NBC has acquired rights to a live broadcast of the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco next September. It is the first time since 1992 that the event will gain real-time network TV coverage and comes amid efforts to broaden the event's popular appeal. Larry Ellison's Oracle Racing boat will defend the cup against a challenger selected during a series of qualifying races next summer. NBC will also televise those races.
I recently discovered the website, Kids Who Rip. Not sure how I missed this one, but it's rad little video library of kids killing it on bikes, skis, kiteboards, surfboards, skateboards, balance beams, and pretty much every other conveyance and game known to childhood.
You can submit clips of your kid's first black diamond mogul run or gawk at other people's offspring hucking big air on their mountain bikes. In a bind, it'll double as a motivational tool ("that boy can ride across a log without whining"), and it's an excellent bribery/diversion tactic when your wild child is bouncing off the walls and you need some peace and quiet (like right this minute). What's more riveting than watching a grom catch and carve waves—especially when the surfer is six years old and not even four feet tall? Not a rhetorical question.
The world's top alpinists continue to push the boundaries of human suffering and exposure with climbs of ever more technical peaks. Gear companies like The North Face, Mountain Hardwear, and Marmot don't sell a lot of high-end, alpine gear, but they need to keep their athletes happy. Clients willing to pay guides to get them up Everest and other peaks reap the rewards. Is that you? Well then, lucky you. Here's a round-up of the latest and greatest gear for 8,000-meter vacations.Mountain Hardwear Absolute Zero Suit: It’s been years since a brand has undertaken a wholesale redesign of its 8,000-meter down suit. At the request of Ueli Steck, Mountain Hardwear took on the project. The fully welded and watertight suit is now lighter, compatible with modern Himalayan climbing equipment like air masks, and user friendly. Hood adjustments are easier to make, the 850-fill body is mapped for warmth with improvements to wick away sweat, and the rainbow seat is easier to unzip when you gotta go. Mountain Hardwear built waterbottle pockets on the inside, to reduce the chances you'll carry chunks of ice to the summit. Available August 2012, $1250, mountainhardwear.com.
Jonathan Siegrist is one of the few American sport climbers who has dedicated himself almost entirely to developing routes on his home ground. As Chris Sharma has settled in Spain and Ethan Pringle and Dave Graham have bounced between continents over the past two years, Siegrist has opened a half-dozen 5.14s around the States, including testpieces like Pure Imagination (5.14d) in Kentucky's Red River Gorge and Shadowboxing (5.14c/d) in Rifle, Colorado.
On February 21, Siegrist added one more tick to that list with the first ascent of Le Rêve (French for "The Dream") in Arrow Canyon, Nevada. With its proposed grade of 5.14d/15a, the line is Siegrist's hardest yet. "It's clear to me that this route defines a new category of difficulty for me," Siegrist wrote on his blog. "Le Rêve took twice the effort of any route I've done save maybe one of my first 5.14s."
In the second installment of The Shape of Your Life we told you about a forthcoming standing cable push test you can do to measure your progress in core strength. The test is a favorite of functional-strength guru Paul Chek (www.chekinstitute.com), who points out that "big benchers" can rarely push more than a third as much weight when they move the bench press to their feet in the form of a split stance cable push. And unless you're training to push yourself out from under an SUV, the man raises a good point: How often do you need your strength while on your back? The following test, which requires a cable or Nautilus machine, can be used every few weeks to gauge your improvement in core stability and functional strength as you work through our program:
Stand in a split stance (left foot ahead of the right) with your back to a cable machine and 70 percent of your weight on your back leg. Holding the cable in your right hand and at your chest with your palm down, inhale, pull your abs in, start the push from your back leg, then turn into it leading with your pelvis, only recruiting your arm when your shoulder is at three o'clock. Finish the movement as though executing a right hand punch. Find the amount of weight that leaves you maxed out—completely fatigued—after eight repetitions. Repeat this test every three or four weeks. If you can increase the weight, you've successfully increased your core strength.
Next: Build speed and power in part four of our Shape of Your Life fitness plan.