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Furry-Muscle Cast


May 8, 2012

Furry-Muscle Cast - Episode – 10

Next Cast May 18th 10PM EST / 9 CST

Main Topics:

1.      The Pros and Cons of Weight Machines

Weight Machines - Pro

-          They're supportive. Most machines provide support, which is great for people who need help when learning new exercises. It can also be good for people rehabbing injuries or those who want to lift heavy weights without a spotter.

-          They're easy to use. Because most machines work on a fixed path and have instructions and diagrams posted, it's easier to use good form.

-          They save time. It usually doesn't take as much time to change weights on machines as it would for many free weight exercises.

-          They're less intimidating. Trying to figure out what to do with a bunch of dumbbells can seem impossible. With machines, you know exactly what muscles you're working and how to do the exercise correctly.


Weight Machines – Con

-          They're too supportive. Because you have so much support, you use fewer muscle groups at the same time. This means you burn less calories and work the body in a less functional way.

-          They're limited. Most machines offer one exercise for one part of the body, which means having to use multiple machines for a total body workout.

-          They don't allow you to work on weaknesses. Many machines require you to use both arms or legs to move the weight, so if one side is stronger than the other, that side may do more work than the weaker side.

-          They don't allow the body to work naturally. Because many machines work on a fixed path, there's not much room for working the body throughout different planes of motion..


Free Weights – Pro

-          Versatility. Free weights can be used for a variety of exercises for the entire body, so you don't have to move from machine to machine to work different muscle groups.

-          Functionality. With free weights, you're able to move the body through natural motions as well as through a variety of planes allowing you to mimic movements you do in real life like squatting, lifting things over your head and rotating the body.

-          Building whole body strength. Because you're supporting your own body, you can work on specific muscles while involving smaller stabilizer muscles that can get neglected with machine training...this can also help you burn more calories during your workout.


Free Weights – Con

-          They're hard to learn. Using free weights requires skill and coordination, so you may need some instruction when using them for the first time. Good form is harder to achieve without the added support from machines, so there's a higher learning curve with free weights.

-          Risk of injury. Because there isn't a fixed path when using free weights, it's easier to put your body in the wrong position, which could lead to injury. There's also the risk of dropping the weights, especially if you're lifting heavy.

-          Confusion. With machines, you know exactly what exercise you're doing and what muscle you're working. With dumbbells, there are so many exercises you can do, it's easy to get confused about where to start.


2.      Compound Movements:

-          Definition: Compound exercises in weight training are those that involve more than one joint and muscle group. Examples are squats, deadlifts and chin-ups. For example, the squat involves the joints of the knee, hip and ankle, and the muscles of the upper and lower legs and buttocks.

-          Compound movements build the most muscle. Not only that, but they increase strength the fastest. And of course, they are brutal!

-          Must be more mindful of doing these types of exercise as they are the ones that mostly cause injures.

-          Types of Injures: Pectoralis Major Tear, Elbow Pain, Hamstrings Tear, Biceps Brachii Tear, Disc Herniation.










Story 1: Building Muscle Without Heavy Weights

Main Focus: That heavy lifting is not always the best.

ScienceDaily (Apr. 26, 2012) — Weight training at a lower intensity but with more repetitions may be as effective for building muscle as lifting heavy weights says a new opinion piece in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.

"The perspective provided in this review highlights that other resistance protocols, beyond the often discussed high-intensity training, can be effective in stimulating a muscle building response that may translate into bigger muscles after resistance training," says lead author Nicholas Burd. "These findings have important implications from a public health standpoint because skeletal muscle mass is a large contributor to daily energy expenditure and it assists in weight management. Additionally, skeletal muscle mass, because of its overall size, is the primary site of blood sugar disposal and thus will likely play a role in reducing the risk for development of type II diabetes."

The authors from McMaster University conducted a series of experiments that manipulated various resistance exercise variables (e.g., intensity, volume, and muscle time under tension). They found that high-intensity muscle contractions derived from lifting heavy loads were not the only drivers of exercise-induced muscle development. In resistance-trained young men a lower workout intensity and a higher volume of repetitions of resistance exercise, performed until failure, was equally effective in stimulating muscle proteins as a heavy workout intensity at lower repetition rates. An additional benefit of the low-intensity workout is that the higher repetitions required to achieve fatigue will also be beneficial for sustaining the muscle building response for days.









Main Focus: Overcoming injures and doing something grand. 

A bodybuilder with one leg will take over the running of his local gym.

Jonti Wilson, 39, of Station Road, Aspatria, was born without his right leg because of spina bifada – but has not let that hold him back.

He will officially take over Presice Fitness on Tuesday when it will be renamed Jonti’s Gym.

He has overcome his disability to become a well-known figure within the bodybuilding fraternity and now wants to help others achieve their fitness goals.

He said: “The hardest muscle to train is the mind. If you can do that then you are halfway there.

“We have a motto here: ‘Never say never; there is always a way’. No excuses. If I can do it with one leg, then you can certainly do it with two.”

He added: “I have got my wish to have my own gym. Now I have got to make it what the community wants.”

His plans include re-decorating it, moving the reception area and opening an in-house supplements and clothing store. He also wants to transform unused space into a women only weights area and to support various charity events including Sport Relief.

Exercise classes including kettlesize, tone and sculpt and circuits will also be run from the gym.

When Jonti started training three years ago, he had a beer belly, low self-esteem and got out of breath easily.

Now in the best shape of his life, he will make a guest appearance in a bodybuilding show at Bolton, Lancashire, on Saturday.

In a month’s time he will also take to the stage at the two-day Hercules Olympia in Essex, a huge event in the bodybuilding calendar.

He won the UKBBF Championship in 2010 in the wheelchair section and has not ruled out competing in future events if they introduce more suitable categories.

When he made his debut at the South Lakes Classic in Ulverston two years ago, cheers and applause broke out from the crowd as soon as he threw down his crutches. Some have called him ‘inspirational’ but Jonti rejects the term. “People do see me like that but I’m just doing my thing”, he said.

He previously worked as a duty control manager for the ambulance service.

More recently he has been working for a company called Trauma FX which simulates emergencies to help train army and medical personnel. The job involved travelling around the country with a team of make-up artists who made it appear as if he had lost his leg in violent circumstances.

The aim was to help prepare soldiers for the horrors of war and to improve medical practices on the battlefield. But now he plans to run the gym full-time and is looking forward to his latest challenge.



Artist Talk:

Story 1: Art Therapy: Relieve Stress By Being Creative

Main Focus: Stress relieve

While art therapy is its own field, you can use the benefits of art to express your creative side and drawing skills to reduce stress and get in touch with your feelings. I think most of us knew this instinctively as kids: virtually all of us know the joys of sculpting something (with play-dough), painting something (with fingers), or drawing (with crayons and other materiels). However, other than making random doodles in the margins of a page while you’re on killing time, if you’re like most adults, you don’t express yourself with art like you did as a kid.

Benefits of Art:
One of the reasons that clinical art therapy is effective is that the act of drawing and creating art can help you relieve stress in several ways. Here are some ways that creating art can alleviate stress:

Distraction: Drawing and art can take your mind off of what’s stressing you, at least for a few minutes. And when you’re finished being engrossed in your sketches, you should have a clearer head with which to tackle your problems again.

Flow: There’s a certain quality of being called “flow”, that experts say is very beneficial for us. This refers to a state of being completely engaged in something to the point of being in a near meditative state. It carries many of the benefits of meditation, leaving you much less stressed when you’re done. You can experience ‘flow’ when you’re doing creative activitieslike writing, and even gardening. You can also get it from drawing.

Self Care: Just the act of having a hobby can make you feel more balanced in your lifestyle. Sometimes with all of life’s responsibilities, we forget that we need and deserve ‘down time’ and self care. Taking even a few minutes on a regular basis to devote to a hobby can give you more of what you need in this area. And, with drawing, you have the additional benefit of being left with something beautiful (or at least interesting) to show for it!

Do-It-Yourself Art Therapy for Stress Relief
One of my favorite ways to use drawing for stress relief is to maintain a sketch diary. Keeping a sketchbook can be a 
form of journaling, and it can be cathartic, creative, and stress relieving. You can use a journal for personal art therapy and stress management in the following ways:

Sketch pictures that describe your feelings related to things in your life that are causing you stress currently. If it’s in the back of your mind anyway, this could be a way of processing your related emotions, reducing some of the stress they carry.

Sketch abstract pictures that express feelings related to past stressful experiences, as a way of processing your emotions and healing.

Keep a ‘Dream Sketch Diary’, and sketch scenes from dreams you’d like to remember or better understand.

Keep a sketch diary of what you think is beautiful in life. Draw the faces of those you love, places that bring you peace, or other pieces of beauty. The process of sketching can be a great stress reliever, and revisiting your creations can also bring you some peace in the future.

Additional Art Resources:
If you’re interested in trying out a regular drawing practice, there’s 
a great site on the About network devoted to drawing and sketching, for people of all levels, including beginners. You can sign up for classes and a regular newsletter (just like with you can sign up for free stress management classes and a free weekly newsletteron this site!), and get more tips on keeping a sketch diary. Have fun!


Story 2: Practice the Tricky Bits

Main Focus: Working on the weak points helps to make art stronger.

It's always enjoyable to draw the easy things - it's fun when everything goes well and the drawing flows smoothly. It's only natural to avoid difficult things. But unfortunately, avoiding them isn't going to make them any easier! It's a classic feature of any first-year drawing class (especially once they've done enough to realize which bits are hardest) - lots of focus on the torso but the hands and feet either fade out, or fall off the edge of the paper. 
The best time to practice drawing hands and feet is outside of class, when you're not using an expensive figure drawing model. Draw the feet and hands of friends and family watching television or reading. Do consider the whole figure and relate the feet and hands to the rest of the body, considering proportion. 
How to Draw Hands 
Examples of Hand Studies 
More Hand Studies 
Anatomy Reference Photos