TechGenix FitITproNews

Vol. 01, #02 - September 20, 2017 - Issue #0002

FitITproNews: Fun and death with exercise bands

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Editor's Corner

In this second issue of our new TechGenix newsletter FitITproNews we have Your Editor showing you how he learned to love working with exercise (resistance) bands and not get killed by them. We also have a tip on how you can get your brain to start listening to your bum (I'm serious!) and another tip concerning cottage cheese, a food that's good for muscle-building but can cause problems for certain people. We also have some links and fun stuff, so enjoy it all!

But before we go any further let me emphasize that the target audience of this new newsletter is individuals in the information technology (IT) profession. That means IT professionals, or as we are commonly known, IT pros. Or as most of us probably should be called, fat IT pros. That's me of course--I used to be a fat IT pro and was definitely NOT fit, but now after six years of exercising and good nutrition I can now honestly call myself a not-too-fat IT pro. I wish of course I could be a male-fitness-icon-type IT pro by now, but the reality is that changing your body takes time and is harder the older you are, and I started my fitness journey rather late in life. But hopefully this new newsletter will motivate you (and me) to begin (if you haven't yet) and continue on with your journey towards becoming fitter, stronger, and more importantly, healthier.

So with our IT pro audience in mind it's time to conjure up that other IT icon, the cubical warrior, the out-of-shape engineer, our old friend Dilbert who regularly graces the opening section of the Editor's Corner in our sister newsletter WServerNews. Let's now see what ideas Dilbert can contribute to the task of transforming chair-chained, nerdy, IT pros like us into the lean, mean, muscled maniacs we long to become:

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. 

Subscriber preferences: As a WServerNews subscriber we're sure you'll enjoy reading FitITproNews each week as much as you enjoy reading WServerNews. But if you'd rather not receive FitITproNews any more, just go to the bottom of this issue and click Update Newsletter Preferences to change your subscription preferences. And by the way we also have two other TechGenix newsletters you can subscribe to: our Weekly IT Update and Spotlight Articles. Why not subscribe to all of them today?

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]

From the Mailbag

Gustavo, an IT Specialist working in Ontario Canada, sent us the following email in response to receiving our first issue of FitITproNews:

Mitch & Ingrid, I love the picture you included on top of the newsletter! Thanks for putting this together, really great info.

Thank you! But since credit should be given where credit is due we'll express our thanks to Akos Vajda who manages the technical back end of our newsletters at TechGenix and is the one responsible for creating the terrific graphic used as the header for our new newsletter.

A reader named Bernhard wrote to us to briefly share his own fitness story and also give a warning about using treadmills:

Thank you for the wonderful article regarding fitness for IT professionals like myself. I used to go to the gym and had issues getting below a certain weight to get to my ideal weight. I was not chubby but noticed the extra weight. Injuries while swimming happened to me as well. Do not forget accidents on the treadmill and static there. Treadmills have the problem of being either slightly too fast or too slow which means hitting the front or the back comes up eventually.

These days, I cycle on the road which is more visually stimulating than the machines in the gym. Cycling is also three times my walking speed. Commuting by bicycle to work, helped with getting rid of that little weight while building lean muscles and I could set my own pace. The trip to work was 17.5km which took about one hour. By car and train, I also take one hour, sometimes more with the car. Cycling is far less stressful on the knees than running. I have an old knee injury that I feel on occasions.

Excellent tip about the need to be careful when exercising on a treadmill. I know two people personally who had bad falls when walking on a treadmill.

Another reader named Steven who is President and Chief Engineer of company in Hawaii that makes photovoltaic panels for solar energy production sent us the following one-word fitness tip:


Excellent tip, thanks! We'll definitely have to devote an issue or two of FitITproNews in the future to the topic of different forms of stretching exercises. Meanwhile if any other readers have exercise or nutrition tips they'd like to share with more than 200,000 IT pros around the world you can email me at [email protected]

And now on to the main topic of this week's newsletter…

Fun and death with exercise bands

Exercise bands can be a great way of getting some resistance training in when travelling or at the office. They're light and easy to roll up and carry, and you can typically get a variety of attachments for them to hook them onto doors or other points of fixture.

They can also kill you if you're not careful using them. This was brought home to me several years ago when I was using an 80 lb exercise band to provide some assistance for performing pullups. I was still too heavy and too weak to do pullups unassisted, so I hooked an exercise band around the handles of my pullup bar and made a loop with it. I then stepped into the loop to provide some support for my weight and proceeded to ready myself for doing pullups.


That whizzing sound I heard was the sound of the broken exercise band moving a few centimeters above my jugular vein at a high velocity. I stepped back and thought wow, that was a close one. 

I examined all of my other exercise bands after this sobering experience and found two of them that were already showing some signs of wear, so I don't think what happened was a result of misusing the band, I think it was probably already weakened from excessive use or due to friction from the band rubbing on a post or door or some other point of fixture during some previous workout. Still, I definitely didn't want anything like this to happen again so I came up with a plan that's worked pretty well for me so far and which I'll share with you now.


Yes that's correct, my first bit of advice to you is that whenever you're working out with exercise bands you should wear some goggles to protect your eyes. After all you don't want to end up getting blinded like this Senator from the State of Nevada did where an exercise band he was using broke and caused him to strike his face on a piece of furniture:

It might have gone even worse if the broken end of the band hit him in the face.

My next tip is what I use when I'm facing away from the object to which the band is attached and am pulling forward and/or downward:


You can see I've combined wearing goggles with putting a doubled-up towel over my head. As the next photo shows, the towel drapes over the back of my neck to protect my neck veins and arteries:


What if I'm facing towards the object my band is attached to and pulling towards myself, for example when performing a Face-Pull exercise? In this case I roll my towel lengthwise and drape it backwards over the front of my neck like this:


And of course I'm still wearing my goggles to protect my eyes. I could also wear a second towel over my head as in the previous photo to protect the rest of my face and head should a band break while I'm doing face-pulls, but I think it's probably more important to protect my jugular--if a band snaps and hits my face or temple I'll likely bleed a lot but probably won't die. 

There's the matter of concussions however…oh well, maybe I should just gear myself up with a helmet and pads like an American Football player? 

You can easily figure out other ways you can use a towel or some other item to protect any parts of your body that may be exposed and vulnerable to injury from a broken band. For example, if you're pulling from behind you could wrap the towel back-to-front instead of the front-to-back method shown in the photo above. And you can also minimize the risk of having a band break by not pulling so hard on them, but hey, that's no fun!

Anyways, I hope these tips help prevent you from experiencing an injury should you choose to work out with exercise bands. I know I look pretty dorky in these photos, but bands are typically used solo when you're at home or on the road, not when you're working out at a gym full of people staring at you.

Do you ever use exercise bands for your workouts? Tell us how you use them and we'll share your workout tips and suggestions with other readers of this newsletter. Email us today at [email protected]

Today's workout

This morning I started off by doing 15 minutes of HIIT cardio on my exercise bike. After resting a few minutes I then did some resistance training consisting of the following strength-cardio circuit routine which I found in the latest issue of Muscle & Fitness Magazine and modified for my equipment:

  • Single-arm dumbbell power clean
  • Pullups (assisted with band)
  • Deadlift
  • Bench press
  • Farmer's carry

Each exercise except pullups was performed using 40 lb dumbbells (about 20 kg) and consisted of 5 reps performed at a moderate pace. The time between sets in each circuit was limited to the time it took to set up for the next exercise. I completed the whole circuit four times in total and ended my workout with some isometric abdominal exercises to strengthen my core. 

Total workout time today was 60 minutes.

Got a workout? Have you developed a workout that you enjoy doing and feel has been contributing to your health and which you'd like to share with our readers? Email us at [email protected]

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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COREFX Strength Bands are versatile and useful tools for improving your strength and conditioning:

AMINOCORE from ALLMAX gives you a whopping 8,180 mg of BCAAs with every serving!

Power Magazine is about helping lifters get stronger by lifting smarter, training better and understanding all there is to know about powerlifting equipment and gear:

Exercise tip of the week

Harnessing the brain-bum connection

As an IT pro, no part of my body is probably more important to me than my bum. And no piece of equipment in my office is more important to me than my chair. Why? Because my bum spends a LOT of time in my chair!!

Unfortunately numerous health studies have shown that sitting too long can be detrimental to your health. To cite only a few of these studies:

What are the risks of sitting too much? (MayoClinic)

Too much sitting linked to heart disease, diabetes, premature death (Harvard Medical School)

Why we should sit less (UK National Health Services)

Of course correlation doesn't always mean causation, so it's important to mention that there may be other factors involved as this news item explains:

Sitting might not be so bad for you after all (CNN Health)

Nevertheless, the preponderance of evidence seems to clearly implicate sitting as a noteworthy culprit in the causes of poor health. Or more precisely, the culprit is your bum and what it sits in. 

Which brings me to my exercise tip: If your work involves a lot of chair time and want to maintain good health, you need to get up out of your chair as often as possible and move around. But because of the daily grind of IT fires you need to put out, it can be difficult to even think about what your bum is doing when your eyes are glued to your screens, your hand tightly grips your mouse, and your feet are tucked up under your chair. 

The answer perhaps is to try and find a way to strengthen the connection between your bum and your brain. Or in other words, to free up bandwidth in your nervous system so brain-bum traffic doesn't get overwhelmed by other traffic and time out. 

One way I've personally found to do this is by working my glute muscles hard several times a week. As a former fat IT pro, there was probably nothing flabbier five years ago than my bum. But by incorporating squats and kettlebell swings into my workouts several times each week, I've not only lost a bit of the flabbiness from my bum but have also built some solid muscle in the gluteal areas. The result, interestingly enough, is that sitting even in a comfy office chair for more than one hour makes my bum sore. This then sends increasingly strong signals to my brain that I need to get up from my chair and walk around a bit, which is exactly what the Mayo Clinic and Harvard Health and the NHS and other organizations recommend for those who work at desk jobs.

So I recommend those of you who spend much of your workday sitting at a desk to consider adding glute-strengthening exercises to your workouts, provided you learn how to do them safely from a personal trainer or other fitness professional. And if that doesn't work, then maybe buy a less comfortable office chair?

Which reminds me, I think it's time again for me to get up off my butt and move around a bit, owww…

Nutritional tip of the week

In Issue #1148 of our sister publication WServerNews the Factoid of the Week section included the following fact and question:

Britons are the most lactose-tolerant people in the world. Do you experience lactose intolerance? What do you do to counteract the discomfort? I myself have tried LACTAID in various formulations but it doesn't seem to help much. But I've also found that if I regularly consume certain forms of milk products like cottage cheese in sufficient quantities, my problems seem to disappear. Any ideas?

Since cottage cheese is an excellent source of casein, a slow-digesting milk protein, I thought I'd mention here my own solution to this problem. When I consume most brands of cottage cheese my stomach afterwards feels like I've swallowed a lump of lead. But after trying several different brands I finally found one that doesn't give me any sense of bloatedness when I eat it:


This so-called "artisan-style" cottage cheese is marketed by Agropur, a company based in Quebec, Canada, so it's probably not available to any of our readers except those of you living in Canada. It's a great addition to my diet however, especially on weight-training days when I need to consume a lot of protein to help build muscle. On those days after my workout I'll often re-feed myself with the following mixture which provides 500 calories with 50 grams of protein:

250 grams of Natrel Artisan-Style Cottage Cheese

2/3 scoop of Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein, Vanilla flavor

Half teaspoon ( 5 grams) of leucine

Half teaspoon (5 grams) of taurine

Half teaspoon (5 grams) of creatine monohydrate

25 grams (small handful) of raisins (to aid passage of cheese product)

I'll explain some time in a future newsletter why I add the particular supplements listed above to my post-workout meal, but in the meantime I encourage you to try different brands of cottage cheese that are available at grocery stores near where you live. Perhaps you'll find a local brand of cottage cheese that you can tolerate well even though you normally have poor tolerance for milk products.

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

Last week we looked at what can happen if you drop a dumbbell. This week let's take a look at some ways you should NOT use exercise bands:

Idiot With An Exercise Band

Resistance band fail

Resistance Band Workout Fail

And finally here's a different way to use resistance bands:

Ronda Rousey's Awesome Weird Hypnotizing Cable Workout

Product of the Week

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Download the Free Permissions Analyzer Tool Today. 

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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