Exercise

How can a skinny guy put on muscle?

I got asked this question recently and answered it with a video. Here it is:

There are two main things you can do:

  • Eat like a horse
  • Work out like a horse

There are more things involved, such as getting enough sleep and focusing on big, whole body exercises such as the deadlift, the squat, the clean and press and other similar exercises, but those two things, if put in practice with determination and with the clear goal in mind of getting huge, will take you from a skinny ectomorph of 135 lbs. to a muscular, strong 195 lbs. See the diptych below. On the left is what I looked like when I started college, and on the right is what I looked like when I graduated.

Diptych Bodybuilding College YearsHope you find the video helpful to you!

Standard
Reviews

Olympus Stylus TG-2 iHS

I saw this camera when it first came out, in its 1st generation. It was dropped onto concrete then stepped on. Worked like a champ afterward. Now it’s even more rugged, it’s got built-in GPS, it looks even better and performs even better. What’s not to like about it?

Olympus Stylus TG-2 iHS

Buy it here: Olympus Stylus TG-2 iHS Digital Camera with 4x Optical Zoom and 3-Inch LCD (Black)

The most sophisticated rugged point-and-shoot on the market, the Olympus TG-2 iHS was designed with the serious photographer in mind. In addition to its Shockproof (7ft/2.1m), Crushproof (220lbf/100kgf), Freezeproof (14°F/-10°C), Dustproof design, the TG-2 iHS dives deeper than ever before with an astounding waterproof depth rating of 50 feet (15m) without a housing. But don’t be fooled, this camera’s not only for the avid scuba diver, it’s for active photographers who won’t sacrifice image quality and performance. The TG-2 iHS is the only rugged camera on the market equipped with an ultra-bright, high-speed f2.0 lens, allowing you to capture dramatic low light and high-speed action shots. Paired with a 12 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and TruePic™ VI Image Processor that fuel Olympus’ cutting-edge iHS Technology, you’ll get amazing pro image quality and 1080p Full HD Videos in places that your DSLR camera just can’t risk traveling.

With advanced functions like Aperture Priority mode, you’ll have even more control to capture the exact images that you want! Added features like next generation GPS & e.Compass, a 3.0″ OLED monitor, Linear PCM Stereo audio recording, High-Speed Sequential Shooting up to 60 frames per second**, four underwater scene modes and two custom modes make this adventure cam stand out in the crowd!

Looking for more? The TG-2 iHS is the only rugged camera to feature system expandability to put even more photographic control in your hands; use the telephoto converter lens to achieve even greater optical zoom range and artistic blur or the wide-angle fisheye lens for more expansive views, especially underwater. The completely waterproof system allows you to take your photography to places that your pro system can only dream of going.

Standard
Video Log

Sledding is fun!

This is video from a sledding outing with our friends, near Medias, Romania. Remember sledding?

I ask the question because most people look at me funny when I talk to them about hauling an old-fashioned sled up a hill, then sliding down said hill at great speeds, only to repeat the process until completely exhausted, at which time we’d trudge on home with big smiles on our faces.

My sled is part wood, part cast iron, with steel feet. It’s a heavy, sturdy monster that I’ve had since I was a kid, and there’s a good chance this sled will last me my whole life. I might even be able to pass it down to my children.

In the States, I rarely saw people sledding. Sure, if you visit winter resorts, there’s bound to be some sledding going on. But the neighborhood sledding slope has been slowly disappearing.

Remember when parents and children alike would know just which slopes were perfect for sledding? And they couldn’t wait to get their sleds and run outside after snowfall? Remember being in awe at the glossy photo of the latest wooden sled in the L.L. Bean catalog? I can’t even find those old sled models in their catalog anymore… All I can find now are kiddy sleds and plastic somethings. I’m talking about real sleds, like these!

When I grew up in Romania, the hills were full of children, yelling, laughing, crying, running about, having snowball fights, sledding. It was the same for my wife. Now, the hills are mostly silent. Medias is surrounded by hills, yet when we wanted to go sledding, we had to drive around for about 1 1/2 hours, looking for a good slope. Nobody knew where they were anymore.

I’d love to see more people sledding. It’s great exercise and it’s tons of fun! I think local governments can help by maintaining sledding slopes at certain locations. Nothing fancy, no artificial snow, just some lights and a man to turn them on and off. Word would get around and people would come.

By the way, this is what the moon looked like that night, after we got home.

Standard
Thoughts

Vasile Stoica: around the world by wheelchair

Vasile Stoica is the first Romanian to have traveled around the world on a wheelchair.

Born paralyzed from the waist down, he spent the first thirteen years of his life mostly in hospitals, enduring numerous operations which were supposed to enable him to walk, too poor for a wheelchair, forced to drag himself along the floor. When he got into his first chair, it felt like flying to him. Since then, he’s set ever higher goals for himself. He started making trips through Europe, then prepared for his trip around the world.

He completed his first round-the-world journey in 1998, and that’s also when he entered the record books as the person who traveled the longest distance by wheelchair. Since then, he plans different routes and travels with his special Kuschall wheelchair each year, hungry for new places and new challenges.

Here he is after he completed a grueling 5,250 km trek across Europe, in 2006, at Finisterre, Spain.

The man who traveled the world by wheelchair doesn’t get any respect in his own country, along with the other disabled people who live there. In a short video that he and his friends put together, he demonstrates how hard, or even impossible, it is for him to get around on his wheelchair in Romania, because of the lack of disabled access to public buildings, such as ramps or elevators — this in spite of laws that have been on the books for years.

Photos used courtesy of Vasile Stoica.

The first people to have traveled the world by wheelchair were Patrick and Anne Simpson, who published their account of the journey in 1997, in a book entitled simply “Wheelchair Around the World“.

Standard
Reviews

The Ferrari FXX

Today was the first time I saw and heard the Ferrari FXX. While I’m not wild about its looks, the sound of its engine is amazing. It floored me. It’s pure adrenaline. I’ve heard the sound of plenty of sports cars in my time, but I don’t know, there’s something that sets the FXX apart for me. Perhaps it’s just the way the sound was mastered for the videos, who knows, but it blows me away.

Here it is in a video where Michael Schumacher drives it around a race track with French football star Zinedine Zidane in the passenger seat.

And here it is being driven by Ferrari test driver Dario Benuzzi for a Top Gear show.

Only 30 of these monsters were made by Ferrari from 2005-2007, and it’s essentially a souped-up Ferrari Enzo with an 800 bhp engine. Here are the detailed specs:

  • Engine: Longitudinal, rear-mounted, 75 degree, naturally-aspirated aluminium V12
  • Valvetrain: DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder with continuously variable timing
  • Fuel system: Bosch Motronic ME7 Sequential Electronic Injection
  • Horsepower Max: 800 hp (597 kW) at 8500 RPM
  • Specific Output: 127.75 PS (93.96 kW; 126.00 hp) per litre
  • Drive system: RWD w/TCS
  • Construction: Carbon fibre body over carbon fibre tub with rear alloy subframe
  • Front brakes: Brembo CCM (carbon-ceramic) discs w/6-piston calipers, power assist ABS
  • Rear brakes: Brembo CCM (carbon-ceramic) discs w/4-piston calipers, power assist ABS
  • Front wheels: 483 mm (19.0 in) x 229 mm (9.0 in)
  • Rear wheels: 483 mm (19.0 in) x 330 mm (13 in)
  • Steering: Rack and pinion with power assistance
  • Suspension: triple wishbones with push-rod actuated coil-shock units, adaptive dampers, electronic shock absorbers, anti-roll bar
  • Wheelbase: 2,650 mm (104 in)
  • Front track: 1,660 mm (65 in)
  • Rear track: 1,650 mm (65 in)
  • Rear view is provided by a roof mounted video camera displayed on a small inboard screen.
  • Top Speed: 217 mph (349 km/h)

There’s more info about it on Wikipedia or on the Ferrari website.

Standard