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This Guy Just Made a Working Star Wars Lightsaber in His Garage



Few sci-fi weapons are more mind-blowing than the lightsaber made famous by Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. Capable of cutting through metal and deflecting laser blasts, it’s the iconic Jedi accessory, whether you’re fighting for the light side of the Force, or have succumbed to the dark.

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Here in the real world, it’s easily evoked with an illuminated plastic tube or, in a pinch, a flashlight. The crew at Hacksmith, though, wanted to go a step further. They’re well known for bringing famous comic book and science fiction artifacts to life, including Thanos’ giant double-bladed sword and a re-creation of Thor’s mighty hammer, Mjölnir. (Despite being mere mortals, they were seemingly virtuous enough to lift it.) They also took a stab at the precursor to the lightsaber, the battery-powered protosaber.

As part of their “Make it Real” series, the Hacksmith crew wanted to build a working lightsaber—or at least as close as they could in this galaxy. It’s been a long-running project: the first attempt ended with fire trucks arriving, while the second iteration tending to fall apart under 2500-degree heat. For the third try, they used massive batteries to heat a rod made of titanium and tungsten to a scorching 3000 degrees.

That’s an extra 500 degrees over what was already a very dangerous piece of technology, so needless to say, this is not a project you want to duplicate on a lark. But if you want to see some nerds risking life and limb to create a real-life lightsaber, check out the video below.

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Joseph Baena and Sergio Oliva Jr. Post Ultimate Gym Photo




Joseph Baena, a regular at Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach, just posted a workout pic with fellow bodybuilding scion Sergio Oliva Jr., who is currently training for the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio in March this year.

“The Next Generation!” Baena wrote in the caption. “Wishing my brother the best of luck as he trains for @arnoldsports!”

While the two bodybuilders appear to be great friends, their fathers were famous rivals. Baena’s father, of course, is the Austrian Oak-turned-Governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who won Mr. Universe at the age of 20 and took home the title of Mr. Olympia no fewer than seven times. Oliva’s father and namesake was a three-time Mr Olympia, and the only man to ever beat Schwarzenegger to that title, which he did in 1969.

“I understood why they called him ‘the Myth,'” Schwarzenegger wrote in his 1977 memoir. “It was as jarring as if I’d walked into a wall. He destroyed me. He was so huge, he was so fantastic, there was no way I could even think of beating him. I admitted my defeat and felt some of my pump go away. I tried.”

It’s far from the first time Baena has made a reference to his father’s legacy in the sport. In addition to looking a hell of a lot like a young Arnold, he’s recreated a handful of his dad’s most iconic bodybuilder poses on Instagram before. The two also work out regularly together, with Baena calling him “the best training partner in the world.”

Baena also uses his social media presence to share his gains, show off some of his favorite techniques, and encourage followers to push themselves in their own workouts. Although as of yet, he doesn’t have his father’s habit of correcting other people’s form at the gym.

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Meet the New ‘Biggest Loser’ Cast 2020




The Biggest Loser Cast 2020

USA Network

After a four-year break, The Biggest Loser returns January 28, 2020. The series airs on USA Network, features new trainers, and emphasizes overall health, according to the team: host Bob Harper and trainers Erica Lugo and Steve Cook.

“We’re really focusing on the mind-body connection,” Harper told Women’s Health, explaining that challenging workouts can be used to help people overcome emotional hurdles.

The show has received criticism in the past for promoting extreme and unhealthy weight loss, but the new team says their priority is to help people accomplish their fitness or health goals—not a number on the scale.

New for this season is enhanced support after the show, according to Women’s Health. All contestants will receive a free gym membership, nutrition counseling, and weight-loss support groups.

“Five or six years ago I was 322 pounds, and now here I am a trainer on America’s number one weight loss TV show,” Lugo previously told Men’s Health. “There is no one who can stop you if you want to do this.”

Meet the 12 contestants on The Biggest Loser 2020:

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Domenico Brugellis

Brugellis is a dad raising a six-year-old daughter in New York, according to his bio on USA. A former chef, Brugellis is the current food manager with the Department of Education, meaning he creates the menu for students across New York City. He’s struggled with maintaining a healthy relationship with food and hopes that joining The Biggest Loser helps. He begins the season weighing 323 pounds.


Jim DiBattista

A dad to three boys, DiBattista coaches a local youth football team in his native city, Philadelphia, Pa. Both of DiBattista’s parents died young, which inspired the coach to lead a healthier life. He signed up for The Biggest Loser so he can be there for his family. He joins the first season weighing 385 pounds.


Katarina Bouton

Bouton, 23, is a cardiac nurse from Jacksonville, Fl, who says she always struggled with her weight. She teaches others about healthy eating, but often consumes high-calorie fast food meals due to her busy job. Bouton joined The Biggest Loser at 293 pounds to adopt the healthy habits she promotes to patients.


Kim Davis

Kim Davis, from Mulberry, Tenn., works as a tour guide at a whiskey distillery. She battled breast cancer nearly 20 years ago and wants to ensure she leads a long and healthy life, according to her bio. She joins The Biggest Loser at 242 pounds.


Kristi McCart

McCart is a wife, mother, and attorney with her own law and estate planning practice in Riverview, Fl. Her challenging relationship with food began as a child. She traveled between her divorced parents’ households and rarely knew when her next meal would be. McCart has previously lost weight by using extreme measures and wants to learn healthy habits. She joins The Biggest Loser weighing 264 pounds.


Kyle Yeo

Yeo lived most of his life as a closeted gay man and used food to cope with hiding his true identity, according to his bio. Now, Yeo is comfortable speaking about his sexuality and wants to develop a healthier relationship with food. Yeo joins The Biggest Loser from Kansas City, Mo., where was born and raised. Yeo begins the season at 302 pounds and has the support of his family.


Megan Hoffman

A 35-year-old from Simi Valley, Calif, Hoffman works in operations at a gym. Hoffman would like to live a healthier lifestyle and hopes joining The Biggest Loser will help her do so. She joins the show weighing 290 pounds.


Micah Collum

Micah Collum, 23, hails from Oneonta, Ala., and had a difficult childhood. Collum’s parents are divorced and his mother struggled with addiction, leaving Collum and his six siblings to fend for themselves. Collum played football and basketball in high school. Since graduating, he gained nearly 100 pounds and wants to develop healthier habits. He joins The Biggest Loser weighing 326 pounds.


PhiXavier Holmes

PhiXavier Holmes lives in Washington, D.C., where she works as a school counselor. She began using food as a coping mechanism after her father passed away. As PhiXavier’s family are in Louisiana, the counselor relies on her friends and coworkers in D.C. for support. She joins this season weighing 357 pounds.


Robert Richardson

Robert Richardson II is a husband and father who lives in Lafayette, La. Richardson is the son of a former NFL player and dreamed of playing football professionally. However, a series of injuries shattered those dreams when Richardson was in college. He joins The Biggest Loser weighing 409 pounds.


Teri Aguiar

Teri Aguiar is a flight nurse who drops from the sky to save lives. A recently divorced mom of two teens, Aguiar travels throughout Illinois transporting critically ill patients by helicopter, however her weight sometimes slows down her rescues. Aguiar is also the former Miss Missouri, 1999. She joins this season weighing 256 pounds.


Delores Tomorrow

Delores Tomorrow is a Chicago, Il, native who wants to build a better community in her hometown. The founder of a non-profit that serves teen girls of color, Tomorrow served on the Advance Team for former First Lady Michelle Obama. She joins The Biggest Loser weighing 280 pounds.

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How to Use an Ab Roller to Train Your Core and Build a Six-Pack




Today’s ab routines are more versatile than ever. Sure, you can slog through sets of situps and rounds of planks over and over again. But, more and more, core workouts incorporate tools like Swiss balls, medicine balls, dumbbells and kettlebells. And if you’re looking for one more way to mix up that ab training, then it’s time to consider the ab wheel.

It’s easy to forget the ab wheel, a classic ab-training implement that’s been around for years. But this is a tool that you definitely want to make use of. Why? Because, perhaps more than any other core workout gadget, the ab wheel gives you a chance to train your entire core (abs, gluten, lower back muscles, and obliques) as a unit. Your core functions this way—as a unit—in real life, so any opportunity to train it that way is beneficial.

Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro Roller

Perfect Fitness


The best thing about the ab wheel is how it trains something called “anti-extension.” Your core, as a unit, is responsible for a quintet of key actions. It helps rotate your torso (as you do during Russian twists). It resists rotation, an idea called “anti-rotation,” which you fight during Pallof holds. It also braces your spine (think: planks and hollow holds), and it flexes your spine, too (as it does during classic situps.

Then there’s the idea of “anti-extension,” and that’s all about keeping you from over-arching your back. Yes, arching your back can be a good stretch, and in some situations, you want to do it. But it’s a set of strong abs and obliques that prevent you from living in that arched-back position, and in doing so, they protect your spine and let you build shoulder mobility. If it wasn’t for your abs keeping your back from arching constantly, you’d constantly be stressing your lower back on every exercise.

Anti-extension can be trained in other ways, too (think of plank walkouts and weighted hollow holds). But the ab wheel lets you challenge that anti-extension in new ways. It’s a simple tool, too. If you don’t have access to an ab wheel, you can almost always DIY one, using a barbell with rounded plates for “wheels,” or even using a towel or sliders on a super-smooth floor.

Mature athlete man doing exercise with weights in gym

hoozoneGetty Images

The ab wheel rollout isn’t easy to do, though—or at least it isn’t easy to do correctly. Take your time to work through a proper progression for the rollout; it will protect your back in the long run while building critical core strength.

Ab Wheel Rollout Progression

The key mistake people make when they do ab wheel rollouts: They over focus on rolling out as far as possible when they first get started. That’s a recipe for lower back pain, though. You have to learn to feel your abs battling lower back extension before you do the full ab wheel rollout; if you don’t, you place undue stress on your spine.

Incline Bench Rollouts

Avoid that by starting with an incline bench progression. Set the bench to a 30-degree incline to kick off your rollout practice. Get into a strong standing plank position, with your glutes and abs engaged, holding the ab wheel on the bench’s seat. Extend your arms straight out to roll the wheel up the bench slowly over a five count, maintaining the solid plank position as it moves upward.

Keep a soft bend in your elbows and go only as far as you comfortably can. If you’re somebody who who has shoulder issues, don’t straighten your arms all the way. The ab wheel rollout shouldn’t cause shoulder pain.

Throughout the movement, focus on keeping your core tight and keeping your in an ever-so-slightly rounded position. Keep tightening your abs, and the farther you roll your arms forward, the more you should tighten your abs. Doing so actively teaches your abs how to work for “anti-extension.”

Kneeling Rollouts

Try that series until you feel comfortable with the position, then lower the bench until it’s in the standard position. Then, you’ll be ready for the floor, where the actual exercise takes place. To save your knees, you’ll want a yoga mat or pad to kneel on.

Once you’re on the ground, your main focus will be maintaining your strong position while you roll out, fighting the forces that would make your lower back hyperextend and your hips slouch forward. Contract your abs aggressively and actively, even if you feel like you don’t need to. Rolling out isn’t hard. Rolling out while controlling your lower back position is the challenge.

Perform the same movement, again focusing on keeping the rollout slow and controlled, squeezing your core to pull the wheel back toward yourself. For now, you should disregard the final progression of the video below, the standing rollout, until you’ve built up the strength performing the more standard kneeling version.

Take Your Time

Once you’re on the ground, you might see guys huffing and puffing as they speed through reps of the movement as quickly as they can. They’re working in all the wrong ways. You’re better served with slow, deliberate movements—as demonstrated here by Athlean-X’s Jeff Cavaliere, C.S.C.S.

Cavaliere notes that the key here is all in the hips, like so many other exercises. Once you set your hips, you shouldn’t flex past that point, and you shouldn’t allow your butt to sit back on your feet. You’re also setting your hips to make sure that they don’t take the dominate the movement—your abs should also be helping to extend and return the wheel. This takes focus, and it won’t be easy, but you’ll reap the core benefits.

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