TechGenix FitITproNews

Vol. 02, #19 - May 16, 2018 - Issue #0034

FitITproNews: Suspension training

Free Tool for Monitoring Exchange Server Status & Performance 


SolarWinds® Exchange Monitor is a free tool that allows users to monitor Microsoft® Exchange™ Server 2013 and 2016. Get basic information about the server’s metrics, services, and database availability group (DAG) status. Add as many Exchange Servers as you wish. Simply click the “Add Server” button and fill IP address/domain name and credentials.

Download Free Tool

Editor's Corner

While I mostly prefer to use free weights, kettlebells, and bands for working out, sometimes I need to use a different approach. My upper back is one area in particular which I have difficulty training using traditional weightlifting movements. 

Bent-over rows with a barbell or dumbbells seems to work mostly just my lats, and when doing this exercise I need to be very careful I don't strain my lower back. Seated rows with heavy bands attached to a pole should give my upper back (trapezius, rhomboid, and teres major muscles) a good workout. But for some reason I can't seem to get much out of doing them, regardless of how my hands are oriented. 

Then one day I stumbled across suspension training. Actually it's hard not to miss it if you visit fitness sites on the internet or read any fitness magazines. Suspension training involves attaching nylon with adjustable handles to an anchor on the wall or ceiling or a door. You then grab the handles and perform various exercises using only your bodyweight for resistance. TRX is the best known supplier of quality suspension training gear and you can find a link to their site in the Fitness Toolbox section of this newsletter. Here's a short video from TRX explaining why suspension training can be helpful:

Now to be honest I don't think I have enough coordination to many of the fancier suspension training exercises, especially the ones where your whole body except for your hands is off the floor. So at this point I haven't actually bought any TRX gear as I'm careful how I spend my dollars and don't want to end up with a closet full of never-used fitness equipment.

So with my upper back in mind, I decided to roll my own solution. A few years ago when I was starting out I bought a "Get back in shape" from Men's Health:

The kit includes a pullup bar that you can hang from the top of a door jamb:


I bought it so I could learn to do pullups, thought I quickly discovered they weren't easy to do as they looked! In magazine photos you usually see a mid-20 year old guy with 8 percent bodyfat doing pullups, and all his back muscles are popping. Well a 50-plus guy with too much weight on can't match that! Fortunately I discovered I could hook exercise bands over the pullup bar which allowed me to do assisted pullups. Maybe these aren't as fancy and impressive, but over time you can build upper body strength that way, especially your lats, delts, and biceps. 

Here's my simple solution then for giving my upper back muscles a good workout. I attach the pullup bar to a doorjamb and hang an old bath or beach towel from the middle of the bar. Then I make sure the bar is on the other side of the door where I'm standing (so it won't come flying off onto my face should the metal support tab give way). Now I simply grab the ends of the towels with my hands, lean back, and walk my feet forward through the door. I then straighten out my body (this also works the core well) and am ready to start my exercise. I slowly pull the towel ends apart to raise my body, pivoting on my heels and trying to use my back muscles instead of my delts. Then I slowly extend my arms to lower my body back down to the bottom position. If it feels too difficult I can grab the towel higher up instead of at the ends. This way my starting angle is less acute i.e. my body is more upright, which makes my "effective bodyweight" less for the exercise.

I usually start with hands grabbing the towel higher and do 20 reps in a 2 - 1 - 2 -1 cadence. That is, 2 seconds to pull myself up, then hold one second, flexing my upper back muscles as strongly as I can, then 2 seconds lowering myself back down to the starting position, then 1 second of rest before repeating. After I finish my set of 20 reps I'll rest a minute, do another 20 reps, rest another minute, do 20 more reps, and so on until my back muscles feel sore or until my grip gives out, whichever is first.

The advantage this exercise as over rows with dumbbells or bands is that the strength curve is more natural. With a suspension training apparatus like this as I pull myself upwards I become more vertical. This means the exercise is hardest at the bottom and easiest at the top. Rows are either hard all the way through the motion (e.g. dumbbell rows) or get harder towards the top (e.g. band rows). 

Make building your upper back a priority. It'll improve your posture tremendously, something IT pros usually need to work on since they're sitting hunched over a screen most of the day.

Send us your feedback!

Got feedback about anything in this issue of FitITproNews? Email 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.  

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]

Today's workout

I'm still recovering from the bad cold I talked about last week, so I kept my workout light today. I used 15 and 20 lb dumbbells to do some curls, single-arm overhead presses, and lateral flyes. I didn't bother with timing or reps or number of sets, I just took my time and did what I felt like doing until my muscles got a pleasant no-sweat workout.

Got a favorite 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]

Fitness Toolbox

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]

Limited time offer – production license for Veeam Agents for Microsoft Windows and Linux for your unlimited use in production for FREE – for 3 months.

Born in the Navy SEALs, suspension training bodyweight exercise develops strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously. TRX is the leading supplier of suspension training gear:

Need a good suspension training system? Garage Gym Planner has these recommendations for you:

Exercise tip of the week

Work the trapezius both ways

The trapezius muscles are a pair of large triangular muscles extending over the back of the neck and shoulders and moving the head and shoulder blade. See it illustrated here on Inner Body:

This muscle can be worked two ways:

  • Horizontally by performing exercises like deadlifts and shrugs
  • Vertically by doing pullups and one-arm pulldowns.

Be sure to work this muscle both ways for optimum strength development.

NEW! Health tip of the week

For that sore throat and cough

I decided to switch this tip category from Nutrition to Health to broaden the areas we can cover. This week's health tip is from Angelika our Content Coordinator here at TechGenix who had a product to suggest for my cough:

For dry, tickly, irritating throat coughs my Granny always gave me a syrup from young pine shoots. She did it by herself, nowadays you can buy it in Natural Remedies shop or order online. She also believed in the healing power of garlic and lemon juice with honey. We live in the 21st century but we still use the achievements/ideas of our ancestors - isn't it amazing?


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

Let's have some fun with suspension training, shall we?

Fun with the TRX Suspension Trainer Couples Style


Fun Fearless Fitness - Suspension Yoga

trx fun crazy workout

Product of the Week

Free Tool for Monitoring Exchange Server Status & Performance 


SolarWinds® Exchange Monitor is a free tool that allows users to monitor Microsoft® Exchange™ Server 2013 and 2016. Get basic information about the server’s metrics, services, and database availability group (DAG) status. Add as many Exchange Servers as you wish. Simply click the “Add Server” button and fill IP address/domain name and credentials.

Download Free Tool

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.

More Information

Newsletter Archive | Advertise | Contact | Update Newsletter Preferences

Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
RSS Feed