Fitness News & Views
A Publication of Graham Fitness

May 15, 2014 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20
Bathing Suit Season Is Almost Here.
Are You Ready?

There Is Still Time To Get In Shape.

But You Better Hurry!

What are your plans for the summer? The beach? Lying out by the pool? A class reunion?

Now that you've begun shedding the winter clothing, you may not be too pleased with what you see in the mirror. If that's the case, contact me and I'll design an eating and workout program just for you which will help you lose weight and tone up for the summer ahead.

This is not a one size fits all program. It is designed specifically for you based on your current weight, metabolic rate, and fitness level.

But if you are looking for results by this summer, you need to get started now! Despite what infomercials and miracle pill ads tell you, real results take time, so don’t delay.

Call me, Tim Graham, at 803-447-8557, or email me at to set up a Fitness Profile. For more information, including rates, visit my website at

Announcing a New Referral Rewards Program

I'm going to do something I haven't done in a long time. I'm going to give you a cash award for referrals.

To keep it simple, here’s what I'll do: If you send a referral to me who purchases 20 sessions or more, I'll send you $100 cash.

The only stipulations are the referral has to contact me and he or she has to purchase the 20 sessions up front.

This is a one-time reward per new referral.

Can't get much simpler than that.
      Our bodies are amazing things. We have spent all of our lives with our bodies, and most of us know very little about how they work. The more I study the human body, the more I realize how little I know about it.
      While reading a book on anatomy (yes, I actually read and enjoy such books), I came across a few fascinating facts I thought I'd pass along.
      There are over 200 bones in the human body, 206 to be exact. The bones in your skeletal system are 4 to 5 times stronger than steel, yet they make up only about 14% of your total body weight.
      There are 3 types of muscles: cardiac, smooth, and skeletal. Cardiac muscles are found in the heart. Smooth muscles surround the internal organs. Skeletal muscles are the ones we usually think of. They enable us to move. We have about 640 different skeletal muscles. The largest is the gluteus maximus (or buttocks).
      The brain and the spinal cord make up the central nervous system. There are more than 12 billion (billion with a 'b') nerve cells in the brain. The spinal cord sends out millions of nerve impulses every second at speeds of over 270 miles an hour.
      Your digestive system is more than 20 feet long, beginning at your mouth and ending at your famous anus. In between, nutrients that keep us alive are released from the food we eat by complicated metabolic processes, and the wastes are excreted.
      There are more than 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the circulatory system. That's right, 60,000 miles! And it takes a drop of blood less than 60 seconds to make an entire circuit of this system.
      The body's largest organ is not the brain or the heart, but the skin. The second largest is the liver which weighs about 3½ pounds in the average person.
      It is impossible to comprehend the complexity of our bodies. Each of us is truly a walking miracle, and we have been entrusted with an awesome responsibility to take care of our bodies the best we can. Please don't neglect that responsibility.

      It's a common misconception that weight lifting is good for the young and middle aged, but not for the elderly. Fact is, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends strength training for everybody over 50. Even people in their 90's can benefit.
      As an individual ages and activity levels decline, muscle atrophy occurs. This age related reduction in muscle size, called sarcopenia, begins at age 25, and by age 50, it represents about a 10 percent loss. A more rapid loss occurs from age 50 to 80 during which an additional 40 percent of muscle mass is lost.
      Among the elderly, inadequate leg strength caused by muscle loss is a good predictor of imminent disabilities, including the inability to walk. Muscle loss in the arms, back, and abdomen can further minimize a senior’s self-sufficiency.
      There are other important reasons why those over 50 should lift weights. Strength and resistance exercise can protect against debilitating fractures. Lifting weights can actually reverse the effects of osteoporosis. Lifting weights also strengthens muscles, tendons, and ligaments around joints helping to alleviate arthritis pain. Studies have also shown that in many cases, weight training can help people sleep better and often provides relief from mild to moderate depression.
      Cardiovascular exercises, such as walking, riding a stationary bike, or water aerobics, are important and shouldn't be neglected, but they don’t stop the ravages of muscle atrophy. Only weight lifting will do that.
      Check with your doctor before beginning a strength and resistance program, but expect him to be pleased with your decision. Once you get your doctor's approval, hire a personal trainer who works with seniors to set up a program for you and instruct you on proper technique. By starting with light weights and building up gradually as you get stronger, you'll avoid injury and even enjoy your workouts.

      We don't give much thought to vitamins, but they are really quite fascinating. Our bodies don't produce them, yet our bodies are dependent on them for life. The word vitamin actually comes from vital meaning "important to life," and amines, meaning "nitrogen-bearing," although only some vitamins are nitrogen-bearing. Of all the animals, only humans and guinea pigs are unable to synthesize vitamin C. Nobody knows why.
      Another interesting fact about vitamins is that our bodies only need a small fraction of them to sustain life, yet without that fraction, we will die. Three ounces of vitamin A is enough for a lifetime. Only one ounce of B-1 (thiamin) is sufficient for 70 or 80 years.
      Minerals are similar in many ways. While vitamins come from living things like plants and bacteria, minerals are chemical elements. Over 90 of these elements occur naturally on earth. Many of them, such as calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc, are essential to our health. Some like mercury and lead are harmful to us, and some are benign. Gold is an example, which is why gold can be used as a filling for teeth.
      Of all the minerals, the most important is salt. Salt is sodium chloride. Sodium and chloride are both lethal separately, but when combined to make salt, it is essential to life. Go figure.
      Archeological evidence shows that once people settled into agricultural communities, they began to suffer from salt deficiencies, so they had to make a special effort to find salt and get it into their diet. One of the mysteries of history is how they knew they needed to do so, because the absence of salt in the diet awakes no craving. You just get sick and eventually die. But at no point in the process would a human being think, "Gosh, I could sure do with some salt."
      Of course, nowadays the problem is not that we don't get enough salt, but getting too much. Our bodies require about 200 mg a day, but most Americans consume about 60 times that amount every day. Whether or not the excess is harmful is up for debate, but we’d have a hard time eating much less, because today salt is in everything from breakfast cereals to ice cream.
(Note: All of this information comes from At Home, a book by one of my favorite authors Bill Bryson. If you haven't read it, you should because it is chocked-full of information like this about all kinds of different subjects. With that said, I hope Bill won't sue me for plagiarizing his material.)
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      Well defined shoulders look good on women and men. The good news is that you can see the results more quickly in the shoulders than anywhere else, because most people don't accumulate a lot of fat on them. Here are a few shoulder exercises that are guaranteed to get results:
Barbell military press. Standing with your feet about hip width apart, grip a barbell with your palms facing away from you and your hands shoulder width apart. Begin with the barbell just under your chin. Now press it overhead until your elbows are locked. Lower to the starting position and repeat the prescribed number of reps and sets. Keep your core engaged and stand up straight to prevent injuring your back.
Seated dumbbell shoulder press. Sit with your back against an upright bench. Grip the dumbbells with your palms facing forward or facing each other. Your elbows should be about shoulder height or slightly below your shoulders. Now press up until your elbows lock out. Lower the weights to the starting position and repeat.
Lateral raises on the incline board. With the incline bench set at around 30 degrees, sit on it sideways with one side resting on the incline. Hold a dumbbell with the other hand. Begin with the dumbbell resting against your thigh and lift it to shoulder height, then lower it slowly. Do the prescribed number of reps with one arm, then do the other side. Repeat until you have completed three sets with each arm.
Rear deltoid raises. Stand facing an incline bench. Bend at the waist until your forehead is resting on the top of the bench and your waist is bent at a 90 degree angle. Hold the dumbbells with your arms hanging down and your palms facing each other. Now lift both arms until the weights are about even with your shoulders. Slowly lower the weights and repeat until you’ve done your full set.
      There are several other variants of these exercises you can do, but these four will give you a good foundation to build on. Start now and by mid-summer you'll see a marked improvement in your shoulder definition – guaranteed.

      Periodically, I like to take on a few fitness myths that won't go away, so let's tackle three of them again:
1. A pound of muscle burns more calories throughout the day than a pound of fat. There is some truth to this, but not to the extent that it's been hyped. The fact is a pound of muscle will burn about 6 to 10 calories a day compared to a pound of fat which burns between 2 and 4 calories a day. I've read that one pound of muscle will burn up to 50 calories daily. Unfortunately, it's just not true.
2. Your weight is the most important indicator of your health. It's important, yes, but it may not be the most important indicator. As you exercise, you will build lean muscle and lose fat, but your overall weight may not drop as fast as you'd like. A better way to judge results is to measure your waist or just look in the mirror. A pound of muscle is denser than a pound of fat, so as you exchange one for the other, your weight may not change, but your shape will.
3. Ab exercises will give you a six-pack. This is the most persistent of all the exercise myths. More worthless gadgets have been sold based on this myth than any other. The truth is, you cannot spot reduce. You can do crunches endlessly, and yes, you will build your abdominal muscles, but you won't see a six-pack until you lose the fat that is hiding them. This is only accomplished by burning more calories or by eating less. When people ask me how to lose the fat around their bellies, I tell them to do push-aways – push away from the table.

Graham Fitness
Tim Graham
ACE Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Phone: 803-447-8557

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 recently expanded 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, showers, locker rooms, 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 all new spinning classes .
Check out their website,