Friday, March 30, 2007

Types Of BW

If there's one thing that I've been left a little unsatisfied with in all the literature that I've read about BW, it's defining all of the different types of BW. So, as I understand and see it, these are the types of BW:

1. Calisthenics
This one lacks the clearest definition. What Richard Simmons does IS NOT calisthenics. I couldn't even find a definition in a dictionary. So, examining all of the exercises that I know are calisthenics, I cam up with this one: Any exercise where you use a combination of body's gravitational pull and leverage to supply resistance to your muscles.

2. Self Resistance
These exercises use an opposing body part to supply resistance to the muscles. A good example of this is the bicep curl. Rather than using a weight, simply place your opposite hand in the curling arm's hand and press against it. Your muscles respond to tension from resistance, it doesn't matter if it's coming from a weight or your own body.

3. Visualized Resistance
This one may be the hardest to believe that it will actually build muscle but it does. Instead of using gravity, leverage, or an opposing body part, you're actually going to use the body's opposing muscle group. Muscles act much like a rope on a pulley: One pushes, the other pulls. So, if you tense the opposing muscle very tightly, it will supply resistance to the other muscle. Go back to the bicep curl. Instead, tense your triceps very hard and try to curl your arm. Pretend you're lifting a weight. Visualized resistance at work. Very effective.

4. Isometrics
The word literally means "one length". Isometrics are any exercise where the muscle is tensed and held in a specific position. There are several ways to practice isometrics and here are three:
A. You can use an opposing limb but remove all movement. Push so hard that no
movement occurs. Actually, any immovable object will work.

B. You can use the opposing muscle groups to provide resistance. Once again apply so
much tension that no movement takes place.

C. You can remove all movement from a choice calisthenic and instead hold the position for
a count. I've heard of it referred to as positional isometrics.

Of course there are more to each of these four exercises but this is a general outline of the strength building exercises that BW offers.

Body Weight, it works and why you don't hear about it.

First of all, let me welcome you to my blog. I'll cover what is probably my favorite hobby: exercising. I'll cover other things relating to exercise as I see fit.

Unlike the overwhelming majority of people who exercise, I don't use machines or weights. I don't own a gym membership and I haven't had one for nearly 10 years. I exercise using my body weight only. I use a lot of calisthenics but I'll also use self-resistance, visualized resistance, and isometrics. I'm very pleased with the results that I've gotten from Body weight (BW) since I started in December of 2003. I look great, I feel great, I don't don't get so stressed that I can't physically function often. I am able to work long, hard, and smart. My mind is clear and sharp.

I can exercise just about anytime and anywhere I am. This is what got me sold on BW: I needed a form of exercise that I can do anytime and anywhere since I travel so much. I've exercised in shower rooms in truck stops, hotel rooms, outside, inside. My routines last anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how much time I have and how tired I am.

Now, with all of the benefits of BW, why is it that it isn't considered a legitimate form of exercise on its own? Why is it not mentioned as a method to gain strength by the fitness world? Why are its advocates (dating back to Charles Atlas) declared con artists by that same fitness world? One word can pretty much sum it all up: MONEY.

A little history of the modern fitness world is in the order. Prior to Joe Weider, exercising (or physical culture as it was known) was a little practiced activity. Eugen Sandow lit the fuse and anywhere he spent time gyms and physical culture sprang up. Still, there was resistance to it by the mainstream and it had a bit of a cult status. Small groups of men in cities scattered around the world started up gyms and trained together. When Joe Weider started up "Your Physique" back in the late '30's, he started linking all of these small enclaves together with his magazine. Since weights were expensive and hard to come by, he turned his magazine into a catalog for weights sold under his name. Now, a network and supply house to get equipment was in place. The strength training world was ready to grow.

As food processing technology emerged, the supplement market took hold. Protein Supplements became heavily used by weightlifters and bodybuilders in the early 50's. They also advertised in Weider's Magazines. Weider in turn got into the supplement business. Magazine, equipment catalog, and supplement catalog. Around this time, Joe's brother Ben started the IFBB. The magazine covered the IFBB's contests (naturally).

In the late 50's and 60's, Joe started to recruit the dominant bodybuilders to shoot covers for his magazine. In turn, he arranged for the bodybuilders to get training from the best gyms in the USA, which were mostly in California. They got training, Joe used them for publicity, and the gyms got revenue. The publicity that bodybuilders shot through the roof when Joe hooked up with Arnold. That's when weightlifting and bodybuilding hit the mainstream. Joe and Ben essentially formed the structure of the fitness world as a result. The equipment business, the supplement business, the gyms, the magazines, the federations, and the magazines are all very, closely-knit financially.

So, if BW ever seeps into the mainstream again, the ENTIRE fitness world would suffer. There's billions and billions of dollars made in this fitness network. It would all be lost if a method of exercise that doesn't use anything that this industry offers and can't capitalize on. If you've never heard of BW only exercising, then you've essentially been listening to propaganda that this all-powerful industry has fed you.

This is the truth: You don't need ANY of that stuff to get functionally fit. You need your body some healthy food, determination, and a little know-how. I hope to prove this too you, give you some of that know-how, and point you in the direction that you need to get this information.

Thanks for visiting!