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Supported Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Supported Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Hold a dumbbell in your right hand, place your left hand on a bench in front of you, and assume a staggered stance, left foot forward. Hold your elbow in as you row the wight to the side of your torso. Do 10 reps, switch arms and leg positions, and repeat the movement.

Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

Grab a pair of dumbbells, bend your knees and lean forward so your torso is nearly parallel to the floor. Tuck your upper arms next to your sides, bend your elbows, and hold your forearms about parallel to the floor, palms facing up. Simultaneously extend your arms straight back and rotate the weight so your palms end up facing each other. Return to the starting position. Do 15 reps.

Dumbbell Hammer Curl and Press

Dumbbell Hammer Curl and Press

Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a pair of dumbbells at arm's length by your sides, palms facing each other. Without moving your upper arms, curl the weights to your shoulders, and then press them overhead until your arms are straight. Reverse the move to return to the starting position. Do 10 reps.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Best Exercises for Asthma

You may even think that you need to avoid exercise. This is a mistake – everyone needs exercise, and you simply need to know the best exercise for asthma patients.

asthma exercises

Management of Your Asthma

Before you start seeking out various exercises or activities that you can participate in, it is vital that you learn how to manage your asthma, and get it under control first. You should work with your doctor on this. He or she should prescribe medications that will help a great deal, and you may be advised to avoid certain foods and other triggers.

Additionally, your doctor should prescribe you an emergency inhaler, which should be with you at all times – especially when you are participating in physical activity. Your doctor may even suggest that you use an inhaler right before you start doing any type of physical activity to prevent an attack. Once your asthma is well controlled, you are ready to start getting some exercise.

The Best Type of Exercise for Asthma

The best types of exercises for people who have asthma are the ones that have periods of activity and periods of rest. One example of this is baseball or volleyball. Exercises or activities that involve constant exertion are not always ideal for people who have asthma.

One exception to this rule, however, is swimming. Swimming usually isn’t a problem for people who have asthma because of the moist environment – especially in a heated pool, or outdoors on a warm day.

Make Exercise Fun and Safe

As an asthma patient, you are not free to just start exercising without a bit of planning. For example, you need to warm up, and cool down after physical activity. You may need to take time to use your inhaler before activity. If you are outdoor in cold weather, and exerting yourself, this could easily lead to an asthma attack, so you may need to wear a mask. There may be other factors that apply to your specific case, and other specific precautions that you need to take based on that. Be sure to discuss exercise and physical activity with your doctor first.

Monday, March 28, 2016

10 Simple Tips to Improve Energy Levels

There are simple tips to improve energy levels for everyone.

improve energy levels

You Need Energy

Think about all of the things that you do each day, or that you need to be doing each day. You need to clean your home, dress, go to work, run errands and pay bills, connect with friends and family members, spend time with the kids, spend time with your partner, and so much more. Every bit of this requires some level of energy, and without that energy, you won’t be able to do any of these things that are a big part of your life.

10 Ways to Get More Energy

  1. Get more sleep – Most people lack energy due to lack of sleep. Get at least eight hours of sleep each night – and make sure that it is restful sleep.
  2. Eat a better diet – Eat food higher in magnesium, higher grain foods, and consume more water. Avoid foods that are ‘heavy’ or full of fats. Avoid refined foods as much as possible. Get lots of protein, fruits and vegetables.
  3. Get off the couch – Sitting around doing nothing at all will cause low energy levels. If you start moving, you’ll automatically have more energy.
  4. Lay off the sugar -
  5. Take a Cat Nap – If you are constantly on the move, and you mind is constantly going, you will benefit greatly from a short cat nap – or power nap.
  6. Get less sleep – Some people lack energy because they sleep too much. You need eight hours of rest, but you should avoid sleeping for more than ten hours in a twenty four hour period.
  7. Avoid Stress – Stress will suck the life and energy right out of you. If you cannot avoid stress, use stress reducing techniques, such as meditation and massages.
  8. Workout – Your workout may take a lot of energy, but it also produces a lot of energy.
  9. Avoid certain people – Some people will suck the life right out of you. They are negative and exhausting just to be around. Try avoiding them as much as possible.
  10. Visit your doctor – Get some blood work done just to make sure that all of your levels are correct. If even the tiniest thing is off in your blood content, this could cause a major lack of energy.

When Low Energy Levels Are a Problem

If you have taken steps to increase your energy levels, and you still find that you are fatigued, you probably need to see a doctor. Lack of energy can indicate a health problem. The health problem may be easily taken care of, or it could be very serious. You won’t know for sure until you visit your doctor, and make sure that your doctor is taking you seriously.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Preventing Muscles Loss Due to Aging

It’s a biological fact that as most people age their arms and legs become visibly smaller. This is due to shrinkage of the muscles. Along with smaller muscles comes less strength and the increased risk of falling and fracturing or breaking a bone. Researchers are looking at this phenomenon and its causes and solutions.

preventing muscle loss

A group of researchers from The University of Nottingham Schools of Graduate Entry Medicine and Biomedical Sciences believe the cause of muscle wasting could be two-fold. First, research seems to indicate that when older people eat their bodies do not produce muscle as fast as young peoples body’s do. Secondly, the suppression of muscle breakdown, which typically happens with feeding, becomes sluggish in older adults.

It appears the biological/hormonal processes that occur in younger people associated with slowing down or stopping muscle breakdown after eating are retarded in older adults.When they eat they don’t build enough muscle with the protein in food; also, the insulin (a hormone released during a meal) fails to shut down the muscle breakdown that rises between meals and overnight.

Researchers believe these problems may stem from the fact that nutrients and hormones are not reaching the muscles due to a reduced blood flow. The reduction in blood flow is considered to be a result of inactivity and aging. However they believe weight training may “rejuvenate” muscle blood flow and help retain muscle for older people.

Professor Michael Rennie, Dr Emilie Wilkes, and their colleagues at The University of Nottingham isolated one amino acid in the legs of both young and old candidates. Test were then done to determine how much protein was actually broken down and used by the muscle before leaving the body. Results indicated the younger people’s muscles were able to use the insulin to halt muscle breakdown while the older people weren’t.

The test also demonstrated something very interesting, the blood flow in the leg of the younger people was greater than that of the older people. Professor Rennie said, “this made us think that maybe the supply of nutrients and hormones was also lower in the older people.”

Beth Phillips, a PhD student working with Professor Rennie, confirmed his speculation. After predicting weight training would reverse the effects of aging and inactivity on blood flow and thus nutrients supplied to the legs, older people were tested. After three sessions of weight training per week for 20 weeks, Phillips found weight lifting ‘rejuvenated’ the leg blood flow responses of the older people. They became identical to those in the young.

Once again we are remind that there are many benefits associated with a health lifestyle. It is never too late to begin implementing activities that lead to living a healthy lifestyle.

"Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing." -Oliver Wendell Holmes

Monday, March 21, 2016

Pectoral Exercises for Chest Workout

The pectoral muscles (pecs, referring to Pectoralis major and minor), are located on the chest. Working these muscles is the key purpose of any chest workout, and there is a variety of exercises that all train and strengthen the chest. Following are the most basic and best pectoral exercises for a chest workout.

Pectoral Exercises

Bench Press, the Ultimate Chest Workout Exercise

The bench press is one of the most popular gym exercises for chest workouts. It directly targets the chest, and also works the triceps and deltoids, for a complete upper body workout. The bench press requires an exerciser to lie with his or her back on a bench, and lift a bar up and down, so that it lowers, with elbows bent, to the chest, and then is pushed up as the arms are extended, vertically. The bar is loaded with weight on each end.

There are many different variations of the bench press, but for all, gym goers are recommended to lift a safe amount of weight; having someone to "spot," or look after the one doing exercises also allows for more safety, and an easier time lifting more weight. Bench presses may also be performed on machines (such as chest press machines) which allow the exercise, or with free weights, where exercisers maintain the same positions and motions that they would when lifting a bar.

Fly Chest Workout Exercises to Strengthen the Pectoral Muscles

Flyes are exercises that require the use of free weights. The chest fly, which targets the pectorals, but also works the upper arm biceps and triceps is a very easy exercise to perform. To do it, one must lie with the back on a bench, with arms straight out to the sides (horizontally), and hands holding free weights. Then, the exerciser brings his or her arms up to a vertical position, so that hands, clasping weights, are beside each other. Then, arms are lowered down until they are completely open, and the process is repeated. This may also be performed on the popular chest fly machine.

Cable Crossover Machine Pectoral Exercises

The cable crossover machine is an excellent tool for those seeking a great chest workout. It has two cables coming from opposite sides, and the exerciser may select the amount of weight, hold each handle at the end of each cable, with arms out to the sides, and then bring the arms in to meet in front of the body, pulling the attached weight with the motion. This is almost instantly felt in the chest, and it also works the arms and shoulders.

There are many other at-home chest exercises that work the pectorals. Push ups, dips, pull ups, and others all strengthen the upper body and chest. Though some of the workout exercises listed above are physically hard, pain is a good thing, and it indicates success, and continuing successful workouts will certainly lead to desirable results.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Speed Up Your Workout with Circuits

circuit training

For most people finding time to work out is the biggest road block to healthy living. But by changing your workout routine to circuit training, you can work on your fitness in a much shorter time and may even find you are getting the results you want quicker.

What is Circuit Training?

Circuit Training is where you do each exercise of your workout in a row without taking a break. You do one set of an exercise and then move on to the next one without taking time to recover.

The exercise can be done in a complementary manner, where the exercises are opposite each other such as following a bench press with a standing row. Or the exercises can be done in a random pattern but making sure that all muscle groups and their counter muscle groups are being addressed.

The advantage of circuit training is immense and not only due to the time savings. By continually working the body, the heart rate is kept up which aids in fat burning. In addition, circuit training also fatigues the muscle quicker making each exercise more intense and thus promoting more growth or toning.

Circuit Training Basics

Circuit Training exercises come in all shapes in sizes and can include pretty much any exercise the person working out wants.

Circuit basically means that you are just combining the exercises together to complete one “set” in your workout. Workouts are called circuits when they include more than two or three exercises. These other workout techniques are known as supersets.

For circuit training, the participant chooses what exercises he wants to include in the circuit. When putting together a circuit it is important to remember to include exercises that balance out your workout. For example a good circuit may look like this: bench (pectorals), lat pulls (back), curls (biceps), tri pull downs (triceps), military press (shoulders) and standing row (upper back and obliques).

Every other exercise in this circuit complements the one before it, working the opposite muscle group. This will help prevent injury to your joints and muscles due to uneven muscle growth.

Circuit Training in the Gym

If you are not sure what kind of exercises you want to do or are new to the fitness center, the best way to start circuit training is by finding an all-in-one machine.

Most fitness centers and gyms have these machines and they can be distinguished by their size and that they have several bars and stations usually attached to a central area that houses the weights.

These machines help in circuit training because by doing every exercise on the machine, you are probably working every desired muscle group and its opposite. It can be a great way to get into circuit training without having to put much thought in it.

Circuit Training and Free Weights

Of course circuit training can also be done with free weights. If you are experienced with free weights or have researched what exercises you would like to do, free weights can be a great way to go.

There are two ways to utilize free weights depending on your weight lifting goals. If muscle growth and size are the purposes behind your workout, then doing a circuit with different weights depending on your ability in each exercise is key. For example, you may lift 55 pound dumbbells for the bench and then curl 35 pound dumbbells.

The other way to use free weights in a circuit is for toning. This can be done by choosing a weight that you can handle easily in any of your chosen exercises. With this circuit, the reps are increased. Even with little weight, you will see your muscles become more defined. If results are lacking, experiment with lifting more weight or increasing your reps even further.

Add Cardio to Burn Fat

If the goal of your workout is to burn as much fat as possible, adding running or other cardio exercises to your circuit will help you achieve that goal.
To accomplish this, simply add five to ten minute bursts of cardio after you do one or two exercises. Again, remember to move onto the next exercise quickly without resting.

Examples of cardio exercises you can add to your workout would be stationary bike, running on a treadmill and even jumping rope. Exercises like stair climbers and ellipticals are also great for cardio but really work your legs. If you are doing leg workouts as part of your circuit, you may want to avoid adding those to your circuit rotation.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Best Adjustable Dumbbell Hand Weight Sets

best adjustable dumbbell
Quick weight changes are needed for circuit training workouts that use free weights (such as P90X and ChaLEAN Extreme). Loading and unloading the round plates one-by-one on classic spin-lock dumbbells is slow. Pausing the video to keep up is no fun. Fixed hexagonal dumbbells are fast to change but take up a whole rack.

The answer is modern quick-change adjustable dumbbells. Weight changes can be completed in 30 seconds or less. This gives them the space-saving benefits of spin-locks and the quick convenience of fixed weights. However they are usually more expensive, bulky (interfering with full range of motion), noisy (clanking plates) and fragile.

Prices of quick-change dumbbells range from $100 to over $500. Examples of brands include Bowflex SelectTech, PowerBlock, Ironmaster Quick Lock, Bayou, Reebok, Gold's Gym, Xvest TurboBells, TITAN, Stamina Versa-Bell, Weider and Lifecore Corebell.

How to Choose Adjustable Dumbbell Sets

Quick-change dumbbells have limits on the weights that can be added:
  • Maximum weight is roughly 25, 50 or 100 pounds for each dumbbell; depending on the model. Some models can be expanded to higher weights with an optional kit. A few manufacturers specify the combined weight of both dumbbells on the box, others specify the weight of one, so there is a possibility of confusion. Some dumbbells are sold singly, not as a pair, which can also cause confusion.
  • Weight increments are usually 2.5, 5 or 10 pounds. Small 25 pound dumbbells have 2.5 pound increments, with heavier dumbbells having larger increments. Wrist weights can be used to fine-tune smaller increments.

Other considerations are:
  • Quick-change speed. Are there one or two selector controls for each dumbbell? (One is faster.) Is it easy to insert and remove plates or do the plates jam up?
  • Plate rattle. Do the plates bang together and make noise?
  • Safety. Are there any dangerous sharp edges, corners, or pins sticking out?
  • Mechanism safety and durability. Are the plates securely fastened? Can the mechanism be mistakenly partially engaged, allowing plates to fall off in the middle of a lift? Are there any plastic parts that could break if dropped?
  • Length and width. Are the dumbbells fixed length or do they grow with each additional plate? Fixed length dumbbells are bulky even with few weights attached.
  • Balance. Are the dumbbells evenly balanced at all weights? Some dumbbells are asymmetrically weighted for half of all weight increments (say 10 pounds on one end, 7.5 pounds on the other; then 10 pounds on both ends for the next increment; then 12.5 pounds and 10 pounds). Some dumbbells can't be asymmetrically weighted even if desired (say 5 pounds and 15 pounds, useful for some exercises).
  • Double-handed use. Is it possible to hold one dumbbell with both hands? This is required for some exercises.
  • Custom base. Is a special base required to change the weights or will any flat surface do?

Types of Mechanisms for Adjustable Dumbbell Systems

Dial controls (example: Bowflex SelectTech, TITAN) are the easiest to use. The required weight is selected by turning a dial. An internal mechanism locks individual weight plates to the handle. When the handle is lifted, the unused (unlocked) weights are left behind.

  • Easy to use. No mental arithmetic is needed to calculate the required combination of plates.
  • Dial has to be turned to select each weight in sequence. Ten or more clicks of the dial can be required to reach the desired weight.
  • Complex mechanism might be delicate, easily damaged if dropped.
Selector-pin systems (example: PowerBlock) use steel rods to select and hold the plates. The pin or rod is pushed through different holes to select different weight increments.

  • Simple and usually robust.
  • Easy to use. No mental arithmetic is needed to calculate the required combination of plates.
  • Same change-speed for any weight increment. No need to dial through the whole range (random access).
  • Need to align the pin to the holes in each plate. Some jiggling may be required.
  • Possible to misalign pins during insertion.

Quick-release systems (example: Ironmaster Quick Lock) are similar to spin-lock dumbbells. The difference is that a locking nut doesn't need to be unscrewed down the length of the bar. However each plate still needs to be loaded and unloaded one-by-one.

  • Strong locking mechanism, possibly drop-proof.
  • Slower than other quick-change systems, but still faster than spin-locks.
  • Mental arithmetic is needed to calculate the total weight.
This is not a complete list of the different types. Other designs and variations are possible.

The Best Adjustable Dumbbell System

For home gym hand weights, there are many brands. PowerBlock and Bowflex SelectTech are well known. However there are many other brands that could better fit an individual's requirements. Different brands can vary greatly in cost, ruggedness, speed and bulk. Some effort spent on research (using the considerations listed earlier) and reading user reviews on the Internet, can prevent a serious case of buyer's remorse.

Home gym weight machines should also be considered.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

What is Powerlifting?

Powerlifting is a sport in which competitors test their strength across three different lifts. Overall body strength is the key to good performance in powerlifting. Just as sprinting is a pure test of speed, powerlifting is a pure test of strength.


The lifts used in powerlifting

Powerlifters compete across three lifts. Those lifts are the Bench Press, the Deadlift, and the Squat.

Lifters have three chances to post a score in each lift. To post a score, the lifter must successfully complete the lift with good form throughout. If the lifter fails to post a score in a particular lift, they are disqualified from the competition.

The Powerlifting Squat

In a powerlifting squat, the lifter tales the bar across their shoulders, then bends his legs until the thighs are below parallel to the floor. This is classed as the descent. Once the descent is complete, the lifter must stand up again to complete the lift. If the lifter does not squat deep enough, or is not able to stand back up on their first attempt, the lift will be classed as a failure.

The Powerlifting Bench Press

To do a powerlifting bench press, the lifter must lie on the bench, hold the bar in both hands, lower it to their chest, pause briefly with the barbell on the chest, then press it back up. Some arching of the back is allowed, but the lifter’s buttocks must always be touching the bench. No downward movement of the bar is allowed during the upward part of the press.

The Powerlifting Deadlift

The powerlifting deadlift involves pulling the barbell from the floor (using whichever grip the lifter prefers), until the lifter is standing upright with the bar held in front of them. The lift should be a fluid motion. No “hitching” of the bar using the thighs for support is allowed.

Divisions and Weight Classes in Powerlifting

Some powerlifting competitions allow the use of supportive equipment such as wraps, belts, and lifting shirts. These are classed as “equipped” competitions. The equipment used at equipped powerlifting competitions allows the competitors to lift heavier weights.

In contrast, there are “unequipped” competitions, where supportive equipment is not allowed. These competitions are usually aimed at beginners, and the weights moved a lower, but still impressive.

Men and women compete in separate divisions in powerlifting. Within each division there are weight classes, and also classes for different age groups, with younger lifters competing in junior age groups, and separate master’s divisions for lifters over the age of 40.

Competing in Powerlifting

There are several different powerlifting federations. One of the most well known is the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF). Those wishing to compete in the sport of powerlifting should contact the IPF to learn more about the sport, and to find out about local divisions and powerlifting friendly gyms.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Weight Lifting for Distance Runners

distance runners
Not only will lifting weights improve your speed, a properly designed weight lifting program will help you recover faster from tough training runs (and allow you to increase their intensity), enhance your joint stability and lower your risk of injury.

Distance runners, generally, are loathe to spend time training in a weight room, unless its on a treadmill when the weather is particularly brutal. But research – and the experience of top runners – is finding that the benefits of weight training, for male and female runners, are too important to ignore.

Why Runners Don’t Lift

Part of the appeal to running is that it’s a pure sport: good shoes, shorts, a warm up and an interesting course make for a perfect day.
For many runners, time spent training in the weight room is better spent running: increased mileage put in a running log is like money in the bank.

There’s also the misperception that weight lifting will make a runner tight or add extra muscle weight that will slow them down. And, unless a workout is tailored to a runner’s needs, that’s true. A football player’s weight room program needs to be different than a distance runner’s.

There’s the fear factor. Some runners are intimidated going into a weight room that’s jammed with “muscleheads” pumping enormous weights and their lack of weight lifting knowledge exacerbates their unease.

For Runners Weight Lifting has a Heavy Upside

Nevertheless, the benefits for runners are enormous. Among them:
  • Weight training reduces the recurrence of hip and back pain.
  • It strengthens connective tissue, muscle and bone.
  • Studies show 10 weeks of moderate strength training can cut over a minute from most runner’s 10K times.
  • Research shows runner’s-knee pain can be lessened or eliminated with six weeks of weight training.
  • Increased stability allows more efficient running, reducing oxygen needs.
  • Finally, weight-trained runners are resistant to injury and, when injuries do occur, they’re likely to be less severe so you can get back into action more quickly.

A Strategy for Getting into the Weight Room

Running places huge stresses on your body and you have to be careful of overtraining. That’s why taking a “seasonal” approach to lifting helps.

Competitive runners can break cycles into in-season, post-season and pre-season segments. For recreational runners, your in-season would be the time during which you plan to put in the most mileage. Those cycles can be broken into microcycles, shorter period of time that would require weight volume changes in your workout. You can learn more about periodization in this article.

Pre-Season Training Sets a Foundation

Pre-season training helps you set a base that should last into your competitive season. This is when you’ll see the biggest gains in your overall strength.
You’ll need to spend three days a week in the weight room for 10-12 weeks prior to your season. You’ll use weights that are 80 percent or so of your tested one-rep maximum (1RM), for 3-4 sets of 5-6 reps.

Try to add 5 pounds to your weights each week and get a day’s rest between workouts for recovery.

Maintaining In-Season Lifting is Critical

In-season lifting is important because, ideally, you’d like to continue to build or maintain strength through the season, peaking as other runners grow weaker. Lift once – or, better – twice a week; two sets of 8-10 reps at 60-65 percent of your 1RM.

Lift twice a week and you’ll be stronger when the big races occur. Listen to your body; take a light day of lifting when needed.

Ah, Recovery – Post-Season is About Renewal

Post-season is for recovery. It’s also a good time to assess and plan workouts based on your season’s success. That assessment often prompts some to jump into the weight room and start pushing bigger weights.

Don’t do it ... at least not right away. For three to five weeks, ease into the weights with a twice a week workout one set of 8-12 reps in the 60% 1RM range. Focus on form, be patient and resist the urge to increase your weights too rapidly. The second stage of post-season lifting should see you back to three sets of 8-12 reps at 65-70%. Lift with reduced rest between sets, say a minute to a minute-and-a-half.

How to Make Your Lifting Time More Productive

  • Train on a schedule.
  • Keep weight logs just like the mileage logs you keep.
  • Lift with a partner, or as part of a group and push each other to get better.
  • Set goals, be it more weight, more reps or even attendance. And write it down.

Work your core every day, with a minimum of four sessions of 200 to 400 reps (make sure you work your entire core); it’s all about stability and that’s where it starts. And remember that lifting just once a week will give you the same kind of results that running once a week would – slim to none.

Muscle Supplements for Weight Training

muscle supplements weight training
Supplementation is a part of most body building and weight training programs. Mass supplements can help bodybuilders to gain size, whereas fat burners contribute to lean, ripped muscle and help you to get cut. Supplements most often come in the form of amino acids and may work to increase energy, recovery time, muscle growth and overall metabolism.

Fat Burners

Certain bodybuilding muscle supplements are labeled fat burners. For instance, l-carnitine helps to decrease body fat by turning fat stores into energy. This helps to increase immediate and long term energy and contribute to more efficient work-outs. Take 400 mg to 4 grams of l-carnitine daily for fat burn. L-arginine is also a fat burner and helps increase oxygen efficiency. Ingest 3 grams to 25 grams per day for ripped muscle. Chromium picolinate and choline help to reduce fat stores as well.

Muscle Growth

Use l-lysine to help muscles grow and maintain mass. Because it helps increase protein stores, it contributes to optimal muscle size. The amino acid arginine has also been shown to increase muscle mass and reduce fat stores to help you get ripped muscle. Branched chain amino acids such as isoleucine, valine and leucine are mass muscle supplements that can help to increase muscle size due to their anabolic properties.

Muscle Repair

L-tyrosine for is a restorative bodybuilding muscle supplement mental sharpness. Take 150 grams to 250 grams daily. L-glutamine is also helpful for recovery purposes, and will help turn protein stores into muscle. Take up to 5 grams per day of this amino acid. Creatine is also helpful for muscle repair and helping to increase energy.

Omega Acids

When you want to get cut, and increase muscle regeneration, consume plenty of omega 3 and omega 6 acids. These can be found in foods such as oily fish (salmon and halibut), nuts and sunflower oil. Omega acids are also available in supplement form in most health food stores.

Bodybuilding Supplementation Recommendations

Most weight training and bodybuilding supplements should not be taken separately, but purchased in supplement form with all of the necessary ingredients needed to obtain the desired result. If you want to gain size, you will likely purchase a mass supplement or drink. To decrease fat or develop more lean body mass, you might purchase a fat burning supplement. Individual supplementation should be taken under the care of a physician to ensure safety. Take a multivitamin as well as amino and omega acids to experience optimal energy levels, muscles size and lean muscle mass.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

How to Choose the Best Home Fitness Gym Machine

Home weight machines can approximate the gym experience. Home gym equipment means no commuting time, and saving money on gym membership. Unlike free weights, exercising with home gym machines usually doesn't require a second person to act as a safety spotter when lifting heavy weights.

There are a wide range of home weight machine models, even from the same manufacturer. It's a good idea to gain some experience in a gym before choosing one. Prices range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

Popular brands include Weider Pro (Crossbow, 8530, 8510), Body-Solid (Powerline, EXM1500s), Marcy, Gold's Gym, Bowflex, BodyCraft, Impex (Powerhouse), Powertec, ParaBody, Schwinn, Stamina (BandFlex), BMI, Tuff Stuff, Vectra, Vigorfit, ICON, Image, Soloflex, Nordic Track, CYBEX, Epic, HealthMax Pro and HOIST.

Fitness Machine Size, Wheels and Folding Designs

Weight machines take up a lot of space. Finding a machine that will fit in the home is important. Some can be as much as eight feet wide, long and high.

Ceiling height needs to be considered, especially for basements. Another one or two feet of space can be needed around the machine to accommodate outstretched limbs or machinery.

Folding machines are desirable but many of the larger and more capable machines don't fold, or fold with difficulty. Smaller machines can be folded to as little as a foot thick. Some have custom wall closets for storage. Wheels are useful but the machine still needs to fit through the door. Many weigh a few hundred pounds and are difficult to wheel over carpeted floors, especially if the wheels are small.

Larger machines have two or three exercise stations and "stacks" of weights, allowing more than one person to exercise at the same time.

A dedicated, permanent space for the gym machine is the best arrangement. Having to pull out a heavy machine each time makes exercising less fun and easier to skip. Storage space for accessories (bars, straps and other add-ons) should also be considered.

Types of Universal Weight Machines

Most machines use cast iron or cement weights for the resistance mechanism. A notable exception are the Bowflex machines that use spring bars. Bio Force machines use nitrogen gas cylinders.

Weights are the safe, conventional choice. The main drawback is their bulk and weight. Other resistance mechanisms:
  • might not give the same resistance throughout the whole range of movement.
  • might give less resistance than the rated equivalent weight (pounds or kilograms).
  • are usually easier to fold and put away.

How to Choose a Home Gym Machine

The types of exercises supported is the main difference between models. This is where experience with real gym workouts is useful to decide on the exercises required. Even if the same exercises are supported, there can still be differences.

Some machines require awkward body positions or uncomfortable straps. Home gyms are definitely a "try before buy" product.

Some models have optional upgrades for lats and leg presses. Free weights are a popular alternative for squats. The gym machine should be large enough for full range of body and limb movement. Anyone over six feet tall should be especially careful that the machine is large enough.

Starting weight resistance is 200 pounds for most models, expandable to 300 or 400 pounds. Some entry-level models cannot be expanded. More resistance is especially useful for leg exercises. Some designs are leveraged to double the resistance, causing a 200 pound weight to feel like 400 pounds.

Weight machines need to be reconfigured to enable different exercises. Ease and speed of configuration will differ. This is more important for those doing circuit training. Higher-end models have more pulleys and require fewer changes.

Changing settings for family members of different heights should also be considered.

Most machines are sold disassembled. Assembly can take hours. Some shops offer on-site home assembly services. The warranty should be at least a few years, with companies such as Body-Solid offering lifetime warranties.

Charts and instructional DVDs or software are useful but not a dealbreaker. Substitutes can be found on Internet sites such as YouTube.

Alternative Home Gym Exercise Machines

The standard home weight machine sets aren't the only game in town. Other weights or machines should also be considered:
  • Smith machines for safe use of free weights.
  • Cable crossover machines.
  • Inclined board body-weight machines such as Total Gym. Many have accessories for conversion to a Pilates machine.
  • Quick-change adjustable free weights.

The Best Home Weights System

Owning a standard home gym system is a big commitment. Their cost, size and weight make them a more serious investment compared to an exercise bike.

Some gym experience (at least a few months, a year or two is better) on a variety of different machines is the best preparation for choosing the right machine. This way the desired types of exercises and maximum resistance weight can be known.

Ultimate 30's Workout

Increase the amount of testosterone and growth hormone your body produces by working multiple muscle groups and keeping rest periods short. For cardio, your lactate threshold can still be increased throughout your thirties, so intervals are king to counter any loss of lung power.

Ultimate 40's Workout

Short, sharp shocks are the way to fire up your body in your middle years - which means you can forget long-winded weights workouts. Vary exercises, intensity and timings to keep your muscles guessing.

Ultimate 50's Workout

You may not be able to lift the heaviest weight, but that's okay. Instead, stretching and yoga should be part of your training, and body-weight moves can replace heavy workouts. Do three sets of 10 reps of the following exercises to protect your joints and maintain muscle mass and testosterone.