lift fitness culture from naked greeks and acrobats to jazzercise and ninja warriors

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Lift

Author : Daniel Kunitz
ISBN : 9780062336200
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 85. 58 MB
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A fascinating cultural history of fitness, from Greek antiquity to the era of the “big-box gym” and beyond, exploring the ways in which human exercise has changed over time—and what we can learn from our ancestors. We humans have been conditioning our bodies for more than 2,500 years, yet it’s only recently that treadmills and weight machines have become the gold standard of fitness. For all this new technology, are we really healthier, stronger, and more flexible than our ancestors? Where Born to Run began with an aching foot, Lift begins with a broken gym system—one founded on high-tech machinery and isolation techniques that aren’t necessarily as productive as we think. Looking to the past for context, Daniel Kunitz crafts an insightful cultural history of the human drive for exercise, concluding that we need to get back to basics to be truly healthy. Lift takes us on an enlightening tour through time, beginning with the ancient Greeks, who made a cult of the human body—the word gymnasium derives from the Greek word for “naked”—and following Roman legions, medieval knights, Persian pahlevans, and eighteenth-century German gymnasts. Kunitz discovers the seeds of the modern gym in nineteenth-century Paris, where weight lifting machines were first employed, and takes us all the way up to the game-changer: the feminist movement of the 1960s, which popularized aerobics and calisthenics classes. This ignited the first true global fitness revolution, and Kunitz explores how it brought us to where we are today. Once a fast-food inhaler and substance abuser, Kunitz reveals his own decade-long journey to becoming ultra-fit using ancient principals of strengthening and conditioning. With Lift, he argues that, as a culture, we are finally returning to this natural ideal—and that it’s to our great benefit to do so.

Lift

Author : Daniel Kunitz
ISBN : 0062336193
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 33. 16 MB
Format : PDF, Mobi
Download : 334
Read : 647

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A fascinating cultural history of fitness, from Greek antiquity to the era of the “big-box gym” and beyond, exploring the ways in which human exercise has changed over time—and what we can learn from our ancestors. We humans have been conditioning our bodies for more than 2,500 years, yet it’s only recently that treadmills and weight machines have become the gold standard of fitness. For all this new technology, are we really healthier, stronger, and more flexible than our ancestors? Where Born to Run began with an aching foot, Lift begins with a broken gym system—one founded on high-tech machinery and isolation techniques that aren’t necessarily as productive as we think. Looking to the past for context, Daniel Kunitz crafts an insightful cultural history of the human drive for exercise, concluding that we need to get back to basics to be truly healthy. Lift takes us on an enlightening tour through time, beginning with the ancient Greeks, who made a cult of the human body—the word gymnasium derives from the Greek word for “naked”—and following Roman legions, medieval knights, Persian pahlevans, and eighteenth-century German gymnasts. Kunitz discovers the seeds of the modern gym in nineteenth-century Paris, where weight lifting machines were first employed, and takes us all the way up to the game-changer: the feminist movement of the 1960s, which popularized aerobics and calisthenics classes. This ignited the first true global fitness revolution, and Kunitz explores how it brought us to where we are today. Once a fast-food inhaler and substance abuser, Kunitz reveals his own decade-long journey to becoming ultra-fit using ancient principals of strengthening and conditioning. With Lift, he argues that, as a culture, we are finally returning to this natural ideal—and that it’s to our great benefit to do so.

Lift

Author : Daniel Kunitz
ISBN : 0062336185
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 86. 15 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Docs
Download : 741
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A riveting cultural history of fitness, from Greek antiquity to the era of the “big-box gym” and beyond, exploring the ways in which human exercise and physical ideals have changed over time—and what we can learn from our past. How did treadmills and weight machines become the gold standard of fitness? Why have some of us turned our backs on the mirrors and gleaming devices of the traditional gym? What is the appeal of the stripped-down, functional approach to fitness that’s currently on the rise? In this captivating narrative, Daniel Kunitz sets out on a journey through history to answer these questions and more. What he finds is that, while we humans have been conditioning our bodies for more than 2,500 years, we’ve done so for a variety of reasons: to imitate gods, to be great warriors, to build nations and create communities, to achieve physical perfection, and, of course, to look good naked. Behind each of these goals is a story and method of exercise that not only illuminates the past but also sheds light on aspects of the widespread, multi-faceted fitness culture of today. Lift begins with the ancient Greeks, who made a cult of the human body—the word “gymnasium” derives from the Greek word for “naked”—and then takes us on an enlightening tour through time, following Asian martial artists, Persian pahlevans, nineteenth-century German gymnasts, and the bronzed bodies of California’s Muscle Beach. Kunitz uncovers the seeds of the modern gym in the late nineteenth-century with the invention of the first weightlifting machines, and brings us all the way up to the ultimate game-changer: the feminist movement, which kicked off the exercise boom of the 1970s with aerobics, and ultimately helped create the big-box gyms we know today. Using his own decade-long journey to transform himself from a fast-food junkie into an ultra-fit—if aging—athlete as a jumping off point, Kunitz argues that another exercise revolution is underway now—a new frontier in fitness, in which the ideal of a bikini body is giving way to a focus on mastering the movements of life.

The Temple Of Perfection

Author : Eric Chaline
ISBN : 9781780234793
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 57. 53 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
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These days there is only one right answer when someone asks you what you are doing after work. Hitting the gym! With an explosion of apps, clothing, devices, and countless DVDs, fitness has never felt more modern, and the gym is its holy laboratory, alive with machinery, sweat, and dance music. But we are far from the first to pursue bodily perfection—the gymnasium dates back 2,800 years, to the very beginnings of Western civilization. In The Temple of Perfection, Eric Chaline offers the first proper consideration of the gym’s complex, layered history and the influence it has had on the development of Western individualism, society, education, and politics. As Chaline shows, how we take care of our bodies has long been based on a complex mix of spiritual beliefs, moral discipline, and aesthetic ideals that are all entangled with political, social, and sexual power. Today, training in a gym is seen primarily as part of the pursuit of individual fulfillment. As he shows, however, the gym has always had a secondary role in creating men and women who are “fit for purpose”—a notion that has meant a lot of different things throughout history. Chaline surveys the gym’s many incarnations and the ways the individual, the nation-state, the media, and the corporate world have intersected in its steamy confines, sometimes with unintended consequences. He shows that the gym is far more than a factory for superficiality and self-obsession—it is one of the principle battlefields of humanity’s social, sexual, and cultural wars. Exploring the gym’s history from a multitude of perspectives, Chaline concludes by looking toward its future as it struggles to redefine itself in a world in thrall to quick fixes—such as plastic surgery and pharmaceuticals—meant to attain the gym’s ultimate promises: physical fitness and beauty.

The Heros Body

Author : William Giraldi
ISBN : 1631492934
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 77. 47 MB
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At just forty-seven years old, William Giraldi's father was killed in a horrific motorcycle crash while racing on a country road. This tragedy, which forever altered the young Giraldi and devastated his family, provides the pulse for The Hero's Body. In the tradition of Andre Dubus III's Townie, this is a deep-seeing investigation into two generations of men from the working-class town of Manville, New Jersey, including Giraldi's own forays into obsessive bodybuilding as a teenager desperate to be worthy of his family's pitiless, exacting codes of manhood. Lauded by The New Yorker for his "unrelenting, perfectly paced prose," Giraldi writes here with daring, searing honesty about the fragility and might of the American male. An unflinching memoir of luminous sorrow, a son's tale of a lost father and the ancient family strictures of extreme masculinity, The Hero's Body is a work of lasting beauty by one of our most fearless writers.

Hell Week

Author : Erik Bertrand Larssen
ISBN : 9781473649071
Genre : Self-Help
File Size : 67. 72 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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Imagine your life as a straight line. Now imagine that you could break that line and leave behind all your regular habits and nagging doubts for just seven days. Hell Week shows how you can change your life's path in a single week, replacing your old self with your best self, by going through a specially tailored (and totally safe) version of the elite military exercise where participants are pushed to the limit to find out just how much they can take. Hell Week is about defeating limiting beliefs and demonstrating that you are capable of far more than you ever thought - and maintaining that level of performance for the rest of your life. Norway native Erik Bertrand Larssen is many things: a veteran paratrooper who served in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan, a successful entrepreneur, and a mental coach. He has helped catapult the success of countless high-achievers, including Microsoft and Stat Oil executives and Olympic medalists Martin Sundby and Suzann Pettersen. His life altering method improves performance by getting people to push themselves past the brink of self-imposed limitations. Central to his technique is the commitment by clients to live and experience just one week as their best selves. It's this week, Larssen says, that will be the catalyst to making the most of the rest of one's life. Offering accessible tools and a pragmatic, inspirational advice, Larssen's game-changing Hell Week shows readers how apply the principles of military 'hell week' to their every day lives, leading to lasting improvement, personal and professional success, and most importantly, a new way of living to a higher standard.

Sweat Equity

Author : Jason Kelly
ISBN : 9781118914601
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 79. 80 MB
Format : PDF
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Go inside the trend that spawned a multi-billion dollar industry for the top five percent Sweat Equity goes inside the multibillion dollar trend toward endurance sports and fitness to discover who's driving it, who's paying for it, and who's profiting. Bloomberg's Jason Kelly, author of The New Tycoons, profiles the participants, entrepreneurs, and investors at the center of this movement, exploring this phenomenon in which a surge of people—led by the most affluent—are becoming increasingly obsessed with looking and feeling better. Through in-depth looks inside companies and events from New York Road Runners to Tough Mudder and Ironman, Kelly profiles the companies and people aiming to meet the demands of these consumers, and the traits and strategies that made them so successful. In a modern world filled with anxiety, pressure, and competition, people are spending more time and money than ever before to soothe their minds and tone their bodies, sometimes pushing themselves to the most extreme limits. Even as obesity rates hit an all-time high, the most financially successful among us are collectively spending billions each year on apparel, gear, and entry fees. Sweat Equity charts the rise of the movement, through the eyes of competitors and the companies that serve them. Through conversations with businesspeople, many driven by their own fitness obsessions, and first-hand accounts of the sports themselves, Kelly delves into how the movement is taking shape. Understand the social science, physics, and economics of our desire to pursue activities like endurance sports and yoga Get to know the endurance business's target demographics Learn how distance running—once a fringe hobby—became a multibillion dollar enterprise fueled by private equity Understand how different generations pursue fitness and how fast-growing companies sell to them The opportunity to run, swim, and crawl in the mud is resonating with more and more of us, as sports once considered extreme become mainstream. As Baby Boomers seek to stay fit and Millennials search for meaning in a hyperconnected world, the demand for the race bib is outstripping supply, even as the cost to participate escalates. Sweat Equity, through the stories of men and women inside the most influential races and companies, goes to the heart of the movement where mind, body, and big money collide.

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