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Holiday Grab Bag: Ten of our Favorite Fitness and Health Articles

By L. K. Regan

Happy holidays from RealJock! We've had a great year with all of you, our members and readers, and we're looking forward to an incredible 2010. We know that a lot of you are also looking toward the future—namely, toward how to make changes, improvements, tweaks and modifications in your fitness and health goals for the new year. We're not going to say the dreaded R-word—but whatever word you choose, we thought you might like a little inspiration. So, we've chosen 10 of our favorite pieces from the RealJock archives to offer food for thought. We hope they'll help you get started on a fulfilling 2010—and we're looking forward to coming along for the ride.

Ten Great Ideas for 2010

  1. Six Tips for Finding Your Perfect Gym: Are you new to gym culture and looking to find a place to workout? Or, are you sick of the dump you've been paying your dues to for the last few years? Time to join a new gym. And it's got to be the right gym or let's face it, you won't keep going. Here are concrete tips on what to look for, and why.

  2. How to Hire the Right Personal Trainer: If you want to make real changes in the new year, you may want to seek professional help. A therapist can help with the trauma from holidays with family—and the right personal trainer can help with the results of holiday food. But again, it has to be the right trainer. Here's how to find him.

  3. Tabata Training: Our martial arts expert James Parker has to stay fighting fit, year round. The key to his success? Interval training. He introduced us to Tabata training, which is like intervals from hell, where you go all out for a very short period (20 seconds), followed by an even shorter rest. You only go for 20 minutes—but you'll be begging for mercy.

  4. Take a Life Inventory to Find Your Wants and Needs: Here's an exercise of a different sort. From life coach and spiritual guide Joe Weston, a technique for deciding what is really important to you in life, and how to go about obtaining it. In the end, you may need less than you'd think to be content.

  5. How to Create an Effective Exercise Progression: If you want to push a bit harder in the new year, we're all for it—but you should go at it safely and with a plan. That depends on building a progression of exercises to build your base strength, and allow you to develop from that base. Here's Billy Polson to tell us which exercises to do in what order.

  6. Cardio Zone Training, Parts I, II and IIII: Our good friend Devin Wicks, the Fitness Operations Director at the University of California, Berkeley, came up with this three-part program designed to help guys train to their lactic acid threshold. Part one trains endurance; part two begins working with the lactic acid threshold, and part three focuses on speed. In other words: get the holiday pounds off, fast. Go hard or go home, friends.

  7. The Asstastic Workout: The name says it all, no? You need to get your butt back in shape. Literally. Not to worry—Diakadi super-trainer Mike Clausen has a series of exercises designed to give you a butt you can bounce a dime on. Plan to start walking into rooms backwards.

  8. Build a Budget Home Gym: You do not have to be a gym guy to get fit in the new year. If you're not one for crowded locker rooms and equipment soaked in other people's sweat, there is another option. With a small investment, you can build a perfectly workable gym at home. Now you can finally workout in your underwear.

  9. The Breakfast Dilemma Nutritionists tell us that the key to weight loss is eating breakfast; likewise, you won't be getting through your 2010 pumped-up workouts without fuel. Here are suggestions for what makes a healthy breakfast, and some of it may be a surprise to you (think: tacos). Bon appetit!

  10. The RealJock 12-Week Workouts: Last but by no means least, you are going to need an extended workout program for 2010. We can get you through the first 12 weeks of the year—and then the next 12, and the three months after that as well. Get started with our Strength Foundation Workout Program, courtesy of Devin Wicks; move on to the Muscle Building Workout Program, devised by Mike Clausen; and then put yourself through Billy Polson's Strong and Lean Workout Program.
We hope these helpful tips will get you started on 2010 in style. Happy holidays from all of us at RealJock!