Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Most Popular Articles of 2015, Your Excuse is Invalid, I Need to Get in Shape Before I go to the Gym

December 27, 2015


I hope your had a wonderful holiday and are making plans for 2016.

The New Year is upon us and the fitness scammers and charlatans will be out in force to take advantage of the “New Years Resolutionist”.

It’s a good time to review some of the articles of 2015 on this subject and some of the most popular articles on subjects that are appropriate for making plans and setting goals for this time of year.

I’ll re-post some of these articles each day over the next week or so. You can also go to any of the articles of 2015 at the bottom of the right hand column of the website,

Thank you all for helping making 2015 a very good year for Alpha Edge Fitness. 2016 promises to be even better.



I’m not going to tell you all the benefits of exercise/fitness. You’ve heard them all before.

The purpose of this post is not to motivate you to start a fitness program. The purpose is to get you to examine your reason(s) for not starting a fitness program.  A lot of people will use any excuse they can (real or imagined) to avoid exercise.

“I’m not able to do anything like that”, “I’m too old”, “I don’t have time”, “and I don’t want to get hurt”
Sound familiar?

“I’m not able to do anything like that”
Let’s start here. In one of the gyms where I train there are:
·         Two double amputees (legs)
·         One single amputee (right arm)
·         Several members in wheel chairs
·         A number of members on either scooters or walkers
·         One member, in his forty’s ,who has been on crutches since birth
·         One member missing his left hand and half his left forearm since birth

All these people are there several times each week. And this list includes only the ones who train at the same times I do. The gym is open 24 hours a day.

Sometimes you can work through a valid impairment sometimes not. But there are almost always ways to work around it!

“I’m too old for that”
In another gym where I train (I train in 3 different gyms), I am the youngest member. I’m 65 years old.
They do cardio, free weights, machines, swimming, tennis, pickle ball, and water polo. Some are better at their chosen form of exercise that I will ever be.

“I don’t have time”
This is the most used excuse of all. A one hour workout is 4% of your day! The average American spends more than 5 hours per day watching TV and more than 11 hours on digital media!

“I don’t have time is the adult version of “The dog ate my homework”.

There are many examples of fitness competitors with 3 kids and 2 jobs. So let’s cut the crap about you “not having time” to train, shall we? Dani shugart

“I don’t want to get hurt”
You are going to have muscle soreness, you are going to have occasional tendonitis, you may have some occasional joint soreness….until you body gets used to doing something besides lying on the sofa watching the “Kardasians”.

No pain, No gain is bunk. If you learn good form, good habits, and manage your workout properly and with some common sense you can avoid any kind of serious injury.

And then there are those sometimes called “Haters”.

Anytime you try to better yourself you’ll suddenly be surrounded by people trying to stop you. Action, it seems, offends the inactive. They’ll be subtle about it by trying to get you to cheat on your nutrition or skip workouts. They’ll express false worry, plant negativity. They’ll even get mad at you. You have unintentionally pointed out their weakness.   

There will always be people who will try to talk you out of doing that they think will make you better than them. There will always also be people who, because of their lack of understanding, will try to talk you down out of actual concern.
So far I’ve describing other people. Let’s get a little more personal:

·         I am 65 years old.
·         I have Plantar’s Faciatis in my right foot.
·         I’ve had a broken right ankle which locks up on occasion.
·         I’ve had knee surgery 3 times. One was so bad that I’m told it’s in a medical text book somewhereMy left knee still has the lateral stability somewhat less than Jell-o!
·         I’ve had 2 serious rotator cuff tears.
·         I have Polysistic Kidey Disease. Because of this I’ve had high blood pressure since my mid-thirties.
·         I’m a cancer survivor ( 6+ years now)
·         and I have emvazeyma.
·         I have scoliosis of the lower thoracic spine. Mostly caused from favoring my left knee all these years.

You should note:
  • That NONE of the injuries were the direct result of resistance training!
  • As a matter of fact, training has caused a marked improvement in each and every one of them! 
  • AND if I had been stronger at the time of the injury I might not have been injured in the first place!

And in each case the doctors had me in resistance training within days or weeks of the injury!

My current dead lift is over 1.5x my body weight and improving every week.
My current raw barbell squat is almost 1.5 x my body weight.

I was still a member of the 1000 Pound Club at age 53 at 1275 pounds. (The total weight in 3 lifts-bench press, dead lift and squat). At age 65 I’m a little below 1000 pounds for the time being but I’m working on it.

 Only you can answer these questions:
·         Are my reasons for not getting more fit real or imaginary? Be totally honest with yourself.
·          Or are they totally invalid?
·         Will my condition (if any) require a special program or work-around?
·         Is my medical professional  Ok with the program I have planned?

I’m not telling you it will be easy. I’m telling you it will be worth it!





I’ve been told this before. More than once.  And I’m 100% sure many other people have thought it.

I understand. A gym can be intimidating to individuals who have never been to a gym. But think about it. How many times have you heard someone say “I feel too bad to go to the doctor? I need to wait until I’m better” or “I’m bleeding too much to go to the emergency room. I’ll go when the bleeding stops”?


What they are really saying is “I feel too overweight to be seen in the gym” or just as often “I feel too weak (or too skinny) to be seen in the gym”

In many cases the fitness industry has created this problem for themselves. The public sees too many fitness magazines, brochures, and articles showing perfectly chiseled men and perfectly shaped bikini models…. on the cover, in the articles and in the ads.

News flash folks! Those guys and girls in the magazines are not real!  They are photographed after weeks of preparation by the models. The lighting is professionally done, extensive make up is applied to face and body and they are all photo shopped.  No one looks that way every day! Even though they make their living posing for those shots. Even professional body builders only look “stage ready” for a few weeks out of the year. Any longer looking “stage ready” and their health begins to suffer.

The Solution

Simply pay a visit to your local gym. Ask to be shown around the facility. They will be happy to assign a staff member to show you around. Don’t just pay attention to the facility. Also pay attention to the members.  Sure, you’ll see a few hard core gym rats sporting tank tops and big arms. But you’ll see many more ordinary people just like you at various stages of their fitness journey.

Note that different facilities have different personalities. If you are uncomfortable you may want to stick to the friendly local gyms or the big box gyms as opposed to gyms with names like “Junk Yard Dogs” ”Prison Yard Strong” or “Curl ‘till You Puke  Fitness and Dance Studio”.

Pick your fitness center the same way you do your family doctor or your mechanic. Recommendations of people you trust, reputation, and your own comfort level.

One caveat; look for a gym where you can actually work on your goals and work hard. Some are nothing more than day care centers for adults who offer you tootsie rolls, free pizza and free donuts. I’m serious! Oh, and they’ll kick you out if you grunt.


Another problem can be vast array of shiny, complicated looking, and BIG equipment.  As physiology becomes better understood the number and variety of equipment and machines has multiplied.  I can show you 18 different machines or apparatus on which to do the equivalent of a bench press. A big box gym may have dozens of different machines and hundreds of pieces of other various equipment.


The staff will be happy (in fact they will probably insist) that a staff member or trainer show you how to use all the various pieces of equipment. Most are fairly simple despite their appearance. Any time you want to use a machine you are not familiar with. They have staff to assist you. Don’t try to fake it.

The fitness industry has their own rules of etiquette. But so do most other social venues. Classrooms, waiting rooms, restaurants, business meetings, and almost everywhere else you go. Gym rules are fairly straight forward and based mostly on common sense. For example; Don’t start a conversation with someone while he or she is holding 200 pounds of iron above their head. Don’t do barbell curls standing on a moving tread mill. Don’t spit in the water fountain. You get the picture….. 

I’ll post a list of rules of etiquette in a future article. Some are actually quite entertaining. On some, you’ll scratch your head and wonder why anyone even needs to state that rule. But think about some of the warnings on common household products: “Do not take these suppositories orally”,  “Do not use this hairdryer while sleeping”, TV antenna-“Do not attempt to install while drunk, pregnant or both”, baby clothes-“Remove child before washing”.


A misconception regarding the cost of gym membership can also be a deterrent (or excuse).


The old long term non-cancellable contracts sold to a third party finance company (or loan sharks) are a thing of the past.  I haven’t seen one of those for many years.  The business model has totally changed and competition has increased by leaps and bounds. For many gyms now, membership can be as little as $10/month with a minimal or no sign up fee. In my town there are at least 4 gyms within a five mile radius with monthly fees of $10/month with a sign up fee of $39 or less. And there is often at least one running specials with no sign up fee.

More and more health insurance companies, including Medicare Supplement companies will cover your cost of membership. If the tight fisted insurance companies think getting you more fit is in their best interest, how can argue with the fact that it’s in your best interest!

The best reason to go: Strong people live longer!

SEND YOU QUESTIONS TO  If I don’t have an answer find someone who does.


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