Fitness News & Views

A Publication of Graham Fitness

May 15, 2016

1 Corinthians 6: 19-20


Tim Graham Chosen One of Top 16 Personal Trainers in the Two Carolinas


An orthopedic clinic with multiple locations in the Chicago area recently picked me as one of the 16 top personal trainers in North and South Carolina. This was a surprise to me, but I am honored by the selection If you would like to see the others chosen and read what they had to say about me, here is a link to the article:


Your Newsletter Quiz

How Many Can You Answer Correctly?

No Cheating!




  1. How many different skeletal muscles are there in the human body?
    • 640    
    • 326
    • 930
    • 120
  1. Going from light weights and high reps to heavy weights and low reps and back is called what?
    • Super slow sets
    • Pyramids
    • Supersets
    • Negative sets
  1. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, what is the minimum number of minutes a week of moderate intensity aerobic exercise needed to maintain good health?
    • 300
    • 225
    • 150
    • 45
  1. You should always wear sunglasses when you run in the rain in order to cut down the glare that raindrops naturally cause.
    • True
    • False
  1. Eating a proper diet will keep you from becoming deficient in Vitamin D.
    • True
    • False



      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.

            Recently, I was reading a book on anatomy (yes, I actually read and enjoy such books), and 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 waste is excreted. The organs of the abdominal cavity of the body are protected by the omentum, which is connective tissue lined with nerves and blood vessels. The omentum collects adipose (fat) tissue and is what produces the "pot belly."

            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.

         Last month I turned 69, so I know how hard it is to perform at certain levels as I'm getting older.  That's why I'm amazed at the feats I see others around my age and even much older doing.  
         Brent Weigner is a facebook friend of mine.  He will be 67 this summer, and he has run more marathons in more countries than I can count.  He has run four marathons in four different countries in a week, and he did that this year.  He lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming, but I don't know when he's ever home.  His marathon times average out at around 11 to 12 minutes per mile, which is about what I do these days when I run a 5k.  He's an inspiration to a lot of people, including me.
       Ed Whitlock, a Canadian, is 85 years old.  Last month in Ontario, he ran a half-marathon in 1:50:47.  That's an 8:27 pace.  The fastest half marathon I ever ran was 1:45:00, and I was 48 years old when I did that.  I can't run one mile anymore at an 8:27 pace, and Ed put together 13 of them at the age of 85!  Unbelievable!  
        But my favorite guy is not a runner or an athlete although he's seen a lot of great athletes in his day.  He is Phil Coyne, an usher at PNC Park, the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Phil is 98 years old and still works every Pirates home game.  He started working for the Pirates in 1936 when he was 18 years old.  Of all the players he's ever seen, he says Willie Mays is his favorite.  His favorite Pirates are Ralph Kiner and Roberto Clemente.  He's worked at Forbes Field, Three Rivers Stadium, and now PNC Park.  He says, "I love all my people and they like me."  What a guy!



          Here's a workout consisting of four exercises that will work virtually every muscle in your body and burn a ton of calories at the same time. But before you tackle these, make sure you know how to do them properly. The four exercises are pushups, squats, lunges, and deadlifts.

         Almost everyone has done pushups at one time or another. Pushups work all the muscles in your arms as well as your shoulders, your core, your chest, and most of the muscles in your back. When you do pushups, make sure to keep your back straight. Your butt shouldn't sag or stick up in the air. The wider apart you keep your hands, the more you emphasize the pectorals, or chest muscles. The closer you place your hands, the more you work the triceps.

         Squats work the back and core and all of the lower body muscles. When doing squats, make sure to keep your back flat. If you bow your back, you're risking injury to it. It's best to start with no weight to make sure you are using correct form before graduating to squats with weight. To add weight, you can use a barbell or dumbbells.

            Lunges work the quadriceps, the glutes, and the hamstrings and like squats can be performed with or without weight. For weighted lunges, use dumbbells. To perform lunges, step forward with one foot and dip your back knee as low as you can, then stand up. You can do stationary lunges or walking lunges. This is perhaps my least favorite exercise, but one of the best in the arsenal.

       Finally, we have deadlifts. Like squats, you must perform deadlifts properly or you can risk a back injury, so make sure you know what you're doing. Deadlifts are similar to squats and work most of the same muscles, but because you are lowering the weight to the floor with each rep, you are often working through a wider range of motion than you do with squats.

           If you are not thoroughly familiar with any of these exercises, get some instruction before attempting them. By performing only these four exercises, you'll get a great workout in about 20 to 30 minutes, and you'll leave the gym wiped out.

       It is important to vary your strength training routines periodically. Our muscles get used to being worked the same way, so it's necessary to change our workouts from time to time. We can do this by doing a different exercise for a specific body part. For instance, if you've been doing lunges for a while, it might be time to do squats instead.
           Another way to add variety is do more advanced sets one day a week. There are several options: super sets, slow sets, pyramids, negative sets, and drop sets, to name a few. I can't cover all these in this newsletter, but let's briefly discuss a couple of them. If you are short on time, super sets can cut your workout time in half. You do one set of one exercise and immediately do a set of another exercise and repeat this routine three times. For instance, you might do one set of squats followed by a set of leg curls until you've completed three sets of each. You can superset opposing muscles such as biceps and triceps or the same muscles. An example of the latter would be pushups followed by dips. Obviously same muscle supersets are harder.
            Another advanced option is pyramids. Pyramiding takes a little longer, but it works your muscles like crazy. Say you're doing deadlifts, you start with a light weight and do maybe 15 reps. Then increase the weight and do a set of 10 to 12 reps. When the weight is such that you can only do one or two reps, you start lightening the weight and go the other direction until you get back to the weight you started with.
           Don't do any of the advanced sets every workout. They are most effective when used as an alternative workout about once a week for 4 to 6 weeks at a time.

           How much exercise do we really need to stay as healthy as we can and possibly live a little longer too? The answer is not fixed in stone, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has established the following minimal guidelines:
         150 minutes a week of moderate intensity aerobic activity. That's about 30 minutes a day five days a week. Moderate intensity aerobic activity includes walking briskly at a 3 mph or better pace, water aerobics, bicycling slower than 10 mph, doubles tennis, or ballroom dancing.
         Or 75 minutes a week of vigorous intensity activity which computes to about 15 minutes a day five days a week. Vigorous aerobic activities include jogging or running, swimming laps, singles tennis, aerobic dancing, bicycling faster than 10 mph, and hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack.
          In addition, all adults need to do strength training activities two or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (abs and core, legs, upper back, chest, arms, and shoulders).

        If you are a runner, occasionally you will get caught in a shower, especially this time of the year. Running in the rain can be fun, so don't forgo your daily jog just because of a threat of rain. Here are some tips:

 * Enjoy the rain. Actually on a hot summer day, rain can be refreshing. You get wet when you swim, don't you. So what's the difference?

 * Don't wear cotton. When cotton gets wet, it gets heavy, and the result is you're carrying a lot more weight. With today's lightweight fabrics, you never need to wear cotton anyway, but especially not in the rain.

* Dress lightly. This may not be as feasible in the winter, but during the coming summer months you can shed down to the bare necessities. Wear appropriate shorts and a lightweight synthetic t-shirt. Guys can even go shirtless if you want to and gals can get by with a sports bra, but I wouldn't recommend this attire for anyone over 50, maybe even 40.

* Wear a hat. A hat will keep your hair dry for the most part and will keep the rain out of your eyes.

* Don't wear glasses unless you have to. Glasses don't have windshield wipers.

* Wear older shoes or a pair you won't be needing for the next three or four days. Your shoes will get soaked in the rain, and they take a long time to dry.

* Finally, don't run in lightening. Lightening can kill you. Don't take a chance.

         Most Americans are deficient in Vitamin D, but why do we need it? Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium. People with low levels of Vitamin D lose bone more rapidly and are more likely to fracture a bone, especially as they age. People who are under 70 years old should have about 600 IU's of Vitamin D daily. People over 70 need a minimum of 800 IU's. You can get Vitamin D from sunlight, but as we know, sunlight has drawbacks. Foods rich in D include salmon and other fatty fish, but most people need to take a supplement.

       As a doctor completed his exam on his patient, he said, "I can't find a cause for you complaint. Frankly, I think it's due to drinking."
       "In that case," said the patient, "I'll come back when you're sober."

Graham Fitness
Tim Graham

ACE Certified Personal Trainer

Certified Nutrition Specialist



Phone: 803-447-8557

Please Support The Loyal Advertisers That Make This Newsletter Possible

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.