Weightlifting Workout Gear – PowerBlocks

November 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Gym Equiment, Stay-Fit Bug Shop, The Fitness Bug

As the winter month’s creep in I would assume that many of you are running back indoors like scaredy cats to start your winter home weightlifting workouts.  If so then I know that your main concern will be to maintain the fine physique that you have built throughout the year.

To do so you will need home gym equipment that will allow you to do that, regardless of the type of exercise that you do.

When I first started to workout in my teen years, I didn’t have much money, along with all my other teenage buddies at the time.  And all of us put money together to build our own home gym, which actually ended up just being in a garage or bedroom.

But there was one issue that always bugged us when it came to building an area that we could actually workout in?

SPACE!

There just wasn’t enough of it, and unless you live in a decent sized house, this will be an issue for quite a few of you reading this too. There are various types of equipment that will take up space in your home weights room more than others, but apart from the weights bench (Which is more of a necessary fixture) One of the pieces of equipment that takes up the most space are dumbbells, barbells and weights racks.

For a while I pretty much just got used to that, but when I flew overseas and stayed in a friends (spacious) apartment, I noticed this tiny radiator/ power bomb looking thing over in the corner of the room.  And I later found out that it was a set of,

Powerblocks

So not only did the thing look cool, I also found out that it can stack a massive 90lbs of weight (on each hand) all within its compact size!

What! Are you serious! How does that work?

Yea, I’m serious. I won’t bother go  into a deep level of detail of how I started to use them just yet, but these are the essentials of how the Powerblocks work.

It is made up of 3 parts

The core – The PowerBlock handle

This fits inside the first weight. The first weight fits inside the second weight, the second weight fits inside the third weight and so on.

The weight selector pin

This slides into the sides of the PowerBlock just like the pin on a weight stack. When you lift the weight, all of the weights above the selector pin are lifted at the same time. When you are done with the exercise, you place the block back in the middle of the unused weights.

All quite simple, as all good things should be.

Now I am not going to get overly happy and start telling you that you should sell your iron free weights and persuade the bosses of your local gyms to do the same and replace them with Powerblocks. That’s a bit extreme. But what I will tell you to do is to replace or sell your dumbbells for the Powerblocks. As I am going to be bold enough to say that it is that good of a solution for your home gym workouts and will allow you to perform all of those exercises that you do in the gym, but with some added benefits.

Check the stats

  • Saves space
  • Eliminates the time delay of changing weights caused by using ordinary dumbbells
  • Is safe and secure to use (Which was a main concern)
  • Has a magnet in place to prevent the weights slipping (A never ending problem with ordinary dumbbells)
  • Provides wrist support

(As most of you may have experienced, when you lift dumbbells and if you are a natural skinny guy, it sometimes feels like your wrists are going to snap. This solves that problem)

Don’t be cheap

It is a true saying that saving money is a smart man’s move, regardless of who you are. But being cheap will only hurt you in the long run because,

1) You can’t visualise the goal of increasing the weight   (Which we know you will want to do) as the max weight won’t be present.

2) You will actually end up wasting more time and possibly money, buying additional weights.

3) Will have a non-efficient workout routine and goal from the off.

The weights coming in 5 sizes

* 3-24 lbs
* 5-50 lbs
* 2.5-55 lbs
* 2.5-90 lbs
* 2.5-130 lbs

And you can buy a 50lb set for around $250. But you are better off going for the full set which I found on Amazon.com for $687.00. You can check that out here.

PowerBlock Elite 90 Adjustable 5 to 90-Pounds per Dumbbell Set

If you do so then you know that set will be an asset for years to come, and when it comes to your yearly winter home workout, you won’t think twice about what you need to prepare for when it comes to dumbbell exercises.

You’ve seen the pictures and you’ve read about me babbling on about the Powerblocks, now here’s a video of them in action.

And the promised ‘dumbbell only’ weightlifting routine.

Have you used any dumbbell alternatives?

Have you already used the Powerblocks?

Got Questions, comments or even feedback? Hit me down in the comments section.

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Iron Gym Xtreme Chin Pull Up Bar Review

September 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Gym Equiment, The Fitness Bug

xtreme-iron-gym


I hope you are all enjoying your weekend wherever you are, but today will be the last of the products that will be of use to you for your bodyweight workouts. After that, no more talk of bodyweight exercises until the e-book.

Now I’m a bit of a traditional exercise guy at heart, as that is how I started off in the fitness and weightlifting world. When I attended university and worked part-time, I would workout during my breaks and after work, doing only bodyweight workouts with exercises including:

  • Dips
  • Chin ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Press-ups

In the very beginning I had no money to go to the gym and I would perform all of these exercises on a recreation sports ground that had a high chin up pull up bar and two parallel bars for dips exercises.

As with most things, the way in which you learn something in the beginning is how you’ll probably do them for the present and future (all a part of muscle memory). So that is where my traditional bodyweight training mind set comes from and why I tend to make bodyweight exercises compulsory in all of my workout routines.

However, as time goes on and we learn about new ways of doing things for fitness, new products will inevitably be created that will allow for easier execution of exercises and some times enhance performance. The P90x workout programme is a great example of that.

Although traditional ways of working out is embedded into my workout roots, I am definitely a fan of change and trying new things, especially in the fitness world. That is the reason why I am now here talking about the Iron Gym Xtreme chin pull up bar.

iron-gym-xtreme-pull-upiron-gym-xtreme-sit-up

iron-gym-xtreme-dips-exerciseiron-gym-xtreme-pushup
First impressions of this bar may throw you off a little, but the pictures I have added should give you some idea of what you can do with it. Just know that change is good, and that this change is fairly new compared to a normal door chin up bar.

First impressions

Yes! I was initially unsure about this bar. I mean… you’ve got a door chin up bar that is not fixed to the door! What sort of chin up bar is that? So that started ringing some bells in my mind. You’ll look at the pictures and know that you can perform some great bodyweight exercises all with one tool (and which inspired me to share with you all)!

  • Back dips
  • All types of chin up and pull exercise
  • Sit-ups
  • Press-ups

Impressive yes! But it is still a chin up bar that is not fixed to a door.

After a few times of using the bar, I started to see that our ingenious ergonomic fitness product-building friends were onto something, and that it works very well and that it does exactly what it says on the tin. I then found myself slowly saying,

‘ I CAN WORKOUT ON THE MOVE’

That is,

– All doors of my house (no more screwing up the wood work)

– In the hotel (the bathroom door way)

– Girl friends place (more time – some one’s happy now)

Leaving me feeling genuinely happy. I’m usually an early bird with new products, but I was late in adapting to this one. But that should not be you, and you should add this to your arsenal of homegym fitness equipment. And I’ll be sure to include it in future workout routines. I’ll leave you with a video.

View It Here

The Ontel Iron Gym Xtreme

Bonuses!

Discount codes to use at checkout: 5off100 / 10Off200

You can also checkout other fitness equipment over at

Stayfitbug.com Bodybuilding Resources

See you in the comments.

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Altus Deluxe Door Chin Up Bar

September 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Gym Equiment, The Fitness Bug

Altus Deluxe Chin Up Bar, 1 Bar Altus Deluxe Chin Up Bar, 1 BarAltus Deluxe Chin Up Bar, 1 Bar

The Ultimate Upper Body And Abdominal Workout!


Some of you may still be buzzing from the unique bodyweight exercises. But before i give you the Ebook lowdown on that, i would like to prepare you for those bodyweight workouts that I’m sure you’ll be doing as we lead up to the festive season in these sure to be cold winter months.

The door chin up bar

If you haven’t already got one of these, then this should be the first piece of home gym equipment that you should get. I’m now onto my 2nd chin up bar that I’ve put onto a 2nd door in my home.

Why?

Well, The chin up bar allows you to perform some of the best bodyweight exercises there are that will give you the best strength gains.

  • Chin ups
  • Pull ups (Wide grip, close grip, both with a dipping belt)
  • Hanging Leg raises

And when you are just relaxing in your home, or feeling energetic after a good meal, you can just easily jump on to the bar and max out on a few sets of the above bodyweight exercises. No real preparation, just spontaneous muscle action.

There are many chin up bars you can buy out there, but this was the 2nd one I bought earlier this year. It’s been pretty sturdy since putting it up and hasn’t given me any problems (such as falling down scares when in use!). This one is better than my all steel chin up bar as it has rubber handles that don’t slip, which also absorbs sweat from your hands. The grips are actually a vital accessory for any chin up bar, and if you have performed chin ups on a groove-less steel bar, then you’ll know how frustrating slipping across the bar can be during a workout. If you truly are heavy handed then you can always use a paper towel for extra grip, although i don’t think it will be necessary. (see picture)

Atlus-chin-up-bar-1atlus-chin-up-bar-2

atlus-chin-up-bar-4

So if you haven’t yet got one, be sure to get it, as the Ebook won’t be to far off, and i definitely want you to be ready in time for that. I’ll be updating you on a few other must-have bodyweight exercise accessories, until then, get pulling.

But wait…

Whether you have been hit by the recession or not, one can always save money… right? Any how, I’ll leave you with these coupons for you bodyweight enthusiasts.

Take $5.00 Off Your $100 Order! Use coupon code 5off100.

Take $10.00 Off Your $200 Order! Use coupon code 10off200.

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TRX Door Anchor

September 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Gym Equiment, The Fitness Bug

TRX Door Anchor

Home workout_Fitness at homeHome workout_fitness  at home

In a previous post (Hotel Workout) I talked about the importance of keeping fit while on vacation, without letting your workout routine disrupt your ‘holiday time’. For my home workouts, i use a chin up bar placed between a door frame. This allows me to maintain my muscle mass while I’m not at the gym. But while I’m away i use a door anchor instead, as i know most hotels don’t build there rooms around fitness and workout needs. My first reaction when i first got introduced to this tool was, ‘Is this thing even safe…what if it slips off the top when I’m using it?’. You are probably thinking that right now, but rest assured, it really is safe to use. I personally use it for building and maintaining my triceps, forearms and back shoulders. But the versatility of this thing is great so you can use it in a variety of ways for different muscle groups and it will work those muscles you may usually miss doing normal exercises. If you:

  1. Workout at home
  2. Travel a lot
  3. Have no time for the gym

Then add this to your collection of home gym accessories if you haven’t already done so.

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Gourmet Nutrition Cookbook

September 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Books

Gourmet Nutrition Cookbook

Fitness books

As i have stated before, I’m not really much of a book reader. What i tend to do is take excerpts from books and save them on to my laptop or iphone for reference to read later on. On the home page i have a rule:

BUGS RULES: #5 It’s OK to pig out on food sometimes, you are human after all. What’s the point of it all without a little rule breaking!

This i do believe. But one must still remain fit and focused. A solution to those visiting this site would be this book. Before i picked this book up, i did do a lot of searching around as there are a lot of ‘bad’ books out there and this wasn’t a usual recommendation from a friend. The first thing i noticed is that the books format is like a ‘cookbook’ and a ‘manual’ and if you are a single guy/girl or not a good cook like myself… I’d say, get this book! The authors are the main reason i like this book. They go out of their way to give step by step guidance on how to actually process the meals outlined properly. Some highlights:

  • Building your Gourmet Nutrition – Everything you need to know about putting together a solid kitchen.
  • Gourmet Recipes – 101 recipes that taste great and anyone can make (no previous cooking skills required).
  • Cooking Tips – 18 cooking tips to make meal preparation a lot easier.
  • Nutritional Facts and Strategies -25 hints, tips, and bits of nutritional information to enhance your nutritional knowledge.

There really aren’t any stand out negatives that i think i need to warn you about here, so that is a good and rare thing for sure. The last thing I’ll say which is good is that it comes in and e-book format, so you can put it on your iphone/ Sony reader/ Kindle for reading on the move or if you travel.

Feel free to get back to me once you have it, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Scrawny to Brawny- The Complete Guide to Building Muscle the Natural Way

September 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Books

The Complete Guide to Building Muscle the Natural Way (Paperback)

 

Since starting this site i have talked quite a bit about going from ectomorph to a daddy mammoth. If my advice to you so far hasn’t been enough, then this is a gem you can stash away and retrieve when ever you don’t have an encouraging voice to turn to. I’m not much of a book reader myself, but this one held my attention as i was reading excerpts from a friends copy, so i got my own and started to read it from the beginning.
My number one problem with the book… is the meal plans outlined get a bit vague when it comes to your own caloric needs. Plus, the author constantly pushes his website in the book.

The other issue I have with the book, is lack of organization. He uses terms like “the above table”….when the table is on another page. There is a lot of flipping around in the book too. Grrrr!

I like the style of writing this author has. It’s comical while still keeping to the point. It is very “Men’s health” like in style.

Other than those small issues, Scrawny to Brawny isn’t just a book… as i said, it is a book you can turn to when ever that encouraging voice isn’t present.

If what i have outlined above relates to you and if you still love the ‘physical’ book, give it a shot.

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Progryp 100% Leather dipping belt

September 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Gym Equiment

Progryp 100% Leather Dipping Belt, One Size Fits All, Black Progryp 100% Leather Dipping Belt, One Size Fits All, Black

A Durable And Comfortable Way To Increase The Safety Of Each Lift!






I can’t actually believe i have left it so late to share my favorite toy with you all. For those who don’t know what this is, a dipping belt is something you wear to add extra weight to your body while doing bodyweight exercises such as chin ups and pull ups (see ‘ How to build lats (wings) like these‘ ). This is what you need to have when certain exercises become very easy, which means you have gained strength and have gotten used to lifting your own body weight. exercises such as

  • Chin ups
  • Pull ups
  • Dips

The reason I recommend the leather one is because it is more durable than material belts (lasts longer). if this product looks alien to you it could be becasue you don’t see many guys doing chin ups/ pull ups in the gym. If that is so, i can tell you this…. they do not know the secret to build functional raw strength! But if you have seen people using this and you have wondered what it is… now you know! For more understanding on how it works,

And again, read that post to get an idea of how i used it.

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Optimum Nutrition – 100 Whey Gold Standard Review

September 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Supplements, The Fitness Bug

ON 100% Whey Protein

100 whey protein gold standard

Product: Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Protein (100 whey protein gold standard)

Focus: Protein Gainer

MSRP: $11.99 for a 1lb (pounds) container (view the flavors and cheap supplement prices here)

Available: Online

This is the protein that I’ve been using on and off for the last 18 months or so, unlike my recent review of N-Large 2. There have been a lot of questions of ‘Should i get it, Should i not’ going around on online and in the gym i go to, so i thought I’d come home and give everyone a verdict.

Just like N-large 2 this is a very high quality protein powder. The main difference with this one is that when you blend it, it really does dissolve better.

How i used it

I would recommend taking one scoop when waking up, and 2 scoops after workout. I personally would also recommend that any who wants to add serious muscle mass to also purchase creatine. As you know, the one i tried was BSN cell mass.

The flavours

1- Tropical punch ( this stuff tastes like juice!! and goes down) VERY EASY.

2- Delicious Strawberry ( Very light, tastes great and easy to drink)

3- Cookies and cream ( Taste pretty good and easy to drink as well)

4. Rocky Road (You need to taste this one!)

Some people state that you should mix milk, but i think that this messes up the protein formula, so i wouldn’t recommend doing that. However, it does make it taste better and it makes for a great protein shake. A combination that I frequently mix together is

1. Whey Protein

2. Dextrose ( A form of sugar)

3. Glutamine

And i take that around 30 minutes to an hour after a workout.

Just like my other reviews, this is the good stuff. Go for a few 1lb containers of different flavors. That way you get to gain weight in style 🙂

Remember!

1. There are no reported side affects (It has been 2 years of using as of now)

2. Always keep a good diet when using Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein. No protein supplement will replace a bad diet, it will only fill the body full of nutrients that it may lack.

For all of you factual types I’ll leave you with the key benefits that you get from this.

  1. ON 100% Whey Gold Standard provides more whey protein isolates (WPI) – the purest and most expensive source of whey protein available.
  2. Higher protein percentage. ON’s 100% Whey Gold Standard has always been a leader in this respect. Now with 24 grams of protein in just slightly over one-ounce serving, it’s nearly 79% protein by weight!
  3. We’ve included more HydroWhey strategically hydrolyzed, low molecular weight whey peptides to make ON’s 100% Whey Gold Standard even faster acting!
  4. ON’s 100% Whey Gold Standard now contains lactase and Aminogen digestive enzymes to further enhance absorption and make this product even more friendly to lactose intolerant individuals.
  5. ON’s 100% Whey Gold Standard is instantized to mix easily and completely with just a few twirls of a spoon.
  6. Every serving supplies even more low, moderate, and high molecular weight, biologically active whey protein microfractions including Alpha-lactalbumin, Glycomacropeptides, Beta-lactoglobulin, Immunoglobulin G (IgG), Lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, and various growth factors.
  7. Over 4 grams of glutamine and glutamine precursors as well as 5 grams of BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) in each scoop!

 

You can also checkout other supplements over at

Stayfitbug.com (The official guide 2018)

See you on the next review

Bugs Out!

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Bugs Recommended Product Review: Prolabs N-Large 2

August 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Supplements, The Fitness Bug

N-Large 2 for protein gains

Prolabs N-Large 2

It’s that time again, to share the goodness with you all! I always do get asked about products that I have tried or tested, and I will continue to share whenever I do.  I actually started to use this product back in July, but I didn’t want to post anything about it until a few weeks had passed so that I could give a worthy verdict.

Product: N-Large 2 by Prolab (Monster supplement)

Focus: High Protein Gainer

MSRP: $23.99 for a 3.8lb (pounds) container (view the flavours and cheap supplement prices here)

Available: Online

Remember

Always aim for a good diet before beginning to take ANY supplement!

Why?

Because no supplement can be a replacement for a bad diet!

Just like cod liver oil, it can give the body any nutrients that it maybe lacking in, but it will not fix a bad diet. Get that in order first. If you want a good starter, check Bugs killer foods for fitness.

Many of you may have heard of or even tried N-Large 2, but for the purpose of those that are in the stayfitbug.com community on and offline and who have been asking, here is my verdict.

Now to begin with, I only decided to put this product to the test while I wait for newer product samples to arrive. They should be on their way in the coming weeks so keep your eyes pealed for some fresh recommendations.

N-Large 2 has gotten a lot of praise since it has been around, and after using it for 6 weeks, I can see why.

It works!

One of the key things I look for when trying these supplements is that they have to at least taste good, and this does taste pretty good for a supplement. If your supplement doesn’t have a good taste, then I really don’t see the point in taking it. That would be like voluntarily taking a disgusting tasting medicine… something you would not do. If you are, then stop!

N-Large 2 comes in 3 flavours

  • Strawberry
  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla

I took the vanilla flavour, as that tends to taste good in most food variations.

It’s all pretty simple to make,

1) Mix

2) Stick it in a blender (recommended)

3) Drink

That’s all but a 2-minute job, so there is no messing about. If you want you can make your own mixes, but I just stuck to the instructions on the pack. For those 6 weeks I drank it 4 times a day along with my usual meals, but 3 times a day is what the average person should take for this to start to work and show results.

In the first 4 weeks of using this, I gained a whooping 14 POUNDS! (ONE WHOLE STONE). For myself, that is a great weight increase and a boost in the levels of proteins that my body needs. To be specific on the amount of calories I would consume daily, it was approximately 1900 calories (4 servings). It sounds like a lot, but keep in mind that I would be burning a lot of calories during my workouts, and taking a shake of this stuff after a workout would help replace those calories that I had lost.

Just like my other supplement review over at recommended products, this one also gave me no side affects. Quite often supplements like these can leave you feeling bloated (a horrible feeling), but that was not the case here.

My only problem with taking N- Large 2 is that if you decide to take it, you must keep on taking it. If you stop then all that weight and muscle you put on will just start to disappear, even if you maintain your workout schedule (which I noticed around week 7). So make sure you start as you mean to go on whether it is once a day or 4 times a day.

All is good and well here, and as I stated. It works! If you decide to give it a try, then,

1) Go for the Vanilla flavour

2) Take it in moderation

3) Start off with the 3.8 lb container. (Should last you around 2-3 weeks)

See you on the next review.

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