Wednesday, 18 December 2013 08:06

Season's greetings, and how climbing hills works the entire body

It's beautiful outdoors today (at least where I'm at). The sun is shining, a cool winter breeze is blowing, and there is NO sign of the rain that had plagued this particular city for three days continuously (and also resulted in temperatures that felt like they were below freezing at times, though in reality they were way above).

Perfect day for an outdoors workout, and I took full advantage - got my daily climb in, followed by some stretching, pull-ups and dips. The park where I go for my daily climb has all the equipment required to make this possible, so I don't even need a chinning bar at home - which suits me just fine - I'd much rather exercise outdoors than indoors anyway.

Anyway, in response to my daily (as of late) posts about climbing a steep hill near my place, and absolutely loving it, a long time reader wrote in to ask me why I believe that climbing (or trekking up) hills is one of the VERY best exercises you can do, period.

In his own words "I know it's tough as heck, but does it really build the entire body? Is that one exercise enough to get in a full workout?"

And my answer would be "yes" to the first question and "it depends" to the second.

First, and as I state in Fast and Furious Fitness, any sort of exercise that works the hips, thighs and core into the ground gets my vote for a super overall body exercise - and climbing hits those three areas BIG time. If you don't believe me, go climb the steepest and longest hill you can find near you, and then tell me how you feel the day after. For those of you that don't have hills nearby, try sprinting up multiple flights of subway stairs or maybe even the staircases of a high rise - not quite the same thing as being outdoors, but a pretty darn tough exercise nonetheless.

And why exactly is working the hips, thighs and core that important? Well, there are many reasons, and those that have my book know why (hint, hint) but the #1 reason is that working the legs and core causes you to work the largest muscle groups in your body simultaneously - which in turn causes you to huff and puff big time; in other words - you HAVE to breathe deeply - you don't have a choice but to, and THAT deep breathing is what purges the body of all toxins and ultimately gets you fitter, stronger and healthier.

There's far more detail on this in the book, but for now let  me just quote what fitness pioneer Paul Braggs famously said: - "Deep breathing alone has made many a weak man strong, and many a sick man healthy".

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, we come to the next question i.e. is this one exercise just enough?

Well, like I say, it depends. I know that climbing the particular hill I do a couple of times is more than plenty exercise for me - and that goes for the entire body, but those of you that exercise for a living might not think it is.

For instance, I often find it hard to complete my sets of five pull-ups after a long arduous climb or two. I literally feel like I've already worked my back and arms during those climbs (and that feeling is actually accurate) - but then there are days where I simply jump into my bodyweight routine after a climb and feel great.

Those of you attempting a slog up a tough hill for the first time in years probably don't need to do anything else for the first few days at least - that much is also a given.

So in response to the second question, yes, I'd say it's generally enough - but you can always work specific body parts and improve at certain exercises after your daily walk/climb if you so desire - there's absolutely no reason why you cannot.

Anyway, I'm feeling great hours after my workout - and THAT, my friend is what it's really all about. And that feeling can only be experienced once you actually get out there and put in a tough workout - 'nuff said there.

Now, the holidays are fast approaching, and it's a well known fact that obesity and related issues are traditionally known to be at an ALL time high during this season. Folks sit back and relax (and deservedly so) - but unfortunately usually end up eating/drinking way too much of the wrong stuff, and pretty soon the lard starts to pile on.

And this isn't limited to those of us that don't exercise - I've seen folks that wouldn't touch anything unhealthy "normally" go absolutely bonkers during the holiday season and end up losing the gains they worked so hard to attain in the first place.

Not good, my friend. Not good at all - but the good news is, you can avoid the "holiday bulge" by simply making sure to workout as hard as usual, or extra hard during the holiday season. It'll make you feel better - you'll actually enjoy your food MORE - and the best part is you won't gain oodles of weight in a week or less, and then have to slog all of January in the cold winter weather to work off said weight.

And just in case you needed a further push, here's good news - I'm offering a holiday discount of TWENTY percent on any order starting TODAY (Dec 18, 2013) and ending next year on January 4th. Call it a holiday special, call it "season's greetings from Fast and Furious Fitness Headquarters" - call it what you will, but the discount is there just waiting to be grabbed - all you have to do is enter in "DEC2013" as the coupon code (without the quotes) and the system will automatically apply a 20 percent discount to any product you choose to order during this time period.

And that, my friend, is that for now. Have at with the discount - but I'm outta here for now - gotta go take care of some annoying chores, hehe.

Very best,


P.S.: - If I were you, I wouldn't wait a minute longer to do my holiday shopping - I'd click over RIGHT NOW: -