Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hit the Gym

Some how, working out shirtless just seems to inspire guys to work harder. I really don't even think it is necessarily the thought of other guys (and possibly women) watching you lift, although that probably helps. When I pull off my shirt to lift, I feel more attuned to my body, I'm more aware of each muscle and it helps me to push harder, lift heavier, and focus on working each muscle to the max.

Besides that, I think seeing other shirtless guys can also help you push harder. Seeing other guys working out shirtless and pushing themselves to build their bodies motivates me to push myself harder, to keep up with them. Even though we may not be lifting the same thing, I feel like I have to push myself at least as hard as the guys around me. Actually seeing the other guy's muscles flexing intensifies the effect. So, I recommend not just working out shirtless, but finding some other guys to workout shirtless together.

Some people will probably object that working out shirtless is not sanitary. That is nonsense. Your hands are much more likely to spread disease because you touch everything with them, including your own eyes and nose (mucous membranes are a common way disease organisms are spread). Yet, we would never think of requiring gloves to be worn! Instead, we suggest washing your hands frequently. Besides, with tank tops and shorts there is already plenty of skin contact with equipment, what makes the little extra that would have been covered by a tank top or cut up gym shirt less sanitary than the part which is already touching the gym equipment? The proper solution is to wipe down equipment between users, preferably with disinfectant. And I hope you shower after working out anyway!

If your gym doesn't allow guys to workout shirtless, ask them about why. Maybe they will reconsider. One possible solution where offending the opposite sex is a concern is to have designated male-only hours where shirts are optional. Many gyms already have a female-only time, in which case it is only fair. That said, I don't see any reason to require shirts when women are present. Women don't find shirtless men offensive at the beach or pool, and many do not find it offensive for men to lift shirtless in the gym, either. If your gym won't make shirtless accommodations, look into finding a gym that does. And if you actually run a gym, consider letting guys workout shirtless. It may even be a selling point to get members who prefer to workout shirtless. And remember, shirtless-friendly and family-friendly are not mutually exclusive.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Show your team spirit!

One of the best ways to show team spirit and support your sports team of choice, is to paint your chest. Die hard fans show up in the stands in groups, painted in team colors, with an encouraging message emblazened on their bare chests. What better way to show your support? It shows you're serious and really gets the message across.

Some people shy away from this tradition when the weather is chilly, but the really serious fans will stand and shiver proudly, bearing their team colors. Ok, please don't make yourself sick, you know if you can handle the weather or not. But seriously, it's encouraging to look up from the field in inclement weather and say, "Those six fools up there are so into this game, this team, they are up there freezing their nipples off to support me. Dang, let's give 'em game they can be proud of!"

So, next time you go to a game, get together with some of your buds and show some team spirit!

Some places, this is a serious tradition. Check out the Longhorn Hellraisers:

Check it out, even the coach is getting into it!

Golf? You guys rock! You expect to see this at a football or baseball game, but way to push the envelope. And of course the player approves.

Now, the more of your torso and face you cover with paint, the better. The more paint, the stronger the spirit, so don't slack off here. Same thing with quality of the paint job. Make it look sharp. Now this guy wins all around. Mad props, man. You rock!

Now these guys win points for a really crisp paint job, and for the artistry on that eagle.

Watch out for this problem:

Strong sunscreen and a base tan can help prevent this.

Like I said, next big game that comes up, try it out. If you are nervous about the idea, doing it in a group should help. Besides, its pretty much expected at many sporting events anyway. Don't be afraid to be the bold one!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Stick your chest out!

No, I'm not talking about pride. Although we often think of sticking your chest out as a show of pride, it is also an essential part of good posture. Good posture is very important when running and jogging. Sometimes we tend to let our shoulders slump forward or look down at our feet, which leads to neck and back pain. The solution is to pay attention to good posture when you run. You should keep your head straight and tall, like you trying to touch an invisible ceiling with the top of your head. Stick your chest out and pull your shoulders back, as though you are squeezing your shoulder blades together. And pull your stomach in. No, not to hide your gut, to align your lower back! You want to tilt your pelvis by pulling it in with your abs. So, what does this have to do with shirtlessness? Well, sometimes when guys run shirtless, they tend to be self-conscious about sticking their chest out, fearing they will appear conceited. But remember good posture is important. Be confident, stick your chest out, and your neck and back will thank you!