Bronzed limbs, muscular upper body … and a midsection that looks like it’s carved from GRANITE … nay, STEEL – or ROCK – or more!
Thighs like a horse, and calves that pulsate with sheer power and strength …
Upper back muscles that would put most bodybuilders to shame, and chest development that would make the average boobybuilder SWOON.
And of course, the grip.
And all of this was an enduring image that yours truly saw when he “ye tall” … and a young lad of about 6 or 7, if I remember correctly, during summer holidays and the usual 2 week or so jaunt to visit my maternal grandparents.
Now, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but Kolkata isn’t high on my list of favorites cities to visit, and never ever was.
Thinking about it NOW, one reason probably is the “People’s Republic of West Bengal” that the state has turned into (the Communist Party – one of the numerous political parties in India rules it) and industries leaving etc, or at least that was the case a few years ago. Not sure about now …
But yeah, that sure wasn’t the reason why I didn’t like it at that young age! Its was SOMETHING about the city.
The food was just a little too “Chinese in nature” for my taste, for one … and while they didn’t go so far as to eat bats, roaches and other disgusting creatures, they DID eat lots of fish – with those annoying tiny little bones.
Give me a “Southern fried catfish” any day with ONE bone that I can take out and then enjoy the MEAT as opposed to fish with bazillions of tiny little bones, some so tiny that you literally have to spit them out as you eat. UGH!
Anyway, that’s just me. Tons of people love the food from that part of the globe, but … anyway, where was I?
Ah yes. The enduring image … of a man pulling my mother and I as we sat in what was nigh common those days in the city – the humble, but omnipresent “hand pulled” rickhshaw – something that would make most people cringe when they thought of what was involved, and something I even at that young age often thought about (how can this be happening??) … but something that was COMMON back then.
I think they banned them a few years ago, but I’m not sure.
Anyway, basically what happened is these guys were responsible for ferrying half of the citys corpulent population wherever it was that they wanted to go … literally pulling them “by hand” and “on foot” as it were.
NOT a very pleasant image if you think about it and especially not from a “human rights standpoint” etc, but these guys were hardly the “skin and bones” scrawny sort you see on TV all the time.
At least, the ones I saw weren’t.
Now don’t get me wrong – I’m sure some of them ARE that way, and I’m by no means a fan of the rickshaw as many are in India.
The very thought of sitting in one of those makes me CRINGE … and when (and this is obviously a memory from “back in the day”) I’d look at the corpulent, obese, well fed “glutenous maximuses of plenty” piling onto a rickshaw seat, haggling over fare, somewhat protected from the elements … with the dude pulling out the exact opposite, I’d often think the kiddie equivalent of “WTF is this!!!”
I never actually said it, of course at the time, but anyway, why am I mentioning this?
What is the “lesson” to be learnt here, you ask?
Well, just this – the simplest things in life are often the best.
And as I’ve said so about a bazillion damn times over and over again, the simplest things are often what get you in the BEST SHAPE of your life, if you just stop procrastinating and hiding behind the “it’s too easy” excuse.
Which, of course, is precisely what a reader wrote back to my last email on “tummy shaking workouts”.
“Can you stop sending me all these basic workouts”, was the gist of his (otherwise very well worded and polite) email.
Well, dude, sorry to say it … but no I can’t. And won’t.
Because … the simplest things work the best. Sorry to say that again, but ‘tis true, my friend.
And while you certainly don’t need to slog away on roads of Kolkata as a rickshaw puller, it WOULD get you in great shape.
And there are many equivalents to this sort of training …
Think Stallone in Rocky IV training in (what was effectively) the Arctic, bare bones, back to basics training while his opponent, the giant Ivan Drago trained in exactly the opposite sort of environment, with machines and tests galore, beeps recording his every breath it seemed like.
You see Sly pulling sleds. You see him running in knee deep snow. You see him shadow boxing with nothing but a rope next to him.
And you see him running up the mountain in that final, but iconic scene …
Closer to home, yours truly often carried bottles of water up by hand to his 5th floor apartment – which is a workout I’ve written about before ,and a great, great grip workout – and one I “learned” about way back in 2005 when I saw petite Chinese ladies doing what I (at the time) couldn’t (as they delivered my water).
Those ladies might have been petitie, but as I state in the fitness book, they probably had the kick of a mule, hehe (much like my home brewed PINEAPPLE beer did last night) … and the grip … well, lets just say most gym goers would be envious to have even HALF that powerful a grip.
I was going to put the wheelbarrow exercise in Kiddie Fitness, which is another great one – and another SIMPLE exercise that kids enjoy, and that will kick the average adult’s ass from here to you know where within the space of a few SECONDS, if even that.
And these, my friend, are examples of simple exercises that YOU can do – to get in sort of shape YOU like – starting TODAY.
Question is, WILL you?
Will you be one of the doers … or one of the “it’s too easy” whiners, moaners and groaners?
Only YOU can answer that question, but if I were YOU – well – I know what side Id be on!
OK, enough for now. I’ll be back soon!
P.S. – I’ve written before about what a skinny Chinese dude can teach you about working out. Another must read if you’ve enjoyed THIS ONE!
P.S #2 – For workouts that get you in the best shape of you life, click on over HERE – https://0excusesfitness.com/0excusesfitnessystem/