Lifting weights should be simple. You go to a place with a bunch of metal and pick it up and put it down until you look like The Incredible Hulk. But weightlifting—like any other worthwhile pursuit—requires study, planning, and care to succeed at, which sucks.
Weightlifting is also no fitness panacea. There are few things you can do at the gym that you can’t undo at the Taco Bell on the way home, and no amount of deadlifts is going to prepare you for a marathon. That said, it’s fun and exercise is good, so let me Sherpa your climb up the mountain of strength, past the filthy Ganges of Internet Broscience.
Let’s start with stuff. Lifting equipment falls into three categories, the stuff you’ll need, the stuff you’ll probably want, and the stuff you might eventually want.
Since I’ve started I’ve done a lot of research on form and so far I have really preferred taking tips from powerlifters over bodybuilders, they just seem to be no nonsense and focus mostly on lifting the most weight possible without hurting yourself. Listen to powerlifters in the gym; listen to bodybuilders in the kitchen.
If your diet has certain restrictions, it can make accepting invitations to dinners or parties complicated when the host isn’t aware of your diet’s ins and outs. Here’s a simple, and polite, way to safely stick to your diet and still enjoy the gathering.
Your gym culture can often make or break your fitness experience, so it’s important that you go to one that suits you. There’s a reason CrossFit appeals to so many fitness first-timers and veterans alike: It’s more of a community than it is a place where you splash around in a puddle of your own sweat.
If you’ve seen that classic episode of Seinfeld, “The Implant,” where George Costanza double-dips a chip at a wake, maybe you’ve wondered if double-dipping is really like “putting your whole mouth right in the dip!”
What if the second dip is performed with the not bitten end of the chip/cracker/vegetable/etc? I admit – I’d been blasé about double dipping until reading the article. I’m not typically getting sick like some I know, but that doesn’t mean I’m not an asymptomatic carrier.
Jerks are everywhere, but people being jerks in the gym can be especially grating. All you want to do is lift heavy stuff in peace, but there they are, with their sweaty butt imprints on a bench, loud conversations on the phone, and equipment strewn all over the floor. Oops—does that sound like you? Here’s how to make the gym a better place for all.
Chocolate has not always been the common confectionary we experience today. When it first arrived from the Americas into Europe in the 17th century it was a rare and mysterious substance, thought more of as a drug than as a food. Christine Jones traces the history and literature of its reception.
Whether you’re abroad, or going out to a foreign restaurant locally, you need to be sensitive to the dining etiquette of the culture. This infographic (png) gives you a broad overview of table manners around the world.
Even if it’s just one night at a friend’s house, they’ll appreciate your sensitivity to showing proper manners. The chart has a list of “dos” and “don’ts for:
Western etiquette says slurping is bad – and yes, as a result many of us find the sound irritating. And it can be messy with spray… But in some eastern cultures, eating very silently is rude. Like how burping is a compliment to the chef? Either way, ramen shops are often clear about the importance of slurping.