The Rowing Machine: King of Cardio Equipment

It is of the utmost importance to any exercise-oriented individual that an adequate amount of cardiovascular exercise is completed regularly. Whether you are a bodybuilder with 22″ arms or simply a lean yoga enthusiast, the rule applies across all levels. Without a properly trained heart and lungs, your body misses out on a whole slew of health benefits and a decreased risk of heart problems; not to mention creating a disproportionate distribution of vitality within your body. Sure, your biceps have veins thicker than a garden hose, but what about what’s on the inside?

A dedicated gym goer may look at his/her six pack and scoff, “Cardio? My aerobic-free training has me leaner than ever and sweating it up on the Stairmaster for an hour isn’t my idea of a worthwhile workout.” OK, valid point, but a high performance vehicle is for nothing if the goods under the hood are garbage. Moreover, if you pack on muscle yet refrain to train your cardiovascular system, your physicality will resemble a hulking Toyota Tundra with the dinky engine of a Honda Civic. Struggling.

So, why rowing; better yet, why the rowing machine? Well, considering rivers that weave through your neighborhood with adequate boat houses are scarce, the rowing machine is the best substitute to mimic the movement and reap the rewards of such activity. Better yet, you never have to worry about bad weather, and even better than that, a great cardio workout can be accomplished in a fraction of the time that one may be looking at when getting on board an elliptical or treadmill.

The majority of people are under the assumption that rowing is an upper body intensive movement. Although there is some truth to that statement, the driving force in a successful rowing motion is derived from the lower body, where the body’s powerful leg muscles are able to sustain prolonged exertions that only they can deliver.

Need more reasons to try the rowing machine? How about the fact that the word impact can’t even be found in the same sentence as rowing machine, unless the word ‘low’ is front of it. Unlike running, which places unnecessary stress and trauma on the knees and ankles,  rowing favors a far more fluid, floating sense of power and work. As your body moves back and forth over the rolling seat, your joints praise you as they are gently coerced into the flexion and extension of various limbs.

Still need more reasons? One of the greatest aspects of the rowing machine is that it is a cardio exercise that trains your whole musculature; not just your lower body, as many machines do. When stepping away on the Stairstepper, one can feel the sole distribution of strain compiling itself on your legs, while the upper body remains slack and in complete boredom. The rowing machine ties the two sides together, with the legs generating the massive power and force for each stroke and transferring it up the body, giving your abs, arms, shoulders, and of course, back, an awesomely toning workout.

If you have located and affirmed the presence of a rowing machine at your local health club, here is a great way to get introduced to the motion:

  1. Adjust the foot stretchers: Each machine is equipped with a platform to strap your feet into, both in socks or with shoes, and it needs to be adjusted so that the strap rests atop where the balls of your feet are, and also so that your bending motion isn’t inhibited by the strap.
  2. Set the fly wheel resistance: 10 is heavy, 1 is light – to put it simply. Personally, I like to warm up in the higher digits (7-10), and then commit to my workouts between 4 and 5, as most university programs suggest.
  3. Set the clock: The rowing machine has a great computer for tracking your workouts, but for now, simply hit ‘Just Row’, or begin pulling on the handle and the clock will start on its own.
  4. Row!

Of course, it isn’t so easy to master the rowing stroke on your first few tries, so keep in mind these pointers:

  • Always begin each stroke with lower leg perpendicular to the ground and your seat as far up as can be achieved. At this point, your should be fully outstretched and grasping the handle.
  • Legs first! When driving, press off with your glutes, quads, and calves and drive your legs down to full extension.
  • Back second! once the legs are down, lean back with a straight back and begin to transfer the speed of the fly wheel to your upper body.
  • Arms in third! Once you have achieved a slight posterior lean with your straight back, pull the handle into your nipple line with by retracting your scapulae and flexing your arms.
  • The ‘finish’, or end of the stroke goes exactly in reverse order: Arms back out, back over, then slowly move back up the slide with the legs, ready for another stroke.

Sample Warm-Up:

20 strokes arms only

20 strokes arms and back only

20 strokes half leg extension

40 strokes full leg extension (full strokes)

Sample workout: 1 x 3000M, 1 x 2000M, 1 x 1000M, 1 X 500M, 1:00 rest in between each.

As you may notice this is a descending pyramid type of workout and it is great because mentally, the workload becomes easier and easier as you pass through each interval.

Select workout, then select Interval Variable, then enter the first distance, followed by the three others; then the rest.

The first 3000M should be done at 60-80% of your VO2 max, with that intensity increasing until the last 500M goes by at an all-out effort.

That’s it for now, I hope you can look into incorporating the rowing machine into your next workout and join the thousands who swear by rowing as the King of cardio.

 

 

Three Health Issues Every Man Should Discuss With His Doctor


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Most men are squeamish about discussing their concerns about testosterone, erectile disfunction or trouble urinating, however these embarrassing topics could shed light on deeper more serious health issues like heart disease, cancer or hormone imbalance.

Since most visits to the doctor last less than 20 minutes, getting warmed up can take some effort.

Be armed with a list of questions and concerns to get the most out of your time with your physician.

Propecia May Cause Long Term Sexual Dysfunction In Men

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Propecia, made by Merck, has been linked to long term sexual side effects in men.

Curing male pattern baldness may not be with the potential side effects of low libido and erectile dysfunction.

Is keeping your hair worth it?

Pharmaceuticals used to treat male pattern baldness (MPB) like Proscar (finasteride), work by decreasing serum levels dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT has been called the most potent of all androgens (male sex hormones), and is the major factor in MPB.

The current theory is that DHT binds to the hair follicle and prevents ribonucleic acid (RNA) from functioning. RNA is responsible for protein synthesis. In a nut shell, if the RNA doesn’t function, the follicle cannot create protein and stunts hair growth. Decreasing DHT levels will prevent baldness, but is it worth the side effects?

A Study reported in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, conducted standardized interviews with 71 healthy men taking finasteride to prevent baldness. 94% of the participants developed low libido, 92% developed erectile dysfunction, 92% developed decreased arousal, and 69% developed problems with orgasm. So, if you’re willing to give up your sex life to have a full head of hair, go ahead and take Proscar.

Pharmaceutical scam!

Americans currently pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. Canadians, Europeans, and even citizens of Mexico pay only about one-half to as little as one-tenth the price paid by Americans for the very same chemicals. Drug companies actually import many of the raw materials used in drugs from other countries, meaning that some U.S. medicines are already sourced from countries like the U.K. and Germany.

Drug companies mark up their prescription drugs as much as 569,000% over the price of the raw materials. A typical markup is more in the 30,000% – 50,000% range. Retailing pharmaceuticals is hugely profitable. There is no business in the world with more profit built into the retail price of the product. How many business owners would like to have those profit margins?

The purpose of restricting Americans from buying drugs from other countries is to enforce a medical monopoly in the United States, forcing consumers to purchase drugs at the highest prices in the world, further padding the profits of powerful and influential pharmaceutical corporations who exert strong influence over the U.S. Congress.

To learn more about how the phamaceutical industry is fleecing America go HERE.

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