Move Your Body Through Space – “Live Long and Prosper”

March 20, 2009

If you aren’t familiar with the term “Live Long and Prosper”, then you are probably too cool to be reading my blog. Yeah I’m a Star Trek geek, but not one of those guys who dresses up as Captain Kirk. In this article I’m going to talk about the importance of doing movements that require you to move your body as resistance, not just lifting a weight. While a pushup looks like it works the same muscles as a bench press, they provide a different type of resistance. Also, running in place on a treadmill is different than propelling your body over the ground. “You can’t win, Darth. Strike me down, and I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.” Ooops, wrong movie!

new star trek movie 2009

[I am seriously excited to see the new Star Trek movie. I want to see it opening night with fans who get dressed up. Movies are much better with an enthusiastic crowd!]

Using Your Own Body Weight is Logical, Captain

Okay…I’ll do my best to not geek out and use “sci-fi” talk this entire post. The reason for this post is that too many of us (including myself) have grown accustomed to lifting things instead of moving our body. When you go into a gym 95% of what you see is people pushing things away from or towards their body. Same with the cardio equipment…the machine is moving but the body stays in the same “space”.

Most Workouts Are Unbalanced Toward Lifting Weights

You can get an outstanding level of strength and muscle definition by lifting weights, but that strength doesn’t always translate into “real world” strength and athleticism. Most of the activities outside of the gym are largely based around moving your body, but the gym is more about moving objects.

A “Painful” Lesson I Learned About Cardio Machines

I love cardio equipment as a way to lose body fat, but they aren’t the best when it comes to conditioning the body for sports. In the spring and summer I like to play basketball with a few of my friends. The first few times we play, my entire body is sore for 3-4 days after. The big problem is that although I am cardio conditioned, moving my body and jumping over the pavement is an entirely different type of resistance.

Last Week I Was Reminded of My Weakness in This Area

This past winter I was limited in time and did nothing but body weight circuits as a way to maintain muscle mass while staying lean. I wrote about the exact workout I was following in this post: Body Weight Circuits Are Kickin’ My Butt!. I did this for 10 weeks and it worked wonders! Anyway, I switched back to weights these past two months but wanted to reintroduce these circuits back into my routine. I paid the price in a big way.

My Legs Were Smoked For Days After This 15 Minute Routine

I decided last week that I would replace my Wednesday HIIT with body weight circuits right after my strength training. I did a 30 minute lifting session with Back and Chest, then spent 15 minutes doing the Body Weight Circuit. I replaced the burpees with explosive jumps…I would bend down to touch the ground and then jump as high as possible. As always, I was gasping for air by the end of the third circuit.

Darn You Craig Ballantyne, You Crushed Me Again!

I really paid the price the following 4 days. I went over to Craig Ballantyne’s New Blog, TT Fat Loss, and told him how evil he was for coming up with such a deadly routine. Great blog by the way! I’ve read every post so far and I’ve commented on a couple of the posts. Although Craig’s blog is outstanding, he is an evil and sadistic man. He must be stopped 🙂

nero from the new star trek movie

Just Lifting Weights and Doing Cardio is Partial Conditioning

I have been lacking when it comes to a lot of real world conditioning. Whenever spring hits and the weather gets better I know that it will take a few weeks to adapt to running on the pavement, running up hills, jumping to spike a volleyball, etc. Starting this month, I plan on developing overall conditioning by including more body weight movements along with lifting weights. Along with that, I plan on replacing half of the HIIT I’m doing with body weight circuits.

Feel “Lighter on Your Feet” With Body Weight Exercises

When I was doing nothing but body weight circuits this past winter, I quickly felt more athletic. In fact, I would define athleticism as a strong “strength-to-weight” ratio…or at least it is one of the more important factors. Even just walking or standing felt better. I was a skeptic of this type of exercise until I felt these effects.

How to Incorporate Body Movement Exercises

I would start by replacing lat pulldowns with chinups. For chest you could do pushups along with bench presses. For triceps, you could do dips in between benches or on dip bars. You could go outside from time to time and run hills instead of the stair stepper. You could alternate doing HIIT cardio with body weight circuits (like I’m doing).

Note: I still enjoy cardio machines and lifting weights. I am just recommending that you supplement this stuff with more body weight movements. It will make a difference in the way you look and feel.

Important Message: Although this site has received 25+ million visitors, I am starting from scratch and abandoning it. This site is dated and old school looking, terrible to read on mobile, etc.

It's like a Ford Pinto compared to my new site...which is like a Ferrari. Click the link to head over to my new site.

Starting Over...R.I.P. Fitness Black Book!


Thanks for reading all these years!



 

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Adam Steer - Better Is Better March 20, 2009 at 5:46 pm

Good post Rusty!

Bodyweight exercise is one of my favorite topics. For anyone who is interested in a couple bodyweight exercises you’ve probably never seen before, you can head to the following link and grab two free “manifestos.”
http://www.bodyweightexerciserevolution.com

Cheers,
Adam

Scott March 20, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Holy crap I love Star Trek. J.J. Abrams is a genius. I’m going to watch this movie at least 5 times in theaters!!

Oh yea good post BTW.

Mike OD - LifeSpotlight March 20, 2009 at 6:24 pm

Ah nothing beats the old Star Treks with terrible backgrounds, paper rocks and plenty of ripped t-shirts during a fight scene….not too mention the guy named “Gus” or “Fred” who had no last name and you knew was toast at some point.

I agree….cardio machines are useless for real world training. Real movements require the body to be moved, stabilized, decelerated, accelerated, and changed direction at any point….a treadmill does not of that. In fact running in a straight line doesn’t either…as I always love hitting the trail and just letting nature take over. Gyms seem to never produce the real world results that just getting out and moving your body does….and don’t even get me ranting on how overrated cardio is for weight loss…I do enough of that already. 🙂

ahm March 20, 2009 at 6:52 pm

rusty, excellent post! after i sorted through the geek lingo that is,(i’m younger than you but i dont judge)
this article is perfectly timed since i just booked a ticket for my backpacking trip to guatemala.
i’ve been an athlete since i can remember so if i’m not dripping with sweat at least every other day i lose my mind.
i will definatly do craig’s “crazy 8” as well as beach sprints, hiking volcano’s, and if i can find one i’ll look like fool while i workout at a local jungle gym

if you have any random tips to staying lean and strong while traveling i’d love to hear them
thanks a lot

MrBunny March 20, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Great post Rusty, i too can’t wait for the new Star Trek movie. I am biased towards this post as i love body weight exercise over machines and weights i just find them boring. I also dislike the gym and never plan to use one ever again as i can’t stand doing exercise in doors. I exercise in my back garden come rain or sun and also great at night looking up at the stars during my resting period. The fresh air does wonders for my breathing when doing intervals.

I am glad you felt the pain during the crazy eight body weight exercise as it makes me feel like i am not alone. I first done this crazy eight exercise last Sunday and my body especially my legs was dead for days and i was not able to do them again until this afternoon…feeling the pain as i write this. I have a love hate relationship with this exercise as i love how much it works my body but hate the fact that i feel like the living dead after i finish it.

It was nice and sunny today and seeing how it is spring or should i say bee season i learned an important lesson today…never wear yellow outside during bee season. I just finished my third circuit and was completely dead then all of a sudden i heard a buzzing sound and thought oh crap i pushed body too far that now my hearing is gone, how wrong was i. It was only until i turned around and saw the biggest bee this side of my garden and it knew i was unable to move i am sure it was just sitting there watching and waiting until i finished my third circuit and was dead tired before it made its move. I ran around my garden like a school girl but barely lasted a minute before i fell to the floor gasping for air…damn bee knew my weakness, attack me after my intervals. I only realised the bee didn’t chase me at all and i over reacted, it was just sitting there watching me and no doubt laughing and then it just flew away. As i got up i saw my neighbors kid looking through the up stairs window pointing and laughing at me…i felt like i was five again and just wet myself in front of everyone…downside of exercising outdoors.

Kane March 20, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Love the star trek references! My house mate hates anything Sci Fi, so this makes a nice change!

Im a huge fan of functional strength… or “Real World” strength as it is sometimes called. Its funny what you were saying about being out of touch with the bodyweight circuts, i pretty much have that crazy eight thing mastered, but i havnt done any sports for a while. Today (In the uk) was really sunny and we went and played football (soccer) in the park and i was amazed at how quickly i was tired, even though i can do that crazy eight routine pretty easily now. I guess all different forms of cardio move your body differntly so your body forgets how to be good at it after a while.

I have a question how a chest workout. I currently work chest & back twice a week on the same day. All I do for my chest is wide handed push ups, dumbell flys and dumbell chest press. all 5 x5.

On my right side of my chest, the inner part is really underdeveloped, and im trying to get the mind to muscle link but it feels useless! Do you have any excercies that would help me develop this link or to help even out? I have access to dumbells and of course my own bodyweight! sorry if that limits your answer.

Thanks again and all the best!

-Kane

Bryan March 20, 2009 at 10:01 pm

Good post. I’m a big Trek fan myself although I like The Next Generation one a lot more.

I’ve read a lot in the past on doing real world exercises so to speak. Today at the gym instead of doing my normal HIIT after my lifting I decided to go to the basketball court and run suicides. At least that’s what my coach in high school called them. You sprint from the baseline to the foul line and back, to half court and back, to the other foul line and back, then to the other end of the court and back. At each line to reach down to touch it. I sprint one, then jog one. I only did about 6 sets but I was puffing really good afterwards. The a few guys needed another guy for a game and I manned up for one game. Best workout I’ve out in a few weeks.

I’d also just this week started pull up and chin up in my routine. I’m amazed at how many guys in the gym don’t or can’t do these. I’m going to try those crazy 8’s next week. Keep up the great work. This is my favorite workout site.

Greg Cook March 20, 2009 at 10:04 pm

I am a geek to. Not really into Star Trek but I am into Star Wars. Anyways body workouts always seem to kick my ass, but I love doing them because I can do it in my backyard opposed to going to the gym. Its nice getting a little sun shine to.

Methuselah - Train Now Live Later March 21, 2009 at 7:19 am

…and of course weighted chin or pull ups are a good way to do bodyweight style exercises if you just have to involve some iron!

Matt at lifeofahero March 21, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Hey Rusty, I’m a total star trek geek – love the post 🙂 I wonder what you’ve found to be a good ratio between weight and bodyweight workouts. I’m trying to sort of mix them both (and cardio HIIT as well on some days).

I’ve tried putting my more heavy-weight exercises at the end of my fast days, since my HGH levels might be higher then. Getting bulky isn’t an issue for me because of my body type, so anything that keeps my muscles big is great. Then I figure I can do HIIT and bodyweight circuits on the other days for more functional fitness.

admin March 21, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Adam,

Thanks for the link to the free info. Hopefully people will take advantage of that.

Scott,

I can’t decide if I want to see it at an Imax Theater or a place in Seattle called Cinerama. Cinerama is a theater Paul Allen (Microsoft co-founder) customized to make the best to his standards. It is a theater that only plays one movie, has red velvet chairs a balcony and some of the best sound and visuals out of any theater in the world…but the lines get long for sci-fi flicks. Can’t wait!

Mike,

I really like that article you wrote on hitting the trails. I read it last year and I appreciate all the suggestions on how to make running outside more productive. We have tons of trails surrounding the city, so I may just take your advice.

ahm,

Staying lean and strong while travelling? Learn those crazy 8’s and then go to Craig’s blog and dig deeper. Sign up for his newsletter as well. I highly suggest his book. I try not to push sales hard…but I got the Deluxe edition of Turbulence Training because it has more dozens of bodyweight routines and something like 70 bodyweight exercises.

MrBunny,

I love your bee story. I always thought it was funny when my dad would say “don’t run because then the bee will chase you”…but if you don’t get away from the bee you are an easy target. You can’t win. Sounds like the bee gave you a little bonus exercise!

Kane,

Concentrate on various forms of close grip or medium to close grip pushups to activate the inner chest. Here is a version of flys that will help as well. Do fly’s with a light weight and do not face your palms toward each other like you normally do with flys. Hold the dumbells like you would when you are going to press them, but do flys. At the top of the movement, press those dumbells together and squeeze your chest hard. Really feel the inner chest. Over time, this will improve your mind to muscle link.

Bryan,

I love doing suicides. We used to call that “running lines” back in High School. That is exactly the sort of short burst intense interval that will increase HGH levels. Great stuff. I bet you were smoked when trying to play basketball, but had an amazing fat burning workout. Glad you like the site.

Greg,

Yeah…I need a little more sun and could kill two birds with one stone doing it outside. I’m a big Star Wars fan as well, I just need a bunch of Sci-Fi. Like Battlestar Gallactica and loved Firefly as well.

Methuselah.,

Great hearing from you again lately. I love the way you have navigation on your site. The graphical navigation to bodyweight posts, dumbbell and barbell exercises, etc. Very cool!

Matt,

I enjoy strength training with weights in conjuction with bodyweight exercises. As far as ratio’s go, I would suggest doing a higher ratio of bodyweight stuff in the summer (but keep doing it year round). I am going to try to do 1/2 of my workouts this summer outside and half in the gym. We were meant to spend more time outside than what most of us do. I have my best workouts at the end of my fasting days. It is so crazy how the body works.

Cheers,

Rusty

Helder March 21, 2009 at 2:23 pm

In the last year and a half my preference has been bodyweight training and outdoors, and i never felt so good before, i’ll probably won’t be going back to the gym anytime soon.

About what you said playing basketball versus running in a cardio machine, though i don’t like running in cardio machines i’ve tried a few times, and i found something funny, i could run at the time just about 15 minutes at a strong pace in the park, and then in the gym i could run at that same pace for 45 minutes, since then i never used cardio machines again, you never really know how fit you are.

Cardio machines trick you to think you’re in a better shape than you really are.

Summer is coming, go outside everyone, you’ll feel better

Good post like always, i’m also a star treck fan

Yavor March 21, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Slowly, but surely, the editor of this site is revealing his geeky side… LOL!

Al March 21, 2009 at 7:31 pm

I can totaly relate to this post. I used to during the winter just go to the gym and push metal around. Then during the summer my buddies and I would join a ultimate (frisbee rugby for peopel unfamiliar with it. No tackling however) league. And let me tell you I thought I was athletic and could run the whole game. But was I ever tired and I found my endurance was real low. Running on treadmills just didn’t seem to add anything.

I’ve done martial arts more seriously recently which have a lot of body type excersises and found my endurance wasn’t so bad anymore. 1 hour sparring sessions also do some good as well. Now come summer for Ultimate, I’m rarley tired, it’s just like taking a walk, well not really but I’m definitly keeping up now.

Al

Diane at Lose-weight-for-life.com March 22, 2009 at 9:34 am

Well that explains it! I was wondering why I was getting so sore and wiped out from improvising a workout doing all body weight exercises while traveling. Even though I’m an avid gym rat, the routine of pushups, mountain climbers, running stairs, and chinups made me as sore as a first-time exerciser. Thanks for ‘splainin’ and I’ll definitely be including body weight exercises as part of my routine from now on! The Force Be With You. oops wrong movie….

pnw fitness March 23, 2009 at 12:51 am

Great post. Funny thing… I’m exact opposite. I’m just now incorporating more weights

Son of Grok March 23, 2009 at 10:17 am

Back in my acting days (all small parts, i am not cool or famous), I did a movie with Chris Pine who will be playing Kirk. Very cool guy. I am stoked about the movie. When the trailer came on tv, my wife jumped up and down clapping and screaming like a giddy school girl. I had never had any idea that she was a trekkie lol.

The SoG

Brian March 23, 2009 at 10:34 am

Great post Rusty! Being prior military, I agree bodyweight exercises make a world of difference for practical strength, or real world strength as you call it. I have met plenty of people who can use the whole weight stack for lat pulls but can’t do a pull up or can bench 250 but can’t bang out 20 push ups. Maybe you can give some further detail as to a good way to incorporate body weight exercises into a weight training program?

fitness-siren March 23, 2009 at 10:52 am

Hi Rusty, right on about the bodyweight exercises. I find that they can challenge your body in many ways that strength training or cardio doesn’t. They can also add more variety to your typical exercise routines while still giving you a great workout.

I have to agree with you about CB. He has some crazy bodyweight exercise combinations that will sure challenge anyone in any level of fitness.

Nice post!

Anna

Brian March 23, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Hey Rusty, I saw you did a post before on female celebrity heights and weights. how about one on male celebritie, whether they be actors, models, etc. for the fellas have an idea of celebrities looks they can shoot for.

Zlatan March 23, 2009 at 3:40 pm

A little unrelated to the topic, but did you hear about a program called the “abs challenge”?

I recently started it, and am getting good results, the nice athletic lean body over the bulky body builder. But a lot of people are going on there expecting a body builder body.

So i was wondering if you knew about it or wanted to check it out. Here is the address:
http://theabschallenge.ning.com/

Thanks,
Zlatan

jonathan March 23, 2009 at 5:53 pm

hey guys i’m wondering if their are any exercises to fix a pelvis tilt. would be a great help if you know some please.

Anthony March 23, 2009 at 9:53 pm

rusty great post as usual. im definitely going to try this stuff as i gave it a pass the first time around

Angela (Oh She Glows) March 23, 2009 at 11:06 pm

This is soooo true:

“The big problem is that although I am cardio conditioned, moving my body and jumping over the pavement is an entirely different type of resistance.”

The cardio machines are really nothing like the ‘real world’ exercise, are they? I have a treadmill and I never workout at less than an 8% incline to add some challenge. However the surface is obviously a lot softer and my joints will be aching once I hit the pavement on my first warm weather run.

Love your website by the way! I’m going to add you to my favs list if that is cool?

admin March 24, 2009 at 2:25 am

Helder,

Check out this new trailer that was just released. It finally looks like they have released a Star Trek movie that could be as epic as a Star Wars movie. Love it!

Yavor,

As Gilbert said in “Revenge of the Nerds” – “No one’s really gonna to be free until nerd persecution ends.” 🙂

Al,

I want to try ultimate frisbee. I do quite a bit of frisbee golf, but that is just an excuse to get some sun without too much physical exertion.

Diane,

Yeah, I am certainly in the same boat. I just plan on doing at least one body weight circuit per week no matter what. This should help when it comes to doing a lot of summer activities for the first time.

pnw,

I think people get the best results with a mix of both.

SoG,

You are “cool and famous” in the fitness blogging community. That is sweet that your wife is a Trekkie, btw.

Brian,

I’m more impressed by the bodyweight stuff than benching and lat pulls. I think the best combo is a mix of both. I’ll make sure and include a more detailed program in the future.

Zlatan,

Looks great! I checked it out and it looks like you have a decent amount of participation. Hopefully a lot of the readers at Fitness Black Book will check it out.

jonathan,

I don’t know of any articles off hand for pelvic tilt.

Anthony,

I was slow to change my ways as well. I’m a “4th degree black belt ninja master” when it comes to typical gym workouts, so I was hesitant to go outside of my comfort zone…but it has paid off.

Angela,

Thanks for adding my site to your blog roll. You have a decent following on your blog, which makes sense…you write in an entertaining fashion. People like to learn while being entertained online and you do very well in that regards.

Rusty

Yavor March 24, 2009 at 3:18 am

Haha Rusty, it takes one to spot one. I guess I should have kept my mouth shut LOL!

Yavor

admin March 24, 2009 at 3:34 am

Yavor,

Here ya go…Nerds unite!

Rusty

Yavor March 24, 2009 at 9:42 am

Wow this trailer of Star Trek looks too good to be true. [Goes off to do the robot dance]. Haha!

Yavor

Helder March 24, 2009 at 10:25 am

You’re right Rusty, when i started watching the trailer, EPIC was the word that came out of my mouth, i’m looking forward to see the movie

Adam Steer - Better Is Better May 6, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Has anyone seen the movie yet? I’m hearing great things! My wife won’t go to see it with me, so I’m trying to recruit one of my buddies.

Cheers,
Adam

gabe May 28, 2009 at 1:29 am

impressive, most impressive (by the way, thank you for this site…i found it by doing a google search for sprinting – and now i’ve been reading it for hours)

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