Biblitz delivers advise

ASK Biblitz about Fitness.

'Little does the average business man know about himself. The truth is that he goes through more grueling calisthenics during a work day than the most active of coal heavers.'

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Workout Routines and Exercises

Download the iTunes on our non-stop, premium, high-octane Celtic Fitness Playlist I!

See also Obesity and Body Image.

... UP, gentlemen!


Biblitz asks, what should I add to my fitness routine on the elliptical trainer?

What-ho, fitnessmeisters,

In search of fitness music? Look no further! Copy the Biblitz Celtic Crush Workout Playlists I and II of selections from the Sirius/XM program with host Larry Kirwan twice weekly on Spectrum 18.

I do 35-50 min. a day on the elliptical trainer and feel pretty good, firm, etc. Workout feels pretty complete as is but I wonder if I'm missing something. Slipped disc means just about all stretching is out so no yoga, pilates beyond a few acu-yoga moves for pain relief. I also walk a lot, swim and may take up skating again this year. Snapping shoulders are a bit of a concern. Any ideas?

Answers replies:
I think some kind of resistance training is always good - scratch that, almost a necessity- to include in your routine. If you're trying to lose fat (see ASK Biblitz about Obesity), more lean muscle = a faster metabolism = more calories burned throughout the day. If you're trying to gain muscle, well, weight training is going to have the biggest impact on that. Try a basic routine, maybe a machine circuit they have at your gym, to get you going if you're new to weight training. I'm not just saying this because I'm a trainer, but having a personal trainer map out a plan for you and show you how to do everything right is really so, so worth it. Hope that helps!

How long must all this hot, weary workout business go on?

What of it? Clap eyes on Russian dance sensation Maya Plisetskaya here in 2006 at 78, still showing the boys how it's done in a performance of a rather tiresome ballet set to Ravel's Bolero. Biblitz saw old Spaghetti Arms back when she was a girlish youngster of 45 or 46, laughing her head off at the good, old Bolshoi's expense, ripping telephone lines out of hotel rooms and generally painting the West red! You go, girl!

Check out the mule-like recoil on that back leg!

... Marilyn, is that you?

... and DOWN!

FAD TinyTeaman
One cannot deny the transforming effects of a robust exercise campign, Biblitz feels, and dance provides an especially invigorating method as all the cheerful young wrestlers on this page will attest. Don't let Marilyn here fool you, either. Lose those high heels and she becomes a brutal spandex- snapping, mud-slinging competitor quite able to give you six of the best! Oh, yes!

Workout Routines and Exercises

Yes, a brisk walk does burn calories, and training the world's dumbest pet-slave will no doubt raise your blood pressure, but one can't sculpt fine muscles like these without some help from professionals like our friends at TrainWithMeOnline!

The Merry Heart

Selections 1980-1995

By Robertson Davies

See the New York Times story, Be Sure Exercise Is All You Get at the Gym by Jane E. Brody Aug. 2/10 for the heads-up on skin infections gym rats get from less-than-sanitary fitness facilities. Ew!

We live in an age when the care of physical health has attained almost to the stature of a religion. People eat extraordinary and disagreeable foods and dose themselves with pills and supplements to ensure the uttermost perfection of healthy diet. They flog themselves to the most distressing exertions, hoping thereby to bully their bodies into some sort of exaggerated well-being. Creature comforts hallowed by centuries of acceptance as friends to man are now condemned as vile indulgences, harmful to the standers-by, harmful to the unborn, noxious and disgusting as well as ruinously expensive. It appears as though everybody under the age of fifty were convinced that by making their lives unbearable, they might extend their existence forever. Yes, it really seems as if they hoped that they might never die.
Workout Routines and Exercises
But what kind of lives are they thus preserving? Are they happy? Are they fun to be with? Are they wise? Do their contemporaries and their children hold them in high respect? Very often these questions must be answered with a resounding No! As Henry Thoreau said a century and a half ago, the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. If he were living today he would have to amend that statment to include women, who can be every bit as desperate as their brothers. As they jog and diet their way among us, the faces of such people are masks of despair. Do you want to join them?

If you don't, here is one way - just one way among many, but in my ten minutes I can't explore many ways - to avoid it. It sounds simple, but it isn't, if you take it seriously.

Get yourself a good anthology of poetry, and keep it by your bed. Read a little before you go to sleep. Read a little if you wake up before the alarm goes off. Read a little if you wake up in the night. When you are idle during the day - on public transport, or at a committee meeting - let your mind dwell on what you have read. One book will last you a long time. Indeed, it may last you a lifetime, but I hope you may acquire more books of poetry as time goes on. Read, not as people tend to read fiction or history, to get to the end of the book, to have the reading over with, to be able to say "I've read that." No; reread. Read until you find that you are reading the poem without actually looking at the words. Hear every word in your head. Do not skim; do not read quickly, any more than you would play a piece of music absurdly fast on your hi-fi, simply to get it over with. Read, listen to and savour the words, and the sense. ...
It is not growing like a tree
In bulk, doth make men better be;
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,
To fall a log at last, dry, bald and sere:
A lily of a day
Is fairer far in May,
Although it fall and die that night;
It was the plant and flower of light.
In small proportions we just beauty see;
And in short measures, life may perfect be.

(Ben Jonson) (From Convocation Address, pgs. 288-289)

Bon vivant Christopher Hitchens attorns to the fitness regime with enviable results:

Vanity Fair

On the limits of self-improvement, Part III. As his thoughts turned from vanity to mortality, the author found that a gleaming new smile helped him vanquish his deadliest habit. Wrapping up a year-long overhaul, he gets his locks freshly sculpted by Frederic Fekkai, then tackles the final frontier: exercise

September, 2008

The thing is constructed and balanced around a heavy steel wheel that is moved by a series of chains. The hardest way to move the wheel is with your feet, on the rear pedals. The second hardest way is with your arms, using the metal oars at the front. At first I thought that there must be some snake oil involved, but I have since met several good trainers who use the machine mainly or exclusively at their gyms. At the worst, you get your heart rate right up and break a decent sweat. At the best, you lose weight in the bargain. As a compromise, you can look thinner without getting any lighter. This is because - wouldn't you know it? - muscle weighs more than fat. In fact, the ROM people warn you that you may gain a few pounds in the first few months of use. The best I can say is that, even though I had just given up smoking, I didn't add any poundage to my 190 starting weight. ...

So this is the scorecard after almost a year of effort. Weight: the same, only slightly better distributed. Life expectancy: presumably somewhat increased, but who's to say? Smile: no longer frightening to children. Hair and skin: looking less as if harvested from a battlefield cadaver. Nails: a credit to the male sex. Ennui, Weltschmerz, general bourgeois blues: more palpable and resulting from virtue rather than vice (which somehow makes them worse and harder to bear) but arguably less severe. Overall verdict: some of this you can try at home and some of it you certainly should. (-- p. 258)

How to slot excercise into a busy wokaday schedule, you ask?

Fields for President


By W. C. Fields

More Fields.

I would awake each morning at the crack of noon and walk a good three miles before breakfast to the old Rittenhouse Hostelry, for men only, where the newspaper boys hung out. Then came a long afternoon of baseball, where I learned to yell "Kill the umpire" louder than anyone else in the left-field bleachers. Then back to the boys at the old "Rit" as we succinctly (meaning briefly) referred to it. After dinner I would generally occupy myself with volley ball, sometimes varying that with a firemen's or policeman's ball. About midnight I would pick out a likely-looking table and catch forty winks under it. We had no patience with mollycoddles who slept in beds in those days. Soon I'd be back at my break-neck program, and would spend the rest of the night in figuring racing forms, and often as not I'd be able to pick up some fine tips from the bookies and stable hands. It only proves what methodical physical culture can do for you. Never, my gentle readers, take any stock in the man who says, "Pshaw, I sit at a desk all day and never do anything more strenous than sign my name, and look at me - sound as a bell, sweet as a nut. Exercise is sheer bunkum!" How many times have I heard that twaddle! Little does the average business man know about himself. The truth is that he goes through more grueling calisthenics during a work day than the most active of coal heavers. (From the chapter entitled, How I Have Built Myself into a Physical Marvel, p. 112)

There's golf, of course, which may provide unexpected side benefits:

The Clicking of Cuthbert


By P.G. Wodehouse

'The only way,' I said to Alexander, 'of really finding out a man's true character is to play golf with him. In no other walk of life does the cloven hoof so quickly display itself. I employed a lawyer for years, until one day I saw him kick his ball out of a heel-mark. I removed my business from his charge next morning. He has not yet run off with any trust-funds, but there is a nasty gleam in his eye, and I am convinced that it is only a question of time. Golf, my dear fellow, is the infallible test. The man who can go into a patch of rough alone, with the knowledge that only God is watching him, and play his ball where it lies, is the man who will serve you faithfully and well. The man who can smile bravely when his putt is diverted by one of those beastly worm-casts is pure gold right through. But the man who is hasty, unbalanced, and violent on the links will display the same qualities in the wider field of everyday life. ... (From the story, Ordeal by Golf, p. 121)

Brothers In Law


Funniest golf episode on film featuring Ian Carmichael as the earnest young articling law student, who manages to lose an uncontested divorce petition. ... What has become of all these delightful comedies of a kinder, gentler yesteryear, one wonders sadly?

A few words about about buying fitness machines

Biblitz householders are all fans of our LifeFitness elliptical trainer, a fabulous monster machine that captured our hearts in the documentary, Ballets Russes, in which ancient former dancers even older than Biblitz still look great shaking their booties on the thing. Happily, we purchased extended warranty coverage, which did eventually - puff, puff! - cover the repair/replacement part required when an axle became twisted and snapped three years after purchase.

Interestingly, although Fitness Town in Vancouver, B.C., where we purchased Monstro, recorded all the extended warranty info at the time of purchase, we were non-plussed to find that when it came time to apply the coverage against a repair, they either didn't have or wouldn't check their records. Quaere whether this would constitute a deceptive practice within the meaning of B.C.'s Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act:

Deceptive acts or practices

4 (1) In this Division:

"deceptive act or practice" means, in relation to a consumer transaction,
(a) an oral, written, visual, descriptive or other representation by a supplier, or
(b) any conduct by a supplier that has the capability, tendency or effect of deceiving or misleading a consumer or guarantor;
"representation" includes any term or form of a contract, notice or other document used or relied on by a supplier in connection with a consumer transaction. ...

In the absence of warranty receipt info, which mercifully we were able to provide, FT was preparing to charge three times the warranty one-time $30 repair fee plus replacement parts and subsequent repair visit(s) - ka-ching$. Even worse, repair guy assessing the the malfunction made noises suggesting that Monstro had somehow not been installed properly/professionally, an assertion which, if true, might have precluded warranty coverage. Having anticipated this possibility, Biblitz wisely contracted for delivery and set-up as indicated on the receipt.

Moral: Even a high-end, commercial-quality machine will probably fall apart within a few short years, so extended warranty coverage even at $275 pays for itself - if you keep ALL receipts/warranty info.

Endgame: Acquaintance recently purchased a similar high-end machine from the same FT outlet and although s/he contracted for delivery and set-up, the personal adjustments post-set-up agreed at the time of purchase were suddenly not part of the deal on delivery.