With the recent news about the huge increase of swine flue cases, it’s natural for everyone to feel a bit edgy right now. Sit on a train in the city and dare to sneeze…WITHOUT covering your face :o!. The reactions you will get won’t be nice to say the least! I wouldn’t be surprised if it caused fights.
In general, trains are one of the worst places to travel in regards to catching flu or other things from people. Previous studies show that one sneeze can spread through 6 train carriages. That’s
ONE SNEEZE…. THROUGH 6 CARRIAGES
That has to be swine flu breeding ground central.
AVOID (if you can)
But for people reading this, you have probably already thought,
‘ I really don’t wanna get ill right now, it will set me right back in my workout program‘
…’And i really don’t think i’m ready for death yet either!’
I know i thought this. Infact, i always think like this, as set backs really do P*** me off. You know…all those months of hard work, gone in a matter of weeks (6). But this swine flu thing seems a bit more severe. People really are dying from it, even the healthiest of the healthy! YIKES!
So how can we fight against this TODAY?
If you are already working out, or have started to follow my recent posts :). Stick to it!
But heres what you should do:
Train: 45 minutes a day, 3 days per week.
Do: Any Cardio exercises (weights or running). That will push your heart rate to 70-75% of its maximum (subtract your age from 220 to find yours).
Eat: Foods with vitamin C (will boost your immune system).
Run: Outside. Exposure from the sun will increase your levels of vitamin D which is good for your respiratory system.
Drink: 2 litres of water a day and add a litre for every hour of exercise.
Try and sweat it out ‘possible flu symptoms’ if you begin to feel ill. This will cause further dehydration and stress the immune system.
I am currently following and sticking to this plan, so do follow and implement this into your routines also. If you do have anything to add, drop your ideas in the comments section.
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It’s time for another addition to your arsenal of home gym equipment. In previous posts (namely unique bodyweight exercises part 2) you would have seen the exercise ball being used a few times for exercises such as crunches. There are other exercises you will be using this ball for such as side bends and leg presses, but the abdominals will be the key body part that you will work on the most with the exercise ball.
Since this site has been up, it has been made aware to me that the abs are the no.1 area that most of you want to train, whether you are trying to lose fat to get it to show, or are simply trying to get the the ripped ‘ I’ve eaten a radiator’ look.
Some of you have complained about lower back problems too, from doing normal floor sit ups. Using the Xercise ball will solve that problem as performing the same or similar exercises with the ball will give you a greater range of motion (how far you can stretch). If you are lost when it comes to knowing how to perform the exercises you have seen so far, then hold tight, that will be included in the ebook as well.
So for those who don’t yet have one of these, or are intending to get one since viewing the bodyweight exercises posts, this is the one I’ve been using.
(Note: If you are a pretty big guy, say 5’10” plus, you’ll want to go for the biggest ball at 75cm)
Only a couple of more bodyweight exercise accessories to go, but for now, go and have a ball.
In recent weeks I’ve presented various ways in which you can go about exploding muscles to look like this guy,
Well, you probably won’t get as big as him… he is a super hero after all. However, before you even decide on trying to take your muscles to the next level, you will have to put some things in place before doing so. You will need to prepare!
Fail to plan… then plan to fail.
Cliche yes! But the fact still remains.
That is why I’m going to start you on a journey of how you can prepare for the exercise techniques that you have become aware of in recent weeks. Somethings you may already be doing, somethings you may not. What ever the case is, I’m going to set some guidelines for you to follow. You can fill in your own gaps.
Protect Your Hands
Unless you want to be Mr crocodile hands, then you will take the time out to protect your hands. It’s not cool to shake peoples hands, while unintentionally yet unavoidably scaring them with yours. It’s not cool to stroke your hands over your girlfriends smooth skinned body, that she has taken time to perfect just to feel your crocodile roughness. But more importantly it is not cool bash your hands up.
Doing so will
- Decrease your ability to grip raw metal bars well
- Decrease the number of reps that you can perform
- Give you calluses and blisters
- Cause unnecessary pain
Once you suffer from all of the above, there is no way that you can take your bodybuilding to the next level. Shock body exercises simply will not work for you.
Some guys may act all macho and act like this doesn’t affect them. I say F**k ’em. Don’t follow those leaders. Whether you are a human brick or a budding hard gainer success story, your aim should be to maintain baby smooth Fairy Liquid hands.
How To Protect Your Hands
If you are on a budget then this is the way to go to protect your hands.
- Grab two thick rubber bands
- Two thick sponges
- Tie a sponge to each hand with the rubber band
- And you are good to go
This is really a temporary solution, but if you do decide to do this for the long term for what ever reason, then I would suggest to stack up on the sponges. They’ll fade away to nothing in no time, especially after a few washes.
I could have chosen any old pair of gloves, but from my own personal experiences, many of the gloves on the market are crap. You wear them, they tear apart easily and some don’t even help prevent callouses.
So I have chosen two pairs of gloves. Both have their pro’s and cons, but both are effective for their purpose.
The palm protectors
I call these the palm protectors because that is the stand out benefit that you will get when using these.
- Protects palms and fingers well
- Keeps hands ventilated
- Good grip on weightlifting equipment with rubber grips
- Prevents germs
- Nice on price
- Wrist straps may get sweaty
- Not enough padding
- May be slippery when lifting cast iron free weights
I’m calling these gloves padders because that is the key benefit of using these.
- Good grip on weightlifting equipment without rubber grips
- More durable than most gloves
- Takes time to get used to the extra padding
- Padding may get in the way when using weights/ machines with rubber grips
The End Results
Perform more reps without,
- Grip fatigue
- Sore hands
- Wrist ache
And no more picking up germs from others.
See you in the comments.
I’ve been building muscle for 13 years now. In that time I’ve trained in about 10 – 15 gyms across the globe (Each gym experience being mostly the same, except a few special hot spots). And if there is one thing I notice every single time I worked out, it is the fact that most people are not training to their fitness goal advantage.
You may say…
But Shaun, how do YOU know what these peoples goals are. Why don’t you just mind your own business. You don’t know their history, their past errors, what they’re correcting, or whatever that persons business is.
What you stated there is something everyone in the gym should be doing.
MINDING THEIR OWN BUSINESS!
(Unless they’re actually genuinely trying to help of course)
But what I am talking about here is a time period ‘after’ I have trained, naturally communicated and networked with these individuals. And over the years of doing so, I find that most of these people really are not training to their advantage. What tends to happen is that they start off correctly. You know… choose a upper body workout day, a lower body workout day and so on. But then they make the mistake of…
DOING TOO MUCH!
Thinking that doing more and spending more time in the gym will make them grow bigger and quicker. And then those same folks wonder why they look the same year after year (At those who are actually trying to look different and not just ‘maintain’).
What these individuals need to be introduced to is the concept of…
Bang For Your Buck Weight Training
What is Bang for your buck weight training?
The simple formula:
- 1 x compound lift per workout (Mandatory – Something you MUST do)
- 2 to 3 assistant weightlifting exercises (Variable)
No less, No more
If you stick to that plan (which you should!) your workout may seem slightly short, yes. But if performed with the utmost intensity, the time it takes to complete your workout will be the last thing you’ll be thinking about. Getting some good post workout nutrition and serious rest is what you’ll be thirsty for.
The common mistake
Let’s take chest day for example…
We know that the bench press exercise is the undisputed king of all chest related exercises. But some individuals feel the need to follow it up with FOUR exercises to assist.
Why so much?
I understand that it’s important to hit all angles of your chest, but doing THAT many exercises can and will work against you if your goal is to actually ‘grow’. Especially after that 30 day muscle building honeymoon period (If you are new to weight training) where you can pack on 14lbs of muscle or more. Because after that, the gains will indeed slow down. That’s just how the human body works ‘naturally’. If it didn’t we’d all look like this guy.
Can you imagine that. Masses of young to middle age hulk size folk walking the streets, terrifying ordinary civilians. The government wouldn’t allow that surely. With the penalty of growing to such a size being sent to war in the middle east, or some place. 😐
Any how, in all seriousness, the point is this…
You don’t need to perform as much as you ‘think’ you do
Bang for your buck workouts (as the title reads)
Performing exercises that will give you the best gains, instead of exercises that won’t!
Let’s take a 4 day split routine for example…
#1 Mandatory exercise = Deadlift
#2 Bang for your buck assistant exercises = Lunges, Full hanging leg raises
#1 Mandatory exercise = Military press
#2 Bang for your buck assistant exercises = Dips, Dumbbell rows, Shrugs
#1 Mandatory exercise = Squats
#2 Bang for your buck assistant exercises = Leg press, Leg curls
#1 Mandatory exercise = Bench press
#2 Bang for your buck assistant exercises = Pull ups (weight assisted with progression), Barbell rows
Each workout looks pretty basic… right?
If you focus on actually progressing over time with that same workout routine structure, with the utmost intensity, you will indeed feel ‘smashed’ after most workouts.
Now, there are obviously tons of exercises that you can perform out there. Each have their specific purpose. What you need to do is find your reason for performing them them. Not just to look cool, or feel good about yourself (Weird point that one is, but that’s the mindset the some people have when they workout).
My favorite weekly exercises at present are…
- Weight assisted Dips/ Pull ups/ Chin ups
- Barbell rows
- Stiff leg deadlifts
And I choose those particular exercises because I KNOW they are helping me.
- Strengthen the weaker areas of my body (Upper chest, build on my hard to gain naturally long arms)
- Compliment the said mandatory exercises, also known as the big four (Stiff leg deadlifts build lower back strength, which aids the big and powerful deadlift movement. Barbell rows assist with the bench press exercises).
- Build a balanced and symmetrical body (It’s very easy to mess this up if you start your weightlifting journey the incorrect way)
- BUILD MUSCLE (That’s what we’re all here to do. Those exercises will give me the best bang for my buck)
Some other good exercises include:
- Smith machine military press (Good for those who find the military press to be a frightening and risky to perform exercise)
- Dumbbell press (Incline/Decline)
- Leg extensions/leg press
- Deadlift performed on a smith machine
But again, be very clear as to why you need to perform them. If not, then don’t do them. Period!
Seriously, I’ve been guinea pigging it for several months now, met a ton of new people, and noticed some common mistakes amongst many. Let’s stop for a moment and look at this recent quote to myself from a fellow gym goer.
‘Shaun man, week after week…. it just looks like you keep growing, week after week. Seriously… is it genetics?’
And guess who that quote came from?
- Stay in the gym for 1 hour or more
- Perform ENDLESS amount of exercises
- And give ME a weird look when I arrive after and leave the gym before they do!
Oh and don’t you worry. New progress pics are coming (Because I know that’s what you are wanting to see right now :). It’s ok, I’ve always been a great mind reader).
When you hit the gym next, put a big X through the mistakes listed above (That’s if you’ve been making them. Most of you probably have).
Approach your workouts with a bang for your buck mindset. This will at least give you a good kick start until Stay-Fit Bug really takes you to the next level.
See you in the comments.
A tip for tall guys
Focus on building your quads, glutes and wings.
It is a lack of development in these muscle groups that make you look long and lanky (even if you are ripped to bits underneath your clothes) at certain angles. Building on these muscle groups will give you the much needed ‘3D effect’. Once you do… long and lanky no more. Big brutal sexy beast you will be.
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Whichever state you live in, finding the right CrossFit gym for your needs with the type of community you want can be difficult. The first question you need to ask yourself is what type of club you feel most comfortable training in. You might prefer a larger club, one in which you can easily blend in or maybe you prefer a smaller club with more of a family feel. Whatever your personal choice, here we take a look at some of the hottest CrossFit gym destinations across the United States.
If you prefer smaller classes with personal attention to your training needs then CrossFit Fenway ticks all the right boxes. You’ll get specific coaching which focuses on finding the right program whilst figuring out what is working for you and what isn’t. CrossFit Fenway prioritizes the athlete’s needs by ensuring that the space, equipment and variety of training are all set to the correct levels to help you get the most from every work out. All levels of classes are available including competitor and endurance training.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
San Francisco CrossFit was founded in 2005 and is located in a prime position under the Golden Gate Bridge. This is one of the first CrossFit gyms in the world and it is a predominantly outdoor based gym. Offering a breath of fresh air this box boasts some high profile members such as Olympic lifting coach Diane Fu and Brian McKensie of crossfitendurance.com. CrossFit classes are offered for kids as well as all levels of adult training. Programs include gymnastics, running, weight lifting, endurance as well as movement and mobility.
NEW YORK, NY
CrossFit NYC is the oldest on the East Coast and is also the largest gym in the nation. It has over 1,000 members and offers 200 classes a week between their two city locations. Despite the large membership numbers, the box still retains a personal feel thanks to a range of fundraiser events and happy hours. The new Flatiron District location offers 25,000 feet of space and has a unique feature where you can climb a rope in order to reach the second floor.
Chicago is fast becoming the place to live for young professionals according to AreaVibes and if you enjoy keeping fit then you’ll love the facilities and programs available at Windy City CrossFit. This box offers over 80 classes a week and offers an Athlete’s Development Program which prepares you for the CrossFit Games and various other competitions. Classes include weight lifting and endurance classes which allow you to supplement your WODs to build strength for those long distance races.
CrossFit Central boasts boxes in three locations around Austin so there is sure to be one near you. The box offers a wide range of challenges and competitions throughout year. Sizes range from 40 to 400 competitors and whilst many of the challenges are CrossFit specific, there are also some which are geared towards the general fitness buff. CrossFit Central is a great choice for those who are serious about their workout and programs are tailored specifically to your workout goals. Classes include Olympic weightlifting, RunSmart endurance training and women only classes.
Have we missed out a great CrossFit Gym in your City? If you know of a great box which we haven’t included in our lineup then why not drop us a line in the comments box below.
David Wilson is a travel writer finding the best places to live, work and play in the United States.
Now that we’re into the New Year, it’s time to get into shape. There’s no point just giving up bad food for a month because fitness is a lifestyle which a quick fix can’t provide. One thing you can do to help you achieve a better body is exercise in the form of sports activities. The best thing about keeping fit this way is that it’s something you tend to do over a period of months, so it’s fully sustainable and you’ll be working towards bettering a skill. Here are 3 of the best sports to help you get fit this year.
Squash is a fantastically fun racket sport which is as energizing as it is fun. Because a squash court is quite small, you receive a good amount of both cardiovascular and toning exercise due to the large amount of sprinting and twisting you’ll be doing as you manoeuvre around the court to hit the ball. Be warned: squash is not for the faint-hearted, and is an extremely intense sport. A session is generally 45 minutes long, as opposed to an hour. As with most racket sports, you won’t need a lot to get going, just a racket and some good trainers; it’s probably best to invest in a good towel, too – you’re going to need it.
5-a-side football is just like regular football, just more intense. The fact that the pitch is much smaller and there are fewer players on each team means that you’ll need to be more involved in the game than you otherwise would be, and this makes for a very passionate game. If you start up a league with your friends or co-workers, you’ll be motivated to play at least once a week, and this will help you to maintain your weight loss.
If you’re looking for a slightly more gentle sporting activity to take your fancy, cricket might be a good option. Games are longer than squash and 5-a-side, and you have a lot of opportunity to compete in different aspects of the sport. You’re still going to get the health benefits of the other two sports, but it might take a little longer. You’ll need some equipment to get you started from a place like Talent Cricket if you can’t rent it, but once you’ve got it, you’ve got it for life.
So there you have it – 3 sports to help you get fit in 2014, all you need to do now is pick one.
Any workout routine should be performance driven. Without a way to track data, there is little to show for the daily grind of working out. ClimbAX Wristbands take the guesswork out of climbing performance data. Featuring a unique combination interface and a state of the art control panel, the ClimbAX system offers real time data of every climbing session. Developed in the UK, the ClimbAX system has been tested and validated in varied conditions including lab and competition settings. The system delivers a precise breakdown of each individual session and facilitates comparisons between sets of previously recorded sessions. To do so, the system offers four main components: a session overview, timeline, and breakdown, and trend tracking.
To offer climbers the most accurate, immediate data, ClimbAX Wristbands offer a unique session overview feature. The session overview includes a display of past sessions in the format of the bottom timeline as well as vital statistics associated with the present climb including session duration, moves, number of climbs, and an overall score.
Another important feature, the session timeline provides an easy to read data representation of rest intervals and active periods. Presenting colored bars that represent individual climbs, the length of the bar indicates the interval of the climb, while the height represents the number of moves. This feature is especially important for being able to strategize ways to improve endurance and stamina.
Analyzing individual climb performance as well as comparing climb sets is an effective way to determine ways to develop more strength and endurance. The session breakdown enables this analysis by including a breakdown of specific skill areas including control stability, and speed. The feature also tracks and determines hand dominance in each skill area and provides a detailed overview of active time versus rest time.
Another unique function, the trend tracking option allows climbers the opportunity analyze a set of previous climbs to determine trends in performance. To facilitate this comparison, the bottom panel provides an overview of the selected sessions and provides a way to assess and establish relationships between the selected sessions.
ClimbAX Wristbands offer a variety of information in regards to climbing performance by featuring specific performance measurements. These measurements include power, control, stability, and speed. Having a basic understanding of all of these measurements provides climbers with a better understanding of their current performance as well as what they can focus on to improve. Power measures the amount of isometric strength used to assist a move. Control refers to smooth transition between consecutive holds, while stability is the ability to stay well-positioned in a hold. Of course, speed measures the timing of an individual climb and also refers to rest periods and active climbing time. All of these together present a complete picture of an individual’s overall ability and performance.
A unique mechanism in itself, the ClimbAX band features the same internal mechanisms as an iPhone 5. The band uses this unique mechanism to determine the orientation of an individual’s arms as well as to define whether the individual is climbing and what moves are being performed. The mechanism then processes the information and processes it into usable data by way of a sophisticated algorithm.
Just like any other sport, improving performance as a climber is defined by maintaining and utilizing data. The ClimbAX wristband offers a state of the art system for calculating, maintaining, and analyzing data. Not just a wristband, the ClimbAX is the edge on climbing.
John Chupon is an author and recognized authority on wristbands, currently working for WristbandsCity.com.
I first heard about TestoFuel when a buddy recommended it to me. I haven’t taken many testosterone boosters in the past but he had tried it and liked it so I decided to look in to it properly and try it for myself.
Testo Fuel is a strong muscle building supplement, it comes in a capsule form and is designed to increase your testosterone levels which in turn increases strength, muscle size and helps with recovery time.
It’s one of the few muscle supplements on the market that has a number of concrete studies behind the ingredients.
Let’s take a real close look at the ingredients:
A strong amino acid that plays a vital role in the production of tissue growth and libido. D-Aspartic acid increases the production of signal molecules which then enhance the activity in your pituitary gland. From someone trying to build muscle, this allows your body to produce the compounds it needs to increase strength, lean muscle and power.
A study in 2009 on a group of males aged 27 – 37 were given D-Aspartic Acid daily for 12 days. Their testosterone levels increased by 33%.
Nicknamed the sunshine vitamin, vitamind D has been in the news recently and many health and nutrition experts are talking about. As side from the many health benefits and prevention of various diseases, higher vitamin D levels have strong links to higher testosterone levels and athletic performance.
A recent study gave young men large doses of vitamin D for a year and their testosterone levels went up 15 – 20%. It’s not just a vitamin, its a hormone that will effect your blood levels. Unless you live in a very sunny part of the world and regularly get sun exposure to your skin without sunscreen on then you probably deficient.
ZMA formula – Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin B6
If you’ve been taking supplements for a while then you will likely have come across the ZMA formula, its widely taken by bodybuilders and athletes.
Zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 are important for healthy testosterone levels. While they don’t actually boost your testosterone levels, if you’re deficient in any of these nutrients then you won’t be keep your levels high.
Oysters are well known to be the number one testosterone and libido boosting foods, they’re high in zinc and contain 26 different amino acids. TestoFuel is the only testosterone booster I’ve seen that contains this.
TestoFuel also contains small amounts of Fenugreek and Ginseng, both of these plant extracts have been used in testosterone boosters and have some promising studies behind them.
My results with TestoFuel
After reading the studies behind the ingredients and the reviews about Testo Fuel I decided to buy 2 boxes (2 month supply) and really try it out. I’ve been working out a long time, I know that it takes time to raise your testosterone levels and build muscle.
The capsules are easy to take, you just take 1 with each meal, every day, there isn’t any need to cycle this supplement, their website and the box says to take it every day for best results.
I’m about 6 weeks in now and I feel great, it took about 3 – 4 weeks before I started to feel the full benefits. In the last 2 weeks my strength has shot up and my muscles look fuller and think. I can’t be totally sure that it’s all Testo Fuel but I can feel the affects.
It’s not like a hyped feeling that you get from stimulants like pre-workout supplements or fat burners, its more like an increase in your daily energy levels and strength, I feel younger. I also noticed myself recovering from workouts quicker.
Going in to this I wasn’t really sure what to expect, in the past I’ve usually stuck to taking the same supplements. I’m glad that I tried this and I wish that I had ordered their 4 box deal with the free t-shirt. I’ll order some more in a few months.
I give it an 8 out of 10. I’d say that it’s absolutely worth it if you are looking for that extra boost or are struggling with your muscle gains, it will give you that edge that you need.
You can read more about it on their website www.TestoFuel.com and also order from there for the best price and deals.
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The most popular forms of cardio are generally running and cycling. Running in particular is a favourite of fitness beginners, intermediates and superstars, yet it is high-impact, can lead to injuries and doesn’t necessarily build a great deal of strength. This is not to bash running – indeed, it is quite rightfully a staple – yet people should consider ways to diversify their cardio: one of the best ways to do this is by hopping on a rowing machine.
One of the primary benefits of rowing is that it contributes to muscle tone. Without putting any great impact on the body it will work your legs, hips and buttocks in a repetitive, strenuous manner. Rowing essentially gives you hundreds or reps on all of these muscles, all the while giving you a cardio workout that’s equivalent to running or cycling. Indeed, rowing is one of the best full body workouts around, and it’s bested only by swimming in this respect.
Rowing is also an excellent exercise for people who want to lose weight (as most of us do). Working out vigorously on a rowing machine will burn around 500 calories in 60 minutes – that’s not too shabby for an hour’s work. The best way to consistently lose weight is low intensity cardio, yet this is a nice way to mix things up and put in a high intensity workout.
Exercise needs to be interesting and engaging, otherwise we find ourselves losing interest and drifting away from the gym and back to the sofa. For this reason alone its worth trying out rowing as its fun, and a bit different than an hour on the treadmill. Many people get stuck in the same old work-out routines that have been passed on by personal trainers –don’t let yourself get bored, and use new exercise to keep things interesting.
Exercise, just like life, is all about trying new things: make sure you try rowing.
I decided to jump back on video today after a short Christmas hiatus. Today I talk about two things that you should be avoiding and the two things that you should be doing instead. And then one other thing. Watch below to find out what that other thing is.
See you in the comments.