The Best Fitness Posts Of 2018
This year we challenged ourselves to blaze new trails in lifting, cardio, yoga and more. Along the way we upgraded just about every aspect of our fitness, from achieving near-transcendence on a running path to working around that one arsehole at the gym.
Here are our best fitness posts of 2018.
If you love treadmills, you’ve probably already stopped reading. So, for the rest of us, there are two ways you can spend a half hour on a cardio machine without losing your mind.
Everybody at the gym has their own plan, their own path. In a perfect world, these paths all crisscross and interweave without any collisions. Record scratch, here’s the real world: five different people across the gym are killing time on machines they don’t care about, glaring at the guy who won’t stop doing curls in the squat rack. When I run, my inner monologue sounds like an argument between a good coach and a bad coach. One voice tells me to take it easy, find my best pace, not to look at my watch, just find the right level of effort. Then the other voice butts in to say something like “Oh, look at you, running so slow, and you’re already tired! You suck!” Every box jump involves a leap of faith. You’ll probably land on top of the box, on your feet, and not make it into one of those box jump fail compilation videos (seriously, do not Google). I toss any synthetic clothes onto the floor of my shower before I hop in. Either before or after I wash myself, I rinse my clothes and squeeze them out. This removes a lot of the sweat and bacteria before they can combine to cause a big stink.
The exercises on this list are easier than a strict pull-up, but they work some or all of the same muscles. Pick something that feels challenging but doable, and even if you don’t make it to full pull-ups by the end of our challenge, you’ll at least be closer. It’s ok for a workout not to feel like torture, but only like work. The trick is to bench with an arch in your back. Set the stops where they are even with the surface of your chest when your back is flat, and then you arch your back so your chest is just slightly above the stops.
Free weights and machines each have their benefits, but what often keeps us out of the weight room is simple fear of the unknown. My mantra is basically, “I’ll stretch when I’m dead.” Here’s Couch to 5K’s best kept secret: it’s not really about gaining endurance, although that’s a nice benefit. It’s about learning to pace yourself. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly or Android-friendly alternative to the Apple Watch, the Versa is it. If you were relying on the magic of a resolution to get you into the gym or help you lose weight, you’re a sucker and you should have given yourself a solid, realistic plan instead. But you didn’t.