Everybody Wants To Be A Ninja

CropKotoNinjaToyokuniUtagawa

Seriously, who hasn’t thought about becoming a ninja? That is something that every kid dreams about! 🙂 As kids we have a very vivid and wild imagination and there are a lot of things that fascinate us. I remember that as a kid, I loved to listen to my grandfather’s stories of times long gone and especially his war stories. I also watched many movies and when I learned to read, I also read a lot of things. Somehow I learned about ninjas. Whether it was through my fascination with the movie “Karate Kid”, or through watching the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or just trading stories as kids, the subject of ninjas grabbed my attention very early on.

These ancient Japanese warriors could use their hands and other parts of their bodies to defeat much larger and stronger opponents and use their tricks to do all kinds of cool things. They could climb walls, throw shurikens (metal stars), create different potions and disappear in clouds of smoke. I was not the only kid that had this fascination and the ninja sparked the imagination of many a kid. We all wanted to be ninjas, playing games where we pretended to be powerful ninja warriors or spies on a mission. Whether the image of the ninja that we have is accurate or not, it is a powerful image and one that still fascinates me to this day.

The theme of ninjas was reflected in many different things during the 1990s. There were movies, cartoons, books, video games and martial arts classes. For example, characters based on ninjas played main roles in such popular cultural phenomenon as Mortal Kombat (mostly video games, but also movies), the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (where the word ninja was even in the name), even G.I. Joe (cartoons, action figures), where several of the characters strongly resemble ninjas.

These characters then sparked our wonder in the real ninjas that they were based on. With ninjas, it is hard to separate fact from fiction. Much of what we hear about ninjas is based on legends passed down from generation to generation. Some of the images of the ninja are, on the other hand, based on modern myths invented only recently. Even the term “ninja” is of more recent origin, as older texts usually refer to shinobi. However all these myths and legends are based on real events and real people.
Read More

7 Rules For Lifting

lift to gain weight

lift to gain weight

1) The road is gonna be long and hard
Many ads on the internet promise incredible gains in a short amount of time with minimal work. For some this is achievable. However for the majority of people, the journey is going to be long and hard. Some people can achieve incredible gains in a short amount of time, however most people take much longer. If you are like most people, then your journey towards bulking up and gaining weight will be long and hard. You will have to put in a lot of effort and the gains will be minimal from week to week. However over the course of a long period, you will see results. You just have to persist and keep at it. With hard work, you will see results.

2) We are all different. What works for one person might not work for another one.
No two people are alike. We all have different backgrounds,different body types, and other things. That’s why the optimal training for one person is different from the optimal training for another person. There is no “best” way. What works for one person, might not work for another one. So you will have to sometimes try different things in order to find what works the best for you. When you look at bodybuilding magazines, a lot of times they have these routines for professional bodybuilders. These contain hundreds of different exercises for different body parts. A lot of beginners look at these and think that’s what they should be doing. They follow these routines and then wonder why they are not seeing any gains. What works for a pro bodybuilder is not going to work for a novice at the gym. A beginner should be following a totally different routine from that of an advanced lifter.

3) Don’t lift through your injuries.
If you are injured, take a break. Sometimes people don’t want to accept that they are injured and keep doing things despite their injury. Then they create even bigger problems for themselves. If you are injured, then stop and take a rest. Heal the injury and come back once you are better.

Also if some sort of an injury is preventing you from doing some type of exercise (for example squat or deadlift), do an alternative instead. Due to the nature of our society, where we sit all day, some people have developed permanent injuries, which are hard to get rid of and prevent them from doing a full-blown lifting workout. If such a structural injury is preventing you from doing for example a squat or a deadlift, then find alternatives to do. Remember, there is no shame in that.

4) Setbacks will happen. Learn to accept it and be ready to come back once the setback is overcome.
You are going strong, lifting regularly, seeing significant gains, feeling happy and motivated. And then one day, “boom”, something happens that prevents you from continuing. Be it an injury, sickness or some unexpected event, things happen and make us unable to continue. It’s unfortunate, but such is life. You have to deal with it. There is no point in going back and fretting about it (and thinking over what you could have done differently). It happened and unfortunately you can’t do anything about it now. For example I had recently undergone an ACL surgery to repair my ACL, which I had ruptured previously. This has taken me out of commission for a long time. Previously I had a similar setback, when I almost lost my eye. Both times, I was in the best shape of my life, motivated and going strong. With these types of situations, you have to learn how to deal with them, wait them out, and then come back strong. Think of ways of how to overcome the problem and once you can, go back to the gym and get back to your routine.

5) Don’t try to do too much. Just lift what is possible.
Some people try to do too much. Some novices go into the gym, rack up the heaviest weights they can find, thinking that they can lift them and then almost kill themselves when trying to lift them (sometimes even injuring themselves). Instead start off slow. Figure out what you can lift. Practice and then once you have mastered that weight with proper form and it is no longer challenging, move onto a higher weight. You grow by progressively lifting heavier, but you need to start at the proper starting line for you.

6) Good form is everything.
When lifting, proper form is very important. In order to get the maximum impact from an exercise and minimize injuries, you need to do it with proper form. Before starting to do an exercise, learn how to do it properly. This is important if you want to see gains and prevent injuries. Some people think that putting as much weight on as possible is the way to go, but then do the reps with poor form. That is not the best way to gain muscle and can easily result in an injury. So remember to do exercises with proper form.

7) Remember to eat a good nutritious diet
Most experienced lifters will tell you that diet is very important. In fact probably even more important than your workout routine. In order to grow, you need to get the proper nutrients into your body. If you are not doing that, no matter how good your workout routine is, you will never see any significant gains. So remember to eat well.

New Ligament In The Knee Discovered

I had an ACL surgery back in the beginning of September and am still recovering from it. So it is with interest that I read the recent news that a new ligament in the knee was discovered. It’s interesting that the scientists didn’t discover it until now, even though a French surgeon had predicted it already back in the 19th century. This news is helpful for people who have had ACL surgeries, as a number of them, even after a successful surgery, still have knees that give way. This is caused by the fact that their anterolateral ligament is injured as well, something that had not been known up until now. This discovery could result in new techniques in ACL surgery.
Read More

What Is Protein?

Whenever you read anything on bulking up, one of the main tips is usually to eat lots of protein. So what is protein? Proteins are large macromolecules consisting of long chains of amino acids. Our body needs protein in order to be able to function properly. Common sources of protein include eggs, chicken, fish, turkey and other things.
Read More

Beer: The Unhealthy Way to Gain Weight (And Fat)

weight gain with beer

weight gain with beer
We have all seen the notorious beer bellies. Whether on the beach or anywhere else, many men sport a protruding gut which makes them look pregnant. 🙂 This is actually something that can be even seen with skinny guys. Some skinny guys, while otherwise very thin, can also be seen sporting pot bellies, leading to the very sad condition of being skinny-fat. So how does drinking beer and alcohol in general affect weight gain and fat gain?
Read More

The Importance Of Staying Hydrated

Tiger_drinking_water_(5332575336) 2

Drinking water is one of the basic things that you need to do every day. Your body needs water in order to function. That’s why it is very important to stay hydrated and to keep constantly replenishing your fluids. This is especially important if you want to gain weight and muscle and generally if you do any type of exercise. When exercising, your body raises its temperature and so in order to cool down, it starts releasing sweat, which is primarily composed of fluids. So in this way your body is losing fluids fast and needs them to be replenished. Dehydration is a serious health risk. You also need to keep a balance between the amount of fluids in your body and electrolytes. If this balance is not maintained or if in general your body loses its fluids, then serious problems will arise.
Read More

It’s got electrolytes!

gain weight

gain weight

Do you remember the scene from the movie “Idiocracy” where they talk about electrolytes? Throughout the movie they keep repeating the phrase: “It’s got electrolytes!” WTF are electrolytes? That was the initial reaction that I had (people who know me know that I use the phrase “WTF” a lot 🙂 ). I’ve seen it on sports drinks, but never had any idea of what it actually means.
Read More

Were Prehistoric Men Stronger And Faster Than Us?

OB2b1462_lov
Every year, records in all types of sports are broken. Men are running faster, jumping higher and enduring more. This generation is taller than their parents generation, which was taller than the previous generation. If we were to look at it, it would seem as if the current generation is the most gifted physically and has the largest brainpower. There is no way that the previous generations could have achieved the same accomplishments as the men of today. Yet this view is most likely very wrong. In ancient times and even more so in the prehistoric times beyond, men were achieving similarly (if not more so) impressive feats.
Read More

How Your Microbiome Can Affect Weight Gain

microbiome weight gain

microbiome weight gain

What is a microbiome you ask and why I should I care about it? Also what does this have to do with weight gain? The microbiome are the communities of microorganisms, literally trillions, that live inside the human body. Many people don’t realize that besides things like organs, blood, hormones…etc., the body also contains trillions of little microorganisms that live inside it and have a significant impact on it. These are most often single-celled organisms belonging to the Archaea kingdom. Archaea are prokaryotes and have no cell nucleus or organelles within themselves. There are however some bacteria as well. All these are generally considered harmless and usually do not cause disease (except for some rare circumstances). Many of them can aid the human body in a variety of functions, but recent changes in the human environment have also altered some aspect of the microbiome for the worse. Recent research indicates that some of the microorganisms can play a significant role in how a person gains weight.
Read More

Copyright Renaissance Man Journal 2017
Tech Nerd theme designed by FixedWidget
%d bloggers like this: