Thirty years has changed our workouts, too

Features Health - February 11th, 2000

by Jeff Libengood

Thirty years ago I was only 4. Corky Alexander had a vision and the fitness world was not as we know it today. I was learn­ing to hit a baseball; Corky created the Weekender and the body-building world seemed to be ruling the fitness arena.

Leading the “training world” were icons like Joe Weider (who brought Arnold to Americal, Bob Hoffman (responsible for Hoffman Nutritionals and York Barbell Company), the man who taught us how to prevent sand from being kicked in our face…Charles Atlas; Jack LaLanne (probably the epitome of longevity and fitness) and other notables such as Joe Cold (creator of Cold’s Gym and later World’s Gym), Vince Gironda (who did a lot with women’s training), Arthur Jones (creator of Nautilus) and a few others.

Bodybuilders did most of the weight training and got the maga­zine coverage in Joe’s and Bob’s magazines. In those days, weight training was frowned upon as coaches thought it would make athletes muscle-bound, hamper­ing performance You can’t blame them. After all, it was the huge guys advocating weights. Con­sequently, most coaches pro­moted workouts of primarily running/jogging, calisthenics, some medicine-ball training and repli­cation of the sport specifics. Some determined athletes, however, defied the coach and pumped iron, mimicking the bodybuilder’s routines.

Thirty years ago only a hand­ful of equipment makers existed: Universal, Paramount, York Bar­bell, Nautilus and a few more. Today, researching my Decem­ber 1999 Fitness Management Journal, I found 26 equipment manufacturers under the “A” section alone! B-to-Z remained! Thirty years ago, activities such as high and low impact step-aerobics, spinning, body-pump, hip-hop, funk, tae-bo and roller­-blading classes didn’t exist. Nor did anyone know of Pilates, Gyro-expansion, Swiss Ball, Bodyblade or Body Bar workouts.

Today, only one generation later, we have an in­dustry worth billions of dollars loaded with herbal remedies, vi­tamins, minerals, collagen re­placing substances, weight loss products and a host of others. Most publicity belonged to Weider and Hoffman through their own magazines. After all, they had the bodybuilders. To­day, the rack is full of magazines on every fitness subject and ac­tivity. Clothing for exercise was either what you grabbed from the top of your drawer …a pair of gym shorts, a T-shirt, top of the calf white socks and your fa­vorite Ked’s, Converse or basic Nike tennis shoes. Today, the apparel makers have produced yet another billion dollar plus industry.

Sports medicine requires rec­ognition. I personally rehabilitate some of you readers who’ve un­dergone arthroscopic surgery on your knee(s). What if you were one of the unfortunate individu­als requiring knee surgery 30 years ago? You’ve seen the train track-sized scars on them. Today, then-are three little puncture wounds.

My hat is off to all those pio­neers who had a dream, a con­viction, a desire and believed in a purpose of betterment that cre­ated the foundations and momentum that has helped every single one of us, somehow and in some way. Growth, develop­ment and perfection are always preceded by the trial and error infant stages and the mindset to not stay there. It’s striving to im­prove, not accepting mediocrity that has lent to building the glo­bal health and fitness empire And, it’s this same attitude you should possess when it comes to taking care of yourself…from your vitamins and nutrition, to your workout programs and lifestyle habits.

To all these people, I person­ally owe an incredible debt of gratitude. As I always get ques­tioned on various subjects, I want to share some should’s and do’s that will serve to help you.


• Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfate stack… incredible for relief of joint pain, tendon or ligament strain

• Whey protein made by NitroTech, Next Nutrition or EAS

• Biolean…awesome fat burner & appetite suppressant!

• Pyruvate Acid..great fat burner that works great with Bioloan

• Xenedrine…another good fat burner

• Ephedrine. Caffeine, Aspirin stack…a potent fat burner

• DHEA…diminished produc­tion by our bodies past 30 make this hormone necessary. Fe­males whose adrenal glands have stopped working prop­erly can improve mood and en­hance libido. Check with a doc­tor first. Men should take it daily

• Creatine, Androstenedione (yes, the Mark McGwire stuff!), Tribex500…if you want to seri­ously pack on muscle

• Meal Replacement Powders by Met-Rx, EAS or Muscle-Tech

• Pycogenol…awesome anti-oxidant

• Winrgy…great energy & anti-jet lag drink

• Ginko Biloba & St. John’s Wort…great for brain food supplements

• Nu-Life…great sleep supplement

• Women take a daily calcium supplement


• Exercise 2-3 times a week us­ing free weights and PPCs, Swiss Balls, body blades, medi­cine balls and plyomelrics.

• Make postural correction your number-one priority

• Use primal movement patterns and big-bang exercises often in your fitness regime and for weight loss

• Learn proper “core” cooditioning

• Use supplements

• Keep a steady daily protein in­take. Consume .8-1.2 grams of complete protein per pound of body weight per day (hinging on gender and activity level)

• Clean up your diet. Limit intake of junk food and alcohol

• Lower sugar and caffeine intake

• Add large amounts of water and nutrient-dense fresh veggies to your daily diet

• Stay focused and continually strive to better yourself

• Keep your attitude positive which will reinforce good hab­its and help you through try­ing times

• Live for the moment, making

• Be thankful every day for many good blessings you have

• Read the Weekender!


• Smoke!!!

• Eat starchy carbs (including bread) after 3 p.m. if you want to lose weight

• Do more than 10% of your rou­tine using machines

• Train longer than 1 hour

• Squat in a Smith Machine or do lat pull-downs and shoul­der presses behind the neck

• Accept mediocrity, in your workouts or in life

• Neglect your loved ones and friends or lei a kind word go unsaid. Remember: We aren’t promised tomorrow

• Don’t back bile or talk about others. If it isn’t a kind word, keep it to yourself. This will keep you busy focusing on the good around you.

“Success is a journey, not a destination.” Every great success story begins as a dream. Start making your dreams a reality. Corky’s Weekender started as a mere idea 30 years ago with 10,000 copies. Now, positioned as one of the most well-known and read English publications in Japan. I doubt there is one English-speaking foreigner that hasn’t benefited from it in some way.