In the 5th installment of “Indomitable Fitness, Athletics and Heroics” with guest contributor Bill Walker, he gives his opinion on what are the best exercises and equipment for your fitness journey.
Today we will talk about weapons of mass destruction, the Riddle of Steel.
“The secret of steel has always carried with it a mystery. You must learn its riddle, Conan. You must learn its discipline. For no one – no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts.”
[Points to sword]
“This you can trust.” – Conan’s Father
I’m going to give you an idea of what type of exercises you can do, and some of what I do.
Personally, I’m partial to free weights, as in those awesome metallic weapons of greatness that aren’t hooked to anything. Barbells, Dumbbells, Kettlebells are all excellent weapons as you go along the action RPG journey that is your fitness quest. The feeling of hoisting a heavy barbell overhead is akin to the feeling you’d get to wielding Mjolnir, the famed hammer of Thor, Kratos blades of chaos, or taking an ax to the skull of a giant monster.
I can literally go to the gym and only touch a barbell, do some floor stuff and go home without even thinking twice of using a cable apparatus. Not saying you shouldn’t but it’s not required in the main part of your workout. I limit machines to assistance work if I use them at all. Assistance work for me means working the muscles around the larger muscle groups for example doing some leg extensions after you squat. They’re good for imbalances (meaning one muscle is weaker or stronger than the other), beginners (they have instructions on them so all you really have to master is the art of comprehensive reading) and for rehabbing a possible injury. In other words…extra.
Here is a list though it’s not completely exhaustive of what is known as compound movements. Real quick fitness lesson, isolation movements are things that isolate a muscle, such as bicep curls, or leg extensions. Compound Movements work more than one muscle group. For example, the Deadlift, known primarily as a back exercise hits your hamstrings and glutes. An Overhead press, will not only work your shoulders, but also your triceps and if you’re standing while doing this it’ll hit your core as well. I highly recommend doing exercises that require you to stand as the mainstay of your workouts. Also here is a list of exercises you can choose. It’s not exhaustive by the way and there are different variations of these movements I will eventually address later.
Squats, Deep squats…go all the way…past parallel. Meaning the crease of your hips will be below your knee. Don’t let some mortal tell you that you don’t need to squat all the way. A half squat might take you a light way but a full squat will take you all the way…what do you want to do? You want to go alllllllll the way. In fitness and in life.
Presses as in overhead presses aka Military presses or OHP. Full range of motion for overhead presses are vastly superior to those done at eye level. Pressing from the collarbone area works the upper back and traps a lot more and will make you stronger in the long haul.
Bench Press (I purposely did not write that as the first exercise as people will always “How much do you bench?” Ask them about the squat and…yeah…)
Snatches – If you’re a beginner or not too privy to the world of Olympic lifting ( aka Oly or just weightlifting as it’s called) do this with a dumbbell.
Thrusters aka squat presses
Hip Thrusters, a secret weapon for your glutes
(The last two are not similar just sound similar in name)
Note you can find various sites that will show you how to do these movements the right way. Bodybuilding.com is a great source, you can also find it on Youtube. If you’re at a gym with good people you can merely ask the individuals performing them, provided they’re doing them correctly. Design your workouts with these exercises and you’re path to glory will be had. You will not just look fit, hot and strong, but you’ll actually be it. We will go over tips such as designing a workout in more detail soon.
Along with other body-weight work like Burpees, Pull Ups, Push Ups, Dips, the latter three you can add weight to for more resistance by using a weighted dip/pull up belt. After you can do these for about 10-12-15-20 reps successively I say it’s time to jump out there and slowly add weight to these movements.
How many reps with the barbell? Well I say if you’re a beginner, ten is fine though it seems to be the basic number you might see in a magazine. However, I say ten because you’re trying to get your form and breathing patterns right. Remember to inhale and exhale whenever you exert force as in coming up from a squat or push up, as well as exhaling while you curl on the way up from a barbell or dumbbells. After you’ve gotten correct form down, then it is time to test your mettle with heavier weight.
And to add this is not just for the fellas. Just about all the women I train do these same exercises. I essentially train them as mini versions of myself so that they become Shield maidens and Dora Milage (I will say things that will make you go to Google lol). So to all the ladies reading this, you will benefit just as much as the fellas. One of God’s greatest miracles is seeing a woman out there on the battlefield using the barbell.
Swoon levels on high.
If you want your butt to be vicious you will need to squat, squat often, squat deep, and squat heavy. Note: It will not come overnight. You will not get long term results from a “21 Day Challenge” with no weights. This is no skirmish mortal, this is a long time war. You will never stop in your quest for personal fitness glory.
Well we will end right here for now.
As always if you have a question, or want something addresses then feel free to holla at me. Knowledge is power.
“The thing can be done if the desire be coupled with courage.” – Conan
And don’t forget to test your metal and come to my boot camp. Saturdays at 7am for 15 bucks down Anacostia park by the skating rink and basketball court. If you’d like me to come to your job, group or gathering and get a boot camp going, feel free to ask.
Until next time true believers!