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Found 13 results

  1. Putting myself out there a little bit on this one; I'll bet my workout routines look a lot different from most of the folks on these forums. Mark Rippetoe is a prominent strength coach, and had Jay Livsey (who has been on some of the smaller tours I believe) on his podcast talking about how the best way to get fit for golf is to be really strong. Apologies (and warning) in advance, coarse language in the video. And Mark in general is a pretty abrasive personality. But I do think there's a lot of truth here, and am curious to hear some of y'all's perspectives on the video! Also, you can skip the first 10 minutes, you won't be missing anything. Summary of his argument: 1. Training is different from practicing. You train to get your body more fit, stronger, etc. while you practice the specific golf movements to improve technique. 2. All else being equal, a stronger golfer is better than a weaker golfer. 3. The best way to be a stronger human being is to weightlift, specifically squat, deadlift, bench and press.
  2. I know a lot of you may not be all that interested, but I wanted to start logging my dietary changes and workouts on here for a little accountability. Backstory: I was fairly athletic throughout all of my teenage years. I got hooked on BMX at an early age and stuck with it (in some shape or form) until my mid 20's. I hit the course about once a week with my dad, played soccer, and took a strength and conditioning class during my Freshman and Sophomore years of high school. Fitness was never really an issue until I moved to a small town in the middle of Kansas to be closer to my wife while we were dating. I didn't know anyone other than my wife and her family and that's pretty much where I spent my time - hanging out with them. I barely rode my bike anymore, no more soccer or any kind of competitive sport. I rarely even played golf during that time. I basically worked and went home and that was it. I'd see a brief resurgence of my former self during my mid-to-late 20's. After tipping the scales at roughly 240lbs, I educated myself on fitness and nutrition and made the necessary changes to get back down to 185lbs (give or take). That lasted for about a year - maybe a little longer before settling in around 200lbs. Now, here I am about to turn 32 in April and I've once again hit that 240 mark. I can't swing the club like I used to, sleep quality has taken a nosedive, and even something as simple as tying my shoes can be a struggle at times. Well that's all about to change. Now: For well over a year I've been setting goals to lose weight about every other month without netting any results because I'm really good at making up excuses. What makes this time any different? Well, for starters 2019 isn't simply about losing weight and getting fit. Hell, it's not even about reclaiming my old golf swing. 2019 is all about grabbing life by the balls and becoming the person I've always wanted to be. Every aspect, from finances, to fatherhood, to education, and even entrepreneurship. This year is all about making changes that will shape the future for my entire family. The Plan: Long ago I collected a number of workout routines and generated an exhaustive spreadsheet to track my progress. After a few tweaks and minor updates, I'll be using them to once again stay organized and on task. I've mapped out an entire year's worth of workouts and set goals for each month. For obvious reasons, the goals I've set will be achieved relatively easy in the beginning and be darn near impossible toward the end. I'll have to tweak them as I go, but for now I simply took the difference of where I am currently and where I want to be in a year then divided by 12 (rounding up or down as needed). Here's what that looks like (may be too small to read though) along with a summary of goals and some words of encouragement from James Allen’s “As a Man Thinketh”: Current Stats: 240.4 lbs 27.5% Body Fat 174.3 lbs Lean Body Mass 66.1 lbs Fat Mass 43.25" Chest 47.5" Waist 46" Hips 16.25" Neck 47" Shoulders 13" Arms 10.5" Forearms 25.25" Thighs 16.25" Calves Day 1 Workout: Got up this morning just after 4AM and performed the following workout in my living room. Unfortunately, I ran out of time to complete the full interval workout so I’ll have to wake up a little earlier for the next one. Christian Henning's Shed Pounds to Shave Strokes: Foam Rolling Hamstrings 30 sec/side Calves 30 sec/side Quads 30 sec/side IT Band 30 sec/side Hip Flexors 30 sec/side Lower Back 30 sec/side Upper Back/Traps 30 sec/side Warm-Up Torso Twists 60 seconds Side Bends 60 seconds Inchworms 60 seconds Superman Reaches 30 seconds Bodyweight Squats 60 seconds Straight Up Sit-Up 30 seconds Rest 1 Minute Workout T-Squat 12 reps Stick-Up 12 reps Rest 1 Minute & Repeat 1-Leg Golf Posture Rotations 8 reps/leg Pushup 12 reps Rest 1 Minute & Repeat Lying Hip Extension 8 reps Plank 30 seconds Rest 1 Minute & Repeat Rest 1 Minute Interval Workout 21 minutes 90 seconds low-medium intensity 30 seconds medium-high intensity That's it for today. Thanks for reading and following along.
  3. Hi Everyone. I have recently purchased the Superspeedgolf.com training aids. The idea of this speed over training is to get your body to break through some swing speed barriers to add speed to your swing and therefore increase driver distance. I plan to update this with thoughts, results, photos, the odd video, to show you an honest review as I try to ramp up the speed with the big stick. Stay tuned.
  4. Hey guys! With the New Year just around the corner, I wanted to gauge how many of my fellow MGS-ers would be interested in a Fitness Challenge for 2019! It would be geared towards getting ready for the new golf season (for us cold weather folks) or for gaining that extra edge right now (for those who are lucky enough to get to play year-round). Feel free to respond to the poll for me whether you would be interested or not! I'd have to charge a little bit for it since it would take a fair amount of work for me to put it all together, but it would be pretty low-cost I would include weekly workout plans and on-demand nutritional advice available through my page on MGS. The initial challenge would be for the month of January, but I would like to extend it beyond that if there is interest! I noticed there was interest in this last year, but I didn't see much beyond that. Anyways, I think it would be great to start something with a big group involved. Always much easier to stick to fitness goals and exercises when other people hold you accountable! Thanks in advance!
  5. Hello peeps! If you have a second, stop by my page and vote on my latest poll regarding your thoughts on joining a fitness challenge at the start of the New Year! Would love to get a group together on here. I appreciate all the feedback. Kameron
  6. Hey guys! My name is Kameron from Wyoming. I've been a guest here for a little while and just decided to join the community! The love/hate relationship with golf seems to be present throughout the community, so I couldn't feel more at home. My love for golf has grown the past 8 years or so along with my love for movement and fitness. I am a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with a Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology and Health Promotion. These two things combined have prompted me to create personalized golf conditioning programs aimed at conditioning every skill level of golfer for a more powerful and mobile golf swing. I don't want to break any MGS rules, so please let me know if this is not allowed. However, I know this is my way of bringing great value to the community in hopes to improve golfer's mobility, strength, and power. Because, in the end, we really all just want to be a little better at this game. Who knows? Maybe it will end up winning you some more golf bets with your buddies. One thing I want to make sure I touch on is that I am not a specialist in the golf swing specifically. I do, however, have extensive knowledge of human movement patterns (biomechanics) and how to specifically train those patterns through a variety of strengthening and mobility techniques. So, if you are interested in becoming stronger and more mobile with your golf game in mind, feel free to email me directly. As I am getting started in my career, I can promise my rates are much lower than, say, personal trainers (who often have much less education on fitness and biomechanics than myself and other CSCS's). Regardless of whether or not you're interested, I look forward to being a part of the community! Your threads have already given me a ton of laughs and valuable information for my own golf game. I really look forward to hearing from you guys. Thanks! Kameron Email: kaeckard@hotmail.com
  7. As we get close to spring here in Wisconsin I wanted to post about a new (for me) fitness program I tried out this winter: Kai Fitness for Golf. The DVD is from 2012, but I haven't seen many reviews online for it. A lot of detailed program info is given on the website kaifitnessforgolf.com so I'll mainly focus on my own experiences. A little background info on me. As I approach 40 I've been trying to be more consistent in my fitness. I've gone through quite a few exercise programs the last few years (P90X3, Hammer and Chisel, Daily Burn Live to Fail, etc) but get bored easily and am always on the lookout for something new. This is the first time I've ever tried a golf specific workout program. The program is broken out into 4 phases with each phase containing 3 workouts. I have tried to do the Kai workouts on M-W-F with added cardio on Tuesdays and stretching/yoga on Thursdays. The program only suggests breaking the workouts apart by a day for recovery so there are a lot of ways to set your own schedule. Equipment needed is pretty minimal. The items I've used the most during the program are pictured below. I did invest in braided fitness bands since there are so many rotational exercises (and I didn't need an old one snapping off into my eye), but that's pretty much the only thing I didn't already have. Phase 1: Learn and Build – This program goes over the basic principles of a golf specific program and keeps things pretty simply. Workouts are typically in the 40-50 minute range and are scheduled to last 9 weeks, but I felt ready to move on much more quickly than that. They do show you progressive exercises if the basics are too easy. Phase 2: Strength and Control – The 2nd phase focuses more on heavier weights and full body exercises. This reminded me a lot of the workouts I had previously done through Beachbody or Daily Burn programs. Workouts here are again 40-50 minutes. The toughest exercise for me was probably weighted squats on a balance board/discs. Definetely not an exercise to do with heavy weights or my kids running around nearby. Phase 3: Power and Distance – Workouts here are much shorter and generally top out at 30 minutes. There are a lot more explosive plyometric type exercises. I liked this phase, but often felt like 30 minutes was kind of short compared to the first two phases. It seemed like there should be one or two more exercises added to each day here. Phase 4: In-season and scoring – Unfortunately I haven't gotten to this DVD yet as Wisconsin winters last about 11 months. There are also DVDs that cover swing fault exercises, pre-round warm-ups, and super fit workouts. If there's any interest I can check them out and post some quick thoughts on each. The other thing I wanted to mention before this gets too long is the customer service of Kai. When I received my shipment from his website the DVD package was broken. Although the DVD's all worked I sent an email to the generic website contact to let them know the package had been damaged in shipment. To my surprise Kai himself called me up that week to apologize and ship out 8 brand new DVD's free of charge. You have to love it when someone stands behind their product like that. Overall I'm fairly happy with the program and would have no problem continuing the in-season DVD this summer or starting the program over next winter. Kai seems like a quality trainer and the production value of the DVD's is above average. He also keeps it fairly straight and doesn't tell 900 of the same jokes like Tony Horton does. As a bonus he does have a slight accent, so it's hard not to think of the Swedish Chef at times. Not Kai: I don't think the program will get you in the best shape of your life or increase your clubhead speed 20 mph, but for me it feels like I can avoid the winter cobwebs this year. I was on a Trackman 4 simulator a few weeks ago and the numbers I was seeing were right in line with my July/August swing.
  8. I'm working on my fitness, don't really have time to go to a gym but I've taken up cycling and it's helping me to shed some weight. So, I have a decent winter fitness plan in place. Where I'm a bit lost, as someone who's never had formal golf instruction (aside from a 6 lesson stint 8 years ago), is what exactly to do during the winter golf-wise. So, I have access to an indoor putting/chipping facility and heated hitting bays. Further, there is a new TopGolf going in nearby. My thought is that I would try to get to one of these facilities 3 times a week throughout the winter. However, I'm not sure what to do when I'm there. I'm an 18 handicap and need to work on more consistent ball-striking (eliminating tops/duffs) and obviously a plethora of short-game issues. Cruising the interwebs, I found http://golfpracticeguides.combut it seems a bit spendy. What I like about it is the worksheets it provides because, as someone who has limited time during the week, worksheets would help me stay on point. What do you all think? Any suggestions? Thanks, Chappy
  9. As most of us will shortly be having the above view, I ask..........what are your winter "golf" plans? In my quest for scratch, I'm implementing a new winter plan that is specific to my game. Below will outline my weekly/permanent routine. 1. I will be cutting out alcohol 2. 1 hour of yoga and 1 hour of cardio every day 3. Hit at least 250 balls per week at an indoor range 4. Improved diet. (limit red meat, bad carbs, sugar, etc) 5. Research/practice implementing a better mental approach to the game Hopefully this will greatly aid in my quest for scratch. Do you have a winter plan?
  10. I'm not playing today due our first real cold front of the season. Windy too. So, I've been thinking about this past year and my golf game specifically. What did I accomplish? Where did I fail? What can I do differently in 2016 to better my game, etc, etc. Thinking, thinking. In January 2015 I decided I'd make a real effort to improve my game. How was I going to do this you ask? Three ways that I figured would certainly help. 1. Start taking lessons/coaching - more focused practice. 2. Drop a few pounds and improve my diet. 3. Start and maintain a weekly stretching program. Lessons/coaching - In February I took my first of 6 lessons so far this year. I worked with a local PGA Pro and occasional Champions Tour player. From the start we discussed what my objectives were and how we'd get there. In a nut shell I didn't need to make any drastic swing changes. I already had/have a decent swing. We worked more on some fundamentals and minor changes. Such as... ball position, alignment, where on the handle I grip the club (I know what you're thinking*), shot shaping, short game, etc, etc. I'll rate my lesson/coaching experience as a 10. Did it improve my ball striking and scoring? Yes. Defiantly and rather quickly. I'm now thinking of stepping things up for 2016. Right now I'd like to explore working with my Pro twice a week through the first 6 months of 2016 then once a month thereafter. Diet/weight control - Last January 2014 I went on the Eat Less by Plaid diet and dropped 15 pounds. I've continued to practice my method pretty much but gained back 5 pounds in 2015. I'll refocus starting in January 2016 and shave those 5 pounds quickly. I rate my success this year a 7.5. Stretching program - In 2014 I purchased a golf specific stretching program by Roger Fredericks. I've got to tell you; I've been pretty much a complete failure for two years with the program. The best I did was in 2014 when I worked it for 3 months and quit. Just as results were starting to show. Dumb. So... once again beginning in 2016 I start again. Let me say, it's not the program it's me. The program is very good and simple. And it doesn't take much time to go through each day. At home. Perhaps 20 minutes? But it will work. I'm determined to get stretched out this year. I believe this alone will do wonders for my game. Your game too. I rate my stretching as a failure. 0. So there you have it guys. My goal this year was to get my handicap down to a 5 or less. I don't think I'm going to make it unless I get to practice/play more before year end. Hopefully, I'll maintain my current 6. *my instructor at my first lesson had me grip down on the club. I now grip/hold the club with my left hand about1” to 1.5” below the butt end. (I play right-handed) I used to hold the club with the butt slightly resting on the meat portion inside my left palm. Now the butt extends slightly past my hand when gripped properly. My instructor said, “This is how pros hold the club.” Well that's for me. Take a look on TV sometime and you'll notice it. This alone made more noticeable and immediate improvement in ball striking than most any other thing we worked on all summer. Try it.
  11. I'm coming into my 4th golf season this year, and while I have improved each year I still feel like I am not playing up to my potential. I have yet to break 100 and I have a handicap of 32. None of this I am ashamed about but I want to become better. The past 2 years I've been taking lessons at Golftec and they have helped my swing tremendously. Pairing that with some natural athletic ability has me hitting the golf ball far but not necessarily playing better over a full 18 holes. So this season I am taking a different approach. Instead of just casually getting ready for the season I've decided to create a type of pre-season tune up or training camp for myself. My goals being I can start the season in a better position for success and having the ability to compete against others. Without further ado here is my pre-season plan: Starts Feb 1st ends April 19th 12 weeks total Diet: Right now my diet has been subpar at best. I started a new job where I don't get a long lunch to go grab some real food so it has been mostly junk food for lunch. When I come home I'm usually so tired I can't think of anything to eat so i either just snack on junk or order some fast food. Neither are good choices. I need to make some changes in my diet, the main one being eating real meals. I will start having breakfast each morning, and taking a balanced lunch and creating a menu for dinner so i can know what i will be having each night. On sundays i will make my lunches for the upcoming week so when I am tired from work i wont ruin the next day because i don't have a lunch. The weight watchers diet system will be my main guide. For me its quick and simple. I had used this in the past and lost around 60 lbs, so I know it works. (http://www.peertrainer.com/articles/weight_watchers_points.htm more info on how weight watchers works) Every week i will weigh in wearing the same clothes as the week before. Keeping a spreadsheet of weight loss. Also I will give updates on how I feel, energy level, clothes fitting differently etc. The goal I have set for myself is 30lbs by the end of the 10 weeks. That puts me at losing 3 pounds a week. A very attainable goal i believe. Gym: A better diet is only â…“ of the equation for me to hit the ground running this season. Getting back into the gym is another third. I plan to workout 2-3 times a week. Definitely each Tuesday and Thursday and hopefully Sundays as long as I don't have to work. The gym routine i will be doing is based on the workout routine i have used since HS basketball. I start with the lower body and work up the body. I have found this is good for creating a strong base which is key for golf since the lower body and core is more important for power than the arms. I also do 3 sets of 20 reps for each exercise. Then once i have done my lifting I will finish with 30 minutes of cardio. After my workout I like to sit in the sauna and stretch. The Workout 10 min warm up and stretch Standing Calf Raises- Left Leg 3x20 Right Leg 3x20 Both legs 3x20 Leg press - Left Leg 3x20 Right Leg 3x20 Both legs 3x20 Leg curls- Left Leg 3x20 Right Leg 3x20 Both legs 3x20 Hip abduction/adduction 3x20 Back Extensions- 3x20 Crunches & Hip raises 3x50 & 3x20 Core Bridge- 3x30s Bench press & push-ups- 3x20 & 3x20 Barbell Curls- 3x20 Tricep Pulldowns-3x20 Cable Rows- Left Arm -3x20 Right arm 3x20 Both arms- 3x20 Pullups- 3x20 30-45 minutes of Cardio Sauna & stretching Practice: I will be continuing my weekly lessons. As well adding in an extra practice session for a total of 2 a week. I plan to practice for about an hour each time. The first half of my practice will be focusing on what we worked on in the previous lesson. During that time I probably won't switch clubs much, the main goal being to ingrain the new motion or move. For the 2nd half of the practice I will switch clubs every 5 or so swings. The main focus being to make sure each shot draws and still trying to work on the new motion from the past lesson. Once spring time comes I will take one of my practice sessions outside to reintroduce myself to hitting off the turf. Also taking time to work on my short game and touch shots. Shots that are hard to work on indoors but ones that will save me many strokes this coming season. Hopefully this helps my game in the long run.
  12. Welcome To The Beginning Of The Season, Now Be Careful! How's that for a backhanded invitation? I know that many of you are on the verge of digging out of the drifts and getting on the course for the first time this year. You will have a great time! Your swing may be winter-rusty, but who cares, you are finally playing golf. For some of you, opening weekend at the course means 18, or maybe 36 holes a day. Your brain is fiending for more and more golf. Give it what it wants. Winter really sucked this year! Then on Monday, you'd get out of bed and hope to ditch work and play again, but that whole move-the-body-thing isn't working so well. You ran your golf engine in the red too soon. No gentile warm-up; no smooth transition from couch-time to golf-time. Nope, you played with the gusto of youth, and now you are feeling the no es bueno of your enthusiasm. Basically, you are in a place of pain because your body wasn't ready and isn't recovering quickly. What if you had a tool that could help you recover from physical activities faster, perhaps getting to a place of fitness where you avoid the pain in the first place? What if that tool involved electrical stimulation? “Have You Heard of Marc Pro?” That paraphrases an email that came into my inbox a while back. To paraphrase my reply, “no, what's that?” (My mastery of dialog is strong! I really should be working on a screenplay...) From the Marc Pro site: The Marc Pro is intended for muscle conditioning by stimulating muscle in order to improve or facilitate muscle performance. The Marc Pro is not intended to be used for therapy or treatment of medical diseases or medical conditions. I had heard about TENS machines before, and had a vague idea about how they use electricity to get rid of muscle fatigue. The Marc Pro sounded a bit like that, but muscle conditioning and facilitate muscle performance sounded like something more. So I took them up on the offer to try one out as a part of my fitness project. Anything that can help me boost my muscle performance, especially after sessions of weighted lunges, or extended golf weekends, is definitely something I am interested in trying. The fact that there is a whole page about the Marc Pro and the golfer on their site definitely added to my interest. Using The Marc Pro For anything to be useful to me, it needs to be easy. The Marc Pro fits that description. Basically, you attach the electrodes to the unit, and to your targeted muscle group, and then you turn on the Marc Pro and let the muscles begin their little dance. The Pro's of The Marc Pro Design Small Lightweight Simple controls for intensity and time Large, easy to read display Excellent instruction book Fully functional carrying case It really is easy to set up. You have two different channels that you hook up to two pairs of electrodes. You then place the electrodes on the muscles you want to work. Here are two of the pages showing the pairings I have used most often: Once attached, you dial up the intensity as high as you can tolerate, set the timer (usually 30 min for me) and then let the Marc Pro do its work. If you find that the contractions are not really hitting the muscle that you are targeting, just move the electrodes a bit. You can tell when you hit the sweet spot. What does it look like in action? Check out this video that I shot. Ignore my random hairiness and winter tan. I think that it is cool to watch the Marc Pro in action, though the wife does make me cover up my legs with a blanket if we are watching TV together while I'm hooked to the unit. You can follow THIS LINK to see a whole bunch of electrode placement options on some very fit models What is the Marc Pro Doing? First, let's look at the “from the company” info. From the Marc Pro site: The basis for post exercise recovery is the normalization of tissue through the movement of nourishment and waste. Marc Pro is specifically designed and excels at this particular task. The Marc Pro muscle conditioning device creates unique, strong, but completely non-fatiguing muscle contractions that set off a cascading series of physiologic events. We call this a Muscle Activated Recovery Cascade, or “MARC™” for short. The process begins with the activation of Nitric Oxide (NO), which dilates blood vessels and leads to increased flow delivering more oxygenated blood and nutrients to the area. The lymphatic and venous systems also require and benefit from localized muscle activity. Because of this, using the Marc Pro after physical activity helps move the related waste and deoxygenated blood away from the fatigued area(s). This exchange of nourishment and waste, without stress or fatigue, accelerates the recovery of the muscle. OK, so the Marc Pro causes the muscles to pump, increasing circulation to and from the muscle. This brings in O2 and removes “waste” and thus accelerates muscle recovery. Basically, circulation is enhanced, so recovery is enhanced. Does the electrical stimulation build muscle? Again, from the Marc Pro site: There are many EMS products that claim to create “six pack abs” or “explosive strength” while sitting on the couch, but these claims do not match the philosophy or beliefs of Marc Pro and the data given to support these claims is highly questionable. Additionally, those who have tried such methods report that the attempt can be extremely painful. The experts at Marc Pro have more than thirty years in the electrical stimulation industry and our consultant team has been involved in the fitness and strength industry even longer. With all of our combined experience, we have never seen real and/or practical evidence of muscle building while sitting on the couch. Marc Pro is not designed to build muscle on its own. The fact that we don't even attempt to do so allowed us to greatly alter our root technology to focus and be more ideal in the movement of nourishment and waste; the keys to recovery and conditioning. With that said, by decreasing the downtime between workouts training can occur more frequently. By being more fully recovered for your next workout your training can be more effective. And by conditioning with Marc Pro your muscles can do more before breaking down. All of this allows Marc Pro to significantly increase the benefits of your existing workouts. A recent study indicated that using Marc Pro during recovery enhances the effects of resistance exercise by increasing muscle strength while decreasing the feelings of muscle fatigue. That was a direct cut-and-paste from the Marc Pro site, but I think that it's an important concept for the unit. The Marc Pro is not intended to be like one of those infomercial belts that gives you abs without exercise. No free ride there. Using the Marc Pro will not build muscle, but it will help you to recover more effectively. That means that when you hit the gym the next time, your muscles are in better shape, thus you can workout more. That should lead to more muscle, but you do still need to go to the gym. You can read more of their exercise science material HERE What Did I Notice? OK so my living room is not equipped to measure nitric oxide, or angiogenesis, but it is able to measure my level of soreness. Some days after training, or maybe a day or two after training, my legs are so blasted that I walk like a gunfighter around the house. Playing golf has traditionally led to soreness in my left lower back (poor left hip range of motion). That spot has gone from sore to screaming twice in the past. Now when it gets sore, its iced and no-golfed immediately. So, I used the Marc Pro to hit the low back, quads, hamstrings, and calves, usually pairing quads with one of the other three for the 30 minute sessions. Does it do what it claims? Again, I don't have objective evidence, but the subjective scoring indicates that this thing is the real deal. When I have been sore, using the Marc Pro decreases the duration of the soreness, both in the legs and in the back. The contractions in the small muscles of the back are not as dynamic as the quad contractions, but they seem to be working. I'll keep using the Marc Pro, and not just because watching the muscle jump is cool. It is cool though. I see the Marc Pro usage as another component of a good fitness plan, golf or otherwise. I am hoping to play a lot this season. If the Marc Pro speeds up recovery time even a small percentage, that's time I can spend on the course. Cost The Marc Pro unit is a pricy $649.95. You can get 12 payments of $54.16 and it comes with a money back guarantee. Dropping the $650 may be tough all at once, but the payment play makes it about $2 a day. I know that is the kind of thinking that makes us all buy expensive things on payments, but the difference here is that using the Marc Pro could lead to playing more golf. I would gladly pay $2 per day to play more golf, and to not be as fatigued after playing. Final Thoughts I wish that I could give you some hard facts about the physical improvements from using the Marc Pro. The studies on their site provide some of that stuff; I just like to be able to do that myself. This is just a situation where I can't give you a definitive fact set. Do I think that it does what they say? Yes Does my soreness go away after using the unit? Yes Am I more rested and ready for my next round or training session? I think so Will I continue using the Marc Pro even now that the review is over? YES! The real test will come later this spring and summer when I hit my two-rounds-a-week pace. If I make it through August without a back spasm and lock up, that will be fantastic. Will I then give total credit to the Marc Pro? Probably not entirely, but it will have likely played a role. The Marc Pro science looks good, and it seems to be doing what they claim. All I can tell you is that I'm definitely continuing to use it and that I'll keep you posted. Read more about the Marc Pro at their site: HERE
  13. Dave's Fitness Gadget Review: Nike+ Fuelband SE http://www.nike.com/us/en_us/c/nikeplus-fuelband How's That New Year's Resolution Going? As we approach the end of January, we enter the time when 84.2% of people who made fitness resolutions on January 1st have already given that resolution up. I totally made up that number, but we all know that resolutions fall away when put to the steel of our daily lives. No one sets out to fail, but changing one's fitness patterns is difficult. How do I know this? Have you been reading my fitness thread? That first post is a testament to the challenges of getting fit by changing one's exercise and eating habits. It may also be the longest single post by word count in any MGS thread. New update coming this Friday by the way. One of the things that I have come to realize in the fitness game is that one needs help to be successful. I have been fortunate enough to find my personal trainer, Charles Burton. Charles has guided me out of the 200's and hopefully toward a fitter future. But working consistently with a personal trainer requires time, and no small amount of money. Not everyone who wants to be fit has those resources. Desire, yes. A quality trainer, excess capital, and “leisure” time, maybe not. So what can you turn to for help? Electronics, of course. Is there anything these days that electronics don't help us with? Need to get someplace? GPS in the phone to the rescue. Want to find a tasty new IPA? There's an app for that. Want that Hot Pocket ready in under 3 minutes? Fire up the Science Oven! The human relationship with technology is nothing new, but the power of our tech tools has exploded in the last decade. Processors are getting smaller and smaller, reaching the point now where they are wearable. Wearable tech to help you get fit, that's the Nike+ Fuelband SE. A Fitness Bracelet That Does Something I have owned a number of bracelets that supposedly enhance fitness and health. I have a cool solid copper one, one with magnets and ions, and another one that uses holograms for fitness. The makers of these bracelets make lots of claims, and I believed them enough to buy them, but I am not sure I ever read any real science backing the claims. Many of us want fitness help so desperately that we are willing to believe in shaky science, provided it makes getting fit as easy as putting on a bracelet. The Fuelband is different. Nike doesn't claim that the Fuelband will make you fitter by ions, or magnets. Instead, the Nike Fuelband helps your fitness by tracking your movements and motivating you to move more. Movement. Move more. Over the course of my rather intensive fitness project, I have really come to believe that fitness is a simple equation of calories and activity. When my weight loss fell off over December, it directly correlated to lower activity rates and increased calories. My exposure to magnetic fields and ions remained unchanged. Nike+ Fuelband SE: The Trainer on Your Wrist The Fuelband fits into the exercise side of the calorie/exercise equation. First of all, it is able to log steps, calories, Nike Fuel, and even tell the time. If you want to log 10,000 steps a day, the Fuelband will let you know when you are there. You can also turn on or off the different measurements via a simple interface with your phone or computer. Initially, I set mine to Fuel/Calories/Time, but then I changed calories for steps because the calorie number was not one that I could easily interpret in terms of goal setting. Steps were easier to target. The really helpful measured matrix though is Nike Fuel. What Is Nike Fuel? NikeFuel is a single, universal way to measure all kinds of activities—from your morning workout to your big night out. Uniquely designed to measure whole-body movement no matter your age, weight or gender, NikeFuel tracks your active life. That definition is a little abstract, but accurate. Don't ask me for the units that go with Nike Fuel. Is it calories/minute/pound/age/number of dogs owned? I don't know. What I do know is that as you move, you accrue Nike Fuel, and as movement intensity increases, so do Fuel generation rates. Although it sounds like you are earning the Nike Fuel, it actually makes more sense thinking from the burning fuel direction. You set a Nike Fuel target for your day, and then move yourself until you reach it. Motivation and Rewards You are in charge of setting your Nike Fuel goal for your day. I chose 3000 because that seemed to put me above a lot of people in the 40-49 age bracket where my body currently resides. Ah ego. Once you set that goal, you just clip on the bracelet and go about your day. Want to check progress, or the time, then just press the single button on the band and the display lights up to let you know the details. Just press it again if you need to cycle through the data points. Side Track: Comfort Before we get into the discussion of my Nike Fuel experiences, let's talk about the comfort of the Fuelband. There are three sizes available, based upon your wrist circumference. My measurement put me at the edge of the middle and large size. This would be a bit annoying except the band has some easily adjustable links that allow you to customize the size. With the large link, the band fit just a bit loose, while with the small one, it conformed to my wrist. The band itself is not very soft or flexible, so you do want it to be set to a comfortable size. I wore it tight and loose for a few days, and went with the looser setting. Once sized, I really never really noticed it was on. GOLF NOTE: The band is very light, and I did not ever notice it when playing golf. Not even when putting with my glove off. I am not a watch wearer either, so wrist ornamentation is not the norm. I think that speaks to the comfort. Swing away and earn that fuel. Back to Motivation and Fuel For me, reaching my fuel goal really became a motivator to move around. It also made me realize some activity facts about my life. Working with Charles or playing golf earns lots of Nike Fuel. Sitting on the couch, or typing on the computer, not so much. On days when I trained, played golf, then walked my three miles, I smashed my 3000 goal. On days when I wrote, or drank beer and watched college bowl games for exercise, the fuel count remained low. The Fuelband has made me do funny things to reach that number. More than once, I have gone out to the garage in the evening to do “aerobics” when I am a few hundred Fuel short of the goal. If I was not using the Fuelband, there is no way that I would be running in place in the garage for 15 minutes at the end of my day. It motivates you to reach that goal. I am usually focused on the total daily goal, but the band can motivate you to move more each hour if you want. Just set the reminder and you are ready to win the hour. Badges! One of the bonus features of the associated Fuelband app is that it awards badges for your Nike Fuel accomplishments. Beat your daily goal by 1.5x? Have a “water” badge. Double your daily goal? That's an “ice” badge for you. They are silly, and in the grand scheme of the universe, worthless, but they did motivate me. I was at 5500 one day, and realized that I only needed 500 more to double. I pushed myself to be more active to reach that 6000 mark. Getting to 5500 took a lot of work that day, the band and badge made me work more. My trainer Charles has also been wearing a Fuelband SE for the past month or so and he LOVES IT! Right away, he saw the motivation that could come with the generation of Nike Fuel, and he had fun earning it. One day, he had to sit through a day of PGA training and his only complaint was that his Nike Fuel count was so low from just sitting. We have motivated each other to earn Fuel/badges, often comparing notes about the amount earned in different activities. In the land of fitness, I trust Charles' insights implicitly, and he thinks that there is a huge benefit to lashing a Nike+ Fuelband to your wrist. He has said more than once that the Fuelband is a great way for him to keep his clients motivated. Cost The app is free, but the Nike+ Fuelband will set you back $149. It's no small investment, but it does work as a motivator for movement. I could say something sappy about how much is your health worth to you, but I won't. What I will say is that the $149 equates to about 2-3 hours with a personal trainer. The band doesn't have the trainer's knowledge, of course, but it does push you to be more active like a trainer. You have probably spent that much money on the gym that you never have time to go to”. If you need motivation to increase your physical output, the Fuelband will work. Other Nuts and Bolts Charges via USB and seems to go about a week on a full charge. Connects to phone via Bluetooth to sync Fuel Phone keeps a log of days/weeks/ months You can connect to friends through app/Nike site to see how they are doing Band comes with a few color choices along with limited metal editions Display does get washed out a bit in the sun, but reads excellent in shadow or lower light Earn Some Fuel Most of us really need motivation to get more active. That's what the Nike+ Fuelband SE is all about. You can't cheat the band, it knows how active you are. Follow the goals of the band, perhaps supplementing with a calorie counting app, and you have a concrete fitness plan. Don't be surprised if you come to look forward to increasing the line of lights on the bottom of the band as you approach your goal. When you reach your goal, the Fuelband plays a little animation for you as well. I thought of including a video of the animation, but really, you need to earn it to see it. Don't be surprised if putting on the Fuelband is the first thing you do in the morning, and taking it off the last thing you do at night. I do that to maximize my Nike Fuel, but really what I am doing is maximizing my activity. The band does its job.
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