January 16, 2017

Resistance Training: Some Helpful Resources

image: pixabay

By Crabby McSlacker

So yeah, wary Cranky Fitness readers may be wondering, which kind of "resistance" are we talking about here?

The kind that has you flexing your quads and glutes and lats and pecs? Or the kind that has you gathering in the streets and haranguing politicians and otherwise causing a ruckus?

The answer is: both!

Getting Physically Stronger:

I will "resist" the temptation to start from scratch with a long explanation about the many health benefits of strength training. You know already it's good for your body, plus psychologically it makes you feel all badass and fierce and not-to-be-messed with. So you're going to do some, right?

But there are so many websites and apps out there that it can seem too overwhelming and complicated to design a routine. Especially for those who don't have an abundance of equipment at their disposal.

But I just came across a great link recently posted at The Hub by Tiffany Reiss (who has contributed some great blog posts here in the past), and it impressed me as being one of the most simple, straightforward, and speedy compilations of bodyweight resistance exercises I've seen before. So I thought I'd share it.

It doesn't craft your routine for you--which it shouldn't, because it doesn't know if you can already lift a grand piano or can't wrangle a gallon of milk into the refrigerator. But it gives you quite a few options at different levels. (It even theoretically comes with an app so you can haul it with you when you work out, a handy feature for those of us with too few brain cells willing to commit to retaining and retrieving information. But I couldn't get the link to work myself, so you may just want to play the video itself on your phone).

Here's the youtube link in case the embedded video below is hosed for any reason:

Also, if you're looking for an even more comprehensive guide to resistance training, from beginner routines through hardcore bodybuilder stuff,  I'd also recommend the encyclopedic ExRx. It's one of the ugliest fitness sites in existence, but there's a crapload of information in there.

But yeah, I seem to be compelled once again to address a different sort of resistance.

Dealing With The Current Appalling Political Situation

(Do you see kitties? I do!
Thank god for maka)

No amount of press coverage of one outrage after another seems to sway a significant portion of the country. They will keep voting based on anger, vague (or explicit) prejudices, wishful thinking, or just plain orneriness. But I don't think they're in the majority.

I suspect there are a lot of people "in the middle" whom I believe are good people, also concerned with scary way things seem to be going. Maybe they were just confused, or angry? Perhaps they found themselves momentarily overcome with emotion and impulse, casting a vote for Donald Trump the same way one might scarf an entire pepperoni pizza or a carton of ice cream, even knowing it might not be the wisest choice going forward? It feels good to vent anger! And gosh, who would believe that a careless emotion-based vote might cause that nice family down the street, the one whose little girl has leukemia, to lose their health insurance and never be able to get any again because of a pre-existing condition? That couldn't really happen, right?

So yeah, I'm being offensive again I know, and will probably lose more readers, but I'm scared and angry and I can't seem to keep my mouth shut.

To those of you who are still left: It's true, mid term elections are still a long ways off and won't be likely to deliver much relief unless people get and stay engaged. So let's get moving, shall we? We can't just sit back and normalize this.

Four Forms of Resistance to Make You Feel Slightly Less Shitty About Trump's Inauguration:

1. Take to the Streets

Selma to Montgomery Marches

I've already lost a number of readers over this, and some I'll really miss. But I don't think this is just a "normal" political squabble. As hyperbolic as it may sound, I believe the fundamentals of our democratic system are under attack, and we are facing the rise of an administration as dangerous, ignorant and unprincipled as any we've ever seen in the U.S.

I'm posting this on Martin Luther King Jr Day. It's good to remember that historically, ordinary people getting out of their houses and turning out for causes they believe in has made a difference. It is unlikely you will have to contend with fire hoses or attack dogs, but you may miss a Zumba class. I say, go for it. Protests get news coverage, and disrupt the narrative of a docile, complacent electorate willing to let incompetence and corruption slide. Plus, bonus: protests and criticism of any kind give the Great Orange One hives.

I really really wish I could be in D.C. for the Women's March on Washington, but I also think it's important that we march locally too, so check to see if there's a Woman's March in your area.

I'll be marching in San Diego.

But what if you're not a woman or have other issues you want to highlight? Not a problem! Huffington Post has a compilation of AntiTrump Protests, not exhaustive but there are quite a few. (Note, annoying video sound may play, mute your speaker first). And I'm sure a little industrious googling with your local info may dig up something closer to where you live.

2. Harass Your Congressional Representative Effectively. Or Thank Them!

Facebook petitions that circulate only among your liberal friends don't help anything.  What does?

There are tricks to getting heard and influencing elected representatives. To find thes out, download the Indivisible Guide.

I mean really, take a second and do it. It's prepared by former congressional staffers who know what the hell they're talking about.  They have sneaky tips, some you might not think of. Then follow up and call or write or show up somewhere, particularly if you live somewhere Outside the Liberal Bubble.

3. Volunteer or Send Cash

Money and manpower are going to be needed to fight this battle.

Time magazine has a list of Anti-Trump charities (warning, sound), as does Slate. No doubt there are local organizations that will need your help too, and there are tons of various suggestions all over the web.

4. Try to be Extra Nice to The People Around You.

This doesn't mean saying silent in order to be "polite" if someone says something clueless and offensive. But it's definitely a time to be careful about how we express ourselves. I'm know I've been guilty of a little obnoxiousness myself and have resolved to walk myself back a little, even if I ain't gonna shut up entirely.

Because even the most justified anger and fear aren't a good excuse for rudeness. Conversely, try going out of your way to be kind and compassionate to others, even if it's just being sweet to some lonely old semi-delusional dude in a grocery store line who would happily vote to deport you or invalidate your marriage or make sure you can't have birth control. This "being nice" stuff is healing and restorative. (We'll just kick have to kick his ass at the voting booth next time we get the chance).

How about you guys, are you planning any Resistance this week, of either the physical or political variety?


  1. I think it's great that you posted your "rant" (Hey, I've heard rants, and that was no rant) on MLK day. Because we should remember what he didn't do as much as what he did.
    If he had advocated violent resistance, he would never have made the changes in society that he did. And I cannot change the mindset of some of my relatives down in Southern California, who are confidently expect a wall to rise up any day now. But I can do nice almost as well as a Canadian.

    "A positive attitude might not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worthwhile."

    1. Merry, you definitely can do Canadian-style nice, which should come in handy for the Great Coastal Canadian Annexation, in which Canada adopts all of us coastal dwellers and lets us be a province. Might be unlikely but I dream of it daily.

      Wish the MAKA app worked on more sites, but I always get a kick out of it when it does.

  2. And I LOVE the MAKA app. Thank you for letting us know about it :)

  3. I'm sorry to hear you have lost readers for posting your post-election reality. I keep hoping my more conservative friends will stay around to have festive discussions. Unfortunately it seems many are unwilling to discuss and consider opinions other than their own. *shrug* It is what it is.

    On the other front: I'm trying to up my physical resistance training. I'm loving Tony Horton and his 22 Minute Hard Corp and P90X3. It's great to run 4 or 5 miles 3 times a week. It's more fun to wow people with "I did 81 burpees during my workout this morning!" (And almost puked...)

    1. Holy crap you did 81 burpees?!?!?!?!?! Hope you are feeling super bad-ass and smug!

      And yeah, I've gotten email that was pretty personally insulting. The funniest complaint (aside from the notion that I'm constantly agitating for special rights, which is perplexing, unless we're talking about the right to calorie-free cupcakes) was the assertion that my blog has gotten so whiny lately as to be unreadable. Like what part of CRANKY fitness makes whiny a surprise?

      So I really appreciate those of you who are hanging in there!

  4. This mugwump will not be protesting because i'm busy working. That doesn't mean i'm pleased with everything that is happening, and i will be letting our representatives know just what i like and what i don't.

    1. You do so much good work messymimi! And I think it's great you let your representatives know what's on your mind. Plus I love your apt use of the word mugwump. (Though I confess I'd forgotten it's meaning and had to google!)

  5. Crabby, good for you for rounding up things one can do. I am not sure if there's anything I can actively do at this point from up in Canada other than offer my unqualified support. If we had a march handy to go along with one of yours I'd be in it.
    Resistance is not futile.

  6. Thanks Leah! I think we need you awesome Canadians to offer to annex the U.S. coastal states, it could be a win-win! I can't imagine the U.S. republicans would object because they'd be even more powerful in the middle part that remained. Whaddya say? :)

  7. Keep on telling us how you feel because you have a lot of support! I especially appreciate having a list of things I can do to have my voice heard...even if I live inside one of the biggest bubbles of a blue state...I still intend on preaching to the choir :-)

    Also absolutely love that video!! Never again will I be at a loss for bodyweight moves. *high five*

    1. You go ahead and preach Allie, the choir loves to sing along! And I can't imagine you were ever at a loss for bodyweight moves before, I've seen you work out. You got that stuff nailed! :)

  8. Canadian, so he's not my president to protest, but I am with you in spirit. It still makes me shake my head to think that there are people who actually support him and believe him. That's one of the big things that gets me really...I saw a lot of complaints that Hilary is corrupt (which she may very well be - she's a politician), but they actually think Trump is not corrupt? I don't get it.

    1. I don't get it either JavaChick! And I think a lot of the "corrupt" narrative was unfair, Hilary's been hounded for ever slight misstep for decades. Every politician has to sugarcoat things some times and cut deals to get stuff done, but no one has been put to the obsessive sort of scrutiny she has. While trump got a complete pass! Grrrr...

  9. Protest tend to occur on weekends, when I am working, but I have asked three of my friends--DC, Boston, and Louisville--to wear my name when they march.
    I have found the website forms you have to use to email your Congress people and done so, irritating as it is to have to fill in all the information for every single time. Realized why I hadn't written them in a while. I am fortunate in my representative. Yarmuth, I'm told, was an organizing force not just a presence at the Louisville rally for ACA (which I only heard of after it happened, but of course I was at work!) and Rand Paul, seldom as I agree with him, seems to be reasonable on the issue. I've thanked them, but what do I say to Mitch McConnell who has not held a single position I agreed with since he was Jefferson County Judge Executive when I was in high school fifty years ago? "Please change your mind as you never have in all the times I've suggested you do so over the decades."

    That video made me sad. So many things that used to be easy that I can no longer do at all thanks to my foot and my shoulder. (Some of them I looked at and went "That's supposed to be exercise???") Mixed with a number of things I've never been able to do at all, or in the case of pull-ups, since I was twelve. Arrgh.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

    1. I know it sounds like an uphill battle Mary ANne but sure appreciate that you're fighting it! And damn, injuries are so frustrating, sorry to torment you with a video that for you is no help at all!

  10. A couple of my friends are going down to Washington for the women's march. I didn't knit any pink pussy hats but I did run around town picking up pink wool for those that do knit. We have a march here in Toronto as well for those that can't go to Washington. It may not be our president but your neighbours to the north are in this with you!

    1. Good to hear Cindy, I doubt your country would ever do something so completely clueless. Get me out of here!!!!

    2. Uhm. Kevin O'Leary the loud-mouth from Shark Tank wants to run for head of the conservative party here. SOooo, we may be looking for some sympathy in the future as well!

  11. When I woke up the day after the election and asked Siri who won I couldn't help myself. I wept in the bed. Wept I tell. As a Canadian I am all for the Great Coastal Canadian Annexation!

    Sorry you lost readers, but really, whose loss was it?

    Thanks for the resistance video. I was inspired to get up and do 10 squats. Yay me!

    1. Thanks Kimbereley and yay for the squats!!!

      I seriously wish someone would figure out a way to implement the GCCA. The U.S. is two countries now, and like a really bad marriage, I think the answer may be divorce. We'd all be happier (except for Blues currently trapped in Red states and vice versa).

  12. Hi Crabby,

    I totally get it. Our government officials here in South Africa are also a very interesting bunch.

    I love resistance, I eat it for breakfast! No, I mean literally. Resistant starch like oatmeal. (Cue Star Wars music).

    PS: Love the regular posts. Keep 'em coming!

    And my weight training.
    Ive slacked.
    WHO AM I? Carla McSlacker??

  14. 81 burpees yikes! Keep it up!

    If there was just 1 exercise I would be allowed to do ever it was burpees, cardio+strength all in one. For body weight exercises only you can't beat the burpees.

    If I would be allowed to add just one thing it would be resistance bands, they would come right after burbees, smaller, cheaper and lighter than kettlebells. so they come close send after the burpees.

    not sure if my message shows here i tried twice and didn't work oh well sorry if shows more than once :)

  15. Hi, Really great effort. Everyone must read this article. Thanks for sharing.


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