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U.S. men playing catch-up as Olympic gymnastics trials begin | Sports

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Sam Mikulak is open about the challenges he faced during a break from competition from February 2020 through earlier this month at the US Gymnastics Championships.

He is like many who have to catch up with the world powers in men’s gymnastics at a time when the US is catching up in the Olympics on Thursday at the Dome at America’s Center.

Injuries, mental health problems, and other problems were stumbling blocks. Now, one month before the start of the Games in Tokyo, it is time to leave the field of Olympic candidates behind.

Mikulak, who is trying to field his third Olympic team, believes he has overcome his emotional troubles. The next challenge is to shake off the rust that gave him an unusual third place in the US championships.

“I realized that mental health was something I had to address fairly early (in the pandemic) because I felt the emotions a lot more when the games were postponed and we couldn’t train,” Mikulak said. “I felt hectic not only physically, but also emotionally, and this hectic rush never ended.”

Mikulak experienced what he called “a good level of depression” while trying to be perfect in everyday life, just as he strives for gymnastics. He has come to terms with his problems and feels that he is in better hands.

His experience was personal but reflected what was happening in gymnastics on a national level. Mikulak is 28 years old and older than all of his competitors, many of whom are college-aged and left without apprenticeships for months as other countries moved forward.

The US is considered to be rather disadvantaged due to the layoffs.

“It hurt a lot, I’m not going to lie,” said Brett McClure, the US men’s high performance director. “We had a lot of people training in universities and they shut down completely. Consistency in training was a big problem. With a view to China, Russia, Japan, everyone immediately gushed and was able to continue training. We could not.”

The past six months have been better, but there is a lot of catching up to do and potential obstacles to overcome.

Shane Wiskus is struggling with his own mental and physical problems after falling three times from the horizontal bar in his penultimate event at the championship. He finished second at the time and dropped to ninth place, but is considered a challenger for an Olympic place.

“I have a lot of support from what happened and I work with sports psychologists to process it, work it through and get over it as soon as possible,” he said during a meeting with the media. “My main focus is to keep going. So if we could avoid questions about this routine, I’d really appreciate it. “

Wiskus also struggled with a wrist injury sustained at the NCAA championships that required an injection of cortisone. He took almost two months off pommel horse training last year because of a similar injury to his other wrist.

Yul Moldauer is another top contender after finishing second behind Brody Malone, who won two NCAA championships earlier this month. He will be a favorite this weekend. However, Moldovans struggled with back cramps at the last event.

“I looked at the videos and you can tell that something is just copying,” he said. “But my back feels great. I went home and went to my therapist. … It’s something I haven’t told a lot of people about because something can happen every day. It gives me a lot more confidence to go to any other meeting when something happens. “

The US has not won a team medal since its bronze medal in 2008. The last gold medal came in 1984. In 2016, the medals went to Japan, Russia and China pandemic hit.

Mikulak is the only individual on the exams who was on the team in 2016. He has endured the rigors of the gymnastic lifestyle longer than most in their career and remains one of the best in the country after overcoming his pandemic problems.

“It was a tough, dark time to get there and the quarantine was the only time in my life that I could actually go through this process,” he said.

The US will have a four-man team and a single player for the Olympics. The best all-rounder in the tests goes automatically, as does the runner-up, provided he is among the top three in three events. The remaining places will be filled by the selection committee.

The women have four gymnasts and two individual players on the team. The two first-placed winners in the all-around competition form the team together with two selected by the selection committee. Jade Carey has already been nominated for one of the individual positions and the committee will select the other.

© 2021 STLtoday.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Copyright 2021 Tribune Content Agency.

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Men’s Health

5 Track Workouts That Will Get You Out of the Gym

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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

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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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