Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Accurizing the Ruger Single Action Revolver

Accurizing the Ruger Single Action Revolver

Accurizing the Ruger Single Action Revolver

 Click photos for full size popup versions.

Ruger makes a fine single-action revolver. But like most production firearm manufacturers they can't afford to take the time for custom improvements to turn this revolver into an excellent shooter. Additionally the larger-bore Ruger single action revolvers can have other problems detrimental to accuracy. In this article we will identify those problem areas and improve or eliminate them. I used a stainless steel Ruger Blackhawk with a 7 1/2 inch barrel in .45LC to perform my accurizing tasks.

Revolver Accuracy

In order to gain maximum accuracy from any revolver, the diameter of the bullets, the cylinder throats, forcing cone, and barrel all must be in harmony. Specifically, the bullet must be one to two thousandths larger than the bore, the bore must be uniform from forcing cone to muzzle, the muzzle must be properly crowned, and the cylinder throats must all be the same diameter as the bullet or .0005" larger. The cylinder throats should not swage the bullets, just guide them. You also need a good trigger pull. I measured these areas on my Blackhawk and this is what I found:

  • Cylinder Throats - .450"
  • Bore - .451"
  • Barrel constriction - .001". This seems to be a common problem with the larger bore Ruger revolvers. The constriction was where the barrel screwed into the frame, and it can be as much as .004".
  • Trigger pull 3.5 pounds with a lot of creep. The 3.5 pounds wasn't bad, but the gritty creep definitely needed to be cleaned up.

With these measurements this particular revolver would act as follows:

  1. Burning gunpowder forces .452" bullet out of case into cylinder throat.
  2. Cylinder throat swages bullet to .450".
  3. Bullet jumps cylinder gap into barrel forcing cone. You have to stop and think about this for a minute. In reality the base of the bullet is still in the case when the nose is touching the rifling.
  4. Barrel constriction ensures bullet stays at .450".
  5. The .450" bullet is .001" undersize for the .451" bore, so the bullet does not make a tight seal as it travels down the bore. Gas may leak around the bullet causing leading and bullet deformation, who knows how it will exit the muzzle, resulting in a very disappointing group.
So, to accurize this revolver I want to perform the following tasks:
  1. Open up the cylinder throats to .452" - .4525". This must be done before fire-lapping, otherwise most of the lapping process opens up the cylinder throats and doesn't do much work on the barrel. (Yup, I learned this one the hard way!)
  2. Perform an action job.
  3. Fire-lap the barrel to remove the constriction and polish and taper the bore.

Reaming Cylinder Throats

Click for full size popup photo I cut a slit in a piece of 3/8 dowel and wrapped a strip of 320 grit wet/dry sandpaper around it so it would fit snugly in the chamber throat. I attached the other end of the dowel to my hand drill, inserted the reamer through the chamber and ran the drill at a medium speed while moving the reamer in and out. I reamed each throat until it measured 0.4525" with my calipers. This not only opened up the throats, but polished them mirror-smooth, which made them much easier to clean. Note in the photo I reamed from the chamber end. This helped me to visually keep the reamer centered in the chamber ensuring I reamed the throats evenly.

Action Job

NOTE: working on the action requires special tools and jigs and should not be attempted without them. Without these tools surfaces and parts can become rounded to where they will no longer function and/or become dangerous.

I purchased Wolf spring kit RSA-106 from Brownells. It contained a reduced power trigger return spring; 17, 18, and 19 lb. hammer springs (factory is 23 lb.); and a stronger base pin plunger spring. First I completely disassembled the gun and polished all trigger parts and pins. I used 320-grit wet-dry sandpaper on a flat surface to polish the sides of the hammer and trigger. I made sure the trigger was not rubbing against the grip frame. After polishing, cleaning and oiling I reassembled the gun using the spring kit with the 19 lb mainspring to test for reliable function.

I have two stoning fixtures that are designed specifically for shaping and polishing hammer and sear engagement surfaces, both of which are available from Brownells. The Power Custom Series 1 fixture is used for polishing triggers and sears, and the Power Custom Series 2 fixture is used for polishing the engagement surface on hammers. Available separately for the Series 1 fixture are firearm-specific adapters for working on the trigger or sear of a specific firearm. The Series 2 fixture comes with a universal adapter and multiple sizes of pivot pins to mount different hammers from different firearms for polishing. The universal adapter did not have a pin to fit the Ruger hammer so I used the hammer pivot pin from the gun.

With most Ruger SA triggers the trigger sear sits too deeply on the hammer notch. This makes a very safe, but long and creepy trigger pull. Also these surfaces are often just rough ground as they come from the factory so they need some smoothing and polishing.

I installed the hammer in my Power Custom Series 2 stoning fixture using the universal adapter. I used the original hammer pivot pin inserted groove first into one of the holes in the adapter. The pin was held in place by a set screw. I made sure the set screw contacted the groove so as not to raise a burr on the pivot surface of the pin. I marked the front edge of the hammer notch with a blue marker and adjusted the fixture until my stone was flat across the front of the notch. The notch in my hammer measured .022" deep so I took a 220 grit stone and carefully reduced the depth of the notch to .014".

Click for full size popup photoI then rotated the hammer so I could polish the engagement surface of the hammer notch as shown in the photo. I marked the surface with a blue marker and made sure to adjust the fixture so I was polishing this surface perfectly flat. I used my hard Arkansas stone with a beveled edge to final-polish the surface.


Click for full size popup photoNext I installed the trigger in my Power Custom Series 1 stoning fixture using the BH (Blackhawk) adapter. I used a blue marker to mark the surface and adjusted the fixture until I was polishing the surface perfectly flat and square. I used my coarse ceramic stick to polish off all of the grinding/machine tool marks, then final polished with my fine ceramic stick.


Click for full size popup photoWith the trigger still installed on the BH adapter, I rotated the adapter until I could cut the rear edge of the sear at a 45 degree angle with a 220 grit narrow stone. After every 10 strokes I cleaned and oiled the surface, then re-assembled the gun and tested the trigger. After about 30 strokes, and with the 19 lb. hammer spring installed, it broke at exactly 2.5 pounds every time with no creep.

The coarse and fine ceramic sticks used above came from Brownells. The narrow stone came from Boride Engineered Abrasives.

Fire-Lapping the Barrel

Fire-lapping involves imbedding different grits of lapping compound into lead bullets and firing them down the barrel at a very moderate velocity. This process accomplishes a number of positive things:

* Smoothes the barrel making it easier to clean

* Removes tight spots

* Slightly tapers the barrel from forcing cone to muzzle

I hoped to eliminate the tight spot under the threads and taper and polish the barrel. I purchased a fire-lapping kit from NECO (available from Brownells) which included 4 grits of lapping compound, 220, 400, 800, and 1200. Their instruction manual said to use lead bullets to fire-lap a revolver barrel, and shoot multiple exact full cylinders of bullets. (This is so each chamber throat in the cylinder gets the same amount of polishing.) They recommended 12 rounds with 220 grit, 18 rounds with 400 grit, and 24 rounds with 800 grit. They did not recommend using the 1200 grit but they stated it would not hurt. So at a minimum this meant I had to prepare 54 loaded rounds. Just to make sure I removed the constriction, I actually loaded 48 rounds of 220 grit.

First I took ninety 250 grain bulk-purchased cast lead bullets and laid them in an aluminum pan. I baked them in my toaster oven at 250 degrees for 30 minutes to remove the lubricant from the lube grooves. Then I took the appropriate number of bullets and impregnated them with the proper grit compound.

Click for full size popup photo I spread a thin layer of compound on the steel plate provided in the NECO kit and rolled 3 bullets at a time between it and another steel plate thereby impregnating the bullets. I wiped off the excess compound from each bullet and separated them by grit in preparation for loading.

The plastic bowl in the photo is marked 400 for putting bullets impregnated with 400 grit lapping compound. I also used bowls marked 220, 800 and 1200.

Finally, I loaded each round with 4 grains of Red Dot which produced a low velocity load.

I started with the 220 grit rounds and fired a cylinder full, then I had to thoroughly clean the barrel and cylinder using a patch soaked with Remington Bore Cleaner and wrapped around a brass bristle brush. Everything got oiled with Hoppes, then I slugged the barrel to gauge the fire-lapping progress. I fired 36 rounds of 220 grit to remove the constriction, cleaning and slugging between every six shots. Then I fired 18 rounds of 400 grit, again cleaning between every six shots, and then 24 rounds of 800 grit for final polish. It is important to clean after every six rounds otherwise you begin to lap the fouling and not the barrel metal. Also, the cases used for fire-lapping should be destroyed. This is because residual compound in the cases can contaminate the bullets and actually cause damage to your newly polished barrel.

Click for full size popup photoThis target shows the results. This 25 yard group was shot with cast bullets from Lee mold C452-300-RF sized 0.452" and crimped on the lower crimping groove. It measured 0.588"! This made all my work worthwhile, and it certainly paid off in improved accuracy.

This is what is happening now with my accurized revolver:

  1. Burning gunpowder forces .452" bullet out of case into cylinder throat.
  2. .4525" cylinder throat guides bullet into the forcing cone, no swaging occurs.
  3. Bullet jumps cylinder gap into barrel forcing cone.
  4. No barrel constriction exists so .452" bullet enters .451" barrel. Because the bullet is .001" oversize all lands and grooves are sealed.
  5. .451" bullet is in constant contact with the bore because fire-lapping slightly tapered the bore. Bore is sealed, no gas cutting/leading occurs.
  6. Bullet exit from muzzle is consistent resulting in excellent groups.
I plan to use this revolver for hog hunting so, Junior willing, I'll follow-up this article with the results of my hunt. Hogs beware, my accurized revolver is coming for you.

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22 Of The Sickest Supercars You Can Buy For Less Than $50,000

22 Of The Sickest Supercars You Can Buy For Less Than $50,000

22 Of The Sickest Supercars You Can Buy For Less Than $50,000

The realm of supercars may seem beyond the reach of the average person thanks to budgetary limitations. You not only have to consider the initial price of purchase but also the maintenance costs, especially for cars that need replacement parts every 5,000 miles or so.

There is also the consideration of fuel consumption. Since most supercars are designed for extreme performance at the highest levels, fuel consumption is really not a priority for the manufacturers. With most supercars having their base models priced from $70,000 upwards, if you really want to enjoy the thrill of speed, raging engines and the beautiful designs that come with such cars, the used car market is your last frontier.

But even in the used market you are not guaranteed to find bargains, either because of the initial high price of the cars or because some models - especially the classics - have grown heavily in value over the years.

Still, there are a number of high performing and well-known brands that manage to dip below the $50,000 mark and some can even be had for as low as $10,000. Even with such bargains, you should proceed with caution and exercise due diligence when inspecting the car to ensure it matches your purpose, whether it is everyday use or for racing on a track.

Here are 22 ideas to start you off on your hunt for a bargain on a used supercar.

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22Ferrari 328 GTS ($45,000)


Here is a classic car that has appreciated in value pretty fast and so it can be both an indulgence and an investment if you are able to purchase one. While ownership of a premium model averages about $70,000 depending on mileage, specific models and other factors, there are still amazing bargains in the market.

The 328 is among the Ferraris designed for frequent use with an engine that can do 100,000 miles before demanding a rebuild or replacement. For just $45,000 you will be able to find yourself a great car with a 3.2 L engine, 270hp and 231 lb-ft of torque. It goes from 0-60mph in 5.5 seconds and may not have the blistering pace of some others on this list but it is still fast. The traditional red (Rossa Corsa) and Nero black seem to have the most appeal to buyers.

21Ferrari F355 ($43,000)


To hear an F355 owner talk about their car is to hear an unending narration of perfection in performance and all the little things Ferrari does so well. That is, until they get into the expenses of maintaining one.

This is the ultimate classic car for someone who relishes sheer speed and power without having to compromise on handling and steering.

Over the years there have been three distinct models: the Berlinetta, GTS and the Spider. Its distinct features have seen it become a classic with a strong following despite its high cost even as a used car. It's entirely possible to land one of these bad boys for $43,000. However, this is not a car for an everyday ride as the engine will require replacement every three years or so.

Next 20 Ferrari 456 GT ($40,000)

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

How to Travel Italy by Train – First Timer Guide | This is Italy

How to Travel Italy by Train – First Timer Guide | This is Italy

How to Travel Italy by Train – First Timer Guide

Why Italy ?

Excellent question. Italy has something for everyone. The country is not only about pizza and coffee, there is so much more. Exploring Italy by train is easy!

It's actually the best way to get around, because Italy has an extremely great train network with super modern high-speed trains that will take you easily and quickly from one city to another, spectacular panorama views included.

Get A Rail Pass

A rail pass is perfect if you want to visit several places in Italy (or even within Europe.) It allows unlimited rail travel and the option to take as many trains as you want on each travel day!

The Italy Pass lets you travel comfortably to Italy's popular cities, like Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan and many others, but also to lesser known regions and smaller towns. You just use one ticket for the whole trip and you have the flexibility to move on whenever you feel like. Sound good?

Eurail or Interrail?

There are two kinds of passes: Interrail and Eurail passes. Both of them are valid on the Italian rail network. So what's the difference? The Interrail pass is for European residents, the Eurail pass is valid only for non-European citizens.

How much is an Interrail / Eurail pass?

If you're only visiting Italy, a One Country Pass will do.

The price for the rail pass depends on many factors, such as the seat class, and also your age. If you're under 26, DO IT NOW, because the pass is cheaper!

Train Schedules and Seat Reservations

To check the train schedules, go to Eurail Time Table or have a look at the Trenitalia website. You don't need seat reservations for regional trains, however if you take high-speed or night trains, reservations are required.

Are you ready to travel Italy by train?

Italy is that special place where you wish time would stand still.

If you have some extra days to spend in Italy, please head South and explore the beautiful beach towns around Amalfi and Cilento Coasts, it's such a stunning region.

That time Lincoln built a land-speed Mark VIII and set a 1 | Hemmings Daily

That time Lincoln built a land-speed Mark VIII and set a 1 | Hemmings Daily

That time Lincoln built a land-speed Mark VIII and set a 182 MPH record at Bonneville

Photos courtesy Mecum Auctions.

They should have returned to Detroit with a hero's welcome. Instead, Lincoln brass essentially buried their employees' accomplishment – setting a 182 MPH record at Bonneville in a pretty much stock Continental Mark VIII – to focus on the car's luxury. A quarter-century later, however, the car still exists and will later this spring make its way to auction.

Aside from a rollcage and hoodpins, the Mark VIII looks fairly untouched, inside and outside and under the hood, which was, more or less, the point. The Mark VIII, as luxurious as it was, also had some performance bona fides: Lincoln chose to build it on the FN10 platform, a full-size aluminum-intensive version of the MN12 front-engine, rear-wheel-drive platform that underpinned the Nineties Ford Thunderbird and Mercury Cougar, and powered the Mark VIII with a version of the recently released modular 4.6L V-8 that increased compression from 9.0 to 9.8 and in turn cranked the power output from 210 horsepower, as found in the other full-size cars at the time, to 280 horsepower.

In addition, the Mark VIII featured a slick profile and an air suspension programmed to lower the car by 20 millimeters at highway speeds and, in turn, decrease the coefficient of drag a little bit, from 0.34 to 0.33. While far from groundbreaking just a decade or so afterward, in the early Nineties those figures largely were the domain of sporting cars like the Toyota Supra and economy cars like the Geo Metro.

Thus, as Lincoln engineer Jerry Wroblewski recounted years later for, Mark VIII program manager Jim Kennedy decided to take the car racing at Bonneville. Their goal: the 163 MPH unsupercharged gasoline engine class 12 (D-Stock) record then held by Infiniti's Q45.

While Infiniti's preparations for setting that record reportedly only went as far as removing the stock speed limiter, Kennedy ordered a top-down optimization of a pre-production Mark VIII – one that, technically, had a VIN from a Mark VII. The all-aluminum 4.6L V-8, as Wroblewski wrote, "was truly a stock engine. There wasn't enough time to put together a highly modified engine." Some blueprinting and removing the catalytic converters bumped total output up to about 290 or 295 horsepower.

The Mark VIII's 4R70W four-speed transmission included overdrive, but Kennedy's team chose to lock out fourth gear and run it in third – direct drive – to eliminate driveline drag. To compensate, they swapped the rear axle's stock gears for a set of 2.47s.

Other than that, the Mark VIII got a set of Goodyear GSC tires from the Corvette, a tweak to the air suspension to allow it to sit another 25 millimeters lower at speed, some belly pans and engine bay air deflectors, and a full rollcage complete with halon fire extinguisher system. The entire stock interior remained, as did the stock sunroof.

The two-month crash program, which included speed trials at Ford's Michigan Proving Grounds showing the car would be good for 175 MPH, culminated in the 1993 trip to the Bonneville Nationals. According to Wroblewski, early runs on Bonneville's short course with long-time racer Holly Hedrich at the wheel netted speeds in the high 160s and low 170s. Removing the side mirrors helped a little, but after reviewing the data gathered during those runs, Wroblewski and the crew realized that the Mark VIII was still accelerating as it came out of the traps, so they asked permission to use the adjacent long course, which would theoretically give the car more time and space to reach its maximum speed. On the first long-course run, it notched a speed of 178 MPH.

"So, this time we pulled the rear brakes off and went back to the long course," Wroblewski wrote. "It was starting to cool off some since it was getting later in the day, we knew that would help. The car finally crossed the 180 MPH mark, running a 180.794. This time we knew we had to get it turned around and back in less than an hour. We looked over the data from the run. The oils were hot. The transmission was over 250F; the engine oil was over 275F. I looked at the other calibrator that was there with me and we agreed, send it back down the track. The oil is hot, hot oil is thin oil, less parasitic drag. Also, it was starting to get kind of dark and cool. This time the car ran 182.694 on its one-way pass for a two way average of 181.717 MPH."

Kennedy and Wroblewski's team celebrated by splashing the record speed on the side of the hauler for the trip back to Michigan. They were greeted, however, with silence from their superiors. "They did not want Lincoln to have a 'racy' image and refused to use any of what we did out at Bonneville in advertising," Wroblewski wrote.

Indeed, copywriters behind the brochure for the pseudo-performance limited-edition LSC option package for the Mark VIII that Lincoln debuted midway through the 1995 model year, while it benefited from a 290hp version of the 4.6L, made zero mention of the Bonneville record and seemed more focused on the luxury aspect of the package.

Nor did Lincoln officials support other attempts to enter the marque in motorsports at the time. As wrote, a brief effort to enter the Mark VIII in NASCAR in the mid-Nineties ended with a similar admonition from Lincoln.

Since then the Mark VIII has spent some time in museums and private hands and accumulated less than 7,000 miles. Next month, it will cross the block as part of Mecum's Indianapolis auction, where it is expected to sell for $20,000 to $40,000.

The Mecum Indianapolis auction will take place May 15 to 19. For more information, visit

Monday, April 23, 2018

Running Is the Worst Way to Get Fit - Tonic

Running Is the Worst Way to Get Fit - Tonic

Running Is the Worst Way to Get Fit

If you want to be in shape, skip the 10K training and sprint—but don't jog—to the nearest weight room.

Fighting Words is a column in which writers rub you the wrong way with their unpopular but well-argued opinions on fitness, health, nutrition, what have you. Got something to get off your chest? Send your pitch to

Running is a crappy way to lose fat and an inferior way to boost cardiovascular health, but it's somehow become the most popular exercise on Earth after walking.

That's bad, because running sucks. There's a reason that up to 79 percent of runners get sidelined with an injury at least once per year: It's an incredibly inefficient way to build strength. And as we all know, a strong body is the number one way to prevent injuries, increase metabolism, burn fat, and stay mobile and functional in old age.

Statistically speaking, if you're interested in staying healthy, you run. And sure, it seems like a "natural" exercise. But running at a middling, not-too-hard, not-too-easy pace for an extended period of time isn't some timeless, eternal movement pattern on which our bodies thrive. It was really only popularized as a "palliative to sedentariness" in the 1960s, and while any movement is usually better than none, running fails almost every test of a worthy exercise.

According to Lee Boyce, a strength coach and owner of Boyce Training Systems in Toronto, there are two main reasons that people run, and the most popular is fat loss: Folks "do cardio" because they want to burn off their bellies. And running is a bad pick.

"That's usually what the mentality is, that it's a way to get leaner and lose weight, but doing other things outside of running will probably have a better effect at catalyzing that result," he says. Boyce's fat-loss prescription, like that of practically any trainer worth their salt, is compound strength exercises. That means multi-joint movements like the squat, deadlift, overhead press, chin-ups, pull-ups, and push-ups.

For cardio junkies, he suggests lowering rest periods or stringing together several exercises in a "circuit" in order to keep the heart rate up and improve cardiorespiratory capacity. That way, you'll be sucking wind as though you were running, "but you get more benefits because you're actually challenging your muscles against resistance, which will burn more calories, potentiate a lot more fat loss, and raise your metabolism."

The man is right: Studies have consistently shown that weight training and sprinting are more effective than running at targeting belly fat and creating a good hormonal environment for fat loss, meaning better insulin sensitivity, less of the stress hormone cortisol, and more growth hormone and testosterone. (Yes, that's a good goal for women, too.)

A 2008 study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, for example, split up twenty-seven obese women into three groups: one group did low-intensity running five days per week, the next did high-intensity sprints for just three days per week, and the third control group was instructed to skip exercise altogether. After a solid sixteen weeks of training, the results were undeniable: The sprinters lost significant amounts of abdominal and thigh fat, and while the low-intensity group did improve their aerobic fitness, their body fat levels didn't budge any more than the group on the bench.

The other main goal of running is improving cardiovascular health. In fact, if you believe some polls, that's the most common reason people exercise—looking nice and lean is just a happy, unintended consequence. (Sure, buddy.) And while it's true that exertion improves heart health and cardiorespiratory capacity, and running falls into that category, running is too middle-of-the-road to be a particularly effective method of doing so.

Just like curling a weight a hundred times won't boost strength as well as a small number of heavier sets, exercising the heart at a higher intensity is a better way to get the job done. Studies have shown that shorter sessions of anaerobic training, like fast-paced resistance training or sprints, are just as good for heart health as long, drawn-out runs and better at maintaining muscle and increasing aerobic fitness (or VO2 max, if you want to be specific). A fifteen-week long study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research even found that folks who did just ten sets of ten-second balls-out sprints on a stationary bike did a better job of improving endurance and power output than medium-intensity workouts lasting 20 to 25 minutes.

Remember, running is only good for "cardio" because it makes you breathe hard, but there are endless ways to do that. Just love to run? Don't want to give it up? That's cool, just do it faster. "In many ways, sprinting is safer than running," says Boyce. "The average person has a lot of muscle imbalances, where muscles on one side of the joint are weaker than muscles on the other side of the joint, so it's really not the best idea to hammer away at them with long, endurance style running where you're taking, like, ten thousand strides over a thirty-minute run."

That leads to chronic pain and imbalances, he explains, while sprinting with good form remedies the problems of running in multiple ways. You take fewer strides overall (so it has less impact on the joints), you move more efficiently, you use more muscles in the body, and it recruits more fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are more involved with building strength and power.

"Fast-twitch muscle fibers will help keep your joints bolstered and strong, so it's just a better choice overall," Boyce says. "Plus, you're going to have more of a fat loss effect from sprinting for the same reasons you get it from weights: You're doing things that require strength, explosiveness, exertion, and intensity, so your muscles are going to have to work a little bit harder, they're going to burn more calories, and you're going to be more metabolic after you finish your workout as well." That means you continue burning extra calories long after you've showered off your gym funk.

"The benefits for producing maximum aerobic work production, fat loss, or strength development are indeed less than sprint work," says Dean Somerset, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, exercise physiologist and kinesiologist based in Alberta, Canada. He's careful to add, however, that in his opinion, an easy, low-intensity run can put less stress on the tendons than the high-intensity kind.

Somerset also opines that while high-intensity training will burn more calories after the workout, you might burn more calories during a steady run because those kinds of workouts tend to last longer. In his mind, the really notable benefit of high intensity exercise lies in the hormonal benefits. "Sprints increase testosterone, growth hormone, and thyroid hormone production compared to steady-state cardio," he says. The first two hormones have a powerful effect on fat loss and muscle gain, which is a big reason why sprints win the body-composition game.

If you really prefer endurance-style exercise, you'll still achieve longer-term health benefits by relying on movement patterns that strengthen and protect the most vulnerable parts of your body. That's not running, says Boyce. It's lousy for joint health and lousy for strength gains—and remember, being more resistant to injury is a really important benefit of being strong, particularly as you age.

"If you don't like running, you don't have to do it to get the cardio benefits you're after," says Somerset. "You could use a rowing ergometer, swing a kettlebell, ride a bike hard or push a sled." Shooting for, say, ten kilometers in forty minutes on a rowing machine or a 500-kettlebell swing workout are goals that can satisfy that craving for long, gut-busting endurance workouts without causing as much joint damage. The upshot is that you'll gain better posture, a stronger core, and a healthier back.

But If Running Is Life, then run. But as Boyce puts it, "You should serve strength training as your entrée and running as your side dish." So if you run for 20 or 30 minutes, balance that with 30 to 40 minutes of strength training first. You'll burn more fat, improve your heart health, and have better mobility, balance, and flexibility all the way into old age. Isn't that the point of exercise in the first place?

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