Exercise is Medicine by ACSM

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13 Jan

BLOG 146 JUICING

Juicing has become a popular craze among fitness and nutrition fanatics. Having a juicer at home is just about as common as having a toaster these days. The power of fruits and vegetables does wonders for our internal health and it is unlikely to consume the recommended daily totals (17 each). The reasons one might start to juice include weight loss, lowering blood pressure, or detoxing. It is no healthier than eating the same content, but a popular trend is a trend and jumping on board happens to the best of us.

Personally, I like the texture and chewing action of eating. I feel satiated longer and feel that I’m getting more bang for my buck. Liquid doesn’t fill me up, at least not for long. So if I were to eat an apple vs. drink an apple you can see my point…. 5 min to chew an apple vs. 2 seconds to drink that sip of apple. And I do have to say from my research for this, there aren’t many claims other than being able to consume more fruits and vegetables per day that justify the benefits of juicing. So why so popular??

Adding to this, I watched a documentary called, “7 Days 2 Guys 1 Juicer”. In this film, Chad and Kenny were two obese middle-aged men, who for 7 days were put in a hotel to complete a 7 day juicing cycle. When they arrived the refrigerator was stocked with nothing but fresh produce. Not one item was in the freezer. From the gate, the men noticed how much work juicing really was with prepping the produce and then cleaning up after. This was quite the lifestyle change for them both, coming from backgrounds of fast food, no activity, and very little motivation to be healthy and make changes. Taken out of their environments, the men were forced to follow the plan precisely. They underwent withdrawal, headaches, and hunger pains.

According to the documentary, juicing dates back to the ancient Greeks who used pomegranate juice as a love potion. In the U.S., juicing was introduced in the 1920s when there was a new popularity to be vegetarian or vegan. In the 1970s, Jack Lalanne sold his famous juicer. Today, people in their 20s and 30s have created a $5billion business out of juicing. There’s a status associated with high end juice bars connected to yoga studios.

In the end, Chad and Kenny lost about 9 pounds each. I really anticipated a higher weight loss considering their past, which goes to show that juicing isn’t entirely weight loss oriented and the weight can be gained right back after stopping. Here’s the concept: “Doing the math, on average, an ounce of ‘mixed juice’ contains about 15 calories. If you need 1,400-1,500 calories daily to achieve weekly weight loss, you could drink a whopping 96 ounces of this juice (about 12 cups) each day and still stay in that calorie range, which should result in weight loss. On this sample juicing diet, you would, however, only be getting 9 grams of fiber (36% of your need) and 25 grams of protein (41% of your need) each day, which is far from ideal. This unbalanced nutrient intake would result in immediate muscle mass loss and an increase in hunger and food cravings. Other nutrients such as fat, vitamins and minerals would also be severely lacking. Successful and safe long-term weight loss would not be achievable on such a plan” (http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=1800).

Obesity causes over 25 diseases, so we do want to make sure proper nutrition is in place, but the type that is sustainable. In a world that praises fat-free and all natural that comes out of a box, something isn’t right with our food. Fresh is always best. Have a juice here and there to compliment your eating. It can be a nice, cold, refreshing, sweet beverage. Take your fitness journey tips, use them to your advantage, and make those changes the best you can, each and every day!!!!

06 Jan

BLOG 145 CHILDREN & NUTRITION

Is it strange to see a child reading a nutrition label?? Is that not something a kid should be doing….worrying about their weight, concerned about calories, watching how much sugar there is in an item?? In a sense, we want kids to be kids, but we also want them to be healthy, happy, and do well. As childhood obesity rises, we know that changes need to be made to address the problem. Innocence isn’t lost with nutrition education and food doesn’t have to serve as reward for our youth. Let’s talk about children and nutrition.

It’s never too early to learn the basics of foods. We all grew up going to the store with mom or dad and walking down the aisles. We would reach for what we wanted and beg for those treats, sometimes making store time a real battle for our parents. Fruits and vegetables aren’t children’s favorite food selections, sometimes making the be forced. They’re not the after school snack of choice. This is due largely in part to the 5,500 advertisements kids see about junk food versus the 100 they might see regarding fruits and vegetables (“The Kids Menu” (2015) by Kurt Engfehr) featured on Netflix.

If you ask a child if they know anyone who is obese in their family, almost everyone would raise their hand that they do. If one parent is obese, that child is 40% more likely to be obese too. That goes to say that if both parents are obese, then there is an 80% chance. It is said that parents are 72% responsible for what their children eat, of course the rest of the time is when kids are at school or not with them. Fast food is also a reality with the demands of parenting, but it becomes important to make healthier selections and teaching children to do so. (“The Kids Menu” (2015) by Kurt Engfehr)

I grew up on fast food. That was what 2 full time working parents with 3 kids and sports year-round resulted in. I was active and that deterred a lot of what I was eating. But to be completely honest, my parents were role models of healthier choices. When we went to McDonalds, dad ordered a salad or grilled chicken sandwich and an iced tea. Mom did the same. We could order whatever we wanted, but you do what your parents do. Just this Christmas, I was saying to my dad while everyone was eating that I never had prime rib before because you never made that. We had chicken and salmon.

Where my mixed messages came from were the athletes and TV that I watched. I saw my favorite sports stars drinking Gatorade, so naturally I wanted that too for every practice. I was oblivious to the sugar content and definitely didn’t need the excess calories. Processed food is attractive with it’s decorative packaging.
So all in all, the issue with children and nutrition comes down to 3 key points. The first being their lack of knowledge. If children knew the benefits of whole foods, fruit and vegetables versus their bodies’ responses to cereals, granola bars and sugar filled drinks, maybe they might make a better-informed decision. Second, children need to have access to a good diet. This means what they are fed at home and school. The pantry shouldn’t be filled with boxes of food and school lunches can have a daily salad bar. And lastly, children need role models of health. What they see is what they do. We are products of our environment.

Obesity isn’t the entire issue, it’s also the resulting diseases from it. I hope that I can lead children by example and lead my clients by example who can then pass this on. It’s a community effort and requires leadership in health and wellness. When we better ourselves, we can better others, and you never know who is watching. So be a leader on your fitness journey and be the difference in someone’s life to see and feel the results of a healthy mind and BODY.

30 Dec

BLOG 144 USAIN BOLT

Netflix got me again, this time with a great documentary called, “I Am Bolt”. This movie explored the running career of the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt from Jamaica. There is certainly a gap between this man and the rest. He’s naturally a champion and he’s says it’s all for making people smile. His tall stature and fun energy make him lovable, but best of all, he just runs…. no drama, no politics, just the sport. He’s that much better than everyone else.

Bolt has a triangle team that helps him. His coach is Glen Mills, is an ordinary man who always reminds Bolt to take control, there’s no pressure, and to just run. He is like a second father to him. NJ is the name of his best friend who is also his manager. He might be the most influential person in his life and the brotherhood is mutually beneficial. Finally, his agent is another important member. They’re the folks that make him work. In fact, his training is sort of barbaric. Like an ox he drags weights behind him on the dirt field. He cuts up his legs with his cleats on a daily basis.

His running started in 2002 at age 15, where he won the World Jr. Championships. Some of Bolt’s titles include the 4x World Champion of the 100 and 200 meter races. 2007 is when he broke the World Record the 1st time.

Injuries have cost him setbacks along the way, but realistically he still wins when he comes back. Due to his scoliosis he does have lower back and hip issues. But Bolt is his own worst enemy when he’s not motivated, not necessarily his injuries.

The Jamaican team has also won the 4×4 relay with him. Justin Gatlin of the USA is probably his closest form of competition. Justin is a talker and Bolt hates that, but uses it as fuel for the fire. The catch would be that although Gatlin is fast, he also was caught in 2006 using performance enhancing drugs, somewhat tainting his abilities.

Bolt is an athlete like no other with his ability to basically out run anyone. He has now retired, saying he looks forward to normalcy and eating what he wants. He feels like he sacrificed a lot but it was all worth it. What a site to watch him run. He will remain among the Michael Jordans and Babe Ruths we will never forget.

“I Am Bolt”, 2016, Benjamin Turner & Gabe Turner

24 Dec

BLOG 143 SLEEP APNEA

Sleep is part of each cycle in our day. We are sensitive to how much sleep we get and are aware of the bare minimum to make it through the day. Sometimes this nightly routine is not easy and sometimes it’s amazing. However, sleep apnea is a common but very serious sleep disorder among more folks. So let’s take a closer look at this condition.

Definitions are always a good start. Thus, “Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. This means the brain — and the rest of the body — may not get enough oxygen” (https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox). There are 2 types of this. Obstructive sleep apnea (OPA) is the more common type in which the airway is blocked and the throat collapses. Central sleep apnea is when the brain isn’t signaling the body to breathe. Communication is ineffective with the respiratory system.

Here are the common risk factors for sleep apnea:
(https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox)
• Being male
• Being overweight
• Being over age 40
• Having a large neck size (17 inches or greater in men and 16 inches or greater in women)
• Having large tonsils, a large tongue, or a small jaw bone
• Having a family history of sleep apnea
• Gastroesophageal reflux, or GERD
• Nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum, allergies, or sinus problems

And here are the health risks if left untreated:
(https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox)
• High blood pressure
• Stroke
• Heart failure, irregular heartbeats, and heart attacks
• Diabetes
• Depression
• Worsening of ADHD
• Headaches

If you have any of these symptoms, go see your doctor. From there, they might have you to do a sleep study to monitor your eye movement, heart rate, breathing, choking, and/or snoring. This may result in the following: “The treatment of choice for obstructive sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure device (CPAP). CPAP is a mask that fits over the nose and/or mouth, and gently blows air into the airway to help keep it open during sleep. This method of treatment is highly effective” (https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/sleep-apnea-treatment). And then, “Other methods of treating sleep apnea include: dental appliances which reposition the lower jaw and tongue; upper airway surgery to remove tissue in the airway; nasal expiratory positive airway pressure where a disposable valve covers the nostrils; and treatment using hypoglossal nerve stimulation where a stimulator is implanted in the patient’s chest with leads connected to the hypoglossal nerve that controls tongue movement as well as to a breathing sensor” (https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/sleep-apnea-treatment). Other lifestyle changes like losing weight and cutting out alcohol and smoking can help.

It’s hard to argue that lack of sleep is not fun. Sadly, many of us are used to this with life’s demands. However, serious cases when sleep deprivation is continuous need to be addressed. We want our mind and body to be operating as best as possible on our fitness journeys so be sure to get those zzzzzz’s.

16 Dec

BLOG 142 JEANS
They say the tell-tale sign you know you are losing weight and working out is when your jeans start to FIT better. Coming from a FIT Chick who never wears regular clothes, I wouldn’t be able to tell you what size I wear. But I hear clients refer to this all the time as they shed inches and pounds. Go by how your clothes feel ? In my case, when gearing up for a competition by leggings do actually fit differently. Anyways, the retail industry markets sizes and we gravitate towards the sections in stores where we find what works for us. But how accurate are these sizes??

It honestly depends where you shop, what size you will wear. SO how can you mark all your progress and hard work by what pants size you wear or desire to be?? You don’t because a pear of jeans at the GAP that are size 4 don’t necessary fit like a size 4 from H&M. In fact, “This phenomenon is called ‘vanity sizing’, and it occurs because clothing size in the U.S. is not standardized, so brands are free to create their own definitions” :

Use this link below on your browser to see a good image of this comparison (sorry the image would not insert here)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2702866/Are-six-Gap-eight-H-M-A-look-just-jeans-sizing-differs-25-mainstream-retailers.html#ixzz4zgyeZXHt

And yet, we fall for the trap. Society tells us what sizes define you as “skinny”, so much so that “skinny” jeans were created. The tighter the better somehow took precedence over what was comfortable. Here’s the reality, “Despite the inconvenience caused by vanity sizing, it does seem to have a positive psychological effect on shoppers. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology found that smaller size labels increased the self esteem of customers, while larger size labels reduced self esteem” (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2702866/Are-six-Gap-eight-H-M-A-look-just-jeans-sizing-differs-25-mainstream-retailers.html) .

So best practice would be to keep a pair of jeans, regardless of the size that you currently are not able to fit into. As you start to notice progress and change, revisit them. Do they FIT now?? Size is not the priority. Men, this goes for you too. Your self-worth, hard work, and fitness journey don’t depend on any number. Your fitness journey is about daily strides to become the best version of you. Rip the tags off and focus on the process because you are soooo worth it.

09 Dec

BLOG 141 GENERATION IRON 2

The world of Bodybuilding is an entity of its own. There’s no ESPN, most fans who attend go because they know someone competing, and the money athletes spend between training, admissions and supplements can run up quite the tab. “Generation Iron 2”, the follow up to “Generation Iron” on Netflix, dives into the sport behind the scenes. These organizations, IFBB and NPC, are much different than what I experience and compete in.

This subculture of bodybuilding is about changing your appearance through weights. It’s about sculpting what you want to see. Jay Cutler, the current Mr. Olympia for the past 4 years, discussed how the environment has changed. Everyone is about being popular, and it’s not that hard to do if you are a winner or not with the internet and social media. How many followers can you get?? Joe Weider, the organizer of the Olympia, says that the old school commodity of hanging out, training together and eating together no longer exists. You were friends back stage not falsely online. The difference is technology and supplements. The Venice Beach days are gone and posing routines aren’t like they used to be.

A few competitors were spotlighted. Kai is from India, and he has trained for years but never won any titles. As a result, he figures it isn’t meant to be and uses his body for other endeavors now like art and posing routines in shows. Being runner up for 3 years finally took its toll. Calum is an Australian who moved to the U.S. and aspired to earn his professional status. Bodybuilding is now his career path. In Kuwait, an investor named Boodai, has formulated a team to come compete at the Olympia. They represent their country with purpose and pride. In the end, his top competitor ended up winning this year’s Mr. Olympia.

On the women’s side, the sport has really changed. The sport is more about being attractive and actual bodybuilding doesn’t exist anymore. There are the categories of bikini, fitness, figure and physique. Iris Kyle the is the 10x Ms. Olympia but because the category has been eliminated she no longer competes. The lack of femininity of women’s bodybuilding makes it not appealing to watch. Sex sells, not manly women.

Rich Piana was also talked about. He has used steroids for over 25 years, and he actually died this year. He has many haters because he doesn’t compete, he sells supplements and has made a living off YouTube and social media. His body image sells and he found his niche. He is all about the dark side of the sport, which he openly admits and spotlights, but he does well for himself.

This sport can be selfish, relationships can be compromised, and the amount of time and effort is constant to be successful. It’s a lifestyle. No alcohol. It’s 100% if you want to be good. This movie shows the sport’s evolution and we will see where it is headed as more and more supplements emerge and competitors find ways to be at the top outside of just exercise and eating right.

02 Dec

BLOG 140 THE TRUTH ABOUT ALCOHOL

Alcohol is a major part of our society and they more you think about it the more, you more you realize how most social occasions, eating, and events, involve alcohol. For me, it takes on a very negative connotation as of a result of life experiences, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be around it or still be in settings that have it. There are a lot of common questions when it comes to this beverage and I’m always asked on fitness journeys tricks and traits to still be able to enjoy a cocktail or two and reach goals. Thus, I had to do some research and found a documentary called, “The Truth About Alcohol”, to help me out.

They say on average people (both men and women) should consume no more than 14 drinks per week. But what is a drink?? A drink should be measured as a unit. 1 shot of whiskey is 1 unit. A glass of wine depending on size is 2-3 units. 1 pint of beer is 2-3 units. As such, most do exceed 14 units.

Alcohol has many effects on the body. The brain functions differently when drinks are involved. Hand-eye coordination is not as sharp because self-control is impaired. Your attention is divided and multi-tasking is out of the question. Your mental energy is very limited, hence poor decision-making results.

It may appear that some people get drunk quicker than others. This has to do with one’s blood alcohol concentration. The amount of water in the body is the key. A person with more water in their body gets less drunk. Essentially, the water is diluting the alcohol. And hey, they also say the more muscle you have, then less drunk you get (winning for me just kidding). But the reality is that the bigger you are size wise, the more water you will have in your body and that is why someone petite gets drunk a lot faster.

Alcohol is also calorie rich and all of these are “extra” counted to the daily total intake. 1 shot has 59 calories, 1 glass of wine has 180 calories, and 1 pint of beer has 215 calories. Studies have shown alcohol makes you want to eat more. In fact, someone who drinks usually consumes 11% more than those who don’t in a social setting. That means having nearly 300 extra calories on top of the alcohol calories and not even knowing it. Eating before drinking can however help with processing alcohol in the body. The liver isn’t left on its own and the food helps absorb the beverages and slow them down as they come and move through the body.

Have you ever heard of the French paradox?? Well the French have a diet high in fat but the lowest rate of heart disease. They say the culprit is red wine because of its possible benefits to the heart. Wine dilates blood vessels because it is made up of polyphenols. The best type of red wine, noting that the darker the better, is called Sacration. But the counter argument is that you don’t need wine to help with heart health. The same benefits come from 24 grams of walnuts, 360ml of tea, or 85 grams of blueberries.

Does a night after drinking help with sleep?? The famous “night cap”. Truth is that it may help you fall to sleep quickly into a deeper state, but then the rest of the night is interrupted and light.

Finally, there are some studies relating alcohol to cancer. This is definitely true of the liver and pancreas. But some don’t know that alcohol does alter hormone levels, especially in women. This is the controversial link to breast cancer.

Alcohol and your fitness journey don’t exactly mix well, but I realize that this beverage is a big part of our culture. We always refer to moderation but must keep in mind the designated number of units and don’t exceed that. Again, choices, choices, choices, buy maybe this Blog will make you think twice. That’s what I do right haha??

“The Truth About Alchol”, 2016, by David Briggs.

26 Nov

BLOG 139 FASTING

“Science of Fasting” (2016), Sylvie Gilman, Thierry de Lestrade

Life expectancy is increasing, but that also means that the number of diseases and illnesses are increasing too. This requires medical attention, which plays into the money-making industry of Western medicine. In the fitness industry, clients ask about fasting for weight loss, but after watching, “Science of Fasting” (2016), this deprivation of food is actually a therapeutic approach to healing.

Russia’s public health system actually recognizes fasting. It is covered by healthcare. The documentary highlighted one of the Russian clinics where residents come to stay for a supervised program. This is not a DIY (do it yourself) process, which is a popular approach when it comes to internet searched detoxes, cleanses, juicing trials, or fasts. Here, fasting can take place up to a period of 3 weeks, and it’s all about WATER…. just water. The hunger sensation does disappear after a few days. The body is detoxing and living off its reserves. The body at first undergoes a “crisis” period as the impacted organism feeds on itself. So let’s say an alcoholic is trying to reverse liver damage, there could be possible pain the few days in the area. To help with this, patients are given body wraps, colonics and are recommended to exercise.

Of course this process is scary, because no one can tell how one’s body will react to food deprivation. But the body learns to tap into other energy sources. Our main source of energy is glucose and once the body has used this, it then taps into its energy reserves souring from proteins and fats. Now the body is using ketones for fuel.  Over the years, nearly 10,000 patients have been treated and 2/3 have experienced successful results.

A physician in Moscow was the first to bring fasting to the medical board for review in 1973. As a physiatrist, he had a patient who refused to eat. So he just let him not eat. By the 15th day, the patient had a better attitude and felt recovered from his mental illness symptoms. Fasting has been shown to improve and reverse symptoms of depression, phobias, obsessions, anxiety, and schizophrenia. At first, not many doctors or the medical world were open to this idea because being hungry has a negative connotation. But this doctor, Nicoliath (possible misspelling), from Moscow has helped over 8,000 people with asthma, arthritis, and eczema.

Fasting stresses the body. It then has to auto regulate itself. Faced with starvation, hormones start to act and tap into the reserves. For example, this process on a person with asthma would target the black histamine cells in the lungs, cleaning out this area through the fasting detoxification of this organ.

Fasting hasn’t undergone a great amount of research because the pharmaceutical companies are not encouraging this. If a person is diagnosed with diabetes, that equates to dollar signs for many years of medication. Studies have been done on penguins and rats, proving that these species can live off their reserves for nearly 4 months. This means that fasting is an adaption that body can undergo.

The concept of fasting ties into many weight loss strategies like the ketosis diet. The body is using other sources for fuel. It is important that this is of course a temporary, short lived approached. I was intrigued by the medical findings and thought of the effects of fasting the body of meat and dairy have which reduce inflammation. Consult a doctor and be sure to have professional supervision if this is something you are considering. To learn more, I would highly recommend watching the moving, “Science of Fasting”.

21 Nov

 

 

 

WHY AAU??

Amateur Athletic Union

Ambition. Admiration. Unstoppable.

Written by Megan Johnson McCullough: AAU Athlete Representative, Professional Natural PNBA Bodybuilding Figure Champion, NASM Master Trainer, Men’s Health Fitness Council Member
The Amateur Athletic Union, better known as AAU, has a remarkable history in the sports world. SO many athletes have gotten their start with this upstanding organization. Even I started my basketball days with them, and looking back, AAU has always been about the athletes. They truly uphold their commitment to “Sports For All, Forever”.

AAU was founded in 1888. Yes, 1888!!!! Today is has grown to over 700,000 participants and 150,000 volunteers. The list of sports one can partake in seems unending. Adding to the athletes, think of all the coaches, score keepers, organizers, and spectators involved. Here’s the list: baseball, basketball, baton, bodybuilding, bowling, cheerleading, dance, diving, fast pitch, football, golf, hockey, jump rope, lacrosse, martial arts, soccer, sport stacking, softball, strength sports (feats of strength, powerlifting, weightlifting), surfing, swimming, table tennis, target shooting, track and field, trampoline, volleyball, wrestling. There is so much to offer that the organization is broken up into districts. One is required to be a member to AAU, which ensures that all standards and uniformity is met for all sports, at all levels. No wonder it has become the largest non-profit, volunteer, sports organizations.

Here’s the Amateur Athletic Union’s Mission Statement: “To offer amateur sports programs through a volunteer base for all people to have the physical, mental, and moral development of amateur athletes and to promote good sportsmanship and good citizenship” (http://aausports.org/resources/governance/mission-statement) . Followed by their Vision Statement: “To offer amateur athletes and volunteers opportunities to develop to their highest level through a national and local network of sporting events. Through participation in AAU, we achieve our dreams as athletes and as valued citizens of our communities” (http://aausports.org/resources/governance/mission-statement).

I look back at the influential coaches in my life and the opportunities AAU provided me as an athlete. I was able to receive a full-ride basketball scholarship as a result. Competitive sport participation builds the foundations for future leaders of our communities. Most times, the AAU participants give back and become a coach themselves in the future. I sure did. I’m still competing today.

As an AAU athlete, I’m grateful to be part of the growing movement to bring back Bodybuilding and the different classes including Mixed Pairs, Bikini, Classic Physique, Figure, Physique, and Sports Model. AAU is about the ATHLETE and now in my later years of life, I’m still able to feel like one because of them.  I will do my best to spread my passion and commitment to this organization so that others can share the great experiences I have had. AAU allows me to be me and uphold my goals to lead others by example with Ambition and Admiration in an Unstoppable fashion.

 

20 Nov

BLOG 82 ROBBY ROBINSON

From a random Amazon Prime search for books I’d be interested in, I stumbled upon Robby Robinson. I’m finished reading his memoir, The Black Prince, and immediately felt inspired and motivated for more. This bodybuilder’s unique story is one I had to share and his path to success in the fitness world was not the average route. As one of the world’s first African American bodybuilders, his rise to fame was both a fight and a choice to perform regardless of the stakes.

Robinson was born in 1946 in the south. His fitness journey began with seeing the great, Jack La Lanne on T.V. as a teenager. His body immediately responded to the activity and he quickly noticed when looking in the mirror that muscles suited him well. He had the genes and body type for sure. He was drafted to the service and further learned the required discipline and tenacity needed to be a competitive bodybuilder. He came from very little and had very little equipment to use for training. It was his friendships with the right people that allowed him to enter gyms like Florida State and use their facility. One his friends introduced him to, Muscle Magazine, and it was then that Robby saw what he wanted to become so badly.

So of course he had to move to Venice Beach in order to train and compete with the best. He surrounded himself with the men of Muscle Beach and Gold’s Gym. His days in the south of black and white certainly changed in California. However, the world hadn’t seen a black bodybuilder of his caliber.  While in Venice, he even had a part in the movie, Pumping Iron.

 

His legacy speaks for itself. He earned the nickname, “The Black Prince”. In summary, “He competed professionally for twenty-seven years, winning titles including the IFBB Mr. America, Mr. World and Mr. Universe. However, he has always stood apart from the bodybuilding community, having spoken out for decades about the corruption of the business and later about the dangers of steroid abuse. That defiance earned him another moniker: the Bad Boy of Bodybuilding” (http://www.mrofansite.com/robinson.html). His career took him all over the world. In 1994, “He became the first IFBB Masters Mr. Olympia Champion over the Hulk, Lou Ferrigno. He went on to capture the over-50 title every year until he retired from professional competition in 2001 at the age of fifty-four” (http://www.mrofansite.com/robinson.html).

When Robinson trained, he wanted to feel the muscle change with each repetition. His workouts were learned by watching others, but perfected by his work ethic. No one could deny his merciless quest to be the best. Having said that, “His philosophy is that the body is a gift which can be molded into a beautiful piece of art if fed and trained properly. He calls his weights ‘the paintbrushes’ which have helped him achieve a body so chiseled it resembles a sculpture” (http://www.mrofansite.com/robinson.html). So today, when I was lifting, I slowed down just a tad to tune into the muscle change and really feel it. I admire Robinson’s mission to be the best and can only imagine on that level of competition what his body must endure.

His book, The Black Prince, is available on my shelf to borrow. The books I stumble upon that I enjoy the most always seem to be by luck. The aches and pains and gains of being a bodybuilder are all worth it once on the stage. The daily grind seems ruthless; the nutrition a nagging factor, and the exhaustion does set in. But I wouldn’t take a second of it back, and I’m sure Robby wouldn’t either. That’s why he still workouts out every day and even trains others to this day.