The Official eNewsletter of TODAY! Fitness

vol. 2008 issue 12



TF Original:  Back and Bi Blaster

I think there are many of us that have wanted to come up with a new invention at one time or another, or have had ideas and just not followed through on them.  I'm kind of in between right now and I'm looking for your feedback regarding one of those ideas.

The other day I want to Home Depot (the birthplace of most of my do-it-yourself equipment) and picked up a 4" garage door pulley.  A little bit of rope with some PVC pipe for handles and I got myself a prototype. 

It's a very simple apparatus, but one that I have not seen before, nor have I seen similar equipment that duplicates the same motion.

So here's how it works... there's basically two different exercises that I have used this for at this time.  The first one is an alternating lateral pull-down.

You basically lift your feet off the floor and alternate one arm down, one arm up... I barely get 8 reps to each side and definitely feel the back and bi workout.  You could also leave your feet on the ground and lean back if your full bodyweight is too challenging for your level of fitness. 

By using the adjustable lashing strap, I also lower the pulley to do the same motion in an inverted plank position to work more of the middle back (row). 

The pulley portion can be hung directly from a clip and eye-hook set-up, but I like using a lashing strap so that you can adjust the height, as well as hang it from any cross-bar or tree branch.

So that's the deal.  Like I said, it's a simple, yet effective apparatus that I have found to be quite a challenging upper body exercise to work your latissimus dorsi (back) and biceps brachii (arms).

Right now I'm at the point where I'd like to see what kind of interest there would be for this cheap and simple tool.  My request for you is this... if you find this idea interesting, shoot me an email and let me know your thoughts. 

If you are REALLY interested in it, and are somewhat handy, it is really a simple construction plan if you want to make your own.  However, if you don't want to be bothered doing the assembly portion of this thing, I'll send you one that's ready to hang.  Cost is $10 plus s/h (I'll get some numbers on the s/h shortly).  I'm looking for some testimonials so that I can determine the interest level.  Let me know what you think.

Give Pete Feedback

Weight Loss and Fat Cells

Even though you lost 10 or 20 pounds of fat those fat cells aren't gone.  While you might have shrunk the cells, you didn't get rid of them.  They lie dormant and will expand again if you overeat or stop exercising!  Researchers in Stockholm, Sweden found that people keep the same number of fat cells throughout life and that fat cell number is fixed during childhood.  More important, the body destroys and grows new fat cells continuously.  Every year the body turns over about 10 percent of the fat cells.  Also, while you can't get rid of fat cells, you can create new ones.  Fat cells fill with fat to a certain level and trigger the development of new fat cells that also stay with you.  Drug companies should work on drugs that prevent fat cell generation rather than fight the losing battle of preventing fat accumulation in existing cells.  (Nature, published online May 8, 2008)

Elite Bodyweight Exercise of the Month!

Plyometric Broad Jump

The standing broad jump was an all time favorite when we did those fitness tests a bazillion years ago in gym class.  Believe it or not, it's still considered a very good exercise and is used in sport specific training to improve athletic performance.  The nature of the plyometric broad jump requires that you immediately go from jump to jump with little or no rest between repetitions.  This can be done in a straight line if you have the floor space, or by alternating directions as depicted above.  This is a great exercise for increasing leg and hip power and explosiveness.


Target:  legs and butt (quadriceps and gluteals)

Count:  2 count

Description:  Starting from a standing position, squat down with your arms also down near your calves.  While throwing your arms up, explode forward and up, driving your legs and jumping forward as far as you can go.  As you land, coil down into the starting position again (turning towards the opposite direction if required) and immediately go into your next repetition.

Sports Massage

Whether you're a weekend warrior, a professional athlete or an active individual who works hard to stay fit, sports massage can do far more than provide a feeling of pleasure or relief for the overworked body... it can rejuvenate body, mind and spirit.

In addition to the chance to let muscles relax, a 60 to 90 minute session can also help to identify irregularities that could turn into problems if not treated or allowed to recover. 

Sports massage is also known to speed recovery from hard workouts.  It is common to notice changes in muscle recovery time from days to hours due to the beneficial effects of sports massage.

Athletes around the world and at all levels of ability and accomplishment now rely on massage as an indispensible part of  their training programs.  Studies have shown that sports massage techniques, when used regularly as part of a regimented training program, increase the blood flow that is vital to recovery, improve the range of motion and strength of injured muscles and accelerate gains in muscle strength.

So what is the difference between regular massage and sports massage?  Basically, non-sports massage is more superficial and does not target specific muscle groups that are used in sports activity.

In sports massage, the techniques are designed to benefit muscles by warming and softening tissue, realigning muscle fibers, helping to heal scar tissue and flushing toxins from specific muscles.  A regular massage may relax you and make you feel great, but it won't specifically benefit the muscles or body parts that you've stressed in your workout.  Regular sports massage can:

  • Help identify tender areas before they develop ino injuries

  • Enhance overall body awareness

  • Stretch and relax muscles

  • Relieve muscle pain and spasms

  • Free muscle adhesions and soften scar tissue caused by injury

  • Improve range of motion

  • Restore suppleness and elasticity

  • Improve circulation of blood and lymph fluids

  • Flush out toxins that cause muscle stiffness and soreness

  • Speed recovery from muscular exertion

  • Relax the mind and body


It's Go Time!

Two down, two to go as far as the dangerous holidays go!  Time to take a break from all the tryptophan and start (or continue) the "trips to the gym" ; )  There's no doubt that the holiday gatherings will have an impact on your diet, but there's no reason that you can't spare 15 minutes to an hour of time each day to keep up your workouts!  No excuses... if you can't make it to the gym, there are a countless number of things that you can do in your basement, your family room, or at grandma's house.

As I've stated before, it's not unusual for people to slip a little during the holiday gatherings... just don't use the holidays as an excuse to get totally out of control!  Limit your cheating to "the gatherings", and try to practice SMART eating the rest of the time.  Sure you can go hog wild with the eating if you want to, but that's just the more ground you will have to make up when you decide to "start" being good again.  The choice is yours!

Darn... time flies when you're having fun.  I can't believe that this is the last issue of the third year of my eNewsletter!  As I begin the fourth year of "The Day After Yesterday" next month, with over 300 people on my distribution, I'd like to thank those of you that have proof-read my work, provided me feedback, or written articles for me!  Keep the responses and questions coming! 

Have a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season and I'll see you next year!

For prior issues of this newsletter go to  

Good Luck!

Pete Mazzeo, CPT

"Where attention goes, energy flows"

youtube video of the month --> Sandbag Training
No joke sandbag training workout that demonstrates variations of exercises and position. | Personal Training | News | Tips & Tools | Fitness Stuff




Get Toned!   Get Fit!   Lose Weight!   Feel Great!


TODAY! Fitness, LLC. , Bear, Delaware