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Anyone in to strength and fitness training? What's your routine? What equipent do you use?

My routine/equipment includes:

30 kilo (66lb) Sandbag
25 kilo (55lb) Homemade Bulgarian Bag
15 kilo (33lb) Slosh Pipe
Dumbells
Doorframe pull-up bar
Ab Roller
Skipping rope
Heavy Bag

Bodywieght excercises:

Pull ups
Leg-ups
Push-ups
Bicycle crunches
Sit ups

Swim twice a week
 

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Cave, I've been a serious weightlifting competitor for 50 years, with 9 world titles and in the hunt for the 10th later this year -so obviously barbells & dumbbells are in the mix big-time! Also, rubber cables (stronger than on slingshots!!) play a big role, as do small objects for the late Dr Len Schwartz' "Heavyhands" and "Longstrength" aerobic work. However, recently I've discovered tremendous restorative benefits (especially for the shoulders-and actually aiding my slingshot practice!) with the fascinating art of wooden "Indian Club" swinging!
 

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Cave, I've been a serious weightlifting competitor for 50 years, with 9 world titles and in the hunt for the 10th later this year -so obviously barbells & dumbbells are in the mix big-time! Also, rubber cables (stronger than on slingshots!!) play a big role, as do small objects for the late Dr Len Schwartz' "Heavyhands" and "Longstrength" aerobic work. However, recently I've discovered tremendous restorative benefits (especially for the shoulders-and actually aiding my slingshot practice!) with the fascinating art of wooden "Indian Club" swinging!
Wow, sounds like I'm in serious company! I've never heard of "Heavyhands" or "Longstrength". What are these all about? I've been considering taking up indian club swinging myself. My mother used to do it every day when I was a kid. It will be a while before I get to it though. I'm starting kettlebell classes tommorow and I want to get to grips with that first.
 

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Cave, Heavyhands is an aerobic system where you walk with 3 to 8 pound dumbbells while curling them or swinging in various ways for continuous 20to 40 minute sessions. Or "shadowbox" with 3 to 5 pound bells for half hour sessions. Both burn an enormous amount of calories, while building endurance. Longstrength is similar in time span, but combines standard apparatus type exercise-for instance you do free squats while holding onto a chin height bar, and do pullups at the same time -both are thus helping each other and you can manage hundreds of reps! Look online for the book "Heavyhands Walking".
 

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Do you have any recommendations for a beginner? I looked into weightlifting when I was younger, but I kept getting barraged with conflicting information from people. I have some time now and would be interested in this but would like some good information on starting out.
 

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Cave, Heavyhands is an aerobic system where you walk with 3 to 8 pound dumbbells while curling them or swinging in various ways for continuous 20to 40 minute sessions. Or "shadowbox" with 3 to 5 pound bells for half hour sessions. Both burn an enormous amount of calories, while building endurance. Longstrength is similar in time span, but combines standard apparatus type exercise-for instance you do free squats while holding onto a chin height bar, and do pullups at the same time -both are thus helping each other and you can manage hundreds of reps! Look online for the book "Heavyhands Walking".
Sounds interesting I might look in to these more. Have you any experience of Isometric Excercises?
 

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Do you have any recommendations for a beginner? I looked into weightlifting when I was younger, but I kept getting barraged with conflicting information from people. I have some time now and would be interested in this but would like some good information on starting out.
Hello

I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, an expert in this field and I think John Mckean might be better able to advise you but here's my tuppence worth:

If you want to lift weights competitvely then talk to John. If you want to become a bodybuilder then I have nothing to add because I have no idea about this. If you just want to get fitter and stronger and build a reasonable amount of muscle then you are in the same boat as I was when I started (and still am).

I did a good bit of research before I embarked on my training regime and I am aware of the problem of conflicting information. The internet, in particular, is full of people telling you that their way is the best and other people's ways dont work. As I said, I'm no expert, but logic tells me that all forms of weight/strength training are effective in some way or another. What I did was I picked a form of training that made sense to me. What made sense to me in terms of "lifting weights" was to make training with a sandbag the mainstay of my routine.

Sandbags for strength training are sold commercially or you can make your own using a army kit bag and some builders rubble sacks filled with sand. There are loads of "how to" video for this on youtube. With either of these options you can fill them to your desired weight and it does not have to be sand, some people use lead shot, wood pellets, gravel etc. The main thing is that you only partially fill the bag (usually about 75%). This means that as you train with the bag the weight shifts around inside it, thus causing you to have to engage more muscles in order to maintain stability. This is one of the reasons I chose to train with sandbags. The other reasons where: 1) It improves grip strength because you have to grip the bag very tightly in order to train effectively with it 2)Great for core strength 3)Form is not as critical with sandbag training as it would be with the likes of, say, kettlebell training. 4) You can train at home and if you drop the bag, it wont damage your floor. There are numerous excercises you can do with a sandbag (see youtube) and a good sandbag workout will strengthen all your muscles and give you a challenging aerobic work out to. There are other training aids that work on the same principle of the weight shifting as you train but using water such as the slosh pipe,slosh ball, and the slosh bag (AKA aqua bag).

I would recommend that you spend a good bit of time strengthening your abdominal muscles. This will help you avoid hurting your back when lifting whatever weights you decide to train with. I would also reccomend that you do bodyweight excercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, bicylce crunches, leg ups, hanging leg ups, chin-ups, the plank etc

Anyway, find what works for you and don't become bogged down in the sea of conflicting opinions. At the end of the day, any training that involves resistance of any kind will help to strengthen your muscles. Why not PM John Mckean, he sounds like a man who might be able to point you in the right direction.
 

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Mr Joel & Cave, I have a series of training articles at www.USAWA.com -scroll down on their right main page to "tag " and key in on my name to pull these stories up. You want to use a SHORT, simple basic routine for strength & fitness- I'd suggest a 20 minute "warm-up" with 2-3# dumbbell "shadowboxing", then 4 basic exercises (like press,row,squat, and deadlift) for 2 sets of 4 reps each. As you'll read in my articles, I've had tremendous success with flex bands over the barbells to maintain constant resistance on the muscles & actually allow a "lighter" barbell to be used (in terms of weight) - I call this "moving isometrics" (for a system Doc Len Schwartz and I were working on before his demise ; by the way at 85,before cancer set in, he was still able to do daily 35 perfect chin-ups with his legs held out in horizontal position for extra ab work!!!). And Cave, if you dig back into a few of that sites articles, you'll find routines I did with more "pure" isometric methods, that helped me set records in my early years!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Mr Joel & Cave, I have a series of training articles at www.USAWA.com -scroll down on their right main page to "tag " and key in on my name to pull these stories up. You want to use a SHORT, simple basic routine for strength & fitness- I'd suggest a 20 minute "warm-up" with 2-3# dumbbell "shadowboxing", then 4 basic exercises (like press,row,squat, and deadlift) for 2 sets of 4 reps each. As you'll read in my articles, I've had tremendous success with flex bands over the barbells to maintain constant resistance on the muscles & actually allow a "lighter" barbell to be used (in terms of weight) - I call this "moving isometrics" (for a system Doc Len Schwartz and I were working on before his demise ; by the way at 85,before cancer set in, he was still able to do daily 35 perfect chin-ups with his legs held out in horizontal position for extra ab work!!!). And Cave, if you dig back into a few of that sites articles, you'll find routines I did with more "pure" isometric methods, that helped me set records in my early years!
Thanks John for the heads up on those articles. I'll have a look at them over the next few days. With those four basic excercises you mention, do you recommend that these all be done with dumbells?
 

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Cave, I do the lifting movements with barbells, tho in our All-Round lifting organization there are similar Dumbbell lifts that are every bit as effective -maybe for fitness/strength ,even more effective than long bars! Also many substitutions possible -these days instead of a squat/deadlift ,I generally opt for a straddle lift,hack lift, trap bar lift, or dumbbell deadlift (all these are described on the usawa site).
 

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Ever try Russian Kettlebellls? Full body movements for focused core body strength. Check out "Enter the Kettlebell" by Pavel. For those into isometrics check out "The Naked Warrior" also by Pavel. I took my first weightlifting training from an instructor at age 9. That instructor , and every instructor since, told me to lift with my legs not my back, but none could actually explain this concept. From Pavel's squats facing a wall I learned the concept. This is not for the bodybuilder, but for those who wish to increase strength and fitness.
 

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Explaining the concepts is really what I need. I also can't delineate good information from bad, as I am not an expert in this. Should I just get some weights and go for it, or is it that you need to educate yourself first? Sounds like the smart thing would be to read up on it first. Thanks for the steer fellas.
 

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Explaining the concepts is really what I need. I also can't delineate good information from bad, as I am not an expert in this. Should I just get some weights and go for it, or is it that you need to educate yourself first? Sounds like the smart thing would be to read up on it first. Thanks for the steer fellas.
As I said before, I would not let the over-supply of conflicting or confusing information put you off starting some kind of regular weight training. Of course it's a good idea to educate yourself, but there is no reason why you should not start some kind regular routine of, say, dumbell based excercises with some bodyweight excercises also, and at the same time continue to educate yourself. You could also do some kind of regular training in an "old school" gym where you could train under the instruction of a qualified trainer. Some martial arts gyms also offer various kinds of strength training. You could try looking for kettlebell or caveman training courses in your area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ever try Russian Kettlebellls? Full body movements for focused core body strength. Check out "Enter the Kettlebell" by Pavel. For those into isometrics check out "The Naked Warrior" also by Pavel. I took my first weightlifting training from an instructor at age 9. That instructor , and every instructor since, told me to lift with my legs not my back, but none could actually explain this concept. From Pavel's squats facing a wall I learned the concept. This is not for the bodybuilder, but for those who wish to increase strength and fitness.
Had my first kettlebell class a few days ago. I think I'm going to enjoy learning to use kettlebells!
 

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I love the army kit bag idea. OK, I give: what are kettlebells?
Yeah, I've found training with a sandbag to be very beneficial to me. As I said, there are plenty of "how to" videos on youtube for making your own training sandbag, each with slightly different variations in terms of how to make them and what to fill them with etc.

As for kettlebells: http://www.whatarekettlebells.net/

Also, here's a link to some youtube videos featuring Steve Cotter, one of the world's leading kettlebell training experts:

http://www.youtube.c...8.4j4j1j1.10.0.

Watch a few of these and you'll get an idea what kettlebell training is all about.
 

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Guys, The kettlebell training certainly is a good way to go for combination fitness/strength/endurance training ! Anything written by Pavel, a good friend of mine, is the best available on kettlebell training and his excellent material on REAL strength training with barbells/dumbbells. A few times Pavel has asked me for advice on his own heavy deadlift training, and has even honored me by featuring my routines & photos in his books (probably for comic relief!!). Check Dragondoor.com
 

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Mr Joel & Cave, I have a series of training articles at www.USAWA.com -scroll down on their right main page to "tag " and key in on my name to pull these stories up. You want to use a SHORT, simple basic routine for strength & fitness- I'd suggest a 20 minute "warm-up" with 2-3# dumbbell "shadowboxing", then 4 basic exercises (like press,row,squat, and deadlift) for 2 sets of 4 reps each. As you'll read in my articles, I've had tremendous success with flex bands over the barbells to maintain constant resistance on the muscles & actually allow a "lighter" barbell to be used (in terms of weight) - I call this "moving isometrics" (for a system Doc Len Schwartz and I were working on before his demise ; by the way at 85,before cancer set in, he was still able to do daily 35 perfect chin-ups with his legs held out in horizontal position for extra ab work!!!). And Cave, if you dig back into a few of that sites articles, you'll find routines I did with more "pure" isometric methods, that helped me set records in my early years!
Hi John,

Do you know of any books or dvds on isometric strength training. I've been looking around but I have not found much. I saw one coment on a forum saying that Pavel has "covered it a good bit" but I could not find any books or dvds on the Dregondoor website which have any reference to isometric excercise in their titles. I was going to email them to ask if they sold any books or dvds on this subject but they have a form you've got to fill out in order to send them an email and you have to give them your address on phone number etc. I have a ploicy of not doing this.
 

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Cave, Not much these days on "real" iso training; Pavel mentions it as parts of routines of older lifters in some of his books. I believe he and Dan John mention it in various places in "Easy Strength",tho I'm not positive (tho a great photo of me in that book doing what I describe as a "moving isometric"-barbells with bands!). Now if you could locate various isometric books by Bob Hoffman from oldstrength booksellers ,you could get lots of info. And the best write up is a little booklet written by the late Perry Rader, who founded Iron Man magazine. However, the one coach who really worked with it, and totally understood the concept was Dick Smith -most all you need to know is in this interview ; http://danjohn.net/2009/11/the-dick-smith-interviews-insights-on-isometrics-and-overtraining/
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Cave, Not much these days on "real" iso training; Pavel mentions it as parts of routines of older lifters in some of his books. I believe he and Dan John mention it in various places in "Easy Strength",tho I'm not positive (tho a great photo of me in that book doing what I describe as a "moving isometric"-barbells with bands!). Now if you could locate various isometric books by Bob Hoffman from oldstrength booksellers ,you could get lots of info. And the best write up is a little booklet written by the late Perry Rader, who founded Iron Man magazine. However, the one coach who really worked with it, and totally understood the concept was Dick Smith -most all you need to know is in this interview ; http://danjohn.net/2...d-overtraining/
Thanks very much for the info John.
 
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