Category Archives: Body Talk

Healthful Side Effects of Gay Marriage & Coming Out – Who Knew?

Hey, we all know it is stressful living with lies. But a new study suggests coming out of the closet can actually improve your health!

NBC News has a discussion based on Carlo Joyce’s story.

“After I came out at 19, things got better with my family,” he recalled. But then he joined the Marines and had to hide his sexuality all over again.

He had to go to strip bars to fit in, and when the other guys talked about sex, or dating, he had to be sure he changed the gender in his stories. “It was very stressful to live that double life,” he explained. “I always had to watch what I said.”

Now, in a study released today in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, a team of psychologists and neurologists from McGill University and the University of Montreal has found that leading that double life affects physical and mental health. Gays, bisexuals and lesbians who disclosed their sexuality to family, friends and co-workers were psychologically healthier and had lower levels of a key stress-related hormone than those who were still “in the closet.”

That finding could help explain a remarkable study published last year by a group of researchers from Columbia University in the American Journal of Public Health. They found that after Massachusetts enacted its same-sex marriage law in 2003, there was a significant drop in medical and mental health care visits — and therefore costs – incurred by gay men.

Read the rest at NBC News.

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The Four Best Exercises

Exercise trends are called trends for a reason. They last about as long as a head of lettuce and offer about as many benefits. But some have been around since the birth of weight lifting, and that’s because they work.

But which are the best of the best, and how can you maximize them?

imageWhat’s great about pushups is that you can do them even though you may be weaker than a pick up line. You can start with a few, and over time increase repetitions at a good, even pace that builds muscle in the chest, shoulders and triceps. Different variations of the exercise can work the abdominals as well.

The one-arm pushup: It’s the pushup that impresses, the one that only the strongest and bravest should attempt. That’s right I’m talking about you.

Widen your feet and place your hand on the floor beneath the middle of your chest. Tuck your other arm behind your back. As you lower yourself, you’ll realize that this isn’t a straight-up-and-down movement like a regular pushup.

You’ll twist on the ball of your foot and untwist as you push yourself back up—if you can. You’ll feel muscles working all up and down the side of your body that corresponds to which hand is on the floor.

Do an equal number with each arm, and don’t even try one-arm pushups unless you can bench-press your own body weight eight to 10 times.

imageThe Arm-Blaster Curl
The arm blaster hangs from your shoulders and prevents your elbows from moving forward and back during a curl.

This forces your biceps to work much harder than they would if allowed to swing a little.

Consequently, this curl is the best single exercise for working all parts of the biceps with maximum intensity.

The Squat
imageIf you aren’t doing squats in your workout, then you don’t have a workout. Squats shape the body and develop performance power.

It’s the easiest power move to learn, and you’ll see the fastest results in both strength and muscle size.

To get more out of the squat: Focus on squatting deeper, rather than heavier. The key is to descend until your thighs are parallel to the floor, while still keeping your heels on the floor and maintaining the natural arch in your lower back.

Use a light weight until you develop the correct form.

This deeper squat builds muscle faster and is safer for your knees than a squat in which you stop before your thighs are parallel to the floor. When you cut a squat short, you turn your knees into brakes. And you know what happens to brakes. They wear out.

The Clean and Jerk
imageThe clean and jerk used to be a staple move in hard-core gyms where guys would throw around weights the size of small cars.

But it’s making a big comeback in collegiate training rooms and with the popularity of its champion, Ivan Stoitsov (photo). It requires a combination of speed, strength, skill and balance that few exercises can match.

Place your feet hip-width apart with the bar directly over the balls of your feet. Set the bar right above the point where your toes meet the rest of your foot. Place your hands just about shoulder width apart.

Begin to lift the bar by pushing your feet through the floor. Keep your shoulders, hips and the bar all moving at the same rate of speed. The bar will get to about mid-thigh.

Give your shoulders a big “shrug” and jump your feet out to the sides as you raise the bar to your shoulders. Catch the bar across your shoulders with your elbows held high. You’ll be in a squat position with bar slightly under your chin.

Slowly rise up out of the squat until you’re standing straight with the bar on your chest. Take a deep breath and dip down before you raise the bar overhead.

When complete, split your feet with one leg forward, the other one back and hold. Get steady then bring your legs even with each other again.

So go ahead and jerk. Get a spotter, and start with light weights. Focus on building speed more than building strength. Add weight only when your form is fluid and the move feels natural.

If you’re not ready, use dumbbells instead of a barbell.

imageContributing blogger Troy Meyers is a certified personal trainer and sports conditioner with more than 10 years of experience. He owns Atlanta-based JockBoyLocker.comand contributes to the site’s Lockerroom Blog.

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Body Talk: You Are Hot!

Body Talk: Men4Men’s Guide to Fitness
By Jonathan Lovitz
Photo by Mark Bradley Miller

Ask any guy why he joins a gym and the answer will always be: “I want to get hot!” Well guys, it’s my pleasure to break it to you: you already are! When I was asked to write these fitness columns I really had no idea where to begin. Do I tell you about what weights are best; what you should be eating; the yummiest protein? No, none of that matters until you look at yourself in the mirror and realize the only person who you need to worry about impressing with your body is you. Don’t worry, I’ll answer all your questions about getting that beach body you’re looking for, but first things first: let’s chat about why we’re going to sweat (oh yes, there will be sweat) to get there.

Each week RuPaul tells her ladies on Drag Race that they’d better remember who really comes first because “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love someone else.” Amen, Ru. Amen.

Listen, body image, like that gorgeous muscle boy you stare at each time you go to the bar, is a bitch. Every ad in every magazine shows us glistening pecs and rippling six-packs that lead us to believe that we’re not worth squat unless we can grate cheese on our stomachs. I’ve traveled to every corner of the United States and met guys of all ages that buy into that load of brilliantly-designed marketing bull. Sure, sex sells, but you’re not a pair of underwear or the swankiest new all-organic-zero-calorie-high-energy cocktail being endorsed by Lance Bass. You are a gorgeous man who is already sexy just because you’ve embraced who you are. Working out, eating right, and keeping your body and brain healthy are what make the wrapping on the present firm and desirable, but it’s the man inside that matters.

I promise there will be no more soapbox speeches about loving yourself, and no, I don’t mean what you do in your spare time. All I want you to think about is who you’re really looking to “get hot” for when you’re working out. If it’s anyone other than you, he’s not worth it. Trust me. It took me a long time to figure that one out, and now that I have I’ve never felt better.

In the coming months I’ll be giving you plenty of tips on building all the muscles you want to work on, all the foods that are best to eat, and all tricks to looking your best no matter what your body type. With my tips you’re going to look and feel the best you’ve ever felt. Just remember that there will always be some guy younger and more fit than you, but he doesn’t have your heart. That’s the sexiest muscle you’ve got!

Let’s get physical!

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