TechGenix FitITproNews

Vol. 01, #01 - September 13, 2017 - Issue #0001

FitITproNews: Avoiding injuries

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Editor's Corner


Welcome to our first issue of FitITproNews, a new weekly newsletter from TechGenix and the only newsletter in the world entirely devoted to helping IT pros lose weight and become fit! As the Editors of FitITproNews we promise that you'll find this new newsletter as useful, informative and entertaining as our sister newsletter WServerNews which is now completing its 20th year of weekly mailout! We're convinced you'll enjoy reading FitITproNews each week as much as you enjoy WServerNews but if you'd rather not receive it any more just go to the bottom of this issue and click Update Newsletter Preferences to change your subscription preferences. And by the way, in case you're not aware we also have two other TechGenix newsletters you can subscribe to, namely our Weekly IT Update and Spotlight Articles. Anyways, be sure to read this first issue right through and enjoy!

Mitch and Ingrid Tulloch
Editors, FitITproNews

In this issue

This first issue of FitITproNews focuses on something that's really important for anyone (especially a "fat IT pro" like I used to be) who is thinking of starting an exercise program: how to avoid getting injured. I'll share a few personal stories about my own exercise-induced injuries and end with a few tips on how to make sure you don't do the kind of dumb things I have done. We also have some exercise and nutrition tips, quick links to some products and services we think you shouldn't be without, some research for our more nerdy readers to peruse, and a bit of fun stuff. Be sure to read everything through from top to bottom and then send us an email to tell us what you think of our new newsletter as we'd love to hear your feedback. You can reach us at [email protected]

Disclaimer: I am not a certified fitness professional or nutritionist so take any suggestions made here "as is" with a grain of salt and a heaping supply of your own judgment. Please read our full disclaimer at the bottom of this newsletter. 

Ask Our Readers: Need help or advice concerning fitness, weightloss, exercising or nutrition? Why not tap into the huge collective expertise of our IT pro readership from all around the world! Send your questions to us today by emailing us at [email protected]

Avoiding injuries

About ten years ago when I was still a fat IT pro and my favorite form of exercise was playing chess, I experienced an unusual injury. It was wintertime and we had received about a foot and a half of snow (equal to about half a meter) and I was trying to shovel off our deck. As I was shoveling all of a sudden I heard a sound "boiinnnggg" that sounded like an elastic band snapping, and I discovered that I could no longer raise my right forearm! I had obviously snapped a tendon or muscle in my arm, and while I could sort of swing my forearm sideways I couldn't lift it upwards from the elbow joint. Yikes!

Being in the middle of some huge IT projects with looming deadlines, I decided to ignore the problem and hope that the separated muscle would heal, or at least that my remaining arm muscles would develop to compensate for the one that was no longer working. I knew I wouldn't be able to type on the computer with only one hand, and I found if I placed a wrist rest under my right wrist I could still type with both hands and get my work done.

But that got me thinking…maybe I should start exercising to strengthen my muscles and prevent something similar (or worse) from happening in the future? I also realized I had been huffing and puffing heavily as I shoveled the snow so it was apparent that I should probably start getting serious about losing some weight.

Elbows and dumbbells

After about a month I found I could almost fully use my right forearm again though it still felt weak when I tried to raise it. So I decided to strengthen my arms by buying some "girlie dumbbells" (sorry ladies!) including a 5 lb pair that were a nice green color and some black ones (I should have seen this as a warning sign) that weighed 10 lbs each. For our European readers those would be about 2 and 4.5 kg respectively.

Anyways, the dumbbells came with a sheet of instructions for performing various exercises and I soon found myself standing, sitting, or lying on the floor swinging 5 lb dumbbells in various directions. Everything went well and I was even starting to feel manly (a hormonal effect guys often experience after swinging iron around) when for some stupid reason I decided to do something reckless. I had been doing the French Press exercise with my 5 lb dumbbells to strengthen the triceps muscles in my arms. If you're not familiar with the French Press you can see it done in this short YouTube video:

Anyways, for some reason I decided one morning to jump to using 10 lb dumbbells instead of 5 lb ones for this exercise. That's doubling the weight for those of you who aren't math wizards (lol). Now you might think, Golly 10 lb dumbbells are pretty light, aren't they? But remember, I was a totally out-of-shape fat IT pro who was in his middle age years and who had never, ever exercised in his youth or early manhood.

So what happened when I suddenly upped the weight by 100 percent? I strained an elbow tendon in my left arm. And it HURT. I had to rest and ice it for days before the pain lessened, and a week later when the pain was gone I tried doing the French Press again but with 5 lb dumbbells instead, and guess what? I strained it again! So I ended up having to give up my exercise program complete for about four months until my elbow fully healed.

Knees and squats

I learned quickly though--pain is a great motivator. Over the next couple of years I ended up buying a bunch of books and subscribing to every fitness magazine I could find. I read everything and tried almost everything (except for exercises I wasn't strong enough to perform) and started putting on muscle and burning off fat. But the injuries kept coming, again mostly because of my own stupidity.

For example, I like performing squats as they make my legs strong and really get my hormones going. But normally I'll start off with a few light squats before I try anything heavier. One day a few years ago however I was feeling great and decided to jump straight away to lifting something heavy, and on about the seventh or eight rep going down I suddenly felt a sharp pain on the outside of my right knee. Ouch!

Well, there ended my leg exercises for the next several months. I had obviously pulled or strained something, maybe a knee ligament or bursa or something--the knee is a complicated joint that has a number of structural features that you can damage if you do something the wrong way. My problem went away eventually, but once again I learned something, mostly about myself.

Other injuries

These are only a few of the many injuries I've sustained during the last ten years as I've worked hard on making the transition from fat to fit IT pro. I've also pulled a pec muscle doing presses, pulled several back muscles by swinging dumbbells too quickly, tweaked my lower back doing deadlifts, tweaked my rotator cuff muscles lifting dumbbells too high the wrong way, hurt my ab muscles by lifting something at the wrong angle, hurt a muscle in my neck doing backward bridges, pulled a forearm muscle doing too many wrist rollers, and so on. I also had a bad foot injury from running that made me have to give up running as an exercise for two years, but I'll share more about that in a future issue of this newsletter that will be devoted to running as an exercise for getting fit and losing weight.

Even a supposedly low-impact exercise like swimming can have its dangers as Ingrid discovered some years back. She's a good swimmer and has always enjoyed the pool for both fitness and relaxation, but one day while swimming she did kicking too strenuously and ended up injuring her shin muscle. And being older like myself, it took a long time for her injury to heal. Remember, the old you get (after a certain age) the longer it takes for your body to recover from doing exercise and the longer it takes for an injury to heal.

Some tips

Let me end with a few tips on how you may be able to avoid getting injured if you're just starting out with an exercise program:

  • Start light - There's no shame in lifting weights that others might say is just kid stuff.
  • Always warm up - For the first 5 years of my fitness journey I started off every exercise time by spending about 5 minutes swinging around 2 lb dumbbells (yes I said 2 lbs) in every direction just to get my arms warmed up. And for warming up my legs I now do 10-15 minutes of light work on a reclining exercise bike before hitting the iron.
  • Pyramid up - If you plan one morning or evening on squatting with let's say 40 lb dumbbells then start off with one set of squats using 20 lb dumbbells, then use 30 lb ones for your second set, and finally 40 lb ones for your work set or sets.
  • Stop if it hurts - There's a difference between a muscle feeling challenged (buildup of lactic acid) and getting strained or sprained (sudden sharp pain). If you suddenly feel a sharp pain while performing an exercise, stop immediately and try and assess what happened. Don't do the same exercise (at least with the same intensity) until the injury has healed.
  • Be realistic - Transitioning from flab to fit and from feeble to forceful doesn't happen in a day, a week, or even a few months. It typically takes years, and the older you are the longer it can take (and the less likely you'll be to one day finding yourself on the cover of a fitness magazine).

What about you? Have you experienced any exercise injuries that have taught you some valuable lessons? Got any tips for injury avoidance that you'd like to share with other readers? Email me at [email protected]

Today's workout

In this section I'll be sharing some details of the workout I did early this morning. The idea behind this is to give you some ideas you might like to incorporate into your own daily workout program. Just be sure to read the disclaimer at the bottom of this newsletter before attempting anything yourself that I may have tried doing.

My workout today involved spending 60 minutes on a reclining exercise bike. I started at level 2 and gradually increased the tension every few minutes until I had worked my way up to level 10, then I gradually reduced the tension the same way until I got back down to level 1. It was B-O-R-I-N-G so I played games of speed chess on my iPad while I exercised, but I did end up burning off about 700 calories. See also the Exercise Tip of the Week section below for something related to doing this kind of exercise.

Send us your feedback!

Got feedback about anything in this issue of FitITproNews? Email us at [email protected]

Quick links

Products and services we think you shouldn't be without!

GOT ANY exercise equipment, nutritional supplements, personal training services, fitness websites, or anything else you would like to recommend for our readers? Or for that matter do you have any IT products or services you would like to promote or recommend? After all, our target audience here is mostly IT pros! Email us at [email protected]

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NFR key for Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows. It’s valid for 5 workstations and 2 servers. Ensure the Availability of your Windows based servers and workstations on premises and in the public cloud.

Gymboss miniMAX Interval Timer and Stopwatch lets you track up to 25 different intervals between two seconds and 99 minutes and can save up to 20 programs:

Iron Man Magazine is the world's leading bodybuilding magazine since 1936: is your independent, unbiased, and objective source of information concerning nutrition and supplements:

Exercise tip of the week

Cardio, growth hormone, and fat

Both steady-state cardio and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio are great for burning calories, but you can make them even more effective by not eating anything for about 45-60 minutes after doing a cardio session. The reason is because after you're finished doing your cardio the level of growth hormone (GH) in your body will gradually increase until it peaks around 45 minutes (according to some research I've read somewhere sometime) and then slowly declines. And apparent (again apparently according to research) this rise of GH can really torch fat in your body by mobilizing the release of fatty acids from your body's fat cells, but if you eat immediately after your cardio session the intake of food will prevent this GH rise from happening. Anyways, this is what I've read somewhere and it seems to work for me to some degree. Also see the next tip below for something similar.

Nutritional tip of the week

When you just gotta eat after exercising

To keep growth hormone (GH) elevated after an exercise session so your flab can continue to burn, if you must eat something immediately then try eating a mainly protein meal with only a little carb or fat in it. For example, after lifting weights or doing cardio in the morning I usually try to follow the previous tip and wait a while before eating anything, but sometimes I just can't, especially with weightlifting as it makes me REALLY HUNGRY grrrr.

The solution? I mix a scoop of whey protein with a half cup or so of low-fat cottage cheese and add a handful of raisins into the mix. That way I get about 50 grams of protein for my muscles and about 25 grams of slow-digesting carbs (fructose is slowly metabolized by the liver so it doesn't give a quick insulin boost) and this can keep me going for an hour or two until I have a proper breakfast or lunch.

Got tips? Do you have any exercise or nutritional tips you'd like to share with other IT pros who are trying to lose weight and get more fit? Email us at [email protected]

Fun stuff

 What happens when you drop a dumbbell? Let's take a look:

A guy drops a dumbbell on his face

Guy drops 110 pound dumbell on his chest

Dumbbell Benchpress Fail

Kid drops dumbbell on foot

Product of the Week

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SolarWinds® Exchange Monitor is a standalone free tool that monitors and alerts you to the performance, availability, and capacity of your Microsoft Exchange servers. The Exchange Monitor free tool also allows you to monitor Database Availability Group Health, set customizable thresholds for performance alert notifications, and monitor other key Windows and Exchange performance metrics.

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About FitITproNews

FitITproNews is the only weekly newsletter in the world that is entirely devoted to helping IT pros get fit, lose weight, and live happily ever after as they face the daily stresses and workload of being in the gristmill of the IT profession. FitITproNews is brought to you by TechGenix and is created each week by the same all-star editorial team that brings you WServerNews, the world's longest running IT pro newsletter focusing on the administration, management and security of the Windows Server platform in particular and cloud solutions in general. Subscribe to FitITproNews today! And while you’re at it be sure to also subscribe to our other TechGenix newsletters such as our Weekly IT Update and Spotlight Articles!

Editorial Team

Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of FitITproNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows Server and cloud technologies. He has written numerous articles and whitepapers and has authored or been series editor of more than 50 books for Microsoft Press. Mitch also successfully made the transition from being a typical "fat IT pro" to becoming fit by losing almost 50 lbs through a combination of resistance training, cardio exercises, and proper nutrition. Mitch's passion with FitITproNews is to help other IT pros do what he has been able to accomplish by sharing his personal story and lessons learned.

Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of FitITproNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. She is also Head of Research for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program. Ingrid is also committed to personal fitness and is a believer in clean eating and proper supplementation for optimal health and longevity.

Mitch and Ingrid are also the editors of WServerNews, a weekly newsletter from TechGenix that focuses on the administration, management and security of the Windows Server platform in particular and cloud solutions in general. For more information about Mitch and Ingrid see their website.


This newsletter is designed for informational purposes only and the health and fitness information presented in it are based solely upon the personal experience of its editors and of any guests or readers who contribute content to it. Nothing in this newsletter is intended to be or should be construed to be professional medical, fitness, or nutritional advice. Always consult a physician or other health care professional before starting an exercise or nutrition program to determine if it is appropriate for your personal needs. Do not follow any of the suggestions in this newsletter if your physician or other health care professional advises against doing so. If you are exercising or dieting or taking supplements and experience any dizziness, faintness, pain, or shortness of breath, you should stop immediately and seek medical help. The use of any information presented in this newsletter is solely at your own risk.

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