The Best Posts of 2014

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tdlucas5000/8007579935

Can you believe another year has come and gone? Let me tell you, the older I get, the faster time seems to fly. And with the growing legion of Siffer-kids, it seems to fly at the speed of light.

As I’ve done in the past, this year, I’ve collected some of the top posts from 2014 for your reading pleasure. It’s too easy for a good post to get missed and be forever lost in the archives. So, I’ve put together a list of the very best ones for you to check out – just in case you missed them when they were first released or would like to re-read any.

So, grab yourself a hot drink or some beef jerky to munch on, and take a peek at some of the best of Physical Living in 2014.

We’ll start the list off with a bang. Enjoy!

Epic 500th Blogpost: 100 Fitness Lessons I’ve Learned About What’s Really Important (Do This Stuff to Succeed)

16-Year Old Girl Totally Shatters The Plank World Record: Watch This 16-Year Old Girl, Gabi Ury, DOUBLE The Guinness World Record For The Plank Exercise: Learn How She Did It, Why She Did It, And What YOU Can Learn From This Special Young Lady

Are you missing any of these 15 critical fitness secrets? It seems that everyone wants to know the secret to this or the secret to that. So, I thought I’d give you 15 insider tips to elite fitness in one handy-dandy list.

6 Reasons Why You Never Have Time To Exercise

30 Days to a 5 Minute Plank and Rock-Hard Abs: A Complete Abs Workout Program to Help You Get Ripped and Dramatically Improve Your Core Strength Using a Unique Twist on the Plank Exercise (for all skill levels)

How Long Should I Hold The Plank Exercise For? What Scientists, Researchers, And Fitness Coaches Think About How Long To Hold A Plank: Including Official And Unofficial Standards, Average Plank Exercise Test Results, And The Latest World Records (Plus, Two Free Programs to Help You Increase Your Plank Time)

Interview with Navy SEAL, Stew Smith, about Pull-up Training: Learn a Navy SEAL’s go-to Methods for Quickly and Efficiently Improving Pull-up Performance for a Physical Fitness Test

5 Subtle Ways to Make Pull-ups and Chin-ups A Little Easier: Pull-ups Are Tough, But They Don’t Have To Be! Here Are Five Strategies To Make Pull-ups, Chin-ups And Their Many Variations A Little Bit Easier

How to Hike as a Family for over 2000 Miles (Do It Like This): Meet the Family of Five that is About to Finish their 2100+ Mile Journey Hiking from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail

Note: don’t miss the interview with the family BEFORE starting their hike: How a Family of Five Plans to Thru-Hike the 2000+ Mile Appalachian Trail this Summer

9 Fitness Tips For Brand New Parents: How To Stay Fit When You Have a New Baby In The House

How to Reverse the Consequences of Physical Inactivity: The risks, dangers, and consequences associated with physical inactivity is one of the most important subjects in our day and age. But sadly, this topic is usually downplayed, if not outright ignored. And when ideas are actually proposed for how to improve our rapidly declining health predicament, they’re usually piss-poor solutions that don’t actually help people in real life. So, in this post, I want to tell you straight how to solve this problem, in a way that most sources – including this helpful info-graphic – often fail to address.

Women can’t do Pull-ups? Watch them.

Introducing The Pull-up Solution by John Sifferman: Announcing a Brand-New Pull-up and Chin-up Training System to Help You Rapidly Increase Your Pull-up Strength and Performance so That You can do More Reps – Guaranteed!

15 Reasons Why Exercise Is NOT Boring

Advice to Those Who Are Waiting For The Time to be Just Right

What I Love Most About Running

So, you’re fit. Now what? You’re finally in good shape. Congratulations. You’ve done well. But now what do you do?

Lifting Weights Is Dangerous. And So Is Crossfit.

To Listen to Music or Not While Exercising? That is the WRONG Question.

He Wrote Me a Check for $500 and Told Me to Cash it if He Didn’t Lose Weight

The Complete Six Degree Flow Review – First Impressions: Scott Sonnon’s new Six Degree Flow program is a comprehensive, plug-and-play, bodyweight training system that will help you burn stubborn body fat, build functional muscle, heal aches and pains, prevent injuries, and improve your fitness using a variety of unconventional movement skills and exercises that were specifically created to increase the amount of flow in your life and help you feel and perform at your best.

The Alligator Crawl Bodyweight Exercise For Core Strength: Strengthen and Shape-up Your Mid-section and Sculpt Your Arms and Shoulders with this Fun Bodyweight Exercise That Will Have Your Neighbors Scratching Their Heads

Knuckle Pushups VS Traditional Pushups: Which is Better?

Wrap-Up

Before you head out, you should also know that along with the posts linked above, I compiled a directory of the top posts on PhysicalLiving.com (of all time). So, be sure to check that one out, too. Thank you for the support!

Click Here to Read The Top Posts on Physical Living

And from the whole Sifferman family, we wish you a joyful holiday season and a fantastic start to 2015.

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The Best Posts of 2013

Best of Physical Living 2013

The Best of Physical Living 2012

Earth Runners Minimalist Sandals Review – First Impressions

My First Impressions of the Earth Runners Minimalist Huarché Sandals for (Almost) Barefoot Running, Walking, Hiking, and More!

Not too long ago, Mike from Earth Runners contacted me to see if I would review some of his minimalist sandals. I said sure. So, he sent me a pair of their Circadian X model with a leather bedding, conductive inserts, and leather laces – plus a set of Tabi Wool Socks since I mentioned it’s starting to get cold up here in New England.

Earth Runners Review - tabi wool socksThey arrived a few days later and I started putting them through the paces. Mike asked me if I could write something up before the holidays. And I said that I could offer my “first impressions” since I’d prefer more time to thoroughly evaluate a new set of footwear before writing a comprehensive review. So, here’s what I learned over the past two months or so.

-When they arrived, the instructions were very clear and it was easy to adjust the laces to fit properly. The locking buckle was easy-peasy. So, no problems in that department.

-I noticed that there was a short break-in period. And by that, I mean that my feet were achy within 15 minutes of standing in them. I wasn’t too surprised since I rarely wear footwear in the warmer months. I also noticed that in the beginning, my heels had a tendency to slide inward on the sandal – almost coming off – whether barefoot or wearing the socks. This was only an issue for a few days.

-The first full day that I wore them out and about town, I ended up going on an unexpected hike in the rain (that’s how we roll). It was soaking wet, and we were hiking through dirt, stone, and lot’s of leaves. I learned that when the Earth Runners get wet, the leather footbed – while normally quite comfortable – gets very slippery, especially on non-flat grades. I’m not sure which was worse in this regard, the Earth Runners or Xero Shoes I reviewed in the past. But regardless, these are not the most secure sandal for wet hikes on varied terrain and grades. I’ve only tried a few different pairs of huarché sandals, but I suspect that this is a pretty common issue with this style of footwear.
Continue reading Earth Runners Minimalist Sandals Review – First Impressions

25 Tips on How to Lift Heavy Weights Safely

male weightlifter - barbell front squat

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gregorwinter/8364765619/

Lifting heavy weights is risky business. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could encounter all kinds of problems. And even if you do know what you’re doing, you’re not necessarily off the hook either. You could pull, strain, or tear a muscle. You could tear cartilage or hyper-extend a joint. You could throw out your back, or any number of other things that will leave you hurt, injured, and feeling and performing lousy – or worse. And the heavier you go, the riskier it becomes.

Fortunately, there are many ways to mitigate the risks. And with the right combination of factors, you can all but eliminate them. In fact, that’s a cornerstone of health-first fitness – minimizing problems so that you can maximize your results over the long term. Because what good is it if you’re always experiencing setbacks and getting hurt?

So, here are 25 tips on how to lift heavy weights safely. Apply these to your own lifting and you’ll drastically reduce the risk of problems.
Continue reading 25 Tips on How to Lift Heavy Weights Safely

9 Fitness Tips For Brand New Parents

How To Stay Fit When You Have a New Baby In The House

I got a message the other day from a regular reader who was wondering if I had any advice for those who want to stay healthy and active with a newborn baby in the house. As you can see in the screenshot below, I gave him 3 tips in exactly 140 characters.

fitness tips for new parents

But you didn’t think I’d leave him hanging like that? Not ol’ blabbermouth, John! You see, I’ve got a few kiddos of my own, and I know that a few bullet points delivered in less than 140 characters may not exactly cut it. So today, I’m going to expand a little bit on those responses.

Granted, my advice will vary from person to person – and this post is mostly geared for new Dads – but here is some general advice that will apply to most new parents.
Continue reading 9 Fitness Tips For Brand New Parents

So, you’re fit. Now what?

You’re finally in good shape. Congratulations. You’ve done well. But now what do you do?

male runner

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tymtoi/7205317504

Do you simply maintain your body composition? Keep doing what you have been? Try to get just a little bit better – get a tiny bit leaner, add a few more pounds to your PR, etc.? Or, maybe take on a new challenge?

Here’s what I think.

We never truly arrive at an ideal state of health and fitness. We never reach perfection. It’s a process. And the closer we get, the harder it gets to keep making progress. For example…

-Getting from 10% bodyfat to 5% bodyfat is much harder than getting from 20% to 15%. The leaner you get, the harder it gets.

-Going from 300 to 350 lbs in the barbell squat is much harder than going from 100-150 lbs. The stronger you get, the harder it gets.

-Shaving a minute off of your one mile run time is much easier when you’re running ten minute miles than when you’re running fives. The faster you get, the harder it gets to improve further.

In other words, the closer you get to your peak potential, the harder and more slowly the results will come.

Now, we know that fitness training should be specific to your unique needs, goals, and circumstances. For instance, if you’ve got a bad back, achy knees or a bum shoulder, your fitness program should address that. And if you’d like to run your first marathon, set a new PR in one of your lifts, or reach single-digit bodyfat, then your program should be designed accordingly. That much is obvious.

But here’s the thing. Most people tend to specialize in one or two things that interest them rather than doing the things they really need. This is something I had to deal with when working as a personal trainer at my local health club years ago. Many of my clients wanted to do certain things, but they really needed to do some other things to achieve their goals. For example, some of the females I trained weren’t very interested in strength training, even though that was the most suitable method for achieving their goals. And some of the guys I trained didn’t want to do anything outside of the weight room – none of that “cardio or yoga stuff” – even though that’s exactly what they needed.

And this happens all the time – even outside of the trainer/client relationship. We do the things that we like to do because we enjoy them, are good at them, keep seeing progress, etc.

Those who are strong keep lifting.
The endurance athletes keep running/swimming/etc.
The hyper-flexible keep deepening their yoga practice.

But here’s the problem…
Continue reading So, you’re fit. Now what?

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