working out

Koko’s Gym Dynamics

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We all know there’s only one reason people go to the gym – to look sexy naked. 

We like take that one reason and create more elaborate excuses that make it seem like we have more profound, intelligent grounds for working out. But lets face it – if we really cared that much about our health, we’d pay more attention to what foods go into our pie holes as well as incorporating more physical activities into our daily lives outside of our gym time. We don’t have to have gym memberships to be healthy, we choose to flock to these bacteria-rampant, over-priced metal cages to pick up heavy things along side other sweaty people.

 

Although we all have the same reason for going to the gym, once we get to the actual gym we transform into 1 of 3 people: the bro, the creeper, or the energizer-bunny.

 

Take my gym experience this morning for example:

I walked into the gym and the first thing I did was take a subtle lap around the place to scope out what fellow gymers I’ll be gyming around today. The place was pretty desolate being that the Monday after Easter is also a national holiday in South Africa, but I did see one dude over in the corner doing some curls. I strutted past the pool and reach a row of seven empty treadmills. I hopped on the middle one which is right in front of a giant mirror. Yes, I’m that vain. But I’m a gym-bro: Muscle tank, headband ‘n all.

I put my ear-buds on and crank up my running playlist.

Sidenote: Necessary to every running playlist is:

ATB’s- Ecstacy

& Tiesto’s – Elements of Life

 

I saw movement on my left side and glance over, a man is getting on the treadmill directly beside me. He mugged me and throws a head nod in my direction, I shot one back and immediately accepted the guy’s provocation. This bro wanted to compete.

These treadmills are too far apart to successfully complete the casual ‘I’m just scanning the room and oops! I checked your speed and mileage on your display’ move. So I just had to go off my magical unicorn instincts, gauging how fast and how far he’s running in comparison to myself. Now before coming to the gym, I told myself I’ll warm up with 2 miles before I hit the weights for some Olympic lifting, then finish off with yoga and abs. But once this bro tried to throw his head nods around like he’s king of the treadmills, I ended up running over 4 miles. I checked my watch and realized I’m cutting into my lifting time by racing this old guy, so I decided to take the high road and continue on with my gym sesh. I hopped off the treadmill and the guy stopped running to ask me how far I ran.

ARE YOU FOR REAL BRO!?!!

I almost said “Oh I’m not done” and got back on my treadmill just to outrun him, but decided it’s not worth it. I smiled and said, “4 miles,” and walked away, knowing that his South African brain is programmed to measure by kilometers and he’d spend the rest of the day struggling to figure out the conversion. haha. I. win.

 

Why do we always want to compete with people working at the same machines? There are many reasons. Some of us are just natural born competitors, always looking for an opportunity to beat other people so we can feel better about ourselves. If this is you, then you are a gym bro. (Sype approves of this message)

 

Every once in a while there’s a sexy gazelle that you have to one-up by showing your strength as a way of impressing her and getting her attention.

As so describe by the bro Dom Mazzetti in …

 

I may just be paranoid, but I think some dudes just come to the gym to creep on females, and occasionally tone their biceps in the process. GYM CREEPERS!

Ask any girl and they will tell you there is at least one time during every gym sesh where she feels eyes undressing her, she glances around with her peripherals and BOOM! There’s a dude trying to low-key stare from a distance. So fucking creepy.

If you’re gonna stare, at least be slick about it! I’ll admit, I can appreciate a physically fit physique as much as the next girl, but if I’m gonna cop a glance it’s gonna be subtle as fuck. I’m not tryna interrupt anyone’s workout by being a creeper, nor do I want to be pegged as a gym creeper. If you’re gonna check someone out- don’t be so creepily obvious about it OR if you want someone’s attention, go workout directly next to that person and workout so exuberantly they can’t help notice you.

On the flip-side, some chicks are just asking for attention…

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Not everyone in the gym is there to compete with people or to pick up chicks. Every now and then you’ll notice someone in the gym who’s all strung out on pre-work out – he probably has an idea of what muscle groups he wanted to target but once that Ravage kicks in, he’s running from machine to machine with no clear pattern or focus as he’s doing one set of each movement from calves to biceps to jump-roping and now he’s on an elliptical? We’ve all been there. Not gonna lie, I’ve been there too. A little overdose on that pre-workout will turn a focused, planned gym sesh into a circus of I-Dont-Know-What-The-Fuck-I’m-Doing-But-I-Have-Energy-For-Days!!!!!

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There’s also another kind of energizer gym bunny who’s not on pre-workout, but rather a middle-aged mid-life crisiser who’s never been to a commercial gym but wants to burn off that beer gut so he’s sporadically diddling around the entire gym trying to figure his life out. Props to that guy, better late than never. Keep picking up heavy things, you’ll get there eventually old man.

 

Whatever category of gym-goer you find yourself in, take comfort in the fact that everyone else is in the gym for the same reason as you. We all have a desire to look sexy naked, or at least be confident enough to parade around in a swimsuit during pool party season in Vegas.

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A Bros Quick Tips to Working Out for Festivals

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Alright Bros, with festival season quickly approaching us, or here with EDC just a few hours away, we have to kick our asses in high gear and whip it in shape!

Let’s look at this, so you wanna get girls like her:

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So you realize that you need to look like this:

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However, you look like this 😦

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But have no fear, here are some simple things that you can either do at the gym or around your house to get into that ripped, sweaty abs showing, buff-fist-pumping shape to get the “Bytches.”

First workout that I recommend is the pushup. Every bro out there loves chest, which is why every testosterone-pump-jockey hounds the bench. But you don’t need a bench to have a nice chest; all you need is the ground and your body.

The great thing about pushups is that it doesn’t only work out your chest, but it also works out your shoulders, back, triceps, and yes, the ever so mighty core. When you’re benching, the bench takes away from working your core and just focuses on your bigger muscles, neglecting the smaller muscles that is needed to hold everything together. When you are in a pushup position, you force your core to use itself to hold still, which also engages your back muscles. And this is just from holding that position alone. Remember, the missionary position is basically a plank, or a push-up position; you’re not gonna bench a girl during sex.

“Oh Airec, if I only do pushups, my chest won’t get bigger.”

Maybe your chest won’t get bigger, but it will be more toned. And do you really need a big chest at a rave anyways? You’re trying to look RIPPED here, not match-that-hot-chick-next-to-you bra-size.

Second workout I would suggest is the pull-up. The pull-up is great because it works out your shoulders, back, biceps, and forearms. There many different ways to do a pull-up. You can do overhand or underhand grip, close grip or wide. Of course the different grip and width of your pull-up will target and shape your back differently. I’m not gonna go into the different kinda pull-ups, but you can click on the hyperlink and explore it yourself.

The reason why I believe pull-ups are important is because when you are dancing and a girl is checking you out (AKA creeping from afar), it’s from either the side or the back. Usually the back as you’re fist pumping away to LEVELS (bro). So when she’s checking you out, you want her to think “damn, that guy gots a nice back,” not “damn, you can see his flab vibrate every time he fist pumps. It kinda goes to the beat.” This way the longer her eyes are on you, you have a higher chance of catching her predatory glare when you turn around.

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A third workout that is super important is squats. Friends don’t let friends miss leg days. Think about it, at a festival you’re always on your feet, jumping around, or “shuffling.” I put that in quotations because come on guys, when we’re seeing an artist (drunk or sober) we all jump around and move our feet. We like to think we are shuffling although we are just jumping around like dumb-asses hoping that everyone else would understand your spastic leg movements as shuffling. (I do this all the time.) If your butt is too sore, just jump around. WORK OUT THOSE CALVES!!!

Also, another important thing about doing squats, or lower body workouts in general, is your ability to hoist a girl onto your shoulders. I mean come on guys, we have all been there. Whether there is a random cutie around or a girl that you’re into, you wanna show her how awesomely strong you are and hope that she asks you to put her on your shoulders. This way you can impress her with your strength as she admires the crowd from a skyline view and all the other bros can respect your strength.

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So do those squats, make that ass clap.

These three workouts should help you out for festivals. If you do these workouts with high reps and increase frequency to increase heart rate, then you’ll be burning away your beer belly in no time.

Now I’m not saying that these three workouts are the only things that you should only do. Of course throw in some abdominal exercises, cardio, and the piece de resistance, arm workouts (suns out guns out baby). Gotta make sure those abs are rock hard just in case you wanna wipe the sweat off your face with the bottom of your tank exposing your abs discreetly. We’ve all been there bro, yadda mean.

Obviously I’m not a kinesiology major, or a doctor, like my partner KokoKai, so you can take what I say with a grain, or a canister, of salt. I’m not in the best shape ever, but I still know a little bit of helpful advice. This is what has worked out for my friends and I so I just wanted to share some of it with you, with some additional (panda) commentary. Plus you don’t want to be that awkward guy at a festival telling your in-shape friends to put on their tank/shirts just because they have abs and you don’t . . . I’ve been there before.

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So good luck hunting my fellow bros, #tanktoptime

            -Sype

P.S. Don’t forget cardio and diet, workouts are nothing without a good foundation of cardio and diet.

P.S.S. But that doesn’t mean stop eating your fave food or drinking beer, cuz I know I enjoy shitty food and beer (;P)

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Resistance Band work outs

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I had to turn in a report on resistance bands for my Strength & Conditioning Program Design class (as mentioned in a prior post). For any fitness enthusiasts out there, or just anyone curious about this piece of equipment, here is my summation. It’s basically a product description, talks about some mechanical advantages and disadvantages, and my personal opinion on the bands’ effectiveness. Again, this was written for a class, so I apologize if it’s tough to interpret the biomechanical nomenclature, I’m sure you’ll be just fine =) Here ya go!

Machine Description

Manufacturer’s description: 

“Bodylastics Resistance bands / Exercise bands are no longer just for aerobics classes. The cutting edge resistance band systems by Bodylastics stand toe to toe with the biggest and best home gyms, and even fully equipped health clubs. Do over 140 of the best muscle working exercises, on your own terms…anywhere…anytime. I am Blake Kassel, the inventor of the Bodylastics Resistance bands home gym. Are you skeptical that elastic resistance bands could work all of your muscles as well as the HUGE weight machines? Well you should be. But I am here to tell you that you will love this product, and will end up loving our company, because you are going to get in amazing shape and save a ton of cash at the same time. You will absolutely be able to work your muscles to the max. All of the best exercises for the chest, arms, legs, back, shoulders and abs can be performed with this compact workout system. Bodylastics offers resistance band gym systems that can stand toe to toe with the large bulky home gym machines.

Smoothest Resistance – When we were first developing the Bodylastics System, we searched for the smoothest source of resistance on the planet. Well, we found it – elastic resistance tubing (bands). Not only is resistance tubing super smooth when you stretch it, but it is incredibly light and flexible. That means it is easy to store – no extra room needed!”

  1. Cost: One band- $9.95-$17.95 US dollars depending on if the buyer wants a different amount of resistance.Locations where equipment is most likely to be used: Physical Therapy offices, Rehab facilities, Athletic Training facilities, etc:
    • The resistance band is a great tool for rehabilitating specific body parts, so it is found in almost every physical therapy setting. Because the bands can come in variations is resistance, they are often seen in athletic training settings, too.
  2. Governing mechanism for providing resistance?
    • Resistance bands are rubber tubes with handles on both ends that provide resistance as you row, curl, and otherwise extend them. The handles and the clipping mechanisms at the end of each band can be detached. The bands can be combined on the handles to generate a heavy load. Resistance bands hold their own when one is resistance training.  They are good for giving the muscles something a little different to control; the weight actually increases as you extend them. The handles are cushioned and comfortable and the clipping mechanisms are usually found in plastic, not metal, so they click on easy and don’t abrade the body when exercising.
  3. Affected Joint(s):
    • Resistance bands can work many joints of the body, depending on what a person wants to focus on training or rehabilitating. Bands can often be used to target the sacroiliac joint with a seated row movement. Bent over rows and chest presses can work the glenerohumeral joints and the elbow joints. Band squats can work the knee and ankle joints.
  4. Prime Movers :
    • Again, because the resistance bands are so versatile, there are many prime movers that one can choose to target. I will cover popular examples of muscles people choose to target such as the muscles of the upper arms (biceps brachii, triceps brachii, supraspinatus, deltoids).

    Stabilizing muscles, including muscles controlling the axial skeleton.

    • While choosing to target muscles of the upper arms, one would start by placing the band under one foot and stepping back with the other foot. Muscles of the lower leg stabilizing the band would be the Gastrocnemius, Hamstrings and Quadriceps. Keeping the core stable and tight throughout the movement would engage the Rectus abdominis, Transverse abdominis and Internal/External obliques.
    • Primary Movement(s):
        • Initial Body Position: The initial body position is standing upright on the ground, both legs kept straight and locked, feet staggered, back straight and arms placed in front of the body with each hand holding either handle of the band.

      Max/Min. R.O.M. : The resistance band is designed to simulate many movements dependent upon what the user is trying to mimic. The band is not designed to create a resistance level high enough to reach a 1-RM max, but rather to use resistance to quantify a multiple RM level. Nor are bands designed to improve range of motion. Those who use the bands for rehabilitation, possibly those just recovering from surgery, may only be able to initially complete 1 repetition, and can build strength from there.

      Affected Joint(s): 

      Resistance bands can work many joints of the body, depending on what a person wants to focus on training or rehabilitating. Bands can often be used to target the sacroiliac joint with a seated row movement. Bent over rows and chest presses can work the glenohumeral joints and the elbow joints. Band squats can work the knee and ankle joints.

      Using all the above information, determine if the advertising claims of the manufacturer are valid:

      If the claims have merit, identify those areas that are credible.

      If any portion of the advertising is misleading, make a case for refuting the claims using sound principles of the exercise sciences.

      Resistance bands offer many benefits over conventional weights and dumbbells. For one, they’re lighter and more convenient to pack while on vacation. Moreover, resistance bands offer constant tension on your muscles during the entire concentric and eccentric portions of the movement. That’s something you won’t get with free weights wherein resistance is dependent on gravity. And resistance bands can be used to many muscles in the body; they’re very versatile. Their versatility makes them a very attractive style of training.

      An effective resistance band routine will yield results. I’d recommend keeping rest periods short; as one moves quickly from exercise to exercise, one will be able to get some great fat-burning cardiovascular benefits as well.

      Although resistance bands allow portability and the freedom of movement, these two benefits can also be potential stumbling blocks. Certain exercises and motions require only that one stands on the band, but for other motions one may need to attach the band to a strong, stable surface at a certain height. It may be difficult to find a suitable stabilizing point, depending on the location. Also, the ability to provide resistance to almost any motion can be tantalizing; however, the risk performing the movement incorrectly is fairly high if one has not been taught proper form. My main concern with band usage lies within the knowledge of the user on proper body mechanics prior to use. Misalignment of the body during exercise can damage muscles, ligaments and tendons, and may cause serious pain. Talk to a certified trainer or exercise physiologist about the use of a resistance band first.

      With proper coaching on the usage of resistance bands, I believe they can be a very effective apparatus for training and rehabilitation. I have personally used them when rehabilitating a knee injury, and have found them to be adequate tools in a physical therapy setting.