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Body Building for Hand Held Work

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James Mulryan
Body Building for Hand Held Work
on Jun 14, 2005 at 10:34:53 pm

Does anyone have a recommendation on how to beef up the neck, shoulder and lower back for hand holded camera work?
Cameras put your back in a very unnatural and unbalanced position, perhaps certain stretches might counteract the long term effects?


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Tim Kolb
Re: Body Building for Hand Held Work
on Jun 15, 2005 at 2:35:27 pm

Well, as someone who wishes they were a little larger-framed in times of hand-held work, I think that making sure your stomach muscles are strong through sit ups is ogical, but I think a lot of people forget that you need to reverse the motion to strengthen the muscles in your lower back.

Also...taking a break is important during a day of shoulder work. No matter how strong you are, shoulder shooting creates pressure unevenly on your lower back.



TimK
Kolb Syverson Communications
Creative Cow Host
2004, 2005 NAB Post Production Conference Premiere Pro Technical Chair
Author, "The Easy Guide to Premiere Pro" http://www.focalpress.com
"Premiere Pro Fast Track DVD Series" http://www.classondemand.net


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Frank Otto
Re: Body Building for Hand Held Work
on Jun 15, 2005 at 3:34:26 pm

As one of the founding members of the Order of Unsung CameraOps in Hospital (OUCH) I can tell ya, the most important exercises are lower back workouts along with abs. When I was day-to-day handheld, I'd work out with a Nautilus machine, designed for just those two areas.

The really most important thing, however, is limiting your time holding the camera. If you're a production shooter, don't let the director make you a "dolly" camera. If you do industrial/IMAG don't let the director shop for shots on your camera. If you're a news shooter, have a plan, put the camera on sticks and rest...and make the "reporter" carry the other gear.

In 30+ years of ENG and EFP I've crushed two vertebra, flattened my right shoulder (the "TK" bone...so named by shooters who for years used the TK-76)and a majority of the muscles and ligiments in my abs are torn, along with knee and hip injuries...and those don't even take into consideration being run over, stabbed, hit with lumber and bottles and being shot while gathering news.

Even though current hand-held gear is smaller and lighter (my first hh cam was a fully loaded Norelco PCP70 - including backpack - weighed out at 102 lbs) you still have the issue of your body wasn't designed as a tripod. To operate and get the kind of shots hh cams get still requires you to work on lower back, upper body and abs...plus some work with weights for arm strength-especially if you use the ol' overhead shot, or the hi-to-lo arm move.

Just don't bulk up...it'll seriously restrict your movements and your flexibility.

Cheers,

Frank Otto



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Juggs
Re: Body Building for Hand Held Work
on Jun 18, 2005 at 7:50:09 am

I agree with the above,..

I have trained in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and some boxing for over 3 years now and even thou I'm quite fit,..I still get sore after a long shoot. Mainly Biceps and forearms for handheld extension shots and my quads for when I have to dip down (I shoot alot of fight events). But yes,..my back is quite strong but I can see how the lower back problem would come about.

Regular exercise buddy,...we all need it.

Good luck.

- Juggs


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Steve Wargo
Re: Body Building for Hand Held Work
on Jun 18, 2005 at 7:04:59 pm

Don't be the Hero.
I shot off-road races for ESPN for years and am now paying the price.
Hire a person to haul your gear.
Carry the camera with your left hand.
Take frequent breaks.
Get a cart of some kind like a modified golf bag carrier.
Use a monopod when you can. It will screw into your camera plate.
Get a Steadi Stick from Tiffen or someone else. This transfers all of the weight to your hips. Best $250 I ever spent.

Oh yeah. Don't be the hero. It'll cost ya later. (repeat often)

steve wargo


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Bob Cole
Why did I use to see so many fat cameramen?
on Jun 21, 2005 at 1:00:23 pm

A purely unscientific observation, but it seems to me that back in the day, all of the tv shooters I saw around town had big bellies.

Now they are much fitter-looking of course....

-- BC


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James Mulryan
Sand Bags and C-Stands- the New Weight Reduction Routine
on Jun 21, 2005 at 2:12:17 pm

Now days, with all the emphasis on nice lighting, all those cameramen are carrying sand bags,
c-stands and lights and those who don't do interviews get to be human tripods on reality shows.


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Leo Baker
Re: Why did I use to see so many fat cameramen?
on Jun 23, 2005 at 11:46:17 pm

Because they are using there in built steadicam....lol


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tony salgado
Re: Body Building for Hand Held Work
on Jun 21, 2005 at 3:08:15 pm



James,

Stretching and yoga exercises are fundamental to maintaining one's ability to deal with lugging around heavy equipment. Building up strength in your core in addition to your back is important.

The best approach to exercise is three fold 1) Cardio 2)Muscle building via weight lifting 3) Stretching. The last major ingredient is a healthy diet.
Give up all saturated fats, soda's, pizza's, hamburgers along with daily visits to all fast food restaurants. Vegetables, soy products, fish (especially salmon), egg whites, chicken, whole grain bread, complex carbohydrates,omega 3 fat products (nuts,flaxseed oil) are my primary diet of choice.

I workout regularly on set during my lunch break which offers me the chance to live without excuses and miss a workout. In this business you are what you eat and you will reflect that each and every day on the job if you abuse yourself with an unhealthy diet and lifestyle.

"In life there are no excuses... only missed opportunities"


Tony Salgado
"Minister of Exercise"








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Frank Otto
Re: Body Building for Hand Held Work
on Jun 21, 2005 at 11:04:07 pm

[tony salgado] "Give up all saturated fats, soda's, pizza's, hamburgers along with daily visits to all fast food restaurants. "

Of course, this doesn't apply to news photographers...since the only staples are that of: Vendoland at City Hall, Vendoland at the station and the mixed assortment of Hardee's, McD's, BK, Wendy's, Col. Chicken's, Taco Hell and 7-11, AM-PM and Stop-n-Go's since, your schedule rarely lets you do more than experience the culinary styling of the "Dashboard Dinette."



Cheers,

Frank Otto



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tony salgado
Re: Body Building for Hand Held Work
on Jun 22, 2005 at 2:23:20 am



Frank,


No excuse there also. With careful preplanning and support from your wife or girlfriend even MOM any overweight news photographer could pack a healthy lunchbag in advance and avoid FAST Food hell. Subway is actually one healthy place to eat - Chicken breast sandwich, turkey or tuna are all great as long as they are on wheat bread.

Again I have to say "there are no excuses... only missed opportunities"


You will only stay fat if you want to be fat.


Tony Salgado




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Bob Cole
Re: Body Building for Hand Held Work
on Jun 22, 2005 at 3:42:47 pm

[tony salgado] "You will only stay fat if you want to be fat."

Appreciate your advice. I agreed with everything you wrote up to that line.

Some fatties hate being fat, go to extreme trouble and expense to fight it, and fail. Some skinny people BECOME fat while they are going through medical treatments for certain diseases.

And while I am glad you exempt Subway from the list of bad-fast-food spots, it is extremely easy to turn a healthy Subway sandwich into a Big Mac with a few squirts from the squeeze bottles at the end of the line.

All that said, your advice is excellent, and for most of us, but NOT ALL, fat is something we can fight successfully if we want to badly enough.


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tony salgado
Re: Body Building for Hand Held Work
on Jun 22, 2005 at 4:56:32 pm



Bob,


Ultimately being overweight and unhealthy is not a physical disorder as much as it is a psychological disorder. The only way to overcome the problem is "mind over body" power. Failure usually occurs because of a lack of motivation and knowledge on how to overcome the "demons of fatness".
Most overweight individuals have become their own worst enemy by a deliberate unwillness to change their lifestyle choices. You can only save yourself if you first accept the fact that you need help now!

The knowledge to change one's life is readily available but it requires a motivated person to go forth and seek out the information.
One of my favorite trainers has a line which sums it all up "Knowledge is power... power is change."

One last note you do not have to strive to become a underwear model to be considered healthy. If you maintain a healthy diet along with an improved cardio vascular system an overweight person can actually be healthier than a skinny person who does not exercise or eat healthy.

Losing weight should not be considered a quick fix but rather a lifelong plan.

I sincerely hope the knowledge I have mentioned here on the cow will help someone out there to change their life for the better.



Tony Salgado
Minister of Exercise



PS- Avoiding all the extra sauces filled with extra calories and fat is the secret to maintaining a healther meal at Subway. Do not put cheese, mayo, oil, etc and stick to the vegetables and you will be safe.




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Frank Otto
Re: Body Building for Hand Held Work
on Jun 22, 2005 at 10:20:15 pm

[tony salgado] "support from your wife or girlfriend even MOM "


Tony:

Have you ever done a trick as a local news shooter?

Let's see...

MOM is usually 200 to 1200 miles away...the wife generally is a second income earner (or even primary since they still pay news photogs about $12.00 an hour)so they're loath to make you a dinner, much less a bag lunch, and if your single, you're generally between relationships as the job pretty much keeps you from developing any.

I went with your advise for a bit when I was a news shooter...by the 7th hour when you haven't had a break all day and you finally get to a meal I found that I had a bunch of car-baked sack lunches that really wern't all that worth eating. Even tried MRE's for awhile...

Sure you can do all the wonderful things you espouse...and in fact, whenever possible, you probably should.

There are days (sometimes months) however...


Cheers,

Frank Otto



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tony salgado
Re: Body Building for Hand Held Work
on Jun 23, 2005 at 2:22:28 pm



Frank,

Even if you cannot get find support from your relatives or spouse one still has to find the will power to motivate and support themselves.

One of the main issues which causes weight gain is skipping meals which results in over eating. Allowing the body to entering the early stages of starvation is part of the problem which leads to over eating and weight gain. The most essential meal of the day is breakfast. Dinner is the most confusing meal because American find that this meal must be the largest of the day. Eating a large dinner meal late is the worst thing one can do. As far as I am concerned breakfast and lunch are the two most important meals due to how the meals impact the bodies' need for a fuel source through out the day.

The key to maintaining or losing weight is actually eating two to three meals plus smaller healthy snacks in between. If a news photographer can remember to bring their batteries and tape to location how much difficult is it to prepare to bring healthy snacks to eat in between meals to avoid over eating at the end of the day?

I have found that all of us are surrounded by enablers and disablers who can either aid or detract us from the goal of a healthy lifestyle. The primary responsibility will always remain with ourselves to either try to acheive our healthy lifestyle goals or constantly come up with excuses as to how, why and when we cannot go one step forward but instead two step backward from our goals.

I fully understand the average person cannot maintain a healthy diet plan 24/7 which is ok as long as they do not use fast food solutions as their only method of meals every single day month after month and year after year. Even at outlets like 7/11 or some fast food outlets if you look at what options are available and read the ingredient labels you can teach yourself to find out what food source is healthier for you. The key once again is obtaining the knowledge with that knowledge will come the change in your life.



Tony Salgado


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