Andy Murray logged a win over David Nalbandian today in Paris, further proof that his markedly improved fitness is paying dividends. Currently ranked No. 4 on the ATP Tour, Murray (23 years-old, 6'3", 183 lbs) spends hundreds of hours on the tennis court, of course, but training goes way beyond fuzzy yellow balls. He does chin-ups in a weighted vest (that looks as if it were designed by Azzadine Alaia) for upper body strength; multiple back-to-back 100 and 400 meter sprints for speed and lower body strength; and in 2008, he added Bikram yoga to the routine. The Scottish player's trainers suggested he try the hot yoga, which lasts 90 minutes in a room heated to 104F. To his surprise, the practice improved his flexibility, stamina, and ability to cope with high temperatures, but it also helped his "mental strength," as he has told the British press. With a diet that relies heavily on Japanese food, his body fat has been reported as 6.5%. A good thing for a man who is obliged to wear a kilt from time to time.
Entries in fitness (5)
Next time you need some motivation to get up on that treadmill or to complete the last reps in your free-weight routine, consider Edison Pena. While Pena was trapped for 69 days in the collapsed Chilean mine, he ran in the network of tunnels by the light of a head lamp. Every day, he traced about a three-mile circuit, sometimes twice, in the knee-high boots he'd managed to cut down to his ankles. "When I ran in the darkness," said Pena (34 years old, 5' 5", 145 lbs) at a news conference before completing the New York City Marathon on November 7th, "I was running for life."
Just do it, indeed.
Meanwhile, Jean Christophe Romagnoli, a doctor specializing in sports medicine, taught all 33 trapped miners a regimen of exercise to help them maintain fitness and prepare them for rescue. The workout included simple cardio, leg-strengthening exercises, and movements aimed at improving blood flow.
Romagnoli started the men on cardio training--walking or jogging in the tunnels for about half an hour at a pace of two to three miles per hour. He had them sing while they worked out. Not to boost morale, but rather to ensure that their heartbeats remained in a safe range of 120 to 140 beats per minute. "Your physiology does not permit you to sing and jog while exceeding 140 beats per minute," Romagnoli told The Wall Street Journal. He also had the men do leg exercises, including a variety of squats (in part so they'd have strength for any climbing that might be required in the rescue), and resistance training with elastic bands.
The other day in New York City, we saw someone, er, pedaling a crazy contraption like this, southbound in traffic, alongside whizzing yellow cabs and hulking delivery trucks. It was a funny moment, like seeing a trailer for the forthcoming scary movie Escape From The Gym! (starring Will Ferrell, of course). If the extraterrestrials are studying earthling behavior, what would they make of this odd collision of instincts: the narcotic effect of spinning has taken bikers inside, while the concrete-jungle-inspired elliptical machine, an urban gym fixture, has been re-configured for the out of doors? Chicken, egg....
Well, it turns out, that one model, the ElliptiGo, was invented out of necessity. In 2005, company co-founder and former cyclist and Ironman triathlete Bryan Pate could not longer run because of hip and knee injuries. A lifetime of contact and endurance sports had caught up with him, and by the ripe age of 32 he could only engage in low-impact exercise. He considered returning to cycling but he'd always found the saddle of a bike and the riding position seriously uncomfortable, and besides, cycling workouts take too much time. So, he started using the indoor elliptical trainer. He he liked the exercise, but he hated being locked in a gym. To solve this problem, he decided to buy a low-impact running device he could ride on the street. Foreshadow next new fitness craze........
Meanwhile in Britain, great minds think alike.
In partnership with her manager Guy Oseary and New Evolution Ventures (NEV), Madonna has announced the launch of Hard Candy Fitness global gyms which will open in major cities around the world. The first Hard Candy Fitness is a 30,000 square foot space scheduled to open in Mexico City mid November in the exclusive Bosques de las Lomas area. Madonna, who has been reported to work out intensely as many as three times a day, will be there to snip the ribbon.
"Our goal is to create an environment inspired by Madonna's vision and high standards of what the ideal gym would be. Hard Candy Fitness will be a reflection of Madonna's point of view and will reflect her input on every detail including music space, light and other design cues. Madonna's touch will be everywhere," stated NEV Chairman Mark Mastrov.
Hard Candy Fitness will offer training methods including private, group and dynamic training including traditional classes such as Zumba, Latin Moves and Cardio Kickboxing as well as new programming designed specifically for the brand. The fitness center will also include a Bike Studio, a Mind Body Studio featuring something called The Great Wall, where members can practice BarWorks, Sculpting, Capoeira and the newest trends in Yoga. It will also house a healthy alternative juice bar, or bar de zumos, depending on your time zone. The locker rooms, well, the locker rooms will be lavish.
Members will also have access to high-tech cardiovascular equipment with personal viewing screens, more than 60 pieces of strength equipment, free weights and the myriad group fitness, functional training accessories and brands including PreCor, Hoist, Free Motion, Nautilus, Hammer Strength, StarTrac, AbCoaster, and TRX suspension training.
No word yet on membership fees, first U.S. outpost, or the chances of Madonna leading arm-sculpting workshops or krumping classes.
Once upon a time, elite tennis player Andre Agassi dismissed the bourgeois pass time of golf, saying, in effect, any game that can be played well while drunk is not a sport. (Darts, anyone?) But in the meantime--thanks in no small part to the pre-scandal-era Tiger Woods--the sport has become not only more athletic but, at the top level of competition, it demands an extremely high level of fitness. Consider Camilo Villegas, 15th on the PGA Tour, whose sinews and contour would do Rudolf Nureyev proud. As part of his exercise regimen, the 28-year-old Villegas (5' 9"; 160 lbs) rides a bike--and we're not talking spinning class. When he returns home to Colombia, he races Tour de France-level courses, which might help explain the lean physique and the power his legs give his drives. His personal trainer reports that he has a resting heart-rate in the high 30s. Ah, the health powers of exercise.