Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fitness for Life

Oh, the tragedy. My kettlebell class has been canceled! The instructor is in school at PSU (I suspect we're in the same program, actually) and has a scheduling conflict, so he canceled his Tuesday Kbell class. Dang! Both of the other times during the week he offers the class are awkward for me. How will I achieve the abdominal definition I see on all the women in kettlebell videos now?

Luckily, I just received the perfect book to help me design my own workout and fitness plan. Fitness for Life, copyright 1975, contains information on everything from analyzing your body fat percentage (with the super scary looking Fat-O-Meter calipers) to coming up with an exercise and diet plan.

While I wanted desperately to mock the book for it's outdated advice, much of the program isn't outdated at all, just your basic calories in vs. calories out stuff. The pictures, however, are definitely mock-worthy.

Okay, some of the exercises, like the "Indian Curl," in which you sit in what is today known by the more politically correct name "criss-cross applesauce" and basically stick your face in your own lap, would seem to be outmoded and perhaps even contraindicated for knee health. But a lot of the exercise program is based around time-tested activities like squats, presses, curls, crunches, and push-ups.

Dietary advice, however, has certainly changed. For a person needing 1,700 calories a day (about what I shoot for), Fitness for Life recommends 6 servings of bread and 6 servings of meat. But only one serving of vegetables. You can have 4 fruits, though. Today's prescription would be like 12 servings of meat, no bread or fruit at all, and 9 servings of salad.

You know the advice is wholesome in Fitness for Life because the program was put together by some Brigham Young University professors. Maybe that's why so many of the people in the photos look like extras from Napoleon Dynamite.

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