In 1890, English-born American physician Edwin Checkley published ‘A Natural Method of Physical Training’ in which he presented his MMB philosophy. Checkley’s exercise method was non-competitive, did not encourage physical or mental exhaustion, and did not require equipment. The aim was ‘to feel naturally light and strong and to have an effective body.’9 Checkley E. A natural method of physical training. New York (NY): William C. Bryant & Co.; 1890. [Google Scholar] Checkley expressed his dismay toward the vigorous and ‘unnatural’ athletic training methods utilized in the gymnasiums at the time, as well as toward the new mechanized ‘muscle-molding schemes’ he referred to as ‘straining’ more than ‘training.’ He criticized the ethics of aggressive performance-enhancing gymnastic and athletic training techniques claiming they were not natural, therefore harmful for the body and mind. In comparison, Checkley described animals in nature that sustain a lifetime of health, fitness, and beauty by performing seemingly effortless movements on a regular basis.9 Checkley E. A natural method of physical training. New York (NY): William C. Bryant & Co.; 1890. [Google Scholar] Perhaps ironically, Checkley’s philosophy and exercises famously ‘converted’ Alan Calvert, the weightlifting pioneer who founded the Milo Bar-bell Company in 1902 and started Strength Magazine in 1914 (Figures 1, 2).12 Beckwith KA. Building Strength. Alan Calvert, the Milo bar-bell company, and the modernization of American weight training; PhD thesis. Austin: The University of Texas; 2006. [Google Scholar]
I love this DVD because it's basically the equivalent of seven DVDs in one — offering seven different 20-minute yoga practices to mix and match. I liked the freedom of being able to do a different one each day or combine two when I wanted to do a longer session. The flows range from slow-paced for relaxation to more intense for an energizing practice.
The aim of this study was to assess the effects of vigorous exercise on functional abilities by means of a Senior Fitness Test (SFT) in a group of elderly adults. Twenty healthy and inactive people performed vigorous exercise (VE: 12 men and 8 women, aged 69.6 ± 3.9 years). At the beginning of the study (T0) and after 3 months (T1), each subject's functional ability was tested for muscular strength, agility, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and balance. The VE was designed with continuous and interval exercise involving large muscle activities. Functional exercises were performed between 60% and 84% of heart rate reserve (HRR) for a duration of 65 minutes. Five out of the 6 SFTs performed were found significantly improved: Chair Stand (T0 12.4 ± 2.4, T1 13.5 ± 2.6, p < 0.01), Arm Curl (T0 14.2 ± 3.6, T1 16.6 ± 3.6, p < 0.01), 2 min step (T0 98.2 ± 15.7, T1 108.9 ± 16.2, p < 0.01), Chair Sit-and-Reach (T0 −9.9 ± 7.7 cm, T1 1.7 ± 6.3 cm, p < 0.01), and Back Scratch (T0 −15.8 ± 10.9 cm, T1 −8.4 ± 13.1 cm, p < 0.01). Our results suggest that a high intensity protocol and functional exercises can improve functional mobility and muscle endurance in those over 65 years of age. SFTs are an effective method for assessing improvements in the functional capacity of elderly adults.