewhere in the vicinity of 30-pounds apiece. (Meels and mugdars are pretty much the same thing.) I'll be glad to field any questions I can about unconventional fitness gear of this sort.
 
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Jan Libourel

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Has anyone tried these "Thor Hammers" that I'm seeing on various sites for fitness gear? I believe they are styled after Thor's hammer in the movies, none of which I have seen, and are sort of a kettlebell variant. If so, are they worth picking up if you are already well stocked with things like macebells, kettlebells and sledgehammers?
 
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Dropbear

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E89FDC48-26DD-49B3-A6FA-1640DE0242C0.jpeg
 

Jan Libourel

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Favorite fitness equipment? Just for fun, what are your favorite items of fitness equipment/workout gear? Mine (in no particular order of preference) would be:

Indian clubs+mugdars
slam balls
macebells
kettlebells

I also use resistance bands and sledgehammers. It's interesting that I have forsaken conventional free weights entirely. After a half-century of training with them, they just became kind of boring.
 

Sammy Ambrose

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Favorite fitness equipment? Just for fun, what are your favorite items of fitness equipment/workout gear? Mine (in no particular order of preference) would be:

Indian clubs+mugdars
slam balls
macebells
kettlebells

I also use resistance bands and sledgehammers. It's interesting that I have forsaken conventional free weights entirely. After a half-century of training with them, they just became kind of boring.
Dumbbells
Barbell
Bullworker
Chest expander
Power Twister
Push up stands
Elliptical
 

Grand Potentate

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Favorite fitness equipment? Just for fun, what are your favorite items of fitness equipment/workout gear? Mine (in no particular order of preference) would be:

Indian clubs+mugdars
slam balls
macebells
kettlebells

I also use resistance bands and sledgehammers. It's interesting that I have forsaken conventional free weights entirely. After a half-century of training with them, they just became kind of boring.
Back when I was able to go to a gym it was barbells and dumbbells and machines. No one really used any of this other shit.
 

Jan Libourel

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Dumbbells
Barbell
Bullworker
Chest expander
Power Twister
Push up stands
Elliptical

The Bullworker! That harks back to when I was a very young man. I tended to regard it as a bit of a gimmick, but I guess it has stood the test of time.

I find two kettlebells make excellent push up stands.
 

Sammy Ambrose

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The Bullworker! That harks back to when I was a very young man. I tended to regard it as a bit of a gimmick, but I guess it has stood the test of time.

I find two kettlebells make excellent push up stands.
What the Bullworker has going for it is that it is pushing back against you. Given that it's possibly a more intense contraction than free hand isometrics. And you can have a super quick workout without getting changed. But of course only The Shooman is brave enough not to take his shoes off.
 
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