Fitness News & Views

A Publication of Graham Fitness

April 15, 2015

1 Corinthians 6: 19-20


A Rate Increase Is Coming -

Buy Now and Save


I have not had a rate increase in five or six years. I can't even remember when it was. But I need to make the change. The change will begin on June 1st. However until that time, you may purchase as many sessions as you wish at the old rates. Even if you are an existing client with several sessions remaining on your last package, you may purchase more sessions at your current rate as long as you do so prior to June 1st.  

The new rates are listed below:


1 session


Quick Start (3 sessions plus Fitness Profile)


10 sessions


20 sessions


45 sessions



So you don't have to do the math, that's a $3 per session rate increase. All sessions are about an hour long. But remember, you can stock up now and save!





          April is my favorite month of the year. The weather here in South Carolina (aka: God's Country) is beautiful. Spring is in full bloom. It's my birthday month as well as that of both my kids. My birthday is the 17th. Tanner's is the 13th, and Darby's the 29th. And it's the beginning of baseball season.

            In my opinion, baseball is the greatest game in the world. I know not everyone agrees with that statement, and that's okay. But one of the things that makes baseball a great game are the nuances of the game. Here's a scenario: It's the bottom of the 8th inning with the Pittsburgh Pirates batting. They trail the Cincinnati Reds 3-2. There are two outs and Josh Harrison is on first with Neil Walker coming up against Sam LeCure, the right-handed set-up man for the Reds. Walker is a switch-hitter, but his batting average is 60 points higher from the left side. As the Reds manager, do you want LeCure facing Walker or do you bring in your ace closer Aroldis Chapman, a lefty with a 100 mph fastball, to turn Walker around. It's rare for Chapman to come into a game before the 9th, and he's closed out the last two games in a row.

            As the Pirates manager, you have a decision to make too. Should you give Harrison the signal to steal second? On second base, he could score the tying run on a single. It will take an extra-base hit or two singles to score him from first, and realistically, this may be your last shot, because if Chapman comes in to close the 9th, you're probably not going to score against him. But Mesoraco, the Reds catcher, is one of the best in the league at throwing out baserunners. What do you do?

            That's just one fairly simple situation. Sometimes it gets way more complicated than that, and the more you know about the game, the more fun it is to watch. Every pitch is a decision, especially in a close game. As the batter, you've just seen two straight fastballs nip the outside corner at 94 mph and now you're down in the count 0 and 2. What's the guy gonna throw you this time - another heater or a slider off the plate or maybe he senses you're inching up closer to the plate so you can reach that outside fastball easier and this time you're gonna get a little chin music? As the pitcher, you've got the same questions to answer. Who will guess right?

            What about the skills involved in playing this game? A 90 mph fastball takes 0.4 seconds from the time it leaves the pitcher's hand until it hits the catcher's glove. As a batter, that's how much time you've got to determine whether or not to swing and where the ball will be when it crosses the plate. Major League hitters can actually pick up the spin of the baseball in that length of time and tell whether the pitch is a fastball or curve. I could go on and on. There are 162 regular games in a baseball season that lasts from the beginning of April until the end of September and for the teams in close divisional races every single one of them is important. How's that for sustained excitement?


          I've been running for 38 years now. I started when I was 30. In that time, I've run an estimated 30,000 miles. That's 5 trips across the United States and back. My biggest claim to fame - and stupidity - was a string of over six years without missing a day. Most weeks during that stretch I averaged about 25 miles. The worst case of flu I've ever had finally brought an end to that insanity. Since then I've continued to run five or six days a week, but at a much slower pace these days. As a result, I've learned a few things about running that might help you if you're just beginning.  

  • First, don't expect it to be fun all the time. There have been a few times when running was pure joy, but for every one of those days, there are 10 that are tough. What has not changed over the years is how good I feel when I'm finished, and this is what has kept me running for so long.
  • Second, run outside whenever you can, and you can almost all the time. The only thing that forces me indoors is lightening. I've run in just about every other weather condition imaginable from snow to 100 degree days. I even ran in Savannah in 1979 as Hurricane David was approaching. There's so much to see outside, and the different weather conditions and terrain keep things from getting boring.
  • Third, find a time to run that suits you. Some people are morning people; some have more energy in the evenings. There is time in every day to run, but you have to make it happen.
  • Fourth, find a route or several you like. My favorite place to run is Saluda Shoals Park. I can run hills or not, trails or paved roads. Plus, there's plenty of shade in the summer. Columbia offers riverfront trails, neighborhood trails, plenty of parks, and even a few forests - i.e. Harbison Forest and Sesqui. So surely you can find your perfect spot or two or three.
  • Fifth, add some races to the mix. A 5k is a good starter race. You'll probably run faster in a race than you do routinely, because your competitive juices start flowing and your adrenalin kicks in. Who knows, you might even get hooked and seek out a race every weekend.

        There you have a few tips - no charge. Do with them what you will, and enjoy the runner's high. Just remember, you can't get the runner's high until you've done the run.




          Recently a client of mine was telling me the benefits he's experienced from drinking more water every day. He says he feels more alert and has more energy. I don't doubt he's correct, but I've never been one to carry a bottle of water around or sip water throughout the day. I've always maintained that your body will tell you when you need more water. It's called thirst. But the conversation with my client prompted me to do more research on the subject.

           Our bodies do need water. Sixty percent of our body is water, and 73% of our brains and hearts are water, 83% of our lungs. Our bodies need water for all kinds of functions - to move waste through them, to lubricate joints, to regulate body temperature, and to keep the blood from getting too thick, and that's just a partial list. But we don't need as much water as we've been told. Conventional wisdom has said we need to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily, or about 2 quarts, but many experts say that may be too much.

         Although we do need two to three quarts of liquid a day, we get at least 20% of that from food, and other liquids supply a good deal more. For instance, that cup of coffee in the morning counts, and no, coffee does not dehydrate you as has been incorrectly reported for years.

          I am wrong on one thing. It is true that once we experience thirst, we are approaching dehydration. We get thirsty when our bodies are 1% out of water balance, and by 2% we are officially dehydrated.

         The best way to tell if you are maintaining water balance, which is what you want to do, is to check your urine. If you are urinating every two to four hours and the color of your urine is light yellow, you are well-hydrated. If your pee is too dark or too pale, you need to make adjustments accordingly.

          What about the argument that bottled water is better for you than tap water? The answer may surprise you. Tap water is probably the better option. First off, tap water must undergo many tests for purity. There are no such tests for bottled water. In addition, the plastic bottles may actually contaminate bottled water. If you live in a house built before 1970 or if your water comes from a well, you should filter your water. Houses built prior to 1970 may have lead pipes or pipes soldered with lead, and of course well-water is not tested for impurities.


           I spend eight hours a day in several different gyms. One thing I've noticed is every gym has its own personality. For instance, I train my clients at the Harbison Rec Center, at Wolf's Fitness, and at a gym in Eastminster Presbyterian Church. I also work out frequently at Pivotal Fitness. In addition, at one time or another I've worked out at most of the other gyms in Columbia and a couple dozen more in other cities.

          The Harbison Rec Center is a small but well-equipped gym. It's often noisy and sometimes cramped, and the people who use it run the gamut from fit young men and women to the elderly. But you won't see any serious body builders there. Wolf's Fitness on the other hand is a muscle gym populated by bulked-up young men and women lifting heavy weights. It's no frills. Eastminster's gym is mostly older people and not much heavy lifting. Pivotal is more eclectic. It offers something for everybody - lots of weight machines and free weights as well as huge rubber tires to move or pound with a sledge hammer and heavy ropes and boxing bags.

           I also make it my habit to observe how people are lifting and how other trainers are training. I see a lot of poor form at Eastminster, but almost no one uses poor lifting form at Wolf's. When you are lifting heavy, you better use good form. Trainers all have different styles. Some opt for the basics while others are into more modern techniques.

          The point of all this rambling is to encourage you to find a gym that fits your personality. If you are new to weight lifting, you might feel intimidated at Wolf's. But if you want to build some serious muscle, you should seek out a gym such as Wolf's or Brickhouse or even Gold's or Pivotal. Brickhouse is much like Wolf's, but it's in an old warehouse and is pretty much open to the weather in all seasons. Gold's is an everyman/everywoman gym. I don't think Gold's really has a personality. Here's the deal: Find a gym where you're comfortable with like-minded people. That way, you're more likely to continue going there. Don't settle for the cheapest or most convenient. Cost and convenience are important, but even more important is your comfort level.

             The same goes with trainers. If you're 65 years old and just looking to shed a few pounds and maybe get off the blood pressure medication, you probably don't need a 25 year old who looks like a young Schwarzenegger. On the other hand, if you want huge sculpted muscles, you need to find a trainer who looks like you desire to look.

Do you think it's unnerving that doctor's call what they do "practice"?       George Carlin


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Rep & Run

Are you looking for fitness equipment? Call Rep & Run. Rep & Run is your source for whatever fitness equipment you need, whether it's cardio machines like treadmills and ellipticals or resistance machines of any type. Even free weights like barbells and dumbbells. Jason Puckett will work with you personally to get you exactly what you want. As a newsletter subscriber, you receive a 20% discount on most of the equipment Jason offers. Call Jason at 803-550-1734 or check the website at

Discount Tire of Irmo

7948 Broad River Road

Irmo, SC 29063

Phone: 749-1633

When you need automotive service, go to Discount Tire of Irmo. They sell Michelin, Pirelli, Bridgestone, BF Goodrich and many other name brand tires at discount prices. If you need other automotive repair work, they will do the job and they'll do it right. From brakes to alignments and all kinds of mechanical repair, you can depend on them to do the work right and get your car back to you quickly, and all at a fair price. For integrity, dependability, and quality, call Larry Warner at Discount Tire of Irmo.

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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