Jan doesn’t actually recommend doing this exercise – she just recommends thinking about it. And then laughing a lot.
Personally, I learned the fundamentals of fitness from a liquid-tanned dude in a banana hammock and a woman who was in all likelihood on the juice. Not everyone is so fortunate. And while I do actually recommend seeking out a pro-bodybuilder for some fitness info – I don’t know any nicer group that knows more about how to both build muscle and cut fat – most people are probably more comfortable starting out with a book or magazine or something else that’s more socially acceptable to take in a public restroom (and doesn’t stain upholstery).
The problem, of course, is that trying to find this info can be like drinking from a firehose. Information overload! Which is probably why I get at least one e-mail a week from a desperate soul asking me to just give them the crib notes version of what they really need to do to get started on their health journey. So I’ve written responses, tried to help, and even wrote a piddly post about it but there’s so much to cover and so many variables that it never seems to be enough. Plus, I try hard not to give real advice. I just don’t know enough yet. I also don’t curse enough.
Thankfully someone else does – both with the knowing and the cursing. Okay mostly just the cursing. But let’s be honest, if there ever was endeavor that warranted a few, ahem, choice words, it’s weight loss. And one of my fave OG’s of blogging, Jan Graham of Cranky Fitness, has come out with an e-book Exercise Your A** Off that covers both the introduction to healthy living and the sailor speak. Oh, and she’s hilarious!
In addition to covering the essentials like how to decide which type of cardio is best for your personality (hint: if it comes down to hiking or Zumba, just remember you’ll never run into a mama grizzly in a dance studio), she also tells you how to cure ailments you didn’t know you had like BIBD or “bicycle-in-basement disorder” (hint: get a padded seat).
One of my fave sections of her book explains her patent-pending brand of high intensity interval training: Somewhat High Intensity Interval Training. Or… SHIIT. As Jan explains, “It’s quite simple: Almost everyone agrees H.I.I.T. works, but it’s hard. And no one really seems to “own” it, so there’s no money to be made off of a consensus about how to do it.” Which basically means you can make it up as you go! Word.
She even gives you permission to take her e-book into the bathroom with you and instructs you in the art of the Public Toilet Squat so you can hone your quads while you’re honing your intellect. (And also pee.) I’ve heard that’s totally how Einstein worked, right?
See? That’s worth the $3.99 price tag right there! To check her book out you can go the Amazon.com route: Cranky Fitness: Exercise Your A** Off. But for those who don’t have a kindle or haven’t loaded (free) kindle software onto their computers, it’s also available at HyperInk at the Cranky Fitness page as a PDF or iPad, and there’s a Barnes and Noble Cranky Fitness link too. (Note: none of these links are affiliates. I don’t get a cent from promoting her book – I just love her, her blog and her book!)
If you want some other reading material this weekend, here’s my stuff from Shape!
12 Celebs “Reverse-Photoshopped” to less gaunt and less muscular. Is anyone still surprised this happens? How did we even get here? “We’ve become conditioned to expect perfected images of skinny, apparently boneless, smooth little girls in our magazines,” says Jenna Sauers, a model and blogger at Jezebel.com. “In a certain way, we’ve come to rely on Photoshop to insulate us from the sharp reality of what maintaining an industry-approved fighting weight can do to a human body.” Although Robin Derrick, creative director of British Vogue, sums up the problem best, saying, “I spent the first 10 years of my career making girls look thinner—and the last 10 making them look larger.” Le sigh.
10 Strange But Effective Tips For a Better Marathon. It all started when a male friend confessed to me at the gym “I’m a man and I wear a sports bra. But only on long runs (over 10 miles)! It keeps my shirt from chafing my nipples and it doesn’t rip out my chest hair like Band-Aids. It’s nothing fancy (I like the cheap really stretchy ones) but I will admit to having several different colors!” From there it progressed to diapers tucked into running shorts, jelly beans in cleavage and a q-tip covered in vaseline that… you probably don’t want to know what that one’s for.
Shape Covergirl Cindy Crawford Through the Years. Yep, Cindy Crawford is our latest gal to stand thigh deep in water and smile! And I got to chronicle the timeless beauty’s body (hee!) of work. Looking through hundreds of pictures of a human work of art – Yeah my job is rough. Plus now I’m a fountain of Cindy miscellania! Did you know she was married to Richard Gere?! It happened when I was a baby and they were divorced before I learned to read well enough to skim all the supermarket tabloids whilst pretending I was actually staring intently at Better Homes and Gardens. (I’m sorry Mom.) So that’s my excuse for not knowing. That and the fact my parents wouldn’t let me have MTV.
10 Herbal Remedies That Really Work. Um. Self explanatory.
So how were you first introduced to the basic concepts of health and fitness? Anyone actually ever tried that head-harness thingy? Is that for exercising your neck? Training your ability to levitate objects with your mind?