This digital world has reduced news to Twitter length bursts of information.  These short synopses of lengthy articles were previously called Head Notes.  Today they are the be all and end all.  If you can’t condense your information to a Twitter Burst – no one will read it.  

In my professional career, I have often come across squibs or head notes that are just plain inaccurate.  They may catch my eye, but when I read the article in-depth, I learn that the editor blew it, either because of intellectual sloppiness or bias.  This is especially true about new health or fitness studies.  The results are trumpeted in Twitter Bursts as the final word – the new Rules to Live By.  I walk around with a big chunk of salt in my mouth.  I am a cynic’s cynic. 

Having said that, I enjoy those squibs – especially when the support my belief system.

On page 40 of the December 2011 Men’s Health is a Squib about the percentage of your body weight you have to lift for each different variation of a push-up.   This is a synopsis of the study done at the Univ of Wisconsin at Parkside.

A basic hands on the floor push up will be about 64%.  That means a 180 pound person is  “lifting” about 115 pounds.  A decline push up with your feet on a 2 foot high bench will be about 74%. or 133 pounds.  I do a decline from a bench that is about 18 inches off the ground and use hand holds which raise me about 4 inches off the floor.  Let’s call this 70% or about 125 pounds. 

Today I benched 135 pounds for 8 reps.  I can do 25-35 decline push-ups.  That is a big difference for a small difference in weight.  The answer must be hidden in the mechanics of the two related movements.

Turn the page to page 42 and you learn that deep (slow wave) sleep can reduce your risk of Hypertension. But most importantly to me:

Cut carbs. Australian researchers found that men who slashed carbs had more slow-wave sleep.

Obviously – those Aussies got it right.  😉

Then on page 52 is the coup de grâce:

Do compound exercises (that is, moves that target multiple muscles). like deadlifts, chinups and dips.  ‘They’re some of the toughest ones you can do, and you can’t make serious gains without them.’  Boyle says. (Mike Boyle, A.T.C.)

Who knew that I’m doing some of the toughest exercises you can do.  Flex 

Or the best movement for size and strength – the monthly exercise article and workout chart starting on page 96, includes the Farmer’s Walk.

Put half of your body weight  in each hand and take some steps; every inch of your body will have an opinion about what you just did.

I guess I am going to have to actually increase this exercise from just carrying the 45 pound plate from the weight rack to where I need it and go for a more structured carry.  Next phase to the DIY will include this – maybe.

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