Saturday, August 8, 2015

Regular Guy Reads of the Week: August 8th

Some weeks are famines, and some weeks are feasts, like this one. I have a wide variety of stuff this week, including some regular-old fitness-related news -- without the extra helping of advice or inspiration. But there's plenty of that, too. Dig in!

Austin Runner Starts Petition to End Catcalling: We've discussed this on FftRG before -- women should be able to exercise without having to endure sexual harassment. One woman is taking action to make it a ticketable offense. Good for her! And no, criminal harassment is not a First Amendment issue.

Navy Changing Body-Fat Rules, Fitness Assessment: Anyone who is willing to put his or her life on the line for our country is way beyond Regular Guy, but it's good to see that the brass understands that the most important thing is functionality, not arbitrary numbers.

Majority of Americans Say They Try to Avoid Drinking Soda: OK, ready for some Regular Guy contrarianism? If you can fit the calories into your daily or weekly allotment, don't worry about it. Yeah, they're empty calories, but so are cookies, beer and pizza (mostly). If you maintain a deficit, you'll lose weight -- regardless of what you drink.

How to Overcome the Top 5 Exercise Excuses: I really like number-five: I just end up quitting -- what's the point? Dovetails perfectly with a major Regular Guy mantra: Do What Works for You. 

Five Ways to Fit Working Out Into Your Busy Schedule: To be honest, a couple of these are not realistic. But a couple are just good common sense. For example, if the drive to and from the gym adds too much time to your workouts in the morning -- and you wind up skipping them instead -- find something you can do at home, and hit the gym on off days.

My Secret to Workout Motivation: This one also has some advice that dovetails with a Regular Guy idea: Give yourself permission to stop after five minutes. Because you won't.

All by Myself: Two things: I know have Eric Carmen running through my head on repeat, and the main reason I'm linking this is because it's about running on the beach at the Jersey Shore.

Debunking the Breakfast Myth: I've suggested many times that Regular Guys should follow Mike Samuels. Here he dismantles the "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" myth. It's true only if you overcompensate later on. A big lunch and a big dinner don't always add up to more calories than three smaller meals.

Nutrition Made Simple: The Most Important Things You Need to Know About Nutrition: This article as aptly named. I love Joe Dowdell's nutrition pyramid (much different from, and more common-sensical than, the USDA's). This is a don't-skip-it read.

Everything You Know About Fat Is Wrong: Good breakdown of the different types of fat, how your body deals with them and what -- and how much -- you should actually be eating.

How-To Carbohydrate Manipulation for Better Performance: This one's aimed at endurance athletes, but it offers some great, specific advice on how to fuel yourself on long runs. If you're ramping up for a half or a full, you'll find this really helpful. 

Bedtime Snacks Could Boost Strength but Hurt Endurance, Studies Say: Alex Hutchinson drops some more science on us -- and once again, it jibes with common sense. If you get some protein in you right before bed, your muscles will make better use of it while you're resting and recovering. But if you keep away from carbs right before bed, your body will adapt better to glycogen depletion, which will help you run or bike farther and longer.

Scientists Scan the Brain to See How Stress Undermines Your Diet: I'm sure you'll be shocked to read that people are about 25 percent more likely to make a bad nutrition choice after enduring a stressful experience. The takeaway here is that the stress itself doesn't add pounds -- it's how your brain gets you to deal with it.

Nine Bro-Science Myths Destroyed by Actual Science: I love when "musclehead" sites get it right -- the one myth this one doesn't address is the idea that all bodybuilders are lunkheads. This article tackles topics such as "You don't need cardio" and meal frequency. A little technical, but it'll definitely help you with the strength portion of your regimen.

The 10 Worst Things You're Doing for Your Muscles: A refreshingly good article from Men's Health. Stuff like not warming up, not drinking enough water and not incorporating recovery.

Heavy Weights vs. Light Weights: Alex Hutchinson makes the scientific case for light weights, high reps. My one question is: How does this interplay with working both slow- and fast-twitch muscle fibers.

Four Secrets to Lifelong Fitness: Why the Body You Want Won't Happen Overnight: Another good one from Men's Health. The four secrets are: Choose the right program for you, take your time getting in shape, place importance on the beginning and end of workouts, and train for volume before intensity.

Unconventional Core Training: Tony Gentilcore gets a little technical here, but he needs to do that to explain why he recommends the exercises he does. A pretty significant break from the usual crunches and leg lifts -- but he walks you through it all. 

The 10-Minute, No-Equipment HIIT Workout: Pretty basic stuff here, but some changeups from the bodyweight stuff you're probably doing. Worth a quick glance.

10 Questions About Stretching: This is a good breakdown of dynamic vs. static stretching. I think it's a little harsh on static stretching, but if you're still doing toe-touches before your workout, please give this a read.

The Dangers of Overstriding -- And How to Stop It: We've discussed this before: You want your lower leg to be perpendicular to the ground and your weight directly above your feet on contact -- that allows your entire leg and core to absorb the impact. What's new here is the specific advice for how to make that a habit.

There Are Only Four Speeds at Which Runners Should Train: Dr. Jason Karp is lecturing about two miles from me as I write this -- maybe next year I'll get there! Short version: You should either go easy or run at one of three levels of hard. Click the link for details.

Takeaways From Jason Karp's Running Clinic: Here's a good summation of Dr. Karp's overall training philosophy. He really emphasizes lots of easy runs and training for time over distance.

Should You Walk or Run for Exercise? Here's What the Science Says: Thanks to Regular Guy Jim Carty for the heads up on this one. I'd say it's what some of the science says. The writer makes a case for running, but not enthusiastically. I think she's a little too deferential to the O'Keefe "running will kill you" crowd.

Choosing the Right Running Shoes: A new study shows what many runners have long believed -- the gait analysis you get at running stores is basically BS. Choose the shoe you're most comfortable with.

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