Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Guns out: Exercises to blow up those triceps

According to Garry Y. Itkin, triceps are important muscles when it comes to how the body functions since people often push in their daily activities.

Image source: fitmw.com

Aesthetically, tighter and more defined triceps stand out whenever a person wears a tank top. This is especially true among women, who, as they age, are prone to batwings, or when the skin covering the back of the arms sags.

To develop triceps, Garry Y. Itkin shares two of the simple yet effective moves that hit all heads and give the muscle greater form and strength.

Tricep kickbacks

To do tricep kickbacks, grab the dumbbells and stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend the upper body at a 45-degree angle. Be sure always to keep the back straight. Lift the elbows, so they form a 45-degree angle with the back. The arms should be at a 90-degree angle with the hands and dumbbells at the bottom.

Image source: openfit.com

Start the exercise by lifting the forearm back up until the arm is straight. Hold for a second before slowly lowering the arm. Repeat the move. Start with light weights with 10 reps per set. Do three sets.

Garry Y. Itkin mentions that people should pause at the top of the movement and squeeze their triceps for an added pump.

Tricep extensions

Take a dumbbell with both hands and lift it over the head. Keep the elbows as close as possible to each other. Don't let them flair out.

Bend the arms backward and slowly lower the dumbbell to the back before raising it back up. Repeat the move. Start with light dumbbells with 10 reps per set. Do three sets.

As an added note, Garry Y. Itkin mentions that people don't need heavy weights for this particular exercise.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Restarting your fitness program after a hiatus.

Garry Y. Itkin has said before that returning to an exercise program after a long break can be quite a challenge. The motivation people felt when physical activity was a habit needs to be found once more, especially when they feel they’ve lost strength and endurance.

Image source: well-beingsecrets.com

Fortunately, fitness enthusiasts have listed several ways to make the retraining easier. Garry Y. Itkin shares these ways below.

1. Baby steps

It can be tempting to jump right back into the thick of things and lift heavy and push yourself to the limit right away. This is not recommended. Your muscles are no longer used to it. The key is not to become totally overwhelmed. Being overwhelmed can lead to frustration and cause you to quit even before you’ve restarted your journey.

Many coaches and trainers recommend going out for a brisk walk or a light jog first— anything to get moving. Once the body gets used to moving again with intensity, it’s time to move to more difficult routines.
Image source: bustle.com

2. (Re)Commitment

For many people, starting again is surprisingly harder than when they first began. They find the recommitting themselves is more challenging. Nevertheless, this can be overcome with a simple promise. Try committing to working out for 5 to 15 minutes every day. This seems less scary than a long routine. Eventually, this will increase as you start to get more used to working out.

Garry Y. Itkin also mentions that it is important to remember that being healthy is a lifelong process. It is something that must be done daily and with much consistency and patience.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Use these everyday objects to exercise without having to leave the dorm.

As a biology student who's living on a budget, Garry Y. Itkin spends a lot of his time doing his fitness exercises in his dorm. You might be surprised that you have mostly everything you need at home to help you through your fitness plans so you can spare yourself from investing in gym equipment.

Image source: crossfit.com

Here are some examples:

1. Stool

A stool is quite versatile as an exercise aid. You can certainly do box jumps with it. You can also do some inclined pushups with your stool, which can both give you less or more resistance, depending on where you place your feet. You can practice lateral high jumps with a high enough stool, which is awesome for cardio, says Garry Y. Itkin. Once you realize how many things you can do with a stool, you'll be so amazed.

Image source: bestofhislife.com

2. Books

When you're in school, it's all about hitting the books. Since you have them around at the dorm anyway, why not use them for exercise, too? Books are great for adding resistance to your normal stationary exercises. For example, a thick enough book can act as a dumbbell that can target your biceps and triceps. You may even lay a book flat on your chest as you do crunches for that extra bit of challenge.

3. Detergent bottles

Detergent bottles are also great to have, simply because whatever you can do in kettlebell exercises, you can do with it, too. As Garry Y. Itkin suggests, deadlifts can even be more amazing when you use a detergent bottle or even two. As you hold a detergent bottle in each hand, you can climb up your building's stairs and work up your upper body for that added strength that you can surely use.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Core strengtheners: Two exercises for that midsection sculpt

Retired physical educator Garry Y. Itkin explains that what bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts knew before as abdominal and lower back muscles have been, in more recent times, grouped to be called the "core." The core, or the midsection, is where the body's power and strength come from.

For today's blog, Garry Y. Itkin looks at two essential exercises elite athletes do that strengthen the core and sculpt the midsection.


The deadlift is one of the four main full-body exercises, including pull-ups, push-ups, and squats. While these four exercises work a person's core, it's the deadlift that strengthens the midsection the most. It is a favorite among lifters and is often called the king of compound movements alongside the squat.

Image source: nerdfitness.com


To do a deadlift, a person has to bend at the waist and grip the barbell from the floor to do it properly. A straight back is a must, with knees bent a little. Then, without changing form, contract the ab muscles and use the lower back's power to stand straight back up.


Moving from a compound exercise to one of the most deceivingly tough movements, Garry Y. Itkin names the plank as a go-to for core strengthening. This time-over-tension exercise is one of the most effective workout finishers ever.

Image source: fitmw.com


To do a plank, a person has to be face-down on the floor, propped up on their elbows and toes. The goal here is to keep oneself as straight as a board for a given period (usually 30 to 60 seconds). Holding the position will work on your shoulders, legs, and most of all, abdominals and lower back.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Improve mental sharpness through physical exercise

Studying is only one way of enhancing brainpower. Not everyone recognizes that exercise boosts mental sharpness. Garry Y. Itkin explains this connection in today's blog, hoping to inspire everyone to embrace an active lifestyle for a healthier brain.

Image source: aconsciousrethink.com

Physical exercise has a direct and indirect influence on memory and thinking, notes Garry Y. Itkin. The direct results of exercise are reduced insulin resistance and inflammation and stimulating the release of growth factors -- brain chemicals affecting the overall health of brain cells. Indirectly, exercising leads to better mood and sleep. It also reduces stress and anxiety. Studies also show that people who exercise regularly have greater volume around their prefrontal cortex and medial temporal cortex -- parts of the brain that control thinking and memory.

Aside from making you smarter, exercise also protects the brain from shrinkage, notes Garry Y. Itkin. According to a 2013 research, exercise induces neurogenesis, which is the formation of new brain cells around the hippocampus. Additionally, in another study, men who practice a healthy lifestyle are seen to have a 60% less chance to have cognitive impairment and dementia as they age. Such healthy behaviors include not smoking, regular exercise, a diet of fruits and vegetables, and low to moderate alcohol consumption.

Image source: labrada.com

Garry Y. Itkin suggests the following exercises to boost your brainpower:

1. Aerobic exercise improves brain function, as well as helps repair damaged brain cells.

2. Morning exercises before going to school increase brain activity, which prepares you mentally with good retention skills to answer complex problems.

3. Dance classes are an excellent alternative if you want to combine body movements and cardio.

4. Circuit workout, which is a good option for some solo crunch time at the gym, spikes heart rate and helps constantly redirect attention, which is another way to train focus.

5. Jumping jacks, though quite basic, are still effective for brain improvement exercise.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Is CrossFit a viable fitness avenue for college students?

Before getting into it, Garry Y. Itkin wants to set one thing aside first – while CrossFit is a bit too pricey for the average college student, he explains that CrossFit workouts can be done almost anywhere if a person takes time to study the principles of it before attempting the intense routines.

Now that that’s over and done with, here are some important points of CrossFit, so college students may correctly gauge if the sport is for them or not.

CrossFit can be quite a shock for the first few times.

Anybody who’s trained in CrossFit can testify how challenging their routines are, especially if people don’t know what to expect. It’s high intensity interval training (HIIT) with weightlifting and bodybuilding elements. It is truly an activity that pushes people to their limits.

CrossFit may compromise form over repetition.

Arguably, one of the more controversial flaws of CrossFit is that CrossFitters have become increasingly obsessed with reaching their target number of reps that they forego proper form. Of course, this also compromises practitioners’ safety. What Garry Y. Itkin suggests is that people focus on form and not worry so much about the reps.

CrossFit has a great community behind it.

CrossFit’s biggest strength is its community. According to Garry Y. Itkin, the community is incredible tight and supportive. CrossFitters support each other in every workout and every event. This is what so many people find most appealing about it and this is why it attracts so many newcomers.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The perils of yoyo dieting.

While fitness enthusiast Garry Y. Itkin has seen more than his fair share of diet fads come and go, he still believes that nothing will ever compare to a well-balanced meal that doesn’t eliminate food groups, and has all the nutrients people need.

Image Source: fitnessmagazine.com

Image Source: furtherfood.com

That being said, Garry Y. Itkin believes that some diet fads are worse than others. Take, for instance, yoyo dieting.

Yoyo dieting is when people significantly cut back calories, only to increase intake immensely, hence the term yo-yo. In the last few decades, a lot of people have gone through this type of diet in a bid to lose weight, with very few reporting lasting success.

The reason for the failure, they say, is the sheer difficulty to adhering to an increasingly low-calorie diet. This affects their commitment to the diet, prompting them to return to their normal eating pattern, which ultimately causes them to gain more weight in the process.

For people who insist on trying out the yoyo diet, Garry Y. Itkin urges all of them to simply look at the evidence. A majority of people who’ve tried it have already cautioned others about the fad. It also has to be said that yoyo dieting alters the body’s metabolic rate so much that it gives the body no other choice but to gain weight.

The fact of the matter is, body composition is also said to change with yoyo dieting, causing a person to gain more fat and lose muscle.