The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Five Minutes a day?

There is an article on trumpeted as the “Death of Homophobia,” which I eagerly read. It claimed that anti-gay attitudes had declined dramatically among football players, certainly one of the most macho segments of the population. It claimed that one in three former football players admitted to having had a gay experience. I was shocked by a number that large, and the more I read, the more I hope it was a bad joke: the methodology was pure crap.
First, included among “gay” experiences was two guys in bed with the same woman. Well…maybe not. Stretching things a bit, I’d reckon.
The second was, in my mind, an inexcusable bit of blindness. At the least. It seems that the sample questions were ex-highschool football players who hadn’t been able to make the college team. And so they became…cheerleaders.

What? Didn’t it occur to anyone that any guy who becomes a cheerleader is automatically somewhat resistant to cultural prejudices and perceptions? That at the very very least, he’s the kind of guy who doesn’t care that the stereotype of the male cheerleader is less than macho? And that’s at the least. There is a wide, wide world of difference between the art of display (cheerleading) and the art of crushing and intimidating (football). That this is a rather self-selected group that would be expected to have a much larger than average percentage of guys who might go against cultural “macho” norms.

Man, I hope that I missed a joke somewhere, because this is sloppy as hell.
I keep a sharp lookout for any physical training techniques that promise large benefits for small time investments. I just came across one that strikes me as promising, but cannot claim to have really tried it out—according to its lead proponent, it will take 4-6 weeks of training to see the effects. However, let’s enumerate the promised benefits:
1) investment of 5-10 minutes a day, 3-5 times a week
2) Monetary investment of less than 40 bucks. Possibly as low as 5.
3) Totally portable equipment. Carry in a briefcase or backpack, easily.
4) Improves coordination, endurance, speed, agility, reflexes, etc.—all major components of sports performance.
5) Used by large numbers of professional and Olympic athletes.
6) Available to all skill and fitness levels (after a break-in period)
7) Available to all ages (at least, more available than running or jogging)
8) Easier on the joints than running…

You may have guessed that I’m talking about jumping rope, but not regular rope jumping. It seems that when you jump in a very specific way, the results skyrocket. That methodology: 100 jumps per 30 seconds, or 200 jumps per minute. 1:1 ratio of work to rest (30 seconds jumping, thirty seconds rest, etc.) That’s the beginning. You can start the program when you can perform 140 jumps without tripping or catching the rope. Then the fun begins.

You can learn a lot more by Googling “Buddy Lee jump rope” or go to Lee’s web site. His credentials look impeccable, and he is talking about very very specific results that happen once you get above the 3 jump/second threshold. He himself jumps at simply unbelievable speed and agility. You’ve never seen anything like it, I promise you. And above about 4 jumps/second? You are “slicing time” like a maniac. There is no way your conscious mind can keep control. It just can’t. By the time you’ve worked your way into his actual program, you are performing sports-specific agility work at a speed that would open up the subconscious circuits like nobody’s business. Want a true whole-body workout you can do in a hotel room? Do 5-10 minutes of this, followed immediately by 15 minutes of Cards. And may God have mercy on your soul.

Anyway, this is all theoretical. I’m just playing with it. Five minutes of work for the kind of benefits pro athletes and coaches swear by, as well as Tabata-style serious conditioning, is simply too good not to experiment with. Five minutes? Jeeze. And five to ten minutes is all he recommends for PROFESSIONALS. Check it out at

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