Sunday, November 21, 2004

What Every Man or Woman Should Be Able to Do

I subscribe to a very small set of rather good email lists. Most of them are from professionals doing something very much against the grain in their respective fields. You can learn a lot from the troublemakers - they're usually the ones who bother to think rather than just follow.

Anyhow, the following message popped into my Inbox the other day and I thought it was just brilliant:

Dear Monica,

'Every man should be able to save his own life. He should be able to swim far enough, run fast and long enough to save his life in case of emergency and necessity.'

The quote mentioned above comes from Earle E. Liederman, a renowned fitness pioneer back in the days of Charles Atlas.

Anyway, in order to 'save his your own life' - as well as the life of a loved one, Liederman did NOT advocate bodybuilding. Or powerlifting.

Much of Liedermans' life-saving method evolved around the development of 'strength-endurance' with bodyweight calisthenics.

Recently, in Dr. Al Sears - Health Confidential for Men - a newsletter I HIGHLY reccommend, he said:

'I've seen patients transform their bodies through the power of calisthenics. You too, can see improvements in your appearance and in your stamina. And, by doing regular calisthenics, you will be lowering your risk of injury and building muscle that has been 'trained for function.'

Let's face it, big gigantic muscles may impress some people, but there is nothing more impressive than having the functional strength-endurance to do things with ease - including saving someone's life. Yours included.

Liederman's life-saving prescription is not very far off from my own. He wrote that you should ...

* Be able to swim at least half a mile or more;
* Be able to run at top speed two hundred yards or more;
* Be able to jump over obstacles higher than your waist;
* Be in condition to pull your body upward by the
strength of your arms, until your chin touches your hands,
at least 15 to 20 times;
* Be able to dip between parallel bars or between
two chairs at least 25 times or more.

'If a man can accomplish these things,' Liederman said, 'he need have no fear concerning the safety of his life should he be forced into an emergency from which he alone may be able to save himself.'

All for now.

Kick butt - take names!

Matt Furey

I had stumbled across his ad and read a short description of how he came to his techniques...a lot of what he said made sense as I had abandoned weight training years ago myself. I found that I was gaining a lot of muscle very quickly (NOT nice on a girl) and it wasn't really functional - I wasn't more flexible or limber or graceful...just stronger in isolated incidents and certain movements. So I've subscribed to his email list in order to get a better idea of what he offers, interesting so far. We'll see.

I still like that email, though, and thought I would share it - it most definitely embodies the third of the latin words I use in my title - 'Sententia' which is a way of thought, an opinion, a meaning...but with (or for) a purpose. Rather important, methinks.


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