Archive for May 23, 2007

Most people who lift weights come with a general (and often vague) goal of being healthier, thinner, more muscular, etc. My training is very different. I come to this seeking all of the above PLUS one very specific goal- the level of strength and conditioning necessary to compete in Ninja Warrior.

What does training for Ninja Warrior involve? Well, it involves a lot of focus on skills and abilities like balance, grip strength, vertical leap, and sheer hang time (The second level involves almost exclusively hanging from and moving along horizontal bars). And soon, once I build up enough physical endurance, I will tailor my fitness program even further in a direction that will address all of the above skills and abilities.

Even at this relatively early point I already have a significant part of my workout that focuses on those areas above. I work on grip strength with rock carries, wrist curls, and farmers walks. I work on vertical leap with plyometric squat jumps (several different kinds). I have a lot of room to grow with regard to training for balance and hang time. The latter will be easy to do once I finish building my chin-up bar in the backyard. Regarding the former, I ask you all, any suggestions?

BTW, I found a guy who is training for Ninja Warrior that has posted videos of himself training on Youtube.com.  Check them out.

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Today’s health tip is easy and simple to implement in your daily nutrition plan. Not to mention cheaper!

Replace Most of the Red Meat you Eat with Chicken and Turkey.

Why? Several reasons.

  1. It’s lower in calories.
  2. It’s lower in cholesterol.
  3. It’s lower in unhealthy fats.
  4. It has just as much protein.

Compare beef, chicken, pork, and turkey. [1, 2, 3]

A cut of beef (sirloin steak) has 21g of protein and 13 g of fat; A cut of chicken (breast) has 24g of protein and 1 gram of fat; A cut of pork (loin) has 19g of protein and 16g of fat; and a cut of turkey (breast) has 24g of protein and .8g of fat.

Applications: At breakfast replace regular bacon with turkey bacon. Regular bacon can have as much as 39g of fat and 6g of protein (serving size 3 slices), while a similar size serving of turkey bacon has only 8.4g of fat and 6.5g of protein. At lunch put down the regular sloppy Joe in favor of some turkey sloppy Joe (light on the sloppy). At dinner try replacing your sirloin steak with chicken breast.

Relax, You Can (and Should) Still Eat Some Red Meat.

Don’t cut out red meat completely, just eat less of it. And when you do eat red meat try purchasing some beef round cuts. At 25g protein and 8g fat per serving they offer the best combination possible of high protein and low-fat. Want to eat something even better for you? Try Bison meat. It is tasty and healthy- with 30g of protein and only 2.5g of fat per serving. Only downsides: it is a bit pricier than steak, but not by too much; your local store probably doesn’t carry it so you will have to order it through the mail. Try ordering from suppliers like this one.