Fitness News & Views

A Publication of Graham Fitness

Dec 15, 2014

1 Corinthians 6: 19-20


Do You Suffer from Back Pain?

Do You Want Relief?


Do you suffer with lower back pain? Would you spend $499 to get permanent relief? In one week, you will begin getting relief. In five weeks, you will be pain free.


I guarantee this simple exercise program will work for you, or I will refund every penny of your money. Who else offers a money-back guarantee? Have you been to doctors, chiropractors, or massage therapists and spent tons of money with little or no relief? Have they refunded any of your money? I guarantee results, but I have never yet had to refund a dime, because this program works.


The program consists of 3 simple relaxing exercises you do on your own every day for a month. In addition you will work with me two days a week for five weeks - 10 sessions in all. After that, if you continue doing the 3 simple exercises three days a week on your own, you will not experience any more back pain. To set up a free, no-obligation consultation, give me a call at 803-447-8557 or email me at .




Merry Christmas!

Early Christians didn't celebrate the birth of Jesus. Christmas started about 200 years after his death. The Romans had a winter celebration called Saturnalia, and they decided that would be a good time to have a birthday party for Jesus. That's why we celebrate his birthday in December instead of the spring when it more likely occurred.


I can foresee the time, maybe not too far in the future, when all references to Jesus are removed from these events, and we return to a festival more like the pagan Saturnalia. I am praying for our country. I hope you will do the same, and please, keep Christ in your Christmas this year and every year.



          Can you look at someone and tell if they are overweight or obese? Most people can't, according to a new study presented by the United Kingdom Congress on Obesity. Researchers asked 1000 people to look at 15 pictures of different men and tell whether they were normal weight, overweight, or obese. Most of the participants could select the normal weight guys, but were far less accurate when classifying the overweight and obese pictures. This is understandable since only 36 percent of Americans consider themselves to be overweight, even though 69 percent actually are.

            What might be even more alarming is that doctors are just as lousy at determining who is overweight simply by looking. In a follow-up study, 315 doctors were asked to look at the same pictures and determine those who were overweight and obese. On average, they correctly picked only 8 out of the 15.

            Doctors need to know whether a patient is overweight, because carrying too much fat can lead to a host of other problems such as sleep apnea, joint pain, acid reflux, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and depression to name just a few. Doctors are often hesitant, even embarrassed, to bring up the subject, especially if they are overweight themselves.

            If you are concerned about your own weight, the most reliable visual cue is your waistline. Visceral adiposity, or fat around the middle, has been linked directly to heart disease and diabetes. A measurement of 35 inches or more for women and 40 inches or more for men is cause for concern.

            I can hold a plank for about six minutes. So what does that accomplish? Not much. It's really a waste of about 5½ minutes. Planks help develop body stability by strengthening the abs, but holding them longer than 30 seconds won't produce better results. In fact, doing so is pretty much a waste of limited training time.

            According to Jonathan Ross, an award winning personal trainer and author of the book Abs Revealed, the plank burns almost no calories yet provides a high level of discomfort. If you can hold a plank longer than 30 seconds, add movement. There are several plank variations you can add. Here are five to get you started:

  • While in the plank position, lift one foot then the other off the ground.
  • Or you can raise one elbow, then the other off the ground. This is considerably more difficult.
  • While holding the plank position on your elbows and toes, rock forward and backward. Keep your back straight throughout the movement.
  • You can vary this by rocking side to side, but again keep your back straight.
  • And if you really want to make it tough, make circular movements with your torso. This combines the forward-backward and the side to side motions.

These are just a few suggestions, but I think these will be enough to challenge you for a while. Remember just holding a plank for more than 30 seconds doesn't do much for you. According to Ross, it's like repeating the first grade over and over.




       I can't get by without owning up to my predictions back in August for Carolina's football season, but I'll keep this brief. I predicted an 11-1 season with the only loss being to Auburn. I predicted wins over Texas A&M, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Clemson - all of which were losses. Instead of 11-1, Carolina was 6-6. The Gamecocks had two wins over legitimate teams all year - Georgia and Florida. They lost three games they should have won - Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee - and one they could have won - Auburn. They were whipped soundly by Texas A&M and Clemson.

            It was not a good year, to say the least. The defense started out terrible and never got any better. The offense played well enough to win most of their games, but they couldn't get anything going against Clemson.

            The Gamecocks will go to Shreveport to play Miami, also 6-6, in the Independence Bowl. Who knows what will happen there? Who knows what will happen with the defensive coaching staff, and who knows what next year will look like? There are a lot of unanswered questions with this team. But, hey, it's only sports, right?

           May I suggest that you not leave any cookies and milk for Santa this year?   You're not doing the old man any favors. Think about this. Santa makes deliveries at about 91.8 million homes on Christmas Eve. (You've got to trust me on this one. I've run the numbers.) If every home leaves the fat man one chocolate chip cookie and an 8-ounce glass of 2% milk, Santa will consume over 20.6 billion calories during his one night of work. (91.8 million homes X 225 calories per home = 20.6 billion calories.) Since 3500 calories equals one pound, the man in red will gain approximately 5.9 million pounds in 24 hours. (20.6 billion total calories divided by 3500 calories per pound = 5.9 million pounds gained.) Now I know he's gonna burn off a few calories lifting that load of stuff he delivers and going up and down all those chimneys, but still, what with all those cookies and milk, he'll still balloon up 3 or 4 million pounds, and that's just not good. So nix on the snacks this year. Besides, the old man just doesn't have time for all that noshing. He can only spend about a thousandth of a second at each stop and make it to all those houses in 24 hours.



           I wrote this article 10 years ago. I reread it the other day just to see what, if anything, I would change if I wrote it today. The answer: Nothing. Everything I wrote then is still valid today. Here's the article:


            Let's discuss some of the most commonly asked questions that I get concerning fitness. First, we'll tackle questions dealing with cardio or aerobic exercise, and then we'll look at some questions relating to strength training.

          Cardio exercises increase your cardio (heart) fitness. They include running, walking, swimming, and stair climbing to name just a few of many options. Remember to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program, especially if you're over 50, overweight by more than 15 pounds, or have high blood pressure or diabetes or anything else which might affect your performance.

            How often do I need to do cardio workouts? At least 3 times a week, but 5 or 6 times a week is much more effective. If weight loss is your goal, aim for 6 workouts a week.   Always allow yourself at least one day of rest.

            How long do the workouts need to be? About 30 minutes a day. I prefer to perform the exercise for 30 continuous minutes as opposed to 15 minutes twice or 10 minutes 3 times a day.

            How hard do I need to exercise for maximum effect? Your goal is to elevate your pulse rate to about 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate and keep it at that level for a full 30 minutes. You can use a Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale to determine your intensity level. On a scale of 10 with 1 being very easy and 10 being extremely hard, you should be working at a level around 6 or 7, or moderate to hard.

            Now let's look at some commonly asked questions dealing with strength training.

            How many reps should I do? Most people should aim at between 8 and 12 reps per set.

            How many sets should I do? I start most of my clients out doing 2 sets and after 2 to 3 weeks, increase them to 3 sets. There is no need to do more than 3 sets, because the increased benefits are so minimal, it's not worth it.

         How much weight should I lift? You should lift enough weight so that by the twelfth rep of the third set, you are very nearly maxed out. If you can do a few more reps, it is time to increase the weight you're lifting.

            How often should I lift weights? At least 2 times a week, but you will make better gains if you lift 3 times a week. Take a day off between lifting sessions.


         There is an ongoing debate about how much exercise is too much. Generally it's been established that we need about 150 minutes a week of cardiovascular exercise for optimum health. That's about 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

         Most Americans don't get anywhere close to this. For these folks, doing too much exercise is definitely not a concern. However, there are a growing number of individuals who far exceed the recommendation of 150 minutes a week. Should they be concerned?

         The science on all this is scanty. One study did determine that endurance athletes after years of running show a five-fold increase in the incidence of developing atrial fibrillation. A-fib is a moderate to severe condition that causes a heart arrhythmia. I can attest to this personally. I developed a-fib several years ago after running almost every day for over 30 years. With me it's not a serious condition, only manifesting itself for a few hours every couple of months, but for some it can be debilitating.

        One thing I have determined from anecdotal evidence comprised from 37 years of running and over 10 years as a personal trainer is this: If you run more than 25 miles a week on a regular basis, you will suffer from injuries, and you will experience down time. I know you can't tell marathoners not to run marathons, but if you do pile up the miles, be prepared to spend some time nursing various and sundry injuries. I now limit my running to 30 minutes a day, five days a week, or about 15 miles a week, I also walk 30 minutes, one day a week, and I take one day completely off. It's a formula that works well for me.


Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?

Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

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Harbison Recreation Center
106 Hillpine Road
Columbia, SC 29212
Phone: 781-2281

The Harbison Rec Center offers more facilities for less money than anywhere else in town These are just some of the features: a new weight room with all new machines, free weights, treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes; a 25 meter junior Olympic size indoor heated swimming pool; sauna; whirlpool; racquet ball and tennis courts; a basketball gym; and miles of traffic-free trails for walking or jogging. There are classes for seniors as well as summer camp and after school programs for kids. Also newly remodeled locker rooms and an all-purpose room for large gatherings. All for only $315 a year for singles or $600 a year for families Check out their website:

Wolf's Fitness Center
5432 August Road
Lexington, SC 29072
Phone: 356-6400

Wolf's is a total fitness facility offering some great amenities. There's a huge weight room featuring free weights and machines. There is a cardio area with treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, stair steppers, and the cardio theater. Other amenities include an indoor walking/running track, sauna, child care facilities with an attendant, tanning beds, clean locker rooms and showers, and sports supplements. Prices are very reasonable and there are no enrollment fees ever. Wolf's also offers a full slate of fitness classes including kickboxing and pilates, as well as spinning classes. Check out their website, for rates and specials.



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