Monthly Archives: November 2016

Choosing Good Footwear for Weight Training

When it comes down to it, the kinds of shoes that you can put on can range widely. I only worry about two criteria when it comes down to choosing a good shoe and those are comfort and safety. I’m not concerned with the latest fashions or colors. Honestly, I could care less how it looks to others, as long as I am able to complete my sets correctly. It shouldn’t need to be stated but do not ever attempt to lift weights barefooted. Not only is it just plan gross but lifting weights without shoes on gives your feet no protection. If you didn’t know, your feet contain many small groups of bones, those of which can easily be shattered. If you are in a dire situation where you have no shoes, please wait and come back to lift weights at a time where you do have the proper footwear.

Most workout centers that I go to wouldn’t even let someone in the door without shoes. If you are lifting weights in the privacy of your own home, it is still suitable that you do have some form of footwear on. As we look closer at the kind of shoe you will want to go with, I recommend going with an athletic type of shoe. I can understand where the previous sentence doesn’t make things crystal clear so why don’t we begin to rule out more shoes that you do not want to take to the gym with you. All of my fellow boot wears might not like to hear this but no, you need to leave your boots at home.

I don’t have anything against wearing a pair of boots, it’s actually what I will usually choose to wear when I go out in public. However, boots will most likely have an elevated lift at the bottom of sole, which will make it hard to maintain your balance. Boots are great for making you appear taller, which is good for a boost of self-confidence but it is ironic that this very same sense of confidence will be broken, once you start feeling your legs topple over. Another reason that I would have to say no to wearing boots to workout in is because they will usually fit over the lower part of your legs.

Having footwear that locks a good portion of your legs isn’t great for when you need to quickly move around, like when you are setting down a barbell. Those who prefer to do things from a more classic perspective will want to get their feet into a nice pair of Converse All Stars. I love the sneaker type of shoe and I like the way that the All Stars keep my feet low to the ground and in perfect balance. I want to be as cozy as possible when I am working my hardest so I will often take a nice pair of athletic shoes that have some cushion in them. By using a shoe that still has a soft build to it, I am able to stay low to the ground without having to sacrifice my own personal comfort. Don’t be concerned with name brands either, they are likely some cheaper footwear options that work just fine. Personally, I would be just as satisfied with a low cost pair of tennis shoes than I would from some top of the line shoes, it makes it much easier for me.

Why I Enjoy Using Forced Reps

Usually, you will see that a plan of certain reps is to always be followed when you’re working out. We all have those days where strength is not our strong suit and we will unfortunately have ourselves disappointed. Don’t just take this as the truth, there is a way that you can increase your strength, even when your body isn’t feeling up to the task. Forced reps are a kind of lifting style that you can use after you’ve exhausted all other options. The science behind a forced rep is simple, when you are at the point that you cannot complete another repetition, you pause for a moment and then force more reps. What you want to aim to do is only for us a couple more reps, or until you can meet you limit, do not force more than five reps.

The reason behind not wanting to continually force heavy reps onto your body is that you could really hurt yourself by doing this. Forced reps should not be used during every workout and when they are should only be used as a last resort. For example, you wouldn’t want to force a rep on every exercise you do but if you find that you’ve been struggling with your squats, forcing a couple more reps could be that last determining factor and you lifting more from that day on. I came up with the concept of trying forced reps into my training when I had finally had all that I could take.

I was steadily increasing my strength and most everything that I did, with the exception of one or two workouts. I found myself continuously more and more upset that I could not break through this simple plateau. I have even changed up the days that I lifted and put more space in between my days off but nothing was able to allow me to get that strength I wanted so badly. For the exercise that was giving me fits, my goal is to complete eight reps at 250 pounds. Something else I would advise, if you are thinking about forcing reps into your regimen, is that you’ll want to stick with a weigh that is only slightly higher than what you’re used to.

Again, not knowing where your strength range is and trying to complete an exercise with something you can’t carry can easily break your bones and shred your muscles. I would keep getting stuck on only being able to complete two repetitions of this very very powerful movement so I would gradually try to force another rep at the end of the exercise. Over time, I did finally get past my old limits and with the use of forest rats was able to finally complete the 250 pound lift for eight repetitions. After those weeks of forcing myself to do more than I thought I was able to, I quickly would go on to be able to actually hold 300 pounds, a feat that I am very proud of. Listen to me, your mind is telling you that you can’t do something, your body can be the one that shows your mind who the real boss is!hes-mad

If you are thinking that you’ll be stuck lifting the same amount of weight until the day that you die, it doesn’t have to be that hard. Remember, sometimes the brain is only telling us the negative thoughts that we give it. You know that to lift well you have to fuel not just your muscles, but your mind, as well!