Highlights from Men’s Health July/August 2016

2007 was a huge year for me. I graduated high school, entered college, and started a quick transition from being more than an athlete that grew up in a gym. While I loved Arnold in my youth (mostly thanks to Conan the Barbarian), I was instantly attracted to Muscle Magazines that featured him. With the challenges of being a college student, I wanted something more lifestyle based and to make a long story short, I became a monthly subscriber to Men’s Health. I think I’ve received every issue since 2007 in the mail and while it’s hard to continue to crank out new material, they do so in a way that attracts your average Joe that wants to make a change. 

I’m going to give you my highlights on the magazine released the month before the new release. For example, September is now on sale, so I’m going to share what sparked my interest in the July/August issue. I don’t want to take any business away from them, but this might help you highlight some of the really unique material being released. After nearly a decade of subscription, I’ve seen a lot of recycled material, so for the first time, here you are.

-My favorite page was hands down the short article for summer reading recommendations, where they had different personalities from astrophysicists to professional athletes offer up the best book they’ve ever read. From Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White to Mathematics and the Imagination by Edward Kasner and James Newman, there are some great suggestions that clearly influenced some insanely successful people. 

-This bit was a little random (not actually if you read MH), but a dating site from the UK determined that Saturday at 10:24 pm was the most common time for sex.

-They introduced the Kansas Squat Test to many. You add your body weight to your one rep max, take 70% of it and subtract your weight. You try to do 15 reps of that weight on a Smith Machine and repeat monthly to determine if your strength program is working. 

-On the same page, they recommend Zamst Braces, a $65 (from Dick’s) heavier-duty ankle brace that really locks everything in place.

-One interesting option for an innovative workout was something I have heard of before but never have taken too seriously mainly because of its name. Spoxing is a mixture of spinning and boxing where you perform a dozen three-minute rounds with 30-second rests in between. At the end, you hit core for about 10 minutes. They claimed that “a single workout can burn as much as 1,250 calories” and I’m always a bit turned off when they make these claims because average Joe would probably burn 1/4th of that. 

-Their useful stuff section is probably my favorite read and as I’m looking, half of the pages I tore out are from that section. Apparently, an online dating site found that women prefer the pose where men are standing with their arms crossed, chest out, and chin up. Take that into consideration next time you’re on social media. Right below it, they have a breathing technique to help you calm yourself. It’s similar to what we do in freediving to drop our heart-rate, but if you’re interested just google it!

-Then there is a “review” of elevation training masks. They decided that not only do they not enhance your performance, but they hurt it in the long run. I can’t say I agree with them entirely because they’re not looking at the bigger picture, but that’s for another day. 

Home workouts

-In the same section, there are two quick useful tips that make bold claims, but get straight to the point. One study from the University of Auckland stated that slouching can hurt your performance at work, mainly by impacting you mentally and emotionally. The other one stated that “research finds… you’ll build more force and power-and grow muscle faster-by using a TRAP BAR instead of a straight bar for deadlifts.” A very bold claim. 

-In the fitness section, they have an article on how to start running. It highlights the importance of starting slowly and methodically, not adding too much time or distance at once. It offers a 21-day plan where you run every other day and gradually increase your duration from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. The focus there is time and not distance. Their other focus is speed. Wise words.

-The final piece I want to highlight featured members of the US Olympic team. It gave you a picture of their frame, their age, height, weight, some tips about their training, and some amazing stats about the hard work they put in every day. 1200 kicks, 60 inch box jumps, 350 somersaults, 4000 calories. If you want it, you need to work for it. This piece was extremely motivating. 

And that’s it. I won’t post any pictures because I don’t want to upset anyone. I’m trying to help them and most importantly you. Check out their website for more information and to be more mindful of the environment. Information is key to staying hungry and fit!



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