All posts by scienceadmin

Let’s Get Serious About the Shake Weight

Go back about eight years ago, when there was a commercial released that was taking over the airwaves but not for the reasons that the company behind the product wanted it to be known for. I always keep things family friendly, so I’m not going to be too descriptive but go watch a commercial for it and let me know what you think it looks like. Anyways, let’s talk about what the actual shake weight was, what it claimed to do, and what ended up happening to this invention. First, the shake weight was a product that was made to make working out at home easy but you would still get intense results. Beyond the hype, the product itself looked like a lighter plastic dumbbell that, once started, would shake by itself. It was said that these constant shaking of your muscles could even be more effective than free weights. You remember, that way of training that has been around since the days of the gladiator, yeah we have to throw that out now for a plastic piece of you know what that moves by itself?

To make the commercial even better, there were studies, that I can’t attest to the validity of, that painted a picture that those old free weights needs to go in the trash, you have a Shake Weight now, you are in a whole new class of exercise. Ok, you have had plenty of the time to go see the commercial and did it not look a little odd? I’ll leave it at that, what the shake weight would do was to further allow for muscle growth to occur because of the different movement, that was a fitness revolution, when the commercial first aired. As it stands today, the Shake Weight is still widely available and actually has pretty good ratings, I have to admit that I will eat some crow on that one. I have never tried the Shake Weight, as I was too in fear that someone would ever see me actually using one, certainly not an exercise I could do while anyone else was around me. As you can probably picture, the ridicule that this product endured was seemingly endless. I do feel bad for the people that went ahead and green lit that commercial, or maybe there was more to it than what we think about? I mean, someone had to know that this commercial for the Shake Weight was going to have people dropping their remotes in shock or stopping everything to record it to show someone else.

The good about the Shake Weight is that, if you don’t really care how you look in public (and you shouldn’t) this equipment is great for definition, that is what I’ve read from reviews. On the flipside, there are a few that complained that it didn’t work as well as they wanted it to. Overall, I think that the Shake Weight must deserve it’s standing as a revolutionary way for those who are sick of the same old dumbbells. I could see this being a great gift idea for someone who is more focused on defining their muscles and toning up, over anyone that is wanting to build bodybuilder muscles. Maybe one day, I will take a chance on the Shake Weight and see what it can do for me.

Hidden Gems for Finding Gym Equipment

When it comes time to decide that you want to setup a workout room of your own, there will be some hurdles to face. I’ve had to build my own home setup and it definitely taken time and money. However, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to have a suitable setup for you to start using. As a matter of fact, if you know where to look, you can find some insanely good prices. If you aren’t familiar with them, apps like Craigslist and Letgo are great to make use of. The only slight drawback is that the equipment you will be purchasing and looking at will likely be used.

I don’t have a problem with used gym equipment, so long as it is functioning properly and is safe. Although it certainly isn’t the best method to use, I find that applying my body weight (do not use weights when doing this) to the machine for the first time will tell me all I need to know. Chances are, if the equipment can support whatever your body weight is, you likely have a sturdy machine. Variety is great to have, when it comes to finding what equipment you need to have, just be sure that the machines don’t all serve the same purpose. You don’t want to have a garage that is filled to the brim with gigantic pieces of equipment that only work one muscle group. If you can make your way to find a newspaper in your city, consider perusing the local classified ads, as there can be some great finds there. Usually, you will see more equipment being sold in the winter months, when people give up on staying trim. I recommend that you check around in both print and on the web year round, as there are always exceptions to colder months being the best for finding equipment. If you want new equipment, you do have more options, as far as purchasing is concerned.

finding new challenges

A good way to save a little extra to is get equipment that is multi purposed, or to put it more plainly, can work out different muscle groups from the same machine. Commonly, there are many machines available that can transform themselves into being able to carry out hundreds of exercises. I have an old Gold’s Gym bench that was not just a sturdy bench that has been put through its paces, I also got a weight rack and a place to be able to do some other lifts. You don’t have to start out with a room that is fully loaded with top end equipment. Starting out with just one or two pieces of equipment is more than enough to get started on your own home gym. Whenever I want to get another piece of gym equipment but my brain tells me that it isn’t feasible, this is where you can make things interesting. When I realize that I do need to wait before getting another machine, I set a goal for myself and once I reach it, I can get the new equipment. Don’t be afraid to take enough time to find the right deals, it will take patience but I can assure you that they are out there. As long as you don’t become addicted to getting new machines for your home gym, at least not mega addicted, you should experience nothing but joy in your new quest.

Exercises to Improve Your Swimming Ability

In what has been known for years to be, arguably, the best exercise for you, swimming is still as popular now than it has ever been. With star athletes like Michael Phelps, we have now seen a completely new facelift on the public opinion of this sport. With more new fans each passing week, it seems like everyone wants to try their hand at swimming, not to compete but to look better. After all, if you have seen any images of Michael Phelps, you know that he is in outstanding shape. To better get you prepared to head out into the water of your local lap pool, I now present three awesome exercises that you should be doing, in order to become a better swimmer. Along with my exercise picks, I will also give you more information, as to why these exercises are so well suited to an aspiring swimmer.

I talk constantly about the benefits of doing squats but nowhere is this exercise better for you than when you are swimming. Squats are primarily done to achieve better leg strength. Having stronger legs not only looks good, it can also help you become better at many different sports, swimming being one of them. Why heavy squats are so great for swimmers is that it enables them to push off of the pool walls harder than normal. Think about this, is someone with massively strong legs going to push off faster than someone who never trains them? You won’t need to be a sports nutrition scientist to realize that stronger legs will push you farther.

Next, we know that no swimmer is going to make it very far without a strong core. For those that don’t know the core muscles are ones that right in the middle of your body, mainly having to do with the ab muscles. You won’t need to worry about having a perfect six pack to do crunches, you will still notice that you will have a stronger core, even if you don’t have rock hard abs. Don’t expect to get shredded by doing crunches alone, in this situation, we are utilizing our ab muscles so that we will be able to effectively swim longer distances. If you have ever pulled a stomach muscle, you know how painful it can be and we don’t want that. Last of all, you certainly don’t want to be in the water, while having cramping muscles!

Finally, if you have known a swimmer, you know that they are notorious for developing shoulder problems. Even the best swimmers around that don’t train their shoulders can still fall victim to nasty shoulder injuries, sometimes ending their hopes of professionally swimming. The military press is, quite possibly, the number one exercise for your shoulders. Yes, there are a vast amount of different shoulder lifts that you could do to strengthen those muscles but the military press is the best way to do it, in my humble opinion. Having a stronger set of shoulders reduces the risk of injury that is commonly associated with swimmers, due to how much use their shoulders get out on the water. Will these exercises ever give you that speed that Michael Phelps is known for? Likely, no, as his great performance as a swimmer is attributed to years of constant practice and conditioning. However, you should be able to notice that your lap times do quicken and you will gain some newfound strength.

Should You Exercise While Feeling Under the Weather?

As much as we wish we all could, there is no stopping being ill. While a select few will only get sick once or twice through the year, others have more instances where illnesses find us. When the time arrives, it can keep you stuck in bed, away from your job, and being put in a situation where you can’t exercise, or can you? Unless you feel that you absolutely have to, I would suggest that you focus on getting the rest that your body needs. However, if you are determined to sweat out your illness, you shouldn’t treat it like you would a big lifting day. For safety sake and because you are more susceptible to becoming winded, it is best to keep your weight numbers and reps low. You have to realize that you won’t be in tip-top condition and trying to strive for that will have you feeling worse than you did before. As far as time is concerned, I would try to keep any workouts done while under the weather to no more than twenty minutes.

The purpose of working out when you’re sick is to either: cleanse your body of toxins, not fall back on your fitness routine, or both. Before you get ready to head out of the door, with your gym bag in hand, there is more that you need to know. First, we have to understand that being sick is a vague term for a lot of smaller symptoms that determine what illness you have. If you are experiencing any sort of vomiting, DO NOT go out into the gym. For one, you are likely having a very strong illness, where working out would do more harm than good. Secondly, the last place that you want projectile vomit in would be the gym. Just thinking about the horrified looks of others, if I were in that situation and had to puke would mean I would probably never set foot in that place again.

sickness symptomsAs far as being an overall caring human being goes, please don’t go and lift weights while you are still contagious. A big sign of determining being contagious is a quick fever check, if your temperature is too high, you are likely still capable of passing the illness. I know that I would hate it if there a sick person coughing and leaving snot all over the place, especially if he uses the machine before I do. Also, with having a fever, it’s not smart to play around with your body temperature during a time where you are so weakened.

A lot of people confuse getting allergies with being sick, I’ve suffered with allergies for about fifteen years so I could say that I’ve had those same thoughts. If you aren’t having a fever, show no signs of vomiting, you will do much better with working out, even if you don’t feel one hundred percent. Once you get your shoes on and get moving, you could notice that, by the end of your workout, you started to forget that you were even sick. To sum it all up, remember that workouts (while sick) are hobbies that you can still skip a day or two on, with sickness being a great reason. If you feel that you must exercise and provided your symptoms are contagious, keep it simple and take it slow.

Why My Weekend Was Total Anarchy

It’s not often that you get the amazing and unique chance to try out a preworkout supplement that has won awards. It’s hard to believe, but there are truly a handful or two of supplements that I feel are deserving of a true honor as an award can give. I can sit here and spew out endless hype filled sentences but you will know that I don’t like to roll in that manner. Let’s get down to the meat of this supplement and start look at the cold hard facts. Based on extensive new research into nitric oxide and its effects, Muscletech has used their findings to create a better form of n.o. that we are so desperately needing today. Deciding to give their findings a new and exclusive name, nitrosigine was created. Not content to merely tread water that has been walked though many times before, Anarchy is setting out to change how we look at pre workout supplementation. We have the usual contenders for what a supplement should have, which are caffeine and beta alanine, upon further inspection that are some great and rare ingredients I want to talk more about.

When a company is able to provide the consumer with exclusive ingredients, you know that you are going to be in for a treat. It is nice to be able to be provided with a supplement that you know no other company can offer. When it comes to that pumped up feeling, it seems like it is a must for any aspiring weightlifter. I ended up trying this supplement because of the Muscletech name being associated with it, I kept using it because of the Nitromax and Nitrosigine working together. To have, not one, but two different ingredients that have been created and are new to the world is a really cool thing to get to be a part of. I’m not kidding when I say that it felt like my shirt had gotten two sizes smaller, within a matter of thirty minutes, that is how well Anarchy provides you with fuller muscles.

This is a small piece of information to be so concerned with but I have to say how cool I thought it was for Muscletech to mention that you should shake the cup that Anarchy is being used in. I can back up the claim of this manufacturer by agreeing that shaking my shaker bottle for about twenty seconds left me with no clumps at all. It’s nice to see such a big company recognize a common problem that can happen with their supplements, right out in the open. In an industry where many companies falsely assume user error for why their products are being as effective as possible, Muscletech provides some much need information that can drastically enhance how you enjoy their products. You can find Anarchy available in thirty serving containers, which can go pretty far, depending on your tolerance to these kinds of preworkouts.

For someone who is sensitive to energy products, you could easily notice that thirty servings of Anarchy could get you well past a month’s use. For someone like me, who has a high tolerance for what is supposed to give him energy, even being able to get through fifteen lifting sessions with Anarchy will give you an experience that you will not soon forget. This supplement is going to be available at all major supplement retailers, anything with the Muscletech name should be able to be well stocked up on, too!

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!

Angry Exercise Not Good on Your Heart

You may want to read the following closely, if you are someone who enjoys nothing more than a good workout while they’re angry. Before the following study is mentioned, it was natural to want to work out when you’re angry. Having done it numerous times myself, I always found that an angry workout helped me to grow more muscle. Nevertheless, after hearing about just how bad for you angry exercise can be, I know that I will definitely have my mood in check before I pick up a set of weights. The study that was done has found that your three times as likely to have a heart attack while working out angry, when compared to being a normal state of mind. When looking at the numbers, I know that I wouldn’t want to gain muscle at the expense of the health of my heart. If something is bothering you enough to make you extremely angry, it would be better to let cooler heads prevail before you take that anger out in the gym.

As our bodies are adjusting to going through the motions, certain parts will react accordingly. When you find yourself mad or upset, your heartbeat will speed up. With a heart rate that is already sped up, the last thing you want to do is start an activity that’s going to speed it up more, this is where the increased risk for heart attack comes into play. The same holds true for aerobic exercises, not just tied to weightlifting, but other forms of activity that can also speed up the heart should be avoided while you’re in a bad state of mind. As good as it may feel to conquer the iron while you’re pretending that you’re taking your anger out on someone else, you should just lay low until that anger subsides. Trust me, you won’t need to stress yourself out further over worrying about minuscule muscle gains.

Since strength is not directly tied to anger, once you have calm down you should find that you’ll still be able to lift as good as you always have been. Don’t think that you’ll be sacrificing any muscle if you wait until you feel better to work out. What is most important to keep in mind is that your health should always be your number one concern, I don’t care how quick you could gain muscle. By making sure that your mental well-being is taken care of, this joy will extend to your physical sense of well-being. It is common for the heart rate to accelerate when exercising, the worry occurs when you speed up an already quickened heartbeat. When something does set you off and angers you, you will feel differently than you did when you were in a good mood. What isn’t as easy to see is all of internal shifts that happen, once you decide that your mood is changing. I can’t say that you should never be angry, that would be impossible to expect. What you can do though, is to wait and let that anger subside before you go out to the gym.

We all have our own distinct motivations that separate us from everyone else. You don’t have to go through life being mad at everyone, practice relaxation or if you feel that this rage is always there, you might need to think about seeking professional help.

Three Foods That Are Killing Your Diet

Not being one that likes raining on others parades, I feel that I do want to list three foods that, when not used in moderation, can be devastating to a diet. I don’t want to leave you with only negative advice about these foods, so each pick will have a healthier substitute that you can implement into your diet for each food choice.

Pizza – I love this food as much as the next person. Being that you get options to load it with toppings, cheese, and just about anything else you can think of, Pizza is an amazing food. However, if you were on a diet, a couple of slices of this snack could easily ruin your determination in a heartbeat. While containing tomatoes, cheese, and meat, it can be used to gain weight but most of the gains will come from fat. As you see, even though pizza does have good base ingredients, there is a lot of extra additives placed onto a pizza. You can use many of the commonly associated pizza toppings on a salad, you may just want to go a little bit lighter on the ranch dressing.

cheesy pizza

Ice Cream – This pick is known as most people’s choice as a favorite comfort food, this one can really add on extra calories that will translate into additional fat accumulation. Although, there are healthier alternatives available, it’s going to be pretty frustrating to try and track down an actual healthy ice cream, as fat as I Know, there isn’t one that exists. However, if any readers know of some good choices to replace ice cream in someone’s diet, please let me know Being that it is so difficult to try and find something that is remotely close to ice cream, while still being healthy, your best pick will be a sorbet dish.

Bread – It’s hard to say too many bad things about bread, as it is used in so many different foods! What I wanted to make more clear was the kind of bread you’re using, it has everything to do with it being a good choice of bread for a diet. I try and use wheat bread, whenever possible, as it is a better choice than white bread. You will be eating a lot of hidden sugar and extra carbohydrates with bread but the numbers are much lower when looking at wheat bread versus white bread.
The three foods that we’ve covered are not bad foods, by any means. I think that what makes a few truly good or bad is the attitude of the person eating the food.

For everyone, a bite of pizza would not put their diet into jeopardy. When speaking with someone who may be of a weaker mindset, these three foods can end their diet altogether and I would never want that to happen. It certainly isn’t wrong to want to have the three foods that comprise this list. Also, you can have cheat days setup to where you can consume these goods, as long as you know when to set limits. I have picked foods for this list that were also very easy to keep eating, you have to exercise caution to ensure that you aren’t doing too much damaging to your personal goals. Whenever you feel those hunger pains that are getting you down throughout the day, it could also be a sign that you need to drink more water. I would recommend that you try and indulge in water should you feel that afternoon snack urge begin to rise.

Is Yoga for Metal Heads Any Fun?

We try to do a decent job of letting you know about all the cool and innovative fitness classes out there. Whenever I heavy metalmention yoga, I know that many of the male readers probably skim on to pass up on it. Men, listen up, I think that our prayers have been answered, as there seems to be a yoga class for us. Being relatively new, there is a yoga class that is shunning the age old clichés of calming instrumentals and nature sounds for leather chaps and spike bracelets! In all seriousness, metal yoga may have a smaller following than the relaxing classes we all know and love, but that’s ok. Metal heads have always been a fringe group, when compared to their top 40 counterparts.

If you were to bring this up to any metal fan, it’s likely they already know and that is one reason that keeps that community together, the mutual bonds between those people. I know that when the time is approaching for me to start weight lifting, I’ve got to have tunes that rock, no easy listening allowed. When doing yoga, there is not unwritten law that says that the music has to be what you would hear in an elevator. Seeming like an oxymoronic style clash, it’s still possible to find true peace, while a Juda Priest solo is blaring in your ears.

The change of scenery, when thinking of what you usually picture in a yoga room, can be jarring to some but don’t worry, no one will kick you out for not wearing all black. The class that I had signed up for brought me into a dimly lit room, with a minimal setup. I’m not casting my yoga in a negative light, I enjoyed the minimalistic look, as it adhered well with the overall vibe of the class.

Having taken someone with me, I wanted to have a compadre there with me, to witness this new and more intense style of yoga. I don’t want to give too much away, as I hate taking away surprises from others, just be prepared to be enlightened, should you choose to go. At first, the loud waves of heavy metal had me wanting to stand up and proudly proclaim that this was not going to be for me. After following the instructor, who I’m fairly sure was just a guy who rented out the room, I did start to let my mind wander down its own path. Shockingly, within about five minutes I did start to feel more peaceful.

Should you feel that the music in your metal yoga class is too loud, you’ll want to move to the back of the room, if you can. Ears are amazing instruments that most of us were born with, they are also highly sensitive. I used to drive around main street with music blaring, thinking that I was cool, now I have to ask people to repeat themselves because I semi-damaged my hearing. Saying that this class was only being in a room of people, all listening to loud metal would be doing this class an injustice. I was able to actually learn some new yoga poses that I hadn’t done before, while slowly mastering the standard ones. Lasting about an hour long, I felt amazingly relaxed after walking out of the class door. It was almost as if the anger was starting to slowly subside, throughout the duration of the class I was in.