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How 12 Weeks of Bootcamp Classes Helped This Guy Get Ripped in His Forties

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Kwabena Miller’s world changed when another driver ran a stop sign and ran crashed into the side of his van. The door crumpled into his arm and shoulder; the 44-year-old transit driver from Knoxville, Tenn., would need three months of recovery, as well as medical leave from his job.

“Those three months were tough!” he says. “I previously had been a regular gym-goer, but I became a couch potato, fell into bad eating habits and lost a sense of structure in my life.” His motivation vanished. His weight hit 234 pounds; his body fat percentage reached 24 percent. He even had to start taking blood pressure medication. He felt like he was in a rut, just counting down the days until he could get back in the gym.

Finally his doctor cleared him to begin working out—which just happened to coincide with a Gold’s Gym 12-Week Challenge. He figured it was just the motivation he needed to get back into shape. He started taking bootcamp classes and found them unexpectedly challenging. “I got my butt kicked,” he says. “I realized that I couldn’t have trained this hard on my own.” His trainer took into account his age, designing an over-40 regimen that split his workouts, kept him from getting injured, and provided longer recovery periods.

He worked out twice a day, and in 12 weeks, he lost 52 pounds. His body fat dropped from 24 percent down to 10.5 percent. “I haven’t been able to have a six-pack in a while, even before my accident and working out,” he says. “However, through the challenge and my road to working out again, I finally have a six-pack.”

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Kwabena Miller

He’s able to do sprints and no longer has to take blood pressure meds. In June, he was named the overall national winner of the Gold’s Gym Challenge, winning a trip to Las Vegas with his friends. He’s even encouraged his co-workers, who noticed his transformation, to work on their own lifestyle changes. “I’ve even inspired one of my coworkers to start working out and he has lost 10 pounds so far,” he says. He’s begun competing in physique contests; his next move is natural bodybuilding competitions.

For anyone looking to get back into shape (or for the first time), he says the key is to create a vision of who you want to become. “Grab a pen and a pad of paper and write down what you want to achieve within the next twelve months,” he says. Write down what you need to do to get there; perhaps more difficult, write down what you have to stop doing to get there. “Put this somewhere in your room where you can read every morning so you can start off every day mindful of the vision you have for yourself,” he says. Keep it in mind every day as you work to make it real.

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Try These 4 Pushup Variations for a Better Bodyweight Workout

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Men’s Health/Eric Rosati

When you drop down to pushup, are you really thinking about what you’re doing? You’ve probably been pumping through the bodyweight staple since elementary school, so it’s easy to think you know just about everything about the exercise. It is pretty simple, after all—what you’re doing is literally in the name.

But there’s more nuance to the move than just hitting the ground and pushing off. Your body position is essential to get the most out of the pushup (learn more about that here). Your ultimate aim when doing the exercise is just as important, according to trainer Charlee Atkins, C.S.C.S.

“Let’s talk about the goal of a pushup,” she says. “The perfect pushup isn’t doing the most reps. A perfect pushup is lowering all the way down and then extending all the way back up to the starting position.”

Atkins notices that a certain type of person she works with commonly skips out on that form and care for speed and brute strength. Dudes, she’s talking about us.

“Most of my male clients forget the extension at the top and are instead worried about how many they can do,” Atkins says. The trainer suggests that guys who are trying to get more out of their pushups should instead try to vary the intensity of your workouts by adding elements of instability and movement. This four-move series gives you an opportunity to do just that, with three challenging pushup variations and one regression.

Perform each variation for 10 reps

  • Hands Elevated Pushup
  • Iso Pushup Hold
  • Lateral Walk and Pushup
  • Pushup and Shoulder Tap

    You can insert these variations into your workouts in place of standard pushups, or you can take them on as a series, performing 3 to 4 rounds through the whole set.

    Want to learn more moves from Atkins? Check out our series full of her workout tips, Try Her Move.

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The 20 Best Low-Carb Keto Snacks to Buy at the Grocery Store

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EPIC Pink Himalayan & Sea Salt Baked Pork Rinds, Low-Carb, 4 Count Box 2.5oz bags

Epic Provisions
amazon.com

$15.96

Get this—no carbs at all. Yessss. “That gas station snack you always avoided actually qualifies as a keto friendly food. Pork rinds are carb-free and are made up of fat and protein, fitting the keto bill,” says Rachel Daniels, MS, RD, and Sr. Director of Nutrition at Virtual Health Partners.

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What Is a Mandalorian? Explaining History of ‘Star Wars’ Species

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  • The Mandalorian is now live on Disney+.
  • What is a Mandalorian anyway, though?
  • Some classic Star Wars characters are Mandalorians, including one of the most famous ever.

    With the launch of Disney+, that means there’s also the launch of The Mandalorian, the first ever live-action Star Wars series. The first episode is already live, and between callbacks to powerful substances and a wild ending (don’t click unless you’ve already watched!), the show is already at the top of every Star Wars fan’s chart. But for some more casual fans, there are a couple lingering questions; namely, what, exactly, is a Mandalorian? Who is this main character? And why does he look like Boba Fett?

    And we can answer a few of these questions right off the bat. A Mandalorian is a species in Star Wars, something of a subset of humans—they come from the planet Mandalore. Boba Fett, while technically not a Mandalorian himself (we’ll get to that in a little bit), is the platonic Mandalorian, and wears a set of traditional Mandalorian armor and helmet. The main character in The Mandalorian, now, is no one we’ve seen before (as far as we know); he’s played by Game of Thrones star Pedro Pascal, and seems to be more on the anti-hero side than villain. That being said, he’s still a Bounty Hunter, and his goal is looking out for number one.

    There’s extreme backstory lore to the Mandalorians, a human race in Star Wars world based on the planet of Mandalore. For more in-depth reading, you can check out the Star Wars fandom page, which dives deep into the subject, which is mostly explored in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Rebels animated series (which sees the race co-opted and fought by none other than Darth Maul. It’s wild stuff!). But for our purposes here, we’ll stick to the basics.

    Outside of the cartoon series, the only Mandalorians have primarily appeared in the movies. Chronologically speaking, the first major Mandalorian character that is introduced to the story is Jango Fett, a villainous bounty hunter whose silver armor looks remarkably like the titular character of the TV show. Jango is eventually decapitated at the onset of The Clone War by Jedi Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson).

    Some of the extended universe stuff, however, puts Jango’s status as a Mandalorian in question. The Star Wars Fandom page says that despite his wearing Mandalorian armor, the fact that he was simply a human carrying out Palpatine’s evil made him not qualify; the planet of Mandalore supposedly considered him a pretender. Wookiepedia, however, paints a different picture, as Jango apparently rehabilitated his image in a novel called Order 66 (which is no longer considered canon).

    It’s also interesting to note that the most famous of all the Mandalorians—Boba Fett—isn’t, really, a Mandalorian at all. As you may recall in Attack of the Clones (as painful as that sentence is to write), Boba Fett is actually a direct clone of his arguably Mandalorian father, Jango Fett. So your own take on whether or not Jango qualifies as a Mandalorian—and whether a clone counts as anything other than, well, a clone—could lead to the answer of how you’d classify our friend Boba.

    That being said, Boba Fett stands for all the ideals that we would imagine a Mandalorian to stand for. First of all, he’s just a complete, inarguable badass—the man is probably the most famous bounty hunter in film history despite not even reaching seven minutes of total screentime in the original Star Wars trilogy. That’s gotta mean something, right?

    Surely, with a show called The Mandalorian, we’ll learn more about, well, the Mandalorians. But as of right now, we already do know quite a bit—and if the first episode is any indicator, we’ll have a pretty cool character to tag along on an adventure with.

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