Fitness Quest: Trap Bar – Finally Used One

Well, today was quite a day for me training-wise. Because of the ongoing pain in my left elbow I’ve been focusing on lifts which don’t involve movement of the arms. Most of these lifts, oddly enough, focus on the legs. So after squats, calf presses, leg presses, I actually still had some energy (but I was starting to feel it) and there in the corner of the gym I saw it – an unused trap bar.

Even though I’ve been lifting for more than 30 years now I have never used a trap bar. What’s more I’ve been wimping out and not deadlifting like I should so I figured why not give it a try? And guess what? Like Mikey of the old Life commercials – I liked it! It was nice to do deadlifts without hitting my shins against the bar and if it weren’t for the fact I had a little trouble holding my grip I could have gone heavier.

Plus, in other news, I learned about the Jefferson Lift (aka the Jefferson Squat or the Jefferson Deadlift) as well today. I didn’t give it a try yet, but I will next leg day and let you know how it goes.


No Short Cuts

In one of the Facebook groups I participate in we’ve been discussing some different body weight exercises and different types of exercise equipment over the years and it occurs to me that we, as humans, are always looking for that “quick fix” to get healthy. We are always searching for the magic exercise or that one piece of equipment that will do the trick and finally let us reach our goals.

Don’t believe me? Just turn on the television early any given morning and you’ll find ads for “Total Gym” this, “Body Blast” that, “PX-99” or whatever number they are up to now. In the past i remember ab rollers, rockers, and slides. Thigh masters and belly busters, and more gimmicks and gadgets than I can remember!

And even for the more serious lifters there have been “gimmicks” and fads too. Remember the first Universal machine? Nautilus equipment (state of the art in the eighties)? What about Soloflex, Bowflex, and I don’t know what other flex? Bullworker? These were (and are) all variations of the same principle. Lift heavier weights (aka increase resistance) and you will get stronger. Whether it’s from lifting iron and lead or carbon rods and rubber bands resistance is the key.

Even with plain old body weight exercises we have fads: crossfit (which does include weights I believe), planking, aerobics, Zumba, dance aerobics, “yoba” (yoga and Zumba combined), etc.

Now, to be fair, I think that all these things probably did work to one degree or another. If the person who bought or tried them actually used them more than a few days. That’s the trick. It doesn’t matter so much what you do as long as you do it. The truth is that there is only one way to build a bigger (or smaller), better, and healthier you – you have to exercise more and eat less (or eat more if you’re bulking – but most of us don’t have a problem getting enough calories. Nutrients are another matter).

I’m actually a fan of a few of the items and workouts I’ve listed above (I enjoyed working out with Nautilus equipment and still use a variety of machines – especially when I don’t have a spotter). There’s nothing wrong in using something as long as you use it. But you need one other thing along with the device/gadget/gimmick/fad…patience.

And don’t get me started on supplements…


PS – I’ve posted a few pictures of my favorite workout fads below. I haven’t used them all, but know people who have!

Tricep Bar
Tricep Bar – I use one of these
Universal Machine
Universal Machine
Indian Club Training
Indian Clubs
Arm or Bicep Blaster