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Old 01-03-14, 02:11 PM   #1
spivonious
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Building upper body strength

I've gotten extremely strong legs from commuting to work on a bike the past year and a half, but my upper body is pretty scrawny. I don't like working out, which is why biking has been great. I get to work and I get strong at the same time. Does anyone have any ideas for something I could do to build my upper body while doing something productive?
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Old 01-03-14, 02:38 PM   #2
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Old 01-03-14, 05:49 PM   #3
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Does anyone have any ideas for something I could do to build my upper body while doing something productive?
If you want to be productive then start working out. It's called hard work. There is no easy way, there are no short cuts. If you want to develop strength in your upper body then you need to start doing strength training.
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Old 01-03-14, 06:50 PM   #4
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In our area, we have outdoor fitness equipment in several parks. Toward the end of many of our rides, we stop at the outdoor fitness equipment, and do a bit of a workout. The equipment might not be what you'd find in a gym (for one thing, it is not adjustable), but you can still get some benefit from it.

These outdoor fitness areas are popping up all over ... do you have them in your area?
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Old 01-04-14, 07:08 AM   #5
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In our area, we have outdoor fitness equipment in several parks. Toward the end of many of our rides, we stop at the outdoor fitness equipment, and do a bit of a workout. The equipment might not be what you'd find in a gym (for one thing, it is not adjustable), but you can still get some benefit from it.

These outdoor fitness areas are popping up all over ... do you have them in your area?
Yes, along a walking trail in a county park close to my home we've had them for many years (at least 30, maybe more). They don't get used much -- especially by me -- I would be too embarrassed...

For awhile they were developing those kind of things in our county parks (walking/hiking/biking trails, fitness equipment, etc.). Now all they do is buy yellow plastic playground equipment. Those eye sores are all through the park now...
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Old 01-04-14, 07:24 AM   #6
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Yes, along a walking trail in a county park close to my home we've had them for many years (at least 30, maybe more). They don't get used much -- especially by me -- I would be too embarrassed...

For awhile they were developing those kind of things in our county parks (walking/hiking/biking trails, fitness equipment, etc.). Now all they do is buy yellow plastic playground equipment. Those eye sores are all through the park now...
One of the parks in Winnipeg had some very old style outdoor fitness equipment, but the stuff they've got now is much more modern ... and there's nothing embarrassing about using it. They hold regular classes on the equipment, so lots of people use it.






The equipment at the park in the photos above, and at several other parks around here, is called Fit For Parks:
http://www.fitforparks.com.au/

But there are heaps of companies that do this sort of equipment.
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Old 01-04-14, 08:10 AM   #7
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One of the parks in Winnipeg had some very old style outdoor fitness equipment, but the stuff they've got now is much more modern ... and there's nothing embarrassing about using it. They hold regular classes on the equipment, so lots of people use it.






The equipment at the park in the photos above, and at several other parks around here, is called Fit For Parks:
http://www.fitforparks.com.au/

But there are heaps of companies that do this sort of equipment.
Sweet!

... And perhaps one if its main benefits is to make fitness and exercise more socially acceptable. I know that sounds like a very weird thing to say on this forum. But, I still have many friends and neighbors who sniff at 'exercise freaks'... I even have a couple riding buddies who think that 'those kind' are kind of off in the head...

And, I guess that is where my embarrassment comes from. In the world I grew up in it was good to be strong and healthy -- but not good to be overly focused on it or put exercise in higher regard than hard work.

And, it also seems that some view exercise as a luxury that a pampered few are able to enjoy...

Putting it out in the open may help to change those misperceptions -- AND, help to solve our ever rising costs of health care...
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Old 01-04-14, 05:12 PM   #8
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Switch to a hand cycle.
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Old 01-04-14, 05:45 PM   #9
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Pushups! All you need is a floor! Back in July of 2010, all I could do was 3(severely out of shape). Last month I did 3000+. I can do my age (50) in one set now and it dosent require any special equipment, just the mindset to accomplish and you will see results.
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Old 01-04-14, 07:03 PM   #10
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Row a boat to work every second day.
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Old 01-05-14, 07:32 AM   #11
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productive: work weekends as a laborer, build a 8 ft high stone wall around your property, build a new wing onto your house, quit your job and buy a farm

fun: kayaking, rock climbing, basketball
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Old 01-06-14, 07:20 AM   #12
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lots of people don't enjoy working out, or eating healthy.

I'd much rather play xbox and eat big macs all day, but if you have a goal you're just gonna have to make a few sacrifices.

2-3 days of weight training per week isn't that bad.
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Old 01-07-14, 08:17 AM   #13
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Thanks for the ideas everyone. I was hoping to find something that didn't involve working out. I love the fact that I get a great leg workout by simply going to and from work. I have some free weights at home but I'd much rather read a book or play my trombone and guitar than lift.

Kayaking would definitely fit the bill. If only I could take a river to work...*runs off to check a map*
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Old 01-07-14, 08:31 AM   #14
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Thanks for the ideas everyone. I was hoping to find something that didn't involve working out. I love the fact that I get a great leg workout by simply going to and from work. I have some free weights at home but I'd much rather read a book or play my trombone and guitar than lift.

Kayaking would definitely fit the bill. If only I could take a river to work...*runs off to check a map*
It seems that cycling doesn't do much for overt upper body strength -- but it seems that it does help some with core strength...

But, even leg strength: it seems to develop a few muscles, but ignore others. I found that out when I started a walking/jogging program -- darn my legs were sore (despite a LOT of intense cycling).

Cross training is good...
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Old 01-07-14, 08:04 PM   #15
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Thanks for the ideas everyone. I was hoping to find something that didn't involve working out. I love the fact that I get a great leg workout by simply going to and from work. I have some free weights at home but I'd much rather read a book or play my trombone and guitar than lift.
This might sound a little weird, but many musicians combine activities as a rehearsal tool. Practicing scales while doing some mindless activity like watching tv will hard wire the movements into your subconscious. And the inverse also works where you do a set of lifts and then focus on learning a new piece during the two minute rest. Think it's related to eliminating distractions by disconnecting the two sides of the brain.

As for books, many of the regulars at my gym either listen to audio books while working out, or read on their tablets in between sets. Have never tried this myself, still prefer the old fashioned analog reading materials.
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