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Retired Marine Philip Ricardo Jr. Continues Training to Be Service Fit


When you see a picture of Philip Ricardo Jr., or if you see him in person, you’re not only looking at a longtime bodybuilder, you’re looking at a retired United States Marine. There have been some people who saw him and may have questioned whether he’s still active. That’s because of the shape he has kept himself in for the stage and life.

“I take pride that I was in the Marines. So, I don’t want anybody asking ‘you were in the Marines?’ I want them to still see that Marine in me.”

Ricardo grew up in Brooklyn, New York, but he would eventually move to Chicago, Illinois. Throughout his childhood, he admired bodybuilders and he was a big fan of Lou Ferrigno as the Incredible Hulk.

“I always loved watching Bruce Banner transform into the Incredible Hulk,” he said. “I was in awe of Lou Ferrigno. I was in awe of him competing against Arnold Schwarzenegger.”

He also played football with high hopes of making it to a college team. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen for him. After speaking with his father, they came to the decision that joining the US Armed Forces would be in his best interest.

“A Marine Corps recruiter came to our house. We talked, and we came to the conclusion that joining would be the best route for me to go,” he recalled. “For me being a physically active guy, I think that was the best challenge for me.”

On December 28, 1989 the 18-year-old Ricardo reported to his first day of boot camp, and that would be the start of a 21-year career as a Marine. Even though he felt like he was disciplined and structured at a young age, the first generation service member credited his time in service for helping him grow and evolve even more because of how he had to rise to challenges such as running 25-mile rucks and working various jobs throughout his time in service. He would be stationed in Japan at one point, and it would be there that he would make his way onto a bodybuilding state for the first time.

“On the base I was at, they had a competition that they called a Friendship Day competition. Friendship Day was when the Japanese nationals would come on base and see some of the equipment and things that were there. At the same time, they would host this bodybuilding show.”

Ricardo had already been training hard while he was there. So, he would enter that show after a show put his name in it, and he won the middleweight class. He said he lost the overall to someone who was shredded and had more stage presence. Nonetheless, Ricardo got bit by the bodybuilding bug.

“It was nice to get an individual trophy for what I did,” he shared.

As for Ricardo’s military career, he went over 17 years without being deployed overseas, but eventually Ricardo would be sent to Iraq in 2007, It was by choice, though, because he actually went in place of a co-worker who was an expecting father.

“I actually volunteered to take his spot and go over there,” he explained. “For me, that was a big deal because I had my own family obviously. I just felt like I had to do that and volunteer so he could be there for his family.”

Ricardo worked as a Special Operations chief on that mission, and he would be a part of two deployments before his career ended in 2011. While he was no longer on active duty, he continued to compete in bodybuilding competitions, and he would eventually get cast to be a part of a movie, “Generation Iron: Natty 4 Life.” Now, like Ferrigno who was in Pumping Iron, Ricardo was a part of a bodybuilding movie.

“I grew up with Pumping Iron. Every single movie that had anything to do with bodybuilding, I was watching it,” he explained. Generation Iron: Natty 4 Life featured former M&F cover model Mike O’Hearn and chronicled several bodybuilders throughout their prep for contests. For Ricardo, it was a highlight in a career that has spanned several years.

“I never thought in a million years that I would’ve had the career I’ve had, and it took until later in my career to have it. But God works in mysterious ways.”

Aside from training himself, Ricardo also works as a personal trainer. He sees himself as an advocate for fitness not only to his clients, but also to other veterans. He wants to be an example to show others that they need to focus on self-improvement for themselves as well as their families and friends.

“If it weren’t for bodybuilding, I would probably have more health issues,” said Ricardo. “This lifestyle has really helped me with my health, which I take seriously because I have family and kids. The last thing I want is to leave them early. I think those that served should take that same kind of mindset.”

Ricardo hopes that his story could be a positive example for the generation coming up as well. Teenagers coming out of high school have many options, but there is also a lot of issues they face that other generations may not have. Ricardo feels that a career in service would be beneficial for young adults now and well into the future. Aside from commitment to their homeland, it would be in their personal best interests.

“The Marine Corps truly changed my life. I got to go in and learn a trade that a lot of people just don’t get. I have friends in both New York and Chicago, and they’re in the same situations, just older now. They may not have decent jobs, but they aren’t as worldly or accomplished as you could be in the military. The military will teach you so much more that nothing else out there can.”

Follow Philip Ricardo Jr. on Facebook and on Instagram @ricardos_legend.





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Physical Therapist Vinh Pham Keeps his Gym Bag Filled with Fight-Ready Gear


Vinh Pham is a licensed physical therapist and the co-founder of Myodetox, a movement health clinic with over a dozen locations across Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver. He’s also the author of Sit Up Straight: Futureproof Your Body Against Chronic Pain with 12 Simple Movements, which provides stretching and movement routines to help relieve pain and discomfort that comes from sitting and slouching.

Pham’s client list includes some of the world’s top athletes and entertainers. During the early parts of his career, he was shocked at how many of his patients came to him while they were already in pain due to tightened muscles and misaligned joints. He began rethinking the approach to a healthier body by being preactive than reactive.

His approach to the spine is dedicated to movement and being hyper-aware of the body. There are various exercises to maintaining a healthy spine. Everything from diet to deadlifts can play a part. Pham believes that what’s often missing in people’s lives is dedicated mobility of the spine in combination with strength. No slouch in the gym, he shared his gym essentials with Muscle and Fitness as well as provided some tips on how to futureproof your spine.

  • Get up and move, as often as possible: During COVID, people sat up to 15 hours a day. When you really think about it, the real question you should be asking yourself is “how often was I truly getting up, going for a walk, exercising, and doing anything else but sit?” The spine may be robust, but it craves movement. It’s recommended you get up every 30 minutes. Whether it’s time dedicated to a short walk, a stretch, or mobility movements, make sure you make it known that you should be getting up as often as possible. At the end of the day, movement is what your spine needs most.
  • Try to eliminate anything that impedes your spine’s ability to move well: For some, this may mean ensuring you’re managing your weight. After all, our spinal health will be affected by our weight. Naturally, you should be paying attention to what you eat and how much you sleep. Truthfully, this should be discussed with your physician and dietician, but our food intake and sleep will affect our weight, ultimately affecting our spine.
  • Embrace the unknown with your spinal mobility: Don’t be afraid to expose your spine to novel movements, especially if you sit a lot for work and leisure. Here’s a couple of exercises I get a lot of my patients to do regularly, in addition to their exercise routines: GEARs: Think of this exercise as “flossing” and “brushing” your spine. A lot of us will do a variation of these movements naturally, especially if we’ve been sitting all day.3D T-spine Rotation: This exercise focuses on multiple planes of movement of your thoracic and lumbar spine.

    At the end of the day, life is full of twists, bends, and infinite combinations of movement – you should be doing all the movement variation you can for your spine if you want to keep it healthy.

  • Strengthen your spine in multiplanes of movement: This one may seem counterintuitive to the traditional compound movements like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. Though these movements are awesome, a lot of our life is spent in one plane of movement. We twist our spine to tie our shoes, pick up our kids, or maintain our garden outside. To get a sense of what I mean, check out this post dedicated to deadlift variations. Of course, you want to be respectful of spinal load. I’m not saying add a twist to your heaviest deadlift. I’m saying that your spine is robust and can handle some variation of load that you’ll encounter in life. Try a weight that allows you to be mobile, with some resistance. If it means 10 pounds., so be it.
  • Recovery, recovery, recovery: Every professional athlete, including the ones I work with, focuses on recovery to optimize their body. It’s one thing to train your mobility and strength, but it’s another to address areas of the body that can contribute to movement dysfunction and possible injury. You want to Futureproof Your Body against injury.This may be as simple as a foam rolling routine that you perform before and after exercises or hot/cold baths. But my number one choice is manual therapy. Be it myofascial techniques, joint mobilizations, or a combination of both. Adding manual therapy to your recovery, especially in areas associated with your spine, will protect you from future injuries. My team at Myodetox are truly experts with this conceptual framework of combining movement and manual therapy to optimize the body.

You can follow Vinh for more tips and movements at @vinnierehab.

Girl-Working-On-Computer-Sitting-On-Couch-With-Aching-Back

6 Tricks to Improve Your Posture

Don't let a lifetime of slouching and hunching over lead to a life of pain and deformity

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Physical Therapist Vinh Pham Keeps his Gym Bag Filled with Fight-Ready Gear


Vinh Pham is a licensed physical therapist and the co-founder of Myodetox, a movement health clinic with over a dozen locations across Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver. He’s also the author of Sit Up Straight: Futureproof Your Body Against Chronic Pain with 12 Simple Movements, which provides stretching and movement routines to help relieve pain and discomfort that comes from sitting and slouching.

Pham’s client list includes some of the world’s top athletes and entertainers. During the early parts of his career, he was shocked at how many of his patients came to him while they were already in pain due to tightened muscles and misaligned joints. He began rethinking the approach to a healthier body by being preactive than reactive.

His approach to the spine is dedicated to movement and being hyper-aware of the body. There are various exercises to maintaining a healthy spine. Everything from diet to deadlifts can play a part. Pham believes that what’s often missing in people’s lives is dedicated mobility of the spine in combination with strength. No slouch in the gym, he shared his gym essentials with Muscle and Fitness as well as provided some tips on how to futureproof your spine.

  • Get up and move, as often as possible: During COVID, people sat up to 15 hours a day. When you really think about it, the real question you should be asking yourself is “how often was I truly getting up, going for a walk, exercising, and doing anything else but sit?” The spine may be robust, but it craves movement. It’s recommended you get up every 30 minutes. Whether it’s time dedicated to a short walk, a stretch, or mobility movements, make sure you make it known that you should be getting up as often as possible. At the end of the day, movement is what your spine needs most.
  • Try to eliminate anything that impedes your spine’s ability to move well: For some, this may mean ensuring you’re managing your weight. After all, our spinal health will be affected by our weight. Naturally, you should be paying attention to what you eat and how much you sleep. Truthfully, this should be discussed with your physician and dietician, but our food intake and sleep will affect our weight, ultimately affecting our spine.
  • Embrace the unknown with your spinal mobility: Don’t be afraid to expose your spine to novel movements, especially if you sit a lot for work and leisure. Here’s a couple of exercises I get a lot of my patients to do regularly, in addition to their exercise routines: GEARs: Think of this exercise as “flossing” and “brushing” your spine. A lot of us will do a variation of these movements naturally, especially if we’ve been sitting all day.3D T-spine Rotation: This exercise focuses on multiple planes of movement of your thoracic and lumbar spine.

    At the end of the day, life is full of twists, bends, and infinite combinations of movement – you should be doing all the movement variation you can for your spine if you want to keep it healthy.

  • Strengthen your spine in multiplanes of movement: This one may seem counterintuitive to the traditional compound movements like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. Though these movements are awesome, a lot of our life is spent in one plane of movement. We twist our spine to tie our shoes, pick up our kids, or maintain our garden outside. To get a sense of what I mean, check out this post dedicated to deadlift variations. Of course, you want to be respectful of spinal load. I’m not saying add a twist to your heaviest deadlift. I’m saying that your spine is robust and can handle some variation of load that you’ll encounter in life. Try a weight that allows you to be mobile, with some resistance. If it means 10 pounds., so be it.
  • Recovery, recovery, recovery: Every professional athlete, including the ones I work with, focuses on recovery to optimize their body. It’s one thing to train your mobility and strength, but it’s another to address areas of the body that can contribute to movement dysfunction and possible injury. You want to Futureproof Your Body against injury.This may be as simple as a foam rolling routine that you perform before and after exercises or hot/cold baths. But my number one choice is manual therapy. Be it myofascial techniques, joint mobilizations, or a combination of both. Adding manual therapy to your recovery, especially in areas associated with your spine, will protect you from future injuries. My team at Myodetox are truly experts with this conceptual framework of combining movement and manual therapy to optimize the body.

You can follow Vinh for more tips and movements at @vinnierehab.

Girl-Working-On-Computer-Sitting-On-Couch-With-Aching-Back

6 Tricks to Improve Your Posture

Don't let a lifetime of slouching and hunching over lead to a life of pain and deformity

Read article

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The post Physical Therapist Vinh Pham Keeps his Gym Bag Filled with Fight-Ready Gear appeared first on Virility Meds.





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Do Gym Leggings Make You Look Fat?


Ill-fitting clothing, whether it be gym leggings, shorts, bikinis or any other item, can make you look fat. It’s a no brainer. If you have too tight waistbands digging into your skin, it will create overhang, whether in the belly, arms, thighs or anywhere else. However, is it true that gym leggings will make you look fat regardless?

Some people claim that leggings are an unflattering item of clothing, and not to be worn if not needed. Others claim that gym leggings are a staple clothing item, which offer the ultimate in comfort and flexibility, whatever your daily activity. Personally, I believe that gym leggings can be an unflattering item of clothing, but they can also be a very flattering item of clothing, depending on how you wear them.

gym wear

High Waisted Gym Leggings

Like anything, if you wear the correct style of gym leggings for your body shape, of a high-quality material, gym leggings can work to accentuate your curves and hold in any wobbly bits, giving you a flatter stomach and firmer bottom and thighs. High waisted leggings can be a great choice to get this more slimline look.

Scrunch Bum Leggings

If you are looking to accentuate your curves, and flatten other bits, then wearing high waisted, scrunch bum leggings can be a great way to achieve this look. The scrunch material and design helps to add volume to your bum, preventing that ‘pancake bum’ look, which can otherwise happen with compression leggings. The compression material helps to keep your bottom from wobbling, and can help to keep it lifted too, resulting in a perfectly shaped bottom.

Panelling

Panelling, colours and designs can also affect the overall look of your gym leggings. Patterns can work to slim or accentuate. From curves and arcs around the buttocks, to lines and panels through the thigh area; the pattern on your clothing can really affect the visual effect of the shape of your body. Colours can also have this effect, with darker colours, generally, being more flattering than light. That said however, it’s important to also add a splash of your personality with your gym leggings, it’s not always about looking as slim as possible. We want to add fun and difference to our gym wardrobe to help to motivate us to want to wear our clothing.

gym wear

Comfort

The most important thing about your gym wear is that it is comfortable, supportive, flexible and that you feel confident and good in what you are wearing. Our gym leggings should never hinder or distract us from our workouts. When we feel good, we are able to focus more on our workout and therefore see better results, driving us further forward.

High-quality gym leggings can be purchased online, by this reputable supplier. They have a great range of gym leggings and active wear available to suit a range of needs and styles, for every shape and size. Browse the collection online and choose from Combat Dollies, Famme, Pursue Fitness or any other available brand.



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Dennis James Gives an Update on Training Big Ramy on ‘TMP’


Dennis “The Menace” James hosted another roundtable edition of The Menace Podcast with Milos Sarcev, Chris Cormier, and special guest Troy Alves. However, one of the biggest subjects of discussion was regarding James himself, who was recording from Dubai. That’s because he was training the reigning two-time Mr. Olympia, Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay as he prepares to go for the three-peat this December in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“I’m pushing him hard, and he’s willing to get pushed,” James said of the 16th Mr. Olympia. James also has had Big Ramy go through posing sessions since he arrived in Dubai, and even he was impressed with what the champion presented – even with more than three months to go before the contest.

“Videos and pictures don’t do him justice. Even though it looks impressive in pictures and on video, in real life, it’s next level.” Sarcev also expressed praise for the way Elssbiay looks.

“He looks like he is six weeks out,” the coach and retired competitor expressed. “

One of the reasons that James feels that the champ is ahead of schedule is that he went to work right after he won the Olympia in Orlando, Florida last year.

“He started training basically the day after the Olympia,” James shared. “He kept training. He had days here and there where he had some issues going on, but all in all, he’s been training the whole time.”

Elssbiay will be looking to become the ninth man to win at least three Mr. Olympia titles. To do so, he has to hold off 2019 champion Brandon Curry as well as top contenders such as Hadi Choopan, Hunter Labrada, and Nick Walker.

Other topics of discussion what Alves’ updates on his life, a look back at his bodybuilding career, karate, and a lot more. Catch all episodes of TMP over at the Muscle & Fitness YouTube channel. New episodes drop every Sunday at 3 PM Eastern time. You can follow @themenacepodcast and @bigdjames as well.





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IndyCar Star Scott Dixon Is Hoping to Pull a Championship Out of His Gym Bag


For the 11th time in the 21-year career of IndyCar driver Scott Dixon, he will head to the final race of the season with a chance to win the championship. His reign over the series can only be described as Bradyesque.

Scott Dixon picked up his first championship in 2003 at the age of 23. To give some context, Steve Jobs wouldn’t unveil the first iPhone until four years later. Twitter was three years away from being founded, and Uber was just a term to explain the extreme example of a person or object. Dixon now sits second on IndyCar’s all-time wins list and has six titles under his belt. The seventh would tie motorsports legend A.J. Foyt.

Ahead of this weekend’s season-ending Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, the New Zealander shared some of his work out essentials with Muscle and Fitness.

Follow Scott Dixon at @scottdixon9
Next weekend’s NTT IndyCar Series action begins Friday with the first practice at 5:30 p.m. ET, with live coverage on Peacock Premium, INDYCAR Live! and the INDYCAR Radio Network.

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IndyCar Star Scott Dixon wearing PNC race car driver gear
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IndyCar Star Scott Dixon’s Gym Bag

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