Fitness Articles of the Week #31 – Yoga for Back Pain, Bulgarian Training Bags and Ozzy Osbourne

image courtesy of Dance Photographer - Brendan Lally

Every weekend I publish a recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week. Here are my favorites.

Yoga and stretching exercises beneficial for chronic low back pain, study finds

I can attest to the benefits of stretching and yoga for back pain, because I suffer from back pain myself. On days that my back pain really starts to hurt, I always plan on doing yoga the next morning, and it always helps. It’s a fun and challenging remedy.

Biggest ever study shows no link between mobile phone use and tumors

Here’s something we’ve all wondered about since cell phones have existed. Well, now we know that using our cell phones is safe!

Make and Use a Bulgarian Training Bag

I’ve never heard of a bulgarian training bag before, but it looks like quite the versatile workout training tool. It’s kinda weird, but it’s cool. I want one 😀

More Breast Cancer Awareness Month pseudoscience from (who else?) Joe Mercola

Read this article to learn why I don’t trust the advice of Dr. Mercola. This is a great example of why we need to be careful about believing what we read. For us normal people, Dr. Mercola sure does sound convincing.

What’s Wrong with the Supplement Industry

Another great article from ‘Science-Based Medicine. I always learn something new from this website, for example “Supplements treat deficiencies – but there is no reason to think that taking additional nutrients beyond the minimum necessary will have functional benefits.” And the supplement industries will lead you to believe that taking more is beneficial. Hmm.

Ten More things That Piss Me Off About Commercial Gyms, Part 1

I thought this one was funny, and I feel the same way on most of these points, especially the one about people searching for parking spots in the front. I disagree with the last one though. I bring my phone with me not only to listen to music (which I think is a great reason to bring a phone to the gym), but also so that I can read industry news during my rest periods.

24 Minutes of Kettlebell Fun – Kettlebell Workout Routine

Another Tabata-style workout, this time using a kettlebell. I really need to get some kettlebells. I feel like I’m behind the times.

A Back Stretch You Can Do While Sitting

This is really cool. It’s called the piriformis stretch and is super simple to do. I’m going to try to do this stretch every day at work. This video has also inspired me to visit his website at and subscribe to the website feed.

Ozzy Osbourne Goes Vegan

The man who bit the head off a dove and later a live bat, has surprisingly gone vegan after watching Forks Over Knives. That’s awesome.

Eat Right For Your Type Diet Debunked

I’ve only heard about diets designed around blood types a couple of times in probably the last 5-10 years. It intrigued me, but I never looked into it further, until I came across this article. I learned a lot from this, and not just about blood type diet myths. This is a must-read and definitely one of the best articles I’ve read in a long time.

First Impressions of the New GaiamTV

I just got a free trial of the newly announced GaiamTV service and I wanted to write up a quick review of my first thoughts.

There are tons of videos to pick from in each section. The first day I chose to do a workout from the Fitness Videos section. I sorted the list by Level 3 (the toughest) and the type of workout by ‘Weight Training,’ which pulled up only 3 videos, all from the same workout series, and all which looked very much designed only for women. 🙁

So I decided to un-filter all results and then looked for one that interested me. I chose the Balance Ball: Core Cross Train, because I haven’t used my balance ball in a while.

I had lots of time that morning so I did the entire workout, upper body, abs, and lower body. This video wasn’t designed to do all in one day, since normally a person wouldn’t work out upper body and lower body on the same day, but since each section was short enough, I said “what the hell!” and did ’em all.

As you can see from the picture above, there is a plus sign next to each section so that you can add it to your playlist. I think that’s really cool. For some odd reason though, the videos didn’t appear in my playlist in the same order I added them. They were all jumbled up, so I had to reorder them and then save the playlist order. That’s kinda annoying.

My first workout was the Upper Body workout, which I have to admit was surprisingly difficult. Have you ever done arm circles? If you’ve done P90X, then you have, and you know that after doing them long enough, your shoulders really start to burn and you just can’t wait to put your arms down. Well, that’s what this workout did to my entire upper body.

The legs and abs workouts weren’t as tough, but they were still pretty good. After looking over the videos in GaiamTV and seeing that not many of them were designed for men, I hadn’t expected much, but after doing this workout, I’m actually excited to try out some of the others. I must admit that some of the more ‘aerobic’ style moves feel a little silly, but they are few and far between and I got over it.

Based on my first impressions of GaiamTV, I think it’s a really cool service. So far I’ve only looked at the Fitness Studio section, but there are lots of other sections, such as Yoga Studio, Wellness Center, Films & TV, Spirituality, Metaphysics, Explorations, Environment and Vintage Library. My next stop will be the Yoga Studio and then probably the Wellness Center.

Fitness Articles of the Week #30 – Female Vegan Bodybuilding, Pet B12 Deficiency, and Hot Peppers

Every weekend I publish a recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week. Here are my favorites.

Q&A With a Female Vegan Bodybuilder

Amanda Riester has been a vegetarian since kindergarten and cut dairy out of her diet two years ago. She’s in awesome shape, and considering that she works out 6 days a week with 45 minutes of cardio and 90 minutes of weight training per day, it’s no wonder. You can also check out her bio at

What To Do Before Ironman

Excellent tips on nutrition and training before an Ironman, or any type of race for that matter. Basically, don’t change your diet and risk digestion problems and don’t train heavy for several days before the race.

What People Think Vegans Eat Infographic

I have to admit that I sure do love the taste of grass, but I also love pizza, french fries, bagels, tacos and everything else everyone eats.

Barefoot Shoes More Effective When Running Style Is Correct

Interesting study. I’ve read lots of personal stories from people who claim that their Vibrams have fixed their form, but I wonder if it really has.

B12 Deficiency in Near-Vegan Dog

While both me and my fiance are vegan, our dogs are not. We had them on a vegan diet for a couple months, but we decided to put them back on their old diet, just to be safe. If you decide to put your pets on a vegan diet, make sure they get enough B12.

Spinach Raspberry Flaxseed Oil Shake

She says you can’t even taste the spinach, so I’d really like to try this shake. I need to get more veggies into my system too.

101 Cycling Workouts: Improve Your Cycling Ability While Adding Variety to Your Training Program

This is just a link to a book I came across on Amazon that I now want. I really want to pick up a bicycle trainer to train during the winter months and I was really worried about getting bored. This sounds like a good answer to that problem.

Relieve Headaches with Hot Peppers

Not just any pepper will do the job. Search for peppers with higher capsaicin content, such as the Habanero or Tabasco Chili.

Gamers Make Great Bodybuilders

Interesting! If more gamers would give bodybuilding a try, maybe they’d find that they would really enjoy it. I’m an avid gamer and I agree that a lot of the psychological aspects mentioned in this article apply to me.

How Much To Eat To Gain Muscle Without Gaining Fat? Lean = Good & Chubby = Bad

Interesting take on the issue of bulking up. Makes sense though.

Fitness Articles of the Week #29 – Rising Peanut Butter Costs, Vegan Health and Women Weightlifting

image courtesy of thisisbossi

Every weekend I publish a recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week. Here are my favorites.

Stock Up on Peanut Butter Now Before Prices Get Ridiculous

Is this for real? I eat tons of peanut butter. I wonder how long it will take for prices to drop again. Prices are expected to rise as much as 30-40%. That means a jar that once cost $3.50 will now cost $5.00. Peanut butter is major part of many of our diets, so this is terrible news.

10 Stubborn Food Myths That Just Won’t Die, Debunked by Science

A great one from Lifehacker. These are myths I hear friends and family repeat all the time. I should just direct them to this article from now on, because they never take my word for it.

CrossFit 515 – 501 Double Unders (Bobby)

I can’t do double-unders, but have you ever tried to jump rope for longer than 2 or more minutes non-stop? Not only is it hard just because the jump rope gets caught on your feet, but after about a minute, your arms hurt from swinging the rope and your legs burn from jumping. The guy in this video is awesome.

Veganism Debunked – infographic

Infographics are a great way to share facts in an a fun and easy-to-understand way. If you’re thinking about becoming vegan or already are and need some facts to explain to

Finish It Monday: You Can Reach Your Goals Faster With This Simple Dietary Twist

Read her tips on eating a clean diet. If you’re trying to live a healthier lifestyle, eating clean should be a goal.

Why are so many people eating vegan?

The three biggest reasons – ethics, environment, and health.

Got Health?

This article really digs into the argument of whether or not a vegan diet is healthier than an omnivores. No punches pulled here and many vegans are going to be upset by this one. The key takeaway from this article is that “promoting a “plant-based” diet for health reasons feeds our society’s focus on selfishness by implying that animal suffering is not worthy of people’s concern.” We should focus on the terrible treatment of animals instead.

CrossFit Gym Locator

Wow, I never realized how many CrossFit gyms there were. I drive right by one on my way home from work even. This is a fantastic resource.

The Lifehacker Workout: Exercise for Normal People

This workout takes some of the best ideas from the toughest workouts on the market, ie. Crossfit, P90X, Insanity and tailors it to be more manageable for beginners. Excellent idea.

84 Days In 48 Seconds: Body Transformation Time Lapse – YouTube

Wow, this guy made a ton of progress. I bet it was a lot of hard work.

10 Min Home Workout w/ 1 Dumbbell – YouTube

If you’ve only got 10 minutes and you’re looking to burn some calories fast and get a full-body workout, here’s a good one.

Recipe: No-Trick Granola Treats

This sounds delicious and easy, but probably a little messy. Looking at the ingredients, it’s probably pretty cheap too.

Women, Weightlifting and Irrational Fears

Here are some great videos showing extremely strong women who lift heavy weight and aren’t big and bulky like the bodybuilders in the magazines. My friends girlfriend has the same irrational fear of getting bulky and because of that fear, she continues to use ridiculous cardio routines from Shape magazine or spends time on the elliptical, which she always burns out on, then quits.

Fitness Articles of the Week #28 – Mustard Steroids, Fuckarounditis and a Zombie Workout

image courtesy of alex_lee2001

Every weekend I publish a recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week. Here are my favorites.

Lift weights, eat mustard, build muscles?

A recent study shows that a specific plant steroid, found in plants such as mustards, has a similar response to anabolic steroids and with minimal side effects. Interesting.

Medical Research and Treatment Information from

Medify is an awesome resource, full of all sorts of medical studies and free abstracts. The search box says to enter a “condition or treatment,” but you can also type things such as “green tea” (I had to type “green-tea” with a dash for some reason) and find related studies. Good stuff.


Another great one from Martin Berkhan. This seems like a rant at first, but it’s actually an extremely informative post about how to make fitness goals and how to design a routine that really works. It’s long, but if you’re doing routines out of a magazine, you should probably read it.

Will a Multivitamin Cover B12 Needs?

If you’re vegan, you need to make sure you’re getting the right amount of B12.

Why Can’t I Get Enough Sleep?

I learned a lot about sleep from this article. I sleep fairly well actually, but I wake up every night to urinate, which according to this article, shouldn’t happen. I’m definitely gonna do some more research.

The Forgotten 4 Hour Body workout revealed

If you need a new awesome routine to try out, this post has it. I’ve done this 4HB workout and I also saw some good results. I only did it for a month before I decide to do a weight loss contest, which had a provided workout that I told myself I would stick to no matter what. I saw great results from that one too. Maybe I should get back to the 4HB workouts now.

DIY Foam Roller Alternatives

Foam rollers aren’t very expensive to begin with, but hey, every penny counts. I’ve been planning on buying one, and probably still will, but I thought this was a cool idea.

The Skinny Vegan’s Guide to Gaining Muscle

Here’s more proof that mass can be gained using a minimalist workout routine and eating vegan. Awesome job. The “vegan fat shake” recipe is great too. I really want to try it. I’ve also been trying to put on weight, and since about May (5 months) I’ve put on about 27 lbs. It’s so hard!

Grocery List of a Pro Triathlete

It’s not all vegan, but if you look at a lot of their favorite foods, it’s almost all natural, whole foods. I don’t know why, but I’ve never used peanut butter as a veggie dip. My family is very vegan-unfriendly and never has dip for us, so I’m gonna take some peanut butter with me to the family get-together this weekend 😀

1200 Calorie Diet

I’ve heard that The Biggest Loser puts a lot of focus on 1200 calorie diets and I’ve always wondered what one looked like. Well, here’s an example. I would starve on that diet! My stomach hurts just thinking about how hungry I’d be.

Doctors are NOT Dietitians

I love the quote from Scott A. Cunneen, MD, FACS. It’s sad, but it’s true. If you need advice about your diet, ask a dietician, not your doctor.

King Creatine: Your Expert Guide To The Sovereign Muscle-Building Supplement

Anyone trying to put on muscle should understand what creatine does and how it can help. This article pretty much sums it up. I buy flavorless creatine and just mix it in to my daily protein shakes.

Watch the Food Matters Movie for Free

I hate linking to Dr. Mercola’s website, because I very much dislike the crazy advice he spreads, but this is an interesting movie that you might find interesting. It’s free to watch until tomorrow. Better get on it!

Do the Zombie Workout: It’ll Leave You Dead Tired

Very creative way to incorporate a workout routine with Halloween!