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Men’s Health

Nonprofit Man Up Gadsden advocates for men’s health 



While June is Men’s Health Month, which is dedicated to several weeks of awareness campaigns and nationwide advocacy for men’s health, an Etowah County organization encourages men to reflect on their wellbeing year-round.

As local nonprofit Man Up Gadsden prepares to host their annual Blue Ball for the benefit of men’s health on Friday June 11th, the organization’s founders ponder the unwavering purpose behind it all.

Man Up Gadsden was founded four years ago and grew out of a friendship between two passionate people who saw a void in their community for men’s health support services: Absolute Fitness Marketing Director Teresa Taylor and Dr. John Pirani of Clinical Urology Associates.

Co-founder Teresa Taylor’s interest in helping others through charitable organizations first sparked in high school and followed into adulthood, where she often helped organize local events like the United Way’s Girlfriend Gala, which made the success of 6, and on the board of Never. operated by Surrender – a non-profit organization that provides education, prevention and support for breast cancer patients. While Taylor was no stranger to volunteering and understood the importance of wellness, as the mother of two boys (now 27 and 15 years old) she became increasingly aware that something was missing.

“As my boys got a little older, I found that there was nothing – no organizations out there – that really raised awareness about men’s health,” said Taylor. “I have found that there is nothing that really educates men about their health, and I have noticed that men don’t seem to pay any attention to their health. They want to make sure they are taking care of their mom, girlfriend, wife, or whoever, but they don’t really care [to themselves]. “

Following the Never Surrender campaign in October 2017, Taylor received a visit from Pirani, whose own community involvement and extensive medical knowledge lead him to a similar conclusion. Pirani, also a mother of two boys, noticed Taylor’s commitment to Never Surrender and suggested an idea for a parallel campaign. As a urologist, Pirani witnessed two prominent men’s health threats that were not discussed: prostate and testicular cancer.

Prostate cancer, the most common non-cutaneous cancer in the United States, affects three million men, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Likewise, testicular cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in young men between the ages of 15 and 34, according to the Testicular Cancer Foundation. With the increase in patients suffering from either prostate or testicular cancer, he knew that the need for awareness was proven to be vital.

Pirani’s vision for education and prevention correlated with Taylor’s desire to break the stagnation surrounding men’s health. Their joint efforts first manifested itself in blue rallies that mirrored Never Surrender’s pink rallies in schools addressing the issue of breast cancer in female students. Just as male students did not attend the pink rallies, neither did female students attend the blue rallies in order to create a private environment where students were comfortable, asking questions, and studying without embarrassment.

Taylor and Pirani developed shower cards and brochures with factual information about testicular cancer and encouraged young men to schedule cancer screenings and self-exams to promote early detection. As their efforts expanded, Pirani and Taylor realized that an established organization was necessary to ensure the full continuation and manifestation of their mission to serve others, which led to the creation of the 501 (c) (3) nonprofit Man Up Gadsden .

Man Up Gadsden is designed to support men affected by prostate and testicular cancer in every aspect of their lives while focusing on preventive measures for those who are about to reach this stage. Man Up Gadsden is mobilizing an ensemble of resources in the Etowah County ward to assist them whenever possible. As the first nonprofit dedicated to men’s health in Gadsden, Man Up Gadsden works with other local organizations like United Way and the Family Success Center to make a difference.

Working closely with United Way’s 2-1-1 First Call for Help Director Lishala Carter and Family Success Center Director Emma Hazelwood Clapp, Man Up Gadsden endeavors to provide men with the help appropriate to their situation. Through a thorough understanding of each diagnosis, Man Up Gadsden ensures that patients are aware of all available treatment and course of action options. Man Up Gadsden connects men with doctors, makes appointments and prepares them for treatment while providing financial support for more than just medication.

Taylor shared that treatment and medication are expensive, recalling a woman with breast cancer whose husband learned he had cancer just months after she was diagnosed – which led to a stressful financial situation. When individuals receive an unexpected card that will completely change their life, Taylor hopes no one will weather the storm alone. She found that through Man Up Gadsden, United Way, and the Family Success Center, avenues of support lead to a path of hope.

“Anyway? [prostate or testicular cancer] influenced their lives, we can help, ”said Taylor. “We’re there to help in any way – whether it’s medication, actual appointments themselves, money on a hospital bill, or literally to the point where they don’t have money to eat (from previous appointments and medication), we can make a gift certificate for a grocery store. We had a gentleman who lived on the outskirts of Etowah County and he didn’t have the help to get to his doctor’s appointments. We paid for Love’s taxi service to pick him up, take him to appointments and take him home. “

Man Up Gadsden also provides emotional support to men and families suffering from an illness to remove any stigma attached to prostate or testicular cancer. While some may feel embarrassed about the subject, health is nothing to be shy about. Taylor noted that while a 15-minute appointment could be awkward, those 15 minutes could save someone’s life.

“Be aware of yourself,” said Taylor. “Don’t be embarrassed or afraid to reach out to you and ask for help or make appointments. When you see or feel something [abnormal, concerning or questionable] Dr. Pirani says, ‘Don’t let the sun go down before you make the call.’ That is, the day you think something is wrong, give us a call. He feels so strong, he is so passionate, because cancer can grow so quickly. “

Man Up Gadsden hosts three major fundraisers throughout the year and participates in its blue rallies and lectures to promote men’s health awareness. The organization’s Casting for Cancer Bass Fishing Tournament takes place in September, while the Dasche for the Stache 5K debuts in November. In June, Man Up Gadsden organizes the annual fundraiser that started it all – The Blue Ball, its largest event, which raised $ 27,000 for men’s health in 2019. This year’s event was sold out.

“When we first named the event, we wanted it to be something shocking that would make people think, ‘What is this for?'” Said Taylor. “When they realize that the Blue Ball is meant for prostate and testicular cancer, they laugh at it. It draws attention to the fact that this is what it is for and what we collect money for [but it helps decrease the stigma around prostate and testicular cancer by showing] it is neither embarrassing nor taboo. It is accepted in the community and we are very happy about it. “

“As a population, we are used to drawing attention to breast cancer, but nothing about men. It took many years to develop breast cancer [awareness to become prominent]. We have made great strides in this over the past four years. We talked to 3,500 to 4,000 boys – by leaps and bounds, when you’ve never talked about it or when men are embarrassed to say, ‘Yes, I had testicular cancer.’ There are so many people in Gadsden who have been diagnosed with testicular cancer and who have realized that it is okay to talk about. People who think, ‘I am cancer free now, I am fine and I help others talk about it.’ It didn’t take long when we started organizing to say that it is okay to talk about that we go into the community and say these words. It’s not a bad word – it’s a health situation. “

From the Riverview Regional Medical Center coloring its fountain blue to support men’s health to the spate of sponsors who join Man Up Gadsden each year, Etowah County’s generosity and helpfulness shine as a beacon. Taylor expressed her gratitude for the endless volunteers who donate their time to coordinating events (which often sell out) and the sponsors who help fund the care of local patients. Transparency is a pillar of Man Up Gadsden, with Taylor making sure that all donors know exactly where their contributions will be distributed, be it for patient treatment, educational materials or other resources. In return, Man Up Gadsden ensures that its sponsors get as much credit as possible and highlights those individuals, companies and partners whose generosity makes Man Up Gadsden’s efforts sustainable.

“I’ve realized over time what a small community can do when it comes together,” said Taylor. “There are many generous people, many giving people, who really want to help and think the same way as we do. They have boys and men in their lives who love them. [Sharing that] is a great feeling. “

Taylor expressed her hope for the future of Man Up Gadsden and shared her vision for growth and the continued mission of service, education and prevention. She emphasized the organization’s openness to working with others who might want to join their crusade, from volunteering and sponsorship opportunities to individual fundraisers. While Man Up Gadsden seeks to educate men about the facts that could improve their health, the nonprofit recognizes men as more than just statistics – it works to help ensure that fathers and sons, brothers and uncles, husbands and friends lead a successful and healthy life.

“When Dr. Pirani told me when we started, and that the first mother came in with that shower card and was diagnosed with testicular cancer in a little boy (a college student), I knew I believed we were helping, “Taylor said . “I could see physically that it saved someone’s life… if they hadn’t got that shower pass and had an appointment, they wouldn’t be here today. As a mother, it wears me out just thinking about it, because this boy was about the same age as my oldest son. That was really my turning point when I prayed and said, ‘Thank you God for putting me in this situation, for letting me talk to Dr. Pirani and the people who have helped us, that you let me be part of this organization. ‘”

For more information on Man Up Gadsden, visit, call 256-492-4040, or search Man Up Gadsden on Instagram and Facebook.

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Men’s Health

5 Track Workouts That Will Get You Out of the Gym



Sprinters have the best physique in the world: Their bodies are made up of long, sinewy muscles that they can propel over the course at breathtaking speed. Why do so few people do track workouts? The facilities are easily accessible (many high and middle schools keep their lanes open to the public in the evenings and on weekends), and they’re not just for running, either. Most lanes have grassy infields, if not lined soccer fields, that can be used for shuttle runs and exercises that could otherwise be done in the gym.

Training on the track in the spring and autumn months or on summer evenings is often more comfortable than another overcrowded gym workout. And unlike your typical long, stationary jog on a treadmill, running on a distance is much more likely to improve strength and speed. Last but not least, it offers a welcome change from the gym and the opportunity to train outside.

Ready to start? Here’s a warm-up and five workouts you can do on the track and in the infield:

5 track workouts that will get you out of the gym

Warm up

  1. Cobra: Lie on your stomach (face down) on the infield grass. Squeeze your buttocks together and bring your shoulder blades back and down. With your thumbs up, arms turned out, and chin tucked in, lift and hold your chest for 2 seconds. Slowly lower to the floor and repeat 10 repetitions.
  2. Pelvic slope: This opens the hips and pelvis, which can become blocked from sitting too much. From a standing position with your hands on your hips and knees slightly bent, move your hips back and forth and tilt your pelvis. You should feel a stretch in your lower back. Be sure to move from your hips; don’t get out of step. This can also be done with your hands on the cross for more stretch. Tilt back and forth 10 times.
  3. Knee hug: Raise your right knee to your chest and reach under that knee with your hands. Pull the knee as close to your chest as possible while contracting your left gluteus muscle. Repeat on the other side. Do 10 on each side.
  4. Side lunge: Step right while keeping your toes straight and feet flat. Squat down by sitting back and on your right leg; Keep your left leg straight and your weight on your right metatarsus to your heel. Keeping your left leg straight, crouch down as low as you can and hold this position for 2 seconds. You can return to the starting position or slip to the next lunge by gradually moving to the right. Do 10 on each side.
  5. Ass kicks: From an athletic posture, crouch slightly as if you were sitting in a chair. Jump and bring your heels to the glutes. Do not arch your lower back. Land gently in an athletic position and repeat 10 reps.

Training session # 1

Directions: Repeat the following exercises four times for a total of 5 sets or 30 minutes.

  1. Warm-up run: Two laps around the track with 60 percent effort.
  2. Plank: Hold for 1 minute, rest for 30 seconds.
  3. Dips: Repeat for 1 minute, rest for 30 seconds (use a bench or bleachers).
  4. Lateral limits: Stand on your right leg with your left foot off the floor in balance. Squat slightly with your right leg, jump sideways to the left. Extend your ankles, knees, and hips and land on your left leg while maintaining your balance. Hold for a three count, then jump back to the other side. The idea is to explode from your hips for maximum height and distance. Do 10 repetitions per side.
  5. Burpees: Repeat 1 minute, rest 30 seconds.

Training session # 2

  1. ½ mile warm-up run: Complete two laps of the track with 60 percent effort.
  2. Pushups x 20
  3. ¼ mile run: Finish a round with 80 to 90 percent effort.
  4. ¼ mile brisk walk
  5. Pushups x 20
  6. ¼ mile run: Finish a round with 80 to 90 percent effort.
  7. ¼ mile brisk walk
  8. Pushups x 20
  9. ½ mile cooldown: Complete two laps of the track with 60 percent effort.

Training session # 3

  1. ½ mile warm-up run: Complete two laps of the track with 60 percent effort.
  2. 5-10-5 drills: A staple of the NFL Scouting Combine. Place three cones or other objects in a row on the grass, 5 meters apart. (If the soccer field has yard markers, use those instead.) Start at the middle cone or yard marker. Walk 5 meters to the right and touch the ground on the cone. Then run 10 meters to the left and touch the ground. Then sprint back to the starting point. Repeat twice with a 30-second break between sets.
  3. Park bench routine: A park bench – or one that’s likely to be found on the track – is a versatile piece of equipment that you can use to do a combination of dips and pushups. If you struggle with push-ups on the floor, the greater angle between you and the floor will make them easier to do on a bench. Do 12 pushups; Then turn around and do 12 dips. For the dips, look away from the bench and grasp the edge of the bench with your hands. Lower your body to the floor and push up with your triceps. Do 10 pushups and 10 dips, followed by 8, 6, 4, and 2 of each. Note: Whenever possible, use the lower edge of the bench for dips and push-ups. Use the higher edge of the bench for pushups if the lower one is too demanding.
  4. Bleacher run: Walk up and down the grandstand for 5 minutes. No grandstands? Run the track at 60 percent speed for 5 minutes.
  5. Pushups x 20
  6. Squat Jumps x 10
  7. Bleacher run
  8. 5-10-5 drill bits
  9. Park bench routine
  10. ½ mile cooldown: Complete two laps of the track with 60 percent effort.

Training session # 4

Directions: Repeat the following exercises until you have reached a total of 30 minutes for the workout.

  1. ¼ mile run: Finish a lap on the track with 60 percent effort. After the first lap, increase the effort to 80 to 90 percent.
  2. Burpees x 15
  3. Climber x 50
  4. ¼ mile run: Complete a lap on the track with 80 to 90 percent effort.
  5. Pushups x 20

Training session # 5

  1. 1 mile warm-up run: Complete four laps on the track.
  2. Run: Run for 4 minutes with 80 to 90 percent effort.
  3. Quick walk: Walk for 2 minutes.
  4. Run: Let it run for 4 minutes.
  5. Quick walk: Walk for 2 minutes.
  6. Run: Let it run for 4 minutes.
  7. Quick walk: Walk for 2 minutes.
  8. 1 mile cooldown: Finish four laps of the track with 60 percent effort.

Pete Williams is a NASM certified personal trainer and the author or co-author of a number of books on performance and training.

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Men’s Health

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Explained Why He Doesn’t Have Six-Pack Abs



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Before we start, let’s agree on something: For someone who is nearly 50 years old, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is in incredible shape. As someone with a background in professional American football, wrestling and performing hardcore action scenes – with decades of strength training under the (weight) belt – DJ is a fitness icon for men half his age and has made a name for himself made by Hollywood’s strongest leading actors.

These physical skills are what power tens of thousands of frantic Google searches as those desperately looking for Johnson’s workouts try to find the plan that got him into such gigantic shape. But the internet has defied one mystery: Where are Johnson’s six pack abs? He’s got the core strength and low body fat required to make them pop, after all.

That was the question Johnson asked during a recent WIRED “Autocomplete” interview in which DJ answered some of the internet community’s most burning questions. The question read by his Jungle Cruise co-star, Emily Blunt, was, “What’s wrong with The Rock’s abs?”

“That sucks!” replied Johnson to the question that struck his body. “There’s nothing wrong with them, no. Here’s the thing. I think because on Instagram all these Instagram fitness models have these incredible six, eight, 12, 24 packs.”

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“I have a five and a half pack, sometimes a four and a half pack,” he continued. “But the problem was – which a lot of people don’t know – I ripped the upper part of my thigh off my pelvis in a wrestling match and it popped, in a wrestling match.

“And then it started a chain reaction and tore my abdominal wall, so I had to do emergency surgery with a triple hernia, one tear, one tear, and one tear.” [pointing to each tear].

Sounds like a tough ride – one that will definitely ruin any unwarranted keyboard comment. “Those bastards who google what’s wrong with the abs on The Rock? ‘ Well, it’s called a 45 minute wrestling match and the top of my quad popped out of my pelvis and my adductor popped out of my pelvis, “said Johnson.

“And the pain I’ve been through … I have to fix this shit. I’ll google what got over The Rock?”

Very good reason, you will agree with me.

Ed Cooper is Assistant Digital Editor at Men’s Health UK, writing and editing on anything you want to know – from tech to fitness, mental health to style, food and more.

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Men’s Health

Why Winter is The Best Season for Bulking



With the lack of beach days forcing you to put up with it all and minimal impromptu parties popping up on the calendar, there’s relatively no need to wear a chiseled six-pack year round. Therefore, winter is the best time of year to build as much lean muscle mass as possible. For those unfamiliar with the concept, it should be made clear that bulking doesn’t translate directly to bodybuilding (aka You Won’t Walk Away Like the Michelin Man).

How do i start?

The most important thing is that to build muscle you need to eat a lot more. The reverse formula for what it takes to lose weight, bulking, requires you to expend more energy than the body needs while at the same time giving some of that energy, e.g. Through regular and strenuous physical activity to build muscle mass.

The amount of food you need to eat varies from person to person and takes into account your current physique and fitness goals, which is why I recommend that you always seek advice from your doctor. For some, it might mean adding an extra can of yogurt to your morning cereal, others need to include a different meal each day, but you want your wellness journey to be tailored just for you.

Wait … am I not getting fat?

While it may be a cause for concern for some, fat gain is part of the mass building process. However, you don’t want to fall into the pattern of simply eating more for profit, it’s all about quality and informed food choices.

Start increasing your calories in small increments, prioritizing more full fat dairy, whole grains, and lean meats to underpin each meal. Other high-calorie foods that should appear on your radar include avocado, sweet potato, and nuts.

Hot Tip: Swapping Vegemite for Peanut Butter on Toast will increase your energy and protein intake without increasing the bread amount, making you less likely to feel too full.

So am I doubling the protein requirement?

Contrary to popular belief, bulking requires more than just protein (so stop knocking down those shakes). The best sources of protein to include in your diet today should be: eggs, nuts and seeds, beans, legumes, lean meats, and seafood. Again, so many factors play a role in how much you need, including your gender, height, and exercise program.

If you are feeling fit and ready to reshape your body but are lacking inspiration in the kitchen department, I recommend investing in one of the many food delivery programs available across Austria that will support your fitness goals. Company like MACROS For example, provide plans called Sculpt, Perform, and Gain, all of which have been pre-portioned and dietitian-approved to suit your lifestyle. The best part? It ships right to your door, which means more time training and less effort preparing meals.

Forget everything you’ve heard about gobbling up whole pizzas, gallons of milk, and tons of cheeseburgers, bulking is far less scary than it sounds and can indeed be a welcome change from your usual fitness regimen.

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