Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Human-shaped Dummy - Punching Bag for Training

I elected to deviate from the normal title for this nifty, human-shaped dummy and/or training tool, since not everybody is aware of a physical fitness mannequin that goes by the name BOB (Body Opponent Bag), and you may be online searching for such things while using different terms, etc. At any rate, this particular punching bag is not limited to punches, by any means. In fact, the one I ordered came from a martial art supply store. Whether you are a mixed martial artist or have a certain style of karate or kung-fu to practice, a boxer, an athlete looking to build up endurance, strength, flexibility, or a person who just wants to vent by beating the crap out of something, and so on, the body opponent heavy bag dummy may be just what you're looking for.

Personally, I recommend the Century BOB XL for serious workouts and training. It is adjustable so it can be used at various heights and you can fill the base with 270 pounds of sand or water. If you combine the weight of the human-shaped punching bag with the anchor weight, the whole dummy is well over 300 pounds (plus, you can also add a weighted vest to it). I must remind you, however, that these things are somewhat expensive. After the pricey shipping charges and tax, the one I ordered was about 350 dollars. Of course there are cheaper human-like training bags out there, but after looking at several, BOB seemed like the best quality.

In my opinion, outside of the use for ventilation and anger and/or to relieve pent-up frustrations, this type of punching bag is best when used like a sparring partner. Sure, it can be effective for martial art training - especially for upper body strikes - but I wouldn't recommend it for power kicks nor would I use it for most close-quarter blows like wildly thrown elbows and powerful knee strikes. If you are training for Muay Thai and/or kickboxing, you can't beat a big, hanging heavy bag. I've owned a speed bag and a (WAVE) water-filled heavy bag before, and it was loads of fun, as well. I must say, though, that if you lack a sparring partner, love boxing, and you are looking for a more realistic training experience, the human-shaped dummy / Body Opponent Bags are an excellent option. Plus, not everybody has room or a strong enough ceiling to hang massive heavy bags in their home, and BOB doesn't take up much room.

Another option for the ones who like all that light tapping, fast punching, jittery jabbing junk, is to buy one of those Aerobic Wave Master punching bags. It is lighter weight, bounces back fast upon impact, doesn't look like a human, costs way less money, and should be perfect for your weak assault of punches and light kicks. If all you plan on doing is jumping around and flickering quick little movements towards a target, why waste your money on a big, body opponent heavy bag that is shaped like a human? I'm just throwing that little tidbit in there, in case somebody that is seeking a kicking/punching bag for aerobic-style workouts, will know that they sell special floor-bound, impact-responsive bags just for these things.

Anyway, back to BOB... Is it for Indoor or Outdoor use? Well, per the instructions, they say indoor use only. The main reason why, is that the XL Century BOB doesn't need to be subjected to freezing temperatures. Now, I can only assume that it is because most people fill it with water instead of sand, and we all know that water expands when froze, so you can imagine what can happen from there. Regardless, I have mine outside in the carport/garage at the moment, and I'm just going to worry about what to do with it when winter comes. It will take prolonged temperatures that are well below freezing to freeze 270 lbs. of water, but we'll see.

I was originally going to provide several YouTube videos of random people demonstrating various types of training methods while using this lovely human-shaped punching bag. However, YouTube was packed with cheesy videos that would turn most people off from even giving this body bag a chance. I seen one guy who used it to solely try to kick it down. He would take off running and kick it until it fell over, then acted like he accomplished some miraculous feat. Ha! Then there was some guy who punched at it in such a fashion that it looked more like how a person would use a flyswatter, and I think even the lifeless BOB was laughing at him. Then, yet another ridiculous video showed some person that looked like he was so out of shape, that it made the body opponent bag appear that it gives you the couch potato look after extensive use. Finally, I seen some bar-room guy swipe at it like some crazed drunk, only to last a few seconds and walk off - most likely heading to the fridge for another beer. So, I decided to just post a video that showed some guy talking about street fighting techniques while using the BOB dummy as a tool for his demonstration, as it was the most decent video I found on the subject of punching bags that are shaped like a human torso.

Update: Human-shaped Dummy - Punching Bag for Training

Up above, within this article, I mentioned about how the storage area for BOB was debatable, albeit the manufacturer instructions recommends that you keep it indoors. I'm assuming they are mainly talking about the ones who use water to fill up the anchor part of this body opponent bag, as it could freeze and burst if subjected to freezing temperatures.
Anyway, I left mine outside in the garage regardless of the warning and it froze! However, I didn't use it during the frigid time frame and when BOB thawed out, my human-shaped punching bag survived! Yep, this is one tough dummy; ha!

* Click Here for a fine Selection of Body Opponent Bags

---End of Post "Human-shaped Dummy - Punching Bag for Training"

Alternative Options for Speed Bag Workout

Introduction to the Speed Bag

This fun little training device known as the speed bag, is something that many boxers, martial artists, physical fitness fanatics, etc., enjoy using. I've owned one in the past and although I enjoyed using it from time to time, I couldn't help but think how overrated this thing was. I mean, in a thumbnail, the speed bag is often promoted for increasing your punching speed and stamina while also enhancing your eye-to-hand coordination. Some advertisers often tout that this type of workout somehow builds up your upper body strength, which is a miraculous joke, by the way.

I hope, for the ones that are interested in boxing or martial arts, that many of you are seeking alternative options for speed bag training. If so, I'll provide a couple quick options for you in a moment. But first, lets analyze the uselessness of the speed bag, before we go any further. Okay, first up is the common strikes that are used to create that beloved tap dancing sound you get when everything is in sync and are really looking like a Pro while using it. Yes, I've been there and have impressed a few friends that witnessed me banging this little speed bag thingy into submission, all while tap, tap, tapping my way into a fictitious appearance of a voracious fighter on the loose.

Lets get real, for starters: The common motion for a successful speed bag tap dance, is not even related to the punches that you'd use in a real fight. The most common strike applied, is a downward, sideways hammer fist, if you will, which would make you look retarded in a real-life event. If you are unsure of what I'm speaking about, I'll provide a video below. Before watching that video, please note, that this guy does acknowledge some of the common screw-ups that are involved during a typical speed bag workout, but yet, even though he tries to give validity to this particular training device, it still looks totally useless, in my opinion. This sucks for me, by the way, because I was always really good at using the speed bag in a speedy fashion. I also totally look like an expert when I use a pair of nunchucks, too, but so far it hasn't paid any of my bills; ha!

After viewing the speed bag in action...

After watching that quick video, you should be able to notice that, even when used correctly, it really doesn't involve any realistic value for a fighter, although it has been used for many, many years - especially by professional boxers. If anything, the average user will develop terrible form and many bad habits upon extensive speed bag training. Now, if you are somebody that just uses one for the fun of it, hey, why not? However, there are several alternative options, many of which will actually enhance your skill, speed and strength. The first example is shadow boxing, but not just with your hands. By using weighted gloves while shadow boxing (punching in the air, more or less), you will accustom yourself to going through the motion of realistic punches like hooks, uppercuts, jabs, and so on, all while having added weight on your hands. This, in turn, will increase your speed and power. Plus, it does somewhat give your deltoids and "lats" (latissimus dorsi) a nice workout after you have punched for several minutes with weighted gloves. It also acts as a nice supplement to your main workout, for example.

Next up on the alternative options for speed bag training, is a body opponent heavy bag. If you are interested in that, visit my post entitled "Human-shaped Dummy - Punching Bag for Training," to get a better idea of why that particular heavy bag alternative is good for technique, power, etc. Now, there is another product that has been on the market for a long while that is called a "Double End Striking Bag." Just to save time, if it's really eye-to-hand coordination that you are seeking, you'd be better off hanging a tennis ball on a string and try to follow it as it sways all over the place, but even then, you are merely trailing a tiny ball with little baby jabs - which is extremely far from a real life event, to say the least.

Alternative Options for Speed Bag Workout: Conclusion

Bottom Line: Anybody that knows anything about boxing and/or mixed martial arts training, will tell you that a speed bag is more or less used as a cool down exercise after you have finished your primary workout. Sure, it looks cool and all that, but the speed bag is actually fairly worthless, in my opinion. Once again, if you are seeking the best alternative options for this overrated training device, I'd go with a pair of weighted gloves while shadow boxing, any day of the week. If you are doing this for the sport: train hard, think smart, and don't waste time on anything that doesn't help you progress, such as a silly speed bag. Then again, I could just be mad because I can't have a speed bag/heavy bag stand anymore, since I moved to a location that doesn't have the room for such things; ha!

* Click Here for a fine Selection of Weighted Gloves

---End of Post "Alternative Options for Speed Bag Workout"

Bogus Study? Citrus Fruits increase risk of Melanoma Skin Cancer

Original Post Date: 7/05/2015

Well, folks, it looks like we've got us another one of those interestingly bogus studies to sort through. Who would have thought the day would come when certain groups of scientists try to link a deadly skin cancer, known as melanoma, to something healthy like the regular consumption of citrus fruits? You've got to be kidding me, right?
Okay, I'm not saying this study is absolutely bogus (like the fish oil study was), but it does make a person wonder. Actually, this subject sort of reminds me of when I wrote the blog post entitled "Bogus Study says Omega-3 & Fish Oil Supplements increases risk of Prostate Cancer."
At any acidic rate, there could possibly be a link of some sorts, but isn't everything connected within this grand universe? Without all the superfluous verbiage, lets get down to the heart of this beloved study. When speaking of citrus fruits, the targeted fruity villains in this study were mainly whole grapefruit and orange juice. I love orange juice, but grapefruit is one of the few foods (besides exotic organ meat) on this planet that I will not consume. Not only does it taste awful to me, it seems almost poisonous. If you'd rather read about the bad stuff concerning grapefruit, go here: Grapefruit is not good for Detox or certain Medications
Okay, now back to the topic at hand... A large study looked at the dietary patterns of more than 100,000 Americans. Within this potentially bogus study, they discovered an unexpected link between high consumption of citrus (specifically whole grapefruit and orange juice) and a risk of melanoma (dangerous form of skin cancer). "Researchers found that 1,840 of the study participants developed melanoma and that those who had a serving of citrus fruit or juice 1.6 times daily had a 36 percent higher risk of the cancer than those who consumed it less than two times a week. A serving was defined as half a grapefruit, one orange or a 6 ounce glass of juice." Read more about this crazy stuff, here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/06/29/citrus-consumption-and-melanoma-how-real-is-the-link/

The justification for the link between citrus fruits & skin cancer...

They theorize that the citrus fruit link to melanoma might be due to high levels of something called furocoumarins found in citrus fruit. These substances are produced by plants as a defense mechanism and are photoactive, meaning that their toxicity is enhanced by ultraviolet radiation. They have been known to cause skin to be more sensitive to sunlight.
While this may be true, I find it odd that citrus fruits grow best in the most sunny areas closest to the equator. Is this nature's version of sinister sun block? "Bask in the provided sun garden and drink from my tree, then die," says the nefarious orange tree. Wait, no, uh, never mind...

Why the study could be bogus...

The findings of this study were independent of age along with other factors including cigarette smoking, alcohol intake and other lifestyle factors linked to cancer. However, the study consisted of 63,810 female nurses and 41,622 men in the health profession. Uh, yeah, like that is a good representation of the common public. Plus, that could also raise the skin cancer rates since people in those type of professions would come more getting every little skin mark or lesion investigated by a doctor as opposed to the general public.
Other factors, like what areas in the U.S. they lived in, the amount of sun exposure they received on a regular basis, etc., were not mentioned in this study. Here is a comment from one of the actual participants of the study, from another website:

"I wish the reporters would include references when appropriate. http://jco.ascopubs.org/content/early/2015/06/24/J... They could have controlled for the geographic location for residents. All dietary amounts are estimated and self-reported every year or two. (I am one of the 100,000 study participants). At any rate, causation not proven but the overall risk is low. Next!"

Plus, people who consume more juice and citrus fruits may also be outside more while trying to live a more active, healthier lifestyle. Some of them may also be the ones who take too many synthetic vitamins, mega-antioxidants, and so on, which have been known to have adverse reactions and so forth. In a thumbnail, there are way too many variables involved here to just lump skin cancer / melanoma all together with freakin' oranges and grapefruits, in my opinion.
Speaking of opinions, I found this comment to be rather funny but somewhat true, which was found on another website: "OMG, first it was bacon, then butter, now it's orange juice for crying out loud. And Viagra, too!!!! What's next.... mom, apple pie and ice cream?? Might as well just go ahead and just shoot me now!!!"

---End of Post "Bogus Study? Citrus Fruits increase risk of Melanoma Skin Cancer"

Bogus Study says Omega-3 & Fish Oil Supplements increases risk of Prostate Cancer

 Original Post Date: 7/16/2013

Just when you think you've went a couple days without hearing some asinine statement from some bogus study that wasted loads of money just to make the drug companies look better, you get bombed with one of the most ridiculous statements of the year that concerns health supplements and the poor, polluted life known as seafood.
I don't even know where to start, really, other than I'm wondering what fueled these bogus studies. We are either dealing with some major promotion of this anti-fish oil movement in hopes more people will buy cholesterol-lowering drugs or other prescription drugs for blood pressure, heart health, whatever, or we are dealing with utter stupidity - or both!

Many of you have heard of the recent proclamations made on the News, online, etc., about how certain "folks" are trying to link the Omega-3 fatty acids that are found in fish, seafood, etc., and from Fish Oil supplements and all the ones that look like 'em, Krill Oil, and so on, to an increased risk of prostate cancer in men.

As soon as I heard this, I couldn't even believe it was allowed to hit the media. I mean, even people who are not very health-conscious are aware of the fact that constantly eating fatty foods, fast foods, fried foods, trans fat, burnt meat, sodium nitrite, charcoal-grilled foods on a regular basis, and whatnot, definitely isn't good for your digestive system, colon or, for males, your prostate. But, and I mean a big ol' butt of a but, eating lean meat, white meat, and fish or seafood is normally a good thing (outside of the ones with vegetarian beliefs, of course). Omega-3 fatty acids are very well known for their anti-inflammatory properties and for being good for your heart along with many other things. There are way too many articles written out there speaking of such Omega-3 health benefits and, since I don't feel like rewinding back to primitive times, there is no need to discuss those particular aspects here.

However, I must say, the first thing I thought of when I heard about this dimwitted study, is the Mediterranean Diet. It has been long established that people, not that I do, who follow a Mediterranean Diet (which is high in Omega-3, by the way) often leads to lower cancer rates and healthier hearts, just to mention a couple benefits.

Before anybody comments on this post, you might need to visit the following links, for a refreshment. First up, is an article about the baloney study entitled "Omega-3 fatty acids may raise prostate cancer risk," and you can find it here: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57593293/omega-3-fatty-acids-may-raise-prostate-cancer-risk/
I like one of the comments on that page from a guy that didn't fall for this bogus study, that said: "This study is both ridiculous and reckless! There is no correlation from this study with increased intake of omega-3 supplements and prostate cancer. How can anyone conclude that a .02 difference in omega-3 in plasma between a diseased population and a healthy population correlates with increased risk of prostate cancer? Patients that have prostate cancer have been told by their urologist, oncologist, cardiologist, GP and Optometrist to take omega-3 fish oil. This is the obvious reason why the omega-3 was higher in their blood than the healthy control group. Hopefully people don't stop taking their fish oil because of this. Many good studies show the protective nature of EPA and DHA for all aspects of health including prostate health. I am sure the media will have another spin to talk about very soon."
Another comment that I liked on that page, was: "Big Pharma is losing millions of dollars due to supplements and alternative medicine. This year they made their mind to attack supplements and this is just the beginning. Their plan started with the book "Do you believe in Magic?" which tries to persuade everyone that supplements and alternative medicine is fake and a pure placebo effect. Stay awake people, "Sick Care" is looking to keep you sick..."
Hey, read the cool link that guy dropped off, here: http://www.naturalnews.com/041154_fish_oils_scientific_study_science_fraud.html

...Next up, read what I dug up within seconds after going straight for the throat of the matter by searching about the Mediterranean Diet online. A couple links, just to get you started: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19051189 and a another small page, here: http://www.prostate-report.org/mediterranean.php
Of course there are many more, some more credible than others, but the point is, the bogus study that hit the news and online media a few days ago, left many people shaking their heads. The main reason why I even started this Hub, was because I was curious as to how many people fell for it, what they thought about it, and/or whatever else the readers wanted to share about this subject.

To me, it is blatantly obvious why these types of studies even get attention. Now, I will say this, in the event that the BS study has any merit, is that outside of people with existing prostate cancer that are already taking omega-3 supplements, people who use canola oil (which contains omega-3, also) for example, may be frying foods left & right - which is well known for not being a good thing. Yes, I'm guilty of it too, especially during garden season when I seem to be frying okra, squash and green tomatoes on a regular basis. Also, many folks that eat fish, often deep fry those suckers at will. Many of you know what else comes with a fish fry, right? Yes, greasy, deliciously fried hush puppies, fries, and so on. In a thumbnail, I'm saying the study is totally bogus and there is no way, in my opinion, that eating healthy foods or taking Omega-3 supplements endangers your health. The only risk I see with Omega-3, whether it be from seafood or supplements, is the heavy metals and polluted waters. At least with the supplements, if you choose to buy a certain type, you can get a cleaner version that is supposedly filtered and mercury free - if you can believe the label, that is.

Side Note: When it comes to prostate cancer, many studies have shown that a diet low in animal fat, processed meats, charbroiled and/or over-cooked meats, helps lower your risk for this type of cancer. Taking aspirin (preferably low-dose aspirin) on a regular basis is also thought to lower your risk for this particular cancer along with many other types.

---End of Post "Bogus Study says Omega-3 & Fish Oil Supplements increases risk of Prostate Cancer"

Update [9/25/2015]:
As we should all know by now, the whole idea that the omega-3 in fish oil supplements are linked to prostate cancer is completely bogus. However, what the original study didn't study, was a possible link from rancid oil found in certain poor-quality supplements and the effects it may have on prostate health. I checked on this after realizing a few weeks ago that many of the fish oil products found on the market are rancid. Would you regularly consume rotten fish? How about rotten fish oil hidden within a coated pill?
It would probably take another page for me to go into further detail about this, along with how you could easily check your fish oil for spoilage, ways to delay the oxidation of omega-3 oil (refrigerate your fish oil), etc., but I'll leave it up to you to perform the additional research. For starters, maybe you could start your search by using the keywords "rancid fish oil and prostate health," or something along those lines. Either way, omega-3 is not to blame and that previous bogus study was obviously flawed; cheers!