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Michael Ochs Archives

With all the hype surrounding Sylvester Stallone’s return as Rocky Balboa in Creed II, it’s the upcoming Rambo sequel that’s even more interesting. In Creed, Sly’s taken on a mentor role to Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed, but in the upcoming Rambo 5, Stallone is hopping back into his familiar action hero territory.

Not much is known about the movie’s plot, outside of the fact that it’ll involve Mexican drug cartels and a kidnapping, but we do know that Stallone is leaving to film before the end of September. It’s been reported that Get the Gringo director Adrian Grunberg has signed on to direct as well. With Rambo gearing up to film, that means Stallone’s been hitting the gym hard to prepare. And at 72, the action veteran doesn’t look like he’s missed a beat.

Check out some of the workout videos he’s posted to Instagram:




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PAVEL YTHJALL
THE PROBLEM

You have chronic lower-back pain that inhibits you from performing big moves like deadlifts and bench presses.

THE SOLUTION

Research shows exercise is more beneficial for alleviating lower-back pain (LBP) than rest, so merely taking off a couple of weeks from the gym may not help much. But neither will gritting your teeth and training through the pain.

According to Carwyn Sharp Ph.D., C.S.C.S., chief science officer of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, your first step should be to see a medical professional who has experience. “While most people have LBP of unknown cause or origin, others may have a structural or trauma-induced issue with their vertebrae, nerves associated with the spine, or the spinal cord itself. This is not the time to man up—a serious back injury can hurt you for the rest of your life.”

Once you’re cleared to train, Sharp recommends integrating exercises to increase your gluteal, lower-back, and abdominal strength (e.g., plank progressions, glute-ham raises, Supermans, etc.) into your program, as well as incorporating trunk, hip-flexor, and hip-extensor mobility moves.

ANOTHER TIP

Don’t sit too much. “Sitting for long periods of time may contribute to or exacerbate your back pain,” Sharp says. “So get up and move throughout the day. Go get some water and walk the stairs for five minutes every half-hour.” 

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Westend61 / Getty

In this four-week program, you’ll blister and bruise your pecs with several familiar moves. However, we want you to slow down and take critical note of your training form. Making small adjustments will mean big changes in your progress. Within certain exercises, we’ve zeroed in on particular elements common to training mistakes—flaws that need the most minor of tweaks but could mean the most major of muscular improvements.

Follow the program, paying close attention to workout volume and intensity so you fail at the rep ranges given. In Week 1, this training plan is geared toward your overall chest development. Then, in Weeks 2, 3 and 4, we focus on the middle, lower and upper pecs, respectively. Even though each week focuses on a particular region of the chest, the program still includes exercises that target all areas.

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Finally, we’ve provided an intensity menu from which you’ll choose certain techniques to take your training to the next level. Follow the instructions carefully, and use one of the intensity-boosters listed only on your last set and when you see this symbol *. However, you should wait to use the techniques until after you’ve mastered the fine-tuning points laid out in this program. Intensity tactics such as these work best when coupled with stellar form and impeccable technique. Choose just one per workout.

Intensity Techniques Drop Sets

After completing your reps in a heavy set, quickly strip an equal amount of weight from each side of the bar or select lighter dumbbells. Continue repping until you fail, then strip off more weight to complete even more reps.

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Forced Reps

Have a training partner assist you with reps at the end of a set to help you work past the point of momentary muscular failure. Your training partner should help lift the bar with only the force necessary for you to keep moving and get past the sticking point.

Partial Reps

Do reps over only a partial range of motion—at the top, in the middle or at the bottom—of a movement.

Rest-Pause

Take brief rest periods during a set of a given exercise to squeeze out more reps. Use a weight you can lift for 2-3 reps, rest up to 20 seconds, then try for another 2-3 reps. Rest again briefly, then try for as many reps as you can handle, and repeat once more.

Negatives

Resist the downward motion of a very heavy weight. For example, on the bench press, use a weight that’s 15%-25% heavier than you can typically handle, and fight the negative as you slowly lower the bar to your chest. Have your partner assist with the positive portion of the rep.

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Greg Doherty / Patrick McMullan / Getty

Following their fantastic work together in Thor: Ragnarok, Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson have reunited again for Men in Black 4. Hemsworth shared the first look at the new Men in Black film on his social media accounts, posting a photo from the set and a video featuring both Hemsworth and Thompson.

Thompson was cast in the film in March to star alongside Hemsworth, who showed off his comedic chops in Ghostbusters and Ragnarok. The new film is expected to take the MIB organization on a more global scale compared to the earlier films.

Here’s a look at Hemsworth and Thompson on the set:


#MIB #PIB #HIB #MWIB #legendsinblack #revengers4life @TessaThompson_x pic.twitter.com/fKdbksEwhE

— Chris Hemsworth (@chrishemsworth) September 20, 2018


Yeah, so I’m gonna need Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson to be the leads of every movie going forward. Thanks in advance. pic.twitter.com/ruL0gbi348

— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) September 20, 2018

F. Gary Gray is directing the film after working on Straight Outta Compton and The Fate of the Furious, while Liam Neeson and Kumail Nanjiani are also in the cast, although it has not been confirmed who they’ll be playing.

Emma Thompson is also in the new film, returning to the franchise as Agent O after appearing in Men in Black 3. While Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith are not expected to return, the film isn’t going to completely ignore the world that was built over the first three movies.

Men in Black 4 is set for a May 17, 2019 release.

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LauriPatterson / Getty

You can’t have a fresh Neapolitan pizza delivered to a war zone (unless Seamless got on that) but now, thanks to more than 20 years worth of military-grade food engineering, active-duty soldiers can dig into a quality slice next time they’re taking a break from letting freedom ring.

Introduced in the 1980s, Meals, Ready to Eat (or MREs for short) are high-calorie meals that soldiers can employ at any time, no cooking required. The main appeal? They're designed to last for 36 months, even in harsh conditions. But just like you’d expect from meals that come in a plastic pouch—they just weren’t that good. Oldies-but-goodies include ham and chicken loaf, beef frankfurters, and a cheese and veggie omelet that was so bad it was dubbed the “Vomlet” by soldiers. (Yeah, they discontinued that in 2009).

In fact, MREs were so detested by military leaders during the Gulf War that they were cited as an actual morale problem. This prompted Gen. Colin Powell, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, to call upon the Combat Feeding Directorate. Powell held up one of the rations and issued a simple, but very stern, command: "I have two words for you. Fix it!" 

Soon after, the Army distributed a survey that found that “pizza and beer” were the most requested items. The Army’s team of food scientists got to work.

If you’re wondering why it’s taken 27 years to release a simple slice of pizza, it’s because creating edible and long-lasting MREs is a logistical nightmare. The primary challenge was correctly balancing the levels of PH and moisture in the bread, sauce, and cheese so that it wouldn’t become too dry or soggy. Also, oxygen hiding in the holes of the crust turned the cheese and sauce rancid. This was fixed by adding a small number of iron fillings to the sealed pouch, which bound the oxygen.

Lo and behold: MRE No. 23 was born. The full meal includes blueberry cobbler, a chocolate protein drink, an oatmeal cookie, Italian breadsticks with jalapeno cheese spread, and pepperoni- and cheese-laden pizza. The real question, though, is how does it taste?  “On our scale, it got a seven,” says Army senior food technologist, Michelle Richardson. “Nine is the highest.”

Need more convincing? The New York Times recruited Jeff Pond, who is the chef at Area Four, a top-rated artisanal pizzeria in Boston, to give it a try. His response: “You know, they’re not far off. It’s familiar. It reminds me of the frozen pizzas I had as a kid.” After another bite, Pond proclaimed, “I actually like this.” Mission success.

If you're interested in a more thorough walkthrough of MRE No. 23, check out this video review from YouTube's resident MRE expert, Steve1989MREInfo:

2018 MRE Pepperoni Pizza MRE Review Meal Ready to Eat Ration Taste Testing - YouTube

[h/t The New York Times, The Seattle Times]

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