Archives for June 2009

Return from Florida

Hello all. I know I haven’t updated for a little while, but I do have reason for that. For some of that, anyway. I just got back from a wonderful week in Disneyworld with my family. We had a great time. It was super hot (95 degrees all week) and we probably walked three or four miles each day but we had a lot of fun.

I have a new article in the Castro Valley Forum this week. You can go here: and click to page 6. It is part 2 of a 2 part series on back health. I forgot to post the link to the first part, but I will post both parts here next week with a few things I had to leave out due to space considerations. In other words, you will be getting the directors cut.

My training is going well, generally speaking, although I am starting to get frustrated at my lack of progress on the bench press. The bench has always been my weakest lift (although it’s probably my favorite) but I still would like to see some movement. My box squat is progressing well as is my deadlift, but I just don’t feel that strong on the bench. I have refined my set-up and form, but nothing seems to do much. Oh, well. I guess I’ll just keep working.

At least I’m not as bad as the guy in the video.

One more thing. If anyone has any ideas for articles or any questions, please let me know. I promise you’ll get full credit.

Have a great day!

Mitchell Rothbardt
Discover Your Strength

What Are Weights? A Tribute To A Gallon of Milk.

What are weights? That may seem like a silly question, but think about it. Unless you’re an Olympic weightlifter they are just a means to an end. Whenever we see someone exercising on TV they have a pair of dumbbells so we have it ingrained in us that we need them to exercise, but really they’re just a convenient object to provide resistance in a certain way. A gallon of milk weighs about 8.5 lbs. Is that really much different than holding an 8.5 lb. dumbbell? Not really.

Resistance training, also known as weight training, is extremely important for us. As we age we lose about 8% of our muscle per decade. That, combined with a natural slowdown in metabolism, means we gain a lot of fat as we get older. Resistance training can slow this down dramatically or even reverse the process. Resistance training has also been shown to increase the strength and density of our bones. We lose much of our bone density as we age, particularly women. That leaves us vulnerable to falls and other problems, which can result in very serious injury. Resistance training helps prevent this.

What I am trying to say is that resistance training can be used for more than just getting us huge and ripped. It’s very important for getting us healthy and able to do normal things in our daily life.

What does this have to do with a gallon of milk? A lot. What are you most likely to do today, pick up a gallon of milk or deadlift a barbell? Probably pick up the milk. So, if you are home wanting to start a resistance training program, you can use what you have around the house to get you going. Use the gallon of milk, fill a grocery bag with meat, pack a suitcase. Do anything else you can think of, it all works.
Here are a few things you can start with:

Milk Gallon Step Ups-6 reps per leg
Holding a gallon of milk in each hand, plant one foot on a step. Bring the other foot to the step and then back down to the floor.

Grocery Bag Dead Lift-6 reps
Put two full grocery bags next to each other on the floor. Keeping your back in a neutral position bring your hips back, bend down and pick them up.

Always be sure to keep a neutral back position

Laundry Bag Carry-20 seconds
Hug a laundry bag full of clothes to your chest and simply walk with it.

Drop me a line for some more ideas and don’t forget to consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.

– from the Castro Valley Forum, May 27, 2009

Mitchell Rothbardt
Discover Your Strength